(This post is by way of a PSA; if it’s 2L2R, save it for later, okay?)
From Foreign Policy magazine comes information about the ‘elite’ cyber-spy unit of the FBI based at Quantico. That the FBI has gotten a free pass in Congressional mass surveillance hearings is probably no accident is it? Their secrecy and hidden mission of their Data Intercept Technology Unit, or DITU, would give plausible deniability to questions about any of the NSA’s purposes or ‘legalities’, or not, as the case may be. Shane Harris reminds us that the Prism Power Point presentation that Edward Snowden gave for journalist hints at the FBI’s data collection which then flows into NSA databases. Yes, we were encouraged to believe that the NSA shared intel with the FBI, but both seem to be quite conveniently collected and shared.
‘But interviews with current and former law enforcement officials, as well as technology industry representatives, reveal that the unit is the FBI’s equivalent of the National Security Agency and the primary liaison between the spy agency and many of America’s most important technology companies, including Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Apple.’ [snip]
As I began to waken, the sound I had grown familiar with had changed, or rather the lack of sound. A blanketing fog of smoke and pollution had become the norm; the deep pollution included a visible form of malevolence, anguish, and anxiety. Yet as I grew more aware in the waking world, I could hear birds singing, their silence cast aside as they greeted the new day in earnest. And well they might! Making haste to the exterior door of the bedroom, I beheld the world around me had been reborn. Sometime in the early night it must have rained, and as the sun rose over the mountains in the east, it brought myriad sparkles to the hoarfrost that formed as it turned colder. What bright and welcome magic was this?
Oh, look! The rutting bucks were back, prancing after their chosen mates, the foxes scampering near the compost pile, alternately choosing bits and pieces of delectable discards from my cutting board. They laughed as they gamboled about in play and mock battles, their plump tails swishing with abandon.
Soon I found myself among the people in our town, and they laughed with delight at my questions about the changes. “How long did you sleep, Miz Van Winkle?” they teased. “The revolution of higher consciousness* foretold by the Turtle Island Indigenous must have swept around the planet while you lazed abed, with a veil of quilts over your head!”
This is theAdbusters Culture Jammers Buy Nothing Day video from seven years ago; they report that not one teevee station would carry it, including MTV.
Their site has some great actions to push the theme, and a fantastic graphic of Santa in a half lotus posture levitating above a mall parking lot. The text reads: ‘This year, rise above it’. From the page, this dramatic call:
‘Today, humanity faces a stark choice: save the planet and ditch capitalism, or save capitalism and ditch the planet.’ ~ Fawzi Ibrahim
Until we challenge the entrenched values of capitalism – that the economy must always keep growing, that consumer wants must always be satisfied, that immediate gratification is imperative – we’re not going able to fix the gigantic psycho-financial-eco crisis of our times. The journey toward a sane sustainable future begins with a single step. It could all start with a personal challenge, such as this: make a vow to yourself to participate in Buy Nothing Day this year.
Follow #WalmartStrikers Tweets here. You can watch some live streaming of various events here, as well as you can also discover if there’s a protest near you, and stand with them in solidarity. Raw Story is also frequently updating their live stream strike videos. It really is quite exciting to see the verve on display.The United Food and Commercial Workers show you how you can help support fired Walmart Strikers.
When You Sit Down to Thanksgiving Dinner This Year, Remember This:
For decades, Congress has authorized SNAP in a bipartisan fashion through the Farm Bill. They don’t have to do it in a way that hurts children, seniors, veterans, and vulnerable families. Learn more, and pass it on:
The Guardian is reporting that in a rather buried (Friday ‘dump the trash?) section of the Canadian Gazette, Environment Canada was reported to have given the green light to US Biotechnology firm AquaBounty Technologies to export 100,000 gen-modified AquAdvantage salmon eggs a year grown at their facility on PEI to a company situated in the Panamanian rainforest. The decision is the first approval of commercial production of Zombie Animal food, and brings it ever closer to dinner tables. Without labeling, no one eating salmon will be safe from it.
But get a load of this double speak:
‘The Canadian government said in its decision that the GM fish presented a high risk to Atlantic salmon, in the event of an escape, and a spokesman was adamant there would be no immediate sale or consumption of GM salmon eggs in Canada.
“There are strict measures in place to prevent the release of this fish into the food chain,” an Environment Canada spokesman said by email. “In Canada, no genetically modified fish or eggs are currently approved for the purposes of human consumption.”
The US FDA, you may remember. has been poised for several years to approve AquaBounty’s similar request, and this seems to have paved the way for that approval. 2010 Congressional hearings were closed without recommendations either way, as I remember it. The Alaskan Senators were naturally vehemently opposed, partially as an economic issue for the Alaskan salmon industry. The FDA has called the salmon ‘safe’, as they have all other GMO food mutants.
AquaBounty’s FrankenSalmon is a mutant created from Atlantic salmon into whose eggs were spliced genetic material from a Chinook salmon which causes growth hormone cycles to stay switched on continually, causing it to grow nearly twice as fast as the original and a and a promoter from an ocean pout , an eel-like fish.
The Telegraph UK reported in May on a study done by the department of biology at McGill University in Quebec, Canada, and what they found was that not only will AquaBounty’s monsters breed with brown trout, but that the resultant hybrids grew even larger than the original transgenic fish, and out-competed wild fish for food, causing other species to be smaller than normal. Further bad news is that they’re working on modifying 30 more fish species.
Dr Krista Oke, led the work at the department of biology at McGill University in Quebec, said: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating transmission and ecological consequences from interspecific hybridisation between a GM animal and a naturally hybridising species. ”
The researchers, whose work is published in the journalProceedings of The Royal Society B, warned that any attempts to farm GM salmon should carefully assess the risks to the wider environment should they escape.”
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating transmission and ecological consequences from interspecific hybridisation between a GM animal and a naturally hybridising species. Ultimately, hybridisation of transgenic fishes with closely related species represents potential ecological risks for wild populations.”
Keep these facts in mind while you listen to this post-Congressional 2010 hearings on GM salmon, between Industry Flack and Scientist. Mr. Dry-Mouth Flack’s claim that ‘our fish are trained!’ at about 7:00 is exceptionally hilarious, excepting the seriousness of the subject, of course. (‘Don’t think of climate change increased storm surges when we swear we can contain them!’)
A recent study has proven that these Frankenfish can and do breed with other fish, especially brown trout.
Wenonah Hauter of Food and Water Watch, Aug. 2010:
This is from September 5, and if these brave Walmart workers don’t make your eyes mist over and your heart swell a bit, I’ll be surprised.
Forbes reckons that Walmart will win the BF Dollar Wars (Ka-ching!) day, no matter the Black Friday protests, labor violations, and the negative publicity. Forbes actually told the truth about half of Walmart workers earning under $25,000 a year, thus qualifying a family of three for public assistance, and linked to an interactive Google map at actionnetwork.org of Friday’s planned actions.
Makingchangeatwalmart.org highlighted their new 31 second teevee ad:
(I wrote this a couple years ago, but I can’t place it in time, really.)
Our son seemed to have been born with a predisposition to lovegrandparents. I don’t know how he came by it; could there have been a genetic cause, hardwired somehow into his wee neural net, passed down from his biological forebears? Did it come from the books we read him as an infant and toddler? My mind flips through the long lists of titles and book covers, but I can’t find any particular ones that might account for this. It’s a mystery to me.
My parents had been long dead before we ever adopted Jordan, so it wasn’t about them, and my husband’s parents hadn’t provided the model of unconditional love grandparents usually offer their grandkids.
Hell’s bells; I’m staring at that last sentence, wondering how to explain it. It’s the crux of what I want to tell you about; but it’s hard on so many levels to sort through why that was, or why it may have been.
Dear God; will ya just make him sign the fookin’ thing already? (Flickr, Creative Commons)
Let’s look at the recent tick-tock of the Bilateral Security Agreement negotiations; the deal marches further and further backwards. And by the by, was SOFA too toxic a term since the US got booted outta Iraq? Date links from the Guardian:
Nov. 20: ‘US and Afghanistan reach deal to ensure American post-war presence: Security Agreement ensures rump US force will continue to train, advise and equip roughly 350,000 Afghan soldiers’
A ‘rump roast’ force of ya know, 10,000 to 13,000 troops Marine General Joseph Dunford, the US/Nato military commander in Afghanistan, hopes for to ya know, train up those pesky Afghan security forces to go it on their own (as has been a main mission for a decade or so).
Nov. 20 ‘White House will not publicly apologise for Afghan war mistakes: But separate communique to bilateral security agreement may contain ‘reassurance’ that US troops mistakenly killed Afghan civilians’
Susan Rice: Fuck that; we’ve ‘sacrificed and supported them in their democratic progress and in tackling the insurgents and al Qaeda’. Such ingrates they be. Night raids? Only in emergency situations, Obomba promises. ‘Nobody asked for an apology!’ shrieked Jen Psaki, State Department flack. But, uh-oh, turns out there is some precedent for apologies:
‘Apologies have not been without precedent in the Afghanistan war. In 2010, Admiral William McRaven, then the head of the Joint Special Operations Command, slaughtered a sheep in penance to a family that saw its members mistakenly killed by McRaven’s forces.’
Nov. 21: ‘Hamid Karzai urges Afghans to let US forces stay another decade: President says small military presence offers best hope of stability, but suggests pact should be signed by his successor’
His rhetorical push was to the 2500 or so attendees of the loya jirga ‘grand assembly’ (do click the link for the awesome photo)
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