Big Brother Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Big Brother Media Articles from Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important big brother articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up.
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For an index to revealing excerpts of media articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here
US Air Force prepares drones to end era of fighter pilots
2009-08-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
As part of an expanding programme of battlefield automation, the US Air Force has said it is now training more drone operators than fighter and bomber pilots and signalled the end of the era of the fighter pilot is in sight. Just three years ago, the service was able to fly just 12 drones at a time; now it can fly more than 50. At a trade conference outside Washington last week, military contractors presented a future vision in which pilotless drones serve as fighters, bombers and transports, even automatic mini-drones programmed to attack in swarms. Contractors made presentations for "nano-size" drones the size of moths that can flit into buildings to gather intelligence; drone helicopters; large aircraft that could be used as strategic bombers and new mid-sized drones could act as jet fighters. This Terminator-like vision in which future generations of fighter aces become cubicle-bound drone operators thousands of miles from conflict is already here: the deployment that began during the Bush administration has accelerated during the first seven months of Obama's term. Some 5,000 robotic vehicles and drones are now deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. By 2015, the Pentagon's $230bn arms procurement programme Future Combat Systems expects to robotise around 15% of America's armed forces. As US domestic approval for the "Af-Pak" conflict slips (a new Washington Post poll found less than a quarter of the US public support sending more troops to Afghanistan), the reliance of drones is likely to grow, analysts say. The air force study suggests areas of warfare too critical for automation, including dogfighting and nuclear-bombing, could eventually be handled by drones.
Note: For revealing reports on Pentagon war planning from major media sources, click here.
Strange New Air Force Facility Energizes Ionosphere, Fans Conspiracy Flames
2009-07-20, Wired magazine
The senior senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens, enjoyed a reputation for inserting projects into the federal budget to benefit his home state, most notoriously a $223 million bridge from the town of Ketchikan to, well, not much of anyplace. In 1988, [physics] researchers sat down with Stevens and assured him that an ionospheric heater would be a bona fide scientific marvel and a guaranteed job creator, and it could be built for a mere $30 million. Just like that, the Pentagon had $10 million for ionospheric heater research. In a series of meetings in the winter of 1989-90, the field's leading lights ... pitched the Navy and the Air Force. Haarp, they asserted, could lead to "significant operational capabilities." They'd build a giant phased antenna array that would aim a finely tuned beam of high-frequency radio waves into the sky. The beam would excite electrons in the ionosphere, altering that spot's conductivity and inducing it to emit its own extremely low frequency waves, which could theoretically penetrate the earth's surface to reveal hidden bunkers or be used to contact deeply submerged submarines. Of course, the scientists said, you'd need a brand-new, state-of-the-art ionospheric heater to see if any of this was even feasible. The Pentagon ... began using Stevens' earmarked cash to fund the appropriate studies. For more than a year, planning proceeded largely out of public view. Then, in 1993, an Anchorage teachers' union rep named Nick Begich—son of one of Alaska's most important political families—found a notice about Haarp in the Australian conspiracy magazine Nexus. In 1995, he self-published a book, Angels Don't Play This HAARP. It sold 100,000 copies. He started giving speeches on Haarp's dangers everywhere, from UFO conventions to the European Parliament.
Note: For more excellent information on HAARP, click here. There is much more than meets the eye here.
Pope Urges Forming New World Economic Order to Work for the ‘Common Good’
2009-07-08, New York Times
Pope Benedict XVI [has] called for a radical rethinking of the global economy, criticizing a growing divide between rich and poor and urging the establishment of a “true world political authority” to oversee the economy and work for the “common good.” He criticized the current economic system, “where the pernicious effects of sin are evident,” and urged financiers in particular to “rediscover the genuinely ethical foundation of their activity.” He also called for “greater social responsibility” on the part of business. “Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty,” Benedict wrote in his new encyclical, which the Vatican released on [July 7]. More than two years in the making, “Caritas in Veritate,” or “Charity in Truth,” is Benedict’s third encyclical since he became pope in 2005. Filled with terms like “globalization,” “market economy,” “outsourcing,” “labor unions” and “alternative energy,” it is not surprising that the Italian media reported that the Vatican was having difficulty translating the 144-page document into Latin. In many ways, the document is a puzzling cross between an anti-globalization tract and a government white paper, another signal that the Vatican does not comfortably fit into traditional political categories of right and left. Benedict also called for a reform of the United Nations so there could be a unified “global political body” that allowed the less powerful of the earth to have a voice, and he called on rich nations to help less fortunate ones.
Inventory Uncovers 9,200 More Pathogens
2009-06-18, Washington Post
An inventory of potentially deadly pathogens at Fort Detrick's infectious disease laboratory found more than 9,000 vials that had not been accounted for, Army officials said yesterday, raising concerns that officials wouldn't know whether dangerous toxins were missing. After four months of searching about 335 freezers and refrigerators at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Frederick, investigators found 9,220 samples that hadn't been included in a database of about 66,000 items listed as of February, said Col. Mark Kortepeter, the institute's deputy commander. The vials contained some dangerous pathogens, among them the Ebola virus, anthrax bacteria and botulinum toxin, and less lethal agents such as Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and the bacterium that causes tularemia. Most of them, forgotten inside freezer drawers, hadn't been used in years or even decades. Officials said some serum samples from hemorrhagic fever patients dated to the Korean War. The overstock and the previous inaccuracy of the database raised the possibility that someone could have taken a sample outside the lab with no way for officials to know something was missing. The institute has been under pressure to tighten security in the wake of the 2001 anthrax attacks, which killed five people and sickened 17. FBI investigators say they think the anthrax strain used in the attacks originated at the Army lab, and its prime suspect, Bruce E. Ivins, researched anthrax there. Ivins committed suicide last year during an investigation into his activities.
Note: Fort Detrick is the home of the government lab which is suspected to be involved with the creation of many previously unknown lethal viruses and germs. For lots more, see the excellent work of Dr. Leonard Horowitz at this link and this one.
Swine flu shots may go to kids first, Sebelius says
2009-06-16, USA Today/Associated Press
Schoolchildren could be first in line for swine flu vaccine this fall — and schools are being put on notice that they might even be turned into shot clinics. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday she is urging school superintendents around the country to spend the summer preparing for that possibility, if the government goes ahead with mass vaccinations. "If you think about vaccinating kids, schools are the logical place," Sebelius told The Associated Press. No decision has been made yet on whether and how to vaccinate millions of Americans against the new flu strain that the World Health Organization last week formally dubbed a pandemic, meaning it now is circulating the globe unchecked. But the U.S. is pouring money into development of a vaccine in anticipation of giving at least some people the shots.
While swine flu doesn't yet seem any more lethal than the regular flu that each winter kills 36,000 people in the U.S. alone, scientists fear it may morph into a more dangerous type. Even in its current form, the WHO says about half of the more than 160 people worldwide killed by swine flu so far were previously young and healthy. If that trend continues, "the target may be school-age children as a first priority" for vaccination, Sebelius said Tuesday. "That's being watched carefully." The last mass vaccination against a different swine flu, in the U.S. in 1976, was marred by reports of a paralyzing side effect — for a feared outbreak that never happened. The secretary said: "The worst of all worlds is to have the vaccine cause more damage than the flu potential."
Note: This article admits "swine flu doesn't yet seem any more lethal than the regular flu that each winter kills 36,000 people in the U.S. alone." Be very cautious around any vaccination campaign. Vaccines are extremely poorly regulated and known to fill the wallets of rich politicians invested in them. For lots more reliable, verifiable information on this, click here.
Pentagon Plans New Arm to Wage Cyberspace Wars
2009-05-29, New York Times
The Pentagon plans to create a new military command for cyberspace ... stepping up preparations by the armed forces to conduct both offensive and defensive computer warfare. White House officials say Mr. Obama has not yet been formally presented with the Pentagon plan. But he is expected to sign a classified order in coming weeks that will create the military cybercommand, officials said. It is a recognition that the United States already has a growing number of computer weapons in its arsenal and must prepare strategies for their use — as a deterrent or alongside conventional weapons — in a wide variety of possible future conflicts. [A] main dispute has been over whether the Pentagon or the National Security Agency should take the lead in preparing for and fighting cyberbattles. Under one proposal still being debated, parts of the N.S.A. would be integrated into the military command so they could operate jointly. A classified set of presidential directives is expected to lay out the military’s new responsibilities and how it coordinates its mission with that of the N.S.A., where most of the expertise on digital warfare resides today. The decision to create a cybercommand is a major step beyond the actions taken by the Bush administration, which authorized several computer-based attacks but never resolved the question of how the government would prepare for a new era of warfare fought over digital networks. Officials declined to describe potential offensive operations, but said they now viewed cyberspace as comparable to more traditional battlefields.
Note: Combine this with the BBC's revealing article on US plans to fight the Internet, and there is reason for concern. For lots more on new developments in modern war planning, click here.
Review: 'New World Order' on Independent Film Channel
2009-05-26, Los Angeles Times
"New World Order," which premieres today on the Independent Film Channel, is a film about ... volunteers in an "information war" who see ... that 9/11 was an "inside job," that the military-industrial complex killed Kennedy, and that an international "power elite" is plotting to enslave us all, excepting for those it will kill outright. They are hard to pigeonhole politically, these conspiracy adepts, trusting neither the "socialist Democrats" nor the "fascist Republicans" -- Ron Paul seems to be their man, if anyone is -- yet sounding as often like '60s leftist radicals as right-wing militiamen. They take the 1st Amendment as seriously as any card-carrying member of the ACLU, styling themselves muckrakers and speakers of truth to power, often through a bullhorn. The man with the biggest bullhorn is Alex Jones, an Austin, Texas-based syndicated radio host ... and the point through which all the strands connect in this unexpectedly affecting, nonjudgmental documentary by Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel. Much of what Jones and his fellows and followers believe is, in a general way, hardly controversial. But whether 9/11 was a plot to bring on world government, or whether the government you already have has painted a red or blue dot on your mailbox to indicate whether you will be shot immediately or merely be sent to the "FEMA camps" when the American Armageddon arrives, well, that's a pale horse of a different color. (Still, you'll want to check your mailbox now.) "This is more important than how much Britney Spears' hair sold for on EBay, 'Dancing With the Stars' or who's gonna be America's next idol," says one believer. "People think this is a joke. We're not a joke."
Note: The disparaging tone of this review of the documentary is typical of mainstream media treatment of 9/11 truth activity, but it makes clear that the film itself does not share this attitude.
Four states adopt 'no-smiles' policy for driver's licenses
2009-05-25, USA Today
Stopping driver's license fraud is no laughing matter: Four states are ordering people to wipe the grins off their faces in their license photos. "Neutral facial expressions" are required at departments of motor vehicles (DMVs) in Arkansas, Indiana, Nevada and Virginia. That means you can't smile, or smile very much. Other states may follow. The serious poses are urged by DMVs that have installed high-tech software that compares a new license photo with others that have already been shot. When a new photo seems to match an existing one, the software sends alarms that someone may be trying to assume another driver's identity. But there's a wrinkle in the technology: a person's grin. Face-recognition software can fail to match two photos of the same person if facial expressions differ in each photo, says Carnegie Mellon University robotics professor Takeo Kanade. Dull expressions "make the comparison process more accurate," says Karen Chappell, deputy commissioner of the Virginia DMV, whose no-smile policy took effect in March. Arkansas, Indiana and Nevada allow slight smiles. "You just can't grin really large," Arkansas driver services chief Tonie Shields says. A total of 31 states do computerized matching of driver's license photos and three others are considering it, says the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. Most say their software matches faces regardless of expressions. "People can smile here in Pennsylvania," state Transportation Department spokesman Craig Yetter says.
Note: For incisive commentary and a heart-warming video addressing this very topic, click here.
Billionaire club in bid to curb overpopulation
2009-05-24, Times of London
Some of America’s leading billionaires have met secretly to consider how their wealth could be used to slow the growth of the world’s population. Described as the Good Club by one insider, it included David Rockefeller Jr, the patriarch of America’s wealthiest dynasty, Warren Buffett and George Soros, the financiers, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, and the media moguls Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey. They gathered at the home of Sir Paul Nurse, a British Nobel prize biochemist and president of the private Rockefeller University, in Manhattan on May 5. The informal afternoon session was so discreet that some of the billionaires’ aides were told they were at “security briefings”. Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, said the summit was unprecedented. “We only learnt about it afterwards, by accident. Normally these people are happy to talk good causes, but this is different – maybe because they don’t want to be seen as a global cabal,” he said. Some details were emerging this weekend, however. Taking their cue from Gates they agreed that overpopulation was a priority. [A] guest said there was “nothing as crude as a vote” but a consensus emerged that they would back a strategy in which population growth would be tackled as a potentially disastrous environmental, social and industrial threat. “This is something so nightmarish that everyone in this group agreed it needs big-brain answers,” said the guest. “They need to be independent of government agencies, which are unable to head off the disaster we all see looming.”
Why all the secrecy? “They wanted to speak rich to rich without worrying anything they said would end up in the newspapers, painting them as an alternative world government,” he said.
Note: This very secret private meeting of billionaires planning to "solve" the world's "overpopulation" problem occurred just a few days before the latest Bilderberg meeting. For an ABC article on the same, click here. Is this a more positive twist on the Bilderberg Group of the worlds' power elite, or more of the same?
Hospitalization Rates Higher in Kids Who Get Flu Shots
2009-05-19, Forbes magazine
Children who get the annual flu vaccine, especially those who have asthma, may be more likely to be hospitalized than children who don't get the shot, a new study shows. But the researcher noted ... "This may not be a reflection of the vaccine but that these patients are the sickest, and their doctors insist they get a vaccination," said study author Dr. Avni Y. Joshi, a fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "I would be very cautious about interpreting this," said Dr. Gurjit Khurana Hershey, director of asthma research and professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. "The bottom line is that kids with asthma who get the flu vaccine are probably a different population anyway. They may be the more severely ill children, so it may have very little to do with the vaccine." The study has too many unknowns and covers too wide an age range over too many flu seasons to indicate any change in recommendations, said Dr. Hank Bernstein, a member of the committee on infectious diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The authors looked back at 263 children aged 6 months to 18 years who had visited the Mayo Clinic between 1999 and 2006 with laboratory-confirmed influenza. Children -- including children who had asthma -- who received the annual inactivated flu vaccine were almost three times more likely to be hospitalized than those who were not inoculated.
Note: With hospitalization rates nearly three times that of children who did not get vaccinated, why are these doctors downplaying this study so much? Why the focus on asthma, when the study covered a wide range of children? Why isn't anyone calling fo rmore research on these striking results? For lots of articles raising serious questions about the safety of vaccines, click here.
Tamiflu Developer: Swine Flu Could Have Come From Bio-Experiment Lab
2009-05-14, ABC News
An Australian researcher claims the swine flu, which has killed at least 64 people so far, might not be a mutation that occurred naturally but a man-made product of genetic experiments accidently leaked from a laboratory -- a theory the World Health Organization is taking very seriously. Adrian Gibbs, a scientist on the team that was behind the development of Tamiflu, says in a report he is submitting today that swine flu might have been created using eggs to grow viruses and make new vaccines, and could have been accidently leaked to the general public. "It might be some sort of simple error that's not being recognized," Gibbs said on ABC's "Good Morning America." In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Gibbs admitted there are other ways to explain swine flu's origin. "One of the simplest explanations if that it's a laboratory escape, but there are lots of others," he said. Regardless of the validity of Gibb's claims, he and several experts say that just bringing the idea of laboratory security to the public's attention is important. "There are lives at risk," Gibbs said. "The sooner this idea gets out, the better."
Note: What would cause one of the developers of Tamiflu to make such a statement? If you read between the lines, there is much more here than meets the eye. For lots more on this intriguing development, click here.
Control of Cybersecurity Becomes Divisive Issue
2009-04-17, New York Times
The National Security Agency has been campaigning to lead the government’s rapidly growing cybersecurity programs, raising privacy and civil liberties concerns among some officials who fear that the move could give the spy agency too much control over government computer networks. The security agency’s interest in taking over the dominant role has met resistance, including the resignation of the Homeland Security Department official who was until last month in charge of coordinating cybersecurity efforts throughout the government. Rod Beckstrom, who resigned in March as director of the National Cyber Security Center at the Homeland Security Department, said ... that he feared that the N.S.A.’s push for a greater role in guarding the government’s computer systems could give it the power to collect and analyze every e-mail message, text message and Google search conducted by every employee in every federal agency. Mr. Beckstrom said he believed that an intelligence service that is supposed to focus on foreign targets should not be given so much control over the flow of information within the United States government. To detect threats against the computer infrastructure — including hackers, viruses and intrusions by foreign agents and terrorists — cybersecurity guardians must have virtually unlimited access to networks. Mr. Beckstrom argues that those responsibilities should be divided among agencies. “I have very serious concerns about the concentration of too much power in one agency,” he said. “Power over information is so important, and it is so difficult to monitor, that we need to have checks and balances.”
Note: For further disturbing reports from reliable sources on government efforts to establish total surveillance systems, click here.
Warning over 'surveillance state'
2009-02-06, BBC News
Electronic surveillance and collection of personal data are "pervasive" in British society and threaten to undermine democracy, peers [in the House of Lords] have warned. CCTV cameras and the DNA database were two examples of threats to privacy, the Lords constitution committee said. It called for compensation for people subject to illegal surveillance. Civil liberties campaigners have warned about the risks of a "surveillance society" in which the state acquires ever-greater powers to track people's movements and retain personal data. In its report, the Lords constitution committee said growth in surveillance by both the state and the private sector risked threatening people's right to privacy, which it said was "an essential pre-requisite to the exercise of individual freedom". People were often unaware of the scale of personal information held and exchanged by public bodies, it said. "There can be no justification for this gradual but incessant creep towards every detail about us being recorded and pored over by the state," committee chairman and Tory peer Lord Goodlad said. "The huge rise in surveillance and data collection by the state and other organisations risks undermining the long-standing tradition of privacy and individual freedom which are vital for democracy," Lord Goodlad added. Human rights campaigners Liberty welcomed the report.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on growing threats to privacy from governments and corporations, click here.
Intelligence Agencies' Databases Set to Be Linked
2009-01-22, Wall Street Journal
U.S. spy agencies' sensitive data should soon be linked by Google-like search systems.
Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell has launched a sweeping technology program to knit together the thousands of databases across all 16 spy agencies. After years of bureaucratic snafus, intelligence analysts will be able to search through secret intelligence files the same way they can search public data on the Internet. Linking up the 16 agencies is the challenge at the heart of the job of director of national intelligence, created after 9/11. The new information program also is designed to include Facebook-like social-networking programs and classified news feeds. It includes enhanced security measures to ensure that only appropriately cleared people can access the network. The price tag is expected to be in the billions of dollars. The impact for analysts, Mr. McConnell says, "will be staggering." Not only will analysts have vastly more data to examine, potentially inaccurate intelligence will stand out more clearly, he said. Today, an analyst's query might scan only 5% of the total intelligence data in the U.S. government, said a senior intelligence official. Even when analysts find documents, they sometimes can't read them without protracted negotiations to gain access. Under the new system, an analyst would likely search about 95% of the data, the official said.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on the hidden realities of the War on Terror, click here.
Let's face it, soon Big Brother will have no trouble recognising you
2009-01-13, Times of London
This is the year when automated face-recognition finally goes mainstream, and it's about time we considered its social and political implications. Researchers are developing sharply accurate scanners that monitor faces in 3D and software that analyses skin texture to turn tiny wrinkles, blemishes and spots into a numerical formula. The strongest face-recognition algorithms are now considered more accurate than most humans - and already the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers have held discussions about the possibility of linking such systems with automatic car-numberplate recognition and public-transport databases. Join everything together via the internet, and voilà - the nation's population, down to the individual Times reader, can be conveniently and automatically monitored in real time. So let's understand this: governments and police are planning to implement increasingly accurate surveillance technologies that are unnoticeable, cheap, pervasive, ubiquitous, and searchable in real time. And private businesses, from bars to workplaces, will also operate such systems, whose data trail may well be sold on or leaked to third parties - let's say, insurance companies that have an interest in knowing about your unhealthy lifestyle, or your ex-spouse who wants evidence that you can afford higher maintenance payments.
Note: For disturbing reports on threats to privacy from major media sources, click here.
Bailiffs get power to use force on debtors
2008-12-21, Times of London
The [U.K.] government has been accused of trampling on individual liberties by proposing wide-ranging new powers for bailiffs to break into homes and to use “reasonable force” against householders who try to protect their valuables. Under the regulations, bailiffs for private firms would for the first time be given permission to restrain or pin down householders. They would also be able to force their way into homes to seize property to pay off debts, such as unpaid credit card bills and loans. “These laws strip away tried and tested protections that make a person’s home his castle, and which have stood for centuries,” said Paul Nicolson, chairman of the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust, a London-based welfare charity. “They could clearly lead to violent confrontations and undermine fundamental liberties.” Bailiffs have for hundreds of years been denied powers to break into homes for civil debt or to use force against debtors, except in self-defence. Ministers have now proposed bailiffs be given powers to physically remove debtors who try to defend their property, for example by draping themselves over a car or blocking the door of their home. Details of the new guidelines were obtained under freedom of information laws. Reasonable grounds for breaking down the door include the “movement of a curtain”, a radio being heard or a figure being spotted inside which “may be the offender”. In one case, an 89-year-old grandmother returned home to find a bailiff sitting in her chair having drawn up a list of her possessions. He was pursuing a parking fine owed by her son, who did not even live at the address.
Note: For many disturbing reports from reliable sources on threats to civil liberties, click here.
Boston launches flu shot tracking
2008-11-21, Boston Globe
Using technology originally developed for mass disasters, Boston disease trackers are embarking on a novel experiment - one of the first in the country - aimed at eventually creating a citywide registry of everyone who has had a flu vaccination. The resulting vaccination map would allow swift intervention in neighborhoods left vulnerable to the fast-moving respiratory illness. The trial starts this afternoon, when several hundred people are expected to queue up for immunizations at the headquarters of the Boston Public Health Commission. Each of them will get a bracelet printed with a unique identifier code. Information about the vaccine's recipients, and the shot, will be entered into handheld devices similar to those used by delivery truck drivers. Infectious disease specialists in Boston and elsewhere predicted that the registry approach could prove even more useful if something more sinister strikes: a bioterrorism attack or the long-feared arrival of a global flu epidemic. In such crises, the registry could be used to track who received a special vaccine or antidote to a deadly germ. "Anything you can do to better pinpoint who's vaccinated and who's not, that's absolutely vital," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy at the University of Minnesota. "I wish more cities were doing this kind of thing." When people arrive for their shots, they will get an ID bracelet with a barcode. Next, basic information - name, age, gender, address - will be entered into the patient tracking database. There will be electronic records, too, of who gave the vaccine and whether it was injected into the right arm or the left, and time-stamped for that day.
Note: For more on the serious risks and dangers posed by vaccines, click here and here.
Apocalypse now? 30 days when the world didn't end
2008-09-09, Times of London (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
The beginning of the first serious experiments using CERN’s Large Hadron Collider this week has given rise to a welter of fanciful scare stories about the obliteration of the Earth by a pocket black hole or a cascade reaction of exotic particles. Similar predictions have been made around the launch of several other particle physics experiments and even the first atomic weapons tests. Predictions of the world’s end are nothing new though. We’ve picked out 30 of the most memorable apocalypses that never, for one reason or another, quite happened. 1: 2,800BC: The oldest surviving prediction of the world’s imminent demise was found inscribed upon an Assyrian clay tablet which stated: "Our earth is degenerate in these latter days. There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end. Bribery and corruption are common." 4: Mar 25, 970 AD. The Lotharingian computists believed they had found evidence in the Bible that a conjunction of certain feast days prefigured the end times. They were just one of a wide scattering of millennial cults springing up in advance of that first Millennium. The millennial panic endured for at least 30 years after the fateful date had come and gone, with some adjustment made to allow 1,000 years after the crucifixion, rather than the nativity. 8: 1648: Having made close study of the kabbalah, theTurkish rabbi Sabbatai Zevi predicted that the Messiah would make a miraculous return in 1648, and that his name would be Sabbatai Zevi. 9: 1666: A year packed with apocalyptic portent. With a date containing the figures commonly accepted as the biblical Number of the Beast and following a protracted period of plague in England, it was little surprise that many should believe the Great Fire of London to be a herald of the Last Days.
U.S. May Ease Police Spy Rules
2008-08-16, Washington Post
The Justice Department has proposed a new domestic spying measure that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years. Law enforcement agencies would be allowed to target groups as well as individuals, and to launch a criminal intelligence investigation based on the suspicion that a target is engaged in terrorism or providing material support to terrorists. They also could share results with a constellation of federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and others in many cases. Michael German, policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the proposed rule may [permit] police to collect intelligence even when no underlying crime is suspected. German, an FBI agent for 16 years, said easing established limits on intelligence-gathering would lead to abuses against peaceful political dissenters. He pointed to reports in the past six years that undercover New York police officers infiltrated protest groups before the 2004 Republican National Convention; that California state agents eavesdropped on peace, animal rights and labor activists; and that Denver police spied on Amnesty International and others before being discovered. "If police officers no longer see themselves as engaged in protecting their communities from criminals and instead as domestic intelligence agents working on behalf of the CIA, they will be encouraged to collect more information," German said. "It turns police officers into spies on behalf of the federal government."
Note: For many disturbing reports on increasing threats to civil liberties from reliable sources, click here.
Police Turn to Secret Weapon: GPS Device
2008-08-13, Washington Post
Across the country, police are using GPS devices to snare [criminal suspects], often without a warrant or court order. Privacy advocates said tracking suspects electronically constitutes illegal search and seizure, violating Fourth Amendment rights of protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, and is another step toward George Orwell's Big Brother society. With the ... ever-declining cost of the technology, many analysts believe that police will increasingly rely on GPS ... and that the public will hear little about it. "I've seen them in cases from New York City to small towns -- whoever can afford to get the equipment and plant it on a car," said John Wesley Hall, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "And of course, it's easy to do. You can sneak up on a car and plant it at any time." Details on how police use GPS usually become public when the use of the device is challenged in court. Leibig said GPS should be held to a different standard because it provides greater detail. "While it may be true that police can conduct surveillance of people on a public street without violating their rights, tracking a person everywhere they go and keeping a computer record of it for days and days without that person knowing is a completely different type of intrusion," he said. Barry Steinhardt, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's technology and liberty program, considers GPS monitoring, along with license plate readers, toll transponders and video cameras with face-recognition technology, part of the same trend toward "an always-on, surveillance society."
Note: For lots more on threats to privacy from major media sources, click here.