September 18th, 2012

donk... donk... donk...

Researcher invents weapons of waste destruction

Aleksandr Georgievich Semenov patented an efficiently disgusting weapon system. Using his method, soldiers inside an armoured tank, under battle conditions, can dispose of their biological waste products in an unwasteful way: encasing those materials, together with explosives, in artillery shells that they then fire at the enemy.

Semenov, residing in St Petersburg, can and does brag of having Russian patent #2399858, granted in 2009, officially titled Method of Biowaste Removal From Isolated Dwelling Compartment of Military Facility And Device or Its Implementation.

As patents go, it's of modest length: 12 pages, with only two technical drawings. The original document is mostly in Russian. The prolific inventor (he has about 200 other patents), sent me a full translation into English.

Figure 2 seems, at a glance, unremarkable: a cutaway side view of an artillery shell in its cartridge, tipped with a screw-in "nose cone". There's a large charge to (in Semenov's description) "burst" the shell, and a small charge to trigger that burst. The shell itself contains – indeed is mostly – a compartment for the payload.

Figure 1 is larger and more complex, showing the entire tank in cutaway side view. A single crewman perches inside. Beneath him, an empty shell collects the waste that emerges from his anus.

Here's how the patent describes the scene, with numbers referring to specific items in the drawing:

"A military man (3) puts the wastes (8) into the capacity (7) directly (fig.1) or in two steps. After it's complete or, if it is necessary, incomplete filling the capacity is tightly sealed by the cover."

The key action is in one sentence: "The gun charged with special projectile is targeted on a safety zone or on any enemy target which is worth for catching it."

As the projectile leaves the tank, it removes what would eventually have become a source of stinking misery for the poor soldiers who, in combat, could be forced to remain sealed inside their vehicle for several days.

That misery transfers directly, forcefully away through the air, smacking into and dabbing onto the enemy.

This method of warfare aims to kill the enemy's spirit and psyche. The patent conveys this fact in spirited, if not belletristic, language:

"Except damaging factors, significance of which is secondary in this case, the military psychological positive effect takes place: comprehension of the facts of 'delivering' and distribution on enemy territory (on equipment and uniform of an enemy) by the staff as well as the opportunity of informing other soldiers and the enemy about it. As a result, in addition to the basic purpose reaching (full wastes removal) additional military-psychological and military-political effects are achieved."

The Guardian
  • yeats

SECRET VIDEO: On Israel, Romney Trashes Two-State Solution

At the private fundraiser held May 17 where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney candidly spoke about political strategy—noting that he saw half of the American electorate as freeloaders and "victims" who do not believe in personal responsibility—he discussed various foreign policy positions, sharing views that he does not express in public, including his belief that peace in the Middle East is not possible and a Palestinian state is not feasible.

Mother Jones has obtained video of Romney at this intimate dinner and has confirmed its authenticity. The event was held at the home of controversial private equity manager Marc Leder in Boca Raton, Florida, with tickets costing $50,000 a plate. During the freewheeling conversation, a donor asked Romney how the "Palestinian problem" can be solved. Romney immediately launched into a detailed reply, asserting that the Palestinians have "no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish."

Romney spoke of "the Palestinians" as a united bloc of one mindset, and he said: "I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there's just no way."

Romney was indicating he did not believe in the peace process and, as president, would aim to postpone significant action: "[S]o what you do is, you say, you move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem…and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it."

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more from the mother jones secret videos
Pop ~ Monáe Forest
  • mzflux

"I just got out of jail. Was arrested despite screaming over and over that I'm a journalist."

More Than 180 Arrested on Occupy Wall Street's First Anniversary

The Nation
September 18, 2012 - 10:35 AM ET

In the early morning hours Monday, Occupy Wall Street activists marked the first anniversary of the movement by protesting in the financial district. Hundreds gathered on Water Street and hundreds more in Zuccotti Park, the birth place of the movement, before marching through lower Manhattan, occasionally pausing to occupy intersections and protest financial institutions like Chase and Bank of America.

It was one of the largest turnouts since the early days of Occupy, but Monday was also exceptional because of the high arrest figures. More than 180 individuals, including journalists, were arrested, and in at least some of these cases, the police were arresting individuals arbitrarily and without cause.

Protesters reported, and I witnessed firsthand, police dragging individuals off of sidewalks (previously considered the "safe space" of activists who don't wish to participate in direct action and go to jail) into the street where they were then arrested. When press attempted to rush forth to photograph these arrests, the police formed a wall and aggressively shoved back journalists, making it difficult to document the actions.

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To say "Occupy is dead" is to misunderstand everything about the movement. Occupy can't die as long as the dire conditions that inspired the creation of the movement continue to exist. In speaking with protesters, one can easily see all of their grievances are still real and present. One protester summarized the current state of Occupy nicely as he carried a sign around Zuccotti that read: "Nothing has changed."

Students are still buried under loan debt. People are still losing their homes. People still can't afford health care, and they still can't survive on minimum wage jobs.

And protesters are quick to point out that it's only been a year, and the timeline of any social justice movement is long. Perhaps "Occupy" will evolve into a different kind of movement under an entirely different banner, but the spirit that first served as a catalyst lives on.

No revolutionary force is without ebb and flows -- that is without question—but it's been interesting to watch the establishment media rush to slap a bow on the "Occupy story" and force a "The End" onto the movement. There is a borderline obsession in the media with numbers, as though there's a direct correlation between protester turnout and the "seriousness" of a protest—as though small groups of highly dedicated individuals haven't inspired real, lasting change in the past.

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Illustrator Molly Crabapple was one of the many journalists arrested at yesterday's protests. Check out her coverage of the event, in drawings.

Mario - Peach & Daisy MKDD

The Romneys on Live! With Kelly & Michael

Mitt Romney reveals he likes Snooki in 'Live! With Kelly and Michael' interview

Romney held hands with his wife, Ann, during a lighthearted interview that delved into topics rarely found on the Sunday talkshow circuit and gave the Republican nominee a chance to show his knowledge of pop culture. Like whether he knew much about MTV's "Jersey Shore" star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi.

"I'm kind of a Snooki fan," Romney confessed. "Look how tiny's she's gotten. She's lost weight. She's energetic. Just her spark-plug personality is kind of fun."

And what exactly, does the Republican presidential hopeful wear to bed?

"Really? Really?" Romney said during an interview taped Friday on ABC's "Live! With Kelly and Michael." ''I think the best answer is as little as possible."

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Video from the interview:

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Every Women’s Refuge in the UK Could Close Due to Universal Credit

A toxic combination of Universal Credit and benefit caps could lead to every single women’s refuge is the UK closing their doors warned the charity Women’s Aid this week.

Critics have also warned that the new benefits system, which will see all benefit paid to just one member of a family, could leave people trapped in abusive relationships with no hope of escape.

Many homelessness hostels and night-shelters will also be affected by the benefit cap, although shockingly it will be those with children who are at greatest risk.

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A briefing report on the impact of Welfare Reform produced by Women’s Aid can be downloaded at: (PDF)

Shirley Animated

Mitt Romney, man of constant sorrow

Mitt Romney has become the 2012 election’s man of constant sorrow.

Since the beginning of the summer, the GOP presidential nominee has suffered from a seemingly endless stream of missteps and distractions, ranging from personal screw-ups to staffing flubs, to the supernatural hindrance of a hurricane during the Republican National Convention.

A video published Monday evening by the liberal magazine Mother Jones, showing Romney disparaging Obama supporters in a private fundraiser as people who consider themselves “victims” and “entitled” to government handouts, is only the latest unwanted disruption.

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Sauce is Politico.

Just a good summary of all of the all the fuckups. I've got to admit, I am completely addicted to coverage of this election and the disintegration of the Romney campaign is fascinating.

George Takei, the Best Driver in the Galaxy

The man who played Mr. Sulu on "Star Trek" talks about stereotypes, William Shatner's gaydar fail, and his new musical on the Japanese internment.

Back in the 1960s, when actor George Takei landed the part of Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek, he knew how lucky he was. Sulu defied the two-dimensional stereotypes that infused most of the roles then available to Asian American actors, and Takei knew from experience how insidious those stereotypes could be. He has clear childhood memories of men with guns arriving at his Los Angeles home post-Pearl Harbor to haul the family away—first to a horse track in Arcadia and later to a United States internment camp in Arkansas—and has since been active in efforts to remind people about what happened in America during that dreadful time. Takei, who is gay, also has been an outspoken champion of LGBT rights. His irresistible persona, and Star Trek's host of loyal fans, have contributed to Takei's huge online following, which the self-described "Queen of Meme" hopes will help him bring his latest endeavor—a musical about the Japanese internment opening September 19 at the Old Globe in San Diego—all the way to Broadway. I spoke with Takei about his theater obsession, Asian drivers, and William Shatner's gaydar fail.Collapse )


Mods, I couldn't figure out how to tag this. There is no tag for "Asian Americans" or "Japanese Americans," which is what I would have liked to use.

Romney: 'Middle-Income' Up To $250,000 Per Year

BOSTON (AP) — Mitt Romney is promising to reduce taxes on middle-income Americans.

But how does he define "middle-income"? The Republican presidential nominee defined it Friday as income of $200,000 to $250,000 a year and less.

The definition of "middle income" or the "middle class" is politically charged as Romney and President Barack Obama fight to win over working-class voters. Romney would be among the wealthiest presidents, if elected, and Democrats have repeatedly painted him as out of touch with average people.

Obama also has set his definition for "middle class" as families with income of up to $250,000 a year.

Romney's comments came an interview broadcast Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

"No one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is (to) keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers," Romney told host George Stephanopoulos.

"Is $100,000 middle income?" Stephanopoulos asked.

"No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less," Romney responded.

His campaign later clarified that Romney was referencing household income, not individual income.

The Census Bureau reported this week that the median household income — the midpoint for the nation — is just over $50,000.

Obama wants to extend Bush-era tax cuts for those making less than $250,000, while Romney wants to extend the tax cuts for everyone.

Romney has not explained how he would keep his plan from growing the nation's deficit.

How has this not been posted here yet? I feel like this explains why Romney is so out of touch. He literally lives in a make believe world.
Mods, sorry if this was submitted twice, my internet hates me.


“I’m Dreaming of a White President”: Randy Newman on His New Song

Today, Randy Newman weighs in on the racial subtext of our presidential politics, and, as you might expect from the writer of “Short People,” “Political Science” and “Rednecks,” he doesn’t hold back. His new song, “I’m Dreaming,” which you can hear below—and which is available as a free download—is sung in the voice of a narrator who’s not just unreliable but … well, here’s the refrain: “I’m dreaming of a white President / Just like the ones we’ve always had.” (In case we miss the reference to Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas, Newman throws in a der Bingle-esque “buh buh buh” toward the end of the number.)

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