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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

15 February - News Notes

BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 08:  Chinese Premier...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Privacy clings for library & school computersPrivacy clings for library & school computers (Photo credit: The Shifted Librarian)
The Occupy movement is entering a new phase, one in which many of us feel the need to combine renewed engagement through direct actions and mobilizations with a deep reflection on the strategic objectives of our movement. In order to fulfill this need, the organizing committee of Making Worlds* is inviting Occupy supporters, sympathizers, and other organizations to participate in this Forum on the politics of the commons. In particular, we are interested in understanding how groups and communities working on housing, health care, education, food, water, energy, information, communication and knowledge resources can develop a vision of these resources as commons: a third form of social organization to the state and corporate capitalism. Making Worlds has the ambitious goal of articulating a strategic vision from and for the movement as well as specific political initiatives aiming at its realization.

What we’re talking about when we talk about lawful access

By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 11:15 AM - 7 Comments

The Ontario privacy commissioner dismisses both the government’s argument and its rhetoric.
“Simply put, criminals have moved beyond 20th-century technology,” Justice Minister Rob Nicholson declared at a news conference Tuesday. “We need to ensure that law enforcement has the tools necessary to fight crime in the 21st century.” To which Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s Privacy Commissioner, replied: “Nonsense.” She called the bill “a major intrusion into our personal lives.”
… Ms. Cavoukian, the Ontario privacy commissioner, said she “was so offended” by Mr. Toews’ statement in the House. “But what it showed to me was the weakness of their case.”
Jesse Brown explains some of the implications. Matt Hartley says the government is mired in backwards thinking. Michael Geist answers your questions and proposes compromise.

(01/24/12) -

Tories Lead, Liberals Gain But Remain in Third Place in Canada

Bob Rae posts the best momentum score of all five main party leaders, while Stephen Harper has the highest approval rating.
The retention rates for the federal parties show a significant shift. The Liberals are now holding on to 82 per cent of the voters who supported them in the May 2011 election, second only to the governing Conservatives (86%). The NDP now has the second lowest retention rate in Canada (70%), with one-in-six 2011 NDP voters (15%) now choosing the Grits.

Op-Ed: "It is easy to forget what is by now practically a cliché about liberal democracies: Criticism of foreign policy, rather than being inimical to a democratic nation's interest, is a source of its profoundest strength," writes assistant professor Vaughn Raspberry of Stanford University. Continue reading: http://aje.me/ygPn5q
The Cold War era brought landmark gains in civil rights at the price of stunting black critique of foreign policy.

Iran Warns 6 Countries in Europe It Will Cut Off Oil

Egypt state media accuses U.S. of spreading anarchy
Pakistan to host Afghan, Iranian leaders
NATO to buy U.S.-made unmanned drone aircraft
"But what if, hypothetically, BP's disaster in the Gulf was viewed as an act of domestic violence, as opposed to just a problem of pollution and corporate irresponsibility? After all, corporations are treated as people for political campaigning and lobbying, and so many of BP's disasters have reached far into our homes, leaving devastating impacts on families and workers."

Last week, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier decided that in the civil trial against BP for their oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil company’s history of accidents and poor safety records won’t be admissible as evidence. Maybe that’s appropriate; I’m no legal expert so I can’t make that call...

The report was the latest from Iran to shock oil markets after the country's threats to close the Strait of Hormuz had sent oil prices higher in recent weeks. The strait is a strategic Persian Gulf shipping artery through which a fifth of world oil supplies are transported. Some companies, such as France's largest oil company, Total SA (TOT, FP.FR), have since stopped buying or shipping oil from Tehran. Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA.LN, RDSA, RDSB.LN, RDSB) declined to comment on the report and BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
A report Wednesday from an Iranian state television broadcaster--later denied by the Iranian government--saying Tehran had cut its oil exports to six European nations lifted European oil prices Wednesday, exposing oil markets' nervousness over any abrupt Iranian oil disruption.

Op-Ed: "If we want journalism that supports democracy we have to stop listening to what journalists say in their current, captive state. Then we have to figure out what they would tell us if they were free," says Dan Hind, author of acclaimed books The Return of the Public and The Threat to Reason. More: http://aje.me/z0BfDn

GMOs Linked To Organ Failure
Listen to Noam Chomsky's anatomy of US defeat in the greater Middle East on this week's TomCast from

With wonky 325-page letter to the SEC, Occupy's finance gurus challenge Wall Street lobbyists on their own turf.
A look at how is bankrupting America:

The privatization of America’s prison system is well on its way to complete.
‎'A quarter of young children around the world are not getting enough nutrients to grow properly, and 300 die of malnutrition every hour, according to a new report that lays bare the effects of the global food crisis.' Paul Vallely, The Independent UK
As the world begins to digest the implications of intellectual property for online censorship, another IP issue threatens an even more fundamental part of our daily lives: our food supply. Backed by legal precedent and armed with seemingly inexhaustible lobbying funds, a handful of multinationals are attempting to use patents on life itself to monopolize the biosphere.
Find out more about the process of patenting life and what it means for the food supply on this week's GRTV Backgrounder with James Corbett.

Op-ed: The quality, as well as quantity, of children eat can be the difference between life and death

Feeding the Spirit: Nutritionist Helps Tribes Rediscover Traditional Foods
Sudan News: Famine being used as a weapon of war:

great article on hidden ways Gluten/wheat makes everyone fat and a lot of people very sick
But what Houston's death has also brought to the forefront is the reality that, under the auspices of treating disease, FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs are a primary cause of death in the US, as well as within the entertainment industry.' Ethan Huff, Natural News

Canada's air pollution experts moved to 'other priorities'

Leading US investors challenge 10 electric power providers on & air pollution risks.

  a new synopsis of the science of weather extremes from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado that many readers may find interesting. This extensive, meticulous online package takes readers through what scientists can and cannot say about the relationship between recent climate extremes and global warming. The linkage between human activity and recent extremes of heat and precipitation is fairly clear, the center says, but it is much less clear that hurricanes and tornadoes, for instance, have been worsened by climate change.
Many weather forecasters are contrarians on the issue of climate change, but the heat is being turned up on them, so to speak, by a public campaign to get them to “Forecast the Facts.” 

The working professionals charged with getting results are upstaged by those who have not proved they can do squat.

On Climate Change, Weathercasters May Be Misguiding Their Viewers 

Recent studies have found that more than half of the reporters relaying weather on television do not believe humans are the primary drivers of global warming -- despite a consensus ( is that Trade Marked yet ? ) among scientists who specialize on the topic.

"If you look at the stats over the past five or six years, the public's belief that global warming is a serious problem, or is even happening, is declining," said Daniel Souweine, co-founder of the nonprofit Citizen Engagement Lab. In fact, nearly 40 percent of Americans are not convinced that the earth is heating up, according to the latest Pew Research Center poll.
"We think that's a result of the fact that they're not getting the right kind of information about what the science says," Souweine told The Huffington Post.
A new campaign called "Forecast the Facts," begun by Citizen Engagement Lab with the support of the League of Conservation Voters and the climate advocacy group 350.org, aims to call out on-air climate deniers. Many of these base their skepticism on their own inability to forecast more than five or seven days out. If they can't forecast the weather a week from now, how then, the deniers argue, could scientists try to tell us what the climate might be like in 70 years?
"That's a statement that on first blush sounds reasonable. But when you understand the differences between the science of climate and weather, it isn't," Souweine said. As many climate experts like to say, weather tells you what to wear that day and climate tells you what wardrobe to buy. And computer models used by the two professions differ significantly.

Wow. So now the only group charged with any need for professionalism
in forecastin­g the future is to be upstaged by the UN in the name of ( the Ministry of ) Truth. Meteorolog­ists appreciate the complexity of planetary dynamics and interactio­ns. Apparently we are not supposed to respect our limitation­s and trust to the alleged science - suitably promoted by a UN agenda to tax energy use on a global scale.
I'm stupid. I do not understand how one can 'scientifi­cally' predict the future. The proof you are right is not available. 
I have never heard of a climate scientist criticizing
 a meteorolog­ist about the accuracy of their weather forecastin­g. I not observed a climate scientist work as a meteorolog­ist . Perhaps meteorolog­ists should perform within their range of expertise.
 Climate scientists have what demonstrated
expertise ? The record so far is of abortive attempts at modeling the biosphere by using simple models and implementi­ng fudge factors.
There's a short timeline.
There aren't that many reporting stations for a really long sampling time.
We were coming out of an mini ice age.
Perturbati­ons associated with ocean currents throw projection­s off.
Forecaster­s know there are limitation­s to the accuracy of their forecasts over longer periods. 'Climate scientists­' have yet to prove they can do better. 
04:21 PM on 02/13/2012
And while some of the honest among us are engaged in the back water game of jousting with and outing the constant astroturfi­ng by profession­al shills here, the rest need to keep their eyes on what the big dogs are really up to:

12:17 AM on 02/13/2012
A row between weathermen threatens to wreck a BBC-funded project to test the accuracy of Britain’s weather forecasts.

The study, estimated to have cost tens of thousands of pounds of licence fee payers’ money, has been devised by the BBC’s senior environmen­t analyst, Roger Harrabin.

But seven of the eight forecaster­s and bodies asked to take part have not agreed, with two blaming Mr Harrabin for underminin­g the study’s credibilit­y, claiming that his reputation is tarnished by his close links to green groups who believe in man-made climate change.-Th­e Daily Mail 
04:04 PM on 02/13/2012
American Meteorolog­ical Society's climate change statement:


"Carbon dioxide concentrat­ion is rising mostly as a result of fossil-fue­l burning and partly from clearing of vegetation­; about 50% of the enhanced emissions remain in the atmosphere­, while the rest of the Earth system continues to absorb the remaining 50%. In the last 50 years atmospheri­c CO2 concentrat­ion has been increasing at a rate much faster than any rates observed in the geological record of the past several thousand years. Global annual-mea­n surface temperatur­es are rising at a rapid rate to values higher than at any time in the last 400 (and probably in the last 1000) years. Once introduced in the atmosphere­, carbon dioxide remains for at least a few hundred years and implies a lengthy guarantee of sustained future warming."

".. there is adequate evidence from observatio­ns and interpreta­tions of climate simulation­s to conclude that the atmosphere­, ocean, and land surface are warming; that humans have significan­tly contribute­d to this change; and that further climate change will continue to have important impacts on human societies, on economies, on ecosystems­, and on wildlife through the 21st century and beyond. Focusing on the next 30 years, convergenc­e among emission scenarios and model results suggest strongly that increasing air temperatur­es will reduce snowpack, shift snowmelt timing, reduce crop production and rangeland fertility, and cause continued melting of the ice caps and sea level rise." 
( Kill trees and co2 rises. Who'd a thunk ? )
Facts are stubborn things
09:43 PM on 02/10/2012
That infamous IPCC error re- 2035 instead of 2350 was not in the IPCC WG1 report, which is to say it was not in the physical sciences report that was authored by climate scientists­. The IPCC AR4 WGI report has no errors that I am aware of - an impressive accomplish­ment given size and scope of the report.

U.S. National Academy of Sciences (2010):

There is a strong, credible body of evidence, based on multiple lines of research, documentin­g that climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities­. While much remains to be learned, the core phenomenon­, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious scientific debate and careful evaluation of alternativ­e explanatio­ns...

Some scientific conclusion­s or theories have been so thoroughly examined and tested, and supported by so many independen­t observatio­ns and results, that their likelihood of subsequent­ly being found to be wrong is vanishingl­y small. Such conclusion­s and theories are then regarded as settled facts. This is the case for the conclusion­s that the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is very likely due to human activities­.

'very likely due to human activities­' is the conclusion in question - which is not stated as such.That precedes evaluation of the strength of the forcing and thoughts about necessary modeling problems - like moisture aloft and in oceans, lakes - even snowfields which change reflectivi­ty.
That's a staggering­ly complex model even if all drivers were identified­, measured,p­redicted and understood­.
Projecting from that includes uncertaint­ies too even without natural cycles.
But 'scientist­s say' rules : which is no wonder when politician­s give orders to say certain things - which this article proves.

"The Climate Change Revolution Is Coming" - M.O.C. #116

 Money control. What about those purchasing carbon credits so they don't have to update pollution controls ? Have you considered where carbon funding comes from ?Carbon Finance - World Bank Group

Carbon finance facilitates the financial reward through carbon credits for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by emitters in developing countries.

.....viable alternative energy has been suppressed for decades (many examples can be found at the US patent office) yet it is WE, the ignorant naive public who gets the blame for Global Warming, (or is that 'climate change'?) - go figure.....

CHILL: A reassessment of Global Warming
Published by Clairview Books.

Although the world's climate has undergone many cyclical changes, the phrase 'climate change' has taken on a sinister meaning, implying catastrophe for humanity, ecology and the environment. We are told that we are responsible for this threat, and that we should act immediately to prevent it. But the apparent scientific consensus over the causes and effects of climate change is not what it appears. Chill is a critical survey of the subject by a committed environmentalist and scientist.... 

ThinkProgress - Climate Progress

Is Climate Change Bringing the Arctic to Europe?

"Global Warming Has Stopped"? How to Fool People Using "Cherry-Picked" Climate Data

Ag-heavy Monterey County has banned the fumigant methyl iodide
The UN's climate science body needs stricter checks to prevent damage to the organisation's credibility

The Secret, Corporate-Funded Plan To Teach Children That Climate Change Is A Hoax

Why Big Oil May Be Afraid of Bicycles

Bob Mionske, the bicycle lawyer who writes frequently on cycling policy and legislation, details exactly why H.R. 7 is so horrible for cyclists, as well as for pedestrians and transit users.
As Mionske puts it on his blog, H.R. 7:
- Reverses 20 years of bicycle and pedestrian-friendly federal transportation policy.
- Elminates dedicated funding for the Transportation Enhancements program (funding cycling and walking projects).
- Allows states to build bridges without safe access for cyclists and pedestrians, as previously required.
- Eliminates Bicycle and Pedestrian and Safe Routes to Schools coordinators in state transportation departments.
- Repeals Safe Routes to Schools.
- Eliminates language that ensures that rumble strips “do not adversely affect the safety or mobility of bicyclists, pedestrians or the disabled.”
The bill also attacks dedicated transit funding, eliminating gas tax revenue for transit (not such a bad idea) but not replacing it with anything else

You work 3.84 minutes per day to pay for your bicycle, 2 hours for your car

Largest cycling group in Ottawa endorses my push for Truck sideguards in letter to Minister Lebel


Sales of residential solar in Japan explode like reactor #4
Iran unveils 'uranium enrichment advances' 
producing its own nuclear reactor fuel plates
"This is a huge achievement for the Iranian people because these fuel rods are actually produced domestically. It is the first batch that have been transferred to any of the facilities to start work on medical isotopes"
( There's enrichment and there's enrichment. Weapons tech is 95% - not 20% - and a lot harder. I suggest surfing the Arms Control Wonk if you need a backgrounder on how this is a case of apples and oranges being confused....deliberately.  )


This must see video highlights incredible environmental destruction from tar sands oil.

has new laws to curb internet freedom. Will the govt succeed in reigning in its netizens and at what cost? |

A series of documentaries by filmmakers offering a fresh insight into the uprisings that shook their countries |

A Brewing Battle Over Warrantless Wiretapping

One of the hardest-fought civil liberties battles of the George W. Bush era involved the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the post-Watergate statute that was meant to rein in domestic surveillance undertaken in the name of national security. It's almost certain that we'll have an equally hard-fought battle over FISA this year, both in the courts and in Congress.
The first volley may come as early as next week, because the administration must decide by Tuesday whether to ask the Supreme Court to intervene in the ACLU's constitutional challenge to the FISA Amendments Act, the 2008 law that ratified and expanded the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program. And that law is scheduled to sunset in December, which means that the litigation will unfold against the background of a congressional reauthorization debate.
Marty Lederman, then a law professor but later a lawyer for the Obama administration, explained the 2008 amendments like this:
The new statute permits the NSA to intercept phone calls and e-mails between the U.S. and a foreign location, without making any showing to a court and without judicial oversight, whether or not the communication has anything to do with al Qaeda — indeed, even if there is no evidence that the communication has anything to do with terrorism, or any threat to national security.
Predictably, the NSA has not simply used the law aggressively but abused it as well.
( Meanwhile the realization that the FBI stages fake triumphs and that al Qaeda is fiction or even CIA mercenaries slows little anal-ysis : no more than most generalizations being revealed as insufficient to rational thought affects punditry)


RT : Spencer Ackerman: Purges Hundreds of Terrorism Docs in Probe

Drought ibduced war leaves thousands fleeing in Nothern Kenya

Enjoy episode #9 -Michelle
Jeffrey Smith talks about the pollution that GMOs have introduced into our ecosystem.

Rise in China’s Currency Goes Largely Unnoted

Often nasty, prions have a nice side too, driving a form of near-instant evolution

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