"Data from a spectrometer aboard the European Space Agency's Mars Express probe appears to have recorded radiation indicating pungent ammonia gas in Mars' atmosphere, BBC News Online reports.I mean I guess god could have intelligently designed microbes for Mars, but sort of seems odd, don't you think?
Since ammonia can survive for only a few hours in the Martian atmosphere before breaking down, it must be constantly replenished from one of two possible sources: active volcanoes - of which none have been found on Mars - or microbes.
'Ammonia could be the key to finding life on Mars,' a NASA scientist told the BBC. 'There are no known ways for ammonia to be present in the Martian atmosphere that do not involve life.'
Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen atoms. Nitrogen is rare in the Mars environment, and researchers say the presence of ammonia may indicate that Martian microbes may be hoarding it."
From: email@example.comSomeone's researching me? Yeah, it gets your attention. But the email content makes no sense. I mean, "A user at our website is trying to meet people who know you". What the hell does that even mean? "Someone has begun the process of meeting people who know you via our website", well tell the fuckers to go away, and while you're at it. Quit sending me inane bullshit.
On 7/17/2004 7:23:58 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> ****NOT COMMERCIAL EMAIL****
> A user at our website is trying to meet people who know you.
> This email was sent to you to make you aware of this fact.
> We are building a community that fosters interaction between each and
> every individual possible. Our mission is to help connect people with one
> another, wherever they are, to share their experiences, give advice and
> provide information.
> To view all of the postings at our website about this email address use
> this link:
Democratic political strategy simply assumes that people know where their economic interest lies and that they will act on it by instinct. There is no need for any business-bumming class-war rhetoric on the part of candidates or party spokesmen, and there is certainly no need for a liberal to actually get his hands dirty fraternizing with the disgruntled. Let them look at the record and see for themselves: Democrats are slightly more generous with Social Security benefits, slightly stricter on environmental regulations, and do less union-busting than Republicans.This is exactly what I came away with when I attended a couple of local democratic functions, including hearing DNC chair McAwffle.
"But why should I vote for you? Why should "I" care if you win? What is the party's goal? What are 'we' going to do, when 'we' win?They just sort of stared at me blank faced, like I was a little slow child and didn't understand adult politics.
The true lesson for liberals in the Kansas story is the utter and final repudiation of their historical decision to remake themselves as the other pro-business party. By all rights the people of Wichita and Shawnee should today be flocking to the party of Roosevelt, not deserting it. Culturally speaking, however, that option is simply not available to them anymore. Democrats no longer speak to the people on the losing end of a free-market system that is becoming more brutal and more arrogant by the day.Yeah. It often does seem to be the party of pussies vs the party of bullies. Geez.
The problem is not that Democrats are monolithically pro-choice or anti-school-prayer; it's that by dropping the class language that once distinguished them sharply from Republicans they have left themselves vulnerable to cultural wedge issues like guns and abortion and the sneers of Hollywood whose hallucinatory appeal would ordinarily be far overshadowed by material concerns. We are in an environment where Republicans talk constantly about class -- in a coded way, to be sure -- but where Democrats are afraid to bring it up.
Otter: Bluto's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons. But that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.Vote Ted Turner in 2004.
Bluto: We're just the guys to do it.
"Sociologists often warn against letting the nation's distribution of wealth become too polarized, as it clearly has in the last few decades. Societies that turn their backs on equality, the professors insist, inevitably meet with a terrible comeuppance. But those sociologists were thinking of an old world in which class anger was a phenomenon of the left. They weren't reckoning with Kansas, with the world we are becoming.You know, I am wondering who will eventually rise and become the voice of the masses. It will happen if the parties fail to address the problems. I see neither party offering hope. I see neither party offering a goal, a vision for how our society should look in four years (unless it's supposed look like war torn Beirut or something), much less ten or twenty years down the road, unless it's global corporate feudalism.
Behold the political alignment that Kansas is pioneering for us all. The corporate world -- for reasons having a great deal to do with its corporateness -- blankets the nation with a cultural style designed to offend and to pretend-subvert: sassy teens in Skechers flout the Man; hipsters dressed in T-shirts reading 'FCUK' snicker at the suits who just don't get it. It's meant to be offensive, and Kansas is duly offended. The state watches impotently as its culture, beamed in from the coasts, becomes coarser and more offensive by the year. Kansas aches for revenge. Kansas gloats when celebrities say stupid things; it cheers when movie stars go to jail. And when two female rock stars exchange a lascivious kiss on national TV, Kansas goes haywire. Kansas screams for the heads of the liberal elite. Kansas comes running to the polling place. And Kansas cuts those rock stars' taxes.
As a social system, the backlash works. The two adversaries feed off of each other in a kind of inverted symbiosis: one mocks the other, and the other heaps even more power on the one. This arrangement should be the envy of every ruling class in the world. Not only can it be pushed much, much farther, but it is fairly certain that it will be so pushed. All the incentives point that way, as do the never-examined cultural requirements of modern capitalism. Why shouldn't our culture just get worse and worse, if making it worse will only cause the people who worsen it to grow wealthier and wealthier?"
We are also a varied group made up of social individualists, libertarians, extropians, futurists, 'Porcupines', Karl Popper fetishists, recovering neo-conservatives, crazed Ayn Rand worshipers, over-caffeinated Virginia Postrel devotees, witty Frédéric Bastiat wannabes, cypherpunks, minarchists, kritarchists and wild-eyed anarcho-capitalists from Britain, North America, Australia and Europe.Karl Popper? Really? Than I would have expected a little more logic, but I've really not seen much evidence of any adherence to that level of logic, I mean, "And on foreign policy . . . "t
"Last post for awhile on US Presidential politics. I promise. Having set the table on the domestic side below, a post came along from Mr. Bevan at Real Clear Politics (an invaluable site for US political junkies, by the way) which does a nice job of framing the choice facing American voters this fall on the foreign policy side(opinion):[N]o Democrat, with only one or two exceptions in the entire elected party, would have looked at the exact same intelligence Bush looked at with respect to Iraq after 9/11 and done much of anything - even though they agreed with Bush at the time that Hussein was a serious threat.
And:Yeah.What if?What if Baby Bush turns into a blackman over night? "I think most Americans would find that prospect deeply disturbing." Yeah, what if?Indeed, far more damning than Bush acting on evidence almost everyone in the world believed to be true is to look at a hypothetical in reverse: What if all of the WMD intelligence on Iraq had been spot on and John Kerry were President at the time and chose not to act because of pressure from his party or the objections of allies? I think most Americans would find that prospect deeply disturbing."
"It was not only among Marxists that Che's theories took hold. For decades following the end of the Vietnam war, it was commonly accepted and widely taught, even in American schools, that dedicated and highly mobile insurgents had a powerful advantage over conventional militaries, especially on their own ground. Just as the British failed to put down the American revolution, we were taught, American forces failed to win against the more agile and motivated Vietnamese locals fighting for their own land. The defeat of the Soviets by Afghan guerrillas turned the theory into dogma -- never seriously questioned until after the astonishingly rapid overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Baathists in Iraq.Wow, based on this kind of thinking, I bet the White Rose might be open to an invitation from Patrick Cox to spend a few months touring the countries. Yes, the war is over, people. American soldiers are forcing the now pacified Iraqis and Afghans to shoot and bomb them daily.
"A husband and wife who wore anti-Bush T-shirts to the president's Fourth of July appearance aren't going down without a fight: They will be represented by lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union as they contest the trespassing charges against them Thursday morning in Charleston Municipal Court.And I know everyone caught "The Daily Show" in reference to Boston's FreeSpeechZone.
Police took Nicole and Jeff Rank away in handcuffs from the event, which was billed as a presidential appearance, not a campaign rally. They were wearing T-shirts that read, "Love America, Hate Bush."
Spectators who wore pro-Bush T-shirts and Bush-Cheney campaign buttons were allowed to stay..."
"For Mercado and her family, last fall was a happy time, one they wanted to record and save in the venerable tradition of the family photo. Johnny Fernandez, Mercado's boyfriend, had just emigrated from Lima, Peru, ending a year long separation, and on top of that, it was their son's first birthday.Sorry, Mercado, this is amerika; where Corporations sell with sex, but the morons say you're not allowed to have any. So the entire country suffers from massive sexual neuroses. The men buy viagara so they can masturbate to pictures of women breast feeding on the internet. In your particular case, you brought out the Oedipus complex in the Richardson police dept. through your depraved indifference of what your act might spawn.
The photographs they took over several days in late October included pictures of Fernandez reunited with the family at their modest home in suburban Richardson. Others captured their 1-year-old son Rodrigo, and 4-year-old Pablizio, from Mercado's earlier marriage, playing in a neighborhood park. Using the camera's timer, they also took three snapshots of themselves, naked in their bed. They arranged their bodies in ways that showed less flesh than most freeway billboards.[...
...]In one--the photo that would threaten to send Mercado and her boyfriend to prison--the infant Rodrigo is suckling her left breast.
After Mercado dropped off the film for processing, a technician viewed the images and decided they were 'suspicious,' according to a police report. As required under Texas law, he immediately contacted local police. Mercado says that when she went to pick up her pictures, the clerk told her there would be a delay, and then only returned three of the four sets of prints.
To Richardson police, who arrived at the store that afternoon and apparently made up their minds from the content of the pictures alone, this was nothing short of a felony case of child pornography. "We thought they contained sexuality," says Sergeant Danny Martin, a Richardson police spokesman, explaining why two Richardson police detectives began pursuing a criminal case. "If you saw the photos, you'd know what I mean."
With nothing else to support their contention that the photos were related to sex or sexual gratification, the police and the Dallas County District Attorney's Office presented the photos to a grand jury in January and came away with indictments against Mercado and Fernandez for "sexual performance of a child," a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The charges centered on a single photo, the breast-feeding shot. Fernandez and Mercado say they took it--although the child had ceased breast-feeding--to memorialize that stage of their baby's development. [...
..]Mercado, who brushed back strands of brown hair from her reddened eyes as she spoke, has a story that has not changed from the start. She told the Richardson police officer who responded to the store's call that she had always taken pictures of her children nude, and that it wasn't uncommon in her native Peru to do so. They were innocent baby pictures, taken for the family's benefit, she said.[...
...]"We fought so hard to come to this country," says Mercado, a 33-year-old who was a nurse in Peru and aspires to become licensed in the United States one day. "For this to happen is unbelievable.""
It's sort of like living under the Taliban, but the rules aren't clear. But this is a good rule of thumb, "If you are selling something, sex is good. If you want to enjoy sex, you are bad."Understand?
"He then tried to hit me for $18,000 for processing fees for transferring millions," Mike says.Man, I should have thought to do the reverse sting, damn.
He wrote back as Father Hector, saying that the church had plenty of money, but there was a withdrawal fee of $80.
"I persuaded him to send me the $80, which he did, inside a birthday card, by courier," Mike says.
Police estimate that every year, US citizens alone are conned out of some $200m.Man, I knew our education system sucked, and now I don't think we need any further evidence of an education system in crisis. Mike however seems to have the real reason:
I asked Mike why these people who are themselves scammers can't spot an obvious scam.Ah, though you wouldn't think that a good christian nation like ours would allow our greed to override the teachings of and our personal faith in Jesus, but I guess maybe it's Supply Side Jesus in which most americans believe. "Wealth means godliness" is probably the single worst mutilation of the teachings of Jesus, I can think of, but worse, as I said, I've been totally out classed:
"I think it operates in much the same way as it does with real victims. Greed clouds their judgement. The guy obviously thought he was going to get $18,000 so easily, he was blinded by his own greed."
"Which is what happens to those who fall for the 419 scams; they just see all these millions."
This would all be funny if it wasn't for the millions of dollars being stolen and probably put into drugs or other criminal activities.
Mike and his friends send all their e-mail exchanges to the police in the UK, Nigeria and to the FBI - he says they've had no response. And even warning the victims does no good. Most of them don't want to believe they're being scammed.
Mike says that any money they get from these reverse stings to a children's charity in the north of England.I would probably have kept the money, and set up business. Maybe not, but I don't feel much compunction toward 'christian charity'.
"As the corporate interest moves to power in what was the public sector, it serves the corporate interest. It is most clearly evident in the largest such movement, that of nominally private firms into the defence establishment. From this comes a primary influence on the military budget, on foreign policy, military commitment and, ultimately, military action. War. Although this is a normal and expected use of money and its power, the full effect is disguised by almost all conventional expression.Corporatism/Consumerism (C2) versus democracy, and the money is on their side.
Given its authority in the modern corporation it was natural that management would extend its role to politics and to government. Once there was the public reach of capitalism; now it is that of corporate management. In the US, corporate managers are in close alliance with the president, the vice-president and the secretary of defence. Major corporate figures are also in senior positions elsewhere in the federal government; one came from the bankrupt and thieving Enron to preside over the army.
Defence and weapons development are motivating forces in foreign policy. For some years, there has also been recognised corporate control of the Treasury. And of environmental policy."
I consider our public lands and natural resources as assets. And as assets, I want top return upon their sale. No one can convince me, that it is in my interest as a shareholder, to give away assets to other corporations. Let them instead pay market value. If private property owners are receiving X dollars/per acre for allowing their forests to be havested, or for energy extraction, than that's the return I want. You can argue that I will pay more for goods as a result, but I think the off set to my tax obligations, and potentially, actual real dividends in my account, will more than make up for it. Also, if the market is depressed, than I agrue for holding on to the assets until the market improves. Long term investment is what I'm after anyway, not quarterly profits. It maybe a corporation, but it still is a 'government' of the people, and I really would prefer to maintain, and possibly increase my share of the equity.[I'll have to return to this and present a clearer argument.]
"America is definitely the brunt of jokes in mainstream Canada; I suspect America is the brunt of jokes throughout the world. I'm glad for it, since humor is the little guy's weapon against bullies. I'm also glad that it's still possible to laugh at America: as long as it's possible to laugh at something there's always hope. But I don't know how much longer that'll be possible: America and the world made fun of Germany and the Nazis for a while until they stopped being so funny."The sad part is, I can't really muster up much indignation. We've done it again. We've gotten our selves in a yet another mess for no good reason. And we bragged about how we didn't need help anyone's help.
"This much we do know: a combination of political, cultural, and economic factors are transforming our world into a place where people, transactions, and things can be observed, monitored, and recorded almost everywhere, and almost all the time. Within the next several years, we'll be awash in powerful, cheap sensors: radio-frequency ID (RFID) tags that track objects (and the people who happen to be wearing, riding, or chatting into them); biometric sensors that will identify us by our unique irises, fingerprints, voices, walking patterns, or other physical quirks; Global Positioning System receivers, embedded into all manner of things, able to track us to within a meter; and tiny, high-resolution digital still and video cameras, also built into everything, from cellphones to wallpaper.And I agree that David Brin does a good job, if a little dry, on presenting the issues in The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?, but I think it is the inevitability of the loss of privacy that defines our future.
The resulting torrent of data will cascade into government and corporate data systems, as well as that system of systems, the Internet. Facts and information that are largely incoherent but overwhelming in volume and detail will accumulate in databases too scattered and numerous -and valuable- to be shut off completely from the rest of cyberspace.
Without a doubt, though, we'll try to do just that. In fact, we've already started. Researchers, mostly in academia, are now working on various privacy-enhancing technologies [see 'Sensors & Sensibility' elsewhere in this issue]. But champions of a transparent society, where the light of accountability would shine upon all of us, contend that over the longer term these privacy enhancers will be like sandbag walls against that relentlessly rising tide of data. They'll keep little areas 'dry' for a while, and give some of us a measure of comfort, but will fail to shield us in any absolute, permanent, or globally effective way. Without a doubt, though, we'll try to do just that. In fact, we've already started. Researchers, mostly in academia, are now working on various privacy-enhancing technologies [see "Sensors & Sensibility" elsewhere in this issue]. But champions of a transparent society, where the light of accountability would shine upon all of us, contend that over the longer term these privacy enhancers will be like sandbag walls against that relentlessly rising tide of data. They'll keep little areas "dry" for a while, and give some of us a measure of comfort, but will fail to shield us in any absolute, permanent, or globally effective way. We must embrace the technologies of surveillance, these advocates contend, and in doing so, ensure that we can point the electronic eye right back at the people and institutions who watch us.
This viewpointarticulated most comprehensively by science fiction novelist David Brin in his 1998 treatise, The Transparent Societyruns contrary to the opinions many of us hold about privacy. At the other end of the privacy spectrum, activist groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Privacy Information Center seem to see ominous portents in every new sensor advance and federal initiative. Each side is grappling with the continuing evolution in seeing and knowing that has been remaking society for centuries."
IT WILL NOT BE EASY to create a truly transparent society. For most of us, being more accountable, and holding others to account, will be a challenge. But the benefits might well outweigh the costs, as in this scenario, circa 2010:Yes, but think of the social re-adjustments that will be required to varying extents in all cultures. What is the actual rate of incest in our country, and which families are involved? Who has used illegal drugs in the past? Does monogamy rise as the ability to have clandestine affairs fades away? Or do we adjust to some other arrangement? Who beats their children? Who is cruel to animals? All will potentially be known, but certainly knowable.
Passing you on the street, I swipe my RFID reader to obtain your name and address. Googling you on a few public databases, including one of new homeowners in the neighborhood, I discover that you're in the market for a used lawn mower. Your bank account is in order, and your credit is fantastic, even after you paid off your ex-wife's debt as part of your recent divorce settlement. You had a quadruple bypass last year and need a riding mower just like the one sitting in my garage. Your spy tracker alerts you to the fact that I'm checking you out, prompting you to launch your own investigation. You learn I suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder and am taking medication to keep my life together. But you also know that my disorder manifests as a cleaning fetish; it's a good bet that the lawn mower I listed on eBay is in pristine shape. Furthermore, you can infer that I'm so desperate to make my credit card payments this month that I'll sell you that mower for a song.
Ideas and attitudes about personal privacy differ from culture to culture, era to era. Is it such a stretch to believe that the developed world's collective attitude toward privacy is evolving to a point where we're no longer concerned with who's watching us or what they know about us, as long as our lives are safer and more convenient? After all, we live in a time when we automatically remove our shoes so airport screeners can check for explosives; when we are videotaped every time we conduct an ATM transaction or walk into a store or office building; and when we are tracked every time our computer accepts a cookie from a Web site we've visited.
For entertainment, we gather in front of the tube for mass-mediated group therapy sessions called reality shows. Hundreds of millions of us around the globe tune in to watch people who eagerly endure excruciating plastic surgery; stab each other in the back for a chance to work for Donald Trump; or wolf down sea worms, cockroaches, and worse to survive on a desert island. For Generation Y, "Big Brother" is a reality television show, where, for a chance at winning half a million dollars, contestants volunteer to be cooped up in a house with total strangers and have their most private moments broadcast to a hungry audience.
3. The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.And from, II. Waging War
4. These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
5,6. The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.z,
1. Sun Tzu said: In the operations of war, where there are in the field a thousand swift chariots, as many heavy chariots, and a hundred thousand mail-clad soldiers, with provisions enough to carry them a thousand li, the expenditure at home and at the front, including entertainment of guests, small items such as glue and paint, and sums spent on chariots and armor, will reach the total of a thousand ounces of silver per day. Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000 men.Well, actually, in just reviewing the bullet points of the first three chapters, I don't think we've followed any of the tenents.
2. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.
3. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.
4. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.
5. Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.
6. There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.
Bush administration and CPA officials have been claiming forever that there are only 5,000 members of the Iraqi insurgency. Now, the reliable Jim Krane of the Associated Press (Iraq Insurgency Larger Than Thought) raises the figure to 20,000 (including part-timers) and offers the following comments, based partly on information from "a U.S. military official in Baghdad, speaking on condition of anonymity":I found this quote Tom cites especially to the point:"The official and others told The Associated Press the guerrillas have enough popular support among nationalist Iraqis angered by the presence of U.S. troops that they cannot be militarily defeated. … One hint that the number is larger is the sheer volume of suspected insurgents -- 22,000 -- who have cycled through U.S.-run prisons. Most have been released. And in April alone, U.S. forces killed as many as 4,000 people, the military official said, including Sunni insurgents and Shiite militiamen fighting under the banner of a radical cleric. [Yet] there has been no letup in attacks… Most of the insurgents are fighting for a bigger role in a secular society, not a Taliban-like Islamic state, the military official said. Almost all the guerrillas are Iraqis, even those launching some of the devastating car bombings normally blamed on foreigners -- usually al-Zarqawi….
"Civilian analysts generally agreed, saying U.S. and Iraqi officials have long overemphasized the roles of foreign fighters and Muslim extremists. Such positions support the Bush administration's view that the insurgency is linked to the war on terror. A closer examination paints most insurgents as secular Iraqis angry at the presence of U.S. and other foreign troops."
In A Time of Reckoning in the American Conservative magazine, Andrew J. Bacevich makes a simple point about the intelligence war the U.S. has so decisively lost:I am going to highly recommend that readers scan The Art of War. And it will get worse. An army with bad morale disintegrates. We've seen it happen. And as this drags on, and more and more stress is put on our military, especially if we've lost the moral high ground (think Abu Ghraib Prison), the public more and more begin to question the war, the soldiers and marines on the ground begin to question the mission (especially since there apparently is not plan), and then, you have a military fit for nothing. Corruption, drug abuse, even "Fragging" and "Combat Refusals". Oh, I just tried to Google Search: 'awol rate iraq', and find no current stats, and the old site is down. Hmmm...When the drug abuse hits (and there is plenty of herion and hashish in the region), you'll know the end is near for our domestic security, our ability to project force, or even to help bring order to a small country off our shores like Haiti, will vanish."In a situation truly without precedent in all of American military history, American forces in Iraq have for more than a year been engaged in a full-fledged shooting war and still do not know whom they are fighting. The reliance on generic terms to describe the 'terrorists,' 'insurgents,' or 'foreign fighters' tells the story. Exactly who is the enemy? How is he organized? Who gives the orders? What are his aims? We don't know. And as long as we don't, the enemy will retain the initiative."Once more, a partial look at the wisdom of Sun Tzu, from III. Attack by Stratagem:18. Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.Which summarizes a chapter that includes:12. There are three ways in which a ruler can bring misfortune upon his army:--Tom also points to: They throw rocks, don't they?: Scott Wilson of the Washington Post in what passes for an upbeat story in today's Iraq reports that, in the Shiite slum of Sadr City in Baghdad (In Place of Gunfire, a Rain of Rocks),
13. (1) By commanding the army to advance or to retreat, being ignorant of the fact that it cannot obey. This is called hobbling the army.
14. (2) By attempting to govern an army in the same way as he administers a kingdom, being ignorant of the conditions which obtain in an army. This causes restlessness in the soldier's minds.
15. (3) By employing the officers of his army without discrimination, through ignorance of the military principle of adaptation to circumstances. This shakes the confidence of the soldiers.
16. But when the army is restless and distrustful, trouble is sure to come from the other feudal princes. This is simply bringing anarchy into the army, and flinging victory away."it is perhaps a measure of progress that U.S. soldiers… are feeling the sting of stones more often than bullets… [T]he daily rock fights between U.S. soldiers and ordinary Iraqis, many of them children, highlight the mutual antipathy that has built up since the handover of political power to an Iraqi government… Candy, once gleefully accepted in this part of Baghdad, is now thrown back at the soldiers dispensing it. The military partnership with new Iraqi security forces appears to be foundering on a mutual lack of respect. The Iraqi police occasionally ignore U.S. orders, described as recommendations by U.S. commanders in the days since the handover, to conduct night patrols in troublesome districts and prohibit Sadr's militants from manning traffic checkpoints. The Iraqi National Guard has refused dangerous assignments, even when accompanied by U.S. troops…
"[On patrol in Sadr city], Sgt. Timothy Kathol, 24, of Amarillo, Tex., handed a bag of lollipops up to the gunner as the stones continued to rain down. 'They throw rocks, we throw candy -- really hard candy,' Kathol said. 'With sticks in it.'"
"Brain implants have been used to 'read the minds' of monkeys to predict what they are about to do and even how enthusiastic they are about doing it.I was thinkin' about just leavin' the country. Now I'm thinkin', maybe I should hi-jack a shuttle and just leave humanity behind. How many years would it take me to reach, say, Europa?
It is the first time such high level cognitive brain signals have been decoded and could ultimately lead to more natural thought-activated prosthetic devices for people with paralysis, says Richard Andersen project leader at the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, US.
By decoding the signals from 96 electrodes in a region of the brain just above the ear -- called the parietal cortex - the researchers were able to predict 67 per cent of the time where in their visual field trained monkeys were planning to reach.
They also found that this accuracy could be improved to about 88 per cent when the monkeys expected a reward for carrying out the task.
The team were even able to predict what sort of reward the monkeys were expecting - whether it was juice or just plain water -- from their brain signals."
"Briody: The Carlyle Group [Investments] is a private equity firm, which essentially means that they invest in private companies - they take money from private investors and then invest that money into private companies. They essentially work like a mutual fund would, only instead of buying and selling stocks, they buy and sell companies. So they have different funds and among those funds are industries that are heavily government regulated. So health care, telecommunications and two of the biggies are defense and aerospace. Those are the industries that Carlyle [Fund(s)] got their start on back in the early 90s. It is what they have built their practice on.I think that is as concise an answer as I've ever heard.
The way that Carlyle [mgnt] is able to succeed at investing in these heavily government regulated industries is they hire ex-politicians - George H. W. Bush, John Major, Frank Carlucci, former secretary of defense under Reagan, James Baker III. These are guys that have access to former heads of state, foreign business leaders, and they enable Carlyle [Geography] to really get its tentacles out all over the world and do some very serious investing with heavy-hitter investors from all around the world. And it also gains them access to investment opportunities.
After 9/11, Carlyle was set up in a number of defense properties. They owned a company called United Defense - this was probably the biggest boon after 9/11 that Carlyle experienced. United Defense [Products] was a company that makes the Bradley fighting vehicles, the Crusader gun system - these are things we have seen on TV a lot since the Iraq war started, and United Defense [Capabilities]was able to go public months after September 11 because of the huge increase in defense spending. Carlyle made $270 million on one day in that IPO and then went on to make close to a billion dollars on paper from that transaction over time as the stock price continued to go up. This was an enormous investment for them and it was a huge win.
Their other aerospace companies, their other defense properties, their security companies, their biological cleanup companies - all of them scored major contracts after September 11, which improved the fund - the defense and aerospace funds invested in, which are billion dollar funds - $1-2 billion funds - huge private equity funds. The list of benefits is long, but we will never know exactly how much Carlyle made from 9/11 because they are not under any obligation to disclose that information.
They are never going to tell."
Briody: I think the most disconcerting thing about George H. W. Bush working for this company is that Bush Sr. was the head of the CIA for a long time and as such he continues to have access to CIA briefings as do all ex-presidents actually, but very few of them take advantage of this right. Bush Sr. continues to get briefings from the CIA. Now you can imagine what kind of an advantage that could be for a company that does international business especially in the areas of defense and aerospace, but even in telecommunications, health care and other types of international business. It's a huge advantage - an unfair advantage really and certainly some of the other big private equity firms aren't allowed access to this type of information and nor should they be. It kind of creates an un-level playing field when you look at it in that respect. Did Bush Sr. actually use this information to trade on or to benefit the Carlyle Group? Nobody knows and until he starts talking about this issue, we will never know.And, a question: Just how much will Baby Bush and the girls inherit, especially if Papa Bush passes during the current 'death tax' hiatus?
"The CEO In ChiefHe claimed to be a CEO kind of prez. Well, that's fine w/ me.
This is, of course, no departure from Bush's leadership style since the day he assumed the presidency. Bush has always taken pride in his image as the CEO-president, a smartly dressed executive who lives by synchronized watch and day planner, who delegates tasks where appropriate, and who works out regularly, eats right and gets plenty of bed rest."
Baby Bush, "The CIA did it. The congress did it (energy give away bill}. 9/11. Bill Clinton."Just one man's opinion.
Shareholder, "I understand. What did you do? More importantly, what do I pay you to do?"
Baby Bush (after consulting w/ Cheney and Rove), "Protect the assets of the United States of America, and increase corporate value."
Shareholder, "You have failed. You are fired."
Newsweek cited unnamed sources who told it that the Department of Homeland Security asked the Justice Departmen last week to review what legal steps would be needed to delay the vote if an attack occurred on the day before or on election day.Oh hell! Now I understand. This will guarantee an attack. Nobody is as good for terrorists as Baby Bush. He's just enticing them.