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RIAA wants the Internet shut down: Interesting argument of the day ONE OF THE lawyers involved in defending cases bought against people by the RIAA claims that if the music industry wins a crucial case, the Internet will have to be switched off.
Speaking on the DefectiveByDesign anti-DRM campaign site, Ray Beckerman said the case of Electro vs. Barker has become very important for the web's future.
Barker was being defended by Beckerman who made a motion to dismiss the case because the RIAA had forgot to provide any acts or dates or times of copyright infringement as the law normally requires. (The Inquirer)
Former President Bush Blames ĎBloggersí for ĎUglyí Political Climate Last night on Fox News, former President George H.W. Bush said the current political climate has ďgotten so adversarial that itís ugly.Ē Asked to offer an explanation for why there is this ďincivility,Ē Bush pinned the blame on bloggers. ďItís probably a little worse now given electronic media and the bloggers and all these kinds of things,Ē he said. Watch it: (Think Progress)
Bayer Exposed, HIV contaminated vaccine sold overseas eg. Spain, France, Japan Bayer Sells AIDS-Infected Drug Banned in U.S. in Europe, Asia - Unearthed documents show that the drug company Bayer sold millions of dollars worth of an injectable blood-clotting medicine -- Factor VIII concentrate, intended for hemophiliacs -- to Asian, Latin American, and some European countries in the mid-1980s, although they knew that it was tainted with AIDS. Bayer knew about the fact that the drug was tainted and told the FDA to keep things under wraps while they made a profit off of a drug that infected its patients. If these allegations are true, then both Bayer and the FDA are at fault for this catastrophe. FDA regulators helped to keep the continued sales hidden, asking the company that the problem be ''quietly solved without alerting the Congress, the medical community and the public,'' (MSNBC)
The Meta-morphosis and the sabotage of Canada by our own government The North American continent is being transformed from three sovereign nations Canada, USA, Mexico) into one regional corporate power base, the North American Union. Unlike the creation of the European Union, there is no public political/ academic discourse on the merits, or pros and cons of a North American Union building up to a vote within each nation as to the wish of the people to join such a union. Instead the union is being created by stealth, is already well on its way to fruition, and is being imposed on us by our own elected representatives and government with no opposition.
The driving force is corporate. The Chief Executive Officers of the most powerful corporations operating in the three countries want this union and have been working for some time devising their strategies and goals. Their facilitators are first, unelected officials and bureaucrats who move easily between corporations and government; second, former elected officials like John Manley , former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada; third, the heads of the three nations, Martin, Bush, and Fox; and finally, the governments and the rest of the elected members who apparently just rubber stamp what is put in front of them by the unelected officials- few questions, if any asked.
The ultimate enforcement mechanism for the North American Union is a police state. (Canadian Action Party)
9/11 conspiracy theory A five-year-old story from our archive has been the subject of some recent editorial discussion here. The story, written in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, was about confusion at the time surrounding the names and identities of some of the hijackers. This confusion was widely reported and was also acknowledged by the FBI.
The story has been cited ever since by some as evidence that the 9/11 attacks were part of a US government conspiracy.
Screen grab of original website storyWe later reported on the list of hijackers, thereby superseding the earlier report. In the intervening years we have also reported in detail on the investigation into the attacks, the 9/11 commission and its report. - In an effort to make this clearer, we have made one small change to the original story. Under the FBI picture of Waleed al Shehri we have added the words "A man called Waleed Al Shehri..." to make it as clear as possible that there was confusion over the identity. The rest of the story remains as it was in the archive as a record of the situation at the time.
We recently asked the FBI for a statement, and this is, as things stand, the closest thing we have to a definitive view: The FBI is confident that it has positively identified the nineteen hijackers responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Also, the 9/11 investigation was thoroughly reviewed by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States and the House and Senate Joint Inquiry. Neither of these reviews ever raised the issue of doubt about the identity of the nineteen hijackers. (BBC)
China Forms a New Team to Regulate Internet Blogs The Ministry of Information Industry recently committed itself to a new mission in public censorship. It has charged the Internet Society of China with the task of establishing a team to study the administration of Internet blogs, according to a repor by 21st Century Economy News published on Thursday.
The team consists of representatives from thirteen major websites and five other experts on law and I.T. in China. Last week the team held a discussion on the potential regulation of blogs whereby users would be forced to register with their real names. The discussion also covered the issues of the real-name registration, bloggers rights and obligations, the registration of personal information, and the potential problems of real-name registration. They concluded with a potential timetable for carrying out the regulations.
An editor for the Qianlong News website (news.QianLong.com)'s blog channel was reported as saying that the netizens are probably required to register with their real name, I.D., and telephone number when they open a new blog account. The authorities have pushed to have the new regulations passed by claiming they protect people's rights and privacy. It was pointed out, however, that the actual details of the policy are still waiting for approval by the Ministry of Information Industry. (The Epoch Times)
More allegations from EPA whistleblower this past August, Cate Jenkins, an EPA biochemist, sent a letter to the New York congressional delegation, alleging that the inconsistent official reports about inhalant alkalinity were part of an intentional cover up by government scientists and officials (The Raw Story)
Emanuel's War Plan for Democrats: The Book of Rahm Last week in CounterPunch (1), I wrote that the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), Congressman Rahm Emanuel, had worked hard to guarantee that Democratic candidates in key toss-up House races were pro-war. In this he was largely successful, because of the money he commands and the celebrity politicians who reliably respond to his call, ensuring that 20 of the 22 Democratic candidates in these districts are pro-war. So the fix is in for the coming elections. -
"A New Strategy to Win the War on Terror"
("War on Terror," as George Soros points out, is a false metaphor used by those who would drag us into military adventures not in our interest or that of humanity.)
"We need to use all the roots of American power to make our country safe. (He begins by playing on fear.) America must lead the world's fight against the spread of evil and totalitarianism, but we must stop trying to win that battle on our own. (Messianic imperialism.) We should reform and strengthen multilateral institutions for the twenty-first century, not walk away from them. We need to fortify the military's "thin green line" around the world by adding to the U.S. Special Forces and the Marines, and by expanding the U.S. army by 100,000 more troops. (An even bigger military for the world's most powerful armed forces, a very militaristic view of the way to handle the conflicts among nations. What uses does Emanuel have in mind for those troops?) We should give our troops a new GI Bill to come home to. (More material incentives to induce the financially strapped to sign up as cannon fodder.) Finally we must protect our homeland and civil liberties by creating a new domestic counterterrorism force like Britain's MI5. (A new domestic spying operation is an obvious threat to our civil liberties; MI5 holds secret files on one in 160 adults in Britain along with files on 53,000 organizations.) - But in some respects, Emanuel is a mysterious fellow, as evidenced by his biography, which is readily available on Wikipedia and in the piece in Fortune (3). But there are a few things missing or not fully explained. First, as is often pointed out, Emanuel's physician father was an Israeli ťmigrť; but, according to Leon Hadar, he also worked during the 1940s with the notorious Irgun, which was labeled as a terrorist organization by the British authorities.(6) Perhaps Rahm's current interest in terrorism was first kindled at his father's Irgun knee.
Second, during the 1991 Gulf War, Emanuel was a civilian volunteer in Israel, "rust-proofing brakes on an army base in northern Israel." (Wikipedia, New Republic). This is peculiar on two counts. Here the U.S. goes to war with Iraq, but Emanuel, a U.S. citizen, volunteers not for his country, but for Israel. Moreover, here is a well-connected Illinois political figure with a father who had been in the Irgun, but he is assigned to "rust-proof brakes" on "an army base." Maybe.
Third, immediately upon his return from his desert sojourn, Emanuel at once became a major figure in the Clinton campaign "who wowed the team from the start, opening a spigot on needed campaign funds."(3) How did he do that after being isolated overseas, and with no experience in national politics? Fourth, after leaving the Clinton White House, he decided that he needed some accumulated wealth and "security" if he were to stay in politics. So he went to work for Bruce Wasserstein, a major Democratic donor and Wall Street financier. (Counter Punch)
Amateur 'video bloggers' under threat from EU broadcast rules THE Government is seeking to prevent an EU directive that could extend broadcasting regulations to the internet, hitting popular video-sharing websites such as YouTube.
The European Commission proposal would require websites and mobile phone services that feature video images to conform to standards laid down in Brussels.
Ministers fear that the directive would hit not only successful sites such as YouTube but also amateur ďvideo bloggersĒ who post material on their own sites. Personal websites would have to be licensed as a ďtelevision-like serviceĒ.
Viviane Reding, the Media Commissioner, argues that the purpose is simply to set minimum standards on areas such as advertising, hate speech and the protection of children.
But Shaun Woodward, the Broadcasting Minister, described the draft proposal as catastrophic. He said: ďSupposing you set up a website for your amateur rugby club, uploaded some images and added a link advertising your local sports shop. You would then be a supplier of moving images and need to be licensed and comply with the regulations.Ē
The draft rules, known as the Television Without Frontiers directive, extend the definition of broadcasting to cover services such as video-on-demand or mobile phone clips. (London Times)
Chertoff's 'Web of Terror' Disaffected people living in the United States may develop radical ideologies and potentially violent skills over the internet and that could present the next major U.S. security threat, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Monday.
"We now have a capability of someone to radicalize themselves over the internet," Chertoff said on the sidelines of a meeting of International Association of the Chiefs of Police.
"They can train themselves over the internet. They never have to necessarily go to the training camp or speak with anybody else and that diffusion of a combination of hatred and technical skills in things like bomb-making is a dangerous combination," Chertoff said. "Those are the kind of terrorists that we may not be able to detect with spies and satellites." (Reuters)
Raw obtains CENTCOM email to bloggers An email sent by United States Central Command (CENTCOM) to bloggers about the "global war on terror" (GWOT) has been obtained by RAW STORY.
CENTCOM announced earlier this year that a team of employees would be "[engaging] bloggers who are posting inaccurate or untrue information, as well as bloggers who are posting incomplete information." (The Raw Story)
Secret Summit on Shared 'Security': Why was North America's power elite invited to Banff? Stockwell Day may have been there, but his office isn't saying.
Donald Rumsfeld may have been there, too. But again, no one seems to want to talk about it.
Last month, a secret meeting called the North American Forum was held in Banff. The theme of the three-day event was "Continental Prosperity in the New Security Environment."
Dozens of powerful figures from across North America attended. Many of the delegates are rumoured to have arrived at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel by bus in the middle of the night.
It all sounds a bit like a conspiracy nut's black-helicopter fantasy, but the North American Forum is real and so was the meeting. (The Tyee)
New D.C. Sex Scandal Looming? Feds target escort service in money launder, prostitution probe With the capital already mired in its latest sex scandal, federal agents last week raided the home of a woman they allege has, for the past 13 years, operated a Washington, D.C. escort service that dispatched college-educated prostitutes to the homes and hotel rooms of well-heeled clients. A two-year probe by Internal Revenue Service and Unites States Postal Inspection Service agents has targeted the Pamela Martin & Associates escort service and its owner, Deborah Jeane Palfrey. In coordinated actions last week, agents searched the 50-year-old Palfrey's northern California home and froze nearly $500,000 in assorted bank and stock trading accounts. A copy of the seizure affidavit, sworn out by IRS Agent Troy Burrus and filed in U.S. District Court, can be found below. According to investigators, Palfrey charged clients about $300 per session and split the take with her stable of prostitutes, who were encouraged to 'work at least three nights a week.' Palfrey, who started Pamela Martin & Associates in 1993, was previously convicted of running a California prostitution business and served 18 months in prison (Palfrey is pictured in the above mug shot). In a TSG interview Monday, Palfrey admitted operating an escort firm, but claimed that her workers did not engage in 'illegal sexual activities.' There are 'a lot of erotic activities that one can do without participating in things that are illegal,' she claimed. (The Smoking Gun)
Let 'em have nukes. But... Editorials & Commentary, by Ted Koppel - A few days ago, I inadvertently violated U.S. economic sanctions against Iran. I was paying my hotel bill in Tehran, didn't have enough cash and asked if I could use a credit card.
"I'll need to keep your card for at least half an hour," said the clerk. Since he'd also "needed to keep" my passport for the first couple of days I was in Iran, I thought nothing more of it. Half an hour later, I had my hotel bill and my credit card and left for the airport. - If Iran is bound and determined to have nuclear weapons, let it.
The elimination of American opposition on this issue would open the way to genuine normalization between our two nations. It might even convince the Iranians that their country can flourish without nuclear weapons.
But this should also be made clear to Tehran: If a dirty bomb explodes in Milwaukee, or some other nuclear device detonates in Baltimore or Wichita, if Israel or Egypt or Saudi Arabia should fall victim to a nuclear "accident," Iran should understand that the U.S. government will not search around for the perpetrator. The return address will be predetermined, and it will be somewhere in Iran. (International Herald Tribune)
Woodward: Kissinger Advising Bush Henry Kissinger has been advising President Bush and Vice President Cheney about Iraq, telling them that "victory is the only meaningful exit strategy," author and journalist Bob Woodward said. (Washington Post)
Railroading injustice The compromise legislation, which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States (Los Angeles Times)
The dark horse: He's Tony Blair's Mr Fix-It, the self-professed hard man of Labour politics and a shameless self-publicist. Now, having put his years of drinking behind him, John Reid is a contender for the Labour leadership. But will he dare stand against his enemy Gordon Brown? Tom Bower investigates In 1991, John Reid's reputation appeared to be in tatters. Drunk one day in the House of Commons, he tried to force his way on to the floor to vote. When an attendant stepped forward to stop him, Reid threw a punch. What the MP for Motherwell North did not realise was that he had taken aim at a former SAS soldier. As bemused colleagues looked on, he was effortlessly wrestled to the ground. The humiliating spectacle proved what they all suspected: that Reid had a serious problem. He went slinking off to the Westminster bar to console himself and feed a drinking habit that many believed would eventually wreck his career in politics.
Fast forward 15 years and Reid has not only recovered from the alcoholism that threatened to ruin him, but is now touted as a key Blairite "Stop Gordon candidate" in the race for the new Labour leadership. As Home Office minister, this summer, he executed the most astonishing publicity coup against John Prescott, claiming much of the credit for the thwarted Heathrow bombings. It was not the first time that Reid, a shameless self-publicist (he is commonly referred to as minister for the Today programme), had eclipsed the deputy prime minister. Nine years earlier, the sound of Reid's voice on BBC radio's flagship show so incensed Prescott that he shouted at one of his civil servants, "Why the hell is he going on? It should be me."
Prescott's jealousy confirmed Reid's emerging importance as Tony Blair's Mr Fix-It. Equally important among Labour's clan, Reid's promotion signalled the final pardon for his conduct during what a friend calls "The Darkness" - his years of alcoholism. (London Guardian)
Overseas visits 8-18 June 2006, to Canada and the United States. I attended a Bilderberg Conference in Ottawa 8-11 June, for which my hotel bill and a contribution to the cost of my flights was paid by the Canadian sponsors of the Conference (UK Parliament)
Airport security hardly inspires confidence Ban on liquids almost laughable in terror age - And every time I'm forced to remove my shoes at an airport I gives thanks that the incompetent shoe bomber, Richard Reid, stashed his explosives in his sneakers and not his shorts. - Made by British-based defence technology company Qinetiq, a MWS X-ray machine was tested at the Orlando airport but, as far as we know, isn't being deployed at airports (yet). (Business Edge)
Bush ties to bin Laden haunt grim anniversary Interestingly, on Sept. 11, 2001, members of the Carlyle Group - including Bush senior, and his former secretary of state, James Baker - were meeting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C., along with Shafiq bin Laden, another one of Osama bin Laden's brothers (Denver Post)
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