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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 41,061

About Me

Blocked on Twitter by that rat bastard fuck @ggreenwald

Journal Archives

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.


David Foster Wallace on non-voters:

Brazil unions sue McDonald's, try to block new stores

Source: AP via the Chicago Sun-Times

SAO PAULO — Brazilian labor unions are suing McDonald’s and its local franchisee Arcos Dourados for allegedly violating labor laws for at least 30 years.

The suit filed Monday in Brasilia also seeks to prevent McDonald’s from opening new stores until it complies with legislation and asks that it be slapped with penalties of up to 30 percent of its revenue in Brazil.

The suit was spearheaded by the union for fast food restaurant workers.

It says in a statement that the defendants have “violated minimum wage laws, committed timecard fraud, failed to pay overtime, denied employees regular schedules, and used underage workers, among other illegal actions.”

Arcos Dourados said by email that it has not been notified of the lawsuit and that all of its labor practices conform to Brazilian legislation.

Read more: http://chicago.suntimes.com/business/7/71/392328/mcdonalds-brazil-unions#share

College student accused of rape claims he was reenacting ’50 Shades of Grey’

A college student who has been accused of raping a classmate told authorities he was reenacting scenes from “50 Shades of Grey,” authorities said.

After bringing the 19-year-old woman back to his dorm room at the University of Illinois at Chicago on Saturday, Mohammad Hossain, 19, used multiple belts to restrain and beat his victim while he assaulted her, the State’s Attorney’s office told The Post.

Hossain, who is studying bionuclear engineering, has been charged with one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault. If convicted, the felony is punishable by six to 30 years behind bars, authorities said.

When a judge set his bail at $500,000, Hossain’s attorney, Cook County public defender Sandra Bennewitz, told the judge that her client had been “involved with several UIC leadership programs, was a student ambassador to the alumni association and was on the triathlon team,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

“Sandra, how can someone involved in all that let a movie persuade him to do something like this?” asked Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr., according to the Tribune.

“He would say that it was consensual,” she replied.


I'm surprised it took this long for someone to test a "50 shades defense" in court

Way ahead of us, Australia is...WAY ahead!

First ever public jetpack company zooms onto Australian Stock Exchange

A New Zealand man has made millions of childhood dreams come true, after taking a massive leap in the world of personalised jetpacks.

Glenn Martin started working on the Martin Jetpack, which he calls "the world’s first practical jetpack," 34 years ago in his back shed in Dunedin, New Zealand. On Tuesday, he listed his company Martin Aircrafts on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Martin has spent his life dedicated to the cause of creating a machine that replicated the one seen in science fiction as early as the 1920s — perhaps best remembered as the device that saved James Bond in Thunderball.

The first Martin Jetpack was launched in 2008 at the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It wasn't a rousing success. Glenn's son Harrison hovered at only three feet above ground level before returning to Earth.

Although the crowd seemed impressed, American media slammed the device. In a 2011 interview with New Zealand current affairs show Sunday, Glenn spoke of how the negative reaction affected him.

"You spend 28 years of your life developing something and I made no claims about it ... I just wanted to go to Oshkosh and introduce it to the aviation world," Glenn told Sunday. "And then all these people came in and started getting negative about it and it is very hurtful. it just makes you more determined."

On Tuesday at 11 a.m. AEDT, that determination paid off. With newly-appointed CEO Peter Coker and an investment agreement with Hong Kong company KuangChi Science, Martin Aircraft listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The Initial Public Offering (IPO raised A$27 million ahead of the listing at an offer price of A$0.40 per share, with KuangChi Science purchasing A$21 million of the shares. Martin Aircraft said this will allow the company to "focus 100% on the commercialisation of the jetpack."


Lawmaker with lavish decor billed private planes, concerts

Source: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock, a rising Republican star already facing an ethics inquiry, has spent taxpayer and campaign funds on flights aboard private planes owned by some of his key donors, The Associated Press has found. There also have been other expensive travel and entertainment charges, including for a massage company and music concerts.

The expenses highlight the relationships that lawmakers sometimes have with donors who fund their political ambitions, an unwelcome message for a congressman billed as a fresh face of the GOP. The AP identified at least one dozen flights worth more than $40,000 on donors' planes since mid-2011.

The AP tracked Schock's reliance on the aircraft partly through the congressman's penchant for uploading pictures and videos of himself to his Instagram account. The AP extracted location data associated with each image then correlated it with flight records showing airport stopovers and expenses later billed for air travel against Schock's office and campaign records.

Asked for comment, Schock responded in an email on Monday that he travels frequently throughout his Peoria-area district "to stay connected with my constituents" and also travels to raise money for his campaign committee and congressional colleagues.

He said he takes compliance with congressional funding rules seriously and has begun a review of his office's procedures "concerning this issue and others to determine whether they can be improved." The AP had been seeking comment from Schock's office since mid-February to explain some of his expenses.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/e2f1f52c3eb34caca7d74e5bf90f27f9/lawmaker-lavish-decor-billed-private-planes-concerts

Best insider expose of a Russian troll factory yet:

Yle Kioski Traces the Origins of Russian Social Media Propaganda – Never-before-seen Material from the Troll Factory

We followed the operations of the secretive so called troll factory in Saint Petersburg on the spot for three days.

Troll. TROLL.

Everyone having discussions on the Internet knows the word.

It means a person who annoys and provokes others participating in web discussions on purpose.

In Russia, this word of web slang has a new meaning: a troll is an employee who is paid to post ingratiating comments in the social media about president Vladimir Putin anonymously and often aggressively.
But what kind of a workplace employs people whose job is said to be to praise Putin’s Russia? Kioski investigated the background of the secret office building in Saint Petersburg that is called “the troll factory” and followed the life in it for three days. A satellite image on Google Maps shows that the troll factory is a fairly large office building.​​A satellite image on Google Maps shows that the troll factory is a fairly large office building.​​


According to the information revealed by hackers and journalists, the salaries of the employees of the Troll Factory are paid by “Internet Research Agency”, Agentstvo Internet Issledovanii, in Savushkin Street 55.

The company that is funded by Russian businessmen has not commented on the information. The connection of the troll factory with the Kremlin has not been proved but, then again, there is no proof about all the forms of information warfare, in general.

We studied the job advertisements of the Internet Research Agency. On 2 February, there were ten of them on a Russian job website. The company is not looking for “trolls” but, for example, “social media specialists”, “Internet operators”, “content managers”, and “copywriters” for day and night shifts.

The advertisements state that the company wants to recruit people who “can work on the Internet, produce web content to different types of audiences, and rewrite texts”. The monthly salary varies from about 400 euros for regular employees to approximately 660 euros for managers. The job is described as “steady” in the advertisements.

The Internet Research Centre is looking for a Content Manager whose tasks, according to the job advertisement, include writing and moderating news, info material, and analyses.​The Internet Research Centre is looking for a Content Manager whose tasks, according to the job advertisement, include writing and moderating news, info material, and analyses.​

We called the recruiter at the Internet Research Agency and asked for more information about the jobs. The close-lipped woman answering our questions reveals that the copywriter and content manager mostly write about political topics in English.

Much, much more at the link -- VERY definitive:
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