Friday, December 03, 2004
Extra troops are needed to bolster security before the national elections scheduled for Jan. 30. The increase in troop strength also underscores the fact that, despite enormous effort and cost, American commanders have yet to train and equip enough Iraqis for security duty.
ANT helps you download and watch video published on the Internet.
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ANT is about FREE VIDEO -- not free as in price, but free as in freedom.
The 'embryos' do not contain any paternal chromosomes, so could not develop into a baby.
The process, described in New Scientist, uses an enzyme found in sperm to prompt the egg to divide.
Boyle replied that if the military's combatant status review tribunals (or CSRTs) "determine that evidence of questionable provenance were reliable, nothing in the due process clause (of the Constitution) prohibits them from relying on it."
"I can confirm that Mark-77 fire bombs were used in that general area," Colonel Mike Daily of the US Marine Corps said.
On Saturday, Labor MPs have demanded that British Prime Minister confront the Commons over the use of the deadly gas in Fallujah.
Halifax Labor MP Alice Mahon said: "I am calling on Mr. Blair to make an emergency statement to the Commons to explain why this is happening. It begs the question: 'Did we know about this hideous weapon's use in Iraq?'"
Complaints received by congressional Democrats include disparities in vote totals for Democrats on the same ballot; too few voting machines in urban, Democrat-leaning precincts; and organized campaigns directing voters to the wrong polling place.
Blackwell's office is working with the GAO and "would be happy to fill in the gaps of information from the GAO and what Congressman Conyers is requesting," spokesman Carlo LoParo said. He said a review of media reports would answer many of Conyers' questions.
"Today I am very, very happy to announce that today, for the first time Dow is accepting full responsibility for the Bhopal catastrophe," company spokesman Jude Finisterra told BBC World television. "This is a momentous occasion."
"We have a $12 billion plan to finally at long last fully compensate the victims including the 120,000 who may need medical care for their entire lives and to fully and swiftly remediate the Bhopal plant site."
More than 3,500 died after lethal gas escaped from a chemical plant in the central Indian city of Bhopal. The factory was owned by Union Carbide, now a subsidiary of Dow Chemical.
"We have resolved to liquidate Union Carbide, this nightmare for the world and this headache for Dow and use the $12 billion to provide more than $500 per victim, which is all that they've seen," Finisterra said, speaking on the 20th anniversary of the disaster.
The Australian government’s support of this technology undermines its stated commitment to nuclear non-proliferation. Furthermore, conducting this research in a nuclear facility that the public is told is mainly engaged in medical research is hypocritical.
This report should be widely read, particularly by politicians and diplomats. It is essential reading for those interested in nuclear disarmament issues, international politics, international relations and strategic studies.
*Federation of American Scientists: "Flying Blind: The Rise, Fall, and Possible Resurrection of Science Policy Advice in the United States"
while the infrastructure for providing such help is in a state of
crisis. The President and the Congress are constantly confronted with
decisions about new medical technologies, advanced weapon systems, wireless
communication regulation, and other matters that hinge on technical facts.
While technical analysis is almost never sufficient to make wise choices, absent
competent, timely, targeted scientific and technical analysis, these decisions will
depend on unchallenged assertions by special interests and ideologues. Programs
are likely to be poorly designed and subject to costly mistakes. Even worse, lacking
competent advice, the nation may fail to act on problems until they are costly
and difficult to solve or fail to seize important opportunities to achieve public
objectives in security, education, health care, the environment, or other critical
This report develops options for improving the fundamental structures of
science and technology advice based on examination of two cases where science
and technology advice did not serve the nation well, interviews with many of
the key figures in science and technology advice for Congress and the administration,
and a review of recent literature.
Is Anyone Listening?
The strongest and most consistent statement emerging from these sources is
that if the Congress or the President doesn’t want objective scientific advice, no
institutional solution can fix the problem. There is no way to force the President
to meet with science advisors or to force Congress to base legislation on careful
scientific analysis. This report is designed to help a new administration
or a new Congress interested in strengthening science and technology support
to craft effective institutions. The recommendations are built with the clear
understanding that technical advice must be combined with many other issues
in shaping practical and effective policy. But the core assumption is that the
principals involved are anxious to at least get the advice of technical experts
before making a decision.
The proposals all assume that one goal of the reforms will be to create institutions
that can endure and be effective through radical changes in national political
priorities. Many of the options are designed to contribute to public debate
and public understanding of technical issues making it more difficult for
political leaders to ignore the issues.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Up to 2,000 PCs in a cluster.
Over 30 clusters.
104 interface languages including Klingon and Tagalog.
One petabyte of data in a cluster -- so much that hard disk error rates of 10-15 begin to be a real issue.
Sustained transfer rates of 2Gbps in a cluster.
An expectation that two machines will fail every day in each of the larger clusters.
No complete system failure since February 2000.
It's a major award! This is a desk lamp sized version of the "leg lamp" from the holiday classic "A Christmas Story"! Measures 20" tall, a definite conversation piece year-round! Lights 3 ways - the leg, the bulb under the shade or BOTH!Packed carefully because it's "Frag-il-ay" (that's italian) Click here for all of our A Christmas Story stuff!
Clinical trials showed that women using Intrinsa had only modest improvements to their sex lives. Women who applied the patch to their abdomen twice weekly had one more "satisfying sexual event" per four weeks, compared with a placebo.
Tobin was charged with conspiracy to commit telephone harassment and aiding and abetting. He could get up to five years in prison.
At the time of the jamming, Tobin was Northeast political director for the Republican Senatorial Committee, which works to elect Republicans to the Senate.
He and his colleagues calculate that human influences doubled the likelihood of the 2003 heat wave. Their results appear in this week's Nature1.
According to Christoph Schär, who conducts climate research at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, this is the first time that a study has worked out how global warming has affected the risk of a particular event.
It has the added advantage of encouraging new bone to grow as it biodegrades and releases natural anti-inflammatory agents.
Inventor Dr Matteo Santin of Brighton University has teamed up with experts from the University of Naples and WessexBio to develop the material.
...The report concluded that two of the curricula were accurate, but the 11 others, used by 69 organizations in 25 states, contain unproved claims, subjective conclusions or outright falsehoods regarding reproductive health, gender traits and when life begins. In some cases, Waxman said, the factual issues were limited to occasional misinterpretations of publicly available data; in others, the materials pervasively presented subjective opinions as scientific fact.
Among the misconceptions Waxman's investigators cited:
• A 43-day-old fetus is a ``thinking person.''
• HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be spread via sweat and tears.
• Condoms fail to prevent HIV transmission as often as 31 percent of the time in heterosexual intercourse.
One curriculum, called ``Me, My World, My Future,'' teaches that women who have an abortion ``are more prone to suicide'' and that up to 10 percent of them become sterile. This contradicts the 2001 edition of a standard obstetrics textbook that says fertility is not affected by elective abortion, the Waxman report said.
``I have no objection talking about abstinence as a sure-fire way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases,'' Waxman said. But ``I don't think we ought to lie to our children about science. Something is seriously wrong when federal tax dollars are being used to mislead kids about basic health facts.''
Condoms, used properly and consistently, fail less than 3 percent of the time, federal researchers say, and it is unknown how many gay teenagers are HIV-positive.
The Fallujah offensive has virtually disappeared from the news cycle. But history - if written by Iraqis - may well enshrine it as the new Guernica. Paraphrasing Jean-Paul Sartre memorably writing about the Algerian War (1956-62), after Fallujah no two Americans shall meet without a corpse lying between them: the up to 500,000 victims of the sanctions in the 1990s, according to United Nations experts; the up to 100,000 victims since the beginning of the invasion of Iraq, according to the British medical paper The Lancet; and at least 6,000 victims, and counting, in Fallujah, according to the Iraqi Red Crescent.
“Some of the ongoing efforts include having U.S. military spokesmen play a greater role in psychological operations in Iraq, as well as planting information with sources used by Arabic TV channels such as Al Jazeera to help influence the portrayal of the United States,” the Times revealed.
It cited an incident on Oct. 14 when a Marine spokesman announced, via CNN, the start of the Fallujah offensive, which did not actually happen for another three weeks. The idea was to see in advance how the insurgents would respond. The Times referred to this as just one of the “psy-op” episodes so far.
The judge, Peter Breen of Washoe County District Court, said in dismissing the case that they could not show that the outcome of the election would change if it went forward
“When the courts make unconstitutional decisions, we should not enforce them,” he told attendees. “Federal courts have no army or navy…. The court can opine, decide, talk about, sing, whatever it wants to do. We’re not saying they can’t do that. At the end of the day, we’re saying the court can’t enforce its opinions.”
Undercover officers were assigned to attend meetings, rallies and fund-raisers of the American Friends Service Committee and four other anti-war groups. Police targeted the groups because protesters were threatening to disrupt the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue, a meeting of international business leaders held in Chicago in 2002.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
"We don't really understand where it is coming from," said Bob Roach, assistant Monterey County agricultural commissioner. "It's not believed to be present in our water, although I can't find any data that confirms that."
In a survey of lettuce, milk and bottled water in 19 states across the country, the Food and Drug Administration found low levels of the chemical in nearly all of the lettuce and milk samples tested between December 2003 and August. Only one bottled water sample tested showed any presence of perchlorate.
In analyzing green leaf, iceberg, red leaf and romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley, the FDA found levels between 1 part per billion (ppb) -- about one drop of water in a swimming pool -- to 29.6 ppb of perchlorate.
In our FOIA request, we also asked for several other similar reports, which are currently being reviewed for release. We'll post them as they become available. [from TheMemoryHole.org]
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Until now, universities have provided individual student information to the federal government only in connection with federally financed student aid. Otherwise, colleges and universities submit information about overall enrollment, graduation, prices and financial aid without identifying particular students.
For the first time, however, colleges and universities would have to give the federal government data on all students individually, whether or not they received financial assistance, with their Social Security numbers.
Conventional detectors, or polygraphs, are extremely controversial. Proponents of the polygraph argue that it measures the body's physiological responses to stress induced by lying. Trained operators can supposedly match spikes in respiration, blood pressure and sweating with false answers.
Among the rally speakers was Berkeley City Councilmember-elect Max Anderson, who blasted President George W. Bush as a “thief,” saying “we need to go to Washington and make a citizens’ arrest to put that two-time loser out of office.”
Anderson likened the movement to investigate election irregularities to Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement of the ‘60s. “Just like then, we’re going to have to throw ourselves into the machine and stop its gears,” he said.
...However, the publication of the new report on the internet detailing abuses committed between 1973 and 1990 was a positive step, she said.
"It's very special for us, who were kept anonymous for almost 31 years, that the state admits that we were tortured. It's a first act of reparation, little by little it begins to be a healing process," she added.
The four members of the new U.S. Election Assistance Commission met Tuesday to compare horror stories while acting as federal observers in the Nov. 2 election. America is lucky that President Bush was re-elected by a 3 million-vote margin, they said, or the nation would again be wracked by election uncertainty.
"The margin was enough that the glitches were not important," concluded commission Chairman DeForest Soaries. "The bad news is, we still don't live up to the expectations that democracy demands."
An Akron man filed a complaint with the Summit County Board of Elections saying he "witnessed election judges telling potential voters that they could cast a provisional ballot at any table or precinct and if they did so, it would be counted."
Neil F. Schoenwetter Jr. was a volunteer election challenger for the Democratic Party on Nov. 2 at Copley High School, where six precincts voted.
Congress’ investigative agency, responding to complaints from Ohio and elsewhere, has begun to look into the vote count, including the handling of provisional ballots and malfunctions of voting machines.
The Government Accountability Office usually begins investigations at the request of Congress, but the agency’s head, Comptroller General David Walker, said the GAO acted on its own because of ballot-counting complaints.
People for the American Way Foundation wants the county board of elections to hand check the rejected provisionals against voter registration cards, instead of computerized lists compiled from the cards.
"The electronic lists are not complete lists. There are mistakes," said Vicky Beasley, attorney for People for the American Way Foundation.
The lawsuit also seeks to give voters the chance to have their provisional ballots counted if they cast ballots in the wrong precinct without being directed to the correct precinct.
But some lawmakers fear a glaring miscarriage of justice if the implementation of the settlement is not revised - in a way that could cost taxpayers millions more.
The lawmakers are disturbed by reports that Atchison and more than 66,000 other black farmers did not get even a chance at qualifying for compensation because they were considered to have filed too late.
see also Black Farmers Challenge Government Settlement [NPR]
In their brief, EFF and the ACLU argue that Section 230 of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 protects Internet publishers from being held liable for allegedly harmful comments written by others. Similar attempts to eliminate the protections created by Section 230 have almost universally been rejected, until a California Court of Appeals radically reinterpreted the statute to allow lawsuits against non-authors. The case is being reviewed by the California Supreme Court.
U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton also dismissed Hatfill's lawsuit against Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who wrote several columns in 2002 on the FBI's handling of the anthrax investigation.
Sen. McCain placed in the Congressional Record a series of internal Air Force email messages and other records of a sort that is hardly ever seen in public, including embarrassingly explicit efforts to manipulate press coverage of the proposed tanker lease deal.
These records "raise serious questions about the undue influence that industry exerts on procurement decisions in the Pentagon," Sen. McCain said.
IPac pledges to support candidates and elected officials who fight for a balance in copyright law: The group will support those who advocate for laws that will pay creators without limiting political expression, innovation or research and education, and back laws that foster new creativity. The group says it believes that intellectual property laws should be clear so technologists can innovate without being sued.
The resolution, passed by consensus without a vote, removes the possibility that the group will drag Iran before the United Nations Security Council for possible censure or even sanctions.
``Our guys and gals, they don't want to just walk household distances, they want to be able to return to running, they want to be able to return to duty,'' Lt. Col. Jeff Gambel, clinical chief of the amputee clinic, said Friday at a groundbreaking ceremony.
Hundreds of thousands of tons of raw sewage are still pumped into the Tigris and Euphrates rivers every day. Because water-cleaning chemicals have been looted or destroyed, the quality of water being pumped into homes is extremely poor and leads to more-frequent illness and malnutrition among children. The collapse of the water and sewage systems is probably the cause of an outbreak of a virulent form of hepatitis that is particularly lethal to pregnant women. It is estimated that 270,000 children born after the war have had none of their required immunizations and routine immunization services were all but disrupted. In addition, the existing stock of vaccines became useless as a result of the destruction of the vaccines' refrigeration system.
There were welcoming banners and cheering families that brilliant sunny Southern California morning when the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment arrived home in September after seven harrowing months of roadside bombs, mortar barrages and sniper attacks mounted by a roiling Iraqi insurgency.
But their return from war has been more complex than the familiar television images of hugs and kisses on the tarmac or homecomings portrayed in Hollywood movies. In the two months since the men--and in this combat battalion, they are all men--returned to their wives, loved ones and families, there also have been shouting matches in the kitchen and tears in the bedroom.
The sad fact about this article is that no one will read it, and worse no one will take action to remedy the situation.
...40% of America still believes there are WMDs in Iraq, and that Saddam Hussein attacked us on 9/11, why wouldn't they believe that our soldiers, veterans and military families are getting everything that they need?
The ruling is a boon for the NYU School of Law, a member of the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, the lead plaintiff. The court said the Solomon amendment is a violation of free speech because it unfairly mandated that the law schools help disseminate a message with which they disagree.
Doctors and medical personnel conveyed information about prisoners' mental health and vulnerabilities to interrogators, the report said, sometimes directly, but usually through a group called the Behavioral Science Consultation Team, or B.S.C.T. The team, known informally as Biscuit, is composed of psychologists and psychological workers who advise the interrogators, the report said.
PHYSICS "Coordination Modes in the Multisegmental Dynamics of Hula Hooping,"
PUBLIC HEALTH the scientific validity of the Five-Second Rule
CHEMISTRY a transparent form of water, which for precautionary reasons has been made unavailable to consumers.
ENGINEERING patenting the combover (U.S. Patent #4,022,227
LITERATUREThe American Nudist Research Library
PSYCHOLOGY demonstrating that when people pay close attention to something, it's all too easy to overlook anything else -- even a woman in a gorilla suit.
ECONOMICS outsourcing prayers to India.
PEACE for inventing karaoke, thereby providing an entirely new way for people to learn to tolerate each other.
BIOLOGY for showing that herrings apparently communicate by farting.
The unions sent letters on Nov. 23 to DHS Secretary Tom Ridge and General Counsel Joe Whitley demanding that the department immediately withdraw the directive and stop making workers sign the nondisclosure agreement. The unions said they "will have no choice but to pursue appropriate legal action" if the department does not take the requested steps.
Monday, November 29, 2004
The decision ended the legal fight over a 4-3 Massachusetts high court ruling last November giving gay couples the right to marry. But both sides say the U.S. Supreme Court's unwillingness to intervene means there will be more fights in courts and legislatures around the country.
Another trove of information is George Washington University's National Security Archive, which contains thousands of documents acquired through patient Freedom of Information Act requests. And there's CoolGov, a blog devoted to ferreting out quirky tidbits such as videos of airline crashes.
Those interested in the nitty-gritty of how and why the government hides information can subscribe to Stephen Aftergood's Secrecy News listserv, which is part of his work as the director of Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy.
A music industry insider told Wired News that the investigation of Sharman -- based in Australia but registered in the tax haven of Vanuatu -- has revealed its true owners. The music industry will allege Nikki Hemming, the CEO of Sharman, and Kevin Bermeister, the CEO of Brilliant Digital Entertainment and Altnet, own and control the company.
Halliburton's KBR subsidiary ''did not effectively manage government property'' and auditors could not locate hundreds of CPA items worth millions of dollars in Iraq and Kuwait this summer and fall, Inspector General Stuart W. Bowen reported to Congress.
...In August 2003, Miller was sent to Iraq to provide advice on the screening of detainees, their interrogations and the collection of intelligence. Among his recommendations was that military police be actively involved in ``setting the conditions'' for successful interrogations.
The prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib that exploded into an international scandal in the spring of 2004 took place mainly in October and November 2003, shortly after Miller's visit. He has not been blamed for the abuse, directly or indirectly.
Jackson said in a telephone interview that he was organizing "a kind of statewide sharing of experiences" that would mobilize citizens and result in "collective state action," according to the Cincinnati Post.
"We are pulling people together from around the state," he explained.
It used to be that having 50 competitive races in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives was low, but that number has now fallen into the low teens, noted Colleen Shogun, associate professor of government and politics at George Mason University.
There have been media reports from around the country concerning the locking down of precincts while votes were being tallied. In one unprecedented action in Warren County, Ohio, election officials locked down the facility where votes were being counted. The officials said this was in response to a Level 10 high-threat terrorist warning being issued by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI for Warren County. George Bush won 72 percent of the vote in Warren County, much larger than his percentage of victory statewide.
But you wouldn't know this from the mainstream media. Last week, the media tried to get away with disparaging the mere suggestion of possible fraud as an Internet "conspiracy theory" -- e.g. the Nov. 8 CBS News story Blogging As Typing, Not Journalism and the page 2 Washington Post story of Nov. 11 Latest Conspiracy Theory -- Kerry Won -- Hits the Ether.
These stories painted a broad brush and notably ignored blackboxvoting.org and the methodical investigation being performed by Bev Harris. This ignoring of blackboxvoting.org could be explained by Bev Harris' Nov. 8 interview on the radio show Democracy Now!:
I have also been told from sources that I have inside the media that are fairly high up that particularly in TV, there's been -- there is now a lockdown on this story. It is officially and from an executive producer level, let's move on time. And I am very concerned about that, because it looks like we're going to have to go to places like BBC, to get the real story out.
'Muslims do not hate our freedom, but rather they hate our policies [the report says]. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the long-standing, even increasing, support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan and the Gulf states. Thus, when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy.'The Pentagon released the study after The New York Times ran a story about the report in its Wednesday editions.
Amnesty International: 20 Years Later, Bhopal Disaster and Aftermath a Huge Violation of Human Rights
"Today, 20 years after the disastrous gas leak at Bhopal, tens of thousands of people are still suffering the after-effects," Amnesty said in an 82-page report titled "Clouds of injustice".
"Despite the determined efforts of survivors to secure justice, the large numbers affected have received inadequate compensation and medical assistance," the organisation said.
"People already living in poverty face health problems that are shortening their lives and affecting their ability to work.
"The site has not been cleaned up so toxic wastes continue to pollute the water which the surrounding communities rely on," it said.
During a press conference, the scientists said they had last month transplanted multi-potent stem cells from umbilical cord blood to the 37-year-old female patient suffering from a spinal cord injury and she can now walk on her own.
Buy Nothing Day began 13 years ago a way for people to engage in symbolic protest against the "frantic consumer binge" by refusing to shop for 24 hours, according to Adbusters Media Foundation, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based organization that sponsors the event.
No peer reviewed data on the testosterone patch have been published, but it has been granted a fast track review by the US Food and Drug Administration and will be publicly debated by an advisory panel next week. The patch is the first drug to be assessed for a controversial condition called hypoactive sexual desire disorder.
["HSDD" sounds like another ailment defined by a marketing department. -McLir]
But they could get only pieces of that information.
Some drug companies refused to turn over data to the group, even though these researchers had helped come up with it, the researchers recalled. In other cases, they could not freely share their own data with colleagues who had not worked on a test. The reason, they said, was that medical schools, in agreeing to run the tests, had signed agreements with the drug makers that kept the data confidential.
The bloggers will get $800 a month to mention Marqui with a link once a week in their blogs and post its emblem on a page. They'll get an additional $50 per qualified sales lead they send to Marqui.
"We hit on the idea of [connecting with] heavily read, influential bloggers who create public discussion groups and get feedback," said Stephen King, Marqui CEO. "But there are no mechanisms for them to make money. So we came up with idea of paying them."
Ten state evaluations, compiled by a group that opposes abstinence-only education, showed little change in teens' behavior since the start of abstinence programs in 1997.