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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 45,159

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Why Russia Should Not Be Permitted To Host the 2014 Winter Olympics In Sochi, and Why They Should Instead Be Moved To Another Host City

By George Takei

Many believe that such a call to move the Olympics out of Russia goes too far. Would this be their opinion if the law instead called for the arrest of any Jews, Roman Catholics or Muslims should they display any sign of their religion, such as a wearing a yamaka or praying while facing Mecca? Discrimination in any form is a blight upon the Winter Games, and it must not be tolerated.

way more:

The Amazon founder Jeff Bezoz is building a clock that will last for 1,000 decades. Wait, what?


FORTUNE -- As any Amazon (AMZN) investor will tell you, Jeff Bezos believes in long-term thinking. Make that really, really long-term thinking. So long, in fact, that he's spending at least $42 million to build a giant clock that will tick for 10,000 years deep inside a mountain in West Texas.

The clock is being constructed by the Long Now Foundation, which aims to promote a more patient, far-sighted mindset in an increasingly fast-paced world. The clock will play a new tune every year, century, and millennium, and will not repeat a melody throughout its entire lifespan. It doesn't have a practical purpose, per se, and it certainly won't make money. It's more of a conceptual art piece designed to encourage people to be good stewards of humanity's distant future. Journalists can only hope that Bezos's purchase of the profit-challenged Washington Post will be similarly philosophically driven.


Clinton Comments On Weiner: ‘We Are A Hundred Miles From That Race’

Former President Bill Clinton finally addressed Anthony Weiner's tumultuous New York City mayoral campaign, telling CNN in an interview posted Tuesday that he and his wife Hillary Clinton have maintained a healthy distance from the race.

"We are a hundred miles from that race and everyone understands that we are not going to be involved, as long as our personal friends and people who we feel obligations are involved," Clinton said in Kigali, Rwanda, where he is doing work for The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, has served as a close confidant to Hillary Clinton, prompting many to wonder about the former first family's reaction to the latest sexting revelations involving the mayoral hopeful. But the former president said they deliberately avoided getting involved in a race that includes many past supporters.

"Neither Hillary or I was ever involved in the political campaign, and they understood that from the beginning," Clinton said. "There are too many people running for mayor who have been my supporters, who supported her for senator, her for president."


Murdering Dreams: Apparatus of hopelessness-designed to squelch any sense of alternative future...

It’s as if American forces in Iraq were ultimately defeated by the ghost of Abbie Hoffman.

A Practical Utopian’s Guide to the Coming Collapse


How did they pull it off? The preemptive attitude toward social movements is clearly a part of it; under no conditions can alternatives, or anyone proposing alternatives, be seen to experience success. This helps explain the almost unimaginable investment in “security systems” of one sort or another: the fact that the United States, which lacks any major rival, spends more on its military and intelligence than it did during the Cold War, along with the almost dazzling accumulation of private security agencies, intelligence agencies, militarized police, guards, and mercenaries. Then there are the propaganda organs, including a massive media industry that did not even exist before the sixties, celebrating police. Mostly these systems do not so much attack dissidents directly as contribute to a pervasive climate of fear, jingoistic conformity, life insecurity, and simple despair that makes any thought of changing the world seem an idle fantasy. Yet these security systems are also extremely expensive. Some economists estimate that a quarter of the American population is now engaged in “guard labor” of one sort or another—defending property, supervising work, or otherwise keeping their fellow Americans in line. Economically, most of this disciplinary apparatus is pure deadweight.

In fact, most of the economic innovations of the last thirty years make more sense politically than economically. Eliminating guaranteed life employment for precarious contracts doesn’t really create a more effective workforce, but it is extraordinarily effective in destroying unions and otherwise depoliticizing labor. The same can be said of endlessly increasing working hours. No one has much time for political activity if they’re working sixty-hour weeks.

It does often seem that, whenever there is a choice between one option that makes capitalism seem the only possible economic system, and another that would actually make capitalism a more viable economic system, neoliberalism means always choosing the former. The combined result is a relentless campaign against the human imagination. Or, to be more precise: imagination, desire, individual creativity, all those things that were to be liberated in the last great world revolution, were to be contained strictly in the domain of consumerism, or perhaps in the virtual realities of the Internet. In all other realms they were to be strictly banished. We are talking about the murdering of dreams, the imposition of an apparatus of hopelessness, designed to squelch any sense of an alternative future. Yet as a result of putting virtually all their efforts in one political basket, we are left in the bizarre situation of watching the capitalist system crumbling before our very eyes, at just the moment everyone had finally concluded no other system would be possible.


Google (et al) = an arm of the NSA/Pentagon

Looking back on the NSA revelations, starting with the PRISM program, I’ve found a lot of slide-analysis that makes a number of good points.

But one slide keeps jumping out at me — very much a not-in-the-weeds slide, which makes a not-in-the-weeds point.

It’s this one. See if you can figure out why I think it’s remarkable. And see if you can guess where this discussion is going.

Remember, NSA = the Pentagon. It’s not some free-floating agency within the Executive Branch (like the staff of the National Security Advisor or something). It’s the Pentagon pure and simple, the military.

The part I find remarkable about all these slides is the header. Every PRISM slide has this at the top:

So when this X-Keyscore slide appears …

… with this text description …

XKeyscore, the documents boast, is the NSA’s “widest reaching” system developing intelligence from computer networks – what the agency calls Digital Network Intelligence (DNI). One presentation claims the program covers “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet”, including the content of emails, websites visited and searches, as well as their metadata. …

The purpose of XKeyscore is to allow analysts to search the metadata as well as the content of emails and other internet activity, such as browser history, even when there is no known email account (a “selector” in NSA parlance) associated with the individual being targeted.

… the source of the data being queried has to be the information collected and stored by these companies (once more, for your viewing pleasure):


Former GOP official arrested for sexting minor after mocking Anthony Weiner

Scott Hounsell apparently didn't get the message about throwing stones in glass houses.

On Friday, the former executive director of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County was arrested for allegedly sending sexual explicit material to a 16-year-old over social media. Authorities came to his house with a warrant following an investigation by the LAPD's Internet Crimes Against Children Unit. He was charged with a misdemeanor and later released on $40,000 bail.

While Hounsell, 30, had resigned from his role in the county GOP in June for an unrelated reason, a party spokesman told KABC, it turns out that he had recently thrown a number of partisan jabs at Democrats facing questions for indiscretions of their own.

Addicting Info first took a glance at his Twitter profile and found the messages.


Liz Cheney IMPROPERLY Received State Resident Fishing Licence Based On INCORRECT INFO

Senate candidate Liz Cheney improperly received a state resident fishing license based on an application with incorrect information, according to Wyoming Game and Fish Department records.

Cheney, who last month announced she will challenge Sen. Mike Enzi in the 2014 Republican primary, received her resident license just 72 days after closing on her Wilson house in May 2012. State law requires residents live in the state 365 consecutive days before they can receive a resident hunting or fishing license, which are cheaper than out-of-state licenses.

Cheney’s application also lists her as a 10-year resident of Wyoming.

The Game and Fish records are incorrect, Cheney told the Star-Tribune.

“The clerk must have made a mistake,” she said. “I never claimed to be a 10-year resident.”


application form available online:

Under penalty of prosecution, I swear that the information given by me on this application is true and correct. I swear, under penalty of prosecution, that I, or the youth applicant for whom I am applying, is a Wyoming Resident as defined in W.S. 23.1. 102(a)(ix)(xv) yatta yatta yatta and have/has been domiciled in Wyoming for not less than one (1) year and have/has not claimed residency elsewhere for any purpose during the one (1) year immediately preceding the date of application for this license(s) and that I, or the youth applicant for whom I am applying, have/has continuously resided in Wyoming for the past ten (10) years immediately preceding the date of application for this license(s).

No Surprise - Perry doesn't KNOW what state he is in

Exchange of the Day

The Dallas Morning News traveled with Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) for a speech to a group of conservative bloggers.

Said Perry: "There are many other states that embrace those conservative values, the approach we've taken over the years. I'm in one today -- Florida."

"We're in Louisiana," someone shouted.



FRANK RICH: List of Dem politicians fiercely opposed to existing order=1 & only 1 - Elizabeth Warren

The Stench of the Potomac
Washington may be a dysfunctional place to govern, but it’s working better than ever as a marketplace for cashing in. And that’s thanks, more than anything, to the Democratic Establishment.

By Frank Rich

Among Democrats, the list of national politicians fiercely opposed to the existing order begins and ends with Elizabeth Warren.


“When I am president,” Obama had said in 2008, “I will start by closing the revolving door in the White House that’s allowed people to use their administration job as a stepping-stone to further their lobbying careers.” Puzzling over how so many colleagues have strayed from this credo, the former press secretary Robert Gibbs has theorized that either “somehow we have all changed” or, alternatively, “maybe Washington changed us.” Whatever the explanation, it’s clear that the president himself has been either passive or ineffectual when it comes to exerting any moral authority over the White House alumni who’ve been streaming through the revolving door.


Among Democrats, the list of national politicians fiercely opposed to the existing order begins and ends with Elizabeth Warren. Even now Obama is toying with appointing Larry Summers as Fed chair, despite his past in Rubinomics during the Clinton era and his present as a paid consultant to Citigroup. The two most likely Democratic prospects to succeed Obama in the White House, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, both came of political age in the revolving-door Washington of This Town; many of the most successful fixers in the book are one degree of separation from one or both of them. Sometimes these alumni are one degree of separation from ethical conflict, too. The ubiquitous Clinton fund-raiser Terry McAuliffe, as inescapable as canapés in Leibovich’s narrative, is currently running for governor of Virginia even as a Department of Homeland Security investigation into a disputed visa has ensnared a company with ties to both him and Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony Rodham. Clinton’s longtime aide Huma Abedin, best known now for her marital martyrdom, was discovered by Politico in May to have taken on other clients, including Teneo, a business and banking “global advisory firm” co-founded by the Bill Clinton majordomo Doug Band, in her final months in the taxpayers’ employ as a part-time consultant at the State Department.

This crowd is as intractable as it is incorrigible. There are no term limits, because Washington amnesia perennially wipes the slate clean. No one seems to remember anymore the furor kicked off by a 1998 Post “Style”-section piece in which Beltway grandees like David Broder and Cokie Roberts vented to Sally Quinn about how the impeached president had trashed their pristine city. “Regardless of whether his fortunes improve,” Quinn concluded, “Bill Clinton has essentially lost the Washington Establishment for good.” Well, that was then, and this is now. As This Town makes clear, these days Clinton alumni are the Washington Establishment, whether in the Obama administration or on K Street, and they can hardly wait for the greater dividends that will accrue should the former First Couple be restored to the White House in 2016. If that happens, Leibovich will not have to write a sequel, because it is already writing itself.


Manning "Not Guilty" Of Aiding *The Enemy

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