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Archive for March, 2010

Estalibhsment Figure Peggy Noonan notes High Anger among Americans

Monday, March 29th, 2010

The link
I understand that many of the people who are “angry” are not necessarily our comrades, nevertheless I consider it a good thing if American figures are finally starting to look back and analyze what people think about the political establishment. I do not trust the American establishment to seriously get over its arrogance, but it is a start.

So where are we? In a dangerous place, actually.

Politics is a rough arena, and understandably so, for our politicians tell us more and more how to order our lives. Naturally there will be resistance, and strong opposition. We have a long history of hurly-burly debate, and we all know examples the past 200 years of terrible things said and done. Capitol tour guides enjoy showing the stain on the marble steps supposedly left by the blood of Sen. Charles Sumner, beaten half to death on the floor of the senate in 1856 by Rep. Preston Brooks, who wielded a thick gold-tipped cane. So we’ve had our moments.

But it’s a mistake not to see something new, something raw and bitter and dangerous, in the particular moment we’re in.

Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, this week announced that 10 congressional Democrats have recently been menaced and threatened with violence, and that they found it necessary to meet with the FBI and Capitol Police. A congressman apparently said a casket had been left near his home; a congresswoman reportedly said she was worried for the safety of her children.

This is all completely believable.

Democratic officials are right to call attention to what they believe is a growing threat. It is a truly terrible thing. But it would be deeply unhelpful for the Democrats to use this story as a mere political opportunity, as a way to undermine opposition to ObamaCare by painting opponents as dangerous and unhinged. That would only inflame the country, and in any case is not true. The truth is this sickness works both ways.

There probably isn’t a Republican leader who has not the past few years been menaced, and in exactly the same ways as the Democrats. Thursday I asked a staffer for a congressman who is a significant and respected opponent of the health-care bill if he had ever been threatened. Yes indeed. “Over the years and as recently as yesterday,” both the congressman and his staff “have received countless threats—both threats of violence and of death. These come in the form of letters, faxes, emails, phone calls, and voice-mail messages. We’ve had the front window smashed in at one of our district offices. Rather than call TV crews or the Washington Post, we report threats to the proper authorities, and move on. We’d take issue with the recent narrative that conservatives are disproportionately hostile, prone to violence or whatever message the left is pushing these days. They have anecdotes, we have anecdotes.”

Even columnists and pundits have anecdotes. Just about everyone in public life on whatever level gets threats now.

Here’s the tenor and tone of the moment:
Under the news story on Mr. Hoyer’s statement on the Yahoo! news site on Thursday, there was a lengthy comment thread, with more than 800 people offering their thoughts. “An American Hitler might be in the making who would purge the leftists,” said one, who of course didn’t use his or her name. “Republicans are criminals and terrorists,” said another. “Republicans . . . are thugs, scoundrels and rascals.” And: “What did they expect when they . . . went against the American people and are FORCING this bill on us.” “It’s what happens before the revolution . . . people are frustrated over not being heard . . . let the battle begin.”

Here, edited for a family newspaper, are some of the recorded telephone messages left on the answering machine of Rep. Bart Stupak. These are messages left by individuals who appear to be pro-life activists—that is, people who have put themselves on the line to support generous and compassionate treatment of the unborn.

“I hope you bleed out your ___, get cancer and die.” “You will rue the day. . . . I hope you’re haunted the rest of your living day. . . . We think you’re a devil. . . . The country loathes you.” “You are one big piece of human ____. There are people across the country who wish you ill, and all of those thoughts projected on you will materialize into something that’s not very good for you. Go to hell, you piece of ____.”

These are people whose professed mission it is to save children. Whatever else these particular individuals are, they are people whose nerves have been rubbed raw.

Responsible leaders on all levels of American life ought to stop, breathe in, and see the level of anger and agitation that’s rippling through the country. Both sides should try to cool it, or something bad is going to happen. In fact I am struck now by how, when I worry aloud about this and say to a conservative or a liberal, a Republican or a Democrat, that I fear something bad is going to happen, no one disagrees. No one says, “Don’t worry, it’s nothing.” They say—again, left, right and center: “I’m afraid of that too.”

What I keep thinking of is a beehive. A modern, high tech, highly politicized democracy is a busy beehive, and sometimes the bees are angry, and sometimes someone comes by and sticks a big sharp stick in the hive. The biggest thing Washington should do right now is stop it, stop poking the stick.

The beehive was already angry about a million things a year ago, and most of those things, obviously, were not the fault of the administration. People are angry at their economic vulnerability. They are angry at the deterioration of our culture, angry at our nation’s deteriorating position in the world, at our debts and deficits, our spending and taxing, our threatened security in a world of weapons of mass destruction. Their anger is stoked by cynical politicians and radio ranters and people who come home at night, have a few drinks, and spew out their rage on the comment thread. It’s a world full of people always cocking the gun and ready to say, if things turn bad, “But I didn’t tell anyone to shoot!”

And yes, this mood, this anger, has only been made worse by this yearlong, enervating, exhausting, enraging fight over health care. The administration is full of people who are so bright, and led by one who is very bright, and yet they have a signal failure: They do not know what time it is. They cannot see how high the temperature is. They cannot for the life of them understand that they raise it.

What we need now in our leaders is the knowledge that there is so much that is tearing us apart as a nation and that the great project now is to keep us together, to hold us together as much as possible, because future trends will be to come apart, and for many reasons. To come apart because we’re no longer held close and firmly by the old glue of appreciation for a common heritage, history and culture; to come apart because we’re a country that increasingly feels there are people in the cart and people pulling the cart, and the latter are increasingly overwhelmed and fearful; coming apart because we’re now in at least our second generation of young, lost, unguided children with no fully functioning parent in their lives, kids being raised by a microwave and a TV set. All of these things weigh and grate.

They are all, of course, too big and complicated to be adequately dealt with in a year or even a decade. But one immediate thing can be done right now, and that is: lower the temperature. Any way you can, and everybody. Just lower it.

Happy with results of Iraqi Presidential Election

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Ayad Allawi is secular, skeptical of Shia Iran and pragmatic.

I disapprove of the invasion, but am happy with the result.

They are calling him a Ba’athist sympathizer. That only makes me like him more.

The link

What change?

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

“I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am President, it is the first thing that I will do! I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war! You can take this to the bank!” Sen. Barack Obama, October 27, 2007

“After eight years, some of those years in which we did not have, I think, either the resources or the strategy to get the job done, it is my intention to finish the job.  And I feel very confident that when the American people hear a clear rationale for what we’re doing there, and how we intend to achieve our goals, that they will be supportive.”  Pres. Barack Obama, November 24, 2009*

*President’s speech announcing plans to deploy more than 30,000 additional US troops to occupied Afghanistan.

Mitochondrial DNA can be corrupted by Paternal Ancestry!

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

The link
This is very important! First off, the website may be a biased creationist website. However, it is quoting evidence from websites that are not biased.

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is generally assumed to be inherited exclusively from the mother…. Several recent papers, however, have suggested that elements of mtDNA may sometimes be inherited from the father. This hypothesis is based on evidence that mtDNA may undergo recombination. If this does occur, maternal mtDNA in the egg must cross over with homologous sequences in a different DNA molecule; paternal mtDNA seems the most likely candidate…. If mtDNA can recombine, irrespective of the mechanism, there are important implications for mtDNA evolution and for phylogenetic studies that use mtDNA (Morris and Mightowlers, 2000, 355:1290, emphasis added).

Anniversary of the Iraq Occupation

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

From the American Party of Labor (Red Phoenix)

By Comrade Kale, A. S. Kinser & Marcus Winter

Seven Years of War

The 20th of March 2010 marks the seventh anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. And after seven years, over 100,000 dead Iraqi citizens, 700+ billion dollars and almost 5000 US soldier deaths later, what does the American Empire have to show for its expense? Not much. Iraq, even still is a county ruined and torn apart by war. Power in Baghdad is often only on one or two hours per day, crime and ethnic violence are still rampant, and much worse. That country, so rich in oil, is now in debt—a large debt too. The oil fields themselves have been mainly privatized and although they are pumping oil, the efforts of the American exploiter corporations in Iraq are hampered by the heroic efforts of the Iraqi Resistance.

In these past seven years it has been remarkable how much the original reasons behind the invasion have been widely proven to be a lie. By now, everyone knows that the so-called Global War on Terror has nothing to do with terrorism, the Taliban, democracy or womens’ rights in the Middle East. It is also common knowledge that Iraq held no responsibility for attacks against the US, and that the old WMD claims of Saddam’s government possessing biological and nuclear weapons was a lie.

Let’s discuss the fact that the US government stated it was “freeing” a subjugated people. We need not look far to disprove that. Despite claims of “fighting radical Islam,” Saddam’s Ba’ath Party was a secular party throughout its history. The US supports the Saudi Arabian monarchy financially, politically and militarily. The United States and the Bush Administration did not enter the war because it was liberating anyone. Iraq was also not filled with “terrorists” until a military coalition invaded it.

Operation Iraqi “Freedom”

The former Administration of George W. Bush seized the opportunity after the events of 9/11 to launch an occupation against two nations and interfere in several more. The US government assembled a military coalition to secure the economically and strategically crucial Persian Gulf. Iraq’s military and civilian infrastructures have been mostly obliterated by sustained military bombardment and on-the-ground invasion. Predictably, this involved overthrowing Middle Eastern regimes that interfered with US corporate interests in exploiting vast oil fields in Central Asia. This has ended in the installation of a “democratic” government hand-picked by US forces, which of course support the ongoing military presence.

Some Statistics

It’s been seven years since the United States launched its occupation into Iraq, and that means it is time for us to review the numbers. First, take a note. At the time we began writing this article an estimated $712,156,525,787 had been spent on the war.

Number of Coalition Forces who have Died in Iraq: 4,693

4,375 US Military, 179 British Military, 139 Other Country Coalition Forces

Number of Civilians Dead (Iraqi and Other): 151,000

Number of Iraqi Security Forces: 8,745

Number of Insurgent Deaths: 20,987

Number of Private Military Contractor Deaths: 1,186

Number of Journalists: 170

218,397

Source: http://www.icasualties.org/Iraq/index.aspx

[Due to chaos and civil war, actual totals for Iraqi deaths are most likely much higher than the numbers recorded on this site. As well, the United Nations Human Rights Council as well as the UN can be seen as a group led by the US and therefore cannot be trusted in it's listing of Human Rights Violations. We post these numbers as merely one possible source. Some have listed as high as over 1,000,000 dead.]

That number is 186,781 dead and 31,616 wounded. This is the human cost of a war propagated by the United States government not for the liberation of a people, but for imperialism and the dawn of a New Age of American Colonialism. By the time we finished writing this article an estimated $712,164,983,347 had been spent. That is $8,457,560 dollars worth of writing.

Announcement

With seven years, 186,781 dead and 31,616 wounded under its belt, need this war, now turned into an out-and-out occupation, continue? It will unless the American people stand up and put a stop to imperialist war once and for all.

In light of all that has been said here and must continue to be said, the American Party of Labor must reiterate the call it began making a year ago during the 6th anniversary of this tragedy:

Troops Out of Iraq! Troops Out of Everywhere!

Support of Israeli Pagans over Orthodox Judaism

Friday, March 19th, 2010

The link
I would like to publicly endorse these open pagans of Jewish blood with my full capability and let it be known that I support them 100%! There isn’t much more to say on the subject! Those who thought that my “fall out” with some “big Jews” would lead me to take up an anti-Semitic line will be sorely disappointed!

People in plot to kill Swedish Cartoonish arrested

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

The link
Imperialism is a two edged sword, and I see no reason to make a moral distinction between American imperialism and Islamic imperialism. I salute the authorities for properly dealing with the matter.

Lars Vilks had a $100,000 bounty put on his head after he drew the Muhammad cartoon for local newspaper Nerikes Allehanda. Photo: Harry Soremski/AFP/Getty

Irish police today arrested seven suspects over an alleged plot to kill a Swedish artist who drew the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog.

The target of the alleged assassination was Lars Vilks, who had a $100,000 (£67,000) bounty put on his head by al-Qaida in 2007, with a 50% bonus if Vilks was “slaughtered like a lamb” by having his throat cut. Another $50,000 was said to have been put on the life of Ulf Johansson, editor-in-chief of Nerikes Allehanda, the local newspaper that printed the cartoon.

The four men and three women, who were detained at about 10am this morning, are in their mid-20s to late-40s and are being held at stations in Waterford, Tramore, Dungarvan and Thomastown. Garda sources have confirmed that some of those arrested hold Irish citizenship and a number are from the Middle East. Some of those questioned have been confirmed as converts to Islam.

The suspects are being held under Ireland’s Criminal Justice Act 2007. Under Irish law they can be held in custody for up to seven days.

Ireland’s anti-terrorist special detective unit was involved in the operation. A spokesman for the force said: “Throughout the investigation Garda Síochána has been working closely with law enforcement agencies in the United States and in a number of European countries.” The CIA and the FBI were involved in the investigation.

Vilks’ cartoon caused outrage because dogs are considered unclean by conservative Muslims, and Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet for fear it could lead to idolatry.

The controversy over cartoons depicting Muhammad began in 2005, when the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten printed 12 caricatures of the prophet after a children’s author said he could not find an illustrator for his book on the life of Muhammad.

The drawings sparked violent protests across the Muslim world, culminating with the burning of the Danish embassy in Damascus and its consulate in Beirut in February 2006.

HOAX NEWS: Russia attacks Georgia, Saakashvili killed

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Metal Gear “might” be on stumble inn radio today at 8 PM eastern time

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Just a guess. It’s a possibility.

The link

Marketing Technology that discrimiantes based on apperance

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

The link
Computers are being trained to be sexist and “race realist.” They probably judge on characteristics such as height, age and weight also. Bigoted computers! Cisco and Intel can be accused of bigotry, but certainly not of opposition to globalization!

Demographic “realism” is part of marketing. True it is not as precise as psychograpahic history, but without knowledge of actual individual buying patterns, the next best strategy is to go by demographics. The logic behind this is that while you will occasionally make a false judgment, at least a percentage of the time you will be correct in your stereotype.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Using technology from top Silicon Valley companies such as Cisco and Intel, advertisers are creating a new breed of digital signs that can be customized depending on a viewer’s age and gender.

Already starting to appear in selected malls and other spots around the country, the signs have the potential to revolutionize the retailing industry, but their intrusiveness has led to criticism from privacy advocates and nervousness from some in the marketing industry itself.

“The vast majority of people walking in stores, near elevators and in other public and private spaces have no idea that the innocent-looking flat screen TVs playing videos may be capturing their images and then dissecting and analyzing them for marketing purposes,” the nonprofit, Southern California-based World Privacy Forum warned in a report it issued on digital signs in January. “Controls need to be put in place now, before this technology runs amok.”

Businesses insist the signs are good for them and for consumers, because they can offer more focused and effective advertising. And the burgeoning market has caught the eye of Silicon Valley companies. Among them is San Jose-based Cisco, which makes gear that displays images and management software for the signs. It’s not a huge business yet for the company, according to Thomas Wyatt, general manager of Cisco’s digital media systems unit. But he said it’s growing, adding “these are really emerging technologies.”

The trend stems from a desire among marketers to make ads more effective by making them more relevant to those seeing them.

“If you come by a sign and it’s playing something you’re not interested in, it’s noise to you,” said Joe Jensen, a manager at Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel, which touts the ability of its chips to provide visually appealing ad images and to process the audience data the signs capture. But if the message is tailored to a specific individual’s needs, he added, the person often will welcome the information.

Using facial-recognition software from other companies — such as TruMedia of Tampa, Fla. — the signs can recognize the demographic characteristics of people standing in front of them and instantly change their ads.

Tony Leger, a TruMedia sales director, said hundreds of signs with that capability are in operation worldwide in retail malls, airports, banks and other places. But he said it’s unclear how many are automatically adjusting their ads for customers because many businesses that have installed them don’t want to reveal that to competitors.

Some of the signs have proven controversial, including digital billboards Castrol operated in London in September. Equipped with cameras, the signs read the license plates of each passing motorist, accessed a database that revealed the automobile’s model and year, and flashed the driver a message about what type of oil their vehicle should use.

The ads were blasted as intrusive and a potentially unsafe distraction, and Castrol halted them after only a few days.

The digital devices are beginning to resemble the brainy signs featured in the 2002 science-fiction movie “Minority Report,” which could recognize people and hail them by name. Many can gauge the sex and approximate age of those standing in front them. That way, if a pre-teen girl watching the screen wanders away and an adult male approaches, the sign automatically can switch from showing an ad for Hello-Kitty Dress-Me Bears, for example, to one for men’s work boots. Samsung claims its versions can even determine the race and nationality of a viewer.

These digital signs are part of a growing push to personalize ads through technology.

Web ads that are customized based on a user’s interests and demographics have been a staple for companies like Google and Yahoo for years. Although critics have decried the tactic, Forrester Consulting found that 77 percent of the marketers it surveyed in January “are planning to use or already use audience targeting for their online strategy.”

More recently, companies have used GPS technology in mobile phones to tailor ads to a user’s location (“25% off lattes” as someone walks by a coffee shop, for instance). Although many retailers won’t send such ads unless invited to do so by a consumer, the practice worries the Center for Digital Democracy. In a letter to the federal government on Monday, the nonprofit public interest organization warned against letting the practice proliferate “without strong privacy and consumer health-related safeguards in place.”

Any ad targeting makes some people uncomfortable. A survey of 1,000 adults last year by University of California-Berkeley and University of Pennsylvania researchers found that 66 percent opposed such pitches.

Count Will Douglas among them. The 25-year-old consultant from Oakland, Calif., who was shopping at the Milpitas Great Mall, termed the idea “weird” and wondered if the equipment might make insulting errors about “someone of ambiguous gender” or mistake a short person for a child. Assuming a sign “can tell something about you strikes me as arrogant,” he said.

“That’s so wrong,” added state agricultural technician Bobbi Thornton, 55, of Milpitas, who was at the same mall searching for a handbag. “This is like the Internet search engines that follow your shopping behavior. It’s so invasive.”

Face-assessing digital displays even make some advertisers skittish. Last month, Point of Purchase Advertising International published guidelines for using the signs, advising among other things that consumers always be told when they are under surveillance. Despite the advantages of such technology, the industry group concluded, being able to monitor a consumer’s every move and facial feature “sends shivers down the spine of even the boldest marketer.”


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