Daily Archives: February 14, 2007

U.S. Military: Television Series ‘24’ Is Promoting Torture In The Ranks

Think Progress | Feb 13, 2007  

The U.S. military believes the television show 24 — which has become a foreign policy guide for the right — is sending inappropriate messages to the troops condoning torture:

The United States Military Academy at West Point yesterday confirmed that Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan recently travelled to California to meet producers of the show, broadcast on the Fox channel. He told them that promoting illegal behaviour in the series – apparently hugely popular among the US military – was having a damaging effect on young troops.

The New York Times noted, “Very little public scrutiny – much less protest – of violent interrogation is depicted” on the show. Numerous conservative pundits have cited 24 as a sanction for harsh interrogation practices. For example, radio host Laura Ingraham has said:

The average American out there loves the show 24. OK? They love Jack Bauer. They love 24. In my mind that’s close to a national referendum that it’s OK to use tough tactics against high-level Al Qaeda operatives as we’re going to get.

In a recent interview, actor Keifer Sutherland — who plays the lead character Jack Bauer on the show — noted, “You torture someone and they’ll basically tell you exactly what you want to hear, whether it’s true or not, if you put someone in enough pain,” he said. U.S. intelligence officials have said that torture is extremely ineffective. Lt. Gen. John Kimmons, the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence has said, “I am absolutely convinced…no good intelligence is going to come from abusive practices. I think history tells us that. I think the empirical evidence of the last five years, hard years, tell us that.”

David Danzig, the head of Human Rights First — an anti-torture non-profit group — argued, “The image of the U.S. and its military [being involved in torture] is being affirmed” by the torture practices employed in the show. Undoubtedly, the Vice President’s sanction of tactics such as waterboarding also contributes to that image.

TV torture ‘influencing interrogations’

In The News | Feb 13, 2007  

“Our training had no official doctrine on what to do. People were watching movies and watching TV and getting their ideas from there.”

A recent increase in torture scenes on prime time television shows is influencing the way real life interrogations are conducted, a pressure group has claimed.

Human Rights First (HRF) warns of a worrying trend depicting torture as not only necessary, but also an effective means of solving cases or averting disasters.

Hit US shows such as Lost, Alias and 24 have included a number of scenes in which the lead characters use torture to extract information from suspects.

“The number of scenes of torture on TV shows is significantly higher than it was five years ago and the characters who torture have changed,” HRF said.

“It used to be that only villains on television tortured. Today, ‘good guy’ and heroic American characters torture.”

Citing former interrogators, HRF said US soldiers were imitating what they had seen on television because they believed these methods would work.

“We were encouraged to be creative with our interrogation techniques,” said Tony Lagouranis, who conducted interrogations for the US military between 2001 and 2005.

“They [the interrogators] wanted to go in there and create their own techniques and the way they did that was by drawing on popular culture, because our training wasn’t useful to us anymore.

“Our training had no official doctrine on what to do. People were watching movies and watching TV and getting their ideas from there.”

HRF is seeking to address this issue by offering training to soldiers and liaising with Hollywood producers through its project, Primetime Torture.

Study predicts “phenomenal” rise in prison populations

USA TODAY | Feb 13, 2007 

“The projected growth is phenomenal”

The number of inmates in U.S. prisons likely will rise nearly 13% during the next five years, costing states up to $27.5 billion in new operating and construction expenses, according to a new analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The Pew report, to be released today, projects the nation’s prison population will be about 1.72 million by 2011, up from an estimated 1.53 million at the end of last year. Such an increase would roughly equal the current population of the federal prison system.

Pew analysts said the growth is being fueled by mandatory minimum sentences that have stretched prison terms for many criminals, declines in inmates granted parole and other policies that states have passed in recent years to crack down on crime.

In some states, the study said, high rates of repeat offenders also have been a factor in boosting prison populations.

Prison authorities in Montana, Arizona, Alaska, Idaho and Vermont could see their prison systems grow by one-third or more if there are no changes to the states’ sentencing and release policies, the study said.

“The projected growth is phenomenal,” says Sue Urahn, managing director of Pew’s state policy programs. “But whether it comes to this is up to the states. They determine who goes to prison and for how long.”

Talking Toilets To Tell Us Right From Wrong

Infowars.net | Feb 12, 2007

 wizmark

The state of New Mexico has ordered 500 talking urinal cakes that will deliver a recorded anti-DWI message to bar and restaurant patrons who make one last pit stop before getting behind the wheel.

The “Wizmark” device subjects users to a female voice reading the following script: “Hey there, big guy. Having a few drinks? Listen up. Think that you’ve had a few too many? Then it’s time to call a cab or ask a sober friend for a ride home. It sure is safer and a hell of a lot cheaper than a DWI. Make the smart choice tonight. Don’t drink and drive. Remember, your future is in your hand.”

Click here for the audio

The state Transportation Department plans to distribute them to Santa Fe bars and restaurants as well as establishments in Farmington, Gallup and Las Cruces.

Once again big brother intrusiveness has been given an excuse to flourish where common sense is lacking. The idea that every form of misdemeanor can be solved by some ridiculous piece of technology is aiding a sleepwalk towards the surveillance society.

How many people are seriously going to heed a warning from something they are literally pissing on?

At first glance this story may seem ludicrous and comical, but it is once again indicative of a wider problem within society. We are letting our governments treat us like mindless sheep that need to be watched over 24/7 and told how to act and how to conduct ourselves.

Related

Wizmark Interactive Urinal Communicator

wizmark_beer

This unique patented design incorporates the concept of an inexpensive interactive urinal display containing a number of graphic messages. Your  images and promotional messages will appear to alternately change, as if by magic, from one set of graphics to another as the “participant” moves toward the urinal. This remarkable eye catching effect, achieved through the use of a lenticular lens and special printing is sure to grab everyone’s focused attention with the result of generating lots of consumer “Buzz”..

wizmark_marlboro
 
Targeting your audience can be half the battle in marketing. Given the venue of this marketing tool’s location, it will undoubtedly be the vastly perfect media format for every male oriented product and promotion..

 wizmark-viagra
 
The promotions fixed location within the urinal screen will assure multiple and regular exposure patterns of your ad to your targeted consumer..
 
Our integral large round, angled, waterproof, 3.5 inch anti-glare viewing screen with lenticular graphics guarantees that all your ad’s copy and text will be easily readable..

British children’s quality of life ranked last

The Australian | Feb 14, 2007  

This is the New World Order, the result of systematic dehumanization, dumbing-down and corruption of values that the elite have carried out through scientifically devised social engineering programs and psychological warfare. Thus, the British have had their rights taken away, their wealth stolen, their families broken up and their health destroyed by design of Fabian Socialism through the agency of Tony Bilderblair, front-man for the Bilderberg Gruppen.

Now in response to the crisis (which they created), they have their own “No-Child-Left-Alone-Act” called the “Every Child Matters Initiative”. No doubt, this will serve to further impoverish the British people and continue to break up the family unit.

Problem-Reaction-Solution. Order Out of Chaos, over and over again.

PW

BRITAIN is ranked last for childhood quality of life among industrialised nations, UNICEF said in a report today.

The UN children’s charity looked at 40 indicators to gauge the lives of children in 21 economically advanced nations, the first such study of its kind.

The study found Britain lagged behind on key measures of poverty and deprivation, health and safety, relationships, risk-taking and young people’s own sense of well-being.

Britain received better ratings for education but languished in the bottom third for all other measures, giving it the lowest overall placing, along with the US.

Child well-being was rated highest in northern Europe, with the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark leading the list.

“All countries have weaknesses that need to be addressed and no country features in the top third of the rankings for all six dimensions,” said David Bull, UNICEF UK’s executive director.

The study found there was no consistent relationship between a country’s wealth, as measured in gross domestic product per capita, and a child’s quality of life.

The Czech Republic, for example, achieved a higher overall ranking than economically wealthier France.

“This report shows clearly that despite the UK’s wealth, we are failing to give children the best possible start in life,” said Colette Marshall, UK director of charity Save the Children.

She warned that “drastic action”, including an injection of $11.27 billion, was needed to meet a government target of halving the number of children in poverty by 2010.

A spokeswoman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government said reforms introduced through the “Every Child Matters” initiative had helped to improve child welfare.

Big Pharma Paid Bribes to Saddam in Oil-for-Food Scandal

The Guardian | Feb 14, 2007 

· British companies named in United Nations report

· Kickbacks ‘enabled Iraqi leader to amass $1.8bn’

The Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into allegations that a number of major UK-based firms paid bribes to Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. The firms being targeted include the drug giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly. The international oil traders and UK bridge-builders Mabey and Johnson are also to be investigated.

They are on a long list of international companies accused in a UN report of paying kickbacks under the discredited oil-for-food sanctions regime, which enabled Saddam to illicitly amass an estimated $1.8bn. Ministers have agreed to fund the investigation with £22m over three years.

Mr Volcker said the programme – in which Iraq was only allowed to sell limited amounts of oil abroad to buy food and medicines – had become corrupted as the Saddam regime demanded kickbacks from foreign companies in return for the contracts. He identified French and Russian politicians as the chief culprits.

The inquiry will draw on Mr Volcker’s evidence. He accused GSK of paying kickbacks worth $1m to win nine contracts valued at $11.9m to supply medicines. Yesterday GSK denied any wrongdoing. It said: “The UN oil-for-food programme was run in the UK by the Department of Trade and Industry and GSK operated entirely within DTI guidance in this area. Indeed, GSK had a regular dialogue with officials at the DTI in order to ensure that all its dealings under the oil-for-food programme were transparent and in accordance with the regulations.”

Russian army pimps male recruits to intelligence chiefs

The Guardian | Feb 14, 2007 

Andrei Sychev, 19, a tank academy conscript so badly tortured by his superiors his genitals and legs had to be amputated.

Russia’s scandal-prone military was gripped by allegations yesterday that cash-strapped senior officers had forced young conscripts to work as male prostitutes.

According to the rights group Union of the Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia, conscripts at an army base in St Petersburg were compelled to perform sexual services for influential middle-aged clients, among whom was a former general in the FSB intelligence agency.

Clients were said to arrive at night outside the military base, next to the Hermitage museum, and the soldiers would be forced to get into clients’ cars.

One conscript, who had raised the alarm, told Russia’s Gazeta newspaper yesterday that older soldiers humiliated the others. “Sometimes they made us mop the floors all night … The officers would beat us on the arms and legs. We were sent out to the park to earn money … I was tortured with electric shocks.” Another conscript added: “At least 10 out of 35 of us would not spend the nights at the military base.”

The allegations involving St Petersburg’s unit of 3,727 personnel follow cases of abuse of conscripts. Last year there was national outrage at the gruesome fate of Andrei Sychev, 19, a tank academy conscript so badly tortured by his superiors his genitals and legs had to be amputated.

Kim Jong Il’s heir to the throne enjoys the high life in Macau

Times Online | Feb 2, 2007 

kim-jong-nam

The next ‘Dear Leader’? The well-fed Kim Jong Nam, is probably the favourite to succeed his father in the hereditary Stalinist dictatorship

Kim Jong Nam enjoys his freedom to partake in fine dining, gambling and to take his family on international outings, while his father murders, tortures, rapes, plunders, enslaves and generally oppresses North Koreans. But that is organized crime for you. No doubt, Nam would get along great with Dubya. In fact, they are probably best buddies.

PW

As an illegitimate child his existence was kept a secret for years, and he led an isolated childhood, lavished with toys, foreign clothes and electronic gadgets.

With its seedy gambling dens, discreet banks and decaying Portuguese colonial buildings, the Chinese territory of Macau is just the place for the son of a powerful man to live incognito, quietly frittering away his father’s money. So perhaps it is no surprise that it has become the home of the ultimate rich kid — Kim Jong Nam, eldest child of the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Il.

The junior Kim, 35, who could inherit the only hereditary Stalinist dictatorship, has been living there for three years, enjoying the bars and restaurants and occasionally gambling in the famous casinos and slot-machine arcades. The Japanese Yomiuri newspaper photographed a man identified as Mr Kim in front of the hotel where he is reported to have spent much of his time, the Mandarin Oriental.

Unnamed sources say that he has Chinese, Portuguese and Australian friends, some of whom do not know that he is the son of the “Dear Leader” of North Korea. His family, including his wife and at least one child, live on Coloane island, off the Macau peninsula.

Over the past few years Mr Kim has been spotted in the Four Seasons George V Paris and at Beijing airport. His most notorious overseas jaunt came in 2001, when he was arrested at Narita airport in Tokyo while attempting to enter on a fake Dominican Republic passport with his wife, young son and nanny. Before being sent on his way, he told immigration officials that they wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article1312864.ece

See also:

North Korean heir gambles with his future
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/IB06Dg01.html

UK Kids the most unhappy, unhealthy, impoverished, neglected and uneducated

Independent | Feb 14, 2007  

This is not a “failure” of policy. It is the successful result of a plan to steal the wealth of workers and entrepreneurs through manipulated inflation, debt-slavery and punishing taxation. Thus a tiny percentage of the population owns all the wealth (Windsors, Rothschilds etc) while the slaves scramble to survive, neglecting health, education and happiness in the process. Still, they bow down to the royalty as though they were living gods, enjoying their servitude.

They are treated like cattle living in an Orwellian police state with no hope in sight. Until they wake up and take back their power, the suffering will just get worse and worse. Take a good look at Britain today because it is the globalist model-state (next to Communist China) and your own country is not far behind.

PW

Damning verdict on the ordeal of growing up in Britain today

British children are languishing at the bottom of an international league table examining the physical and emotional well-being of youngsters in the world’s wealthiest nations.

Despite living in the fifth richest country, the next generation of UK citizens experience some of the worst levels of poverty. The research found they regard themselves as less happy, and that they drank more alcohol, took more drugs, and had more underage sex than children overseas.

They were also more prone to failure at school, to experience violence and bullying while suffering a greater number of unhappy relationships with both their families and peers.

The Unicef report, which prompted outrage from children’s charities and embarrassment for the Government which has lavished billions on child health and education, placed the UK last in the survey of 21 nations, which included Europe as well as the United States, Canada and Japan.

British children came last in three of the six categories analysed, finding themselves in the bottom third for two others. In the second most successful category, education, the UK was ranked 17th, way behind the former eastern bloc countries Poland and the Czech Republic

The Netherlands topped the league, followed by Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Spain. The overall quality of life for children in the United States was judged only narrowly better than in the UK, finishing 20th in the table.

The report’s author, Professor Jonathan Bradshaw of York University, said he was surprised by the findings. “This is the result of previous decades of neglect and shows how far we have to catch up,” he said. “We knew the UK was high in child poverty and in the number of children living in workless households but we were surprised that it came consistently low across so many of the categories.”

Bob Reitemeier, chief executive of the Children’s Society, said: ” Unicef’s report is a wake-up call to the fact that, despite being a rich country, the UK is failing children and young people in a number of crucial ways.”

Colette Marshall, UK director of Save the Children, called for an extra £4.5bn to meet the Government’s target of halving child poverty by 2010. “It is shameful to see the UK languishing at the bottom of this table. This report shows clearly that despite the UK’s wealth, we are failing to give children the best possible start in life,” she said.

The shadow Chancellor George Osborne hit out at the Government. “This report tells the truth about Brown’s Britain,” he said. “The Chancellor has failed this generation of children and will fail the next if he’s given a chance. We need a new approach.”

The assessment, entitled Report Card 7, Child Poverty in Perspective: An Overview of Child Well-being in Rich Countries, is the first study of childhood well-being across industrialised countries. It analysed 40 separate indicators based on existing data.

Among the most depressing findings were that more than a fifth of UK youngsters rated their physical and mental health as poor – the worst among the rich countries surveyed. Girls reported lower levels of well-being than boys across all the nations surveyed with more than 27 per cent of 15-year-old females expressing dissatisfaction with their health compared to 16 per cent of boys of the same age.

Overall, youngsters in the UK were more likely to feel left out, awkward and lonely, than nearly all their peers in other developed countries, the report said.

Italy and Portugal topped the table with the UK, the US and Czech Republic propping up the bottom of the league when the quality of children’s relationships was examined.

Among OECD counties, the UK had the second highest number of children living in single-parent families or with step-parents. Italy, Greece and Poland, traditional Catholic countries, enjoyed the most stable families. The authors said there was a well-established link between family breakdown, educational failure, poor health and reduced life chances.

Less than half of Britain’s 11-15-year-olds said they found their peers ” kind and helpful.”

In terms of economic well-being, Britain was 18th in the table, with only the United States having more children living in a household where the income was less than 50 per cent of the national median.

While the report acknowledged that children today enjoyed unprecedented levels of health and safety and Britain was judged the second safest country behind Sweden in terms of the number of youngsters dying from accidents, the UK once again came in the bottom third of the table for infant mortality and low birth weight.

Meanwhile, British children fared better at school, at least up until the age of 15. But their position plunged when the numbers staying on in education and training were factored in.

A Government spokeswoman said it was committed to improving children’s well-being and pointed out that 700,000 fewer children were now living in relative poverty than in 1998-99, while the number of children in absolute poverty had been halved.

Afternoon naps may boost heart health

New Scientist | Feb 12, 2007
 

Positive attitude, eating right, exercising, and now getting enough rest, are good for your health. What’ll they think of next? Alright, the point is that the best things for health are the simplest and most natural things, not Big Pharma’s constant barrage of toxic chemical drugs and vaccines. So the next time you see one of those ads for drugs that they say you “need” to be healthy, stop, smile, go for a walk, have an apple and take a nap.

PW

The next health trend might come out of nursery school instead of the gym: A study of nearly 24,000 people found that those who regularly took midday naps were nearly 40% less likely to die from heart disease than non-nappers.

Researchers suggest that siestas might protect the heart by lowering levels of stress hormones.

Dimitrios Trichopoulos at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, US, and colleagues recruited about 24,000 volunteers between the ages of 20 and 86, in Greece, who had no history of heart disease, stroke or cancer. The researchers collected information about the participants’ napping habits and followed them for six years, on average.

After controlling for risk factors such as diet and physical activity, Trichopoulos’s team found that people who took at least three naps per week lasting 30 minutes or longer had a 37% reduced risk of death from heart disease than their non-napping counterparts.