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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 40,026

About Me

Blocked on Twitter by that rat bastard fuck @ggreenwald

Journal Archives

Dark Leviathan

The Silk Road might have started as a libertarian experiment, but it was doomed to end as a fiefdom run by pirate kings

The Hidden Wiki holds the keys to a secret internet. To reach it, you need a special browser that can access ‘Tor Hidden Services’ – websites that have chosen to obscure their physical location. But even this browser isn’t enough. Like the Isla de Muerta in the film Pirates of the Caribbean, the landmarks of this hidden internet can be discovered only by those who already know where they are.

Sites such as the Hidden Wiki provide unreliable treasure maps. They publish lists of the special addresses for sites where you can use Bitcoin to buy drugs or stolen credit card numbers, play strange games, or simply talk, perhaps on subjects too delicate for the open web. The lists are often untrustworthy. Sometimes the addresses are out-of-date. Sometimes they are actively deceptive. One link might lead to a thriving marketplace for buying and selling stolen data; another, to a wrecker’s display of false lights, a cloned site designed to relieve you of your coin and give you nothing in return.

This hidden internet is a product of debates among technology-obsessed libertarians in the 1990s. These radicals hoped to combine cryptography and the internet into a universal solvent that would corrupt the bonds of government tyranny. New currencies, based on recent cryptographic advances, would undermine traditional fiat money, seizing the cash nexus from the grasp of the state. ‘Mix networks’, where everyone’s identity was hidden by multiple layers of encryption, would allow people to talk and engage in economic exchange without the government being able to see.

Plans for cryptographic currencies led to the invention of Bitcoin, while mix networks culminated in Tor. The two technologies manifest different aspects of a common dream – the utopian aspiration to a world where one could talk and do business without worrying about state intervention – and indeed they grew up together. For a long time, the easiest way to spend Bitcoin was at Tor’s archipelago of obfuscated websites.

Like the pirate republics of the 18th century, this virtual underworld mingles liberty and vice. Law enforcement and copyright-protection groups such as the Digital Citizens’ Alliance in Washington, DC, prefer to emphasise the most sordid aspects of Tor’s hidden services – the sellers of drugs, weapons and child pornography. And yet the effort to create a hidden internet was driven by ideology as much as avarice. The network is used by dissidents as well as dope-peddlers. If you live under an authoritarian regime, Tor provides you with a ready-made technology for evading government controls on the internet. Even some of the seedier services trade on a certain idealism. Many libertarians believe that people should be able to buy and sell drugs without government interference, and hoped to build marketplaces to do just that, without violence and gang warfare.

Tor’s anonymity helps criminals by making it harder for the state to identify and detain them. Yet this has an ironic side-effect: it also makes it harder for them to trust each other, because they typically can’t be sure who their interlocutors are. To make money in hidden markets, you need people to trust you, so that they will buy from you and sell to you. Having accomplished this first manoeuvre, the truly successful entrepreneurs go one step further. They become middlemen of trust, guaranteeing relations between others and taking a cut from the proceeds.


Gun rights-advocating local Fox reporter has told different versions of ‘home invasion’

In an instance of stunning journalistic transparency, WTTG-TV (Fox5) this week disclosed that chief investigative correspondent Emily Miller is a “proponent” for Second Amendment rights. An activist, in other words.

It’s a strange role for any investigative reporter, and its perils surface in a number of statements that Miller has made in recent years.

Being both a Second Amendment proponent and a local television personality has afforded Miller a great number of opportunities to explain the roots of her position on guns. On Feb. 10, for instance, the National Rifle Association, Maryland Shall Issue, the Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore and the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association held a lobbying day in Annapolis to fight the state’s gun controls. Miller addressed the group: “I got started a few years ago in all this because I was a victim of a home invasion,” she said. “I was dog-sitting for friends and went out to walk the dog for a few minutes and came back and there was a man inside the house robbing it. And he left, he didn’t hurt me, thank God.”

The very words “home invasion” are enough to send pacifist souls scurrying for firearms. A special report of the Justice Department notes that “‘home invasion’ has been used broadly to describe any crime committed by an individual unlawfully entering a residence while someone is home. More narrowly, home invasion has been used to describe a situation where an offender forcibly enters an occupied residence with the specific intent of robbing or violently harming those inside.” Though definitions vary, the term delivers terror: “A home invasion to me in sort of the vernacular of the times means someone forcibly comes in while you’re inside,” says Jason Kalafat, a partner with the law firm Price Benowitz LLP. “You are actually in the danger zone.”

For a more vivid picture of just what happened to Miller, watch this “NRA All Access” video, which features a reenactment of the crime. It depicts a dog being walked, a burglar and a scary nighttime encounter. Miller narrates: “I was dog-sitting for a friend at their house. And I took the dog for a walk, and in the time that I was gone, a man — the police believed to be a drug addict — got into the house and started robbing it. So when I came back into the house, he was in there robbing. He took my wallet, but I was able to talk him out of the house without hurting me, thank God.”



Boys and girls, I present to you once again in a beautifully-illustrated nutshell everything that is wrong with so-called "activist journalism"...

US blogger of Bangladeshi origin hacked to death

DHAKA (AFP) - A US blogger of Bangladeshi origin was Thursday hacked to death in Dhaka by unidentified assailants, police said, with his family saying the writer had received numerous threats from Islamist militants.

Avijit Roy, founder of Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) blog site which champions liberal secular writing in the Muslim majority nation, suffered machete blows to the head.

"He died as he was brought to the hospital. His wife was also seriously wounded in the attack. She has lost a finger," local police chief Sirajul Islam said, adding that the attack occurred when the couple were returning from a book fair.

Police have launched a probe and recovered the machetes used in the attack on Roy, said to be around 40, but refused to say whether Islamist militants were behind the incident.

But Roy's father said the blogger, a US citizen, had received a number of "threatening" emails and messages on social media from Islamist militants unhappy with his blog.

"He was a secular humanist and has written about 10 books and numerous articles," his father Ajoy Roy told AFP.

Roy is the second Bangladeshi blogger to have been murdered and the fourth writer to have been attacked since 2004.

Atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was hacked to death in 2013 by members of a little known Islamist militant group, triggering nationwide protests by the tens of thousands of secular activists.

- See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/south-asia/story/us-blogger-bangladeshi-origin-hacked-death-20150227#sthash.leMsZNJu.dpuf

British government made 'Jihadi John' torture and kidnap prisoners? Really?

The Washington Post appears to have identified the masked British Islamic State murderer called "Jihadi John," who has reveled in his videotaped decapitations of people like the American journalist James Foley. His name is Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born Londoner.

Mr. Emwazi's background certainly fits the classic profile of many senior leaders and hangers-on of groups like IS and Al Qaeda. Middle class, with a technical educational background (engineers, in particular, have been heavily over-represented in violent Islamist movements), yet feeling out of place in his society, in this case Britain.

But the Post's story, and much of the commentary that's followed, seems to put the blame for Emzawi's "radicalization" on his brief detention in Tanzania in 2009 and the subsequent interest in his activities from UK security services.

Understanding what attracts the tiny minority of the world's more than 1 billion Muslims to groups like IS is important and useful. But simplistic narratives of reaction to injustice or inclusion usually do more to obscure than reveal. That millions of Muslims in Western societies have endured unfair scrutiny and suspicion – from neighbors or co-workers or the government – is simple reality. Yet the vast majority of them haven't turned to violence and criminality.

Even if the narrative of what drove Emwazi is taken at face value as presented, it isn't really helpful. It doesn't do anything to explain why he is so different from the majority. The narrative itself deserves a suspicious eye.


It's good to see at least some people are trying to nip the apologist bullshit in the bud early...

Bill O’Reilly and Fox News: They’re in It Together

Hours after the news broke that Brian Williams had misrepresented his account of a helicopter trip in Iraq, he issued an on-air apology. NBC News started an investigation, and within days had suspended Mr. Williams, calling his actions “wrong and completely inappropriate.”

When the magazine Mother Jones reported that Bill O’Reilly had engaged in self-aggrandizing rhetoric about his coverage of the Falklands war, he called one of the authors of the article “an irresponsible guttersnipe” and used his nightly show to fight back against his accusers. His bosses at Fox News, including the chief executive, Roger Ailes, rallied to his defense.

Fox’s handling of the controversy says a lot about the network. It also says a lot about its most visible star, a man who perhaps more than any other has defined the parameters and tenor of Fox News, in the process ushering in a new era of no-holds-barred, intentionally divisive news coverage.

Since dethroning CNN’s Larry King as the king of cable news almost 14 years ago, Mr. O’Reilly has helped transform a start-up news channel into a financial juggernaut, with estimated annual profits of more than $1 billion. He and Fox News have risen not on the back of big interviews or high-impact investigations but on the pugnacious brand of conservatism personified by Mr. O’Reilly....

...His first book, in 1998, was a crime novel, “Those Who Trespass,” a violent and sexually explicit revenge fantasy about an unhinged broadcast journalist who covered the Falklands war. After experiencing a career setback while covering the conflict, the journalist murders the network executives and correspondents who have slighted him....


Verizon butthurt over #NetNeutrality


What will it take for Glenn Greenwald to hold Islamic extremists responsible for terrorism?

Got a twofer today -- First he defends the Brooklyn 3 as morons who didn't know what they were doing

And then naturally Great Britain is to blame for the creation of "Jihadi John"

"But this isn't ABOUT Snowden!" Part 48,173...

‘Citizenfour’ Didn’t Want to Be a Star

Filmmaker Laura Poitras walked onto the stage of the Dolby Theatre and accepted the Oscar for best documentary. She was nervous, and her voice wavered as she thanked those who helped make Citizenfour—her portrait of famed whistleblower Edward Snowden...

...In the Oscar-winning film, Poitras chronicles the beginning of the Snowden saga. The film unfolds on computer screens, courts and hotel rooms.

Snowden—the CIA analyst turned whistleblower—is its focus. Which is exactly what he didn’t want....

...Snowden is a star—whether he wanted it or not—and he’s risen to the occasion. Now the documentary about the early days of his stardom has won an Oscar, and his celebrity is firmly established...

...The average American knows Snowden revealed that the U.S. government watches … well, everyone, but few realize exactly what he turned over to journalists or why.

Do any of us really understand how PRISM works? Do most people who recognize Snowden even know what PRISM is? Do they why he used Lavabit or why air-gapped computers are important?

I don’t think they will, because all that information Snowden dropped was technical, complicated and unsexy. A rogue analyst, breaking from the pack, stealing government secrets and turning them over to journalists … now that’s sexy.

So tomorrow, and for years after, Americans will argue about Snowden. Some will call him a hero, and some will say he’s a traitor. We’ll tweet about him, write about him and post pithy comments to Facebook...

...The whistleblower who didn’t want to be the story has become a counter-culture icon. The celebrity circus gobbled him up. At the same time, we’ll still allow various apps different permissions—giving Google, Verizon and others access to our current location and home address....

(more at the link...this is easily the most positive thing I've posted about Snowden, so read the whole thing before attacking):https://medium.com/war-is-boring/citizenfour-didn-t-want-to-be-a-star-85fa3db2b482

I have to admit his faux humility has always amused me to no end...Books, movies (at least two more are in production), international stardom, magazine covers, exclusive high-profile interviews to the world media, skyping "testimony" to foreign governments, delivering speeches to audiences of every political/demographic flavor on an almost weekly basis (his speaking fees remains undisclosed), endorsing specific encryption technologies, personal mascot for dozens of political and quasi-political organizations, etc. etc...Yes, it's clear to see he has done his utmost to eschew the public spotlight...

Middle School Kids Play A Led Zeppelin Medley ... On Xylophones(!?)



Why James Baldwin's FBI File Was 1,884 Pages

J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI director synonymous with his crime-fighting organization for nearly fifty years, once returned a Bureau memo on James Baldwin with a leering, handwritten challenge. “Isn’t Baldwin a well-known pervert?,” Hoover scrawled in his distinctive blue ink. Despite the career-threatening context, M. A. Jones, an officer of the FBI Crime Records Section, answered Hoover’s marginal question by carefully distinguishing between fictional and personal testimonies. “It is not a matter of official record that is a pervert,” Jones specified, even though “the theme of homosexuality has figured prominently in two of his three published novels. Baldwin has stated that it is also ‘implicit’ in his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain. In the past, he has not disputed the description of ‘autobiographical’ being attached to the first book.” “While it is not possible to state that he is pervert,” Jones bravely concluded, Baldwin “has expressed a sympathetic viewpoint about homosexuality on several occasions, and a very definite hostility toward the revulsion of the American public regarding it.”

Hoover did not glide gently into agreement with Jones's subtle distinctions among sexual acts, sympathies, and representations. He and less enlightened FBI informants continued to protest higher education’s embrace of a Baldwin novel they mistakenly called Another World, remarkable for its depiction of “a Negro male making love to a white female.” (The 1962 novel Baldwin actually titled Another Country was—with some justice—recast by these informants as a bohemian soap opera.) The Bureau director thus continued to explore ways to ban Baldwin’s book under the Interstate Transportation of Obscene Matter statute—this despite the report of the Justice Department’s General Crimes Section that “Another Country by James Baldwin has been reviewed…and it has been concluded that the book contains literary merit and may be of value to students of psychology and social behavior.” With rival units in the federal government discovering the novel’s redeeming social importance, it was left to Hoover and likeminded Bureau sticklers to contemplate Another Country’s resemblance to the landmarks of modernist obscenity. “In many aspects it is similar to the Tropics books by MILLER,” wrote Washington, D.C.’s Special Agent in Charge, or SAC. For this reason, perhaps, the SAC conspicuously instructed that his borrowed copy “need not be returned” to his office.

Blurb-worthy praise is not the norm in the 1,884-page Baldwin dossier and the rest of the fifty-one FBI files on African American writers I have collected since 2006, submitting more than a hundred Freedom of Information Act requests along the way. The General Crimes Section looks to be a better source of pull quotes applauding “literary merit” and “value to students of psychology and social behavior.” Yet the surprising thoughtfulness of Jones’s reply to Hoover’s question, its outstripping of the need to label, discipline, and punish, illustrates the grudging respect Bureau readers felt for the writers they spied on. Hoover himself possessed an inflated fear and regard for the authors who doubled as “thought-control relay stations,” as he liked to imagine them. Authors/relay stations of prominence, W. E. B. Du Bois included, were sometimes spared in-person interviews by Bureau agents because of their “access to the subversive press,” a megaphone whose range the FBI valued and exaggerated. Despite Hoover’s notorious hostility to Dr. Martin Luther King and the rest of the black freedom movement, the encounters of his FBI with African American writing could not, in fact, always resist the pleasures of the enemy text.

Recently liberated FBI author files disclose that Bureau Special Agents succumbed to the spell of black literature in several genres. Lorraine Hansberry’s 1,020-page Bureau opus, for example, reveals that an anonymous Philadelphia G-Man sent to appraise A Raisin in the Sun even before it reached Broadway discovered a drama worthy of first-rate character analysis. The receptive insight of this agent’s detailed review—it would receive a non-inflated “A” in many college English classes—flowed from inspiration beyond the call of police duty. With its swelling existential vocabulary, his sketch of Beneatha Younger, an articulately dissatisfied Hansberry character searching for “a means of self-expression and self-identification,” doubles as a confession of his own frustrated literary need. Identifying with Hansberry’s unfulfilled heroine and acting as a kind of G-Man Gustave Flaubert, this reviewer might as well have admitted that Mademoiselle Younger, c’est moi.

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