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Nice authorities turn down police request to delete footage of fatal truck attack

Posted by iscariotes em 23 de julho de 2016

Fonte: RT

Nice authorities have turned down the request of French anti-terrorist police to delete footage from surveillance cameras and any other videos which captured the fatal truck attack on Bastille Day.
The request was sent by Anti-Terrorist Sub-Directorate (SDAT), a special police division battling extremism, to the mayor of Nice’s office on Wednesday, according to the paper.

 

Le Figaro managed to obtain the copy of the document in which SDAT, citing articles of the criminal and penal codes, demands the city authorities delete “completely” nearly 24 hours of the attack captured on cameras on the Promenade des Anglais.

“Delete the recordings between July 14, 2016 22:30 and July 15, 2016 18:00,” the documents demands.

The anti-terrorist police named six cameras which recordings should be “particularly” deleted. Plus the city authorities should delete any footage from any camera “that captured the crime scene”, the paper added.

“This is the first time we’ve been asked to destroy evidence [from the attack],” a source close to the city authorities said. “The CCTV center and the city of Nice could be prosecuted for this… Also the officers in charge of the cameras don’t have jurisdiction to engage in such operations.”

Le Figaro reported that the day after the attack police demanded from the city authorities to recover 30,000 hours of CCTV-related events. A backup operation is reportedly ongoing and will take place for several days. Le Figaro source said that the authorities are concerned for the safety of the backup operation with this new demand.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Paris later confirmed the information to Le Figaro, saying that the demand had been made “to prevent the uncontrolled distribution of the images [of the attack].” The office added that “of thousands of surveillance cameras” in Nice, at least 140 of them contain “interesting” elements regarding the attack.

Anti-terrorist police, however, claim that their experts have managed to recover 100 percent of the information from Nice cameras.

On Friday, Nice Matin newspaper reported that the local mayor had refused to answer the call. According to his lawyer, Philippe Blanchetier, the municipality will even ask the prosecutor to keep these pictures “in order not to jeopardize with any other procedures that may emerge beyond the investigation.”

Since the murderous attack in Nice on July 14, numerous photos and videos have emerged in media showing police approaching and shooting at the truck, which plowed into a crowd of spectators, or depicting the aftermath of the Bastille Day assault.

At least 84 people were killed in what has been called in the city’s worst terrorist attack in history. Weapons and grenades were found in the vehicle following the rampage.

The truck driver was later identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. It was revealed that he was a 31-year-old French national who was born in Tunisia.

The attacker was aided by a tight-knit team of associates, who helped him sketch out his plan and acquired weapons for him, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said on Thursday.

Em https://www.rt.com/news/352631-police-nice-delete-footage/

Anúncios

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The Most Important Question About ISIS That Nobody Is Asking

Posted by iscariotes em 1 de dezembro de 2015

Fonte: Zero Hedge

The question of how the Islamic State funds its sprawling caliphate has been discussed in the past: we first broke down the primary driver of ISIS revenue well over a year ago, in September 2014, when we explained that “ISIS uses oil wealth to help finance its terror operations.”

oil

Daily Signal’s Kelsey Harkness explained the breakdown as follows:

According to the Iraq Energy Institute, an independent, nonprofit policy organization focused on Iraq’s energy sector, the army of radical Islamists controls production of 30,000 barrels of oil a day in Iraq and 50,000 barrels in Syria. By selling the oil on the black market at a discounted price of $40 per barrel (compared to about $93 per barrel in the free market), ISIS takes in $3.2 million a day.

 

The oil revenue, which amounts to nearly $100 million each month, allows ISIS to fund its military and terrorist attacks — and to attract more recruits from around the world, including America.

Most importantly, we added that to be successful in counterterrorism efforts, “the U.S. and its allies must “push the Islamic State out of the oil fields it has captured and disrupt its ability to smuggle the oil to foreign markets.”

None of this was surprising to anyone, but what was quite surprising is that it took the allied forces over a year to take the oil revenue threat seriously and begin targeting the Islamic State’s oil infrastructure in earnest.

Today, in an article titled “Why US Efforts to Cut Off Islamic State’s Funds Have Failed” Bloomberg tries to explain just how it is that despite a more than a year long campaign, ISIS funding remains as strong as ever, and notes that “the latest round of airstrikes are directly related to the administration’s new math. “You have to go after the oil, and you have to do it in a serious way, and we’ve just begun to do that now,” citing Benjamin Bahney, an international policy analyst at the Rand Corp., a U.S. Department of Defense-funded think tank.

To be sure, there are other sources of revenue: Bloomberg correctly notes that “even if the U.S. finally weakens the group’s oil income, Bahney and other analysts in the U.S., the Middle East, and Europe contend, Islamic State has resources beyond crude—from selling sex slaves to ransoming hostages to plundering stolen farmland—that can likely keep it fighting for years.”

Still, without a doubt, the dominant source of funds for the terrorists is oil, and not just oil, but a well-greased logistical machine that keeps thousands of barrels moving from unknown pumps to even refineries, and ultimately to smugglers who operated out of Turkey and other countries.

Here is Bloomberg:

Most often refined in Syria, the group’s oil is trucked to cities such as Mosul to provide people living under its black banner with fuel for generators and other basic needs. It’s also used to power the war machine. “They have quite an organized supply chain running fuel into Iraq and [throughout] the ‘caliphate,’ ” says Michael Knights, an Iraq expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, using the militant group’s religiously loaded term for itself. Because the U.S. apparently believed the real money for Islamic State came primarily via selling refined oil, rather than crude, last year’s strikes heavily targeted refineries and storage depots, says Bahney. He and other experts say that strategy missed an important shift: Militants increasingly sell raw crude to truckers and middlemen, rather than refining it themselves. So while Islamic State probably maintains some refining capacity, the majority of the oil in IS territory is refined by locals who operate thousands of rudimentary, roadside furnaces that dot the Syrian desert.

Here is where it gets interesting: Bloomberg cites Pentagon officials who acknowledge “that for more than a year they avoided striking tanker trucks to limit civilian casualties. None of these guys are ISIS. We don’t feel right vaporizing them, so we have been watching ISIS oil flowing around for a year,” says Knights. That changed on Nov. 16, when four U.S. attack planes and two gunships destroyed 116 oil trucks.

So any qualms about vaporizing “innocent civilians” promptly disappeared when the Pentagon realized that its 1+ year long campaign had been an epic debacle, that a suddenly surging ISIS was stronger as ever, and most importantly, that its critical revenue lifelines had been largely untouched for years. Perhaps they weren’t innocent civilians after all.

It is still unknown if this recent crackdown on “dumping oil”, or crude which dramatically lowers the price of oil in global markets – it certainly is an odd coincidence that the price of Brent and WTI began its tumble last fall, just when the Islamic State made its dramatic appearance on the world scene – will have an effect and cut off the primary source of funds to ISIS.

But what we have been wondering for months and what we hope some enterprising journalist will soon answer, is just who are the commodity trading firms that have been so generously buying millions of smuggled oil barrels procured by the Islamic State at massive discounts to market, and then reselling them to other interested parties.

In other words, who are the middlemen.

What we do know is who they may be: they are the same names that were quite prominent in the market in September when Glencore had its first, and certainly not last, near death experience: the Glencores, the Vitols, the Trafiguras, the Nobels, the Mercurias of the world.

To be sure, funding terrorist states is not something that some of the most prominent namesin the list above have shied away from in the past.

Which one (or ones) are the guilty parties – those who have openly breached terrorism funding laws – we don’t know: it may be one, or more of the above, or someone totally different.

At this point, however, three things are certain: whoever the commodity trading house may be that is paying ISIS-affiliated “innocent civilians” hundreds of millions of dollars for their products, they are perfect aware just who the source of this deeply discounted crude is. Crude so deeply discounted, in fact, it results in massive profits for the enterprising middleman who are engaging in openly criminal transactions.

The second certainty: whoever said middleman is, it is very well known to US intelligence services such as the NSA and CIA, and thus to the Pentagon, and thus, the US government.

The third certainty is that while the US, and Russia, and now France, are all very theatrically bombing something in the Syrian desert (nobody really knows what), the funding of ISIS continues unabated as someone keeps buying ISIS oil.

We wonder how long until someone finally asks the all important question regarding the Islamic State: who is the commodity trader breaching every known law of funding terrorism when buying ISIS crude, almost certainly with the tacit approval by various “western alliance” governments, and why is it that these governments have allowed said middleman to continue funding ISIS for as long as it has?

Em http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-19/most-important-question-about-isis-nobody-asking

Posted in História, Mundo, Política, Sem categoria | Leave a Comment »

Avião da UFMG bate recordes de velocidade

Posted by iscariotes em 2 de setembro de 2015

Fonte: Meio Bit

O Anequim pesa menos que a maioria dos blogueiros. Seu nome vem do tubarão, mas suas linhas são muito mais aerodinâmicas. Suas asas de fibra de carbono são construídas com precisão de 0,002 polegadas. Geram 1/3 do arrasto de um Cessna.

Ao contrário da maioria dos aviões experimentais essa beleza que deixaria Howard Hughes sexualmente excitado foi toda projetada em computador, os moldes dos painéis e as peças feitas em máquinas CNC. O motor, um Lycoming IO-360 é um dos mais comuns na aviação de pequeno porte. Lançado em 1955, é do tempo dos carburadores e magnetos, produzindo modestos 180 hp.

Ele foi modificado para funcionar com injeção eletrônica, controle de disparo, aumentaram a compressão dos cilindros e deixaram pra trás o limite de 2.700 RPM. A versão customizada e tunada entrega uma potência de 280 Harry Potters.

O objetivo do Anequim é bater os recordes da categoria, de aviões de quatro cilindros e na sua faixa de peso — 330 kg — metade disso motor. Mais de 500 km/h é uma meta respeitável, poucos aviões a pistão no mundo chegam a isso.

10u_aug2015_rb_paulb_live.jpg__600x0_q85_upscale

O Anequim existe por causa do sonho de um brasileiro voador. Não, não o Santos Dumont, está mais pra Kelly Johnson. O brasileiro em questão? Paulo Iscold (à dir.), Professor de Engenharia Aeronáutica da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.

Mordido pelo bicho da aviação aos 10 anos de idade, Paulo direcionou sua carreira para o alto, tendo trabalhado na Red Bull (aquela empresa de energéticos que tem um programa espacial melhor que o nosso). Seu mentor foi um amigo do pai, Cláudio Barros, Professor de Engenharia da UFMG e que em 1963 construiu o primeiro planador brasileiro, usando como base o único livro de design aeronáutico que achou na biblioteca da universidade.

Paulo Iscold foi tão chato que quando Cláudio estava pra se aposentar Paulo o convenceu a ficar na UFMG até ele se formar.

Na Academia existe uma separação onde quem faz é mal-visto, mas Cláudio e Paulo não compraram esse peixe. A filosofia era aprender fazendo, e ainda estudante Cláudio desafiou Iscold a quebrar um recorde mundial atingido pelo AR-5, avião mais rápido na categoria, voando a mais de 340 km/h.

Como aqui é Brasil, Cláudio Barros entrou com US$ 500,00 do próprio bolso, um amigo do Iscold deu metade do salário (US$ 150,00) como um investimento inicial, e depois de vários anos nasceu o 308, antecessor do Anequim. Recordes foram quebrados, missão dada é missão cumprida.

Construído e projetado por alunos de mestrado e graduação da UFMG, supervisionados por Paulo Iscold, o Anequim fez seu primeiro vôo no final do ano passado, e agora foi levado ao limite. O resultado? Cinco recordes mundiais batidos:

Velocidade em percurso de 3 km com altitude restrita: 521,08 km/h
Recorde anterior: 466,83 km/h

Velocidade em percurso de 15 km: 511,19 km/h
Recorde anterior: 455,8 km/h

Velocidade em percurso fechado de 100 km: 490,14 km/h
Recorde anterior: 389,6 km/h

Velocidade em percurso fechado de 500 km: 493,74 km/h
Recorde anterior: 387,4 km/h

Tempo para atingir 3.000 m de altitude: 2 minutos e 26 segundos
Recorde anterior: 3 minutos e oito segundos

Aqui o primeiro vôo dele:

Em http://meiobit.com/325343/anequim-aviao-projetado-na-ufmg-bate-recordes-de-velocidade/

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Tesouro anuncia ampliação do limite da dívida pública federal

Posted by iscariotes em 25 de agosto de 2015

Fonte: Gazeta do Povo

Com o cenário de crise na economia brasileira e as incertezas que pairam no mercado internacional, os investidores buscam mais estabilidade e compram um volume maior de títulos emitidos pelo governo. Em razão desse crescimento na demanda, o Tesouro Nacional decidiu ampliar os limites de estoque da dívida pública federal.

Em comunicado divulgado nesta segunda-feira (24), o Tesouro informou que alterou a previsão de metas no Plano Anual de Financiamento para o fim de 2015. Esse documento indica os rumos da administração da dívida.

Antes da revisão, o intervalo do estoque da dívida pública federal era de R$ 2,45 a R$ 2,60 trilhões. Com a ampliação, o teto da dívida para dezembro deste ano é de R$ 2,80 trilhões, com piso em R$ 2,65 trilhões.

A revisão foi anunciada logo após o governo divulgar o resultado da dívida pública federal em julho, que registrou crescimento de 0,78% na comparação mensal, atingindo o valor de R$ 2,603 trilhões, o que já superaria o teto previsto anteriormente.

Liquidez

O Tesouro afirma que tem buscado emitir volumes de títulos superiores às suas necessidades de financiamento, buscando reduzir o excesso de liquidez do sistema bancário representado pelo estoque de operações compromissadas em mercado.

O coordenador-geral de operações da divida pública do Tesouro, José Franco, disse não acreditar que a elevação do teto da dívida seja uma sinalização ruim do governo, e atribuiu a revisão a uma procura por títulos públicos acima do esperado.

“A liquidez (volume de operações compromissadas gerenciadas pelo Banco Central) do sistema está muito elevada. Em momentos de incertezas, os agentes têm uma forte preferência por liquidez. Estamos enfrentando alguns momentos de incerteza, seja por fatores internacionais ou domésticos”, disse Franco.

Entre os exemplos citados por Franco estão as incertezas na política monetária norte-americana e na economia chinesa, no cenário internacional, e fatores “não econômicos” no cenário doméstico.

Para ele, esse momento leva empresas e agentes econômicos a procurar manter recursos, e um dos ativos mais buscados são os títulos públicos, pela facilidade na venda e pela rentabilidade da taxa de juros.

Demanda

O aumento da procura de títulos por fundos de previdência é outra razão que justifica o aumento no teto da dívida, segundo o Tesouro.

No comunicado divulgado, o Tesouro explica que a maior demanda registrada nos leilões de títulos públicos vem contribuindo para a realização de um maior percentual de refinanciamento da dívida.

O Tesouro afirma também que a revisão não altera a dívida líquida do setor público nem a dívida bruta do governo geral, apenas a composição geral da dívida.

“Derivado desse ajuste no limite do estoque, a realização de maiores volumes de emissões resulta em ampliação do colchão de recursos disponíveis para gestão da dívida pública. Com mais recursos em caixa, o Tesouro reforça seu espaço de atuação em contextos de maior volatilidade no mercado de títulos públicos, ganhando graus de liberdade para ajustar sua oferta de títulos de acordo com as condições de mercado e, assim, reduzindo seu risco de refinanciamento”, afirma o Tesouro, em nota.

http://www.gazetadopovo.com.br/economia/tesouro-anuncia-ampliacao-do-limite-da-divida-publica-federal-cmcaslt3ptw9kwdair1l4vn7f

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DW da Alemanha Relata que linhas de abastecimentos ao ISIS são originários da Turquia e da OTAN

Posted by iscariotes em 11 de junho de 2015

Fonte: Livre Imprensa

Emissora internacional da Alemanha a  Deutsche Welle (DW) publicou uma reportagem em vídeo de implicações imensas – possivelmente a primeira emissora nacional no Ocidente a admitir que o chamado “Estado Islâmico” (ISIS) não é fornecido pelo “óleo negro de mercado” ou “de resgates zilionários de reféns “, mas bilhões de dólares em suprimentos transportados para a Síria através das fronteiras  de membro da OTAN a Turquia via centenas de caminhões por dia.O relatório, intitulado ” ‘ISIS’ canais de fornecimento através da Turquia “, confirma o que foi relatado por analistas geopolíticos desde, pelo menos no início de 2011 – que membro da OTAN a  Turquia tem permitido uma torrente de suprimentos, combatentes e armas para atravessar suas fronteiras sem oposição para reabastecer posições ISIS dentro da Síria.
Em uma cena surreal do relatório DW, terroristas anti-Síria são vistos atravessando a fronteira e, literalmente, morto a tiros pouco do outro lado por combatentes curdos.

Os moradores locais e comerciantes entrevistados pela DW da Alemanha admitiram que o comércio com a Síria beneficiando-los tinha terminado desde o início do conflito e que as fontes de caminhões carregam com eles vindos através da fronteira que  se origina do “oeste da Turquia.” O relatório DW não elabora sobre o que ” o oeste da Turquia “significa, mas é mais provável que se refere a Ankara, várias portas usadas pela OTAN, e é claro a Base Aérea de  Incirlik  da OTAN naquele país.

Embora o relatório do DW afirma que ninguém sabe quem está organizando os embarques, que ela revela que a própria torrente de caminhões e  sua tripulação filme documentados foi oficialmente negado pelo governo turco em Ancara. É uma certeza que a Turquia não está apenas  no conhecimento desta situação, mas diretamente cúmplice, como estão os EUA e OTAN que fingem um desejo de derrotar ISIS, mas não são capazes de expor e extirpar seu patrocínio multinacional ao ISIS ‘e, mais importante, se recusam a cortar suas linhas de abastecimento – um pré-requisito fundamental de qualquer estratégia militar.

ISIS ameaça foi OTAN  All Along

Para minar o Irã, que é predominantemente xiita, a administração Bush decidiu, com efeito, para reconfigurar suas prioridades no Oriente Médio. No Líbano, a Administração tem cooperado com o governo da Arábia Saudita, que é sunita, em operações clandestinas que se destinam a enfraquecer o Hezbollah, a organização xiita que é apoiada pelo Irã e Síria. Os Estados Unidos também tem participado em operações clandestinas destinadas ao Irã e sua aliada Síria. ISIS é um subproduto dessas atividades e  tem estado no fortalecimento de grupos extremistas sunitas que defendem uma visão militante do Islã e são hostis à América e simpáticos paraas linhas de abastecimento a Al Qaeda. ISIS líderes do território da OTAN deveriam ser de nenhuma surpresa.

Conforme relatado desde já em 2007, os EUA e seus cúmplices regionais conspiram para usar Al Qaeda e outros extremistas armados em uma tentativa de reordenar o Norte da África e  Médio Oriente.  Seria o que o Pulitzer Prize-winning jornalista Seymour Hersh  disse em seu artigo, ” o redirecionamento:? É a nova política da Administração beneficiando nossos inimigos na guerra contra o terrorismo “, que explicitamente indicado (grifo nosso):

É claro que esses “grupos extremistas” que “defendem uma visão militante do Islã” e que são “simpáticos à Al Qaeda”, descrevem o “Estado Islâmico” verbatim. ISIS constitui força expedicionária de  mercenários da OTAN , destruindo seus inimigos por procuração da Líbia no Norte África para o Líbano e da Síria no Levante, para o Iraque e até mesmo para as fronteiras do Irã.  Sua fonte aparentemente inesgotável de armas, dinheiro e combatentes só pode ser explicada pelo patrocínio estatal multinacional e refúgios seguros fornecidos por inimigos  OTAN ISIS ‘- principalmente a Síria, o Hezbollah, Irã e Iraque – não pode atacar. O relatório da DW observa especificamente como terroristas ISIS fugir regularmente certo desaparecimento na Síria, buscando refúgio na Turquia.

Um dos principais objetivos da OTAN desde tão cedo quanto 2012, foi usar vários pretextos para expandir esses refúgios seguros, ou “zonas-tampão”, no próprio território sírio , protegido por forças militares da OTAN a partir do qual “rebeldes” poderiam operar. Se tivessem conseguido, DW câmera tripulações provavelmente estaria filmando comboios encenação em cidades como Idlib e Allepo em vez de ao longo da fronteira da Turquia e a Síria.

Com a conspiração documentado de os EUA e seus aliados para criarem uma força mercenária sectária alinhado à Al Qaeda, o chamado “rebeldes moderados” os EUA têm apoiado abertamente na Síria agora totalmente revelado como extremistas sectários, e agora com a DW documentando uma torrente de produtos originários via Turquia, é claro que a ameaça ISIS NATO apresenta como a solução para, era, na verdade a OTAN num todo.  O que é revelado é uma política externa tão incrivelmente insidiosa, poucos são capazes de acreditar, mesmo com emissoras internacionais como DW mostrando as linhas de abastecimento de Ísis por líderes do território da OTAN em si.

Em http://www.livreimprensa.com.br/dw-da-alemanha-relata-que-linhas-de-abastecimentos-ao-isis-sao-originarios-da-turquia-e-da-otan/

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Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think

Posted by iscariotes em 22 de abril de 2015

Fonte: Scientific American

March 31, 2015 | By Nicholas Fitz

In a candid conversation with Frank Rich last fall, Chris Rock said, “Oh, people don’t even know. If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets.” The findings of three studies, published over the last several years inPerspectives on Psychological Science, suggest that Rock is right. We have no idea how unequal our society has become.

In their 2011 paper, Michael Norton andDan Ariely analyzed beliefs about wealth inequality. They asked more than 5,000 Americans to guess the percentage of wealth (i.e., savings, property, stocks, etc., minus debts) owned by each fifth of the population. Next, they asked people to construct their ideal distributions. Imagine a pizza of all the wealth in the United States. What percentage of that pizza belongs to the top 20% of Americans? How big of a slice does the bottom 40% have? In an ideal world, how much should they have?

The average American believes that the richest fifth own 59% of the wealth and that the bottom 40% own 9%. The reality is strikingly different. The top 20% of US households own more than 84% of the wealth, and the bottom 40% combine for a paltry 0.3%. The Walton family, for example, has more wealth than 42% of American families combined.

We don’t want to live like this. In our ideal distribution, the top quintile owns 32% and the bottom two quintiles own 25%. As the journalist Chrystia Freeland put it,  “Americans actually live in Russia, although they think they live in Sweden. And they would like to live on a kibbutz.” Norton and Ariely found a surprising level of consensus: everyone — even Republicans and the wealthy—wants a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo.

This all might ring a bell. An infographic video of the study went viral and has been watched more than 16 million times.

In a study published last year, Norton and Sorapop Kiatpongsan used a similar approach to assess perceptions of income inequality. They asked about 55,000 people from 40 countries to estimate how much corporate CEOs and unskilled workers earned. Then they asked people how much CEOs and workers should earn. The median American estimated that the CEO-to-worker pay-ratio was 30-to-1, and that ideally, it’d be 7-to-1. The reality? 354-to-1. Fifty years ago, it was 20-to-1. Again, the patterns were the same for all subgroups, regardless of age, education, political affiliation, or opinion on inequality and pay. “In sum,” the researchers concluded, “respondents underestimate actual pay gaps, and their ideal pay gaps are even further from reality than those underestimates.”

These two studies imply that our apathy about inequality is due to rose-colored misperceptions. To be fair, though, we do know that something is up. After all, President Obama called economic inequality “the defining challenge of our time.” But while Americans acknowledge that the gap between the rich and poor has widened over the last decade, very few see it as a serious issue. Just five percent of Americans think that inequality is a major problem in need of attention. While the occupy movement may have a tangible legacy, Americans aren’t rioting in the streets.

One likely reason for this is identified by a third study, published earlier this year by Shai Davidai and Thomas Gilovich that suggests that our indifference lies in a distinctly American cultural optimism. At the core of the American Dream is the belief that anyone who works hard can move up economically regardless of his or her social circumstances. Davidai and Gilovich wanted to know whether people had a realistic sense of economic mobility.

The researchers found Americans overestimate the amount of upward social mobility that exists in society. They asked some 3,000 people to guess the chance that someone born to a family in the poorest 20% ends up as an adult in the richer quintiles. Sure enough, people think that moving up is significantly more likely than it is in reality. Interestingly, poorer and politically conservative participants thought that there is more mobility than richer and liberal participants.

According to Pew Research, most Americans believe the economic system unfairly favors the wealthy, but 60% believe that most people can make it if they’re willing to work hard. Senator Marco Rubio says that America has “never been a nation of haves and have-nots. We are a nation of haves and soon-to-haves, of people who have made it and people who will make it.” Sure, we love a good rags-to-riches story, but perhaps we tolerate such inequality because we think these stories happen more than they actually do.

We may not want to believe it, but the United States is now the most unequal of all Western nations. To make matters worse, America has considerably less social mobility than Canada and Europe.

As the sociologists Stephen McNamee and Robert Miller Jr. point out in their book, “The Meritocracy Myth,” Americans widely believe that success is due to individual talent and effort. Ironically, when the term “meritocracy” was first used by Michael Young (in his 1958 book “The Rise of the Meritocracy”) it was meant to criticize a society ruled by the talent elite. “It is good sense to appoint individual people to jobs on their merit,” wrote Young in a 2001 essay for the Guardian. “It is the opposite when those who are judged to have merit of a particular kind harden into a new social class without room in it for others.” The creator of the phrase wishes we would stop using it because it underwrites the myth that those who have money and power must deserve it (and the more sinister belief that the less fortunate don’t deserve better).

By overemphasizing individual mobility, we ignore important social determinants of success like family inheritance, social connections, and structural discrimination. The three papers in Perspectives on Psychological Science indicate not only that economic inequality is much worse than we think, but also that social mobility is less than you’d imagine. Our unique brand of optimism prevents us from making any real changes.

George Carlin joked that, “the reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.” How do we wake up?

Em http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/economic-inequality-it-s-far-worse-than-you-think/

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Former CIA officer says US policies helped create IS

Posted by iscariotes em 27 de março de 2015

Fonte: Al-monitor

American [author and former CIA officer] Graham Fuller emphasized that the West, including the United States, has now accepted that the [Bashar al-] Assad government will retain power. According to Fuller, Turkey has to do the same. Fuller, who described the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham [now the Islamic State, or IS] as “made in the USA,” also made a confession of sorts about the struggle between [Turkey’s Justice and Development Party] AKP and the Gulen movement by saying, “It turned out to be deeper than I thought.” But he noted that the positive approach of the Unite toward [Fethullah] Gulen has not changed.

Why?

Fuller is one of the top American experts on Turkey, the Middle East and the Kurdish issue. As he was a former CIA official, there has been much speculation about him. He was one of the people who endorsed American approval of Fethullah Gulen’s residence in the United States. This is how he also came to be called a Gulenist in addition to his other labels of agent and manipulator. This is why he resents the Turkish media and stays away from it. I had to work hard to get him to agree to an interview. He rejected me several times, saying, “I have been out of the CIA for 30 years and they still talk about that. My relationship with Turkey is longer and more deeply rooted than my relationship with the CIA.” In the end he agreed. Fuller (whose book “Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East” was published [four] months ago) and I discussed Syria policy, IS, the Kurdish issue and solution process and the AKP-Gulen war.

Radikal:  If we could go back three years, what would have been the right way for Turkey to formulate its Syria policy?

Fuller:  Turkey fell into a trap the entire world falls into. It miscalculated Assad’s capacity to remain in power. For me, Turkey’s foreign policy that supported the opposition forces which wanted change in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya was entirely correct. But [then-Foreign Minister Ahmet] Davutoglu and [then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan thought that same process could be replicated in Syria. It didn’t work out that way. That made them focus more on Syria and resort to [applying] heavy pressure to topple Assad. Let alone being successful, this pressure made the issue even more complex. As a result, Assad didn’t leave and Turkey’s relations with Iraq and Iran deteriorated. If you ask me, Turkey should revert to the successful principles of Gul-Davutoglu-Erdogan foreign policy [former President Abdullah Gul]. What were those principles? Talking to all the parties in the Middle East, criticizing Israel’s right-wing policies, operating independently from the bankrupt policies of the United States, staying away from sectarianism and openly advising Islamist governments on importance of secularism.

Radikal:  Wasn’t there an option of staying neutral instead of supporting the Syrian opposition?

Fuller:  It is easy to say in hindsight. But in those days all intelligence services were predicting that Assad couldn’t last long and he would be toppled with a slight push. First they nudged him and then pushed him hard. What happened? Attempts to kick out Assad brought us the grand jihadists. This is when the situation changed drastically. It was then universally recognized that to topple Assad by force would be to the detriment of all. The view that Assad is not a good choice but his successor would be worse prevailed.

Radikal:  How did all intelligence services fail to understand Assad’s power?

Fuller:  A good question, but [there is] no complete answer. As it was the case with [former Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak and [former Libyan leader Col. Moammar] Gadhafi, Assad did not face a unified opposition. It is important to know that Assad is not a sectarian leader. Although he is a Nusayri, he favors Sunnis. He is more of an Arab nationalist than all [other] Arab leaders. He supported Palestinians for years. He did not allow Islamists in Syria to gain strength. Christians and other minorities, and even Israel, didn’t like Assad, but they found him much more acceptable than a possible Islamist Sunni government. For Israel, Assad is a predictable foe. If you make a deal with him, he will keep his word even if reaching an agreement with him is never easy. This is why many countries, including the United States, have given up supporting the Syrian opposition. Washington, even if unwillingly, has accepted that Assad will remain in power for now.

Radikal:  When you say “accepted” …

Fuller:  I wanted to say that Washington has decided that Assad staying in power serves US interests. Turkey has no choice but to do the same. I fully approved of Turkish foreign policy until the crisis in Syria. The road taken in Syria might not have given the desired results, but that doesn’t mean that Turkey’s strategic thinking was wrong. Now Turkey has to wisely restructure this policy anew. I am sorry to say, but Turkey has to accept Assad and devise ways to work with Assad’s Syria.

Radikal:  But how to reach an understanding with Assad after all this?

Fuller:  I know. It is not easy. But the United States has decided to do so. Turkey, too, has to adopt a position of consenting to Assad’s continuing rule of Syria. The Syria policy of Turkey [and the United States] is prohibitively costly. It damages Turkey’s position in the region and its ties with Iran and Iraq.

Radikal:  How do you think ISIS [IS] was born?

Fuller:  I think the United States is one of the key creators of this organization. The United States did not plan the formation of ISIS, but its destructive interventions in the Middle East and the war in Iraq were the basic causes of the birth of ISIS. You will remember that that the starting point of this organization was to protest the US invasion of Iraq. In those days it was supported by many non-Islamist Sunnis as well because of their opposition to the Iraq’s occupation. I think even today ISIS [now the Islamic State] is supported by many Sunnis who feel isolated by the Shiite government in Baghdad. ISIS was benefiting from the Shiite agenda of the [former Prime Minister Nouri al-] Maliki government. I hope with the departure of Maliki and his replacement by someone who will watch out for Sunni-Shiite balance, polarization in Iraq will diminish. This is the only way to get rid of ISIS, never militarily.

Radikal:  Very rapid movements of ISIS and the dismal state of our borders lead to questions of whether our towns will be targeted by ISIS. Should we panic?

Fuller:  I don’t think so. First of all, Turkey is not an ISIS target because it supported the Syrian opposition. I am sure ISIS is not delighted with Turkey, but you are not its primary target. Their priority targets are Arabs. Moreover, Erdogan, whether he is liked or not, is a product of democracy. Arab geography is full of incompetent dictators who are vulnerable to exploitation by ISIS. ISIS sees opportunities to make headway in Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and perhaps in some Gulf countries. Of course nobody can assure you that ISIS will not launch terror operations in other countries, but the Islamist support it can count on in Turkey is extremely limited. At the moment it will not want to push its luck by entering into such places.

Radikal:  But they are still holding about 40 of our diplomats and personnel. They are holding them as aces in their hands …

Fuller:  True. You have to pursue a careful policy on this. Our Iran embassy was also taken hostage in Iran in the 1970s. We had tough times, although we were dealing with a minor state. I don’t know the status of negotiations between Turkey and ISIS. But I can say that as long as there are negotiations, there is hope. I don’t want to make any other comment on what kind of tactical policy Turkey should adopt.

Radikal:  Is the PKK’s [Kurdistan Workers Party] fighting with ISIS affecting Western perceptions of the Kurdish group?

Fuller:  The PKK sees ISIS as a threat to all the Kurds of the region and is aware of the possibility of Erbil being captured by ISIS. This is why it is fighting them. I am not at all surprised by the PKK attitude. It is interpreted as an expected move both in the West and many segments in Turkey.

Radikal: Parallel to all these developments, negotiations are continuing between the Turkish state and the Kurdish movement for a solution. How do you assess the point they have reached?

Fuller:  I pay a lot of attention to it. Finally Turkish public opinion got used to the idea that “You make peace with your enemy, not with your friend. If you want peace you have to sit down with your enemy.” This is why your public doesn’t react to talk with the PKK leaders and Kandil headquarters that were once seen as the worst devils. This is not something new that happened overnight. You got here slowly. This process began in the ’90s with the realization that Kurds are different people. Good commercial and political relations with the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq influenced the changing of perceptions in Turkey. These were major and forceful motivators of the peace negotiations. When I look at the map of the Middle East today, I see a high probability of these talks ending for the benefit of both sides. Kurds and Turks, as close allies, could well come out as the winners from this imbroglio. Both parties are not dreaming and they see the reality. Look, for Turkey the worst danger is an “unhappy Diyarbakir [major southeastern city heavily populated by Kurds].” An “unhappy Diyarbakir” can easily be exploited by Turkey’s enemies. A “happy Diyarbakir” is a threat to Syria, Iran and Iraq. Turkey is managing the Kurdish issue much more successfully than these countries.

Radikal:  What will be the concrete steps taken at the end of the solution process?

Fuller:  I think the Kurdish side will gain some sort of administrative and cultural autonomy. This is the minimum goal. Most Turks actually support decentralization, not only for Kurdish cities but for all of Turkey. This autonomy I am talking about will be a part of a larger decentralization. Apart from that, it is not easy for me to predict where the negotiations will go. Many people ask me if there will be an independent Kurdistan at the end. I don’t know. But I think if Turkey manages the situation wisely, there will be no possibility of independence. Independence will be possible if the Kurdish issue is not managed correctly.

Radikal:  Is it being managed smartly and correctly now?

Fuller:  Yes. I see great progress as compared to 15 years ago on the Turkish side. It is obvious that the society in Turkey has reached a mature understanding of the Kurdish issue. If the solution process continues along these lines, Turkey will become the most important country for Kurds all over the world.

Radikal:  How do you think Kandil headquarters will reformulate  the PKK in case of disarmament?

Fuller:  I don’t know what the PKK will become, but the most likely step would be to become a powerful political party of Kurdistan after disarming.

Radikal:  In an interview with the BBC a few months ago, you said you didn’t think the AKP-Gulen struggle was a deep issue. Have you changed your mind since then?

Fuller:  Yes. I was wrong on the AKP-Gulen Movement struggle. It was much deeper than what I thought. This is unfortunate because it is forcing Turkey to take irrelevant ideological positions. I don’t know how this fight will end but I think that a major part of the AKP constituency is not happy with the witch hunt against the Gulen Movement.

Radikal:  Erdogan and many AKP people claim that Gulen has set up a parallel hierarchical body in the judiciary and police and that they listen in to many politicians, bureaucrats and journalists. Do you think the Gulen Movement has such capacity?

Fuller:  Such a wide-tapping network is usually available only with the police. Anyone who knows Turkey knows that the police have been tapping politicians for years. At times their recordings leak out; sometimes they are used for blackmail. There is nothing new today.

Radikal:  But AKP people say the tapping is done by another body now, a body led by Gulen.

Fuller:  Some AKP people say so …

Radikal:  OK, let’s accept that.

Fuller:  Many people accept that the Gulen Movement [Fuller uses the original label of the Gulen Movement, Hizmet, which means Service in English] has influence in the police. This is a new feature of Hizmet.

Radikal:  How new a feature?

Fuller:  I don’t think Hizmet had such influence over the police before the AKP government. But I want to point out that we should not forget that the police and judiciary are such massive organizations that they cannot be controlled by a single ideology. Therefore the influence of the police in Hizmet may not be as much as claimed. But it is still possible to say that Hizmet now has more power than 15 years ago because of the police connection. When you remember how much the police were marginalized under Kemalist tutelage, you may say that they went too far in their investigations of the Ergenekon [military coup] case. These kinds of abuse of power should be found out and revealed. For me, the Ergenekon case exposed sinister deep state connections and thanks to that the army withdrew from the political arena. This was a key prerequisite for EU membership.

Radikal:  Does the AKP-Gulen fight tell us anything about political Islam?

Fuller:  Not fully, because Hizmet does not have a concrete presence in the political arena. It doesn’t enter elections; it has no political party structure. This fight can hurt Turkey in the short term but may actually be useful in the long term. Two religious tendencies giving divergent views on politics and governing will provide valuable references for the political Islam currents in the world just as leftists and liberals clash with their opinions. Different religious trends should do the same.

Radikal:  But instead of a proper debate when opinions clash, we are observing a clash below the belt. Are you aware of this?

Fuller:  Yes I am and it is not a pleasant view. In Turkey all politics are personal. That is why I wasn’t surprised when fighting went below the belt and became personalized no matter how distasteful. This is what I meant by damaging Turkey in the short term. Erdogan’s attitude, which appears to hinder the corruption investigations of his ministers, is dragging the country in a dangerous direction.

Radikal:  Is there a change in the US attitude toward Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania? Will there be a change?

Fuller:  In principle, the United States doesn’t like any Islamic organization. But in the real world, you may have to make choice between those you don’t like. In such a situation the Gulen movement is preferable for the United States. We can say that the United States has a relatively positive look.

Radikal:  Is that positive US approach still valid?

Fuller:  Definitely. As far as I know, the attitude toward Gulen has not changed.

Radikal:  Erdogan used to say that he had frequently talked to Washington about Gulen and that he wanted his extradition…

Fuller:  Anyone who knows Turkey knows that it is absurd to label the Gulen Movement as a terrorist organization. And anyone who knows the United States a bit knows that when there is no solid evidence of a crime, the United States will not extradite anyone just because another country wants it so. We all see that this is a political fight about Turkey’s domestic politics. The United States will not be party to such a fight. But should the principles of the separation of powers be violated and the intimidation of the press continue, you have to understand that Washington will be seriously upset.

Em: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2014/09/turkey-usa-iraq-syria-isis-fuller.html##ixzz3VZsllTVL

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Monsanto’s GMO Corn Linked To Organ Failure, Study Reveals

Posted by iscariotes em 20 de fevereiro de 2015

Fonte: Huffington Post

In a study released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, analyzing the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers found that agricultural giant Monsanto’s GM corn is linked to organ damage in rats.

According to the study, which was summarized by Rady Ananda at Food Freedom, “Three varieties of Monsanto’s GM corn – Mon 863, insecticide-producing Mon 810, and Roundup® herbicide-absorbing NK 603 – were approved for consumption by US, European and several other national food safety authorities.”

Monsanto gathered its own crude statistical data after conducting a 90-day study, even though chronic problems can rarely be found after 90 days, and concluded that the corn was safe for consumption. The stamp of approval may have been premature, however.

In the conclusion of the IJBS study, researchers wrote:

“Effects were mostly concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted. As there normally exists sex differences in liver and kidney metabolism, the highly statistically significant disturbances in the function of these organs, seen between male and female rats, cannot be dismissed as biologically insignificant as has been proposed by others. We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity….These substances have never before been an integral part of the human or animal diet and therefore their health consequences for those who consume them, especially over long time periods are currently unknown.”

Monsanto has immediately responded to the study, stating that the research is “based on faulty analytical methods and reasoning and do not call into question the safety findings for these products.”

The IJBS study’s author Gilles-Eric Séralini responded to the Monsanto statement on the blog, Food Freedom, “Our study contradicts Monsanto conclusions because Monsanto systematically neglects significant health effects in mammals that are different in males and females eating GMOs, or not proportional to the dose. This is a very serious mistake, dramatic for public health. This is the major conclusion revealed by our work, the only careful reanalysis of Monsanto crude statistical data.”

Em http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/12/monsantos-gmo-corn-linked_n_420365.html

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U.S. spies on millions of drivers

Posted by iscariotes em 28 de janeiro de 2015

Fonte: The Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON—The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists, according to current and former officials and government documents.

The primary goal of the license-plate tracking program, run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, is to seize cars, cash and other assets to combat drug trafficking, according to one government…

Em  http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-spies-on-millions-of-cars-1422314779

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Francia: Se suicida un policía responsable de la investigación del ataque a ‘Charlie Hebdo’

Posted by iscariotes em 10 de janeiro de 2015

Fonte: RT

Un policía francés involucrado en la investigación del ataque contra la sede de la revista ‘Charlie Hebdo’ en París se suicidó la madrugada del jueves, informan medios locales.

El subdirector de la Policía judicial de Limoges, de 44 años de edad, acabó con su vida en su oficina con el uso de su arma reglamentaria.

Según el diario ‘Le Populaire du Centre’, trabajó en la misión de la Policía judicial para la investigación del caso ‘Charlie Hebdo’.

De momento, no se han podido establecer vínculos entre la investigación de la masacre y la causa del suicidio.

No obstante, la noticia sacudió a la Policía de Limoges, en el suroeste de Francia, que hace poco más de un año, en noviembre del 2013, perdió al oficial en el mismo cargo, quien se suicidó también en extrañas circunstancias.

Em http://actualidad.rt.com/actualidad/162726-francia-suicidio-policia-charlie-hebdo

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