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Blackwater Founder Builds Mideast Mercenary Army to Put Down Revolts

Posted on May 17th, 2011 at 11:32 by Paul Jay in category: News

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What’s Erik Prince been doing since he sold off Blackwater, the infamous mercenary company he founded and turned into a juggernaut of the private security world? His shadiest, most morally-compromised guns-for-hire scheme yet.

Prince moved to Abu Dhabi last year as legal and governmental scrutiny of Blackwater intensified. “I’m done. It’s all sold or shut down,” he told journalist Robert Young Pelton shortly before boarding his farewell flight. “I’m getting out of the government contracting business.” And provided he meant the U.S. government, that vow has stood the test of time. But his adoptive country is a different story.

Documents obtained by the New York Times indicate that Prince rebooted his efforts in private security to build a praetorian army of mercenaries for the ruling clique in the United Arab Emirates. His new company, Reflex Responses, hires a mixture of Colombian soldiers of fortune and South African vets of Executive Outcomes, the pre-Blackwater merc firm that fought nasty counter-guerilla wars in Angola and Sierra Leone. That’s right: forces from Christian nations hired to protect Muslim leaders, possibly against their own people. And in keeping with Prince’s history, if Reflex is doing business legally — from the perspective of U.S. law — it’s only barely so.


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  1. Didn’t Muslim leaders (Turkish, I think) learn their lesson with the Janissaries? In time the Janissaries became dominant over their rulers.

    Of course, in the end it didn’t end well for the Janissaries either…

Scientists Cast Doubt on TSA Tests of Full-Body Scanners

Posted on May 17th, 2011 at 11:27 by Paul Jay in category: News

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The Transportation Security Administration says its full-body X-ray scanners are safe and that radiation from a scan is equivalent to what’s received in about two minutes of flying. The company that makes them says it’s safer than eating a banana.

But some scientists with expertise in imaging and cancer say the evidence made public to support those claims is unreliable. And in a new letter sent to White House science adviser John Holdren, they question why the TSA won’t make the scanners available for independent testing by outside scientists.


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Breakfast Is Most Delicious at 1000fps

Posted on May 17th, 2011 at 11:21 by Paul Jay in category: News

[Quote]:

It’s getting to the point where I’m not sure there’s anything not improved by slow motion. Even one of the most lavish—and most brutally upended—breakfast spreads I’ve ever seen. Will nobody think of the bacon?


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  1. Crikey…how’d they do that?

  2. It’s a camera that records 1000 frames a second. When playing back at normal speed (24,25 or 30 frames a second ) you will get this slowmotion.
    There’s also a making of movie on the same page:)

Insider: “The Christian Right is Aiming to Destroy All Things Public”

Posted on May 17th, 2011 at 11:20 by Paul Jay in category: News

[Quote]:

The Right has pushed for the state to hand over its public duties to private companies, including military operations, prisons, health care, public transport, and all the rest.


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  1. and most importantly, the right to educate children at home.

  2. When the government said that Jerry Falwell’s home schooling program qualified as legal, decent education I almost threw up. Amazing how they go on and on about getting government out of their lives when they really want the opposite.

Two South Asian islands sink into ocean after fishermen damage reefs

Posted on May 17th, 2011 at 6:40 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Selfish jerks: 1. Earth: 0.

Two tiny islands in the heart of a South Asian marine reserve sunk into the sea after fisherman plundered the coral reefs that kept them afloat.

The teensy spits of land were among 21 in the Gulf of Mannar Marine Park in the straight between Sri Lanka and India, that had been set aside as protected biological preserve.

But fisherman had continued to mine the islands for their invaluable coral reefs, causing them to become unstable and sink, officials said.

The coral was sold to the construction industry where it is used as binding material because of its high calcium carbonate content.


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  1. This is probably only unusual because of the “marine reserve” status, which means nothing unless governments allocate funds, make rules and enforce them.

  2. Too easy to call them selfish jerks. What if your life and that of your family depends on the income you get from selling that coral? What if there is no other option in your life? Very nice that we all live in the luxury to condemn these actions and try to save the environment, but other people might need other priorities. Not sayin that this should all just be approved. Just saying there are more sides to a story.

    And, according to the source, this accusation isnt even confirmed, it is just a thought:
    “I think that global sea level rise had little impact on the disappearance of the islands and it must be due to other reasons, possibly the mining of coral reefs,” Simon Holgate of the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory told the BBC.

Supreme Court gives police a new entryway into homes

Posted on May 17th, 2011 at 6:24 by John Sinteur in category: News

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The Supreme Court on Monday gave police more leeway to break into residences in search of illegal drugs.

The justices in an 8-1 decision said officers who loudly knock on a door and then hear sounds suggesting evidence is being destroyed may break down the door and enter without a search warrant.

I guess you better not flush your toilet when somebody is at the door…


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NASA Space shuttle endeavour launch

Posted on May 17th, 2011 at 6:16 by John Sinteur in category: News


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