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"Murphy was an optimist!"

And so it ends December 19, 2011 5:55 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Politics, Touchy Subjects, United States, War, World Politics
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Read more…

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Ron Paul Speaks the Truth! September 13, 2011 10:08 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Politics, Touchy Subjects, United States, World Politics
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I have to hand it to Ron Paul. Rick Santorum, attacking Ron Paul, gets applause while showing his ignorance of US foreign policy. When Ron Paul explains, Ron Paul gets boo’d. This exemplifies how Republicans govern on fear and how the Republican audience fails to comprehend the more complex issues at hand.

Let me rephrase:
Ron Paul speaks, we have bases on their sacred land, we mistreat the Palestinians, over the past decade we’ve killed thousands of their people. Audience reacts with boos.
Rick Santorum, Republican poster child, speaks, they hate us because of our lifestyle. Audience reacts with cheers.

Are the American people really that full of themselves?

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To the members of US Congress July 27, 2011 7:12 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Economy, Humor, Politics, Touchy Subjects, United States, World Politics
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(full size)

Seen at http://imgur.com/3prAG

It is comforting to know that am emergency team of 8th-grade civics teachers has been dispatched to Washington!

WASHINGTON—With lawmakers still at an impasse over increasing the debt ceiling, a special team of 40 eighth-grade civics teachers was air-dropped into Washington earlier today in a last-ditch effort to teach congressional leaders how the government’s legislative process works. [READ MORE]

[Source, the ONION, Emergency Team Of 8th-Grade Civics Teachers Dispatched To Washington]

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Is your country’s GDP compensating for something? July 22, 2011 2:18 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Economy, Sex, Touchy Subjects, World Politics
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Why yes it is!

The size of male organ is found to have an inverse U-shaped relationship with the level of GDP in 1985. It can alone explain over 15% of the variation in GDP. The GDP maximizing size is around 13.5 centimetres, and a collapse in economic development is identified as the size of male organ exceeds 16 centimetres. Economic growth between 1960 and 1985 is negatively associated with the size of male organ, and it alone explains 20% of the variation in GDP growth. With due reservations it is also found to be more important determinant of GDP growth than country’s political regime type.

[Source, Helsinki Center of Economic Research, Male Organ and Economic Growth: Does Size
by Tatu Westling, University of Helsinki, ISSN 1795-0562

See also.

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The US Healthcare System is the Best in the World! June 13, 2011 11:19 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Economy, Health, Politics, Touchy Subjects, United States, World Politics
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Well, actually it’s ranked 37th.

Evidence that other countries perform better than the United States in ensuring the health of their populations is a sure prod to the reformist impulse. The World Health Report 2000, Health Systems: Improving Performance, ranked the U.S. health care system 37th in the world…

It is hard to ignore that in 2006, the United States was number 1 in terms of health care spending per capita but ranked 39th for infant mortality, 43rd for adult female mortality, 42nd for adult male mortality, and 36th for life expectancy. These facts have fueled a question now being discussed in academic circles, as well as by government and the public: Why do we spend so much to get so little?

[Source, , ]

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Now this is good politics! May 20, 2011 11:39 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Politics, Touchy Subjects, United States, World Politics
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Can you imagine how great the US Congress would be if they modeled themselves after the Ukrainians? CSPAN would become profitable! They could consult with the WWF.

Note of record: At the time of my first viewing of this video, only 58 people had watched it.

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Ministry of Truth to be created in California March 17, 2011 1:57 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Conspiracy, Politics, Technology, Touchy Subjects, United States, War, World Politics
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A California corporation has been awarded has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom) to build the Ministry of Truth. "The project has been likened by web experts to China’s attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet."

The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations "without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries".

[Source, guardian.co.uk, Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media]

Now, before you grab your tinfoil hat (and mine is shinier than yours), note that "said none of the interventions would be in English, as it would be unlawful to ‘address US audiences’ with such technology"

…any English-language use of social media by Centcom was always clearly attributed. The languages in which the interventions are conducted include Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto.

In his evidence to the Senate committee, Gen Mattis said: "OEV seeks to disrupt recruitment and training of suicide bombers; deny safe havens for our adversaries; and counter extremist ideology and propaganda." He added that Centcom was working with “our coalition partners” to develop new techniques and tactics the US could use "to counter the adversary in the cyber domain".

[Source, guardian.co.uk, Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media]

See also: Inspector General – Information Operations Contracts in Iraq page 9, Operation Earnest Voice (OEV) – online engagement, The man behind Operation Earnest Voice, and Operation Earnest Voice Part III.

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This does not make me proud February 17, 2011 6:34 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Politics, Security, Touchy Subjects, United States, World Politics
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The land of the free, the promised land, the place people once longed to visit or immigrate is quickly becoming the land to stay far away.

going to the US is more unpleasant than going to Soviet era Russia or even Iran 10 years ago. Sure, you sometimes have to bribe people, but at least I’ve not had gear stolen off me during security checks or had people break my gear without at least compensating me.

And taking pictures. Well, let me put it like this: you are 20 times more likely to get hassled for whipping out your camera anywhere in the US than in, say, downtown Teheran.

I offer this as an observation from the outside. The US is isolating itself and it is becoming a very, very unpleasant place to visit. I often talk to fellow travellers and even a lot of business types in nice suits often relate how they’d rather not travel to the US if they could help it and that they’d rather work with people in Europe or Asia. I can relate to that.

[Source, Reddit, Why I stopped travelling to the US and I largely stopped doing business in the US.]

My fellow Americas. Can we please return to the pre-9/11 sensibilities we once had?

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To remove any doubt, WMDs evidence was a lie February 15, 2011 10:55 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Politics, Touchy Subjects, United States, War, World Politics
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In case there is still any doubt, Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi has admitted to lying about Iraqs weapons of mass destruction. As I read this and watch the video, as an American citizen I feel heavy in my chest; despite my protests at the time, I feel guilty.

The defector who convinced the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons programme has admitted for the first time that he lied about his story, then watched in shock as it was used to justify the war.

[Source, guardian.co.uk , Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war]

You should watch the video.


So why does the ice melt? September 22, 2010 9:45 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Economy, Environment, Politics, Touchy Subjects, War, World Politics
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The country that brought us Chernobyl will now be floating 8 nuclear power plants on top of the world. Granted, the United States had Three Mile Island and I’m told by an old timer that apparently there is was a reactor meltdown in Oak Ridge in the 50s that was buried physically and by public relations but I cannot validate that. Let’s not forget who is the world leader in exploded nuclear bombs. As the arctic ice shrinks and exposes more land, a battle is brewing for the possible gas and oil reserves previously hidden by the ice. The major players will be Canada and Russia but other countries could try to stake claims. With these ships that could supply power to 45,000 for 12 years at a time..that’s 12 years without needing to return to port..Russia certainly has an advantage.

[Source, BBC, A rare view of Russia’s floating nuclear power station]

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Active Thermite at WTC to Fuel Conspiracy Theories April 5, 2009 10:21 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Conspiracy, Politics, Touchy Subjects, United States, World Politics
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Like the questions surrounding JFK’s assassination, I don’t think we will ever have definitive answers to what happened on September 11, 2001. Scientists, some who have since been released from their university or laboratory jobs, have released a paper "Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe" which will likely have conspiracy theorists once again presenting their arguments that the plane alone could not have destroyed the World Trade Center.

We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in all the samples we have studied of the dust produced by the destruction of the World Trade Center. Examination of four of these samples, collected from separate sites, is reported in this paper. These red/gray chips show marked similarities in all four samples. One sample was collected by a Manhattan resident about ten minutes after the collapse of the second WTC Tower, two the next day, and a fourth about a week later. … The red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic. [Source, Bentham Open Access,Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe]

For more information on the super-thermite, read The Raw Deal.

Today on Reddit, the question was posed "2,740 Americans died in 9/11, justifying the removal/restrictions of many of our freedoms. How many people died to give us those rights in the first place?" Within the answers, this illuminating comment:

It’s sort of a nationalistic cliche to say that soldiers fight for our freedom but what they really fight for is the sovereignty of our government, which happens to guarantee us certain freedoms.

When we say a soldier died fighting for our freedoms, what we really mean is that he died in a war which threatened the loss of some or all of American sovereignty to a foreign or domestic power which would likely guarantee less rights than the present government.

This distinction is important because in the history of American wars, very few have definitively fallen under that category – and even in those cases, preserving the rights of American citizens was ancillary to sustaining or expanding the sovereign power of the U.S. government.

[Source, Reddit.com, 2,740 Americans died in 9/11, justifying the removal/restrictions of many of our freedoms. How many people died to give us those rights in the first place?]

We now live with a generation that has never known the feeling, the freedoms, we had prior to September 11, 2001. There is a different feeling. I felt more secure! I wish my youngest children could know that feeling and could experience true trust. I have lived with a tension since 9/11 that I had not known prior. The tension is not from a fear of terrorists; they’ve always been around (well, at least from the 1960s First U.S. Aircraft Hijacked, May 1, 1961 and at least 1800BC for the rest of the world). The fear is from my own government! Prior to 9/11 the police were different; now everyone should fear the police.

Question: “The police are here. They want to talk to me. What should I do?”

Answer: “Make no statement to the police under any circumstances.”

– Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson

[Source, Brasscheck TV, Why you should
never talk to cops
without a lawyer

The terrorists won.

The point of terrorism is to cause terror, sometimes to further a political goal and sometimes out of sheer hatred. The people terrorists kill are not the targets; they are collateral damage. And blowing up planes, trains, markets or buses is not the goal; those are just tactics.

The real targets of terrorism are the rest of us: the billions of us who are not killed but are terrorized because of the killing. The real point of terrorism is not the act itself, but our reaction to the act.

And we’re doing exactly what the terrorists want.

[Source, Bruce Schneier – Security Expert, Refuse to be Terrorized]

Whether the terrible incident of September 11, 2001 was foreign or domestic terrorism, whether it was solely the plane or the plane timed with well placed explosives is irrelevant. Our society has dramatically changed, some say irrevocably. We were a better America when we could trust our government. We were a better America when the police were not the enemy. We were a better America before Civil liberties were taken away.

See also: Timeline of Terrorism dating back to 1800BC and History of Terrorism 70s to 2001.
See also: Professor Says "Cutter Charges" Brought Down WTC Buildings (Issue #18 & 19, May 1 & 8, 2006)


Thank you for throwing your shoe site December 19, 2008 1:44 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Politics, Touchy Subjects, United States, World Politics
, 5comments

Although it has scrolled from the page, I have continued to update the Iraqi Reporter Throws Reddit Alien at Bush post with related shoe throwing news. Today I added a link to a new website called http://www.thankyouforthrowingyourshoe.com/ which is a gallery of images from people holding up their shoe for Muntadar al-Zeidi. I have to agree with this statement from the website:

We don’t condone shoe throwing, but we prefer it to war.


Iraqi Reporter Throws Reddit Alien at Bush December 15, 2008 11:40 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Politics, Touchy Subjects, United States, World Politics
, 6comments

Bush sober enough to dodge it.

Iraqis rally for Bush shoe attacker.

Update: The shoe thrower has been beaten while in custody.
Update: Shoe thrower faces up to 7 years.
Update: Egyptian offers 20 year old daughter in marriage to shoe thrower.
Update: Shoe-thrower sorry for ‘ugly act’
Update: Thank you for throwing your shoe.
Update: December 31 trial date for shoe-hurling Iraqi reporter aka he had expected to be shot after hurling his first shoe.


With due apologies for the Twitter flood October 7, 2008 11:16 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Politics, Technology, Touchy Subjects, United States, World Politics
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Rumor has it that outside a this valley thar be other states beyond just Tennersee. Nows I can vouch for that cus I done traveled a bit in my life and seen me those other states. That is til I ran into da Mississip out there to the West. Head South an’ it gets hot inside an out! The weather and food is spicy! And thar’s that Gulf of Mexco. Lota water an nothing else. Head East an tis the same thang. Ocean of water and far da eye cn see. Taint nothing else.

Now, it been told that beyond all da water thar’s other lands. Some says we came from there. Some says all the land was squished t’gether an it drifted apart like Billy’s raft done in the river current las sumner. Ifn ya ask me, I gots to say what’s it matter. Sholy a Twitter message caint reach dem other lands. It’d fly straight off da Earth befo’ ev’r reachin them lands.

Ahem! Sorries.

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No more OPEC?! September 11, 2008 12:33 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Economy, Environment, Politics, Touchy Subjects, World Politics
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Yesterday I was reading about OPEC wanting to cut production by 550 million550,00* barrels a day and wherever I was reading that commented that the cuts would amount to more oil than the US could produce if they drilled all US land and territories. Not sure if I believe that. But the point is that OPEC is powerful. Er, was.

Saudi Arabia walked out on OPEC yesterday. It said it would not honor the cartel’s production cut. It was tired of rants from Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and the well-dressed oil minister from Iran.

As the world’s largest crude exporter, the kingdom in the desert took its ball and went home.

OPEC has made no announcement to the effect that it is dissolving, but the process is already over.

[Source, MSN Money moneyBlog Top Stocks, The death of OPEC]

Of course, I’m not an economist so I have no idea if this is a good or bad thing.

Update: A friend explains that this is good for the United States in that gas prices will go down but bad for the world because greenhouse gases will go up.

Update: *Thanks to Brian Arner for the correction!

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