Friday, October 31, 2003

Why the internet must regulate itself 

The Financial Times Limited - By KENNETH NEIL CUKIER

Imagine that every time you accidentally dialled a non-working phone number, you were bombarded with a telemarketing jingle. That is what unexpectedly began happening on the internet a few weeks ago with mistyped web addresses. But the rogue manoeuvre - by a company entrusted by the net's regulatory body to operate its addressing system - was more than an annoyance. It disrupted the stability of the internet and, in so doing, brought into sharp focus a gathering dispute between governments and the private sector over who enforces rules on the net.

The net's overseer is called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), which today concludes a week-long open board meeting in Tunisia. Based in the private sector, Icann oversees the technology that ensures that web addresses actually work. For now, the move to siphon off errant web traffic has been put on hold. But unless the deeper crisis over who controls the net is resolved through the self-regulatory mechanisms of the internet industry, the incident will provide an open door for governments to step in. That would be to no one's benefit.



Vote to tax our e-mail? Bill S. 150  

Will Chuck Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton vote to tax our e-mail?

Will the Empire State 's two United States senators, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, support tax freedom on the Internet and protect your e-mail from New York tax collectors? Will you have to pay a tax to log on to www.politicsny.com ? http://www.politicsny.com/

U.S. Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) is the sponsor of S. 150, a bill that would make the federal prohibition against state and local taxes on Internet access permanent and national in scope.

Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act - Congressional Budget Office


US develops lethal new viruses  

A scientist funded by the US government has deliberately created an extremely deadly form of mousepox, a relative of the smallpox virus, through genetic engineering.


Lethal Virus from 1918 Genetically Reconstructed
US Army scientists create "Spanish Flu" virus in laboratory - medical benefit questionable

(Austin and Hamburg, 9 October 2003) – The 'Spanish Flu' influenza virus that killed 20-40 million people in 1918 is currently under reconstruction. Several genes of the extraordinarily lethal 1918 flu virus have been isolated and introduced into contemporary flu strains. These proved to be lethal for mice, while virus constructs with genes from a current flu virus types had hardly any effect. These experiments may easily be abused for military purposes, but provide little benefit from a medical or public health point of view.


Global population trends

NEVER has the pressure on the world's resources been so great. Over the next 20 years, the global population is expected to grow by a quarter - that's an extra 1.5 billion mouths to feed. This at a time when, even though we grow enough to feed everyone, 800 million people are still malnourished.

Water is also under pressure as never before. Today, some 500 million people do not have enough water. By 2025, that number is expected to hit 2.5 billion.


Thursday, October 30, 2003

Chomsky: Bush may invent another 'threat' 

Thursday 30 October 2003, 14:33 Makka Time, 11:33 GMT

Leading linguist and commentator Noam Chomsky has said President George Bush will have to "manufacture" another threat to American security to win re-election in 2004 after US failure in occupying Iraq.

"They have a card that they can play... terrify the population with some invented threat, and that is not very hard to do" Noam Chomsky


Published on Thursday, October 30, 2003 by Reuters
U.S. Dissident Says Bush Needs Fear for Reelection - by Anthony Boadle


Proposed Social Security deal with Mexico angers some lawmakers 

Sergio Bustos-News Journal correspondent-OCTOBER 29, 2003

WASHINGTON - Hundreds of millions of dollars in Social Security payments may someday be headed south of the border.

A Social Security Administration spokesman said U.S. and Mexican officials are continuing "informal discussions" about a potential agreement that would allow millions of Mexicans working here to collect U.S. Social Security benefits in Mexico.

The controversial proposal has riled Republican lawmakers. They worry that it could reward scores of undocumented Mexican immigrants with a U.S. pension, draining the country's Social Security trust fund at a time when its future solvency is in doubt.

"Talk about an incentive for illegal immigration," said GOP Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. "How many more would break the law to come to this country if promised U.S. government paychecks for life?"


A Willful Ignorance 

By Paul Krugman-New York Times- Tuesday 28 October 2003

Yet that moral punctiliousness is curiously selective. Last year the Bush administration, in return for a military base in Uzbekistan, gave $500 million to a government that, according to the State Department, uses torture "as a routine investigation technique," and whose president has killed opponents with boiling water. The moral clarity police were notably quiet.


Cheney's Hawks 'Hijacking Policy' 

By Ritt Goldstein - Sydney Morning Herald - Thursday 30 October 2003

A former Pentagon officer turned whistleblower says a group of hawks in the Bush Administration, including the Vice-President, Dick Cheney, is running a shadow foreign policy, contravening Washington's official line.

"What these people are doing now makes Iran-Contra [a Reagan administration national security scandal] look like amateur hour. . . it's worse than Iran-Contra, worse than what happened in Vietnam," said Karen Kwiatkowski, a former air force lieutenant-colonel.

"[President] George Bush isn't in control . . . the country's been hijacked," she said, describing how "key [governmental] areas of neoconservative concern were politically staffed".


Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Al-Qaida planned U.S. forest fires  

FBI memo described plot to set blazes in the West-October 27, 2003

As arson wildfires consumed nearly 200,000 acres in Southern California, destroying 850 homes and killing at least 13, the inevitable question arises: Who started the fires?

A June 25 FBI memo to United States law enforcement agencies revealed a senior al-Qaida detainee claimed to have developed a plan to start midsummer forest fires in the U.S.


A Powerful Solar Flare  

Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

Yesterday, our Sun produced one of the most powerful solar flares in recorded history. Seen across the electromagnetic spectrum, the Sun briefly became over 100 times brighter in X-rays than normal. Over the next few days, as energetic particles emitted from these regions strike the Earth, satellite communications might be affected and auroras might develop.


NYC crime 'at lowest since 1960s' 

"The safest big city in America keeps getting safer," Mr Bloomberg said.


But for who?


World Bank to back controversial Caspian pipeline  

Rob Evans and Owen Bowcott-Wednesday October 29, 2003

A controversial scheme led by the oil giant BP to build a huge, strategically important pipeline is about to win crucial backing, according to a leaked document. Despite widespread criticism, the World Bank is due to approve at a meeting tomorrow a $250m (£149m) loan to a consortium to build a pipeline from Baku in Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea to the Turkish port of Ceyhan via Georgia.


Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Bill Moyers Interviews Union Theological Seminary's Joseph Hough  

Broadcast on Friday, October 24, 2003 by NOW with Bill Moyers

Bill Moyers talks to Joseph C. Hough on the intersection of politics and religion, and why he thinks it is the duty of Christians, Jews and Muslims to join to fight growing economic inequality, why he’s critical of how some political pundits are using Christianity to justify their actions, and why he suspects that the time for a non-destructive, civil disobedience may be near.

HOUGH: The growing gap between the rich and the poor which has become almost obscene by anybody's standards, and the stated intentional policy of bankrupting the government so that in the future there'll be no money for anything the federal government would decide to do.

Full Transcript:



The Perfect Fire 

By Mike Davis

It may be the fire of the century in Southern California. By brunch on Sunday eight separate fires were raging out of control, and the two largest had merged into a single forty-mile-long red wall. The megalopolis's emergency resources have been stretched to the breaking point and California's National Guard reinforcements are 10,000 miles away in Iraq. Panic is creeping into the on-the-spot television reports from scores of chaotic fire scenes.


Maybe Governor Schwarzenegger will release Collateral Damage into Southern California theaters.

Description: After his family is killed by a terrorist act, a FIREFIGHTER goes in search of the one responsible.


Monday, October 27, 2003

The Loss of Liberty – Why Did the U.S. Allow Israel To Attack Its Largest Spyship Killing 34 Americans  

Monday, October 27th, 2003

The USS Liberty was an electronic intelligence-gathering ship that was cruising international waters off the Egyptian coast on June 8, 1967. Israeli planes and torpedo boats opened fire on the Liberty in the midst of what became known as the Israeli-Arab Six-Day War. 34 Americans were killed and more than 170 were wounded in the attack.
Israel and its supporters have long maintained that the attack was a "tragic case of misidentification," an explanation that Lyndon Johnson’s administration did not formally challenge. Israel claimed its forces thought the ship was an Egyptian vessel and apologized to the United States.

After the attack, a Navy court of inquiry concluded there was insufficient information to make a judgment about why Israel attacked the ship, stopping short of assigning blame or determining whether it was an accident.

Listen to the Show:

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Big Bucks in Iraq 

By Tim Shorrock- The Nation-From the Monday 10 November 2003 issue

When ideology drives policy, as it does in Iraq, pragmatism is swept aside and generals and bureaucrats hop to the beat of the Commander in Chief. If Bush truly wants to transform Iraq's economy into what his aides describe as a beacon of free enterprise for the Middle East, his good soldiers will go along. Unfortunately, the outcome is likely to be more bloodshed, more chaos and more deals for American companies like Motorola.


Bush DEFIED! over Cuba  

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Saturday October 25, 2003
The Guardian

The White House was on a collision course with some of the most influential figures in the Republican party after the Senate voted to ease a 40-year ban on Americans travelling to Cuba. The Senate voted 59-38 on Thursday night to ease the travel ban two weeks after the US president, George Bush, announced he was stepping up pressure on Fidel Castro, Cuba's president, by tightening restrictions on Americans on visiting and spending money on the island.


The Skycar  

Moller International has developed the first and only feasible, personally affordable, personal vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicle the world has ever seen.

Can any automobile give you this scenario? From your garage to your destination, the M400 Skycar can cruise comfortably at 350+ MPH and achieve up to 28 miles per gallon. No traffic, no red lights, no speeding tickets. Just quiet direct transportation from point A to point B in a fraction of the time. Three dimensional mobility in place of two dimensional immobility.



Antiwar Protests In D.C., San Fran 

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2003

(CBS/AP) To chants of "Impeach Bush," thousands of anti-war protesters rallied in the nation's capital Saturday and delivered a scathing critique of President Bush and his Iraq policy.

"You have butchered the truth, George Bush" Michael McPhearson, a veteran of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, at the Washington rally.


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