December 26, 2006

December 27, 2006

Former President Gerald Ford Dies at 93 - "The nation's 38th president, and the only one not elected to the office or the vice presidency, died at his desert home at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday."

Iraq prepares for rapid Saddam execution - "Iraq was preparing for the rapid execution of former dictator Saddam Hussein, with the US-backed government eager to bring his chapter in the country's bloody history to an end."

Will Bush Explain Why War Continues? - "The president is obviously frustrated that most Americans no longer see it his way. He has been quoted as saying he may be dead before Americans "get it.""

U.S. Deaths in Iraq Exceed 9-11 Count - "The U.S. military death toll in Iraq has reached 2,974, one more than the number of deaths in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, according to an Associated Press count on Tuesday."

Question: Why doesn't the US condemn Ethiopian invasion and occupation of Somalia? - "Answer: Because Ethiopia is being used as a US Proxy to attack another Muslim country."

Military considers recruiting foreigners - "The armed forces, already struggling to meet recruiting goals, are considering expanding the number of noncitizens in the ranks -- including disputed proposals to open recruiting stations overseas and putting more immigrants on a faster track to US citizenship if they volunteer -- according to Pentagon officials."

THE MORALITY OF THINK TANK MILLIONAIRES - "When customized moral codes and legislation are commissioned by councils of obscene wealth, average Joe and Jane can expect more than trouble. Think tanks have become the determiners of mankind’s future, for they are paid to implement morality and behavior laws according to the governing intentions of the world’s rich. This is a historically terrifying scenario and one that the world’s people forget over and over again. It is also a historical pattern based upon the psychology of human ignorance, which is why massive societal changes and “world wars” tend to occur in recurring patterns of about 50 years. Given a few generations, people forget the atrocities of former wars, which in turn give rise to the planning mechanisms for new and improved confiscations of the peoples’ wealth and land - or, in translation, new wars."

Poor record-keeping plagues Bush AIDS effort - "Report finds $15 billion program unable to verify claims of success."

Okla. bombing probe flayed - "The FBI failed to fully investigate information suggesting other suspects may have helped Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, allowing questions to linger more than a decade after the deadly attack, a congressional inquiry concludes."

FBI Considered "It's A Wonderful Life" Communist Propaganda - "According to Professor John Noakes of Franklin and Marshall College, the FBI thought Life smeared American values such as wealth and free enterprise while glorifying anti-American values such as the triumph of the common man. The FBI specifically detested the way Mr. Potter was portrayed:"

Senate sex blog suit heads toward X-rated trial - "Lurid testimony about spanking, handcuffs and prostitution aside, the Washingtonienne case could help establish whether people who keep online diaries are obligated to protect the privacy of the people they interact with offline."

Evolution Stickers Gone for Good in Cobb County - "School officials in Cobb County, Georgia, yesterday agreed to drop their 4-year attempt to tell high school biology students that evolution is only a "theory." Local school officials had fought a ruling by a federal judge to remove stickers that they had placed on textbooks, but yesterday, they threw in the towel, pledging to adhere to the state science curriculum and also to pay $167,000 in legal fees to the plaintiffs."

Should Stupid Thoughts Be Crimes? - "And yet millions of parents in the West persist in feeding the lie of Father Christmas to their innocent trusting children for as long as possible, until they realize they're being punked, and maybe I shouldn't trust mommy and daddy so much any more? It's an accepted acceptable untruth. Santa deniers are killjoys and spoilsports, not to be listened to. They have the right to deny, of course. One wouldn't dream of jailing them for simply stating their opinion. After all, aren't we in the West entitled to freedom of speech and belief? You may not agree with me, but I have the right to say what I think -- don't I?"

U.S. out of love with marriage? - "In reality, Americans seem to be swirling in a mist of confusion about family life. In many ways, they crave a world in which marriage and children are the pinnacles of life. But year after year, the country seems to be inching toward a culture in which adult pleasures and pastimes have a higher value than monogamy and minivans."

The man's heart stopped beating after a heart attack, but the man did not die - "Nikolai Mikhalnichuk, a resident of the Russian city of Saratov, is a unique man. He is the only person in Russia, who lives with a still heart."

Double hand transplant 'success' - "A woman who became the first in the world to receive a double hand transplant has left hospital."

How To Build a Better Body - "Pills? Pop 'em. The scalpel? Sharpen it. New ways to train? Bring them on. The Wired way to max out your bod. PLUS: 3 steps to a perfect baby. Roll over the squares to see more..." -- Hmmm.

Study: Kids' bodies trained to tolerate allergies - ""I really think in five years there's going to be a treatment available for kids with food allergy," says Burks."

More Dangerous Than Smoking? Death by Soda - "Drinking one soda a day could cause you to gain 15 pounds a year. Other related health risks include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, bowel cancer and nerve damage."

Parasite 'turns women into sex kittens' - "A COMMON parasite can increase a women's attractiveness to the opposite sex but also make men more stupid, an Australian researcher says."

Ancient pyramids discovered in Bosnia - "Reports are emerging from Bosnia-Herzegovina of structures that make the pyramid of Giza look like a scale model."

Scientists launch 'planet hunter' - "A French-led satellite launched on Wednesday to seek out new Earth-like planets beyond the solar system and to explore the interior of stars."

Reality TV puts disabled women in beauty show - "Contestants must display a “handicap visible to the eye” in Miss Ability, a Dutch show that became the surprise hit of 2006 in the Netherlands. Twelve women, including amputees and wheelchair-bound contestants, parade in nightgowns and bathing suits."

Do you love your dog enough to turn him into art and hang him on the wall? - "He now runs a business in which a bereaved owner sends ashes and bone fragments, along with a pet biography, to his PO Box. He then produces an individualised tribute to the animals in the form of a unique framed artwork."

Quote of the Day
"Your function is to send money to the government, not to understand what the government does with it."
~ Dave Barry

December 25, 2006

December 25, 2006

Es-Ka-LAY-Shun - "Say it: escalation. More and more that's what the geniuses in Washington have come up with as a way of ending the war in Iraq. Instead of calling it an escalation of the war, they are using the military term of art, "surge." Ok, fine. Surge, escalation, "reset", call it what you will. The fact is that the American people voted in November to end the war in Iraq, and the White House has demonstrated that, kabuki-style consultations to the contrary, it just doesn't care."

U.S. Is Holding Iranians Seized in Raids in Iraq - "The Bush administration made no public announcement of the politically delicate seizure of the Iranians, though in response to specific questions the White House confirmed Sunday that the Iranians were in custody."

Iran summons US representative over detention of diplomats - "Iran on Monday summoned the Swiss ambassador, whose country represents the United States interests in the Islamic republic, over the detention of Iranian diplomats by the US military in Iraq, ISNA news agency reported. The Foreign Ministry conveyed its protest to US officials via the Swiss ambassador and termed the move as being against all diplomatic norms. The US military detained at least four Iranians in Iraq on suspicion of carrying out or planning attacks against Iraqi security forces, the New York Times reported Monday."

When Resolve Turns Reckless - "I say this to President Bush as someone who learned the hard way how embracing the world's complexity can be twisted into a crude political shorthand. Barbed words can make for great politics. But with U.S. troops in Iraq in the middle of an escalating civil war, this is no time for politics. Refusing to change course for fear of the political fallout is not only dangerous -- it is immoral."

Alarming 9/11 claim is found baseless - "The Senate Intelligence Committee has rejected as untrue one of the most disturbing claims about the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes — a congressman's contention that a team of military analysts identified Mohamed Atta or other hijackers before the attacks — according to a summary of the panel's investigation obtained by The Times."

10 myths -- and 10 truths -- about atheism - "Given that we know that atheists are often among the most intelligent and scientifically literate people in any society, it seems important to deflate the myths that prevent them from playing a larger role in our national discourse."

Worship God not technology, pope says - "Humankind, which has reached other planets and decoded the genetic instructions for life, should not presume it can live without God, Pope Benedict said in his Christmas message on Monday."

George Orwell Was Right: Spy Cameras See Britons' Every Move - "Almost 70 years after George Orwell created the all-seeing dictator Big Brother in the novel ``1984,'' Britons are being watched as never before. About 4.2 million spy cameras film each citizen 300 times a day, and police have built the world's largest DNA database. Prime Minister Tony Blair said all Britons should carry biometric identification cards to help fight the war on terror. ``Nowhere else in the free world is this happening,'' said Helena Kennedy, a human rights lawyer who also is a member of the House of Lords, the upper house of Parliament. ``The American public would find such inroads into civil liberties wholly unacceptable.''" -- Sadly, she is mistaken.

Reliable New PET Scan Detects Alzheimer's Without Surgery - "A new type of PET scan has been used to detect Alzheimer's non-invasively. It gives results that are as good as doing an autopsy, a new research study suggests."

James Brown, the 'Godfather of Soul,' dies at 73 - "James Brown, the legendary R&B belter, a singer and songwriter who created a foundation for funk and provided the roots of rap, a man of many nicknames but a talent that can only be described as one of a kind, is dead."

Quote of the Day
"Merry f*cking Christmas, to you!"
~ Mr. Garrison, South Park

December 23, 2006

December 23, 2006

Gates denies naval buildup in Gulf is meant as threat to Iran - "US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday that an increased US naval presence in the Gulf is not a response to any action by Iran but a message that the United States will keep maintain its regional footprint "for a long time.""

Bush caved to pressure on troops - "President Bush only acceded to a jump in the number of U.S. Army and Marine Corps ground troops after intense pressure from senior officers, active and retired, including the Joint Chiefs, defense sources said."

Lieberman Officially Endores Escalation in Iraq - "“After speaking with our military commanders on the ground,” he said Wednesday in an e-mail, “I strongly believe that additional U.S. troops must be deployed to Baghdad.”"

Agency to Test Military Draft Machinery - "Meanwhile, the secretary for Veterans Affairs said that "society would benefit" if the U.S. were to bring back the draft and that it shouldn't have any loopholes for anyone who is called to serve. VA Secretary Jim Nicholson later issued a statement saying he does not support reinstituting a draft."

Rep: 'Everything depends' on bringing Christianity to Iraq - ""Stability in Iraq," Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC) allegedly claimed, "ultimately depends on spreading the message of Jesus Christ, the message of peace on earth, good will towards men. Everything depends on everyone learning about the birth of the Savior."" -- As of now, this statement has not been verified.

Iran turns from dollar to euro in oil sales - "Iran is selling more of its oil for payment in euros than dollars as it seeks to shift its foreign currency reserves away from the depreciating currency of its political enemy, the United States."

Lawmaker Fears Election of 'More Muslims' - "Keith Ellison, who is the first Muslim elected to Congress, has angered some conservatives, who want him to swear on a Bible before he takes office." -- Huh? Do Jewish members of congress have to swear on a Bible?

No Hillary, no Barack Obama, no McCain, no Giuliani – it is time for an Internet candidate – the surprise of 2008 Presidential election - "Something is cooking very fast that can seal the fate of typical career politicians in Washington and elsewhere. The Internet revolution has started the stage for an Internet candidate. According to many think tanks, people are looking for a new way and an Internet candidate with an internet party. The Google, the Youtube – the Internet has finally given the power back to common people. People are ready to throw the typical politicians out. Let them collect funds from special interests and fund raising dinner and perform with a perpetual grade of ‘F”. It is time for the Internet in 2008. It is time for a new start – no more Democrat, Republican – a new party – an Internet Party." -- I'll run.

Chavez wins "Person of the Year" poll ... Time magazine ignores result - "A few days ago, Time Magazine announced the winner of its annual "Person of the Year" award. Many supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution will be disappointed to hear that Hugo Chavez did not make it despite the fact that he won Time's online poll by a wide margin and got 35% of the votes. This is significant, as Chavez had been the number 1 in the poll for several weeks and was clearly set to win the award."

'NY Times' Finally Publishes Op-Ed 'Redacted' by C.I.A. - "For days, it was an open secret that The New York Times was holding an Op-Ed piece after the Central Intelligence Agency objected to publication of parts of it. ... The Times finally published it Friday -- with sections literally blacked out."

We mustn't forget that some of greatest murderers of modern times were Jewish - "Lenin, Stalin, and their successors could not have carried out their deeds without wide-scale cooperation of disciplined "terror officials," cruel interrogators, snitches, executioners, guards, judges, perverts, and many bleeding hearts who were members of the progressive Western Left and were deceived by the Soviet regime of horror and even provided it with a kosher certificate."

Ex-agent reveals KGB mind control techniques - paper - "A former KGB officer has divulged secrets of special mind control techniques that security services in developed nations used during and after the Cold War, a Russian government daily said Friday. ... Another of the general's revelations is that senior officials in Western Europe and the United States unwittingly provided information to his department, which was able to read their minds thanks to Soviet-era scientific achievements."

Theatre scraps play on Mideast 'martyr' - "Opting to avoid the dangerous liaisons of Middle East politics, the Canadian Stage Company has called off plans to bring the play My Name Is Rachel Corrie to Toronto, the Star has learned."

Rape Charges Dropped in Duke Case - "Prosecutors dropped rape charges Friday against three Duke University lacrosse players accused of attacking a stripper at a team party, but the three still face kidnapping and sexual offense charges."

Climate Change vs Mother Nature: Scientists reveal that bears have stopped hibernating - "Bears have stopped hibernating in the mountains of northern Spain, scientists revealed yesterday, in what may be one of the strongest signals yet of how much climate change is affecting the natural world."

Governors, legislatures joining forces to implement mandatory health plans - "Laws already are on the books in Massachusetts. Vermont, Utah, Illinois and several other states are in some stage of looking at proposals to require that residents all prove they have health insurance – or face the potential of fines."

Judge: Can't link to Webcast if copyright owner objects - "A federal judge in Texas has ruled that it is unlawful to provide a hyperlink to a Webcast if the copyright owner objects to it."

Americans spend every cent - and more - "Don't call us the Grinch for bringing this up with Christmas right around the corner, but Americans are spending more than they're earning, and some critics say the economy is at risk because of this."

Board games reach biblical proportions - "The market for religious board games and toys like these is tiny, and a bit quirky. But sales numbers indicate demand is growing as families seek out wholesome entertainment, selections expand and the Internet gives greater access to retailers." -- So, "wholesome entertainment" has to be religious?

'Christian' Game Leaves Behind A Pile of Corpses - "The Left Behind video game encourages you to celebrate the birth of Jesus by wasting dozens of people at a time, using a variety of Christ-sanctioned weapons."

Ex-cop plans video on how to hide drugs - "A one-time Texas drug agent described by his former boss as perhaps the best narcotics officer in the country plans to market a how-to video on concealing drugs and fooling police. ... Cooper, who said he favors the legalization of marijuana, made the video in part because he believes the nation's fight against drugs is a waste of resources. Busting marijuana users fills up prisons with nonviolent offenders, he said."

Soy is making kids 'gay' - "Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality."

Report: School aid not distributed evenly - "But this link rewards states more for their wealth than their efforts to educate poor kids, according to the Education Trust, a Washington-based children's advocacy group."

Study: Psilocybin Relieves OCD Symptoms - "A preliminary study of the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms has found it is effective in relieving the symptoms of people suffering from severe obsessive compulsive disorder, a University of Arizona psychiatrist reports."

Arizona ends Nevada's 19-year reign as fastest-growing state - "Arizona led the nation with a population growth rate of 3.6 percent in the past year, followed by Nevada, Idaho, Georgia and Texas."

Giant squid caught on video by Japanese scientists - ""Nobody has ever seen a live giant squid except fishermen," team leader Tsunemi Kubodera of the museum's zoology department said in an interview on Friday. "We believe these are the first ever moving pictures of a giant squid.""

Brazilian berry destroys cancer cells in lab, UF study shows - "A Brazilian berry popular in health food contains antioxidants that destroyed cultured human cancer cells in a recent University of Florida study, one of the first to investigate the fruit’s purported benefits."

Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain - "Evidence is mounting that some kinds of chocolate are actually good for you. Here's the latest about the healthy side of your chocolate habit and taste-tested advice on what to try. Merry munching."

Quote of the Day
"Never underestimate the power of a lie."
~ Anonymous

December 21, 2006

December 21, 2006

Pentagon Wants $99.7B More for Wars - "Overall, the war in Iraq has so far cost about $350 billion. Combined with the conflict in Afghanistan and operations against terrorism elsewhere around the world, the cost to taxpayers has exceeded $500 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service." -- Wasted money.

CIA exercise reveals consequences of defeat - "The CIA this month conducted a simulation of how the Iraq war affects the global jihadist movement, and one conclusion was that a U.S. loss would embolden al Qaeda to expand its ranks of terrorists as well as pick new strategic targets, according to sources familiar with the two-day exercise."

Ahmadineajd: Iran now nuclear power - "The announcement of Iran as a "nuclear power" is bound to significantly escalate tensions between the West and Iran, and marks a dramatic stage in the Islamic Republic's nuclear campaign. In recent days, the US military has begun to build up forces around the Gulf, in what is being seen as as a warning to Iran."

Ahmadinejad: Britain, Israel, US to 'vanish like the pharaohs' - "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has predicted that Britian, Israel and the United States would eventually disappear from the world like the Egyptian pharaonic kings. "The oppressive powers will disappear while the Iranian people will stay. Any power that is close to God will survive while the powers who are far from God will disappear like the pharaohs," he said Wednesday, according to Iranian news agencies."

Holy Warriors Set Sights on Iran - ""The end of the world as we know it is rapidly approaching," Hagee wrote in his most recent book, Jerusalem Countdown: A Warning to the World. "Just before us is a nuclear countdown with Iran," he wrote, "followed by Ezekiel's war [as described in Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39], and then the final battle – the battle of Armageddon." For Hagee, best-selling author Joel Rosenberg, and other Christian Zionists, Israel plays the critical role in End Time scenarios. Their books, commentaries, and public statements reflect their beliefs that serial conflicts in the Middle East are a sign of the biblical prophecy presaging Armageddon, the return of Jesus Christ, and the final battle for the souls of mankind."

Soldiers in Iraq urge Gates to send more troops - "U.S. soldiers in Iraq urged new Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday to send reinforcements but generals expressed concern that deploying more troops might delay the time when Iraqis take control."

President Confronts Dissent on Troop Levels - "The debate over sending more U.S. troops to Iraq intensified yesterday as President Bush signaled that he will listen but not necessarily defer to balky military officers, while Gen. John P. Abizaid, his top Middle East commander and a leading skeptic of a so-called surge, announced his retirement."

Bush can't kick habit of military might - "HERE WE GO again: A new secretary of defense and yet another call for ending the war in Iraq by escalating it. What are they smoking in the Bush White House?"

If it is broke, don't fix it - "Only the Bush White House and its Pentagon planners believe Iraq is a war still be won. When will the reality dawn on them?"

This is where George Bush gets dangerous - "We now have six years of evidence that George Bush is not all there. The occupant of the White House has consistently demonstrated an extraordinary ability to evade reality and a reckless proclivity to steer the nation by a distorted compass made up of cocaine-induced delusions and two decades of insobriety. Add to this mix a little religious fanaticism and a gigantic ego that serves to accentuate an acute case of intellectual dwarfism. In Bush, we have a man who accepts only the counsel of those that agree with his rudimentary understanding of history. The man is a gambling fool – the kind of loser who doubles up as his political fortunes evaporate."

Desperation in the White House - "This president has made it painfully obvious that he has no intention of listening to anyone who doesn't believe that he's going to win in Iraq. He'll march stubbornly onward without any real change of course until high noon on January 20, 2009, when his successor will inherit both the hard decision to pull out of Iraq and the back bills for his reckless, feckless misadventure."

Bush "Developing Illegal Bioterror Weapons" for Offensive Use - "In violation of the US Code and international law, the Bush administration is spending more money (in inflation-adjusted dollars) to develop illegal, offensive germ warfare than the $2 billion spent in World War II on the Manhattan Project to make the atomic bomb."

No money to treat 9/11 workers, $3 billion a week to fight Iraq? - "Is this a new 9/11 conspiracy The New York Times is reporting? That “roughly $40 million that was set aside by the federal government to treat rescue workers, volunteers and firefighters who became ill after helping with the 9/11 cleanup and recovery will run out in months, physicians and federal officials said yesterday.” And the fund goes broke while the war meter ticks in Iraq at nearly $3 billion a week? On top of that, that sanctimonious Contra criminal, Robert Gates, sworn in Monday as defense secretary warns us that failure in Iraq would be a “calamity” that would haunt the United States for years. Well Bobby, we’ve got a “calamity” here in New York (still part of the United States) that has haunted us for five years and won’t go away. So take your “commanders' assessments” “unvarnished and straight from the shoulder” and you know where to put ‘em."

Yeah, it Feels Just Like Vietnam All Over Again. - "Yeah….. ummm… hmmm... Smell that? Smells just like Vietnam doesn’t it? Weren’t they fighting for democracy over there too? Ostensibly I mean. What’s the word for ‘gook’? Is it ‘towel-head?’, ‘camel fucker’? How do you say, “I give you long time G.I.” in Arabic?"

JFK and 9/11 - Insights Gained from Studying Both - "Now if you remember the case of Oswald, and I have to do this from memory here, so correct me if I am wrong about the details, but within minutes of the assassination and long before Oswald is picked up in the Texas Theater, they put out on the police network and possibly other networks, a description of the killer – five foot ten – 165 pounds (WR 5), which exactly matches what is in his FBI file, exactly matches what’s in CIA documents about him. 2 One of the problems is it doesn’t match the actual height and weight of the man picked up and charged, which is more like five foot nine and 140 pounds.3 And it’s also very suspect because as far as we can trace the origins of this exact fit with the FBI file, it’s attributed to Howard Brennan 4– who saw someone two blocks from here in the sixth floor window, from the waist up. So you’ll have to figure out how they were able to get that exact. It appears they already knew who was going to be charged before they found him in the Texas Theater. Now the parallel to that for 9/11 is, I have to say, even more astounding, because of Richard Clarke, who was director for counter-terrorism activities in the White House, and a very important eyewitness. His book Against All Enemies is almost totally ignored by the 9/11 Commission, and it had to be ignored by the Commission because it is at odds, in many important respects, with what the 9/11 Report says (which I will get back to). But he tells us that at 9:59 am on September 11, which is the time when the second tower collapses, the North Tower, the FBI already had a list of the alleged hijackers. 5 This is extraordinary in the first place because the FBI always says about itself that it doesn’t do much intelligence in the field of terrorism; its specialty is criminal investigation afterwards. They had the names of hijackers at 9:59; at 9:59 am Flight 93 had not yet crashed. And even more astonishingly, if we believe the 9/11 Report (which of course on this point I do not believe), NORAD, which was searching for the hijacked planes, wasn’t aware that Flight 93 had been hijacked until 10:08, which is nine minutes later." -- Hmmmm.

Is It Now Illegal To Link To Other Websites? - "A landmark legal ruling in Sydney goes further than ever before in setting the trap door for the destruction of the Internet as we know it and the end of alternative news websites and blogs by creating the precedent that simply linking to other websites is breach of copyright and piracy." -- Hmmm.

Government declares war on homeschooling families - "The German government, in a throwback to its National Socialist Workers Party heritage, has declared war on homeschool families, promising to bring those with banned "religious convictions" into alignment with the state regulations."

Jakarta airport debuts iris scanner to speed traveler - "Jakarta's busy international airport introduced an iris scanner system on Thursday aimed at business travelers willing to pay around $200 per year to avoid long immigration lines."

Pope Benedict Warns of Secular Trends - "Pope Benedict XVI urged Christians on Wednesday to defend the spirit of Christmas against secular trends during his last general audience before the holiday. ... "It is the duty of Christians to spread through a witness of life the truth of Christmas, which Christ brings to every man and woman of good will.""

Vatican Cardinal: Chastity Fights AIDS - "Fidelity in marriage and premarital abstinence from sex are the key weapons in the fight against AIDS, a senior cardinal who prepared a study on condom use said Wednesday. ... The Vatican study on condoms only deals with married couples in which one partner has HIV, the AIDS-causing virus." -- Abstinence is not a realistic option for humans.

Family Planning Is Family Values - "Listen to the apocalyptic rhetoric of the religious right and you'll find an important theme emerge:"

Class War Weapon of Choice: For the Holidays and All Days - "Any regular person who does not understand that Americans are in a class war is out of touch with our economic reality. Rich and powerful elites that are running and ruining our country have the upper hand. Wiping out the middle class to create a two-class society nationally and globally suits them. The Upper Class can steer most wealth to themselves and spread a small amount around to keep the Lower Class content enough not to revolt. Ordinary people have a powerful weapon to fight their oppressors, yet have not yet used it. It is their money, more specifically their discretionary consumer spending. The reasons for not controlling and politicizing their spending merit examination. Time is running out to understand why millions of supposedly rational people spend themselves into economic slavery."

N.J. Gov. to Make Gay Unions Official - "New Jersey's gay couples are gaining all the rights and responsibilities of marriage under state law as New Jersey moves to become the third in the nation to institute civil unions and the fifth to offer some version of marriage."

Study: Teens getting high on legal drugs - "The government-funded study, conducted by the University of Michigan, found that a high number of teens are taking over-the-counter cold medicine to get high. Measured for the first time, teenagers' abuse of such medicine is widespread, the survey said."

Poll: Stress knows few boundaries - "About three-fourths of people in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea and the United Kingdom say they experience stress on a daily basis, according to AP-Ipsos polling. Those anxious feelings are even more intense during the holidays. Spaniards, 61 percent, were not as wound up as those in most other countries polled. And they could all take a lesson from Mexico, where more than half of Mexicans said they rarely or never experience stress in their daily lives. But that is certainly not the experience for most people in the 10 countries polled -- especially women."

Internet addicts caught up in web - "THE internet has spawned a new breed of obsessives who are showing symptoms of addiction to using Google, Wikipedia and other websites., according to scientists. The new addicts who have acquired nicknames such as Wikipediholics, MySpacers or photolurkers are believed to have developed these traits because of the instant access to sites which fascinate them."

Shock Waves Can Save Hearts - "Extracorporeal cardiac shock wave therapy sounds like something Capt. Picard might need after a run-in with the Borg. But it's actually a new, real-life way to treat end-stage heart disease. A team of Japanese researchers found that blasting the heart with shock waves helps patients grow new blood vessels and increase blood flow."

Power of thought moves robot - "University of Washington researchers have discovered a method to control the movement of a humanoid robot with signals from a human brain."

Genetics of eye colour unlocked - "Scientists have made a breakthrough in their understanding of the genetics behind human eye colour. They found that just a few "letters" out of the six billion that make up the genetic code are responsible for most of the variation in human eye colour."

Sniffers Show That Humans Can Track Scents, And That Two Nostrils Are Better Than One - "In a paper appearing this week in the advance online edition of Nature Neuroscience, UC Berkeley researchers report conclusive evidence from these experiments that humans do indeed gain a performance advantage from cross-nostril comparisons. They also found that humans can scent-track, and that, with training, they can improve their accuracy significantly while nearly doubling their speed along the scent trail."

Quote of the Day
"The contribution of American culture to humanity is consumption obsession."
~ Joel S. Hirschhorn

December 20, 2006

December 20, 2006

U.S. reports capture of al Qaeda in Iraq leader - "U.S.-led forces captured a senior al Qaeda leader who was responsible for hundreds of civilian deaths and housed foreign fighters who carried out suicide bombings, the U.S. military said Wednesday. The leader, who was not identified, was arrested in a raid in Mosul on December 14, the military said in a statement."

U.S. Not Winning War in Iraq, Bush Says for 1st Time - "President Bush acknowledged for the first time yesterday that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq and said he plans to expand the overall size of the "stressed" U.S. armed forces to meet the challenges of a long-term global struggle against terrorists."

Iraq troop buildup idea worries generals - "The military's caution on shipping thousands of additional troops temporarily to Iraq is based on a fear that the move could be ineffective without bold new political and economic steps."

Georgie, There's a Crowd Downstairs - "Now, there's been a lot of talk lately on Capitol Hill about how impeachment should be "off the table." We're told that it's time to look ahead--not back...Can you imagine how far that argument would go for the defense at an arraignment on charges of grand larceny, or large-scale distribution of methamphetamines? How about the arranging of a contract killing on a pregnant mother? "Indictment should be off the table." Or "Let's look forward, not backward." Or "We can't afford another failed defendant.""

White House Now Grows Skittish Over Iranian Demarche of 2003 - "The White House does not want the public to know that in May 2003, the Iranian Foreign Ministry floated the prospect of a wide-ranging dialogue with America on everything from uranium enrichment to anti-Israel terrorism. At least this is what a former Middle East director of the National Security Council, Flynt Leverett, is saying after the CIA's publication review board would not approve an op-ed he wrote, which was slated to run this week in the New York Times."

The Bush Era Draws to a Close - "2006 will be remembered as the year in which our government imprisoned journalists, embraced kidnap and torture as a "no-brainer," and moved toward implementing an infrastructure for total surveillance of American citizens. Hopefully, it also will be remembered as the year we started to bring these practices to a halt."

Road to White House may cost $1 billion - "he chairman of the Federal Election Commission yesterday predicted that 2008 will produce the first $1 billion presidential race and that the $500 million that each party's candidate will need to compete will severely limit the field of contenders. " -- And isn't that the point?

The FBI campaign against John Lennon shows how far the state can go to deal with stars who refuse to toe the line - "The striking fact is that Lennon could have avoided all of this. He didn't have to campaign against Nixon. It didn't sell records or help his career. But Lennon wanted to use his power as a superstar to do something worthwhile. And the great issue of the day was the unjust and disastrous war in Vietnam."

The Highwaymen - "Why you could soon be paying Wall Street investors, Australian bankers, and Spanish builders for the privilege of driving on American roads."

Eating the Planet Like a Bag of Doritos for Jesus - "Furthermore, we are the comet. We are both the threatened, dominate species -- as well as the comet of destruction that will end this Empire of Endless Burgers and Ceaseless Bullshit. Our delusions of the sustainability of ever-expanding market-based economies, wholly dependent upon a never wavering abundance of resources, has rendered us as inflexible as the dinosaurs were before a global wide, sky-occluding dust cloud. We're devouring the life-sustaining resources of the earth as if it were a bag of Doritos. Our empty appetites, engendered by global corporatism and its reliance on fossil fuels, is leveling an effect upon our world tantamount to a slow motion collision with a comet ... To survive, we must curb our appetite for this everyday menu of death-- for these Valueless Meals comprised of the empty calories of comforting lies proffered by the corporate state."

Report Reveals 2.2 Million Borrowers Face Foreclosure on Subprime Home Loans - "A new Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) study reveals that 2.2 million American households will lose their homes and as much as $164 billion due to foreclosures in the subprime mortgage market.

Hawaii trying to educate tourists about smoking ban - "Hawaii, known for its fresh ocean air and pristine beauty, has implemented one of the nation's strictest no-smoking laws. State officials say the new law will protect people from secondhand smoke, but some fear it may deter cigarette-puffing tourists from coming to the islands, especially high-spending visitors from Japan."

UK report says robots will have rights - "The next time you beat your keyboard in frustration, think of a day where it may be able to sue you for assault. Within 50 years we might even find ourselves standing next to the next generation of vacuum cleaners in the voting booth. Far from being extracts from the extreme end of science fiction, the idea that we may one day give sentient machines the kind of rights traditionally reserved for humans is raised in a British government-commissioned report which claims to be an extensive look into the future."

Software will make finding Web photos easier - "Swedish start-up Polar Rose AB aims to make it easy to find photos of familiar faces online, the company said on Tuesday, solving difficult Web search issues while potentially raising new privacy concerns. Polar Rose said it plans to offer free software to make photos searchable on both personal computers and across the Web by analyzing the contents of pictures with pattern recognition technology to locate specific faces within them."

Dweebs, horndogs and geezers - "Now this is mind-boggling. Check out how radically different the top ten search terms of 2006 were for Google, Yahoo and AOL."

Reality check: 95 percent of Americans had premarital sex - "More than nine out of 10 Americans, men and women alike, have had premarital sex, according to a new study. The high rates extend even to women born in the 1940s, challenging perceptions that people were more chaste in the past. "This is reality-check research," said the study's author, Lawrence Finer. "Premarital sex is normal behavior for the vast majority of Americans, and has been for decades."" -- That's because humans are supposed to have sex.

Comet dust yields surprises about universe - "The tiny specks have changed ideas about the birth of our solar system and offered hints about the origin of life on Earth."

Wake Up, Employers: Working Moms Are Giving Up - "The majority of working moms who leave their jobs do so because of inflexible office policy, not Martha Stewart fantasies."

Feeling stressed? Try holding your husband's hand - "A study by a University of Virginia neuroscientist has found that happily married women under stress show signs of immediate relief when they hold their husband's hand, with this clearly seen on their brain scans."

Recipe for Genius Revealed - "If you think the innate talents of your child alone will produce the next Albert Einstein, think again. The real recipe for producing a bright-minded adult, according to a new study, calls for a few ingredients—cognitive abilities, educational opportunities, interest, and plain old hard work."

Short Mental Workouts May Slow Decline of Aging Minds, Study Finds - "Ten sessions of exercises to boost reasoning skills, memory and mental processing speed staved off mental decline in middle-aged and elderly people in the first definitive study to show that honing intellectual skills can bolster the mind in the same way that physical exercise protects and strengthens the body."

Quote of the Day
"Leave it at this: man has come to dominate the planet thanks to two essential traits. One is intelligence. The other has been the absolute willingness to kill anyone and anything that gets in his way."
~ The Head, Cell by Stephen King

December 19, 2006

News -- December 19, 2006

New Al Qaeda Message Expected As Terror Anxieties Already High in Europe - "With European law enforcement officials warning of an imminent holiday terror attack, Web sites associated with al Qaeda announced today that the group's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is about to issue a new statement entitled "the truths about the clash between Islam and atheism."" -- Stay scared people!

Iraq attacks at highest level in two years - "A bar chart in the Pentagon’s report to Congress gave no exact numbers but indicated the weekly average had approached 1,000 in the latest period, compared to about 800 per week from the May-to-August period. Statistics provided separately by the Pentagon said weekly attacks had averaged 959 in the latest period. American casualties, dead and wounded, rose from 19 to 25 per day, up 32 percent in the last three months."

Gates: Iraq Failure Would Be 'Calamity' - "Robert Gates assumed the helm at the Pentagon on Monday, warning in his first public remarks as defense secretary that failure in Iraq would be a "calamity" that would haunt the United States for years. The former CIA chief pledged to give President Bush his honest advice on the costly and unpopular war, and said he would go to Iraq soon to see what U.S. commanders believe should be done to quell the growing violence."

Hillary Clinton: No regret on Iraq vote - "Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said she is not sorry she voted for a resolution authorizing President Bush to take military action in Iraq despite the recent problems there but she does regret "the way the president used the authority.""

Hillary Clinton Says She Wouldn't Have Voted For Iraq War - "However, she has never gone as far as some of her potential rivals for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination -- who also voted for the war -- and called her vote a mistake or declared that she would have cast her vote differently with all the facts presently available to her -- until now." -- All for politics.

Hillary Clinton, War Goddess - "She wants permanent bases in Iraq – and threatens war with Iran."

It's Either Occupation or Education - "Two in three children in Iraq have simply stopped going to school, according to a government report. ... Just before the U.S.-led invasion in spring 2003, school attendance was nearly 100 percent."

Report: Pentagon planning Navy buildup as 'warning to Iran' - "The U.S. military is "planning a major buildup" of its naval forces in the Persian Gulf region "as a warning to Iran," reports CBS News, as quoted by Reuters."

“Leave Us Alone,” Iranian Reformers Say - "Back in March, the Bush Administration released its new “National Security Strategy of the United States,” and regime change in Iran leaps out of it as a goal. ... Not only is the goal of regime change illegal, it is also unachievable. “Democracy cannot be imported, nor can it be given to a people by invading their nation, nor by bombing them with cluster bombs. It must be indigenous,” says Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian human rights advocate who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003."

U.S. warns time is running out for North Korea - "North Korea insisted yesterday that it be treated as a full-fledged nuclear power as six-country arms talks convened for the first time since its atomic test two months ago."

McVeigh Video Destroys OKC Bombing Official Story - "A video that shows Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh at a U.S. military base that specializes in explosives and demolition training over a year after he supposedly left the army puts the official story of the April 19 1995 federal building bombing under serious doubt and mandates a re-opening of an investigation into the terror attack that killed 168 people."

Why Smoking Marijuana Doesn't Make You a Junkie - "Two recent studies should be the final nails in the coffin of the lie that has propelled some of this nation's most misguided policies: the claim that smoking marijuana somehow causes people to use hard drugs, often called the "gateway theory.""

All-time high for homegrown as pot becomes top cash crop in US - "Marijuana is now the biggest cash crop grown in the US, exceeding traditional harvests such as wheat, corn and soy beans, says a new report."

Why Teens Do Stupid Things - "But it's not that they don't ponder the the potential consequences. In fact, a new study finds teens spend more time weighing risk than adults and in fact often overestimate the odds of a bad outcome. But the desire for acceptance among peers wins out in the decision-making process of a young mind."

Study criticizes anti-smoking ads - "An Oregon State University study suggests that anti-smoking ads by the tobacco industry targeted at youths and their parents do not work and might actually encourage some teens to smoke."

Jungle secrets: 52 new species found in Borneo's 'Lost World' - "Among them are two tree frogs, a whole range of plants and trees and 30 brand new types of fish including a tiny one less than a centimetre long and a catfish with an adhesive belly that allows it to stick to rocks. ... They said its previously remote and inaccessible forests are one of the "final frontiers for science". Yet they are under threat from developers wanting to create new rubber and palm oil plantations." -- Check out the pics.

Pluggd: A Google for Podcasts - "Pluggd has found a way to index podcasts, talk shows and other spoken-word content. The company's service then allows users to search the audio files for specific words."

Fantasy Love Hotels - "For decades Japan's love hotels have provided a place for couples to enjoy anonymous, uninterrupted sex. Politician and secretary, teacher and student, husband and hooker -- all are welcome, as long as they pay in cash and leave when the time limit is up. But 2006 spawned a new type of love hotel. Decorated with theme park interiors and equipped with game consoles, karaoke boxes and sex machines -- these establishments provide kinky fun for all types, from fetishists and sadomasochists to the ordinary couple seeking sexual adventure."

Rock's living history, streamed online - "Since 2002, Sagan has owned the full archives of legendary promoter Bill Graham, whose concerts featuring performers such as the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix and others helped define the late 1960s and early '70s. Late last week, Sagan began putting excerpts from these concerts, many of which have never been released, online by way of a free Internet radio station on his company's Wolfgang's Vault site."

Rock legends sue over online concert streams - "Some of rock 'n' roll's biggest names have teamed up to sue the owner of a Web site that specializes in streaming rare concert recordings."

Quote of the Day
"The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people."
~ Noam Chomsky

December 18, 2006

News (Page 2) -- December 18, 2006

Iran within four years of nuclear bomb: Israel spy chief - "Iran will have its first atomic bomb within three or four years if its nuclear weapons programme continues to develop at the current pace, Israel's spy chief Meir Dagan has said."

Blood and Money - "In what might be called the mother of all surprises, Iraq's economy is growing strong, even booming in places."

Revisiting The Horrors Of The Holocaust - ""I’m curious. Why did the Nazis keep all these records? If they were gonna murder these people anyway, why keep the paperwork?" Pelley asks. "Because they wanted to show they were getting the job done. So, in terms of people whose destiny was to be murdered, recording how well that was being done was very important," Shapiro explains."

THE UNITED STATES IS INSOLVENT - "The US is insolvent. There is simply no way for our national bills to be paid under current levels of taxation and promised benefits. Our federal deficits alone now total more than 400% of GDP."

U.S. violent crimes jump in first half of 2006: FBI - "Murders, robberies and other violent crimes reported in the United States jumped 3.7 percent in the first half of the year, continuing a troubling upswing that began in 2005, the FBI said on Monday."

Four teenagers jailed for torture - "Four teenagers who burned, beat and abused a girl with learning difficulties have been jailed. The four from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, ignited aerosol sprays to burn Katy James, 17, during four-hours of torture. ... She was forced to drink a glass containing urine and cigarette butts and made to eat chilli powder. Her hair and head were burnt when two aerosols were converted into "flame-throwers"."

Rapist Preys on Men in Houston Area - "A rapist who preys on young men has struck five times in the Houston area since mid-September, and police said Monday there may be even more victims, but they are too ashamed to come forward. The rapist typically stalks, robs and sexually assaults his victims at gunpoint, apparently choosing them at random and attacking them near or inside their homes, police said."

Hey Everyone, Come See How Good I Look - "That's right. In the lamest of the lame move, Time's Person of the Year is "you". Isn't that just special?"

Last Warning! Three-Pronged Collapse ... Stocks, Bonds and Real Estate - "Today I want to give you one final warning on the crisis I see coming. I've told you some of this before, but I feel it's so important that it needs to be repeated one last time. Gold's rally back over $600, and recently to more than $640 an ounce, is telling us — in no uncertain terms — that a financial crisis of major proportions is about to strike."

Glitzy Las Vegas Battles Over Homeless - "This is a boomtown, but it is also scattered with signs of bust - namely, homeless people. And the city is taking a hard line against them."

Welcome to the world of nano foods - "Far-fetched? The processed-food giant Kraft and a group of research laboratories are busy working towards 'programmable food'. One product they are working on is a colourless, tasteless drink that you, the consumer, will design after you've bought it. You'll decide what colour and flavour you'd like the drink to be, and what nutrients it will have in it, once you get home. You'll zap the product with a correctly-tuned microwave transmitter - presumably Kraft will sell you that, too. This will activate nano-capsules - each one about 2,000 times smaller than the width of a hair - containing the necessary chemicals for your choice of drink: green-hued, blackcurrant-flavoured with a touch of caffeine and omega-3 oil, say. They will dissolve while all the other possible ingredients will pass unused through your body, in their nano-capsules. ... You may not want it, but the food industry does. Every major food corporation is investing in nano-tech - government in Europe has pumped £1.7 billion in research money into the field over the past eight years. Nano-food and nano-food packaging are on their way because the food industry has spotted the chance for huge profi ts: by 2010, the business, according to analysts, will be worth $20 billion annually. And there is already a prototype of a Wonka-esque chewing gum that, using nano-capsules, promises the sensation of eating real chocolate."

Vatican mulls fielding football team - " The Vatican may one day field a football team that could rival the top formations in Italy's powerful Serie A, the Holy See's Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said Sunday."

Vapour trails? That's what THEY want you to think - "There is growing speculation that the chemtrails are deposited by unmarked planes flying from the USA, seeding the sky with chemicals - possibly in a bid to supress global warming, to trap pollution or for some sinister military purpose."

Universe's First Objects Possibly Seen - "Astronomers might have seen the very first stars in the universe. If so, these are incredible stars, some 1,000 times as massive as the Sun. The alternative is just as interesting: The objects might be early black holes consuming gas voraciously and spitting out radiation like crazy as nascent galaxies form."

News -- December 18, 2006

Take This War and Shove It - "Talk about stepping into the abyss. George Bush and his Pentagon allies are considering increasing the number of troops in Iraq by 40,000. The idea is supported by some members of Congress, although John McCain is the only one so far to express his support publicly. This is despite the fact that over 60% of US residents want the troops out of there sooner rather than later. Not only does the Bush position represent another blow to the idea that the people of the US run the country, it is a blatant kick in the voters' face."

Reid: Brief Troop Increase OK in Iraq - "The Senate's top Democrat offered qualified support Sunday for a plan to increase U.S. troops in Iraq, saying it would be acceptable as part of a broader strategy to bring combat forces home by 2008."

U.S. forces 'losing' in Iraq, Powell says - "The former secretary of state Colin Powell said Sunday that badly overstretched U.S. forces in Iraq were losing the war there and that a temporary U.S. troop surge probably would not help."

About Face: Soldiers Call for Iraq Withdrawal - "For the first time since Vietnam, an organized, robust movement of active-duty US military personnel has publicly surfaced to oppose a war in which they are serving."

Clandestine military teams clash with CIA, allies - "But the initiative has also led to several embarrassing incidents for the United States, including a shootout in Paraguay and the exposure of a sensitive intelligence operation in East Africa, according to current and former officials familiar with the matter. And to date, the Special Forces espionage effort has not led to the capture of a significant terrorism suspect." -- Isn't that nice.

Pentagon eyes $468.9 bln budget for fiscal 2008 - "The White House has approved a $468.9 billion budget for the Pentagon in fiscal year 2008, a six-percent increase over last year's request, according to a Defense Department document obtained by Reuters." -- When one has never had to worry about money, then one does not know how to budget, much less why it is necessary.

No release for Guantanamo detainees - "The hard core of detainees held at America's Guantanamo Bay detention camp will continue to be held indefinitely even if there is insufficient evidence to bring them to trial, a senior Bush administration official has warned."

Jimmy Carter: Jew-Hater, Genocide-Enabler, Liar - "Even as Islamic Hitlerites gather in Iran to deny the first Holocaust of the Jews and to plot the second, former president Jimmy Carter tours America with a new book that describes Jews as racists and oppressors, and suggests they are also a conspiratorial mafia that intimidates “critics,” controls America’s media and war policy, and are therefore also the source of Islamic terrorism and the Arabs’ genocidal campaign to eliminate them from the map of the Middle East."

White House Forbids Publication Of Op-Ed On Iran By Former Bush Official - "The column is critical of the administration’s refusal to engage Iran."

Russian riot police dominate at opposition rally - "Russia's fragmented opposition marshalled its thin ranks against President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, but a modest turnout at a Moscow rally -- dwarfed by the police presence -- only underscored his grip on power."

McCain’s Mutiny - "So John McCain has joined Bush in throwing a shit fit over the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations. What’s bothering him? Well, it’s certainly not the fact that no one who participated in the ISG had the foresight to oppose the war in the first place. McCain yelled at Baker and Hamilton last week because they didn’t like his proposal to increase troop strength in Iraq by a number somewhere between 20 and 40 thousand (about 100,000 short of anywhere near enough to establish a semblance of security there). But the real bone in McCain’s increasingly freakish craw? If the ISG recommendations are followed—an unlikely event considering Bush’s classic “whatever” dismissal—US combat troops will be out of Iraq before McCain has a chance to get his election on."

McCain Bill Is Lethal Injection For Internet Freedom - "Republican Senator John McCain has introduced legislation that would fine blogs up to $300,000 for offensive statements, photos and videos posted by visitors on comment boards, effectively nixing the open exchange of ideas on the Internet, providing a lethal injection for unrestrained opinion, and acting as the latest attack tool to chill freedom of speech on the world wide web."

North American Union leader says merger just crisis away - "Robert Pastor, a leading intellectual force in the move to create an EU-style North American Community, told WND he believes a new 9/11 crisis could be the catalyst to merge the U.S., Mexico and Canada."

Is America going broke? - "Record deficits, colossal debt and no clear plan for digging itself out. If the U.S. sinks, it will take Canada down with it."

Real U.S. shortfall: $4.6 trillion in red - "'Taxing 100% of all wages, salaries, corporate profits would not eliminate a deficit of this magnitude'"

Tax Leads Americans Abroad to Renounce U.S. - "But after Congress sharply raised taxes this year for many Americans living abroad, some international tax lawyers say they detect rising demand from citizens to renounce ties with the United States, the only developed country that taxes it citizens while they live overseas. Americans abroad are also taxed in the countries where they live."

Reporter Summoned to Testify Against War Resister - "The U.S. military subpoenaed an independent journalist Thursday, demanding she testify as a witness for the prosecution of First Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to be court-martialed for refusing to serve in Iraq. "This morning at 8:45 someone came to my house and delivered a subpoena," Sarah Olson, an Oakland, California-based journalist, told IPS. "It's absolutely outrageous. It's a journalist's job to report the news. It is not a journalist's job to testify against their own sources."

Boston Air Traffic Controller Says 9/11 An Inside Job - "This is the reason why, as Hordon stated, that we don't have complete access to flight data recorders and FAA tapes, which in the case of a conversation between six New York Air Route Traffic Control Center controllers was ordered to be shredded, because if studies of that evidence were undertaken it would become very clear as to who was really behind the attack."

Fear 'as bad as after 9/11' - "In this and similar enclaves, like those in northern New Jersey and Brooklyn, many Arab Muslims say their community is turning in on itself — shying away from a society increasingly inclined to equate Islam with terrorism. ... Some lie low. They won't contribute to a Muslim charity, at least not by check, and not if it works overseas. They watch what they say, especially on the phone. They think twice before trying to rent a truck, get a hunting license or take a flying lesson. ... Americans seem unsympathetic. Thirty-nine percent say they harbor at least some prejudice against Muslims, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll earlier this year. The same percentage favor requiring U.S. Muslims — citizens included — to carry special IDs. About a third say U.S. Muslims sympathize with al-Qaeda." -- Disgusting.

What the hell happened to Christianity? - "What the hell happened? Where did we go wrong? How was Christianity co-opted by a political party? Why are Christians supporting laws that force others to live by their standards? The answers to these questions are integral to the survival of Christianity."

8 Virginia flocks break away - "Eight Northern Virginia churches announced yesterday they will leave the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia after their congregations voted overwhelmingly to depart because of liberal trends in the 2.2-million-member Episcopal Church."

The Truth About The Tehran Holocaust Conference - By One Who Was There - "When Alexander Baron returned from the Holocaust Conference in Iran which he attended, he found that the conference Western media "reported" about might as well have been on a different planet."

Showdown Looms Over Domestic Spying - "Federal agents continue to eavesdrop on Americans' electronic communications without warrants a year after President Bush confirmed the practice, and experts say a new Congress' efforts to limit the program could trigger a constitutional showdown."

Even if they're off, cellphones allow FBI to listen in - "It should come as no surprise that cellphone calls may be tapped by law enforcement. But authorities also can use cellphones to eavesdrop on suspects, even when the devices are off."

Telephone lie detector claims to catch fibbers - "A new telephone lie detector system promises to pick up on tell-tale signs of stress in a caller's voice whenever they tell a fib. Available for free, the Kishkish lie detector can be easily downloaded from the web and used by those who make phone calls over the internet."

Perez Hilton takes their best shots - "If it turns out that what he does is copyright infringement — rather than a fair use of newsworthy images, as Hilton's attorney claims — it would not only put a serious crimp in the photo-driven field of gossip blogs, but possibly create new case law. "The effect would be to eliminate the ability to comment on and transform photographs under the fair-use exception to the Copyright Act," said Hilton's attorney, Bryan Freedman of Century City. It's one thing to take somebody's copyrighted work and turn around and sell it, he added, but to alter the work to achieve a satiric or humorous end is entirely different and is allowed under the law. ... "The way that Americans get their news and entertainment these days is a whole lot different from waiting for things to get printed, and that's what's at the crux of this whole ordeal," Lum added. "When he says he is fighting for all bloggers, he really is.""

The Virtual Taxman Cometh - "But what about stuff that stays inside the game? If you played WoW for three years and racked up $4,000 worth of avatars and gold, but never cashed out -- should you still be paying annual taxes on your increased value, as if it were income? This is where the rubber hits the road, because the profits currently locked up inside these worlds are becoming big enough -- hundreds of millions at least, and maybe billions -- that they are a juicy target for the IRS."

More Americans hungry, homeless in 2006- mayors - "More Americans went homeless and hungry in 2006 than the year before and children made up almost a quarter of those in emergency shelters, said a report released on Thursday by the U.S. Conference of Mayors."

We are about as smart as we're going to get, says IQ pioneer - "Far from indicating that now we really are getting dumber, this may suggest that certain of our cognitive functions have reached — or nearly reached — the upper limits of what they will ever achieve, Professor Flynn believes. In other words, we can’t get much better at the mental tasks we are good at, no matter how hard we try."

College Women at Risk for Psychiatric Illness at Politically Correct Campuses - "Dr. Anonymous, who chose to keep her identity secret out of fear of professional reprisal, identifies the damage done to women by the feminist ideology that proposes women are psychologically identical to men and encourages sexual promiscuity – as long as it is made “safe” with a condom."

Shorelines may be in greater peril than thought - "Previous estimates of how much the world's sea level will rise as a result of global warming may have seriously underestimated the problem, according to new research."

Penguins offer evidence of global warming - "The first Adelie penguin chicks of the season -- black fluffballs small enough to hold in the hand -- started hatching this month, and the simple fact that there are more of them in the south and fewer of them further north is a sign of global warming, scientists say."

Diabetes breakthrough - "In a discovery that has stunned even those behind it, scientists at a Toronto hospital say they have proof the body's nervous system helps trigger diabetes, opening the door to a potential near-cure of the disease that affects millions of Canadians."

Vegetarians are more intelligent, says study - "A study of thousands of men and women revealed that those who stick to a vegetarian diet have IQs that are around five points higher than those who regularly eat meat. ... There was no difference in IQ between strict vegetarians and those who classed themselves as veggie but still ate fish or chicken. However, vegans - vegetarians who also avoid dairy products - scored significantly lower, averaging an IQ score of 95 at the age of 10."

Race to the Moon for Nuclear Fuel - "NASA's proposed 2024 moon base will be a steppingstone to Mars, but it may also be a mining outpost. The moon is an abundant source of helium-3, a potent fuel for next-generation nuclear reactors. Trouble is, China, India and Russia have their eyes on it too."

Do people need the gizmos we're selling? - "During a recent three-day period, I was exposed to a new robotic vacuum cleaner, a new high-definition version of TiVo, a device to stream movies from a PC to a television, new game consoles, new MP3 players and, yes, even a belt buckle that plays videos. I can't help but wonder if consumers really want all this. Have we gone too far? Are we in step with the needs of today's American consumer? "

Being a celebrity is the 'best thing in the world' say children - "The poll of just under 1,500 youngsters ranked "God" as their tenth favourite thing in the world, with celebrity, "good looks" and being rich at one, two and three respectively."

Silly, Porn Ringtones Are for Adults - "We adults might find them funny and yet decide not to use them because, oh, for example, we have jobs where it would be better not to have our phones saying things like "Did I say you could answer that phone? *smack* No, I did not! *smack*" or playing synthesizer bow-wow music that could only be from a porn soundtrack."

Quote of the Day
"I understand the polls show only 18 percent of the American people support my position. But I have to do what's right... In war, my dear friends, there's no such thing as compromise. You either win or you lose."
~ Senator John McCain

December 14, 2006

News -- December 14, 2006

Routine and Systematic Torture Is at the Heart of America's War on Terror - " After thousands of years of practice, you might have imagined that every possible means of inflicting pain had already been devised. But you should never underestimate the human capacity for invention. United States interrogators, we now discover, have found a new way of destroying a human being."

Torture, Impeachment and a Vietnam Vet's Tears - "I can't count how many times I have read comments, or even heard them in person, from jingoistic Americans who have said they aren't bothered at all by the idea of American troops or CIA agents torturing "terrorists" or other captives. They typically will say that the victims of the torture are evil people intent on killing Americans, and so who cares? In fact, however, aside from the fact that torture is illegal under international law, and that it is illegal in the U.S. as a signatory of the Geneva Conventions, since the torture is being conducted upon captives who have never had their cases examined to determine if they are indeed terrorists or legitimate combatants or just innocents picked up for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it is inevitable that many of those who are being tortured with the president's approval and in our names are simply innocents. Some of those innocents have died at the hands of their tormentors. Others have been driven insane."

Why supporting the troops means you have to oppose the War in Iraq - " Moving on, the first critical element of any war is, according to Sun Tzu, "which sovereign possesses the greater moral influence". Upon examination, we are basically comparing George Bush to Saddam Hussein. At first glance you would expect this to be a no-contest, but as we know now, George Bush is a greater sociopath than Saddam ever was. On the issue of WMDS, George Bush lied, Saddam didn`t. George Bush claimed he wanted to spread "freedom and Democracy" and install a democratic government in the middle-east, in fact 2919 US soldiers have died to help set up an Islamic State in Iraq, as demonstrated by Iraq`s new constitution. Much is made of the 100,000 or so Iraqis Hussein murdered, and rightly so, however, Bush is now responsible for the deaths of an estimated 650,000 Iraqis. Many people forget, conveniently, that Iraq was a secular state in the Middle East, and Saddam, whilst a bad man, was not only put in power by people like Rumsfeld in the 80s, most of his weapons were sold to him by the American Government."

Bush to seek $100 bln more war funds: House report - "President George W. Bush will soon seek about $100 billion in additional emergency funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report on Wednesday by Democratic staffers for two key panels in the U.S. House of Representatives." -- The money pit continues with brainwashed pride.

True deficit: $3.5 trillion - "Analyst says coming Treasury report will document 'unsustainable' pace. A report scheduled to be released by the Treasury Department tomorrow is expected to show the true deficit in the Bush administration's 2006 federal budget to be an astounding $3.5 trillion in the red, not $248.2 billion as previously reported."

McCain calls for more troops in Iraq - "Sen. John McCain said Thursday that America should deploy 15,000 to 30,000 more troops to Iraq to control its sectarian violence, and give moderate Iraqi politicians the stability they need to take the country in the right direction. ... "The American people are disappointed and frustrated with the Iraq war, but they want us to succeed if there's any way to do that," McCain, a possible 2008 presidential candidate, said at a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone." -- Hey, John. No, we don't care if you succeed because we don't even know what has to happen for success. All we want is for our soldiers to be brought home, the killing and torturing in our name to stop, and to stop flushing billions upon billions of dollars down the drain. It's not brain surgery, here, John. Oh yeah, you will not be getting my vote if you decide to run in 2008.

Democrat dilemma over Iran - "As the dust begins to settle from the mid-term elections, popular thinking is that, over the next two years, the Democrats will force the Bush administration to edge away from the unilateral militarism that has entrapped the nation in two open-ended wars. Don't bet the rent on it. Indeed, if you are putting down a wager, the odds are better than even that the United States will attack Iran in the next two years, and the assault will have a great deal of support from both sides of the aisle."

'04 Pentagon Report Cited Detention Concerns - "A previously undisclosed Pentagon report concluded that the three terrorism suspects held at a brig in South Carolina were subjected to months of isolation, and it warned that their "unique" solitary confinement could be viewed as violating U.S. detention standards."

Olmert's nuclear blunder leads to Gulf states' call for sanctions - "The United States and the international community should impose sanctions on Israel for its nuclear program, the chief of the organization grouping Arab countries in the Persian Gulf told reporters Tuesday."

Israeli soldiers tell of indiscriminate killings by army and a culture of impunity - "In recent months dozens of soldiers, including the son of an an Israeli general, all recently discharged, have come forward to share their stories of how they were ordered in briefings to shoot to kill unarmed people without fear of reprimand."

Government Seeks New Ruling in Cheney Case - "The Bush administration asked an appeals court Wednesday to overrule a federal judge and allow the White House to keep secret any records of visitors to Vice President Dick Cheney's residence and office. To make the visitor records public would be an "unprecedented intrusion into the daily operations of the vice presidency," the Justice Department argued in a 57-page brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia." -- They don't want us to see something.

Sen. Johnson in Critical Condition After Surgery - "Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) underwent emergency brain surgery overnight after falling ill at the Capitol and was in critical condition early this morning, introducing a note of uncertainty over control of the Senate just weeks before Democrats are to take over with a one-vote margin."

Banned for a George Bush T-shirt - "AN Australian was barred from a London-Melbourne flight unless he removed a T-shirt depicting George Bush as the world's number one terrorist." -- Funny shirt. But who is/isn't a "terrorist" is quite subjective.

U.S. to defend space with military force - "The United States will use military force in space to protect satellites and other space systems from attack by hostile states or terrorists, the Bush administration's senior arms-control official said yesterday."

Mint bans melting coins now worth more as liquid than loot - "Given rising metal prices, the pennies and nickels in your pocket are worth more melted down than their face value -- and that has the government worried."

New Publishing Rules Restrict Scientists - "The Bush administration is clamping down on scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey, the latest agency subjected to controls on research that might go against official policy. New rules require screening of all facts and interpretations by agency scientists who study everything from caribou mating to global warming. The rules apply to all scientific papers and other public documents, even minor reports or prepared talks, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. ... Some agency scientists, who until now have felt free from any political interference, worry that the objectivity of their work could be compromised."

US scientists reject interference - "According to the American Union of Concerned Scientists, data is being misrepresented for political reasons. It claims scientists working for federal agencies have been asked to change data to fit policy initiatives."

Circumcision Reduces Risk of AIDS, Study Finds - "AIDS experts immediately hailed the result, saying it gave the world a new way to fight the spread of AIDS, and the directors of the two largest funds for fighting the disease said they would now consider paying for circumcisions."

This year will be Britain's warmest since records began, say scientists - "Experts are convinced that the warming can only be explained by rising greenhouse gases from human activity and rule out the impact of natural variations, such as the sun's intensity." -- Just to play devil's advocate here, but at one time "experts" were convinced the Earth was flat.

Climate change putting seals in the mood for love - "Male seals are reaping the benefits of climate change by having more sex, scientists have discovered. Subordinate grey seals are taking advantage of rising temperatures and falling rainfall to mate more often."

Gene secrets of the boys who couldn't feel any pain - "The discovery of a single gene that can switch painful stimuli on and off without affecting other body systems raises the prospect of a new class of analgesics with none of the side-effects of conventional painkilling drugs. Neuroscientists said that the findings could ultimately prove as important as the discovery of the receptor for morphine." -- I have a bad feeling about how else this could be used for.

Kevorkian looks forward to heading home - "Assisted suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian is looking forward to doing a little writing and maybe making some speeches when he leaves prison in June for the first time in more than eight years. ... Now, after sitting in prison for eight years and suffering various health ailments, that defiant tone has changed. Kevorkian vows he will never again commit a crime." -- It is unfortunate that what you were doing is considered a crime.

Study: Laughter Really Is Contagious - ""It seems that it's absolutely true that 'laugh and the whole world laughs with you," said Sophie Scott, a neuroscientist at the University College London. "We've known for some time that when we are talking to someone, we often mirror their behavior, copying the words they use and mimicking their gestures. Now we've shown that the same appears to apply to laughter, too--at least at the level of the brain.""

Quote of the Day
"I think there are two superpowers in the world: the illegal drug cartels and the U.S. government. I think everything else is window dressing."
~ Jon Carroll