Conspiracy Of Silence (1994)

Conspiracy of Silence, a documentary listed for viewing in TV Guide Magazine was to be aired on the Discovery Channel, on May 3, 1994. This documentary exposed a network of religious leaders and Washington politicians who flew children to Washington D.C. for sex orgies.

Many children suffered the indignity of wearing nothing but their underwear and a number displayed on a piece of cardboard hanging from their necks when being auctioned off to foreigners in Las Vegas, Nevada and Toronto, Canada.

At the last minute before airing, unknown congressmen threatened the TV Cable industry with restrictive legislation if this documentary was aired. Almost immediately, the rights to the documentary were purchased by unknown persons who had ordered all copies destroyed.

A copy of this videotape was furnished anonymously to former Nebraska state senator and attorney John De Camp who made it available to retired FBI Agent Ted L. Gunderson. While the video quality is not top grade, this tape is a blockbuster in what is revealed by the participants involved.

India Man Plants Forest Bigger Than Central Park to Save His Island

Since 1979, Jadav Payeng has been planting hundreds of trees on an Indian island threatened by erosion. In this film, photographer Jitu Kalita traverses Payeng’s home—the largest river island in the world—and reveals the touching story of how this modern-day Johnny Appleseed turned an eroding desert into a wondrous oasis. Funded in part by Kickstarter, “Forest Man” was directed by William Douglas McMaster and won Best Documentary for the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014.

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the web and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic’s mission of inspiring people to care about the planet. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of the National Geographic Society.

Nestle Pays Only $524 to Extract 27,000,000 Gallons of California Drinking Water

Have we reported ANYTHING good about Nestle? Ever? Well, we aren’t starting now.

California has been experiencing a drought and even with all their rain this year they are still in a drought. In fact, even if it rained for a month straight, they would still be in a drought. Given that truth, you would think that Nestle would know better than to be bottling water from natural springs in the San Bernardino National Forest (oh, and they also collected 51 million gallons of groundwater from the same area). But, I suppose the higher ups would have to have a conscience.

The best part of this is that they are doing it all with an expired permit.

Nestle is a thief.

From the article:

“Nestle has somehow managed the most sweetheart of deals for its Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water, which is ostensibly sourced from Arrowhead Springs — and which also happens to be located on public land in a national forest.

In 2013, the company drew 27 million gallons of water from 12 springs in Strawberry Canyon for the brand — apparently by employing rather impressive legerdemain — considering the permit to do so expired in 1988.”

As you can imagine, Nestle wants everyone to know they are taking good care of the land AND that they have paid the expired permit’s annual fee- IN FULL- every cent of the $524 dollars.

Bernie Sanders Talks About Medical Marijuana, Decriminalization, Banking, And Legalization

Many marijuana activists have been waiting for Bernie Sanders to talk more about his stance on marijuana policy. I know I have been. We all know that he is more progressive on marijuana policy than most, and has made many comments about non-legalization policy issues, but has yet to come out with a fully endorsed plan for legalization. Bernie Sanders recently did an interview on public television on a show called Little Village. During the interview Bernie Sanders was specifically asked about marijuana policy, and had the following to say, via Raw Story:

One of the things that hasn’t been spoken about a great deal so far in the race for 2016, is the decriminalization of marijuana, said Walker. “Do you have a policy position on that?” he asked Sanders.

“My home state of Vermont has decriminalized marijuana and I support that,” the senator said. “In other words, if you are possessing a small amount of marijuana it should not be a criminal offense, it will be civil, and you might have to pay a fine on that.”

“I support marijuana use for medical purposes,” Sanders continued, “and we’re exploring the pluses and minuses — of which there are both — of moving more aggressively on that issue.”

“Do you believe that it is the purview of the federal government to legislate the criminalization of marijuana?” Walker asked.

“What the federal government can do is say to the state of Colorado that if you choose to vote to legalize marijuana, we will allow you to do that without restrictions,” said Sanders.

“As I understand it,” he said, “in Colorado, people who run marijuana shops can’t put their money in banks, for example. That’s a violation of federal law. So I think there are things that the federal government can do that would make it easier for states that want to go in that direction to be able to do so.”

“Would you be in favor of having the federal government be more active in moving in that direction?” Walker said.

“That’s something we’ll have more to say about,” said Sanders. “It’s a very good question and it’s a fair question. Let me not jump on what I want to be more thoughtful about in the coming weeks and months.”

A Mathematician May Have Uncovered Widespread Election Fraud, And Kansas Is Trying to Silence Her

Kansas loves them some voter fraud hysteria. From going to the Supreme Court to try and make doubly-sure that non-citizens can’t vote in their elections to setting up a voter fraud website where citizens can report every kind of voter fraud except the kinds that have actually happened in the state, Kansas is on the forefront of voter fraud readiness and protection.

Except, perhaps, when it comes to the machines they use to record their votes.

According to the Wichita Eagle, Wichita State mathematician Beth Clarkson has found irregularities in election returns from Sedgwick County, along with other counties throughout the United States, but has faced stiff opposition from the state in trying to confirm whether the irregularities are fraud or other, less-nefarious anomalies.

Analyzing election returns at a precinct level, Clarkson found that candidate support was correlated, to a statistically significant degree, with the size of the precinct. In Republican primaries, the bias has been toward the establishment candidates over tea partiers.

In general elections, it has favored Republican candidates over Democrats, even when the demographics of the precincts in question suggested that the opposite should have been true.

Clarkson’s interest in election returns was piqued by a 2012 paper released by analysts Francois Choquette and James Johnson showing the same pattern of election returns, which favor establishment Republican candidates in primaries and general elections. The irregularities are isolated to precincts that use “Central Tabulator” voting machines — machines that have previously been shown to be vulnerable to hacking. The effects are significant and widespread: According to their analysis, Mitt Romney could have received over a million extra votes in the 2012 Republican primary, mostly coming at the expense of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. President Obama also ceded significant votes to John McCain due to this irregularity, as well.

Gun Buyers May Not Be Following Background Check Law

In 2014 voters approved a Washington initiative that requires buyers to undergo a background check when they purchase a gun from another private citizen.

Initiative 594 was designed to close the so-called “gun show loophole.”

But analysis of federal data by the KING 5 Investigators raises questions about how effective that law has been.

Only 2% of background checks in Washington in 2015 stemmed from “private party” sales of guns, according to data in the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check – or NICS – system.

That number is surprising to researchers Philip Cook of Duke and Jens Ludwig of the University of Chicago, who study gun violence.

They say that their own research – and studies by others – have shown that up to 40% of gun sales nationwide are between private citizens. They’re skeptical that the 2% reported to the FBI is an accurate picture of the private gun market in Washington state.

“I suspect…there are a lot of unreported private-market sales going on,” Ludwig said in an email to KING 5.

In other words, the data could indicate that many gun sellers and buyers are evading the law.

“Jonathan” – who asked that we not reveal his real name – is one of them.

“People knew there was a threat to our rights,” he said of I-594.

Jonathan says he’s bought or sold several guns since the law went into effect.

“As far as following the law, roughly 50% of those (sales) I followed the law,” Jonathan said.

Jonathan says many gun owners connect via private websites and meet up to buy and sell guns without the background check.

“If you hit me up on Facebook and say ‘I’d like to buy your pistol’, I can go through your Facebook right then and there and look at the kind of person you are right from your pictures,” Jonathan said.

He says he uses his own means to determine if a buyer is a reasonable gun owner and doesn’t believe that I-594 in constitutional.

Many others may be following suit.

NICS data shows that 170,876 background checks were conducted in Washington state between April and October of last year. The FBI started collecting the data from Washington in April.

Of all those background checks, only 3,290 of them – less than 2% — were conducted for private party sales.

The data is entered by federally licensed firearms dealers. I-594 requires private buyers to report to a licensed dealer who conducts the background check – usually for a fee.

Firearms dealer Kelly Bachand, who owns Kelly’s Gun Sales in Tukwila, say the low number may also be attributed to firearms dealers incorrectly filling out federal paperwork.

“It’s not very obvious or easy to find the information as far as how it should be filled out,” said Bachand.

It does not appear that anyone has ever been prosecuted for violating I-594. The Washington Administrative Office of the Courts says it does not have any record of anyone being charged under the law in 2015.

I-594 has stopped some felons from getting guns.

A firearms enthusiast in Snohomish County, who did not want to be identified, told KING 5 that he backed out of a deal when a background check identified the buyer as a felon.

Even so, the Snohomish County man feels I-594 is more of a hindrance on law-abiding citizens instead of criminals.

Even though he follows the law, he says there is much resentment in the gun community.

“I would say the majority of people who are buying and selling guns aren’t following the law,” the man said.

Why Oculus’s bitter DRM arms race exacerbates the Rift’s disappointing launch

There’s a program called Revive. It allows you to (for the most part) play Oculus Rift games on the HTC Vive. And why not? The two headsets are, at their core, pretty damn similar. If anything, the Vive has more functionality than the current Rift, meaning it should be easier to go Rift-to-Vive than vice versa.

The problem: Oculus paid (a lot of, I assume) money for a handful of exclusive titles—Lucky’s Tale, EVE Valkyrie, Chronos—to convince people to buy a Rift. If people can wrap them to run on the Vive, it’s like Oculus paid for nothing!

So Oculus patched in new DRM and Revive stopped working. Then over the weekend Revive cracked the new DRM. Such is life.

Pyrrhic victory

I’d write Oculus an open letter, but I don’t really have much to say. Four words, maybe: “Stop. Oculus, please. Stop.”

Nothing good can come of entering a DRM arms race. The best case scenario here (for the company) is that Oculus manages to lock down its games to a single, tightly-controlled platform. And sure, that doesn’t sound too bad—if you don’t care about what people think of you.

I once considered Oculus the ideal company to bring virtual reality to the masses. Sure, it was a business. Always. But it paid lip service to something greater. We saw a lot of Palmer Luckey back in those days, clad in flip-flops and talking about how VR was more important than any single company. Hell, he reiterated that sentiment to UploadVR back in March:

That attitude was enshrined in Oculus Share, a Wild West haven for any and all things VR. In the Oculus developer kit era, all “official” Rift content was hosted through Share. Demos, games, experiences, video players, about a million virtual roller coasters, content with dubious amounts of copyright infringement, documentaries—it was all on Oculus Share. Most of it for free.

And it made sense. This is how you foster a scene. You give people the tools, you give people the means to distribute, and the diehard fans will create things for fun. For free. See also: Mods.

And it’s also fine that Oculus Share got sidelined for the much more formalized Oculus Store when the Rift released. Now it’s a consumer-facing product, and you don’t want (or shouldn’t want) grandma’s first VR experience to be a janky roller coaster demo that runs at 10 frames per second and makes her vomit.

LAPD may roll out a Tesla Model S police car as soon as 2017

A few months ago, we reported that the Los Angeles Police Department was contemplating adding a few Tesla Model S vehicles to their fleet. With Tesla loaning the LAPD two Model S P85D vehicles for evaluation, LAPD Police Administrator Vartan Yegiyan explained that the underlying goal was to determine how the luxury sedan would perform in a city environment and to ascertain any benefits and drawbacks it would introduce as an everyday patrol car.

What’s more, the LAPD also indicated that they were evaluating the Tesla Model S’ capabilities as a high-pursuit vehicle, altogether not terribly surprising the Model S’ reputation for speed.

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Now comes word via NBC Los Angeles that the LAPD’s flirtation with Tesla is progressing quite a bit. Whereas the LAPD previously conducted private testing with the Model S, the latest report relays that the LAPD will now be outfitting a Model S with police equipment and electronics whereupon it will actually use it as a patrol car in the real world.

As part of the LAPD’s effort to become more environmentally friendly, NBC notes that the “LAPD will equip a Tesla sedan for patrol duty and then field test its suitability.” Tesla will reportedly assist the LAPD in its efforts to outfit the Model S with all the requisite police gear.

If all goes according to plan, Yegiyan said that he hopes to have an operational Model S in the field as early as 2017.

The LAPD of course is no stranger to EVs. This past summer, the police department acquired 100 BMW i3s for non-emergency situations. The LAPD notes that while the i3s are helpful, they lack the requisite power and range that the LAPD needs from field-ready patrol car.

Should the Model S perform well, we still shouldn’t expect to see the LAPD fleet become Tesla heavy anytime soon. Yegiyan explained that Tesla’s today are still too expensive but added that once the cost of the cars go down, the LAPD will be ready.

Johnny Mundo (John Morrison) “I’d love to wrestle Roman Reigns in 10 years, because by then hopefully he’d figure out how to work”.

John Morrison has told The World According To Wrestling, a show that explores characters and storylines in wrestling, that he’d love to wrestle Roman Reigns in about ten years because “hopefully he’d have figured out how to work.” In the same interview he also joked that he’d love to beat the crap out of Seth Rollins and reignite a rivalry with his friend Joey Mercury in the future.

The comments came in an interview in which Morrison (now Johnny Mundo in Lucha Underground) also talked about the live screen-testing of his character name in WWE, where he thinks the real revolution in women’s wrestling is happening, why his Johnny Nitro name was dropped, AJ Styles and the future of Lucha Underground after rumours of talks with WWE.

Below are some interview highlights:

On who he wants to wrestle in the future:

“Well I’ve fought most them. Everyone knows some day I’m gonna beat the crap out of Seth Rollins – that would be awesome. I’d love to beat the crap out of him. I’d just love to have a great match with Seth Rollins. Roman Reigns, I’d love to wrestle him in like 10 years if he’s still wrestling, because by then hopefully he’d figure out how to work. It would be cool to wrestle Joey (Mercury) too, man, we wrestled a few times in OVW about 13 years ago but it’d be cool to wrestle him now just because so much has changed for both of us.”


Male Birth Control, Without Condoms, Will Be Here by 2017

Vasalgel, a reversible form of male birth control, just took one step closer to your vas deferens.

According to a press release from the Parsemus Foundation, a not-for profit organization focused on developing low-cost medical approaches, Vasalgel is proving effective in a baboon study. Three lucky male baboons were injected with Vasalgel and given unrestricted sexual access to 10 to 15 female baboons each. Despite the fact that they have been monkeying around for six months now, no female baboons have been impregnated. With the success of this animal study and new funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Parsemus Foundation is planning to start human trials for Vasalgel next year. According to their FAQ page, they hope to see it on the market by 2017 for, in their words, less than the cost of a flat-screen television.

So how does Vasalgel work? It is essentially a reimagining of a medical technology called RISUG (reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance) that was developed by a doctor named Sujoy Guha over 15 years ago in India, where it has been in clinical trials ever since. Unlike most forms of female birth control, Vasalgel is non-hormonal and only requires a single treatment in order to be effective for an extended period of time. Rather than cutting the vas deferens—as would be done in a vasectomy—a Vasalgel procedure involves the injection of a polymer contraceptive directly into the vas deferens. This polymer will then block any sperm that attempt to pass through the tube. At any point, however, the polymer can be flushed out with a second injection if a man wishes to bring his sperm back up to speed.