British Prime Minister David Cameron is reportedly considering the drastic step of “pre-crime” blocking of social media sites if the violent riots in his country continue. He contends that such a move would permit authorities more time to “catch up” with arrests of suspects shown rioting on surveillance cameras. The communication platforms under particular scrutiny are Twitter, Facebook, and Blackberry Instant Messenger. In an address to the British House of Commons on Thursday, Cameron explained: Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality. Similar measures were taken by then-President Hosni Mubarak during the Egyptian revolution earlier this year. The Guardian reported on the impact of social networking during the conflict:
The Italian government revisited its plans for handling the nation’s gaping public debt problem. On Friday, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said that tax increases and spending cuts would both be in the new austerity plan. The tax increases included a “special levy” on income above €90,000 per year as well as tax increases on income from financial investments. More specifically, there would be a surcharge of 5 percent on incomes above €90,000 and a 10-percent surcharge on incomes above €150,000. The tax rate on financial income would increase from the current level of 12.5 percent to 20 percent. The government also pledged to crack down on tax evasion. The spending cuts were directly largely at local government. Giuseppe Castiglione, head of the Union of Italian Provinces, almost immediately bemoaned the government cuts, which he said would fall most heavily on direct services to Italians: "When you talk about municipalities, you're talking about social services, when you talk about provinces, you're talking about schools, security at school, local roads."
The Central Intelligence Agency was intimately involved with the federal government’s infamous “Operation Fast and Furious” scheme to send American weapons to Mexican drug cartels while simultaneously working with other agencies allowing narcotics to be shipped over the border, according to a series of explosive reports. Citing an unnamed CIA source, a Washington Times article theorizes that U.S. officials were actively aiding organizations such as the Sinaloa cartel with guns and immunity in an effort to stymie Los Zetas. That’s because, according to the piece, the powerful and brutal criminal Zetas syndicate has the potential to overthrow the government of Mexico — and might be planning to do so. Apparently the secretive U.S. intelligence agency also played a key role in creating and using the American government’s gun-running program to arm certain criminal organizations.
If you thought the Central Intelligence Agency hatched a few wacky plots to get rid of Cuban communist dictator Fidel Castro, such as planting explosive sea shells on the sea shore, the boys at Langley had nothing on British Intelligence during World War II, a new book has disclosed. According to Secret Weapons: Technology, Science and the Race to Win World War II, by Professor Brian Ford of Cardiff University, British intelligence want to lace Adolf Hitler’s food with estrogen to turn him into a woman, London’s Daily Mail reported on Monday: “Agents planned to smuggle doses of oestrogen into his food to make him less aggressive and more like his docile younger sister Paula, who worked as a secretary.” The war seemed to have no end in sight, the Mail reported, so an “Allied plot to turn Herr Hitler into Her Hitler was just one of a number of nutty ideas cooked up to break the stalemate.”
On August 12 the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals delivered what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel termed “a stinging blow to [President Barack] Obama’s signature achievement,” declaring the ObamaCare individual mandate unconstitutional. The court thus “sided with 26 states ... that had sued to stop the law from taking effect,” the paper said.
Texas Governor Rick Perry announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States at a RedState bloggers gathering in Charleston, South Carolina, on Saturday. The event also featured a speech by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. The blog RedState.com describes itself as “the most widely read right of center blog on Capitol Hill” as well as "the most often cited right of center blog in the media." Perry noted at the beginning of his speech: "It is great to be at RedState. And I’ll tell you what, it’s even better to be governor of the largest red state in America." He did not mention, however, that he once worked to make Texas a blue state. In 1988, he served as Texas chairman of Democrat Al Gore's presidential bid. The following year, he joined the Republican Party. He became Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1999 and Governor in 2000.
Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann narrowly bested Texas Representative Ron Paul in the Iowa Straw Poll by a margin of 152 votes out of a total of 16,892 cast in a vote that easily overshadowed establishment favorites Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Tim Pawlenty. Bachmann earned 28 percent (4,823 votes) and Paul earned 27 percent (4,671 votes) among attendees at the traditional Iowa GOP rally. None of the other candidates earned even half as many votes as Bachmann or Paul. Bachmann stressed her Iowa family roots in in her remarks at the Ames Hilton Coliseum, stating that "I tell people everything I needed to learn in life I learned in Iowa" and that "I'm a seventh generation Iowan." That certainly didn't hurt her chances, nor did her repeated talking points about "making Obama a one-term president."
Recently, Al Gore was permitted an opportunity to indulge his obsession with “global warming” at the Aspen Institute, and the former Vice President had some rather choice words for critics of his anthropogenic conception of “climate change.” They are the same people, he declared, who continue “washing back at you the same crap over and over and over again.” Yet they have become so successful at dissembling, we have reached a point where it is now unacceptable in “mixed” or “bi-partisan company to use the godd***ed word ‘climate.’” On three consecutive occasions during his speech, Gore referred to his opponents’ alternative accounts of climate change as “bull****!” Gore isn’t the first high-profile politician to curse in public.
An analysis just released by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco concludes that most of what Americans spend on consumer goods, electronics, clothing, sneakers and the like, stays in America. Surprisingly little comes from China after all. Say the authors: Goods and services from China accounted for only 2.7% of U.S. personal consumption expenditures (PCE) in 2010…Chinese imports make up only a small share of total U.S. consumer spending… Athough globalization is widely recognized these days, the U.S. economy actually remains relatively closed. The vast majority of goods and services sold in the United States is produced here. In 2010, imports were about 16% of U.S. GDP. Imports from China amounted to 2.5% of GDP.
At a time when each day seems to bring more dire news regarding the economy, Americans have one silver lining: the price at the pump is going down. According to energy experts, gas prices should fall anywhere from 30 to 50 cents per gallon over the next several weeks. Crude oil for September delivery dropped to $81.03 a barrel in New York futures trading, but later closed at $85.72 a barrel. Earlier in the week, oil was as low as $79.30 a barrel.