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Sexing Up the Occupation: Israel's Image Won't Improve Without Policy Changes

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© Kurt Hoffman
Sex Sells? Israel has tried a string of flashy ad campaigns. They won’t work if consumers have a negative impression of its policies.
Sexy Photo Shoots Amount to Marketing Mission Impossible

The thousands of scantily clothed bikers, skateboarders, walkers, hawkers, gawkers and performers were simply taking advantage of another breezy, crystal clear Southern California day. They had fought their way valiantly through relentless freeway traffic to participate in the year-round weekend ritual of parading down Los Angeles' bohemian thoroughfare, the Venice Beach boardwalk.

This was not a place you would think would inspire deep thoughts about Israel's increasingly desperate efforts to brand itself - and the wastefulness of all the dollars contributed by American Jewish organizations to mount a defense in the media of the Jewish state. But that's exactly where my mind went when I came upon a food truck dispensing thousands of little containers of hummus.

Along a stretch of Venice Beach, tables were set up, covered with colorful tablecloths and bowls of fresh limes, lemons, red peppers and other fruits and vegetables. Hundreds of young people were seated, giggling and diving into their free samples.

Signs were posted that this event was sponsored by Sabra Foods, the makers of "Mediterranean Dips."

Bad Guys

Dick Cheney's Heart of Evil, Psychopathic Political Systems, And The Correct Uses of Social Stigma

pathocrat graphic
© Hermes Press
"Ponerology was born in the crucible of attempts to understand, scientifically, a macro-social phenomenon of what can only be called extreme and excessive evil: Fascism and Soviet Communism." - Andrew M. Lobaczewski, a Polish psychiatrist and author of the book, Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes.

Definition of Pathocracy (from the website The Pathocracy Blog):
pathocracy (n). A system of government created by a small pathological minority that takes control over a society of normal people (from Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes, by Andrew Lobaczewski).

From Greek pathos, "feeling, pain, suffering"; and kratos, "rule".

A totalitarian form of government in which absolute political power is held by a psychopathic elite, and their effect on the people is such that the entire society is ruled and motivated by purely pathological values.

A pathocracy can take many forms and can insinuate itself covertly into any seemingly just system or ideology. As such it can masquerade under the guise of a democracy or theocracy as well as more openly oppressive regimes.

"That is the nature of professional politics. Many are called, but few survive the nut-cutting hour--which appears to be coming down on our goofy Child President these days. . . . Ah, but it was ever thus, eh? Vicious thieves have always ruled the world. It is our wa. We are like pigs in the wilderness." - Hunter S. Thompson, from Kingdom of Fear.

Evil Rays

Insulin pump maker ignores diabetic's hack warnings

Medtronic device susceptible to wireless tampering

The maker of an insulin pump that's susceptible to wireless hacking was identified for the first time on Thursday by a diabetic researcher who said the company repeatedly ignored his warnings.

A commercially available pump made by Medtronic, the world's biggest medical device manufacturer, is vulnerable to attacks that allow strangers to increase, decrease, or stop the flow of insulin being administered, the Associated Press reported. The article went on to say that hacker Jay Radcliffe outted the Minneapolis-based company after "he was ignored in repeated attempts to alert the company to the defects."

He has recently started relying on a new pump model made by Johnson & Johnson to treat his diabetic condition, according to The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Bad Guys

Firm at heart of biggest oil spill spews toxic web attack

Transocean's deepwater.com hosts malware exploits

Transocean, the offshore drilling contractor at the center of the world's biggest marine oil spill in the history of petroleum production, has been caught spewing a virtual sort of toxic sludge, according to a report released Thursday.

Researchers at web security firm Websense said deepwater.com, Transocean's official website, has been hosting malicious exploit code that attempts to install malware on the machines of people who visit the site. The researchers counted at least two separate attacks included in several deepwater.com pages that exploit known vulnerabilities in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser and Adobe's Flash media player.

Only 16 percent of the top 44 antivirus programs detected the latter exploit, the Websense report said, citing this analysis from Virustotal. The exploit code is stashed in invisible iframe tags planted on Transocean's site, the report said.

Magnify

US judge: Warrant required to access mobile location data

'We're getting too close to Orwell's 1984 Oceania'

The US government should have to obtain a warrant before mobile phone providers have to hand over multiple geolocation data records about customers, a US judge has said.

In Europe, privacy watchdogs have called on geolocation data to be classed as personal data, information that can be used to identify someone. EU data protection laws set out special rules on how personal data can be used by organisations that hold it.

Mr Justice Garaufis said that an exception to privacy rights set out in the United States' Fourth Amendment should not apply to the collection of multiple records of mobile users' geolocation data.

The Fourth Amendment guarantees that "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Stop

Manipulation Alert! Israel: Eight wounded, one seriously, in Tel Aviv terror attack

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© Moti Kimchi
Stolen taxi used in attack
A Palestinian attacker wounded eight Israelis near a Tel Aviv nightclub early Monday, slamming into a police checkpoint with a stolen taxi and then stabbing others, police said.

The attacker was a Palestinian in his twenties from the city of Nablus, according to police spokeswoman Luba Samri.

Just before 2 a.m., the attacker stole a taxi in south Tel Aviv and then drove into a police checkpoint securing the street near a popular nightclub, she said.

He then got out of the car and stabbed passers-by, she said, while shouting "Allahu akbar" - Arabic for "God is great," a phrase often used as a battle-cry by Islamic terrorists.

Image
© Moti Kimchi
Police lift the terrorist to the ambulance
The wounded included four policemen and three civilians, Samri said.

One of the eight people hurt was listed in a serious condition in hospital and the others suffered light to moderate injuries, Samri said.

Comment: If you think it has nothing to do with the upcoming Palestinian Unilateral Declaration of Independence in September, then think again. Israelis will use every tactic, every dirty trick up their sleeve to stop the process and discredit Palestinians in order for the psychopathic state to continue with its murderous deeds.


Light Saber

US: Colin Powell accuses former Vice-President Dick Cheney of taking 'cheap shots' in new book

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© The Associated Press/Threshold Editions
This book cover image released by Threshold Editions shows In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir, by Dick Cheney with Liz Cheney. The book is scheduled for release on Aug. 30, 2011.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is accusing former Vice-President Dick Cheney of taking "cheap shots" at him and others in a new book.

Powell was America's top diplomat during the first four years of President George W. Bush's administration. Cheney's book, In My Time, is set for release Tuesday.

Cheney writes that he thinks Powell tried to undermine Bush by criticizing administration policy to people outside the government.

Powell tells CBS' Face the Nation that he routinely gave his opinion and his best advice on issues to the president.

While Cheney writes that Powell's resignation was "for the best," Powell says he had always planned to leave the administration after the 2004 election.

Powell says Cheney is almost condescending in his remarks about Powell's successor, Condoleezza Rice.

Cow

WikiLeaks: US Embassy in Sofia Backed Pro-GMO Lobby

GMO sign
© EPA/BGNES
A child holds a sign during a demonstration against genetically modified organisms (GMO) in Sofia, Bulgaria, in February 2010.
Bulgaria's legislation on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) has been carefully followed by the US Embassy in Sofia.

The information comes from several US diplomatic cables, (one by current US Ambassador in Sofia, James Warlick), which were released by WikiLeaks and their Bulgarian partner, the site for investigative journalism Bivol.bg.

According to the cables, GMO supporters in Bulgaria are actively backed and financed by the American Embassy, as Bivol writes.

In a cable, sent in 2006, Charge d'Affaires, Alex Karagiannis, informs the US Department of State that the main obstacle for the passing of more liberal GMO legislation has been opposition coming from the President of the Bulgarian Academy of Science (BAS), Ivan Juchnovski.

Crusader

US Tiptoes Towards Theocracy

theocracy
In difficult times, nations sometimes embrace extreme solutions. In 1494 Florence became a Christian Republic and Savonarola commenced his inquisition. Now America is in turmoil and Republicans offer a radical vision -- Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. Is the US sliding towards Theocracy?

In 1494, Florence, Italy, was in economic and social turmoil. Catholic Priest Girolamo Savonarola declared Florence a Christian Republic and formed a Theocracy. Claiming to receive direction from God, Savonarola preached about the Last Days, and sparked a moral "purification" campaign. Homosexuals and liberal thinkers were killed, thousands of books were burned, and gangs ravaged Florence looking for indications of moral laxity, resulting in the notorious Bonfire of the Vanities.

In 2011, America is in economic and social turmoil and Republicans offer the solution of Theocracy. It's been tried here before. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was a Puritan Theocracy -- in 1660 Quaker Mary Dyer was hanged on Boston Common for advocating her religion. Until the nineteenth century, several states had official Christian churches. Nonetheless, the separation of church and state seems a solid legal principle -- "free exercise" of religion is in the First Amendment of the US Constitution (the notion of "separation" came from an 1802 Thomas Jefferson letter).

Question

Middle East: How Long Before the Dominoes Fall?

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The West is offering lessons in democracy to New Libya; how to avoid the chaos we ourselves inflicted on the Iraqis

The remaining Arab potentates and tyrants have spent a second sleepless night. How soon will the liberators of Tripoli metamorphose into the liberators of Damascus and Aleppo and Homs? Or of Amman? Or Jerusalem? Or of Bahrain or Riyadh? It's not the same, of course.

The Arab Spring-Summer-Autumn has proved not just that the old colonial frontiers remain inviolate - an awful tribute to imperialism, I suppose - but that every revolution has its own characteristics. If all Arab uprisings have their clutch of martyrs, some rebellions are more violent than others. As Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said at the start of his own eventual downfall, "Libya is not Tunisia, it's not Egypt...It will become civil war. There will be bloodshed on the streets." And there was.