Fox News caught falsifying footage

Over at the great Huffington Post is an article about how Jon Stewart explains in his traditional humorous fashion how Fox News falsified footage (unbelievable of course ;) ), to give people the impression that a GOP rally was far bigger than it actually was.

Love the ending with Comedy Central’s own version also using unrelated footage! :)

Obama, Content Management and Enterprise 2.0

A very interesting video presentation from AIIM that discusses various interesting topics including that of how Content Management and Enterprise 2.0 helped Obama win the presidency:

This is the explanation provided on the blip tv site (weird player I must say but hey it does the job):

Re-recording of John Mancini’s keynote presentation at the Info360 show. The focus was on applying lessons in the use of E20 technologies in the campaign as reported by Garrett Graff in Infonomics magazine (http://www.infonomicsmag.com) and by SocialMedia8 on Slideshare to any E20 or social networking implementation.

Visas in the US are still scarce

The washingtonpost describes the current despair that can be felt in the US from many technology companies and research institutions who really need to hire skilled workers and were hoping that this year would see new legislation pass through Congress to allow US companies to employ talented people from aboard.
Some feel that the bill that has been put forward, tried to change too much :

“It is incredibly difficult to pass major legislative reforms in any areas, and they tried to bite off a lot,” said Jenifer Verdery, a policy director for Intel Corp., which has lobbied for more skilled foreign workers. “We’ve made a strong case, and we’re hoping to take that to the finish line . . . if there is any policymaking left to do after the election.”

But the current situation is getting unbearable for many specialised companies in the US :

Jai Pathak cited the Hungarian roots of Intel Corp. co-founder Andrew S. Grove, whose work helped create the modern computer industry that employs millions of Americans.
“What would have happened if the United States had decided to close the doors on him?” Pathak said

The war in Irak is fueling terrorism

The Far East was already fragile prior to the US invading Iraq on false pretences. A classified report from US intelligence agencies called “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States” concludes that terrorism is now being fuelled by the war on Iraq.

Agencies “found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.”
New York Times

The discussion about the real motivating factors that led to the war in Iraq, the control of petrol by the US/UK rather than Russia/France that were successfully courting Saddam Hussein, has faded to a whisper. The cost in human lives alone to control the petrol in Iraq is enormous, but this report indicates that secondary effects may be more devastating.

A 30-page National Intelligence Estimate completed in April cites the “centrality” of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the insurgency that has followed, as the leading inspiration for new Islamic extremist networks and cells that are united by little more than an anti-Western agenda.
Washington Post

Although this does sound pretty logical, a previous NIE report had concluded Iraq was continuing to make weapons of mass destruction which became part of the pretext for the war on Iraq. The same report only described Bin Laden as a ‘terrorist financier’, with no mention of Al-Qaeda !
The Bush government explains it is fighting a war on terrorism. The report’s findings contest the effectiveness of how Bush has engaged the war on terror; top US intelligence agencies conclude the war on Iraq is directly helping terrorists to recruit. Are these findings the prelude to a succession of grounds to leave Iraq ? Even if such a move is likely to prompt civil war ?

L’Est Républicain reveals report of Ben Laden’s death

The French Newspaper L’Est Republicain describes a confidential report from the French secret service that in turn refers to the Saudi secret service who are convinced that Osama Ben Laden died from a severe case of typhoid. He is reported to have been in a remote area along the Pakistanian border that would have meant treatment was near impossible.
The article from L’Est Républicain is referred to in the Washington Post.

The UK Government’s Wiki melt-down

Yes pun intended, the minister from the UK government that decided to create an open environmental Wiki that ‘all’ could edit must have been reading all the web 2.0 hype about getting people involved without any authentication required. Well the result is pretty impressive in that the site was defaced and lead way to numerous jokes and sarcastic (and funny) remarks about the subject. Obviously it is highly unlikely that this was the expected outcome !

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How safer are we ?

I came across several interesting articles and comments on articles in French, US and UK newspaper sites today about the foiled terrorist plot in the UK.

In Dickey’s article called “Foiled Plot doesn’t make us safer” there are several comparisons to the period leading up to 9/11 :

Panicked CIA analysts flew to Texas to brief Bush personally in 2001, “to intrude on his vacation with face-to-face alerts.” Bush sized them up, as is his wont, looking to judge the content of what they told him by the confidence with which the message was delivered. Bush wasn’t convinced. “All right,” said the president, “You’ve covered your ass now.”

and further down :

Presidents cover their backsides, too. If this attack had succeeded, or another one still does, the people to blame wouldn’t be Bush or his advisors, the culprits would be those who limit his “tools.” Massive wiretaps? Secret prisons? The list is long.

Dickey is often insightful in his articles and this article really covers and discusses some of the key issues that are leading to all these attacks, the fact that many a Muslim most probably feels ‘under attack’ with constant images of blood and carnage in the news concerning the Muslim world.

An article on the Guardian points out that :

Downing Street admitted Tony Blair would not have left the country on Monday for his Caribbean holiday if he had known the police would need to swoop so quickly to disrupt a terrorist plot.

Further down in the article, we find out that Blair and Bush had a “conversation on a secure line” about this. Well it’s good to know that they have changed their habits.

It seems from an article on the WashingtonPost that the whole counter terrorist operation began after July 7 attacks in London, following a tip. Although all arrested are British citizens who are nearly all tied in some way to Pakistan.

These problems are being used however to silence people that don’t agree with the government or policies as an amazing article by Henry Porter illustrates. Policies that aim to stop people that encourage and participate in violence and killing is in my opinion justifiable. Policies aiming people that “have traditionally brought their grievances to those in power” and laws, in order to silence them is very “Nineteen Eighty Four” or “V for Vendetta” (for reference to a modern take on 1984). Such policies are unacceptable. It seems that like Bush in the US, Blair and his government have been busy creating policies that allow them to silence domestic grievances in the name of counter-terrorism.

Update (16 Aug): In a Guardian blog there is a rant from H. Evans about the danger of extremists as opposed to the loss of civil rights. This is following the letter from muslim leaders about UK foreign policy. There are even those who would like to believe it is a hoax.

The coyote profits are set to rise

A Newsweek article discusses the adverse effect the US move to tighten border control is having, by making smugglers richer.
There is often a hot debate about what legalising certain drugs would have, but a tighter control can sometimes make things worse for all parties except the real bad guy : in this case the coyote.
One coyote, as they call the people that help smuggle immigrants illegally across the border, called Javier is quoted in the above article. He explains he makes about $40,000 a year (at the moment) smuggling people into the US.
It will most probably get better for Javier according to :

David Kyle, an expert on migrant trafficking at the University of California, Davis. “Now it’s too dangerous for people to attempt crossing alone.”

It’s pretty easy to understand that the increase in difficulty to cross the border will increase the cost for people wanting to get across and thus the coyote gets richer…

Blair and Bush chat caught on open mic

This is really interesting to check out, some footage from CNN that catches Blair and Bush talking together about the Middle East crisis in a very candid manner. It also gives you an idea of how these guys, that have great impact on our world, talk about things !
You can watch the video itself (the link to it is in the second paragraph). It’s not mind blowing but is an interesting insight into this little world of power struggles.

This footage and the Bush comments captured are discussed at the WashingtonPost.com with an Associated Press video that covers the G8 summit as well.

But as the Newsweek article points out, the way Bush seems uninterested in the whole crisis that is brewing in the Middle East, is the most shocking, disregarding his vulgar remarks.

But what was even more jarring about the remarks Bush made to Tony Blair at the closing meal of the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg was what they revealed about his views of Mideast diplomacy. Or, more to the point, his lack of interest in personally taking part in any of it.

Update : An eye opener article at the International Herald Tribune covers some other bloopers and typically Bush style behaviour and remarks. It would be funny to see if any other country would like Bush to represent them in front of the world !