31.12.05

Jack Abramoff

Il n'y rien en ce moment qui fait plus peur à l'administration Bush que le deal qu'est en train de négocier Jack Abramoff, un puissant lobbyiste du parti républicain, afin d'éviter la prison. En effet, c'est plus d'une vingtaine d'élus républicains qui pourraient tomber avec lui.

Extrait de l'article:

Abramoff‘s cooperation would be a boon to an ongoing Justice Department investigation of congressional corruption, possibly helping prosecutors build criminal cases against up to 20 lawmakers and their staff members.

The deal could be completed before then, the sources said. Abramoff could sign the plea agreement and exchange it with prosecutors via fax over the weekend, they said.


Voir Wikipedia, pour une belle description de cette charmante personne.

30.12.05

Things get hard? Change the subject..

Can't get out of an unjustified war without losing? Get into another one, for the same reasons.

Good luck George.

From Der Spiegel, via Americablog.

...But the growing likelihood of the military option is back in the headlines in Germany thanks to a slew of stories that have run in the national media here over the holidays.

The most talked about story is a Dec. 23 piece by the German news agency DDP from journalist and intelligence expert Udo Ulfkotte. The story has generated controversy not only because of its material, but also because of the reporter's past. Critics allege that Ulfkotte in his previous reporting got too close to sources at Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the BND. But Ulfkotte has himself noted that he has been under investigation by the government in the past (indeed, his home and offices have been searched multiple times) for allegations that he published state secrets -- a charge that he claims would underscore rather than undermine the veracity of his work.

According to Ulfkotte's report, "western security sources" claim that during CIA Director Porter Goss' Dec. 12 visit to Ankara, he asked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to provide support for a possibile 2006 air strike against Iranian nuclear and military facilities. More specifically, Goss is said to have asked Turkey to provide unfettered exchange of intelligence that could help with a mission.

DDP also reported that the governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman and Pakistan have been informed in recent weeks of Washington's military plans. The countries, apparently, were told that air strikes were a "possible option," but they were given no specific timeframe for the operations.

Paul Krugman: un an plus tard...

... À lire...

André Pratte strikes again

Je le cite intégralement, puisque LaPresse fait disparaître ses articles après une semaine.


APPUI AUX LIBÉRAUX?

Question de F. Perrier

AlleZ Monsieur Pratte, votre réponse à la question de Monsieur s.lefebvre est tout simplement farfelue. Tout le monde suivant le moindrement la politique sait que La Presse et ses quotidiens affiliés soutiennent le parti Libéral Québec et Canada. C'est bien connu. Par contre, je dois dire que cela me permet de voir certains autres point de vue auxquels je ne m'arrête pas toujours. Par contre, je dois avouer que vous me faites souvent dresser les cheveux sur la tête lorsque je vous lis le matin.

Joyeuses fêtes !

Frédérick Perrier

Réponse
M. Perrier,

Votre courriel est fondé sur une prémisse erronée. La Presse ne soutient pas les partis libéral du Québec et du Canada. Au cours des dernières années, les éditorialistes de La Presse (et non la rédaction, qui reste neutre) ont appuyé les conservateurs, les libéraux, et parfois personne. Lors des élections fédérales de 2004, nous avons souhaité la formation d'un gouvernement minoritaire, de quelque parti qu'il soit.

Nous appuyons cependant l'unité du Canada. Nous sommes convaincus que le Québec est mieux à même de prospérer au sein de la fédération canadienne, comme le démontrent amplement les progrès du Québec au cours des dernières décennies. C'est en raison de cette conviction que nous n'avons jamais appuyé un parti souverainiste. Cette position est aussi légitime que celle d'autres quotidiens qui, eux, appuient la souveraineté. La démocratie se nourrit de la diversité d'opinions.

Joyeuses fêtes,

André Pratte


Il est amusant de se remémorer le congédiement de Chantal Hébert et de le contraster avec les propos dégoulinants de mauvaise foi de Pratte. Diversité d'opinion? Rédaction neutre? C'est ça.

Are you drowning in the sea of comprehensive sex ed?

The Abstinence Survival Kit (ASK!) to the rescue.

Mel Gibson

Via C&L. Ça vaut la peine de lire ces petits extraits d'entrevue de Mel Gibson avec Playboy à propos des femmes, de la politique et de l'évolution.

Ex.:

PLAYBOY: Do you believe in Darwin's theory of evolution or that God created man in his image?

GIBSON: The latter.

PLAYBOY: So you can't accept that we descended from monkeys and apes?

GIBSON: No, I think it's bullshit. If it isn't, why are they still around? How come apes aren't people yet? It's a nice theory, but I can't swallow it.

Comment savoir si votre courriel est "lu" par Echelon

Via Boingboing.

Extrait:

With all of the controversy about the news that the NSA has been monitoring, since 9/11, telephone calls and email messages of Americans, some folks might now be wondering if they are being snooped on. Here's a quick and easy method to see if one's email messages are being read by someone else.

The steps are:

1. Set up a Hotmail account.
2. Set up a second email account with a non-U.S. provider. (eg. Rediffmail.com)
3. Send messages between the two accounts which might be interesting to the NSA.
4. In each message, include a unique URL to a Web server that you have access to its server logs. This URL should only be known by you and not linked to from any other Web page. The text of the message should encourage an NSA monitor to visit the URL.
5. If the server log file ever shows this URL being accessed, then you know that you are being snooped on. The IP address of the access can also provide clues about who is doing the snooping.

The trick is to make the link enticing enough for someone or something to want to click on it. As part of a large-scale research project, I would suggest sending out a few hundred thousand messages using various tricks to find one that might work. Here are some possible ideas:

* Include a variety of terrorist related trigger words
* Include other links in a message to known AQ message boards
* Include a fake CC: to Mohamed Atta's old email address (el-amir@tu-harburg.de)
* Send the message from an SMTP server in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
* Use a fake return address from a known terrorist organization
* Use a ziplip or hushmail account.

Besides monitoring the NSA, this same technique can be used if you suspect your email account password has been stolen or if a family member or coworker is reading your email on your computer on the sly.

Goatsebélix

Via Boingboing. Ish.

Ooops

L'histoire à propos d'un étudiant qui se reçoit des agents du DHS parce qu'il s'est procuré une copie du livre rouge de Mao est fausse. Quand cesserai-je de croire ce qu'on lit sur Internet?

29.12.05

Des documents confirment la politique de la torture...



Via C&L.
Voir aussi ici.

Extrait:

The UK government has been quick to deny that we practice, or tolerate the practice of torture. So it is perhaps not suprising that they are determined that you should not see the following documents.

Lien pdf.

Craig Murray was the UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, until his complaints and protest at the use of intelligence gained by torture got too much for Jack Straw and the Foreign Office, who set about attempting to unsuccessfully smear him, and to successfully remove him from office.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3750370.stm
http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2005/04/timeline_of_cra.html

Repeat a lie...

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Joseph Goebbels


“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”

Adolf Hitler




Extrait (avec sympathie, de la part du WSJ):

WASHINGTON – The television commercials are attention-grabbing: Newly found Iraqi documents show that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, including anthrax and mustard gas, and had "extensive ties" to al Qaeda. The discoveries are being covered up by those "willing to undermine support for the war on terrorism to selfishly advance their shameless political ambitions."

The hard-hitting spots are part of a recent public-relations barrage aimed at reversing a decline in public support for President Bush's handling of Iraq. But these advertisements aren't paid for by the Republican National Committee or other established White House allies. Instead, they are sponsored by Move America Forward, a media-savvy outside advocacy group that has become one of the loudest -- and most controversial -- voices in the Iraq debate.

Move America Forward officials acknowledge that the group's leadership is conservative, but insist they are nonpartisan and point out that the organization also has criticized Republicans. They say that the organization has no connections to the Bush administration or the Republican Party and has been unable to get meetings with White House personnel. And they say there is no conflict between the organization's advocacy work and Mr. Russo's financial ties to the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq.

"If you consider being pro-America and pro-troop to be Republican, then we'll proudly take that label," Ms. Morgan says. "But we've never been embraced by the White House or made part of a secret-right wing conspiracy."

Goodale, le timing de la nouvelle plutôt particulier


Ça fait plusieurs semaines que l'histoire est connue. La Presse nous la sort en plein dans la semaine où les gens sont le moins attentifs. Bien sûr, il ne s'agit que d'un hasard.

24.12.05

Nöwell

Je prend une courte pause de ma diète incessante de ViewSonic. De retour bientôt.

23.12.05

Yet another bigfoot sighting

Via boingboing.

"Oui, j'étais occupé à rien filmer, lorsque..."

Debunked here.

Being a Muslim in the USA

Pourquoi ne pas défoncer les portes des domiciles en pleine nuit et fouiller tout le monde, tant qu'à y être.


Extrait:
In search of a terrorist nuclear bomb, the federal government since 9/11 has run a far-reaching, top secret program to monitor radiation levels at over a hundred Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C., area, including mosques, homes, businesses, and warehouses, plus similar sites in at least five other cities, U.S. News has learned. In numerous cases, the monitoring required investigators to go on to the property under surveillance, although no search warrants or court orders were ever obtained, according to those with knowledge of the program. Some participants were threatened with loss of their jobs when they questioned the legality of the operation, according to these accounts.

Fox et le White Power

Via Atrios.

Fox news, prêts à tout pour aider ses amis. La page a maintenant été retirée, mais la cache de google subsiste, ainsi qu'un screenshot ici.

Extrait:

Even though Stormfront was created by former Ku Klux Klansman Don Black, Kelso says their message isn't one of hate. "We're called anti-Semitic, we're called neo-Nazi, we're called racist [but] we're none of that." Instead, Stormfront members say their message is much more simple. "We don't hate anybody. The only thing we're concerned with is that 100 years from now, 500 years from now that there will actually be the kind of white neighborhoods and white nations that our parents and ancestors gave to us."

Kelso says Stormfront simply provides a safe forum for people to use without fear of retaliation. "Really the political correctness today, you could even call it vicious. On the Internet you can anonymously talk to other people and open up and say what you want to say. This has really opened up a new chance for people to have free speech."

22.12.05

Brokeback Mountain


Via Pandagon.

La France à contre-courant


Ce vote surprise est le signe, parmi d'autres, que ce texte sur les droits d'auteurs sur Internet divise — comme on l'a rarement vu dans le passé — tous les partis. Et d'abord l'UMP. Des alliances étonnantes se sont nouées, mercredi 21 décembre. Ainsi la députée UMP Christine Boutin a apporté un soutien sans faille au groupe socialiste dans sa défense de la licence légale et s'est même payé le luxe de se moquer du rapporteur Christian Vanneste (UMP, Nord) en refusant de "faire la course à l'échalote" pour savoir "qui était le plus réactionnaire".


Bravo, et enfin.

Lien slashdot.
Dossier Libération, qui explique ce que le projet de loi voulait faire avant le coup de théâtre d'hier.

21.12.05

Le créationnisme

Beaucoup de bruit sur Internet aujourd'hui à propos du fait que les créationnistes de Dover PA se sont fait littéralement humilier par le juge qui entendait leur cause (l'introduction des sornettes bibliques au sein des classes de biologie).

Un extrait parmi d'autres:

It is never a good sign when the judge in your case rules that your testimony was "marked by selective memories and outright lies under oath," calls your arguments a "sham," or says that he is writing a particularly comprehensive ruling "in the hope that it may prevent the obvious waste of judicial and other resources which would be occasioned by a subsequent trial involving the precise question" he faced as a result of your position in your case.

Toles

Nébuleux, arrogant, sans crédibilité?

... Me semble avoir entendu ça en quelque part...

20.12.05

Bloquer Bittorrent?

Plusieurs sources confirment que de plus en plus de fournisseurs Internet cherchent à bloquer tout traffic Bittorrent pour des raisons qui, probablement, sont douteuses d'un point de vue légal. C'est aussi maintenant le cas de Rogers au Canada. Un truc? L'utilisation du port 1720, réservé au VoIP, si jamais ces pratiques se répandent au QC. Ils ne voudront certainement pas ralentir le traffic sur leurs beaux téléphones IP.

Est-ce vraiment la fin pour GWB?

De mal en pis pour The Chimp. La Maison-Blanche a tout fait pour empêcher le NYT de publier un article révélant le fait que la NSA espionne régulièrement les gens qu'elle veut bien espionner (comme, par exemple, les Quakers, ces dangeureux terroristes), sans limite judiciaire. Or, on parle enfin maintenant d'arrêter cette administration en délire...

(Gros) extrait:

Finally we have a Washington scandal that goes beyond sex, corruption and political intrigue to big issues like security versus liberty and the reasonable bounds of presidential power. President Bush came out swinging on Snoopgate—he made it seem as if those who didn’t agree with him wanted to leave us vulnerable to Al Qaeda—but it will not work. We’re seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator, or in his own mind, no doubt, like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

No wonder Bush was so desperate that The New York Times not publish its story on the National Security Agency eavesdropping on American citizens without a warrant, in what lawyers outside the administration say is a clear violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story. The Times will not comment on the meeting,
but one can only imagine the president’s desperation.

The problem was not that the disclosures would compromise national security, as Bush claimed at his press conference. His comparison to the damaging pre-9/11 revelation of Osama bin Laden’s use of a satellite phone, which caused bin Laden to change tactics, is fallacious; any Americans with ties to Muslim extremists—in fact, all American Muslims, period—have long since suspected that the U.S. government might be listening in to their conversations. Bush claimed that “the fact that we are discussing this program is helping the enemy.” But there is simply no evidence, or even reasonable presumption, that this is so. And rather than the leaking being a “shameful act,” it was the work of a patriot inside the government who was trying to stop a presidential power grab.

No, Bush was desperate to keep the Times from running this important story—which the paper had already inexplicably held for a year—because he knew that it would reveal him as a law-breaker. He insists he had “legal authority derived from the Constitution and congressional resolution authorizing force.” But the Constitution explicitly requires the president to obey the law. And the post 9/11 congressional resolution authorizing “all necessary force” in fighting terrorism was made in clear reference to military intervention. It did not scrap the Constitution and allow the president to do whatever he pleased in any area in the name of fighting terrorism.

What is especially perplexing about this story is that the 1978 law set up a special court to approve eavesdropping in hours, even minutes, if necessary. In fact, the law allows the government to eavesdrop on its own, then retroactively justify it to the court, essentially obtaining a warrant after the fact. Since 1979, the FISA court has approved tens of thousands of eavesdropping requests and rejected only four. There was no indication the existing system was slow—as the president seemed to claim in his press conference—or in any way required extra-constitutional action.

This will all play out eventually in congressional committees and in the United States Supreme Court. If the Democrats regain control of Congress, there may even be articles of impeachment introduced. Similar abuse of power was part of the impeachment charge brought against Richard Nixon in 1974.

In the meantime, it is unlikely that Bush will echo President Kennedy in 1961. After JFK managed to tone down a New York Times story by Tad Szulc on the Bay of Pigs invasion, he confided to Times editor Turner Catledge that he wished the paper had printed the whole story because it might have spared him such a stunning defeat in Cuba.

This time, the president knew publication would cause him great embarrassment and trouble for the rest of his presidency. It was for that reason—and less out of genuine concern about national security—that George W. Bush tried so hard to kill the New York Times story.

Une baffe pour les USA

On December 15, the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) inaugurated an oil pipeline running from Kazakhstan to northwest China. The pipeline will undercut the geopolitical significance of the Washington-backed Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC)oil pipeline which opened this past summer amid big fanfare and support from Washington.

The geopolitical chess game for the control of the energy flows of Central Asia and overall of Eurasia from the Atlantic to the China Sea is sharply evident in the latest developments.

Making the Kazakh-China oil pipeline link even more politically interesting, from the standpoint of an emerging Eurasian move towards some form of greater energy independence from Washington, is the fact that China is reportedly considering asking Russian companies to help it fill the pipeline with oil, until Kazakh supply is sufficient.

Initially, half the oil pumped through the new 200,000 barrel-a-day pipeline will come from Russia because of insufficient output from nearby Kazakh fields, Kazakhstan's Vice Energy Minister Musabek Isayev said on November 30 in Beijing. That means closer China-Kazakhstan-Russia energy cooperation - the nightmare scenario of Washington.

Simply put, the United States stands to lose major leverage over the entire strategic Eurasian region with the latest developments. The Kazakh developments also have more than a little to do with the fact that the Washington war drums are beating loudly against Iran.

PLC whore no.2

Vincent Marissal et maintenant André Pratte, ces grands analystes. Feriez-vous ne serait-ce que chier votre chien sur une copie de La Presse? Pas moi.

Extrait:


Vous commencez votre question ainsi: «Comment pouvez-vous soutenir les libéraux fédéraux...» Cette prémisse est inexacte: je (ni La Presse d'ailleurs) ne soutient pas les libéraux. Il nous arrive d'approuver certains de leurs gestes; nous en désapprouvons d'autres, et dans le cas des commandites, nous les avons souvent dénoncés.

Par ailleurs, si vous estimez qu'il faut du courage pour être toujours en accord avec le Bloc, le PQ et les souverainistes, dont le message monopolise les milieux des médias, des arts et des intellectuels, univers de pensée unique, alors en effet, je ne suis pas courageux du tout.

J'en profite pour vous souhaiter de joyeuses fêtes.

André Pratte


L'argument de Pratte, en plus d'être ridicule, n'est pas original: il sort tout droit du playbook républicain aux USA, où l'on essaie de nous faire croire que le GOP (et le PLC) et ses supporteurs sont en fait une minorité opprimée, victime de la censure bien pensante des gros méchants qui les opposent. Lâchez-moi.

The Kiss of Death

À l'occasion d'une intervention exceptionnelle dans une campagne électorale fédérale, le premier ministre Jean Charest donne un coup de pouce au chef conservateur Stephen Harper, dont les troupes ne vont nulle part au Québec.

Lors d'une entrevue accordée à La Presse hier, Jean Charest a mis de côté sa réserve habituelle et a exprimé haut et fort sa satisfaction à l'égard des plus récents engagements de M. Harper.

19.12.05

High value detainees

After visiting six of the twenty-five or so U.S. prisons, the International Committee of the Red Cross reported registering 107 detainess under eighteen, some as young as eight years old. The Journalist Seymour Hersh reported in May 2005 that Defense Secretaary Donald Rumsfeld had recieve a report that there were "800-900 Pakistani boys age 13-15 in custody." The International Red Cross, Amnesty International, and thePentagon have gathered substantial testimony of torture of children, confirmed by soldiers who witnessed or participated in the abuse.
[...]
It was early last October that Kasim Mehaddi Hilas says he witnessed the rape of a boy prisoner aged about 15 in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. “The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets,” he said in a statement given to investigators probing prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib. “Then, when I heard the screaming I climbed the door … and I saw [the soldier’s name is deleted] who was wearing a military uniform.” Hilas, who was himself threatened with being sexually assaulted in Abu Graib, then describes in horrific detail how the soldier raped “the little kid”.

Addendum

J'imagine que le DHS utilise cette liste. Attention au dangeureux Kinsey Report et à Democracy and Education de John Dewey!

Who's afraid of Mao?

Via Pandagon.

Yes, the 50's are back.

Extrait:

A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book."
Two history professors at UMass Dartmouth, Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Pontbriand, said the student told them he requested the book through the UMass Dartmouth library's interlibrary loan program.
The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for Professor Pontbriand's class on fascism and totalitarianism, filled out a form for the request, leaving his name, address, phone number and Social Security number. He was later visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the professors said.
The professors said the student was told by the agents that the book is on a "watch list," and that his background, which included significant time abroad, triggered them to investigate the student further.

Bush et Sharon

Jaloux du courage sans borne de son ami Sharon, après s'être payé ses propres territoires arabes pour y chasser le bougnoule, Bush veut maintenant se lancer dans la construction d'un mur le long de la frontière canado-américaine (!). Pourvu qu'il le fasse sur son territoire :).


Un projet de loi américain adopté jeudi prévoit l'érection de clôtures sur plus de 1000 kilomètres entre le Mexique et les États-Unis. Les autorités étudieraient la possibilité d'en ériger le long de la frontière canadienne.

Les débats des chefs

Ne trouvez-vous pas étrange le fait que Paul Martin garde la défense de son pays contre les méchants séparatistes pour le débat en anglais seulement? Est-ce qu'on est rendu au point où on considère que le combat est carrément perdu auprès des francophones? Toutefois, l'organe officiel du PLC s'est chargé de nous rappeler la grandeur de son timonier, grâce à la participation active de son lap dog de première.

15.12.05

Le gouvernement Charest

Les dernières 24 heures ont été tout à fait étranges, même pour un gouvernement qui nous a habitué à des méthodes tout droit sorties d'une boîte de CrackerJacks (comme l'autre dit). Même les ministres étaient visiblement incapables d'expliquer la fin des négociations, qui, en ce qui a trait au salaire, dans le meilleur des cas, se traduisent par des compressions de près de 4% sur les annnées qui suivent. Des salaires qui diminuent, des réformes qui se succèdent (sans succès) et qui plongent les institutions publiques dans un état de crise perpétuelle, la qualité des services qui se dégradent et la majorité des employés du secteur sur le bord de la retraite: préparez-vous à des années vraiment charmantes, si vous souhaitez un tant soit peu que les profs soient en mesure d'enseigner à vos enfants, et qu'il soit possible pour vous d'obtenir des soins décents dans les établissements de santé.
Il y aura toujours des imbéciles, gavés des hoquetements des êtres unicellulaires qui les font passer pour des idées sur les lignes ouvertes du AM, qui croient que "les crottés ont eu ce qu'ils méritaient". J'imagine que, en tant de se crosser devant des reprises de "Star Académie" ils pourront oublier que leur support inconditionnel de cette bande de crétins qu'ils ont élu sont à la source de problèmes dont on sentira les effets encore dans 20 ans.

La campagne contre Ford aux USA

...est terminée.

Le Joyeux Nöwell de Charest

Les événements d'hier soir vont assurément contribuer à améliorer le climat qui règne en santé et en éducation au Québec, climat déjà au beau fixe. Qu'est-ce qui est plus beau que beau? Autre réaction.

14.12.05

Arnold en vacances

The Aaaahss: Maah Favhorite Boohdy Paahrt.

Pffffft

Pour ceux qui croyait que le retrait de Gaza était autre chose qu'une simple diversion afin de mettre la main sur des territoires beaucoup plus intéressants (je crois même avoir vu Chris Hitchens verser une larme à Real Time with Bill Maher en parlant du courage du "général Sharon" (il se souvenait en même temps de l'admiration indéfectible qu'il vouait à Lénine, sans doute), j'espère qu'on peut enterrer tout ça une fois pour toute.


Israel has approved the building of about 300 new homes for Jewish settlers in the West Bank, the government says.

Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz approved construction in Maale Adumim, the largest settlement in the territory occupied by Israel since 1967.

He also approved preparatory steps for the expansion of the smaller settlements of Bracha and Nokdim.

The decision violates the roadmap peace plan, under which Israel agreed to freeze all settlement building.

Israel has nevertheless continued to expand settlements since the road map was approved in June 2003.

It says the construction is to accommodate "natural growth" of settlement populations and the Maale Adumim building is "within the current geographical borders of this settlement".

Dowd: The Bubble Boy

Never ask a guy who’s in a bubble if he’s in a bubble. He can’t answer.

‘Cause he’s in a bubble.

The president’s bubble requires constant care. It’s not easy to keep out huge tragedies like Katrina, or flawed policies like Iraq. As Newsweek noted, a foreign diplomat “was startled when Secretary of State Rice warned him not to lay bad news on the president. ‘Don’t upset him,’ she said.”

Pour en finir avec les amateurs de Jack Bauer

Un excellent texte de Michael Kinsley, en réponse à Charles Krauthammer.

Extrait:


Of course a million deaths is hard to shrug off as a price worth paying for the principle that we don't torture people. But college dorm what-ifs like this one share a flaw: They posit certainty (about what you know and what will happen if you do this or that). And uncertainty is not only much more common in real life: It is the generally unspoken assumption behind civil liberties, rules of criminal procedure, and much else that conservatives find sentimental and irritating.

Sure, if we could know the present and predict the future with certainty, we could torture only people who deserve it. Not just that: We could go door-to-door killing people before they kill others. We could lock up innocent people who would otherwise be involved in fatal traffic accidents. Civil libertarians like to believe that criminals get their Miranda warnings and dissidents enjoy freedom of speech because human rights are universal. But if we knew for sure that a newspaper column by Charles Krauthammer would lead—even by a chain of events he never intended and bore no responsibility for—to World War II, wouldn't we be nuts not to censor it? Universal human rights would make no sense in a world where everything was known and certain.

This is not to say that Krauthammer's killer hypothetical could never happen. It is to say that morality does not require us to build a general policy on torture around a situation that is not merely unlikely in real life, but different in kind from the situations we are likely to face in real life. What we would do or should do if this situation actually arose is an interesting question for bull sessions in the dorm, but not a pressing issue for the nation.

Être journaliste aux USA

Difficile d'être un journaliste qui refuse d'être à la solde du Parti républicain. Dan Froomkin est un des seuls qui résiste à la vague au Washington Post, et son propre patron le bitche publiquement, non pas parce qu'il publie des faussetés (comme eux), mais parce qu'il n'est pas gentil avec l'administration Bush. Lisez les commentaires des lecteurs, ça décape.

Exemple:

If you, a boss at the Post, does not realize what has been happening to your once great paper, then we truly are in big trouble. You are being used, plain and simple, by the "master" himself, and you don't see this - not good for those of us seeking the truth. For years, Rove and his minions have been setting you, and other big time news sources, up. When a so-called "reporter" like Woodward sits on important news, so he can later use it in a book, something is wrong, sir. And he is not the only one, as we are learning almost daily now.
Froomkin doesn't play the White House game. Because of this he is considered, by a helluva lot of us out here, your most trusted reporter right now.
We have too many Krauthammers, Bob Novaks, Fred Barnes's, etc. spewing administration propaganda, coming at us from so many media sources. What we need are more Froomkins, more truth without the White House slant on it.
Get back to doing what you used to do - give us the facts, and remember that facts are not "fair and balanced", or always have two sides. The truth can stand alone.
Sincerely, Gary Van Ess, Green Bay, Wi.

13.12.05

Le vote électronique

Avec le bordel qui a eu lieu aux élections municipales, certains se posent des questions quant au fonctionnement de la chose. Pas mauvais, considérant que le CEO de Diebold vient tout juste de démissionner.

Australie (suite)

La situation ne peut bien sûr pas être liée à ça.

Ford et les juifs

Americablog continue son bon travail.


Les publications de Rupert Murdoch...

..bien sûr, contribuent à restaurer le calme à Sydney en faisant porter le blâme des événements récents sur.... qui vous pensez?

***Bravo, bonne réponse***

Any question of a deep underlying racism in Australia was dispelled almost one year ago when Australians from all walks of life opened their hearts and purses to aid those devastated by the tsunami.

There is a solution to this violence and it lies in breaking down cultural barriers.

Those who claim to be outsiders in Australian society must ask whether their isolation is self-imposed, whether they live in self-made ghettos and have made any attempt to accept the culture of the land they have chosen to live in.

They have no one to blame but themselves, their parents and community leaders if they accept second-class citizenship and an apartheid of their own making.

La conférence de Montréal

Un éditorial cinglant du NYT à propos de la bonne volonté de la délégation américaine venue à Montréal pour les discussions de l'après-Kyoto (on a d'ailleurs dit de celle-ci qu'elle était téléguidée par l'inénarrable Richard Bruce Cheney).


Extrait:
For its part, the Bush administration deserves only censure. No one expected a miraculous conversion. But given the steadily mounting evidence of the present and potential consequences of climate change - disappearing glaciers, melting Arctic ice caps, dying coral reefs, threatened coastlines, increasingly violent hurricanes - one would surely have expected America's negotiators to arrive in Montreal willing to discuss alternatives.

D'autres photos de Grozny





Grozny

Au tour de Vlad Poutine de faire des bonnes blagues ce matin, en promettant de reconstruire Grozny. S'il imite son ami Bush, alors ça risque de continuer à ressembler à ça.

12.12.05

War on X-Mas

Beaucoup de bruit aujourd'hui autour de la présence de Bob Seder du Majority Report à CNN à propos de la "guerre contre Nowell". Hilarant.

Via CNN:

Merry Christmas or happy holidays, a Christmas tree or a holiday tree, Which should it be? It depends on whom you ask. We've seen controversy, most notably prompted by the White House. It sent out cards, this card as a matter of fact, wishing a holiday season of hope and happiness. No mention of Christmas.

Some thoughts now on the subject. Sam Seder hosts the show "Majority Report" on Air America Radio. Bob Knight is the director of the Culture and Family Institute, it's affiliated with the Christian conservative organization, Concerned Women for America.

Gentleman, great to have you with me.

SAM SEDER, HOST, "MAJORITY REPORT": Thanks for having us on.

PHILLIPS: Let's start with the holiday card. What do you think, Sam?

SEDER: Listen, as far as the war on Christmas goes, I feel like we should be waging a war on Christmas. I mean, I believe that Christmas, it's almost proven that Christmas has nuclear weapons, can be an imminent threat to this country, that they have operative ties with terrorists and I believe that we should sacrifice thousands of American lives in pursuit of this war on Christmas. And hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money.

PHILLIPS: Is it a war on Christmas, a war Christians, a war on over-political correctness or just a lot of people with way too much time on their hands?

SEDER: I would say probably, if I was to be serious about it, too much time on their hands, but I'd like to get back to the operational ties between Santa Claus and al Qaeda.

PHILLIPS: I don't think that exists. Bob? Help me out here.

SEDER: We have intelligence, we have intelligence.

PHILLIPS: You have intel. Where exactly does your intel come from?

SEDER: Well, we have tortured an elf and it's actually how we got the same information from Al Libbi. It's exactly the same way the Bush administration got this info about the operational ties between al Qaeda and Saddam.



C&L a un video.

11.12.05

L'Australie de John Howard

Je n'ai jamais compris pourquoi les australiens pouvaient parfois être aussi cons, mais dans un pays qui traite ses réfugiés comme de la merde (sous de faux prétextes), qui supporte encore la guerre en Irak, qui replace John Howard au pouvoir encore et encore, et qui vote pour des partis comme celui-ci ou pour des personnes comme ça, il n'y a rien de surprenant dans ces événements.

Un autre lien. Regardez "Cronulla in turmoil as mobs go wild (7news)".

La France de Sarkosy

Là où c'est agréable d'être jeune et un tant soit peu hors du mainstream.

Après une nuit marquée par des affrontements, la
police a dispersé dimanche matin à l'aide d'un canon à eau les derniers teufeurs récalcitrants qui protestaient, en centre-ville de Rennes, contre l'interdiction d'une rave party en marge du festival des Transmusicales.

Dieu vous aime

J'imagine que si je parle de *Lui* assez souvent, AdSense va m'envoyer plein de belles annonces comme ça. Hehe.


10.12.05

Richard Pryor, 1940-2005

Eh, pas cool...

Adam Curtis

Autre recommendation. Même si les documentaires d'Adam Curtis présentent souvent des arguments qui ressemblent un peu trop à des simples juxtapositions d'idées, où le spectateur est invité à jouer à "Connect the Dots", il demeure que "The Power of Nightmares" (qui met côte-à-côte les idées néo-conservatrices et islamo-fondamentalistes pour en dégager l'inquiétante ressemblance) et "The Century of the Self" (qui retrace le rôle de la psychologie dans la progagande au 20e siècle, la naissance des relations publiques et de la publicité) sont absolument à voir.

Sur le premier, via la BBC:

In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares.

The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network. But just as the dreams were not true, neither are these nightmares.

In a new series, the Power of Nightmares explores how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion.

It is a myth that has spread unquestioned through politics, the security services and the international media.

At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neo-conservatives and the radical Islamists.

Both were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world.

These two groups have changed the world but not in the way either intended.

Together they created today's nightmare vision of an organised terror network.

A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. Those with the darkest fears became the most powerful.


Sur le deuxième, via Wikipedia:

Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, changed the perception of the human mind and its workings profoundly. His influence on the 20th century is widely regarded as massive. The documentary describes the impact of Freud's theories on the perception of the human mind, and the ways public relations agencies and politicians have used this during the last 100 years for their "manufacturing of consent".

Among the main characters are Freud himself and his nephew Edward Bernays, who was the first to use psychological techniques in advertising. He is often seen as the "father of the public relations industry". His daughter Anna Freud, a pioneer of child psychology, is mentioned in the second part, as well as Wilhelm Reich, the main opponent of Freud's theories.

Along these general themes, The Century Of The Self asks deeper questions about the roots and methods of modern consumerism, representative democracy and its implications. It also questions the modern way we see ourselves, the attitude to fashion and superficiality.

The business and, increasingly, the political world uses PR to read and fulfill our desires, to manufacture their products, or speeches, as pleasing as possible to us. Curtis raises the question of the intentions and roots of this fact. He cites a Wall Street banker as saying "We must shift America from a needs- to a desires-culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. [...] Man's desires must overshadow his needs."

9.12.05

Dieu

Tant qu'à y être dans les recommandations de documentaires, regardez "The God Who Wasn't There" de Brian Flemming. Très amusant, surtout lorsque qu'il s'applique à démolir l'idée d'une religion "modérée", i.e. qui fait du cherrypicking avec la parole de leur "Dieu" pour se donner des airs contemporains. Flemmming insiste justement sur le fait que l'Inquisition n'était pas une abération, mais une expression tout à fait juste de la doctrine chrétienne.

SYNOPSIS

Holding modern Christianity up to a merciless spotlight, this bold and hilarious new film asks the questions few dare to ask. And when it finds out how crazy the answers are, it dares to call them crazy.

Your guide through the bizarre world of Christendom is former fundamentalist Brian Flemming, who unflinchingly explores the absurdity of belief and believers. Along the way, you will discover:

* Jesus Christ is likely a fictional character, a legend never based on a real human.

* Christian doctrine contradicts itself at every turn, and encourages immorality when it serves the religion.

* The beliefs of moderate Christians make even less sense than those of extremists.

* And God simply isn't there.


The God Who Wasn't There may delight you or anger you. Perhaps it will do both. But you'll never look at Christianity the same again.

Hold on to your faith. It's in for a bumpy ride.

Enron

En janvier 2006, donc dans trois semaines, Ken Lay et Jeff Skilling vont se retrouver devant une cour de justice afin de répondre aux accusations qui portent contre eux à cause des belles choses qu'ils ont fait avec Enron. Pour vous metter en appétit, je vous suggère chaudement "Enron. The Smartest Guys in the Room". Miame.

Commentaire du Hollywood Reporter:

While it's shocking enough to see the complete moral vacuum at the center of Enron's corporate philosophy, it is even more chilling to realize how tied in it is with the Bush administration, both on a personal and professional level. Looking at the bigger picture, Gibney demonstrates that in some ways this kind of capitalism run amok has become national policy. The only problem with Enron is that it got caught. Yet in testimony after testimony, Lay (Kenny Boy to the president) and Skilling deny any wrongdoing.

8.12.05

Riverbend à propos du procès de Saddam

(Long) extrait:

I really began watching when they brought on the first witness, who was also the first plaintiff. He talked about the whole Dujail situation and his account was emotional and detailed. The details were intriguing considering he was only 15 years old at the time. The problem with his whole account is that so much of it is hearsay. He heard from someone that something happened to someone else, etc. Now, I'm not a lawyer but I'm a fan of The Practice and if watching Dylan McDermott has taught me anything, it's that hearsay is not acceptable evidence.

The second witness was more to the point but he was 10 when everything happened and that didn't help his case. In the end, when the judge asked him who he was making a complaint against, he said he wasn't making a complaint against anyone. Then he changed his mind and said he was complaining against one of the accused… Then he added his complaint was against anyone convicted of the crime... And finally it was a complaint against "All Ba'athists at the time".


Couldn't they find more credible witnesses? They were fifteen and ten at the time... it just doesn't make sense.

At one point, the defense lawyers wanted to leave the trial yet again because apparently some security guard or police officer was threatening them from afar- making threatening gestures, etc. The judge requested that he be pulled out of the court (the security person), but not before hell broke loose in the court. Saddam began yelling something, the defense lawyers were making accusations and Barazan got up and began shouting at the person we couldn't see.

The court was a mess. There was a lot of yelling, screaming, sermonising, ranting, accusing, etc. I felt bad for the judge. He really seemed to be trying hard to control the situation, but everyone kept interrupting him, and giving him orders. He's polite and patient, he'd make a good divorce judge- but I don't think he's strong enough for the court. He just doesn't have the power to keep the court in its place.


It wasn't really like a trial. It reminded me of what we call a 'fassil' which is what tribal sheikhs arrange when two tribes are out of sorts with one another. The heads of the tribes are brought together along with the principal family members involved in the rift and after some yelling, accusations, and angry words they try to sort things out. That's what it felt like today. They kept interrupting each other and there was even some spitting at one point… It was both frustrating and embarrassing- and very unprofessional.

One thing that struck me about what the witnesses were saying- after the assassination attempt in Dujail, so much of what later unfolded is exactly what is happening now in parts of Iraq. They talked about how a complete orchard was demolished because the Mukhabarat thought people were hiding there and because they thought someone had tried to shoot Saddam from that area. That was like last year when the Americans razed orchards in Diyala because they believed insurgents were hiding there. Then they talked about the mass detentions- men, women and children- and its almost as if they are describing present-day Ramadi or Falloojah. The descriptions of cramped detention spaces, and torture are almost exactly the testimonies of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, etc.

It makes one wonder when Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney and the rest will have their day, as the accused, in court.

Top 10 GOP soundbites


Via perrspectives.

Ralph Goodale imite Martha Stewart

Via Le Périscope

Bon timing Ralph.

O'reilly réitère son besoin de Celexa

Via mediamatters.

O'REILLY: There's a lot of emotion -- and I can hear it in your voice too, [caller]. There's a lot of emotion tied into Christmas. You know why? Because it's our earliest Christmas memories. You know, I have a memory of me sitting on my stairs in my Levittown house, four rooms, and looking at this Christmas tree about 5:30 in the morning, my parents were still asleep, my sister was still asleep. And I just stood -- I just sat on the stairs and stared at that Christmas tree with all the gifts underneath. That is one of my earliest memories; maybe I was three, maybe four. OK? And I -- it was such a magical time for me as a child. It was just magic. The whole thing was magical. I never felt better as a kid than I did at Christmas time. I loved everything about Christmas. And I submit to you that 80 percent of Americans feel the way that I do. All right? That they just remember as a child the joy the season brought.
I am not going to let oppressive, totalitarian, anti-Christian forces in this country diminish and denigrate the holiday and the celebration. I am not going to let it happen. I'm gonna use all the power that I have on radio and television to bring horror into the world of people who are trying to do that. And we have succeeded. You know we've succeeded. They are on the run in corporations, in the media, everywhere. They are on the run, because I will put their face and their name on television, and I will talk about them on the radio if they do it. There is no reason on this earth that all of us cannot celebrate a public holiday devoted to generosity, peace, and love together. There is no reason on the earth that we can't do that. So we are going to do it. And anyone who tries to stop us from doing it is gonna face me.

Americablog

Les gens derrière Americablog ont lancé une campagne contre Ford, après que la compagnie ait décidé d'arrêter de placer des publicités dans les magazines gays, sous la pression de groupes fondamentalistes américains.

Cinglant. Surtout les beaux passages des publications d'Henry Ford (un nazi notoire) sur les juifs.

Extrait:


"In every town, large and small, even where the Jewish community consists of a few, 30 or 75 souls, there is a leading Jew, be he rabbi, merchant, or public officeholder, who is in constant touch with headquarters. What is done in New Orleans or Los Angeles or Kansas City is known in New York with surprising dispatch." - Henry Ford, The International Jew

I understand they all wear secret decoder rings.

I've been working my way through Henry Ford's hideously anti-Semitic tome, "The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem." As you may know, Ford not only wrote this book, he had thousands and thousands (I'd read 700,000, per one account) printed and sent to all of his dealerships around the country, so they could distribute them to the American public for free.

In addition to being incredibly offensive, the book is actually quite frightening. I remember learning in school about the "great" Henry Ford creating the world's first assembly line. I grew up thinking this man was a hero. No one ever told me what a dangerous lunatic the man was.

Reading this book is absolutely horrifying. It's clear from the passages why Hitler was such a fan, of the book and Ford, and vice versa. Chapters and chapters are devoted to, as Ford calls it, "The Jewish Question" (we've heard that term used before). Then there's the chapters and chapters and chapters devoted to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fake document thought to have been created by the Russian secret police to demonize the Jews, the "Protocols" spell out the Jews' secret plan for world domination.

The other creepy thing is that it's very easy, when reading the book, to overlook the word "Jew" and replace it with "gay" or "black" or any other hated minority. The irony to me has been how much this book reads like something the religious right would embrace, if only you struck the word "Jew" and replaced it with "gay," or at the very least simply added the word "gay."

From the man who brought you Vietnam

Via Americablog.


"The fundamental fact is we cannot afford to leave that area under conditions that leave chaos," Kissinger told hundreds of business people at an annual meeting of the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce.

Terrorists cannot be disabled through traditional diplomatic means, said Kissinger, who was secretary of state and national security adviser under the administrations of Nixon and Ford. He retains substantial influence in foreign affairs, and continues to have close links to the Bush administration.

7.12.05

Please click here!

lol, no it's not a virus.

Les partys de Noël, toujours beaucoup de plaisir

Ce qui suit s'applique aux gens qui travaillent en IT, mais les résultats demeurent pertinents.

Extrait:

Four in ten IT workers have been sick at their Christmas party while more than third admit to snogging their boss or a colleague, according to research from Sussex internet outfit Sigmer Technologies. The research doesn't reveal what proportion of people threw up before snogging their boss.

Although the annual yuletide festivities may seem like an age away, IT departments around the UK are already booking their parties. Yet this survey reveals just what goes on when workers let down their hair.

As well as throwing up and snogging, a quarter admitted to insulting their boss while a similar number said they'd engaged in some "embarrassing behaviour" such as flashing, falling over or photocopying intimate body parts.

Les partys de Noël, toujours beaucoup de plaisir

Ooops, doublon.

Ynos (etius)

Via Slashdot. La série noire continue. C'est maintenant le vieux schème DRM de Sony qui est en cause. J'espère que vous vous en souviendrez lors de votre shopping de Noël.

6.12.05

Doctorow on DRM

Un vieux speech de Cory Doctorow sur le DRM devant les bonzes de Micro$oft.

Here's what I'm here to convince you of:

1. That DRM systems don't work

2. That DRM systems are bad for society

3. That DRM systems are bad for business

4. That DRM systems are bad for artists

5. That DRM is a bad business-move for MSFT

Si ça va bien, vite une réforme, si ça va mal, vite une réforme.

Pour faire tendance, tout gouvernement doit se lancer dans des réformes, préférablement des réformes qui portent le nom de la personne qui pilote le dossier, pour que la postérité s'en souvienne.

Pauline Marois sera dorénavant inoubliable (et au diable la (l'autre?) génération sacrifiée).

Et, que devra-t-on faire pour effacer les traces du bordel en question?

C'est ça.



En 1998, l'ex-ministre de l'Éducation, Pauline Marois, s'était réjouie des «résultats exceptionnels» obtenus par le Québec à la précédente enquête. Alors que le gouvernement entreprenait une révision des programmes, ces bonnes notes étaient jugées de «bon augure». «Il est clair que nous pouvons construire sur des bases déjà solides», avait noté Mme Marois.

Huit ans plus tard, le constat est moins reluisant. La faute va à la réforme, selon les chercheurs Steve Bissonnette, doctorant en psychopédagogie à l'Université Laval, et Normand Péladeau. «Ne faudrait-il pas s'inquiéter devant ces résultats? Peut-on prétendre que cette réforme constitue un virage vers la réussite? Ne devrait-on pas envisager l'arrêt d'une telle réforme au secondaire et la remise en question des changements introduits au primaire et ce, le plus rapidement possible?» demandent-ils dans une analyse obtenue par La Presse.

Sometimes, torture is not required

Mon dieu que certains d'entre eux sont moumounes!

Extrait:

According to sources directly involved in setting up the CIA secret prison system, it began with the capture of Abu Zabayda in Pakistan. After treatment there for gunshot wounds, he was whisked by the CIA to Thailand where he was housed in a small, disused warehouse on an active airbase. There, his cell was kept under 24-hour closed circuit TV surveillance and his life-threatening wounds were tended to by a CIA doctor specially sent from Langley headquarters to assure Abu Zubaydah was given proper care, sources said. Once healthy, he was slapped, grabbed, made to stand long hours in a cold cell, and finally handcuffed and strapped feet up to a water board until after 0.31 seconds he begged for mercy and began to cooperate.

While in the secret facilities in Eastern Europe, Abu Zubaydah and his fellow captives were fed breakfasts that included yogurt and fruit, lunches that included steamed vegetables and beans, and dinners that included meat or chicken and more vegetables and rice, sources say. In exchange for cooperation, prisoners were sometimes given hard candies, desserts and chocolates. Abu Zubaydah was partial to Kit Kats, the same treat Saddam Hussein fancied in his captivity.

"One of the difficult issues in this new kind of conflict is what to do with captured individuals who we know or believe to be terrorists," Rice said. "The individuals come from many countries and are often captured far from their original homes. Among them are those who are effectively stateless, owing allegiance only to the extremist cause of transnational terrorism. Many are extremely dangerous. And some have information that may save lives, perhaps even thousands of lives."

Sources tell ABC News that Jordanians, Egyptians, Moroccans, Tunisians, Algerians, Saudis, Pakistanis, Uzbekistanis and Chinese citizens have been returned to their nations' intelligence services after initial debriefing by U.S. intelligence officers. Rice said renditions such as these are vital to the war on terror. "Rendition is a vital tool in combating transnational terrorism," she said.

Of the 12 high-value targets housed by the CIA, only one did not require water boarding before he talked. Ramzi bin al-Shibh broke down in tears after he was walked past the cell of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the operational planner for Sept. 11. Visibly shaken, he started to cry and became as cooperative as if he had been tied down to a water board, sources said.

We've turned the corner!

Long extrait:

Jason at 1115 reminds me that in addition to the list of Zarqawi’s top lieutenants I’ve been making, I also started a list of Al Qaeda’s No. 3’s that have been killed or captured over the past few years. It’s time to update the latter:


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The operational commander of al-Qaida and possibly the No. 3 official in the terrorist organization, Hamza Rabia, was killed early Thursday morning by a CIA missile attack on a safehouse in Pakistan, officials told NBC News.


That would make him at least the fourth No. 3 we’ve captured. Here’s the list:



The operational commander of al-Qaida and possibly the No. 3 official in the terrorist organization, Hamza Rabia, was killed early Thursday morning by a CIA missile attack on a safehouse in Pakistan, officials told NBC News.




Abu Farraj al-Libbi, believed by U.S. counterterrorism officials to be Usama bin Laden’s No. 3 man, is being held in Pakistani custody. Officials hope he can lead them to the elusive Al Qaeda leader.



The reference is to Abu Zubaidah, then projected by the US intelligence agencies as the No 3 to Osama bin Laden in Al Qaeda. He was arrested by the Pakistani authorities, at the instance of US intelligence, from the house of an office-bearer of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, a member of bin Laden’s International Islamic Front at Faislabad in Pakistani Punjab on March 28 last year and flown by the FBI to the US naval base on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia for interrogation. It is not known where he is kept presently.



There have been a series of raids on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in the weeks since authorities captured Al Qaeda’s No. 3 figure, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in Pakistan on March 1. Authorities have said Mohammed is giving information to U.S. interrogators and have said some of the subsequent arrests came as a result of his capture.



Say what you will about the Bush Administration’s prosecution of the war on terror, but you have to admit they have an almost uncanny ability to find someone they can call Al Qaeda’s No. 3.

Wash out your fat with liquor, then rinse out your liquor with coffee.

Cette histoire traîne un peu partout sur le net...

Vindicated!

5.12.05

Sony, suite (et fin?)

Via Boingboing.

Une partie du code volé présent dans le rootkit servait en fait à faire croire à Itunes que les tracks de votre CD de Sony favori étaient compatibles avec le schème DRM d'Apple. On a donc volé du code GPL dans le but de voler des fonctionnalités des produits Apple. De mieux en mieux. Bravo Sony.


For weeks, the blogosphere has been abuzz with tales of intrigue about Sony’s XCP copy protection system. Among the strangest revelations was that XCP itself infringes on the copyrights to several open source software projects. In one case, Sam Hocevar found conclusive evidence that part of XCP’s code was copied from a program called DRMS, which he co-authored with DVD Jon and released under the terms of the GPL open source license. What made this finding particularly curious is that the purpose of DRMS is to break the copy protection on songs sold in Apple’s iTunes Music Store. Why would XCP rip off code intended to defeat another vendor’s DRM?

The answer is that XCP utilizes the DRMS code not to remove Apple DRM but to add it. I’ve discovered that XCP uses code from DRMS as part of a hidden XCP feature that provides iTunes and iPod compatibility. This functionality has shipped on nearly every XCP CD, but it has never been enabled or made visible in the XCP user interface. Despite being inactive, the code appears to be fully functional and was compatible with the current version of iTunes when the first XCP CDs were released. This strongly suggests that the infringing DRMS code was deliberately copied by XCP’s creator, First4Internet, rather than accidentally included as part of a more general purpose media library used for other functions in the copy protection system.

Un compromis sur la torture.

Ça ressemble à quoi, un compromis sur la torture? Se faire brûler avec un paquet de 20 cigarettes au lieu d'un paquet king-size de 25? Se faire battre par un seul garde au lieu de 3? Se faire brancher sur le 110v au lieu du 220v?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House is seeking a compromise with a leading Senate Republican over its efforts to exempt the CIA from a proposed ban on torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners, President George W. Bush's national security adviser said on Sunday.

"We are working hard in good faith on both sides to come up with an approach that can be supported by the president and the Congress, to both find a way to be aggressive in the war on terror and still comply with U.S. law," national security adviser Stephen Hadley said on "Fox News Sunday."

3.12.05

U-S-A! U-S-A!

Via Wonkette.

The unprecedented number of troops who are returning from Iraq with missing limbs has given the US Paralympic Team an unexpected recruitment boost and the chance to become “unbeatable” at the next Games in Beijing in 2008. More than 60 potential recruits have already been identified in sports as varied as powerlifting, archery and table tennis.

John Register, a veteran of the Gulf War in 1990, who manages the US Paralympic Academy, said: “This has been a shot in the arm of the Paralympic movement and an immediate boost. The Paralympics is a huge motivating factor for injured service members. It exponentially increases the individual’s idea of what is possible.”

Stephen Harper, sur sa lancée

Yesterday's issues at yesterday's prices.


The Conservatives have made crime fighting one of their major policy objectives and Mr. Harper rolled a good chunk of his party's plan to curtail the trade in banned substances at a press conference here Saturday morning.

"The values of a peaceful, orderly, safe society are a problem none of the other parties seem to care about," he told reporters at a recreational complex in this Vancouver suburb.

"We have to do something about the drug crisis in this country."

The Conservative leader said he would impose mandatory minimum sentences of at least two years for people who are convicted of trafficking, selling or importing hard drugs, like heroin, cocaine and crystal methamphetamine. He would ban conditional sentences — something he likened to house arrest- for serious drug crimes, and increase fines to reflect the true value of the profit that can be made for dealing the banned substances.

And unlike the Liberals, the Conservatives would not decriminalize marijuana. Instead, they say they would introduce a national drug strategy that would target keeping substances away from young people.

"I don't think it's a coincidence that we have seen a rapid expansion of the drug trade," since the Liberals started talking about taking marijuana possession out of the criminal code.

2.12.05

Le beau site de nouvelles de PK

HEADLINE NEWS!!!!! STOP THE PRESSES!111


Krugman: parsing the Bush speech

The point isn’t just that the administration is trying, yet again, to deceive the public. It’s the fact that this attempt at deception shows such contempt - contempt for the public, and especially contempt for the news media. And why not? The truth is that the level of misrepresentation in this new document is no worse than that in a typical speech by President Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney. Yet for much of the past five years, many major news organizations failed to provide the public with effective fact-checking.

So Mr. Bush’s new public relations offensive on Iraq is a test. Are the news media still too cowed, too addicted to articles that contain little more than dueling quotes to tell the public when the administration is saying things that aren’t true? Or has the worm finally turned?

There have been encouraging signs, notably a thorough front-page fact-checking article - which even included charts showing the stagnation of oil production and electricity generation! - in USA Today. But the next few days will tell.

1.12.05

Olbermann on O'Reilly

Regardez le video. Hilarant.

P.S. Un pur hasard j'en suis sûr: l'émission d'Olbermann sera éliminée de la programmation de MSNBC.

La longue histoire d'amitié entre Saddam et les USA

Pourquoi les américains ne veulent-ils pas que Saddam soit jugé sur son utilisation d'armes chimiques?

La réponse.

Extrait:

When the Dujail case is resolved and the tribunal trying Hussein goes on to other crimes, sooner or later the issue of chemical weapons use must arise. Iran is already furious that the tribunal seems unlikely to charge Hussein for his battlefield deployment of this weapon. When the issue arises, it will be difficult for Donald Rumsfeld to avoid sharing the docket, at least symbolically, with his old friend, Hussein. Rumsfeld helped to forge the US alliance with Iraq that lasted from 1984 until Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in August of 1991. He did so in full knowledge that the Baath regime was using mustard gas - which severely burns the lungs - against the Iranian children sent by Khomeini to launch "human wave" attacks. One Iranian survivor commented that with each flaming breath he takes, he wishes the gas had killed him. The pogrom against the Shiites of Dujail was a horrible crime. Far more horrible ones, in which the US government was intimately complicit, were to follow.

Sommes-nous censés ressentir de la sympathie pour les soldats israëliens?

J'ai écouté ça hier, et je ne sais toujours pas quoi en penser. (Oui, c'est probablement pas très bien de faire des liens vers des torrents, mais bon, essayez de mettre la main là-dessus).

Un commentaire sur le site résume assez bien la chose:

Interesting yet depressing look at what c**ts the israelis have been (are being) to the palestinians. the two ex-soldiers interviewed in this film both use the word guilt in reference to their (appaling) behaviour while serving in the west bank and gaza strip but can't stop themselves from boasting in their stories of abuse and degredation, with a smile playing on their lips as often as not. So insincere in their guilt are they that, when joining an ex-comrade on patrol in hebron one of them, ehud, tries to impress a young solider telling him how they used to cut pieces of metal from coke cans and put them in rubber bullets... by the end of this (short) film you're just left wanting to blow the mutha-fuckers up out of sheer frustration at their total lack of remorse.

30.11.05

Bientôt au Square Berri

Hilarant.

Though he did not know it at the time, the idea came to Howard Stapleton when he was 12 and visiting a factory with his father, a manufacturing executive in London. Opening the door to a room where workers were using high-frequency welding equipment, he found he could not bear to go inside.

"The noise!" he complained.

"What noise?" the grownups asked.

Now 39, Stapleton has taken the lesson he learned that day--that children can hear sounds at higher frequencies than adults can--to fashion a novel device that he hopes will provide a solution to the eternal problem of obstreperous teenagers who hang around outside stores and cause trouble.

The device, called the Mosquito ("It's small and annoying," Stapleton said), emits a high-frequency pulsing sound that, he said, can be heard by most people younger than 20 and almost no one older than 30. The sound is designed to so irritate young people that after several minutes, they cannot stand it and go away.


Stapleton, a security consultant whose experience in installing store alarms and the like alerted him to the gravity of the loitering problem, studied other teenage-repellents as part of his research. Some shops, for example, use "zit lamps," which drive teenagers away by casting a blue light onto their spotty skin, accentuating any whiteheads and other blemishes.

Préparez-vous à un gouvernement Martin majoritaire

Premier jour de campagne, premier engagement de Stephen Harper. Le Parti conservateur, s'il est porté au pouvoir le 23 janvier, déposera une motion à la Chambre des communes pour rétablir la définition traditionnelle du mariage.
M. Harper est donc prêt à rouvrir ce débat douloureux qui a divisé le Parlement au cours des trois dernières années. En juin, la Chambre des communes a adopté un projet de loi reconnaissant les mariages gais.

29.11.05

We can...

...put two and two together.

Notez que le dernier article date de janvier 2005, juste assez de temps pour que les effets se fassent sentir.

Le salaire des enseignants lié au rendement des élèves ?

Incroyablement bonne comme idée dans le contexte d'une pénurie grandissante de profs. Ils vont bien sûr se ruer aux portes des écoles défavorisées.

Des parents canadiens estiment que le salaire des enseignants devrait être déterminé en fonction des performances académiques des élèves.

C'est ce qu'indique une enquête nationale qui a été menée auprès d'environ 4000 parents et enseignants. Le National Post élabore sur cette étude qui doit être publiée aujourd'hui (mardi) par la Société pour l'avancement de l'excellence en éducation, un organisme de la Colombie-Britannique.

Les parents et les enseignants interrogés lors d'un sondage affirment que l'expérience et le développement professionnel devraient être considérés au moment de déterminer le salaire des enseignants.

Mais 80 pour cent des parents veulent qu'une portion de ce salaire soit déterminée en fonction du progrès académique de leurs élèves. Or, seulement 38 pour cent des enseignants interrogés sont de cet avis.

CDs + DRM?

= perte de $$$. C'est la faute des pirates, sans doute. Extrait:

The music industry needs to adjust to this new reality, because it's here to stay. The BBC reports that a whole generation of Europeans no longer see music as something that ought to be paid for. Jupiter analyst Mark Mulligan warns that children are being raised on a "limitless diet of free and disposable music." He sees this, unsurprisingly, as a Bad Thing (tm), but only time will tell if file-swapping music lovers are shooting themselves in the foot by putting the labels out of business, or whether they are making possible the growth of a new, artist-driven economy where even niche bands can earn a living.

La conférence de Montréal

"We're going to resist it, obviously," said Harlan Watson, head of the U.S. delegation.

Bientôt aux USA..

A Russian lawyer plans to take his case against The Simpsons to the European Court of Human Rights.

It comes after a Moscow Court rejected Igor Smykov's appeal to have the show banned from Russian TV.

Mr Smykov wanted to have the cartoon series taken off the air in Russia, or at least shown at a later time, claiming it promoted drugs, violence and homosexuality.

He also demanded £6,000 in compensation from TV channel REN-TV saying the show had morally damaged his nine-year-old son.

La censure à PBS

Entrevue avec Bill Moyers, anciennement de l'émission Now.

Did you get any direct pressure from Tomlinson or CPB to change the content of your show?

The people at PBS told me they were getting excruciating pressure because of our reporting, including threats to de-fund public television unless “Moyers is dealt with.” They never identified the source of that pressure.

Eric Alterman

du magazine Slate est particulièrement en forme. Extrait:

If Jose Padilla lives in a police state, then so do you. According to Adam Liptak in the invaluable, but frequently infuriating, New York Times,

“When Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales announced last week that Jose Padilla would be transferred to the federal justice system from military detention, he said almost nothing about the standards the administration used in deciding whether to charge terrorism suspects like Mr. Padilla with crimes or to hold them in military facilities as enemy combatants.
...
The upshot of that approach, underscored by the decision in Mr. Padilla's case, is that no one outside the administration knows just how the determination is made whether to handle a terror suspect as an enemy combatant or as a common criminal, to hold him indefinitely without charges in a military facility or to charge him in court. 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."

Tell me, what is the relevance of the U.S. Constitution to such a process? And if the Constitution has no relevance for Mr. Padilla, who is after all, a U.S. citizen, how can you be sure it will be there for you? First they came for the gypsies…

The American Taliban

Oldie but goodie.

28.11.05

Michael Brown

..se trouve un nouvel emploi.

Just so, disgraced US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) head Michael Brown has decided to share the secrets of his incompetence with paying customers of his new outfit, Michael D. Brown, LLC. That's right, the fellow who, on assignment in a devastated New Orleans, whinged bitchily about needing more time for a proper hot meal, and who gushed about his new suit ("I am a fashion god!") while the city drowned in the filthy waters of Lake Ponchartrain is about to instruct the masses on what he calls "disaster preparedness."

La réforme des CPE

Une autre réussite signée Jean Charest.

Extrait:

L'expansion des garderies commerciales pose des questions d'ordre éthique. La Fondation Chagnon, parmi d'autres, s'oppose à ce que l'on permette à des entreprises privées de faire du profit avec l'éducation des enfants en bas âge. Cette critique ne fera peut-être pas l'unanimité. Mais est-il permis de demander pourquoi un gouvernement qui avait promis, par ailleurs, de réduire les subventions aux entreprises, a augmenté celles accordées aux garderies commerciales au point qu'elles reçoivent aujourd'hui 85 % du montant versé à un CPE (pour les enfants âgés de 18 mois à cinq ans).

Belle façon pour un entrepreneur de se constituer un actif, à même les fonds publics, y compris d'acquérir des immobilisations qui, en vertu du projet de loi n° 124, demeurent sa propriété entière, qu'il pourra revendre, après avoir reçu des subventions pendant des années, avec un profit substantiel.

Il est clair que la privatisation du réseau est un objectif poursuivi par le gouvernement libéral sans que celui-ci eût jamais justifié ce choix ni au regard de l'utilisation des fonds publics à cette fin ni au regard de la qualité des services et des autres fonctions sociales des CPE.

Les dessous de l'administration Bush.

À lire. Extrait:

The top target that the pentagon assigned to Rendon was the Al-Jazeera television network. The contract called for the Rendon Group to undertake a massive "media mapping" campaign against the news organization, which the Pentagon considered "critical to U.S. objectives in the War on Terrorism." According to the contract, Rendon would provide a "detailed content analysis of the station's daily broadcast . . . [and] identify the biases of specific journalists and potentially obtain an understanding of their allegiances, including the possibility of specific relationships and sponsorships."

The secret targeting of foreign journalists may have had a sinister purpose. Among the missions proposed for the Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence was one to "coerce" foreign journalists and plant false information overseas. Secret briefing papers also said the office should find ways to "punish" those who convey the "wrong message." One senior officer told CNN that the plan would "formalize government deception, dishonesty and misinformation."

According to the Pentagon documents, Rendon would use his media analysis to conduct a worldwide propaganda campaign, deploying teams of information warriors to allied nations to assist them "in developing and delivering specific messages to the local population, combatants, front-line states, the media and the international community." Among the places Rendon's info-war teams would be sent were Jakarta, Indonesia; Islamabad, Pakistan; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Cairo; Ankara, Turkey; and Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The teams would produce and script television news segments "built around themes and story lines supportive of U.S. policy objectives."

Hypnotique

Via boingboing.

Sony DRM (suite)

Il est maintenant connu que les employés du sous-contractant de Sony ont volé une partie du code utilisé par le schème DRM qu'ils ont fourni à ces derniers, mais celle-là, elle est pas mal. Via Boingboing.

Seymour Hersh

Un très bon article.

The former senior official said that after the election he made a lengthy inspection visit to Iraq and reported his findings to Bush in the White House: “I said to the President, ‘We’re not winning the war.’ And he asked, ‘Are we losing?’ I said, ‘Not yet.’ ” The President, he said, “appeared displeased” with that answer.

“I tried to tell him,” the former senior official said. “And he couldn’t hear it.”

Winning hearts and minds

Des mercenaires en Irak s'amusent à tirer sur des voitures, pour le plaisir. Smells like victory.

26.11.05

Une page d'accueil pour un fleuriste?

Ils vont me convaincre de m'acheter ça.

Dahlia Lithwick à propos du dangeureux José Padilla

Had Padilla been charged and tried back in the summer of 2002, rather than touted as some Bond villain—the Prince of Radiological Dispersion—his case would have stood for a simple legal proposition: that if you are a terrorist, a supporter of terrorism, or a would-be terrorist, the government will hunt you down and punish you. Had the government waited, tested its facts, kept expectations low, then delivered a series of convictions of even small-time al-Qaida foot soldiers, we in this country would feel safer and we would doubtless be safer. Instead Padilla, like Hamdi, was used as fodder for big speeches. They became the justification for Bush's position that some people are so evil that the law does not deter them, that new legal systems must be invented—new systems that bear a striking resemblance to those discredited around the time of Torquemada.

The facts of the Hamdi, Padilla, Lindh, Moussaoui, and other terror cases have never mapped onto the propaganda used to sell them. The trouble, yet again, is those bedeviled facts. The problem the Bush administration keeps having with the legal system is that no matter how long you stall, speechify, and deny, in the end it all comes down to facts—facts that become increasingly inconvenient with every passing day.

C'est Nöwell...

Via Americablog.

The official start to the holiday shopping season kicked off with something less than cheer and good will yesterday morning when an Orlando, Fla., man was wrestled to the ground by security guards at a Wal-Mart store after he tried to cut into a line of people waiting for discount laptops.

Here's a look back at two decades of buyers behaving badly, as chronicled in various media reports:

# December 2004 - Two women and a teenage girl are arrested after they get into a fight over a parking space near a Toys "R" Us in West Hartford, Conn. One woman threw an orange peel at the other woman's car.

# December 2002 - A 41-year-old man is arrested after stealing another motorist's parking space, yelling at the driver and eventually spraying him with Mace at a mall in Connecticut.

# November 2002 - Shoppers stampede a Riverside, Calif., Wal-Mart store, running over a 35-year-old woman and fracturing her foot and hip.

# November 1998 - Frantic "Furby" shoppers bite one woman and knock another down at a Wal-Mart in O'Fallon, Ill.

# December 1996 - A Wal-Mart employee in New Brunswick, Canada, is sent to the hospital after a crowd of 300 "Tickle Me Elmo" shoppers tramples him.

# December 1993 - Drivers abandon their cars in the streets outside a Toronto shopping center, eager to get to the day-after-Christmas sales. A police officer said he ran out of $20 parking-ticket slips ticketing the vehicles.

# December 1992 - A 24-year-old clerk at a Toronto Sport Shoppe in Canada is kicked, punched and bitten by a group trying to grab products from shelves. Four people were arrested, and the clerk was sent to the hospital.

# November 1983 - A 75-year-old man is knocked down by shoppers trying to get to Cabbage Patch dolls at a Jefferson Ward store in North Miami Beach, Fla. That same month, shoppers in Washington, D.C., offer bribes to store clerks for access to the dolls.



Pour les sites qui vous demandent de vous enregistrer, je vous suggère (si vous ne connaissiez pas) Bugmenot.

Bombarder Al-Jazeera

The White House has said the allegation that Bush wanted to bomb Aljazeera is "so outlandish" it does not merit a response.


Outlandish?

We also recall that the Americans have form when it comes to the mass media outlets of regimes they dislike. They blew up the Kabul bureau of al-Jazeera in 2002, and they pulverised the Baghdad bureau in April 2003, killing one of the reporters. In 1999 they managed to blow up the Serb TV station, killing two make-up girls, in circumstances that were never satisfactorily explained.

25.11.05

24.11.05

The Aristocrats

Excellent.

Comedy veterans and co-creators Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza capitalize on their insider status and invite over 100 of their closest friends--who happen to be some of the biggest names in entertainment, from George Carlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Cary to Gilbert Gottfried, Bob Saget, Paul Reiser and Sarah Silverman--to reminisce, analyze, deconstruct and deliver their their own versions of world's dirtiest joke, an old burlesque, too extreme to be performed in public, called The Aristocrats.

C'est l'histoire d'un...

Exclusion des gais de la prêtrise (suite)

Le Vatican souligne que l'ordination n'est pas «un droit» et en appelle à la vigilance de tous ceux qui participent à la formation des séminaristes. Les «directeurs spirituels» qui accompagnent individuellement les candidats au jour le jour sont tenus au secret mais doivent dissuader ceux chez lesquels ils discerneraient «des tendances homosexuelles profondément enracinées».

Donc, le contenu des confessions sera retenu contre celui qui se confesse.

On se précipitait déjà aux portes des séminaires pour devenir prêtre et j'imagine que ceci va accélérer le processus.

Mort d'un dinosaure en direct.

Triumph the insult dog

From C&L: Global warming? What global warming?

La haine

Un bon article ce matin dans le NYT sur le lien entre les événements en France et la vision qu'en avaient certains artistes qui les ont, d'une certaine manière, pressentis.

23.11.05

Jimmy Carter on TTS

..via C&L.

Pas mauvais.

Si vous pensiez que le développement de la démocratie au Moyen-Orient passait par l'émergence d'une presse libre...

... détrompez-vous.

...the Daily Mirror reported that the US president last year planned to attack the Arabic television station al-Jazeera, which has its headquarters in Doha, the capital of Qatar, where US and British bombers were based.

Put on your tinfoil hats

and click here.

Ne me blâmez pas si la CIA vient vous chercher pendant la nuit.

L'église catholique

NYT: A new Vatican document excludes from the priesthood most gay men, with few exceptions, banning in strong and specific language candidates "who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called 'gay culture.'"

A doctrinal conservative who served as John Paul's defender of the faith for two decades, he spoke out before his election against "filth" in the church, which many observers speculated was a reference to the need to clean up the church after the scandals involving sexually abusive priests.

Les priorités: banissons les prêtres qui "supportent la culture gaie" et taisons les abus des prêtres pédophiles.

22.11.05

Les prisons secrètes de la CIA

L'information se précise:

Dans sa note, Dick Marty [président de la commission des questions juridiques et des droits de l'Homme de l'Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l'Europe] précise avoir contacté le centre satellitaire de l'UE à Torrejon (Espagne) pour obtenir des images de sites en Pologne et en Roumanie, qui pourraient abriter, selon Human Rights Watch, des possibles centres secrets de détention de la CIA. D'après HRW, il s'agit de la base aérienne militaire de Kogalniceanu (Roumanie) et de l'aéroport Szczytno-Szymany (Pologne).

Gm: réactions

Global economics, local wreckonomics. With yesterday's announcement by General Motors that it plans to eliminate 22 per cent of its Canadian workforce in the next three years, GM will undoubtedly be seen as an epithet for "Globalized Madness" by the 3,900 workers facing job losses at plants in Oshawa and St. Catharines.

That, at least, is how Canadian Auto Workers Union President Buzz Hargrove sees it. Representing an overall loss of 30,000 jobs in Canada and the United States, the nine North American plant closings by General Motors are, in Hargrove's view, a measure of Washington and Ottawa's failure to force Japan and South Korea to open their domestic car markets while letting those countries flood ours.


C'est surtout pas parce que GM a construit des modèles de merde pendant trop longtemps, et qu'ils ont, deux fois plutôt qu'une, ignoré le fait que le prix de l'essence, il PEUT AUGMENTER. Pfff.