Saturday, December 4, 2010

Immortal Technique - Bin laden Lyrics

Major Defense Contractor Blocks Anything With 'WikiLeaks' In URL

By Ryan J. Reilly, TPM

The nation's biggest defense contractors, who employ thousands of people with security clearances, are taking steps to restrict their access to Wikileaks, including one company which is blocking employees from accessing any website, including news stories, with "wikileaks" in the URL.

An employee of one major defense contractor told TPM that she wanted to read our report on the Library of Congress blocking access to WikiLeaks, but was unable to do so because the company blocked the webpage.

"I've clicked on a lot of headlines on many different news sites and any link that includes the dreaded letter sequence ends up displaying the company's 'Access Denied' page," the employee wrote.

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The Lost Generation

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From New York Minute - A 6-part miniseries.

Sarah Palin: Hunt Assange Like Bin Laden

From Newser:

If Sarah Palin becomes president, Julian Assange may want to keep an eye out for CIA drones. The Alaskan, in aFacebook post, lambasted President Obama's handling of the WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables and suggested that the site's founder be "pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders," the Huffington Post reports.

"Assange is not a 'journalist,' any more than the 'editor' of al Qaeda's new English-language magazine Inspire is a 'journalist,'" Palin wrote. "He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands." The administration's "incompetent handling of this whole fiasco"—as seen in its belated order for federal agencies to take steps to avoid leaks—displays "a strange lack of urgency," she writes.

Foreign Contractors Hired Afghan 'Dancing Boys', WikiLeaks Cable Reveals

John Boone reports for the Guardian:

A scandal involving foreign contractors employed to train Afghan policemen who took drugs and paid for young "dancing boys" to entertain them in northern Afghanistan caused such panic that the interior minister begged the US embassy to try and "quash" the story, according to one of the US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks.

In a meeting with the assistant US ambassador, a panicked Hanif Atmar, the interior minister at the time of the episode last June, warned that the story would "endanger lives" and was particularly concerned that a video of the incident might be made public.

The episode helped to fuel Afghan demands that contractors and private security companies be brought under much tighter government control. However, the US embassy was legally incapable of honouring a request by Atmar that the US military should assume authority over training centres managed by DynCorp, the US company whose employees were involved in the incident in the northern province of Kunduz.

There is a long tradition of young boys dressing up as girls and dancing for men in Afghanistan, an activity that sometimes crosses the line into child abuse with Afghans keeping boys as possessions.

Although rarely discussed or criticised in Afghanistan, it is conceivable that the involvement of foreigners could have turned into a major public scandal. Atmar himself warned about public anger towards contractors, who he said "do not have many friends" and said they needed far greater oversight.

He also said tighter control was needed over Afghan employees of such companies as well.

"He was convinced that the Kunduz incident, and other events where mentors had obtained drugs, could not have happened without Afghan participation," the cable said.

Two Afghan policemen and nine other Afghans were arrested as part of investigations into a crime described by Atmar as "purchasing a service from a child", which the cable said was against both sharia law and the civil code.

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YOU DON'T LIKE THE TRUTH - 4 Days Inside Guantánamo


YOU DON'T LIKE THE TRUTH - 4 days inside Guantánamo is a documentary based on security camera footage from the Guantánamo Bay prison. For more information about the film, visit: http://youdontlikethetruth.com/

This encounter between a team of Canadian intelligence agents and a child detainee in Guantánamo has never before been seen. Based on seven hours of video footage recently declassified by the Canadian courts this documentary delves into the unfolding high-stakes game of cat and mouse between captor and captive over a four day period. Maintaining the surveillance camera style this film analyzes the political, legal and scientific aspects of a forced dialogue.

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

How did human beings who lived five thousand years ago view themselves? How did they make decisions and how did they reflect on their past?

Julian Jaynes gives a radical answer to these questions: until a few thousand years ago human beings did not 'view themselves'. They did not have the ability: they had no introspection and no concept of 'self' that they could think about. In other words: they had no subjective consciousness. Jaynes calls their mental life the bicameral mind. That is to say, the mind with two chambers, the mind that is divided in a god part and a human part. The human part heard voices and experienced these as coming from gods. These gods were no judging, moral or transcendent gods, but were more like each person's personal problem solvers. They were hallucinated voices that provided the answers when a person entered a stressful situation which couldn't be solved by routine.  

To avoid misunderstandings: the people with a bicameral mind were not at all barbarians who waved their bludgeons and uttered monosyllabic sounds. They had a fully developed language. But language alone is not enough for consciousness, according to Jaynes. The pivotal question is which concepts are available in a language. Consciousness in Jaynes's definition is a box of conceptual tools that are not 'included with the hardware'. It is a package of 'software' that had to be invented, similar like tools such as the wheel. The most important transition phase towards this new mentality was between 1000 and 500 B.C., an era from which textual sources are available: the most telling ones are the Iliad, the Odyssey and of course the Bible.

Jaynes's definition of consciousness

It is important to notice how Jaynes defines consciousness. For him it is not related to perception or sensation. This means that many common connotations of the word are set aside. For example, the 'conscious experience' of a bright color red, or a sharp pain. These examples of subjective experience, that fascinating aspect of our mental life, is not what Jaynes wants to explain. However fascinated he may be by the question 'where the color red is' when we watch the setting sun – nothing but gray matter in our heads, after all – he is searching for a different holy grail: how is it possible that we can pose these kinds of questions at all? Our puzzlement about our experience of the setting sun presupposes an advanced way of looking at ourselves, an advanced, reflective theory of mind. How did that ability evolve?

So then what is consciousness in Jaynes's definition? As a first approximation: it is a process, not an immediate sensation. It is a narrative way of thinking which makes us capable of making judgments and decisions. It is a sort of self management. With consciousness, we do not need voices of gods or other superior beings. We have the capability of picturing ourselves as individuals with memories, a past, a future and a (more or less) free will. A conscious individual can view himself 'from above' and direct himself. He has tools, as it were, to isolate scenes from his life and to project these on an imaginary screen. To edit those at his own will, and combine them into different scenarios.

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Wikipedia article...

Drug Company Used Ghost Writers to Author Work Bylined by Academics, Documents Show

According to newly released documents from GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical company often paid ghostwriters to pen medical studies, editorials and even a textbook that listed physicians as the authors.

The documents—some of which date back to late 1990s—were recently unsealed in litigation over a GlaxoSmithKline product. We saw them after they were attached to a letter released this week by a nonprofit watchdog group urging the National Institutes of Health to crack down on ghostwriting in medical academia. The documents and the letter by Project on Government Oversight together outline several examples of how a major drug company contributed to the funding, writing and approval of material published in medical journals and elsewhere.

The textbook, published in 1999, listed two physician co-authors who at the time were chairs of the psychiatry departments at the medical schools of Stanford University and Emory University, the New York Times reported this week in a piece that focused only on the textbook. According to the Times, it's the first instance where a book has been criticized for the same issues with ghostwriting and drug industry influence that have plagued medical journals.

A GSK spokesman told the Times that the company's role was described in the book's preface, which thanked the UK drugmaker (then known as SmithKline Beecham) for an "unrestricted educational grant" to the ghostwriting company, Scientific Therapeutics Information. Correspondence between a Scientific Therapeutics Information employee and one of the co-authors, however, shows the employee informing the stated author that she had "begun development of the text." The employee, Sally Laden, also described her co-worker as the "primary technical writer" and manager for the project.

According to the documents, that same ghostwriter, Sally Laden, wrote an editorial published in 2003 in a medical journal with authorship attributed to two more doctors. One, Dwight Evans, is chairman of the psychiatry department of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His co-author, Dennis Charney, was head of a research program for the National Institute of Mental Health. (We've asked both for comment but have not yet received a response.) While Laden was credited for "editorial support" in the published article, another document seems to suggest she played more than just a supporting role. In an e-mail to a GlaxoSmithKline employee, she inquired about the status of her payment "for writing Dwight Evans' editorial."

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Crackdown Launched in Xinjiang

From Radio Free Asia:

Authorities in China's troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang are holding more than 20 people in a new crackdown on separatism mainly targeting the region's Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority, an exiled group said on Friday.

This winter's "strike hard" campaign began in mid-November in Aqchi Nahiyisi, in southern Xinjiang's Kizilsu Kyrgyz autonomous prefecture, according to Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress.

"Nearly 100 people have been detained," Raxit said. "Some of them are still being detained under criminal detention," he said, adding that several had also been freed.

Raxit said that more than 20 people were being held under criminal charges, while at least 10 had been freed on bail pending court hearings.

"Others are still being held in the detention center because they refused to pay fines," he said.

An officer who answered the phone at the county police department declined to comment.

"You will have to ask my superiors," he said. "Those are the rules."

"They know what is happening."

Surveillance

A resident of Aqchi said police had stepped up routine patrols and surveillance in the county town in recent weeks.

"Aqchi has a reputation, and it is always subjected to tight controls," the resident said.

"There are not so many people out and about at the moment, it's very plain to see."

"It's because the Chinese Communist Party has said it will crack down on the 'three forces,'" the resident said, referring to Beijing's campaigns against "separatism, terrorism, and splittism."

Raxit said that authorities in the northwestern region of Ili, which saw a bloody suppression of an uprising against Chinese rule in 1998, have recently been targeting the culture of Uyghurs, a Central Asian Turkic-speaking ethnic group, many of whom are unhappy under Chinese rule.

"The Chinese government has launched a clean-up campaign targeting audio-visual media being sold in the region," Raxit said.

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Hateful Austrian MP Rants Against Turkish Intolerance

The Winged Beatle

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The secret behind Paul McCartney's rumoured 'demise'?

Beetle with an A - Magic with a K

TheRottenApple2010 - TheWingedBeatle is the first part in the ARE3RA trilogy leading up to TheRevelAtion2012.

The Winged Beatle was released September 11, 2010.

Manchester Uni Student Occupation

University of Manchester Roscoe Building Occupation Statement

We the students and residents of Manchester are occupying the University of Manchester’s Roscoe building Lecture Theatre B as a peaceful protest against the proposed increases to the cost of attending University as proposed by the Coalition Government.

We are undertaking this action in solidarity with all those who will be affected by these fees, as well as others who are engaged in acts of protest. We believe that education should be accessible to all and recognise that increasing the cost of University courses will serve only to increase the marketisation of education, depriving the poorest of access and again making our universities into ivory towers for the rich.

Given the current economic situation and attendant unemployment, easier access to education, allowing the unemployed to retrain and reskill is critical to the economic survival of the most vulnerable people in this country.

We therefore call upon the management of the University of Manchester to release a statement condemning the proposed increase in fees and call upon our lecturers to sign the statement of support for the Millbank protestors.

We condemn the heavy-handed approach the Greater Manchester Police Force have taken in their handling of the entirely peaceful protest held on Oxford Road and at Whitworth Park. We call for there to be no repurcussions, either from the University or from the Police, for those who have engaged in protest actions against the fees. Naturally, we also call for more protest action, including strikes and occupations, nationally from students and non-students alike who oppose the increase in fees and invite those in Manchester to join us in our peaceful occupation and protests.

Political Asylum and Shelter for All Refugees


We the refugees from Afghanistan came to Europe because we could not live any longer in refugee concentration camps in our own country.

We could not live in villages that are bombed by NATO airplanes or get deserted by army forces' attacks and by tanks that come in and level them. We and our families cannot live there, not only because there is no freedom and democracy, but also because the economy is destroyed.

We could not live in neighboring countries like Pakistan, where the war has spread there as well while the recent floods have caused a new wave of poverty, hunger and refugees. We are persecuted in Iran, Turkey and other countries.

We do not want anybody to exploit our right to a humane life and our moving away from the war zones. We do not want anymore our countrymen to keep drowning in the Aegean Sea and Evros river. Neither we want to be sent back again to Greece by the other European countries following the "Dublin II" Treaty to face again homelessness and being hunted by the police, fascist groups and racist gangs.

We could no longer be blamed for the crimes of imperialism and their wars. Everyone wants peace and for us is the most precious commodity that millions around the world have been deprived of, as in our country. We will not become the scapegoats for the failures of the policies of European governments who sow misery in all through creating unemployment and poverty. It's our wish wars to stop the armies of occupation to turn back, and instead the money dedicated for weapon systems and guns to be used for improving schools and hospitals for a better life for all.

We ask for our right to political asylum for all refugees from the Greek government. To live with dignity, to travel with a passport as normal human beings and not like animals in trucks.

We ask for shelter for our families and children that currently are sleeping outside in city squares.

We urge the Greek people, workers and youth, trade unions, student associations to support our struggle.

Committee of Afghan Refugees for Asylum and Housing

With the support of "Movement United Against Racism and Fascist Threat" and "Group of Refugee Workers"

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image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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