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Ha'penny Bridge, Dublin,by Dave Walsh Photography <!-- (image by feileacan, used under a Creative Commons License) --> As every French person knows, Paris is a woman, impudent and provocative. Paris the beautiful, the magical, the enchanting. Predictably, as soon as I returned there a few weeks ago, her magic enveloped me again - from her lights to her majestic buildings and bridges, her magnificent cathedral, her many different quartiers, each with their own charm, her immense Louvre, sheltering one of the greatest art collections in the world, and of course her twinkling Eiffel tower. Nothing compares to Paris. "I don't understand; why aren't you living there?" an Irish friend asked me the other day. A fair question. Why am I not living in my own city when it happens to be one of the most beautiful of all cities? (I'm not biased!) The fact is, for more than five years...

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(Picture: Daytona Beach News-Journal, reproduced at pierretristam.com). "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time" - Barack Obama. 'U.S. policy is not about one individual, and no matter how much faith people place in President-elect Barack Obama, the policies he enacts will be fruit of a tree with many roots...the best immediate indicator of what an Obama administration might look like can be found in the people he surrounds himself with and who he appoints to his Cabinet. And, frankly, when it comes to foreign policy, it is not looking good. Obama has a momentous opportunity to do what he repeatedly promised over the course of his campaign: bring actual change. But the more we learn about who Obama is considering for top positions in his administration...' - Jeremy Scahill. Rahm Emanuel 'Barack Obama's first appointment, that of Chicago Congressman Rahm Emanuel as...

blather.net
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(photo by DigitalKatie) On the occasion of the election of Barack Obama to the office of President of the United States of America, this is a Message from Blather.net High Command to our European brethern: it's time to let the Americans out of the shit-house. 8 years. 8 agonizing years we've been giving Americans abuse. But no more. We hereby announce the commencement of Blather.net's Hug an American Campaign. Go find an American. Any American. Hug them. Say thanks. Go home and sleep properly for the first time since 2001. Photographic evidence and reports of American Hugging can be posted in the comments below. That is all.

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Those of you who have been following this series will know that Sibel Edmonds (pictured) had her FBI contract terminated when she discovered evidence of wrongdoing in her workplace. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the US Department of Justice later investigated, and concluded that 'many of Edmonds's core allegations relating to the co-worker had some basis in fact and were supported by either documentary evidence or witnesses other than Edmonds' . I'm quoting there from an unclassified summary, but the actual OIG report remains classified. Also there is a State Secret Priveleges gag order on Sibel Edmonds to prevent her speaking about her work at the FBI (on national security grounds), but she says it's not so much national security that is being protected as corrupt U.S. officials she has overheard on wiretaps, who are in the business of stealing and selling American nuclear secrets and technology....

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Previously in this series, Friedrich Tinner and his sons Urs and Marco, a family of engineers, were mentioned as part of the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network. The Tinners had a factory in Malaysia producing centrifuge parts . When A.Q. Khan's international activities were exposed in 2003, so were the Tinners, who were based in Switzerland. They were taken into custody there, and expected to (eventually) stand trial. But the Swiss President made a rather shocking announcement on 23 May 2008... President Pascal Couchepin announced that the 30,000 documents of evidence in the Tinner case had been shredded. Blueprints for a nuclear bomb This came as a shock to the Swiss prosecutors. Any kind of successful prosecution of the Tinners was now in jeopardy, to say the least . Couchepin stated that the files were shredded because 'There were detailed construction plans for nuclear weapons, for gas ultracentrifuges to enrich...

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Let me sli - ide down along the side of this picture here and get into position to welcome you our readers back once again to Blather's very convoluted yet very informative 5-part series Black Market Nukes! To kick off this, the third part, which in one respect involves Valerie Plame (pictured), I should remind you of the main point of part one of this series. I wrote of how an ex-FBI employee, Sibel Edmonds, revealed that she worked on a project in which she listened to wiretaps and translated them. She listened to phone traffic between the Turkish embassy and the Turkish lobby group the American Turkish Council (ATC), involving dealings in the nuclear black market. But this FBI investigation she was working on was shut down, and her contract was terminated. It seems the FBI team went too deep, got too close to an uncomfortable truth... Essentially, foreign...

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In part one, ex-FBI employee Sibel Edmonds listened to wiretaps of Turkish agents in the USA, who were stealing American nuclear secrets and selling them on the black market. The FBI investigation was surprisingly shut down, and US Attorney General John Ashcroft slapped a State Secret Priveleges gag order on Edmonds to prevent her from speaking out about it when she blew the whistle. But she's recently defied that gag order. She claims that one of the buyers of these stolen nuclear secrets was Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's intelligence agency , who were working with Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, the man responsible for Pakistan's nuclear bomb. Part two of this series follows the trail of A.Q. Khan and his nuclear black market network. The Path of Khan In 1972, A.Q. (let's call him A.Q.) received his PhD in metallurgy and got a job in the Netherlands working for the...

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Haunted Dublin: Chilling accounts of the supernatural in the cityOnly €14.99 + P&P! AVAILABLE NOW! By Dave Walsh Introduction by Barry Kavanagh Paperback: 93 pages, including 40 photographs by Dave WalshPublished by Nonsuch Ireland Published October 2008 Haunted Dublin, by author and journalist Dave Walsh, gathers together in one succinct volume, well-known legends with rare and chilling accounts of the supernatural in the city. With poltergeists and apparitions, lore, myth and the downright scary, this fascinating work will delight and unsettle those brave enough to explore this hidden world. View the Haunted Dublin photograph collection » Dublin is the perfect haunted city, with its narrow cobbled streets concealing layers of interwoven history and folklore, left behind by generations of Viking, Norman and Irish inhabitants. Walking through the streets on a dark October evening, as Halloween or Samhain grows closer and the moon slips behind some flimsy clouds, the 'other world' seems...

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Who's that riding around with a nuclear bomb in his motorcycle sidecar? This is the first in a projected 5-part series of articles for Blather.net on the subject of black market nukes. As you may or may not know, there is an international network of people selling blueprints and material for nuclear weapons on the black market. If you follow the news keenly, you may stumble across a report from time to time, but it seems this issue is not as much in the media spotlight as it should be. I'm going to try to draw various strands of the story together for you. I'll be writing about A.Q. Khan, the father of the Pakistani bomb and 'the merchant of menace'; Khan's associates the Tinner family in Switzerland; 'certain Turkish entities', as George W. Bush called them; the CIA front-company connected to the outed agent Valerie Plame; and first and...

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Blather.net sat down with mercurial artist Fred Einaudi to get the skinny on his provocative and apocalyptic art, the finer points of using oil on canvas and a plan to annihilate loud motorbike drivers. Blather: Where are you from and where do you live now? Fred: I was born in Weed Heights, Nevada. I now live in San Francisco. Blather: If you were asked to describe your art using three adjectives, which ones would you choose? Fred: Could, be, better. I guess only one of those is an adjective. I'm not all that enthused with my work at the moment. Blather: When you sit down to paint a piece, do you have a clear idea of where you're going or do you 'wing it'? Fred: There are times when I do have a particular idea in mind that I want to flesh out, but I find these rarely end up...