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'We Are All Martians': Chemist's Otherworldly Claim Stirs Debate - NBC

'We are all Martians': Chemist's otherworldly claim stirs debate
Alan Boyle, Science Editor, NBC News

This graphic shows how Mars might have looked billions of years ago, when scientists believe the planet had a large northern ocean.


Are we all Martians? A controversial hypothesis contends that life on our planet had to get its start somewhere else — most likely on Mars — because the chemistry on early Earth couldn't have provided the required molecular machinery.

"The evidence seems to be building that we are actually all Martians; that life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock," Steven Benner, a chemist at the Florida-based Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, said in a news release. What's more, recent studies suggest that the conditions suitable for the origin of life "may still exist on Mars," he said.

Scientists have long debated the idea that life got its start elsewhere in the universe, and then was transported to Earth on meteorites or comets — an idea known as panspermia. In a presentation to the annual Goldschmidt Conference in Florence, Italy, Benner lays out an unusually detailed case for panspermia involving early Mars and Earth.

For years, scientists have been saying that although present-day Mars is an inhospitable place, it was much more habitable billions of years ago. The findings from NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars have added fresh support to such claims.

The early environment on Earth, however...


More: http://www.nbcnews.com/science/we-are-all-martians-chemists-otherworldly-claim-stirs-debate-8C11026339

9 Secrets Of The NYPD’s Spy Unit Revealed In ‘Enemies Within’ - DailyBeast

9 Secrets of the NYPD’s Spy Unit Revealed in ‘Enemies Within’
In the wake of 9/11, the NYPD launched a huge surveillance program. In the new book Enemies Within, Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman detail the radical counterterrorism plan that destroyed the city’s privacy.

Abe Haglage - DailyBeast
Aug 29, 2013 6:23 AM EDT


While peering out onto the burning rubble at Ground Zero in the days after September 11, Ray Kelly (then an executive at Bear Stearns) had an epiphany: “The NYPD needs its own intelligence unit.” If the federal government continued to hold a monopoly on nationwide intelligence information, he theorized, the NYPD would simply be “waiting to respond to the next [terrorist] attack” and “helpless to prevent it.” Sworn in as New York City police commissioner just four months later in January 2002, the former Wall Streeter made it his mission to ensure that the NYPD would have the power—and intelligence—to stop something like this from happening on NYC soil again.

Doing so would require the creation of a secret, highly invasive intelligence unit in New York City that would “rival the FBI” and focus on the city in a way that that national organization never could. For this, he’d need the help of David Cohen, a retired CIA officer who had also gone to Wall Street. Together, Kelly and Cohen, whom he appointed as the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for intelligence, launched a top-secret spying unit in New York City—the first of its kind.

To be effective at spotting “homegrown terrorists” and “thwarting their attacks,” the program wanted officers who could delve into the personal lives of innocent citizens in Muslim communities. And delve they did.

In the forthcoming book Enemies Within, AP reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman rake through never-before-published NYPD documents and intelligence interviews to find out exactly how much damage this invasive spying unit did to innocent New Yorkers—most of whom were Muslims. The answer, Apuzzo and Goldman found, was a lot.

Below, nine shocking revelations about the NYPD’s top-secret spying unit:

More: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/29/9-secrets-of-the-nypd-s-spy-unit-revealed-in-enemies-within.html

... --- ...

Russia sends warships to Mediterranean as Syria tension rises
By Timothy Heritage
MOSCOW | Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:59am EDT


MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is sending two warships to the east Mediterranean, Interfax news agency said on Thursday, but Moscow denied this meant it was beefing up its naval force there as Western powers prepare for military action against Syria.

Interfax quoted a source in the armed forces' general staff as saying Russia, Syria's most powerful ally, was deploying a missile cruiser from the Black Sea Fleet and a large anti-submarine ship from the Northern Fleet in the "coming days".

Any strengthening of the navy's presence could fuel tension, especially as the United States has said it is repositioning naval forces in the Mediterranean following an alleged chemical weapons attack which is blames on Syrian government forces.

"The well-known situation now in the eastern Mediterranean required us to make some adjustments to the naval force," the source said in a reference to the events in Syria.

It was not clear when the vessels would arrive but Interfax said the Moskva missile cruiser was currently in the North Atlantic and would set sail in the next few days.

President Vladimir Putin has said the naval presence is needed to protect national security interests and is not a threat to any nation. Russia cooperates with NATO navies against piracy and its ships call at Western ports.

The navy later indicated a deployment was imminent in the Mediterranean but gave no details except to say it would be part of a long-planned rotation and suggested it would not increase the size of Russian forces there.

"This is not a new group ... but a planned rotation," an highly-placed navy official who was not identified told state-run RIA news agency.

The reason for the discrepancy in the reports by Interfax and RIA was not clear but confusion has at times surrounded previous Russian deployments in the Mediterranean because of the secrecy involved. The Defence Ministry declined comment.


More: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/29/us-syria-crisis-russia-navy-idUSBRE97S0AK20130829

I Beseech You To Watch This.. Remebering Voter ID And All...

And Then... There's This... Joan Baez... Woodstock...

My New Anthem... Will You Join Me ???

WOW... No Wonder Free Speech Is Under Attack !!!

In A History of American Labor, Joseph G. Rayback has written,

The Industrial Workers of the World made its first impression upon the nation through its involvement in the "free speech" fight begun in Spokane, Washington, employment center for the casual labor elements of the Pacific Northwest. The fight developed late in 1908 when the I.W.W. launched an extensive speaking campaign with the slogan "Don't Buy Jobs" in the streets around the Spokane employment agencies which had become skilled in the art of swindling men who applied for jobs.[2]

The "job sharks" were so closely tied to the crew boss on many job sites that there would be "one gang coming, one gang working and one gang going." The faster the turnover, the greater the fees that could be generated. From time to time the men would ignore the IWW and seek revenge after an employment shark took someone's last dollar for a job that didn't exist. The Spokesman-Review of January 18, 1909 reported,[3]

Hurling rocks and chunks of ice through the windows of the Red Cross Employment Agency, 224 Stevens St., several members of a noisy mob of between 2,000 and 3,000 idle men were about to attempt to wreck the place about 6 o'clock last evening, when James H. Walsh, organizer of the IWW, mounted a chair and pacified the multitude. In the opinion of the police had it not been for the intervention of Walsh, a riot would surely have followed, as the rabble was worked up to such a pitch that its members would have readily attempted violence. Walsh discouraged violence and summoned all members of the IWW to their hall at the rear of 312 Front Ave. The police dispersed the rest... At the hall Walsh warned the crowd against an outbreak. "There were a lot of hired Pinkertons in that crowd," he said. "All they wanted you fellows to do was to start something and then they would have an excuse for shooting you down or smashing your heads in... You can gain nothing by resorting to mob rule."[4]

For the rest of the summer, IWW street meetings brought more and more working stiffs into the IWW.[5]

The agencies promptly countered by pressuring the city council to pass an ordinance forbidding street speaking. The I.W.W. obeyed the regulation for nearly a year, until Spokane religious groups, which habitually used the streets, secured a new regulation exempting them from the street-speaking ordinance. Angered by the discrimination on behalf of "the Christers," the Spokane I.W.W. renewed its campaign.[2]

The newspaper of the IWW, the Industrial Worker, published the following on October 28: "Wanted—Men to Fill the Jails of Spokane." Then the IWW sent out a notice to all locations, "Nov. 2, FREE SPEECH DAY—IWW locals will be notified by wire how many men to send if any... Meetings will be orderly and no irregularities of any kind will be tolerated."[5]

In one day 150 men were arrested and crowded into jails that could hardly accommodate them. Reinforcements promptly arrived from the surrounding territory.[2]

The Spokane City Council arranged for rock-pile work for the prisoners.[5]

At the end of twenty days four hundred men had been jailed.[2]

Overflowing prisoners were lodged in the Franklin School [then located along Front Street (now Trent)], and the War Department made Fort Wright available for more. Eight editors in succession got out a copy of the Industrial Worker, and then took their turn soapboxing, and went to jail. The IWW's "rebel girl," Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, who was fresh out of high school, delayed her arrest by chaining herself to a lamppost. She later charged that the police were using the women's section of the jail as a brothel, with police soliciting customers. When that story was printed in the Industrial Worker on December 10, the police attempted to destroy all copies. Public sympathy began to favor the strikers. When the prison guards would march the overflowing prisoners through the streets to bathing facilities, crowds would shower the men with apples, oranges, and Bull Durham.[6]

The effort brought results: the W.F.M. declared a boycott of all goods coming from Spokane, and taxpayers began to protest against the cost of feeding, housing, and policing the prisoners. When Vincent St. John publicly appealed to all Wobblies to come to Spokane to renew the struggle, city officials capitulated.[2]

The victory for the free speech fight came on March 4. The licenses of 19 of the employment agencies were revoked.[6]

The I.W.W. was granted freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, and the right to distribute its literature.[2]

In Labor's Untold Story, Boyer and Morais observed,

The courts became so clogged they could handle little else but free speech cases. The fight for free speech became largely a question of endurance between the lungs and heads of the Wobblies and the stamina of the police. In Missoula and Spokane as in most of the other towns where free speech fights were waged, any citizen could address any assemblage on any street on any subject at any time by the end of 1912.

More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_speech_fights

Utah Phillips, 1935 - 2008

Labor Notes' streaming song of the month, August 2004, Phillips' The 1910
Spokane Free Speech Fight, recorded at the Great Labor Arts Exchange, June 2004.
Listen at: http://labornotes.org/node/1662 .


'. . . That's when I met Herb Edwards. Herb Edwards lived in West Seattle. He
was an old IWW organizer, and a Norwegian immigrant, and I wouldn't even try to
do his deep baritone Norwegian accent. He was in the free speech fight in
Spokane Washington in 1910. He told me the story of that free speech fight.

He said "Well we boomed into town from all over the West on the freight trains.
We jungled up in the flops to wait for something to open up when the weather
broke. We'd go down onto the skids, and on Trent Avenue there, and this happened
all over the West. There were little rows of stores called 'labor sharks.' And
you'd go into a labor shark and lay down $4, and that entitled you to a job up
in the logging camp or over in the Coeur d'Alenes and the Silver Valley, see, in

Well, you'd burn up your road stake getting, booming over to the job, and then
you'd be on the job thirty days, for a month, get paid and laid off. Why?

Because the foreman on the job was splitting the fees with the shark in town,
see. It was called perpetual motion. You got one guy going to the job, one on
the job, and one coming back to town, on the damn job. Why the Wobblies said
'Well, we're going to break the power of the labor sharks. We'll build union
hiring halls and control the condition of our labors.'

Well the one in Missoula Montana was burned down by the law, and the one in
Spokane was burned down by the town. Well of course the Wobblies then went down
on the street to soapbox, to street-speak. They set up across the street from
the Starvation Army. . . . . . .'


Get on your feet, all...

Oops... 'Why Aren’t There Any Technologists On The NSA Review Panel?' - WaPo

Why aren’t there any technologists on the NSA review panel?
By Andrea Peterson - WaPo
Published: August 28 at 1:07 pm


The White House released the official list of members for the panel to review government surveillance policies. It included the four former White House and intelligence community staffers previously reported by ABC—Michael Morell, Richard Clarke, Cass Sunstein and Peter Swire—and one additional academic, Geoffrey Stone.

Stone hired Obama for his job at the University of Chicago law school. After Ed Snowden’s leaks, he described Obama as a “rational civil libertarian,” and suggested that liberals who expected Obama to be a strong advocate of civil liberties were engaging in “wishful thinking.” ABC news describes him as a “longtime Obama supporter and self-described informal adviser to Obama’s 2008 campaign.”

Stone previously criticized the president’s approach to government transparency in a New York Times editorial, but recently gave an interview to the Democracy Now! in which he defended the legality of NSA surveillance programs:

So far as I can tell from everything that’s been revealed [by Edward Snowden], absolutely nothing illegal or criminal about these programs. They may be terrible public policy—I’m not sure I approve of it at all—but the fact is the claim that they’re unconstitutional and illegal is wildly premature.

Some in the tech and privacy communities expressed dismay at the lack of tech expertise on the panel. Chris Soghoian, principal technologist and a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, for example, asked on Twitter, “Is it too much to ask that the NSA surveillance review panel include at least one person who knows how to actually run a packet sniffer?”

Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the senior staff technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology...


More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/08/28/why-arent-there-any-technologists-on-the-nsa-review-panel/

MSNBC Is Going To Show The Entire "Dream" Speech In Its Entirety... If You'd Like To Follow Along...

I Have A Dream
Martin Luther King Jr.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now.

This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning.

Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Link: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/08/28/i_have_a_dream_119739.html

On Syria, A Drumbeat With Some Echoes Of Iraq - NYT

On Syria, a Drumbeat With Some Echoes of Iraq
August 28, 2013



Such an elaborate campaign is not necessary in this case, administration officials argued, because the evidence is already overwhelming and the scope of the proposed response is more limited. Still, the White House faces an American public considerably more skeptical about intervention in Syria than it was about Iraq. The feverish atmosphere of the years after the Sept. 11 attacks has given way to a country exhausted after more than a decade of war.

Mr. Bush obtained strong Congressional backing for the war in Iraq, but now even the Republican Party is split between hawks like Senator John McCain of Arizona, who advocates forceful intervention, and neo-isolationists like Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who argues that the United States has no business getting entangled in the Middle East. At this point the bulk of Republican members of Congress are skeptical of taking military action.

On Tuesday, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Representative Ed Royce of California, put the White House on notice that it needed to make a persuasive case for war this time. “Any U.S. military action could bring serious consequences or further escalation,” Mr. Royce said in a statement. “The president should be making the case to the American public, and his administration should come to Congress to explain their plans.”

In the coming days, administration officials said, they will present intelligence that they say reinforces the documentary evidence that the Syrian government carried out the attack. The material is likely to include intercepted radio communications of Syrian commanders — much as General Powell played intercepts of exchanges between Iraqi officials at the United Nations.

Syria, weapons inspectors said, is more skilled at covering its tracks than Iraq was. Olli Heinonen, a former inspector for the International Atomic Energy Agency, recalled his frustrated efforts to investigate whether Syria had developed a nuclear reactor — destroyed by Israel in an airstrike in 2007 — with technology supplied by North Korea. Thwarted at every step by the Syrian authorities, Mr. Heinonen said the agency never uncovered a smoking gun that linked North Korea to the facility. But he said the circumstantial evidence was overwhelming. “When you put all those pieces of the puzzle together,” he said, “it was just consistent.”

As Mr. Obama makes his case over the coming days, he is likely to fall back on a similar argument.


More: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/29/world/middleeast/on-syria-a-drumbeat-with-some-echoes-of-iraq.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0&pagewanted=print

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