The Invisible Web

Your Trip Into the Chapel Perilous

Archive for July 24th, 2008

COINTELPRO Comes to My Town: My First-Hand Experience With Government Spies

Posted by invizweb on July 24, 2008

David Zirin writes the following account for the Huffington Post:

Finally, at long last, I have something in common with Muhammad Ali.

No, I’m not the heavyweight champion of the world, and haven’t been named spokesperson for Raid bug spray. Like “the Greatest” – not to mention far too many others — I have been a target of state police surveillance for activities — in my case against the death penalty — that were legal, non-violent, and, so we assumed, constitutionally protected. In classified reports compiled by the Maryland State Police and the Department of Homeland Security, I am “Dave Z.” This nickname was given by an undercover agent known to us as “Lucy.” She sat in our meetings of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, smiling and engaged, taking copious notes about actions deemed threatening by the Governor of Maryland, Robert Ehrlich. Our seditious crimes, as Lucy reported, involved such acts as planning to set up a table at the local farmer’s market and writing up a petition. Adding a dash of farce to this outrage, she was monitoring us in the liberal enclave of Takoma Park, Maryland, a place known more for vegans than violence, more for tie-dying than terrorism.

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act and the ACLU, we now know that “Lucy” was only one part of a vast, insidious project. The Maryland State Police’s Department of Homeland Security devoted near 300 hours and thousands of taxpayer dollars from 2005 and 2006 to harassing people whose only crime was dissenting on the question of the war in Iraq and Maryland’s use of death row.

My dear friend Mike Stark, a board member of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty is at times referred to in “Lucy’s” report as a “socialist” and an “anarchist.” One can only assume this is the pathetic time honored tradition of reducing people to simple caricatures, all the better to garner Homeland Security grant money.

Veteran peace activist in Baltimore, Max Obuszewski, who initiated the suit, was as well consistently shadowed as he walked down the streets. His “primary crime” (their lingo) was entered into the homeland security database as “terrorism – anti govern(ment).” His “secondary crime” was listed as “terrorism — anti-war protesters.” The database is known as the Washington-Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or HIDTA. Yes, a respected peace organizer of many decades standing is checked as a terrorist, his actions listed as criminal, for doing nothing more than exercising his rights. It boggles the mind.

Read more.

Advertisements

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Cryptopolitics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hoping Two Drugs Carry a Side Effect: Longer Life

Posted by invizweb on July 24, 2008

By NICHOLAS WADE, for the New York Times, July 22, 2008:

BOSTON, Mass. — One day last month, clad in white plastic garments from head to toe, Dr. David Sinclair showed a visitor around his germ-free mouse room here at Harvard Medical School.

The mice, subjects in studies of health and longevity, are kept in wire baskets under intensive nursing care. A mouse gym holds a miniature exercise machine that tests the rodents’ ability to balance on a rotating bar. In a nearby water maze, mice must recall visual cues to swim to safety on a hidden platform, a test of their powers of memory. Those that forget their lessons are rescued as they start to submerge and humanely dried out under a heat lamp, Dr. Sinclair assured his visitor.

Dr. Sinclair is a co-founder of Sirtris, a company that itself has been swimming in uncharted waters as it works to develop drugs that may extend the human life span. But it seemed to have found a safe platform last month when it was bought last month by the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline for $720 million.

Read more.

Posted in Current Events | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

NY Combat Sambo profiled in New York Times

Posted by invizweb on July 24, 2008

(C) Bess Greenberg/The New York Times

My coach in the background. (C) Bess Greenberg/The New York Times

By R.M. SCHNEIDERMAN for the New York Times, Published: July 19, 2008

It was born in the aftermath of the Bolshevik revolution and remained largely a state secret until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

It is called sambo, a Russian acronym that stands for self-defense without weapons, and it is a martial art that combines striking, submissions, throws and weapons disarmament.

Popular in Russia and the former Soviet republics, sambo was relatively unknown in the rest of the world. But over the last five years that has slowly changed in the United States with the increased popularity of mixed martial arts, a sport that counts a number of sambo experts among its elite fighters.

Two such fighters, Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski, will participate in a mixed martial arts event Saturday in Anaheim, Calif. Emelianenko, considered by some to be the best fighter in the world, will take on Tim Sylvia, the former heavyweight champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Arlovski, also a former U.F.C. champ, will square off against Ben Rothwell, an American who has dabbled in sambo.

Read more.

Posted in Combat Sports, Mixed Martial Arts, Sambo/ CAMBO | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »