Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for September, 2012

Surreal: Clinton Pledges $45 Million in Aid to Al Qaeda in Syria

Posted by Anonymous on September 30, 2012

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the US would be providing an additional $45 million in “non-lethal aid” to the “opposition” in Syria, reported the Associated Press. The Western press chose their words carefully, ensuring that the term “civilian opposition” was repeatedly used to describe the armed terrorist forces attempting to violently overthrow the Syrian government.

In reality, the “opposition” in Syria constitutes foreign terrorist legions flowing across Syria’s borders, and in particular, staging and crossing over from NATO-member Turkey. In fact, it was recently admitted by the terrorist legions themselves that their headquarters has been located within Turkish territory for the duration of the conflict. In a recent France 24 article titled, “Free Syrian Army move HQ from Turkey to Syria,” armed militants claimed they had only just recently “moved from Turkey to within Syria.”

Clinton’s Aid is Going to Al Qaeda, Not a “Civilian Opposition.”

While the Western media attempts to portray heavily armed foreign terrorists as “Syria’s civilian opposition,” it has been revealed that entire brigades are led by Libyan terrorists drawn from the ranks of the US State Department (#29), UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf), and UN-listed terror organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

The presence of LIFG in Syria was first announced by the Western press in November of 2011 when the Telegraph in their article, “Leading Libyan Islamist met Free Syrian Army opposition group,” would report:

Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, “met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,” said a military official working with Mr Belhadj. “Mustafa Abdul Jalil (the interim Libyan president) sent him there.”

Another Telegraph article, “Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels,” would admit

Syrian rebels held secret talks with Libya’s new authorities on Friday, aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

At the meeting, which was held in Istanbul and included Turkish officials, the Syrians requested “assistance” from the Libyan representatives and were offered arms, and potentially volunteers.
“There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria,” said a Libyan source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see.”

Later that month, some 600 Libyan terrorists would be reported to have entered Syria to begin combat operations and more recently, CNN, whose Ivan Watson accompanied terrorists over the Turkish-Syrian border and into Aleppo, revealed that indeed foreign fighters were amongst the militants, particularly Libyans. It was admitted that:

Meanwhile, residents of the village where the Syrian Falcons were headquartered said there were fighters of several North African nationalities also serving with the brigade’s ranks.
A volunteer Libyan fighter has also told CNN he intends to travel from Turkey to Syria within days to add a “platoon” of Libyan fighters to armed movement.

CNN also added:

On Wednesday, CNN’s crew met a Libyan fighter who had crossed into Syria from Turkey with four other Libyans. The fighter wore full camouflage and was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle. He said more Libyan fighters were on the way.

The foreign fighters, some of them are clearly drawn because they see this as … a jihad. So this is a magnet for jihadists who see this as a fight for Sunni Muslims.

CNN’s reports provide bookends to 2011′s admissions that large numbers of Libyan terrorists flush with NATO cash and weapons had headed to Syria, with notorious terrorist LIFG commandersmaking the arrangements.

LIFG officially merged with Al Qaeda in 2007, but has fought along Al Qaeda since its inception by the US and Saudis in the mountains of Afghanistan in the 1980′s. This includes fighting alongside Al Qaeda most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq against US troops while sowing sectarian violence, as covered by the US Army’s West Point Combating Terrorism Center in a 2007 report.

via Infowars

This is not surprising if you’ve been following the real news since 9/11. If you have, you already know that the heads of the US Senate and House intelligence committees were meeting in DC on the morning of 9/11 with the Pakistani ISI general who paid the lead 9/11 hijacker. This seems to me to support the “conspiracy theory” that Al Qaeda is a fake enemy, a political tool used to justify a huge military budget and invasions for war profiteering. With the Patriot Act and the NDAA, we are seeing the final fatal erosion of the US constitution. But there is a way to fix this, all of this, even now.

9/11, our financial crisis, world poverty, foods that make us sick and wars that divide us all flow from a mental illness that dominates our current human culture of competition. We suffer from a delusion that the accumulation of wealth and power beyond our need will make us happy. It won’t. It doesn’t. It never will.

Cooperation beats competition in the most important human endeavors. Expose deception, think critically, then act where you are most needed, with your full passion.

To finish the Beatles’ song, “Love is all you need”, it is true that love is all you need …to start to change the world.

Posted in Politics, War | 1 Comment »

While you were busy on Facebook, the government gained the power to imprison anyone forever without a trial

Posted by Anonymous on September 29, 2012

… So much for innocent until proven guilty. So much for limited government. What Americans are now facing is quite literally the end of the line. We will either uphold the freedoms baked into our Constitutional Republic, or we will scrap the entire project in the name of security as we wage, endlessly, this futile, costly, and ultimately self-defeating War on Terror.

Over at Wired, Spencer Ackerman gives us the long and short of things:

There are still changes swirling around the Senate, but this looks like the basic shape of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Someone the government says is “a member of, or part of, al-Qaida or an associated force” can be held in military custody “without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” Those hostilities are currently scheduled toend the Wednesday after never. The move would shut down criminal trials for terror suspects.

But far more dramatically, the detention mandate to use indefinite military detention in terrorism cases isn’t limited to foreigners. It’s confusing, because two different sections of the bill seem to contradict each other, but in the judgment of the University of Texas’ Robert Chesney — a nonpartisan authority on military detention — “U.S. citizens are included in the grant of detention authority.”

An amendment that would limit military detentions to people captured overseas failed on Thursday afternoon. The Senate soundly defeated a measure to strip out all the detention provisions on Tuesday.

So despite the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a right to trial, the Senate bill would let the government lock up any citizen it swears is a terrorist, without the burden of proving its case to an independent judge, and for the lifespan of an amorphous war that conceivably will never end. And because the Senate is using the bill that authorizes funding for the military as its vehicle for this dramatic constitutional claim, it’s pretty likely to pass.

I seriously don’t care if you’re a liberal or a conservative or a libertarian or a Zen anarchist. So long as you aren’t Carl Levin or John McCain, the bill’s architects, you can join the Civil Liberties Caucus. Spencer writes:

Weirder still, the bill’s chief architect, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), tried to persuade skeptics that the bill wasn’t so bad. His pitch? “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States,” he said on the Senate floor on Monday. The bill would just letthe government detain a citizen in military custody, not force it to do that. Reassured yet?

Civil libertarians aren’t. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said it “denigrates the very foundations of this country.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) added, “it puts every single American citizen at risk.”

This is what I mean: Give me Rand Paul and Al Franken any day of the week over the Levins and McCains of the Senate. …

What’s truly at stake when we start talking about Big Government and such is far more dangerous and preposterous than high marginal tax rates.

We’re talking about the stripping away of our most basic freedoms. We’re talking about a potential state that can call me a terrorist for writing this blog post and then lock me up and throw away the key. …

* Update: Actually, Franken voted for the NDAA so never mind. He’s also sponsoring the PROTECT IP Act which would clamp down on free speech online.

Second Update (Dec. 17th): The National Defense Authorization Act passed. Senator Al Franken withdrew his support from the bill, stating:

“I voted against this bill because it contains provisions on detention that I find unacceptable. While I voted for an earlier version of the legislation, I did so with the hope that the final version would be significantly improved. And that didn’t happen.

“The bill that came before the Senate today still includes several troubling provisions, the worst of which could allow the military to detain Americans indefinitely, without charge or trial, even if they’re captured in the U.S. What’s more, provisions like these could ultimately undermine the safety of our troops stationed abroad. And just yesterday, FBI Director Robert Mueller testified in a Senate hearing that I attended about his deep concerns with the detention provisions and their potentially harmful effects on our counterterrorism efforts.

via Forbes

The Obama administration might be coming for you, no matter who you are, according to a group of people fighting President Barack Obama’s indefinite detention act.

Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, and a whole host of others involved in the fight against the National Defense Authorization Act yesterday took to Reddit to answer questions about the act.

A federal judge permanently blocked the NDAA — which allows the government to indefinitely detain anyone even remotely related to terrorism — claiming it has a “chilling effect” on free speech.

But the Obama administration was quick to pounce, saying Judge Katherine B. Forrest overstepped her bounds in opposing the White House.

“Anyone who dissents is in threat,” Hedges wrote in response to a question about who should fear the act. “The legislation, as the dumped emails by Wikileaks from the security firm Stafford illustrated, allows the state to tie a legitimate dissident group to terrorism and strip them of their right of dissent.”

Another Redditor asked why Obama was so quick to fight Forrest’s ruling.

“If the Obama administration simply appealed it, as we expected, it would have raised this red flag,” Hedges wrote. “But since they were so aggressive it means that once Judge Forrest declared the law invalid, if they were using it, as we expect, they could be held in contempt of court. This was quite disturbing, for it means, I suspect, that U.S. citizens, probably dual nationals, are being held in military detention facilities almost certainly overseas and maybe at home.”

-businessinsider

Everyone should be shouting about this and planning the big march on Washington to overthrow this attack on our country and our Constitution. Well, kiss them both goodbye. The election is rigged. You are a slave. Do you understand? No you don’t.

People who make statements like, “I’m not worried, because I’m not doing anything wrong,” are completely missing what’s going on. The people who can now legally grab you and throw you in a secret prison forever without a trial are torturers, rapists and murderers. They do not care if you are doing anything wrong or not. They can make it seem like you were, if they take you.

If they take you, they might make up a phoney story about how you were a terrorist “plotting” something. Your friends and neighbors will be “shocked,” because you didn’t seem like the terrorist type… but there was that one thing you said once, now that they think about it…

You probably haven’t even heard of the NDAA, have you? Just go back to sleep until they snatch you.

An astounding 2,300 Americans are reported missing every day, including both adults and children. – link

Posted in Crime, human rights, Politics, War | 1 Comment »

EPA Sued Over Illegal Experimentation on Human Subjects

Posted by Anonymous on September 28, 2012

photoThe US Environmental Protection Agency and its Administrator Lisa Jackson are on the defendant’s end of a federal lawsuit claiming the Agency conducted illegal human experimentation on unsuspecting study volunteers.

The American Tradition Institute Environmental Law Center (ATI) issued a complaint against the Agency last Friday, stating it “failed to comply with laws controlling human experimentation” in studies that were apparently testing the effect of “fine particles” on human subjects who were “more susceptible to the effects of air pollutants,” in other words, participants who were already ill.

The EPA, and Jackson in her official capacity, are targeted in the lawsuit for knowingly “conducting experiments on humans that involved exposing those persons to toxic substances the Agency believes will cause death and which the Agency therefore regulates under the auspices of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S. C. Chapter 85.”

A statement regarding ATI’s complaint reveals toxic particulate matter, known as PM2.5, was pumped into a gas chamber-like enclosure via an intake pipe located outside the building where diesel exhaust from a parked, idled truck was channeled into the building where the experiments took place.

The ATI’s lead counsel and director, David W. Schnare, contends that “under EPA regulations and under EPA policy, this human experimentation is strictly prohibited.” He also argues that the experiment’s participants were not properly informed of the type of pollution they would be inhaling, and that the study researchers blatantly disregarded the known toxicity of PM2.5.

Dr. Schnare has direct insider knowledge of the workings of the EPA, having been employed by the Agency for 33 years as a scientist, policy analyst and enforcement attorney.

“EPA actually has pictures of this gas chamber, a clear plastic pipe stuck into the mouth of a subject, his lips sealing it to his face, diesel fumes inhaled straight into the lungs,” Schnare states.

Schnare feels it his obligation to expose the EPA’s experiments as members of his own family were unwilling participants of experimentation conducted at the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945. Recalling the horrors of the Nazi experiments, he says it is his duty to challenge the EPA’s “misanthropic activities.”

via » EPA Sued Over Illegal Experimentation on Human Subjects Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!.

Posted in human rights | 1 Comment »

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Lost Court Battle

Posted by Anonymous on September 28, 2012

joe arpaio

Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, best known for his fights with undocumented immigrants, received quite a blow Tuesday from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The federal appeals court ruled Arpaio can’t detain suspects based only on his belief they are here illegally, Courthouse News Service reported Wednesday.

Arpaio has garnered his fair share of headlines in the past for his harsh stance on fighting illegal immigration.

Back in June he arrested a 6-year-old girl during a raid on suspected undocumented workers.

A three-judge panel on Tuesday upheld an injunction in a class-action lawsuit against the sheriff that was initially ordered in 2011.

The judges also found that the group of people suing Arpaio for his alleged racial profiling were likely to succeed in their suit, saying “mere unauthorized presence is not a criminal matter, [and] suspicion of unauthorized presence alone does not give rise to an inference that criminal activity is ‘afoot,'” according to CNS.

A lawsuit accusing Arpaio of systemically profiling Hispanic citizens began in July.

via Sheriff Joe Arpaio Lost Court Battle – Business Insider.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

Throttled again by AT&T, another excuse

Posted by Anonymous on September 28, 2012

It is almost funny how the story changes each time I call. Yesterday, I was told that the reps have no way to tell if I am actually throttled. Today, I was told that every rep I contact can see in my notes a note from the “Data Usage and Control Department” if I am throttled. So yesterday, what happened when I was at first told I was not being throttled, and was then told I was being throttled due to my account not getting reset from the previous month?

At home my “4G” speed test this morning was over 9,376 kbps download (faster than my WiFi connection actually) and 936 kbps upload, but this afternoon my speed test showed a dismal 46 kbps download and 9 kbps upload, which is typical of what I see when my phone is throttled.

I called and this time was told that I need to power off my phone each day for at least three minutes to clear the cache or it may appear that I am using more data than I am. Upon restarting, my download speed has increased to … 63 kbps (still throttled) and upload 167 kpbs.

I’m documenting this in case I go to arbitration.

Posted in Technology | Leave a Comment »

New Surgical Tool Enables Superhuman Precision

Posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2012

Video of the CAD model and prototype of the fiber-optic-sensor-based microsurgical tool, SMART. Courtesy Cheol Song, Johns Hopkins University.The CAD model and prototype of the fiber-optic-sensor-based microsurgical tool, SMART. Courtesy Cheol Song, Johns Hopkins University.Even the most skilled and steady surgeons experience minute, almost imperceptible hand tremors when performing delicate tasks. Normally, these tiny motions are inconsequential, but for doctors specializing in fine-scale surgery, such as operating inside the human eye or repairing microscopic nerve fibers, freehand tremors can pose a serious risk for patients.

By harnessing a specialized optical fiber sensor, a new “smart” surgical tool can compensate for this unwanted movement by making hundreds of precise position corrections each second – fast enough to keep the surgeon’s hand on target. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., have combined the Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging technique as a distance sensor with computer-controlled piezoelectric motors to actively stabilize the tip of a surgical tool. A paper describing their new device, named SMART (Smart Micromanipulation Aided Robotic-surgical Tool), was published today in the Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal Optics Express.

“Microsurgery relies on excellent motor control to perform critical tasks,” said Cheol Song, a postdoctoral fellow in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Johns Hopkins. “But certain fine micro-manipulations remain beyond the motor control of even the most skilled surgeon.” At its most steady, the human hand naturally trembles, moving on the order of 50-100 microns (about the thickness of a sheet of paper) several times each second.

Various optomechatronics techniques, including robotics, have been developed to help augment stability and minimize the impact of hand tremors. None so far has been able to seamlessly merge simple fiber-optic rapid and fine-grained sensing with handheld automated surgical tools. The major challenge for researchers has been finding a way to precisely measure and compensate for the relative motions of a surgical instrument in relation to the target.

The emerging imaging technique of OCT attracted the attention of the researchers because it has higher resolution (approximately 10 microns) than either MRI or ultrasound. It also uses eye-safe near infrared light to image tissues. …

via The Optical Society – Cyborg Surgeon: Hand and Technology Combine in New Surgical Tool That Enables Superhuman Precision.

Posted in Technology | 1 Comment »

New technology that keeps human normal and tumor cells alive indefinitely may result in new cures

Posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2012

Karen Mallet – Using a newly discovered cell technology, Georgetown University Medical Center researchers were able to identify an effective therapy for a patient with a rare type of lung tumor. The single case study, reported in the September 27 issue of New England Journal of Medicine, provides a snapshot of the new technology’s promising potential; however, researchers strongly caution that it could be years before validation studies are completed and regulatory approval received for its broader use.

The patient in the case study was a 24-year-old man with a 20 year history of HPV-positive recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP). RRP is the most common benign neoplasm of the larynx usually due to infection by HPV that is acquired at birth during passage through an HPV-infected birth canal. The standard treatment is surgical removal of the tumors to clear the airway. The patient has had 350 such surgeries and has received chemotherapy for much of his life. In rare instances (three to five percent of cases), RRP can extend below the vocal cords. This patient’s clinical course is even more uncommon because it spread into his lungs, a stage which occurs in less than one percent of people infected. There are no effective treatments for this disease stage, which is almost invariably fatal.

“Early on, we recognized this highly unusual case as one that would allow us to try the new technique with the added bonus of potentially helping the patient,” explains the study’s senior investigator, Richard Schlegel, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Pathology at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, a part of Georgetown University Medical Center.

The technology used is one that keeps normal and tumor cells alive indefinitely in the laboratory — which previously had not been possible. In this case, the technique allowed researchers to establish live cultures of the patient’s normal and tumor cells (with the patient’s consent) so that treatments could be screened for in vitro activity. Within two weeks, the man’s cells had rapidly generated to create stable cell cultures allowing Schlegel and his team to screen available drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug (FDA) for other uses. …

via First use in patient of conditionally reprogrammed cells delivers clinical response.

Posted in Biology, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Artificially intelligent game bots pass the Turing test on Turing’s centenary

Posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2012

 

An artificially intelligent virtual gamer created by computer scientists at The University of Texas at Austin has won the BotPrize by convincing a panel of judges that it was more human-like than half the humans it competed against.

The competition was sponsored by 2K Games and was set inside the virtual world of “Unreal Tournament 2004,” a first-person shooter video game. The winners were announced this month at the IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games.

“The idea is to evaluate how we can make game bots, which are nonplayer characters (NPCs) controlled by AI algorithms, appear as human as possible,” said Risto Miikkulainen, professor of computer science in the College of Natural Sciences. Miikkulainen created the bot, called the UT^2 game bot, with doctoral students Jacob Schrum and Igor Karpov.

The bots face off in a tournament against one another and about an equal number of humans, with each player trying to score points by eliminating its opponents. Each player also has a “judging gun” in addition to its usual complement of weapons. That gun is used to tag opponents as human or bot.

The bot that is scored as most human-like by the human judges is named the winner. UT^2, which won a warm-up competition last month, shared the honors with MirrorBot, which was programmed by Romanian computer scientist Mihai Polceanu.

The winning bots both achieved a humanness rating of 52 percent. Human players received an average humanness rating of only 40 percent. The two winning teams will split the $7,000 first prize.

The victory comes 100 years after the birth of mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing, whose “Turing test” stands as one of the foundational definitions of what constitutes true machine intelligence. Turing argued that we will never be able to see inside a machine’s hypothetical consciousness, so the best measure of machine sentience is whether it can fool us into believing it is human. …

via Artificially intelligent game bots pass the Turing test on Turing’s centenary.

Posted in Technology | Leave a Comment »

7 Things You Won’t Believe Science Says Make You Happy | Cracked.com

Posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2012

You can find plenty of articles in magazines or on the Internet with tips for living a happier, more fulfilling life. Things like “exercise” and “be an understanding spouse” are all time-honored ways to beat a path to happiness, and won’t be included here. But there are also some seemingly random activities that are more like cheat codes to happiness — things you never would have expected can actually make you feel better about yourself and your life in general. For instance …

Watching Sad Movies …

Read 7 Things You Won’t Believe Science Says Make You Happy | Cracked.com.

The other six: #6. Eating Red Meat, #5. Keeping Your Mind Busy, #4. Getting into Fights, #3. Riding the Subway, #2. Doing Chores, #1. Thinking About Death

Posted in Mind, Strange | 2 Comments »

360° Aerial Panoramas of the Giza Plateau

Posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2012

… so here’s a direct link to the full page:

360° Aerial Panorama of the Giza Plateau

Make sure you full-screen the page for the full effect! …

How did AirPano collect these amazing panorama images? Just like the aliens that built the Giza pyramids, they used UFOs (or possibly remote-controlled drone-copters) to fly a panoramic camera up to certain points above the plateau in order to get the best possible view of these jaw-dropping structures. Below is a short video feature showing the copters in action – wish they shared more video, because it’s a unique piece of footage when you fly up into the air from beside the Sphinx!

via Daily Grail Frontpage | TDG – Science, Magick, Myth and History.

Posted in Archaeology | 1 Comment »

 
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