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Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2008, 03:38 PM
Number of posts: 3,169

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Supersonic Ping Pong Ball Cannon

Cub Scouts from Pack 119 shoot ping pong from PVC pipe cannon vaporizing watermelon
Beau Zimmer
6:20 PM, Apr 28, 2013

DES MOINES, Iowa- Have you ever dreamed of vaporizing a watermelon with a ping pong ball?

That was the mission for a group of 10 and 11 year-old Cub Scouts near Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday.

Cub Scout pack 119 built a 10 foot long supersonic ping pong ball cannon made out of PVC pipe. Turns out, the experiment was much more powerful than expected.

The ping pong ball was clocked at over 880 miles an hour. That's faster than the speed of sound!



One should note the contrast between the above and this:

Florida Teen Girl Charged With Felony After Science Experiment Goes Bad


Fake bomb detectors were being used in Iraq as recently as last month; Businessman Found Guilty...

Fake bomb detectors were being used in Iraq as recently as last month
Iraqi MP says country has paid 'high price in blood' for fake devices, but officials continue to put faith in them

Peter Beaumont
The Guardian, Tuesday 23 April 2013 08.47 EDT

On 19 March this year, the tenth anniversary of George W Bush's declaration of war against Iraq, I was heading into Baghdad's ministry of the interior in search of an official from the inspector general's office who had been involved in the investigation into its purchase of fake bomb detectors.

Arriving at the entrance, a bomb – the first of 12 to explode in the city that day – detonated about a kilometre away.

The officer on the gate explained a few minutes later that just the day before two improvised explosive devices had been found nearby. He asked what we were doing at the ministry. He nodded as I explained. "We know that the detectors are useless," he replied bitterly. "They're fakes. We've seen it on the news."


Visiting a checkpoint a few days before the wave of attacks I watched two police officers using the wands in the recommended fashion, halting in the road and shuffling their feet – supposed to build up static electricity – before approaching cars with the device held out.



UK businessman found guilty of selling fake bomb detectors to Iraq
Jim McCormick made millions of pounds selling 'completely ineffectual' devices based on novelty golfball finder

Robert Booth and Meirion Jones
The Guardian, Tuesday 23 April 2013 07.49 EDT

A businessman has been found guilty of a multimillion-pound fraud involving the sale of fake bomb detectors to Iraq and around the world.

A jury at the Old Bailey found Jim McCormick, 57, from near Taunton, Somerset, guilty on three counts of fraud over a scam that included the sale of £55m of devices based on a novelty golfball finder to Iraq. They were installed at checkpoints in Baghdad through which car bombs and suicide bombers passed, killing hundreds of civilians. Last month they remained in use at checkpoints across the Iraqi capital.

McCormick, who faces up to eight years in jail when he is sentenced next month, also sold the detectors to Niger, Syria, Mexico and other countries including Lebanon where a United Nations agency was a client.

He claimed they could detect explosives at long range, deep underground, through lead-lined rooms and multiple buildings. In fact, the handheld devices were useless. Their antennae, which purported to detect explosives, and in other cases narcotics, were not connected to anything, they had no power source and one of the devices was simply the golfball finder with a different sticker on it.



Here is a company description of their "device":

The Debunking of a Missouri Teacher/Principal

John Nail teaches at St. Paul's Lutheran School in Sedalia, MO: http://www.sedaliastpauls.org/staff.php?staffID=25639&

Creationism certainly does undermine education!
Creationism, Kooks
by PZ Myers

Tina Dupuy had a good op-ed published in the Sedalia, Missouri newspaper, titled “Teaching creationism hurts kids, undermines educational system“. Yeah, it does: it prompted some rebuttals that made her case even more strongly. John Nail has some complaints:

Writer had it dead wrong on debate over teaching creationism

In response to Tina Dupuy column in the April 15 paper entitled “Teaching creationism hurts kids, undermines education system,” I’d like to say, “Phooey!”

From the article it sounds like she has some real issues with her mother. [Cheap shot. Dupuy's article had issues with her mother's fundamentalist dogmatism…just like Nail's] It may be good therapy for her to vent in the column, however she submits NO scientific evidence of the evolution theory [The piece is about how creationism kept her ignorant of science; it's not a scientific treatise]. The only item she mentioned was when she wrote, “There’s plenty of self-evident evidence (see: the flu virus). …”. A virus is not even a living organism. [And yet…they evolve!]

From the Answers in Genesis website (answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v1/n1/has-it-evolved) [Uh-oh. Not a trustworthy source at all]: “So what should one say if asked, “Is the ‘bird flu’ evolving”? It could be said that the avian influenza genome is evolving only in the sense that it’s continually changing and modifying [Uh, yes? That's evolution!], and not in the sense that it will someday be something other than an influenza virus [It will become a different kind of virus, with different properties. It will not become a chicken, nor does evolution predict that it will]. Yes, influenza viruses do possess a certain degree of variability; however, the amount of genetic information which a virus can carry is vastly limited[So? So's the amount of information in your genome, John Nail -- that we don't have infinite genomes is not an argument against evolution], and so are the changes which can be made to its genome before it can no longer function[Again, limits are what we expect in the real world; show me a system with an absence of limitations on its behavior and maybe I'll start believing in your god].”




Moyers and Company: Glenn Greenwald on the High Cost of Government Secrecy

Greenwald: The same motive for anti-US 'terrorism' is cited over and over

The same motive for anti-US 'terrorism' is cited over and over
Ignoring the role played by US actions is dangerously self-flattering and self-delusional

Glenn Greenwald
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 24 April 2013 11.27 EDT

(updated below - Update II - Update III)

News reports purporting to describe what Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told US interrogators should, for several reasons, be taken with a huge grain of salt. The sources for this information are anonymous, they work for the US government, the statements were obtained with no lawyer present and no Miranda warnings given, and Tsarnaev is "grievously wounded", presumably quite medicated, and barely able to speak. That the motives for these attacks are still unclear has been acknowledged even by Alan Dershowitz last week ("It's not even clear under the federal terrorism statute that this qualifies as an act of terrorism" and Jeffrey Goldberg on Friday ("it is not yet clear, despite preliminary indications, that these men were, in fact, motivated by radical Islam".

Those caveats to the side, the reports about what motivated the Boston suspects are entirely unsurprising and, by now, quite familiar:

"The two suspects in the Boston bombing that killed three and injured more than 260 were motivated by the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, officials told the Washington Post.

"Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 'the 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, has told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack,' the Post writes, citing 'US officials familiar with the interviews.'"



Additionally, Glen Greenwald is to appear on Bill Moyers Journal this weekend on PBS:

George W. Bush Presidental Library and Museum

Allen West's Apparent Facebook Retreat...

From the Google Cache of http://www.facebook.com/ElectAllenWest/posts/10151857516861729 with commentary added.

Everyone should recall that Allen West has past experience in threatening people: it lead to the end of his military career.

THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ: INTERROGATIONS; How Colonel Risked His Career By Menacing Detainee and Lost
By DEBORAH SONTAG; Ian Fisher contributed reporting from Baghdad for this article
Published: May 27, 2004

In western Broward County, where Lt. Col. Allen B. West, 43, is preparing to start life over as a high school social studies teacher, the grass is green, the air is moist and the pressure is barometric. Iraq seems very far away, as does the night last August when Colonel West used his gun to coerce an Iraqi police officer during an interrogation.

Intent on foiling a reported plot to ambush him and his men, Colonel West, a battalion commander, made a calculated decision to intimidate the Iraqi officer with a show of force. An interrogation under way was going nowhere, Colonel West said in an interview, and he chose to take the matter into his own hands.

''This could get ugly,'' he told his soldiers. But, he said, he imposed limits: ''This man will not be injured and he will not have to be repaired. There will be no blood and no breakage of bones.''

Still, Colonel West wanted the Iraqi policeman, Yehiya Kadoori Hamoodi, to think ''this was going to be the end'' if he did not divulge what he knew. So Colonel West presided over what he considered a time-sensitive interrogation that grew steadily more abusive until he himself fired a pistol beside Mr. Hamoodi's head.



Greenwald: Why is Boston 'terrorism' but not Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tucson and Columbine?

Here is an interesting perspective on violence in the USA and the interpretation thereof:

Why is Boston 'terrorism' but not Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tucson and Columbine?
Can an act of violence be called 'terrorism' if the motive is unknown?

Glenn Greenwald
guardian.co.uk, Monday 22 April 2013 11.07 EDT

Two very disparate commentators, Ali Abunimah and Alan Dershowitz, both raised serious questions over the weekend about a claim that has been made over and over about the bombing of the Boston Marathon: namely, that this was an act of terrorism. Dershowitz was on BBC Radio on Saturday and, citing the lack of knowledge about motive, said (at the 3:15 mark): "It's not even clear under the federal terrorist statutes that it qualifies as an act of terrorism." Abunimah wrote a superb analysis of whether the bombing fits the US government's definition of "terrorism", noting that "absolutely no evidence has emerged that the Boston bombing suspects acted 'in furtherance of political or social objectives'" or that their alleged act was 'intended to influence or instigate a course of action that furthers a political or social goal.'" Even a former CIA Deputy Director, Phillip Mudd, said on Fox News on Sunday that at this point the bombing seems more like a common crime than an act of terrorism.

Over the last two years, the US has witnessed at least three other episodes of mass, indiscriminate violence that killed more people than the Boston bombings did: the Tucson shooting by Jared Loughner in which 19 people (including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords) were shot, six of whom died; the Aurora movie theater shooting by James Holmes in which 70 people were shot, 12 of whom died; and the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting by Adam Lanza in which 26 people (20 of whom were children) were shot and killed. The word "terrorism" was almost never used to describe that indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people, and none of the perpetrators of those attacks was charged with terrorism-related crimes. A decade earlier, two high school seniors in Colorado, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, used guns and bombs to murder 12 students and a teacher, and almost nobody called that "terrorism" either.

In the Boston case, however, exactly the opposite dynamic prevails. Particularly since the identity of the suspects was revealed, the word "terrorism" is being used by virtually everyone to describe what happened. After initially (and commendably) refraining from using the word, President Obama has since said that "we will investigate any associations that these terrorists may have had" and then said that "on Monday an act of terror wounded dozens and killed three people at the Boston Marathon". But as Abunimah notes, there is zero evidence that either of the two suspects had any connection to or involvement with any designated terrorist organization.

More significantly, there is no known evidence, at least not publicly available, about their alleged motives. Indeed, Obama himself - in the statement he made to the nation after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured on Friday night - said that "tonight there are still many unanswered questions" and included this "among" those "unanswered questions":

"Why did young men who grew up and studied here, as part of our communities and our country, resort to such violence?"



Something Just Happened*: The Absurdity of CNN

Here is a piece of one of CNN's reports recast and separated from its distracting live video component. In this textual form, one may better see its dearth of content:

Something Just Happened*
"...something just happened...
...we don't know what it is...
...let me catch my breath...
...we don't know what it is...

...but we can tell you that...
...we smell smoke...
...there are people that are running to the center there...
...you've got cars going straight...
...you've got cars peeling to the right...
...whether they've cordoned off this block...
...whether they've squared off this block...
...we don't know...

...but we can see a helicopter that is up in the air...
...something has just happened...
...a couple of police officers are running...
...we've got a dog, a dog that's on its way...
...that dog is barking...
...whether that is a K9...
...we don't know, but...

...we can smell smoke...
...we can smell...
...umm...there...there's something in the air...
...it's now passed over to us...
...but something definitely...umm...went off...
...we don't know what it is...

...ok...so...now that you see what is going on around here..."

*Note that the above reportage is satirized by its recasting as a poem - thereby, its truly absurd nature is revealed. As a "news broadcast", it is to be seen here (http://www.mediaite.com/tv/cnn-reporter-on-the-scene-in-watertown-reports-interesting-that-dog-is-barking/) from 0:33 sec to 1:15 sec in the video. CNN LIVE: Boston 8:35 AM to 8:36 AM and Deborah Feyerick are to be credited with the original work of performance art.

War Criminal Comments on the Pursuit of Human Rights in the World

Recently, the Dallas Morning News published an interview with George W. Bush:

Exclusive: As his presidential library debuts, George W. Bush prepares to return to public stage on his own terms

Staff Writer
Published: 13 April 2013 11:35 PM

UNIVERSITY PARK — More than four years after George W. Bush left the White House — settling in Texas with a desire to leave politics behind — the former president remains reluctant to give up the liberation of “not feeling like I’ve got to be in the limelight.”

But as the George W. Bush Presidential Center prepares to open, Bush and his confidants don’t hesitate to defend a presidency that’s taken its share of lumps over the years.

The former president is doubling down on “compassionate conservatism.” He’s listing no new regrets. He’s focused on the center’s policy institute, which builds upon the main themes of his presidency. And he delights in taking on preconceived notions of him — on everything from his fiscal record to his artistic talent.

Taking measure of a driving philosophy behind his presidency, Bush said in an exclusive interview with The Dallas Morning News that discussion of his legacy should start with a fresh look at his record.



This brought up the George W. Bush Institute and its "work": http://www.bushcenter.org/ . A cursory examination of the Bush Center Blog (http://www.bushcenter.org/blog) yielded this unbelievable bit of video:

At this point, it is important to remember the scale of death and destruction for which George W. Bush et al are responsible and, therefore, why they should be prosecuted:

Documented civilian deaths from violence: 111,951 – 122,466
Further analysis of the WikiLeaks' Iraq War Logs may add 12,000 civilian deaths.


Total Coalition Military Fatalities: 4804
Iraq Coalition Casualties Contractors: 468
Iraq Coalition Casualties U.S. Wounded: 32223


Journalist Fatalities: 150
Media Support Worker Fatalities: 54

Iraq war and news media: A look inside the death toll
By Frank Smyth/CPJ Senior Adviser for Journalist Security

The U.S.-led war in Iraq claimed the lives of a record number of journalists and challenged some commonly held perceptions about the risks of covering conflict. Far more journalists, for example, were murdered in targeted killings in Iraq than died in combat-related circumstances. Here, on the 10th anniversary of the start of the war, is a look inside the data collected by CPJ.

At least 150 journalists and 54 media support workers were killed in Iraq from the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003 to the declared end of the war in December 2011, according to CPJ research.

Fatalities in Iraq far surpass any other documented war-time death toll for the press. CPJ, founded in 1981, recorded the deaths of 58 journalists during the Algerian civil war from 1993 through 1996, another 54 fatalities in the undeclared civil conflict in Colombia, which began in 1986; and 36 deaths in the conflict in the Balkans from 1991 to 1995.

Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, has compiled lists of journalists killed in conflicts prior to 1981. The organization lists 89 journalists killed in the Central American conflicts from 1979 to 1989; a total of 98 killed in the Argentine conflict from 1976-1983; another 68 killed in World War II; and 66 killed in Vietnam from 1955 to 1975.



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