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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 42,851

About Me

I\'m rested, I\'m ready... Is DU?

Journal Archives

Germany vows tougher control of spy agency after new revelations

Source: Thomson-Reuters

Germany's justice minister has called for tighter control of the national foreign intelligence agency, after media reported its spies had targeted the embassies of allied countries without the government's express permission. Heiko Maas told the Rheinische Post newspaper in an interview to be published on Friday that a fundamental reform of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) was needed.

"Parliament must get all the necessary means for an effective control of the intelligence services," he added.

The media reports were the latest in a controversy over German intelligence that has erupted since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed in 2013 a widespread U.S. surveillance program that included tapping Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone.

Germany's foreign intelligence agency is already under scrutiny after revelations earlier this year that its officials indirectly helped the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) spy on European firms such as defense manufacturer Airbus.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/15/us-germany-spying-idUSKCN0S91O920151015?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&rpc=69

How on Earth is this possible? For two years, DU has repeatedly told me in a near-unanimous voice that the United States is the only country in recorded history to ever spy on her allies...

Remember when DUers still tried to defend RT?

Defend this, I triple dog dare ya:


Russia’s Reality Trolls and the MH17 War of Misinformation

MOSCOW — Every time more evidence has emerged that Russia-backed rebels shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, someone in Moscow has called a press conference to throw smoke over the claims. It’s a tradition going back to the days after MH17 crashed on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board, when the Russian Defense Ministry held a briefing suggesting, improbably, that a Ukrainian missile or fighter jet had shot down the plane.

So it was little surprise when Almaz-Antey, the Russian state-owned maker of Buk missiles, held a press conference on Tuesday to shift the blame off Moscow and its separatist partners in eastern Ukraine. A report by the Dutch Safety Board released the same day found that MH17 was brought down by a Buk missile fired from an area near the town of Snizhne, which at the time was under rebel control. “It’s always special when people already know that they don’t agree with a report that’s not even published yet,” Dutch Safety Board chairman Tibbe Joustra told reporters when asked about the Almaz-Antey presentation, which took place hours before the Dutch findings were announced.

Packed with a nearly incomprehensible amount of graphics and data, the presentation argued that the Buk missile that hit MH17 was a type no longer used by the Russian military and had been fired from a location to the west of Snizhne. Russia’s state media immediately jumped on these findings to paint the Dutch report as incomplete and suggest that neither Moscow nor the rebels were involved in downing the plane — a response that corresponds with a larger Kremlin media strategy that has arisen during President Vladimir Putin’s third term. One aspect has been a Kremlin-linked “troll factory,” pushing disinformation and pro-Putin views online. But according to Nerijus Maliukevicius, a political science lecturer at Vilnius University who studies Russian media, the MH17 coverage is meant to “troll reality.”

The end goal is likely to prevent the missile launch being conclusively tied to Russia — and to prevent anyone linked to Russia from being punished for firing it. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary — including interviews with soldiers, secret military funerals, and satellite imagery — Moscow has denied it has been involved in the eastern Ukraine conflict, and Putin has previously argued against proposals to create an MH17 criminal tribunal until a “thorough and objective” investigation (in Putin’s eyes) has been completed.



I'm not allowed to name names, but it's not difficult to identify the DUers who only exist to spread agitprop.

Do-or-die time now...

I'm going to have a nervous breakdown just waiting out the 36 hours until Game 5...

Cambodia is way ahead of us...Light years ahead!

In many formerly warring regions, landmines remain scattered underneath the countryside. And finding them is no easy task. The most common solutions, like bomb-sniffing dogs and metal detectors, are costly and time-consuming. Now, a nonprofit organization called APOPO thinks that there’s a better solution: Bomb-sniffing rats.
Related Content

"The idea was very strange," APOPO Cambodia’s operations coordinator Theap Bunthourn tells Michael Sullivan for NPR. "Cambodian people kill rats. don't like rats. But they're cost-efficient, they're easy to transport, they're easy to train, and they don't set off the mines because they're too light."

These aren’t your typical subway rat: The African giant pouched rat is about the size of a cat, writes Rachel A. Becker for National Geographic. While their eyesight isn’t great, they have an impeccable sense of smell and are able to identify and detect the smell of TNT from amounts as small as 29 grams, Sullivan reports.

The rats are also cheaper and easier to train and handle than dogs, which are commonly used to clear Cambodian minefields. While dogs can only work with the handler they bond with, the rats will happily hunt mines for anyone holding their leash, as long as they get a tasty reward whenever they find a mine.

When fully trained, a rat can search over 2,000 square feet in 20 minutes. It could take a human with a metal detector as much as four days to scour the same area, APOPO training manager Abdullah Ramadhan tells Becker. While training still costs about $6,500 per rat, the little explosives experts have helped find about 13,200 mines in Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola and Cambodia over the last 20 years.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/watch-these-giant-rats-sniff-out-landmines-180956899/#AQxYHIT1svZ54wj2.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

Which one of you Tom Brady cultists had this sign yesterday?


David Wright is a goddamned MAN

And he's from the hometown -- we're practically cousins

This has been another truth from brother blue_tires (you're welcome)

DC Lets Frank Miller Draw Superman's Penis for Dark Knight III


Hello. This is an actual comic cover drawn by legendary comic artist Frank Miller. It’s the cover to a companion comic to Miller’s upcoming Dark Knight III: The Master Race series, and it appears DC is actually going to publish it despite the fact that 1) it is horrible, 2) it is laughable and 3) you can clearly see the outline of Superman’s junk in his red briefs.

I’m basically speechless that this is happening. The only thing I can think of is that DC is so desperate for more Dark Knight Returns money that not only have they brought Frank Miller back, but been forced to accede to his obviously terrible demands, such as naming the third installment “The Master Race.” Given the horrible art of The Dark Knight Strikes Again, it made sense that DC would agree to a problematic title as long as Miller brought on board some decent collaborators. Which is presumably why Brian Azzarello is co-writing and Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson are taking the actual art duties, for the upcoming series.

But I guess Miller also demanded to be allowed draw something for his effort, and DC was forced to allow him to draw this cover to a Superman and Atom DK3 tie-in. And I have to assume they promised Miller they wouldn’t change it, because as much as I give DC crap for being obtuse, I can’t believe anyone in the DC Comics office right is looking at Superman’s face, his body dysmorphia and most especially the outline of his dick, and not praying they had the power to prevent it. And then to delete it and smash all the computers that had ever hosted the image with hammers.


It looks like active duty Russian soldiers shot down MH17 in eastern Ukraine

This report summarizes the open source investigations into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) on July 17, 2014 in Ukraine. It draws on the work of Bellingcat and others who used open source information to uncover facts about the events that took place on July 17 and the origin of the Buk missile launcher that downed MH17.
The Buk Missile Launcher

After the downing of MH17 on July 17, a number of photographs and videos were shared online claiming to show the movements of a Buk missile launcher through separatist-controlled territory. It was possible to confirm the location where each image was recorded and discover additional information that further evidenced when and where the Buk missile launcher was on July 17. The following is an approximate timeline of where the Buk was and when:

10:45 am: Departed Donetsk eastbound along H21
11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Passed Zuhres and Shakhtersk en route to Torez along H21
12:00 pm – 12:45 pm: Entered and then passed through Torez (eastbound)
1:00 pm: Entered Snizhne
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Buk was unloaded from the Volvo low-loader truck in Snizhne; left the city (southbound)
4:20 pm: MH17 shot down

Before the first reports and images of the Buk missile launcher were recorded in Donetsk, communications intercepted by the Ukrainian Security Services (SBU) provided information on the earlier movements of the Buk missile launcher. Intercepts include separatists discussing the arrival of the Buk,and references to a location inside Donetsk known as the “Motel.”


Anybody who's ready to apologize and admit I've been correct since day one, you just go right ahead...

Kremlin Sets out to Extend Control Over the Russian Internet

Galina Timchenko recalls how proud she felt when the Russian news website she edited reached 3 million users per day. When she reported the figures to the website's owner, he was horrified.

"At that moment something snapped inside and I understood that this is the end, because there cannot be such an influential resource that is not controlled by the Kremlin," Timchenko said.

A month later, she was fired and a more Kremlin-friendly editor was brought in to run the website, Lenta.ru.

The shakeup at Lenta.ru last year came as the government was pushing through a slew of new laws to strengthen its control over the Internet, which President Vladimir Putin has described as a "CIA project."

Some of the laws, including those giving the government broad leeway to block websites and blogs, have proven possible to get around.

"Putin and his people are sure that all things are constructed like a hierarchy, but the Internet is a net and everyone can participate in the process," said Irina Borogan, who co-authored a new book about the Russian Internet called "The Red Web."

Other measures may prove more formidable, including a law that came into force on Sept. 1 obliging companies to keep servers containing information on Russian citizens on Russian soil. Russian Internet companies also have been asked to provide information on users of social networks and online money-transfer services.


Too easy...
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