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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 39,435

About Me

Blocked on Twitter by that rat bastard fuck @ggreenwald

Journal Archives

Ben Ray Luján named new head of DCCC

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi announced Monday that she had tapped Rep. Ben Ray Lujan to head the campaign committee and try to get the party back on track after a drubbing in midterm elections.

The 42-year-old Lujan, who would be the first Hispanic to hold the post, will succeed New York Rep. Steve Israel as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The midterms of President Barack Obama's second term were widely expected to be tough for Democrats, but the party had an even tougher going as Republicans claimed a commanding majority and captured seats in typically favorable states such as New York, Illinois and Maine.

Democrats lost at least a dozen seats and Republicans should hold 246 in the next Congress, the most in nearly 70 years.

Lujan told reporters at a news conference that the 2016 presidential election year should be more favorable.

"We will be on the offensive to put the majority in play," he said.


Virginia woman accused of attempting to aid Islamic State

Federal authorities have arrested and charged a Henrico County, Va., woman who they say wrote Facebook posts supportive of the Islamic State and offered to help someone connect with the terrorist group in Syria, court documents show.

Heather Elizabeth Coffman, 29, is charged with making a false statement regarding an offense involving international or domestic terrorism. Coffman, it seems, was caught in a sting and unknowingly offered to help an undercover FBI agent connect someone with the Islamic State in Syria, according to a federal affidavit. Authorities say she lied to investigators who were looking into her support of the extremist group.

The case seems to be another example of the Islamic State’s robust presence on social media and the influence it is having on Americans. Two months ago, a 19-year-old from suburban Denver pleaded guilty to trying to help the terrorist organization after she tried to board a flight to reach Turkey. She reportedly was trying to connect with a man she met online. And last month, three teenage girls from the Denver area were detained at an airport in Germany and questioned about possibly trying to join the Islamic State. A school official said the girls were victims of an “online predator.”

It is unclear what cultivated Coffman’s interest in the Islamic State or whether she possessed the means to connect anyone with the group.

Mark Henry Schmidt, Coffman’s defense attorney, said the young woman was born and raised in the United States, lived with her parents and cared for her 7-year-old child. He said that he was unaware of any tangible foreign connection, and initially the case seemed to him one of “Facebook going badly.”


Senate to debate S. 2520: FOIA Improvement Act of 2014 on Thursday




Why you can't read our website in China anymore...

When Internet users in China fire up TheAtlantic.com, check out product specifications on Sony Mobile, or add a Firefox plugin, well, too bad. The Chinese authorities have blocked those and thousands of other sites—and just as the People’s Republic hosts the World Internet Conference, to boot. All of these have one thing in common: They use edgecastcdn.net, the content-delivery network (CDN) of Verizon’s EdgeCast, says Greatfire.org, a group that promotes Chinese Internet freedom.

Charlie Smith of Greatfire says he’s seen “nothing on this scale ever before,” though that’s “because so many companies use EdgeCast for hosting.” (“Charlie Smith” is a pseudonym, used by a Greatfire member because of the Chinese government’s sensitivity to the group’s efforts to expose and undermine censorship.)

It’s not that The Atlantic or Sony had just uploaded subversive content. What Smith thinks is going on is that the Chinese government tried to block certain sites served up by EdgeCast. But EdgeCast serves up content for tens of thousands of sites, and the Chinese authorities seem to be blocking many others as well. (CDNs cache websites’ content on servers that are physically located closer to users to speed access times, absorb traffic spikes, and provide more efficient delivery of the data.)

EdgeCast said in a blog post that this week it’s seen China’s content “filtering escalate with an increasing number of popular web properties impacted and even one of our many domains being partially blocked … with no rhyme or reason as to why.”


The Prison Coding Class That Might Have Inmates Making Six Figures On Their Release

Like everyone else in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jason Jones has an idea for a new app. Called "In Touch," the app would automatically upload information about a student's schoolwork, so that busy parents can make sure that their kids aren't flunking. Jones has a personal stake in this. He has three kids himself, and says his parents never cared whether he paid attention at school. "As a result, I was able to cheat my way through high school and college," he explains.

Jones is going through a coding bootcamp, so he will soon have the skills necessary to start working on his app. But the 31-year-old has never actually used a smartphone, and his Internet experience is limited to casual web browsing. He's an inmate at California's San Quentin State Prison—incarcerated since 2006 for assault—who is participating in Code 7370, a six-month intensive computer programming class developed by The Last Mile, a nonprofit program that offers entrepreneurship training for inmates.

Once Jones and his fellow students graduate, they'll have the opportunity to take real projects from clients. That way, when they're released from prison, they'll already have portfolios. Theoretically, they should be able to get work that pays in the six figure range.

I recently visited San Quentin to see the Code 7370 initiative in action. Walking through the gates of the prison, my first thought was that the landscaping of San Quentin made it look more like a slightly down-on-its-luck college campus than a place housing death row. My visit to the Code 7370 classroom—a formerly decrepit space that was once used as a printing shop—reinforced that initial impression. The well-lit space is filled with refurbished computers that were previously used by state employees.


Almost 36m people live in modern slavery - report

Source: BBC

Nearly 36 million people worldwide, or 0.5% of the world's population, live as slaves, a survey by anti-slavery campaign group Walk Free says.

The group's Global Slavery Index says India has the most slaves overall and Mauritania has the highest percentage.

The total is 20% higher than for 2013 because of better methodology.

The report defines slaves as people subject to forced labour, debt bondage, trafficking, sexual exploitation for money and forced or servile marriage.

It uses slavery in a modern sense of the term, rather than as a reference to the broadly outlawed traditional practice where people were held in bondage and treated as another person's property.

The Global Slavery Index's estimate is higher than other attempts to quantify modern slavery. In 2012, the International Labour Organisation estimated that almost 21 million people were victims of forced labour.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-30080578

Frat Boy Tries To Put Out Electrical Fire By “Pissing On It,” (It Didn’t Work)

HOUSTON -- Eight young men safely escaped their burning frat house at the University of Houston late Sunday.

The Houston Fire Department was called to Southmore at Delano around 10:30 p.m. where the two-story home's attic was found burning.

The students at the Kappa Alpha house said they smelled something funny when they turned on the heater earlier in the evening so they didn't use it much. But someone turned it back on later in the evening, and it apparently caught fire.

"We were just hanging out, playing it cool and we saw like a fire and stuff. Smoke was coming out. And we're all like, what are we supposed to do with this fire? And we all just took off," said Dylan Koops, one of the residents.

One of the students told KHOU 11 he tried to get a bucket of water to put on the fire, but the entire attic was quickly engulfed.

No injuries were reported, and most of the damage was limited to the attic area.



Google’s secret NSA alliance: The terrifying deals between Silicon Valley and the security state

In mid-December 2009, engineers at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, began to suspect that hackers in China had obtained access to private Gmail accounts, including those used by Chinese human rights activists opposed to the government in Beijing.

Like a lot of large, well-known Internet companies, Google and its users were frequently targeted by cyber spies and criminals. But when the engineers looked more closely, they discovered that this was no ordinary hacking campaign.

In what Google would later describe as “a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China,” the thieves were able to get access to the password system that allowed Google’s users to sign in to many Google applications at once. This was some of the company’s most important intellectual property, considered among the “crown jewels” of its source code by its engineers. Google wanted concrete evidence of the break-in that it could share with U.S. law enforcement and intelligence authorities. So they traced the intrusion back to what they believed was its source — a server in Taiwan where data was sent after it was siphoned off Google’s systems, and that was presumably under the control of hackers in mainland China.

“Google broke in to the server,” says a former senior intelligence official who’s familiar with the company’s response. The decision wasn’t without legal risk, according to the official. Was this a case of hacking back? Just as there’s no law against a homeowner following a robber back to where he lives, Google didn’t violate any laws by tracing the source of the intrusion into its systems. It’s still unclear how the company’s investigators gained access to the server, but once inside, if they had removed or deleted data, that would cross a legal line. But Google didn’t destroy what it found. In fact, the company did something unexpected and unprecedented — it shared the information.

Google uncovered evidence of one of the most extensive and far-reaching campaigns of cyber espionage in U.S. history. Evidence suggested that Chinese hackers had penetrated the systems of nearly three dozen other companies, including technology mainstays such as Symantec, Yahoo, and Adobe, the defense contractor Northrop Grumman, and the equipment maker Juniper Networks. The breadth of the campaign made it hard to discern a single motive. Was this industrial espionage? Spying on human rights activists? Was China trying to gain espionage footholds in key sectors of the U.S. economy or, worse, implant malware in equipment used to regulate critical infrastructure?



I'm grateful to Shane Harris for finally delivering what I've futilely been asking Snow-Wald to produce for the past year and a half, which is documented proof of complicity by the telecoms and Silicon Valley...For those keeping score, this is the THIRD major domino I've been eventually vindicated on after being pilloried on DU for months...

From day one, Greenwald, Snowden, the EFF and ACLU have made it a point to portray Silicon Valley as powerless victims in the NSA scandal, and I'd said at the time it was bullshit since Google wants to hoover up the same mass data as the NSA (albeit for different reasons), so isn't it logical that they would work together for a mutual goal?

But to the contrary, not only have Greenwald and his legion of cronies and useful idiots had this info about corporate involvement at their disposal and chose *NOT* to report it, they have actively re-directed the conversation every time it was going in that direction...My big question (for those DUers who haven't put me on ignore yet) is: Why would they do that? Once I find the answer to this, I'll have the answer to everything...

Hillary is a "soulless, principle-free, power-hungry veteran of DC’s game of thrones"

So sayeth Glenn Greenwald...Well, I guess if anyone would know it's ol' Glenn, since he is quick to recognize his own kind...

So is this supposed to be the "fearless" journalism, or the "adversarial" journalism? Someone please help me out...


Study: White People Think Black People Are Magical Unicorns

A new study featured in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science concludes white people may possess a "superhuman bias" against black people, and are therefore likely to attribute preternatural qualities to black people.

Jesse Singal explains at the Science of Us:

In a series of five studies, some involving so-called implicit association tests in which words are flashed on a screen quickly enough to "prime" a subject with their meaning but not for them to consciously understand what they have seen, the researchers showed that whites are quicker to associate blacks than whites with superhuman words like ghost, paranormal, and spirit.

This image of a magical black person, someone holding extraordinary mental and physical powers, has long persisted through American culture, whether it be through cringe-worthy movie roles or literature.

And the damage of such a potential bias is significant. While it's easy to understand why most clichés are both dangerous and destructive, the study suggests white people's tendency to cast a black person as a magical being—a stereotype that on its face some might claim is positive—is actually just as detrimental as say the image of the angry black woman, absent father, etc.

The superhuman image may be able to explain matters such why young black men are perceived to "be more 'adult' than White juveniles when judging culpability," write researchers Adam Waytz, Kelly Marie Hoffman, and Sophie Trawalter. If true, such a perception could outline the overwhelming racial disparities seen in prison systems throughout the country.

This bizarre phenomenon could even have contributed to the immense hope Americans placed on President Barack Obama in 2008. As the Boston Globe recently pointed out, back in 2007 David Ehrenstein described Obama's campaign as such:

Like a comic-book superhero, Obama is there to help, out of the sheer goodness of a heart we need not know or understand. For as with all Magic Negroes, the less real he seems, the more desirable he becomes. If he were real, white America couldn't project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him.

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