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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

News of Interest 8/21/07

The increasing high-tech-ization of warfare not only increases the power of the American elite to project its will on the rest of the world, but it also reduces the exposure of Firth Worlders to the resistance of those being imposed upon.
Robot Air Attack Squadron Bound for Iraq
The Reaper is loaded, but there's no one on board. Its pilot, as it bombs targets in Iraq, will sit at a video console 7,000 miles away in Nevada.

The arrival of these outsized U.S. "hunter-killer" drones, in aviation history's first robot attack squadron, will be a watershed moment even in an Iraq that has seen too many innovative ways to hunt and kill.

That moment, one the Air Force will likely low-key, is expected "soon," says the regional U.S. air commander. How soon? "We're still working that," Lt. Gen. Gary North said in an interview.

The Reaper's first combat deployment is expected in Afghanistan, and senior Air Force officers estimate it will land in Iraq sometime between this fall and next spring. They look forward to it.

"With more Reapers, I could send manned airplanes home," North said.
Some walls hold people in. Some walls keep people out. Both kill.
East German Shoot-to-Kill Order Is Found
Seventeen years after German reunification, archivists have found the first written proof that East German border guards had been ordered to shoot to kill anyone trying to escape to West Germany, including women and children.

The seven-page order, dated Oct. 1, 1973, was discovered last week in the regional archive office in the eastern German city of Magdeburg. Though unsigned, it shows that the Ministry for State Security, known as the Stasi, had told guards that they must “stop or liquidate” anyone trying to cross the border.

“Do not hesitate to use your firearm, not even when the border is breached in the company of women and children, which is a tactic the traitors have often used,” the document said.
No everyone feels the pinch as the economy tanks.
Wealthy still not asking the price
The stock market is swinging like a pendulum and the credit market is getting tighter than a drum but there are no signs the rich are buckling their Pradas to hold onto their bucks.

"Luxury goods still have quite a lot of momentum," said Kamalesh Rao, director of industry research at SpendingPulse, the retail data service of MasterCard Advisors.

Rao said luxury goods sales rose 10.7 percent in July from a year ago and added, "I'd be surprised if that changed radically in August."
One reason there are so many AQ sympathizers in Bosnia is because the US intelligence apparatus facilitated their movement to the region and access to weaponry and training.
Al-Qaeda helpers present in Bosnia, US diplomat warns
Al-Qaeda uses Bosnia as a transit point, receiving help from Islamic veterans of Bosnia's 1992-95 war, US diplomat Raffi Gregorian said in an interview with a Sarajevo daily published Saturday.

"Certain intelligence agencies consider Bosnia-Hercegovina as one of the Al-Qaeda's transit points," Gregorian told the Dnevni Avaz newspaper.

"There are sympathisers in the country who are ready to help Al-Qaeda with hiding agents, providing financial support or providing false documents," he added.
The numbers parallel racial privilege as you would expect them to.
Poll: White youths happier than others
From their relationships to their jobs to their money — even from they time they first roll out of bed — young white Americans are happier with life than their minority counterparts.

According to an extensive survey of 1,280 people ages 13-24 by The Associated Press and MTV, 72 percent of whites say they are happy with life in general, compared with 51 percent of Hispanics and 56 percent of blacks.

"It doesn't surprise me," said Martin Carpenter, 21, a black New Jersey resident. "There's a lot of issues out there for African-American young adults. You can still go to certain places and feel uncomfortable, like you don't belong there."

Martin's feeling about racism, real or perceived, was echoed in the survey: 28 percent of minorities believe race will hurt them in the quest for a better life. Among whites, 20 percent feel their race will help in getting ahead.
Destiny Brown, 17, a black Virginia high school student, said she has friends who were already passed over for work simply because their names sounded different: "I know sometimes your name — people will give you a hard time when you try to get a job."

The difference in levels of happiness is not always stark, but it's consistent. Among whites, 67 percent usually wake up happy in the morning; for minorities, the figure is 61 percent.
Neither communism nor capitalism has abolished slavery in China, it seems.
Chinese still see themselves as slaves
But a list of new slang expressions compiled by its Ministry of Education suggests the country's economic reforms have simply multiplied the ways its people can fall into serfdom.

Among the most popular phrases used by the country's growing middle class are an expanding variety of equivalents to the English "wage slave".

The most common is "house slave", meaning someone who struggles to pay off the mortgage. But there are also "car slaves" who, unlike lucky government cadres, have to pay all their own petrol, servicing, and road toll fees.

More specialised versions are "grave slaves" who have bought expensive funeral plots in advance, and "feast slaves" whose jobs mean their lives are an endless round of banquets, weddings, funerals, and other social events requiring the cash gifts, or "red envelopes" expected on such occasions.

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