body~politic

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Close to home: Hezbollah terrorists are plotting right on the U.S. border

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/07/11/2010-07-11__and_close_to_home.html

Close to home: Hezbollah terrorists are plotting right on the U.S. border

Sunday, July 11th 2010, 4:00 AM
Speaking of the Islamist enemy cropping up in unlikely places, Iran's favorite terrorist outfit, Hezbollah - a menace to Israel and Lebanon - has been caught plotting right in our backyard.
For years, experts who already have their hands full with the persistent threat of Al Qaeda have warned of the rise of Hezbollah in our midst.
The day has arrived.
Mexican authorities have rolled up a Hezbollah network being built in Tijuana, right across the border from Texas and closer to American homes than the terrorist hideouts in the Bekaa Valley are to Israel.
Its goal, according to a Kuwaiti newspaper that reported on the investigation: to strike targets in Israel and the West.
Over the years, Hezbollah - rich with Iranian oil money and narcocash - has generated revenue by cozying up with Mexican cartels to smuggle drugs and people into the U.S.
In this, it has shadowed the terrorist-sponsoring regime in Tehran, which has been forging close ties with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who in turn supports the narcoterrorist organization FARC, which wreaks all kinds of havoc throughout the region.
In March, Adm. James Stavridis, then head of the U.S. Southern Command, which includes Latin America, warned a Senate committee hearing: "We see Hezbollah acting throughout the region in proselytizing, fund-raising, involved in the drug trade."
Now they are right across the Rio Grande - a stone's throw.
But we doubt they're interested in stones.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tautology

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tautology_(rhetoric)


In rhetoric, a tautology is an unnecessary or unessential (and sometimes unintentional) repetition of meaning, using different and dissimilar words that effectively say the same thing twice (often originally from different languages). It is often regarded as a fault of style and was defined by Fowler as "saying the same thing twice." It is not apparently necessary or essential for the entire meaning of a phrase to be repeated. If a part of the meaning is repeated in such a way that it appears as unintentional, clumsy, or lacking in dexterity, then it may be described as tautology. On the other hand, a repetition of meaning which improves the style of a piece of speech or writing is not necessarily described as tautology.

A rhetorical tautology can also be defined as a series of statements that comprise an argument, whereby the statements are constructed in such a way that the truth of the propositions is guaranteed or that the truth of the propositions cannot be disputed by defining a term in terms of another self-referentially. Consequently, the statement conveys no useful information regardless of its length or complexity making it unfalsifiable. It is a way of formulating a description such that it masquerades as an explanation when the real reason for the phenomena cannot be independently derived. A rhetorical tautology should not be confused with a tautology in propositional logic, since the inherent meanings and subsequent conclusions in rhetorical and logical tautologies are very different.


[c.s.l.  politicians suffer from rhetorical tautology /c.s.l.]

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OBAMA'S POLL NUMBERS DOWN, IMAGINARY RACISM UP

http://www.anncoulter.org/cgi-local/printer_friendly.cgi?article=378

OBAMA'S POLL NUMBERS DOWN, IMAGINARY RACISM UP
by Ann Coulter
July 21, 2010

The Democrats are depressed about their collapsing poll numbers, so it's time to start calling conservatives "racist."

As we now know from the Journolist list-serv, where hundreds of liberal journalists chat with one another, and which was leaked to Daily Caller this week, journalists cry "racism" whenever they need to distract from bad news for Obama. (Ironically, this story did not make headlines.)

When the Rev. Jeremiah Wright scandal broke during the 2008 campaign, the first response of Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent was to demand that they start randomly picking conservatives -- "Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares -- and call them racists."

Ackerman, frequent guest on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," continued on Journolist:

"What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger's [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically."

This is what "racism" has come to in America. Democrats are in trouble, so they say "let's call conservatives racists." We always knew it, but the Journolist postings gave us the smoking gun.

This explains why we've heard so much about Tea Partiers being "racists" lately.

But despite a frantic search, the media have been unable to produce any actual evidence of racism at the Tea Parties. Even the trace elements are either frauds or utterly trivial.

For example, there was blind terror last week over a Tea Party billboard in northern Iowa that showed a picture of Adolf Hitler, Obama and Vladimir Lenin under the headings: "National Socialism," "Democratic Socialism" and "Marxist Socialism."

Overheated? Perhaps. Racist? No. Unless liberals are about to break the news that Lenin and Hitler were black, what we have here, gentlemen, is not racism.

I'm not even sure why liberals are so testy: As an aficionado of liberal talk radio, I've heard both Ed Schultz and Randi Rhodes repeatedly say socialism is terrific. (Given their ratings, this is understandable.)

Most sickeningly, the mainstream media continue to spread the despicable lie that someone called civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis the "N-word" 15 times during the anti-ObamaCare rally in Washington. Fifteen times!

That turned out to be another lie. About a week after the protest, Andrew Breitbart offered a $100,000 reward for anyone who could produce a video of Lewis being called the N-word even once -- forget 15 times. (That's the most we can afford. Hey, who do we look like over here, George Soros?)

Plus, the winner might have his video appear on the new hit TV show, "America's Most Racist Home Videos."

With hundreds of news cameras, cell phone cameras and camcorders capturing every nook and cranny of the Capitol Hill protest -- and news media hungry for an ugly, racist act -- it defies possibility that someone called Lewis the N-word once, much less 15 times, without one single camera capturing the incident. And yet, to this day the reward remains unclaimed.

Democrats did their best to provoke an ugly confrontation by marching a (shockingly undiverse) group of black Democrats right through the middle of the anti-ObamaCare protest. But they didn't get one, so the media just lied and asserted Lewis was called the N-word. (If they wanted to hear the N-word so badly, they should have sent the congressional delegation to a Jay-Z concert.)

Indeed, news anchor after news anchor has indignantly claimed to have footage of the incident, teasing viewers by saying, "We'll get that right up" or claiming personally to have seen the video -– and then you watch the whole program without ever seeing footage of anyone calling Lewis the N-word.

Dateline: April 18, 2010, CNN's Don Lemon: "We have the tape here at CNN. I saw it on CNN's 'State of the Union.'" And yet, Lemon never got around to showing viewers that tape. IF YOU HAVE THE TAPE, DON, CLAIM YOUR $100,00 REWARD!

And now this week, with the NAACP accusing the Tea Partiers of harboring racists, and conservatives demanding proof, the George Soros-backed Center for American Progress ran a 45-second video allegedly showing racism at the Tea Parties.

One of the videos shows an obvious liberal plant announcing, "I'm a proud racist!" Apparently this was their best shot, because they had to work this video into the montage twice, amid utterly innocuous posters, for example, saying, "God bless Glenn Beck." So I guess they didn't have anything better.

Here's the part Soros' people didn't show you: In the fuller video shown on the Glenn Beck show, the Tea Partiers surrounded the (liberal plant) racist, jeering at him, telling him he's not one of them and to go home. In a spectacularly evil fraud, all that was edited out.

Just hours later on MSNBC, Chris Matthews was loudly proclaiming that he would believe the Tea Partiers weren't racist when he sees "just one of those Tea Party people pull down one of those racist signs at the next Tea Party rally. I'm going to just wait. Reach over, grab the sign and tear it out of the guy's hands. Then I will believe you."

Well, here it was. The (liberal plant) racist was driven from the Tea Party by the Tea Partiers. But you won't see that. Like USDA official Shirley Sherrod's apparently racist comments excerpted this week from what was, in fact, a commendable speech about racial reconciliation, the alleged Tea Party racism was, literally, "taken out of context."

COPYRIGHT 2010 ANN COULTER

A Weighty Issue

United States Pirate Party - Stealing Back Government
A Weighty Issue

We all know by now that every American will be required to have electronic health records by 2014. However, these records must also include every American citizen's BMI. 
 
BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It is a way to measure one's body fat. However, it is sometimes argued that this measurement is unreliable, as muscle weighs more than fat. For example, a bodybuilder would most likely be declared obese. 
 
This raises some questions: Why does the government want to know everyone's body fat? Is our fat, or lack thereof, our own private matter? I believe it should be.
 
Many are also concerned about the fact that the government wants to keep electronic records on every citizen. If the government has a national database with such sensitive and personal information, is it not likely that someone could hack into those most private details?
 
And then there are other questions: What happens if you do not go to the doctor? Will you be required to go to the doctor once a year so the government will know if you are overweight? Should we all start taking copious amounts of diet pills? Or, if we are body builders, should we stop exercising all together?
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Or

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Truthiness

1. truthiness (noun)
1 : "truth that comes from the gut, not books" (Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," October 2005)
2 : "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true" (American Dialect Society, January 2006)

[C.S.L.;
Truthiness:
-  Adjective: Of, relating to, or having the characteristics of advanced truth.
-  Noun: The quality of applicable truth.
-  Noun: Any utterance made by Stephen Colbert.  ]

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hate needles? Flu patch may take sting out of your fears

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7114059.html


Hate needles? Flu patch may take sting out of your fears

By TODD ACKERMAN Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle

July 18, 2010, 10:52PM

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In what would be a boon for needle-phobes of all ages, researchers have developed a skin patch that vaccinates against the flu and could be available in five years.
The patch, which is lined with microscopic needles that dissolve into the skin, could provide a painless alternative to hypodermic needles and make visits to the doctor's office or clinic for a traditional flu shot a thing of the past. The patch is as easy to apply as a Band-Aid.
"We've now demonstrated a technology that can enable painless, self-administered flu vaccination," said Mark Prausnitz, a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and leader in the research. "It appears to vaccinate against influenza at least as well and probably better than a traditional hypodermic needle."
Vaccination that doesn't require trained personnel holds great appeal because it would likely boost the nation's low immunization rates, a source of concern.
Although influenza kills more than 30,000 people most years and the government recommends most healthy people get vaccinated annually, fewer than 40 percent typically do.

Tested on mice

In a mouse study reported Sunday in the online edition of Nature Medicine, Prausnitz's team found the patch improved the immune system's antibody memory and was more efficient at clearing the lungs of the flu virus, compared to a placebo and hypodermic needle-delivered vaccine.
Prausnitz attributed the better performance to the skin's abundance of the types of cells most adept at generating immune responses. The muscle into which needles deliver vaccine is not nearly as active immunologically.
Patches in the mouse study contained an array of 100 needles, each some 650 microns in length, or about the width of a few strands of human hair. Coated with inactivated flu virus, the patches are pressed manually into the skin, where the microneedles dissolve into bodily fluids.
"It's a technological approach that makes a lot of sense," said Dr. Jan Drutz, a general pediatrician at Texas Children's Hospital who calls needle-phobia common in both kids and adults. "It would be a wonderful alternative to needles if it truly works in people and is pain free."

Fights flu better

Needle-phobia, or trypanophobia, is a recognized medical condition that causes sufferers to avoid medical care. It is estimated to affect more than 10 percent of the adult population.
In the study, one group of mice received the influenza vaccine from traditional hypodermic needles; another group received the vaccine through the dissolving microneedles; and a control group received the microneedle patches not containing any vaccine.
Infected with the influenza virus 30 days later, both groups that received the vaccine remained healthy while mice in the control group contracted the flu and died.
Three months after vaccination, researchers exposed a different group of immunized mice to the flu virus and found that those who received the microneedles did better than those injected by the hypodermic needles.

Testing on people next

Noting that mice are much easier to vaccinate against the flu than humans, Baylor College of Medicine influenza expert Dr. Paul Glezen expressed skepticism about the patch until seeing it in human trials. But he said it will be interesting to watch.
Prausnitz said he hopes to be testing the patch in people in two years and have a product on the shelves in five. He also said that although initially there will be start-up costs, he thinks the price will be no more than traditional flu vaccines once it is mass-produced.
The microneedle technology may also be used for other vaccinations, such as polio and measles, said Prausnitz. He said his team is working on those diseases but is not as far along.

WikiLeaks founder: Site getting tons of 'high caliber' disclosures

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/web/07/16/wikileaks.disclosures/?hpt=C2

WikiLeaks founder: Site getting tons of 'high caliber' disclosures


Julian Assange, right, talks about submissions to WikiLeaks.org 
with Chris Anderson at Friday's TED Global conference.
Julian Assange, right, talks about submissions to WikiLeaks.org with Chris Anderson at Friday's TED Global conference.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Pentagon says Pfc. Bradley E. Manning is accused of "serious offenses"
  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange: Site getting a number of whistle-blower disclosures
  • Assange: Manning is a "political prisoner"
  • Assange says he has canceled U.S. appearances due to security concerns
Oxford, England (CNN) -- WikiLeaks.org, the website that released secret video of a U.S. airstrike in Iraq that killed a dozen civilians, is "getting an enormous quantity of whistle-blower disclosures of high caliber," the site's founder, Julian Assange, said Friday in a rare public appearance here.
Speaking at the TED Global conference, Assange said that "we are overwhelmed by our growth" and the site can't keep up with the volume of the new material because it doesn't have enough people to verify it.
He later told reporters that "there are many things which are very explosive."
Assange said the organization gets material from whistle-blowers in a variety of ways -- including via postal mail -- vets it, releases it to the public and then defends itself against "the regular political or legal attack."
He said the organization rarely knows the identity of the source of the leak. "If we find out at some stage, we destroy that information as soon as possible," he said.
Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland, has been charged with eight violations of the U.S. Criminal Code for allegedly illegally transferring classified data, including the video that wound up on WikiLeaks. He has been accused of "wrongfully introducing a classified video of a military operation filmed at or near Baghdad, Iraq" around July 12, 2007, "onto his personal computer, a non-secure information system."
Assange said at a news conference that Manning "is a political prisoner being held in the nation of Kuwait, effectively keeping him away from the press and effective legal representation." He said WikiLeaks is providing legal assistance to Manning without saying if he was the source of the video.
Video: Shows journalists' deaths in Iraq
Video: U.S. Apache attack video
RELATED TOPICS
  • TED Conference
  • Baghdad
  • Journalism
"Obviously, we cannot pick and choose," said Assange, adding that the site has to defend everyone who faces serious charges as a result of material posted on WikiLeaks.
The video shows aerial footage of an attack by a U.S. Apache helicopter that killed civilians, including two journalists from the Reuters news service. WikiLeaks posted it in April. The site said the video "clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers."
Asked to respond to Assange's assertion that Manning is a "political prisoner," Pentagon spokesman Col. David Lapan told CNN that Manning is "accused of committing serious offenses. He has been charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and will be processed by normal procedures through the military justice system."
U.S. military authorities have warned that the publication of classified documents on WikiLeaks could aid in the planning of terrorist attacks and harm national security.
At the Oxford event, Assange said, "Remember the people in Baghdad, the people in Iraq, the people in Afghanistan, they don't need to see the video. They see it every day." He said the site's hope is that such video "will change the perception of the people who are paying" for the war.
Assange denied reports that WikiLeaks had received hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. cables in addition to the Iraq video. He said the site would have released the cables if it had received them.
Assange said some information, including a patient's medical records, should legitimately be kept secret. But he said WikiLeaks's practice of revealing information from whistle-blowers follows the traditions of journalism. The fact that governments and organizations spend money to keep this information secret, Assange said, is a good indication that releasing the information can achieve reform.
The 39-year-old Assange, who has gray hair swept back behind his ears, noted that WikiLeaks operates in several countries, including Iceland and Sweden, where, he said, laws give protection to the disclosures made on the site. He said he had to cancel three public appearances in the United States, including one at the June conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors in Las Vegas, Nevada, because of "unreasonable" statements by U.S. officials in private that they "may not follow the rule of law" in dealing with him.
"I received advice from figures like [investigative reporter] Sy Hersh to exercise caution," Assange said, adding that U.S. officials have now adopted a "reasonable" attitude in private.
Assange was interviewed by Chris Anderson, curator of TED, the nonprofit that ran the conference. He asked the audience for a show of hands as to whether he was a hero or a "dangerous troublemaker." The vast majority signaled that they viewed him as a hero.
CNN's Mike Mount and Alan Silverleib contributed to this report.



Alien Swarm released free on Steam

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=256175

 

Alien Swarm released free on Steam

Unreal Tournament 2004 mod gets full Steam release

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Alien Swarm is a top-down four-player arcade shooter based on the brilliant mod of Unreal Tournament 2004, and it will be available for download through Steam tomorrow - free.

The original mod was cleverly put together by a talented team of mods in the community, who's efforts landed them jobs at Valve where they've spent the past couple of years working on Left 4 Dead.

In the game releasing to Steam tomorrow, you get to join up to three other players in an alien shoot out, with over 40 types of weapons and equipment, four classes spread over eight characters, 64 achievements to unlock and a complete set of mod tools for you to get creative with too.

Looks pretty cool too. Check out its Steam page for a trailer, and to grab the game tomorrow free of charge.

NASA telescope made in Utah set to finish survey

NASA telescope made in Utah set to finish survey
SALT LAKE CITY — A telescope made by Utah State University's Space Dynamics Lab for NASA is on track to complete its first sky survey.
So far, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer — or WISE — project has discovered 25,000 asteroids.
The lab's WISE program manager John Elwell says the project has been exciting.
Elwell says WISE has produced 1.3 million images, including distant galaxies and brown dwarf stars, as well as 100,000 asteroids. The asteroids mainly occupy an area between Mars and Jupiter. About 90 of these space rocks travel "near" Earth, meaning roughly 30 million miles from the planet.
Elwell says the first sky map was set for completion on Saturday. Over the next three months, WISE will map half of the sky again so astronomers can see what's changed.
Information from: The Herald Journal, http://www.hjnews.com

Iran's elite force expanding influence in Venezuela

Iran's elite force expanding influence in Venezuela

Hugo Chávez dismisses as a 'disgrace' the US report claiming Iran's Revolutionary Guard is making inroads into Latin America
President Hugo Chavez and Pentagon report about Iranian influence
President Hugo Chávez, (right, pictured reviewing tanks), has rubbished a Pentagon report that Iran's elite force is spreading its influence in south America, especially in Venezuela. Photograph: Prensa Miraflores/EPA
The Pentagon has claimed that an elite unit from Iran's Revolutionary Guards is building up a presence in Latin America, especially Venezuela.
A report delivered to Congress last week said the group, known formally as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), was expanding operational capabilities well beyond Iran.
"It is well established in the Middle East and north Africa and recent years have witnessed an increased presence in Latin America, particularly Venezuela."
The report did not elaborate on the claim, a fleeting part of an unclassified 12-page analysis of Tehran's current and future military strategy.
It contradicted previous US assurances that Iran posed little or no military threat in the region – a line repeated today by General Douglas Fraser, head of US Southern Command. He told reporters that Iran was expanding diplomatic and commercial ties but there was no sign of a military presence.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez rejected the Pentagon report as a "disgrace" and said it was a pretext to topple his socialist government. "These are the things they raise and repeat in reports to later justify anything … It's totally false."
Chávez has nurtured economic, energy and political ties with Tehran in response to what he terms aggression from the US "empire". The two governments have not announced any military accords.
The Pentagon report said the Revolutionary Guard wanted to have forces in place around the world to widen Iran's options should it come to blows with the US in the Middle East.
"If US involvement in conflict in these regions deepens, contact with the IRGC-QF, directly or through extremist groups it supports, will be more frequent and consequential."
Without naming Venezuela, the report said Qods forces overseas were posted in Iranian embassies, charities and Shia religious and cultural institutions. In addition to humanitarian support, the agents promoted "paramilitary operations to support extremists and destabilise unfriendly regimes".
The secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, has warned Latin America to steer clear of Tehran's embrace. But Washington has given mixed signals over how gravely it views the relationship.
In recent years, the Pentagon has said Hezbollah and other alleged Iranian terrorist proxies in Venezuela did not pose a threat to the US. American officials in the capital, Caracas, have said the same thing.
There is no independent evidence of Iranian military involvement in the oil-producing south American country. Many of the economic accords signed by Chávez and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have stalled, raising a question mark over the alliance.
On a visit to the region earlier this month, the US defence secretary, Robert Gates, played down Iran's influence. "I think it makes for interesting public relations on the part of the Iranians, the Venezuelans. I certainly don't see Venezuela at this point as a military challenge or threat."

Indianapolis Shooting: Indiana Black Expo Violence Leaves 9 Injured





Indianapolis Shooting: Indiana Black Expo Violence Leaves 9 Injured

First Posted: 07-18-10 12:21 AM   |   Updated: 07-18-10 12:21 AM
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Indianapolis Shooting Indiana Black Expo
Indianapolis Shooting: Several people were injured during a shooting at the Indiana Black Expo.
IndyStar:
Nine people were injured at three shooting scenes near Circle Centre mall Saturday night, shocking people and disrupting traffic in a Downtown full of visitors, including those attending Indiana Black Expo's Summer Celebration.
Seven of the wounded were shot about 9:30 p.m. along Maryland Street, just east of Illinois Street. None of the wounds appeared to be life-threatening, although two people were listed in serious condition at local hospitals, police said. Officers blocked street traffic around that intersection as the investigation began.
Read the whole story: IndyStar

Police: 8 people shot at Indiana Black Expo

http://www.wsbt.com/news/regional/Police-8-people-shot-at-Indiana-Black-Expo-98689714.html

Police: 8 people shot at Indiana Black Expo

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By WSBT 24/7 News

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Police say eight people were shot and wounded when shootings erupted during the crowded Indiana Black Expo in downtown Indianapolis.
Police spokesman Lt. Jeff Duhamell says gunfire was reported around 9:30 p.m. Saturday and sent thousands of people running from the area.
Duhamell says none of the victims' injuries appear to be life threatening. He says seven people were taken to local hospitals, including two in serious but stable condition. One person was treated at the scene.
Police say the shootings occurred on Maryland Street, near the Circle Centre Mall. Duhamell says no arrests have been made in connection to the shootings.
Duhamell says "thousands and thousands" of people were attending the event.



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