June 5, 2013 Updated News
I have troubling news to report.
News that was NOT announced publicly by the United States government, that is.
In an unprecedented agreement, the U.S. Treasury has agreed to give China direct access to its auctions.
Per the deal, China is allowed to bypass Wall Street, and purchase Treasury Bills without placing any bids through primary dealers.
The deal wasn’t announced publicly or in any message to primary dealers.
Never before… Not in the entire 237-year history of this great country has any foreign government been granted such intimate access to Capitol Hill.
Although there are no laws being broken, the Treasury’s accommodation of China is definitely suspicious.
China already holds more than $1.2 trillion in U.S. Treasuries. Before long, China will own 50 cents on every dollar of U.S. debt.
With that in mind, I must ask a very difficult question…
Has the United States ALREADY lost its sovereignty to China?
PLEASE CALL SEN. MARK PRYOR ON THE DAY THAT YOU READ THIS AND LET HIM KNOW THAT YOU AGREE WITH MOST VOTERS OF HIS STATE WHO OPPOSE S. 744’S FORMAT.
The toll-free number takes you directly to Sen. Pryor’s staff. Just tell the staffer who answers (a) your name, (b) where you live and (c) that you want the Senator to follow the wishes of most citizens of Arkansas to oppose a bill that doesn’t require all enforcement first. (d) You can then just thank the staffer politely and hang up. It’s that simple.
But if you feel up to it, tell the staff some other fact from this email that is important to you and why.
Check For Other Actions You Can Take
or click https://www.numbersusa.com/actionbuffet
Your phone call is the way you can ensure that Sen. Pryor and his staff understand the breadth of opposition to S. 744.
THANKS, John The Smoke
This spring, China’s navy accepted the Pentagon’s invitation to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific — RIMPAC — naval exercise to be held off Hawaii. This will be the first time China takes part in the biennial event.
Our allies should signal their intent to withdraw from the exercise if China participates. Failing that, the invitation should be withdrawn. RIMPAC is for allies and friends, not nations planning to eventually wage war on the United States.
Russia sent ships in 2012, but while its senior officers may occasionally utter unfriendly words, they are not actively planning to fight the United States. Analyst Robert Sutter was surely correct when he wrote in 2005 that “China is the only large power in the world preparing to shoot Americans.”
That assessment, unfortunately, remains true today. Beijing is configuring its forces — especially its navy — to fight ours. For instance, China has deployed along its southern coast its DF-21D, a two-stage solid-fuel missile that can be guided by satellite signals. The missile is dubbed the “carrier killer” because it can be configured to explode in midair, raining down sharp metal on a deck crowded with planes, ordinance, fuel and sailors. Its apparent intent is to drive U.S. forces out of East Asia.
A pattern of aggressive Chinese tactics also points in that direction. Especially troubling is the harassment in international waters of unarmed U.S. Navy reconnaissance vessels for more than a decade, most notably the blocking of the Impeccable in the South China Sea in 2009. And there was the 2001 downing of a Navy EP-3 and the surfacing of a Song-class attack submarine in the middle of the Kitty Hawk strike group near Okinawa in 2006.
Since then, we have been hearing bold war talk in the Chinese capital, from new leader Xi Jinping to senior officers and colonels who say they relish combat — a “hand-to-hand fight with the U.S.,” as one of them put it in 2010.
Why do China’s officers want to go to war? There is an unfortunate confluence of factors. First, there is a new Chinese confidence bordering on arrogance. Beijing leaders, especially since 2008, have been riding high. They saw economic turmoil around the world and thought the century was theirs to dominate. The U.S. and the rest of the West, they believed, were in terminal decline.
The Chinese military also has gained substantial influence in the last year, perhaps becoming the most powerful faction in the Communist Party. Beginning as early as 2003, senior officers of the People’s Liberation Army were drawn into civilian power struggles as Hu Jintao, then the new leader, sought their support in his effort to shove aside Jiang Zemin, his wily predecessor who sought to linger in the limelight.
Last year, the civilian infighting intensified as the so-called Fifth Generation leadership, under the command of Xi, took over from Hu’s Fourth. Like a decade ago, feuding civilians sought the support of the generals and admirals, making them arbiters in the party’s increasingly rough game of politics.
The result of discord among civilian leaders has been a partial remilitarization of politics and policy. Senior officers are now acting independently of civilian officials, are openly criticizing them and are making pronouncements in areas once considered the exclusive province of diplomats.
The remilitarization has had consequences. As Huang Jing of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy said: “China’s military spending is growing so fast that it has overtaken strategy. The young officers are taking control of strategy, and it is like young officers in Japan in the 1930s. They are thinking what they can do, not what they should do.”
What do China’s admirals want? They are supporting their nation’s territorial ambitions to close off the South China Sea to others. This brings them into conflict with nations surrounding that critical body of water and pits them against the U.S. If there has been any consistent U.S. foreign policy over the course of two centuries, it has been the defense of freedom of navigation.
According to a white paper it issued in April, China is building a navy capable of operating in the ocean’s deep water, and has 235,000 officers and sailors. Its navy last year commissioned its first aircraft carrier, and it is reportedly building two more. China has about a dozen fewer submarines than the U.S., but the U.S. has global responsibilities. The Chinese, therefore, can concentrate their boats in waters close to their shores, giving them tactical and operating advantages.
Would you wear an electronic tattoo if you couldn’t log on to the Internet without one? That may sound crazy to many of you, but the technology for such a system already exists. RFID tattoos have existed for quite some time, and they are already being used on animals.
But now an entirely new generation of electronic tattoos are being developed that can monitor your vital signs, interact with your mobile phone and even communicate directly with your mind. These new electronic tattoos are thinner than a human hair, and they are going to fundamentally transform the way that we think about human identification.
Right now, the Internet is being absolutely plagued by hackers and identity theft has become a multi-billion dollar enterprise. It is becoming increasingly difficult to determine if someone is actually who they say that they are. And as even more of our commerce gets conducted through the Internet, identity security is going to be absolutely critical. Without a doubt, there will continue to be a push for more secure forms of identification than we have today.
But there is also a very dark side to this kind of technology. What if someday a tyrannical government decides to make a permanent electronic tattoo for identification purposes mandatory for all citizens? What if you are not able to buy, sell, get a job, have a bank account or log on to the Internet without “proper identification”?
What if the price for receiving your tattoo is to swear absolute allegiance to that tyrannical government? The truth is that technology is always a double-edged sword. It always brings with it the promise of progress, but it also always has a dark side that could potentially be abused.
The latest generation of electronic tattoos is quite remarkable. They are called “Biostamps”, and they were originally developed for medical purposes. However, as a recent Daily Mail article detailed, Motorola believes that these Biostamps could potentially replace passwords and make the Internet a much more secure place…
MC10 originally designed the tattoos, called Biostamps, to help medical teams measure the health of their patients either remotely, or without the need for large expensive machinery.
Motorola claims that the circuits, which also contain antennae and built-in sensors, could be adapted to work with mobile phones and tablets.
The mobile devices could then be used to confirm the owner’s identity and log them in to accounts automatically.
This would prevent thieves and other people from being able to access a phone, or individual apps on the device, if it is stolen or lost.
These Biostamps are extremely, extremely thin. As I mentioned above, they are actually thinner than a human hair. The following description of Biostamps was taken from a Wired Magazine article…
The development takes wearable technology to the extreme, designed as a non-invasive diagnostic sensor that could be used to measure hydration, activity, and even infant temperature. It bonds to the skin, somewhat like a temporary tattoo, flexing and bending in sync with your skin the way you wish a Band-Aid would. How? Researchers at the University of Illinois, Dalian University of Technology in China, and the University of California at San Diego made it really, really small.
With a thickness of 0.8 micrometers at the widest — around one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair — the thin mesh of silicon actually nestles in to the grooves and creases in your skin, even the ones too small to see. Being small helps, but it’s also important that the silicon is laid out in a serpentine pattern and bonded to a soft rubber substrate, allowing the stiff material to flex, a little bit like an accordion.
But why would such technology be needed on the Internet?
After all, don’t our passwords work just fine?
Actually, we are rapidly getting to the point where passwords are a joke. Hackers are becoming so sophisticated that they can crack even very long passwords with ease…
A team of hackers, commissioned by technology website Ars Technica, recently managed to crack more than 14,800 supposedly random passwords – from a list of 16,449 – as part of a hacking experiment.
The success rate for each hacker ranged from 62 percent to 90 percent, and the hacker who cracked 90 percent of hashed passwords did so in less than an hour using a computer cluster.
The hackers also managed to crack 16-character passwords including ‘qeadzcwrsfxv1331′.
Were you alarmed when you read that?
I know that I was.
Obviously we need a better system.
But personally I never plan to wear an electronic tattoo. That crosses the line in a big way.
Unfortunately, this kind of technology is going to be heavily pushed in the years ahead. According to Wired magazine, even the U.S. military is devoting resources to developing electronic tattoo technology…
In its ongoing quest to measure every aspect of U.S. troops’ physiology, Pentagon researchers are looking to develop a durable, unobtrusive device that can track the body’s physical response to stress. Military scientists believe that using the device — preferably a tattoo — to track heart-rate, temperature or bio-electric response during various training situations will help them crack the code of combat fatigue.
Another significant trend is the development of electronic devices that we can control directly with our minds. In the past, such technology was the stuff of science fiction novels, but now even the New York Times is writing about it…
Soon, we might interact with our smartphones and computers simply by using our minds. In a couple of years, we could be turning on the lights at home just by thinking about it, or sending an e-mail from our smartphone without even pulling the device from our pocket. Farther into the future, your robot assistant will appear by your side with a glass of lemonade simply because it knows you are thirsty.
Researchers in Samsung’s Emerging Technology Lab are testing tablets that can be controlled by your brain, using a cap that resembles a ski hat studded with monitoring electrodes, the MIT Technology Review, the science and technology journal of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, reported this month.
The technology, often called a brain computer interface, was conceived to enable people with paralysis and other disabilities to interact with computers or control robotic arms, all by simply thinking about such actions. Before long, these technologies could well be in consumer electronics, too.
So what if you could combine the two trends discussed above?
What if an electronic tattoo would allow you to operate your tablet computer, send an email, fly a drone or even “speak” telepathically using only your mind?
Actually, researchers are already working on such technologies. The following comes from a recent article by Charles Q. Choi…
But brain implants are invasive technologies, probably of use only to people in medical need of them. Instead, electrical engineer Todd Coleman at the University of California at San Diego is devising noninvasive means of controlling machines via the mind, techniques virtually everyone might be able to use.
His team is developing wireless flexible electronics one can apply on the forehead just like temporary tattoos to read brain activity.
“We want something we can use in the coffee shop to have fun,” Coleman says.
The devices are less than 100 microns thick, the average diameter of a human hair. They consist of circuitry embedded in a layer or rubbery polyester that allow them to stretch, bend and wrinkle. They are barely visible when placed on skin, making them easy to conceal from others.
The devices can detect electrical signals linked with brain waves, and incorporate solar cells for power and antennas that allow them to communicate wirelessly or receive energy. Other elements can be added as well, like thermal sensors to monitor skin temperature and light detectors to analyze blood oxygen levels.
You can read that rest of that article right here. Some of the things that our scientists are working on right now are absolutely mind blowing.
We live at a time when technology is advancing at an exponential rate. Sometimes I have a very hard time believing some of the technological advances that I am writing about. The world is going to look very, very different ten years from now.
But will the changes be for the better?
Technology is advancing at a faster pace than we have ever seen before, but at the same time the world is becoming an increasingly unstable place.
Could technology that enables us to interact with our environment using our minds actually be turned around and used to control our minds by a future tyrannical government?
Could technology that helps us identify one another on the Internet someday be used to brand us all like cattle and force all of humanity into a dark system of control and enslavement?
Don’t think that such a dystopian society can never exist in our modern world. Freedoms and liberties are being taken away from people all over the globe right now even though things are still relatively stable.
So what is going to happen when the world goes crazy someday and the planet is absolutely ravaged by economic collapse, pandemics, crime, rioting, natural disasters and war?
That is something to think about.
After spending 24 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, a Chicago man has filed a lawsuit claiming that police subjected him to violent torture methods that made him urinate blood to force him to make a false confession.
James Kluppelberg was released from a southern Illinois prison in May 2012 after his case was dismissed, 24 years after he was convicted and locked up for an arson-murder. The man was charged with setting a March 1984 fire that killed a woman and her five children – a felony crime that Kluppelberg confessed he committed.
Prosecutors initially sought the death sentence for Kluppelberg, who was 18 years old when the fire occurred and 22 when he was imprisoned. But he received a life sentence and insisted on his innocence throughout his imprisonment.
During an appeal, the man’s defense attorneys argued that the fire was not arson, and that the confession was invalid because Kluppelberg had been coerced. Now, the former inmate is arguing that he was subjected to brutal torture at the hands of police, and is demanding punitive damages.
Former Chicago police Commander Jon Burge, who is named in the complaint, was convicted in 2011 for lying about police torture and sentenced to 4 ½ years in prison. Evidence presented at his trial showed that he suffocated suspects with plastic bags, held loaded guns to their heads and shocked them with electrical devices, Courthouse News reports.
The former commander was allegedly also involved in the torture inflicted upon Kluppelberg.
“Despite Mr. Kluppelberg’s innocence, the defendants beat a false confession out of him, hitting him so violently that he was urinating blood,” the lawsuit states. “The trial court ultimately suppressed Mr. Kluppelberg’s confession, finding that it was ‘obvious’ that [he] had been severely mistreated, but not before the confession was used by the defendants to set in motion [his] wrongful arrest and prosecution.”
here have been a lot of news stories recently about young children being punished for talking about guns, making toy guns, owning toy guns, and drawing guns. This new story takes the cake: a group of students from Chase Lake Elementary School in Edmonds, Washington, asked their teacher if they could bring Nerf guns to school. The teacher gave permission, but the
school punished the children with suspension anyway.
The students even had a perfectly legitimate reason to bring the guns to school; they wanted to fire foam darts 100 times as part of a probability experiment.
The school quickly enforced its zero tolerance policy and booted the students. In fact, they even suspended students who were simply present during the experiment. Shannon Shumard’s fourth grade daughter and sixth grade son got caught in the crossfire because they played with the guns, even though other students brought the guns to school.
The parents of the suspended students have said that they intend to appeal the suspensions, but the school stands strong by its convictions. “Again, it’s a matter of safety and it’s of the utmost importance. So even if it’s a toy, we take it seriously,” said Amanda Ralston, a spokeswoman for the school district.
The peculiar thing about this story isn’t that the school enforced such harsh penalties on the students – that seems to be the popular strategy nowadays. What’s odd is that the students were punished instead of the teacher.
Kids violating the rules is one thing, but punishing students after a teacher gave the Nerf guns a thumbs up is much more problematic.
Shumard added, “If the teacher and the school staff don’t even know their own rules, how are the children supposed to know them?”
All of these recent stories have called into question the severity of school gun policies. Do you think that being so relentless against guns will help prevent children from brining real guns to school, or do you think that the schools are overreacting to a bit of harmless fun?
An 18-year-old high school student jailed since his May 1 arrest for making terroristic threats in a video uploaded to Facebook will remain behind bars for nearly another month without bail, a judge ruled Monday.
Cameron D’Ambrosio, a student at Methuen High School in Methuen, Mass., was arrested last month after posting lyrics to the amateur rap video he uploaded to Facebook – lyrics that referred to overshadowing the recent Boston Marathon bombings.
“[Expletive] a Boston bombing wait till u see the [expletive] I do, I’ma be famous rapping, and beat every murder charge that comes across me!” rapped D’Ambrosio, according to court documents obtained by the Boston Globe.
D’Ambrosio, who pleaded not guilty to a charge of communicating a terroristic threat, faces a 20-year prison term if convicted.
On Monday, the prosecution argued it was not prepared to make the proper arguments in relation to the case. Judge James Barretto sided with prosecutors and gave them until D’Ambrosio’s June 27 probable cause hearing.
Police and prosecutors have said the lyrics are evidence D’Ambrosio was planning to launch a terrorist attack.
The teen’s defense attorney, Geoffrey DuBosque, disagreed. DuBosque once again argued D’Ambrosio should be set free because he never made an explicit threat to do anything, anywhere or to anyone.
“It’s untenable and unconstitutional that, amidst such broad criticism from civil liberties groups and legal experts for this blatant attack on the First Amendment, the prosecution has come to court unprepared to show probable cause for this young man’s incarceration,” said Evan Greer of the Center for Rights and Fight for the Future.
“We’re talking about a Facebook post that is one paragraph long, and they’ve had ample time to prepare,” Greer told Mashable. “They have not shown that they have a case here, and while they drag their feet a family is suffering.”