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Hometown: VA
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Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 45,622

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Journal Archives

Fearless and Adversarial: "Intercept Reporter Faked Dylann Roof Story"

Reporter Fabricated Quotes, Invented Sources at The Intercept

The Intercept disclosed today that a former reporter for the national-security focused website fabricated quotes and invented sources for a number of stories published last year. According to a post published on Tuesday afternoon by editor-in-chief Betsy Reed, that reporter, Juan Thompson, went so far as to register fake email addresses, including one in Reed’s own name, to deceive his editors about the extent of his fabrications:

An investigation into Thompson’s reporting turned up three instances in which quotes were attributed to people who said they had not been interviewed. In other instances, quotes were attributed to individuals we could not reach, who could not remember speaking with him, or whose identities could not be confirmed. In his reporting Thompson also used quotes that we cannot verify from unnamed people whom he claimed to have encountered at public events. Thompson went to great lengths to deceive his editors, creating an email account to impersonate a source and lying about his reporting methods.
Shortly before Reed’s post, The Intercept prepended lengthy editor’s notes to five of Thompson’s prior articles. Four of the notes amount to severe corrections; the fifth, attached to an article containing quotes attributed to a cousin of the white supremacist Dylann Roof, indicates a total retraction: “After speaking with two members of Dylann Roof’s family, The Intercept can no longer stand by the premise of this story. Both individuals said that they do not know of a cousin named Scott Roof.”

In the now-retracted article, Thompson had claimed that “Scott Roof” had speculated during a phone conversation that Dylann Roof may been driven to murder nine black churchgoers at a Charleston, South Carolina church because “he kind of went over the edge when a girl he liked starting dating a black guy two years back.” Thompson’s report was picked up by dozens of other news outlets.

Thompson was hired by The Intercept’s founding editor-in-chief, John Cook, in November 2014. Reed replaced Cook, a former editor of Gawker.com and the current executive editor of Gawker Media, in December 2014. Prior to The Intercept, Thompson had reported in Chicago for DNAInfo and interned at the local NPR affiliate, WBEZ.*

Based on his Twitter account, Thompson appears to be invested in the outcomes of other journalism controversies. In several tweets from last year, for example, he argued that former BuzzFeed editor Benny Johnson, who was fired for committing widespread plagiarism in the summer of 2014, would not have been been able to bounce back so quickly (to editor positions at National Review and the Independent Journal Review) if he were not white:


(Greenwald was unavailable for comment)

MEANWHILE, in Italy.....

Bidet hurled from window in attempted murder over children's football game

It came to symbolise Italian pride over other cultures supposedly lesser attentive to hygiene but a bidet was spectacularly misused in an alleged attempted murder near Naples. Police have arrested 45-year-old Domenico Cammarota on suspicion he threw the bathroom fixture out of a window, hitting another man on the head during a brawl over a children's football game.

The bizarre incident took place in the usually quiet coastal town of Pozzuoli, just outside Naples. A group of local children were playing football on a pitch overlooking the sea when a dirty foul sparked a heated argument.

Families soon got involved and parents of one of the children decided to protest outside their son's rival's house. As tensions and shouting escalated, neighbours called police who arrived at the scene just in time to witness Cammarota hurling a bidet out of the first-floor flat.

The porcelain hit one of the protesters below to the head. The man fell unconscious and was taken to a local hospital. Cammarota, who was known to authorities, has been taken into custody and is facing attempted murder charges.


Chicago Cop Suing Family Of 19-Year-Old Black College Student He Killed

Officer Robert Rialmo, the Chicago cop who shot and killed a 19-year-old victim alongside a mother of five the day after Christmas, is suing the teen’s estate. A lawyer for Rialmo confirmed that he will file a civil lawsuit against the family of Quintonio LeGrier within the next couple of weeks.

LeGrier was killed after cops arrived to the apartment on a domestic violence call involving the college student, who was home for the holidays, and his father. LeGrier was described as being “combative” when police arrived, even though he was the one who initially called them.

Rialmo claims to have been assaulted by LeGrier. The alleged assault and emotional distress, will be cited in his lawsuit. LeGrier’s family sued the city of Chicago this month. “This guy came after my client with a baseball bat trying to kill him,” Rialmo’s attorney Joel Brodsky said. “As a result of that, an innocent person was killed, and my client is very broken up about that.”

Instead of de-escalating the situation cops shot LeGrier six times. A 55-year-old neighbor, Bettie Jones, was “accidentally struck, and tragically killed” as she opened the door. LeGrier and Jones died near the building’s entrance. According to the Medical Examiner’s report, cops opened fire in the hallway, but attornies representing LeGrier’s family suggest officers fired from the curb.

Despite being painted as the aggressor, LeGrier called cops to his father’s apartment three separate times, in the early morning hours of Dec. 26. On the first call, LeGrier can be heard asking for an office at “4710 West Erie Street,” without giving further detail. “No, I don’t work like that,” the dispatcher replied. “What’s your emergency?”

LeGrier would go on to tell a third dispatcher that someone was “threatening” his life. That final call lasted more than a minute. “Are you going to send the police or not?” LeGrier says to an irritated dispatcher. “Are you going to answer my question?” the dispatcher counters. “I’m talking to you. If you can’t answer the questions, how do you expect me to assist you?”

Officers didn’t arrive until after a fourth call placed by LaGrier’s father, Antonio, who said his son had a “baseball bat in his hand.”

“For them to hang up on him, we want to know what that call taker was thinking,” said Larry Rogers, the attorney representing Jones’s family. “How could she possibly think that was the proper way to handle someone who was in need of police assistance?”

- See more at: http://hiphopwired.com/2016/01/29/chicago-cop-suing-family-of-19-year-old-black-college-student-he-killed/#sthash.kFRhxh0j.Lt31zJF9.dpuf

Stalin 'used secret laboratory to analyse Mao's excrement'

According to Russian newspaper reports, in the 1940s Stalin's secret police had set up a special department to get its hands on people's faeces. The ambitious aim: to analyse samples of foreign leaders' stools. In other words, espionage via excrement.

It is former Soviet agent Igor Atamanenko who claims to have uncovered this unusual project, while doing research in the archives of the Russian secret services.

"In those days the Soviets didn't have the kind of listening devices which secret services do today," he told the paper.

"That's why our specialists came up with the most extravagant ways of extracting information about a person."

Mr Atamanenko says it was Stalin's henchman Lavrenti Beria who was put in charge of the secret laboratory. When I contacted Mr Atamanenko, he told me what the Soviet scientists had been looking for in faeces.

"For example, if they detected high levels of amino acid Tryptophan," he explained, "they concluded that person was calm and approachable.



Krugman gets Greenwalded


So first Dean gets smeared after endorsing Hillary, and now Krugman gets the Greenwald treatment for not being 100% in favor of Bernie's policies... I realize the emoprogs lap this shit up anyway, but I'm old enough to remember when the Intercept was supposed to be God's gift to investigative journalism and Glenn was going to be the self-styled savior of the industry...

Seriously -- Does he really plan on throwing every Bernie critic under the bus indefinitely without a hint of self-irony? Does he have nothing better to do with his time and unlimited budget?

(I know, I know...I'm not permitted to have any legit criticism of St. Glenn, so just skip the formalities and let your insults fly -- I've heard them all anyway, so I'm immune...)

Why This Photo of a Potato Sold for More Than $1 Million

A photo of an Irish potato taken by a world-famous visual artist has sold for more than $1 million.

The photo of the potato against a black background was taken by Kevin Abosch, a visual artist who has photographed Malala Yousafza, Yoko Ono and others.

While Abosch usually gets half a million dollars for his portraits, the photograph of the potato stood out to a European businessman who purchased it after seeing it at the artist’s Paris home.

A spokesperson for Abosch confirmed the photograph was sold for 1 million euros, or $1,086,810 U.S. dollars.

was taken at Abosch's Dublin home. A smaller version of the print is owned by Abosch and an even smaller version is in the Museum of Contemporary Art Novi Sad in Serbia, Abosch's spokesperson said.

Abosch declined to be interviewed by ABC News but said in a statement that he uses the potato “as a proxy for the ontological study of the human experience.”

“I see commonalities between humans and potatoes that speak to our relationship as individuals within a collective species,” he said. “Generally, the life of a harvested potato is violent and taken for granted.”


Because ART, goddamnit!

Malaysia prosecutor clears PM Najib Razak of corruption

Source: BBC News

The attorney-general's office said the $681m (£479m) that Mr Najib received in his bank account was a personal donation from the Saudi royal family.

Critics had alleged the money came from state-owned investment fund 1MDB. Mr Najib has consistently denied these accusations, but has faced pressure to resign over them. Anti-corruption officials have previously said he received money as a gift from a foreign funder.

Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali said in a press statement on Tuesday that the amount was a "personal donation" from the royal family in Saudi Arabia, transferred between the end of March and early April 2013. He added that anti-corruption officials had met witnesses including the person they identified as the donor to confirm it.

"I am satisfied that there is no evidence to show that the donation was a form of gratification given corruptly," he said, adding that evidence did not show the donation was used as an "inducement or reward" for Mr Najib to do anything in his capacity as prime minister.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35407017

Damn... I wish the Saudis gave me $681 million just for the hell of it...


MILWAUKEE, WIS. — On weekday afternoons, Gaulien “Gee” Smith, a prominent Milwaukee barber and businessman, walks out of the Gee’s Clippers shop on North Doctor Martin Luther King Dr., steps into his shiny new limited-edition pickup truck, and begins the 20-minute drive to a parallel universe.

He heads north. Past vacant lots and vacant storefronts. Past the boundary of the city’s north side, where almost all of his customers and almost everybody else is black. He crosses into the suburb of Glendale. The stares begin.

Glendale is home to an Apple Store and a Brooks Brothers and a Swarovski. And white people. A whole lot of white people. Smith, a charismatic 45-year-old black man with a salt-and-pepper goatee, doesn’t need the probing eyes as a reminder.

The white people are why he’s there in the first place.

Smith makes the trip across the invisible race border to pick up two of his sons, one from a private school and one from an elite public school. He chose the schools, in part, for their whiteness.

“I refused to ever send my child to an all-black school,” he said. “Because I know this is not a black world.”

He has considerable authority on the subject. He has spent his whole life in Milwaukee, the most segregated place in America.

Segregation. The word conjures images of the Deep South, a Jim Crow past of snarling police dogs and whites-only toilets. In fact, it is a national problem that has long outlasted the era of openly racist law. It persists, five decades after the U.S. government passed the anti-discrimination Fair Housing Act. It persists under the country’s first black president. It persists in a place barely farther south than Toronto.

“It feels like sometimes, in some ways, when you come to Milwaukee, you went back in time 60 years,” said Ansaar Gandy, 29, a black bartender and demolition worker.

Milwaukee itself is deeply divided, its road overpasses serving as racial barriers. But the most startling divide is between the city and its suburbs.


Bring back The Ahwahnee – literally

What’s in a name?

Will the Ahwahnee still summon the glory of California if we have to call it – ugh – “The Majestic Yosemite Hotel”?

Dispiritingly, Yosemite National Park visitors from around the world may soon find out, given the National Park Service’s stunning announcement on Thursday that a contract dispute with its outgoing concession company is forcing it to change the names of some of the park’s most venerable landmarks.

On March 1, Curry Village will become “Half Dome Village.” The Wawona Hotel will become “Big Trees Lodge.” Badger Pass will become the “Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area.” And the stately Ahwahnee, whose massive stone fireplace has warmed tourists since 1927, will, incredibly, no longer bear the name given to the mighty Yosemite Valley by the Native Americans who once lived there...

...This came out after the old concession company, Delaware North, was outbid by a new one, and sued. Delaware North claimed that it had been required to acquire Yosemite’s place names when it took over hospitality services at the park in 1993, and now it wants $51 million for them. The concessionaire before it had been there since the late 1800s, and had built and trademarked the Ahwahnee, and Delaware North said its acquisition included the trademarks and other intellectual property.

The Park Service says it assumed, and still believes, that the names and their trademarks go with the buildings, which belong to the public. It claims that Delaware North had no authorization when, in, 2002, it filed applications to trademark everything from the names of Yosemite’s iconic hotels to the very name of the park. Now the Park Service says most of those names have to change or Delaware North could use its trademark claims to shut down park lodgings.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/editorials/article54966700.html#storylink=cpy

Feds forcibly removed black occupiers from wildlife refuge in 1979

The group's anger was a slow burn.

But after decades of being ignored by federal authorities, its members decided to take a very public stand against what they saw as an unjust land grab by the U.S. government.

Without warning, they started an occupation of a sprawling national wildlife refuge.

The year: 1979.

The drama unfolding with armed occupiers holed up at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns is similar to a standoff that made national headlines 37 years ago in Harris Neck, Ga.

But there are also stark differences, including the race of the Harris Neck occupiers – mostly displaced descendants of West African slaves -- and the tactics used by the FBI to quickly remove what the media casually called "squatters."

Also, the 40 members of People Organized for Equal Rights who set up a camp on the patch of land south of Savannah on April 30, 1979, were unarmed.

Instead of guns, the demonstrators, including prominent civil rights leaders, brought concrete blocks and bags of mortar to build new homes.

Their protest was straightforward and, upon reflection, heartbreaking.

Following the Civil War, a white plantation owner deeded the land on the Georgia coast to a former slave. In the decades that followed, the descendants of slaves moved to Harris Neck to build houses, factories and boats. They fished, hunted for oysters and grazed cattle.

Harris Neck evolved into a thriving community. Its members were recognized as a culturally unique group of African Americans called Gullah.


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