3-D Printed Car Is as Strong as Steel, Half the Weight, and Nearing Production

Via: Wired

By Alexander George

Picture an assembly line not that isn’t made up of robotic arms spewing sparks to weld heavy steel, but a warehouse of plastic-spraying printers producing light, cheap and highly efficient automobiles.

If Jim Kor’s dream is realized, that’s exactly how the next generation of urban runabouts will be produced. His creation is called the Urbee 2 and it could revolutionize parts manufacturing while creating a cottage industry of small-batch automakers intent on challenging the status quo.

Urbee’s approach to maximum miles per gallon starts with lightweight construction – something that 3-D printing is particularly well suited for. The designers were able to focus more on the optimal automobile physics, rather than working to install a hyper efficient motor in a heavy steel-body automobile. As the Urbee shows, making a car with this technology has a slew of beneficial side effects.

Jim Kor is the engineering brains behind the Urbee. He’s designed tractors, buses, even commercial swimming pools. Between teaching classes, he heads Kor Ecologic, the firm responsible for the 3-D printed creation.

“We thought long and hard about doing a second one,” he says of the Urbee. “It’s been the right move.”

Kor and his team built the three-wheel, two-passenger vehicle at RedEye, an on-demand 3-D printing facility. The printers he uses create ABS plastic via Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). The printer sprays molten polymer to build the chassis layer by microscopic layer until it arrives at the complete object. The machines are so automated that the building process they perform is known as “lights out” construction, meaning Kor uploads the design for a bumper, walk away, shut off the lights and leaves. A few hundred hours later, he’s got a bumper. The whole car – which is about 10 feet long – takes about 2,500 hours.

Read more: here

Advertisements

Ragtime: Code name of NSA’s Secret Domestic Intelligence Program Revealed in New Book

Via: Washingtonian

“Deep State” uncovers new details about the agency’s secretive and hugely controversial surveillance programs.  
Published February 27, 2013

More than a decade after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a set of extraordinary and secretive surveillance programs conducted by the National Security Agency has been institutionalized, and they have grown.
These special programs are conducted under the code name Ragtime, and are divided into several subcomponents, according to the new book Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry, by Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady. (I purchased a copy this morning.)

The authors, both journalists who cowrote a previous book about special operations in the military, have dug deep into the code names and operational nitty gritty of the NSA’s secretive and hugely controversial surveillance programs, and they’ve come up with impressive new details. 
Ragtime, which appears in official reports by the abbreviation RT, consists of four parts. 
Ragtime-A involves US-based interception of all foreign-to-foreign counterterrorism-related data;  
Ragtime-B deals with data from foreign governments that transits through the US; 
Ragtime-C deals with counterproliferation actvities; 
and then there’s Ragtime-P, which will probably be of greatest interest to those who continue to demand more information from the NSA about what it does in the United States. 
P stands for Patriot Act. Ragtime-P is the remnant of the original President’s Surveillance Program, the name given to so-called “warrantless wiretapping” activities after 9/11, in which one end of a phone call or an e-mail terminated inside the United States. That collection has since been brought under law, but civil liberties groups, journalists, and legal scholars continue to seek more information about what it entailed, who was targeted, and what authorities exist today for domestic intelligence-gathering. 
Deep State has some answers. 
Read more: here

Ragtime: Code name of NSA’s Secret Domestic Intelligence Program Revealed in New Book

Via: Washingtonian

“Deep State” uncovers new details about the agency’s secretive and hugely controversial surveillance programs.  
Published February 27, 2013

More than a decade after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a set of extraordinary and secretive surveillance programs conducted by the National Security Agency has been institutionalized, and they have grown.
These special programs are conducted under the code name Ragtime, and are divided into several subcomponents, according to the new book Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry, by Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady. (I purchased a copy this morning.)

The authors, both journalists who cowrote a previous book about special operations in the military, have dug deep into the code names and operational nitty gritty of the NSA’s secretive and hugely controversial surveillance programs, and they’ve come up with impressive new details. 
Ragtime, which appears in official reports by the abbreviation RT, consists of four parts. 
Ragtime-A involves US-based interception of all foreign-to-foreign counterterrorism-related data;  
Ragtime-B deals with data from foreign governments that transits through the US; 
Ragtime-C deals with counterproliferation actvities; 
and then there’s Ragtime-P, which will probably be of greatest interest to those who continue to demand more information from the NSA about what it does in the United States. 
P stands for Patriot Act. Ragtime-P is the remnant of the original President’s Surveillance Program, the name given to so-called “warrantless wiretapping” activities after 9/11, in which one end of a phone call or an e-mail terminated inside the United States. That collection has since been brought under law, but civil liberties groups, journalists, and legal scholars continue to seek more information about what it entailed, who was targeted, and what authorities exist today for domestic intelligence-gathering. 
Deep State has some answers. 
Read more: here

50 Signs That The U.S. Health Care System Is A Gigantic Money Making Scam That Is About To Collapse

Via: The Economic Collapse Blog

By Michael, on February 24th, 2013

The U.S. health care system is a giant money making scam that is designed to drain as much money as possible out of all of us before we die. In the United States today, the health care industry is completely dominated by government bureaucrats, health insurance companies and pharmaceutical corporations.

 The pharmaceutical corporations spend billions of dollars to convince all of us to become dependent on their legal drugs, the health insurance companies make billions of dollars by providing as little health care as possible, and they both spend millions of dollars to make sure that our politicians in Washington D.C. keep the gravy train rolling.

Meanwhile, large numbers of doctors are going broke and patients are not getting the care that they need. At this point, our health care system is a complete and total disaster. Health care costs continue to go up rapidly, the level of care that we are receiving continues to go down, and every move that our politicians make just seems to make all of our health care problems even worse.

 In America today, a single trip to the emergency room can easily cost you $100,000, and if you happen to get cancer you could end up with medical bills in excess of a million dollars. Even if you do have health insurance, there are usually limits on your coverage, and the truth is that just a single major illness is often enough to push most American families into bankruptcy.

 At the same time, hospital administrators, pharmaceutical corporations and health insurance company executives are absolutely swimming in huge mountains of cash.

 Unfortunately, this gigantic money making scam has become so large that it threatens to collapse both the U.S. health care system and the entire U.S. economy.

Read more: here

50 Signs That The U.S. Health Care System Is A Gigantic Money Making Scam That Is About To Collapse

Via: The Economic Collapse Blog

By Michael, on February 24th, 2013

The U.S. health care system is a giant money making scam that is designed to drain as much money as possible out of all of us before we die. In the United States today, the health care industry is completely dominated by government bureaucrats, health insurance companies and pharmaceutical corporations.

 The pharmaceutical corporations spend billions of dollars to convince all of us to become dependent on their legal drugs, the health insurance companies make billions of dollars by providing as little health care as possible, and they both spend millions of dollars to make sure that our politicians in Washington D.C. keep the gravy train rolling.

Meanwhile, large numbers of doctors are going broke and patients are not getting the care that they need. At this point, our health care system is a complete and total disaster. Health care costs continue to go up rapidly, the level of care that we are receiving continues to go down, and every move that our politicians make just seems to make all of our health care problems even worse.

 In America today, a single trip to the emergency room can easily cost you $100,000, and if you happen to get cancer you could end up with medical bills in excess of a million dollars. Even if you do have health insurance, there are usually limits on your coverage, and the truth is that just a single major illness is often enough to push most American families into bankruptcy.

 At the same time, hospital administrators, pharmaceutical corporations and health insurance company executives are absolutely swimming in huge mountains of cash.

 Unfortunately, this gigantic money making scam has become so large that it threatens to collapse both the U.S. health care system and the entire U.S. economy.

Read more: here

Founded By Geniuses And Run By Idiots

Via: Monty Pelerin’s World

H. L. Mencken correctly observed:

Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent.

Mencken also was prescient:

As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

Read more: here

Moroccan Pottery Classes, Shrimp On Treadmills And Obamaphones – Bernanke’s Biggest Bloopers Tie It All Together

Via: Zero Hedge

Those who listened to Bernanke’s three hour oratory before the House Committee today noticed something different: the Chairman’s tone was far more resigned, and as noted previously, on occasion devolved into incoherent, illogical ramblings that may be satisfactory for an introductory economics class at Clown College (aka Princeton), but certainly are inappropriate for the man who runs the world’s most important printer.

And while as expected the bulk of the Q&A session focused on the sequester, there were enough pearls one could shake a GDP hockeystick at. We have extracted the best of these exchanges below. However, the definitive five minutes comes from this fiery confrontation between Sean Duffy and the Chairman, in which the republican has obviously had enough with the monetary policy chief coming in Congress and telling Congress how to conduct fiscal policy, when it is Bernanke’s deficit-monetizing actions that allow zero-cost borrowing and thus profligate, indiscriminate spending to result in such lunacy as total US debt just hitting a record 16,618,701,810,927.77.  

From the negative jobs impact resulting from cutting Moroccan Pottery Classes, no longer handing out Obamaphones, stopping the payment of travel expenses for the watermelon queen in Alabama, and most importantly preventing shrimp from running on a treadmill, to Bernanke explaining how a 2% cut in the budget would result in mass mayhem, in the context of a 1% interest rise resulting in $100 billion in additional interest expense, and much, much more, the Chairman ties it all together.

Read more: here

Moroccan Pottery Classes, Shrimp On Treadmills And Obamaphones – Bernanke’s Biggest Bloopers Tie It All Together

Via: Zero Hedge

Those who listened to Bernanke’s three hour oratory before the House Committee today noticed something different: the Chairman’s tone was far more resigned, and as noted previously, on occasion devolved into incoherent, illogical ramblings that may be satisfactory for an introductory economics class at Clown College (aka Princeton), but certainly are inappropriate for the man who runs the world’s most important printer.

And while as expected the bulk of the Q&A session focused on the sequester, there were enough pearls one could shake a GDP hockeystick at. We have extracted the best of these exchanges below. However, the definitive five minutes comes from this fiery confrontation between Sean Duffy and the Chairman, in which the republican has obviously had enough with the monetary policy chief coming in Congress and telling Congress how to conduct fiscal policy, when it is Bernanke’s deficit-monetizing actions that allow zero-cost borrowing and thus profligate, indiscriminate spending to result in such lunacy as total US debt just hitting a record 16,618,701,810,927.77.  

From the negative jobs impact resulting from cutting Moroccan Pottery Classes, no longer handing out Obamaphones, stopping the payment of travel expenses for the watermelon queen in Alabama, and most importantly preventing shrimp from running on a treadmill, to Bernanke explaining how a 2% cut in the budget would result in mass mayhem, in the context of a 1% interest rise resulting in $100 billion in additional interest expense, and much, much more, the Chairman ties it all together.

Read more: here

Rand Paul’s Third Letter to the CIA: Can You Kill with Drones in the USA?

Via: Libertyblitzkrieg

Posted on February 27, 2013

This letter is a few days old, but is very important for every American to be aware of. Essentially, Rand Paul is threatening to filibuster Barack Obama’s nominee for the CIA, John Brennan, due to his refusal to answer a simple question:

Do you believe that the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial?

This should not be a complicated question to answer, yet it seems Obama, Brennan and pretty much every other little power consumed bureaucrat is incapable of doing so. Below is Rand Paul’s letter reprinted in full (my emphasis added).

Read more: here

And the answer? Of course….
-Moose

Tomgram: Chase Madar, Handcuffing Seven-Year-Olds Won’t Make Schools Safer

Via: tomdispatch

It was, in a sense, so expectable, so leave-no-child-behind.  I’m talking about the arming of American schools.  Think of it as the next step in the militarization of this country, which follows all-too-logically from developments since September 11, 2001.  In the wake of 9/11, police departments nationwide began to militarize in a big way, and the next thing you knew, the police were looking ever less like old-style neighborhood patrollers and ever more like mini-anti-terror armies.  The billy club, the simple sidearm? So Old School. So retro.

When it came to weaponry for the new, twenty-first-century version of the police, it was a matter of letting the good times roll: Tasers, flash grenades, pepper spray, incendiary tear gas, Kevlar helmets, assault rifles, bomb-detection robots, armored vehicles and tanks, special-ops-style SWAT teams, drone mini-submarines, drone aircraft, you name it.  Today, even school police are being armed with assault rifles.  And with it all goes a paramilitary fashion craze that anyone who observed the police in the Occupy moment is most familiar with.

In addition, the U.S. military is now offloading billions of dollars worth of its surplus equipment, some of it assumedly used in places like Iraq and Afghanistan against armed insurgents, on police forces even in small towns nationwide.  This includes M-16s, helmet-mounted infrared goggles, amphibious tanks, and helicopters.

And now, the same up-armoring mentality is being brought to bear on a threat worse than terror: our children.  Think of it as the reductio ad absurdum of the new national security state.  First, they locked down the airports, then the capital, then the borders, and finally the schools. Now, we’re ready!

Read more: here

Tomgram: Chase Madar, Handcuffing Seven-Year-Olds Won’t Make Schools Safer

Via: tomdispatch

It was, in a sense, so expectable, so leave-no-child-behind.  I’m talking about the arming of American schools.  Think of it as the next step in the militarization of this country, which follows all-too-logically from developments since September 11, 2001.  In the wake of 9/11, police departments nationwide began to militarize in a big way, and the next thing you knew, the police were looking ever less like old-style neighborhood patrollers and ever more like mini-anti-terror armies.  The billy club, the simple sidearm? So Old School. So retro.

When it came to weaponry for the new, twenty-first-century version of the police, it was a matter of letting the good times roll: Tasers, flash grenades, pepper spray, incendiary tear gas, Kevlar helmets, assault rifles, bomb-detection robots, armored vehicles and tanks, special-ops-style SWAT teams, drone mini-submarines, drone aircraft, you name it.  Today, even school police are being armed with assault rifles.  And with it all goes a paramilitary fashion craze that anyone who observed the police in the Occupy moment is most familiar with.

In addition, the U.S. military is now offloading billions of dollars worth of its surplus equipment, some of it assumedly used in places like Iraq and Afghanistan against armed insurgents, on police forces even in small towns nationwide.  This includes M-16s, helmet-mounted infrared goggles, amphibious tanks, and helicopters.

And now, the same up-armoring mentality is being brought to bear on a threat worse than terror: our children.  Think of it as the reductio ad absurdum of the new national security state.  First, they locked down the airports, then the capital, then the borders, and finally the schools. Now, we’re ready!

Read more: here

America Never Really Ended Slavery

Via: ICH

The new form of slavery has the same intent and purpose as the old: to rob us of our labor and to keep us powerless.

By Jazz Hayden

February 27, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – (AlterNet) – February is African-American History Month. For the past week, I have been watching and re-watching “The Abolitionist,” a two-and-a-half-hour documentary on PBS. It covers the Abolitionist movement from the early 19th century to the reconstruction period. Watching the dynamics of that struggle for the ending of slavery had me glued to the screen and taking notes. The chief players were William Lloyd Garrison (the printer publisher of the Liberator, an anti-slavery newspaper); Nat Turner (who led the slave rebellion that killed slave owners and freed slaves); Harriet Beecher Stowe (who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin); and Fredrick Douglass (former slave, orator, publisher of the North Star, and organizer). Oh, and the most prominent figure, Abraham Lincoln.

“The Abolitionist” is an historical documentary about the struggle to end slavery. The ending of the most brutal war in American history and the passage of the 13th Amendment were supposed to be the definitive ending of that period in American history. However, when I look back from the perspective of the present I am confronted with the question — what has changed? I can’t avoid the answer: very little.

The 13th Amendment states, “involuntary servitude and slavery is abolished except for those duly convicted of a crime.” The “exception clause” leaves slavery still in effect for those convicted of crimes. Today America, with 5% of the world’s population, has 25% of the world’s prisoners. Those prisoners have been “duly” convicted of crimes and are therefore slaves. There are presently 2.5 million prisoners in the United States of America and another 5 million under the control of the criminal justice system.

These numbers are unprecedented in the history of human beings on the planet earth. There are more black men under the control of the criminal justice system than there were in slavery in 1850, 10 years before the civil war. African Americans continue to occupy the base of the social and economic pyramid. You can see them lined up outside of the criminal courts in every state in the country. You can go into those courtrooms and watch them processed as though they are on a conveyor belt into the prison system, or to the clerks office to be stripped of their meager wealth by imposition of fines and surcharges and sent to perform unpaid labor called “community service.” What has changed?

Read more: here

America Never Really Ended Slavery

Via: ICH

The new form of slavery has the same intent and purpose as the old: to rob us of our labor and to keep us powerless.

By Jazz Hayden

February 27, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – (AlterNet) – February is African-American History Month. For the past week, I have been watching and re-watching “The Abolitionist,” a two-and-a-half-hour documentary on PBS. It covers the Abolitionist movement from the early 19th century to the reconstruction period. Watching the dynamics of that struggle for the ending of slavery had me glued to the screen and taking notes. The chief players were William Lloyd Garrison (the printer publisher of the Liberator, an anti-slavery newspaper); Nat Turner (who led the slave rebellion that killed slave owners and freed slaves); Harriet Beecher Stowe (who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin); and Fredrick Douglass (former slave, orator, publisher of the North Star, and organizer). Oh, and the most prominent figure, Abraham Lincoln.

“The Abolitionist” is an historical documentary about the struggle to end slavery. The ending of the most brutal war in American history and the passage of the 13th Amendment were supposed to be the definitive ending of that period in American history. However, when I look back from the perspective of the present I am confronted with the question — what has changed? I can’t avoid the answer: very little.

The 13th Amendment states, “involuntary servitude and slavery is abolished except for those duly convicted of a crime.” The “exception clause” leaves slavery still in effect for those convicted of crimes. Today America, with 5% of the world’s population, has 25% of the world’s prisoners. Those prisoners have been “duly” convicted of crimes and are therefore slaves. There are presently 2.5 million prisoners in the United States of America and another 5 million under the control of the criminal justice system.

These numbers are unprecedented in the history of human beings on the planet earth. There are more black men under the control of the criminal justice system than there were in slavery in 1850, 10 years before the civil war. African Americans continue to occupy the base of the social and economic pyramid. You can see them lined up outside of the criminal courts in every state in the country. You can go into those courtrooms and watch them processed as though they are on a conveyor belt into the prison system, or to the clerks office to be stripped of their meager wealth by imposition of fines and surcharges and sent to perform unpaid labor called “community service.” What has changed?

Read more: here

Capitalism as Disease: Spreading Governmental Tyranny and Gun Violence

Via: ICH

The Tragedy of Being Human: A Mean Spirit

By John Kozy
Global Research, February 27, 2013

When I grew up in semi-rural Pennsylvania, everybody had guns, and guns were never a concern. People had guns for hunting and for skeet and target shooting. I had a 0.22 long barreled Remington rifle for varmint hunting, mainly to keep from being inundated by migrating urban rats. My brother had a shotgun; I never knew what kind. My memory is that he used that shotgun only once. He had, at the time, a desire to be a pheasant hunter, and the first time he hunted, he came home with a bloodied carcass which he proudly presented to our mother. Never having dealt with a fully feathered bird full of buckshot before, she spent an agonizing afternoon trying to make it fit for cooking. By the time she finished, my poor brother’s pride had been replaced by sorrow and chagrin. He never hunted again. Not another pheasant was ever killed by a member of my family.

But nobody had guns for protection. If guns are needed for protection, the society has already failed. The little community I grew up in had no police force; in the eighteen years I lived there, it had not a single officer. It had no jail, no courthouse, and not a single lawyer. No house was ever broken into, and no one was ever assaulted. People rarely locked their doors. The people in that little community not only liked each other, they cared for one other. They were not only pleased when the needy were helped, they eagerly took part in helping.

The government that existed was there when needed and invisible when not. People did not distrust their government, were not afraid of its becoming tyrannical, and trivial offenses were ignored. Although it was unlawful to sell alcoholic beverages on Sunday, the town had a speakeasy that was open seven days a week and no one ever cared. As a small child, I often accompanied my father when he went there. As he drank his tankard of beer, I sipped a modicum from a shot glass. And I did not become an alcoholic! A miracle, I’m sure! In the twelve years I attended public schools, no policeman or security guard was ever needed for any function, not even athletic events. (Good thing, since the community lacked one.)

That world is now gone. In less than a century, in a single lifetime! it vanished. Now many people refuse to help the needy and resent it when they are helped. A miasma of meanness now hovers over America. Although it does not afflict everyone, it afflicts enough to make meanness a dominant American attribute. It can be observed everywhere—in the halls of Congress and in our classrooms where students bully their classmates, in a college band whose members beat one of their own to death in an activity called hazing, in the killing that takes place on our streets and in our homes, schools, and places of work, in the dialogs spoken in movies and on television programs. No one likes or trusts anyone, especially the government. Americans are a poorly educated, uncouth, uncivil, uncaring people. (No, not everyone.) They have turned civil society into a mob.

Read more: here

How Much Data Can Police Swipe From Suspects’ Phones Without a Warrant? (Hint: A Lot)

Via: ZD Net

By Zack Whittaker

Call logs, text messages, geo-locations and even data relating to proprietary technologies, such as Apple’s iMessage service: All of these can be downloaded by U.S. law enforcement when a suspect’s phone is plugged in and the data harvested for intelligence purposes.

Up until now, most had no idea exactly what was collected or how it could be used, though it was believed this data could be acquired.

Discovered by the U.S.-based privacy group, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), we now have a much clearer image of how much data from a seized cell phone or smartphone the U.S. government gets when a suspect’s phone is plugged into a data collection device.

A court document submitted in connection with a drugs investigation shows that even Web history, data files, wireless networks and the user’s custom dictionary are downloaded when advanced forensic tools are connected to a suspect’s device.

Also collected were the device’s geo-location points, including cell towers, allowing authorities to pinpoint roughly where the device—and therefore the suspect—may have been geographically.

And because many use their cell phones and smartphones to access email on the move, it could allow authorities access to a goldmine of data—whether it’s used in the investigation or otherwise. This ultimately may allow authorities to bypass the need to submit subpoenas or search warrants — under the Stored Communications Act — to Apple, Google, Microsoft and others who provide email services, because the email data is already stored on the suspects’ device.

On to the back story, according to the ACLU: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers seized an iPhone from the bedroom of a suspect in a drugs-related investigation. In just one data extraction session, a substantial amount of private and personally sensitive data was collected from the device, including passwords, pictures, videos and stored voicemails.

Read more: here

Encryption !
-Moose

How Much Data Can Police Swipe From Suspects’ Phones Without a Warrant? (Hint: A Lot)

Via: ZD Net

By Zack Whittaker

Call logs, text messages, geo-locations and even data relating to proprietary technologies, such as Apple’s iMessage service: All of these can be downloaded by U.S. law enforcement when a suspect’s phone is plugged in and the data harvested for intelligence purposes.

Up until now, most had no idea exactly what was collected or how it could be used, though it was believed this data could be acquired.

Discovered by the U.S.-based privacy group, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), we now have a much clearer image of how much data from a seized cell phone or smartphone the U.S. government gets when a suspect’s phone is plugged into a data collection device.

A court document submitted in connection with a drugs investigation shows that even Web history, data files, wireless networks and the user’s custom dictionary are downloaded when advanced forensic tools are connected to a suspect’s device.

Also collected were the device’s geo-location points, including cell towers, allowing authorities to pinpoint roughly where the device—and therefore the suspect—may have been geographically.

And because many use their cell phones and smartphones to access email on the move, it could allow authorities access to a goldmine of data—whether it’s used in the investigation or otherwise. This ultimately may allow authorities to bypass the need to submit subpoenas or search warrants — under the Stored Communications Act — to Apple, Google, Microsoft and others who provide email services, because the email data is already stored on the suspects’ device.

On to the back story, according to the ACLU: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers seized an iPhone from the bedroom of a suspect in a drugs-related investigation. In just one data extraction session, a substantial amount of private and personally sensitive data was collected from the device, including passwords, pictures, videos and stored voicemails.

Read more: here

Encryption !
-Moose

Torture Inc. Americas Brutal Prisons

Via: ICH

Savaged by dogs, Electrocuted With Cattle Prods, Burned By Toxic Chemicals, Does such barbaric abuse inside U.S. jails explain the horrors that were committed in Iraq?

First posted March 28, 2005
By Deborah Davies

They are just some of the victims of wholesale torture taking place inside the U.S. prison system that we uncovered during a four-month investigation for BBC Channel 4 . It’s terrible to watch some of the videos and realise that you’re not only seeing torture in action but, in the most extreme cases, you are witnessing young men dying.

The prison guards stand over their captives with electric cattle prods, stun guns, and dogs. Many of the prisoners have been ordered to strip naked. The guards are yelling abuse at them, ordering them to lie on the ground and crawl. ‘Crawl, motherf*****s, crawl.’

If a prisoner doesn’t drop to the ground fast enough, a guard kicks him or stamps on his back. There’s a high-pitched scream from one man as a dog clamps its teeth onto his lower leg.

Another prisoner has a broken ankle. He can’t crawl fast enough so a guard jabs a stun gun onto his buttocks. The jolt of electricity zaps through his naked flesh and genitals. For hours afterwards his whole body shakes.

Lines of men are now slithering across the floor of the cellblock while the guards stand over them shouting, prodding and kicking.

Second by second, their humiliation is captured on a video camera by one of the guards.

The images of abuse and brutality he records are horrifyingly familiar. These were exactly the kind of pictures from inside Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad that shocked the world this time last year.

Read more: here

Thank goodness this can’t happen in America…Oops..
-Moose

Lords of Disorder: Billions For Wall Street, Sacrifice For Everyone Else

Via: ICH

By Richard Eskow

February 27, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – The President’s “sequester” offer slashes non-defense spending by $830 billion over the next ten years. That happens to be the precise amount we’re implicitly giving Wall Street’s biggest banks over the same time period.

We’re collecting nothing from the big banks in return for our generosity. Instead we’re demanding sacrifice from the elderly, the disabled, the poor, the young, the middle class – pretty much everybody, in fact, who isn’t “too big to fail.”

That’s injustice on a medieval scale, served up with a medieval caste-privilege flavor. The only difference is that nowadays injustices are presented with spreadsheets and PowerPoints, rather than with scrolls and trumpets and kingly proclamations.

And remember: The White House represents the liberal side of these negotiations.

The Grandees

The $83 billion ‘subsidy’ for America’s ten biggest banks first appeared in an editorial from Bloomberg News – which, as the creation of New York’s billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg, is hardly a lefty outfit. That editorial drew upon sound economic analyses to estimate the value of the US government’s implicit promise to bail these banks out.

Then it showed that, without that advantage, these banks would not be making a profit at all.

That means that all of those banks’ CEOs, men (they’re all men) who preen and strut before the cameras and lecture Washington on its profligacy, would not only have lost their jobs and fortunes in 2008 because of their incompetence – they would probably lose their jobs again today.

Tell that to Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, or Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, both of whom have told us it’s imperative that we cut social programs for the elderly and disabled to “save our economy.” The elderly and disabled have paid for those programs – just as they paid to rescue Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein, and just as they implicitly continue to pay for that rescue today.

Dimon, Blankfein and their peers are like the grandees of imperial Spain and Portugal. They’ve been given great wealth and great power over others, not through native ability but by the largesse of the Throne.

Read more: here

Want to Find His Hidden Treasure Worth Millions? Head Outdoors

Via: Today

By Erika Angulo, TODAY

A New Mexico multimillionaire wants you to get off the couch and go searching for hidden treasure.

Forrest Fenn, 82, believes too many Americans spend their free time watching TV or playing video games. He hopes the bounty he hid — a chest filled with millions of dollars in gold coins, diamonds and emeralds, among other gems — will prompt some to explore the outdoors.

 “Get your kids out in the countryside, take them fishing and get them away from their little hand-held machines,” he told TODAY.

Read more: here

Obama’s ‘Non-Profit’ Sells Political Access

Via: The Patriot Post

An incestuous relationship brews between the mega-wealthy and the White House.

By Arnold Ahlert · February 27, 2013

Last weekend, the New York Times revealed that President Obama’s campaign apparatus, Organizing for Action (OFA), has reinvented itself as a 501c 4 tax-exempt non-profit advocacy group offering access to the president in return for a large donation. “Giving or raising $500,000 or more puts donors on a national advisory board for Mr. Obama’s group and the privilege of attending quarterly meetings with the president, along with other meetings at the White House,” reports the Times.

Furthermore, the OFA’s reincarnation as an IRS-identified social welfare group is nothing less than a cynical attempt to violate the spirit of federal election laws. As the Times notes, OFA’s new status means that “it is not bound by federal contribution limits, laws that bar White House officials from soliciting contributions, or the stringent reporting requirements for campaigns. In their place, the new group will self-regulate.” That self-regulation will ostensibly include releasing the names of the group’s largest donors “every few months,” as a well as a promise not to have administration officials involved in fund-raising — even though those officials may appear at some events.

“The Obama team’s brazen attempt to convert the assets of its political campaign into assets to promote-an political history,” writes Breitbart’s Michael Patrick Leahy. Leahy also contends Obama and OFA are “betting that they’ve cleverly discovered a loophole, one that Republicans will fail to challenge legally.” Robert K. Kelner, a Republican election lawyer agrees, noting that this unprecedented arrangement “presents a rather simple loophole in the otherwise incredibly complex web of government ethics regulations that are intended to insulate government officials from outside influence.”

On Monday, in a rare attempt by the White House press corps to ask challenging questions, Press Secretary Jay Carney was challenged to explain what was going on. As this video reveals Carney did nothing more than read talking points from a prepared statement. “Administration officials routinely interact with outside advocacy organizations, and this has been true in prior administrations, and it is true in this one,” Carney insisted. He further insisted the president was prepared to do several things “to eliminate the corrosive influence of money in Washington.”

Yet Carney was pressed further by Fox News’ Ed Henry. “You’re not denying the point that was reported by the New York Times, that even though (Obama) is for all those reforms, that if you give $500,000 or more to this group, you get access to the president,” he said. “The president is engaged in an effort to pass items on his agenda, and outside organizations that support that agenda…administration officials can meet with them, including the president,” Carney responded. “But the fact of the matter is this is an independent organization supporting an agenda.”

In other words, the answer is yes.

Read more: here

Let’s buy our way to government! Bunch of crooks they are!
-Moose