Monday, July 30, 2007

Football and Iraq

"It is the greatest gift since the fall of Saddam Hussein, and shows how Iraqis from all walks of life can work together to achieve success," said Hozam Mahmoud, a Kurdish policeman, who had abandoned his traffic duties to join noisy celebrations close to the foot of the ancient citadel in the Kurdish regional capital, Irbil.

He added: "Football alone may not be able to heal the nation's deep wounds, but for the moment it has induced a sense of cohesion, and we can all build on that if we try."

One reason for the team's popularity is that its players are drawn from all sections and all parts of Iraqi society.

On the pitch yesterday were Kurds, Sunnis, Shias and Turkomans. The players had overcome kidnap threats, the murder of loved ones, and disruptions to their training schedules."


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Voting machines

"State-sanctioned teams of computer hackers were able to break through the security of virtually every model of California's voting machines and change results or take control of some of the systems' electronic functions, according to a University of California study released Friday."


Universal healthcare for all pls

countries with universal healthcare

Friday, July 27, 2007

Dont reclassify

"Prof Murray said: "Individuals who - perhaps with some mild predisposition - would not otherwise have developed schizophrenia will do so because of taking cannabis. It's a bit like how people with only a minimal predisposition to diabetes will develop it if they eat too much."

Dr Iddon, the chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on drugs misuse, said the study did not convince him it was time to return cannabis to class B.

"I don't think the causal link has been proved. I think cannabis might - possibly for genetic reasons - trigger psychosis at an earlier age."

The MP, who is also a member of the science and technology select committee, said there was a danger of criminalising "hundreds of thousands of young people" if the status of the drug was changed.

If Gordon Brown changes the class of the drug, it won't be evidence-based but for political reasons," he said.

"Since we reduced the classification of cannabis from B to C the usage is going down, so what's the point of muddying the debate again by this yo-yo political policy?"


AK-47s, Arab Jails & Animal Smugglers: Interview with Conflict Photographer

My buddy Alex Smailes. A very cool cat, amazing photographer and, well, read for yourself...

"We faxed it to friends at Cambridge just to check what it was. They called right away and said, “Where did you find this? Don’t go anywhere near it! Your balls would drop off!” We told the editor of the newspaper we were working for a regional newspaper. He basically came back and said, “Leave that alone.” The actual owner of the newspaper was a member of the royal family! So we put it in an envelope and dropped it off to the American Embassy. That was the last we thought of it until I started getting phone calls in the middle of the night saying Mr. Smailes can you come and meet me at the Sheraton Hotel I hear you are causing a big problem."

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Terror by symbols

"What a telling snapshot of the war between the West and those who would ‘destroy our way of life’. Yesterday Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, released a crackly audio recording in which he denounced the Queen of England and Tony Blair for honouring Salman Rushdie with a knighthood. So, here we have a terrorist who’s stuck in a dugout criticising a Queen who has long since ceased to have any real power for awarding a writer who made a perceived insult against Islam 18 years ago with an order of chivalry for his contributions to an Empire that does not exist.

This is not so much a clash of civilisations as a load of symbolics. It’s a war of gestures between a mythical British Empire and a YouTube terrorist with a chip on his shoulder."


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

modern living

the other side - make money

"Guns do not produce value. Guns cannot force people to produce wealth. Unaware of this fact, the government holds the threat of force against the greatest form of human interaction, the corporation. Few would heed to the government's rules or regulations if it were not for the final card that can be played—holding a gun to the individual's head and demanding compliance. Not many people desire to think of extreme cases, or the true source of power. It takes but a few “whys” to reach the answer.

Why do I pay my taxes? If I don't, I will be audited. Why do I comply with an audit? If I don't, the tax collectors will attempt to seize my estate. Why do I relinquish the estate? If I don't a police officer will put handcuffs on me and escort me to prison. Why do I allow another man to shackle my hands with steel? If I don't, a government agent will draw his gun and aim it at my chest. The power of the government is derived from the sanctioned use of force—the muzzle of a gun."


Sunday, July 08, 2007


“She’s playing hard to get,” Murray said. “He’s trying too hard,” Jankovic said. “But we’re having a lot of fun. It’s a great game we’re playing.” Yesterday, in the evening sunlight, they were 4-1 up in the third set. Some devastating service returns from Jankovic gave them break points, but Murray kept returning into the net. “I was telling him, ‘Jamie, let’s go. This return, hit a good one because you are going to get many kisses’,” Jankovic said. Finally he did, and she served out the match."


Saturday, July 07, 2007

FTC Abandons Net Neutrality

Bad News

"The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided to abandon net neutrality and allow telecoms companies to charge websites for access.The FTC said in a report that, despite popular support for net neutrality, it was minded to let the market sort out the issue.This means that the organisation will not stand in the way of companies using differential pricing to make sure that some websites can be viewed more quickly than others. The report also counsels against net neutrality legislation".

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