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Comments

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Facebook's Emotion Experiment: Too Far, Or Social Network Norm?

mr100percent Re:A/B-Testing (219 comments)

Now that IS very interesting. I wonder how the IRB approved an experiment that clearly didn't have any participants' consent.

about three weeks ago
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Facebook's Emotion Experiment: Too Far, Or Social Network Norm?

mr100percent Re:Unethical (219 comments)

I agree, this was my first thought. They screwed up big time, it would be fun to see the federal government investigate them for unlicensed human research.

about three weeks ago
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Facebook's Emotion Experiment: Too Far, Or Social Network Norm?

mr100percent Re:This news piece has been greatly exagerated (219 comments)

I don't know anyone who was affected by the Tuskeegee syphilis study, but that doesn't mean it was right or we shouldn't be outraged.

about three weeks ago
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Facebook's Emotion Experiment: Too Far, Or Social Network Norm?

mr100percent Re:A/B-Testing (219 comments)

The issue is clear; if a doctor or psychologist tried this, they would have to get IRB approval. You need informed consent; such laws were passed after psychologists had tried a LOT of experiments on the unwitting public; simluating muggings, imminent death scenarios, etc.

I know people say "it's just manipulating feeds, what's the harm?" There can be plenty of harm if you manipulate the feeds. Where is the line? What if facebook had decided to see what happens if you try showing depressing posts and bad news for a year? Or a feed where you were always ignored? No IRB would allow something like that if it risked permanent mental scarring or created a suicide risk.

Bad move, Facebook. Experiments are definitely cool (I'm a researcher), but we go through proper channels and regulation for a darned good reason.

about three weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

mr100percent Re:Can I vote for.. (512 comments)

A holographic doctor is not the same as the tired storyline where there's a holodeck malfunction and the artifical characters threaten the ship. At least with The Doctor they had him grow and develop and mature and be like Data with more personality.

about 4 months ago
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Yahoo May Build Its Own YouTube

mr100percent Yahoo DID (162 comments)

Does nobody remember 2005? Yahoo Video and Google Video competed with YouTube, it was not uncommon to see videos cross-posted on more than one.

about 4 months ago
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TSA Missed Boston Bomber Because His Name Was Misspelled In a Database

mr100percent Brace yourself (275 comments)

Oh great, now the government will overcompensate by making the search logic even fuzzier, generating far more false positives. Is your name one letter off from someone on the No-Fly list? You're not going to be allowed to fly either. It was bad enough when the TSA was grounding flights when 8-month-olds matched the name of a terrorist, now you're going to have way more of that.

Don't believe me? After the Underwear Bomber was caught in 2009, Homeland Security decided to prevent it from happening again, by drastically increasing the No-Fly lists and broadening it to encompass flights to Canada and Mexico.

about 4 months ago
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Brazil Blocks Foreign Mobile Phones

mr100percent Re: Might help the US.... (97 comments)

Yes, we live in a world where everyone has access to google. That's not the point, you have to prove your claims with evidence, not ask the other person to do it for you and then disprove it. You need to show proof that it can be done, because you can't disprove a negative.

about 4 months ago
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Snowden A Hero? Gates Says No, Woz Says Yes

mr100percent Not again (335 comments)

Bill, we've been over this before. Snowden tried the legal channels, informing his superiors 10x, and got nowhere. If you bothered to closely follow the story, you'd see your suggestions were tried and failed.

Armchair critics are stupid. "Why couldn't Rosa Parks just ask the bus driver for permission, did she really need to get arrested?"

about 4 months ago
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India Plans Mission To Probe Sun By 2020

mr100percent Re: When they should be... (146 comments)

Compare how the US responded to similar actions in Iran; the president held press conferences and pressed the issue at the UN and got Europe to agree to sanctions. With Bahrain, no action was taken; the implication being that protesters' livesans democracy are worth less than navy parking spaces.

US-made tanks sold to Saudi stormed into Bahrain and crushed the protests. The US government decided that was not enough reason to deny further sales.

about 5 months ago
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India Plans Mission To Probe Sun By 2020

mr100percent Re:When they should be... (146 comments)

Current US foreign policy is not "do nothing." The US government backed the Bahraini dictatorship and looked the other way as their police fired on pro-democracy protestors and refused to sanction the government despite its documented use of torture and human rights abuses. Why? Because the Bahraini king allowed the US Navy to park its ships there. The US government approved the sale of weapons to the Saudi dictatorship that human rights groups warned would be used on protestors and for torture (e.g. selling huge shipments of cattle prods to the Saudi government even though they don't have many cows). It's creating a whole generation of people who dislike America, despite the fact that the US was quite popular up until recently.

about 5 months ago
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India Plans Mission To Probe Sun By 2020

mr100percent Re:When they should be... (146 comments)

Citation needed. Sex outside of marriage is referred to as "Zina" in Saudi Arabia, which is not a capital offense. Adultery is a subset of sex crime law, and is punished by flogging if unmarried, only married people qualify for capital punishment for adultery..

about 5 months ago
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India Plans Mission To Probe Sun By 2020

mr100percent Re:When they should be... (146 comments)

Being raped is not a capital crime in Saudi Arabia. The myth of that got out when a married woman claimed she was raped, and since there wasn't enough evidence to prove it, the prosecutor decided to charge her with adultery. It's screwed up and Muslims around the world protested the case, but they're a US-backed dictatorship and that's that.

about 5 months ago
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Using Google Maps To Intercept FBI and Secret Service Calls

mr100percent How better to do it legally? (137 comments)

What would have been a better way to deal with this? Send in a warning and watch it be ignored?

about 5 months ago
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Microsoft Lync Server Gathers Employee Data Just Like NSA

mr100percent Carve out one exception... (207 comments)

Once you claim "it's only metadata," then you open the floodgates for all abuse.

about 5 months ago
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On the Practicalities of Counterfeit-Proof Physical Bitcoins

mr100percent Meh (121 comments)

I don't see an incentive for them to use Bitcoin over US dollars or some other established currency.

about 5 months ago
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RNC Calls For Halt To Unconstitutional Surveillance

mr100percent Interesting (523 comments)

And where were they when Bush was caught doing this in 2005? They voted to legalize it after Bush was caught doing it.

It's still illegal, but seeing them suddenly complain about it reeks of partisanship. (That also goes for the left, where people like Bill Maher suddenly think it's a necessity if Obama does it and not Bush).

about 6 months ago
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UK Men Arrested For Anti-Semitic Tweets After Football Game

mr100percent Double Standard (598 comments)

Amazing how people frequently bash Muslims, Asians, and Arabs in the UK and nothing happens (even full EDL and BNP rallies in the street), yet an anti-Semitic tweet is cause for arrest. Both are disgusting, but either legalize or ban both.

about 7 months ago
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Gov't Puts Witness On No Fly List, Then Denies Having Done So

mr100percent Re:No popcorn yet (462 comments)

The No-Fly list does not allow the person on chartered private flights, and it even denies a person from flying overseas into Canada or Mexico. There are even reports that DHS will go further and attempt to block a person from taking a ship into the US as well, US citizen or not.

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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Public Knowledge blasts AT&T over FaceTime network limits

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  about 2 years ago

mr100percent (57156) writes "One of the new features in Apple's iOS6 release due this fall is an enhancement to the FaceTime video call feature, allowing it to function over 3G on any cellular network. On Friday, AT&T announced that the privilege only extends to users on its new "Mobile Share" programs, and not for users grandfathered on the unlimited or tiered data plans. Public Knowledge, a nonprofit Internet law group, believes that preventing other customers from using FaceTime violates net neutrality rules by blocking a service that competes with its own.

AT&T has denied violating Net Neutrality, and was forced to allow Skype over 3G after the FCC got involved. Sprint last month committed to no additional charges for 3G FaceTime access. Verizon, however, is said to be unable to hinder FaceTime over cellular as a result of a net neutrality promise to the FCC."

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft barring certain staff from buying Macs, iPads

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mr100percent (57156) writes "Microsoft has reportedly moved to prohibit employees in its Sales, Marketing, Services, IT, and Operations Group (SMSG) from using company funds to purchase any products produced by Apple. The company had already barred staffers from using expense allocations for competing smartphone platforms, however the new guidelines explicitly note that Macs and iPads have been added to the list.

"Within SMSG we are putting in place a new policy that says that Apple products (Mac & iPad) should not be purchased with company funds," an alleged letter distributed to staff reads, according to excerpts posted on ZDNet."

Link to Original Source
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Battleheart developer drops Android as 'unsustainable'

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mr100percent (57156) writes "Battleheart's creator Mika Mobile in an update explained that it was dropping Android support. Google's platform was losing money for the company, since it spent about 20 percent of its time supporting the platform but only ever made five percent or less of the company's revenue. Much of the effort was spent on issues specific to Android, where the diversity was only creating problems rather than helping. "I would have preferred spending that time on more content for you, but instead I was thanklessly modifying shaders and texture formats to work on different GPUs, or pushing out patches to support new devices without crashing, or walking someone through how to fix an installation that wouldn't go through," one half of the husband and wife duo said. "We spent thousands on various test hardware. These are the unsung necessities of offering our apps on Android.""
Link to Original Source
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OS X Lion Sandboxing Affects App Store apps

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mr100percent (57156) writes "Mac OS X developers have been given a few extra months to accept the Mac App Store app sandboxing requirementsor to forget all about selling their apps through Apple’s store. Developers now have about four months to decide on whether they will support sandboxing in their apps. The problem? If they do, some apps will become just shadows of their former selves."
Link to Original Source
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Fox, Paramount may skip YouTube due to lack of pir

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mr100percent (57156) writes "Fox and Paramount have supposedly backed out of YouTube's imminent major movie service in an attempt to force action on piracy. Unofficial comments from the two claim that they won't get onboard as long as Google is indexing pirate video sites in its search engine and allowing them AdSense placement. Disney, not mentioned before, was also leaning the same direction, The Wrap said."
Link to Original Source
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Extremist website in US taken down

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mr100percent (57156) writes "A US-based website RevolutionMuslim.com, known for inciting violence against the creators of South Park, has been taken down on Friday after the British authorities complained of a post praising a young woman who stabbed and nearly killed a British lawmaker over his support for the Iraq war. Legal experts say that it is difficult for the government to force a site off the Internet, but the government could pressure a site operator or service provider to take it down."
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft to open Mall of America store across fro

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mr100percent (57156) writes "Electronista is reporting that Microsoft is going to increase its pressure on Apple by building its latest retail store directly across from the Apple Store in the Mall of America (Minneapolis). Previous Microsoft stores have opened near Apple's before, but this would be the first to sit directly next to each other. The company has made no reservations about the stores being meant to imitate and potentially lure away customers and has gone so far as to have a Genius Bar equivalent, the Answer Desk, and to hold high-profile openings. Won't Microsoft be embarrassed when their store is twice as wide, but a quarter as crowded."
Link to Original Source
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Samsung's texting world record already beaten by i

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mr100percent (57156) writes "Electronista is reporting that the text messaging record set by Samsung's Galaxy S phone using Swype was beaten just hours later by an iPhone 4 user. "Salford, UK-based Melissa Thompson had beaten a previous texting record by typing two sentences in 25.94 seconds on a Galaxy S, but El Paso, Texas-based Brian Sweet proved that he had already beaten the record and posted a video (below) as evidence. He typed the message in 21.8 seconds using the stock iPhone 4 keyboard, even after having to start the timer himself and with virtually no use of auto-correction.""
Link to Original Source
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AT&T sues Verizon over ads

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mr100percent (57156) writes "AT&T on Tuesday sued Verizon for allegedly misleading customers with its "there's a map for that" ads. The complaint argues that Verizon is deliberately exaggerating the gaps in AT&T's coverage through its map of 3G networks, making it seem as though some areas have no coverage at all, not just 3G. Verizon has already had to alter maps after some earlier protests from AT&T."
Link to Original Source
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Slingplayer app released, without 3G

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mr100percent writes "Sling Media, makers of Slingbox, submitted their iPhone app for review in March, only to be held in limbo while Apple and AT&T discussed the matter. AT&T feared the streaming player (which streams live TV from a person's home to an iPhone) would saturate the 3G network and bring it to a crawl, eventually quietly changing their TOS to ban "redirecting television signals for viewing on Personal Computers." Fastforward to May and their App is released, without 3G support. That's right, AT&T leaned on Apple to block the app, until Slingplayer relented and made it a WiFi only app. Slingplayer users are not happy."
Link to Original Source
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Apple to loosen restrictions with iPhone 3.0?

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mr100percent (57156) writes "iLounge is reporting that Apple rejected the iPhone aggregator app Newspapers, because of a topless photo. In the rejection message, Apple noted that Parental Controls have been announced for iPhone OS 3.0, adding that it "would be appropriate to resubmit your application for review once this feature is available." Rumor sites are speculating that Apple will relax their content restrictions once the 3.0 update puts parental controls in place. This may mean apps like NIN will be allowed in the future."
Link to Original Source
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AT&T tries to quietly ban Slingplayer

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mr100percent (57156) writes "You may remember earlier in the month when AT&T changed its Terms of Service, banning any video/audio streaming to its devices, which would have blocked SlingPlayer, Qik, Skype from its devices, mainly the iPhone. The immediate outcry made AT&T issue a retraction and claim it was all a mistake. Well, AT&T decided you all have a short memory. Electronista is reporting that AT&T has again modified the terms to specifically prevent "redirecting television signals for viewing on Personal Computers." This means you, Slingbox. The company submitted their iPhone app to the App Store a month ago, and rumor has it AT&T has been leaning heavily on Apple to reject it, for fears it will saturate the 3G network."
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Vodafone to carry iPhone in ten countries

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mr100percent (57156) writes "Electronista reports that Vodaphone will carry the iPhone in 10 countries later this year. The telecoms firm will offer the handset to Europeans in the Czech Republic, Italy, and Portugal; Greece, India, and Turkey will be covered by Vodafone in Asia, while Australia, Egypt, New Zealand, and South Africa will also be served by the company. Vodafone doesn't say when it will offer the iPhone other than later this year and avoids other details, including pricing."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Homeland security worried about hacker attacks on power grid

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 6 years ago Once again, the government is worried about hackers attacking America's power grid. This time, homeland security made a video of what happens if you hack the controls of a turbine using a programming flaw, making it overload and break apart. "It's so graphic. Talking about bits and bytes doesn't have the same impact as seeing something catch fire." Dick Cheney is also said to have seen the video. "Is this something we should be concerned about? Yes," said a Homeland Security official.

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AT&T ramps up EDGE for iPhone

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Electronista and Gizmodo are reporting on AT&T's Operation Fine Edge, where they are increasing EDGE coverage and speeds on their network and lowering latency, in preparation for the rollout of the iPhone by the end of the month. Gizmodo reports it's not the protocol, but the bandwidth of the towers that is the issue. According to an internal AT&T document, they're dropping in more T-1s in their poorest performing towers, hoping to increase the minimum from 40kbps to 80kpbs. (EDGE's real world max is about 200kbps.)

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John Walker's law amended?

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 10 years ago John Walker Lindh was charged and convicted under a Clinton-era law that prohbited providing support to people like the Taliban. I'm not a lawyer, but it appears as if the law was just challenged, assuming it's the same one.

From The Washington Post:

"A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that the government cannot convict groups or individuals of violating a federal law against "material support" for terrorist organizations unless it proves beyond a reasonable doubt that they knew the organizations were involved in terrorist activity."

From what I've read of Lindh's plea, this could have exonerated him. The article makes it clear that this was a 1996 law, could it be the same one?

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Woman drives car into Bush rally building

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 10 years ago It seems a 29-year-old woman sped past police and Secret Service, and drove her car into the side of the building where President Bush was inside at a rally. Seems close. Of course the Secret Service is saying "He was never in danger," but I think its just spin. Imagine a car bomb driven by a suicide bomber.

Just how weak is presidential security anyways? A small Cessna plane smashed into the White House window when Clinton was in office, 9/11 showed us that the White House was woefully unequipped to handle a plane attack, and now a "potential terrorist" could get this close to Mr. Bush with a car full of stuff? Yikes. Seems LA Times is calling them on how close it was, though the Secret Service is downplaying the matter.

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Hypocrisy involving Turkey

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 11 years ago So, the US offered Billions to Turkey to let us use their land to help the invasion of bordering Iraq. They refused. For a couple of reasons. One of them is that the large Kurdish minority could uprise. We pulled the offer off the table, saying there was a time limit, and Turkey weakly announced that they will permit the US to fly over..

However, Turkey sent in their own troops to Northen Iraq, to prevent the Iraqi Kurds from creating an independent state. That would aggrevate the condition of the Turkish Kurds, who would try to join it.

Get this from the story "The United States strongly opposes any unilateral move by Turkey into northern Iraq, fearing it would disrupt the U.S. campaign to oust Saddam Hussein. Iraqi Kurds ? who like Turkey are U.S. allies ? have threatened attacks on any invading Turkish forces."

Now, PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't we going to war with Iraq because they're somehow a "threat"? Bush says we will go unilaterally to war with Iraq since Saddam is "dangerous." And yet, what kind of hypocrites are we if we don't let Turkey take "unilateral action." Apparently we're just arrogant, only WE can be the sheriff.

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World situation worsening, will people unite?

mr100percent mr100percent writes  |  more than 11 years ago Hey everyone, I've been reading various newspapers and online journals. If you pull all my sources together, you start seeing a rough picture come forward. Try to follow my view on world events:

Already, the US and British military has been notified that they will invade Iraq on March 17, after four days of bombings before that. They are planning to drop more bombs than in any war before this, to completely neutralize the Iraqis. Of course they have been bombed weekly since 1991, and last summer the US bombed the Baghdad airport to prepare for the oncoming war.

Israel is already ready to counter-attack if needed, since they have missiles aimed at Iraq. During the last Gulf War, Iraq launched some Scud missiles at Israel, but the US ordered Israel not to fire back. Unfortunately, they're using the Iraq situation as an excuse to do further operations in Palestine, since they know Iraq is making bigger headlines on tv right now and they're being ignored. Already, a pregnant woman and a young student were killed in crossfire a few days ago, unfortunately I didn't see it get headlines. Also, all the Palestinian universities were closed down a few months ago under Israeli orders.

Meanwhile, Israel has retaliated for the latest suicide bombing, by killing 11 more palestinians with tanks. An Israeli tank fired a shell at a group of Palestinian firefighters putting out a fire and bystanders. The shell hit the burning building, killing 8 and injuring 60. Witnesses said they used a Fletchette shell, which breaks apart into 1,000 miniature arrows and sprays the area with shrapnel. The UN has considered banning them as they are known to do collateral damage to bystanders. There's even video footage on CNN, the firefighters dropping to the ground.

What really gets me upset is how CNN removed a story they were running on tv about how Israeli soldiers were shooting at Palestinian red crescent ambulances. After playing the story three times, one of CNN's managers ordered the story to be removed from TV, because "Israel never gave an explanation or a reason for why they did that [to the ambulances]." All I've found since they removed the story was how ambulance drivers in Palestine were pulled over and arrested.

The World Bank just finished a study and found that almost 2 Million Palestinians are living below the poverty line of $2 a day. Over half the Palestinians are unemployed and their economy has gone from $1.5Billion in 1999 to just $140Million last year. The UN did a study that says Palestinians are turning to growing their own crops for survival now. They fault the Israelis for closing Palestinian businesses and not allowing Palestinians in becuase of checkpoints.

Also, look at this graph comparing the death tolls. At least 2,100 Palestinians have died since 2000 and 700 Israelis have been killed during the same amount of time.

What do you think the Arab world is doing about this? It pains me to say this, but they're pathetic. I'm not only mad that there were only 600 anti-War protestors in Cairo as opposed to the hundreds of thousands in Rome, Paris, NY, London, Beijing, LA, Chicago. There were 2,000 protestors in Tel Aviv against an Iraq war. Cairo's protestors were surrounded by 3,000 Police officers to make sure no riots happened. Update:Now that the war started, Egypt is protesting, and the military turned fire hoses on them. Rioting and Flag-burning in South Asia too.

No, the reason I'm mad is because the governments are all useless. Yesterday, the Organization of Islamic Conference was held in Qatar by all the Arab countries. What got done there? Nothing. It ended in a Shouting match. Iraq's vice chairman told the Kuwaiti foreign minister "Shut up, you monkey" and then said an Arab curse "Curse be upon your mustache, you traitor." The Kuwaiti minister called the Iraqi a hypocrite, which is a major insult in Arab culture, and his other minister jumped up waving a Kuwaiti flag. At the same time, the article mentions that UAE ordered 80 f-16 fighter jets from the US, paying $6.5Billion, the largest order for airplanes ever.

This is all upsetting to me, it means that the Arab governments can't deal with what's going on. Once Iraq falls, the US will put a puppet government in power, who will almost give away all their oil, which means we could attack Saudi Arabia if we can get Oil from somewhere else. Because of the sudden demand for SUVs and big cars these last few years, we require over 280,000 extra barrels of oil per day for the SUVs. Bush broke his campaign promise and is drilling for Oil in alaska because it can give us 580,000 barrels of oil a day. That's enough for everyone to go and buy even more SUVs.

Sharon said that after we finish attacking Iraq, then we should go for Iran next. Iran hasn't bothered us, they've only been threatening to Israel, but I can imagine in a few months that Bush will say they are also dangerous for some reason. What I am more worried about is how the Saudi government, to me, looks like the next target. Nobody really likes the Saudi government. It's a kingdom that the people don't support, but we keep our troops there because any revolution that occurs would interrupt our flow of oil. 19 of the 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, and recently one of the Saudi Royal family is suspected of writing checks to the hijackers. I have a strong feeling that once Iraq is finished, the US is going to blame Saudi Arabia for helping Al Qaeda, and will have even better evidence than they did for Iraq. Now here's where things get dangerous, if the US attacks Saudi Arabia in any way, I can imagine the princes and leaders fleeing into Mecca and Medina. If the US government goes anywhere near them at all, Muslims around the world will fight back.

Or there's another alternative, Iraq could launch a scud missile with Anthrax or Uranium at Israel. Israel would almost definately counterattack, probably using one of their 200 nuclear missiles. If they nuke baghdad, the Arab world would all protest to declare war on Israel and the US. It's not hard to see the Taliban rise back up again, and Karzai and Musharraf getting assasinated and more radical Islamic governments replacing them. The problem is that if that happens then they might go to war with India over Kashmir, with nuclear missiles. Someone already drew all this out on a map, called it World War 2.5.

Let's not forget local events:The mall shopper who was arrested in nearby Albany's Crossgates Mall for wearing a "Give Peace A Chance" t-shirt that he purchased in the same mall. When interviewed on CNN, he said he was sitting in the food court eating when a security guard ordered him to take the shirt off. There was no obscenity on the shirt, nobody was complaining, and he was quietly eating. This story hit international news, one more reason for the rest of the world to hate us.

Of course, we're going to "spread democracy" to Iraq. Check out the US' timeline of how we spread democracy(!) thus far.

The US diplomat who publicly quit his job certainly thinks so. After 20 years of service in places like Tel Aviv and Yemen, he wrote an open letter to his boss Colin Powell. He can't bear to see the US ruin a century of good foreign relations and trust that built up between the US and the international community. Now we're making France and Germany hate us.

France and Germany publicly said they don't support war, they want to let the inspections work. That's good, because the inspection team destroys any weapons they come accross as well as look for WMDs to report. That same day, pro-Bush supporters condemned France, saying they're cowards, idiots, fools, smelly, prissy, and too ready to surrender. It's amazing how fast everyone suddenly turned around and said they hate France. Weren't they our friend last month? No no no, you see, apparently we've always hated them. Isn't it scary how fast people will believe things? Already a diner just changed their name of "french fries" on the menu to "Freedom Fries."

The death of 2 afghan prisoners in US custody, ruled a Homicide from "blunt force trauma"[Beating] by the Army investigators. This is the first kind of fatality in US custody, since the US government officially states it does not "torture" people. However, they've been following Israel's methods known as "Stress and Duress" which involves non-evidence, non-lethal, but definately painful methods of collecting information from people. The Washington Post released a shocking report, but nobody really wanted to talk about it over Christmas season. Now that Sheikh Muhammad has been captured, the newspapers are debating the ethics over whether it should be legal to torture him for information. Israel's and our official policy is to not torture anyone, even if there's a hidden ticking bomb somewhere. However, this doesn't stop them from getting shipped-- I mean "rendered" to the custody of Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, and Pakistan, who do perform that.

Such efforts were successful in the past; in 1995 an Al Qaeda agent was arrested in the Phillipenes. They knew he was in on a major operation, but they didn't know what. So they tortured him the old fashioned way, breaking his ribs and burning his testicles. After two weeks he broke, and revealed the plan to hijack 11 planes. Of course, a poll on AOL's front page voted 70% Yes to using some form of torture. Editorials aren't so rosy either, one says we should kill terrorists and smear them with pig fat so they won't get into heaven somehow.

I seem to remember the philosopher Nietzche who said "Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster." That means we shouldn't sink to their level or worse. Who would be the barbarian then? We seem to be ignoring the "innocent until proven guilty" law, even though it's better to let ten guilty men walk free than let one innocent one suffer. The US will never officially condone any cruel or unusual punishment, but Israel taught them that sleep deprivation, chaining in uncomfortable positions, harsh lights, and interrogation by women will usually yield results.

May I remind you that Saddam tortures children in front of their fathers to make them confess. That's horrible. However, I'm a bit worried about Sheikh Muhammad's two young sons, 9 and 7, being arrested by the CIA and flown to America to help pressure their father to confess. Of course, the US won't deny that the man himself is being subject to "Stress and duress" right now. "Let's just say we are not averse to a little smacky face. After all, if you don't violate a prisoner's human rights some of the time then you aren't doing your job?" said a CIA officer, admitting they honed their interrogation techniques since Vietnam.

Of course, the fact that Mr. Bin Laden called Saddam an "infidel" (though that english translation is incorrect, since that word doesn't exist outside Christianity) doesn't change the fact that Bush still links Saddam to Al Qaeda. I mean, North Korea launched a test missile that landed in Alaska. Let me repeat that, since it needs repeating. North Korea fired a test missile that landed in Alaska. How is Iraq our top priority?

It still confuses many Americans that, in a world full of vicious slimeballs, we're about to bomb one that didn't attack us on 9/11 (like Osama); that isn't intercepting our planes (like North Korea); that isn't financing Al Qaeda (like Saudi Arabia); that isn't home to Osama and his lieutenants (like Pakistan); that isn't a host body for terrorists (like Iran, Lebanon and Syria).

I would have loved to see Bush debate Saddam publicly. I get the feeling that the US would lose the arguement if that ever happened.

I don't really know what to do. All I can say is pray. God willing, things will improve.

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