Friday, August 19, 2016

"People Can Detect Flashes of Light as Feeble as a Single Photon..."

From David Castelvecchi's 7-19-16 Nature article entitled "People Can Sense Single Photons": 

"People can detect flashes of light as feeble as a single photon, an experiment has demonstrated — a finding that seems to conclude a 70-year quest to test the limits of human vision.

"The study, published in Nature Communications on 19 July, 'finally answers a long-standing question about whether humans can see single photons — they can!' says Paul Kwiat, a quantum optics researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. The techniques used in the study also open up ways of testing how quantum properties — such as the ability of photons to be in two places at the same time — affect biology, he adds.

"'The most amazing thing is that it’s not like seeing light. It’s almost a feeling, at the threshold of imagination,' says Alipasha Vaziri, a physicist at the Rockefeller University in New York City, who led the work and tried out the experience himself."

To read the rest of Castelvecchi's article, click HERE.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

More About Bush & Hinckley

From Russ Baker's 8-16-16 article entitled "Bush Angle to Reagan Shooting Still Unresolved as Hinckley Walks:  A Story I Had to Leave Out of My Book":

"Why did George H.W. Bush and his cabinet determine that John W. Hinckley Jr. — the man who in 1981 tried to kill the newly inaugurated President Ronald Reagan — was a lone nut, and no conspiracy, foreign or domestic, was involved? How did they arrive at this conclusion just five hours after the shooting, without any thorough examination?

"And why won’t the Federal Bureau of Investigation release its documents on the shooter?

"Hinckley, who was released from a federal psychiatric facility on August 5 after 35 years, remains a mystery, and that’s the way the government prefers it. Among the documents the Bureau withholds are those that reveal organizations linked to him — and the names of his associates.

"One noteworthy individual will not even acknowledge knowing of Hinckley beforehand, someone associated with the shooter’s family, and an even longer history of dissociation — George H.W. Bush.

"Most Americans have never heard about this — and even those who have will be intrigued by some little-known aspects. One is the rather unique way the Bush clan has dealt with or sought to dismiss such peculiar situations — and this is hardly the only one in which the family has been enmeshed.

"Here’s an amazing example: Bush Senior, known to family and friends as “Poppy,” claimed he could not remember where he was when he heard that President John F. Kennedy had been shot. I discovered a good reason why he should have remembered — because he, himself, had been in Dallas that morning.

"I learned this while researching the Bush dynasty for what would become the book Family of Secrets. I came upon one odd 'coincidence' after another, weird ones that would make anyone’s eyebrows soar.

"I also saw an FBI memo showing that the man who would later become Bush 41 had secretly called the FBI shortly after the shooting of President Kennedy with information on a man he said might be involved. It turned out that not only was the man not involved, but that Bush knew him personally — and even, via a subordinate, gave the man an alibi.

"Too weird [...].

"Imagine my fascination, then, to learn that John Hinckley Jr., the man who shot and nearly killed President Ronald Reagan in 1981 — an attempt which, if successful, would have resulted in then-Vice President George H.W. Bush moving up to the top spot — was none other than a friend of the Bush family.

"How strange is that? So strange that it literally caused NBC News’s anchor John Chancellor’s eyebrows to arch as he reported the curious connection.

"The story was broken by the now-defunct Houston Post, and then picked up briefly by the AP and UPI wire services, and some newspapers, plus Newsweek.

"Then it vanished without a trace or further inquiry or comment in the mainstream media.

"The story was so baffling and off-putting that even I, in writing Family of Secrets more than a quarter-century later, did not mention it. I was preparing to publish a book with so many shocking elements that the publisher and I worried about whether the mainstream media would even dare cover it, or review it fairly; in that context, the Hinckley-Bush connection seemed one provocation too far."

To read Baker's entire article, click HERE.

For a related article, check out this 9-17-13 post entitled "Did George H.W. Bush Witness JFK Assassination?:  FBI Files, Newspaper Ad and Curious Photos Raise Question."

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Peter Thiel Wants Your Blood

From Jeff Bercovici's recent article entitled "Peter Thiel Is Very, Very Interested in Young People's Blood":

"More than anything, Peter Thiel, the billionaire technology investor and Donald Trump supporter, wants to find a way to escape death. He's channeled millions of dollars into startups working on anti-aging medicine, spends considerable time and money researching therapies for his personal use, and believes society ought to open its mind to life-extension methods that sound weird or unsavory.

"Speaking of weird and unsavory, if there's one thing that really excites Thiel, it's the prospect of having younger people's blood transfused into his own veins.

"That practice is known as parabiosis, and, according to Thiel, it's a potential biological Fountain of Youth--the closest thing science has discovered to an anti-aging panacea. Research into parabiosis began in the 1950s with crude experiments that involved cutting rats open and stitching their circulatory systems together. After decades languishing on the fringes, it's recently started getting attention from mainstream researchers, with multiple clinical trials underway in humans in the U.S. and even more advanced studies in China and Korea.

"Considering the science-fiction promise of parabiosis, the studies have received notably little fanfare. But Thiel has been watching closely.

"In Monterey, California, about 120 miles from San Francisco, a company called Ambrosia recently commenced one of the trials. Titled 'Young Donor Plasma Transfusion and Age-Related Biomarkers,' it has a simple protocol: Healthy participants aged 35 and older get a transfusion of blood plasma from donors under 25, and researchers monitor their blood over the next two years for molecular indicators of health and aging. The study is patient-funded; participants, who range in age from late 30s through 80s, must pay $8,000 to take part, and live in or travel to Monterey for treatments and follow-up assessments."

To read the rest of Bercovici's article, click HERE.

Monday, August 15, 2016


From David Gauvey Herbert's 8-5-16 Bloomberg article entitled "This Company Has Built a Profile on Every American Adult":

"Forget telephoto lenses and fake mustaches: The most important tools for America’s 35,000 private investigators are database subscription services. For more than a decade, professional snoops have been able to search troves of public and nonpublic records—known addresses, DMV records, photographs of a person’s car—and condense them into comprehensive reports costing as little as $10. Now they can combine that information with the kinds of things marketers know about you, such as which politicians you donate to, what you spend on groceries, and whether it’s weird that you ate in last night, to create a portrait of your life and predict your behavior.
"IDI, a year-old company in the so-called data-fusion business, is the first to centralize and weaponize all that information for its customers. The Boca Raton, Fla., company’s database service, idiCORE, combines public records with purchasing, demographic, and behavioral data. Chief Executive Officer Derek Dubner says the system isn’t waiting for requests from clients—it’s already built a profile on every American adult, including young people who wouldn’t be swept up in conventional databases, which only index transactions. 'We have data on that 21-year-old who’s living at home with mom and dad,' he says.
"Dubner declined to provide a demo of idiCORE or furnish the company’s report on me. But he says these personal profiles include all known addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses; every piece of property ever bought or sold, plus related mortgages; past and present vehicles owned; criminal citations, from speeding tickets on up; voter registration; hunting permits; and names and phone numbers of neighbors. The reports also include photos of cars taken by private companies using automated license plate readers—billions of snapshots tagged with GPS coordinates and time stamps to help PIs surveil people or bust alibis.
"IDI also runs two coupon websites, and, that collect purchasing and behavioral data. When I signed up for the latter, I was asked for my e-mail address, birthday, and home address, information that could easily link me with my idiCORE profile. The site also asked if I suffered from arthritis, asthma, diabetes, or depression, ostensibly to help tailor its discounts.
"Users and industry analysts say the addition of purchasing and behavioral data to conventional data fusion outmatches rival systems in terms of capabilities—and creepiness. 'The cloud never forgets, and imperfect pictures of you composed from your data profile are carefully filled in over time,' says Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, a consulting firm. 'We’re like bugs in amber, completely trapped in the web of our own data.'
"When logging in to IDI and similar databases, a PI must select a permissible use for a search under U.S. privacy laws. The Federal Trade Commission oversees the industry, but PI companies are largely expected to police themselves, because a midsize outfit may run thousands of searches a month."
To read the rest of Herbert's article, click HERE.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Northpointe's Secret Algorithms, COMPAS, and the Center for the Study and Reduction of Violence

From Ethan Chiel's 7-27-16 Fusion article entitled "Secret Algorithms That Predict Future Criminals Get a Thumbs Up from Wisconsin Supreme Court":

"There’s software used across the country that predicts whether people are likely to commit a crime. It’s not quite Minority Report, but the same basic idea is behind it: The software assesses various data points about a person and then gives him or her a risk score; the higher the score, the more likely they are to commit a crime in the future. The scores are used by judges in a number of different jurisdictions for sentencing people convicted of crimes.
"Back in May ProPublica published an investigation into the risk-assessment software that found that the algorithms were racially biased. ProPublica looked at the scores given to white people and black people and then whether the predictions were correct (by looking at whether they actually committed or didn’t commit crimes); they found that in Broward County, Florida, which was using software from a company called Northpointe, black people were mislabeled with high scores and that white people were more likely to be mislabeled with low scores.
"This is obviously problematic, as a possible outcome is that judges will give longer sentences to black people based on an erroneous computer assessment of their risk. And that’s something a defendant named Eric Loomis seriously objects to. Northpointe’s software, called COMPAS, was used in his case in Wisconsin. All of these companies say the formulas used to come up with the scores are proprietary so defendants can’t find out why they were deemed low or high risk. Loomis decided to appeal, saying that the use of secret algorithms in the criminal justice system violates his right to due process."
Click HERE to read the rest of Chiel's article, then compare the above excerpts to the following passage from Chapter Two of my first book, Cryptoscatology:  Conspiracy Theory as Art Form (TrineDay, 2012):
"The same year [i.e., 1974] Dr. [Jose] Delgado was telling Congress that 'We need a program of psychosurgery for political control of our society,' [...] Dr. Louis Jolyon West was proposing just such a plan to the Governor of California, Ronald Reagan.  West hoped to create a Center for the Study and Reduction of Violence at an abandoned missile site in the Santa Monica Mountains.  He stated in print that young black males were unusually violent and required special treatment."  

According to Samuel Chavkin's 1978 book The Mind Stealers, Dr. West's Center for the Study and Reduction of Violence was to be established in order to: 

"...develop 'behavioral indicators, profiles, biological correlates,' to assist 'school administrators, law enforcement personnel and governmental departments' to detect and control 'overt expression of life-threatening behavior by identifiable individuals and groups' [...]. Many critics of Dr. West's proposal were up in arms over the fact that two junior high schools would provide much of the source material for the investigation into the genetic factors which predisposed violence, 'one in a predominantly black ethnic area; the other in a predominantly Chicano area.' One of the most persistent critics of the center proposed by Dr. West was Dr. Isidore Ziferstein, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. 'We have a new situation on our hands,' Dr. Ziferstein said. 'Because of the intensifying economic decline it is inevitable that more and more jobless will go beyond the limits of the law to satisfy their needs. There are probably upwards of 30 percent of our population who are permanently impoverished ... And once these 30 percent become convinced that the democratic process is not working for them, they become desperate and may resort to violent means. There is a rising radicalism in their midst and there is an uppitiness among the blacks and the Chicano prisoners which prison officials find intolerable. To subdue them, the authorities are using new methods. They're employing the psychiatric armamentarium and a new technological tool set -- what has come to be known as psycho-technology. Under the guise of therapeutic behavior modification they're applying anything from Anectine and other aversive drugs to psychosurgery.' For the first time in the history of the United States, criteria were to be set up for the labeling of individuals believed to be potentially criminal, even though they had committed no crime ... those to be drawn upon for experimentation would be children, minority group members, and prisoners. Dr. Ziferstein scorned the idea of 'predicting' which people are potentially violent. 'This means labeling persons as potential criminals, and involves a serious threat to civil liberties.'"

Dr. West may have died in January of 1999, but apparently his perverse dream has morphed and lives on in a different form for a brand new century.  Political researcher Alex Constantine (author of Psychic Dictatorship in the U.S.A., among other valuable books) sheds further lights on Dr. West's Center for the Study and Reduction of Violence in his 4-24-13 Constantine Report post entitled "Fascists in White Coats:  The CIA's Dr. Louis Jolyon West & the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute," which you can read by clicking right HERE.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Who Watches the Shared Responsibility Committees?

From Julian Hattem's 4-29-16 The Hill article entitled "Key Dem Wants Watchdog to Probe Little-known FBI Program":
"The top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee is asking a federal privacy watchdog to look into mysterious FBI committees designed to prevent people from turning into radical extremists.
"The groups — which are meant to be a voluntary collaborations between law enforcement and community leaders — appear to exist without clear limitations and could violate people’s privacy, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) worries. 
"'Little information is known about the protections, if any, allotted for the voluntary intervention leaders,' Thompson told the head of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board in a letter on Friday.
"'Referrals to the committee do not end or preclude FBI from conducting concurrent criminal investigations,' he added. 'Moreover, intervention leaders are not protected from becoming a part of ongoing investigations and future criminal and judicial proceedings.'
"Thompson asked David Medine, the head of the privacy watchdog, to investigate whether the committees are conducted within the bounds of the law and if any privacy or civil liberties are violated. 
"Little is known about how the 'Shared Responsibility Committees' operate, but they have raised alarm among some rights groups for what critics believe is unfair targeting of Muslims. The committees are designed to bring together law enforcement officers, religious leaders, mental health experts and others to pinpoint vulnerable people before they turn violent."
To read the rest of Hattem's article, click HERE.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

John Catt's Secret Police Files

From Rob Evans' 7-25-16 Guardian article entitled "Protester, 91, Goes to European Court Over Secret Police Files":

"A 91-year-old whose political activities were covertly recorded by police has won the right to take his legal case to the European court of human rights

"John Catt, who has no criminal record, has fought a six-year battle to force the police to delete their surveillance records of his activities at 66 peace and human rights protests.

"The police had noted descriptions of his appearance and clothes at the demonstrations and how he liked to draw sketches of the protests.

"The case in front of the European court could help to determine how much information police are permitted to record on law-abiding individuals taking part in protests. 

"Judges in the court said one of the key questions they would consider is whether the retention of the records was legal and necessary in a democratic society.

"Police have been criticised for keeping intelligence files on the political activities of thousands of campaigners, including Green parliamentarians Caroline Lucas and Jenny Jones, and journalists. 

"The police’s intelligence unit tasked with catching so-called 'domestic extremists' says it needs to track large numbers of protesters in case they commit crimes to achieve their political goals. 

"Catt, a war veteran who has been involved in the peace movement since 1948, lost his legal battle at the supreme court in 2015 after winning in the court of appeal

"On Monday, Catt said: 'Denied justice in Britain, I am now taking my fight to Europe in the hope that if successful, the case will set a benchmark in regulating what information the state is legally entitled to collect and retain about lawful protesters, and where unlawfully retained, it should be destroyed.

“'I believe that this is a case about the democratic right to protest free from fear of unwarranted police surveillance, retention of data and endlessly being shadowed.'"

To read Rob Evans' entire article, click HERE.