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arely staircase

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Member since: Sun Dec 11, 2011, 05:54 PM
Number of posts: 11,348

Journal Archives

Walter Pincus: The question Snowden should have asked Putin


The question Edward Snowden should have asked Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday was: “Would you please describe how the three versions of SORM operate and what is done with the intercepted phone, e-mail and other electronic media those systems collect?” The former National Security Agency contractor who in May leaked tens of thousands of highly classified NSA documents that described hundreds of U.S. electronic interception programs, must know about SORM (System of Operative-Investigative Measures), the decades-old but continually upgraded Russian electronic surveillance system.


One final word about the Snowden-Putin exchange. In his published response to critics Thursday, Snowden seemed to acknowledge SORM’s scope when he said journalists should ask Putin “for clarification as to how millions of indi apoloiduals’ communications are not being intercepted, analyzed or stored, when at least on a technical level the systems that are in place must do precisely that in order to function.”Snowden offers Putin the opportunity to clarify his denial that his country intercepts, analyzes or stores millions of individual communications.

On the other hand, Snowden refers to Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr.’s answer at a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as a “lie,” when Clapper said that the NSA was not collecting records on millions of Americans. Snowden then ignores Clapper’s apology and fuller statements about NSA programs. Different strokes?
Posted by arely staircase | Mon Apr 21, 2014, 11:28 PM (2 replies)

Obama Plans Clemency for Hundreds of non-violent Drug Offenders

Now, in his final years in office, Obama has trained his sights on prisoners like Scrivner, and wants to use his previously dormant pardon power as part of a larger strategy to restore fairness to the criminal-justice system. A senior administration official tells Yahoo News the president could grant clemency to "hundreds, perhaps thousands" of people locked up for nonviolent drug crimes by the time he leaves office — a stunning number that hasn't been seen since Gerald Ford extended amnesty to Vietnam draft dodgers in the 1970s.

Posted by arely staircase | Mon Apr 21, 2014, 12:38 PM (15 replies)

If human beings develop the ability to live forever, is that good for the species as a whole?

I am watching Morgan Spurlock's show on CNN and he is discussing cutting edge biotechnology that some say someday might make living forever possible. A couple of concerns pop in to my head. If everyone one can live forever, where is the room for the new people going to come from? Or, more likely, it won't be everyone but an elite group of very wealthy people who will become the immortals who have yet another advantage over the rest of us. Think of the trouble the Koch brothers could cause if they lived forever. Yes I know that when they die other Koch-like people will come along. They have always been with us and always will. But an immortal Koch brother would be a super predator version - one that didn't have to learn everything anew. They would be able to accumulate hundreds, or rather infinite, years of personal experience that others didn't, which is quite different that the collective cumulative knowledge we all benefit from. I am just sort of thinking out loud (or as I write) but wouldn't these be problems?
Posted by arely staircase | Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:48 PM (88 replies)

For The Record: Snowden Gave Classified US Intel to the Chinese. It is a fact.

Ever since this first happened I have gotten the "oh yeah, prove it" response from the Snowdenistas whenever I mentioned it. I got tired of posting it for every low information (that didn't validate their point of view) DUr that claimed I was making shit up. Apparently I have only one more free visit to the paper's site and people are STILL going "oh yeah prove it." So instead of posting it individually for everyone who's google button broke off:

EXCLUSIVE: NSA targeted China's Tsinghua University in extensive hacking attacks, says Snowden

Tsinghua University, widely regarded as the mainland’s top education and research institute, was the target of extensive hacking by US spies this year
Tsinghua University in Beijing, widely regarded as the mainland’s top education and research institute, was the target of extensive hacking by US spies this year, according to information leaked by Edward Snowden.

It is not known how many times the prestigious university has been attacked by the NSA but details shown to the Post by Snowden reveal that one of the most recent breaches was this January.

The information also showed that the attacks on Tsinghua University were intensive and concerted efforts. In one single day of January, at least 63 computers and servers in Tsinghua University have been hacked by the NSA.


There it is. Snowden went to China and gave a Chinese newspaper the individual servers the US is hacking in China.
Posted by arely staircase | Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:24 PM (202 replies)


Posted by arely staircase | Sun Apr 20, 2014, 02:13 PM (0 replies)

who to support in the Dem. primary for Prez in16. a good rule of thumb: applying the Buckley rule

Conservative icon William F Buckley once said that conservatives voting in GOP primaries should vote for the most conservative candidate who could actually win the general election. Replace the word conservative with progressive/liberal and it is a good idea for Dems. Who is electable is subjective, but if all dems followed it while applying their own elect ability standard it works. Then in the general vote for the most progressive plausibly electable candidate again.

Posted by arely staircase | Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:40 PM (6 replies)

Why America’s fired up about hemp

The once-maligned cannabis plant could herald an agricultural revolution, author Doug Fine tells Salon 

Hemp: It’s not just for health food smoothies and hippie clothing. The unintended victim of the United States’ prohibition on cannabis — it got swept up in theMarijuana Tax Act of 1937 and is now blacklisted by the DEA under the Controlled Substances Act — the plant is beginning to be seen by many as the solution to any number of the country’s problems, with implications ranging from energy to agriculture. Newly liberated (to an extent) by the recently passed Farm Bill, it could be the country’s next billion-dollar industry, journalist Doug Fine told Salon.

Posted by arely staircase | Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:02 PM (8 replies)

Boxes in Eddie's Garage: a DU challenge

First one to find anyone anywhere at anytime disparraging Edward Snowden for having boxes in his garage wins.
Posted by arely staircase | Sat Apr 19, 2014, 02:44 AM (98 replies)

are you being helpful or hurtful? nt

Posted by arely staircase | Fri Apr 18, 2014, 04:28 PM (14 replies)

five million

The number of Americans who could be covered under the ACA if it weren't for Republicans.
Posted by arely staircase | Fri Apr 18, 2014, 05:20 AM (4 replies)
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