Friday, March 31, 2006

Former NSA analyst Ken Ford gets six years under questionable evidence

From today's Wayne Madsen Report:

March 31, 2006 -- In yesterday's sentencing hearing for former NSA analyst Ken Ford, Federal Judge Peter Messitte mentioned the defense's contention that the classified NSA documents Ford was accused of removing from NSA had been planted in Ford's home. Messitte also stated, "no one knows how he [Ford] ended up with these documents." Messitte also referred to Florida resident Tonya Tucker [one of many aliases], the government's confidential informant who initiated the sting against Ford, a "curious figure." Yet, even with such doubts about the case against Ford, Messitte sentenced Ford to six years in prison.

In fact, the prosecution engaged in gross and illegal misconduct for the duration of the trial and pre-trial. The prosecutor, Assistant US Attorney David Salem, relied on false affidavits, perjured testimony, and a tainted jury -- complete with a government plant who did not identify himself as a former employee of NSA contractor Northrop Grumman, and coached witnesses to get his conviction against Ford, the only U.S. intelligence employee who has been jailed as a result of his expressed doubts about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Ford prepared a May 2003 NSA signals intelligence report, based on intercepts of Iraqi communications and interviews with NSA counter-proliferation specialists, that disproved the Bush administration's theory about Iraqi WMDs. That report eventually ended up in Vice President Dick Cheney's office. The same type of retaliatory "work up" used on Ambassador Joe Wilson and his covert CIA wife was launched against Ford. However, as a young GS-9 and African American, Ford was much more vulnerable to being set up in a criminal sting than the more savvy and experienced members of the US Intelligence Community.

When Ford's defense attorney, Spencer Hecht, argued that former CIA Director John Deutch and Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger received very lenient sentences for the same crimes for which Ford was convicted, Salem defended their actions, stating, "they took the [classified] documents for the continuation of their work." Salem said that Deutch, who took home a classified CIA laptop computer and then connected it up to American On Line and reportedly surfed pornographic web sites and collected data transfer programs known as "cookies," remained as CIA director. He also said that Berger, who took classified documents from the National Archives, needed them for his testimony in Congress about the Millennium bombing plot. Salem also stated that Deutch and Berger continued to have security clearances when they took home classified documents. Deutch received a reprimand and Berger received a $10,000 fine and three years of probation.

The prosecution's star witness "Tonya Tucker", according to a
Washington Post story and extensive research on the part of Wayne Madsen, has been convicted of forgery, illegal use of a credit card, larceny and grand theft.

Also, former CIA director John Deutch was charged with similar crimes and never denied taking classified materials home and uploading them to a laptop designated for unclassified use. He was given a much less severe sentence. Ken Ford, who vehemently denied taking the classified docs, had less than a thousand pages of documents, Deutch was said have been in possession of over 17,000. [
link to the Report of Investigation on Deutch] [U.S. Attorney's Office statement]

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Saudia Arabia working on secret nuclear program with Pakistan help

From Forbes:

Saudi Arabia is working secretly on a nuclear program, with help from Pakistani experts, the German magazine Cicero reported in its latest edition, citing Western security sources.

It says that during the Haj pilgrimages to Mecca in 2003 through 2005, Pakistani scientists posed as pilgrims to come to Saudi Arabia.

Between October 2004 and January 2005, some of them slipped off from pilgrimages, sometimes for up to three weeks, the report quoted German security expert Udo Ulfkotte as saying. According to Western security services, the magazine added, Saudi scientists have been working since the mid-1990s in Pakistan, a nuclear power since 1998.

Cicero, which will appear on newstands tomorrow, also quoted a US military analyst, John Pike, as saying that Saudi bar codes can be found on half of Pakistan's nuclear weapons 'because it is Saudi Arabia which ultimately co-financed the Pakistani atomic nuclear program.'

Here is a link to an October 23, 2003, article stating that there was a secret agreement: Nuke tech for Cheap oil

Here is the refutation you expected from Pakistan.

No word yet from the Saudi's.

It shoule be noted here that:
most of the 911 hijackers were Saudi citizens, and
that the Bush family has extensive, and well hidden, ties to the House of Saud.

Go read Richard Posner's book:
Secrets of the Kingdom
Go read Craig Unger's book:
House of Bush, House of Saud

FL Attorney General, Charlie Crist, Supoenas E-Voting Machine Companies after their refusal to do business with Leon County (Tallahassee)

Thanks to bradblog:

Just out from AP, the Florida state Attorney General has subpoenaed the three Electronic Voting Machine companies who have all refused to do business with Leon County, FL Election Supervisor Ion Sancho since he discovered that Diebold's optical-scan voting system was vulnerable to hackers.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida's attorney general said Wednesday his office has issued investigative subpoenas to the three companies certified to sell voting machines in Florida as he reviews a dispute between the firms and Leon County's elections supervisor.

Diebold Inc., Election Systems & Software Inc., and Sequoia Voting Systems Inc. have refused to sell equipment to let disabled voters cast ballots without help in Leon County...."It is critical for our democratic process to work efficiently and effectively, but of most importance, fairly," Attorney General Charlie Crist said.

"These subpoenas are to ensure that the rights of our voters with disabilities as well as all Florida voters are secured."Crist wants to see copies of documents relating to sales of voting machines by Diebold, Election Systems & Software and Sequoia in Florida since January 2003. Crist's office began the investigation in early February

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

US Navy prepares SOCOM aircraft carrier strike group for "major training exercise"

The (US) Navy will send an aircraft carrier strike group, with four ships, a 60-plane air wing and 6,500 sailors, to Caribbean and South American waters for a major training exercise, it was announced Monday.

Some defense analysts suggested that the unusual two-month-long deployment, set to begin in early April, could be interpreted as a show of force by anti-American governments in Venezuela and Cuba.

Called 'Partnership of the Americas,' the exercise will focus on “unconventional threats, such as narco-terrorism and human trafficking, and improving training levels in a variety of mission areas,” the Navy said in a news release.

PDF of the official Navy news release

Recent Bush Phenomenons

From CNN:
Bush blames Iraq's instability on Hussein

President Bush said Wednesday that Saddam Hussein, not continued U.S. involvement in Iraq, is responsible for ongoing sectarian violence that is threatening the formation of a democratic government.

From Thinkprogress

President Bush,
3/10/06 :
One of the keys is going to be to get a unity government up and running, a government that reflects the diversity of the country. … We want the Iraqis to make that selection, of course. They are the ones who got elected by the people. They’re the ones who must form the government.

New York Times,
“Mr. Khalilzad said Mr. Bush ‘doesn’t want, doesn’t support, doesn’t accept’ Mr. Jaafari as the next prime minister, according to Mr. Taki, a senior aide to Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the head of the Shiite bloc. It was the first ‘clear and direct message’ from the Americans on a specific candidate for prime minister, Mr. Taki said.”

More from Thinkprogress:
Bush Says Global Warming May Be “Natural”

During a speech today, President Bush said “First of all, the globe is warming. The fundamental debate — is it manmade or natural?” Actually, that’s no longer a debate, at least among the overwhelming majority of scientists.

It is also the position, curiously enough, of the Bush administration’s EPA since 2002. From the
Christian Science Monitor:

In a report to the United Nations, the Environmental Protection Agency says that man-made greenhouse gases in the US will increase 43 percent between 2000 and 2020. And while acknowledging some scientific uncertainties, the EPA says that the recent warming trend “is real and has been particularly strong within the past 20 years … due mostly to human activities.”

It is truly amazing that this man and his machine has successfully duped so many...don't be one of them!

42 is important: Douglas Adams may have unknowingly answered the greatest question in the physical world with Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Asian Development Bank sounds alarm on dollar

Asian countries need to prepare for a possible sharp fall in the dollar and should allow their currencies to appreciate collectively if that happens, a senior Asian Development Bank official said Tuesday.

"Any shock hitting the U.S. economy or the global market may change investors' perceptions, given the existing global current account imbalance," Masahiro Kawai, the bank's head of regional economic integration, said at a news conference.

"Our suggestion to Asian countries is, don't take this continuous financing of the U.S. current account deficit as given. If something happens, then East Asian economies have to be prepared."


From Bloomberg: Buy Australian Dollar, Sell U.S., N.Z. Currencies, Goldman Says


According to Axis of Logic:
Three separate sources in the U.S. Treasury have told me that this week, the federal reserve ordered TWO TRILLION dollars to be printed! The U.S. Treasury is allegedly running printing presses 24/7 to accommodate that order. Treasury employees were specifically ORDERED not to talk about this to anyone because it could cause economic collapse.


AND, the Federal Reserve discontinued publishing the M3 money supply numbers on March 23. This aggregate reflects Euro positions, cash repurchases, and dollar infusions (read: what's being printed), among other things...timing's just right to hide how "well" the economy is doing.

Write your Congressional representative and ask him/her to support Rep. Ron Paul on H. R. 4892, the Sunshine in Monetary Policy Act, which will force the Fed to keep publishing the M3 numbers.

Physics world buzzing over faster-than-ever particles

Layman's article from the CanWest News Service
Fermilab physics lab in the U.S. has found a particle, far smaller than any atom, that switches itself back and forth between being a piece of matter and a piece of anti-matter 17 trillion times each second.

Fermilab's Press Release: for the more technically minded
BATAVIA, Illinois-Scientists of the DZero collider detector collaboration at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have announced that their data on the properties of a subatomic particle, the B_s meson ("B sub s"), suggest that the particle oscillates between matter and antimatter in one of nature's fastest rapid-fire processes-more than 17 trillion times per second. Their findings may affect the current view of matter-antimatter asymmetry, and might also offer a first glimpse of the contributions of new physics, such as supersymmetry, to particle physics.

Brain Cells Fused with Computer Chip

New Anti-Terror Training Manual Says ''Property Rights Activists'' Are Terrorists

Sunday, March 26, 2006

US Department of Agriculture does not want your beef tested for Mad Cow Disease

A Kansas meatpacker sued the government on Thursday for refusing to let the company test for mad cow disease in every animal it slaughters.

Creekstone Farms Premium Beef says it has Japanese customers who want comprehensive testing. The Agriculture Department threatened criminal prosecution if Creekstone did the tests, according to the company's lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Testing for mad cow disease in the United States is controlled by the department, which tests about 1 percent of the 35 million cattle, or about 350,000, that are slaughtered each year. The department is planning to reduce that level of testing.

Department officials say they oppose 100 percent testing because it does not ensure food safety.

It would cost about $20 per animal to do the tests, adding about 10 cents per pound to the cost of meat, according to Creekstone Farms Premium Beef chief executive John Stewart .

President Bush shuns Patriot Act requirement

In the signing statement, Bush said he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would "impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties."

Thursday, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., said Bush's statement represented "nothing short of a radical effort to manipulate the constitutional separation of powers and evade accountability and responsibility for following the law."

Bush wrote: ''The executive branch shall construe the provisions . . . that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch . . . in a manner consistent with the president's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information . . . "

PDF copy of the signing statement

IBM builds first IC around a single carbon nanotube

The achievement is significant because the circuit was built using standard semiconductor processes and used a single molecule as the base for all components in the circuit, rather than linking together individually-constructed components. This can simplify manufacturing and provide the consistency needed to more thoroughly test and adjust the material for use in these applications.

The work was reported in an IBM paper appearing in today’s issue of the journal Science.

“Carbon nanotube transistors have the potential to outperform state-of-the-art silicon devices,” said Dr. T.C. Chen, vice president, Science & Technology, IBM Research. “However, scientists have focused so far on fabricating and optimizing individual carbon nanotube transistors. Now, we can evaluate the potential of carbon nanotube electronics in complete circuits -- a critical step toward the integration of the technology with existing chip-making techniques.”

Warbling Whales Speak A Language All Their Own

The songs of the humpback whale are among the most complex in the animal kingdom. Researchers have now mathematically confirmed that whales have their own syntax that uses sound units to build phrases that can be combined to form songs that last for hours.

Until now, only humans have demonstrated the ability to use such a hierarchical structure of communication. The research, published online in the March 2006 issue of the
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, offers a new approach to studying animal communication, although the authors do not claim that humpback whale songs meet the linguistic rigor necessary for a true language.

The Return of Black Bag Searches?

New questions are being raised over whether the Bush administration's warrantless domestic spy program is more extensive than has been acknowledged. This week, US News & World Report revealed the Bush administration attempted to authorize government agents to perform physical searches without court warrants. A government official said FBI Director Robert Mueller objected to the proposal, "not only because of the blowback issue but also because of the legal and constitutional questions raised by warrantless physical searches."

Thomas Nelson, is an attorney based in Portland, Oregon. In a letter to a district US Attorney in September, Nelson wrote: "In the past nine months I and others have seen strong indications that my office and my home have been the target of clandestine searches."

Justice Department responds to House questions on NSA wiretapping program

The responses provide little new information about the program. The Attorney General refused to disclose how many Americans were spied upon, and declined to provide specifics on how "terrorists" are defined. Critics of the program say it is ripe for abuse and violates federal law.

"In one of the few revealing answers," John Conyers adds, "the Department suggests that communications between attorneys and clients or doctors and patients may be captured through warrantless wiretaps. Moreover, some of the Department's responses leave open the possibility that other surveillance programs exist with a scope far beyond this program."

EPA forced to close library

The Bush administration again demonstrates its distaste for anything educational.

Funding for one of the EPA's libraries has been cut by the current budget by 90%!

At the same time, Bush is increasing funding for research.
“How are EPA scientists supposed to engage in cutting edge research when they cannot find what the agency has already done?” asked PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson is moving to implement the proposed cuts as soon as possible. “The President’s plan will not make us more competitive if we have to spend half our time re-inventing the wheel.”

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY: Energy Information Administration will discontinue oil forms

In another seemingly benign move, the federal government is quietly removing more information from public circulation. This time with regards to oil production. More specifically, domestic versus foreign production.

The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration will discontinue the use of Forms
EIA–182, ‘‘Domestic Crude Oil First Purchase Report,’’ and EIA–856, ‘‘Monthly Foreign Crude Oil Acquisition Report’’.

These forms are used to compile data for forecasting purposes, and to identify quantities of oil purchased domestically and internationally. It is a sly attempt to blind the DOE and the population as to how dependent the US really is on foreign sources of oil. July 2006, is the last time this data will be collected.

The kicker is that collection of these reports are mandated by Public Laws 93-275, and 95-91, but the EIA's reasoning for discontinuance is budgetary shortfalls. The discontinuance may be illegal. The EIA gives reference in the Federal Register to section 3507(h)(1) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 2005, 44 USC, Chapter 35, as legal authority to ignore the law and cease to collect this data. The data collected by these forms is too important, especially since Bush himself said in his SOTU speech we are "addicted to foreign oil", to allow the tenuous authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 2005, to be the basis by which the EIA decides it can eliminate the collection of this information. We are shooting ourselves in the foot...

Or, this may be part of a larger plan to eliminate the ability for the average person to see the true economic picture of the US. Consider this: The discontiunance of the collection of oil data will come three months after the
US Treasury discontinues publishing the figures for the M3 Money Supply. And, a delegation of Senators recently visited China to "encourage" them to revalue (float) the yuan nearer the weakened US dollar. The means of encouragement: Threats of a nearly 30% tariff on Chinese goods.

Might this reflect that those in Washington may be trying to hide the dim economic outlook of the US, or might they be trying to hide the dim nature of Bush's fiscal responsibility?

Astronomers Report Unprecedented Double Helix Nebula Near Center Of The Milky Way

Astronomers report an unprecedented elongated double helix nebula near the center of our Milky Way galaxy, using observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The part of the nebula the astronomers observed stretches 80 light years in length. The research is published March 16 in the journal Nature.

"We see two intertwining strands wrapped around each other as in a DNA molecule," said Mark Morris, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, and lead author. "Nobody has ever seen anything like that before in the cosmic realm. Most nebulae are either spiral galaxies full of stars or formless amorphous conglomerations of dust and gas -- space weather. What we see indicates a high degree of order."

Friday, March 17, 2006

Only in America: Slot Machines more secure than e-voting machines!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Where was George H.W. Bush on November 22, 1963?

From the

March 16, 2006 -- The tall, lanky man who spawned George W. Bush may have been standing in front of the Texas School Book Depository on Nov. 22, 1963. George H. W. Bush is one of very few Americans who does not precisely remember where he was and what he was doing on the fateful Friday in November 1963. Of course, he would have had a foggy memory if he was an accessory to the crime. The Bush family are modern Borgias -- cruel "human locusts" who devour and ruin everything in their path.

Click here for a better look at the photo

Lots of info/speculation on the topic

$8.965 Trillion

Bush's net approval ratings state by state

Net Approval Rating = The difference of those who approve versus those who disapprove of how Bush is doing his job. Example: Texas, 41% Approve - 55% disapprove = -14% net approval

Well, George still has 7 of the 50 states on his side...
NetApproval Rating
Utah 13%
Wyoming 7%
Alabama 5%
Idaho 3%
Mississippi 2%
Oklahoma 2%
Nebraska 1%

The rest...who cares...

Source SurveyUSA with numerous media sponsors

White House releases 2006 National Security Stratergy

First released intelligence documents from Iraq

Judge to Order Google to Turn Over Records

Google Inc.'s legal showdown with the Bush administration over the right to protect the privacy of its audience and trade secrets appears to be tilting in the Internet search engine's favor, even though a federal judge has signaled he will order the company to turn over some records to the government.

U.S. District Court Judge James Ware repeatedly emphasized his sensitivity to Google's concerns during a Tuesday court hearing. It concluded with Ware saying he intends to give the U.S. Justice Department a peek at a sliver of the online search engine leader's vast database.

Just how much information Google will be required to share won't be known until Ware issues his written ruling, which he said he intends to do very quickly.

"What's going to be important is whether he limits the information (given to the government) and whether he explains why he drew the line where he did," Carter said.

In August 1998, Judge Ware was reprimanded by the Judicial Council of the Northern District Court of California for misrepresenting himself as the brother of a boy killed by racists in Alabama in 1963.

The reason the Google case is before Judge Ware is that the government wants to crack down on internet pornography, and childrens' abilibity to access such material. This sounds subversive, though I believe that kids shouldn't be exposed to such. Anyway,
Judge Ware recently presided over Acacia Media Technologies Corp. v. New Destiny Internet Group. In this case Judge Ware sided with the adult industry regarding the use of specific media formats...

Not only that, but back in 2004,
Judge Ware heard USA v. Michael Anthony Bradley. The indictment charged Bradley with extortion and wire fraud in connection with a software program he claimed could allow spammers to defraud Google of millions of dollars.

AND, on April 3, 2006 at 1:30pm, Judge Ware is scheduled to preside over a Further Trial setting Conference in the case of USA v. Jose Luis Padilla. [I talked with Judge Ware's Docket Clerk and she isn't sure if this is the 'dirty bomb/Al Qaeda' suspect, but she did tell me that it is an 'illegal entry' case...]

The BBC Newsnight report Bush is praying you never see: It was about OIL

BBC News 5/17/2005:

Two years ago today - when President George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad - protesters claimed the US had a secret plan for Iraq's oil once Saddam had been conquered.

In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of "Big Oil" executives and US State Department "pragmatists".

"Big Oil" appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants.

Insiders told Newsnight that planning began "within weeks" of Bush's first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US.

An Iraqi-born oil industry consultant, Falah Aljibury, says he took part in the secret meetings in California, Washington and the Middle East. He described a State Department plan for a forced coup d'etat.

Mr Aljibury himself told Newsnight that he interviewed potential successors to Saddam Hussein on behalf of the Bush administration.

The industry-favoured plan was pushed aside by a secret plan, drafted just before the invasion in 2003, which called for the sell-off of all of Iraq's oil fields. The new plan was crafted by neo-conservatives intent on using Iraq's oil to destroy the Opec cartel through massive increases in production above Opec quotas.

The sell-off was given the green light in a secret meeting in London headed by Fadhil Chalabi shortly after the US entered Baghdad, according to Robert Ebel.

Link to Oil Plan documents

Watch the BBC Newsnight program

US general says no proof Iran behind Iraq arms contrary to what Bush and Rumsfeld have said

The top U.S. military officer said on Tuesday the United States does not have proof that Iran's government is responsible for Iranians smuggling weapons and military personnel into Iraq.

President George W. Bush said on Monday components from Iran were being used in powerful roadside bombs used in Iraq, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said last week that Iranian Revolutionary Guard personnel had been inside Iraq.

Asked whether the United States has proof that Iran's government was behind these developments, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon briefing, "I do not, sir."

Drug trial goes wrong: 'It was like a scene from hell'

Six healthy young men turn into wailing wrecks within minutes. First they began tearing their shirts off complaining of fever, then some screamed out that their heads felt like they were about to explode. After that they started fainting, vomiting and writhing around in their beds.

The patients’ blood was being filtered every HOUR in a bid to remove any possible toxins.

The six affected were among eight volunteers taking part in clinical trials for the American Parexel research company. Two were given placebos for comparison purposes. The others were injected with a new drug called TGN 1412, being tested for German firm TeGenero.

Lawyers have been instructed on behalf of at least one of the victims. All six remained in care at Northwick Park Hospital, northwest London. Two were said to be in critical condition and the other four were serious, but showing signs of improvement. Relatives met doctors and staff from the two companies involved — the German biotech company, TeGenero, and Parexel, the contract company that was conducting the trial.

In related news, eleven patients have died while taking Alzheimer's disease drug Aricept during a clinical trial, Japan's Eisai Co., which makes the medicine, said on Thursday.

Rep Henry Waxman of California questions Bush on possible extra-Constitutional Bill Signing

US Want Full Access to Bulgarian Military Bases

The United States demands that Bulgaria grants them unlimited access to Bulgaria's military bases and equipment, and Bulgaria does not agree.

Negotiations concerning US military bases here still haven't been concluded, Angel Naydenov, head of the Parliamentary Defence Committee explained for private Nova television. Three negotiation stages have been so far completed since October 2005, and Bulgaria is currently very close to the finish, he said.

However, major disagreements arise around the conditions of access to the bases. While Bulgaria wants guarantees that these facilities would not be used without its consent, the US demand full access. They also want to apply their own jurisdiction and laws when an American violates the law on Bulgarian territory. Bulgarians do not agree on that point and this has stalled the negotiations for a while, the MP added.

Secrecy hides accountability

In the movies, government confidentiality is typically depicted by documents stamped "Top Secret." In real life, much of what's kept under wraps has little or nothing to do with national security or the war on terror.

Instead, it can involve muzzling critics, covering up corruption and incompetence, or simply mindless bureaucracy. Phone numbers, policy papers, contracting details, historical documents, whistle-blower allegations - they're all disappearing from public view. By one estimate, government papers are being classified at the rate of 125 a minute.

To those in power, keeping facts hidden makes life easier; the probability of oversight drops. But those who believe the sunshine of disclosure makes democracy stronger are denied the tools of accountability.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

FL Sec. of State Closes Open Meeting with Ion Sancho, Evicts National Reporters, Calls Police!

[pictured L to R: Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor, Florida Secretary of State Sue Cobb, Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho]

Florida's Sunshine Week started off with the slamming of the secretary of state's door Monday, when Leon County Commissioner Bob Rackleff and news reporters were shut out of an announced public meeting on county voting issues.

"I've always said I have no objection to the press, but we do make faster progress without people having to look at cameras - that's a fact," said Florida Secretary of State Sue Cobb.

Tallahassee Democrat Political Editor Bill Cotterell, Associated Press reporter Brent Kallestad and cameraman Dave Heller also were threatened with eviction from a hallway outside Cobb's closed conference room by Capitol Police for trying to attend the meeting with Cobb, Leon County Commission Chairman Bill Proctor, Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho and staff members.

"I'm very concerned and very confused," Democrat Executive Editor Bob Gabordi said. "I have to know that when reporters show up to a meeting that has been given proper public notice, that they will not be harassed and threatened with arrest."

The county issued a public notice to the media Sunday about Monday's meeting, which was called by Cobb. The notice said Rackleff planned to attend, making it a special meeting of the County Commission. Cobb's office late last week distributed two letters she sent to Sancho and Proctor, inviting them to the meeting.

Under Florida's open-government law, which is being celebrated by state and national media this week, when two or more members of the board are together and may discuss issues of future board consideration, the meeting is open to the public and requires notice.

But when Rackleff tried to enter the meeting, he was turned away, along with reporters. With only Proctor inside, Cobb could call the meeting closed.

The Tallahassee Democrat article

N.Korea army threatens pre-emptive attack

North Korea has the right to launch a pre-emptive attack against U.S.-backed South Korean forces because the two Koreas are technically still at war, the communist state's official media said on Tuesday.

The comments came as North Korea shows its displeasure with annual joint South Korean-U.S. military exercises, which Pyongyang has said are a preparation for an invasion of its territory.

A spokesman for the North's Korea People's Army (KPA) said distrust is high between the United States and North Korea, and Pyongyang "will never remain a passive onlooker to the U.S. pre-emptive attack on the DPRK," its official news agency reported.


You lead by example, by George.

NOTE: The posters above are real North Korean images that are displayed in the communist state. They were released by North Korea Central News Agency January 31, 2003. North Korea announced the anti-U.S. poster campaign to incite people of the isolated communist state to back their army in a 'sacred struggle' with the United States

US Monitoring Israel's Iran Options

The Pentagon is looking into the possibility of Israel launching a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. In the past months there were several working-level discussions trying to map out the possible scenarios for such an attack, according to administration sources who were briefed on these meetings.
One of the questions Pentagon analysts are grappling with is how an Israeli attack - if launched - would affect the US and its forces in the region and whether it would force the US to follow with further strikes in order to complete the mission. The US is also discussing what could be the possible avenues of retaliation Iran would take against US's forces and interests in the region.

I love the guys at the Pentagon...they always plan things perfectly. The question is, "How would and Israeli attack on Iran affect the US and its forces, and what would Iran do in retaliation?" Mmmm, let's think about this...the Israelis would flee back to Israel leaving the US forces as the frontline defense against Iran. Iran would launch Shahab missiles into Iraq at the US and into Israel. Then they would blockade the Straight of Hormuz effectively isolating the US forces in Iraq with a concurrent stoppage of all oil transport out of the region sending gas prices through the stratosphere. The US, in retaliation for Iran's "aggression" would likely use theater nukes spoiling a Russian and Chinese neutral stance. Basically, (I'm working on a much more comprehensive post on this topic) this would lead to WWIII. Sleep well.

More move away from the dollar

Middle Eastern anger over the decision by the US to block a Dubai company from buying five of its ports hit the dollar yesterday as a number of central banks said they were considering switching reserves into euros.

The United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, said it was looking to move one-tenth of its dollar reserves into euros, while the governor of the Saudi Arabian central bank condemned the US move as "discrimination".

Separately, Syria responded to US sanctions against two of its banks by confirming plans to use euros instead of dollars for its external transactions.

The remarks combined to knock the dollar, which fell against the euro, pound and yen yesterday as analysts warned other central banks might follow suit.

Not good news considering that the dollar continues to weaken.

Douglas County, MN

Once upon a time in a place called Alexandria an official decreed that news must be submitted to the government for approval before being disseminated.

The official was not Alexander the Great but rather a county administrator, Bill Schalow. The place was not the Great's namesake on the Nile but rather Alexandria, Minn. The date was March 6, 2006 -- last Monday.

By Friday, Douglas County Coordinator Schalow's new "Public Relations/Communications Protocol," which required the local paper to submit its stories about the county for fact-checking or be cut off from top county officials, was ancient history.

This is why you need the Congress, George...

President Bush has decided to stay out of the lion's share of decisions made by his administration.

"Lots of important issues that deal with national security are never brought to the president because he doesn't want to deal with them," a source familiar with the White House said. "In some cases, this has resulted in chaos."

Sources have said Mr. Bush's lack of involvement on most issues has led to numerous errors in judgment. They said the DP World episode was handled by the Treasury and Commerce departments. From there, the proposed sale was meant to have been relayed through the National Security Council for a White House decision.

Navy Airman Joseph W. DuRocher returns his wings

Below are the first two paragraphs of a letter Joseph W. DuRocher wrote to George W. Bush on March 4, 2006. [link to full letter] [DuRocher's Bio]

Dear Mr. President:

As a young man I was honored to serve our nation as a commissioned officer and helicopter pilot in the US Navy. Before me in WWII, my father defended the country spending two years in the Pacific aboard the USS Hornet (CV-14). We were patriots sworn "to protect and defend". Today I conclude that you have dishonored our service and the Constitution and principles of our oath. My dad was buried with full military honors so I cannot act for him. But for myself, I return enclosed the symbols of my years of service: the shoulder boards of my rank and my Naval Aviator's wings.

Until your administration, I believed it was inconceivable that the United States would ever initiate an aggressive and preemptive war against a country that posed no threat to us. Until your administration, I thought it was impossible for our nation to take hundreds of persons into custody without provable charges of any kind, and to "disappear" them into holes like Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and Bagram. Until your administration, in my wildest legal fantasy I could not imagine a US Attorney General seeking to justify torture or a President first stating his intent to veto an anti-torture law, and then adding a "signing statement" that he intends to ignore such law as he sees fit. I do not want these things done in my name.

In related news, a
British SAS soldier, Ben Griffin, told his commander that he was no longer prepared to fight alongside American forces. "I did not join the British Army to conduct American foreign policy," he said. Mr Griffin, 28, who spent two years with the SAS, said the American military's "gung-ho and trigger happy mentality" and tactics had completely undermined any chance of winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi population.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

BlackLight Power, Inc.

Psychologists call it cognitive dissonance: the mental torment that comes from being confronted by two fundamentally opposed propositions. Deciding between them often provokes powerful emotions – just ask Dr Randell Mills, whose claims have a habit of triggering severe bouts of cognitive dissonance among otherwise perfectly rational people.

And no wonder: this medical student turned physicist claims to have debunked the textbook account of how atoms are put together – and in the process discovered a new source of clean, cheap energy.

From the company's website:

BlackLight Power Inc., is the pioneer of technology based on the patented process of releasing chemical energy from hydrogen called the "BlackLight Process." More specifically, energy is released as the electrons of hydrogen atoms are induced by a catalyst to transition to lower-energy levels (i.e. drop to lower base orbits around each atom's nucleus) corresponding to fractional quantum numbers. The lower-energy atomic hydrogen product called "hydrino" reacts with another reactant supplied to the reaction cell to form a hydride ion bound to the other reactant to constitute a novel proprietary compound. As hydrogen atoms are normally found bound together as molecules, molecular hydrogen is dissociated into atomic hydrogen in the cell by a hot metal catalyst, by a glow discharge plasma, or a microwave plasma. A gaseous catalyst is formed from a source of catalyst by the exemplary methods of heating a nonvolatile catalyst such as potassium metal to form atomic potassium catalysts or by ionizing a gas such as helium to form catalyst. The catalyst causes the normal hydrogen atoms to transition to lower-energy states by allowing their electrons to fall to smaller radii around the nucleus with a release of energy that is intermediate between chemical and nuclear energies. The reaction creates or greatly intensifies a plasma (a hot ionized glowing gas). The products are power, plasma, light, and proprietary novel compounds.

Laboratory scale devices demonstrating means of extracting the energy have been operated at BlackLight and at independent laboratories. Results to date indicate that the process can eventually provide economically competitive products in a wide range of applications including lighting, thermal, electric power generation, and motive power.

BlackLight's plasma energy cells, even in prototype stage, are frequently operating at power densities rivaling those of conventional power plants with hundreds of times the energy release as combustion of the hydrogen fuel with low temperature start-up and high-temperature capability, commercially important features. The plasma is permissive of a direct plasma-to-electric conversion technology, as well as the production of electricity by conventional heat engines. BlackLight currently believes that the scale-up of energy cells to commercial power generation levels will require the application of existing industry knowledge in catalysis and power engineering.

If this proves to be commerically viable, get your checkbooks ready to dump money on an eventual IPO...
some big names are already on board:

Dr. Shelby T. Brewer: Assistant Secretary of Energy under Reagan

Michael H. Jordan: Chairman of the Board and CEO of Electronic Data Systems Corporation

Michael P. Kalleres: Retired Commander, U.S. Second Fleet in the Atlantic/NATO Striking Fleet; on call as a consultant member of the Defense Science Board, the Naval Studies Board of the National Academy of Science

Merrill A. McPeak: Former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force

Neil Moskowitz: CFO Credit Suisse First Boston, spent 10 years at Goldman Sachs

George A. Sawyer: Assistant Secretary of the Navy under Reagan


Propulsion research goes into hyperdrive

A new exact solution of Albert Einstein's 90-year-old gravitational field equation was offered at STAIF by physicist Frank Felber, vice president and co-founder of Starmark Inc., based in San Diego.

And after you follow a blitzkrieg of his equations, Felber predicted that space travel near the speed of light is attainable — and not too far off in the future.

"I believe this new solution represents a major advance for space propulsion, in that it addresses the major engineering challenges of providing enormous energy to a payload quickly with negligible stresses," Felber later told

Felber's solution of Einstein's gravitational field equation is the first to calculate the changing gravitational field of a mass moving near the speed of light.

His analysis found that a mass moving faster than 57.7 percent of the speed of light will gravitationally repel other masses lying within a narrow "antigravity beam" in front of it. The closer a mass gets to the speed of light, the stronger this antigravity beam becomes. Thus, the forward antigravity field of a suitably heavy and fast mass might be used to propel a payload from rest to relativistic speeds, Felber explained.

Sandia's Z Machine Heats Particles Past Star's Interior

A particle accelerator at Sandia National Laboratories has heated a swarm of charged particles to a record 2 billion degrees Kelvin (3.6 billion degrees Farenheight), a temperature beyond that of a star's interior.

Scientists working with Sandia's Z machine said the feat also revealed a new phenomenon that could eventually make future nuclear fusion power plants smaller and cheaper to operate than if the plants relied on previously known physics.

Sandia's experiment, which held up in tests and computer modeling in the 14 months since it was first done, was outlined in the Feb. 24 edition of Physical Review Letters. [
link to article abstract]

The most recent advance resulted in an output X-ray power of about 290 trillion watts -- for billionths of a second, about 80 times the entire world's output of electricity.

Explanation of the experiment, and questions it has raised:

Z’s energies in these experiments raised several questions.

First, the radiated x-ray output was as much as four times the expected kinetic energy input.
Ordinarily, in non-nuclear reactions, output energies are less — not greater — than the total input energies. More energy had to be getting in to balance the books, but from where could it come?

Second, and more unusually, high ion temperatures were sustained after the plasma had stagnated — that is, after its ions had presumably lost motion and therefore energy and therefore heat — as though yet again some unknown agent was providing an additional energy source to the ions.

Sandia’s Z machine normally works like this: 20 million amps of electricity pass through a small core of vertical tungsten wires finer than human hairs. The core is about the size of a spool of thread. The wires dissolve instantly into a cloud of charged particles called a plasma.

The plasma, caught in the grip of the very strong magnetic field accompanying the electrical current, is compressed to the thickness of a pencil lead. This happens very rapidly, at a velocity that would fly a plane from New York to San Francisco in several seconds.

At that point, the ions and electrons have nowhere further to go. Like a speeding car hitting a brick wall, they stop suddenly, releasing energy in the form of X-rays that reach temperatures of several million degrees — the temperature of solar flares.

The new achievement — temperatures of billions of degrees — was obtained in part by substituting steel wires in cylindrical arrays 55 mm to 80 mm in diameter for the more typical tungsten wire arrays, approximately only 20 mm in diameter. The higher velocities achieved over these longer distances were part of the reason for the higher temperatures.

Haines theorized that the rapid conversion of magnetic energy to a very high ion plasma temperature was achieved by unexpected instabilities at the point of ordinary stagnation: that is, the point at which ions and electrons should have been unable to travel further. The plasma should have collapsed, its internal energy radiated away. But for approximately 10 nanoseconds, some unknown energy was still pushing back against the magnetic field.

Haines’ explanation theorizes that Z’s magnetic energies create microturbulences that increase the kinetic energies of ions caught in the field’s grip. Already hot, the extra jolt of kinetic energy then produces increased heat, as ions and their accompanying electrons release energy through friction-like viscous mixing even after they should have been exhausted.

Bush's former top domestic policy adviser Claude Allen charged with theft

These are the type of people George W. Bush surrounds himself with...

Allen, 45, was arrested Thursday (3/9/06) by police in Montgomery County, Md., for allegedly claiming refunds for more than $5,000 worth of merchandise he did not buy, according to county and federal authorities. He had been under investigation since at least January for alleged thefts on 25 occasions at Target and Hecht's stores.

This brings into clearer focus why he
resigned February 9, 2006.

Allen, a father of four and a former attorney, did not respond to inquiries asking about his departure or future job plans. His office referred calls to the White House press office, which said
he will be taking some time off to spend more time with his family.

Excerpt from February 9, 2006, the White House Press Briefing with Scott McClellan:

Q Two quick topics. Are you going to release Claude's resignation letter to us?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, I expect we will.

Q And does it say effective when?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think he's still working that out with Andy Card and others.

Q A Wednesday night seems like a rather sudden time to resign. Is there anything you want to add, because --

MR. McCLELLAN: Wednesday night?

Q Last night. To resign. Is there anything you want to add --

MR. McCLELLAN: Wednesday night?

Q Last night.

MR. McCLELLAN: This -- first of all, as I indicated, we're all going to miss him here at the White House. Claude served for four years as Deputy Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, and he's been serving here for the last year. He's put in a lot of long hours during that time, and I think you'll see reflected in his letter he has a family; he wants to be able to spend more time with them. And we're all going to miss him here. But we wish him the best, and fully understand the decision that he made. But it's something he's been looking at for -- I don't know -- the last several weeks, I think, or the last few weeks, at least. And he's been talking about when would be a good time to do this. And I think he wanted to make sure we got through the State of the Union and this would be a good time to transition.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Sandra Day O’Connor! warns of dictatorship!!

Al-Qaeda chief in PA to appear soon

Three cosmic enigmas, one answer

DARK energy and dark matter, two of the greatest mysteries confronting physicists, may be two sides of the same coin. A new and as yet undiscovered kind of star could explain both phenomena and, in turn, remove black holes from the lexicon of cosmology.

The audacious idea comes from George Chapline, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, and Nobel laureate Robert Laughlin of Stanford University and their colleagues. Last week at the 22nd Pacific Coast Gravity Meeting in Santa Barbara, California, Chapline suggested that the objects that till now have been thought of as black holes could in fact be dead stars that form as a result of an obscure quantum phenomenon. These stars could explain both dark energy and dark matter.

This radical suggestion would get round some fundamental problems posed by the existence of black holes. One such problem arises from the idea that once matter crosses a black hole's event horizon – the point beyond which not even light can escape – it will be destroyed by the spacetime "singularity" at the centre of the black hole. Because information about the matter is lost forever, this conflicts with the laws of quantum mechanics, which state that information can never disappear from the universe.

Another problem is that light from an object falling into a black hole is stretched so dramatically by the immense gravity there that observers outside will see time freeze: the object will appear to sit at the event horizon for ever. This freezing of time also violates quantum mechanics. "People have been vaguely uncomfortable about these problems for a while, but they figured they'd get solved someday," says Chapline. "But that hasn't happened and I'm sure when historians look back, they'll wonder why people didn't question these contradictions."

While looking for ways to avoid these physical paradoxes, Chapline and Laughlin found some answers in an unrelated phenomenon: the bizarre behaviour of superconducting crystals as they go through something called "quantum critical phase transition" (New Scientist, 28 January, p 40). During this transition, the spin of the electrons in the crystals is predicted to fluctuate wildly, but this prediction is not borne out by observation. Instead, the fluctuations appear to slow down, and even become still, as if time itself has slowed down.

"That was when we had our epiphany," Chapline says. He and Laughlin realised that if a quantum critical phase transition happened on the surface of a star, it would slow down time and the surface would behave just like a black hole's event horizon. Quantum mechanics would not be violated because in this scenario time would never freeze entirely. "We start with effects actually seen in the lab, which I think gives it more credibility than black holes," says Chapline.

Update: Newfane, VT

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS): Chairman of the Senate Cover-up Committee

Thanks to thinkprogress [full article]

As chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Pat Roberts’s (R-KS) duty is “to
provide vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence activities of the United States” and “to assure that such activities are in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.” But on the most important intelligence issues facing Americans – such as the manipulation of Iraq intelligence, warrantless domestic spying, and torture - Roberts has transformed his committee into a “Senate Coverup Committee” for the Bush administration.

Warrantless Domestic Spying
Iraq Intelligence
Intelligence Leak Hypocrisy
What Editorial Boards Are Saying


Thanks to bradblog

Leon County Election Supervisor Alleges 'Breach of Contract' After Security Test Revealed Hackable Elections Possible on Diebold Optical-Scan Systems! E-Voting Monolith and 'Competitors' All Refuse to do Business with County Unless the Elected Ion Sancho is 'Removed from Office'

Now the Republicans in Florida, all the way up to Governor Jeb Bush's office, have taken notice of the situation and instead of lauding Sancho for his actions, have decided to bring political pressure to bear on the elected Sancho.

The Miami Herald has chimed in on the topic. A Fred Grimm article, "Election official hammered for telling the truth", had this to say:

Florida's secretary of state's office disparaged Sancho's finding, demonstrating considerably more interest in propping up vendors than protecting elections.

California, alarmed by Sancho's report, dispatched its independent, expert-laden Voting Systems Technology Assessment Advisory Board to conduct its own investigation.

Florida, meanwhile, threatened to sue Sancho.

Kurt Vonnegut @ Ohio State University 3/6/06

Vonnegut takes an easy chair across from Prof. Manuel Luis Martinez, a poet and teacher of writing. He grabs Martinez and semi-whispers into his ear (and the mike) “What can I say here?”

Martinez urges candor.

“Well,” says Vonnegut, “I just want to say that George W. Bush is the syphilis president.”

The students seem to agree.

“The only difference between Bush and Hitler,” Vonnegut adds, “is that Hitler was elected.”

“You all know, of course, that the election was stolen. Right here.”

Censorship of news reaching troops in Iraq

Thank to Wonkette

Banned on the Marine web in Iraq:

Wonkette – “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Forum/Bulletin Boards, Politics/Opinion.”

Bill O’Reilly ( – OK

Air America ( – “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Internet Radio/TV, Politics/Opinion.”

Rush Limbaugh ( – OK

ABC News “The Note” – OK

Website of the Al Franken Show ( – “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Internet Radio/TV, Politics/Opinion.”

G. Gordon Liddy Show ( – OK

Don & Mike Show ( – “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Profanity, Entertainment/Recreation/Hobbies.”


Genetically modified(GM) crops were introduced 10 years ago, but 2005 saw plenty of evidence that the technology was introduced long before the science was ready. Here is a link to some of last year’s highlights, so to speak.

In related news, the House voted 283-139 in favor of the Republican-backed National Uniformity for Food Act which would limit states' ability to demand additional warnings. Note that this doesn't even touch the concept of adding a "GM Food" type label to our food...that is completely out of the question in this country.

The true U.S. history of human medical experimentation

Human experimentation -- that is, subjecting live human beings to science experiments that are sometimes cruel, sometimes painful, sometimes deadly and always a risk -- is a major part of U.S. history that you won't find in most history or science books. The United States is undoubtedly responsible for some of the most amazing scientific breakthroughs. These advancements, especially in the field of medicine, have changed the lives of billions of people around the world -- sometimes for the better, as in the case of finding a cure for malaria and other epidemic diseases, and sometimes for the worse (consider modern "psychiatry" and the drugging of schoolchildren).

As you read through these science experiments, you'll learn the stories of newborns injected with radioactive substances, mentally ill people placed in giant refrigerators, military personnel exposed to chemical weapons by the very government they served and mentally challenged children being purposely infected with hepatitis. These stories are facts, not fiction: Each account, no matter how horrifying, is backed up with a link or citation to a reputable source.

Next sunspot cycle may disrupt power, communications

Abramoff gushes to Vanity Fair

As the lobbyist who has ignited what might be the biggest government scandal since Watergate, Jack Abramoff became notorious for tossing around money, much of it from the casinos of his Indian-tribe clients, to influence key lawmakers. Now, as he talks (and talks) to the feds, ashington is waiting to see whom he’ll take down with him. In a series of wide-ranging interviews with DAVID MARGOLICK, Abramoff reveals how he gained a world of power—meetings with President Bush, a close friendship with former House majority leader Tom DeLay, a key role among a network of top conservative activists—and lost his soul along the way.

Link to the full advance article from Vanity Fair

World in peril, Chomsky tells overflow crowd

There are dire consequences to the current direction of the U.S. foreign policy, said Noam Chomsky in a speech on March 4th at Binghamton University. Among those consequences, he said, is a nuclear Armageddon.

"Under the current U.S. policies, a nuclear exchange is inevitable," the 77-year-old MIT professor said in his presentation, "Imminent Crises: Paths Toward Solutions." He spoke to an over-capacity crowd in BU's Osterhout Concert Theater.

.pdf of Chomsky's talk on the "War on Terror" from January 18, 2006