Author Archive | hypnos1

Krauthammer: “Fox News Created an Alternate Reality”

On Tuesday Charles Krauthammer received the NY Posts’ Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism, and in his acceptance speech went wildly off-message to provide a glimpse into the twisted psyche of a Fox News commentator.

“What Fox did is not just create a venue for alternative opinion. It created an alternate reality.

A few years ago, I was on a radio show with a well-known political reporter who lamented the loss of a pristine past in which the whole country could agree on what the facts were, even if they disagreed on how to interpret and act upon them. All that was gone now. The country had become so fractured we couldn’t even agree on what reality was.

That’s why Fox News is so resented. It altered the intellectual and ideological landscape of America. It gave not only voice but also legitimacy to a worldview that had been utterly excluded from the mainstream media.”

For further excursions into this mind gripped by fear and loathing of anything left of Pat Robertson, visit his article archives at RealClearPolitics.… Read the rest

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Zombie Neurobiology Finally Explained

io9.com: In Night of the Living Dead, zombies are brought back from the dead by a “mysterious force” that allows their brains to continue functioning. But how exactly does a zombie brain function? Finally, a Harvard psychiatrist has the answers.

Dr. Steven C. Schlozman is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a lecturer at the Harvard School of Education. He is also an avid sci-fi and horror fan — and has drafted a fake medical journal article on the zombie plague, which he calls Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome, or ANSD (the article has five authors: one living, three “deceased” and one “humanoid infected”).

According to Dr. Steven C. Schlozman, this is your brain on zombies.

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Congress, Obama Supporting Expanded Secrecy Law

Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com:

The White House is actively supporting a new bill jointly sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman — called The Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009 — that literally has no purpose other than to allow the government to suppress any “photograph taken between September 11, 2001 and January 22, 2009 relating to the treatment of individuals engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside of the United States.” As long as the Defense Secretary certifies — with no review possible — that disclosure would “endanger” American citizens or our troops, then the photographs can be suppressed even if FOIA requires disclosure. The certification lasts 3 years and can be renewed indefinitely. The Senate passed the bill as an amendment last week.

What kind of a country passes a law that has no purpose other than to empower its leader to suppress evidence of the torture it inflicted on people?… Read the rest

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BART Police: Resist and We Will Kill You

Officer Domenici is the one who, just after her colleague fatally shot Oscar Grant in the back, began trying to steal cellphones and cameras from bystanders. These video’s show Grant lying face down on the concrete. Domenici doesn’t explain how someone can resist orders while on their stomach with a policemans knee in their back.

SF Chronicle: “If they would have followed orders, this wouldn’t have happened,” said Officer Marysol Domenici.

Domenici said she did not see Mehserle shoot Grant because she had been facing the other direction. Immediately after the shot was fired, she said, some train riders were so angry that she started thinking about using her gun.

“I said to myself, ‘Oh, Jesus Christ, if I have to, I’m going to have to kill somebody,’ ” Domenici said.

Outside court, Grant’s mother, Wanda Johnson, said she was disturbed by Domenici’s testimony – particularly her assertion that she would not have done anything differently during the incident.… Read the rest

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General David Petraeus on Closing Gitmo: The ‘New Great Game’ in Asia

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

RFE/RL: In your view, does the closing of “Gitmo” and the abandonment of those techniques complicate the U.S. mission in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in the overall struggle against violent transnational extremist groups or does it help it?

Petraeus: Doing that, [closing the prison at Guantanamo,] in a responsible manner, I think, sends an important message to the world, as does the commitment of the United States to observe the Geneva Convention when it comes to the treatment of detainees.

RFE/RL: The Central Asian states all agree that the region’s biggest security problems right now emanate from Afghanistan. Given that, why, in your opinion, has it been so difficult for some of them to commit more firmly to helping the U.S. and NATO efforts?

Petraeus: What might be most beneficial for all of the countries — including my own and Russia and the other great powers of the world — would be to recognize the common threats to the Central Asian states.… Read the rest

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General David Petraeus on Closing Gitmo, The “New Great Game” in Asia



Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

RFE/RL:In your view, does the closing of “Gitmo” and the abandonment of those techniques complicate the U.S. mission in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in the overall struggle against violent transnational extremist groups or does it help it?

Petraeus: Doing that, [closing the prison at Guantanamo,] in a responsible manner, I think, sends an important message to the world, as does the commitment of the United States to observe the Geneva Convention when it comes to the treatment of detainees.

RFE/RL: The Central Asian states all agree that the region’s biggest security problems right now emanate from Afghanistan. Given that, why, in your opinion, has it been so difficult for some of them to commit more firmly to helping the U.S. and NATO efforts?

Petraeus: What might be most beneficial for all of the countries — including my own and Russia and the other great powers of the world — would be to recognize the common threats to the Central Asian states.… Read the rest

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Gen. Petraeus: Closing Gitmo Sends “Important Message to The World”



Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

RFE/RL:In your view, does the closing of “Gitmo” and the abandonment of those techniques complicate the U.S. mission in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in the overall struggle against violent transnational extremist groups or does it help it?

Petraeus: Doing that, [closing the prison at Guantanamo,] in a responsible manner, I think, sends an important message to the world, as does the commitment of the United States to observe the Geneva Convention when it comes to the treatment of detainees.

RFE/RL: The Central Asian states all agree that the region’s biggest security problems right now emanate from Afghanistan. Given that, why, in your opinion, has it been so difficult for some of them to commit more firmly to helping the U.S. and NATO efforts?

Petraeus: What might be most beneficial for all of the countries — including my own and Russia and the other great powers of the world — indeed would be to recognize that the common threats to the Central Asian states.… Read the rest

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Robot Scientist Becomes First Machine to Discover New Scientific Knowledge

File under: Benign Now, Destroy Us Later.

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council: Scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have created a Robot Scientist which the researchers believe is the first machine to have independently discovered new scientific knowledge. The robot, called Adam, is a computer system that fully automates the scientific process.

Using artificial intelligence, Adam hypothesised that certain genes in baker’s yeast code for specific enzymes which catalyse biochemical reactions in yeast. The robot then devised experiments to test these predictions, ran the experiments using laboratory robotics, interpreted the results and repeated the cycle.

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Even Mercedes Is into Steampunk

Good Magazine: Mercedes has lost its mind. And I think I likey.

According to a press release, the F-CELL Roadster (shown beside the 1886 Benz Patent Motor Car) is “fitted with a 1.2 kW hybrid drive—one that allows the F-CELL to reach a top speed of 15 mph and achieve an operating range of 217 miles.” It also “draws its inspiration from a diverse variety of automotive eras.” Clearly.

It looks sharper than a golf cart — that much is certain — and it seems like a bizarrely awesome way to get around town … if you’re an eccentric billionaire who’s mad into hi-tech anachronism. Check out some of the pics below and let us know if you’d give one a spin. No word yet on price.

Full press release and cool pictures found here.

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Despite Obama’s Vow, Combat Brigades Will Stay in Iraq

Democracy Now!: Nearly four weeks ago President Obama declared that U.S. combat operations would end in Iraq by August 2010.

Under President Obama’s plan, all combat troops will be pulled from Iraq but a transition force of up to 50,000 will remain after August 2010.

Despite Obama’s pledge, new evidence has emerged that the U.S. plans to keep combat brigades in Iraq but they will operate under a different name.

Investigative reporter Gareth Porter of Inter Press Service has revealed some of the Brigade Combat Teams currently in Iraq will stay beyond August 2010 and will be renamed so-called “advisory and assistance brigades.”

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