BotCast #13 – Shelter

BotCast #13 Des pétards dans le cul, assaisonnements fusilables, la Calgaria, du Wifi dans l’espace, la bécosse Alqaïda et nos commentaires sur Jack Thompson. Le cast toujours en surround, visitez pour downloader le codec ou le Player surround. Pas grave si vous n’avez pas de Surround, ça joue pareil sur votre lecteur MP3 standard. 21 avril 2007.

BotCast-0013.mp3 BotCast-0013.m3u
Break: Benoit Campeau, Somewhere in Beat Win, 4:56
OutTro: Erik Stridell, Shelter, 4:40
Remerciements: , et les jambons SPAM




-Show number 13
-Date  21 avril 2007
–  TacticalFM
-les jambons spams



Le BotCast with cheese –

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notifications qui indiquent un nouveau BotCast
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-Toune de  Benoit Campeau, Somewhere in Beat Win, 4:56
-Barrel Shroud

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Tune: Shelter
Artist:  Erik Stridell, Fikonknecke
Group:  Cascada
Year: 1994
From demo: Holistic, in Assembly 1994
Duration: 4:40
Type: MOD, ProTracker
Channels: 8
Samples: 31
Size:  596k
Patterns: 73,69  different 5 unused

 <> Official Transcript: President Bush
admits bombs were in World Trade Towers.

“For example, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed described the design of planned attacks
of buildings inside the U.S. and how operatives were directed to carry them
out. That is valuable information for those of us who have the
responsibility to protect the American people. He told us the operatives had
been instructed to ensure that the explosives went off at a high — a point
that was high enough to prevent people trapped above from escaping. “


 <> Shredding with Dick

Spotted on 10/19, by an eagle-eyed Wonkette reader: The Mid-Atlantic
Shredding Services truck making its way up to the Cheney compound at the
Naval Observatory.


mit> No Internet Access at United Nations “Internet” Summit

After failing to resolve connection issues, a United Nations summit on the
Internet goes on without Internet access!


 <> ‘Just Push the Yellow Button and Vote
as Many Times as You Want’ on Sequoia Touch-Screen Voting Machines!

It seems there’s a little yellow button on the back every touch-screen
computer made by Sequoia Voting Systems, that allows any voter, or poll
worker, or precinct inspector to set the system into “Manual Mode” allowing
them to cast as many votes as they want.


 <> Virginia Sheriff, 12 Employees

A sheriff and 12 uniformed employees were charged in a racketeering
indictment unsealed Thursday that claims drugs and guns seized from
criminals were resold to the community.


o_public_verification> Federal “automated targetting” database offlimits to
public verification

The new US “Automated Targeting System” is assigning risk assessments to all
Americans who travel in or out of the United States, and despite the fact
that plenty of non-government agencies can learn all about you, you can’t
view the records to even see if they are accurate.


 <> Japanese
researchers build 512-core math coprocessor

Filed under: Desktops <>

While we’re just getting used to dual-cores
<>  and have our eyes on those upcoming
quad-core chips <> , Japanese computer
scientists at the University of Tokyo have built a 500MHz 512-core math
co-processor chip that can perform up to 512 billion floating-point
operations per second. The Grape DR chip is designed to fit on a PCI-X card
and act as a secondary chip for the main CPU. The project, which has been
ongoing since 1989, expects to reach two petaflops (that’s two quadrillion,
or 2,000,000,000,000,000) floating-point operations per second sometime
around 2008. No doubt that Intel, which is planning on an 80-core
s-now-80-cores-later/> processor by 2011, is watching this research very
very closely.

Via Channel

Read <>  | Permalink
-coprocessor/>  | Email this <>  |
Blogs | Comments


  A new documentary
series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System
edia&cm_pla=engadget&cm_ite=rsslink>  Packs the power to bring games to



_shot_is_ready_to_Cook> Shoot Bird with Seasoning Pellets! The Bird you just
shot is ready to Cook

Season Shot is made of tightly packed seasoning bound by a fully
biodegradable food product. The seasoning is actually injected into the bird
on impact seasoning the meat from the inside out. When the bird is cooked
the seasoning pellets melt into the meat spreading the flavor to the entire
bird. Forget worrying about shot breaking your teeth!


 <> FBI investigates taped LAPD beating

The FBI announced it is investigating Los Angeles police after viewing a
videotape that shows officers repeatedly beating a suspect in the face while
he cries out that he cannot breathe.


 <> Briton hurt after lighting firecracker
in buttocks

A 22-year-old man suffered internal injuries after lighting a small
firecracker he had inserted into his buttocks, paramedics said Thursday.


Ultrasone  <>
Edition 9s headphones will set you back $1,500

Filed under: Portable  <>

We’ll probably never have the ears to distinguish a $1,500 pair of
headphones <>  from a $200 pair, but
Ultrasone clearly thinks the Edition 9s are worth that extra fistful of
cash. The company’s press release claims that the technology in the ‘phones
“reduces sound pressure to the eardrums by an astonishing 40 percent” and
that the headphones reduce EM field radiation (you know, like radio signals
given off by your cellphone) by “up to 98 percent.” These headphones have a
frequency range of 8Hz to 35Hz, and come with Ethiopian sheep leather (is
that good?) in the ear pads and headband pad.

Read <>  |
-you-back-1-500/>  |  <>



ht_second> Knowledge should be public good first, private right second

A new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research looks at the
reasons behind intellectual property rights and suggests a new way forward:
thinking about knowledge as a public resource first, and a private asset
second. Is this idealistic, anti-business pinko blue-skying? The group says
no, and we agree.


ivate_right_second> Knowledge should be public good first, private right

A new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research looks at the
reasons behind intellectual property rights and suggests a new way forward:
thinking about knowledge as a public resource first, and a private asset
second. Is this idealistic, anti-business pinko blue-skying? The group says
no, and we agree.


 <> Hate Crime Charges Filed Against Five
Jewish Teenagers in Brooklyn

Five Jewish teenagers have been charged with hate crimes for attacking a
Pakistani-American man with brass knuckles in the Midwood section of
Brooklyn and calling him a “terrorist,” officials said.


 <> War simulation in 1999 pointed out
Iraq invasion problems

A series of secret U.S. war games in 1999 showed that an invasion and
post-war administration of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, nearly three
times the number there now.


 <> Windows XP to be Phased Out by Year’s
End Despite Strong Demand

Windows XP to be Phased Out by Year’s End Despite Strong Demand.


 <> Vista DRM could hide malware

A security researcher has released a proof-of-concept program that hackers
could use to exploit Windows Vista digital rights management processes to
hide malware.


 <> BREAKING: White House lost Over FIVE
MILLION e-mails in two year period

Through two confidential sources, CREW learned that the Executive Office of
the President (EOP) has lost over FIVE MILLION emails generated between
March 2003 and October 2005. The White House counsel’s office was advised of
these problems in 2005 and CREW has been told that the White House was given
a plan of action to recover these emails, but to date nothing has been done
to rectify this significant loss of records.


 <> Texas A&M Fails to Report Stricken
Student in Bioweapons Lab for 14 Months

Texas A&M; University failed to report in a timely manner to Federal
authorities that a biology student was stricken with the dangerous brucella
pathogen in its College Station laboratory for bioweapons agent research on
February 9th of 2006. The university made its disclosure this April 10th, 14
months later, and only after insistent prodding by the Sunshine Project, an
Austin, Tex.-based arms control watchdog organization.


 <> Email to CIA Operative Bill O’Reilly

Mr. O’Reilly, do you work for the CIA, or have you ever worked for the CIA?
I ask this after reading an entry posted on Wikipedia, the online
dictionary. It appears the journalist Carl Bernstein has evidence you worked
for Operation Mockingbird, the CIA’s operation to “influence the domestic
and foreign media,” as Wikipedia deems it.


642,00.asp> Win Nobel For Backing Big Bang

Americans John Mather and George Smoot were the winners of the 2006 Nobel
prize for physics on Tuesday for guiding a satellite program that suppoted
the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe.




Atta’s Father  <>
Says Video Fake, Credibility of ‘Hijackers Tape’

Atta’s Father Says Video Fake, Credibility of ‘Hijackers Tape’ Crumbles
Islamic Terror Expert: “Was this a video by al-Qa’ida or by a security
agency?” “New”


Atta’s Father Says Video Fake, Credibility of ‘Hijackers Tape’ Crumbles
Islamic Terror Expert: “Was this a video by al-Qa’ida or by a security
“New” footage was previously used in a docudrama

 <blocked::> Steve Watson & Paul Watson | October 3 2006

Surprise Surprise, It’s Another Al Qaeda Blockbuster Release

New revelations about the so-called ‘laughing hijackers’ tape expose its
release as a stage-managed politically timed trick. The father of Mohammed
Atta blasts the video as a “fake” while contradictory claims of its origin
and nature baffle even mainstream terror experts – while even the media
admits that the tape was released not by Al-Qaeda but by the U.S.
intelligence apparatus.

Firstly, the father of Mohammed Atta, who has previously stated that his son
is still alive, has
.0.346051476&par=> blasted the video as a total fake. “The video-testament
of my son is false and I continue to believe he is innocent” Muhammad
al-Amir al-Sayd Atta, 71, told Saudi daily al-Watan. “The Americans tampered
with and falsified that video” he alleged, ” they want to change the truth
in order to achieve their goals in the Middle East.”

“There is a big difference between this photo and the images shown by the
Americans – that one is not my boy.” he went on to say.

In a separate revelation,
AP is reporting that an expert on Islamic extremism has deemed the latest Al
Qaeda footage as so out of character for al-Qa’ida it could have been taken
by a security agency.

Diaa Rashwan, an Egyptian expert on militant groups, said he found it
strange that the cameraman focused not only on bin Laden but also on his
audience. He said al-Qa’ida videos of bin Laden usually focused on him

“Was this a video by al-Qa’ida or by a security agency?” Dr Rashwan asked.
“I have never seen such a video.”

Also questioned is the strangely different appearances of Mohammed Atta and
Ziad Jarrah : “Both seem younger, are bearded, and the infamously bleak gaze
of Atta, the ringleader, is replaced by a somewhat softer expression.”
reports AP.

Indeed, the two may even be Dopplegangers, especially given the strange case
of Ziad Jarrah, photographic evidence of whom confirms that he was not a
9/11 hijacker.

Jarrah #1: Authentic photo of alleged hijacker Ziad Jarrah taken in 1996.
BBC <>
Jarrah #2: FBI Photo of Jarrah
Jarrah #3: Passport photo of “Ziad Jarrah” found in the wreckage of Flight
Jarrah #4: Another Passport photo of Jarrah CNN

Jarrah #5: Student visa photo of “Ziad Jarrah”.

These are clearly not the same man, there are up to three different people
feature\d here! The passport found in the wreckage does not show the face of
the Jarrah in the latest video release who is Jarrah #1.

As I reiterated in yesterday’s article, Ziad Jarrah’s family
provided evidence days after 9/11 that Jarrah, wasn’t even onboard Flight 93
and that if he was, it was only as a passenger who was just as much of a
victim as the rest of the people on the plane.

Diaa Rashwan is just another in a long list of terror analysts who can smell
the stench of fake intelligence agency propaganda from a mile off. In my article
yesterday i questioned the contradictions over where this tape originated
from, stating “Not questioned also is the fact that although the London
Times says it “obtained” the tape, other reports say things like “The video
released this weekend was found when the United States invaded Afghanistan
in 2001. NBC News has obtained an analysis of the tape by U.S. intelligence
experts, which scrutinizes every frame.”

It also seems that this tape has been seen before, it is not new. The very
same footage of the Rally featuring Osama Bin Laden on January 8th 2000 ,
features in the docudrama Road to Guantanamo (they are not sure whether its
8/1 or 1/8 in the dramatization). At 1hr and 14 mins into the docudrama, an
inmate at Guantanamo Bay is shown the same footage.

The dramatization of the experience of three British inmates who were later
released and went public, portrays US interrogators forcing Guantanamo Bay
prisoners to admit to appearing in fake videos in which their likeness has
been doctored to suggest their presence at Al-Qaeda meetings.

It was admitted on Sunday that the US Government has had the footage since
2002. See the news report below for this admission and the confusion as to
who released it. The media know that the government has had this video since
2002 but they deny reality and engage in literal doublethink by becoming
confused over who released it. Note that the reporters also say that Al
Qaeda “forgot to add the sound”.They “cannot lip read” the footage and
there’s no audio, but they know Atta is reading his last will? How? He could
be reading the football scores, it is amazingly pathetic journalism.

ge> to Convince a Client They Don’t Need a Splash Page

Many clients love splash pages (especially flash intros), this article
provides a list of effective arguments to use when talking a client out of
the splash page death knell.


Search engines will spider the splash page instead of the real content
Search engines look at the text on a page to determine what the page is all
about.  If your page is entirely in flash or some other kind of multimedia,
chances are the search engines won’t be able to spider any text on it.  This
will result in both you not ranking for the terms you want and the spidered
page having a description next to it in the search results that says
something like “Click to Enter.” Examples include:
fox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official& .
A search at Google for “Click
utf-8&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official to Enter” or “Skip
8&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official Intro” reveals many sites
that have non-descriptive text associated with them due to their use of
splash pages.  These results aren’t likely to get clicks.

Client: “So use a flash intro but stuff text in the meta keywords tag”
Search engines stopped caring about meta keyword tags a long time ago–it’s
all about what’s actually on the page now.

Client: “So use a flash intro but hide keywords in the page”
Search engines can figure this out and you can get banned for it.
From Google’s
9#quality Webmaster Guidelines:

Make pages for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or
present different content to search engines than you display to users, which
is commonly referred to as “cloaking.”

Search engines won’t be able to spider beyond the splash page
If your splash page is done entirely in flash or with some other kind of
multimedia plugin, the search engines might be unable to spider your content
and your content will be absent from the search results.

Straight from the horses mouth
I found a great quote on MarketingSherpa  from
Jared Spool of User Interface
Engineering at Macromedia.  When asked, “Flash intros, good or bad?”, this
was his response:

When we have clients who are thinking about Flash splash pages, we tell them
to go to their local supermarket and bring a mime with them. Have the mime
stand in front of the supermarket, and, as each customer tries to enter, do
a little show that lasts two minutes, welcoming them to the supermarket and
trying to explain the bread is on aisle six and milk is on sale today.

Most users immediately click “skip intro”
Pretty much everyone I’ve spoken to on the subject of splash pages always
admits to immediately clicking “skip intro” before watching the animation
they’re presented with.  Newfangled  did
some digging into their access logs and had this to say about their

The number one reason for getting rid of our splash page was that it turned
away at least 25% of our site visitors, sometimes more. This percentage has
actually been researched and it turns out that at least 25% of site visitors
will immediately leave a site as soon as they see a  message for a Flash
splash screen (even if there’s a ‘skip intro’ link). Our access logs
confirmed this for us and this over all the other reasons caused us to get
rid of it. The opportunity to improve our creativity was not worth the loss
of such a high percentage of visitors.

Slower connections will have to wait for the page to load
Dialup users are basically screwed (SCREWED!), especially if the skip button
isn’t readily available.

“Click to Enter” is redundant
By visiting your site they’ve already agreed to enter, why do they have to
do it again?  It’d be like opening the door to a store only to find another
door that says, “haha, just kidding.  Open this door to enter for reals this

Minimizing steps
You want to minimize the number of steps involved in reaching your
offerings. Having an extra click from a splash page does not align with this

Content from the splash page can probably work inside the home page
Most of the time the splash page can be trimmed down and worked into the
homepage of the site.  This is an effective compromise with the client
because they get to keep whatever idea they were trying to promote but
aren’t necessarily forcing it on the user.  It also wraps the content from
the splash page in a uniform navigation (which is good usability).
A great example of this is Adobe’s

Uniform navigation – For The Win
Most splash pages don’t have the same primary navigation as the rest of the
site; some even drastically change the design when you go from the splash
page to the real site. This is confusing to users who respond best to
navigation that is persistent. Splash pages also enforce the idea that they
are visiting two separate sites.

_S> Being Developed to Monitor Opinions of U.S.

A consortium of major universities, using Homeland Security Department
money, is developing software that would let the government monitor negative
opinions of the United States or its leaders in newspapers and other
publications overseas.


SAN DIEGO — Potrero, California boasts a broad swath of meadowland that
currently houses derelict chicken coops.

Surrounded by the Cleveland National Forest, the property boasts a former
chicken ranch and includes an environmentally sensitive, protected
agricultural preserve southeast of San Diego.

But if private security contractor Blackwater USA gets its way, this
850-strong community will soon host an 824-acre military training base,
replacing the erstwhile chicken ranch with fifteen firing ranges and an
emergency vehicle operator’s course the length of ten football fields.

A RAW STORY investigation has already led to the removal of one lawyer
connected to the project. The inquiry has also discovered that California
congressman and current presidential candidate Duncan Hunter — who is the
ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee — is a client of the
firm, Blackwater USA, a massive US security contractor in Iraq.

Minutes of a planning meeting raise questions about whether Hunter was
involved in lobbying for the project. At the Feb. 8, 2007 planning meeting,
Vice President for Blackwater West Brian Bonfiglio said Hunter was one of
the firm’s clients.

“We talk with Duncan about many things,” Bonfiglio….
pdf said (emphasis in original).

Blackwater isn’t a stranger to controversy. In February 2004, families of
four security contractors killed in Fallujah, who are suing the firm for
information regarding their deaths, testified before the House Government
Reform Committee.

The private security contractor has seen its federal contract revenues swell
since Sept. 11. Six years ago, the firm raked in $250,000; today a single
Iraq contract is valued at $300 million. Much of its work takes place in
Iraq; the company was at one time responsible for the security of interim
Iraq consul Paul Bremer. Blackwater now aims to expand operations by
establishing several new training camps in addition to its headquarters in
North Carolina.

Townspeople and environmentalists are squaring off against the company and
public officials. The Potrero Planning Group approved the facility by a 7-0
vote in December – but since then more than half of the town’s registered
voters have signed a petition opposing the facility. Residents also say they
are organizing a recall against members of the Planning Group who voted in

Chairman of the Planning Group Gordon Hammers says he won’t reconsider the
board’s decision.

“I think it’s good for the community,” he said in a recent interview with
the East County Californian. “It provides jobs.”

“It will improve the general economy of the community and as a result,
improve property values,” he added. Hammers contended that arguments against
the project “have absolutely no rhyme or reason” and that some opposition is
based on misunderstanding of the project’s scope.

In a later email to RAW STORY regarding questions about whether noise would
disturb nearby residents, Hammers wrote, “If the good science shows that
Blackwater’s claims are true then I will be a proud supporter of a vital
partner with law enforcement and the war on terror,” he said in an e-mail.
“If good science shows that their claims are not true then they will lose my

Internal documents

Internal documents acquired by RAW STORY show that the company had
discussions about potential “fatal flaws” in the Potrero project in 2006.

Of most concern to the company seems to be the camp’s effect on the local
eagle population. On page two of an “Internal Working Draft,” the authors
identify that the eagle population in the area is a “potential fatal
<> flaw.”

This runs in direct opposition to public statements by the company. In
pdf> the minutes in which Blackwater’s Vice President admits the company has
a contract with Hunter, he remarks, “Has anybody seen eagles?”

The firm also identifies a public versus private road “reduced potential
<> to be a fatal
flaw” and that plans for traffic had also ” reduced
<> potential fatal

The opponents

Jan Hedlun is the lone Potrero planner opposing the project. Elected in
November, Hedlun didn’t vote at the December meeting because she says she
wasn’t told she was eligible.

“I’m in the middle of a battle,” Hedlun said. “I am a lamb in a lion’s den.
They’re pushing this through quicker than anything I’ve ever heard in my
entire life.”

Although the Potrero Planning Group has met monthly for several years,
Hammers has refused to convene an April meeting, saying that only quarterly
meetings are required and a quorum can’t be met.

When Hedlun pressed Hammers to schedule a meeting in order to allow public
input, Hammers responded in an email acquired by RAW STORY, “Jan, get over
it. There is not going to be a meeting.”

The proposed Blackwater West training facility at Potrero would include 15
firing ranges for automatic and semi-automatic weapons and small caliber
guns, as well as an emergency vehicle operator’s course the length of ten
football fields — 3,280 feet in length and 1,320 feet in width, according
to a project description. The facility would also include bunkhouses and
commando-type training facilities, ship simulators, and law enforcement and
rescue safety training towers with rock-climbing walls and platforms.

Multiple San Diego County records indicate that “hazards” — including
“explosives” – “should” be stored in an “armory” at the site.

Blackwater West’s Bonfiglio denied that the project would use explosives.

“No bombs,” he said. “No tanks, no heavy artillery.”

Residents contend Blackwater’s proposal is being fast-tracked through the
planning process under streamlined procedures recently adopted by San Diego
County to expedite processing of major projects such as housing
developments. A public “Notification of Preparation” hearing is scheduled
for Apr. 5 at the San Diego Department of Planning and Land Use; citizens
have until Apr. 27 to respond.

Some residents have voiced concern that the noise from the firing range will
disrupt their lives. In response, Blackwater has proposed anti-skid pads and
other measures to lessen noise from the driving course, which would operate
for up to an hour and a half after sundown.

According to Bonfiglio, a helicopter pad would only be used for emergency
landings and could benefit the community in the event of a medical

Conflict of interest

Residents also raise concerns over the role of San Diego County officials in
expediting the project. An article
<>  in the San Diego Reader
concluded that Potrero residents are being “ambushed” by “county bureaucrats
marching alongside Blackwater USA.”

Documents filed with the county indicate Blackwater officials have been
meeting privately with Department of Planning and Land Use personnel since
at least May of 2006. Members of the public in Potrero did not learn of the
proposed project until Oct. 12 at the earliest. One whistleblower contends
that failure to notify the public until late in the planning process may
violate the California Environmental Quality Act; others allege that County
planners may have violated the Brown Act, which mandates open meetings.

Environmentalist Duncan McFetridge questions why residents weren’t included
in early planning.

“It is as close to collusion as you can get without actually being illegal,”
McFetridge says. “I am convinced that one of the main reasons that
Blackwater came to San Diego is that we are the capital of privatization
where lines between private and public sectors is a total blur.”

“In San Diego we don’t have revolving doors,” he added, “we have tunnels
between politicians and profiteers.”

A spokesperson for San Diego Supervisor Dianne Jacob denied that Blackwater
has received special treatment.

“That would be illegal,” the employee said, declining to be named. The
streamlined procedures, she said, were created after “ample public input,”
in response to complaints that development projects were taking four years
for approval.

Jacob’s representative suggested that it would be inappropriate for the
supervisor to speak with media regarding the Blackwater project, as she may
have to vote on it eventually. Several community members noted, however,
that Jacob had no such qualms about speaking out against a proposed
high-rise Indian casino near her own ranch in Jamul.

One citizen opposed to the project revealed that Lori Spar—listed with the
California Bar Association as an attorney with a law firm representing
Blackwater on July 31, 2006 —has since unexpectedly surfaced as a land
use/environmental planner for the Department of Planning and Land Use.

“She walked into our Mar. 1, 2007 Save Potrero meeting, representing the
County,” said former Potrero planner Carl Meyer.

After RAW STORY inquired about her ties to Blackwater, the Department of
Planning removed her from the project.

Quality of life concerns

Area residents express alarm about disruption of their quiet, rural
lifestyle and are skeptical of reassurances offered by Blackwater and local

Dania Raum purchased property in Potrero three years ago “because it was so
beautiful and peaceful.”

Asked about the proposed project site, she replied, “It’s a secret, hidden
valley. There are wetlands up there and all kinds of raptor birds.” Golden
eagles nest 3,500 feet north of the meadow, she observed.

Blackwater has offered to supply foraging materials for the eagles. But Raum
scoffed at the idea of raptors foraging near a firing range.

“Right,” she said. “Those eagles are going to be so gone… I believe we are
being railroaded into this disaster.”

“Can you imagine tire squealing and crash ’em ups?” she added. “They are
pushing this as a night time course … so they will have machine guns going
all day and cars going all night.”

Raum doesn’t believe Blackwater’s claims that noise can be muffled. “My son
was way across the valley on a horse, and I could hear him coughing,” she
said. “It echoes for miles up there.”

Hammers insists that the planning group is relying on scientific evidence
that residents will not hear noise from the proposed facility. A recent
noise test was canceled, reportedly due to liability concerns on the part of
property owners.

San Diego County is now relying entirely on computer models to assess noise

Safety and environmental concerns

Residents also cite safety issues involving excessive traffic on a winding
access road measuring at some points just 20 feet wide. Critics cite high
fatality rates on nearby Highway 94 and raise alarm over Blackwater’s plan
to bus in local trainees and bring additional people from the airport on
shuttles. Blackwater says its vehicles would be no larger than trucks that
previously serviced the ranch.

Fire safety also concerns locals. Blackwater’s Brian Bonfiglio asserted that
the company proposed to local fire authorities a plan to not only
shelter-in-place its own employees and facilities in the event of wildfire
but also make Blackwater’s site a “safe haven for the community.”

However, a February 2007 report on guidelines for wildland fire and fire
protection prepared for the County describes shelter-in-place as a “last
resort design concept.” Critics warn that the policy could prove a death
sentence in the event of a firestorm similar to the nearby 2003 Cedar
wildfire, where twelve people died as 300-foot high flames reached
temperatures of thousands of degrees.

“This strategy has, to my knowledge, never been put to the test on a large
scale during a major wildland fire,” Joseph W. Mitchell, Ph.D. of M-bar
Technologies and Consulting in Ramona, California wrote in response to the
County’s proposal. “There are reasons to believe that it could lead to
civilian and firefighter deaths and injuries as currently envisioned.”

Duncan McFetridge, of Save Our Forests and Ranchlands, has raised additional
concerns about the loss of potentially crucial wilderness areas, noting that
national forest lands have shrunk from two million to 650,000 acres.

“Meadowlands are the biological heart of our forest,” he said at a recent
meeting. “We cannot lose our meadows without losing our forest.”

Bonfiglio responded to criticisms on environmental grounds with the
observation that no studies have been approved by San Diego County.

“There are people concerned about habitat and open space, but they are doing
it based on no science, no information,” he said.

McFetridge successfully blocked a proposed RV park in neighboring Descanso
after citing a study by the University of California, Davis, tracking
mountain lion movement. The Potrero valley proposed for Blackwater’s project
is also frequented by deer and mountain lion, he said.

“This is a contest,” McFetridge remarked. “Blackwater USA is very good at
what they do — and Save Our Forests and Ranchlands is very good at what we
do. This battle will be won or lost on land use issues.”

Citizen activism

To win approval of the project, Blackwater must obtain a change in zoning on
the property, which is currently zoned agricultural. McFetridge believes the
project can be defeated on land use issues and cites data from
radio-tracking of cougars that highlights the sensitive nature of
meadowlands on the property.

Other groups have also joined the battle to block Blackwater’s camp.

“I will work hard to block this deal,” said Raymond Lutz, head of Citizens
Oversight Panels, a grassroots organization. “Blackwater is well known as
one of the most egregious violators of human rights in the Iraq War … We
don’t need a `black-ops’ training camp in San Diego.”

Bob Davis, a member of the San Diego Peace & Justice Coalition, fears that
civil disobedience may be needed to halt the project, stating “We may have
to put our bodies on the line.”

Citizens are organizing opposition and public protests for the Apr. 5
meeting at the Department of Planning and Land Use.

“You can bet that Blackwater is lobbying the DPLU and its staff,” Sierra
Club land use committee chair Jeanette Hartman said. “Your only hope is to
lobby back. Fight everything. If you don’t, they’ll just roll right over you

Correction: Due to an editing error, Lori Spar’s status change was
incorrectly identified. She was removed from the Blackwater project, not the
planning board.

UALITES> Peter MacKay : la mort des soldats canadiens est «le prix de la

La mort dimanche de six soldats canadiens en Afghanistan, journée la plus
meurtrière dans ce pays pour le Canada, est «le prix de la liberté», a
affirmé lundi le ministre des Affaires étrangères Peter MacKay, comparant la
mission afghane à la bataille de la crête de Vimy, en 1917 en France.


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