Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Fake crimes and real victims

As of 2003, over 6.9 million people were under some form of correctional supervision in the United States . Said another way, as of today, we have about seven million people in this “free” country either in jail, prison, probation or parole; that’s one in 32 adults. As of December 2003, we have 2.1 million people in cages, most of them for non-violent “crimes,” and the majority of those are drug-related.

For every 100,000 of population, there are 686 people in cages. The United States has more people in cages than any other country on earth. Worldwide, there are about nine million people in prison. Most of the other countries have incarceration rates of 150 per 100,000. By comparison, the United Kingdom has a rate of 139 per 100,000. In the United States , one of every 75 men are in jail. If you go further and break this down by race, about eight of every 75 black men are in prison.

I am not saying that there are not people who should be in prison, but certainly not at the rate the United States has, and certainly not for a “free” country. Most of these people are in cages for doing nothing more than smoking something that is as natural as tobacco. Most of them have never harmed another person, and are certainly not a threat to anyone. These victimless “crimes” I like to call “fake crimes.”
If recent incarceration rates remain unchanged, an estimated one of every 20 Americans can be expected to serve time in prison during their lifetime. For African-American men, the number is greater than one in four.
Here are some more interesting statistics. Every year in this country, 8,000 to 14,000 people die from illegal drugs. Now compare that to over 500,000 that die from “legal” drugs (tobacco, liquor and prescriptions). This is roughly a 50 to 1 ratio. Alcohol alone is involved in seven times more violent crimes than all illegal substances combined, yet our government continues to hugely subsidize alcohol and tobacco, while demonizing those who would exercise a different choice.
The War on Humanity

Pop Quiz

Who invented the phrase "To slap the members of a certain nation off the map"?

Sorry, wrong answer.

Cui Bono?

Michael S. Rozeff asks a very good question about the war on terror.
On the benefit side, the war on terror provides important benefits to

1. The state. It is the occasion of state power-grabs. In particular, President Bush prefers that the president be Cæsar, garbed with dictatorial powers over both the rest of the government and the lives of Americans. In addition, the war on terror seeks to make the state’s image of protection indispensable to every American as well as a long-running affair.

2. The military-industrial complex. The contractors gaining from fat war contracts are well-known. Some of these link directly to key administration officials. But most of them contribute to both political parties.

3. The state’s bureaucracies. The Department of Homeland Security is a prime beneficiary. Other beneficiaries are the many officials who make up Washington’s bureaucratic apparatus in other departments and agencies.

4. The Israel lobby. This administration and both parties are larded with pro-Israel figures who had no little influence in instigating the war on terror.

The benefits reach to many others, such as various power-hungry intellectuals who champion internationalism. They reach to Americans who obtain the psychic benefits of flag-waving, cheering, blood-lust, phony patriotism, displays of U.S. military might. They reach to banking and oil interests. For example, Afghanistan is supposed to be a transit area for a new pipeline.
Well, I think 3 and 4 are the weakest points and even number 1 is not the motor behind the actions we see, as I said before. He then goes on to write about "Imperialism", which he only vaguely defines. I say follow the buck, see who profits. There is a motive.

Must Read

Money by Stef: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sure, right

U.S. Soldiers Killed by English Speaking “Insurgents” Who Were Armed with American Made Weapons and Driving Black SUVs

Oh, yeah, the man leading the attack had blond hair.

And what’s the story with the non sequitur about “the computer” mentioned about 2/3 of the way down?

But just wait, you haven’t heard the best part.

According to the story: This was the work of Iranian intelligence agents.
(via fefe, in German)

Believe it. Or not. I don't care

The Albanian government has seized the assets of a wealthy Saudi that, for several years, reportedly maintained simultaneous connections to both al-Qaeda and the U.S. government while serving the interests of the CIA.
Ptech owner's assets confiscated in Albania

At least the his sources are extensive...

(via fefe, in German)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Clint's conspiracy theory

Just watched Flags of our father and noticed two thing:
- The film makes the forties in the USA look a bit like 1984: Buy War Bonds!
- The film mentions a couple of times an almost bankrupt USA and once Arabs wanting gold for their oil.

The last one got me thinking (I know, a bit thing to do) about when these strange ties between the Saudis and the US started. It wasn't Bush Jr. in the eighties or Bush Sr. in the sixties, no, I think by that time the Saudis were already "Big in the USA". The Saudis had a foot in the door at least since World War II. I need to look more into this.

And I think Clint Eastwood might be a fan of conspiracy theories.

Sorry, I have to keep it short, don't have much time...

ps.: The film wasn't bad, it fitted well into my view of the world, but I am bored of the US perspective of things, having seen Private Ryan, Thin Red Line, Band of Brothers, etc. I am looking forward to seeing Letters from Iwo Jima, to see the perspective of the Japanese. After all, some people claim that Japan, cut of from oil by the US, had to attack Pearl Harbour, a sort of preemptive strike that could avoid the war. And that US government wanted war, but not the public. Don't know, but seems plausible.

Monday, January 22, 2007

To: Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon.com

To: Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon.com

As longtime Amazon customers, we are deeply disturbed by your treatment of Jimmy Carter's important new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

Under the "Editorial Reviews" heading – a space normally used either for the publisher's own description of a book, or for short, even-handed summaries from listing services such as Booklist and Publishers Weekly – you insist on running the complete, 20-paragraph, 1,636-word text of a review unabashedly hostile to Carter's viewpoint. You have refused to add information shoppers should have in evaluating this review: the fact that the reviewer, Jeffrey Goldberg, is a citizen of Israel as well as the United States, and that he volunteered to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces, for which he worked as a guard at a prison for Palestinian detainees. And you have refused to balance his negative review by giving comparable space to a favorable assessment of the book, even though positive reviews by qualified experts have appeared in many reputable publications.

Because giving so much space in this location to such a negative review is so unusual – if not unprecedented – for Amazon, and because you have refused requests from many customers that you take a more balanced approach, we can only conclude that you are deliberately trying to discourage shoppers from ordering the former President's book.

This is contrary to Amazon's own interests as a bookseller. More important, it's also contrary to the interests of understanding, peace, and justice for all parties to the Israel/Palestine conflict

We are not interested in supporting a corporation that uses its power in the marketplace in such a biased and unconstructive way on such an important issue.

Accordingly, if you do not, by Jan. 22, remove the Goldberg review, move it to the more appropriate "See all Editorial Reviews" page, or restore a semblance of balance by giving comparable space and prominence to a more positive evaluation of Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, we the undersigned pledge to:

1. Stop shopping at Amazon.com;

2. Completely close our accounts on your service; and

3. Encourage our friends, family, and associates to do likewise.


The Undersigned
Tell Amazon to Treat Carter's Book Fairly Petition
(via Arne Hoffmann)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I wouldn't worry about Iran

I would worry about Saudi Arabia instead. (At least if I could stop worrying about the US)

Just maybe

“No civilians were killed or injured.”
Somalia air strike failed to kill al-Qaida targets, says US | The Guardian
"It's pretty clear that this administration will continue to go after al-Qaida," the White House spokesman, Tony Snow, told a press conference. "People who think they can establish a safe haven for al-Qaida any place have to know that we are going to find them."
US launches air strikes at al-Qaida suspects | The Guardian

I think fear that many people in the US goverment, military and intelligence honestly think that they could fight "terrorism" (Or al-Qaida, as they call it) with AC-130 gunships and cruise missiles.

There are people with some sort of rationality in the US, alas, not in a position that they could do much about this:
"It's akin to the heart of darkness, just shooting into the jungle," said Bob Baer, a former CIA agent. "At the end of the day you are just making more enemies."
On a side note, I find it strange that it seems like the US has with al-Qaida only one enemy. Everybody they kill, everybody they "arrest", everybody they suspect of anything is automatically called "a member of al-Qaida". Why don't people cry out "BULLSHIT!", I ask myself? Are people really that stupid, that they believe those lies? This is Vietnam all over again, just exchange Vietcong with al-Qaida, exchange the region around Vietnam with the entire world.

If the US continues this kind of logic, it is only a question of time if the next al-Qaida suspects in the US are killed by an AC-130 flying somewhere over Philadelphia, Seattle or Des Moines (while wiping out half a block). But those in power in the US may be ruthless, but they are not stupid. I guess when the US military starts carpet bombing LA, maybe the people in the US would wake up. Just maybe.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

We all suck

Car Bomb Derby

Everybody should watch more Bill Hicks.

How could I overlook this?

Sorry, old news, but it seems like I overlooked this one:
2000: director of a company which wins $200m contract to sell nuclear reactors to North Korea
2002: declares North Korea a terrorist state, part of the axis of evil and a target for regime change
The two faces of Rumsfeld | Guardian

Jedi Mind Tricks - Shadow Business

A little video, with music by the group Jedi Mind Tricks, mixed together with bits of different documentaries, such as "The Corporation" just to name one. There are many angry people, people who are not happy about the world today, I am not alone in being angry. The question is what we are going to do with our anger.

Jedi Mind Tricks - Shadow Business (YouTube)

When you over in American Samoa, what…what surprised you the most?

I guess what hit me the most is the condition of the factory that the workers were in. The factory was surrounded by a fence and barbed wire on top and on the bottom. And they have a chain-linked fence around the whole factory and, and dormitory compound. The gate has a…has a guard shack, where the guard sit there and control the worker movement in and out of the.. of the factory

The factory are made of ahm, ahm.. tin panels with tin roof. Ahm, it’s really hot. The temperature over there is verily ninety degrees and inside the factory or the dormitory it reaches way over a hundred degrees.

It’s the contemporary form of slavery, they call it slave labour
But they don’t prosecute them cuz it’s how they make paper
When you're rocking that fly shit that’s made in China
By an eight year old child tryin' to feed his mama
He is exposed to contamination and disease
And only fifty-five percent of them will get degrees
And the women have to try to placate the boss
Because it’s sex discrimination in the labour force
The slave master only let them speak in sign language
And they’re suffering from lung disease and eye damage
fourteen hour shifts, seven days a week
two shitty meals a day, very little sleep
Human life only worth three cents an hour
All human right laws loose sense of power
What did four hundred years in the grave pass us?
Only the improved cleverness of slave masters

Is life worth living if you living in hell?
When the mind is confined to a prisoner’s cell?
And the lies they devise in the system that fell
But I expect the system to fail
Is life worth living if you living in hell?
When the mind is confined to a prisoner’s cell?
And the lies they devise in the system that fell
But I expect the system to fail

Many Chinese workers are forced to sign secret agreements, known as shadow contracts, before they leave China, severely and, in some ways, illegally restricting their activities while on American soil. Workers are forbidden to participate in any religious or political activity or to ask for a salary increase or even to fall in love or get married.

It’s one point six million people locked in jail
They do new slave labour force trapped in hell
They generate over a billion dollars worth of power
And only getting paid twenty cents an hour
They make cloths for McDonald’s and for Apple Bee’s
And working fourteen hour shifts in prison factories
And while we sit around debating who to wack MCs
They have to work when arthritic pain attack the knees
Slavery is not illegal, that’s a fucking lie!
It is illegal, unless it’s for conviction of a crime
The main objective is to get you in your fucking prime
And keep the prison full and not give you a fucking dime
But they are the real criminal keeping you confined
For a petty crime but they give you two-to-nine
And ain’t nobody there to protect ya
Except a bunch of incompetent human rights inspectors

Is life worth living if you living in hell?
When the mind is confined to a prisoner’s cell?
And the lies they devise in the system that fell
But I expect the system to fail
Is life worth living if you living in hell?
When the mind is confined to a prisoner’s cell?
And the lies they devise in the system that fell
But I expect the system to fail

Jail is modern slavery. It's all, it's all racism and it's all politics. Like I said before, it's all about paper. What I mean, the more I lock you up, the more money I can make.

[Inaudible] and how [inaudible], the old slavery and the prison industrial system is the same system today.

Tu Xiao Mei says she refused to have the abortion and has now been barred from entering the factory.

Allowing it to bring them onto US soil is a very deep concern. We've now documented the facts that management coerces female workers who become pregnant into having abortions.

But human rights workers say it's common practice.

Inside that factory Chinese law applies, and Chinese law is… is supreme.

Even though it's the United States of America?

The flag doesn't fly inside there.
(via Baseblog - Jedi Mind Tricks - Shadow Business in German)


Why is the new (as in no-more-beta) blogger.com using google.com.jm for log in??? Strange, strange. We are all Jamaicians?

Google analytics on blogger comment pages

This is a bit strange, blogger.com is using google-analytics to track users on the "Post a Comment On" pages. I would presume they have the log-files anyway, so the only reason that comes to my mind, why they do this is because google-analytics has better analysis -tools than they have.

But still, what is strange that they have such an interest in who leaves comments. (They don't seem to care as much about who is visiting the blogs hosted by them).

I posted it here, let's see if someone comes up with an answer.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The full spectrum of humans

Ice is Dangerous, even in Portland

(via boingboing)

It happens everytime, it happens to all of us. We are perfectly capable to misjudge any given situation and make a pretty mess of it. I know, I too can make a misjudgement and not even notice it. And that is the fightening part. I did things I knew were risky (like driving too fast around the Nürburg-Ring). Knowing something could go wrong is good. So even if you think everything is just peachy, one should expect the grim reaper around the corner. Not to frighten yourself, more to avoid him...

Sometime ago I had a boss, who was convinced that he didn't make any errors. You could see it his eyes, you knew it when you talked with him. He just was always right. Or at least he thought it, if he would have thought about it. For some strange reason, it seems that people who tend to be upper in the food chain are more likely to develop this kind disorder. I don't know if it is necessary to climb to higher grounds or if it just helps, same as having no conscience at all or total disregard to the well-being of other human beings. It makes me wonder if the leaders of our world are intentionaly reckless or just have some sort of disorder, like a sort of Anti-Autism.

I recently heard from one report (I guess it was on TV...) that some people believe that Autism is not really a disorder, it is more like some internal parameters are skewed. Less social interaction, at the same time stronger empathie towards others, stronger perception of (mis-)justice (compared to "normal" people, at least with some Autists).

Autism is classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests in delays of "social interaction, language as used in social communication, or symbolic or imaginative play,"
Autism is often not physiologically obvious, in that outward appearance may not indicate a disorder, and diagnosis typically comes from a complete physical and neurological evaluation.
Some autistic children and adults are opposed to attempts to cure autism, because they see autism as part of who they are, and in some cases they perceive attempts of a cure to be intensive and unnatural.
So what if some people are simply on the other end of the Autistic Spectrum (As opposed to the "severe" end of the spectrum)? Very good social skills, at the same time total lack of empathie towards others and ignorance of justice? And would this be considered a disorder? Would this help to become an influential person, like a leader of a nation or a big corporation? And would this be the kind of person you would like to have in this kind of position?

The article about the Autistic Spectrum mentions something about "hypersocialization", but aunt google finds only 293 hits. I feel inclined to delete this "fact" from wikipedia.

I really should not read medical articles, knowing I am a hypochonder I feel like I'm an Autist someone with Asperger Syndrom ...

As a side note: Once I was in a similar situation as the YouTube video, winter came early, the car I drove had summer tyres, I made the wrong judgement to drive by car, but I made the right judgment (sometimes I do that) to wait for authorities to "defrost" the street. Someone was speeding by in his car. I opened the window and made a gesture towards him with my hand, signaling him to slow down. The driver hit the brakes, the car turned slightly, the driver sling open the door, jumped out and - fell. He just fell down straight before he even got his second foot on the ground. I think he wanted to beat me. Well, this was the fastest case of instant karma I have witnessed. (He crawled back to his car and didn't bother me any further)

In related news: Idiot labeled as terrorist and Oh my, this guy is good.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Clean Skin, Dirty Job

The 7 July bombers who killed 52 people in terrorist attacks in London in 2005 were once described by Britain's security service as 'clean skins'.

The vivid phrase implied that a gang of homegrown terrorists had come from nowhere, without an intelligence trail.
MI5 now admit that far from being a 'clean skin', Khan had been on their radar screen since 2003. And The Observer can now reveal that more than a year before he detonated his Tube bomb, Khan had been listed as a 'desirable suspect' by MI5, along with fellow bomber Shehzad Tanweer.

7/7 ringleader 'was watched since 2003' - The Observer
Who would have thought that they lied about this? But it gets better:
'If the threat was the same as in 2005 - that is, we were looking at 50 potential terror networks in the UK - we would have a better chance of picking up somebody like Khan. But we are now dealing with some 200 potential terror networks in the UK and to be quite honest we wouldn't have a hope in hell.'
Nice, eh? We lied, because we couldn't cope with the problem and were too embarrassed. But now we tell the truth that there is danger for you and would you be so nice to increase our budget, pretty please?
'We can't put every person who expresses anger about British foreign policy under 24-hour surveillance, or we would be talking about a Stasi-style secret police force.'
Lucky me. Isn't it interesting, how the state is dedicated to rather watch those without power than those with power? As if those without power could come close to inflicting the amount of harm those with power do. And again, this is a global trend. Sigh.

By the way, there is a difference between having your state employing the Stasi and 24-hour surveillance of all suspects. There is a book by a chap named Eric Arthur Blair (no relation to Tony, I hope) telling you a bit about the later.

In (un)related news, I was thinking about a definition of neoliberalism. I think I would sum it up to:
ne·o·lib·er·al·ism (nē'ō-lĭb'ər-ə-lĭz'əm, -lĭb'rə-)
Theory that those best at pocketing wealth should keep it.
No state, no moral, no laws, nothing. Just grab what you can, the best at this game will keep what they seized. The market will take care of it. Simple and clean, eh?

So, work harder, my slaves, or I will have to club you. (See Social Darwinism)

Monday, January 15, 2007

What a Bunch of Hypocrites

Apple has a history of using lawyers against bloggers. There was the now infamous Think Secret lawsuit, which may have had merit. But they also engage in clearly superfluous, bullying tactics as well. In August we received a letter from Apple’s lawyers demanding that we remove an embedded YouTube video showing features from OSX 10.5. We felt this was an extreme position to take - Apple could have simply requested YouTube to remove the video. And this wasn’t a trade secrets issue - they also had a very similar video up on their own website.

Today Apple is engaging in similar tactics against a number of bloggers who simply reported on the fact that someone created a skin for Windows Mobile phones that looks exactly like the new iPhone user interface.

Apple Bullies Bloggers, Again - Tech Crunch
From the company that advertises with Rosa Parks.
Once again we're reminded that Apple is a company with a conscience. Apple's home page bears this historic photo of Rosa Parks, icon of the civil rights movement, who passed away yesterday at age 92.
Haha, what a bunch of hypocrites.
Hypocrisy is the act of pretending or claiming to have beliefs, feelings, morals or virtues that one does not truly possess or practice.
It is nice when the effects of the reality-distortion-field start to fade out. Besides being overpriced, closed off to the public, obsoleted in two years time by the 3G iPhone and manufactured by Chinese slaves in conditions dangerous to everybody and the environment, it is promoted by a company of hypocrites. Because the other companies are worse, I will not buy a new phone or computer unless I absolutely have to. Thank god fully I don't have to at the moment. OK, my current mobile phone sucks and a laptop would be nice, but I don't really need a new piece of equipment for which the equivalent landmass of Liechtenstein had to be converted to something resembling the surface of the moon.

A contrived Gulf of Tonkin-type incident

"Let us hope I am wrong about this one."

Saturday, January 13, 2007

What a shame

Iraq has run out of reconstruction money. The funds in the so-called Development Fund for Iraq – some $20 billion of Iraqi money – were spent by Paul Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority in the first year of the occupation. The US Embassy in Baghdad has spent virtually all of the $18.4 billion that Congress appropriated for ‘rebuilding’ the country; $5.6 billion of it was used to run the embassy, promote American ‘values’ and set up the new armed forces and police. Most of the American money never even gets to Iraq. The bulk of it has gone to American consultants, or into American contractors’ international bank accounts.
The Least Accountable Regime in the Middle East
This is an outrage, a fucking shame. There are not enough people to hang in the US government and in the boards of the companies like KBR and a like, to bring justice to Iraq. Fuck. And I say this despite the fact that I am usually against the "capital" punishment.

Boing Boing: RIAA strategy originates with 17th Centure button-makery

Shortly after the matter of cloth weaving has been disposed of, the button makers guild raises a cry of outrage; the tailors are beginning to make buttons out of cloth, an unheard-of thing. The government, indignant that an innovation should threaten a settled industry, imposes a fine on the cloth-button makers. But the wardens of the button guild are not yet satisfied. They demand the right to search people's homes and wardrobes and fine and even arrest them on the streets if they are seen wearing these subversive goods.
Boing Boing: RIAA strategy originates with 17th Centure button-makery

Freedom Gaols

No one truly knows a nation, until one has been inside its gaols.
Independent - Felipe Fernandez-Armesto: The accidental criminal

See: Yeah, because they hate your freedoms...


I once received an invitation to lecture at "The University of Excellence". I forget where this particular academy was located - Jordan, I think - but I recall very clearly that the suggested subject of my talk was as incomprehensible to me as it would, no doubt, have been to any audience. Invitation rejected. Only this week I received another request, this time to join "ethics practitioners" to "share evidence-based practices on dealing with current ethical practices" around the world. What on earth does this mean? Why do people write like this?
Independent Online Edition - Robert Fisk: This jargon disease is choking language

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Plans for the future

After expanding the closed circuit system throughout all the Great Britain, inside people's homes, installing screens and loudspeakers near the cameras and giving the police a "shoot first, have a party and if anyone remembers this a month later, ask questions" policy, the UK government decided they will adopt a single party system and change the name of the country to Airstrip one, because "That's way cooler". Critics claim this idea isn't new, but the government had postponed it because communism unexpectedly fell and they didn't have a reason to enforce "security measures" anymore. Luckily the U.S. started this war on terror thing and now they look at the future with glee. Citizens of the U.K. currently await for what the future reserves, but are sure it will be doupleplusgood.
United Kingdom of America (and Northern Iceland) - Uncyclopedia

Warning, this Uncyclopeida is highly addictive...

Richard O'Brien Dawkins,
Current Arch-Skeptic for the Ministry of Truth

The Jobs is wicked

No, you don't want to sell your HD content now. You don't need to see our plans for HD. Move along.

Steve Jobs To Hollywood: Just Say "No" To High-Definition DVD The Mac Observer

Hehe, The Jobs is truely wicked. Two Words: iMovie Store

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Will they be in for a surprise

So the iPhone got introduced. Nice, I was waiting for this. Ok, I will be waiting some more time for it to be mine, but hey, this seems like a great product.

I noted two things while watching the iPhone Demo:

1. Steve Jobs used the Beatles song "With a little help from my friends" as the first song to demo the iPod inside the iPhone. Interesting, after all that trouble Beatles/Apple Records have given him. But "The Jobs" will prevail, I guess.

2. There was a clown the CEO from Cingular/AT&T on stage (at around 01:08 in the iPhone stream), who hadn't had a slightest clue what he was doing there ("The Jobs" is not stage because he is the CEO of Apple, he is on stage because he is the only one who can handle the Realty-Distortion-Field TM) and seemed mainly happy that Cingular bullied Apple into having the iPhone only working with them. Boy, will he be in for a surprise, exclusive contract or not.

As Steve said right after the AT&T business speach:
We come from pretty differents worlds, the telco industry, the computer industry and of course music with the iPod. And we love these guys!
Yeah, Steve loves AT&T, just as he loved the majors five years ago. This CEO-guy finishes his speach and one of the first things Steve mentions is music with the iPod, wink, wink? The iPhone will be to cellular carriers what the iPod has been to music companies. Just wait and see how Apple will bully them in their own Apple kind of way. Again, "The Jobs" will prevail. At least, that is what I hope.

And in the meantime, Microsoft is going to try to kill the iPod with its Zune, forgetting that Apple is actually killing the (old) iPod with the (new) iPod every year, and this year killing it in part with the iPhone.

Fictional Fascist America Novel

Boing Boing: Roth's "Plot Against America" - chilling alternate fascist America

As opposed to the real fascist America.

You can have your free country, but not here

The policing of the protests during the 2004 Republican National Convention represents another interesting model of repression. The NYPD tracked every planned action and set up traps. As marches began, police would emerge from their hiding places — building vestibules, parking garages, or vans — and corral the dissenters with orange netting that read 'POLICE LINE – DO NOT CROSS,' establishing areas they ironically called 'ad-hoc free speech zones.' One by one, protesters were arrested and detained—some for nearly two days.
Prominent examples of recent free speech zones are those set up by the Secret Service, who scout locations where the U.S. president is scheduled to speak, or pass through. Officials will target those who carry anti-Bush signs and escort them to the free speech zones prior to and during the event. Reporters are often barred by local officials from displaying these protesters on camera or speaking to them within the zone.
Free speech zone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Yeah, because they hate your freedoms...

On Thursday, just after noon, the Tufts historian Felipe Fernandez-Armesto was arrested by Atlanta police as he crossed the middle of the street between the Hilton and Hyatt hotels. After being thrown on the ground and handcuffed, the former Oxford don was formally arrested, his hands cuffed behind his back. Several policemen pressed hard on his neck and chest, leaving the mild-mannered scholar, who's never gotten so much as a parking ticket, bruised and in pain. He was then taken to the city detention center along with other accused felons and thrown into a filthy jail cell filled with prisoners. He remained incarcerated for eight hours.
Reporter's Notebook: Highlights from the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association


Boing Boing: How to earn $180k by smuggling flour-filled condoms

Mysteries and Puzzles

The national-security expert Gregory Treverton has famously made a distinction between puzzles and mysteries. Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts are a puzzle. We can’t find him because we don’t have enough information. The key to the puzzle will probably come from someone close to bin Laden, and until we can find that source bin Laden will remain at large.

Boing Boing: Gladwell on mysteries vs. puzzles
Well, the question where Osama is, is a puzzle. But the question if he is a real person and not a invention of some boys working in Langley, that question is in my eyes a mystery.

Scientists do that?

Pseudoskepticism? I am shocked!

I found this after reading this:
Cold Fusion is a pariah field, cast out by the scientific establishment. Between Cold Fusion and respectable science there is virtually no communication at all. Cold fusion papers are almost never published in refereed scientific journals, with the result that those works don't receive the normal critical scrutiny that science requires. On the other hand, because the Cold-Fusioners see themselves as a community under siege, there is little internal criticism. Experiments and theories tend to be accepted at face value, for fear of providing even more fuel for external critics, if anyone outside the group was bothering to listen. In these circumstances, crackpots flourish, making matters worse for those who believe that there is serious science going on here.
Still, this wikipedia article claims that (just in case you have missed it reading your local science magazine):
The search of the products of nuclear fusion has resulted in conflicting evidences, leading two thirds of the DOE reviewers to exclude the possibility of nuclear reactions in these experiments in 2004. One additional reason for many to exclude a nuclear origin for the effect is that current physics theory cannot explain how fusion could occur in these experiments, and how the energy generated could be converted into heat (as opposed to radiation or other nuclear products). Still, in 2006, Mosier-Boss and Szpak, researchers in the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego, reported unambiguous evidences of nuclear reactions, and a project has been set-up to facilitate its independent replication.
I really like the "still" in the last sentence. "Everybody knows it is bullshit, and even if it is real, these pariahs have no clue at all what it is, and still they go ahead, waste money on experiments, that seem to claim we are wrong. Unblievable."

One has to love the scientific community.

And I like the agnostic position of the US Patent Office, accepting a patent on cold fusion in 2001. Not that I like the patent system, and accepting a patent on something highly dicredited in the scientific community shows a part of the problems, but this agnostic approach has its charme.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The only true lunatics

"NASA Airbrushed UFOs / Lunar Base Towers" - Google Video

Only a trailer.

In the name of science, people, these are stitching artefacts and lunar craters! And the photos of this large hanger are from a wind tunnel?

A really eerie place

After reading this nice conspircay theory (more some thoughts than a theory) about the London fire of 1666 (don't miss page 1), I stumbled on the Tavistock Institute. And quite frankly I find this a bit disturbing:
According to its website, the Institute engages in educational, research, and consultancy work in the social sciences and applied psychology. Its clients are chiefly public sector organizations, including the European Union, several British government departments, and some private clients.
Add this to the 7/7 bus bombing happening at Tavistock Square and it makes me have a shiver run down my spine.

I need to apologize

I need to apologize for any German language post (again), they were meant to go here: cc:Welt


Does it really matter?

“If people freak at evolution, etc.,” he wrote in an e-mail message, “how much more will they freak if scientists and philosophers tell them they are nothing more than sophisticated meat machines, and is that conclusion now clearly warranted or is it premature?”

Free Will: Now You Have It, Now You Don’t - New York Times
And if I should ever have pets (or kids), I'm going to name them Nihil and Desesperación. No, not really, just joking.

(via The Dilbert Blog)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Doller "Supernotes" made by the CIA?

FAZ.NET - Geldfälschung: Stammen die „Supernotes“ von der CIA? (English translation by google)

A short article, in German only, but what they say is that the supernotes, very good falsified 50 and 100 Dollar notes, are made not by North-Korea, instead they are made by - TADA! - the CIA to fund its dirty operations.

I love a good conspiracy theory, especially if it fits my view of the world :-)

And no, both the FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) and the FAS (Sunday edition) are no left-wing conspiracy nuts. While featureing diverse views, they are more conservative and US-friendly, supporting the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Doublespeak - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article or section may be confusing or unclear for some readers.
This article appears to contradict itself.
Seems like some people at wikipedia have a sense of humour...

Oh what a world

It is simply imcomprehensible to me that such an enormous case of war profiteering is possible in the 21st century.

LRB | Ed Harriman : Cronyism and Kickbacks

I would like to know what in fifty years time the general opinion about the begining of the 21st century will be. Maybe the newspaper will have stories about the doubleplusgood chocorats of our time, after the history got a memory hole treatment by the Minitrue. And all the malreported stories about Iraq will be corrected. I look forward to my two minute hate against the terrorists of the disputed territories!

How can someone lose $8.8 billion?

They have also discovered that $8.8 billion that passed through the new Iraqi government ministries in Baghdad while Bremer was in charge is unaccounted for, with little prospect of finding out where it went.
LRB | Ed Harriman : Where has all the money gone?

What I said

Terry Jones reitartes what I have said before, of course with far better writing and sprinkled with facts. A must read.

Terry Jones | They have made a killing

Democracy? There is no democracy without an informed public

As of Fall 2006, there were only nine embedded reporters in all of Iraq. Of the nine, four were from military media (three from Stars and Stripes, one from Armed Forces Network), two not even with US units (one Polish radio reporter with Polish troops, one Italian reporter with Italian troops), and one was an American writing a book. Moreover, we should remember that embeds already make a rights tradeoff when they agree to the military's reporting rules. That is, they have already given up some of their 1st Amendment protections (something at the heart of their professional ethic) in exchange for access, so agreeing to potentially fall under UCMJ when deployed may not be a deal breaker.
Boing Boing: US military code will apply to contractors - and embed journos?

Don't forget! Kapitalism is War!

I always asked myself what's in it for Blair...

But the Blairs' famously poor choice of property investments has saddled the family with an annual mortgage bill of around £200,000. The new house in Connaught Square is alone mortgaged to the tune of £3.5m.

When one adds such incidentals as the £18,000-a-year cost of childcare and helping the Blairs' older children through university, the urgency for cash becomes abundantly obvious.

Independent Online Edition - Tony & Cherie's American Dream

As good as it gets

The Cremation of Care was devised in 1893 by a member named Joseph D. Redding, a lawyer from New York. During the ceremony, which serves as the opening to the Grove encampment, a mock human sacrifice representing "dull care" is cremated to symbolize the liberation of the participants.

Today, the ritual consists of hooded members accepting the effigy representing "dull care" from a ferryman traveling across a creek. Music and fireworks accompany the ritual, for dramatic effect. The mock human sacrifice is placed on an altar and set on fire. The ritual represents the act of embracing the revelry of Bohemian Grove while setting aside the "dull cares" of the outside world.

The ceremony takes place next to a 45-foot (15 m) high concrete owl statue. During the ceremony, audio plays through nearby speakers providing the illusion of a speaking statue. The voice of the former-newsman Walter Cronkite, a member of the Bohemian Club, is used as the voice of The Owl during the ceremony.
Bohemian Grove - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Just a flavour of Bilderberg

I asked for examples, and I was given one: "During the Falklands war, the British government's request for international sanctions against Argentina fell on stony ground. But at a Bilderberg meeting in, I think, Denmark, David Owen stood up and gave the most fiery speech in favour of imposing them. Well, the speech changed a lot of minds. I'm sure that various foreign ministers went back to their respective countries and told their leaders what David Owen had said. And you know what? Sanctions were imposed."

The man who told me this story added,

"I hope that gives you a flavour of what really does go on in Bilderberg meetings."

Guardian Unlimited | Archive Search

See no evil, report no evil

Bilderberg meetings often feature future political leaders shortly before they become household names. Bill Clinton went in 1991 while still governor of Arkansas, Tony Blair was there two years later while still an opposition MP. All the recent presidents of the European Commission attended Bilderberg meetings before they were appointed.

BBC NEWS | Inside the secretive Bilderberg Group
So was Angela Merkel and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, two weeks before Schröder called for the dissolution of the German parliament and new elections, after which Angela Merkel became Chancellor. Somehow, they seem to sense important trends in international politics.

I wish I had more credible sources than this, but hey, this is a conspiracy private meeting after all.

And there was a very strange media campain here in Germany before the election in Germany. The german press tried to "write Angela to office". It was really eerie. Well actually they tried to write a CDU/CSU (Conservative, but in a corporation friendly sense) and FDP (liberal, but more in the sense of economic liberal) to power. They failed at that, but Angela Merkel managed to get to power anyway.

And now I hear that Hubert Burda (CEO of Burda), Mathias Döpfner (CEO of Springer) and Matthias Naß (second in command at Die Zeit) were at the Bilderberg meeting. And not a single word in German newspapers or other MSM about Bilderberg. Eerie, really eerie.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

What's the chance for that?

After the last little video, I was just reading about the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (WHOA! WHAT a GREAT title boys!), about the United States President's Commission on CIA activities within the United States (better known as the Rockefeller Commission), about Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller, about the Rockefeller familiy in general, about Dealey Plaza, how it was the site of the first Masonic temple in Dallas (now what is the chance for that!), about the man who named the grassy knoll, when my chair started to fall apart. Literally fall apart.

Exhibit A - Photograph showing two exit wounds in the back

Exhibit B - Photograph showing the two main conspirers

Exhibit C - Photograph of the manufacturers signet

Now, what's the chance for that. I rest my case.

Oh fuck, in the name of science!

A Bush-Nixon-CIA-Hunt-JFK-Zapata-Nazi connection?

JFK Murder and the Bush Family Connection - Google Video

Fight Terrorism?

The US couldn't track a billion dollars if they'd invaded switzerland. I said it before, I say it again, this whole fight against terrorism is a giant global potemkin village.
In Washington, U.S. government officials confirmed that roughly US$900 million in U.S. currency was taken from Iraq's Central Bank shortly before the United States began bombing Baghdad in 2003. Treasury Department officials said they didn't know where the money was taken and were still checking out details of the incident, including the denomination of the missing U.S. currency.

13 Prisoners executed in Baghdad - journalismus - nachrichten von heute

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Why DRM is bad

Old inquirer article, but this quote is very good.
The problem is that there is no theoretical, practical or implementation benefit of DRM for the consumer. It costs money to develop, costs money to implement, and adds hardware and complexity to a device. This all comes out of your pocket while it takes your rights away.

Intel to cut Linux out of the content market

National Academy of Sciences: Iran oil profits could dry up by 2015 - CNN.com

No, not really? Maybe they should invest in nuclear power? At least that is the solution many countries follow to get independent of oil. I would rather suggest something along the line of renewable engery, but that is just my stupid idea...

Report: Iran oil profits could dry up by 2015 - CNN.com