Sunday, February 14, 2010

Surveillance drones to zap protesters into submission

Illustrating once again that the prison planet being built around us far outstrips anything Aldous Huxley or George Orwell ever imagined, a Wired News report details how police forces worldwide are preparing to unveil drone aircraft that can not only conduct surveillance of protesters, but also zap them into submission with non-lethal weapons.

As part of their ongoing mission to “protect and serve” the new world order, cops across the world are getting access to military drones which allow them to “carry out surveillance on everyone from protesters and antisocial motorists to fly-tippers,” reports Wired News.

The report details how the future of policing will resemble something approaching a combination of They Live and The Running Man, with unmanned drones replacing police helicopters whizzing around everywhere torturing and knocking out anyone who misbehaves.

According to the report, this is a natural progression from CCTV cameras that shout at passers-by, currently deployed in several UK cities, only now drones will be fitted with LRAD acoustic devices, torture sound weapons that were indiscriminately used and abused during the G20 summit in Pittsburgh on innocent members of the public who were just walking down the street and had not even dared to engage in the criminal activity of expressing their First Amendment right to assemble.

“The LRAD has been tested on the Austrian S-100 unmanned helicopter, and the technology is ready if there is a police requirement,” states the article.

Also available to police will be a drone that can fire tear gas as well as rubber pellets to disperse anyone still living under the delusion that they were born in a democratic country.

“French company Tecknisolar Seni has demonstrated a portable drone armed with a double-barrelled 44mm Flash-Ball gun,” states the report. “Used by French special police units, the one-kilo Flash-Ball resembles a large calibre handgun and fires non-lethal rounds, including tear gas and rubber impact rounds to bring down a suspect without permanent damage — “the same effect as the punch of a champion boxer,” claim makers Verney-Carron.”

Of course the fact that the Flash-Ball devices have caused “permanent damage” in the form of head injuries is glossed over.

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Anatomy of hate as magazine unleashes anti-Australian rage

IT IS a magazine cover that will make the hearts of Australian university bosses and diplomats sink.

"Why the Aussies hate us" screams the cover of this week's influential Indian news magazine Outlook.

The 10-page coverage includes stories of young Indian victims of violence and racial abuse and describes how Indian students in Melbourne feel afraid on the streets.

Van Thanh Rudd, an anti-racism activist and Kevin Rudd's nephew - recently criticised for wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit to protest against attacks on Indians - told Outlook the "dominant culture in Australia'' was racist, and that he had no doubt the attacks had been racially motivated.

The magazine quotes far-right politicians and says it has found ''evidence that 'curry-bashing' is becoming a fun game for white Australians". Outlook, a centre-left weekly, is one of India's top-selling English-language magazines with a circulation of 1.5 million and a big online following.

The story was introduced on the Outlook website with the headline "Anatomy of hate". The report is the latest in a stream of negative publicity about violence against Indians in Australia.

There are signs the Indian government is increasingly impatient with Australia's response. The External Affairs Minister, S.M.Krishna, met the Australian Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, in London twice last week. An Indian government statement said Mr Krishna told Mr Smith it was increasingly difficult to accept the attacks were devoid of any racial motives and that he complained there had ''been no visible progress so far into most of the investigations''.

The editor-in-chief of Outlook, Vinod Mehta, defended the coverage and denied allegations that the Indian media were overreacting. He told the Herald: "We sent two correspondents to Australia and they found that an overwhelming number of these incidents were racial and they found that Indians in Australia live in fear. There is tremendous outrage in this country. I don't think the Australians realise that."

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My Name is Khan - international trailer



A beautifully crafted international trailer for My Name Is Khan. Opens the weekend of February 11. Directed by Karan Johar and starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol.

Beware - Aspartame has been renamed 'AminoSweet' and is now being marketed as a 'natural' sweetener!

In response to growing awareness about the dangers of artificial sweeteners, what does the manufacturer of one of the world's most notable artificial sweeteners do? Why, rename it and begin marketing it as natural, of course. This is precisely the strategy of Ajinomoto, maker of aspartame, which hopes to pull the wool over the eyes of the public with its rebranded version of aspartame, called "AminoSweet".
 
Over 25 years ago, aspartame was first introduced into the European food supply. Today, it is an everyday component of most diet beverages, sugar-free desserts, and chewing gums in countries worldwide. But the tides have been turning as the general public is waking up to the truth about artificial sweeteners like aspartame and the harm they cause to health. The latest aspartame marketing scheme is a desperate effort to indoctrinate the public into accepting the chemical sweetener as natural and safe, despite evidence to the contrary.
 
Aspartame was an accidental discovery by James Schlatter, a chemist who had been trying to produce an anti-ulcer pharmaceutical drug for G.D. Searle & Company back in 1965. Upon mixing aspartic acid and phenylalanine, two naturally-occurring amino acids, he discovered that the new compound had a sweet taste. The company merely changed its FDA approval application from drug to food additive and, voila, aspartame was born.

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Essay: Impeachment and Indictment


Impeachment and Indictment -

~ Link ~

The government has your baby's DNA

When Annie Brown's daughter, Isabel, was a month old, her pediatrician asked Brown and her husband to sit down because he had some bad news to tell them: Isabel carried a gene that put her at risk for cystic fibrosis.

While grateful to have the information -- Isabel received further testing and she doesn't have the disease -- the Mankato, Minnesota, couple wondered how the doctor knew about Isabel's genes in the first place. After all, they'd never consented to genetic testing.

It's simple, the pediatrician answered: Newborn babies in the United States are routinely screened for a panel of genetic diseases. Since the testing is mandated by the government, it's often done without the parents' consent, according to Brad Therrell, director of the National Newborn Screening & Genetics Resource Center.

In many states, such as Florida, where Isabel was born, babies' DNA is stored indefinitely, according to the resource center.

Many parents don't realize their baby's DNA is being stored in a government lab, but sometimes when they find out, as the Browns did, they take action. Parents in Texas, and Minnesota have filed lawsuits, and these parents' concerns are sparking a new debate about whether it's appropriate for a baby's genetic blueprint to be in the government's possession.

"We were appalled when we found out," says Brown, who's a registered nurse. "Why do they need to store my baby's DNA indefinitely? Something on there could affect her ability to get a job later on, or get health insurance."

According to the state of Minnesota's Web site, samples are kept so that tests can be repeated, if necessary, and in case the DNA is ever need to help parents identify a missing or deceased child. The samples are also used for medical research.

Art Caplan, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, says he understands why states don't first ask permission to screen babies for genetic diseases. "It's paternalistic, but the state has an overriding interest in protecting these babies," he says.

However, he added that storage of DNA for long periods of time is a different matter.

"I don't see any reason to do that kind of storage," Caplan says. "If it's anonymous, then I don't care. I don't have an issue with that. But if you keep names attached to those samples, that makes me nervous."

DNA given to outside researchers

Genetic testing for newborns started in the 1960s with testing for diseases and conditions that, if undetected, could kill a child or cause severe problems, such as mental retardation. Since then, the screening has helped save countless newborns.

Over the years, many other tests were added to the list. Now, states mandate that newborns be tested for anywhere between 28 and 54 different conditions, and the DNA samples are stored in state labs for anywhere from three months to indefinitely, depending on the state.

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Nimbin, Australia - Show me the way to paradise



A visual and musical journey of a family looking for paradise and finding it in Nimbin, NSW Australia. Footage from Byron Bay to Nimbin. Received an award in the Nimbin Film Festival, October 2009

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image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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