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Current Topic: Current Events

The meaning of the NIE...
Topic: Current Events 1:41 pm EST, Dec 10, 2007

I was surprised to see Bolton calling the NIE a quazi-putsch in the press this weekend. Apparently Rudy's foreign policy advisor isn't the only one who feels this way. So which is it? Is this simply a new, improved CIA or is it an example of technology undermining hierarchal relationships?

More importantly, in 2008 will I be faced with having to select between a Republican candidate who wants war with Iran in spite of this estimate and a Democratic candidate who wants to pull out of Iraq immediately? Why is our country ruled by oversimplifications? 'The 'Genocide Olympics''
Topic: Current Events 10:22 am EST, Nov 27, 2007

"One World, One Dream" is China's slogan for its 2008 Olympics. But there is one nightmare that China shouldn't be allowed to sweep under the rug. That nightmare is Darfur, where more than 400,000 people have been killed and more than two-and-a-half million driven from flaming villages by the Chinese-backed government of Sudan.

This essay and its meme apparently motivated China to do something about Darfur. However, they are still kind of dicking around. 'The 'Genocide Olympics''

Another argument for camera-phones in schools
Topic: Current Events 5:44 am EDT, Sep 30, 2007

Three children and a parent arrested in a LA school after an altercation with a security guard led one of the students wrists being broken. There has been a protest rally in response and there are charges of racism. Its not totally clear from this video what went down here but it is suspicious that one of the children arrested was apparently video taping the arrests.

Another argument for camera-phones in schools

President Ahmadinejad Delivers Remarks at Columbia University -
Topic: Current Events 10:16 am EDT, Sep 28, 2007

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful...

...blah, blah, blah, rationalization for my nuclear program, I hate jews and I'm proud of it...

I haven't managed to make it through the whole thing and I haven't seen anything new in here but I thought it might be of interest to MemeStreams users. Let us know if you see a interesting passage.

President Ahmadinejad Delivers Remarks at Columbia University -

Don't Tase Me, Bro!
Topic: Current Events 6:49 pm EDT, Sep 20, 2007

Just two days after it was yelled out in a University of Florida lecture hall, "Don't Tase Me, Bro!" has become the newest cultural touchstone of our pop-cultural lexicon.

Don't Tase Me, Bro!

Whats going on in Quebec?
Topic: Current Events 6:30 pm EDT, Aug 23, 2007

This article provides an entertaining overview of the subject matter at the conference in Quebec where police were caught trying to incite a riot. The purpose of the conference being protested is to discuss the least burdensome means of enabling shipping of goods between Canada, the US, and Mexico while meeting American post 9/11 national security requirements:

Almost six years later, the business leaders at Montebello--under the banner of the North American Competitiveness Council, an official wing of the SPP--were still holding up "thickening borders" as the bogeyman. The fix? According to the SPP website, "technological solutions, improved information-sharing, and, potentially, the use of biometric identifiers."

Basically, the idea is that the more we know about you in general the less we need to search your truck. Call it moving the surveillance around. Its not unreasonable per say, but the event that occurred out on the street is far more ironic given the backdrop of the post 9/11 national security complex and the whole "just trust us, checks and balances kill people" platform that so much of it is rooted in.

Whats going on in Quebec?

RE: Clinton, McCain split on Iraq pullout - Yahoo! News
Topic: Current Events 9:34 pm EDT, Aug 21, 2007

Mike the Usurper wrote:
The overall on the surge is exactly what was predicted. Violence is down slightly in the troop concentrated areas, but up in others, in other words, it's a wash. Further, the point of the surge was to buttime for the Iraqis to build a unifying government. That clearly isn't happening.

The point was to reduce violence in the troop concentrated areas. The idea is that if violence is held down in those areas that those areas can develop real economic activity in a secure environment, which hopefully won't deteriorate again when the troops leave. The idea is to provide a window of opportunity for peace to get a foodhold. The impact on the areas where troops aren't concentrated is not relevent to the way this strategy works. It is a neighborhood by neighborhood approach, not a wholistic approach. Having said that, I'd like a source for your statement that the violence level has been "a wash." Its not clear that this is the case. US casualties are down.

This strategy has absolutely nothing at all to do with government negotiations. As a military strategy it is older then the present political context by several years; it predates the 2004 election.
Trying to connect those two things together is a political fantasy.

It's working so we should get out? WTF?

I agree that this doesn't make sense. If this strategy is demonstrated to be effective in actually securing neighborhoods, we need more troops on the ground. The goal here ought to be to solve the problem in Iraq and not to win some domestic political spat. "Get out, right or wrong," is just as stupid as "Stay in, right or wrong."

Hillary is hardly a "base" Democrat if by "base" you mean left. Thats because there really is no left in the United States. The Unites States has a radical right (absolutely no taxes, government by the word of God) and a moderate right (some social programs, more tolerance in morality).

Hillary is what I call a soccer mom authoritarian. She supports more social controls and more economic controls as long as it doesn't significantly impact wall street. So did her husband. Her husband was pro government surveillance. He even ran on the prospect of federally mandated national school uniforms. Their long term vision is Singapore with equal rights for women. Really it is.

The only thing I confidently expect out of Hillary is that her statements running into the election will be extremely savvy and strategic, and will have little bearing on how she governs if elected. There is no telling what she'll actually deliver in office, but it will be driven again more by strategy than ideology. The problem is that the strategic interest in question might not actually be yours.

RE: Clinton, McCain split on Iraq pullout - Yahoo! News

Bin Laden is laughing and so am I
Topic: Current Events 2:16 am EDT, Jul 30, 2007

flynn23 says:

In PBS's epidose of Frontline entitled "Spying on the Home Front", a good primer is developed for anyone who is interested in just one example of how the executive branch has ram shod over the Constitution and used every IT trick in the book to help them do it. If you haven't seen this episode, you need to watch it and think long and hard about the next time you use a credit card, do a search online, or browse If you are already up to date on this topic, I still suggest you watch the episode for some interesting interviews. There's even additional footage that should make up anyone's mind about whether Al Gonzales is a slimeball or not.

Ironically, I'm not in the infosec biz, not even tangentially, but I counted no less than three people in this program that I know personally. Cindy Cohn, from the EFF, who was very helpful to us at the Tennessee Digital Freedom Network when we resisted some MPAA injected legislation back in 2003. Jeff Jonas, who's now at IBM, but had developed some of the best pattern recognition software in the world which we've used in health care claims analysis. And my good ole friend Steve Bannerman, now at Narus, but formerly at Apple Computer back in the day. Such a small world, even more painfully obvious after watching this program.

I've been told to watch this. The first few seconds of the linked additional footage are apropos to the present Gonzales controversy. I'm not sure whether or not it means that Gonzales is a slimeball. What is seems to mean is that Comey was not talking about the Terrorist Surveillance Program. He was talking about some other program. Something so serious that a large number of DOJ officials were ready to resign over it.

Bin Laden is laughing and so am I

RE: Insurgents form political front to plan for US pullout
Topic: Current Events 12:50 am EDT, Jul 20, 2007

Mike the Usurper wrote:
By using a rule people in this country don't understand, the Republicans are actively working to make Congress look bad because of inaction rather than make the President look bad because of vetoes. Tuesday night was to put the pressure on the Republicans in the Senate who are making Congress look bad.

OK, that makes sense, both for them as a strategy and as something an all nighter is worth countering. Thanks for the explanation. Thats more insight into the strategies of both parties than I've gotten anywhere.

RE: Insurgents form political front to plan for US pullout

Insurgents form political front to plan for US pullout
Topic: Current Events 10:05 pm EDT, Jul 18, 2007

Seven of the most important Sunni-led insurgent organisations fighting the US occupation in Iraq have agreed to form a public political alliance with the aim of preparing for negotiations in advance of an American withdrawal, their leaders have told the Guardian.

Congradulations Congress... The result of all this ineffectual pre-election grandstanding you've been doing this week is that the Sunni insurgency, who boycotted the elections a few years back, just declared victory. Anyone got any links on what, exactly, their problem is with the democratic government?

Insurgents form political front to plan for US pullout

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