November 30, 2007

Pope Criticizes Atheism in Encyclical

Pope Benedict XVI strongly criticized atheism in a major document released Friday, saying it had led to some of the "greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice" ever known.

In his second encyclical, Benedict also critically questioned modern Christianity, saying its focus on individual salvation had ignored Jesus' message that true Christian hope involves salvation for all.

The document, titled "Saved by Hope," is a deeply theological exploration of Christian hope: that in the suffering and misery of daily life, Christianity provides the faithful with a "journey of hope" to the Kingdom of God.

"We must do all we can to overcome suffering, but to banish it from the world is not in our power," Benedict wrote. "Only God is able to do this."

And that's bullshit. That last statement is nothing but a cop out. All it does is give humanity permission to keep acting in barbaric ways.

And by the way, hasn't religion led to some of the "greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice" ever known? Oh, yeah, it has. But, as always, the religious need someone else to blame and demonize to make their actions seem more honorable and justified. Well, guess what, both the religious and non-religious have committed some major atrocities throughout history. You and your church, Mr. Pope, do not get off without some of the blame.

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Genetic Cosmetic Makes Old Skin Like New

Scientists at Stanford have reversed the aging of skin in mice, making it look and act like new skin.

The researchers first discovered a protein that plays a role in skin aging. Then they used a lotion that inhibited the protein in a genetically engineered mouse. After two weeks of treatment with their genetic cosmetic, the skin of older mice displayed the look and genetic profile of younger skin.

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Golden Compass author hits back

The author of the book on which the new film The Golden Compass is based has hit back at critics who accuse him of peddling "candy-coated atheism".

Philip Pullman dismissed as "absolute rubbish" accusations by the US-based Catholic League that the film promotes atheism and denigrates Christianity.

Don't "candy-coat" it. Tell it like it is.

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Column: The time has come to move past religion

Returning today, however, the Madman would say that God is still dead while religion is still as deadly and as ungodly as ever.


It is no surprise then that non-believers have had enough of the killing in God's name, or Jesus' name, or Mohammed's name, or for Allah. The age of religion is over, and it is by keeping such obsolete notions alive that they become deadlier.


Today, science can explain much of the unknown, and we have complex religions to take care of the rest. But what has changed? Certainly not our propensity for killing, violence, greed and deceit.


They are being called by some the New Atheists, while they might be seen as New Madmen approaching our Christian society with fingers pointed, saying, ``Look at what you've done. You don't really believe or we wouldn't be still living in a world beset with the same moral outrages as in centuries past. It is time to move on.''


However bold they might be, nothing is going to change overnight. Tens of thousands of years of fear and faith are not going to wither away without a natural process of evolution.

Aggressive atheists, however, may be part of that process -- helping push consciousness to higher levels that not only don't need religion to live, but don't need it to kill and make war.

Read the rest.

Sudan protesters: Execute teacher

Hundreds of protesters brandishing swords and sticks gathered outside Khartoum's presidential palace Friday to vent their anger against a British teacher jailed for allowing children to name a teddy bear "Mohammed."

About 600 Islamic demonstrators piled out of mosques, chanting: "By soul, by blood, I will fight for the Prophet Mohammed." Some of the protesters demanded the teacher's execution, according to The Associated Press.

The agency reports that some chanted: "No tolerance: Execution," and "Kill her, kill her by firing squad."

This is the world we have created.

Fucking pathetic.

And religion is a "good" thing? Hmmmmm. I'm trying to find the "good" here, people.

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Study: 'Huge jump' in Microsoft flaws since last year

Between 2006 and 2007, there was an almost threefold rise in Microsoft flaws, Qualys said on Wednesday.

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MTV to offer all 'South Park' clips online

MTV Networks plans to make every clip from every episode of hit animated comedy South Park available for free online next year as part of a strategy to reach consumers everywhere.

The decision from the biggest division of media conglomerate Viacom follows on the heels of the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, whose popularity online has helped boost television viewership.

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McCain blames Rise of Hitler on Ron Paul

In a new low of despicable looniness, at the Republican debate in St. Petersburg, John McCain equated those Americans who want to stop militarily occupying Iraq with Hitler-enablers. He actually said that, saying that it was 'isolationism' of a sort that allowed Hitler to come to power.

It gives a person a certain amount of faith in one's fellow Americans that McCain was booed by the Republican crowd for this piece of calumny. Comparisons to Hitler should be automatic grounds for a candidate to be disqualified from being president.

But then McCain is the same person who joked about bombing Iran. He thinks that killing all those children from the air would be funny?

John, buddy,...shut up. You are washed up and irrelevant.

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Blogger Fights for Free Speech in New Jersey

"Bloggers, as well as everyone else, have a First Amendment right to speak anonymously," said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. "Litigants don't get a blank check to pry into the private lives of critics when they say things the litigants don't like. The fact that it is the government trying to abuse the discovery process makes this attempted invasion of privacy all the more repugnant."

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My instant boob job from 36A to 36DD - and the effect it had on men (and women)

But what had inspired this frankly odd behaviour from complete strangers? Quite simply, it was my pair of perfectly perky 36DD breasts.

What they didn't know of course was that they were in fact made of silicone and had been 'added' to my chest the previous day.


I realised that a whole lifetime of being checked out, and commented on, like some prize heifer, would drive me quite mad.

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Senate Bill 1959 to Criminalize Thoughts, Blogs, Books and Free Speech Across America

The end of Free Speech in America has arrived at our doorstep. It's a new law called the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, and it is worded in a clever way that could allow the U.S. government to arrest and incarcerate any individual who speaks out against the Bush Administration, the war on Iraq, the Department of Homeland Security or any government agency (including the FDA).

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November 29, 2007

Guliani : "You're all a bunch of morons"

Do you have any idea who last looked at your data?

Yahoo and Google's troubles are probably just the start of what will be another long battle in the war over corporations as agents of control. Left to their own devices, such companies are driven to store as much data as possible for as long as is practical.

We cannot expect that having large warehouses of data on individuals will be free from unintended consequences, especially when there are incentives to try to build highly detailed models of everyone's lives. The price of total personalisation is total surveillance.

Thanks to Luis for the article.

Read more.

For toddlers, toy of choice is tech device

Cell phones, laptops, digital cameras and MP3 music players are among the hottest gift items this year. For preschoolers.

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Ron Paul The CandidateMost Hated By Most Jews

So it appears we are faced with Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee, though these Alice-in-Wonderland characters are far from harmless. No one else has the blessing of the media and the other behind-the-scene controllers of American life (OK, AIPAC). The only two contenders who call for immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and foreswear any attack on Iran - Republican Congressman Ron Paul and Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich - are dismissed as fringe candidates if not nutcases. Paul is a self-proclaimed Libertarian, and Kucinich, who introduced a motion to impeach Vice-President Richard Cheney earlier this month, is regularly ridiculed as a believer in UFOs, especially by his stab-in-the-back fellow Democrats. The implication is that it would be dangerous to entrust the reins of government to either of these wackos. This, despite Bush's belief that he has a hotline directly to God himself.

Read more.

November 28, 2007

A New Way to Control Weight?

Scientists have found intriguing evidence that one major reason so many people are overweight these days may be as close as the seat of their pants. Literally. According to the researchers, most of us sit too much.

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Feds Cancel Amazon Customer ID Request

Federal prosecutors have withdrawn a subpoena seeking the identities of thousands of people who bought used books through online retailer Inc. (AMZN), newly unsealed court records show.

The withdrawal came after a judge ruled the customers have a First Amendment right to keep their reading habits from the government.

Just the fact that the feds actually tried to get this information should concern you.

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High-Tech Drones Joining Miami Police Force

The Miami-Dade police department will begin experimenting with high-tech drones as law enforcement tools beginning next year.

Although the military has been using unmanned aircraft systems for years, this will be the first time they are used in law enforcement.

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November 27, 2007

College offers medical plan to employees' pets, denies it to their human companions

A Florida college, after denying employees' domestic partners access to medical insurance, has in turn offered a medical plan for employees' household pets, the Palm Beach Post reports.

In August, medical benefits for human domestic partners of employees were denied due to a tie vote among Palm Beach Community College trustees. While the increase in benefits would not have changed the cost to the college, there was concern about future increases due to higher membership in the group plan.

This is the world we have created.

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Study: Sleep deficit may be impossible to make up

New research suggests an added risk to losing sleep day after day: Humans and animals that have chronic sleep deprivation might reach a point at which the very ability to catch up on lost sleep is damaged, says Fred Turek, a sleep researcher at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

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November 26, 2007

Montclair State Unveils Mandatory 'School Phone'

It includes just 50 peak voice minutes a month, but unlimited text messaging to any carrier, unlimited campus-based data usage, and student activated emergency GPS tracking.

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Older white women join Kenya's sex tourists

Hard figures are difficult to come by, but local people on the coast estimate that as many as one in five single women visiting from rich countries are in search of sex.

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We are set on a course of 'planet saving' madness

The scare over global warming, and our politicians' response to it, is becoming ever more bizarre. On the one hand we have the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change coming up with yet another of its notoriously politicised reports, hyping up the scare by claiming that world surface temperatures have been higher in 11 of the past 12 years (1995-2006) than ever previously recorded.

This carefully ignores the latest US satellite figures showing temperatures having fallen since 1998, declining in 2007 to a 1983 level - not to mention the newly revised figures for US surface temperatures showing that the 1930s had four of the 10 warmest years of the past century, with the hottest year of all being not 1998, as was previously claimed, but 1934.

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Natural disasters have quadrupled in two decades: study

More than four times the number of natural disasters are occurring now than did two decades ago, British charity Oxfam said in a study Sunday that largely blamed global warming.

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Fox's Lie Detector Game Show

“This is going to be the talk of the town and knocked out of the park. You’re either going to love it, or think it’s the end of Western civilization. And that’s the stuff that works.”

Fox’s president of alternative entertainment is referring to “The Moment of Truth,” the network’s sure-to-be controversial game show in which contestants are asked a series of highly personal questions while connected to a polygraph machine.


Fox’s version works like this: Before the show is taped, a contestant is given a polygraph test and asked 75 questions. Samples include: “Do you really care about the starving children in Africa?” “Are you sexually attracted to one of your wife’s friends?” “Do fat people repulse you?” and “Do you think you’ll still be with your husband five years from now?” Unlike the Colombian version, the show avoids asking about felony-level activities and sticks to revealing family secrets and unearthing private opinions.

The contestant’s responses are determined to be truthful or untruthful by a certified polygraph examiner, but the contestant is not told the results. Within a couple of days after the test, the contestant appears on the show, where he is again asked 21 of their previous questions before a live audience, including family and friends.

Yep. Sure looks like more of the end of civilization to me.

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November 24, 2007

Should fireplace fires be banned?

The Chronicle reported that "government studies" indicate that 33 percent of all "particulate matter" comes from your fireplace and mine. With all the industry and all the cars in the Bay Area, does anyone actually believe that?

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Forecast: U.S. dollar could plunge 90 pct

A financial crisis will likely send the U.S. dollar into a free fall of as much as 90 percent and gold soaring to $2,000 an ounce, a trends researcher said.

"We are going to see economic times the likes of which no living person has seen," Trends Research Institute Director Gerald Celente said, forecasting a "Panic of 2008."

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Unfair seizure of coins

The company has been in business for 10 years and they have not been targeted by the U.S. government until now. In fact, both the United States Mint and the Federal Reserve have admitted that what the company was doing was perfectly legal.

What is the reason for the raid by the FBI if the company had been operating lawfully for nearly 10 years?

Earlier this year the company began minting two new coins, the 2008 "Peace Dollar" with the words "STOP THE WAR" on the reverse side and the 2008 coin commemorating the presidential campaign of Ron Paul. The Feds just have to stop Representative Ron Paul somehow, since he is the only presidential candidate who is pro-liberty.

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Labor Party Wins Big in Australia

Conservative Prime Minister John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat Saturday at the hands of the left-leaning opposition, whose leader has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and withdraw Australia's combat troops from Iraq.


Read more.

November 23, 2007

Spreading Democracy

A mother cries as the body of her son is lowered into the grave. He was only nineteen and full of promise when he heard his nation calling and enlisted in the National Guard. He was quickly trained and armed with a rifle, a Vietnam-era flak jacket, and desert boots. His first letter home bore his pride and the conviction that he was bringing democracy and freedom to an oppressed and backward nation. He claimed the battle for hearts and minds would soon be won and he would return to a grateful nation a hero. His next letter confessed the indiscriminate killing, the fear, and the hatred of an entire culture. The conquered, he said, must accept freedom and democracy, even if it is at the point of a gun. There was no third letter. Only a knock on the door and a painfully short visit by two Marines who brought with them the few miserable effects of their son. Nothing of him was found after the car bombing. The father comforted his wife in her misery as he thought back to Vietnam, when a fiction had spread and killed 52,000 other sons.

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Mankind 'shortening the universe's life'

New Scientist reports a worrying new variant as the cosmologists claim that astronomers may have accidentally nudged the universe closer to its death by observing dark energy, a mysterious anti gravity force which is thought to be speeding up the expansion of the cosmos.

The damaging allegations are made by Profs Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and James Dent of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, who suggest that by making this observation in 1998 we may have caused the cosmos to revert to an earlier state when it was more likely to end. "Incredible as it seems, our detection of the dark energy may have reduced the life-expectancy of the universe," Prof Krauss tells New Scientist.

Read more.

44 Years After JFK's Death, New Assassination Plot Revealed

A former Secret Service agent has told WLS-TV there was a plot to kill President Kennedy in Chicago three weeks before he was assassinated in Dallas.

And Oswald acted alone in Dallas?

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Cellphone Tracking Powers on Request

Federal officials are routinely asking courts to order cellphone companies to furnish real-time tracking data so they can pinpoint the whereabouts of drug traffickers, fugitives and other criminal suspects, according to judges and industry lawyers.

In some cases, judges have granted the requests without requiring the government to demonstrate that there is probable cause to believe that a crime is taking place or that the inquiry will yield evidence of a crime. Privacy advocates fear such a practice may expose average Americans to a new level of government scrutiny of their daily lives.


"Most people don't realize it, but they're carrying a tracking device in their pocket," said Kevin Bankston of the privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Cellphones can reveal very precise information about your location, and yet legal protections are very much up in the air."

Read more.

Cheering for Ron Paul

Given that the overall defense budget is now double what it was when President Bush's father presided over the end of the cold war--even though we don't have a militarily sophisticated enemy in sight--you have to wonder how this president has managed to exceed cold war spending levels. What has he gotten for the trillions wasted? Nothing, when it comes to capturing Osama bin Laden, bringing democracy to Iraq or preventing oil prices from tripling and enriching the ayatollahs of Iran while messing up the American economy.

That money could have paid for a lot of things we could have used here at home. As Rep. Paul points out, for what the Iraq war costs, we could present each family of four a check for $46,000--which exceeds the $43,000 median household income in his Texas district. He asks: "What about the impact of those costs on education, the very thing that so often helps to increase earnings? Forty-six thousand dollars would cover 90 percent of the tuition costs to attend a four-year public university in Texas for both children in that family of four. But, instead of sending kids to college, too often we're sending them to Iraq, where the best news in a long time is they [the insurgents] aren't killing our men and women as fast as they were last month."

Give 'em Hell, Ron.

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Meet the women who won't have babies - because they're not eco friendly

At the age of 27 this young woman at the height of her reproductive years was sterilised to "protect the planet".


"Having children is selfish. It's all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet," says Toni, 35.

"Every person who is born uses more food, more water, more land, more fossil fuels, more trees and produces more rubbish, more pollution, more greenhouse gases, and adds to the problem of over-population."


"I realised then that a baby would pollute the planet - and that never having a child was the most environmentally friendly thing I could do."

These women seem to not understand that humans, just like every other animal species on the planet, has to reproduce or the species will die out. It's not about "maintaining your genetic line". It's about survival of the species.

Read more, if you must.

Pope to purge the Vatican of modern music

The Pope is considering a dramatic overhaul of the Vatican in order to force a return to traditional sacred music.

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Democrats party of rich, study finds

Democrats like to define themselves as the party of poor and middle-income Americans, but a new study says they now represent the majority of the nation's wealthiest congressional districts.

Read more.

November 22, 2007

Are Scientists Playing God? It Depends on Your Religion

Now that biologists in Oregon have reported using cloning to produce a monkey embryo and extract stem cells, it looks more plausible than before that a human embryo will be cloned and that, some day, a cloned human will be born. But not necessarily on this side of the Pacific.

American and European researchers have made most of the progress so far in biotechnology. Yet they still face one very large obstacle — God, as defined by some Western religions.


“Asian religions worry less than Western religions that biotechnology is about ‘playing God,’” says Cynthia Fox, the author of “Cell of Cells,” a book about the global race among stem-cell researchers. “Therapeutic cloning in particular jibes well with the Buddhist and Hindu ideas of reincarnation.”


“Most people in Hindu and Buddhist countries,” Dr. Silver says, “have a root tradition in which there is no single creator God. Instead, there may be no gods or many gods, and there is no master plan for the universe. Instead, spirits are eternal and individual virtue — karma — determines what happens to your spirit in your next life. With some exceptions, this view generally allows the acceptance of both embryo research to support life and genetically modified crops.”

By contrast, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, God is the master creator who gives out new souls to each individual human being and gives humans “dominion” over soul-less plants and animals. To traditional Christians who consider an embryo to be a human being with a soul, it is wrong for scientists to use cloning to create human embryos or to destroy embryos in the course of research.

Read the rest.

Polk School Board Leans Toward Inclusion of Intelligent Design

"If it ever comes to the board for a vote, I will vote against the teaching of evolution as part of the science curriculum," Lofton said. "If (evolution) is taught, I would want to balance it with the fact that we may live in a universe created by a supreme being as well."

The board's majority opinion is at odds with many in Florida's scientific community who strongly support the new, more rigorous science standards, and say intelligent design lacks scientific credibility.

It's amazing this conversation still takes place.

How depressing.

Read more.

U.S. government tricks hide trillions in debt

When it comes to financial magic, the government of the United States takes the prize. Sleights of hand and clever distractions by purveyors of line-of-credit mortgages, living-benefit variable annuities and equity-indexed life insurance are clumsy parlour tricks compared with the Big Magic of American politicians.

Consider the proud trumpeting that came from Washington at the close of fiscal 2007. The deficit for the unified budget was, politicians crowed, down to a mere $162.8 billion.

In fact, the U.S. government is overspending at a far greater rate. The total federal debt actually increased by $497.1 billion over the same period.

But politicians of both parties use happy numbers to distract American voters.

Read more.

American elites and their fascist terrorists are beginning to realize that the internet is their ultimate enemy

And FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HUMAN HISTORY the suckers and slaves are communicating among ourselves in the millions.


We're all children of the universe and we have a God given and constitutionally given birthright to SHARE THE WEALTH EQUALLY WITH the entire human species. And this applies to Africans, ghetto victims, those wretched New Orleans families Bush seems to hate so much, Independents, Democrats, Republicans (all those nonsense political names), our neighbors, diverse religious groups, atheists, homosexuals, and people with and without facial hair.

NOTHING SHORT OF THIS is humanly acceptable. These's so much wealth on this planet that EVERYONE should be living fulfilling, creative, and healthy lives.

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Confidence in Brown takes 30-point dive as lost data crisis deepens

THE lost data crisis has sent public confidence in Gordon Brown's government plummeting, a poll revealed last night.

Only about a quarter (26 per cent) of voters said they now considered the Prime Minister's administration "competent and capable" - down 30 points in almost three months.

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Top general urges Brazil to develop nuclear weapons

“We should be technologically prepared to produce a nuclear device,” said the general. He added, “No country can feel safe if it doesn’t develop technology that enables it to defend itself when necessary.”

Barros Moreira said that Brazil’s resources made it a “target” for foreign aggression. “The world lacks water, energy food and minerals,” he said. “Brazil is rich in all of these. For this reason we must put a strong lock on our door.”

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DHS to begin full fingerprint scans for visitors

The Homeland Security Department intends to begin scanning all 10 fingerprints for foreign visitors starting Nov. 29 at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, department officials said Tuesday.


The 10-finger U.S. Visit scans are being rolled out at U.S. airports and at all land and sea border crossings, with a goal of being fully operational by the end of 2008, according to press reports of the briefing.

Why would anyone choose to visit the United States?

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Woman Dies Of Meningitis After Tongue Piercing

A young Scituate woman has died of viral meningitis after getting an infection from a tongue piercing.

Read more.

Babies may make social judgments

Even infants can tell the difference between naughty and nice playmates, and know which to choose, a new study finds.

Read more.

Hi-tech Torture

Just when it seems that things cannot get any worse, we learn that U.S. military commanders in Iraq are seeking permission to use a new weapon system. This will be the ultimate torture weapon. Its purpose is to cause excruciating pain, but leave no evidence of wounds on the victim. Imagine this weapon at AbuGhraib or Guantanamo. Imagine this weapon at your local precinct. The Department of Defense has named this weapon system "Active Denial".

Besides torture, this weapon can also be used for crowd control. It is a ray gun which could literally make blood boil. It is based on the same technology as a microwave oven. The human body is comprised mostly of water... think of the sensation of boiling blood. The purpose of this weapon system is to cause an unbearable level of pain so that the victim will submit to the will of the US military or police.

What a beautiful future that awaits us.

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US Congress moves toward passage of domestic spy bill

The vote demonstrated that there is broad support within the Democratic Party beyond Rockefeller for the expanded powers and immunity clause. This year, Rockefeller received $42,000 in political donations from Verizon and AT&T, the two main companies targeted by lawsuits for their role in the NSA domestic spying program.

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Posthumous book claims Ford knew of CIA coverup in Kennedy assassination

According to the publisher of a new book, who appeared on Fox News Wednesday morning, the last living words of former President Gerald Ford fingered the CIA in the orchestration a cover-up of Kennedy's assassination.

Ford, who died late last year, was the longest surviving member of the Warren Commission, which investigated Kennedy's assassination. The new book, "A Presidential Legacy and the Warren Commission," was written by Ford before his death, its publisher claims.

"This book, actually authored by Gerald Ford, finally proves once and for all that the CIA, our government, did destroy documents and cover-up many facts that day in Dallas," publisher Tim Miller told Fox & Friends Wednesday morning.

Read more.

Mo. City Outlaws Internet Harassment

City officials unanimously passed a measure Wednesday making online harassment a crime, days after learning that a 13-year-old girl killed herself last year after receiving cruel messages on the Internet.

Read more.

Scientist claims ownership over synthetic life forms

Craig Venter, the scientist who unsuccessfully attempted to map the human genome for profit, has applied for the first ever patent on a human-made life form. Venter has submitted his application at more than 100 national patent offices.


Venter claims that the artificial life form is designed to synthesize hydrogen or ethanol for use as industrial fuel, and that future synthetic organisms could help absorb carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases. But in spite of the purported environmental motivation, many are alarmed by the attempt to synthesize and patent life.

Welcome to the future.

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November 21, 2007

Happy in their personal lives, Americans worry about country

Like Murray, most in the U.S. say they are personally happy and feel in control of their lives and finances, according to an extensive Associated Press-Yahoo! News survey on the mood of voters. Beneath the surface, though, personal and political discontent is bubbling.

There is a widespread unease—shared by 77 percent—that the country has meandered off in the wrong direction. Nearly all Democrats and more than six in 10 Republicans think the country has taken the wrong course. And although almost half express interest and hope in the upcoming elections, a third voice frustration—particularly Republicans.

Read more.

More Evidence We've Entered the End of Oil

There is growing concern within the petroleum industry that we are approaching a limit to the amount of oil that can be pumped each day, and it might arrive before alternative fuels can be adopted on a large enough scale to avert severe energy shortages, the Wall Street Journal reports.


No one, least of all the oil industry executives quoted by the Journal or the analysts who wrote the World Energy Outlook, is saying the wells will run dry in our lifetime, or even our children's lifetimes. There's still a lot of oil left to be pumped. But there is a growing belief that several factors are converging to create a practical limit to how much we can pull from the earth each day.

In other words, after seeing worldwide production rise an average of 2.3 percent annually since 1965, we may be approaching a plateau beyond which production will not climb. According to the Journal, that ceiling could be 100 million barrels a day, and said we could hit it as early as 2012.

That isn't nearly enough, and it is entirely too soon.

Read more.

In the U.S. of A., we are all suspects now

The administration's demand that Congress shield the telecommunications industry from lawsuits for aiding in the systematic warrantless wiretapping of Americans has far less to do with protecting national security than its own exposed flanks.

Make no mistake, telecom immunity is about keeping a flagrantly illegal program from public scrutiny and maintaining the illusion that the president ordered a small, precision surveillance program, when the opposite is true.

Read more.

A myth in the unmaking

Fox News's status as a politically impartial channel is at last being exposed as a fiction.

Have you not been paying attention for the last 11 years?

Read more.

Oh, the irony!

America is getting ready to celebrate one of its biggest holidays. And while it has been given a name which dishes out thoughts of warmth and friendship, the reality is that it should be called for what it is "A Celebration of Illegal Immigration and theft."

Read more.

Drug That Lengthens Eyelashes Sets Off Flutter

In the latest blurring of the line between cosmetics and drugs, new products that promise to make eyelashes look longer are causing a stir among physicians and regulators because they contain ingredients that are the same or similar to those in prescription drugs for an eye disease.

Read more.

UK's families put on fraud alert

Two computer discs holding the personal details of all families in the UK with a child under 16 have gone missing.

The Child Benefit data on them includes name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number and, where relevant, bank details of 25 million people.

"Gone missing"?

Read more.

Wounded Soldier: Military Wants Part Of Bonus Back

The U.S. Military is demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.

To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases.

Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back.

And we're supposed to "support the troops" by putting a stupid sticker on our car or wearing a stupid flag pin. In reality, this story is an example of how our troops are being "supported."

If you want to support the troops, then demand that they be brought home immediately.

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McClellan blames Bush for CIA leak deceit

Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan blames President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for efforts to mislead the public about the role of White House aides in leaking the identity of a CIA operative.

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Scientists Find Fossil of Enormous Bug

How big? Bigger than you, and at 8 feet long as big as some Smart cars.

The discovery in 390-million-year-old rocks suggests that spiders, insects, crabs and similar creatures were far larger in the past than previously thought, said Simon Braddy, a University of Bristol paleontologist and one of the study's three authors.

"This is an amazing discovery," he said Tuesday.

Learn more.

November 20, 2007

Stem Cell Breakthrough Is Like 'Turning Lead Into Gold'

In an unprecedented feat of biological alchemy, researchers have turned human skin cells into stem cells that hold the same medical promise as the controversial embryonic stem cells.

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Apple Spies on iPhone Users, Hackers Claim

While there's no evidence that Apple actually uses this information for any purpose, good or evil, the code shows that every time you try to access detailed information on whatever stock, your IMEI will be sent embedded in the URL. This could be cross-referenced with IP location and the information in Apple or its partner's databases to gather extremely valuable data for marketing purposes.

Read more.

Sex scandal hits Atlanta-area megachurch

The 80-year-old leader of a suburban Atlanta megachurch is at the center of a sex scandal of biblical dimensions: He slept with his brother's wife and fathered a child by her.

Read more.


CASPIAN's new report, "Microchip-Induced Tumors in Laboratory Rodents and Dogs: A Review of the Literature 1990–2006," is a definitive review of research showing a causal link between implanted radio-frequency (RFID) microchip transponders and cancer in laboratory rodents and dogs.

Read more.

November 19, 2007

Dying to date

If you're younger than 30 or maybe even 35, you may not recognize the word "date" as a verb. But once upon a time, dating was something men and women did as a prelude to marriage, which - hold on to your britches - was a prelude to sex.

By now everyone's heard of the hook-up culture prevalent on college campuses and, increasingly, in high schools and even middle schools. Kids don't date; they just do it (or something close to "it," an activity that a recent president asserted was not actual sex), and then figure out what comes next. If anything.


Because sex ed is based on the assumption that young people are sexually active with multiple partners, kids have been led to believe by mainstream health professionals that casual sex is OK. That's a delusion, says Grossman, because scientific data clearly indicate otherwise. Casual sex is, in fact, a serious health risk.

Humans are supposed to have sex. Why do I always have to remind people of this?

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Hundreds of thousands of women raped for being on the wrong side

Rape has been used to terrorise and punish civilians in Congo who support the "wrong side", and it is perhaps no coincidence that it was also a tool of genocide in the mass murder of the Tutsis. Sexual violence is now so widespread that the medical aid charity, Médecins sans Frontières, says that 75% of all the rape cases it deals with worldwide are in eastern Congo. Darfur is a distant second.


Human rights groups described gang rapes as commonplace and often accompanied by "barbaric" acts of torture with victims beaten with clubs, cut with knives or sexually assaulted with guns. Many young women have been abducted into sexual slavery.

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Food pantries struggling with shortages

Operators of free food banks say they are seeing more working people needing assistance. The increased demand is outstripping supplies and forcing many pantries and food banks to cut portions.

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Teachers Should Blog, Tweet and Flirt Online Like the Rest of Us

What would you do if your employer told you not to use MySpace, and Second Life because those sites are "too dangerous" and "inappropriate" for you?

If you're a teacher in Ohio, you'd better think twice before you answer, because it's not a hypothetical question. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the state's teacher's unions recommend that teachers not post profiles on social networking or online dating sites because it could lead to the appearance of improper relationships with students.

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23AndMe Will Decode Your DNA for $1,000. Welcome to the Age of Genomics

This winter marks the birth of a new industry: Companies will take a sample of your DNA, scan it, and tell you about your genetic future, as well as your ancestral past. A much-anticipated Silicon Valley startup called 23andMe offers a thorough tour of your genealogy, tracing your DNA back through the eons. Sign up members of your family and you can track generations of inheritance for traits like athletic endurance or bitter-taste blindness. The company will also tell you which diseases and conditions are associated with your genes — from colorectal cancer to lactose intolerance — giving you the ability to take preventive action. A second company, called Navigenics, focuses on matching your genes to current medical research, calculating your genetic risk for a range of diseases.

The advent of retail genomics will make a once-rare experience commonplace. Simply by spitting into a vial, customers of these companies will become early adopters of personalized medicine. We will not live according to what has happened to us (that knee injury from high school or that 20 pounds we've gained since college) nor according to what happens to most Americans (the one-in-three chance men have of getting cancer, or women have of dying from heart disease, or anyone has for obesity). We will live according to what our own specific genetic risks predispose us toward.

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Why Is The US Dollar Loosing so Much Value? ...

Going back a little in time; by the late in 1960's, the US Govt. started racking up big debts & deficits, one of the reasons for the big increase in debts and deficits was the unexpectedly large expenses incurred waging the Vietnam war (sound familiar)... at that time, the US Govt. was spending more money than they could legally print under the amount of Gold it held in reserve... the US Govt. desperately needed to print more money to fund their war and debts than their Gold reserves would allow, so the US Govt. simply decided to re-write laws (regardless of their long-term financial consequences & Constitutional law) and started the de-coupling process away from backing the US Dollar with precious metals.

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Now passengers need ID to travel within Britain

Passengers on domestic flights and ferries between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland will be required to carry identity papers for the first time from next year.

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US plans new space weapons against China

Congress has allocated funds to develop futuristic weapons and intelligence systems that operate beyond the Earth's atmosphere as America looks past Iraq and Afghanistan to the wars of the future.

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We must not tolerate this putsch against our freedoms

Welcome to Fortress Britain, a fortress that will keep people in as well as out. Welcome to a state that requires you to answer 53 questions before you're allowed to take a day trip to Calais. Welcome to a country where you will be stopped, scanned and searched at any of 250 railways stations, filmed at every turn, barked at by a police force whose behaviour has given rise to a doubling in complaints concerning abuse and assaults.


We now accept with apparent equanimity that the state has the right to demand to know, among other things, how your ticket has been paid for, the billing address of any card used, your travel itinerary and route, your email address, details of whether your travel arrangements are flexible, the history of changes to your travel plans plus any biographical information the state deems to be of interest or anything the ticket agent considers to be of interest.


Those failing to provide satisfactory answers will not be allowed to travel and then it will come to us with a leaden regret that we have in practice entered the era of the exit visa, a time when we must ask permission from a security bureaucrat who insists on further and better particulars in the biographical section of the form. Ten, 15 or more years on, we will be resigned to the idea that the state decides whether we travel or not.


The Prime Minister is found of quoting Churchill, so I will again: 'If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only precarious chance for survival.'

Read the rest.

Attacking Iran: Americans will kill even their own

The background to my conclusion is rooted in the doctrine of colonization: looting other people’s wealth and enslaving them, while killing outright those who resist. And this seems to be the dominant doctrine in Washington today.

It is a doctrine that has never changed from the earliest days of European settlement of the Americas. The cost of colonialist looting was, and still is, considered limitless - so high, in fact, that the price tag includes scarifying the lives of your own people.

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Talking camera aimed at sex on the beach

The county is exploring the idea of installing "talking" cameras at several of the public beaches to ward off or catch people engaged in public sex.

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November 18, 2007

Famed NASA Astronaut confirms Extraterrestrials are here

During an earlier interview, Dr. Musgrave stated he attempted to communicate with ET life forms during each of his six missions. He actually asked them to take him with them. Now that's an astronaut with a lot of courage. Dr. Musgrave retired after this flight from NASA. Since then he's been spreading his considered opinion that alien life exists. When Musgrave speaks of this, it's no great leap for one to assume he's admitting knowledge of alien life. As the final slide of a "Grey" ET was shown during a recent astronomy presentation by Dr. Musgrave, he made this surprising comment: "These guys are real... I guarantee it!"

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What Real DOJ Trial Attorneys Say About Torture

If there is one thing the Bush administration is good at, it's talking points: simple, stupid slogans. And when it comes to torture, the theme du jour is that we are all too simple and too stupid to understand just what is and is not prohibited. More than anything, White House officials want us to believe that the law of torture is so terribly confusing and vague that no lay person could comprehend its complexities. Hell, not even the attorneys can really sort it all out. How, then, the not-so-subtle implication would be, could anyone be held responsible for violating it?

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Pioneering 'heat wave' gun may be used in Iraq

Washington fears a barrage of adverse publicity in the suspicious Muslim world and is concerned that critics will claim the invisible beam weapons were being used for torture.

Ah, the accomplishments of humanity

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A world dying, but can we unite to save it?

Humanity is rapidly turning the seas acid through the same pollution that causes global warming, the world's governments and top scientists agreed yesterday. The process – thought to be the most profound change in the chemistry of the oceans for 20 million years – is expected both to disrupt the entire web of life of the oceans and to make climate change worse.

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November 17, 2007

Fundamentalism and World War IV

Fundamentalism isn't about religion. It's about power.
-- Salman Rushdie

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Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything

Despite this unusual career path, his proposal is remarkable because, by the arcane standards of particle physics, it does not require highly complex mathematics.

Even better, it does not require more than one dimension of time and three of space, when some rival theories need ten or even more spatial dimensions and other bizarre concepts. And it may even be possible to test his theory, which predicts a host of new particles, perhaps even using the new Large Hadron Collider atom smasher that will go into action near Geneva next year.

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New vending machine can identify minors

A cigarette vending machine that can tell adults from minors by determining their approximate ages based on bone structure, wrinkles and the way their skin sags went on sale Monday.

Look beyond the "cigarette vending machine" idea.

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Police to search for guns in homes

Boston police are launching a program that will call upon parents in high-crime neighborhoods to allow detectives into their homes, without a warrant, to search for guns in their children's bedrooms.

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November 16, 2007

Anti-P2P college bill advances in House

The U.S. House of Representatives has taken a step toward approving a Hollywood-backed spending bill requiring universities to consider offering "alternatives" and "technology-based deterrents" to illegal peer-to-peer file sharing.


Some university representatives and fair-use advocates worry that schools run the risk of losing aid for their students if they fail to come up with the required plans.

A dangerous path to travel.

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Maxtor drives contain password-stealing Trojans

Seagate Technology LLC has shipped Maxtor disk drives that contain Trojan horses that upload data to a pair of Chinese Web sites, the Taiwanese government's security service warned this weekend.

The Investigation Bureau, a part of the Ministry of Justice that's responsible for both internal security and foreign threats, said it suspected mainland China's authorities were responsible for planting the malware on the drives at the factory. "The bureau said that the method of attack was unusual, adding that it suspected Chinese authorities were involved," a story posted by the English-language Taipei Times reported Sunday. "Sensitive information may have already been intercepted by Beijing through the two Web sites, the bureau said."

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Colorado SC Affirms "Egg-as-Person"

In a terse 7-0 decision today, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the state Title Board's approval of a 2008 proposed ballot measure to bestow constitutional rights on fertilized human eggs.

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Ron Paul Collecting Fans, Big Money

Paul remains a very long shot for the nomination. But as the only Republican candidate backing a prompt troop withdrawal from Iraq - and an airing of possible impeachment charges against Vice President Dick Cheney - he appeals to a mix of liberals and conservatives who feel alienated and deeply distrustful of the government.

That "long shot" gets smaller each day.

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November 15, 2007

MRSA faces defeat from wild flower

Researchers at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) have revealed the bright yellow flower known as inula helenium kills the lethal bug, which is resistant to some of the strongest antibiotics on the market.

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Virulent form of cold virus spreads in U.S.

Two of the 10 people who have died from the new strain were infants, Su said. The CDC report said about 140 people have been sickened by the virus and more than 50 hospitalized, including 24 admitted to intensive care units.


"What makes this particular adenovirus a little different is that it has the capability of making healthy young adults severely ill. And that's unusual for an adenovirus, and that's why it's got our attention," Su added.

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Saudi punishes gang rape victim with 200 lashes

A court in the ultra-conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia is punishing a female victim of gang rape with 200 lashes and six months in jail, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

The 19-year-old woman -- whose six armed attackers have been sentenced to jail terms -- was initially ordered to undergo 90 lashes for "being in the car of an unrelated male at the time of the rape," the Arab News reported.

But in a new verdict issued after Saudi Arabia's Higher Judicial Council ordered a retrial, the court in the eastern town of Al-Qatif more than doubled the number of lashes to 200.

A court source told the English-language Arab News that the judges had decided to punish the woman further for "her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media."

This is the world we humans have created.

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GPS Helps Cities Catch Goof-Offs

GPS tracking devices installed on government-issue vehicles are helping communities around the country reduce waste and abuse, in part by catching employees shopping, working out at the gym or otherwise loafing while on the clock.

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Decision time for US over Iran threat

The installation of 3,000 fully-functioning centrifuges at Iran's enrichment plant at Natanz is a "red line" drawn by the US across which Washington had said it would not let Iran pass. When spinning at full speed they are capable of producing sufficient weapons-grade uranium (enriched to over 90% purity) for a nuclear weapon within a year.

The IAEA says the uranium being produced is only fuel grade (enriched to 4%) but the confirmation that Iran has reached the 3,000 centrifuge benchmark brings closer a moment of truth for the Bush administration, when it will have to choose between taking military action or abandoning its red line, and accepting Iran's technical mastery of uranium enrichment.

US generals are reported to have warned the White House that military action would trigger a devastating Iranian backlash in the Middle East and beyond.

Since when did the Bush administration care what US generals had to say?

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Could the next President be even scarier?

But by the time the meetings end — be they with advisers to Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards, or Republicans such as Rudolph Giuliani and Mitt Romney — the visitors usually have the same reaction, says Smith, the director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "The response is usually a little bit of shock and awe and disappointment. They say, 'What do you mean? We thought this would be a new era!' "

Read more and don't vote for any of the "leading" politicians.

The Foolishness and Immorality of Gun Control

“I’m sure there were a lot of Rwandans who wish they’d had a gun — especially a good weapon like the Kalashnikov — to protect themselves, their families, and their communities from rampaging Hutus. Cutting off firearms ‘at the manufacturers’ level’ — or more accurately, at the level where only the government could legally import weapons and only government soldiers could legally have one — left literally hundreds of thousands — some estimates say upwards of a million — at the mercy of machete-wielding thugs who chopped them and their families and their communities to bits. The absence of firearms did not save anyone, did not deter anyone. Instead, it cost about a million lives. And it only took about three months.”

In the 20th century, tyrannical governments were responsible for approximately 170,000,000 nonmilitary deaths: Armenian Christians in Turkey, “undesirables” of all sorts in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, political dissenters in Nationalist and later Communist China, Mayan aboriginals in Guatemala, Ugandans, Cambodians, and the ethnic Tutsis of Rwanda. In every single case, the victims were first subjected to mass disarmament.

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Dominatrix who claimed to have S&M sex with Bush said to be missing

Leola McConnell, the former dominatrice and militant for civil equality for people of all sexual orientations — who claimed in her memoir, “Lustful Utterances,” to have had S&M sex with George Bush in the 1980s — is feared by friends to be missing, according to this report:

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Terror crackdown: Passengers forced to answer 53 questions BEFORE they travel

Travellers face price hikes and confusion after the Government unveiled plans to take up to 53 pieces of information from anyone entering or leaving Britain.

For every journey, security officials will want credit card details, holiday contact numbers, travel plans, email addresses, car numbers and even any previous missed flights.

Make...note: ... Never...visit...Britain.

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Tree man 'who grew roots' may be cured

An Indonesian fisherman who feared that he would be killed by tree-like growths covering his body has been given hope of recovery by an American doctor - and Vitamin A.


Dede's problem is that he has a rare genetic fault that impedes his immune system, meaning his body is unable to contain the warts.

The virus was therefore able to "hijack the cellular machinery of his skin cells", ordering them to produce massive amounts of the substance that caused the tree-like growths known as "cutaneous horns" on his hands and feet.


"I've never seen anything like this in my entire career."

You have to see the pictures.

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Gordon Brown reveals 'Fortress Britain' plan

He conjured up visions of ''Fortress Britain" as he unveiled a succession of security measures at airports, railway stations, sports venues and other public places.

There is also to be a huge "hearts and minds" drive aimed at diverting young Muslims away from the influence of fanatics.

Religious fanatics are not limited to Muslims.

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Russia sect holes up in cave to await end of world

At least 30 members of a Russian doomsday cult have barricaded themselves in a remote cave to await the end of the world and are threatening to commit suicide if police intervene, officials and media said on Thursday.


"They are simple Christians," a local priest, Father Georgy, told NTV television station. "They say: 'The church is doing a bad job, the end of the world is coming soon and we are all saving ourselves'."

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November 14, 2007

Most at NYU say their vote has a price

Two-thirds say they'll do it for a year's tuition. And for a few, even an iPod touch will do.

That's what NYU students said they'd take in exchange for their right to vote in the next presidential election, a recent survey by an NYU journalism class found.

Only 20 percent said they'd exchange their vote for an iPod touch.

But 66 percent said they'd forfeit their vote for a free ride to NYU. And half said they'd give up the right to vote forever for $1 million.

The future gets bleaker every day.

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Scientists create first cloned embryo from primate

Scientists said Wednesday they had created the world's first cloned embryo from a monkey, in work that could spur cloning of human cells for use in medical research.

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Sensitive Guantánamo Bay Manual Leaked Through Wiki Site

The manual shows how the military coded each prisoner according to the level of access the Red Cross would have. The four levels are:


The No Access level troubles Dakwar.

"That actually raises a lot of concerns about the administration's genuineness in terms of allowing ICRC full access, as was promised to the world," Dakwar says. "They are the only organization that has access to the detainees, and this raises a lot of questions."

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Perversions of Power

There are a few things in life that one can count on: death, taxes, and people wanting to rewrite your play. And, for our purposes today, the famous dictum from the noted British historian Lord Acton (1834-1902):

"...Where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. ... Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely."

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Mass. governor wants to jail online poker players while building 3 casinos

Simply put: Patrick wants to put online poker players in prison - in prison, right there along with the mother rapers and father stabbers - at the exact same moment he's mustering all of his newly won political muscle to build three giant poker rooms in our little state.

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Polar bears in danger? Is this some kind of joke?

To claim, however, that they are facing imminent doom is stretching the truth. In 1950, let us not forget, there were about 5,000 polar bears. Now there are 25,000.

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If Our Friends Do It, It Is Not Genocide

“It sounds as if you are both [Albright and Cohen] saying – if our friends do it, it is not genocide,” said another reporter. “And if our enemies do it, it is genocide. A professor at the University of Haifa, Ilan Pappe, has written recently that he believes there is genocide ongoing in Gaza and ethnic cleansing in the West Bank. But you folks wouldn’t agree with that because Israel is our friend and we couldn’t say that about Israel. Secretary Cohen, you say – we can’t say that about Turkey and the Armenian genocide because our boys and girls are in harm’s way. If you are going to define genocide by who does it, not by what it is, your task force is in trouble.”

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Get Kids Vaccinated Or Else, Parents Told

The parents of more than 2,300 Prince George's County students who failed to get needed vaccinations could face fines of $50 a day and up to 10 days in jail if their children do not meet the state's immunization requirements, county officials said yesterday.

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November 13, 2007

Israel's fight against sex trafficking

Last year, the United Nations named Israel as one of the main destinations in the world for trafficked women; it has also consistently appeared as an offender in the annual US State Department's Trafficking in Persons (Tip) report.

While this year's report said Israel was making "significant efforts" to eliminate trafficking, it said it still does not "fully comply with the minimum standards" to do so.

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Study Debunks Theory On Teen Sex, Delinquency

Researchers at Ohio State University garnered little attention in February when they found that youngsters who lose their virginity earlier than their peers are more likely to become juvenile delinquents. So obvious and well established was the contribution of early sex to later delinquency that the idea was already part of the required curriculum for federal "abstinence only" programs.

There was just one problem: It is probably not true. Other things being equal, a more probing study has found, youngsters who have consensual sex in their early-teen or even preteen years are, if anything, less likely to engage in delinquent behavior later on.

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Bush vetoes health and education bill

President Bush on Tuesday vetoed a spending measure for health and education programs prized by congressional Democrats. He also signed a big increase in the Pentagon's non-war budget.

This is the world we created.

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Church row evolves over fossil boy

However, the collection, to be show-cased for the first time at the Nairobi National Museum after a £5 million renovation financed by the European Union, has drawn sharp criticism from evangelical Christians who deny the theory of evolution.

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The Dinosaur Conspiracy Theory

The extinction of the dinosaurs has long been considered a crime committed by a lone gunman: an incoming asteroid that struck the earth 65 million years ago, filling the air with sun-blocking dust. Now, however, controversy is being stirred anew as evidence suggests that the asteroid might have had a partner in crime: volcanoes, massive ones, blasting clouds of toxic gas from the bowels of the earth and poisoning much of the planet's life.

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More pain at the pump may be ahead

A top U.S. forecaster expects gas prices to jump another 20 cents a gallon by December, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Guy Caruso, head of the Energy Information Administration, said gas prices will keep climbing even if crude prices don't because oil refiners haven't passed the recent rise in crude prices on to gas consumers, according to the newspaper.

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Anti-P2P bill gets warm welcome from

The chief executive of, which offers advertising-supported music at no cost to college students, said Monday that he backs a bill introduced Friday by Democrats that requires universities to agree to offer "alternatives" to peer-to-peer infringement--upon pain of all their students losing federal financial aid.

Ruckus would probably be the largest single beneficiary of that requirement. And its CEO, Mike Bebel, is enthusiastic about the legislation.

And that's what this is all really about.

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Sign Of Times: NJ School Cameras Fed Live To Cops

It's an expensive, but effective tool that could be a sign of the times with an increase in school shootings over the years.

Softening up the youth for perpetual surveillance.

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Experts: Danger of nuclear-armed Iran may be hyped

But the White House and its partisans may be inflating the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran, say experts on the Persian Gulf and nuclear deterrence. While there are dangers, they acknowledge, Iran appears to want a nuclear weapon for the same reason other countries do: to protect itself.

Any country without nuclear weapons is at the mercy of those countries that have nuclear weapons. This is not brain surgery here.

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Don't Take a Chemical Bath

We live in a chemical-infused world. Although there are some benefits -- clean drinking water, for example -- when it comes to beauty products, chemicals are thought by many to cause adverse health effects. That's because chemicals from beauty products don't pass through your digestive system where they might be filtered; instead, they head right into your bloodstream.

It's important for consumers to understand that the cosmetic industry is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Companies are required to list all the ingredients in order of use, but they're not required (by federal law) to test products for safety. The FDA can only act if they have strong scientific knowledge that a product is dangerous. That doesn't mean that companies don't have safety standards, but it does mean that claims like "natural," "botanical" or "organic" are basically useless.

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Suitcase Nuclear Bomb Unlikely to Exist

But government experts and intelligence officials say such a threat gets vastly more attention than it deserves. These officials said a true suitcase nuke would be highly complex to produce, require significant upkeep and cost a small fortune.

Counterproliferation authorities do not completely rule out the possibility that these portable devices once existed. But they do not think the threat remains.

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FCC chief aims to relax media ownership ban

The head of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission said on Tuesday the agency should relax its ban on the cross-ownership of newspapers in the biggest U.S. cities and allow them to buy a broadcast television or radio station in the same market.

Because the public doesn't need opposing viewpoints. They are to believe what we tell them!

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Democrats zero for 40 on Iraq

Since taking the majority, they have forced 40 votes on bills limiting President Bush’s war policy.

Only one of those has passed both chambers, even though both are run by Democrats. That one was vetoed by Bush.

Indeed, the only war legislation enacted during this Congress has been to give the president exactly what he wants, and exactly what he has had for the past five years: more money, with no limitations.

And they wonder why we think they are doing a shitty job.

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Troubled young pupils may turn out well, too, studies say

Educators and psychologists have long feared that kindergartners with behavior problems were doomed to fall behind in the upper grades. But two new studies suggest that many young children who are identified as troubled or given diagnoses of mental disorders settle down in time and do as well in school as their peers.

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November 12, 2007


"'We are terrible to animals,' recalled [Bush childhood pal Terry] Throckmorton, laughing. A dip behind the Bush borne turned into a small lake after a good rain, and thousands of frogs would come out. `Everybody would get BB guns and shoot them,' Throckmorton said. `Or we'd put firecrackers in the frogs and throw them and blow them up.'"

Read more.

November 11, 2007

World should ban human cloning, except medical: U.N.

The world should quickly ban cloning of humans and only allow exceptions for strictly controlled research to help treat diseases such as diabetes or Alzheimer's, a U.N. study said on Sunday.

Without a ban, experts at the U.N. University's Institute of Advanced Studies said that governments would have to prepare legal measures to protect clones from "potential abuse, prejudice and discrimination".

Read more.

Intel Official: Say Goodbye to Privacy

A top intelligence official says it is time people in the United States changed their definition of privacy.

Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguards people's private communications and financial information.


Read more.

November 9, 2007

Study: Anti-Smoking Shot Holds Promise

A shot that robs smokers of the nicotine buzz from cigarettes showed promise in midstage testing and may someday offer a radically new way to kick a dangerous habit.

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Oil discovery rocks Brazil

A huge offshore oil discovery could raise Brazil's petroleum reserves by a whopping 40 percent and boost this country into the ranks of the world's major exporters, officials said.

The government-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, said the new "ultra-deep" Tupi field could hold as much as 8 billion barrels of recoverable light crude, sending Petrobras shares soaring and prompting predictions that Brazil could join the world's "top 10" oil producers.

Read more.

Should YouTube play the censor and sentinel?

The world's most popular video-sharing site now finds itself in the middle of a very heated debate over issues of free speech, censorship, and whether the site is responsible for spotting criminals.

Read more.

November 8, 2007

OMG!!! The end of online stupidity?

But there's still hope for intelligent life on the Internet. A team of software developers is hard at work on a "stupid filter" that promises to do to idiotic online comments what a spam filter does to junk and unwanted e-mail: put it in a place where it can't hurt anyone anymore.

Learn more.

FBI Calls on Universities to Guard Against Spies

The FBI's relationship with university students and academics has never been one of wine and roses -- see the agency's covert campaign to discredit Albert Einstein. Therefore, it might be a bit surprising to know that some university presidents are now embracing the agency and are perhaps even willing to become its eyes and ears on campus.


Speaking this week at Penn State University, FBI Director Robert Mueller told an audience that universities need to guard against spies who are out to acquire bits and pieces of technology and research and said he's worried that "pre-classified and pre-patented" technologies could fall into the wrong hands.

The NPR report doesn't say how universities would accomplish this without clamping down on their ordinarily open, information-sharing nature. Presumably, one possible way, not discussed in the NPR piece, would be to simply bar some foreign students and academics from entering the U.S. Another possible solution, used in the past, would be to bar U.S. academics from publishing or otherwise publicly presenting research that the government deems sensitive.

Mueller says, however, that the FBI isn't trying to impose its will on campuses; it simply wants to make academics cognizant of these issues.

Mmmm, hmmm.

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Sunbathing 'slows ageing process'

Sunbathing can slow the ageing process by up to five years, according to new research.

Scientists have found that people who avoid the sun, or have inadequate vitamin D in their diet, are subject to genetic damage associated with ageing and age-related illnesses.

Read more.

Dolphins save surfer from becoming shark’s bait

Surfer Todd Endris needed a miracle. The shark — a monster great white that came out of nowhere — had hit him three times, peeling the skin off his back and mauling his right leg to the bone.

That’s when a pod of bottlenose dolphins intervened, forming a protective ring around Endris, allowing him to get to shore, where quick first aid provided by a friend saved his life.

Read more.

Yellowstone Is Rising on Swollen "Supervolcano"

Yellowstone National Park is rising. Its central region, called the Yellowstone caldera, has been moving upward since mid-2004 at a rate of up to three inches (seven centimeters) a year—more than three times faster than has ever been measured.

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Boys walk free over DVD sex assault

Eight Victorian teenage boys who took part in the filming of a sexual assault on a 17-year-old girl have avoided youth detention.

The girl was filmed performing oral sex on two boys, had her hair set alight, was spat at and urinated on during the incident at a park at Werribee, in Melbourne's outer-west, in June last year.


A DVD of the attack - which was titled 'C**t the Movie' - was distributed throughout the community, the court heard.

Read more.

The End of Oil is Upon Us. We Must Move On - Quickly.

If there are any lingering doubts as to whether the age of oil is nearing its end, the International Energy Agency has put them to rest and made it clear that only a massive and immediate investment in sustainable energy will prevent a global crisis.

Read more.

Sen. Hagel says U.S. draft may be unavoidable

Sen. Chuck Hagel, speaking to an audience of Lincoln High School students, warned Tuesday that the nation may need to turn to compulsory military service "or some kind of draft" to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Is This 20-Year CIA Vet Crazy For Saying 9/11 Is a Probable Inside Job?

Debunkers can scoff and chuckle all day long when a celebrity uses their public prominence to talk about 9/11 truth, but when a 20-year decorated CIA veteran says that the evidence points to 9/11 being an inside job, dismissive hand waving and off-the-cuff ad hominem attacks on credibility aren't so easy to justify.


So when Baer told a radio host that "the evidence points at" 9/11 having had aspects of being an inside job, the noisy negativists and the trolls were notable by their absence.

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Credit Card Debt a $915 Billion Disaster-in-Waiting for Banks

Think the estimated subprime debt load carried by the big international banks is big, at $1 trillion?

How about this: Americans now owe nearly as much – a record $915 billion – on their credit cards alone.

And defaults and delinquencies in the credit card sector are piling up – which means big banks are on the hook, again. More sand in the gears for the global economy.

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The Era Of Free Music Is Upon Us

Highly successful artists have started abandoning albums as a way to make money. They are now giving away their music for free. Instead of selling albums, they are concentrating on building their fan bases, putting out quality art, and making their bread through touring and merchandising.


Small bands have never made money off albums because they can’t get signed or get a distribution deal. Now, the big guys are foregoing the album as well, giving up what was once their major source of income. The fans aren’t moaning the loss either, being happy to download content piecemeal. In short, nobody has a use for albums anymore besides the record companies. It’s pretty clear to anyone following musical trends that the era of the album is over. The file sharers have won and the era of free music is upon us.

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The Problems with Voting

Here's a problem: rich career politicians from both parties run campaigns in the primaries, bought and paid for by corporations and special interest lobbies, the corporate media decides who are the front runners, weeding out the undesirables and narrowing our choices, then each "Party" chooses a nominee that you are allowed to vote for. That structure in itself invalidates our vote. How can I vote for Kucinich or Paul, or McKinney if they are not chosen by thier "Party" to be the nominee? These names will not be on the ballot.

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A Story of Surveillance

A year or so later, he stumbled upon documents that, he said, nearly caused him to fall out of his chair. The documents, he said, show that the NSA gained access to massive amounts of e-mail and search and other Internet records of more than a dozen global and regional telecommunications providers. AT&T allowed the agency to hook into its network at a facility in San Francisco and, according to Klein, many of the other telecom companies probably knew nothing about it.

Klein is in Washington this week to share his story in the hope that it will persuade lawmakers not to grant legal immunity to telecommunications firms that helped the government in its anti-terrorism efforts.


In an interview yesterday, he alleged that the NSA set up a system that vacuumed up Internet and phone-call data from ordinary Americans with the cooperation of AT&T . Contrary to the government's depiction of its surveillance program as aimed at overseas terrorists, Klein said, much of the data sent through AT&T to the NSA was purely domestic. Klein said he believes that the NSA was analyzing the records for usage patterns as well as for content.

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Fla. Companies Forbidding Smoking In Private Lives

A growing number of companies in Florida are forbidding their workers from smoking not only at work, but also in their private lives.

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National Debt at Record $9 Trillion

Last month, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law an increase in the government's borrowing ceiling to $9.815 trillion. It was the fifth debt limit increase since Bush took office in January 2001. Those increases have totaled $3.865 trillion.

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November 7, 2007

The science of love: look into the eyes

It may seem obvious to every starry-eyed lover but psychologists have now proved it to be true – if you want someone to find you attractive, look them in the face and smile. A strong jaw for men, high cheek-bones in women, a perfectly-shaped nose or unblemished skin may be the physical signs of sexual attractiveness, but it is the gaze of the eyes that really counts.

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November 6, 2007

Military may ease standards for recruits

Faced with higher recruiting goals, the Pentagon is quietly looking for ways to make it easier for people with minor criminal records to join the military, The Associated Press has learned.

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The Shocking Video Hillary Does NOT Want You To See!

Part 1

Part 2

Paul's Money Draws Attention

Ron Paul's head-snapping fundraising puts a new face on a campaign that the media, politicians and much of the public had relegated to the sidelines.

The Texas congressman is now the presidential candidate tugging at the establishment's coat.

Give 'em hell, Ron.

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Most Fans Paid $0 for Radiohead Album

Some 62 percent of the people who downloaded "In Rainbows" in a four- week period last month opted not to pay the British alt-rockers a cent. But the remaining 38 percent voluntarily paid an average of $6, according to the study by comScore Inc.

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Prince threatens to sue his fans over online images

His lawyers have forced his three biggest internet fansites to remove all photographs, images, lyrics, album covers and anything linked to the artist's likeness. A legal letter asks the fansites to provide "substantive details of the means by which you propose to compensate our clients [Paisley Park Entertainment Group, NPG Records and AEG] for damages".


A spokeswoman for the fans' campaign said the sites had always tried to work with Prince's management. But it appeared that Prince wanted to edit his past and there was "no sign" of his lawyers backing down, she said. "He's trying to control the internet 100% and you can't do that without infringing people's freedom of speech," she added.

Nice way to treat your fans.

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