Friday, January 3, 275000

A Comprehensive List of Suicide Crisis Hotlines across America

If you are feeling suicidal for any reason, please don't throw your life away. Instead, talk with someone you're close to or contact your local suicide hotline. Here is a comprehensive list of all the suicide hotlines across all 50 states.

 Information taken from . If you need more detailed information on the subject of suicide and how to deal with it, please go to the URL and check out any of the links on the left side of it. If you or a loved one or friend is expressing suicidal ideations or behavior, contact the hotline on the list that is nearest to you immediately. 

To find a particular suicide hotline or hotlines in your area, press Ctrl+F, and either type in your state of residence or the name of said hotline.

Thursday, November 30, 200000

List of Shelters for Domestic Abuse Victims

This list is designed to help victims of abuse escape their abusers and start building toward a better future for themselves. A very important part of this is leaving the abusers. In many situations it is extremely difficult to just up and leave these situations for a multitude of reasons. But there are safe places you can go. Provided in this document is a list of Shelters in ALL US states. You don't have to be a victim any longer. You have a voice and you deserve to use it. You deserve better. (For quick reference to your state hit Ctrl+F and simply type in your state)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Avaan Hirsi Ali slams modern American feminism as being too focused on trivial bullshit; says it needs to reclaim its original purpose

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a harsh critic of Islam’s treatment of women, said Wednesday that modern American feminism is focused on “trivial bullshit” and needs to be reclaimed.

Speaking at the Independent Women’s Forum Women of Valor dinner, where she received an award for courage, Hirsi Ali reminded her audience of how far feminism has strayed from its original purpose.

“I want you to remember that once upon a time, feminists fought for the access — basic right — access of girls to education,” she said.

Hirsi Ali — who despite the harsh words she said, spoke softly, almost timidly — told the story of a fight between her mother and father when she was about 11 years old. Her mother wanted to take her and her sister out of school because education would lead them to rebel against their family and “bring shame upon us.” Her father responded by saying, “If you take my girls out of school, I am going to curse you and you are going to burn in hell.”

Taken out of context, Hirsi Ali said, one might side with her mother, but in reality, she said it was her father that allowed her to be educated and helped make her what she is today.

“That’s what feminists used to fight for — the access for girls to education,” Hirsi Ali said. “They used to fight for the recognition of girls as fellow human beings and recognition of their personal liberty.”

She spoke of growing up in Somalia, where women aren’t allowed to leave the house without asking permission from a male guardian and need to be accompanied by a male guardian.

“If something wrong were to happen to me, and where I come from that happened all the time — you were groped, you were harassed, you were raped — you had no recourse because you weren’t supposed to be where you were,” Hirsi Ali said. “You were married off as a child and you had to obey the person that you were married to, it was just your luck.”

“Feminists in this country and in the West fought against that and won the battle,” she added.
But now, Hirsi Ali said, feminism has taken that victory and squandered it.

“What we are now doing with the victory, and I agree with you if you condemn that and I condemn whole-heartedly the trivial bullshit it is to go after a man who makes a scientific breakthrough and all that we as women — organized women — do is to fret about his shirt?” Hirsi Ali said, referring to the controversy generated by the shirt featuring cartoons of scantily-clad women worn by the scientist who helped land a robot on a comet. “We must reclaim and retake feminism from our fellow idiotic women.”

But, Hirsi Ali said, we should not throw away feminism, because that would be like throwing away the civil rights movement. Instead, feminism needs to fight the real war on women: Radical Islam and other parts of the world where women don’t even have the right to an education or to leave their home without a male guardian.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Please Report to Your Resident Assistant to Discuss Your Sexual Identity—It’s Mandatory! Thought Reform at the University of Delaware

A female freshman arrives for her mandatory one-on-one session in her male RA’s dorm room. It is 8:00 p.m. Classes have been in session for about a week. The resident assistant hands her a questionnaire. He tells her it is “a little questionnaire to help [you] and all the other residents relate to the curriculum.” He adds that they will “go through every question together and discuss them.” He later reports that she “looked a little uncomfortable.”

“When did you discover your sexual identity?” the questionnaire asks.

“That is none of your damn business,” she writes.

“When was a time you felt oppressed?”

“I am oppressed every day [because of my] feelings for the opera. Regularly [people] throw stones at me and jeer me with cruel names…. Unbearable adversity. But I will overcome, hear me, you rock loving majority.”[1]

She is not playing along like the other students, and the RA confronts her using his “confrontation training,” but it isn’t working. He becomes so appalled by her resistance that he writes up an incident report and reports her to his superiors. After all, this is the University of Delaware, and the school has a zero-tolerance policy for anything remotely resembling “hate speech.”

This one-on-one session was not meant to be a punishment, some kind of mandatory sensitivity training for a recalcitrant student who had committed an infraction. It was mandatory training for all 7,000-odd students in the University of Delaware dorms. The sessions were part of a thorough thought-reform curriculum, designed by the school’s Office of Residence Life, to psychologically “treat” and correct the allegedly incorrect thoughts, attitudes, values, beliefs, and habits of the students. The ResLife staff considered students too intolerant of one another, too “consumerist,” and in dire need of reeducation to become responsible world citizens who could meet the planet’s environmental crisis and the requirements of social and economic “justice.”

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A wealth of information about Deep Web (56K WARNING; ALSO DISTURBING CONTENT)

First of all, those of you who come across this post undoubtedly want to know just what the fuck the Deep Web is... This article should help to explain it a little bit..

A wealth of information about the Deep Web Part 2 (More information, slightly less disturbing shit, 56K WARNING)

The average person is only aware of a fraction of the Internet.

There is more content out there than any conventional browser can access. These sites are termed
"Deep Web" or "Undernet." They exist outside the scope of Google, Facebook, and your RSS reader. It's the digital equivalent of a thriving city that's been domed over and cordoned off.

These sites are locked down so tightly that you need a special browser to access them. It's called the Tor browser, and it offers you an entirely new way of connecting to the Internet.

Where conventional web browsers like Chrome and Firefox make no effort to conceal your location
or identity, Tor is built upon the idea of preserving anonymity as aggressively as possible.

What is Tor?

Tor, originally an acronym for "The Onion Router," is an anonymity network designed to keep your identity and location completely secure as you browse the web. When you use the Tor browser (a free download), volunteer servers around the world route your internet traffic from server to server before finally delivering you your content. On top of this evasive routing, data is encrypted a number of times as it travels to you.

Exploring the Deep Web

Michael Bergman of BrightPlanet puts it succinctly: "Searching on the Internet today can be compared to dragging a net across the surface of the ocean. While a great deal may be caught in the net, there is still a wealth of information that is deep, and therefore, missed."

Using the Tor browser unlocks the door to a whole weird and wild world you never would have guessed existed online. Where Google helps you find the needle, Tor lets you "explore the haystack."

There is lots of promise in Tor's value – people use it to protect their communications, to research
sensitive topics, and to access information they might otherwise not have access to (if a country is behind a firewall, for example). By guaranteeing such a high level of anonymity, Tor lends itself well to information freedom activists, libertarians, and those who simply want to take their Internet safety to the extreme.

But with such anonymizing power made available for free, some less-than-legal (and even downright malicious) operations claim to operate successfully.

Missouri KKK: We will use ‘lethal force’ against Ferguson protesters

The Missouri chapter of the Ku Klux Klan is threatening to use “lethal force” against protesters in Ferguson who threaten their safety, equating some demonstrators to “terrorists.”
Frank Ancona, leader of the KKK’s Missouri operations, has been distributing fliers in the metropolitan St. Louis area warning protesters in Ferguson that those who have threatened police officers and their families will be met with violence themselves.
The flier, obtained by Vice News, is addressed to “the terrorists masquerading as peaceful protesters.” It also states that they have “awakened a sleeping giant.”
“You have been warned by the Klu Klux Klan!” it continues. “There will be consequences for your actions against the peaceful, law abiding citizens of Missouri.”
READ MORE: Fundraiser for killer Ferguson cop triggers rift within KKK
This kind of behavior is not exactly unusual for the KKK, which has circulated similar letters in various cities across the United States. But the delivery of these fliers comes at a particularly sensitive time in Ferguson and the surrounding St. Louis area.
Residents are currently waiting to hear whether or not a grand jury will bring criminal charges against Officer Darren Wilson, the white officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown. The 18-year-old’s death sparked massive, weeks-long protests, which made headlines around the country after police deployed a number of controversial crowd-control tactics – the use of tear gas and the establishment of a no-fly zone over the city, for example.

Protesters sit down in the street outside the police department during a protest over the killing of Michael Brown August 30, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. (Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty Images / AFP)
Protesters sit down in the street outside the police department during a protest over the killing of Michael Brown August 30, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. (Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty Images / AFP)
No one knows exactly when the decision will be reached, but reports suggest the process is coming to a close and it could be any day now. Gun sales have spiked in the area, and some businesses have boarded up their storefronts in an attempt to preempt looting. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced earlier this week that the National Guard would be on standby to respond to any reports of violence.
Speaking with the Riverfront Times, Ancona said: “Missouri is definitely on fire right now.” He also stated that the Ferguson protests were a boon for KKK recruiting.
"These Ferguson protesters are the best recruiters since Obama," he said, noting that 50 people joined the group in November alone. "Normally we might hear from 10 people a week in Missouri, and now we're hearing from more like 50 people a week. Sometimes, depending on these news stories, we get 100, 200 calls in a day."
Soon after the new KKK fliers came to the public's attention, Ancona appeared on MSNBC, where he was asked if he was inciting violence.
“No, actually it’s addressing the people who are making these terroristic threats and letting them know that the people of Missouri have rights too,” Ancona said. “There are remedies under the law. The flier, if you read it, it says ‘defend’, it talks about defense. So, in order to defend yourself, that means you’re being attacked.”
READ MORE: KKK rebrand: Blacks, Hispanics, gays & Jews now welcomed by Ku Klux Klan
Activist Bassem Masri has been called out specifically by the KKK, which claims he threatened police while live-streaming one of the protests. Masri dismissed the accusation to Vice News.
"If they want to perpetuate hate, we can't stop them, but we can surely let them know we ain't going for it," he said. "They are using the KKK to change the narrative to something they want, which is a race war which we are not advocating for, taking the story off [Missouri Governor Jay] Nixon, [St. Louis Country prosecutor Bob] McCulluch, and Darren Wilson."
"It's ok for the KKK to hate folks but God forbid a minority speaks up.”

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Horrible Saga of SWAP.avi (review of one of the most horrifying, disgusting videos to ever exist)
At a Glance: SWAP.avi. It is always written in those terrible capital letters, as though the filename itself is screaming at you in startled horror. It can only be expressed aloud as the strangled cry of a sailor who has just spotted an iceberg looming out of fog or the trails of compressed air on the ocean's surface that lead back to a lurking U-boat. It is both warning and epitaph. It is a sun-bleached skeleton in a hanging cage. It is a thieving child's severed head nailed to the wall above the jars of sweet pickled plums in a candied fruit shop. SWAP.avi is not so much a pornographic video as it is a death, final and uncompromising.
Nation of Origin: Brazil, where hearts were entertaining June, you'll stand beneath an amber moon and blow out the back of your head with a 10 gauge shotgun.
Languages: English and the blasphemous flatus expelled by the godless walking asses of the Brasilianjungle primeval.
Sexual Content: Imagine if the Holocaust was a 63 minute long video about pooping. Now imagine your mother drowning in a bathtub full of diarrhea. This is the sexual content of SWAP.avi.
Lesson: the Chinese may land on the moon.

There are moments in American history when a single event, the news of which is propagated by means of 
television, radio and the Internet, has provoked a dramatic shift in the zeitgeist. One would assume that this phenomenon of sudden and often unexpected cultural upheaval is not unique to the United States, as other nations are also composed of humans with similar (although slightly smaller and more horrid) hands, faces and brains.

Every American alive at the time remembers the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the faked video of the moon landing and the recent tragedy of 9/11. As the news of these events spread it became apparent that in those scant seconds the world had changed. No longer did JFK regale Americans with tales of his sexual conquests and attempt to convert bewildered children to the ancient cult of the Catholics. No longer could we sleep in our beds at night assured that the cosmic seeds of Chinamen would never find purchase in alien soil. No longer could we cling to the illusory belief that our skyscrapers were immune to the fell mischief of Loki.

Many of you were probably alive during the events of 9/11/2001 and many of you are probably Americans. If you were not alive yet or you are not an American then I salute you for your ability to read American and suggest you skip past the next paragraph or perhaps amuse yourself by placing an entire set of keys in your mouth.

For those of you from Odin's country, I ask you to recall those hours after you witnessed the ruinous work of the Trickster upon Manhattan's skyline. Recall the stunned daze as you shuffled about your tasks or stared numbly at the televisor screen in your habicube. Remember the way the very earth beneath your feet seemed to sway and shift, as though it were the deck of a longboat crossing the vast gulf of the Atlantic. You were adrift and fearful of this grim absence of certainty called "the future", willing to cling to strange comforts such as magnetic flags and George Bushes.

If this introduction seems to have strayed into the realm of unrestrained melodrama, let me assure you it is only due to the gravity of my subject matter. Today we will be discussing the origins, history, reality and consequences of SWAP.avi, the worst pornographic video ever created. By the end of this article you will have experienced, at best, one of the world-changing moments I have alluded to and, at worst, you will spontaneously combust.

Gentle readers, you have been warned. To proceed is to cast caution to the wind and jeopardize the touch-paper of your sanity to an unquenchable fire of tumult. Whether you are frail and weak-willed or hale and sound of mind, the advice remains the same; turn back before you learn that which cannot be unlearnt.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Six Degrees of Burns

Burn injuries are often talked about in terms of degrees. The degree of the burn refers to the severity of the injury. Proper treatment depends on accurately describing the severity of the burn. There are six different degrees of burns. Most often we hear about first, second or third degree burns because it is very difficult to survive a fourth, fifth or sixth degree burn.

First Degree Burns
First degree burns usually result in redness to the top layers of the skin. The skin may feel warm and painful to the touch. There are many causes of first degree burns including hot water from the sink and sunburn.

Most first degree burns can be treated at home. First, run the burned area under cold water. Then apply a soothing cream, such as aloe, to the burn and cover with a loose gauze bandage. Over the counter pain killers might be useful to ease discomfort.

Second Degree Burns
A burn that results in red, blistering skin is a second degree burn. The deeper layers of the skin are affected with this degree of injury and the victim is usually in significant pain. Second degree burns can be caused by flames, chemicals, hot liquids and other catalysts.

While some second degree burns can be treated at home, the pain is usually significant enough to warrant a trip to the doctor or hospital. Also, victims of second degree burns might be at risk of shock so they need to be closely monitored. The burn should be treated similarly to a first degree burn, however it is important to prevent infection in the blisters and therefore an antiseptic ointment is often advised.

Third Degree Burns
Third degree burns go all the way through the skin. The most common causes of this severe injury are electricity, chemicals and fire. Skin that has been damaged by a third degree burn may appear black or white. The nerve endings have been destroyed so the affected area might not hurt but the area adjacent to it will likely hurt. A burn of this severity may cause the victim to go into shock.

Third degree burns require medical treatment as quickly as possible and usually require hospitalization. The patient will need IV fluids, antibiotics and likely prescription pain medication. The patient also may need help breathing. The burns will be cleaned and antiseptic ointment will be applied and covered with loose bandages. The bandages should be changed regularly. Some patients are put into high oxygen rooms called hyperbaric chambers. The dead tissue in the burned area is removed surgically. Skin grafts may also be used to replace the burned skin with healthy skin. Third degree burns often result in scarring.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Anti-Game Violence Crusader Leland Yee Arrested On Charges Of Bribery, Corruption And Arms Trafficking

Well, I'd like to say this is ironic, but it isn't anything of the sort, although it does carry with it a little bit of schadenfreude. Leland Yee, a longtime combatant of free speech (via his attempts to regulate the sales of violent videogames), has been arrested for bribery and corruption charges.
California State Senator Leland Yee (D), a driving force behind California's legislative efforts to restrict minors' access to violent video games, has been arrested on charges of bribery and corruption, according to numerous local media reports.

Yee, who is running for California Secretary of State, saw his office raided by FBI agents this morning in service of multiple arrest and search warrants, according to San Francisco's KCRA. The raid follows a grand jury indictment of Yee, as reported by San Francisco's ABC7. Sacramento's Fox 40 reports that concurrent, related raids are being conducted on Chinatown locations with possible drug connections.
As more new came out, the story got even more ridiculous as the politician who was so against video game violence is also charged with arms trafficking. Fake guns? Ban 'em! Real guns? Let's get down to business!
Yee and an intermediary allegedly met repeatedly with an undercover FBI agent, soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for setting up a deal with international arms dealers.

At their first face-to-face meeting in January, "Senator Yee explained he has known the arms dealer for a number of years and has developed a close relationship with him," an FBI affidavit says, noting Yee told the agent the arms dealer "has things that you guys want."
At this point, all wrongdoing is still alleged (including possible ties to drug dealers) and, it must be noted, this is based on a grand jury indictment, something often entirely unrelated to any actual evidence of wrongdoing. 

Still, if you're someone who actively strives to regulate the moral choices made by your constituents, you had better make sure your own life is damn near spotless. And let's not forget that Yee spent nearly $2 million in taxpayer funds fighting for the government's "right" to regulate speech. This is its own form of abuse, one that no legislator ever seems to be punished for: riding political hobby horses at the expense of a public that is broadly opposed to the legislation being pursued.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Shocking undercover video exposes abuse of turkeys at Ontario factory farm (WARNING: DISTURBING IMAGERY)

We've been warned about how cruelly chickens, cattle and pigs are treated in the modern factory-farming system. Now animal-welfare activists want us to think about the torment turkeys go through before they reach our Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner tables.
CBC Marketplace was set to air a segment Friday night based on video footage shot secretly by Mercy for Animals Canada (MFA), showing turkeys being beaten to death, carried painfully by their open wings and displaying appalling injuries because of forced breeding.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

India Developing Additional National Surveillance System; US Has No Moral High Ground To Protest

Like many other countries, India has been steadily extending its national surveillance capabilities. We wrote about its main Central Monitoring System (CMS) back in May last year, with more details in July. In news that shocked no one, we discovered in September that illegal surveillance is already taking place. And now, via The Economic Times, we learn that India has built another, completely independent system for spying on its citizens:
The government will shortly launch 'Netra', the defence ministry's internet spy system that will be capable of detecting words like 'attack', 'bomb', 'blast' or 'kill' in a matter of seconds from reams of tweets, status updates, emails, instant messaging transcripts, internet calls, blogs and forums.

The system will also be able to capture any dubious voice traffic passing through software such as Skype or Google Talk, says a telecom department note seen by [Economic Times]. "
The Hacker News site has more details of how the system will work, with information being gathered from boxes placed on the premises of ISPs:
NETRA is a hardware device, and will be installed at ISP (Internet service provider) level on more than 1000 locations. Each location will be called as "Node", with 300GB of storage space. So, there are 1000 nodes x 300GB = 300,000GB of total space is initially decided to set up.
A year ago, news that countries like India were setting up a nationwide surveillance system was met with a self-righteous chorus of disapproval from many Western countries. Today, India can have two of them, and the response is silence. That's a measure of how the West has lost whatever moral high ground it once had, largely thanks to the NSA's dragnet approach that makes it well-nigh impossible for the Five Eyes club and friends to criticize other nations for attempting to emulate it.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Original Cheerios go GMO-free

General Mills has decided to remove all GMOs from the original Cheerios recipe, prompting a debate over whether the US reached a turning point in the fight over genetically engineered ingredients.
Last week, General Mills announced it would stop using genetically modified corn starch and sugar cane in its original Cheerios cereal, though the company continues to believe that genetically modified organisms (GMO) in general are safe to eat. Other cereal brands, along with those under the Cheerios label, such as Honey Nut Cheerios, will still incorporate GMOs for the time being.
The decision marks an about-face for General Mills, which has spent millions of dollars opposing GMO labeling initiatives in California and Washington. It’s now the largest American company to reject GMOs in one of its brands, which could eventually mean serious consequences for biotech companies like Monsanto and Dupont if other businesses follow suit. In 2013, Ben & Jerry’s stated it would remove GMOs from its products, while Chipotle has announced its intention to gradually eliminate genetically modified ingredients from its restaurant menu during 2014.
According to USA Today, approximately 80 percent of food products in the United States contain some type of GMO, while the Los Angeles Times noted that 93 percent of all soybeans grown in the US are genetically engineered. The same is true for 90 percent of corn.
Although opinion is split on the impact of GMOs on health, a November study indicated that these modified ingredients could be related to a growing number of gluten-related disorders, including intestinal problems, which afflict roughly 18 million Americans. Supporters believe GMOs are essential to building crops that will resist disease, but opponents are wary that engineering seeds in a lab could lead to negative consequences.
Despite opposing viewpoints, multiple polls from 2013 found the American public overwhelmingly in favor of labeling products featuring GMOs. A New York Times survey registered 93 percent support for labeling, while a Washington Post poll ticked even higher with 94 percent.
Efforts to translate that support into action, however, have sputtered. Ballot initiatives in both California and Washington failed to garner majority support despite strong initial support, leading label supporters to accuse multinational corporations of buying the electorate. Companies like Monsanto, Pepsico, and their allies spent about $22 million in Washington alone to defeat the initiative, significantly more than the less than $7 million pro-label groups were able to muster.
Even successful initiatives in Connecticut and Maine risk going nowhere, since their implementation is tied to the passage of labeling laws in at least four other Northeastern states.
With no national labeling laws in place, states are largely left to fend for themselves on the issue. Outside of the US, though, more than 60 countries – Australia, the European Union, and Japan – have established labeling laws, with many countries halting the purchase of some Monsanto products.
This week, a court in Argentina stopped the construction of a Monsanto seed plant in the country on environmental protection grounds. The biotech company has been under fire in Argentina ever since a report by the Associated Press found a link between the pesticides it sells and the country’s increased rate of birth defects and cancer.
In spite of opposition, however, Monsanto recently reported an 8 percent rise in profits over the previous year, and expects to grow even more over the course of 2014.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Helpful info for hurricane/severe weather victims including full list of shelters

Table of contents:

(1) Helpful info for victims affected by severe weather
including full list of shelters in your area
(2) Drops for the Quad state (NJ,NY,PA,CT)

(1) Red Cross Shelters for victims by state  & helpful info for survivors
For up to date availability in these centers go to (pulls in red cross, NYC, DC, PA shelter info)


More news stories about the dangers of Monsanto and GMOs, and the corrupt CEOs and politicians lobbying for them

Monsanto's Govt Ties:

A Monsanto executive told The New York Times that the safety of genetically engineered foods was the government's problem, not the company's:

“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food," said Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of corporate communications. "Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job.”
As Angell implies, Monsanto's interest in selling as much genetically engineered food as possible is in direct conflict with the government's responsibility for food safety.

Monsanto has induced politicians to abdicate their responsibility to protect consumers through generous campaign contributions and heavy lobbying.

The most telling evidence that Monsanto's strategy has been an overwhelming success is the number of former Monsanto employees who have been given jobs in the FDA and other regulatory agencies that monitor Monsanto's products.

Margaret Miller is just one example. While working as a Monsanto researcher, she contributed to a scientific report for the FDA on Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone. Shortly before the report was submitted, Miller left Monsanto to work at the FDA, where her first job was to review the same report! Assisting Miller was another former Monsanto researcher, Susan Sechen.

Needless to say, the FDA accepted Monsanto's findings, which became the basis for its approval of Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone and its decision not to require labels on milk produced through the use of the artificial hormone.

The FDA official who made the decision not to label Monsanto's milk was Michael Taylor, who had worked as a lawyer for Monsanto. Today, Michael Taylor is in the Obama Administration, in charge of food safety.

Monsanto, Dupont and Obama:

President Obama knows that agribusiness cannot be trusted with the regulatory powers of government. On the campaign trail in 2007, he promised: We'll tell ConAgra that it's not the Department of Agribusiness. It's the Department of Agriculture. We're going to put the people's interests ahead of the special interests.

Tom Vilsack But, starting with his choice for USDA Secretary, the pro-biotech former governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack, President Obama has let Monsanto, Dupont and the other pesticide and genetic engineering companies know they'll have plenty of friends and supporters within his administration.

President Obama has taken his team of food and farming leaders directly from the biotech companies and their lobbying, research, and philanthropic arms:

Michael Taylor
former Monsanto Vice President, is now the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods.

Roger Beachy
former director of the Monsanto-funded Danforth Plant Science Center, is now the director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Islam Siddiqui
Vice President of the Monsanto and Dupont-funded pesticide-promoting lobbying group, CropLife, is now the Agriculture Negotiator for the US Trade Representative.

Rajiv Shah
former agricultural-development director for the pro-biotech Gates Foundation (a frequent Monsanto partner), served as Obama's USDA Under Secretary for Research Education and Economics and Chief Scientist and is now head of USAID.

Elena Kagan
who, as President Obama's Solicitor General, took Monsanto's side against organic farmers in the Roundup Ready alfalfa case, is now on the Supreme Court.

Ramona Romero
corporate counsel to DuPont, has been nominated by President Obama to serve as General Counsel for the USDA.

Monsanto sues small family farmers for Monsanto's contamination of their fields (illogical!):

Percy Schmeiser is a farmer from Saskatchewan Canada, whose Canola fields were contaminated with Monsanto's genetically engineered Round-Up Ready Canola by pollen from a nearby farm. Monsanto says it doesn't matter how the contamination took place, and is therefore demanding Schmeiser pay their Technology Fee (the fee farmers must pay to grow Monsanto's genetically engineered products). According to Schmeiser, "I never had anything to do with Monsanto, outside of buying chemicals. I never signed a contract.

If I would go to St. Louis (Monsanto Headquarters) and contaminate their plots - destroy what they have worked on for 40 years - I think I would be put in jail and the key thrown away."

Rodney Nelson's family farm is being forced into a similar lawsuit by Monsanto.

Support Schmeiser, Nelson and hundreds of other farmers who are being forced to pay Monsanto to have their fields contaminated by genetically modified organisms.

Monsanto sues small family dairy for having freedom of speech??:

Oakhurst Dairy has been owned and operated by the same Maine family since 1921, and Monsanto recently attempted to put them out of business. Oakhurst, like many other dairy producers in the U.S., has been responding to consumer demand to provide milk free of rBGH, a synthetic hormone banned (for health reasons) in every industrialized country other than the U.S.

Monsanto, the number one producer of the rBGH synthetic steroid, sued Oakhurst, claiming they should not have the right to inform their customers that their dairy products do not contain the Monsanto chemical. Given the intense pressure from the transnational corporation, Oakhurst was forced to settle out of court, leaving many other dairies vulnerable to similar attacks from Monsanto.

Monsanto poisons Hundreds of Thousands with PCB's and lied/covered it up for decades:

ANNISTON, Ala. -- On the west side of Anniston, the poor side of Anniston, the people grew berries in their gardens, raised hogs in their back yards, caught bass in the murky streams where their children swam and played and were baptized. They didn't know their dirt and yards and bass and kids -- along with the acrid air they breathed -- were all contaminated with toxic chemicals. They didn't know they lived in one of the most polluted patches of America.

Now they know. They also know that for nearly 40 years, while producing the now-banned industrial coolants known as PCBs at a local factory, Monsanto Co. routinely discharged toxic waste into a west Anniston creek and dumped millions of pounds of PCBs into oozing open-pit landfills. And thousands of pages of Monsanto documents -- many emblazoned with warnings such as "CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy" -- show that for decades, the corporate-giant concealed what it did and what it knew... (Read more...

Monsanto refuses to aid those exposed to Agent Orange and intentionally maliciously lies and fabricates false information on said Toxic Chemical:

The negative health effects, due to exposure to Monsanto's Agent Orange, have been well documented over the past three decades. The dioxin in Agent Orange has been accepted internationally as one of the most toxic chemicals on the planet, causing everything from severe birth defects, to cancer, to neurological disorders, to death. But Monsanto has successfully blocked any major movement towards compensating veterans and civilians who were exposed to the company's Agent Orange.

Long before Agent Orange was used as a herbicide in the Vietnam war, Monsanto knew of its negative health impacts on humans. Since then, Monsanto has been unsuccessful at covering its tracks and has even been convicted of fabricating false research documentation that claims Agent Orange has no negative health effects, other than a possible skin rash. Thanks to Monsanto's influence, the Center for Disease Control also released a report claiming veterans were never exposed to harmful levels of Agent Orange.

As a note, from 1962 to 1970, the US military sprayed 72 million liters of herbicides, mostly Agent Orange, on over one million Vietnamese civilians and over 100,000 U.S. troops. As a result, within ten years of the close of the war, 9170 veterans had filed claims for disabilities caused by Agent Orange. The VA denied compensation to 7709, saying that a facial rash was the only disease associated with exposure.

In 2002, Vietnam requested assistance in dealing with the tens of thousands of birth defects due to Agent Orange. In order to avoid medical compensation expenses, Monsanto continues to claim this now banned chemical is not toxic. (Read more..)

A couple of organizations working specifically on the Agent Orange issue among those affected in Vietnam and the US are Project Agent Orange and Agent Orange Legacy, among many others.

Taxpayers forced to pay for Third World Poisoning by Monsanto:

Monsanto has also been implicated in the indiscriminate sale and use of RoundUp Ultra in the anti-drug fumigation efforts of Plan Colombia. Of the some $1.3 billion of taxpayers' money earmarked for Plan Colombia, Monsanto has received upwards of $25 million for providing RoundUp Ultra.

RoundUp Ultra is a highly concentrated version of Monsanto's glyphosate herbicide, with additional surfactants to increases its lethality. Local communities and human rights organizations charge that Ultra is destroying food crops, water sources and protected areas in the Andes, primarily Colombia.

Paradoxically, the use of RoundUp Ultra has actually increased coca cultivation in the Andes. As local farming communities are increasingly impacted by RoundUp Ultra fumigation's, many turn to the drug trade as a means of economic survival. Regional NGOs have estimated that almost 200,000 hectares have been fumigated with Ultra under Plan Colombia.

Monsanto destroys Canadian wheat supply:

Monsanto also produces the most commonly used broad-leaf pesticide in the world, glyphosate--or Roundup. In addition to its inherent toxicity as a chemical pesticide, Roundup has now been found to aid the spread of fusarium head blight in wheat. This disease creates a toxin in the infected wheat, making the crop unsuitable for human or animal consumption. Canada's wheat industry is currently being ravaged by this disease. At the same time, the widespread use of Roundup has resulted in the formation of "super weeds" --- unwanted plants that have developed an immunity to these pesticides. Read study linking Monsanto's Roundup to Cancer (

Monsanto destroying worlds fresh water supply, buying property, filtering, and selling back to those who can afford:

Over the past century, global water supplies have been contaminated with the full gamut of Monsanto's chemicals, including PCBs, dioxin and glyphosate (Roundup). So now the company, seeing a profitable market niche, is taking control of the public water resources they polluted, filtering it, and selling it back to the people. In short, Monsanto is making a double profit by polluting the world's scarce freshwater resources, privately taking ownership of that water, filtering it, and selling it back to those who can afford to pay for it.

Monsanto bankrupting US Agriculture via patented frankenseeds:

Genetically engineered crops are causing an economic disaster for farmers in the U.S. So says a new report released by Britain's Soil Association. The report is a massive compilation of data showing GE crops have cost American taxpayers $12 billion in farm subsidies in the past three years. "Within a few years of the introduction of GM crops, almost the entire $300 million annual US maize exports to the EU had disappeared, and the US share of the soya market had decreased," the report said. In addition, the study says that GE crops have lead to an increased use of pesticides, while resulting in overall lower crop yields. (Read more...

Monsanto responsible for Indian Farmer suicides after short-selling them sabotaged Cotton:

In India the financial figures for the recent cotton growing season have finally been crunched. Although Monsanto convinced many of India's farmers that buying the more expensive GE cotton seeds would result in higher yields and better cotton, the reverse is actually true. Crop yields for GE cotton were 5 TIMES LESS than traditional Indian cotton and the income from GE cotton was 7 TIMES LESS than conventional cotton, due to Monsanto's cotton having lower quality short fibers. As a result of the insurmountable deluge of debt accrued from paying more for the GE seeds and having a weak crop, more than 100 Indian farmers committed suicide in the last year. (Read more...

Monsanto Initiating Human Extinction, even the rich will die:

"Ignoring potential non-target detrimental side effects of any chemical, especially one used as heavily as glyphosate [Monsanto's RoundUp herbicide], may have dire consequences for agriculture such as rendering soils infertile, crops non-productive, and plants less nutritious.

To do so might well compromise not only agricultural sustainability, but also the health and well-being of animals and humans."

Johal, G.S. and D.M. Huber. Glyphosate effects on diseases of plants. 2009. European Journal of Agronomy 31:144-152 (

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Monsanto poisoning, even the animals that you ingest:

"There is compelling evidence that animals provided with feed containing GM ingredients can react in a way that is unique to an exposure to GM plants. This is revealed through metabolic, physiological or immunological responses in exposed animals."

Report on animals exposed to GM ingredients in animal feed, Prepared for the Commerce Commission of New Zealand by Professor Jack A.Heinemann, PhD, 24 July 2009 (

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Friday, November 8, 2013

FBI Uses Invitation To Investigate One Email As An Excuse To Dig Through Multiple Email Accounts

As we just recently covered, the FBI's enthusiasm for starting investigations far outweighs its interest in ensuring they are justifiable. A site owner who forwarded an email containing a threat to hack his site was misinterpreted by an FBI agent to be a threat against the agency, kicking off (at least) six years of monitoring. Even as evidence failed to pile up, the investigation went continued unabated, ultimately costing the site owners' a chunk of income as donors scattered when news of the investigation became public.

Here's yet another example of the FBI's mentality at work -- seizing on anything as an excuse to dig into personal information. This particular person was Jill Kelley who, because of the FBI's actions, became part of the national sideshow involving General Petraeus' affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. On the advice of military officials, Kelley reported the suspected cyberstalking of her and her husband to the FBI. Apparently, the FBI felt this gave it free rein to invade Kelley's privacy.
We authorized the FBI to look at one threatening email we received, and only that email, so that the FBI could identify the stalker. However, the FBI ignored our request and violated our trust by unlawfully searching our private emails and turning us into the targets of an intrusive investigation without any just cause—all the while without informing us that they had identified the email stalker as Paula Broadwell, who was having an affair with Mr. Petraeus.
It looks as if the FBI is way too willing to extend itself permissions that haven't been specifically granted. Maybe the investigating agents felt Kelley meant to give the agency carte blanche access to her and her husband's email accounts, but was unable to articulate her desire to have her privacy violated thanks to the stress she was under. Or something.

All of this and yet the FBI didn't feel compelled to apprise Kelley of the outcome of its intrusive investigation. (In the end, charges were dropped.) Rather, it opted to leak her information to the press and misconstrue the contents of certain emails it had obtained without permission, leaving she and her husband to deal with the resulting fallout (rumors of an affair, media campouts in Kelley's yard).

The resulting investigation by the military cleared her (and the general she was linked to by the FBI's perusal of her emails) of any impropriety but the damage was already done. The agency's decision to exceed its authorization has managed to turn another person into an advocate against its excesses.
It appears from the NSA's leaks that the government may be trying to collect everything about everyone and everywhere—including America's closest friends and allies—with or without the knowledge of the White House. Unaccountable individuals given free rein to invade people's privacy—and a government that maintains the tools that permit them to do so—are a prescription for a privacy disaster.

With all the current economic, political, social and diplomatic issues facing the country, it is understandable that many Americans seem relatively unconcerned about intrusions on individual privacy. They shouldn't be. The unauthorized search of my family's emails was triggered when we appealed to law enforcement for protection. But who knows what else might set off governmental invasion of privacy—politics or some other improper motivation might suffice. If this could happen to us, it could happen to you.
Not only does this sort of behavior chill speech and make a mockery of the Fourth Amendment, it also makes the country -- and its citizens -- less safe. If people have to think twice before asking law enforcement or investigative agencies to look into possible criminal activity out of fear of having their own personal information sifted through or subjected to months of intrusive surveillance, they may opt to ignore the problem or take matters into their own hands. Either outcome is undesirable.

The NSA has made many placating statements about how it's limited by its authorizations, rather than its capabilities. These have never been particularly reassuring, and are even less so now, as its investigative counterpart appears more than willing to twist requests for help into invitations to snoop.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Good Old Games Working Their Publicity Magic Via The Government Shutdown

I'm not sure if you heard, but the United States government has been shut down, or has been "slimmed down," or is partially funded, or whatever some talking noggin on your favorite cable news network has told you this news cycle. Terror is being expressed, much talk has been made over the dire consequences, and everyone is looking for someone to blame as our government pulls its latest hissy-fit slap-fight instead of being productive. Yay, democracy. Anyway, the result is a great many furloughed government employees with their retroactive pay guaranteed and a whole lot of self-reflection time on their hands.

No worries, because retro-gaming website Good Old Games is here to help. They've decided to make the further assclown-ery of our esteemed elected lizard-people a sort of theme for their latest publicity stunt. They're going halvsies with customers on game titles like Capitalism 2 and Theme Hospital. But the deal is even better if you're one of those furloughed folks on the government teet.
Finally, we would like to express our condolences to everyone who's been furloughed by the shutdown. More than that, actually, we'd like to offer you the games pack of our special Shutdown Promo for free. Send an email to with your picture holding the official furlough letter you received, before Friday 11 October 2013 at 12:00 EDT and we'll give you The Guild: Gold Edition, Capitalism, Capitalism 2, Tropico: Gold Edition, Alpha Centauri + Alien Crossfire, Theme Hospital, and Redneck Rampage free.
GOG, which has experimented with some forward-thinking promotions in the past, really knows how to turn government ineptitude into an opportunity. Yes, this is an obvious publicity stunt. Yes, I'm helping that stunt by writing this article. But I don't care, because the prospect of government employees essentially getting retroactively paid to play games based on healthcare, government, and capitalism, all of which they're getting for free, is the kind of recursive irony that tastes as good as a cut of prime rib.

So if you're sitting at home because our two party system has melted into a massive talking-points circle-jerk, pass the time by playing some games for free. And know that we Americans all appreciate the work you aren't doing thanks to the weirdos we all sent to Washington.

Schools Ban Tag, Cartwheels And 'Unstructured Play:' The Inevitable Outcome Of Unrealistic Promises And Expectations

From the look of these stories, there's no worse place for your cherished young ones to end up than the hellish warzone of the local school. Sure, we all made it through school with a minimum of injuries or threats from Pop Tart-wielding terrorists in training, but today? Today's school playgrounds are as safe as a minefield subject to hourly bombing runs. [UPDATE: As is pointed out in the comments, Weber Middle School's ban on balls and other activities is "temporary," due to construction occuring at the school.]
A middle school in Long Island, New York has banned the playing of typical schoolyard games and the use of many pieces of athletic equipment during recess.

CBS reported that Weber Middle School this week “instituted a ban on footballs, baseballs, lacrosse balls, or anything that might hurt someone on school grounds.” The ban also includes “hard soccer balls” and “rough games of tag, or cartwheels unless supervised by a coach.”

Assistant Principal Matthew Swinson explained that "sometimes when they participate in tag they use the opportunity to give an extra push.”
The school takes pain to note that organized sports, the sort of activity that brings in extra money, are not dangerous (if you ignore concussions, sprains, broken limbs, etc.)
In a press release, the school district stated that “structured athletics” with footballs and baseballs do not pose the risk of “an errant throw injuring a child.” However, “unstructured play with hardballs" is dangerous and therefore impermissible.
This isn't an isolated event from a single, overreacting school. RyanNerd sends in this announcement from a Michigan school that tag and its derivatives are being banned from its recess periods.
On Wednesday, Oct. 2, New Groningen kindergarten teachers sent home a letter alerting parents to the policy. It described the problem of children "running in packs, pushing, knocking other children over, and making the game dangerous."

On Thursday, Oct. 3, a follow up letter was sent home with students clarifying the policy after the "no tag" rule created a bit of controversy.

"We want our children to treat each other with respect, kindness, and with safety in mind," said Ginger Smith, community relations manager for Zeeland Public Schools, on Friday.
The concern, of course, is for the safety of the children, something even members of administration note is something it can't possibly guarantee.
"We know kids are going to get injured ... but we have a responsibility to lessen injuries," said [NY assistant principal Matthew] Swinson, explaining that the children could only be trusted with spongy balls.
Yes, a school has a certain responsibility to lessen injuries, but that should only apply to objectively dangerous activities, like fighting, kids on the roof of buildings, etc. -- the sorts of activities that should already be violations of school policies. Banning activities that kids have participated in for years with a minimum number of debilitating injuries is just ridiculous. Why not just take recess and PE off the table and keep the kids restrained (possibly with three-point belts) at their desks for the entirety of the school day?

This isn't the only form of panic being indulged by hysteria-prone school administrations. Check out this reaction to a simple bus mix-up by a Canadian school (via Overlawyered).
A four-year-old Scarborough boy wandered into the wrong classroom on his first day in school, wearing the wrong nametag, and wasn’t immediately spotted. Cue panic: The police were notified, an alert went out, dozens of police with a K-9 unit turned up to scour the neighbourhood, terror spread. The little boy watched it all obliviously, until teachers spotted the mistake.
This occurred on the first day of school, a time when children wander in and out of the wrong classrooms all the time. The district's bus company shuttles nearly 50,000 kids on 1,600 routes every day and an occasional mix-up is to be expected. The police response isn't. While it's admirable that staff leapt into action to make sure all children were accounted for, it's severely undermined by its immediate decision to get the police involved.

This slavish devotion to an unachievable aim (no mistakes; perfect safety) has even managed to hamper the school's own windmill-tilts.
The driver of Alexander’s bus had a list identifying how many kids were to get off at each stop, but wasn’t allowed to know their names for “security” reasons. The bus company had considered providing photographs to the drivers, but again feared unspecified “security” concerns. Over-reacting in the approved manner, the company is now considering radio frequency identification tags that could be attached to backpacks so every child on every bus could be monitored at every moment.
No one involved knows what they're doing, blindly thrashing around towards unachievable goals while hamstrung by misguided "security" efforts. I bash school administrations frequently, but everything detailed above is not solely the fault of blundering, overreaching institutions. There are plenty of parents who should share in the blame. If schools have set themselves up as paragons of child safety, it has as much to do with parents' ridiculous expectations as it does with bureaucratic striving for complete control.

Among any grouping of parents, there will be a subset that believes no harm should ever come to their children. Those few moments when they're prevented from hovering over their young ones, they expect the next line of defense to pick up the slack -- without the slightest drop in quality. There are also a number of parents who aren't as attentive, but still believe the school should keep their kids from getting injured or misplaced and are willing to make this point through lots of yelling and legal threats. Then there are those parents who view public schools as ultra-cheap daycare, but who still believe that the schools should do a better job parenting than they do.

Somewhere in between these extremes, there are sets of realistic parents who understand that sometimes undesirable events happen, including injuries, and that no one is truly to blame unless there's evidence of a severe lapse in controls or observation. But realists are no longer the majority -- if they ever were.

The problem is that administrators have let these unrealistic demands guide their policy making. Part of it is the desire to reduce legal exposure and liability. This leads to ridiculous policy changes like eliminating "hard" objects (with no sharp corners or heavy materials) from everyday play. This leads to kids being suspended for bogus weapons policy "violations."

Parents may express disbelief that tag is no longer allowed at their school, but many of those protesting need to take a long look at their own expectations. No educator can be expected to prevent every injury, threat or harsh word from affecting these parents' children. I think most parents realize this, but when something happens to their kid, all rationality flies out the window as the psyche indulges the very common human urge to attribute blame and hold someone -- anyone -- responsible for this "crime" against their flesh and blood.

To roll back school policies to something approaching reality will take a serious effort from both parents and administration. Schools need to stop over-promising (and reacting badly when they inevitably under-deliver). Parents need to realize the only way they can protect their kids from bad things is to keep them locked up at home. Both need to cede control, especially over eventualities they can't possibly hope to have any input in.

But this is a very unlikely outcome for two reasons. No school administrator wants to roll back policies only to deal with the wrath of parents who still expect schools to provide a protective bubble for their children. Very few parents (other than the realists) want to accept the fact that their children cannot be protected from every eventuality. Because of this impasse, ridiculous policies and overreactions will continue to be the rule, rather than the exception.