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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 43,738

Journal Archives

Report: Snowden's leaks didn't help terrorists

The analysis by Flashpoint Global Partners, a private security firm, examined the frequency of releases and updates of encryption software by jihadi groups and mentions of encryption in jihadi social media forums to assess the impact of Snowden’s information. It found no correlation in either measure to Snowden’s leaks about the NSA’s surveillance techniques, which became public beginning June 5, 2013...

“Nothing has changed about the encryption methodologies that they use,” he said. “It’s difficult to reconcile with the claim that they have dramatically improved their encryption technology since Snowden.”


Nate Silver Really Regrets His Prediction On Scottish Independence Vote

Nate Silver admits that he committed one of his own cardinal sins last year when he dismissed the chances of a campaign for Scottish independence.

"When I was in Scotland last year on a book tour, a reporter asked me an off-handed question about the referendum and I provided an off-handed answer despite not really having spent any time studying it," Silver told TPM in an email on Thursday. "That's not usually my style, and I regret the error of having behaved like a television pundit."

Anyone familiar with Silver's media criticism knows that a comparison to a pundit is about the most damning indictment the polling guru can render.


We need to start demanding the truth, not what ‘national security’ tells us we need to know.

Matt Stoller
The Solution to ISIS Is the First Amendment

As the elite panic about ISIS — the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant — continues apace, it’s worth looking at how violations of the First Amendment have allowed this group to flourish, and just generally screw up US policy-making. The gist of the problem is that Americans have been lied to for years about our foreign policy, and these lies have now created binding policy constraints on our leaders which make it impossible to eliminate groups like ISIS.


Adopting a realistic policy on ISIS means a mass understanding who our allies actually are and what they want, as well as their leverage points against us and our leverage points on them. I believe Americans are ready for an adult conversation about our role in the world and the nature of the fraying American order, rather than more absurd and hollow bromides about American exceptionalism.

Until that happens, Americans will not be willing to pay any price for a foreign policy, and rightfully so. Fool me once, shame on you. And so forth.

Unwinding the classified state, and beginning the adult conversation put off for seventy years about the nature of American power, is the predicate for building a global order that can drain the swampy brutal corners of the world that allow groups like ISIS to grow and thrive. To make that unwinding happen, we need to start demanding the truth, not what ‘national security’ tells us we need to know. The Constitution does not mention the words ‘national security’, it says ‘common defense.’ And that means that Americans should be getting accurate information about what exactly we are defending.


Exceptional Oxymoron-The land of the free imprisons more people than any other nation in the world

Exceptional Oxymoron

by digby

The land of the free imprisons more people than any other nation in the world:

Both in raw numbers and by percentage of the population, the United States has the most prisoners of any developed country in the world — and it has the largest total prison population of any nation. That didn’t change in 2013. After several years in which the prison population dropped slightly, the raw number of inmates in United States custody went up again in 2013.

More than 1.57 million inmates sat behind bars in federal, state, and county prisons and jails around the country as of December 31, 2013. In the federal prisons, more than half of those sentenced to a stints of a year or longer are still there for drug crimes. In states including Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, and Georgia, at least 1 percent of male residents were in prison on December 31. And across the country, racial disparities persist. Black men are six times more likely than white men to be in prison. Hispanic men are 2.4 times more likely, according to a Sentencing Project analysis of the data.

This doesn’t paint the full picture of the U.S. incarceration system. Many have estimated the total number of U.S. incarceration to be more than 2.4 million. This is in part because another estimated 12 million individuals cycle through the county jail systems in a given year for periods of less than a year, and are therefore not factored into a snapshot on December 31. There are also other mechanisms of incarceration not factored into this figure, including immigration detention, civil commitment, and Indian Country facilities, according to a Prison Policy Initiative briefing.

Does that make any sense at all?

Sargent Sends Major Lindsey Graham & Colonel John McCain To Iraq

Exclusive: Family Business At The National Security Agency (She's NSA/He Runs Intell Biz From Home)

Exclusive: Family Business At The National Security Agency

A powerful National Security Agency official involved in the controversial domestic surveillance program is married to an executive at a company that appears to be doing or seeking business with the agency. The executive also registered an intelligence business at the couple’s home.
The NSA says it has a strict ethics policy.

posted on Sept. 18, 2014, at 4:53 p.m.

The spouse, for years, has also had an intelligence technology company incorporated at the couple’s suburban residence in Maryland.

A large government contracting firm that appears to be doing or seeking business with the National Security Agency employs the spouse of one of the most powerful officials at the agency, according to corporate records, press releases, and company websites. But the NSA has declined to address whether there is a potential conflict of interest or to disclose any information about contracts or the official’s financial holdings.

The spouse, for years, has also had an intelligence technology company incorporated at the couple’s suburban residence in Maryland.

The NSA official, Teresa H. Shea, is director of the Signals Intelligence Directorate, which means she oversees electronic eavesdropping for intelligence purposes. She’s held that crucial position since 2010. SIGINT, as it is called, is the bread and butter of NSA espionage operations, and it includes intercepting and decoding phone calls, whether cellular or landline; radio communications; and internet traffic. Shea’s directorate was involved in the controversial domestic surveillance program, much of which was revealed by Edward Snowden.

As for Shea’s husband, James, he is currently a vice president at DRS Signal Solutions, part of DRS Technologies, a major American defense contracting company owned by the Italian defense giant Finmeccanica. On his LinkedIn page, he boasts of his “core focus” in “SIGINT systems,” and cites his employer, DRS, for its work in “signals intelligence, cyber, and commercial test and measurement applications.”


Watch Obama’s Top Science Advisor Repeatedly Shut Down Climate Deniers At House Climate Hearing

Read about it here:

Judge Who Sentenced AL Gov. Don Siegelman---Accused of Assaulting Wife & Is Urged to Resign

Judge Mark E. Fuller, right, accused of hitting his wife, appeared in Fulton County Court in Atlanta in early September. Credit Brant Sanderlin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via Associated Press

.......a federal judge in Alabama on Thursday faced abrupt and potent pressure to resign after he was charged with striking his wife last month at a luxury hotel here.

Although District Court Judge Mark E. Fuller of the Middle District of Alabama was arrested and charged with battery in early August, it was only this week that several of his state’s top political figures demanded in rapid succession that he leave the bench.


Within days of the arrest, the appeals court decided that Judge Fuller would not be assigned new cases while his was pending, and that other judges would assume his caseload.

Judge Fuller is not an obscure name in legal circles, having come under significant criticism for his handling of the trial and sentencing of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman in 2006. Mr. Siegelman, a Democrat, was convicted on seven counts, including bribery and mail fraud, in a case that many saw as politically motivated. That history, lawyers said, could be adding to the uproar Judge Fuller faces.


"America is a Christian nation because we sell bacon" (but what if - I'm a vegetarian?!?)

Religious right leader Bryan Fischer, of the American Family Association, offered definitive “proof” the other day as to why America is a “Christian” nation and not a “Jewish” nation.

You want one single item of proof that America is a Christian nation and not a Jewish nation and not an Islamic nation?” he asked. “One single bit of proof is all you need: we freely allow restaurants and grocery stores to sell and to serve bacon. That can only happen in a Christian country.”

“So the sheer fact that we freely allow the sale and consumption of bacon,” he continued, “is absolute proof that we are, in fact, a Christian nation.


"You wanted equality? BOOM! There's your equality. I decked you just like I would deck a man..."

Robert Stacy McCain is a real piece of work. It offends him that women would ask to be treated equally and then turn around and act outraged when a woman gets knocked unconscious by a man:

What if, instead of going to the casino with a date, Ray Rice had gone to the casino with a male buddy who got drunk and caused a scene? What if, after Ray and his buddy got on the elevator, the buddy had started yelling angrily at him, “getting in his face?”


There’s your equality. How do you like it?

Of course, feminists don’t believe in this kind of equality, an equality which would make women and men equally vulnerable to the consequences of “getting in the face” of a 200-pound pro athlete. However, as a skinny man who doesn’t enjoy pain, I can absolutely guarantee you that I would never make the mistake of engaging in a face-to-face shouting match with a guy like Ray Rice.

Here’s some helpful advice: Just walk away.


Just walk away.


I've been wondering how some would react if Ray Rice's fiance had pulled out a gun and shot him dead after he threw the first punch.

Self Defense, Stand Your Ground and all.
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