Saturday, February 11, 2006

U.S. Concludes 'Cyber Storm' Mock Attacks

The government concluded its "Cyber Storm" wargame Friday, its biggest-ever exercise to test how it would respond to devastating attacks over the Internet from anti-globalization activists, underground hackers and bloggers.
Participants confirmed parts of the worldwide simulation challenged government officials and industry executives to respond to deliberate misinformation campaigns and activist calls by Internet bloggers, online diarists whose "Web logs" include political rantings and musings about current events.
The Internet survived, even against fictional abuses against the world's computers on a scale typical for Fox's popular "24" television series. Experts depicted hackers who shut down electricity in 10 states, failures in vital systems for online banking and retail sales, infected discs mistakenly distributed by commercial software companies and critical flaws discovered in core Internet technology.
Some mock attacks were aimed at causing a "significant cyber disruption" that could seriously damage energy, transportation and health care industries and undermine public confidence, said George Foresman, an undersecretary at the Homeland Security Department.
There was no impact on the real Internet during the weeklong exercise. Government officials from the United States, Canada, Australia and England and executives from Microsoft, Cisco, Verisign and others said they were careful to simulate attacks only using isolated computers, working from basement offices at the Secret Services headquarters in downtown Washington.
The Homeland Security Department promised a full report on results from the exercise by summer.

General faults U.S. on Iraqi military

"We set out to man, train and equip an army for a country of 25 million - with six men," Eaton said.

Ex-U .N. inspector: Iran’s next

The former U.N. weapons inspector who said Iraq disarmed long before the U.S. invasion in 2003 is warning Americans to prepare for a war with Iran.
“We just don’t know when, but it’s going to happen,” Scott Ritter said to a crowd of about 150 at the James A. Little Theater on Sunday night.
Ritter described how the U.S. government might justify war with Iran in a scenario similar to the buildup to the Iraq invasion. He also argued that Iran wants a nuclearenergy program, and not nuclear weapons. But the Bush administration, he said, refuses to believe Iran is telling the truth.
He predicted the matter will wind up before the U.N. Security Council, which will determine there is no evidence of a weapons program. Then, he said, John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, “will deliver a speech that has already been written. It says America cannot allow Iran to threaten the United States and we must unilaterally defend ourselves.”
“How do I know this? I’ve talked to Bolton’s speechwriter,” Ritter said.

Judge takes Congress to task in bankruptcy case

Alfonso Sosa, a house painter here who made about $20,000 last year, filed for bankruptcy the morning of Dec. 6, hoping to avoid the foreclosure on his family's mobile home scheduled for later that day. Judge Frank Monroe of Austin rejected the case 16 days later — with a bang.
In his ruling, Monroe said the new federal bankruptcy law is full of traps for consumers, calling some of its provisions "inane," "absurd" and incomprehensible to "any rational human being."
He stopped just short of accusing Congress of being bought and paid for, dryly noting, "Apparently, it is not the individual consumers of this country that make the donations to the members of Congress that allow them to be elected and re-elected and re-elected and re-elected."
Ordinarily, a case such as the Sosas', which primarily concerns a mobile home and land valued at $32,840, would quietly disappear into court archives.
But Monroe's order has caught fire in the world of bankruptcy and consumer law. It's being debated on law blogs and circulated across the country.

Many major media outlets continue to ignore story of missing White House emails

Last week, Media Matters for America documented how most media outlets failed to report that special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the lead prosecutor in the CIA leak case, wrote -- in a letter to defense attorneys for former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby -- that numerous White House emails from 2003 are missing from White House computer archives. A further review by Media Matters has found that most major media outlets have continued to ignore this story; specifically, no reports on the missing emails have been found on any of the three major broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS), The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, or the Reuters wire service.

EFF: Google Copies Your Hard Drive - Government Smiles in Anticipation

Google today announced a new "feature" of its Google Desktop software that greatly increases the risk to consumer privacy. If a consumer chooses to use it, the new "Search Across Computers" feature will store copies of the user's Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets and other text-based documents on Google's own servers, to enable searching from any one of the user's computers. EFF urges consumers not to use this feature, because it will make their personal data more vulnerable to subpoenas from the government and possibly private litigants, while providing a convenient one-stop-shop for hackers who've obtained a user's Google password.

U.S. Meat Supply at Risk of Mad Cow Disease

The U.S. Agriculture Department's Inspector General warns beef inspectors aren't strictly following cattle screening rules, increasing the risk of mad cow disease in the nation's meat supply.
The report said it found cases where rules covering the slaughter of cattle were being ignored.
For example, 29 suspect cows were slaughtered at two of a dozen meatpacking plants reviewed in an audit. The report says the animals were incapable of walking, and at least 20 of them fell into the category of "downer" cows, animals whose condition can't be explained by injury. It is these "downer" cows that are considered to be the highest risk for mad cow disease.

A Letter to the American Left by Bernard-Henri Lévy

Nothing made a more lasting impression during my journey through America than the semi-comatose state in which I found the American left.
I know, of course, that the term "left" does not have the same meaning and ramifications here that it does in France.
And I cannot count how many times I was told there has never been an authentic "left" in the United States, in the European sense.
But at the end of the day, my progressive friends, you may coin ideas in whichever way you like. The fact is: You do have a right. This right, in large part thanks to its neoconservative battalion, has brought about an ideological transformation that is both substantial and striking.

Returning soldiers may face tests for exposure to depleted uranium

South Sound military veterans have urged state lawmakers to authorize tests of returning Washington National Guard soldiers for exposure to depleted uranium used in some armor-piercing munitions in Iraq.
Depleted uranium was used for munitions in the Gulf War and to better armor some Abrams tanks. Gases given off by the firing of the ammunition have been said to create a mist or fog of radioactive material that can be inhaled and absorbed into the body, where bone, lymph, liver and other tissues store it.
Briefings to legislators describe the depleted uranium used in the munitions as coming from the leftover material when radioactive isotopes are removed from uranium for use in nuclear fuel.
Activists cite higher cancer rates in Europe’s Balkan war zones after uranium-238 enhanced munitions were used there in the early 1990s. They also cite anecdotal reports of soldiers exposed to the material who now suffer everything from headaches to chronic upper respiratory illnesses, heart attacks, chronic muscle aches and chronic diarrhea.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Intelligence, Policy,and the War in Iraq

The most serious problem with U.S. intelligence today is that its relationship with the policymaking process is broken and badly needs repair. In the wake of the Iraq war, it has become clear that official intelligence analysis was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized. As the national intelligence officer responsible for the Middle East from 2000 to 2005, I witnessed all of these disturbing developments.
Public discussion of prewar intelligence on Iraq has focused on the errors made in assessing Saddam Hussein's unconventional weapons programs. A commission chaired by Judge Laurence Silberman and former Senator Charles Robb usefully documented the intelligence community's mistakes in a solid and comprehensive report released in March 2005. Corrections were indeed in order, and the intelligence community has begun to make them.
At the same time, an acrimonious and highly partisan debate broke out over whether the Bush administration manipulated and misused intelligence in making its case for war. The administration defended itself by pointing out that it was not alone in its view that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and active weapons programs, however mistaken that view may have been.
In this regard, the Bush administration was quite right: its perception of Saddam's weapons capacities was shared by the Clinton administration, congressional Democrats, and most other Western governments and intelligence services. But in making this defense, the White House also inadvertently pointed out the real problem: intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs did not drive its decision to go to war. A view broadly held in the United States and even more so overseas was that deterrence of Iraq was working, that Saddam was being kept "in his box," and that the best way to deal with the weapons problem was through an aggressive inspections program to supplement the sanctions already in place. That the administration arrived at so different a policy solution indicates that its decision to topple Saddam was driven by other factors -- namely, the desire to shake up the sclerotic power structures of the Middle East and hasten the spread of more liberal politics and economics in the region.
If the entire body of official intelligence analysis on Iraq had a policy implication, it was to avoid war -- or, if war was going to be launched, to prepare for a messy aftermath. What is most remarkable about prewar U.S. intelligence on Iraq is not that it got things wrong and thereby misled policymakers; it is that it played so small a role in one of the most important U.S. policy decisions in recent decades.

Just how far does this Abramoff stuff go?

Sure, we've heard all about the charges of political corruption, but Wampum has been diligently putting the pieces together, and some strange things are coming up, like the Dawes act of 1887, Cobell v. Norton, and $176 billion owed by ranchers and the oil and gas industry to Native Americans. Dustin Wax at Savage Minds concluded that "Abramoff and his peers both in Congress and the business world are working to undermine the last vestige of autonomy Indian peoples possess." [from]

Bush buried detailed Social Security privatization proposals in his budget

Unlike Bush's generalized privatization talk of last year, we're now talking detailed numbers. On page 321 of the budget proposal, you see the privatization costs: $24.182 billion in fiscal 2010, $57.429 billion in fiscal 2011 and another $630.533 billion for the five years after that, for a seven-year total of $712.144 billion.
In the first year of private accounts, people would be allowed to divert up to 4 percent of their wages covered by Social Security into what Bush called "voluntary private accounts." The maximum contribution to such accounts would start at $1,100 annually and rise by $100 a year through 2016.
It's not clear how big a reduction in the basic benefit Social Security recipients would have to take in return for being able to set up these accounts, or precisely how the accounts would work.

Air Force Revises Guidelines on Religion

The Air Force released new guidelines for religious expression Thursday that no longer caution top officers about promoting their personal religious views.
The revisions were welcomed by conservative Christians, who said the previous rules was too strict and lobbied the White House to change them.
Critics called the revisions a step backward and said they do nothing to protect the rights of most airmen.
The original guidelines were created after allegations that evangelical Christians at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs were imposing their views on others. Some Christian chaplains were accused of telling cadets to warn nonbelievers they would go to hell if they were not born-again Christians.

Top 12 media myths and falsehoods on the Bush administration's spying scandal

The 141 programs that Bush proposes to cut or eliminate

Ex-CIA Official: Bush Misused Intelligence to Justify War

The former CIA official who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until last year has accused the Bush administration of "cherry-picking" intelligence on Iraq to justify a decision it had already reached to go to war, and of ignoring warnings that the country could easily fall into violence and chaos after an invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
Paul R. Pillar, who was the national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, acknowledges the U.S. intelligence agencies' mistakes in concluding that Hussein's government possessed weapons of mass destruction. But he said those misjudgments did not drive the administration's decision to invade.
"Official intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs was flawed, but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war," Pillar wrote in the upcoming issue of the journal Foreign Affairs. Instead, he asserted, the administration "went to war without requesting -- and evidently without being influenced by -- any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq."
"It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized," Pillar wrote.

Surreal Q&A with Kansas Attourney General

Darrell, Bonner Springs: Mr. Kline, I am concerned that your Christian religious beliefs guide your legal judgments. How can a citizen like myself, who does not believe in religion be assured that my rights are protected and that my choices as a citizen are protected despite your personal religious beliefs? Am I a full citizen with full representation in your office even if I don't share your religion?
Atty. Gen. Phill Kline: Thanks for the question Darrell. I have taken an oath to uphold the law - this is my role as Attorney General. Through the years there have been those who have engaged in civil disobedience against laws that they believe are morally supported - Rosa Parks is an example - they express their belief non-violently and take the consequences of their actions to prove a point. I respect such an effort if done in a non-violent manner. I, however, have the honor of serving as Attorney General and upholding the law and this is what I will do.
If you disagree with one of our state's laws you have the right and opportunity to seek change through the legislative process.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Pastors hope to spread Gospel, hasten End Time

Pastors of some of the largest evangelical churches in America met Tuesday in Inglewood to polish strategies for starting 5 million new churches worldwide in 10 years, an effort they say they hope will hasten the End Time.
The Rapture and Second Coming of Jesus have always been the ultimate goal of evangelicalism. But when that would occur was any Christian's guess.
The Global Pastors Network's "Billion Souls Initiative" aims to shorten the path to Judgment Day by partnering church resources with the latest communications systems to spread the Gospel of Jesus.
In an interview at Faith Central Bible Church in Inglewood, James Davis, president of the campaign, said, "Jesus Christ commissioned his disciples to go to the ends of the Earth and tell everyone how they could achieve eternal life. As we advance around the world, we'll be shortening the time needed to fulfill that great commission.
"Then, the Bible says, the end will come."
Added Davis: "The current generation may actually live long enough to see this."
Faith Central Pastor Kenneth Ulmer, who leads an Inglewood congregation of 10,000, agreed, but said church leaders have differing opinions of what to expect.

Frist Secretly Slipped Immunity For Pharmaceutical Companies Into Defense Bill

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert engineered a backroom legislative maneuver to protect pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits, say witnesses to the pre-Christmas power play.
The language was tucked into a Defense Department appropriations bill at the last minute without the approval of members of a House-Senate conference committee, say several witnesses, including a top Republican staff member.
In an interview, Frist, a doctor and Tennessee Republican, denied that the wording was added that way.
Trial lawyers and other groups condemn the law, saying it could make it nearly impossible for people harmed by a vaccine to force the drug maker to pay for their injuries.
Many in health care counter that the protection is needed to help build up the vaccine industry in the United States, especially in light of a possible avian flu pandemic.

US Plans Massive Data Sweep

Shut yo' mouth! The US government, will soon spider the entire web analyzing all pages -- including your blog -- for evidence of "terrorism". It greatly extends prior government watching of the web for "terrorists" like the ACLU. But not for political speech, of course. Never that.
So shut your mouth and shut down your blog if you don't want to end up on a list of people to be "neutralized" -- like Mario Savio, hounded for ten years despite never breaking a law. [from]

Qualification on Blogging

The Scottish Qualifications Authority has recently produced a new qualification on blogging [PDF] and used a wiki to produce teaching and learning material. Wikis look well-suited to this purpose. Could this be the future of curriculum development? [from]

War of the Worlds in graphic novel format online

WAR OF THE WORLDS E-COMIC. It took Dark Horse 26 weeks to release the entirety of their wonderful retelling of the original classic HG Wells story in graphic novel format. Now that it's done, I thought I might share it with all of you. Supposedly you can buy the whole thing in paper form sometime this March...
More of the Martian VS Terran mythos here. And don't forget the the upcoming musical!

Educators face blowback for protesting Iraq war in schools

Report: More than Half of Gitmo Detainees Not Accused of Hostile Acts

A new and statistical report, authored and released by Seton Hall Law Professor Mark Denbeaux and attorney Joshua Denbeaux, counsel to two of the detainees at Guantanamo, contains the first objective analysis of the background of those held at Guantanamo. The report is based entirely on data supplied by the Defense Department, and is intended to provide "a more detailed picture of who the Guantanamo detainees are, how they ended up there, and the purported bases for their enemy combatant designation."

The report, available here (pdf), finds that fewer than half of the 517 detainees whose histories were reviewed have been accused of hostile acts. These are the findings:

1. Fifty-five percent (55%) of the detainees are not determined to have committed any hostile acts against the United States or its coalition allies.

2. Only 8% of the detainees were characterized as al Qaeda fighters. Of the remaining detainees, 40% have no definitive connection with al Qaeda at all and 18% are have no definitive affiliation with either al Qaeda or the Taliban.

3. The Government has detained numerous persons based on mere affiliations with a large number of groups that in fact, are not on the Department of Homeland Security terrorist watchlist. Moreover, the nexus between such a detainee and such organizations varies considerably. Eight percent are detained because they are deemed "fighters for;" 30% considered "members of;" a large majority - 60% -- are detained merely because they are "associated with" a group or groups the Government asserts are terrorist organizations. For 2% of the prisoners their nexus to any terrorist group is unidentified.

4. Only 5% of the detainees were captured by United States forces. 86% of the detainees were arrested by either Pakistan or the Northern Alliance and turned over to United States custody. This 86% of the detainees captured by Pakistan or the Northern Alliance were handed over to the United States at a time in which the United States offered large bounties for capture of suspected enemies.

5. Finally, the population of persons deemed not to be enemy combatants - mostly Uighers - are in fact accused of more serious allegations than a great many persons still deemed to be enemy combatants.


Cheney 'Authorized' Libby to Leak Classified Information

Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, testified to a federal grand jury that he had been "authorized" by Cheney and other White House "superiors" in the summer of 2003 to disclose classified information to journalists to defend the Bush administration's use of prewar intelligence in making the case to go to war with Iraq, according to attorneys familiar with the matter, and to court records.
Libby specifically claimed that in one instance he had been authorized to divulge portions of a then-still highly classified National Intelligence Estimate regarding Saddam Hussein's purported efforts to develop nuclear weapons, according to correspondence recently filed in federal court by special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald.
Beyond what was stated in the court paper, say people with firsthand knowledge of the matter, Libby also indicated what he will offer as a broad defense during his upcoming criminal trial: that Vice President Cheney and other senior Bush administration officials had earlier encouraged and authorized him to share classified information with journalists to build public support for going to war. Later, after the war began in 2003, Cheney authorized Libby to release additional classified information, including details of the NIE, to defend the administration's use of prewar intelligence in making the case for war.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

LAPD to Throw GPS Devices at Fleeing Cars

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) will become the first law enforcement agency to outfit cars with a device that propels and sticks a Global Positioning System (GPS) onto a fleeing car.
The department will mount the StarChase LLC device in the grill of some squad cars in the fall. "Officers in the car would control a green laser light, similar to an aiming device that fixes on your target," said LAPD Lieutenant Paul Vernon on Friday. "A small dart-like device is propelled from the officer's car."

Media Misrepresentations of Domestic Spying

Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers is an organization of Democratic veterans running for U.S. Congress. Maybe you'll hear about their DC rally today on the news (but don't hold your breath). Currently, vets in the Senate are about evenly split among the GOP and Dems, but Republican vets are the majority in the House. This is likely to change if the Democrats take control of Congress in this year's elections, in which the Iraq War will be a primary issue. Has a White House full of chickenhawks destroyed the GOP claim as the military party? [from]

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Halliburton Subsidiary Gets Contract to Add Temporary Immigration Detention Centers

he Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a contract worth up to $385 million for building temporary immigration detention centers to Kellogg Brown & Root, the Halliburton subsidiary that has been criticized for overcharging the Pentagon for its work in Iraq.
KBR would build the centers for the Homeland Security Department for an unexpected influx of immigrants, to house people in the event of a natural disaster or for new programs that require additional detention space, company executives said. KBR, which announced the contract last month, had a similar contract with immigration agencies from 2000 to last year.
The contract with the Corps of Engineers runs one year, with four optional one-year extensions. Officials of the corps said that they had solicited bids and that KBR was the lone responder.
A spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Jamie Zuieback, said KBR would build the centers only in an emergency like the one when thousands of Cubans floated on rafts to the United States. She emphasized that the centers might never be built if such an emergency did not arise.

Google Video: This Year's Superbowl Ads

Here Lies Love - A Song Cycle by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim

Here Lies Love – A Song Cycle deals with the life of Imelda Marcos, co-ruler of the Philippines in the 70s and 80s, as well as the life of Estrella Cumpas, the woman who raised her.
Through a series of songs written by David Byrne, with musical contributions from Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook), Here Lies Love – A Song Cycle presents Imelda Marcos meditating on events in her life, from her childhood spent in poverty and her rise to power to her ultimate departure from the palace. In particular, the production looks at the relationship between Imelda and a servant from her childhood, Estrella Cumpas, who appeared at key moments in Imelda's life.

Musical Listening Test

We are interested in studying musical perception ability in the general population. The following test, developed by Isabelle Peretz (University of Montreal), takes less than 10 minutes. It involves listening to pairs of tunes and deciding whether they are the same or different. We will give you your score at the end.

Bush's 2007 Budget Angers Republicans Too

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., called Bush's proposed cuts in education and health ``scandalous'' while Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said she was ``disappointed and even surprised'' at the extent of the administration's proposed cuts in Medicaid and Medicare.
Given the level of congressional frustration, administration witnesses, led by Treasury Secretary John Snow, were expected to face a tough sales job before various congressional committees on Tuesday.
Bush's spending blueprint for the 2007 budget year that begins Oct. 1 would provide large increases for the military and homeland security but would trim spending in the one-sixth of the budget that covers the rest of discretionary spending. Nine Cabinet agencies would see outright reductions with the biggest percentage cuts occurring in the departments of Transportation, Justice and Agriculture.
And in mandatory programs - so-called because the government must provide benefits to all who qualify - the president is seeking over the next five years savings of $36 billion in Medicare, $5 billion in farm subsidy programs, $4.9 billion in Medicaid support for poor children's health care and $16.7 billion in additional payments from companies to shore up the government's besieged pension benefit agency.

Russ Feingold Speech: Bush Broke the Law

The President was blunt. He said that he had authorized the NSA’s domestic spying program, and he made a number of misleading arguments to defend himself. His words got rousing applause from Republicans, and even some Democrats.
The President was blunt, so I will be blunt: This program is breaking the law, and this President is breaking the law. Not only that, he is misleading the American people in his efforts to justify this program.
How is that worthy of applause? Since when do we celebrate our commander in chief for violating our most basic freedoms, and misleading the American people in the process? When did we start to stand up and cheer for breaking the law? In that moment at the State of the Union, I felt ashamed.
Congress has lost its way if we don’t hold this President accountable for his actions.
...The President was right about one thing. In his address, he said “We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it.”
Yes, Mr. President. We do love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it. We will fight to defeat the terrorists who threaten the safety and security of our families and loved ones. And we will fight to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans against intrusive government power.
As the President said, we must always be clear in our principles. So let us be clear: We cherish the great and noble principle of freedom, we will fight to keep it, and we will hold this President – and anyone who violates those freedoms – accountable for their actions. In a nation built on freedom, the President is not a king, and no one is above the law.

VIDEO: Rev. Lowery’s Standing Ovation

Speaking before four presidents, including President George W. Bush, Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery received a standing ovation today at the Coretta Scott King funeral. Watch it
We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. [Standing Ovation] But Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war billions more but no more for the poor.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Interest in new brain-scanning technology is beginning to show a sinister side

Brain scientists are on a roll. Concern about rising levels of mental distress have resulted in unprecedented levels of funding in the US and Europe. And a range of new technologies, from genetics to brain imaging, are offering extraordinary insights into the molecular and cellular processes underlying how we see, how we remember, why we become emotional.
Brain imaging has become familiar. Scanners, known by their initials - CAT, PET, MRI - began as clinical tools, enabling surgeons to identify potential tumours, the damage following a stroke or the diagnostic signs of incipient dementia. But neuroscientists quickly seized on their wider potential. The images of regions of the brain 'lighting up' when a person is thinking of their lover, imagining travelling from home to the shops, or solving a mathematical problem, have captured the imagination of researchers and public alike. What if they could do more?

Dude, Where’s My Advertising? 10 Disturbing Trends in Subliminal Persuasion

Some of the biggest advertisers are taking their advertising away from full page ads and television spots and spending up on hidden persuasion. You won't find these secret messages in ice-cubes or flickering film footage like they were in the sixties. Subliminal advertising has gone mainstream - fake news, mind control scripts, propaganda and stealth voicemail are in wide use by corporations, government bodies, and industry groups. Have you spotted any of these?

For a good book on this, read the very good "Coercion" by Douglas Rushkoff - McLir

Plame Was Still Covert at Time of CIA Leak

At long last, some of the famously "redacted" eight pages in a 2005 federal court ruling on the CIA leak case have surfaced, after a long court legal by The Wall Street Journal.
The pages provide new details relating to grand jury testimony -- or hoped-for testimony -- provided by journalists Matt Cooper, Judith Miller, Tim Russert, and Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
Newsweek reported Sunday that the court papers could put holes in the defense of Libby in the Valerie Plame case.
Lawyers for Libby, and White House allies, "have repeatedly questioned whether Plame, the wife of White House critic Joe Wilson, really had covert status when she was outed to the media in July 2003," Newsweek's Michael Isikoff notes. "But special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald found that Plame had indeed done 'covert work overseas' on counterproliferation matters in the past five years, and the CIA 'was making specific efforts to conceal' her identity, according to newly released portions of a judge's opinion."

The Nation: The End of the Internet?

The nation's largest telephone and cable companies are crafting an alarming set of strategies that would transform the free, open and nondiscriminatory Internet of today to a privately run and branded service that would charge a fee for virtually everything we do online.
Verizon, Comcast, Bell South and other communications giants are developing strategies that would track and store information on our every move in cyberspace in a vast data-collection and marketing system, the scope of which could rival the National Security Agency. According to white papers now being circulated in the cable, telephone and telecommunications industries, those with the deepest pockets--corporations, special-interest groups and major advertisers--would get preferred treatment. Content from these providers would have first priority on our computer and television screens, while information seen as undesirable, such as peer-to-peer communications, could be relegated to a slow lane or simply shut out.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Outrage at attacks on NASA science

Here’s the money quote, folks, the part that has me so outraged. Sitting down? You’ll need to be.

In October, for example, George Deutsch, a presidential appointee in NASA headquarters, told a Web designer working for the agency to add the word “theory” after every mention of the Big Bang, according to an e-mail message from Mr. Deutsch that another NASA employee forwarded to The Times.

Maybe, just maybe, you’re thinking, Deutsch is just being pedantic over what to call the Big Bang, since it is in fact a scientific theory. Maybe you’re thinking this has nothing at all to do with a perversion of science.
But you’d be wrong.

The Big Bang memo came from Mr. Deutsch, a 24-year-old presidential appointee in the press office at NASA headquarters whose résumé says he was an intern in the “war room” of the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. A 2003 journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he was also the public-affairs officer who sought more control over Dr. Hansen’s public statements.
In October 2005, Mr. Deutsch sent an e-mail message to Flint Wild, a NASA contractor working on a set of Web presentations about Einstein for middle-school students. The message said the word “theory” needed to be added after every mention of the Big Bang.
The Big Bang is “not proven fact; it is opinion,” Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, “It is not NASA’s place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator.”

Emphasis, once again, is mine.
Now gee, why would that statement make me angry? Why would a NASA politically-appointed employee suppressing science, gagging a scientist, and trying to insert a narrow religious (and demonstrably wrong– the Big Bang is most certainly not a matter of "opinion" ) viewpoint into government educational activities get me so angry I could hop in a plane right now, fly to DC, and testify before Congress about these insane actions against the core of what we know to be true?

Surveillance Net Yields Few Suspects

Intelligence officers who eavesdropped on thousands of Americans in overseas calls under authority from President Bush have dismissed nearly all of them as potential suspects after hearing nothing pertinent to a terrorist threat, according to accounts from current and former government officials and private-sector sources with knowledge of the technologies in use.
Bush has recently described the warrantless operation as "terrorist surveillance" and summed it up by declaring that "if you're talking to a member of al Qaeda, we want to know why." But officials conversant with the program said a far more common question for eavesdroppers is whether, not why, a terrorist plotter is on either end of the call. The answer, they said, is usually no.
Fewer than 10 U.S. citizens or residents a year, according to an authoritative account, have aroused enough suspicion during warrantless eavesdropping to justify interception of their domestic calls, as well.

Powell Aide: I Participated in a Hoax

"I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community and the United Nations Security Council. How do you think that makes me feel? Thirty-one years in the United States Army and I more or less end my career with that kind of a blot on my record? That's not a very comforting thing."

My Little Music Video Museum

This page has more than doubled. Thematic updates to arrive soon...

In the future, everyone will be a curator for 15 minutes.
-- McLir

My Little Music Video Museum

I want my MTV


by Smashing Pumpkins

21st Century Digital Boy
by Bad Religion

99 Luft Balloons

by Nena


by the Steve Miller Band

The Act of Being Polite

by the Residents

Addicted to Love
by Robert Palmer

America is Waiting

by Brian Eno and David Byrne

American Life (unedited)
by Madonna

And She Was

by Talking Heads

Are You Gonna Go My Way

by Lenny Kravitz

Army Girls Gone Wild

by Jihad Jerry and the Evildoers

Army of Me
by Bjork

Ashes to Ashes
by David Bowie

Atomic Dog

by George Clinton

by Bjork

Back on the Chain Gang
by the Pretenders

Bad Boys
by Wham

Basket Case

by Green Day

Beat It
by Michael Jackson

Bette Davis Eyes

by Kim Carnes

Big Time
by Peter Gabriel

Birdhouse in Your Soul

by They Might Be Giants

Bohemian Rhapsody
by Queen

by Madonna

Born in the USA

by Bruce Springsteen

The Bottom Line

edit to Negativland (very disturbing)

The Boys of Summer

by Don Henley

Buddy Holly
by Weezer

Burning Down the House
by Talking Heads

Bust a Move

by Younh MC

by Wax

Call Me Al
by Paul Simon

by the Breeders

Can't Buy Me Love

by the Beatles

Car Song

by Elastica

City of Tiny Lights

by Frank Zappa

Close to Me
by the Cure

Close to the Edit
by Art of Noise

Coffee & TV
by Blur

Closer (unedited)

Nine Inch Nails

Cold Shot

by Stevie Ray Vaughan

Come Dancing
by the Kinks

Come on Eileen
by Dexie's Midnight Runners

Coming Up

by Paul McCartney

Cool Places

by Sparks and Jame Weidlin

Crazy Little Thing Called Love
by Queen

Crosseyed and Painless
by Talking Heads

Dear God
by XTC

Dear Prudence
by Siouxsie and the Banshees

The Denial Twist

by the White Stripes

The Distance

by Cake

Do They Know it's Christmas?

by Band Aid

Doo Wop (That Thing)

by Lauryn Hill

Don't Come Around Here No More

by Tom Petty

Don’t Let’s Start
by They Might Be Giants

Down Under (popup)
by Men at Work

Eat It
by Weird Al Yannkovic

Egg -
by They Might be Giants

Eleanor Rigby

by the Beatles

Electronic Behavior Control System
by Emergency Broadcast Network

The End of the World as We Know it
by REM

Europa and the Pirate Twins

by Thomas Dolby

Every Breath You Take
by the Police

Everything is Everything
by Lauryn Hill

Express Yourself
by Madonna

by George Michael

Feel the Pain

by Dinosaur Jr.

Fell in Love with a Girl
by the White Stripes

Fight for Your Right (to Party)
by the Beastie Boys

Fight the Power
by Public Enemy

by Stevie Wonder

by Jimi Hendrix

Fish Heads

by Barnes & Barnes

For the Longest Time
by Billy Joel

Gay Bar

by Electric Six

Genius of Love

by Tom Tom Club

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
by Cyndi Lauper

Girls on Film (unedited)
by Duran Duran

Give it Away
by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Go Insane

by Lindsey Buckingham

Goody Two Shoes
by Adam Ant


by XTC

Great Balls of Fire

by Jerry Lee Lewis (1969)

Head Over Heals
by Tears for Fears

Heart Shaped Box
by Nirvana

Hey Jude

by the Beatles

Hold Me
by Fleetwood Mac

Hot for Teacher
by Van Halen

How Soon is Now?
by the Smiths

Human Behavior
by Bjork

Hungry Like the Wolf
by Duran Duran

by Bjork

by Johnny Cash

by Thomas Dolby

I am the Walrus
by the Beatles

I Don’t Like Mondays
by the Boomtown Rats

I Don't Want to Grow Up

by Tom Waits

I Lost on Jeopardy
by Weird Al Yankovic

I Love Rock and Roll
by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

I Will Survive

by Cake

Ice Cream for Crow

by Captain Beefheart

I'm Down
by the Beatles

In Bloom
by Nirvana

Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

by They Might Be Giants

It's a Mistake

by Men at Work

It's All About the Pentiums
by Weird Al Yankovic

It's O So Quiet
by Bjork


by the Greg Kihn Band

by Bjork

by Radiohead

Just a Girl

by No Doubt


by Prince

Know Your Chicken

by Cibo Matto (incomplete)

The Lady Don't Mind

by Talking Heads

Leave It

by Yes

Let Forever Be
by the Chemical Brothers

Let’s Dance
by David Bowie

Let's Go Crazy

by Prince


by Thompson Twins

Life on Mars

by David Bowie

Like a Rolling Stone
by the Rolling Stones

Like a Virgin
by Madonna

Little Red Corvette

by Prince


by Beck

Losing My Religion
by REM

The Love Cats

by the Cure

Love for Sale

by Talking Heads

Love is a Battlefield
by Pat Benatar

Love is the Drug

by Grace Jones

Love Missile F1-11

by Sigue Sigue Sputnik

Love Shack

by B-52's

Lucas with the Lid Off
by Lucas

The Luck of the Irish

by John Lennon and Yoko Ono

Major Tom

by Peter Schilling

Making Plans for Nigel

by XTC

Material Girl
by Madonna

Mayor of Simpleton
by XTC

by Toni Basil


by the Residents

Money for Nothing
by Dire Straits


by Eminem

Motown Philly

by Boyz II Men

The New Pollution

by Beck

No Rain

by Blind Melon

Nothing But Flowers

by Talking Heads

Nowhere Man
by the Beatles


by They Might Be Giants

Once in a Lifetime
by Talking Heads

One Thing Leads to Another

by the Fixx

Our House
by Madness

Owner of a Lonely Heart
by Yes

Paperback Writer
by the Beatles

Party at Ground Zero

by Fishbone

by Siouxsie and the Banshees

Penny Lane
by the Beatles

People are People

by Depeche Mode

Personal Jesus

by Depeche Mode

Peter Gunn Theme

by Art of Noise

Planet Caravan

by Pantera

The Politics of Dancing

by Re-Flex

Pop Goes the World
by Men Without Hats

Praise You

by Fatboy Slim

by Billy Joel

Pride and Joy

by Stevie Ray Vaughan (Unplugged)

Pump it Up

by Elvis Costello

Punk Rock Girl
by the Dead Milkmen

Purple Haze
by Jimi Hendrix

R U Experienced?
by Devo

Raspberry Beret

by Prince

Ray of Light
by Madonna

Red Alert

by Basement Jaxx

The Reflex
by Duran Duran

by Frankie Goes to Hollywood

by the Beatles

by Duran Duran

Road to Nowhere
by Talking Heads

Rock Lobster
by the B-52's

Rock Me Amadeus
by Falco

Rock the Casbah
by the Clash

Rock this Town

by Stray Cats

by Herbie Hancock

by the Beastie Boys

Safety Dance

by Men Without Hats

Saved by Zero

by the Fixx

Say Say Say

by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson

Sea of Love

by the Honeydrippers

Senses Working Overtime
by XTC

Sharkey's Day
by Laurie Anderson

She Blinded Me with Science
by Thomas Dolby


by Cyndi Lauper

Shiny Happy People
by REM

Shock the Monkey

by Peter Gabriel

Shopping from A to Z

by Toni Basil

by Peter Gabriel

Slim Shady

by Eminem

Smells Like Teen Spirit
by Nirvana


by Tool

Some Like it Hot

by Power Station

Somebody's Watching Me

by Rockwell

Something About You

by Level 42

Space Oddity (1969)
by David Bowie

Stand and Deliver
by Adam and the Ants

Star Guitar
by the Chemical Brothers

Star Spangled Banner
by Jimi Hendrix

The Statue Got Me High

by They Might Be Giants

Strawberry Fields Forever
by the Beatles

Stray Cat Strut
by Stray Cats

Subterranean Homesick Blues
by Bob Dylan

Sugar Water
by Cibo Matto

Sultans of Swing
by Dire Straits

Sunny Afternoon
by the Kinks

Sweet Child O Mine

by Guns N' Roses

Sympathy for the Devil
by the Rolling Stones

Tainted Love
by Coil

Take on Me
by A-Ha


by Daft Punk

They Don't Know

by Tracey Ullman

They'll Need a Crane
by They Might Be Giants

by Michael Jackson

Time Out for Fun

by Devo

Tonight, Tonight

by Smashing Pumpkins

Total Eclipse of the Heart

by Bonnie Tyler


by Fleetwood Mac

TV Party
by Black Flag

Twilight Zone
by Golden Earring

Two Tribes

by Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Under Pressure
by Queen and David Bowie


by Ben Fold Five


by Elvis Costello

Video Killed the Radio Star
by the Buggles

Virtual Insanity

by Jamiroquai

Voices Carry

by 'til tuesday

Walk This Way
by Run DMC and Aerosmith

We Didn't Start the Fire
by Billy Joel

We're Not Gonna Take it
by Twisted Sister

Weapon of Choice
by Fatboy Slim with Christopher Walken

When Doves Cry

by Prince

While My Ukulele Gently Weeps
by Jake Shimabukuro

White America

by Eminem

White Wedding

by Billy Idol

What's on Your Mind

by Information Society

Whoever You Are
by Geggy Tah

Without Me

by Eminem

Wrapped Around Your Finger
by the Police

You Might Think
by the Cars

by the Cranberries