Thursday, October 31, 2013

More NSA Leakers Followed Snowden’s Footsteps, Whistleblower Lawyer Says


Several more current and former National Security Agency insiders, inspired by American fugitive Edward Snowden, have come forward as whistleblowers with details of the shadowy agency’s operations, according to an attorney at a whistleblower protection organization.

“I think the government hopes to chill speech by employees in the national security and intelligence fields, especially those at the NSA and CIA, but the unintended consequence is [that] more and more whistleblowers are coming through the doors of the Government Accountability Project (GAP),” said Jesselyn Radack, referring to the organization where she works as the National Security and Human Rights Director. “I think courage is contagious, and we see more and more people from the NSA coming through our door after Snowden made these revelations.”

Radack, an attorney who has met with and been in communication with Snowden, said “a handful” of people in the intelligence community have come forward since this summer when several major international newspapers began writing about the NSA’s classified foreign and domestic surveillance programs – stories based on thousands of secret NSA documents allegedly stolen by Snowden, a former NSA contractor.

Snowden has been charged in the U.S. with espionage-related crimes, and America’s top intelligence officials said he is a traitor who has put America’s national security in jeopardy.  But the legal threats and high-level condemnation haven’t kept others from coming forward with new information, Radack said.

“There definitely could be more revelations in addition to those that Snowden has revealed and that are continuing to come out,” she told ABC News.

Snowden is currently living in Russia, after being granted temporary asylum there. Today his Russian lawyer said he had gotten a job at a major Russian website. Radack said she was unaware of any new employment for Snowden.

Poor Guy

Prince Charles blames global warming for Syria conflict

....................................methinks he has been in the sun a few too many hours...alexis


Top Hospitals Opt Out of Obamacare

Americans who sign up for insurance on the state exchanges may not have access to the nation's top hospitals, reports.

The Obama Administration has been claiming that insurance companies will be competing for your dollars under the Affordable Care Act, but apparently they haven't surveyed the nation's top hospitals.  
Americans who sign up for Obamacare will be getting a big surprise if they expect to access premium health care that may have been previously covered under their personal policies. Most of the top hospitals will accept insurance from just one or two companies operating under Obamacare.

"This doesn't surprise me," said Gail Wilensky, Medicare advisor for the second Bush Administration and senior fellow for Project HOPE. "There has been an incredible amount of focus on the premium cost and subsidy, and precious little focus on what you get for your money."
Regulations driven by the Obama White House have indeed made insurance more affordable – if, like Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, you're looking only at price. But responding to Obamacare caps on premiums, many insurers will, in turn, simply offer top-tier doctors and hospitals far less cash for services rendered. looked at the top 18 hospitals nationwide as ranked by U.S. News and World Report for 2013-2014. We contacted each hospital to determine their contracts and talked to several insurance companies, as well.
The result of our investigation: Many top hospitals are simply opting out of Obamacare.
Chances are the individual plan you purchased outside Obamacare would allow you to go to these facilities. For example, fourth-ranked Cleveland Clinic accepts dozens of insurance plans if you buy one on your own. But go through Obamacare and you have just one choice: Medical Mutual of Ohio.  
And that's not because their exchanges don't offer options. Both Ohio and California have a dozen insurance companies on their exchanges, yet two of the states' premier hospitals – Cleveland Clinic and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center – have only one company in their respective networks.
A few, like No. 1-rated Johns Hopkins in Maryland, are mandated under state law to accept all insurance companies. Other than that, the hospital with the largest number of insurance companies is University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland with just four. Fully 11 of the 18 hospitals had just one or two carriers.
"Many companies have selectively entered the exchanges because they are concerned that (the exchanges) will be dominated by risky, high-using populations who wanted insurance (before Obamacare) and couldn't afford it," said Wilsensky, who is also on the board of directors of UnitedHealth. "They are pressed to narrow their networks to stay within the premiums."
Consumers, too, will struggle with the new system. Many exchanges don't even list the insurance companies on their web sites. Some that do, like California, don't provide names of doctors or hospitals.  
The price differences among hospitals "can be pretty profound," said Joe Mondy, spokesman for Cigna insurance. "When you are doing a cost comparison with doctors, you should look up the quality of the hospital as well. Hospital 'Y' could be great at pediatrics and not great at surgery."
Insurers operating in the exchanges are apparently hesitant to talk about the trade-off between price and quality. Two of the nation's largest insurers – Wellpoint and Aetna – refused to respond to a dozen calls and emails placed over the course of a week.  More to read @

Kansas School Bus Plunges Off Bridge Into Creek, Forcing Children To Climb Through Windows

DOUGLASS, Kan. (AP) — Ten Kansas children and a school bus driver were pulled to safety from a fast-moving creek Thursday after the bus toppled into the water and landed half-submerged on its side.

The children, ages 13 and younger, clambered through a roof hatch to await rescue as the 60-year-old driver called 911 to report the accident in rural Butler County, Sheriff Kelly Herzet said.  Investigators were looking into how the accident happened, but County 911 director Chris Davis said the bus apparently went off a bridge that Douglass School District officials described as a low-water crossing.

Emergency personnel decided against using boats because of the swift current, instead reaching the bus on lines and putting the children and the driver in life jackets before pulling them to dry ground.

The accident happened around 4 p.m. outside Douglass, a town of about 1,700 residents southeast of Wichita.  The driver was taken to a hospital to be checked for hypothermia and one child was seen being placed in an ambulance, but the sheriff said all of the children were eventually turned over to their parents.

Logan Parker, a 12-year-old sixth-grader, said the bus "hit a couple of bumps and then we fell into the water."

"The driver was shaking and a lot of people were screaming and crying," said Logan, who was still wet more than two hours after the accident.

Some sections of roads in the area were still covered by water from recent heavy rain, and Herzet said the bus had driven into a submerged stretch of the road.

"The lesson here is not to drive through water," he said.

Herzet credited the older children with helping get the younger ones out of the bus to await rescue.  All have been checked out and are OK...

Exclusive: Hollywood sting

FBI investigation of a California political dynasty uncovers alleged bribery and corruption in the shadows of Tinseltown

LOS ANGELES — Ronald Calderon is a powerful state senator in California who holds sway over the glamorous Hollywood movie industry. He is also, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a politician on the take.

A hefty 56-year-old Democrat with salt-and-pepper hair, Calderon has been a red-carpet star in California politics for more than a decade. As an assemblyman and now a state senator representing suburban Los Angeles, he has established a well-earned reputation for spending campaign money and taxpayer funds on himself.

He’s used campaign cash to cover the finer things in life — plush golf outings, lavish trips to Cuba and Las Vegas, meals at exclusive restaurants and hotels. When California offered to purchase cars for the state’s elected officials, Calderon chose the most expensive one: a $54,830 Cadillac STS V8 luxury sedan.

But his days as a big spender may soon be over. The FBI is hot on his trail in an investigation that could become California’s biggest legislative scandal in more than two decades and could signal the downfall of a political dynasty. The FBI employed an undercover sting for more than a year that ended when agents raided the senator’s office in Sacramento in June.

Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit subsequently learned of the secret operation. This account is based on a 124-page affidavit, still under seal, filed by the FBI in U.S. District Court in Sacramento in support of a search warrant used in the raid.

The names of several other senators, including the Senate president and the chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, have surfaced in the case, although none has been implicated.

The document lays out a sordid tale of alleged bribery and corruption. Undercover FBI agents posed as independent movie executives interested in taking advantage of a program in which films with budgets of $1 million or more are eligible for special tax credits. The agents, focusing on Calderon, asked the senator to help lower the budget threshold to $500,000. Calderon, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on California's Film and Television Industries, agreed to help lower it to $750,000 but wanted financial assistance provided to his grown children, the affidavit says.

On June 21, 2012, for instance, in a restaurant in Pico Rivera, Calif., outside Los Angeles, Calderon said he could lower the budget threshold if the movie executive would hire his daughter, Jessica.

“There might be a play, you know, to lower the tax credit.” He went on: “Any help you could do for my kids is — you know, that’s diamonds for me.”

The agent agreed to hire Calderon’s daughter for $3,000 a month if the senator could help reduce the movie budget threshold “sooner rather than later.”

They had a deal. Calderon’s wife, Ana, would draw up an employment agreement for Jessica and the movie executive. That written agreement, Calderon said, was “to keep it legit.” The FBI summarized his thinking in the court document: “You never take money directly from people and you have to be careful about a tit-for-tat relationship.”

In reality, the record says, the arrangement was tit-for-tat: There was no work for Jessica, and payments to her were linked to Calderon’s efforts to sponsor favorable legislation. Over the course of the sting operation, the affidavit says, the FBI provided $60,000 to Calderon, much of it through his two children.

For the senator, such arrangements weren’t unusual. Separately, the FBI court filing says, Calderon also used his son, Zachary, to accept kickbacks from a hospital executive, Michael D. Drobot, whose companies have received more than $161 million in state insurance payments. The state has sued Drobot, alleging he was behind “multiple fraudulent schemes.”

read more and watch the enclosed videos at:

Witnesses: delivery truck runs over $300,000 Ferrari

NEW YORK — It was a really bad day for the driver a delivery truck in New York City. reports he accidentally backed into a $300,000 Ferrari FF Wednesday.

The driver of the truck told witnesses he didn’t see anything when he put the truck in reverse and crushed the front of the rare vehicle.

The driver of the Ferrari was not the owner. He’s a paid driver.

There were no injuries.

Exorcism of 1949 continues to fascinate St. Louis

In this photo provided by St. Louis University, the Rev. John Padberg, S.J., director of the Institute of Jesuit Sources, speaks during a panel discussion at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, about the month-long 1949 demon-purging ritual at the school?s former Alexian Brothers Hospital. The treatment of an unidentified suburban Washington, D.C., boy formed the basis for the 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist, and the film of the same name two years later. Listening from left to right, are: Thomas B. Allen, author of Possessed: The True Story of an Exorcism, and John Waide, archivist at Saint Louis University. (AP Photo/St. Louis University, Michelle Peltier)

By Alan Scher Zagier
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Saint Louis University junior Zach Grummer-Strawn has never seen "The Exorcist," the 1973 horror film considered one of the finest examples of unadulterated cinematic terror. He's only vaguely familiar with the monthlong 1949 demon-purging ritual at his school on which the film and William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel were based.

But just in time for Halloween, Jesuit scholars have joined a whole new generation of horror buffs in St. Louis to recount the supernatural incident. The university hosted a panel discussion Tuesday on the exorcism, which involved the treatment of an unidentified suburban Washington, D.C., boy. About 500 people crammed into Pius XII Library, with some spilling into the library aisles, leaning against pillars or sitting on desks.

"I'd like to believe it's the real thing," said Grummer-Strawn, a theology and sociology student from Atlanta. "But you just can't know. That's part of why we're here. It's the pursuit of truth. And it's such a great story."

The university scholars and guest speaker Thomas Allen, author of a 1993 account of the events at the school's former Alexian Brothers Hospital, emphasized that definitive proof that the boy known only as "Robbie" was possessed by malevolent spirits is unattainable. Maybe he instead suffered from mental illness or sexual abuse - or fabricated the entire experience.

Like most of religion's basic tenets, it ultimately comes down to faith.

"If the devil can convince us he does not exist, then half the battle is won," said the Rev. Paul Stark, vice president for mission and ministry at the 195-year-old Catholic school. He opened the discussion with a prayer from the church's exorcism handbook, imploring God to "fill your servants with courage to fight that reprobate dragon."

Some of the non-students in the audience spoke of personal connections to an episode that has enthralled generations of St. Louis residents.

One man described living near the suburban St. Louis home where the 13-year-old boy arrived in the winter of 1949 (his Lutheran mother was a St. Louis native who married a Catholic). Another said she was a distant cousin of Father William Bowdern, who led the exorcism ritual after consulting with the archbishop of St. Louis but remained publicly silent about his experiences - though he did tell Allen it was "the real thing."

Bowdern died in 1983.

Bowdern was assisted by the Rev. Walter Halloran, who unlike his colleague spoke openly with Allen and expressed his skepticism about potential paranormal events before his death a decade ago.

"He talked more about the boy, and how much he suffered, and less about the rite," Allen said. "Here was a scared, confused boy caught up in something he didn't understand.

"He told me, 'I simply don't know,' and that is where I leave it," the author added. "I just don't know."

Allen zealously protects the anonymity of "Robbie," despite others' efforts to track him down to this day.

Gary Mackey, a 59-year-old accountant who left work early to attend the campus event, said he also is unsure whether "The Exorcist" was a work of fiction or instead a riveting real-life account of barely comprehensible forces.

He does know this: He cannot forget the movie that he saw with a buddy four decades ago. They drove 100 miles from their home in Louisville, Ky., to the nearest theater showing it across the state line in Cincinnati.

"I saw the movie when I was 19 years old and it scared me to death," Mackey said. "I think it's the scariest movie ever made."


Follow Alan Scher Zagier on Twitter at

West Coast Strange Animal Deaths As Fukushima Radiation Hits America

 As cleanup crews gear themselves up to begin the treacherous task of removing 400 tons of spent fuel from the Fukushima Daiichi Reactor No. 4 in the coming weeks, reports continue to flood in showing that radiation from the stricken plant is still causing major environmental damage all over the world.

Particularly on the West Coast of the U.S., a multitude of strange animal deaths, high radiation readings and other recent anomalies suggest that the Fukushima disaster is far from over. It is simply ludicrous, in other words, for anyone to suggest at this point that these Fukushima woes are dwindling, as fresh evidence suggests that quite the opposite is true.
A recent report by Michael Snyder over at highlights 28 signs that the U.S. West Coast is still being torn up by nuclear radiation from Fukushima. Many of these signs include strange illnesses and mass deaths among sea creatures and other animals, as well as high radiation readings from dozens of monitoring stations.
“Every single day, 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima enters the Pacific Ocean,” writes Snyder about this one major sign. “That means that the total amount of radioactive material released from Fukushima is constantly increasing, and it is steadily building up in our food chain.”

Radioactive debris mass the size of California still impacting West Coast

Another obvious sign is the recent mass migration of radioactive debris the size of California across the Pacific Ocean. BBC News in the U.K. reported last year that literally millions of tons of radioactive debris had begun traveling across the Pacific Ocean, and that some of it had already impacted Hawaii and even the West Coast.
There has also been a series of strange animal deaths recently, including masses of sea lions, sockeye salmon and other sea creatures washing up on the shore. Many of the polar bears, seals and walruses observed along the Alaska coastline have also been found to have major fur loss and open sores, both of which are indicative of radiation poisoning.
Then we have the scientific reports that claim radioactive water will continue to impact the U.S. West Coast for many years to come, potentially doubling in strength over the next five or six years. Plankton, bluefin tuna and other sea life collected between Hawaii and California are already testing high for radiation, and these levels are expected to continue increasing.
“Look at what’s going on now: They’re dumping huge amounts of radioactivity into the ocean — no one expected that in 2011,” stated Daniel Hirsch, a nuclear policy lecturer at the University of California-Santa Cruz recently to Global Security Newswire. “We could have large numbers of cancer from ingestion of fish.”

Initial Fukushima radiation release more than 100 times larger than Chernobyl, confirms study

There will most certainly be a major uptick in cancer rates due to the Fukushima incident, as the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Meteorological Research Institute estimates that some 60 billion becquerels of radioactive cesium and strontium are being dumped into the Pacific Ocean every single day. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) also admits that as much as 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium have been released into the Pacific since the disaster began.
Those who still say that the Chernobyl disaster was worse than Fukushima may also want to consider that a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution study conducted in October 2011 concluded that Fukushima had already released up to 100 times more radiation into the environment than Chernobyl at that time. Today, this amount is likely astronomically higher, especially when you take into account all the airborne radioactive plumes that have been detected billowing across the ocean and over U.S. soil.
Be sure to read Snyder’s full report here:
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Just Becaise

Just Bring It Back Tomorrow

  • A man enters a barbershop for a shave. While the barber is foaming him up, he mentions the problems he has getting a close shave around the cheeks. "I have just the thing," says the barber, taking a small wooden ball from a nearby drawer. "Just place this between your cheek and gum."

    The man places the ball in his mouth and the barber proceeds with the closest shave the man has ever experienced. After a few strokes the client asks, "What if I swallow it?"

    "No problem," says the barber. "Just bring it back tomorrow like everyone else does."


Holland's Got Talent

  • With no prior vocal training or coaching, a nine-year-old girl stuns judges on "Holland's Got Talent" with her breathtaking opera voice. It's beautiful................

    watch the judges when they hear this girl start singing....she is simply AWESOME

    Watch the video here:

Meanwhile, In Arkansas..............................

October 31, 2013  |  

LITTLE ROCK (CN) - A city cop in Arkansas chased a woman through her workplace, shooting a Taser at her, because she refused to show him her breasts, the woman claims in court.  Ashlea Bennett sued the City of Haskell, Ark. and its police Officer Brandon Carter, in Federal Court. 

     She claims Carter "demanded that she expose her breasts to him" after he entered her workplace while on duty and wearing his uniform. 

     "Carter's demands to the Plaintiff to expose herself to him occurred multiple times," she says in the lawsuit.  It continues: "That the Plaintiff refused to show her breasts to Carter. 

     "That, upon her refusal, Carter drew his City of Haskell-issued electroshock Taser weapon from his utility belt, pointed the weapon at plaintiff, and threatened to deploy the same against her if she would not expose her breasts to him. 

     "That, upon seeing the threat of unlawful force, the plaintiff took physical flight and ran from Carter." 

     Officer Carter then "proceeded to physically chase the plaintiff through her place of employment," the complaint states.  It continues: "That, while chasing the plaintiff, Carter activated and deployed his electroshock Taser weapon in 'drive stun' mode numerous times at or directed at the plaintiff. That Carter did these actions with the intention of causing fear, imminent fear of bodily harm, and/or emotional distress to gain the plaintiff's compliance with his sexual demands." 

     Bennett claims that before this Dec. 13, 2011 incident, Carter had made "inappropriate sexual comments" to her on multiple occasions "and demanded that she expose herself to him." 
     She claims that before Carter chased her around her office, "the City of Haskell was aware, or should have been aware, of complaints made about or issues concerning Carter's conduct, including, but not limited to, his inappropriate sexual actions occurring under color of law." 

     Haskell, pop. 3,990, is about 30 miles south of Little Rock in Saline County. 

     Bennett seeks compensatory and punitive damages for constitutional and civil rights violations, assault, failure to train and supervise, negligent supervision and outrage.  She is represented by Clinton W. Lancaster of Benton, Ark. 

IMAX and China's TCL partner to develop home movie theatres

((now this idea sounds just great to me--alexis))

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By CCTV reporter Sanyee Yuan

If you’re the type of person that would rather stay at home and watch movies, listen up. Giant theater screen innovator, IMAX, has joined forces with China’s TCL to make movie watching at home an even greater experience. The technology is a few years away, but a new affordable theater system may be just like having an IMAX screen at home. 

IMAX has partnered with Chinese electronics giant TCL Multimedia Technology to develop and produce an affordable home theater system worldwide. The new home theater systems will roll out in 2015 and its first landing market is in China.

“The numbers in the theater space have just been tremendous in China. So we felt that that popularity in that brand recognition could move over from the theater space to the n-home space and especially this market is really people who don’t go to the movies that much. So we think it’s complementary to the theater space so the theater space is going to be our main revenue driver in China doing both Chinese films and US films and then I think for really high-end consumers who don’t go to movies, this will supplement that.” said Richard Gelfond, IMAX CEO.

Earlier this year, TCL first made a bold move by purchasing the naming rights to the historic Chinese Theater for 5 million dollars. Li Dongsheng, the chairman and chief executive of TCL, told us home entertainment is a trend as the demand for content viewing is constantly increasing.

“The system has the same technology the IMAX has currently in commercial theaters. The home entertainment system will be more compact and customized for individuals and families. The overall visual experience will be very close to what you see in big theaters. As for content, we will develop a line of products to fit most people’s needs.” Said Li Dongsheng, TCL Chairman.

This 4K, fully integrated home theater system will complement its high-end home theater with a daily update on content. And that is an ambitious offer.

“Customer service will be a big challenge for us to develop, because the IMAX home system will require a team of specialists who know how to fix problems when our users experience any situation.” said Li Dongsheng, TCL Chairman.

As consumer demand grows for high-end entertainment, this TCL IMAX merge seems to be a perfect fit. We will see it in 2015.

Great Prank

Watch my car...Please!!!

this disappearing car prank is very clever...


Benghazi Eyewitness Book: Morgan Jones Claims Obama Administration Ignored His Account Of The Attack

A protester reacts as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames on Sept. 11, 2012, during a protest by an armed group said to be against a film being produced in the United States. Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori 

New revelations about the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, could pose more trouble for the Obama administration.

In a new book by the first Western eyewitness to the deadly attacks, security contractor Morgan Jones describes in detail the compound’s inadequate security measures, multiple warnings that an attack was imminent, and the State Department’s repeated denials of urgent pleas for more protection. In “Embassy House,” Jones also expresses his frustration that the administration continued to insist for weeks that the attack grew out of a protest over an anti-Islam video, despite the fact that he told State Department and FBI officials just days after the tragedy that it was a well-planned attack by al-Qaeda militants.

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, based in Tripoli but visiting Benghazi that day, and three other Americans were killed in the attack.

When Jones first arrived in Libya, in early April 2012, the compound in Benghazi was so unprotected that not a single guard was securing the main entrance, he writes in the book. In addition, basic security measures were missing: no coils of razor wire atop walls, no security lights, and no watchtowers, in additiion to non-functioning CCTV cameras. “In short, it looked as if it would be easy for a determined force of attackers to scale the wall and get inside.” And worst of all, Jones’s guard force was unarmed, as stipulated in the State Department contract with his employer, Blue Mountain, a private security company. While Jones was not allowed to carry weapons, the Libyan militia members paid to serve as guards strutted around with AK-47s, often shooting them off in the middle of the night after getting drunk on “homemade hooch.” The next night, someone threw a live grenade over the walls of the compound.

“We had a lone American tasked with defending the entire U.S. Mission in Benghazi, and the streets were crawling with a heavily armed militia allied to al Qaeda. I wondered how it could get any worse. The Benghazi Embassy [sic -- it was actually a consulate, as embassies are located typically in capital cities] was a disaster waiting to happen. It was an invitation to an al Qaeda massacre and/or a kidnapping.”

Less than two months before the attack, the British ambassador’s convoy was ambushed and the British soon shut down their mission and pulled out of Benghazi. Yet though the American Mission had only half as many security guards as the British mission, the U.S. chose to stay in the increasingly lawless city. The Tunisian consulate was stormed by protesters, a UN convoy was hit in a grenade attack, and the Red Cross soon pulled out of the city after their building was hit by rocket-propelled grenades. But the U.S. stayed put, though the compound “was a target going begging,” writes Jones.

The situation was so tense, and the Libyan guards were so unreliable, that the head of security, Jeff Palmer, and deputy chief Silvio Miotto, sent an urgent email to the State Department, warning them that “if the compound comes under a sustained, organized attack it will be overrun.” He soon got his response: the State Department told him to “keep working with what we’d got,” he told Morgan, adding that they would reassess the security situation in December. “It’s no change, buddy,” Palmer told Jones. “No f--king change at all.” Jones writes: “He and Silvio had been battling daily to get what we needed in terms of security, yet they’d been given nothing. In fact, they’d been point-blank denied… The Benghazi Embassy [sic] was a disaster waiting to happen, and Washington seemed happy for it to stay that way.”

Sources involved in constructing the compound's physical defense and security measures told Jones that “they warned the Americans that they needed far greater physical security measures in place if they were to ensure the security of the Benghazi Mission.” They expressed shock that security wasn’t later tightened at the facility and warned the State Department that the mission remained vulnerable to attack.

On the morning of September 9, 2012, one of the Libyan guards gave Jones some worrying news: a man dressed in a Libyan policeman’s uniform was spotted on the roof of a three-story building across the street from the consulate taking photographs of the mission. Calls to the chief of police in Benghazi didn’t go anywhere and Jones warned his guards to be extra vigilant. Two days later, Jones was settling down with a barbecued chicken dinner in front of the TV at his villa, when he got a frantic phone call from his guard force commander. “We are under attack… There are armed men attacking the compound… Maybe one hundred! Maybe more!” As he rushed to the compound, Jones saw roadblocks put up by the militant Shariah Brigade blocking all the approach roads, which would likely slow down any quick reaction force from the nearby annex used by CIA and U.S. Special Forces. “The dark and bitter truth was starting to sink in now: this was a well-orchestrated, carefully planned attack.” Later, they were told that one of the attackers shot a Libyan guard in the leg, announcing: “We are not here to kill fellow Muslims; we came here to kill Americans only.”

Jones quickly scaled a back wall and made his way through the compound, slipping past armed Islamist fighters until one spotted him, shouting out a savage cry: “Hey! You! We kill them all! Death to America!” Jones approached him, speaking Arabic and when he got close enough, swung his gun and smashed the fighter in the face, knocking him out. After taking in the destruction and searching the compound for any Americans, to no avail, he left. Later, he realized that of the Westerners who worked at the mission, he was the last one alive. Jones described his experience recently in an interview with “60 Minutes.”

Read more and see the 60 Minutes Report at:

clever, but.........................

This Should Touch Your Heart

Bred specifically for research and used because of their gentle and trusting nature, these rescued Beagles never touched grass or felt sunlight until now 
take 5 minutes and watch this sad yet heartwarming video story                                                          

Turkey’s Arms Purchase Should Jolt US Alliance Policies

Sending a shock wave through the U.S. military-industrial complex, NATO ally Turkey passed up the usually dominant American defense industry in favor of an obscure Chinese defense company for a contract on a long-range missile defense system. Unlike the American Patriot system, the Chinese system, produced by China Precision, is not easily compatible with existing NATO air defense systems, and China Precision is even under US sanctions for selling technologies that the US government says could help Syria (Turkey’s new nemesis), Iran, and North Korea develop unconventional weapons. One would think that Turkey would have made sure its primary security guarantor – the United States – was happy, given that a civil war is raging in neighboring Syria and occasionally spilling into its territory. Yet the US quest to be "Big Man on Campus" and retain "influence" in Europe after the Cold War has allowed its NATO allies to get away with even more then they did back then.

During the Cold War, the United States subsidized its allies’ defense while they got rich. Instead of building up their own defenses to counter the Soviet Union – a much more likely threat to Europe and East Asia than to the United States – they were able to divert scar(c)e resources into their civilian economies to compete with US commercial industries. Despite the United States heavily subsidizing their security, many allies failed to fully open their markets to US products. In some case, the United States had to accept allied protectionism as the price for stationing protection forces in allied nations! And all this sacrifice from American taxpayers to maintain the "influence" of the American foreign policy elite in allied countries. What exactly does this influence get the taxpayer? Not much apparently.

If during the latter part of the Cold War, the then-rich allies could have done more for their own security, thus relieving some of the American burden, the burden sharing situation worsened as the security situation improved after the Cold War ended. With the collapse of the principle threat – the competing Warsaw Past alliance and the Soviet Union – US allies felt less insecure and thus able to take further advantage of the United States, which became more insecure about its loss of clout in Europe and East Asia.

Lord Acton once perceptively said that the NATO alliance kept the Soviets out, the US in, and the Germans down. The same could be said about the centerpiece of US policy in East Asia – the U.S.-Japan security alliance. Because the Soviet Union is now in the dustbin of history and Russia is a pale threat replacement (China is rising but has much ground to cover to catch up to the Soviet threat), the latter two functions are all that’s left. Some Europeans and Asians still remember World War II and have lingering fear of a resurgent Germany (especially since its reunification) and Japan, respectively. Yet these countries have been good, almost pacifist, members of their regional neighborhoods for almost 70 years. Thus, such fears are irrational, and the United States should say, "get over it" to these nations’ neighbors.

These obsolete and entangling alliances have indeed kept the United States "in" these regions with a significant military presence long after the Cold War ended. To maintain its clout within these areas, the US needed to retain the alliances in a less threatening post-Cold War world. Thus, even after the Soviet Union’s demise, the United States strengthened the U.S.-Japan alliance (doing so again recently) and expanded NATO in Europe both in function and to defend yet more countries.

These alliances not only suck up US cash by keeping US defense budgets excessively high to fund rich allies’ security, they provide no incentive to such countries to spend more on their own defenses – a phenomenon called "free riding." Even more important, these outdated alliances have become permanent and ends in themselves – any US alliance should be temporary and serve US security interests at the time – and impede US flexibility in foreign policy in a changed era. Outdated alliances prior to World War I helped drag European countries, and eventually the United States, into a war nobody wanted and that led to a calamitous twentieth century – ultimately causing World War II and the Cold War.

Current US alliance policy has gotten so ridiculous that America is now borrowing money from China to subsidize the defense of rich East Asian allies in their quest to militarily counter…well…China.

After the Cold War ended, the United States should have taken advantage of the more favorable security circumstances and abrogated these obsolete alliances. To avoid getting dragged into unneeded wars in the future – potentially even with nuclear-armed powers – the United States should terminate such entangling alliances to increase its flexibility in an ever-changing world.

Don't Know What To Do With That Salt?


1. If you drop a whole egg on the floor, pour salt all over the egg, let it sit for awhile, then use dustpan, the egg will come right up, without all that mess.

2. Soak stained hankies in salt water before washing....

3. Sprinkle salt on your shelves to keep ants away.

4. Soak fish in salt water before descaling; the scales will come off easier.

5. Put a few grains of rice in your saltshaker for easier pouring.

6. Add salt to green salads to prevent wilting.

7. Test the freshness of eggs in a cup of salt water; fresh eggs sink;bad ones float.

8. Add a little salt to your boiling water when cooking eggs; a cracked egg will stay in its shell this way.

9. A tiny pinch of salt with egg whites makes them beat up fluffier.

10. Soak wrinkled apples in a mildly salted water solution to perk them up.

11. Rub salt on your pancake griddle and your flapjacks won't stick.

12. Soak toothbrushes in salt water before you first use them; they will last longer.

13. Use salt to clean your discolored coffee pot.

14. Mix salt with turpentine to whiten your bathtub and toilet bowl.


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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

....this is so sad it isn't even worth posting the article, but the link is there is you want

9/11 Suspects Can’t Mention being Tortured during Trial Testimony because Their Torture is Classified


Britney Spears Music Used To Scare Off Somali Pirates

Whoever believes that Britney Spears' music isn't powerful, need think again. Chart toppers like "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and "Oops I Did it Again" have proven to be effective weapons when blasted at approaching Somali Pirates who reportedly retreat at the mere sound of the songstress. 

Rachel Owens, 34, a merchant navy officer on huge super tankers off the east coast of Africa says music is a really effective way of deterring the pirates and their high-speed skiffs: “Her songs have been chosen by the security team accompanying our tankers because they thought the pirates would hate them most. These guys can’t stand Western culture or music, making Britney’s hits perfect.”

According to Rachel, the blasting of Britney's music can be specifically targeted as well: “The speakers can be aimed solely at the pirates so as not to disturb the crew. They’re so effective the ship’s security rarely needs to resort to firing guns - as soon as the pirates get a blast of Britney they move on as quickly as they can.”

The music is currently a second line of defense and is utilized when initial calls from armed security guards on board fail to deter the pirates.

Steven Jones, of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, said the US police and military were the first to use music to deter potential raiders. Subsequently, the tactic was adopted by cruise ships and merchant navy vessels to scare off pirates. “I’d imagine using Justin Bieber would be against the Geneva Convention,” Jones said. “Pirates will go to any lengths to avoid or try to overcome the music, even using earplugs.”

Another testimonial as to the power of pop came from a spokesman for the British Association of Private Security Companies added: “Playing loud pop songs has been proven as one of the most effective ways of fending off attackers. As a tool against pirates, it is pretty effective. It’s all part of the development of sophisticated technology to make high value cargo secure from attack." 

The east African coast has become a hot spot for pirates desperate to board ships and kidnap crews for multi-million pound ransoms.  But are they desperate enough to overcome Britney? Apparently not. 

Photo: AP

Global wine shortage is biggest in over 50 years

NEW YORK — There’s just not enough wine in the world, says Morgan Stanley, and the problem is only going to get worse. The industry is experiencing an “undersupply of nearly 300 million cases” a year, according to a report from Morgan Stanley Research.

Australia-based analysts Tom Kierath and Crystal Wang say the shortage comes despite the fact that there are one million wine producers globally, making 2.8 billion cases each year. About half of that comes from Europe.  But that’s not enough to keep up with worldwide demand

Global production fell by more than 5 percent last year – to its lowest level since the 1960s – primarily due to bad weather in France and Argentina.  Production in Europe alone dropped 10 percent in 2012, the report said. That same year, worldwide consumption rose by 1 percent.

The French consume the most wine, followed by Americans, and then the Chinese.
Wine has become particularly popular in China, as the economy booms and the standard of living there rises. China is also producing more wine of its own, said the report.  America consumes 12 percent of the world’s wine but produces just 8 percent. And the U.S. is only getting thirstier ; consumption rose 2 percent last year.
The U.S. wine making industry is also growing. The number of American wineries has “expanded dramatically” in the last 15 years, according to the report. But most of them are “boutique” operators rather than major producers, so they’re not driving any real growth in supply.

And there is little reason to believe that global wine production will pick up any time soon. Morgan Stanley said that output from newer producers like the U.S., Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa has already peaked.

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