2014 Greatest Hits: Presenting The Most Popular Posts Of The Past Year

2014-2015

2014 Greatest Hits: Presenting The Most Popular Posts Of The Past Year (ZeroHedge, Dec 31, 2014):

A quick glance at the 20 most popular stories of 2014 as determined by you, our readers, shows something troubling: despite the just concluded 6th consecutive year of a rising S&P 500 – the longest such stretch since 1999 of what otherwise would be deemed optimism – despite what should be a steadily improving economy and improving social and economic conditions, what readers founds most fascinating, and troubling, was the increasing preponderance of social disobedience, of covert, proxy or outright wars, and of civil unrest: all phenomena that accompany a world sliding deeper into distress, not as most central banks and their puppet media would have us believe, a global recovery.

But before we get into the details of what has now become an annual tradition for the last day of the year, those who wish to jog down memory lane, can refresh our most popular articles for every year during our brief 6-year existence, starting with 2009 and continuing with 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013: one for every year of the most artificial and fabricated “bull market” in history.

So without further ado, here are the articles that readers found to be the most popular of the past 365 days.

Read more2014 Greatest Hits: Presenting The Most Popular Posts Of The Past Year

Even CIA Admits Torture Doesn’t Work

CIA-torture

Even CIA Admits Torture Doesn’t Work (Washington’s Blog, Dec 31, 2014):

Even the Agency Which DID the Torture Says It Doesn’t Work

Seton Hall Law School Professor Jonathan Hafetz made an important point today :

CIA director, John O Brennan, admitted that the agency “has not concluded that it was the use of EITs [“Enhanced Interrogation Techniques aka torture] that allowed us to obtain useful information from detainees”.

***

The [CIA]  – unlike its loudest defenders – is not endorsing torture as a means of gaining intelligence or keeping the country safe.

***

The flurry of media appearances by Cheney and other torture defenders has created a false sense that there is a genuine divide over whether torture “works”.  But neither the CIA nor professional interrogators actually say that.

Indeed, the CIA has consistently said for many decades that torture doesn’t work:

Read moreEven CIA Admits Torture Doesn’t Work

Why Is The Fed Hiring An “Emergency Preparedness Specialist Familiar With DHS Directives”

DHS1-Homeland Security

Why Is The Fed Hiring An “Emergency Preparedness Specialist Familiar With DHS Directives” (ZeroHedge, Dec 31, 2014):

A few weeks ago, we reported that for some still unexplained reason, the US Treasury is ordering “survival kits” to its employees overseeing the federal banking system. To wit:

The Department of Treasury is spending $200,000 on survival kits for all of its employees who oversee the federal banking system, according to a new solicitation. As FreeBeacon reports, survival kits will be delivered to every major bank in the United States and includes a solar blanket, food bar, water-purification tablets, and dust mask (among other things). The question, obviously, is just what do they know that the rest of us don’t?

We still don’t know why. But what makes things even more surprising, and confusing, is that two days before the survival kit RFP soliciation became public on December 4, 2014, a just as curious notice was blasted by the Fed’s recruiting Twitter account:

So the Fed is hiring not just any “emergency preparedness specialist” but one familiar with DHS directives?

Big Banks Conspire with Giant Oil Company to Manipulate Currency Markets

Big Banks Conspire with Giant Oil Company to Manipulate Currency Markets (Washington’s Blog, Dec 31, 2014):

Banks and Energy Companies Rig Currency Markets

It has long been known that currency markets are massively rigged. And see this, this, and this.

But the banks not only shared confidential information with each other … they also shared it with a giant oil company.

Bloomberg reports this week:

With revenue of almost $400 billion last year and operations in about 80 countries, BP trades large quantities of currency each day. Traders at the company regularly received valuable information from counterparts at some of the world’s biggest banks — including tips about forthcoming trades, details of confidential client business and discussions of stop-losses, the trigger points for a flurry of buying or selling — according to four traders with direct knowledge of the practice.

Read moreBig Banks Conspire with Giant Oil Company to Manipulate Currency Markets

World’s 400 Richest Get Richer, Adding $92 Billion In 2014

Worlds richest
Image from bloomberg.com

World’s 400 richest get richer, adding $92bn in 2014 (RT, Dec 31, 2014):

The 400 richest billionaires in the world added another $92 billion to their names in 2014 and now sit on assets worth $4.1 trillion, but Russia’s super-wealthy have been hit by economic problems resulting from the Ukraine crisis.

The biggest winner in 2014 was China’s Jack Ma, who co-founded the Alibaba Group Holding ltd, (BABA), China’s largest e-commerce company, Bloomberg reports.

Ma, who has a personal fortune of $28.7 billion, has added $25.1 billion to his wealth since the September initial public offering saw shares surge by 56 percent.

Other big winners in 2014 were Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg. Buffet increased his net worth by $13.7 billion as dozens of businesses he had brought over the past five decades produced record profits.

Read moreWorld’s 400 Richest Get Richer, Adding $92 Billion In 2014

180 motorists rescued in Southern California snow

180 motorists rescued in Southern California snow (USA Today, Dec 31, 2014):

Firefighters in Southern California completed the rescue early Wednesday of more than 180 motorists who were stranded when a winter storm brought snow to the San Bernardino Mountains.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department said in a news release that 136 people were rescued on State Highway 138 near the communities of Crestline and Mount Baldy, about 50 miles from Los Angeles.

Read more180 motorists rescued in Southern California snow

Scientific Conference: Fukushima a global threat to human health — Radioactivity in food web off Pacific Northwest to “significantly increase” after one year — Salmon forecast to exceed Japan radiation limit — “Major concern for public health of coastal communities” (POSTER)

FoodWeb_CS137_SETAC

Scientific Conference: Fukushima a global threat to human health — Radioactivity in food web off Pacific Northwest to “significantly increase” after one year — Salmon forecast to exceed Japan radiation limit — “Major concern for public health of coastal communities” (POSTER) (ENENews, Dec 31, 2014):

Conference Paper for Society for Environmental Toxciology & Chemistry (SETAC), Dr. Juan Jose Alava & Dr. Frank Gobas, Simon Fraser Univ., published Dec 1, 2014 (emphasis added):

  • A Marine Food Web Bioaccumulation model for Cesium 137 in the Pacific Northwest — The Fukushima nuclear accident on 11 March 2011 emerged as a global threat to the conservation of the Pacific Ocean, human health, and marine biodiversity… This accident was defined by the [IAEA] as “a major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects requiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures”. Despite the looming threat of radiation, there has been scant attention and inadequate radiation monitoring. This is unfortunate, as the potential radioactive contamination of seafoods through bioaccumulation of radioisotopes (i.e. 137Cs) in marine and coastal food webs are issues of major concern for the public health of coastal communities… [R]eleases of 137Cs into the Pacific after the Fukushima nuclear accident are… prone to concentrate in marine food-webs… [A] simulation time dependent bioaccumulation model… showed that 137Cs can be expected to bioaccumulate gradually over time in the food web… Bioaccumulation of 137Cs was characterized by slow uptake and elimination rates in upper trophic level organisms and dominance of dietary consumption in the uptake of 137CS. This modeling work showed… magnification of this radionuclide takes place in the marine food web over time.
  • Reviewer Comments (Dr. Nikolaus Gantner, Univ. of N. British Columbia): “Excellent abstract and an important contribution to the session in terms of modeling efforts and bioaccumulation. Provides long-term perspective on the issue.”

Dataset for Modeling Work, published Dec 1, 2014:

US creates managed chaos in a country to control it: Analyst

US creates managed chaos in a country to control it: Analyst (PressTV, Dec 30, 2014):

The United States “occupation strategy” involves a cycle of invading a country of interest, turning it into a chaotic mess and then using the chaos as “a justification” for longer military presence in that country, says American political commentator and peace activist Brian Becker.

A day after US President Barack Obama declared the end of the war in Afghanistan, the longest conflict in America’s history, Republican Senator John McCain said the White House should abandon its strict schedule for the withdrawal of US troops from the country and replace it with a “plan based on conditions on the ground”.

Read moreUS creates managed chaos in a country to control it: Analyst