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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 38,202

Journal Archives

Has Greenwald, Inc. Peaked?

or about a year, the global enterprise you might call Glenn Greenwald, Inc. has been taking off like a red-hot app. The question now is whether the sudden rise of Greenwald—a 47-year-old lawyer-cum-activist from Queens by way of George Washington University—will soon follow the course of most Information Age startups: Boom. Bust. Bye.

Only a year and a half ago, Greenwald was a left-wing blogger who was known mainly to a devoted band of online followers for his invariably harsh view of American national security policy and fierce advocacy of openness in government. Among those who was said to follow Greenwald’s writings was a discontented digital operative working deep inside what both he and Greenwald viewed as a Big Brother-style surveillance state. That guy’s name was Edward Snowden.

The rest is history. Or journalism. Or treason. Or something. Starting in June 2013 , the revelation that Snowden had handed over to Greenwald — along with the Washington Post and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras— a huge trove of documents detailing National Security Agency operations amounted to the biggest breach of official intelligence secrets in history.

Today, riding on his international fame—a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, among other awards— Greenwald is still a one-man exposure industry whose main stock in trade remains these same “Snowden archives.” He continues to drizzle out fresh revelations about the NSA based on Snowden’s documents, including some neatly timed with the rollout of his book, No Place to Hide, in May. He has started up a digital magazine called The Intercept from his base in Brazil—with 20 journalists hired so far, and 30 more hires to come, he says—thanks to backing from a new $250 million company called First Look Media founded by billionaire admirer Pierre Omidyar, the French-Iranian-American creator of eBay. Omidyar and Greenwald also have launched a new foundation to help journalists in legal trouble, the Press Freedom Litigation Fund, the first grantee of which is Greenwald’s Brazilian live-in partner, David Miranda. Though he’s not a journalist, Miranda is suing the British government over the seizure of Greenwald’s documents, which the Brazilian was trying to carry to his partner by going through London’s Heathrow Airport in August of last year.


And, as if on cue, Greenwald gets into a pissing match with Ken Dilanian of the L.A. Times for doing the same thing he does...

EDIT: As expected, Glenn's buddies don't take long to spring to his defense -- I present to you Erik Wemple's response (Funny that he calls this a "hit piece" when the actual criticism is quite mild: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2014/09/04/7-problems-with-politico-magazines-hit-piece-on-glenn-greenwald/

Only now after all these years have I discovered GD's filthy secret:

Jersey Mike's Subs....?

Just a pet peeve of mine...Just WHEN did it become so popular for Jersey Mike's and any sandwich shop not named Subway to NOT have regular yellow mustard available as a condiment??

Mysterious Fake Cellphone Towers Are Intercepting Calls All Over The US

Seventeen fake cellphone towers were discovered across the U.S. last week, according to a report in Popular Science.
Rather than offering you cellphone service, the towers appear to be connecting to nearby phones, bypassing their encryption, and either tapping calls or reading texts.

Les Goldsmith, the CEO of ESD America, used ESD's CryptoPhone 500 to detect 17 bogus cellphone towers. ESD is a leading American defense and law enforcement technology provider based in Las Vegas.

With most phones, these fake communication towers are undetectable. But not for the CryptoPhone 500, a customized Android device that is disguised as a Samsung Galaxy S III but has highly advanced encryption.

Goldsmith told Popular Science: "Interceptor use in the U.S. is much higher than people had anticipated. One of our customers took a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and he found eight different interceptors on that trip. We even found one at South Point Casino in Las Vegas.”

The towers were found in July, but the report implied that there may have been more out there.

Although it is unclear who owns the towers, ESD found that several of them were located near U.S. military bases.

"Whose interceptor is it? Who are they, that's listening to calls around military bases? Is it just the U.S. military, or are they foreign governments doing it? The point is: we don't really know whose they are," Goldsmith said to Popular Science.


I imagine it would be pretty easy to find out who the owners are -- Start damaging or vandalizing the towers, and see who complains...

Arundhati Roy: How Corporate Power Converted Wealth Into Philanthropy for Social Control

The following is an excerpt from Arundhati Roy's new book, Capitalism: A Ghost Story, (Haymarket Books, 2014). Reprinted here with permission.

What follows in this essay might appear to some to be a somewhat harsh critique. On the other hand, in the tradition of honoring one’s adversaries, it could be read as an acknowledgment of the vision, flexibility, sophistication, and unwavering determination of those who have dedicated their lives to keeping the world safe for capitalism.

Their enthralling history, which has faded from contemporary memory, began in the United States in the early twentieth century when, kitted out legally in the form of endowed foundations, corporate philanthropy began to replace missionary activity as Capitalism’s (and Imperialism’s) road-opening and systems maintenance patrol.

Among the first foundations to be set up in the United States were the Carnegie Corporation, endowed in 1911 by profits from Carnegie Steel Company, and the Rockefeller Foundation, endowed in 1914 by J. D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil Company. The Tatas and Ambanis of their time.

Some of the institutions financed, given seed money, or supported by the Rockefeller Foundation are the United Nations, the CIA, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), New York’s most fabulous Museum of Modern Art, and, of course, the Rockefeller Center in New York (where Diego Riviera’s mural had to be blasted off the wall because it mischievously depicted reprobate capitalists and a valiant Lenin; Free Speech had taken the day off ).

Rockefeller was America’s first billionaire and the world’s richest man. He was an abolitionist, a supporter of Abraham Lincoln, and a teetotaler. He believed his money was given to him by God, which must have been nice for him.

Putin’s propoganda keeps Russians in the dark about Ukraine and more

By Editorial Board August 31 at 6:49 PM
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, his bitter resentment at the Soviet empire’s collapse metastasized into seething Russian nationalism, has marginalized the political opposition, muzzled dissidents and intimidated independent voices in civil society. In prosecuting his widening war in Ukraine, he has also resurrected the tyranny of the Big Lie, using state-controlled media to twist the truth so grotesquely that most Russians are in the dark — or profoundly misinformed — about events in their neighbor to the west.

Most Russians get their news from state-
controlled broadcast outlets, which have moved beyond mere propaganda into outlandish conspiracy theories and unhinged jingoism. The shoot-down of the Malaysian airliner in July, over territory controlled by Russian-sponsored militias in Ukraine, was spun by Kremlin’s media mouthpieces into a provocation orchestrated by the West. With few countervailing views in the mainstream media, many Russians believed the spin or had no idea what to believe.

In support of those Russian-sponsored militias in eastern Ukraine, now backed by growing ranks of Russian troops and weapons, Moscow has created a fantasy that plays on Russian victimization. By this rendering, the forces backing Ukraine’s government in Kiev are fascists and neo-Nazis, a portrayal that Mr. Putin personally advanced on Friday, when he likened the Ukrainian army’s attempts to regain its own territory to the Nazi siege of Leningrad in World War II, an appeal meant to inflame Russians’ already overheated nationalist emotions.

In the absence of independent and free reporting, few Russians realize that Russian soldiers and armaments are in action in eastern Ukraine, albeit (as in Crimea) in uniforms and vehicles stripped of their identifying insignia and license plates. With no free media, Russians are left to fend for themselves against a firestorm of falsehoods.


I will say it's becoming easier and easier to identify the "useful idiots" in this charade...

Dallas County OKs plan to confiscate guns from domestic abusers

Officials say the man accused of using a gun to kidnap his children and threaten their mother this week is a “prime example” of the offenders Dallas County will target when it starts confiscating guns from domestic abusers this fall.

Previous family violence convictions made it illegal for Steven Douglas, 29, to have a gun when police say he rammed into his ex-girlfriend’s car, took his 9-year-old and 1-year-old at gunpoint and then pointed the pistol at a police officer Monday. He died when that officer shot him.

“There was no check on him at all,” said criminal court judge Roberto Cañas, who’s leading the effort to create a gun confiscation program. “That’s not the way the system should be working.”

Cañas said Tuesday that county officials will soon begin holding offenders accountable when they require certain domestic abusers to surrender their firearms to a local gun range. Dallas County commissioners unanimously voted Tuesday to back the judge’s plan and partially fund the program, giving Cañas the green light to move forward with an October launch date.

The pilot program is scheduled to begin five months after The Dallas Morning News reported that the county regularly fails to enforce laws that forbid convicted abusers and subjects of protective orders from having firearms. Most domestic homicides are committed with guns.


I thought only cops on TV shows looked like this??

Holy damn...

Nation distracted by president’s tan suit (NOT The Onion)

President Obama wore a tan suit on Thursday while talking about Ukraine and the Islamic State, and political Twitter promptly went nuts. Over the suit. You see, Obama has a tendency to wear gray or blue suits. "You'll see I wear only gray or blue suits," Obama told Vanity Fair in 2012. "I'm trying to pare down decisions. I don't want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make." But this suit was TAN. So, what message is he trying to send exactly? We consulted our in-house fashion expert -- Pulitzer prize winner Robin Givhan -- to answer just that question. "There is nothing wrong with that suit – well, except it’s a little big," Givhan said. "As they always are." She added:

It says more about official, federal, political Washington that anything other than a dark suit with a white shirt and red tie counts as some sort of aesthetic heresy. That is a conservative two-button suit in a color that is perfectly appropriate for the time of year and the occasion. This was not a 'formal' news conference. Honestly, people are responding like he showed up in Pharrell Williams' short suit. I'm appalled by the Twitter feeds.

The Twitter, you say? Well, yes, political Twitter did have a mini meltdown over the suit.


Sometimes I truly wonder about the direction we as Americans are heading...

ISIS crosses the line -- Shown destroying Syrian reefer crops

The Islamic State reportedly seized a cannabis field from the Free Syrian Army on Tuesday. A video posted on YouTube by a group called “a3maq news” shows militants from the extremist group walking through the field in Aleppo province in northern Syria and setting fire to some of the plants.

The video shows several men in the field holding weapons and talking about the marijuana plants. Some men begin to chop off huge bushels and place them in neatly stacked piles that are then doused in gasoline and set aflame.

The YouTube channel appears to focus on news about ISIS in Aleppo. Also on Tuesday, the group posted a video showing the militants’ capture of a huge arsenal near the city. Some of the weapons shown, including a M198 Howitzer cannon, are U.S.-made. Several Twitter accounts associated with the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, shared the video.

Rebel groups have destroyed marijuana fields in Syria before, claiming that using the drug is banned under the Islamic law. In that respect, ISIS is no different. The militant group operates under the strictest interpretation of Sharia and imposes a severe ban on things deemed haram (sinful) wherever they go. Earlier this summer, ISIS burned a large pile of cigarettes in Iraq, in order to enforce a ban on smoking, a longtime target for the group. In November, the group said it burned at least 1.5 million packs of cigarettes in Syria.


So when do we invade?
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