U.S. Chose to Ignore Rwandan Genocide :.
Loving "liberals" in action... Or, the fallacy of "human rights" as a justification for the military intervention in the affairs of another state.
If there was no push to intervene in what was happening in Rwanda, where is intervention justified? The Congo
? There is no U.S. intervention on a purely humanitarian level. What you see, on the other hand, is humanitarian justifications for intervention when the U.S. has identified some material or political national interest that it wants to control in the region or state. Only then do the atrocities rise above the noise level:President Bill Clinton's administration knew Rwanda was being engulfed by genocide in April 1994 but buried the information to justify its inaction, according to classified documents made available for the first time.
Senior officials privately used the word genocide within 16 days of the start of the killings, but chose not to do so publicly because the president had already decided not to intervene.
Intelligence reports obtained using the US Freedom of Information Act show the cabinet and almost certainly the president had been told of a planned "final solution to eliminate all Tutsis" before the slaughter reached its peak.
It took Hutu death squads three months from April 6 to murder an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus and at each stage accurate, detailed reports were reaching Washington's top policymakers.
The documents undermine claims by Mr Clinton and his senior officials that they did not fully appreciate the scale and speed of the killings.
"It's powerful proof that they knew," said Alison des Forges, a Human Rights Watch researcher and authority on the genocide.Panorama: The Killers :.This landmark film is the result of ten years work in Rwanda.
Reporter Fergal Keane returns to the scene of a massacre he encountered during the genocide of 1994.
Up to a million people were murdered in Rwanda in just one hundred days. The film marks the 10th anniversary of the genocide with a haunting investigation of how ordinary men became pitiless killers.
It contains some of the most harrowing descriptions of genocide ever given by killers themselves. One of them tells the Panorama team: "It is as if we were competing over the killing."
Research Credit: DG
How E-Voting Threatens Democracy :.
Old news to you guys:Harris discovered that she could enter the vote database using Microsoft Access -- a standard program often bundled with Microsoft Office -- and change votes without leaving a trace. Diebold hadn't password-protected the file or secured the audit log, so anyone with access to the tabulation program during an election -- Diebold employees, election staff or even hackers if the county server were connected to a phone line -- could change votes and alter the log to erase the evidence.
The Homeless Hacker v. The New York Times :.
This is an interesting article on Adrian Lamo. I've been reading about him since 2000, but I somehow missed the parts about his drug use and taunting his ex girlfriend. Things aren't easy for people who aren't cut out to be in this thing. I like the last line of the article:Even after he has served his time, Lamo will remain a prisoner of his own myth, picking through the rubble of life on the margins.Related: freelamo.com
Prozac Nation, UK :.
Take your medicine:Hundreds of thousands of people are being prescribed powerful anti-depressants that they may not need because doctors are using the pills as a "quick fix" solution to mild anxiety problems, according to a report published today.
Desperate shortages of NHS counsellors and therapists mean that over-worked GPs often feel they have no option but to hand out anti-depressants to people who may only need an outlet for discussing their problems. Eighty per cent of GPs admit that they are over-prescribing drugs such as Prozac and Seroxat when patients may simply need someone to talk to.
The research reveals the extent to which Britain has become a "Prozac Nation", with more than six million people now taking pills to prop up their mood. Campaigners said the level of drug-prescribing had reached alarming levels, while some patients said they had been handed pills "as if they were sweets".
NYMEX Gasoline Hits All-Time High on Refinery Blast :.
One day before April futures expiration. Uhh hmm, yep, sure. My hat is off to these people!April futures are due to expire on Wednesday. The May contract surged to peak at $1.1660, marking a gain of 1.60 cents.
Shake, Rattle and Roll: Oil Gaps Up 45 Cents on Refinery Explosion News :.
Tight supplies are about to get tighter. Remember, there is virtually no excess inventory out there. Bush will have to dip into the strategic reserve now... unless this entire thing is a fraud, and Bush will sit by as everyone pays more for gas so his buddies have another record year of profits. You know, scratch the part about Bush having to dip into the strategic reserve. Come to think of it, Senior probably lit the fuse on that refinery:Crude oil in New York rose to a four- day high after an explosion at BP Plc's Texas refinery.
BP said an explosion caused a fire in a gasoline unit at its 470,000 barrel-a-day refinery in Texas City. Fire crews are working to put out the blaze, said Annie Smith, BP's manager of public affairs for the Gulf Coast region in Texas.
Crude oil for May delivery rose as much as 45 cents to $36.72 a barrel at 11:48 a.m. Singapore time in after-hours trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gasoline for April delivery rose 1.78 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $1.1740 a gallon.
The blast follows a March 25 alert from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that refineries in Texas may be attacked by terrorists.
"The fear is that maybe this is a terror attack,'' said Anthony Nunan, a manager of international petroleum business at Mitsubishi Corp. in Tokyo.
"People feel it's better to be safe than sorry and are buying oil.''
FLASH: EXPLOSIONS ROCK TEXAS CITY REFINERY :.
This might be the year that alternative energy sources finally get a big boost. Too bad it's probably too late to avert disaster. Gas at $3/gal soon. Do I hear $4?A shelter in place has been issued for residents in Texas City after a series of explosions rocked the area.
According to eyewitnesses the first blast at the BP Amoco chemical plant occurred around 7:15pm. Some witnesses say there were at least four explosions - the fourth being the loudest.
According to B.C. Clawson with the Texas City Emergency Management, the fire occurred in the furnace area. After the explosion, hydrocarbon feed stock was burning off.
It doesn't appear the smoke is toxic, but authorities issued a shelter in place order. Residents in the area should stay indoors. Police have shut down State Highway 146 near the plant.
4th Amendment Suffers Another Blow: Right to Refuse ID Rejected :.Here is an actual picture of a Nazi ID card. The article below states: "Using his patrol car computer terminal, the modern American police officer can learn more about a citizen from today's government-issued photo ID than was contained in the infamous "travel papers" required of any citizen of the Third Reich."
Apocalypse Now: Lunatic Israeli Has a Plan to Bring About The End :.
This is one of the strangest and most disturbing stories I have ever read! The story seems silly at first, but keep reading. These people aren't joking around.
Have you ever noticed that the tone and tenor of lunatic Christians, Jews, Muslims, Free-Traders, Communists, Fascists, etc. is always the same? There is always a black and white situation. We're RIGHT. They're WRONG. Beware of people who justify the exertion of power over others based on religious documents. Surely, if there is such a place as Hell, God created it to store the souls of religious zealots:Yitzhaq Hayutman holds the key to peace on Earth - it's on a floppy disk in his pants pocket. With his full white beard, bald pate, and well-pressed khakis, the 61-year-old Israeli cybernetics expert and tech investor looks like Moses done over for a Banana Republic ad. Right now, he's showing me how he wants to position an airborne hologram over the Dome of the Rock, a gold-capped shrine that's one of the most holy sites in Islam. "The blimp will go there," Hayutman says pointing into the blue. "And eventually the Messiah will come."
March: First Power Emergency in California
It's going to be a long, hot summer:STAGE 1 EMERGENCY NOTICE 
The California ISO hereby issues a STAGE 1 ELECTRICAL EMERGENCY Notice, effective 03/29/2004 13:50 through 03/29/2004 19:59.
Reason(s): Due to higher than expected loads and loss of resources South of Path 15.
Operating Reserves are currently, or forecast to be, less than amounts required by the Western Electricity Coordinating Council. If Operating Reserves deplete further, the ISO will declare a Stage 2 Electrical Emergency and may begin curtailing Interruptible Loads.
Monitor system conditions on the California ISO Website at www.caiso.com and check with local electric utilities for additional information. This message was sent by Market Operations at the California ISO.
Notice issued at: 03/29/2004 13:53
Nanotechnology Linked to Organ Damage :.
Bill Joy warned
us about this type of thing four years ago. Now, what if these nanoparticles were self replicating nanobots??? Oh well. Watch as these idiots keep fumbling toward oblivion:The first study to look at the health effects of microscopic, manufactured "nanoparticles" on aquatic animals has found troubling evidence that the molecules -- which scientists are starting to make for research and industry -- can trigger organ damage and other toxic effects.
At modest concentrations in aquarium water, the minuscule particles -- which are made of carbon atoms and are less than one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair -- triggered damaging biochemical reactions in the brains of fish. They also wiped out entire populations of "water fleas," tiny animals that fill an ecologically crucial niche near the bottom of the aquatic food chain.
Israelis Lie, Palestinian Children Die and U.S. Taxpayers Make it All Possible
Of all the things that could take America down, ultimately, it might be America's support of Israel---arguably one of the most vicious, fascist states on the planet---that does it. Here are few of the hundreds of similar stories floating around:Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Boy :.Israeli troops Saturday killed a 7-year-old child in the Balata refugee camp of Nablus, medics and Palestinian Security Sources said. Medical sources at Rafedia Hospital in Nablus said that Khalid Maher Walweel, 7, was shot with a live bullet in the neck.
According to WAFA, Palestinian security sources said that Israeli soldiers broke into Balata refugee camp, northern Nablus, and opened fire towards the residents. Israel 'Fabricated' Child-Bomber Story :.Palestinian leaders have accused Israel of fabricating a story about a 14-year-old Palestinian boy who planned to blow himself up.
The Israeli army said he was caught wearing an explosive belt at an army roadblock in the northern West Bank.
The boy, identified as Husam Abdu from Nablus, was shown on TV screens around the world, with an explosive belt strapped to his waist.
The Israeli army said the boy told interrogators that his dispatchers promised that he would have sex with 72 virgins in heaven soon after his death.
"We know for sure this is a fabricated story from A to Z. Would you believe that a 13 or 14-year old would agree to blow up himself in return for a hundred shekels which he would receive after his death?
"It seems to me that the Israelis are bad liars as well," said Yaqub Shahin, a director-general of the Palestinian Authority ministry of information.
Painting a 'terrorist' picture
In an interview with Aljazeera.net, Shahin accused Israel of seeking to justify slaughtering Palestinian children by spreading the false impression that they are used as human bombers.
"Their [Israel's] goal is to besmirch Palestinian childhood so that when they slaughter the children, the world won't feel sorry for them," he said.Liberating America From Israel :.Nine-eleven would not have occurred if the U.S. government had refused to help Israel humiliate and destroy Palestinian society. Few express this conclusion publicly, but many believe it is the truth. I believe the catastrophe could have been prevented if any U.S. president during the past 35 years had had the courage and wisdom to suspend all U.S. aid until Israel withdrew from the Arab land seized in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
The U.S. lobby for Israel is powerful and intimidating, but any determined president-even President Bush this very day-could prevail and win overwhelming public support for the suspension of aid by laying these facts before the American people:
Israel's present government, like its predecessors, is determined to annex the West Bank-biblical Judea and Samaria - so Israel will become Greater Israel. Ultra-Orthodox Jews, who maintain a powerful role in Israeli politics, believe the Jewish Messiah will not come until Greater Israel is a reality. Although a minority in Israel, they are committed, aggressive, and influential. Because of deep religious conviction, they are determined to prevent Palestinians from gaining statehood on any part of the West Bank.The Main Danger to Peace, It's Israel :.The Israelis are worried about Vanunu, not because he has any new secrets to reveal, but because he reminds us of truths that have long been known � and steadfastly ignored. We never had evidence of Iraqi WMD, yet proof of Israel's nuclear arsenal has been staring us in the face for 16 years. By the time Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, and the "Office of Special Plans" were conjuring visions of a nuclear-armed Saddam igniting mushroom clouds � based on forgeries, tall tales peddled by Iraqi exiles, and a couple of aluminum tubes � Israel's nuclear program had already churned out hundreds of nuclear weapons.
The Israeli government is afraid of Vanunu, and seeks to impose restrictions on his movements and public utterances because they are not at all eager to draw attention to their nuclear stockpile. And with good reason. While the Israeli state is justly proud of its military capabilities, and touts them at every opportunity, it was only in 1998 that former Prime Minister Shimon Peres admitted his nation has nukes, claiming that they "built a nuclear option, not in order to have a Hiroshima but an Oslo."
Gee, that's funny, but didn't the Iraqis say something similar after the Israelis bombed the reactor at Osirak? Ah, but I'm committing the sin of "moral equivalence," because, you see, an Israeli nuke is a peace bomb, while an Iraqi nuke is a "weapon of mass destruction."
Congress Moves to Criminalize P2P :.
It's for the children!Congress appears to be preparing assaults against peer-to-peer technology on multiple fronts.
A draft bill recently circulated among members of the House judiciary committee would make it much easier for the Justice Department to pursue criminal prosecutions against file sharers by lowering the burden of proof. The bill, obtained Thursday by Wired News, also would seek penalties of fines and prison time of up to ten years for file sharing.
In addition, on Thursday, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) introduced a bill that would allow the Justice Department to pursue civil cases against file sharers, again making it easier for law enforcement to punish people trading copyright music over peer-to-peer networks. They dubbed the bill "Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004," or the Pirate Act.
The bills come at a time when the music and movie industries are exerting enormous pressure on all branches of government at the federal and state levels to crack down on P2P content piracy. The industries also are pushing to portray P2P networks as dens of terrorists, child pornographers and criminals -- a strategy that would make it more palatable for politicians to pass laws against products that are very popular with their constituents.
FLASH: WARRANTLESS POLICE SEARCHES IN LOUISIANA :.
Fascim fully unfurled:It's a groundbreaking court decision that legal experts say will affect everyone: Police officers in Louisiana no longer need a search or arrest warrant to conduct a brief search of your home or business.
Leaders in law enforcement say it will provide safety to officers, but others argue it's a privilege that could be abused.
The decision was made by the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Two dissenting judges called it the "road to Hell."
The ruiling stems from a lawsuit filed in Denham Springs in 2000.
New Orleans Police Department spokesman Capt. Marlon Defillo said the new power will go into effect immediately and won't be abused.
"We have to have a legitimate problem to be there in the first place, and if we don't, we can't conduct the search," Defillo said.
But former U.S. Attorney Julian Murray has big problems with the ruling.
"I think it goes way too far," Murray said, noting that the searches can be performed if an officer fears for his safety -- a subjective condition.
Defillo said he doesn't envision any problems in New Orleans, but if there are, they will be handled.
"There are checks and balances to make sure the criminal justce system works in an effective manor," Defillo said.
The Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld, Set to Music :.
Rumseld: Madman? Poet? Both? This is just fantastic. Make sure you listen to the samples!Last year, Donald Rumsfeld's pronouncements from Pentagon briefings and media interviews were arranged into poems. Now those poems have been set to music.
Columnist Hart Seely put the defense secretary's words to poetry in the book Pieces of Intelligence: The Existential Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld. One poem, "The Unknown," was based on one of Rumsfeld's most famous phrasings: "There are known knowns. There are things we know we know..."
San Francisco-based pianist Bryant Kong set the poems to music in The Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld, issued on his newly formed label, Stuffed Penguin Music.
No, Rumsfeld doesn't sing. That job falls to a soprano.
UNICEF Nigerian Polio Vaccine Contaminated with Sterilizing Agents :.
Don't vaccinate your children:A UNICEF campaign to vaccinate Nigeria's youth against polio may have been a front for sterilizing the nation. Dr. Haruna Kaita, a pharmaceutical scientist and Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, took samples of the vaccine to labs in India for analysis.
Using WHO-recommended technologies like Gas Chromatography (GC) and Radio-Immuno assay, Dr. Kaita, upon analysis, found evidence of serious contamination. "Some of the things we discovered in the vaccines are harmful, toxic; some have direct effects on the human reproductive system," he said in an interview with Kaduna's Weekly Trust. "I and some other professional colleagues who are Indians who were in the Lab could not believe the discovery," he said.Related: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation :.
Did you know that Bill Gates gives hundreds of millions of dollars for vaccinations? The problem, however, is water borne diseases. Why not provide resources to clean up water? No, just line up to get a needle full of poison made by criminal pharmaceutical companies and paid for by B Gates! Yeah, right:A $750 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched The Vaccine Fund, the financial lever for GAVI. Financial commitments from Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, The United States and private fundraising have increased assets to $1.079 billion.
The Vaccine Fund is the catalyst that converts intention into action. GAVI assesses potential recipient countries, and The Vaccine Fund streamlines program financing and execution. 98% of The Fund's resources go directly to the target countries.
Partners in GAVI are the Bill and Melinda Gates Children's Vaccine Program, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (IFPMA) public health and research institutions, national governments, the Rockefeller Foundation, UNICEF, the World Bank Group and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Bush Thinks the Illegal War in Iraq is a Joke :.
War crimes for oil! HAHA! Get it?Bush put on a slide show, calling it the "White House Election-Year Album" at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association 60th annual dinner, showing himself and his staff in some decidedly unflattering poses.
There was Bush looking under furniture in a fruitless, frustrating search. "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere," he said.
Ukrainian Missiles 'Gone Missing' :.
How does this one grab ya?Ukrainian Defence Minister Yevhen Marchuk has said that several hundred of his country's missiles are unaccounted for. The weapons were supposed to have been decommissioned in the years that followed the break-up of the USSR.
But it is now being claimed that there is no record of them being destroyed.
This is being blamed on accounting problems during the period of transition that followed the country's independence in 1991.
"Unfortunately strange things happen," Mr Marchuk said in an interview for the Ukrainian newspaper Den.
Cryptogon Server Change Today
My ISP will be moving Cryptogon to a new server today. If something gets set up the bomb, know that I'll get it fired back up ASAP.
Fox Questions Why British Military Were in Mexico :.
What's this all about?Mexican President Vicente Fox said Wednesday he wants to know why members of the British military were in his country for a cave expedition, but never notified his government.
Six members of a British cave exploration team, including four members of the British military, have been trapped in a cave for a week after flash-flooding prevented their exit.
All are in good health and their lives are not believed to be in jeopardy.
Fox said the British team entered Mexico as tourists and didn't notify the government that some of them were members of the British military and that they were going on an expedition.
I Have a Degree in Computer Science: Would You Like Fries With That? :.Undergraduates in U.S. universities are starting to abandon their studies in computer technology and engineering amid widespread worries about the accelerating pace of offshoring by high-technology employers.
A new study, to be published in May, shows there was a dramatic drop-off of enrollment in those fields last year -- 19 percent -- and some educators warn about the potential consequences for America's global competitiveness.
Enrollment in undergraduate computer-science courses continued to grow after the collapse of the dot-com bubble until the sharp decline in the 2002-03 academic year, according to the Washington-based Computing Research Association. The number of newly declared majors in computer science also showed a sudden 23 percent plunge last year.
DOJ Asked FBI Translator to Change Pre 9-11 Intercepts :.FBI translator, Sibel Edmonds, was offered a substantial raise and a full time job in order to not go public that she had been asked by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to retranslate and adjust the translations of [terrorist] subject intercepts that had been received before September 11, 2001 by the FBI and CIA.
Britain Unfurling, Building 15ft Concrete Wall Around Parliament :.
Cops with shoot-to-kill orders, razor wire, blah blah:A HUGE concrete wall is to go up around the Houses of Parliament to ward off terror attacks.
The planned replacement of Westminster's historic iron railings by a forbidding 15ft-high barrier topped with razor wire is stark evidence of the security threat now facing Britain.
Drivers in Wisconsin Forced by Police to Give Blood Samples :.
Wave your flags, eat your freedom fries and wait for the cops to hold you down to extract your blood:In the past, police routinely asked suspected drunk drivers to blow into devices that extrapolated their blood's alcohol content from their breath. Now, authorities in most states are taking blood, by force if necessary.
Who Would Jesus Bomb? :.
A song by David Rovics
The End of Globalism :.
John Saul's eloquent essay places The End of the current iteration of society within the historical context that is so often lacking from conventional accounts of what is happening before our eyes. This is probably the most important document mentioned on Cryptogon. Please set aside some time to read this essay carefully, and if you're capable of building an arc, I would be about that business as soon as possible:The wild open-market theory that died in 1929 had a run of just over 30 years. Communism, a complete melding of religious, economic and global theories, stretched to 70 years in Russia and 45 in central Europe, thanks precisely to the intensive use of military and police force. Keynesianism, if you add its flexible, muscular form during the Depression to its more rigid postwar version, lasted 45 years. Our own Globalisation, with its technocratic and technological determinism and market idolatry, had 30 years. And now it, too, is dead.
Of course, grand ideologies rarely disappear overnight. Fashions, whether in clothes or food or economics, tend to peter out. Thousands of people have done well out of their belief in Globalisation, and their professional survival is dependent on our continued shared devotion to the cause. So is their personal sense of self-worth. They will be in positions of power for a few more years, and so they will make their case for a little longer. But the signs of decline are clear, and since 1995 those signs have multiplied, building on one another, turning a confused situation into a collapse.
Keepers of the Crypt :.
It's getting old, I know:Presidential hopefuls have long feared the skeletons in their closet. But this year's contenders may have reason to rest easy: If they've got skeletons, at least some are safe in the hands of their fellow Bonesmen.
That would be the men of Skull and Bones, the secret society at Yale University to which both President Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry belonged as students - an exclusive club composed of 15 elite seniors at an already-elite school, campus hotshots whose many talents included the ability to guard each other's private lives to the grave.
Inside the tomb, as the society's meeting place is called, the two men bared their souls. Decades later, only select details about their experiences rise from the crypt - and most hew closely to their official campaign script.
I Declare: CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight is a Semi-Legitimate Source of Information
Lou Dobbs has been making sense for weeks. Today, he interviewed John Ralston Saul, one of the most important living authors in the world, in my opinion. I nearly passed out from shock when I saw Saul on CNN. Among several other books, he wrote, Voltaire's Bastards
, which I highly recommend, and the the brand new, On Equilibrium
From CNN Tonight with Lou Dobbs, 3/24/2004
. I'm posting an extended snip of it for my own reference. This is a generally poor transcription, obviously done by an incompetent college intern, but if you decide to read it, I think you'll see why I want to keep it handy:
John Ralston Saul joins me now. I have to tell you it's a great pleasure to be here.
JOHN RALSTON SAUL, AUTHOR, "ON EQUILIBRIUM": Great to be here.
DOBBS: A brilliant article. I don't do this too often, but if I may I'm going to recommend to our viewers that they pick up this edition of "Harper's" and read, because whether they agree with you or not it's proactive and good stuff. [Saul's essay, The End of Globalism
SAUL: It's good to get people thinking even if they don't agree.
DOBBS: Absolutely. It's always nice to have them agree.
SAUL: Fifty percent or what's ever.
DOBBS: The idea that globalization is dead particularly in the concept of these times in which we're dealing with the issues of outsourcing, immense trade deficit, a difficult world given terrorist threat, what do you mean by that?
SAUL: Well, you know, economic ideologue, you know, it's an ideologue when people say it's inevitable and there's no way back, you know your into dream lands. The more you hear that it's inevitable the more you know you're near end. And they usually last 25 to 50 years. The Soviet Union had a little longer run, but they had a secret service. They had a lot of guns. But most -- you know, even Keynesian lasted about half a century. And the last time we did deregulated markets from 1890 to 1929, so really this is really sort of a technocrat's version of what ended in 1929, and, you know, basically if you try to look at the world through the prism of economics, things like families, life, democracy, gets pushed to the edge and you get into a greater and greater instability and eventually it sort of kills itself. I guess that's sort of where -- we're near that edge now.
DOBBS: That edge, and some might even say we've crossed that edge for it strikes me now in this campaign year here, this country, the idea that there is an issue of free trade versus economic isolationism creating polar extremes, neither is true. But perfectly labeled. The idea that the inevitability about free trade and globalization. You don't hear people talking about any other part that the markets will take care of it, that free trade is the panacea for every ill. How do we get to that point?
SAUL: I think after 9/11 when the world started dropping into the most terrible depression. And the people who were supposed to save the day, which was the marketplace, the natural balance, the leaders of the trans-national corporations sort of disappeared because they had to look at their own bacon. We were pulled out of that basically by the governments of the nation states. So suddenly the nation states rediscovered themselves.
And actually quite successfully stopped us from going into this depression. I suppose we're at a stage now where the effects of a certain kind of deregulation and of trying to see the world almost entirely through trade, is leading to things like cheap money, chasing cheap jobs or money chasing jobs, jobs chasing money. And it leads to the return of kind of boom and bust cycles but there are new kinds of boom and bust cycles and one of them is instability of communities because jobs move around so fast. They're going to move but not so fast.
DOBBS: As you point out in your article, these laissez-faire wonderful free market solutions, quote, unquote, these aren't exactly new. Going back to the 20s, much of the same thinking was at hand?
SAUL: Yes. There has never been a successful civilization in the West that didn't have a healthy free market. The free market is absolutely essential to a healthy stable society. On the other hand, the free market really only works in a kind of calm situation, it's as if it is jumping up and down on a spring bed. Well, the mattress is a solid civilization, it's a proper regulation, it's things which mean that you're not going to get a company's racing about looking for a better place. Look at northern Mexico, you know, it looked like everything was going to northern Mexico. As soon as northern Mexico standards started to rise, because things were going there, something moved on somewhere else.
DOBBS: When manufacturers discovered that there was cheaper labor.
SAUL: Somewhere else. DOBBS: In China, than the $2.50 that many were making...
SAUL: So that in ten years, the last ten years the real value of the minimum wage in Mexico has gone down by 21 percent. It's a very temporary gain. The idea that taking more care about the way one does trade will actually harm (UNINTELLIGIBLE) isn't true. We have to take more care in general about how we do trade which doesn't mean closing the borders.
DOBBS: A suggestion that, for example, citizens of this country or any other are more than just consumers or investors or workers, they are actually citizens who have lives, families, needs that are to be met by the nation state as well as the economy.
SAUL: We just, you know, I do think that the heart of democracy is the citizen. That's where legitimacy lies. If the citizen can't find some kind of stability inside their community, then democracy can't work. Remember that Argentina, up until about 1930 had a higher per capita standard of living than places like Canada and Australia. It was a dream. What went wrong? What went wrong in many ways was it lost that sense of the power of the small citizen. That sense of stability.
DOBBS: That citizen in this country is generally referred to as the middle class, working men and women in this country which has always been the pride, the foundation of both our society as well as our economy. The middle class in this country is under an assault that it hasn't seen since certainly the 1930s. What would be your thoughts about the future for both the middle class, the relevance of the middle class, the success of this country and it's future?
SAUL: You know, the 20 Western democracies, their stability is all based on success and size of middle class. That's how you get out of the kind of Marxist versus fascist argument. If you have a big solid middle class. They are actually under threat in all 20 countries. That is what is so fascinating. I think what we have to do is really quite simple. For 25 years we put in place at the international level very successful binding regulations relating to trade. Very difficult to do. But what we didn't do was put in place at the international level regulations to do with taxation, to do with labor conditions, do with the environment, et cetera.
In other words, the nation state is based on a balance between the market place, internal trade labor conditions, taxation, so on. That balance which is -- an election is really about you want it to move a bit this way or that way. We took one big piece out and put it at the international level. If we want that trade to work we have to take...
DOBBS: You're talking about the World Trade Organization?
SAUL: Generally the trade agreements. They are very brilliant but you have to take taxation or labor at the international level or else it backfires.
DOBBS: We thank you very much. SAUL: Wonderful to be here.
DOBBS: John Ralston Saul, thank you. Next, we'll have the results of our poll. Stay with us.
Gas Pump Prices Hit All-Time High :.
It's much higher in California than in the rest of the U.S. I've seen it as high as $2.30 for regular. Although, I can hear the European Cryptogon readers laughing their asses off. They would love to be able to buy gas for $2.30/gallon:U.S. average retail gasoline prices hit an all-time high on Tuesday as a tight-fisted OPEC policy and rising demand constricted supplies, according to the American Automobile Association.
The average price for regular gasoline at the nation's pumps was $1.738 per gallon, up less than a cent from the previous record hit last September, according to the motorist group's survey of more than 60,000 stations.
Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death :.
This is it. This is the big one:In Afghanistan, filmmaker Jamie Doran has uncovered evidence of a massacre: Taliban prisoners of war suffocated in containers, shot in the desert under the watch of American troops.
The film has been broadcast on national television in countries all over the world and has been screened by the European parliament. Human rights lawyers are calling for investigation into whether U.S. forces are guilty of war crimes. But no U.S. media outlet has broadcast the film.Related: A Drive to Death in the Desert
H.R. 3077: The International Studies in Higher Education Act :.
What? And turn an International Relations degree into an even bigger joke? The thing is already barely suitable for use as toilet paper:This act advocates a seven-member advisory board, similar to a Warren Commission with the power to recommend cutting federal funding for colleges and universities that are viewed as harboring academic critics of the foreign power lobbying this resolution. Simply put, if this foreign power finds the professor to be teaching anything failing to fit the agenda or cultivated image that country wants, the professor may be censored and the school eligible for fines through the removal of federal funds.
The groups & individuals behind HR 3077 are:
The Country: Israel
It's Lobbies in the US on this Resolution
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B�nai B�rith,
The American Jewish Congress
American Jewish Committee
Martin Kramer, a professor of Arab studies Tel Aviv University
Stanley Kurtz, a contributor: (anti-) Arab National Review Online
Daniel Pipes: Campus Watch, (This group conducts witch hunts against professors. See our article: Killing the First Amendment for a graphic example of its purpose and what they want to censor)
The Congressmen who drafted and Championed the Resolution: Rep. Peter Hoekstra (MI), Rep. John A. Boehner (Ohio), Rep. John R. Carter (Texas), Rep. Tom Cole (Oklahoma), Rep. James Greenwood (Penn.), Rep. Howard (Buck) McKeon (Calif.), Rep. Patrick J. Tiberi (Ohio), Rep. Joe Wilson (South Carolina)
Stasi, British Style :.
I like this bit the most, "Peter Clarke, head of the force's anti-terrorist branch, said terrorists needed places to live, vehicles, and money." Hmm. It sounds like I'd be a suspect since I need a place to live, a vehicle and money. Hmmm. You know what? That sounds like just about every "productive" member of a "modern society." So, if terrorists have the same requirements as average citizens, does that mean all average citizens are potential terrorists? HAHA! Simple logic shows the state's posture to be insane.
The quicker these governments collapse, the better:Scotland Yard will today launch an unprecedented campaign urging the public to report individuals they suspect of being terrorists.
As the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir John Stevens, called for a much more coordinated European security force effort in the wake of the Madrid bombings, UK citizens were asked to register any suspicious activity by phoning a hotline.
Sir John has already warned of the considerable terror threat, saying an attack on London is "inevitable", and urging people to report unattended bags on trains, pubs, clubs and other public places.
The Life Savers campaign goes much further, asking people to consider whether the behaviour of those they encounter, through work or socially, gives them any reason to think they might be planning terrorist attacks.
The Met's deputy assistant commissioner, Peter Clarke, head of the force's anti-terrorist branch, said terrorists needed places to live, vehicles, and money.
Muslim Fury, Western Condemnation at Yassin Killing :.
I'm almost afraid to think about what I'm going to be reading when I wake up again:Israel's assassination of Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin Monday was greeted with Palestinian vows of revenge, fury in the Islamic world, condemnation in Europe and traces of dissent even in the Israeli cabinet.
"The battle is open and war between us and them is open. They are the killers of prophets and today they killed an Islamic symbol," said senior Hamas political leader Abdel-Aziz al Rantissi.
The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, part of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction and like Hamas responsible for past suicide bombings inside Israel, called for "war, war, war on the sons of Zion. An eye for an eye. There will be a response within hours, God willing."
On the less militant end of the Palestinian political spectrum, Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie called the missile attack on the spiritual leader of Hamas as he left dawn prayers in a wheelchair "a crazy and very dangerous act."
"It opens the door wide to chaos. Yassin was known for his moderation and he was controlling Hamas. Therefore this is a dangerous, cowardly act," Qurie said.
Leaders Condemn Yassin Killing :."I understand that Israel defends its own country. However the picture of a wheelchair-bound person who was killed with a rocket is probably not the best way of promoting Israeli security," Cimoszewicz said.
Israel: The Unmentionable Source of Terrorism :.
Yep:The current threat of attacks in countries whose governments have close alliances with Washington is the latest stage in a long struggle against the empires of the west, their rapacious crusades and domination. The motivation of those who plant bombs in railway carriages derives directly from this truth. What is different today is that the weak have learned how to attack the strong, and the western crusaders' most recent colonial terrorism exposes "us" to retaliation.
The source of much of this danger is Israel. A creation, then guardian of the west's empire in the Middle East, the Zionist state remains the cause of more regional grievance and sheer terror than all the Muslim states combined. Read the melancholy Palestinian Monitor on the Internet; it chronicles the equivalent of Madrid's horror week after week, month after month, in occupied Palestine. No front pages in the West acknowledge this enduring bloodbath, let alone mourn its victims. Moreover, the Israeli army, a terrorist organisation by any reasonable measure, is protected and rewarded in the west.
Spooked: Interesting and Entertaining Radio Theater :.
Many of the background facts in this audio mosaic are, indeed, easily verifiable. But the overall premise, that a CIA/NSA AI was harvested from discarded government contractor computers and further developed by "renegade programmers," is pretty silly. I wonder how much weed went up in smoke as these guys put this program together? Anyway, it held my attention through both parts:On the nights of January 22nd and 29th, 1999, an amazing piece of radio history was made. The usually placid, late-night sounds emanating from the left-wing KPFA radio station were unexpectedly transformed into a devastating horror show of realism and uncovered "official" secrets.
It was "SPOOKED", a ground-breaking expose of the CIA, with terrifying insights provided by a voice-disguised, self-professed former "agent" of the CIA named "Raymond". It was later revealed that Raymond was not actually a human agent, but rather the deceptive musings of a piece of artificial intelligence.
But not just any artificial intelligence. Raymond claimed "he" was created by the CIA and NSA sigint people for the purposes of cyber-spying: An intelligent virus designed to infiltrate networks of all kinds, gather sensitive data, and return it to a "mother" programming for decryption and interpretation.
Now you too can hear this incredible radio show, with Raymond spilling his guts on every spooky topic known to the spooks: The CIA's shady past, money laundering, LSD, cryptanalysis, goverment-sponsored murder, the power structure of the shadow government, torture, and dozens of other spy-related topics.
Note: If you go to save the MP3s, it looks like there was a little confusion in the numbering sequence... "A lot of weed," is the answer to the question above.
Cryptogon Reader Account: Ralph Nader and Alex Jones, in Crawford, TX, March 20, 2004 :.well, overall, the mood was... educational. i don't think much changed as far as people's core opinions. yet everyone learned something new, whether some minor piece of societal or cultural info or real hard data. yet, even the minor info helped dispell major myths, at least for me. the people i spoke with didn't agree with everything alex said... but were glad he was doing something. i like that attitude... and glad i met some people who expressed it.
Taiwan Stock Exchange Plunges Limit Down on Election Dispute :.
WOW!Taiwan's benchmark stock index had its biggest decline in eight years as the Nationalist Party organized street protests to challenge President Chen Shui-bian's re-election, calling for a recount and a probe into whether he faked an assassination attempt.
The TWSE Index plunged 6.7 percent, the biggest drop since January 1996, to 6359.92 at the close in Taipei. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest supplier of made-to-order computer chips, and the 15 other most actively traded stocks fell almost 7 percent, their daily limit.
Hamas Founder Killed in Airstrike :.
This might have the potential to blow the lid off the entire situation:Hamas founder and spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was killed in an apparent airstrike by Israeli forces Monday morning as he was being driven from a mosque, Hamas and Palestinian security sources told CNN.
Five others were killed in the strike, sources said.
Yassin's car and the cars carrying his bodyguards were hit by three rockets as they left the mosque after prayers.
Thousands of angry Palestinians gathered around his minutes after the attack, calling for revenge against Israel.
Rumsfeld Bitch Slapped on National TV :.
Nice one. Careful, though, you don't want him to pull one of these:
"Witty" Worm Delivering Kill Shot to Hard Drives :.
Systems running BlackICE and RealSecure firewalls are being set up the bomb by the tens of thousands right now. Can you imagine? Thousands of "road warrior" PHBs
firing up their laptops after their Monday morning espresso enemas? Uhh, woops:A quickly spreading Internet worm destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of personal computers worldwide Saturday morning by exploiting a security flaw in a firewall program designed to protect PCs from online threats, computer experts said.
The "Witty" worm writes random data onto the hard drives of computers equipped with the Black Ice and Real Secure Internet firewall products, causing the drives to fail and making it impossible to restart the PCs. Unlike many recent worms that arrive as e-mail attachments, it spreads automatically to vulnerable computers without any action on the part of the user.
At least 50,000 computers have been infected so far, according to Reston, Va.-based computer security firm iDefense and the Bethesda, Md.-based SANS Institute.Witty Worm Analysis :.This worm has been found to be highly malicious, slowly destroying the systems it infects. Because of this activity, at some point this worm will cease to exist - unfortunately it will take all the affected systems with it. Rather than simply executing a "format C:" or similar destructive command, the worm slowly corrupts the filesystem while it continues to spread.
The worm's functionality is as follows:
1) Generates a random IP address
2) Sends the worm payload
3) Repeats steps 1-2 20,000 times
4) Opens a random PHYSICALDRIVE from 0-7, which allows raw hard disk access
5) Seeks to a random point on the disk
6) Writes 65K of data from the beginning of the vulnerable DLL to the disk
7) Closes the disk
8) Starts the process over from step 1
The act of writing directly to the drive will cause certain filesystem corruption. Any infected machine will likely have its operating system and partition data destroyed along with most files on the physical drives, depending on how long the worm runs on the machine.
Note: I use both hardware and software firewalls; never fully trusting either. If an exploit emerges for my hardware based firewall, chances are slim to none that the software based firewall would also have a critical flaw at the same moment. I think it would actually be exciting to see my software firewall start to give me WAN side warnings.... Obviously, this would indicate that some freak/worm had penetrated the hardware based firewall that blocks nearly everything (except for a couple of ports that I use for this and that). I'd laugh my ass off and probably utter something like, "Who needs this shit?" as I yanked the WAN cable out of the router.
Chomsky Backs 'Bush-Lite' Kerry :.
Much of what Chomsky says is correct, but, in the final analysis, the guy is a status quo, system maintaining shill. Chomsky is advocating a vote for Kerry, someone only slightly better than the "cruel and savage" Bush. You see, Chomsky, like many Democrats, just can't (or won't) grasp the fact that the American political system has lost all legitimacy.
I personally pleaded with Chomsky
to help raise consciousness about alternative energy technologies. He responded by saying that he wasn't "expert" enough and that we should be happy with incremental changes. Well, old man, that's just not going to cut it when we're dealing with "cruel and savage" vs slightly better than "cruel and savage." If this doesn't sum up the hypocrisy of the Dems, I don't know what will:Noam Chomsky, the political theorist and leftwing guru, yesterday gave his reluctant endorsement to the Democratic party's presidential contender, John Kerry, calling him "Bush-lite", but a "fraction" better than his rival.
Professor Chomsky - a linguist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as a renowned chronicler of American foreign policy - said there were "small differences" between Senator Kerry and the Republican president. But, in an interview on the Guardian's politics website, he added that those small differences "can translate into large outcomes".
He describes the choice facing US voters in November as "the choice between two factions of the business party". But the Bush administration was so "cruel and savage", it was important to replace it.
He said: "Kerry is sometimes described as 'Bush-lite', which is not inaccurate. But despite the limited differences both domestically and internationally, there are differences. In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes."Where Noam Will not Roam - Chomsky's Limited Dissent Supports the Official Stories of 9/11 and JFK :."That's an internet theory and it's hopelessly implausible. Hopelessly implausible. So hopelessly implausible I don't see any point in talking about it."
- Noam Chomsky, at a FAIR event at New York's Town Hall, 22 January 2002, in response to a question from the audience about US government foreknowledge of 9/11.
Spiral: Riots Spread Across Kosovo, Serbia :.
One can only hope that Europe has larned its lesson on the Balkans; this type of thing must be stopped immediately or the whole shop will blow up again:Ethnic Albanians burned houses and churches and drove hundreds of Serbs from towns and villages across Kosovo on Thursday, while Serbs outside the province retaliated by setting ablaze mosques in Serbia. NATO responded to the violence by sending in reinforcements to head off a broader conflict.
The death toll from two days of marauding reached 31, U.N. officials said, but it was not clear how the numbers broke down between the two sides.
Hyping the Impending Staged Capture of Bin Laden :.Alex Jones' White House source told him in 2002 that bin Laden had died of natural causes and that he was on ice, to be rolled out right before the election. Read our story behind this story today from CNN:
Drone may have spotted bin Laden in 2000
March 17, 2004
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. officials say CIA surveillance aircraft video that they think shows Osama bin Laden in 2000 was "highly classified," and that the CIA will investigate who leaked it to the media.
The CIA often investigates when unauthorized material is leaked to the media, U.S. officials said.
Helping Kids Kick the TV Addiction :.
If I had kids, I would keep the guns and the TV locked in the same cabinet. Guns can kill the body. TV can kill the mind. I love the tone of this article. It sounds like they're talking about out of control smack addicts:Realize, TV and videos have an addictive effect--the more kids watch, the more they want to watch. So come up with some realistic and reasonable rules: one video or TV program each day; no TV on the weekdays, weekends only; no videos with violent themes. Explain your new rules once, but don't attempt to convince your son that your rules are reasonable.
Research Credit: MH
Object Streaks Through Martian Sky :.
Of all the ways They could bring this show down, I would find the "fake alien invasion" scenario most entertaining. I guess Al Qaeda is more convincing than "aliens" for the moment:The US Spirit rover on Mars has seen a UFO streak across the Red Planet sky.
Astronomers say it could be the first meteor seen from the surface of another world, or a redundant orbiting spacecraft sent to Mars 30 years ago.
"We may never know, but we are still looking for clues," said Dr Mark Lemmon, from Texas A&M University.
Whatever it was, Spirit was lucky to catch sight of the UFO as the rover's main mission is to look downwards to study rocks and soil on the planet.
Alex Jones and Ralph Nader to Hold No Republi-crat Rally! :.
Man, I wish I could be there!The NO REPUBLI-CRAT WAR RALLY sponsored by The Intelligence Community will begin with Ralph Nader at 4:30pm followed by Alex Jones at 7:00pm.
Royal Dutch/Shell Cut Its Oil and Gas Reserves... Again :.Royal Dutch/Shell cut its oil and gas reserves for the second time this year on Thursday in a fresh blow to investor confidence, as U.S. regulators stepped up legal probes into the debacle.
Shell's decision to slash its proved reserves by 20 percent in January has already sent shockwaves through the industry, cost its two top bosses their jobs, and wiped billions of dollars off its stock market value.
Thursday's reserves cut was much smaller, at just 220 million barrels for 2003, and 250 million for 2002, compared with the original restatement of 3.9 billion barrels.
But it is just as embarrassing, because it includes reserves from Norwegian field Ormen Lange that were identified as bookable only a few weeks ago -- after the January admission.
Fourteen Dead as Ethnic Violence Sweeps Kosovo :.
Keep an eye on it:The worst ethnic violence in Kosovo since the end of the 1999 conflict erupted in the partitioned town of Kosovska Mitrovica yesterday, leaving hundreds wounded and at least 14 people dead.
UN peacekeepers and Nato troops scrambled to contain a raging gun battle between Serbs and ethnic Albanians.
Cryptogon Freak Labs Presents: Solar Water Distillation
Southern California has plenty of sun, but don't drink the water. Several days ago, when the temps hit the 90s, I snapped. I decided that I wasn't going to pay as much as $1.50 for a gallon of distilled water anymore. I have known about solar water distillation for over twenty years; ever since my sister built a small solar still for a science project back in elementary school.
If you understand evaporation and condensation, you understand how the solar still operates. You collect the pure H20 that evaporates (and then condenses) from a pool of tap water, sea water, pond water, etc. The diffused solids, heavy metals, etc. are left behind and you get pure H20 out the other end. The sun supplies the power necessary to accomplish this cycle. While the concept is basic, building a decent solar still from scratch proved to be a little harder than I thought it would be. (More on the hard part later.)
I roughly followed this
design for my still. I built the enclosure out of plywood and 2x4s. I used some 6mil black plastic (thick construction plastic sheeting) to hold the water inside the enclosure instead of the hi-temp silicon that the plan calls for. I used a staple gun to secure the plastic in place (staples above the waterline).
To collect the distilled water that runs down the glass, I used a standard plastic rain gutter cut down to fit the inside of the enclosure. I tilted the gutter so the collected water runs "downhill" to the right. Slots were cut into the plastic end caps on the gutter with a hacksaw to allow the glass to slide all the way down to the base of the gutter. At the lowest point on the right side of the gutter is a 3/8" barb splicer, caulked in place with some DAP Aquarium silicon sealant. WARNING: Most silicon sealants contain pesticides and shouldn't be used for this or similar applications. This is the tap to the outside. The distilled water runs down a plastic hose and collects in a regular drinking water bottle. A garden hose allows for easy refilling when the unit gets low. Here's a pic
of the input/output side of the still.
Now, the hard part. The thing needs to be sealed up really tight; as close to airtight as possible. As such, my half ass fabrication skills were not sufficient to allow the still to work very well without several feet of duct tape. The glass didn't sit perfectly flat on the enclosure. I cut the wood properly, but the silicon didn't go on evenly, so there were a couple of gaps. I went around the entire thing with the duct tape and that fixed it. Air gaps cut the efficiency of the system down and allow water seeking creatures of all descriptions to enter the still.
I considered buying a professionally manufactured solar still, until I saw how expensive they are! $450, minimum. Check out some of these systems:Aqua del Sol
<--- Probably the best ones.SolAquaReal Goods
These may not be so expensive, after all, considering that the thing I built cost about $100, and is not a permanent solution by any means. The wood will fall apart in a couple of years. One of these manufactured systems would last indefinitely, and you wouldn't have to spend all the time slapassing the thing together, like I did.
While I wish I wasn't out $100 after building this thing, I think it was worth it, if just for the antics alone. (Two people bought the Cryptogon dump file
, and one of the contributors gave me ten bucks for it! So, this project only set me back $85.) I'll let you guys know how much water I'm getting out of it. If I have extra water, I'll be able to use it on my garden.
'Attack On London Is Inevitable' :.London's police chief warned yesterday of the ever-widening terrorist threat to the capital, stressing that bombers could strike not just on the rail or tube network but virtually anywhere - pubs, nightclubs, buses or roads.
Sir John Stevens, the Metropolitan police commissioner, described the huge security effort, with hundreds of officers working at full stretch to try to prevent an atrocity.
Sir John and the city's mayor, Ken Livingstone, pledged to do everything in their power to protect the public, but they urged Londoners to be on their guard, stressing that community vigilance was the best weapon against terrorism.
Sir John agreed with Mr Livingstone, who said: "It would be miraculous if, with all the terrorist resources arranged against us, terrorists did not get through, and given that some are prepared to give their own lives, it would be inconceivable that someone does not get through to London."
Quote"Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster; and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
Cryptogon Dump File $5
Have you ever wanted to see every Cryptogon post on a single webpage? I know, frightening concept! As part of moving the content to Typepad, I had to create just such a file. It's 700 pages, according to "Print Preview" in Microsoft Internet Explorer. This is from day one, up to yesterday. The formatting isn't totally gone, but it's not pretty (or too ugly), it's easily searchable, and all of the pictures are intact. If you want it, send me $5 in Paypal and I'll let you know where it is. (A pint of imported beer goes for $5 around here!)
Hint: If you write in to complain about how poor you are and how you don't have Paypal, I'll just hate you for life and send all future emails from you down a black hole. Go read CNN.com. It's free!
It's interesting, having open hostility for most of your readers while asking them for $5. What's more interesting is that nobody (ok, maybe one person) will pay $5 for something that represents 1/3 of my life for the last two years. It's time to think seriously about what's going to happen with this thing in the future. Clearly, it's not going to continue like this.
I'm leaning toward news clippings on the public site and then a subscription based site that provides the analysis and original reporting.
Possible Migration of Cryptogon to Typepad Pro
I've been looking at different options to improve Cryptogon. There is no "great" blog publishing system, is what I'm finding. Blogger is pretty good, but it's severely limited.
I want an easy way to do categories. Typepad allows for this. I was also able to migrate two years of Cryptogon content to the Typepad site (mostly, anyway). I was stunned that this worked (mostly worked...it's close enough, I can fix the problems). Typepad is mostly pretty good, but some aspects are unbelievably boneheaded. The lack of FTP access or a file management system is inexcusable, if you ask me. There is no way to list or delete files on your server! HA! I'm not kidding. They say it's coming soon....
Anyway, take a look at the site. The temporary URL is cryptogon.typepad.com. This is a first attempt at using the system, just to see if I could migrate the existing data, and to see what's possible using their publishing engine. While they allow complete customization of the code that generates the pages, I can't make any sense of it, and I'd basically leave it very close to the way it is. I don't have desire to figure out this nonsense. Things like CSS and limited layout changes are point-and-click easy to change, though.
I guess it boils down to this: Is it worth all the trouble to get categories, comments and the ability to easily create the type of book showcase (scroll down on this page and look to the right) I have to painstakingly do my hand right now?
I'm wondering why I'm even thinking about trying to improve this thing, since 99% of you are useless takers who never do anything to support this site.... but you show up everyday to read it. Go figger.
Biometric Scanners at Sea World :.
From Alex Jones:I was shocked when told by the security guard at the turn style, that I would have to biometrically scan my right hand in order to enter the park. I refused and said that it was against my religion. I told them that it was a part of a federal program in conjunction with major corporations to prepare us for the cashless society that is being set up to track all of our purchases, activities, and is being used to build detailed psychological profiles on all of us.
Report Sees Bleak Trend in U.S. News Media :.
News organizations don't provide any context and they treat stories as if they exist in a vacuum. No wonder my readership is increasing! ;)Most U.S. news media are experiencing a steady decline in their audiences and are significantly cutting their investment in staff and resources, according to a report issued on Monday.
The study on the state of the U.S. news media by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, which is affiliated with Columbia University's graduate journalism school, found only ethnic, alternative and online media were flourishing.
"Trust in journalism has been declining for a generation," said project director Tom Rosenstiel. "This study suggests one reason is that news media are locked in a vicious cycle. As audiences fragment, newsrooms are cut back, which further erodes public trust."
Only 5 percent of stories on cable news contained new information, the report found. Most were simply rehashes of the same facts. There was also less fact checking than in the past and less policing of journalistic standards.
Fannie Mae's $25 Billion 'Gambling' Loss Comes to Light :.Fannie Mae paid a net $25.1 billion on derivatives transactions in under four years -- nearly all of which may represent losses that cannot be recouped, in turn depressing future earnings.
The potential scale of the liabilities, which have yet to be recognised in the company's earnings or in the minimum capital adequacy required by its regulator, raise fresh doubts about the financial health of the mortgage finance giant.
Regulation of Fannie Mae and its sibling Freddie Mac is rapidly moving up the agenda in Washington, amid concerns that the two goverment-sponsored entities have grown so big that they pose a systemic risk to the US financial system. The two entities own or guarantee mortgages totalling $4,000 billion.
$4,000 billion is $4 trillion, in case you were wondering.
Spain's Zapatero: Iraq War and Occupation Are Disasters :.
I think Spain is about to join the Axis of Evil. Well done, Spain:The leader of Spain's victorious Socialists, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, said Monday he would likely withdraw Spain's 1,300 troops from Iraq in June. "The war has been a disaster, the occupation continues to be a disaster. It has only caused violence," Mr. Zapatero said.
"There must be consequences. There has been one already � the election result. The second will be that the Spanish troops will come back," he said. "Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush must do some reflection and self-criticism. You can't bomb a people, you can't organize a war with lies," he told Spain's Cadena SER radio station.
Zapatero repeated a previous campaign pledge to pull out troops if the United Nations does not take charge by mid-year.
Woops: Furious Voters Oust Spanish Government :.
The plan is backfiring!Socialist leader Jos� Luis Rodr�guez Zapatero swept to a surprise victory that was a blow to the Bush administration. He has pledged to withdraw Spain's 1,300 troops from Iraq if the UN does not take control by June 30 when Washington plans to hand power back to Iraqis.
Mr Zapatero started his victory speech with a minute's silence for the victims of Thursday's attacks before vowing to fight all kinds of terrorism. "Together we will defeat it," he told supporters outside his party headquarters in Madrid.
Angry protests on the streets of large cities overnight had set a tone of brooding resentment and bitterness for a vote in which the deaths of 200 people and the injuries of more than 1,500 had inflamed some already sharp divisions in Spain.
Protesters accused the government of trying to hide the fact that violent Islamism was to blame and demanded explanations for Mr Aznar's backing of the Iraq war against the will of some 90% of Spaniards.
U.S. Gasoline Prices Hit a Record High :.Prices for all grades of gasoline rose 1.34 cents in the last two weeks to a record high nationwide average of $1.77 a gallon, according to a study released Sunday.
Off Topic: Cryptogon Garden Ducks
I was working in my garden when two mallard ducks flew down out of the sky, walked over to me and started quacking. This was weird, because, just this morning, I was thinking about how I was going to deal with snails. Smart people know that one doesn't have a snail problem. One has a lack of duck problem. I could ring my raised bed with copper pipe, but that costs money. I'd much rather hang out with this happy couple. I named them Fritz and Henrietta. Don't ask me why. I don't know. The names just came to me immediately.
I found some crackers and rice for them. I put it down and Fritz let Henrietta gobble up as much as she wanted. He kept an eye on me, as if to make sure I didn't try to snatch up his mate while she was eating. Henrietta stepped away from the food and then Fritz ate. She kept an eye on me too. I thought about why she ate first. Do you think it's hardcoded into the male's brain to let the female eat first? It makes sense, from a survival perspective. They quacked at me. I quacked back at them as I worked on my raised bed. Then, without warning, they both flew away. I was looking for snails to give to them, but I couldn't find any. I eventually found two underneath a tarp. I set them near the rice and crackers.
I hope I see these ducks again. They're pretty cool.
FBI Wants Backdoors in All Internet Services :.
This is incredible:A far-reaching proposal from the FBI, made public Friday, would require all broadband Internet providers, including cable modem and DSL companies, to rewire their networks to support easy wiretapping by police.
The FBI's request to the Federal Communications Commission aims to give police ready access to any form of Internet-based communications. If approved as drafted, the proposal could dramatically expand the scope of the agency's wiretap powers, raise costs for cable broadband companies and complicate Internet product development.
Legal experts said the 85-page filing includes language that could be interpreted as forcing companies to build back doors into everything from instant messaging and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) programs to Microsoft's Xbox Live game service. The introduction of new services that did not support a back door for police would be outlawed, and companies would be given 15 months to make sure that existing services comply.
Did you get that last sentence?The introduction of new services that did not support a back door for police would be outlawed, and companies would be given 15 months to make sure that existing services comply.
U.S. Revealed to be Secretly Funding Opponents of Chavez :.Washington has been channelling hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund the political opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - including those who briefly overthrew the democratically elected leader in a coup two years ago.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that, in 2002, America paid more than a million dollars to those political groups in what it claims is an ongoing effort to build democracy and "strengthen political parties". Mr Chavez has seized on the information, telling Washington to "get its hands off Venezuela".
Executive Outcomes :.
EO has probably gotten more press
than any other merc outfit in the world:"The team that we have hired to train our security force members are not cowboys; they are a reputable professional company, who are part of our many-faceted strategy to reach a lasting solution to this particular crisis", PNG Prime Minister Julius Chan said on February 24, as opposition mounted to his decision to hire the corporate mercenary army Executive Outcomes (EO) to strike at rebel leaders on Bougainville. The background and record of this private army show it to be not as innocuous as Chan would have the world believe.
EO's private army has seen battle in at least two African countries -- Angola and Sierra Leone. There is strong evidence, despite denials, that its agents are involved in the organisation of mercenaries to fight the anti-Mobutu rebels advancing across eastern Zaire.
EO-linked companies have bid for $1 million security contracts with agricultural and forest companies in South Africa to combat "crime". EO companies are believed to have interests in 34 countries.
The apartheid regime allowed its security forces to operate "front" companies. There is overwhelming evidence that the origins of Executive Outcomes and its many allied companies lie in apartheid South Africa's network of covert and overt military forces, which were dedicated to the destruction of the African National Congress and other southern African liberation movements, as well as the destabilisation of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola.
Vicious covert operations -- the mysterious perpetrators of which became known as the "Third Force" -- continued in South Africa until the eve of the 1994 elections.
EO was founded in 1989 by Eeben Barlow, a 17-year veteran of the South African Defence Force. Barlow served with the notorious 32 Battalion, an elite unit stationed in Namibia, which became renowned for its brutality towards SWAPO and ANC guerillas.
The 32 Battalion fought beside the CIA-backed UNITA terrorist army of Jonas Savimbi, fighting to overthrow the left-wing Angolan government.
Al-Qaida Behind Madrid Blasts :.
A five-year-old or a baboon could have told you this wasn't ETA. But since Al-Qaida is a myth created by American, British and Israeli intelligence agencies, one has to wonder where we're headed next. I believe I called it
back in 2002. Just remember, cui bono, who benefits?In a videotaped message, a man purporting to represent al-Qaida claims the terrorist network was behind bombings that killed 200 and wounded 1,500 in Madrid, the Spanish interior minister said early Sunday.
The tape - along with the arrest of three Moroccan and two Indian suspects - provided the strongest indication yet of an Islamic link to the attack on one of Washington's staunchest allies in Iraq. The Spanish government, however, said it could not confirm the tape's authenticity.
Stong indication!? HAHA! If this is a strong indication, I wonder what slim to none looks like!? I agree 100% with Mike over at What Really Happened
:Folks, think about that white van, left at the scene, complete with detonators and Koran. Who left it there? The actual bombs were remote controlled with cel phones. So, what the facts indicate is that the bombers drove to the train station in a van filled with conspicuously damning materials, parked, planted the bombs, walked away, detonated the bombs, then left the area leaving that van filled with conspicuously damning materials where it would be found.
Frame-ups don't get any more obvious.
But wait... I couldn't make this up if I tried:Madrid Terror: 911 days after 9/11 :.
What can I say? What can anyone say? Oh sure, these coincidences happen all the time:The atrocity, which Spanish media and officials described as "our own September 11", came exactly two and a half years after the attacks in New York and Washington, or 911 days, and just three days before general elections that the ruling conservative Popular Party is widely expected to win.
What It's Like Chatting Me Up in a Bar
I went to a bar last night to meet a friend of mine. She usually sits outside and smokes like a fiend, but since she hadn't arrived yet, I decided to sit inside and listen to the band (The Limericks), which was pretty good. My normal MO would be to sit in a deserted section of the bar, drink my swill and work on a manifesto, draw models of the subgovernment, or other such nonsense, while occasionally watching the door for assassins, etc. ;) But there was only one barstool open, and it happened to be the one next to a semi attractive blond woman. FYI: I don't usually find blond women attractive.* I was practically positive that her boyfriend/husband/whatever was in the pisser, but I asked her if the seat was taken anyway. She said that it wasn't, so I sat down.
I requested a pint of Smithwicks (pronounced smitticks) and my barman served it up immediately.
I don't go to bars to find people to date. I know, from years of experience, that dating people from bars is generally a dumb idea. It's like spending your money on lotto tickets hoping to get rich. The chances of attaining a good result are slim to none. It's not that one couldn't meet a quality person in a bar, it's just not likely to happen. This is because bars tend to be full of "normal" people, meaning, stressed out, deranged lunatics.
So, with this as my mindset, I quickly forgot about the blond woman, drank my beer and listened to the music.
Don't ask me how it started, but the next thing I knew, I was having a conversation with this girl. I'm quite positive I didn't start it. Anyway, turns out, she's an investment banker for a very large bank. (Try to imagine my laughter when I heard that one, and how I had to struggle to maintain appearances.)
The thought that popped into my head was, "I better hold on to my wallet. This is an arch swindler, female PHB
, who runs rackets involving tens of millions of dollars. Not even my cigarette butts and bottle caps are safe!"
Don't worry, I managed to maintain appearances... At least for the moment.
You would know this bank for sure. You probably have one of their credit cards in your wallet, your house payment might go to this thing and it's highly likely that you're sick of seeing their commercials on the TV (if you watch TV, which I don't, but I assume they have commercials). So, this girl is a big-deal, MBA, PHB, power executive with an office, minions and the rest of it. She has some role in deciding which companies---you don't need to know which sector of the economy---the bank should fund.
You guys know me. Try to picture this scene!
My head was spinning because my ex girlfriend was a high powered CPA, PHB for a public corporation. You may drink their coffee. This is interesting because I swore that I'd never work for a PHB again. So, you can imagine how weird it was to wind up dating one! We didn't have much to talk about.... and now, flash forward, I'm talking to another PHB woman! Come on, man!? What gives? What is the demiurge
trying to accomplish by tempting me with PHB women?
So, after some innocuous chit-chat---where are you from, where did you go to school, type of stuff---I wanted to get down to what she knew about the shit hitting the fan.
Get ready to laugh:
Me: "What do you think about the collapse of the dollar over the past couple of years?"
Her: "Uh, it's been pretty incredible."
Me: "Don't you think it's weird that there hasn't been an inversely proportional rise in prices of foreign made products?"
Her: "Oh, I don't want to talk shop."
Me: "Come on! And then you have the Bank of Japan floating U.S. consumer debt with totally unsustainable support of the dollar? How long can this nonsense keep going!? Where would U.S. interest rates be without the inflows of trillions of yen?"
Her: "What did you say you do?"
Me: "Me? Oh, I'm that little voice in the back of your head saying, 'This thing is coming down.'"
Her: "I think you're frightening me."
Me: "You should be frightened. Besides, I think you're frightening me."
Her: "WHAT!? Why?"
Me: "Because you're a big deal at a large bank and you don't want talk about the obvious fact that this thing could collapse at any moment. You don't have to maintain appearances, I'm onto what banks like yours are up to, I know about the bad loans. I know about the bath you people took on Argentina, and the rest of the exposure in South America and Asia waiting to bite you in the ass."
Her: "Look, I don't think it's as bad as all of that. Nevermind! I don't want to talk politics."
Me: "HA! This isn't politics. If you think I'm asking you to have a Left-Right debate, think again."
She changed the subject, and I let her. Then, after several more minutes, she said that she had to go, and I said, Ok, safe trip, nice to meet you, bye, etc. HAHA! That's when she scooted close to me and said, "Look, I like you, I want to go out with you."
I had one of those Fight Club moments: I am Jack's raging bile duct.
Me: "HAHA! No you don't."
Her: "What!? Why not? Are you some kind of psychopath? Married? Kids?"
Me: "No. But I'm definitely a weirdo. You should check out my site, see if it frightens you and then decide if you want to go out with me."
Her: "Web site!? Oh my God, you're some kind of porn freak."
Me: "I wish it was that, I'd probably make money doing that."
Her: ***Pause*** She was obviously caught between the normal female, is-he-an-axe-murderer? syndrome and the fact that she was attracted to me for some weird reason. "Well, if it's some political thing, I'm not interested. I'll be audited for sure if I check it out."
Me: ***Rolling Eyes*** "How can you say you're not interested if you haven't even seen it?"
Her: "I'm just not."
Me: "Well, if you're not interested in anything remotely political and you don't want to talk shop, I'm trying to think about what we would talk about?"
Her: "Do you always try to frighten women off this fast?"
Me: "Look, we might as well get this all out in the open right now before your cat has to be traumatized by meeting another new guy who's not going to work out."
Her: "How do you know about my cat?"
Me: "Oh, believe me, I know all about your cat."
Her: "This is ridiculous."
Me: "You're preaching to the choir, honey."
She wrote down her name and number on a napkin and gave it to me. She said, "If you think I'm calling you, you're crazy."
Me: "Well what do you want me to do with this?"
Her: "Oh my God, can't a girl just like you? Deal with it. You're smart. Figure it out. And call me, because I'm not calling you."
Me: "I didn't give you my number, how could you call me?"
Her: "I don't want it, because I wouldn't call you."
Her: "Are you going to call?"
Me: "Maybe. Maybe not."
She kinda squinted her eyes in disbelief and shook her head a little, then she smiled. I wanted to say, "You're a ninny," but I didn't.
She said, "Bye," I said, "Bye," and then she left.
Jimmy, the barman, walked over.
"Another Smithwicks, please, Jimmy."
* The sword wielding Uma
is one notable exception.
Robot Race Ends without a Winner :.
I think MTV needs to start a Jackass-related series that deals with university professors, their grad students and the circus antics they undertake that passes for "science." The show would be very funny.... until the viewer realized that public tax money is going up in smoke so these pseudo-intellectuals can operationalize their insane whims. I know, not all of these teams are on the DARPA tit, but many of the people involved with this race have been swindling grant money for decades:A $1 million race across the Mojave Desert by driverless robots ended Saturday after all 15 entries either broke down or withdrew, a race official said.
Two of the entries covered about seven miles of the roughly 150-mile course while eight failed to make it to the one-mile mark. Others crashed seconds after starting.
The race ended just before 11 a.m. after the final four competitors were disabled, said Col. Jose Negron, race program manager.
Competitors suffered a variety of problems that included stuck brakes, broken axles, rollovers and malfunctioning satellite navigation equipment.
One six-wheeled robot built by a Louisiana team was disqualified after it became entangled in barbed wire.
U.S. Plans to Draft Computer Experts and Foreign Language Specialists :.
Ok, all of you out of work IT people, here's one for you! HAHAHAHA!The government is taking the first steps toward a targeted military draft of Americans with special skills in computers and foreign languages.
The Selective Service System has begun the process of creating the procedures and policies to conduct such a targeted draft in case military officials ask Congress to authorize it and the lawmakers agree to such a request.
Richard Flahavan, a spokesman for the Selective Service System, said planning for a possible draft of linguists and computer experts had begun last fall after Pentagon personnel officials said the military needed more people with skills in those areas.
BLEEX: Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton :.
I saw this when Wired reported on it a couple of days ago
, but when I went to the site and saw the movies, I laughed so hard I couldn't even bring myself to post a story about it. Clearly, at this point, the BLEEX project is all about swindling grant money. Eventually, though, this type of research could produce some very frightening stuff. Of course, you have to keep from pissing yourself laughing when you watch the video of it in operation. But give it ten years! I'll quote a sentence from my commentary on the the DARPA story below, "They want to leverage technology to eliminate the possibility of resistance (even armed resistance) from civilian populations."
Read 1984 again. Note how INGSOC was established. The technology made it possible.
I found the following quote from the Pogomatic page
on the BLEEX site. This is a pretty concise statement of why they want to continue to involve humans in these endeavors. In short, the technology isn't good enough yet to entirely eliminate humans from the picture:Even with the advent of faster computers and efforts to improve artificial intelligence, the ability of humans to make decisions and adapt to new environments still far exceed those of any machines built to date. As a result, there are still strong advantages for the construction of human-machine systems over purely autonomous systems. These devices utilize the intelligence and adaptive abilities of the human operator, while using the machine to provide increased strength, speed, and endurance.
Nerds can be smart and dumb at the same time. The young people who work on these projects know quite a lot about computers, robotics and math. However, they often don't see the evil underpinnings and wider implications of this type of work. They just worship technology and don't have much of a feel for the reality of where all of this is headed. Maybe they'll figure it out when this thing
knocks on their door at 3am.
DARPA Takes Battle to the Streets :.
You may think this article is just about technology the military wants for dealing with the insurgency in Iraq. There's more to it, America. They want this stuff for use at home as well. I've been saying it for a long time; they want to leverage technology to eliminate the possibility of resistance (even armed resistance) from civilian populations:The U.S. military needs to figure out how to keep snipers from picking off its soldiers. After a breakneck, two-month development project, Darpa has come up with "Boomerang" -- a Humvee-mounted sensor suite designed to figure out approximately where a sniper is firing from. Fifty of the antenna-esque devices are now on their way to Iraq.
Here's how they work: five acoustic monitors, bunched together, listen for the shockwave created by gunfire, as well as for the muzzle blast from a rifle. Comparing the two noises -- the shockwave is supersonic, while the blast travels at the speed of sound -- allows Boomerang to broadly determine a gunshot's origin. A handheld device, with a set of lights replicating the numbers on a clock, gives the soldier a basic direction.
The next step is to network the Boomerang sensor arrays across a convoy of Humvees. The additional sets of ears should be able to pinpoint more accurately a sniper or an insurgent firing a rocket-propelled grenade. Boomerang can figure out which building a shot came from. This new effort -- code-named "Crosshairs" -- could determine which window the sniper has made his perch. Darpa should be formally announcing the Crosshairs project next month.
Lots of Email
Readers have been sending me loads of email over the last couple of days. If I don't write back, it doesn't mean I'm not interested in what you had to say. I'm just worn out. I go through phases where I say, "Oh f*ck this, I'm not doing this anymore." But then, more out of habit than anything else, I start posting again. Thanks for writing, though, and being on the look-out for interesting stories. NF, DG, AM, PW, AL, JM, MR, KH, BW and others, you know who you are.
NEW REPORT: Why Bush Supports Outsourcing :.On the eve of his trip to Ohio to "focus on jobs," President Bush claimed yesterday that "we're creating jobs - good, high-paying jobs for the American citizen." His comments come despite the country having lost more than 2 million manufacturing jobs since he was elected. In Ohio, which lost 270,000 manufacturing jobs alone, the economic crisis has raised questions about why the president last month strongly endorsed the outsourcing of U.S. jobs to cheap overseas labor markets. A look at the president's donors offers an answer.
Misleader compared the companies that outsource the most U.S. jobs (referred to as "captive remote services companies" on page 11 of the trade association report noted below) with the president's campaign finance records. The analysis shows that the president's campaign has pocketed more than $440,000 and his party more than $3.6 million in just 4 years. These companies have a direct stake in the president publicly supporting outsourcing and doing everything he can to water down or oppose legislation to curb the practice.
'We Bombed Madrid Trains' Claims 'Al Qaida Group Email' :.
Hint: I seriously doubt ETA did this. This is completely out of their league. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the largest terrorist incident ever to hit Europe. Remember my essay from LONG AGO (9/1/2002) entitled, Is Europe Due for a Pearl Harbor Style Event
? I wrote:The imperial U.S. plan almost definitely includes direct control of Saudi Arabia and/or Iraq. There's one problem with all of this. How can the U.S. unilaterally build an empire while anti Americanism rises out of control across Europe? The U.S. has to get Europe on board. Britain is poised to be America's primary ally. The European public, however, is having the same reluctance to getting involved with America's War on Terror as Americans had to getting involved with World War II. Remember the event that changed American public opinion about World War II? Pearl Harbor.
In my opinion, Europe is about to suffer a Pearl Harbor style event that will affect pan European public opinion toward support of the U.S. led War on Terror; a war that is actually a crusade to secure control of the petroleum and mineral deposits of Central Asia and the Middle East.
I had expected it to hit London, but who knows? Maybe this is it: The Arabic newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi said tonight it had received a claim of responsibility for the Madrid train bombings issued by The Brigade of Abu Hafs al-Masri in the name of al Qaida.
The claim received by email at the paper�s London offices said the brigade�s �death squad� had penetrated �one of the pillars of the crusade alliance, Spain�.
The claim said: �This is part of settling old accounts with Spain, the crusader, and America�s ally in its war against Islam.�
Referring to Spain�s Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, the statement asked: �Aznar, where is America? Who will protect you, Britain, Japan, Italy and others from us?�
The newspaper faxed the claim to The Associated Press office in Cairo.
Light Update Today
I've been building a solar water distillation system this evening. I got sick of paying $1 to $1.30 for a gallon of drinkable water. I'll have pics when it's finished. It's pretty cool so far.
Alex Jones on the George Noory, Coast to Coast AM Show Tonight :.
I think it's great that Alex Jones will be able to address such a large audience. Let's hope there's not some "last minute" schedule change:Alex Jones (infowars.com) is a leading expert on the Patriot Act, and will discuss privacy and the current state of our civil liberties. He'll also share his insights on Bohemian Grove and its relationship to secret societies.
Senate Panel Backs Climate Research Plan :.
Where I am in Southern California, we were in the 60s, then, in the space of 24 hours, the temp shot up to the 90s. There were heavy chemtrails for two days. All day, the sky was littered with them. Now, it's cloudy again and cool! The weather people chuckle and comment about the renegade band of high pressure and how great it was for beach goers. HA! You might as well sit your ass on the beach in March and get a tan. That sounds like appropriate activity during The End:A $60 million program for researching sudden or unexpected changes in the climate would be created under legislation that won approval Tuesday by a Senate committee.
By voice vote and with little discussion, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee sent the bill to the full Senate for consideration.
Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, told fellow committee members the bill was important for Alaska. He had previously expressed concern with climate warming problems in his home state such as melting permafrost, possible village relocations, receding Alaskan forests and submerged air strips.
Under the bill, the research program for studying "abrupt climate change" - rapid alterations that people, animals and plants have difficulty adapting to - would be established within the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
It would be run by NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.Related: Pentagon Tells Bush: Climate Change Will Destroy Us
Britain: Anti-GM Movement Vows to Fight Maize Approval :.
Interesting how that GM maize burns just like real maize...Anger at the government's approval for the commercial growing of GM maize and pledges to continue to fight it were widespread yesterday, but biotech companies and some in the scientific community welcomed the decision.
The government was accused of ignoring public opinion and some groups promised direct action against the crops.
The director of Friends of the Earth, Tony Juniper, said: "The government has given the thumbs up to GM maize, and shown two fingers to the British public. Moreover, this crop will be fed to cows to make milk that will not be labelled as GM, making a mockery of official claims that policy will preserve consumer choice."
Dr Sue Mayer, GeneWatch UK's director, said: "They've betrayed the public's trust, no wonder people are cynical about our political system. The government has ignored the conclusions of the public debate, has had no debate in parliament, and given the biotech industry the benefit of the doubt about scientific uncertainty."
Zimbabwe Seizes Plane Full of Suspected Mercs :.Zimbabwe held a U.S.-registered cargo plane Monday which the government said was carrying suspected mercenaries and a cargo of military gear.
The United States said it had no connection with the plane, whose origin and destination remained a mystery.
The aging Boeing 727-100 aircraft was impounded Sunday evening at Harare International Airport "after its owners had made a false declaration of its cargo and crew," Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi said in a statement.
"The plane was actually carrying 64 suspected mercenaries of various nationalities," Mohadi said, adding an investigation had also found military materiel. Television pictures showed hardware such as satellite telephones and military knives.
Manufacturing 1 PC Takes 1.8 Tons Of Raw Material :.According to the study, the manufacturing of one desktop computer and 17-inch CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor requires at least 240 kilograms of fossil fuels, 22 kilograms of chemicals and 1,500 kilograms of water. In terms of weight, the total amount of materials used is about equal to that of a mid-size car.
New Day After Tomorrow Trailer Posted :.
This film is an overt desensitization piece aimed at getting people used to the fact that the weather is going to create chaos on this planet. Yeah yeah. I know. I'm nuts.
When I stepped outside today, it was 90 degrees; up about 20 degrees from yesterday. The sun feels really weird. Extremely intense. It stung my skin. I thought it was just me until I saw that several people in cars had wedged towels in their windows. Not one or two. I saw about 20 cars with this in the space of about an hour. I also saw a few idiots basking in it, and man oh man, they looked red. I made a point of pulling my hands and arms out of it as much as possible. This is how the sun felt when I was in the Caribbean a few years ago! But this is Southern California, at the coast.
Now, I know what you're thinking: I'm a pasty white computer nerd who doesn't like the sun. And that's right! But I can tell you with certainty, something weird is going on with the intensity of the sun. Is anyone else out there having similar experiences?Update 3/8/2004: Chemtrails
The sky has been full of chemtrails
all day today. Related: Pentagon Tells Bush: Climate Change Will Destroy Us
Secret Documents: U.S. Endorsed Indonesia's East Timor Invasion :.
Confirmation of what everyone has known for years:The United States offered full and direct approval to Indonesia's 1975 invasion of East Timor, a move by then-president Suharto which consigned the territory to 25 years of oppression, official documents released Thursday show.
The documents prove conclusively for the first time that the United States gave a 'green light' to the invasion, the opening salvo in an occupation that cost the lives of up to 200,000 East Timorese.
General Suharto briefed US president Gerald Ford and his secretary of state Henry Kissinger on his plans for the former Portuguese colony hours before the invasion, according to documents collected by George Washington University's National Security Archive.
When Ford and Kissinger called in Jakarta on their way back from a summit in Beijing on December 6, 1975, Suharto claimed that in the interests of Asia and regional stability, he had to bring stability to East Timor, to which Portugal was trying to grant autonomy.
"We want your understanding if we deem it necessary to take rapid or drastic action," Suharto told his visitors, according to a long classified State Department cable.
Ford replied: "We will understand and will not press you on the issue. We understand the problem you have and the intentions you have."
Kissinger, who has denied the subject of Timor came up during the talks, appeared to be concerned about the domestic political implications of an Indonesian invasion.
"It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly, we would be able to influence the reaction in America if whatever happens, happens after we return.
"The president will be back on Monday at 2:00 pm Jakarta time. We understand your problem and the need to move quickly but I am only saying that it would be better, if it were done after we returned."
The invasion took place on December 7, the day after the Ford-Suharto meeting.
Kissinger has consistently rejected criticism of the Ford Administration's conduct on East Timor.
French/Canadian Consortium Will Produce Electric Cars in 2006 :.
I think that a much better near term solution would be to burn ethanol
in hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. If diesel based hybrids emerged, biodiesel
could be used as the fuel.
While a purely electric vehicle is the Holy Grail for sustainable transportation purposes, there is no indication that the energy storage, i.e. vehicle range, problems will be overcome anytime soon. The problems with present generation electric vehicles are related to the battery systems (the means of storing the energy required to run the engine). Clean carbon based fuels (mentioned above) should be used on hybrid vehicles to bridge the gap between the old paradigm internal combustion systems and the elusive fuel cell type vehicles of the future.
While Dassault, and the rest of the companies involved with the design and production of this new electric car, should be praised for their efforts, this type of vehicle will not become ubiquitous as long as petroleum based fuels are available.* We need to examine solutions that have the potential to appeal to the average (ignorant) consumer. Hybrids, burning clean, carbon based fuels, offer an immediate way out of the petroleum prison in which we are all forced to exist:Hydro-Quebec, the Canadian power utility, said on Tuesday it will team up with French companies Dassault and Heuliez to produce a low-pollution electric vehicle by 2006.
The cars will be powered by technology developed by Hydro-Quebec, one of North America's largest electricity producers and distributors.
The four-seat vehicles -- initially aimed at commercial markets -- are expected to cost about C$24,000 ($16,000) each, and have a range of about 150 kilometres (95 miles) at 120 km/h (75 mph). The battery takes between six and eight hours to be recharged.
* It is very possible that the peak of oil production has already been crossed
and that near term demand will greatly outstrip supply.
Amish Man Not Allowed to Return to U.S. :.
Indeed, self sufficiency and simple living are obvious threats to national security. These people are terrorists for sure:An Amish man who visited his ailing father in Canada has not been allowed to return because of border security aimed at thwarting terrorists. The man, adhering to the Bible's prohibition of graven images, has no photo identification.
According to officials in Licking Township, a municipality of 475 people midway between Pittsburgh and the New York border, U.S. officials told the man photo waivers once granted the Amish have been cut off due to security concerns.
Canadian border guards allowed the man into the country to visit his father in Ontario just before Christmas; the United States has prevented his return. The man's wife and child remain in the United States.
Research Credit: KH
Bill Gates Has a Solution for Spam: Buy Stamps to Send E-mail :.
The general purpose computer is going to be transformed into a tamperproof vending machine. I don't have the energy to beat the DRM deadhorse
anymore, but just add this to the list of reasons why I want to live in a yurt and grow my own food:If the U.S. Postal Service delivered mail for free, our mailboxes would surely runneth over with more credit-card offers, sweepstakes entries, and supermarket fliers. That's why we get so much junk e-mail: It's essentially free to send. So Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates, among others, is now suggesting that we start buying "stamps" for e-mail.
International Criminal Court Investigating Tony Blair for War Crimes :.
Watch as this goes nowhere:The International Criminal Court in the Hague is being asked to probe allegations of war crimes by Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Geoff Hoon. The claims surround the UK's role in invading Iraq and have been raised by the group Legal Action Against War.
Research Credit: PW
Jean-Bertrand Aristide and His American Mercs :.
His security detail was actually comprised of U.S. mercenaries. If you think that these merc outfits don't take orders from Uncle, think again:It turns out that Aristide was being guarded by a private security firm, based in San Francisco. It is called the Steele Foundation. It is made up of former US special forces soldiers, intelligence officers and other security experts. The company has been on a State Department-approved contract with the Haitian government since 1998.
The Miami Herald reports that the White House blocked a last-minute attempt by Aristide to bolster his US security as the paramilitaries reached the capital. The paper said U.S. officials prevented reinforcements from the Steele Foundation from going to Haiti last week to protect Aristide.Related: Excellent Overview of Private Military Corporations
Only 21,000 New Jobs Created in February :.
Blah blah:The U.S. economy created only 21,000 jobs in February, falling short of economists' predictions and dimming the Bush administration's hopes that an early recovery of the job market would help the president's re-election bid.
The job figures, reported by the Labor Department on Friday, came in far below the 200,000-plus that would signal a healthy recovery.
Martha Stewart Guilty on All Counts
I've been waiting for an excuse to post this:
U.S. Military Deploys Sonic Weapons :.
That thing doesn't look bullet proof to me. Hmmm:U.S. soldiers in Iraq have new gear for dispersing hostile crowds and warding off potential enemy combatants. It blasts earsplitting noise in a directed beam.
The equipment, called a Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, is a so-called "non-lethal weapon" developed after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen as a way to keep operators of small boats from approaching U.S. warships.
The devices have been used on some U.S. ships since last summer as part of a suite of protection devices.
Now, the Army and Marines have added this auditory barrage dispenser to their arms ensembles. Troops in Fallujah, a center of insurgency west of Baghdad, and other areas of central Iraq in particular often deal with crowds in which lethal foes intermingle with non-hostile civilians.
I Used an Electronic Ballot System Yesterday for the First Time
I know, I said I wasn't going to vote anymore, but I showed up anyway, just to get a feel for the mood at my polling place. That's when I saw them; Hart InterCivic's eSlate electronic voting systems
. It seemed like a great system. Very easy to read. Easy to use. There's only one problem... How does anyone know what that thing is doing with your ballot!? Oh well. I'm too tired to make any noise about this issue. It doesn't matter anymore. All is lost, goodnight: Hart InterCivic's eSlate electronic voting solution is the most fully-featured, affordable and accurate Direct Record Electronic (DRE) system available today. Successfully used in the November presidential election, eSlate has won acclaim for its ease of use, accessibility to disabled voters, and fast, efficient ballot tabulation.
Latest Thought Crime: Treasury Department Is Warning Publishers of the Perils of Criminal Editing of the Enemy :.Writers often grumble about the criminal things editors do to their prose. The federal government has recently weighed in on the same issue � literally.
It has warned publishers they may face grave legal consequences for editing manuscripts from Iran and other disfavored nations, on the ground that such tinkering amounts to trading with the enemy.
Anyone who publishes material from a country under a trade embargo is forbidden to reorder paragraphs or sentences, correct syntax or grammar, or replace "inappropriate words," according to several advisory letters from the Treasury Department in recent months.
Adding illustrations is prohibited, too. To the baffled dismay of publishers, editors and translators who have been briefed about the policy, only publication of "camera-ready copies of manuscripts" is allowed.
The Treasury letters concerned Iran. But the logic, experts said, would seem to extend to Cuba, Libya, North Korea and other nations with which most trade is banned without a government license.
RFID Tags in New U.S. Notes Explode When You Try to Microwave Them :.
Nice one! Although, I'm not entirely convinced that there are RFID chips in those $20s. Let's see someone interrogate them and capture the results on a spectrum analyzer, or just get some images of the chips with a microscope... If they're actually present.
I'll be standing by, wearing my aluminum foil hat---and now pants---(shiny side out), in any event:So we chose to 'microwave' our cash, over $1000 in twenties in a stack, not spread out on a carasoul. Do you know what exploded on American money?? The right eye of Andrew Jackson on the new twenty, every bill was uniform in its burning...
More pics here
in on the show, too. Some of the comments are funny.
"You Can Bail All You Want. We'll Keep Sinking."
I met Jez in a chatroom a few weeks ago. She's in her mid 20s and married. She works for a large, evil corporation and feels trapped. You're fine, Jez, it's the allegedly "normal" people who need help. You're not alone, by the way. We're all going down on this sinking ship.
Any sane person should feel like they're cracking up in this soceity! Yet, the primary job of the shrink appears to be to medicate peoples' natural responses to insane situations, to allow them to continue to function (at some level) in dehumanizing conditions.
So, what should be considered "normal" if nuts are running the nut house? The DSM
has an illness classification for all the folks who have trouble maintaining appearances. Nevermind the fact that the entire society has gone totally off the rails:Days still dark and no sign of getting better. I'm tired of this daily parade. I don't want to go to the shrink, I don't want to go to work. I just don't want to. But I guess I will anyways.
Wtf does hope do when things are so fucked up? It makes you delusionally starry eyed. For me at least. I can dream up a million fixes. But either they don't work or I don't follow through. I used to be very much about making things work. "just do it" wasn't really created by nike.
And I'm no help to anyone else in this same sinking boat. You can bail all you want. We'll keep sinking. Which brings me to the thought of removing myself. But that would leave everyone else up shit's creek without a paddle. So that's not an option.
I'm not a religious person, as you may know. But I pray everyday for some divine joy to carry me through this. Not something to fix all the problems I have with reality, but just a little something to help me not feel so bad about it. Please just anything.
Sometimes, it feels like if I sit still long enough I'll go away.
U.S. Troops 'Made Aristide Leave' :.
Interesting:HAITIAN leader Jean Bertrand Aristide was taken away from his home by US soldiers, it was claimed today.
A man who said he was a caretaker for the now exiled president told France's RTL radio station the troops forced Aristide out.
"The American army came to take him away at two in the morning," the man said.
"The Americans forced him out with weapons.
"It was American soldiers. They came with a helicopter and they took the security guards.
"(Aristide) was not happy. He did not want to be taken away. He did not want to leave. He was not able to fight against the Americans."
Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture by Andrew Kimbrell
Readers will come to see
that industrial food production is indeed a "fatal harvest"
- fatal to consumers, as pesticide residues and new disease vectors
such as E. coli and "mad cow disease" find their way
into our food supply; fatal to our landscapes, as chemical runoff
from factory farms poison our rivers and groundwater; fatal to
genetic diversity, as farmers rely increasingly on high-yield
monocultures and genetically engineered crops; and fatal to our
farm communities, which are wiped out by huge corporate
Fascism: The New Face of Power in America by Bertram Myron Gross
This is a relatively
short but extremely cogent and well-argued treatise on the rise
of a form of fascistic thought and social politics in late 20th
century America. Author Bertram Gross' thesis is quite straightforward;
the power elite that comprises the corporate, governmental and
military superstructure of the country is increasingly inclined
to employ every element in their formidable arsenal of 'friendly
persuasion' to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Americans
through what Gross refers to as friendly fascism.
by Scott and Helen Nearing Helen
and Scott Nearing are the great-grandparents of the back-to-the-land
movement, having abandoned the city in 1932 for a rural life based
on self-reliance, good health, and a minimum of cash...Fascinating,
timely, and wholly useful, a mix of the Nearings' challenging
philosophy and expert counsel on practical skills.
Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth by David Bollierd
In Silent Theft, David Bollier
argues that a great untold story of our time is the staggering
privatization and abuse of our common wealth. Corporations are
engaged in a relentless plunder of dozens of resources that we
collectively own—publicly funded medical breakthroughs,
software innovation, the airwaves, the public domain of creative
works, and even the DNA of plants, animals and humans. Too often,
however, our government turns a blind eye—or sometimes helps
give away our assets. Amazingly,
the silent theft of our shared wealth has gone largely unnoticed
because we have lost our ability to see the commons.
Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It: The Complete Back-To-Basics
Guide by John Seymour The
Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It is the only book that
teaches all the skills needed to live independently in harmony
with the land harnessing natural forms of energy, raising crops
and keeping livestock, preserving foodstuffs, making beer and
wine, basketry, carpentry, weaving, and much more.
Corporations Rule the World by David C. Korten
Rule the World explains how economic globalization has concentrated
the power to govern in global corporations and financial markets
and detached them from accountability to the human interest. It
documents the devastating human and environmental consequences
of the successful efforts of these corporations to reconstruct
values and institutions everywhere on the planet to serve their
own narrow ends.
New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques
for the Home and Market Gardener
of a now-classic guide originally published in 1989 is intended
for the serious gardener or small-scale market farmer. It describes
practical and sustainable ways of growing superb organic vegetables,
with detailed coverage of scale and capital, marketing, livestock,
the winter garden, soil fertility, weeds, and many other