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Comment Re:So Duqu also = CIA project? (Score 1) 89

U.S. involvement doesn't mean the CIA wrote the thing. United States Cyber Command (I know, it totally sounds like something out of a video game, but it really exists) includes branches of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. And there's one very good reason to think that the CIA wasn't involved in Stuxnet: Stuxnet actually worked. The CIA have a good track record when it comes to overthrowing third world governments... and kinda suck at everything else.

Comment Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (Score 1) 969

Perhaps if you could provide some direct evidence of their nuclear weapons aspiration. Perhaps I'm being a cynic but we heard the whole WMD line with Iraq and it was (at least in the UK) proven to be a complete fabrication.

And perhaps if you could try actually reading the news? Here's a report from the New York Times from November 8th:

United Nations weapons inspectors have amassed a trove of new evidence that they say makes a “credible” case that “Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device,” and that the project may still be under way. The long-awaited report, released by the International Atomic Energy Agency on Tuesday, represents the strongest judgment the agency has issued in its decade-long struggle to pierce the secrecy surrounding the Iranian program. Knowing that their findings would be compared with the flawed Iraq intelligence that preceded the 2003 invasion — and has complicated American moves on Iran — the inspectors devoted a section of the report to “credibility of information.” The information was from more than 10 countries and from independent sources, they said; some was backed up by interviews with foreigners who had helped Iran.

Keep in mind, the U.N. weapons inspectors are the same guys who- under Hans Blix- said that there was no evidence that Iraq had any WMD. They made the right call on Iraq despite tremendous outside pressure, and now these same guys who were cautious on Iraq are saying that Iran has started a nuclear bomb program.

Comment Re:Already prepared (Score 0) 233

Visit the lovely little pueblo of Chixculub in the Yucatan peninsula. That's where the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago hit. The crater itself isn't visible, it's deep underground. However, there's a ring of sinkholes about 100 miles in diameter that trace the rim of the buried impact crater. It wasn't quite The End of the World, but it was about as close as you can come- the impact sent massive tsunamis as far away as Texas and Haiti, and launched enough dust into the air that the sky was dark for months, and sulphates vaporized from the impact rock would have dimmed the sun for years afterwards. As far as we know, nothing larger than a cat survived on land.

Comment Re:"Donations" to Charities (Score 4, Insightful) 141

Anonymous is nothing more than a bunch of irresponsible children. What the fuck is up with targeting Stratfor? It's not some shadowy clandestine service, it's just a think tank formed by a former politics professor that does analysis. Now, I suppose if your entire worldview is informed by children's cartoons and Hollywood blockbuster movies, that's enough to make them the "baddies" and you the "goodies", but the world doesn't really work that way. Let me explain this to you Anonymous children in terms you can understand: if Batman is walking down the street and sees a guy with a strange costume, he doesn't just beat the shit out of the guy. He goes back to the Batcave, and does his homework, and does some sleuthing, and only after he has figured out that the guy is, in fact, engaged in criminal behavior, *then* Batman beats the shit out of him. See, if you break the law to stop a criminal act, then you're a vigilante. Like Batman. But if you break the law and attack people when you don't have any evidence that they are engaged in criminal activity... then you're not Batman. You're just a fucking criminal.

Comment Re:How do you determine healthy food? (Score 5, Interesting) 455

This is 1.5 hours long, but this man speaks the truth: sugar (fast carbs) is poison.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

The rest of this is addressed to anyone interested enough to read it:

I can also attest to the massive changes in my health after eliminating simple carbs and going for complex carbs (meaning more fiber as well) in my diet in 2003. Weight loss wasn't even a goal as I didn't even think I was near the upper end of "healthy" for my size at the time (6' and 185 lbs. at that time. I have been consistently 155 since developing a new relationship with food). The changes I made were to combat reflux. That worked. No purple pill or surgery for me and the reflux is gone.

A lot of the illnesses in western culture are clearly linked to the western diet (read Michael Pollan's book An Eater's Manifesto). The western diet is far too focused on simple/fast carbs. I believe this is largely a self feeding addiction (I believed that long before seeing the video linked above but it's nice to have a doctor confirm this). The hardest part of changing how you eat is making it to the point where your sense of taste very literally changes.

Believe it or not, if you eat the standard American diet, it's likely that your taste buds lack much sensitivity. I would not have believed it if I didn't experience it myself. Eating all of those heavily processed foods with artificial flavors that beat the hell out of your taste buds is akin to staring at a bright light for hours and then going into a darkened gallery with the most beautiful art... that you cannot see until your eyes readjust. Same thing with food. Processed and artificially flavored food is like the bright light. You aren't really tasting real food when you encounter it. That's why many of the healthier choices "lack flavor" or even "taste bad". Try going for a month without eating anything but fruits, vegetables, and high quality cuts of meat and poultry, but being heavy on the vegetables. Also avoid all sugared drinks. Just drink water or tea. I guarantee that you'll open up a whole new world of flavors and what you used to think tasted great, will be too intense.

Comment Re:No. (Score 2) 162

But the Iowa caucus will say they did if Ron Paul ends up winning.

So in other words, you're saying that the idea of Ron Paul winning isn't just improbable, it's not even remotely believable? Personally, I find that reassuring. Libertarianism is basically a sociopathic belief system; it takes fundamentally sociopathic qualities such as lack of concern for other human beings and excessive regard for the self and then extols them as virtues. If you want to believe you don't have any responsibility to society, that you're better than everyone else, and that everyone is just a parasite holding you back... fine, you have the right to do that. But don't expect us to vote for you. And don't bitch and whine when we don't. Libertarianism is all about people acting in their own self-interest, right? Well, maybe people look at Libertarian candidates and say, "it is not in my self interest to vote for this guy."

Comment Re:Clueless (Score 1) 164

From TFA: > The gear shipped to Iran, called NetEnforcer, can inspect pieces of data moving over a network. It can be used to eliminate spam or help network > operators prioritize or block certain types of traffic.

It's not even funny -- it's not "spyware", it's just a traffic sniffer. Admittedly, they break the israeli law that prohibits trading with Iran, but it's hardly a threat to national security.

The issue isn't that this is a direct threat to Israeli security, the issue is that this technology is used by the Iranian government to monitor the internet use of Iranian citizens. It's part of the infrastructure of repression that keeps the Iranian regime in power and allows them to crack down on dissent.

One thing that is rather surprising is that Iran would buy Israeli technology. The Israelis are pretty formidable when it comes to cyberwarfare- they are thought to have helped develop Stuxnet and were actually able to hack into Syrian air defense so that the Israeli planes didn't show up onscreen when they went to bomb the Syrian nuclear site. If you're an Iranian buying Israeli tech to spy on people, I think you would have to ask yourself who that tech is really spying on.

Comment Re:This is where I worry. (Score 4, Informative) 356

The flip side of that ... is that choosing not to work for Satan means having a lot less to fear from would-be exorcists. Since some of you have severe reading comprehension problems, and love to project your personal interpretation onto whatever you read, I'll spell this out for you: nowhere did I say it's perfectly OK that underlings may catch some of the fallout for decisions made by the higher-ups. What I am saying is that if they were more careful about choosing their employer they wouldn't have these concerns. When you choose to become part of something, you're part of it, for better or worse. The evil organizations of the world never seem to have a problem finding those who will join ranks with them. Ever notice that and wonder if that's the real problem?

I have a hard time seeing what makes Stratfor "evil". The name "Stratfor" definitely has a kind of evil overlord sound to it, but the reality is that they're a sort of boring organization. "Stratfor" means "Strategic Forecasting", which is a fancy way of saying "news analysis". They aren't doing cloak-and-dagger missions like the CIA, and they aren't doing electronic eavesdropping like the NSA, they are mostly just looking at the news reports and the economic data and trying to figure out what it all means. They try to make sure the government knows what's going on... which is important. A lot of the bad stuff in the world- 9/11 and the War on Terror, the invasion of Iraq- happens because the people in power don't really have an accurate picture what the fuck is going on, and make stupid decisions.

Hell, look up the bio of Stratfor CEO George Friedman on Wikipedia. So who is this dude? He's not some ex-CIA spook with years of overseas experience. He's got a PhD in government and spent twenty years teaching political science. We're not talking about a stone-cold assassin who trekked through the Central American jungle to assassinate a revolutionary with Marxist tendencies. We are talking about a guy who spent two decades preparing lectures for stoned undergrads, writing books, grading papers, and dutifully showing up for really boring departmental meetings. He probably got tired of academia, had a midlife crisis, and thought intelligence analysis would be more fun. This is not a guy who would strangle you in your sleep with a length of piano wire, although he could probably bore you to death with a discussion of the strategic implications of rising crude oil prices.

If you want to fight "evil", fine. Good luck with that. But maybe you should first get a clue and spend at least fifteen minutes on Wikipedia reading about what these supposedly "evil" organizations actually do before taking a deeply held political stand. Otherwise your'e just acting out of ignorance... and ignorant people probably do just as much damage in the world as evil people do.

Comment Re:Well good to know (Score 3, Insightful) 356

White knighting the corporate world isn't going to get you very far these days. Many of their crimes are known and public opinion is against them.

You seem to feel that the Anonymous attacks against Stratfor are justified. So I have a question for you. Can you even tell us what exactly Stratfor is and just what it is that they do- without looking it up on Google or Wikipedia?

Submission + - Western Companies Helping Repressive Regimes Spy o (npr.org)

flyingsquid writes: New technologies such as email, the internet, and texting have proven a powerful tool for protesters trying to organize against corrupt and repressive regimes in the Middle East. But regimes are fighting back with sophisticated surveillance technology that allows them to spy on their citizens, according to an NPR interviewhttp://www.npr.org/2011/12/14/143639670/the-technology-helping-repressive-regimes-spy with journalist Ben Elgin, who has been reporting on this development for Bloomburghttp://topics.bloomberg.com/wired-for-repression/. "Brandishing transcripts of personal communications and records of whereabouts, officials now routinely use such information to confront, arrest and torture dissidents," reports Elgin. Where does this technology come from? From western companies. The Syrian regime's electronic surveillance infrastructure, for instance, is put together by the Italian company Area SpA, using technology from Paris-based Qosmos SA, German company Utimaco Safeware and California-based (NTAP) http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-03/syria-crackdown-gets-italy-firm-s-aid-with-u-s-europe-spy-gear.html. The companies claim they have no idea how brutal regimes have ended up using their technology to spy on and interrogate people.

Comment Re:Really? That's Investigate Journalism? (Score 4, Interesting) 39

I'm not saying you are wrong with this information, what I'm saying is that the NY Times wouldn't run this story unless they did due diligence to be completely sure they are 100% right because they are held to journalistic standards. As a blogger or armchair Wikileaks reader, you have nothing to lose by publishing this under your pseudo-name online. "Oh, maybe I'll try my hand at investigative journalism today." But let's face it, you get this wrong and you lose nothing. A journalist gets this wrong and they should lose their job and be blacklisted. And that's how news sources work.

Just like the New York Times did their homework before running those stories saying that Iraq had WMDs... we all remember how well that one worked out, don't we? That's arguably the single biggest journalistic cock-up in the past twenty years. Judith Miller got too close to her White House sources and repeated their "evidence" without doing her homework and checking the facts. When we most needed the Times to be on top of things- to provide a objective check on the White House's arguments for invading Iraq- they ended up parroting the White House's propaganda and helped persuade the nation to send our army into the biggest military disaster since Vietnam.

As far as what this guy has done reporting on the situation in Kazakhstan, he's gone through Wikileaks and reported what diplomats are saying in these cables... how, precisely, does this differ from what the Times and other news information outlets were doing with the Wikileaks cables? Were they calling up and diplomats and saying, "excuse me, I'd like to fact check something... did you or did you not say that Russian prime minister Medvedev was 'Robin to Putin's Batman?'" As far as I know, they just read through the cables and reported what was written there.

Comment Re:10 ways - all local (Score 1) 570

That is not how poverty is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Poverty is defined in terms of income, not in terms of nutrition, housing, or health. See: http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/08poverty.shtml. And the research suggests that many of the people defined by the U.S. government as living in poverty are actually reasonably well-off in material terms: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2011/09/how_rich_are_poor_people.html. Poverty is relative. That's not to say that poor people aren't struggling in the U.S. or that we shouldn't help them. But the reality is that what we consider poverty in the United States is a life of luxury compared to what you'll see in many places in the Third World. When's the last time you saw a child in the United States with a belly distended from malnutrition? Have you ever seen that? If you go to Africa, you will. I've seen it. That's real poverty. In fact, one of the biggest problems with nutrition among the poor in the United States is obesity.

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