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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

18 February - My Feedly

SDCC 2011 - Attack of the Show 16SDCC 2011 - Attack of the Show 16 (Photo credit: heath_bar)
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Weekend Edition

 Feed your mind

Featured Sources

JoNova: Science, carbon, climate and tax
The EnvironmentaList
The Corbett Report
(title unknown)
Truth Frequency News
Dying in Haiti
Wide Asleep in America
Adventures with Kurt and Lori
Dr Cintli
Inexplicata-The Journal of Hispanic Ufology

How to Be a Good Realist
I'm going to delve clumsily into IR Theory here, so I'd be grateful to get some feedback on the question of the 'Realist' minimum. In a fascinating post recently on US-China relations, Stephen Walt wrote: "First, as a good realist, I think that the basic state of Sino-American relations will be driven more by balances of power and configurations of interest than by the personalities of individual
In the Aftermath of Libya: A Chance to Define "Responsibility to Protect"
Libya, in the words of the Obama Administration, was a “time-limited, scope-limited” engagement enacted under the responsibility to protect doctrine. After decades of dealing with Qadhafi’s nepotism and secret police, I hope that Libyans will be able to move towards a participatory democracy (and, I hope, we will see a continued airing out of all the zenga-zenga-ing the late Colonel engaged in wi
FBI Latest Government Agency to Target Social Media
by James Corbett GRTV.ca 18 February, 2012 The US Federal Bureau of Investigation posted a Request for Information last month calling on IT companies to demonstrate their ability to design software for monitoring, mapping and analyzing social media. The RFI, posted to the government’s Federal Business Opportunities website in January, reveals the FBI’s desire for software capable of monitoring soc


A Bill past due – Crimes in Southern Indiana
It took a while for Crimes in Southern Indiana to make it to the top of the to-be-read pile, partly because I’d read a fair bit of Frank Bill’s stuff before – his forthcoming novel, Donnybrook, some of these stories, so it seemed a little like a half-eaten meal. I loved the taste, but there was other stuff, fresh stuff, I wanted to try. My mistake. Reading the collection in its totality, taking in
The writer and taxes, or geeze, the Mohel took less than that
As those who follow the blog know, my day job is writing about taxes. I’m not an accountant, so any advice you see here you should damn well confirm with a professional before acting on it, but these are areas where the Byzantine leviathan of our tax code does intersect with the writing life in ways you should consider. First, when I say writer here, I’m assuming the self-employed variety.  I was
Dear pissed-off dad, I’m not hitting the LIKE button
Here's a dad who likes to get famous by humiliating his daughter I saw your video – the one where you emptied your .45 into your daughter’s laptop because you didn’t like her Facebook post.  Maybe you’re hoping I’m one of the thousands of people who shared it, usually with a comment like “I love this guy!” or “This is my new hero!” I didn’t, I don’t, and you’re not. Oh sure, as theater, it was
The sky is falling by executive order and Obama is our new dictator
I work at home full time now, so I don’t get out of the house much, and I’m trying to walk or ride my bike on some of my shorter errands. That all eats in to my driving time. When I am in the car, I’m more likely to listen to a CD than the radio, and when I do listen to the radio, I’m more of an NPR guy or a classic rock guy or, during baseball season, a WGN guy. I’m missing Ron Santo already.  Bu




CA Fish and Game Commission President Shoots Cougar and Boasts About Hunt in Magazine
Humane Society of US Urges Californians to Voice Concern About Dan Richards' Leadership
Winter Farmers Markets Surge
Year-Round Markets Key to Solidifying the Local Food Movement
Forget Detergents, Simply Washing Clothes is Bad for Our Oceans
When Washed, Synthetic Clothes Release Billions of Mircoplastics that Bioaccumulate Up the Food Chain
From Apple Gadgets to Palm Oil, New CA Law Compels Companies to Disclose Efforts to Combat Slavery
Law Applies to 3,200 Businesses in the State With More Than $100 M in Worldwide Gross Receipts
Disease and Expolitation Threaten Indigenous Andaman Island Tribe
Leaked Video Shows How Ancient Forest Stewards Are Being Treated As Tourist Toys

Episode 218 – The Philosophy of Liberty: The Magna Carta
In this age of the destruction of our long tradition of western jurisprudence, it is a document that everyone has heard of but very few have read. The Magna Carta was written nearly 800 years ago, yet still has a profound influence on our thinking about law and government. Join us today on The Corbett Report as we rediscover the tradition of liberties and freedoms affirmed in this ancient agreemen
Corbett Report Radio 072 – Control the Food, Control the People
If it is true, as Kissinger has been alleged to say, that “Who controls the food supply controls the people” then food is a weapon on the geopolitical stage. It can be wielded for depopulation strategies through foreign policy. It can be controlled, limited and manipulated through international treaties. It can be used to eliminate small farmers and force a nation onto industrial farming controlle
Interview 461 – Catherine Austin Fitts on the Breakaway Civilization
Catherine Austin Fitts of Solari.com joins us to discuss the problem facing us in the wake of the financial coup d’etat — the breakaway civilization who believes themselves to be history’s actors — and the solution, what she calls Rethinking Diversification. We discuss what a decentralized, wealth-building society would look like and what we can do to take the power away from our would-be tyrants.
Corbett Report Radio 071 – Fukushima Updates and Food World Order
Tonight on the program James goes over the latest updates on the Fukushima situation in Japan and takes your calls. Then we get our regular Thursday night visit from James Evan Pilato of FoodWorldOrder.com to go over all the latest food, health and environment stories. Works Cited: Woods Hole to hold Fukushima Session at 2012 Ocean Sciences Meeting 3 Earthquakes Strike Fukushima in 4 Hours Radiati
New World Next Week – 2012/02/16
Welcome back to http://NewWorldNextWeek.com — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week: Story #1: Expanded Role Proposed for ‘Elite’ Military Forces http://ur1.ca/871ci Related: Iran Blames Israel for String of Bombings as Thais Find Possible Link to India Blast http://ur1.ca/871co Story
Interview 460 – New World Next Week with James Evan Pilato
Welcome back to http://NewWorldNextWeek.com — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week: Story #1: Expanded Role Proposed for ‘Elite’ Military Forces http://ur1.ca/871ci Related: Iran Blames Israel for String of Bombings as Thais Find Possible Link to India Blast http://ur1.ca/871co Story


Afternoon Jukebox: Wichita Lineman
Hello Koch boys!! See ya on my line… Domain Name (Unknown) IP Address 146.209.159.# (KOCH INDUSTRIES) ISP KOCH INDUSTRIES Location Continent : North America Country : United States (Facts) State : Kansas City : Wichita Lat/Long : 37.7521, -97.2782 (Map) Language unknown Operating System Unknown Unknown Browser Netscape 4.0 Mozilla/4.0 (compatible;) Jav
Record 19 Reporters, Media Execs Join Team Obama
February 17, 2012 12:52pm The Examiner- Washington by- Paul Bedard For some Washington reporters and media execs, cheering their team from the sidelines just isn’t good enough: Tugging on a red, white and blue Team Obama jersey is the answer. That’s the case for a whopping 19 journalists and media executives, including five from the Washington Post and three each from ABC and CNN, who’ve gone into
Foster Friess, Rick Santorum Super PAC Backer, Talks Contraception
The Huffington Post Luke Johnson First Posted: 02/16/2012  2:36 pm Updated: 02/16/2012  4:35 pm Foster Friess, a top donor to a Rick Santorum-aligned super PAC, dismissed the importance of his candidate’s stances on social issues in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Thursday, adding a bizarre statement about birth control. Friess was asked about Santorum’s beliefs on social issues such as
Jobless Claims At Lowest Since Obama Took Office
Thursday, February 16, 2012 9:28 EST Raw Story   By- David Ferguson The number of people seeking unemployment benefits has fallen to its lowest since March of 2008, the Associated Press reported Thursday morning. The national economy added 243,000 jobs in January, lowering the employment rate to 8.3 percent, according to the Department of Labor. A government report noted that weekly unemployment
While He Was A Senator, Rick Santorum Voted With President George W. Bush Over 95% Of The Time
February 15, 2012 Addicting Info  By Stephen D. Foster Jr. Rick Santorum is currently the poster boy for conservatism and the candidate leading the national polls among Republicans. Every day, Romney gets a little weaker, and Santorum gets a little stronger. And that makes him a threat to be the Republican Presidential nominee who faces President Obama in the general election this fall. But who e
Get Ready For A Huge Obama Backed Manufacturing Surge
February 15, 2012 Politicususa  By Ray Medeiros President Obama has made it his priority to invest in America, specifically in manufacturing and infrastructure. His 2013 budget, which will most likely be opposed by every Republican calls for $350 billion in short-term measures for job growth, and a six-year, $476 billion proposal for roads and other surface transportation projects according to th

AP Story on “Steep” Nuclear Cuts
It’s time for the annual Nuclear Deterrence Summit featuring speeches by luminaries including Senator Jon Kyl and Representative Michael Turner, which means it is also time for a damaging (and false) leak about the Obama Administration’s nuclear policy! The Associated Press’s Robert Burns — what? Eli Lake was busy? — reports that “the Obama administration is weighing options for sharp new cuts to
On That Burning Russian SSBN
The Russian magazine Vlast (in Russian) is reporting that a serious fire occurred aboard a Russian submarine in 29 December 2012 2011. The fire was covered on television  news (YouTube is a goldmine) and someone placed a great many photos online at a military-oriented internet forum, forums.airbase.ru.  As in the case of the Plushkino traffic jam, I am amazed by the detail available in open sourc
Russian Mag Reports Serious Fire on SSBN
The Russian magazine Vlast (in Russian) is reporting that a serious fire occurred aboard a Russian submarine in 28 December 2012. The fire was covered on television  news (YouTube is a goldmine) and someone placed a great many photos online at a military-oriented internet forum, forums.airbase.ru.  As in the case of the Plushkino traffic jam, I am amazed by the detail available in open sources ab
Worst Ever Treaty Provisions
I belong to the tribe that favors treaties that reduce the risk of war, add transparency and predictability to relations between well-armed competitors, and that depress impulses toward arms races. Not all treaties and treaty provisions succeed. Some have not only failed to accomplish these objectives, but have undercut them. What are the worst offenders? In contemporary Republican circles, t
“Engage Iran” — What Does It Mean?
During the second half of this week there will be a flurry of meetings in Washington on the subject of negotiating with Iran about its nuclear program. These will include this one hosted at the Stimson Center and held by the Arms Control Association, and a discussion at the University of Maryland with former Iranian negotiator Seyed Hossein Mousavian, now a visiting scholar at Princeton. Just befo
Two DPRK Nuclear Tests in 2010?
By now, you have undoubtedly seen press reports claiming that North Korea may have conducted a pair of clandestine nuclear tests in April and May 2010.  The reports are based on a forthcoming paper by a well-known Swedish radiochemist, Lars-Erik De Geer. I don’t buy it. At least not yet. Look, I would be the first person to jump at the possibility that the CTBTO’s IMS detected a well-hidden nucle

Green & White
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Google Allaince to Promote Tourism in Punjab
LAHORE: Pakistani authorities and Google have signed an agreement to use Google Maps to promote historical and tourist sites across the country’s most populous province of Punjab. Under the agreement, Google Inc will promote historical and tourist sites on the internet, particularly Google Maps, to promote worldwide awareness about Punjab’s heritage. So Punjab government came up with another inter
Google outreach and innovation event in Islamabad – Five seats for Greenwhite readers
Google Technology User Groups Islamabad chapter is holding an event in Islamabad on 17th of February. Title is “GTUG Islamabad- Google outreach and innovation” Organizers were kind enough to keep five seats for Greenwhite readers for this limited seats events. To avail this you will have to use code “greenwhite” as Coupon Code while registering at http://islamabad.gtugs.org/ Details of events are
What are you doing this weekend? How about creating a Startup!
All of us have some dream one breakthrough idea that we think can be game changer. However most of us keep pushing it back for some time later. If this sounds like you, you have a chance to redeem yourself Startup Weekend is coming to Lahore at LUMS. You get to sit with others with same passion and get two days to materialize your dream. Details can be found here excerpts from site. After meeting
Qurtaba takes their Urdu App to Kindle
Team at Qurtaba have added another front to their impressive Urdu language based apps, they have launched their Alif Bay Pay app for Amazon Kindle, as well. Earlier it was released on iTunes. I love what Qurtaba are doing in a niche area of Urdu Language. Although their start was from Nan-Map for which they now have an iPhone App.There love for Urdu language related apps has been flourishing in

Missing Persons: Reality vs Evidence
By Sajjad Shaukat Thinkers, researchers and writers always pay attention to reality, while describing factual position of any development, event or incident. But on the other hand, learned advocates in most of the cases produce fake evidence in order to win the case, even then the reality of the event exists. While giving arguments in the court, no lawyer will agree with his rival, otherwise, he w
US Intentions to militasise Asia
By Sajjad Shaukat Learning no lesson from a prolonged ‘different war’ against terrorism, defeatism in Iraq and Afghanistan, heavy cost of war, debt crisis and acute financial problems inside America, US has started showing its intentions to militarise Asia. In this regard, during his trip to Australia, on November 17, 2011, President Barrack Obama, while sending an unmistakable message to Beijing
US Support to Baloch Separatists Exposed
By Sajjad Shaukat On the one hand, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has declared 2012 the ‘Year of Balochistan’, while on the other, the US Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs has convened unprecedented hearing on February 8 this year, and discussed situation of Balochistan. The Committee’s hearing was attended by the supporters of Baloch separtism and American scholars including hum
Real Opportunists of War against Terrorism
By Sajjad Shaukat While, almost all the countries in general and the US and Islamic countries in particular have continuously been facing the drastic aftermath of the September 11 tragedy, but India and Israel are the real opportunists of the US-led global war against terrorism. Since 9/11, by availing that golden opportunity, both India and Israel have perennially been manipulating the world phen


Strong People Don’t Have Needs & Other Myths That Can Kill You
I’ve been tweeting all morning about #rapeculture & #abuseculture, and someone asked me what I meant when I referred to Strong People Myths. I think some/most of us are familiar with the Strong Black Woman Trope right? Right. For those that are unfamiliar with it, it can best be summed up as the idea that black women are so strong they don’t need help, protection, care, or concern. It’s a rac


Forest Ganja Grow Yields 10 Year Federal Sentence
Jose Esqueda-Garcia, 19, and Moises Lopez-Ontiveros, 21, both citizens of Mexico, were each sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to 10 years in federal prison for their involvement in a conspiracy to manufacture marijuana in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest during 2011. Both men pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge in November 2011. The evidence summarized by the gover
Agen Bola Indonesia – M9D.com
M9D.com is the site agent who serves sportsbook and online casino account set-profiles on the leading online gambling sites. M9D.com has served thousands of members since 2001. With more than 12 years of experience, no more doubtful to our reputation and trust. Currently M9D.com been officially linked to facilitate the registration and payment to the account on the site Sbobet, Ibcbet, 1scasino, a
Tips on Getting the Right Type of Men’s Running Shoes
A shoe isn’t just a shoe anymore. Shoes are crucial to the human body, as they help to offer assist where wanted and so they present a stage of consolation for the one that is carrying them. Shoe manufacturers have flooded the market with various various kinds of sneakers, and males’s trainers are no different. Whenever you walk right into a shoe retailer in the present day, you basically see one
Learning Set Phrases and Separable Words
In Chinese language, the set phrases and separable words are important points for those who study in China to learn. Therefore, teachers should pay more attention to the two points. For the set phrases, teachers should make efforts to figure out some effective methods to gain their understanding and help them master the set phrases.   The set phrases contest is a good way for students to remembe


The New 1% Doctrine in Action
While many the US were celebrating seemingly positive job numbers yesterday, for London, Ontario residents such news was caustic, rock salt poured into a gaping wound. WSWS: Caterpillar subsidiary Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) has announced that it is transforming the lockout at its London, Ontario diesel-locomotive manufacturing facility into a plant closure. Six weeks ago, Caterpillar locked out


Filed under: Eros, Into The Light, La Musica
Res Ipsa Loquitur
Filed under: Eros, La Musica
Dr Possum: Silkhearts, Fishspeak, And The Mysteries Of Wings
(Well. Here it is. Thursday morning. The perfect time to post the weekly wisdom of Dr. Possum. Which arrived in my inbox in plenty of time, for me to post it, as every week scheduled, on Monday morning. Except I couldn’t. Post it then. On Monday morning. Because of multiple dysfunctions. Which seem to recur weekly. Oh well. Alas. As it is written. We work in the dark. We do what we can.) New disco
Comin’ Through
Filed under: Eros, Into The Light, La Musica 
Of the pseudo-humans bred or assembled by extraterrestrials to serve as the 2012 GOoPer candidates for president, one has already been driven from the race because of the wanderings of his wee-wee. That would be Herman Cain, the pizza topping. That the wee-wee of The Bedbug, also known as Newt Gingrich, long ran wild across the land: this has been known to many, and for many years. So long as The
Homeward Bound
Florentino Ariza listened to him without blinking. Then he looked through the windows at the complete circle of the quadrant on the mariner’s compass, the clear horizon, the December sky without a single cloud, the waters that could be navigated forever, and he said: “Let us keep going, going, going, to La Dorada.” Fermina Daza shuddered because she recognized his former voice, illuminated by the

The Iron Lady’s Mad Shadow
Meryl Streep impersonates Margaret Thatcher wonderfully in The Iron Lady . (For so doing she received her 17th Oscar nomination.) A good deal of the film has Thatcher in her dressing-gown, mildly demented and remembering or misremembering her middle years, when, from 1979 to 1990, she was prime minister of Britain, the only woman to hold that job, which she occupied for longer than anyone else in
Will We Choose a Chinese Future?
For the last two decades, we've heard many myths purporting to explain the loss of American manufacturing jobs. CEOs, for instance, typically say they have sent jobs overseas because they can't find skilled American workers. Conservative economists say the giant sucking sound is that of technology replacing obsolete workers. And conservative politicians say job loss is the result of high corporate
The War on Contraception Goes Mainstream
Last week, the progressive blogosphere was full of articles about the War on Contraception. They were largely motivated, of course, by the Catholic Church's fight to forbid insurance-provided birth control to employees of religious organizations, and Obama's "compromise." But after a year of coordinated assaults on Planned Parenthood, "personhood" initiatives that stood to make oral contraceptiv
In Search of the Anti-Walker
Do you value the independent journalism you find at In These Times? Please donate today to help us continue publishing articles like this. On January 17, people power prevailed--or so Wisconsinites thought. Since that day, Wisconsin's state elections agency was tasked with reviewing each of the 1 million submitted recall petition signatures. And while it's inevitable that Gov. Scott Walker will
Why Gary Johnson Should Terrify the Democrats
Do you value the independent journalism you find at In These Times? Please donate today to help us continue publishing articles like this. Gary Johnson is, in some important ways, the candidate that the Left once hoped Barack Obama would be. He vocally opposes the death penalty, the use of torture by the U.S. military, and the indefinite detention of people charged with a crime--even suspects cha
Managing Dissent in Chicago
CHICAGO--Although the world's most powerful man calls Chicago home, the city's boosters still have a chip on their shoulder. In 2009, their bid for the 2016 Olympics ended in failure, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel has convinced his old boss, Barack Obama, to let Chicago host the G8 and NATO summits in May. The stage is now set: Leaders of the military alliance and "Group of Eight" rich countries haven't

Michael Berry Has A Right To His Views And We Each Have The Right To Assess Michael Berry
Blogger’s Note—-Below is a post I made last September about comments that did not seem very nice about gay people made by former Houston Councilman and current right-wing KTRH talk show host Michael Berry.  (The picture above is of Mr. Berry at the microphone.) In my September post I said that Mr. Berry was making a clear expression of his views.  This is a right that we all should have as Americ
President’s Day 2012—Resources To Learn More About Our U.S. Presidents
Blogger’s Note—This is–with a few minor changes –the President’s Day post I run each year.  I very much enjoy sharing with the blog reading public the illustration you see above of Lincoln and Washington hugging. It is indeed a great work of art. Please have a safe holiday. Thanks for reading Texas Liberal. President’s Day 2012 is Monday, February 20. Here is a history of the President’s Day holi
Occupy Houston Strategy Meeting On Sunday, 2/19
There will be an Occupy Houston General Assembly and planning meeting this upcoming Sunday, 2/19. This will be a big meeting after the police disbandment of the Occupy Houston camp in Downtown Houston a few days ago. Here are the details— This GA is devoted to planning out the future of Occupy Houston. We’ll answer some of the hard questions about what Occupy Houston is , where it’s going and how,
I’ll Be On Cincinnati’s WAIF FM-88.3 On Saturday, March 3rd—Trash Flow Radio
I always enjoy telling folks about my every-so-often public schedule. I recall that Martin Luther King once said that attention is “Vitamin A for the ego.” Here is the 2012 Texas Liberal Martin Luther King Reading & Reference List. This is the best such resource on the web. I’ll be in-studio and on the radio on Cincinnati’s community radio station WAIF-FM 88.3 on Saturday, March 3. ( Above—A
Man To Tightrope Walk Across Niagara Falls—The Niagara Region Is Interesting And Fun
Permission has been granted on both sides of Niagara Falls for a man to attempt to cross the falls on a tightrope. (Above–Maria Spelterini crossing a portion of the falls in 1876. The fact that Ms. Spelterini lived until 1912 will clue you as to the outcome of this walk.) From Reuters-– Canada agreed on Wednesday to allow a member of the Flying Wallenda family of daredevils to attempt a tightrope
Occupy Houston’s Next Steps
Above is a picture I took Tuesday morning 2/14 of the former Occupy Houston camp in Tranquility Park in Downtown Houston. As I’ve said, the local Occupy movement is better off without the camp. There are plans for an Occupy Houston 2.0 that either will or will not take shape. Should the local Occupy move forward you’ll read about here. And hopefully you’ll read about it in other places as well. I

UN Vote on Syria; Homs Killings Rise; CNN Shows Alawi Neighborhoods Shelled too
 UN Vote on Syria – Foreign Policy The U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to support a non-binding resolution condemning Syria’s government. The resolution, which passed 137 to 12 with 17 abstentions, calls for the Syrian government to immediately halt attacks on civilians and urges Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to appoint a special envoy for Syria. Following the vote, Syrian forces appear
Anthony Shadid Dies in Syria
Anthony Shadid died in Syria today of asthma. He brought out the humanity of the people he wrote about in a way that set him apart. He was also from Oklahoma City where the Shadid family is well known and respected. He went to the University of Oklahoma for a year and helped establish the Anthony Shadid-St. Elijah Award which is given to our most gifted student of the Middle East each year for tr
Syria’s Next Leader: Will He Come from the SNC or the Militias?
The Assads did an exemplary job of ensuring that a new generation of leaders was unable to emerge in Syria. It will take years to develop leaders who have national reputations and deep institutional roots in Syrian society. In all likelihood, they will have to fight their way to the top in the nasty Darwinian process now unfolding in Syria. Just as Assad emerged out of the dark inner-sanctums of m
The New Syrian Constitution Draft Discussed
 The New Syrian Constitution Draft has some important changes which are discussed below in the form of a debate between friends that has been copied from an email discussion. Article 8 Removed Article 8 was the most contested article of the 1973 constitution. It states that the Baath Party must be the leader of both society and the state. The Parliament must include at least 50% workers and farmer
Al-Qaida Targets Syria; Military Uses Hostages; World Fumbles for Syria Policy
Aleppo after two car bombs: Ehsani writes on Sunday, “Aleppo back to normal today. People learning to live with this stuff. Becoming like the Lebanese.” Ayman al-Zawahri addresses Syrias, urging Muslims to fight for their Syrian brothers and urging Syrians to fight for freedom and liberation and to take heart in the support of the Muslim Umma against the cancerous and deeply sectarian regime of th
“The Real Opposition in Syria is Not the Syrian National Council or Free Syrian Army,” by Idaf
The Real Opposition in Syria is Not the Syrian National Council or Free Syrian Army By Idaf (who recently left Syria and has been working with opposition activists) 12 February 2012 for Syria Comment It’s a grave mistake to put all opposition in one group. Some are worse than the regime, some as bad, others are smart, savvy with a plan. Of course you only hear in the news (and sometimes though sel


About the Privacy
--by Sebastian While I'm on Kevin Drum day, he makes a great post about the general unease he has with the semi creepy dossier that Target gets on its customers: Charles Duhigg has a fascinating story in the New York Times Magazine this week that's all about the way retailers use data mining and microtargeting to sell you more stuff. Among other things, he tells the story of how Target
A what does Jeremy Lin mean post
by liberal japonicus This is probably a bit too heavy for a Friday open thread, so we'll push that back a few days, cause I'm quite interested in this. But maybe you aren't, so it is below the fold. Join me, if you dare... I assume that everyone is aware of the Jeremy Lin, the Taiwanese-American point guard for the New York Knicks. While football has started to succumb to the lure of
A Great Issue for Federalism
--by Sebastian I read Kevin Drum almost every day, and today he hit a bunch of issues that I think are worth thinking about.  One of them is this one.  It talks about Obama's vexing about face on medical marijuana.  In light of recent discussions, it strikes me that this is a perfect area for federalism.  The federal government could choose to take itself out of the field and let states deal w
Anachronism by commission and omission
by Doctor Science Ben Zimmer of Language Log noticed some anachronistic expressions in Downton Abbey [may include slight spoilers for Season 2]:   On YouTube. Detailed analysis of the phrases here. Grad student Ben Schmidt decided to bring anachronism into the 21st century:[Zimmer's method] resembles what historians do nowadays; go fishing in the online resources to confirm hypotheses, but ne
Your 2 sports stories Friday open thread
by liberal japonicus I'm following two stories that I will put below the fold, but this is an open thread, so anything else that catches your fancy is welcome as well. The first story that I've been engrossed in was the firing of Fabio Capello, Italian who was coaching England's national team. Links to the Guardian collected here. A short summary, player John Terry was accused of usin
"Politics have no place in health care": Excuse me, are you *new*?!?
by Doctor Science I didn't post about The Great Komen Foundation vs. Planned Parenthood Clash of the Titans last week, mostly because D & I both had viral gastroenteritis. It was vile, but at least the kids didn't get it. One thing that made me laugh incredulously:"Politics have no place in health care," Bloomberg said in a statement on Thursday. "Breast cancer screening saves lives


WWF deplores elephant slaughter, urges end to open borders for poaching
Gland, Switzerland: WWF has deplored the mass slaughter of elephants in northern Cameroon, and has called on governments in the region to address the issue of cross border raids by heavily armed poaching gangs. Estimates of the number of elephants killed in Bouba Ndjida National Park by a gang crossing the border from Chad and believed to be supplying Sudan ivory markets that service ivory traf
Volvo Group and WWF expand climate partnership
 Sanya, China - Volvo Construction Equipment and Volvo Buses have joined the Volvo Group’s cooperation with WWF´s Climate Savers program, pledging to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 million tons from construction equipment, buses and trucks through 2014. “By expanding the partnership with WWF to include our buses and construction equipment, the Volvo Group will demonstrate that it is serious about con
Black carbon initiative should not block real carbon action
Gland, Switzerland: WWF has welcomed a “black carbon” initiative announced today by the US, Canada, Mexico, Ghana, Sweden and Bangladesh – but warned that the primary effort in reducing dangerous climate changing emissions has to remain on achieving rapid and deep cuts to carbon dioxide emissions. The substances highlighted in the initiative – black carbon or soot, methane and hydrofluorocarbons
APP certifiers distance themselves from sustainability claims
Pekanbaru, Sumatra – Gland, Switzerland: Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) claims of independent sustainability certification for its operations aren’t supported by the certification schemes and assessors it has nominated, a WWF survey has found. None of these certifications cover the most controversial operations of the APP’s wood suppliers – mass clearing of native forests which are home to critic
Snow leopard prey survey reveals ‘Noah’s Ark’ of wildlife thriving in Bhutan’s newest national park
WASHINGTON, DC, February 14, 2011 –The first ever snow leopard prey survey in Bhutan’s newest national park revealed astonishing footage of snow leopards scent-marking, a sub-adult snow leopard, Tibetan wolf, threatened Himalayan serow, musk deer and a healthy population of blue sheep, the main food source for snow leopards. This is the first pictorial evidence that snow leopards are thriving in
Rare mountain gorilla found dead in poacher’s snare
An anti-poaching patrol in Rwanda has discovered the carcass of a young mountain gorilla caught in a poacher’s snare, according to International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP). The animal was one of only about 780 critically endangered mountain gorillas left in existence. The male gorilla, estimated to be approximately three years old, was determined to have been dead for a few days bef


That Rupert Murdoch memo to staff in full.
Bonzer mates!KRM here. James told me I had to pop in considering you seem to be having some sort of local difficulty, nothing too serious apparently but it could impact on my far more important business in the States, fools errand I think personally but here I am.First off, I wanna congratulate all you fellas and sheilas for your important work over the past 43 years. I obviously put all the mon
The only way is Tesco.
(The only way is workfare doesn't work quite as well as a headline.)In a way, it's a little odd that the issue of unpaid work has suddenly exploded in the way it has over the last 24 hours. The root of the furore, an advert on the Jobcentre website that advertised a work experience placement with Tesco where the wage was jobseeker's allowance plus expenses, mistakenly describing the "job" as perm
On the rights and hypocrisies of both Abu Qatada and The Sun.
Maajid Nawaz from the inconsistent Quilliam Foundation makes a good point over at the Graun when he says that by approaching the Abu Qatada story from a different angle, it in fact portrays our legal system in a very positive light. Here is someone accused by the most outspoken media sources of wanting every single one of us infidels dead, and yet we're doing our damnedest to secure from Jordan g
Not quite payback.
For those who spare themselves the daily assault on sanity that Newsnight increasingly resembles (last week saw Naomi Wolf and Katie Price on the same panel, with the artist formerly known as Jordan fobbing off Paxman's inquiries as to why she had decided to repeatedly mutilate her breasts) you'll have missed last night's tussle between Charlotte Harris and Nick Ferrari over the arrests at the Sun
All together now: awwwwwwww.
Trevor Kavanagh's self-pitying whinge in the Sun today following the further arrests at the weekend under Operation Elveden would have been rather undermined if he'd mentioned it's all the result of the internal investigation by the Management and Standards Committee, tasked with the exact "draining of the swamp" Kavanagh claims isn't necessary. Still, always better to blame and attack everyone o

CLIMATE CHANGE: Barbados Looks to Beaches as First Line of Defence
Like most of its neighbours in the English-speaking Caribbean, Barbados's main economic asset is its coastal zone.
ARGENTINA: Paraná River Not What It Used to Be
Lower water levels and increasing pressure from overfishing in the Paraná river are causing an unprecedented decline in fish stocks in the river that is regarded as the second most biodiverse in South America after the Amazon river.
Bangladesh Braves Climate Change With Community Radio
"Welcome to Krishi (farming) Radio. You are listening to FM 98.8 megahertz and I am your hostess Shahnaz Parvin," the local community radio crackles over the mobile phones and transistors of residents in coastal Barguna district.
Scientists Find Link Between La Niña and the Flu
Weather patterns could have an influence on the spread of epidemics like that of the H1N1 influenza virus, initially known as swine flu, which broke out in Mexico and the United States in 2009.
TRINIDAD: Training the Leaders of "Generation Climate"
With climate change advancing to the forefront of the most urgent issues facing the islands of the Caribbean, young people – who arguably have the most to gain and lose in future scenarios – are becoming increasingly engaged in charting a path to environmental sustainability.
Economic and Climate Vulnerabilities Converge in the Caribbean
Caribbean islands are doubly exposed by the convergence of weak economies heavily dependent on foreign imports and greater vulnerability to climate change, according to ECLAC Executive Director Alicia Bárcena.


Alpha Centauri B: A Close Look at the Habitable Zone
The dreams of Alpha Centauri I used to have as a boy all focused on visual effects. After all, the distance between Centauri A and B ranges from 11.4 to 36.0 AU. What would it be like to have a second star in our Solar System, one that occasionally closed to a little more than Saturn’s distance from the Sun? What would a day be like with two stars, and even more, what would night be like with a st
‘Light Echo’ Reveals Eta Carinae Puzzle
Luminous Blue Variables are large, bright stars that give rise to periodic eruptions, like the so-called “Great Eruption” of Eta Carinae that was first noted in 1837 and continued to be observed for an additional 21 years. Things must have been lively around the companion star thought to orbit in the nebula around Eta Carinae, for the LBV blew off about 20 solar masses in this era, mimicking a sup
A Haze at Galactic Center
The Planck mission continues to peel the layers off the onion as it probes the early universe. Planck is all about the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), that radiation left over from the era of recombination around 380,000 years after the Big Bang. As electrons and protons began to form neutral atoms, light was freed to stream through the universe, an afterglow of the Big Bang that missions like
KBOs: Surveying the Southern Skies
Given yesterday’s post on wandering planets, otherwise known as ‘rogue’ planets or ‘nomads,’ today’s topic falls easily into place. For even as we ponder the possibility of 105 rogue planets at Pluto’s mass or above for every main sequence star in the galaxy, we confront the fact that we still have much to learn about objects much closer to home in our own Kuiper Belt. We have yet, for example, to
‘Island-Hopping’ to the Stars
We tend to think of interstellar journeys as leaps into the void, leaving the security of one solar system to travel non-stop to another. But a number of alternatives exist, a fact that becomes clear when we ponder that our own cloud of comets — the Oort Cloud — is thought to extend a light year out and perhaps a good deal further. There may be ways, in other words, to take advantage of resources
Of Ice and the Planetesimal
Mindful of the recent work on axial tilt I’ve reported in these pages, I was interested to learn that Vesta’s axial tilt is just a bit greater than the Earth’s, about 27 degrees. We’ve been pondering the consequences of such obliquity on planets in the habitable zone, but in Vesta’s case, the issue isn’t habitability but water ice. For spurred by the Dawn mission, scientists are looking at whether
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