Archive for April, 2008

What is the North American XB-70A Valkyrie?

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Posted: April 4th, 2008
at 9:27pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: what is?

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What the newspapers said _about Zimbabwe

The electorate has opted for a system where no one political party can exercise absolute power… The economic problems Zimbabwe is facing require all parties to come together to offer solutions. a€" The Herald (Zim).

Those elected into office have to serve all the people including their political rivals because they now occupy national office… These representatives should take the lead in fighting social ills such as the now cancerous corruption which is plaguing our society. a€"The Chronicle (Zim).

It is beginning to seem just possible that one of the ugliest regimes in Africa, and one of its most tyrannical leaders, could soon be peaceably and democratically removed from power and office… President Robert Mugabe may soon no longer be with us. a€" Business Day (SA).

Unlike Kenyaa€™s first-past-the-post system, which allows few options for dealing with a close vote other than the courts or the streets, Zimbabwea€™s two-round runoff system could be the mechanism that forces a relatively peaceful transition following President Robert Mugabea€™s five-term rule… There is a lesson here for Kenya. a€" The Standard (Kenya).

Two recent elections in Kenya and Zimbabwe provide a key insight into a bright future democracy in Africa… Zimbabwe and Kenya scenarios could be significant as they shed light on future elections… Ita€™s also a demonstration that if the opposition puts its act together and the population shows determination, there can be a change of regime. The Monitor (Uganda).

The much-anticipated chaos has not taken place. At least not yet. a€" Le Pays (Burkina Faso).

In 1980, Robert Mugabe was a liberation hero. Twenty-eight years later Old Bob is a villain, clawing over Zimbabwe like a personal estate, pawing like a cornered leopard, spewing venom like a rattled snake… At 84, Mugabe has refused to appreciate there can be another Zimbabwe without him. a€" The Standard (Kenya).

Father Time has a way of wearing you down and men, even heads of state and kings, are not able to resist him. Robert Mugabe is learning his lesson the hard way. a€" Le Potentiel (DR Congo). a€" BBC.

[thezimbabweindependent]

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Posted: April 4th, 2008
at 9:22pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: apple,business,politricks

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Foto del dia 4.4.08

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Posted: April 4th, 2008
at 4:11pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: foto del dia

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Rainydayz Remixes

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Posted: April 4th, 2008
at 9:00am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: music,design,et cetera

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Sightseeing With The Enemy

My goal was to be in Myanmar when the regime fell. I was backpacking around Southeast Asia and had concocted a plan to legally enter the country from northern Thailand on a tourist visa. Tensions were rising, and I was ready to begin my prestigious career as a foreign correspondent by covering the clashes between monk protestors and government troops, and hopefully the impending collapse of the corrupt military junta that had ruled the country for decades.

Thousands of monks were protesting in the streets, defying the fascist government on a grand scale not seen since similar protests occurred in 1988. Revolution seemed imminent, though there was also a chance that the government would react like it did during the last period of upheaval and massacre nonviolent protestors. The country was on the edge.

The plan to infiltrate Myanmar was not motivated solely by professional aspirations. There were personal reasons, as well. I fancied myself as someone with revolutionary ideals, someone who wanted to witness history firsthand instead of reading about it. The events in Myanmar exemplified the reasons I wanted to be a journalist: to shed light on the injustices of the world and those rebelling against them. While most kids my aged wished they could go back in time to see their team win the Super Bowl or to hear their favorite banda€™s last concert, I wished I could join the revelers in Berlin as the Wall came down, or in Spain when Franco died. An entire nation of long-suffering people was literally about to be handed freedom in one moment. I couldna€™t think of a more worthy experience.

I assumed Ia€™d be one of the only aspiring writers there, and simply being there would give me a leg up on the competition. Unfortunately the perfect plan met an early demise when my visa application was denied. Nonetheless, I would soon cross the Thai/Myanmar border, but only for an hour, and I would accomplish nothing besides once again getting caught up in a travelera€™s moral quandary with no clear-cut solution.

My visa application was denied while most of the world was waiting with bated breath. I was quite off put. My name no longer had any chance of soon appearing in boldface, my face as an exquisitely detailed cartoon in the Wall Street Journal. To make matters worse, the military junta ruling Burma had cracked down harshly on dissidents and the revolution no longer seemed remotely forthcoming. I tried to cloud my disappointment by settling into the routine hedonistic delights of the Southeast Asia backpacker trail, focusing on Scandinavian twentysomethings and Chang beer instead of politics and career breaks.

Had I been a braver man, with any semblance of an idea of what I was doing, or of moderate resources, or even a touch of experience, I might have tried to sneak into the country or finagle my way into a visa, but I didna€™t. I didna€™t even attempt to do so. Instead, the only time I set foot in Burma and came into contact with the regime was on a border run in northern Thailand.

Relations between Burma and Thailand have long been somewhat hostile, though they have improved of late. The border region, however, is a hotbed of conflict. It has long been associated with violence, narcotics trafficking, human trafficking and gem smuggling, not to mention the Burmese rebel groups that the Thai government, while not condoning, allows to operate in Thai territory. Refugee camps overpopulated with those escaping the atrocities perpetrated by the Burmese government dot the border as well.

Crossing into Burma from the Thai border is forbidden. The only legal way to enter Burma is to fly. The only exception, however, is a loophole that allows those coming from Thailand on a border run to purchase a one-day visa. [Sightseeing With The Enemy in full]

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Posted: April 4th, 2008
at 8:00am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: myninjaplease,crime,web,home,politricks,weaponry,real life news,et cetera

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Euphemism and American Violence

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By David Bromwich

If one extreme of euphemism comes from naturalizing the cruelties of power, the opposite extreme arises from a nerve-deadening understatement. George Orwell had the latter method in view when he wrote a memorable passage of "Politics and the English Language":

Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.

Orwell’s insight was that the italicized phrases are colorless by design and not by accident. He saw a deliberate method in the imprecision of texture. The inventors of this idiom meant to suppress one kind of imagination, the kind that yields an image of things actually done or suffered; and they wanted to put in its place an imagination that trusts to the influence of larger powers behind the scenes. Totalitarianism depends on the creation of people who take satisfaction in such trust; and totalitarian minds are in part created (Orwell believed) by the ease and invisibility of euphemism.

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If one extreme of euphemism comes from naturalizing the cruelties of power, the opposite extreme arises from a nerve-deadening understatement. George Orwell had the latter method in view when he wrote a memorable passage of "Politics and the English Language":

Americans born between the 1930s and the 1950s have a much harder time getting over the shock of learning that our country practices torture than do Americans born in the 1970s or 1980s. The memory of the Gestapo and the GPU, the depiction of torture in a film like Open City, are not apt to press on younger minds. But the different responses are also a consequence of the different imaginings to which people may fall prey. Many who fear that their children might be killed by a terrorist bomb cannot imagine anyone they know ever suffering injustice at the hands of the national security state.

This complacency suggests a new innocencea€"the correlative in moral psychology of euphemism in the realm of language. And if you take stock of how little general discussion there has been of the advisability of pursuing the global war on terrorism, you realize that this country has scarcely begun to take stock of the United States as an ambiguous actor on the world stage. Those who said, in the weeks just after the September 11 attacks, that the motives of the terrorists might be traced back to some US policies in the Middle East were understandably felt to have spoken unseasonably. The surprising thing is that six and a half years later, when a politic reticence is no longer the sole order of the day, discussion of such matters is still confined to academic studies like Chalmers Johnson’s Blowback and Robert A. Pape’s Dying to Win,[3] and has barely begun to register in The New York Times, in The Washington Post, or on CNN or MSNBC. Ask an American what the United States may have to do with much of the world’s hostility toward us and you will find educated people saying things like "They hate the West and resent modernity," or "They hate the fact that we’re so free," or "They hate us because this is a country where a man and a woman can look at each other across a table with eyes of love." Indeed, the single greatest propaganda victory of the Bush administration may be the belief shared by most Americans that the rise of radical Islama€"so-called Islamofascisma€"has nothing to do with any previous actions by the United States.

[read the whole piece]

Ridiculously ill article. Excellent read.AA Thanks to Lissy for the link and to Tris for other contributing content today.

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Posted: April 3rd, 2008
at 9:19am by Black Ock


Categories: politricks,weaponry,9th dan,primary sources

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Maybe it’s less horrible than we initially believed.

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Looking to honor the forty-third President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, the recently formed Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco is looking to change the name of the Oceanside Wastewater Treatment Facility. It seems the group would like to rename the SF Zoo adjacent facility to the "George W Bush Sewage Plant."

Genius.

The local grassroots movement, helmed by "Wayne Pickering," is proposing an ordinance initiative for the November 2008 San Francisco ballot in order to get the poop/pee/vomit plant’s title changed. Why? To honor our current leader of the free world with an "appropriate and enduring legacy, for no other president in modern American history has accomplished so much in such a short time.

We think this is an excellent idea.

Would you like to help out with this effort? Help collect signatures? Host meetings or social gatherings? Then, join the effort by visiting Presidentialmemorial.org. So far, there are only six members, which we find inexcusable. Together we can make a difference and setup a constant reminder of what was, arguably, the worst administration in the history of our glorious country. God bless America and God bless the Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco.

[From SFist]

We would like to add this to our list of officially supported campaigns, including and alongside those that we’ve started.AA Kudos to the kids at SFist.

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Posted: April 3rd, 2008
at 8:10am by Black Ock


Categories: too good to be true,politricks

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Unfortunately, Ann didn’t make the list

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My friends tease me about my speech impediment all the time, I would be crazy to feel sensitive toward it since I am an amazingly insensitive prick myself.(I once told an ex, after sex, "You’re money is on the table. Scram!" She didn’t find that funny) But this dude wasn’t a friend, and the mere fact that his main goal was to embarrass me in front of a girl that I had visions of giving me eyerolling mouth-hugs to some drunken night, I was pissed off. So I calmly turned to him and asked him, "How old are you dude?", because I had to make sure he was of legal age first. He said, "I’m 20 years old, why you want to know asshole??. I smiled and said, "Good", then I elbowed him in the chest knocking him back into the convenience store isle, tipping the shit over completely. He looked like he wanted to get up and I angrily screamed, "Get up and I will make your ass squeal like Ned Beatty’s character in deliverance motherfucker!!" As I left the store feeling good about getting that anger out, I thought 2 things: 1: How nerdy am I to spout a movie reference during a "tough guy" rant and 2: Maybe I should think before I speak, because Ned Beatty’s character DID get ass-raped in Deliverance.

So fuck it, I’m not sitting on anyone’s couch any more, I’m going to embrace the fact that sometimes in my life I’m just going to have to put some random individuals on their ass. Matter of fact, in honor of me embracing my "inner asshole", here is a list of people I would love to punch in the face.

[Read the short list]

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Posted: April 3rd, 2008
at 8:08am by Black Ock


Categories: celebrity,film,boredom killer

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Real Onionz: Spare Change You Can Believe In

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While Democrats increasingly worry about winning ugly, Barack Obama was losing gracefully at a bowling lane in Altoona.

"My economic plan is better than my bowling," Obama told fellow bowlers Saturday.

"It has to be," a man called out.

Obama let everyone know he hadn’t bowled since Jimmy Carter was president — and finished with a score of 37. A perfect game is 300. [LINK]

K… so, confession time.AA I was watching the TODAY Show and that’s where I first heard this.AA But, by now, ya’ll already know about my penchant for "the fake news."AA Ann Curry (sp?) said something about how the dude only bowled a 37 and it was humiliating.

At first I was like, whatever… that’s not sooo humiliating.AA Then I thought about the fact that 8 year old girls routinely (I digress, only 99.9% of the time) bowl better scores than that.AA Needless to say, I’m not impressed.AA The picture itself is also further evidence of previous MNP claims.

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Posted: April 3rd, 2008
at 7:36am by Black Ock


Categories: not ninja-worthy,politricks,real onionz

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