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Friday, 15 December

23:29

How Christmas Baptizes Norse Mythology Into Powerful Christian Archetypes "IndyWatch Feed National"

Every Christmas we all take a tree that otherwise doesnt die and we kill it. Then we place it inside our homes and cover it with a bunch of chintzy nonsense. As Jim Gaffigan says, this sounds like the actions of a drunk man.

In his Christmas tree bit, a wife wonders why theres a pine tree in the living room, and Jim answers with slurred speech saying that theyre gonna decorate it, for Jesus. Indeed, that is exactly why we have Christmas trees: Not drunk people, but Jesus the Messiah.

The Christmas tree is a perfect symbol of Christian theology. It depicts the complete good news of Christ. But to see this we need to understand what the tree means and where it comes from. Lets look at the trees origins. That begins with Norse mythology.

The Tree Upon Which the World Hangs

Norse mythology centers upon a tree. This is not exactly novel. Trees are sacred in almost every culture and religion to varying degrees. This makes sense for several reasons: trees represent immortality because they can live for thousands upon thousands of years. They also are often a source of life either by their fruit or the shade they provide, or because humans have learned how to craft almost anything from their flesh.

But the tree at the center of Norse mythology is unique. It is called Yggdrasil. Modern people tend to think of and depict it as a gigantic ash tree where the nine realms of gods, elves, dwarfs, etc. sit in the branches and roots. Ancient Norse people wouldve probably seen these renditions and known what was meant, but to them the tree didnt actually exist in that way at all. Yggdrasil was existence itself. The world itself was the tree.

By world, I dont mean earth. Earth was a realmMidgard, or, as J.R.R. Tolkien called it, middle earth. Our realm of Midgard was small within the world of this cosmic tree.

The cosmic tree was most clearly seen and understood only after the sun went down. Then the universe is laid bare before mans eyes. In a world without city lights, the naked eye can see the universe of stars that surrounds us in shocking detail. Billions of stars explode across the night sky like a Jackson Pollock painting.

In the middle of all that splendor was the Bifrost, what we call the Milky Way. Weve discovered this white path through the night sky is actually an arm of our spiral galaxy. But to the Norse the Bifrost was a bridge between Asgard and Midgard. Asgard was the home of the Aesir, the greatest Norse gods, Odin of course being their chief.

So what does Yggdrasil mean? It is often translated as Odins horse. But that is actually a theological interpretation of the true meaning of the word. The word literally means The Awesome Ones Gallows. To say it is Odins horse is therefore not false.

...

23:12

Interstate Banking & Changes to the Federal Reserve "IndyWatch Feed National"

QUESTION: 

Hi Marty,
You say, The one-size-fits-all policy of central banks with regard to interest rates pits East v West in both Canada and the United States. Farmers, oil producers, and miners are forced to pay higher interest rates when their economies are declining because of speculative booms in Toronto or New York.
I can see how regional Central Banks could have supplied different stimulus in different regions back in the time of the Feds formation when the mediums of communication were not what they are today, but how would that work now. With the ability, today to borrow money electronically from where ever it is cheapest, wouldnt people in the high-interest regions simply borrow in the regions where the money was cheapest defeating that strategy?
Regards,
F

 

ANSWER: About 70% of small business are routinely turned down for business loans. The small farmers, miners, and oil producers cannot simply borrow from the cheapest source. I myself always found banks calling me asking if wanted to borrow money when things were great and I never needed it. If you are watching your business model decline, nobody will lend to a ship taking on even a little water. There is a huge difference between a consumer loan on credit cards and a small business.

 

Consumers already pay interest rates set by a bank which are usually covering various regions. It is true, after the collapse of 9,000 banks with the Great Depression, thereafter banks were prohibited from Interstate Banking. Indeed, Interstate Banking allowing banks across state lines became widespread in the mid-1980s, when state legislatures passed legislation that allowed bank holding companies to acquire out-of-state banks on a reciprocal basis with other states. I had been on the board of a regional bank in the early 1980s. After Interstate Banking was allowed, a New York bank came down and put in a bid for Capital State Bank. It was sold and everyone cashed-in on their shares.

 

The main point is that there remain regional lending problems. The banks will lend to a market that is booming and will shun away from the regions in trouble. Today, a major bank in New York goes down and it impacts the ent...

23:11

Parliament House of Lords Dental Health: Children:Written question - HL3911 "IndyWatch Feed National"


Q Asked by Lord Turnberg
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department of Health
Dental Health: ChildrenHL3911

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the incidence of childhood dental decay in (1) those regions where the water supply is fluoridated, and (2) those where it is not.


A Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Public Health Englands Water fluoridation Health monitoring report for England 2014 compared a range of dental and non-dental health indicators in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas.

The report concluded that, when deprivation and ethnicity were taken into account, five year-old children in areas with a fluoridated water supply were 28% less likely to have tooth decay than those in non-fluoridated areas, and 12 year-old children in areas with a fluoridated water supply were 21% less likely to have had tooth decay in permanent teeth than children living in non-fluoridated areas. A copy of Water fluoridation Health monitoring report for England 2014 is attached.
Water fluoridation (PDF Document, 1.5 MB)



Who would believe them after their involvement  in the Southampton fluoridation scheme debacle.

This video shows how they manipulate reviews if they don't agree with the findings. Now a bit old as SHA's no longer exist. It's the council who have to ask for a feasibility study.



...

20:13

North Korea Is Not Just a Nuclear Problem but Also a Complex Security Challenge "IndyWatch Feed National"

Washington and Seoul need to engage with Pyongyang, Beijing and Moscow to explore how a deal can be worked out.

It may be too late to reverse North Koreas nuclear status. Credit: Reuters

Anyone who claims to have an answer to North Koreas nuclear problem has been misinformed. A premeditated nuclear attack is unlikely from any side. Rather, the risk of war lies in the possibility of miscommunication, misperception and miscalculation that could see the cycle of provocation and escalation spin out of control.

The Korean War ended in 1953 with a ceasefire but not peace agreement. The 38th parallel is heavily militarised, barbed wire-fenced, mined and patrolled. Over six decades of demonising, isolating and sanctioning, the Kim dynasty-led regime has perpetuated a stalemate at escalating levels of insecurity. North Korea conducts another nuclear test, possibly more powerful than before. Or a longer-range missile test. US and UN impose additional or tougher sanctions. US and North Korea exchange more threats. The stalemate continues, but with heightened sense of insecurity on all sides.

North Koreas ambition to acquire an intercontinental nuclearised capability has had four components, three of which have been realised. First, it has been making bombs. According to revised US intelligence assessments, it may have as many as 60 bombs. Second, test...

19:55

"Weekly News Wrap-Up 12/15/17" "GroovUs Feed Anews"

"Weekly News Wrap-Up 12/15/17"
By Greg Hunters USAWatchdog.com 

"Looks like the GOP finally defeated its own candidate for Senator in the Alabama Special Election. The GOP could not stop Moore in the primary after spending $32 million, but it teamed up with Democrats and got Moore defeated. Moore is not conceding, and plenty of people are saying there was voter fraud. Its a long shot that Moore could force a recount, but even so, a last minute court decision in Alabama allowed paper ballots to be destroyed after a winner was declared. Some say that will make a recount next to impossible. Congratulations Mitch McConnell, you got a Democrat elected in a 60/40 Red state.

Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is being charged with running a totally biased investigation against Donald Trump by members of Congress. Some say he should be fired. There is still no evidence of Russian collusion but plenty of evidence that the same people that exonerated Hillary Clinton for multiple crimes are now going after Donald Trump. I am referring to the DOJ and FBI investigators. On top of that, the Justice Department will not answer questions that it used a totally false so-called dossier bought an...

18:52

Atlanta, GA: Update on Food Not Bombs Repression "GroovUs Feed Anews"

The post Atlanta, GA: Update on Food Not Bombs Repression appeared first on It's Going Down.

Early this morning, we came to court ready to face criminal charges for feeding the homeless without a permit. Many people came out and we shared food, clothes, and hygiene supplies right in front of the courthouse.

City representatives refused to show up. They were too ashamed to even face us in their own court. The bogus charge was dismissed without so much as a hearing. This confirms that the crackdown was never about the law, it has always been nothing more than a campaign of intimidation designed to bully homeless people and those who aid them. Already, officials are researching other ordinances they can use to repress us.

The real solution is ordinary people working together to help each other, and fighting against the gentrification agenda of the city elites. We will continue doing our part, and we call on everyone to join in however they can.

We are outraged that the City is trying to avoid this issue. Officials must answer for persecuting us, but they know they cant. They can hide from a court case, but they cant hide from the poor people who face constant harassment by their cops. They cant hide from the homeless people who they evicted from the Peachtree & Pine shelter. The City wants to pretend they are the solution to poverty and homelessness in Atlanta, but they are the cause.

The real solution is ordinary people working together to help each other, and fighting against the gentrification agenda of the city elites. We will continue doing our part, and we call on everyone to join in however they can.

18:49

Significant radiation dose received by Lucas Heights worker in nuclear accident "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Radioactive liquid spills on worker at Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/national/radioactive-liquid-spills-on-worker-at-lucas-heights-nuclear-reactor-in-sydney/news-story/a14c71d0d093ddad94d39f5ea614359f, Peter Jean, Political Reporter, The Advertiser, December 14, 2017 A WORKER received a significant radiation dose when a vial of radioactive liquid spilt onto their hands in the most serious recorded safety incident to ever occur at Sydneys Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.

The Advertiser can reveal the accident occurred on August 22 when a vial of the nuclear medicine product Molybdenum-99 was dropped when its cap was being removed during a quality-control test. The incident was rated severe by regulators and has led to changes in safety procedures.

Molybdenum-99 is produced by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation at Lucas Heights, below, for use in cancer and heart disease scans.

ANSTO Health general manager Mark Moore said the analyst has a slightly elevated risk of developing skin cancer after the liquid spilt on their hands.

The analyst was working in a shielded fume cupboard that, in normal operation, limits a dose received, but the dropping of the vial resulted in the radiation dose, Mr Moore said.

Our employee remains at work and is currently performing alternative quality assessment work in the nuclear medicine field.

Mr Moore said the staff member had burn-like symptoms, including blistering and reddening of the skin.

While ANSTO is still waiting to be adv...

18:32

How Sydney could become a zero-carbon city "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Sydneys closer to being a zero-carboncity than you think, The Conversation, Rob Roggema
Professor of Sustainable Urban Environments, University of Technology Sydney December 15, 2017
, You live in one of the sunniest countries in the world. You might want to use that solar advantage and harvest all this free energy. Knowing that solar panels are rapidly becoming cheaper and have become feasible even in less sunny places like the UK, this should be a no-brainer.

Despite this, the Australian government has taken a step backwards at a time when we should be thinking 30 years ahead.

Can we do it differently? Yes, we can! My ongoing research on sustainable urbanism makes it clear that if we use the available renewable resources in the Sydney region we do not need any fossil resource any more. We can become zero-carbon. (With Louisa King and Andy Van den Dobbelsteen, I have prepared a forthcoming paper, Towards Zero-Carbon Metropolitan Regions: The Example of Sydney, in the journal SASBE.)

Enough solar power for every household

Abundant solar energy is available in the Sydney metropolitan area. If 25% of the houses each installed 35 square metres of solar panels, this could deliver all the energy for the citys households.

We conservatively estimate a total yield of 195kWh/m2 of PV panel placed on roofs or other horizontal surfaces. The potential area of all Sydney council precincts suited for PV is estimated at around 385km2  a quarter of the entire roof surface.

...

18:27

SOTT FOCUS: Putin Schools Journalists and Western Politicians in Annual Q&A Marathon "IndyWatch Feed National"

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual marathon press conference today. Over 1,600 journalists were accredited for the event, which ended up lasting just under four hours. The entire ritual just demonstrates how far Russia still has to go before it becomes a full-fledged Western democracy. In a real democracy, leaders only take pre-approved soft-ball questions from a select group of hand-picked journalists and then read their answers from teleprompters. Tough or unexpected questions are either ignored or given a pat answer devoid of any real information. After 20 minutes or so, that's a wrap. Under no circumstances are leaders to field countless questions from a range of sources, and extemporaneously provide detailed answers on a wide range of subjects. Sound about right? Actually, the reason Western leaders don't do such things is because they're simply incapable of it. They don't have a command of all the facts and figures. They know their 'policy positions' are just slogans and sound bites made up for public consumption, so their answers are never in-depth or backed up by anything of substance. And they know the justification for the 'party line' is based on a foundation of deceit and lies, so they can't give adequate space for facts or other points of view. When you're following a script, you can't be spontaneous. Putin, on the other hand, can do so because he's something all his Western 'colleagues' are not: a real leader. What follows are some of the highlights of today's Q&A. Check back for updates as they come. Here's the full video, if you have 4 hours to spare:

17:48

Substratum answers censorship call "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Web censorship is on the rise, according to research by Freedom on the Net, two-thirds of all internet users live in countries where criticism of the government, military, or ruling family is subject to censorship. The World Economic Forum reported that global internet freedom declined in 2016 for the sixth consecutive year, 2017 is likely to be even worse.

Internet freedom in the US was dealt a huge blow yesterday when the Federal Communications Commission voted to rescind regulations governing companies that provide broadband services to consumers. This essentially gives broadband providers in the US the power to control what they serve to their customers, and more importantly what they block.

These net neutrality regulations were originally introduced by the Democrats under the previous administration. Trumps administration evidently does not approve of a free and unfettered internet so has decided to unravel the regulations that gave net neutrality lawfulness. The rules prevented internet service providers from blocking content, throttling access speeds and enforcing paid prioritization upon their customers. Once through US broad band companies would have a green light to discriminate and manipulate your internet traffic according to one Democrat on the FCC panel. Top ISPs such as Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Charter and CenturyLink will have more freedom to control what they allow their users to see on the internet. According to Wikipedia these top five US providers have almost 80 million subscribers combined.

As America moves to join many of the Middle Eastern and Asian nations that regularly and actively censor the internet we need to look towards the blockchain for a solution. It just so happens that a recent ICO provides a token that does just that.

Substratum provides a method of serving decentralized web content via a range of operating systems and browsers without the need for technical knowledge of crypto currencies and blockchains. Their websites states:

Information wants to be free, not locked down by censorship or net neutrality laws. Substratum provides tools anyone can use to help keep the internet accessible through decentralization. We support an equal, fair, and open internet.

By installing a Substratum node participants will get rewarded with the crypto currency for serving content to others living in countries that filter the web. Traders reacted to the news quickly and SUB price jumped from $0.36 to a record top of $0.50 within a couple of hours. A small correction brought prices back down to $0.40 but they soon began to ratchet....

17:06

Credlin: Give us a debate and vote on Australias population - Article by Leith van Onselen "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Chief of Staff to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Peta Credlin, is the latest to question Australias mass immigration program, which flooded NSW (read Sydney) and VIC (read Melbourne) with a record 185,500 net overseas migrants (combined) in the year to June, further crush-loading our two biggest cities. This article was first published on Macrobusiness at https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2017/12/peta-credlin-give-us-national-debate-vote-australias-population/ on December 15 2017.

By Leith van Onselen

Chief of Staff to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Peta Credlin, is the latest to question Australias mass immigration program, which flooded NSW (read Sydney) and VIC (read Melbourne) with a record 185,500 net overseas migrants (combined) in the year to June, further crush-loading our two biggest cities:


Last night, Ms Credlin delivered a detailed monologue on Sky News calling for immigration levels to be normalised back to their historical average, as well as demanding that our federal politicians give Australians a national debate and vote on Australias future population size.

While the whole video is well worth watching, heres a few key quotes:

Overcrowded streets, busy roads, nowhere to park, over development, unaffordable housing, cramped schools, and in the words of many locals, far too many highrises. These were the concerns raised today [in Bennelong], and they are all code for population growth

What I can...

17:00

The Weekend Quiz December 16-17, 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Welcome to The Weekend Quiz. The quiz tests whether you have been paying attention or not to the blogs I post. See how you go with the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no records are retained.

1. Although we are told that a country is running a small current account deficit and that the private domestic sector is saving overall, we are unable to draw any conclusions about the state of the fiscal balance until we know the relative magnitudes of the other balances.



2. While a currency-issuing government does not have to issue bonds to match its deficit spending, one of the advantages of raising debt from the private sector is that it provides a boost to private wealth.



3. Fiscal austerity aims to reduce the stock of net government spending by reducing spending and/or increasing taxes.


...

16:23

Have cryptoassets created $0.5 trillion in social value? "IndyWatch Feed National"

Vitalik Buterin poses that question, do read his whole storm. Here are the last three tweets:

How many Venezuelans have actually been protected by us from hyperinflation?

How much actual usage of micropayment channels is there actually in reality?

The answer to all of these questions is definitely not zero, and in some cases its quite significant. But not enough to say its $0.5T levels of significant. Not enough.

Let me set aside the question of enabling grey or black market activities, and let us put aside the bubbly component of these assets, which may or may not be real.  Id like to focus on the underlying fundamentals.

Furthermore, crypto-assets have not consumed half a trillion in social costs, though Id like to see the electricity bill.  So mine is the concrete question: insofar as crypto-assets have served as hedges and stores of value, is that social value or just a private return at some offsetting rent-seeking-based social cost?

Stores of value

Lets say I build a warehouse and store some furniture in it, because I am moving and I dont want to throw out the sofa but need to keep it somewhere for a month.  The gains from storing that furniture can be captured by standard cost-benefit methods, and few would doubt that is a legitimate private and also social efficiency.  I am carrying sitting capacity into the future.

With crypto-assets, I am carrying wealth more generally into the future.  The person who most wants that payoff structure for the wealth carry will end up owning the crypto-asset.

Do I hold and carry forward that wealth at the expense of other people?  Is creating a crypto-asset, in welfare terms, a bit like being a counterfeiter and thus rent-transferring and wasteful?  Or is it more like storing a sofa while moving house?

Or is the crypto-asset more like an insurance contract, and thus again wealth-enhancing?  I see it as performing a mix of the store of value and insurance functions.

If the crypto-asset is rent-seeking (the electricity cost aside), exactly whose purchasing power is diminished?  Presumably the Bitcoin and Ether millionaires spend more of their money and drive prices up for others.  But it seems that is a pecuniary externality, not a real social cost of the kind that would justify a judgment of socially wasteful rent-seeking.

Maybe it makes more sense to view the crypto-assets as a new kind of insurance contract: if some of my othe...

15:42

Mammal long thought extinct in NSW resurfaces in State's west "GroovUs Feed Anews"

A Crest-tailed Mulgara, a small carnivorous marsupial known only from fossilised bone fragments and presumed extinct in NSW for more than century, has been discovered in Sturt National Park north-west of Tibooburra.

A team from the UNSW Sydney Wild Deserts project made the unexpected discovery during recent scientific monitoring.

UNSW scientist and Wild Deserts ecologist Dr Rebecca West, said it was particularly exciting to find a Crest-tailed Mulgara alive for the first time in NSW.

The Crest-tailed Mulgara was once widely distributed across sandy desert environments in inland Australia, but declined due to the effects of rabbits, cats and foxes.
The species weighs around 150 grams and has pale blonde fur and a thick tail with a distinctive black crest, Dr West said.

"The discovery comes at a great time," said UNSW scientist and Wild Deserts project co-ordinator Reece Pedler.

Next year we are due to begin introduced predator and rabbit eradication from a large area, which will no doubt help the Mulgara, Mr Pedler said.

The Wild Deserts project is contributing to the NSW Governments Saving our Species conservation program (SOS), said National Parks and wildlife Service area manager Jaymie Norris. The aim of this project is to return mammal species not seen in their natural habitat for over 90 years in Sturt National Park. Rabbits, cats and foxes will be eradicated from two 20-square-kilometre fenced exclosures in Sturt National Park, before locally extinct mammals are reintroduced."

"Reintroduced native mammal species will include greater bilby, burrowing bettong, western quoll and western barred bandicoot, Mr Norris said.

The Wild Deserts project is a partnership between UNSW and Ecological Horizons, in collaboration with Taronga Conservation Society Australia. Wild Deserts has been contracted by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to restore and promote desert...

14:39

McCain eyes exit from Senate amid 'stress' from growing Trump dossier scandal "IndyWatch Feed National"

John McCain is reportedly preparing to pull back from the U.S. Senate, according to Beltway insiders who say new demands to answer for his role in either underwriting or promoting the Trump phony dossier are stressing the Arizona senator's fragile health. It is not clear whether McCain plans to outright retire from the Senate or simply focus on his Stage IV cancer treatments away from Washington, D.C. but many GOP insiders believe McCain's last days in the Senate are close. Likely, McCain will not return after the Christmas break, many folks have privately confided. McCain has been away for the Senate all week, missing votes and debate about a number of topics including tax cuts. This is not the fist time McCain has sought medical treatment after his role in recent anti-Trump scandals have heated up.

14:33

FW: Available Now: NSQHS Standards (second edition) Western NSW & Far West Health Libraries Blog

The NSQHS Standards (second edition) are now available.

The second edition of the NSQHS Standards addresses gaps identified in the first edition, including mental health and cognitive impairment, health literacy, end-of-life care, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. It also updates the evidence for actions, consolidates and streamlines standards and actions to make them clearer and easier to implement.

Health service organisations will be assessed to the second edition of the NSQHS Standards from January 2019.

The Commission's National Model Clinical Governance Framework is also available now. Building on the NSQHS Standards, the Framework provides information about corporate and clinical governance, and roles and responsibilities for people within a health service organisation.

The Commission has developed a range of other resources to support implementation of the NSQHS Standards.

For more information on the second edition and related resources please contact the National Standards team on 1800 304 056 or accreditation@safetyandquality.gov.au

13:15

Why Your Intuition May Be the Highest Form of Intelligence "IndyWatch Feed National"

Christina Sarich, Staff Writer
Waking Times

Our intuition develops when we are babies, long before are indoctrinated into Newtonian physics which largely prohibits us from understanding the quantum world. Ironically, one of our first intellectual abilities intuition may be one of the greatest forms of intelligence we will ever experience in a grown-up world.

In the quantum world, there are no positions nor speed. These are classical, mechanical terms for a world that doesnt really exist. Yet, as tiny babies we understand how things work without having a clear grasp of certain intellectual realities.

Psychologists Susan Hespos from Northwestern University, and Renee Baillargeon of University of Illinois found that this physical intuition kicks in as early as two and a half months, and other scientists think that intuition is probably present from birth.

Gerd Gigerenzer, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, argues that intuition is less about suddenly knowing the right answer and more about instinctively understanding what information is unimportant and can thus be discarded, but even if we have intuition even at birth, one could argue that we have yet to develop the intellectual capacity to learn which information can be discarded.

Yet innate notions, plus elaborations born from watching and interacting with the world, add up to a sort of nave physics that we all grasp before having a single physics lesson.

...

11:54

Things that Couldn't Happen--But DID! "IndyWatch Feed National"

Dr. John Alexander returns to Dreamland with mind-opening stories of his adventures into the unknown. Formerly head of the US Army's famed non-lethal weapons program, John has traveled the world in search of answers to the mysteries of such things as mediumship, out-of-body movement and near death experiences.

11:46

Drug Dealers Selling Berocca for $300 a tab "GroovUs Feed Anews"

HangoverMan

Chemists are taking advantage of todays spike in Christmas-party hangovers by charging dull-eyed customers up to $300 for a single tablet of Berocca.

One office worker who has yet to go to bed after enjoying a few beers at his Christmas party, which began yesterday morning and continued on into the afternoon, evening and then morning again, said he was being exploited by his local pharmacy.

Theyre the worst type of drug dealers, the bloody-nosed man said. But with my only other option being cutting my head off to dull the pain, I had to pay up.

Another office workers who overdid things by a Penrith mile said he refused to pay his legal drug dealer for the mild relief.

Im just going to keep drinking and never stop, he said. That way Ill never have a hangover again.

Shares in Berocca tablets are set to rival the rise of cryptocurrency Bitcoin, according to early reports.


10:41

IMO DSS INVITED HON UCHE ONYEAGUCHA BY 11AM 14 DEC. 2017 TO ANSWER TO ROCHAS PETITION "IndyWatch Feed National"

REASONS FOR HIS INVITATION 1. Hon Onyeagucha accused of opposing Rochas mindless and illegal destruction/demolition of private property without compensation. More

09:12

Think You Can Hide Capital Gains in Alt-Coins? Think Again "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Those Bitcoin investors in the US who think theyre outsmarting the IRS by trading funds to other digital currencies rather than back to dollars could be in for a nasty surprise. Under GOP tax bill that is due to be voted upon next week, law makers will draw a distinction limiting like-kind exchanges to real estate.

Its been argued by some that using Bitcoin or any other digital currency to purchase a different crypto should be treated the same as a 1031 exchange. This allows taxpayers to exchange one type of asset to another without it being deemed a taxable event. Since the IRS considers Bitcoin as property rather than currency, it was thought that digital currencies could be considered as like assets.

Evan Fox, the tax manager at New York accounting firm Berdon gave his opinion on the matter to CNBC:

Some people think, Im taking my bitcoin, which the IRS has deemed to be property, swapping it for another property and doing it for investment reasons, so it sounds like it could be a 1031 exchange I think its a stretch.

However, under the new bill, any debate will be rendered moot. It explicitly limits 1031 exchanges to real estate. This gives an answer to all those accountancy professionals who have struggled to advise clients invested in Bitcoin and other cryptos because of the law lagging behind technological innovation.

For now, people cashing out or trading digital currencies in the States should beware. Other investments will often trigger the a brokerage to send a Form 1099 automatically which also goes directly to the IRS, alerting them to your trading. These forms are used to record losses and gains. However, its important to remember that the absence of such a document does not mean that taxes are not owed. This makes it necessary to self-report.

Its also worth noting that the IRS have up to three years to conduct an audit. It could be as late as 2020 that your 2017 tax return is brought into question. Fox warned that penalties and interest might face those who do not correctly report their cryptocurrency gains.

He summed up the situation pretty clearly for CNBCs readers considering risking not reporting crypto trading gains:

If you put money into the cryptocurrency space, and you decide to buy [another digital asset], and you one day monetize it and show up with a $2 million house, the IRS is not stupid.

The taxation expert concluded by suggesting that the number of returns this year...

08:36

Opportunity Knocks and SophiaTX is Answering the Door "GroovUs Feed Anews"

SophiaTX, considered the Ultimate Blockchain for Business, just entered the final round of a very successful Token Generation Event (Dec. 7 17), where they have already raised well over $11 Million USD. The unique, purpose-built blockchain platform and marketplace were designed from the ground up for the specific purpose of integrating enterprise applications such as ERP, SCM, and CRM systems into a collaborative environment across multiple enterprises and industries.

SophiaTX is ready to show off what it can do for businesses on a global scale. They just opened pre-registration for Early Adoption Program which will launch in early 2018. The program is aimed at both individuals (enterprise applications experts, consultants, and architects) and organizations.

The early adoption program offers exclusive, membership only access to SophiaTX technology, the use of a testnet platform, detailed use case description for implementation, and learning opportunities for businesses regardless the size small or large. Interested parties can subscribe to the early adoption program on the SophiaTX website. As a small sample of SophiaTX potential, the company has outlined a use case which they affirmed, by way of fully functional proof of concept.

 Blockchain E-invoice Data Exchange / One-to-One Document Exchange

Extensive research of todays business models and practices found that more than 90% of all invoices worldwide are still processed manually (via mail, print, email, and other manual methods) which consume valuable time, resources and increase the costs.

The volume for e-invoices will achieve at least 36 billion worldwide with annual growth rates of 10-20% by the end of 2017. The estimated size of the e-invoicing market is 3.3 Billion Euro for 2017, and is expected to grow to 16.1 Billion Euro in the year 2024.

The main problems with traditional e-invoicing is that it remains cumbersome in adoption, is relatively expensive to implement and is rather limited to a selected type of document. This is where blockchain technology offers faster adoption and a true, peer-to-peer information exchange of relatively unlimited types of documentation. said Jaroslav Kacina, SophiaTX CEO.

SophiaTX takes the process multiple steps further by inputting the e-invoice...

08:19

State Department walks back Tillerson's signal for talks with N. Korea "GroovUs Feed Anews"

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert appeared to walk back statements by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling for negotiations with North Korea. Nauert said Pyongyang would have to suspend weapons tests before talks could take place. "We're ready to talk anytime they'd like to talk," Tillerson said on Tuesday, during a question-and-answer session at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC. "We are ready to have the first meeting without preconditions. Let's just meet." On Wednesday, Nauert said that Tillerson's comments were not an announcement of a shift in US policy. North Korea would have to suspend its weapons program before any talks could talk place, "and we certainly haven't seen that right now," she said. Tillerson had signaled that the Trump administration was ready to negotiate without demanding North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programs. "It's not realistic to say we are only going to talk if you come to the table ready to give up your program," he said. "They have too much invested in it."

08:00

December 15 On This Day in Australian History "GroovUs Feed Anews"



1807 - John Macarthur defied Atkins' arrest warrant over the Parramatta affair by giving a written refusal to comply to the issuing officer.

1810 - Shocked at the horrendous architectural styles of combining wattle and daub with tree houses Governor Lachlan Macquarie introduced a building code into the New South Wales colony.

1829 - Thomas Peel rocked up at the Swan River colony with 300 settlers. They were, however, too late to be eligible for the land grant for his colonisation scheme.

1852 - 1921 A lot of boring as batshit legal mumbo jumbo legislation was being twittered about the corridores of various parliaments throughout the Island of Oz.
I culled them to prevent you all from nodding off into your coffee.

1852 - Colonial Secretary Sir John Pakington authorises NSW Vic SA & Tas to draft new separate constitutions providing for an elected lower house and a nominated upper house.

1875 - A Bill in NSW Parliament granting married women the right to own property was rejected on the grounds that 'it would undo the God-founded institution of matrimony'.
Pfft!

1877 - Eleven year old Albert Thomas Burless had his leg severely bitten by a shark ( leg was later surgically amputated) whilst bathing at Peacock Point, Balmain, Sydney.

1882 - The first female union in the Land of Oz was formed when female tailoresses tossed their collective thimbles out the window and created The Victorian Tailoresses Union.

1891 - Rabbits were declared to be in plague proportions across Australia. Estimate of numbers was 100 per acre of outback Australia.

1897 - Laws were enacted in Queensland to prohibit Aboriginal people accessing liquor and opium. The 1897 Protection of Aborigines and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act was to affect Indigenous rights in Queensland for much of the 20th Century.

1900 - HMS Royal Arthur delivered the goods when it off-loaded the first Governor-General of Oz, Earl of Hopetoun, in Sydney.
Who proceeded to commit The Hopetoun Blunder and we shall never speak of this unfortunate event in his presence again.....
Hopetoun's error in calling on Lyne to form a government became known as the "Hopetoun Blunder", and it marked the beginning of what many historians consider to be his unsuccessful term as Governor-General.

1904 - The Arbitration Court established.
...

07:06

Las Vegas Unsettling Details Emerge "IndyWatch Feed National"

We Are Change

In this video, Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange gives you the latest breaking news on the unfolding events in Las Vegas, a media critic of Wapo making fun of Instagram star Dan Bilzerian, new YouTube search policies and important unanswered questions.

You can watch this video on DTube here.

The post Las Vegas Unsettling Details Emerge appeared first on We Are Change.

06:45

Record high immigration to Sydney & Melbourne "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Immigration ramps up

The natural increase in Australia's population slowed a bit over the 2017 financial year as the number of deaths increased. 

However net immigration from overseas boomed by +27 per cent from +193,000 to 245,500, so you can comprehensively chalk that one up as a good call for this blog page (a year ago much of the idle talk of was population growth dropping because of a slowing economy). 

Australia is the planet's sixth largest country so this isn't such a big deal in itself, but the concentration of the immigration will raise a few eyebrows, as we shall see below. 


Over the financial year Australia's population grew by +388,100 or +1.6 per cent to 24.6 million by the end of June 2017. 


The Aussie population will pass the 25 million landmark in 2018.

The MEL-SYD magnet

Net overseas migration into the two most populous states rose to the highest level on record. 

New South Wales (+98,600) and Victoria (+86,800) accounted for the great bulk of immigration, with new arrivals overwhelmingly clustering into the capital cities of Greater Sydney and Melbourne respectively. 

Immigration into Queensland is also picking up the pace, from a cyclical nadir of +18,300 over t...

06:24

Lobster With Pepsi Can Tattoo Embodies Fears About Ocean Waste: Here Are 5 More Examples "GroovUs Feed Anews"

By , EcoWatch

Its safe to say that lobsters arent a budding new demographic for soda companies.

So why did a lobster recently caught in the waters off Grand Manan, New Brunswick, have part of a Pepsi logo tattooed on its claw?

Thats a question that baffled Karissa Lindstrand, the fisherman who spotted the uncanny image during a lobster haul, according to the Guardian. Lindstrand happens to drink up to a dozen Pepsi sodas a day, but she was struck by the images unusual dimensions.

It was pixelated, she told the Guardian, and far too big to be seen on a soda cantheoretically debunking claims that the lobster grew up in a can. Shes not the only one to question how the logo got there. Since the image went viral, its sparked a debate on how a lobster became an unwitting mascot of a soda giant, the Guardian noted.

Lindstrand, for example, thinks that ink from a piece of paper somehow fused to the lobsters claw.

One thing, however, is clear to everyoneplastic pollution in the worlds oceans has reached a crisis level.

Each year, an estimated eight million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans each year, which is like emptying a garbage truck of plastic into an ocean every minute.

This pollution affects marine life in a number of ways,...

06:01

Sydney Fox & Dingo Rescue "GroovUs Feed Anews"

https://www.chuffed.org/project/sydneyfoxanddingorescue MerJa Media http://merjamedia.com.au

06:01

4 Surprising Reasons Cops Want Marijuana To Be Legalized "GroovUs Feed Anews"

By  Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

On my first day visiting Reef Dispensaries in Las Vegas, Nevada, I had the opportunity to chat with a former police chief and present-day security guard for the company. As a journalist, I couldnt help but ask what he and other guards thought about the long-waged War on Drugs in the United States. His answer both surprised and elated me.

As the unnamed veteran gave commands to his K9 partner, he explained that he and other police officers had long-concluded that the criminalization of marijuana is uncalled for. He said in his 15+ years on the police force, he never once saw a violent offense result from a user of marijuana.

Because of this, he said, cannabis in all of its forms needs to be decriminalized across the nation. We continued to talk about the various ways it could stimulate the economy, help heal peoples various ails, and, possibly, even contribute to a raising of consciousness.

The conversation was enlightening, to say the least. It confirmed my personal beliefs that most police officers arent the bad guys, as many Americans have come to believe. Rather, they are just attempting to do their job, which is outlined by the federal government....

05:41

The Three Most Important Facts About Psychiatric Drugs "GroovUs Feed Anews"

A few days ago, psychologist and educator Michael Corrigan was a guest on my radio show and he brought up some questions about how to communicate with people about psychiatric drugs. Specifically, he asked, What are the three most important things for anyone to know about psychiatric drugs? Here is my answer:

Psychiatric drugs are neurotoxins. They poison the brain, injuring brain cells and causing severe biochemical imbalances and potential biological chaos. Because drug companies design them to cross the blood brain barrier and to impair specific neurotransmitter systems, every psychiatric drug is a potent neurotoxin. They cannot fix biochemical imbalances because there are no biochemical imbalances in the brains of troubled, suffering people; and more specifically because they are tailored in the lab to disrupt brain function and not to fix it. As neurotoxins, they are bad for the brain with the first dose. They can cause tragic harm, such as suicide and violence early in treatment, and tend to cause brain damage and apathy after longer exposure.

Psychiatric drugs work by harming your brain and mind (the brain-disabling principle). Like any form of brain injury, some psychiatric drugs can cause temporary highs; but all cause emotional blunting and loss of touch with oneself and others. They make people care less about their own lives and the lives others. They cause these effects by infiltrating the entire brain, diminishing the overall function, including in the super-sensitive basal ganglia, limbic system, temporal lobe and frontal lobe.

Psychiatric drugs will hide their harmful effects from you (medication spellbinding). Most people who use alcohol, marijuana, cocaine or narcotics are the last to know how much they are being harmed or harming others while under the influence. Some people insist these neurotoxins are helpful when the main long-term effect consists of diminished awareness, sensitivity or feeling. The same is especially true of psychiatric drugs, because drug companies tailor them to target and disrupt major neurotransmitter systems like dopamine and serotonin. People taking psychiatric drugs often underestimate the harm and overestimate any good effects. This is medication spellbinding.

These three principles of neuropharmacologyneurotoxicity, brain-disabling effects, and medication spellbindingare the starting point for understanding how psychiatric drugs actually affect the brain and mind, and why to avoid them, whenever possible.

To worsen the problem of exposure to psychiatric drugs, all of them can cause withdrawal symptoms. Some are frankly addictive, like the stimulants given to children for ADHD and the tranquilizers given for anxiety...

05:30

The Power of Growing Incrementally (a series) "GroovUs Feed Anews"

At a recent Curbside Chat presentation, I had someone ask me who the critics of Strong Towns are. Who hears this compelling narrative and disagrees with it? It was a question meant to understand the social context in which our movement fits. Whose ox is gored? My answer touched a little bit on the resistance of professionals to ideas that threaten their livelihood as well as the natural resistance of people living on the outskirts of a community to believe the extent to which their lifestyle is subsidized.

Really, though, the major pushback we've experienced this year is around the issues of incrementalism. A core belief that our movement embodies is the need to work incrementally. The first four principles of a Strong Towns approach relate directly or indirectly to working incrementally. We say that a Strong Towns approach:

  • Relies on small, incremental investments (little bets) instead of large, transformative projects,
  • Emphasizes resiliency of result over efficiency of execution,
  • Is designed to adapt to feedback,
  • Is inspired by bottom-up action (chaotic but smart) and not top-down systems (orderly but dumb),
  • Seeks to conduct as much of life as possible at a personal scale, and
  • Is obsessive about accounting for its revenues, expenses, assets and long term liabilities (do the math).

I would simplify the tension down to this: If you think you are smart enough to know the answer, you don't like the constraint of working incrementally. If you think you are smart enough to have the right course of action figured out, you are not going to want someone telling you to take baby steps. If you have a grand vision for reshaping all that is wrong with the world and all you need is for the policy people and the funding people and those ignorant masses known as voters to wise up and support it, you're not going to be a big fan of the Strong Towns approach.

We experience this a lot when it comes to transit. Chuck, it's obvious we need this  [insert transit mega-project]  and it just can't be done incrementally. You clearly just don't get transit! The assertion is (1) here's what I see as obvious and (2) you must be dumb for not seeing it. Often times these people love our critique of highway mega-projects and then get really mad at us when we apply the same thinking to their pet project.

Another area of conflict is housing policy, particularly affordable housing. There is a mindset that suggests that affordable housing issues are a one-dimensional supply problem. Increase the supply and it solves the problem. If the only way we can increase the supply is to build towers on sites...

04:28

Ultra-Nationalists Crashed Documentary Festival in Russia "GroovUs Feed Anews"

(HRW)  This past weekend, a group of Russian ultra-nationalists threatened a documentary filmmaker at a Moscow film festival, disrupting the screening of her film, Flight of a Bullet, about the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Shot in August 2014, the film chronicles Ukraines volunteer military battalion, Aidar, which fought against Russia-backed separatists. Members of Aidar were reportedly responsible for arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, and acts of torture during the war. The film doesnt hide this: it includes footage of Aidar fighters physically and verbally abusing a civilian they suspected of supporting the separatists.

The screenings were scheduled for December 9 and 10 as part of Artdocfest, a prominent documentary film festival in Moscow. The director, Beata Bubenec, told me that during the December 9 screening, three people approached her and the festival director, Vitaly Mansky, protesting that Aidar fighters had killed and abused pro-Russian civilians and screening a film about them in Russia was inappropriate. They warned a second screening would cause serious problems. Bubenec said that the men threatened her, so Mansky asked her not to attend the next day.

On December 10, when the screening began, several people jumped on the stage, screaming the film was fascist. Others, some in camouflage, sprayed pungent gas around the room. One person there told me that audience members were tearing up and covering their noses and mouths with scarves and handkerchiefs to protect against the powerful smell. Fearing that the gas could cause respiratory problems, the organizers stopped the screening and ordered an evacuation.

There were over 50 assailants. The police arrived and led them out of the room, but released most of them in the cinemas hallway and outside. As a well-known film critic noted, [police officers] look calmly at the camouflaged men wreaking havoc. According to media reports, police eventually detained...

04:09

Las Vegas police seek to keep 14 search warrants pertaining to the massacre sealed "GroovUs Feed Anews"

If there are no living defendants being investigated then why all of the secrecy?

(INTELLIHUB) The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is seeking to keep 14 search warrants pertaining to the October 1 massacre sealed as news agencies and the general public demand answers.

Its unclear why the authorities want to keep those warrants hidden, Fox Newss Tucker Carlson reported. At least officially there are no living defendants being investigated in that case so it doesnt make a lot of sense.

Carlson plans to provide an update on the matter Friday on his show Tucker Carlson Tonight.

Featured Image: Screenshot via LasVegasNow.com
2017. INTELLIHUB.COM. All Rights Reserved.

The post Las Vegas police seek to keep 14 search warrants pertaining to the massacre sealed appeared first on Intellihub.

03:30

Chinese Political Donations to the Libs in Tasmania? Naaaaaaah ... "GroovUs Feed Anews"

All this fuss over Dastyari and Huang Xiangmo merely exemplifies the power of the Murdoch Press which never mentions this Chinese businessmans connections with Tasmania Cameron in Comments: Secondly, this article allowed me to bask yet again in the golden moment of Nikolics defeat at the 2016 election. What a divine moment of natural justice it was, for the man who believed that the way forward was to threaten constituents who didnt agree with him, who treated many of them with nothing more than blatant contempt, and who was nothing more, at the end of the day, than a pathetic schoolyard bully. Having said all that, I would mind hearing his answers to the questions posed by Mr Hawkins. Itll never happen, but it would be verrrry interesting.

03:09

"Power Is Not A Means; It Is An End..." "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.  
- George Orwell, "1984"

03:00

VIDEO: Putin Q&A 2017 "IndyWatch Feed National"

For those who missed it, here are all 3+ hours of Russian president Putins 2017 live Q&A with the words press. This year he took questions from Russian mainstream media, from opposition outlets such as Echo Moscow and from western media agencies. Whatever the shortcomings of the Russian political system may be, we have to remind ourselves that their head of state is prepared to spend several hours answering unscripted questions from potentially hostile journalists. None of our western leaders is prepared to undertake anything even approaching that amount of personal and political risk. Filed under: latest, multipolar world, Russia

01:46

The Big Brother Future "GroovUs Feed Anews"

US Meddling in Venezuela? (Jeff C.)

The State Department pays a think tank nearly $1 million to work with Venezuelan opposition.

We Need to Talk About Honduras (Dan)

Honduras recent presidential election has ended in violence. Security forces and protesters have continued to clash while the too-close-to-count result is still being debated. At the moment, 14 people have been reported killed. Now the US, which has long financially supported the incumbent Juan Orlando Hernandez and his security forces, is at a crossroads.

Arizonas Private Border Wall Fail (Steve)

Arizona tried to build a private border wall through crowdfunding. It failed miserably.

Ajit Pais Cringe-worthy Promo Video on Net Neutrality Repeal (Jimmy)

The author writes, In a video with the conservative site Daily Callers Benny Johnson the dude who got fired from BuzzFeed for plagiarizing Yahoo Answers [FCC Chairman] Pai urged the country to understand that even if he succeeds in his plan to let ISPs strangle the rest of the internet to death, theyll let us continue to take selfies and other stupid bullsh**.

Mesmerizing, Mysterious Murmurations  (Milicent)

You should stop whatever you are doing and witness this phenomenon. Watch it, listen to it, open up and let it flow in and around you and carry you away.

The post The Big Brother Future appeared first on WhoWhatWhy.

00:36

London Grenfell Tower disaster, after six months "GroovUs Feed Anews"

This 14 June 20217 video from London, England is called Rania Ibrahims Snapchat/Facebook. Live from inside the Grenfell Tower London fire. WITH SUBTITLES.

By Ann Czernik in England:

Grenfell six months on we will remember them

Thursday 14th December 2014

With the great and the good attending a memorial service for Grenfell at St Pauls Cathedral today, ANN CZERNIK remembers the victims

OF all the stories about the Grenfell Tower fire disaster, it is the social media post of the last moments of a young mother of two that returns to my thoughts repeatedly.

I do not know why Rania Ibrahim and her children died that day, trapped on the 24th floor of a poorly constructed London tower block with a single fire exit. One day, I hope that there will be answers to the many questions that Grenfell raises for our society.

On June 14 2017, the day of the fire, I awoke unusually early. The midsummer sun streamed through my bedroom window and, as I lay gazing up at the clear blue sky, there was no inkling of what was about to come.

Little did I know that, six months on, I would be writing about the death of a woman Id never met with pain in my heart and tears in my eyes.

That morning, I checked my phone as usual and found frantic messages from a friend living near the tower who had posted pictures of the inferno. I switched on the news and gasped at the scene playing across my screen.

It was 5am and all I could think was that the building had failed to contain an outbreak of fire as it should have done. It was the only explanation for a blaze of that magnitude. What was puzzling was the speed at which it developed.

In the weeks that followed, I, like many other journalists, worked on various aspects of the investigation in mai...

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Thursday, 14 December

23:46

Christmas cheer for RBA! "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Merry Christmas, Phil Lowe!

Well, that was a sensational Labour Force result, with employment up by a massive +61,600 in November, including +41,900 full time jobs, making for 14 gains on the bounce and the best monthly result in a couple of years. 


The trend growth in employment tore up to +3.1 per cent, or +371,000 jobs, which is the highest annual employment growth ever recorded on that measure - and better still this has overwhelmingly been driven by full time jobs (about four-fifths of the increase).


Total hours worked were a fairly punchy +4 per cent higher over the year, or +3.4 per cent higher over the year in trend terms. 


Full employment for NSW

There was a tremendous surge in total employment in New South Wales (+28,500) and Victoria (+32,900) in the month of November, with employment ballooning in those two states by +120,000 and +110,000 respectively over the year. 

Queensland also added more than +95,000 jobs over the year, albeit only about half of those positions full-time. 
...

23:30

Israeli PM Netanyahu Says Bitcoin Is Rising as Banks Are Destined to Disappear "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Israeli Leader Says Bitcoin Is Rising as Banks Are Destined to Disappear

With the meteoric rise in the value of bitcoin this year and the media cacophony around it, its a surprise that not all world leaders have spoken about the subject yet. One political figure that we can now rest assure is keeping an eye on bitcoin is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Also Read: Israeli Regulator Wont Allow Bitcoin Firms to Be Included in Stock Indices

Israeli Leader Says Bitcoin Is Rising as Banks Are Destined to DisappearSitting down with reporters to an off the cuff Q&A at the Israeli parliaments diner, the PM was asked for his advice whether an individual should invest in bitcoin or not. He answered: So first of all, why cant you also sell money? Why not? Its the same. The reason you cant sell money is that you are very worried and want a mediating party to handle the risks. Prevent theft, all that stuff. Thats why banks exists. Are banks doomed to eventually disappear? The answer is yes! Should this be done tomorrow and shoul...

23:07

Court Case Reveals DCs Metro Canceled All Religious Ads In Fear Of Terrorism "GroovUs Feed Anews"

My November 30 article covering a lawsuit against Washington DCs transit system began: Keep the cash in Christmas. That was the message the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington received from the D.C. Metropolitan Transit Authority when the archdiocese attempted to buy ad space on Metro buses for its Find The Perfect Gift campaign.

In the lawsuit, the archdiocese argued that by refusing its ads, Metro violated the churchs First Amendment and due process rights, and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. At the time, the archdioceses case seemed a pretty clear example of anti-religious animus and viewpoint discrimination. However, two happenings in the last week cast new light on Metros advertising guidelines that ban political and religious displays, and its use of those rules to reject the Catholic archdioceses Find The Perfect Gift campaign.

First, on Friday, when federal district court judge Amy Berman Jackson denied the archdiocese a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, she detailed the rationale underlying Metros decision to ban political and religious advertisements, writing:

The [Metro] Assistant General Manager for Customer Service, Communications, and Marketing also averred that she heard from the Metro Transit Police Department and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that running certain issue-oriented ads could pose security risks on trains and buses. One of the factors that spurred [Metro] to close its advertising forum was the submission of an ad featuring a cartoon depiction of the Prophet Mohammad. Drawing the Prophet Mohammed is highly offensive to Muslims, and [Metro] was aware that the ad was drawn at a contest where two gunmen were killed in an attempt to prevent the event.

But why then also ban the Find The Perfect Gift campaign adan advertisement that does not disparage? From a legal perspective, the answer flows from First Amendment jurisprudence, which grants governmental officials the right to control access to a nonpublic or limited forum, such as advertisement displays on government property, based on the subject to be discussed as long as: the lines drawn are reasonable given the purpose of the forum involved, they do not favor one viewpoint over another, and they are consistently applied.

Had Metro opened the limited forum of bus advertisements to the subject of religion, it could not then discriminate based on the content of the proposed ad. In fact, the archdioceses strongest argument for reversal stems from Metro allowing advertisements t...

22:00

What To Say When Youre Asked What Is Your Current Salary? "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Here are a few strategic ways to dodge (or kind of answer) the question without sounding shady or defensive.

Youve finally decided to take the leap and apply for that job that you really want. You made it through the interview stage, and so far you and the hiring manager are hitting it off. They seem interested in hiring you, but then the dreaded question comes: How much are you making in your current position?

Read Full Story

21:55

Federal Reserve Chair: Fed Doesnt Really Play Any Regulatory Role in Bitcoin "IndyWatch Feed National"

Federal Reserve Chair: Fed Doesnt Really Play Any Regulatory Role in Bitcoin

Following her next-to-last Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, outgoing Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairwoman Janet Yellen gave a final scheduled press conference 13 December 2017 in Washington, DC. In a growing sign of its influence, once again bitcoin was introduced as a topic for consideration at the highest levels of finance. No fewer than three times did cryptocurrencies make their way into the discussion: regulatory policy, prospects of a Fed Coin, and bitcoins threat to financial stability.

Also read: Only Big Broker Offering CME Bitcoin Futures Allows Whales to Short

Fed Chair Says Bitcoin Very Small

The first woman Chair of the globes most powerful central bank, Janet Yellen took what amounted to a gushing victory lap in her final scheduled press conference. Reporters paused in questions to thank her. Some even asked her about future efforts to diversify the field of economics to include more women and minorities. Its good to go out on top, for sure.

CNBCs Steve Liesman posed the expected, wanting to know the Chairs thoughts on equity valuations at historic highs. Before he allowed her to answer, he asked: Maybe as a sign as to whats been going on with valuations, this cryptocurrency called bitcoin keeps going up every day, um, wh...

21:34

Gunnedah: The Fluoride Action Network hosts an anti-fluoride information session "IndyWatch Feed National"

COMMUNITY members gathered at the Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club for an anti-fluoride workshop on Wednesday evening.

Fluoride Action Networks Meriyln Haines hosted the workshop, which followed a closed workshop given to Gunnedah Shire Council earlier that afternoon.

The community workshop comes on the back of a pro-fluoride council workshop hosted by the Australian Dental Association (ADA) late last month.

The workshops come in the lead up to the next council meeting next Wednesday.

At the meeting, councilors will hear a report complied by NSW health centered on the publics feedback regarding water fluoridation.

Mrs Haines said the workshops were well received.

We gave our views and we were asked some good questions, Mrs Haines said.

The questions from councilors were very considered in-depth questions.

Mrs Haines said there is still time for people against water fluoridation to lobby councillors.

I guess people can continue to put pressure on councillors, she said.

Its their community, if they dont want it they should have a say.

The Fluoride Action Network leader said she was not sure when council would make a final decision regarding water fluoridation.

Im not sure when the decision will come down, she said.

I feel like NSW Health are trying to push this forward and get council to reach a decision in December,  but council need to consider whos community is this and who is dictating the agenda.

Gunnedah Shire mayor Jamie Chaffey said he was glad Mrs Haines accepted councils invitation to host the workshop.

I am pleased the chair of the Fluoride Action Network accepted my invitation to adress councillors yesterday, Cr Chaffey said.

......

21:22

Bega Valley Shire fluoride survey underway "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Bega Valley Shire Council has confirmed a NSW Health-funded survey gauging the communitys views on the addition of fluoride to drinking water has begun.

Respondents are being asked if they agree with adding fluoride to the public drinking water supply to try to prevent tooth decay?

The survey, sent to residents above 18 years old, asks for either a yes, no, dont know and refused response to what Councillor Cathy Griff has called a loaded question lacking in balance.

After learning of the question being asked in the survey, fluoridation opponent Rob Slazenger of Bermagui said its an outrage and that anyone with an understanding of survey methodology could see an agenda in the phrasing.

Cr Griff, who raised the motion to hold the survey, said she felt the concern over fluoride safety and its presence in toothpaste should have been added to the survey question.

The survey is being conducted by the Australian National Universitys Social Research Centre, and also asks for the respondents postcode.

The phone survey began on Tuesday and runs for one week.

One respondent said they missed a call on Tuesday, and by Thursday had not received a callback despite leaving a voice message on the 1800 number provided.

*Original article online at http://www.begadistrictnews.com.au/story/5121721/shire-fluoride-survey-underway/

20:35

A Tale of Two Trials: Bundy Ranch and Pentagon Papers "IndyWatch Feed National"

Let us take a contemporaneous yet parallel walk through both trials.

 

A Tale of Two Trials: Bundy Ranch and Pentagon Papers

A Tale of Two Trials: Bundy Ranch and Pentagon Papers

by Elias Alias

(TMM) In following the Bundy trial in Las Vegas, I have revisited a story I first read in 2002. That story is about a trial which happened in 1973. That trial gained world-wide press coverage and shocked the powerful elite in the Nixon Administration. That trial seems to me today to be the perfect precedent to bring to the attention of Judge Navarro, who is presiding over the Bundy trial(s).

I noticed this past week, early in December 2017, that the defendants were finally allowed pre-trial release so they could be with their families during the remainder of the trial.  The defendants were granted pre-trial release only after it was revealed in court in early December 2017, that the FBI report on the defendants from well over a year ago had indicated that the defendants were not dangerous and were not a threat. That report had not been provided to Judge Navarro until just now.

The defendants had been held in prison for almost two years without bail, deprived of a speedy trial, and in some cases tormented while incarcerated. The prosecution had assured the court that these defendants were a threat to society and should not be allowed bail.  But that became exposed as false once the initial FBI report was discovered. In and of itself, that circumstance poses the question why would the prosecution knowingly deceive the courts? To answer that question I must ask the reader to indulge me as I lay in a bit more background.

It is my estimation that the prosecution is hell-bent on persecuting, as well as prosecuting, the defendants because the prosecution works for the government, and because the government is still reeling from its resounding defeat at Bundy Ranch in southern Nevada on April 12, 2014.  The prosecutions bias is obvious and abundant. Ill show below why I say that here.

The prosecution is under tremendous pressure to win convictions and long-term prison sentences for our cowboys because if the cowboys get away with standing up to authority, the U.S. government itself will be embarrassed by its...

19:22

China summons Australian envoy over political meddling allegations Allegations full of prejudice against China could jeopardize bilateral trade "GroovUs Feed Anews"

By Colin Packham

SYDNEY (Reuters) China summoned Australias ambassador to lodge a complaint last week over Canberras allegation that Beijing had sought to interfere in Australian politics, a source familiar with the diplomatic action told Reuters on Thursday.

Relations between Australia and China became strained in recent weeks after Canberra said it would ban foreign political donations as part of a crackdown aimed at preventing external influence in domestic politics, sharpening the focus on Chinas soft power.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull singled out China as he said foreign powers were making unprecedented and increasingly sophisticated attempts to influence the political process in Australia.

In response, China summoned Ambassador Jan Adams to a meeting at the Chinese Ministry for Foreign Affairs on December 8 to lodge a complaint, the source said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang confirmed the ministry had an important discussion with the Australian ambassador.

The Australian side should be very clear about Chinas position on the relevant issue, Lu told a daily news briefing, without elaborating.

Chinas Foreign Ministry said last week Turnbulls allegations were full of prejudice against China, were baseless and poisoned the atmosphere of China-Australia relations.

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and suit

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull unveiled new anti-interference laws on Dec 5 where he expressly referred to concerns about Chinas influence.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Turnbulls allegations have been criticized by Australias opposition Labor Party as showing an anti-China bias that could jeopardize bilateral trade.

China, which is easily Australias biggest trading partner, bought A$93 billion ($70 b...

18:00

Or It Didnt Happen "GroovUs Feed Anews"

FICTION, IN SYDNEY

Or It Didnt Happen is all about fiction. And this season its all about Sydneys live fiction scene. Sydney has a range of live nights for non-fiction narratives, a bunch of huge poetry scenes, and a small but vibrant scene in live fiction nights.

This season, were bringing you three of them: starting Saturday, December 16th.

LISTEN NOW: STUDIO STORIES | LITTLE FICTIONS | READ TO ME

Subscribe

iTunes | Android

You can hear each episode a day early here or on our podcast. Yes, podcasts are in now. Subscribe with the links above (just click), search inside your favourite podcast app for Not What You Think, or give your app this here web address: http://945fm.myradio.click/public/api/feed/163

Dont like podcasts? Weve got all the episodes so far here to listen to, down the page.

Were also:

On Air

Listen 10:30am Saturdays in December, 94.5FM

Want to get in touch? Email zacha@fbiradio.com well pick up your message there.

Episode 1: Studio Stories

Studio Stories is a live story night in Parramatta, run by writer Felicity Castagna. It focuses on stories by western Sydney writers, including authors from Sweatshop, West Words and the Finishing School. In this episode, were going to be hearing from Studio Stories authors Tamar Chnorhokian, Chad Jared Modernel and Ben Muir.

Studio Stories is run every couple of months at Parramatta Artists Studios. Follow them on Facebook to keep up with their events in 2018.

Check back here on Saturday to hear the Studio Stories episode

The post Or It Didnt Happen appeared first on FBi Radio.

17:59

Australia became a British 'possession' on 28 April 1770 "IndyWatch Feed National"

From the book of the title:

NEW SOUTH WALES - The Mother State, issued by the Intelligence Department, 1906.

Captain Cook, accompanied by Joseph Banks and Dr. Solander landed at Kurnell ... and took possession (i.e. no treaty or barter, therefore 'stolen' or under occupation) of the country in the name of King George III.


The book is available for download (478p, 59MB) at:
https://ia801404.us.archive.org/0/items/newsouthwalesmot00news/newsouthwalesmot00news.pdf

17:24

How will Trump Admin policy rollbacks impact efforts to combat climate change? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Given that Donald Trump tweeted in 2012 that he believes concern about global warming is the result of a ploy by China to make American manufacturing less competitive, and then in a 2014 tweet explicitly called global warming a hoax, it was no surprise when his administration moved aggressively to undo the climate actions taken by former President Barack Obama. Trump began exploring ways to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement before he was even sworn into office, and announced on June 1, 2017 that he was officially pursuing withdrawal from the pact signed and ratified by Obama. The soonest any country can formally withdraw is four years after the Paris Agreement went into effect, or 2020 but Trump made it clear at the G20 summit in July that the US would immediately cease any effort to honor the emissions reduction plan (known as a nationally determined contribution or NDC) that the Obama Administration committed to in ratifying the accord. Under Trump, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking to repeal the Clean Power Plan, a key component of Obamas climate legacy that sets limits on greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation, and has gutted numerous other rules and regulations aimed at drawing down emissions, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and otherwise protecting the environment. So what impact will this climate action rollback have? A new analysis from the World Resources Institute (WRI) seeks to answer that question by looking at seven different

17:12

7 Ways to Free Your Spirit and Rid Your Life of Negative Energy "IndyWatch Feed National"

Sure, we all feel down in the dumps from time to time, this is normal but if you are down more than you are up, something is wrong. If you dont know how to stay positive, it might be time for you to learn.

There are actually several different things you can do to neutralize negativity and turn it into something positive and useful. You see, by accepting and changing you can move forward much quicker. When you stop resisting everything begins to fall right into place.

7 Ways to Get Rid of Lingering Negative Energy:

1. Meditate

Meditation will always be the top of my list when it comes to ridding yourself of negative energy. Meditate for at least 20 minutes a day. Let go of anything that you have been holding onto that does not serve you anymore.

2. Walk away

Sometimes in life, we get ourselves in situations where walking away is the best answer. Although it will be hard to do so sometimes, it is for the best. Dont hold onto someone or something for too long.

3. Go outside and clear your mind

If you cannot clear your mind get outside and go for a walk. This works for me every single time. I feel the most at peace when I am outside barefoot watching the stars.

4. Focus on the positive

Think about all of the positive things in your life. Really let the happiness and gratefulness take over your mind. You have tons to be proud of.

5. Take a nap or a break

If you need a break take one, and if you need a nap take one. No one is stopping you. In this life, there are few things we have to actually do. Be true to yourself and dont let things become overwhelming.

6. Talk things out

If there are negative emotions between you and someone else then there is also negative energy following you around. When you can talk it out, it is best to do so. Dont just let things end on such a bad note that you cant even look one another in the eye.

7. Be creative

Creativity is something we all have whether we notice it or not. Find something you like to do and do it. Let this hobby bring a new sens...

16:01

Trading v Socrates "GroovUs Feed Anews"

QUESTION: Marty; All of these Robo trading plans are simply a flat model. Socrates is forecasting short and long-term rather than just trading a flat model. Am I correct?

PT, Canada

ANSWER: Correct. The approach to modeling is traditionally flat. It will take one market and attempt to create a buy/sell model on that market exclusively to the exclusion of all other markets. This is the reason these flat models will blow up even such things as the Black & Scholls, which won the Noble Prize before it created the Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) collapse in 1998. That is the subject of the book titled  When Genius Failed.

The flat model approach is a disaster. They will work for a while and then blow up BECAUSE they are incapable of grasping the wildcard contagion that comes from outside that single market. That is what happened in the LTCM collapse. The illiquidity in the collapse of the Russian market led to the selling of all other markets to raise cash to cover losses in Russian bonds.

There are plenty of people who are soliciting money claiming they have mastered our model. That is absolute nonsense because they are interjecting their own OPINION and that will be a guaranteed loss down the road. This requires NO OPINION and the fact that someone will try to supplement by writing reports on markets shows they are basing their trading on their own opinion of WHAT they think the market will do.

...

15:28

A story of second-hand clothes "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Nice jacket, Dylan, I said to my first-year-university-student grandson as he picked me up in the first week of summer at Canberra Airport where the outside temperature was a sizzling 12.5 degrees. How much was it?

Dylan: I got it for five bucks at the Salvos.

Me: Well done.

Dylan: Mum is so jealous she is going there to see what she can find.

And then I recalled my own impoverished university days 47 years ago and needing a dinner suit to go to an up-coming ball.

As the son of an Anglican clergyman, I could not contemplate even hiring one, let alone buying. So I went to the Salvos and bought a dinner suit for 50 cents (about $5 in todays money).

Better than that, it was excellently tailored and in a middle-of-the-ground style, so as the lapels of new fashionable dinner suits got narrower and then double-breasted and then wider, mine never looked much out of place, so I kept wearing it for more than 30 years. What a bargain!

The charities do a splendid job recycling clothes. A lot are sent overseas, particularly to Third World countries which do not have their own textile industries, such a Papua New Guinea.

I recalled being in Mount Hagen in the New Guinea Highlands once and overhearing an Australian say to a local who was wearing, from memory, the T-shirt of a Sydney bowls club, Good on you, mate, Im a member there. Its a good club, isnt it?

He clearly did not realise that the T-shirt had been imported by a charity second-hand and that the local had never been to Australia, let alone his bowls club.

That was 2003, Later I went to the very remote Kosomary River, a tributary of Sepik River, where I asked if I could have a paddle on a dugout canoe. Only if you give us your T-shirt if you fall out, I was told.

Me: Okay.

(It was a Canberra Times Fun Run T-shirt, as it happens)

Now, a dugout with a wooden paddle is a very different proposition from my light-weight plastic kayak and carbon-fibre paddle in Australia. But never mind. Ill never know how I got the thing out into the current and safely back to shore. But I got some loud cheers from the locals, so and I gave the canoe owner the Canberra Times T-shirt anyway.

I hope no visiting Australian finds him and says something like, The Canberra Times event is a good fun run, isnt it? What was your time?

While I was recalling this, it suddenly dawned on me, about eight weeks too late. And I should have...

15:00

Chairman and Two VPs of TEPCO Will Stand Trial for the Death of 44 People in Fukushima Meltdowns "GroovUs Feed Anews"

(EnviroNews World News) The Chairman, and two Vice Presidents of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) will stand trial for the death of 44 people who were killed in the ensuing melee following the March 11, 2011 triple nuclear reactor meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in eastern Japan.

The men will make their first appearance in court on June 30, 2017, answering for what are the only criminal charges so far, in an ongoing nightmare that has become arguably the worst manmade environmental catastrophe the world has ever seen.

Former TEPCO chairman, Tsunehisa Katsumata, 77, alongside former Vice Presidents Sakae Muto, 66, and Ichiro Takekuro, 71 were charged with professional negligence resulting in death and injury, in February of 2016. The trio will appear before the Tokyo District Court, after all three entered a plea of innocent at the arraignment.

We hope the trial will shed light on the responsibility for this accident. The accident hasnt been resolved. There is nuclear waste from the cleanup efforts everywhere in Fukushima, and there are still many unresolved problems, said Ruiko Muto, who leads the group that advocated for the trial, to The Japan Times.


Read Entire Article

14:52

2RRR at Ryde Councils Carols on The Common: SUNDAY 17 DECEMBER 2017!!! "GroovUs Feed Anews"

2RRR will be at RYDE COUNCILs CAROLS on THE COMMON SUNDAY 17 DECEMBER 2017  CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT FIREWORKS RIDES FOOD TRUCKS

FROM 5:30 PM 9:30 PM Join us for an authentic carols experience at Sydneys second largest Christmas carols in the heart of Ryde. Kicking off at 5:30pm and running through the night is the Carols on the Common performance, featuring all your favourite classic carols with the best performers from all over Sydney. To close out the night, the whole family will be treated to an awe-inspiring firework display.

Come in early to experience our amusement activities and keep the kids entertained with the giant slide, or dodgem cars and dozens of other rides. Food vendors and a sausage sizzle will be serving throughout the night. Limited parking is available on-site with a gold coin donation.

Money raised on the night goes to worthy causes such as ROMAC an organisation bringing sick and ill children from nations all over the world for life changing surgery in Australia. With your help we can raise over $10 000 this year for ROMAC alone.

VENUE: NORTH RYDE COMMONS, CNR WICKS & TWIN ROAD, NORTH RYDE

13:50

Nervous Start to Christmas Party as Colleagues Wonder who has Cocaine "GroovUs Feed Anews"

WhiteXmas

Its been a nerve-shattering start to an office Christmas party today as colleagues begin guessing and probing each other to discover who has a bag of white Christmas.

One staffer said he was living on an edge harder than anything Aerosmith ever sang about.

I had to have about 70 or so schoons of port before the event even started to sand down the corners a bit, he said. I started with joking-yet-deadly-serious quips about whose nose was thirsty, but I ended up just straight out asking do you have some cocaine for me to smell with my nose?.

Staffers who came packing bagged heat said the tension was even worse for them.

About 12 people followed every time I went to the bathroom attempting to get a nose bite, one man said. It was like when the fish are on, and you have to hide behind a rock to bait your hook.

Management of the company said it would try to avoid the tension next year by bumping the Kris Kringle limit to $300 and hoping everyone gets the idea of what to buy each other.


13:49

A Very Surry Hills Christmas "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Join us in celebrating a very Surry Hills Christmas!

The City of Sydney is organising an eventful day for all residents and people in the area. The Shannon Reserve is being taken over on Thursday 14th of December to initiate an outdoor Christmassy pop-up. Shannon Reserve is located in Crown Street, Surry Hills, between Foveaux and Collins Street. This iconic reserve dates back to 1793, when Joseph Foveaux of the NSW Corps named this land grant Surry Hills Farm.

 

This special day offers the opportunity for people to both have a fantastic Christmas celebration day-out with the family and a wide source of history. The City of Sydney has taken part in having workshops for everyone to use, to make their own very special personalised Christmas decorations to either give or show in their own home.

Another exciting tale is the chance to come down and bring your kids for a photo with Surry Hills Santa. You will also receive a complimentary gift wrapping for purchases made in the Surry Hills Village area on the day between 9am and 5pm. Last but not least, The City of Sydney Council has live entertainment and artwork from Jeff McCann.

This is a day that cannot be missed, for all family and friends. Hope to see you there!

For further information please visit sydneychristmas.com.au

What: Xmas in Surry Hills

When: Saturday 16 December from 9am to 5pm

Where: Shannon Reserve Crown St Surry Hill

For More Information...

10:51

Child abuse inquiry sits for the last time "IndyWatch Feed National"

Supplied image of Justice Peter McClellan AM (left) addressing the public hearing into the nature, cause and impact of sexual abuse (Case Study 57) during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual The commission has held private sessions with more than 6500 survivors and will hear from another 2000 people up until the time it hands over its final report in December. AAP Image/Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Jeremy Piper

The thousands of abuse survivors who came forward to give evidence of their suffering are being acknowledged for their strength and courage ahead of the final hearing of a royal commission.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold the half-hour sitting in Sydney on Thursday mark the end of the $500 million five-year inquiry set up under the Gillard Labor federal government.

The stories have been harrowing, the injustice has been shameful, Labor Opposition leader Bill Shorten in a statement.

We are committed to ensuring these brave men and women receive proper redress.

The commission is expected to call for widespread reforms to protect children from sexual abuse in the community.

The final report will be handed to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove on Friday and is expected to be tabled in parliament before being publicly released.

The commission has already called for significant reforms in areas such as the criminal and civil justice systems, as well as measures to make institutions safer for children.

However, the final report is expected to field further recommendations.

Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan has warned the sexual abuse of children is not just a problem of the distant past.

Many cases presented to the inquiry occurred in a range of institutions in the last 10 to 15 years.

We heard in private sessions from children as young as seven years of age who had been recently abused, he said last month.

In some case studies into schools, the abuse was so recent that the abused children are still attending school.

The commission heard directly f...

10:48

Opioid use rising in rural areas: study "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Use of the potentially-addictive painkillers oxycodone and fentanyl is rising in regional Australia, the latest analysis of drugs in the nations wastewater system shows.

The analysis of 54 wastewater sites by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission found that while methylamphetamine, commonly known as ice, remains Australias most commonly used illegal drug, prescription opioid use in regional areas is outstripping that in capital cities.

Consumption of oxycodone in regional sites was well above capital city levels, with the regional national average being almost double that of the capital cities, the commission said in its third national wastewater drug monitoring program report released on Thursday.

Regional Queensland and parts of Tasmania and Victoria had the highest overall users of oxycodone, while in capital cities the highest usage rates were in South Australia and Tasmania.

Usage patterns for fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, were similar, with regional centres in almost every state recording values well above the national average.

Except for a few sites, regional consumption was substantially higher than capital city areas, the report said.

Medical experts have expressed concern in recent months that more Australians are becoming addicted to pharmaceutical opioid painkillers, following in the footsteps of America which is in the grip of of an opioid epidemic that has caused tens of thousands of fatal overdoses.

The federal government announced last year that painkillers containing codeine will no longer be available over the counter from 2018, in response to growing concerns about addiction.

The commissions report noted that while oxycodone and fentanyl are legally prescribed by doctors for intense pain, they do have abuse potential.

In terms of illicit drugs, the report found ice usage has plateaued in the past year, while cocaine and ecstasy use appears to be on the decline, possibly thanks to big drug busts by police in 2017.

Ice remains the most common illegal drug in capital cities and regional sites, with South Australia and Western Australia having the highest usage rates, while NSW and the ACT recorded small overall increases in usage.

However, use of ice in Queensland and Western Australia has begun to fall from their historical highs in October 2016.NSW recorded the highest amounts of cocaine and ecstasy use.

Unlike methylamphetamine, capital city areas on average had higher cocaine use than regional centres, the report said.

Heroin was also included in the commissions analysis for the first time, with usage rates highest in Victoria and the ACT.

...

10:14

Jen Cloher is heading out on an Australian tour in 2018 "GroovUs Feed Anews"

In conjunction with the legendary Australian songwriters jaunt at Golden Plains festival, Jen Cloher will be gracing the stages of venues around the country with a string of headline shows.

The tour is in support of Jens sublime self-titled album released this year, the won the coveted crown of The Brags album of the year.  Cloher announced that These will be some of my only band shows in 2018 so make snapping up tickets and heading out a priority to witness the masterful songcraft and somber lyricism in the flesh.

Check out the ticketing and dates below.

Friday, 16th March
Rosemount Hotel, Perth
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 17th March
The Zoo, Brisbane
Tickets: Official Website

Thursday, 22nd March
Theatre Royal, Castlemaine
Tickets: Official Website

Friday, 23rd March
Anglesea Memorial Hall, Anglesea
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 24th March
The Croxton, Melbourne
Tickets: Official Website

Thursday, 29th March
The Lansdowne, Sydney
Tickets: Official Website

10:01

Enhancing Your Connection to the Divine "IndyWatch Feed National"

December 14th, 2017 By Jeff Street Guest writer for Wake Up World Recently a reader of my blog asked me to talk more about how to strengthen ones connection to the Divine ones higher self, spirit guides, and spiritual family. Although I dont claim to have all the answers, I decided to share my thoughts on []

09:53

How to Speed Up Healing Time to Get Rid of Scabs Faster "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Scabs can form when the skins outer layer gets damaged by cuts or grazes and bleeds. Although scabs are unsightly, they are an important part of the healing process. Scabs form a hard crust over the wound to protect the wound from germs and infection and help speed up healing. You should not try to get rid of a scab too quickly by picking at it, as this can cause permanent scarring and damage to your skin. However, natural ingredients like coconut oil, tea tree oil, and honey can help to get rid of scabs faster.

The fastest way to heal a scab on your face, arms, legs, or another part of your body is to keep the area moist and well hydrated. For example, regularly applying a natural healing ointment like aloe vera can help to get rid of scabs on the face caused by acne or pimples. If a scab forms over a grazed elbow or knee then regularly applying coconut oil helps to quickly heal the scab and prevent the hardened crust from cracking.

In this article, you will find out how to heal a scab fast using natural home remedies. You will also learn about the best way to care for wounds to prevent scabs forming in the first place. This article also answers many frequently asked questions regarding the best ways of quickly getting rid of scabs.

How Scabs are Involved in Wound Healing

Scabs assist with wound healing by helping to prevent bleeding and infection in an open wound. Crusty scabs consist of blood and serum that harden over a wound.

According to the journal PLoS Biology, scabs help to repair damaged or injured skin. Within 15 minutes after a wound beginning to bleed, a dark clot or plug forms over the wound to prevent further bleeding and this hardens into a scab. The scab contains proteins and cells that help heal the skin and accelerate wound healing.1

This helps to explain why you shouldnt pick at a scab to try and remove it. Doctors say that removing a scab too early also removes important healing cells that are needed for the skin to heal properly.1

How to Get Rid of Scabs Faster and Speed Up Wound Healing

It will take time and patience to completely remove a scab without picking at it and damaging your skin. Here are some of the best home remedies to help speed up the healing time and say goodbye to unsightly scabs.

Warm chamomile compress to get rid of scabs faster

Regularly applying a warm chamomile compress can help to make a scab go away faster by keeping it moist.

Chamomile is a well-known herb that has both soothing and healing properties. The journal Molecular Medicine Reports reported on a study that...

09:42

"Mu" "GroovUs Feed Anews"

"Mu"
by Stephen H. Segal

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play." 
- Joshua, "War Games"

"There is a word, a concept, in Zen Buddhism that doesn't quite translate perfectly into the English language: Mu. Mu is the response given by a Zen monk to a question that cannot be meaningfully answered. It suggest that the question's premises are not real, that there is a state of emptiness that lies beyond yes and no, that the asker should unask the question - indeed, that anyone who would ask such a question in the first place might well to question his entire perspective on life.

Though the word was never uttered in the 1984's seminal teen-computer-hacker-political-thriller "War Games", the idea lies at the heart of the conflict that fuels the movie: a new Pentagon supercomputer that controls the nation's nuclear codes is caught up in a relentl...

09:33

Leaked FBI Texts Reveal Insurance Policy to Prevent Trump Presidency "GroovUs Feed Anews"

(ZHE)  The lead FBI official at the heart of the rapidly unraveling Trump-Russia probe sent a text message to his FBI mistress last year which discusses some sort of insurance policy against Donald Trump becoming president.

I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andys office that theres no way he [Trump] gets elected  but Im afraid we cant take that risk. writes FBI counterintelligence officer Peter Strzok to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair while spearheading both the Clinton email inquiry and the early Trump-Russia probe, adding Its like a life insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before youre 40.

Clearly Lisa Page thought there was no way Trump would win during a conversation in then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabes office, yet Strzok clearly states to Page that he cant take that risk in the unlikely event Trump was elected, and that an insurance policy of some type existed to presumably undermine Trump. If this is the case, it would constitute an active measure taken by the FBI against one candidate for US President, while aiding the other. 

The text message which references an insurance policy is all the more controversial when you consider another exchange in which Peter Strzok says I am riled up. Trump is a f*cking idiot, is unable to provide a coherrent answer, and I CANT PULL AWAY, WHAY THE F*CK HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY (redacted)??!?!

Page responds I dont know, But well get it back.

09:24

Challenges to the Contemporary World Order "GroovUs Feed Anews"

A guest post by Thomas Pepinsky, is Associate Professor of Government at Cornell University and Stefanie Walter,  Full Professor for International Relations and Political Economy at the Department of Political Science at the University of Zurich.

Many observers of contemporary global politics conclude that the present moment represents one of the most unsettled times in global politics since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Shock events such as the Brexit vote, the continued success of radical right populists in continental Europe, the continuing Eurozone crisis, and the unprecedented foreign relations of the Trump presidency all point to a global liberal order under stress. Scholars of comparative and international politics and political economy are now asking questions that would have seemed far-fetched only years ago: how durable is liberal internationalism and the North Atlantic alliance? Will mercantilism replace neoliberalism? Can central bank and supranational economic institutions perform the functions required of them? 

Ten leading political scientists who specialize in international and comparative political economy have written answers to these questions in essays (linked in the text below and available on the workshop blog site) that address the changing political and economic landscape in the contemporary era and its implications for political science and international relations. Taken together, they identify three broad themes regarding the challenges that face both our political world, and political scientists seeking to understand these challenges to the contemporary global order.

A first theme is that we are living in a world characterized by what we term a new complex interdependence. As a result, to understand domestic and often even local politics requires a greater appreciation of the interactions between local, national, and systemic forces. That such interdependence across scales and political units exists is an old theme in international and comparative political economy, but we need to renew our focus on the specific mechanisms that take politics across national borders, and the new forms of interdependence that have emerged in recent years. This is particularly important because rising interdependence on the one hand and domestic politicization of international cooperation on the other has put governments between a rock and a hard place.
Frank Schimmelfennig argues that these dilemmas are particularly pronounced in Europe, where integration has achieved unprecedented levels and where governments face calls to both integrate further and to reallocate EU compet...

09:15

How a Brand New Technology is Going to Change the World of Banking "IndyWatch Feed National"

In first world countries, it is natural to assume everyone has a bank account. The banks are omnipresent and can be found nearly everywhere there are consumers. Because of this, we dont really take the time to think about what a potential substitute for the banking system would be if they werent present in a certain space.

So whats the most likely alternative to going to a bank or ATM to do your banking? Using your mobile phones. The GSMA released a report in February of 2017 that forecasted the number of unique individuals subscribing to mobile services would reach 5 billion by the end of 2017. That represents more than 70% of the population and outlines a huge target market.

With the number of bank accounts that have active means of payment around 1.2 billion, there is a clear opportunity for mobile service providers who are capable of facilitating payments.

Matter of Necessity

Most people use banks because they need to, not because they want to. Banks are the socially acceptable way to store and invest money, and people naturally gravitate towards the easiest solutions.

Banks currently provide this easiest solution, but if someone figured out how to move this solution to be housed purely on mobile devices, a lot of users would follow. Most of Western civilization is tethered to their phones these days, and they are also resistant against going to the bank when there is an easier solution in the palm of their hands.

Banks know this and have tried to shift as much of their services to online banking and mobile banking as possible. This is a priority for them, but at the same time, it takes away their competitive advantage of having invested large quantities of money in their physical infrastructure. In short, the move to mobile creates an even playing field for future players.

Bringing New Users to Market

So if we only have 1.2 billion of the 5 billion current phone users able to use banking, how can we bring these new users to market? The answer is shockingly simple. Everyone already prefers to deal through their phones, and these people all have mobile phones.

The real trick is determining how to facilitate the payments made through phones. Right now there is no company people are willing t...

08:41

US State Dept.'s Nauert dodges questions on stripping of RT credentials "GroovUs Feed Anews"

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert has brushed off a question from RT about the withdrawal of its Congress credentials, and whether this contradicts her past vow that registration as a foreign agent would not impede the broadcaster's ability to report. Nauert fell short of providing a clear answer to RT's Sameera Khan on whether the State Department still stands by its word that forcing RT America to comply with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was a formality that would not create hurdles for RT's work in the US. "I think that press credentials might have been revoked by Congress, and not necessarily the members of Congress but rather the Association of Reporters that handles who gets to come and cover Congress," Nauert said, deflecting the question. Instead, she played the 'Russia card', dubbing the RT correspondent a "representative of the Russian government" whose mere presence at the briefing should serve as sufficient proof of Washington's utmost respect for the freedom of press. "They can get Russian 'news,' if you will," she generously conceded - complete with air quotes.

08:35

(Video) SGTReport -- We Must Expose These Horrors w/ BP Commentary "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Source: STARSHIP EARTH: THE BIG PICTURE

We Must Expose These Horrors; SGT Report [video]

Were not pulling punches any more in the truth media. Even former CIA/NSA contractors are calling the situation on our planet for what it is for anyone who will listen. If you havent heard yet from Steven D. Kelley, you might want to listen to his revelations in the video below.

Many of the ostentatious sites across the planet are cover for the El-ites hidden sanctuaries for the imprisonment and perverse Satanic acts on Humans; places like the Getty Museum complex, Kelley tells us, as well as the Denver Airport, and many others. Lets not forget the naked young man scaling the wall of the stable at Buckingham Palace on a string of sheets to escape a few years ago.

Some have suggested that the California fires are an attack on the homes of elite pedophiles, and now grandson of oil tycoon JP Getty has died of rectal trauma. There have been two plane crashes at and near the Rothschild estate in the UK mere weeks apart. Are the White Hats/Resistance Movement doing these things, or is it vigilantes, or perhaps both?

OR, is it a case of the disgruntled cabal minions who have flipped and are now going after their own? We may never know.

Its open season on the Illuminati. We were told some time ago that the situation has become so acute that those who wish to go after the El-ites to remove them permanently will be neither discouraged nor stopped. Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures, and the fate of an entire planet hangs in the balance.

It can be challenging to interpret what were seeing unfold now, particularly with David Icke telling us Trump works for the other side, but then, David Icke hasnt been correct about everything so it would be unwise to assume he is. No one has all the answers or knows the truth about the convoluted plan unfolding. Its up to us to decide when the time is rightand right now Trump IS draining the swamp and working for us, but some would cut off their nose to spite their face.

When its all over, when all is said and done...

08:01

December 14 On This Day in Australian History "GroovUs Feed Anews"



1800 - A rebellion at Norfolk Island was suppressed. Lieut-Gov Joseph Foveaux hanged two Irish prisoners who led the insurgence.

1801 - Matthew Flinders and his crew first met some Noongar people; the people they met were shy but not afraid, Flinders wrote.


1807 - The master and crew of the Parramatta went ashore and were promptly arrested and charged with violating regulations. Judge-Advocate Richard Bowyer Atkins summoned Macarthur to come to Sydney to 'show cause' for his conduct in the Parramatta affair.

1827 Bold Jack Donohoe and his gang began lightening the load of carts travelling on the Sydney - Windsor Road.
The gang was caught shortly afterwards and all hanged - except for Bold Jack who, being the clever clogs of the whole outfit, took to the countryside.

1830 - Captain Thomas Barrister commenced an overland trek from Fremantle to King George Sound (Albany).

1832 - The Presbyterian Church was officially formed in Sydney.


1835 - The Bank of Australasia opened in Sydney.

1840 - Governor Gipps appointed the first Government Printer.

1854 - First sitting of the Gold Fields Commission (Vic).

1854 - An act for providing separate municipal boroughs throughout Port Phillip had been drafted and became law on this day.

1869 - Copper was discovered at Cobar, NSW, by C. Campbell, T. Hartman and and G. Gibb, surveyoring for water bores.

1880 - Today saw the grand Opening of Hallett to Terowie Railway line (South Oz).

1890 Oh, be still my beating heart; the Trades Hall opened in Geelong.

1893 - Eucalyptus oil was first manufactured in Australia by F.H. Faulding & Co.

1918 - The first Victorian Farmers Union member was elected to parliament as a result of the introduction of preferential voting.

1927 Needing to state the bleeding obvious - again - it was announced that throughout mainland Oz drought reigned supreme.


1929 Electric trams and buses did away with the poor old choo choo between Adelaide and Glenelg.......

07:24

Scientists Prove Those Vaccinated for Shingles Can Infect Others with Chicken Pox "GroovUs Feed Anews"

zoztavax

by Claire Dwoskin
CMSRI

For many years, the US government and mainstream media have continued to blame the unvaccinated community for the spread of infectious disease. We are constantly being bombarded with statements like the one written by Philip Ross and published in the International Business Times, which stated:

The American classroom has become a battleground for parents who are threatened by the growing number of children not vaccinated against measles, one of the most highly contagious viruses in the world.

The ongoing measles outbreak in the U.S. that started at Disneyland and has spread to 14 states has raised concerns over the countrys rising anti-vaccination movement, including whether the decision to vaccinate against such a dangerous disease should be left to parents, and what constitutes responsible childrearing.

Should a child whose parents chose not to vaccinate be allowed to share the same pencils and playground as children whose parents did?

Although the International Business Times had attempted to present the public with a balanced review of the situation facing parents, it is questionable as to whether they presented any real evidence to support their claims and they left many readers with unanswered questions.

Shingles Vaccines Cause Chicken Pox in the Unvaccinated

In 2011, a team of scientists headed by Duane L. Pierson published the paper Varicella Zoster Virus DNA at Inoculation Sites and in Saliva After Zostavax Immunization.

Their paper discusses whether or not individuals vaccinated with the shingles vaccine can remain infectious with the chicken pox virus aft...

06:04

Welcoming Newest Members Of The DenCity Advisory Board "IndyWatch Feed National"

Were proud to announce the newest members to our advisory board, a cluster of individuals with expertise spanning blockchain, technology, banking, marketing, data analysis and entrepreneurship.

Their experience in Blockchain, VR and other prominent technologies over the last many years will be instrumental to us as we begin our journey of taking DenCity to masses. Each and everyone of our advisors have been one of the most prominent figures in their respective fields and we hope that our team at DenCity will be able to learn a lot from their expertise and experience over all these years.

Please meet the new board members below and give them a warm welcome.

Anshul Srivastav

Anshul is a global technology leader who has been instrumental in driving technology transformations for businesses in the range of multi-Billion USD as revenues. He has been a key player at organizations which have been on an average 30% growth year on year in a career spanning almost two decades . His experience has been around taking up strategic technology initiatives, architecting, delivering and managing it at an enterprise level.

He has several notable career accomplishments, wherein he has led, created and launched the key ecommerce, mobile and business intelligence initiatives for worlds #1 insurance brand AXA in the fastest growing emerging markets of Asia. Currently in a leadership role as Chief Information Officer, leading the IT Strategy, Technology Transformations, Analytics, software delivery, architecture and Cloud for Union Insurance (UAE and Oman) across all lines of Business (Life, General (P&C) and Health Insurance) Creating and Driving big strategic Initiatives aligning through IT transformation to deliver business value.

Simon Cocking

dencity

Simon Cocking is the founder of Irish Tech News, which boasts, which boasts, hundreds and thousands of visitors every month. It is often referred to as Irelands answer to TechCrunch. Irish Tech News was a winner at Irish Web Awards 2014 in best Science & Technology category and also a winner at 2016 Littlewoods Best Ireland Blog in Di...

05:56

SOTT FOCUS: The Tyranny of 'Experts': Cutting Carbs Will Make You Dead, Experts Say "IndyWatch Feed National"

Sometimes, when I'm cruising around social media, I'll take a look at what the MSM is saying in health and wellness news, just to get out of my bubble and take a look at what shape the mind-programming is taking lately. And even though I should know better, more often than not, I see something that just leaves me flabbergasted. And in this case, I'm not talking about yet another blunder from CNN. Last week, this tasty piece of propaganda came out, courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. The headline: Cutting carbs can increase risk of diabetes and other diseases, experts warn Ah experts. Where would we be without their anonymous guidance dictating dietary advice well over three decades old. So I guess it's time to find out from "experts" how exactly the actual mechanism for avoiding diabetes - by cutting carbs - is actually what causes it! I can't wait for the Sydney Morning Herald to set me straight!

05:40

Jim Stone Report: Hillary Body Count Keeps Ticking Along "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Hillary body count keeps ticking along (and upward)

It has become such a mundane topic that I usually don't even mention when Hillary offs someone new (if she did not hang for Vince Foster, all the way back then) what good will talking do? Anyway, I figured I'd mention this new one.

Dr. Dean Lorich, an orthopedic surgeon who volunteered in Haiti and exposed Clinton Foundation corruption and malpractice on the island, has been found dead in New York. He was 54. Dr. Lorich was found by his 11-year-old daughter on the bathroom floor of his Upper East Side apartment with a knife in his chest at around 1pm on Monday.

The knife missed the surgeon's heart, leaving him to bleed out and be found by his daughter. Despite the fact police were called to the property regarding an "assault", they instantly registered the death as "suicide" and closed the case

Lorich was a famous doctor, who had celebrity clients. This was a high profile killing. Interesting it is how the police simply closed it rather than ask questions.

He was a surgeon, he could have simply offed himself with meds. Why answer an assault call with a suicide verdict?

Something very strange is happening online today

It is as if an enormous insidious artificial intelligence has been tasked to handle the election discussion everywhere.

It seems to be attempting to claim 95 percent of black voters turned out (and that's normal), that Moore got less than half of what Trump got, and that Jones was somehow able to match what Hillary got. It is attempting to make people believe that everyone thinks it is the Republicans fault, that Alabama hates Trump, and that this was the backlash.

It is dominating all discussion, out posting everyone on all venues by a rate of about 5:1. Only places that require registration are a little more what I would expect, but there is heavy damage going on in such places also. There is no conceivable way they could hire enough people to do this, an artificial intelligence has to be doing it.

I don't usually hit /pol,...

05:25

New pedophile law in Australia leads to man being detained at Sydney airport attempting to leave country "IndyWatch Feed National"

A convicted child molester has been detained at Sydney Airport while attempting to leave the country. The man was stopped under new laws aimed at preventing pedophiles convicted in Australia from traveling overseas, namely to Southeast Asia, for sex tourism. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told reporters at Sydney Airport that the man was being questioned by the Federal Police. It is not clear where the registered child offender was attempting to fly to. Up to 800 Australian child sex offenders traveled overseas last year. About 40 percent of them did so without informing the authorities of their travel plans, Bishop told reporters on Wednesday. "This will now stop," she promised.

04:48

Scientists Prove Those Vaccinated for Shingles Can Infect Others with Chicken Pox "GroovUs Feed Anews"

zoztavax

by Claire Dwoskin
CMSRI

For many years, the US government and mainstream media have continued to blame the unvaccinated community for the spread of infectious disease. We are constantly being bombarded with statements like the one written by Philip Ross and published in the International Business Times, which stated:

The American classroom has become a battleground for parents who are threatened by the growing number of children not vaccinated against measles, one of the most highly contagious viruses in the world.

The ongoing measles outbreak in the U.S. that started at Disneyland and has spread to 14 states has raised concerns over the countrys rising anti-vaccination movement, including whether the decision to vaccinate against such a dangerous disease should be left to parents, and what constitutes responsible childrearing.

Should a child whose parents chose not to vaccinate be allowed to share the same pencils and playground as children whose parents did?

Although the International Business Times had attempted to present the public with a balanced review of the situation facing parents, it is questionable as to whether they presented any real evidence to support their claims and they left many readers with unanswered questions.

Shingles Vaccines Cause Chicken Pox in the Unvaccinated

In 2011, a team of scientists headed by Duane L. Pierson published the paper Varicella Zoster Virus DNA at Inoculation Sites and in Saliva After Zostavax Immunization.

Their paper discusses whether or not individuals vaccinated with the shingles vaccine can remain infectious with the chicken pox virus after....

04:48

Prayer and Meditation for Thursday, December 14, 2017 Fear not, I will help you. Whoever has ears ought to hear. "IndyWatch Feed National"

Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 184

Image result for waters flowed in the rivers, photos

The dry ground into springs of water.

Reading 1  IS 41:13-20

I am the LORD, your God,
who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, Fear not,
I will help you.
Fear not, O worm Jacob,
O maggot Israel;
I will help you, says the LORD;
your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
I will make of you a threshing sledge,
sharp, new, and double-edged,
To thresh the mountains and crush them,
to make the hills like chaff.
When you winnow them, the wind shall carry them off
and the storm shall scatter them.
But you shall rejoice in the LORD,
and glory in the Holy One of Israel.The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain,
their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the LORD, will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will open up rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the broad valleys;
I will turn the desert into a marshland,
and the dry ground into springs of water.
I will plant in the desert the cedar,
acacia, myrtle, and olive;
I will set in the wasteland the cypress,
together with the plane tree and the pine,
That all may see and know,
observe and understand,
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Responsorial Psalm  PS 145:1 AND 9, 10-11, 12-13AB

R. (8) The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.
I will extol you, O my God and King,
and I will bless your name forever and ever.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R...

04:42

LIVE: House Judiciary Committee Watch The House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Robert Muellers Russia Investigation Witch Hunt "IndyWatch Feed National"

Today, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosensteinthe official who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate alleged Trump/Russia collusion during the 2016 election, will answer questions about ongoing controversies within the FBI and DOJ. Judicial Watch => Investigation Into Robert Muellers Waste Of US Taxpayers Money On Witch Hunt

04:30

Microsoft is giving Bing more intelligenceand a dash of Reddit "GroovUs Feed Anews"

At an event in San Francisco, Microsoft just unveiled a bunch of AI-related enhancements for its Bing search engine. Research honcho Harry Shum also welcomed Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian onstage to introduce a deal between the two companies which will integrate material from Reddits communities into Bing results. Among the new features: Better top-of-the-results answers

At an event in San Francisco, Microsoft just unveiled a bunch of AI-related enhancements for its Bing search engine. Research honcho Harry Shum also welcomed Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian onstage to introduce a deal between the two companies which will integrate material from Reddits communities into Bing results. Among the new features:

Read Full Story

04:30

Pedestrian Tickets Lead to Hundreds of Suspended Drivers Licenses "IndyWatch Feed National"

More than half the 2,000 people who received pedestrian tickets in Duval County, Florida, from 2012 to 2016 saw their drivers licenses suspended or their ability to obtain one limited, according to an analysis by the Florida Times-Union and ProPublica.

The tickets, which carry what can seem like a modest $65 fine, can have more significant consequences for those who get them and refuse to pay or are unable to do so.

Over five years, a total of 2,004 pedestrian tickets were issued in Duval County, which is comprised almost entirely by the city of Jacksonville. Of those tickets, 982 people who failed or were unable to pay the fine lost their drivers licenses or their ability to obtain one, according to the analysis.

The license suspensions help answer a question at the center of a Times-Union/ProPublica investigation of pedestrian tickets in Jacksonville: What are the consequences for individuals swept up in the Jacksonville Sheriff Offices aggressive enforcement of some two dozen often obscure pedestrian statutes?

Last month, the Times-Union/ProPublica investigation showed that 55 percent of the tickets given in recent years went to blacks despite the fact that they make up only 29 percent of the citys population. Blacks were similarly overrepresented in the 932 tickets that led to license suspensions 54 percent.

As of Tuesdays City Council meeting, three elected officials on the body have called on Sheriff Mike Williams to order his officers to stop writing pedestrian tickets. Council member Garrett Dennis asked the Office of General Counsel to review what authority the council had to compel him to do so. In addition to voicing her support for that measure, council member Katrina Brown asked for a noticed meeting focused on pedestrian infrastructure and enforcement.

The Jacksonville Sheriffs Office has insisted that blacks have not been targeted in the issuance of pedestrian tickets, and said it saw no reason to review the investigations findings of a disproportionate impact on African Americans. The office said those receiving tickets could contest them before a judge, and that it would address any erroneous or improper ticketing with additional training of officers.

Losing ones license in a sprawling city like Jacksonville can make aspects of daily life seem near impossible, whether youre a mother shuttling children to school or a trucker trying to secure your next job.

...

04:11

What a failed civil rights campaign can teach climate activists trying to stop Kinder Morgan "GroovUs Feed Anews"

by Cam Fenton

Embed from Getty Images

In early December, Canadas National Energy Board gave Texas pipeline company Kinder Morgan permission to ignore local laws and permits while starting construction on its Trans-Mountain pipeline. Scheduled to ship nearly 900,000 barrels of tar sands per day from Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia by 2019, the project is a potential lightning rod for the climate movement.

As someone with more than a decade involved in campaigns to stop tar sands expansion, Ive been struggling with a simple question: How do we stop Kinder Morgan now that its been approved?

On the one hand, there is a newly minted provincial government in British Columbia that took power with a promise to use every tool at its disposal to stop the project. On the other, the federal government, in support of Alberta and Kinder Morgan, has argued the province has no real recourse for action.

The movement, especially indigenous peoples, have pledged fierce resistance. In the last few months of 2017, weve started seeing sparks of disobedience a mass flotilla shutting down Kinder Morgans terminal construction, a series of actions bird-dogging the same federal leaders who approved the pipeline and the launch of the Tiny House Warriors project, an indigenous-led strategy to construct tiny homes along the path of the pipeline.

As inspiring and important as these actions have been, we still dont have a clear answer to the question at hand: What is the end-game for stopping Kinder Morgan once and for all? Drawing from all my experiences from campaigns, both successful and failed, I see only two ways that the Kinder Morgan pipeline doesnt get built.

The first way is for the federal approval, and the permits that come with it, to be overturned or revoked. If one of the ongoing court challenges to Kinder Mor...

01:24

Donald Trumps China Hawk Clown College Now in Session! "IndyWatch Feed National"

Donald Trumps China Hawk clown college is officially in session!  The China hawks are getting their way on Korea, Australia, and Taiwan.  But look for US China policy to overpromise, underdeliver, and screw up in what we now love to call the Indo-Pacific Region.

Its hard to push around the Peoples Republic of China.  Maybe thats why the US China hawk community has concentrated on whipping Australia into shape.  The Australian battle to combat PRC influence and ignore US influence passed an important milestone with Malcolm Turnbull taunting the Chinese in Mandarin and ASIO gearing up for stage two of its witch hunt against pro-PRC politicians.

Meanwhile, US Korean policy drifts into a frozen conflict.  Will Trump turn that aroundby flipping the switch on red hot radioactive Armageddon?

And China hawks want to do something bold and provocative on Taiwan.   But will China play ball?

Finally, the myth of Hambantota: the BS getting peddled about the PRC and the Sri Lankan debt trap.  Who really put Sri Lankas wallet in the wringer?  The answer will probably surprise you.

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Show notes

US will take North Korea into its own hands if China doesnt do more -- Haley

North Korea: Urgent need to open channels, UN says after visit

The Sellout in Oz My China Watch special report on the most consequential and under-reported Asia story of the year: the coordinated US-Australian deep state campaign t...

01:00

Mexico: Reject Internal Security Law "IndyWatch Feed National"

 

(HRW) The Mexican Senate should reject legislation that would enshrine the role of the Mexican armed forces in law enforcement activities, Human Rights Watch said today.

On November 30, 2017, Mexicos Chamber of Deputies approved the Law of Internal Security, which authorizes military involvement in domestic law enforcement activities. But the bill does nothing to increase the transparency of the military operations or accountability for military personnel who commit abuses. The Senate could vote on the bill as early as this week.

Mexico has relied heavily on its armed forces to fight organized crime for more than a decade, and the results have been disastrous, said Daniel Wilkinson, Americas managing director at Human Rights Watch. The country desperately needs to improve its law enforcement capabilities, but turning the job over to a military with a terrible human rights record is not the answer.

Between 2006 and 2016, Mexicos National Human Rights Commission received almost 10,000 complaints of abuse by the militaryincluding more than 2,000 during the current administration. Human Rights Watch and other rights advocates have also documented numerous cases in which military personal ostensibly involved in law enforcement activities were implicated in extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and sexual violence. Impunity remains the norm for these abuses.

Since Mexico launched its war on drugs in 2006with major deployments of the armed forces to fight organized crimemore than 100,000 people have been killed and more than 30,000 have gone missing. Homicide rates dropped in 2014 and 2015, but have climbed steadily since, with 2017 on track to be the deadliest year in Mexico in two decades.

The proposed law grants the Mexican military broad authority to engage in internal security, including in gathering intelligence by any legal means possible. The National Human Rights Commission has said that the laws vague definitions and lack of objective criteria for what constitutes internal security mean that the law can apply to any situation. For example, the military would be authorized to engage in crime prevention and investigation.

The proposed law does not include measures to strengthen civilian police institutions, nor an exit strategy for ending the use of the armed forces in law enforcement. The law also includes no measures to ensure independent civilian control and oversight of military operations, or to ensure that civilian authorities properly investigate and prosecute military abuses.

There needs to be a much more serious debate about security iss...

00:00

Utterly awful: David Gorski weighs in on yet another paper linking vaccines and autism "IndyWatch Feed National"

Retraction Watch readers may be forgiven for thinking that there has been at least a small uptick in the papers that claim to link autism and vaccines, and yet tend to raise more questions than they answer. Sometimes, they are retracted. See here, here and here, for example. We talk to David Gorski, well known []

The post Utterly awful: David Gorski weighs in on yet another paper linking vaccines and autism appeared first on Retraction Watch.

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Wednesday, 13 December

23:36

US Security Head Singles Out Brotherhood as Grave Threat "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Muslim Brotherhood supporters in JordanMuslim Brotherhood supporters in Jordan (Photo: AWAD AWAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Declaring the ideology of radical Islam an obvious and grave threat to all civilized people, U.S. National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster singled out the Muslim Brotherhood and its brand of political Islam as a specific threat.

McMaster made the remarks in a speech at Policy Exchange in Washington, D.C. where he spoke alongside his British counterpart Mark Sedwill.

While acknowledging not all Muslim Brotherhood groups are alike, McMaster mentioned two particularly dangerous branches of the Brotherhood those in Turkey and Egypt where the Brotherhood controls powerful political parties.

In Egypt, McMaster noted how the Brotherhood took advantage of the power vacuum created by the

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster answers questions during a press briefing at the White HouseNational Security Advisor H.R. McMaster answers questions during a press briefing at the White House. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images...

23:18

Repealing The Mandate Doesnt Fix Obamacare. Its The Regulations, Stupid "GroovUs Feed Anews"

As Congress considers repealing Obamacares individual mandate as part of tax reform, some conservatives believe doing so would fulfill [Republicans] promise to the American people by return[ing] personal decisions about health care choices to patients.

In reality, however, repealing only the mandate would accomplish little of the former, and virtually none of the latter. For this conservative, at least, the answer to what would fulfill Republicans promise echoes James Carville: At its core, an Obamacare repeal is about the regulations, stupid.

To be sure, repealing the individual mandate would alleviate a regressive tax on the poor, and create revenue to provide tax relief elsewhere. But, as a lawyer familiar with courtroom rules of evidence might say, repealing the mandate alone focuses solely on pruning back the fruit of the poisonous tree, rather than attacking that poisonous trees roots.

We Dont Want to Own the Consequences of Our Policies

In 2009, Democrats probably didnt want to subject themselves to attacks for spending trillions of dollars on new entitlements. They didnt want to take the political hit for raising taxes and reducing Medicare spending to pay for those entitlements. Also, Democratsnot least Barack Mandate to Buy a House Obama, who ran against the mandate in the 2008 presidential primariescertainly didnt want to require individuals to purchase government-mandated insurance.

But they realized that imposing unprecedented federal regulations on insurers would raise premiums, necessitating requirements on employers to offer, and individuals to purchase, that costlier coverage, higher spending on subsidies to make that more expensive coverage affordable, and new taxes to pay for that higher spending.

By contrast, repealing only the mandate would do nothing to restore health-care freedom, or return health care choices to patients. While Americans would not face taxes for not buying coverage they may not want, need, or afford, they would have no greater or lesser ability to buy coverage they do want and can afford than they did in the first place, because all of Obamacares regulations would remain in place.

Moreover, repealing the mandate alone could allow Republicans to walk away from their promise to repeal Obamacare root and branch, because many seemed disinclined to dismant...

23:18

"IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

The investigation of Russias meddling in the U.S. election has been going on for almost a year now. Its scope and objectives seem to expand daily. It has consumed the majority of our attention and resources.

In the meantime, another country has more subtly and expensively wielded its soft power on U.S. soil. That country is China. Unlike Russia, the Chinese government has a different set of objectives: it wants to use its influence to quiet critics of its authoritarian regime and its policies on human rights and international affairs. By controlling discussions and shaping public opinion in America, China hopes to export its authoritarian ways globally with little resistance.

Fortunately, Chinas interference in the United States didnt go unnoticed. This Wednesday, the Congressional Executive Commission on China, chaired by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), will host a public hearing, titled The Long Arm of China: Exporting Authoritarianism with Chinese Characteristics. Such a hearing is long overdue, because Attempts by the Chinese government to guide, buy, or coerce political influence and control discussion of sensitive topics are pervasive, and pose serious challenges in the United States and globally.

Some Countries Have Fallen to Chinas Interference

Chinas interference on foreign soil usually involves several means. One is using technology to obtain political, economic, and even personal information to its advantage. For example, the German intelligence agency (BfV) disclosed  Monday morning that Chinese intelligence used fake profiles on LinkedIn, a networking site, to target at least 10,000 Germans, many government officials and politicians. According to BfV, the Chinese objective is to gather information on these Germans and even possibly turn some as informants.

Three years ago, two U.S. government databases, which contain personnel records and security-clearance files on about 22 million Americans, were hacked. It was one of the worst cyber intrusions in U.S. history, and officials said they traced the hack to the Chinese government.

No country has suffered more than Australia. Australias domestic spy chief Duncan Lewis alerted Parliament that Chinas interference in Australia was occurring on an unprecedented scale. The Sydney Morning Herald filed a...

23:17

7 Things To Know About The Supreme Courts Refusal To Consider Adding Sexual Politics To Employment Law "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Monday, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on whether sexual orientation discrimination is illegal under Title VII.

In a 2-1 decision, the appellate court held in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital that the plaintiff, Jameka Evans, a former security guard for the defendant hospital, could not sue her former employer for sexual orientation discrimination because sex as used in the federal civil rights law does not mean sexual orientation.

Here are seven quick take-aways from the case and the Supreme Courts denial of review.

1. We Dont Know the Facts Yet

Initially, it is important to recognize that the district court and appellate court dismissed Evans case early on, before any evidence was presented, and that in answering the legal question of whether sexual orientation discrimination is illegal under federal employment discrimination law, the courts assumed Evans allegations were true.

Thus, while Evans claims her employer discriminated against her and harassed her because of her sexual orientation, that may not be the case.

2. The Eleventh Circuit Already Decided the IssueIn 1979

Another preliminary, but significant, point: The appellate court rejected Evans claim of sexual orientation discrimination based solely on circuit precedent. The two-judge majority did not analyze the issue anew, but instead concluded [o]ur binding precedent forecloses such an action, based on the Eleventh Circuits prior precedent rule.

That rule requires the presiding panels (which consists of three judges) to follow prior circuit precedent unless and until it is overruled by this court en banc or by the Supreme Court. (En banc review occurs when all active judgesthere are 12 in the Eleventh Circuitdecide a case as a whole.) In this case, the Eleventh Circuit refused to consider the issue en banc, leaving the panel bound by the circuits prior holding in the 1979 decision of Blum v. Gulf Oil Corp., that [d]ischarge for homosexuality is not prohibited by Title VII . . . .

3. There Is a Split in the Circuits

In denying Evans petition for review, the Supreme Court let stand a disagreement between the federal circuit courts concerning the proper interpretation of Title VII. Until recently, every federal circuit court to have considered the question held that sexual orientation is not a protected class under Title VII.

However, earlier this year, while sitting en banc, the Seventh Circuit held in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College that Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. The meaning of federal law, thus, varies depending on where the parties live, with those suing in the federal cour...

22:39

What now? Five facts about Russian military pulling out from Syria "IndyWatch Feed National"

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria, after completing their task to destroy Daesh. Sputnik provides details about the pullout and Russia's interactions with Syria in the future. During his first ever visit to the Hmeymim airbase in Syria, President Putin praised the work of the Russian Aerospace Forces as brilliant and said Russian forces were "returning home with a victory." As the Syrian conflict is gradually nearing its end questions inevitably arise about what this withdrawal will mean. Here are the answers to some of them.

22:32

In a World with A.I.-Powered Assistants, How Can You Trust a Bot? "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Artificial intelligence is already permeating the workforce, changing the way businesses function. Today youll find A.I. software, like chatbots, completing administrative taskssuch as scheduling, booking, transcribing. They also conduct communication tasks, such as compiling and sharing information, answering questions, and more on behalf of humans. While the earliest examples followed very basic decision trees, advances in machine learning have opened the door for an expansive new workforce of competent, useful bots. However, better solutions for transparency and control are necessary to enable full deployment of this new category of software.

BotChain: Benefitting Developers and Their Customers

BotChain is a decentralized, Ethereum-based platform providing two major benefits designed to meet the needs of A.I. software developers and end users alike.

First, it is designed to help manage the trust of A.I. products, like bots, or other robotic process automation tools, by allowing bot registration, identification, audit and compliance to occur on the blockchain.

Second, with standardized protocols for bot-to-bot communication, it increases the speed at which developers can provide value to their end users, so that bots can coordinate workflows with other intelligent agents, or tap into knowledge sources in the BotChains open marketplace of skills.

An Example of the BotChain in Action

From end-to-end, an example of this process would be a conversational bot that books business travel for employees. Suppose that a sales manager needs to kick off travel booking for a large prospective deal the next week. First, she and the bot would need to verify the identity of one another. Once verified by the Botchain platform, she can let the bot know her travel details and preferences. If the bot needs additional information, it can check her schedule by communicating with another bot she uses to schedule her meetings. The BotChain supports standardized communication protocols between A.I. software, making this functionality not only feasible (today, no standards exist) but quick for developers to deploy. The details of these transactionsboth between the sales manager and her travel booking bot, and the travel booking bot and the meeting scheduling bot can be hashed using a digital certificate to the BotChain ledger. Suppose that the transactions need to be audited to uncover what payments have been authorized by different members of the sales team over the past several months. The immutable ledger of these transactions remains, providing trust needed to ensure that an accurate picture of what has occurred can be revealed.

BotCoin (BOT) Utility Token Sale

Developers on the network are required to possess some portion of a BotCoin to access and/or deploy bots a...

22:25

Countering False Vaccine Safety Claims "IndyWatch Feed National"

Vaccines can and do cause injuries, including autism

 

By The World Mercury Project Team

Were living in an age where parents increasingly report that their typically developing children declined cognitively and physically after receiving vaccines. Despite the sound science supporting these parent claims, government agencies and mainstream media continue issuing the now shopworn mantra that vaccines are safe and effective ignoring published research and even common sense that indicate otherwise.

World Mercury Project has put together a list of the most common misrepresentations in the vaccine safety debate and provided the facts and references that support the reality that vaccines can and do cause injuries including autism and many other adverse health outcomes.  

Claim 1. Vaccines save lives.

Claim 2. Vaccines dont cause autism.

16:00

FISC Assurances on Spying Leave Too Many Questions Unanswered "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray faced questions from the House Judiciary Committee about how his department is implementing one of the governments most powerful surveillance tools. Despite repeated bipartisan requests, Director Wray refused to tell the Members of the Committee how many Americans have been impacted by Section 702, enacted as part of the FISA Amendments Act. This isnt the first time the FBI has refused to answer to Congress.

10:30

Native animals are calling all heroes Blog


Everyday heroes come in many forms. Some people look out for our wildlife and call WIRES when they find an animal in need of help. Others are able to volunteer their time to become carers for orphaned, injured and displaced animals.

WIRES receives many calls about birds that need assistance but we wouldnt have such a great success rate in rescues if it wasnt for heroes like the members of the public and emergency services who regularly lend a hand.

In late October, in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, some very observant council workers noticed the nest of a pair ofTawny Frogmouths at one of the citys depots.

After watching the pair tend to their young ones over the course of days, the men noticed that the parent birds had not returned to the nest after some wild weather. Despite daily checks, they have not been seen since and their fate is unknown.

Concerned for the welfare of the young chicks and with the threat from predatory birds growing, the council workers contacted WIRES and volunteer rescuer Marion attended the scene.

Council workers with rescued chicks

They decided to use a cherry picker to access the nest and bring the chicks to ground, after consulting with the councils work health and safety officer.

Thanks to Lismore City Council and employees Rod, Trent and Jeremy, the rescue operation went smoothly and the birds went into care with WIRES volunteer Julie. After four weeks regrettably, one of the chicks passed away, but the other one is doing well and has been housed with another young Tawny as a buddy.

They do not always make it when raising them from such a young age, said Julie, adding that they were probably only a week old when they were orphaned.

Having had more than 200 Tawny Frogmouths in her care over the past few years, Julie has a special bond with these birds.

The peak rescue season at WIRES started early this year due to unseasonally warm weather. Some species, like our iconic Australian Wood Duck, are now nesting for the second time and raising new batches of ducklings.

...

Tuesday, 12 December

23:26

Boiling Point 5th of December 2017; Science meets Creation and Innovation to Save and Preserve Sydneys Sea Life. "GroovUs Feed Apodcasts"

 

 

We are all too aware human activity negatively impacts the environment. Most of our negative interaction and impact is irreversible. However, in the fight to save the biodiversity of Sydney waters, scientists successfully reversed the effects of human activity on Crayweed and Sydneys ocean life. Last year we were introduced to the Crayweed issue. Last week Tim touched base to see how successful The Crayweed Project has been.

The dumping of human waste during the 1980s contributed to the rapid decline of sea life along Sydneys coast. Crayweed or Phyllospora comosa is a food source and habitat for marine life. Scientists noticed Crayweed did not replenish once the water quality improved. Prompting cause for concern.

The team at Crayweed Project are working to restore and replenish Crayweed. One method of restoration, the team used, is transferring existing Crayweed, using a transportable mat, to the devastated areas along Sydneys coastline. This proved successful. Restoration did not stop there. Scientists are collectively working to restore this site. PhD candidate Georgina Wood, part of the Crayweed team from the University of New South Wales, is using genetics to develop resilient Crayweed. Ms Wood expects resilient Crayweed will tolerate and cope in a changing environment.

What can you do?

This sounds well and good, but scientists cannot do this alone. It is the creative union of citizen scientists and scientists that will save and protect this imperative seaweed. Lana Kajlich a PhD candidate from the University of New South Wales and part of the Crayweed Project team understands the importance of engaging the community. To ensure the success and protection of this species.

Ms Kajlich is utilising the power of narrative and story-telling to protect and promote science to communities and for communities to become actively involved in science. For it is the union of scientists and communities which will endeavour to protect this beautiful species and all species from human impact.

Want to find out more on Crayweed and how you can help? Listen to the podcast and hear Tims interview with Georgina Wood and Lana Kajlich.

 

 

 

 

 

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