Total Pageviews

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Monsanto, Blackwater, Bill Gates

I have copied and pasted this blog in my blog to widen it's publication.  Most of my readers are in the USA and will be much more familiar with the people mentioned in this publication than I am.  Here is the link to the original blog.  I have no problem believing that Monsanto would do as described but Why on earth would Bill Gates support this legalized  criminality.  True, he is a hard nosed businessman in his core business but he has done so much good outside his business.  It's hard to understand.

Monsanto Buys BLACKWATER the largest mercenary army in the world


Cross Posted from Political Blindspot

A report by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation revealed that the largest mercenary army in the world, Blackwater (later called Xe Services and more recently “Academi”) clandestine intelligence services was sold to the multinational Monsanto. Blackwater was renamed in 2009 after becoming famous in the world with numerous reports of abuses in Iraq, including massacres of civilians. It remains the largest private contractor of the U.S. Department of State “security services,” that practices state terrorism by giving the government the opportunity to deny it.
Many military and former CIA officers work for Blackwater or related companies created to divert attention from their bad reputation and make more profit selling their nefarious services-ranging from information and intelligence to infiltration, political lobbying and paramilitary training – for other governments, banks and multinational corporations. According to Scahill, business with multinationals, like Monsanto, Chevron, and financial giants such as Barclays and Deutsche Bank, are channeled through two companies owned by Erik Prince, owner of Blackwater: Total Intelligence Solutions and Terrorism Research Center. These officers and directors share Blackwater.
One of them, Cofer Black, known for his brutality as one of the directors of the CIA, was the one who made contact with Monsanto in 2008 as director of Total Intelligence, entering into the contract with the company to spy on and infiltrate organizations of animal rights activists, anti-GM and other dirty activities of the biotech giant.
Contacted by Scahill, the Monsanto executive Kevin Wilson declined to comment, but later confirmed to The Nation that they had hired Total Intelligence in 2008 and 2009, according to Monsanto only to keep track of “public disclosure” of its opponents. He also said that Total Intelligence was a “totally separate entity from Blackwater.”
However, Scahill has copies of emails from Cofer Black after the meeting with Wilson for Monsanto, where he explains to other former CIA agents, using their Blackwater e-mails, that the discussion with Wilson was that Total Intelligence had become “Monsanto’s intelligence arm,” spying on activists and other actions, including “our people to legally integrate these groups.” Total Intelligence Monsanto paid $ 127,000 in 2008 and $ 105,000 in 2009.
No wonder that a company engaged in the “science of death” as Monsanto, which has been dedicated from the outset to produce toxic poisons spilling from Agent Orange to PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), pesticides, hormones and genetically modified seeds, is associated with another company of thugs.
Almost simultaneously with the publication of this article in The Nation, the Via Campesina reported the purchase of 500,000 shares of Monsanto, for more than $23 million by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which with this action completed the outing of the mask of “philanthropy.” Another association that is not surprising.
It is a marriage between the two most brutal monopolies in the history of industrialism: Bill Gates controls more than 90 percent of the market share of proprietary computing and Monsanto about 90 percent of the global transgenic seed market and most global commercial seed. There does not exist in any other industrial sector monopolies so vast, whose very existence is a negation of the vaunted principle of “market competition” of capitalism. Both Gates and Monsanto are very aggressive in defending their ill-gotten monopolies.
Although Bill Gates might try to say that the Foundation is not linked to his business, all it proves is the opposite: most of their donations end up favoring the commercial investments of the tycoon, not really “donating” anything, but instead of paying taxes to the state coffers, he invests his profits in where it is favorable to him economically, including propaganda from their supposed good intentions. On the contrary, their “donations” finance projects as destructive as geoengineering or replacement of natural community medicines for high-tech patented medicines in the poorest areas of the world. What a coincidence, former Secretary of Health Julio Frenk and Ernesto Zedillo are advisers of the Foundation.
Like Monsanto, Gates is also engaged in trying to destroy rural farming worldwide, mainly through the “Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa” (AGRA). It works as a Trojan horse to deprive poor African farmers of their traditional seeds, replacing them with the seeds of their companies first, finally by genetically modified (GM). To this end, the Foundation hired Robert Horsch in 2006, the director of Monsanto. Now Gates, airing major profits, went straight to the source.
Blackwater, Monsanto and Gates are three sides of the same figure: the war machine on the planet and most people who inhabit it, are peasants, indigenous communities, people who want to share information and knowledge or any other who does not want to be in the aegis of profit and the destructiveness of capitalism.
So why were so many media outlets, editorialists and bloggers clamoring to say that the purchase was a “hoax”?
That’s a good question. The more cynical among us might suspect a financial incentive from Monsanto itself to such “journalists.” Monsanto indeed has hired a public relations team to seek out critical blogs and websites reporting on their crimes against both Nature and humankind. We have seen this first hand in comments on articles on Monsanto. It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that they have created blogs where seemingly legitimate authors write organic thoughts, observations and rebuttals. The public presumes these are real-world people, when in fact they are working PR for the company.
But the core argument of those who claim that the Monsanto purchase of Blackwater is not true lies in the fact that we can only officially document Blackwater being hired by Monsanto for years. Immediately following this extensive work that Blackwater did for Monsanto, they sold the company. Because of the nature of how the sale transpired, it is impossible to document who the sale was to. The obvious and logical conclusion to insiders (particularly in the private security industry), however, is that the sale was in fact to Monsanto who had been employing the group.
Xe (now Academi) has, indeed, been purchased, and while there’s no way of DOCUMENTING who the new owners really are, the logical conclusion would be that Monsanto, who had been employing them prior to the sale are the new owners. This, of course, would also make sense of the secrecy surrounding the deal and the identity of the new owners. The company was bought out by private investors via private equity companies that don’t have to divulge any of their dealings, with Bank of America providing much of the $200 million in financing for the deal.
New York-based USTC Holdings said it will acquire Xe and its core operating subsidiaries, but did not disclose the price or terms of the agreement in a statement.
USTC Holdings is an investor consortium led by private equity firms Forte Capital Advisors and Manhattan Partners.
Various researchers have been trying to document the buy via a paper trail, but so far without much luck. That, of course, is the point…
Keeping it private
One thing that is known: Forte Capital Advisors is the baby of long-time Blackwater ally Jason De Yonker:
DeYonker has unique experience with the Company that dates back to its founding in the late 1990s. He advised the Company through development of its early business plan and expansion of the Moyock training facility as well as supporting negotiations of its first training contracts with U.S. government agencies. Between 1998 and 2002, Mr. DeYonker co-managed Xe founder, Erik Prince’s family office which included management of Mr. Prince’s portfolio companies.
What does that mean? The guy is a glorified accountant.
Prior to joining Forté, Jason co-managed a +$100 million family office. In addition to actively managing various platform companies, Jason was a part of the executive team responsible for family wealth management.
Jason has spent the last 18 years advising on various mergers, acquistions and divestitures with an aggregate transaction value greater than $1 billion. Jason’s experience include: transaction advisory, portfolio management, real estate development, venture capital and cross border dealings. Jason began his career with Arthur Andersen Corporate Finance Group, and was a Director in Deloitte & Touche’s Corporate Finance Group. He also was the Finance Director for the West Family Trust, a venture capital group focused on cross-border transactons.
Jason recieved a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a concentration in finance and accounting, from the Univeristy of Michigan.
The other investor? It looks like the very junior partner will be Manhattan Partners, a private equity company – a shop that gathers money from anonymous rich investors and uses the pool of cash to  leverage buyouts of big companies they wouldn’t have been able to take over on their own.
Manhattan Partners invests in “compelling growth and special situation transactions,” but this will be their first known foray into defense industries – reports (via Spencer Ackerman):
Manhattan Growth Partners is led by Dean Bosacki and Patrick McBride. Bosacki serves on the board of “the world’s largest commencement photography business,” among other companies. Manhattan Growth Partners, which describes itself as “a progressive thinking private equity firm,” also holds a majority interest in Hugo Naturals, a line of organic, vegan-friendly soaps, lotions, scents and soy candles sold at Whole Foods and other greenwashed retailers.
At the end of the day, it would seem the logical conclusion is that in spite of arguments to the contrary, Monsanto in fact did buy the Blackwater mercenary group… or at least the renamed Blackwater Xe (now Academi) Services group. The big question now is why?
follow SouthWeb On Twitter 
 this and more articles by this Blog 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sibel Edmons - Classified Woman

Sibel Edmons is the author of the book Classified Woman.  In it she exposes corruption at the highest levels and deep breaches of National Security in the USA.  Let me give you a brief summary of her life.

She was brought up in Turkey and in Iran where her father was a doctor and a freedom fighter.  She is fluent in Turkish and very competent in Farsi.  She immigrated by herself to America and did her degree at an American University.  She is very competent in English.  At one point, after 9/11 she was approached by the FBI to join their translation department.  She did and was soon in great demand by field agents.  Because of her deep knowledge of her homeland, she could not only translate verbal and written material but could give the agents the likely background of the people that were being targeted.

On joining the FBI she at first thought that translating would be a mundane sort of a job with very little responsibility.  She soon discovered otherwise.  Since only the translator could give an initial evaluation of the material that they were reading or listening to, it was at their discretion to mark a document as not worth translating, worthy of a brief summary or of great importance and to be translated verbatum.

At first she found only the usual abuses that occur in a typical bureaucracy.  There was empire building to the detrement of the core function of the translation department, great wastes of money, extremely sloppy security, in-house wars between translators on opposite sides of the fence in their home countries (Israelie vs Arab translators, for instance) and in short, what you would probably find in any Washington government office.  When she first started, she was told to look at a few past translations to get an idea of how the job was done.  She soon discovered highly incompetent translations and even cover ups by translators that should have been brought to the attention of the agents in charge of various operations.  The files in question were quickly taken from her by other translators and 'dissapeared'.

Following 9/11, the FBI was going over past translation to see if in hindsight, any clues were overlooked that 9/11 was about to happen.  There were but Sibel found out that hindsight was not even necessary.  Briefings had been sent up the chain before 9/11 and should have reached the periodic briefing to the president on terrorism.  Of course, at her level, she had no idea if someone above her had thought that the intelligence was of no importance and hence hadn't sent it on, if the intelligence had reached the highest level and they had thought it of no importance or if there was a cover up and high officials knowingly let 9/11 happen.

Then she  was approached by one of the other translators at her home who tried to recruit her to falsify translations for money.  She worked out that the translator in question was actually on the payroll of an organization that the FBI was targeting.  In addition she found threads that seemed to lead to extremely serious corruption amongst government officials, both elected and civil servants including the selling of nuclear technology to the highest bidder.  So what did she do. Did she do as Snowdon and Bradley did and publicly  expose the rot.  Not on your nelly.

She did what any civil servant should do and went to her immediate boss.  She was stonewalled and lectured on internal solidarity and loyalty to her division.  She finally went to the agent in charge of the division and on up the chain until after a hard fight she reached the head of the FBI.  At some levels she received help and a sympathetic ear.  At most levels she was stonewalled, threatened and ignored.  People in the chain of command that tried to help her get the message across were similarly treated.  Eventually she was fired.  She didn't give up the fight but managed, through lawyers, to get a hearing at seniour government oversight comittees.  She was likewise stonewalled.  Finally she wrote the book, Classified Woman.  I would highly recommend it.

Oh! by the way, the reason for the title of the bookis that at the highest level she was classified as top secret.  I don't mean that she had a top secret clearance for viewing documents.  I mean, she herself was classified as top secret.  It is considered a crime in the land of the free to say anything about her.  You mustn't reveal where she was born, what university she studied at, what degree she got, what languages she speaks and so forth.  Remember, this is in America.  Her book is available at Amazon in hard copy and for your Kindle. I'd get it quickly before they manage to remove it.

Some further reading you might find interesting

A Peoples History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, Hoodwinked and The American Empire by John Perkins

Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner

The price of Inequality by Joseph E Stiglitz  

Just an afterthought.  We have recently had a series of American officials, up to and including president Obama, bemoaning the effect on National Security of the leaks by Snowdon and Bradley.  If their concern is National Security, then Sibel should be their darling, their heroine.  Investigating and dealing with what she discovered would do far more for national security than all the electronic spying that is occurring.  You have to ask yourself, why a person that has exposed such serious breaches of National security has been treated the way she has been.  The answer is pretty obvious.

By the by, you can access Sibel's web site here.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Suzuki Carry

What a neat little vehicle - The Suzuki Carry.  Great features where needed such as four wheel drive but no frills, making it a most affordable, useful vehicle.  I wonder if we could persuade Suzuki to manufacture the Suzuki e'Carry.  'e' for electrical of course.*

*I just looked a little closer at the Suzuki web site.  Guess what.  They are about to introduce the Suzuki Every.  This is an electric mini van.  It's a tad short on range (100km) and hasn't got solar panels on the roof but what great news.  They are on the right track.

There are many versions made under licence by many manufacturers in many countries.  The two main types of configurations are vans and pick up trucks and generally the latest ones will carry half a ton and go at up to 130km/h.  I am particularly interested in an electrical van mode, for reasons that will become clear.  So what features would I like to see on the e'Carry.

Use the present body style.  No need to retool.  Keep it the same for ever.  The people at Suzuki have already realized the advantage of this and the first version is remarkable similar to the 9th.  What a great idea.  Retooling, just for style, costs money and this is one way they have kept the price of the Carry reasonable.  However, if they want the e'Carry to become iconic, it must look distinctive. Just think about the Volkswagen beetle and combi, the Mini, the Deaux Cheveau and the model T ford.  None of them are things of beauty but all are so iconic.   Here we can kill two birds with one stone.  Cover the roof of the van with solar panels.  No one expects to drive only on solar power but in areas with about three peak hours per day, one should be able to gain about 25km of driving for a day the vehicle is parked in the sun.  Peak hours around the world vary from one to two hours in Germany to 6.6 hours in some parts of Hawaii and some of the deserts of the world.   A roof covered with solar panels would give the owner a nice little bonus.

The best type available for fast charging, longevity, safety and so forth.  When new battery technology comes available, make sure that the new batteries will fit where the old ones sat.  Batteries must be easily and totally recyclable. Batteries which no longer have the capacity to run a car will find a ready market for home use with solar panels.

Four Wheel Drive
Keep this feature.  It is very useful.  The existing petrol model will go places that challenges a tractor.  What a fantastic off road vehicle this is.  Perhaps, if the technology allows, one could have a rim motor in each wheel.  This already gives a sort of automatic ESC system to some extent.  When a wheel spins, say on ice, the back EMF of the spinning wheel increases and  power is diverted to the wheels that still have traction.  This, of course, could be augmented with electronics.  A major advantage of a motor on each rim is that all that connects the wheel to the battery is a wire.  There is no drive train to use up power.

Make sure that the e'Carry is very easy to work on.  This should be easy.  An electric vehicle is inherently so much  simpler than a petrol vehicle.  To change a motor should be as simple as undoing 6 nuts, pulling out the motor and sliding a new one into it's place.  If there are wheel rim motors, a few nuts should allow the offending motor to be replaced.  Provide a repair manual done by Time Life or Readers Digest.  Their manuals are works of art and so easy to follow.

Tool Kit
Ensure by the standardization of nut and screw sizes that the minimum number of tools is needed.  Supply a tool kit that fits into a purpose built nitch in the car. If any unusual tools are needed (bearing puller, for instance) they can be rented from the supplier.

None.  Zilch.  The vehicle should be so reliable that a warantee is not necessary.  Besides any joker with a basic set of tools should be able to repair virtually anything by himself.  Warantees cost money.  At the very least make them an optional extra.

LSD's of course everywhere a light is necessary to save power.  Make sure that they have a standard socket so that in a pinch one could find a replacement even if it was not an official Suzuki lamp.  Besides, owners of other cars will be buying the Suzuki lamp because it is more reliable and is better priced.

Hand wound.  Make it a reliable, long lasting winding system.  Perhaps use brass gears and racks rather than plastic.  They should wind up as smoothly after 200,000km as they did  the day the car was bought.

Regenerative, of course.

Put out a quarterly magazine discussing how to do various proceedures, stories how people had built their own bodies out of wood, travel stories and any other quirky item that comes to the  attention of Suzuki.  Give a one year's subscription with each purchase of a new car.

Have one outlet in each major city.  Locate in the inexpensive industrial area of town.  No need to do repairs there.  These outlets are only there to sell vehicles and parts.  Mechanics will soon learn to do anything that the owner is too lazy to do himself.  

Start with 10 vehicles given to everyone from the boss of Suzuki to the tea lady.  Let them drive them for a year and iron out any bugs that are found.  Then make 100 and give them to a variety of businesses in a variety of countries.  After a year, debug any further problems.  By this time, the public will be clamoring for the e'Carry.  Go into production.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Negative Feed Back in the Arctic

We have all being focusing on positive feed backs  which enhance  climate change in general and arctic ice melting in particular.  The most commonly quoted positive feed back is the fact that as more of the Arctic ocean is open water, it can absorb much more heat from the sun than when it was ice and snow covered and this will melt more ice.  Give the system a push and it goes further in the direction of the push than you expected.  Now we see a negative feed back.

If you have been following the NSIDC web site with it's graph of sea ice extent, you see that as of today (June 28, 2013) the rate of decrease in Arctic Ice Extent is going down parallel to the average line from 1979 to 2000.  It is about one standard deviation below the line but running parallel to it.  This time last year, the ice extent graph had already dipped sharply downward and was diverging from the average line.  So what is happening.

For the last few weeks there has been a strong low pressure, counter clockwise weather system bouncing back and forth between the shores of the Arctic ocean. Low pressure is, of course, an area of rising air; a storm.  As air rises it reaches the dew point and clouds form.  Clouds, of course reflect heat back into space and keep the land below cool.  Earlier in the year, a great deal of fracturing occured north of Alaska and this may well be the source of the added heat that is powering the  low pressure area.  In addition, the ice is thinner which would allow more heat into the air.  Remember what happened last summer.

The ice extent was falling rapidly when on Aug6, 2012, a hurricane moved into the Arctic.  This sent the graph plummeting even faster.  Why the difference between these two storms.

The present storm is happening with the Arctic ocean almost completely covered with ice.  The wind can not act on lots of open water and build up large waves which break up the remaining ice.  It can't stir the water, bringing up the deep, salty, warmer water from below.  The August storm, with much less ice covering the sea,  did all this. plus flinging ice outwards into the trans-polar drift to be sent out through the Fram Straight.  We may have a mechanism here that will cause some stalling of the rapid year to year decrease in the extent of the ice.

One wonders what is powering this low pressure system.  Classically, the power comes from sensible heat from  the ocean below and latent heat as water vapour condenses.  With the Arctic ocean covered with ice, where would the water vapour be coming from.  Perhaps the ocean is not as covered as the NSIDC web site indicates.  Apparently the satelite that measures ice extent reads any area with more than 15% ice as completely covered.  There could be a lot of open water between the ice flows and still appear to the satellite to be completely covered.

Did you see earlier this spring a time lapse of the ice North of Alaska.  The clockwise weater system was apparently in effect and you see pictures of the ice splitting up leaving lots of water between the flows.  Water, is, of course, around zero degrees while the ice can be much colder.  Cosiderable water vapour could be contributed from a significant area of openings between the ice flows.

Whatever the mechanisms of this phenomenon, we have a low pressure area over the Arctic shading the area from the sun.  This year is going to be fascinating.  Apparently a storm early in the melt season is not equivalent to a storm later on.

Of course, to at least some extent, the effect could be an artifact.  Since any area with more than 15% ice cover is seen by the satellite as being completely covered.  In another blog, I described how a counter clockwise air circulation pattern tends to spread ice out.  It could be that there is much more clear water than the satellite indicates but in small leads between the ice flows rather than in one area as is the case with a clockwise air circulation system that tends to pull the ice together leaving open water outside the location of the ice.  In fact clear water has been observed by the North pole.  The existence of a low pressure, counter clockwise system over the Arctic tends to support this possibility as it is a sign of energy being transferred to the air from the water. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Gulf Stream

Let's brain-storm a bit on the Gulf Stream.  This blog has come about because it has been reported that  more of the Gulf Stream, which splits  as it reaches it's northern limit , is flowing  into the Arctic ocean through the Fram Strait than previously.

The Gulf Stream is the northern flowing, western branch of the North Atlantic Gyre.  The Gyre consists of the Gulf Stream which flows from Florida to roughly the latitude of Newfoundland, the North Atlantic Drift which takes this water eastward towards Europe.  the Norwegian branch that splits off and flows along the North West coast of Norway and the Southern Canary Current that flows southward along the coast of Europe and the Northern part of Africa.  Finally there is Equatorial current that returns water along the Equator to North America in the region of the West Indies.  Part of this Equatorial current enters the Gulf of Mexico, warms and leaves the Gulf in the region of Cuba to complete the circuit and become the Gulf Stream.

This gyre is primarily powered by wind.  The Hadley cells which circulate air around the world, with the help of Coriolis result in Equatorial winds blowing westward from Africa to America and mid latitude winds in the latitude of Newfound land and the UK blowing eastward from Canada to Europe.  These push the water resulting in the North Atlantic Gyre.

Even with a wind, water doesn't readily flow uphill so what could be sucking some of this reletively warm surface water into the semi enclosed Arctic ocean and what could be increasing this flow.

 The obvious possibility is that somewhere water is leaving the Arctic ocean to be replaced by surface water sucked northward.  Since the amount of water entering the Arctic Ocean is apparently increasing, the amount leaving should also be increasing.

First there is the possibility that evaporation is increasing.  Evaporation, the transfer of H2O into the air from water, is far stronger than sublimation,  the transfer of  H2O into the air from ice.  A molecule of water at 0 degrees C has far more energy than a molecule of ice at 0 degrees C not to mention water molecules which are above zero degrees.  Year by year, there is more and more open water and so more water vapour should be entering the atmosphere.

Whether or not increased evaporation is increasing the exit of water from the Arctic ocean depends to some extent on where this water is falling.  If it is falling on the catchment of the Arctic ocean and flows back immediately, the effect would be limited.  If, however it falls as snow, even if it falls in the Arctic catchment, there would be a temporary exit of water until the snow melts and sends the water back to the ocean.  If  the water  falls outside the Arctic Ocean catchment, there would be an overall effect.

A second effect is the freezing of sea water.  As sea water freezes, it makes fresh water ice and the salt remains in the water below the ice.  This increase in salinity plus the coldness of the water makes it heavier than the surrounding water and it flows down to the bottom and out through the Fram Straights.  This outflow is balanced by a surface inflow.  Why should this be increasing?

When the Arcic ocean is pretty well covered in ice at the September mimimum, to make more ice, heat has to conduct through the ice out into the air to created more ice at the bottom of the ice sheet.  The thicker the ice, the greater the insulating effect.  With a cover of snow on the ice, the insulation is even greater.  Snow is full of air making it a very good insulator. 

However if you subtract the minimum from the maximum ice volume, year by year, you find that,  while the volume of ice which has formed each year,over the past few years has increased over the long term average, the increase is small compared to the total amount of ice formed.  The average amount of ice formed each winter since 1979 is about 16.39km3 while over the past six years, starting in 2008, ice formation has been 18.69, 17.98, 16.51, 17.51, 17.91 and 18.56km3.  This doesn't seem enough to explain much more warm surface water being sucked into the Arctic basin although 2008 and 2013 stand out as particularly high years.

Online Graphing

The last effect I can think of is wind.  If the wind is blowing more often from the South which with the added effect of Coriolis, will result in winds from the South West, this will push surface  water toward the North East.  In other words, it should increase the flow of the current that flows along the coast of Norway.  This should tend to make it ice free along the coast of Russia more than was the case historically.  So what could increase the incidence of winds from the south.

The jet stream, which is the marker between the Ferrel cell and the Polar Hadley cell has been creeping northward.  In addition, the Rossby waves have been increasing in amplitude.  Winds to the south of the Jet stream are westerlies so the further north the Jet stream, the further north the westerlies and hence a greater proportion of the Gulf Stream flowing up the coast of Norway.

I have long thought that the polar jet stream may close down and the Ferrel cell extend up into the Arctic.  If this happens, we should have westerlies much further north and hence much more of the warm water of the Gulf Stream entering the Arctic Ocean Basin.  This may explain the observations that in the past, temperate conditions extended right up to the shores of the Arctic ocean.