All I have as far as information on this photo is this:
Credit: This ship is approaching a severe localized storm at sea and is about to experience tumultuous conditions. http://goo.gl/iprFH
Turkey moves to ban domain names containing indecent language
From Hürriyet Daily News
Liseli ('high school student'),
In the first part of this three part series (http://goo.gl/xyVzYl) , we saw rise of Mike Connell, the tech-wizard for the GOP. Connell became an important strategist for many Republican politicians and eventually rose to prominence in the Bush-Cheney presidency. In an ongoing trial in Ohio regarding the possible rigging of the 2004 presidential election results for that state, Connell has been coaxed into giving a deposition about what actually took place.
Taking the Fall
After agreeing initially to give critical information in a vote-rigging case in Ohio, Connell, for whatever reasons, apparently had a change of heart and hesitated. Given the potential disastrous consequences of defying his former bosses, it is perhaps understandable that he should have second thoughts.
Back in Ohio courts, King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell was an ongoing case filed on August 31, 2006 and dragged on and on. The former Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell the defendant, was accused of "having conspired to deprive and continue to deprive Ohioans of their right to vote and have, in fact, deprived and continue to deprive Ohioans of their right to vote by, in a selective and discriminatory manner, unfairly allocate election resources (such as voting machines), institute a system of provisional ballots, purge voter registrations, and broke the bi-partisan chain of custody ballots."
It has since been alleged that at several points on election night, the Ohio secretary of state’s official Web site, which was responsible for reporting the results, was being hosted by a server in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Blackwell had hired a company called GDC Limited to run the IT systems, which had subcontracted the job to Michael Connell’s company, GovTech. Connell had in turn sub-contracted SMARTech, an IT firm based in Chattanooga, to act, it was claimed, as a backup server.
“By looking at the URLs on the Web site, we discovered that there were three points on election night when SMARTech’s computers took over from the secretary of state,” says Arnebeck [ the prosecuting attorney of the case]. “It is during that period that we believe votes were manipulated.”
“We decided to try to bring a racketeering claim against Rove under Ohio law,” says Cliff Arnebeck, “We detected a pattern of criminal activity, and we identified Connell as a key witness, as the implementer for Rove.”
It is worth a moment to stop and take a closer look at Clifford Arnebeck. Like Stephen Spoonamore, the IT specialist that investigated the technical aspects of the electronic vote rigging, Arnebeck was also a Republican and had, in the past, even done some volunteer work for the Republican Party. The son of a postal worker, Arnebeck attended Wesleyan College and Harvard Law School. In 1990 he challenged incumbent Congressman Chalmers Wylie in the GOP primary, but lost badly. Since that time, he became involved in groups that sought to reform the system, including setting term limits and methods for insuring honest elections. And like Spoonamore, Arnebeck saw this issue not as a partisan one but of an ethical issue.
Meanwhile in the summer of 2008, with the presidential election heating up, for Mike Connell, the noose was obviously tightening and events were beginning to take a life of their own. In an attempt to extricate himself from the world of politics, he had sold two of his businesses, including GovTech. He reportedly returned to his religious roots, attending Catholic Mass much more often.
The OhioNewsBureau reported in July of 2004, Attorney Arnebeck asked Nancy H. Rogers, the former dean of the law school at The Ohio State University and interim Attorney General, was asked to provide immunity protection services to Connell.
This request was prompted by information from a confidential source that Karl Rove had threatened that if Mike Connell didn't "take the fall" for cyber-rigging the 2004 election in Ohio, his wife, Heather, would be sued for lobbying law violations.
Clearly the White House was anxious about Connell's testimony and what it would undoubtedly reveal. Meanwhile, the question on everybody's mind was whether Connell would remain loyal to his bosses and possibly perjure himself or would he reveal all that he knew.
Even the attorneys prosecuting the case were unsure what he would do. Throughout the fall of 2008, his plane was being tracked by Arnebeck and his associates so they could serve him with a subpoena.
On October 8, 2008, the axe fell. Connell was served with his subpoena at College Park Airfield outside Washington, D.C. Under the terms of the supoena, he was ordered to produce all documents related to the case.
Connell was defiant when challenged. He responded by hiring three high-powered GOP-connected attorneys, including Bill Todd, former counsel to Bush/Cheney '04. Connell's attorneys filed a motion to quash the subpoena and an affidavit stating that his information is confidential.
Convinced that Connell had the vital information n the case, Arnebeck attempted to secure a court order to enforce the subpoena. The judge agreed and, on October 31, Mr. Connell, appearing before a federal judge in Ohio was ordered to testify under oath at a deposition on November 3rd, the day before the presidential election.
"A Really Nice Christmas Present"
What became of the Connell's sworn deposition? (Even online references are not easy to find.) It was a two-hour closed-door session in Cleveland. A report of the hearing comes from Ohio News. At the hearing, Connell was relaxed but not especially cooperative. Justice Solomon Oliver of the Northern District Court carefully limited the range of the questions that Arnebeck could ask.
For example, threats allegedly made by Rove were off-limits. Connell's lawyers were adamant that the suit was nothing more than a witch hunt. According to reporter John Michael Spinelli, the unimpressed judge advised the prosecution:
"I understand the theories, some of the theories of this case, and I understand some of the emotion around this 2004 election and other elections, but you are not going to win your case for 2004 with this deposition, not right now. And so I am just trying to be clear, you are not going to pack two and a half years of litigation into this deposition." He warned Arnebeck to stick to the issues discussed and not make up for lost time in a case that has very little to show for itself so far. "I can't say that any more strongly than I'm saying that to you now. So you are going to have to be reasonable, and you are going to have to stop at some point. There may be a day when you can come back, and there may be a day when you can follow up."
That day, the day to ask Connell follow-up questions, would never come. Within six weeks, Mike Connell would be dead.. and silent. It surely must have been a relief to many inside the White House.
As quoted in Simon Worrall's excellent article The Mysterious Death of Bush's Cyber-Guru, Connell’s younger sister, Shannon, says:
Mike had been deposed, but he hadn’t been called as a witness yet,” she says of the possibility that her brother was murdered. “He was incredibly loyal to the people he worked for, but he would never have lied under oath. For want of a better expression, I think they played him. His death would have been a really nice Christmas present for Rove and Cheney."
The Velvet Revolution Theory
Two weeks prior to the election of 2008, when it was still uncertain what Connell would or would not reveal in his deposition, Rove had been proclaiming that John McCain could win the ten deciding states and become president. McCain was confidently telling everyone that he would win with a surge in the wee hours of election night. McCain said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he can “guarantee” a win on Nov. 4 in a squeaker victory that won’t be clear until late that night. Of course, there's nothing particularly unusual or suspicious about a candidate having a strong sense of self-confidence, even when all the projections show him or her trailing behind.
Michael Connell was forced to appear before Solomon Oliver, a Clinton appointed Afro-American federal Judge in Cleveland. After Attorney Cliff Arnebeck accused Connell in open court of rigging elections for Karl Rove, the judge ordered Connell to submit to a sworn deposition 18 hours before the polls were to open. On Monday at noon, Connell was placed under oath and grilled about election fraud, Man in the Middle attacks, Trojan horse manipulations and threats from Rove.
And guess what happened? Connell didn't know a thing! He had no knowledge of any secret steps to change the vote-counts, in any past elections--or in the election to come. He stonewalled like a champion, denying everything.
It was a remarkable performance; but what was even more remarkable was the abrupt reversal, just hours later, by Karl Rove. Rove wrote on his blog late Monday that Obama would win by a landslide--even in those states he had previously predicted McCain would win.
In other words, Rove pulled the plug, because he felt the heat, and knew that using Connell to rig this election too would be too risky.
The most intriguing question isn't whether Connell helped to steal the elections of 2004 or whether he was silenced for threatening to reveal what he knew. The most interesting question isn't who or how it was done.
The most interesting question for future historians might be this: did the threat that Connell's deposition posed (and subsequent possible subpoenas) cause the power elite inside the upper echelons of the Republican party to have a re-think of their plan for the 2008 elections. And related to that question, what would have been the national reaction if McCain had won by the same slim margin that carried Bush to re-election back in 2004.
It is hard to know but if the Velvet Revolution's theory is true, then it is possible that the Republican administration had already made plans for widespread civil unrest as a result of the election result. Paul Joseph Watson, writing for Prison Planet, wrote back in September 2008,
U.S. troops returning from duty in Iraq will be carrying out homeland patrols in America from October 1st in complete violation of Posse Comitatus for the purposes of helping with “civil unrest and crowd control” – which could include dealing with unruly Americans after a complete economic collapse.
The article goes on the cite an Army Times report:
This shocking admission was calmly reported on September 8th by the Army Times website, which reports that from the beginning of next month the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team “Will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.”
The article notes that the deployment “marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.”
The purpose of the unit’s patrols includes helping “with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.”
Of course, this is speculation built upon speculation. Some have theorized that this troop deployment was in preparation for some kind of terrorist attack which might have been used to swing the election. Others have also postulated that the deployment of troops for crowd control was related to the economic meltdown and was used to intimidate the legislative branch into passing the unprecedented Bush bailout known as TARP, The Troubled Asset Relief Program, which cost the U.S. taxpayers as much as $300 billion.
Perhaps it served many purposes. We may, of course, never know the reasons behind the move or whether it is in any way related.
If, however, The Velvet Revolution theory is true, then, in the end, Connell's apparently worthless deposition, the only testimony he would ever give -- would have at least served one noble purpose. It helped to put a truly democratically-elected president in the White House.
The final installment of this series will cover the crash investigation, it flaws and will lay out the case for a conspiracy in the death of Connell.
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No evidence has surfaced that Barbour violated the law; at the same time, the pattern that emerges from public records and interviews raises ``many red flags,'' said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a watchdog group in Falls Church, Virginia, that investigates the investments of government officials. ``At the minimum, the public is entitled to a full explanation of the facts,'' he said.
The wife of Barbour’s nephew, Rosemary Barbour, was one of the biggest Mississippi-based winners of Katrina contracts. Her company, Alacatec LLC, picked up nearly $300 million in contracts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the General Services Administration, the bulk of it for trailer maintenance. The FBI began an investigation in 2007.
Does "global warming" cause tornadoes? No. Thunderstorms do. The harder question may be, "Will climate change influence tornado occurrence?" The best answer is: We don't know. According to the National Science and Technology Council's Scientific Assessment on Climate Change, "Trends in other extreme weather events that occur at small spatial scales--such as tornadoes, hail, lightning, and dust storms--cannot be determined at the present time due to insufficient evidence."
Research Meteorologists found that the temperature changes brought on by global warming are significant enough to cause an increase in the occurrence of severe storms."What we found is that increases in human-induced greenhouse gases will lead to more frequent severe storms in the United States," Jeff Trapp, Ph.D., a meteorologist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., said.
Based on the models, the researchers believe the number of days that favor the formation of severe storms could more than double in places like Atlanta and New York. These added storms will likely hit areas during already heavy storm seasons and extend wet weather seasons.
"This obviously impacts people in terms of potential hazards to their life and property," Dr. Trapp said.
"..[T]he model suggests that the most violent severe storms and tornadoes may become more common with warming.'
• More than $5 million to Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP) for its nationwide “Hot Air Tour” campaign to spread misinformation about climate science and opposing clean energy and climate legislation• More than $1 million to the Heritage Foundation, a mainstay of misinformation on climate and environmental policy issues.• Over $1 million to the Cato Institute, which disputes the scientific evidence behind global warming, questions the rationale for taking climate action, and has been heavily involved in spinning the recent ClimateGate story.• $800,000 to the Manhattan Institute, which has hosted Bjorn Lomborg twice in the last two years. Lomborg is a prominent media spokesperson who challenges and attacks policy measures to address climate change.• $365,000 to Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE) which advocates against taking action on cliimate change because warming is “inevitable” and expensive to address.
• Spent $37.9 million from 2006 to 2009 for direct lobbying on oil and energy issues, outspent only by ExxonMobil ($87.8 million) and Chevron Corporation ($50 million).• Spent $5.74 million in PAC money for candidates, committees, and campaign expenditures since the 2006 election cycle.• Contributed at least $270,800 to federal political party committees since the 2006 election cycle.
AFP is a non-profit organization who does not to disclose its donors. However, the Media Transparency project shows from 2003-2006, Americans for Prosperity received $1,181,000 from conservative foundations. $1 million of that funding was given by the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation--one of the Koch Family Foundations.
"'we envisioned a mass movement, a state-based one, but national in scope, of hundreds of thousands of American citizens from all walks of life standing up and fighting for the economic freedoms that made our nation the most prosperous society in history.'"
Barbour raised significant amounts in campaign contributions from the industry, and from 1999 to 2003, was a lobbyist for various energy interests. Even as oil was touching Mississippi shores in the summer of 2010, Barbour downplayed the effects of the catastrophic spill. A ThinkProgress review of IRS documents revealed that with Barbour at the helm, the RGA received over $5 million in contributions from the oil and gas industry – including four of the Big Five oil companies – in just one year:• $1,000,000 from David Koch, $25,000 from Koch Industries
• $625,000 from Exxon Mobil
• Over $150,000 from Chevron
• $50,000 from Shell
• $25,000 from ConocoPhillips
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For an analysis of the other documentation, see http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/print_born_in_the_usa.html
In the end, I doubt very much whether this will convince some people, because after all, the president will still be a black man and he will still have been elected by a majority of the citizens. For some people that fact alone will always stick in their craw.
Of course, now the tables can be turned. Let's see, Palin's graduation for university degree in erm.. journalism. And her son's birth certificate- which will put to rest all those rumors about the faked pregnancy. Let's see Michele Bachmann's law degree from William and Mary. Because in both of those cases, it really defies credulity.
This is something I probably needed to learn. Perhaps I knew it but it can be hard to apply to each day of your life. But it IS easier when you have more free time.
Working too much, especially for somebody who doesn't respect you, can really warp your perspective- making a lot of wonderful little/big moments slip right through your hands.
That, and television.
That last sentence, I take it, was the punch line. Never one to leave well enough alone, I searched for a little bit more on Banana man and found this.
Is this some kind of weird form of war-related post traumatic shock syndrome? You know, it's sad and quite a comment on my own weirdness, but the only thing that absolutely shocked me was the fact it was a child's banana costume. Go figure..
Last week I wrote a post about Vivian Maier and the strange story of her life, her work and its discovery. http://nomadicjoe.blogspot.com/2011/04/incredible-story-of-vivian-maier.html
Here are two more photos from her collection (which continues to grow every month.)
If I am not mistaken, both of photographs were taken on the Staten Island Ferry in New York City. I took that ferry very nearly every day when I was staying in New York a few years ago.
On my homepage, I keep a widget for tracking earthquakes in my area. Why? Well, I guess I am just that type of person. Anyway, since it has been watching for almost two years or so, I have never seen as much activity as I have in the past few days. Usually there are one or two points on the map.
However, the points you see here are minor earthquakes in the last 24 hours!! Now most of the blue dots are far beyond what most people notice, Magnitude 2.-3 or so. The green points, however, are stronger, in the 3.-4 range. Here's a wider view.
Although it looks unusual to me, based on what the map usually looks like, I couldn't find any scientific opinion on this latest news. I will keep looking. If anybody reads this and hears of anything, could you please forward it to me? Thanks.
In a single generation, The Turkish leader, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was able to transform the Turkish nation ravaged by war into a stable and strong country. One of his best achievements- which in turn allowed even greater development- was to invest in improving education for all citizens of the Republic. Developing a strong educated population, in his opinion, was a patriotic duty.
"Education," he told his people, "must be apart from all kinds of superstition and alien thoughts; it must be noble, national and patriotic."
Education was not merely a matter of personal development, in the eyes of Ataturk. Without education, no nation can flourish economically.
Our principle is that national education shall be based on single school and secularism. Our goal in education is to raise citizens that shall increase the economic power and civilization and social value of the national society
Unfortunately in the United States, the general attitude among conservative Republican politicians has devolved into something quite different. Check out this information from http://goo.gl/7jLzW
From the floor of the state Senate, tea party Republican Jim Summerville recently warned Tennessee's teachers to mind their own business where education reform is concerned.
"Make no mistake,'' he said, "the final responsibility is ours — and we are warriors.''
Lest his point be missed, Sen. Summerville added, "We will bend public education to our awe, or break it all to pieces.''
And there's more…
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Time for some saccharine. Ready, steady… indulge yourself!!
Cute…okay, I'll say it. but, niggly-picky person that I am, I object to the term "praying." When did praying becoming begging? I hope this isn't another intrusion of religion into our lives. Praying should be about appreciating and giving thanks and not pleading or deal making with God.
Well, rants aside, I don't think this is what's really going here. This cat seems to be demonstrating how to open the fridge door, thinking, "Put that damn camera down and feed me!"
In my previous blog, one of my loyal readers mentioned a famous postcard once seen all over Turkey, known as "The Crying Boy." For some reason, I somehow missed seeing it. I decided however to make amends for this oversight by offering this copy with an accompanying background story.
David Clarke, who lectures on investigative journalism at Sheffield Hallam University, has written of the strange urban legend that has grown up around the likeness of the boy with the sad face in an article for Fortean Times, an online magazine that focuses on the bizarre and mysterious.
‘The Curse of the Crying Boy’ appeared out of the blue one morning in 1985. The Sun, at that time the most popular tabloid newspaper in the English-speaking world, published on page 13 of its 4 September edition a story headlined: “Blazing Curse of the Crying Boy”. It told how Ron and May Hall blamed a cheap painting of a toddler with tears rolling down his face for a fire which gutted their terraced council home in Rotherham, a mining town in South Yorkshire. The blaze broke out in a chip-pan in the kitchen of their home of 27 years and spread rapidly. But although the downstairs rooms of the house were badly damaged, the framed print of the Crying Boy escaped unscathed. It continued to hang there, surrounded by a scene of devastation.
Normally a chip-pan blaze would merit nothing more than a couple of paragraphs in a local newspaper. What transformed this story into a page lead in Britain’s leading tabloid was the intervention of Ron Hall’s brother Peter, a firefighter based in Rotherham. A colleague of Peter’s, station officer Alan Wilkinson, said he knew of numerous other cases where prints of the ‘Crying Boy’ had turned up, undamaged, in the ruins of homes destroyed by fires.
Accompanying the article was a photograph of a ‘Crying Boy’, with the caption: “Tears for fears… the portrait that firemen claim is cursed.” The firemen concerned had not actually used the word ‘cursed’, but nevertheless the newspaper report had helped to give the story a certain level of credibility. The paper added that an estimated 50,000 ‘Crying Boy’ prints, signed ‘G Bragolin’, had been sold in branches of British department stores, particularly in the working class areas of northern England. Examples could be seen hanging in the front rooms of family homes across the nation, and one story even suggested a quarter of a million had been sold.
Of course if there were so many copies of the painting scattered about then it is hardly much of a coincidence. I mean, it is like saying Madonna music is cursed because wherever and whenever it is played, something terrible happens. That might be redundant, I suppose.
There's also a psychological dimension to this as well. If you have suddenly lost everything you own in a fire, all your belongings reduced to a smoldering pile of black bits, you are bound to be rather shell-shocked. And then to see that the only thing untouched was a cheap painting you bought in a garage sale for a couple of quid, (I am quick with the local jargon, what?) it is only natural you would turn to the supernatural to explain it. And you might feel cursed if that's all you have left.
David Clarke wisely attributes the so-called curse as merely a ploy of tabloids to "out-hoax" one another. This was probably before "Bat Boy" (also known as "Edgar") a completely manufactured product of the The Weekly World News. (Incidentally, the story of Bat Boy was turned into an Off-Broadway musical, Bat Boy: The Musical. Songs included: “Another Dead Cow,” “Hold Me Bat Boy,” and “Let Me Walk Among You.” That's not a joke, by the way.)
But I digress. The Curse of the Crying Boy seems pretty plausible- mundane even- in comparison to the carryings-on the Bat Boy, who seemed to rear his shiny grey head in nearly every issue back in the early 1990s. Anyway, back to the curse,
On 5 September 1985, The Sun ran its follow-up, reporting that scores of “horrified readers claiming to be victims of the ‘Curse of the Crying Boy’ had flooded [the paper] with calls… they all feared they were jinxed by having the print of a tot with tears pouring down his face in their homes.” Readers were left with an overwhelming impression of a supernatural link, reinforced by the use of words like ‘curse’, ‘jinx’, ‘feared’ and ‘horrified’.
Typical of these additional stories was that told by Dora Mann, from Mitcham, Surrey, who claimed her house was gutted just six months after she bought a print of the painting. “All my paintings were destroyed – except the one of the Crying Boy,” she claimed. Sandra Kaske, of Kilburn, North Yorkshire, said that she, her sister-in-law, and a friend had all suffered disastrous fires since they acquired copies. Another family, from Nottingham, blamed the print for a blaze which had left them homeless. Brian Parks, whose wife and three children needed treatment for smoke inhalation, said he had destroyed his copy after returning from hospital to find it hanging – undamaged, of course – on the blackened wall of his living room.
As the stories accumulated, new details emerged that encouraged the idea that possession of a print put owners at risk of fire or serious injury. One woman from London claimed she had seen her print “swing from side to side” on the wall, while another from Paignton said her 11-year-old son had “caught his private parts on a hook” after she bought the picture. Mrs Rose Farrington of Preston, in a letter published by The Sun, wrote: “Since I bought it in 1959, my three sons and my husband have all died. I’ve often wondered if it had a curse.”
Another reader reported an attempt to destroy two of the prints by fire – only to find, to her horror, that they would not burn. Her claim was tested by security guard Paul Collier, who tossed one of his two prints onto a bonfire. Despite being left in the flames for an hour, it was not even scorched. “It was frightening – the fire wouldn’t even touch it,” he told The Sun. “I really believe it is jinxed. We feel doubly at risk with two of these in the house [and] we are determined to get rid of them.”
Comedian Steve Punt investigated the story of the curse for a BBC program in 2010 and made a surprising discovery. Wikipedia supplies us with the crucial findings.
The conclusion reached by the programme, following testing at the Building Research Establishment is that the prints were treated with some varnish containing fire repellant, and that the string holding the painting to the wall would be the first to perish, resulting in the painting landing face down on the floor and thus being protected.
Interesting stuff and I owe a special thanks to my friends for bringing this odd little tale of the curse of the crying boy to my full attention.
If you don't know, one of my hobbies is to collect rather tacky or strange postcards. Nothing intentional, thank you. American probably has a near monopoly on this but Turkey has its share too. You have to look for them now because they are disappearing fast.
Ah, yes, One of my favorite genres of old Turkish postcards. The soldier postcards. Here are two gallant men in green on a day pass, trying with limited success, to make contact with a person of the opposite gender. The odd posture is perhaps meant to suggest they have been walking and have suddenly, unexpected looked into each other's eyes and found love. Unfortunately it comes across as a merely mild failure of gravity. love those Jackie O glasses. I have a pair actually but mine are white with real diamonds on the frame!Because of problems with the printing process this postcard came off looking like a 3D attempt. Girls, check out those shoes! And that skirt. I suspect that the soldier's odd pose, hand clutching air, was supposed to allow for a rose to be clumsily superimposed, Either that, or he is challenging her to an arm wrestle.
Here is the first installment of my Turkish soldier postcard theme. http://nomadicjoe.blogspot.com/2011/03/turkish-soldier-postcards.html
More of these shall be forthcoming.
Capt. Lorin Geisner of the Greentown Fire Department was the first person to arrive at the scene. “We received a 911 call, so we contacted the tower and asked what size plane it was and how many souls were on board,” he recalls. “But we were informed that the tower was in lockdown and that no information was available.”