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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
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Members of French far-right party spike vice-president's drink with laxative

Members of French far-right party spike vice-president's drink with laxative
Two members of Front National party expelled for prank which involved Marine Le Pen’s boyfriend Louis Aliot

Two young members of France’s far right National Front have been expelled from the party for spiking the drink of its second-in-command with a laxative.

The incident took place while FN vice-president Louis Aliot, who is also the boyfriend of party leader Marine Le Pen, was visiting the party’s Bordeaux offices several months ago.

Confirming a report in Sud-Ouest daily FN deputy secretary general Nicolas Bay told AFP that three party members sought to disrupt the meeting by slipping a laxative into Aliot’s wine glass.

According to Sud-Ouest they also unscrewed the light bulbs in a room where Aliot planned to hold a press conference.


The only reason for its existence is to serve as a money pit.

F-35 stealth jet 'will not be able to fire its guns until 2019'
Reported software glitch is the latest problem to dog state of the art fighter which is costing American taxpayers nearly $400 billion (£257 billion)

Amercia's much-vaunted new F-35 stealth jet has reportedly suffered the latest in a series of problems with the discovery of a software glitch which prevents the use of its on-board cannon.

The jump jets – 14 of which have been ordered by Britain – are costing US taxpayers nearly $400 billion (£257 billion) and are due to enter service next year.

But the Pentagon has been forced to deny reports in America that it will take a further four years before they will be able to shoot their guns.


Billed as the world’s most advanced — and expensive — fighter jet, the cost per plane has doubled to $161.1 million and it will be six years late in entering full production.


2014 exposed the US myth of equality under the law

2014 exposed the US myth of equality under the law
This year Americans confronted the racial, ethnic and religious biases of the US justice system
December 31, 2014 2:00AM ET
by Christian Christensen

The description of the United States as the world’s policeman has always been laced with a heavy dose of irony and sarcasm. In democratic societies, the police are meant to uphold the law, but the U.S. has shown time and again that international legal conventions are not things to which the U.S. considers itself bound. From rejecting membership in the International Criminal Court to the invasion and occupation of Iraq to drone assassinations, the U.S. treats international legal frameworks like so many flies to be swatted away. This glaring double standard underlies much of the global animosity toward the U.S. in the post-9/11 era; while U.S. citizens accused of or subjected to criminal activity at home are entitled to their day in court, the rest of the world’s citizens are subject to U.S. power with little to no recourse to justice. In other words, the U.S. is a nation that respects the rule of law — but only within its own borders.

But 2014 has been a year in which the mythology of domestic U.S. legal egalitarianism — reinforced by the mantra of blind justice and a near religious reverence of the U.S. Constitution — was exposed as a pretense. As abroad, so at home: Some people are more equal than others.


One thread ties together all these cases: The willingness of the U.S. to bend the law and condone the barbaric treatment of human beings is grounded in differences of race, ethnicity or religion. Police violence, the death penalty and torture are predominantly applied to nonwhites or non-Christians. How supportive would white Americans and lawmakers be of procedures such as “rectal rehydration” — a gruesome procedure that, according to the torture report, was applied to hunger-striking inmates — if they were performed on white Christians? How long would they would be to willing to tolerate routine police killings of unarmed white citizens?

2014 will be remembered for how the differences between international and domestic victims of U.S. power and between U.S. injustice abroad and at home became blurred. The U.S. has made much over the years of its “moral authority” on the international stage, but this year highlighted that, even at home, this authority is built on quicksand.

Christian Christensen is a professor of journalism at Stockholm University in Sweden.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera America's editorial policy.

the rest:

I Love Science! Scientist Accepts Nobel Prize Wearing Dress Depicting Her Discovery

Scientist Accepts Nobel Prize Wearing Dress Depicting Her Discovery


When May-Britt Moser accepted the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on December 10, she did so wearing a custom-designed gown that depicted grid cells: brain cells that she had discovered. Moser, who works at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, was being honored for the discovery alongside her husband, Edvard Moser, and their colleague, John O'Keefe. Grid cells were discovered by the trio in 2005. The grid cells are neurons which are responsible for helping humans to understand their physical space in the organism's environment.

Moser's gown for the award ceremony was designed by British designer Matthew Hubble, who is a self-admitted science enthusiast. The blue gown featured silver sequins and beads, arranged just like the grid cells.




Matt Taibbi: The NYPD's 'Work Stoppage' Is Surreal

The NYPD's 'Work Stoppage' Is Surreal

In an alternate universe, the New York Police might have just solved the national community-policing controversy.


The thing is, there are really two things going on here. One is an ongoing bitter argument about race and blame that won't be resolved in this country anytime soon, if ever. Dig a millimeter under the surface of the Garner case, Ferguson, the Liu-Ramos murders, and you'll find vicious race-soaked debates about who's to blame for urban poverty, black crime, police violence, immigration, overloaded prisons and a dozen other nightmare issues.

But the other thing is a highly specific debate over a very resolvable controversy not about police as people, but about how police are deployed. Most people, and police most of all, agree that the best use of police officers is police work. They shouldn't be collecting backdoor taxes because politicians are too cowardly to raise them, and they shouldn't be pre-emptively busting people in poor neighborhoods because voters don't have the patience to figure out some other way to deal with our dying cities.

This police protest, ironically, could have shined a light on all of that. Instead, it's just more fodder for our ongoing hate-a-thon. Happy New Year, America.


Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-nypds-work-stoppage-is-surreal-20141231#ixzz3NWPwEeiH
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

Kenny Knight, longtime adviser to KKK Leader David Duke gave $1,000 to Republican Steve Scalise

White Hate Leader Donated to Scalise

Kenny Knight, the longtime adviser to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, gave $1,000 to Republican Steve Scalise in 2008. That was six years after Scalise gave a speech at a white nationalist conference associated with neo-Nazis. Scalise, the incoming House majority whip, has since said in a statement: “One of the many groups that I spoke to regarding this critical legislation was a group whose views I wholeheartedly condemn. It was a mistake I regret.” On Tuesday, Speaker John Boehner declared that he has “full confidence” in Scalise. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Knight said, “Poor Steve Scalise is getting a bad rap. I don’t think Steve Scalise would come anywhere near a white hate group.”


FBI Has Neat Way To Get Around FISA Court Rejection: Just Issue Nat'l Security Letter INSTEAD

When The FISA Court Rejects A Surveillance Request, The FBI Just Issues A National Security Letter Instead
from the oversight! dept

We've talked quite a bit about National Security Letters (NSLs) and how the FBI/DOJ regularly abused them to get just about any information the government wanted with no oversight. As a form of an administrative subpoena -- with a built in gag-order -- NSLs are a great tool for the government to abuse the 4th Amendment. Recipients can't talk about them, and no court has to review/approve them. Yet they certainly look scary to most recipients who don't dare fight an NSL. That's part of the reason why at least one court found them unconstitutional.

At the same time, we've also been talking plenty about Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, which allows the DOJ/FBI (often working for the NSA) to go to the FISA Court and get rubberstamped court orders demanding certain "business records." As Ed Snowden revealed, these records requests can be as broad as basically "all details on all calls." But, since the FISA Court reviewed it, people insist it's legal. And, of course, the FISA Court has the reputation as a rubberstamp for a reason -- it almost never turns down a request.

However, in the rare instances where it does, apparently, the DOJ doesn't really care, knowing that it can just issue an NSL instead and get the same information. At least that appears to be what the DOJ quietly admitted to doing in a now declassified Inspector General's report from 2008. EFF lawyer Nate Cardozo was going through and spotted this troubling bit:

If you can't read it, it says:

We considered the Section 215 request for discussed earlier in this report at pages 33 to 34 to be a noteworthy item. In this case, the FISA Court had twice declined to approve a Section 215 application based on First Amendment Concerns. However, the FBI subsequently issued NSLs for information even though the statute authorizing the NSLs contained the same First Amendment restriction as Section 215 and the ECs authorizing the NSLs relied on the same facts contained in the Section 215 applicants...

In other words, the FBI had a neat way to get around a rare FISA Court rejection: just issue an NSL and ignore the First Amendment concerns.


"Hands up, don't drone!"


"You don’t go to a James Brown concert and not know it’s James Brown.”

* AND THE QUOTE OF THE DAY, SCALISE-DIDN’T-KNOW-NOTHING EDITION: It comes courtesy of Corey Otis, a member of the white supremacist European-American Unity and Rights Organization, which Rep. Scalise spoke to while unaware (he claims) of what it stood for:

“Everybody there knew EURO was putting it on, and David Duke was the national president of EURO. You don’t go to a James Brown concert and not know it’s James Brown.”


There but for fortune, go you or I.....


Show me a prison, show me a jail
Show me a prisoner whose face has grown pale
And I'll show you a young man
With so many reasons why
There but for fortune, go you or I

Show me an alley, show me a train
Show me the hobo who sleeps out in the rain

And I'll show you a young man
With so many reasons why
There but for fortune, go you or I

Show me the whiskey stains on the floor
Show me a drunkard as he stumbles out the door

And I'll show you a young man
With so many reasons why
There but for fortune, go you or I

Show me a country where the bombs had to fall
Show me the ruins of buildings so tall

And I'll show you a young man
With so many reasons why
There but for fortune, go you or I
You or I

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