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Best of the Web: STOP SOPA: Piracy distributors are SOPA Promoters

More information Michael Mozart has collected can be found on his website here.


Police Want 'Drive-By' Friskings

Scan Technology
© New York Police DepartmentGun-scan technology will use infrared mapping to identify hidden firearms.
If you think your privacy feels violated by TSA agents whenever you get randomly selected for a pat down or body scan, well, get ready for this: drive-by friskings by the New York Police Department.

NYPD announced this week that they are developing a new portable device to detect concealed weapons or explosives on possible perpetrators. The device uses infrared rays to scan a person's body and provide officers with a digital outline of any concealed weapons.

"If something is obstructing the flow of that radiation -- for example, a weapon -- the device will highlight that object," NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said at the Police Foundation's State of the NYPD breakfast, according to the New York Times. "This technology has shown a great deal of promise as a way of detecting weapons without a physical search."


Internet Blackout Highlights Failure of American Politics

© Top News Net, New Zealand

Our whole lives we have been told that we have "freedom", that we live in a "democracy", that "we the people" have the ability to choose the kind of society in which we want to live.

However, if you ask most Americans what kind of place they want, I guarantee you that a vast majority would disagree with almost every government action that has been put forward in their lifetime.

If we truly lived in a free society, we would not be in a half-dozen wars across the planet; we would not be subject to authoritarian policies such as the PATRIOT act and the NDAA; and the government would not have grown to become the biggest and most menacing dictatorship in the history of the world. It seems that in the past year these major events have really resonated with a great number of people, not just in this country, but throughout the world.

In the past, the oppressed would beg and plead with the very people who were responsible for their condition because they knew no other way of affecting change in society. People would ask the government to change their ways because they were under the impression that those in authority actually cared about them. After generations of failing to create change through politics, people are now shifting the direction of their message towards one another, instead of pleading with politicians and organizations that don't care about anyone but themselves.


Iran lawmaker: Obama sent secret letter to Ayatollah

© Unknown
An Iranian lawmaker claimed Wednesday that President Barack Obama called for direct talks with Iran in a secret letter to the Islamic Republic's supreme leader that also warned Tehran against closing the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Obama administration officials denied to The Associated Press there was such a letter.

Iran has threatened to close the waterway, the route for about one-sixth of the global oil flow, because of new U.S. sanctions over its nuclear program.

Conservative lawmaker Ali Motahari revealed the content of the purported letter days after the Obama administration said it was warning Iran through public and private channels against any action that threatens the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf.

"In the letter, Obama called for direct talks with Iran," the semiofficial Fars news agency quoted Motahari as saying Wednesday. "The letter also said that closing the Strait of Hormuz is (Washington's) red line."


Google, Others Join SOPA Strike, House to Resume Consideration in February

Google stop SOPA graphic
© n/a
Search engine giant Google announced plans to throw its hat into the January 18 SOPA strike ring by placing a protest link on its home page.

According to Bloomberg, Google spokeswoman Samantha Smith said, "We oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet."

Online news magazine The Raw Story also announced today that it will blackout its website from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST in support of the SOPA protest.
"Going dark is a radical step for an online-only news organization, and it is one that Raw Story's management doesn't take lightly. It wasn't easy to tell our reporters and editors to take time off tomorrow and pretend that the news isn't happening. But we'd rather tell them to take tomorrow easy and come back twice as strong on Thursday than have to tell them later that the government pulled the plug on our whole organization because of SOPA/PIPA..." - Roxanne Cooper, Raw Story publisher

Star of David

When Is a Terrorist Not a Terrorist? & War With Iran or Not?

The longer and complete form of the first question in the headline is - When is a terrorist not a terrorist in the eyes of the Obama administration (not to mention all of its predecessors) and the governments of the Western world?

Answer: When he or she is an Israeli Mossad agent or asset.

In the case of the assassination of Iranian scientists, the Mossad's assets are almost certainly members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) also known as The Peoples' Mujahedin of Iran, which is committed to overthrowing the regime of the ruling mullahs. Many of its activists are based in Iraqi Kurdistan where Mossad has a substantial presence. It does the training there, selects the targets in Iran and provides the bombs and other weapons, and MKO members do the actual killing.


Strait of Hormuz Closure Biggest Problem for UK'

The Strait of Hormuz is vital to global trade.
The closure of the strategic and vital shipping route Strait of Hormuz will cause Britain to lose up to a half of its gas imports, a report says.

The Daily Mail revealed on Monday that closing the Strait would block a trade route through which 46 percent of Britain's gas imports pass en route from Qatar, while 84 percent of the UK's Liquefied Natural Gas imports use the same route.

Tehran has said that it will react to Western oil sanctions against the country by choking oil flow through the Strait of Hormuz.


Washington Moves The World Closer To War

Nuclear War
© Veterans Today

Since my January 11 column and the news alert posted on January 14, more confirmation that Washington is moving the world toward a dangerous war has appeared. The Obama regime is using its Ministry of Propaganda, a.k.a., the American media, to spread the story that President Obama, Pentagon chief Panetta, and other high US officials are delivering strong warnings to Israel not to attack Iran.

For someone as familiar with Washington as I am, I recognize these reports for what they are. They are Br'er Rabbit telling Br'er Fox "please don't throw me in the briar patch."

If you don't know the Uncle Remus stories, you have missed a lot. Br'er Rabbit was born and raised in the briar patch.

What these "leaked" stories of Washington's warnings and protests to Israel are all about is to avoid Washington's responsibility for the war Washington has prepared. If the war gets out of hand, and if Russia and China intervene or nukes start flying, Washington wants the blame to rest on Israel, and Israel seems willing to accept the blame. Nikolai Patrushev, who heads Russia's Security Council, has apparently been deceived by Washington's manipulation of the media. According to the Interfax news agency, Patrushev condemned Israel for pushing the US towards war with Iran.

You get the picture. The helpless Americans. They are being bullied by Israel into acquiescing to a dangerous war. Otherwise, no more campaign contributions.

Arrow Up

Chris Hedges: Why I'm Suing Barack Obama Over the NDAA

© AP / Dusan VranicDetainees pray at the U.S. military detention facility known as Camp Bucca in Iraq in this 2009 photo.
Attorneys Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran filed a complaint Friday in the Southern U.S. District Court in New York City on my behalf as a plaintiff against Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force as embedded in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed by the president Dec. 31.

The act authorizes the military in Title X, Subtitle D, entitled "Counter-Terrorism," for the first time in more than 200 years, to carry out domestic policing. With this bill, which will take effect March 3, the military can indefinitely detain without trial any U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist or an accessory to terrorism. And suspects can be shipped by the military to our offshore penal colony in Guantanamo Bay and kept there until "the end of hostilities." It is a catastrophic blow to civil liberties.

I spent many years in countries where the military had the power to arrest and detain citizens without charge. I have been in some of these jails. I have friends and colleagues who have "disappeared" into military gulags. I know the consequences of granting sweeping and unrestricted policing power to the armed forces of any nation. And while my battle may be quixotic, it is one that has to be fought if we are to have any hope of pulling this country back from corporate fascism.


SOPA's Creator Aims To Resuscitate Bill After Protest Blackout

anti-Smith poster created by SOPA opponents
© n/aAn anti-Smith poster created by SOPA opponents.
Representative Lamar Smith has spent the last three months going to war with the entire Internet. And a few of the web's biggest sites going on strike isn't about to stop him now.

With a vote on SOPA indefinitely delayed, several of the most controversial portions of the bill excised and the White House committed to opposing the bill in its current form, the tech industry's least favorite piece of legislation seems close to dead. A day of protest against SOPA and its Senate cousin the Protect IP Act, in which sites like Reddit, Wikipedia, Boing Boing, Major League Gaming, The Cheezburger Network, Tor and others plan to go offline for twelve hours Wednesday, may have seemed like overkill.

But right on cue, Texas representative Lamar Smith has vowed to pick up what's left of the tattered bill he introduced last October and push forward a markup hearing on the legislation in February. "To enact legislation that protects consumers, businesses and jobs from foreign thieves who steal America's intellectual property, we will continue to bring together industry representatives and Members to find ways to combat online piracy," he wrote in a statement to reporters. "I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to send a bipartisan bill to the White House that saves American jobs and protects intellectual property."