Archive | September 18, 2013

AUMF: How America Codified Endless War | Brainwash Update

Abby Martin looks back at the signing of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) as the catalyst for America’s global War on Terror, and highlights US Rep. Barbara Lee as the lone voice who opposed the legislation following the 9/11 attacks.

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Department of Defense Fax Machine That Receives FOIA Requests is Broken

imagesLooks like someone’s getting a STAPLES gift card in his kevlar-lined stocking this Christmas.

Via MuckRock:

Starting two weeks ago, requests faxed to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) started coming back as undeliverable. After several subsequent attempts and troubleshooting on our end, MuckRock reached out to the OSD. Sure enough, their fax machine is down… possibly until November.

Now, in 2013, you wouldn’t think this would be an issue. But when an agency accepts FOIA requests by a) fax, b) mail or c) a clunky online request portal that doesn’t play nice with other systems, suddenly that fax machine becomes a technical linchpin.

It bears repeating: The office that oversees the most powerful military in history (not to mention the best-funded) is unable to project when its single fax machine will once again be operational.

The OSD’s FOIA section chief confirmed the grim news yesterday, responding that his office “will likely need to procure (purchase) a new fax machine.

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China Criminalizes Spreading False Rumors Online That Go Viral

online rumorsWill the jails of the future be filled with those condemned for trollcrimes? ZDNet reports:

Online users in China who share false information that is defamatory or affect national interest will face up to three years in prison if their posts are viewed 5,000 times or forwarded 500 times.

This is a new judicial interpretation issued Monday by the country’s Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate, which defines the criteria for convicting and sentencing offenders who spread rumors online that defame, blackmail or provoke, China Daily reported.

The judicial interpretation also states that profiting from helping people delete posts is illegal, and anyone who gains more than 20,000 yuan (US$3,270) through this practice will see their case treated as “serious”. So far, prominent Chinese venture capitalist Charles Xue Biqun, investigative journalist Liu Hu, and Weibo users Yang Xiuyu and Qin Zhihui have been arrested and detained for fabricating online rumors.

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Art Bell Returns!

Picture: Kelly Murphy for "Dark Matter"

Picture: Kelly Murphy for “Dark Matter”

No, he wasn’t in an underground bunker, and he wasn’t abducted!

Without much fanfare, the godfather of paranormal late night talk radio has returned to the airwaves. This time, beaming from an extraterrestrial satellite orbiting the globe and back into homes, Art Bell has signed a contract with Sirius/XM to bring spookiness back to dark nights huddled around the radio. Still operating from his desert enclave in Pahrump, the grizzled master of ceremonies proves that he’s still got the panache to handle topics scientific and… well, we’ll just say fringe.

His first interview back behind the mic was with Coast-to-Coast veteran and world-renowned physicist Michio Kaku, now famous as a popular science advocate for his work on Explorations in Science, Big Think and countless other outlets. An appropriate choice considering Art’s new show is named Dark Matter, and the CUNY Professor of Theoretical Physics opens our ears and minds to the cosmic, the subatomic, and the quantum in the same way that Art Bell had introduced us to the astral, the demonic, and the ghostly over his career.… Read the rest

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MIT Study Claims Air Pollution Kills 200,000 Americans Each Year

200,000I believe this is the ultimate example of what is known as “cost externalizing.” Via the MIT News Office:

Researchers from MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment have come out with some sobering new data on air pollution’s impact on Americans’ health.

The group tracked ground-level emissions from sources such as industrial smokestacks, vehicle tailpipes, marine and rail operations, and commercial and residential heating throughout the United States, and found that such air pollution causes about 200,000 early deaths each year. Emissions from road transportation are the most significant contributor, causing 53,000 premature deaths, followed closely by power generation, with 52,000.

In 5,695 U.S. cities, the researchers [found] the highest emissions-related mortality rate in Baltimore, where 130 out of every 100,000 residents likely die in a given year due to long-term exposure to air pollution.

Barrett says that a person who dies from an air pollution-related cause typically dies about a decade earlier than he or she otherwise might have.

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The Rise of Microporn

Vine_apps_logoOK Vine users, now we know your dirty secret, courtesy of New York Magazine:

David is a 21-year-old guy from London who listens to Kendrick Lamar, obsessively watches the British TV drama Top Boy, and tweets about grades and drugs. Whenever he feels like it, he pulls down his pants, points his phone toward his crotch, and tapes himself masturbating for six seconds. He publishes the results on Vine, a microvideo app dedicated to the quick and easy sharing of Internet catnip: pets acting cute, skateboarders falling down, and — inevitably — porn.

In the first eleven days after David joined Vine, he racked up 47 explicit videos, 50 followers who liked what they saw, and — he says — three women who wanted to meet up with him in real life. Unlike a professional porn star, David never needed to show up on set, ejaculate on cue, or show his face.

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Non-Human Holders Of Political Office

mule_voteIs human status a requirement for holding the reigns of power? Via Wikipedia, a brief look at notable and heroic non-human electoral candidates:

Incitatus, the horse of Caligula, who it is alleged became a consul and a priest.

Boston Curtis, a brown mule, was offered as a candidate for a Republican precinct seat in Milton, Washington in 1938, winning 52 to zero.

In 1967, an Ecuadorian foot powder company advertised its product, Pulvapies, as a mayoral candidate in the town of Picoazá. Surprisingly, the foot powder won by a clear majority.

Pigasus the Immortal, a boar hog that the Yippies nominated as a candidate in the U.S. presidential election, 1968.

The mayor of Sunol, California was, for ten years (1981–1990), a black Labrador-Rottweiler named Bosco.

Tião, a bad-tempered chimpanzee, was put forward by the fictional Brazilian Banana Party (Partido Bananista Brasileiro, actually the satirical group Casseta & Planeta) as a candidate for the Rio de Janeiro mayoralty in 1988.

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Coming Out of the Dark Ages, Psychedelic Science, and Freedom Over Consciousness: Introduction to the Benefits of Cannabis, Psilocybin, Ayahuasca, LSD, DMT, and Ibogaine

via chycho

Psychedelic Science1

Robert Anton Wilson, summarizing the works of Dr. Timothy Leary, stated in “The Eight Systems of Consciousness” that we are living through the Dark Ages “like the scholars of the Inquisitorial era”.

“None of Dr. Leary’s most important studies have either suffered refutation or enjoyed confirmation, because enacted law, statues enacted after and because of Dr. Leary’s research – makes it a crime for any other psychologists or psychiatrists to replicate such research. I know you’ve heard that the Inquisition ended in 1819, but in many areas of psychotherapy and medicine, the U.S. government has taken up where the Vatican left off.” – Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton Wilson: Consciousness, Conspiracy & Coincidence

The tides, however, are turning. With the federal government stating that they will not interfere with the legalization of cannabis in Washington State and Colorado, and corporate shills like John McCain and mainstream pundits like Dr.

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