12.31.2010

David Horsey's 40 Favorite Cartoons

I really like David Horsey's cartoons. They remind me of the old Mad magazines. Here's his 40 favorite of 2010. Below are a couple i liked

David Horseys 40 Favorite Cartoons from 2010 | Photos from seattlepi.com

On government regulation,.. or lack of.


Americans do have short political memories.

Of course, the Right would say these industries were regulated and these incidents just prove that government can't do anything thing right. In reality the Right would be wrong because the regulators had been captured by the big money of very industries they were supposed to regulate and real regulation had ceased to exist.

To provide more evidence that government can't do anything right, the Left would want to put a new layer of regulation over the top of the existing, captured regulators increasing the size and cost of government which would be wrong because these new regulators would eventually be captured too, completing the "government sucks" circle.

An efficient government would fire the captured regulators, fix the laws that allowed the capture, reorganize the department so that it was really a regulator, throw the corrupt business leaders in jail (and maybe a few regulators too), dissolve the company, sell off its assets, and then hold a press conference to say that we're not putting up with this shit any more and this will be the standard operating procedure in this kind of case.

Americans might remember this.

tnb


--

On Americans.

I'd put the percentages closer to the following (from top to bottom), 10% have a clue, 35% don't and the rest don't care.

tnb

Libertarianism

A good post on libertarianism from The American Conservative.

The American Conservative -- Marxism of the Right

Here's a snippet.

... libertarianism has a naïve view of economics that seems to have stopped paying attention to the actual history of capitalism around 1880. There is not the space here to refute simplistic laissez faire, but note for now that the second-richest nation in the world, Japan, has one of the most regulated economies, while nations in which government has essentially lost control over economic life, like Russia, are hardly economic paradises. Legitimate criticism of over-regulation does not entail going to the opposite extreme.

Libertarian naïveté extends to politics. They often confuse the absence of government impingement upon freedom with freedom as such. But without a sufficiently strong state, individual freedom falls prey to other more powerful individuals. A weak state and a freedom-respecting state are not the same thing, as shown by many a chaotic Third-World tyranny.


tnb

Balkinization

Interesting post here: Balkinization

Top US economic strategists used to claim that offshoring didn't matter, as US citizens' superior productivity, technological skills, and education would attract high-value jobs to the country. Given America's massive failures in educational policy, we no longer hear much about the "high value" jobs that a global division of labor was supposed to deliver to us. Instead, we see ever higher unemployment and no plausible plan to keep decent jobs in the country, or to be sure that those that remain are paid decently. Andy Grove has also helpfully demonstrated the necessary connections between ongoing manufacturing capacity and research designed to make production better. As he puts it:

Startups are a wonderful thing, but they cannot by themselves increase tech employment. Equally important is what comes after that mythical moment of creation in the garage, as technology goes from prototype to mass production. This is the phase where companies scale up. They work out design details, figure out how to make things affordably, build factories, and hire people by the thousands. Scaling is hard work but necessary to make innovation matter. The scaling process is no longer happening in the U.S.

...

You could say, as many do, that shipping jobs overseas is no big deal because the high-value work—and much of the profits—remain in the U.S. That may well be so. But what kind of a society are we going to have if it consists of highly paid people doing high-value-added work—and masses of unemployed? . . . .

12.29.2010

Tucker Carlson vs Michael Vick

No More Mr Nice Blog: Tucker Carlson vs Michael Vick

Tucker Carlson stikes me as someone who might starve to death if he didn't have those family connections.

From Wikipedia....[Tucker Carlson]

Tucker Carlson is the elder son of Richard Warner Carlson, a former Los Angeles news anchor and U.S. ambassador to the Seychelles who was president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and director of Voice of America. His mother is Patricia Caroline Swanson (born 1945), former wife of Howard Feldman and an heiress to the Swanson food-conglomerate fortune. .... A great-uncle was Sen. J. William Fulbright.


tnb

Regulating the Internet

From a top link on Drudge.

Just 21% Want FCC to Regulate Internet, Most Fear Regulation Would Promote Political Agenda - Rasmussen Reports™

Rassmusen is known to provide manipulative polls and this seems to be just another propaganda piece. I expect the Propaganda Network will have it highly featured over the next couple of weeks.

Here are the questions they asked. I assume the 21% is the response to #2.

1* How closely have you followed stories about Internet neutrality issues?

2* Should the Federal Communications Commission regulate the Internet like it does radio and television?

3* What is the best way to protect those who use the Internet—more government regulation or more free market competition?

4* If the Federal Communications Commission is given the authority to regulate the Internet, will they use that power in an unbiased manner or will they use it to promote a political agenda?

More from the Rasmussen report.

The issue has attracted little public notice. Just 20% are following news of the net neutrality regulations Very Closely. Another 35% say they’re following it Somewhat Closely.

Most Americans (55%) continue to favor FCC regulation of radio and TV.

The latest results are similar to earlier data showing little support for FCC regulation of the Internet.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters say the government's most important role is to protect their individual rights. Twenty-four percent (24%) believe a government’s primary purpose is to ensure fairness and social justice, while 10% say it's to manage the economy.

But nearly half (48%) of American Adults see the government today as a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of those rights.

A lot of bad crap in this.

"nearly half (48%) of American Adults see the government today as a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of those rights". More than half don't see it as a problem. How many see big business or the super wealthy as a threat?

"Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters say the government's most important role is to protect their individual rights." but only 21% want the FCC regulating the Internet? They must not realize that if the FCC doesn't regulate the Internet, big business will and they will charge more for it.

"Most Americans (55%) continue to favor FCC regulation of radio and TV." They're OK with regulation of radio and TV but not the Internet? How the fuck can that be? All that regulation of radio and TV sure hasn't hurt Rush or O'Reilly's freedom much, now has it.

What sort of response would they get if you ask the question like this,....

"Should the internet providers like Comcast and Verizon be allowed to combine portions of the internet into channels and charge users for "channel packages" like they do with cable TV? A YouTube channel package might be 20$ a month, A news package another 5$. Add a local package for 5$ per computer. etc...

OR

should the FCC put regulations in place to prevent this "packaging of the internet", therfore allowing full internet access to everone for the cost of a single connection."

This was just a crappy poll designed to give the right-wing propaganda masters something to use. Why would Drudge lead with it?

tnb

12.24.2010

Wikileaks - Updates

The Wikileaks story continues to evolve. Early in the current round of Wikileaks dumps, Israel was basically happy about the leaks as there were no bad-Israel cables and there were several cables showing Arab states were also worried about Iran. There were rumors Israel had stuck a deal with Assange to withold any cables that were would show Israel in a bad light.

Here are a few of the "Israel sees Wikileaks as a good thing" posts.

Turkey says Israel behind Wikileaks

Wikileaks Makes it clear everybody hates Iran

Netanyahu: Wikileaks revelations were good for Israel

Here's a Wikileaks-Israeli-deal post.

Bloggers Claim Wikileaks struck a deal with Israel

This all changed in the last couple of days. There have now been rumors that cables which show Israel in a bad way are coming.

wikileaks to publish israel cables on second lebanon war and dubai assassination

There has also been a change in the attacks on Wikileaks.

Assange's Extremist employees

Holocaust- denying creep works for Wikileaks

Wikileaks jew hating staff

It sure didn't take long for the Anti-Semitism label to come out.

---

On another note, here is a good interview with Assange. He seems tired and scared but doen't come accross as an evil villian.

An Interview with Julian Assange.

---

12.23.2010

Net Neutrality

For those of you that listened to Bill Cunningham and Brian Anderson discuss Net Neutrality on WLW on December 22, 2010. Here is a very simple diagram that explains what "Net Neutrality" is really about.

The Open Internet

Basically, if the internet is left neutral or open, an ISP must allow access to all of the internet thru your ISP connection BUT,.. if we allow corporations to defeat Net Neutrality then the ISP will become like the cable company, charging you for each piece of the internet just like cable tv packages of today. YouTube might be 20$ a month, Facebook 10$, The Blogger Channel another 5$, a News and Weather package 10$, etc. The ISP and Big Media corporations will carve up the Internet, charge you for each portion you receive and have complete control over what is available. You'll pay more and you'll never see another Wikileaks.

Cunninngham and Anderson support the "Cable TV - Big Media" model but did want to admit that so they turned it into a "fairness doctrine" tirade that really made no sense. They were feeding their listeners a bunch of crap to support the very people that are the most dangerous to a free, open internet. The show was corporate propaganda at its finest.

I've said for years that it won't be government that kills the freedom of the Internet in America, it will be capitalism/greed.

tnb

News: Real vs Fake

Found here: Fox & Friends appalled that Daily Show gets 9/11 responders credit | Crooks and Liars



Gretchen Carlson on the Daily Show -- "I mean, people already think that his show is real news, which is a problem."

The Propaganda Network complaining that The Daily Show isn't a news show? Come on Gretchen,.... Most of what Fox does isn't news, its propaganda.

Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position. [Wikipedia]

That's pretty much the Fox News mission statement.

tnb

The Liberals Killed Jesus?

Found here: The Commander Guy's Post: Life Inside the Bubble – The Liberals Killed Jesus?

For three years He was unemployed, and never collected an unemployment check. Nevertheless, he completed all the work He needed to get done. He didn’t travel by private jet. He walked and sailed, and sometimes traveled on a donkey.

But they made Him walk when He was arrested and taken to jail, and no, He was not read any Miranda Rights. He was arrested for just being who He was and doing nothing wrong. And when they tried Him in court, He never said a mumbling word.

He didn’t have a lawyer, nor did He care about who judged Him.

His judge was a higher power.

The liberal court found Him guilty of false offences and sentenced Him to death, all because He changed the hearts and minds of men with an army of 12.

His death reset the clock of time.

Never before and not since has there ever been such a perfect conservative.

Via RedState contributor and Infotainer Hermann Cain

[Link to original at Redstate]

The religious right in this country is fucking crazy. If they ever get full control, this country will be a Christian version of Iran.

tnb

Wikileaks - Why we hate Assange?

A quote about terrorism from Julian Assange found here:

Assange: US pushing Digital McCarthyism in assault on Wikileaks - Boing Boing

Assange....
Well, let's look at the definition of terrorism. The definition of terrorism is a group that uses violence or the threat of violence for political ends. [W]hoever the terrorists are here, it's not us. But we see constant threats from people in the Re -- you know, Republicans in the Senate trying to make a -- a name for themselves, the people like Sarah Palin, top shock jocks on Fox and, unfortunately, some members, also, of the Democratic Party, calling for my assassination, calling for the illegal kidnapping of my staff. And -- and just a few days ago, it was in Fox, that was the phrase that was used -- illegal. He should be illegally murdered if necessary-- assassinated by the law, if possible, if not, illegally. What sort of message does that send about the rule of law in the United States? That is conducting violence in order to achieve a political end -- the elimination of this organization or the threat of violence to achieve a political end, the elimination of a publisher. And that is the definition of terrorism.

I'm amazed at the number of normally sane, intelligent, thoughtful people that think Assange is at fault here and that he should be prosecuted, kidnapped, or executed. I think part of the reason is that the citizens of the US have an amazing ability to never accept responsibility for anything, to always shift the blame when they or theirs is atacked,... "it wasn't my kids fault, it was the teacher, the principal, or the cop", "the ref's cheated us", "the liberals are destroying this country", "the republicans are destroying this country", etc. It's always someone else's fault. We've lost the ability to look objectively at the facts. Americans see Assange as a foreigner attacking "their" county,.. so he's wrong and he's the enemy, regardless of the facts.

tnb

12.22.2010

Cultural Ignorance

Joe Bageant: AMERICA: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUM?

Some highlites of a great rant....

... But throw in sixty years of television's mind puddling effects, and you end up with 24 million Americans watching Bristol Palin thrashing around on Dancing with the Stars, then watch her being interviewed with all seriousness on the networks as major news. The inescapable conclusion of half of heartland America is that her mama must certainly be presidential material, even if Bristol cannot dance. It ain't a pretty picture out there in Chattanooga and Keokuk.

The other half, the liberal half, concludes that Bristol's bad dancing is part of her spawn-of-the-Devil mama's plan to take over the country, and make millions in the process, not to mention make Tina Fey and Jon Stewart richer than they already are. That's a tall order for a squirrel brained woman who recently asked a black president to "refutiate" the NAACP (though I kinda like refutiate, myself). Cultural stupidity accounts for virtually every aspect of Sarah Palin, both as a person and a political icon. Which, come to think of it, may be a pretty good reason not to "misunderstimate" her. After all, we're still talking about her in both political camps. And the woman OWNS the Huffington Post, fer Christsake. Not to mention a franchise on cultural ignorance. ...

... "I may die early eating unidentified beef byproducts soaked in waste chemicals, but I'll die owning a 65-inch HDTV and a new five speed automatic Dodge Durango with a 5.7 L Hemi V8 under the hood!" ...

... Our hyper capitalist system, through command of our research, media and political institutions, expands upon and disseminates only that information which generates money and transactions. ...

... Which brings us to back to the question of cultural ignorance. For ten points, why was Julian Assange forced to do what the world press was supposed to be doing in the first place?

... Neither populist, nor authentic movement, the Tea Party may yet prove historic, however, by seriously fucking things up more than they already are. Spun entirely from manufactured spectacle (and thus void of cohesive political philosophy or internal logic), the Tea Party lurches across the political landscape bellowing at the cameras and collecting the victims of cultural ignorance in sort of a medieval idiots crusade. But to the American public, seeing the Tea Party on television is proof enough of relevancy and significance. After all, stuff doesn't get on TV unless it's important. ...

Good Job, Joe.

War on Christmas

Calamities of Nature - What Christmas Is All About

The War on Christmas - Peanuts

12.21.2010

The Propaganda Network

No More Mister Nice Blog has a nice post on a Fox Nation lie.

Here's the correct link to the story [link]

You just can't believe anything you see on The Propaganda Network. Everything is slanted to make Democrats look bad and Republicans look better.

Why We Need Bank Regulation

William K. Black: Congress Threatens to Sow the Seeds of Our Next Banking Crisis

Hint,.. It's because, despite what the Propaganda Network says,.. totally free markets don't really work.

tnb

Societal Panic II

Robert Reich (The Year Washington Became "Business Friendly")

About $61 of the $179 price goes to Japanese workers who make key iPhone components, $30 to German workers who supply other pieces, and $23 to South Korean workers who provide still others. Around $6 goes to the Chinese workers who assemble it. Most of the rest goes to workers elsewhere around the globe who make other bits.

Only about $11 of that iPhone goes to American workers, mostly researchers and designers.


This helps explain why we're in a "Societal Panic"

tnb

Societal Panic?

tax.com: Reasons, Rule and Riots: Our Societal Panic

On the surface, what's going on with tax policy in Washington right now seems crazy. A Democratic president whose enemies call him a socialist makes a deal with Republicans that sells out both his party and the very tax promises that won him the election, while Republicans leaders who say that debt is our overwhelming domestic problem insist on borrowing tens of billions of dollars to give tax savings to the richest among us. The polls, at the same time, show the public overwhelmingly favors ending tax cuts for high earners.

What we are witnessing, however, is much more profound than political, economic, or fiscal insanity. And it goes much deeper than disputes over whether extending temporary tax cuts for two years and long-term jobless benefits for 13 months is politically or economically smart. Those are mere manifestations of a much more pervasive problem.

America is in the grip of a full-blown societal panic. Crazy, irrational, contradictory ideas about tax policy are just the most obvious symptom.

Societal panics occur when the expectations and rules everyone has been accustomed to living under no longer work. They occur when some new force changes the rules of the game -- a force that may be easy to identify or invisible, but whose effects are far-reaching and unstoppable.

Sometimes that force comes from nature, sometimes from a discovery, sometimes from inventions of the human mind. But in every case throughout history, that force, like the waters pouring over Niagara Falls, cannot be stopped, although sometimes it can harnessed.

Because no one knows quite what to do when the old ways stop working, panic sets in, replacing reason. Crazy responses spread until an idea or a leader emerges, a new way to make sense of the change. The new leader is often the one who persuades people that it is better to live by new rules.

Humans have experienced societal panics time and time again. Sometimes they end in tragedy, sometimes in triumph. And those unexpected accidents of history often play a huge role in the outcome.


I agree. This is just part of a good post.

tnb

12.20.2010

Wikileaks - A Palestinian State?

KYL'S MEETING WITH PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU

Netanyahu said his government is reviewing Israel's
policy toward the Palestinians. There is a consensus in the
government and among 80% of the Israeli public that the
Palestinians should be able to govern themselves. The only
limits on Palestinian sovereignty would be elements that
affect Israel's security. A Palestinian state must be
demilitarized, without control over its air space and
electro-magnetic field, and without the power to enter into
treaties or control its borders.
Netanyahu concluded that he
and opposition leader Tzipi Livni "only disagree about the
name," i.e. the two-state solution.


A Palestinian state that "must be demilitarized, without control over its air space and
electro-magnetic field, and without the power to enter into treaties or control its borders" is not a state. This, in Netanyahu's own words, should be proof enough the Israelis aren't a serious partner in the peace process.

We need to cut all aid to the region.

tnb

12.19.2010

Worst anti-Semitic slurs of 2010

Helen Thomas' jibe tops list of worst anti-Semitic slurs of 2010 - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

These are the worst? It must have been a slow year,.... "anti-semite"-wise?

tnb

Bachmann lands slot on Intel panel

Bachmann lands slot on Intel panel - Jonathan Allen - POLITICO.com

This might be the first time the words "Rep. Michele Bachmann" and "intelligence" have been used in the same sentence. Well, at least without the words "lack of" also being included.

tnb

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Your Tax Dollars at Work Crooks and Liars

Crooks and Liars has a somewhat rambling post about how the recent Tax bill. A few highlights.....

On Inheritance tax.
  • There are very few farms or small businesses that are affected by it.
  • It saves the Walton family of Walmart fame billions.
  • It saves other super rich families billions.
  • It does nothing for the vast majority of Americans.
On Income taxes.
  • Obama and the democrats wanted to let the tax cuts expire, raising the top rate 3% for those making over 250,000 but the republicans fought it and won. The republican argument is that higher rates would hurt small businesses and the economic recovery and that the 250,000 amount was too low.
  • Though 250,000 may sound like a "low" number to rich folk. If the rates were to increase 3% the first 250,000 of income would still be taxed at the old rate only amounts over 250,000 would see an increase. An income of 350,000 in a year would pay an additional 3,000$... BFD...
  • Median household income in the US in 2008 was $52,029. 50% of all households make less than that. [link]
  • These tax cuts have been in effect for several years now and it doesn't look like they've help the economy all that much. Maybe we should re-evaluate the "cut taxes for the rich to stimulate the economy" strategy.
  • There really aren't many "small businesses" that have income's over $250,000
  • The top Income tax rates are lower than they've been in 75 years.

 The super rich need to pay more.

tnb

12.18.2010

Fed Debit Card Fee Rule

Rep. Frank critical of Fed debit card fee rule | Reuters

The credit card market reminds me of our healthcare markets. The true cost of the service is hidden from the buyer so there are no mechanisms to allow the market to work toward efficiency and both are captured by the current players, with everyone trying to wring as much profit from the system as possible.

The healthcare market has many incentives to increase costs but few to reduce them. The employer pays for the insurance and the insurance company pays for the health care so the buyer will use healthcare whether they need it or not and they won't look for the best deal. The provider doesn't have to worry about cutting operating costs to be competitive with other providers and the insurance company is just a parasite in the system with their profits adding to the overall cost.

The insurance companies and health care providers battle over the profits of the system with both lobbying for regulatory changes that help funnel more of those profits into their respective pockets.

If you had to pay cash for that appendectomy, you'd be shopping around for the best price, health providers would be running their ship like a real business and the insurance company employees would be working in some other industry. The country's overall health costs would be lower. The market would be efficient. Of course people who couldn't afford health care would be dying in the streets so a free market is not a viable answer in this case BUT,.. the current system with it's misdirected encentives is not ever going to reduce costs by any significant amount.

The true cost of credit card purchases are also hidden from the user since most people do not have any sense of the true cost of the interest fees they pay, the cards allow/encourage over spending which raises prices by increasing demand accross the board, and all the processing fees are hidden in the cost of the item.

The banks and Visa/Mastercard (again the banks) have the markets locked up preventing efficiency and they own enough members of our government to prevent any real change in the system. The profits keep rolling in.

In both industries, the market is far from free, the total costs are more than necessary hurtiong consumers and the profits of those at the top are excessive.

Of course the extra costs of these systems, the healthcare provider, insurance companies and bank profits, could be returned to the economy but for some reason our leaders think think rich people shouldn't have to pay more taxes.

Here are a few links about credit card processing:

Interchange fees

Visa, Mastercard, and the FED

Interchange fees

tnb

12.17.2010

Blackwater killings: 'US at fault'

Blackwater killings: 'US at fault' - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Lawyers for the company, now known as Xe Services, argued in court on Thursday that Blackwater contractors were essentially acting as employees of the US government because they were providing security to State Department personnel.

You hear a lot about privatizing services in the talk about reducing the size of government. Let private industry handle student loans, road maintenance, pay private schools with government vouchers, let the banks fuel a housing bubble, etc.

Well, here's a good example of what happens when government services are turned over to private companies. The private company takes the profits and at the first hint of trouble, blames the government.

The profits are distributed to the owners.

The losses are distributed to the taxpayers.

tnb

Ark Theme Park

Pharyngula takes on the Ark Theme Park here:

Pharyngula - Latest Ark News

There is some faint concern from the Kentucky governor that the Ark theme park will discriminate in hiring — I doubt that it will become a major sticking point. But still, it's true, they will be selective in their hiring based on religious belief. They say that isn't true, but one thing we know about creationists is that they lie.
"There will be positions that will require Bible knowledge because...we have certain things in there that are requiring biblical knowledge," he explains. "That doesn't mean, though, if you don't have that you can't work over in the restaurant or some other part of the facility."
Oh. Since atheists tend to know more about religion and the Bible than Christians, can we expect a larger proportion of them to show up in those jobs requiring biblical knowledge? No. Because they have a requirement that people sign a testimonial of their faith, which means they're actually going to discriminate on the basis of whether you agree with them or not.
....

I guess they can hire who they want, religious idiots rather than athiest who know the bible better, as long as they pay taxes and get no government support.

tnb

12.15.2010

Wikileaks - Richmond Indiana

This Wikileak cable mentions the killing of Dan Mitrione.

I guess the government of Uruguay was pressing the US for information about an unsolved poisoning-via-wine case from 1978 and the US responded by bringing up the also unsolved killing of Dan Mitrione in 1970. It sure sounds like we knew something about the poisoning via wine.

Case of Killing via Wine

In August 1978, Senator Carlos Julio Pereyra
(Chairman of the House of Representatives), Senator Mario
Heber and Representative Luis Alberto Lacalle (later
President of the Republic), each received a bottle of white
wine wrapped in blue paper from an unknown source. The three
democratically-elected congressmen belonged to the National
(Blanco) party. As was discovered later, the three wine
bottles contained a powerful poison. While none of the
congressmen touched the wine, Mrs. Fontana de Heber (the wife
of Senator Heber) drank some of it and subsequently died. The
perpetrators of the crime were never identified. When the
Frente Amplio party assumed power in 2005, it promised to
account for all human rights abuses committed during the
dictatorship period. Since then, the Blancos have complained
that the FA has only pursued cases connected to its members
and its sympathizers.

¶4. (C) A similar letter to POTUS and FOIA requests were made
by a group of Uruguayan deputies last year regarding the
poison wine case. The State Department declassified some
documents related to the case. The CIA did not, citing
concerns about the compromise of sources and methods. Many
Uruguayans remain unsatisfied with the USG response and are
convinced that the USG possesses useful information about the
death of Mrs. Heber.

The Mitrione cable is here: Cable Viewer

We are keeping our fingers crossed that the
poisoned wine case has definitively been laid to rest. The
excellent work at the NSC and the Department of State
persuaded our interlocutors that we take President Vazquez'
requests and his relationship with President Bush seriously,
even though we know that Vazquez was prompted to do so for
domestic political reasons. Finally, the Ambassador raised
the Mitrione case as a pushback on the poisoned wine case.

More about Mitrione here: Dan Mitrione. He doesn't sound like a very nice guy.

The OPS had been helping the local police since 1965, providing them with weapons and training. It is claimed that torture had already been practiced since the 1960s, but Dan Mitrione was reportedly the man who made it routine.[6] He is quoted as having said once: "The precise pain, in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect."[7] Former Uruguayan police officials and CIA operatives claimed Mitrione had taught torture techniques to Uruguayan police in the cellar of his Montevideo home, including the use of electrical shocks delivered to his victims' mouths and genitals.[8] He also helped train foreign police agents in the United States in the context of the Cold War. It has been alleged that he used homeless people for training purposes, who were allegedly executed once they had served their purpose.[9]

Cool to see a leak with a local connection though.

tnb

Wikileaks - Mastercard-Visa Update

Funding illegal Israeli settlements? Priceless. | Crikey

Mastercard and VISA will help fund internationally condemned, illegal settlements on stolen land but will not support freedom of the press via Wikileaks.

tnb

The Propaganda Network

FOXLEAKS: Fox boss ordered staff to cast doubt on climate science | Media Matters for America

The propaganda network was slanting the news, imagine that!?

tnb

Protests: The US vs France

Most Americans, especially the Propaganda Network Watchers think the european's are spineless, weak, socialist, slacker weenies. This GinAndTacos posts points out that we may be the true weenies.

ginandtacos.com

... When the Greek government announced its "austerity" measures over the summer, riots broke out across the nation. The mere suggestion that the retirement age in France would be upped to 62 led to riots in Paris (a regular occurrence, it seems). In the U.S. we sit with our thumbs in our asses as they propose pushing it to nearly 70. And then we vote for the people who will make it happen, because the power structure has only our best interests at heart. Awfully ungrateful of you to criticize our benevolent ruling class.

Wkileaks - How the People Feel

or better yet,... WHY the people feel...

Hullabaloo

Why wouldn't they think this since virtually everyone on TV, including journalists, is acting as if telling the truth about the US Government, even when it's done in league with reputable newspapers, is going to kill us all in our beds? It's not as if they are being told the truth --- even about that.

Statistics and Julian Assange

A Bayesian Take on Julian Assange - NYTimes.com

There is virtually no chance that the case against Mr. Assange would have proceeded in quite the same manner if he were instead an itinerant painter named Jens Andersen, or a traveling salesman named John Andrews — instead of an internationally renowned provocateur. Indeed, the charges might not have been brought against Mr. Assange in the first place. Sweden has among the highest rates of reported rape cases in the European Union. But unfortunately, few cases are brought to trial (only between 10 and 20 percent, according to various reports), and fewer still result in convictions.

That alone might not tell us much. There are other ways, however, in which the behavior of the authorities has been quite unusual.

The initial warrant in the case against Mr. Assange had been issued in August. But it was revoked the next day, due to what the lead prosecutor cited as a lack of evidence. It was only last month – just as WikiLeaks was preparing to release a set of confidential diplomatic cables – that Sweden again issued a warrant to detain him.

After turning himself in to the authorities in London, Mr. Assange was initially denied bail (although he has since been awarded it) — which is particularly unusual given that Swedish authorities have still not formally charged him with a crime, but merely want to bring him in for questioning. Most unusually still, Sweden had issued an Interpol red alert for Mr. Assange’s arrest, something they have done for only one other person this year accused of a sex crime: Jan Christer Wallenkurtz, who is suspected of multiple cases of sexual assault against children.

The handling of the case has been highly irregular from the start, in ways that would seem to make clear that the motivation for bringing the charges is political.

Does that mean, however, that the underlying charges themselves are spurious, trumped up, outright false, or otherwise dubious? (Some have speculated, for instance, that Mr. Assange may have been entrapped.) No, not for certain, of course — but it does have an impact on the probabilities.

Rape and Julian Assange

Naomi Wolf: J'Accuse: Sweden, Britain, and Interpol Insult Rape Victims Worldwide

How do I know that Interpol, Britain and Sweden's treatment of Julian Assange is a form of theater? Because I know what happens in rape accusations against men that don't involve the embarrassing of powerful governments.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in solitary confinement in Wandsworth prison in advance of questioning on state charges of sexual molestation. Lots of people have opinions about the charges. But I increasingly believe that only those of us who have spent years working with rape and sexual assault survivors worldwide, and know the standard legal response to sex crime accusations, fully understand what a travesty this situation is against those who have to live through how sex crime charges are ordinarily handled -- and what a deep, even nauseating insult this situation is to survivors of rape and sexual assault worldwide.

Here is what I mean: men are pretty much never treated the way Assange is being treated in the face of sex crime charges.

12.13.2010

GinAndTacos: LAW OF THE JUNGLE

ginandtacos.com » Blog Archive » LAW OF THE JUNGLE

...

Every prey animal has some kind of defensive adaptation. When the Big Cat attacks the herd of antelope, they scatter in different directions. It's not a terrible plan. The lion can only chase (and potentially eat) one of them. Being a smart predator, she chases the most vulnerable ones. So the young and the old get eaten and, hey, fuck 'em. The old are useless and the young ones who aren't smart enough to escape are better weeded out of the herd. The problem, of course, is that eventually every antelope becomes the one that isn't fast enough to run away. It's only a matter of time until all of them meet the same fate when they're too old to be useful anymore.

The water buffalo isn't fast enough to run away. They get into that sweet little defensive circle (adults outside, the young and old inside). When the lion comes looking she has to think a bit harder; how hungry am I? There are a lot of them and those horns look pretty sharp. I might be able to get one, but is it worth the risk? It would be so easy if there was some way to make them scatter. Ah, crap. Looks like they're going to stick together. Where are the antelope?

Social Darwinism and the "life is like the jungle" attitude that are so pervasive in our society have a single purpose: to convince you that you are an antelope. The only thing you can do is run away. You'll be OK so long as there are other people around who are even more vulnerable. You could try to stop them, but why? Every time they eat the poor, the geezers, and the kids who are defenseless, you live another day. Don't try holding your ground against the big, strong predator. Don't stick together or they'll eat all of you.

Just imagine how much different our politics and society would be if we were less eager to say "As long as they're eating someone else, I don't care" and more apt to get in a big group and ask the lion if it feels lucky.


GinAndTacos... one of the best daily blogs out there.

tnb

Our Corporate Overlords

How recently elected officials are bought.

ThinkProgress » Banks Gave Heavily To Scott Brown As He Watered Down Financial Reform

From mid-June until the Fourth of July, according to a Globe analysis of his campaign finance reports, the Massachusetts senator took in $140,000 from banks and investment firms and their executives, including companies based in the state, such as MassMutual and State Street Corp. That is 400 percent more than the $28,000 received on average by all Republican senators during the same three weeks.

As the money poured in, Brown and his Senate staff were working both publicly and behind the scenes to scuttle $19 billion in fees on the financial industry that would have paid for part of the regulatory overhaul, and to weaken a provision intended to curb certain types of investment activities by banks and insurance companies.


Government of the Corporation, by the Corporation, for the Corporation.

tnb

Israel - Palestine

Netanyahu welcomes talks with U.S. on core Mideast issues - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

To reach peace, we have to discuss the issues that are truly delaying peace ... I welcome the fact that we will now begin discussing these issues and try to narrow gaps," Netanyahu said in a speech to an economic forum, hours before a U.S. envoy George Mitchell was due to arrive in Israel.

...

In the speech, Netanyahu cited issues such as his demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, security arrangements and the future of Palestinian refugees. ...


So what about those peksy settlements on that stolen land?

tnb

12.11.2010

Wikileaks - Today

Three related commentaries on our Corporate Media vs Wikileaks.

Gleen Greenwald takes on TIME

Jay Rosen - Links the NY Times Iraq War propaganda from 2002 to Wikileaks.

EmptyWheel comments on the Corporate Media's ability to be Judge, Jury and Executioner.

And a couple on the MASTERCARD - VISA attacks

The Guardian see the Anonymous attacks on our corporate overlords as ...the cyber equivalent of non-violent action or civil disobedience.

... The hacktivists of Anonymous may be accused of many things – such as immaturity or being run by a herd instinct. But theirs is the cyber equivalent of non-violent action or civil disobedience. It disrupts rather than damages. In challenging the credit card companies and the web hosts in this way, they are reminding these businesses that their brand reputation relies not only on how the state department sees them, but also on how they maintain their independence in the eyes of their users. ...

And sees it as damned important

... In times when big business and governments attempt to monitor and control everything, there is a need as never before for an internet that remains a free and universal form of communication. WikiLeaks chief crime has been to speak truth to power. What is at stake is nothing less than the freedom of the internet. All the rest is a sideshow distracting attention from the real battle that is being fought. We should all keep focus on the true target.

Political Irony has another take on Mastercard and Visa

The Real Enemy

I’ve got confirmed today that I am capable of supporting Al-Qaeda, Ku Klux Klan, buy weapons, drugs and all sorts of pornography with a VISA card. But that’s not being investigated. Instead I can not support a humanitarian organisation fighting for the freedom of speech.

This quote from the founder of Datacell, the Icelandic company that processes credit and debit card donations to WikiLeaks, points out the absolutely stunning hypocrisy of companies like Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, and Amazon.com who suddenly stopped doing business with WikiLeaks, while continuing to do business with other organizations that clearly violate their sacred terms of service.

Interestingly, after WikiLeaks’ website got kicked off of Amazon they moved to French hosting provider OVH. But when the French government demanded that OVH stop hosting WikiLeaks, instead of meekly complying, the company asked the courts what to do. The courts ruled that the French government has to actually, you know, prove that WikiLeaks broke the law before trying to intimidate private companies into dropping them.

I guess this means that Muslims can stop hating us because because of our freedoms!

I do have to mention that Twitter and Facebook have so far continued to keep WikiLeaks as members. And if you still want to donate money to WikiLeaks, at least one US company will process donations to them, saying “While people may or may not agree with WikiLeaks, we at XIPWIRE believe that anyone who wishes to support the organization through a donation should be able to do so. We’re fully aware that not everyone likes what Wikileaks is. But we are prepared to accept the consequences.”

The story, in the US at least, has become about Wikileaks, the Media, transparency, and corporate-government oppression rather than the leaks themselves.

tnb

12.09.2010

Amazon Cloud Withstands WikiLeaks Attack

Amazon Cloud Withstands WikiLeaks Attack -- InformationWeek

This is a headline The Propaganda Network (FoxNews) or Drudge would be proud of.

Wikileaks is NOT attacking Amazon. As far as I know, Wikileaks has not attacked anyone or asked anyone else to attack anyone. They are not responsible for these attacks. The headline is mis-leading at best, a blatant lie at worst.

tnb

Fox News Slants the news?

The Propaganda Network caught red-hamded.

Leaked email shows Fox News boss tried to slant news | Video Cafe

WikiLeaks - Cyberwar

'Hactivists' wage war for WikiLeaks - Europe - Al Jazeera English

The cyberwar began after MasterCard, PayPal, Visa and a Swiss bank blocked payments to WikiLeaks, which runs on donations. These companies, along with Amazon, which banned WikiLeaks from using its servers, are thought to have given in on a US pressure.
I disagree with this. The Cyberwar began in the early days of the releases when there were reports that the Wikileaks site was under attack. The US government was the prime suspect at that time. Then Amazon, Paypal, the DNS provider, Mastercard and Visa hit Wikileaks. I would call these attacks, as they were an attempt to stop or shutdown Wikileaks. These were the first shots. That is when the Cyberwar began.

The Hackers are just responding.

tnb

Hackers hit America's Favorites

'Anonymous' hackers hit Visa, Mastercard and Sarah Palin in WikiLeaks revenge | The Australian

This will piss Americans off. Visa, Mastercard and Sarah Palin,... those have been America's three favorite things the last few years.

If they attack Fox news, Rush Limbaugh and a couple of religious sites the teabaggers will want to nuke somebody.

tnb

Wikileaks - First 10 Days

Key Points in the First 10 days

tnb

What you can buy with Food Stamps

Tucker Carlson doesn't like food stamps.

Tucker Carlson, Class(less) Act | Crooks and Liars

Of course Tucker is American Royalty so would never have to worry about where his next meal is coming from, it's coming from his wealthy family.

Tucker Carlson - American Royalty

Hell, Tuckers family probably made a lot of money from food stamps. I'll bet the program has bought a lot of Swanson products during its lifetime.

tnb

Israel - Palestine

Israel says "screw peace! We want more settlements on that stolen land. Thanks America!

Israelis Jettison Peace Talks in Favor of Massive Land Theft; Brazil, Argentina Recognize Palestinian State | Informed Comment

The US says "Yeah, Baby!", here's $250 million more to help protect you from those you're stealing from.

250 million for anti-rocket system

tnb

Wikileaks - Today

Found on Boing Boing Here: More than 1000 Wikileaks mirror sites spring up in a week - Boing Boing


Better Reporting found here: ForeignPolicy - Wikileaked

tnb

Robert Reich: Making Sense

From Robert Reich (Why the Tax Deal Confirms the Republican Worldview)

... Americans want to know what happened to the economy and how to fix it. At least Republicans have a story – the same one they’ve been flogging for thirty years. The bad economy is big government’s fault and the solution is to shrink government.

Here’s the real story. For three decades, an increasing share of the benefits of economic growth have gone to the top 1 percent. Thirty years ago, the top got 9 percent of total income. Not they take in almost a quarter. Meanwhile, the earnings of the typical worker have barely budged.

The vast middle class no longer has the purchasing power to keep the economy going. (The rich spend a much lower portion of their incomes.) The crisis was averted before now only because middle-class families found ways to keep spending more than they took in – by women going into paid work, by working longer hours, and finally by using their homes as collateral to borrow. But when the housing bubble burst, the game was up.

The solution is to reorganize the economy so the benefits of growth are more widely shared. Exempt the first $20,000 of income from payroll taxes, and apply payroll taxes to incomes over $250,000. Extend Medicare to all. Extend the Earned Income Tax Credit all the way up through families earning $50,000. Make higher education free to families that now can’t afford it. Rehire teachers. Repair and rebuild our infrastructure. Create a new WPA to put the unemployed back to work.

Pay for this by raising marginal income taxes on millionaires (under Eisenhower, the highest marginal rate was 91 percent, and the economy flourished). A millionaire marginal tax of 70 percent would eliminate the nation’s future budget deficit. In addition, impose a small tax on all financial transactions (even a tiny one — one half of one percent — would bring in $200 billion a year, enough to rehire every teacher who’s been laid off as well as provide universal pre-school for all toddlers). Promote unions for low-wage workers. ...

12.08.2010

Wikileaks - You won't see this in the US Meida

BBC News - PayPal says it stopped Wikileaks payments on US letter

WikiLeaks - Russia - Visa and MasterCard

WikiLeaks cables: US 'lobbied Russia on behalf of Visa and MasterCard' | World news | guardian.co.uk

... government of the corporation, by the corporation and for the corporation....

tnb

The Tea Party

The Fourth Tea Party – Colorado Tenth Amendment Center

I've always thought most of the teabaggers were a little crazy, actually some are crazy, some are stupid, some are just being misled but these guys, they are just fucking crazy.

They've managed to set the teaparty up as a direct descendant of biblical crap. According to this the first teaparty movement was after the death of Solomon, the second was led by Jesus, the third was the Boston Tea Party, and the fourth is our current group of wacko's. Amazing.....

tnb

CYBERWAR

CYBERWAR: Now Hackers Have Taken Down Mastercard.com As Revenge For Julian Assange

Wow. The first cyberwar. I'll bet most people thought the first would be between countries but instead its more of a "revolution" pitting the ruled against their rulers.

On another note: It looks like there's almost a total Wikileaks blackout on the main news sites CNN, FOX and MSNBC. The only Wikileaks stories are about Assange's arrest.

Life in Gaza

Entering Gaza. Nice Wall eh? How would staring at this everyday make you feel?




From: Israel allows more exports from Gaza to West Bank and abroad - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

12.07.2010

Ironic

U.S. to Host World Press Freedom Day in 2011

Announced in the same week the US is trying to shut down freedom of the press with the persecution of Wikileaks.

Simply fucking amazing....

tnb

The WikiLeaks wake up call

The WikiLeaks wake up call - Opinion from Al Jazeera

John Naughton: The WikiLeaks wake up call

Will a backlash against the WikiLeaks phenomenon have significant implications for the future of the Internet?

The current row over the latest WikiLeaks trove of classified US diplomatic cables has four sobering implications.

The first is that it represents the first really sustained confrontation between the established order and the culture of the Net.

As the backlash unfolds - first with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on ISPs hosting WikiLeaks, later with companies like Amazon and eBay/PayPal suddenly withdrawing services to WikiLeaks and then with the US government attempting to intimidate Columbia students from posting updates about WikiLeaks on Facebook - the intolerance of the old order is emerging from the rosy mist in which it has hitherto been obscured.

The response is vicious, co-ordinated and potentially comprehensive, and it contains hard lessons for everyone who cares about democracy and about the future of the Net.

There is a delicious irony in the fact that it is now the so-called 'liberal' democracies that are desperate to shut WikiLeaks down. Consider, for example, how the views of the US administration have changed in just a year. On January 21 last year, Hilary Clinton, US secretary of state, made a landmark speech about Internet freedom in Washington DC which many observers interpreted as a rebuke to China for its alleged cyberattack on Google.

"Information has never been so free", declared Mrs Clinton. "Even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable."

She went on to relate how, during his visit to China in November 2009, Barack Obama had "defended the right of people to freely access information, and said that the more freely information flows, the stronger societies become. He spoke about how access to information helps citizens to hold their governments accountable, generates new ideas, and encourages creativity. The United States' belief in that truth is what brings me here today."

Secondly, the one thing that might explain the official hysteria about the revelations is the way they comprehensively expose the way political elites in Western democracies have been lying to their electorates. The leaks make it abundantly clear not just that the US-Anglo-European adventure in Afghanistan is doomed (because even the dogs in the street know that), but more importantly that the US and UK governments privately admit that too.

The problem is that they cannot face their electorates - who also happen to be the taxpayers who are funding this folly - and tell them this. The leaked dispatches from the US Ambassador to Afghanistan provide vivid confirmation that the Karzai regime is as corrupt and incompetent as the South Vietnamese regime in Saigon was when the US was propping it up in the 1970s. And they also make it clear that the US is as much a captive of that regime as it was in Vietnam.

The WikiLeaks revelations expose the extent to which the US and its allies see no real prospect of turning Afghanistan into a viable state, let alone a functioning democracy. They show that there is no light at the end of this tunnel. But the political establishments in Washington, London and Brussels cannot bring themselves to admit this. Afghanistan is, in that sense, the same kind of quagmire as Vietnam was. The only differences are that the war is now being fought by non-conscripted troops and we are not carpet-bombing civilians, but otherwise little has changed.

Thirdly, the attack of WikiLeaks ought to be a wake-up call for anyone who has rosy fantasies about whose side cloud computing providers are on. The 'Terms and Conditions' under which they provide both 'free' and paid-for services will always give them grounds for dropping your content if they deem it in their interests to do so. Put not your faith in cloud computing: it will one day rain on your parade.

Finally, what WikiLeaks is exposing is the way the Western democratic system has been hollowed out. In the last decade its political elites have been shown to be incompetent (the US and UK in not regulating their financial sectors); corrupt (Ireland, Italy; all other governments in relation to the arms trade) or recklessly militaristic (US and UK in Iraq) and yet nowhere have they been called to account in any effective way.

Instead they have obfuscated, lied or blustered their way through. And when, finally, the veil of secrecy is lifted in a really effective way, their reflex reaction is to kill the messenger.


As the Guardian's columnist Simon Jenkins put it: "Disclosure is messy and tests moral and legal boundaries. It is often irresponsible and usually embarrassing. But it is all that is left when regulation does nothing, politicians are cowed, lawyers fall silent and audit is polluted. Accountability can only default to disclosure. As Jefferson remarked, the press is the last best hope when democratic oversight fails, as it does in the case of most international bodies."

Wikileaks

Do you really know what's going on in the Wikileaks saga? Read thru these and see if your image of Wikileaks and Assange seems accurate.

Wikileaks - Glenn Greenwald

Comments from Julian Assange: Don't shoot messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths

http://213.251.145.96/cablegate.html

A few highlights from the above:
  • Wikileaks did not steal the documents.
  • Wikileaks is not the only organization releasing the documents. The Guardian and the NY Times are just two of several news (The Guardian, the NYT, El Pais, Le Monde, Der Speigel, etc.) organizations that are releasing the documents.
  • Wikileaks is the only one being attacked.
  • Wikileaks is working with these news organzations to eliminate names which could endanger people.
  • In most cases, these news organizations are releasing the documents BEFORE Wikileaks releases them.
  • Wikileaks offered to work with the US government to cleanup the documents prior to release to protect individuals but the US government refused to cooperate.
  • Wikileaks has posted only 960 of 251,297 documents as of 12/7/2010.
  • There are no known cases (zero) of our troops, diplomats, informants being physically harmed because of the release of these documents.
  • The US press and its government officials are being less than truthfull in reporting on Wikileaks.
 tnb

12.06.2010

The Return of “Get Your War On” -- New York Magazine

Here: The Return of “Get Your War On” -- New York Magazine

And as a slideshow here: Get Your War On

A sample....


They first came for the Communists

A current take on the "They came first for....." statment of Nazi Germany fame, from the always good GinAndTacos ginandtacos.com - Turntables

Here's a reworking of the original by tnb.

First The Original, found here: First they came ...

"They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up."

Updated for US for today (by tnb, inspired by the GinandTacos link above)....

"They came first for the Welfare Queens because they were destoying the country and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Welfare Queen.

Then they came for the unions members because they were destroying the country and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a union member.

Then they came for the poor and the immigrants because they were destroying the country and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a poor or an immigrant.

Then they came for "Civil servants. Teachers. Middle management and Anyone with a pension or benefits" becasue these things were destroying the country and by that time no one was left to speak up for me."

tnb

Wikileaks - AIPAC

From Juan Cole found here: Is AIPAC a Wikileaks Operation? Informed Comment

What Steven Rosen is alleging is that AIPAC, which arranges for millions to go to the campaigns of American politicians, is in essence a Wikileaks operation, only instead of posting the ferreted-out classified material to the Web, they channel it to the Israeli government. (Of course, the Israeli government sometimes acts as a Wikileaks as well; Seymour Hersh was told by US intelligence officials that Israel shared with the Soviets some of the intel it got from spy Jonathan Pollard.)

Whether the allegations about AIPAC routine spying are true or not, Rosen and Weissman certainly did exactly the same thing Julian Assange did, and yet they are free men.

Wikileaks is not an AIPAC operation but but we let a couple of AIPAC guys go free for doing the same thing and there were no calls to treat them as terrorists.

tnb

12.05.2010

Atheist Sign

From Christ meets Bigfoot: More irreverent atheist ads set to hit Canadian cities

Wikileaks - Reporters without Borders

Reporters Sans Frontières - Wikileaks hounded?

Wikileaks - PayPal

Below from: Political Irony › Goodbye, Paypal

Wikileaks - Juan Cole

Wikileaks and the New McCarthyism: Maybe we Just Need a More Open Government | Informed Comment

Juan Cole's excellent post on Wikileaks. Including this...
...
The call by Amazon was a very bad one, and some observers are rightly wondering if it will hurt “cloud computing,” where you put your documents up at a server instead of on your firm’s or university’s desktops. It seems to me that Amazon’s terms of service would continually bring into question how secure your documents were, especially if they might dump you as a customer even though you had broken no known law. ...

I hadn't really thought about this but it seems like a big deal. Would you trust your data to Amazon now that Joe Lieberman has shown he can take it from you?

tnb

Brazil recognises Palestine

Brazil recognises Palestine - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Brazil and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have some balls. This may make them our next enemy.

Look for a bunch of anti-Brazil or anti-Lula articles in the US media or maybe a couple of nasty comments from US leaders. I'd guess we're going to see something about Lula being a leftist, or about Hezbollah or Hamas infiltrating South America/Brazil, or maybe something about Brazil mis-treating some group like women or natives, maybe some trade or currency issue. There will be something, our leaders won't stand for this.

tnb

12.04.2010

WikiLeaks - TIME Magazine

WikiLeaks' War on Secrecy: Truth's Consequences - TIME

A pretty good article. One of the better US media reports on the leaks including a great cover.




Copied from this:

Assange still has that "James-Bond-Villain" look in this one.


A few thoughts.

I do believe this will ultimately create a more secretive, locked-down government and corporate world. Future leaks will be fewer as governments and businesses revise their internal rules to lockup information. Laws will be changed so world governments can quickly shutdown and more easily prosecute these internet-based, nation-less entities like Wikileaks.

This could very well be the beginning of the end for the internet as we've known it. Government officials and business leaders around the world must be looking at this and realizing that an open internet provides a perfect media for leaks and is a serious threat to their power. I expect there will be a push around to tighten up the rules and change the paying field so the powers-that-be can more quickly control this sort of thing.

An easy way to establish control would be to give the internet to the carriers so that Wikileaks has to work with an ATT, Verizon or Comcast like entity to publish their stuff on the Web so that if you want to read my blog either you will have to pay Verizon for the "Independent Blog" channel or i'll have to pay them just to be listed (or both). Either way, i'll have to play by their rules and they won't have to be as friendly as they are now.

The internet of the future could end up being like cable TV is today but instead of a few hundred channels there will be a few 100,000 or maybe a million, each striving for ratings, continually lowering the bar in their quest for market share. Eventually we'll have 637,000 channels and nothing on. At least nothing threatening to our ruling class.

tnb

Wikileaks: PayPal

Paypal bans Wikileaks just before midnight Friday - Boing Boing

More help from corporate america supporting our government's recent opposition to freedom of the press.

tnb

12.03.2010

Tax Cuts

Alan Grayson Points Out How Much Fox Pundits Stand to Benefit from Extension of Bush Tax Cuts | Video Cafe

Alan Grayson explains how much the Propaganda network's stars make from the tax cuts in a year.

Rush 2.7 million though not really Fox news, i guess.
Beck 1.5 million
Hannity 1 million
O'Reilly 914,000
Palin 638,000
Gingrich 250,000

good job Mr. Grayson.

tnb

Wikileaks: Mirror Sites

Wikileaks.org blocked, but mirror sites proliferating: here's a partial index of indexes - Boing Boing

Trying to shut Wikileaks down or block the site seems silly. They have the data and its going to come out sooner or later through another site, foreign media, an eventual book? etc. Eventually they will make it to the public. I think our ruler's best chance is to just control the spin thru the main media sites.

tnb

Wikileaks: The Rape Case

Julian Assange's rape case: is Sweden just making it up? | Crikey

You just can't go around pissing off our rulers.

tnb

Wikileaks - Amazon

Wikileaks today...

Glenn Greenwald and Matt Welch discuss Wikileaks




From Haaretz: Wikileaks - Quote below.

Andre Rickardsson, an expert on file-sharing and information technology security at Sweden's Bitsec Consulting, said "domain name providers normally don't drop their clients unless the clients themselves have breached their user contract. WikiLeaks is not behind the disturbance here, but individuals trying to disturb WikiLeaks' operations." he said.

Rickardsson said he had never experienced a user being shut off under similar circumstances.

"I don't believe for a second that this has been done by EveryDNS themselves. I think they've been under pressure," he said referring to U.S. authorities.

More at Boing Boing: Wiki Leaks

More at Mondoweiss: Wikileaks

Just trying to do my part to spead the word,... since the US sources are basically worthless.

tnb

Yglesias: The Conservative Recovery

From Yglesias » The Conservative Recovery


Today’s report, which is being called bad numbers, we learned of 50,000 new private sector jobs and the loss of 11,000 more public sector jobs.

To me, this really does seem like a bad result. But conservatives in the audience need to recognize that we’re getting what they say they want. The private sector is growing and the public sector is shrinking. If you’re disappointed in the results, you can perhaps consider reviving your view of the desirability of executing this shift in the middle of a collapse in aggregate demand. But what you can’t do is say that the bad economy is somehow being caused by an Obama-era slide toward socialism. The slide isn’t happening. The explosion in government isn’t happening. The public sector is shrinking.

Wikileaks - CIA Kidnaps German Citizen

Boing Boing - Wikileaks CIA Kidnappings

One of them is Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, and a victim of so-called "extraordinary rendition." He was a car salesman in Germany, a father of six. The CIA kidnapped him by mistake (his name sounds and looks identical to that of an actual terror suspect), and sent off to receive months of torture in Afghanistan.

When the CIA realized he was innocent, he was flown to Albania and dumped on a back road without so much as an apology.

El-Masri's futile efforts at receiving justice in the U.S. are well-known, but the cables published this week by Wikileaks include revelations the U.S. also warned German authorities not to allow a local investigation into his kidnapping and abuse.

The nearest he's gotten to justice is an arrest warrant for 13 CIA agents issued by prosecutors in Spain, which they entered on forged passports.

I thought we were supposed to be the good guys.

tnb

12.02.2010

Israeli - Organized Crime

WikiLeaks cable

The document also describes how Israeli organized crime has "gained a foothold in America", from violations including drug-related offenses to murder.

Do you think this Wikileak will make the NY Times or Fox news? I don't think so, they'd rather talk about Mexican Drug Gangs.

tnb

12.01.2010

Fed Bailouts

naked capitalism

In other words, between October 27, 2008 and August 6, 2009, the Fed spent $350 billion in taxpayer funds to save 35 foreign banks….

Spending taxpayer dollars to bail out them furiners seems like a big deal. Could this knock Wikileaks off the front page?

tnb

Amazon WTF?

Amazon pulls plug on WikiLeaks

The Gurdian: Amazon drops Wikileaks

I guess I won't be buying any christmas gifts from them.

Come on Amazon, show some balls.

UPDATES:

From Glenn Greenwald found here: Wikileaks - Amazon

No matter what you think of WikiLeaks, they have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime; Lieberman literally wants to dictate -- unilaterally -- what you can and cannot read on the Internet, to prevent Americans from accessing documents that much of the rest of the world is freely reading.

and from this Jay Rosen Video found here: Jay Rosen-Wikileaks

In the American case, one of the reasons is that the legitimacy of the press itself is in doubt in the minds of the leakers. And there's good reason for that. Because while we have what purports to be a "watchdog press," we also have -- laid out in front of us -- the clear record of the watchdog press' failure to do what it says it can do, which is provide a check on power when it tries to conceal its deeds and its purpose.

So I think it's a mistake to try to reckon with WikiLeaks and what it's about without including in the frame the spectactulr failures of the watchdog press over the last 10, 20, 30, 40 years - but especially recently. And so without this legitimacy crisis in mainstream American journalism, the leakers might not be so inclined to trust an upstart like Julian Assange and a shadowly organization like WikiLeaks . . .

These kinds of huge, cataclysmic events [the Iraq War] within the legitimacy regime lie in the background of the WikiLeaks case, because if it wasn't for those things, WikiLeaks wouldn't have the supporters it has, the leakers wouldn't collaborate the way they do, and the moral force behind exposing what this Government is doing just wouldn't be there. . . . The watchdog press died, and what we have is WikiLeaks instead.


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The US Government

Procedural problem threatens food safety bill

Our government is so fucked up, I think it might be easier to just fire them all and start over.

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GinAndTacos on Wikileaks

ginandtacos.com - THAT WORD, IT DOES NOT MEAN WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS

And so in an era in which people get their real news from a comedian and their comedy from the real news, a non-state actor like Wikileaks represents our best hope for a more democratic state.


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Mike Pence

Mike Pence: Not Ready for Prime Time

Here's one person's opinion of our representative. I've seen many others just like it.

It's a lot easier to get elected using sound-bite plans than it is to actually govern with them.

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Climate Change

Cancún and the new economics of climate change

In climate science, there's an easy choice between the overwhelming weight of peer-reviewed research versus the know-nothing wing of American politics. In climate economics, a more discerning choice is needed: there are rival views within peer-reviewed economics.


How the rest of the world sees US politics with regard to climate change.

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