Chief Executive Jeff Bezos hails "Octocopters" as the future for Amazon's delivery service. In a few years from now, customers placing orders weighing 2.3 kg or less could find a small drone landing on their door step carrying the coveted product in its robotic tentacles. No more need for the snail's pace of the traditional van-plus-human-being, these little critters will vastly improve efficiency and customer satisfaction by getting from A to B within an astonishing 30 minutes! Not long now!
"Civilian air space is expected to be opened up to all kinds of drones in the US by 2015 and in Europe by 2016."
In this fascinating video - a little under three minutes in length - we see footage of JFK's Secret Service agents apparently being instructed to abandon the president's car prior to the assassination. Particularly striking is the reaction of the agent on the right: his behaviour seems to indicate that he simply cannot understand what's going on.
Hot off the press! Conspiracy theorists working at the highest levels of the US Government say they believe President John F. Kennedy was shot as the result of a conspiracy. In an amazing admission of tin-foil-hat wearing hysteria, they state:
"The Committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy." *
Not content with this level of irrationality, the committee also concludes:
"The committee conducted a three-pronged investigation of conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination. On the basis of extensive scientific analysis and an analysis of the testimony of Dealey Plaza witnesses, the committee found there was a high probability that two gunmen fired at President Kennedy." *
What next? While it's a relief that the Committee didn't go down the route of blaming the Secret Service, FBI or CIA - each one a favourite target for conspiracy theorist paranoia - one cannot help wonder what they'll come out with next! Perhaps their second gunman will turn our to be Buddy Holly! Or the Yeti on a sightseeing trip from the Himalayas! Only time will tell.
According to Soeren Kern, the European Parliament is considering a proposal that could lead to EU citizens being surveilled for being "intolerant." The proposal, drafted by the Paris-based NGO 'European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation', calls for governments, groups and individuals to be "tolerant", where "tolerance" means something as vague as "respect for and acceptance of the expression, preservation and development of the distinct identity of a group." According to Section 7, even acts such as "holding to ridicule" a group, or persons belonging to a group, shall be "regarded as criminal offences punishable as aggravated crimes." And Sections 8 and 9 call for governments to introduce measures to ensure that their entire education systems and media conform to such politically-correct standards.
But, as European Dignity Watch warns, if this were implemented, it could lead to the downward-spiralling disappearance of our fundamental right to feedom of expression as "individuals and groups... censor themselves, afraid that they might be prosecuted for expressing their own personal moral views."
Jonathan Turley, a top US expert on constitutional law and legal theory, writes with great concern about how easily the UK authorities have slipped into categorising David Miranda's carrying of documents from Edward Snowden as "fall[ing] within the definition of terrorism." The West is on a "slippery slope", he writes; "[U]nder this definition, the Pentagon Papers could be treated as the same act as the 9-11 bombings."
At a moment like this, let's pause to recall the often-quoted words of Pastor Martin Niemöller; but let's have them in the German this time...
For questioning the Governing Body of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (Jehovah's Witnesses), Rick Gonzalez now has to put up with being shunned by members of his family. A photograph on the blog says it all: his eighty-year-old father will no longer sit at the same table to eat with him and his four-year-old grandson because "the organization says so."
"He feels he has to suffer through this intuitively wrong act to be loyal to what he thinks is "God’s organization" ", explains Gonzalez, but this shunning doctrine is affecting the whole family, and even damaging innocent children who have "no dog in the fight."
A US 'War on Terror' drone targets and kills a 67-year-old midwife and grandmother of nine while she tends her garden in Waziristan. Her daughter, whose three children were also injured in the October 2012 attack, would really rather like to know why. Did she pose a threat to the US?
Dr. Roberts warns that 2014 may well be the year in which the US economy - mishandled by a "neoconized and corrupted Washington" - takes a nosedive into economic emergency measures. Most likely, in order to keep afloat the destined-to-sink US economy, the working and middle classes will be plundered - not the 1% whose assets are secured offshore - leading to a break-down of social cohesion.
Then, says Dr. Roberts, the US people will "know why Homeland Security purchased 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition... has its own para-military force and 2,700 tanks. If you think the 'terrorist threat' in America warrants a domestic armed force of this size, you are out of your mind. This force has been assembled to deal with starving and homeless people in the streets of America."
BBC Newsnight: "Edward Snowden debate and Kirsty Wark interviews Glenn Greenwald", "BBC Newsnight" YouTube Channel, 5 October 2013.
Glenn Greenwald responds with impeccable logic and clarity to the biased, pro-Big-Brother-establishment questionings of BBC Newsnight "journalist" Kirsty Wark. In fact, he wipes the floor with her. As a UK citizen, I have to say it's pretty depressing to see such a display as hers. But then, as Noam Chomsky points out, people like this get to where they are precisely because they think the 'right' thoughts; those who think for themselves stay pushing the tea trolleys around the BBC studios. And, if we ever wanted an example of how the BBC is most definitely not the impartial and independent organisation it claims - and is widely celebrated - to be, this is it.
Seymour Hersh doesn't believe it either. In his opinion the claimed raid on Osama bin Laden's supposed "compound" by Navy SEALS in 2011 is "one big lie, not one word of it is true." And as for the "independent" report by a Pakstani commission on Osama's life in Abottabad: "it was done with considerable American input. It's a ******** report."
What's new about Zero Hours Contracts here in the UK? Nothing, writes this contributor to the WideShut website. Weavers in the early 19th Century were the victims of a 'beggar-your-neighbour' economic system in which unbridled competition to drive down wage costs led to irregular, underpaid and grotesquely subservient employment. But, warns the writer, in case we should think that only the Few shall be affected by the Zero Hour culture...
Dr. Roberts reposts a translation that he made available of a Pakistani National TV interview with an eyewitness to the alleged SEAL Team Six attack that allegedly killed Osama bin Laden. The interview with Muhammad Bashir, who lives next door to OBL's alleged "compound", differs substantially from the Obama administration's story. An update follows, in which Dr. Roberts lists the many reasons why he finds the whole OBL Raid story utterly unbelievable.
Following the interview with Mark Musser on his book Nazi Oaks, I came across this op-ed in The New York Times by Erle C. Ellis, associate professor of geography and environmental systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and visiting associate professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
Although he once believed that we humans are undermining our own planetary life-support systems by engineering our environments, he has since changed his mind. While he still hears some of his scientific colleagues make these kinds of claims - as he says, "often unchallenged" - he now believes that such views "demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of the ecology of human systems."
Regarding Vladimir Putin's recent op-ed in The New York Times, Paul Craig Roberts comments: "Most of Putin’s critics are too intellectually challenged to comprehend that Putin’s brilliant and humane article has left Putin the leader of the free world and defender of the rule of law and exposed obama for what he is – the leader of a rogue, lawless, unaccountable government committed to lies and war crimes."
YouGov poll indicates that a significant proportion of the US population is not satisfied with its government's account of 9/11, and when faced with footage of Building 7's "collapse", 46% suspect controlled demolition.
Alan Grayson, a Democratic representative from Florida and member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, gives his opinion on the quality of evidence being presented by the Obama administration in favour of an attack on Syria. His conclusion? "My position is simple: if the administration wants me to vote for war, on this occasion or on any other, then I need to know all the facts."