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Wednesday, August 31, 2005
  Not quite up to Star Trek Replicator standards, but damn close and exciting to boot.
Wired 13.09: The Dream Factory: "After a week of experimentation, I settle upon my favorite - a curvy, amoeba-like adaptation of a Flying V guitar. I had originally hoped to have it cut out of pine, like a normal guitar body, but when I explore the options for materials, I find that eMachineShop doesn't stock wood thick enough. The software offers me several possibilities, and each time I swap in a new material, it reprices the entire job, down to the penny. In the end, I opt to have a 3-D milling machine carve my design out of a single block of clear acrylic, with unbuffed raw aluminum for the faceplate. A guitar made of metal and Lucite: This is going to look like something beamed down from a UFO. It'll cost $880 for the two parts and take about a week to make them. Then all I have to do is snap them together and bolt on the neck, bridge, and a few electric components.

At 2 in the morning on a Tuesday, I finally hit the Place Order button. My design shoots off to Lewis' farm of roboticized fabrication machines.

I've just printed a guitar.

MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld calls it the fab revolution - every bit as important as the invention of the personal computer, he says. Cyberspace and PCs made bits flexible; fabrication technology is doing the same thing to atoms. Eventually, he claims, you won't even need a middleman like eMachineShop, because every house will have its own personal fabricator."
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
  The paradox of service
One of the harder things to come to grips about military service was that you were in fact military property. For example if you were to be incapacitated because of sunburn (i.e. unable to report to formation) you could be prosecuted under the UCMJ (uniform code of military justice) for destruction of military property. That was a bitter pill to swallow, however it goes with the job.

When you take the oath to uphold and defend the constitution, as part of joining the service, you also ironically abrogate your rights under the constitution. So a key part of defending the country is waiving the rights you are protecting in others. Like I said; a bitter pill to swallow.

Cell phones were just becoming available to the common man when I was in the service. We had Reservists using their phones to stay in touch with their loved ones while they were at sea (arguably sailing along the coast of SoCal). The CO immediately saw the potential issues of uncontrolled communications and placed a ban on independent communications from the ship. This of course did not sit well with the crew, but what are you going to do.

Now with the internet being readily available to the common man and soldier/sailor/airman/marine what are the ramifications for Operational Security?

I personally love reading the milbloggers (armorgeddon, blackfive, Armorgedeon, etc) You get a whole different view of the war; rather than the self-serving defeatist crap from the MSM.

However how do you balance the ease and ready access of truly mass media publishing (internet) against the real requirements of keeping a military operation under wraps?

That is an excellent question, especially in light of modern publishing technology
World Peace Herald: "WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Army is warning soldiers that posting photos on their Web logs may inadvertently reveal 'vulnerabilities and tactics,' and 'needlessly place lives at risk.'

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker circulated a memo to all Army personnel last week saying that 'we must do a better job' at operational security -- 'OPSEC' in military parlance.

'Some soldiers continue to post sensitive information' on the Internet and especially on their Web logs or online diaries, wrote Schoomaker, giving as examples 'photos depicting weapon system vulnerabilities and tactics, techniques and procedures.

'Such OPSEC violations needlessly place lives at risk and degrade the effectiveness of our operations,' he wrote.

Schoomaker promised that amendments to Army regulations would be promulgated within a month, and that officers would have access to new training materials on the issue by Sept. 2.

In the meantime, he ordered Army staff at the Pentagon to 'tracks and report, on a quarterly basis, (such) OPSEC violations.'

'Get the word out and focus on this issue now,' Gen. Schoomaker concluded. 'I expect to see immediate improvement.' "
  Everything you need to know about the anti-American Grief Pimp crowd
The Jawa Report: Overheard at Camp Casey: "Cindy Sheehan, You are Getting Us Killed!" (Pics from Rally): "We then drove out of the town to where the Cindy Sheehan camp is set up near the Bush ranch. Based on the media coverage, we believed that this would be a huge camp but when we got there, we saw only between 60 and 75 pro-Sheehan people camped.

It was a filthy crowd of sour-faced, long-haired, bitter-looking people. There was a sense of darkness over this crowd that is hard to describe. Their camp is just set up on a typical back-country Texas rural road. They have their tents set up along a fence line next to a corn field. It literally looked like an old hippy camp!

The most amazing thing about the Sheehan crowd, there was not a single American flag on display."
  Democratic Underground - Looters
If you want to see what the mental disease of Liberalism does to 'Americans' then you need to read the entire nauseating thread. (via MM)
Democratic Underground - Looters: "The fact the national guard is keeping people from FOOD shows we are NOT living in a democracy,the Rich people's THINGS must be protected from starving people!!Remember the french revolution,the rich make sure the lower class suffers and is desperate,the middle class is scared of poor people,the soldiers are bribed obedient and loyal,. That is how they say rich and on our backs.
Fuck all the corporate pigs. Fucking assholes!
Disaster shows us the true use of our military is to PROTECT PROPERTY of corporations above human life, to keep the rich secure people DIE.

I say Eat the rich people if they will not let you get food.
Roast them on a spit and share the bounty.They have been fed on the finest organic foods.*sarcasm*

Damn I am pissed. Let the people EAT..What happened soldier to defending life? Life comes before property IF you are not a sociopath scum bag.
Don't obey wealthy scumbags posing as'leaders'.Sheesh."
  Al-Reuters shills for CAIR and it's agenda. Trusts Us, no really, trusts us. Bah!
Reuters Business Channel | Reuters.com: "WASHINGTON, Aug 30 (Reuters) - The Bush administration is neglecting American Muslims in the fight against terrorism, undermining a potentially priceless resource that could be used to root out militants at home, major Muslim groups say.

Community leaders such as Salam al-Marayati, who heads the Muslim Public Affairs Council advocacy group, say that to isolate terrorists political leaders from President George W. Bush on down must embrace the U.S. Muslim mainstream, rather than exclude them from serious debates on security.

'For some reason, it's very difficult to get the high-level officials to come down to the community at this point. I think a decision has to be made: are we going to be partners or are we going to be suspects?' Marayati said.

Muslim American groups say that only by visibly engaging the community can officials undermine militants' charges that Muslims are left out of American society, and ensure Muslims do not feel alienated and become targets for recruiters."
  Scum of the earth
One of the priorities of the National Guard and the local cops should be shooting these mutts on sight.
BREITBART.COM - Just The News: "With much of the city emptied by Hurricane Katrina, some opportunists took advantage of the situation by looting stores.

At a Walgreen's drug store in the French Quarter, people were running out with grocery baskets and coolers full of soft drinks, chips and diapers.

When police finally showed up, a young boy stood in the door screaming, '86! 86!' _ the radio code for police _ and the crowd scattered.

Denise Bollinger, a tourist from Philadelphia, stood outside and snapped pictures in amazement.

'It's downtown Baghdad,' the housewife said. 'It's insane. I've wanted to come here for 10 years. I thought this was a sophisticated city. I guess not.'

Around the corner on Canal Street, the main thoroughfare in the central business district, people sloshed headlong through hip-deep water as looters ripped open the steel gates on the front of several clothing and jewelry stores.

One man, who had about 10 pairs of jeans draped over his left arm, was asked if he was salvaging things from his store.

'No,' the man shouted, 'that's EVERYBODY'S store.'

Looters filled industrial-sized garbage cans with clothing and jewelry and floated them down the street on bits of plywood and insulation as National Guard lumbered by.

Mike Franklin stood on the trolley tracks and watched the spectacle unfold.

'To be honest with you, people who are oppressed all their lives, man, it's an opportunity to get back at society,' he said. "
  While we were sleeping
BREITBART.COM - Just The News: "Brazil's military continued work on an atomic bomb after it was ordered to scrap the program in 1985 and by 1990 had nearly finished building one, a leading nuclear scientist said.

Jose Luiz Santana, the former president of Brazil's nuclear energy commission, known by its Portuguese acronym CNEN, said the military was preparing a test explosion when the program was ultimately dismantled in August 1990.

Earlier this month, former President Jose Sarney, who led Brazil's first civilian government after a 1964-85 military dictatorship, told Globo TV that he scrapped a program to build an atomic bomb when he came to power. The ruling generals were long suspected of seeking nuclear weapons, but Sarney's comments were the first confirmation of the secret program.

Santana, however, said the military was still working on a bomb when former President Fernando Collor succeeded Sarney in 1990 and hoped to conduct an underground test blast in September of that year at a remote base in Brazil's eastern Amazon."
Monday, August 29, 2005
  Viva La Big Brother - Your world just got that much smaller
Print Article: "ARCADIA -- Arcadia police officers will soon monitor every vehicle that enters and exits the city's mall and racetrack from the comfort of police headquarters, with a new technology that scans license plates and runs them through criminal databases.

The technology effectively multiplies the reach of law enforcement without the expense of hiring officers, said Arcadia Police Chief Bob Sanderson.

The Automatic License Plate Recognition technology was developed in England and is distributed locally by Hamilton Pacific, a Pasadena-based security company. It was introduced in 2004, and mobile units are now being used on five California Highway Patrol cars in the state. The company also sells stationary camera systems to monitor crime-ridden streets and parks.

In Arcadia, police officials said the cameras will be in fixed positions at the Westfield Santa Anita mall and the Santa Anita Park racetrack and linked through wireless technology to the station on Huntington Drive. Mobile cameras will also be mounted to two patrol cars, Sanderson said.

The cameras scan every license plate in sight at a rate of up to 1,500 an hour, said Steve Reinharz, regional manager of Hamilton Pacific. In comparison, a diligent police officer might run 60 to 80 plates an hour, he said.

In milliseconds, the system runs the plates through a database of 110,000 to 140,000 stolen vehicles, searching for matches. It is updated daily.

Other databases of wanted suspects and vehicles used in felonies also are automatically searched. When a license plate on the street is matched with one in a database, an audio alert notifies the police."
  File this under 'It's only illegal when Republicans do it'. Regardless it still smells funny
Ky. governor issues pardons in hiring probe - Politics - MSNBC.com: "FRANKFORT, Ky. - Gov. Ernie Fletcher on Monday granted blanket pardons to current and former members of his administration who have been charged in an investigation into alleged improper hiring.

The move came on the eve of Fletcher’s appearance before a grand jury investigating his administration’s hiring practices.

“I cannot allow state government to continue to be consumed by this game of political ’gotcha,’ paralyzing our ability to serve you, the people of Kentucky,” Fletcher said at the Capitol Rotunda."
  Grief pimp meets the Race pimp
Calif. Mother Protests Near President's Ranch on Yahoo! News Photos
  (via Ace) - Ok, I'm sold, when can we mount them to fricking sharks
Xtreme Defense: "But the star attraction was a simple black briefcase that Bitar promised would shoot lightning bolts. He and Fry placed the briefcase (innocuous-looking, if you ignored the pointed needle a few inches long sticking out the side) on top of a carpeted podium, plugged it into a wall socket and flipped a switch. Then they stood back.

Iridescent streaks of purple lightning snaked out of the briefcase, accompanied by the deafening rattle of what sounded like an M-16, and even in the noisy hangar, conversations momentarily ceased.

'It looks like something out of a 1950s movie,' one onlooker commented.

Bitar's technology is based on a technique pioneered more than 100 years ago by the eccentric Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla. The StunStrike uses an electrical charge to break down the air in front of the weapon to create a path for sparks generated by a 'resonant transformer,' better known as a Tesla coil. Unlike a typical Tesla coil, however, Bitar's invention uses electronics to tune and direct the spark stream. It goes about four feet.

'We can tune it all the way down so it feels like broom bristles, and all the way up to knock you down,' Bitar informed a group of gawkers."
  Illegals hit the pinata
Illegals hit the pinata - PittsburghLIVE.com: "Why should anyone be surprised that two illegal aliens who sued the American citizens who captured them were handed the 70-acre ranch that had belonged to one of their captors?

Since most illegal aliens who sneaked into this republic are rewarded for breaking the immigration law -- by being allowed to enjoy America's bounty -- no one should be surprised about the verdict.

It is just another topsy-turvy thing that happens from time to time along the Mexican border. Blame it on the Bush administration's continual refusal to protect American sovereignty, which some might think borders on treason.

The two were caught on a Texas ranch in 2003 by Casey Nethercott and other members of Ranch Rescue. The New York Times labels it a paramilitary group that vowed to use force to prevent illegal immigration.

The illegals claimed Mr. Nethercott threatened them and hit one of them with a pistol. However, they also admitted the group gave them cookies, water and a blanket -- and let them go after an hour. Texas prosecutors filed charges -- but not against the illegals.

The jury deadlocked on the pistol-whipping charge.

Nethercott served time in California for assault. And since ex-cons are not allowed to have guns, Nethercott was convicted of gun possession and sentenced to five years in prison in Texas.

The Salvadorans were just getting started. They filed a lawsuit against Nethercott and others involved in their capture that the illegals claim caused them -- are you sitting down? have you been taking your blood-pressure medication? -- post-traumatic stress.

Yes, you read that right.

The judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. They essentially hit the pinata, which showered them with the deed to Nethercott's ranch in Arizona.

It gets worse.

One Salvadoran lives in Los Angeles, the other, Dallas. They have applied for visas that illegals can get if they are victims of certa"
  Puh'lease. I think I will file this under, believe it when I see it
Bush pledges to work with states to address illegal immigration: "EL MIRAGE, Ariz. - President Bush said Monday he will work with Gov. Janet Napolitano and other border governors to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, where political leaders have been calling for help to deal with waves of illegal immigrants.

Bush told a crowd in a retirement community that he understands the federal government's obligation to enforce the border.

'It's important for the people of this state to understand, your voices are being heard in Washington, D.C.,' Bush said.

Making reference to U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, who introduced Bush, the president said 'this senator and this Congress are going to work closely with the administration to make sure we have the resources necessary to do our responsibility, which is to enforce this border. And we'll do so.'

He said he spoke to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Monday about the issue. 'I said, 'Are you working with the governor? You bet we are,' ' Bush said. 'That's the most effective way to do things, to work with the state and local authorities.'

Bush's remarks came in a state that has borne the brunt of the illegal immigration problem for years. Arizona is the most popular crossing point for illegal immigrants on the U.S.-Mexico border."
  Beyond insanity
the Mail online | Mail - news, sport, showbiz, health and more | You can use the f-word in class (but only five times): "A secondary school is to allow pupils to swear at teachers - as long as they don't do so more than five times in a lesson. A running tally of how many times the f-word has been used will be kept on the board. If a class goes over the limit, they will be 'spoken' to at the end of the lesson.

The astonishing policy, which the school says will improve the behaviour of pupils, was condemned by parents' groups and MPs yesterday. They warned it would backfire.

Parents were advised of the plan, which comes into effect when term starts next week, in a letter from the Weavers School in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire."
  The only upside to this tragedy is that the taxpayers will be spared the expense of prosecuting this mutt.
BREITBART.COM - Just The News: "A gunman killed four people at a rural church in a small north Texas town, then held off police in an nine-hour standoff before apparently killing himself, officials said Monday.

At least one other person was wounded.

The gunman reportedly knocked on the door of the Sash Assembly of God church Sunday night, then started firing when the door was opened. Three people were shot, including the pastor, according to WFAA-TV in Dallas. It was not immediately clear if the pastor was the wounded person or one of the two dead.

Two women in a car outside the church were then shot and killed, police said.

'These two ladies, from what it appeared, happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,' Fannin County Sheriff Kenneth Moore said.

The man fled and was later tracked to his home near the church in Sash, an unincorporated community about 80 miles north of Dallas near the Oklahoma border.

Sheriff's deputies and a SWAT team surrounded the house, and after the long standoff police initially said the man surrendered just before 6 a.m.

However, when officers entered the home they found the man dead, Moore said."
  It's good work if you can get it
BREITBART.COM - Just The News: "LUDZIDZINI ROYAL VILLAGE, Swaziland (Reuters) - More than 50,000 bare-breasted virgins vied to become the King of Swaziland's 13th wife on Monday in a ceremony which critics say ill befits a country with the world's highest HIV/AIDS rate.

King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch, arrived dressed in a leopard-skin loincloth to watch the Reed Dance ceremony, which he has used since 1999 to pluck new brides from the girls dressed in little more than beaded mini-skirts.

Wielding machetes and singing tributes to the king and queen mother, also known as the Great She-Elephant, the girls danced around the royal stadium in the hope of catching the eye of the 37-year-old monarch."
  The anti-American face of the anti-American Left
The American Spectator: "Then we have this lying bastard, George Bush, taking a five week vacation in a time of war. You know what? I'm never going to get to enjoy another vacation because of him. My vacation probably -- this is really sad because I have a really cute dress I was going to wear to the banquet tomorrow night -- but I'm either going to be in jail or in a tent in Crawford, waiting until that jerk comes out and tells me why my son died.'

'You tell me the truth. You tell me that my son died for oil. You tell me that my son died to make your friends rich. You tell me my son died to spread the cancer of Pax Americana, imperialism in the Middle East.'

'And if you think I won't say bulls**t to the President, I say move on, cause I'll say what's on my mind.'

'You get that evil maniac out here, 'cause a Gold Star Mother, somebody whose blood is on his hands, has some questions for him.'

'The biggest terrorist is George W. Bush.'

'If he thinks that it's so important for Iraq to have a U.S.-imposed sense of freedom and democracy, then he needs to sign up his two little party-animal girls. They need to go to this war.'"
  Dogg Bites Man: Rapper shot in night club
New York Daily News - Home - Who shot Suge?: "Was hip-hop mogul Marion (Suge) Knight wounded in the opening salvo of a new rap war? Or did the godfather of gangsta rap accidentally shoot himself in the leg with his own gun?

Cops were investigating those dueling theories as witnesses and Knight's pals clammed up about yesterday's early-morning shooting inside a star-studded party in Miami Beach before the MTV Video Music Awards, sources told the Daily News.

Police were puzzled by the failure to find a shell casing inside SkyBar's VIP Red Room at the plush Shore Club - and that no one got a good look at the shooter. Knight gave only a cursory account of the shooting, raising more doubts about the event. He was in stable condition last night after doctors removed the bullet and set a fractured bone in his right leg.

'He didn't see anything, he got shot from behind,' said Bobby Hernandez, a police spokesman. 'He fell to the ground.'

Hernandez said 'an accidental discharge' was one scenario under investigation. No gun was found on Knight, but bodyguards easily could have taken one off him in the mayhem that erupted after the shooting, a source theorized. If Knight is caught carrying a gun, he could be sent back to prison because he is on parole."
Sunday, August 28, 2005
  DEBKAfile - AQ run the Egyptian security forces out of the Sinai
DEBKAfile -: "The Egyptian army has called off its hunt for al Qaeda cell members in Sinai following the deaths of its two commanders, Maj. Gen Mahmoud Adel and Lt. Col. Omar Abdel-Moneim.

They were killed Wednesday, Aug. 24 in one of the four bomb traps al Qaeda laid last week on the trail ascending Jebel Hillal in central Sinai. Three more Egyptian troops were killed and three armored carries set ablaze by terrorists. At the end of the disastrous week, our sources report, Egypt withdrew all its military strength from central Sinai to reorganize for a fresh offensive."
  Jim Jones wannabe Fred Phelps up to his disgusting tricks. Personally I can't believe that he was not tarred-and-feathered and run out on a rail
My Way News: "SMYRNA, Tenn. (AP) - Members of a church say God is punishing American soldiers for defending a country that harbors gays, and they brought their anti-gay message to the funerals Saturday of two Tennessee soldiers killed in Iraq.

The church members were met with scorn from local residents. They chased the church members cars' down a highway, waving flags and screaming 'God bless America.'

'My husband is over there, so I'm here to show my support,' 41-year-old Connie Ditmore said as she waved and American flag and as tears came to her eyes. 'To do this at a funeral is disrespectful of a family, no matter what your beliefs are.'

The Rev. Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist in Kansas, contends that American soldiers are being killed in Iraq as vengeance from God for protecting a country that harbors gays. The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps' children, grandchildren and in-laws.

The church members carried signs and shouted things such as 'God hates fags' and 'God hates you.'

About 10 church members protested near Smyrna United Methodist Church and nearly 20 stood outside the National Guard Armory in Ashland City. Members have demonstrated at other soldier funerals across the nation."
Friday, August 26, 2005
  It's a shame when you have to get good news regarding the US military from overseas. MSN supporting our troops, MY ASS
The Australian: US Army re-enlistment 'strong' [August 26, 2005]: "HIGH re-enlistment rates in combat units that have served in Iraq shows the army is far from being a broken force despite a likely shortfall in recruiting, the US Army's chief of staff said today.

'I think we're a heck of a long way away from the breaking the army. It is a lot more resilient than people believe,' General Peter Schoomaker told reporters in Washington.

His comments came amid a chorus of criticism from members of Congress and retired military leaders that the longer than expected war in Iraq has strained the army to the breaking point, putting in question the viability of the all-volunteer force created after the Vietnam War.

General Schoomaker said the army probably will fall short of the active duty forces recruitment goal this year by about 2000, and he acknowledged that the recruiting climate is likely to remain tough next year as well.

But he said re-enlistment rates in the active duty force were exceeding requirements."
We engaged in Jihadi terrorism and all we got was this lousy T-Shirt
Gaza father wonders when work will come: "Al-Maghazi Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip -- Outside the concrete walls that surround Badran Jamil Ahmed Abumansi's home, historic changes are taking place.

Jewish settlers have been uprooted from their homes in the Gaza Strip -- the first time since 1982, when Israel gave control of the Sinai Peninsula back to Egypt, that Israel has dismantled settlements and surrendered the land where they sat. Palestinian leaders are outlining plans to build homes and factories on the land.

Yet in Abumansi's home, the only thing happening is that the sun is setting on another day without work. He sits under a tree behind his home in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, children swarming around him, simply waiting. He wonders how he will be able to support the family that depends on him, an extended family that numbers about 45 souls.

'I wouldn't exclude any kind of job,' he says. 'Just give it to me. 'The children are in school, and there are a lot of expenses. I am waiting to know what will happen after disengagement. I hope the situation gets better and I can go to work.'

So far, it has gotten worse."
  Recovering their sons stolen honor from the America Haters
Pro-war kin take down crosses at Sheehan site - Nation/Politics - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper: "Military families disturbed by a sea of crosses erected by anti-war protesters near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, have removed crosses bearing the names of their fallen children and transferred them to another site to show support for American troops in Iraq.
Anti-war protesters 'never asked for my permission to put up a cross for my son for their cause,' said Gary Qualls, whose son was killed in Iraq. 'They are not respecting our sons and daughters.'
The rival cross camps are evidence of a growing public backlash against the anti-war campaign of California activist Cindy Sheehan, who blames Mr. Bush for son Casey's death in Iraq and has called for immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Gregg Garvey's son, Army Sgt. Justin Garvey, 23, was killed in Iraq in July 2003. On Tuesday, Mr. Garvey of Keystone Heights, Fla., removed two crosses bearing the name of his son that were posted at the Sheehan demonstration site -- dubbed 'Camp Casey' -- outside the Bush ranch.
'I also picked up crosses of two colleagues [of his son], after their parents gave me permission to remove their crosses as well,' Mr. Garvey said yesterday.
The crosses were erected by a group called Veterans for Peace as part of Mrs. Sheehan's protest that began Aug. 6.
'One by one, [Mrs. Sheehan's] crosses are coming down,' said Mr. Qualls, whose son, Louis Qualls, 20, was a Marine reservist killed in Fallujah last fall.
Mr. Qualls, an Army veteran from Penwell, Texas, said he has removed three different crosses bearing his son's name from the nearly 600 erected on the narrow road leading to Mr. Bush's ranch. Each time he removed a cross, protesters replaced it, he said.
Last weekend, Mr. Qualls transferred the crosses to a site in downtown Crawford that's been nicknamed 'Fort Qualls.' Mr. Garvey moved his son's crosses thee as well. By yesterday afternoon, friends and relatives of 13 other fallen soldiers had followed suit.
"More are on the way," Mr. Qualls said, based on the number of e-mails, letters and phone calls of support he has received. "
  Tell me again, why we aren't engaging in total warfare against the Islamists?
Islamists seek to organize hackers' jihad in cyberspace - Nation/Politics - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper: "A Web forum for Muslim extremists is calling on its members to organize an Islamist hackers' army to carry out Internet attacks against the U.S. government.
The site has posted tips, software and links to other resources to help would-be cyber-warriors.
The Jamestown Foundation, a District-based nonprofit with a history of extensive ties to the CIA, said that it has monitored postings on a new section of an extremist bulletin board called al-Farooq.
According to Jeffrey Poole, a researcher for the foundation, the forum 'represents a how-to manual for the disruption and/or destruction of enemy electronic resources, including e-mail, Web sites and computer hardware.'
The new section was set up two weeks ago, according to a briefing written by Mr. Poole and distributed by the foundation, which added that one member of the forum has called for the creation of an Islamist organization, which he dubbed 'Jaish al-Hacker al-Islami,' the Islamic Hacker's Army.
The would-be Islamist cyber-warrior, who calls himself 'Achrafe,' pointed out that organization of large numbers of attackers is a key force multiplier in some forms of Web warfare -- such as denial-of- service attacks in which the target's servers are bombarded with so many requests for information from other parts of the Internet that they effectively are shut down.
The foundation described in detail a 'hacker library' maintained on the al-Farooq site, offering special software that can be used to steal passwords; tools and tips on anonymous Web surfing; and programs the site says can destroy or disable a target computer if installed on it.
Ron Gula, a former National Security Agency official who worked on computer security issues, said that many of the hacking efforts made by such groups are 'amateurish' and 'lost in the background noise' of other hackers "
  Hands off my smutt
Google sued over nude pics: "Los Angeles - The publisher of a US men's magazine has sued Google, alleging that the internet search giant is infringing on copyright by displaying thousands of pictures of nude women.

Perfect 10 magazine said in a statement on Wednesday that it was seeking a preliminary injunction against the search engine 'to enjoin Google from copying, displaying and distributing Perfect 10 copyrighted images'."
  Iran Said Not Worried About U.N. Action
And why should the Mad Mullah's have anything but contempt for that useless, corrupt, ineffective, terrosrist supporting, debating society.
Iran Said Not Worried About U.N. Action: "Iran hopes talks with Europe on easing tensions over Tehran's nuclear ambitions are not dead, but it does not fear the threat of U.N. Security Council action if it continues activities linked to uranium enrichment, the country's top negotiator said Friday.

Ali Larijani also said he hoped Iran would present new ideas within a month aimed at reducing suspicions about its nuclear agenda, which Tehran insists is to produce power for peaceful purposes.

'With the power it enjoys in the region, there is no way that Iran can be worried about the threat of the Security Council,' Larijani told reporters."
  More Abortions Than Births in Russia — Health Official - NEWS - MOSNEWS.COM
More Abortions Than Births in Russia — Health Official - NEWS - MOSNEWS.COM: "Russians, whose lives are shorter and poorer than they were under communism, have more abortions than births to avoid the costs of raising children, Bloomberg.com reported Tuesday quoting the country’s highest-ranking obstetrician.

About 1.6 million women had an abortion last year, a fifth of them under the age of 18, and about 1.5 million gave birth, said Vladimir Kulakov, vice president of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. “Many more” abortions weren’t reported.

“The appearance of a first child pushes many families into poverty,” Kulakov said today in the government’s official newspaper, Rossiskaya Gazeta. “Potential parents first try to start a career, stand on their feet and so forth.”"
  Dear Leader living the good life while his people starve
North Korea imported $24 million worth of Swiss watches from 1995 to 2004 — a time when hundreds of thousands of North Koreas were starving to death.

The impoverished communist country bought watches from Switzerland, worth $4.5 million in 1998 and 1999 when it was facing the worst food shortage in the wake of natural disasters, Radio Free Asia said, citing information provided by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

Kim Jong-Il has reportedly also used Switzerland for money laundering while sending family members and close aides to the European country for education and medical treatment.
Right move: Home Loans With Options
Seoul's intelligence agency estimates Kim's wealth at $4 billion, part of which is deposited in Swiss bank accounts. All of Kim's three sons — Jong-Nam, Jong-Chol and Jong-Un, have studied in Bern, Switzerland, it said.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
  Hackers Attack Via Chinese Web Sites
Hackers Attack Via Chinese Web Sites: "Web sites in China are being used heavily to target computer networks in the Defense Department and other U.S. agencies, successfully breaching hundreds of unclassified networks, according to several U.S. officials.

Classified systems have not been compromised, the officials added. But U.S. authorities remain concerned because, as one official said, even seemingly innocuous information, when pulled together from various sources, can yield useful intelligence to an adversary.

'The scope of this thing is surprisingly big,' said one of four government officials who spoke separately about the incidents, which stretch back as far as two or three years and have been code-named Titan Rain by U.S. investigators. All officials insisted on anonymity, given the sensitivity of the matter.

Whether the attacks constitute a coordinated Chinese government campaign to penetrate U.S. networks and spy on government databanks has divided U.S. analysts. Some in the Pentagon are said to be convinced of official Chinese involvement; others see the electronic probing as the work of other hackers simply using Chinese networks to disguise the origins of the attacks.

'It's not just the Defense Department but a wide variety of networks that have been hit,' including the departments of State, Energy and Homeland Security as well as defense contractors, the official said. 'This is an ongoing, organized attempt to siphon off information from our unclassified systems.'

Another official, however, cautioned against exaggerating the severity of the intrusions. He said the attacks, while constituting 'a large volume,' were 'not the biggest thing going on out there.'"
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
  Is Mexico still a nation?
Is Mexico still a nation? | csmonitor.com:
Already, one in eight adults born in Mexico now lives in the US. And the Mexican economy is kept afloat partially by an estimated $16 billion sent back by immigrants to relative
"Just five years ago, Mexico had great hope of reform after the ouster of the Revolutionary Institutional Party, or PRI, which had governed since 1929. But President Vicente Fox's reform efforts have faltered. The nation's three main parties remain internally divided and unable to compromise. Decades of oil wealth have left people too willing to take handouts rather than accept the kind of taxation that creates citizens with a stake in government. With Mr. Fox a lame duck, Mexico is heading for a presidential election next July that could see another weak leader.

As dissatisfaction with politics and justice translates into Mexicans voting with their feet, the US needs to recognize that the 'border issue' is much more of a 'Mexico issue.'

The US should further beef up border security, but also help Mexico regain national integrity. Legally hiring Mexicans is hardly a solution.

As it is doing with Africa, the US must peg better economic relations to better governance in Mexico, such as laws allowing referendums and run-offs for presidential elections. Rather than view such pressure as gringo meddling, the Mexican people might just welcome a challenge to their government. And think of staying put."
  Hear! Hear!
Muslims who want Islamic law told to leave Australia - Yahoo! News: "SYDNEY (AFP) - Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law should get out of Australia, a senior government minister has said, hinting that some radical clerics might be asked to leave.

Australia was a secular state and its laws were made by parliament, Treasurer Peter Costello told national television late Tuesday.

'If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you,' said Costello, who is seen as heir-apparent to Prime Minister John Howard.

'I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia, one the Australian law and another the Islamic law, that that is false.

'There's only one law in Australia -- it's the law that's made by the parliament of Australia and enforced by our courts. There is no second law."
  www.MilitaresDemocraticos.com // News Archive
www.MilitaresDemocraticos.com // News Archive: "High-level military defectors reveal new terrorist links between Al Qaeda and Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez. The man who controls the largest oil reserves in the Western hemisphere gave $1 million to the world's most wanted terrorist right after the 9/11 attacks.

Hugo Chavez would not admit it publicly, but in private, he was very impressed with Osama Bin Laden's work. The Venezuelan strongman publicly rails against the United States and 'neo-liberal capitalism' which, according to him, represents 'hell on earth'. He has never visited the White House, but has instead been to China, Libya, Iraq, and Havana, Cuba."
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
  Bankrupting the city
When will local communities realize that cheap labor is the most expensive of all.
MySA.com: Metro | State: "Popularity doesn't pay the bills, however. Gallegos suffers from serious liver and kidney problems, as well as dementia, all likely induced by alcoholism. Since arriving in November, he has run up about $40,000 in unpaid bills, including $17,000 from a pharmacy.

The nursing home expenses are the chief reason the city has filed for bankruptcy after being sued for falling $1.15 million behind in debt payments. Tax revenues don't cover costs and Scotch's rent is less than half the city's monthly bond bill of $30,000.

Scotch said that during the past eight months she has sought help for him from about a dozen agencies and elected officials.

'In January, we found out his Medicaid numbers were no good. It took us until February for Social Security to tell us he was an illegal immigrant and had been deported three times. They told us unless he was a naturalized citizen, we wouldn't get paid,' she said."
  As much as it pains me to agree with CNN, they are correct
DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2005®: "CNN President Jonathan Klein implies ratings news leader FOXNEWS is mired in coverage of 'meaningless nonsense,' claiming: 'Fourteen Americans dead, and they have Natalee Holloway on,' Klein says. 'And they're supposedly America's news channel.'

'It's easy and it's brainless,' Klein charges in a telephone interview set for publication at the NEW YORK TIMES, explaining why cable news outlets had gravitated to the Aruba story. 'They're looking for an ongoing drama' along the lines of the NBC crime show 'Law & Order,' he said, adding, 'Except 'Law & Order' doesn't do the same plot every night.'

'There are an awful lot of things you can cover if you don't have people tied up with this meaningless nonsense,' Klein says.

In early July, Klein pulled CNN's correspondent out of Aruba and dropped the subject from most CNN shows in the absence of new developments.

'If Jon performed as well as he talks, he wouldn't have to explain his network's dismal ratings,' says Irena Briganti, a spokeswoman for FOXNEWS. 'We have trounced him on every breaking news story from the London bombings and last week's events in Gaza.'"
  The Religion of Terrorist Soccer Players
SAUDI ARABIA: FOOTBALLERS RECRUITED BY AL-ZARQAWI: "Riyadh, 23 August (AKI) - The captain of the al-Rashid football team in the Saudi city of Taif near Mecca has revealed that three former footballers on the team were recruited to al-Qaeda terror group by its Iraqi number-one, the Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Jafar Attas told the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan that he decided to intervene publically after the father of one of his former team-mates, Majid Sawat, recognised his son as one of the suspected al-Qaeda militants arrested in Iraq, whose interrogations were broadcast on Iraqi television. "
  I for one will be eager to see if the Bush Admin has the stones to follow thru
DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2005®: "Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, acknowledging public frustration over illegal immigration, said Tuesday that the federal government's detention and deportation system must be fundamentally restructured.

'We have decided to stand back and take a look at how we address the problem and solve it once and for all,' Chertoff said during a breakfast meeting with reporters.

The NEW YORK TIMES is planning a front page placement for the Chertoff comments on Wednesday, newsroom sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.

The unusually blunt assessment by the nation's top immigration official comes after governors in New Mexico and Arizona recently declared a border-related 'state of emergency,' citing a surge in smuggling and violence associated with the steady flow of illegal immigrants."
  I may learn to love this new feature
Sweetness I was only joking when I said by rights you should be bludgeoned in your bed. (Sorry I was channeling Morrisy)YeHAW, there is a new plug-in for Blogger. I have been using the FireFox ‘BlogThis’ extension and have been very happy with the ease of creating off the cuff posts.
Now arguably the spell checker (as all my readers can attest too, sux ass). However if the word integration works as advertised I can actually format and, egads, competently spell-check my posts. Wow, what a concept. To use the local vernacular, I am shitting in tall cotton now.
  How long Rummy until you lance the Syrian boil?
Jordan says Syrian militants behind rocket attack - Yahoo! News: "AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian militants linked to al Qaeda's leader in
Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, were behind last week's rocket attack on U.S. warships in the Red Sea port of Aqaba, Jordanian security officials said on Tuesday.
click here

Zarqawi's Sunni Muslim group claimed responsibility for Friday's attack, in which the rockets missed their targets, but hit a warehouse and a hospital, killing a Jordanian soldier, and struck the Israeli port of Eilat.

An Internet statement said those who had carried out the strikes had 'withdrawn ... and returned safely to their base.'

The Jordanian officials identified the suspects as an Iraqi named Mohammed Hameed Hassan, also known as Abu Mukhtar, and a Syrian named Mohammed Hassan Abdullah al-Sahli and his two sons.

The officials, who asked not to be named, said Sahli had been part of an al Qaeda sleeper cell in Amman. He was arrested shortly after his sons, Abdullah and Abdul-Rahman, fled across the border to Iraq with Hassan on Friday.

They said the Syrians had used forged Iraqi passports to enter Jordan, a tightly policed pro-Western kingdom where militant attacks are rare"
  Nope, no reason at all to secure the borders is their Mr. President?
NBC12 Online | Arrest made in Spotsylvania beating: "An illegal alien, Jose Ramirez, 28, has been arrested and charged with the brutal beating of a 15-year-old girl who allegedly ignored his whistles at a construction site in Spotsylvania County.

Police say the 15 year old girl suffered a broken nose, bone fracture to the right side of her face and received approximately 30 stitches to her face and back of her head.

Police say the 15 year old girl was walking by on a road, when Ramirez, who was working on a construction project at a nearby townhouse, whistled at her.

Witnesses told police the next thing they saw, Ramirez appeared enraged and took off running after the girl. He allegedly began to beat her on her face and head.

Ramirez then fled into a nearby wooded area. Short while later, authorities found Ramirez a few blocks away. Ramirez, an illegal alien from El Salvador, allegedly resisted arrest but was finally subdued.

Ramirez is facing aggravated malicious wounding charges as well as abduction with intent to defile. Both charges carry a possible life sentence."
Monday, August 22, 2005
  The only true and lasting peace will follow victory.
New York Post Online Edition: news: "Hamas terrorists vowed yesterday to drive Israel out of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

'Gaza is not Palestine,' a masked spokesman for Hamas' armed wing declared, making it clear the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip will not satisfy the fanatical terrorist group.

'As for Jerusalem and the West Bank, we will seek to liberate them by resistance just as the Gaza Strip was liberated,' said the spokesman, surrounded by gunmen with rocket launchers.

But he did not say Hamas planned to abandon its truce, set to last until the end of the year.

Militants have agreed to respect the cease-fire at the behest of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who wants to ensure a quiet withdrawal of the Gaza settlers.

The appearance of the masked Hamas gunmen — who briefly took over Gaza City's central square — was a direct challenge to Abbas, who has appealed to militants not to flaunt their weapons in public.

It also underscored the reluctance of Abbas' police to confront gunmen."
  The Piss on America Museum
New York Daily News - Home - Editorials: Making a mockery of Ground Zero: "The IFC's organizers have also cited plans to host exhibitions by members of the International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience as a reason why the Freedom Center would be a perfect fit for the hallowed ground where 2,749 people were murdered. To which we can only say that IFC leaders Tom Bernstein and Richard Tofel must be nuts. The advice the coalition gave them is neither inspirational nor practical. It is pure anti-American hogwash.

The coalition's wisdom, as spelled out in its 2004 annual report, begins by expressing concern about how religious Muslims would view the Freedom Center and climaxes by offering Bernstein, Tofel & Co. an offensive prescription: 'Don't put America first.' The coalition also worries that 'the average Bangladeshi' feels 'his/her human rights have been violated by the U.S.' Come again? Exhibits on what amounts to a mass grave of slaughtered Americans will be decided by what the average Bangladeshi feels? Not bloody likely.

Consider this, too: 'The Freedom Center is a caricature of the typical American response to everything (telling every story from an American viewpoint).' Exactly what viewpoint is an American museum on American soil marking an American tragedy supposed to express? Oh, right. Bangladeshi."
  Heh, I wonder if we could do this iin South Central or Compton?
Scotsman.com News - International - Wild lions to be released to tackle kidnap gangs: "ONE Indian region is striking back against the bandits that have brought fear to the area by sending in wild lions to flush out the gangs from its forested ravines.

The Chambal region, which covers the states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh - has long been controlled by the gangs, known as 'dacoits'.

With its maze of undulating ravines and dense forests, the Chambal Valley has provided perfect cover for the hideouts of numerous dacoit gangs for decades. The dacoits, who mostly abduct people for ransom, have been blamed for more than 4,000 kidnappings and 180 murders in the last five years.

Now the government in the state of Uttar Pradesh has decided to strike back at the gangs by releasing 25 wild lions. The animals will be taken from a national park in Gujarat and released in the forests of Etawah."
  Not content with just software piracy anymore
FT.com / By industry / Autos - General Motors looks to legal action on car ‘copy’: "General Motors is considering legal action against a Chinese partner of Ford, its main US rival, after Jiangling Motors began exports to Europe of a vehicle GM believes is a copy of one of its off-road vehicles.

GM claims Jiangling's Land Wind has the body of the Frontera, a car made until two years ago in Luton, near London. It has handed the case to its legal department to consider whether to start a lawsuit, although no decisions have been made."
  Political expediency ruled the day?
Did Bush take us to war, spend US lives and treasure, just to hand the country over to black turbaned fanatics intent on returning to the 6th century?
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | US relents on Islamic law to reach Iraq deal: "The United States has eased its opposition to an Islamic Iraqi state to help clinch a deal on a draft constitution before tonight's deadline.

American diplomats backed religious conservatives who threatened to torpedo talks over the shape of the new Iraq unless Islam was a primary source of law. Secular and liberal groups were dismayed at the move, branding it a betrayal of Washington's promise to advocate equal rights in a free and tolerant society.

Stalemate over the role of Islam, among other issues, meant last week's deadline was extended for a week. Outstanding disputes could produce another cliffhanger tonight, triggering a further extension.

The Bush administration, keen to show the political process is on track, has waded into negotiations and pressured all sides to compromise."
  1,800 lives squandered to hand the country over the Islamists
News: "BAGHDAD, Aug 22 (Reuters) - A draft constitution for Iraq to be presented to parliament on Monday will make Islam 'a main source' for legislation and ban laws that contradict religious teachings, members of the parliamentary drafting panel said.

One said the text, agreed by the ruling Shi'ite and Kurdish coalition over Sunni Arab objections, would read: 'Islam is a main source for legislation and it is not permitted to legislate anything that conflicts with the fixed principles of its rules.'

Shi'ite delegate Jawad al-Maliki said the wording was fixed.

It appeared to be something of a compromise after secular Kurds had objected during negotiations to Islam being 'the main source' of laws. It was not clear how legislation would be subjected to the test of conforming to Islamic principles.

Critics have accused Shi'ite Islamists who dominate the interim government and parliament of planning to impose clerical rule in the style of neighbouring Shi'ite Iran. They deny it. "
  Gambling at Rick's ?!
Telegraph | News | Muslim chiefs do not vet groups for extremism: "he most powerful Islamic body in Britain admitted yesterday that it had failed to carry out even basic checks for extremism among its affiliated groups.

The Muslim Council of Britain, which represents more than 400 organisations across the country, said it 'assumed' that potential members were moderates and therefore did not investigate their literature or views.

It was responding to reports in a BBC Panorama programme broadcast last night that affiliated members had aired extremist views.

A council spokesman attacked the programme as 'manifestly dishonest' in its editing and accused the reporter of pursuing a 'vicious vendetta' against Muslims.

Ahl-e-Hadith, a Birmingham-based affiliated group with 41 branches across the country, has an article on its website telling followers to 'be different from Jews and Christians' whose 'ways are based on sick or deviant views'.

Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman for the council, told The Daily Telegraph that affiliates were not asked if they had renounced extremism. Neither their membership nor literature was investigated.

However, there is no suggestion that the council is not genuine in its condemnation of extremism and terrorism.

'We do not have time to check the websites of every organisation,' Mr Bunglawala said. 'As long as they sign a statement saying they agree to abide by the constitution and pay the £25, they are free to join. We can't control what our affiliates say; we are not a policing organisation.'

Panorama suggested that the council was 'in denial' about sectarianism in the Muslim community."
  The Religion of Desecrating Graveyards
Local News | The Pensacola News Journal: "Pensacola police are investigating the vandalism of a historic Jewish cemetery that left headstones from the early 1900s overturned and broken.

Members of the Temple Beth-el Congregation, which manages the cemetery on Cervantes Street, between Q and R streets, surveyed the damage Sunday. About 34 burial sites were damaged, causing more than $30,000 in damage, members said.

Martin S. Lewis, president of the congregation, said the vandalism appeared to have happened between 11 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday. A nearby resident monitors the cemetery, Lewis said. Everything was OK at the resident's last check about 11 p.m. Saturday."
  Remember when Zimbabwae was a net exporter of food?
Finance24 : Zim imports 350 000t of maize: "Harare - The Zimbabwe government, in an effort to stave off massive food shortages, has imported 350 000 tons of the staple maize grain over the past three months, a newspaper reported on Monday.

The head of Zimbabwe's state-controlled Grain Marketing Board, Samuel Muvuti told the state-controlled Herald the country was aiming to import approximately 120 000 tons of maize a month to meet the country's total annual requirement of 1.8 million tons of maize.

'We are well-networked and we intend to import grain at the rate of 120 000 tons per month,' Muvuti said.

Zimbabwe is in its fourth year of food shortages, which the United Nations's World Food Programme (WFP) estimates will affect more than four million people between now and March.

President Robert Mugabe's government has refused to make an official appeal for international food aid, saying it has the resources to import sufficient food for its 11.6 million people."
  Arrogant Cowards. Black Robed Overlords indeed
HoustonChronicle.com - Supreme Court won't re-hear eminent domain case: "WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court, given a chance to revisit a heavily criticized ruling, refused today to reconsider its decision giving local governments more power to seize people's homes for economic development.

So contentious was the court's narrow 5-4 ruling in the so-called eminent domain case earlier this year that some critics launched a campaign to seize Justice David Souter's farmhouse in New Hampshire to build a luxury hotel. Others singled out Justice Stephen Breyer's vacation home in the same state for use as a park.

Both Souter and Breyer voted on the prevailing side. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who did not, sharply criticized her colleagues at the time. She said in a minority opinion that the ruling favored the well-heeled over the less fortunate.

In addition, legislators in some 25 states are considering changing their eminent domain laws to soften the impact.

Justices did not comment today in refusing to reconsider the case, which had been expected because requests for a reconsideration of rulings are rarely granted."
  Hacker underground erupts in virtual turf wars
Hacker underground erupts in virtual turf wars | csmonitor.com: "One of the noteworthy aspects of this latest outbreak was the speed with which Zotob appeared after Microsoft announced it had developed a fix for the vulnerability Zotob was written to exploit. While not the fastest piece of hacker software - or 'malware' - to hit the streets, its six-day gestation period beat the current average. 'In the last 24 months, the average has gone from 21 days to eight days, and it's continuing to trend downward,' Mr. Franklin says.

One reason behind the increased speed: Malware writers appear to be using prewritten program 'shells' into which they can stuff code tailored to the newest vulnerability, experts say. Meanwhile, corporate network managers sometimes have to negotiate with other parts of the corporation before they can speed up the process of plugging software gaps.

The biggest concern is over what security specialists call 'zero-day exploits,' when malware hits the Internet the same day that the fix for the vulnerability is announced.

Zotob's rise and fall highlights what many see as an increasing ethical dimension to keep a clean machine, Franklin adds. The viruses of yesteryear, 'where something would get on your system and blow away your boot sector just doesn't happen that much anymore.' Today, the various forms of malware 'are all converging in what they do. It's either looking to use your system without your knowledge to do something against other systems, or it's trying to collect information on you and combine it with information from other people' for use in fraud or identify theft schemes.

An unprotected computer running Windows XP experiences an average 'survival' time of 26 minutes on the Internet before hackers identify it as vulnerable, according to the SANS Institute, a cooperative Internet security organization."
Sunday, August 21, 2005
  What the hell, the taxpayers can always come up with more. Pissing away good money after bad
US boosts Gaza aid by $30m: "Gaza City - Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas said on Sunday Washington was to give the Palestinians an extra US$30m in aid for water treatment projects, after talks with a senior US envoy.

'The American administration has kept its promise and is going to give us $50m to finance housing and job creation projects in the Gaza Strip,' said Abbas after talks with senior US state department official David Welch.

Last May, US President George W Bush announced that Washington would extend $50m in direct aid to the Palestinian Authority after holding talks with Abbas at the White House.

'It has also approved a grant of $30m for water treatment projects and is prepared to ask donor countries to offer more economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority,' said Abbas."
  Zarqawi to open new front in Jordan?
International news from swissinfo, the Swiss news platform: "AMMAN (Reuters) - A rocket attack which narrowly missed two U.S. warships in Jordan may be a signal Iraq's al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi has opened a new front against Washington's closest Arab ally, security experts said on Sunday.

The two U.S warships were likely to be carefully chosen targets, the experts said. The vessels are among those that have been regularly docking and unloading supplies in the Red Sea port of Aqaba since the U.S. led the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Jordanian intelligence experts say the attack using Katyusha rockets indicates Zarqawi may favour expanding military attacks to pro-U.S. ally Jordan to hurt Washington's war effort in Iraq.

'Zarqawi appreciates more than ever that by hitting the U.S. military in Jordan he would score not just a symbolic victory but maybe disrupt a hitherto safe supply route for the U.S. army into bases in the western desert (of Iraq),' said one intelligence expert and official who requested anonymity.

Jordan denies providing logistical backing to Washington's military campaign though the U.S. military have said in briefings it has used the country as a main supply route.

Friday's attack missed the USS Ashland and its sister ship the USS Kearsage and was the most serious on U.S. targets in the staunchly pro-Western kingdom since the killing of U.S. diplomat Lawrence Foley in Amman in 2002.

'This is the first time they actually penetrated in a well coordinated military operation. Zarqawi will have learnt from this how to conduct a military operation in Jordan even if it missed its target...,' one security official said.

The incident has stoked fears in a tightly policed country that has not seen the kind of attacks on tourist resorts and Westerners that have taken place elsewhere."
  Pakistan continues to play both sides against the middle
US fury at wild-west militants who flee back to Pakistan - World - smh.com.au: "It should have been a slam dunk. In Afghanistan's eastern border region, US troops say they photographed Taliban fighters firing a rocket-launcher at them from the safety of the Pakistani side - within sight of a Pakistani military observation post.

But a frustrated US military official in Kabul explains: 'We thought we had them.

'But when we showed the pictures in Islamabad they said, 'We saw nothing.' It's the same when we call on our direct communications lines to say we're chasing the Taliban over the border - they see us coming and they refuse to pick up the phone,' he said, speaking anonymously.

Islamabad's failure to stem the rising flood of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters on deadly cross-border forays from Pakistan's wild west has sapped US hopes of defeating the infiltrators any time soon. And it has reduced relations between Islamabad and Kabul to an icy low.

More than 700 Afghans and 45 Americans have died as border raids intensified since the northern winter. This is all the more puzzling because Pakistan says it has sent 74,000 troops to the border region to rein them in."
  Remember when colleges championed free-speech. I guess you have to be a Ward Churchill before it counts
WBZ-AM: Local News: "Examples of speech codes that exist or have existed on college campuses:

Brown University restricted ``verbal behavior'' that creates ``feelings of impotence, anger, or disenfranchisement,'' whether ``intentional or unintentional.''

Colby College banned speech that causes ``a vague sense of danger'' or a loss of ``self-esteem.''

The University of Connecticut barred ``inconsiderate jokes,'' ``stereotyping'' and ``inappropriately directed laughter.''

The University of Buffalo Law School told students their right to free speech is limited by ``the responsibility to promote equality and justice.''

Syracuse University forbid ``offensive remarks ... sexually suggestive staring ... (and) sexual, sexist, or heterosexist remarks or jokes.''

West Virginia University advised students and faculty to ``use language that is not gender specific'' and that ``instead of referring to anyone's romantic partner as 'girlfriend' or 'boyfriend,' use positive generic terms such as 'friend,' 'lover,' or 'partner.'''

The University of North Dakota broadly defined as harassment anything that intentionally produces ``psychological discomfort, embarrassment, or ridicule.''"
Saturday, August 20, 2005
  Chickens coming home to roost
International News Article | Reuters.com: "COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A Danish maker of industrial pumps, Grundfos, on Friday admitted paying kickbacks to authorities in Saddam Hussein's Iraq under the U.N. oil-for-food program.

'We deeply regret that two employees have taken part in bribery in connection with Grundfos's sales of pumps under the oil-for-food program,' Grundfos Chief Executive Jens Joergen Madsen said in a statement.

The company said an internal investigation in May 2004 had revealed that the employees had paid bribes to Iraqi authorities in 2001-2002 to win two orders. It fired them and notified the Danish Foreign Ministry and the United Nations about the matter.

The company, which sold products worth up to 100 million Danish crowns under the oil-for-food plan during 1996-2003, declined to comment on the size of the bribes.

Earlier this month Benon Sevan, former head of the $67 billion oil-for-food humanitarian plan for Iraq, was accused of receiving nearly $150,000 in kickbacks, and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan last week ordered a broad independent review of the world body's procurement practices."
  The Mad Mullah's versus the rest of the world
Iran Focus-News - Special Wire - Iran police hunt banned satellite dishes: "Tehran, Iran, Aug. 20 – Iran’s police forces have been instructed to use all means, including helicopters, to locate and confiscate privately-owned satellite dishes, which are illegal in Iran.

A senior police commander in the north-eastern province of North Khorassan told local journalists in the provincial capital Mashad on Saturday that his forces have been using choppers to spot the satellite dishes and report them to ground units, which would then search the suspected homes and seize the dishes. Owners are imprisoned and expected to pay a heavy fine.

The local security forces commander said dozens of people had been arrested recently in the province for installing the dishes.

The Islamic Republic banned satellite dishes in 1995. The crackdown on satellite dishes was prompted by broadcasts from Iranian opposition groups whose television programs reportedly have a large audience in Iran.

The police commander said the security forces were cracking down on other “social vices”, including alcohol consumption, and had arrested many people on these charges."
  Tell me again why the Left is so opposed to Bolton?
Telegraph | News | Bush's 'bruiser' squares up to UN in row over Palestinian propaganda: "John Bolton, the controversial new American ambassador to the United Nations, has lodged a protest about its 'inappropriate and unacceptable' funding of a Palestinian propaganda campaign to accompany the Gaza withdrawal.

His public complaint is a clear signal that Mr Bolton, who was appointed by President George W Bush over the heads of the United Nations Senate, is not going to try to appease his critics.

Jewish groups reacted with fury to banners, mugs, bumper stickers and T-shirts bearing the slogan 'Today Gaza, Tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem' which bore the UN Development Programme logo.

Israelis view the slogan, and particularly the reference to Jerusalem, as an aspiration to destroy the Jewish state.

The dispute became more acrimonious when the UNDP appeared to state that, while it was improper to use the logo, there was nothing wrong with its money being used to produce what has been denounced as incitement.

Kemal Dervis, a UNDP official, responded to a complaint from the American Jewish Congress by saying that the UNDP 'cannot be involved in political messaging' and it was 'not at all acceptable' that its logo was used.

Yet Timothy Rothermel, head of the organisation's Palestinian programme, was quoted on Fox News, the American cable channel, as saying that the slogan was 'consistent with the relevant UN resolutions and Security Council resolutions about the status of Palestine'.

UNDP officials argue that the Palestinian Authority has the freedom to use the UN money without each element being reviewed by the world body.

Mr Bolton, whose arrival at the UN was delayed after Democratic leaders blocked a crucial senate vote on his appointment, told the New York Sun that the UNDP's response was not adequate."
  The Frogs are unable to defeat the frogs
Independent Online Edition > Europe : app2: "'Shooting them with rifles is the most effective method we have found,' said an environmental campaigner, Luc Gueugneau.

'It seemed like a rather mean-spirited approach at first but we found that it was the best way of killing all the adults.'

Even so, experimental attacks on ponds and lakes over the past 11 months have killed only 120 frogs. A much bigger offensive, starting this weekend, aims to exterminate all the bullfrogs in France within five to 10 years."
  Why is the Administration unwilling to actually bring the fight to the enemy where ever they may be?
Telegraph | News | Iran 'supplies infra-red bombs' that kill British troops in Iraq: "British soldiers in Iraq are being killed by advanced 'infra-red' bombs supplied by Iran that defeat jamming equipment, according to military intelligence officials.

The 'passive infra-red' devices, whose use in Iraq is revealed for the first time by The Sunday Telegraph, are detonated when the beam is broken, as when an intruder triggers a burglar alarm. They were used by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group against Israel in Lebanon from 1995.

Click to enlarge

A radio signal is used to arm the bomb as a target vehicle approaches. The next object to break the infra-red beam - the target vehicle - detonates the device.

Coalition officials see the disturbing development as a key part of an aggressive new campaign by Teheran to drive coalition forces out of Iraq so that an Islamic theocracy can be established."
  Reverend Lacy gets it. Why can't the US?
Scotsman.com News - Top Stories - Muslim radicals should quit UK says Moderator: "SCOTLAND'S most senior churchman says extremist Muslim clerics should leave the country, and has branded them 'hypocrites' who treat their neighbours as 'enemies'.

Church of Scotland Moderator, Rev David Lacy, also accuses radical Islamists of speaking out 'against us from within' while receiving 'heart operations and care on our system'.

Lacy's unprecedented remarks, in an interview with Scotland on Sunday, have strongly divided opinion within the Kirk and represent a marked departure from the cautious tone usually adopted by moderators.

Lacy said extremist Muslims - such as Muhammad al-Massari, who has been accused of encouraging attacks on coalition soldiers in Iraq - should go.

'They have been welcomed as brothers and have treated us as enemies. It is hypocrisy, they should leave,' said Lacy.

'If we are their enemies they should have nothing to do with us, but they don't. They speak out against us from within and get heart operations and care on our system. And we are happy to do that for them, to have rights and care, but we expect them to love us in return and accept our right to be who we are.'

Lacy also criticised civil liberties campaigners, whom he accused of stressing rights while underplaying the need for individual responsibility.

He added that those who believed it was Christian to 'turn the other cheek' to such extremism were misunderstanding the Gospel message and claimed that believers had a duty to 'confront evil'."
  How long till we call a spade a spade and actually confront the enemy and their ideology?
Radical Islam an Issue in Prisons - Los Angeles Times: "Islamic extremism is a potential danger in California's state prisons, but one that can be mitigated by closely monitoring inmates and carefully and consistently screening Muslim chaplains, say Muslim clerics, scholars and prison officials.

Federal investigators suspect that an Islamist prison gang, called Jamiyyat Ul Islam Is Saheeh, or Assembly of Authentic Islam, may have links to three Muslim men recently implicated in a possible plot to attack National Guard Recruitment Centers in California.

One of the suspects converted to Islam while serving time at Folsom state prison."
  This is from Al-Reuters so take it with a football sized grain of salt, but very disturbing nonetheless
World News Article | Reuters.co.uk: "BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. diplomats have conceded ground to Islamists on the role of religion in Iraq, negotiators said on Saturday as they raced to meet a 48-hour deadline to draft a constitution under intense U.S. pressure.

U.S. diplomats, who have insisted the constitution must enshrine ideals of equal rights and democracy, declined comment.

Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish negotiators all said there was accord on a bigger role for Islamic law than Iraq had before.

But a secular Kurdish politician said Kurds opposed making Islam 'the', not 'a', main source of law -- changing current wording -- and subjecting all legislation to a religious test.

'We understand the Americans have sided with the Shi'ites,' he said. 'It's shocking. It doesn't fit American values. They have spent so much blood and money here, only to back the creation of an Islamist state ... I can't believe that's what the Americans really want or what the American people want.'"
  Cutting their nose off to spite their face
CBS News | Mechanics Walk Out On Northwest | August 20, 2005 19:26:18: "After months of talks broke off in Washington just before midnight Friday, union negotiator Jim Young said the mechanics would rather see the airline go into bankruptcy than agree to Northwest's terms. The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association represents 4,427 mechanics, cleaners and custodians, about 11 percent of Northwest's 40,000 employees.

The mechanics average about $70,000 a year in pay, and the cleaners and custodians can make around $40,000. The company wanted to cut their wages by about 25 percent as part of a package to save it $176 million a year.

But it also wanted to lay off about 2,000 workers, almost halving a workforce that is already half the size it was in 2001. And the cuts would be concentrated among the cleaners and custodians. Northwest has said that other airlines get that work done more cheaply with contractors.

Mike Tyrna, an aircraft cleaner for Northwest for 16 years, said union members had no choice but to strike. "
  South Africa to get tough with Mugabe - World - smh.com.au
After years of coddling and supporting this madman, it looks like SA may actually get serious. (For background click here)

South Africa to get tough with Mugabe - World - smh.com.au: "President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa has privately conceded his 'quiet diplomatic' approach towards Zimbabwe has failed to yield results, opening the way for a more forceful policy towards Robert Mugabe's regime.

The signs from South Africa suggest that the African leaders - who for decades have refused to criticise abuses among their number - are considering breaking the taboo and taking Mr Mugabe to task for the destruction of his country.

The South African leader has sacrificed much of his international reputation by declining to criticise President Mugabe's excesses. Instead, South Africa has tried to influence Zimbabwe's regime with behind-the-scenes talks.

Yet the country's descent into economic collapse and political repression has continued unabated, leading Mr Mbeki to think again.

'Our President has eventually agreed that the quiet diplomatic approach has not yielded the results that were expected,' said Devikarani Jana, a diplomat who received a briefing on Zimbabwe from South African officials last week."
Current events with a sprinkle of opionion.


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