Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"U.S.A Today" Reports on the Fugitive Bobby Thompson

UPDATE: "Lawyer [Helen Mac Murray] Flips on Fugitive GOP Donor Who Allegedly Scammed Millions" (The Blotter, 12-23-10)...see also my earlier post about Thompson's lawyer Helen Mac Murray for some interesting details.

"[Bobby Thompson] had on blue jeans, a wrinkled shirt, a fatigue jacket," said Edwin Celeiro..."He reeked of marijuana."

"I thought he'd had a little smoke before he came in,'' said Richard Kurkendall..."I remember this disheveled person who seemed a little crazy. It made me wonder what sort of business he was setting up...there were cockroaches running all over the place," Celeiro said. "It was a mess...In Virginia, [Thompson] paid lobbyists $23,540 and gave politicians $67,500 to pass a law this year exempting veterans groups from filing registration papers. A total of $55,500 went to the campaign of Ken Cuccinelli, who said if elected [Virginia's] attorney general, he wanted to take over the regulation of nonprofits. "---St. Petersburg Times (12-27-10)

USA Today (12-27-10) has noticed the excellent series of articles about the fugitive Bobby Thompson who ran the fraudulant U.S. Navy Veterans' charity out of his shabby Tampa, Florida duplex. The St. Petersburg Times (12-27-10) has a new article about Bobby Thompson as well as an editorial (12-28-10).

Climate Science Rapid Response Team

A new site has appeared that discusses climate science, the Climate Science Rapid Response Team (CSRRT).

Media and government officials can ask scientists questions, but the public can check out their links. The public can also read highlighted enquiries and the scientists' responses.

Three scientists run the site: Dr. John Abraham, Scott A. Mandia, and Dr. Ray Weymann.

The National Academies Addresses Climate Change


It would be good if Virginia's Attorney General Cuccinelli could inform the public about what our great scientists are learning instead of spreading Gazprom propaganda that appeared in RIA Novosti after it was first published in Alisher Usmanov's Kremlin-friendly business daily Kommersant.

Do Virginia voters know that Cuccinelli's suit against the EPA cites propaganda published in a Russian newspaper owned by Alisher Usmanov, a Gazprom mogul who has an education and career pattern that suggest he had a relationship with the Soviet-era KGB?

Do Virginia voters know that Cuccinelli's dad spent his career as a gas lobbyist? Do they know that one of the the father's companies gave Cuccinelli's campaign 96,000 dollars?

Do Virginia voters know that the elder Cuccinelli has "European" clients? I sure would like to know if these "European" clients are Russian fossil-fuel companies and if they are sponsoring American politicians who attack the science of global warming. We need some transparency about our politicians, but instead Cuccinelli suggests that our scientists are frauds who are promoting global warming so they can get government grants. Cuccinelli's canard reminds me of the KGB lie that "crafty" Pentagon scientists made AIDS to kill black people.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Climate Denialists Rebuffed by EPA

"In Western Europe, Moscow has operated by making lucrative arrangements with foreign energy companies that become de facto lobbyists for the Kremlin within their own countries."---"Why The Russia Spy Story Really Matters" (RFE/RL, 7-9-10)

This is a press release from the University of East Anglia in the U.K. Their Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was hacked by criminals and a selection of CRU e-mails were posted on the Internet during November 2009. People who should uphold the law, such as Virginia's despicable Attorney General Cuccinelli, cited these stolen e-mails out of context in a campaign of kompromat against scientists who study global warming. In his suit against the EPA, Cuccinelli even uses the RIA Novosti English-language version of a newspaper article originally published in the Russian business daily Kommersant as "evidence" that British scientists are faking their science.

RIA Novosti is the official press agency of the Russian government. The Kremlin-friendly Kommersant is owned by the billionaire Alisher Usmanov, a Gazprom operative. Cuccinelli's father is a career gas lobbyist whose company boasts of "European" clients. I wonder if these clients might be Russian gas companies or their fronts, but Cuccinelli is not telling who these clients are. Perhaps Cuccinelli's financial motives should be investigated, not Dr. Michael Mann's, because Cuccinelli's father's company gave 96,000 dollars to the Attorney General's campaign. The American people should know if this campaign money is really some payment for attacking Dr. Mann and climate science.

US Environmental Protection Agency dismisses allegations against CRU

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has examined every one of the hacked CRU emails and has strongly affirmed that it finds nothing more than "candid discussion of scientists working through issues that arise in compiling and presenting large complex data sets".

On 29 July 2010, the EPA denied 10 petitions which challenged the Agency’s 2009 determination that climate change is real, is occurring due to emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities, and threatens human health and the environment.

The petitions claimed that climate science could not be trusted, citing the CRU emails and asserting a conspiracy that they said invalidated the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the US National Academy of Sciences, and the US Global Change Research Program.

After months of serious consideration of the petitions and of the state of climate change science, the EPA has found no evidence to support these claims. In contrast, it says its review shows that climate science is credible, compelling, and growing stronger.

The agency reviewed all of the stolen CRU emails, concluding:

… petitioners have routinely misunderstood or mischaracterised the scientific issues, drawn faulty scientific conclusions, resorted to hyperbole, impugned the ethics of climate scientists in general, characterised actions as “falsifications” and “manipulation” with no basis for support, and placed an inordinate reliance on blogs, news stories, and literature that is often neither peer reviewed nor accurately summarized in their petitions. Petitioners often “cherry-pick” language that creates the suggestion or appearance of impropriety, without looking deeper into the issues or providing corroborating evidence that improper action actually occurred.

The agency makes clear that:

Petitioners’ assumptions and subjective assertions regarding what the e-mails purport to show about the state of climate change science are clearly inadequate pieces of evidence to challenge the voluminous and well documented body of science that is the technical foundation of the Administrator’s Endangerment Finding.

(from: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/petitions.html)

Professor Trevor Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of East Anglia, said: “This is a thorough and forensic investigation which puts the allegations clearly into context and is a welcome addition to the growing body of independent reports which have exonerated our researchers of any wrongdoing in their science.”


Full information on EPA’s findings and the petitions

EPA Press release

EPA Myths versus Facts

Fact sheet

Extracts from the EPA documents specifically about CRU

Friday, December 24, 2010

Notorious Anti-Semite and 9-11 Conspiracist Israel Shamir: Wikileak's Russian Conduit

Wikileak's Notorious Julian Assange

"[L]et’s treat the WikiLeaks organization like the journalists they insist they are, and ask the question put forward by Novaya Gazeta reporter Yulia Latynina: Out of all the competent journalists who are sympathetic to the WikiLeaks mission, why have Wahlström and Shamir—one a disgraced journalist, the other an extreme racist—been trusted with the largest intelligence leak in history?"---Reason (12-14-10, page 2)

"Given the tight if murky links between the Russian security apparatus and the quasi-fascist Nationalist movement with which [Wikileak's Russian conduit Israel Shamir] is associated there, it has worrying implications for the security of anyone named in the cables. This is not because the cables themselves are inaccurate, but because they are not."---U.K. Guardian (12-17-10)

Wikileak's Russian contact is a notorious Russian-born anti-semite, Holocaust denier, and 9-11 conspiracist named Israel Shamir. The U.K. Guardian (12-17-10) reports:

WikiLeaks's spokesperson and conduit in Russia has been exposed in the Swedish media as an anti-semite and Holocaust denier; his son, who represents the organisation in Sweden and is handing out stories to selected papers there, has been involved in an earlier scandal where a story he wrote about the supposed Israeli control of Swedish media was withdrawn after several of the people in it complained of being misquoted.

While this does not affect the credibility of the WikiLeaks revelations, it does raise uncomfortable questions for the whistleblowers' organisation.The two men involved are Israel Shamir, a Jew who has converted to Orthodox Christianity and passionate antisemitism, and his son Johannes Wahlström. Shamir was listed as a co-author of a story in Counterpunch, which suggested that the woman who brought a complaint of rape against Julian Assange was a CIA plant. But he has a longer and stranger past than this would suggest.

According to Magnus Ljunggren, a retired professor of Russian literature at Gothenburg University, Shamir has had at least six different names, among them Izrail Schmerler (as he was born in Novosibirsk, Siberia), Jöran Jermas, Adam Ermash, but is internationally known as Shamir. He has been a Swedish citizen since 1992. [Read the whole article.]

The U.K. Guardian (12-23-10) reports that that Shamir has been accused of passing sensitive cables to Belarus's notorious dictator Andrei Lukashenko:

Assange defended one of WikiLeaks' collaborators, Israel Shamir, following claims Shamir passed sensitive cables to Belarus's dictator, Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko has arrested 600 opposition supporters and journalists since Sunday's presidential election. The whereabouts and fate of several of the president's high-profile opponents are unknown.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (12-13-10) reports that Shamir has conspiracy theories about the 9-11 attacks:

Shamir is...a controversial figure known for his stinging anti-Zionist rhetoric and his conspiracy theories about the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

More recently, Shamir has turned his ire toward the women currently accusing the WikiLeaks founder of sexual assault, branding them "pro-CIA," "castrating feminists" and hailing Assange as "our favorite hero of the Matrix, our Captain Neo."

The New York Magazine (12-14-10) and Reason (12-14-10) have also published articles about Shamir. In a long, informative article, Reason (12-14-10) observes:

Last week, I wrote that the widely-linked article positing that the CIA was behind a Swedish woman’s accusation of rape against Julian Assange was authored by a Russian-born, Swedish-domiciled, multi-aliased anti-Semite and Holocaust denier currently writing under the name “Israel Shamir,” a.k.a. Adam Ermash or Jöran Jermas. The broader point had little to do with the efficacy or morality of WikiLeaks—there are plenty of debates available on the narrower issue of government transparency; this isn’t intended to be one of them—but was concerned with how ideology and confirmation bias (WikiLeaks is a good thing, therefore Assange must be defended, and the CIA has done bad stuff in the past so—cui bono?—Assange’s accuser must be a Langley asset) can lead mainstream media figures into the fever swamps of Internet conspiracy theory.

It is worrying enough when journalists, either by accident or design, consort with vulgar figures like Shamir. But it has now been revealed that Israel Shamir, when he is not accusing Assange’s accusers of setting CIA honey traps, works with WikiLeaks in an official capacity.

According to reports in the Swedish and Russian media, the broad strokes of which have been confirmed by a WikiLeaks spokesman, Shamir serves as the group’s content aggregator in Russia, the man who “selects and distributes” the cables to Russian news organizations, according to an investigation by Swedish public radio. In the newspaper Expressen, Magnus Ljunggren, an emeritus professor of Russian literature at Gothenburg University, outlined Shamir’s close ties to WikiLeaks and his position “spreading the documents in Russia.” (The article is illustrated with a picture of Assange and Shamir in an unidentified office.)

During an appearance on Echo Moskvy radio, Yulia Latynina, a reporter at the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, wondered “What does it mean that Assange is allowing himself to be represented by an extremist?” Latynina also found that the Kremlin-friendly paper working with Shamir to promote the WikiLeaks material had already published “outright lies” Shamir claimed were supported by leaks. According to Latynina, Shamir faked a cable related to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech to the United Nations, which supposedly showed collusion amongst those who walked out of the talk in protest. That he would invent such a cable is perhaps unsurprising, considering Shamir has previously written an encomium to the “brave and charismatic leader” of Iran.

So let us quickly recap the foulness of Shamir’s political views. As I noted last week, he has called the Auschwitz concentration camp “an internment facility, attended by the Red Cross (as opposed to the US internment centre in Guantanamo),” not a place of extermination. He told a Swedish journalist (and fellow Holocaust denier) that “it’s every Muslim and Christian’s duty to deny the Holocaust.” The Jews, he says, are a “virus in human form” and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is real.

But wait, there’s more! (See the full text of this long, informative article.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Cablegate": Much Ado About Nothing

Ghia Nodia, a professor of politics at Ilia State University, comments from Tbilisi on "Cablegate" at RFE/RL (12-20-10):
The main news to emerge from the huge WikiLeaks scandal so far is that there are no conspiracies and everything in the world actually is more or less what it seems. And that the diplomats of the democratic countries -- and of the United States in particular -- are amazingly honest. Not that they don't hide things. What would diplomacy be without that? But they hide specific things for perfectly respectable reasons.
There hasn't turned out to be any striking difference between what politicians and diplomats say publicly and what they are saying among themselves. Imagine: All the secrets of the U.S. State Department were exposed and not a single person had to resign! The scandalous founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, made the timid suggestion that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has to go since she gave a politically incorrect order to spy on some officials at the United Nations. Shocking! Only Assange has found himself in trouble -- facing sexual-assault charges in Sweden. It is an embarrassing charge for a champion of free speech.
In the end, the shouts of the extreme anarchists of all countries to the effect that bold individuals have defeated repressive institutions and that the dark deeds of the mighty in this world (particularly those of the American imperialists) have finally been exposed for all to see turn out to be worthless. [See the full text.]

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Did Julian Assange Help Bradley Manning Steal the U.S. State Department Cables?

The FBI has reportedly been told that Julian Assange gave the American soldier Bradley Manning "an encrypted internet conferencing service as he was downloading government files and a dedicated server for uploading them to WikiLeaks."---U.K. Independent (12-17-10)

UPDATE: An article in The New York Times (12-15-10) about Julian Assanges alleged relationship with Bradley Manning has made an important correction:

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: December 31, 2010

An article on Dec. 16 about the possibility of prosecuting Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, after his Web site disclosed classified government documents referred incorrectly to Wired magazine’s publishing of excerpts of Internet chat logs that may be relevant to the investigation. The excerpts, recording online conversations between the main suspect in the leaks, Pvt. Bradley Manning, and an ex-hacker who turned him in, Adrian Lamo, do in fact contain references to communications between Mr. Assange and Private Manning, and to a server for uploading files to WikiLeaks. It is not the case that Wired’s excerpts omitted mention of such contacts.

The New York Times (12-15-10) initially reported:

Justice Department officials are trying to find out whether Mr. Assange encouraged or even helped the analyst, Pfc.
Bradley Manning, to extract classified military and State Department files from a government computer system. If he did so, they believe they could charge him as a conspirator in the leak, not just as a passive recipient of the documents who then published them.

Among materials prosecutors are studying is an online chat log in which Private Manning is said to claim that he had been directly communicating with Mr. Assange using an encrypted Internet conferencing service as the soldier was downloading government files. Private Manning is also said to have claimed that Mr. Assange gave him access to a dedicated server for uploading some of them to WikiLeaks.

Adrian Lamo, an ex-hacker in whom Private Manning confided and who eventually turned him in, said Private Manning detailed those interactions in instant-message conversations with him.

He said the special server’s purpose was to allow Private Manning’s submissions to “be bumped to the top of the queue for review.” By Mr. Lamo’s account, Private Manning bragged about this “as evidence of his status as the high-profile source for WikiLeaks.”

Wired magazine has published excerpts from logs of online chats between Mr. Lamo and Private Manning. But the sections in which Private Manning is said to detail contacts with Mr. Assange are not among them. Mr. Lamo described them from memory in an interview with The Times, but he said he could not provide the full chat transcript because the F.B.I. had taken his hard drive, on which it was saved.

Since WikiLeaks began making public large caches of classified United States government documents this year, Justice Department officials have been struggling to come up with a way to charge Mr. Assange with a crime. Among other things, they have studied several statutes that criminalize the dissemination of restricted information under certain circumstances, including the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986. [See the full redacted text.]

Creepy libertarian poster-boy Adrian Assange is wearing a GPS on his ankle and living at Ellingham Hall, a mansion in East Anglia.

The U.K. Independent (12-17-10) reports:

Norfolk Police would not discuss whether police would be posted around Ellingham Hall for Mr Assange's protection and to check on his whereabouts.

Assange's location is kind of interesting because the "Climategate" e-mails were stolen from the Climatic Research Center (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA), and the Norfolk Constabulary are investigating the data-breach at the UEA.

Since Julian Assange claims on Youtube that he released more than 10 years of the "Climategate" e-mails, I wonder if Assange's present quarters are more than a coincidence. Maybe the Norfolk Constabulary are asking Assange about the data-breach at the Climatic Research Center (CRU) at the University of East Anglia.

The U.K. Independent (12-17-10) reports:

American officials view persuading Pte Manning to give evidence that Mr Assange encouraged him to disseminate classified Pentagon and State Department files as crucial to any prospect of extraditing him for a successful prosecution. To facilitate that, Pte Manning may be moved from military to civilian custody, they say. Since being charged in July with disseminating a US military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters that killed 17 people in Iraq including two Reuters employees, the soldier has been held at the Quantico Marine Base in Virginia. But members of his support network insist that he has not co-operated with the authorities since his arrest in May.

The Justice Department views the chances of a prosecution as far slimmer if Mr Assange was merely the passive recipient of information. But Adrian Lamo, a former hacker who had been in contact with Pte Manning and eventually turned him in to the government, is said to have told the FBI that Mr Assange had given the young soldier an encrypted internet conferencing service as he was downloading government files and a dedicated server for uploading them to WikiLeaks...

WikiLeaks appears to be aware of the danger if it is proved to be involved in a conspiracy to leak material. It has deleted from its website the claim that "Submitting confidential material to Wiki-Leaks is safe, easy and protected by law". The site now says: "Submitting documents to our journalists is protected by law in better democracies." It also now says: "WikiLeaks accepts a range of material, but we do not solicit it." Furthermore, it no longer says it welcomes "classified" material. [Read the full text.]

Monday, December 13, 2010

Russian Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov Rolls Out Russia's First Hybrid

[I]n Russia, the country’s leaders have been pressuring Mr. Prokhorov and other wealthy businessmen to help Russia diversify its economy away from oil, by investing in high technology, a priority of President Dmitri A. Medvedev that Mr. Prokhorov has said he shares.---New York Times (12-13-10)

The New York Times (12-13-10) reports:

Mikhail D. Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire who owns the New Jersey Nets basketball team, rolled out another pet project on Monday: Russia’s first gas-electric hybrid car.

It is called the Yo, for the Russian letter “ë,” and it can use either gasoline or natural gas to generate its electric power.

Proponents say the Yo makes use of Russian engineering innovations but can be priced for mass consumption because of its bare-bones approach to hybrid automotive technology. [Read the full text.]

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gulnara Karimova: The Single Most Hated Person in Uzbekistan

"[Leaked State Department] dispatches [from Uzbekistan] focus on the behaviour of [President Islam] Karimov's glamorous and highly controversial daughter Gulnara, who is bluntly described by them as 'the single most hated person in the country' ... The US diplomats paint a harsh picture of overall life in Uzbekistan, largely corroborating allegations made by the former UK ambassador Craig Murray, who was forced out of his job in 2004 after denouncing the regime."---U.K. Guardian (12-12-10)

The U.K. Guardian (12-12-10) has published an article based on leaked U.S. State Department cables sent from Uzbekistan. I've read more detailed accounts of "First Daughter" Gulnara Karimova from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty here, here, and here.

The Guardian describes Uzbekistan's corrupt "first family" but does not mention that President Karimov's daughter Gulnara is reportedly close to the notorious Uzbeki Gazprom mogul Alisher Usmanov, who owns the Kremlin-friendly Kommersant newspaper. Perhaps the relationship between Karimova and Usmanov will turn up in the links, but U.K. journalists are reluctant to write about Usmanov in the U.K. because he sues people. The Guardian (11-19-07) did get Alisher Usmanov to respond to some questions via e-mail.

Virginia's global warming denialist Attorney General Cuccinelli cites an English version of a Kommersant article in his suit against the EPA. The article defames British climate scientists. That's not in Wikileaks. That's right in Attorney General Cuccinelli's footnotes.

The former U.K. diplomat Craig Murray has already penned some pretty devastating and undiplomatic tirades about Alisher Usmanov and Uzbekistan's hated "first daughter" Gulnara Karimova.

Craig Murray (9-2-07) writes:

Usmanov has two key alliances. He is very close indeed to President Karimov, and especially to his daughter Gulnara. It was Usmanov who engineered the 2005 diplomatic reversal in which the United States was kicked out of its airbase in Uzbekistan and Gazprom took over the country's natural gas assets. Usmanov, as chairman of Gazprom Investholdings paid a bribe of $88 million to Gulnara Karimova to secure this. This is set out on page 366 of Murder in Samarkand.

Alisher Usmanov had risen to chair of Gazprom Investholdings because of his close personal friendship with Putin, He had accessed Putin through Putin's long time secretary and now chef de cabinet, Piotr Jastrzebski. Usmanov and Jastrzebski were roommates at college. Gazprominvestholdings is the group that handles Gazprom's interests outside Russia, Usmanov's role is, in effect, to handle Gazprom's bribery and sleaze on the international arena, and the use of gas supply cuts as a threat to uncooperative satellite states.

Gazprom has also been the tool which Putin has used to attack internal democracy and close down the independent media in Russia. Gazprom has bought out - with the owners having no choice - the only independent national TV station and numerous rgional TV stations, several radio stations and two formerly independent national newspapers. These have been changed into slavish adulation of Putin. Usmanov helped accomplish this through Gazprom. The major financial newspaper, Kommersant, he bought personally. He immediately replaced the editor-in-chief with a pro-Putin hack, and three months later the long-serving campaigning defence correspondent, Ivan Safronov, mysteriously fell to his death from a window.

All this, both on Gazprom and the journalist's death, is set out in great detail here.

The U.K. Guardian (12-12-10) reports:

The post-Soviet state of Uzbekistan is a nightmarish world of "rampant corruption", organised crime, forced labour in the cotton fields, and torture, according to the leaked cables.

But the secret dispatches released by WikiLeaks reveal that the US tries to keep President Islam Karimov sweet because he allows a crucial US military supply line to run into Afghanistan, known as the northern distribution network (NDN).

Many dispatches focus on the behaviour of Karimov's glamorous and highly controversial daughter Gulnara, who is bluntly described by them as "the single most hated person in the country".

She allegedly bullied her way into gaining a slice of virtually every lucrative business in the central Asian state and is viewed, they say, as a "robber baron". Granted diplomatic status by her father, Gulnara allegedly lives much of the time in Geneva, where her holding company, Zeromax, was registered at the time, or in Spain.

She also sings pop songs, designs jewellery and is listed as a professor at Tashkent's University of World Economy and Diplomacy...

"Most Uzbeks see Karimova as a greedy, power-hungry individual who uses her father to crush business people or anyone else who stands in her way … She remains the single most hated person in the country." [Read all of this interesting article.]

The Life and Achievements of Climate Change Expert Stephen Schneider Celebrated Today

"Stanford biology professor and senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment Stephen Schneider will be memorialized and celebrated on Sunday, Dec. 12 from 1:00 to 6:30 p.m. with a day-long symposium of presentations on climate change...Sunday’s event will celebrate Schneider’s life with talks titled “Climate-Change Science and Sanity: Steve Schneider’s Extraordinary Contributions to Both,” “Why We Resist the Results of Climate Science” and “The American Public’s Understandings and Misunderstandings About Climate Change: Is There a Crisis of Confidence in Climate Science?” by John Holdren, Naomi Oreskes and Jon Krosnick, respectively."---Stanford Daily (12-1-10)

The life and achievements of the famous climate scientist Dr. Stephen Schneider are being celebrated today at Stanford University: Remembering Stephen Schneider: A Memorial Celebration Program December 12, 2010.

Dr. Schneider died of a pulmonary embolism on July 19, 2010, during flight from Sweden to London. He had been in Sweden to attend a conference about climate change.

According to his obituary in the New York Times (7-20-10):

The conference he had attended in Sweden before his death was partly to discuss how climate-change skeptics use that uncertainty to advance their cause.

But because the costs of global warming — from the melting of icecaps to the flooding of islands — is so high, Dr. Schneider maintained, not acting is riskier than acting. He demanded action from national, international and corporate leaders.

His case was buttressed by the “accumulated preponderance of evidence” scientists had amassed, he said. In an interview with the magazine American Scientist this year, he said his opponents relied on “the political chicanery of ideologists and special interests.”

The Stanford Daily (12-1-10) reports:

Stanford biology professor and senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment Stephen Schneider will be memorialized and celebrated on Sunday, Dec. 12 from 1:00 to 6:30 p.m. with a day-long symposium of presentations on climate change. Schneider died of a pulmonary embolism on July 19 while traveling on a plane landing in London.

Sunday’s event will pay tribute to Schneider, one of the world’s leading climatologists and a beloved member of the Stanford community, through a scientific symposium and memorial celebration.

Sunday’s event will celebrate Schneider’s life with talks titled “Climate-Change Science and Sanity: Steve Schneider’s Extraordinary Contributions to Both,” “Why We Resist the Results of Climate Science” and “The American Public’s Understandings and Misunderstandings About Climate Change: Is There a Crisis of Confidence in Climate Science?” by John Holdren, Naomi Oreskes and Jon Krosnick, respectively.

Throughout his career, Schneider made enormous contributions to the study of climate change. In addition to his time at Stanford starting in 1992, Schneider also spent time advising the Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, both Bush and Obama administrations and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schneider served as lead scientist on the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Prize with Al Gore.

“He was a fantastic mentor and an inspiration to his students, his colleagues and the global community,” said William Anderegg, one of Schneider’s graduate students, in an e-mail to The Daily after Schneider’s death. “He was a leading light in the science of climate change and in communicating the risks of climate change to the media and the public. His legacy will live on through those that he taught, spoke with and inspired, as we try to carry on his great work of protecting our planet’s climate.”

Visit http://woods.stanford.edu/woods/steve-schneider-memorial.html for more information.

NASA: "Greener" World May Slow the Rate of Global Warming

"Scientists agree that in a world where carbon dioxide has doubled – a standard basis for many global warming modeling simulations – temperature would increase from 2 to 4.5 degrees C (3.5 to 8.0 F)."--NASA (12-8-10)

UPDATE: The Guardian (12-17-10) comments on this story.

NASA studies outer space, but they also study our earth and use increasingly sophisticated computer models to make projections about the extent of future global warming. Scientists are certain that the world is warming, but there is a measure of uncertainty about how fast the world is warming because scientists do not yet understand all the factors that amplify the warming trend ("postive feedback") or that cause cooling ("negative feedback").

NASA (12-8-10) reports some new research on "negative feedbacks" which cause the earth to cool. The new research suggests that "this [negative] feedback slows but does not alleviate the projected warming":

A new NASA computer modeling effort has found that additional growth of plants and trees in a world with doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide levels would create a new negative feedback – a cooling effect – in the Earth's climate system that could work to reduce future global warming.

The cooling effect would be -0.3 degrees Celsius (C) (-0.5 Fahrenheit (F)) globally and -0.6 degrees C (-1.1 F) over land, compared to simulations where the feedback was not included, said Lahouari Bounoua, of Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. Bounoua is lead author on a paper detailing the results that will be published Dec. 7 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Without the negative feedback included, the model found a warming of 1.94 degrees C globally when carbon dioxide was doubled.

Bounoua stressed that while the model's results showed a negative feedback, it is not a strong enough response to alter the global warming trend that is expected. In fact, the present work is an example of how, over time, scientists will create more sophisticated models that will chip away at the uncertainty range of climate change and allow more accurate projections of future climate.

"This feedback slows but does not alleviate the projected warming," Bounoua said.

To date, only some models that predict how the planet would respond to a doubling of carbon dioxide have allowed for vegetation to grow as a response to higher carbon dioxide levels and associated increases in temperatures and precipitation.

Of those that have attempted to model this feedback, this new effort differs in that it incorporates a specific response in plants to higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. When there is more carbon dioxide available, plants are able to use less water yet maintain previous levels of photosynthesis. The process is called "down-regulation." This more efficient use of water and nutrients has been observed in experimental studies and can ultimately lead to increased leaf growth. The ability to increase leaf growth due to changes in photosynthetic activity was also included in the model. The authors postulate that the greater leaf growth would increase evapotranspiration on a global scale and create an additional cooling effect.

"This is what is completely new," said Bounoua, referring to the incorporation of down-regulation and changed leaf growth into the model. "What we did is improve plants' physiological response in the model by including down-regulation. The end result is a stronger feedback than previously thought.

"The modeling approach also investigated how stimulation of plant growth in a world with doubled carbon dioxide levels would be fueled by warmer temperatures, increased precipitation in some regions and plants' more efficient use of water due to carbon dioxide being more readily available in the atmosphere. Previous climate models have included these aspects but not down-regulation. The models without down-regulation projected little to no cooling from vegetative growth.

Scientists agree that in a world where carbon dioxide has doubled – a standard basis for many global warming modeling simulations – temperature would increase from 2 to 4.5 degrees C (3.5 to 8.0 F). (The model used in this study found warming – without incorporating the plant feedback – on the low end of this range.) The uncertainty in that range is mostly due to uncertainty about "feedbacks" – how different aspects of the Earth system will react to a warming world, and then how those changes will either amplify (positive feedback) or dampen (negative feedback) the overall warming.

An example of a positive feedback would be if warming temperatures caused forests to grow in the place of Arctic tundra. The darker surface of a forest canopy would absorb more solar radiation than the snowy tundra, which reflects more solar radiation. The greater absorption would amplify warming. The vegetative feedback modeled in this research, in which increased plant growth would exert a cooling effect, is an example of a negative feedback. The feedback quantified in this study is a result of an interaction between all these aspects: carbon dioxide enrichment, a warming and moistening climate, plants' more efficient use of water, down-regulation and the ability for leaf growth.

This new paper is one of many steps toward gradually improving overall future climate projections, a process that involves better modeling of both warming and cooling feedbacks."

As we learn more about how these systems react, we can learn more about how the climate will change," said co-author Forrest Hall, of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and Goddard Space Flight Center. "Each year we get better and better. It's important to get these things right just as it's important to get the track of a hurricane right. We've got to get these models right, and improve our projections, so we'll know where to most effectively concentrate mitigation efforts.

"The results presented here indicate that changes in the state of vegetation may already be playing a role in the continental water, energy and carbon budgets as atmospheric carbon dioxide increases, said Piers Sellers, a co-author from NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas.

"We're learning more and more about how our planet really works," Sellers said. "We have suspected for some time that the connection between vegetation photosynthesis and the surface energy balance could be a significant player in future climate. This study gives us an indication of the strength and sign of one of these biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Jury Finds Canadian Indian John Graham Guilty of the 1975 Kidnapping and Murder of Anna Mae Aquash on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

"A prosecutor isn't saying if there will be other charges filed in connection with a decades-old killing of an American Indian Movement activist...State attorney general Marty Jackley, who prosecuted the case, says he'll meet with authorities to decide if anyone else will be charged."---AP/Singapore (12-12-10)

The New York Times (12-10-10) reports that a Pennington County, South Dakota jury has found the Canadian Indian John Graham guilty of kidnapping and second degree murder in the 1975 killing of the Canadian Indian Anna Mae Aquash on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota. Both Aquash and Graham were members of the American Indian Movement (AIM).

The Atlanta Journal Constitution (12-11-10) reports:

The daughters of a slain American Indian Movement activist said Saturday they are pleased with the latest conviction in the 35-year-old murder case but remain convinced there are others who haven't been charged...

Marty Jackley, the state attorney general who prosecuted the case, declined to say Saturday if anyone else might face charges.

"We want to take an opportunity to look back at what the evidence showed and make an informed decision," Jackley said.

Aquash's daughters, Denise Maloney Pictou and Debbie Maloney Pictou, said they still don't believe the full story is known about their mother's death.

"I want people to take responsibility for their involvement," Denise Maloney Pictou said. "People now know who the main players are."

Debbie Maloney Pictou, a corporal in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said she thought Graham's case was "just a step forward" in finding justice. "There's still a lot of work that needs to be done," she said.

Graham was acquitted of premeditated murder, but found guilty of felony murder in connection with a kidnapping, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. One juror said afterward there was swift agreement that Graham was culpable but disagreement during jury deliberations about whether he actually fired the fatal shot.

Another activist Arlo Looking Cloud, was also convicted in Aquash's slaying six years ago and is serving a life sentence.

Prosecutors did not address at trial who ordered Aquash's death. Several former leaders of the group — which gained prominence in the 1970s but has since faded from public view — have denied being involved.

During five days of testimony at Graham's trial, prosecution witnesses testified they saw Graham and two other AIM supporters tie Aquash's hands and place her in the back of a red Ford Pinto. The three took Aquash from Denver to Rapid City and then toward South Dakota's Pine Ridge reservation, witnesses testified.

But several expected witnesses — including Thelma Rios, who pleaded guilty last month in connection with Aquash's kidnapping — did not testify at Graham's trial. One witness, Angie Janis, testified that Rios called her in November 1975 to say Aquash was an informant and needed to be taken from Denver, where she was living, to Rapid City.

Rios' testimony could shed light on who asked her to make that call. Jackley would not comment on why Rios didn't testify at Graham's trial.

I will tell you that it wasn't an oversight," he said. "We certainly discussed it within our trial strategy, but that's all I can disclose."

Paul DeMain, an Indian journalist who's long researched the Aquash case, likened Graham and the two other activists to soldiers following orders.

"Somewhere in that pyramid, it leads right to the top," he said, adding that he thought more than one leader was involved.

Russell Means, an early leader of AIM, has blamed Vernon Bellecourt, another group leader, for ordering the murder. When asked before the trial whether he was involved, Means replied, "Get real."

Vernon Bellecourt denied allegations against him in a 2004 interview with The Associated Press, four years before he died.

"To this day I don't know who shot Anna Mae Aquash," he said at the time.

Two other leaders, Clyde Bellecourt and Dennis Banks, have declined to comment. [See the full text.]

The Rapid City Journal has a timeline of the case. News From Indian Country also has a special news file and timeline about Anna Mae's murder and a December 10 TV clip about about Anna Mae's murder from the perspective of her nephew Mark Aquash.

According to News from Indian Country (12-10-10):

John Graham [was] found guilty of aiding and abetting [the] first degree murder of Annie Mae Pictou Aquash.

Canada's CBC News (12-10-10) reports some legal details:

A South Dakota jury has found John Graham guilty of felony murder in the 1975 slaying of a native woman originally from Nova Scotia.

Graham, 55, was acquitted of a second, more serious charge of premeditated murder in the slaying of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash, a Mi'kmaq from Indian Brook, N.S., and an activist with the American Indian Movement (AIM).

Felony murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

The two charges roughly parallel what are known as second- and first-degree murder charges in Canada.

Graham looked straight ahead and didn't move as the verdicts were read. His daughter, Naneek, began to cry as the jury members stood one by one to affirm the verdicts.

"We waited 35 years," said Denise Maloney Pictou, one of Pictou-Aquash's daughters, "It's been a long road for us." [See the full text.]

The Washington Post (12-6-10) reports:

Arlo Looking Cloud testified against John Graham, saying he watched as Graham shot Annie Mae Aquash on South Dakota's Pine Ridge reservation and left her to die. Prosecutors believe Graham, Looking Cloud and a third AIM activist, Theda Clark, kidnapped and killed Aquash because AIM leaders thought she was a government spy. Aquash's death has long been synonymous with AIM and its often-violent struggles with federal agents during the 1970s...

Another witness testified Monday that she and Aquash heard AIM activist Leonard Peltier admit to killing two FBI agents in June 1975. Peltier was convicted in 1977 of shooting the agents and is serving a life sentence. He has maintained his innocence, saying the FBI framed him. The agency denies that claim.

Darlene "Kamook" Ecoffey told jurors Peltier talked about the shooting in the fall of 1975, a few months before Aquash disappeared.

"He held his hand like this," Ecoffey said, making a gesture resembling a gun with her hand. "And he said, 'That (expletive) was begging for his life, but I shot him anyway.'" [See the full text.]

George Mason University Investigates "Wegman Report" Author for Research Misconduct

"[P]aleoclimatology researcher Michael Mann said the authors of “Ad Hoc Committee Report on the ‘Hockey Stick’ Global Climate Reconstruction,” commonly known as the Wegman report (PDF), could soon face more serious allegations, including of political bias and misleading Congress."---The American Independent (12-9-10)

Last October, the Washington Post (10-8-10) reported:

A leading skeptic of climate change science whose work was cited last week by Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli is himself under investigation on charges that his work contained plagiarism and inaccuracies, a George Mason University spokesman confirmed Friday.

The investigation was first reported by USA Today, which quoted GMU statistics professor Edward Wegman as saying he knew of the investigation but he had been asked not to comment about it by the university.

Wegman headed up a 2006 congressional committee that reported problems with scientific research that showed the earth has experience rapid, recent warming, notably a 1999 paper by then-University of Virginia professor Michael Mann.

The Wegman Report was cited repeatedly in the civil subpoena filed last week by Cuccinelli's office to the University of Virginia seeking e-mails and documents related to Mann. The citations came in an attachment to the subpoena intended to show that there was reason to believe that Mann might have committed fraud as he sought state money for research. [See full text.]

The American Independent (12-9-10) is now reporting:

George Mason University continues to scrutinize charges of plagiarism against a 2006 congressional panel commissioned by U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), then-chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, that questioned scientific evidence of climate change.

But paleoclimatology researcher Michael Mann said the authors of “Ad Hoc Committee Report on the ‘Hockey Stick’ Global Climate Reconstruction,” commonly known as the
Wegman report (PDF), could soon face more serious allegations, including of political bias and misleading Congress.

The Wegman report, written by a three-member panel including George Mason University (GMU) statistics professor Edward Wegman, criticized Mann’s work in reconstructing temperature records and his extensive connections to other scientists in his field.

In a parallel assessment, the National Research Council (NRC) largely substantiated Mann’s work.

“My understanding is that plagiarism is the least of the problems with the report, it was just the easiest to document,” wrote Mann in an e-mail. He said there is “solid evidence” that the Wegman report was highly influenced by Barton’s office.

Mann cited an independent analysis done by an anonymous Canadian blogger and a private-sector computer analyst. The
independent report lays out a series of more-serious allegations, potentially arising to felony-level misrepresentation of information to Congress. [See the full text.]

Attorney General Cuccinelli: It's Time for You to Be Transparent and Answer the Voters' Questions!

"[KGB chief Yevgeni Primakov] mentioned the well known articles printed a few years ago in our central newspapers about AIDS supposedly originating from secret Pentagon laboratories. According to Yevgeni Primakov, the articles exposing US scientists' 'crafty' plots were fabricated in KGB offices."---Izvestiya (3-19-92)

Perhaps Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli should also tell the newspapers that he defamed America's great climate scientists as dishonest and greedy for grant money. Even the Russians admit their lies when they need help from our scientists.

The Wikileaks ringleader Julian Assange has apparently boasted in public that Wikileaks released those hacked "Climategate" e-mails beloved by global warming denialists such as Attorney General Cuccinelli. It's hard to know if the overweening Assange's boastful claims are true, but listen to what Assange allegedly said according to a post on Youtube that has not been denied by Wikileaks. It seems that the arrogant Assange has now got his hand firmly caught in the State Department's cookie jar! It would be interesting to know if the British authorities are taking seriously his claim that Wikileaks released the Climategate e-mails.

"Hero" Assange seems really sociopathic because he takes no responsibility for the manufactured scandal and pain caused when the context of these e-mails were mischaracterized by industry-sponsored mouthpieces who deny global warming.

I don’t think that Virginia’s Attorney General, a law officer, should be suing the EPA based on stolen e-mails that may have been released by Wikileaks.

I also don't think that Attorney General Cuccinelli should be citing an article in his suit to the EPA that appears in the Russian government's official press agency RIA Novosti and that defames the U.K.'s greatest climate scientists. Incredibly, Cucinelli cites a defamatory article from RIA Novosti in his EPA suit as "proof" that U.K. scientists are dishonest!

This English article is a slightly redacted version of an article which appeared on the same day in Russia's business daily Kommersant. The Kommersant source is noted by RIA Novosti at the link cited in Cuccinelli’s EPA suit at footnote 12:

12 What the Russian Papers Say, Dec. 16, 2009, Rianovosti, available at http://en.rian.ru/papers/ 20091216/157260660.html

Here is a working link to RIA Novosti (12-16-10); scroll through the articles to:

[from] Kommersant
Russia affected by Climategate

(Cuccinelli’s suit put a space in the link after papers/, so the link doesn't work unless the reader closes the space.)

The RIA Novosti article is based on an article in Kommersant (12-16-10) titled "Британские ученые недооценили русский климат" (British scientists have underestimated the Russian climate).

The Kremlin-friendly paper, which is known by the ubiquitous stock epithet "respected" Kommersant, is owned by the Russian-based Uzbeki mogul Alisher Usmanov of Gazprominvest. Gazprom, Russia's huge gas company, is majority-owned by the Russian government.

Usmanov purchased "respected" Kommersant in August 2006. On March 3, 2007, a reporter for the paper named Ivan Safronov “fell” out of a window on a floor above his own apartment and died.

I don’t think the Kremlin/Gazprom-controlled Kommersant is a reliable, independent source of information on climate science. It think that "respected" Kommersant publishes kompromat about the Kremlin's opponents.

I can't help wondering if Mr. Cuccinelli’s father, a gas lobbyist whose company reportedly gave Mr. Cuccinelli's campaign 96,000 dollars, has business relationships with with Alisher Usmanov’s Gazprominvest or other Gazprom people. The elder Cuccinelli's site reports that he has "European" clients. We ought to find out who these "European" clients are.

We need to make sure that Virginia's top "law enforcement officer" isn't serving his father's "European" clients by spreading the lawless Russian government's defamatory propaganda about the world's great climate scientists.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Kremlin's Shill: Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

"What suffers in this story is democracy. Democracy and accountability suffer. So also does the free market because these players are not really interested in the chief mechanism of the free market, which would be competition. They are all about the interdependency between government and business, so the intertwining of state and private power. And they get government benefits to use to the advantage of the market."---Janine Wedel (RFE/RL, 8-16-10)

I think Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli may be getting political contributions from his father's clients to attack the science of global warming. The elder Cuccinelli is a career lobbyist for the gas industry who has "European" clients.

Who are these clients? The elder Cuccinelli's public relations business reportedly contributed 96,000 to his son's campaign. Are these "European" clients buying the services of "our" Attorney General? I think that Virginia voters should find out what is going on here.

Based on my research, I think it is possible that these "European" clients may include Russian gas companies such as Gazprom or gas trading companies. I am concerned that these companies may formally be be paying Cuccinelli's father for "professional services" but in reality may be sponsoring the younger Cuccinelli's persecution of climate scientists. This sort of subversion is already happening in Europe. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (7-9-10) reports:

Moscow is skillfully advancing its interests in the West, not through intelligence but business, often supported by crafty industrial espionage, influence-buying, and under-the-table deal-making...In Western Europe, Moscow has operated by making lucrative arrangements with foreign energy companies that become de facto lobbyists for the Kremlin within their own countries.

I have written many times to Mr. W. Russell, Mr. Cuccinelli's deputy in the Virginia Attorney General's office, and have asked for transparency about these "European" clients; but the Attorney General's office does not answer my questions. If I have to speculate, that's because Attorney General Cuccinelli won't address my concerns. He is not transparent about his financial relationships with fossil fuel interests.

Attorney General Cuccinelli is supposed to uphold the law, but instead he panders disinformation about the stolen "Climategate" e-mails and abuses his powerful postion in an attempt to root around in Dr. Michael Mann's UVA's correspondance and sniff out conspiracies; but Attorney General Cuccinelli won't tell us whom he is serving. He spreads the conspiracy theory our most famous climate scientists are greedy liars, but I think there is considerable evidence that Cuccinelli is the greedy liar.

The "bum dope" Attorney General Cuccinelli is pedaling about the plots of our allegedly greedy, coniving climate scientists reminds me of the KGB's "bum dope" about how our Pentagon scientists made AIDS.

The KGB finally had to come clean about their conspiracy theory, and Izvestiya (3-19-92) famously reported:

[KGB chief Yevgeni Primakov] mentioned the well known articles printed a few years ago in our central newspapers about AIDS supposedly originating from secret Pentagon laboratories. According to Yevgeni Primakov, the articles exposing US scientists' 'crafty' plots were fabricated in KGB offices.

The KGB threw the scientists and journalists who pedalled this lie under the bus that day! The Soviet Academy of Sciences, led by the famous physicist Roald Sagdeev, had already distanced themselves from this lie. Even so, the KGB lie about how the Pentagon scientists created the AIDS virus continues to spread. Even President Obama's minister repeated this admitted KGB lie during the campaign. The CIA has published a study about the KGB's "Operation Infektion."

Still, we don't need a KGB admission or Wikileaks to tell us that Cuccinelli is spreading the Kremlin perspective. Cuccinelli tells us himself! In his suit against the EPA, Cuccinelli cites an RIA Novosti English-language version of a Russian newspaper article that calls British climate scientists dishonest. The original article was published in Kommersant, a Kremlin-friendly newspaper owned by the Gazprom mogul Alisher Usmanov, a sinister person whose education and career reek of the KGB. RIA Novosti is the Russian government's official press agency. Cuccinelli is so critical of U.S. Government agencies, but he uncritically accepts and publishes the disinformation pedaled by the mouthpieces of the Kremlin's agencies in his EPA suit.

The original Russian-language Kommersant article (on which the RIA Novosti English article Cuccinelli uses in his EPA suit is based) quotes Andrei Illarionov, a Russian economist and political operative who worked for Putin and for the late Victor Chernomyrdin, the head of the Soviet Ministry of gas and its post-Soviet reincarnation Gazprom.

Attorney General Cuccinelli has not appeared in Wikileaks, at least not so so far. In any case, the proof that the shameless Cuccinelli is spreading the Kremlin perspective is no secret: it's right there for the whole world to see in the footnotes of his suit against the EPA; but since it's right in the footnotes and not a secret, nobody looks! I think Attorney General Cuccinelli is just a stooge who collaborates with powerful Russian business interests. He uncritically cites official Russian sources in his EPA suit; he mischaracterizes stolen e-mails from the British Research Unit (CRU) to unfairly defame scientists in the "Climategate" scandal; and his father is a gas lobbyist with "European" clients.

Attorney General Cuccinelli is not promoting democracy or capitalism; he is promoting corruption---collusion with the Kremlin and Gazprom. He is supposed to work for our citizens, not the Kremlin rulers Kommersant answers to.

No professional journalist has investigated the Cuccinelli family's ties to the fossil fuel industry. No professional journalist has suggested that Cuccinelli's "evidence" in his EPA suit against climate scientists was published in RIA Novosti by way of Alisher Usmanov's Kommersant and might be Russian government/Gazprom propaganda, not climate science.

Journalists don't even ask Cuccinelli about these issues to get him on the record. They all seem to depend on e-mails stolen from scientists or cables stolen from the State Department for their news instead of doing their own research. Journalists don't even really know who is supplying Cuccinelli with scientists' stolen e-mails and Wikileaks with their stolen State Department cables. The arrested head of Wikileaks, Julian Assange even claims that he received "Climategate" e-mails and had "no choice" but to release them.

Hopefully, our law enforcement agencies are investigating the corruption of our politicians and businesses by powerful domestic and foreign fossil fuel interests. It's strange that the EPA doesn't tell Cuccinelli that their scientists don't put too much stock in kompromat about British scientists published in Alisher Usmanov's Kommersant.

A commenter claims I am making up a conspiracy theory. Cuccinelli has not characterized my research as a conspiracy theory. He has not said anything. If the commenter thinks this is a conspiracy theory, he should ask Attorney General Cuccinelli to go on the record about his financial ties with domestic and foreign fossil fuel interests. He should ask Mr. Cuccinelli why he thinks Alisher Usmanov's Kommersant and the economist Andrei Illarionov are reliable sources of scientific information about global warming. Although Andrei Illarionov supposedly had a "tiff" with Putin before he went to work for the Libertarian Cato Institute, Mr. Illarionov is quoted in Russia’s official press agency RIA Novosti on "the very day that EPA announced the Endangerment Finding," as Cuccinelli's brief observes with unintentional irony.

I have no crystal ball or cyber-criminals who will steal secrets for me, so I just have to present Mr. Cucccinelli with my own research and suspicions; and he should answer my questions because I voted for him, a mistake I won't make twice. So far, the Attorney General's office has not addressed my concerns. So far, the Attorney General has not characterized my research and suspicions a "conspiracy theory." Cuccinelli's office doesn't say anything. Only some commenter on my blog has said that.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has some good articles about corruption. The links are good, too. I am starting a list:

'Systemic Corruption' A Daunting Challenge In A Globalized Era (12-9-10)

Corruption, And Outrage About It, Is On The Rise (12-9-10)

The 'Shadow Elite,' WikiLeaks, And Living In A 'Dangerous Era' (8-16-10)

I'll be back...