Friday, October 22, 2010

Taliban Commander Admits That a Majority of Its Funding Comes from Individuals in United Kingdom

Specifically, this commander says that the monies come from his Muslim brothers in the United Kingdom, United States and other countries. It's sort of like how Extensive Enterprises bankrolled Cobra Commander.

If you cannot see the video above, then click here. I wonder if this guy is predicting a false flag attack.

A Taliban commander has told Sky News the bulk of its funding comes from the UK, where dedicated fighters are ready to launch terrorist attacks upon his order.

The regional leader made the claims at a secret meeting after we travelled deep into bandit country under the cover of darkness.

Source: Sky News

Thursday, October 21, 2010

First-Ever Detection of Red Palm Weevil in United States of America in Laguna Beach, CA (Worst Known Palm Tree Pest)

As if the State of California didn't already have a lot of issues on its hand. We have an occurrence for the very first time in the United States of America - namely a detection of the red palm weevil. I have no idea what a red palm weevil is, but it looks like one of those bugs from The Mummy. Hopefully, I will not need to know and this is just a random pest on a one-time basis. Otherwise an infestation might kill many palm trees and a barren landscape will be the real Laguna Beach.


Release #10-061

Agricultural officials confirm first detection of palm tree pest in the United States

SACRAMENTO, October 18, 2010 - Agricultural officials have confirmed the detection of a red palm weevil in the Laguna Beach area of Orange County - the first-ever detection of the pest in the United States. The weevil is considered to be the world’s worst pest of palm trees. An infestation typically results in the death of the tree.

“This invasive pest is a threat not only to our nursery growers and date palm farmers,” said California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary A.G. Kawamura. “It also endangers all of the decorative palms that are so common in our landscape and so much a part of the classic California backdrop. I would like to express my gratitude to the landscape contractor who originally reported this pest. He is a Good Samaritan who did the right thing when he took the time to notify local agricultural authorities, and he has given us a very valuable head-start in our efforts.”

In response to the original contact by the landscaper, state and local agricultural officials, working in partnership with the USDA, began an extensive, door-to-door survey in the neighborhood and are setting about 250 traps to determine if an infestation exists. Protocols for this pest call for an initial survey covering a 1.5 square mile radius around the detection property, resulting in a trapping array covering nine square miles.

The red palm weevil, scientific name Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, is a major pest of palm trees, many of which are highly valued as landscaping plants, generating approximately $70 million in nursery plant sales in California annually. Palm trees are also used for producing crops and marketable agricultural commodities including coconuts, dates and oils. In California, date palm growers harvest an annual crop worth approximately $30 million. The vast majority of these farms are in the Coachella Valley region.

The red palm weevil is native to Southeast Asia and has spread throughout the Arabian Gulf. It is found in parts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Oceania. Prior to the detection in Orange County, the closest confirmed infestation to the United States was in the Dutch Antilles in 2009, the first report of the pest in the western hemisphere. It was also confirmed in Aruba in 2009.

Female red palm weevils bore into a palm tree to form a hole into which they lay eggs. Each female may lay an average of 250 eggs, which take about three days to hatch. Larvae emerge and tunnel toward the interior of the tree, inhibiting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients upward to the crown. After about two months of feeding, larvae pupate inside the tree for an average of three weeks before the reddish-brown adults emerge. Adults live for two to three months, during which time they feed on palms, mate multiple times and lay eggs.

Adult weevils are considered strong fliers, venturing more than a half-mile in search of host trees. With repeated flights over three to five days, weevils are reportedly capable of traveling nearly four-and-a-half miles from their hatch site. They are attracted to dying or damaged palms, but can also attack undamaged host trees. Symptoms of the weevil and the larval entry holes are often difficult to detect because the entry sites can be covered with offshoots and tree fibers. Careful inspection of infested palms may show holes in the crown or trunk, possibly along with oozing brown liquid and chewed fibers. In heavily infested trees, fallen pupal cases and dead adult weevils may be found around the base of the tree.

Residents are encouraged to report suspect infestations by calling the CDFA Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Department of Homeland Security Testing Iris Eye Scanners at U.S.-Mexico Border in McAllen, Texas

Just when I don't think it can get any more futuristic than it already is, the government is about the track, trace and database people at the border based on individual eye scans of the iris. It is just a matter of time before an iris-scan is required to travel, buy and/or exist on the grid.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) next month will test the use of commercial iris-scanning technology at a U.S.-Mexico border patrol station.

The DHS has not yet decided whether it will ever deploy the technology, but is conducting the two-week test at a station in McAllen, Texas, for operational feasibility, DHS spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said via e-mail Monday.

Click here to read the official DHS Privacy Impact paper (Privacy Impact Assessment for the Iris and Face Technology Demonstration and Evaluation (IFTDE), August 12, 2010) about the various iris and face scanning technologies that DHS uses.

Source: Information Week

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Closing Remarks at IMF Conference in Shanghai on Macro-Prudential Policies to Address Global Financial Crisis

While American's worry about what Clarence Thomas allegedly did a score ago, the big boys (see: IMF and other globalists) are holding conferences in far-off lands like Shanghai, like this one that occurred earlier this week.

The International Monetary Fund on Friday said it will hold a high-level conference of central bank governors in Shanghai next week to discuss ways to address the global financial crisis.

The IMF said the conference, scheduled for Monday, would include central bank chiefs and other officials from Asia, Africa, Europe, and North and South America.

The statement and closing remarks of the Managing Director, International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the conference follows below:


Macro-Prudential Policies—an Asian Perspective
Closing Remarks by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
Shanghai, October 18, 2010

As prepared for delivery

Good afternoon. It is a great pleasure to address this distinguished gathering, and to participate in the debate over the course of the day.

It is no accident that this conference is taking place in Asia. The ongoing transformation of the global economy, with Asia as an economic powerhouse, has been accelerated by the crisis. Today, Asia stands at the helm of the global recovery. Its policy choices are important for its own sake, and also for the global economy as a whole.

Looking ahead, fixing the fragilities in the global financial system is a key priority. This conference focuses on macro-prudential policies, which deal with the intersection of the real economy and the financial sector, providing a birds-eye view of the entire system. In our interconnected world, these policies will become increasingly important, both in shifting seamlessly out of the crisis and in moving toward new sources of growth.

Asia’s economic performance

Asia’s economic performance over the past few decades has been nothing short of remarkable. Driven by rapid and steady growth, the region now accounts for about a third of the global economy, up from under just a fifth in 1980. On current trends, Asia’s economy could be as large as the United States and the European Union—combined—by 2015.

Of course, growth must benefit everybody. And here, Asia has made tremendous progress with poverty reduction, with China alone pulling hundreds of millions of people out of poverty over the past few decades. Such a feat has never before been accomplished in the entire history of human civilization.

And when the global financial crisis hit, Asia proved remarkably resilient, bouncing back stronger and faster than elsewhere. Asia had not made the mistakes of other countries by piling up debt or using complex financial engineering that magnified risk. Banks had built sizeable capital cushions, followed prudent lending practices, and had limited exposure to toxic assets. Policymakers had internalized the lessons of the past, embracing sound macroeconomic and prudential policies.

Thanks to solid foundations and a quick and forceful policy response, Asia has become the launching pad of the global economic recovery. But this comes with challenges of its own.

The centrality of cooperation

Let me talk a little about cooperation. Cooperation is really the great legacy of this crisis, and is the main reason why the Great Recession did not become a second Great Depression.

This spirit of cooperation must be maintained. Without it, the recovery is in peril. Today, there is a risk that the single chorus that tamed the financial crisis will dissolve into a cacophony of discordant voices, as countries increasingly go it alone. This will surely make everybody worse off.

This is not a mantra. In a submission to the G20, the IMF showed exactly what could be accomplished by cooperative action on the part of the world’s major economies—boosting world growth by 2½ percentage points over five years, creating 30 million new jobs, and lifting 33 million people out of poverty. It’s a win-win outcome, and every country and region must play their part.

The great challenges of today all require a cooperative solution—especially if we are to achieve strong, sustainable, and balanced global growth in the years ahead. This is directly related to today’s conference. Future growth must be safer growth, less prone to financial excess and the buildup of macroeconomic imbalances. So financial sector and macro-prudential policies are like the glue that holds the system in place.

Financial sector reform

Let me talk a little bit about financial sector repair and reform. Before we talk about a new growth model, we need to fix old problems. We must make the financial sector safer and more stable, and put the banks back in the service of the real economy. Many of these problems emanate in the advanced countries beyond Asia, and these countries need to take the lead in fixing these problems.

We have a lot of unfinished business. Much progress has been made on the regulatory front, especially with the Basel III rules on the quantity and quality of bank capital. But these rules only apply to a subset of the financial system. Reforms must deal with risks in all financial institutions, not just banks—we learned this lesson the hard way during the crisis.

This is just regulation. There is still a lot to do on the other pillars of financial stability—supervision and crisis resolution. Rules are only as good as their implementation, and so supervision must be intensive and intrusive—not afraid of saying no to powerful interests. We also need coherent resolution mechanisms—both domestically and across borders—to allow failing firms to be wound down with minimal cost to taxpayers and to end the scourge of too-big or too-important to fail. Here, the IMF has proposed a financial stability contribution linked to a credible and effective resolution mechanism to pay for future bailouts. The cross-border issue is especially important, but vested interests remain strong. We have proposed a pragmatic cross-border coordination framework—this must be made operational among a small set of countries that are home to most cross-border institutions.

The macro-prudential angle

And then there is the macro-prudential dimension, the topic of the day. We all know that systemic risk is paramount. Looking to the safety and soundness of individual institutions is important, but we must not miss the big picture—how everything comes together to affect the stability and resilience of the financial system in its totality.

Amidst the rubble from the crisis, we need to build up a new macro-prudential framework. It is appropriate that this discussion takes place in Asia. Asia is leading the global recovery and is moving swiftly back toward normal policy conditions. Capital flows are flooding in. We do not want history to repeat itself in such a short time span. Asia also has a unique opportunity to lead by example.

Capital flows present a great opportunity for Asia, but also a great challenge. On one hand, we want capital to flow toward emerging markets. Channeled in the right direction—and guided by deepening domestic capital markets and effective supervision—capital flows can boost investment, growth, and living standards. But on the other hand, some flows can clearly be destabilizing. They can lead to exchange rate overshooting, credit booms, asset price bubbles, and financial instability.
So how should countries address these kinds of vulnerabilities? Since capital flows can reverse quickly in times of panic, it makes sense to have a financial safety net to complement macro-prudential policies. Regional financing arrangements—such as the Chiang Mai initiative—can play an important role here. The IMF is working to strengthen the global financial safety net, and stands ready to work with regional partners.

Dealing with crises is important, but it’s even better to prevent them. How can countries do this? I would first note that this is a pragmatic issue, not a matter of ideology. Countries have a number of policy options in their toolkits—lower interest rates, reserves accumulation, tighter fiscal policy, macro-prudential measures, and sometimes capital controls. The response should depend on circumstances—there is no one-size-fits-all solution. For example, with a credit-fueled housing bubble, prudential tools might be the way to go. If instead the problem is debt inflows fueling a boom in foreign currency lending to unhedged borrowers, then the solution might be different and might include capital controls. Again, we should always be pragmatic.

Clearly, conventional macroeconomic policies and macro-prudential tools are intrinsically linked, just as price stability and financial stability are intrinsically linked. We need a holistic approach, which means a changing role for central banks in the years ahead.


Let me try to sum up. This is a complex policy agenda, and will simply not succeed without cooperation. Without cooperation, the recovery is under threat and financial sector reform could be doomed to fail.

In all of this, the world is looking to Asia to play its part. Your time has come. Just as the 19th century belonged to Europe, and the United States dominated the 20th century, the 21st century can be the Asian century.

But with that comes great responsibility—to lead, to guide, and to take ownership of the collaborative agenda. Asia is now a major economic region, and being at the center means being responsible for the whole. Asia has an important voice in world affairs through the G20, and also through the IMF, which is in the process of giving more influence to dynamic emerging markets.

I will finish by saying that the IMF fully supports this agenda. The last time I was in Asia, in Korea, I said that the IMF can be an effective partner for Asia, and indeed, its second home. How can we do this? First, by better monitoring economic and financial risks, including with mandatory FSAPs for systemic countries, our early warning exercise, and our analysis of country spillovers. Second, by continuing to strengthen our crisis prevention and management frameworks, reducing the incentive to self-insure and supporting a global rebalancing. And third, by providing a forum for international policy cooperation, where 187 different countries are wedded a single goal—a prosperous world with rising living standards for all. Remember, we are all in this together.

Thank you very much.

Public Affairs Media Relations
Phone: 202-623-7300 Phone: 202-623-7100
Fax: 202-623-6278 Fax: 202-623-6772

North Carolina Organization Pays Drug Addicts $300 to Get Sterilized

I have heard about these sterilization programs, but this is the first one I can recall that is actually documented on the record.

She started an organization she named C.R.A.C.K. -- Children Require a Caring Kommunity. (The name has since been changed to Project Prevention.)

She announced that she'd begin paying women with drug or alcohol addictions to stop having kids.

With money from donors who share her passion for this cause, Harris visits seedy neighborhoods to offer drug addicts and alcoholics cash if they'll agree to go on a long-term birth control or be sterilized.

Source: WCNC-Charlotte

Sunday, October 17, 2010

DARPA Wants to Track, Trace & Database U.S. Military's Food & Nutrition in Real Time (Set to Host Workshop)

U.S. Army Soldiers eat their Thanksgiving meal on Combat Outpost Cherkatah, Khowst province, Afghanistan, Nov. 26, 2009. The Soldiers are deployed with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment.U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith

We really do live in the 21st century with all of the advanced technologies that come out of DARPA. DARPA's latest technology will allow the military to track troops' nutrition through biometrics on 24-7 basis. Per Wired Magazine Online, "The Pentagon’s looking to keep tabs on troop nutrition 24/7, using "non-invasive or minimally invasive techniques" to track a series of nutritional indicators on an ongoing basis." Therefore, don't eat that extra large bag of gummy bears or else Big Brother will know.

Click here for the FBO solicitation listing for this project.

You can download the official DARPA document at this link or read the text below:


Special Notice DARPA-SN-11-04 Point of Use Nutritional Diagnostic Devices Workshop
WORKSHOP DATE: 15 November 2010

Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can cure the patient with food.
- Hippocrates, 420 BC

Optimal functioning of virtually every organ and system in the human body is contingent upon a proper supply and balance of the appropriate nutrients. Poor nutrition can lead to both physical and mental ailments and increases susceptibility to illness, infection and injury. Maintaining nutrition necessary for optimal performance presents a substantial and continuous challenge in the operational environment. This challenge is compounded by individual variability of nutritional needs in different operational environments (extreme heat, altitude, etc.) and under different physical and mental conditions (extended missions, stress, etc.). Currently, no nutritional assessment of active duty troops on an individual basis other than weight exists. Further, nutritional assessments tend to be at the organizational level or performed only for diagnosis of an illness. With current technologies, nutritional assessments in the field pose several logistical issues: obtaining blood, tissue or saliva samples for every person and sending the samples to central labs is time-consuming, expensive and introduces a risk of infection. Additionally, these forms of assessment provide a snapshot of nutritional status at a single point in time, and multiple samples over time would be necessary to assess if a nutritional intervention is working to bring up levels of a deficient nutrient. Identification of relevant nutritional markers indicative of performance under variable conditions and knowledge of optimal in vivo nutrient status are also poorly characterized.

To encourage and stimulate discussion around operational nutritional assessment, DARPA will be hosting a Point of Use Nutritional Diagnostic Devices Workshop. The workshop aims to bring together members of the nutrition community and the point of use device community to review the current state-of-the-art in nutritional assessment technology and to identify the research and development needs for point of use devices that perform assessments of nutritional status of our warfighters. Topics of discussion will include: identification of the top 10 essential nutritional biomarkers (metabolites, vitamins, electrolytes, antioxidants, etc.) relevant to human performance under variable conditions; means of determining optimal in vivo nutrient concentration; non-invasive or minimally invasive techniques for nutritional assessment; new technologies that enable real-time assessment of nutrient levels; limitations of current science and technology; direct measures of nutrients vs. indirect measures of nutrient metabolism (ex. Blood omega3/EPA/DHA levels vs. membrane integrity); and applications of nanomedicine to nutrition detection technology.

The workshop will conclude with discussions to foster concept development and future planning for research and development in the area of point of use devices for nutritional assessment.

The Workshop will be held at The Executive Conference Center at Liberty Center, 4075 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22203. The primary objective of the Point of Use Nutritional Diagnostic Devices Workshop is to facilitate the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas that we feel are essential to the development of optimized point of use nutritional assessment devices. The Workshop will include brief presentations by representatives in relevant areas, but these are intended mainly to facilitate communication, interaction and collaborative discussion. Workshop details including registration, meeting location and lodging are given on the registration website at (initial login username and pw are case sensitive):
Username: Diagnostic
PW: Devices

There is no fee for the Workshop. Registration is limited by the venue capacity (40 participants, no more than two participants per organization). The registration cutoff date is November 5, 2010, and early registration is strongly recommended.

Further administrative questions should be addressed to Please refer to the Point of Use Nutritional Diagnostic Devices Workshop (DARPA-SN-11-04) in all correspondence. This announcement is not a request for proposals; any so sent will be returned.

Point of Contact
COL Christian Macedonia, Program Manager, DARPA/DSO;

Comparison of Three (3) Infrared Thermal Detection Systems and Self-Report for Mass Fever Screening (Fever Scanners)

Comparison of 3 Infrared Thermal Detection Systems and Self-Report for Mass Fever Screening (Remote Fever D...

The next time you are at the airport, you may be "fever-scanned" to see if you have a fever. I cannot wait for the day the first non-sick person is denied flight privileges, because a fever scanner says the person has a fever.

Two commercially available scanners meant for use in airports and other public facilities can reliably detect people with fevers, making them useful during disease outbreaks, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.

The scanners, which work at a distance of 3 to 6 feet, do a better job of detecting fevers than when people are simply asked if they feel feverish, An Nguyen of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and colleagues found.

Source: CDC ; Reuters

Oil Tanker Explodes in Russia's Rostov Region

More oil destruction from around the globe. This story comes from the land of Russia. No word on the cause from this article.

An oil tanker exploded on the Don River in the southern Russian region of Rostov on Sunday, killing one person and injuring two others, news agencies reported.

The blast occurred when the tanker was pumping oil from another ship at Bagayevskaya village, causing a fire on both vessels and sinking the tanker.