Daily Archives: July 24, 2009

This July One of the Coldest on Record for Ohio

WCPN | Jul 24, 2009

If you love typical summers in Ohio, you are probably wishing the weather was a little warmer these days. The National Weather Service reports this July is one of the coldest on record.

Meterologist Jeffrey Seitz says the unseasonably cool temperatures this month are due to the jet stream.

Seitz says he expects some parts of northern Ohio could be close to setting records for the coolest July ever.

Seitz says temperatures in most of Ohio during this month usually have highs in the mid to upper 80’s.  The National Weather Service says the temperature in July in Columbus, for example, has been averaging just above 70 degrees.

Ottawa goes through coldest July in 17 years

Summer of our discontent: Coldest, soggiest July in 17 years

The summer that wasn’t

Ottawa Citizen | Jul 24, 2009

By Joanne Chianello

OTTAWA — Oscar Wilde may have dismissed talk about the weather as “the last refuge of the unimaginative,” but the Irish wit never lived through a summer like this one.

And neither have we — at least not for 17 years.

According to Environment Canada, this month is shaping up to be the second-worst July on record after 1992, when the average daily temperature was 17.9 C. This year is only marginally better: 18.2 C, as opposed to the usual average July day temperature of 20.9 C.

It’s a particularly depressing statistic to contemplate this week, traditionally the peak of summer — the week we’re supposed to be complaining about the heat and humidity.

But instead of lethargically lapping up the dog days of summer, we’re scheduling one indoor-recess day after another.

“This is when Ottawa receives its warmest temperatures, statistically,” said David Phillips, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist. “This is the high-time of summer, when people go on their holidays, water temperatures have warmed up and usually where the weather is more suitable to being outdoors.”

Not this year.

But if our nation’s forecasters are to be believed, things may be looking up next month.

Environment Canada’s weather prediction for mid-July to mid-August is for normal to warmer-than-normal temperatures. If true, it will be a welcome change. Afternoon highs in August are about 25 degrees, while the average temperature is 19.5.

The warmer weather should move in next week, when forecasters are expecting daily highs in the mid-20s, which is normal for July.

As is to be expected for the summer that almost wasn’t, it’s not all good news.

“We’re also showing wetter than normal” for August, said Phillips, although forecasters “don’t have as much confidence” in precipitation models as they do in ones predicting temperature.

Let’s hope not. Already in July, we saw 80 millimetres of rain — almost double the amount from July 2008.

The cold, rainy summer has caught forecasters a little off guard. Usually, weather systems move from west to east. This summer, however, the jet stream — a sort of boundary line 10 kilometres up, where cold air from the north meets warm air from the south — is stuck in a pattern that’s bringing us a cold low. That’s climatologist-speak for “really lousy weather.”

“Every summer you get one or two weeks of that — if you’re unlucky, maybe three weeks — but not three months,” said Phillips. “It’s been hanging around and spoiling holidays right from the get-go.”

(The summer of 1992, on the other hand, was ruined by the eruption of the Pinatubo volcano a year earlier, which, said Phillips, “created a dust veil that surrounded the northern hemisphere and essentially blocked the sun, changed the jet-stream location and gave us that year without summer.”

This year’s low-pressure system finally seems on the move. But will it be in time to save summer?

Phillips admits there’s a little panic out there.

“Every day now’s getting a little shorter in terms of daylight,” he said.

“When is summer going to arrive? It may be September or October — who knows? But our models are showing that there is some hope.”

And that’s something to talk about.

Bottled water companies win fluoride battle

Bottled water containing fluoride is expected to hit shelves within six months

Bellingen Courier | Jul 21, 2009

Bottled water containing fluoride is expected to hit shelves within six months in a move that has irked anti-fluoride crusaders.

Australia’s food safety authority decided to allow the voluntary addition of fluoride into packaged water today after lengthy appeals by the Australasian Bottled Water Institute.

Bottled water companies argued that lifting restrictions would increase consumer choice.

It is understood several will now move to include the chemical, which boosts dental health, in their products. The first bottles will hit shelves in less than six months.

Meanwhile, fluoride is expected to be added to the Bellingen shire water supply shortly.

General Manager, Mike Colreavy said testing and commissioning of fluoridation equipment was delayed by flood. “It is now expected to be completed in July.”

“It relies on the availability of specialist staff from Department of Water and Energy being available for final approval before it will be switched on,” Mr Colreavy told the Courier-Sun.

Anti-fluoride advocate Keith Oakley denounced the move to add fluoride to bottled water, saying it would make it harder for him and his colleagues to access water.

He said the move would also backfire.

“If they want to put fluoride in there, then that’s their problem. But bottled water sales will go down,” he said.

“It’s a bit disappointing but at the very least it should be labelled so I can still buy non-fluoridated water.”

Mr Oakley is a resident of Geelong where the most recent fluoride battle took place last month. He said the options available to opponents of fluoridation were getting smaller.

Since the introduction of fluoride into tap water last month, he has been buying bottled water and is trying to install a rainwater tank at home.

The Bottled Water Institute, which has been advocating fluoridated bottled water since 2006, said its campaign was driven by a need to offer customers with non-fluoridated water supplies a choice.

“We’re expecting any sort of negative response to be limited … but ultimately the market will sort itself out,” chief executive Geoff Parker said.

Hillary Clinton admits CFR control over US Government Policy

Hillary_Clinton_CFR_BigSecretary of State Hillary Clinton put at least one foot in her mouth in stating a major geopolitical truth, inadvertently or otherwise, about the secretive, elitist, globalist organization, The Council On Foreign Relations, and the tremendous influence and power it wields over the US Government.  Her remarks came during a major speech she was invited to give at the new at the new CFR Washington DC branch.

Examiner | Jul 21, 2009

by Robert Stark

Speaking to CFR President Richard Haas from the podium, Clinton – not an official CFR member – said, “Thank you very much, Richard, and I am delighted to be here in these new headquarters.  I have been often to, I guess, the ‘mother ship’ in New York City, but it’s good to have an outpost of the Council right here down the street from the State Department.” Mrs. Clinton then turned to the audience and continued, “We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing.

The State Department even published her amazing admissions on its web site. Clinton might just as well have described herself as a CFR puppet.  Whether her remarks were intended to be ‘humorous’ isn’t known.  Important truths often slip out under many guises and this ‘confirmation’ by Clinton is one of the more obvious unspoken truths in how major American Foreign policy is shaped and controlled by the CFR.

Hillary Clinton admits that the CFR runs the Government

The CFR is made up the elite in politics, business, media, and finance. They are committed to an authoritarian globalist agenda, which seeks to dissolve American Sovereignty and Freedom. They have ardently promoted the North American Union modeled after the EU. The Council on Foreign Relations has outlined their agenda in a document called Building a North American Community . Director of International Economics for the Council Ben Steil stated that the world must “abandon unwanted currencies, replacing them with dollars, euros, and multinational currencies as yet unborn.”

Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations, Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner stated that he is open to the idea of a global currency to replace the dollar. Unlike Bilderberg, the Council on Foreign Relations is more open to the press. However they have ardently pushed a globalist agenda to weaken American sovereignty including the North American Union modeled after the EU.

Former Congressman John R. Rarick warned us about their agenda:

“The CFR, dedicated to one-world government, financed by a number of the largest tax-exempt foundations, and wielding such power and influence over our lives in the areas of finance, business, labor, military, education and mass communication media, should be familiar to every American concerned with good government and with preserving and defending the U.S. Constitution and our free-enterprise system. Yet, the nation’s right to know machinery – the news media – usually so aggressive in exposures to inform our people, remain conspicuously silent when it comes to the CFR, its members and their activities.”

Much like Hillary’s honest statement the elites have spoken openly about their agenda and contemp for our nation and its citizens. Committed Globalist and long time director of the CFR, David Rockefeller in a speech at the 1991 Bilderberg Convention stated “We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine, and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the lights of publicity during those years. But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty on an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”

Police given powers to enter homes and tear down anti-Olympics posters during 2012 Games

Daily Mail | Jul 21, 2009

By James Slack

Police have been handed ‘Chinese-style’ powers to enter private homes and seize political posters during the London 2012 Olympics.

Little-noticed measures passed by the Government will allow officers and Olympics officials to enter homes and shops near official venues to confiscate any protest material.

Breaking the rules could land offenders with a fine of up to £20,000.

Civil liberties groups compared the powers to those used by the Communist Chinese government to stop political protest during the 2008 Beijing Games.

Anita Coles, of Liberty, said: ‘Powers of entry should be for fighting crime, not policing poster displays. Didn’t we learn last time that the Olympics should not be about stifling free expression?’

The powers were introduced by the Olympics Act of 2006, passed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, supposedly to preserve the monopoly of official advertisers on the London 2012 site.

They would allow advertising posters or hoardings placed in shop or home to be removed.

But the law has been drawn so widely that it also includes ‘non-commercial material’ – which could extend its reach to include legitimate campaign literature.

Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘This is a Government who just doesn’t understand civil liberties. They may claim these powers won’t be used but the frank truth is no one will believe them.’

Liberal Democrat spokesman Chris Huhne said: ‘This sort of police action runs the risk of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. ‘We should aim to show the Chinese that you can run a successful Olympics without cracking down on protestors and free speech.’

Scotland Yard denied it had any plans to use the powers.

Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison said: ‘We have no intention of using our powers to go in and take down demonstration posters.’

But critics said that – given the powers were now law – it was impossible to predict what would happen in three years time.

Campaigners said the existence of the powers was ‘dreadful’. Peter McNeil, who is against the holding of equestrian events in Greenwich Park said: ‘It’s bullying taken to another level. It’s quite appalling that this should happen in a democracy.’

The power emerged as the Home Office and police outlined the £600million security operation for the Games, which will cost more than £9billion in total.

They said hundreds of flights could have to be diverted every day, with planes prevented from passing over the main venue for the London games.
Olympic security chiefs said they expected to have to ‘manage’ the airspace over the Olympic Park in east London.

A senior Home Office official said: ‘We do expect there will have to be some management of the airspace. We do not expect that any airports will have to close.’

The officials said they had no evidence of a specific terror threat against the Games at the moment.

But current preparations assume the terror threat level will be at ‘severe’ during the event, despite it being reduced to ‘substantial’ for the UK earlier this week. It is the lowest threat level nationwide since before the July 7 attacks in 2005.

A DCMS spokesman said: ‘The advertising provisions in the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 are there to prevent ambush marketing and the over-commercialisation of the Games, not to prevent or restrict lawful protests.

‘The measures will only apply to areas within a few hundred metres of the London 2012 venues. The Government is currently developing detailed regulations for advertising during the Games which will enable these powers to come into effect. The Government will be consulting on the regulations in 2010.’

Big Brother is watching you with RFID microchips

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The implantable RFID chip—just one version of the technology—would allow airport personnel to know who you are instantly and help people keep an eye on children, the elderly, and prisoners.

straight.com | Jul 23, 2009

By Erin Millar

Imagine you’re at the grocery store and you take some tortellini from the cooler. Embedded in the packaging is a microchip that emits radio waves. The next thing you know, an ad for a high-end pasta sauce is flashing on a screen mounted on your shopping cart.

Then imagine that by scanning your house for the tiny chips implanted in every manufactured item you own, a thief generates an inventory of your clothing, DVDs, and pricey electronics, and decides to rob your house.

Finally, imagine you walk into an airport and a security officer is immediately able to find out your identity, banking information, and travel history by reading data stored in a chip in your passport—or even implanted under your skin.

Although these scenarios may sound like science fiction, the technology—known as radio-frequency identification, or RFID—is already being used to track goods such as Gillette razor blades and Gap clothing in stores. The patent for a chip that could be used in passports to monitor people in airports belongs to IBM, and a company called VeriChip is marketing a chip that is implanted under the skin in order for people to keep tabs on children, the elderly, and prisoners.

Consumer-privacy advocate Katherine Albrecht, who has briefed Canada’s federal privacy commissioner on the technology, advises Canadians to resist RFID.

“There are certainly things you can do with RFID that might be cool, but the costs of introducing this technology into our society so vastly outweigh the benefits, the technology shouldn’t be deployed at all,” Albrecht told the Georgia Straight.

Since May, enhanced driver’s licences containing RFID chips have been available to British Columbians for an extra fee of $35. The licences broadcast data that can be read by U.S. border officials up to 50 metres away, and allow the cardholder to enter the U.S. without a passport.

In the 2005 book Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move, Albrecht and coauthor Liz McIntyre argue that the use of RFID in identification cards sets up governments to misuse private information.

“If you went to a political event, such as a peace march, political rally, or gun show,” Albrecht explained from her New York office, “with RFID, all the law-enforcement agents would have to do is mill around the crowd with an RFID reader in their backpack and they would be able to pick up all of the ID cards of everybody within a 30-foot radius of where they stood.”

While RFID chips aren’t new—the technology has been in development for some 50 years—companies have only recently embraced their consumer applications. The chips are so small—smaller than a grain of rice—that they are virtually invisible when contained in a product, and are superior to bar codes because they contain data specific to each individual item and can be read through packaging up to 10 metres away. At a cost of about five cents each, RFID chips are an inexpensive way to track inventory as it’s shipped, distributed, and sold.

Having researched hundreds of RFID patents for her book, Albrecht said that companies also plan to track products after they are sold to learn about “how consumers interact with products” for marketing purposes.

“The end point is that every physical object manufactured on planet Earth would have an RFID tag instead of a bar code,” she said. “There would be reader devices to pick up signals everywhere you go, including in our refrigerators to keep track of what we’re eating.”

What is most alarming to NDP MLA Maurine Karagianis, is that consumers aren’t aware that RFID tags are already widespread.

“First and foremost, it [RFID] is being embedded in consumerism without our knowledge or approval,” Karagianis said in a phone interview.

The representative for Esquimalt–Royal Roads is concerned that Canada’s privacy laws aren’t sufficiently robust to deal with the unique challenges of RFID. “We have no regulation around the use or prohibition or restriction on RFID,” she said. “I’m worried that, without adequate discussions of RFID use and application and what the ramifications could be in the future at a legislative level, the discussion will be led by consumer advocates or corporate retail interests.”

Although B.C. information and privacy commissioner David Loukidelis wonders why the U.S. government is pushing for the adoption of a relatively insecure technology for use in border identification documents, he questions the gravity of related privacy concerns. In a phone conversation with the Straight, he pointed out that along with the licences, the B.C. government is issuing a sleeve that blocks the RFID signal when it is not being used.

Loukidelis asserted that global-positioning-system tracking in cellphones is a much more significant privacy issue. “Nevertheless, the principle of being able to track people as they move about is what is of concern, regardless of the particular technology,” he said.

RFID is just one of a growing number of technologies—including Internet marketing, GPS devices, and store-loyalty cards—that threaten our privacy and are not fully understood by consumers, according to Richard Rosenberg, a UBC professor emeritus of computer science who sits on the board of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

“All of this taken together leads to a substantial decrease in privacy and a lessening of the importance of privacy in a democratic society,” Rosenberg told the Straight.

Big Brother state wants even more spy powers

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Surveillance: Too much CCTV was the first worry, but now tracking devices and spies are used by public bodies

Daily Mail | Jul 22, 2009

By James Slack and Matthew Hickley

Ministers were attacked by their own surveillance watchdog last night for wanting to make it easier for public bodies to spy on the public.

Sir Christopher Rose, Chief Surveillance Commissioner, also revealed Government organisations were using tracking devices and private investigators to snoop on residents.

And he warned that councils are still using covert tactics to check on suspected minor offenders, despite being banned by law from doing so.
Sir Christopher revealed the extent of the use by police and other public bodies of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) in his annual report.

In the past year, councils and government workers such as benefits officials were given 9,894 approvals to carry out direct surveillance on the public, up from 9,535 a year earlier.

The Mail has previously revealed how their uses included spying on those suspected of putting out their bin on the wrong day or dog fouling.
The police and security services were given 16,118 direct surveillance authorisations last year. It means there was a total of more than 26,000, or 71 every day.

Police recruited 4,278 ‘covert human intelligence sources’ – or spies. Incredibly, councils and other public bodies recruited 234 of the undercover snoopers and informants.

But it is Sir Christopher’s attack on the Home Office’s latest policy regarding Ripa which will most surprise ministers.

Earlier this year, the department started a consultation on supposedly making it harder for councils to use Ripa for the most minor offences.
But Sir Christopher said one question slipped into the document asked what more could be done to allow police to use the powers ‘more easily’.

‘It should not be acceptable that the use of covert powers is made ‘easy’ for any public authority,’ he said. His report also revealed how tracking devices were being used by public bodies. But he warned this was not allowed under Ripa.

He said tracking devices should only be used by police for preventing or detecting serious crime.

LibDem spokesman Chris Huhne said: ‘The fact that public authorities undertook nearly 10,000 directed surveillance operations last year makes a mockery of the Government’s supposed crackdown.’

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘Local authority applications under Ripa are a tiny proportion of overall use, but they have been told clearly that offences such as littering and dog fouling do not merit the use of covert investigative techniques.’