Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963
In his first weeks in office, Barack Obama broadcast for all to hear the five commandments by which life in his new world of national security would be lived. He hasn’t kept them so well. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
"The Kepler space telescope was launched in 2009 on a $600m (£360m) mission to assess the likely population of Earth-sized planets in our Milky Way Galaxy.
Faulty pointing mechanisms eventually blunted its abilities last year, but not before it had identified thousands of possible, or "candidate", worlds in a patch of sky in the constellations Cygnus and Lyra.
It did this by looking for transits - the periodic dips in light that occur when planets move across the faces of stars.
Launched in 2009, the Kepler space telescope sought to find Earth-like worlds orbiting distant stars in the Constellation Lyra
It used the so-called transit technique - looking for the periodic dips in light as exoplanets pass in front of their host stars
Last year, astronomers used Kepler's data to estimate that one in five stars like the Sun hosts an Earth-sized world
How does the Kepler telescope work?
How rare is our blue planet?
Before Wednesday, the Kepler spacecraft had confirmed the existence of 246 exoplanets. It has now pushed this number up to 961. That is more than half of all the discoveries made in the field over the past 20 years."
Russian, Nato generals in touch over Ukraine - "The US and European allies warned Russia on Sunday not to send forces into Ukraine after a Kremlin aide said Moscow could intervene. Asked by Reuters if Nato had contingency plans for a Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Nato spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said only: “This is a political crisis which needs a political solution.”
Nato defence ministers, who meet in Brussels later this week, are expected to discuss developments in Ukraine at a dinner on Wednesday evening, Lungescu said. They are likely to voice support for continued democratic reforms in Ukraine.
While not a Nato member, Ukraine participates in a number of Natomissions, including contributing soldiers to Nato-led forces in Kosovo and Afghanistan."
"Mr Hagel said at the Pentagon on Monday: "This is a time for reality.
"This is a budget that recognises the reality of the magnitude of our fiscal challenges."
He added: "There are difficult decisions ahead. That is the reality we're living with."
The number of active-duty US Army members was already expected to be pared down to 490,000, as the US prepares to end its combat role in Afghanistan later this year.
Noting the current US Army strength, Mr Hagel added: "Since we are no longer sizing the force for prolonged stability operations, an Army of this size is larger than required to meet the demands of our defence strategy."" Thought - Every time Hagel and the Obamagon try to ramp up the fear/threat to US rhetoric, this action is all that has to be mentioned.
On March 15, 1968, members of the 23rd Infantry Division's Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, were briefed by their commanding officer, Captain Ernest Medina, ahead of an operation in an area they knew as "Pinkville." As unit member Harry Stanley recalled, Medina "ordered us to 'kill everything in the village.'" Infantryman Salvatore LaMartina remembered Medina's words only slightly differently: they were to "kill everything that breathed." What stuck in artillery forward observer James Flynn's mind was a question one of the other soldiers asked: "Are we supposed to kill women and children?" And Medina's reply: "Kill everything that moves."
The next morning, roughly 100 soldiers were flown by helicopter to the outskirts of a small Vietnamese hamlet called My Lai in South Vietnam's Quang Ngai Province and followed Medina's orders to a T.
Over a period of four hours, the Americans methodically slaughtered more than 500 Vietnamese civilians. Along the way, they also raped women and young girls, mutilated the dead, systematically burned homes, and fouled the area's drinking water. It took a year and a half for a cover-up that extended from soldiers in the field to generals at the top of the division to unravel - thanks in large measure to veterans Ron Ridenhour and Ron Haberle and crack investigative reporter Seymour Hersh.
The military took great pains to contain the fallout from the My Lai revelations, offering basement-level estimates of the death toll and focusing its attention on Lieutenant William Calley, the lowest ranking officer who could conceivably shoulder the blame, while also burying other atrocity allegations, deep-sixing inquiries, classifying documents, and obstructing investigations in order to cast My Lai as a one-off aberration.
"Hardly anybody outside of the US remembers that Boehner started peddling his trademark hustle no less than three years ago. It was an extortion spectacular that could have been devised by the Mob. Boehner threatened to bring the United States of America to default if the Obama administration did not submit to some heavy-duty spending cuts. As in, “Gimme what I want, otherwise I’ll burn the house down.”
Now it seems the hustle – like in the movie – has run its course (and not because Boehner was “intercepted” by the FBI). Mr. Speaker in fact intercepted himself, and brought a clean debt-limit bill to the US Congress.
The bill passed, basically because of Democrat votes (199 Republicans voted against Boehner). Even though he has warned them in advance, as in, “We’re not going to make ourselves the story,” Republicans went ballistic. And predictably, US corporate media went bonkers with “surrender” (as applied to Boehner) and “victory” (as applied to President Obama), as if this was the snowboard halfpipe final at Sochi (which American Shaun White lost to Russian-born Iouri ‘iPod’ Podladtchikov)."
The Last Straw is a documentary DVD of Charles Bukowski's last poetry reading. The producers recognized that the value of this 1980 performance was not simply the poems but the entire spontaneous, confrontational even. The footage is only slightly edited to avoid duplicating poems with There's Gonna Be a God Damn Riot in Here!, a DVD of another late Bukowski reading in Vancouver.
Two severed heads were dumped in front of a bank in the western Mexican state of Michoacán on Monday, days before a planned visit by Enrique Peña Nieto, the president, to the volatile region where he has launched a major security offensive.
Though there was no confirmation of the identity of the victims, officials believe the murders in the town of Parácuaro were the work of the Knights Templar cartel seeking to dissuade potential informants.
Valor por Michoacán, a local group that monitors the security situation, posted on Twitter that the victims were found with a sign reading “for all those who switched sides”. An official who asked not to be named confirmed that the message was a warning to potential traitors about what could happen to them.
Mr Peña Nieto, who is due to travel to Michoacán this week although no date has yet been announced, deployed some 9,300 federal police and troops to the so-called Tierra Caliente (Hot Lands) region of Michoacán last month to wrest back control of a state with an important Pacific port, and where so-called self-defence groups of armed vigilantes had taken the law into their own hands to fight the Templars.
It was the third time in under a year that the president had sent federal forces to the state, where the cartel has branched out from drug trafficking and extortion to run a lucrative line in smuggling iron ore to China. The move appeared to be paying early dividends, including the capture of the alleged number two in the Templar hierarchy, and a deal with self-defence groups to legalise and join rural police forces.
Nonetheless, the ability of criminal gangs to slip unnoticed into Parácuaro and dump the heads in a plastic bag in front of the bank at the entrance to the town, despite the heavy police and army presence in the region, underlines how difficult it will be to tame the Templars.
Three years later, “some stirred up Muslims” flew hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The eradication of their movement became our national obsession, one that justified raising U.S. military expenditures back to the highest levels of the Cold War, even though there was no technologically significant enemy to justify this restoration of the power and the glory of the military-industrial complex.
In the process, we have come to sacrifice the basic rights of the individual enshrined in our Constitution in the name of finding what our last president, in his comic book lingo, termed the “evildoers,” without ever conceding that they were once, as President Reagan defined them, our “freedom fighters.” Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, a former top exec at defense contractor Halliburton, must have chuckled at that one, knowing full well that a primitive enemy holed up in mountain caves could not justify blowing trillions on the most sophisticated oceangoing aircraft carriers, stealth fighters and other relics of an era when we had a militarily significant enemy. More
Why Hawking is Wrong About Black Holes: "It all comes down to what is known as the firewall paradox for black holes. The central feature of a black hole is its event horizon. The event horizon of a black hole is basically the point of no return when approaching a black hole. In Einstein’s theory of general relativity, the event horizon is where space and time are so warped by gravity that you can never escape. Cross the event horizon and you are forever trapped. This one-way nature of an event horizon has long been a challenge to understanding gravitational physics. For example, a black hole event horizon would seem to violate the laws of thermodynamics. One of the principles of thermodynamics is that nothing should have a temperature of absolute zero. Even very cold things radiate a little heat, but if a black hole traps light then it doesn’t give off any heat. So a black hole would have a temperature of zero, which shouldn’t be possible."
Jacques Brel's song commemorates, in this WW1 Centenary Year, a forgotten hero of the war, Jean Jaures, the French Socialist leader. He advocated a policy of "peace through arbitration" as hostilities fermented. The Socialist Party under Jaurés grew rapidly at the beginning of the century but split over the correct response to German militarism. Jaurés advocated a policy of international arbitration whereas others supported the Triple Entente. During the war fever that swept through Europe during the summer of 1914, Jaurés continued to argue for peaceful negotiations between the European governments. He emphasised that miners, agricultural workers and manual labourers on both sides had more in common than the forces dividing them. On 31st July, 1914, Jean Jaurés was assassinated by a young French nationalist who wanted war with Germany :
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