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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 113105 times)
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« Reply #4995 on: Sep 9th, 2011, 12:29pm »

This made me laugh.


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« Reply #4996 on: Sep 9th, 2011, 7:21pm »

.





Uploaded by SWTORFilms on Sep 9, 2011

Known across the galaxy for their unmatched ability to elude those who would seek to restrict their freedom,
Smugglers rely on their wits, their blasters, and their dashing good looks to come out on the winning side every time.

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« Reply #4997 on: Sep 9th, 2011, 7:52pm »

Asia Sentinal

Pakistan's Lashkar-e-Taiba and Global Jihad
Written by Stephen Tankel
Friday, 09 September 2011

Pakistan’s ISI strains to keep a leash on its terrorists

Long before airborne terrorists struck America on September 11, 2001, a militant Islamist group in Pakistan had begun a terror campaign against India. Lashkar-e-Taiba, or LeT, rose to international notoriety with their dramatic November 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 160 people and injured more than 300.

Many had previously viewed the militant group, whose name means Army of the Pure, as a purely parochial player in South Asia. Yet by the time of those attacks, seven years after 9/11, the group boasted transnational networks stretching across several continents.

Like Al Qaeda and many other jihadist groups, Lashkar was born during the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan. From the outset, it was a pan-Islamist organization, dedicated to waging jihad until the domination of Islam was achieved. But regional dynamics associated with the India-Pakistan rivalry and the insurgency that erupted in Indian-administered Kashmir in 1989 exerted the heaviest influence on it. For Lashkar’s leaders, the road to reestablishing the caliphate ran through South Asia.

Focusing on jihad against India to liberate Kashmir also brought with it the offer of significant state support from the Pakistan army and its powerful Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, known as the ISI. Within a decade, Lashkar had become Pakistan’s most reliable proxy against India. The ISI increased support to the group for several reasons. Most important was the belief that LeT would easy to control based on its small size at the time and lack of natural allies.

State support enabled Lashkar to develop a powerful military apparatus and the group also channeled resources into the provision of social services as a means of missionary outreach. By the late 1990s, it controlled a robust social welfare and powerful military infrastructure. During that decade Lashkar also began weaving together its international networks.

As early as 1992, Lashkar operatives began working with Indian Muslims motivated by domestic grievances to help them build a homegrown jihadist movement and launch small-scale terrorist attacks. By 2000, it had a robust network of operatives in India and provided support to various indigenous jihadist cells responsible for a growing drumbeat of bombings there. To assist these efforts, Lashkar also built up its footprint in Bangladesh and Nepal. LeT was not necessarily building up its footprint in these areas because of caliphate ambitions. This really was about supporting attacks in India.

Lashkar leaders also had longstanding ties to the Persian Gulf. Saudis associated with the group helped expand networks there during the 1990s and 2000s, as did Pakistani and Indian operatives living in the region and South Asian criminal syndicates. Lashkar had been raising funds in the Gulf since the 1980s. By the late 1990s, its donor base included members of the Pakistani diaspora and those motivated to give money on the basis of a shared Salafi religious identity. The Gulf proved a fertile ground for recruiting Indian operatives to execute attacks against their country of origin as well as an ideal location from which to support such attacks.

Lashkar has a history of recruiting and training Westerners, particularly members of the diaspora living in the UK. Unlike Al Qaeda, Lashkar did not use its overseas recruits to launch attacks against America or its allies prior to 9/11. Instead, the group’s objectives included developing transnational networks across Europe for support purposes, including fundraising and the procurement of a military kit including night-vision goggles and surveillance equipment for use in Kashmir, promoting the organization’s international reach and appeal, building its brand for fundraising purposes, and promoting its interpretation of Islam.

After 9/11, Lashkar began using its international networks along with its training apparatus to contribute to the global jihad against the US and its allies. This included the provision of training and logistical support to established outfits and aspiring Western jihadis, some of whom used the group as a gateway to Al Qaeda. And it continued to use many foreign operatives to support local, India-centric operations.

From the middle of the decade onwards, Lashkar’s organizational footprint in Afghanistan grew. The insurgency there eclipsed the conflict in Kashmir, and an increasing number of militants from other organizations, in some cases spurred on by Al Qaeda, began attacking the Pakistani state. Lashkar’s leaders came under increasing pressure to expand the group’s involvement in the global jihad.

The 2008 Mumbai attacks appear intended partly to increase Lashkar’s credibility among members, recruits and donors, impressing them with a terrorist spectacular that included Western targets. A month before the Mumbai attacks, Lashkar leaders also began plotting a unilateral terrorist attack in Denmark. The operation was delayed indefinitely as a result of ISI pressure, but David Headley, the transnational operative who conceived of the idea and was tasked with surveillance, linked up with jihadists close to Al Qaeda to move the plot forward. He did so without quitting Lashkar.

The group remains active in Kashmir, and its Afghanistan presence is believed to have grown since Mumbai, though its organizational footprint in Afghanistan remains small relative to other outfits. Some members now have more experience fighting against America than they do India, though the latter continues to be the primary enemy for Lashkar’s leadership, who still prioritize the Kashmir jihad and remain heavily influenced by the Pakistan army and ISI.

The Pakistan security establishment still considers Lashkar to be its most reliable and obedient proxy for several reasons, including the leadership’s India-centric priorities, its policy of abjuring attacks in Pakistan and the fact that the group remains more disciplined than others. Longstanding personal connections between Lashkar members and those in the army and ISI enhance this assessment. The two historically shared the same recruiting pool, and a number of retired army and ISI officers have joined Lashkar, at captain, major, colonel ranks and some at brigadier level, which strengthens these bonds. Nevertheless, organizational control was seen to slip prior to Mumbai. Several ISI officers played a role, but there was no evidence that the ISI or army leadership was aware of the full parameters of the plot.

Since early 2009, the ISI has tightened control over Lashkar’s leaders and sought to help them regain control over their cadres. Yet anecdotal evidence also suggests that Al Qaeda continues attempts to lure Lashkar members and that the two organizations’ leaders clash ideologically over the issue of fighting against the Pakistani state. In short, tensions within the organization over the direction of its violence remain.

With its international network, Lashkar has the means to release such tension by launching a unilateral attack against the US or allied interests, though the more likely scenario is that the group could provide support for a joint attack. Considerable concern also exists regarding the capacity of nodes within these transnational networks to engage in unsanctioned activities against the West. The greater concern is that LeT will launch another major terrorist attack against India, leading to an escalation with Pakistan. With networks in Bangladesh, Nepal and the Gulf, as well as India, the group has multiple locations from which to support Indian militants engaged in homegrown terrorism. If Pakistan were to crack down on Lashkar’s domestic infrastructure, these networks could be unleashed in many countries or in Pakistan itself.

At present no significant effort has been made to dismantle the group’s military apparatus. As long as its infrastructure in Pakistan and transnational networks remain extant, Lashkar remains a threat close to home and abroad.

(Stephen Tankel, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and assistant professor at American University, is the author of the new book, “Storming the World Stage: The Story of Lashkar-e-Taiba.” This is reprinted with permission from the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization.)

http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3728&Itemid=197

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« Reply #4998 on: Sep 9th, 2011, 8:22pm »

We love you in Washington state!
Welcome home cheesy






Uploaded by DivWest on Sep 9, 2011

About 2,700 Army National Guard Soldiers of the 116th CBCT from Oregon, Idaho and Montana are going through the demobilization process at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., after their one-year deployment to Iraq. It takes a terrific amount of teamwork among JBLM, the 116th, all three states, and First Army Division West and its 191st Infantry Brigade to make sure every Soldier's needs are met before heading home. Thank you for your service, 116th Soldiers, and welcome home!

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« Reply #4999 on: Sep 9th, 2011, 9:43pm »

Magnitude 6.4 Quake Strikes Off Vancouver Island

Published September 09, 2011
FoxNews.com

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck Friday off the coast of British Columbia, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake struck 12:41 p.m. PDT at a depth of 14.3 miles about 173
miles west of Vancouver, the USGS said. The quake was initially reported to have a magnitude of 6.7 but was later downgraded by the USGS.

The quake's epicenter just off the west coast of Vancouver Island, south of Port Hardy.

Stephen Halchuck, a seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, said the quake lasted for 20-30 seconds and rattled buildings across Vancouver Island and the southwest portion of British Columbia. He said there has been no immediate reports of damage in the region.

According to the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center no tsunami was expected.However, the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center advised that underwater landslides may cause "local tsunamis" at some coastal locations that experienced strong tremors.

There were also no immediate reports of damage in the closest parts of Washington state, including the northern tip of the Olympic Peninsula and the San Juan Islands.

As a precaution, the Washington state Transportation Department sent inspectors to check for damage at the Alaskan Way Viaduct, an aging elevated highway on the Seattle waterfront, as well as two other bridges.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/09/09/magnitude-67-quake-strikes-off-vancouver-island/#ixzz1XVs6s4RW
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« Reply #5000 on: Sep 10th, 2011, 08:45am »

on Sep 9th, 2011, 9:43pm, Swamprat wrote:
Magnitude 6.4 Quake Strikes Off Vancouver Island

Published September 09, 2011
FoxNews.com

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck Friday off the coast of British Columbia, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake struck 12:41 p.m. PDT at a depth of 14.3 miles about 173
miles west of Vancouver, the USGS said. The quake was initially reported to have a magnitude of 6.7 but was later downgraded by the USGS.

The quake's epicenter just off the west coast of Vancouver Island, south of Port Hardy.

Stephen Halchuck, a seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, said the quake lasted for 20-30 seconds and rattled buildings across Vancouver Island and the southwest portion of British Columbia. He said there has been no immediate reports of damage in the region.

According to the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center no tsunami was expected.However, the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center advised that underwater landslides may cause "local tsunamis" at some coastal locations that experienced strong tremors.

There were also no immediate reports of damage in the closest parts of Washington state, including the northern tip of the Olympic Peninsula and the San Juan Islands.

As a precaution, the Washington state Transportation Department sent inspectors to check for damage at the Alaskan Way Viaduct, an aging elevated highway on the Seattle waterfront, as well as two other bridges.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/09/09/magnitude-67-quake-strikes-off-vancouver-island/#ixzz1XVs6s4RW


Good morning Swamp,

We were at the local market when this hit. Nobody felt a thing. Nothing was noticed. It hit off of the west coast of Vancouver Island so it may have reverberated south. We are northeast of the quake area. But I guess people in Vancouver felt it and Vancouver is 45 miles north of us. Beats me why we didn't feel it.

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« Reply #5001 on: Sep 10th, 2011, 08:46am »

New York Times

September 10, 2011
Israelis Quit Cairo Embassy as Protesters Invade Offices
By DAVID KIRKPATRICK and ETHAN BRONNER

CAIRO — Israel sent a pair of military jets into Cairo at dawn on Saturday to evacuate its embassy staff after six members had been trapped in the embassy overnight by thousands of protesters who invaded the building and tossed documents from the windows.

As an angry mob stormed the embassy and tore down its flag for the second time in a month, Israel appealed to the United States for help. Coming a week after Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador over its refusal to apologize for a deadly raid on a Turkish ship, the attack left Israel facing crises in relations with its two most important regional allies, and ambassadors in neither country.

The violence also raised concerns about whether Egypt’s military-led transitional government would be able to maintain law and order and meet its international obligations, and to what extent popular rage unleashed by the Arab Spring would send a chill over the region.

Throughout the night, desperate Israeli officials had placed several calls to their American counterparts seeking help to pressure the Egyptians to take more action to protect the embassy. Defense Minister Ehud Barak called Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called President Obama, Israeli and American officials said.

In Washington, the White House said in a statement that Mr. Obama had “expressed his great concern” about the embassy situation in his conversation with Mr. Netanyahu. The statement said Mr. Obama called on the government of Egypt “to honor its international obligations to safeguard the security of the Israeli Embassy.”

Israeli officials said the six trapped embassy staff members were rescued by Egyptian commandos early Saturday morning, after hours when Egyptian military and security forces had appeared to stand idle on the sidelines for fear of confronting the mob.

“This went on for 13 hours and there was real concern for the safety and lives of our people,” an Israeli official said. “The mob penetrated the embassy and at the end there was only one wall separating it from six of our people.”

Israel flew out its ambassador and about 85 other diplomats and family members, leaving behind only one diplomat, the deputy ambassador, who took refuge in the American Embassy, diplomats familiar with the arrangements said.

For Israel, the embassy attack and evacuation represented the most ominous deterioration yet in its relationship with its neighbor in the seven months since the revolution that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak, a strongman who suppressed the Egyptian public’s hostility to Israel to keep his country’s alliance with Israel and the United States a guiding principle of its foreign policy.

The Egyptian prime minister, Essam Sharaf, who serves under the council of military officers acting as a transitional government, called an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday as the Egyptian Interior Ministry put the police on alert to guard against more violence.

For Egypt’s interim military rulers, allowing the invasion of a foreign embassy is an extraordinary breach of Egypt’s international commitments that is raising security concerns at other embassies as well.

“It has led to a complete loss of credibility in the government internationally from all directions,” a Western diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the situation. And it poses a new dilemma for the military council, which has sought to avoid confrontations with protesters and, often, to accede to the popular will to guard its own tenuous legitimacy.

It was the second time in four weeks that Egypt and Israel stood on the brink, following a dispute last month over the killing of three Egyptian soldiers along the border by Israeli military forces pursuing terrorist suspects. And it comes at a time when Israel is feeling new pressures from all sides, with the Palestinians gathering support in the United Nations General Assembly for a bid to establish their nominal statehood next month and the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador from Turkey.

For some, the image of the fleeing diplomats boarding jets at dawn evoked comparisons with the 1979 evacuation of the Israeli Embassy in Tehran after the Iranian revolution replaced a former ally with an implacable foe.

“Seven months after the downfall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime, Egyptian protesters tore to shreds the Israeli flag, a symbol of peace between Egypt and its eastern neighbor, after 31 years,” Aluf Benn, the editor in chief of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, wrote Saturday. “It seems that the flag will not return to the flagstaff anytime soon.”

The attack on the embassy marked a new turn toward violence in the previously peaceful protest movement that has flourished in Cairo’s Tahrir Square since the revolution. At a demonstration called Friday to reiterate a litany of liberal demands, thousands of hard-core soccer fans showed up looking for revenge on police officers who attacked some of them after a match earlier in the week, and they injected a new impulse toward mayhem into the day.

Exercising a new freedom of expression, Egyptians have staged protests outside the Israeli Embassy nearly every day since the Israeli killing of the Egyptian officers near the border, and last weekend the Egyptians erected a new wall in front of the embassy’s block to help protect the buildings from damage.

But on Friday demonstrators marched to the building carrying hammers and determined to tear it down, and after its demolition went on to break into the building while thousands of others clashed with riot police outside, hurling homemade incendiary devices and setting several cars on fire.

The Egyptian Interior Ministry said Saturday that at least two people had died in the clashes around the embassy, one from a bullet wound and one from a heart attack, while as many as 1,200 had been injured from the overnight clashes with the police. As late as Saturday afternoon, enough tear gas lingered in the streets around the embassy to force passers-by to clutch tissues over their noses.

Since the dispute over the border killings last month, many Egyptians have clamored for Egypt to expel Israel’s ambassador. When word reached the crowds outside the Israeli Embassy on Saturday morning that Israel was evacuating its ambassador, some reacted with satisfaction that the attack on the embassy had succeeded.

On Saturday, though, Egyptian politicians at every level, from the young leaders of the revolution to the older liberals and Islamists, spoke out against the violence the night before. But Gamal Abdel Gawad, director of the Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, warned that given the popular pressure, repairing relations with Israel could be “an uphill battle.”

David Kirkpatrick reported from Cairo, and Ethan Bronner from Jerusalem. Heba Afify contributed reporting from Cairo.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/11/world/middleeast/11egypt.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #5002 on: Sep 10th, 2011, 12:10pm »

LA Times

BofA to cut at least 40,000 jobs

The layoffs reflect Bank of America's deepening woes and are likely to take a heavy toll on its California operations.

By Walter Hamilton and E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
8:27 PM PDT, September 9, 2011

Bank of America Corp. is preparing to slash 40,000 or more jobs nationwide, a dramatic retrenchment that reflects the deepening woes of the country's largest bank and the magnitude of the U.S. economic slowdown.

The layoffs will come mainly from the BofA's sprawling consumer-banking operations, which will take a heavy toll on branches, loan centers and other offices throughout California.

Bank of America has 45,000 employees in the state, about 1 in 6 of its nearly 300,000-person workforce, and is expected to roll out the job cuts over the next several years. The company, which for years was based in San Francisco and maintains its huge mortgage unit in Calabasas, also is in the process of closing 10% of its branches nationwide.

California has the highest concentration of BofA branches in the U.S. with 956 throughout the state, though it has been losing ground in recent years to rivals like Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The layoffs are another blow to California, with its battered economy and nearly 12% unemployment rate. From tellers to middle managers, laid-off Bank of America employees are likely to have a tough time finding new jobs.

"We don't need to lose any jobs in this environment, whether in financial services or anywhere else," said Esmael Adibi, a Chapman University economist.

The details of the cutbacks were not officially announced, but the information was disclosed by three Bank of America executives who have been briefed on the plan but were not authorized to speak publicly. Brian Moynihan, Bank of America's beleaguered chief executive, is expected to unveil details at an investor conference Monday in New York.

Investors sent shares of the BofA down 3.1% to $6.98 on Friday on a day banks led the overall market sharply lower on more worries about global economies falling into a recession. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 303.68, or 2.7%, to 10,992.13

Executives met at the bank's Charlotte, N.C., headquarters Thursday and Friday to finalize the plan, which has been under discussion for months. Moynihan is grappling with how to wring more profit from the bank's core customer base, which includes about 58 million consumer and small-business accounts.

At least one analyst said the cutbacks could weigh heavily on BofA's millions of Southern California customers, who would have to deal with fewer branches and longer lines for tellers.

"You're definitely going to see decreased service levels for consumers," said Christopher Whalen, a bank analyst at Institutional Risk Analytics. "They're talking about either closing branches or reducing the head count in the branches."

Moynihan hopes to fashion a smaller but more focused company that can withstand the fallout from its disastrous 2008 takeover of mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. in Calabasas. The home-lending unit has run up $30 billion in losses, and faces billions more in potential liability from a barrage of mortgage-related lawsuits.

Federal regulators and private investors allege that Countrywide misled them about the quality of loans and bonds tied to high-risk mortgages bought during the housing boom. Earlier this month, federal regulators sued Bank of America and 16 rivals, contending that the banks sold loans to housing goliaths Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under false pretenses.

Bank of America's retrenchment is also being driven by the slack U.S. economy and darkening outlook for the banking industry. Intensifying worries about its prospects have cut Bank of America's stock price by more than half since mid-January, a far larger hit than its peers have suffered.

"The financial-services industry as a whole is going to shrink," said Nancy Bush, a banking analyst and contributing editor at research firm SNL Financial. "We don't need as many loans, as many credit cards, as many mortgages as we did in the past two decades."

The flailing economy has struck particularly hard at Bank of America, which critics say has been beset by poor management and a flawed growth strategy of rapid-fire acquisitions of other companies. To overcome its woes, BofA executives have worked for much of the past year on the ambitious restructuring known as Project New BAC, a reference to the ticker symbol for the company's stock.

Moynihan has made a number of bold steps in recent weeks, including signing on billionaire Warren Buffett as a major shareholder. This week he ousted two senior executives, including Sallie Krawcheck, one of the highest-ranking women on Wall Street.

The first phase of New BAC is designed to streamline the consumer businesses, including home loans, credit cards and wealth management. It also will make cuts in the corporate support staff, such as legal, marketing, human relations and finance employees.

The bank previously had announced another 6,000 job cuts this year and has closed, sold or put on the auction block former Countrywide divisions that made loans through independent brokers, bought loans from smaller lenders and sold specialty insurance.

Critics have urged Moynihan to go even further as he launches a second phase of the BAC project, which will analyze potential cost cuts and restructurings at some of the business lines focused on corporate and institutional clients.

Some critics suggest Moynihan should put Countrywide, which still has a separate identity, into bankruptcy to stem lawsuits. There has also been talk of BofA selling all or part of its Merrill Lynch operation, which it bought during the financial crisis.

The company has in the past denied that either of these options is under consideration. A spokesman for the company declined to comment.

Shareholders said they would be watching the developments carefully, noting that Moynihan has been battling a credibility problem since he pledged to raise the dividend and then failed to follow through when regulators objected.

"It's been painful," said Jonathan Finger, who runs a Houston financial firm with a major investment in BofA. "He's got to make the public and investors comfortable that the company is going to be strong and is going to be around."

Finger and others believe that the cutbacks stem from Moynihan's desire to show Wall Street he is aggressively addressing the bank's problems.

BofA is the nation's largest bank as measured by loans and other assets. But in a measure of its financial afflictions, its stock market value, at about $71 billion on Friday was less than Wells Fargo's $124 billion and Chase's $125 billion.

"Their competition is not standing still — they've got to have a plan to continue to grow and build the business," Finger said.


http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-bank-america-jobs-20110910,0,5762727,full.story

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« Reply #5003 on: Sep 10th, 2011, 12:12pm »

UPI


Mounties look to seize racing sports cars
Published: Sept. 10, 2011 at 10:47 AM
VANCOUVER, British Columbia

Canadian police say they may hit some upscale street racers where it hurts by seizing their high-end sports cars.

The vehicles and their drivers were rounded up last week in British Columbia by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who said they may have other ways to get their message about street racing across beyond a modest fine.

"With the criminal avenue closed to us, we decided to see if there was enough evidence to proceed civilly," RCMP Superintendent Norm Gaumont said in a written statement.

The civil avenue could lead to 13 drivers losing their various sports cars, which CNN said carried a total value of about $2 million.

The cars proved their prowess on the roads. The RCMP said last week's street race outside Vancouver reached speeds up to 120 miles per hour.

http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2011/09/10/Mounties-look-to-seize-racing-sports-cars/UPI-33231315666041/print/#ixzz1XZR9bQoU

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« Reply #5004 on: Sep 10th, 2011, 12:14pm »

Wired Threat Level

Now We Can All Use the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning!
By David Kravets
September 9, 2011 | 4:05 pm
Categories: The Ridiculous, intellectual property

Bloggers rejoice! No longer will the recording, movie and software industries retain exclusive rights to the FBI’s familiar anti-piracy logo.

The “FBI Anti-Piracy Warning Seal,” which has been draped on Big Content’s wares since 2004, is going to be made available for use on all copyright content. Even personal websites can proudly display the logo without violating federal law, which carries a maximum six-month sentence and other penalties for using the insignia without FBI approval.

The FBI has only allowed its use by members of the Recording Industry Association of America, Business Software Alliance, Entertainment Software Association, Software & Information Industry Association, and of course the Motion Picture Association of America, which likes to make sure you can’t fast-forward through the DVD while the warning is displayed, thus driving you to download an MPEG from the Pirate Bay.

The Justice Department is taking public comment on the proposed new rule through November 7, and the changeover will likely be approved by the attorney general soon thereafter.

The FBI, in announcing the proposal in the Federal Registrar on Wednesday, said the insignia was an important warning to “users of copyrighted media about the potential consequences of intellectual property crime, and the FBI’s role in investigating such crime. It serves as a vivid and widely recognizable reminder of the FBI’s authority and mission with respect to the protection of intellectual property rights.”

Regardless of the logo’s effectiveness in combating piracy, the FBI conceded that the “pilot program” it had begun with major industry was biased against Joe Six Pack.

“Unfortunately, the pilot program also had the effect of excluding non-members of these five associations from being able to use the APW Seal in their works,” the FBI said.

The logo can only be affixed to copyright works, and it cannot be altered or used in a “manner indicating FBI approval, authorization, or endorsement.”

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/09/fbi-antipiracy-logo/

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« Reply #5005 on: Sep 10th, 2011, 12:17pm »

Post Chronicle

Published: Sep 10, 2011
Top 10 Conspiracies List Starts With 9/11 Conspiracy
by Staff

Top 10 Conspiracies list features 9/11 conspiracy - Below we profile the top 10 conspiracies, including the 9/11 "truther" story.

1. 9/11 Conspiracy: Whenever an event llike 9/11 occurs, there's bound to be a population that looks at the official record with skepticism. Read more about it here.

2. JFK's Assassination: On November 22, 1963 President Kennedy was shot and killed. By who and for what purposes. Read more here.

3. Osama bin Laden isn't dead, or already died: The claim that bin Laden had been killed was bound to be met with skepticism, and there looks to be no end in sight. Read more here.

4. Roswell, UFOs and aliens in general: There's such a preponderance of alien-related conspiracy theories out there, of various scope, shape and ridiculousness. Read about it here.

5. The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion: One of the most prominent embodiments of conspiracy theories gone horribly wrong. Read more about it here.

6. The moon landings were fake: For ever allegation that the landing was faked, NASA has been pretty adamant about proving them wrong. Read more about it here.

7. President Obama was born anywhere but America: Upon finally releasing his proof of birth, Obama reprimanded the birther community. Read more here.

8. Paul is dead: The "Paul is dead" outburst at least shows just how extensive a group's search for hidden clues could be. Read more here.

9. Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare: Shakespeare has been theorized to have been a pseudonym for one or a group of other writers, rather than an individual. Read more here.

10. Elvis Presley is still alive: He's out there living with aliens, performing in the stars with his peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches. It's irrefutable fact. Read about it here.

Honorable Mention - 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami conspiracy: The tsunami of 2004 allegedly came to pass due to India trying to steal a march on Pakistan in the race towards nuclear weapons. Read more here.

links after the jump
http://www.postchronicle.com/news/breakingnews/article_212382939.shtml

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5006 on: Sep 10th, 2011, 2:22pm »

Phantoms and Monsters

Lake Havasu close encounter

Lake Havasu, AZ: ok, well I've never spoke of this outside my family. But this has haunted me for years. I cannot explain what I saw, because for years I have listened to other reports and have never heard of any other experience like I had. First of all, I am an above average intelligent person, with common sense and problem solving skills. But I still cannot reconcile what i saw.

I lived in Lake Havasu, AZ 93-94. what i went thru caused me to pack up my entire house and leave overnite, and move an entire state away. At first I tried to talk about it to others, but after much ridicule, I stopped and kept it to myself.

But now, for some reason, my senses are begging me to reach out. In fact I am so frightned of what I experienced that I only mention the high points of my experience to see if anyone has had anything similar.
so, for my own piece of mind I"ll give this one last try:
Just for the record the security officer at my work put in his official nightly report an ufo experience for the same night. It was not like mine. My experience happened over my home. also more to this, not willing to put here. my daughter was only 3 at the time.

Dusk, vacuum of silence, cloaked, immense, capital letter I, slow moving, low orbit(maybe 40 stories) lit from within 4 half globes each side just inside of the ends. things were milling around inside. The embryonic, electrical smell.

2 weeks later. came home to look thru my front window to see someone or something (dark figure) running out the back kitchen door. packed up that night and moved out of state the next morning.

since then, I feel watched. a spooky kinda feeling. night terrors and sweats, and still to his day experience the strangest things. almost what some would call a haunting. oh I just want to put this to bed. if anyone out there has had anything like this happen to them, i just need validation. thx - MUFON CMS


more after the jump
http://naturalplane.blogspot.com/

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5007 on: Sep 10th, 2011, 8:59pm »

.






The Rising, Bruce Springsteen

Can't see nothin' in front of me
Can't see nothin' coming up behind
I make my way through this darkness
I can't feel nothing but this chain that binds me
Lost track of how far I've gone
How far I've gone, how high I've climbed
On my back's a sixty pound stone
On my shoulder a half mile line

Come on up for the rising
Com on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight

Left the house this morning
Bells ringing filled the air
Wearin' the cross of my calling
On wheels of fire I come rollin' down here

Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight

Spirits above and behind me
Faces gone, black eyes burnin' bright
May their precious blood forever bind me
Lord as I stand before your fiery light

I see you Mary in the garden
In the garden of a thousand sighs
There's holy pictures of our children
Dancin' in a sky filled with light
May I feel your arms around me
May I feel your blood mix with mine
A dream of life comes to me
Like a catfish dancin' on the end of the line

Sky of blackness and sorrow ( a dream of life)
Sky of love, sky of tears (a dream of life)
Sky of glory and sadness ( a dream of life)
Sky of mercy, sky of fear ( a dream of life)
Sky of memory and shadow ( a dream of life)
Your burnin' wind fills my arms tonight
Sky of longing and emptiness (a dream of life)
Sky of fullness, sky of blessed life ( a dream of life)

Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Come on up for the rising
Come on up for the rising tonight


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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #5008 on: Sep 11th, 2011, 08:15am »

Tallahassee Democrat

Bigfoot has nothing on the Two Egg Stump Jumper


By Mark Hinson
Democrat senior writer
7:10 PM, Sep. 9, 2011

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MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. — I have my hand up a Bigfoot's butt.

Well, it's a 28-foot tall statue of a grinning Bigfoot monster that keeps watch in the parking lot of the mom-and-pop tourist attraction and souvenir outlet named North Fork Survivors Gift Shop. The colossus stands about 25 miles away from Mount St. Helens, the infamous volcano that exploded in May of 1980, and it's impossible to miss. Talk about a photo opp.

If I stand on the ground, the Bigfoot's business end — the Sasquatch crotch, if you will — is within easy reaching distance. So I extend my hand up high and smile for the camera. Cough, please, Mr. 'Foot.

Inside the store, there are all sorts of Bigfoot T-shirts and coffee mugs as well as Mount St. Helens memorabilia (pens made of ash, a trucker cap that reads "Famous Ash Hole," etc.).

"That's quite a fetching Bigfoot statue you have there in your front yard," I say to owner Blair Barner as I buy postcards, a hat and a copy of the book "Bigfoot Sasquatch Evidence: The Anthropologist Speaks Out."

"Thank you," Barner says. "We had a bigger one but some vandals burned it down a few years ago."

"You're kidding," I say. "Torching a Sasquatch effigy is not good karma. I hope a real Bigfoot finds them and beats them about the ear lobes with a dead salmon. Who would do such a thing?"

"Oh, we know who did it," Barner says. "Everyone around here knows who did it. We didn't call the sheriff because we didn't want them to come back down here and burn down the shop."

Evidently, there are some things much more threatening and frightening than Bigfoot living up in the hills around Mount St. Helens.
When asked if Barner had ever spotted an actual Bigfoot stomping around the old volcano, he just smiles.

"Some people get angry if you say you don't believe," the cagey businessman says.

One thing Barner did get to see up close and personal was Mount St. Helens blowing into bits and pieces like a shoddy Chinese fireworks factory.

"Were you here at the store when it finally went kaboom?" I ask.
"No, I was on my way here to work on an A-frame house that I was building," Barner says. "I was running 25 or 35 minutes late or else I would have been right here."

"Right here" got buried in a river of earth and mud. Barner's modest A-frame house was filled with 200 tons of silt, rock, water, ash and volcano vomit. The buried A-frame is now a tourist attraction and a reminder to skedaddle to Seattle if it ever happens again. The A-frames' pointed roof juts up out of the level ground like a witch's hat.
As I stare down inside what is left of A-frame, I wonder how many Sasquatches got buried in the torrents of sludge when Mount St. Helens finally lost its lunch. Are we walking on top of hundreds of Bigfoot bones?

Our funky Bigfeet

While North Florida does not possess a majestic Bigfoot monument like the one at North Fork Survivors Gift Shop (though Panama City Beach was once home to the giant steak house knight known as Sir Loin), we are not without our own Southern Sasquatch lore.

All primitive cultures, it seems, have a Sasquatch story or legend to tell.
In 2005, my friend and former colleague Kathleen Laufenberg traveled into Tate's Hell with Scott Marlowe. He's a cryptozoologist who claims to have had two encounters with Panhandle skunk apes that were estimated to be 7 feet tall and in desperate need of some Scope and Old Spice. One of the Wakulla County Wookies even threw a stick at Marlowe's head.

"I was actually beaned by one," he told Laufenberg, and the lick to his head drew blood.

Skunk apes are evidently sensitive about their famous funk and hygiene issues.

In my homeland of Jackson County, there is a smaller version of Bigfoot called The Two Egg Stump Jumper. The hairy critter supposedly likes to dart in front of cars at night, rummage through trash piles around farmhouses and screech in the darkness. Hey, but so do some of my distant cousins who live around Two Egg.

The most famous missing link around Jackson County is not my brother Robert but The Wild Man of Ocheesee Pond near Grand Ridge. (If not for Grand Ridge, my father likes to say, the whole world would split in half because it holds things together.)

Ocheesee Pond is actually a woolly-booger swamp. The water is dark and the cypress trees are thick. It's the perfect place to live if you are a cottonmouth moccasin or an anti-social skunk ape.

In 1883, The Wild Man of Ocheesee Pond got bold with his berry-picking and there were several sightings reported to the authorities. The Wild Man, much like one of my old girl friends in Marianna, apparently liked to wail and cry in the woods at night. That really creeped the locals out.

"As the number of sightings increased, so too did concerns about the safety of local families," according to writer and Florida historian Dale Cox on the website ExploreSouthernHistory.com. "Residents of the pond area gathered and discussed the situation and finally decided that an effort should be launched to capture or drive off the monster. Men assembled with guns, boats and horses and a plan was devised by which they would converge on the creature's last reported location from various directions at once."

The hunting party of Confederate war veterans allegedly captured The Wild Man in the summer of 1884. A newspaper report from Columbus, Ga., that Cox tracked down, had this to say about the Wild Man encounter:

"News brought by the steamer Amos Hays from Lower River is to the effect that the wild man captured in Ocheecee (sic) Swamp, near Chattahoochee, and carried to Tallahassee, did not belong to a Florida asylum, and that all inquiry proved unavailing to identify him. He had been swimming in Ocheecee Lake, from island to island, and when taken was entirely destitute of clothing, emaciated, and covered with a phenomenal growth of hair. He could give no account of himself, and the theory is that he escaped from an asylum of some other state, and spent his time in the woods, living on berries, etc."

More newspaper articles followed, according to Cox, but then suddenly stopped.

"Despite the fact that his body was covered in thick hair, he was human enough in appearance that his captors believed that he probably had escaped from an asylum. No asylum reported such an odd escapee, however, and his captors became even more baffled by the Wild Man. The last account of him mentions that he was being sent to Tallahassee, but from there he disappears entirely from the record."

If you've spent much time in the shopping malls or the local Wally-Mart during a big football weekend in Tallahassee, you will soon learn that the Wild Man of Ocheesee Pond simply blended into society, married a nice girl from Capitola and his descendants walk among us.

Bigfoot exists, people, and Sasquatch Assimilation is more real than you think....

http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20110911/LIVING/109110322/Bigfoot-has-nothing-Two-Egg-Stump-Jumper?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|frontpage|p
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« Reply #5009 on: Sep 11th, 2011, 08:21am »

New York Times

September 10, 2011
Getting There Is Just a Piece of the Puzzle
By WILLIAM YARDLEY

ABOARD THE M/V HYAK, Wash. — Washington State Ferries is the largest such system in the United States, but it is small, too. Amid all the comings and goings, the getting theres and leaving heres, there is the middle part — people making their way.

In summer, that means decks filled with light and tourists, hands shielding the sun in salute to the bright beauty of the Salish Sea. In winter, clouds and cold and quiet local customs prevail. Inside is where to be. These fine first days of September are a transition time, which may explain the current problem with the puzzles.

“The Yakima doesn’t have any puzzles right now, and the Elwha didn’t have any puzzles the other day,” said Lilliana Villalobos-Wolford, a resident of the San Juan Islands, here north of Puget Sound, and a regular passenger on those and other ferry boats. “Only the Hyak seems to have puzzles right now.”

Ms. Villalobos-Wolford, 49, moved to the islands from New York a year ago and has already immersed herself in a small San Juan tradition. Instead of racing to the railing to soak up the view or settling in with a book, she is among the devoted who go immediately to the big, smooth tables in the center of the main cabin, the ones where the puzzles are.

Before her on a recent weekday was “Marseille,” a thousand cardboard pieces that, the picture on the box promised, would collectively depict a cruise ship docked in the famous French port.

Never mind that her ferry ride was barely an hour from the mainland to her destination, Orcas Island — hardly enough time to make sense of a thousand pieces or even that exasperating edge section with barely detectable differences in shades of brown.

Ms. Villalobos-Wolford had worked on “Marseille” before and she would again, just like other people she may never meet — and she, like them, may never actually see it finished.

A week earlier, Travis Powell and Jennifer Haner, traveling with a church group from Oregon, rode the same boat, sat at the same table and worked on the same section of the same puzzle. They were tourists, and it had taken them a few ferry rides before they concluded that the puzzles were fair game for anyone.

“I haven’t even placed any pieces yet,” said Ms. Haner, 29. “I’m just sorting colors.”

Had “Marseille” been completed 10 times or not even once? People who do puzzles on ferry boats make peace with not knowing. They do what they can, then move on.

No one seems certain how this got started. Several crew members and a retired member of the state ferry advisory committee said the hobby took hold among locals several years ago on an interisland route that never touches the mainland. (Several people said the boat currently on that route, the Evergreen State, also had plenty of puzzles at the moment.) Crew members pick up puzzles in thrift shops and put them out. Regular passengers donate them. People may not finish them, but they take care of them.

“I helped,” said Ms. Villalobos-Wolford, explaining her fulfillment. “Now somebody else is going to contribute. If I get lucky, I’ll come at the moment it’s almost done and I can finish it. That’s nice, too.”

Some say the puzzles, like the sensory surge available at the railing, have curative powers.

“A mother and son got off the other day and said, ‘Hey, thanks for the puzzle,’ ” said Stacy Eliot, working the deck of the Hyak last week. “I mean, how often do you see a mother and a son doing a puzzle together these days?”


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/11/us/11jigsaw.html?_r=1&hp

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