Friday, December 31, 2010

happy new year!

‎.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆ ★ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆
╔╗╔╦══╦═╦═╦╗╔╗ ★ ★ ★
║╚╝║══║═║═║╚╝║ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆
║╔╗║╔╗║╔╣╔╩╗╔╝ ★ NEW YEAR ☆ 2011!!
╚╝╚╩╝╚╩╝╚╝═╚╝ ¥☆★☆★☆¥ ★☆

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Spiritual Serenity

Spiritual serenity;
This spiritual calm,
That God commands;
Does not come
From lack of troubles;
It builds from a steady,
deep and quiet reflection
On the ways and works,
Of a powerful, loving God,
On behalf of His people.


A man's will,
Should be an echo,
Not a voice;
The echo of God,
Not the voice of self:
He should remain quiet,
As the sweet strings
Of the lyre,
Who rest silently;
Until stroked,
By the Master's touch.

Still and Silently

Life's agitation and commotion,
Tends always to exhaustion,
As a pendulum tends to rest:
The sweet voices of pleading affections,
The loud cry of desires and instincts,
That roar for their food,
Like beasts of prey;
All our passions and flames,
Burn to their extinction;
They perish, while they yet glow.
Oh my friends, if we would know
The joy and peace of God;
Then as the lamb quietly persues,
The shepherd's loving carress;
We too must present our hearts,
Still, and sliently before Him;
Whose voice commands,
Whose love warms and comforts,
And whose Truth,
Makes all life fair.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter Storm Brings Snow, Rain to Arizona

Global warming???-- more like the ice age. -- Linda L.

Hazardous conditions on the I-17.

Monday, December 27, 2010

More full body scanners on the way

The TSA plans to install more of the controversial full body scanners at airports across the country.

Monday, December 27, 2010

WASHINGTON, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. officials say they will keep introducing full-body scanners at the nation's airports with more than 1,000 in operation by the end of next year.

That will account for about half of the country's 2,000 security checkpoint lanes, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Federal officials say the scanners represent the best technology that has passed both lab and field tests.

Researchers and security experts, however, have questioned the scanners' ability to detect odorless chemical explosives in small amounts easily molded to fool both machines and security personnel into thinking they are part of the human body.

Some security experts say the scanners are just expensive window dressing meant to put the traveling public at ease, the Post reported.

The rate of installations has increased since the failed Christmas Day terrorist attempt in 2009 when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly hid explosives in his underwear on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has said it "remains unclear" whether he would have been detected by a full-body scanner.

Transportation Security Administration officials say they are standing by the technology.

"The bottom line is that we are now able to detect all types of the most dangerous weapons -- non-metallic explosive devices," TSA spokesman Nicholas Kimball said. "Even in small amounts, it can be picked up."

Photo Copyright Getty Images

© YellowBrix, Inc. Copyright 2010

Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused Stir

Published: December 25, 2010
New York Times

WASHINGTON — When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.

Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.

The final version of the health care legislation, signed into law by President Obama in March, authorized Medicare coverage of yearly physical examinations, or wellness visits. The new rule says Medicare will cover “voluntary advance care planning,” to discuss end-of-life treatment, as part of the annual visit.

Under the rule, doctors can provide information to patients on how to prepare an “advance directive,” stating how aggressively they wish to be treated if they are so sick that they cannot make health care decisions for themselves.

While the new law does not mention advance care planning, the Obama administration has been able to achieve its policy goal through the regulation-writing process, a strategy that could become more prevalent in the next two years as the president deals with a strengthened Republican opposition in Congress.

In this case, the administration said research had shown the value of end-of-life planning.

“Advance care planning improves end-of-life care and patient and family satisfaction and reduces stress, anxiety and depression in surviving relatives,” the administration said in the preamble to the Medicare regulation, quoting research published this year in the British Medical Journal.

The administration also cited research by Dr. Stacy M. Fischer, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, who found that “end-of-life discussions between doctor and patient help ensure that one gets the care one wants.” In this sense, Dr. Fischer said, such consultations “protect patient autonomy.”

Opponents said the Obama administration was bringing back a procedure that could be used to justify the premature withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from people with severe illnesses and disabilities.

Section 1233 of the bill passed by the House in November 2009 — but not included in the final legislation — allowed Medicare to pay for consultations about advance care planning every five years. In contrast, the new rule allows annual discussions as part of the wellness visit.

Elizabeth D. Wickham, executive director of LifeTree, which describes itself as “a pro-life Christian educational ministry,” said she was concerned that end-of-life counseling would encourage patients to forgo or curtail care, thus hastening death.

“The infamous Section 1233 is still alive and kicking,” Ms. Wickham said. “Patients will lose the ability to control treatments at the end of life.”

Several Democratic members of Congress, led by Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, had urged the administration to cover end-of-life planning as a service offered under the Medicare wellness benefit. A national organization of hospice care providers made the same recommendation.

Mr. Blumenauer, the author of the original end-of-life proposal, praised the rule as “a step in the right direction.”

“It will give people more control over the care they receive,” Mr. Blumenauer said in an interview. “It means that doctors and patients can have these conversations in the normal course of business, as part of our health care routine, not as something put off until we are forced to do it.”

After learning of the administration’s decision, Mr. Blumenauer’s office celebrated “a quiet victory,” but urged supporters not to crow about it.

“While we are very happy with the result, we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops because we aren’t out of the woods yet,” Mr. Blumenauer’s office said in an e-mail in early November to people working with him on the issue. “This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”

Moreover, the e-mail said: “We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are ‘supporters’ — e-mails can too easily be forwarded.”

The e-mail continued: “Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”

In the interview, Mr. Blumenauer said, “Lies can go viral if people use them for political purposes.”

The proposal for Medicare coverage of advance care planning was omitted from the final health care bill because of the uproar over unsubstantiated claims that it would encourage euthanasia.

Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate, and Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader, led the criticism in the summer of 2009. Ms. Palin said “Obama’s death panel” would decide who was worthy of health care. Mr. Boehner, who is in line to become speaker, said, “This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia.” Forced onto the defensive, Mr. Obama said that nothing in the bill would “pull the plug on grandma.”

A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that the idea of death panels persists. In the September poll, 30 percent of Americans 65 and older said the new health care law allowed a government panel to make decisions about end-of-life care for people on Medicare. The law has no such provision.

The new policy is included in a huge Medicare regulation setting payment rates for thousands of services including arthroscopy, mastectomy and X-rays.

The rule was issued by Dr. Donald M. Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a longtime advocate for better end-of-life care.

“Using unwanted procedures in terminal illness is a form of assault,” Dr. Berwick has said. “In economic terms, it is waste. Several techniques, including advance directives and involvement of patients and families in decision-making, have been shown to reduce inappropriate care at the end of life, leading to both lower cost and more humane care.”

Ellen B. Griffith, a spokeswoman for the Medicare agency, said, “The final health care reform law has no provision for voluntary advance care planning.” But Ms. Griffith added, under the new rule, such planning “may be included as an element in both the first and subsequent annual wellness visits, providing an opportunity to periodically review and update the beneficiary’s wishes and preferences for his or her medical care.”

Mr. Blumenauer and Mr. Rockefeller said that advance directives would help doctors and nurses provide care in keeping with patients’ wishes.

“Early advance care planning is important because a person’s ability to make decisions may diminish over time, and he or she may suddenly lose the capability to participate in health care decisions,” the lawmakers said in a letter to Dr. Berwick in August.

In a recent study of 3,700 people near the end of life, Dr. Maria J. Silveira of the University of Michigan found that many had “treatable, life-threatening conditions” but lacked decision-making capacity in their final days. With the new Medicare coverage, doctors can learn a patient’s wishes before a crisis occurs.

For example, Dr. Silveira said, she might ask a person with heart disease, “If you have another heart attack and your heart stops beating, would you want us to try to restart it?” A patient dying of emphysema might be asked, “Do you want to go on a breathing machine for the rest of your life?” And, she said, a patient with incurable cancer might be asked, “When the time comes, do you want us to use technology to try and delay your death?”

His Throne of Glory

His Throne of Glory,
Is high, and lifted up,
Even from the beginning;
Yet His reigning glory,
Is also His redeeming grace:
For the cloud of Shekinah,
The Glory of the Lord;
Shines still above the mercy seat,
Where spreads the blood of the Lamb,
By which all sin is wiped away.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Seven Deadly Cracks and The False Recovery

Today the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its highest point of the year. It is also at the highest point since its complete collapse in late 2009 when it bottomed near 6600. As I post this the Dow is up to 11,525 and it may very well close higher by the end of the day’s trading.

For the last week the television has been abuzz with “good news” for our economic future.

Some of the reasons given I have heard are…

  • The republican gains in the recent election
  • The compromise on the “tax cuts”
  • Consumer spending is up
  • The banks are making deals and opening up capital
  • People who didn’t lose jobs are no longer afraid to spend and borrow

The reality is there are tiny flecks of truth in all of this. The big problem with our current recovery is that it is nothing but an illusion driven by a public relations campaign! None of the items above actually can correct the real reasons behind our economic turmoil, some of the major issues are...CLICK TO READ MORE

Friday, December 24, 2010


In the process of time,
Did it come to pass:
Unto us a child was born,
Unto us a Son was given;
In Him was Life; and the Life,
Was a Light unto men;
That all men, through Him,
Might believe in the Light;
For His Light is life,
Unto all who believe.
And they called His name:

Merry Christmas to all !!!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pope’s child porn 'normal' claim sparks outrage among victims

Victims of clerical sex abuse have reacted furiously to Pope Benedict's claim yesterday that paedophilia wasn't considered an “absolute evil” as recently as the 1970s.
In his traditional Christmas address yesterday to cardinals and officials working in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI also claimed that child pornography was increasingly considered “normal” by society.
“In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children,” the Pope said.
“It was maintained — even within the realm of Catholic theology — that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than' and a ‘worse than'. Nothing is good or bad in itself.”
The Pope said abuse revelations in 2010 reached “an unimaginable dimension” which brought “humiliation” on the Church.
Asking how abuse exploded within the Church, the Pontiff called on senior clerics “to repair as much as possible the injustices that occurred” and to help victims heal through a better presentation of the Christian message.
“We cannot remain silent about the context of these times in which these events have come to light,” he said, citing the growth of child pornography “that seems in some way to be considered more and more normal by society” he said.
But outraged Dublin victim Andrew Madden last night insisted that child abuse was not considered normal in the company he kept.
Mr Madden accused the Pope of not knowing that child pornography was the viewing of images of children being sexually abused, and should be named as such.
He said: “That is not normal. I don't know what company the Pope has been keeping for the past 50 years.”
Pope Benedict also said sex tourism in the Third World was “threatening an entire generation”.
Angry abuse victims in America last night said that while some Church officials have blamed the liberalism of the 1960s for the Church's sex abuse scandals and cover-up catastrophes, Pope Benedict had come up with a new theory of blaming the 1970s.
“Catholics should be embarrassed to hear their Pope talk again and again about abuse while doing little or nothing to stop it and to mischaracterise this heinous crisis,” said Barbara Blaine, the head of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,
“It is fundamentally disturbing to watch a brilliant man so conveniently misdiagnose a horrific scandal,” she added.
“The Pope insists on talking about a vague ‘broader context' he can't control, while ignoring the clear ‘broader context' he can influence — the long-standing and unhealthy culture of a rigid, secretive, all-male Church hierarchy fixated on self-preservation at all costs. This is the ‘context’ that matters.”
The latest controversy comes as the German magazine Der Spiegel continues to investigate the Pope's role in allowing a known paedophile priest to work with children in the early 1980s.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Longing

There is a longing,
Imperfect in this life;
Yet fully supplied,
According to the measure
Of its intensity:
As I stand, wearily,
Yonder in the wilderness;
Far from the holy soil,
Of my native land;
My long, and wistful gaze,
Yearns across the narrow valley,
Seeking the Rushing Waters,
That flow freely therein:
Oh my soul thirsteth
For Almighty God;
Yea, for the Living God.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

I LOVE this updated version of an old classic Christmas Carol.  From the Gregorian like chanting to the heavy drumming, it never fails to put me in the Christmas Spirit.  
And no PC nonsense hear.  It's not happy Holidays, it's Christmas...... "Christmas" from a compound word meaning "Christ's Mass" ( Ye Olde English: Cristes m├Žsse).    Merry Christmas ya'll! 

FCC Approves Plan to Regulate Internet

Published December 21, 2010

In this March 12 photo, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is interviewed at his office in Washington.

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday approved a plan to regulate the Internet despite warnings that it could strangle industry investment and damage an economy that is still struggling to recover.

The 3-2 vote fell along partisan lines with Democrats capitalizing on their numerical advantage.
The rules would prohibit phone and cable companies from abusing their control over broadband connections to discriminate against rival content or services, such as Internet phone calls or online video, or play favorites with Web traffic.

Lawmakers in both parties have been arguing for months that Congress, not the Obama administration, should take the lead role in deciding whether and how much to police the web. But despite a brief backing-off earlier in the year, the FCC pushed ahead with its new regulatory plan. 

President Obama said in a statement that the plan "will help preserve the free and open nature of the Internet while encouraging innovation, protecting consumer choice, and defending free speech."

"This decision is an important component of our overall strategy to advance American innovation, economic growth, and job creation," he said.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski secured the three votes needed for approval, despite firm opposition from the two Republicans on the five-member commission. 

Commissioner Robert McDowell, a Bush appointee, said the FCC's plan "appears to some as an obsessive quest to regulate at all costs."

"Some are saying that instead of acting as a cop on the beat, the FCC looks more like a regulatory vigilante," he said.

Genachowski's two fellow Democrats voted for the rules, even though they have said they consider them too weak.

Commissioner Michael Copps said Tuesday that he "seriously" considered voting against the plan.

"But it became ever more clear to me that without some action today the wheels of network neutrality would grind to a screeching halt for at least the next two years," he said.

The outcome caps a nearly 16-month push by Genachowski to pass "network neutrality" rules and marks a key turning point in a policy dispute that began more than five years ago.

Genachowski said he's proud of the process and the results, saying that the plan has drawn a wide range of support from technology and Internet companies to investors to labor, civil rights and consumer groups.

"Our framework has been supported by a number of broadband providers, as well, who recognize the sensible balance of our actions and the value of bringing a level of certainty to this broad issue," he said. 

But the move raises concern that the FCC could soon have its regulatory foot in the door of the wild wild West of the Internet -- with an eye toward eventually exerting tighter control over content at a time when sites like WikiLeaks openly snub the government. 

Republicans warn that the new rules would impose unnecessary regulations on an industry that is one of the few bright spots in the current economy, with phone and cable companies spending billions to upgrade their networks for broadband.

Burdensome net neutrality rules, they warn, would discourage broadband providers from continuing those upgrades by making it difficult for them to earn a healthy return on their investments.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told President Obama on Tuesday to leave the Internet alone, arguing that his administration has already nationalized health care, banks and student loans.

"That's why I and GOP senators have urged the FCC chairman to back off," he said on the Senate floor.

Sen. John Cornyn, whose amendment to prevent the FCC from regulating the Internet was blocked from a vote last week by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said he was "disappointed" by the FCC's vote.

"Clearly, the Obama administration did not hear the clarion call from Americans in November that stated that they did not want more government regulations and restrictions, like those imposed through the new health care law," he said in a written statement. "Instead of trying to encourage our economic recovery, this administration has become a shackle to innovation and growth in America."

Republicans, who will control the House and an additional five seats in the Senate in the next Congress, may try to overrule the regulation. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can strike down a regulation by passing a joint resolution. 

A number of big Internet companies, including Netflix Inc., Skype and Inc., have previously expressed reservations about the plan as well.

But the FCC defended the new rules.

"We adopted today a strong and balanced order that has widespread support and that focuses on the importance of Internet freedom, the importance of private investment, the importance of business model experimentation," 

Genachowski said at a news conference after the vote. "That's why we have so many different people from various parts of the ecosystem supporting it. It's a strong and balanced order. And I'm looking forward to talking with anyone who is interested."

Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., a longtime supporter of net neutrality and author of the first ever net neutrality bill, said the FCC plan is not perfect and does not contain all the protections and priorities that he has advocated.

"Still, it does represent a step forward in the process of preserving the Internet as a vibrant marketplace for commerce and communications while fostering innovation and job creation now and in the future," he said in a statement.

The chairman's proposal builds on an attempt at compromise crafted by outgoing House Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., as well as a set of broad net neutrality principles first established by the FCC under the previous administration in 2005.

The rules would require broadband providers to let subscribers access all legal online content, applications and services over their wired networks -- including online calling services, Internet video and other Web applications that compete with their core businesses.

But the plan would give broadband providers flexibility to manage data on their systems to deal with problems such as network congestion and unwanted traffic like spam as long as they publicly disclose their network management practices.

Senior FCC officials stressed that unreasonable network discrimination would be prohibited.

They also noted that this category would most likely include services that favor traffic from the broadband providers themselves or traffic from business partners that can pay for priority. That language was added to help ease the concerns of Genachowski's two fellow Democrats.

The proposal would, however, leave the door open for broadband providers to experiment with routing traffic from specialized services such as smart grids and home security systems over dedicated networks as long as these services are separate from the public Internet.

Public interest groups fear that exception could lead to a two-tiered Internet -- with a fast lane for companies that can pay for priority and a slow lane for everyone else.

They are also worried that the proposal lacks strong protections for wireless networks as more Americans go online using mobile devices.

The plan would prohibit wireless carriers from blocking access to any websites or competing applications such as Internet calling services on mobile devices. It would require them to disclose their network management practices too.

But wireless companies would get more flexibility to manage data traffic as wireless systems have more bandwidth constraints than wired networks.

"We are concerned that if these companies are allowed to block the applications consumers can access over their iPhones or BlackBerry devices, there's nothing to keep them from censoring political speech," said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause. "The commission should look to ensure that net neutrality is fully extended to the wireless world."

Still, Genachowski's proposal is likely to win the support of the big phone and cable companies because it leaves in place the FCC's current regulatory framework for broadband, which treats broadband as a lightly regulated "information service."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Sweater Club punished

by (December 21st, 2010 @ 10:18am)                                                                  Christmas sweaters can offend some, but it is not the wardrobe that has a Virginia school's Christmas Sweater Club in trouble. 

According to, the boys in the club tossed small candy canes to fellow students as they entered school one day.
"They said, 'maliciously maim students with the intent to injure.' And I don't think any of us here intentionally meant to injure anyone, or did," said Zakk Rhine, a junior at Battlefield High School.
Cameron Gleason, a junior, said it all happened before school started so he was not even sure what his club was disrupting.
Principal Amy Etheridge-Conti says she can't comment on the students' discipline but did say there was a lot more to it than handing out candy and that the discipline was warranted.
The boys admitted that they may have caused litter as kids dropped their candy canes on the ground, but Gleason said he spent time cleaning up all the dropped candy.
The boys' parents, though, think the school administration went overboard in trying to stop the kids from spreading Christmas cheer.
Mother Kathleen Flannery said an administrator called her and explained "not everyone wants Christmas cheer. That suicide rates are up over Christmas, and that they should keep their cheer to themselves, perhaps." 
Video link:

Monday, December 20, 2010

2010's world gone wild: Quakes, floods, blizzards

— This was the year the Earth struck back.
Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed at least a quarter million people in 2010 — the deadliest year in more than a generation. More people were killed worldwide by natural disasters this year than have been killed in terrorism attacks in the past 40 years combined.
"It just seemed like it was back-to-back and it came in waves," said Craig Fugate, who heads the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency. It handled a record number of disasters in 2010.
"The term '100-year event' really lost its meaning this year."
And we have ourselves to blame most of the time, scientists and disaster experts say.
Even though many catastrophes have the ring of random chance, the hand of man made this a particularly deadly, costly, extreme and weird year for everything from wild weather to earthquakes.
Poor construction and development practices conspire to make earthquakes more deadly than they need be. More people live in poverty in vulnerable buildings in crowded cities. That means that when the ground shakes, the river breaches, or the tropical cyclone hits, more people die.
Disasters from the Earth, such as earthquakes and volcanoes "are pretty much constant," said Andreas Schraft, vice president of catastrophic perils for the Geneva-based insurance giant Swiss Re. "All the change that's made is man-made."
The January earthquake that killed well more than 220,000 people in Haiti is a perfect example. Port-au-Prince has nearly three times as many people — many of them living in poverty — and more poorly built shanties than it did 25 years ago. So had the same quake hit in 1985 instead of 2010, total deaths would have probably been in the 80,000 range, said Richard Olson, director of disaster risk reduction at Florida International University.
In February, an earthquake that was more than 500 times stronger than the one that struck Haiti hit an area of Chile that was less populated, better constructed, and not as poor. Chile's bigger quake caused fewer than 1,000 deaths.
Climate scientists say Earth's climate also is changing thanks to man-made global warming, bringing extreme weather, such as heat waves and flooding.
In the summer, one weather system caused oppressive heat in Russia, while farther south it caused flooding in Pakistan that inundated 62,000 square miles, about the size of Wisconsin. That single heat-and-storm system killed almost 17,000 people, more people than all the worldwide airplane crashes in the past 15 years combined.
"It's a form of suicide, isn't it? We build houses that kill ourselves (in earthquakes). We build houses in flood zones that drown ourselves," said Roger Bilham, a professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado. "It's our fault for not anticipating these things. You know, this is the Earth doing its thing."
No one had to tell a mask-wearing Vera Savinova how bad it could get. She is a 52-year-old administrator in a dental clinic who in August took refuge from Moscow's record heat, smog and wildfires.
"I think it is the end of the world," she said. "Our planet warns us against what would happen if we don't care about nature."
The excessive amount of extreme weather that dominated 2010 is a classic sign of man-made global warming that climate scientists have long warned about. They calculate that the killer Russian heat wave — setting a national record of 111 degrees — would happen once every 100,000 years without global warming.
Preliminary data show that 18 countries broke their records for the hottest day ever.
"These (weather) events would not have happened without global warming," said Kevin Trenberth, chief of climate analysis for the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.
That's why the people who study disasters for a living say it would be wrong to chalk 2010 up to just another bad year.
"The Earth strikes back in cahoots with bad human decision-making," said a weary Debarati Guha Sapir, director for the World Health Organization's Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. "It's almost as if the policies, the government policies and development policies, are helping the Earth strike back instead of protecting from it. We've created conditions where the slightest thing the Earth does is really going to have a disproportionate impact."
Here's a quick tour of an anything but normal 2010:
While the Haitian earthquake, Russian heat wave, and Pakistani flooding were the biggest killers, deadly quakes also struck Chile, Turkey, China and Indonesia in one of the most active seismic years in decades. Through mid-December there have been 20 earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or higher, compared to the normal 16. This year is tied for the most big quakes since 1970, but it is not a record. Nor is it a significantly above average year for the number of strong earthquakes, U.S. earthquake officials say.
Flooding alone this year killed more than 6,300 people in 59 nations through September, according to the World Health Organization. In the United States, 30 people died in the Nashville, Tenn., region in flooding. Inundated countries include China, Italy, India, Colombia and Chad. Super Typhoon Megi with winds of more than 200 mph devastated the Philippines and parts of China.
Through Nov. 30, nearly 260,000 people died in natural disasters in 2010, compared to 15,000 in 2009, according to Swiss Re. The World Health Organization, which hasn't updated its figures past Sept. 30, is just shy of 250,000. By comparison, deaths from terrorism from 1968 to 2009 were less than 115,000, according to reports by the U.S. State Department and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
The last year in which natural disasters were this deadly was 1983 because of an Ethiopian drought and famine, according to WHO. Swiss Re calls it the deadliest since 1976.
The charity Oxfam says 21,000 of this year's disaster deaths are weather related.
After strong early year blizzards — nicknamed Snowmageddon — paralyzed the U.S. mid-Atlantic and record snowfalls hit Russia and China, the temperature turned to broil.
The year may go down as the hottest on record worldwide or at the very least in the top three, according to the World Meteorological Organization. The average global temperature through the end of October was 58.53 degrees, a shade over the previous record of 2005, according to the National Climatic Data Center.
Los Angeles had its hottest day in recorded history on Sept. 27: 113 degrees. In May, 129 set a record for Pakistan and may have been the hottest temperature recorded in an inhabited location.
In the U.S. Southeast, the year began with freezes in Florida that had cold-blooded iguanas becoming comatose and falling off trees. Then it became the hottest summer on record for the region. As the year ended, unusually cold weather was back in force.
Northern Australia had the wettest May-October on record, while the southwestern part of that country had its driest spell on record. And parts of the Amazon River basin struck by drought hit their lowest water levels in recorded history.
Disasters caused $222 billion in economic losses in 2010 — more than Hong Kong's economy — according to Swiss Re. That's more than usual, but not a record, Schraft said. That's because this year's disasters often struck poor areas without heavy insurance, such as Haiti.
Ghulam Ali's three-bedroom, one-story house in northwestern Pakistan collapsed during the floods. To rebuild, he had to borrow 50,000 rupees ($583) from friends and family. It's what many Pakistanis earn in half a year.
A volcano in Iceland paralyzed air traffic for days in Europe, disrupting travel for more than 7 million people. Other volcanoes in the Congo, Guatemala, Ecuador, the Philippines and Indonesia sent people scurrying for safety. New York City had a rare tornado.
A nearly 2-pound hailstone that was 8 inches in diameter fell in South Dakota in July to set a U.S. record. The storm that produced it was one of seven declared disasters for that state this year.
There was not much snow to start the Winter Olympics in a relatively balmy Vancouver, British Columbia, while the U.S. East Coast was snowbound.
In a 24-hour period in October, Indonesia got the trifecta of terra terror: a deadly magnitude 7.7 earthquake, a tsunami that killed more than 500 people and a volcano that caused more than 390,000 people to flee. That's after flooding, landslides and more quakes killed hundreds earlier in the year.
Even the extremes were extreme. This year started with a good sized El Nino weather oscillation that causes all sorts of extremes worldwide. Then later in the year, the world got the mirror image weather system with a strong La Nina, which causes a different set of extremes. Having a year with both a strong El Nino and La Nina is unusual.
And in the United States, FEMA declared a record number of major disasters, 79 as of Dec. 14. The average year has 34.
A list of day-by-day disasters in 2010 compiled by the AP runs 64 printed pages long.
"The extremes are changed in an extreme fashion," said Greg Holland, director of the earth system laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
For example, even though it sounds counterintuitive, global warming likely played a bit of a role in "Snowmageddon" earlier this year, Holland said. That's because with a warmer climate, there's more moisture in the air, which makes storms including blizzards, more intense, he said.
White House science adviser John Holdren said we should get used to climate disasters or do something about global warming: "The science is clear that we can expect more and more of these kinds of damaging events unless and until society's emissions of heat-trapping gases and particles are sharply reduced."
And that's just the "natural disasters." It was also a year of man-made technological catastrophes. BP's busted oil well caused 172 million gallons to gush into the Gulf of Mexico. Mining disasters — men trapped deep in the Earth — caused dozens of deaths in tragic collapses in West Virginia, China and New Zealand. The fortunate miners in Chile who survived 69 days underground provided the feel good story of the year.
In both technological and natural disasters, there's a common theme of "pushing the envelope," Olson said.
Colorado's Bilham said the world's population is moving into riskier megacities on fault zones and flood-prone areas. He figures that 400 million to 500 million people in the world live in large cities prone to major earthquakes.
A Haitian disaster will happen again, Bilham said: "It could be Algiers. it could be Tehran. It could be any one of a dozen cities."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

In Majesty and In Power

Thine, Oh Lord, is the greatness,
And the power, and the glory,
And the victory, and the majesty:
For all that is in heaven,
And in the earth; is Thine
Thine is the Kingdom, Oh Lord;
And Thou art exalted,
As Head above all.

The Lord reigneth,
He is clothed with majesty;
The Lord is clothed with strength,
Wherewith He hath girded Himself:
Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in His Sanctuary.

Enter into the rock,
And hide thee in the dust,
For the fear of the Lord,
And for the glory of His majesty!

Zeph Daniel on Frank Whalen show MONDAY!

Zeph will be Frank's guest monday December monday the 20th.

on franks show on the micro effect

starting at 10 a.m. our time.. that is 12:00 noon EASTERN

chat room over there..
be there or be square

the beautiful bro, Frank Whalen.
you can also call in and spread a little Christmas cheer.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

From the Pen of A Z Tozer

The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems, for he sees at once that these have to do with matters which at the most cannot concern him for very long; but even if the multiple burdens of time may be lifted from him, the one mighty single burden of eternity begins to press down upon him with a weight more crushing than all the woes of the world piled one upon another. That mighty burden is his obligation to God. It includes an instant and lifelong duty to love God with every power of mind and soul, to obey Him perfectly, and to worship Him acceptably. And when the man’s laboring conscience tells him that he has done none of these things, but has from childhood been guilty of foul revolt against the Majesty in the heavens, the inner pressure of self-accusation may become too heavy to bear.

The gospel can lift this destroying burden from the mind, give beauty for ashes, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. But unless the weight of the burden is felt the gospel can mean nothing to the man; and until he sees a vision of God high and lifted up, there will be no woe and no burden. Low views of God destroy the gospel for all who hold them.

The Valley Of Weeping

In the valley of weeping,
There be many a dark and desert place;
And many an hour of sadness,
With all its sorrows and pains;
Yet, will He make thy tears,
Into a well of His refreshment;
Lifting the mists and clouds,
That so encumber thy hope:
Restoring the joy of thy salvation;
And delivering thy soul in peace,
From the battle that was against thee.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Response To The Music

This evening I was listening to Zeph's latest music: "Zeph Verses the Fallen Angel"
and "Don't Come Around Here No More", while I was Reading Linda's Spiritsong blogpage;
and there was something in the music and the spirit of her writing that set me off in thought;
 and here is my response, though I couldn't come up with any title--so I just labeled it
as my response to the music:

Majestic spiritual music,
Is a sonic reflection,
Of the Light of God;
Seen through brightened eyes,
And believing hearts:
It is as if the harps,
Which had hung so silent,
Upon the willows
Of the rivers of Babylon,
Had awakened at last;
To their ancient, holy melodies,
Climbing higher and higher,
In their call to praise Him.

"Let everything that hath breathe,
Praise the Lord:
Praise ye the Lord!"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Where The Spirit Falls

Where the Spirit falls,
He displaces the old man,
With something altogether new:
For He invades the life,
As morning sunlight
Permeates the air;
Driving out the old,
As light drives away darkness,
From the early sky.

Podcast 12 Now Up

Podcast 12 - Isaiah 41:10 -- The God Who Is There !!

Is now up at:


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Scientists create computer-programmable bacteria

In research that further bridges the biological and digital world, scientists at the University of California, San Francisco have created bacteria that can be programmed like a computer.
Researchers built "logic gates" – the building blocks of a circuit – out of genes and put them into E. coli bacteria strains. The logic gates mimic digital processing and form the basis of computational communication between cells, according to synthetic biologist Christopher A. Voigt.
While the cells' logic operations are still resigned to simple functions, Voigt said the research lays the groundwork for cellular communication similar to computers.
The findings hold promise for fields such as agriculture and the pharmaceutical industry, where researchers use bioengineering to enhance plant genetics.
“DNA is sort of the programming language for life,” Voigt told CNN in a telephone interview over the weekend.
“It's not that we're trying to replace computers with living cells. But it means we could gain programmable control of everything biology can do. You'd like to be able to control all these programs.”
Voigt said the ultimate aim is to create intricate computer code that can be read by living cells.
“We want to create a programming language for bacteria,” he said. “We want to program code for bacteria just like you would for a computer. A lot of the other work my lab does has to do with coming up with algorithms  – just like a programmer would do – and converting that into a DNA sequence.”
Complex functions akin to digital computation will come only if scientists create a viable language first, Voigt said.
“At some point, Microsoft Word had to have been converted to 1s and Os. It's the same way with cells," Voigt said. "What we've done here is created a fundamental language to show that they can work in bacteria. We still have a lot fewer circuits that you could use in computers."

Ron Paul, Fed Critic, to Lead Fed Oversight Panel

(Credit: AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, one of the most outspoken critics of the Federal Reserve, will lead a congressional panel next year with oversight over the central bank.

Paul, who wrote a book entitled "End the Fed," told Bloomberg Television in an interview this morning that he will "not really, not right up front" push for an end to the Fed.

"But obviously that's the implication," he added. Paul said he will first focus on oversight.

When Republicans take over the House next year, Paul will chair the House Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee, which is part of the Financial Services Committee. Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, chairman-elect of the Financial Services Committee, announced the new leaders of the committee yesterday.
"This is the leadership team that crafted the first comprehensive financial reform bill to put an end to the bailouts, wind down the taxpayer funding of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and enforce a strong audit of the Federal Reserve," he said in a statement. "By working together, we will honor our commitment to aggressive oversight, reform of the GSEs, and monitoring the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act to ensure more jobs aren't lost to unnecessary regulations on community banks and businesses."

In his new role, Paul will have jurisdiction over issues such as domestic monetary policy, currency, precious metals and valuation of the dollar.

Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve managed to fend off a bipartisan effort led in part by Paul to open up its internal deliberations to congressional audits. On's "Washington Unplugged" in March, Paul said, "it's irresponsible to ignore what the Fed does in secrecy."
"I think the irresponsibility falls on the Congress for ignoring the Fed," he added. "We're derelict in our duties. Congress has a cozy relationship with the Fed."
Paul's scrutiny of the Fed has bolstered his libertarian credentials in the eyes of his supporters. On Wednesday, a coalition of about 30 Tea Party-aligned groups wrote a letter to Bachus and incoming House Speaker John Boehner in support of Paul's appointment to chair the financial subcommittee, the Washington Post reports. The letter came after reports that GOP leaders may have given the chairmanship to someone else because of Paul's views.

Israel's leader does not want to share Jerusalem

JERUSALEM – Israel's leader on Sunday dismissed a call from a key government partner to share the holy city of Jerusalem with the Palestinians, a reminder of the obstacles facing already troubled peacemaking efforts.
Conflicting claims to east Jerusalem lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The dispute over the area, home to sensitive Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites, has derailed past peace talks and spilled into violence. Palestinians claim the sector as the capital of their future state.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's reaffirmation of his intention to hold on to east Jerusalem drew criticism from the Palestinians and was likely to increase friction with the Americans. The White House Mideast envoy is scheduled to arrive this week in another attempt to push peace efforts forward.
Netanyahu's defense minister, Ehud Barak of the centrist Labor Party, called for sharing Jerusalem with the Palestinians. But a government official said Barak's idea does not reflect the government's view.
The Palestinians want to establish their future state in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war. Israel later annexed east Jerusalem in a move that is not recognized by the international community.
Israel's internal diplomatic flare-up came just days after the U.S. dropped its effort to persuade Israel to reinstate a moratorium on new building states in the West Bank as a way of restarting peace talks.
Instead, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said indirect talks would resume, while insisting that the two sides must now deal with core issues. Those include the status of Jerusalem, as well as borders, settlements and refugees.
Palestinians blasted Israel's rejection of their claim to east Jerusalem.
"Mr. Netanyahu is distancing himself not from Barak, he is distancing himself from international consensus, he's distancing himself from international resolutions and distancing himself from international law," said Palestinian spokesman Husam Zomlot. "And most importantly, he's distancing himself from any possible negotiated settlement based on the two-state solution."
Jordanian Foreign Minister Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh on Sunday urged the U.S. to come up with a new formula to push the process forward.
Interviewed on ABC-TV, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said the U.S. might have to express its own ideas.
"It may be unavoidable, actually, for the United States acting as a broker at some point to come in with bridging proposals so we make this happen," he said.
Since Netanyahu came to power nearly two years ago, he has grudgingly accepted the principle of a Palestinian state next to Israel. He has carefully refrained from getting into specifics about the core issues, however, saying these must be negotiated.
Clinton expressed frustration with the Israeli-Palestinian impasse over the weekend, though she did not suggest a new way forward. She spoke at a forum in Washington.
Addressing the same gathering, Barak said the holy city will have to be shared as part of a future peace deal.
An Israeli official told The Associated Press that Barak was expressing a personal opinion, not the government's position.
"Those remarks were not coordinated with the prime minister," the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because Netanyahu has not responded publicly to Barak's remarks or to Clinton's speech.
Since Netanyahu came to power nearly two years ago, Israelis and Palestinians have not been close to tackling major issues. Netanyahu's more moderate predecessor offered a Palestinian state with joint control of key Jerusalem holy sites among other features, but the Palestinians did not accept it.
In her speech Friday, Clinton urged both sides to lay out their positions on these core issues "without delay and with real specificity." She pointedly called for compromise on the contested holy city, observing that "there will surely be no peace without an agreement" on Jerusalem — "the most sensitive of all the issues."
U.S.-led negotiations broke down after just three weeks and Israel refused to renew a 10-month moratorium on new settlement housing. Palestinians said they would not return to the talks unless there was a total freeze in West Bank and east Jerusalem construction. Israel countered that such a condition had never been made before, and the issue should be part of the negotiations.
Washington's special envoy to the Mideast, George Mitchell, is expected to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders this week.

Smart’s triumph may empower other victims

This photo taken from television and released by CNN shows Elizabeth Smart during an episode of "Larry King Live" May 4, 2006, in Los Angeles. Smart was abducted on June 5, 2002. Nine months later, Elizabeth was found walking in a Salt Lake City suburb. (AP Photo/Larry King Live)  
When Elizabeth Smart emerged from a federal courthouse Friday in Salt Lake City, she celebrated not only her own triumph but also the possibility of justice for all victims.

Eight years after Brian David Mitchell kidnapped her and subjected her to near-daily rapes, a jury found Mitchell guilty. 

“I am so thrilled to stand before the people of America today,” said Smart, 23, “and give hope to other victims who have not spoken out about what’s happened to them.”

Advocates for survivors of sexual violence say Smart’s willingness to confront her offender under the nation’s gaze will help empower other victims and dispel the stigma often associated with rape. Other observers say they have been inspired simply by her courage, poise and strength.

“There is such shame associated with sexual violence, and to have it being talked about so openly and publicly is almost a relief to some,” said Heather Stringfellow, executive director of the Rape Recovery Center in Salt Lake City. “[Smart] held [Mitchell] accountable, and that’s a very powerful message.”

In Utah, 29 percent of women older than 18 have experienced some type of sexual assault, according to a 2007 survey by the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. One in nine sexual assault incidents is reported to the police.

Survivors often fear they won’t be believed or that their own behavior will be questioned, said Alana Kindness, executive director of the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

“I’ve been really impressed with [Smart’s] candor and her ability to express herself and talk openly about her experiences,” Kindness said. “It does give an opportunity for people to see that you can talk about it and that you can talk about it and be supported.”

After Smart began her testimony in Mitchell’s trial on Nov. 8, detailing her repeated experiences of rape as a 14-year-old girl, the Rape Recovery Center saw a spike in calls and drop-in visits for a two-week period, Stringfellow said.

“I hadn’t anticipated the fact that so many people would be triggered by listening to her testimony and reading about the case,” she said. “We’ve been overwhelmed by calls to our crisis line and people who needed assistance because her experience reminded them of their own.”

Mitchell’s violence against Smart, an “all-American girl,” highlights how tragically common violence against girls and women is, said Theresa Martinez, a sociology professor at the University of Utah. 

“The way the family handled it, the way she handled it has given us a vision of healing,” Martinez said. 

“[Smart] can be a positive role model for young people. If such things are going to happen, people need to understand they can come through such an experience and survive.”

Smart and her parents have not been advocates by example alone. Ed Smart has championed the creation of a national alert system for kidnappings and family preparedness to prevent child abductions. 

In 2006, Elizabeth Smart and her father lobbied Congress to pass a law to create a national sex-offender registry. She watched President George W. Bush sign the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act into law.

In 2008, Smart shared her experience and words of encouragement in a booklet published by the U.S. Department of Justice, “You’re Not Alone,” for survivors of abduction.

“It is important to remember that just because something bad happened to you, it doesn’t mean you are bad,” Smart wrote. “You are still entitled to every possible happiness in life.”

Fifteen-thousand copies of the pamphlet were published. Nearly half a million digital copies have been downloaded online.

After Friday’s verdict, Smart’s mother, Lois, spoke of the power of mothers, women and daughters to move forward, leaving their offenders behind.

“It is an exceptionally victorious day for us all,” she said.

Since her abduction, Elizabeth Smart has graduated from high school, studied music at Brigham Young University and soon will return to serving an LDS mission in Paris, France. She has projected a calm and confident demeanor in her public appearances.

“[Mitchell] could have totally ruined her life. Yet she had the strength to say, ‘No. I’m going to define my own life,’ ” said Kalyn Denny, a Salt Lake City resident and retired teacher who has followed Smart’s story. “I can’t imagine that any young girl wouldn’t be totally in awe of her courage and her determination.”

For Denny, 62, the day Smart was found and returned to her family on March 12, 2003, is burned in her memory. In the same way Denny remembers where she was when she heard about the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and John Lennon, she remembers the day another teacher hurried into her classroom at West Bountiful Elementary to share the remarkable news that Smart had been found alive.

“We were both just so excited. Neither one of us could believe they found her,” Denny recalled. “I don’t think brave even begins to convey the strength that [Smart] showed. She was just amazing.” 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Meek Shall Eat

The meek shall eat
Of the fullness of God,
And be satisfied;
For the Living Lamb
Will be a Light unto them,
And teach them His ways:
They shall sing songs
Of praise unto the Lord,
Whom they have sought;
And their very heart
Shall live forever,
And delight themselves,
In the abundance
Of His peace.

Linda Rose ~ Spiritsong: DON'T COME AROUND HERE NO MORE

by Linda Rose ~ Spiritsong: DON'T COME AROUND HERE NO MORE
 This song was a collaboration song done with Zedjah (bro Z ) and Trish. Trish and I did the back up vocals. :) (da doowhop sistahs) There is SO MUCH I can say about this song and other songs Zeph is doing, Spiritsong and all His music warriors. It goes beyond words. It is not something you can EASILY explain. In fact I find some close to me who don't quite understand the battle that is involved when you are in the front lines as Spirit has called His music warriors to be in these end days. Even if you are not a musician or can sing, your still one of Abba's spirit warriors on this earth and it should not be taken lightly. PRAYER is the greatest weapon along with it being expressed musically that is the most powerful weapon we have. Whatever gifts we are given needs to be expressed and not buried. There are singing spirit prayer warriors and intercessor spirit prayer warriors and the spirit prayer warriors of all His saints! No wonder satan and his demons tremble!!! When you get attacked it is based on thier absolote fear, trembling and threat to their SOON TO BE fallen kingdom of darkness, deception, beast system, religion, control,greed, power, sacrifice, blood shed and lust for evil .

There are things going on spiritually behind the scenes that if we could REALLY see, hear, feel? It would blow our minds! Very soon we will SEE it. So we must PRAY and be ready for it now, not when it can be plainly seen. At that time if your not ready, you will faint for fear. We are not to FAINT or lose heart if we pray, get ready and keep our eyes on YESHUA! How do we get ready? Pray and actively do what Spirit put in each of us to do.

The battles are getting more intense and there comes a time when words cannot cut through where we need to go in Spirit against the demonic strongholds being unleashed. That is where the music comes in. I always wondered WHY the Lord put the worshipers, psalmist and His musicians (musical artists) on the front lines of battle, but as I have gone on in my spiritual journey I understand FULLY why. What I have found that satan the great boaster,blasphemer and liar that he is along with his demonic cohorts HATES MOST is true praise, worship and spiritual warfare that comes through the music. It breaks down walls and barriers where no words can go. It nullifies the counterfeit with the REAL. Something Spirit showed me several years ago would happen.

Though you may scratch your head and wonder about where the music is going or even what you hear and MAY NOT HEAR in this song and any songs put together by Spirit, what is REALLY going out there in the air waves of which satan is the principality over, is VERY POWERFUL! It's not what you get out of it that matters, but what is it doing beyond our own limited grasp! I will leave it at that for what its worth. Call it crazy and out of my mind passion, but its the reality of Spirit that most of the work is accomplished.

We may not see it, hear it or even feel it, though Yahweh will allow us to catch a glimpse of it here and there, but it is being heard LOUD AND CLEAR from that place in eternity, crossing eons of dimensions beyond this temporary physical existence. What am I saying? What the heck did I just type? My response to that would be this. It is what flows out of that deepest part in me that KNOWS. My flesh is at enmity with God, not my spirit. That is why our flesh needs to be crucified throughout the day, DAILY! It hinders the REAL workings of Spirit flowing through us. It's amazing though how He can and does use us in our daily messed up lives where we stumble through to reach out and upward to Christ with all that beckons and pulls us down in this world.

With all that said, please ask Abba to give you His ears to hear this song and join in on the warfare against those who mirror, hate and try to bring His lambs down.


See Linda's full post and blog here

Kissinger: Gassing Jews would not be a US problem

New tapes show Kissinger and Nixon opposed helping Soviet Jews escape Communist repression because it did not affect "US interests.

Henry Kissinger is heard saying the genocide of Soviet Jews would not be an American problem on newly released tapes chronicling President Nixon's obsession with disparaging Jews and other minorities.

Kissinger's remarks come after a meeting between the two men and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir on March 1 1973, in which Meir pleads for US pressure on the Soviet Union to release its Jews.

US Embassy: No apology for Bill Clinton's FSU criticism
Clinton: US upset with J’lem housing announcement

The men dismiss the plea after Meir leaves.

"The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy," The New York Times on Saturday quotes Kissinger, then the secretary of state, as saying on the tapes. "And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern."

Nixon replies: "I know. We can’t blow up the world because of it."

Six months later, during the Yom Kippur War, Nixon rejected Kissinger's advice to delay an arms airlift to Israel as a means of setting the stage for an Egypt confident enough to pursue peace; Nixon, among other reasons, cited Israel's urgent need.

Nixon secretly recorded his White House conversations. After this was revealed during congressional investigations, the tapes became government property and have in intervals been released over the years.

Elsewhere on the batch of tapes recently released by the Nixon Library, the late president repeats many of the racist slurs that had appeared on earlier such releases: Irish are "mean" drunks, he says, Italians "don't have their heads screwed on tight," Jews are "aggressive, abrasive and obnoxious" and it would take blacks "500 years" to catch up with whites.

Stuxnet Worm Still Out of Control at Iran's Nuclear Sites, Experts Say

EXCLUSIVE: Iran's nuclear program is still in chaos despite its leaders' adamant claim that they have contained the computer worm that attacked their facilities, cybersecurity experts in the United States and Europe say.
The American and European experts say their security websites, which deal with the computer worm known as Stuxnet, continue to be swamped with traffic from Tehran and other places in the Islamic Republic, an indication that the worm continues to infect the computers at Iran's two nuclear sites.
The Stuxnet worm, named after initials found in its code, is the most sophisticated cyberweapon ever created. Examination of the worm shows it was a cybermissile designed to penetrate advanced security systems. It was equipped with a warhead that targeted and took over the controls of the centrifuge systems at Iran’s uranium processing center in Natanz, and it had a second warhead that targeted the massive turbine at the nuclear reactor in Bashehr.
Stuxnet was designed to take over the control systems and evade detection, and it apparently was very successful. Last week President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, after months of denials, admitted that the worm had penetrated Iran's nuclear sites, but he said it was detected and controlled.
The second part of that claim, experts say, doesn’t ring true.

“The effort has been stunning," Byres said. "Two years ago American users on my site outnumbered Iranians by 100 to 1. Today we are close to a majority of Iranian users.”
He said that while there may be some individual computer owners from Iran looking for information about the virus, it was unlikely that they were responsible for the vast majority of the inquiries because the worm targeted only the two nuclear sites and did no damage to the thousands of other computers it infiltrated.
At one of the larger American web companies offering advice on how to eliminate the worm, traffic from Iran has swamped that of its largest user: the United States.
“Our traffic from Iran has really spiked,” said a corporate officer who asked that neither he nor his company be named. “Iran now represents 14.9 percent of total traffic, surpassing the United States with a total of 12.1 percent. Given the different population sizes, that is a significant number.”
Perhaps more significantly, traffic from Tehran to the company's site is now double that of New York City.
Ron Southworth, who runs the SCADA (the Supervisory Control and Data Access control system that the worm specifically targeted) list server, said that until two years ago he had clearly identified users from Iran, “but they all unsubscribed at about the same time.” Since the announcement of the Stuxnet malware, he said, he has seen a jump in users, but few openly from Iran. He suspects there is a cat-and-mouse game going on that involves hiding the e-mail addresses, but he said it was clear his site was being searched by a number of users who have gone to a great deal of effort to hide their country of origin.
Byres said there are a growing number of impostors signing on to Stuxnet security sites.
“I had one guy sign up who I knew and called him. He said it wasn’t his account. In another case a guy saying he was Israeli tried to sign up. He wasn’t.”
The implication, he says, is that such a massive effort is a sign of a coordinated effort.
Ralph Langner, the German expert who was among the first to study and raise alarms about Stuxnet, said he was not surprised by the development.
“The Iranians don’t have the depth of knowledge to handle the worm or understand its complexity,” he said, raising the possibility that they may never succeed in eliminating it.
“Here is their problem. They should throw out every personal computer involved with the nuclear program and start over, but they can’t do that. Moreover, they are completely dependent on outside companies for the construction and maintenance of their nuclear facilities. They should throw out their computers as well. But they can’t,“ he explained. “They will just continually re-infect themselves.”
“With the best of expertise and equipment it would take another year for the plants to function normally again because it is so hard to get the worm out. It even hides in the back-up systems. But they can’t do it,” he said.
And Iran’s anti-worm effort may have had another setback. In Tehran, men on motorcycles attacked two leading nuclear scientists on their way to work. Using magnetic bombs, the motorcyclists pulled alongside their cars and attached the devices.
One scientist was wounded and the other killed. Confirmed reports say that the murdered scientist was in charge of dealing with the Stuxnet virus at the nuclear plants.

Read more:

Patriot Act for Internet ahead?

Microsoft’s Kinect for X-Box 360 Could Be Watching You at Home

Barry Levine

Microsoft Vice President Dennis Durkin told a conference that the new Kinect controller for the Xbox 360 can watch and report on users. The Kinect, Durkin said, can tell advertisers such details as who is in a room and what they’re wearing. Microsoft has denied that the data captured is being used as portrayed in Minority Report and 1984.

Microsoft’s hands-free game controller Kinect
Is Kinect, Microsoft’s new hands-free game controller, a step in the direction of the futures envisioned by the film Minority Report and the novel 1984? New reports of how the revolutionary controller for the Xbox 360 game console can be used raise those possibilities.

On Thursday, Microsoft Vice President Dennis Durkin told the BMO Digital Entertainment Investor Conference in New York that Kinect offers “a really interesting opportunity” to target content and ads based on who is playing, and to send data back to advertisers.

Seahawks or Giants?

“When you stand in front of it,” he said, according to news reports, “it has face recognition, voice recognition,” and “we can cater what content gets presented to you based on who you are.” Your wife, Durkin added, could see a different set of content choices than you do, and this can include advertising.
The advertiser will also know, he said, “how many people are in a room when an advertisement is shown,” or when a game is played. He said the system, and therefore advertisers, can also know how many people are engaged with a game or a sporting event, if they are standing up and excited — even if they are wearing Seahawks or Giants jerseys.

Apparently as a result of Durkin’s remarks, Microsoft issued a statement Thursday that neither its Xbox 360 video-game controller nor Xbox Live “use any information captured by Kinect for advertising targeting purposes.” The company added that it has a strong track record “for implementing some of the best privacy-protection measures in the industry.”

Kinect uses a camera peripheral to the Xbox 360, so players can control games and other software with body movements. The controller went on sale last week, and the company has forecast sales of five million units in the fourth quarter.

Home technology that watches you is common in dystopian visions of the future, such as in George Orwell’s 1984. In Minority Report, multimedia billboards present personalized ads to Tom Cruise’s character because they recognize him as he walks by.

Kinect for Computers

But the biggest futuristic takeaway from Minority Report usually cited is the gestural, in-the-air interaction with computer systems that the characters employ. Toward that future without mice or touchpads — potentially less threatening than being watched by your game machine — Kinect may also be a first step.

A computer hacker named Hector Martin, on a challenge from an electronic kit-making company called Adafruit, utilized Kinect to work on a PC. He enabled Kinect’s motion-capture system to interact with a Linux laptop and OpenGL drivers, and he reportedly is now working on interacting with the device’s voice-capture and control systems.

Adafruit’s challenge, accompanied by a prize of $3,000, was to use an open-source driver that would work with Kinect. Martin said he doesn’t have an Xbox. Others have reported making Kinect work with Windows 7 and Mac OS X computers, and the efforts raise the distinct possibility that Kinect and similar controllers could be used to control computers with hands-in-the-air motion, as in Minority Report.

Following reports of Martin’s achievement, Microsoft first issued a statement that it “does not condone the modification of its products,” and that “numerous hardware and software safeguards” are intended to reduce the chances of “product tampering.” It later noted that, in fact, Kinect software and hardware were not modified at all.

“What has happened is someone has created drivers that allow other devices to interface” with Kinect, the company said.

Brad Shimmin, an analyst with Current Analysis, said “what we’re seeing is the inevitable emergence of Minority Report.” He predicted that the possibility of Kinect watching you in your home could lead to a “firestorm” of criticism unless Microsoft takes steps to guard against that.

“It’s still surprising to me,” he said, “that some companies continue to ignore” the criticism that results from this kind of in-the-home tracking, “and automatically opt users in.” As Facebook and Google have learned from push back over other privacy issues, he said, that criticism always has the possibility of damaging their brand.