SpaceX scrubs Falcon I rocket launch

">
SpaceX scrubs Falcon I rocket launch

Monday, November 28, 2005

SpaceX called off the much-delayed inaugural launch of their new Falcon 1 rocket on Saturday from Kwajalein’s Omelek Island launch site. The intent was to launch the U.S. Air Force Academy’s FalconSat 2 satellite, which will monitor plasma interactions with the Earth’s upper atmosphere and magnetosphere.

The launch was delayed, then finally cancelled after an oxygen boil-off vent had accidentally been left open. The oxygen was unable to cool the helium pressurant, which then proceeded to evaporate faster than it could be replenished. A main computer issue, probably serious enough to cause a scrub on its own, was also discovered.

This long-anticipated flight was originally expected to be launched in January 2005, however a series of setbacks forced a series of delays, with the flight most recently scheduled to be in early 2006. It was intended to be launched from the Kwajalein atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The maiden voyage was originally intended to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with a Naval Research Laboratory satellite and a Space Services Incorporated space burial payload.

">Digg
  • SpaceX scrubs Falcon I rocket launch
  • ">Del.icio.us
  • SpaceX scrubs Falcon I rocket launch
  • ">StumbleUpon
  • SpaceX scrubs Falcon I rocket launch
  • ">Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Computer Associates warns of massive botnet attack

    ">
    Computer Associates warns of massive botnet attack

    Sunday, June 5, 2005

    Computer Associates are warning of a current three pronged, co-ordinated malware attack on computers that are using Microsoft Windows and are connected to the Internet. The attack involves the use of three different Trojan horses called Glieder, Fantibag and Mitglieder. The goal is to create a botnet consisting of a large number of compromised computers. Access to this group of compromised machines will then be available on a black market, at prices as low as five cents per machine.

    • Win32.Glieder.AK: The first of the three, this Trojan horse attempts to de-activate an extensive list of security/antivirus related processes and services running on the target computer. It also attempts to lower security settings in order to facilitate easier access for subsequent Trojan horses.
    • Fantibag: This second Trojan horse creates filters on the target machine in order to prevent access to a large number of antivirus companies’ Web sites. Thus, not only is the target computer now well and truly compromised, but an average Windows user will be completely unable to remove these violations of their system.
    • Mitgleider: Once the first two Trojan horses have largely eliminated any possibility that the target will be able to defend itself, this one finishes the job. It opens port 38884 and configures it to act as a SOCKS 4 proxy, but the compromised system can now also be commanded to do the following:-
      • Changing the backdoor port number
      • Updating the trojan
      • Downloading and execute files
      • Uninstalling the trojan
      • Initiating an SMTP server on TCP port 25, which can be used to relay spam.
      • Executing files on the infected computer
      • Downloading and executing files via an URL

    It should be noted that these Trojan horses only affect the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems. No other operating systems (such as Linux and Apple‘s OS X) are vulnerable. In order to prevent infection, Windows users are advised to ensure that they have the latest operating system patches from Microsoft, that their chosen antivirus software is up to date, and that they are using firewall software where appropriate.

    ">Digg
  • Computer Associates warns of massive botnet attack
  • ">Del.icio.us
  • Computer Associates warns of massive botnet attack
  • ">StumbleUpon
  • Computer Associates warns of massive botnet attack">Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Read User's Comments(0)

    Transport for London wins first Anti-Social Behaviour Order against graffiti vandal

    ">
    Transport for London wins first Anti-Social Behaviour Order against graffiti vandal
    Posted in Uncategorized | August 20th, 2018

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    Billy Murrell, a persistent graffiti vandal from South East London, has become the first recipient of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (Asbo) granted to Transport for London (TfL) by Greenwich Magistrates. The civil order also bans him from the top deck of buses throughout England and Wales for three years.

    Murrell, a 17-year-old from Plumstead, has a history of convictions for criminal damage on public transport, including vandalising a Tube carriage in Brixton station and for damaging buses and other public property using marker pens.

    This is Transport for London’s first Anti-Social Behaviour Order against a graffiti vandal — TfL was granted the power to apply for Asbos by the Home Secretary in September 2006.

    The Anti-Social Behaviour Order was issued at Greenwich Magistrates Court on 12 September and also bans him from carrying any permanent marker pens or any glass cutting equipment on London Underground, railway property or any other transport provider’s property.

    Metropolitan and Transport police have been made aware of Murrell’s Asbo, and have distributed his photo.

    In detail, Murrell is prohibited from:

    • Entering any depot, siding or other part of London Underground property or railway property or any transport providers property which is not expressly open to the public whether on payment or otherwise throughout England and Wales
    • Carrying the following articles, in any area specified (above) or in any public place, namely any form of unset paint in any form of container, any form of permanent marker pen, any form of shoe dye or permanent ink in any form of container, any form of paint stripper in any form of container, any form of grinding stone, glass cutting equipment, glass etching solution or paste, throughout England and Wales
    • Aiding, abetting, counselling or encourage any person who was attempting or committing any form of unlawful damage towards any property not belonging to or under the direct authorised control of the defendant throughout England and Wales
    • Travelling on the top deck of the any public transport bus within England and Wales

    If without reasonable excuse the defendant does anything which he is prohibited from doing by this order, he shall be liable to a detention and training order, which has a maximum term of 24 months – 12 months of which is custodial and 12 months in the community

    Upon turning 18 he will be liable to imprisonment up to five years.

    ">Digg
  • Transport for London wins first Anti-Social Behaviour Order against graffiti vandal">Del.icio.us
  • Transport for London wins first Anti-Social Behaviour Order against graffiti vandal">StumbleUpon
  • Transport for London wins first Anti-Social Behaviour Order against graffiti vandal">Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Read User's Comments(0)

    Canadian National buys Chicago railroad

    ">
    Canadian National buys Chicago railroad
    Posted in Uncategorized | August 20th, 2018

    Monday, February 2, 2009

    Canadian National (CN), the Montreal-based rail operator, has bought the main lines of the U.S. Elgin (EJ&E).

    CN began to buy the railway from U.S. Steel in September 2007. Regulatory approval in the US was given in January. The Canadian railway company will use the lines to avoid congestion in Chicago, taking freight along a 300km loop through the American Midwest. The route will begin the new operations on March 4.

    U.S. Steel will keep the facilities and staff required to keep the Gary steelworks in Indiana rail connected, renaming the resulting operations to the Gary Railway. The rest of the EJ&E will be integrated into CN’s existing networks. The railway passes through suburban areas of Chicago, causing residents to fear the noise and traffic that greater intensity of operation could bring.

    The Surface Transportation Board (STB), the US rail regulator, has required CN to make upgrades to ease local concerns but opponents have vowed to continue to fight against the changes. The Chicago Tribune speculates that CN will switch trains from the former Wisconsin Central line to the EJ&E south of Mundelein. This would reduce traffic in suburbs north of the crossover from 19 trains a day to just two; whilst south of the junction trains would increase from five a day to 20.

    CN paid $300 million for the lines, and will pay $100 million to upgrade them and $60 million to make the STB’s required improvements.

    ">Digg
  • Canadian National buys Chicago railroad">Del.icio.us
  • Canadian National buys Chicago railroad">StumbleUpon
  • Canadian National buys Chicago railroad">Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Read User's Comments(0)

    News briefs:May 17, 2010

    ">
    News briefs:May 17, 2010
    Posted in Uncategorized | August 18th, 2018
    Wikinews Audio Briefs Credits
    Produced By
    Turtlestack
    Recorded By
    Turtlestack
    Written By
    Turtlestack
    Listen To This Brief

    Problems? See our media guide.

    [edit]

    ">Digg
  • News briefs:May 17, 2010">Del.icio.us
  • News briefs:May 17, 2010">StumbleUpon
  • News briefs:May 17, 2010">Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Read User's Comments(0)

    Canada’s York West (Ward 7) city council candidates speak

    ">
    Canada’s York West (Ward 7) city council candidates speak
    Posted in Uncategorized | August 18th, 2018
    This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

    Monday, October 30, 2006

    On November 13, Torontoians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is York West (Ward 7). One candidate responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Sandra Anthony, Fred Cutler, Giorgio Mammoliti (incumbent), and Larry Perlman.

    For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

    ">Digg
  • Canada’s York West (Ward 7) city council candidates speak">Del.icio.us
  • Canada’s York West (Ward 7) city council candidates speak">StumbleUpon
  • Canada’s York West (Ward 7) city council candidates speak">Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Read User's Comments(0)

    California’s violent video game ban law ruled unconstitutional by US Court of Appeals

    ">
    California’s violent video game ban law ruled unconstitutional by US Court of Appeals
    Posted in Uncategorized | August 18th, 2018

    Sunday, February 22, 2009

    A U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday has declared unconstitutional California Assembly Bills 1792 & 1793, the California “ultraviolent video games law” that sought to ban the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.

    Federal judge Consuelo M. Callahan has ruled that the 2005 statewide ban, which has yet to be enforced, violates minors’ rights under the US Constitution’s First and 14th amendment because even the most graphic on-screen mayhem, video game content represents free speech that cannot be censored without proper justification.

    The Court has ruled that there’s no convincing evidence it causes psychological damage to young people. The 3-0 judgment has affirmed an earlier ruling by a U.S. District Court, which barred enforcement of the law on the basis that it was “unduly restrictive” and “used overly broad definitions,” and that the state failed to show that the limitations on violent video games would actually protect children.

    In 2005, Leland Yee (???), a California State Senator (in District 8 which includes the western half of San Francisco and most of San Mateo County), Speaker pro Tempore of the Assembly (D-San Francisco/Daly City), introduced California Assembly Bills 1792 & 1793 which barred “ultra-violent” video games from minors under the age of eighteen in California and mandated the application of ESRB ratings for video games.

    “California Assembly Bills 1792 & 1793” were commonly called the “ultraviolent video games bills” or simply “video game ban” bills. Bill 1792 banned the sales of such video games while Bill 1793 required signs explaining the regulations on said games to be placed where such were sold. Both bills were passed by the Assembly and signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger into law (AB 1179) on October 7, 2005.

    Explicitly, these two bills provided that:

    • AB 1792 will place ultra-violent video games into the “matter” portion of the penal code, which criminalizes the sale of said material to a minor.
    • AB 1793 will require retailers to place M-rated games separate from other games intended for children, and will also require retailers to display signage explaining the ESRB rating system.

    Yee, a former child psychologist has publicly criticized such games as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Manhunt 2, and opposes the U.S. Army’s Global Gaming League.

    On October 17, 2005, before the effectivity of the challenged Act, plaintiffs Video Software Dealers Association, the not-for-profit international trade association dedicated to advancing the interests of the $32 billion home entertainment industry and Entertainment Software Association, a 1994 US trade association of the video game industry have filed lawsuit (D.C. No. CV-05-04188-RMW) against the defendants Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, CA Attorney General, Edmund G. Brown, Santa Clara County District Attorney George Kennedy, City Attorney for the City of San Jose, Richard Doyle, and County Counsel for the County of Santa Clara, Ann Miller Ravel.

    Plaintiffs’ counsel, Jenner & Block‘s Paul M. Smith has filed a declaratory relief to invalidate the newly-enacted California Civil Code sections 1746-1746.5 (the “Act”), on the grounds that it allegedly violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

    Plaintiffs have submitted that “the Act unconstitutionally curtailed freedom of expression on its face based on content regulation and the labeling requirement, was unconstitutionally vague, and violated equal protection. California’s restrictions could open the door for states to limit minors’ access to other material under the guise of protecting children.”

    By December 2005, both bills had been struck down as unconstitutional, by Ronald M. Whyte, District Judge, Presiding in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, thereby preventing either from going into effect on January 1, 2006.

    Judge Whyte has granted plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in “Video Software Dealers Ass’n v. Schwarzenegger,” 401 F. Supp. 2d 1034 (N.D. Cal. 2005), and cross-motions for summary judgment, in “Video Software Dealers Ass’n v. Schwarzenegger,” No. C-05-04188, slip op. (N.D. Cal. Aug. 6, 2007).

    Similar bills were subsequently filed in such states as Illinois, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Michigan and Louisiana have been ruled to be unconstitutional by federal courts on First Amendment grounds, according to Sean Bersell, a spokesman for the Entertainment Merchants Association.

    The defendants, in the instant Case No. 07-16620, have timely appealed the judgment. On October 29, 2008, the appealed case was argued and submitted to the Sacramento, California‘s U.S. Court of Appeals, hence, the promulgation of the instant 30 pages decision (No. 07-16620; D.C. No. CV-05-04188-RMW) by Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Sidney R. Thomas and Consuelo M. Callahan (who wrote the court’s opinion), United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judges.

    In the ban’s defense, Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, Zackery Morazzini has contended that “if governments restrict the sale of pornography to minors, it should also create a separate category for ultra-violent video games.” Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr., California Attorney General, has also argued that “the Court should analyze the Act’s restrictions under what has been called the ‘variable obscenity’ or ‘obscenity as to minors’ standard first mentioned in Ginsberg, 390 U.S. 629. The Court’s reasoning in Ginsberg that a state could prohibit the sale of sexually-explicit material to minors that it could not ban from distribution to adults should be extended to materials containing violence.”

    The “Fallo” or dispositive portion of the judgment in question goes as follows:

    We hold that the Act, as a presumptively invalid contentbased restriction on speech, is subject to strict scrutiny and not the “variable obscenity” standard from Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 (1968). Applying strict scrutiny, we hold that the Act violates rights protected by the First Amendment because the State has not demonstrated a compelling interest, has not tailored the restriction to its alleged compelling interest, and there exist less-restrictive means that would further the State’s expressed interests. Additionally, we hold that the Act’s labeling requirement is unconstitutionally compelled speech under the First Amendment because it does not require the disclosure of purely factual information; but compels the carrying of the State’s controversial opinion. Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to Plaintiffs and its denial of the State’s cross-motion. Because we affirm the district court on these grounds, we do not reach two of Plaintiffs’ challenges to the Act: first, that the language of the Act is unconstitutionally vague, and, second, that the Act violates Plaintiffs’ rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.—”Video Software Dealers Association; Entertainment Software Association v. Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Kennedy” – No. 07-16620; D.C. No. CV-05-04188-RMW – Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Sidney R. Thomas and

    Consuelo M. Callahan, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Circuit Judges.

    “We need to help empower parents with the ultimate decision over whether or not their children play in a world of violence and murder,” said the law’s author, Sen. Leland Yee, announcing he wanted Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr., the current Attorney General and a former governor of the State of California, to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    “Letting the industry police itself is like letting kids sign their own report cards and that a self regulating system simply doesn’t work. I’ve always contended that the … law the governor signed was a good one for protecting children from the harm from playing these ultra-violent video games. I’ve always felt it would end up in the Supreme Court,” Sen. Yee explained. “In fact, the high court recently agreed, in Roper v. Simmons (2005), that we need to treat children differently in the eyes of the law due to brain development,” he added.

    According to Michael D. Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association, plaintiff, the Court’s ruling has stressed that parents, with assistance from the industry, are the ones who should control what games their children play. “This is a clear signal that in California and across the country, the reckless pursuit of anti-video game legislation like this is an exercise in wasting taxpayer money, government time and state resources,” Gallagher said in a statement.

    California’s violent video game law properly seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent, interactive video games. While I am deeply disappointed in today’s ruling, we should not stop our efforts to assist parents in keeping these harmful video games out of the hands of children.

    Entertainment Software Association members include Disney Interactive Studios, Electronic Arts, Microsoft Corp, THQ Inc, Sony Computer Entertainment America, and Take-Two Interactive Software, the maker of “Grand Theft Auto” games.

    Judge Callahan has also reprimanded state lawyers for having failed to show any reasonable alternatives to an outright statewide ban against the ultra-violent video games. “Ratings education, retailer ratings enforcement, and control of game play by parents are the appropriate responses to concerns about video game content,” said Bo Andersen, president and chief executive of the Entertainment Merchants Association.

    Andersen continues, “retailers are committed to assisting parents in assuring that children do not purchase games that are not appropriate for their age. Independent surveys show that retailers are doing a very good job in this area, with an 80 percent enforcement rate, and retailers will continue to work to increase enforcement rates even further; the court has correctly noted that the state cannot simply dismiss these efforts.”

    California was already forced to pay $282,794 to the ESA for attorneys’ fees, money that would’ve helped with the state’s current budget difficulties. Andersen has urged California government officials not to appeal the case. “The estimated $283,000 in taxpayer money spent by the state on this case is so far an ‘ill-advised, and ultimately doomed, attempt at state-sponsored nannyism.’ A voluntary ratings system already exists to avoid the state-sponsored nannyism of a ban,” he explained.

    “The governor believes strongly we have a responsibility to our children and our communities to protect against the effects of video games depicting ultra-violent actions,” said Governor Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Camille Anderson adding the governor was reviewing Friday’s decision.

    Deputy Attorney General Zackery Morazzini, the state’s counsel in the appealed case, has stressed that “a law restricting sales of violent games is far more effective than industry self-policing, since the technological controls that the court cited as another alternative can be easily bypassed by any kid with an Internet connection.”

    According to Jim Steyer, Founder of Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization of 750,000 regular users dedicated to improving children’s media lives, researches have shown that playing these violent video games are detrimental for kids mental and physical health. “The health threat involved with kids playing such games is equivalent to smoking cigarettes,” Steyer said. “These violent video games are learning tools for our children and clearly result in more aggressive behavior,” said Randall Hagar, California Psychiatric Association’s Director of Government Affairs.

    The Federal Trade Commission‘s data reveals that “nearly 70 percent of thirteen to sixteen year olds are able to purchase M-rated (Mature) video games, which are designed for adults; ninety-two percent of children play video or computer games, of which about forty percent are rated M, which are the fastest growing segment of the 10 billion-dollar video game industry; the top selling games reward players for killing police officers, maiming elderly persons, running over pedestrians and committing despicable acts of murder and torture upon women and racial minorities.”

    ">Digg
  • California’s violent video game ban law ruled unconstitutional by US Court of Appeals">Del.icio.us
  • California’s violent video game ban law ruled unconstitutional by US Court of Appeals">StumbleUpon
  • California’s violent video game ban law ruled unconstitutional by US Court of Appeals">Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Read User's Comments(0)

    The Shopping Cart Creators Are Making Money!

    Posted in Water Carts | August 18th, 2018

    Click Here For More Specific Information On:

    The shopping cart creators are making money!

    by

    Thomas Wagon

    With changing trends the time has changed and the influence on the people is so much so that the change is loved by them as well as accepted open handedly, especially if it is reducing their time expense and are getting their purpose solved too. Like if I cite an example on the cricket world. With the twenty-twenty cricket making rounds people are getting used to sitting for just two or more hours and within the committed time they are experiencing the craze, the fun as well the play and shots and cheers. People are not having time left for their daily activated fun like watching TV and movies and also even to go around for shopping. The television sets have the shows recorded with the high tech developments made on them but what about shopping? Yes a question that has to raise your brows and keep you thinking.

    YouTube Preview Image

    The online shopping has been the choice for many out in the busy world of earning. They get up early, have the routines done by time and move for their work early so as to complete the daily responsibilities at work. Who are they doing all this for? Obviously for themselves, until they are having a family but still taking out time for the ones you work is also a priority. Shopping being a favorite thing for the ladies, they cannot give it a miss!! They will have to work and even work harder if they shop. They carry bags, and baggage to different malls and shops to end up getting just a few things. But with the websites getting developed offered by the Shopping Cart Website Creators who kick out their best ways to provide the facility to shop online and put forward your orders faster and efficiently. This is even very helpful for the company people who handle the sales as they will not have to be present their always ands have to just get the website running properly before running for home. They can get their good sleep and have fun with their kids while coming back next day to their office, they have the no. of orders made when the website was visited by people online, that is the success of the shopping cart websites. The Web Hosting Services are also provided by the websites which will further help you stretch your hands to other entities of markets.

    http://www.livebrain.in/ is for your web solution and Website Designing total solution company. We also provides services like

    Web Hosting Services

    , Domain Booking, Search Engine Optimization,

    Shopping Cart Websites

    , Static Website Designing, Bulk SMS, SEO, CMS in Vadodara.

    Article Source:

    ArticleRich.com

    Read User's Comments(0)

    Police station attacked by car bomb in Basque Country, two officers injured

    ">
    Police station attacked by car bomb in Basque Country, two officers injured
    Posted in Uncategorized | August 16th, 2018

    Friday, August 24, 2007

    A police station of the Spanish Guardia Civil was attacked today Friday by a car bomb in the Basque city of Durango, injuring two policemen. It is believed to be the first serious attack of the separatist group ETA since it unilaterally ended a cease-fire in June. The blast caused serious damage to the police barracks in Durango, shattering windows and damaging police cars parked outside. Several nearby apartment buildings were also damaged. Police sources believe the bomb, estimated to contain between 80 and 100 kilograms of explosives, was detonated remotely by one of the two attackers who fled in another vehicle. Another car exploded about one hour later in the town of Amorebieta, possibly the one used by the activists to flee.

    ETA detonated two small explosive devices on July 25 along the route that the Tour of France used when the race dipped into northern Spain for a few hours.

    ETA called the cease-fire in March 2006, but grew frustrated with a lack of government concessions in ensuing peace talks, and set off a huge bomb in a parking area at Madrid’s airport on December 30, killing two people. It insisted then that the truce was still in effect, but finally declared it formally over in June, and Spanish security forces have been on alert ever since.

    ">Digg
  • Police station attacked by car bomb in Basque Country, two officers injured">Del.icio.us
  • Police station attacked by car bomb in Basque Country, two officers injured">StumbleUpon
  • Police station attacked by car bomb in Basque Country, two officers injured">Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Read User's Comments(0)

    Interview with US political activist and philosopher Noam Chomsky

    ">
    Interview with US political activist and philosopher Noam Chomsky
    Posted in Uncategorized | August 16th, 2018

    Saturday, April 4, 2009

    Noam Chomsky is a professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Linguistics and Philosophy. At the age of 40 he was credited with revolutionizing the field of modern linguistics. He was one of the first opponents of the Vietnam War, and is a self described Libertarian Socialist. At age 80 he continues to write books; his latest book, Hegemony or Survival, was a bestseller in non-fiction. According to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index Professor Chomsky is the eighth most cited scholar of all time.

    On March 13, Professor Chomsky sat down with Michael Dranove for an interview in his MIT office in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    ((Michael Dranove)) I just wanted to know if you had any thoughts on recent NATO actions and the protests coming up at the 60th NATO conference, I know you’re speaking at the counter-conference.

    Could be I give so many talks I can’t remember (laughs).

    On the NATO conference, well I mean the obvious question is why should NATO exist? In fact you can ask questions about why it should ever have existed, but now why should it exist. I mean the theory was, whether you believe it or not, that it would be a defensive alliance against potential Soviet aggression, that’s the basic doctrine. Well there’s no defense against Soviet aggression, so whether you believe that doctrine or not that’s gone.

    When the Soviet Union collapsed there had been an agreement, a recent agreement, between Gorbachev and the U.S government and the first Bush administration. The agreement was that Gorbachev agreed to a quite remarkable concession: he agreed to let a united Germany join the NATO military alliance. Now it is remarkable in the light of history, the history of the past century, Germany alone had virtually destroyed Russia, twice, and Germany backed by a hostile military alliance, centered in the most phenomenal military power in history, that’s a real threat. Nevertheless he agreed, but there was a quid pro quo, namely that NATO should not expand to the east, so Russia would at least have a kind of security zone. And George Bush and James Baker, secretary of state, agreed that NATO would not expand one inch to the east. Gorbachev also proposed a nuclear free weapons zone in the region, but the U.S wouldn’t consider that.

    Okay, so that was the basis on which then shortly after the Soviet Union collapsed. Well, Clinton came into office what did he do? Well one of the first things he did was to back down on the promise of not expanding NATO to the east. Well that’s a significant threat to the Soviet Union, to Russia now that there was no longer any Soviet Union, it was a significant threat to Russia and not surprisingly they responded by beefing up their offensive capacity, not much but some. So they rescinded their pledge not to use nuclear weapons on first strike, NATO had never rescinded it, but they had and started some remilitarization. With Bush, the aggressive militarism of the Bush administration, as predicted, induced Russia to extend further its offensive military capacity; it’s still going on right now. When Bush proposed the missile defense systems in Eastern Europe, Poland and Czechoslovakia, it was a real provocation to the Soviet Union. I mean that was discussed in U.S arms control journals, that they would have to regard as a potential threat to their strategic deterrent, meaning as a first strike weapon. And the claim was that it had to do with Iranian missiles, but forget about that.

    Why should we even be debating NATO, is there any reason why it should exist?

    Take say on Obama, Obama’s national security advisor James Jones former Marine commandant is on record of favoring expansion of NATO to the south and the east, further expansion of NATO, and also making it an intervention force. And the head of NATO, Hoop Scheffer, he has explained that NATO must take on responsibility for ensuring the security of pipelines and sea lanes, that is NATO must be a guarantor of energy supplies for the West. Well that’s kind of an unending war, so do we want NATO to exist, do we want there to be a Western military alliance that carries out these activities, with no pretense of defense? Well I think that’s a pretty good question; I don’t see why it should, I mean there happens to be no other military alliance remotely comparable — if there happened to be one I’d be opposed to that too. So I think the first question is, what is this all about, why should we even be debating NATO, is there any reason why it should exist?

    ((Michael Dranove)) We’ve seen mass strikes all around the world, in countries that we wouldn’t expect it. Do think this is a revival of the Left in the West? Or do you think it’s nothing?

    It’s really hard to tell. I mean there’s certainly signs of it, and in the United States too, in fact we had a sit down strike in the United States not long ago, which is a very militant labor action. Sit down strikes which began at a significant level in the 1930’s were very threatening to management and ownership, because the sit down strike is one step before workers taking over the factory and running it and kicking out the management, and probably doing a better job. So that’s a frightening idea, and police were called in and so on. Well we just had one in the United States at the Republic Windows and Doors Factory, it’s hard to know, I mean these things are just hard to predict, they may take off, and they may take on a broader scope, they may fizzle away or be diverted.

    ((Michael Dranove)) Obama has said he’s going to halve the budget. Do you think it’s a little reminiscent of Clinton right before he decided to institute welfare reform, basically destroying half of welfare, do you think Obama is going to take the same course?

    There’s nothing much in his budget to suggest otherwise, I mean for example, he didn’t really say much about it, about the welfare system, but he did indicate that they are going to have to reconsider Social Security. Well there’s nothing much about social security that needs reconsideration, it’s in pretty good financial shape, probably as good as it’s been in its history, it’s pretty well guaranteed for decades in advance. As long as any of the famous baby boomers are around social Security will be completely adequate. So its not for them, contrary to what’s being said. If there is a long term problem, which there probably is, there are minor adjustments that could take care of things.

    So why bring up Social Security at all? If it’s an issue at all it’s a very minor one. I suspect the reason for bringing it up is, Social Security is regarded as a real threat by power centers, not because of what it does, very efficient low administrative costs, but for two reasons. One reason is that it helps the wrong people. It helps mostly poor people and disabled people and so on, so that’s kind of already wrong, even though it has a regressive tax. But I think a deeper reason is that social security is based on an idea that power centers find extremely disturbing, namely solidarity, concern for others, community, and so on.

    If people have a commitment to solidarity, mutual aid, support, and so on, that’s dangerous because that could lead to concern for other things.

    The fundamental idea of Social Security is that we care about whether the disabled widow across town has food to eat. And that kind of idea has to be driven out of people’s heads. If people have a commitment to solidarity, mutual aid, support, and so on, that’s dangerous because that could lead to concern for other things. Like, it’s well known, for example, that markets just don’t provide lots of options, which today are crucial options. So for example, markets today permit you to buy one brand of car or another. But a market doesn’t permit you to decide “I don’t want a car, I want a public transportation system”. That’s just not a choice made available on the market. And the same is true on a wide range of other issues of social significance, like whether to help the disabled widow across town. Okay, that’s what communities decide, that’s what democracy is about, that’s what social solidarity is about and mutual aid, and building institutions by people for the benefit of people. And that threatens the system of domination and control right at the heart, so there’s a constant attack on Social Security even though the pretexts aren’t worth paying attention to.

    There are other questions on the budget; the budget is called redistributive, I mean, very marginally it is so, but the way it is redistributive to the extent that it is, is by slightly increasing the tax responsibility to the extremely wealthy. Top couple of percent, and the increase is very marginal, doesn’t get anywhere near where it was during the periods of high growth rate and so on. So that’s slightly redistributive, but there are other ways to be redistributive, which are more effective, for example allowing workers to unionize. It’s well known that where workers are allowed to unionize and most of them want to, that does lead to wages, better working conditions, benefits and so on, which is redistributive and also helps turn working people into more of a political force. And instead of being atomized and separated they’re working to together in principle, not that humans function so wonderfully, but at least it’s a move in that direction. And there is a potential legislation on the table that would help unionize, the Employee Free Choice Act. Which Obama has said he’s in favor of, but there’s nothing about it in the budget, in fact there’s nothing in the budget at all as far as I can tell about improving opportunities to unionize, which is an effective redistributive goal.

    And there’s a debate right now, it happens to be in this morning’s paper if Obama’s being accused by Democrats, in fact particularly by Democrats, of taking on too much. Well actually he hasn’t taken on very much, the stimulus package; I mean anybody would have tried to work that out with a little variation. And the same with the bailouts which you can like or not, but any President is going to do it. What is claimed is that he’s adding on to it health care reform, which will be very expensive, another hundreds of billions of dollars, and it’s just not the time to do that. I mean, why would health care reform be more expensive? Well it depends which options you pick. If the healthcare reforms maintain the privatized system, yeah, it’s going to be very expensive because it’s a hopelessly inefficient system, it’s very costly, its administrative costs are far greater than Medicare, the government run system. So what that means is that he’s going to maintain a system which we know is inefficient, has poor outcomes, but is a great benefit to insurance companies, financial institutions, the pharmaceutical industry and so on. So it can save money, health care reform can be a method of deficit reduction. Namely by moving to an efficient system that provides health care to everyone, but that’s hardly talked about, its advocates are on the margins and its main advocates aren’t even included in the groups that are discussing it.

    And if you look through it case after case there are a lot of questions like that. I mean, take unionization again, this isn’t in the budget but take an example. Obama, a couple of weeks ago, wanted to make a gesture to show his solidarity with the labor movement, which workers, well that’s different (chuckles) with the workers not the labor movement. And he went to go visit an industrial plant in Illinois, the plant was owned by Caterpillar. There was some protest over that, by human rights groups, church groups, and others because of Caterpillar’s really brutal role in destroying what’s left of Palestine. These were real weapons of mass destruction, so there were protests but he went anyway. However, there was a much deeper issue which hasn’t even been raised, which is a comment on our deep ideological indoctrination. I mean Caterpillar was the first industrial organization to resort to scabs, strikebreakers, to break a major strike. This was in the 1980’s, Reagan had already opened the doors with the air controllers, but this is the first in the manufacturing industry to do it. That hadn’t been done in generations. In fact, it was illegal in every industrial country except apartheid South Africa. But that was Caterpillar’s achievement helping to destroy a union by calling in scabs, and if you call in scabs forget about strikes, in other words, or any other labor action. Well that’s the plant Obama went to visit. It’s possible he didn’t know, because the level of indoctrination in our society is so profound that most people wouldn’t even know that. Still I think that it’s instructive, if you’re interested in doing something redistributive, you don’t go to a plant that made labor history by breaking the principle that you can’t break strikes with scabs.

    ((Michael Dranove)) I live out in Georgia, and a lot of people there are ultra-right wing Ron Paul Libertarians. They’re extremely cynical. Is there any way for people on the left to reach out to them?

    I think what you have to do is ask, what makes them Ron Paul Libertarians? I don’t happen to think that makes a lot of sense, but nevertheless underlying it are feelings that do make sense. I mean the feeling for example that the government is our enemy. It’s a very widespread feeling, in fact, that’s been induced by propaganda as well.

    So pretty soon it will be April 15th, and the people in your neighborhood are going to have to send in their income taxes. The way they’re going to look at it, and the way they’ve been trained to look at it is that there is some alien force, like maybe from Mars, that is stealing our hard earned money from us and giving it to the government. Okay, well, that would be true in a totalitarian state, but if you had a democratic society you’d look at it the other way around You’d say “great, it’s April 15th, we’re all going to contribute to implement the plans that we jointly decided on for the benefit of all of us.” But that idea is even more frightening than Social Security. It means that we would have a functioning democracy, and no center of concentrated power is ever going to want that, for perfectly obvious reasons. So yes there are efforts, and pretty successful efforts to get people to fear the government as their enemy, not to regard it as the collective population acting in terms of common goals that we’ve decided on which would be what have to happen in a democracy. And is to an extent what does happen in functioning democracies, like Bolivia, the poorest country in South America. It’s kind of what’s happening there more or less. But that’s very remote from what’s happening here.

    Well I think Ron Paul supporters can be appealed to on these grounds, they’re also against military intervention, and we can ask “okay, why?” Is it just for their own security, do they want to be richer or something? I doubt it, I think people are concerned because they think we destroyed Iraq and so on. So I think that there are lots of common grounds that can be explored, even if the outcomes, at the moment, look very different. They look different because they’re framed within fixed doctrines. But those doctrines are not graven in stone. They can be undermined.

    ">Digg
  • Interview with US political activist and philosopher Noam Chomsky">Del.icio.us
  • Interview with US political activist and philosopher Noam Chomsky">StumbleUpon
  • Interview with US political activist and philosopher Noam Chomsky">Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Read User's Comments(0)
    « Older Entries