War on Drugs
Rights Under Attack
of the Internet"
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Digital Space Commons
30 June 2005
Podcasting, old technology with a new wrinkle
(Matt Baca, webpronews.com, 2005-06-28)
Podcasting has all the ingredients to become a major technology trend. Podcasting has started with little fanfare but has the potential to become a giant wave due to a number of factors going for it. The word Podcast might have been roughly derived from iPod and broadcast (it sure sounds like that to me so don't hit me if I am wrong! ). . . . The process works pretty much like radio except that the broadcast is done via mobile devices and the power of content delivery via the internet. This new form of broadcasting of information opens up tremendous opportunities for dispersion of information, entertainment and news. . . . Podcasting is a fairly new technology and people are building up refined applications to use this medium effectively. Advantages of Podcasting are making the proposition attractive enough for major companies to consider it a serious communication mode. RSS 2.0 is the chosen form for podcasts and newer versions of this feed system are expected soon. . . . [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Let's take some of the mystery out of PodCasting. While the RSS 2.0 feed is the key to PodCasting, the programs themselves are simply MP3 files. Granted, PodCasts have added a radio flavor to the MP3 format, but it's still an audio file that can be heard on a PC, Mac, or Linux box as well as on MP3 players like the iPod. What is new about this tech, however, is the ease of subscribing to a "channel", like our own Psychedelic Salon, and having new programs automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player. And with about 1 out of 5 young Americans now owning iPods, this tech has the potential of becoming a major communications medium . . . at least in IMHO.] . . . Inherent advantages of podcasts are: No need to invest in a new piece of hardware . . . New lease of life to radio programmes . . . On demand broadcast . . . Your own Podcast studio and very little investment . . . Creativity is highly rewarded in the podcaster's world . . . Content is king and high quality creative content is instantaneously rewarded by the Podcasting community which can be measured by the number of subscribers. Thus it is quite easy to gain overnight success if the content of the broadcast is unique and exciting. . . . Podcasting thus has number of benefits both the for the community within and without. A unique mass media which does not cost a lot to distribute and develop content for. Like all new technologies, the technology will have some teething issues but the force promoting it should be good enough to get the technology roaring with success in the very near future.
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So, why don't you check it out? Since you are reading this on a computer, you already have everything you need to beging listening to PodCasts. In addition to the Psychedelic Salon (where you will find instructions and links to download the free iPodder software that automates distribution of audio content) a couple of other PodCasts you might find interesting are R.U. Sirius' MondoGlobo Network, and Consciousness: the Inside Story from the Maharishi University of Management.
Soon we will be offering an additional channel from Matrix Masters where we will be PodCasting content that explores topics such as the counter-culture, geek history, solar gazing, and other topics that the corporate media tends to ignore. . . . Stay tuned! :-) no pun intended.
posted by Lorenzo 7:03 AM
28 June 2005
U.S. Senator Blames Liberals for Corrupting Pedophile Priests!!!
(By the Honorable Senator Rick Santorum, Catholic Online, 7/12/2002)
You've actually got to laugh at this one. While the issue of significant numbers of pedophile priests in their midst isn't news to Catholics, it may come as a surprise to "liberal?" Catholics that a U.S. Senator thinks they are to blame for somehow creating these monsters. Here is what the less-than-honorable jerk Santorum thinks:
It is startling that those in the media and academia appear most disturbed by this aberrant behavior, since they have zealously promoted moral relativism by sanctioning "private" moral matters such as alternative lifestyles. Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture. When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.
How anyone can think of themselves as a "liberal" and remain under the thumb of guys like this I just can't understand. [FULL DISCLOSURE by Lorenzo . . . I graduated from the University of Notre Dame. So you can blame my anti-Catholic attitude on that institution if you want . . . much of my family has :-) ]
posted by Lorenzo 5:24 PM
24 June 2005
Something worth thinking about
Joy comes from our inner understanding that, because of impermanence, there is nothing to hang on to, nothing to worry about, nowhere to go, nothing to be done.
- Ayya Khema
posted by Lorenzo 5:09 PM
23 June 2005
What's your immortality score?
You know, immortality is a tricky business, and to be honest, I'm not all that sure that it's even something anyone would want. But there now is a certain kind of immortality available to large numbers of people alive today.
What I'm thinking of is the kind of Earthly immortality that means there will always be some trace of you in cyberspace. Let's say you Google yourself and find there are a few dozen hits. Of course, if you want to find all the instances of you that Google knows about, you’ll have to search on all the possible combinations of names you've gone by in your life. (And don't forget that Google doesn't see everything.
Now say you want to have every one of those instances removed, and so you contact each of the Web sites and they graciously remove all traces of you from their sites. But what about Google cache and all the other cache servers, backup tapes, and other digital records? Do you really think there is any way the every trace of your existence could be removed from the Net? (And if you do, it would be quite helpful to a lot of people if you’d post your suggestions as a comment.)
So what's your immortality score? (Again, please leave any suggestions in the Comments section below, as I can't seem to keep up with email these days.) By immortality score I mean, how high are the odds against having all traces of you removed from the Internet. The more hits on your name from Google, your Google score, the better the odds against you remaining alive for as long as the geeks keep the Net up and running. ALL HAIL THE GEEKS!
posted by Lorenzo 4:00 PM
Contract that spawned Guantanamo prisons awarded to Halliburton during Cheney's tenure as CEO
(John Byrne, The Raw Story)
Experts say firm may have built secret camps . . . A contract awarded to a Halliburton subsidiary in June 2000 while Vice President Dick Cheney was still at the helm of the firm spawned the detention centers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba . . . Pegged at an Âestimated maximumÂ of $75 million in 2000, the deal mushroomed to $136 million by 2004. Some $58 million was dedicated to detention centers at Guantanamo Bay alone, with another $30 million in a second contract. . . . Specific contracts for the Guantanamo facilities were not inked until February of 2002. Cheney served as chief executive of the company from 1995 until July 2000, leaving shortly thereafter to join the Bush campaign. . . . The original deal, signed under Clinton, was also used for typhoon damage and breakwater repair of military bases abroad. After the invasion of Afghanistan, the Administration drew upon the open-ended agreement to construct detention centers at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay naval base for suspected members of Al Qaeda. [QUESTION from Lorenzo: What are the chances, do you think, that Cheney put this contract in place while at Halliburton knowing that the attacks of 9-11 would take place? IMHO, Bush knew, and Cheney/Rumsfeld/Meyers were behind it. . . . In 2002, the Pentagon said that additional options might reach $300 million. Security experts believe the Bush Administration may have carved out funding from the original agreement to build other secret detention facilities sprinkled across the globe. . . . The Pentagon has tacitly acknowledged the existence of clandestine detention facilities, but details are scarce. The press office did not return repeated requests for comment. . . . In 2004, Human Rights First, a renowned human rights legal group, suggested the likelihood of facilities at Diego Garcia, a British island in the Indian Ocean. Other suspected facilities include prisons in northwest Pakistan; a Central Intelligence Agency prison in Jordan; additional unacknowledged holding centers in Afghanistan and Iraq; and brigs on two U.S. naval ships, the U.S.S. Bataan and the U.S.S. Peleliu . . . Kellogg, Brown and Root was awarded another contract in 2004 when their original deal expired, capped at $500 million. Under this new agreement, another $30 million Guantanamo contract was awarded to the firm last week. . . . Priti Patel, a staff attorney for Human Rights First, the group that produced the report on suspected secret U.S. facilities, says the number of known detainees held has risen dramatically since their report last year. . . . "I know when we were looking at the numbers in March, in Iraq, and Afghanistan, the numbers were skyrocketing," Patel said. . . . The group says the number of acknowledged foreign suspects held in U.S. detention totals about 11,000. Many are held in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, but the location of some "high-value" suspects, like alleged Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, has never been disclosed. . . . "The United States government is holding prisoners in a secret system of off-shore prisons beyond the reach of adequate supervision, accountability, or law," the Human Rights First Director of U.S. Law and Security program Deborah Pearlstein told reporters last year. . . . Pike suspects that the Pentagon has quietly paid defense firms to build clandestine detention facilities abroad. He cited the CIA as an example, saying many items in the CIA budget are secretly siphoned off from other Defense Department allocations. . . . Halliburton, a punching bag in the 2004 presidential campaign, has taken flak for other contracts relating to the "war on terror." It was awarded a $7 billion no-bid contract to rebuild Iraqi oil fields, and has been criticized for a fuel transportation contract which critics say was grossly inflated. . . . The firm purchased gasoline in Kuwait for $2.20 per gallon while other contractors were paying $1.18 in Turkey. Pentagon auditors have questioned $212 million that the firm billed the U.S. to deliver fuel to Iraq; documents released in November also reveal the U.S. ambassador to Kuwait intervened to ensure Halliburton got the fuel transport deal. . . . Pentagon auditors have also suggested KBR overcharged the Army by as much as 40 percent for dining facilities. . . . Formerly Brown & Root, the firm has a long and checkered history in military contracting. It was among a consortium of firms charged with building hospitals in Vietnam during the U.S. engagement there, and was accused of pilfering millions from Pentagon coffers. . . . In 1967, the General Accounting Office faulted the firm for massive accounting lapses and for allowing thefts of materials. The company earned a nickname -- "Burn & Loot" and drew anti-war protesters who bemoaned the contracts as the embodiment of what President Dwight Eisenhower had called the military-industrial complex. . . . KBR received $5.5 billion in Iraq contracts for fiscal year 2004, and has billed the U.S. $10.5 billion so far to provide logistical support for the military in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East. . . . [COMMENT by Lorenzo: And you do know, of course, that Cheney is still on the Halliburton payroll. Your tax dollars are going right into Cheney's pockets. When is this guy going to be paraded through our streets in chains? Wake up, America! . . . To The Barricades!
posted by Lorenzo 7:09 AM
15 June 2005
The Emperor Has No Policy
This morning, our court-appointed Dictator, the petty tyrant we lovingly call Little Georgie, delivered a speech that can only be described as a sneering ramble of decades-old platitudes about our nation's nonexistent energy policy. . . . And hey, let's say it like it is, the Emperor has no energy policy that is even close to rational. The Rubublicans control the Congress, the Courts, the Fascist Christians, and damn near all the major businesses in the country. They have no one but themselves to blame for the lack of a sensible energy policy. As Pogo said long ago, "We have met the enemy, and they are us."
What really struck me about Georgie's ludicrous ramble (given to the U.S. Energy Association . . . now isn't that a nifty title for an industry lobbying group?) is how brain-dead his audience was, for they appeared to eat up the crap spewing from our Beloved Dictator's mouth. In fact, they applauded the loudest when he sneeringly said, over and over and over again, ". . . we've got to reduce our dependence on foreign oil." . . . Duh.
Little Georgie's "energy plan", of course, can be boiled down to 1) Let my oilfield buddies ravage the Arctic Wildlife Refuge; and 2) Let's give more of your tax dollars to the oil industry and encourage them to build more refineries (for the oil we don't have and can't get, I guess).
I wonder where they got such a large crowd of morons who were willing to be subjected to being talked down to by this ridiculous Texas frat boy. . . . Hey, Georgie boy, I've got news for you. The ONLY way to solve our current energy crisis is to make some very drastic changes in the "American Way of Life".
Whether we like it or not, we're not going to be able to avoid the fact that this country is strung out on oil like a junkie on smack. Let's face it, Corporate Amerika isn't going to change its ways . . . and these guys are running the show in case you haven't noticed. If you want to do something to help your grandchildren have any chance at all of enjoying a comfortable old age, you'd better start voting with your dollars. For example, continuing to buy these gas guzzling "looter lorries" that are so popular with the yuppies these days has to come to an end . . . and soon! Forget the politicians, they've all been bought and paid for by their corporate masters. Take charge yourself and spend your money wisely . . . and with sustainability always your number one priority.
posted by Lorenzo 12:13 PM
07 June 2005
"Oil Storm", an interesting but flawed FOX propaganda piece
Last night I watched "Oil Storm" on FOX's FX network. If you haven't seen it, I recommend checking it out . . . but you can forget the last fifteen minutes. The film is a docu-drama, and it does a reasonable job of showing how precarious the U.S. economic system is due to our absolute dependence on oil. The first crisis in the film comes about due to a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico and things then quickly spiral out of control as imported oil can't get to refineries and gas shoots up to $8.00 and more a gallon. If you have read Richard Heinberg's brilliant book PowerDown, you will already be familiar with this possible doomsday scenario, and until the end of this film it does a terrific job of making the point that we are teetering on the edge of a precipice from which we can fall into chaos and anarchy almost overnight.
As I was watching the film, I wondered how the film ever got made and how the producers were able to get it aired on a Murdock-controlled channel. But a closer examination of this work made the answer to that puzzle very plain. For starters, in a 120 minute film there was less than 30 seconds given to any discussion of alternative fuels. The basic premise is that oil is the ONLY answer, and to be honest, it actually is the only answer to continuing what is called "the American way of life." We are oil junkies, and unless we kick our habit we're doomed. . . . But that wasn't the message of the film.
I found it quite astonishing that, after 105 minutes of chaos and anarchy reigning throughout the land that the dictator in the White House solved all the problems by cutting a deal with the Russians to get their oil . . . and, of course, Christian prayers made all the difference. So we are catapulted from the end of our civilization to a Disney-like ending where our wise leaders have found us another source of oil and everything returns to normal almost overnight. Of course, no mention was made of the 10's of millions who lost their jobs, the 20,000 who died in Boston's freezing winter of 2005, and all the other calamities covered in the major portion of the movie. . . . This is an interesting film with a very sick ending . . . you might want to check it out and let us know what you think.
posted by Lorenzo 12:32 PM
02 June 2005
I noticed that on our Science and Health blog, Hal Dunn blogged an interesting account of Dr. Eli Kolp's pioneering treatment for alcoholism. I highly recommend that you read his overview of Dr. Kolp's work.
Below, I have copied some of the information from Dr. Kolp's Eleusis Web site that you may find interesting. And on a personal note, I would like to say that Eli Kolp has been a friend of mine for many years, and I consider him to be impeccable. . . . BRAVO ELI ! ! ! ! . . . and thank you for never giving up on what many thought to be an impossible dream. My hat is off to you.
All Love, Lorenzo
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More than 7,000 published reports describe Ketamine's effectiveness and its large margin of safety. According to several reports, Ketamine actually prevents brain damage from strokes, head trauma, heart attacks, epileptic seizures, low oxygen levels and low blood sugar levels. . . . In 1973, Iranian psychiatrist, E. Khorramzadeh, M.D., published the report The Use of Ketamine in Psychiatry in the Psychosomatic Journal. He administered Ketamine to 100 patients with various diagnoses, including depression, anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive neurosis, conversion reaction, hypochondriasis, hysteria, tension headaches and ulcerative colitis. . . . Dr. Khorramzadeh reported that 91 of his patients were doing well after six months, and 88 of the subjects remained well after one year. . . . Dr. Khorramzadeh concluded that Ketamine's "abreactive [cathartic] effect correlated well with Ketamine's mind-expanding effect." . . . Evgeny Krupitsky, M.D., a psychiatrist who began using Ketamine in Russia in 1985, has done the most comprehensive clinical research on this subject. He developed Ketamine Psychedelic Therapy (KPT) and has treated more than 1,000 patients in his center without complications. . . . Dr. Krupitsky reported that his patients showed significant improvement after KPT. They became less anxious and depressed, more responsible and emotionally mature, with increased ego strength and positive changes in life values, self-concept and spiritual development.
posted by Lorenzo 3:56 PM