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Blue_Tires

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 40,995

About Me

Blocked on Twitter by that rat bastard fuck @ggreenwald

Journal Archives

How China is exploiting Edward Snowden… or thinks it’s exploiting Edward Snowden

Reuters’ Paul Carsten had an exclusive Wednesday on China’s crafty steps to shut out Western technology companies. In essence, China is using the outrage over Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations to kick out Western firms and open up a secure market for indigenous Chinese tech firms:

China has dropped some of the world’s leading technology brands from its approved state purchase lists, while approving thousands more locally made products, in what some say is a response to revelations of widespread Western cybersurveillance.

Others put the shift down to a protectionist impulse to shield China’s domestic technology industry from competition.

Chief casualty is U.S. network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc, which in 2012 counted 60 products on the Central Government Procurement Center’s (CGPC) list, but by late 2014 had none, a Reuters analysis of official data shows. Smartphone and PC maker Apple Inc has also been dropped over the period, along with Intel Corp’s security software firm McAfee and network and server software firm Citrix Systems.


The slow squeeze on technology firms has prompted complaints by European and American firms to their governments. As Quartz’s Adam Pasick notes, it’s part and parcel of a previous move to shut Western software firms out of the Chinese government market. And if you want to get all hot and bothered about the prospect of a trade war with China, you can link this move to China’s ejection of Western consulting firms last summer.

But before everyone panics about Chinese “indigenous innovation” policies, a few words of calm are necessary...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/02/26/how-china-is-exploiting-edward-snowden-or-thinks-its-exploiting-edward-snowden/

Ex-Piston, first black NBA player Earl Lloyd dies at 86

Earl Lloyd, the first black player in NBA history, died Thursday. He was 86.

Lloyd's alma mater, West Virginia State, confirmed the death. It did not provide details.

Lloyd made his NBA debut in 1950 for the Washington Capitols, days before fellow black players Sweetwater Clifton and Chuck Cooper played their first games.

"When Earl stepped out on the court on that fateful date in 1950, this remarkable man rightfully earned his place in the historic civil rights movement and, more important, he opened the door to equality in America," West Virginia State president Brian Hemphill said in a released statement.

The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 560 regular-season games in nine seasons with Washington, Syracuse and the Detroit Pistons. He missed the 1951-52 season while serving in the U.S. Army.

Lloyd played for the Pistons in 1958-60, averaging 8.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists. He also was 22-55 as Detroit's coach in 1971-72 and the first nine games of the 1972-73 season.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/02/27/389521868/5-quotes-from-earl-lloyd-the-first-black-player-in-the-nba
http://www.freep.com/story/sports/nba/pistons/2015/02/27/earl-lloyd-nba-black-pioneer/24109145/

Where Journalism Goes to Die

Glenn Greenwald, Pierre Omidyar, Adnan Syed and my battles with First Look Media.
By KEN SILVERSTEIN February 27, 2015


The delays were caused in part by management’s execution of Racket, which left me with a bunch of stories and no place to post them. But even after I moved over to The Intercept, I struggled to get any work published because of the shortage of editors and general organizational chaos.

All I ask in journalism is that I have the freedom to publish the best, most true pieces that I can. I think that as journalists we should be skeptical of everyone—corporations, governments, non-profits and media. I think you need to be especially critical of your own point of view and of people you admire and be willing to write negatively about them with as much enthusiasm as you do about your “enemies” (of which I very obviously have none). All I ask is that I have the freedom to pursue my reporting as I see fit—and it’s served me well at Harper’s, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications over my long career.

But at First Look, we were never able to be fearless. We couldn’t do anything, because we spent so much time in pointless meetings and being slowed down, when we wrote anything, by a lack of support from management and the dire shortage of editors to actually oversee and work with the writers. We were just lost.

The culture at First Look was just too strange. And fearless wasn’t a word that would factor into our corporate life. At last year’s holiday party, two of our fiercely “independent” staffers “interviewed” Pierre Omidyar and asked him what he did in the morning. Since you are all hanging on the edge of your seats, he drinks tea and reads stuff, the New York Times and other things and then The Intercept was about No. 5 (he claims). The whole thing was sad.

The beginning of the end for me, though, came as The Intercept launched into what would turn out to be basically the biggest story of its short existence: The Serial chronicles.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/02/ken-silverstein-the-intercept-115586_Page3.html#ixzz3Sy0lrTb3


To this day I've still never gotten proper credit from DUers for outing the mile-wide and inch-deep fraud of First Look Media (which I'd predicted before The Intercept even went live)...So how much longer does Greenwald stay there before bailing out?

Where Journalism Goes to Die

Glenn Greenwald, Pierre Omidyar, Adnan Syed and my battles with First Look Media.
By KEN SILVERSTEIN February 27, 2015


The delays were caused in part by management’s execution of Racket, which left me with a bunch of stories and no place to post them. But even after I moved over to The Intercept, I struggled to get any work published because of the shortage of editors and general organizational chaos.

All I ask in journalism is that I have the freedom to publish the best, most true pieces that I can. I think that as journalists we should be skeptical of everyone—corporations, governments, non-profits and media. I think you need to be especially critical of your own point of view and of people you admire and be willing to write negatively about them with as much enthusiasm as you do about your “enemies” (of which I very obviously have none). All I ask is that I have the freedom to pursue my reporting as I see fit—and it’s served me well at Harper’s, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications over my long career.

But at First Look, we were never able to be fearless. We couldn’t do anything, because we spent so much time in pointless meetings and being slowed down, when we wrote anything, by a lack of support from management and the dire shortage of editors to actually oversee and work with the writers. We were just lost.

The culture at First Look was just too strange. And fearless wasn’t a word that would factor into our corporate life. At last year’s holiday party, two of our fiercely “independent” staffers “interviewed” Pierre Omidyar and asked him what he did in the morning. Since you are all hanging on the edge of your seats, he drinks tea and reads stuff, the New York Times and other things and then The Intercept was about No. 5 (he claims). The whole thing was sad.

The beginning of the end for me, though, came as The Intercept launched into what would turn out to be basically the biggest story of its short existence: The Serial chronicles.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/02/ken-silverstein-the-intercept-115586_Page3.html#ixzz3Sy0lrTb3

The West Is Ignoring Some Unpleasant Truths About Putin

At the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to have told U.S. President Barack Obama that Russian President Vladimir Putin was "in another world." After months of near-constant shuttle diplomacy, a mere 48 hours after Minsk II was concluded, the West had to watch a humiliating Ukrainian rout at Debaltseve.

While on a recent visit to Hungary, Putin gloated, "Obviously it's bad to lose, but life is life and it still goes on." It seems more and more clear that if anyone is living in another world, it is Western leaders.

Minsk and the subsequent Debaltseve collapse revealed the reality of the West's own situation — it negotiated with Putin on his terms and in his world. It is clear that the West has an interlocutor in Putin whose objectives are not transparent, promises are not trustworthy, and who is making decisions that have heightened conflict in the region.

Last December, an international consortium of investigative journalists, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) named Putin their "person of the year" for 2014, "for his work in turning Russia into a major money laundering center for enabling organized crime in Crimea and in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine; for his unblemished record of failing to prosecute criminal activity; and for advancing a government policy of working with and using crime groups."

A runner-up was Hungary's authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban who is on record as wanting to establish an "illiberal democracy" in Hungary.

Most analysts concede the depth of Kremlin thievery and U.S. sanctions specifically target "team Putin." The question however is whether kleptocratic tendencies are central or peripheral to the conduct of Russian policy. Those, like myself, who say they are central agree with opposition activists like Boris Nemtsov that Putin's building and renovation of 20 palaces, his receipt of $700,000 in watches and his unlimited access to yachts, planes, and a Kremlin property management department with a staff of more than 60,000, and an annual presidential office budget of $2.41 billion is costly in terms more than treasure.

It also reveals that at the system's heart is total bespredel — limitlessness. Unconstrained by laws, rules, or any sense of decency, Putin stands astride the world's largest gap between rich and poor.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/west-ignoring-unpleasant-truths-about-putin/516598.html

Greenwald finally writes about Ukraine, and sides with Putin as expected...

Shameful...But not surprising

https://twitter.com/BradMossEsq/status/571413751662051329

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.

http://aeon.co/magazine/technology/on-the-high-seas-of-the-hidden-internet/

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.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2015/02/26/gun-rights-advocating-local-fox-reporter-has-told-different-versions-of-home-invasion/


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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.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/Backchannels/2015/0226/British-government-made-Jihadi-John-torture-and-kidnap-prisoners-Really




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