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Old 12-22-2008, 07:59 AM   #1251
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http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...IO6DgD955IQK80

US balks at backing condemnation of anti-gay laws

By DAVID CRARY – 3 days ago

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Alone among major Western nations, the United States has refused to sign a declaration presented Thursday at the United Nations calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality.

In all, 66 of the U.N.'s 192 member countries signed the nonbinding declaration — which backers called a historic step to push the General Assembly to deal more forthrightly with any-gay discrimination. More than 70 U.N. members outlaw homosexuality, and in several of them homosexual acts can be punished by execution.

Co-sponsored by France and the Netherlands, the declaration was signed by all 27 European Union members, as well as Japan, Australia, Mexico and three dozen other countries. There was broad opposition from Muslim nations, and the United States refused to sign, indicating that some parts of the declaration raised legal questions that needed further review.

"It's disappointing," said Rama Yade, France's human rights minister, of the U.S. position — which she described as in contradiction with America's long tradition as a defender of human rights.

According to some of the declaration's backers, U.S. officials expressed concern in private talks that some parts of the declaration might be problematic in committing the federal government on matters that fall under state jurisdiction. In numerous states, landlords and private employers are allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation; on the federal level, gays are not allowed to serve openly in the military.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:01 AM   #1252
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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1215111307.htm

Pain Hurts More If Person Hurting You Means It

ScienceDaily: Researchers at Harvard University have discovered that our experience of pain depends on whether we think someone caused the pain intentionally. In their study, participants who believed they were getting an electrical shock from another person on purpose, rather than accidentally, rated the very same shock as more painful. Participants seemed to get used to shocks that were delivered unintentionally, but those given on purpose had a fresh sting every time.

"This study shows that even if two harmful events are physically identical, the one delivered with the intention to hurt actually hurts more," says Gray. "Compare a slap from a friend as she tries to save us from a mosquito versus the same slap fro
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:02 AM   #1253
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http://intolerantfaith.blogspot.com/...-exorcist.html

Two Women Tortured, Killed By Exorcist

Qamaruddin, Intolerant Faith: Two men were arrested on Friday on charges of torturing two women to death in ritualistic exorcism in Qadir Bux Behrani village of Kot Ghulam Mohammad taluka.

Nabi Bux Behrani filed an FIR against a fake ‘Pir’ Allah Bux, his sons Niaz Hussain and Aijaz Hussain and accused him of killing the two women Fatima and Sakina. Six other unidentified people were also named in the First Information Report (FIR). A police official said that another woman, Nazeeran, was still in Allah Bux’s custody.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:03 AM   #1254
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/2008122..._investigation

Bush Insider Who Planned To Tell All Killed In Plane Crash: Non-Profit Demands Full Federal Investigation

PRNewswire, WASHINGTON: Michael Connell, the Bush IT expert who has been directly implicated in the rigging of George Bush's 2000 and 2004 elections, was killed last night when his single engine plane crashed three miles short of the Akron airport.

Velvet Revolution ("VR"), a non-profit that has been investigating Mr. Connell's activities for the past two years, can now reveal that a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how he can tell all about his work for George Bush. Mr. Connell told a close associate that he was afraid that George Bush and Dick Cheney would "throw [him] under the bus."

A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell's life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. VR's attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody. VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell's not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabotaged.

Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside of Washington DC to meet some people. It was on his return flight the next day that he crashed.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:03 AM   #1255
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http://timesonline.typepad.com/techn...ernet.html?%3F

Is the internet going down? Undersea sub-cables have just broken...

TechCentral: Breaking news: something's happening to the internet, right now. We're just not quite sure what.

Interoute, the internet networks company, reports that three of the four internet sub-cables that run from Asia to North America have been damaged.

These carry more than 75 per cent of traffic between the Middle East, Europe and America. It's hard to gather what this actually means — is it that the internet is down or (more likely) significantly slower than usual between the Middle East and America? (If you're reading this, let's face it, the internet has not shut down altogether)
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:05 AM   #1256
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Time Mag's Top Underreported News Story Of 2008? Missing Nuke Fuses Shipped to Taiwan

http://www.time.com/time/specials/20...861760,00.html

Those helicopter batteries the Pentagon thought it had shipped to Taiwan back in 2006? In March, seven months after the Air Force lost track of six nuclear warheads that were inadvertently flown over the U.S., the Defense Department was informed that the batteries it meant to deliver to Taiwan had actually been fuses used to trigger nuclear warheads. Whoops. Though the shipments contained no nuclear material, this was still a potentially explosive mistake since China considers Taiwan part of its territory, making U.S. arms sales to Taiwan among the most sensitive points in U.S.-China relations. Amazingly, the fuses' absence managed to escape notice in at least six and possibly up to eight quarterly inventory checks. The U.S. only learned about the mix-up when the Taiwanese found themselves a few helicopter batteries short, dusted off the 2006 shipment and told the Pentagon what was inside.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:06 AM   #1257
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http://www.newscientist.com/article/...in-battle.html

Intelligent Soldiers More Likely To Die In Combat

Analysis of IQ statistics shows that Scottish soldiers who survived the second world war were less intelligent on average than those who died fighting the Nazis.

The data is available because Scotland conducted national IQ tests for all 11-year-olds in 1932; no other country has ever done such a massive, thorough test of the mental ability of its population.

Apparently, Scottish soldiers who died in WWII and had taken the IQ tests as children had achieved an average IQ score of 100.8, while survivors who had taken the same test averaged 97.4.

The higher war death rate for smart individuals finally explains studies which found a dip in intelligence among Scottish men directly after the war.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:07 AM   #1258
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http://harpers.org/archive/2008/12/hbc-90004029

Did Cheney Confess to a Felony?

Did Cheney Confess to a Felony? It looks that way to me. In an interview conducted with ABC News’s Jonathan Karl yesterday, Vice President Cheney was probed on his role in the Bush Administration’s torture program. His answers were in part extremely disingenuous, but he did acknowledge a key role in the decision to torture one prisoner. Here’s the key passage:

KARL: Did you authorize the tactics that were used against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

CHENEY: I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, as the agency in effect came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn’t do. And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it.

KARL: In hindsight, do you think any of those tactics that were used against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others went too far?

CHENEY: I don’t.

There are some amazing whoppers in this exchange. The Bush White House has consistently strained to present the introduction of torture techniques as an initiative that started with interrogators on the front line and worked its way up. First British author Philippe Sands (The Torture Team) and then the Senate Armed Services Committee itself, in the still-unreleased Levin-McCain Report, established that this narrative was a fraud. Instead, torture was introduced as an initiative that started with Dick Cheney. In the first weeks following 9/11, Cheney pushed and needled senior figures at the CIA, suggesting that they introduce tactics involving fear, threats and physical brutality. When he was informed that CIA seniors believed their palette of techniques went as far as the law allowed, Cheney, drawing on the skills of his counsel David Addington and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, arranged to have John Yoo craft a memorandum (the infamous torture memo) to overrule the CIA and its counsel. It was not a situation in which they proposed and he accepted, but rather one in which he cajoled and pressured them to accept torture techniques, enlisting the Justice Department in the process. Those are the facts; Cheney has, of course, contrived a paper trail that provides him cover and that carefully elides his decisive role in the process from the outset. Throughout his career he has been a master manipulator who gets his results without leaving behind a clean set of fingerprints.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:08 AM   #1259
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Nominated for 8 Grammys, Hip-Hop superstar Lil Wayne talks about the inequalities of the War on Drugs in this clip from the track "Dontgetit" off of his latest album, Tha Carter III.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:09 AM   #1260
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http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090105/thompson

Katrina's Hidden Race War

Three years later, the Nation looks into claims of organized attacks on black residents in New Orleans by white vigilantes in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Apparently, the fate of Donnell Herrington (who was blasted in the neck with a shotgun by a group of men shouting, "Get that ****er!") was part of a larger pattern:

"Facing an influx of refugees, [some] white residents, convinced that crime would arrive with the human exodus, sought to seal off the area, blocking the roads in and out of the neighborhood by dragging lumber and downed trees into the streets. They stockpiled handguns, assault rifles, shotguns and at least one Uzi and began patrolling the streets in pickup trucks and SUVs. The newly formed militia, a loose band of about fifteen to thirty residents, most of them men, all of them white, was looking for thieves, outlaws or, as one member put it, anyone who simply 'didn't belong.'

The existence of this little army isn't a secret — in 2005 newspaper reporters wrote up the group's activities in glowing terms in articles that showed up on an array of pro-gun blogs; one story called it 'the ultimate neighborhood watch.'"
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:09 AM   #1261
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http://www.disinfo.com/content/story...ll-Knowledge-1

There is a very good possibility that the World War III option is an attempt to control the Internet by eliminating Net Neutrality and online free speech. It appears that the boundaries set between countries through treaties are vanishing due to the exponential dissemination of information through the Internet. This is in conflict with the wishes of the oligarchy who are willing to do anything to maintain control.

The attack on the Internet is three-pronged, it involves bandwidth throttling by ISP’s, Internet censorship by governments, and the oligarchy trying to prevent Network neutrality. Just a few examples of what is happening are:

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Old 12-22-2008, 08:22 AM   #1262
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http://www.davidicke.com/content/view/18281

Barack Obama: The Naked Emperor

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Old 12-22-2008, 09:40 AM   #1263
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How Obama Got Elected... Interviews With Obama Voters

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mm1KOBMg1Y8
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:49 AM   #1264
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http://www.realmagick.com/articles/14/2014.html

How Odin Became Santa Claus: Symbolism and Pagan Origins of a Gift-Giving Saint
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:50 AM   #1265
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http://www.religioustolerance.org/xmas_tree.htm

ALL ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS TREE
Pagan origins, Christian adaptation, & secular status
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:55 AM   #1266
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http://www.thothweb.com/article6941.html

NASA will give away old Shuttles for free
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:03 AM   #1267
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http://cryptogon.com/?p=5821

Banks Not Disclosing What They Did with Bailout Cash



http://cryptogon.com/?p=5831


Money Market Funds Closing Down as Yields Near Zero
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:03 AM   #1268
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http://cryptogon.com/?p=5828

Change: Rice Says That Obama Will Follow Bush Foreign Policy
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:11 AM   #1269
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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1217124418.htm

'Hobbit' Fossils Represent A New Species, Concludes Anthropologist
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:11 AM   #1270
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http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/...4375-22510639/

Uncovering ancient Egyptian secrets
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:12 AM   #1271
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/ear...gle-Earth.html


Scientists discover new forest with undiscovered species on Google Earth
Conservationists have found a host of new species after discovering uncharted new territory on the internet map Google Earth.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:12 AM   #1272
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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle5380532.ece

Microscopic plankton get the big picture

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Old 12-22-2008, 10:13 AM   #1273
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http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11...ychosis_study/

Study clears cannabis of schizophrenia rap

No greater risk than general non-tokers

By Tim Worstall

Posted in Policing, 6th November 2008 13:19 GMT

Free Download - Comparing Data Center Batteries, Flywheels and Ultracapacitors

Regular readers will recall the confused mess (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05..._law_analysis/) that is this government’s cannabis policy. There has been a drop in cannabis consumption since it was downgraded from Class B to C, but nevertheless they want to put it back up to Class B again. Yes, we know all about the argument that what you ingest is entirely your business, it being your body and all that but morals are always trumped by politics.

In the comments section to our last piece the general consensus was that the policy was driven either by a craven servility to the Murdoch press or, as a daring alternative, a bending to Daily Mail woo woo. The general consensus however was that it was Puritanism, that awful fear that someone, somewhere, might be enjoying themselves and that this situation cannot be allowed to continue. We’re arguing over whose Puritanism, not whether.

There was one vaguely respectable argument that could be put forward on the prohibitionist’s side, that of cannabis induced schizophrenia. This has been increasing even as the general incidence of schizophrenia has been stable (or even falling, depending upon who you ask). That the rise was on the order of 500 people a year means it’s not a very important point, not when compared to 3 million regular tokers, but there are still those who will buy the argument that people should be stopped from harming themselves, even if the risks are very low.

There is certainly a correlation, but we should still want to know about causation before we take any further action. For it is possible, and it is a view advanced by some (like myself last time), that those who are about to become schizophrenic dose themselves on cannabis as they are known to on alcohol and any other substance that comes to hand to still the voices. Or perhaps there’s a milder version, that cannabis induced psychosis isn’t in fact cannabis induced at all, but is simply coincidental: that it’s an early marker of schizophrenia rather than something brought on by cannabis itself.

When we try to test this we also want to be very careful indeed about our sample groups. We really don’t want to be making the mistake that the World Health Organisation has been making with HIV testing in sub-Saharan Africa. Testing pregnant women to give you the incidence of a sexually transmitted disease in the general population really ain't all that clever: you’re testing the one group of the population where you have actual proof that they’ve been partaking in unprotected sex. It might be useful to get an idea of scale, but it's just not going to be all that accurate.

Fortunately, all of this is just what some scientists have done (http://www.reuters.com/article/healt...rpc=22&sp=true) (sadly, the full paper (http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/con...ort/65/11/1269) is not online for free access). We know that there is a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia (more accurately to three different conditions that we'll, for convenience sake, group together here). If we’re lucky we can also find a decent data set which we have indeed got, some 2.25 million Danes born between 1955 and 1990, and we know both their own treatments for either cannabis induced psychosis or for those varied schizophrenic type diseases. We can also track their familial relationships and see which of them did or didn’t suffer in these manners. Excellent, we can now try to test our correlation. Do people who have had cannabis induced psychotic episodes then go on to develop schizophrenia at a higher rate than their genetic predisposition (as evidenced by their familial incidence of schizophrenia) would lead us to believe they would?

Well, looking at the 609 who had treatment for such pot induced freakouts and those 6,476 who were treated for the full blown nastiness, well, umm, no. Formally:

In terms of estimated rate ratios, persons who develop cannabis-induced psychosis are as predisposed to schizophrenia spectrum disorder and other psychiatric disorders as those who develop schizophrenia spectrum disorder without a history of cannabis-induced psychosis.

So at this point we can say that, no, that bad trip on some heavy **** does not lead on to schizophrenia. There’s no difference in incidence.

But the paper’s authors go much further:

Altogether, these findings, in addition to those of previous studies, indicate that cannabis-induced psychosis may not be a valid diagnosis but an early marker of schizophrenia.

That is, that the very idea of that bad trip is itself wrong. The disease is already there, simply wrongly diagnosed as being cannabis induced. And finally we get:

Rather, the degree of hereditary predisposition in individuals who receive treatment of cannabis-induced psychosis closely mirrors that in those who develop schizophrenia with no history of cannabis induced psychosis. The results agree with those of other studies that show that cannabis predominantly causes psychotic symptoms in those persons who are predisposed to develop psychosis or show signs of psychosis in the absence of cannabis use.

This goes a great deal further than my or anyone else’s original supposition, that pot consumption might cause problems only for those who are already predisposed to mental health problems. If it were simply this then we could deal with legalised pot simply by placing warnings upon it, as we do with nuts and nut allergies (umm, 'nut' possibly isn’t le mot juste there). But this finding goes further. There seems to be no evidence that cannabis consumption increases the incidence of these mental diseases at all. Incidence is the same for those who have had the "cannabis induced" version as it is in the general population, adjusting for the risks we perceive from the incidence of such problems in their immediate families. That there’s actually nothing to do with cannabis at all, that it just so happens that some who are becoming schizophrenic, something which is often marked by short episodes before it fully takes grip, happen to have been puffing 'erb when such episodes hit.

Thus there really is no logical leg for the government to stand upon in its reclassification of cannabis: there's not in fact one reason against the legalisation of the damn stuff and the increase in liberty and freedom that would result.

So, anyone think this is going to make any difference? No, thought not myself. OK, back to basics then, could the Murdochists and the Mailites let us know who is really to blame for the idiocy which is current drugs policy?
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:14 AM   #1274
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http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12...lout_ceremony/

US Navy's robot stealth carrier plane unveiled

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Old 12-22-2008, 10:15 AM   #1275
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http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12..._tracker_ware/

Ohio prof develops CCTV people-tracker 'ware

Boffins in Ohio have taken another step towards the global surveillance panopticon of the future, developing software which can autonomously track an individual through a city using CCTV cameras.

James W Davis, associate prof at the Ohio State computer science and engineering department, developed the new spyware with the aid of grad student Karthik Sankaranarayanan.

Davis and Sankaranarayanan's code works by using a pan-tilt-zoom camera to create a panoramic image of its entire field of view, and then linking each ground pixel in the picture to a georeferenced location on a map. This means that when the camera sees a person or vehicle, the computer also knows in terms of map coordinates where it is looking.

That in turn makes it possible for a new camera to be trained on the target as he/she/it passes out of the first one's field of view. In this way, a subject can be followed automatically anywhere that the monitoring computer has CCTV coverage. There's no need for a human operator to manually train cameras around, using up man-hours and sooner or later making a mistake and losing track.

"That's the advantage of linking all the cameras together in one system - you could follow a person's trajectory seamlessly," says Davis.
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