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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 19,326

Journal Archives

Glenn Greenwald Speaks: Introduced by Jeremy Scahill at recent Socialist event.

GG is skyped into the event, as I assume he is laying low in an "undisclosed
location", for very good reasons. Glenn gets a hero's welcome, and a scathing
refreshingly courageous introduction by Jeremy Scahill.

Anyone trashing Glenn Greenwald needs to watch this, before continuing
absurd accusations that GG is a "Libertarian"; because he "comes out" here
on Skyp as "loving the energy" of the Socialist annual gathering. Gasp!

This video is an hour long, so BOOKMARK as needed, but please
allow Mr. Greenwald to speak for himself, rather than through the blind
eyes our .,01% Richest-owned-M$M. I'm only 8 minutes into this, and
my ears are already tingling.

This is some very important & timely footage, so it's highly recommended.

PLEASE kick & rec as inspired.

Esquire: Transcript of Zimmerman's 1st cop interview.."The Quote That Should End the Trayvon Trial"

Both truly revealing and more than a little disturbing. I've heard pieces of it, repeated
and attributed to Zimmerman, but this captures the conversational flow with this officer;
and his whole presentation is so utterly bogus, or it appears that way to me.


The Quote That Should End the Trayvon Trial
June 24, 2013 * Esquire Magazine * by John H. Richardson

George Zimmerman is going to be found guilty. All the evidence you need — all the evidence the cops needed — is right there in the interrogation they did with him three days after the shooting. The only thing more shocking than what Zimmerman says in the clip, which was released on the internet one year ago, is how little it has impressed the bloviating jerks who dominate the coverage of this trial.

Why did he follow Martin, a police officer asks.
“These assholes, they always get away,” Zimmerman answers.

The officer asks, “What’s behind that?”
“These people who victimize the neighborhood,” Zimmerman answers.

In Zimmerman’s angry mind, without trial or jury, even after he killed him and learned he was a 17-year-old who was legitimately staying in the complex, Martin was an "asshole victimizing the neighborhood".

The officer gets a little defensive at this point. “There was an arrest a week ago,” he points out, though it is also a gentle reminder that Zimmerman’s fear might be a tad misplaced. He continues, skeptically. "How was he running?" Zimmerman describes it and the officer says, “Sounds like he was running to get away... you jumped out of car to see which way he was running? That’s not fear … it’s going to be a problem.”

Then Zimmerman whispers something. “What is that you whispered?” the officer asks. “Fucking what?”
“Punks,” Zimmerman says.

An address? This may be the moment that will convict him.

MORE HERE> (if you can stomach it) http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/trayvon-martin-trial-quote-police-interview?src=soc_fcbks

TGI Fridays, Irish pubs & free Wi-Fi: Welcome to Edward Snowden's airport hideaway

"Comfortable" or not, I certainly wouldn't want to be Snowden stranded in this airport, having to elude detection, with so many pissed-off people looking for him. This "high-school drop out" has managed to stay a few steps ahead of capture, so far, at least.

I hope there is a way for him to stay safe, and settle somewhere "in excile". I heard Venezuela might take him in.


TGI Fridays, Irish pubs and free Wi-Fi: Welcome to Edward Snowden's airport hideaway
By Ghazi Balkiz and Marian Smith, NBC News

MOSCOW – If self-proclaimed NSA leaker Edward Snowden has the means, he might just be able to survive indefinitely in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport. Dozens of journalists have been looking for Snowden at the vast complex, but he hasn't been spotted since arriving in Russia from Hong Kong last weekend. Russian authorities say that he is in the airport's transit area -- the zone between the departure gate and formal entry into the country.

So what is his apparent new home like?

As it turns out, the old Soviet international terminal about 20 miles northwest of central Moscow is quite comfortable.
There are restaurants – from your relatively formal establishments to TGI Fridays and your run-of-the-mill fast-food joints like Burger King (although this one conveniently sells beer).

Local Russian cuisine and salads are available at the more traditional cafes. And there are plenty of coffee shops should the ever-elusive fugitive want to fuel up on caffeine before a flight to Havana, Cuba, or Quito, Ecuador on Russia's international airline Aeroflot. There are even a couple of Irish pubs, a medical center and of course, free Wi-Fi – no doubt essential for the digital desperado. If Snowden is looking to buy some clothes, options are limited but they do exist. He could splash out on expensive designer shirts or go budget and browse for souvenirs. He might even blend in as a tourist with a trusty Russian flag T-shirt.

Rooms at the Capsule Hotel in the transit area are available to rent for short stretches – a minimum of 4 hours for $70 – or for longer layovers. Obviously the longer you stay, the more you pay, so it could get rather pricey for someone seeking sanctuary. But at the very least Snowden could take a shower and nap for a few hours. Bathrooms in the terminal building are clean but the facilities are downright luxurious in business class lounges. In addition to eating and drinking for free, Snowden might help himself to shampoo, conditioner, body lotions, flip flops and a towel on his way to the shower.

Although the airport is vast, there are actually very few places to hide in Sheremetyevo's wide-open spaces. However, there is believed to be a VIP area that may have direct access to the tarmac for high-profile personalities and government officials. While Snowden’s whereabouts remain unknown-- he wouldn’t be the first person to log in some serious time in an airport terminal. Mehran Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian refugee, spent 17 years living in Charles de Gaulle airport when he was denied entry to France, but couldn’t go back to Iran. His story made the big screen when it was dramatized in the 2004 Steven Spielberg movie “The Terminal” starring Tom Hanks.

Snowden's diplomatic options would definitely have to dry up to top that.


Why is this tolerated by the public? It's a worsening & very disturbing trend.

Teenager Commits Suicide After Police Launch Social Media Campaign Against Him
When a teenager failed to appear in court on substance abuse charges, the police began
cyber-bulling him on Facebook.

Cops Shoot Family Dog Just Because
Police officers in a Chicago suburb sat in front of a home for 20 minutes, then without any
provocation shot the family dog.

Greenwald: Every Phone Call is Recorded and Stored-- A Globalized System Designed to Destroy Privacy

Greenwald: Every Phone Call is Recorded and Stored-- A Globalized System Designed to Destroy Privacy, includes video
6/29/2013 * OpEdNews * By Rob Kall

Glenn Greenwald, in a skyped in talk to the Socialism 2013 Conference, told the audience, for the first time, according to him, about his experience going through the process of encountering, interacting with Ed Snowden, at first anonymously, then seeing his first evidence that Snowden was the real deal. "It made me dizzy," he described.

Greenwald, who has been a regular at the conference for several years, told the audience that a bombshell he would soon be releasing was that "NSA can redirect to its storage one billion cell phone calls every thing day. They are storing every call and have the capability to listen to them... It is a globalized system designed to destroy all privacy--- with no accountabliity and no safeguards."

He described the debate about his journalism is " being led by TV actors who play the role of journalists on TV. "

Glenn discussed how the US military's banning of access to the Guardian, the paper he publishes with, at all military bases, was better than receiving a Pulitzer or any other journalism award. He cited David Halberstam, saying, "David Halberstam viewed the measure of good journalism by how much you anger the people in power."

Greenwald was introduced by fellow investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, who spoke before Greenwald. Scahill said, "What Glenn Greenwald has done in the past few weeks, with his reporting is to shake the foundations of power. " and, also, in Scahill's own talk, he said, "there already was a coup in this country. It happened a long time ago. It was when corporations took control."

Glenn talked at length about Edward Snowden. Here are some of the quotes from his talk. (They're from notes so some may be paraphrased. Check the video below for the verbatim wording.)

There's more to life than material comfort or career stability or trying to live as long as you can. He judged his life based on his beliefs and the actions he took in the face of those beliefs.

Snowden: Leasdership is about going first and setting an example for others.

There was never a moment, never an iota of remorse, regret or fear. This was an individual completely at peace with the choice that he'd made.

Snowden was inspired by Bradley manning.

Courage is contagious. If you take a courageous step as an individual, you will immediately effect the world because you will affect other individuals.

it doesn't matter who you are as an individual or how formidable or powerful the institutions you want to challenge are.

He is a person with zero power, zero prestige, zero privilege yet he has changed the world.

He stepped forward and made himself a target for the good of all of us.

He will set an example for other people to come forward and blow the whistle on the corrupt and illegal things.

We need to defend him and hold him up for the noble example that he is."

Here's the video of Greenwald below. This is almost an hour and worth every second. He is scathing about the mainstream media. So was Scahill. More tomorrow-- I'm on my way back to the Socialism 2013 conference. #s13 on twitter.

Source Link: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Greenwald-Every-Phone-Cal-by-Rob-Kall-130629-734.html

Op-Ed News: "The Dance of Consent"

The Dance of Consent
OpEdNews Op Eds 6/28/2013 at 06:15:53
By Philip Zack

Consent is a slippery thing. If you look inside, there's a little ball of trust. When you give your consent about something to a person, company or government, you are entrusting a portion of your power to them, with the unspoken understanding that they will honor that trust. Unfortunately, it doesn't always turn out that way.

I'm currently working on the 7th and final installment of a series of short stories that I began last year which explores the idea that any time you refrain from speaking out against an insult or injustice, the perpetrator gains a little confidence, and you lose it. (You can read these and my other stories here at OEN or on my WordPress blog.) By not speaking out, you consent to the perpetrator's actions, empowering them to go further the next time. This is the essence of how the world has come to be the way it is. Give them an inch, and they'll take a mile.

Anyone who has ever worked on a poorly controlled fixed-price project is aware of mission creep. You start off confident that you can accomplish what you had agreed to do in the time allotted, and within the budget that had been agreed to. But somewhere along the way, you're asked to do one small thing beyond the scope of the plan, and you accede to the request without renegotiating the cost of the work. You consent to the change because you trust your customer to honor the original agreement. You tell yourself that it's just one small thing, and let it go at that. But the damage has already been done. Your trust has already been violated. And because you have agreed to it, your customer becomes that much more confident that they can ask for another change, and then another, and another. Meanwhile, you have been diminished. Your own confidence has eroded, and you are less likely to object to their next request, simply because you had agreed to this one.

The art of negotiating is a dance of consent. In theory, each party attempts to get the other to consent to something beyond what they had initially agreed to, in exchange for ceding something else. In practice, however, one side often comes to the dance floor with more power than the other, and the dance becomes an assault. This is why negotiating with a company or a government is frequently a lost cause. They have more power than you do, and are confident that you will consent to a bad deal. But they got that power from us, and they can only keep it if we allow them to.

You can start by recognizing all of the ways in which you have ceded power to others, because they were each accomplished by getting your consent, and it's not always done consciously. For example, if you've ever created an account for using a website such as OEN, you have to agree to the terms of a contract that you are unlikely to ever read. If you trust that the people behind the site, like Rob Kall at OEN, will honor the trust that you have placed in his creation, then it's no big deal. But how many websites have you registered at where you don't know the intentions of the owners? You may get angry when you learn that a site turns around and sells information about you to other companies, but you consented to it blindly. And when they later ask for your consent to changes to that agreement, you blithely click your consent, without knowing what else you have agreed to.

But companies are not the only powerful entities that are collecting and using information about you. And that's where Edward Snowden drew the line, when he learned that the US government was violating the trust of its citizens by spying on them. Such spying was itself a violation of the contract that the citizens have with their government, the Constitution upon which that government was based. You're even being taken advantage of by the way it has been described by the government and parroted by the complicit media. Sure we were spying on you, they say, but we're only using 'metadata' -- the record of who you called, emailed and texted, and not the content of those messages. But the truth is that there's more value in knowing the network of connections that this metadata creates than there is in the written or spoken conversations themselves, because the network map tells them who the influential people are, and which ones are likely to cause trouble by spreading dissent. They're relying on your ignorance to protect their power over you.

Link To Read Remainder of Article:

Let's Be Clear, say Legal Experts, What NSA Is Doing Is 'Criminal'

Let's Be Clear, say Legal Experts, What NSA Is Doing Is 'Criminal'
In plainly worded NYT op-ed, a retort to claims that NSA programs pass Constitutional muster
Published on Friday, June 28, 2013 by Common Dreams * by Jon Queally, staff writer

Despite a vast selection of elected US officials from both parties and an outsized portion of the US media who have accepted the assurances from the Obama administration and the National Security Agency that the domestic spying programs revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden are someone "legal" under US statute, two legal scholars penned a sharply worded New York Times op-ed on Friday demanding better attention must be paid to the reality of what the disclosures truly show and that the programs be described as what they are: "criminal."

Jennifer Stisa Granick, director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, and law professor Christopher Jon Sprigman from the University of Virginia contend in their article, The Criminal NSA, that those supportive of government claims are simply "wrong" and that what we know about the programs is that they betray both "the letter and the spirit of federal law" designed to protect US citizens from government snooping of their private communications.

"No statute explicitly authorizes mass surveillance," they write.

"Through a series of legal contortions, the Obama administration has argued that Congress, since 9/11, intended to implicitly authorize mass surveillance. But this strategy mostly consists of wordplay, fear-mongering and a highly selective reading of the law. Americans deserve better from the White House — and from President Obama, who has seemingly forgotten the constitutional law he once taught."

Looking specifically at the two most damning revelations reported on by the Guardian newspaper so far—the vast collection of cell phone "metadata" from nearly all US citizens and the Prism program, which allows for vast collection of internet communication data from some of the online platforms most used by Americans—the two legal experts say that in both cases the NSA has employed "shockingly flimsy" legal arguments to defend their practices.

TO READ REMAINDER OF ARTICLE: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/06/28-5

The NYTimes article referenced here can be seen at this link:

I posted this NYTimes article yesterday, here:

NYTimes Op-Ed: "The Criminal N.S.A."

The Criminal N.S.A.
Published: June 27, 2013

THE twin revelations that telecom carriers have been secretly giving the National Security Agency information about Americans’ phone calls, and that the N.S.A. has been capturing e-mail and other private communications from Internet companies as part of a secret program called Prism, have not enraged most Americans. Lulled, perhaps, by the Obama administration’s claims that these “modest encroachments on privacy” were approved by Congress and by federal judges, public opinion quickly migrated from shock to “meh.”

It didn’t help that Congressional watchdogs — with a few exceptions, like Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky — have accepted the White House’s claims of legality. The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, have called the surveillance legal. So have liberal-leaning commentators like Hendrik Hertzberg and David Ignatius.

This view is wrong — and not only, or even mainly, because of the privacy issues raised by the American Civil Liberties Union and other critics. The two programs violate both the letter and the spirit of federal law. No statute explicitly authorizes mass surveillance. Through a series of legal contortions, the Obama administration has argued that Congress, since 9/11, intended to implicitly authorize mass surveillance. But this strategy mostly consists of wordplay, fear-mongering and a highly selective reading of the law. Americans deserve better from the White House — and from President Obama, who has seemingly forgotten the constitutional law he once taught.


Even in the fearful time when the Patriot Act was enacted, in October 2001, lawmakers never contemplated that Section 215 would be used for phone metadata, or for mass surveillance of any sort. Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., a Wisconsin Republican and one of the architects of the Patriot Act, and a man not known as a civil libertarian, has said that “Congress intended to allow the intelligence communities to access targeted information for specific investigations.” The N.S.A.’s demand for information about every American’s phone calls isn’t “targeted” at all — it’s a dragnet. “How can every call that every American makes or receives be relevant to a specific investigation?” Mr. Sensenbrenner has asked. The answer is simple: It’s not.

The government claims that under Section 215 it may seize all of our phone call information now because it might conceivably be relevant to an investigation at some later date, even if there is no particular reason to believe that any but a tiny fraction of the data collected might possibly be suspicious. That is a shockingly flimsy argument — any data might be “relevant” to an investigation eventually, if by “eventually” you mean “sometime before the end of time.” If all data is “relevant,” it makes a mockery of the already shaky concept of relevance.

~snip ~

Like the Patriot Act, the FISA Amendments Act gives the government very broad surveillance authority. And yet the Prism program appears to outstrip that authority. In particular, the government “may not intentionally acquire any communication as to which the sender and all intended recipients are known at the time of the acquisition to be located in the United States.”

Much More Here> http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/28/opinion/the-criminal-nsa.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&ref=opinion

a very good read imho.

Snowden M$M Coverage: If US Mass Media Were State-Controlled, Would They Look Any Different?

Snowden Coverage: If US Mass Media Were State-Controlled, Would They Look Any Different?
Published on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 by Common Dreams * authored by Jeff Cohen

The Edward Snowden leaks have revealed a U.S. corporate media system at war with independent journalism. Many of the same outlets—especially TV news—that missed the Wall Street meltdown and cheer-led the Iraq invasion have come to resemble state-controlled media outlets in their near-total identification with the government as it pursues the now 30-year-old whistleblower.

While an independent journalism system would be dissecting the impacts of NSA surveillance on privacy rights, and separating fact from fiction, U.S. news networks have obsessed on questions like: How much damage has Snowden caused? How can he be brought to justice?

Unfazed by polls showing that half of the American rabble—I mean, public—believe Snowden did a good thing by leaking documentation of NSA spying, TV news panels have usually excluded anyone who speaks for these millions of Americans. Although TV hosts and most panelists are not government officials, some have a penchant for speaking of the government with the pronoun “We.”

more: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/06/26-0

Open Letter to Snowden/Greenwald demonizers. Please make up your mind. Which is it?

Would you please make up your mind which of your two claims
is true, and which isn't; because they can't BOTH be true.

1) Oh, not this again. There's absolutely "nothing new" here, it's just
Greenwald getting his panties in a wad about nothing again.


2) Snowden is a traitor to his country for exposing uber-important classified
information that he should not have had access to in the first place. This is
causing huge repercussions "in the field" for intelligence agencies, etc. etc.

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