China Helped North Korea Target American Cities

Today, Kim Jang-soo, South Korea’s new national security director, said North Korea may fire off a missile as soon as Wednesday.  The launch will undoubtedly be a test of an intermediate-range missile, not an attack.

North Korea last week moved two missiles, which were subsequently loaded onto mobile launchers, to its east coast.  Many expect the missiles, which have been subsequently moved to hidden locations, will be fired in trajectories arcing over Japan.

The Pentagon is not at the moment especially concerned about Pyongyang’s longest-range missile, the Taepodong-2, a variant of the successfully tested Unha-3 rocket.  It takes weeks to transport, assemble, fuel, and prepare the Taepodong-2, giving U.S. forces many opportunities to destroy the missile on its large launch pad.

The Pentagon, however, is worried about Pyongyang’s mobile missiles, even though they have shorter ranges.  It is telling that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on March 15 cited the North’s newest launcher, the KN-08, as a reason for the administration’s decision to deploy 14 additional interceptor missiles in Alaska.

The KN-08 sits on an eight-axle mobile vehicle—a transporter-erector-launcher in military lingo—that can hide and shoot, so America’s costly missile defense system is considered necessary because of the hard-to-find KN-08s.  China transferred to North Korea at least six of those mobile launchers, a clear violation of Security Council sanctions.

{ Forbes | Continue Reading }

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How the world began (or at least according to the Ancient Egyptians.)

So, I discovered an excerpt of the “Hymn to Atum,” an Egyptian creation myth whose roots are in the Old Kingdom (2575-2134 BCE).

When I first began to create
When I alone was planning and designing many creatures,
I had not sneezed Shu the wind,
I had not spat Tefnut the rain,
There was not a single living creature.
I planned many living creatures;
All were in my heart, and their children and their grandchildren.

Fair enough. Sounds as reasonable as Genesis 1:1, but then comes column 27:

Then I copulated with my own fist.
I masturbated with my own hand.
I ejaculated into my own mouth.

Followed by some more profanity:

I sneezed to create Shu the wind,
I spat to create Tefnut the rain.
Old Man Nun reared them;

To surmise, Atum masturbates into his own mouth, thereby spitting out other gods.

Occasionally words must serve to veil the facts

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Russian criminal tattoos have a complex system of symbols which can give quite detailed information about the wearer. Not only do the symbols carry meaning but the area of the body on which they are placed may be meaningful too. […]

Tattoos done in a Russian prison often have a distinct bluish color (due to being made with ink from a ballpoint pen) and usually appear somewhat blurred because of the lack of instruments to draw fine lines. The ink is often created from burning the heel of a shoe and mixing the soot with urine, and injected into the skin utilizing a sharpened guitar string attached to an electric shaver. […]

Barbed wire across the forehead signifies a sentence of life imprisonment without possibility of parole (tattoos on the face usually signifies an expectation that the bearer will never leave prison). […]

Celtic Cross: Part of the racist white power movement. It has also been used to represent crosshairs of a gun, meaning that wearer is a hit man and he too will meet a violent end one day. […]

Skulls: Signifies murder, if the murder was significant enough to merit the tattoo.

‘I’m not into this detail stuff. I’m more concepty.’ –Donald Rumsfeld

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With human decisions come human biases, even in situations that demand objectivity. For example, crimes involving more victims can sometimes receive lesser punishments, an outcome known as the “identifiable victim effect.”  With more victims, each one becomes less identifiable, and this elicits less sympathy for the victims and a corresponding punishment that’s less severe.

A new study by a group of Tilburg University psychologists lays out another bias that can creep into evaluations of wrongdoing. In a series of six experiments the researchers found evidence for the “insured victim effect” — the tendency for perpetrators to be judged differently if the losses they cause are covered by insurance.

art { Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1980 }

Kano Mass Wedding: Government drops 20 women for testing positive to HIV.

Kano State Government said it has “dropped” 25 women who were part of the 1,000 couples expected to join in the now famous mass wedding about holding for the third time in the state.

The government attributed the development to the discovery that five out the thousand were pregnant, whilst twenty were positive carriers of HIV/AIDs

Commander-General of the Hisbah Board in Kano, Sheikh Aminu Daurawa noted that in Islam, it was taboo for pregnant women to participate in wedding ceremonies, the horror!

{ Daily Post | Continue Reading }