Volume 16, Number 08 – 4/30/13

 Volume 16, Number 08 – 4/30/13


  • A Nobel-prize winning physicist has just announced that he’s developed a proof for “time crystals” that can move thanks to a break in the symmetry of time.
  • The former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission notes, “All 104 nuclear power reactors now in operation in the United States have a safety problem that cannot be fixed and they should be replaced with newer technology.”
  • On March 12, 2013, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper reaffirmed what the U.S. intelligence community has been saying for years: Iran has no nuclear weapons program, is not building a nuclear weapon and has not even made a decision to do so.
  • Based on data recently released by the U.S. government, a study found 81% of ground turkey and 55% of ground beef sold in supermarkets carried antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella and Campylobacte.

by John L. Petersen

Penny Kelly’s Presentation
We had a great presentation last week by Dr. Penny Kelly in our Transition Talks series here in Berkeley Springs. Her description of her collaboration with Dr. William Levengood in discovering a new type of energy was profoundly fascinating. If you were unable to attend and are interested in watching this presentation, fortunately our friends from the Institute of Noetic Studies chapter in Austin, where Penny spoke before coming here, put a great video of her same speech on the web. You can find it here.

Turning Against America
In the wake of the bombing at the Boston Marathon there have been a spate of insightful articles plumbing the depths of why these kinds of events are happening. I was rather surprised at the number of similarly themed pieces that showed up within about four days, which I found quite thoughtful and provocative.

They all asked questions about why this stuff was happening and what was the apparent motivation for the negative reactions toward the U.S. and the wars we are running in the Middle East and that seem to be behind most of the big problems we have with “terrorism”. I will let some very insightful writers spin out the thread.

Let’s start with Michael Schuer, a former CIA intelligence officer. Schuer is no liberal Democrat appeaser. As he clearly says in one of his interviews, “If the President says to do it and it is legal, I’ll do it.” Not too much room for second thoughts there.

But even though he is hard over on chasing the terrorists, he has a clarity and integrity of analysis that has gotten himself ostracized from the more conservative, Fox TV crowd. Writing in Why are Limbaugh, Levin, and Hannity so eager to see more dead Americans? he describes how major conservative talk-show hosts attacked him after a recent on-air interview.

But here is where Rush, Mark, and Sean deliberately cock-up chances for Americans to understand the enemy they face and must defeat; none of the three celebrities seem to know the difference between the words “cause” and “motivate.” Instead of understanding the very simple concept that the Islamists who attack us are reacting to what the U.S. government does and following the duties imposed on them by their faith, Democrats, Republicans, Israeli officials and their U.S.-citizen champions, Neo-Conservatives, and Rush, Mark, Sean, and others of their ilk depict the mujahedin as acting on a religion that demands they attack the United States because of the way we vote, drink, and send girls to school. Although insane, this explanation conveniently makes all Muslims crazy, and gets the United States off the hook; to wit, America did not do anything to offend anyone. (. . . continue)

Wow! You mean this all might be our fault? Are you trying to tell me that they don’t like us because of what we’re doing . . . to them?

M. J. Rosenberg piles on, writing in The Washington Spectator that it is Time to Admit U.S. Policies Can Cause Terrorism. He says:

Acts of terror do not come at us out of the blue. Nor are they directed at us, as President George W. Bush famously said, because the terrorists “hate our freedom.” If that was the case, terrorists would be equally or more inclined to hit countries at least as free as the U.S., those in northern Europe, for instance.

No, terrorists (in the case of the Boston Marathon bombings Muslim terrorists) target the U.S. because they perceive us as their enemy.

And with good reason.

We have been at war with the people of various Muslim countries for decades, since perhaps as early as 1953 when we engineered Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh’s overthrow in Iran after he nationalized the oil industry.

Since then, the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, on a pretext that was shown to be phony, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. That war came after over a decade of U.S.-sponsored sanctions that resulted in the deaths of over a million Iraqis, including more than a half million children due to malnutrition and diseases caused by the lack of clean water and medicine. (. . . continue)

But wait – there’s more! This is sounding familiar.

Libertarian Jacob G. Hornberger proffered the same message recently in his blog, Avoiding Reality on Terrorist Motivation There’s a lot of history of this kind of stuff – that it has been going on for a long time.

“For some 20 years, U.S. forces have killed, maimed, and abused hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East. We can go back to the Persian Gulf intervention, when U.S. forces slaughtered Iraqi soldiers and killed many non-combatants during the war. There were the hundreds of thousands of deaths of Iraqi children from the 11 years of sanctions. There were the countless deaths from the Iraq invasion in 2003 and subsequent occupation. There was the abuse at Abu Ghraib. There were the countless deaths in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. There have been all the people killed in drone assassinations. There is the unconditional military and financial support provided the Israeli government and, for that matter, to various Middle East dictators who have used the U.S. aid to kill, torture, and oppress their own citizenry.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone would be surprised over the fact that there would be people who are angry over such things. After all, Americans got angry over the killings on 9/11 and in Boston. Why wouldn’t there be people who would get angry over the U.S. national-security state’s killings over there, including parents and other relatives, friends, countrymen, or people of Muslim faith?” (. . . continue)

Well, maybe they have a reason, but clearly the Muslims are religiously committed to attacking liberal Americans in ways that other religions don’t. Everybody knows that. Think again.

The University of Michigan’s Juan Cole recently provided a brief, but rather exhaustive summary of the score on which different religions have been killing the most. His Terrorism and the other Religions is rather enlightening. Read the whole piece. It ends with, “It takes a peculiar sort of blindness to see Christians of European heritage as “nice” and Muslims as inherently violent, given the twentieth century death toll I mentioned above. Human beings are human beings and the species is too young and too interconnected to have differentiated much from group to group. People resort to violence out of ambition or grievance, and the more powerful they are, the more violence they seem to commit. The good news is that the number of wars is declining over time, and World War II, the biggest charnel house in history, hasn’t been repeated. (. . . continue)

These guys are trying to tell us that that all of these problems are of our own making and that others (read the Muslims) are only responding as anyone else reasonably would to what’s going on. (Hint: this isn’t going to fly very well in Washington.)

But, of course, it’s much more complicated than just that. Let’s assume that these people are being simplistic. Geopolitics is always more than what meets the eye. There’s stuff going on that no one knows about.

Sure, but some of that stuff that no one knows about they just don’t want to know about. That’s the notion behind Jeremy Scahill’s new book, “Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield”. As it turns out, we have two rather insightful reviews of that book.

Tom Engelhardt, of TomDispatch.com sets the stage historically in his piece “Filling the Empty Battlefield:  Jeremy Scahill, Blowback Reporter” by citing Chalmers Johnson’s book, “Blowback”.

“Chalmers Johnson’s book Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire was published in March 2000 — and just about no one noticed.  Until then, blowback had been an obscure term of CIA tradecraft, which Johnson defined as “the unintended consequences of policies that were kept secret from the American people.”  In his prologue, the former consultant to the CIA and eminent scholar of both Mao Zedong’s peasant revolution and modern Japan labeled his Cold War self a “spear-carrier for empire”.

“After the Soviet Union disappeared in 1991, he was surprised to discover that the essential global structure of that other Cold War colossus, the American superpower, with its vast panoply of military bases, remained obdurately in place as if nothing whatsoever had happened.  Almost a decade later, when the Evil Empire was barely a memory, Johnson surveyed the planet and found “an informal American empire” of immense reach and power.  He also became convinced that, in its global operations, Washington was laying the groundwork “all around the world… for future forms of blowback.”

“Johnson noted “portents of a twenty-first century crisis” in the form of, among other things, “terrorist attacks on American installations and embassies.”  In the first chapter of Blowback, he focused in particular on a “former protégé of the United States” by the name of Osama bin Laden and on the Afghan War against the Soviets from which he and an organization called al-Qaeda had emerged.  It had been a war in which Washington backed to the hilt, and the CIA funded and armed, the most extreme Islamic fundamentalists, paving the way years later for the Taliban to take over Afghanistan.

“Talk about unintended consequences! The purpose of that war had been to give the Soviet Union a Vietnam-style bloody nose, which it more than did. All of this laid the foundation for… well, in 1999 when Johnson was writing, no one knew what. But he, at least, had an inkling, which on September 12, 2001, made his book look prophetic indeed. He emphasized one other phenomenon: Americans, he believed, had “freed ourselves of… any genuine consciousness of how we might look to others on this globe.”

“With Blowback, he aimed to rectify that, to paint a portrait of how that informal empire and its historically unprecedented garrisoning of the world looked to others, and so explain why animosity and blowback were building globally.  After September 11, 2001, his book leaped to the center of the 9/11 display tables in bookstores nationwide and became a bestseller, while “blowback” and that phrase “unintended consequences” made their way into our everyday language.” (. . . continue)

Then, always thoughtful, always fearless Washington writer Kelly Vlahos continues with a trenchant review of Scahill’s book for AntiWar.com.

“ . . . Scahill has cared to look, and poke at and examine, all with smaller resources and prestige than his peers in the corporate media, but then again, most corporate media reporters are flat-out restrained from peeking into the dark hollow of the Global War on Terror, much less interested in writing about it. Beginning with Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army in 2008, Scahill has used his perch at The Nation Institute to shine a light inside the hole, and show us that whatever abomination lurks inside is, in reality, much worse than we had even imagined.

“Read at your own risk, but Dirty Wars does all that and more. After years of researching, Scahill is nothing but thorough in his examination of the war within the war – whether it be the covert assassination squads rampaging across countries most Americans couldn’t find on a map, the “the black site” torture chambers in Afghanistan and Iraq, or today’s signature drone strikes that wipe out insurgents and children alike without warrant or jury. All have been condoned and expedited by an executive branch authority that has metastasized in unilateral power since the Twin Towers fell in 2001. But willful ignorance helped it along: those in power had an interest in keeping it secret (or were kept out of the loop entirely), while the powerless kept quiet, mostly because they were afraid to look.

“’This book tells the story of the expansion of covert US wars, the abuse of executive privilege and state secrets, the embrace of unaccountable elite military units that answer only to the White House,’ Scahill begins. Five hundred and twenty pages later, he concludes simply with a question all Americans must “painfully” ask, “how does a war like this end?” ( . . . continue)

Now wait a minute! Are they saying that it’s not enough that our stated policies discount a common understanding of reality and equity (and those kinds of things)… but that the problems are compounded by a whole lot of stuff we are doing under the table and in the dark? That’s what it seems like they’re saying to me. In the interest of keeping the whole, irrational charade going, what has arisen is an extraordinary, often extralegal effort of projecting global violence wherever and whenever our leaders desire. Now that should get your attention.

It might be useful to remember what George Washington had to say about these kinds of things.

My policy has been and will continue to be … to be on friendly terms with, but independent of, all nations on earth. To share in the broils of none. To supply their wants, and be carriers for them all; being thoroughly convinced that it is our policy and interest to do so; and that nothing short of self-respect, and that justice which is essential to a national character, ought to involve us in war.  George Washington

Seems like we got off of that track somewhere along the way.

We’re so deeply consumed with the implications (blowback) of a very long sequence of fundamentally irrational decisions that have taken on a global, unguided momentum that our government is going to extraordinary lengths to keep the whole thing from collapsing. It is exacerbated by the fact that the covert things that we are doing are no secrets to the Muslim world and each drone attack or midnight SEAL team raid multiplies significantly the animosity against us.

But, as always, though that may be true, it’s not that simple. There’s domestic politics, the tottering global financial system, and, of course, the trump card of the American economy.

Is this the military-industrial complex problem that Eisenhower famously warned us about? Well, it’s morphed into The Enemy-Industrial Complex, says Tom Engelhardt in his piece, How to Turn a World Lacking in Enemies into the Most Threatening Place in the Universe. In a real sense, we’ve built a gigantic machine that contributes so much to our economy that if we quit feeding it (finding enemies) it could seriously damage the rest of the system. (Sounds a little like banks that are too big to let fail.) Engelhardt says we are spending trillions of dollars to pursue and defend against no real enemy.

“The U.S., in other words, is probably in less danger from external enemies than at any moment in the last century.  There is no other imperial power on the planet capable of, or desirous of, taking on American power directly, including China.  It’s true that, on September 11, 2001, 19 hijackers with box cutters produced a remarkable, apocalyptic, and devastating TV show in which almost 3,000 people died.  When those giant towers in downtown New York collapsed, it certainly had the look of nuclear disaster (and in those first days, the media was filled was nuclear-style references), but it wasn’t actually an apocalyptic event.

“The enemy was still nearly nonexistent.  The act cost bin Laden only an estimated $400,000-$500,000, though it would lead to a series of trillion-dollar wars.  It was a nightmarish event that had a malign Wizard of Oz quality to it: a tiny man producing giant effects.  It in no way endangered the state.  In fact, it would actually strengthen many of its powers.  It put a hit on the economy, but a passing one.  It was a spectacular and spectacularly gruesome act of terror by a small, murderous organization then capable of mounting a major operation somewhere on Earth only once every couple of years.  It was meant to spread fear, but nothing more.”

Perhaps the most bothersome thing about all of this is what our government and leaders have become in order to continue this amazing pretense. It’s as though they know the situation is not sustainable and believe that the only way to keep domestic things from coming unglued is to increase the government’s ability to absolutely control our lives. The radical shift over the past two decades in the perceived need of the government to truncate the civil liberties of its citizens is rather amazing.

Mike Stivers recently interviewed the always insightful Noam Chomsky about these changes. In his piece, Smoke and Mirrors, or Civil Liberties Under President Obama, Chomsky reviews a number of the initiatives that are in place or underway and finds it hard to explain these efforts in conventional terms, like politics. One wonders whether there is a bigger issue at play here – an unseen force of fear within governments that is driving this radical change. Perhaps they see the end point of the unsustainable policies and are preparing for that likelihood.

Maybe there’s something else.


Is Not Joining Facebook a Sign You’re a Psychopath? – (Daily Mail – August 6, 2012)
Facebook has become such a pervasive force in modern society that increasing numbers of employers, and even some psychologists, believe people who aren’t on social networking sites are ‘suspicious.’ The German magazine Der Taggspiegel went so far as to point out that accused theater shooter James Holmes and Norwegian mass murder Anders Behring Breivik have common ground in their lack of Facebook profiles. A related Forbes article, Beware, Tech Abandoners: People Without Facebook Accounts Are ‘Suspicious.’ reports that human resources departments across the country are becoming more wary of young job candidates who don’t use the site. (Editor’s note: However, as one commentator pointed out: these judgments don’t apply to older people who were already productive adults before social media became widespread.)

The Designation of an Enemy Combatant and Racism – (Nation of Change – April 25, 2013)
Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain have demanded that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev be charged as an enemy combatant rather than tried as an American civilian. This attempt to sidestep the U.S. Constitution by creating an alternative jurisdiction, and to try civilians in military courts, is a stride toward dictatorship. It is a tactic used by Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, and the demand that the military stop arresting and trying civilians has been central to the country’s revolutionary reform movement. Likewise, Bahrain has started trying civilians in military courts, as part of its authoritarian crackdown on its protest movement. The Uganda regime also resorts to this practice.


Physicist Believes It’s Possible to Build a Perpetual Motion Machine – (io9 – April 27, 2013)
All bets are off. A prominent physicist has just announced that he’s developed a proof for “time crystals” that can move thanks to a break in the symmetry of time. “Most research in physics is continuations of things that have gone before,” said Frank Wilczek, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Wilczek’s idea met with a muted response from physicists. Here was a brilliant professor known for developing exotic theories that later entered the mainstream, including the existence of particles called axions and anyons, and discovering a property of nuclear forces known as asymptotic freedom (for which he shared the Nobel Prize in physics in 2004). But perpetual motion, deemed impossible by the fundamental laws of physics, was hard to swallow. Did the work constitute a major breakthrough or faulty logic? Jakub Zakrzewski, a professor of physics and head of atomic optics at Jagiellonian University in Poland who wrote a perspective on the research that accompanied Wilczek’s publication, says: “I simply don’t know.” Now, a technological advance has made it possible for physicists to test the idea.


Stanford’s Transparent Brain – (Huffington Post – April 10, 2013)
Stanford researchers have turned a dreary gray brain into an object as transparent as apricot Jell-O — an approach that will reveal new secrets into the most mysterious of organs. The process, called CLARITY, transforms the brain’s tissue — replacing opaque fat with a clear gel — and creates a limpid organ with all of its essential circuitry intact and in place. “Brain tissue is very dense,” said researcher Kwanghun Chung. “We have developed a technique that makes tissue transparent…so we can visualize the architecture, necessary to understand the function of the complex organ.” The technique ushers in a new era of whole-organ imaging, offering hope for improving the study of such devastating neurological disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. “This feat of chemical engineering promises to transform the way we study the brain’s anatomy and how disease changes it,” according to Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Harvard Study Finds Fluoride Lowers IQ – (Reuters – July 24, 2012)
Harvard University researchers’ review of fluoride/brain studies concludes “our results support the possibility of adverse effects of fluoride exposures on children’s neurodevelopment.” It was published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ journal. “The children in high fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ than those who lived in low fluoride areas,” wrote Choi et al. Further, the EPA says fluoride is a chemical “with substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.” Water was the only fluoride source in the studies reviewed and was based on high water fluoride levels. However, they point out research by Ding (2011) suggested that low water fluoride levels had significant negative associations with children’s intelligence.

Edible Electronic Medical Devices Could Be Swallowed Like Regular Pills – (GizMag – April 25, 2013)
Over the past several years, scientists have developed so-called “camera pills,” that can be swallowed by patients and then transmit video from within their bodies. While such non-digestible gadgets could serve as an invaluable means of imaging, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are now looking into tiny electronic medical devices that could be swallowed and partially digested, providing non-invasive treatment in the process. The research project is being led by professors Christopher Bettinger and Jay Whitacre. Bettinger has been working on biodegradable electronics for medical use, while Whitacre has developed an inexpensive, non-toxic, sodium-ion electrochemical battery. The concept involves having simple electronic devices such as sensors, drug delivery systems or tissue-stimulating tools powered by the batteries, and made from a biodegradable shape-memory polymer. These devices would be folded down and encased within a gelatin capsule, allowing for a timed release at a key point in the gastrointestinal tract. When the capsule dissolved, the polymer would hydrate, thus initiating electrical current flow from the battery, and causing the device to open into its operational form.

‘God Particle’ Scientists Come up with Cancer-blasting Beam as an Alternative for Debilitating Radiotherapy – (Daily Mail – April 19, 2013)
Working alongside a British medical firm, the team at the Cern laboratory in Geneva plan to slash the cost of an alternative to debilitating radiotherapy. The method, known as proton beam therapy (PBT), treats tumors with high-powered beams of positively charged particles, is more effective than traditional radiotherapy, and leaves healthy tissue undamaged. “PBT offers a significant improvement for patients with cancer than conventional radiotherapy. Everybody recognizes the advantages of the technique, but so far, the big problem has always been cost,” according to Dr. Mike Sinclair, who heads Advanced Oncotherapy, in London.


Summer Ice Melt on Antarctic Peninsula Is Now Nonlinear, Fastest in Over 1000 Years – (Nation of Change – April 16, 2013)
A new study finds “a nearly tenfold increase in melt intensity” on the Antarctic Peninsula in the last few hundred years. Here’s the most worrisome news from this 1000-year reconstruction of ”ice-melt intensity and mean temperature” published in Nature Geoscience: The warming has occurred in progressive phases since about AD 1460, but intensification of melt is nonlinear, and has largely occurred since the mid-twentieth century.

The Fallacy of Cleaning the Gyres of Plastic with a Floating “Ocean Cleanup Array” – (Inhabitat – 4/17/2013)
An ocean gyre is a rotating current that circulates within one of the world’s oceans – and recent research has found that these massive systems are filled with plastic waste. There are no great estimates (at least scientific) on how much plastic is in the ocean, but I can say from firsthand knowledge (after sailing to four of the world’s five gyres) that it’s so pervasive it confounds the senses. Gyre cleanup has often been floated as a solution in the past, and recently Boyan Slat’s proposed ‘Ocean Cleanup Array’ went viral in a big way.  However, for many legitimate, scientific reasons, the project as Slat proposed it is massively unrealistic. This article provides an extensive analysis of the issues and the reasons that solutions proposed to date (particularly including Slat’s) fall badly short. See also: Polluting Plastic Particles Invade the Great Lakes.

Colorado River Tops 2013 Endangered Waterways List – (Associated Press – April 17, 2013)
Drought and demand are pushing the Colorado River beyond its limits — with the needs of more than 40 million people in seven Western states projected to outstrip dwindling supply over the next 50 years. The annual top-10 list by Washington, D.C.-based American Rivers points to a three-year federal Bureau of Reclamation study that warned last December that the river won’t always be able to serve all the residents, businesses, ranchers, Native Americans and farmers who rely upon it. Already, the Colorado River is drained of nearly every drop by the time it reaches Mexico. Colorado River water irrigates nearly 4 million acres of farmland, which yield about 15% of the nation’s crops, and serves as a primary drinking water supply for cities including Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Withering Drought Still Plaguing Half of America – (Mother Jones – April 4, 2013)
The $50 billion drought that bedeviled the country last Summer—the worst since the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s—still has its fingers around half the country. And if predictions are to be believed, it’s only going to get worse for many in the coming months. Weekly drought figures released by the US Drought Monitor, a joint project of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the USDA and several other government and academic partners, show the situation has worsened slightly from the previous week, with nearly 52% of the continental US now suffering from a moderate drought or worse. Drought still has a strong grip on much of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona due to low snow-water (around 75% of normal) heading into spring and early summer. That is just the latest in a battery of warning signs that show another brutal summer on its way: California experienced its driest January-February period on record, and average winter temperatures across the contiguous US were 1.9°F above the 20th century average.

Exxon Is Controlling the No-Fly Zone over Arkansas Tar Sands Spill – (Daily Kos – April 3, 2013)
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has had a “no fly zone” in place in Mayflower, Arkansas since April 1 and it will be in place “until further notice,” according to the FAA website. It’s being overseen by ExxonMobil itself. In other words, any media or independent observers who want to witness the tar sands spill disaster have to ask Exxon’s permission. The FAA site noted that “only relief aircraft operations under direction of Tom Suhrhoff” were allowed within the designated no fly zone. Suhrhoff works for ExxonMobil as an “Aviation Advisor” and formerly worked as a U.S. Army pilot for 24 years, according to his LinkedIn page. Mayflower is the site of the recent major March 29 ExxonMobil Pegagus tar sands pipeline spill, which belched out an estimated 5,000 barrels of tar sands diluted bitumen (“dilbit”), causing the evacuation of 22 homes. The rules for the no fly zone dictate that no aircraft can fly within 1,000 feet of the ground in the five-mile radius surrounding the ExxonMobil Pegasus tar sands pipeline spill. Lynn Lunsford, an FAA spokesman, said a no fly zone was issued because “at least one” helicopter was needed to move clean-up crews around, as well as to spot oil that can’t be seen from the ground.

Obama Approves Raising Permissible Levels of Nuclear Radiation in Drinking Water. Civilian Cancer Deaths Expected to Skyrocket – (Global Research, April 14, 2013)
This article, written by Helen Caldicott, notes that the White House has given final approval for dramatically raising permissible radioactive levels in drinking water and soil following “radiological incidents,” such as nuclear power-plant accidents and dirty bombs. The final version is a win for the nuclear industry which seeks what its proponents call a “new normal” for radiation exposure among the U.S. population, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, the radiation guides (called Protective Action Guides or PAGs) allow cleanup many times more lax than anything EPA has ever before accepted. These guides govern evacuations, shelter-in-place orders, food restrictions and other actions following a wide range of “radiological emergencies.” The Obama administration blocked a version of these PAGs from going into effect during its first days in office. The version recently given approval is substantially similar to those proposed under Bush but duck some of the most controversial aspects. PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that the EPA package lacks a cogent rationale, is largely impenetrable and hinges on a series of euphemistic “weasel words.” “No compelling justification is offered for increasing the cancer deaths of Americans innocently exposed to corporate miscalculations several hundred-fold.” Reportedly, the PAGs had been approved last fall but their publication was held until after the presidential election. See also, from the New York TimesEx-Regulator Says Reactors Are Flawed in which the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission notes, “All 104 nuclear power reactors now in operation in the United States have a safety problem that cannot be fixed and they should be replaced with newer technology.” Shutting them all down at once is not practical, he said, but he supports phasing them out rather than trying to extend their lives.


Two-Factor Authentication Wouldn’t Have Prevented AP Twitter Hack – (Security Watch – April 25, 2013)
Recently pro-Syrian hackers hijacked the AP Twitter account and posted a fake news alert claiming an explosion at the White House and that the president had been injured. In the three or four minutes before AP staffers figured out what happened and said the story was false, investors panicked and caused Dow Jones Industrial average to tumble over 148 points. Bloomberg News estimated the dip “wiped” $136 billion from the S&P 500 index. From the land of “if only. . .” If the Associated Press had set up two-factor authentication with its Twitter account, then the hackers would not have been able to hijack the account and wreak havoc. Nice and tidy idea, but in reality, no. Having two-factor would not have helped @AP because the hackers broke in via a phishing attack. Adversaries would just find another way to trick users into bypassing the security layer, said Aaron Higbee, CTO of PhishMe.

Google Searches May Forecast Market Rise or Fall – (Globe and Mail – April 24, 2013)
A new academic study suggests Google searches may signal which way the stock market will head. The bottom line in the article is that surges in Google searches for financial terms will precede market drops, while a decline in searches points to stocks climbing. “Our findings are consistent with the intriguing proposal that notable drops in the financial market are preceded by periods of investor concern,” said Tobias Preis of the Warwick Business School and Helen Susannah Moat and H. Eugene Stanley of Boston University. “In such periods, investors may search for more information about the market, before eventually deciding to buy or sell. Our results suggest that, following this logic, during the period 2004 to 2011 Google Trends search query volumes for certain terms could have been used in the construction of profitable trading strategies.”

How Technology Is Slowly Developing Its Sense of Smell – (The Washington Post – April 15, 2013)
You know that perennial April Fool’s joke about sending odors through the internet? The joke notwithstanding, there are serious efforts underway to make the digital capture and production of aromas a reality. The first world congress was recently held by the Digital Olfaction Society, an organization whose stated goal is to “digitize, transmit, reproduce and recapture smells, flavors and fragrances”. The conference was small, but the participants spanned the disciplines of computer science, biochemistry, engineering, smart clothing design and perfume retail. The society is the brainchild of Dr. Marvin Edeas, who is also the president and founder of International Society of Antioxidants in Nutrition and Health, and Professor Takamichi Nakamoto of the Tokyo Institute of Technology’s engineering school, whose team is gradually refining its smell detection and generation systems. Pointing out that experiments have also shown dogs can smell cancer and diabetes, Edeas foresees the development of a “digiscented world” where smells are deployed and captured for medical, gaming, security and justice purposes, and where cinemas use a version of Smell-O-Vision that actually works.


Algae-powered Apartment Complex Blooms in Hamburg – (Mother Nature Network – April 11, 2013)
As the world’s first building powered by algae, the 15-unit Bio Intelligent Quotient (BIQ) House generates biomass and heat with the assistance of 129 integrated glass bioreactor panels (read: microalgae harvesters) measuring .78 inches thick and covering approximately 2,150 square feet of the four-story structure’s southeast and southwest facing sides. Most conveniently, the algae-cultivating bio-façade provides the building with thermal insulation, shading from direct sunlight, and noise reduction in addition to generating a ready-to-harvest source of biomass.


Wind Energy Converter: Wind-‘Mill’ without Moving Parts – (Delft University of Technology – March 27, 2013)
Developed as part of the Dutch government’s economy/ ecology/ technology program, this pioneering wind energy converter can convert wind energy into electricity without the use of moving parts. This means there is far less wear and tear, maintenance costs are lower and there is no nuisance due to noise or shadows. This means that the turbine is ideally suited for installation offshore or in urban areas, for example on the roof of a high-rise building. A fluid steel frame in the shape of a rectangular zero surrounds a framework of horizontal steel tubes. Within the framework, charged droplets are formed, which are then blown away by the wind. The movement of the droplets produces electric power that can be transferred to the electricity grid. Article includes photo.

Brain in a Dish Controls Power Grid – (Discovery News – April 17, 2013)
Controlling the nation’s electrical power grid promises to grow insanely complex. Renewable energy sources are being added, more electric vehicles are plugging in, aging technology is being upgraded and tons of new data will flow. To deal with all that and increase efficiency, engineers are tapping directly into brain cells. This new approach to power management is being led by Kumar Venayagamoorthy, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Clemson University. In thinking about ways to optimize the electrical power grid, Venayagamoorthy looked for a system that could monitor, forecast, plan, learn, make decisions. What does that better than the human brain? He got help from Georgia Institute of Technology neuroengineer, Steve Potter, who developed a method for growing neurons in a dish containing electrodes to better understand how the brain responds to information. Venayagamoorthy came up with a power grid computer simulation and together the scientists connected it to living neurons from rodents. This system allowed the scientists to stimulate and record activity from the cells. Then the engineers successfully “taught” the living brain cell network how to respond to complex data and incorporated those results into a bio-inspired artificial network. The overall project, dubbed Brain2Grid, ultimately aims to come up with a smart brain-like control system for the power grid.


Phinergy’s Metal-Air Battery Could Eliminate EV Range Anxiety – (GizMag – April 3, 2013)
Israel-based company Phinergy claims to have developed metal-air battery technology that promises to end the range anxiety associated with electric vehicles. The company’s battery currently consists of 50 aluminum plates, each providing energy for around 20 miles (32 km) of driving. This adds up to a total potential range of 1,000 miles (1,609 km), with stops required only every couple of hundred miles to refill the system with water. There are a number of companies and university research teams currently working on air-battery technology – usually lithium-air batteries – with the goal of improving the range of electric vehicles. Phinergy claims to have solved the CO2-related premature failure problems seen in other metal-air battery technologies by developing an air electrode with a silver-based catalyst and structure that lets oxygen enter the cell, but blocks out CO2. The result is an air electrode that Phinergy says has an operational lifespan of thousands of hours.


Big City Farmers Take to the Rooftops – (Nation of Change – April 22, 2013)
Brooklyn may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of gardening. The dense population and high cost of land means there is precious little space for agriculture. But that didn’t stop the urban farm company Gotham Greens from creating a hydroponic greenhouse there. They just had to do it on a roof. Gotham Greens’ plants are organic, free of genetically modified organisms. and about as local as you can get for nearby restaurants and groceries. The farm is currently working on a partnership with Whole Foods to create a rooftop garden at the store’s new Brooklyn location.

Are You Eating ‘Superbugs?’ Resistant Bacteria Found at Alarming Rates on Meat in Stores – (Forbes – April 16, 2013)
There is concern currently that feeding antibiotics to livestock is resulting in ‘superbugs’ – bacteria resistant to drug treatment in humans and animals. But do consumers really need to be concerned about eating meat they buy at the grocery stores? A new report says “yes”.  The report was based on data collected by the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, (NARMS) a project sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. [The FDA responded to the report, and to this article, here] The group analyzed 2011 data recently released by the U.S. government and found 81% of ground turkey and 55% of ground beef sold in supermarkets carried antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella and Campylobacter.  Together these bacteria cause 3.6 million cases of food poisoning a year.  More than half of all chicken sampled carried antibiotic-resistant E. coli. Almost 90% of all store bought meat also had signs of normal and resistant Enterococcus faecium – a bacteria that indicates the product came in contact with fecal matter at some point during or after processing.


The World Is a Battlefield: Jeremy Scahill on ‘Dirty Wars’ and Obama’s Expanding Drone Attacks – (Nation of Change – April 24, 2013)
As the Senate holds its first ever public hearing on drones and targeted killings, this article includes an interview with Jeremy Scahill, author of the new book, Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield. Scahill talks about secret operations in Africa and targeting U.S. citizens in Yemen. Scahill charts the expanding covert wars operated by the CIA and JSOC, the Joint Special Operations Command, in countries from Somalia to Pakistan. He notes, “I called it ‘Dirty Wars’ because, particularly in the Obama administration, a lot of people are being led to believe that there is such a thing as a clean war.” See also: The Message Sent by America’s Invisible Victims

Bipartisan Panel Finds Indisputable Evidence of US Torture under Bush – (Nation of Change – April 17, 2013)
An independent bipartisan task force has concluded that it is “indisputable” the United States engaged in torture and the George W. Bush administration bore responsibility. The 11-member Task Force on Detainee Treatment was convened by The Constitution Project after President Obama chose not to support a national commission to investigate the counterterrorism programs. It was co-chaired by Asa Hutchinson, a former Republican congressman from Arkansas, NRA consultant and undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush. The report concludes that never before in U.S. history had there been “the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody.” While the report focused largely on the Bush administration after 9/11, it also criticizes a lack of transparency under Obama.


U.S. Intel Chief Says Iran Isn’t Building Nukes – (Care 2 – April 19, 2013)
In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday March 12, 2013, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper reaffirmed what the U.S. intelligence community has been saying for years: Iran has no nuclear weapons program, is not building a nuclear weapon and has not even made a decision to do so. The annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment,” which compiles the collective conclusions of all American intelligence agencies, has long held that Iran maintains defensive capabilities and has a military doctrine of deterrence and retaliation, but is not an aggressive state actor and has no intention of beginning a conflict, let alone triggering a nuclear apocalypse.

Obama Unveils New ‘Red Line’ for Syria’s Chemical Weapons – (Wired – April 26, 2013)
Blink and you’ll miss it, but President Obama just revised and extended his “red line” for stopping Bashar Assad from using chemical weapons against Syrian civilians. “We cannot stand by and permit the systematic use of weapons like chemical weapons on civilian populations,” Obama said today, per Reuters. The key word in that statement is “systematic”. The surprise White House acknowledgement said that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons, particularly sarin gas “on a small scale.” The evidence underlying the U.S. intelligence assessment included blood samples that indicated the effects of sarin. Behind the scenes, the Obama administration had spotted Assad prepping Syria’s chemical stocks for use last year, and attempted to block shipments of precursor chemicals. The statement gives the president wiggle room — something Obama has wanted to preserve throughout the two-year Syrian civil war. Combined with Obama’s call to investigate and substantiate the assessment of the chemical use, Obama has now implied it would take a widespread use of the chemicals to prompt the U.S. to involve itself more deeply in the rebel effort to overthrow Assad, which is the stated objective of U.S. Syria policy. But even “systematic” use of chemical weapons begs the question of how much sarin and other deadly gasses Assad can use before Obama feels compelled to stop him.


Japan and the Exhaustion of Consumerism – (Of Two Minds – October 12, 2012)

All modern economies depend on fads and fashions to drive consumption, and so Japan’s leadership in fads reflects its advanced state of consumerism. The vast majority of its citizens have access to the “good things” produced by modern industrialized economies. Thus it is unsurprising that Japan generates sufficient surplus on a national scale to support elaborate fads and fashions such as those on display in the Harajuku district of Tokyo: Every Sunday, young people dressed in a variety of styles including gothic lolita, visual kei, and decora, as well as cosplayers spend the day in Harajuku socializing. There are certainly positives to this opt-in “public fashion show”: self-expression in a conformist society, a bit of healthy rebellion against convention and good fun to share with friends, to name three. But there is a less positive aspect, too: it is a phenomenon of extended adolescence, a state of “suspended animation” of young adults facing truncated opportunities for adulthood–secure careers, marriage, family, homeownership–who are stuck in a seemingly permanent adolescence. Young people have money and time to burn on outlandish costumes because few earn enough to have their own families or flats. What we’re seeing in Japan is the confluence of three dynamics: definancialization, the demise of growth-positive demographics and the devolution of the consumerist model of endless “demand” and “growth.” Definancialization, as the author defines the term, is the process in which excessive speculation and debt crush while the crony-capitalist Central State attempts to stem the resulting deflation with massive, sustained Keynesian stimulus, i.e. quantitative easing (fiscal deficits). This reality is playing out in Europe and the U.S. as well. See also: Narcissism, Consumerism and the End of Growth.


Bizarre Binary Neutron Stars With Gravity 300 Billion Times Earth—Confirms Einstein – (Daily Galaxy – April 26, 2013)
An exotic pair of binary stars have proved that Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity is still right, even in the most extreme conditions tested yet. “The unusual pair of stars is quite interesting in its own right but we’ve learned it is also a unique laboratory for testing the limits of one of our most fundamental physical theories, general relativity” says University of Toronto astronomy professor Marten van Kerkwijk, a member of the research team. What makes the pair of stars exceptional are the unique characteristics of each and their close proximity to each other. One is a tiny but unusually heavy neutron star. It is the remnant of a supernova explosion, and is twice as heavy as the Sun yet is only 20 kilometers across. The gravity at its surface is more than 300 billion times stronger than that on Earth and at its centre every sugarcube-sized volume has more than one billion tons of matter squeezed into it, roughly the mass of every human past and present. That star is orbited by a rather lightweight dwarf star every two and a half hours, an unusually short period. Only slightly less exotic, the white dwarf is the glowing remains of a much lighter star that has lost its envelope and is slowly cooling.

‘Sirius’ Documentary Reveals DNA Test Results on Ata, the ‘6-Inch Alien’ – (Huffington Post – April 25, 2013)
“Sirius” focuses on the remains of the small humanoid, nicknamed Ata, that was discovered in Chile’s Atacama Desert 10 years ago and has, literally, gone through different hands and ownership since then. The mummified remains of what looks like a 6-inch space alien has turned “Sirius” into the most eagerly awaited documentary among UFO enthusiasts. The findings, however, might come as a disappointment. In early publicity, filmmakers claimed the documentary would reveal that the DNA of the creature with an oversized alien-looking head couldn’t be medically classified. The film, which recently premiered in Hollywood, features a scientist who concluded the little humanoid was human. “I can say with absolute certainty that it is not a monkey. It is human — closer to human than chimpanzees. It lived to the age of six to eight. Obviously, it was breathing, it was eating, it was metabolizing. It calls into question how big the thing might have been when it was born,” said Garry Nolan, director of stem cell biology at Stanford University’s School of Medicine in California. “The sequence that we got from the mitochondria tells us with extremely high confidence that the mother was an indigenous Indian from the Chilean area. The other thing that immediately fell out of the analysis is that it’s male. It probably died in the last century, if I were to make a guess.” (Editor’s note: Based on the analysis, we wish that Dr. Nolan, rather than referring to “the thing” and “it”, had referred to “he”.)


Nanowire Solar Cells Raise Efficiency Limit – (Solar Daily – March 26, 2013)
Scientists from the Nano-Science Center at the Niels Bohr Institut, Denmark and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland, have shown that a single nanowire can concentrate the sunlight up to 15 times of the normal sun light intensity. Due to some unique physical light absorption properties of nanowires, the limit of how much energy we can utilize from the sun’s rays is higher than previous believed. These results demonstrate the great potential of development of nanowire-based solar cells described in the journal Nature Photonics. The nanowires are predicted to have great potential in the development not only of solar cells, but also of future quantum computers and other electronic products.

Solar Powered Elevator (Energy Manager Today – April 4, 2013)
The Schindler Solar Elevator is a hybrid system designed to supply up to 100% of an elevator’s power needs from rooftop solar panels and a hybrid energy manager that stores the solar energy in batteries until needed. During normal situations, solar panels can supply most of the Schindler Solar Elevator’s power requirements, which will vary depending on size and daily traffic. Backup power needs are provided by a one-phase grid connection that the company calls “significantly simpler and less costly” to install and operate than the standard three-phase connection. The new solar elevator system uses a standard Schindler 3300 gearless machine room-less elevator, which is already up to 60% more energy efficient than hydraulic elevators. The elevator system includes many features that are designed to save energy and reduce costs: stable start; a frequency converter with an energy efficient standby power mode; controls that automatically switch car lights to standby mode and LED car lights. Article includes details of other elevator companies’ energy improvements.

Desktop 3D Scanner is Cheaper Than a Tablet – (Inhabitat – April 4, 2013)
Tech lovers have already been 3D printing everything from ornaments to their own faces with small desktop 3D printers. But now the technology is even more accessible, as low-cost 3D scanners make their way to the market. MakerBot says it has a 3D scanner in the works, but Canadian company Matterform is beating them to the punch, already offering consumers the lightweight Photon 3D scanner at a price that’s cheaper than a tablet. See also: US Military Creates Cheap, Lightweight 3D Printer to Manufacture Equipment on the Frontline And see: 3D Printer Can Build Synthetic Tissues detailing a custom-built programmable 3D printer that can create materials with several of the properties of living tissues reported by Oxford University researchers.

Want a Robot? – Try Your iPhone – (You Tube – April 17, 2013)
Keller Rinaudo of Romotive talks about the company’s new personal, programmable robot, “Romo”, made by setting an iPhone in a mobile docking system. (It’s clever and it’s cute!)


The Underground Recovery – (New Yorker – April 29, 2013)
The economist Edgar Feige has been investigating the so-called underground, or gray, economy for thirty-five years. According to him, if the government managed to collect taxes on all the under-the-table income, the deficit would be trivial. This unreported income is being earned, for the most part, not by drug dealers or Mob bosses but by tens of millions of people with run-of-the-mill jobs—nannies, barbers, Web-site designers, and construction workers—who are getting paid off the books. Ordinary Americans have gone underground, and, as the recovery continues to limp along, they seem to be doing it more and more. Off-the-books activity also helps explain a mystery about the current economy: even though the percentage of Americans officially working has dropped dramatically, and even though household income is still well below what it was in 2007, personal consumption is higher than it was before the recession, and retail sales have been growing briskly (despite a dip in March). Bernard Baumohl, an economist at the Economic Outlook Group, estimates that, based on historical patterns, current retail sales are actually what you’d expect if the unemployment rate were around five or six per cent, rather than the 7.6% we’re stuck with. The difference, he argues, probably reflects workers migrating into the shadow economy.

7 Data Disasters More Embarrassing Than Reinhart and Rogoff’s – (Bloomberg – April 17, 2013)
A group of authors at U Mass-Amherst have released a paper calling into question one of the intellectual cornerstones of post-financial-crisis economic thought. They said they had found three errors in research done by the economists Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, who had demonstrated that there seemed to be a tipping point where a country with public debt greater than 90% of its gross domestic product would face sharply slower growth. The most glaring error: In an Excel data set of countries’ annual GDP growth and their public debt, Rogoff and Reinhart apparently forgot to select an entire row when it came to averaging growth figures, leaving out Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada and Denmark. Rogoff and Reinhart acknowledged the error, writing that “it leads to a notable change in the average growth rate for the over-90-per-cent debt group.” This means that one of the most influential claims in public discussions and government policies related to austerity, debt and stimulus — “that there is a sharp fall-off in growth when debt reaches 90% of GDP — was partially due to a simple Excel error.  Oops.  This article details 7 other “data disasters” in recent history—most of them very costly.


Why Such Secrecy about Private Military Contractor’s Men Working the Event? – (Nation of Change – April 27, 2013)
Speaking as an investigative reporter with almost 40 years of experience, I (the author of this article) can say that when government officials won’t talk, they’re generally hiding something embarrassing or worse. I tried, and nobody will talk about those Craft International Services (subsidiary of Xe Services, formerly known as Blackwater, founded by former Navy Seal, Eric Prince) private security personnel who were widely observed and photographed near the finish line of the Boston Marathon wearing security ear-pieces, hats and T-shirts bearing the company’s skull logo, all wearing the same dark coats, khaki pants and combat boots, while some carried what appear to have been radiation detectors. When an horrific incident like this is used to justify such new threats to our Constitutional freedom as an unprecedented martial law-style lockdown of an entire 1-million-person metropolitan area and a precedent-setting deliberately Miranda-free, attorney-free interrogation of a hospitalized, gravely wounded and sedated suspect, it is critical that the whole story be told, not just the official one. (Editor’s note: we strongly recommend reading this entire article detailing attempted substantive investigative journalism and the next article.)

Boston Bombing: Official Story Proves Dzhokhar Is Innocent – (Information Clearing House – April 24, 2013)
Although the FBI pretended to need our help to identify the two men while the entire time their own local field offices had been in steady contact with the boys for at least two years. The FBI has come out since and admitted their involvement with the boys and several Congressmen are asking how they “dropped the ball” on this one. The FBI is avoiding answering Congress’ questions. The Congressmen are starting to ask for the FBI’s files on these boys. Family members, even the one trying to help the Feds, suggest that they were being manipulated by “mentors” which is standard operating procedure for the FBI’s domestic terrorism task force. In fact, it appears from the official photos of the boys, they were indeed waiting for quite a while in front of a restaurant in the area to meet someone — someone who told them to be there. Someone who deliberately put them in the wrong place at the right time.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassinated by US Government Agents: King Family Civil Trial Verdict – (Examiner – April 4, 2013)
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s family and his personal friend and attorney, William F. Pepper, won a civil trial that found US government agencies guilty in the wrongful death of Martin Luther King. The 1999 trial, King Family v Jowers and Other Unknown Co-Conspirators, is the only trial ever conducted on the assassination of Dr. King. The overwhelming evidence of government complicity introduced and agreed as comprehensively valid by the jury includes the fact that the 111th Military Intelligence Group was sent to Dr. King’s location, and that the usual police protection was pulled away just before the assassination. Military Intelligence set-up photographers on a roof of a fire station with a clear view to Dr. King’s balcony. 20th Special Forces Group had an 8-man sniper team at the assassination location on that day. In stark contrast to the 1995 trial of O.J. Simpson, the US media did not cover the King trial, interview the King family, and textbooks omit this information. Here is a text covering the highlights of the case. Here is a six-minute video of the evidence from the trial and an eight-minute video on the FBI’s disclosures of covert operations against Dr. King.

FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH – articles off the beaten track which may – or may not – have predictive value.

IARC Publishes Rationale for Radio Frequency Radiation as Possible Human Carcinogen – (Microwave News – April 19, 2013)
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has released its detailed evaluation of the cancer risks associated with RF radiation, which serves as the rationale for designating RF as a possible human carcinogen. The IARC monograph comes close to two years after an invited panel of experts from 14 countries reached this conclusion following an eight-day meeting at IARC headquarters in Lyon, France. An electronic copy of the 430-page document is available at no cost from IARC. The basis for IARC designation of RF as a Class 2B carcinogen is summed up in one sentence: “Positive associations have been observed between exposure to radiofrequency radiation from wireless phones and glioma and acoustic neuroma” (p.421). Those associations with brain tumors and tumors of the acoustic nerve were observed by the Interphone study group and Lennart Hardell’s team in Sweden. The panel’s decision was close to unanimous. One strong dissent came from Peter Inskip of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, who walked out of the IARC meeting before the final vote. One or two others, including Maria Blettner of the University of Mainz in Germany, were reported to have also disagreed with the majority opinion. There was talk that the dissenters would file a minority opinion, but no signed statement appears in the IARC monograph. Instead, their view is included in the final paragraph of the report: The available evidence does not support a “conclusion about a causal association” due to “inconsistencies” between the Interphone and Hardell studies and the lack of an exposure-response relationship.


Dakuwaqa’s Garden – (You Tube – October 4, 2011)
Exquisite underwater footage from Fiji & Tonga featuring coral reefs, huge schools of tropical fish, sharks, humpback whales, underwater caves, scuba divers and marine life from the south Pacific. Now that you’ve seen all that underwater life, watch the behavior of water itself, one drop at a time, at 2000 frames/second.


Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal. – John F. Kennedy

A special thanks to: Thomas Bergin, Bernard Calil, Kevin Foley, Chas Freeman, Ursula Freer, Judy Gardiner, Brad Hayden, Diane Petersen, Gary Sycalik, Steve Ujvarosy and all of you who have sent us interesting links in the past. If you see something we should know about, do send it along – thanks.
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Edited by John L. Petersen
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He has led national non-profit organizations, worked in sales, manufacturing, real estate development, and marketing and advertising, mostly for companies he founded. A graduate electrical engineer, he has also promoted rock concerts; produced conventions; and worked as a disc jockey, among other things.

Mr. Petersens government and political experience include stints at the National War College, the Institute for National Security Studies, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council staff at the White House. He was a naval flight officer in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve and is a decorated veteran of both the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars. He has served in senior positions for a number of presidential political campaigns and was an elected delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1984. He was twice the runner-up to be Secretary of the Navy.

In 1989, Petersen founded The Arlington Institute (TAI), a non-profit, future-oriented research institute. TAI operates on the premise that effective thinking about the future is impossible without casting a very wide net. The “think tank” serves as a global agent for change by developing new concepts, processes and tools for anticipating the future and translating that knowledge into better present-day decisions. Using advanced information technology, a core group of bright thinkers and an international network of exceptionally curious people along with simulations, modeling, scenario building, polling and analysis, Arlington helps equip leaders and organizations from many disciplines with tools and actionable perspectives for dealing with uncertain times.

An award-winning writer, Petersens first book, The Road to 2015: Profiles of the Future was awarded Outstanding Academic Book of 1995 by CHOICE Academic Review, and remained on The World Future Societys best-seller list for more than a year. His Out of the Blue: How to Anticipate Wild Cards and Big Future Surprises book was also a WFS best-seller. His latest book is a Vision of 2012: Planning for Extraordinary Change. His coauthored article, (The Year 2000: Social Chaos or Social Transformation?) was one of the most highly acclaimed writings on Y2K. His 1988 book-length report (The Diffusion of Power: An Era of Realignment) was used at the highest levels of American government as a basis for strategic planning. He has also written papers on the future of national security and the military, the future of energy and the future of the media.

Petersen is a past board member of the World Future Society, writes on the future of aviation for Professional Pilot magazine and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation. He is a former network member of the Global Business Network and a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. A provocative public speaker, he addresses a wide array of audiences around the world on a variety of future subjects. When he is not writing or speaking, Petersen invests in and develops resources for large, international projects and advanced technology start-up companies. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. Speaking Inquiries: Email [email protected]

Robert David Steele

Robert David Steele, former spy, former Marine Corps officer, a proponent of Open Source Everything, Presidential candidate in 2012 and perhaps again in 2024, recommended for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 will integrate his life’s experience with his lessons from the works of others to explore love versus fear as a foundation for politics; liberty under natural law versus predatory fascism as we now have in the USA; and the possibilities for cosmic awakening very soon, in a full-on defeat of the Deep State and its Archon masters.

Chris Robinson

Chris Robinson’s amazing ability to dream about the future in terms that can be reliably translated into people, times, places, and activities has been the subject of books, major university scientific studies, films, articles, TV shows, and just about all forms of media. He has taught many people how to dream about the future and, through his advanced intuitive capabilities, helped thousands to understand how to deal with seemingly impossible personal situations. He is also a healer, having on numerous occasions led people with supposedly terminal conditions to eliminate those issues and return to a healthy life. There is no one else in the world that has Chris’s fascinating background (undercover police work, etc.), coupled with these amazing personal gifts.

Frank DeMarco

FRANK DeMARCO has been reporting on his conversations with non-physical beings for more than two decades, in magazine articles, talks, and in a dozen non-fiction books and two novels.

FRANK DeMARCO is the author of 14 books rooted in more than 25 years of psychic exploration, including It’s All One World, Awakening from the 3D World, Rita’s World (two volumes), The Cosmic Internet, The Sphere and the Hologram, and Imagine Yourself Well. Since 2005, he has been actively engaged in an on-going series of conversations with various non-physical beings, including historical individuals, “past lives,” aspects of personal guidance, and a generalized group he calls “the guys upstairs.”

He is also the author of three novels, Messenger, That Phenomenal Background (originally published as Babe in the Woods) and Dark Fire.

Dr. Larry Dossey

Dr. Larry Dossey is a physician of internal medicine and former Chief of Staff of Medical City Dallas Hospital. He received his M. D. degree from Southwestern Medical School (Dallas), and trained in internal medicine at Parkland and the VA hospitals in Dallas. Dossey has lectured at medical schools and hospitals throughout the United States and abroad. In 1988 he delivered the annual Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture in New Delhi, India, the only physician ever invited to do so. He is the author of twelve books dealing with consciousness, spirituality, and healing, including the New York Times bestseller HEALING WORDS: THE POWER OF PRAYER AND THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE, and most recently One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters. His books have been translated into languages around the world. Dr. Dossey is the former co-chairman of the Panel on Mind/Body Interventions, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health. He is the executive editor of the peer-reviewed journal EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing. Dr. Dossey lectures around the world. He lives in Santa Fe with his wife Barbara, a nurse-consultant and the author of several award-winning books.

William Buhlman

William Buhlman is a recognized expert on the subject of out-of-body experiences. The author’s forty years of extensive personal out-of-body explorations give him a unique and thought provoking insight into this subject. His first book, Adventures beyond the Body chronicles his personal journey of self-discovery through out-of-body travel, and provides the reader with the preparation and techniques that can be used for their own adventure. He has conducted an international out-of-body experience survey that includes over 16,000 participants from forty-two countries. The provocative results of this survey are presented in his book, The Secret of the Soul. This cutting edge book explores the unique opportunities for personal growth and profound spiritual awakenings that are reported during out-of-body experiences.

Over the past two decades William has developed an effective system to experience safe, self initiated out-of-body adventures. He conducts an in-depth six-day workshop titled, Out-of-Body Exploration Intensive at the renowned Monroe Institute in Virginia. As a certified hypnotherapist, William incorporates various methods, including hypnosis, visualization and meditation techniques in his workshops to explore the profound nature of out-of-body experiences and the benefits of accelerated personal development. Through lectures, workshops and his books the author teaches the preparation and techniques of astral projection and spiritual exploration.

The author brings a refreshing look to how we can use out-of-body experiences to explore our spiritual identity and enhance our intellectual and physical lives. William is best known for his ability to teach people how to have profound spiritual adventures through the use of out-of-body experiences. In addition, he has developed an extensive series of audio programs that are designed to expand awareness and assist in the exploration of consciousness. William has appeared on numerous television and radio shows worldwide. William’s books are currently available in twelve languages. The author lives in Delaware, USA. For more information visit his web site, www.astralinfo.org.

Joe McMoneagle

Joe was the longest operational psychic spy in the US government’s very highly classified Stargate program where they used psychics and intuitives to look into installations and people around the world that were of interest to government intelligence agencies. They called the process remote viewing.

As it turned out, the remote viewers discovered that they were – not limited by either time or space and produced drawings and assessments that could not have been obtained in any other way. The Soviets had an active remote viewing program at the same time and it is rumored that Russia, China and the U.S. still have initiatives of this kind that are operational.

Joe’s stories are fascinating, like the time he mentally got inside a Chinese nuclear weapon and saw how the triggering mechanism worked . . . and then went out and bought the parts at Radio Shack to show the scientists in the intelligence agency exactly how it was done. The remote viewers could find submarines at the bottom of the ocean and crashed aircraft in the middle of African jungles.

Dr. Joe Dispenza

Dr Joe Dispenza is an international lecturer, researcher, corporate consultant, author, and educator who has been invited to speak in more than 33 countries on six continents. As a lecturer and educator, he is driven by the conviction that each of us has the potential for greatness and unlimited abilities. In his easy-to-understand, encouraging, and compassionate style, he has educated thousands of people, detailing how they can rewire their brains and recondition their bodies to make lasting changes.

Dr. Joe is also a faculty member at Quantum University in Honolulu, Hawaii; the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, New York; and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He’s also an invited chair of the research committee at Life University in Atlanta, Georgia.

As a researcher, Dr. Joe’s passion can be found at the intersection of the latest findings from the fields of neuroscience, epigenetics, and quantum physics to explore the science behind spontaneous remissions. He uses that knowledge to help people heal themselves of illnesses, chronic conditions, and even terminal diseases so they can enjoy a more fulfilled and happy life, as well as evolve their consciousness. At his advanced workshops around the world, he has partnered with other scientists to perform extensive research on the effects of meditation, including epigenetic testing, brain mapping with electroencephalograms (EEGs), and individual energy field testing with a gas discharge visualization (GDV) machine. His research also includes measuring both heart coherence with HeartMath monitors and the energy present in the workshop environment before, during, and after events with a GDV Sputnik sensor.

As a NY Times best-selling author, Dr. Joe has written Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon(Hay House, 2017), which draws on research conducted at his advanced workshops since 2012 to explore how common people are doing the uncommon to transform themselves and their lives; You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter (Hay House, 2014), which explores our ability to heal without drugs or surgery, but rather by thought alone; Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One (Hay House, 2012) and Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind (2007), both of which detail the neuroscience of change and epigenetics. His film appearances include Transcendence: Live Life Beyond the Ordinary (2018); HEAL (2017); E-Motion (2014); Sacred Journey of the Heart (2012); People v. the State of Illusion (2011); What IF – The Movie (2010); Unleashing Creativity (2009); and What the #$*! Do We Know? & Down the Rabbit Hole, extended DVD version (2005).

Dr. Todd Ovokaitys

After two years at Northwestern, he was accepted into an accelerated combined graduate/undergraduate program at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, which conferred both B.A. and M.D. degrees. Advanced training was at Georgetown University Hospital, with a Residency and Chief Residency in Internal Medicine followed by a Fellowship in Pulmonary and Intensive Care Medicine.

During his Pulmonary Fellowship, the specialty that concerns the lungs, Dr. Todd began his research with cells of the immune system. Many procedures were done on AIDS patients to diagnose their lung problems. Observing this dire disease firsthand and the toxic results of early medical treatments, Dr. Todd developed a passion for finding better solutions. Towards the end of his Fellowship, he became aware of the benefits of Holistic Medicine for improving the function of the immune system while building rather than impairing the function of other systems.

Inspired to learn more, he moved to Southern California to study with practitioners of Complementary Medicine. In the context of these studies, he had an experience so radical that the course of his life and work were forever transformed.

During a meditation class in the summer of 1989, Dr. Todd paired with another student for an exercise. The process was profound and they took turns, one in the process while the other scribed to record any breakthroughs of awareness. Much as in the Jodie Foster movie “Contact,” the usual anchor points dissolved with the feeling of instant transport to a different dimension of being. There was a doorway or portal to traverse, with a message of the responsibility taken on through the choice to go further.

Instantly upon walking through this doorway, a living form was seen that filled a room – and had the shape of a DNA strand enlarged millions of times. This form communicated that science only partly understood how DNA worked. The linear understanding of DNA as an enormous data string was correct but incomplete. In addition, DNA was a structure of coils within coils in an environment of moving charges that permitted DNA to send electromagnetic signals much as a radio transmitter. Further, DNA could receive and be conditioned by electromagnetic signals. Most significantly, if it were possible to determine and transmit the correct resonant signals, that it was possible to switch the activity of a sick cell to that of a healthy cell, an old cell to that of a young cell.

This experience brought with it a certainty that solutions were possible. After intensive review of the previous work showing the effects of electromagnetic energy patterns on cellular health and function, Dr. Todd located a colleague with the technical expertise to build the desired invention.

Mary Rodwell

Mary Rodwell is a professional counsellor, hypnotherapist, researcher, metaphysician, and founder and principal of ACERN (Australian Close Encounter Resource Network). She is internationally known for her work with ET experiencers and star children. She offers regressions and support for contactees and has organized a buddy system to help those who have had close encounters. Mary has spoken at conferences in Australia, USA, UK, Scandinavia, Hawaii and New Zealand. She is a regular guest on international radio and online shows and writes article for international publications like the UFO Truth Magazine. Mary is co-founder of FREE, a non-profit organization aimed at researching close encounters.

She is the author of, Awakening – How extra-terrestrial contact can transform your life. Mary is working on her second book, The New Human, due for release this year.

Freddy Silva

Freddy Silva is a best-selling author, and leading researcher of ancient civilizations, restricted history, sacred sites and their interaction with consciousness. He has published six books in six languages, and produced eleven documentaries. Described by one CEO as “perhaps the best metaphysical speaker in the world right now,” for two decades he has been an international keynote speaker, with notable appearances at the International Science and Consciousness Conference, the International Society For The Study Of Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine, and the Association for Research and Enlightenment, in addition to appearances on Gaia TV, History Channel, BBC, and radio shows such as Coast To Coast. He also leads private sell-out tours to ancient temples worldwide. www.invisibletemple.com

Sharry Edwards

Sharry Edwards has been accused of being too scientific by some, too esoteric by others. In actuality, she is a bridge between both fields of inquiry. Sharry is the acknowledged pioneer in the emerging field of Vocal Profiling using BioAcoustic Biology. For many years she has provided the leading-edge research to show the voice as a holographic representation of the body that can be used to change the face of medicine.

Sharry asks that we imagine a future in which we can be individually identified and maintained through the use of frequency based biomarkers that keep us healthy and emotionally balanced. Her work at the Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has shown that we can each have dominion over those frequencies by individual mind management or a simple remote control that is completely programmable. Using the unique techniques of Vocal Profiling and evaluation, emotional as well as physiological issues can be revealed and addressed.

Her work with the human voice reveals that people who share similar traumas, stresses, diseases, toxicities…share similar, if not identical, vocal anomalies. She brings together ancient knowledge with modern ideas of harmonics and frequency relationship theories to show that math can be used as a form of predictive, diagnostic and curative foundation for wellness. Through entrainment of the frequency grids of the brain, the body can be programmed to support its own optimal form and function.

Dr. John McMichael

John McMichael, PhD, is the founder and CEO of Beach Tree Labs, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and early development of new therapeutic agents targeting unmet medical needs. These disorders range from herpes infections to chronic fatigue syndrome to urinary incontinence. His PhD is in virology and immunology from Oregon State University. He headed up the labs at one of the largest private veterinary research practices in the country, was a college professor for more than a decade, and now works out of a small lab on his form in New York state and a larger, more sophisticated lab in Providence, Rhode Island. He holds over 200 patents, has published in books and peer-reviewed journals, and is currently working with his team to begin formal FDA trials for product candidates for chronic traumatic brain injury and Ehlers-Danlos syndromes.

Good health is dependent on the appropriate transfer of information within and between cells. The informational and molecular disharmonies associated with disease can be reversed using appropriate therapeutic signals that stimulate the return to the normal state without adverse effects. One such signal molecule, SLO, has demonstrated clinical utility in a broad spectrum of indications that would at first glance appear to be unrelated. The underlying common thread that links these disorders is representative of the targets to which resonant molecular signals are directed.

Dr. Carrie Hempel & Brian Sanderoff

Integrative Physician Dr. Carrie Hempel and Holistic Pharmacist Brian Sanderoffare both experts in the medicinal use of cannabis in Maryland.

Dr. Hempel is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2002. As an Osteopathic Physician, she has embraced a holistic approach to patient care, providing loving attention to the relationship between mind, body, and spirit. For the past 11 years she has received specialist training, Board Certification and expertise in several fields including Internal Medicine, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, and Hospice & Palliative Medicine, along with many Integrative modalities. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Association of Cannabis Specialists, and is registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

Over the course of her career she has seen the consistent struggle of patients dealing with chronic, progressive, debilitating illness, and witnessed the challenges and limitations of the current pharmaceutical options for pain and symptom managment. Her passion for this population has grown, along with her desire to advocate for patients to have access to non-opioid, holistic options to enhance quality of life and optimize function.

Trained as a pharmacist, Brian Sanderoff has integrated 25 years of experience with his traditional medical training and herbalism, nutrition and numerous other holistic modalities to help clients devise practical, common-sense, safe solutions to most any health issue.

His clients appreciate how he embraces a complementary approach to health and how his holistic “compass” brings them new solutions to their unique health concerns – especially chronic diseases.

Mary Rodwell

Mary Rodwell is a professional counsellor, hypnotherapist, researcher, metaphysician, and founder and principal of ACERN (Australian Close Encounter Resource Network). She is internationally known for her work with ET experiencers and star children. She offers regressions and support for contactees and has organised a buddy system to help those who have had close encounters. Mary has spoken at conferences in Australia, USA, UK, Scandinavia, Hawaii and New Zealand. She is a regular guest on international radio and online shows and writes article for international publications like the UFO Truth Magazine. Mary is co-founder of FREE, a non-profit organisation aimed at researching close encounters.

Steve McDonald

Steve McDonald is an extraordinary Australian thinker and researcher who arguably knows as much about the structure of the global planetary transition that we are experiencing as anyone on the planet. He draws coherent pictures from the deep insights of Clair W. Graves and paints clear, explanatory images of not only how humanity has evolved to this point, but what is inevitably on our horizon . . . and how this epic transition will continue to play out.

He is currently writing a book about the global paradigm shift that’s taking us beyond the scientific-industrial era. Steve served with the Australian Army for 15 years, including war service as an infantry company commander in Somalia, 1993. He is also a qualified military helicopter pilot and on leaving the army he flew a rescue helicopter in the tropical Mackay-Whitsunday region of Queensland. Building upon his extensive experience in unpredictable environments, after retiring from flying Steve specialized as a change management consultant. He consequently studied the developmental psychology research of Dr Clare W Graves and became one of the first Australians qualified to teach Dr Graves’ theory under the banner of Spiral Dynamics Integral. A long-term struggle with posttraumatic stress has driven Steve’s deep interest in human nature and consciousness. He is a founder of Psychedelic Research in Science & Medicine, an Australian non-profit association. He is also a founder of AADII, a non-profit company created to support worldwide transformational change.

Robert Coxon

Although Robert Coxon had been studying and composing music for many years, it was after taking the Silva Mind Control course that he realized how powerful sound could be in relaxing the body and opening the consciousness. He then decided to write his first album.

Cristal Silence quickly became a major hit throughout Canada, staying on top of the charts for many years. This was the beginning of his continuing phenomenal success as composer and solo artist. For the last 29 years he has performed only his original compositions in concert. Robert has been nominated four times for the prestigious “Felix” award (French Canada equivalent to the Grammy), and became Canada’s best-selling New Age artist. His international breakthrough came after composing The Silent Path in 1995. This album was an instant hit in Canada, the USA and France. After hearing The Silent Path, Lee Carroll, internationally renowned author of 15 bestselling Kryon and Indigo books, contacted Robert and asked him to join his team on tour. Through the years this has given Robert the opportunity to experience different cultures and inspires him to write music honoring these many countries he performs in.

Robert offers us nine albums, the latest three being The Infinite, essence of life, Goddess -The Power of Woman and Passion Compassion Alegeria.

Joe Dispenza

needs bio…

Gary Sycalik

Gary Sycalik has been described as an entrepreneur, businessman, project developer/manager, consultant/advisor, organizational troubleshooter, strategic planner, facilitator, futurist, business and social architect, complex problematic game designer (policy, strategic, tactic levels) and writer. Gary brings a robust horizontal and vertical functional capability to any project from the conceptual to operational stage.

Kingsley L. Dennis Phd.

Kingsley L. Dennis, PhD, is a sociologist, researcher, and writer. He previously worked in the Sociology Department at Lancaster University, UK. Kingsley is the author of numerous articles on social futures; technology and new media communications; global affairs; and conscious evolution. He is the author of several critically acclaimed books including Healing the Wounded Mind, The Sacred Revival, The Phoenix Generation, New Consciousness for a New World, Struggle for Your Mind, After the Car, and the celebrated Dawn of the Akashic Age (with Ervin Laszlo). He has traveled extensively and lived in various countries. He currently lives in Andalusia, Spain.


His homepage is www.kingsleydennis.com

Penny Kelly

Penny Kelly is an author, teacher, speaker, publisher, personal and spiritual consultant, and Naturopathic physician. She travels, lectures, and teaches a variety of classes and workshops, and maintains a large consulting practice. She has been involved in scientific research and investigations into consciousness at Pinelandia Laboratory near Ann Arbor, MI.