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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.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

9 December - My Feedly!

December in ProvenceDecember in Provence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: A hiking trail in Thousand Oaks, Cali...English: A hiking trail in Thousand Oaks, California, with the Simi Hills in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If We Make It Through December (album)If We Make It Through December (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The PimpThe Pimp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: A self photo of cyclist/blogger/sea-f...English: A self photo of cyclist/blogger/sea-farer/ backpacker and environmentalist Rudolph.A.Furtado at "Mumbai Cyclothon-2010". (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Weekend Edition The latest and greatest from your favorite sites.

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Arab states agree on aid for Palestinians
At meeting of Arab League ministers, Qatari PM brands the Quartet "a failure" and calls for rethink of peace process.
Five Best Computer Monitors
Upgrading your computer's hardware isn't the only way to feel like you have a new machine. A new monitor can go a long way towards making your computer more fun to use and more functional. At the same time, there are hundreds of displays out there by dozens of companies at all different price points. Still, we're only interested in the best, and here's a look at the top five, based on your nominations. More »
'Courage, Skill, and Patriotism': Navy SEAL Dies Rescuing American ...
U.S. General John Allen, commander of NATO-led foreign forces in Afghanistan, said he ordered the mission in eastern Afghanistan when intelligence showed that Joseph was “in imminent danger of injury or death.” “The special operators who conducted this raid knew they were putting their ... How does this guy rate a rescue within 5 days, and this young man sits there for over THREE YEARS?! Mr. President, WTF is wrong with you!! http://www.bringbowehomewod.

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'Tax the Rich: An Animated Fairy Tale'
Our thanks to Sean Hannity who was so fake-outraged by this video that we ended up hearing about it. Apparently, he's worried that teachers or parents will share it with their kids. Great idea, Sean! You're a great American! And thanks for helping to get out the word! The video was created by the California Federation of Teachers and is narrated by our pal Ed Asner. Enjoy! Better yet, share it wit
Are sea-levels rising? Nils-Axel Morner documents a decided lack of rising seas
We’ve all heard the dire prophesies: Rising seas will reshape the world’s coastlines, a one meter rise will inundate 7000 sq mi of dry land, and cost over $100 billion in the United States alone. Worse, we thought things were bad before, but now it’s even rising faster than we predicted. (“We” being the unvalidated computer simulations, and “rising”, as it turns out, being one interpretation of so
Monckton tossed out of Doha, COP 18 and Qatar
UPDATE: See the video below So Monckton snuck onto a microphone and dared break the sacred tabernacle of climate. There are some things you just can’t say… Tallbloke is having a caption contest for this pic. E &E Newswire story After the news conference, and as diplomats gathered for the climate conference president’s assessment of how close countries are to agreement, Monckton quietly slipped
Happy Hanukkah!
I am a very bad Jew: the kind who not only married a shiksa, but pretty much only does Hanukkah and Passover. Well, the  wife’s out of the country for the entire holiday this year, but Lyra and I managed to have a nice little first night before rushing off to her tumbling-and-trampoline clinic. I always find Chrismukkah challenging. How do I distribute the loot? How do I prevent an avalanche of

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Chicago, setting and messing with reality
The author at the corner of Wacker and Dearborn, which, for reasons that will soon be evident, is my new favorite intersection. (Photo by the Daja, Shannon O’Shea) Been thinking about setting a bit lately – why it matters, how it ought to work, and, for those of us setting our stories in real places, how faithful we need to be to reality. I’m thinking back to my early attempts at drafting my debut

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The Corbett Report
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Corbett Report Radio 265 – DARPA Exposed
The internet. GPS. Windows. Videoconferencing. Siri. Smart dust. Why isn’t it common knowledge that these technologies started as DARPA-funded projects? When the government, defense contractors and tech giants team up to create the next generation of military technology, who wins and who loses? Find out on tonight’s broadcast. WORKS CITED: Army of Extreme Thinkers 12 Insane But True DARPA Project
Corbett Report Radio 266 – Stay Out of School
Tonight James talks to the “unplugged mom” Laurette Lynn (laurettelynn.com) about her book, Don’t Do Drugs Stay Out of School. We discuss the conditioning and indoctrination of the compulsory education system and how parents can take their children off the treadmill of traditional schooling. Join us tonight for a fascinating conversation about the inter-generational revolution that can truly chang
Corbett Report Radio 264 – Who Are the Muslim Brotherhood?
Although the MSM is no longer telling us to care about the people of Egypt, their revolution is still ongoing. Now they are fighting President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, who have just declared that he is above the judiciary. But who are the Muslim Brotherhood, where did they come from, and what are their connections? Join us tonight as we examine the American and British intelligence establ
How to Prosecute the 9/11 War Crimes
Prof. Gurdial Singh Nijar of the University of Malaya leads a panel discussion on how to prosecute the war crimes of 9/11 at the “9/11 Revisited: Seeking the Truth” conference in Kuala Lumpur on November 19, 2012.

The EnvironmentaList
12 unread articles
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Evidence of Beluga Intelligence Raises Questions about Captivity
A growing number scientific and anecdotal reports suggest that there is much more to a cetacean’s brain than the captivity industry might care to admit
Icelandic Fishing Industry Suffers from a Split Personality
Its fisheries quota is an international model, but the country continues to engage in commercial whaling
European Activists Form Cross-border Alliances to Track Impacts of International Coal Trade
Greens and labor groups demand more transparency about where imported coal comes from and the conditions under which it was extracted
European Activists Form Cross-border Alliances to Track the Impacts of International Coal Trade
Greens and labor groups demand more transparency about where imported coal comes from and the conditions under which it was extracted

Syria Comment
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Syrian Militias Establish New Command – Pro-Jabhat al-Nusra Alliance Emerges
29 Syrian coordinating committees and militias sign a petition stating that they are all Jabhat al-Nusra  29 تنسيقية وكتيبة تسمّي الجمعة القادمة “لا للتدخل الأمريكي– كلنا جبهة النصرة” It seems that the US has provoked the formation of a counter-alliance against it even before Assad has fallen. Syrian militias established a new command that is estimated to be made up of roughly two-thirds of repres
“Chemical Weapons in Syria: Fact, Fiction, and Fib,” by Aron Lund
Chemical Weapons in Syria: Fact, Fiction, and Fib by Aron Lund* Syria Comment, December 8, 2012 On the WMD discussion in your last post, which I think was spot on: My guess is that what’s happening is that some intelligence agencies are really picking up signals of WMD motion on the ground, but that the dramatic “mixing sarin and putting it into bombs” info is pure propaganda. It seems designed to
“Islamism and the Syrian revolution,” by Aron Lund
Islamism and the Syrian revolution by Aron Lund* Syria Comment, December 8, 2012 (See French version at Alternatives Internationales, n°57, Décembre 2012, p. 16-18s) On November 11, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was established in Qatar, supposedly to lead the struggle against Bashar el-Assad. While not an insignificant event, the truth is that these exiled
Chemical Weapons; Jabhat al-Nusra; The End Game; Recognizing National Coalition
A number of journalists have asked me if I believe Assad is likely to use chemical weapons. Here is the way I think about it: Assad is unlikely to use chemical weapons at this time. He must know that as soon as he uses them, he will have written his death warrant. I do not think he is suicidal or about to pursue a “Samson option” as some have suggested. The Alawite community of 2.5 million that li

Craig Murray
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I am off to Baghdad on Sunday for an Arab League conference on Palestinian detainees held in Israel. This is part of my determination to devote more of my time to helping the Palestinian cause. It seems to me we are at a crucial point where the Palestinians are in genuine danger of an accelerated genocide, as Israeli intentions to annex Est Jerusalem and the West Bank become ever plainer. In r
Rusbridger’s New Wig
Judging by his picture in today’s Guardian, Alan Rusbridger has invested in a new wig which plumbs new depths of unconvincingness, even by Rusbridger standards. He is moving past Donald Trump territory in the direction of Danny La Rue. The great mortification of my own life is that Nadira insists upon dyeing my hair – there are evident cultural differences over the acceptability of the practic
Election Day in Ghana
Today is election day in Ghana, both for President and Parliament. My phone has been hot all day with calls from around that country, and it seems strange to be following from a snowy Ramsgate. I am in the curious position of being a good personal friend of both the main Presidential candidates, Nana Akuffo Addo and John Mahama. As you can see from the photograph above, they are fairly good f
The End of the Catholic Orangemen
I have just opened the last of fifty boxes of 24 books which comprised the 1200 privately published hardback copies of The Catholic Orangemen of Togo. They have all sold – not more than half a dozen were given away. This has been a hard slog. Long term readers will know that I had to self-publish after multi-millionaire hired killer Tim Spicer threatened my publishers with a libel action, causi

(title unknown)
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sat’day riddymz

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Bits and Pieces - December 7, 2012
Report from Pearl Harbor.James Bond and the killer bag lady.The fog of cyberwar: why the threat doesn't live up to the hype. Retro DPRK - a new blog.Dan Froomkin on the "both sides do it" problem. Not too much new here, but worth reading again.
Say What, NBC?
Syria loads chemical weapons into bombs; military awaits Assad's orderPretty scary headline.The military has loaded the precursor chemicals for sarin, a deadly nerve gas, into aerial bombs that could be dropped onto the Syrian people from dozens of fighter-bombers, the officials said. As recently as Tuesday, officials had said there was as yet no evidence that the process of mixing the "precurs
Bits and Pieces - December 4, 2012
Israel's method of thanking the United States for its support at the UN on the vote for Palestine as an observer nation was to announce that it plans to build settlements in one of the most controversial areas near Jerusalem. That's gotten some people to thinking about changes in the unthinking US support for Israel.Stephen WaltRobert WrightOttomans and ZionistsA Christian minister signs up for th

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This is the life you chose.
"Possessing a copy of a terrorist publication is a serious offence."
As we've learned this year, taking trolling too far can net you a prison sentence.  Indeed, even expressing your strong personal views on a controversial subject can result in a 240 hour community order, while those who actually did call for you to be killed aren't so much as arrested.Less well known is that you can be jailed for even longer simply for having a magazine in your possession.  Last y
The equivalent of a kick to the balls.
According to Michael White, George Osborne was wearing a purple tie as he delivered his autumn statement.  On my admittedly ageing TV it looked black, a colour far more reflective of the words spooling out of Osborne's mouth.  If during the budget the question being asked by the chancellor was just how hard and fast those earning under £150,000 a year wanted to be shafted, there were no such r
Still two and a half years to go.
Here's one to delight those glass half full/glass half empty types: tomorrow is the official half-way point for the coalition, as noted by dearest Pollyanna.  Either we've only got another two and a half years to go, or we've still got another two and a half years to go.  As a glass half empty person, it's also worth noting that these 30 months will see the brunt of the cuts: next Apri

Centauri Dreams
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Voyager: Dark Highway Ahead
One rainy night in the mid-1980s I found myself in a small motel in the Cumberlands, having driven most of the day after a meeting and reaching Newport, TN before I decided to land for the night. It’s funny what you remember, but small details of that trip stick with me. I remember the nicking of the wiper blades as I approached Newport, the looming shapes of the mountains in the dark, and most of
Brown Dwarf Results Promising for Planets
Do planets form easily around brown dwarf stars? Are they actually common? We’re getting a glimpse of the possibilities in new work at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), where a brown dwarf known as ISO-Oph 102 (also called Rho-Oph 102) is under investigation. In most respects it seems like a fairly run-of-the-mill brown dwarf, about 60 times the mass of Jupiter and thus una
Skylon: Promising Tests of the SABRE Engine
The news from Reaction Engines Ltd. about its air-breathing rocket engine SABRE is interesting not only for its implications in near-term space development, but also for its pedigree. Reaction Engines grew out of British work on a single-stage-to-orbit concept called HOTOL ((Horizontal Take-Off and Landing) that was being developed by Rolls Royce and British Aerospace in the 1980s. Initially backe
ASPW 2012: A Report from Huntsville
Richard Obousy, a familiar face on Centauri Dreams, is president and primary propulsion senior scientist for Icarus Interstellar, whose portfolio includes Project Icarus, the redesign of the Project Daedalus starship. Dr. Obousy is just back from the latest Advanced Space Propulsion Workshop and, as he did for the 2010 ASPW, he now offers his take on the event. Although I missed this ASPW, I’ll be

Obsidian Wings
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your cardboard bikes and wind-driven de-mining device Friday open thread
by liberal japonicus Two interesting things. The first is this cardboard bike The Alfa weighs 20lbs, yet supports riders up to 24 times its weight. It’s mostly cardboard and 100% recycled materials, yet uses a belt-driven pedal system that makes it maintenance free. And, maybe best of all, it’s project designed to be manufactured at about $9 to $12 per unit (and just $5 for a kids version), makin
Us and the rest of the world
by liberal japonicus I may be wrong about this, but I think that this article is something that is pretty inexplicable to most Americans.  On 26 September, Alex Haigh became the first person to be jailed under section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act. His crime was one of which countless thousands of people could now be guilty: squatting. A 21-year-old from Plymout

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Patton on Pakistan’s U Supply
My colleague, Tamara Patton, has published her much anticipated master’s thesis on estimating the size of the Pakistani plutonium production reactors at Khushab in Science and Global Security  (Combining Satellite Imagery and 3D Drawing Tools for Nonproliferation Analysis: A Case Study of Pakistan’s Khushab Plutonium Production Reactors).  It’s one heck of a paper and available for free. I asked T
Iranians in North Korea?
Kyodo news — citing the inevitable single “Western diplomatic source” — has an interesting report that Iran has agreed to permantly station four missile (and perhaps nuclear) experts at a facility in North Korea, about 85 kilometers from the Chinese boarder. The source said the mission is comprised of four experts from Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics and the private sector. T
Russia’s Safeguards Problem
I’ve  been away from this blog for a couple months working on, among other things, the subject of this post. I also knocked about a while in Rome, where I was inspired to read Helen Langdon’s magnificent biography of the painter Caravaggio. This opus was the fruit of many years of research and observation in several disciplines and Langdon stitched together a complex fabric of patronage, contempor
Amano at CFR on PMD and SLC
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano was at the Council on Foreign Relations for an hour of on-the-record discussion yesterday. George Perkovich moderated. Here’s the link. Highlights:  IAEA “will keep asking questions” to Iran about PMD in parallel with ongoing P5+1 diplomacy DPRK developments are ”equally worrying” to states in the region–no IAEA verification for three years There is “basic suppo

The Angry Black Woman
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The Terror of Black American Motherhood
In case you were wondering why I haven’t said as much about Jordan Davis as I did about Trayvon Martin? I can’t formulate anything that isn’t blubbering. My son is 13, 5 ft 7 & just over 100lbs. It’s all I can do to let him out of my house alone. Being the mother of a young black man in America is hard frightening work in general, much less when you know that they can be killed for the crime

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Suspected ‘Sovereign Citizen’ on Run After Shooting at Idaho Officer
A nationwide manhunt is under way for an antigovernment fugitive who shot at an Idaho State Police officer over the weekend before kidnapping a woman and taking her from Idaho to Montana. Mitchell Lee Walck, who served prison time in Montana for assaulting a police officer, released the 62-year-old kidnap victim unharmed 580 miles away in [...]
Hatewatch Exclusive: Alaska Serial Killer Exposed to Christian Identity
A confessed serial killer and bank robber who took his own life in an Alaska jail cell on Sunday was exposed to the racist and anti-Semitic beliefs of Christian Identity theology during his childhood in a rural corner of Washington state, Hatewatch has learned. Israel Keyes, 34, now linked to at least eight murders throughout the [...]
Idaho Suspected ‘Sovereign’ Arrested After Nationwide Manhunt
A kidnapping suspect with suspected extremist connections and a history of assaulting police was arrested Wednesday after attempting to hijack a tractor-trailer rig at a truck stop in Bismarck, N.D. Mitchell L. Walck, wanted for shooting at an Idaho state trooper last weekend and later kidnapping a North Idaho woman, hid in the sleeper cab of [...]
More Links Between Alaska Serial Killer and Racist Theology Emerge
Confessed serial killer Israel Keyes committed suicide in an Alaska jail cell last weekend by slitting his wrist with a disposable razor and strangling himself with a sheet tied between his neck and extended foot, authorities say. Before killing himself, the 34-year-old man, who was exposed to Christian Identity white supremacy beliefs and a survivalist lifestyle [...]

Pesticide Action Network
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Pesticide harms are global — & often invisible
This week we mark the International Week of No Pesticide Use, which honors victims of pesticide poisonings across the world. A week which I wish did not need to exist. Unfortunately, the problem is very real. According to the World Health Organization, 25 million farmworkers experience episodes of pesticide poisoning in the Global South every year. A new report by PAN Germany highlights this and o

Green & White
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Internet Dependency Has Increased in People with Accessibility
A lot of the times we turn to the internet for giving us answers we think we will not get from anywhere else. People not only search online for information, tips and guidance, but also look for debate, discussion and networking. In this sense, internet has really come in handy. It has become an integral part of how the world works in this modern technology-knowledge based economy. A recent opinio
Cyberbullying in Workplaces is Growing Amongst Adults
A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Sheffield and Nottingham University is focusing on adult workers who use internet at their workplaces. The study is representative of a smaller sample of survey only, but the issue of cyberbullying is being a challenge everywhere. Pakistan’s cyber space is regulated under the Prevention of Electronic Crime Ordinance (PECO), in which s

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America and the Post Cold War World ...
by Mark Vogl:    What the left will do to misdirect citizens from the ideas and thoughts of the conservatives! You have to see this to believe it.
American Conservatism has no new frontier view, just old theories
by Mark Vogl:    No new ideas, nothing to compete with Christmas present socialism ... the Liberals are into 21st give aways, the Conservative into Scrooge
2012 should have been about Christianity, it wasn't, GOP loses
by Mark Vogl:    There was a clear foundation of America; Christianity, Constitution, Capitalism, and Liberty, the GOP won't stand, and so should fall.
"The Fiscal Cliff" Live Online Radio Debate, Sunday, Dec. 9, 1 PM EST
by Walt Thiessen:    Nolan Chart Radio sponsors debate among four panelists: one liberal, one conservative, one centrist, and one libertarian.

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The Nightowl Newswrap
By@BGinKC Chart of the day -- why single-payer healthcare is way better than our effed up, "we're number 37!" healthcare system. Social media is the great equalizer. The Papa John's brand has taken a beating since the jackass company founder made his disparaging remarks about Obabacare and faced a backlash that was driven by social media that has made the company synonymous in the public mind wit
Time To Show the Rich Who's Boss
By @TedFrier Who is in charge here, anyway? That, more than sequestered spending or how much we raise in new taxes, will be the most important question resolved by this "fiscal cliff" stand-off between President Obama and the GOP. More than Republicans and Democrats forging an elusive consensus on shrinking the nation's deficit, the real question before the country in these debates over debt is w
Republicans Suffer From "Social Dominance Orientation"
By @TedFrier For anyone who wants to understand the dynamics of the current budget debate over the so-called "fiscal cliff" in particular and the dysfunctions of contemporary American politics in general I highly recommend Thomas Edsall's The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics. Employing a view of politics rooted far more in emotion and psychology than ideology or self-i
Obama, Democrats Need to Learn Their Place Says Kathleen Parker
By @TedFrier Kathleen Parker is one of those white-gloved, white-pearled conservatives like Peggy Noonan who oscillate predictably between scouring the unwashed rubes in the Republican Party and scolding Democrats for failing to mind their place. Raised in Florida and currently residing in South Carolina, this Southern Belle made headlines in 2008 when she called on Sarah Palin to step down as the

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Dead Wood
When I moved into the Manor here last spring, it took a while to determine which trees were with me, and which were not. Non-evergreen trees, when dormant, can look pretty poorly. Sickly sticks, with feet. Are you alive, I would ask them? Or the Other? Many of them would not answer for some time. Pretty pokey, in putting their leaves out. Finally, though, round about summer, it became clear that e
Into The Light
The French, they can differ from other humans. They are for instance known, in the immortal, if crude, words of National Lampoon, as folks who “fight with their feet and fuck with their faces.” Now it seems they have determined that a proper way to honor Mary, mother of Jesus of Nazareth, is to light up a building like a pinball machine, and then play it. For many centuries, the people of Lyon hav
(This is for those a-worryin’ about 12/21/12, or, indeed, any little ol’ thing. And yes, in that photo, that is “my” “hand.”) ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ “I have this beetle here in one hand,” Aristotle proclaimed one day, “with a single oval shell and eight jointed legs, and I have here in my other hand this second beetle of lighter hue which has twelve legs and a shell that is longer and segmented. Can you explai
The Wheel
(Yesterday there was Pearl Harbor Day. So let’s bring this one back.) ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ After this world war, the United States and the USSR may unquestionably emerge unhurt when all other nations are devastated. I can imagine, therefore, that our country, which is placed between these two giants, may face great hardships. However, there is no need for despair. When these two lose the competition of other
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