Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

This guy is too good


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The Day After Nov. 7

Amazing Facts for US Voters to Consider on Nov. 7

Did you know....
1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.
http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diebold

2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.
http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0916-04.htm
http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.
http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/private_company.html
http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/07/28/sunday/main632436.shtml
http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1647886

5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.
http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2004/03/03_200.html
http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/031004Fitrakis/031004fitrakis.html

6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.
http://www.blackboxvoting.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=26
http://www.hillnews.com/news/012903/hagel.aspx
http://www.onlisareinsradar.com/archives/000896.php

7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.
http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_28/b3689130.htm
http://theindependent.com/stories/052700/new_hagel27.html

8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.
http://www.essvote.com/HTML/about/about.html
http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm
http://www.itworld.com/Tech/2987/041020evotestates/pfindex.html

10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm
http://www.diebold.com/solutions/default.htm

11. Diebold is based in Ohio.
http://www.diebold.com/aboutus/ataglance/default.htm

12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as consultants and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.
http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,61640,00.html
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/10/301469.shtml

13. Jeff Dean was Senior Vice-President of Global Election Systems when it was bought by Diebold. Even though he had been convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree, Jeff Dean was retained as a consultant by Diebold and was largely responsible for programming the optical scanning software now used in most of the United States.
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0312/S00191.htmhttp://www.chuckherrin.com/HackthevoteFAQ.htm#how
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-8.pdf

14. Diebold consultant Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.
http://www.chuckherrin.com/HackthevoteFAQ.htm#how
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-8.pdf

15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.
http://www.globalexchange.org/update/press/2638.html
http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/10/26/loc_elexoh.html

16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it! (See the movie here: http://www.bbvdocs.org/videos/baxterVPR.mov.)
http://wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,63298,00.html
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4874190

17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/07/28/sunday/main632436.shtml

18. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.
http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,65757,00.html
http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/ThreeResearchStudiesBushIsOut.htm
http://www.rise4news.net/extravotes.html
http://www.ilcaonline.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=950
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0411/S00227.htm

19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother.
http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/tallahassee/news/local/7628725.htm
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10544-2004Oct29.html

20. Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.
http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/ThreeResearchStudiesBushIsOut.htm
http://www.computerworld.com/governmenttopics/government/policy/story/0,10801,97614,00.html
http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/tens_of_thousands.html
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1106-30.htm
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/110904.html
http://uscountvotes.org/
NOTE: Some of the data are outdated but much of it is still true. But don't take my word for it. Do your own research and discover the truth for yourselves.

credit to
Angry Girl of Nightweed.com

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Climate Chaos: The Time to Act is Now

Drastic action on climate change is needed now - and here's the plan


George Monbiot

It is a testament to the power of money that Nicholas Stern's report should have swung the argument for drastic action, even before anyone has finished reading it. He appears to have demonstrated what many of us suspected: that it would cost much less to prevent runaway climate change than to seek to live with it. Useful as this finding is, I hope it doesn't mean that the debate will now concentrate on money. The principal costs of climate change will be measured in lives, not pounds. As Stern reminded us yesterday, there would be a moral imperative to seek to prevent mass death even if the economic case did not stack up.

But at least almost everyone now agrees that we must act, if not at the necessary speed. If we're to have a high chance of preventing global temperatures from rising by 2C (3.6F) above preindustrial levels, we need, in the rich nations, a 90% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030. The greater part of the cut has to be made at the beginning of this period. To see why, picture two graphs with time on the horizontal axis and the rate of emissions plotted vertically. On one graph the line falls like a ski jump: a steep drop followed by a shallow tail. On the other it falls like the trajectory of a bullet. The area under each line represents the total volume of greenhouse gases produced in that period. They fall to the same point by the same date, but far more gases have been produced in the second case, making runaway climate change more likely.

So how do we do it without bringing civilisation crashing down? Here is a plan for drastic but affordable action that the government could take. It goes much further than the proposals discussed by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown yesterday, for the reason that this is what the science demands.

1. Set a target for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions based on the latest science. The government is using outdated figures, aiming for a 60% reduction by 2050. Even the annual 3% cut proposed in the early day motion calling for a new climate change bill does not go far enough. Timescale: immediately.

2. Use that target to set an annual carbon cap, which falls on the ski-jump trajectory. Then use the cap to set a personal carbon ration. Every citizen is given a free annual quota of carbon dioxide. He or she spends it by buying gas and electricity, petrol and train and plane tickets. If they run out, they must buy the rest from someone who has used less than his or her quota. This accounts for about 40% of the carbon dioxide we produce. The remainder is auctioned off to companies. It's a simpler and fairer approach than either green taxation or the EU's emissions trading scheme, and it also provides people with a powerful incentive to demand low-carbon technologies. Timescale: a full scheme in place by January 2009.

3. Introduce a new set of building regulations, with three objectives. A. Imposing strict energy-efficiency requirements on all major refurbishments (costing £3,000 or more). Timescale: in force by June 2007. B. Obliging landlords to bring their houses up to high energy-efficiency standards before they can rent them out. Timescale: to cover all new rentals from January 2008. C. Ensuring that all new homes in the UK are built to the German Passivhaus standard (which requires no heating system). Timescale: in force by 2012.

4. Ban the sale of incandescent lightbulbs, patio heaters, garden floodlights and other wasteful and unnecessary technologies. Introduce a stiff "feebate" system for all electronic goods sold in the UK, with the least efficient taxed heavily and the most efficient receiving tax discounts. Every year the standards in each category rise. Timescale: fully implemented by November 2007.

5. Redeploy money now earmarked for new nuclear missiles towards a massive investment in energy generation and distribution. Two schemes in particular require government support to make them commercially viable: very large wind farms, many miles offshore, connected to the grid with high-voltage direct-current cables; and a hydrogen pipeline network to take over from the natural gas grid as the primary means of delivering fuel for home heating. Timescale: both programmes commence at the end of 2007 and are completed by 2018.

6. Promote the development of a new national coach network. City-centre coach stations are shut down and moved to motorway junctions. Urban public transport networks are extended to meet them. The coaches travel on dedicated lanes and never leave the motorways. Journeys by public transport then become as fast as journeys by car, while saving 90% of emissions. It is self-financing, through the sale of the land now used for coach stations. Timescale: commences in 2008; completed by 2020.

7. Oblige all chains of filling stations to supply leasable electric car batteries. This provides electric cars with unlimited mileage: as the battery runs down, you pull into a forecourt; a crane lifts it out and drops in a fresh one. The batteries are charged overnight with surplus electricity from offshore wind farms. Timescale: fully operational by 2011.

8. Abandon the road-building and road-widening programme, and spend the money on tackling climate change. The government has earmarked £11.4bn for road expansion. It claims to be allocating just £545m a year to "spending policies that tackle climate change". Timescale: immediately.

9. Freeze and then reduce UK airport capacity. While capacity remains high there will be constant upward pressure on any scheme the government introduces to limit flights. We need a freeze on all new airport construction and the introduction of a national quota for landing slots, to be reduced by 90% by 2030. Timescale: immediately.

10. Legislate for the closure of all out-of-town superstores, and their replacement with a warehouse and delivery system. Shops use a staggering amount of energy (six times as much electricity per square metre as factories, for example), and major reductions are hard to achieve: Tesco's "state of the art" energy-saving store at Diss in Norfolk has managed to cut its energy use by only 20%. Warehouses containing the same quantity of goods use roughly 5% of the energy. Out-of-town shops are also hardwired to the car - delivery vehicles use 70% less fuel. Timescale: fully implemented by 2012.

These timescales might seem extraordinarily ambitious. They are, by contrast to the current glacial pace of change. But when the US entered the second world war it turned the economy around on a sixpence. Carmakers began producing aircraft and missiles within a year, and amphibious vehicles in 90 days, from a standing start. And that was 65 years ago. If we want this to happen, we can make it happen. It will require more economic intervention than we are used to, and some pretty brutal emergency planning policies (with little time or scope for objections). But if you believe that these are worse than mass death then there is something wrong with your value system.

Climate change is not just a moral question: it is the moral question of the 21st century. There is one position even more morally culpable than denial. That is to accept that it's happening and that its results will be catastrophic, but to fail to take the measures needed to prevent it.

· George Monbiot's latest book is Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning
www.monbiot.com

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

US Media Keeping The US Public In The Dark

Can it be so easily demonstrated why the American media has completely turned its back on journalism? Check it out... Here is the current cover of Newsweek across various areas of the world.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land

The Normalization of Horror





Press the play button to start the video

What you`re not seeing on US TV

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Aliens Apprehended by FBI at Roswell

15 illegal immigrants at Roswell, New Mexico, employed by a contractor to paint military aircraft such as the Lockheed C-130, have been arrested by the FBI under the Secure Border Initiative (SBI).

The aliens originate from Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala and are to be deported following background checks and interviews. Their employers are also to be targetted as a deterrent.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Middle East Events Have Effectively Ended US Military Power Say Analysts

The Bush administration's doctrine of pre-emptive, unilateral military action based on military superiority and a commitment to 'extending democracy, liberty, and security to all regions' has failed and is adrift, many analysts are saying.

Analytical reports from sources including the San Francisco Chronicle, Foreign Affairs magazine and National Review Online say that regime changes achieved in a similar fashion to those implimented in Iraq and Afghanistan are now impossible.

They say a new strategy is required since, they say, it is now impossible to achieve positive results using conventional military means. Alternative energy, for example, is one suggestion put forward as a means to free the US from foreign dependance.

(source)



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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Ethical Dilemma

Here's a dilemma for you...what would you do? Only one question, but it's a very important one. Please don't answer it without giving it some serious thought. By giving an honest answer you will discover where you stand morally. The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation, in which you will have to make a decision.

Remember that your answer needs to be honest, yet spontaneous.

You're in Florida...In Miami, to be exact... There is chaos around you,caused by a hurricane and severe floods. This is a flood of biblical proportions. You are a photo-journalist working for a major newspaper caught in the middle of this great disaster. The situation is nearly hopeless.

You're trying to shoot career-making photos. There are houses and people swirling around you, some disappearing under the water. Nature is showing all its destructive fury.

You see a man in the water; he is fighting for his life, trying not to be taken away with the water and debris. You move closer. Somehow the man looks familiar.

Suddenly, you know who it is... it's George W. Bush!

At the same time you notice that the raging waters are about to take him under, forever. You have two options. You can save him or you can take the most dramatic photos of your life. So, you can save the life of George W.Bush, or you can shoot a Pulitzer Prize winning photo, documenting the death of one of the world's most powerful men.

Now, here's the question (please give an honest answer):

Would you select color film, or rather go with the classic simplicity of black and white?

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Iran: "Thanks for the nuclear reactor, U.S.!"

The history behind Iran and the US is long and mixed. Not so many can remember the days when Iran was pro-American - certainly less than can recall the time when Iraq and Saddam were US allies. So it may come as a shock to learn that the Tehran Research Reactor, along with its weapons-grade uranium, was a gift from Uncle Sam back in the '60's.Ironically, it is the fuel from this reactor which could find its way into a future Iranian nuclear weapon which in turn could be used against its old Cold War ally.

The reality though is that this is unlikely. Not only has it been officially reported that the Iranians are at least 10 years away from producing a bomb, their current nuclear programme is said to be lacking "the most basic and simple principles of physics and mathematics," according to a study carried out in 2004. In 2001, the facility suffered a serious accident, for which quality control, described as being a "chronic disease", was blamed.

So should the US be concerned about the nuclear activities being carried out in the Tehran complex and the other sites dotted around the country? Well in todays global nuclear free-market, countries such as Russia, China and North Korea are suspected of aiding Iran in furthering its development and the US argues that such a source of energy is unnecessary, given the oil-rich status of their Middle Eastern foe. Thats begs the question 'why did the US see fit to furnish Iran in the first place when the pro-western Shar was in power?' but the current administration doesn't wish to dwell on the past.

The Iranians have admitted using some fuel, supplied previously from Argentina, in enrichment tests, so maybe there is a weapons programme of sorts which has been dabbled with, but its unlikely to have made any real progress, as recent assessments by international bodies have stated. But Iran still has to prove that the programme no longer exists in order to satisfy its critics. If the US has already made up its mind, as it did with the Iraq WMD's, this may be academic. Will the US directly, or by proxy, launch a pre-emptive assault? Many say yes, saying that it's not a matter of if, but when, with any attack likely to be nuclear in itself due to the nature of the targets themselves and the lack of military recources to conduct a fullscale ground assault. We will find out soon enough.


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The Main 9/11 Coincidences (Part 1)

This is all quite coincidental don't you think:

Jonathan (nephew to George) Bush's Riggs Bank was found guilty of laundering terrorist funds and fined a US-record $25 million (link)

George Bush's brother Marvin sat on the board of the Kuwaiti-owned company which provided electronic security to the World Trade Centre, Dulles Airport and United Airlines. (link)

George Bush found success as a businessman only after the investment of Osama's brother Salem and reputed al Qaeda financier Khalid bin Mahfouz.

Osama bin Laden is known to have been an asset of US foreign policy in the past. (link)

al Qaeda was active in the Balkan conflict, fighting on the same side as the US as recently as 1999, while the US protected its cells. (link and link)

Michael Springman , State Department veteran of the Jeddah visa bureau, claims that the CIA ran the office and issued visas to al Qaeda members so they could receive training in the United States. (link)

Many influential figures in and close to the Bush White House had expressed, just a year before the attacks, the need for a "new Pearl Harbor" before their militarist ambitions could be fulfilled. (link and link)

The company PTECH , founded by a Saudi financier placed on America's Terrorist Watch List in October 2001, had access to the FAA's entire computer system for two years before the 9/11 attack. (link)

The standing order which covered the shooting down of hijacked aircraft was altered on June 1, 2001, taking discretion away from field commanders and placing it solely in the hands of the Secretary of Defense. (link)

In the weeks before 9/11, FBI agent Colleen Rowley found her investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui so perversely thwarted that her colleagues joked that bin Laden had a mole at the FBI. (link and link)

Dave Frasca of the FBI's Radical Fundamentalist Unit received a promotion after quashing multiple, urgent requests for investigations into al Qaeda assets training at flight schools in the summer of 2001. (link)

Over the summer of 2001 Washington received many urgent, senior-level warnings from foreign intelligence agencies and governments - including those of Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Afghanistan and others - of impending terror attacks using hijacked aircraft. (link)

John Ashcroft stopped flying commercial aircraft in July 2001 on account of security considerations. (link)

Former lead counsel for the House David Schippers says he'd taken to John Ashcroft's office specific warnings he'd learned from FBI agents in New York of an impending attack – even naming the proposed dates, names of the hijackers and the targets – and that the investigations had been stymied and the agents threatened. (link)

George Bush had plans to invade Afghanistan on his desk before 9/11. (link and link)

The suggestion that securing a pipeline across Afghanistan figured into the White House's calculations is open for debate. (link)

Mahmood Ahmed, chief of Pakistan's ISI, authorized an al Qaeda payment of $100,000 to Mohammed Atta days before the attacks, and was at a meeting with senior Washington officials over the week of 9/11. (link and link)

Porter Goss met with Ahmed the morning of September 11 in his capacity as Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. (link)

Goss's congressional seat encompasses the 9/11 hijackers' Florida base of operation, including their flight schools. (link)

George HW Bush and Shafig bin Laden, Osama's brother, spent the morning of September 11 together at a board meeting of the Carlyle Group. (link)

Newsweek reported that senior Pentagon officials cancelled flights on Sept 10 for the following day on account of security concerns. (link)

George Bush's telephone logs for September 11 do not exist. (link)

I could go on, since this is the tip of the iceberg. Stand by for Part 2 soon which will also include 7/7.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Stereogram

You tell me if this works, I'm no good with these things...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Oil In Iraq

Iraq has the world’s second largest proven oil reserves. According to oil industry experts, new exploration will probably raise Iraq’s reserves to 200+ billion barrels of high-grade crude, extraordinarily cheap to produce. The four giant firms located in the US and the UK have been keen to get back into Iraq, from which they were excluded with the nationalization of 1972. During the final years of the Saddam era, they envied companies from France, Russia, China, and elsewhere, who had obtained major contracts. But UN sanctions (kept in place by the US and the UK) kept those contracts inoperable. Since the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, everything has changed and the companies have been scrambling to grab their share of the spoils. In the new setting, with Washington running the show, "friendly" companies expect to gain most of the lucrative oil deals that will be worth hundreds of billions of dollars in profits in the coming decades. The new Iraqi constitution of 2005, greatly influenced by US advisors, contains language that guarantees a major role for foreign companies. Negotiators hope soon to complete deals on Production Sharing Agreements that will give the companies control over dozens of fields, including the fabled super-giant Majnoon, whose 21 billion barrels are worth $1.5 trillion at today's prices. But no contracts could be signed until after elections and the formation of a new government, so that the Iraqi side would appear legally legitimate. While regional governments angle for influence over the foreign oil contracts, most Iraqis favor continued control by a national company and the powerful oil workers union opposes de-nationalization. Iraq's political future is very much in flux, but oil remains the central feature of the political landscape.

Useful Tips To Save People Time, Stress And Money

Don’t waste money on expensive iPods. Simply think of your favorite tune and hum it. To “switch tracks,” think of a different song.

Cinema Goers: Be considerate of pirate DVD viewers; piss before the film starts.

Rappers: Avoid saying "know what I’m sayin’" constantly by thinking first and then speaking clearly.

Don’t waste money on expensive paper shredders to prevent identity theft. Just drop a few dog turds in the same trash bag as your old bank statements.

Worried that your teeth will be stained after a heavy night of drinking red wine? Remove the stains by drinking a bottle of white wine before going to bed.

Soldiers: A digital camera will avoid all that messy court martial crap after a trip to the photo printers.

Murderers: Need to dispose of a body? Simply box it up and ship it to yourself via DHL. You'll never see it again.

Men: When listening to your favorite CD, turn up the sound to the volume you desire, and then turn it down three notches. This will save your wife from bitching about it and then doing it herself.

Gamblers: For a new gambling opportunity, try sending $100 to yourself by U. S. Mail.

Bang two pistachio shells together to give the impression that a very small horse is approaching.

Drivers: If a car breaks down or stalls in front of you, beep your horn and wave your arms frantically. This should help the car start and send them on their way.

Car thieves: Don’t be discouraged when nothing is visible. All the valuables are probably hidden in the trunk.

Depressed people: Instead of attempting suicide as a "cry for help," simply shout "Help!" to save money on drugs.

Motorists: Avoid getting prosecuted for using your cell phone while driving. Hide it inside a large seashell and the cops will think you're listening to the ocean.

Shoes last twice as long if only worn every other day.

Single men: Convince people that you have a girlfriend by standing in a shopping centre with several shopping bags while looking at your watch.

Alcoholics: Don’t worry where the next drink is coming from; go to a pub, where large quantities are available at retail prices.

McDonald's: Make your take-out bags green in color so they blend in with the countryside after people have thrown them out their car window.

Women: Don’t waste energy faking orgasms. Most men couldn’t care less. Use the energy you save to clean the house.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Stephen Colbert Puts ShortNews Members 'On Notice'

Don't say you haven't been warned, guys, Stephen has cast judgement.....


The Tech Support Caller Warning System

Low Stupidity Condition Signifies a caller offers little or no risk of causing the tech a cranial aneurysm. This is usually a calller who understand that most technical “secrets” are cleverly concealed in the mysterious things called “manuals.” Recommendation: Cherish these ones.
Suspicious Stupiditity Condition Signifies a caller who is suspected of weapons-grade stupidity, without any real evidence. Recommendation: Send “inspectors.”
Elevated Stupidity Condition Indicates a significant risk of stroke in the tech cause by a caller who insist that “there is no ‘any key’ on the keyboard” and that “there’s no way I can click on ‘you computer’ from over here.”Recommendation: Slow Breating exercisiese and a good punching bag.
High Stupidity Condition Indicates a high risk of an apoplectic fit. callers insist that their operating system is “netscape,” their web browser is by “Logitech” and the specific application that blew up on them is “Microsoft.” (Heh) Recommendation: Join a Zen Monastery
Severe Stupidity Condition Indicates the highest risk possible. Adrenaline overload and renal failure caused by callers who angrily state that they have a degree and are in fact very clever, and that the tech must “hop to it and fix things.” When asked to “open a window” they do in fact get up and open a window. Alas. Recommendation: a large bludgeoning instrument. For you or them, it’s really your choice.

thanks go to My Confined Space for that one.

Whoop Ass

Monday, August 21, 2006

Enough Said

Advice to employees on the proper use of the System Administrator's valuable time

(In following examples, we will substitute the name "Ted" as the System Administrator)

* Make sure to save all your MP3 files on your network drive. No sense in wasting valuable space on your local drive! Plus, Ted loves browsing through 100+ GB of music files while he backs up the servers.

* Play with all the wires you can find. If you can't find enough, open something up to expose them. After you have finished, and nothing works anymore, put it all back together and call Ted. Deny that you touched anything and that it was working perfectly only five minutes ago. Ted just loves a good mystery. For added effect you can keep looking over his shoulder and ask what each wire is for.

* Never write down error messages. Just click OK, or restart your computer. Ted likes to guess what the error message was.

* When talking about your computer, use terms like "Thingy" and "Big Connector."

* If you get an EXE file in an email attachment, open it immediately. Ted likes to make sure the anti-virus software is working properly.

* When Ted says he coming right over, log out and go for coffee. It's no problem for him to remember your password.

* When you call Ted to have your computer moved, be sure to leave it buried under a year-old pile of postcards, baby pictures, stuffed animals, dried flowers, unpaid bills, bowling trophies and Popsicle sticks. Ted doesn't have a life, and he finds it deeply moving to catch a glimpse of yours.

* When Ted sends you an email marked as "Highly Important" or "Action Required", delete it at once. He's probably just testing some new-fangled email software.

* When Ted's eating lunch at his desk or in the lunchroom, walk right in, grab a few of his fries, then spill your guts and expect him to respond immediately. Ted lives to serve, and he's always ready to think about fixing computers, especially yours.

* When Ted's at the water cooler or outside taking a breath of fresh air, find him and ask him a computer question. The only reason he takes breaks at all is to ferret out all those employees who don't have email or a telephone.

* Send urgent email ALL IN UPPERCASE. The mail server picks it up and flags it as a rush delivery.

* When the photocopier doesn't work, call Ted. There's electronics in it, so it should be right up his alley.

* When you're getting a NO DIAL TONE message at your home computer, call Ted. He enjoys fixing telephone problems from remote locations. Especially on weekends.

* When something goes wrong with your home PC, dump it on Ted's chair the next morning with no name, no phone number, and no description of the problem. Ted just loves a good mystery.

* When you have Ted on the phone walking you through changing a setting on your PC, read the newspaper. Ted doesn't actually mean for you to DO anything. He just loves to hear himself talk.

* When your company offers training on an upcoming OS upgrade, don't bother to sign up. Ted will be there to hold your hand when the time comes.

* When the printer won't print, re-send the job 20 times in rapid succession. That should do the trick.

* When the printer still won't print after 20 tries, send the job to all the printers in the office. One of them is bound to work.

* Don't use online help. Online help is for wimps.

* Don't read the operator's manual. Manuals are for wussies.

* If you're taking night classes in computer science, feel free to demonstrate your fledgling expertise by updating the network drivers for you and all your co-workers. Ted will be grateful for the overtime when he has to stay until 2:30am fixing all of them.

* When Ted's fixing your computer at a quarter past one, eat your Whopper with cheese in his face. He functions better when he's slightly dizzy from hunger.

* When Ted asks you whether you've installed any new software on your computer, LIE. It's no one else's business what you've got on your computer.

* If the mouse cable keeps knocking down the framed picture of your dog, lift the monitor and stuff the cable under it. Those skinny Mouse cables were designed to have 55 lbs. of computer monitor crushing them.

* If the space bar on your keyboard doesn't work, blame Ted for not upgrading it sooner. Hell, it's not your fault there's a half pound of pizza crust crumbs, nail clippings, and big sticky drops of Mountain Dew under the keys.

* When you get the message saying "Are you sure?", click the "Yes" button as fast as you can. Hell, if you weren't sure, you wouldn't be doing it, would you?

* Feel perfectly free to say things like "I don't know nothing about that boneheaded computer crap." It never bothers Ted to hear his area of professional expertise referred to as boneheaded crap.

* Don't even think of breaking large print jobs down into smaller chunks. God forbid somebody else should sneak a one-page job in between your 500-page Word document.

* When you send that 500-page document to the printer, don't bother to check if the printer has enough paper. That's Ted's job.

* When Ted calls you 30 minutes later and tells you that the printer printed 24 pages of your 500-page document before it ran out of paper, and there are now nine other jobs in the queue behind yours, ask him why he didn't bother to add more paper.

* When you receive a 130 MB movie file, send it to everyone as a high-priority mail attachment. Ted's provided plenty of disk space and processor capacity on the new mail server for just those kinds of important things.

* When you bump into Ted in the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon, ask him computer questions. He works 24/7, and is always thinking about computers, even when he's at super-market buying toilet paper and doggie treats.

* If your son is a student in computer science, have him come in on the weekends and do his projects on your office computer. Ted will be there for you when your son's illegal copy of Visual Basic 6.0 makes the Access database keel over and die.

* When you bring Ted your own "no-name" brand PC to repair for free at the office, tell him how urgently he needs to fix it so you can get back to playing EverQuest. He'll get on it right away, because everyone knows he doesn't do anything all day except surf the Internet.

* Don't ever thank Ted. He loves fixing everything AND getting paid for it!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

An 8 Min Ride Through Paris In A Ferrari 275 GTB Driven By A Formula 1 Racing Driver

On an August morning in 1978, French filmmaker Claude Lelouch mounted a gyro-stabilized camera to the bumper of a Ferrari 275 GTB and had a friend, a professional Formula 1 racer, drive at breakneck speed through the heart of Paris.

No streets were closed, for Lelouch was unable to obtain a permit.

Follow the trip visually and via Google Map simultaneously.

See it HERE.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Mayday! Mayday!

Guy On Cellphone Witnesses A Car Accident....

you gotta hear this, its classic: CLICK HERE

!!! BREAD IS DANGEROUS !!!

Research on bread indicates that:

1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.

2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.

3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.

4. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.

5. Bread is made from a substance called "dough." It has been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average American eats more bread than that in one month!

6. Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and osteoporosis.

7. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after as little as two days.

8. Bread is often a "gateway" food item, leading the user to "harder" items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts.

9. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.

10. Newborn babies can choke on bread.

11. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute.

12. Most American bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling.

In light of these frightening statistics, it has been proposed that the following bread restrictions be made:

1. No sale of bread to minors.

2. A nationwide "Just Say No To Toast" campaign, complete celebrity TV spots and bumper stickers.

3. A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we might associate with bread.

4. No animal or human images, nor any primary colors (which may appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage.

5. The establishment of "Bread-free" zones around schools.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Fourteen Things That It Took Me Over 50 Years To Learn (by Dave Barry)

1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."

3. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

5. You should not confuse your career with your life.

6. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

7. Never lick a steak knife.

8. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

9. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

10. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

11. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.

12. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above-average drivers.

13. A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)

14. Your friends love you anyway.


Thought for the day: Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

Its Official: Extra Terrestials Prefer Firefox

Why else would they produce this crop circle?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Funky Monks

How to be a good Democrat or Republican

...Democrat: You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.
...Republican: You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread because people are evil and should be punished.

...Democrat: You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach 4th-graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.
...Republican: You have to believe that evolution is a myth (despite the evidence of biochemistry and the fossil record) but that Intelligent Design theory should be taught in schools.

...Democrat: You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese & North Korean communists.
...Republican: You have to believe that there is no causal link between legal, easily-obtainable handguns and high murder rates.

...Democrat: You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.
...Republican: You have to believe that unfunded arts and school programs are still subject to government control.

...Democrat: You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical, documented changes in the earth's climate and more affected by soccer moms driving SUVs.
...Republican: You have to believe that global temperatures are completely unaffected by fossil fuel emissions, that the best way to save the national forests is to allow logging companies to cut down old-growth timber, and the best way to save endangered species is to allow trophy hunters and wildlife traders to import more of them.

...Democrat: You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.
...Republican: You have to believe that homosexuality is evil (despite the fact that it occurs in nature) and that women should stay at home to cook and bear children.

...Democrat: You have to be against capital punishment but support abortion on demand.
...Republican: You have to be against abortion but support capital punishment.

...Democrat: You have to believe that businesses create oppression, and governments create prosperity.
...Republican: You have to believe that corporations never purposely hurt anyone to make money.

...Democrat: You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature, but loony activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.
...Republican: You have to believe that hunting requires an automatic rifle.

...Democrat: You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.
...Republican: You have to believe that middle class income should be taxed, but inherited wealth should not be.

...Democrat: You have to believe that the military, not corrupt politicians, start wars.
...Republican: You have to believe that war is an acceptable solution to any economic or social problem.

...Democrat: You have to believe that the military is another political porkbarrel for wealthy campaign contributors of certain politicians.
...Republican: You have to believe that everyone should support the troops - except when it comes to pay or benefits.

...Democrat: You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.
...Republican: You have to believe the NRA is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.

...Democrat: You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.
...Republican: You have to believe that taxes are for poor and middle class people, not the rich.

...Democrat: You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Gen. Robert E.Lee, and Thomas Edison.
...Republican: You have to believe that Oliver North and Monica Lewinsky are more important to American history than Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.

...Democrat: You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.
...Republican: You have to believe that affirmative action is wrong, because everyone knows there's no more racism in America.

...Democrat: You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and really a very nice person.
...Republican: You have to believe that Ann Coulter is normal and really a very nice person.

...Democrat: You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge.
...Republican: You have to believe that the only reason supply-side economics hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge.

...Democrat: You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and sex offender belonged in the White House.
...Republican: You have to believe liberals telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and draft-dodger belongs in the White House.

...Democrat: You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites, and bestiality should be constitutionally protected, and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.
...Republican: You have to believe that all Americans should be white heterosexual Christians.

...Democrat: You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the Chinese government is somehow in the best interest of the United States.
...Republican: You have to believe that illegal Republican Party funding by corporations is somehow in the best interest of the United States.

...Democrat: You have to believe that this letter is part of a vast, right-wing conspiracy.
...Republican: You have to believe that the media are biased toward liberals, despite the fact that all the major media outlets are owned by ultra-rich conservatives.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Politics Explained

FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all of the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and put them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs as the regulations say you need.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk.

PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

CAMBODIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The government takes both of them and shoots you.

DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

PURE ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you.

LIBERTARIAN/ANARCHO-CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

9/11 Coincidences

Go HERE to see what I mean.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Newly Discovered Text Takes Doomsday Threat Out Of Bible

A recently discovered Book of Psalms dated to about A.D.1000 contradicts the apocalyptic Psalm 83 found in the later King James Bible which many believed predicted the destruction of the state of Israel.

Many Christians took the biblical text of "Thine enemies … have said, Come, and let us cut [thy people] off from being a nation that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance" as being relevant to recent events concerning the Lebanon crisis.

The new text does not refer to Israel but instead the "vale of tears", with experts believing that a loss in translation occured in the way that the older Greek text and the later biblical Hebrew-to-English Psalms were assigned.

Monday, August 07, 2006

75 Academics Swell 9/11 Conspiracy Movement

A newly-formed movement called Scholars for 9/11 Truth is challenging the official story about the September 11th attacks, attracting academics who include a physicist, a retired philosophy professor, as well as Princeton and Stanford elites.

They have produced books and self-published papers which claim that the "World Trade Center was almost certainly brought down by controlled demolitions" and say that 9/11 was allowed to occur or was orchestrated by the government.

Daniel Orr, a Princeton Ph.D and retired from University of Illinois, is one academic who is convinced the twin towers and Tower 7 were demolished. Judy Wood, a former assistant professor of mechanical engineering, concludes the same.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Google Bombing

OK, now its official - go to google.com, type in 'failure' (without inverted commas) and see what comes up.

Some of you may already be aware of that particular 'google bomb' but have you tried these other gems?:

ignorant bigots

liar

poodle

swivel eyed loons

terrorist sympathizer

Unusual Words

Never feel intellectually-challenged at parties ever again by slipping into the conversation a few of the following unusual but potentially super-impressive words:

abacinate - to blind by putting a hot copper basin near someone's eyes

abecedarian - a person who is learning the alphabet

aeolist - a pompous windy bore who pretends to have inspiration

algerining - prowling around with the intent to commit burglary

apodyopsis - the act of mentally undressing someone

autotonsorialist - one who cuts their own hair

borborygmus - the rumbling sound of gas passing through the intestine

callipygean - having well-shaped buttocks

colposinquanonia - estimating a woman's beauty based on her chest

eccedentesiast - one who fakes a smile, as on television

emunction - the act of removing obstructions from or cleaning bodily passages

gossypiboma - a surgical sponge accidently left inside a patient's body

gymnophoria - the sensation that someone is mentally undressing you

hadeharia - the practice of constantly using the word "Hell" in speaking

jumentous - smelling like horse urine

krukolibidinous - the act of staring at someone's crotch

mallemaroking - the carousing of seamen on board Greenland whaling ships

mytacism - the incorrect or excessive use of the letter M

nidorosity - belching with the taste of undigested meat

petrichor - the smell of rain on dry ground

qualtagh - the first person you see after leaving your house

sgiomlaireached - the habit of dropping in at mealtimes

skoptsy - the act of self castration

sphallolalia - flirtatious talk that leads nowhere

vigesimation - the act of killing every twentieth person

You may of course find some of these words easier to slip into a conversation than others, but at least nobody could ever accuse you of suffering from
lethologica (the inability to recall a precise word for something).

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

UFO video footage - what do you make of this?

A year ago I was sat in my office at home working on my pc when I heard a deep drone sound comming from outside. I initially ignored it but after five minutes or so I decided to take a look. I found myself staring at a glowing red-orange ball which looked very much like a golf ball, with a plasma-effect light eminating from all around the dimples on its surface. Coincidentally, it was about the size of a golf ball held at arms length and seemed to be a mile or so away, although the distance was difficult to estimate without a real point of reference to compare it to. I managed to grab my video camera and film it for several minutes and you can view the footage that I took via the link below. It was completely static, with any movement being due to me fighting to keep the camera still. The image isn't nearly as clear as it was with the naked eye and the colour on the film is white instead of the red-orange that I saw, but if anyone has any ideas as to what it might have been I'd be glad to hear from you.

Here's the LINK

(please note, the file is about 5MB in size and in Windows Media format)

Blast the Atmosphere with Sulphur to Slow Global Warming, Study Suggests

A paper produced by Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, suggests that sulphur introduced into the earths atmosphere may slow global warming.

Crutzen observed the effects of volcanic eruptions and fossil fuel use, noticing that both emit sulphate particles which reflect incomming solar radiation back into space, which in turn produces a cooling effect in the earths atmosphere.

It is proposed that sulphur is released in large quantities into the stratosphere, with the effect lasting about 2 years. Such a plan, he says, may be required given the current inadequate political response to greenhouse gas emissions.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

SETI Accused of Covering Up Alien Signals

The SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, has been accused by Steven Greer, the CEO of Space Energy Access Systems, of covering up the detection of a high concentration of signals which were later blocked by another company.

Greer says "They have had numerous extraterrestrial signals", claiming that a prominant SETI insider has acted as informant. "They were apparently searching in a spectrum or in an area ... where they hit the mother lode."

He added "The signals were so numerous that they began to have their systems externally jammed by some sort of human agency that did not want them to continue receiving those signals." SETI officials deny the cover-up allegation.

Monday, July 31, 2006

the Lebanon conflict - a US opportunity, Bush says.

While the rest of the world is shocked and stunned by events in the Lebanon over the past fortnight, on person seems to have found a positive side to the conflict:
"This moment of conflict in the Middle East is painful and tragic," Bush said in his radio address Saturday. "Yet it is also a moment of opportunity for broader change in the region. Transforming countries that have suffered decades of tyranny and violence is difficult, and it will take time to achieve. But the consequences will be profound for our country and the world."
That viewpoint is openly mocked by foreign policy experts:
[Richard] Haass, the former Bush aide who leads the Council on Foreign Relations, laughed at the president's public optimism. "An opportunity?" Haass said with an incredulous tone. "Lord, spare me. I don't laugh a lot. That's the funniest thing I've heard in a long time. If this is an opportunity, what's Iraq? A once-in-a-lifetime chance?"
(Sunday, July 30, 2006)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Planets In Perspective - a must-see!

Just in case you thought for a moment that Planet Earth wasn't simply a tiny pimple on the buttocks of the universe, check out these comparisons:

Friday, July 14, 2006

Israeli Military Action: Disproportionate Use Of Force Endangers Regional Peace

Following the Hezbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers, Israel’s reaction in Lebanon has many wondering whether the retaliation is in proportion to recent events or is simply an excuse to make active a hidden agenda. Few would condone the actions of Hezbollah and the shadowy backing of the militant organisation by Syria and Iran is undoubtedly a major concern of the Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, but with more than 60 Lebanese dead and many more injured as a result of military strikes over the last two days, outsiders could be excused for wondering if this is just another example of Israel using an oversized hammer to shatter any regional opposition, whether real or perceived.

The US stands alone in its defence of the Jewish state, yet again vetoing a UN resolution calling for a halt to action in the Gaza Strip, with ten of the 15 Security Council nations voting in favour and Britain, Denmark, Peru and Slovakia abstaining. Russia and the European Union condemned Israel’s strikes in Lebanon, saying that it endangered the region and adding that the conflict in the region could escalate, while President Bush stated that “Israel has the right to defend herself”. France took a fair and balanced approach by condemning both the Israeli bombardment of Beirut airport and Hezbollah’s firing of rockets into northern Israel, which resulted in the death of innocent civilians, and called for “a return to reason by both sides”.

Are the events of the past week simply a result of months of simmering tension caused mainly by the threat posed by Hezbollah and the power it holds through the Lebanese, Syrian and Iranian governments? Or is this Israel capitalising on the on-going standoff between the US/UN and Iran over the nuclear issue? Or are there more sinister reasons, such as Israel and the US wanting an excuse to wage war against their many shared enemies in the Middle East?

Whatever the reasons, none of the participants appear to have the well-being of their respective civil populations at heart, with ideological politicians being the driving force behind irresponsible actions for which innocent people bear the brunt. The right-wing extremists in the various active factions have their own reasons, none of which seem to benefit anyone else but themselves.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Vince Welnick, former Tubes & Grateful Dead keyboard player, dies aged 55


Former Tubes member and Grateful Dead keyboardist for 5 years Vince Welnick died on 2nd June after being found injured at his home. Early indications from the scene are that the musician may have taken his own life.

This is a shocking and sad day for all Tubes and Dead fans, and even more so to those who kept in touch with the man through his website and through former bandmembers and roadies. What adds to the sadness is the recent talk regarding the original Tubes line-up having plans to reform once again. Long live his memory and his music.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

9/11 Pentagon Plane Crash Video To Be Released

Following a two year battle by the 'conservative, non-partisan educational foundation' called Judicial Watch, the US defence department is to finally release a video allegedly showing American Airlines Flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon. The film footage, taken by a Pentagon security camera, is being released into the public domain following a request by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act. The film is already known as being the only available footage of the crash but up until now has only been seen as a series of still images.

The delay in releasing the evidence was necessary, the US government says, because of the trial of al-Qaeda plotter Zacarias Moussaoui which has only just completed. Judicial Watch said they wanted to obtain the video because "it was very important to complete the public record" on the attacks. Finally, we hope that this video will put to rest the conspiracy theories involving American Airlines Flight 77," President Tom Fitton said.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Truth Behind The Iraq Invasion And A Possible US Conflict With Iran

It is now openly obvious why the US (and its 'coalition of the willing') invaded Iraq (without UN backing) in 2003 under the banner ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’. It wasn't for the reasons the Bush administration maintained at the time (suspected WMD, a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda, etc. etc.) but to do with the petrodollar. Many people suspected that oil was the underlying reason but few were aware of the more important need to maintain the 'petrodollar recycling' system.

Petrodollar recycling was introduced by the US in the early 70's, when Middle Eastern countries were beginning to produce oil of their own under the OPEC group of nations. Previously, most of the worlds oil was supplied by the US and all trading in this market was carried out using US dollars. When OPEC came into competition with the US oil giants, the Americans struck a deal with their Middle Eastern counterparts in which they would supply Saudi Arabia, etc. with arms as long as OPEC traded their oil in dollars. This meant that if a country wanted oil, for example Japan, they had to sell to the US their home-produced products (Toyota cars for example) in order to raise the necessary dollars to buy their oil from an OPEC country. These dollars were then invested back into the US by, for example, Saudi Arabia and this left the US in a great position. As long as they could print enough dollars to meet demand they would continue to dominate the worlds oil markets and would (and did) make a fortune doing so. This is what ultimately has made the US into the worlds only superpower, with the ability to afford the necessary military might to match.

Thirty years later, at the turn of the millenium, this cosy arrangement came under threat. Saddam Hussein announced his intention to begin trading oil in the other world currency - Euros - and began doing so before the US invasion in 2003. This gave the US serious concerns. With a massive dept of trillions of dollars (made worse by the habit of the average US citizen to spend far more than they saved, using credit to do so) the US could not afford to stand by and watch the petrodollar recycling system be undermined. The risk to the country's status as sole superpower was massive and with the debt the prospect of US economic collapse was very much a reality.

When elected into office, George Bush had as priority #1 to sort out this petrodollar threat by gaining control of Iraq and in 2003 he invaded. One of the first post-war actions was to revert the country's oil trading currency back to the US dollar, even though this meant that approximately 13% of Iraqs trading value was instantly lost (because the Euro was worth more than the dollar at the time). The invasion was also to serve as an example to neighbouring oil producers not to go down the same 'petroeuro' route.

Unfortunately, Iran has plans to begin trading its oil in Euros and Saudi Arabia is giving serious consideration to the idea. Should this happen the US is likely to economically implode, with its massive military very quickly becoming an unaffordable asset. America would become little more than just another country and its global influence would be consigned to the history books, something that is regarded as unthinkable by the corporate elite.

So the US looks increasingly likely to carry out an attack on Iran, probably involving tactical 'battlefield' nuclear weapons (in an attempt to destroy underground installations there). It is not because the Iranians are close to producing their own nuclear arsenal (the Washington Post reported that the most recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of Iran’s nuclear program revealed that, “Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years.” (see source) but rather to keep the petrodollar on track.

Wargame simulations carried out by the US resulted in the following conclusion being reached by Sam Gardiner, the retired Air Force colonel who has run war games at the National War College for the past two decades: “After all this effort, I am left with two simple sentences for policymakers: You have no military solution for the issues of Iran. And you have to make diplomacy work.” The problem is, as was highlighted in the Iraq invasion and post-war years, that the neo-cons in the Bush administration are prone to acting illogically and against advice provided by people who know far better than themselves. Internationally-respected reporter Seymour Hearsh wrote the following in The New Yorker one year ago:

In my interviews [with former high-level intelligence officials], I was repeatedly told that the next strategic target was Iran. Everyone is saying, ‘You can’t be serious about targeting Iran. Look at Iraq,’ the former [CIA] intelligence official told me. But the [Bush administration officials] say, ‘We’ve got some lessons learned – not militarily, but how we did it politically. We’re not going to rely on agency pissants.’ No loose ends, and that’s why the C.I.A. is out of there."

However, a disturbing article by intelligence analyst Philip Giraldi who, in an article entitled “In Case of Emergency, Nuke Iran,”, said:

The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing – that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack – but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.

Should the US decide to carry out such an attack on Iran, China would undoubtedly become involved, since its massive economic expansion is heavily reliant on oil from the region. With Iran planning on introducing its Euro-based trading system in March this year (coinciding with Israel accelerating its US-backed strike plan - see source) events are likely to come to a head very soon. The US is leading us down a road to potential global conflict in order to protect its dominance in the world oil markets and is seemingly likely to bring about the pre-conditions to justify an attack regardless of the consequences. Hopefully there will be no 'coalition of the willing' giving Bush and Cheney some kind of international credibility and this may help to deter them from following their plans through, but we're surely in for a bumpy year, one in which the spectre of the US administration and its shadowy backers showing its true colours is quite horrifying.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Green Glow-in-the-Dark Pigs Successfully Bred by Scientists

Green glowing pigs have been successfully bred by scientists in Taiwan by adding the genetic material from jellyfish into a standard embryo. They hope that the experiment will help with research into stem cells and human diseases.

The theory is that when, for example, stem cells are taken from the pigs and used in another animal the green glow will remain with the original cells, making their progress easier to track.

The pigs are green throughout, including internal organs, unlike previously modified versions which were only effected on the surface. In the daytime they display a greenish tinge but in the dark they glow brightly when subjected to blue light.

(source)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Dutch Company Selling Nazi Helmets to World Cup Fans

A company in the Netherlands has upset the countries football authority because it is offering orange Nazi-style helmets to Dutch fans for this years soccer World Cup, being held in Germany.

The firm, Free Time Products, has defended its product by saying "During the World Cup the playing field is different. We ought to be able to poke a bit of fun at our arch-rivals the Germans."

Supporters are referred to as "infantry" and, when in groups, as "battalions" by the company website which is promoting the helmet. The Dutch authority, the KNVB, say "They claim not to want to emphasise the war, but are achieving the very opposite."

(source)

a Dutch fan wonders whether to buff his helmet just one more time.....

Israeli Attack on Iran Possible in March

The Glasgow Herald has issued a report in which it says Israel has rehearsed its plans to attack Iran and may well do so as early as March. The aim of such a strike would be to put back Irans nuclear developments by 2 years or more.

A primary target would be the enrichment plant at Natanz which this week broke the seals put on the facility in 2004. According to the report, Iranian defectors say as many as 5,000 centrifuges are ready for installation at Natanz.

The report also describes how Israels elite 69 Squadron has prepared for attacks using F-15E bombers and cruise missiles. The country fears that if uranium enrichment is allowed to continue Iran will have useable nuclear weapons by 2007.

(source)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Iraq: 3 Years On And The Reasons For War Are Still Weak

In 2003 Terry Jones wrote the following article for The Guardian which is as true today as it was then:

"I'm really excited by George Bush's latest reason for bombing Iraq: he's running out of patience. And so am I!

For some time now I've been really pissed off with Mr Johnson, who lives a couple of doors down the street. Well, him and Mr Patel, who runs the health food shop. They both give me queer looks, and I'm sure Mr Johnson is planning something nasty for me, but so far I haven't been able to discover what. I've been round to his place a few times to see what he's up to, but he's got everything well hidden. That's how devious he is.

As for Mr Patel, don't ask me how I know, I just know - from very good sources - that he is, in reality, a Mass Murderer. I have leafleted the street telling them that if we don't act first, he'll pick us off one by one.

Some of my neighbours say, if I've got proof, why don't I go to the police? But that's simply ridiculous. The police will say that they need evidence of a crime with which to charge my neighbours.

They'll come up with endless red tape and quibbling about the rights and wrongs of a pre-emptive strike and all the while Mr Johnson will be finalising his plans to do terrible things to me, while Mr Patel will be secretly murdering people. Since I'm the only one in the street with a decent range of automatic firearms, I reckon it's up to me to keep the peace. But until recently that's been a little difficult. Now, however, George W. Bush has made it clear that all I need to do is run out of patience, and then I can wade in and do whatever I want!

And let's face it, Mr Bush's carefully thought-out policy towards Iraq is the only way to bring about international peace and security. The one certain way to stop Muslim fundamentalist suicide bombers targeting the US or the UK is to bomb a few Muslim countries that have never threatened us.

That's why I want to blow up Mr Johnson's garage and kill his wife and children. Strike first! That'll teach him a lesson. Then he'll leave us in peace and stop peering at me in that totally unacceptable way.

Mr Bush makes it clear that all he needs to know before bombing Iraq is that Saddam is a really nasty man and that he has weapons of mass destruction - even if no one can find them. I'm certain I've just as much justification for killing Mr Johnson's wife and children as Mr Bush has for bombing Iraq.

Mr Bush's long-term aim is to make the world a safer place by eliminating 'rogue states' and 'terrorism'. It's such a clever long-term aim because how can you ever know when you've achieved it? How will Mr Bush know when he's wiped out all terrorists? When every single terrorist is dead? But then a terrorist is only a terrorist once he's committed an act of terror. What about would-be terrorists? These are the ones you really want to eliminate, since most of the known terrorists, being suicide bombers, have already eliminated themselves.

Perhaps Mr Bush needs to wipe out everyone who could possibly be a future terrorist? Maybe he can't be sure he's achieved his objective until every Muslim fundamentalist is dead? But then some moderate Muslims might convert to fundamentalism. Maybe the only really safe thing to do would be for Mr Bush to eliminate all Muslims?

It's the same in my street. Mr Johnson and Mr Patel are just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of other people in the street who I don't like and who - quite frankly - look at me in odd ways. No one will be really safe until I've wiped them all out.

My wife says I might be going too far but I tell her I'm simply using the same logic as the President of the United States. That shuts her up.

Like Mr Bush, I've run out of patience, and if that's a good enough reason for the President, it's good enough for me. I'm going to give the whole street two weeks - no, 10 days - to come out in the open and hand over all aliens and interplanetary hijackers, galactic outlaws and interstellar terrorist masterminds, and if they don't hand them over nicely and say 'Thank you', I'm going to bomb the entire street to kingdom come.

It's just as sane as what George W. Bush is proposing - and, in contrast to what he's intending, my policy will destroy only one street."