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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 45160 times)
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« Reply #6225 on: Feb 23rd, 2012, 07:21am »

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« Reply #6226 on: Feb 23rd, 2012, 07:31am »

LA Times

Gulf oil spill spawns mega-suit, with likely mega-payouts

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill lawsuit pits the Justice Department and about 120,000 plaintiffs against BP and other companies. Trial is set to begin Feb. 27.

By Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times
6:26 PM PST, February 22, 2012
Reporting from New Orleans

Spill 4.9 million barrels of oil into the ocean, and this is what you get: the lollapalooza, labyrinthine, mega-mother of all lawsuits.

It encompasses 72 million pages of documents, 20,000 exhibits and 303 depositions — the collective effort of hundreds of lawyers and legal workers.

It involves the Justice Department and about 120,000 plaintiffs: angry fishermen, restaurateurs, state governments and condo owners who say their beach-side property is not worth what it once was. The trial phase, set to begin Feb. 27 in a New Orleans federal courtroom, could go on for nine months.

That is, unless it is averted by the mega-mother of all legal settlements.

It goes by the formal title "In Re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010." And much like the disaster itself, the litigation is startling in its impact and scope, involving billions of dollars of potential fines and damages, arcane matters of maritime law and Space Age details of deep-sea engineering.

There are a host of corporate defendants — chief among them oil giant BP, which was in charge of the drilling project, and Swiss company Transocean Ltd., the owner of the doomed rig — which have been fighting in court over who should shoulder how much of the blame for the disaster that killed 11 rig workers and caused the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Charles F. Herd Jr., a veteran Houston maritime attorney, calls it an "unheralded" event in the history of American jurisprudence because of its size and complexity.

The biggest question in the days leading up to the trial is whether the Justice Department, which is seeking civil penalties under the Clean Water Act, will reach a settlement with BP or other companies involved in the spill.

The Clean Water Act penalties for BP alone could be as high as $17 billion if it is found to have exhibited "gross negligence" — a failure to take reasonable steps to avert the disaster — during the nonjury trial before U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier. Such a decision could increase the fine from $1,100 per barrel to a maximum of $4,300 per barrel, roughly a $13-billion difference. (That figure is based on the 4.1 million barrels of oil left in the gulf after BP cleaned up an estimated 800,000 barrels.)

That potential fine dwarfs the record $70 million in Clean Water Act civil penalties levied last week against MOEX Offshore 2007, a minority investor in the well, which came as part of an overall $90-million settlement with the Justice Department.

"There's enormous pressure on BP to settle," said David Uhlmann, director of the environmental law program at the University of Michigan. "No matter how confident BP is about the gross negligence question, that's just an extraordinary amount of risk for any trial."

BP Chief Executive Robert Dudley said this month that the company was preparing for the court date, but ready to settle "if we can do so on fair and reasonable terms."

Experts will also be watching whether the Justice Department will include a non-prosecution agreement with the companies as part of any potential civil settlement, closing a door on future criminal charges.

A Justice spokesman declined to comment Wednesday.

The lawsuits loom despite BP's agreement to set up a $20-billion fund to compensate spill victims. That fund has paid $6.5 billion to thousands of claimants, most of whom signed a waiver agreeing not to file suit. Two families of the 11 rig workers killed in a fiery explosion are still negotiating wrongful-death cases against BP; the others have settled.

In addition, a separate class-action suit is unfolding in Houston on behalf of thousands of investors accusing BP of securities fraud. That suit alleges that BP made false or misleading statements about its safety programs in the gulf and about its ability to respond to a big spill. A trial date in that case has not been set, according to Richard Mithoff, a co-lead attorney for the plaintiffs.

The disaster that slimed the coastline of four states and closed gulf fisheries for months also triggered hundreds of other individual and class-action cases, which were filed in courthouses around the country.

In August 2010, a federal legal panel lumped those cases together into one suit so that Barbier could address the common questions at the heart of the matter.

A key issue, if the case goes to trial, is the degree to which fault should be allocated among the corporate defendants, which also include Houston-based Halliburton, which performed the cement job on the well, and Cameron International Corp., designer of the failed blowout preventer.

Once the degree of fault is established, the court determines the amount the companies must pay in compensatory damages — that is, the cost of replacing what has been lost. The court will also establish whether the defendants must pay punitive damages, meant to punish and deter bad conduct.

The issue of gross negligence is also significant here because only companies whose actions are deemed grossly negligent must pay punitive damages.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs will argue that BP, the main company in their cross hairs, exhibited gross negligence by not only mismanaging the disaster, but also encouraging a culture that valued profit more than safety — a claim that BP has denied.

Rig owner Transocean is hoping to take a pass on much of this, citing an 1851 federal statute that limits a ship owner's legal exposure when a vessel goes down. Transocean argues that its exposure should be about $27 million, the current value of the sunken rig.

Despite all the legal complexity, the matter couldn't be simpler for plaintiffs like Acy Cooper Jr.

Cooper said the spill seriously affected his ability to fish in 2010. More recently, he was forced to close down his family's Venice, La., seafood restaurant. "If they didn't do things right," Cooper said of the defendants, "they need to be held accountable."

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-oil-spill-litigation-20120222,0,6311035.story

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« Reply #6227 on: Feb 23rd, 2012, 07:41am »

Jerusalem Post

'Iran set to expand nuclear activity in mountain bunker'
By REUTERS
23/02/2012

Diplomats: Iran "working toward full installation" of uranium enrichment centrifuges at underground facility, "the time when Iran's efforts to build a bomb will become immune to a strike is fast approaching."

VIENNA - Iran is believed to be carrying out preparations to expand nuclear activity deep inside a mountain, diplomats say, in a further sign of defiance in the face of intensifying Western pressure to curb its sensitive uranium enrichment drive.

Increased capacity at the Fordow underground site would probably heighten Western suspicion of Iran's intentions, after it last month started refining uranium there to a level that cuts the time it would need for any nuclear weapons bid.

A senior team of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) failed again this week to get the Islamic state to start addressing their mounting concerns about its nuclear work and returned empty handed to Vienna after two days of talks in Iran.

The setback increased worries about a downward spiral towards conflict between the Islamic Republic and the West, and sent oil prices to a nine-month high.

The UN agency is now putting the finishing touches to its next report on Iran, expected to include information on the Tehran talks as well as more detail on the status of the Fordow plant near the Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Qom.

"I think we will see a jump in the potential state of readiness of the facility," one Vienna-based envoy said.

Fordow is of particular concern for the West and Israel as Iran is shifting the most controversial aspect of its nuclear work, refining uranium to a level that takes it significantly closer to potential bomb material, to the site.

Estimated to be buried beneath 80 meters (265 feet) of rock and soil, it gives Iran better protection against any Israeli or US military strikes.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has warned that the Islamic state's nuclear research could soon pass into what he called a "zone of immunity," protected from outside disruption.

In a report issued on Thursday, the International Crisis Group think-tank said prospects for a military confrontation erupting in the long-running nuclear row, though still unlikely, appeared "higher than ever."

"As Israel sees it, the nuclear program represents a serious threat; the time when Iran's putative efforts to build a bomb will become immune to a strike is fast approaching; and military action in the near future - perhaps as early as this year - therefore is a real possibility," it said.

A Western official said Fordow was a very sensitive issue: "I'm not quite sure the Iranians understand they are playing with fire there."

Iran last month said it had started to refine uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 percent, compared with the 3.5 percent normally used for nuclear power plants, at Fordow.

Soon afterward, it doubled production capacity to a total of more than 600 uranium enrichment centrifuges at Fordow, diplomats have told Reuters.

Iran now appears to be making preparations for a further increase in the number of the cylindrical machines, spinning at supersonic speeds to increase the concentration of the fissile U-235 isotope, at the facility.

"They are working towards full installation," said another diplomat in the Austrian capital. "But they are not installed and ready to operate yet."

Nuclear bombs require uranium enriched to 90 percent, but Western experts say much of the effort required to get there is already achieved once it reaches 20 percent concentration, shortening the time needed for any nuclear weapons "break-out".

'Iran has yet to decide on whether or not to weaponize nuclear program'

Olli Heinonen, a former head of safeguards inspections at the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, said he believed its next report would include information about the progress in setting up the required infrastructure for enrichment at Fordow.

But diplomats said they expected Iran to mainly keep using old-generation centrifuges, not the newer and more efficient models which it has tried for several years to develop.

"I don't have any indications that cascades of new machines are ready to be operated," one of them said.

Neither Iranian officials nor officials at the Vienna-based IAEA, which regularly inspects Iranian nuclear sites including Fordow, were available for comment.

The United States and its allies say Iran is trying to develop the means to make atomic bombs. The Islamic Republic maintains that its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity and isotopes for medical treatment.

Iran said last year that it would transfer its highest-grade uranium refinement work to Fordow from an above-ground research and development facility at its main enrichment plant at Natanz, and sharply boost capacity.

It says it will use 20 percent-enriched uranium to convert into fuel for a research reactor making isotopes to treat cancer patients, but Western officials say they doubt Iran has the capability to do that on an industrial scale.

In addition, they say, Fordow's capacity - up to 3,000 centrifuges - is too small to produce the fuel needed for nuclear power plants, but ideal for yielding smaller amounts of high-enriched product typical of a nuclear weapons program.

Western officials believe Iran has not yet decided whether it will indeed "weaponize" enrichment, but rather is seeking now solely to establish the industrial and scientific capacity to do so if needed for military and security contingencies.

Iran disclosed the existence of Fordow to the IAEA only in September 2009, at least two years after construction began, after learning that Western spy services had detected it.

http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=259068

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« Reply #6228 on: Feb 23rd, 2012, 07:45am »

Washington Post

.S., N. Korea hold nuclear talks in Beijing, agree to meet again Friday

By Chico Harlan
Thursday, February 23, 4:22 AM

TOKYO — The U.S. and North Korea held “substantive and serious” nuclear talks on Thursday, U.S. chief negotiator Glyn Davies said, and concluded the six-hour meeting with an agreement to get together again on Friday.

The talks, held at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, mark the first substantial contact between the two countries since the Dec. 17 death of leader Kim Jong Il and could offer Washington much-needed insight on whether Pyongyang’s hereditary heir is willing to accept food aid in exchange for denuclearization.

Davies said before the meeting with North Korean vice foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan that he was “interested in trying to find out what the new leadership in North Korea is prepared to do — and I think that’s what is important about this diplomatic process that we’re engaging in.”

Days before Kim’s death, the U.S. and North Korea were on the verge of a breakthrough, according to U.S. officials briefed on discussions. The Obama administration planned to resume food aid shipments to the North, using that as a carrot to secure a freeze of Pyongyang’s enrichment program.

But Kim’s death reset the negotiations entirely, as the North refocused on pressing domestic concerns: Mourning the so-called Dear Leader, boosting support for successor Kim Jong Eun, and calculating whether its uranium enrichment program represented a trading card or a necessary security pillar during a period of vulnerability.

Diplomats see the U.S.-North Korea talks, if they go well, as the first step in a potential return to the multi-nation nuclear talks designed to persuade Pyongyang to freeze its weapons program. But the so-called six-party process has been dormant for three years now for good reason: Few trust that it will work.

The North has already pledged several times to give up its weapons — only to backtrack on the agreements after receiving aid and energy shipments. Such broken promises, coupled with Pyongyang’s repeated vows to become a powerful nuclear weapons state, have fostered skepticism within the Obama administration that the talks can ever fulfill their purpose.

Experts in Washington say that engagement with North Korea now serves a humbler goal. In the talks, U.S. officials can get a sense about the thinking of North Korea’s leadership. The talks also lessen the chance that North Korea will lash out, by testing a nuclear weapon, launching a long-range missile or carrying out a military attack on the South, as it twice did in 2010.

“It makes sense to talk to the North Koreans, particularly now,” said Mike Green, a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former adviser to President George W. Bush. “I know from experience, a lot of intelligence comes out of contact with them. So at a time of potentially important change — potentially — you want to take the pulse.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/us-n-korea-hold-nuclear-talks-in-beijing-agree-to-meet-again-friday/2012/02/23/gIQAVgc6UR_story.html?hpid=z3

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« Reply #6229 on: Feb 23rd, 2012, 07:56am »

Deadline Hollywood

SACHA BARON COHEN BANNED FROM OSCARS: EXCLUSIVE
By NIKKI FINKE
Wednesday February 22, 2012 @ 5:31pm PST
Tags: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Paramount, Sacha Baron Cohen, The Dictator

Will Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘The Dictator’ Walk The Oscar Red Carpet?

The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has pulled actor Sacha Baron Cohen‘s tickets from the 84th Academy Awards. This means he is banned from attending the Oscars even though he is an Academy member and one of the stars from Hugo, Paramount’s 11-nominated movie and Best Picture contender. “Unless they’re assured that nothing entertaining is going to happen on the Red Carpet, the Academy is not admitting Sacha Baron Cohen to the show,” Paramount just told me. The reason is that a proposal reached the Academy for Baron Cohen to strut the Red Carpet in full costume as his title character in the upcoming Paramount comedy The Dictator.

UPDATE AT 5:30 PM: Later today, faced with all the bad publicity resulting from its action, the Academy tried to parse what it did when questioned by some media outlets. But the fact is that, this morning, the Academy’s Managing Director Of Membership Kimberly Rouch phoned Paramont’s awards staff to say Baron Cohen’s tickets had been pulled unless he gives the Academy assurances ahead of time promising not to show up on the Red Carpet in costume and not to promote the movie on the Red Carpet. The Academy made it clear that, without those assurances, it would not issue him the tickets. So he’s banned.

Of course, the next best thing to that publicity stunt is all the media coverage which this ban is going to generate for Baron Cohen’s film. So the Academy has decided to act like dictators about the actor playing The Dictator. Ugh.

Loosen up, people. Frankly, the Academy looks like uptight wankers with this treatment of one of the globe’s funniest comedians. The Academy merely had to say no when that proposal was presented to it. Everyone involved in the ceremony was adamantly against it on the grounds that it makes a mockery of what Hollywood considers its most prestigious event. Instead, the Academy clearly wants another overly long, ridiculously reverential show about movies no one bothered to see where the best thing about the telecast will be the comeback of popular host Billy Crystal at age 63.
The Dictator is a spoof about the “heroic story of a Middle Eastern dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy never comes to the country he so lovingly oppressed”. Whether the fact that the 84th Academy Awards will be beamed into 200 countries had anything to do with this ban is unclear. But it is highly unusual for the Academy to pull a member’s tickets. An Oscars spokesperson acknowledged to Deadline yesterday: ”We would hope that every studio knows that this is a bad idea. The Red Carpet is not about stunting.” Oh really? Then why did Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park crossdress down the Red Carpet as J-Lo and Gwyneth Paltrow in evening gowns in 2000? Or Ben Stiller appear as an Oscar presenter in full blue Avatar makeup and hair in 2010?

Deadline reported yesterday that Baron Cohen’s plan was to come dressed as The Dictator and then change into a tuxedo and attend the Oscars as planned. He wasn’t scheduled to present an award, but he was arriving at Kodak Theatre as part of the Paramount contingent. Now he can’t do even that. Paramount has a Best Picture nominee in the Martin Scorsese-directed Hugo in which Baron Cohen plays the train station inspector of the movie about an orphan in 1930s Paris.

At the 2007 Oscars, Baron Cohen was asked to be a presenter and said he would do it only if he could be in character as Borat. And Oscars’ Powers That Be said, “No way.” He didn’t attend. But this is the first time he has been officially banned from the show.

Purists feel that the Oscars is no place for such in your face promotion. The Academy hasn’t even allowed movies to be advertised during the Oscarcast, until this year. Then again, these Oscars have very little suspense because it’s a forgone conclusion that many of the winners of the marquee categories are already known and The Artist will win Best Picture. The prospect of Baron Cohen’s Red Carpet walk was the closest thing to drama.

This would not have been Baron Cohen’s first time upstaging an awards show. To promote Bruno, he flew through the air at the MTV Movie Awards and landed with his crotch in the face of Eminem, who later admitted the stunt was rehearsed. And a trailer for The Dictator certainly was one of the raciest ever allowed by the MPAA during the Super Bowl, where Baron Cohen’s character was hilariously depicted running a competitive race while and leg-shooting rivals with a starter pistol as they got close to him.

http://www.deadline.com/2012/02/sacha-baron-cohen-banned-from-oscars-exclusive/#more-234684

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« Reply #6230 on: Feb 23rd, 2012, 08:35am »

Duke Today

Professor David R. Smith answers viewer questions Thursday about his work on metamaterials and "invisibility cloak" prototype

Topics for this story: Engineering, Alumni, Campus News, Faculty, Natural Sciences, Staff, Students
February 22, 2012

Harry Potter and numerous sci-fi novels have glamorized the idea of a cloak of invisibility, but Duke engineering professor David R. Smith has come up with a blueprint for the real thing. His research on a prototype cloak was selected as one of the top-ten scientific breakthroughs of the year in 2006 by Science Magazine. In a live, "Office Hours" webcast interview Feb. 23, Smith answers viewers' questions on the science of invisibility.

"When you think of cloaking invisibility, you think of making something vanish," Smith said about the prototype cloaking device he and his colleagues developed. "Right now, we don't know how to do that. This is just a simple example where you can take one wavelength of one color and you can cheat cloaking of that color."

Watch the webcast live Thursday beginning at noon on the Duke University Ustream channel: http://www.ustream.tv/DukeUniversity

To pose a question for Smith, email live@duke.edu, post to the Duke University Facebook page or Tweet with the hashtag #dukelive.

Smith's research focuses on composite materials called metamaterials and how to engineer them to have desired properties such as the cloaking ability. In other experiments, he and his colleagues have investigated how metamaterials can conceal sound and reduce drag on objects moving in air or water.

more after the jump
https://today.duke.edu/2012/02/david-smith-takes-your-questions-science-invisibility-thursday-noon#video

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« Reply #6231 on: Feb 23rd, 2012, 7:16pm »

Cosmic hurricane: black hole has 20 million MPH winds

Published February 23, 2012
Space.com

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This artist's impression shows the strong gravity of the black hole, on the left, pulling gas away from a companion star on the right. This gas forms a disk of hot gas around the black hole, and the wind is driven off this disk at 20 million mph. (NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

Scientists have measured the fastest winds yet observed from a stellar-mass black hole, shedding light on the behavior of these curious cosmic objects.

The winds, clocked by astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, are racing through space at 20 million mph (32 million kph), or about 3 percent the speed of light. That's nearly 10 times faster than had ever been seen from a stellar-mass black hole, researchers said.

IGR J17091 is a binary system in which a sun-like star orbits a black hole. It's found in the central bulge of our Milky Way galaxy, about 28,000 light-years from Earth.

IGR J17091's wind matches some of the fastest generated by supermassive black holes, which are millions or billions of times more massive. Supermassive black holes are thought to reside at the heart of most if not all active galaxies, including our own Milky Way.

Another surprising finding from the new study is that the wind, which comes from a disk of gas surrounding the black hole, may be blasting more material into space than the black hole is capturing.

"Contrary to the popular perception of black holes pulling in all of the material that gets close, we estimate up to 95 percent of the matter in the disk around IGR J17091 is expelled by the wind," King said.

Copyright 2012 SPACE.com, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/23/cosmic-hurricane-black-hole-has-20-million-mph-winds/?intcmp=features
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« Reply #6232 on: Feb 24th, 2012, 07:58am »

Perspective

The death of Whitney Houston was on the news all day for many days...... She had one of the greatest voices in history.



Justin Allen 23
Brett Linley 29
Matthew Weikert 29
Justus Bartett 27
Dave Santos 21
Jesse Reed 26
Matthew Johnson 21
Zachary Fisher 24
Brandon King 23
Christopher Goeke 23
and Sheldon Tate 27...

These are all Marines that gave their lives last month. There is no media for them; not even a mention of their names.

Semper fi
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« Reply #6233 on: Feb 24th, 2012, 08:29am »

on Feb 24th, 2012, 07:58am, Swamprat wrote:
Perspective

The death of Whitney Houston was on the news all day for many days...... She had one of the greatest voices in history.



Justin Allen 23
Brett Linley 29
Matthew Weikert 29
Justus Bartett 27
Dave Santos 21
Jesse Reed 26
Matthew Johnson 21
Zachary Fisher 24
Brandon King 23
Christopher Goeke 23
and Sheldon Tate 27...

These are all Marines that gave their lives last month. There is no media for them; not even a mention of their names.

Semper fi


Good morning Swamp,

Thank you for putting it into perspective.

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« Reply #6234 on: Feb 24th, 2012, 08:32am »

LA Times

'Sovereign citizen' movement now on FBI's radar

The Homeland Security Department has ranked the movement as a major threat.
Its members reject the law, and some kill police.

By Brian Bennett, Washington Bureau
4:52 PM PST, February 23, 2012
Reporting from Washington

With the FBI pounding on his door, and his wife and two children barely awake, Shawn Rice allegedly strapped on a bulletproof vest, grabbed a semiautomatic pistol and stepped out his back door on Dec. 22.

But dozens of FBI agents and local police had surrounded the ranch house in Seligman, Ariz., about 80 miles west of Flagstaff, and the only nearby cover was knee-high sagebrush. Rice ducked back inside, and warned the FBI to keep away.

After a tense 10-hour standoff, Rice, 49, was arrested. He now sits in a Las Vegas jail awaiting trial on federal money-laundering charges.

But it wasn't Rice's alleged offense alone that prompted the FBI's interest.

According to court papers, Rice was involved in the "sovereign citizen" movement, a group that has attracted little national media attention but which the FBI classifies as an "extremist antigovernment group." So-called sovereign citizens argue that they are not subject to local, state or federal laws, and some refuse to recognize the authority of courts or police.

Since 2000, members of the movement have killed six police officers, and clashes with law enforcement are on the rise, according to the FBI. The deadliest incident came in 2010, when a shootout with a member left four people dead, including two police officers, during what began as a routine traffic stop in West Memphis, Ark.

Since then, in a notable shift in policy, federal officials have stepped up their attention on sovereign citizens.

"We are focusing our efforts because of the threat of violence," said Stuart R. McArthur, a deputy assistant director in the FBI's Counterterrorism Division.

In two recent unpublished studies, the Homeland Security Department and the National Counterterrorism Center ranked the sovereign citizen movement as a major threat, along with Islamic extremists and white supremacists. The FBI assigned a supervisor to coordinate investigations of the movement last year.

"This is a movement that has absolutely exploded," said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit organization based in Montgomery, Ala., that tracks domestic terrorists and hate groups. More than 100,000 Americans have aligned themselves with the sovereign citizens, the center said.

Adherents cite a patchwork of beliefs, including that the U.S. is essentially under martial law, that some U.S. constitutional amendments are invalid, and that dollars have been illegitimate since the U.S. Treasury went off the gold standard during the Great Depression.

Most important, some followers believe they are entitled to use armed force to resist arrest and fight police.

The FBI also is investigating followers for alleged mail fraud and harassment of federal officials through nuisance lawsuits and property liens. Such cases are clogging courts in every state, said Casey Carty, who heads the FBI's sovereign citizen unit.

Until recently, federal officials had steered clear of any extensive focus on right-wing extremist groups. In 2009, some members of Congress complained after a Homeland Security Department report warned that such groups might seek to recruit disaffected military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as others. The report highlighted several groups, including the sovereign citizen movement.

Bowing to the criticism, Homeland Security officials gutted the office that had focused on right-wing extremism. They also canceled planned presentations and shelved a reference guide that the office had produced to inform local police about the movement.

"The topic had become too politically charged," said Daryl Johnson, who headed the team that wrote the 2009 report.

That changed after the West Memphis shootout with Jerry Kane Jr., a sovereign citizen proponent who had traveled the country offering $100-a-head seminars that taught spurious ways to avoid paying taxes, among other movement tactics.

Kane and his 16-year-old son, Joseph, were killed in the shootout. Also killed was Police Sgt. Brandon Paudert, son of the local police chief, Bob Paudert.

Paudert had never heard of the sovereign citizen movement until that day. Now retired, he has spoken to more than 75 law enforcement groups around the country warning of its danger.

Paudert remains angry that Kane wasn't identified as potentially armed and dangerous in the FBI-run database that local police normally access for warrants and other data when they stop a vehicle. He wants the FBI to change the database to flag known sovereign citizen adherents.

"If we had that, [my son] would have immediately called for backup," Paudert said. "He would be alive today."


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-terror-cop-killers-20120224,0,5474022.story

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« Reply #6235 on: Feb 24th, 2012, 08:40am »

Washington Post

‘Friends of Syria’ to call for UN to start planning Syria peacekeeping mission

By Associated Press
Published: February 23
Updated: Friday, February 24, 5:36 AM

TUNIS, Tunisia — A senior diplomat attending the Friends of Syria meeting says the group will call for the United Nations to begin planning a Syria peacekeeping mission.

The diplomat said the group would endorse preparations for the U.N. to send civilian police to Syria once hostilities are over. The diplomat said the envisioned operation would occur in a permissive environment and would not be a military intervention.

The diplomat, who spoke due to the sensitivity of ongoing diplomacy, said the move was part of a campaign to show that the collapse of President Bashar Assad’s regime is inevitable.

It’s also a signal to Russia and China, which have blocked U.N. Security Council action on Syria twice.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russian-foreign-ministry-says-moscow-beijing-reject-foreign-interference-in-syria/2012/02/23/gIQAQdWWVR_story.html?hpid=z2

Crystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #6236 on: Feb 24th, 2012, 08:46am »

This isn't a new article (5 July 2011) but it's interesting.

Crystal


Seattle PI

Seattle History: The UFO sightings near Seattle


The picture ran on the front page, above the fold. The headline: “Seattle Lensman First to ‘Catch’ Disk by Camera.”

Back in the summer of 1947 – 64 years ago this week – Seattle had flying disc fever. It was sparked that June 26 when the P-I ran an Associated Press story from Pendleton, Ore., telling the story of pilot Kenneth Arnold seeing “nine bright, saucer-like objects flying at ‘incredible’ speed at 10,000 feet altitude.”

Arnold, a U.S. Forest Service employee, reported seeing the discs weaving in and out of formation between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. If one dipped, Arnold said, the others did, too.

“It seems impossible,” he told a reporter, “but there it is.”

His account generated worldwide publicity and launched the flying-saucer frenzy. Rewards were offered for evidence. A pastor said “flying saucers” signaled the end of the world. A man found bleeding from the head claimed he was hit by a flying disk.

That summer, a group of “witnesses” in Seattle met with P-I editors to argue that they could not all be crazy. The paper’s files filled with the names of hundreds of citizens reporting saucer incidents. Within two months, the P-I ran at least 50 separate stories on flying disks....

photo's and the rest of the story after the jump
http://blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/2011/07/05/seattle-history-the-ufo-sightings-near-seattle/

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #6237 on: Feb 24th, 2012, 08:59am »

Telegraph

Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue from 1811 becomes online hit

It was a runaway success when published in 1811 by soldier Francis Grose, but now the Dictionary Of The Vulgar Tongue is getting tongues wagging again after being published online.


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11:29AM GMT 24 Feb 2012

It was first available when Britain was under threat from Napoleon but it has now been re-published for free at the Project Gutenberg online digital library: http://go.telegraph.co.uk/?id=296X678&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gutenberg.org%2Febooks%2F5402

The book includes gems suchs as 'ace of spades' for a widow, 'all-a-mort' to be struck dumb, and 'angling for farthings', which means to beg out of a prison window with a cap or box.

The dictionary has already become an online hit. A selection of words can be found here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/9103159/The-Dictionary-Of-The-Vulgar-Tongue-do-you-know-your-abbess-from-your-elbow-shaker.html

Explaining the book in the preface at the time, the author writes "The merit of Captain Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue has been long and universally acknowledged.

"But its circulation was confined almost exclusively to the lower orders of society: he was not aware, at the time of its compilation, that our young men of fashion would at no very distant period be as distinguished for the vulgarity of their jargon as the inhabitants of Newgate.

"Or Jehus of rank have a phraseology not less peculiar to themselves, than the disciples of Barrington: for the uninitiated to understand their modes of expression, is as impossible as for a Buxton to construe the Greek Testament."

"To sport an Upper Benjamin, and to swear with a good grace, are qualifications easily attainable by their cockney imitators; but without the aid of our additional definitions, neither the cits of Fish-street, nor the boors of Brentford would be able to attain the language of whippism.

"We trust, therefore, that the whole tribe of second-rate Bang Ups, will feel grateful for our endeavour to render this part of the work as complete as possible.

"By an occasional reference to our pages, they may be initiated into all the peculiarities of language by which the man of spirit is distinguished from the man of worth.

"They may now talk bawdy before their papas, without the fear of detection, and abuse their less spirited companions, who prefer a good dinner at home to a glorious UP-SHOT in the highway, without the hazard of a cudgelling."

The work was also assisted by Cabridge scholars James Gordon and Hell-fire Dick.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/9103258/Dictionary-of-the-Vulgar-Tongue-from-1811-becomes-online-hit.html

Crystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #6238 on: Feb 24th, 2012, 11:12am »

on Feb 24th, 2012, 07:58am, Swamprat wrote:
Perspective

The death of Whitney Houston was on the news all day for many days...... She had one of the greatest voices in history.



Justin Allen 23
Brett Linley 29
Matthew Weikert 29
Justus Bartett 27
Dave Santos 21
Jesse Reed 26
Matthew Johnson 21
Zachary Fisher 24
Brandon King 23
Christopher Goeke 23
and Sheldon Tate 27...

These are all Marines that gave their lives last month. There is no media for them; not even a mention of their names.

Semper fi


At least Obama mentions them

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-23/apologies-fail-to-quell-ire-over-koran-burning-at-u-s-base-as-probe-opens.html
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #6239 on: Feb 24th, 2012, 3:46pm »

on Feb 24th, 2012, 11:12am, Gort wrote:
At least Obama mentions them

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-23/apologies-fail-to-quell-ire-over-koran-burning-at-u-s-base-as-probe-opens.html




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Hey Gort cheesy

Crystal

« Last Edit: Feb 24th, 2012, 3:51pm by WingsofCrystal » User IP Logged

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