May 2008

The media propogandists for the war mongers in the US government are at it again: Faux News host Greg Gutfield has publically suggested that Iran, not al Qaeda or Iraq, was behind the September 11 attacks.

Well over six years after the attacks, many questions about the attacks remain unanswered. There is a vast amount of misinformation (mere errors) about the attacks, but I have no doubt that much of it is actually disinformation put out to discredit skeptics of the official government account. Knowing that we’re being lied to is easy… the hard part is telling which bits are lies, which bits are half-truths, which are mistakes and what is the truth.

Whatever happened that terrible day, it has served the Bush administration well. Not just them either: while the US economy is tanking, Exxon has reported a profit for 2007 of $40.6 billion, making nearly $1300 per second 24 hours a day, every day, for the entire year. That’s the highest reported profit of any commercial enterprise in history. And people wonder “cui bono?” about the Iraq war…


And now it begins: the War On Teachers Who Might Make Education Enjoyable. Florida school teacher Jim Piculas has been fired by Rushe Middle School for performing “wizardry” after he showed students a 30 second magic trick where he made a toothpick disappear and then reappear.

That’s how it starts folks: first a bit of sleight-of-hand, and before you know it, the children are sacrificing babies to Beelzebub.

Junior President Bush, who a month ago said that he was kinda envious of the lucky-duck troops havin’ all sortsa fun and romantic adventures in Afghanistan, has now declared that he’s sharing the sacrifices of the troops in Iraq… by giving up golf.

For the first time, Bush revealed a personal way in which he has tried to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers and their families.

“I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” he said. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”

Aren’t you glad to have such a man as President of the Free World?

Via Reddit.

According to Slashdot (and it’s on the Internet, so it must be true) Microsoft’s Messenger service has been blocking messages which include Youtube URLs. Some users suggested that the blocks might have had something to do with Microsoft’s new “Messenger TV” service, but others suggested that it was more likely a glitch in the anti-phishing scanner Microsoft uses to “protect” its users from phishing sites.

Whatever the real reason (my money is on incompetence rather than malice), Messenger now seems to be back to normal, with Youtube URLs no longer being blocked. For that matter, I’m not sure that any URLs are being blocked, phishing or not. In my tests using a couple of spare MSN accounts I happened to have lying around, I couldn’t get any URL blocked — including such verified fake banking sites as If you’re looking for an open list of phishing sites to perform your own experiments, check out this database of user-submitted and verified phishing URLs: the Phishtank.

Personally, I have little time for such measures to “protect” people unless, at minimum, there is full disclosure of what is being blocked, and whenever feasible provision for people to opt-out. Otherwise, even when done with the best intentions, or with unintentially funny results, it is still censorship and unacceptable. Censorship doesn’t cease to be censorship merely because it is not done by a government.

    Here in the US, we are so schizoid and deeply opposed to government censorship that we insist on having unaccountable private parties to do it instead. — Bill Cole

At times Nature can be cruel, but there is a raw beauty in the struggle for survival. Consider the alligators, one of the oldest predator species. The alligator is an apex predator, but can still fall victim to team work. A dog pack’s tightly knit social structure and survival-of-the-pack mentality enables it to defeat even such a fearsome predator as the alligator, as seen in this graphic photo from Florida.

For the protection of the squeamish, after the cut.