April 30, 2007

CCTV, computers and the 'climate of fear'

In case you didn't know:

The UK has 20 per cent of the world's CCTV cameras, with 4.2million watching our every move - one for every 14 people.

Think about that for moment.

And that's not a surveillance society? That's like saying well, it depends on the definition of "is".

It is what it is.

Unfortunately, the children of their future will not be able to comprehend the concept of privacy.

Is that the point?

Here's the story.

Sexual Threats Stifle Some Female Bloggers

And this is just disgusting.

As women gain visibility in the blogosphere, they are targets of sexual harassment and threats. Men are harassed too, and lack of civility is an abiding problem on the Web. But women, who make up about half the online community, are singled out in more starkly sexually threatening terms -- a trend that was first evident in chat rooms in the early 1990s and is now moving to the blogosphere, experts and bloggers said.

And I agree with Arianna.

Arianna Huffington, whose Huffington Post site is among the most prominent of blogs founded by women, said anonymity online has allowed "a lot of those dark prejudices towards women to surface."

Which brings me to something I've thought about for years: are most humans civil because of a fear of getting caught and punished? Eliminate that fear of going to prison and would most humans would act like the animal the species really is?

I think that is quite possibly true.

I think religion deters very few people from committing atrocious acts (and there are those atrocious acts carried out in the religious community anyway) so I don't think that's what's keeping people "in check" if you will. No, I think it's a fear of being anal gangraped in prison. If there was no possibility of anything "bad" happening to some of these people then we would have more behaivor similar to what's happening in the blogosphere only this behavior would be happening in the streets, in homes, offices, cars, malls, parks, etc.

Humans are animals, and without the fear of punishment, most would act as such. It's rather depressing when you think about.

Tooth decay is on the rise for kids

"They're relying more on fruit snacks, juice boxes, candy and soda" for the sustenance of preschoolers, he said.

Isn't that nice?

Here's the story.

'I Abhor Injustice,' Alleged Madam Says

Since the sex scandal could possibly rock Washington soon:

More revelations are in the offing. Ross said the list includes the names of some "very prominent people," as well as a number of women with "important and serious jobs" who had worked as escorts for the firm.

Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Read the story here.

Next-generation toys read brain waves

Engineers at NeuroSky Inc. have big plans for brain wave-reading toys and video games. They say the simple Darth Vader game -- a relatively crude biofeedback device cloaked in gimmicky garb -- portends the coming of more sophisticated devices that could revolutionize the way people play.

Or fight wars? Or have sex? Or drive a vehicle? Or...

Technology from NeuroSky and other startups could make video games more mentally stimulating and realistic. It could even enable players to control video game characters or avatars in virtual worlds with nothing but their thoughts.

I don't think for a minute that the military has not already developed such technology.

Surgeons go to new lengths to avoid scarring

Every once in awhile here at The Fall of Humanity (www.thefallofhumanity.com) we do get to report something that can be classified as "good news."

It's a startling concept and a little unpleasant to contemplate. But researchers are exploring new ways to do surgery using slender instruments through the body's natural openings, avoiding cutting through the skin and muscle.

Many questions remain about that approach. But doctors say it holds the promise of providing a faster recovery with less pain and no visible scars. And in the brain, it can avoid a need for manipulating tissue that could disturb brain and eye function.

Read the rest here.

Quantum cryptography is hacked

Just in case you believed there was a system that could not be cracked.

Quantum cryptography uses the laws of quantum mechanics to encode data securely. Most researchers consider such quantum networks to be nearly 100% uncrackable. But a group from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge was able to 'listen in' using a sort of quantum-mechanical wiretap. The trick allowed them to tease out about half of the data, in a way that couldn't be detected by those transmitting or receiving the message.

If it's human made, then it can be cracked...by another human.

Read the rest.

Bush Has Destroyed Iraq and America

When will you have had enough?

The reasons given for the American invasion of Iraq have been exposed as lies, revealing America as either a country of fools and idiots or of war criminals. Worldwide polls show that America is no longer regarded as a guiding light but is tied with Israel as the second greatest threat to world stability.

Here's the column.

Mouse brain simulated on computer

US researchers have simulated half a virtual mouse brain on a supercomputer.

Which means simulating a total brain is just a matter of a little more time.

Here's our future.

April 28, 2007

The Apathetic American

Will Americans ever give a damn about anything but meaningless trivia and American bloodbaths?

Check it the list of the things he says American's don't care about. (I will assume he is generalizing and is not including me, nor my readers, in that statement.)

You can read it here.

“And the walls came tumbling down”

As long as there are the "haves" and the "have-nots", the "haves" will continue to build walls to keep the "have-nots" away.

As long as one group of people believe their way of life is in danger from another group of people, walls will be built to separate them.

As long as there is oppression, there will be walls.

As long as there will be violence, there will be walls.

As long as there will be fear, there will be walls.

As long as there will be humans, there will be walls.

Here's the link to the following post.

And the walls should come tumbling down. Instead, governments are building them everywhere. Great monolithic structures cutting across our landscapes for all sorts of reasons. The benign ones muffle the noise of speeding cars for people living in homes too close to motorways. These are textured and coloured like some permanent art displays belying the concrete slabs they actually are. Others are much more sinister: concrete slabs that are used to control populations that we fear or do not like. We use the euphemism “security” to justify their “necessity” without any care for the human suffering going on behind them.

Whether for protection and security or to contain and imprison, walls are a symbol of failure – a failure to revel in freedom and embrace our common humanity: that is reason enough to bring them down.

Meet the Next President of the United States of America

I don't know if he's the next President or not, but he does tell it like it is, and that is something I expect from the President.

More than likely the press will crucify this guy like they did Howard Dean. Or, there will be an "accident".

Read about Mike Gravel and watch the video.

U.S. media have lost the will to dig deep

While we have all known this to be true, it's worth being reminded from time to time. People should be angry about this new press culture and they should demand change.

The truth is, I knew that a story like this one would never be reported in my own country. Because investigative reporting — the kind Jack Anderson used to do regularly and which was carried in hundreds of papers across the country, the kind of muckraking, data-intensive work that takes time and money and ruffles feathers — is dying.

And why is it dying? Well, because of lack of money and that journalists are afraid of "losing access" to politicians. In other words journalists don't want to piss off a politician.

Expose the critters and the door is slammed. That's not a price many American journalists are willing to pay.

So, we the people are given information that is vague at best and quite possibly could be misleading, all because journalists don't want to ruffle feathers.

This is a sad, sad state of affairs.

Lip Reading Surveillance Cameras To Stop Terror

Isn't this lovely?

"Read my lips...." used to be a figurative saying. Now the British government is considering taking it literally by adding lip reading technology to some of the four million or so surveillance cameras in order identify terrorists and criminals by watching what everyone says.

In theory, here's how it's supposed to work:

Computer-based lip-reading technology would help video surveillance systems spot people planning a crime or terror attack by literally watching suspects’ lips for clues. Once it finds someone speaking certain key words or sentences, the system would automatically send an alert message to a central console, mobile phone, or other communications device. Police or security agents could then be dispatched to the scene to question the individual.

Of course as with all these Big Brother surveillance moves it cannot be selectively applied and everyone will be subjected to it.

So, is this our future?

Imagine a place where you cannot step out of your front door and have a conversation with someone without it being monitored. Imagine a place where if you say something considered by the authorities to be suspicious a team of agents is dispatched to your location to detain and question you. Does that sound like a free country?

April 27, 2007

Sick And Tired Of Being Lectured By Global Warming Hypocrites

We loathe hypocrites here at the Fall of Humanity and we aim to post about as many as we can find. With that in mind, here ya go:

Ninnying fatuous self-important morons who demand that everyone else make sacrifices in the name of mother earth while they zoom around in CO2 belching private jets and lavish themselves in heated swimming pools are hypocrites but perhaps we should be grateful that their frothing absurdities are causing the man-made global warming cult to lose whatever credibility it has left.

Bionic Eyes Plug Directly into the Brain

This speaks to a fascinating future.

Researchers have set their sights on bypassing the normal routes of bionics to hook video cameras deep into the brain, allowing the blind to see. The bionic eye system has already proved promising in monkeys.

Damage Control

Cages need to be rattled.

In the lead up to and wake of Bill Moyers' much-anticipated mega-dunk on the Washington press corps this week, we are seeing the ugliest side of Beltway culture - the meltdown, damage-control freak out. Only what's new is that instead of politicians melting down, it's reporters themselves. And never underestimate the desperation that comes when Establishment Washington unifies to try to defend itself.

America Since 1980: A Right Turn Leading to a Dead End

U.S. politics took a sharp turn to the right in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan as president. Domestically, Reagan touted an agenda that would lead to a sharp upward redistribution of income. Internationally, Reagan explicitly rejected the "détente" framework for engaging the Soviet Union that had been accepted by the leadership of both major parties since the beginning of the Cold War. In its place, Reagan put forward a doctrine of U.S. unilateralism in which the United States basically claimed the right to do whatever it wanted, unconstrained by allies or international institutions.

And we wonder why things are the way they are today.

In fact, the ability of the United States to impose its will on much of the world has been sharply constrained by the fact that it is now a huge debtor nation that is borrowing $800 billion a year and that it has most of its military bogged down in the Iraq War.

This is a bad situation for a bully to be in.

...

This is a bad situation for a bully to be in. After a quarter century of not caring about the concerns of other countries, the United States is facing a situation where other countries may not care much about our plight. We may soon wish that we had spent more effort building up meaningful international institutions when we had the opportunity.

Unfortunately, American leaders have been too short sighted and too wrapped up in their own agendas to give this issue much thought.

And the country will pay for it.

There is more here.

Grandmothers arrested over satanic sex abuse at school

This is one reason humanity's fall gets faster.

The teachers — two of whom are grandmothers who had taught at the school and at Sunday school for decades — are said to have part in the repeated abuse of 15 children aged 3 and 5 for a year, filming them in sexual acts with satanic overtones at the teachers’ homes and in a wood.

Yes, it's as bad as you think:

The alleged abuse — in the town of Rignano Flaminio, 25 miles (40km) north of Rome — came to light when some of the children began describing their “games” to their parents. They drew pictures of a “man in black” who wore a hood and drank his own blood, and said they had played a game in which “a wolf chases a squirrel and eats it”.

They were warned that if they told their parents about the “games”, they would be “taken away from their mothers by devils”. If the truth were to come out and they were asked who had taught them to perform sexual acts, they were to say “my father”.

The parents also reported bruising and swelling around their children’s genital areas and that they had returned home from school in a confused state. Police say that the children were given tranquillisers and told they were sweets.

Disgusting.

Hacking Your Body's Bacteria for Better Health

Modern humans are bacteria-killing machines. We assassinate microbes with hand soap, mouthwash and bathroom cleaners. It feels clean and right.

But some scientists say we're overdoing it. All this killing may actually cause diseases like eczema, irritable bowel syndrome and even diabetes. The answer, they say, is counterintuitive: Feed patients bacteria.


Link.

Brazoria City Council backs prayer in schools

It's not mandatory prayer and it's not favoring one religion over another ... yet.

From a city in Texas (shocker):

The Brazoria City Council unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution calling for prayer to be a part of public schools and urging other Texas cities to pass similar measures.

"I feel the need (for prayer) is greater now than ever before. It is something I want to be involved in," Brazoria Mayor Ken Corley said Friday. "My goal is to just bring God back into the lives of these kids through our school system."

Is college using a double standard on 'entanglement' with religion?

So, Minneapolis Community and Technical College have chosen sides on religion.

Its officials say the college, a public institution, has a strict policy of not promoting religion or favoring one religion over another. "The Constitution prevents us from doing this in any form," says Dianna Cusick, director of legal affairs.

But that seems to depend on your religion.

Where Christianity is concerned, the college goes to great lengths to avoid any hint of what the courts call "entanglement" or support of the church. Yet the college is planning to install facilities for Muslims to use in preparing for daily prayers, an apparent first at a public institution in Minnesota.

But wait! There's more!

They appear to take a very different attitude toward Islam. Welcome and accommodation are the order of the day for the college's more than 500 Muslim students. The college has worked with local Muslim leaders to ensure that these students' prayer needs and concerns are adequately addressed, Davis told me.

Muslim prayer is an increasingly controversial issue. Many Muslim students use restroom sinks to wash their feet before prayer. Other students have complained, and one Muslim student fell and injured herself while lifting her foot out of a sink.

And you guessed it:

So the college is making plans to use taxpayer funds to install facilities for ritual foot-washing.

And this is a good point:

It's hard to imagine the college researching and paying for special modifications to the college to facilitate Christian rituals. And the "safety" justification? Imagine if a particularly strict group of Christian students found it necessary to sometimes baptize others in the restroom sinks. Would the school build them a baptism basin because a student hit his head on a sink?

Either all religions get the an equal amount of attention or all religions get no attention. I'm for the latter.

Read the whole story here.

MIT dean resigns over misrepresented credentials

And we wonder why the children cheat in order to try and get ahead.

To stressed-out parents and students, MIT admissions dean Marilee Jones was a rare voice of reason in the high-pressure world of college admissions. With colleges demanding kids who play sports, run student government and take the heaviest course load they can, Jones shouted back the opposite: daydream, stay healthy, and don't worry so much about building a resume just to impress an elite college.

Yet it turns out that Jones was susceptible to pressure herself. She falsely bolstered her credentials to get a job with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and over the course of her career claimed to have earned degrees from three schools. MIT officials say now they have no evidence she ever graduated from college at all.

You read that correctly.

Finish the story here.

Missing: Politicians who take clear stand on tech

As we all know, the members of Congress talk a big game in order to get/stay in the exclusive club, but once in it's business as usual. (Usually in favor of big business.)

Net neutrality became one the hottest political flashpoints in the last year. But in what might seem to be an odd omission, both Republicans and Democrats studiously ignored it this week when touting their technology agendas for 2007.
Also absent from the list of congressional priorities were controversial topics like social-network restrictions, Internet surveillance, data retention, spyware, and laws aimed at regulating Google and its competitors when doing business in China.


...

Both documents are relatively brief and overflow with references to the technology equivalent of Mom, baseball and apple pie: innocuous statements touting the benefits of broadband (who knew?) and improving science and math education (who wouldn't?). Also making the bipartisan cut are calls to reform the patent system, which is about as controversial in tech circles as stating that Google enjoyed a successful IPO.

And then here's a shocker (well, not for those of you paying attention):

"The tech agenda is driven by corporate interests and lobbying, and I'm speaking of Republicans and Democrats alike," said Jim Harper, a former congressional aide who's now a policy director at the free-market Cato Institute. "It's not driven by the interests of individual Internet users."

Harper said an overall laissez-faire approach would be more beneficial. "More often than not, congressional involvement in technology policy leads to harmful outcomes rather than good ones," he said.

Thanks for stating the obvious.

Enjoy the read.

Lost world warning from North Sea

This is interesting:

Archaeologists are uncovering a huge prehistoric "lost country" hidden below the North Sea.

This lost landscape, where hunter-gatherer communities once lived, was swallowed by rising water levels at the end of the last ice age.

Yes, you knew it would be mentioned:

It also serves as a warning for the scale of impact that climate change can cause, he says.

At least human caused global warming can be ruled out...or can it? ;-)

ABC Told Rosie Not To Talk About Dead U.S. Troops

Can't have dead soldiers mentioned on television! There will be none of that people! Nothing going on here! Move along.

Rosie O'Donnell was ordered by ABC not to talk about casualty figures of U.S. troops in Iraq on The View and was continually censored and blocked in her attempts to feature prominent members of the 9/11 Truth Movement as guests on the show.

Blow to Bush as top US commander warns of worse to come in Iraq

I wonder if this guy will have his job much longer.

Gen Petraeus, who was put in charge of the Baghdad troop "surge" to pacify the Iraqi capital, warned of the enormous commitment and sacrifice facing the US in Iraq.

It is dangerous to contradict the White House General. Read the rest.

Bush Approval Rating Falls

President Bush's approval rating slipped to new lows in the most recent Harris Interactive survey, but he's not alone: For the first time since the series began, all of the political figures and institutions included in the survey have negative performance ratings.

So Bush has an approval rating of 28% and Cheney has an approval rating of 25%. Who the hell are these people and how can they continue to give support to these two individuals?

See all the numbers, including the ones for Rice, Gates, Pelosi, Reid, and Congress in general right here.

Utah Republican Blames 'The Devil' For Immigration

Utah County GOP Chairwoman Marian Monnahan says District 65 Chairman Don Larsen's resolution - asserting that illegal immigration is the devil's plan to destroy the nation by "stealth invasion" - "in no way" is endorsed by the Republican Party.

...

"In order for Satan to establish his 'New World Order' and destroy the freedom of all people as predicted in the Scriptures, he must first destroy the U.S.," his resolution states.

Jesus, this guy.

What would happen if the robots turned against us?

Didn't they see the Terminator movies?

Instead, we should worry just where the technology of robotics is leading us humans, because, in the future, the dark side of machine intelligence will make itself felt with increasing force.


So why should we be worried by a technology that seems to have, so far, brought us little more than some clever toys and machines that can weld cars and clean pools?


...


What we will see are robotic planes carrying out reconnaissance, robotic troop carriers and tankers travelling across the desert and robotic submarines patrolling the Gulf. And, inevitably, fighting machines.


The question is then, who gives the orders to shoot? Is it is a soldier, in a command post miles away?


Or is the aim to programme these machines to make their own decisions? Then we are into a whole new ball game.


Which one is the human and which one is the robot? Read the rest of the story to find out.

Gene explains why people are night owls

A genetic mutation called the "after-hours gene" may explain why some people are night owls, it is revealed in Science journal today.

And I thought they just wanted to party all night. ;-)

Read the rest here.

Essay arrest baffles experts

Unfortunately, the fact that you can not freely speak or write about certain topics continues to flourish even today.

Police Thursday released portions of an essay used to charge a Cary-Grove High School student with disorderly conduct, leaving several experts puzzled at an arrest based on such schoolwork.

Asked to write about whatever he wanted in a creative writing class, would-be Marine and honors student Allen Lee, 18, described a violent dream in which he shot people and then "had sex with the dead bodies.''

Then there's this:

Lee said Thursday he was "completely shocked'' to be arrested Tuesday for his essay, especially because written instructions told kids not to "censor'' what they wrote.

"In creative writing, you're told to exaggerate,'' said Lee. "It was supposed to be just junk. . . .

"There definitely is violent content, but they're taking it out of context and making it something it isn't.''

Told to write whatever they want and to not censor themselves only to be arrested for writing what the "thought" police didn't approve of. Seems like a sting operation.

Schools banning iPods to beat cheaters

In the never-ending struggle between teachers and some students:

Banning baseball caps during tests was obvious — students were writing the answers under the brim. Then, schools started banning cell phones, realizing students could text message the answers to each other. Now, schools across the country are targeting digital media players as a potential cheating device.

Where there's a will, there's a way.

April 26, 2007

Buying the War

I am currently watching Bill Moyer's "Buying the War" that aired last night. It's about the buildup to the Iraq war and how the press became the Bush administration's lapdog.

If you did not get a chance to watch it, I encourage you to do so. For those of you that got scooped up in the fervor to go to war, then I really encourage you to watch it. You were played and you should be pissed off.

I am angry at the media for allowing this to happen and I can only hope that they have learned their lesson. However, I am a cynic and I do believe that this will happen again.

The more I watch of this show the more pissed off I become! This shit should not happen in a free society!

You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to be informed. Watch "Buying the War" now.

U.S. officials exclude car bombs in touting drop in Iraq violence

Can you believe this?

U.S. officials who say there has been a dramatic drop in sectarian violence in Iraq since President Bush began sending more American troops into Baghdad aren't counting one of the main killers of Iraqi civilians.

Of course you can believe it.

President Bush explained why in a television interview on Tuesday. "If the standard of success is no car bombings or suicide bombings, we have just handed those who commit suicide bombings a huge victory," he told TV interviewer Charlie Rose.

Others, however, say that not counting bombing victims skews the evidence of how well the Baghdad security plan is protecting the civilian population - one of the surge's main goals.

"Since the administration keeps saying that failure is not an option, they are redefining success in a way that suits them," said James Denselow, an Iraq specialist at London-based Chatham House, a foreign policy think tank.

And we let them get away with doing this shit.

House Passes Iraq Pullout Timetable

The Senate is expected to follow the House's 218 to 208 vote with final passage today, completing work on the rarest of bills: legislation to try to end a major war as fighting still rages.

Then we'll get the veto.

Read the rest here.

McCain: Terrorists will come to U.S.

Republican presidential contender John McCain predicted Thursday as the Senate prepared to vote on a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq that terrorists "will follow us home."

As long as the U.S. government continues to piss people off and screw with other countries, then yes, there will be people who want to harm America.

Make note: A vote for McCain is a vote for more war.

Read more.

Intelligence not linked to wealth, according to US study

Make note:

"Your IQ has really no relationship to your wealth. And being very smart does not protect you from getting into financial difficulty," Zagorsky said.

Read the rest.

Egypt's 'Dr. Ruth': Let's talk sex in the Arab world

Bravo for Dr. Heba Kotb!

She is tackling a taboo in the Arab world unlike anyone else: She's talking about sex openly on a show broadcast all over the Middle East.

...

"We talk about masturbation ... sex over the Internet. We talk about sex and Ramadan. We talk about the wedding night," said Kotb. Entitled "The Big Talk," the show is broadcast once a week over a satellite channel from Cairo, Egypt.

However, (isn't there always a 'however'?)

It took the 39-year-old mother three years of negotiations to get her show on the air. And a main reason she succeeded is that she talks only about sex allowed in the Quran -- sex between husband and wife.

No gay sex. No lesbian sex. No threesomes, foursomes, or moresomes. No gangbangs. No swinging. No bondage/discipline. No etc.

Hmmmm. Most in the U.S. don't even like to discuss those sexual practices.

Even without these topics she still has her detractors:

Those more liberal think she's not being open enough about sex, ignoring topics like extra marital affairs, homosexuality and pregnancy out of wedlock. Meanwhile, conservatives think sex is not for public discussion.

"There is no reason to talk about sex on television. Our society doesn't need something like this," a shopkeeper named Fawi said.

For her part, Kotb has no plans to slow down.

Give 'em hell Heba!

PC buyers aim to cut the 'crapware'

Businesses have been doing this for years:

When large businesses buy new PCs, they often wipe the hard drives clean and install a fresh copy of Windows, along with the other software they want workers to have.

Now, some consumers are wanting to do the same thing after they purchase a new PC.

However, what works for businesses isn't always so easy for individuals. Many computers don't actually come with a clean copy of the operating system. Instead, many ship with a "recovery partition" or a recovery disc that restores the system back to the way it shipped--with all that extra software.

As Bill Shanner put it:

"I'm willing to accept that it comes with junk and I'm willing to clean it up," said Bill Shanner, a self-described "senior-citizen engineer" who has seven laptops and at least a half dozen desktops. "The thing that aggravates me is having to buy a second copy of an operating system. If you pay for something, you ought to get what you pay for."

But...

Some analysts have said that they also expect PC makers to begin experimenting with offering clean PCs--ones without any added trial software or other preinstalled programs. Customers may have to pay extra, though, to offset the fact that PC makers make money from many of the programs they add to a new PC's hard drive.

And yes, as always, it is about the money.

Clinton: US might have to confront Iran

Democratic presidential candidate and New York Senator Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that it might be necessary for America to confront Iran militarily, addressing that possibility more directly than any of the other presidential candidates who spoke this week to the National Jewish Democratic Council.

There's more:

Still, she said, all avenues should be explored, since "if we do have to take offensive military action against Iran, it would be far better if the rest of the world saw it as a position of last resort, not first resort, because the effect and consequences will be global."

It's the "offensive military action" that makes me sick to my stocmach. "Offensive military action" is an act of aggression, period. And while I know there are plenty of people out there who think this is a viable option for the U.S. government to take, I sill have to believe there are more people out there who believe an act of aggression is just that: an act of aggression.

Make note that a vote for Hillary is a vote for more war.

Read the rest.

Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons

Where, oh where, did the bees go?

More than a quarter of the country’s 2.4 million bee colonies have been lost — tens of billions of bees, according to an estimate from the Apiary Inspectors of America, a national group that tracks beekeeping. So far, no one can say what is causing the bees to become disoriented and fail to return to their hives.

But then there are the reasons given:

As with any great mystery, a number of theories have been posed, and many seem to researchers to be more science fiction than science. People have blamed genetically modified crops, cellular phone towers and high-voltage transmission lines for the disappearances. Or was it a secret plot by Russia or Osama bin Laden to bring down American agriculture? Or, as some blogs have asserted, the rapture of the bees, in which God recalled them to heaven? Researchers have heard it all.

I can't make this shit up.

Read the rest here.

The Sun is Heating Up

Don't forget the sun is like other stars. It is not a static body in the heavens.

Recent evidence, however, suggests that we don't know all there is to know about the nearest star. Drs. David Gray (University of Western Ontario) and William Livingston (Kitt Peak) have been studying the Sun's temperature with a technique that compares the strength of absorption lines in the solar spectrum. Gray finds that in addition to a fluctuation of 1.5 degrees Kelvin over the 11-year cycle, the temperature of the sun is steadily increasing by 0.014 degrees/yr.

Just something to think about.

Wal-Mart Names HD DVD the Winner

It appears Wal-Mart has decided to try and force the war over high-definition discs to end:

Wal-Mart sees the new high definition formats as a way to bring in store traffic again but they realized that won’t happen unless the players are affordable and there is only one standard. They recognized their own power in being king maker previously and are now using that power to drive the format that works best for them. They could care less about the technology as this is all about making money and they (like every other retailer in this space) know that two formats won’t allow the market to move outside of the fringes and the dual-mode players are simply way too expensive.

I guess we'll see if it works.

Rosie Tells ABC To Screw Its 9/11 Censorship

The Rosie story gets more interesting:

We can reveal that the "key elements" that could not be agreed upon were O'Donnell's propensity to continue to expose the fraud that is the government's official story of 9/11 and her pledge of allegiance to 9/11 truth.

...

According to our source O'Donnell has described some involved with the production of The View as "Neocon gate-keepers" and found it impossible to continue as she was increasingly being heavily edited during recordings.

The same associates were also blocking Rosie from bringing on guests of her own choosing whom she believed would further expose the 9/11 cover up.

What's the truth? Who the hell knows?

Could Global Warming Be Halted by Controlling the Weather?

From the Wall Street Journal Online we have this:

Frustrated with the limits of public policy to tackle global warming, some scientists say the time has come to engineer a way to control the weather. The idea might seem appealing, says a science scholar, but it could have potentially harmful ramifications.

You think?

Human arrogance cracks me up. Why do humans believe they must have control over very thing? Or, more importantly, why do humans think they are capable of controlling every thing?

"Women's town" to put men in their place

Isn't this interesting?

Chinese tourism authorities are seeking investment to build a novel concept attraction -- the world's first "women's town," where men get punished for disobedience, an official said Thursday.

...

The motto of the new town would be "women never make mistakes, and men can never refuse women's requests," Chinese media have reported.

Will you be visiting "women's town"?

April 25, 2007

First designer babies to beat breast cancer

And so it begins...

Two couples whose families have been ravaged by breast cancer are to become the first to screen embryos to prevent them having children at risk of the disease, The Times has learnt.

Tests will allow the couples to take the unprecedented step of selecting embryos free from a gene that carries a heightened risk of the cancer but does not always cause it. The move will reignite controversy over the ethics of embryo screening.

While this is good for these families,

Some critics fear that the tests move society farther down a slope that will lead ultimately to the creation of “designer babies” chosen for looks or intelligence.

It's only a matter of time.

Fighting the Corporate Theft of Our Water

Now this is concerning.

The Bush administration is helping multinationals buy U.S. municipal water systems, putting our most important resource in the hands of corporations with no public accountability.

As the effects of climate change are being felt around the world, including decreasing snowpacks and rainfall, water is quickly becoming the market's new holy grail.

So, of course it will be owned by corporations.

Iran Cracks Down on Women's Dress

With the arrival of spring, Iranian police have launched a crackdown against women accused of not covering up enough, arresting nearly 300 women, some for wearing too tight an overcoat or letting too much hair peek out from under their veil, authorities said Monday.

How depressing.

Read the rest.

Students attend school's first integrated prom

In yet another embarrassing moment for a state in the southern U.S.

Students of Turner County High School started what they hope will become a new tradition: Black and white students attended the prom together for the first time on Saturday.

But some were not ready for the change:

"I've asked, 'Why can't you come?' and they're like, 'My mommy and daddy -- they don't agree with being with the colored people,' which I think is crazy," she said.

Yes, we're in the 21st century.

Mobile texts harm written language?

How could this not happen?

The rising popularity of text messaging on mobile phones poses a threat to writing standards among Irish schoolchildren, an education commission says.

"Text messaging, with its use of phonetic spelling and little or no punctuation, seems to pose a threat to traditional conventions in writing."

The report laments that, in many cases, candidates seemed "unduly reliant on short sentences, simple tenses and a limited vocabulary."

Kryptonite is not so alien after all

Look out Superman!

KRYPTONITE, the stuff that robs Superman of his powers, really exists, scientists say.

A newly found mineral contains exactly the same elements as the fictional green crystals.

Unlike kryptonite, the real thing is white and powdery, emits no radiation and was found in Serbia rather than outer space.

Swedish chickens challenge Darwin

In the never ending quest to defeat the idea of evolution we get this:

Darwin's theory of evolution has been dealt a stinging blow by a group of Swedish-Norwegian researchers. The group, led by Professor Per Jensen from Linköping University, has launched a challenge to Darwin's notion that behaviour cannot be inherited.

In a study published by scientific journal PLoS ONE, the group found that the young of domestic hens exposed to high levels of stress displayed similar behavioral anomalies despite growing up in a stress free environment.

Furthermore, genetic modifications in the young chickens' brains were similar to those developed by their parents as a result of stress.

However:

Per Jensen is keen to stress that the results do not mean that Darwin was wrong.

Thoughts?

Muslims believe U.S. goal to weaken Islam: poll

And if you hadn't given this thought then shame on you.

More than 70 percent of Egyptians, Pakistanis, Indonesians and Moroccans believe the United States is trying to weaken and divide the Islamic world, a poll released on Tuesday showed.

"While U.S. leaders may frame the conflict as a war on terrorism, people in the Islamic world clearly perceive the U.S. as being at war with Islam," Steven Kull, editor at the Washington-based group, said in a statement.

It sure does look that way.

Study: Religion good for children

A new study concludes children whose parents regularly attend religious services and talk about their faith have better self-control, social skills and approaches to learning than children with non-religious parents.

But then:

He also conceded it's possible the correlation between religion and child development is the other way around. It may turn out that only the parents of good behaving children are comfortable in a religious congregation.

What do you all think?

Bin Laden overseeing Iraq, Afghanistan ops: Taliban

Mmm, hmmmm. Seems Emmanuel Goldstein is being trotted out again.

Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden is orchestrating militants' operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a senior commander of Afghan Islamist group Taliban said in remarks broadcast on Wednesday.

Will Bioterror Fears Spawn Science Censorship?

Now here is a dangerous road.

Since September 11th, people have been increasingly worried about the misuse of legitimate scientific research to create dangerous weapons or to bypass security measures. Now a federal advisory board is about to recommend new guidelines to limit publication of life-sciences research that could be misused by terrorists.

The draft proposes voluntary compliance by scientists, universities and journals, but leaves open the possibility of federal legislation to turn the guidelines into law. Indeed, it almost invites that result by supporting application of the NSABB recommendations to researchers that do not receive federal funds -- a result that can only be achieved through regulation.

As a lawyer for computer security researchers, it is impossible to regard this prospect with anything but dread.

I agree.

Democrats say they're set for Iraq funding showdown

House Democratic leaders predict they will have enough votes to pass legislation requiring U.S. troops to begin leaving Iraq by October 1 and send it on to President Bush for his promised veto.

Of course the whole point is:

"For the first time, the president will have to be accountable for this war in Iraq," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said Tuesday. "And he does not want to face that reality."

We'll see.

Read the rest.

Take this job, and compare the pay online

Is this something that you all would find beneficial?

Ever wonder how your pay compares with that of people doing the same job across the street, or even across the country?

That information, previously available only through word-of-mouth or expensive surveys of human resources managers supplied to your employer, is now readily available at your fingertips.

Launched five years ago, PayScale is growing fast as more and more curious workers go to the site and provide details on their job, anonymously of course, in exchange for free information on pay and other compensation for people doing comparable work. The database has been doubling every year since 2004 and now contains more than 7 million profiles and gets more than 1.5 million unique visitors a month, according to the Seattle-based company.

Rosie O'Donnell Leaving 'The View' After Contract Negotiations Fail

Like we didn't see this coming.

ABC said Wednesday it was unable to agree on a contract with the opinionated host, and she'll leave the show in June.

Have an opinion, lose your job?

However, Rosie does go on to say:

"They wanted me three years, I wanted one year and it just didn't work. I'm not sad — I loved it here."

Then Barbara says:

"I'd hoped it would be more than one year. I induced you to come here — we have had, to say the least, an interesting year. An exciting, fun-filled, provocative year. You will be missed."

Is everyone just playing nice?

Federal report censors Afghan torture references

The whole idea of torture absolutely disgusts me.

Federal government officials knew that prisoners held by Afghan security forces faced the possibility of abuse and torture and even execution, according to a report published Wednesday.

The revelations were reported by The Globe and Mail on Wednesday after the paper obtained a report by Canadian diplomats in Kabul, under an Access to Information request.

However, every reference in the report to abuse or torture in prison was blacked out.

And we continue to let them get away with doing such shit.

Read the rest here.

A Media Role in Selling the War? No Question.

Make sure to watch PBS tonight.

Perhaps the truth shall eventually set you free, but first it might make you very, very depressed. Tonight's edition of "Bill Moyers Journal" on PBS is one of the most gripping and important pieces of broadcast journalism so far this year, but it's as disheartening as it is compelling.

It's always depressing to learn that you've been had, but incalculably more so when the deception has resulted in thousands of Americans dying in the Iraq war effort.

In this 90-minute report, called "Buying the War," Moyers and producer Kathleen Hughes use alarming evidence and an array of respected journalists to make the case that, in the rage that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the media abandoned their role as watchdog and became a lapdog instead.

Some of us were never "had" and have known all along that the mainstream media became the lapdog of the Bush administration. It's nice to see them finally become more skeptical.

Al-Qaeda Reportedly Planning Attack "on Par With Hiroshima"

Stay scared people! Really! Stayed scared!

According to a leaked intelligence report Al-Qaeda is planning to "shake the Roman throne" with an attack on "a par with Hiroshima and Nagasaki." The report indicates that the plan will have the help of supporters in Iran.

Gotta love the way Iran is brought into it. Then the article finishes with:

They have got to do something soon that is radical otherwise they start losing credibility," one counter-terrorist source said.

Please.

You can try to digest the rest of this manure here.

Giuliani Caught In Bizarre Building 7 Lie

Rudy, buddy, your memory is a little off:

Rudy Giuliani has been caught in a bizarre lie about WTC 7, in which he claims the building collapsed in stages over a sustained period of time, when in reality the structure fell in under seven seconds.

Which building were you watching again?

Read the rest.

Mac and Linux viruses to rise 'significantly'

Since Vista is, well, not-so-great

The co-founder and head of anti-virus research at Kaspersky Labs claims that Vista's lukewarm reception will drive more customers towards alternative platforms, making them a more attractive target for malware writers.

Figures, since I recently bought a Mac. Isn't there a law by Murphy on that?

You can read the rest of the story here.

Violating Students’ Constitutional Rights

Displaying a dramatic disregard for students’ constitutional rights, a committee of the University of Rhode Island (URI) Student Senate voted on Monday to derecognize the College Republicans student group. For months, the Student Senate has demanded that the group publicly apologize for advertising a satirical $100 “scholarship” for white, heterosexual, American males. The College Republicans refused to apologize and contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. FIRE is now calling upon URI President Robert Carothers, who has already informed the Senate that it could not compel student speech, to reverse the decision to derecognize the group.

Read the rest here.

April 24, 2007

Mexico City Lawmakers Pass Abortion Bill

Every once in awhile something happens that gives me hope for humanity.

Recent newspaper polls showed that a majority of Mexico City residents support legalized abortions, at least in the first weeks of pregnancy.

It's a major change in Mexico as:

The proposal has created an emotional confrontation in a country where the majority of people are Roman Catholic.

A man greater than I once said: "The times, they are a-changin."

Giuliani warns of 'new 9/11' if Dems win

You gotta love the politics of fear. It seems to be the only thing the Republicans are capable of doing. However,

But if a Republican is elected, he said, especially if it is him, terrorist attacks can be anticipated and stopped.

Are you some kind of psychic, Rudy? How/why are your anticipation skills better than the Democrats' or even your fellow Republicans' anticipation skills?

"Vote Republican or the terrorists will get ya!"

Whatever.

Read the rest here.

Found: The New Earth

Seems an Earth-like planet has been found about 20.5 light years away. This is exciting news! Well, for those of us that actually care about such issues. Anyway, the planet is currently named Gliese 581c but hopefully will get a sexier name soon.

Apparently the planet's star is pretty old. The article goes on to say:

Just because Gliese 581c is habitable does not mean that it is inhabited, but we do know its sun is an ancient star - in fact, it is one of the oldest stars in the galaxy, and extremely stable. If there is life, it has had many billions of years to evolve.

But then there's this:

The real importance is not so much the discovery of this planet itself, but the fact that it shows that Earth-like planets are probably extremely common in the Universe.

There are 200 billion stars in our galaxy alone and many astronomers believe most of these stars have planets.

The fact that almost as soon as we have built a telescope capable of detecting small, earth-like worlds, one turns up right on our cosmic doorstep, shows that statistically, there are probably billions of earths out there.


Can't wait for them to find more!

Quote of the Day
"We're recognizing that life on Earth does not appear to be anything special."
~ Bruce Jakosky

April 24, 2007

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps - "From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all. ... That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps. As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration." -- Here's a nice, sobering way to begin the day.

Nothing In This World Is What You Are Being Told - What's a Commoner to Do? - "I asked him, he being a retired CIA agent whose path and mine crossed briefly in this life, "If you can't tell me what you did, can you at least tell me what you learned?" His reply woke me up to what I already knew and suspect most humans know in their hearts who live on this planet, but don't want to know. He said, "Oh yes, I can surely tell you what I learned...Nothing in this world is as you are being told."" -- Let's keep the sobering ideas going.

The War Goes Ever On - "Is the Iraq war to become a permanent feature?
The war persists despite the opposition of a majority of Americans and Iraqis. The war persists despite warnings from U.S. generals that the stress is breaking the U.S. Army. The war persists despite its enormous costs in red ink and dependence on foreign loans. The war persists despite its total failure. The war persists despite the known fact that it was based on Bush administration lies and deception."

Nationality dictates media coverage - "A newly-landed extraterrestrial being familiar with the English language might be forgiven for believing that some people's lives are worth more than others purely dependent on an accident of birth or acquired nationality. He, she or it might also wonder why the word "terrorist" is attached to some killers but not to others." -- My thoughts exactly.

Freedom to Discuss Virginia Tech? - "Emmanuel College last week urged all professors to talk to students about the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech. One adjunct who did so for about 10 minutes — but not in the way Emmanuel envisioned — was promptly fired and barred from the campus." -- A paranoid move by the university. I would also say a dangerous move for higher education.

Culture of Fear: Poetry Professor Becomes Terror Suspect - "Because of my recycling, the bomb squad came, then the state police. Because of my recycling, buildings were evacuated, classes were canceled, the campus was closed. No. Not because of my recycling. Because of my dark body. No. Not even that. Because of his fear. Because of the way he saw me. Because of the culture of fear, mistrust, hatred and suspicion that is carefully cultivated in the media, by the government, by people who claim to want to keep us "safe.""

Gay marriage evil, abortion terrorism: Vatican - "The Vatican's second-highest ranking doctrinal official on Monday forcefully branded homosexual marriage an evil and denounced abortion and euthanasia as forms of "terrorism with a human face."" -- I'm glad I'm not Catholic.

Russell Simmons Says 3 Epithets Should Be Banned - "Expressing concern about the "growing public outrage" over the use of such words in rap lyrics, Simmons said the words "bitch," "ho" and "nigger" should be considered "extreme curse words."" -- Another issue being used to stoke paranoia.

LSD as Therapy? Write about It, Get Barred from US - "Andrew Feldmar, a well-known Vancouver psychotherapist, rolled up to the Blaine border crossing last summer as he had hundreds of times in his career. At 66, his gray hair, neat beard, and rimless glasses give him the look of a seasoned intellectual. He handed his passport to the U.S. border guard and relaxed, thinking he would soon be with an old friend in Seattle. The border guard turned to his computer and googled "Andrew Feldmar." The psychotherapist's world was about to turn upside down." -- More fucking paranoia. What's with this shit today?

The Secrets of the Christian Right's Recruiting Tactics - "A look at the cult-like recruiting tactics of the Christian right, including the manipulative and highly successful practice of "love bombing.""

Dissatisfaction, yearning make churchgoers switch - "Most of the switchers who changed their house of worship without making a residential move (58%) say their old church failed to engage their faith, or put their talents to work, or it seemed hypocritical or judgmental. But 42% of the people say they switched because another church offered more appealing doctrines and preaching or the preacher and church members' faith seemed more "authentic.""

Charlie Rose To Host First Live Online Presidential Debates - "Yahoo along with the Huffington Post and Slate will host two presidential debates during the 2008 campaign. Hosted by Charlie Rose, these interactive debates will be available on the three websites and allow voters an opportunity to ask questions, as well as evaluate the candidates for their performances."

Billions? What billions? Pentagon can't explain - "As the debate in Congress over supplemental funding for the war in Iraq heats up, the Department of Defense still cannot adequately account for billions of dollars, according to the Government Accountability Office."

If You're a Truther, Go and See Shooter - "Shooter, starring Mark Wahlberg, is the latest in a burgeoning trend of recent movies that carry a strong anti-government sentiment - the film is both political commentary and a damning expose of how the state stages black-ops in order to achieve political agendas."

Existing Home Sales Plunge in March - "Sales of existing homes plunged in March by the largest amount in nearly two decades, reflecting bad weather and increasing problems in the subprime mortgage market, a real estate trade group reported Tuesday."

FCC Seeks To Rein In Violent TV Shows - "Agency Will Recommend Law to Regulate Broadcast And Basic Cable Content."

Consume Like There’s No Tomorrow - "Adding the key word “alone” in the first paragraph of its release indicated that the Sierra Club wanted to be sure that politicians and corporate donors understood that it has no intention of criticizing the large quantity of unnecessary junk created by corporate America."

Baby boy born, then abandoned as mother walks away - "San Francisco police arrested a woman after she gave birth to a baby boy on a street corner Sunday night and then walked away, abandoning the baby."




Quote of the Day
"Well, I'm pissed off!"
~ Eric Cartman, South Park

April 23, 2007

April 23, 2007

War and the Police State: Complicity of the American People - "In this era of perpetual warfare, escalating domestic tyranny, government-sanctioned torture, and a Nazi-like pursuit of Middle-East domination, one would expect, at the very least, an audible outcry from the People who proclaim resolute devotion to the ideals of liberty and justice for all. Yet for the most part, Mainstream America continues to assume a posture of apathy, bitterness, or eery silence."

Soldier: Honor troops like Va. Tech dead - "An Army sergeant complained in a rare opinion article that the U.S. flag flew at half-staff last week at the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan for those killed at Virginia Tech but the same honor is not given to fallen U.S. troops here and in Iraq." -- That's because the flag would be perpetually at half-staff and therefore a constant reminder of the death taking place in the Middle East. Now, you know we can't have that.

Jihadis aspire to 'conquer France' - "As the French people went to the polls to select a president, jihadi members of an al-Qaeda online forum exchanged messages discussing their aspiration to "reinvade France (and convert it into) an Islamic country."" -- Jesus.

Bush Administration Awash in Scandals - "Campaigning in 2000, Texas Gov. George W. Bush would repeatedly raise his right hand as if taking an oath and vow to "restore honor and integrity" to the White House. He pledged to usher in a new era of bipartisanship. ... Now, with fewer than two years left of his second term, the Bush administration is embroiled in multiple scandals and ethics investigations. The war in Iraq still rages. Bush's approval ratings are hovering in the mid-30s. And Democratic-Republican relations have seldom been more rancorous. ... The furor over Gonzales and Rove's e-mail practices follow disclosures of shoddy medical treatment of war-injured veterans, FBI abuses of civil liberties, and the conviction of a top White House aide of lying to a grand jury. What ever happened to restoring honor and dignity?"

Gasoline at $4 Coming to a Pump Near You, Unfazed by Rising Tab - "Whether it's $50 to fill up your Prius or $130 for the Ford Expedition, $4-a-gallon gasoline is coming to a pump near you."

Bush Poised to Veto Long-Sought Labor Reform - "For years, companies have been keeping workers from exercising their legal rights to organize and exacerbating America's income and wealth inequality. A new bill could help reverse that trend, but does it stand a chance against Bush's veto pen?"

John Kerry: Building 7 Was Deliberately Demolished - "At a recent speaking engagement in Austin Texas, Senator John Kerry responded to a question about WTC Building 7 by concluding that according to his information, the building was brought down as a result of a controlled demolition, directly contradicting the official line that the structure fell as a result of fire and debris damage."

Danger on the airwaves: Is the Wi-Fi revolution a health time bomb? - "The technological explosion is even bigger than the mobile phone explosion that preceded it. And, as with mobiles, it is being followed by fears about its effect on health - particularly the health of children. Recent research, which suggests that the worst fears about mobiles are proving to be justified, only heightens concern about the electronic soup in which we are increasingly spending our lives."

AttenTV turns Web surfing into eerie spectator sport - "Broadcasting your clickstream--a record of the Web sites you've visited--used to be considered a privacy violation. Now, some companies are trying to turn such broadcasts into just another way to squeeze value from what seems to be one of our most precious assets: the things we pay attention to."

On payday, it's still a man's world - "A dramatic pay gap emerges between women and men in America the year after they graduate from college and widens over the ensuing decade, according to research released on Monday."

The "Silent" Ninth Amendment Gives Americans Rights They Don't Know They Have - "The first Amendment right of free speech and the Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination are well known, but the Ninth Amendment is ignored. Pity, because it bears directly on abortion, the right to die, and gay rights."

Need a Safe Abortion? Go to Mexico City - "U.N. data shows that in countries where women have access to safe contraception, reproductive health care, and legal abortion, the actual abortion rates are much lower than in countries where women do not have such rights."

Mexican Catholics protest plan to legalize abortion - ""They are committing genocide, no-one has the right to take away life," said Maria Morales, a housewife who had traveled south from the state of Hidalgo to attend the rally." -- No one? Really? Then why is so much life taken away every day? Are unborn children more important than all the people killed in war? Are they more important than those killed by capital punishment? What kind of murder is okay and what kind of murder is not okay? Where in the Ten Commandments does it tell me that this kind of murder is permissable, but this kind is not? I thought it simply said "Thou shalt not kill", period.

Studies put abstinence funds at risk - "Two recent studies -- one that found federally funded abstinence programs do not affect teenage sexual behavior and another that found that "almost all" American adults have sex before marrying -- are adding momentum to the argument that abstinence-only education is folly." -- Um, that's because we humans are supposed to have sex.

Michigan student suspended for wearing 'I'm straight' sticker - "A Christian student has been punished by his Michigan high school for demonstrating opposition to a school event celebrating the homosexual lifestyle. The boy's father, a pastor, says he's frustrated the rights of Christian students are being constantly trampled on campus."

Bentonville Man Files Suit Over Library Book - "A Bentonville man is seeking $20,000 from the city after his two teenage sons found a book on lesbian sex on a library bookshelf. Earl Adams says his sons were "greatly disturbed" after finding the book, titled "The Whole Lesbian Sex Book." Adams says the book caused, "many sleepless nights in our house."" -- Yeah, I'm sure your teenage son's had "many sleepless nights" after looking at that book. ;-)

FDA Was Aware of Dangers To Food - "The Food and Drug Administration has known for years about contamination problems at a Georgia peanut butter plant and on California spinach farms that led to disease outbreaks that killed three people, sickened hundreds, and forced one of the biggest product recalls in U.S. history, documents and interviews show. Overwhelmed by huge growth in the number of food processors and imports, however, the agency took only limited steps to address the problems and relied on producers to police themselves, according to agency documents."

Daily pill to beat genetic diseases - "A pill that can correct a wide range of faulty genes which cause crippling illnesses should be available within three years, promising a revolution in the treatment of thousands of conditions."

Cloned dogs to be mated as test - "THE world's first cloned dog will be mated with the world's second dog clone, in an experiment to see whether they can reproduce normally."

Catapult boy is eaten after taunting crocodile in pen - "A schoolboy who climbed over a fence into a crocodile enclosure and taunted the animals with sticks and a catapult was dragged into the water and eaten." -- I have to say I don't have much sympathy here. I am more pissed off that they killed the crocodiles.




Quote of the Day
"The enormous gap between what U.S. leaders do in the world and what Americans think their leaders are doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the dominant political mythology."
~ Michael Parenti

April 22, 2007

April 22, 2007

Articles of Impeachment To Be Filed On Cheney - "Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), the most liberal of the Democratic presidential candidates in the primary field, declared in a letter sent to his Democratic House colleagues this morning that he plans to file articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney."

Huge oil field discovered in Iran - "Engineers at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) have discovered an abundant oil field with a capacity amounting to 1600 million barrels."

Washington's $8 Billion Shadow - "Mega-contractors such as Halliburton and Bechtel supply the government with brawn. But the biggest, most powerful of the "body shops"—SAIC, which employs 44,000 people and took in $8 billion last year—sells brainpower, including a lot of the "expertise" behind the Iraq war."

In Baghdad, U.S. troops build wall to curb violence - "A U.S. military brigade is constructing a 3-mile-long concrete wall to cut off one of the capital's most restive Sunni Arab districts from the Shiite Muslim neighborhoods that surround it, raising concern about the further Balkanization of Iraq's most populous and violent city."

Iraq Has Two Virginia Techs Every Day - "Virginia Tech will be gone from the headlines and the air waves by next week this time in the US, though the families of the victims will grieve for a lifetime. But next Tuesday I will come out here and report to you that 64 Iraqis have been killed in political violence. And those will mainly be the ones killed by bombs and mortars. They are only 13% of the total; most Iraqis killed violently, perhaps 500 a day throughout the country if you count criminal and tribal violence, are just shot down. Shot down, like the college students and professors at Blacksburg. We Americans can so easily, with a shudder, imagine the college student trying to barricade himself behind a door against the armed madman without. But can we put ourselves in the place of Iraqi students?"

The Cho Seung-Hui Video Show - "But what I can buy, or at least entertain, is the possibility Cho Seung-Hui is, for lack of a better term, a Manchurian Candidate. Do a Google search on Project Bluebird, the very real CIA experiments in brainwashing and multiple personality engineering."

Sources: Feds Ordered VA Police To Stand Down - "Police and EMT workers at Virginia Tech tell us that campus police were given a federal order to stand down and not pursue killer Cho Seung-Hui as Monday's bloodshed unfolded."

Bill To Ban Gun Confiscations On AZ Governor's Desk -- Please contact Napolitano immediately! - "That is why SB 1258 is so significant. The bill tells a governor and his officials that they can NOT "commandeer and utilize... firearms or ammunition or firearms or ammunition components.""

25 years murder-free in 'Gun Town USA' - "In March 1982, 25 years ago, the small town of Kennesaw – responding to a handgun ban in Morton Grove, Ill. – unanimously passed an ordinance requiring each head of household to own and maintain a gun. Since then, despite dire predictions of "Wild West" showdowns and increased violence and accidents, not a single resident has been involved in a fatal shooting – as a victim, attacker or defender."

101 Ways to Massacre Students - "But while Kent State and Virginia Tech are venues of physical assault on students, almost no one is aware of the myriad levels on which, in other venues and without the spilling of blood, students are being massacred."

Every Time I Think I Find Hope, It Gets Dashed - "Claiming that invading Iraq was Osama's idea is a bald-faced lie. It's the kind of thing that you really don't expect to hear from anyone with an IQ that's higher than the refrigerator temperature. Coming from someone in the White House, it's inexcusable. The idea that someone who works for the Commander in Chief would still be using that argument is an insult to the intelligence of every American listening, and it's completely disrespectful to every servicemember who is - or has - been deployed in Iraq. But we are talking about Karl Rove."

Humans in secret radioactive tests - "Tests exposing humans to radioactive caesium, iodine, strontium and uranium were conducted despite doubts about their legal and ethical implications. One proposal even envisaged injecting plutonium into elderly people to help assess contamination risks."

Pope abolishes limbo - "THE Vatican has determined that limbo does not exist, opening the gates of heaven to babies who die unbaptised, a member of a high-level theological commission."

Ungodly goodness - "Can we be good without belief in god(s)? This question often crops up when discussing religion and is frequently offered as a pragmatic argument against nonbelief. The thinking seems to be that even if good evidence for the existence of god(s) is lacking, which it most certainly is, belief in the proverbial "eye in the sky" is a useful delusion because without such belief, nothing would prevent people from behaving immorally. It's surprising how ubiquitous this argument is, considering how easily it's shown to be false. ... In e-mail discussions, religionists often ask why, as an atheist, I bother to behave morally. It's as though, to them, the only thing stopping humanity from morphing into sadistically selfish malevolent monsters is belief in an invisible being who holds us responsible for fulfilling his/her/its moral expectations. ... An entirely god-dependent morality is nothing but child-like obedience, a shallow ethical framework informed only through fear of punishment or anticipation of reward."

Southern Baptist Abuse Cases Garnering More Attention, Warnings - "Clergy sex scandals have widely been exposed in the Catholic Church, but recent media attention has gone toward Protestant churches, mainly the Southern Baptist Convention, which some fear may be developing a similar pattern to the Catholic Church."

An atheist at Virginia Tech - "We atheists do not believe in gods, or angels, or demons, or souls that endure, or a meeting place after all is said and done where more can be said and done and the point of it all revealed. We don’t believe in the possibility of redemption after our lives, but the necessity of compassion in our lives. We believe in people, in their joys and pains, in their good ideas and their wit and wisdom. We believe in human rights and dignity, and we know what it is for those to be trampled on by brutes and vandals. We may believe that the universe is pitilessly indifferent but we know that friends and strangers alike most certainly are not. We despise atrocity, not because a god tells us that it is wrong, but because if not massacre then nothing could be wrong."

Australia's epic drought: The situation is grim - "Australia has warned that it will have to switch off the water supply to the continent's food bowl unless heavy rains break an epic drought - heralding what could be the first climate change-driven disaster to strike a developed nation."

Stop coming to work and save the planet - "The Institute of Directors is calling for flexible hours and more home working to help tackle global warming."

Drivers To Be Charged $8 To Enter Midtown - "This weekend Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to introduce an $8 congestion fee for drivers who enter Manhattan below 86th Street."

Key Initiative Of 'No Child' Under Federal Investigation - "The disclosure came as a congressional hearing revealed how people implementing the $1 billion-a-year Reading First program made at least $1 million off textbooks and tests toward which the federal government steered states. "That sounds like a criminal enterprise to me," said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House education committee, which held a five-hour investigative hearing. "You don't get to override the law," he angrily told a panel of Reading First officials. "But the fact of the matter is that you did."" -- Because it's never been about the children.

Public Wi-Fi may turn your life into an open notebook - "As wireless hot spots proliferate, the tools for secretly monitoring these Internet connections are becoming more sophisticated."

Women laughed as they forced toddlers to take part in 'dog fight' - "The women, including the children's mother, goaded the tearful brother and sister to punch each other and even use a magazine and hairbrush as weapons. When the boy, who was in a nappy, stopped fighting they called him a "wimp" and "bloody faggot". Passing sentence at Plymouth crown court, Judge Francis Gilbert said the video taken of the fight was "shocking". He said: "You laughed at them, you mocked them, you swore at them. You compelled them to hit each other even though they clearly did not want to. You were cruel, callous, clearly causing the children to hurt each other for your own pleasure."" -- Make sure to read about the fight. These people are fucking disgusting excuses for human beings.

FDA Complicit in Pushing Prescription Drugs, Ad Critics Say - "Consumer and health groups say prescription-drug advertisements like these are often deceitful, interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, and lead to unnecessary drug use."

Infant botulism case confirmed - "According to a press release, the child's mother reported that, in addition to being breastfed, the infant was fed Earth's Best Organic baby food."

Parrot teaches boy of 4 to talk - "AN autistic boy who could not speak has learned his first words — with the help of his family’s pet PARROT."

Police seek clues on 'ghost ship' - "Forensic police on Saturday began examining a deserted catamaran found drifting off Australia's Great Barrier Reef -- with the sails up, engine running and food on the table -- for clues about the three missing crew members."

Attention theater owners, this concerns you! - "I wanted to stand up and shout, while all the theater owners were around, that the answer is simple. Enforce your no talking policy. Simple as that. Kick the assholes who talk out of the theater. That’ll solve much of your attendance problems right there. And you don’t have to take my word for it. Entertainment Weekly recently ran a poll asking what keeps you away from the theater. It wasn’t the convenience of DVD. It wasn’t the ticket prices. It wasn’t the concession prices. The overwhelming majority said it was because people talk through the movie." -- That's why we stopped going.

Microsoft admits Vista failure - "WITH TWO OVERLAPPING events, Microsoft admitted what we have been saying all along, Vista, aka Windows Me Two (Me II), is a joke that no one wants. It did two unprecedented things this week that frankly stunned us."




Quote of the Day
"In other words, gun-control laws make the world safer for criminals and less safe for you."
~ Harry Browne

April 20, 2007

April 20, 2007

Nation joins Va. Tech in honoring massacre victims - "Four days after the deadliest shooting on a U.S. college campus, Americans prepared to remember victims of the Virginia Tech massacre with candlelight vigils, moments of silence and the tolling of bells. Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine has declared Friday a day of mourning, and alumni of Virginia Tech have organized a "Hokie Hope" day, asking all alumni, students and friends of the school to wear the university's colors -- orange and maroon."

The Victims - "Remembering the victims who died on April 16, 2007 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute" -- Profiles of the 32 victims.

Vermont Senate: Impeach the president - "Vermont senators voted Friday to call for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, saying their actions have raised "serious questions of constitutionality.""

Reid Offers Bleak Assessment of Iraq War - "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday the war in Iraq is "lost," triggering an angry backlash by Republicans, who said the top Democrat had turned his back on the troops. The bleak assessment - the most pointed yet from Reid - came as the House voted 215-199 to uphold legislation ordering troops out of Iraq next year." -- Don't you just love how the Republicans continue to use the troops as pawns?

Dems reluctant to oppose Iraq funding - "Anti-war liberals worried about party unity are reluctant to mount opposition to war spending legislation in the House even if it does not set a firm date for troop withdrawal."

Adult males at 'highest risk of death' - "There is an Iraq surge, but it is a surge in deaths. The year up to March this year has been the worst 12 months for civilian fatalities."

Rove: ‘I Wish The Iraq War Never Existed,’ It Was ‘Osama Bin Laden’s Idea’ - "History shows Rove was exceptionally eager in 2002 for the upcoming Iraq war, anxious to reap what he viewed would be the political gains for conservatives leading another military conflict:"

Bush muses on marriage, chicken-plucking - "When Bush went to Ohio on Thursday to talk about terrorism, he ended up musing about marriage and chicken-plucking plants, the agony of death and his Oval Office rug, which resembles a sunburst. About his legacy, Bush said historians are still assessing George Washington, the nation's first leader. "My attitude is, if they're still writing about (number) one, 43 doesn't need to worry about it."" -- I would like to apologize to the rest of the world for the behavior of my country's President.

Gonzales Can't Recall Meetings That Led to Attorney Firings - "Embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified Thursday before a Senate committee that he could not recall the details of any of the meetings he participated in over the course of two years, in which he and his staff discussed a plan to fire eight US attorneys."

'Devastating' Moyers Probe of Press and Iraq Coming - "The most powerful indictment of the news media for falling down in its duties in the run-up to the war in Iraq will appear next Wednesday, a 90-minute PBS broadcast called “Buying the War,” which marks the return of “Bill Moyers Journal.” E&P was sent a preview DVD and a draft transcript for the program this week. While much of the evidence of the media’s role as cheerleaders for the war presented here is not new, it is skillfully assembled, with many fresh quotes from interviews (with the likes of Tim Russert and Walter Pincus) along with numerous embarrassing examples of past statements by journalists and pundits that proved grossly misleading or wrong. Several prominent media figures, prodded by Moyers, admit the media failed miserably, though few take personal responsibility."

Hypocrite Kucinich Drafts Legislation To Ban Guns - "Dennis Kucinich has shot himself in the foot, pardon the pun, by alienating a huge majority of his most vocal and active online supporters, the 9/11 Truth Movement, in drafting legislation that will completely ban the purchase, sale, transfer, or possession of handguns by civilians. Kucinich has effectively ended any minute chance he had of becoming President in 2008." -- Idiot.

WOW I DID IT...VIDEO PROOF THAT CHO WAS NOT ALONE .... - "this is a portion of the video that NBC was showing of the alleged killer and the "OFFICIAL" story goes that HE MADE IT HIMSELF. Well, guess what? THE CAMERA IS MOVING, AND I CAN HEAR ANOTHER PERSON COUGH IN THE BACKGROUND.... And, at one point the person filming it, bumps the camera and you can HEAR the bump and see the camera shake and CHO does NOT move so there is NO way that he filmed this himself!" -- Check out the video.

Tennessee House vote permits guns in more places - "In a surprise move, a House panel voted Wednesday to repeal a state law that forbids the carrying of handguns on property and buildings owned by state, county and city governments - including parks and playgrounds. "I think the recent Virginia disaster - or catastrophe or nightmare or whatever you want to call it - has woken up a lot of people to the need for having guns available to law-abiding citizens," said Rep. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains. "I hope that is what this vote reflects.""

South Koreans told to fast over massacre - "“Koreans can often view the world through a nationalistic lens and they will feel a sense of responsibility,” said Michael Breen, a Seoul-based analyst and author."

Christian Right Leaders: America Can Only Be 'Reclaimed' by Religious Revival - "If there was an overarching theme to this year's event, it was that America cannot be "reclaimed" from the grip of the evil forces that now engulf it until religious revival sweeps the land. Several speakers seemed to berate the faithful for not being holy enough."

FIVE MEN DECIDING FOR 150,000,000 WOMEN. - "Kennedy argued that that it is “self-evident” that “a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she did not know.” As Sarah explains, "his twisted remedy, though, is not to ensure that a woman has adequate information; it’s to ensure that she has no option. Her moral judgment is completely eviscerated." It is hard, in all of this, not to grow increasingly enraged at the makeup of the Court generally and the conservative bloc specifically."

'No abortions, no exceptions,' in sight - "Georgia group aims for constitutional amendment in 2008."

American Dream Now A Nightmare For Millions - "A 2004 analysis of data by the US Census reports that 60 million Americans now live on less than $7 per day. That's one in five in the U.S. living on less than $2,555 per year. At the same time, the richest 1 per cent now garners about 16 per cent of national income, double what they earned in the 1960s." -- Twenty percent of American's live on less than $7 a day. That's depressing.

Bloggers say EU law will end free speech - "British bloggers said yesterday that free speech on the internet is under threat from draconian new laws, which could see them jailed for up to three years. Europe's justice ministers have agreed genocide denial and race hatred legislation that will outlaw remarks on the internet "carried out in a manner likely to incite violence or hatred"."

Could You End Up on a Sex Offender Registry? - "I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. But it appears that you can do almost anything in California, sexually speaking, if everyone involved is a living, consenting adult -- and it happens in private or online. No wonder the real estate prices are so ridiculously high. I'd move here too if I didn't already live here."

Study: Teens protecting their profiles - "Teens generally don't think twice about including their first names and photos on their personal online profiles, but most refrain from using full names or making their profiles fully public, a new survey finds." -- Seems teens are not as stupid as adults sometimes think they are.

Power lines link to cancer in new alert - "The confidential study, obtained by the Evening Standard, urges ministers to consider banning the building of homes and schools close to overhead high-voltage power cables because of possible health risks."

Cannabis compound slows lung cancer in mice - "The active compound in marijuana, THC, can slow the growth of lung tumours and reduce the spread of the cancer in mice, a preliminary study reveals."

Artifacts With Extraterrestrial Writings Discovered Near Tunguska Site - "The boulders were tested in Krasnoyarsk and Moscow and test results speak for the fact that they are of extraterrestrial origin, he said."

Mysterious Rock Growing 'Hair' Put on Display in Beijing - "On March 16, 2007, an unusual rock went on display in Beijing. This rock has "hair," almost identical to human hair, growing out of its "head."" -- Check out the pic.




Quote of the Day
"I'm going nowhere and I'm ten steps back."
~ Annie Lennox