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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 02:59 PM
Number of posts: 52,845

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Who owns the earth?

We live on and in the commons, even if we don’t recognize it as such. Every time we take a breath, we’re drawing from the commons. Every time we walk down a road we’re using the commons. Every time we sit in the sunshine or shelter from the rain, listen to birdsong or shut our windows against the stench from a nearby oil refinery, we are engaging with the commons. But we have forgotten the critical role that the commons play in our existence. The commons make life possible. Beyond that, they make private property possible. When the commons become degraded or destroyed, enjoyment and use of private property become untenable. A Montana rancher could own ten thousand acres and still be dependent on the health of the commons. Neither a gated community nor high-rise penthouse apartments can close a human being from the wider world that we all rely on.

much more:

"He came to believe there was a cover-up, that a cabal within the bureau BLOCKED a thorough inquiry"

The British and other international papers are offering extraordinary detail on the Trump-Russia-FBI scandal:


The combo of the @Independent's reporting and the anger of Democrats hints that Comey may have resisted investigating Trump pre-election.


The Water Sports Memo (for want of a better term) dates from July 2016. Three months later, FBI does press release on Clinton instead. Why?







Updated to include:

Mr Steele produced a memo, which went to the FBI, stating that Mr Trump’s campaign team had agreed to a Russian request to dilute attention on Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine.

Four days later Mr Trump stated that he would recognise Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.

A month later officials involved in his campaign asked the Republican party’s election platform to remove a pledge for military assistance to the Ukrainian government against separatist rebels in the east of the country.




#Anonymous squeals on Wikileaks & Julian Assange

Yesterday, one of several quasi-official Twitter accounts of Anonymous, the international hacktivist group (@YourAnonCentral — not a verified account, for obvious reasons), responded to a tweet from a follower who had a conspiracy theory regarding supposed Russian/Putin blackmail of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks (who is currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London).

And while Anonymous threw a gentle bucket of cold water on the CT, more interesting by far was the tweetstorm that followed, which included some not-well-known information about WikiLeaks, some people who worked there early, and the history of Assange himself.


Anonymous @YourAnonCentral
People thought @Wikileaks wanted to support the weak against the powerful. That was #Anonymous, not Julian Assange. (19) @Khanoisseur
7:39 AM - 12 Jan 2017
78 78 Retweets 128 128 likes
12 Jan
Anonymous @YourAnonCentral
From earliest interviews, Assange is a racist, sexist, right wing libertarian who loved Rand Paul and the US constitution. (20) @Khanoisseur
Anonymous @YourAnonCentral
His Wikileaks Party met personally with Assad in 2013, they supported AU's white nationalist fascist party ahead of Greens (21) @Khanoisseur
7:44 AM - 12 Jan 2017
42 42 Retweets 47 47 likes
12 Jan
Anonymous @YourAnonCentral
Assange has always been more interested in posing with celebrities than talking to anyone working or anyone in need. (22) @Khanoisseur
Anonymous @YourAnonCentral
None of the people who have ever been involved in @Wikileaks have changed. (23) @Khanoisseur
7:47 AM - 12 Jan 2017
15 15 Retweets 24 24 likes
12 Jan
Anonymous @YourAnonCentral
You are just left with the fascist (Assange), all the people whose work he rode off of are still around but not there. (24) @Khanoisseur
Anonymous @YourAnonCentral
Assange didn't change in 2010. He was never one of the 'good guys'. Those who made @Wikileaks worth anything simply left. (25) @Khanoisseur
7:53 AM - 12 Jan 2017


John Lewis is the real deal. A truly great man.


Whos the Illegitimate President Now, Mr. Birtherism?

Who’s the Illegitimate President Now, Mr. Birtherism?
Trump spent five years trying to delegitimize Obama. Now he's taking office under a cloud of suspicion, and only has himself to blame.
January 13, 2017

It is ironic that Donald Trump owes his success in Republican politics, and thus ultimately his presidency, to birtherism given the extent to which he failed to bring birtherism mainstream.

He assumed leadership of the birther movement in March 2011 when he first expressed public doubts about whether President Barack Obama was born in the U.S. The next month, Obama put an end to the farce by producing his Hawaiian birth certificate at a White House press conference, and days later humiliated Trump during the White House Correspondents Dinner. But Trump kept expressing doubts about Obama’s country of origin until late in the 2016 presidential campaign, when he shamelessly attempted to blame the entire crusade on Hillary Clinton. Eventually he had the last laugh.

Birtherism was a huge plot line of his presidency, one generally pushed by elements of the conservative fringe. Though these conspiracy theorists were egged on by Republicans, birtherism never became a mainstream Republican rallying cry because it is racist and fabricated. But the propulsive force behind birtherism, if not the theory itself, was a widely shared right-wing desire to void Obama’s presidency. Racism led elements of the far right to adopt birtherism specifically, but their quest was for any revelation that could prevent Obama from running the country. Only a few criteria govern who can become president; one of them is that the president must be a natural-born citizen; birtherism thus emerges from circular reasoning and wishful thinking. It is a tool that allows political nemeses to trump all politics, which is why white candidates like John McCain and Ted Cruz have also found themselves at the center of less obviously racist birther inquests.

But if it’s ironic that Trump rose to the pinnacle of global power on the strength of a failed campaign to delegitimize Obama, it’s also fitting that his own presidency will begin under a mix of suspicions and legitimacy questions that are very real and that Trump brought upon himself.

Much More:

Now, Marcus, I want you to stop concentrating on Noahs actions, and focus on whats in his heart.


Fabulous-New Yorker Cover Imagines The Childishness Of A Donald Trump Presidency

An early look at next week's cover, "At the Wheel," by Barry Blitt:


A Russian explains what US journalists are in for, now that Trump goes Putin-style

A message to my doomed colleagues in the American media

Congratulations, US media! You’ve just covered your first press conference of an authoritarian leader with a massive ego and a deep disdain for your trade and everything you hold dear. We in Russia have been doing it for 12 years now — with a short hiatus when our leader wasn’t technically our leader — so quite a few things during Donald Trump’s press conference rang my bells. Not just mine, in fact Vladimir Putin’s annual pressers are supposed to be the media event of the year. They are normally held in late December, around Western Christmas time (we Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas two weeks later and it’s not a big deal, unlike New Year’s Eve). Which probably explains why Putin’s pressers don’t get much coverage outside of Russia, except in a relatively narrow niche of Russia-watchers. Putin’s pressers are televised live across all Russian TV channels, attended by all kinds of media — federal news agencies, small local publications and foreign reporters based in Moscow — and are supposed to overshadow every other event in Russia or abroad.

These things are carefully choreographed, typically last no less than four hours, and Putin always comes off as an omniscient and benevolent leader tending to a flock of unruly but adoring children. Given that Putin is probably a role model for Trump, it’s no surprise that he’s apparently taking a page from Putin’s playbook. I have some observations to share with my American colleagues. You’re in this for at least another four years, and you’ll be dealing with things Russian journalists have endured for almost two decades now. I’m talking about Putin here, but see if you can apply any of the below to your own leader.

Welcome to the era of bullshit.

Facts don’t matter. You can’t hurt this man with facts or reason. He’ll always outmaneuver you. He’ll always wriggle out of whatever carefully crafted verbal trap you lay for him. Whatever he says, you won’t be able to challenge him. He always comes with a bag of meaningless factoids (Putin likes to drown questions he doesn’t like in dull, unverifiable stats, figures and percentages), platitudes, false moral equivalences and straight, undiluted bullshit. He knows it’s a one-way communication, not an interview. You can’t follow up on your questions or challenge him. So he can throw whatever he wants at you in response, and you’ll just have to swallow it. Some journalists will try to preempt this by asking two questions at once, against the protests of their colleagues also vying for attention, but that also won’t work: he’ll answer the one he thinks is easier, and ignore the other. Others will use this opportunity to go on a long, rambling statement vaguely disguised as a question, but that’s also bad tactics. Non-questions invite non-answers. He’ll mock you for your nervous stuttering and if you’re raising a serious issue, respond with a vague, non-committal statement (“Mr President, what about these horrible human rights abuses in our country?” “Thank you, Miss. This is indeed a very serious issue. Everybody must respect the law. And by the way, don’t human rights abuses happen in other countries as well? Next question please”).

But your colleagues are there to help you, right? After all, you’re all in this together?


Don’t expect any camaraderie

These people are not your partners or brothers in arms. They are your rivals in a fiercely competitive, crashing market and right now the only currency in this market is whatever that man on the stage says. Whoever is lucky to ask a question and be the first to transmit the answer to the outside world wins. Don’t expect any solidarity or support from them. If your question is stonewalled/mocked down/ignored, don’t expect a rival publication to pick up the banner and follow up on your behalf. It’s in this man’s best interests to pit you against each other, fighting over artificial scarcities like room space, mic time or, of course, his attention. It’s getting especially absurd because some — increasingly many — reporters will now come with large, bright placards aimed at attracting the president’s attention to names of their regions or specific issues. This is what it looks like:

Also, some people in the room aren’t really there to ask questions.

Expect a lot of sycophancy and soft balls from your “colleagues”

A mainstay of Putin’s press conferences is, of course, softball questions. Which also happen to be Putin’s favorites. Mr President, is there love in your heart? Who you will be celebrating New Year’s Eve with? What’s your favorite food? “Questions” of this sort, sure to melt Putin’s heart, typically come from women working for small regional publications. A subtype of this is also statements-as-questions, but from people who really love the man on the stage and will bob their head and look at the stage adoringly and say something to the tune of “Mr President, do you agree that a lot of media are treating you unfairly?”

Another type of softball questions is hyperlocal issues that a president isn’t even supposed to be dealing with. Mr President, our road is full of potholes and local authorities aren’t doing anything about it. Mr President, our tap is leaking. Mr President, how about a chess club in our village. This is a real opportunity for him to shine. He will scold the local authorities and order to have a new road built. All of this, of course, has been choreographed well in advance.

Also, some of these people really love him and will meet his every answer with enthusiastic applause. There will be people from publications that exist for no other reason than heaping fawning praise on him and attacking his enemies. But there will also be one token critic who will be allowed to ask a “sharp” question, only to be drowned in a copious amount of bullshit, and the man on the stage will always be the winner (“See? I respect the media and free speech”).

You’re always losing

This man owns you. He understands perfectly well that he is the news. You can’t ignore him. You’re always playing by his rules — which he can change at any time without any notice. You can’t — in Putin’s case — campaign to vote him out of office. Your readership is dwindling because ad budgets are shrinking — while his ratings are soaring, and if you want to keep your publication afloat, you’ll have to report on everything that man says as soon as he says it, without any analysis or fact-checking, because 1) his fans will not care if he lies to their faces; 2) while you’re busy picking his lies apart, he’ll spit out another mountain of bullshit and you’ll be buried under it.
I could go on and on, but I think at this point you see where this is heading. See if any of this rings any bells if you covered Trump’s presser or watched it online.


"Who are you going to trust, a retired MI-6 operative or the government of Russia?"


From Class to Ass

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