Friday, October 22, 2010

Big Brother WILL snoop on your calls and clicks: Ministers resurrect plan to log all communications

James Slack reports for The Daily Mail:

Hugely controversial 'Big Brother' plans to store details of every internet click, email and telephone call that we make are being revived by the Coalition, it emerged last night.

Police, security services and other public bodies would be able to find out which websites a person had visited, and when, where and to whom a text or call was made.

Security officials insist that monitoring communications data is vital in the fight against terrorism and serious organised crime.

But the plan – which was kicked into the long grass by Labour amid a public outcry – will put the Government on a collision course with civil liberties groups.

They argue it is a 'snooper's charter' which will allow the state to spy on millions of innocent citizens.

So far ministers have insisted they want to provide a 'correction in favour of liberty' when it comes to the powers required to protect the public.

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'Something bad may happen to me soon'

From Landslide - Rebecca Gould interviews the descendants of Titsian Tabidze, Guernica Magazine

The Soviets were a menace to Georgian poet Titsian Tabidze's generation. As his daughter and granddaughter recount, the legacy continues.

[ ... ]

Like every poet with a conscience in Russia at that time, Esenin had been infected with enthusiasm for the revolution. Propelled to despair, Esenin had killed himself shortly after returning to Moscow from a sojourn in the Caucasus. Although they died twelve years apart, the reasons for Esenin's and Titsian's deaths are hardly unrelated. Titsian could not have known for certain that his head was destined to roll “into a deep pit,” as were those of his fellow poets, Paolo Iashvili and novelist Mikhail Javaxishvili. But already in 1925 he could detect signs boding disaster.

Luckily for us, fear did not keep Titsian from writing. If anything, fear emboldened him with greater clarity and courage. If he was going to die anyway, Titsian knew he had little to lose by honesty.

In the poem “Gunib,” Titsian protested a double treachery: first the Russian colonization of the Caucasus, which resulted in the brutal subjection of Chechens, Daghestanis, and other indigenous mountain peoples, the effects of which are still felt today. Titsian and his people were directly implicated in the second, the aid that Georgians, including poets such as Grigol Orbeliani, provided by serving in the Tsarist army, participating in conquest, and helping subdue the mountaineers. “Gunib,” named after the site where the colonial war was officially decided in Russia's favor, reads, in part:

But this battle moves even me to ecstasy.
I don't want to be a poet drunk on blood.
Let this day be my penitence.
Let my poems wash away your treachery.

Georgian literary modernity was liquidated by the Soviet state from the nineteen thirties onwards. The first casualty was Titsian's close friend Paolo Iashvili. Knowing he was doomed to be executed, Paolo brought a hunting gun with him to a meeting in the Writer's Union in downtown Tbilisi and shot himself. Even more than Esenin's, Paolo's suicide was a statement. If he had to die, Paolo decided, let it not be silently, in forced labor camps or prison, cursed by the state.

Those who survived Stalin's regime, like Titsian's cousin Galaktion Tabidze, were no less wracked by despair; Galaktion ended his life at the age of sixty-nine by jumping out the window of a Tbilisi psychiatric hospital. Only one Georgian fully escaped the despair that enveloped the times: novelist Konstantin Gamsakhurdia, Titsian's one-time rival for the love of his wife Nina. Gamsakhurdia, however, had to write novels glorifying Stalin, never producing poetry comparable to the other modernists.

Russia's Nobel laureate Boris Pasternak had been so taken by Titsian's poems that he translated many into Russian, garnering fame for his friend. One of the poems Pasternak helped make famous in Russian runs:

I don't write poems; poetry writes me.
This poem walks with my life.
A poem is a landslide which carries me away
and buries me alive.

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OKUPA



Void Network and Free Art Zone presents OKUPA - a short film dedicated to the legacy of the Global Squatting Movement.

Kaleidoskop -Trailer 2 min.

A collection of short documentaries about the squatting movement in Germany, Holland and Spain from the 70s, 80s till now.

EU Dictators Plan Fresh Looting Of Tax Slaves

By Paul Joseph Watson, Prison Planet.com

The sprawling, blood-sucking, dictatorial, EU is trying to fill its coffers at a time when everyone else is being told they must tighten their belts and accept draconian austerity measures, by preparing to impose a new direct tax on European citizens already financially destitute as a result of the economic collapse.

If you want a taste of how the global tax to fund the expansion of world government will be implemented, look no further than the European Commission, which has laid out no less than eight different forms of direct taxation that it wants to impose on citizens of all 27 member states, despite the fact that the majority of people in all of these countries would rather their governments cease all financial commitments to the EU entirely.

Not content with national governments from every member country already sending taxpayer money to the bloated, anti-democratic EU bureaucracy, globalists in Brussels are now desperate to sink their teeth in further, in an effort to increase their budget by 6 per cent even in the midst of a national debt crisis which affects the majority of European nations.

The unelected bastards in Brussels are set to once again display their “insatiable appetite for power and taxpayers' money,” as MP Douglas Carswell warns, by flexing the muscles of their completely illegitimate and autocratic voting system to loot taxpayers of whatever meager amounts of disposable income they have left.

“Options expected to be proposed in an EU report today include levies on carbon emissions, air transport, financial transactions or bank profits. There could even be extra taxes on petrol,” reports the Express.

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Nine stories the press is underreporting -- fraud, fraud and more fraud

By Dan Froomkin, Nieman Watchdog

If it wasn't already blindingly obvious that pervasive fraud was at the heart of the financial crisis and the ensuing foreclosure catastrophe, you would think that the latest news -- that banks have routinely been lying their heads off in the rush to kick homeowners off the properties they fraudulently induced them to buy in the first place -- would pretty much clinch it.

And yet the mainstream media still by and large hasn't connected the dots.
 
What we are seeing all around us are the continued effects of a vast criminal enterprise that has never been brought to account,  employing a process that, as University of Texas economist James Galbraith explains, involved the equivalent of counterfeiting, laundering and fencing.
 
So the person with the right expertise to lead us here is a criminologist -- in particular William K. Black, one of the few effective regulators in recent history (during the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s), a notorious knocker of heads, and currently professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and author of the book, "The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One".
 
I first interviewed Black in April, and recently checked back in and asked him about this ongoing problem of the mainstream media's inability to properly cover this story.

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Federal scientists go public in face of restrictive media rules

Gloria Galloway reports for The Globe and Mail :

The union that represents federal government scientists has created a website – PublicScience.ca – to give a voice to the work of its members.

The move comes weeks after it was revealed that new restrictive rules have been placed on scientists at the Natural Resources department requiring them to clear a number of hoops, including approval from the minister's director of communications, before they may speak with the press about their work.

While Natural Resources was singled out, reporters and scientists across a wide range of departments are well aware that the government frowns upon direct communication between its employees and the media without prior approval.

The website launched by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, the national union that includes 23,000 who work in scientific research and testing says: “Public scientists and researchers use their skills and expertise to benefit all Canadians. Their job is to work in the public interest as independent experts protecting the health and welfare of Canadians and their communities.”

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Global Warming Anticipated To Cause Future Food Shortages

Lesser summer stream  flows, the outburst of various epidemics, the extinction of many genes in organisms, and the increased spread of mosquitoes and other harmful insects and pests are also related to the ill effects of rising temperatures.

Marine life is very sensitive to rising temperatures; many species of fish and other marine life will die as the water temperature changes. Perhaps the most disturbing change is expected in the coral reefs which are expected to die off completely due to the effects of global warming.

One of the major events of Global Warming will be a food shortage.

Researchers from the University of Leeds, the Met Office and the University of Exeter said the wheat crisis in Russia and reduced crop production in Pakistan, India, and Indonesia due to the current floods brought on by climate changes will push food prices up.

Besides producing physical damage to the crops, rising temperatures also have been creating an early maturity of crops, which could reduce their yield. Intense monsoon rains and severe droughts could be very frequent and also prove very harmful for the crops, as suggested by the researchers in a Journal for Environmental Research.

The main author of the study, Dr Andy Challinor from the University of Leeds, said, “Due to the significance of international trade, crop failure is an issue that affects everyone on the planet, not just those in crop-growing regions.”

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Over 17,000 US Doctors Paid By Drug Companies To Spread Their Message

Although 74% of Americans take a dim view of doctors receiving payments from pharmaceutical companies, over 17,000 physicians are doing just that, and some of them are receiving huge quantities, a new investigation from ProPublica reveals. The investigation was a joint venture with ProPublica, a not-for-profit independent newsroom, PBS Nightly Business Report, The Chicago Tribune, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe and NPR.

According to ProPublica, over 17,000 health care professionals, the majority of them doctors, have been identified as having received money from drug companies since the beginning of 2009. Some of the health care professionals include dietitians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists.

In a communiqué, ProPublica inform:

We compiled data from seven companies, covering $257.8 million in payouts since 2009 for speaking, consulting and other duties.

384 of them received over $100,000 since the beginning of 2009, 43 of them over 200,000 and two doctors were given over $300,000.

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Rethink Afghanistan - Election Fraud

Women Step Up to Bring Security to Teetering Kyrgyzstan

From Kyrgyzstan: First We Cry Togethery by Nurgul Djanaeva, World Pulse


Some of us had lost our houses; others had lost family members. We had witnessed violence; we had been the victims of violence. We were angry. Before June, we had been neighbors. Now, many of us were shouting at each other.

When the violence happened, I felt how deeply women had been affected. As the president of the Forum of Women's NGOs of Kyrgyzstan, I also knew that women could take on a critical peacebuilding role after conflict. As women leaders from different ethnic groups, I knew we needed to meet each other to begin peace talks. But I was nervous. Our country had never before been through a conflict on this scale, and I had no experience in organizing peace and mediation talks.

Growing up, I lived amongst Kyrgyz, Germans, Russians, Roma, Uyghur, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, and many other ethnic groups. In Kyrgyzstan, there are over 100 ethnic groups who have lived together, mostly peacefully, for centuries. But we're not strangers to ethnic violence—we had ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan ten years ago. Still, I never imagined that violence on the scale of what we saw in June would take place in my country.

The violence of June 10th presented itself as ethnic violence, but tension between Kyrgyz and Uzbek ethnic groups was not the only cause. Political turmoil, unemployment, growing migration, criminal activity, and the rising influence of fundamentalist Islamic groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir are other likely factors. Under these conditions, simmering ethnic tensions were easily ignited and the conflict was fueled by disinformation and rumors.

I first visited Osh less than two weeks after the violence began and the city was shut down. Police were enforcing a curfew. Markets and businesses were closed, and public transportation wasn't running. There was still sporadic fighting in parts of the country. My Kyrgyz taxi driver was afraid to take me into Uzbek neighborhoods because he had heard about ethnic Kyrgyz who had been shot there. Before I left, I called my family to speak with them—just in case anything happened to me.

Now, over a month later, curfews were still in place, rumors were still swirling, and Uzbeks and Kyrgyz were still blaming each other for what happened. There were some NGOs talking to each other, but on the community level there was a kind of silence. By starting a process of face to face meetings in the affected regions, we hoped to break the silence.

Our first meeting began in anger, but as the women took turns speaking out and expressing their pain, we found ourselves crying together. Slowly we began to talk, and by the end of the meeting we had made the decision to go forward and continue peace talks.

We discovered that we needed to let our anger out while we were in one room, looking at each others' faces. Only then were we able to cry together about what we have lost. Meeting with these women was an emotional experience that reminded us that pain has no ethnicity.

~ more... ~

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