Big Brother is watching us all: The US and UK governments are developing increasingly sophisticated gadgets to keep individuals under their surveillance. When it comes to technology, the US is determined to stay ahead of the game.
Hitches a ride with a congestion-pricing scheme: Michael Sorkin offers his critique of Mayor Bloomberg's congestion pricing scheme, part of his PlaNYC.
A security camera on every corner is not your pal.
U.S. Airport Screeners Are Watching What You Read: International travelers concerned about being labeled a terrorist or drug runner by secret Homeland Security algorithms may want to be careful what books they read on the plane. Newly revealed records show the government is storing such information for years.
Massive Surveillance Net Keeps Track of Americans' Travel -- Even the Size of Hotel Beds: The Bush Administration has been collecting detailed records on the travel habits of Americans headed overseas and the luggage they bring with them, whether they fly, drive or take cruises abroad.
The Panoptic Regimes
British Police's New Spy Drone
Terrorism Cited In Suppression Of Online Maps:
Online maps showing everything from city streets to gas lines and fire hydrants are increasingly available. Government officials have limited the availability of infrastructure maps due to their possible use by terrorists.
from Baghdad and Blackwater to sittin' in a tree...
Baghdad residents protest at wall:
Hundreds of Iraqis have staged a protest against the building of a dividing wall between a Shia district of Baghdad and a Sunni area. Residents of the Shula and Ghazaliya districts waved Iraqi flags and chanted slogans rejecting both the proposed separation and the US occupation.
TSC exhibits ‘Art Against the Wall’
Your Turn: Scotch The Notion
Aegis wins new US contract: The U.S. military confirmed yesterday that it awarded the largest security contract in Iraq to a private British firm, Aegis Defence Services, in a deal worth up to $475 million over two years.
Defense stocks hit new highs: Defense stocks on Wednesday hit new highs as Defense Secretary Robert Gates requested an extra $42 billion in funding from Congress to cover military costs in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008.
Illustration and Text By Steve Brodner
Given all this "Blackwatergate"
Iraqi government plans to regulate contractors: By drafting laws to control contractors, the Iraqi government appears to be asserting its sovereignty.
Iraq Can't Spend Its Own Money: The money is Iraqi. The workers are Iraqi. But on the smattering of reconstruction projects across the country -- including military bases, schools, water and power infrastructure and roads -- management is still mostly American. It's further evidence of the failure, four years into the occupation, to stand up competent, professional Iraqi mid-level leadership.
Billions over Baghdad:
Between April 2003 and June 2004, $12 billion in U.S. currency—much of it belonging to the Iraqi people—was shipped from the Federal Reserve to Baghdad, where it was dispensed by the Coalition Provisional Authority. Some of the cash went to pay for projects and keep ministries afloat, but, incredibly, at least $9 billion has gone missing, unaccounted for, in a frenzy of mismanagement and greed.
Why Iraqi Farmers Might Prefer Death to Paul Bremer's Order 81:
Because Indian farmers are choosing death after finding themselves caught in a loop of crop failure and debt rooted in genetically modified and patented agriculture -- the same farming model that Bremer introduced to Iraq during his tenure as administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the American body that ruled the "new Iraq" in its chaotic early days.
The TAZ and black globalization
The Age of Disaster Capitalism (excerpted from Naomi Klein’s recently published book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism): Although the stated goal was fighting terrorism, the effect was the creation of the disaster capitalism complex - a fully fledged new economy in homeland security, privatised war and disaster reconstruction tasked with nothing less than building and running a privatised security state, both at home and abroad. The economic stimulus of this sweeping initiative proved enough to pick up the slack where globalisation and the dotcom booms had left off. Just as the internet had launched the dotcom bubble, 9/11 launched the disaster capitalism bubble.
Can Radical Capitalism Survive the Disasters It Creates?
Does Naomi Klein Oversimplify the Connections Between Globalization and War?
Why Can't the U.S. Have the Debate about Naomi Klein's Book That Europe Has?
Why Capitalism Needs Terror: An Interview with Naomi Klein
Teen Tunneling to Poland Arrested
A Psychic Vacuum:
artist Mike Nelson "[takes] audiences on an unexpected journey through reconstructed rooms, passageways, and meticulously assembled environments."
Prosthetic leg stash found under floor
The Free Runner:
Will parkour be the vehicle that vaults Russian emigre Andrey Pfening to Hollywood stunt stardom?
Fake "tolerance" signs in Mexico
Deep Space Pharma: it is nonetheless
quite fascinating to think that, someday, depressed teenagers in suburban Arizona might pop space-made anti-depressants, affecting hormonal moods through the use of literally extra-terrestrial substances; or musicians in small apartments in Prague might swallow attention deficit drugs crystallized in microgravity, writing the world's most intricate symphonies in response; or perhaps even illegal new hallucinogens will be developed in windowless, symmetrical rooms hovering 250 miles above the Earth's surface
Winners of the ASLA 2007 Student Awards have been announced.
Filtered through the jumble of thematic threads on Pruned, one remains.
A Proposal for a UN Playground:
One wonders, then,
if Noguchi intended his playgrounds to be the perfect environment to rear sophisticated aesthetes and connoisseurs of world culture. Or did he secretly scheme to turn the children of UN diplomats into psychopaths? Is the UN playground a “rabbit warren” for budding dictators? “Post-war Modernist landscapes turned me into a despot,” they would say during trials at the International Criminal Court.
Missile base on sale as ideal home:
It is the ideal home for an aspiring James Bond villain, or an anxious survivalist
seeking a refuge that can withstand an atomic bomb.
A former US intercontinental ballistic missile base - with a network of underground tunnels and silos, but no nuclear warheads - is on sale
on eBay for $1.5m (£750,000, 1.06m euros).
Huntsville's Bomb Cave:
Huntsville, Alabama is reviving Cold War era bomb shelters as part of a post-9/11 plan to provide protection against a possible terrorist attack. It's also adding new designated shelters, like a massive cave that was once a limestone quarry.
Tom Cruise's $10M Survival Bunker:
Tom Cruise is planning to build a $10 million bunker underneath his Colorado mansion in preparation for the end of the world, according to a bizarre new report.
Terrace House 2,Vienna, Austria
Punishing the fencer:
that an insurance company manager, Francisco Linares, was sentenced to six months in jail, without the possibility of probation or home arrest, for failing to get permits for a fence, retaining wall, patio and concrete columns at his Rolling Hills Estates home.
Italians fight charges on beaches: A campaign
is getting underway in Italy to take back large stretches of the country's beaches from private bathing clubs which usually charge to use them.
The fear of crime may turn a city into fortresses within a jungle:
Melville in Johannesburg is the equivalent of Golf Links in New Delhi,
only grander, in a fortified way. The houses are free-standing bungalows
and every bungalow is screened off from the road by high walls topped with small, sinister electric fences.
are interrupted by high gates, which work like electric sliding doors that open and close at a touch. A few signs, a foot square, appear in a row on the front wall of every house, like medals on a shirtfront.
The signs have names — ADT, Chubbs, Stallion — that seem enigmatic only till you read the last little board, which invariably reads “Armed Response”.
Chang'an: The City of Perpetual Peace:
It is divided into a checkerboard grid, each block reserved for one of the 108 wards (called "fang"), which would have had as many as 10,000 inhabitants in each. The ward is enclosed in its own walls with gates that were closed every night. These wards were organized according to geographic provenance and ethnicity--Chang'an was a multi- ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious center--there were even Christian churches here.
Black market goods between India and China
West Bank: A walkers' paradise?:
The Israeli-occupied West Bank is certainly one of the world's most politically tense environments, but it's less often credited for also being an environment of outstanding natural beauty.
Climate Change Refugees:
Is it supposed to become a virtual country?"
asked Rainer Lagoni, Professor of Maritime Law at the University of Hamburg.
There is no legal definition for a country entirely without land...
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