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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 154370 times)
WingsofCrystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9330 on: Oct 23rd, 2013, 11:25am »

on Oct 23rd, 2013, 10:01am, ZETAR wrote:
CRYSTAL,

TOP OF THE MORNING TO YOU!!!...

SHALOM...Z



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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9331 on: Oct 23rd, 2013, 11:27am »

..Saudi spy chief warns of ‘major shift’ in ties with US..

There will be no shift.

Back in the days of the Vietnam war the Saudis decided no to supply the US with oil. The US response was 'if you don't sell it, we'll take it anyway''

Same kind of thing will happen again.

The US is all that is standing between the Saudis and Iran.
No doubt they will be reminded of that.

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« Reply #9332 on: Oct 23rd, 2013, 12:01pm »

Up to now we have continually expressed helplessness after seeing the amount of lobbyist influence on our elected officials..

I came across a fascinating Angle I had not thought about and which may describe true and real nature of the beast(s)..


Op-Ed Contributor
Politicians’ Extortion RacketBy PETER SCHWEIZER
Published: October 21, 2013 301 Comments

Reprints
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — WE have long assumed that the infestation of special interest money in Washington is at the root of so much that ails our politics. But what if we’ve had it wrong? What if instead of being bribed by wealthy interests, politicians are engaged in a form of legal extortion designed to extract campaign contributions?

Related
Special PACs Spent Money at Resorts, Book Says (October 22, 2013)
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For Op-Ed, follow @nytopinion and to hear from the editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, follow @andyrNYT.
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Consider this: of the thousands of bills introduced in Congress each year, only roughly 5 percent become law. Why do legislators bother proposing so many bills? What if many of those bills are written not to be passed but to pressure people into forking over cash?

This is exactly what is happening. Politicians have developed a dizzying array of legislative tactics to bring in money.
User ImageTake the maneuver known inside the Beltway as the “tollbooth.” Here the speaker of the House or a powerful committee chairperson will create a procedural obstruction or postponement on the eve of an important vote. Campaign contributions are then implicitly solicited. If the tribute offered by those in favor of the bill’s passage is too small (or if the money from opponents is sufficiently high), the bill is delayed and does not proceed down the legislative highway.

House Speaker John A. Boehner appears to be a master of the tollbooth. In 2011, he collected a total of over $200,000 in donations from executives and companies in the days before holding votes on just three bills. He delayed scheduling a vote for months on the widely supported Wireless Tax Fairness Act, and after he finally announced a vote, 37 checks from wireless-industry executives totaling nearly $40,000 rolled in. He also delayed votes on the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act and the Small Company Capital Formation Act, scoring $91,000 from investment banks and private equity firms, $32,450 from bank holding companies and $46,500 from self-described investors — all in the 48 hours between scheduling the vote and the vote’s actually being held on the House floor.

Another tactic that politicians use is something beltway insiders call “milker bills.” These are bills designed to “milk” donations from threatened individuals or businesses. The real trick is to pit two industries against each other and pump both for donations, thereby creating a “double milker” bill.

President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. seemed to score big in 2011 using the milker tactic in connection with two bills: the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act. By pitting their supporters in Silicon Valley who opposed the bills against their allies in Hollywood who supported the measures, Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden were able to create a sort of fund-raising arms race.

In the first half of 2011, Silicon Valley had chipped in only $1.7 million to Mr. Obama’s political campaign. The president announced that he would “probably” sign antipiracy legislation — a stance that pleased Hollywood and incensed Silicon Valley. The tech industry then poured millions into Mr. Obama’s coffers in the second half of 2011. By January of 2012, Hollywood had donated $4.1 million to Mr. Obama.

Then, suddenly, on Jan. 14, 2012, the White House announced that it had problems with the antipiracy bills and neither passed. “He didn’t just throw us under the bus,” one film executive and longtime supporter of Mr. Obama anonymously told The Financial Times, “he ran us down, reversed the bus and ran over us again.”

To be sure, not all legislative maneuvers are extortive; sincere and conscientious political deeds occur. Still, the idea that Washington gridlock is an outgrowth of rank partisanship and ideological entrenchment misses a more compelling explanation of our political stasis: gridlock, legislative threats and fear help prime the donation pump.

The reason these fund-raising extortion tactics succeed is that politicians deploy them while bills are making their way through Congress, when lawmakers possess maximum leverage. That’s why at least 27 state legislatures have put restrictions on allowing state politicians to receive contributions while their legislatures are in session.

Why not do the same in Washington? It would reduce politicians’ penchant for cashing in on manufactured crises. Perhaps it would even compel Congress to be more efficient while in session.

We have focused for too long on protecting politicians from special interests. It’s time we stop pitying the poor politicians and start being wary of them — for they play the shakedown game as well as anyone.

Peter Schweizer, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, is the author of “Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes and Line Their Own Pockets.”


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« Reply #9333 on: Oct 23rd, 2013, 1:50pm »

Der Spiegel

Merkel Calls Obama: Berlin Suspects US Tapped Chancellor's Phone

By Jacob Appelbaum, Holger Stark, Marcel Rosenbach and Jörg Schindler

October 23, 2013 – 08:20 PM

Did the United States tap German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone? According to SPIEGEL information, Berlin is taking seriously indications that this might have happened. Merkel spoke with President Barack Obama on Wednesday about her concerns.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel phoned United States President Barack Obama on Wednesday to discuss suspicions that she may have been targeted by US intelligence agencies for years, SPIEGEL has learned.

The chancellor asked for a thorough explanation of serious indications that US intelligence agencies had declared her private mobile phone to be a target in their operations.

Merkel made it clear that, should these indications turn out to be true, she "unequivocally disapproves" of such methods and finds them "totally unacceptable," her spokesman Steffen Seibert said. "This would be a grave breach of trust," he added. "Such practices must immediately be put to a stop."

The unusually strong reaction from the Chancellery was prompted by SPIEGEL research. After the information was examined by the country's foreign intelligence agency, the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), and the Federal Office for Information Security, Berlin seems to have found their suspicions plausible enough to confront the US government.

During her conversation with Obama, Merkel expressed her expectation that "US authorities would provide an explanation about the possible extent of such surveillance practices, and thus answer questions that the German government already posed months ago," Seibert said.

"As a close ally of the United States of America, the German government expects a clear contractual agreement on the activities of the agencies and their cooperation," he added.

In response to the allegations, a spokeswoman for the US National Security Council told SPIEGEL: "The President assured the Chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of Chancellor Merkel."

The spokeswoman did not wish to specify whether this statement applied to the past.

kla/SPIEGEL

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/merkel-calls-obama-over-suspicions-us-tapped-her-mobile-phone-a-929642.html

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« Reply #9334 on: Oct 23rd, 2013, 1:52pm »

on Oct 23rd, 2013, 12:01pm, Sys_Config wrote:
Up to now we have continually expressed helplessness after seeing the amount of lobbyist influence on our elected officials..

I came across a fascinating Angle I had not thought about and which may describe true and real nature of the beast(s)..


Op-Ed Contributor
Politicians’ Extortion RacketBy PETER SCHWEIZER
Published: October 21, 2013 301 Comments

Reprints
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — WE have long assumed that the infestation of special interest money in Washington is at the root of so much that ails our politics. But what if we’ve had it wrong? What if instead of being bribed by wealthy interests, politicians are engaged in a form of legal extortion designed to extract campaign contributions?

Related
Special PACs Spent Money at Resorts, Book Says (October 22, 2013)
Connect With Us on Twitter
For Op-Ed, follow @nytopinion and to hear from the editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, follow @andyrNYT.
.Readers’ Comments
Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
Read All Comments (301) »
Consider this: of the thousands of bills introduced in Congress each year, only roughly 5 percent become law. Why do legislators bother proposing so many bills? What if many of those bills are written not to be passed but to pressure people into forking over cash?

This is exactly what is happening. Politicians have developed a dizzying array of legislative tactics to bring in money.
User ImageTake the maneuver known inside the Beltway as the “tollbooth.” Here the speaker of the House or a powerful committee chairperson will create a procedural obstruction or postponement on the eve of an important vote. Campaign contributions are then implicitly solicited. If the tribute offered by those in favor of the bill’s passage is too small (or if the money from opponents is sufficiently high), the bill is delayed and does not proceed down the legislative highway...

Why not do the same in Washington? It would reduce politicians’ penchant for cashing in on manufactured crises. Perhaps it would even compel Congress to be more efficient while in session.

We have focused for too long on protecting politicians from special interests. It’s time we stop pitying the poor politicians and start being wary of them — for they play the shakedown game as well as anyone.

Peter Schweizer, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, is the author of “Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes and Line Their Own Pockets.”




Thanks for this article Sys cheesy

Crystal


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« Reply #9335 on: Oct 23rd, 2013, 2:08pm »






~

My dog Haley barks when I laugh, I'm watching this and laughing, she's barking, I'm trying to get her to stop and laughing harder the more she barks. Anyway I laughed pretty hard when I saw this clip. The Husband says I have the sense of humor of a five year old. Enjoy.

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9336 on: Oct 23rd, 2013, 2:20pm »

on Oct 23rd, 2013, 2:08pm, WingsofCrystal wrote:



~

My dog Haley barks when I laugh, I'm watching this and laughing, she's barking, I'm trying to get her to stop and laughing harder the more she barks. Anyway I laughed pretty hard when I saw this clip. The Husband says I have the sense of humor of a five year old. Enjoy.

Crystal



God Forgive me Wings..




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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9337 on: Oct 23rd, 2013, 6:15pm »

www.Zerohedge.com

Zetar asked what now..perhaps where not to beat a path to RayRays Vision of a total immersion and merger with technology for the sole purpose of seeking pseudo immortality is a start...Another glimpse of what such a world would be like can be gleaned from Japan..A technologically tortured and confused society ..Meet our brave new world.
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Japan's under-40s appear to be losing interest in conventional relationships. Millions aren't even dating, and increasing numbers can't be bothered with sex. For their government, "celibacy syndrome" is part of a looming national catastrophe. Japan already has one of the world's lowest birth rates. As The Guardian reports, 45% of Japanese women aged 16-24 are "not interested in or despise sexual contact". More than a quarter of men feel the same way. Is Japan providing a glimpse of all our futures? Many of the shifts there are occurring in other advanced nations, too. Across urban Asia, Europe and America, people are marrying later or not at all, birth rates are falling, single-occupant households are on the rise and, in countries where economic recession is worst, young people are living at home...

Via The Guardian,

Ai Aoyama is a sex and relationship counsellor who works out of her narrow three-storey home on a Tokyo back street... she did "all the usual things" like tying people up and dripping hot wax on their nipples. Her work today, she says, is far more challenging. Aoyama, 52, is trying to cure what Japan's media calls sekkusu shinai shokogun, or "celibacy syndrome".

oyama cites one man in his early 30s, a virgin, who can't get sexually aroused unless he watches female robots on a game similar to Power Rangers.

...

Mendokusai translates loosely as "Too troublesome" or "I can't be bothered". It's the word I hear both sexes use most often when they talk about their relationship phobia. Romantic commitment seems to represent burden and drudgery, from the exorbitant costs of buying property in Japan to the uncertain expectations of a spouse and in-laws. And the centuries-old belief that the purpose of marriage is to produce children endures. Japan's Institute of Population and Social Security reports an astonishing 90% of young women believe that staying single is "preferable to what they imagine marriage to be like".

...

The sense of crushing obligation affects men just as much. Satoru Kishino, 31, belongs to a large tribe of men under 40 who are engaging in a kind of passive rebellion against traditional Japanese masculinity. Amid the recession and unsteady wages, men like Kishino feel that the pressure on them to be breadwinning economic warriors for a wife and family is unrealistic. They are rejecting the pursuit of both career and romantic success.

"It's too troublesome," says Kishino, when I ask why he's not interested in having a girlfriend. "I don't earn a huge salary to go on dates and I don't want the responsibility of a woman hoping it might lead to marriage." Japan's media, which has a name for every social kink, refers to men like Kishino as "herbivores" or soshoku danshi (literally, "grass-eating men"). Kishino says he doesn't mind the label because it's become so commonplace. He defines it as "a heterosexual man for whom relationships and sex are unimportant".

con't.......
« Last Edit: Oct 23rd, 2013, 6:29pm by Equalizer » User IP Logged

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« Reply #9338 on: Oct 23rd, 2013, 7:11pm »


Money doesn't grow on Trees..or Does it?
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/trees-sewn-with-particles-of-gold-excite-australias-mining-industry-8899798.html

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Australian scientists have found tiny specks of gold in eucalyptus trees in the Outback – a discovery that could revolutionise the gold exploration industry.

The team, from Australia’s national scientific agency, the CSIRO, found traces of gold in the leaves and branches of gum trees in the remote Kalgoorlie area of Western Australia. They concluded that root systems, searching for moisture during times of drought, suck up water containing the precious metal from ore deposits lying up to 30 metres underground.

The discovery is unlikely to spark a modern-day gold rush, since the particles are so minute – about one-fifth of the diameter of a human hair – that they are invisible to the naked eye. Indeed, according to Melvyn Lintern, who headed the research project, it would take 500 such trees to yield enough gold for a wedding ring.

However, at a time of rising gold prices and dwindling reserves, it could help mining companies to locate new deposits, saving them the cost and effort of drilling deep into the earth.

Nigel Radford, a former geochemist with US-based Newmont Mining, one of the world’s largest gold producers, told ABC radio it was “very, very important for the future of mineral exploration”.

Mining companies, which partly sponsored the research, have already begun sampling leaves for gold, according to Dr Lintern, who said the technique – an environmentally friendly method of exploration – could also be used to find metals such as copper and zinc.

The unusually long, extensive roots of a gum tree, penetrating up to 40 metres underground, act as a “hydraulic pump”, said Dr Lintern, whose team collected leaves, branches and bark, and examined them under a powerful X-ray microscope. He told ABC: “We weren’t expecting this at all. To actually see the gold particles in the leaves was quite a ‘eureka’ moment for us.”

According to the scientists, whose findings were published in the online journal Nature Communication, the gold particles are drawn up through the tree’s root system. “As the gold is likely to be toxic to the plant, it’s moved to the leaves and branches where it can be released or shed to the ground,” Dr Lintern said.

“By sampling and analysing vegetation for traces of minerals, we may get an idea of what’s happening below the surface without the need to drill… Eucalyptus trees are so common that this technique could be widely applied across Australia.”

Bushes and soil beneath the trees could also be tested for gold traces.

Australia is the world’s second biggest gold producer after China, mining nearly 80 tons of the metal last year. With global reserves decreasing, exploration companies are now hunting for deposits that lie deep underground and are difficult to detect.

Dr Lintern said: “As far as we know, this is the first time that anyone has seen gold in any biological tissue, and it just happens to be a eucalyptus leaf.”

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« Reply #9339 on: Oct 24th, 2013, 09:10am »

Good morning Sys cheesy

Thank you for the articles and the laugh.

Crystal


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« Reply #9340 on: Oct 24th, 2013, 09:14am »

Guardian

Russians deny US spying allegations in Washington

Russian embassy says spy claims are 'echoes of cold war' as FBI reportedly investigates cultural exchange boss Yury Zaitsev

Associated Press in Moscow
Thursday 24 October 2013 04.48 EDT

A Washington-based Russian cultural exchange official suspected of spying has denied the allegations, a news agency has reported.

A source in Washington told AP that the FBI was investigating whether Yury Zaitsev, the head of a Russian government-run cultural exchange programme, tried to recruit young Americans as intelligence assets. The inquiry was first reported by the magazine Mother Jones.

Zaitsev dismissed the accusations as an attempt to hurt ties between Moscow and Washington. Russia's Itar-Tass news agency quoted him as saying: "It's a shame that echoes of the cold war are heard in Russian-American relations from time to time."

Evgeniy Khorishko, at the Russian embassy in Washington, also denied the claims, telling Itar-Tass that "such horror stories smack of cold war times".

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/24/russia-denies-us-spying-claims

Crystal

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« Reply #9341 on: Oct 24th, 2013, 09:17am »

The Hill

Study: ObamaCare spending to top contractors tops $1B

By Jonathan Easley
10/24/13 09:46 AM ET

A surge in government spending in the six months before the ObamaCare exchanges went live pushed federal spending to top government contractors over the $1 billion mark, a new study finds.

According to the report released Thursday by Bloomberg Government analyst Peter Gosselin, federal spending ramped up in the months leading up to Oct. 1, with $352 million of the $1 billion in federal contracts to the top 10 ObamaCare contractors awarded during this time.

“In a typical IT project, spending ramps up to a peak, then trails off during the final phase,” Gosselin wrote.

The price tag usually associated the Affordable Care Act rollout is $394 million, based on a Government Accountability Office report. Gosselin argued that study was too narrowly focused, so he expanded his search of a federal contractor databases to include all awards where the acronym “ACA” or other related words and phrases appeared.

“In looking at the full range of ACA-related contracts for just 10 firms, the BGOV analysis found more than $1 billion worth of contract awards,” he wrote.

Gosselin also concluded that the “tech surge” the administration has coordinated to fix the myriad problems that plague the ObamaCare website will result in subsequent rounds of spending.

“Given the seriousness of the IT problems and the fact that most of the contracts are on a cost-plus basis, the companies almost certainly are in line for another burst of spending aimed at quickly making repairs,” he said.

Some of the top contractors responsible for setting up the online exchanges are testifying Thursday on Capitol Hill about the problems with the rollout.

Representatives from CGI Federal, the company that was primarily responsible for developing the HealthCare.Gov website, are among those giving testimony. The Gosselin analysis found that $149.9 million, or 35 percent, of the $421.8 million in federal contracts the company received came in the final six months of the project.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/330335-report-obamacare-spending-to-top-contractors-tops-1b-

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« Reply #9342 on: Oct 24th, 2013, 09:21am »

FirstCoastNews

Pirates seize two Americans off Nigeria's coast

10:01 AM, Oct 24, 2013

Two Americans were kidnapped by armed pirates after their ship was attacked off Nigeria's coast, U.S. officials said Thursday.

The U.S.-flagged oil supply vessel C-Retriever was targeted in the Gulf of Guinea early Wednesday, Reuters reported. The ship's captain and chief engineer were abducted.

The seized vessel is owned by Louisiana-based Edison Chouest Offshore. The company was not immediately available for comment.

"Over the last couple of years there has been an increase in the severity of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea," said Rory Lamrock, an analyst specializing in maritime security with U.K.-based risk-management firm AKE.

Earlier this month, the International Maritime Bureau reported that pirate attacks off Nigeria's coast had jumped by a third this year -- with 29 attacks on vessels recorded in the first nine months of 2013, up from 21 in the same period last year.

"Pirates, often heavily armed and violent, are targeting vessels and their crews along the [Nigerian] coast, rivers, anchorages, ports and surrounding waters," the IMB said. "In many cases, they ransack the vessels and steal the cargo."

Captain Phillips real-life, pirate drama is the subject of a new movie starring Tom Hanks. NBC's Janet Shamlian reports.

The IMB said in the first nine months of 2013 the Gulf of Guinea accounted for all crew kidnappings worldwide, 32 of them off Nigeria, and two off Togo. In such incidents, sailors are taken ashore and usually held for ransom.

In a separate report, Denmark-based security firm Risk Intelligence earlier this month estimated 117,000 tons of oil products worth around $100 million had been stolen by pirate gangs in the Gulf of Guinea since 2010.

In August, Nigeria's navy killed 12 pirates as they tried to flee from a fuel tanker they had hijacked.

In April 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL snipers killed three Somali pirates and American cargo ship Capt. Richard Phillips, who had offered himself as a hostage to save his crew.

The high-seas hijacking has been turned into a film starring Tom Hanks. "Captain Phillips" earned more than $52 million during its first two weeks in cinemas.

NBC News

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/military/article/333043/162/Pirates-seize-two-Americans-off-Nigerias-coast

Crystal

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« Reply #9343 on: Oct 24th, 2013, 09:25am »

Eventful.com

New Jersey UFO/Paranormal/Consciousness Conference in Trenton

November 9, 2013 - November 10, 2013
Saturday 9:30 PM - Sunday 8:00 PM

Hilton Gardens Inn

Route 130s South
Trenton, New Jersey 08690


http://eventful.com/trenton/events/new-jersey-ufoparanormalconsciousness-conference-/E0-001-062765595-0

Crystal

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« Reply #9344 on: Oct 24th, 2013, 09:30am »

Good morning lovely lady... smiley

Its rather hypocritical isn't it.... when they are spying on the whole world... wink

Luvey

on Oct 24th, 2013, 09:14am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Guardian

Russians deny US spying allegations in Washington

Russian embassy says spy claims are 'echoes of cold war' as FBI reportedly investigates cultural exchange boss Yury Zaitsev

Associated Press in Moscow
Thursday 24 October 2013 04.48 EDT

A Washington-based Russian cultural exchange official suspected of spying has denied the allegations, a news agency has reported.

A source in Washington told AP that the FBI was investigating whether Yury Zaitsev, the head of a Russian government-run cultural exchange programme, tried to recruit young Americans as intelligence assets. The inquiry was first reported by the magazine Mother Jones.

Zaitsev dismissed the accusations as an attempt to hurt ties between Moscow and Washington. Russia's Itar-Tass news agency quoted him as saying: "It's a shame that echoes of the cold war are heard in Russian-American relations from time to time."

Evgeniy Khorishko, at the Russian embassy in Washington, also denied the claims, telling Itar-Tass that "such horror stories smack of cold war times".

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/24/russia-denies-us-spying-claims

Crystal

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