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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 45,442

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Bring On The Fireworks!

stay safe:

If only our dumbass State Department knew as much about Egypt as Jon Stewart about Egypt....

just amazing!

Message from the Egyptian people to the 1% in the US & to the 99% in the US.

StrikeDebt @StrikeDebt

A message from the Egyptian people to the 1% in the US and to the 99% in the US. Strikes just the right note. pic.twitter.com/8kmxSf5jH3
8:44 PM - 3 Jul 2013


Yes, I have been down on Obama, et al, lately...but then I remember the alternative.

In the novel, McCain passes away and Palin assumes the presidency. |

* For horror fiction enthusiasts: new novel comes out with alternative history whereby McCain/Palin ticket won in ‘08 and then aged president succumbed to illness.

What would happen, according to Rich and the book is a government that claims to speak for God and policies based solely on the Bible, which would overwhelming hurt gay Americans.

“The biggest mistake that we can make is that we don’t believe that they believe what they say. And for many of them, they do mean exactly what they say. If you think that the rapture is going to come in your lifetime, if you believe as many of them do that hell is a physical place where you’re confined to for all eternity, these things motivate you.”

Scary? You betcha.


Happy 4th

Lady Gaga’s amazing a cappella Star Spangled Banner in NYC (video)




George Takei: From a fan. These rascals...get a gold star.


This is What it Looks Like When a Superpower Shits the Bed

David Dayen @ddayen

Quick, US government, some guy in Alaska said in a phone conversation he was "snowed in," the NSA leaker must be up there! #keystoneintel
3:34 PM - 3 Jul 2013

via: http://www.balloon-juice.com/2013/07/03/this-is-what-it-looks-like-when-a-superpower-shits-the-bed/

The NSA goes recruiting and walks into some push back from students and professors.

The NSA goes recruiting and walks into some push back from students and professors.

Link goes to a site called "The Mob and the Multitude". Never seen it before, but that post is a great read. via Boing Boing.


Rough Transcript


Me: So adversary –adversaries you actually mean anybody and everybody. There’s nobody then by your definition that is not an adversary. Is that correct?

NSA_F: That is not correct.

Me: Who is not an adversary?

NSA_F: Well, ok. I can answer your questions but the reality is—

Me: No, I’m just trying to get a clarification because you told us what the two nodes of your work are but it’s not clear to me what that encompasses and you’re being fairly unclear at the moment. Apparently it’s somebody who’s not just an enemy. It’s something broader than that. And yet, it doesn’t seem to encompass everyone.

NSA_M: So for us, umm, our business is apolitical. Ok. We do not generate the intelligence requirements. They are levied on us so, if there is a requirement for foreign intelligence concerning this issue or this region or whatever then that is. If you wanna use the word adversary, you ca– we might use the word ‘target.’ That is what we are going after. That is the intelligence target that we are going after because we were given that requirement. Whether that’s adversary in a global war on terrorism sense or adversary in terms of national security interests or whatever – that’s for policymakers, I guess to make that determination. We respond to the requirements we are given, if that helps. And there’s a separation. As language analysts, we work on the SIG INT side of the house. We don’t really work on the information assurance (?) side of the house. That’s the guy setting up, protecting our communications.

Me: I’m just surprised that for language analysts, you’re incredibly imprecise with your language. And it just doesn’t seem to be clear. So, adversary is basically what any of your so-called “customers”as you call them –which is also a strange term to use for a government agency– decide if anybody wants, any part of the government wants something about some country, suddenly they are now internally considered or termed an ‘adversary.’ That’s what you seem to be saying.



the rest (fascinating, mho)

and this from STUDENT B:

Yeah, and I love the bit where the student (Student B) says

"How do you feel about your boss lying to Congress?"

& the NSA guy says "Clapper isn't out boss."

Student B: "General Alexander lied too."

NSA guy: "I don't know about that"

and Student B without missing a beat says:

" Probably because access to the Guardian is restricted on the NSA’s computers. I am sure they don’t encourage people like you to actually think about these things.

Way to go Student B!

and a TERRIFIC ending:

NSA_M: This job is not for everybody. Academia is a great career for people with language.

Me: So is this job for liars? Is this what you’re saying? Because, clearly, you’re not able to give us forthright answers. Given the way the way the NSA has behaved, given the fact that we’ve been lied to as Americans, given the fact that fact sheets have been pulled down because they clearly had untruths in them, given the fact that Clapper and Alexander lied to Congress — is that a qualification for being in the NSA? Do you have to be a good liar?

EAT UNION: Shopping List-4th of July

You’re all such good cooks you probably already planned and shopped for the Fourth of July, but here’s union-made you can buy:

Hot dogs
• Ball Park
• Boar’s Head
• Foster Farms
• Hebrew National
• Hofmann
• Oscar Mayer
• Hormel
• Farmland
• Koegel’s
• Gianelli (UFCW)
• Kroger brand (UFCW)
• French’s and Guldens Mustard (UFCW)
• Heinz Ketchup and Catsup (UFCW)
• Lucky Whip
• Hidden Valley Ranch
• Sara Lee (UFCW)
• Oroweat
• Arnold
• Stroehmann
Soda & Bottled Water:
• Barq’s Rootbeer, Coke , and Sprite products (UFCW)
• Pepsi
• American Springs and Poland Springs Water (UFCW)
• Pocono Northern Fall’s Water
• Bud Light (UFCW)
• Budweiser
• Michelob
• Miller
• Milwaukee’s Best
• Rolling Rock
• Goose Island
Snacks & Desserts:
• Breyers & Good Humor Ice Cream (UFCW)
• Flips pretzels
• Frito-Lay Chips
• Solo cups
• Weber Q grills
• Igloo coolers

more, plus beer list:

not so subtle graphs of what is wrong with our coverage of NSA Spying story...

You can play around with the graph here, and the trends don’t change substantially if you try “NSA” instead of “National Security Agency” or look at how the whole world is searching rather than just Americans.

To take another example, here’s how “Snowden” stacks up with “PRISM,” the secret surveillance program that was exposed by the Guardian and The Washington Post in early June:

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