Amazing pictures from the BBC of Menik Farm, the refugee camp in Sri Lanka currently housing over 240,000 Tamils. This is just one of the camps in the country housing Tamil refugees who fled the fighting in the country's north earlier this year.(This photo is not from their set, but is from Menik Farm. Click through for their photos.) The question for these refugees is how soon will the government let them return to their homes and villages? http://current.com/http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8297760.stm
Is the U.S. stepping up preparations for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities?
The Pentagon is always making plans, but based on a little-noticed funding request recently sent to Congress, the answer to that question appears to be yes.
First, some background: Back in October 2007, ABC News reported that the Pentagon had asked Congress for $88 million in the emergency Iraq/Afghanistan war funding request to develop a gargantuan bunker-busting bomb called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP). It's a 30,000-pound bomb designed to hit targets buried 200 feet below ground. Back then, the Pentagon cited an "urgent operational need" for the new weapon.
Now the Pentagon is shifting spending from other programs to fast forward the development and procurement of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. The Pentagon comptroller sent a request to shift the funds to the House and Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committees over the summer.
The comptroller said the Pentagon planned to spend $19.1 million to procure four of the bombs, $28.3 million to accelerate the bomb's "development and testing", and $21 million to accelerate the integration of the bomb onto B-2 stealth bombers.
'Urgent Operational Need'
The notification was tucked inside a 93-page "reprogramming" request that included a couple hundred other more mundane items.
Why now? The notification says simply, "The Department has an Urgent Operational Need (UON) for the capability to strike hard and deeply buried targets in high threat environments. The MOP is the weapon of choice to meet the requirements of the UON." It further states that the request is endorsed by Pacific Command (which has responsibility over North Korea) and Central Command (which has responsibility over Iran).
Is the U.S. Preparing to Bomb Iran?
The request was quietly approved. On Friday, McDonnell Douglas was awarded a $51.9 million contract to provide "Massive Penetrator Ordnance Integration" on B-2 aircraft.
When you're working offsite, whether at a client's office or the local coffee shop, you've got to protect your laptop, whether from physical theft or the nosy cyber-snoop who's trying to flip through your iTunes library (or worse). While your company has probably provided you with a VPN to securely connect to their internal network, what about your personal passwords and local files? Let's take a look at a few good habits to get into for safe laptop computing, and then some more advanced tactics.
The Basics: Best Practices Every laptop user should have a healthy paranoia about the possibility of getting their notebook stolen or hacked while they're using a public Wi-Fi network at the airport or coffeehouse. Stay circumspect and use some of the tools built into your notebook's operating system to keep yourself safe.
Turn on your firewall. When you're on an open Wi-Fi network, make sure you have your laptop's firewall on and blocking unwanted incoming connections. In Windows' Control Panel, click on Windows Firewall. On your Mac, in System Preferences, go to Security and click on the Firewall tab to turn it on.
Password protect — or unshare — shared folders. When you're at home, sharing a document folder with other computers behind your firewall is a fine idea. But when you're out and about, you may not want everyone to be able to see your collection of family vacation photos. Make sure your shared folders are password protected when you're not on a safe network. Even better, turn off all sharing when you're on a public network.
Use https (secure connections to web sites) whenever possible. When you're checking your webmail like Gmail or Yahoo Mail, or visiting any site with the option, make sure you're using the https:// (instead of http://) connection to encrypt any information you submit there, like your password. Most modern webmail and calendar programs like Gmail and Google Calendar offer an https:// option.
Don't save your web site passwords in your browser without encrypting them. Sure, if you save your web site passwords inside your browser, you save a whole lot of time. However, if a thief, co-worker, or relative uses your computer, it's also dead simple for that person to log into your accounts. Three weeks ago I ran down how to secure your browser's saved passwords with an encrypted master password — do it.
Lock down your laptop with an actual lock. If you work in a public place often and tend to leave your laptop unattended, invest $15 to $30 on a physical laptop lock to anchor your notebook to the desk. It's a simple way to deter thieves.
Always have a current backup of your important data. Backing up your computer will help you restore things in the event of theft or a hard drive crash or coffee spill. When your laptop is docked back at home or the office, use an external hard drive to back up your documents. If you're constantly on the go, a remote backup service like Mozy or Carbonite works over the internet in the background, and can restore your files from anywhere.
Run anti-virus and malware protection software. Like a backup system, this is a best practice for all computers, not just your laptop. Just last week Microsoft released their new and free Security Essentials software. Download that and scan your notebook on a regular basis.
Advanced Security The super-paranoid and technically-inclined can use hacker-level techniques for locking down files and disks. Those include:
Encrypting folders and disks. Using free tools you can encrypt an entire hard drive or just a folder full of files. When you encrypt data, you use a secret key to scramble it into an unreadable format, which foils any thieves' attempts to read your private files. To decrypt it, you need a master password. On a Mac, you can create an encrypted disk image by using the Disk Utility application. Macs also come with File Vault (in System Preferences, Security), which encrypts your home folders' contents keeping unwanted eyes out. Windows Vista and the upcoming Windows 7 offers BitLocker, a data encryption application. Alternately, you can use a free utility called TrueCrypt to encrypt a folder or drive.
Securing your network traffic via an SSH tunnel. Another common technique among the tech elite is the use of an SSH tunnel, or a secure connection to an outside computer (like your home server or office computer) to connect to the internet. From the network you're already on, it looks like you're sending encrypted information to a single destination; in reality, you're using a trusted remote server as a proxy for all your network activity. Here's more on how to encrypt your web browsing session with an SSH SOCKS proxy.
......Our loose lifestyle and even certain amusements considered dubious that have always been enjoyed among our entourage — slipping by night into houses undergoing demolition, hitchhiking nonstop and without destination through Paris during a transportation strike in the name of adding to the confusion, wandering in subterranean catacombs forbidden to the public, etc. — are expressions of a more general sensibility which is no different from that of the dérive. Written descriptions can be no more than passwords to this great game.
The lessons drawn from dérives enable us to draw up the first surveys of the psychogeographical articulations of a modern city. Beyond the discovery of unities of ambiance, of their main components and their spatial localization, one comes to perceive their principal axes of passage, their exits and their defenses. One arrives at the central hypothesis of the existence of psychogeographical pivotal points. One measures the distances that actually separate two regions of a city, distances that may have little relation with the physical distance between them. With the aid of old maps, aerial photographs and experimental dérives, one can draw up hitherto lacking maps of influences, maps whose inevitable imprecision at this early stage is no worse than that of the first navigational charts. The only difference is that it is no longer a matter of precisely delineating stable continents, but of changing architecture and urbanism....
Tyranny of the Majority: 3 wolves & 6 goats Mood:
mischievious Now Playing: Democracy ... I dont think so Topic: POLITICS Tyranny of the Majority: If you ever found yourself in a vastly outnumbered minority, and the majority voted that you had to give up something as necessary to your life as water and air, would you comply? When it comes down to it, does anyone really believe it makes sense to accept the authority of a group simply on the grounds that they outnumber everyone else? We accept majority rule because we do not believe it will threaten us – and those it does threaten are already silenced before anyone can hear their misgivings.
Three wolves and six goats are discussing what to have for dinner. One courageous goat makes an impassioned case: “We should put it to a vote!” The other goats fear for his life, but surprisingly, the wolves acquiesce. But when everyone is preparing to vote, the wolves take three of the goats aside. “Vote with us to make the other three goats dinner,” they threaten. “Otherwise, vote or no vote, we’ll eat you.” The other three goats are shocked by the outcome of the election: a majority, including their comrades, has voted for them to be killed and eaten. They protest in outrage and terror, but the goat who first suggested the vote rebukes them: “Be thankful you live in a democracy! At least we got to have a say in this!”
The plans of American Police Force to boss the $27 million dollar detention center in Hardin Montana as well as expand their presence across the country while training foreign troops inside the U.S. could be mothballed after Montana’s Attorney General launched an investigation and demanded the organization turn over all its records.
Suspicions that the paramilitary unit, which attempted to pose as law enforcement in Hardin last week by placing decals on SUV’s that read “Hardin Police Department,” is a cut-out or a front group for a larger company, may be realized after AG Steve Bullock ordered Hardin city officials to turn over all their documents related to their dealings with APF by October 12.
“His office made a similar demand of American Police Force, including information that would back up (Michael) Hilton’s claims of multiple defense contracts with the U.S. government and other agencies,” reports the Associated Press.
As we have highlighted, APF grandstands as a major player in the world of international private security, even claiming on its own website that it runs the U.S. Training Center, a Blackwater or “Xe” owned facility. This has led many to claim that the company is a shell or a front organization for something far more sinister, rumors that have only grown with APF’s blanket refusal to name its parent company.
The investigation was prompted by the revelation yesterday that APF founder “Captain” Michael Hilton is a career criminal and a convicted fraudster who has operated under no less than 17 different aliases. Hilton, a native of Montenegro, was sentenced to 6 years in jail in 1993 for “Such schemes you cannot believe,” according to Joseph Carella, an Orange County, Calif. doctor, namely a dozen counts of grand theft. Hilton has defrauded numerous different individuals to the tune of $1.1 million dollars over the past 20 years.
APF’s plans to construct another facility in Hardin that will train international paramilitary forces also looks doomed following intense media scrutiny of the organization’s shady dealings with local authorities and their probable violation of article 2 section 33 of the Montana Constitution.
Judging by the reaction of Attorney Becky Convery, who negotiated the original deal between Hardin authorities and APF, the contract to man the detention center and build the training facility could be torpedoed.
“Convery said Two Rivers director Greg Smith had a tentative deal with Hilton’s company to provide law enforcement service, but she said it was never finalized and she was uncertain whether it would be legal,” reports the AP.
“We are not at all pleased with American Police masquerading as if they were the police for the city of Hardin,” she said.
American Police Force and Hilton are now obviously engaging in desperate damage control, trying to offset concerns that they were on the verge of transforming the town into a “privately run police state,” as the AP article puts it, before press scrutiny forced them to put the breaks on.
Hilton has now pledged to donate the SUV’s that were marked with the police decals to the city while still pushing ahead with plans to provide law enforcement for the area for $250,000 a year. The fact that APF’s training center plans to recruit foreign assets who could then be patrolling the streets of America bossing U.S. citizens is obviously a frightening prospect, completely unconstitutional, and another reason why APF needs to abandon its plans to act as a private police force completely.
(Infowars) – Hardin, Montana town officials hornswoggled by American Police Force
This is an update on the story of the American Police Force arriving in Hardin, Montana last week with three blackened out Mercedes Benz SUV’s emblazoned with “Hardin Police Department” on their side doors. Read More Here
In the event of a disaster should you bug in or bug out (shelter in place or evacuate) is a big topic in many forums, email lists and among modern survivalists in general. There are times when the question is easy to answer and times when it can be difficult. The key is your life and the lives of those you love can hang in the balance of this decision so today we discuss 12 question to ask before you have to make the decision.
Tune in today as we consider the following questions…
Which choice gives you the best chance of survival for the scenario at hand? (this is not always clear)
How well prepared are you to bug in?
What exactly are you prepared for? (a forest fire is far different from local rioting)
Today’s show is based on a great article written by Clare Wolfe of Backwoods Home Magazine called, “Preparing for Civil Unrest“. I thought this article was so timely and though provoking that I last minute preempted today’s planned show and quickly put together an outline for today based on this article. In addition to listening today make sure to read Claire’s article.
Eva Golinger, named “La Novia de Venezuela” (the Sweetheart of Venezuela) by President Hugo Chávez, is a Venezuelan-American attorney from New York, living in Caracas, Venezuela since 2005
Venezuela:The announcement of the US occupation of more than 7 military bases in Colombia comes at a time when a dictatorship - supported, if tacitly by Washington - in Honduras is consolidating after almost a month and a half has passed since the violent coup d'etat forced Honduran President Manuel Zelaya from power. The increased US military presence in Latin America has been perceived by a majority of nations in this hemisphere as a threat to stability and peace in the region. How does the Obama administration justify increasing the Pentagon's budget and investing almost $1 billion in its Latin American military operations this year?
Well, maybe by trying to blame Venezuelan President Hugh Chávez of supporting, funding and arming "terrorist" leftist groups in Colombia and "facilitating drug trafficking". Both allegations have never been founded on solid evidence. In fact, yesterday, President Chávez gave a killer press conference to international media, deconstructing every accusation presented against his government by Colombia and Washington. The latest allegation involved Swedish missile launchers sold to Venezuela in the 1980s that apparently ended up in the hands of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The Uribe government in Colombia, together with Washington, was trying to blame Chávez for selling the weapons to the FARC, therefore justifying its increasing aggression and military presence in the region, to combat "terrorist threats". "You're either with us or against us..."
Chávez revealed a document - given to him previously by the Colombian government - dated 1996 after a FARC attack had taken place on Venezuelan soil against Venezuelan armed forces and a quantity of weapons had been stolen. The 1996 document detailed the named Swedish missile launchers as having been taken during that attack, more than 2 years before Chávez won office and became involved in government.
"Dirty, dirty tactics", said Chávez regarding Uribe's accusations against him. The Colombian government knows very well that those weapons were in the hands of the FARC well before Chávez became president. So why blame him now for something he has nothing to do with?
Cowardly and pathetic Colombian President Uribe is desperately trying to justify turning his country into the launching pad for Washington's war on Latin America - a war seeking to regain its domination and control over the region's vast natural and strategic resources, and to take out any seed of "socialism" remaining in the hemisphere.
But the military bases in Colombia and the coup in Honduras evidence a dangerous and clear intent of Empire to also crush the vibrant people's movements that have been surfacing all over Latin America during the past decade - revolutions seeking to build new models of social and economic justice.
Latin America is on high alert in response to this revived offensive emerging from Washington. Colombia, isolated in its efforts, is not backing down from opening its land to the vast and barbaric US military power. Where is the outcry inside the United States in response to hundreds of millions - billions - of dollars now directed towards waging war in Latin America? Don't wait until it's too late and another nation, like Panama 20 years ago, is bombed and invaded by US forces in order to secure Washington's long-term control over the region's strategic resources. Act now to resist and protest US military expansion in Latin America and US aggression against a humble people struggling for justice.