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10 Climate Myths Busted (in 60 seconds!)

By James Corbett | corbettreport.com | December 9, 2013

Myth #1. The earth is warming!

On what time scale? 16 years? 2000 years? 10000 years? 420000 years? 65 million years? (Answer: None of the above)

Myth #2. This year was the hottest year ever!

Was that before or after NASA and the NOAA altered the temperature record to make recent years warmer?

Myth #3. 97% of scientists agree on global warming!

You mean 97% of 77 scientists in an unscientific online poll?

Myth #4. Sea levels are rising!

Yes…at a rate of 7 inches per century.

Myth #5. Hurricanes are increasing!

US landfalling hurricanes are at their lowest intensity in a century. (Bonus fact: Accumulated Cyclone Energy is at a 30 year low!)

Myth #6. But…polar bears!

The polar bear population has quintupled in six decades and the USGS admits their numbers are near “historic highs.”

Myth #7. Climategate was hype and it’s been debunked.

The UK Information Commissioner found the climategate scientists guilty of breaking the law by hiding data from the public.

Myth #8. Models project a temperature increase of over 2 degrees in this century.

And these same models overestimated warming over the past 15 years by 400%.

Myth #9. Weather is not climate.

Actually, yes. And this is true when it’s hot outside, too.

Myth #10. Climate denial is a well-funded conspiracy.

Actually, the reverse. The global warming industry has generated over $140 billion in government grants, a $315 billion carbon market and is expected to generate 10s of trillions more in government-sponsored investment in the coming decades.

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | 2 Comments

Florida Sheriffs Used SWAT-Style Attack to Enforce Barbershop License

By Noel Brinkerhoff and Steve Straehley | AllGov | September 20, 2014

Florida sheriff’s deputies, under the guise of checking professional licenses, raided an Orlando-area barbershop using SWAT-like tactics back in 2010 and now a federal appeals court has ruled that the search was illegal.

In a ruling that allows a lawsuit against the department to proceed, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals strongly criticized the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for storming the Strictly Skillz barbershop four years ago. “With some team members dressed in ballistic vests and masks, and with guns drawn, the deputies rushed into their target destinations, handcuffed the stunned occupants—and demanded to see their barbers’ licenses,” the court wrote. The raid was one of several deputies carried out against minority-owned barbershops and salons in 2010.

The justices said the deputies went too far in using a SWAT-like approach just to check whether barbers were licensed. In fact, inspectors from Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) had inspected Strictly Skillz only two days prior to the raid and found everything in order.

Describing the raid as a “scene right out of a Hollywood movie,” the panel of judges wrote: “Unlike previous inspections of Strictly Skillz…the August 21 [2010] search was executed with a tremendous and disproportionate show of force, and no evidence exists that such force was justified.” The Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reported that “no illegal or unlicensed activity was found” at the Pine Hills barbershop.

Working with DBPR, the deputy sheriffs claimed they suspected unlawful activity had taken place at the shop, which caters to minority customers, and others like it.

Tuesday’s ruling was a result of two deputies, Keith Vidler and Travis Leslie, petitioning  that they should be immune from any civil litigation brought against them for doing their jobs. But the judges rejected their position, noting that they had twice before ruled in other cases that those participating in a warrantless criminal raid were not entitled to immunity. “Today, we repeat that same message once again,” the court wrote. “We hope that the third time will be the charm.”

Both the DBPR and the Sheriff’s Office launched internal investigations following a report by the Orlando Sentinel exposing the raids.

The DBPR terminated several employees and settled out of court with barbers. But the Sheriff’s Office concluded deputies did nothing wrong.

To Learn More:

Excessive Force Used in 2010 Barbershop Raid, Appeal Court Says (by Jeff Weiner, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel)

SWAT-Style Barbershop Raid Nets Harsh Rebuke (by Lorraine Bailey, Courthouse News Service)

Brian Berry v. Travis Leslie (Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals) (pdf)

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | | Leave a comment

Obama administration ‘blocking’ information from the press – AP

RT | September 20, 2014

Uncovering information that should be available to the public has become increasingly difficult under the presidency of Barack Obama, an Associated Press bureau chief says. In some cases, it surpasses the secrecy of the George W. Bush administration.

The White House’s penchant for secrecy does not just apply to the federal government, according to AP’s Washington bureau chief, Sally Buzbee. During a joint meeting of news editors, she stated that the same kind of behavior is starting to appear in state and local governments.

Buzbee pointed out eight ways that the Obama administration is stifling public access to information – including keeping reporters away from witnessing any military action the United States takes as it battles Islamic State extremists in the Middle East.

“The public can’t see any of it,” Buzbee said, referring to the military campaign. “News organizations can’t shoot photos or video of bombers as they take off – there are no embeds. In fact, the administration won’t even say what country the [US] bombers fly from.”

She also expressed frustration with the government’s handling of the upcoming 9/11 trial, during which journalists are prohibited from looking at even non-classified court filings in real time.

“We don’t know what prosecutors are asking for, or what defense attorneys are arguing,” she said.

Meanwhile, basic information about the prison complex in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is being withheld from the public, despite the fact that the Bush administration freely shared this data. The media is unable to learn how many inmates are on hunger strike in the infamous prison, or how frequently assaults on guards take place.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have become harder than ever to process, Buzbee added. Government officials often fail to do so unless media outlets bring a lawsuit to bear.

At the same time, federal officials have begun pressuring state and local agencies to keep quiet.

“The FBI has directed local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology the police departments use to sweep up cellphone data,” Buzbee said. “In some cases, federal officials have formally intervened in state open records cases, arguing for secrecy.”

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Donors will fail Gaza again

By Nicola Nasser | Al-Ahram | September 19, 2014

On 12 October, Cairo is due to host a conference, sponsored and chaired by Egypt and Norway, of international and Arab donors for the reconstruction of Gaza. This is their ostensible aim. But the reasons that the donors cited for not fulfilling earlier pledges, made in Paris in 2007 and Sharm El-Sheikh in 2009, still exist.

This means that the donors who attend the upcoming Cairo conference will probably make the same pledges they made at the two previous conferences and then once again fail to fulfil them.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian people under blockade in Gaza will remain in suspense, waiting for the next aggression to be unleashed on them by the Israeli occupation, purportedly in order to eliminate the causes that the donors cite for recycling their pledges for the reconstruction of Gaza that is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future.

Fulfilment of the donors’ old/new pledges is still contingent politically on the imposition of the status quo in the West Bank on Gaza. This entails security coordination with the occupying power, the pursuit and elimination of all forms of resistance to the occupation, rendering all reconstruction activities subject to the approval of the Israeli security regime, and much more.

Even should these conditions be met, the donors’ fulfilment of their pledges will remain contingent on the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) continued commitment to negotiations as its sole strategy, and to the agreements that led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

All the evidence indicates that the PLO and the PA have spearheaded the battle to impose the donors’ conditions on their behalf. Beneath the rubric of “legitimacy”, “the national project” and “the single central authority” that “alone holds the powers to make decisions on war and peace,” the PLO and PA have demonstrated that they are ready to abide by the donors’ political conditions.

The irony is that Israel has never met the conditions it compelled the donors to impose, not just in order to proceed with the reconstruction of Gaza, but also on the PA in general.

Israel has never renounced violence. It repeatedly wages war and unleashes its instruments of state terrorism against the Palestinians under occupation. It has flagrantly and repeatedly violated every agreement signed with the PLO. It has not even reciprocated the PLO’s recognition of Israel, nor has it officially acknowledged the Palestinians’ right to establish a Palestinian state.

Currently, the occupation authorities are threatening to dissolve the Palestinian national reconciliation government if it does not assert its full authority over Gaza. The message was driven home by PA Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa, who said that there would be no reconstruction unless his government can fully assert its control over Gaza.

However, all the evidence also indicates that the resistance is there to stay in Gaza and that its powers to resist the imposition of the donors’ conditions — on it and on Gaza — are increasing.

The only possible way to read all of the foregoing, and other facts, is that the reconstruction of Gaza under such conditions and circumstances will be deferred until further notice and that deferring reconstruction and linking it to a process of cloning the West Bank model in Gaza is actually a strategy that paves the way for yet another invasion of Gaza.

It is also a fact that reconstruction needs in Gaza are accumulating as a result of this strategy. Destruction in Gaza did not begin with the response to action against this strategy in 2007. The reconstruction of Gaza’s airport and seaport, for example, has been pending since the occupation destroyed these facilities in 2002. Reconstruction dues from the destruction wrought by the Israeli assaults on Gaza in 2008-2009 and 2012 are also continuing to accumulate.

A recent report by the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR) estimates that it will cost around $8 billion to rebuild what was destroyed during the last Israeli attack on Gaza. The report says that this process would take five years if the occupation authority were to “fully” lift the embargo on Gaza, which is hardly likely to happen soon.

Clearly, the reconstruction of Gaza requires a new Palestinian strategy, one that draws a line between the grants donors offer and their political conditions, and that rejects once and for all any Palestinian commitment to those degrading conditions that, as the years since the so-called “peace process” began have proven, have brought more destruction than construction, and have served as the chief incubator of Palestinian divisions and not brought even a minimum degree of national benefit.

At the same time, any new government that emerges from a national partnership must embrace resistance against the occupation. The current national reconciliation government, with its six-month term and its principle tasks of preparing for presidential and legislative elections, is by definition an interim government and is not qualified to shoulder heavy and long-term burdens such as the reconstruction of Gaza and securing the end of the blockade.

Both of these tasks are humanitarian and national goals that are higher than any political or factional disputes. Yet the Palestinian presidency’s determination to toe the line with the donors’ conditions, which make no distinction between humanitarian needs and political ends, is a strategy that fails to discriminate between national needs and factional interests. It is a strategy that protracts the humanitarian disaster in Gaza.

Unfortunately, the need to separate politics — factional or otherwise — from the humanitarian issue does not appear to be on the agenda of either foreign and Arab donors, or of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in spite of the letter he sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on 30 July declaring Gaza a “disaster zone” in the grips of a “dangerous humanitarian crisis.”

This “dangerous humanitarian crisis” is the product of forms of collective punishment that were inflicted against the people of Gaza before the Palestinian rift and that grew worse afterwards. Any Palestinian assent to continuing to adhere to donors’ political conditions, which are responsible for perpetuating the collective punishment, is a form of Palestinian complicity in subjecting the people of Gaza to this punishment. The time has come for all Palestinian leaders to exonerate themselves from all charges of complicity in such punishment.

The collective punishments that have been and continue to be visited on Gaza are not acceptable, even on the pretext of punishing Hamas. Under the Geneva Conventions and before international criminal law they constitute a war crime inflicted on the civilian inhabitants of Gaza, who are protected by international humanitarian law, at least in theory.

To insist that Gaza’s reconstruction be linked to the reinstatement of the “full” authority of the Palestinian presidency and the PA over Gaza, and to the donors’ political conditions which, in fact, are the conditions of the occupying power, is merely another way to say that the reconstruction of Gaza should be linked to the imposition of Fatah’s factional agenda on Gaza.

It also means that civilians in Gaza are to be collectively punished for the factional disputes that Fatah has with Hamas, in which case it becomes very difficult to avoid pointing fingers of accusation at Palestinian complicity in the ongoing collective punishment of the people of Gaza, and more difficult yet to defend any possible Palestinian contribution to the perpetration of such a war crime.

As long as the current situation persists, reconstruction of Gaza will remain pending indefinitely, and the reconstruction burden will only grow. Eventually, the people of Gaza will have no alternative but to look for salvation through other means that they, alone, can control. The Palestinian presidency and its faction must decide to free themselves once and for all from their financial and political dependence on donors and the sterile “peace process” that has so far wrought only death, destruction and division.

It is not too late to opt for the national alternative, which is still available given good intentions, to save the people of Gaza, national unity, the resistance, and decision-making autonomy.

This alternative entails following through on implementation of the mechanisms for national reconciliation, activating the unified command framework for the PLO, agreeing on a new Palestinian strategy based on the principles of partnership and resistance, and creating a new national unity government committed to this strategy and qualified to shoulder such enormous tasks as the reconstruction of Gaza and lifting the blockade.

All of the foregoing requires no more than honest introspection, the prevalence of national conscience, and political free will.

Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Birzeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Protests in Egypt against energy price hikes and politicised trials

MEMO | September 20, 2014

Opponents of the military coup have organised mass protests across Egypt condemning the deterioration of living conditions, price hikes and the ongoing electricity crisis. They are also calling for the prosecution of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi for “crimes against humanity”.

The protests came in response to a call by the Anti-Coup Alliance, which called for a “new revolutionary week” starting Friday under the slogan, “The oath of the revolution and the vow of the martyr”.

In the affluent Maadi neighborhood in Cairo, protesters denounced lifting subsidies and the increase in fuel prices. They also chanted for the release of all political prisoners and putting an end to torture in prisons.

In Hilwan, the alliance organised a morning protest against military rule and worsening living conditions. They vowed to continue protests until the leader of the coup is prosecuted.

In Baltim town in Kafr Al-Sheikh governorate, protesters condemned politicised trials and price hikes. In Desouk, protesters waved pictures of Mohamed Morsi and Rabaa signs and chanted against the deteriorating living conditions and poor services, especially electricity.

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | Leave a comment

Israeli spy drone crashes in Lebanon

Al-Akhbar | September 20, 2014

An Israeli spy drone crashed inside Lebanon on Saturday, the Lebanese army and state media reported.

The National News Agency said the remote control plane went down in the Marjayoun district of southeastern Lebanon due to a mechanical malfunction.

It is now being inspected at an army base.

“Today (Saturday) at 10:30 am, an Israeli drone fell at Mazraat Sarde region in Marjayoun while violating the Lebanese [air space],” an army statement read.

Israeli spy drones and fighter jets violate Lebanese airspace on a daily basis.

The Lebanese army issued a statement earlier Saturday saying that a spy drone had entered Lebanese airspace Friday at 10:15 pm and flew around the south for several hours before returning to the occupied territories at 7:00 am.

In February, an Israeli drone crashed on the Blue Line, the UN-demarcated line between Lebanon and occupied Palestine.

Israeli soldiers illegally crossed into Lebanese territory during that incident to retrieve the wreckage.

Israeli aircraft regularly cross into Lebanese airspace, and the border area in southern Lebanon has been the scene of tense standoffs in the past.

The Blue Line was drawn up in 2000 by the UN after Israeli troops withdrew from most of south Lebanon after a 22-year occupation.

Israel still occupies the Shebaa Farms area in southeast Lebanon.

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Israeli settlers and soldiers invade Balata refugee camp

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo by ISM
International Solidarity Movement | September 20, 2014

Occupied Palestine – On the 17th of September, under heavy Israeli army protection, Israeli settlers from nearby illegal settlements entered Nablus with the aim of praying at Joseph’s tomb in Balata refugee camp.

Just after midnight, the Israeli army closed the district that surrounds the monument, blocking all the streets leading to the tomb and preventing anyone from passing nearby, either by foot or by car.

Around 1am, between eight and 10 buses full with hundreds of settlers invaded the area.

Clashes began in the area, particularly in the junction just in front of the entry to Balata refugee camp.

Youths threw stones for more then two hours against the army vehicles, that were moving up on the hill and back, seemingly in order to keep them busy and far from the large groups of Zionist settlers. Military trucks also tried several times to run over the Palestinian youths while they were throwing stones.

The Israeli army fired many stun grenades, and the road blockades were kept in place until the settlers left the area.

Clashes around Balata occur almost weekly, any time that the settlers decide to invade the area for praying. The settlers claim this monument belongs to the Biblical patriarch Joseph, while most of the Palestinians believe that the religious guide Sheikh Yusef Dweikat was buried there, according to Islamic tradition. Though Joseph is a sacred figure as well in Muslim, Christian and Samaritan religion, Muslims are not allowed to pray there.

Labeling their own actions as “security measures”, the army can easily shoot down a whole neighborhood and guarantee the Israeli settlers the freedom to move and pray wherever they wish, even in a site which is deeply inside Area A, which is supposedly under Palestinian civil and security control. On the other side, most of the Palestinian living in the West Bank are not allowed to pray in their holy places, starting from this Joseph´s tomb to the biggest example of Al-Aqsa Mosque, in Jerusalem.

These evidently different treatments intensify the inequality in rights between Palestinians and illegal Israeli settlers and make the life under occupation more and more unbearable.

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | Leave a comment

Huge blast devastates munitions factory in Ukraine’s rebel-held Donetsk

RT | September 20, 2014

A powerful explosion occurred at a military plant in the rebel-held Ukrainian city of Donetsk after a shell hit it. A fire is now ravaging the damaged facility.

The plant was used for producing explosives and ammunition as well as for dismantling unexploded munitions collected on the battlefields. On Saturday morning, residents of the war-torn city heard a powerful blast, which was followed by a huge cloud of white smoke rising into the sky.

A neighborhood official told Ukrainian 112 television that a shell hit the plant.

“There was a direct hit at the No 47 industrial explosives shop, where some explosives were present. It detonated and caused another explosion. Luckily it didn’t hit the main storage facility where we have some 2.5 tons of explosives,” said Ivan Prikhod’ko, deputy chair of the local community council.

He added that while the incident caused considerable damage, nobody was hurt. The plant itself was not working at the time, so no one was there. Also, it was built far from any residential areas specifically for safety purposes.

As the fire continued, smaller explosions could be heard, presumably from shells detonating in the fire, RIA Novosti reported.

There is no verified report about what kind of weapon hit the plant. But there are rumors of it being targeted by a Tochka-U tactical missile launched by Kiev’s troops.

“According to our information, three Tochka-U missiles were fired and there you have it,” a militia member who identified himself as codename ‘Scorpio’ told RT. He added that the area around the plant was considered dangerous lately because both the rebels and their opponents could shell it.

Donetsk saw sporadic shelling overnight.

The incident mars Friday’s signing of an extended ceasefire deal between Kiev and rebel forces, which hopes to put an end to hostilities in eastern Ukraine. The deal includes pulling back all heavy weapons from cities and frontlines.

The blast happened just as a Russian humanitarian aid convoy was unloading elsewhere in the city. Some 200 trucks carrying 2,000 tons of aid crossed the border earlier on Saturday.

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment