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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

News of Interest 8/14/07

More evidence that the solution to the ongoing collapse of the environment has to be a massive step back from industrialism - in this case from the production of carbon dioxide. Acting after the fact is not good enough.
Trees Won't Fix Global Warming
The plan to use trees as a way to suck up and store the extra carbon dioxide emitted into Earth's atmosphere to combat global warming isn't such a hot idea, new research indicates.

Scientists at Duke University bathed plots of North Carolina pine trees in extra carbon dioxide every day for 10 years and found that while the trees grew more tissue, only the trees that received the most water and nutrients stored enough carbon dioxide to offset the effects of global warming.

The Department of Energy-funded project, called the Free Air Carbon Enrichment (FACE) experiment, compared four pine forest plots that received daily doses of carbon dioxide 1.5 times current levels of the greenhouse gas in Earth's atmosphere to four matched plots that didn't receive any extra gas.
When can we call this genocide? The death toll now likely surpasses the Rwandan catastrophe.
Over 1 million Iraqi deaths since 2003
Nearly one million and a thousand Iraqi civilians have lost their lives since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The figure is at least 10 times greater than most estimates cited in the US media, yet it is based on the only scientifically valid study of violent Iraqi deaths caused by the US-led invasion of March 2003, according to JustForeignPolicy.org.
The security state uses terrorism as an excuse to extend its system of control and surveillance into even the smallest American cities. More evidence of the increasingly desperate and paranoid state of the ruling class. What do they know that we don't know about what the future holds?
US doles out millions for street cameras
The Department of Homeland Security is funneling millions of dollars to local governments nationwide for purchasing high-tech video camera networks, accelerating the rise of a "surveillance society" in which the sense of freedom that stems from being anonymous in public will be lost, privacy rights advocates warn.

Since 2003, the department has handed out some $23 billion in federal grants to local governments for equipment and training to help combat terrorism. Most of the money paid for emergency drills and upgrades to basic items, from radios to fences. But the department also has doled out millions on surveillance cameras, transforming city streets and parks into places under constant observation.

The department will not say how much of its taxpayer-funded grants have gone to cameras. But a Globe search of local newspapers and congressional press releases shows that a large number of new surveillance systems, costing at least tens and probably hundreds of millions of dollars, are being simultaneously installed around the country as part of homeland security grants.
NYPD has been told to reward "aggressive" cops with overtime money.
The NYPD's new patrol chief has ordered that special overtime money earmarked for cops in violence-prone precincts be given to "aggressive" officers rather than "do-nothings," The Post has learned.

Another source said Giannelli wants the OT to go to "intelligently aggressive" cops, such as ones who manage to avert civilian complaints by adequately explaining to people why they are being stopped and frisked.

In response to the new policy, some precincts already have compiled lists of their top-performing officers - when it comes to arrests - and forwarded the lists to the borough commanders.

Sources also said bosses have been told not to worry in the future about their officers' names appearing on lists of cops who have received large amounts of overtime.
Of course, for it to stop the next terrorist attack, MI5 and MI6 would have to stop planning them first, right? Still, more encouraging developments from the tech sector. When you click on the link, make sure to watch the video. Notice all the 'oohs' and 'aahs' from a scientific sector that has lost - if it ever had it - it's ability to think critically about the applications of its research. Remember, scientists worked for the Hitler and for Stalin. Don't count on something in the scientific process or scientists themselves to stop this march towards a surveillance society. In fact, these are the folks who are going to bring it to you, questioning only the date of their next grant disbursement along the way.
Britain's Police Drone: Could It Stop Next Terror Plot?
As if there weren't enough cameras trained on Britain's population, police in Merseyside County are field-testing a flying drone equipped with closed-circuit TV cameras. The 3-ft.-wide, German-built MD4-200 chopper has four whisper-quiet rotors and can fly autonomously at up to 15 mph using GPS way points. It can also be piloted from nearly 550 yards away with a handheld controller.

The drone sends footage to the pilot, via a pair of video eyeglasses, and to a police support vehicle or a control room. Since its battery allows for just 20 minutes of flight, the MD4-200 will be deployed for specific missions, as opposed to ongoing patrols. As part of a task force charged with fighting "antisocial behavior," its potential duties range from mundane (monitoring traffic jams) to ominous (recording evidence to be used in court).



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Wed Aug 15, 02:54:00 PM 2007  

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