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28 October 2014


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A rather eye-opening article from Julian Assange in Newsweek, Google Is Not What It Seems:


Seems as if Google's much vaunted motto, "Don't be evil", is conditioned by one's politics. Eric Schmidt seems to be quite comfortable in NeoCon World. Yep, Google sure is a change agent, alright.

You ought to like this one, Walrus and Confused Ponderer.

FB Ali


I've often wondered about the mechanics of these leader-to-leader telephone calls (say, Obama and Putin). How do they work? Where do the interpreters come in? Are they online or offline? If the latter, how do they check that the other side's translation was accurate? Etc.

If anyone has any real information on this, I'd be glad to learn about it.


Orbital Sciences had a bad day with their Antares launcher (which was going to send a Cygnus cargo freighter to ISS today). Looks like some sort of engine-related failure led to a loss of thrust about 5-10s into the flight. The rocket then dropped from a decent height and exploded when it hit the ground. This was out at Wallops Island, VA.




US Ebola patients recovering faster now. The learning curve can be near vertical when the medical community gets their act together and the idiots in congress don't worry about people throwing up on each other on subway cars.

Ursa Maior

In my humble opionion the recent Putin speech with its implication of a chaotic international order is worth mentioning. It is much more chilling than the expected steps toward the russian conclaves.


Excellent, extended, conversation on ME stuff. FYI


Good talk on CI strategy too. Realistic. IMHO anyway


Fred Bruks was one of those translators for presidents. His website is http://www.wanttoknow.info/aboutus. He explains what happens.


Whoops. As I pressed POST, I saw that I misspelled Fred Burks last name. It's BURKS.


The Antares uses a modernized version of the engines the Soviets used on their N-1 moon launches. Nothing snarky meant but they (Orbital)had a test pad failure this past summer with this model. The Soviets never could get the insanely complex N-1 to work right. Orbital has a very big lift (no pun meant) in front of them to raise their reliability profile up and engender confidence in their services. Space X also had a launcher failure recently but it was not a ISS service launch.

 Old Gun Pilot

Interesting article from the Atlantic-Bibi is "Chicken Shit" according to Obama official: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/10/the-crisis-in-us-israel-relations-is-officially-here/382031/

Babak Makkinejad

I agree.

What is needed a new Peace to replace the one that collapsed in 1991 and had been negotiated at Yalta in 1945.

I am not sure such a new Peace is in the cards.

I think all major powers have concluded that it is not worth it for them and they will go their own way.

William R. Cumming

Despite denials by the Administration chosen ones with EBOLA but non-citizens about to be allowed to enter USA for treatment.

The beaver

@ FB Ali

I don't know whether it is accurate or not but I was watching an episode of "The Asset' the other day. It showed the US Ambassador in Moscow on the phone with his translator on the same room on another phone receiver listening. There he was babbling in English and then the response in Russian from the other side (the Russian FM ) was translated by the American translator to the Ambassador. So the Russian translator picked up what the American was saying and translated/repeated it to the FM and the American translator repeated in English and in situ what the FM was saying to the Ambassador.
I believe that it must be real since the one of the CIA analyst was consulted for that 8 episode series.

It must be the same M.O for the leaders since I was told by the wife of a certain politician how it was done at a G20 meeting . Each leader has his interpreter next( a bit in the back) to him and he or she will whisper what his interlocutor is saying.

William R. Cumming

Looks lime former Senator Sam Nunn's daughter will be a US Senator come January! And current Senator Mary Landrieu may survive into a runoff round in January. Even with these results, Senate Republicans will hold a majority next year IMO! Women running for US Senate west of Mississippi River will mostly lose.

William R. Cumming

General Ali! Great question IMO!

nick b


Any progress on the canine front? Last I remember you had candidate who was working on her last litter. Is she any closer to being Lola's new playmate?

The beaver

Well Well Well

"Binyamin Netanyahu as a “chickenshit prime minister”, “coward” and a man more interested in his own political survival than peace."


Naftali Bennett must be dreaming - asking for apologies when Bibi himself insulted Obama last year.


We are guaranteed to see Russian's beating Russian's tonight (with some help from Sweden and Canada)as Detroit takes on the Capitals. On an even brighter note I have front row tickets for Friday's game against the Kings.

William R. Cumming

I enjoyed this docu-drama but found it of great interest no mention of James Angleton, the top mole hunter in his time in CIA!

Bill H

I tried to read that, but could not get past the endless triviality of "They sat with me and we exchanged pleasantries. ... We made an agreement that I would forward them the recording and in exchange they would forward me the transcript, to be corrected for accuracy and clarity," followed by "Some time later Jared Cohen arrived. With him was Scott Malcomson, introduced as the book’s editor."

I was relieved that he didn't go into detail regarding the shape and color of the teacups, but I gave up on thinking that he was ever going to say anything meaningful. Maybe you have inspired me to try again.

Bill H

Which, unfortunately, does not include either of the ones in California.

Piotr, Poland

@ Rocketrepreneur

How seriously should we take those Russian planes about the Moon?



Old Gun,

He is. I don't think he's been right since his brother was killed in the failed, false flage Entebbe Raid


A UK government file on the crisis, released from the National Archives, contains a claim that Israel itself was behind the hijacking.

1976 ... Entebbe Israel faked a hijacking to Kenya (Idi Imin was an Israeli puppet), and then pulled a rescue, portraying themselves as elite commandos. Arabs looked like monsters and the Israelis, having suffered countless persecutions, have decided to fight back.


Going to this website freezes the browser with seemingly NO activity, network, I/O or CPU for a good many dozens of seconds, VERY, VERY SUSPICIOUS!

Timothy Holland

Obama agrees to pull Saudi nuts out of the fire. The price of oil collapses. The Russian economy is tanking. Am I delusional?

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