Jayati Ghosh, The Real News: Ecuador raising taxes on wealthy, higher royalties on oil companies and making large social investments
Sunday, February 5, 2012
From Public Intelligence
A flyer designed by the FBI and the Department of Justice to promote suspicious activity reporting in internet cafes lists basic tools used for online privacy as potential signs of terrorist activity. The document, part of a program called “Communities Against Terrorism”, lists the use of “anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address” as a sign that a person could be engaged in or supporting terrorist activity. The use of encryption is also listed as a suspicious activity along with steganography, the practice of using “software to hide encrypted data in digital photos” or other media. In fact, the flyer recommends that anyone “overly concerned about privacy” or attempting to “shield the screen from view of others” should be considered suspicious and potentially engaged in terrorist activities.
Logging into an account associated with a residential internet service provider (such as Comcast or AOL), an activity that could simply indicate that you are on a trip, is also considered a suspicious activity. Viewing any content related to “military tactics” including manuals or “revolutionary literature” is also considered a potential indicator of terrorist activity. This would mean that viewing a number of websites, including the one you are on right now, could be construed by a hapless employee as an highly suspicious activity potentially linking you to terrorism.
The “Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities” contained in the flyer are not to be construed alone as a sign of terrorist activity and the document notes that “just because someone’s speech, actions, beliefs, appearance, or way of life is different; it does not mean that he or she is suspicious.” However, many of the activities described in the document are basic practices of any individual concerned with security or privacy online. The use of PGP, VPNs, Tor or any of the many other technologies for anonymity and privacy online are directly targeted by the flyer, which is distributed to businesses in an effort to promote the reporting of these activities.
The Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox was handcuffed and arrested Wednesday as he attempted to film a Congressional hearing on the controversial natural gas drilling technique, known as fracking, which the Environmental Protection Agency recently reported caused water contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming. Fox directed the award-winning film, "Gasland," which documents the impact of fracking to communities across the United States, and is now working on a sequel. Fox says he was arrested after Republicans refused to allow him to film because he did not have the proper credentials. "We wanted to report on what happened [at the hearing]. I was not interested in disrupting. It was not a protest action," says Fox. "I was simply trying to do my job as a journalist and go in there and show to the American people what was transpiring in that hearing, so that down the line — as we know there will be a lot of challenges mounted to that [Pavillion, Wyoming] EPA report, and frankly to the people in Pavillion who have been sticking up for themselves and demanding an investigation into the groundwater contamination — to make sure that people could view that in a larger forum than usually happens."
Josh Fox arrested while trying to film Fracking hearing
Josh Fox, director of Gasland, being arrested at meeting of the panel of the House Science Committee. Members of the committee objected to Fox filming a hearing on a natural-gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." They also objected to the presence of an ABC News crew. Fox did not have the proper press credentials and the ABC News crew had not given adequate notice that they would be filming, according to committee staff.
Josh Fox, 'Gasland' Director, Talks Of Capitol Hill Arrest
Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy hit back at Fox News during a UK press conference following the London Premiere of their new film. Fox had publically criticized the film for supposedly pushing a 'dangerous liberal agenda' at kids.
Kermit mocks their blatant and pointless fear mongering before Miss Piggy offers her own opinion on Fox News.
Camera and Post by Russell Nelson
Paul Toscano, CNBC
As the U.S. government spends an unprecedented amount of money to fix the economy, there is an equally great need to raise the cash to pay for it. This is accomplished through borrowing, whereby Uncle Sam sells Treasury securities of varying maturity.
For investors, government bills, notes and bonds are considered safe because they have a guaranteed rate of return, based on faith in future U.S. tax revenues. The government has been partially funding operations via Treasury securities for decades.
This borrowing adds to the national debt, which has recently surpassed $15 trillion and is rising every second. The amount of debt is quickly approaching the federal debt ceiling, a legal limit to borrowing that currently stands at $16.4 trillion.
Much of that debt is held by private sector, but about 40 percent is held by public entities, including parts of the government. Here's who owns the most. Foreign countries listed include private and public investors, according to monthly U.S. Treasury data.
Newt Gingrich politely listens to Terence McKenna's ideas on non-locality and the domain of the ideas.
Saboteurs stole passwords and sensitive information on tipsters while hacking into the websites of several law enforcement agencies worldwide in attacks attributed to the collective known as Anonymous.
Breaches were reported this week in Boston, Syracuse, N.Y., Salt Lake City and Greece.
[ ... ]
In Greece, the Justice Ministry took down its site Friday after a video by activists claiming to be Greek and Cypriot members of Anonymous was displayed for at least two hours.
The U.S. is pushing ahead with its plan for starting a new war on the Korean Peninsula. On Jan. 25 it formally signed a “plan of jointly coping with local provocation” with the south Korean puppet forces, a document for aggression which calls for mobilizing its troops present in Japan and the Pacific region in case an contingency occurs on the peninsula.
Adopted to realize the new U.S. defense strategy, this plan is evoking world public concern as it is a dangerous military movement aimed at unleashing another Korean war.
As already reported, the new defense strategy was worked out under the pretext of “cuts in military spending”. Its keynote is to beef up its military forces in the Asia-Pacific region, the Korean Peninsula in particular, following cutting the number of its forces in the Mid-east and Europe.
In other word, it is intended to realize the efficiency and active mobilization of its armed forces on the premise that a new war is unleashed in the Korean peninsula following the Mid-east.
The U.S. authorities have already made it an established fact to start another war in the Korean peninsula.
From the Bloomberg article by Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman:
The story we tell about slavery is almost always regional, rather than national. We remember it as a cruel institution of the southern states that would later secede from the Union. Slavery, in this telling, appears limited in scope, an unfortunate detour on the nation's march to modernity, and certainly not the engine of American economic prosperity.
Yet to understand slavery's centrality to the rise of American capitalism, just consider the history of an antebellum Alabama dry-goods outfit called Lehman Brothers or a Rhode Island textile manufacturer that would become the antecedent firm of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Reparations lawsuits (since dismissed) generated evidence of slave insurance policies by Aetna and put Brown University and other elite educational institutions on notice that the slave-trade enterprises of their early benefactors were potential legal liabilities. Recent state and municipal disclosure ordinances have forced firms such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wachovia Corp. to confront unsettling ancestors on their corporate family trees.
Such revelations are hardly surprising in light of slavery’s role in spurring the nation’s economic development. America's "take-off" in the 19th century wasn't in spite of slavery; it was largely thanks to it. And recent research in economic history goes further: It highlights the role that commodified human beings played in the emergence of modern capitalism itself.
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Russia's capital Moscow in protest at Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's grip on power.
[ Thanks Maria K.! ]
From Mandi Woodruff, Business Insider
Finally, we've got some cold, hard stats on how badly banks are hurting from November's Bank Transfer Day movement.
A new report by Javelin Strategy & Research estimates a staggering 5.6 million big bank customers have switched banks in the last 90 days.
Of those, the research firm says a cool 610,000 cited Bank Transfer Day as their reason.
Rady Ananda reports in Activist Post:
Imagine having the mental prowess to be able to create living filaments heretofore unknown, that can reproduce themselves, some of which come with identifying letters embossed on them, and then to make them extrude from beneath your skin, all against your conscious will.
Sound like science fiction? It’s not, says the US Centers for Disease Control.
Despite having spent four years and $600,000, and using the world’s largest forensic database, the premier health agency reports it is unable to identify the source of the fibers emanating from those suffering with Morgellons. 
The CDC suggests that four out of a hundred thousand people -- the rate of infection in Northern California -- are imagining these filaments into existence.
Comprising an array of physical and mental symptoms , Morgellons is distinguished by novel fibers that protrude from the skin, causing lesions and sores that do not heal, or that heal very slowly.
“We conducted an investigation of this unexplained dermopathy to characterize the clinical and epidemiologic features and explore potential etiologies,” the paper explains. The only potential etiology suggested was that the patients were delusional:
In a recent ruling by the Justice Department, former CIA agent John Kiriakou was charged with four felony counts of espionage for discussing the torture involved in CIA's interrogation program with reporters. Young Turks host Cenk Uygur explains the case and points out why this sets a terrible double standard on how our government defends citizens who commit war crimes while chastising those who expose them.
With a voice so faint and hoarse it sounded like a whisper, an elderly Spanish woman dressed in black gave Spain’s court system on Wednesday its first oral account of right-wing atrocities committed during the country’s civil war.
The historic testimony from 81-year-old Maria Martin came at the trial of Spain’s most prominent judge, Baltasar Garzon, who is facing criminal charges for having opened a probe into such crimes during and after Spain’s 1936-1939 civil war.
The civil war and its ruinous aftermath of hunger and disease left an estimated 500,000 people dead, and accounts abound of atrocities that both sides committed during the conflict as Gen. Francisco Franco’s right-wing forces overthrew a leftist Republican government and established a dictatorship.
The Franco regime carried out a thorough accounting of civilians killed by Republican troops or militia. But since Franco died in 1975 and democracy was restored three years later, no official government probe has been conducted of atrocities by his supporters, until Garzon launched one in 2008. Those crimes involve the deaths or disappearances of more than 100,000 people.
Garzon, 56, has been accused by two right-wing groups of knowingly overstepping his jurisdiction, a charge that could effectively end his stellar judicial career.
Not even a month after President Barack Obama signed his name to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, the US government is already using the legislation to justify its ongoing detainment of a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay.
Musa'ab al-Madhwani had barely entered adulthood when he first arrived at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2002. But in the months between his capture in Pakistan and transfer to Gitmo, the Yemeni national experienced more than most would see in a lifetime. Before he turned 23, he says he was beaten and kicked, threatened with death and suspended by his hands in an underground torture chamber.
Now for the prisoner, about to celebrate the 10-year-anniversary of his arrival at Gimo, the rest of that lifetime looks to be spent behind bars thanks to the NDAA.
In a statement filed by his attorneys, they describe Musa'ab al-Madhwani as an “easy-going teenager” before he was recruited in a coffee shop by strangers who promised him “a month-long adventure" in 2001. Al-Madhwani agreed, but regretted his decision after being forced into a military training camp in Afghanistan. After al-Qaeda operatives destroyed the Twin Towers, the Afghan facility where he was trained was shut down. He attempted to return to his home in Yemen, but ended up unable to make the trip. In 2002, al-Madhwani found himself living from house-to-house while trying to figure out a way to make it back to Yemen. Eventually authorities closed in a group of insurgents, and al-Madhwani happened to be on the scene.
“The group I was arrested with were staying in two apartments,” he would tell an Administrative Review Board. “One person from each apartment refused to surrender and fought the Pakistani forces sent to arrest us. I was in the group that chose to surrender,” he said. According to al-Madhwani, the authorities were “thankful for our cooperation and surrendering without fighting.” That cooperation would only enter al-Madhwani into a decade of darkness.More...
By Eric Pfeiffer, The Sideshow
A newly discovered letter from a freed former slave to his onetime master is creating a buzz. Letters of Note explains that in August of 1865, a Colonel P.H. Anderson of Big Spring, Tennessee wrote to his former slave Jourdan Anderson, requesting that Jourdan return to work on his farm.
In the time since escaping from slavery, Anderson had become emancipated, moved to Ohio where he found paid work and was now supporting his family. The letter turned up in the August 22 edition of the New York Daily Tribune. Some excerpts:
Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin's to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.
Nikola Aleksi, leader of Ecological Movement of Novi Sad in Serbia, was arrested and fined. Earlier on his way to a conference in Belgrade, an attempt was reportedly made on his life. And Monsanto has sued him with the threat of removing him and his family from their rented flat as "collateral."
Why all the fuss? Nikola made a spirited speech, recorded on video, challenging the Serbian president for allowing GMOs to come into Serbia. He also challenged the Serbian government for allowing planes to spray chemtrails in the Serbian skies.
He forcefully spoke of all this as genocide. That the future of Serbians will fade away from the poisons of chemtrails and the toxicity and sterility generated by GMOs.
Mara Kern, wrote the original article, posted by "Food Freedom" and others, on Nikola Aleksi. She was posting a plea for help with Nikola's case in Serbia. Her command of English is very good, but there are passages that indicate English is her second language.
In addition to her plea, there is a video of Nikola's brave challenge with English subtitles as well as an English text of most of his speech. He even called on the Serbian Army to do their duty and protect Serbian skies. He demanded the Serbian prosecutor declare Serbia a non-GMO zone.
Then he warned the president of Serbia, Boris Tadic, that if he continued to play along with Monsanto's GMO plans and not put a stop to chemtrails, he would urge Sebians to hit the streets and he, Nikola Aleksi, would be among the first.
As Mara Kern explained, Nikola has done well the ecology movement, but his latest complaints are banned from mainstream media.
Monsanto has succeeded with taking over the US Government and its regulatory agencies. They are meeting with resistance elsewhere, but they are persistent and ruthless. It appears Monsanto has what it takes to corrupt leaders of other foreign nations, any which way that allows them entry.
Recently, with the Green Party out of the picture, Ireland's current ruling party, Finna Fail, dropped Ireland's non-GMO zone stance. They have gone along with the EU Commission's decision to alter the EU's zero tolerance GMO policy. Monsanto is managing to erode resistance in Europe.
Monsanto's techniques are similar to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approach with national leaders: Persuasion, bribery, and ultimately assassination or "regime change" to exploit a nations resources.
Nikola Aleksi has almost been assassinated, according to Mara Kern's article. And now he has been arrested and is being hassled by Monsanto. He is the Patrick Henry of food freedom and ecological protection. This article originally appeared at Natural News: http://www.naturalnews.com/033958_Serbia_GMOs.html
In a bleak future where the borders have been sealed, vast computer networks commodify memories, and corporate warriors have been militarized, a tech-savvy "campesino" from a small Santa Ana farm village discovers a mysterious transmission that seems to be a blueprint for the city of the future. Memo Cruz lives with his family in Santa Ana del Rio, a remote farming community that has recently been hijacked by a private company. Having already taken control of the entire area's water supply, the company is now seeking to sell the precious resource back to citizens at criminal prices. As a result, aqua-terrorist cells have recently formed, with the explicit goal of taking back the water supply by force if necessary. Despite the growing tension in Santa Ana, however, all Memo really cares about is technology. Memo longs to find employment as a node worker in the high-tech factories of the northern cities, and has recently constructed a transmitter that allows him to vicariously experience the lives of others.
One evening, while surfing the local airwaves, the gifted eavesdropper locks onto a forbidden broadcast not intended for the general public -- a broadcast that lays out explicit plans for creating a future that Memo could have never imagined. Subsequently targeted by the government -- which has discovered evidence of his radio intercept and now views him as a direct threat -- Memo must flee to Tijuana after his home is destroyed in a violent remote-control bombing. Memo hopes to find work in Tijuana, and along the way he meets aspiring journalist Luz, a bright young woman in search of her breakthrough story. Later, after selling some of her memories online to a mysterious client, Luz helps Memo acquire the nodes he needs to connect to the network and get a job. As Memo plugs his body into the system and discovers that work in a high-tech factory can be fairly treacherous, Luz works to uncover the identity of her biggest fan, and these three unsuspecting individuals become caught up in a plot that could transform their world forever.
Does the Greek government know something the rest of us have yet to wake up to? How absurd that whilst people starve, billions of euros are spent on a military build-up.
In Athens the hospital doctors deal with emergencies only. Public transport workers strike, school text books are rationed; tens of thousands of anti-austerity protesters flood the streets.
The Greek Defence Ministry has just placed an order for 60 Eurofighter Class aircraft. The bottom line on the invoice is an estimated €3.9 billion, according to German weekly Die Zeit. Although the amount could be much higher, according to a report in defencegreece.com
It gets worse. €4.5 billion is reportedly being spent on French frigates and patrol boats; a further €2 billion on German-built U-boats, the Die Zeit also said. Then there are U.S. Apache helicopters and German Leopard tanks on the shopping list.
The Greek government is borrowing money at eye-watering rates of interest to subsidise the German, French and American arms industries.
On the Greek prime minister’s table an ultimatum and bribe. An €80 billion loan at eye-watering high interest rates is available. Ahem! It is a real opportunity to sign some new arms contracts.
In 2010 the Greek Ministry of Defence spent 3% of economic output on arms. To put that into perspective, among 28 NATO alliance members, only the United States spends more on arms. The figure for 2011 was similar.
By Jacqueline Windh, guardian.co.uk
The Belo Monte dam will be the world's third-largest hydroelectric dam (after China's Three Gorges dam, itself with numerous problems, and the Brazilian-Paraguayan Itaipu dam). It will flood 400,000 hectares of the world's largest rainforest, displacing 20,000 to 40,000 people – including the Kayapó. The ecological impact of the project is massive: the Xingu River basin has four times more biodiversity than all of Europe. Flooding of the rainforest will liberate massive amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas far more damaging than carbon dioxide. But the impact on Chief Raoni's people, on an entire society, is unimaginable.
The Kayapó traditionally practised slash-and-burn agriculture on small farms cut into the jungle. The rich resources of their lands (minerals, timber, and potential hydroelectrical power) have brought pressures from outside. Although the Brazilian constitution explicitly prohibits the displacement of "Indians" from their traditional lands, it provides for one convenient exception: where the National Congress deems removal of the people to be "in the interest of the sovereignty of the country". Proponents of the dam argue that its construction is in the nation's interest.
The Kayapó people's leadership has learned how to participate in the world economy. They were one of the first indigenous peoples to participate in international commerce, with the Body Shop, and they learned how to fight back against projects they did not support. A five-day media conference they organised to fight the Bel Monte dam in 1989 generated enough international attention that the World Bank refused the loan necessary for the project to proceed.
Tibetans in Golog turned out in large numbers on Thursday to protest against Chinese rule.At around 11.00 a.m., the Tibetans marched towards the township government in Pema county, pulled down the Chinese flag, put up a Tibetan flag, and displayed a photo of the Dalai Lama.Not long afterward, 16 Chinese police vehicles of different sizes arrived at the town and restricted Tibetan activities.Shops and restaurants in Pema county have been closed and the entire area placed under security lockdown since police foiled an attempt by a local monk to self-immolate.Chinese security forces are stationed at the main gates and bridges in the area and are checking every Tibetan who passes through the checkpoints.
See also:Tibetan Group Releases Photos of Chinese Crackdown
Three Tibetans Self-Immolate
"Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some five hundred years ago, Eurasia has been the center of world power."- (p. xiii) (Eurasia means "the Middle East")
"... But in the meantime, it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book.” (p. xiv)
"In that context, how America 'manages' Eurasia is critical. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa's subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania (Australia) geopolitically peripheral to the world's central continent. About 75 per cent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources." (p.31)
“The momentum of Asia's economic development is already generating massive pressures for the exploration and exploitation of new sources of energy and the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea." (p.125)
"In the long run, global politics are bound to become increasingly uncongenial to the concentration of hegemonic power in the hands of a single state. Hence, America is not only the first, as well as the only, truly global superpower, but it is also likely to be the very last." (p.209)
“Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public's sense of domestic well-being. The economic self-denial (that is, defense spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties, even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization." (p.35)"Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat." (p. 211)
Three topless Ukrainian protesters were detained on Saturday while trying to break into an invitation-only gathering of international CEOs and political leaders to call attention to the needs of the world's poor. After a complicated journey to reach the heavily guarded Swiss resort town of Davos, the women arrived at the entrance to the congress centre where the World Economic Forum takes place every year. With temperatures around freezing in the snow-filled town, they took off their tops and climbed a fence before being detained. Davos police spokesman Thomas Hobi said the three women were taken to the police station and their papers were checked. The activists are from the group Femen, which has become popular in Ukraine for staging small, half-naked protests to highlight a range of issues including oppression of political opposition. They have also conducted protests in some other countries.
Three topless Ukrainian protesters were detained Saturday while trying to break into an invitation-only gathering of international CEOs and political leaders to call attention to the needs of the world's poor.
After a complicated journey to reach the heavily guarded Swiss resort town of Davos, the women arrived at the entrance to the congress center where the World Economic Forum takes place every year.
With temperatures around freezing in the snow-filled town, they took off their tops and climbed a fence before being detained.
Davos police spokesman Thomas Hobi said the three women were taken to the police station and their papers were checked. They were told that they weren't allowed to demonstrate, and will be released later, he said.
By Karen Charman, WhoWhatWhy.com
January 30, 2012 CNN
Video Proof of Unjust Mass Arrest and Media Spin at Occupy Oakland 1/28/12- OakFoSho Ustream footage
Uploader 'JahWobs' writes:
I edited this footage and added annotations to give people an idea of what transpired, because nothing else is currently available on youtube, and at least 300 people have, in my opinion, been unjustly arrested.
First of all, This is almost entirely from the incredible footage that was recorded by OakFoSho. He filmed for about 12 hours straight Saturday, until the early morning hours on Sunday. He was always in the thick of things, and at the best place in the thick of things. Without this footage, police and media claims from this past weekend would be irrefutable. OakFoSho has stated clearly that his footage may be reused as long as proper credit is given. Please consider supporting the work he is doing, it is invaluable:
Second of all, I'd like to say I am extremely dismayed by the violence that occurred on Saturday. There may be a time and place for violent resistance, but we are nowhere near it. The violent and provocative actions of a small group have seriously marred, perhaps irreparably, what little credibility Occupy Oakland had left. The attempt to forcibly seize buildings, even if unused, is misguided and unhelpful.
Unaware of the nature of Saturday's protest and the violence that had happened earlier in the day, I poked my head out after getting home in the evening to see what the ruckus downtown was about. I found the evening march at 27th and Broadway, just a few blocks from where the mass arrests occurred. There were few police visible along my route there (about two minutes by bike), other than some unmarked police vans driving recklessly fast through crowded Saturday night streets. I didn't see police on foot until we were kettled, and only through very good luck was I able to avoid being arrested. After walking three blocks through my home town!
Disturbed by that incident, I returned home by about 9:00 PM, after riding past another disappointing scene at City Hall. At home I stumbled across OakFoSho's live stream, which, along with other live streamers, youtube contributors, and a little first hand experience, provide a comprehensive perspective on what had happened. While some truly lamentable crimes were committed, there is still no justification for the police tactics that were used. I believe that after the eventful morning clashes, they purposely came down hard to send a signal and get retribution. I edited this video to show the movements of protesters and police tactics in the 30 minutes leading up to the mass arrests. Check OakFoSho's Ustream for the unedited footage of the entire evening, and consider spreading this video if you agree that these arrests were unjust.
The Prism GR2010 is a collective documentation of Greece the winter of 2010. A multimedia experiment exploring new formats of non-fiction narratives and multimedia journalism.
The Prism is the creation of Nikos Katsaounis and Nina Maria Paschalidou, both documentary filmmakers, producers, and friends.
In the winter of 2010, with Greece in the midst of a financial and social meltdown, Nina and Nikos returned home after having lived abroad for many years.
Their desire was to tell the story of the tormented country they witnessed through a new type of narrative. Through a process of creative collaboration and documentation, they put together a group of 14 photojournalists and videographers, mentoring and enabling them to make the transition to a multimedia storyteller.
Here you will find the outcome of the experiment: 27 multimedia stories, as echoed through the voices of people from various walks of life that have been affected by the crisis. In this critical time, we have the capacity to share stories from different perspectives like never before. The Prism GR2010 fuses these stories together with the hope that they allow us to reflect upon who we are.
The films will be gradually uploaded every week. Later this year, a feature-length documentary film will be woven together from all the short multimedia stories in a first attempt at open-source documentary filmmaking.
Please sign up to our mailing list to get updates of when the multimedia stories are uploaded. Become a fan on our facebook page and tell your friends if you like what you see.
What do you see through the The Prism?
Two British tourists were barred from entering America after joking on Twitter that they were going to 'destroy America' and 'dig up Marilyn Monroe'.
Leigh Van Bryan, 26, was handcuffed and kept under armed guard in a cell with Mexican drug dealers for 12 hours after landing in Los Angeles with pal Emily Bunting.
The Department of Homeland Security flagged him as a potential threat when he posted an excited tweet to his pals about his forthcoming trip to Hollywood which read: 'Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America?'
Forget global warming - it's Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again)
The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.
The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.
Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.
From Mark Kinver, BBC News:
Microscopic plastic debris from washing clothes is accumulating in the marine environment and could be entering the food chain, a study has warned.
Researchers traced the "microplastic" back to synthetic clothes, which released up to 1,900 tiny fibres per garment every time they were washed.
Earlier research showed plastic smaller than 1mm were being eaten by animals and getting into the food chain.
"Research we had done before... showed that when we looked at all the bits of plastic in the environment, about 80% was made up from smaller bits of plastic," said co-author Mark Browne, an ecologist now based at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
"This really led us to the idea of what sorts of plastic are there and where did they come from."
Dr Browne, a member of the US-based research network National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, said the tiny plastic was a concern because evidence showed that it was making its way into the food chain.
Ronnie Cummins, Huffington Post:
"The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well. True coexistence is a must." -- Whole Foods Market, Jan. 21, 2011
In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto's Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation's 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America's organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it's time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto's controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for "coexistence" with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack.
In a cleverly worded, but profoundly misleading email sent to its customers last week, Whole Foods Market, while proclaiming their support for organics and "seed purity," gave the green light to USDA bureaucrats to approve the "conditional deregulation" of Monsanto's genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa. Beyond the regulatory euphemism of "conditional deregulation," this means that WFM and their colleagues are willing to go along with the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive GE perennial crop, alfalfa; guaranteed to spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil food web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup; and guaranteed to produce Roundup-resistant superweeds that will require even more deadly herbicides such as 2,4 D to be sprayed on millions of acres of alfalfa across the U.S.
In exchange for allowing Monsanto's premeditated pollution of the alfalfa gene pool, WFM wants "compensation." In exchange for a new assault on farmworkers and rural communities (a recent large-scale Swedish study found that spraying Roundup doubles farm workers' and rural residents' risk of getting cancer), WFM expects the pro-biotech USDA to begin to regulate rather than cheerlead for Monsanto. In payment for a new broad spectrum attack on the soil's crucial ability to provide nutrition for food crops and to sequester dangerous greenhouse gases (recent studies show that Roundup devastates essential soil microorganisms that provide plant nutrition and sequester climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases), WFM wants the Biotech Bully of St. Louis to agree to pay "compensation" (i.e. hush money) to farmers "for any losses related to the contamination of his crop."
In its email of Jan. 21, 2011 WFM calls for "public oversight by the USDA rather than reliance on the biotechnology industry," even though WFM knows full well that federal regulations on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) do not require pre-market safety testing, nor labeling; and that even federal judges have repeatedly ruled that so-called government "oversight" of Frankencrops such as Monsanto's sugar beets and alfalfa is basically a farce. At the end of its email, WFM admits that its surrender to Monsanto is permanent: "The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well True coexistence is a must."
There have already been over 700 nominations of local occupations for outstanding community activism, representing 149 occupations across the country. Occupy Supply announced the contest yesterday, and we’ll be accepting nominations up until this Monday.
Five occupations will receive command post tents worth $5000 each, three will receive media laptops, and twelve runner-ups will receive a credit for supplies at the Occupy Supply store.
Zoe Chace reports for NPR:
Greece is broke. But there's no blueprint for a country to declare bankruptcy, so Greece's creditors are sort of making things up as they go along.
"You're taking some sort of loss," Hans Humes of Greylock Capital Management told me. "But it's like, how much of a loss do you take? There's this thing called sovereign immunity. You can't go in and take the Acropolis."
Greylock Capital Management is a hedge fund company that holds Greek bonds. So Humes is sitting across the table from Greece. There are lots of other creditors — people sitting alongside Humes — and they all want different things.More...
From The Science of Destruction blog:
The dreaded Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) nudged forward on Thursday as the governments of 22 EU nations, along with the EU itself, signed on the dotted line in a ceremony in Tokyo (I posted an introductory video about the agreement earlier here). The remaining governments are expected to sign in the near future, after which all the major negotiation parties have signed the treaty.
This does not, however, yet mean that the agreement will take effect, as it still needs to be ratified in both the national parliaments and the European parliament. The vote in the European parliament is expected to be held in June, and a “no” in Brussels would apparently moot any decisions made in national parliaments. So, this gives us still some time to rally against the agreement. In Poland, tens of thousands of people have already taken to the streets earlier this week to protest against the signing of the treaty (this, of course, did not stop the Polish representative from going ahead and signing anyway).In other interesting news, a French MEP in charge of investigating the agreement for the European parliament has resigned from his position, denouncing the non-transparency of the negotiation process, calling the whole process a “charade”.
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