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Posted on December 2nd, 2010 at 23:19 by Paul Jay in category: Great Picture

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Dolphins see themselves in mirror

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 at 21:17 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Nigeria agency says to charge Cheney over Halliburton

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 at 21:02 by Paul Jay in category: News


LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria’s anti-corruption police said on Thursday they planned to file charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in a $180 million bribery case involving a former unit of oil services firm Halliburton.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday summoned the country chief of Halliburton and last week detained 10 Nigerian and expatriate Halliburton staff for questioning after raiding its Lagos office.

“We are filing charges against Cheney,” EFCC spokesman Femi Babafemi told Reuters, but declined to give any further details on what the charges were, or where they would be filed.

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  1. I guess they could not find any corrupt politicians in Nigeria to charge with something?

Close the Washington Monument

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 at 19:23 by John Sinteur in category: Security


Securing the Washington Monument from terrorism has turned out to be a surprisingly difficult job. The concrete fence around the building protects it from attacking vehicles, but there’s no visually appealing way to house the airport-level security mechanisms the National Park Service has decided are a must for visitors. It is considering several options, but I think we should close the monument entirely. Let it stand, empty and inaccessible, as a monument to our fears.

An empty Washington Monument would serve as a constant reminder to those on Capitol Hill that they are afraid of the terrorists and what they could do. They’re afraid that by speaking honestly about the impossibility of attaining absolute security or the inevitability of terrorism — or that some American ideals are worth maintaining even in the face of adversity — they will be branded as “soft on terror.” And they’re afraid that Americans would vote them out of office if another attack occurred. Perhaps they’re right, but what has happened to leaders who aren’t afraid? What has happened to “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”?

An empty Washington Monument would symbolize our lawmakers’ inability to take that kind of stand — and their inability to truly lead.

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  1. Right now is almost impossible to visit the monument. You have to go there in the early morning to book one of the few tickets available every day, then come back later to wait your number being called and then queue up for the visit, a feat that may require two to three hours.

    For a tourist, it’s a choice: visit all the memorials and the Mall, maybe Arlington and the Capitol, or waste your day to climb a phallic landmark? Guess it may say a lot about someone’s sexuality.

Citizens of Europe Rage Against the Machine

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 at 14:41 by Paul Jay in category: News


The international bankster machine seeking to colonize Western nations through debt is now meeting resistance from Greece, to France, to Ireland, to Italy, to Spain, to Portugal, and to the U.K.

The protesters are getting support from someone who is experiencing the outcome of resisting public bailouts of private banking debts.  The President of Iceland recently remarked that they’re in much better shape than Ireland because they let the private banks fail and their currency naturally devalued, allowing them to regain some competitiveness relative to their neighbors:

“The difference is that in Iceland we allowed the banks to fail,” Grimsson said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Mark Barton today. “These were private banks and we didn’t pump money into them in order to keep them going; the state did not shoulder the responsibility of the failed private banks.”

UK’s Libertarian politician, Nigel Farage, once viewed as a fringe player, is now getting international recognition for forewarning his European comrades about the troubles in the system.  He’s quickly becoming a hero to the banker resistance as his credibility reaches new heights for being proved right — much like his U.S. counterpart Congressman Ron Paul. His rants in the European Parliament are going viral on YouTube as the people are waking up to their servitude to banks and a lack of true democracy and sovereignty.

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Wikileaks and the El-Masri case: Innocent CIA torture victim more than just a leaked cable

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 at 13:38 by John Sinteur in category: News


When Wikileaks released thousands of classified US diplomatic cables this week, a familiar criticism was repeated by the project’s foes: these leaks could harm innocent people. There’s no evidence of that yet, but within the documents there is evidence the American government has harmed innocent people.

One of them is Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, and a victim of so-called “extraordinary rendition.” He was a car salesman in Germany, a father of six. The CIA kidnapped him by mistake (his name sounds and looks identical to that of an actual terror suspect), and sent off to receive months of torture in Afghanistan.

When the CIA realized he was innocent, he was flown to Albania and dumped on a back road without so much as an apology.

El-Masri’s futile efforts at receiving justice in the U.S. are well-known, but the cables published this week by Wikileaks include revelations the U.S. also warned German authorities not to allow a local investigation into his kidnapping and abuse.

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Republicans block child nutrition bill

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 at 13:28 by Paul Jay in category: News


WASHINGTON – House Republicans have temporarily blocked legislation to feed school meals to thousands more hungry children. Republicans used a procedural maneuver Wednesday to try to amend the $4.5 billion bill, which would give more needy children the opportunity to eat free lunches at school and make those lunches healthier. First lady Michelle Obama has lobbied for the bill as part of her “Let’s Move” campaign to combat childhood obesity.

House Democrats said the GOP amendment, which would have required background checks for child care workers, was an effort to kill the bill and delayed a final vote on the legislation rather than vote on the amendment.

Because the nutrition bill is identical to legislation passed by the Senate in August, passage would send it to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature. If the bill were amended, it would be sent back to the Senate with little time left in the legislative session.

McDonalds probably objected.

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RBS bosses cleared of fraud

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 at 13:15 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


The City watchdog today ruled out action against former bosses at Royal Bank of Scotland after finding no evidence of fraud or dishonest activity in the lead-up to the financial crisis.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) cleared the firm and individuals, including former chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin, but warned that their competence would be taken into account in any future applications made by them to work at FSA-regulated firms.

In its investigation into the bailed-out bank, the FSA said RBS made a series of bad decisions in the years immediately before the financial crisis, most significantly the acquisition of Dutch bank ABN AMRO and the decision to aggressively expand its investment banking business.

But it added: "The review concluded that these bad decisions were not the result of a lack of integrity by any individual and we did not identify any instances of fraud or dishonest activity by RBS senior individuals or a failure of governance on the part of the board."

So that leaves incompetency as an explanation. Why do these people still have a job?

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Obama White House pressured Spain to drop Bush torture prosecution, leaked cable shows

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 at 13:11 by John Sinteur in category: News


The Obama administration went to the mat to defend its predecessors from a torture prosecution in Spain last year, a leaked State Department cable shows.

The cable, released by WikiLeaks this week, shows that senior US diplomats teamed with Republican lawmakers — including a former Republican Party chairman — to put pressure on Spanish officials to drop a criminal investigation into the Bush administration’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Bush is a far bigger criminal than Assange will ever be.

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  1. Bush? No, Obama is the criminal. He wasn’t protecting Bush, he was protecting himself.

TSA frisks groom children to cooperate with sex predators

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 at 12:50 by John Sinteur in category: Security


An expert in the fight against child sexual abuse is raising the alarm about a technique the TSA is reportedly using to get children to co-operate with airport pat-downs: calling it a "game".

Ken Wooden, founder of Child Lures Prevention, says the TSA’s recommendation that children be told the pat-down is a "game" is potentially putting children in danger.

Telling a child that they are engaging in a game is "one of the most common ways" that sexual predators use to convince children to engage in inappropriate contact, Wooden told Raw Story.

Do your kids feel safer yet?

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Why The Wikileaks Document Release Is Key To A Functioning Democracy

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 at 12:47 by John Sinteur in category: News


Look at who’s complaining the most about Wikileaks and you realize that it’s the people who benefit from not being held accountable for their actions.

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Tax cuts: The party that says no does it again

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 at 12:38 by John Sinteur in category: News


On Tuesday, President Obama said a bunch of high-minded things about a new era of bipartisan cooperation between Republicans and Democrats. On Wednesday, all 42 Republican senators signed a letter declaring that they would block Congress from any action at all until tax cuts for the wealthy have been safely extended.

Dear Obama, for once, call their bluff.

You know your country is in trouble when the banks get a 2nd bailout, the unemployed get their benefits cut, and the rich continue to get a tax break.

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Sarah Palin says: target WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange like the Taliban

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 at 9:45 by John Sinteur in category: News


Sarah Palin, who is widely tipped as a possible Republican candidate for president in 2012, has said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be hunted down in the way armed forces are targeting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

I don’t understand why she wants to spend billions of dollars on not catching him…

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  1. So they’re going to kill him with guided missiles? Daisy cutter bombs? Where was he again? London?

  2. Despite the official American uproar (Which is surely more theater on their part than genuine concern) and Palin’s standard silliness, it should be noted that Assange is hiding from European authorities right now, not American authorities.

  3. Is he? According to the pundits he’s in the UK, and the UK police knows exactly where.

  4. Interpol has issued a “Red Notice” for him.


    He’s wanted in Sweden but not for his whistle blowing activities.

    By the way, do you think Assange may someday bring the sunshine to some of the other dark corners of the Earth? They are surely not all in America. 🙂

  5. Of course – rumors are that he has a lot of stuff on russia as well

YouTube Officially Launches Ads You Can Skip

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 at 9:36 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself


Yep, you read that right. Today, YouTube is officially launching TrueView, a new ad format that lets users skip over ads they aren’t interested in — and advertisers are actually okay with it.

It’s a new format that YouTube has been testing for a while now, and it’s a bit different than what you’re probably used to. When a TrueView ad unit begins playing, you’ll notice a five second countdown timer — as soon as that’s up, you’ll see an arrow that will let you skip the remainder of the ad and get back to the content you wanted to see, or you can choose to keep on watching the ad.

So at 5 seconds everyone participates in a no-opt-out survey on whether or not the ad interests them. No wonder advertisers like it! They get to sell their products to everyone for 5 seconds at a cut rate, to known-interested parties for X seconds at a normal rate, PLUS info on which ads get the most dropouts, least dropouts, and presumably WHEN they drop out.

Pardon me for configuring AdBlock to filter this shit out.

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  1. John, only you can make skippable ads sound like a bad thing. If this (a) means I have to watch less advertising, and (b) means that google can better target me with ads that I am interested in, I’m all for it.

  2. That’s our difference right there – I don’t care about (b)

Amazon continues tight-lipped policy with WikiLeaks takedown

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 at 6:44 by John Sinteur in category: News


WikiLeaks, the nonprofit site that publishes leaked government documents, was booted off, Amazon.com’s cloud computing services today following political pressure from Senator Joe Lieberman.


If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books.

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  1. Joe Lieberman scared them.