Tuesday, June 27, 2006

N.Korea may have fuel for 13 nuclear weapons: study

Explain to me why we are concerned about Iran, when they are most likely 10 years away from the technology North Korea presently has?

During President George W. Bush's administration, North Korea has gone from having enough plutonium for one or two nuclear weapons to having enough for as many as 13, a study released on Monday said.

It concluded that the reclusive communist state, whose threat to test a long-range ballistic missile has spread concern in Washington and in Asia, could have more than 17 such weapons by the time Bush leaves office in early 2009.

The study, authored by former U.N. weapons inspector David Albright, was based on analysis of satellite imagery indicating activity at the five megawatt nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, media reports and statements by North Korean officials.

It said Pyongyang probably did not have enough plutonium stock for its own deterrence and so is unlikely to sell it.

But if production continued at current levels, North Korea's cash-strapped leaders may decide in a "few years" that they have enough for their own use and can market the excess.

"We conclude that North Korea is estimated to now have enough separated plutonium to develop a credible nuclear arsenal, on the order of 4 to 13 nuclear weapons and similar in size to South Africa's nuclear weapons arsenal in the late 1980s at the height of its effort," Albright and co-author Paul Brannan said.

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), of which Albright is the president, issued the report.

Here is a link to the full report.

Moscow Blames U.S. for Russian Hostages Death in Iraq

Russia intends to keep in contact with the coalition forces to determine their level of responsibility in the death of the Russian diplomats earlier kidnapped in Iraq, Russian presidential envoy for international cooperation in fighting terrorism and transnational organized crime Anatoly Safonov quoted by Interfax has said.

“We are saying openly that it is either governmental institutions or coalition forces that are responsible for order,” Safonov told journalists in Moscow on Tuesday.

“First of all — and I hope this will be also said at the UN — we need to emphasize the uniqueness of the situation concerning security in Iraq, express our condemnation of what has happened, and call for drawing conclusions from this,” Safonov said

First Vice-Speaker of the Russian State Duma, Lyubov Sliska, joined Safonov in blaming the coalition.

“We can see how the coalition forces are ’restoring order’,” she said.

“Every day dozens of innocent people are dying, and now diplomats are geting killed, too. The responsibility for what is going on in Iraq lies upon those who sought mass destruction weapons here, but found nothing,” she said.

Computers 'set to read our minds'

An "emotionally aware" computer system designed to read people's minds by analysing expressions will be featured at a major London exhibition.

Visitors to the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition are being invited to help "train" the computer how to read joy, anger and other expressions.

Artificial Solar System Could Search for Extra Dimensions

Sunset Commission Proposal

The commission would enable the Bush administration to achieve what Ronald Reagan only dreamed of: the end of government regulation as we know it. With a simple vote of five commissioners -- many of them likely to be lobbyists and executives from major corporations currently subject to federal oversight -- the president could terminate any program or agency he dislikes. No more Environmental Protection Agency. No more Food and Drug Administration. No more Securities and Exchange Commission.

Without many of those programs, however, American consumers, workers and investors would be left to the mercy of business. "This is potentially devastating," says Wesley Warren, who served as a senior OMB official in the Clinton administration. "In short order, this could knock out protections that have been built up over a generation."

The man behind the sunset commission is Clay Johnson, the most influential member of Bush's inner circle whom you've never heard of. The two Texans have been close friends since 1961, when they met as fifteen-year-olds at Andover prep school and later roomed together for four years at Yale. When Bush was elected governor of Texas in 1994, he put the buddy he calls "Big Man" -- Johnson is six feet four -- in charge of all state appointments. Johnson, a former executive at Neiman Marcus and Frito-Lay, refers to Americans as "customers" and is partial to Chamber of Commerce bromides such as "We're in the results business." He is also partial to giving corporate lobbyists a direct role in gutting regulatory protections. One of his first acts in Texas was to remove all three members of the state environmental-protection commission and replace them with a former Monsanto executive, an official with the Texas Beef Council and a lawyer for the oil industry. Overnight, a commission widely respected for its impartiality became a "revolving door between the industry lobby and government," says Jim Marston, the senior attorney in Texas for the nonprofit organization Environmental Defense.

Copy of a letter 278 different groups sent to the Senate explaning why this is a bad idea. A similar letter was sent to the House.

Supercomputer predicts shape of Sun's corona

The state of the Sun's atmosphere has been predicted with unprecedented accuracy five days in advance, using some of the world's fastest computers. The simulation lays the foundation for better forecasts of hazardous magnetic storms around Earth.

Now, researchers led by Zoran Mikic of the company Science Applications International in San Diego, California, US, have devised a sophisticated computer model based on observations of magnetic activity on the Sun's surface, or photosphere. This activity shapes the Sun's wispy outer atmosphere, or corona, where the eruptions of gas originate.

They improved on simpler versions of their model by including a more accurate simulation of how energy flows through the corona. The new model worked well enough to successfully predict the shape of the entire corona when it became visible in the solar eclipse of 29 March 2006. Normally, the Sun's surface is too bright to directly observe the corona.

Greenland's Ice Sheet Is Slip-Sliding Away

Terrifying incompetence: An American returning from the Islamic world receives a troubling welcome home


Arriving at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport from Dubai recently, I was stopped at customs by an officer from the Department of Homeland Security and directed to a drab backroom filled with Arabs, South Asians and Africans. I wasn't surprised, really, having just spent six months working and traveling in the Islamic world — Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Pakistan. If ever there was a DHS red-flag candidate, I was it, and I assumed this was just protocol.

"Why did you infringe on the Boston Celtics' copyright in Boston in 2003?" asked my case officer, Malik — ironically a Pakistani — from behind his high desk.

Uh, because I used to sell T-shirts outside sporting events, I said, wondering what this had to do with national security.

"You've got a long record," he said. Sure, for peddling "Yankees Suck" T-shirts — sans permit, which isn't a crime but a code violation — not for promoting "Bin Laden Rulz!" DVDs or the "Idiot's Guide to Suicide Bombing."

"You know, we could have you sent up to Boston for the unresolved T-shirt infractions," Malik said. "But what we're holding you for is an NYPD bench warrant from 2004. You were in a fight with a parking attendant, found not guilty and then missed a court date." All true. But how and why does Homeland Security share the NYPD's jurisdiction in cases unrelated to counterterrorism? A fight over a parking space hardly counts as terrorism.

"We're calling NYPD to come to pick you up," Malik told me, without asking a single question about Pakistan, terrorism, Islam or madrasas.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bush decides to give Swaziland defense aid...?

Presidential Determination No. 2006–16 of June 19, 2006: Eligibility of the Kingdom of Swaziland to Receive Defense Articles and Defense Services Under the Foreign Assistance Act and the Arms Export Control Act

Pursuant to section 503(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (22 U.S.C. 2311), and section 3(a)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended (22 U.S.C. 2753), I hereby find that the furnishing of defense articles and defense services to the Kingdom of Swaziland will strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace.

My question is: What kind of defense articles and services do you intend to provide, Mr. Bush? How does Swaziland, a country with a 40% AIDS incidence in the population, that has an average 32 year life expectancy, is ruled by a monarch that holds open elections for only 55 of 95 seats in the parliament and appoints everyone else in government, fit into the United States' national security strategy? How will arming a monarch strengthen world peace?

Swaziland has been described as an island of dictatorship in a sea of democracy

Swaziland: Police crush pro-democracy rally

The Danish delegation which recently visited the Kingdom to assess the country's political climate has urged the international community to impose sanctions on Swaziland.

Patrick Mac Manus, the spokesman of Southern Africa Contact, said increased pressure is required to push for democratic changes in the Kingdom. Manus said Swaziland is facing unremitting crisis and without urgent democratic renewal, the country will face further decline and desperation.

”Throughout the years SAC has supported the democratic movement in Swaziland, both in material and political terms. As the successor organisation to the Danish Anti-Apartheid Movement, we feel such involvement natural.”

“In Swaziland the great majority of the people must submit to a status of second-class citizenship, deprived of political rights by an authoritarian regime, employing an oppressive interpretation of Swazi culture to legitimise the rule of the royal clan,” said Manus.

King Mswati III, the last African absolute Monarchy has been under-fire from various sections of the international community to allow political democracy in the tiny kingdom.

SAC said governance is in deep crisis in Swaziland and the crisis must be brought to a head by a mass democratic movement which seeks to make the country ungovernable, not least in the rural areas.

“Without deep political, social and economic transformation the very survival of the nation would seem to be at stake,” Manus added.


Unless the monarchy can squelch any democratic uprising with the new defense articles Bush will be sending over...

More evidence Bush isn't truly interested in the spread of democracy, just furthering his family's dynasty.

U.S. grants license to N.M. uranium plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued its first license for a major commercial nuclear facility in 30 years Friday, allowing an international consortium to build what would be the nation's first private fuel source for commercial nuclear power plants.

Construction of the $1.5 billion National Enrichment Facility, under review for the past 2 1/2 years, could begin in August, and the plant could be ready to sell enriched uranium by early 2009, said Jim Ferland, president of the consortium of nuclear companies, Louisiana Energy Services.

Democracy in chains

US Republicans are planning to change the law to stop black, Hispanic and Native American voters going to the polls in 2008.

Don't kid yourself: the Republican party's decision yesterday to "
delay" the renewal of the Voting Rights Act has not a darn thing to do with objections of the Republican's white sheets caucus.

This is a strategic stall that is meant to decriminalise the Republican party's new game of challenging voters of colour by the hundreds of thousands.

In the 2004 presidential race, the GOP ran a massive, multi-state, multimillion-dollar operation to challenge the legitimacy of black, Hispanic and Native American voters. The methods used breached the Voting Rights Act, and while the Bush administration's civil rights division grinned and looked the other way, civil rights lawyers began circling, preparing to sue to stop the violations of the act before the 2008 race.

So Republicans have promised to no longer break the law - not by going legit but by eliminating the law.

The act was passed in 1965 after the Ku Klux Klan and other upright citizens found they could use procedural tricks - "literacy tests", poll taxes and more - to block citizens of colour from casting ballots.

Here is what happened in 2004, and what's in store for 2008.

In the 2004 election, more than 3 million voters were challenged at the polls. No one had seen anything like it since the era of Jim Crow and burning crosses. In 2004, voters were told their registrations had been purged or that their addresses were "suspect".

Denied the right to the regular voting booths, these challenged voters were given "provisional" ballots. More than 1m of these provisional ballots (1,090,729 of them) were tossed in the electoral dumpster uncounted.

A funny thing about those ballots: about 88% were cast by minority voters.

This isn't a number dropped on me from a black helicopter: they come from the raw data of the US election assistance commission in Washington DC.

US Beef, Questionable Testing, Japan's Distaste, and Congressional Irritation

This story is becoming almost comical. The lowdown is that back in December 2003, Japan - who was the US's largest beef importer, to the tune of about $2.2 billion/yr - banned US beef shipments due to the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or Mad Cow Disease, in US cattle.

After much back and forth between the USDA and the Japanese Agriculture Ministry the two sides were able to agree on the terms to allow shipments to begin again. In December 2005, Japan lifted the two year old ban and US beef was once again setting sail towards the rising sun. Here is where the comedy begins...

On January 20, 2006, just six weeks after the Japanese lifted the ban it was back in place. Why? Under the agreement bones, spines, etc. were not permitted to be part of shipments to Japan because they have a high risk of BSE contamination. They are known as Specified Risk Materials (SRM). The Japanese found SRM in a shipment and halted all imports only weeks after it lifted a two year ban.

At the end of January, the USDA released an audit of safeguard techniques at US plants, here are a few findings:

The inspectors were unable to determine whether slaughterhouses and meat packers complied with rules to safeguard consumers.

OIG has found that USDA has not maintained a complete database of all meat renderers so that so that the Department can trace any possible infection back to its origins.

Inadequate documentation at nine of 12 slaughterhouses audited made it impossible to determine whether guidelines to detect high-risk material were followed.

Since USDA’s expanded testing and surveillance program is voluntary, it is unclear whether its sampling design was sufficient to make conclusions about the prevalence of BSE in the United States. The report emphasized the need to ensure that limitations in the testing and surveillance program are apparent to the public given that industry stakeholders could misinterpret USDA’s conclusions.

USDA did not conduct tests of clinically normal aged cattle in a statistically valid manner. This is important because countries in Europe have had a small number of cases with BSE from these clinically normal aged cattle. The OIG found that USDA put forth a half-hearted effort to conduct this testing, and focused on younger cattle -- guaranteeing their findings would be largely meaningless.

OIG could not determine if SRM procedures were followed due to a lack of record keeping at many establishments. OIG also found that inspectors responsible for ensuring proper SRM removal were not always experienced to identify problems. This limits their ability to know when requirements for removing risk materials are not met.

What's worse is that one inspector, back in 2004, sent a letter to the USDA basically stating what is listed above. For his trouble he was charged with personal misconduct and placed under investigation until incriminating documents were revealed that proved he was correct.

Now, the Japanese have agreed to re-lift the ban pending Japanese inspection of US facilities. This has incited a typical response from the Congress: a group of Senators have proposed legislation that contains a nonbinding call for trade sanctions unless the imports are restarted by the end of the summer. Prime Minister Koizumi and Bush are scheduled to meet June 29th.


New article

Saturday, June 24, 2006

FAA Stonewalls release of "Cocaine One" records

From MadCowMorningNews:

Less than two weeks before the company declared bankruptcy which owned the DC9 recently busted in Mexico with 5.5 tons of cocaine onboard, Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s Department of Transportation issued a press release touting the firm’s bright future in Homeland Security and announcing it had been selected to be the state’s primary provider of airport security applications.

This story is linked directly to 9/11

Olmert: Israeli lives worth more than Palestinian ones

Executive Order 13405: I'll protect you from what I used to do

It's titled Executive Order: Protecting the Property Rights of the American People. What it should be called is Executive Order: Protecting my Right to Mislead the American People

The policy section of the EO is as follows:

It is the policy of the United States to protect the rights of Americans to their private property, including by limiting the taking of private property by the Federal Government to situations in which the taking is for public use, with just compensation, and for the purpose of benefiting the general public and not merely for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties to be given ownership or use of the property taken.

Sounds like Bush may be: Noble. American. Judicious. Concerned. Sympathetic. Wrong...read on.

From the May 9, 1997, Texas Observer:

George W. Bush loves baseball. And why not? After all, baseball has been very good to the governor. When it comes to power, the governor is a true triple-threat. Consider his record: (1) His initial baseball investment of $600,000 carries the current potential of a 2,500 percent return. (2) Through savvy P.R. and political maneuvering, he and his partners have persuaded a city and the state to directly subsidize a facility for their business. (3) Not content with taxpayer subsidies, he and his fellow owners have also successfully used the power of government to take land from other private citizens so it could be used for their own private purposes.

[In case you missed it, the article goes on...]

Ongoing litigation over the Ballpark deal has revealed documents showing that beginning in 1990, the Rangers management—which included Bush as a managing general partner—conspired to use the government’s power of eminent domain to further its private business interests.

It should be noted that Bush's inital investment in the Rangers baseball team - about $600,000 - returned at about 2,500%, earning him about $15 million. All thanks to the misuse of eminent domain.

Don't forget that almost a year ago to the day the Supreme Court ruled that local governments may force property owners to sell out and make way for private economic development when officials decide it would benefit the public, even if the property is not blighted and the new project's success is not guaranteed. The EO almost isn't necessary.

It saddens me that America's collective memory lasts about 30 seconds.

The Iran Issue: Bush did in fact dismiss Iranian offer

This week an interesting story appeared in The Washington Post -- buried on page 16, of course, lest anyone think it was of the slightest importance. It revealed that documentary proof has now emerged confirming the fact that in the spring of 2003, the regime of President George W. Bush -- flush with its illusory "victory" in Iraq -- spurned a wide-ranging peace feeler from Iran that offered "full cooperation" on every issue that the Bushists claim to be concerned about in regard to Tehran: "nuclear programs, acceptance of Israel and the termination of Iranian support for Palestinian militant groups."

In other words, everything that Bush says he wants from the Iranians now, he could have had for the asking -- three years ago. What then can we conclude from the rejection of this extraordinary initiative? The answer is obvious: The Bush faction is not really interested in curbing nuclear proliferation or defusing the powder keg of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the regional and global terror that it spawns.


Meanwhile, what ever happened to Osama bin Ladin? Isn't he why we have 3,000+ dead from 9/11 & Afghanistan, and almost that many dead in Iraq alone? Oh, no, bin Ladin is responsible for 9/11 & Afghanistan, Bush is responsible for Iraq...almost forgot.

Bank Data Secretly Reviewed by U.S. to Fight Terror

It's not only your phone, but your bank account - and I'm sure as time ticks by we will find that it will also be your investment portfolio, your medical records, your choice in movies and books, the inner workings/wonderings of your mind....

Under a secret Bush administration program initiated weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, counterterrorism officials have gained access to financial records from a vast international database and examined banking transactions involving thousands of Americans and others in the United States, according to government and industry officials.

Bush can't get footing on troop withdrawl

Bush tries to scare Belarus' Lukashenka into "Do as I say, not as I do"

On June 20th, Bush signed Executive Order 13405—Blocking Property of Certain Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Belarus

The wording of this EO is very similar to the
one issued (EO 13315) against property of individuals and entities of the former Iraqi regime and those related after Bush "won" the war in Iraq.

It also gives the Secretary of the Treasury, after consultation with the Sec of State, the ability to add names to the list of persons affected, without notice.

Lukashenka is not very democratically minded and additional pressure should be applied. The irony I found is in one telling paragraph of the EO. If the names, dates and places were changed, who would it make you think of???

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, determine that the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Belarus and other persons to undermine Belarus’ democratic processes or institutions, manifested most recently in the fundamentally undemocratic March 2006 elections, to commit human rights abuses related to political repression, including detentions and disappearances, and to engage in public corruption, including by diverting or misusing Belarusian public assets or by misusing public authority, constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat...

Bold hypocrisy at it's finest

In related news:

Military exercises between Russian and Belarusian forces - the largest ever for the two former Soviet republics - are not directed toward any nation, alliance or enemy in particular, Russia's defense minister said Thursday.

The exercises envisage a joint response to an unnamed, outside military threat.

Russian military officials have announced plans to set up a permanent air base in Belarus and deploy air defense missiles there.

EPA/White House Misled Public on 9/11 Pollution

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, the White House instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to give the public misleading information, telling New Yorkers it was safe to breathe when reliable information on air quality was not available.

That finding is included in a
report by the Office of the Inspector General of the EPA. It noted that some of the agency's news releases in the weeks after the attack were softened before being released to the public: Reassuring information was added, while cautionary information was deleted.

President Bush's senior environmental adviser defended the White House involvement, saying it was justified by national security. [Bull]

The White House "convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones" by having the National Security Council control EPA communications after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, according to the above mentioned report issued by EPA Inspector General Nikki Tinsley.

Friday, June 23, 2006

EPA releases revision to the Final Rule on Pesticide Testing

revision released on Friday misses the whole point. While adding nursing women and infants to the list of "protected" persons, the rule allows a backdoor, a loophole, for testing on the people the rule it is said to protect.

For background on this topic read
this, this and this. The long and the short is that the Bush administration colluded with the pesticide industry to create these rules so they would favor business over the most vulnerable in society and allow for pesticides to be tested on pregnant women, nursing women and children.

The update to the rule states that the EPA will not allow testing on nursing women or infants. But read a bit further and you find that the revision will allow the EPA to use pesticide testing results from tests conducted on nursing women and infants so long as nursing status ("nursing" or "not nursing") is omitted from the report. [See pg. 36178]

Both, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have waived the opportunity under FIFRA to review the proposed rule.

History Of 'New Energy' Invention Suppression Cases

From rense, so...consider that. I'll do a little more digging on this topic soon.


AT&T rewrites rules: Your data isn't yours

AT&T has issued an updated privacy policy that took effect Friday. The changes are significant because they appear to give the telecom giant more latitude when it comes to sharing customers' personal data with government officials.

The new policy says that AT&T -- not customers -- owns customers' confidential info and can use it "to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process."
The policy also indicates that AT&T will track the viewing habits of customers of its new video service -- something that cable and satellite providers are prohibited from doing.

Test Tube Meat Nears Dinner Table

From Wired News:

Edible, lab-grown ground chuck that smells and tastes just like the real thing might take a place next to
Quorn at supermarkets in just a few years, thanks to some determined meat researchers. Scientists routinely grow small quantities of muscle cells in petri dishes for experiments, but now for the first time a concentrated effort is under way to mass-produce meat in this manner.

Did George Bush deface American flags in Vienna, Austria?

A US embassy staffer in Vienna writes AMERICAblog and says he did.

Just FYI, but here's
what the US Code says about what Bush reportedly did:

TITLE 4 > CHAPTER 1 > § 8

§ 8. Respect for flag

(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

The Failed Experiment

JFK Secret Society Speech

Listen to this incredible audio recording of a speech made by JFK before the American Newspaper Publishers Association where he warns the press about the secret societies that are the real power in global affairs.

Some speculate that George H.W. Bush may have been involved somehow in Kennedy's death. *With photo* Bush can't recall where he was on that day in November 1963, but FBI documents tie him to Tyler, TX (near Dallas) within a few hours of the shooting. Bush told the FBI that he was in Tyler heading to Dallas and would be there for two days (Nov. 22 and 23), but who's to say that Bush wasn't already in Dallas and just said he was in Tyler because at 1:45pm (the time of his call to the FBI) he couldn't have possibly driven from Dallas to Tyler since the shooting (12:30pm) only to return to Dallas. Flight logs may be helpful here...or the thousands of redacted JFK files the public deserves to see.

Bill aims to make national water standards voluntary

The Small System Safe Drinking Water Act makes it voluntary for plumbing companies to comply with national standards. The introduction of the act announces that it's intention is to, "to prevent the enforcement of certain national primary drinking water regulations unless sufficient funding is available or variance technology has been identified."

If your water is tainted with lead, there isn't much you can do about it. The manufacturer probably won't be liable and probably can't be sued.

This bill has been sponsored by James Inhofe (R-OK). Here is the THOMAS record on the bill.

Inhofe is the guy who recently said on the Senate floor that he was proud that there have
never been a recorded case of divorce or homosexuality in his family. (Odd choice of the qualifier "recorded" wouldn't you think???)

More importantly, Inhofe said in 2004 about the emerging Iraqi/detainee abuse allegations (that later proved to be true):

If we have Iraqis locked up and if we are torturing them, they must deserve it, and it's a shame and a scandal that we're giving the Department of Defense a hard time over this trifle when they're out there protecting the flag and whatever. The fact that we have those Iraqis locked up is all the proof we need of their guilt, so they are only receiving punishment they've earned.

Inhofe has also gone on the record regarding global warming in a July 2003 press release: INHOFE DELIVERS MAJOR SPEECH ON THE SCIENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE “
Catastrophic global warming alarmism not based on objective science

Thank you Oklahoma for giving us this gem.

It should also be noted that the Small System Safe Drinking Water Act has three cosponsors:

Pete V. Domenici (R-NM)
Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
E. Benjamin Nelson (D-NE)

Judge Rules That US Has Broad Powers to Detain Noncitizens Indefinitely

A federal judge in Brooklyn ruled that the government has wide latitude under immigration law to detain noncitizens on the basis of religion, race or national origin, and to hold them indefinitely without explanation.

Explain to me how this is not discrimination. The question I would pose is: "Why wasn't Saudi Arabia targeted for a deeper intelligence review after 9/11?" I know...too much money is involved, and Bandar Bush wouldn't like that very much.

Judge dismisses most of phone-jamming suit

37 Nobel Prize Winners say that the US-India Nuke deal is a bad idea

The US Army wants to share its patent on using DNA and organic polymers to conduct electricity

The most likely application is in bionanotechnology and molecular computing. It uses the structure of DNA nucleotide chains to create an intricate substrate on which a conductive polymer can be formed. This polymer allows electrical current to flow and the modulation of the current is done by way of changing the oxidation state. This opens up myriad possibilities in terms of complexity.

Here is the offer for patent licensing.

Here is a link to the actual patent.


The Strange Death of Zarqawi

Did They Kill Him So He Wouldn't Talk?

This killing has bothered me, too. Why kill someone who has more information about the terrorist network you are trying to interdict than just about anyone else on planet earth? Or so we were lead to believe. Would he be more valuable alive? Unless he could have information that certain people didn't want to come to light...good article.

Bye Bye 4th Amendment: Police don't have to knock, justices say

CIA Claims the Right to Decide What is News

The National Security Archive today (June 14) filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), challenging the Agency's recent practice of charging Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) fees to journalists pursuing news. The FOIA says that "representatives of the news media" can be charged only copying fees since they help to carry out the mission of the law by disseminating government information; but the CIA last year began claiming authority to assess additional fees if the Agency decides any journalist's request is not newsworthy enough. In adopting this new practice, the CIA reversed its prior 15-year practice of presumptively waiving additional fees for news media representatives, including the National Security Archive.

US opens new war front in North Africa

Bush Administration Suggested Amnesty Idea, Not Iraqis

From the leftcoaster:

Well, well. After Harry Reid
hits Bush with a 2x4 on the amnesty issue this afternoon, (June 15) introducing a Senate resolution that calls on Bush to tell the Iraqis that we oppose granting amnesty to those who have killed Americans, the aide who made the comments to the Washington Post for their story suddenly has his previously-submitted resignation accepted by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Unfortunately for Bush, even though al-Maliki moved the aide out of the limelight, neither he nor the aide walked away from their support for the amnesty proposal, leaving it out there for Democrats to hammer around further.

Maliki Aide Who Discussed Amnesty Leaves Job

GOP Senators Defend Proposal That Gives Amnesty To Terrorists Who Kill US Troops

World sees US in Iraq bigger danger than Iran: poll

The world increasingly fears Iran's suspected pursuit of a nuclear bomb but believes the U.S. military in Iraq remains a greater danger to Middle East stability, a survey showed on Tuesday.

Apparently, everyone in the world seems to know this except George W. Bush and his crack-pot team of stratergists, heh heh. No WMD here...heh heh. George, isn't it time you admit that Gen. Franks was right when he said that cutting and running out of Afghanistan was a bad idea? Or were you so excited to steal Iraqi oil and settle your score with Saddam that you forgot people were going to die?

Labs compete to make new nuclear bomb

Obscure Trade Settlement Could Create $480 Million Slush Fund for White House

It's all about the softwood:

For years, the United States has been in contentious litigation with Canada over tariffs imposed on Canadian lumber imports. Canada maintained that tariffs imposed on lumber imports to the United States violated the rules of NAFTA and the WTO. Pending the resolution of the litigation, the Department of the Treasury held these tariffs in an account which
now contains five billion dollars.

NSA Blocking Whistleblower From Telling Committee About Shocking, Illegal Activities

Hawking Says Humans Must Go Into Space

'No-work list' predicted

Employee verification system would affect all workers, privacy experts say

Here is a link to a proposed rule in the Federal Register that will give you an idea of what we are talking about

A risk to radar? New wind farms may be delayed

US insists on right to develop arms for outer space

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

On Brown's application, FEMA misspelled Homeland Security

S. Korea-EU FTA to generate more benefits than U.S. FTA, reports say

A free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea and the European Union will bring greater benefits to Asia's fourth-largest economy than a similar trade pact with the United States, reports showed Sunday.

One report, compiled by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), said exports of automobiles, electronic goods and computer-related products to European countries will sharply increase in particular if a Korea-EU FTA is concluded.

"The impact of an FTA with the EU will be greater than expected...and may be greater than an FTA with the U.S.," the report said.

RTS launches ruble-contracts in oil, oil products and gold

The Russian Trading System, the country's premier stock market, starts Thursday trading in ruble-settled contracts for gold, oil and oil products, the RTS said.

"Russia's first trading in contracts for gold, crude, and oil products will start beginning June 8," the RTS said.

President Vladimir Putin said in his May 10 state of the nation address that Russia, as a leading oil exporting nation, should establish its own oil exchange to trade crude and petroleum products for rubles.

Link to the RTS

Abramoff ex-partner knew of slaying

A man who purchased SunCruz Casinos with lobbyist Jack Abramoff in 2000 has told authorities he knows who killed the casino's founder the following year, according to a report published Friday.

Adam Kidan told authorities in a 2 1/2-hour interview last month that John Gurino, who was later killed by a business partner, shot SunCruz founder Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis in 2001, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. The paper did not say how it obtained the taped interview.

All of this ties in directly with the recently resigned Tom Delay of Texas (
funny business, indictment) and now-quiet Bob Ney of Ohio (possible indictment, former chief of staff guilty of corruption), both currently dealing with their own legal trouble.

Earlier post explaining a bit more of this story.

Full List of Bilderberg Attendees

Thanks to Alex Jones

The 54th Bilderberg meeting was held at the Brookstreet Hotel in Ottawa, Canada, June 8-11, 2006

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Update on Express-AM11 Spacecraft Failure

The March 29 failure of the Russian Ekpress AM11 was caused by a collision with space debris, according to Yry Izmailov, acting general director of the Russian Satellite Communications Company. The satellite is equipped with 30 transponders with total capacity of 2,000 W. It had been scheduled to remain in orbit until 2016 but has now been moved to a disposable orbit.

Original post on the AM11

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Tell the Senate DO NOT confirm David H. Laufman to the post of Inspector General of the Department of Defense

This is a general copy of a brief letter I sent to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs:


As a member of the US Senate's Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Personnel and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, I ask that during deliberations regarding the recent nomination of David H. Laufman to the Inspector General post at the Department of Defense you consider the following:

Laufman was part of the House Task Force that glossed over Republican involvement in thwarting President Carter's attempt to rescue the hostages of the 1979 US Embassy takeover in Iran. His practice of omitting material information and documents from the record certainly proves that as DoD IG he will do more to stall and or prevent meaningful investigations than to shed light on the numerous issues that currently need serious review.

Below are some websites for you and your staff to reference regarding Mr. Laufman. Please review them while considering this nomination.




Robert Parry's 1993 book, "Trick or Treason: The October Surprise Mystery", pgs. 285, 321

There appears to be complicity between Mr. Laufman, the delay in hostage release until Reagan was sworn in, illegal banking (BCCI, Hong Kong Deposit and Guaranty Bank), and an attempt to scuttle meaningful investigations.

I will be forwarding similar letters to other members on the Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Thank you for your time and consideration

Please read the above links in their entirety, then email the following Senators (in order of importance):

Daniel Akaka

Carl Levin

Joe Lieberman

Edward Kennedy

Mark Dayton

John Warner

Susan Collins

Ben Nelson

George Voinovich

Lindsey Graham

Thomas Carper

Frank Lautenberg

Mark Pryor

Robert Byrd

Jack Reed

Evan Bayh

Hillary Clinton

Iraq war bill deletes US military base prohibition

House rejects Net neutrality rules, get ready to pay

The U.S. House of Representatives definitively rejected the concept of Net neutrality on Thursday, dealing a bitter blow to Internet companies like Amazon.com, eBay and Google that had engaged in a last-minute lobbying campaign to support it.

By a 269-152 vote that fell largely along party lines, the House Republican leadership mustered enough votes to reject a Democrat-backed amendment that would have enshrined stiff Net neutrality regulations into federal law and prevented broadband providers from treating some Internet sites differently from others.

The concept of network neutrality, which generally means that all Internet sites must be treated equally, has drawn a list of high-profile backers, from actress Alyssa Milano to Vint Cerf, one of the technical pioneers of the Internet. It's also led to a political rift between big Internet companies such as Google and Yahoo that back it--and telecom companies that oppose what they view as onerous new federal regulations.

Informed Consent Waived in Public Crisis

In a public health emergency, suspected victims would no longer have to give permission before experimental tests could be run to determine why they're sick, under a federal rule published Wednesday. Privacy experts called the exception unnecessary, ripe for abuse and an override of state informed-consent laws.

Health care workers will be free to run experimental tests on blood and other samples taken from people who have fallen sick as a result of a bioterrorist attack, bird flu outbreak, detonation of a dirty bomb or any other life-threatening public health emergency, according to the rule issued by the Food and Drug Administration.

Determining what constitutes a life-threatening public health emergency would be left up to the laboratories doing the testing. That creates the potential for conflicts of interest and other abuses, critics said.

"I don't like a rule like this because its most likely use is likely to be a form of abuse. The emergency exception it creates will be stretched to encompass non-emergency situations," said Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute.

America's robot army

Already there are killing machines operating by remote control. Soon the machines will be able to kill on their own initiative. A new warfare is on its way.

War is about to change, in terrifying ways. America's next wars, the ones the Pentagon is now planning, will be nothing like the conflicts that have gone before them.

In just a few years, US forces will be able to deal out death, not at the squeeze of a trigger or even the push of a button, but with no human intervention whatsoever. Many fighting soldiers - those GIs in tin hats who are dying two a day in Iraq - will be replaced by machines backed up by surveillance technology so penetrating and pervasive that it is referred to as "military omniscience". Any Americans involved will be less likely to carry rifles than PlayStation-style consoles and monitors that display simulated streetscapes of the kind familiar to players of Grand Theft Auto - and they may be miles from where the killing takes place.

Cyberdyne Systems Corporation is coming...science fiction of yesterday is tomorrow's reality...

DOJ Dismisses Felony Tax Prosecution -- With Prejudice -- After PRA Defense Raised, Evidence OMB Complicit In Income Tax Fraud

On May 12, 2006 in Peoria, Illinois, the attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) begged the court to dismiss all charges against IRS victim Robert Lawrence in federal District Court.

The motion for dismissal came on the heels of a surprise tactic by Lawrence’s defense attorney Oscar Stilley.

The tactic threatened exposure of IRS’s on-going efforts to defraud the public. The move put DOJ attorneys in a state of panic that left them with only one alternative: beg for dismissal, with prejudice.

Stilley’s tactic paid off. Sixty days earlier, the DOJ had indicted Lawrence on three counts of willful failure to file a 1040 form, and three felony counts of income tax evasion. The federal Judge dismissed all charges with prejudice, meaning the DOJ cannot charge Lawrence with those crimes again.

Big Microsoft Brother, Who wouldn't trust a company that hid built-in spyware on every Windows-based PC in the land?

It turns out that Microsoft's Genuine Advantage anti-piracy program is also keeping daily tabs on Windows users. Who knew?

Well, until a few days ago, nobody outside of Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash., knew.

I don't mean to be paranoid, but when someone tells me that, oh, by the way, they've been checking on my XP and Windows 2000 PCs every day since July 2005 when Microsoft made WGA mandatory or you couldn't download patches, I get a little concerned.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

TPS Enables Study Of Mysterious Pioneer Anomaly

Russia Shifts Part of Its Forex Reserves from Dollars to Euros

NASA shelves climate satellites, Environmental science may suffer

The space agency has shelved a $200 million satellite mission headed by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor that was designed to measure soil moisture -- a key factor in helping scientists understand the impact of global warming and predict droughts and floods. The Deep Space Climate Observatory, intended to observe climate factors such as solar radiation, ozone, clouds, and water vapor more comprehensively than existing satellites, also has been canceled.

And in its 2007 budget, NASA proposes significant delays in a global precipitation measuring mission to help with weather predictions, as well as the launch of a satellite designed to increase the timeliness and accuracy of severe weather forecasts and improve climate models.

The changes come as NASA prioritizes its budget to pay for completion of the International Space Station and the return of astronauts to the moon by 2020 -- a goal set by President Bush that promises a more distant and arguably less practical scientific payoff. Ultimately, scientists say, the delays and cancellations could make hurricane predictions less accurate, create gaps in long-term monitoring of weather, and result in less clarity about the earth's hydrological systems, which play an integral part in climate change.

``Today, when the need for information about the planet is more important than ever, this process of building understanding through increasingly powerful observations . . . is at risk of collapse," said Berrien Moore III, director of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space at the University of New Hampshire.

White House abruptly cancels classified Iraq 'progress' briefing with senators

President Bush has cancelled a classified briefing on the situation in Iraq, according to a letter from four Democratic senators obtained by RAW STORY.

US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad had been set to brief Senators today. Democratic aides tell RAW STORY that the meeting, set to address "all members," was cancelled abruptly yesterday. Requests for a briefing by another administration official went unanswered.

Portion of the letter:

Dear Mr. President:

Today the Senate was expecting to receive a classified briefing from Ambassador Khalilzad on recent developments in Iraq. Yesterday, however, we learned that Ambassador Khalilzad was not available to conduct this briefing and the Administration was unwilling to make other officials available to brief in his place. Given the recent escalation of violence, the increasing risk to U.S. forces, and the failure of the Iraqis to agree on two of the most important Cabinet positions, we are concerned that not a single national security official from your Administration was willing to appear before a bipartisan group of Senators to explain your strategy in Iraq.

This decision is even more troubling when you consider that in the first five months of this year, officials from your cabinet have appeared only sporadically before the Senate to discuss Iraq. In this time, close to 300 troops have died, Iraqis have failed to stand up a unity government, and sectarian violence has increased considerably. Meanwhile, the Congress was asked to appropriate another $60 billion for the war, pushing the total expenditures for Iraq well over $300 billion.

Largest U.S. carrier exercise since Vietnam set for Guam

Rumsfeld Proposes Pullout on Drug Effort

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wants to end Army helicopter support for a joint U.S.-Bahamas drug-interdiction program that over the past two decades has resulted in hundreds of arrests and the seizure of tons of cocaine and marijuana.

The Army's seven Blackhawk helicopters and their crews form the backbone of Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, which the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration credits with helping drive cocaine and marijuana smugglers away from the Bahamas and its easy access to Florida.

But in a May 15 letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Rumsfeld said it was time after more than 20 years to shift the equipment elsewhere. The military is being stretched thin by the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and other commitments around the globe.

The Bahamas anti-drug program, Rumsfeld wrote, "now competes with resources necessary for the war on terrorism and other activities in support of our nation's defense, with potential adverse effects on the military preparedness of the United States."

The letter asks Gonzales to help identify "a more appropriate agency" to provide the air support. Rumsfeld said he wants to complete the military pullout from the program by Oct. 1, 2007.

Rumsfeld (now hypocritical) quote on the drug issue:

Drugs are an enormous problem for the world. The damage that it does to human lives and the million of dollars that it puts in the hands of criminals, terrorists, hostage takers, people who are trying to deny freedom and opportunity to other people; it poses a very serious threat to the world. Drugs are fueling terrorism and terrorist networks and it is something that like-thinking people need to work together to deal with. It is a regional problem, it is a global problem in a very real sense. It is not simply a problem that one country can deal with alone. The drug problem, if you isolate it, is in many respects a demand problem as well as supply problem and it is an education problem. I don’t know how much more education the world ought to need, when you see the carnage from heroine and cocaine, spread in country after country, the human damage that is done. But it is more than just that problem. Those billions of dollars are available to people who are willing to sell drugs and do that damage and who are antisocial, who do not believe in legitimate governments, and free people, and civil societies, and normal behavior. They are people who take hostages; they are people who try to terrorize other people. It is in the interest of all like-thinking people who want to be free and want to live sensible lives to be against that with determination and conviction. As I say, I am enormously impressed with this national security team’s conviction as well as the success that it achieves.

A New "Perle Harbor": Neocon Foreign Policy Architect Richard Perle reveals US War Plans in the Iranian Theater

One US carrier task force is already in position in the Persian Gulf. Two more task forces are moving swiftly to take up their positions in the Iranian theatre.

The controversial neoconservative American bureaucrat, Richard Perle, visited Britain on the eve of the papal audience between Prime Minister Tony Blair and Pope Benedict XVI. Earlier in the same week, the Iranian Nobel Laureate for Peace, Dr. Shirin Ebadi, was in Britain to voice her concerns about a confrontation between the west and Iran. In London, Metropolitan Police swooped down on two suspected Islamist terrorists believed to be in the process of building a chemical bomb. Summertime tensions are building.

In bland remarks delivered to a small audience of students at the Oxford Union, Richard Perle outlined the Bush administration’s response to the crisis of 9/11 and the neoconservative doctrines of pre-emptive war. In a droning monotone designed to anaesthetize his keen academic audience, Perle explained the need for an invincible American military apparatus and a foreign policy predicated on the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war permitting direct and simultaneous interventions into multiple theatres.

An April 2006 paper from the Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College authored by Dr. Dan Reiter and titled
Preventive War and Its Alternatives: The Lessons of History states the following:

The author’s central findings are that preventive attacks are generally unsuccessful at delaying the spread of nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC) weapons; that deterrence, especially nuclear deterrence, is highly successful at preventing the use of NBC weapons by states; and that diplomacy has had moderate and perhaps unappreciated success at curtailing the spread of NBC weapons. The monograph also discusses how funds spent on preventive wars, which are much more expensive than diplomacy or deterrence, might be better spent to combat threats from terrorism and proliferation through such initiatives as fissile material recovery, ballistic missile defense, and port security.

Administration censors internal probe of lawbreaking by the Oval Office and the NSA: The uneven scales of Bush Justice

By Nat Hentoff:

Having reported on the Justice Department since Robert Kennedy—with very minimal concern for civil liberties—was attorney general, I've learned to respect one of its divisions, the Office of Professional Responsibility. It was created in 1975, and its investigators look into ethical lapses and misconduct by the lawyers in the department. Their current oversight range includes the Office of Legal Counsel, the Criminal Division, and the National Security Division.

In January, four congressional Democrats—Maurice Hinchey of New York, John Lewis of Georgia, and Henry Waxman and Lynn Woolsey of California—asked the Office of Professional Responsibility to find out who in the Justice Department told the president and General Michael Hayden (then head of the National Security Agency) that it was legal for the NSA to engage in warrantless eavesdropping on Americans as well as in collection of their records (as recently revealed by USA Today). A corollary question was whether George W. Bush started the eavesdropping program even before he told the Justice Department he was doing it.

As Republican senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska put it succinctly on ABC News' This Week on December 14—before the confirmation hearing of General Hayden to become CIA director—"Who set that policy?" Hagel didn't find out during that hearing, nor do he or the rest of us know now, because the probe by the Office of Professional Responsibility has been stopped cold.

On May 11, H. Marshall Jarrett, the OPR's counsel, told Congressman Hinchey that the investigation was over because the National Security Agency—obviously involved in the probe—refused to grant the OPR's lawyers security clearance to proceed to look into the NSA's classified programs. Said the frustrated Mr. Jarrett: "Without those clearances, we cannot investigate this matter and therefore have closed our investigation."

In covering the Justice Department all these years, I was particularly impressed by the integrity of the former head of OPR for a quarter century—Michael Shaheen. Hearing that the investigation into who authorized the president and Michael Hayden to violate the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act had been closed down, Shaheen told National Public Radio on May 12:

"No one in OPR for the 24 years I was there was denied the necessary clearance, ever, and much less one that brought to a conclusion an investigation. That just makes it smell the worse."

And Larry Sims, a former deputy at the Justice Department whose service there started in the Reagan administration, added:

"To say that an agency can block an investigation by refusing to give [OPR] federal investigators the clearances they need is just astounding."