February 1st, 2011

madness

Details of B.C. sled dog cull horrific

Details of B.C. sled dog cull horrific
By MICHAEL PLATT, CALGARY SUN

Last Updated: January 31, 2011 9:28pm

Warning to readers: This column contains graphic content of a disturbing nature.

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Source: http://www.calgarysun.com/news/columnists/michael_platt/2011/01/31/17104521.html
Cardassian guuurl

Nearly 11 Percent of US Houses Empty

Published: Monday, 31 Jan 2011 | 3:34 PM ET
By: Diana Olick

I usually find the quarterly homeowner vacancy and homeownership report from Census pretty lackluster, but the latest one released this morning was anything but.
Strawberry Mill Valley

America's home ownership rate, after holding steady for a while, took a pretty big plunge in Q4, from 66.9 percent to 66.5 percent. That's down from the 2004 peak of 69.2 percent and the lowest level since 1998.

Homeownership is falling at an alarming pace, despite the fact that home prices have fallen, affordability is much improved and inventories of new and existing homes are still running quite high.

Bargains abound, but few are interested or eligible to take advantage.

More concerning than the home ownership rate is the vacancy rate. The Census tables don't tell the entire story, but they tell a lot of it. Of the nearly 131 million housing units in this country, 112.5 million are occupied. 74.8 million are owned, and that's only dropped by about 30 thousand in the past year. 38 million are rented, but that's up by over a million year over year. That means more new households are choosing to rent.

Now to vacancies. There were 18.4 million vacant homes in the U.S. in Q4 '10 (11 percent of all housing units vacant all year round), which is actually an improvement of 427,000 from a year ago, but not for the reasons you'd think.

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Source @ CNBC
Alison - Cross Country

Why American News Networks Stink

David “Doc” Searls argues persuasively that “Al Jazeera in Egypt is cable’s ‘Sputnik moment’.”

The difference is that real news — huge stuff — is happening in Egypt, and if you want live news coverage in video form, Al Jazeera is your best choice. As Jeff [Jarvis] puts it, “Vital, world-changing news is occurring in the Middle East and no one — not the xenophobic or celebrity-obsessed or cut-to-the-bone American media — can bring the perspective, insight, and on-the-scene reporting Al Jazeera English can.”

And it’s very good. , “If you’re watching Al Jazeera, you’re seeing uninterrupted live video of the demonstrations, along with reporting from people actually on the scene, and not “analysis” from people in a studio. The cops were threatening to knock down the door of one of its reporters minutes ago. Fox has moved on to anchor babies. CNN reports that the ruling party building is on fire, but Al Jazeera is showing the fire live.”

 

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Source.

Personally, I want to marry this article and give our firstborn child to Al Jazeera.
Akuma River

The end of Mubarak - 2 million in Tahrir Square

Photobucket

These are the best places to find out what is going on in Egypt. Btw, Egypt is now 100% disconnected from the world as Noor group was disconnected Monday. Right now numerous Arabic tv stations are carrying Al-Jazeera Arabic on their sat signals. They are making sure that the world and Egypt sees this.

U.S. Interests in Egypt: A Proposed Statement of U.S. Policy <- January 31, 2011

Open letter to Obama signed by hundreds of US academics calling on him to end the life-support to Hosni Mubarak.

Pictures of Egypt Protests

Tools:
Google Docs list of missing people
Pirate Pad <- list of contacts, tools, first aid tips, items to spread
Telecomix <- Ham Radio, dial-up tools, etc
Telecomix <- How To Wiki to get online
Mashable <- Tips on how to use Tor, Proxies, and VPN
Google phone-in for twitter workaround

Google listed the following numbers for people to use the service: +16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855.



Live footage:
http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/
http://www.youtube.com/aljazeeraenglish <- Live
Al-Jazeera is still broadcasting. I guess you can consider them a pirate tv station now.
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I'm posting this because the Egypt live-posts have stopped and today is a major movement in Egyptian history.

I think we will witness Mubarak leaving Egypt either today or by Friday. The people are now camping in Tahrir Square and across Egypt in protest places and they refuse to leave until Mubarak leaves.

No one is working. The economy of Egypt has halted and will not be restarted until Mubarak leaves.

This is my contact list from my LJ, DW, and IJ. I update there when I find new information. But I'm mainly focused on inside information and live-posts not articles on the protests themselves. Thus this is more as-it-happens reporting then anything.

You can post any articles, pictures, video you wish in the comments.

Let's make this a bursting revolution live-post. Because the end of a dictatorship is nigh.

State Department Orders Departure of US Personnel From Egypt

Ordered Departure Declared for Egypt


Press Statement
Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 1, 2011


On February 1, the Department of State ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. Government personnel and their families from Egypt in light of recent events. The Department of State will continue to facilitate the evacuation of U.S. citizens who require assistance. Cairo airport is open and operating, but flights may be disrupted and transport to the airport may be disrupted due to the protests. U.S. citizens in Egypt who require assistance, or those who are concerned that their U.S. citizen loved one in Egypt may require assistance, should contact the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Cairo at: EgyptEmergencyUSC@state.gov, or at 1-202-501-4444. Please follow the directions on the Embassy website for all other consular inquiries.


-------

I am on track to be an FSO, so I have these sent to my inbox.

I just thought this would be interesting to post here. I think it's important to realize that although the US media might not be taking this seriously, the US government knows something big is happening.

And to everyone who might be in Egypt now, please stay safe.

Knight

EFF Reveals Widespread FBI Intelligence Violations

Patterns of Misconduct: FBI Intelligence Violations from 2001 - 2008

In a review of nearly 2,500 pages of documents released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a result of litigation under the Freedom of Information Act, EFF uncovered alarming trends in the Bureau’s intelligence investigation practices. The documents consist of reports made by the FBI to the Intelligence Oversight Board of violations committed during intelligence investigations from 2001 to 2008. The documents suggest that FBI intelligence investigations have compromised the civil liberties of American citizens far more frequently, and to a greater extent, than was previously assumed. In particular, EFF’s analysis provides new insight into:

Number of Violations Committed by the FBI

  • From 2001 to 2008, the FBI reported to the IOB approximately 800 violations of laws, Executive Orders, or other regulations governing intelligence investigations, although this number likely significantly under-represents the number of violations that actually occurred.
  • From 2001 to 2008, the FBI investigated, at minimum, 7000 potential violations of laws, Executive Orders, or other regulations governing intelligence investigations.
  • Based on the proportion of violations reported to the IOB and the FBI’s own statements regarding the number of NSL violations that occurred, the actual number of violations that may have occurred from 2001 to 2008 could approach 40,000 possible violations of law, Executive Order, or other regulations governing intelligence investigations.

Substantial Delays in the Intelligence Oversight Process

  • From 2001 to 2008, both FBI and IOB oversight of intelligence activities was delayed and likely ineffectual; on average, 2.5 years elapsed between a violation’s occurrence and its eventual reporting to the IOB.

Type and Frequency of FBI Intelligence Violations

  • From 2001 to 2008, of the nearly 800 violations reported to the IOB:
    • over one-third involved FBI violation of rules governing internal oversight of intelligence investigations.
    • nearly one-third involved FBI abuse, misuse, or careless use of the Bureau’s National Security Letter authority.
    • almost one-fifth involved an FBI violation of the Constitution, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or other laws governing criminal investigations or intelligence gathering activities.
  • From 2001 to 2008, in nearly half of all NSL violations, third-parties to whom NSLs were issued — phone companies, internet service providers, financial institutions, and credit agencies —contributed in some way to the FBI’s unauthorized receipt of personal information.
  • From 2001 to 2008, the FBI engaged in a number of flagrant legal violations, including:
    • submitting false or inaccurate declarations to courts.
    • using improper evidence to obtain federal grand jury subpoenas.
    • accessing password protected documents without a warrant.

Source has the details.

I've only posted the executive summary, the whole article is much longer and worth reading.

Edison&#39;s Light by ParkeHarrison

Internet Kill Switch back on the table

Internet ‘Kill Switch’ Legislation Back in Play
The resurgence of the so-called “kill switch” legislation came the same day Egyptians faced an internet blackout designed to counter massive demonstrations in that country.

The bill, which has bipartisan support, is being floated by Sen. Susan Collins, the Republican ranking member on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The proposed legislation, which Collins said would not give the president the same power Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak is exercising to quell dissent, sailed through the Homeland Security Committee in December but expired with the new Congress weeks later.

The bill is designed to protect against “significant” cyber threats before they cause damage, Collins said.

“My legislation would provide a mechanism for the government to work with the private sector in the event of a true cyber emergency,” Collins said in an e-mail Friday. “It would give our nation the best tools available to swiftly respond to a significant threat.”

The timing of when the legislation would be re-introduced was not immediately clear, as kinks to it are being worked out.

An aide to the Homeland Security committee described the bill as one that does not mandate the shuttering of the entire internet. Instead, it would authorize the president to demand turning off access to so-called “critical infrastructure” where necessary.

An example, the aide said, would require infrastructure connected to “the system that controls the floodgates to the Hoover dam” to cut its connection to the net if the government detected an imminent cyber attack.

What’s unclear, however, is how the government would have any idea when a cyber attack was imminent or why the operator wouldn’t shutter itself if it detected a looming attack.

About two dozen groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Library Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Center for Democracy & Technology, were skeptical enough to file an open letter opposing the idea. They are concerned that the measure, if it became law, might be used to censor the internet.

“It is imperative that cyber-security legislation not erode our rights,” (.pdf) the groups wrote last year to Congress.

A congressional white paper (.pdf) [hosted at wired.com --op] on the measure said the proposal prohibits the government from targeting websites for censorship “based solely on activities protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

Oddly, that’s exactly the same language in the Patriot Act used to test whether the government can wiretap or investigate a person based on their political beliefs or statements.

Source.

YOU GUYS I totally believe it would never be used to censor websites! brb buying a bridge in Brooklyn.
why do you hate us so much?
  • chaya

Jordan's King Abdullah appoints new prime minister as Egypt unrest spreads

New Jordanian prime minister Marouf Bakhit to preside over 'real political reform', says royal palace
Ian Black, Middle East editor



Jordan's prime minister has been replaced as the political shockwaves from Egypt continue to reverberate across the Arab world. King Abdullah asked Marouf Bakhit to form a new government following the resignation of Samir al-Rifai after weeks of protests by Jordanians calling on him to step down.

Bakhit was asked to take "practical, swift and tangible steps to launch a real political reform process, in line with the king's vision of comprehensive reform, modernisation and development", said a statement from the royal palace.

But the opposition Islamic Action Front quickly attacked the appointment as "inappropriate", blaming Bakhit for presiding over corruption, electoral fraud and mismanagement during what spokesman Zaki Bani Rashid described as the "bitter experience" of Bakhit's first term in an interview with the Ammanet website.

Abdullah has dismissed prime ministers in the past but the background of protests at home and the intense focus on Egypt gives added significance to this move, which was immediately seen as an extension of spreading regional unrest.

Bakhit, prime minister from 2005 to 2007, also served in the sensitive posts of national security chief and Jordan's ambassador in Israel. As a member of the al-Abbadi tribe, he is considered a loyal member of the country's East Bank elite.

Demonstrators had demanded Rifai's departure in demonstrations that began after last Friday's prayers in Amman's main mosques and were given added impetus by the dramatic events in Cairo.

The recent unrest in Jordan was inspired by the Tunisian uprising, and focused on anger about poverty and the well-heeled Rifai's apparent inability to offer relief. Protests over poverty, inflation, unemployment, corruption and a lack of democracy have been going on for weeks.

The prime minister became a lightning rod for discontent, though he recently found $550m in subsidies for fuel and staples such as sugar, rice and gas. The package included pay rises for civil servants and security personnel.

The Islamic Action Front, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, is now playing an active opposition role and has been calling for political reform, while still treading carefully. "There is no comparison between Egypt and Jordan," the IAF leader, Hamzeh Mansur, said yesterday. "The people there demand a regime change, but here we ask for political reforms and an elected government." Abdullah has promised reforms, particularly on an election law. But it is unlikely that he will surrender his right to appoint the prime minister and cabinet officials. Unemployment is officially around 14% in the country of 6 million people, 70% of them under 30. The minimum wage is $211 a month. Poverty levels are 25%, while the capital, Amman, is the most expensive city in the Arab world.

Many ordinary Jordanians are also vehemently opposed to the 1994 peace treaty with Israel, signed by the late King Hussein, and at the heart of the country's close alliance with the US, which was enhanced by the war in neighbouring Iraq.

Guardian Sauce.

Hadn't seen anything posted about this yet - hope this is alright as a standalone submission.

S.D. lawmakers try to make a point; do so badly

Bill would require all S.D. citizens to buy a gun
3:04 PM, Jan. 31, 2011 | 207 Comments

Written by
Jonathan Ellis, Argus Leader


Five South Dakota lawmakers have introduced legislation that would require any adult 21 or older to buy a firearm “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense.”

The bill, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2012, would give people six months to acquire a firearm after turning 21. The provision does not apply to people who are barred from owning a firearm.

Nor does the measure specify what type of firearm. Instead, residents would pick one “suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and preference.”

The measure is known as an act “to provide for an individual mandate to adult citizens to provide for the self defense of themselves and others.”

Rep. Hal Wick, R-Sioux Falls, is sponsoring the bill and knows it will be killed. But he said he is introducing it to prove a point that the federal health care reform mandate passed last year is unconstitutional.

“Do I or the other cosponsors believe that the State of South Dakota can require citizens to buy firearms? Of course not. But at the same time, we do not believe the federal government can order every citizen to buy health insurance,” he said.


Source
Ray spelled backwards is GOD

Reported cow milking controversy turns into machete attack in Fort Pierce

An apparent dispute over cow milking methodology in Fort Pierce escalated into a foot chase with a machete, sending a 61-year-old man to jail, according to recently released records.

Sylvester Byrd was arrested Sunday on an aggravated battery with a deadly weapon charge in connection with what could be considered an udderly unusual case.

The 36-year-old victim told Fort Pierce police he was talking with Byrd "about cows and other farm animals" in the backyard of an address in the 800 block of Texas Court when an argument began.

"He stated Byrd disputed with him over whether or not he'd actually had any cow milking experience," an arrest affidavit states.

Byrd, he said, "came after him" with a machete. The victim said he ran, but sustained a machete cut on his face.

Byrd, however, told police he and his girlfriend were in the backyard. He said the victim came over and started disrespecting his girlfriend. Byrd said they argued and the victim grabbed his arm.

"He said in self defense he clawed (the victim) across the face, scratching him with his nails," the affidavit states.

Byrd said that's when the machete came out. He said he got the weapon because the victim is larger than he is. He said he chased the victim and fell before putting up the machete and hoofing it to a friend's house. Byrd denied cutting the victim with the machete.

Byrd's 68-year-old girlfriend told police the victim and Byrd "were talking about farm animals and milking cows."

"She said Byrd stated how the cows were milked by their udders and (the victim) stated how they were milked by a machine," the affidavit states. "She advised she basically ignored their conversation, but due to this discrepancy an argument broke out between (the victim) and Byrd."

The girlfriend said Byrd got his machete after the apparent beef over cow milking and chased the victim. She told Byrd to put down the edged weapon and "deduced" the cut on the victim's face stemmed from the machete.

Byrd's girlfriend also said the victim wasn't disrespecting her.

NBC
normal

RNC to Preserve the Integrity of Ronald Reagan's Memory by Selling Miniature False Idols

Limited Time Offer: Holy Idol to be Personally Blessed by The Invisible Hand of The Free Market

RNC Hawking Reagan Gear To Pay Down Steele’s Debt


Under the mismanagement of former chairman Michael Steele, the Republican National Committee racked up a staggering $23 million debt thanks to lavish spending and poor fundraising. But new chairman Reince Priebus has a brilliant idea to save his ailing party: sell the Gipper. Capitalizing on the 100th anniversary of President Reagan’s birth, the RNC launched a website that looks like it was designed in the Great Communicator’s era, which offers red-blooded conservatives a chance to fork over $400 for a framed photo of Reagan’s inauguration, $25 for a Reagan bobble head, or $25 for some jelly beans. The website allows visitors to sign a birthday card for Reagan (no word on how it will be delivered) and suggests visitors may want to donate:
February 6, 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of President Reagan’s birth in Tampico, Illinois. Please take a moment to sign President Reagan’s 100th birthday card! After signing, please consider a contribution to the RNC to help the party elect conservative candidates committed to the ideals of President Reagan.
And as USA Today reports, “Priebus and the committee sent out a fundraising letter highlighting the new website, along with a pitch for suggested donations of $25, $50, $100 or more.” “Only with your generous support will the RNC have the resources to recruit and train the next generation of Reagan Republicans for the 2011-2012 elections,” the letter reads.
king rad

STUFF TO DO AT VT: 1) EAT 2) HELP THE BLIND DRIVE

Hokies give (tactile) sight to the blind so they can drive, no word on turning water into wine



Daytona International Speedway is synonymous with speed, auto racing, and . . . blind people? Virginia Tech's Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa), along with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), recently debuted its sight-optional and street-legal SUV at the famed racetrack.

Dr. Dennis Hong and his students first let blind folks drive a dune buggy without the help of a sighted copilot in 2009 -- as a first step to achieving the goal of a street-legal SUV for the sightless crowd. The SUV in question was designed for the NFB's Blind Driver Challenge, and is equipped with a drive-by-wire system -- also seen in the RoMeLa autonomous vehicle -- that was modified for use with RoMeLa's SpeedStrip and DriveGrip tactile interface technology. It works by using a laser rangefinder to map the surrounding area, relaying information for acceleration and braking to the driver by rumbling the SpeedStrip seat, and passing along turning info through vibrations in the DriveGrip gloves.

The system was not developed solely for the purpose of getting blind drivers on the road, however, as Virginia Tech suggests that its technology could also be used in gaming applications. We're not quite ready to see blind drivers on actual roads just yet, but why shouldn't our sight-impaired friends get to enjoy Gran Turismo 5 with the rest of us? Video's after the break.

Source has video of the vehicle in action
dah

GOP Hopeful Mike Huckabee Worried About “Cascading Effect” Of Democracy Across Middle East

Source:http://www.alan.com/2011/02/01/gop-hopeful-mike-huckabee-worried-about-cascading-effect-of-democracy-across-middle-east/

Former Arkansas governor and potential 2012 presidential contender Mike Huckabee seems alarmed that democracy might spread in the Middle East, based on what he said to FOX and Friends. Huckabee accused the Obama administration of abandoning Mubarak and turning on a friend.

[He] called in to Fox & Friends and discussed the situation in Egypt. He complained about the Obama administration’s response to the protests, saying that it showed that the United States has “abandoned a 30-year ally” and said that there are concerns that the protests “could have cascading effects across the Middle East.”

Bolt
  • newantt

Charlotte, N.C. to host 2012 Democratic Convention


Can North Carolina Deliver Again?

By JEFF ZELENY
Published: February 1, 2011


WASHINGTON — President Obama signaled Tuesday that he would try to follow the same path to re-election that he charted in his first campaign, selecting Charlotte, N.C., to host the 2012 Democratic convention in a decision that instantly confirmed the state as a new presidential battleground.

In choosing Charlotte, Mr. Obama rejected bids from Cleveland, Minneapolis and St. Louis. The selection was the White House’s first major strategic decision of the presidential race, and displayed the desire of Democrats to retain some of the states they carried in 2008 for the first time in a generation.

“We’re looking at an expanding map rather than shrinking back to husband our resources and play defense,” said Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. “We were very excited about winning North Carolina in 2008. Putting our convention there is a very serious sign that we intend to compete there again.”

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Source