When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tawana Brawley Story (video)

The Tawana Brawley Story: "Retro Report: In 1988, the nation learned the truth about the alleged crimes against Tawana Brawley, but the shocking story was far from over." Tawana Brawley, Al Sharpton (source: New York Times)


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chicago bond rating takes big hit

Chicago following Detroit--

Chicago bond rating takes big hit - chicagotribune.com: "Chicago's downgrade means that Moody's thinks it faces stronger financial head winds than most other big cities. Before this week, Chicago's credit rating was only one notch below that of New York and Los Angeles. Now Chicago is four investment grades below those cities and also trails other big and sometimes troubled Midwest cities such as Milwaukee and Cleveland. Chicago has four pension funds for its municipal employees, and as of the end of 2012 the city reported that collectively they were $19 billion short of the amount needed to cover future obligations, Moody's said. But the firm estimated the underfunding could be as high as $36 billion."


Monday, July 29, 2013

The US Secret Government against Democracy

Even the Economist is alarmed--

Secret government: America against democracy | The Economist: "None of the judges of the FISA court were vetted by Congress. They were appointed by a single unelected official: John Roberts, the chief justice of the Supreme Court. And then there's the fact that "the FISA court hears from only one side in the case—the government—and its findings are almost never made public." A court that is supreme, in the sense of having the final say, but where arguments are only ever submitted on behalf of the government, and whose judges are not subject to the approval of a democratic body, sounds a lot like the sort of thing authoritarian governments set up when they make a half-hearted attempt to create the appearance of the rule of law."

Kind of a "judicial theater"--though worse than the "security theater" we have to endure at airports--at least that is in the open and not in dark and secret chambers.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Obamacare Has Negative Impact on Jobs

Two-thirds say less likely to add new employees due to Obamacare--

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Survey on Impact of Obamacare on Corporate Hiring; Businesses Far More Pessimistic vs. March: "Sageworks surveyed 300 accounting professionals who work closely with [privately held] firms and found that 66 percent expect the new health care changes will make it less likely that businesses will add new employees in the next year. Sixteen percent said it would have “no impact,” and 14 percent of respondents said they were “unsure” about the ultimate impact. Only 2 percent said the Act makes it “more likely” that businesses will add new employees. "


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wait till Other Cities Follow Detroit in filing Chapter 9 Bankruptcy

We've not seen anything yet--

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Detroit Files Chapter 9 Bankruptcy; Oakland, LA, Others on Deck; Pension Promises vs. Bondholders in Spotlight; The Bright Side: "What's going to be a surprise . . . is when Oakland, LA, Houston, Baltimore, and numerous other cities declare bankruptcy to escape untenable pension and health-care promises. The Bright Side - Taxpayers should be fed up with ever-escalating property taxes, sales taxes, and fees to pay ridiculous retirement plans for unappreciative public union employees, especially police, fire, and teachers' unions." (read more at link above)


Friday, July 26, 2013

‘America has no functioning democracy’ – Jimmy Carter on NSA

‘America has no functioning democracy’ – Jimmy Carter on NSA — RT USA: " . . . "America has no functioning democracy at this moment," Carter said, according to Der Spiegel. He also believes the spying-scandal is undermining democracy around the world, as people become increasingly suspicious of US internet platforms, such as Google and Facebook. While such mediums have normally been associated with freedom of speech and have recently become a major driving force behind emerging democratic movements, fallout from the NSA spying scandal has dented their credibility. It’s not the first time Carter has criticized US intelligence policies. In a previous interview with CNN, he said the NSA leaks signified that “the invasion of human rights and American privacy has gone too far." He added that although Snowden violated US law, he may have ultimately done good for the country. "I think that the secrecy that has been surrounding this invasion of privacy has been excessive, so I think that the bringing of it to the public notice has probably been, in the long term, beneficial.". . ." (more at link above)


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Congress now realizes they've been played as fools by NSA and Obama administration

NSA warned to rein in surveillance as agency reveals even greater scope | World news | guardian.co.uk: "Congressman Ted Poe, a judge, said: "I hope as we move forward as a Congress we rein in the idea that it's OK to bruise the spirit of the constitution in the name of national security.". . .Congressman Spencer Bachus said he "was not aware at all" of the extent of the surveillance, since the NSA programs were primarily briefed to the intelligence committees of the House and Senate. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren revealed that an annual report provided to Congress by the government about the phone-records collection, something cited by intelligence officials as an example of their disclosures to Congress, is "less than a single page and not more than eight sentences"."

My only comment: "bruise" is too gentle of a word in this context.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Anthony Weiner, Carlos Danger, and Huma Abedin - Huma should be the one running for Mayor

OK, there has been plenty of salacious material published about Anthony a/k/a Carlos, so  I am not going there--if you are interested in commentary on that, I recommend the following New Yorker article. What I do recommend, for all concerned and New York City, is that Anthony drop out of the Mayor's race, and Huma Abedin run for political office (Anthony can be the "supportive spouse"). Having been a close adviser and trusted associate of Hillary Clinton, together with her other credentials, eminently qualifies her for any political office of her choice--Mayor of New York City, Congress, etc.

Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin Talk About His Sex Messages : The New Yorker: "The defense offered up by Anthony Weiner—or shall we call him Carlos Danger, a name he apparently chose for online encounters?—to revelations of new sex messages, sent to a woman not his wife, is as needy and scratchy as his entire presence on the political scene. It has two parts: first, that his wife, Huma Abedin, had forgiven him—and, indeed, she not only stood beside him at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon but offered words of support—and second, that he had told us this might happen. “I have said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have,” he said, a few hours after several of them, along with what purports to be a photograph he took of his genitals, appeared . . ."


What Mandela Means to South Africans (video)

What Mandela Means to South Africans: "Marcus Mabry of The Times talks to South Africans about what Nelson Mandela has meant to them, their country and the world."


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Zimmerman Verdict: Media Guilty Beyond A Reasonable Doubt

Whatever your take on the Zimmerman verdict, the mainstream media coverage has to be a new nadir in "journalism"--

The Zimmerman Verdict: Be Careful What You Wish For | Popehat: " . . . First, experience has taught me not to trust the news media, and therefore not to form confident opinions about the merits of a case based on what the media chooses to emphasize. The media in the Zimmerman case has been deceitful and sloppy. This is not a surprise. The media is good at advancing its chosen themes and bad at reporting accurately about complex legal proceedings like a criminal trial. The media rushes to judgment when a suspect or defendant "looks guilty," ignores or minimizes police and prosecutorial misconduct in order to preserve its relationships with sources (or does so because it has, despite its reputation for liberal bias, uncritically accepted law enforcement narratives and is content to act like the state's cheerleaders), obsesses over tawdry minutiae to the exclusion of substance, and remains lazy and/or defiantly ignorant and wrong about law. I have prosecuted and defended numerous cases that were covered by the media; I have never seen them get all of the details right, even on relatively straightforward matters. . . ." (read more at link above)


Monday, July 22, 2013

Worldwide Honey Bee Collapse Threatens All Human Life on Earth

Biologists have found over 150 different chemical residues in bee pollen, a deadly “pesticide cocktail” according to University of California apiculturist Eric Mussen. The chemical companies Bayer, Syngenta, BASF, Dow, DuPont and Monsanto shrug their shoulders at the systemic complexity, as if the mystery were too complicated. They advocate no change in pesticide policy. After all, selling poisons to the world’s farmers is profitable.(source infra)

Worldwide Honey Bee Collapse: A Lesson in Ecology | NationofChange: "Apis mellifera—the honey bee, native to Europe, Africa and Western Asia—is disappearing around the world. Signs of decline also appear now in the eastern honey bee, Apis cerana. This is no marginal species loss. Honey bees—wild and domestic—perform about 80 percent of all pollination worldwide. A single bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers each day. Grains are primarily pollinated by the wind, but the best and healthiest food—fruits, nuts and vegetables—are pollinated by bees. Seventy out of the top 100 human food crops, which supply about 90 percent of the world’s nutrition, are pollinated by bees."

This is an emergency -- but do you see anything being said or done?


Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Obamcare effect is real

Obamacare effect? Fewer full-time jobs; more part-time jobs (less than 30 hours per week); no health insurance provided by employers for part-time workers . . . .

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: "Win-Win" Situation for Employers to Not Offer Healthcare to Part-Time Employees; Now Ain't That Special?: "The peculiarities of Obamcare keep piling up. Here's the latest: Wegmans, a Rochester-based grocery store has decided to do something beneficial for its part-time employees, stop health care insurance. The reason? Employers and employees alike are better off if the employer does not offer health-care benefits to part-time employees. . . . (read more at link above)


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Congressional Oversight? What a Joke!

Congressional oversight? What a joke! Administration officials lie before Congress with impunity and obstruct Congressional Committees as a matter of course (see below).

The hearing joins other high-profile cases in recent weeks—including those involving the Internal Revenue Service, the National Security Agency, and the Justice Department—that have cast doubt on Congress’s ability to oversee federal agencies. (source infra)

Chairman: FBI Has ‘Chosen to Obstruct’ Oversight - Yahoo! News: "“It is unfortunate that the FBI has chosen to obstruct this committee’s oversight jurisdiction of events leading up to a terrorist attack,” he said. “This committee has specific questions related to our investigation of the Boston Marathon bombings, and the FBI refuses to answer those.”"


Friday, July 19, 2013

How the US government forces internet firms to "cooperate"

It's the old "cooperate or else" story--

How the U.S. forces Net firms to cooperate on surveillance | Politics and Law - CNET News: "Officially, Uncle Sam says it doesn't interfere. But behind the scenes, the feds have been trying to browbeat Internet firms into helping with surveillance demands. . . .Under federal law, the National Security Agency can serve real-time "electronic surveillance" orders on Internet companies for investigations related to terrorism or national security. These orders, authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, are used to feed data into the NSA's PRISM software program that was revealed last month by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden. PRISM documents indicate that the NSA can receive "real-time notifications" of user log-ins. Some Internet companies have reluctantly agreed to work with the government to conduct legally authorized surveillance on the theory that negotiations are less objectionable than the alternative . . . ." (read more at link above)


Thursday, July 18, 2013

US Media Amplifies Lies of US Government

One other unintended, good consequence of the Edward Snowden story is how it has revealed MSM (mainstream media) as a source of misinformation, unreliable, and whose purpose and role is apparently to amplify the lies of those "in authority"--

Edward Snowden: Russia, China Did Not Get Any Documents From Me: "It’s understandable for journalists to grant anonymity in order to get verifiable information or details that governments, agencies and companies cannot or will not provide publicly. But in granting anonymity to officials and experts to speculate about how Snowden interacted with Chinese and Russian authorities -- without evidence -- the media is amplifying the government’s arguments that he damaged national security, without any accountability. . . ." (read more at link above)


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Oliver Stone on NSA Spying (video)

Oliver Stone on NSA Spying: (published on July 10, 2013) - Some have claimed that Americans don't care about the revelations that the NSA is conducting massive surveillance on our private communications. But Oliver Stone isn't buying it. In a video produced with the ACLU, Director Oliver Stone shares some of his reflections on the NSA spying program and the disastrous legacy of unchecked government abuse of power. All Americans should stand up for our civil liberties at this critical moment in history, he says-- by asking our representatives in Congress to roll back the surveillance state. Sign the petition to Congress: https://www.aclu.org/secure/stopnsa?m...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

US Voters Say Snowden Is Whistleblower

Here's the sad fact about the NSA and its nefarious activities--there is no effective Congressional oversight and secret "rubber-stamp" courts are nothing more than "judicial theater" (ever hear of security theater?). The only effective oversight and check on NSA activities (and other illegal government acts)  are actions of conscience by people like Edward Snowden--

National (US) Poll - July 10, 2013 - U.S. Voters Say Snowden Is Whi | Quinnipiac University Connecticut: "American voters say 55 - 34 percent that Edward Snowden is a whistle-blower, rather than a traitor, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. In a massive shift in attitudes, voters say 45 - 40 percent the government's anti-terrorism efforts go too far restricting civil liberties, a reversal from a January 14, 2010, survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University when voters said 63 - 25 percent that such activities didn't go far enough to adequately protect the country. Almost every party, gender, income, education, age and income group regards Snowden as a whistle-blower rather than a traitor. . . . "


Monday, July 15, 2013

NSA and Snowden, what happened between May 20th and May 31st?

Nations Buying as *Hackers Sell Flaws in Computer Code - NYTimes.com"All over the world, from South Africa to South Korea, business is booming in what hackers call “zero days,” the coding flaws in software like Microsoft Windows that can give a buyer unfettered access to a computer and any business, agency or individual dependent on one."

Edward Snowden and the NSA files – timeline | World news | The Guardian: "20 May Edward Snowden, an employee of defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton at the National Security Agency, arrives in Hong Kong from Hawaii. He carries four laptop computers that enable him to gain access to some of the US government's most highly-classified secrets. 1 June Guardian journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill and documentary maker Laura Poitras fly from New York to Hong Kong. They meet Snowden in a Kowloon hotel after he identifies himself with a Rubik's cube and begin a week of interviews with their source. 5 June The Guardian publishes its first exclusive based on Snowden's leak, revealing a secret court order showing that the US government had forced the telecoms giant Verizon to hand over the phone records of millions of Americans. . . ."

Most people by now have heard of Edward Snowden. They may know of his 4 laptops which the Guardian says "enable him to gain access to some of the US government's most highly-classified secrets." I doubt that statement of the Guardian. There is no evidence that Edward Snowden is a hacker* (see story at the first link above). There is no evidence Snowden is able to access US classified networks and devices via the 4 laptops he is carrying with him.

"Hackers" in this context, are persons who are able to gain access to networks and network devices from "outside" the subject network, device, and organization. Contrast this with Snowden--he was easily able to access (without apparent detection) and download, at will, voluminous "classified/top secret" material of the NSA from "inside." Putting aside, for a moment, the gross incompetence of the NSA, there is no evidence that Snowden utilized ANY hacking skills or software to access the voluminous material he took with him. He simply used his authorized credentials, and was able to take anything he wanted.

Ever hear of ANY member of Congress (or Obama) asking NSA officials how they could run such a slipshod operation in view of the billions of taxpayer dollars spent wasted on the NSA since 9/11? The evidence, thus far, is that all the information Snowden is carrying and/or took with him while he worked for NSA contractor Booz Allen, he obtained from "inside" via thumb drives (a/k/a USB drives) plugged into computers and/or other network devices he had access to as an employee of Booz Allen working for the NSA.

So what was Snowden doing between May 20 and May 31 (other than line up interviews with the Guardian et al)? My best guess is he was transferring all the files he was carrying on his "4 laptops" to various cloud storage devices via network connections that Snowden thought were secure and/or unable to be tracked by US agencies. The NSA, CIA, and other US agencies had more than 10 days to apprehend Snowden in Hong Kong before his first interview was given. So what were they (NSA, CIA, et al) doing between May 20 and May 31st? Nobody's talking--except Snowden.

And so Snowden, even if he makes it to Venezuela or other asylum haven, has a serious long-term problem. He is not a skilled hacker. At best, he is only a semi-skilled amateur with idealistic motives (which is why the Chinese and Russians have no real interest in him other than brief exploitation of him for global political purposes). The information Snowden took will soon be "stale" and most, if not all, that information was already known by the Chinese, Russians, and others. Snowden's information (and similar information about Russian, Chinese, European et al, snooping)  was just not publicly acknowledged--that's against the rules of the game. If Snowden had been a real hacker with similar motives, he would have never left Hawaii, his cushy job, or his pole-dancing girlfriend. He would have taken the same information, undetected or without being tracked, by hacking the NSA and transferring it to Wikileaks anonymously.

As it is, Snowden's value to anyone other than the US DOJ, and the value of his information, is quickly dissipating. The bad news for the NSA (and other US government agencies), is that they will now become an increasing target for real hackers, foreign and domestic, some of whom will have the same idealistic views as Edward Snowden. The clumsy and inelegant response of the Obama administration and Congressional "defenders" of the NSA, the ineffective Congressional oversight of NSA and other agencies, and secret "rubber-stamp" FISA court, have all validated in the minds of many hackers the perception that the US government is just another "bad guy."  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

US Intelligence leaders seem to have lost their facility to think

The NSA's Costly European Adventure : The New Yorker: "America’s post-September 11th national-security state has become so well financed, so divided into secret compartments, so technically capable, so self-perpetuating, and so captured by profit-seeking contractors bidding on the next big idea about big-data mining that intelligence leaders seem to have lost their facility to think independently. Who is deciding what spying projects matter most and why?"


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Egypt Coup Big Blow For Muslim Brotherhood

Video - Egypt 'Coup' Big Blow For Muslim Brotherhood - WSJ.com: "The removal of Mohammed Morsi as Egyptian president will come as a big blow for the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been trying to gain power for decades. Charles Levinson looks at the fallout for the brotherhood both in Egypt and in other Middle East countries."


Friday, July 12, 2013

US Prison System Is Criminogenc

Criminogenic? It sounds bad, and is.

Our Prison System Is Our De Facto Mental Health Care System | In Their Own Words | Big Think: " . . . . Essentially, the problem is, in this country especially, we incarcerate everyone.  America has the highest incarceration rate in the world.  As far as the percentage of our population behind bars, we beat every other country in the world.  It’s a totally broken system because that's criminogenic, meaning it leads to more crime.  When you break somebody’s social circles and employment opportunities, you’re making it really likely they’re going to end up back there. There's so much more that we can be doing given the understanding we have of the biological basis of behavior.  We can help rehabilitate.  We can modulate sentencing in a rational way.  We don't have to treat everyone like . . . . " (read more at link above)


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Is the US Government trying to kill Silicon Valley?

As usual, government is more of a problem than an answer in most things--

Billions have been spent trying to replicate Silicon Valley, with little to show for it. | MIT Technology Review: " . . . The only serious challenge I see to Silicon Valley is, ironically, from the same government that once catalyzed its development. Silicon Valley is starved for talent. Restrictions on work visas prevent foreigners from filling its openings. The latest data indicate more than one million foreign workers on temporary work permits now waiting to become permanent residents. The visa shortage means some will have to leave, and others are getting frustrated and returning home. This brain drain could bleed the life out of Silicon Valley’s companies. Then indeed we will have real competitors emerging in places like New Delhi and Shanghai. But it won’t be because they discovered some recipe for innovation clusters that finally works. It will be because we exported the magic ingredient: smart people. . . . "


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why Secret Courts Have No Place in a Free Society

Secret Courts are anathema to a democracy, and have no place in any kind of civilized, free nation--and, notwithstanding our current Supreme Court, are unconstitutional under the framework of the US Constitution--particularly when "Congressional oversight" is a joke and "secret courts" are nothing but a "rubber-stamp"--

With the secret FISA court’s approval, the National Security Agency is collecting data not only on terrorism cases but also other foreign intelligence issues like nuclear proliferation and cyberattacks. (source infra)

In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A. - NYTimes.com: "In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say. . . ." (read more at link above)


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Obamacare Strikes: Part-Time Jobs Surge To All Time High; Full-Time Jobs Plunge By 240,000

Obamacare Strikes: Part-Time Jobs Surge To All Time High; Full-Time Jobs Plunge By 240,000 | Zero Hedge: "As a reminder: jobs have quantity and quality components. The quantity component was good enough to convince the 10 Year the taper is imminent (if not stocks, which continue to trade dislocated from any and all fundamentals). But how about the quality? In a word: not good. In June, the household survey reported that part-time jobs soared by 360,000 to 28,059,000 - an all time record high. Full time jobs? Down 240,000.  And looking back at the entire year, so far in 2013, just 130K Full-Time Jobs have been added, offset by a whopping 557K Part-Time jobs. And there is your jobs "quality" leading to today's market euphoria (if only for now)." (read more at link above)

And the mainstream media calls this good news!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Mainstream Media trying to dismiss IRS scandal

Our distorted "mainstream media" is working overtime for the Obama administration--will it work? Peggy Noonan isn't buying it--

Cover the IRS, Don't Cover for It - WSJ.com"The claim that they had been rested mostly on an unclear, undated, highly redacted and not at all dispositive few pages from a "historical" BOLO ("be on the lookout") list that apparently wasn't even in use between May 2010 and May 2012, when most of the IRS harassment of conservative groups occurred. The case isn't closed, no matter how many people try to slam it shut."(read more at link above)


Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Guardian readership exploding, scoops New York Times and Washington Post

The Guardian now passing the New York Times in readership online--Within a week of publishing the NSA files, The Guardian website has seen a 41 percent increase in U.S. desktop unique visitors (IP addresses loading the desktop site) and a 66 percent rise in mobile traffic. On June 10, for the first time in the paper's history, their U.S. traffic was higher than their UK traffic. (source infra)

The British Are Coming—and They've Brought Newspapers - Atlantic Mobile: " . . . The Guardian also has a reputation for solid investigative journalism. The NSA story isn't their first rodeo. They were one of three publications to work closely with WikiLeaks to process the mountains of data leaked by Bradley Manning in 2010. When Rupert Murdoch's vast tabloid the News of the World was finally caught phone-hacking, it was The Guardian that brought it down, doggedly fighting for the story for two years against a storm of legal threats and denials from News International . . . I ask Gibson what's coming up for Guardian US, when the Snowden dust finally settles. "We will add commentators, we will add reporting, we will add verticals, we will continue to grow, and we'll work with commercial partners and do tech and business and all the things that we want to be," she says. The publication is doubling down on its investigative presence in the States as well: Investigative journalist Paul Lewis is joining the paper's Washington bureau from the London office this month, and Nick Davies, the reporter whose two years of digging brought about the phone-hacking scandal, is joining the New York team later in the year. . . ."

This is all good news for US readers but probably bad news for legacy media in the US. Should the New York Times and Washington Post just admit they are trapped in the past and no longer relevant? For some reason, most American journalism has turned cowardly and views its role as PR shills for those in power.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Edward Snowden as a stateless refugee

There's currently a lot of US mainstream media "spin" obviously fed by irate US government sources--which appears to be completely without merit and baseless (for the record, so far, there is no evidence that Snowden either "worked with" or released information directly to China or Russia)--but speculation never stopped a smear campaign, particularly since we now have NSA and other government officials systemically lying before Congressional committees.

With the support of the Wikileaks organization, it's pretty clear Snowden is in a "secure transit zone" pending resolution of his application for asylum to Ecuador, Venezuela, or elsewhere--

Russia, China defend their conduct in Snowden saga - The Washington Post"Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Snowden had not actually crossed into Russian territory, apparently remaining in a secure transit zone inside the airport or in an area controlled by foreign diplomats. Moscow therefore has had no jurisdiction over his movements, Lavrov said, and has no legal right to turn him over to U.S. authorities."

As for the human rights record of countries that Snowden is now dealing with (after the US government revoked his passport and charged him criminally)--

Snowden made other asylum bids: WikiLeaks | SBS World News: "Julian Assange, on Monday insisted any country that helped Snowden should be applauded regardless of its human rights record. The Australian was asked by a BBC reporter about the "obvious irony" of seeking assistance from China, Russia and Ecuador given they didn't share WikiLeaks' values of privacy and freedom of speech. "I simply do not see the irony," Assange told a teleconference from the Ecuadorean embassy in London. "Any country which assists in upholding his rights must be applauded." Assange said it was a separate issue if countries didn't share the same values as WikiLeaks.  He turned the critique on its head by stating: "We do not criticise people for seeking refugee status in the United States despite its use of torture, drone strikes ... executive kill lists and so on." "No one is suggesting countries like Ecuador are engaged in those types of abuses," Assange said."

So where does Snowden go from here? My best guess is that Snowden is never coming back to the U.S. He has already given everything he has to Wikileaks, the Guardian or others, or given a "key" to a 3rd party which is to be given to those organizations in the event of his death or arrest, so they can access all of that information.  The US government seems to be annoyed, angry, frustrated, and scurrying around in a desperate attempt to apprehend Snowden and otherwise is stuck in "damage control" mode. There are probably a lot of people in Washington that have been busy in CYA moves. In the meantime, most of the world is watching this David vs Goliath story play out.


Friday, July 5, 2013

South Africa Anti-Obama (video)

Video - Anti-Obama Sentiments Fuel South African Protest - WSJ.comSeveral hundred protestors rallied in front of the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa on Friday (June 28). The so-called “NObama” protest came as the U.S. president was arriving in the country for a two-day visit. WSJ’s Mark Scheffler reports.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Greenwald and the Truth vs Washington "Spin" (video)

As leaker Snowden flees, defender and critics clash over national security risks - NBC Politics
Watch the video--notice how Guardian reporter Greenwald doesn't need a teleprompter like Obama. or "talking points" like Susan Rice (LOL) or "prepared scripts" like other US Government officials--when you are telling the truth you don't need teleprompters, talking points, or prepared scripts.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

NSA security "creepiness"

NSA and the creepiness of bureaucratic security creep--

N.S.A. Latest: The Secret History of Domestic Surveillance : The New Yorker: "In retrospect, what’s most notable about the order President Bush signed are the restrictions it contained. Originally, it lasted for just thirty days, and was limited to online communications in which at least one of the communicants was located outside the United States. Moreover, it was explicitly based on “the President’s determination that after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, an extraordinary emergency existed for national defense purposes.” Over time, though, the “extraordinary emergency” was deemed a permanent state of affairs, and the scope of the authorization was broadened until, eventually, it came to include even the collection of data from communications between American citizens located inside the United States."


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Demonizing Edward Snowden--when did the US media establishment become such cowards?

John Cassidy in the New Yorker "nails it"--

"It is easy to understand, though not to approve of, why Administration officials, who have been embarrassed by Snowden’s revelations, would seek to question his motives and exaggerate the damage he has done to national security . . . More unnerving is the way in which various members of the media have failed to challenge the official line." (source infra)

Demonizing Edward Snowden: Which Side Are You On? : The New Yorker: " . . . . journalists are meant to stick up for the underdog and irritate the powerful. On its side, the Obama Administration has the courts, the intelligence services, Congress, the diplomatic service, much of the media, and most of the American public. Snowden’s got Greenwald, a woman from Wikileaks, and a dodgy travel document from Ecuador. . . ." (read more at link above)

On the other hand, has the press been cowered into becoming nothing but an organ "mouthpiece" for the ruling party in the White House? In any event, if you live in the US and your sole source of news is "mainstream media," you are sorely misinformed. What is a real journalist? Sadly there are very few left in the US. Charlie Rose interviewed two real journalists recently. You can watch it here.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Google challenges US gag order, citing First Amendment

Nothing like having to petition a secret Court (renown for its "rubber-stamp" approval of all governmental requests) to assert the constitutional right of free speech--

Google challenges U.S. gag order, citing First Amendment - The Washington Post: "Google asked the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) on Tuesday to ease long-standing gag orders over data requests the court makes, arguing that the company has a constitutional right to speak about information it is forced to give the government. The legal filing, which invokes the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, is the latest move by the California-based tech giant to protect its reputation in the aftermath of news reports about broad National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance of Internet traffic. . . ."


The Big Picture

Financial Crisis - The Telegraph

JohnTheCrowd.com | The Sailing Website

Craig Newmark - craigconnects