Schneier removed from TSA oversight meeting at TSA request

On Friday, at the request of the TSA, I was removed from the witness list. The excuse was that I am involved in a lawsuit against the TSA, trying to get them to suspend their full-body scanner program. But it’s pretty clear that the TSA is afraid of public testimony on the topic, and especially of being challenged in front of Congress.

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Mexican Drug Gangs Kidnap Computer Hackers and Programmers

Mexican drug trafficking organizations are increasingly demonstrating a desire to make money from cyber-crime, attracted by the high profits and minimal risks, offered by such activities as fraud, theft, and piracy.

These gangs lack the needed technical know-how within their ranks, which means they would be desperate to recruit programmers with the expertise to break into the world of cyber-crime.

Recent claims that computer programmers are being forcibly recruited by Mexican drug gangs, if true, suggest that these groups are acquiring the ability to reap the potential profits of cyber-crime.

It has emerged that this computer and IT experts have been hacking into bank systems and program credit card fraud scams, among other activities, in order to acquire additional funds for the cartels, on top of what they already get from selling drugs.

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Exploding H-Bombs In Space: Operation Starfish Prime

It was hypothesized at the time, the radiation might provide a defensive shield above the U.S. against Soviet nukes, but aside from the light show, it ended up frying many of our satellites. The radiation took 10 years to dissipate, which made study of our natural radiation belts, the Van Allen belts, problematic during that period.

Wikipedia has a good article explaining the test and NPR has a good article and video about it from a few years ago:

Back in the summer of 1962, the U.S. blew up a hydrogen bomb in outer space, some 250 miles above the Pacific Ocean. It was a weapons test, but one that created a man-made light show that has never been equaled — and hopefully never will:

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What to Do When the Police Lie

John Dwyer writes at the Good Men Project:

The façade of the courthouse is made entirely of windows. The only entrance is a revolving door, of course, and everywhere you look is steel and glass.

Irony doesn’t exist, for legal reasons.

My brother is 45 minutes early for his court date. He tells me this will be a “discovery,” and we both have no clue what exactly this will entail. His lawyer is 5 minutes late and arrives without any explanations.

Earlier, my brother, Mike, commiserated with his friend and fellow defendant, “We paid fifteen hundred bucks. You would expect this guy to be on time.”

“Yeah,” his buddy agrees, “I want my money back.”

Fifteen hundred dollars seemed like a cheap price to pay for justice to me. I wanted to say that if that’s all it costs, then they’re getting away with highway robbery, and cheaply. Only, they never robbed anyone and they certainly…

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3 Great Reasons You Should Check Out ‘The Hunger Games’

The Hunger Games, the hottest young adult book on the market, set to become a blockbuster film this weekend, is a dark dystopian tale that explores poverty, gender, totalitarianism and oppression. Both sides of the ideological spectrum will claim, and have begun to declare, that its somewhat simplistic (and breathlessly engrossing) anti-authoritarian energy matches their agendas.

But really, this story’s essence is one progressives in particular should take to heart: a powerful condemnation of violence, poverty and exploitation of the weak by the powerful. Most crucially, the story’s visceral feeling of rage and distrust is a perfect counterpart to the Occupy spring.

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How The War on Women Opens the Door for Politics in Your Doctor’s Office

What does a government bureaucrat being between you and your doctor look like? That was the go-to canard to scare Americans away from the health care reform bill (or single payer for that matter). So, imagine your doctor decides he or she doesn’t want you to get a procedure. They don’t agree with it for whatever reason. Your doctor happily lies to you. Tells you – you don’t need it – everything is fine. You find out later your doctor, with political motivations, omitted facts from you, and your decisions based on what you thought was full information, later caused problems with your health. What precipitated your doctor’s reckless and unethical behavior? A group of lawmakers decided you don’t have a right to know the truth about your medical condition so therefore a doctor’s fabrications cannot be grounds for a lawsuit.

Your doctors and those lawmakers have decided they know what’s best for you. And you have no recourse whatsoever.

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Iran: Teacher Union Activist Sentenced to Death

Education International, supported by international trade union organizations andlabourstart, is campaigning to stay the execution of Abdolreza Ghanbari, a 44-year-old lecturer of Payam e Nour University. If the sentence is carried out, it would mark the second execution of a teacher union activist following the May 2010 execution of Farzad Kamanger.

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New Obama Executive Order Seizes U.S. Infrastructure and Citizens for Military Preparedness

In a stunning move, on March 16, 2012, Barack Obama signed an Executive Order stating that the President and his specifically designated Secretaries now have the authority to commandeer all domestic U.S. resources including food and water. The EO also states that the President and his Secretaries have the authority to seize all transportation, energy, and infrastructure inside the United States as well as forcibly induct/draft American citizens into the military. The EO also contains a vague reference in regards to harnessing American citizens to fulfill “labor requirements” for the purposes of national defense.

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Review of Paul Mason’s Why It’s Kicking off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions

Review of Paul Mason’s Why It’s Kicking off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions – Mark Kosman

Some people may dismiss Paul Mason as just another journalist, especially since he advocated more effective policing to contain the ‘Black Bloc’ after the 26 March TUC demo.[1] Yet, this is no reason not to read Why It’s Kicking off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions.

Simply by bringing together insightful reports from the uprisings of 2010/11 – in Egypt, Greece, Israel, Spain, the UK and the US – Mason helps the reader get an overview of the present state of global class struggle. But, more than this, he puts these struggles in a historical and theoretical context and so provokes more interesting questions than any other recent book.

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Helsinki, Finland: Elba lives! Elba stays! Stora Enso burn away!

From Squat

“Elba lives! Elba stays! Stora Enso burn away!”
– report from the solidarity demonstration

A demonstration was organized in Helsinki, Finland on Thursday 22th of March against the destructive business of Stora Enso, and in solidarity with the squatters in Poland.

The meeting point for the demonstration was at the Senate Square at 3pm, and there appeared approximately sixty demonstrators. Banners were opened up, and some leaflets describing the situation of Elba and the dirty business of Stora Enso, were handed out as people were preparing for the demonstration.

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{ NSFW! – ADULTS ONLY! } Amature Ass Pics

{ NSFW! – ADULTS ONLY! } Big Ass Pics

{ NSFW! – ADULTS ONLY! } round ass

{ NSFW! – ADULTS ONLY! } Italian round ass Julia

40 Years Ago, A Congressional Commission Told The Truth About Marijuana

So you think the government has been lying to you about the effects of cannabis (marijuana)?

Well, are you aware that the United States Congress concluded with the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, a.k.a., the Shafer Commission:

“…that the] possession of marijuana for personal use no longer be an offense, [and that the] casual distribution of small amounts of marihuana for no remuneration, or insignificant remuneration, no longer be an offense.”

Paul Armentano writes a brief synopsis on NORML’s blog on how the U.S. federal government has ignored its own fact-finding in favor of doing the opposite and counter-intuitive for the past forty years.

Also, for those of you that would like to read the Shafer Commission report, “Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding,” you can check it out here at the Shafer Library of Drug Policy.

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Tempus Omnia Vincit

“Time Conquers All”, in Latin. A pithy little meditation on the transience of this vale of tears, paradoxically immortalized by being phrased in a dead language.

My pal Pete found it written on the bottom of a half empty beer can around closing time at the local beer garden, as we basked in Wisconsin’s recent and unusually mild late March weather. Or rather, I suggested he’d find it there.

I told him it was the lucky password the bar’s owner had written on the bottom of a randomly selected can as part of a free promotional giveaway contest. Turns out in actuality there was only an expiration date written there. And by the time he’d flipped the can over to read, it was completely emptied. Mostly onto Pete himself.

I laughed, but the barkeep seemed a little annoyed, as some of the beer had spilled on…

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Will the Supreme Court Toss Life Without Parole for Juveniles?

The following article first appeared on the Web site of The Nation. For more great content from the Nation, sign up for its e-mail newsletters here. 

“A throwaway person.” That’s how Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg characterized the societal status of a 14-year-old who is sentenced to life without parole, as oral arguments in Jackson v. Hobbswound down on Tuesday. She was responding to the claim by Little Rock Assistant Attorney General Kent Holt, representing the Arkansas Department of Corrections, that condemning a teenager to die in prison for murder “reinforces the sanctity of human life.”

“You say the sanctity of human life,” Ginsburg pushed back, “but you’re dealing with a 14-year-old being sentenced to life in prison, so he will die in prison without any hope.” In other words, aren’t kids’ lives still worth something even when they’ve committed a grievous wrong?

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Conservative Bullying Has Made America Into a Broken, Dysfunctional Family: But There Are Ways to Regain Our Well-Being

A marriage counselor friend once told me that he almost always knows by the end of the very first session whether he’s being hired to guide a damaged couple back to health, or to help them work toward a divorce — even when the couple doesn’t know the answer to this question themselves.

It’s easy to see, he explained. The relationship’s future success or failure all hinges on one simple thing: How much goodwill and trust they have left. Even if they’ve hurt each other badly, the couples who make it are the ones that still retain a few shreds of faith in each other’s basic good intentions. She didn’t mean to hurt me. He’s not always a bastard. Deep down, she still loves me. Deep down, he really wants things to be better.

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{ NSFW! – ADULTS ONLY! } What do you think?

{ NSFW! – ADULTS ONLY! } So what do you think? ;)

Aussie Scientist … and CIA Spy?

Australian conspiracy theorists are in overdrive per this report in the Sydney Morning Herald:

”I am definitely not a CIA spy.” So said one of the country’s leading CSIRO scientists last night as politics in Canberra took a definite turn to barmy.

Research into legumes might not seem an obvious front to conceal a spy ring, but then again, the spooks are trained to hide in plain sight.

Why else would the Rockefeller Foundation – the American philanthropic fund accused by mining magnate Clive Palmer of plotting with CIA backing to silence Australia’s mining boom – have invested $142,118 in scientist TJ Higgins?…

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Female ‘Sperm Hunter’ Gangs Prey On Men In Zimbabwe

A bizarre new crime wave. Via the Telegraph, in Zimbabwe’s underworld, gangs of women have been kidnapping and raping men traveling alone, for the purpose of harvesting their sperm:

Local media have reported victims of the highway prowlers being drugged, subdued at gun or knife point – even with a live snake in one case – given a sexual stimulant and forced into repeated sex before being dumped on the roadside.

The sperm’s exact use is not clear but is thought to be intended for “juju” or traditional rituals to bring luck – enhancing good fortune, boosting business or preventing a criminal from being detected. It is also not known why the semen is taken forcibly from strangers.

“It’s really an issue which is mind boggling,” said University of Zimbabwe sociologist Watch Ruparanganda, who believes it is a lucrative business. Ruparanganda said he was astonished to discover [the matter] seven years ago, while…

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Leader’s Suicide Reveals Frightening, Violent, Organized Misogyny Movement

After 10 years of custody battles, court-ordered counseling and imminent imprisonment for non-payment of child support, Thomas James Ball, a leader of the Worcester branch of the Massachusetts-based Fatherhood Coalition, had reached his limit. On June 15, 2011, he doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire just outside the Cheshire County, N.H., Courthouse. He was dead within minutes.

In a lengthy “Last Statement,” which arrived posthumously at the Keene Sentinel, Tom Ball told his story. All he had done, he said, was smack his 4-year-old daughter and bloody her mouth after she licked his hand as he was putting her to bed. Feminist-crafted anti-domestic violence legislation did the rest. “Twenty-five years ago,” he wrote, “the federal government declared war on men. It is time to see how committed they are to their cause. It is time, boys, to give them a taste of war.” Calling for all-out insurrection, he offered tips on making Molotov cocktails and urged his readers to use them against courthouses and police stations. “There will be some casualties in this war,” he predicted. “Some killed, some wounded, some captured. Some of them will be theirs. Some of the casualties will be ours.”

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20 Things You Need to Know About the Tragic Killing of Trayvon Martin

On February 26, 2012, a 17-year-old African-American named Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida. The shooter was George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old man. Zimmerman admits killing Martin, but claims he was acting in self-defense. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, passed in 2005, allows people to use deadly force if they believe they’re in imminent danger. Three weeks after Martin’s death, no arrests have been made and Zimmerman remains free.

FBI tells ABC News they are monitoring the Trayvon Martin investigation and have been in touch with local authorities. Late Monday, March 20, after a letter from the NAACP, the United States Department of Justice, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney announced they were launching “a thorough and independent review” of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The Florida state attorney has sent the Trayvon Martin case to a grand jury. The Seminole County grand jury will be called to session on Tuesday, April 10.

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{ NSFW! – ADULTS ONLY! } Ass Pics

{ NSFW! – ADULTS ONLY! } Amateur Ass Pics

Romney Banks on Voters’ Stupidity After Illinois Win

In the Illinois Republican presidential primary, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won big on Tuesday, especially among people at the top of the educational and income scales. The victory speech he delivered, however, seemed geared to the factually challenged.

In the space of a few minutes, Romney lauded the building of the Hoover Dam and the interstate highway systems as two of the nation’s greatest accomplishments. And then he he slammed President Barack Obama for his administration’s stimulus package. “This administration thinks our economy is struggling because the stimulus was too small,” Romney said. “The truth is our economy is struggling because the government is too big.”

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How Our Terror Of Death Forms Our Beliefs

Via New Humanist, Steve Cave on how an obsession with immortality shapes everything we do, believe, and create:

A group of American psychologists have discovered a simple way of turning ordinary people into fundamentalists and ideologues. It can be done anywhere and in a matter of minutes. It is just this: the researchers remind these ordinary folks that they will one day die.

The researchers behind this work were testing the hypothesis that most of what we do we do in order to protect us from the terror of death; what they call “Terror Management Theory”. Our sophisticated worldviews, they believe, exist primarily to convince us that we can defeat the Reaper.

Atheists and agnostics should not think that they are free from such comforting illusions of eternity. The psychologists, psychiatrists and anthropologists who developed Terror Management Theory have shown that almost all ideologies, from patriotism to communism to celebrity culture, function similarly…

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Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood | The Disinfocast with Matt Staggs: Episode 03

In this episode of The Disinfocast I interview Peter Bebergal, who went looking for meaning and found ritual magick, punk rock and hallucinogenics instead. I talk with Bebergal about his new memoir Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood, stopping along the way to parse out the difference between magick and mysticism, the mythic power of Marvel Comics and whether or not LSD is a valid tool for enlightenment.

Listen to Peter Bebergal’s journey on the latest episode of The Disinformation Company’s official podcast, The DisinfoCast.

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Horizontal Meets Vertical: 3 Ways Occupy, Community Groups and Unions Can Work Together to Change Society

he following article first appeared on the Web site of The Nation. For more great content from the Nation, sign up for its e-mail newsletters here. 

Occupy has cracked open the door that lets us imagine that another world is possible. Thousands of arrests, months of protest and acts of incredible personal risk and sacrifice have put inequality and Wall Street’s out-of-control political and economic power on center stage. As activity ratchets up this spring, the challenge is to get more people pushing that door open ever wider.

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Making $2.13 an Hour and the Boss Skims Tips? How We Can Fight Exploitation in Restaurants

Two weeks ago, a story about a wealthy California business executive leaving a 1 percent tip on a $133 lunch bill went viral on the Internet. Supposedly, the banker wrote “Get a real job” on the receipt as a smarmy reinforcement of his own status as a member of the 1 percent and as a put-down of the Occupy movement.

The restaurant in question quickly provided evidence that the damning receipt was Photoshopped. But it spread like wildfire because a rich businessman treating a waiter like garbage sounded true to many people. In recent months, the poor treatment of restaurant labor has received increased media attention. People inundate comment sections on blog posts and news stories about restaurants, sharing their own horror stories.

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