Wednesday, May 31, 2006

MIT's Study: Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets

Tinfoil hat is a general term for headgear made from one or more sheets of tin foil, aluminium foil, or similar metallic material. Some people wear the helmets in the belief that it shields their brains from the undesirable influence of harmful electromagnetic fields, as well as governmental mind control or mind reading. Other people believe in the efficacy of tin-foil hats to prevent abduction by space aliens, or to block unpleasant experiences such as strange voices in their heads. Such highly strange phenomena probably depend in some fashion upon microwave radiation (see illustrative, high-tech photo).

The Study
In February last year, four of MIT's brightest from the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department reported the results of their carefully recorded empirical study. Ample photographic and video documentation (courtesy of Discover Channel's Daily Planet) are provided. Some may find the conclusion rather alarming. Folks who once used alumunum foil on their TV's rabbit ears to improve reception will likely not be surprised by the scientific results, however. Go here for the report. They will not let you down. (H/T: bookof joe)


Are Alleged Submarine Dolphin Kills Ever Appropriate?

Dolphin kills are always regrettable, whatever their causes, in the opinion of Molten Eagle's staff.

Is there any circumstance that would justify man's killing our sentient, mammalian companions? Starvation comes immediately to mind, yet we know of know maritime culture anywhere in the world at risk of starvation, and even that sounds a bit too cannibalistic to the PETA and vegan cliques.

That leaves one other circumstance to test: self defense. Today, a force protection exercise gets underway at the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in ST. MARYS, Georgia.

A joint operation of Navy security forces and the Coast Guard will be held at the base and in waterways surrounding Kings Bay. Navy officials say the drill will include the use of blank ammunition, flares and other so-called "noise-producing simulators." No live ammunition will be used, however. Navy officials would not discuss details of the drill nor tactics. The Coast Guard will be broadcasting notices during the day and provide mariners with specifics of the safety zone on waterways near the submarine base.

PETA, no doubt, will report flipper mortality from this latest naval exercise. We can hardly wait for the results.


Occupation: Global Warming Mongers

The Truth About Climate Change
If your life experience has been that it seems easier to predict the weather over the next 3 hours, than for any 3 hours five years from now, join your local meteorologists and objective (apolitical) scientist, if you can still find one.

Before Al Gore type climate change occurs in a significant way, the color of the Earth's sky will likely change. What was the color of the Earth's sky during the last Ice Age? We have no written record of anything close to 100,000 years ago, yet a consensus of people, including politicians, scientists and you no doubt think that the sky then was most certainly blue. In fact, every state has Blue-sky laws to protect investors from speculative ventures with only "as much value as a patch of blue sky." Such laws were first aimed at fraudulent exploitation by fly-by-night concerns, visionary oil wells, and distant gold mines. Scientists can extrapolate the gas content of the atmosphere a long time ago, but they merely arrive at a best guess concerning its actual wavelength and color compared to what can be measured today.

The Upside of Guessing: Self Fulfilling, Scientific Prophecy
Mr. Gore is personally invested in a firm that will benefit handsomely from increased government spending in private environmental service and product corporations in the event people panic and demand emergency governmental intervention to prevent the doom of civilization. Other nations benefit from large scale spending programs that the United states undertakes (whether buying arms or sending humanitarian aid). Currently, universities and scientists benefit with direct government grants to study "climate change" consequences. If they produce good news, the funds (taxpayer dollars) will dry up. If, on the otherhand, they can depress (or panic) our populace, higher tax rates can be justified to increase funding for their lucrative, lifetime, job security. If you work and already feel exploited, just wait until an environmental income surtax is levied upon your earnings.

Allow Me a Few Guesses
First, I guess that Mr. Gore, and the scientists doing the environmental alarm mongering will die much richer before the accuracy or error of their arguments can ever be proven.

Secondly, I guess more and more connections to dreaded consequences will be tied to a failing environment. This latest news demonstrates what the aforementioned grant monies produce for taxpayers. Alzheimers and cancer connections are surely being studied by now. "Seek and ye shall find" not only works, it has the potential to distort scientific objectivity.

Thirdly, citizens are about to see record-setting cases of corruption by public officials over the next 12 years in terms of dollars wasted and misdirected. Once scientific objectivity has been gamed (subverted) to the extent that it has now reached, potential whistleblowers are scant and watchdogs become marginalized. What is coming first - the next Ice Age or Global Warming? Did scientists get the food pyramid right (yet)? Human diet must be easier to assess than climate change, right? Eggs used to be bad for most of us, remember the 1980s and 90s?

Fourthly, when it is finally evident that environmental alarmism was an abdication of scientific responsibility for objectivity, new government regulations will be promulgated to prevent exploitative speculation by scientific grant recipients. Criteria to prevent conflicts of interest, such as random, double blind studies and progressive merit awards will be mandated. Imagine that, scientists.

Finally, it has been suspected for some time that Mr. Gore suffers from an undisclosed condition that causes cognitive difficulties and/or behavioral effects. Perhaps his exposure to elevated CO2 levels caused him to contract MORGELLONS DISEASE. Just a thought.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Opinion: Why the FBI Searched Farm for Hoffa Remains

In 2004, a former prosecutor (Charles Brandt) published a blockbuster book I Heard You Paint Houses : Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran and the Inside Story of the Mafia, the Teamsters, and the Final Ride of Jimmy Hoffa. The former prosecutor had obtained FBI suspect Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran's deathbed confession in Hoffa's murder. According to Sheeran, he shot him in the head twice and his body was taken from the prearranged safe house to an incinerator not far from the Machus Red Fox Restaraunt outside Detroit, where Hoffa, 62, was last seen in July 1975.

The New York Times bestseller book was largely overshadowed by the press's concentration on the 2004 election cycle. One reviewer said, "... I grasped the clear and simple meanings of JFK's assassination, Ramsey Clark's appointment, and Hoffa's disappearance. They all ring true, as only an insider could have known them."

It seems that Brandt's page-turning, taped account of Hoffa's murder included intriguing background information about the JFK assassination. No one, not the author, the publisher nor hyped this connection, however.

If the FBI had found remains in its recent horse barn dig about 20 miles from Hoffa's last sighting, Sheeran's details would be impugned - not just Hoffa's murder, but the juicier, incidental tidbits from the JFK assassination. All would be discredited.

The search by 40 FBI agents, forensic experts, evidence technicians, bulldozers and cadaver dogs lasted nine days. Yet, as members of congress have pointed out, if remains had been found (the search has now been called off), what purpose for this great expense would be served. Who yet living could be charged? After 30 years, nobody.

Obviously then, the purpose of the latest FBI bungle was otherwise: to totally discredit Sheeran on the embarrassing JFK connections (besides the New Orleans mob). When you read the book, you may ask yourself questions about the "Quiet Don" Russell Buffalino. Who, in high places, was he taking orders from? This is the usual police blotter type stuff, and comes nowhere close to answering the real question.

Described as a "perfect gentleman," Bufalino might fit in at an afternoon tea party. Were his overbosses U.S. politicians, perhaps? Mums the word; Rosario Alberto "Russell" Bufalino, the Quiet Don, died in 1994. Hmmm.


What's wrong with this Canadian submarine story?

According to The Halifax Herald Limited's story, "Rush escape’ could be deadly problem, rush escape involves flooding an escape compartment so a sub’s entire crew of up to 59 people can exit in rapid succession. Rush escape has never been used in the Canadian navy, and it is "... not currently feasible from Victoria-class submarines," say navy documents.

"The issue is it takes so long to flood the compartment, you run out of air," Cmdr. Bill Irvine said in a recent interview. Engineers are now looking at increasing the emergency air supply for escape compartments, said Cmdr. Irvine, who runs the navy’s Sub Safe Organization.
"It would help the problem, but until we can do some more testing on the system, we don’t know whether it will fix the problem," he said.

Well, Molten Eagle would never doubt Cmdr. Irvine or any officer of the Canadian submarine force. His facts must be correct.

Submarine escapes have been infrequent and hypothetical at best, however. Why does this issue arise now? Should the proposed air supply fix work, it must surely not be economical (otherwise, what has been the delay thus far in potentially saving 59 submariners?). If it is really not an economical upgrade, add crew safety to that growing list of Victoria-class submarine impairments.

Faced with enormous costs to upgrade yesteryears submarines, perhaps a better decision would be to buy state-of-the-art AIP models (built in Canada). Good for Canadian employment and good for Canadian defence. So, is this whole story a political gambit? Can we smell cheese in this mousetrap?

Canada is about to add new equipment that will sustain people in a disabled submarine for seven days, Cmdr. Irvine said.

One of the more urgent justifications for Canadian submarines is assertion of Canada's arctic sovereignty. Generally, non-nuclear submarines cannot operate in the Arctic, however. Not so for purpose-built AIP submarines. Of the four submarines Canada bought from Britain in 1998, only one is still seaworthy and another may never sail again. The Canadian military proposed operating a dozen nuclear submarines in 1998. When that idea was scrapped, the military acquiesced to the now famous second-hand, Victoria-class, diesel subs. Stay tuned.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

SSGN Tit for Tat

Camel cigarette ran a real one-man helicopter ad in 1958. A bit later, the soviet union attempted to deploy a foldable, one-man, spy helicopter (mock up pictured in the left photo) launchable from submarines via standard 533mm (21") torpedo tubes. Designed to carry a payload of 242 lbs (in addition to its pilot) for 75 miles at about 68 mph and at a top altitude of one mile, the Kamov Ka-56 was never flown due to lack of suitable rotary piston engine.

Now SSGNs will be the nation's chief platforms for stealth operations. Not everyone is a fan, however. A particularly vicious attack from G2mil Quarterly is found here, for what it is worth. Obviously, mutually assured destruction is less applicable to the war on terror than its intended objectives during the Cold War.

The concept craft hovering over the SSGN has a top speed of 275 knots and will transport an entire SEAL team much, much further than 75 miles. Does it actually exist (if you knew, you would certainly not be free to reply). What is all this fuss about a cruise missile scandal, then?

Sleep well at night, because as conniving and as dastardly as modern terrorists attempt to be, they can be controlled like their antecedents through regular programs of prevention, detection, and extermination. The SSGN and its secretive payloads are the military equivalents of
The Orkin Man™. Using the most advanced technology and training, they won’t just treat the symptoms, they will definitely treat the problems. We can hardly wait for 60 Minutes to report the SEALS successes (at least 15 years later).


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Submariners' Sleep, and the Circadian Rhythm

After two weeks out of port submerged, were you able to differentiate night and day without any of those standards? Were you on local time, instead? Where were you?

China, the immense country stretching across five hour zones on globes, has only one time zone - Beijing time. Nearby Russia has 11, and the USA with HI has 6.

The UK shares its time zone with Portugal, the Canary Islands and much of western Africa - but not with France and Spain, which sit on the same Greenwich Meridian as UK clocks, the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Apparently, India snubbed its former British overseers by arbitrarily selecting five and a half hours ahead of GMT ("turn your watch upside down in the UK, and that's the time in India"). Nepal, however, is GMT plus four and three-quarter hours. More here, Shifting meridians: a tale of time.

Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek- on stardates) said, "This time system adjusts for shifts in relative time which occur due to the vessel's speed and space warp capability. It has little relationship to Earth's time as we know it. One hour aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise at different times may equal as little as three Earth hours. The stardates specified in the log entry must be computed against the speed of the vessel, the space warp, and its position within our galaxy, in order to give a meaningful reading."

What about time on submarines? Working at night (like 20 million other people in America alone) may require an adjustment of our brain's circadian rhythm of up to 3 days (as in travel across timezones) to allow the body clock to adjust at its 1 hour per day normal capacity. The subject is well-known in submarine medicine and well-documented in the maritime community. Here are some examples with links to highlights.

Chronic REM sleep interference and inadequate family communication can lead to depression in some cases. Since submariners cannot "pull over and nap" or even "call home" perhaps the Navy's current investigation of recent suicide deaths (ashore) will extend to checking sleep experiences and communication factors of those involved.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Submarine Insights, Volcano and Prawns

Many submariners never know where they have actually been during submerged operations, tracks or odysseys. Due to inevitable surface transits, however, all of us occasionally knew exactly where we were.

Most Atlantic Fleet submariners, for instance, have been in the Tyrrhenian Sea. We know this because we witnessed from our submarines the eruption of a volcano called Stromboli (an Aeolian Island) en route to the Strait of Messina.

Stromboli is Europe's only, always active volcano. Rising 924 m (3,031 ft.) above sea level its eruptions have been fairly steady during the past 2,000 years, for certain. Eruptions of fiery bombs last from a few minutes to hours in both mild and moderate episodes.


Diners at the Sub Base's EM club (Groton) may recall the signature, seafood entree no one else could touch for the quality and price. The stuffed prawns were jumbo (4 - 5 inch) specimens of a size one no longer sees in any restaurant - not like these puny ones, for instance. Two were served with each plate with complementary sides of commensurate quality. Fantastic lubber cuisine at a very affordable price for its day (under eight bucks with drink).


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Taras Riding a Dolphin - Home of 212A Submarines

You may recognize the pictured submarines as Type 212A (fuel cell) AIPs. Can you guess who built them and what port they are entering? (Three Dolphin class submarines built for the Israeli Navy are of a similar design, but employ diesel-electric propulsion versus fuel-cell.)

These submarines of the German U212A design were built by Italian shipyard Fincantieri for the Italian Navy. The German Type 212A is an advanced design developed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG (HDW). It features air-independent propulsion (AIP) using nine 34-kilowatt Siemens hydrogen fuel cells, allowing the submarines to cruise under water for weeks without surfacing, silently, and with no exhaust heat. HDW is the first shipyard in the world to offer a fuel cell propulsion system ready for series production. The Fincantieri boats are of identical design except for different torpedoes, electro-optic masts, adaptations for warm water operation, and the lifesaving system: individual in the U212A Germans, individual and collective in the Italian boats.

Salvatore Todaro (S526) built by Fincantieri for the Marina Militare (Italian Navy) and her sister sub, Sciré, are the first; two additional, Italian Type 212As are planned.

So what (Middle-eastern looking) homeport are they entering and what is the dolphin connection? Well the boats are not entering Italy's main naval base (La Spezia). Note the city seal in the upper left corner. It depicts the hero Taras (son of Poseidon) riding a dolphin. The city is Taranto (on the Ionian sea). Taras was the original name of the city founded in 706 BC by Greek immigrants as Sparta's only colony.


Unfettered, the Powerful Strike Again

Vigilisa at Lawyer Kickers pro bono describes the latest, major indictment of prominent lawyers. No one should be fooled by this encouraging news, however, because fraud is a "whitecollar" crime. Sentences (if those indicted should ever be convicted of such a crime) will be light.

It remains to be seen if any of the partners so named would even be disbarred. Imagine the message these outcomes send to other lawyers - very little deterrent value for like crimes. If you or I, or organized crime figures did what these lawyers did, however, we would not have the automatic immunity of America's noble class.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

UPDATE: Now in Boulder, Colorado and Coming to Progressive Neighborhoods Near You: The Anonymous PC Posse?

Via gus van horn (Boulder Rolling Over Freedom of Speech), I have learned that Boulder City Council's funding of an anonymous "hate hotline" for a direct attack on freedom of speech was approved.

Tuesday, the Boulder City Council will take up the matter of allocating public funding for a "hate hotline," which would give residents an opportunity to report incidents in which Boulderites use tactless language. SOURCE: The -Hat tip to If I weren't here, I'd be somewhere else...

What is the ACLU's response?
"Our concern - and there are many - is that there is no confidentiality, no legal confidentiality," explains Judd Golden, chairman of the Boulder American Civil Liberties Union, which has not yet taken an official position on the hate-line. "So it's potentially chilling if people think they are providing this information in confidence and then that information were provided to the government or the government sought access to it. That would chill free speech."

Should pranksters, politicians, trial lawyers, perverts, discontents, malcontents, rabblerousers, sociopaths, criminals, liars, revenge-seekers and activists tattle in confidence to the government? What happened to your right to be confronted by your accuser?

If Boulder adopts this nonsense a stream of litigation will be coming to Boulder. Who could be behind this misguided concept? Gee, which of the above litany could be behind the proposal?


Monday, May 15, 2006

Puzzle: What type submarine will have this technology first?

The RN's most advanced nuclear fleet submarines, the T-class are equipped with pump-jet propulsion - a high-pitch, low-revolution propeller much quieter than conventional propeller designs. The U.S.N. traditionally experiments with all technologies of promise.

The Acoustic Research Detachment (ARD) on Lake Pend Oreille has been the primary testing grounds for submarine stealth technology. The Sea Jet is the first surface ship and the first manned model to be tested at the Acoustic Research Detachment, where unmanned submarine models have been tested for a half century.

And, the Navy claims this about its planned DDX destroyer,"... It will be stealthy and as difficult to detect as an attack submarine;"

Now, "The Sea Jet is the first surface ship and the first manned model to be tested at the Acoustic Research Detachment, where unmanned submarine models have been tested for a half century." (Source). Are we seeing a pattern yet?

But what else could it be? Perhaps this (hat tip to EagleSpeak): Navy adds $13M to American Superconductor warship motor contract. Even 'High-Temperature' superconductors use liquid nitrogen (-325 degrees F.) as a coolant.

What will be the refrigeration power source for superconducting propulsion? What ships have ample nuclear power plants and a supreme need for stealth? Was your guess submarines? Mine, too.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Early Submarining Bits: RN and USN

In 1655 the British fleet captured Jamaica. With an abundance of domestic rum, the Royal Navy changed its daily ration of naval liquor from French brandy to rum.

Originally given neat, diluted rum became the ration around 1740, to help minimize the effect on Admiral Edward Vernon's sailors. In honor of the Admiral's foul weather coat (made of a rough fabric of silk and wool stiffened with gum and called grogram), the watered rum became known as grog. The Royal Navy continued its daily rum ration, known as a "tot," until the practice was abolished after July 31, 1970.

Here is another historical note from the Log of submarine USS Holland (SS-1) on 29 April 1905:
"A. Wm Keane, M Mate 1st class given five days Bread & Water for having whiskey in his possession." Remember to check out the link and perhaps even offer a toast to MM1 Keane, an early U.S. submariner recorded in history for but slight breach of discipline.
At least Keane escaped the Cat O' Nine Tails.

Another Holland submariner punished: 6 May 1905
"E.R. Rhinelander GM 2nd cl placed in irons to await action of Commanding officer" For how long you ask? Four weeks: 3 June 1905 E.R. Rhinelander, Gunners Mate 2nd class restored to duty.

Note: George Washington's half-brother, Lawrence Washington, had served on Vernon's flagship as a Captain of the Marines in 1741 and named his estate Mount Vernon in honour of his impressive commander but, despite his heroic status, Vernon's fiery and difficult temper lead to fractious relationships with various governors of Jamaica, and with his navy superiors, and he was ultimately dismissed from the Royal Navy in 1746.


Monday, May 08, 2006

UFO Thought Experiment: Give Moulton Howe Another Day?

After reading a BBC News story by Mark Simpson dated Sunday, 7 May 2006, UFO study finds no sign of aliens, I wondered how Linda Moulton Howe would report this adverse news in her EARTHFILES. THE ANSWER: As of this writing on May 8th, Ms. Howe has not even mentioned the four-year study - entitled Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK made public by the British Freedom of Information Act, on the request of university academic Dr. David Clarke. Excerpts follow:

A confidential Ministry of Defence report on Unidentified Flying Objects has concluded that there is no proof of alien life forms.

The report, which was completed in 2000 and stamped "Secret: UK Eyes Only", has been made public for the first time. ...the identity of the man who wrote it has been protected.

The four-year study - entitled Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK - tackles the long-running question by UFO-spotters: "Is anyone out there?"

The 400-page report puts it like this: "No evidence exists to suggest that the phenomena seen are hostile or under any type of control, other than that of natural physical forces."
It adds: "There is no evidence that 'solid' objects exist which could cause a collision hazard."

What about those so-called close encounters? Well, "The close proximity of plasma related fields can adversely affect a vehicle or person," states the report.

Moulton Howe is an American investigative-journalist who reports on UFOs, alien abductions, cattle mutilations and similar anomalous phenomena. She is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is best known for her Emmy Award-winning documentary A Strange Harvest, (about cattle mutilations).

Molten Eagle has his own opinions of the strange phenomena of the type Moulton Howe often reports. Rationales for logical disbelief may be found here (crop circles) and here (the company you keep).


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Submarine Relativity Facts - Did You Realize?

Submarines offer only about one-third the living space per person of a destroyer with similar tonnage per the Smithsonian Institution.

From Submarine FAQ:
Where do Submariners sleep? On U.S. Navy submarines, living quarters are called "berthing areas" that provide no more than 15 square feet of space per man for sleep and personal belongings. On most submarines, each crewman's bed (called a bunk, berth or rack) has a reading light, a ventilation duct, an earphone jack for the ship's audio entertainment system, and a curtain to provide a small (but welcome) measure of privacy. Only the captain and executive officer of the submarine have private rooms, called staterooms.

When engaged in light work in a submarine, adults give off an average of about 500 BTUs per hour (20% more than two, 60-watt light bulbs at 205 BTUs each). A person takes in somewhat more than 3 pounds of water per day, in beverages and food. (Source: Submarine Online Refrigeration)

Living conditions on board a submarine are extreme. For example: 110 men must share two showers, four toilets, one urinal. Sometimes they must also share bunks. The main course in every meal usually has 25 fat grams. (source: Living Conditions)

Absence of sunlight: The importance of solar-produced vitamin D was underscored in a study that evaluated vitamin-D status in a submarine crew after two months of acute sun deprivation. Although the crew consumed a vitamin-D fortified diet, their levels of this nutrient plummeted.

Why address facts of little concern to submariners? Everything is relative. You be the judge:

Colorado's ADX Supermax Prison THE LAST WORST PLACE :
The isolation at Colorado's ADX prison is brutal beyond compare. ...Among its current 400 residents, the ADX also houses a handful of high-profile prisoners, among them Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski, serving four life sentences plus 30 years. is the only prison specifically designed to keep every occupant in near-total solitary confinement, rarely allowing inmates to see other prisoners. ...

Florence is the leader in a nationwide trend toward supermax prisons: in the past few years, 36 states have built strongbox facilities to house their most dangerous inmates. In California, the most notorious are the Security Housing Units at Pelican Bay and Corcoran, already the subjects of numerous lawsuits and investigations into alleged cruel and unusual punishment...

Prisoners get a 12-by-7- foot cell (84 square feet), individual beds, desks, stools, toilets, sinks and a 42-inch window, 4 inches wide looking on their exercise areas. Like submariners prisoners get books and food. A 12- inch black-and-white TV in each cell shows closed-circuit classes in psychology, education, anger management, parenting, literacy, and religious services for various faiths.

Supermax is the name used to describe "control-unit" prisons or units within prisons, representing the most secure and austere levels of custody in the prison systems of the United States and other countries. 1996, a United Nations team assigned to investigate torture described SHU conditions as “inhuman and degrading.” ...the Federal ADMAX, or administrative maximum security, prison in Florence, Colorado, west of Pueblo. is made almost entirely out of poured concrete, including a desk, stool, and bed covered by a thin mattress.

Now, convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui will inhabit ADMAX for life. Like submariners, he volunteered for what he did, and he will have little chance of escape from his confined space. At least Moussaoui will see the sun when it shines every day in the fresh air, not have to imagine it from under tons of seawater.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Submarine Security Clearances: Were You Insulted by Non-Disclosure Agreements?

MIAMI (AP) - Attorneys for Jose Padilla, the U.S. citizen accused of being part of a North American terror support cell, had agreed to abide by a court order that sharply restricts the use and dissemination of classified evidence, which can be a crime under the federal Classified Information Procedures Act. Defense lawyers must also undergo background checks for security clearances and view the material (outlined below) in a secure room at the Miami federal courthouse.

The Justice Department had wanted the lawyers to sign a "memorandum of understanding" spelling out in detail what they can and cannot do with the secret evidence: never reveal anything classified and to shred copies of classified evidence, among other restrictions.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke rejected requiring lawyers to sign special security documents regarding handling of secret evidence, because she considers the proposed agreement heavy-handed and unnecessary.

"There is no legal basis for it," said Anthony Natale, "We view it as an insult to us and an insult to our integrity." Natale, a public defender, is part of Padilla's defense team.

Well, Mr. Natale, your integrity and insult can be no greater than members of the silent service, for example, who have never considered individual accountability for classified information as personally insulting.


Classified material expected to come up in Padilla's trial (partial):

+ Results of surveillance conducted by the FBI in a separate investigation authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees eavesdropping and other monitoring of suspected foreign agents in the United States.

+ A request to limit questions by defense attorneys of a witness about the "chain of custody" of a specific piece of evidence. No other details were given, but questions have been raised by defense lawyers about a "mujahideen data form" Padilla allegedly filled out to attend an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan.

+ Information provided to the U.S. by an unspecified foreign government. The material may eventually be declassified, prosecutors said.

+ Written and recorded statements Padilla made while in military custody in Charleston, S.C. Some information about Padilla's interrogations has already been made public and the Justice Department is seeking declassification of most of the remaining evidence.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Model Regime for Certain American Protestors?

Critics are abided in the U.S. like nowhere else. We have our constitution, civil laws and military to thank for our tremendous freedoms. Many of us are more than a little embarrassed for those who embarrass themselves in not realizing what the balance of the non-European world is like in comparison. Not only can these folk wonder about American geography, they have very little comprehension of dangers beyond our borders and the evil capacity of those who envy our way of life so much that they would not hesitate to eat our lunch in a very permanent sense.

Try Venezuela, for instance. Aruba (north of Venezuela) like Disney World was nice, but Aruba is not part of Venezuela, it is an autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (European).

Are you with me so far, complainers? Could you have criticized Hugo Chavez the way you have your president? Could Venezuela's press have criticized Chavez as our press has battered Bush daily from the day he took office? The answer is emphatically no.

Here are many pictures (warning: graphic and too visceral for this blog) to prove it. The protestors are / were sort of American complainers' counterparts. Somehow, I believe they have much more to complain about than Americans, however. Since we have not heard much about El Presidente's repressive tactics and human rights violations from our biased media, I did some checking. Perhaps someone in Venezuela will vouch for or refute what these sources have said:

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 2005 Report (January - December 2004)

Human Rights Watch Venezuela: Curbs on Free Expression Tightened, Santiago, March 24, 2005 - Amendments to Venezuela’s Criminal Code that entered into force last week may stifle press criticism of government authorities and restrict the public’s ability to monitor government actions, Human Rights Watch said today.

The Washington Post Company Chavez's Censorship By Jackson Diehl, Monday, March 28, 2005; Page A17

Just a thought.


By The Friends He Keeps

Hat Tip Gardjola: Attending the unveiling of Venezuelan hero Simon Bolivar's statue in Tehran were Hugo Chavez and the then mayor of Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Photo of statue here.

Is further comment needed, or is the photo worth more than a wordy description?

While you are thinking about that, you may be interested in happenings of today from my favorite writer at an international news agency based in Washington, DC., Lone Ranger, in his What's the Religion of Peace Up To Today? From Afghanistan to QUETTA. This one particularly caught my eye:

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq, May 1, 2006 (AFP) - Iranian forces shelled Kurdish rebel positions in Iraq for the second day on Monday, forcing dozens of Kurdish families to flee, a rebel leader said.

Read the others, here. Lone Ranger says, "In fact, a lot of Muslim violence is so commonplace that it's rarely reported anymore."

Molten Eagle's open question (since February 17, 2006) to the spokeperson for CAIR, Ibrahim Hooper, is:

Who is the leading Islamic Cleric in the United States and what is his position on violence and rioting? I still have not learned answers to those basic questions. I believe any other American religion would have made this clear by now. Ibrahim Hooper, of course, is no cleric and therefore speaks only for the financiers of the CAIR lobby.

Does anyone know the leading Islamic Cleric and what he has told his followers (besides the FBI, that is)?