Monday, November 28

CIA sources confirmed secret prisons in Romania, Poland

BUCHAREST DAILY NEWS: "A European official investigating the alleged CIA secret prisons, Dick Marty, said it is possible for the government not to have known about the detention facilities, pointing the finger at the intelligence services.
The German daily Handelsblatt, quoted by Der Spiegel, reported on Friday that sources within the CIA have confirmed that two CIA secret prisons are located in Romania and Poland. According to weekly Euobserver, Handelsblatt also reported that CIA is still using European airports for stop-overs on flights carrying terrorist suspects."

Man, you think you know someone, and invite him over to the House and then he turns around and does something like this.

The report suggests that European airports are still facilitating the transport of suspected terrorists by the CIA to the Guantanamo Bay camp, or possibly to alleged secret prisons somewhere in Eastern Europe.

Indeed, citing the need to combat terrorism, the administration has argued, with varying degrees of success, that judges should have essentially no role in reviewing its decisions. The change in Mr. Padilla's status, just days before the government's legal papers were due in his appeal to the Supreme Court, suggested to many legal observers that the administration wanted to keep the court out of the case.

"The position of the executive branch," said Eric M. Freedman, a law professor at Hofstra University who has consulted with lawyers for several detainees, "is that it can be judge, jury and executioner."

The government says a secret and unilateral decision-making process is necessary because of the nature of the evidence it deals with. Officials described the approach as a practical one that weighs a mix of often-sensitive factors.

Which in my mind is getting the point of "More Scary than Terrorism". There are somethings that are wrong.. no matter how you justify the actions, or layout the plan, there comes a time when you have to decide what is Right and what is Convienent. Basically the actions of the White House are justifying the actions and methods of the Terrorists they are fighting against. The tactics are now the same, and the results, therefore, will be the same as well. Insanity is often described as doing the same the over and over and expecting different results. What we see here is a plain insanity.

Google Image Result for

Mobbing - Raising the Awareness of women victims

Mobbing is a phenomenon which started to be identified in the early 1980s and from there on spread more and more across Europe. It can be defined as frequent harassment, 'torment' or discrimination and exclusion in the workplace by colleagues and/or superiors over a relatively long period.

Mobbing is a significant issue as it occurs among both genders, within every age and occupational group and within all branches and fields of work. Nevertheless, several studies show that young women are at a higher risk of being mobbed than men. Thus, our work aims to analyse mobbing among women and especially problems and consequences of being a mobbed female employee which means addressing all the difficulties connected to gender to obtain equal opportunities in the workplace, plus dealing with the subtle and not yet well identified issue of mobbing.

Mobbing can be described as an emotional abuse carried out in the workplace by means of regular attacks by colleagues or employers. The strategies which the mobber uses are different and in the worst cases even sabotage or illegal actions are possible. The aim of mobbing is to get rid of a person who is, or has become, somehow "inconvenient", by destroying them psychologically and socially and it may ultimately lead to dismissal.

Mobbing has very serious consequences on health as it can lead to psychological harm and occupational illness with depressive and psychosomatic symptoms, and so the victim can suffer different kinds of emotional breakdown.

Enterprises are damaged because the performance of both the mobbed and the mobber in the workplace is reduced. Society as a whole is damaged as mobbing has very high social and health costs, and can lead to the need for medical treatment or early retirement.

Tuesday, November 22

Just Coffee Art | coffee + creativity = art

Andrew Saur and Angel Sarkela-Saur have been painting with coffee for several years now. It all started one summer when they planned their first art show in a coffee house in Duluth, Minnesota. They wanted to come up with something unique and creative. Since their show was going to take place in a coffee house, they thought it would be appropriate to use coffee as their medium. They tried several techniques, such as using the coffee bean to sketch with and making pastels out of coffee grounds. These techniques were not successful. So they finally decided to use the coffee as a watercolor. The watercolor technique was the most effective way the artists found to use. They first sketch out an idea, then start brewing a really strong pot of coffee that is really dark and thick! From there, water is added to gain the subtle tones of brown. Finally, a clear coat of acrylic is added to preserve the art and a painting of delicate beauty is finished."

Learning Ancient ways

'For brief writings the Greeks and the Romans used small wax tablets. These were made of small boards with narrow raised frames at the edges. A thin coating of wax, commonly black, was laid over the sunken part of the wood. Letters were scratched with a stylus through the black wax so that the light-colored wood showed in the strokes. The tablets could be bound together'

I know that just about every problem I face with writing a fantasy type game, was not only faced by ancient people, but also solved by them. It's just nice to come across their answers every once in a while. Take this simple solution. It seems obvioius, but i didn't think about it."

Monday, November 21

'Close to Home,' closer than you think

'Close to Home,' closer than you think: "Ultimately, the challenge for 'Close to Home” will be where it goes next. And next. And next. The risk is that it will attempt to further exploit the stressed-out working mom cliche at the expense of the crime-solving and prosecuting work. At the least it would be a waste of Finnigan's talent, as well as a promising premise."

Interesting take on the story at least. I like the contrast of the idea, the "nice middle america city" with the layers under it, but not the expected layers like psycho killers and mob guys and gangs. Those are all over the story lines of every other show.

I have this great visual of driving down a lane in Poway, and ticking off the crimes that have happened in the homes with manicured lawns and freshly skimmed pools. Nice neighborhood, close to schools and the super market, with 3 rooms, 2 baths and a blood stain in the bathroom where the previous owner killed a woman. Blackmail is involved. Crime was never reported, the new owner never suspected, and now it is out. Her husband is away at war, she now lives in a house where a murder happened. She wants to move, but can't afford another house unless she sold this one, and of course not many families want to live in a house where a murder happened.

A few streets down at the house with the black walnut tree in the front lawn, a single mom is suplimenting her income with a short, very selective list of male lovers. prostitution. Her date for this evening is killed in a car accident, she is only wounded and in a mild coma which she comes out of to discover that her children are in foster care and her side business is now well known in her neighborhood, because the wife of the dead man made sure of that.

I think the real idea here is that the neighborhoods ... there is a lot of crime that happens out there in the regular world, and most of it is being done by average joes. That stuff has to be overflowing somewhere, into schools, and work and across the street. Crime doesn't happen in a vacuum, if it did it probably wouldn't bother us so much.

Sunday, November 20

Listen you silly person

UK Indymedia | Victory: Selfridges take on "No Fur" policy: ""

Ever read boards like these? I find them hysterical, and very insightful as to how humans really interact with other humans

have any good solutions in your head lately?

Google Answers: Preventing Dreaming

I would like to find information on how i can prevent myself from
dreaming, or from remembering my dreams. I am a light sleeper and tend to remember my dreams quite often which has a big impact on my day to day life as sometimes my dreams are quite harrowing.
I used to suffer from stress-related insomnia as a teenager but found many helpful techniques that have helped. I suffer very little stress or unhappiness in my life now and i have good relationsips with my partner/family/friends so just 'relaxing' as my doctor suggests isnt helping!

I would like any information that can be found on dreaming and the
prevention of it, and will happily tip anyone who can help me.

This is one of those moments you might consider thanking what ever God or Creator or Intelligence you might believe in, that there isn’t an answer for you, because someone might have given it to you if there was, and you would go mad and die.

It is amazing to me what some people see as problems, but what truely puts me on my ear is what some people see as solutions.

Sunday, November 13 Top Worldwide

"Bush Adviser Says Iraq Weapons Data `Wrong,' Not Manipulated:

Nov. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The Bush administration had no intention of misleading the public even though pre-war intelligence about Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction was ``wrong,'' Stephen Hadley, National Security Advisor, told the Cable News Network.

``This was a collective intelligence judgment. It was relied on by the prior administration and other world leaders, the Congress, the president of the United States,'' Hadley said. ``Turns out we were wrong.''"

--- Well no doubt.. a little late now to be telling us this isn't it? I mean the soldiers are already dead.

So does this mean that we might get to see some of our troops come home? Probably not... this is just redirection to keep his sorry ass in office. That's my opinion anyway.

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Turkeys

Do you like to cook? - Do you like to cook? - Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Turkeys: "Normal Rockwell featured a roast turkey as a symbol of prosperity in his painting 'Freedom from Want' - one of his four Freedom Series paintings. There can be little argument that the Turkey is an important United States symbol. Ben Franklin was in favor of the Turkey for the national bird, rather than the bald eagle. It is just as well this idea was not accepted. It simply wouldn't be right to have the national bird high on the shopping list of several national holidays."

Acid Rain: Causes, Effects, and Possible Solutions

03.05.01: Do We Need to Wear a Rainhat? Acid Rain: Causes, Effects, and Possible Solutions: "Developing Acid Resistant Fish

This is an example of a short - sighted solution. There is actually scientific research being conducted to develop fish that can withstand low pH environments. (See Table 5 for a list of aquatic organisms and their relative pH tolerances) Again this does not address the real issue at hand."

Is it just me, or is this more frightening than Bush and Cheny?

UCR News: Acid rain threatens forests in more ways than previously thought

UCR News: Acid rain threatens forests in more ways than previously thought: "Acid rain threatens forests in more ways than previously thought
(July 8, 2002)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- UC Riverside Earth Scientist Martin Kennedy and colleagues report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that acid rain, by leaching essential metal nutrients (such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium) from topsoil, may pose a far graver threat to forests than has been previously estimated. This result would especially interest ecologists, biologists, geologists, and policy makers.

'Our work shows that in unperturbed natural ecosystems a very small pool of these nutrients is available and this comes from the atmosphere, mostly as dilute amounts dissolved in rain that then get deposited in topsoil,' said Kennedy. 'The tight budget of these nutrients is a concern because if the budget is perturbed, the forests are at risk.'

If deprived of a certain critical nutrient, such as calcium, a tree faces the risk of dying. In parts of Germany, for example, trees are already dying not from the direct effects of the acid, but from magnesium deficiency, this magnesium loss from the soil stemming from leaching by acid rain. Such leaching results in the loss of topsoil nutrients to groundwater and eventually to rivers.

Kennedy noted that plant roots cannot access all nutrient elements in the soil; some elements are bound in minerals and rocks. 'In our study, we were attempting to determine what fraction of the total elements available in the soil the plants could access. We found it was a very small proportion.'"

Friday, November 11

What happens to rats in sinking ships

KRT Wire | 11/08/2005 | Sources: With policies under fire, Bush-Cheney relationship cools: "The CIA leak scandal has peeled back the veil on the most closely held White House secret of all: the subtle but unmistakable erosion in the bond between President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Multiple sources close to Bush told the New York Daily News that while the vice president remains his boss's valued political partner and counselor, his clout has lessened - primarily as a result of issues arising from the Iraq war.

'The relationship is not what it was,' a presidential counselor said. 'There has been some distance for some time.'

A senior administration official termed any such suggestion 'categorically false.'

Several sources said the distance is certain to accelerate with the Oct. 28 indictment of Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff.

'Cheney is wounded by this,' a longtime Bush associate said.

Outwardly, there is little to suggest anything is amiss. Cheney, wife Lynne and their two daughters were guests, for example, at last week's Bush dinner for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

Earlier this year, Bush praised Cheney at a Republican campaign dinner as a 'steady adviser, the solid rock - and what a decent man he is. I'm proud to be serving with him for four more years.'"

Okay, so now begins the finger pointing... really folks.. how do we justify allowing these two to power binge this long? It is after all "We the People" not "They the responcible".

Thursday, November 10

The Atrosities of the United States Can not Go unanswered

Rather ominous tittle, and one that I hope to never see on a forigen newspaper I care about, such as the London Times or the Spain Herald, and yet we seem to be heading that way. The Bush administration has been accused of operating secret detention facilities beyond the reach of the law and outside official oversight at bases in two eastern European countries. The facilities - said to be located in Poland and Romania - are part of a larger "gulag" used by the US to hold prisoners seized in the so-called war on Terror.

"We do not torture," Bush declared in response to reports of secret CIA prisons overseas.

"We're working with Congress to make sure that as we go forward, we make it possible, more possible, to do our job," Bush said. "There's an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again. And so, you bet we will aggressively pursue them. But we will do so under the law."

Cheney is seeking to persuade Congress to exempt the Central Intelligence Agency from the proposed torture ban if one is passed by both chambers.

European officials have vowed to investigate reports that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency set up a network of "ghost prisons" in Poland, Romania and elsewhere in Eastern Europe to interrogate al-Qaeda suspects, far away from the peering eyes of human-rights activists, the press and the courts.

"We have to find out exactly what is happening," said Friso Roscam Abbing, a spokesman for the European Union in Brussels, who said the 25 EU governments would be questioned about the reports. He pointed out that the existence of these prisons could violate EU human-rights rules and the International Convention Against Torture.

In the Czech Republic, Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan is reported to have said that his government recently turned down a U.S. request to build a prison for al-Qaeda captives.

Human Rights Watch corroborated the story and named Poland and Romania as sites for the clandestine prisons.

"They did it so they could abuse these people without anybody knowing," said Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch, who is concerned that the CIA is using unconventional interrogation methods at these facilities at a time when there is increasing oversight of the main prisons for terrorist suspects near Kabul, Afghanistan, and at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Mr. Garlasco said that researchers at Human Rights Watch had been tracking the movements of aircraft chartered by the CIA for "extraordinary renditions," the practice of extraditing suspects across international boundaries without following normal court procedures.

A prime example of such a rendition was the arrest of Canadian Maher Arar in 2002 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, his transfer to Jordan and eventually to his birthplace of Syria, where he was imprisoned and tortured for a year.

Mr. Garlasco cited the movement of a Boeing 737 aircraft that departed from Washington on Sept. 20, 2003, and stopped at the Ruzyne airport outside Prague, Czech Republic, on Sept. 21 before flying on the same day to a U.S. base outside of Tashkent in Uzbekistan.

On Sept. 22, the same plane flew to Kabul, and then to Szymany airport near Szczytno in Poland, Mikhail Kogalniceanu airport in Constanta, Romania and Salé airport in Rabat, Morocco.

On Sept. 23, the plane flew from Morocco to its ultimate destination in Guantanamo Bay.

"It's the torture shuttle," said Mr. Garlasco, who added quickly that he had no proof torture had taken place.

Whether all of this is true or not, whether there are toruture rooms with suspected terrorists facing thier deaths at the hands of terrorizing CIA agents, the fact are that Bush can't bring himself to deny the alogations out right and Chenny is running around trying to keep the CIA exempt from laws that dis-allow this type of action.

The only argument that I can come up with right now which might explain these actions by the President and Vice President is that they got it in their heads that by not denying the allogations and by not allowing a bill to pass which forbids Torture by everyone, including the CIA, that they are able to still portray to the terrorist groups, and some other countries, torture is an option if deamed nessesary by the CIA when dealing with them. Which is absolutely absured, and takes a twisted mind to come up with. I'll own that characteristic in myself, since I am a fiction writer, but not too happy that such a mind is making policy for the nation I live in.

Wednesday, November 9

A little Google Madness Forum: "go to type in miserable failure... hit 'I'm feeling lucky'"

Everyone needs a sense of humor about our country these days, or things are going to get harder than they need to be. However, I agree with Google on this one.