Author Archive | Raymond

Mystery Disease Linked to Missing Israeli Scientist

A strange fungus has stricken a number of people in the Pacific Northwest.  Is it a bio-weapon gone wrong?  Truthout reports:Biohazard

Media outlets across the Northwest United States began reporting on April 24 that a strange, previously unknown strain of virulent airborne fungi that has already killed at least six people in Oregon, Washington and Idaho is spreading throughout the region. The fungus, according to expert microbiologists, who have expressed alarm about the emergence of the strain, is a new genotype of Cryptococcus gatti fungi. Cryptococcus gatti is normally found in tropical and subtropical locations in India, South America, Africa and Australia. Microbiologists in the United States are reporting that the strain found here, for reasons not yet fully understood, is far deadlier than any found overseas.

Physicians in the Pacific Northwest are reporting that an undetermined number of people in the region are ill from the effects of the strange strain.

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Times Square Bomb: The Right’s Nuttiest Theory

Was the recent incident in Times Square an attempt to demonize the labor and environmental movements?  Mother Jones reports:

from T.L. Miles at Wikimedia Commons

Photo: T.L. Miles (CC)

This much we know: A US citizen born in Pakistan has been arrested for allegedly parking a Nissan Pathfinder in Times Square Saturday night, loaded with fertilizer that doesn’t combust, a kid’s alarm clock that likely didn’t tick, several gallons of gas, some propane tanks, and a few M80 firecrackers.

Attorney General Eric Holder has released a statement saying Shahzad was “taken into custody at JFK Airport in New York as he attempted to board a flight to Dubai.” There’s a lot we have yet to learn about what this news means, but it probably rules out one favorite conservative theory about the attempted bombing — that left-wing protesters took advantage of May Day (aka International Workers’ Day) to make a big bang in New York’s neon-soaked seat of capitalism.

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New U.S. Push to Regulate Internet Access

Since Michael Powell pulled my old college radio station off the air for a month back in 2005, I have always been afraid of the FCC.  This story from WSJ reminds us that sometimes even the censors can be better friends to you than your ISP:FCC Seal

In a move that will stoke a battle over the future of the Internet, the federal government plans to propose regulating broadband lines under decades-old rules designed for traditional phone networks.

The decision, by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, is likely to trigger a vigorous lobbying battle, arraying big phone and cable companies and their allies on Capitol Hill against Silicon Valley giants and consumer advocates.

Breaking a deadlock within his agency, Mr. Genachowski is expected Thursday to outline his plan for regulating broadband lines. He wants to adopt “net neutrality” rules that require Internet providers like Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc. to treat all traffic equally, and not to slow or block access to websites.

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Lie-Detection Brain Scan Could Be Used in Court for First Time

This bizarre article from Wired shows how technology is catching up with the power of the brain.  What does this mean for the idea of “justice?”

from Wikimedia Commons

Illustration: Wikimedia Commons

A Brooklyn attorney hopes to break new ground this week when he offers a brain scan as evidence that a key witness in a civil trial is telling the truth, Wired.com has learned.

If the fMRI scan is admitted, it would be a legal first in the United States and could have major consequences for the future of neuroscience in court.

The lawyer, David Zevin, wants to use that evidence to break a he-said/she-said stalemate in an employer-retaliation case. He’s representing Cynette Wilson, a woman who claims that after she complained to temp agency CoreStaff Services about sexual harassment at a job site, she no longer received good assignments. Another worker at CoreStaff claims he heard her supervisor say that she should not be placed on jobs because of her complaint.

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Activist Spied On? Man Wins Settlement

Anyone who knows anything about Evergreen State College in Washington knows that there is nowhere in the world with a higher concentration of young hippies.  Apparently, the state police went for the easy meat and got more than they bargained for.  The Seattle Times reports:

from Derek Redmon at Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Derek Redmon (CC)

A 22-year-old anti-war activist from The Evergreen State College will get $169,000 as part of a settlement with the State Patrol and two other law-enforcement agencies over allegations that their officers engaged in political spying and harassment.

Philip Chinn was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving by state patrol troopers in May 2007, while traveling to an anti-war protest at the Port of Grays Harbor in Aberdeen.

According to court documents, Chinn was pulled over after police had broadcast an “attempt to locate” his car, which was described as containing “three known anarchists.”

The criminal charge was dismissed after tests showed Chinn had no alcohol or drugs in his system.

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1970 Kent State Shootings are an Enduring History Lesson

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Kent State Shootings, and this article from USA Today is a good reminder of the basic details. Disinfo.com readers who remember the event are invited to post their memories in the comments section.

from Asfband at Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Asfband (CC) via Wikimedia Commons

Forty springs ago, on the day the Vietnam War came home as it never had before, Mary Ann Vecchio was there. She’s the girl in the haunting photo — crying, kneeling over the student’s body.

That was Kent State University, May 4, 1970, a few days after Richard Nixon, who’d campaigned for president on an implicit promise to end the war, widened it by invading Cambodia.

Across the nation, students protested. At Kent State, where two days earlier the ROTC building was burned down, National Guardsmen fired into a crowd and killed four unarmed students, the closest of whom was nearly a football field away.

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Super Surprising Facts About ‘Our Enemy’ Iran Remind Us That We Don’t Know Squat

American’s aren’t exactly known for our knowledge of things like history and geography…  This article from Alternet reminds us of how little we have bothered to learn about Iran:Flag of Iran

What can possibly justify the relentless U.S. diplomatic (and mainstream media) assault on Iran ?

It cannot be argued that Iran is an aggressive state that is dangerous to its neighbors, as facts do not support this claim. It cannot be relevant that Iran adheres to Islamic fundamentalism, has a flawed democracy and denies women full western-style civil rights, as Saudi Arabia is more fundamentalist, far less democratic and more oppressive of women, yet it is a U.S. ally. It cannot be relevant that Iran has, over the years, had a nuclear research program, and is most likely pursuing the capacity to develop nuclear weapons, as Pakistan, India, Israel and other states are nuclear powers yet remain U.S. allies—indeed, Israel deceived the U.S.

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Medical Marijuana Legal in Foggy Bottom, on Capitol Hill and all over Washington D.C.

Personally, I hope the smell stinks up the whole rotten town.  This article from the Examiner gives more details:

From Oren neu dag at Wikimedia Commons

Illustration: Oren neu dag (CC)

One of the biggest expenses the medical marijuana lobby has had to face is the cost getting US Congressmen and Senators out of town for a medical marijuana dispensary tour.

That expense was eliminated today with the unanimous passage of Initiative 59 by the Washington DC Council.

Currently, 14 states have effective medical marijuana laws and more than a dozen others are considering them. In November, South Dakotans will vote on a medical marijuana ballot initiative, and Arizona is expected to have one on the ballot as well. Eighty-one percent of Americans support medical marijuana laws, according to a January ABC News/Washington Post poll.

But getting federal legislation passed and changing DEA and FDA regulations has been up to the US Congress and the US Senate. For example, the AMA recommended last October to move medical marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II.

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Not So Secret Weapons on Disinformation World News

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DARPA GliderDARPA’s lost glider, big pharma’s bio-weapons, and psychedelic cures for addiction, all this week on Disinformation World News.

Don’t forget about the Disinformation Podcasts 2010 donation drive!  If you enjoy what you’ve heard, give back a little to help keep our production going.  More details in the episode.

Disinformation World News is a monthly news series with a humorous take on the strangest recent stories to hit the wire. Anchored by Raymond Wiley and Joe McFall, the series also featuring occult news from Austin Gandy’s Invisible College as well as little known history from Joe Nolan’s Insomnia.

We welcome listener-created segments, if they are of high quality. If you’re interested, please email me at ray@disinfo.com.

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Rover Is Now the Longest-Running Mission to the Red Planet, If It Still Lives…

After a some rocky times with the red planet in the late 1990′s, NASA finally succeeded with the Mars Rover.  This cute little fellow may be near the end of its life, but it has survived years past its original 90-day mission.  Popsci reports:

from Wikimedia Commons

from Wikimedia Commons

A stuck robotic rover may have overtaken NASA’s Viking probe as the longest-surviving mission on Mars — so long as it’s still alive. But its robotic twin Opportunity could also still grab the record next month if the Spirit rover has slipped into its final winter slumber.

The golf-cart-sized Mars Exploration Rovers have long since outlived their 90-day missions; they both celebrated their six-year anniversaries on the red planet in January. Rather than sigh over the voided warranties, NASA’s rover handlers have celebrated their hardware’s persistence on a rugged and alien world.

Time and tough conditions finally caught up to the rover twins more recently.

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