A Big Lesson from a Tiny Country

By a fluke of happenstance, I found myself privy to the secret machinations of a “revolution” in a foreign country and, as a consequence, found myself looking into a window onto how the Bush Administration is going about expanding its Empire. My wife is a native of the Republic of Georgia, a very small country off the Caspian Sea. Georgia is even smaller than the state of New Jersey, with only a population of 5.5 million people. Yet, it recently underwent a dramatic revolution, which the US took no small interest in. In November of 2003, Georgian President Edouard Shevardnadze won reelection by a wide margin in an election that was internationally condemned as fraudulent. Immediately, protests broke out and, within days, Georgian citizens started pouring into Tbilisi, the nation’s capital. Gradually the crowds swelled, and before long there were tens of thousands of peaceful, yet determined, demonstrators picketing in front of the Parliament Building in the middle of the city. And, the numbers continued to swell. After a few weeks of this, the leader of the revolt, an US-educated lawyer Michael Saakashvili, along with several supporters, broke into the main hall of the Parliament Building while President Shevardnadze was addressing the body and, very dramatically, forced the president to be escorted out by bodyguards. This was all captured on television, and was played over and over again on local broadcasting netwrks, as well as on the BBC and other international news organizations. Finally, Mr. Shevardnadze was forced to resign, and an “Acting President”, Nino Burjanadze, was appointed. The new elections were just held, on Jan. 4th. Mr. Saakashvili...

Re:Winter Solstice (Score:5, Informative) by ShadowBlasko (597519) on Sunday December 21, @01:01PM (#7780024) (http://www.shadowsrealm.com/) Since it seems applicable, I thought I would drop this in again. Insert Fun Facts Here…. As you sit back in your chair this Christmas: (the biggest holiday of the Ancient Roman World called Saturnalia and the birth of the Persian Sun God Mithras was named the birth festival of Jesus by Pope Leo the Great in 885 A.D. December 25th was also the Feast of Sol Invictus, the Invincible Sun, a cult popular to Romans like Constantine, the first Christian emperor. Modern estimates based on the census records of Augustus calculate Jesus’ actual birth in July although Christians had started to use the Saturnalia as the birthday feast as early as the 300’s A.D.) by your yule log:(pagan German custom), wrapping your presents in pretty paper:(Roman Saturnalia custom) with your house all decorated with lights:(Roman New Year custom) under your mistletoe:(Druid custom), drinking from your Wassel Bowl:(Anglo-German hot beer with toast floatingin which is why we “toast” with the words “was-heil” — here’s to ya). You’re looking at your Christmas tree:(besides the Celtic tree worship, the 24th of December was the feast day of Saints Adam and Evewhen Medieval Churches act out the Genesis story and set up a tree representing the “tree of life” with glass balls representing the fruit. This custom was later associated with Christmas and was taken from Germany to England by Prince Albert and to America by Hessian soldiers and later German immigrants) (In an 1883 editorial about the newfangled custom the New York Times called the Christmas Tree...

CyberWar Update #4

Merry Christmas all — I will be out of pocket for the coming holidays — best to you and yours. /mark hopkins markhopkins@mindless.com parallad studios http://www.parallad.com OSIS Project Rizzn’s Wartime Factbook: http://factbook.diaryland.com/ The Best UAV: http://www.unmannedaircraft.com CyberWar Update #4 Update as of December 23, 2001 Report Assembled by Mark Hopkins <markhopkins@mindless.com> of Parallad Studios OSIS Project http://www.parallad.com Things this report will concern itself with:   a.. Operation Buccaneer   b.. Magic Lantern Developments and Analysis   c.. New Virus Developments: We have a new Christmas-time virus, the third email worm in three weeks. Read the details to protect yourself from attack.   d.. Al Qa’ida/Microsoft Hack     a.. The Story: Suspected member of the Al Qaeda terrorist network, Mohammad Afroze Abdul Razzak, claimed that Islamic militants infiltrated Microsoft and sabotaged the company’s Windows XP operating system, according to a source close to Indian police.     b.. Analysis: How likely is this allegation to be true?  Many say not very.  Read for some interesting possible connections.   e.. New Federal Encryption Standard     a.. The Story:The U.S. Federal Government has finally decided to upgrade its DES standard to the newly created AES encryption standard, a long needed change.     b.. Analysis: How effective is the new standard?  Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Operation Buccaneer The Story The federal government concludes a yearlong investigation into software piracy, and in the past week, been involved in raids against WAREZ groups, including 90+ scene group senior members and leaders in US, Canada, Britain, Australia, Norway, 2 cracking groups in Poland. The US Customs Service, along with the US Department of...

Barbie's Wish List

Barbie’s Letter To Santa: Dear Santa, Listen you fat little troll, I’ve been helping you out every year, playing at being the perfect Christmas Present, wearing skimpy bathing suits in frigid weather, and drowning in fake tea from one too many tea parties, and I hate to break it to ya Santa, but IT’S DEFINITELY PAY BACK TIME! There had better be some changes around here this Christmas, or I’m gonna call for a nationwide meltdown (and trust me, you won’t wanna be around to smell it). So, here’s my holiday wish list for 2000 Santa. 1. A nice, comfy pair of sweat pants and a frumpy, oversized sweatshirt. I’m sick of looking like a hooker. How much smaller are these bathing suits gonna get? Do you have any idea what it feels like to have nylon and velcro up your butt? 2. Real underwear that can be pulled on and off. Preferably white. What bonehead at Mattel decided to cheap out and MOLD imitation underwear to my skin?!? It looks like cellulite! 3. A REAL man… maybe GI JOE. Hell, I’d take Tickle-Me-Elmo over that wimped-out excuse for a boytoy Ken. And what’s with that earring anyway? If I’m gonna have to suffer with him, at least make him (and me) anatomically correct. 4. Arms that actually bend so I can push the aforementioned Ken-wimp away once he is anatomically correct. 5. Breast reduction surgery. I don’t care whose arm you have to twist,just get it done. 6. A jog-bra. To wear until I get the surgery. 7. A new career. Pet doctor and school teacher just don’t...

Origin of Narcolepsy Man

Dear Diary, Narcolepsy Man 1/2The Origin of Narcolepsy ManorFistfuls of Pi Once upon a time, in a land about 100 miles to the east, there was this little boy, who’s name was Rizzo. He was a good little boy. But he always dreamed of flying. His friend Superman could do it all the time. He used to come hang out with this little boy and take him to go see a movie, and play with legos and all sorts of fun things. But since little Riz idolized his friend Superman so much, he decided that it was time to start flying. So he asked his mom and dad on Thanksgiving dinner if he could very kindly have the Turkey wings. And he vigilantly ate them. And every time his family ate chicken, he always asked for the wings. And at night, he would put on his Superman pajamas, and practice on his bed. “Up, up, and away,” he would softly say (so he wouldn’t wake anyone up), take a jump of his bed, and land flat on his buttocks. Many a night he would cry himself to sleep, because he could not be like his superhero, Superman. One day, he couldn’t stand it anymore, and when his buddy Superman came over, he told him his plight. “Superman,” he said, “I’ve been trying to fly like you. Every night, I eat chicken wings, and every Thanksgiving and Christmas, and even on my birthday, I ask to have the turkey wings, and when I go to bed at night, I practice flying, but I can’t seem to get it right.” Then...