Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Aneristic Illusions => Topic started by: Telarus on February 16, 2012, 01:06:06 pm

Title: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on February 16, 2012, 01:06:06 pm
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-16/at-t-must-let-beastie-boy-vote-on-net-neutrality-sec-says.html

AT&T Must Let Beastie Boy Vote on Net Neutrality, SEC Says

By Jesse Hamilton

(Updates with Franken comment in eleventh paragraph.)

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has told AT&T Inc. and other telecommunications companies they must include a resolution supporting wireless net-neutrality in annual shareholder votes.

In a letter posted on the SEC website, the agency asserted that net neutrality -- the idea that Internet service providers must treat traffic equally -- has become a “significant policy consideration” and can no longer be excluded from shareholder ballots. AT&T, Verizon Communications Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. must now grant shareholder requests for votes this year on resolutions that would support net neutrality.

“In view of the sustained public debate over the last several years concerning net neutrality and the Internet and the increasing recognition that the issue raises significant policy considerations, we do not believe that AT&T may omit the proposal from its proxy materials,” the SEC said in the Feb. 10 letter.

The shareholder resolution would recommend each company “publicly commit to operate its wireless broadband network consistent with network neutrality principles,” the letter said. The companies should not discriminate based on the “source, ownership or destination” of data sent over their wireless infrastructure.

“It allows shareholders to come to the table for the first time on an issue that we think is really of preeminent importance,” said Farnum Brown, an investment strategist at Boston-based Trillium Asset Management LLC, which led the multiyear effort of shareholder groups. “Persistence pays, I guess is the moral of the story.”

FCC Regulation

The Democrat-led Federal Communications Commission approved a regulation in 2010 that bars land-line Internet-service providers from blocking or slowing online content sent to homes and businesses, while still allowing mobile-phone companies to put limits on Internet traffic. Verizon sued the FCC in federal court, arguing the regulator lacks authority to regulate how companies provide Internet service.

Trillium, with the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica Inc. and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, had been seeking access to company ballots for at least four years.

Beastie Boys

Trillium is representing three individual AT&T investors -- Michael Diamond, better known as Mike D of the hip-hop band Beastie Boys; his wife Tamra Davis, director of films including “Billy Madison” and “Half Baked”; and John P. Silva, of Silva Artist Management, which represents recording artists Foo Fighters and Beck.

AT&T argued the proposal “would directly interfere with its network management practices and seriously impair its ability to provide wireless broadband service to its customers,” David B. Harms, a lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, wrote in a letter to the SEC on behalf of the company. Mike Balmoris, a company spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the response.

The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance had found in past years that similar net-neutrality proposals fell under the category of day-to-day business operations and that companies could exclude them from shareholder voting. With the agency changing its position, the previous exclusion no longer applies.

“Net neutrality is the free speech issue of our time and today’s decision by the SEC was a big win in the fight to maintain a free and open Internet,” Senator Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, said in a statement. Franken had co-written a Jan. 31 letter to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro with four other senators, urging the commission to deny the companies’ exclusion requests.

Reviewing Next Steps

“We received word last week that the SEC declined,” said John B. Taylor, a spokesman for Sprint, in an e-mail. “We understand other companies in our industry received similar guidance. Sprint is reviewing the information received from the SEC and potential next steps.”

Bob Varettoni, a spokesman for New York-based Verizon, declined to comment. His company had argued that this latest shareholder proposal didn’t offer “any new information that would indicate that ‘net neutrality’ has emerged as a consistent topic of widespread public debate,” according to a Dec. 22 letter to the SEC from Mary Louise Weber, an assistant general counsel at Verizon.

Companies whose requests are declined by the SEC can challenge the regulator’s findings in court.

--With assistance from Todd Shields and Tom Schoenberg in Washington. Editors: Anthony Gnoffo, Maura Reynolds

To contact the reporter on this story: Jesse Hamilton in Washington at jhamilton33@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Maura Reynolds at mreynolds34@bloomberg.net.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on February 16, 2012, 01:09:19 pm
On a more cynical note. Weren't we talking about this in the Prison Call-Center thread?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/14/private-prisons-buying-state-prisons_n_1272143.html

Private Prison Corporation Offers Cash In Exchange For State Prisons

As state governments wrestle with massive budget shortfalls, a Wall Street giant is offering a solution: cash in exchange for state property. Prisons, to be exact.

Corrections Corporation of America, the nation's largest operator of for-profit prisons, has sent letters recently to 48 states offering to buy up their prisons as a remedy for "challenging corrections budgets." In exchange, the company is asking for a 20-year management contract, plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Huffington Post.

The move reflects a significant shift in strategy for the private prison industry, which until now has expanded by building prisons of its own or managing state-controlled prisons. It also represents an unprecedented bid for more control of state prison systems.

Corrections Corporation has been a swiftly growing business, with revenues expanding more than fivefold since the mid-1990s. The company capitalized on the expansion of state prison systems in the '80s and '90s at the height of the so-called 'war on drugs,' contracting with state governments to build or manage new prisons to house an influx of drug offenders. During the past 10 years, it has found new opportunity in the business of locking up undocumented immigrants, as the federal government has contracted with private companies in an aggressive immigrant-detention campaign.

And Corrections Corporation's offer of $250 million toward purchasing existing state prisons is yet another avenue for potential growth. The company has billed the "corrections investment initiative" as a convenient option for states in need of fresh revenue streams: The state benefits from a one-time infusion of cash, while the prison corporation wins a new long-term contract. In addition, supporters of prison privatization have argued that states can achieve cost savings through outsourcing, as prison corporations give fewer benefits to employees.

"We believe this comes at a timely and helpful juncture and hope you will share our belief in the benefits of the purchase-and-manage model," reads the letter from Harley Lappin, CCA's chief corrections officer, who was a former director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
.....

More @ Link :http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/14/private-prisons-buying-state-prisons_n_1272143.html
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on February 16, 2012, 02:19:22 pm
plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full,

HAW HAW HAW
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 16, 2012, 04:34:04 pm
plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full,

HAW HAW HAW

Holy fucking hell.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on February 16, 2012, 04:35:50 pm
plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full,

HAW HAW HAW

Holy fucking hell.

We have conviction quotas, established by contract.

How 21st Century is THAT?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on February 16, 2012, 05:27:33 pm
That is...


I mean.  Really.  How..?


This really isn't gonna be my century, is it?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on February 16, 2012, 05:31:36 pm
This really isn't gonna be my century, is it?

Oh, I disagree.  This is all done for you.  To keep you SAFE.  You DO want to be SAFE, don't you?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cainad (dec.) on February 16, 2012, 08:19:15 pm
plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full,

HAW HAW HAW

I sat here for 5 minutes trying to think up a witty quip to express my horror.

Maybe I'm just a little too tired in the brain, but nothing comes to mind. This one has me stumped. :horrormirth:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 16, 2012, 10:01:43 pm
This article was perfect timing, as I was just printing out articles on voter ID laws and immigration laws to take to school, so I just went ahead and printed this out as well. They are all linked by ALEC.

Lots of people think there isn't a conspiracy of corporations to take over government.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on February 16, 2012, 11:22:04 pm
You seem to be implying that they have not yet been successful.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Rococo Modem Basilisk on February 17, 2012, 12:32:23 am
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/02/jotform-domain-seizure/

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/02/cybersecurity-act-of-2012/


http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/02/female-body-scans/

"So you eviscerate the government and pull its putrid still-beating heart from amongst its entrails, and what spills out? People." - Quellcrist Falconer
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Wolfgang Absolutus on February 17, 2012, 01:15:01 am
Regardless of the purpose of for-profit prisons, or prisons in general, two systematic problems come to mind that only make the imprisonment quotas bit scarier: rape and slavery, which ought not to happen to anyone. Rape in these prisons is a serious and nearly unchecked problem. Prisoners are also forced to preform labor, producing goods that the prison can sell which is essentially slavery.
It doesn't exactly fill me with optimism for the coming decades to see further development of an industry whose direct intent is to lock you behind bars with a bunch of people who will gladly rape you and then force you to be their slave. At least other industries do a little roleplaying.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Rococo Modem Basilisk on February 17, 2012, 01:34:19 am
Pedantic note: it's more like forced indentured servitude than slavery.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Juana Go? on February 17, 2012, 02:54:14 am
Which is still pretty much slavery.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on February 17, 2012, 03:36:37 am
Incorrect!

Slaves don't have to dance for a parole board pretending to be penitent over that roach the cops found in the ashtray. Nor do they labour under the delusion of eventual release.

You are much more likely to experience happiness in slavery. I say happiness, I mean Stockholm syndrome.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 17, 2012, 03:42:39 am
You seem to be implying that they have not yet been successful.

Functionally speaking, they're about 90% of the way there, but until they derail the ballot initiative system, they aren't all the way there.

Speaking of which, every single human being who is capable of voting in the US really needs to vote on the Constitutional amendment that will overturn Citizens United vs. the FEC: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/11/02/358694/senators-introduce-citizens-united-amendment/

and get behind the Fair Elections Now Act: http://fairelectionsnow.org/about-bill
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 17, 2012, 03:45:30 am
Incorrect!

Slaves don't have to dance for a parole board pretending to be penitent over that roach the cops found in the ashtray. Nor do they labour under the delusion of eventual release.

You are much more likely to experience happiness in slavery. I say happiness, I mean Stockholm syndrome.

Who the hell are you? You seem pretty OK.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on February 17, 2012, 04:07:11 am
I'll take that as high praise.

I'll spare you a lengthy biography and leave it as "Someone who is smart enough to know he's fucking stupid and should shut up more"
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Don Coyote on February 17, 2012, 04:11:41 am
I'll take that as high praise.

I'll spare you a lengthy biography and leave it as "Someone who is smart enough to know he's fucking stupid and should shut up more"
Eh, I believe that it is important to say things, even if they might be wrong, so long as you don't dig your heels in and screech like a monkey when challenged.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Wolfgang Absolutus on February 17, 2012, 04:14:15 am
Incorrect!

Slaves don't have to dance for a parole board pretending to be penitent over that roach the cops found in the ashtray. Nor do they labour under the delusion of eventual release.

You are much more likely to experience happiness in slavery. I say happiness, I mean Stockholm syndrome.
Definitionally speaking I don't see much of a difference. At the point where for-profit prisons garnish wages to the point where they are making between 8 cents to a couple dollars an hour is basically slave labour.
I'm also not sure in what sense you mean it but the way you describe slavery it sounds almost as if you are trying to make it sounds like it is not so bad. Slavery is slavery no matter how long it lasts. But I digress.

And I agree with you there Nigel. Democracy doesn't really work if a fewmillion dollars and a smile an easily defeat any notion of choice.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Wolfgang Absolutus on February 17, 2012, 04:28:24 am
Oh and to connect two things together. http://www.justicepolicy.org/uploads/justicepolicy/documents/gaming_the_system.pdf
It's a report on private prisons and their political strategies to help keep prisons and their pockets nice and full. I haven't finished reading it but it seems fine so far.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 17, 2012, 04:31:17 am
An oldie but a goodie: http://www.npr.org/2010/10/28/130833741/prison-economics-help-drive-ariz-immigration-law
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Wolfgang Absolutus on February 17, 2012, 04:37:20 am
That's pretty interesting. I had heard about that law but hadn't heard any connections to private prisons. The only arguments I ever really heard about it at the time were the racial profiling ones. Thanks for the share.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on February 17, 2012, 05:22:35 am
Great discussion so far. I was as shocked at the 90% quota as you all were, but chose not to highlight that when I re-posted. Nice to see others just as disgusted.

Let's change the tone a little:

http://www.thenation.com/blog/166311/republican-hearing-contraception-no-women-allowed

Republican Hearing on Contraception: No Women Allowed

http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/user/194882/BChearing.png [Edited in a graphic a friend posted on FB]
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/396424_2691650005941_1097238899_31992494_272022687_n.jpg)
The panel for this morning's House Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing on birth control access.

This morning, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is holding a hearing titled “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?” The topic, as you might guess, is the recent administration decision to mandate birth control coverage.

As you might not guess, the first panel of witnesses doesn’t include a single woman. The five-person, all-male panel consists of a Roman Catholic Bishop, a Lutheran Reverend, a rabbi and two professors.

Democrats on the panel were told they were allowed only one witness. They selected a young female Georgetown student, Sandra Fluke, who was going to discuss the repercussions of losing contraceptive coverage. But Representative Darrell Issa, the chairman, rejected her as “not qualified.”

When the hearing began this morning, the Democratic women on the committee walked out. Representative Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat, put out a statement blasting Issa:

It is inconceivable to me that you believe tomorrow’s hearing has no bearing on the reproductive rights of women. This Committee commits a massive injustice by trying to pretend that the views of millions of women across this country are meaningless, worthless, or irrelevant to this debate. […]

Even if you fundamentally disagree with Ms. Fluke’s viewpoint on this matter, you should not be afraid to hear it. A hearing stacked with last-minute witnesses who offer no competing views only contributes to the perception that our Committee is fostering a circus-like atmosphere intended to further politicize this debate.

----------
Some updated details at the link.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 17, 2012, 05:32:54 am
Let's not forget the push for voter ID laws: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/02/voter_id_laws.html
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Wolfgang Absolutus on February 17, 2012, 05:51:46 am
It really doesn't make much sense at all. Only a woman could possibly understand the true implications and a panel made up mostly of virgins sure as hell doesn't know what it feels like to be a woman or to need contraception. This only goes to perpetuate theories of patriarchal rule in western culture, which I usually find myself agreeing with.

As for the voter ID laws, I really am surprised so many cannot make the connection from the law to its implications on democracy. Especially since the affects of stricter voting requirements are much more direct than ,for example, corporate money to politicians during campaigns.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 17, 2012, 05:59:06 am
Especially when voter fraud has been shown to be a problem so incredibly minimal that, statistically speaking, it's negligible. While, on the other hand, corporate influence is a well-documented problem with an enormous impact on the democratic system... enough so that the populace is pretty united about it despite other political differences.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Wolfgang Absolutus on February 17, 2012, 12:04:22 pm
It really makes me wonder what we could do to force them to enact change. How far will regular legal channels allow us to go? The public being incredible disapproving doesn't seem to do anything, only highlighting where their true interests lie. Secondly, if we did end up forcing them to enact change, it seems unlikely that corporations will just fall to the wayside. The might very well just find other loopholes and ways to game the system, such that reforms just can't keep up.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Rococo Modem Basilisk on February 17, 2012, 12:30:06 pm
While that which is legal is constructed in part as a defense against potential threats to the system as it exists, that which is illegal is also constructed that way. Glitter-bomb and you'll be ignored; shoe-bomb and you're pigeonholed as a terrorist (then ignored). The only effective shortcut is one that nobody thought about when making the rules, and it can only possibly work once.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on February 17, 2012, 01:28:18 pm
Interesting side note about the decreasing effectiveness of glitter bombing: The last several times a politician has been glitter bombed, the media referred to it as a "prank", and didn't bother to explain what a glitter bomb is supposed to mean.  The act has been compartamentalized, and can safely be ignored.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Nephew Twiddleton on February 17, 2012, 01:41:48 pm
It really doesn't make much sense at all. Only a woman could possibly understand the true implications and a panel made up mostly of virgins sure as hell doesn't know what it feels like to be a woman or to need contraception. This only goes to perpetuate theories of patriarchal rule in western culture, which I usually find myself agreeing with.

As for the voter ID laws, I really am surprised so many cannot make the connection from the law to its implications on democracy. Especially since the affects of stricter voting requirements are much more direct than ,for example, corporate money to politicians during campaigns.

This is why I find it particularly amusing that the Catholic church sees fit to start getting motivated politically when anything involving human sexuality is involved.

Something to do with contraception? Ask the old dude who not only never got laid, but chose not to get laid.
Something to do with gay marriage? Ask the old homophobe running a house full of old dude with a penchant for diddling.

Honestly if priests had more sex with consenting adults their attitudes towards contraception would change immediately.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 17, 2012, 04:32:32 pm
It really makes me wonder what we could do to force them to enact change. How far will regular legal channels allow us to go? The public being incredible disapproving doesn't seem to do anything, only highlighting where their true interests lie. Secondly, if we did end up forcing them to enact change, it seems unlikely that corporations will just fall to the wayside. The might very well just find other loopholes and ways to game the system, such that reforms just can't keep up.

vote on the Constitutional amendment that will overturn Citizens United vs. the FEC: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/11/02/358694/senators-introduce-citizens-united-amendment/

and get behind the Fair Elections Now Act: http://fairelectionsnow.org/about-bill
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 17, 2012, 04:34:59 pm
Campaign finance corruption by corporations is the single largest thing standing between Americans and democracy. It is also the single largest thing standing between Americans and a functional economy. By which I mean an economy that benefits the lower and middle classes as well as the wealthy.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on February 19, 2012, 08:48:19 am
Not technically a news story, so I won't quote the start. I think I've linked to this professor before, tho.

http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/class_domination.html

(http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/images/who_has_the_power/power_elite_diagram.gif)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 19, 2012, 06:39:37 pm
Not technically a news story, so I won't quote the start. I think I've linked to this professor before, tho.

http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/class_domination.html

(http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/images/who_has_the_power/power_elite_diagram.gif)

Nice!
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: hirley0 on February 19, 2012, 10:04:43 pm
Nice!
did U Mean twice or just No dice
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Rococo Modem Basilisk on February 20, 2012, 01:07:06 am
Tangentially related by way of the "large international corporations getting away with shit" dept: http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/312-16/9972-monsanto-guilty-of-chemical-poisoning-in-france

Monsanto is probably known to people on this board already in relation to anticompetitive practices (notably having strains of crops that interoperate with their pesticides and then ensuring that those strains do not reproduce, so both the pesticides and the seeds must be bought after every harvest). I don't know enough about the poisoning angle to say whether or not Monsanto already has a history. The above article appears to spin it as another example of inadequate regulation of dangerous products (which I'm a little skeptical of... a farmer should know better than to inhale any pesticide, regardless of what it says on the box), but it's interesting to note that a Monsanto pesticide has recently (five years ago) been banned by the EU.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on February 21, 2012, 11:14:25 am
Good, I didn't want to be US-centric in this examination.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-20/icelandic-anger-brings-record-debt-relief-in-best-crisis-recovery-story.html
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on February 21, 2012, 11:23:08 am
Jesse Ventura talks about CIA implanted in State Government, his CIA interrogation and trip to Cuba

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIzfXOfpFcA
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition_Squid on February 21, 2012, 11:23:34 am
Good, I didn't want to be US-centric in this examination.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-20/icelandic-anger-brings-record-debt-relief-in-best-crisis-recovery-story.html

This was a fantastic article, thanks for sharing Telarus!

Reminds me of a quote: ‘If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.’— Lao Tzu
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on February 22, 2012, 12:41:10 pm
http://www.salon.com/2012/01/30/leon_panettas_explicitly_authoritarian_decree/

Defense Secretary and former CIA chief Leon Panetta, defending Obama's use of CIA-assassination on a U.S. Citizen without due process (also note the opening to the article, where the same journalists poses these questions to Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Michele Bachmann... all of whom applauded the action).
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Wolfgang Absolutus on February 23, 2012, 12:31:20 pm
Cenk Uygar talks about war with Iran and how it stinks of idiocy. It like what Lenin said, you look for who will benefit and... uh... you know. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Uet6qsZpLo&feature=g-u-u&context=G25e86acFUAAAAAAABAA
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on February 24, 2012, 03:09:01 pm
Cenk Uygar talks about war with Iran and how it stinks of idiocy. It like what Lenin said, you look for who will benefit and... uh... you know. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Uet6qsZpLo&feature=g-u-u&context=G25e86acFUAAAAAAABAA

Interesting video. Is there any truth to the claim that 7/10 US citizens believe Iran has nuclear weapons?

I suspect I am over-estimating the intelligence of humans again.

Totally unrelated,

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17145225

"The shareholders were paid £11m in dividends in that period. Ms Harrison, who is one of the five, received 87% of this, the public affairs committee heard this month."

This is a UK MP in charge of getting people back to work. Company currently being investigated for fraud, 9 arrests so far.
By the by, they've had major government contracts for several years, so this has potential to drag in some old faces. Previous and current government involved? I'm shocked.

Eventually people will begin to see the sense in paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Wolfgang Absolutus on February 25, 2012, 01:16:07 am
I'm still kind of an anarchist at heart but I will agree that if we want to do the whole reform song and dance, this: "paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency" seems like its not the worst idea in the world.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on February 25, 2012, 03:38:05 am
I'm still kind of an anarchist at heart but I will agree that if we want to do the whole reform song and dance, this: "paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency" seems like its not the worst idea in the world.

Great.  Get that through congress/parliament, and we'll talk.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Wolfgang Absolutus on February 25, 2012, 05:06:56 am
I'm still kind of an anarchist at heart but I will agree that if we want to do the whole reform song and dance, this: "paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency" seems like its not the worst idea in the world.

Great.  Get that through congress/parliament, and we'll talk.
I never called his idea realistic.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on February 25, 2012, 05:11:37 am
I'm still kind of an anarchist at heart but I will agree that if we want to do the whole reform song and dance, this: "paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency" seems like its not the worst idea in the world.

Great.  Get that through congress/parliament, and we'll talk.
I never called his idea realistic.

Oh, I thought we were talking about the real world.

My bad, carry on.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 25, 2012, 04:22:57 pm
I'm still kind of an anarchist at heart but I will agree that if we want to do the whole reform song and dance, this: "paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency" seems like its not the worst idea in the world.

Great.  Get that through congress/parliament, and we'll talk.
I never called his idea realistic.

Oh, I thought we were talking about the real world.

My bad, carry on.

 :lulz: Idealists, Dok, are why we can't have nice things.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on February 26, 2012, 12:51:21 am
To briefly clarify this as it may have caused some confusion.

"Eventually people will begin to see the sense in paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency"

I do not believe this is currently being pushed for in any country, anywhere. The notion derives from my own feeling that those who seek power are often the least qualified and adept to wield it. To my mind it seems logical to make power a burden, not a privilege.

Yes, yes, there are more problems than solutions, least of which is that it would require current law makers to essentially put themselves in the poor house, at least in the future.

I just like the idea of the world leaders earning minimum wage and living in the ghetto. Combine that with a Maximum wage initiative and I suspect the world would be a better place within a generation or two.

It can be nice to examine the ideal from time to time. The real tends to be pretty constant, the ideal invariably changes.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 26, 2012, 01:20:02 am
To briefly clarify this as it may have caused some confusion.

"Eventually people will begin to see the sense in paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency"

I do not believe this is currently being pushed for in any country, anywhere. The notion derives from my own feeling that those who seek power are often the least qualified and adept to wield it. To my mind it seems logical to make power a burden, not a privilege.

Yes, yes, there are more problems than solutions, least of which is that it would require current law makers to essentially put themselves in the poor house, at least in the future.

I just like the idea of the world leaders earning minimum wage and living in the ghetto. Combine that with a Maximum wage initiative and I suspect the world would be a better place within a generation or two.

It can be nice to examine the ideal from time to time. The real tends to be pretty constant, the ideal invariably changes.

IN REALITY, though, what happens when you don't pay your public leaders well is that the only people who become public leaders are those who have the independent wealth to do so, or those who are susceptible to bribery.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on February 26, 2012, 01:35:36 am
That's another problem too.

However, the situation we have at the moment includes most "leaders" already being independently wealthy and rather open to bribery. So very little would actually change really.

Fuck, back to the big board of plans.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 26, 2012, 01:55:18 am
That's another problem too.

However, the situation we have at the moment includes most "leaders" already being independently wealthy and rather open to bribery. So very little would actually change really.

Fuck, back to the big board of plans.

There are some major factors contributing to that, including:

A. Public officials are not paid well compared to other jobs which require similar levels of education and responsibility,
B. It has become incredibly costly to run an election campaign,
C. Special-interest contributions are not really functionally limited,
D. There are no restrictions on going from working for a major corporation to working for government, or from working for government to working for a major corporation whose interests you represented while in government.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on February 26, 2012, 06:39:02 am
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/02/24/supreme-court-to-decide-if-corporations-can-be-sued-for-human-rights-abuses/
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Triple Zero on February 26, 2012, 02:12:36 pm
Good, I didn't want to be US-centric in this examination.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-20/icelandic-anger-brings-record-debt-relief-in-best-crisis-recovery-story.html

This is amazing:

---
Iceland’s special prosecutor has said it may indict as many as 90 people, while more than 200, including the former chief executives at the three biggest banks, face criminal charges.

Larus Welding, the former CEO of Glitnir Bank hf, once Iceland’s second biggest, was indicted in December for granting illegal loans and is now waiting to stand trial. The former CEO of Landsbanki Islands hf, Sigurjon Arnason, has endured stints of solitary confinement as his criminal investigation continues according to Icelandic tradition, by gutting and beheading the shark and placing it in a shallow hole dug in gravelly-sand, with the now-cleaned cavity resting on a slight hill. The shark is then covered with sand and gravel, and stones are then placed on top of the sand in order to press the shark. The fluids from the shark are in this way pressed out of the body. The shark ferments in this fashion for 6–12 weeks depending on the season.

Following this curing period, the shark is then cut into strips and hung to dry for several months. During this drying period a brown crust will develop, which is removed prior to cutting the shark into small pieces and serving.
---

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Don Coyote on February 26, 2012, 02:15:35 pm
Good, I didn't want to be US-centric in this examination.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-20/icelandic-anger-brings-record-debt-relief-in-best-crisis-recovery-story.html

This is amazing:

---
Iceland’s special prosecutor has said it may indict as many as 90 people, while more than 200, including the former chief executives at the three biggest banks, face criminal charges.

Larus Welding, the former CEO of Glitnir Bank hf, once Iceland’s second biggest, was indicted in December for granting illegal loans and is now waiting to stand trial. The former CEO of Landsbanki Islands hf, Sigurjon Arnason, has endured stints of solitary confinement as his criminal investigation continues according to Icelandic tradition, by gutting and beheading the shark and placing it in a shallow hole dug in gravelly-sand, with the now-cleaned cavity resting on a slight hill. The shark is then covered with sand and gravel, and stones are then placed on top of the sand in order to press the shark. The fluids from the shark are in this way pressed out of the body. The shark ferments in this fashion for 6–12 weeks depending on the season.

Following this curing period, the shark is then cut into strips and hung to dry for several months. During this drying period a brown crust will develop, which is removed prior to cutting the shark into small pieces and serving.
---

I might be a little out of it but that made no sense at all.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Triple Zero on February 26, 2012, 02:23:03 pm
It's what Icelanders traditionally do to sharks.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 26, 2012, 06:33:20 pm
Good, I didn't want to be US-centric in this examination.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-20/icelandic-anger-brings-record-debt-relief-in-best-crisis-recovery-story.html

This is amazing:

---
Iceland’s special prosecutor has said it may indict as many as 90 people, while more than 200, including the former chief executives at the three biggest banks, face criminal charges.

Larus Welding, the former CEO of Glitnir Bank hf, once Iceland’s second biggest, was indicted in December for granting illegal loans and is now waiting to stand trial. The former CEO of Landsbanki Islands hf, Sigurjon Arnason, has endured stints of solitary confinement as his criminal investigation continues according to Icelandic tradition, by gutting and beheading the shark and placing it in a shallow hole dug in gravelly-sand, with the now-cleaned cavity resting on a slight hill. The shark is then covered with sand and gravel, and stones are then placed on top of the sand in order to press the shark. The fluids from the shark are in this way pressed out of the body. The shark ferments in this fashion for 6–12 weeks depending on the season.

Following this curing period, the shark is then cut into strips and hung to dry for several months. During this drying period a brown crust will develop, which is removed prior to cutting the shark into small pieces and serving.
---

This IS amazing. What. The. Shit.

?

 :lol: We need a laughy-guy with question marks over his head.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Roly Poly Oly-Garch on February 27, 2012, 07:59:47 pm
http://www.salon.com/2012/01/30/leon_panettas_explicitly_authoritarian_decree/

Defense Secretary and former CIA chief Leon Panetta, defending Obama's use of CIA-assassination on a U.S. Citizen without due process (also note the opening to the article, where the same journalists poses these questions to Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Michele Bachmann... all of whom applauded the action).

I couldn't even finish the article. Sick.

Thomas Jefferson was pretty clear that the second we start thinking rights come from the Constitution, we ain't got 'em anymore. If it's not a right that is worth considering when dealing with an Afghani, no surprise when it's not a right at all for anybody anymore. I'm waiting for the first NDAA actions to start coming up. There's quite a few open questions about "citizens". Dollars to donuts "citizen" ain't gonna mean nothing "enemy" doesn't when they're tried ("tried", I mean).
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on February 28, 2012, 10:56:07 am
I'm still kind of an anarchist at heart but I will agree that if we want to do the whole reform song and dance, this: "paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency" seems like its not the worst idea in the world.

This is a terrible idea.  Giving people lots of power but little cash massively improves the incentives for corruption.  In the UK, MPs used to be unpaid.  This meant the only people who could be MPs or wanted to be were those with other forms of income, in other words, the ruling classes.  If you want only the likes of Mitt Romney running for public office, then it makes sense, but its a terrible idea otherwise.

If you want to stamp out corruption, you'll pay government officials on a par with CEOs, with massive penalties for any form of corruption whatsoever (removed from office, barred from public office for life, fined and imprisoned).  It works for Singapore.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on February 28, 2012, 10:58:37 am
The Oil End-game (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/NB28Dj05.html)

Quote
The end game is about to begin. On the one hand you have the noise and rhetoric. Greedy speculators gouging gasoline prices; mad mullahs preparing to wipe Israel off the map; bunker buster bombs and fleets being positioned; huge demand for oil from the BRIC countries; China’s insatiable thirst for oil; the oil price will head for $200 a barrel and will never again fall below $130 …

On the other hand you have the reality.

Oil Markets

The oil markets are completely manipulated and orchestrated, and the conductors of the orchestra have the benefit of having already held a rehearsal in 2008.

History never repeats itself, but it does rhyme. This time around it is not demand from the United States that is collapsing, but European Union and United Kingdom demand, as oil prices in euros and pounds sterling have never been higher. In the meantime, the US is awash in oil as domestic production quietly increases, flushed out by the high prices.

As I have outlined in previous articles, the culprit for the high oil prices between 2009 and 2012 – with the exception of the speculative “spike” between March 2011 and June 2011 driven by Fukushima and Libyan price shocks – has been passive investment by risk-averse investors, which enabled producers to support oil prices at high levels.

Much of this passive money underpinning the market and enabling producers to monetize inventory pulled out of the market in September 2011, and another wave pulled out in December 2011.

What is now happening is the end game: an orchestrated wave of noise that is drawing in speculative money. This is enabling the producers who are actually in the know to hedge by selling production forward during what they confidently expect will be a temporary – and pre-planned – managed fall in the oil price.

The Game Plan

The smartest kids on the block knows that gasoline prices much over US$4 per gallon will be both deflationary and lethal to President Barack Obama’s re-election chances. So that won’t happen other than briefly.

I am by no means the only commentator who has pointed out the complete counter-productivity of these oil sanctions. The smart kids are well aware that oil sanctions are completely useless, and simply enable China to fill its strategic reserves at a discount to the market price at the expense of Greece and Italy in particular.

But the US has been quite happy to let the EU – as useful idiots – take the economic hit. The high oil prices caused by all this noise and nonsense are actually a net benefit to Iran – which rattles its sabre loudly as elections approach.

The effect of a managed decline in oil prices to, and probably over-correcting well through, $60 a barrel – which is coming fairly soon – will be extremely beneficial to the US in two ways.

Firstly, it will be catastrophic in particular for Iran, Russia and Venezuela – not exactly on the White House party list – whose hugely oil-dependent revenues will collapse. The ensuing economic mayhem will open these countries up to regime change and to rescue plans which Wall Street will be dusting off.

Secondly, the US population will be laughing all the way to the gas station as gasoline prices fall – at least temporarily – below $2.50 a gallon and release purchasing power into the economy, thereby doing the president’s re-election chances no harm at all.

What will then happen is that members of the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries will panic and genuinely reduce their production. The Saudis/Gulf Cooperation Council will again orchestrate the inflation of the oil price – as they did in 2009 – comfortable in the knowledge that they have been able to hedge against this temporary fall in prices at the expense of the speculators currently pouring in to the market.

That’s the game plan as I see it of the smartest kids on the block. What could ever go wrong?

A Buyers’ Strike

Quite clearly, consumer nations, like everyone else, are in the dark in relation to what has been going on in the oil market and have swallowed the populist “greedy speculator” meme. They are simply unaware of the nature and cosmic scale of the oil market manipulation that has been taking place, and as a result have been happily overpaying for oil for years.

What happens if they simply refuse to pay these prices?

Possibly a “buyers’ strike” by China would be enough to crater the market. We’ve already seen the effect of that on Iran, which has clearly agreed new terms with China after the latter held back purchases earlier this year.

Or possibly speculative short selling of crude oil by hedge funds funded by Chinese investment? I pointed out at a rather spooky conference on “economic terrorism” a few years ago in Lausanne – which examined ways in which terrorists might make economic rather than physical attacks – that the only difference between an economic terrorist and a hedge fund is motive.

Click to read it all.

http://www.newdeal20.org/2012/02/27/wall-street-fixer-rodge-cohen-big-banks-key-to-american-global-dominance-72935/

Quote
It’s not often that the people in charge admit what is really going on: a global game for political dominance. I just saw an interview with Wall Street superlawyer Rodgin (“Rodge”) Cohen of Sullivan & Cromwell, the secret force behind (among other things) the expanded emergency lending power of the Federal Reserve through section 13(3). You know, that’s the law allowing the Fed to lend unlimited sums based on whatever it wants to lend, a section amended in 1991 at Cohen’s behest. He was involved in “more than 17 deals” during the crisis in 2008, including the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the $85 billion AIG bailout deal, and the takeover of Fannie Mae by the federal government. He is, as Bill Black said, the fixer of Wall Street. Here’s his quote, at minute 3:39 of this Bloomberg interview:

Quote
Hopefully we will not see the major financial institutions in this country disappear because if we do we will also see a loss of ability to influence events not only financially but also politically throughout the world.

That’s pretty clear. It reminds me of this quote from an anonymous military officer while he was touring JP Morgan’s trading floor (emphasis added):

Quote
JPMorgan Chase yesterday hosted about 30 active duty military officers (across all branches and agencies) from the Marine Corps War College in Quantico, Va. The officers met with senior executives, toured the trading floor and participated in a trading simulation. They discussed recruitment, operations management, strategic communications and the economy. Aside from employees thanking them for their service as they passed by, they also received a standing ovation on the trading floor. Said one officer after a senior JPM exec thanked him for his service: “We promise to keep you safe if you keep this country strong.”

There are always conspiracy theories out there about a global linkage between large financial institutions and American empire. They don’t, however, usually come from the people running the place.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on February 28, 2012, 03:25:55 pm
Lots of news lately about the NYPD/CIA spy program which has kept thousands of Muslims under surveillance, despite no evidence of wrongdoing (places spied on include a Muslim girls' school, for example, a number of delis, mosques and perfectly legitimate businesses).

Turns out the White House approved of the program, too.

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/02/27/white-house-pumped-millions-into-nypds-muslim-surveillance-programs/

Quote
Millions of dollars in White House money has helped pay for New York Police Department programs that put entire American Muslim neighborhoods under surveillance.

The money is part of a little-known grant intended to help law enforcement fight drug crimes. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush and Obama administrations have provided $135 million to the New York and New Jersey region through the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, known as HIDTA.

Some of that money — it’s unclear exactly how much because the program has little oversight — has paid for the cars that plainclothes NYPD officers used to conduct surveillance on Muslim neighborhoods. It also paid for computers that store even innocuous information about Muslim college students, mosque sermons and social events.

The White House has, of course, declined to comment on this. 

In related doubleplusgood news, the NYPD want this referred to not as spying, but as "enhanced police investigation", echoing the "enchanced interrogation techniques" of torture used by the CIA.

Even better, the NYPD's spy program has disrupted the FBI's own investigations, into actual possibly legitimate plots (that the FBI didn't plan, even): http://www.ap.org/pages/about/whatsnew/wn_122311a.html

Quote
When New York undercover officers and informants were infiltrating a mosque in 2006, they failed to notice the increasingly radical sentiments of a young man who prayed there. Police also kept tabs on a Muslim student group at a local collage, but missed a member’s growing anti-Americanism.

Those two men, Najibullah Zazi at the mosque and Adis Medunjanin at the school, would go on to be accused of plotting a subway bombing that officials have called the most serious terrorist threat to the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.

Quote
Media reports quoting anonymous FBI officials have suggested the NYPD botched the case when it showed a picture of Najibullah Zazi, the Denver shuttle-bus driver at the heart of the investigation, to Ahmed Afzali, a Queens Imam and sometime police informant. Afzali, the reports say, first called Zazi’s father Mohammed, then Najibullah himself, alerting them to the probe. The FBI, which had been monitoring the calls, was then forced to move immediately to arrest the Zazis — much sooner than it had planned.

On the other hand, the NYPD can't be doing too good a job of watching those mosques, since someone firebombed a bunch of them over New Years (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203550304577139162697455408.html), and the NYPD refused to press terrorism charges for fear of being accused of botching yet another terrorism investigation. And, and everyone knows Muslims only ever commit terrorism, not suffer from it.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 28, 2012, 03:55:36 pm
Fucking hell.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on February 29, 2012, 08:28:29 am
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/feb/28/chris-bryant-phone-hacking

Quote
Chris Bryant tells MPs Scotland Yard had been 'suborned' and effectively become a subsidiary of News International

Chris Bryant, the Labour MP, has claimed that in light of recent revelations the News International phone-hacking scandal could turn out to be the biggest case of corporate corruption in the UK for more than 250 years.

Bryant told a Westminster Hall private members' debate on media regulation on Tuesday that his "poor researcher" had counted 486 lies told to parliament by News International, the police and other organisations about phone hacking and related investigations.

The Labour MP, who received £30,000 in damages from NI in January to settle his News of the World phone-hacking claim, also said evidence given to the Leveson inquiry on Monday suggested that a "culture of mass corruption was intrinsic to the Sun's modus operandi".

He added that Monday's Leveson evidence about the Met's original investigation into News of the World phone hacking also showed that Scotland Yard had been "suborned" and effectively become a subsidiary of News International.

Bryant, who sponsored Tuesday's debate, said the phone-hacking affair still had some way to go before it reached its conclusion. "I suspect we've just crept into act 4, scene 2."

He claimed it was now known that senior figures at News International ordered the mass destruction of evidence. The cover-up went to the highest levels at News International, Bryant said, and this in the end may turn out to be the biggest crime of all.

He also said that directors of News Corporation, News International's parent company, had failed to take their responsibilities seriously enough.

"I suspect that in the end this will turn out to be the single largest corporate corruption case in this country for more than 250 years," Bryant added.

He said: "Why this is a problem for us as politicians is that every single element of the regulatory regime failed."

News Corp's directors, the Press Complaints Commission ("a toothless gaggle of compliant cronies"), the Met, and to some extent the law courts and parliament had all failed to bring those responsible to account, he added.

It turned out that News International were effectively buying entire stories from the Met.  Also that someone in the Met tipped off editor Rebekah Brooks about their investigation into the phone hacking before it was made public knowledge.

They also loaned her a police horse (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/feb/28/metropolitan-police-horse-rebekah-brooks).
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on February 29, 2012, 03:01:26 pm
At this rate I would actually be surprised if it is not every single mainstream paper. Many run remarkably similar stories on the same day, which would indicate to me the information being sold and re-sold. NI may be getting the heat now, but I'm pretty sure everyone else is going to be having a bad time by the end of this.

Apart from Private Eye. Hislop talking to the Levenson Enquiry was a lesson in class and how journalism should be conducted.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/bbc_parliament/newsid_9640000/9640246.stm
(17th January for ease. I would not suggest looking at many others as the volume of obvious lies and outright retardation is incredible. Editors being unaware of the meaning of "ethics" springs to mind. That's editors, plural. The attitude of Dacre, chap who oversees the Daily Hate, I mean Mail was astonishingly arrogant. Good rage fuel if you need it I suppose)

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Triple Zero on February 29, 2012, 03:15:03 pm
> He said: "Why this is a problem for us as politicians is that every single element of the regulatory regime failed."

That's a very important point. If on the one hand rich and powerful corporations get away with anything, while on the other hand powerless minorities are being beaten up and killed by policemen, well, you might as well not have any laws at all.

(Ok that's not entirely true because in between those two extremes, it's still keeping a lot of things in check, but for a large part that's just some people and corporations still believing the law's the law and you keep to it, just because that's what you do. Alternatively not everyone turns into a ruthless psychopath, some people inherently prefer to do right and good)

Hey, wasn't there also something about a suspicious suicide or death just as the NotW scandal started leaking? (unless I'm mistaken and I'm thinking of another suspicious death in a different story)

Seeing that there's still important people hacking away at the case, will there come anything of that too?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on February 29, 2012, 03:27:54 pm
There was a suicide of a journalist who acted as a whistleblower on the case, yes.

The Hertfordshire police declared his death as "uexplained but not thought to be suspicious" and the coroner ruled that he died from natural causes, heavily suggesting alcohol and a failing liver were to blame.  A section 20 post-mortem was carried out by the coroner, which is usually only done in suspicious cases.

His drink problem was well known, though, as was his ailing health.  I mean, if I was going to kill an alcoholic with a failing liver, I'd know how I'd go about it.  On the other hand, I'm not sure what else he could have honestly revealed, he had talked about phone-hacking for years.  Unless his death was meant to be a message to other people considering breaking their vows of loyalty and silence, but then we're getting into some very speculative territory there.

Of more interest is private investigator Jonathan Rees and his possible involvement in the murder of Daniel Morgan, who was investigating corrupt London police at the time.  Rees went on to be hired by Andy Coulson, the former NotW editor who went on to work for David Cameron, briefly at least.  The possibility that News International carried out political intelligence gathering for the Tory Party, via corrupt Met officers, is the elephant in the room in this whole thing, and something that will probably never be fully investigated.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on February 29, 2012, 06:02:18 pm
Which is certainly a concern. Investigation into most police corruption in the UK tends to be rather slow and ineffective. The IPPC could be seen as a bigger joke than the PCC. An important issue also here could be that while everyone acts busy condemning the PCC, the self regulation of police is left unchallenged and unchanged.

At least that seems to be what's occurring. I would imagine it serves media interests to say "we're sorry but we've changed.." speeches. It would leave any untouched sources free to do the same again which I would imagine to be inevitable.

The scale of this entire incident will probably never be truly known. I suppose it goes to show, if you go corrupt - Go BIG.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 05, 2012, 06:06:37 pm
Not sure if this qualifies, but... The Obama administration on Monday plans to outline how U.S. laws empower the government to kill Americans overseas who engage in terrorism against their home country, a source familiar with the matter said, months after a drone strike killed a U.S.-born cleric who plotted attacks from Yemen. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/05/us-usa-security-americans-idUSTRE82402420120305)

"We're already doing it, we're just retrofitting the excuse now."

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Rococo Modem Basilisk on March 05, 2012, 11:43:49 pm
> He said: "Why this is a problem for us as politicians is that every single element of the regulatory regime failed."

That's a very important point. If on the one hand rich and powerful corporations get away with anything, while on the other hand powerless minorities are being beaten up and killed by policemen, well, you might as well not have any laws at all.

(Ok that's not entirely true because in between those two extremes, it's still keeping a lot of things in check, but for a large part that's just some people and corporations still believing the law's the law and you keep to it, just because that's what you do. Alternatively not everyone turns into a ruthless psychopath, some people inherently prefer to do right and good)

Hey, wasn't there also something about a suspicious suicide or death just as the NotW scandal started leaking? (unless I'm mistaken and I'm thinking of another suspicious death in a different story)

Seeing that there's still important people hacking away at the case, will there come anything of that too?

Idea (just throwing this out there): if policemen were appointed by lottery (like Jury Duty in the US), it would be difficult for a police fraternity to "protect their own" (i.e., corruption within the police force would be less likely than minor and temporary individual acts of collusion with outsiders -- accidental rather than systemic corruption, in other words), and citizens would be expected to be educated in all of the ways policemen are expected to be educated (just as citizens in Athens were expected to know the mechanics of citizenship in case it became their job to act as executive). Furthermore, violence against police as a group would be a little more rare (the policeman could be your teacher, or your mother, or your best friend's little sister).

There are clearly downsides (a decrease in average police competence, experience doesn't really accumulate), but I find it interesting to consider.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Triple Zero on March 06, 2012, 12:16:19 am
I think the downside of decrease in competence and especially not having experience (what about training?) would be a pretty tough one.

That said, the local neighbourhood officers we have here are pretty all right, doing a good job, helpful, don't beat up random people, etc. I dunno how we got that, but apparently there's ways? Also this is my local experience, other parts of NL might be worse, but nowhere near what I've heard about the US and UK.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: BabylonHoruv on March 06, 2012, 05:31:52 pm
> He said: "Why this is a problem for us as politicians is that every single element of the regulatory regime failed."

That's a very important point. If on the one hand rich and powerful corporations get away with anything, while on the other hand powerless minorities are being beaten up and killed by policemen, well, you might as well not have any laws at all.

(Ok that's not entirely true because in between those two extremes, it's still keeping a lot of things in check, but for a large part that's just some people and corporations still believing the law's the law and you keep to it, just because that's what you do. Alternatively not everyone turns into a ruthless psychopath, some people inherently prefer to do right and good)

Hey, wasn't there also something about a suspicious suicide or death just as the NotW scandal started leaking? (unless I'm mistaken and I'm thinking of another suspicious death in a different story)

Seeing that there's still important people hacking away at the case, will there come anything of that too?

Idea (just throwing this out there): if policemen were appointed by lottery (like Jury Duty in the US), it would be difficult for a police fraternity to "protect their own" (i.e., corruption within the police force would be less likely than minor and temporary individual acts of collusion with outsiders -- accidental rather than systemic corruption, in other words), and citizens would be expected to be educated in all of the ways policemen are expected to be educated (just as citizens in Athens were expected to know the mechanics of citizenship in case it became their job to act as executive). Furthermore, violence against police as a group would be a little more rare (the policeman could be your teacher, or your mother, or your best friend's little sister).

There are clearly downsides (a decrease in average police competence, experience doesn't really accumulate), but I find it interesting to consider.

I can't see this as a useful approach.  It takes 2 to 4 years to train someone as a police officer.  Unless we approached this as something closer to a compulsory draft rather than a jury duty we won't have people who are adequately competent to do the job.  also, those 2 to 4 years are to achieve minimal competency which is then supplemented by on the job training and experience.  Even a military draft is usually only for 4 years.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Deepthroat Chopra on March 07, 2012, 12:07:55 am
A solution, I believe, is to seperate training from the actual culture of the police force. Here, I think law enforcement training is quite good, in terms of teaching communication, race relations and the like. But, once a well-trained cadet goes on placement, some fat evil cynical bastard sits him down with a "forget that crap they teach you in the academy. Pinko's and femi's, the lot of 'em. You're in the real world now, and we need to arrest more non-white folk" type of mentality starts to entrench them.

Now, how to do that????
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 07, 2012, 09:16:56 am
Not sure if this qualifies, but... The Obama administration on Monday plans to outline how U.S. laws empower the government to kill Americans overseas who engage in terrorism against their home country, a source familiar with the matter said, months after a drone strike killed a U.S.-born cleric who plotted attacks from Yemen. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/05/us-usa-security-americans-idUSTRE82402420120305)

"We're already doing it, we're just retrofitting the excuse now."

Holder basically said "the constitution says we only need due process, not a judicial review.  We have a process, we have a secret meeting, and if you're considered a national security threat, we'll kill you".

Quote
Some have argued that the President is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or associated forces.  This is simply not accurate. “Due process” and “judicial process” are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.

So basically, the Star Chamber has been rehabilitated.

Bernard Finel says it best:

Quote
So, due process can be met by secret deliberations with no right to confront one’s accuser, no right of appeal or judicial review, and no opportunity to introduce exculpatory evidence? It does not require any public notice as far as I can tell, and people on the death list might not even know they are on it or why. No one seems to have standing to challenge these decisions, except perhaps the targeted person, but since they don’t even need to be charged with a crime or indicted, I am not sure what they would be challenging.

Quote
Look, I get that there are bad guys out there. And indeed, we may need to kill them on occasion. But why not have a public process? Why not require indictments and trials in absentia. Why not have judicial review?

Yes, the Star Chamber model is quicker. But since when is that the determinative principle on issues that confront fundamental questions of democratic governance and civil liberties?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 07, 2012, 12:49:57 pm
This is really bad, isn't it?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Triple Zero on March 08, 2012, 05:47:58 pm
Yes, but now I wonder, can anybody just claim to have had a secret meeting with really high-up top-secret secret service secret agents and it was decided that <whoever they just caught killing> was a National Security Threat although the fact that he is is really top secret and I shouldn't even have said that much.

"No judge, of course any government officials you informed with would deny knowledge of this secret meeting and the secret decision made there in secrecy, either their security clearance it not enough and they truly don't know, or they do know and will deny it because it's top secret."

And get away with it?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Rococo Modem Basilisk on March 08, 2012, 09:17:58 pm
> He said: "Why this is a problem for us as politicians is that every single element of the regulatory regime failed."

That's a very important point. If on the one hand rich and powerful corporations get away with anything, while on the other hand powerless minorities are being beaten up and killed by policemen, well, you might as well not have any laws at all.

(Ok that's not entirely true because in between those two extremes, it's still keeping a lot of things in check, but for a large part that's just some people and corporations still believing the law's the law and you keep to it, just because that's what you do. Alternatively not everyone turns into a ruthless psychopath, some people inherently prefer to do right and good)

Hey, wasn't there also something about a suspicious suicide or death just as the NotW scandal started leaking? (unless I'm mistaken and I'm thinking of another suspicious death in a different story)

Seeing that there's still important people hacking away at the case, will there come anything of that too?

Idea (just throwing this out there): if policemen were appointed by lottery (like Jury Duty in the US), it would be difficult for a police fraternity to "protect their own" (i.e., corruption within the police force would be less likely than minor and temporary individual acts of collusion with outsiders -- accidental rather than systemic corruption, in other words), and citizens would be expected to be educated in all of the ways policemen are expected to be educated (just as citizens in Athens were expected to know the mechanics of citizenship in case it became their job to act as executive). Furthermore, violence against police as a group would be a little more rare (the policeman could be your teacher, or your mother, or your best friend's little sister).

There are clearly downsides (a decrease in average police competence, experience doesn't really accumulate), but I find it interesting to consider.

I can't see this as a useful approach.  It takes 2 to 4 years to train someone as a police officer.  Unless we approached this as something closer to a compulsory draft rather than a jury duty we won't have people who are adequately competent to do the job.  also, those 2 to 4 years are to achieve minimal competency which is then supplemented by on the job training and experience.  Even a military draft is usually only for 4 years.

I was certainly thinking of this in the context of a place with universal mandatory military service. It would be impossible to do police training the way we do jury duty training. However, there's a lot of overlap between many aspects of military and police training (physical training, combat training with and without weapons, a lot of equipment training, courses on ethics and acceptable behavior). On the other hand, judging by how people manage to rid themselves of knowledge they absorbed in mandatory schooling, I'm not sure I would trust a cop at 40 to remember the ethics training he went through at 17.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on March 08, 2012, 09:58:10 pm
I was certainly thinking of this in the context of a place with universal mandatory military service. It would be impossible to do police training the way we do jury duty training. However, there's a lot of overlap between many aspects of military and police training (physical training, combat training with and without weapons, a lot of equipment training, courses on ethics and acceptable behavior). On the other hand, judging by how people manage to rid themselves of knowledge they absorbed in mandatory schooling, I'm not sure I would trust a cop at 40 to remember the ethics training he went through at 17.

Wait.

You want everyone to be a cop?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on March 09, 2012, 12:34:45 am
As an aside, if everyone had the powers and armaments of the police of their country, we would quite probably be in a book by Ann Rand.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 09, 2012, 09:04:04 pm
I was certainly thinking of this in the context of a place with universal mandatory military service. It would be impossible to do police training the way we do jury duty training. However, there's a lot of overlap between many aspects of military and police training (physical training, combat training with and without weapons, a lot of equipment training, courses on ethics and acceptable behavior). On the other hand, judging by how people manage to rid themselves of knowledge they absorbed in mandatory schooling, I'm not sure I would trust a cop at 40 to remember the ethics training he went through at 17.

Wait.

You want everyone to be a cop?

Yeah, that's definitely in the "worst idea ever" category.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on March 10, 2012, 12:13:14 am
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/13/internal-memo-confirms-bi_n_258285.html


This one sure doesn't clarify anything, but I think it does highlight some of the system's structure.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on March 10, 2012, 01:24:48 am
http://www.alternet.org/story/154448/why_can%E2%80%99t_you_smoke_pot_because_lobbyists_are_getting_rich_off_of_the_war_on_drugs


Some interesting "follow the money" research out of Cali.

Quote
The Federal anti-marijuana honeypot might have dried up if Prop 19 had passed. Legalizing marijuana would have generated billions in tax revenue for the state of California, while also reducing victimless crime prosecutions. But for lobbyists like Lovell, legalization was a direct assault on hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential fees for helping to solicit taxpayer money for his clients.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Rococo Modem Basilisk on March 10, 2012, 02:19:00 am
You want everyone to be a cop?

Less "everyone is a cop" and more "no one is a cop for very long".
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on March 10, 2012, 03:03:38 am
You want everyone to be a cop?

Less "everyone is a cop" and more "no one is a cop for very long".

Well, sure.  Experience is a terrible thing when dealing with shit like domestic disturbances.

UNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN NNNG!
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 10, 2012, 07:13:45 pm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/09/naacp-un-voter-disfranchisement-us

Quote
The leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the NAACP, will travel to Geneva next week to tell the UN human rights council that a co-ordinated legislative attempt is being made by states across America to disfranchise millions of black and Latino voters in November's presidential election.

The delegation, headed by the NAACP's president, Benjamin Jealous, will address the council on Wednesday and call on the UN body to launch a formal investigation into the spread of restrictive electoral laws, particularly in southern states. The NAACP intends to invite a UN team to travel across America to see for itself the impact of the new laws, which it argues are consciously designed to suppress minority voting.

The UN has no power to intervene in the workings of individual American states. But Jealous told the Guardian that the UN had a powerful weapon in its armoury: shame.

"Shame alone is effective. The US, and individual states within the US that have introduced these laws, have a vested interest in maintaining the opinion that we are the world's leading democracy. That means something," Jealous said.

In the NAACP's view, the voting rights of black and other minority groups are under more threat from laws restricting their participation at the ballot box than at any time since the segregationist days of Jim Crow.

A recent report by the Brennan Center for Justice estimated that since last year more than 5 million eligible voters had had their right to vote stripped from them.

There are already 19 new laws on the books in 14 different states, which between them account for 63% of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the US presidential race in November. Some laws involve a requirement to show photo identification in polling stations – disproportionately hitting black and elderly people, who often do not have such ID.

Other laws have cut back on early voting schemes, heavily used by ethnic minority and older people, and still others disfranchise former convicted prisoners, even in some cases years after their sentences were completed.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 10, 2012, 07:19:24 pm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/09/naacp-un-voter-disfranchisement-us

Quote
The leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the NAACP, will travel to Geneva next week to tell the UN human rights council that a co-ordinated legislative attempt is being made by states across America to disfranchise millions of black and Latino voters in November's presidential election.

The delegation, headed by the NAACP's president, Benjamin Jealous, will address the council on Wednesday and call on the UN body to launch a formal investigation into the spread of restrictive electoral laws, particularly in southern states. The NAACP intends to invite a UN team to travel across America to see for itself the impact of the new laws, which it argues are consciously designed to suppress minority voting.

The UN has no power to intervene in the workings of individual American states. But Jealous told the Guardian that the UN had a powerful weapon in its armoury: shame.

"Shame alone is effective. The US, and individual states within the US that have introduced these laws, have a vested interest in maintaining the opinion that we are the world's leading democracy. That means something," Jealous said.

In the NAACP's view, the voting rights of black and other minority groups are under more threat from laws restricting their participation at the ballot box than at any time since the segregationist days of Jim Crow.

A recent report by the Brennan Center for Justice estimated that since last year more than 5 million eligible voters had had their right to vote stripped from them.

There are already 19 new laws on the books in 14 different states, which between them account for 63% of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the US presidential race in November. Some laws involve a requirement to show photo identification in polling stations – disproportionately hitting black and elderly people, who often do not have such ID.

Other laws have cut back on early voting schemes, heavily used by ethnic minority and older people, and still others disfranchise former convicted prisoners, even in some cases years after their sentences were completed.

Oh wow, that would be awesome if it worked!
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 12, 2012, 09:06:31 am
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/the-copper-the-lawrence-killers-father-and-secret-police-files-that-expose-a-corrupt-relationship-7537762.html

Quote
A key investigator in the original botched hunt for the killers was corrupt and engaged in extensive criminal enterprise, according to the secret Met files. Detective Sergeant John Davidson, who interviewed key Lawrence suspects and witnesses within days of the stabbing, was a "major player" in a ring of bent detectives "operating as a professional organised crime syndicate", according to previously unpublished intelligence reports.

* Davidson had corrupt relations with informants, dealt in Class A drugs and "would deal in all aspects of criminality when the opportunities presented themselves", according to the files written by senior anti-corruption officers.

* Davidson is alleged to have admitted that officers had a corrupt relationship with Clifford Norris, the gangster father of murderer David Norris. A police supergrass recently gave evidence under oath at the Old Bailey that Davidson had told him bent cops "looked after old man Norris".

* Anti-corruption officers were aware of the alleged link with Norris during the 1998 Macpherson inquiry, according to new testimony from the former Crown prosecutor on the case, but an internal Met legal memo suggests that the force feared the claim would get out while it was being sued by the Lawrence family.

* John Yates, the former Met Assistant Commissioner who led the investigation into Davidson and his colleagues, can be revealed to have prepared testimony for police corruption proceedings last year, unrelated to Davidson, confirming that "there was a huge appetite to prosecute John Davidson, who we considered then and still do now to have been a major corrupt player of that era".

In other words, the Lawrence Enquiry, such as it was, may have been intentionally set up to find the police as institutionally racist, because it was better to be seen as racist than be seen as involved in organised crime.

It can also explain, to a degree, the level of cooperation among the Met and the News of the World/Sun/London Times.

Consider the triangular relationship that exists between the press, the police and the government.  By upgrading its influence with the press, which was well known to be highly influential on the Home Office of the previous government(s) under Labour in particular, it allowed the police to put pressure on the politicians to forestall the kind of reforms which may affect this police syndicate, which involved both currently serving and former officers - in many cases the same officers who went on to be employed by News International in some capacity or another.

This whole thing stinks to high heaven. 
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 12, 2012, 09:20:03 am
What makes this all the more disturbing is how much of this did the Tory Party know?

The Tories were looking to integrate themselves closely with the News International crew, both with bringing the likes of Andy Coulson in, and with the close relationship between Cameron and Rebecca Brookes personally.  I've speculated before that I think this may have had to do with political intelligence gathering, among other things.

But then you also have the integration of News International people into the police press office, and the Tory Party Communications HQ.  Is this because the Tories were also upgrading their relationship with News International, to gain leverage over the police?  Or was something else going on?  There is known to be a definite pro-Murdoch group within the Cabinet made up of neoconservatives, Gove and Osborne primarily.  Are they the players?  Or are they being played?  Who is really making the moves here, the Met, News International or the Government?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 12, 2012, 09:23:46 am
I hate living in my head sometimes.  Of course, I could live with it a lot more easily, if I didn't live in the same city where it seems the police are the biggest criminal gang around, and I just threw half a dozen stories together to show a possible criminal conspiracy to undermine democratic rule, possibly initiated by them to protect their crime syndicate.

Good thing I'm using someone else's wifi access to write this.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 12, 2012, 09:42:25 am
Aha, knew I had it buried in my "keep for later reference folder" somewhere. 

http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Witness-Statement-of-Bob-Quick.pdf

Quote
At the police station, Green went through the normal reception processes and in accordance with standard procedure was asked to nominate a person to be notified of his arrest and to whom he would be allowed one phone call. Green nominated AndyCoulson and was allowed to make one call to Mr Coulson. At that time Mr Coulson was Director of Communications for the Conservative Party.

MP Dominic Green was arrested by counter-terrorism police, after being suspected as the source for leaks of certain documents.  That he chose his only call to be to Coulson is...interesting, in light of the above. 

It is highly likely that Coulson was some kind of fixer for the Tories, when it came to problems concering the police and bad press.  In fact, that is likely why he got his job in the first place.  Let us recall that George Osborne, current chancellor and member of the pro-Murdoch Cabinet group, was the one who recommended him for the position.

Now, what did Coulson do, aside from work for News International, to gain such an endorsement?  Well, he damage control on an embarrassing incident involving Osborne at a party with a dominatrix, and taking cocaine (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-12/editor-helped-chancellor-manipulate-news/2882216?section=world):

Quote
On the day Miss Rowe’s “exclusive” interview appeared in the Sunday Mirror, its arch rival The News of the World ran the story as well.

It was accompanied by an editorial emphasising how Mr Osborne totally condemned drugs.

The tabloid, then edited by Mr Coulson, quoted him as describing his drug addict friend’s experience as a “stark lesson at a young age of the destruction which drugs bring to so many lives”.

The News of the World version was seen as a “spoiler” to the Sunday Mirror scoop and Miss Rowe assumed the News of the World had been tipped off a “spy” in her “camp”.

Despite the fact that Mr Coulson’s newspaper had published the allegations about George Osborne, the two men later enjoyed a cordial relationship.

It emerged recently that the Chancellor had even played a key role in recruiting Mr Coulson for the Conservatives.

And as we now know, a private detective employed by the News of the World was hacking Sunday Mirror phones from as far back as 2005.  That this story was obtained via hacking, to protect Osborne, is almost a certainty.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 12, 2012, 10:03:19 am
Keep an eye on this:

http://consortiumnews.com/2012/03/10/pols-resist-refunding-ponzi-cash/

Quote
On Tuesday, Texas financier Robert Allen Stanford was convicted in a Houston federal court on 13 out of 14 criminal counts of fraud. As The New York Times reported:

“The jury decision followed a six-week trial and came three years after Mr. Stanford was accused of defrauding nearly 30,000 investors in 113 countries in a Ponzi scheme involving $7 billion in fraudulent high-interest certificates of deposit at the Stanford International Bank, which was based on the Caribbean island of Antigua.”

Media accounts of Stanford’s conviction were filled with stories of his excesses — mansions, private yachts and jets, and so much money invested in Antigua — including bribes — the small island awarded him a knighthood.

Among his other indulgences, noted the Reuters news service: “He bought a castle in Florida for one of his girlfriends and his oldest daughter lived in a million-dollar condominium in Houston. He wore custom-made suits and bankrolled a $20 million prize for an international cricket tournament.”

But what most of this week’s stories failed to mention was the large amount of his clients’ cash that was spent on campaign contributions, greasing the corrupt nexus of money and politics for personal gain. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were given to candidates, including Barack Obama, John McCain, John Boehner and Harry Reid; as well as national fundraising committees for the Republican and Democratic parties.

The court-appointed receiver charged with returning money to Stanford’s investors is trying to get the contributions back. And the committees are resisting.

Apart from the political funding aspect of this, a reason to keep an eye on this story is that Robert Allen Stanford is almost certainly a US National Security asset (http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/2010/08/full-service-bank-r-allen-stanford-and.html), and that his bank is suspected of being involved with laundering drug money as well as operating a ponzi scheme for the benefit of politically linked clients.

Obvious question: was Stanford backing the politicians he was because they were seen as the US intelligence community as serving their interests?  Also, what are we to make of Stanfords alleged links to Mexican cartels and the Fast and Furious program, if anything?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 12, 2012, 10:50:41 am
Worth quoting:

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3880030.html

Quote
The result is a lattice of mutual dependencies, networks of power in which the dominant currency is information - or, more accurately, ideological signification. The dependency is, in effect, one between different sectors of power which monopolise and strategically disburse different kinds of information. The journalistic dependency on the aforementioned sources is only reinforced by the existence of a competitive newspaper market, where a number of papers vie for access to the same streams of information. And in a context of declining profitability and reduced readership such as has been the case in the UK market for some time, there is a premium on the novel, dramatic, and thus far occluded. At the same time, the institutions they depend upon have a definable interest in creating illicit flows of disavowable information, whether to create issues around which they can mobilise opinion and organise existing projects, or to vilify and disorient opponents.

We have seen that this is particularly so of the police, whose role in dispensing law also gives them a privileged position in defining a wide range of social situations. The information upon which criminality is determined, court action proceeds and wider social and political issues are identified, to a large extent flows upward from officers involved in routine 'enforcement'. It is a logical entailment of this role that police will seek to directly define issues pertinent to their role via the media. Importantly, there are no clear boundaries between licit and illicit conduct in this regard. A witness statement to the Leveson Inquiry from Jacqueline Hames, a Metropolitan Police officer and former presenter of the BBC program Crimewatch, suggests that this indeterminacy could be settled by better training and a wider awareness of guidelines. But this is a 'technological' solution to a non-technical problem: the same professional autonomy that allows police to define the situations they work in - to 'work up' charges where they are so motivated, to stop and search, to detain without charge, to deploy strategic violence and then write up the reports which rationalise their approach in the language of bureaucracy – empowers the police to define their relations with reporters.

This brings the media into the field of 'parapolitics', an area in which the exercise of political and ideological power is conducted in forms and according to hierarchies not formally recognised in the 'public' sphere. 'Parapolitics' is a term that is usually associated with researchers into 'conspiracy theory', a field that is blighted with kookiness, silliness and 'infotainment' posing as revelation.  But when theory becomes scandalous fact, there is no reason to be coy. The networks of mutual dependency that I have described are effectively a 'conspiracy machine', an ensemble of mechanisms that are apt to produce constant flows of illicitly obtained information, and the constant maintenance of relations which keep the flows going. The staggering range and depth of the Murdoch empire's involvement in criminal enterprise at various levels over many years, of which it is prudent to assume we know only a fraction, would have been impossible to sustain otherwise.

And this enjoins us to re-phrase familiar questions in a different light. It is common, for example, to despairingly ask how we can root out the culture of corruption and sleaze in journalism. Or, one might ask, how far up the chain does the corruption go? As if, were we to identify Rupert Murdoch as conspirator-in-chief, a knowing agent of political corruption, the problem would be resolved.  In reality, despite Murdoch's hands-on approach to running his tabloids, and without wishing to foreclose future investigation, it is highly improbable that the Dirty Digger personally would have dug in the dirt. The real question, for those who do not want this situation to be endlessly repeated, is: what sort of media would behave differently?  And, as a corollary: what sort of society would give rise to a better media?

Parapolitics is pretty much the perfect word to describe this.  Pretty much my entire background in political science could be said to have a parapolitical slant, what with my focus on questions of terrorism and security (which naturally have a certain covert element, and there is a back and forth between terrorists and intelligence agencies which is rarely acknowledged outside of those circles).

What this shows, to my mind, is that the parapolitical slant is equally appropriate to the actions of so called liberal democracies, and not even in the context of security, where it would be still somewhat understandable, if contestable (the actions of covert operations like Gladio having a sensible rationale, if quickly subverted to more immediate political purposes), but for the simple practice of gaining and holding onto power.

In practice, politics in most western countries takes the form of corporatism (ie; fascism), where government acts to balance the interests of various groups, including but not limited to corporations (a common misunderstanding of corporatism is that corporations form the ruling class.  This is not true.  Corporatism refers to all powerful interest groups with a top-down hierarchy, including political parties, trade unions and religious societies), and the interests of said groups is communicated through back-channels as to avoid democratic accountability.  As a result, the various agents involved in this form ad-hoc agreements whereby sharing of information is reciprocated among these covert channels, allowing for the benefit of all parties involved.

That this happens to correspond with Assange's theory of "conspiracy as governance" is not just coincidence, I think you will agree.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 12, 2012, 03:55:59 pm
Or not, because, apparently, no-one cares.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition_Squid on March 12, 2012, 04:05:35 pm
No, I thought this was amazing. Particularly the take on the police on the previous page. I'm not sure what to add, other than that at this point, I would be more surprised if there wasn't a high level conspiracy and deep rooted corruption throughout the police.

It would not surprise me if the Conservatives were in bed with the news of the world for this, and should all this come to light...

Well, I wish I could say I think it'd bring the government down, but I'm not that optimistic. It might reinvigorate the protests this year, though, and that could be a very good thing.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 12, 2012, 04:36:34 pm
Parapolitics is a good word for describing what I've been feeling is almost inevitable when you have an established structure: several groups of unestablished power bases work behind the structure to influence it.  That's about right, yeah?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on March 12, 2012, 05:05:45 pm
Cain posts are hard to digest first thing in the morning.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on March 12, 2012, 11:19:19 pm
Or not, because, apparently, no-one cares.

The problems and issues presented are large and complex. You need to tell us what to care about specifically.

In regard to the police/government/press triangle I would suggest it logical to consider ancillary groups equally likely to be involved. It seems like a giant multi-sided prisoners dilemma. No one can implicate everyone directly, those that are are relatively isolated and able to be replaced by a similar person with an identical remit.

It seems so broken that reform is a joke of an option. The transparency that would have to be introduced will most likely be portrayed as privacy breaching or excess paperwork "taking officers off the streets" style.

Overall, coverage of the Levenson Enquiry has been unremarkable. The full transcripts and statements are there, and stuff comes out of the daily sessions frequently that makes you think "Fuck, this person runs a national newspaper and doesn't know what ethics means"

Every 20 minutes, a question or quote like that. No wonder the world is fucked.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on March 13, 2012, 05:25:09 am
That this happens to correspond with Assange's theory of "conspiracy as governance" is not just coincidence, I think you will agree.

Indeed.

What do you think are some of the most effective ways to subvert, combat or otherwise reduce the influence of corporatism?


You need to tell us what to care about specifically.

Think for yourself, schmuck.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on March 13, 2012, 06:01:32 am
That this happens to correspond with Assange's theory of "conspiracy as governance" is not just coincidence, I think you will agree.

Indeed.

What do you think are some of the most effective ways to subvert, combat or otherwise reduce the influence of corporatism?


You need to tell us what to care about specifically.

Think for yourself, schmuck.

Poorly translated sarcasm. Imagine I said it with a monocle and suitably raised eyebrow.
Or I may just need really the guidance that only anonymous strangers can provide.

More seriously, Cain's a total fucker. Every time I read a post its spewing forth so many angles it gives me papercuts before I've even determined which book(s) I now need to read to gain an idiots level of understanding.

Fuck you Cain. With your information and your words. Keep it up. You Bastard.

Also, Called it, got distracted and forgot to link it in
http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php/topic,11728.1080/msg,1155567.html
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on March 13, 2012, 08:56:33 am
Daaaaaaamn. Thanks for passing that on Cain. That's going to take a while to digest.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on March 13, 2012, 01:49:57 pm
That this happens to correspond with Assange's theory of "conspiracy as governance" is not just coincidence, I think you will agree.

Indeed.

What do you think are some of the most effective ways to subvert, combat or otherwise reduce the influence of corporatism?


You need to tell us what to care about specifically.

Think for yourself, schmuck.

Poorly translated sarcasm. Imagine I said it with a monocle and suitably raised eyebrow.
Or I may just need really the guidance that only anonymous strangers can provide.

Hazard of the Internets: A lack of vocal cues causes yet another 9 page pile up at your local forum and fuck you assface, tonight at 10.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on March 13, 2012, 02:56:01 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17349578
Quote
Police said one woman and five men were held on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, as part of the Operation Weeting hacking probe

Including Rebekah Brooks and husband. Still waiting on Murdoch lawyers to enter stage left from what I can find. This is the third arrest for Brooks, still no charges reported. Waiting for someone to slip and implicate her directly would be my guess.

Stuff like
Quote
Mrs Brooks was arrested under Operation Weeting last July on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, before being released on police bail. She has also been arrested as part of the Operation Elveden investigation on suspicion of corruption
Leads me to think everyone knows she's involved at the highest levels, and probably as culpable as one person can be here. Proving it seems to be a bit of a bugger.

Edit- Brooks has been arrested twice before, not once.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on March 13, 2012, 03:19:17 pm
Ah yes, the old "bad apple" bit:

www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/business/tough-reviews-ahead-for-banks-in-26-billion-mortgage-deal.html

Quote
The banks have largely focused the blame for mistakes on low-level employees, attributing many of the problems to the surge in the volume of foreclosures after the housing market collapsed and the economy weakened in 2008.

But the report concludes that managers were aware of the problems and did nothing to correct them. The shortcuts were directed by managers in some cases, according to the report, which is by the inspector general of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The examination is among the most extensive to date of the banks’ foreclosure practices, which caused a national uproar and prompted a $25 billion settlement between the banks and the government that was filed in federal court Monday.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on March 13, 2012, 03:28:16 pm
Woah

Quote
One vice president said documents in her department were checked only for “formatting and spelling errors,” not the underlying figures or facts in the case.

Seriously, how do I get that job? I can spell like a rapper reading a dictionary on speed.

Quote
In one review of 36 foreclosures at JPMorgan Chase, the bank was able to find documents explaining what the borrowers purportedly owed in only four cases. And in three of those four instances, the underlying documents proved incorrect.

Some lawyer, somewhere is thinking class action lawsuit. I would have thought of all institutions a BANK would at least be able to prove what you owe. That being the entire business really.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 13, 2012, 10:27:54 pm
Or not, because, apparently, no-one cares.

It's actually exactly the kind of thing that I'm interested in, but the combination of being hung-over for a week due to Alty's intoxicating presence and trying to study (which I am NOT effective at when I'm hung-over) had me rendered fairly useless at the time that you posted it. I'll go back and read it after I finish my homework tonight.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 14, 2012, 09:31:22 pm
Hot holy shit, that is some twisted, twisted stuff.

Kind of puts most penny-ante conspiracy theories to shame. I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Rococo Modem Basilisk on March 15, 2012, 12:06:42 pm
http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/180311/anonymous-new-timeline-of-fbi-infiltration-suggests-antisec-may-have-been-an-fbi-creation/
Think about this for a second. It's one thing to do the agent provacateur thing in a small local protest group that can be fairly easily put down (or to radicalize someone, provide them with a terror plot, and give them fake explosives), but it's another thing entirely to tell a large international movement to attack you for the sole purpose of trying to prosecute a few of the dumbest people involved.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 20, 2012, 01:54:10 pm
GOP claims Obama doesn't support women because Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a cunt. (http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/03/19/rnc_ad_blasts_obama_s_war_on_women_by_focusing_on_bill_maher.html)

Because calling someone names is so much worse than passing legislation that makes women second-class citizens.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on March 20, 2012, 02:09:43 pm
GOP claims Obama doesn't support women because Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a cunt. (http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/03/19/rnc_ad_blasts_obama_s_war_on_women_by_focusing_on_bill_maher.html)

Because calling someone names is so much worse than passing legislation that makes women second-class citizens.

And Bill Maher is Barack Obama occasionally.   :lulz:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 20, 2012, 02:28:39 pm
Does that mean Bill is culturally black?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 20, 2012, 02:50:44 pm
GOP claims Obama doesn't support women because Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a cunt. (http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/03/19/rnc_ad_blasts_obama_s_war_on_women_by_focusing_on_bill_maher.html)

Because calling someone names is so much worse than passing legislation that makes women second-class citizens.

And Bill Maher is Barack Obama occasionally.   :lulz:

Yes, that makes perfect sense!  :lol:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 20, 2012, 02:51:42 pm
Does that mean Bill is culturally black?

 :lulz:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on March 20, 2012, 03:48:26 pm
Does that mean Bill is culturally black?

I'll have to check the statutes.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Prince Glittersnatch III on March 20, 2012, 08:41:17 pm
Speaking of spook states.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1

The Panopticon might finally become a reality.

Additional reading:
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/papers/2011/1214_digital_storage_villasenor/1214_digital_storage_villasenor.pdf

^It will soon be practical for governments to keep a digital record of EVERY bit of communication.

Imagine the blackmail potential of this. Future politicians will have every dirty google search and every off color instant messaging joke they made hanging over their heads. Its Hoovers wet dream, a world where there is a file on everyone.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 20, 2012, 08:48:48 pm
Who says politicians are going to have access to it?

Some guy in a suit at Fort Meade will have all the blackmail material needed on any political figure, past, present or considering running, ever.

Whose authority does the NSA come under again?  Just some guys in a funny shaped building (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Defense).
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 21, 2012, 03:46:47 pm
Yesterday, during a Supreme Court hearing, Justice Scalia said, "modern penology has abandoned that rehabilitation thing." (http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/supreme_court_dispatches/2012/03/the_supreme_court_hears_arguments_on_whether_children_guilty_of_murder_should_be_given_life_without_parole_.html)

But of course -- you'd be depriving jails of their income, if you helped criminals stop being criminals.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on March 21, 2012, 03:48:28 pm
Its Hoovers wet dream, a world where there is a file on everyone.

I like this idea.

Because SOMEONE is eventually gonna LOOK at the files on LMNO and myself, and it warms my cold little heart to think of that person's therapy bills.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 21, 2012, 03:51:16 pm
You'd be able to hear the screaming from Ft Meade as far away as Charlotte, NC.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on March 22, 2012, 10:38:52 am
Thanks for keeping the momentum guy and gals.



http://boingboing.net/2012/03/19/liberating-americas-secret.html

Liberating America's secret, for-pay laws
Quote
[Editor's note: This morning, I found a an enormous, 30Lb box waiting for me at my post-office box. Affixed to it was a sticker warning me that by accepting this box into my possession, I was making myself liable for nearly $11 million in damages. The box was full of paper, and printed on the paper were US laws -- laws that no one is allowed to publish or distribute without permission. Carl Malamud, Boing Boing's favorite rogue archivist, is the guy who sent me this glorious box of weird (here are the unboxing pics for your pleasure). I was expecting it, because he asked me in advance if I minded being one of the 25 entities who'd receive this law-bomb on deposit. I was only too glad to accept -- on the condition that Carl write us a guest editorial explaining what this was all about. He was true to his word. -Cory]
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Juana Go? on March 22, 2012, 10:49:27 pm
:lulz: This is going to be fun.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on March 23, 2012, 12:23:51 am
I though Dok Howl would be interested (as well as a few others which are in fields where standards incorporated-by-reference into law are commonly used), as this directly effects their jobs and stuff....
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 23, 2012, 09:51:00 am
Mohammed Merah, the man behind the French school shootings and the killing of three French soldiers, was under surveillance by French security services for months before he carried out his attacks.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17484121

Quote
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has said there were no grounds for arresting Mohammed Merah before he shot seven people.

Security services have been criticised since it emerged that Merah had been under surveillance for months.

Mr Fillon said there was no single element to suggest a threat.

Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande said there had been flaws in the surveillance of Merah, who was killed by a sniper on Thursday.

But speaking on French radio, Mr Fillon said the DCRI, France's domestic intelligence service, "had done their job perfectly".

"They did enough surveillance to see that there was no evidence to suggest he was a dangerous man," he told RTL on Friday.

Merah was also on the US flight watch-list.

Presumably, the surveillance was of such poor quality, the French security services somehow managed to overlook Merah stockpiling ammunition, buying a flak jacket and making up molotov coktails in his apartment.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 23, 2012, 01:49:56 pm
Would this be evidence of a false-flag op, or merely incompetence?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 23, 2012, 01:50:47 pm
Either.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 23, 2012, 01:55:43 pm
Well, I'm going to naively go with whoever it was that said, "never ascribe conspiracy to what can easily be explained by stupidity."
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on March 23, 2012, 02:12:44 pm
Well, I'm going to naively go with whoever it was that said, "never ascribe conspiracy to what can easily be explained by stupidity."

Hanlon's Razor.

The fundamental flaw with that is that something can be both malicious AND stupid.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 23, 2012, 02:14:18 pm
Good point.  At that point, I suppose you'd have to figure out how much of each.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: BabylonHoruv on March 23, 2012, 11:59:38 pm
I though Dok Howl would be interested (as well as a few others which are in fields where standards incorporated-by-reference into law are commonly used), as this directly effects their jobs and stuff....

it matters an awful lot for anyone who is interested in DIY home building, plumbing, etc.  The standards not being freely available makes the entire concept much more difficult.  It also makes even trying to follow the codes seem a bit silly, you can't follow codes you aren't allowed to read.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 24, 2012, 07:42:08 pm
The DCRI have found at least something that suggests Merah wasn't acting alone:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17499831

Quote
Abdelkader Merah is being questioned at domestic intelligence agency (DCRI) headquarters in Paris, where he was brought along with his partner.

Mohamed Merah admitted killing seven people in execution-style gun attacks before his death in a police siege.

Abdelkader reportedly told police after the attacks he was "proud" of him.

The men's mother was released without charge on Friday evening.

Investigators are trying to establish if Merah, a 23-year-old French citizen of Algerian descent, acted alone.

Crucial questions include how Merah, a petty criminal, was able to amass an arsenal of weapons and rent a car without any clear source of income.

He reportedly told police during the siege he had bought weapons for 20,000 euros (£16,700; $24,400) using money taken through break-ins and hold-ups.

That's a lot of money to raise through robbery.  And risky too, given that a number of armed robberies would, of course, draw police attention to them.  Other than the police who supposedly had him under surveillance for months, that is.

I'm not saying who he got the money from, only that someone was possibly sponsoring this venture.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on March 25, 2012, 02:23:06 am
3 Shiny trinkets says that Israel accuses Iran within the next 2 weeks.

Taking all bets!
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 31, 2012, 04:40:01 am
http://www.channel4.com/news/new-police-corruption-alleged-in-secret-report

Quote
The confidential report produced by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) in 2008, found that private investigators, linked to organised criminals, used corrupt serving and former police officers to delete intelligence records from law enforcement databases and access details of police operations. The report has been seen by Channel 4 News Home Affairs Correspondent Andy Davies.

The eight-page report, which has been passed to the Leveson inquiry into police corruption and media ethics, warns of "rogue" private investigators "providing organised crime groups with counter-surveillance techniques" and attempting to discover the identities of informants and witnesses under police protection.

The details in the report entitled "Private Investigators: The Rogue Element of the Private Investigation Industry and Others Unlawfully Trading in Personal Data" have never been disclosed publicly before, because the report is labelled "exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000".

Soca analysed five UK Law enforcement operations leading up to 30 September 2007. The report says: "Four of the operations provided examples of corrupt individuals including serving and former police officers, a bank employee, employees in a communications service provider, a public service employee, and a HM Prison Service Employee. All of these were used by private investigators to facilitate access to information."

This of course also potentially ties back into the News International/Met/organised crime links detailed earlier on.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on April 01, 2012, 01:41:48 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17576745

Quote
The government will be able to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of everyone in the UK under new legislation set to be announced soon.

Internet firms will be required to give intelligence agency GCHQ access to communications on demand, in real time.

The Home Office says the move is key to tackling crime and terrorism, but civil liberties groups have criticised it.

Attempts by the last Labour government to take similar steps failed after huge opposition, including from the Tories.

A new law - which may be announced in the forthcoming Queen's Speech in May - would not allow GCHQ to access the content of emails, calls or messages without a warrant.

But it would enable intelligence officers to identify who an individual or group is in contact with, how often and for how long.

Crime and terror prevention. Totally not riot prevention. I'm sure this will be completely safe from hacking and abuse.

I get a feeling this ties into copyright and piracy but I'm not quite certain why. Just seems like the kind of thing that would used mainly beyond it's official/apparent remit.

Also, what a lovely show of the two party con. It's not even subtle now.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 01, 2012, 08:28:04 pm
Total Information Awareness.

The UK is looking less and less appealing every single day.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Prince Glittersnatch III on April 01, 2012, 10:51:32 pm
Quote
The previous Labour government attempted to introduce a central, government-run database of everyone's phone calls and emails, but eventually dropped the bid after widespread anger.

Fuck, this is the exact same thing the NSA is doing.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 02, 2012, 09:36:23 am
http://www.salon.com/2012/04/01/how_billionaires_destroy_democracy/
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Prince Glittersnatch III on April 03, 2012, 07:29:45 am
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/us/justices-approve-strip-searches-for-any-offense.html?_r=1

Quote
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.

Ok, Orwellian surveillance and arrests without trial are one thing, but now the powers that be are just being dicks.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on April 03, 2012, 05:13:15 pm
The thing that is most telling to me is that they're not even really bothering to try to pretend they're on the side of the people anymore.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 06, 2012, 04:07:15 pm
This story is educational, but in a different way from how it may initially seem:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-17636776

Quote
Metropolitan Police criticised after racism inquiry

Two former senior Scotland Yard bosses have criticised the Metropolitan Police after eight officers were suspended over allegations of racism.

Retired Flying Squad commander John O'Connor said managers should have been pro-active after the force was accused in 1999 of "institutional racism".

Former Det Ch Insp David Michael said the force had to demonstrate its commitment to tackling the issue.

The force has said racist language is "abhorrent" and not tolerated.

In total, 18 officers and one civilian staff member are being investigated in relation to 10 claims of racism.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the claims which include bullying, abuse and physical assault.

What it's not talking about is all the non-white deaths while in police custody in the UK (http://www.minorityperspective.co.uk/2011/04/13/black-deaths-in-police-custody-we-should-never-forget/).

Because, in the modern world, it seems so long as you can make a stand against intolerant language and verbal abuse, it doesn't matter if you actually act like a sociopathic monster.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on April 08, 2012, 05:47:34 pm
This story is educational, but in a different way from how it may initially seem:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-17636776

Quote
Metropolitan Police criticised after racism inquiry

Two former senior Scotland Yard bosses have criticised the Metropolitan Police after eight officers were suspended over allegations of racism.

Retired Flying Squad commander John O'Connor said managers should have been pro-active after the force was accused in 1999 of "institutional racism".

Former Det Ch Insp David Michael said the force had to demonstrate its commitment to tackling the issue.

The force has said racist language is "abhorrent" and not tolerated.

In total, 18 officers and one civilian staff member are being investigated in relation to 10 claims of racism.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the claims which include bullying, abuse and physical assault.

What it's not talking about is all the non-white deaths while in police custody in the UK (http://www.minorityperspective.co.uk/2011/04/13/black-deaths-in-police-custody-we-should-never-forget/).

Because, in the modern world, it seems so long as you can make a stand against intolerant language and verbal abuse, it doesn't matter if you actually act like a sociopathic monster.

 :x
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: hirley0 on April 08, 2012, 05:55:59 pm
pro-active
YES:
But only in the case of Tropical STORMS{subs) & Volcanoes{air&ground
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 09, 2012, 02:40:41 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17651797

Quote
The UK government approved the 2004 rendition of a terror suspect to the Gaddafi regime, the BBC can reveal.

A letter from an MI6 officer refers to Abdel Hakim Belhaj's rendition to Libya. It congratulates the Libyans on the "safe arrival" of the "air cargo".

Mr Belhaj says he was tortured in jail. Successive UK governments have denied complicity in rendition or torture.

But BBC correspondent Peter Taylor says he understands Mr Belhaj's rendition was given ministerial approval.

However it is not clear at what level of government the decision was authorised.

The letter from the senior MI6 officer, Sir Mark Allen, to Col Gaddafi's intelligence chief, Musa Kusa, was found last year in the rubble of Musa Kusa's headquarters, which were bombed by Nato.

As well as congratulating the Libyans on the arrival of the "cargo", it points out that "the intelligence was British".

The letter was sent in 2004 when Mr Belhaj was the leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

MI5 believed the group was close to al-Qaeda and involved in recruiting young Muslims in Britain to fight in Iraq.

Our correspondent says it appears MI6 had discovered that Mr Belhaj was in Malaysia and about to head for London in the hope of obtaining political asylum.

MI6 informed its foreign intelligence partners, and as a result Mr Belhaj was intercepted in Bangkok, presumably by the CIA, and rendered to Libya.

Our correspondent says the letter suggests MI6 was complicit in Mr Belhaj's illegal rendition and alleged torture in Libya - but that MI6 was not acting unilaterally.

He says his understanding is that MI6 obtained authorisation from the Labour government of the time for its action.

Jack Straw was the Labour Foreign Secretary in 2004 when the rendition took place. In an interview on BBC Radio 4 last year he said: "We were opposed to unlawful rendition. We were opposed to any use of torture or similar methods. Not only did we not agree with it, we were not complicit in it and nor did we turn a blind eye to it."

He added: "No foreign secretary can know all the details of what its intelligence agencies are doing at any one time."

His office told the BBC Mr Straw had nothing further to add in the light of the current allegations

Jack Straw, as you may have noticed, is either a liar, or not in control of the UK's intelligence agencies.  I tend towards the former - he was given the role of Foreign Secretary after Robin Cook, a far better man than most in Parliament, resigned in the wake of the Iraq War.  It would make sense for Blair to put a pliant toady in place - which is exactly what Straw was.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on April 09, 2012, 04:09:57 pm
Jesus fuck.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on April 09, 2012, 05:12:42 pm
Jesus fuck.

REMEMBER, KIDS:  WE'RE THE GOOD GUYS.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 13, 2012, 11:30:59 am
Tony Blair, amazingly, "doesn't remember" any of this.

Anyway,

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/mike-bloombergs-new-york-cops-in-your-hallways-20120403

Quote
Bloomberg, that great crossover Republican, has long been celebrated by the Upper West Side bourgeoisie for his enlightened views on gay rights and the environment, but also targeted for criticism by civil rights activists because of stop-and-frisk, a program that led to a record 684,330 street searches just last year.

Now he’s under fire for a program he inherited, which goes by the darkly Bushian name of the "Clean Halls program." In effect since 1991, it allows police to execute so-called "vertical patrols" by going up into private buildings and conducting stop-and-frisk searches in hallways – with the landlord’s permission.

According to the NYCLU, which filed the suit, "virtually every private apartment building [in the Bronx] is enrolled in the program," and "in Manhattan alone, there are at least 3,895 Clean Halls Buildings." Referring to the NYPD’s own data, the complaint says police conducted 240,000 "vertical patrols" in the year 2003 alone.

If you live in a Clean Halls building, you can’t even go out to take out the trash without carrying an ID – and even that might not be enough. If you go out for any reason, there may be police in the hallways, demanding that you explain yourself, and insisting, in brazenly illegal and unconstitutional fashion, on searches of your person.

The easiest way to convey the full insanity of this program is to simply read stories from the complaint. The first account comes from Janean Ligon, a 40 year-old black woman from East 163 St. in the Bronx. She lives with her three sons, J.G., J.A.G., and Jerome, all of whom have been repeatedly stopped and harassed.

According to the suit, Mrs. Ligon in August of last year sent her son J.G. to go to the store to get ketchup. He went to the store, got the ketchup, and started home. Just outside the door to his apartment, he was stopped by four policemen, two in uniform and two in plain clothes. They ask him why he’s going into the building. He explains, produces identification, and even shows the police the ketchup in his bag. But that’s not enough. After that:

Quote
    … One officer asked J.G. to identify the apartment in which he lived. J.G. responded, telling the officer his family's apartment number. The officers then rang the bell to Ms. Ligon's apartment. Over the intercom, Ms. Ligon heard a man say that he was a police officer, and he needed her to come down to identify her son.

    Terrified that J.G. was injured or dead, Ms. Ligon ran out of the apartment to find out what had happened to J.G. As she approached the lobby she saw J.G. standing just outside the vestibule near the mailboxes, surrounded by four officers. She collapsed and began weeping. One officer began laughing, asked Ms. Ligon if J.G. was her son, and handed her the ketchup.

In another incident, police stopped three friends of a Bronx resident named Alex Lebron as they were leaving his apartment. Lebron’s mother saw the teenagers being interviewed in the stairwell, approached the police and told them she knew them and everything was okay. She then went to her apartment and told her son that the cops were talking to his friends. Lebron, according to the suit, then races downstairs "to prevent their arrest." Here’s the rest of the story, according to the complaint:

Quote
    Mr. Lebron encountered his handcuffed friends and the two police officers in the lobby of his building. He told the officers that he lived in the building and that the teens had been visiting him. The officers responded that it was "too late" and placed the three young men in a police van…. The arresting officers took W.B., J.G., and their friend to the 44th Precinct, where they were locked in a cell. After approximately two hours, they were given summonses for trespassing and released. The trespassing charges against W.B., J.G., and their friend were later dismissed.

This is Michael Bloomberg’s New York – where, in a stirring homage to the underappreciated Wayans Brothers classic Don’t Be a Menace to South Central (While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood), you really can be arrested for "being black on a Friday night." (Okay, the Lebron incident was actually a Wednesday night – June 15 of last year).

Stories like this "Clean Halls" program are beginning to make me see that journalists like myself have undersold the white-collar corruption story in recent years by ignoring its flip side. We have two definitely connected phenomena, often treated as separate and unconnected: a growing lawlessness in the financial sector, and an expanding, repressive, increasingly lunatic police apparatus trained at the poor, and especially the nonwhite poor.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Juana Go? on April 16, 2012, 07:57:17 pm
What the fuck. I really wish we were over that.


MOAR TERRIBLE THINGS!
U.S. Judges Admit to Jailing Children for Money (http://www.inquisitr.com/211740/u-s-judges-admit-to-jailing-children-for-money/)
Quote
Philadelphia, Pa. – Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan of the Court of Common Pleas in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, plead guilty in open court that they sentenced children to juvenile detention because they were paid off to do it by the PA Childcare and a sister company, Western PA Childcare corporation that ran the private facilities.

Ciavarella wrote in a letter to the court,

    “Your statement that I have disgraced my judgeship is true. My actions have destroyed everything I worked to accomplish and I have only myself to blame.”

The two judges face up to seven years in prison under a plea agreement made with the state.

The companies in question paid the two judges more than $2.6 million dollars to send children to detention.  The companies receive a stipend from the government for each inmate they house.  So as more children were sentenced to the detention center, PA Childcare and Western PA Childcare received more money from the government, prosecutors said.

According to the Juvenile Law Center, a Philadelphia nonprofit group, teenagers were sentenced to detention for simple misdemeanors.

The Constitution guarantees the right to legal representation in U.S. courts. But many of the juveniles appeared before Ciavarella without an attorney because they were told by the probation service that their minor offenses didn’t require one.

Marsha Levick, chief counsel for the Juvenile Law Center, estimated that of approximately 5,000 juveniles who came before Ciavarella from 2003 and 2006, between 1,000 and 2,000 received sentences that far outweighed their crimes.  She said the center will be suing the judges and the companies to compensate the victims.

Levick said.

“That judges would allow their greed to trump the rights of defendants is just obscene,”

This nightmare scenario has long been the cry of those trying to end the practice of privatizing prisons in the United States.
Seriously? Fucking seriously?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on April 16, 2012, 07:59:53 pm
What the fuck. I really wish we were over that.


MOAR TERRIBLE THINGS!
U.S. Judges Admit to Jailing Children for Money (http://www.inquisitr.com/211740/u-s-judges-admit-to-jailing-children-for-money/)
Quote
Philadelphia, Pa. – Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan of the Court of Common Pleas in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, plead guilty in open court that they sentenced children to juvenile detention because they were paid off to do it by the PA Childcare and a sister company, Western PA Childcare corporation that ran the private facilities.

Ciavarella wrote in a letter to the court,

    “Your statement that I have disgraced my judgeship is true. My actions have destroyed everything I worked to accomplish and I have only myself to blame.”

The two judges face up to seven years in prison under a plea agreement made with the state.

The companies in question paid the two judges more than $2.6 million dollars to send children to detention.  The companies receive a stipend from the government for each inmate they house.  So as more children were sentenced to the detention center, PA Childcare and Western PA Childcare received more money from the government, prosecutors said.

According to the Juvenile Law Center, a Philadelphia nonprofit group, teenagers were sentenced to detention for simple misdemeanors.

The Constitution guarantees the right to legal representation in U.S. courts. But many of the juveniles appeared before Ciavarella without an attorney because they were told by the probation service that their minor offenses didn’t require one.

Marsha Levick, chief counsel for the Juvenile Law Center, estimated that of approximately 5,000 juveniles who came before Ciavarella from 2003 and 2006, between 1,000 and 2,000 received sentences that far outweighed their crimes.  She said the center will be suing the judges and the companies to compensate the victims.

Levick said.

“That judges would allow their greed to trump the rights of defendants is just obscene,”

This nightmare scenario has long been the cry of those trying to end the practice of privatizing prisons in the United States.
Seriously? Fucking seriously?

Heard about this when the story broke.

Are you actually surprised, Garbo? 

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Juana Go? on April 16, 2012, 08:06:00 pm
I shouldn't be. I still apparently like to think there's a line people won't cross, even though I know better.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on April 16, 2012, 08:07:50 pm
I shouldn't be. I still apparently like to think there's a line people won't cross, even though I know better.

This is 21st Century America™, Garbo.  "Crossing lines" now equals progress!  You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and you can't move that bottom line without breaking a few children.

NOW HOW MUCH WOULD YOU PAY?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Freeky on April 16, 2012, 08:38:33 pm
I shouldn't be. I still apparently like to think there's a line people won't cross, even though I know better.

This is 21st Century America™, Garbo.  "Crossing lines" now equals progress!  You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and you can't move that bottom line without breaking a few children.

NOW HOW MUCH WOULD YOU PAY?

 :horrormirth:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 16, 2012, 08:40:20 pm
Ah, but such quality of jails they manage to go to!

http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2012/04/photog-hopes-to-effect-policy-with-survey-of-juvenile-lock-ups/

Quote
A 12-year-old in his cell at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Center in Biloxi, Mississippi. The window has been boarded up from the outside. The facility is operated by Mississippi Security Police, a private company. In 1982, a fire killed 27 prisoners and an ensuing lawsuit against the authorities forced them to reduce their population to maintain an 8:1 inmate to staff ratio.

More pics at the link.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on April 17, 2012, 05:42:48 pm
I'll just kinda leave this here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/17/us/politics/buffett-rule-debate-blocked-by-republicans.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all

 :lulz:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Freeky on April 17, 2012, 05:44:28 pm
I'll just kinda leave this here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/17/us/politics/buffett-rule-debate-blocked-by-republicans.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all

 :lulz:

:nuke2:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on April 18, 2012, 08:09:01 am
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/6-old-girl-handcuffed-police-over-tantrum-001249882.html
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 18, 2012, 10:28:34 am
I'll just kinda leave this here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/17/us/politics/buffett-rule-debate-blocked-by-republicans.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all

 :lulz:

This article in particular is quite good

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/dear-media-tell-readers-the-truth-about-gop-filibustering/2012/04/17/gIQAIumNOT_blog.html

Quote
The death-by-filibuster of the Buffett Rule in the Senate yesterday revealed, among other things, that the news media still has a ways to go in learning how to report on the era of the 60-vote Senate.

Most Americans, not surprisingly, do not realize that majorities can no longer get their way in the Senate. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that most key votes in the Senate were based on simple majority voting. Only since 1993 has constant filibustering been common, and only in 2009 did Republicans create a situation in which virtually everything requires a supermajority. Reporting in these circumstances is a bit tricky, but if you are going to tell the full story of a bill killed by filibuster, you need to report not just the outcome — a bill lost — but that majority sentiment was thwarted by a minority.

So, how did the major papers do yesterday? Neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post had the word “filibuster” in their on-line front page headlines or teasers. The Post story does get the “F” word into her second paragraph, which is good. The Times story merely refers to the 60 votes the Democrats “needed” to pass the bill, without mentioning that the 60 votes were “needed” to break a GOP filibuster until way down in the eighth paragraph. Politico called it a “filibuster” in the second graf. But none of the three stories said explicitly that a minority of Senators defeated a majority.

CNN’s web story was particularly awful, reporting simply that “the Democrats fell nine votes short.” There was no mention of a filibuster, or that the “nine votes short” added up a 51 vote majority — so no one reading the story could deduce that a majority of the Senate favored the policy. The Los Angeles Times, in a broader story, also claimed that the Buffett Rule was blocked by “Republican-led opposition,” whatever that means. Again, no mention at all of a filibuster, or which way the majority voted.

None of this is good enough. Whether one supports the filibuster, opposes it, or (as I do) hopes for a middle course, it’s simply not informative enough to just say that something was “blocked” without explaining that it was blocked by a minority of Senators who deployed a filibuster.

The decision of the Republican minority to create the 60 vote Senate — and the willingness of the Democratic majority to go along with it — remains perhaps the most important single structural fact of Congressional procedure. It has been at least as important as any other factor in shaping Obama’s legislative agenda. And news organizations still aren’t telling readers and viewers the full truth about what’s happening.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on April 18, 2012, 01:48:07 pm
Further proof that the media is nothing but bad signal, these days.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on April 18, 2012, 02:32:18 pm
What the fuck. I really wish we were over that.


MOAR TERRIBLE THINGS!
U.S. Judges Admit to Jailing Children for Money (http://www.inquisitr.com/211740/u-s-judges-admit-to-jailing-children-for-money/)
Quote
Philadelphia, Pa. – Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan of the Court of Common Pleas in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, plead guilty in open court that they sentenced children to juvenile detention because they were paid off to do it by the PA Childcare and a sister company, Western PA Childcare corporation that ran the private facilities.

Ciavarella wrote in a letter to the court,

    “Your statement that I have disgraced my judgeship is true. My actions have destroyed everything I worked to accomplish and I have only myself to blame.”

The two judges face up to seven years in prison under a plea agreement made with the state.

The companies in question paid the two judges more than $2.6 million dollars to send children to detention.  The companies receive a stipend from the government for each inmate they house.  So as more children were sentenced to the detention center, PA Childcare and Western PA Childcare received more money from the government, prosecutors said.

According to the Juvenile Law Center, a Philadelphia nonprofit group, teenagers were sentenced to detention for simple misdemeanors.

The Constitution guarantees the right to legal representation in U.S. courts. But many of the juveniles appeared before Ciavarella without an attorney because they were told by the probation service that their minor offenses didn’t require one.

Marsha Levick, chief counsel for the Juvenile Law Center, estimated that of approximately 5,000 juveniles who came before Ciavarella from 2003 and 2006, between 1,000 and 2,000 received sentences that far outweighed their crimes.  She said the center will be suing the judges and the companies to compensate the victims.

Levick said.

“That judges would allow their greed to trump the rights of defendants is just obscene,”

This nightmare scenario has long been the cry of those trying to end the practice of privatizing prisons in the United States.
Seriously? Fucking seriously?

In the next county over, Washington county, there are at least two judges who own major shares in the private prison there. No one can explain to me in what way that's not a conflict of interest, and yet nothing is done about it.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 18, 2012, 08:00:35 pm
Holyshit, really?


Meanwhile...

http://reason.com/blog/2012/04/17/obamas-new-drug-control-report-calls-for

- The report implicitly blames the debate over drug reform—one Obama recently told Univision he’s more than willing to hear—for increased use of drugs by teens [SNIP REPORT VERBIAGE]

- The report encourages carte blanche workplace drug testing, on the grounds that it will curtail productivity losses associated with drug use and improve users’ lives. It also describes the Obama administration’s attempt to develop on oral test for workplace drug testing [SNIP REPORT VERBIAGE]

- The report contains a request to Congress for $20 million to Revamp and Reenergize the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, which was defunded by Congress last year because it doesn’t work [SNIP REPORT VERBIAGE]

The Marijuana Policy Project’s Rob Kampia has called the report “appalling,” adding, “The drug czar is trying to resurrect those stupid TV ads, like the one where a teenager gets his fist stuck in his mouth. The budget intentionally undercounts the federal government's expenditures on incarcerating drug offenders, who comprise more than half of the federal prison population. And the budget dangerously proposes a massive escalation in using the military to fight drugs domestically. Congress should just ignore this budget and start from scratch. Specifically, Congress should not provide the Obama administration with any money to go after nonviolent marijuana users, growers, or distributors."
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on April 18, 2012, 08:01:39 pm
I love this country.   :lulz:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Juana Go? on April 18, 2012, 08:42:57 pm
Aiyiyi. I sometimes wonder if it's deliberate or just stupidity, this shit with weed.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on April 18, 2012, 08:55:15 pm
Aiyiyi. I sometimes wonder if it's deliberate or just stupidity, this shit with weed.

It's a religion.  Saint Ronnie said so, Nancy said "Just say no", and that settled it.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 19, 2012, 01:15:57 am
I love how the "official position" is now, suddenly and bizarrely, the exact opposite of every-damn-hippie AND RWHN's position on this topic, AT THE SAME TIME.



 :fnord:







 :argh!:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on April 19, 2012, 02:21:07 am
I love how the "official position" is now, suddenly and bizarrely, the exact opposite of every-damn-hippie AND RWHN's position on this topic, AT THE SAME TIME.



 :fnord:







 :argh!:

It's not a binary situation.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on April 19, 2012, 06:47:55 am
Accordint to this, he's been trying to get rid of those surreal drug sentences http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rafael-lemaitre/drug-policy-reform-_b_1126225.html

I'd imagine the only way to push that through is to compromise on the other shit.

I'd also imagine that "treatment" is the same thing as "labor camp" if you don't have money to go to the Betty Ford clinic and lounge around by the pool.

 :x :x :x
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 19, 2012, 01:05:32 pm
I love how the "official position" is now, suddenly and bizarrely, the exact opposite of every-damn-hippie AND RWHN's position on this topic, AT THE SAME TIME.

 :fnord:

 :argh!:

It's not a binary situation.

Fair enough.


I guess it makes me wonder what faction is out there that is making enough profits off of this thing to continue to militarize + propagandize the issue.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 19, 2012, 04:45:42 pm
http://www.businessinsider.com/something-is-wrong-with-this-picture-2012-4


Worth reading.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on April 19, 2012, 05:55:24 pm
Aiyiyi. I sometimes wonder if it's deliberate or just stupidity, this shit with weed.

It's deliberate. The War on Drugs is only a "failure" in terms of its negative impact on the population; for the prison and weapons industry it's a huge success.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: CorbeauEtRenard on April 19, 2012, 06:02:11 pm
http://www.businessinsider.com/something-is-wrong-with-this-picture-2012-4


Worth reading.

Quote
Section 31504 requires the development of special alarm systems designed to remind drivers that there are other passengers in the vehicle.

That's just... wow... if I can manage to not notice the person sitting next to me long enough to forget that they're there, I don't think I'm gonna notice the alarm system designed to alert me to their presence anyway.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Juana Go? on April 19, 2012, 06:19:09 pm
Aiyiyi. I sometimes wonder if it's deliberate or just stupidity, this shit with weed.

It's deliberate. The War on Drugs is only a "failure" in terms of its negative impact on the population; for the prison and weapons industry it's a huge success.
I forgot about that. And also keeps them pesky smugdy people in their place.


http://www.businessinsider.com/something-is-wrong-with-this-picture-2012-4


Worth reading.
What. I hate everything. Everything.

Quote
Then there are provisions for more taxpayer funding to subsidize the massively loss-making Amtrak … plus calls to develop more national, regional, and state-owned railways across the country.
As someone who uses Amtrack sometimes I'm kind of ok with this, sort of. I mean, it's not like there are very many (if any -- iirc, the railroad industry was consolidated/nationalized in the '60s) private passenger train companies and I prefer to travel by train if I can.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on April 19, 2012, 06:36:56 pm
http://www.capitolgrilling.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=705869&page=1#Post705869

 :lulz:

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on April 19, 2012, 06:49:21 pm
http://www.capitolgrilling.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=705869&page=1#Post705869

 :lulz:

 :barstool:

 :lulz: :lulz: :lulz:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 21, 2012, 07:32:50 am
http://bradhicks.livejournal.com/459368.html

Sometimes, When "All the Facts are In," It's Worse: The UC-Davis Pepper-Spray Report
Quote
You know how every time somebody in law enforcement does something that looks bad, we're told that we should "wait until the facts are in" before passing judgment? Well, after Lieutenant Pike of the UC Davis Police Department became an internet meme (http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/casually-pepper-spray-everything-cop) by using high-pressure pepper-spray on peaceful resisters, the campus hired an independent consulting firm to interview everybody they could find, review all the videos and other evidence, review the relevant policies and laws, and issue a final fact-finding report to the university. The university just released that report, along with their summary (http://reynosoreport.ucdavis.edu/reynoso-report.pdf) (PDF link), and the final report is even worse than the news accounts made it seem.

You probably weren't aware that the protesters warned the university that they were going to be protesting two weeks in advance, were you? The campus, and campus police, had two weeks' notice to plan for this, and yes, on day one, one question they addressed was, "What if the protesters set up an Occupy encampment?" Two weeks in advance they planned, well, if they do that, then we'll send in police to remove the tents, and to arrest anybody who tries to stop them. Now, under California law, when planning an operation like this, there's a checklist they're supposed to follow when writing the operational plan, specifically to make sure that they don't forget something important. Had they done so? They would have avoided all four of the important steps they screwed up. When asked about it? Nobody involved was even aware that that checklist existed.

The most important thing that the checklist would have warned them about was do not screw up the chain of command. Let me make clear who was in the chain of command. Under normal circumstances, it runs from university Chancellor Katehi, to campus police Chief Spicuzza, to campus police Lieutenant Davis, to his officers, including one I'll call Officer Nameless. (The report refers to him by a code letter.) Once the cops arrive on the scene, there's supposed to be one and only one person in a position to give orders to the other officers on the scene, including any higher-ups who are there (if any). Officer Nameless, who wrote the plan, was put in charge of the scene by Lt. Pike. By law, the officer in charge of the scene is not supposed to get directly involved. He or she (in this case, he) is supposed to stand back where he can see the whole scene, and concentrate on giving orders, and everybody else is supposed to refrain from giving orders. Officer Nameless instead ignored his responsibilities, and waded in, and so did Lt. Pike; Chief Spicuzza sat in her car half a block away, communicating with the radio dispatcher by cell phone, and at one time or another, all three of them, Officer Nameless and Lieutenant Pike and Chief Spicuzza were yelling out contradictory orders.

But before it even came to that point, the student protesters had, with the help of Legal Services, gone over all the relevant state laws, city ordinances, campus ordinances, and campus regulations and concluded that no matter what the Chancellor thought, it was entirely legal for them to set up that camp. When the university's legal department found out that Chancellor Katehi was going to order the camp removed, they thought they made it clear to her that the students were right.

I kept having to stop and slap my forehead over that one repeated phrase in the report: (this person or that) was under the impression she had made it clear that (some order was given), but nobody else present had that impression. Anybody who is "under the impression that they made it clear" that some order was given who who didn't put it in writing and who hasn't had that order paraphrased back to them? Should be slapped. Or at the very least demoted. Unless you actually said it, you didn't "make it clear."

It turns out that it is illegal for anybody to lodge on the campus without permission, but the relevant law only applies to people trying to make it their permanent dwelling. The law prohibits non-students from camping on campus for any reason, but neither student affairs nor the one cop sent to look could find any non-students who were there overnight. A campus regulation says that students can't set up tents without permission, but that regulation is not enforceable by police, only by academic discipline. Campus legal "thought they made it clear" that the law was on the students' side, but according to multiple witnesses, what they actually said was "it is unclear that you have legal authority to order the police to do this" and Chancellor Katehi heard that as "well, they didn't say I don't have that authority, only that it's not clear."

Chancellor Katehi, on her part, "thought she made it clear" that when police ordered the students to leave, they were (a) not to wear riot gear into the camp, (b) not to carry weapons of any kind into the camp, (c) were not to use force of any kind against the students, and (d) were not to make any arrests. But all that anybody else on that conference call heard her say out loud was "I don't want another situation like they just had at Berkeley," and Chief Spicuzza interpreted that as "no swinging of clubs."

Chief Spicuzza "thought she made it clear" more than once that no riot gear was to be worn and no clubs or pepper sprayers were to be carried. What Lieutenant Pike said back to her, each time, was, "Well, I hear you say that you don't want us to, but we're going to." And they did, including that now-infamous Mk-9 military-grade riot-control pepper sprayer that he used. Oh, funny thing about that particular model of pepper-sprayer? It's illegal for California cops to possess or use. It turns out that the relevant law only permits the use of up to Mk-4 pepper sprayers. The consultants were unable to find out who authorized the purchase and carrying, but every cop they asked said, "So what? It's just like the Mk-4 except that it has a higher capacity." Uh, no. It's also much, much higher pressure, and specifically designed not to be sprayed directly at any one person, only at crowds, and only from at least six feet away. The manufacturer says so. The person in charge of training California police in pepper spray says that as far as he knows, no California cop has ever received training, from his office or from the manufacturer, in how to safely use a Mk-9 sprayer, presumably because it's illegal. But Officer Nameless, when he wrote the action plan for these arrests, included all pepper-spray equipment in the equipment list, both the paint-ball rifle pepper balls and the Mk-9 riot-control sprayers.

The students set up their tents on a Thursday night. Chancellor Katehi ordered the cops to (a) only involve campus police, because she didn't trust the local cops not to be excessively brutal, and (b) get them out of here by 3 AM Thursday night. Chief Spicuzza had to tell her that that wasn't physically possible, they couldn't get enough backup officers from other UC campuses on that short notice, it was going to have to be Friday night at 3 AM. Chancellor Katehi said "no can do," that they had to be out of there before sunset Friday night, so that the camp wasn't joined by drunken and stoned Friday night partiers that would endanger the camp and even further endanger cops trying to deal with them -- arguably an entirely reasonable objection. So she ordered Chief Spicuzza to get them out of there by 3 PM Friday afternoon. Chief Spicuzza "was under the impression" (oh, look, there's that phrase again) that she made it clear to the Chancellor that for one thing, it couldn't be safely done, at 3:00 PM the protesters and passers-by would way outnumber her officers, and for another, it couldn't be legally done, because there was no way to legally arrest someone for "overnight camping" in the middle of the afternoon. Nobody else who was in that meeting thinks she made that clear, only that she made it clear that she didn't want to do it but couldn't explain why not. Still, when she gave the order to Lieutenant Pike, he very definitely did raise the same objections, clearly and unambiguously, backed up by multiple witnesses, who all agree that Chief Spicuzza told him, "This was decided above my level, do it anyway."

So, there's Lieutenant Pike. (Who, by the way, for obvious legal reasons since he's still being investigated by internal affairs and, last I heard, still being sued by his victims, refused to be interviewed by the consultants, so everything we know about his side of this comes from what he told other people and what he wrote in his reports.) As far as he's concerned, he's been given an illegal and impossible order: take 40 or so officers - unarmed and unarmored officers - into an angry crowd of 300 to 400 people who aren't doing anything illegal and make that crowd go away without using any force or getting any of your officers injured. For reasons Stanley Milgram could explain, it does not occur to Lieutenant Pike to disobey this order, so instead, he does the best he can, using his own judgement to decide which parts of his orders and which parts of the law to ignore. Unsurprisingly, it goes badly. Backed into a corner by an angry crowd (which has, by the way, demonstrably left him room to retreat, even with his prisoners, contrary to what he says in his report) that is confronting him with evidence that he is the law-breaker here, not them, he snaps. And rather than take it out on the more-powerful people who put him in this situation, he takes it out on the powerless and peaceful people in front of him, using a high-pressure hose to pump five gallons of capsacin spray into the eyes and mouths of the dozen or twenty people in front of him ... and he would have used more if he'd had it, he only stopped when he did, halfway through his third pass down the line, because the sprayer emptied. When he gets back to the station, Chief Spicuzza (who has no idea what's just happened) congratulates him in front of half the department for how well he just did. And now, as far as he's concerned, he's being hung out to dry. We're apparently supposed to ignore the fact that multiple video sources contradict almost everything about his after-incident report because apparently, in his opinion, he was only following orders.

This is not better than the initial media reports. This is worse. This is an epic textbook in official-violence failure.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on April 21, 2012, 05:52:52 pm
holy fuck.

And the odds that anyone will be held responsible?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on April 21, 2012, 06:19:46 pm
holy fuck.

And the odds that anyone will be held responsible?

The way these things tend to work, my guess is no.  :x
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on April 23, 2012, 09:28:27 pm
The New York Times just broke this story a few days ago. I know bribery is kind of a way of life in Mexico, but this seems massive:

www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/business/at-wal-mart-in-mexico-a-bribe-inquiry-silenced.html?_r=1

Quote
Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle

Confronted with evidence of widespread corruption in Mexico, top Wal-Mart executives focused more on damage control than on rooting out wrongdoing, an examination by The New York Times found.

By DAVID BARSTOW
Published: April 21, 2012

MEXICO CITY — In September 2005, a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an alarming e-mail from a former executive at the company’s largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico. In the e-mail and follow-up conversations, the former executive described how Wal-Mart de Mexico had orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance. In its rush to build stores, he said, the company had paid bribes to obtain permits in virtually every corner of the country.

The former executive gave names, dates and bribe amounts. He knew so much, he explained, because for years he had been the lawyer in charge of obtaining construction permits for Wal-Mart de Mexico.

Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. In a confidential report to his superiors, Wal-Mart’s lead investigator, a former F.B.I. special agent, summed up their initial findings this way: “There is reasonable suspicion to believe that Mexican and USA laws have been violated.”

The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation.

Instead, an examination by The New York Times found, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on April 23, 2012, 09:33:08 pm
They eventually put the investigation in the hands of management, you know, to investigate itself. Unsurprisingly they cleared themselves of all wrongdoing until this one guy spilled all the beans to the NYT.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on April 23, 2012, 09:37:23 pm
They eventually put the investigation in the hands of management, you know, to investigate itself. Unsurprisingly they cleared themselves of all wrongdoing until this one guy spilled all the beans to the NYT.

Dick Cheney did the same thing, concerning energy gouging.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 23, 2012, 09:38:23 pm
Pretty sure this means Wal-Mart now falls under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Corrupt_Practices_Act).

Not that anything will come of it in the USA.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on April 23, 2012, 09:39:59 pm
Pretty sure this means Wal-Mart now falls under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Corrupt_Practices_Act).

Not that anything will come of it in the USA.

Of course nothing will happen.  Nothing has happened since Ford pardoned Nixon.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on April 23, 2012, 09:50:15 pm
Pretty sure this means Wal-Mart now falls under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Corrupt_Practices_Act).

Not that anything will come of it in the USA.

Of course nothing will happen.  Nothing has happened since Ford pardoned Nixon.

Some people theorize since LBJ had K LBJ was "appoin The coup de e "the regime cha 1963.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on April 23, 2012, 10:07:26 pm
Pretty sure this means Wal-Mart now falls under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Corrupt_Practices_Act).

Not that anything will come of it in the USA.

Of course nothing will happen.  Nothing has happened since Ford pardoned Nixon.

Some people theorize since LBJ had K LBJ was "appoin The coup de e "the regime cha 1963.

I prefer to think of it as the 1963 election.  The voting booth was in the Texas School Book Depository.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 23, 2012, 10:08:37 pm
One man, one vote.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on April 23, 2012, 10:11:26 pm
One man, one vote.

Alternate voting station is on the grassy knoll a couple of hundred meters away.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 25, 2012, 02:50:16 am
US Journalists Targeted By Pentagon Propaganda Contractors (http://politics.slashdot.org/story/12/04/22/1723252/us-journalists-targeted-by-pentagon-propaganda-contractors)

Posted by timothy on Sunday April 22, @01:27PM
from the hey-this-feels-creepy dept.

Quote from: 'Jeremiah Cornelius writes'
"While conducting investigative reporting on civilian contractors in the Pentagon's "InfoOps (http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2012-02-29/afghanistan-iraq-military-information-operations-usa-today-investigation/53295472/1)" Internet propaganda operations, two reporters found themselves the subject of a highly targeted, professional media manipulation effort (http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/2012-04-19/vanden-brook-locker-propaganda/54419654/1). Reporter Tom Vanden Brook and Editor Ray Locker found that Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names. Some postings merely copied Vanden Brook's and Locker's previous reporting. Others accused them of being sponsored by the Taliban. 'I find it creepy and cowardly that somebody would hide behind my name and presumably make up other names in an attempt to undermine my credibility,' Vanden Brook said. If these websites were created using federal funds, it could violate federal law prohibiting the production of propaganda for domestic consumption."
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: whenhellfreezes on April 25, 2012, 03:48:50 am
Part of why the system is so durable to resistance and activism has to do with the ineffectiveness of activism. The following article does a good job of arguing that far too many activists see being an activist and making political statements as a role to be played rather than an action that some individuals choose to take. As a result the act of dissent becomes a specialized job of those who are experts at dissent (and acting like a martyr) i.e. activists and leaves the domain of the average person. A trend that is counter to the very purpose that they are espousing.

http://libcom.org/library/give-up-activism

I am not sure if this is the right place to put this post. But whatever.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: inode_buddha on April 25, 2012, 04:49:31 am
US Journalists Targeted By Pentagon Propaganda Contractors (http://politics.slashdot.org/story/12/04/22/1723252/us-journalists-targeted-by-pentagon-propaganda-contractors)

Posted by timothy on Sunday April 22, @01:27PM
from the hey-this-feels-creepy dept.

Quote from: 'Jeremiah Cornelius writes'
"While conducting investigative reporting on civilian contractors in the Pentagon's "InfoOps (http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2012-02-29/afghanistan-iraq-military-information-operations-usa-today-investigation/53295472/1)" Internet propaganda operations, two reporters found themselves the subject of a highly targeted, professional media manipulation effort (http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/2012-04-19/vanden-brook-locker-propaganda/54419654/1). Reporter Tom Vanden Brook and Editor Ray Locker found that Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names. Some postings merely copied Vanden Brook's and Locker's previous reporting. Others accused them of being sponsored by the Taliban. 'I find it creepy and cowardly that somebody would hide behind my name and presumably make up other names in an attempt to undermine my credibility,' Vanden Brook said. If these websites were created using federal funds, it could violate federal law prohibiting the production of propaganda for domestic consumption."

But wait, why would they do that? After all, if they have nothing to hide then they have nothing to fear, right?

Right??

</crickets> :x

*sigh* it doesn't really surprise me anymore, but it does disgust. Why the hell do I keep expecting any ethics out of the other monkeys? Is it because they are gonna expect things from me? :horrormirth:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: hirley0 on April 26, 2012, 09:50:22 am
Anders Behring Breivik,  is mentally fit to appear here
(http://i42.tinypic.com/2rw45t1.jpg)
TBC FROM 29 PAGES DOWN
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 28, 2012, 10:39:36 pm
A friend from HS posted this on his facebook (name withheld for privacy reasons):

To all my Facebook Friends And Family, If you have served time in Prison, Please remove me from your friends list. The agency I work for is Firing Employees for having friends that have served time. Thank you.

Follow-up response to "Isn't that a bit illegal?":

You would be surprised. However, it is very understandable. It is a conflict of interest for someone in corrections. Some corrections officers have been fired for unknowingly or knowingly having friends who were once inmates. I am confidant that everyone on my friends list are not ex-con's but on the odd chance that someone has a dark past that I don't know about, well I just can risk it. I need my job. Honestly, have thought about taking this down.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on April 29, 2012, 05:57:51 pm
Let's not forget the school system  :x  :cry:
http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/25/11389266-dad-wires-up-autistic-son-10-to-expose-bullying-by-teaching-staff?fb_ref=.T51un3sZC5c.like&fb_source=other_multiline
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Prince Glittersnatch III on April 30, 2012, 12:08:47 am
http://thebaffler.com/notebook/2012/03/too_smart_to_fail

Quote
A résumé filled with grievous errors in the period 1996–2006 is not only a non-problem for further advances in the world of consensus; it is something of a prerequisite. Our intellectual powers that be not only forgive the mistakes; they require them. You must have been wrong back then in order to have a chance to be taken seriously today; only by having gotten things wrong can you demonstrate that you are trustworthy, a member of the team. (Those who got things right all along, on the other hand, might be dubbed “premature market skeptics”—people who doubted the consensus before the consensus acknowledged it was all right to doubt.)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 30, 2012, 07:58:38 am
Quote
Another way of putting this idea might be to say that the individuals who got things wrong—the ones who saw few problems in financial deregulation, anyone who thought derivatives eliminated risk, anyone who counted on markets to police themselves—were “one of us.” There can be no consequences for them because they merely expressed the consensus views of the time. Like John Maynard Keynes’s “sound banker,” they might have failed, but they failed in the same way that the rest of “us” failed. To hold them accountable for what they said and did would expose the rest of “us” to such judgment as well. And obviously that can’t happen.

Diego Gambetta gave this as the same reason as why academic cartels tend to flourish - someone who wants consensus is spouted, not an insufferable genius type.  As soon as more corrupt, politically able but less intelligent academics manage to get positions on review boards, departmental positions and so on, the tendency is for them to close ranks against people who might well be very smart and bright, because they'll be shown up.  Failure, conversely, is OK, so long as blame can be equally distributed.

Franks can be kinda hit and miss at times, but so far, this is not a bad article.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: BabylonHoruv on April 30, 2012, 07:33:30 pm
http://thebaffler.com/notebook/2012/03/too_smart_to_fail

Quote
A résumé filled with grievous errors in the period 1996–2006 is not only a non-problem for further advances in the world of consensus; it is something of a prerequisite. Our intellectual powers that be not only forgive the mistakes; they require them. You must have been wrong back then in order to have a chance to be taken seriously today; only by having gotten things wrong can you demonstrate that you are trustworthy, a member of the team. (Those who got things right all along, on the other hand, might be dubbed “premature market skeptics”—people who doubted the consensus before the consensus acknowledged it was all right to doubt.)

There is an assumption at the heart of this article that I have to disagree with.  That assumption is that the economic collapse was a mistake.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 30, 2012, 08:12:19 pm
http://voicesoftruthtv.com/?ep=not-for-sale-at-any-price&from=1&sec=episode

[2003] The State of Hawaii 'apparently' colluded with a hired archaeologist and Walmart to survey only 1/2 of a property site for native burials (they half they knew didn't contain bones).

(Can I just say fuck Walmart at this point?)

Their contractors just dug them up when breaking ground and left them exposed to the elements (one of the most disrespectful things you can do in Hawaiian culture is expose the dead to sunlight and the elements). When a protest formed and wouldn't leave unless they were "covered", the walmart employee threw cardboard over them. The protesters were pissed, and demanded at least coral-sand.

The families finally got remains returned and reburied them at a site behind the old graveyard / new Walmart loading docks.

Worth watching.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on April 30, 2012, 08:13:47 pm
http://voicesoftruthtv.com/?ep=not-for-sale-at-any-price&from=1&sec=episode

[2003] The State of Hawaii 'apparently' colluded with a hired archaeologist and Walmart to survey only 1/2 of a property site for native burials (they half they knew didn't contain bones).

(Can I just say fuck Walmart at this point?)

Their contractors just dug them up when breaking ground and left them exposed to the elements (one of the most disrespectful things you can do in Hawaiian culture is expose the dead to sunlight and the elements). When a protest formed and wouldn't leave unless they were "covered", the walmart employee threw cardboard over them. The protesters were pissed, and demanded at least coral-sand.

The families finally got remains returned and reburied them at a site behind the old graveyard / new Walmart loading docks.

Worth watching.

Why do Hawaiians hate America?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 30, 2012, 08:15:20 pm
Well, American tourists to have a tendency to look like bloated whale carcasses, and seeing them sunning themselves on the beach would be equivalent to exposing their corpses to the elements, which is apparently very disrepectful in their culture.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 30, 2012, 08:22:25 pm
Rog, in our current post-American pseudo-Anarchist Libertarian paradise, possession is 9/10th of the law and those dead people owned that land already.


This is a purely legal matter between the American Business people and those native tribes who don't have mass-produced weapons-infrastructure. We should really leave this up to the courts court-appointed arbiter.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 30, 2012, 08:24:30 pm
Well, American tourists to have a tendency to look like bloated whale carcasses, and seeing them sunning themselves on the beach would be equivalent to exposing their corpses to the elements, which is apparently very disrepectful in their culture.

Oh damn, missed that.  :lulz: :lulz: :lulz: :lulz:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Prince Glittersnatch III on May 01, 2012, 01:10:41 am
http://thebaffler.com/notebook/2012/03/too_smart_to_fail

Quote
A résumé filled with grievous errors in the period 1996–2006 is not only a non-problem for further advances in the world of consensus; it is something of a prerequisite. Our intellectual powers that be not only forgive the mistakes; they require them. You must have been wrong back then in order to have a chance to be taken seriously today; only by having gotten things wrong can you demonstrate that you are trustworthy, a member of the team. (Those who got things right all along, on the other hand, might be dubbed “premature market skeptics”—people who doubted the consensus before the consensus acknowledged it was all right to doubt.)

There is an assumption at the heart of this article that I have to disagree with.  That assumption is that the economic collapse was a mistake.

Never assume malice where stupidity will suffice.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on May 01, 2012, 01:16:07 am
http://thebaffler.com/notebook/2012/03/too_smart_to_fail

Quote
A résumé filled with grievous errors in the period 1996–2006 is not only a non-problem for further advances in the world of consensus; it is something of a prerequisite. Our intellectual powers that be not only forgive the mistakes; they require them. You must have been wrong back then in order to have a chance to be taken seriously today; only by having gotten things wrong can you demonstrate that you are trustworthy, a member of the team. (Those who got things right all along, on the other hand, might be dubbed “premature market skeptics”—people who doubted the consensus before the consensus acknowledged it was all right to doubt.)

There is an assumption at the heart of this article that I have to disagree with.  That assumption is that the economic collapse was a mistake.

Never assume malice where stupidity will suffice.

Actually, in this case it WAS malice.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on May 01, 2012, 11:31:09 am
British taxpayer's money at work: forcibly sterilising the poor

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/15/uk-aid-forced-sterilisation-india

Quote
Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money have been spent on a programme that has forcibly sterilised Indian women and men, the Observer has learned. Many have died as a result of botched operations, while others have been left bleeding and in agony. A number of pregnant women selected for sterilisation suffered miscarriages and lost their babies.

The UK agreed to give India £166m to fund the programme, despite allegations that the money would be used to sterilise the poor in an attempt to curb the country's burgeoning population of 1.2 billion people.

Sterilisation has been mired in controversy for years. With officials and doctors paid a bonus for every operation, poor and little-educated men and women in rural areas are routinely rounded up and sterilised without having a chance to object. Activists say some are told they are going to health camps for operations that will improve their general wellbeing and only discover the truth after going under the knife.

Court documents filed in India earlier this month claim that many victims have been left in pain, with little or no aftercare. Across the country, there have been numerous reports of deaths and of pregnant women suffering miscarriages after being selected for sterilisation without being warned that they would lose their unborn babies.

Yet a working paper published by the UK's Department for International Development in 2010 cited the need to fight climate change as one of the key reasons for pressing ahead with such programmes. The document argued that reducing population numbers would cut greenhouse gases, although it warned that there were "complex human rights and ethical issues" involved in forced population control.

Yeah, no shit.  Not complex enough for us to stump up the cash, though.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cainad (dec.) on May 01, 2012, 03:07:37 pm
Sweet merciful FUCK.

I just spent 5 minutes trying to come up with a witty quip about marching back into pre-1950s civilization, but I got nothing. God damn it.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on May 01, 2012, 04:39:22 pm
http://thebaffler.com/notebook/2012/03/too_smart_to_fail

Quote
A résumé filled with grievous errors in the period 1996–2006 is not only a non-problem for further advances in the world of consensus; it is something of a prerequisite. Our intellectual powers that be not only forgive the mistakes; they require them. You must have been wrong back then in order to have a chance to be taken seriously today; only by having gotten things wrong can you demonstrate that you are trustworthy, a member of the team. (Those who got things right all along, on the other hand, might be dubbed “premature market skeptics”—people who doubted the consensus before the consensus acknowledged it was all right to doubt.)

There is an assumption at the heart of this article that I have to disagree with.  That assumption is that the economic collapse was a mistake.

Never assume malice where stupidity will suffice.

Never assume stupidity where self-interest will suffice.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on May 01, 2012, 04:39:47 pm
British taxpayer's money at work: forcibly sterilising the poor

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/15/uk-aid-forced-sterilisation-india

Quote
Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money have been spent on a programme that has forcibly sterilised Indian women and men, the Observer has learned. Many have died as a result of botched operations, while others have been left bleeding and in agony. A number of pregnant women selected for sterilisation suffered miscarriages and lost their babies.

The UK agreed to give India £166m to fund the programme, despite allegations that the money would be used to sterilise the poor in an attempt to curb the country's burgeoning population of 1.2 billion people.

Sterilisation has been mired in controversy for years. With officials and doctors paid a bonus for every operation, poor and little-educated men and women in rural areas are routinely rounded up and sterilised without having a chance to object. Activists say some are told they are going to health camps for operations that will improve their general wellbeing and only discover the truth after going under the knife.

Court documents filed in India earlier this month claim that many victims have been left in pain, with little or no aftercare. Across the country, there have been numerous reports of deaths and of pregnant women suffering miscarriages after being selected for sterilisation without being warned that they would lose their unborn babies.

Yet a working paper published by the UK's Department for International Development in 2010 cited the need to fight climate change as one of the key reasons for pressing ahead with such programmes. The document argued that reducing population numbers would cut greenhouse gases, although it warned that there were "complex human rights and ethical issues" involved in forced population control.

Yeah, no shit.  Not complex enough for us to stump up the cash, though.

Charming. Utterly charming.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on May 01, 2012, 04:46:56 pm
British taxpayer's money at work: forcibly sterilising the poor

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/15/uk-aid-forced-sterilisation-india

Quote
Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money have been spent on a programme that has forcibly sterilised Indian women and men, the Observer has learned. Many have died as a result of botched operations, while others have been left bleeding and in agony. A number of pregnant women selected for sterilisation suffered miscarriages and lost their babies.

The UK agreed to give India £166m to fund the programme, despite allegations that the money would be used to sterilise the poor in an attempt to curb the country's burgeoning population of 1.2 billion people.

Sterilisation has been mired in controversy for years. With officials and doctors paid a bonus for every operation, poor and little-educated men and women in rural areas are routinely rounded up and sterilised without having a chance to object. Activists say some are told they are going to health camps for operations that will improve their general wellbeing and only discover the truth after going under the knife.

Court documents filed in India earlier this month claim that many victims have been left in pain, with little or no aftercare. Across the country, there have been numerous reports of deaths and of pregnant women suffering miscarriages after being selected for sterilisation without being warned that they would lose their unborn babies.

Yet a working paper published by the UK's Department for International Development in 2010 cited the need to fight climate change as one of the key reasons for pressing ahead with such programmes. The document argued that reducing population numbers would cut greenhouse gases, although it warned that there were "complex human rights and ethical issues" involved in forced population control.

Yeah, no shit.  Not complex enough for us to stump up the cash, though.

Charming. Utterly charming.

The US has a venerable tradition of BIA clinics doing "appendectomies" like that. I wouldn't doubt that it happens here more often than not and just hasn't hit the news. I've known too many people diagnosed with "fibroid tumors" and "abnormal cell growth". The first thing they do in low income clinics is run for a pap smear kit, no matter what people go there for.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on May 01, 2012, 05:09:03 pm
British taxpayer's money at work: forcibly sterilising the poor

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/15/uk-aid-forced-sterilisation-india

Quote
Tens of millions of pounds of UK aid money have been spent on a programme that has forcibly sterilised Indian women and men, the Observer has learned. Many have died as a result of botched operations, while others have been left bleeding and in agony. A number of pregnant women selected for sterilisation suffered miscarriages and lost their babies.

The UK agreed to give India £166m to fund the programme, despite allegations that the money would be used to sterilise the poor in an attempt to curb the country's burgeoning population of 1.2 billion people.

Sterilisation has been mired in controversy for years. With officials and doctors paid a bonus for every operation, poor and little-educated men and women in rural areas are routinely rounded up and sterilised without having a chance to object. Activists say some are told they are going to health camps for operations that will improve their general wellbeing and only discover the truth after going under the knife.

Court documents filed in India earlier this month claim that many victims have been left in pain, with little or no aftercare. Across the country, there have been numerous reports of deaths and of pregnant women suffering miscarriages after being selected for sterilisation without being warned that they would lose their unborn babies.

Yet a working paper published by the UK's Department for International Development in 2010 cited the need to fight climate change as one of the key reasons for pressing ahead with such programmes. The document argued that reducing population numbers would cut greenhouse gases, although it warned that there were "complex human rights and ethical issues" involved in forced population control.

Yeah, no shit.  Not complex enough for us to stump up the cash, though.

Charming. Utterly charming.

The US has a venerable tradition of BIA clinics doing "appendectomies" like that. I wouldn't doubt that it happens here more often than not and just hasn't hit the news. I've known too many people diagnosed with "fibroid tumors" and "abnormal cell growth". The first thing they do in low income clinics is run for a pap smear kit, no matter what people go there for.

Yeah, the sterilizations were rampant in the US until fairly recently.

The pap smear is pretty vital, that's not a conspiracy. There are a lot of problems that can be headed off with an inexpensive cell culture, and I'm glad they do it routinely, especially because low-income women are at higher risk for HPV and cervical cancer.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on May 01, 2012, 06:09:32 pm
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/04/26/congress_learned_of_new_intel_unit_from_media

Quote
The Defense Department's new espionage unit is so secret, even the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee weren't told about it.

The Washington Post reported April 23 that the Pentagon has created something called the Defense Clandestine Service, an effort that will reassign hundreds of defense intelligence personnel to focus on gathering information in countries, such as Iran, that are outside the current warzones in Afghanistan and Iraq. The new initiative was reported to be the brainchild of Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers.

A "senior defense official" gave the story to the Post, but nobody in the Pentagon told Senate Armed Services Committee heads Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ), who complained loudly about being left out of the loop at Thursday morning's committee hearing.

In a short interview with The Cable after the hearing, McCain said this was only the latest example in an ongoing trend of the Pentagon failing to properly keep Congress informed about its activities.

Shit like this is why, in future generations, Donald Rumsfeld will be reconsidered by history as one of the better DefSec's.  For all his many, abundant and obvious flaws, he brought the Pentagon to heel under civilian control after 8 years of almost free rein under Clinton.  The top brass over there hated that, and spent a lot of time and favours on getting rid of him.

Robert Gates was probably just as on the ball, but his style was less confrontational, more subtle, and he tended to side with whichever group he thought most likely to win, meaning Pentagon brass could stack the deck to get the decision they wanted.

And Leon Panetta just doesn't have a clue, which is fairly obvious.

So not only is the Pentagon out of control, it's setting up yet more intelligence agencies without even informing the Senate.  Worried yet?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on May 01, 2012, 06:38:14 pm
Holyshit.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on May 01, 2012, 06:41:01 pm

Shit like this is why, in future generations, Donald Rumsfeld will be reconsidered by history as one of the better DefSec's.  For all his many, abundant and obvious flaws, he brought the Pentagon to heel under civilian control after 8 years of almost free rein under Clinton.  The top brass over there hated that, and spent a lot of time and favours on getting rid of him.

That's an interesting way of saying he was a micromanaging tard.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on May 01, 2012, 07:05:32 pm
That's an interesting way of saying he was a micromanaging tard.

No doubt.  But unlike Les Aspin, he didn't sit on his hands all day, and unlike Gates, he didn't refuse to get involved in disputes until his political advantage to do so became clear.  The Pentagon were and are out of control and have nothing but contempt for civilian authority.  Rumsfeld is the only person in 20 years who even tried to bring them to heel with any amount of success.

And basically, the military hated that because it took away their autonomy.  And worse, Rumsfeld would call offending parties into his office and give them a verbal bitch-slap if they went against his orders.  So not only did they feel angry, but humiliated.

I'm not saying he was a great SecDef, far from it.  But compared to everyone else in the past 20 years, he has been the best, and he's notably the only one who acted to rein in the Pentagon and put civilian leadership back in charge.

And now he's out and the Pentagon are setting up brand new intelligence agencies and not even informing Congress.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on May 01, 2012, 07:12:41 pm
And basically, the military hated that because it took away their autonomy.  And worse, Rumsfeld would call offending parties into his office and give them a verbal bitch-slap if they went against his orders.  So not only did they feel angry, but humiliated.

I'm not saying he was a great SecDef, far from it.  But compared to everyone else in the past 20 years, he has been the best, and he's notably the only one who acted to rein in the Pentagon and put civilian leadership back in charge.

I'm gonna argue that for a moment.  The military has never seriously bucked the civil authority (except for MacArthur, and he got shitcanned).  Rumsfeld thought HE was a general, and he made a royal fucking hash out of Iraq, trying to play general.  He operated out of his expertise, and disregarded the advice (by which I mean "fired") of the actual experts.

So you had him using attack helicopters on a flat desert (DUMB), arranging patrols from the other side of the world, etc.  The only reason we even did as well as we did is that Saddam was doing the same thing.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on May 01, 2012, 07:19:48 pm
A couple of other notes, on further reflection:

1.  The DoD isn't actually required to tell congress about the new organization.  As a department, they report to the executive branch. 

2.  The last DoD to "take charge" was Robert MacNamara.  He did a terrible job as well, and for the same reason.  Holding generals accountable - okay.  Trying to tell the generals how to do their jobs, once their mission has been given to them and their ROE set - not okay.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on May 01, 2012, 08:27:45 pm
I'm gonna argue that for a moment.  The military has never seriously bucked the civil authority (except for MacArthur, and he got shitcanned).

Uh, yes, they have.  "The Surge"?  That wasn't government policy until Petraeus made it so.  He and a little group of conspirators came up with the plan, strategically leaked it to the press and used the public pressure from journalists and their own buddies to back the government into following a military plan.

The top brass of the military were deeply involved in defeating Clinton's attempts to end the ban on homosexuals in the military, to the point of feeding Republicans flawed studies to help them win the argument.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff were noticed as trying to usurp national defence policy as far back as the early 90s, and Edward Luttwak openly accused them of pursuing a "bloodless coup" against civilian leaders.

Civilians were systematically cut out of the loop when it came to budgets and information.  When the UK and USA launched joint strikes on Iraq on February 16th, 2000, Rumsfeld wasn't aware what was going on for hours after the event.  He was getting calls from CNN before he was from his own generals.

Then there was all those high-ranking officers urging McChrystal to resign over the White House's refusal to follow his war plan in Afghanistan, in effect saying he should publically dispute civilian command and turning the resignation into a political act.

Sure, the military never openly disobeyed orders, but they dragged their feet, and made lots of carefully coded complaints in glossy Beltway journals, which toed the line of criticizing set government policy, and attempted to push their way into the policy-planning areas of government as much as possible. 
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on May 01, 2012, 08:30:20 pm
A couple of other notes, on further reflection:

1.  The DoD isn't actually required to tell congress about the new organization.  As a department, they report to the executive branch. 

2.  The last DoD to "take charge" was Robert MacNamara.  He did a terrible job as well, and for the same reason.  Holding generals accountable - okay.  Trying to tell the generals how to do their jobs, once their mission has been given to them and their ROE set - not okay.

Was the White House aware?  My understanding is the military has about the same level of respect for Obama as they do for Clinton.  Which is to say, almost none.

Well, that's just it.  Sure, Rumsfeld and his "snowflake" model of governance were stupid.  But no-one's really holding generals accountable, either.  Instead, their letting them have a say over what the mission is, and interferring in clear issues of civilian national policy. 
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on May 01, 2012, 08:36:20 pm
A couple of other notes, on further reflection:

1.  The DoD isn't actually required to tell congress about the new organization.  As a department, they report to the executive branch. 

2.  The last DoD to "take charge" was Robert MacNamara.  He did a terrible job as well, and for the same reason.  Holding generals accountable - okay.  Trying to tell the generals how to do their jobs, once their mission has been given to them and their ROE set - not okay.

Was the White House aware?  My understanding is the military has about the same level of respect for Obama as they do for Clinton.  Which is to say, almost none.

Well, that's just it.  Sure, Rumsfeld and his "snowflake" model of governance were stupid.  But no-one's really holding generals accountable, either.  Instead, their letting them have a say over what the mission is, and interferring in clear issues of civilian national policy.

If there's rogue generals, they need to be fired.  That's been done, and recently.

But Rumsfeld was firing people who tried to tell him the reality of the situation (ie, "we need more tanks"), or who asked hard questions about the "grateful, American flag-waving Iraqis" that were supposed to greet us.

In addition, Rumsfeld was interfering all the way down to the sub-unit level, on things like patrols.

Lastly, the "Rumsfeld Doctrine" - ie, doing things on the cheap - directly negates our one actual strengh in warfare, which is logistics and the ability to deliver overwhelming force to the battlefield.  We've never won a war with a major power (and damn few other wars) on the quality of our troops, after all. 

So while he may have been good for reining in the officer corps, IMO, he was a lousy SecDef.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on May 01, 2012, 08:42:58 pm
Well, Rumsfeld felt the US shouldn't be fighting those kind of wars in the first place.  His prescription for Iraq - while awful - made more sense than the Neocon position.  He wanted to break shit and get out.  His plan seemed to be using the downsizing of the US military to achieve both policy ends - stopping humanitarian missions, foreign occupations etc - and cutting out what he considered the dead wood and politically motivated types within the Pentagon.

Clearly, any plan that was devised around the idea of George W Bush not invading and occupying a foreign country was a doomed one, and then, Rumsfeld's own arrogance meant he saw all complaints, valid or not, through the lense of his attempts to assert political control back over the DoD's officer corps.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on May 01, 2012, 08:45:07 pm
The way we (the USA) are supposed to function is this (as was explained to me in the military):

1.  Politicians decide what military objective will satisfy their political objectives.

2.  The military objective and rules of engagement are then handed to the military.

3.  The objective is broken down into its branch components, by service, including and especially with respect to logistics.

4.  The objective is then broken down by each branch, with subcommanders making plans to satisfy their responsibilities, often all the way down to the squad level...and while commanders and even NCOs at all levels develop their method for approaching their portion of the responsibility, they must of course adhere to the rules of engagement.

Bush and congress were responsible for step 1.

Rumsfeld was responsible for step 2 (with the help of the civilian side DoD and SecState), and step 3 (with input from the chiefs of staff).

Step 4 is the responsibility of the commanding officer and his subordinates. 

Rumsfeld had serious issues with accepting input on step 3, which is a recipe for disaster.  He also couldn't keep his mitts off of step 4, which led to an enormous amount of loss of equipment, and not a few deaths.

So my argument is that he was too far the other way, when it came to dealing with the military side.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on May 01, 2012, 08:46:21 pm
Well, Rumsfeld felt the US shouldn't be fighting those kind of wars in the first place.  His prescription for Iraq - while awful - made more sense than the Neocon position.  He wanted to break shit and get out. 

Yeah, and I agree with that form of warfare...But in the face of contrary orders from his boss, there was no excuse for half-assing it.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on May 01, 2012, 08:48:04 pm
Clearly, any plan that was devised around the idea of George W Bush not invading and occupying a foreign country was a doomed one, and then, Rumsfeld's own arrogance meant he saw all complaints, valid or not, through the lense of his attempts to assert political control back over the DoD's officer corps.

In theory, we COULD have pulled it off.  Brecher made some comments that made sense:

1.  Show up with an overwheming force.

2.  Conquer them FIRST, then worry about rebuilding, etc.

My comment:

3.  Don't let Dick Cheney anywhere near any of this while you're figuring it out.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on May 01, 2012, 08:51:30 pm
Indeed.  There was more than a bit of personal aminosity between Rumsfeld and Bush Jr as well, which probably explains why there was something of a breakdown between the White House and SecDef.

The problem is, using your model above, the JCS are trying to insert themselves into steps 1 and 2...and so far, no-one's really bothered to say "no" and give them a slap down, especially in the current administration.  I sometimes wonder if Hillary Clinton might've been a good choice for SecDef...she's a harsh and cruel mistress, but you can bet anyone trying to override her authority would be going home in a box.  Biden has apparently vocally disagreed with a lot of Pentagon policies, but I don't believe he has quite the same skill for political infighting.

Plus, putting a Clinton in charge of the DoD would make certain people spit blood, which would be worth it all on its own.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on May 01, 2012, 08:54:26 pm
Clearly, any plan that was devised around the idea of George W Bush not invading and occupying a foreign country was a doomed one, and then, Rumsfeld's own arrogance meant he saw all complaints, valid or not, through the lense of his attempts to assert political control back over the DoD's officer corps.

In theory, we COULD have pulled it off.  Brecher made some comments that made sense:

1.  Show up with an overwheming force.

2.  Conquer them FIRST, then worry about rebuilding, etc.

My comment:

3.  Don't let Dick Cheney anywhere near any of this while you're figuring it out.

Yes, putting democratisation in before security was a terrible, terrible idea.

Not to mention the specifics of the political settlement helped recruit the insurgents more than anything else.  Then again, I think managed chaos was at least someone's plan in Iraq.  There were a lot of odd events...like the SAS guys posing as Shia insurgents...which make me think someone wanted the natives fighting each other, so long as they weren't fighting the military.

I doubt that was a decision made at the political level, though.  It smells like a British idea, too.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on May 01, 2012, 08:55:14 pm
The problem is, using your model above, the JCS are trying to insert themselves into steps 1 and 2...and so far, no-one's really bothered to say "no" and give them a slap down, especially in the current administration.  I sometimes wonder if Hillary Clinton might've been a good choice for SecDef...she's a harsh and cruel mistress, but you can bet anyone trying to override her authority would be going home in a box.  Biden has apparently vocally disagreed with a lot of Pentagon policies, but I don't believe he has quite the same skill for political infighting.

Plus, putting a Clinton in charge of the DoD would make certain people spit blood, which would be worth it all on its own.

1.  I agree with all of the above, with the exception of Biden.

2.  Biden is one of those guys that LOOKS like a pussy and SOUNDS like a pussy, but whenever a fight is over, he's the one on his feet.  It's amazing.  It's like he read shit like Sun Tzu and Machiavelli and even learned from them.

3.  Hillary Clinton would have been much better as SecDef.  Having 5 rows of teeth isn't bad for a SecState, but you are correct in that it is indispensable for a SecDef.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on May 01, 2012, 08:56:22 pm
Clearly, any plan that was devised around the idea of George W Bush not invading and occupying a foreign country was a doomed one, and then, Rumsfeld's own arrogance meant he saw all complaints, valid or not, through the lense of his attempts to assert political control back over the DoD's officer corps.

In theory, we COULD have pulled it off.  Brecher made some comments that made sense:

1.  Show up with an overwheming force.

2.  Conquer them FIRST, then worry about rebuilding, etc.

My comment:

3.  Don't let Dick Cheney anywhere near any of this while you're figuring it out.

Yes, putting democratisation in before security was a terrible, terrible idea.

Not to mention the specifics of the political settlement helped recruit the insurgents more than anything else.  Then again, I think managed chaos was at least someone's plan in Iraq.  There were a lot of odd events...like the SAS guys posing as Shia insurgents...which make me think someone wanted the natives fighting each other, so long as they weren't fighting the military.

I doubt that was a decision made at the political level, though.  It smells like a British idea, too.

I think it WAS intentional at the political level.  It's hard to keep handing out no-bid rebuilding contracts to your buddies if nobody's blowing shit up. 

And it was done BADLY, which leads me to believe it was American, not British.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on May 02, 2012, 07:17:44 pm
Man arrested for using legal currency: http://www.t-g.com/story/1843748.html
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on May 02, 2012, 07:40:57 pm
Man arrested for using legal currency: http://www.t-g.com/story/1843748.html

That seems more like a legitimate mistake, and the system in this case worked.  Gaspard was released with an apology.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on May 02, 2012, 07:48:08 pm
Man arrested for using legal currency: http://www.t-g.com/story/1843748.html

That seems more like a legitimate mistake, and the system in this case worked.  Gaspard was released with an apology.

I agree. I never intended this thread to be all about the horror (although there is a distinct trend). We're supposed to be extracting some value out of this whole "Civilization" thing.


Although from the 'kid drinks urine' story once you're arrested it seems that you have to make a new Savings Throw.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on May 02, 2012, 08:00:16 pm
Man arrested for using legal currency: http://www.t-g.com/story/1843748.html

That seems more like a legitimate mistake, and the system in this case worked.  Gaspard was released with an apology.

I agree. I never intended this thread to be all about the horror (although there is a distinct trend). We're supposed to be extracting some value out of this whole "Civilization" thing.


Although from the 'kid drinks urine' story once you're arrested it seems that you have to make a new Savings Throw.

That's more like a survival check.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on May 05, 2012, 07:13:57 pm
Man arrested for using legal currency: http://www.t-g.com/story/1843748.html

That seems more like a legitimate mistake, and the system in this case worked.  Gaspard was released with an apology.

I disagree, because arresting and jailing someone during the investigation of a $50 bill is preposterous. He didn't need to be taken into custody at all over something so trivial; they should have taken his information and let him go about his business while they investigated the bill. So, I wouldn't say that the system "worked". Being thrown in jail, even for a short time, for a false suspicion of something fairly trivial is not something people in a free society should have to fear.

It's pretty much on par with having gunmen hold you hostage and then being arrested and jailed overnight for changing the locks on your new house.

Is this a free society, or is it not? Wait, we both know the answer to that.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on May 05, 2012, 07:20:42 pm
Having worked retail for 13 years, I can tell you that the vast majority of people who are carrying counterfeit bills don't know it. Counterfeiting has become much harder since the 90's, but most people receiving them as change have no idea, and then proceed to try to buy their coffee or lunch with them. The police didn't even come to the store until later when it was convenient, let alone arrest them; they just got contact info and details about when/where they received the bill.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on May 06, 2012, 03:26:58 am
Yeah, dude could have gotten striped search each time they moved him locations, and the Supreme Court just said they were fine with that. At this point you can be arrested for a $50 that 'looks funny', or for simply carrying more than $5k in cash around with you (they prefer to just arrest the money in those cases).
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on May 06, 2012, 04:00:55 pm
The system is definitely functioning as it was intended.

Just not as the authors of the Constitution intended.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on May 06, 2012, 04:37:48 pm
You mean "as a landed gentry ruling over a dispossessed mass without legal equality"?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on May 06, 2012, 06:04:46 pm
You mean "as a landed gentry ruling over a dispossessed mass without legal equality"?

Oh... maybe it IS functioning as the founding fathers intended.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on May 13, 2012, 08:07:03 am
http://theamericanscholar.org/a-gathering-menace/

Afghanistan: A Gathering Menace, By Neil Shea.

Quote
I thought back to what an American Army sergeant had told me hours earlier.

“This is where I come to do fucked-up things.”

His face had been clear and smooth, his smile almost shy. It was a statement of happy expectation, as though Afghanistan were a playground. He was the de facto leader of a platoon I will call Destroyer, and although he is a real person, not a composite, I have heard his words in many variations, from many American combat troops. But he and some of his men were the first I had met who seemed very near to committing the dumb and vicious acts that we call war crimes.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on May 21, 2012, 04:51:59 am
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/01/16/936732/-Who-is-Buying-Up-American-Firearms-Dan-Quayle-Cerebrus

Quote
The investingbusinessweek.com site has two search engines. At the top right you can search and find news articles. Below that there is a window named Stock Quotes. Here you will find an amazing, interactive search ability. I enjoy being able to see how many associations a Board Member has, as an example.

For instance, I became interested in Cerberus and Veritas Private Equity firms because they have been buying up components that could support a privately owned military power. Manufacturers of guns, bullets, uniforms, silencers, and an army. Veritas owns crowd control microwave equipment. Ouch!

What is most interesting, is the huge financing these two Private Equity Firms have received from Citi Bank, Bank of America, Barclays, and Deutsche to do so.

It seems that the smaller companies like gun makers Remington, Cobbs, H&R, Marlin, Dakota, and Bushmaker ran into some debt problems. Cerberus bought them all in the past four years. I have to wonder if the very same banks that helped Cerberus gobble up these companies on the cheap held the debt that made these gun manufactures vulnerable to a takeover.

Most interesting was Veritas Capital's sale of DynCorp to Cerberus Management Capital.

It's a Billion dollar deal.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on May 21, 2012, 07:22:50 am
Because someone has to point it out:

http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Cerberus

Quote
Cerberus is a human-survivalist paramilitary group led by the enigmatic Illusive Man. Cerberus' core belief is that humans deserve a greater role in the galactic community, and that the Systems Alliance is too hamstrung by law and public opinion to stand up effectively to the Citadel races. Any methods of advancing humanity's ascension are justified, including illegal or dangerous experimentation, terrorist activities, sabotage and assassination. Cerberus operatives accept that these methods are brutal, but believe history will vindicate them. Nevertheless, both the Systems Alliance and the Citadel Council have declared Cerberus to be a terrorist organization and will prosecute identified Cerberus agents accordingly.

[...]

Cerberus has wealthy sympathizers within the Alliance military-industrial complex, who contribute credits and resources to Cerberus, and trust the Illusive Man to make the right decisions. Cerberus also owns several front corporations which further fund and support their operations. Spending trends indicate that Cerberus has a reliable income running up to several billion credits per year.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on May 21, 2012, 07:45:33 am
 :lulz:  :argh!:  :fnord:

Nice catch Cain. Hey, can I get your opinion on this 'weird' story (didn't post it in this thread as I'm not sure about a majority of the facts):

http://www.eutimes.net/2012/05/fbi-agent-fleeing-massive-manhunt-warns-theyre-all-insane/
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on May 21, 2012, 07:55:21 am
Er...well, it's certainly odd.  There is an FBI agent called Ivens who matches the picture, who is currently missing and the FBI are searching for him.

The first link, to the Foreign Ministry, does not not actually lead to any such comment.  As such, the rest of the article falls apart, as we only have the word of a loony (http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index1579.htm) that such a report ever existed.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Triple Zero on May 21, 2012, 08:04:57 am
:lulz: Nice one Cain, you had me for the first few sentences with the Cerberus quote before I noticed the link wasn't WP (still running uncaffeinated, for the moment)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on May 24, 2012, 10:01:08 am
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/canada-politics/rcmp-ease-canadians-idea-u-agents-canada-201905380.html

RCMP ‘to ease Canadians into the idea’ of U.S. agents in Canada

Quote
Uncle Sam could soon be coming after you on Canadian soil.
According to an article in Embassy Magazine (http://embassymag.ca/page/view/crossborder-05-16-2012), the Harper government is moving forward on several initiatives that could give U.S. FBI and DEA agents the ability to pursue suspects across the land border and into Canada.
But, according to a RCMP officer, they're doing it in "baby steps."
"We recognized early that this approach would raise concerns about sovereignty, of privacy, and civil liberties of Canadians," RCMP Chief Superintendent Joe Oliver, the Mounties' director general for border integrity, told the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence on May 14.
"We said 'Let's take baby steps, let's start with two agencies to test the concept, let's demonstrate to Canadians and Americans that such an approach might work."
Baby step 1, according to Embassy Magazine, has already happened in the form cross border pilot projects allowing Canadian and American agents in each others waters.
Step 2 is the 'Shiprider' program which will make it permanently legal for U.S. agents to be certified as police in Canadian waters.  This is on track to be passed into law by the Harper government's omnibus budget bill, C-38.
And step 3, is to roll out cross-border policing over land.
Embassy also notes that the government is not ruling out U.S. aerial surveillance over Canadian territory.
These initiatives are part of the much-touted perimeter security initiative (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/harper-and-obama-ink-deal-to-ease-travel-bolster-border-security/article2263468/) between Washington and Ottawa, designed to provide a thicker wall of security around the continent while easing trade barriers at the borders.
Critics have bemoaned the loss of Canada's jurisdiction and sovereignty over the new policing measures but Canadian officials insist it's needed.
"Criminals are exploiting the fact that we have to respect our boundaries and we have to stop at the border," Oliver said.
"We've had instances where we've engaged in the attempts to interdict vessels in our shared waterways, and the vessel has fled into the other territory and has escaped apprehension."
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on May 24, 2012, 12:38:06 pm
Is there no principle of hot pursuit across the land border then?  I thought if you were right behind someone, you could cross into North Korea and the arrest would still be valid.  Of course, after the arrest things might get messy after that, but the essential principle is sound.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: inode_buddha on May 25, 2012, 04:05:28 am
Is there no principle of hot pursuit across the land border then?  I thought if you were right behind someone, you could cross into North Korea and the arrest would still be valid.  Of course, after the arrest things might get messy after that, but the essential principle is sound.

Not necessarily. I share a border with Canada, its only a few minutes away. 2 great lakes and a river to be exact. Generally the respective services monitor each others radios and co-operate on their respective sides of the border. Basically doing favors for each other back and forth continually.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: BabylonHoruv on May 30, 2012, 08:52:10 pm
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/obamas-leadership-in-war-on-al-qaeda.html?_r=1&hp&pagewanted=all
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: BabylonHoruv on June 01, 2012, 10:19:50 pm
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/05/hedge-fund-hedges-its-political-bets-rentech-renaissance-technologies

Just more evidence of the two man con.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on June 04, 2012, 10:08:53 am
From Chris Woods, Senior Reporter with the BIJ, in an email to Glenn Greenwald on his article about how "every male over 18 in a strike zone is considered a militant by the US" story:

Quote
As well as reporting all those killed as “militants”, the mainstream US media is consistently failing to report when civilians are credibly reported killed, even as media internationally do so.
 
Excepting today, civilians have only been reported killed twice in Pakistan in 2012, from 17 attacks (February 9 and May 24). On both occasions civilian deaths were reported by major international agencies (Reuters, AP etc), and picked up worldwide (eg BBC, Jerusalem Post…) But not within the US. I can find no reference to civilian casualties in any mainstream US publication on either occasion (for the May 24 attack most also censored out the fact that a mosque was hit.)
 
So the US mainstream media is not only classing all victims – regardless of known status – as “militants.” It is actively censoring out actual reports of civilian deaths.

It's just as easy to get people to self-censor by using weasel words and appeals to nationalism as it would be to actually directly sit a censor in their offices.  Cheaper, and less likely to cause resentment, too.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on June 04, 2012, 10:29:55 am
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/07/world/americas/07nazi.html?pagewanted=print

Quote
The Central Intelligence Agency took no action after learning the pseudonym and whereabouts of the fugitive Holocaust administrator Adolf Eichmann in 1958, according to C.I.A. documents released Tuesday that shed new light on the spy agency’s use of former Nazis as informants after World War II.

The C.I.A. was told by West German intelligence that Eichmann was living in Argentina under the name Clemens — a slight variation on his actual alias, Ricardo Klement — but did not share the information with Israel, which had been hunting for him for years, according to Timothy Naftali, a historian who examined the documents.

Two years later, Israeli agents abducted Eichmann in Argentina and flew him to Israel, where he was tried and executed in 1962. The Eichmann papers are among 27,000 newly declassified pages released by the C.I.A. to the National Archives under Congressional pressure to make public files about former officials of Hitler’s regime later used as American agents.

The material reinforces the view that most former Nazis gave American intelligence little of value and in some cases proved to be damaging double agents for the Soviet K.G.B., according to historians and members of the government panel that has worked to open the long-secret files.

Elizabeth Holtzman, a former congresswoman from New York and member of the panel, the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group, said the documents showed that the C.I.A “failed to lift a finger” to hunt Eichmann and “force us to confront not only the moral harm but the practical harm” of relying on intelligence from ex-Nazis.

The United States government, preoccupied with the cold war, had no policy at the time of pursuing Nazi war criminals. The records also show that American intelligence officials protected many former Nazis for their perceived value in combating the Soviet threat.

 But Ms. Holtzman, speaking at a news briefing at the National Archives on Tuesday, said information from the former Nazis was often tainted both by their “personal agendas” and their vulnerability to blackmail. “Using bad people can have very bad consequences,” Ms. Holtzman said.

Quote
The West German government was wary of exposing Eichmann because officials feared what he might reveal about such figures as Hans Globke, a former Nazi government official then serving as a top national security adviser to Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Mr. Naftali said.

Quote
In particular, he said, the documents fill in the story of the “catastrophic” Soviet penetration of the Gehlen Organization, the postwar West German intelligence service sponsored by the United States Army and then the C.I.A. Mr. Goda described the case of Heinz Felfe, a former SS officer who was bitter over the Allied firebombing of his native city, Dresden, and secretly worked for the K.G.B.

Mr. Felfe rose in the Gehlen Organization to oversee counterintelligence, a Soviet agent placed in charge of combating Soviet espionage. The C.I.A. shared much sensitive information with Mr. Felfe, Mr. Goda found. A newly released 1963 C.I.A. damage assessment, written after Mr. Felfe was arrested as a Soviet agent in 1961, found that he had exposed “over 100 C.I.A. staffers” and caused many eavesdropping operations to end with “complete failure or a worthless product.”

I've occasionally considered writing a "historical thriller" set in the 1960s USA, which would revolve around the idea that the KGB was using the CIA's ties to various Nazis as blackmail, both from double agents such as Goda and files that fell into their hands in the aftermath of WWII, and that much of the apparent craziness of the 60s in the covert political sphere could ultimately be tied back to this conflict.

The most worrying thing is that this may not be alternate history at all.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Triple Zero on June 04, 2012, 11:58:14 am
Hah! Nice find Cain. You could do an Illuminatus! Trilogy on it, mixing up fact, fiction and conspiracy just enough to make everybody wonder :)

also,

Quote
But Ms. Holtzman, speaking at a news briefing at the National Archives on Tuesday, said information from the former Nazis was often tainted both by their “personal agendas” and their vulnerability to blackmail. “Using bad people can have very bad consequences, Who would've thought bad people would LIE to us and 0wn us so badly?” Ms. Holtzman said.

;-)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on June 04, 2012, 02:54:45 pm
Wow, very nice find.


Hey, Look at this one. Putting more armed US drones into the air is a bit of PR blunder, so we'll just arm some drones for an ally as a gesture of goodwill (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/29/us-italy-usa-drones-idUSBRE84S1BU20120529).


Who would've thought that mounting a machinegun onto a remotely piloted flying machine would count as "Goodwill"  in 2012 :horrormirth:

Where the fuck are my flying jet-skis.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 04, 2012, 03:31:03 pm
Oh good, Italy with armed drones sounds like a GREAT idea.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on June 04, 2012, 04:58:16 pm
From Chris Woods, Senior Reporter with the BIJ, in an email to Glenn Greenwald on his article about how "every male over 18 in a strike zone is considered a militant by the US" story:

Quote
As well as reporting all those killed as “militants”, the mainstream US media is consistently failing to report when civilians are credibly reported killed, even as media internationally do so.
 
Excepting today, civilians have only been reported killed twice in Pakistan in 2012, from 17 attacks (February 9 and May 24). On both occasions civilian deaths were reported by major international agencies (Reuters, AP etc), and picked up worldwide (eg BBC, Jerusalem Post…) But not within the US. I can find no reference to civilian casualties in any mainstream US publication on either occasion (for the May 24 attack most also censored out the fact that a mosque was hit.)
 
So the US mainstream media is not only classing all victims – regardless of known status – as “militants.” It is actively censoring out actual reports of civilian deaths.

It's just as easy to get people to self-censor by using weasel words and appeals to nationalism as it would be to actually directly sit a censor in their offices.  Cheaper, and less likely to cause resentment, too.

How do the parapolitics work with this kind of near-perfect, national level manipulation?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on June 04, 2012, 05:06:19 pm
Good question.

I don't think it's a conscious policy.  Not entirely.  You need a culture supportive of such actions.  Lots of journalists nowadays come from the same rarified circles as much of the US elite, for example.  They are therefore more inclined to trust that "the government" is to be trusted, regardless of who is actually in power.  Lots of major publications have editors who are also tied directly into the US political-corporate elite; Bill Keller, for example, is a journalist by training, but he is also the son of a former Chevron chariman and chief executive.

Newspapers don't make a lot of money.  They are heavily reliant on advertisers and moving copy as fast as possible, and so they don't bother to factcheck.  Much of what passes for news is PR releases from government agencies, or newswires (who also do not fact check, but are more honest about this).  Likely what happened was that the major US news agencies picked up the story from the Pentagon, spent 2 minutes on Google making sure there weren't any amazingly obvious errors, then spent 5 minutes running it through an online thesaurus, then spent another minute playing around with the wording before sending it to be printed.

As such, there is at the highest levels, the natural inclination to believe what the government says, combined with overworked underlings being harassed for printable stories as fast as possible.  This makes it very easy for the Pentagon's story to go unchallenged.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on June 04, 2012, 05:17:37 pm
With all the internet induced upheaval the mainstream news companies are going through I can picture that quite clearly. Thanks
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on June 05, 2012, 05:58:15 pm
Quote
...It seemed incredible to me that with all the fraud that took place during the housing bubble, the Justice Department was focusing not on the banks that had issued the fraudulent loans, but rather on those who had taken out the loans, which invariably went sour when housing prices fell.

As I would later learn, Charlie Engle was no aberration. The current meme — argued most recently by Charles Ferguson, in his new book “Predator Nation” — is that not a single top executive at any of the firms that nearly brought down the financial system has spent so much as a day in jail. And that is true enough.

www.nytimes.com/2012/06/02/opinion/nocera-the-mortgage-fraud-fraud.html?_r=1
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 05, 2012, 10:40:29 pm
Quote
...It seemed incredible to me that with all the fraud that took place during the housing bubble, the Justice Department was focusing not on the banks that had issued the fraudulent loans, but rather on those who had taken out the loans, which invariably went sour when housing prices fell.

As I would later learn, Charlie Engle was no aberration. The current meme — argued most recently by Charles Ferguson, in his new book “Predator Nation” — is that not a single top executive at any of the firms that nearly brought down the financial system has spent so much as a day in jail. And that is true enough.

www.nytimes.com/2012/06/02/opinion/nocera-the-mortgage-fraud-fraud.html?_r=1

Oh, America.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on June 13, 2012, 09:44:56 pm
Quote
WASHINGTON - June 13 - A leak today of one of the most controversial chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) reveals that extreme provisions have been agreed to by U.S. officials, providing a stark warning about the dangers of “trade” negotiations occurring under conditions of extreme secrecy without press, public or policymaker oversight, Public Citizen said.

“The outrageous stuff in this leaked text may well be why U.S. trade officials have been so extremely secretive about these past two years of TPP negotiations,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.

Quote
Although the TPP has been branded a “trade” agreement, the leaked text of the pact’s Investment Chapter shows that the TPP would:

    * Limit how U.S. federal and state officials could regulate foreign firms operating within U.S.  boundaries, with requirements to provide them greater rights than domestic firms;
    * Extend the incentives for U.S. firms to offshore investment and jobs to lower-wage countries;
    * Establish a two-track legal system that gives foreign firms new rights to skirt U.S. courts and laws, directly sue the U.S. government before foreign tribunals and demand compensation for financial, health, environmental, land use and other laws they claim undermine their TPP privileges; and
    * Allow foreign firms to demand compensation for the costs of complying with U.S. financial or environmental regulations that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms.

Quote
In May, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chair of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness – the committee with jurisdiction over the TPP – filed legislation to open the process after he and his staff were denied access even to the U.S. proposals for the TPP negotiations.

Last month, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk defended the unprecedented secrecy of TPP negotiations by noting that when the draft of a major regional trade pact was released previously, it became impossible to finish the deal as then proposed.

www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/13-0
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 13, 2012, 10:02:10 pm
Wyden is one of the few guys in government who actually seems to be on our side.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on June 13, 2012, 10:07:38 pm
Wyden is one of the few guys in government who actually seems to be on our side.

Definitely. At least in the past dozen or so articles that he's been mentioned, he was kicking ass.

I can't get over the fact that Wyden, having jurisdiction over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, was denied access to it.

How much more blatantly corporate-tastic can this country get?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Placid Dingo on June 13, 2012, 10:39:55 pm
Good question.

I don't think it's a conscious policy.  Not entirely.  You need a culture supportive of such actions.  Lots of journalists nowadays come from the same rarified circles as much of the US elite, for example.  They are therefore more inclined to trust that "the government" is to be trusted, regardless of who is actually in power.  Lots of major publications have editors who are also tied directly into the US political-corporate elite; Bill Keller, for example, is a journalist by training, but he is also the son of a former Chevron chariman and chief executive.

Newspapers don't make a lot of money.  They are heavily reliant on advertisers and moving copy as fast as possible, and so they don't bother to factcheck.  Much of what passes for news is PR releases from government agencies, or newswires (who also do not fact check, but are more honest about this).  Likely what happened was that the major US news agencies picked up the story from the Pentagon, spent 2 minutes on Google making sure there weren't any amazingly obvious errors, then spent 5 minutes running it through an online thesaurus, then spent another minute playing around with the wording before sending it to be printed.

As such, there is at the highest levels, the natural inclination to believe what the government says, combined with overworked underlings being harassed for printable stories as fast as possible.  This makes it very easy for the Pentagon's story to go unchallenged.

In WWII Japanese propaganda was considered more effective than German for this reason. The German stuff was known to be propaganda, even if you agreed.

The Japanese just fell in with the official line, with no direct government intervention.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on June 14, 2012, 08:28:33 am
The whole article is really really worth reading, but I'll highlight some of the things that jumped out at me.

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/the-rush-to-prohibit-kratom/Content?oid=13321119

Quote

The Rush to Prohibit Kratom
A leaf that might be able to wean people off opiates without serious withdrawal symptoms has entered the market. So why are officials who haven’t studied the science yet scrambling to ban it?
by BRENDAN KILEY

April 10, 2012

Kratom is a leaf from Southeast Asia that produces opiatelike effects, though it is not itself an opiate. It has been chewed or brewed into a tea for generations, and in the past five years, it's broken into the US market. When you find it at head shops in Seattle, it looks like loose-leaf tea or powder (sold either in a plastic bag or packed into capsules). The common wisdom is that snorting it and smoking it don't work as well as oral ingestion, though some people have been known to inject the extract, too.

Kratom was first documented as an opiate substitute—a kind of herbal methadone—in Asia in the early 1800s. It's often used by people who want an alternative to opiates, either because they're trying to break an addiction or because they want some way to manage chronic pain without opiate-based drugs.

Every few months, a new intoxicant that isn't technically covered by US drug-prohibition laws pops up on the market and policymakers, acting on very little information, freak out over it. Unfortunately for kratom, it has appeared in the immediate wake of the "bath salts" hysteria. (The hysteria was not entirely unjustified, as the active ingredient of "bath salts," a chemical called MDPV, was held responsible for long-term psychiatric damage and several deaths.) Kratom is already in the early stages of the same cycle.

That cycle goes like this: Clever entrepreneurs find an intoxicant not covered under current law and begin selling it. People get excited about it and chatter online. Some user winds up in the emergency room—for reasons that may or may not be serious—and says its name to a doctor who's never heard of it. The doctor calls the poison control center, and the public-health bureaucracy scrambles to figure out what this exotic new drug is. Someone talks to a reporter, and soon newspapers and TV stations are all over it, breathlessly warning parents about a "dangerous new high" threatening their children. Lawmakers see a chance to score some points by being tough on drugs and ban it. The drug fades away. A clever new entrepreneur finds a new drug, and the whack-a-mole cycle begins again.

...

Boyer and his coauthors noticed online mentions of kratom at low levels starting in late 2004 and spiking in April of 2005. A current Google search for kratom will pick up almost three million hits—oxycodone, by contrast, picks up 22.2 million—and pages of online vendors. And, over the past few years, the new-drug cycle has begun to unfold.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began putting out warning bulletins about kratom as early as 2005, saying it's used "by young Thai militants... to make them 'more bold and fearless and easy to control.'" The DEA warning also mentions "several cases of kratom psychosis" where kratom users "exhibited psychotic symptoms of hallucinations, delusions, and confusion." The bulletin doesn't cite its sources, but its key data on addiction rates is identical to Dr. Suwanlert's seven-page gloss from 1975. (Suwanlert's study is also the only mention I have found in the scientific literature of "kratom psychosis." He says he observed psychiatric disturbance in five kratom users who wound up in an outpatient hospital: One was a 55-year-old who'd been using kratom for 30 years and was experiencing "clouding of consciousness," and two of the others were schizophrenics.)

Suffice it to say, the DEA's claims aren't based on robust research.

...

In the wake of these DEA warnings and overheated news stories, US legislators have begun toying with the idea of banning kratom. This year, Louisiana state senator A. G. Crowe is sponsoring a bill that would add kratom to the list of schedule-one drugs, or drugs that are legally classified as having no recognized medical value. That would put kratom in the company of marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, peyote, and heroin.

A story last month in the Baton Rouge Advocate reported that "the committee advanced [Crowe's] legislation without objection despite several committee members' unfamiliarity with kratom... Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, scanned the committee room for law enforcement officials with knowledge of how much of a problem the substance is becoming. Adley's search came up empty." (Senator Crowe's office did not respond to requests for comment for this story. Incidentally, the Washington Post reported last week that Senator Crowe is also backing a bill to allow discrimination against gays and lesbians in charter schools.)

In Iowa, state representative Clel Baudler began moving to ban kratom just two hours after he first heard of it. "We have to get ahead of this thing before it gets out of hand," he was quoted as saying in a story on WOI-TV.com, which reported that kratom is "a hallucinogen, addictive, and can be life-threatening."

In a telephone interview with The Stranger, Representative Baudler said he first heard about kratom on a radio show where he'd heard from a medical examiner that "the effects were not good—not good at all." He said his push to ban it, via an amendment to another bill, had passed the state house "unanimously" but was now in the senate, where it was sitting in a committee run by "an ultra-liberal," and that he'd been working hard all week to make sure it passed.

When asked why he was describing kratom as "a hallucinogen" and "life-threatening" when researchers and the medical literature directly contradicted these claims, he responded: "I absolutely disagree with you. It is banned in the two countries where it's grown and banned in a whole bunch of European countries, like Australia [sic]. And it has absolutely no medical value."

But kratom has been considered of medical value—for treating problems as small as diarrhea and as huge as drug epidemics—since the 19th century. As we were talking, I was sitting inches away from studies contemplating its medical value. (And an atlas.) And once a drug is banished into schedule one—i.e., is legally considered to have no medical value—it's much more difficult to secure grant funding to research it. (According to Sanho Tree, a drug-policy expert at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC, once a drug becomes schedule one, there are "infinitely more hoops you have to jump through and you're basically at the mercy of the DEA" to do any research.) And research is precisely what kratom needs.

Given all that, could Representative Baudler point to any actual scientific studies supporting his charge that kratom is a "life-threatening" "hallucinogen" with "absolutely no medical value"?

"No," he said. "They're all at my office in Des Moines, and I'm at home." Could he remember even one study? Or the name of the medical examiner he'd heard on the radio who'd instantaneously inspired his crusade? "No."

The campaigns of Representative Baudler and Senator Crowe to shove kratom into the schedule-one category are not based on reason or research. But they are telling. The next time you wonder why drug-prohibition laws in this country are such a destructive mess, just think of all those politicians who hear "drug" on the radio and rush toward prohibition without knowing the basic facts—just to score easy political points. Saying something has "no medical value" before looking into it is not rational. It's knee-jerk prohibitionism. And the facts have proven knee-jerk prohibitionism to be a catastrophe across the western hemisphere.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on June 15, 2012, 08:37:00 am
http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120613/NEWS/306120096/-Crippled-girl-gag-Crime-free-speech-issue-

Quote
Forest Thomer walked up to a small group of people at a May 23 Party in the Park event, pointed to a slight, wheelchair-bound woman next to him and asked, “Do you want to laugh at the crippled girl?”

The politically incorrect question wasn’t intended to demean Ally Bruener and her battle with Congenital Muscular Dystrophy but to promote her next gig as a comedian. After Thomer asked the question, Bruener wheeled her chair up to the group, told them a joke and where she was performing next.

Thomer’s guerrilla marketing, though, erupted into such a to-do that he was arrested by Cincinnati police and charged with disorderly conduct, punishable by up to 30 days in jail. Now, Thomer (pronounced Toe-mer) and Bruener insist they are in a free speech fight.

MORE (http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120613/NEWS/306120096/-Crippled-girl-gag-Crime-free-speech-issue-)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on June 15, 2012, 10:02:19 am
His own stupid fault for saying things which do not appear in the Land of Free Speech Lexicon of Approved Phrases  :lulz:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on June 15, 2012, 10:09:09 am
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/06/neverseconds-shut-down/
9-Year-Old Who Changed School Lunches Silenced By Politicians

Quote
For the past two months, one of my favorite reads has been Never Seconds, a blog started by 9-year-old Martha Payne of western Scotland to document the unappealing, non-nutritious lunches she was being served in her public primary school. Payne, whose mother is a doctor and father has a small farming property, started blogging in early May and went viral in days. She had a million viewers within a few weeks and 2 million this morning; was written up in Time, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, and a number of food blogs; and got support from TV cheflebrity Jamie Oliver, whose series “Jamie’s School Dinners” kicked off school-food reform in England.

Well, goodbye to all that.

This afternoon, Martha (who goes by “Veg” on the blog) posted that she will have to shut down her blog, because she has been forbidden to take a camera into school.

MORE (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/06/neverseconds-shut-down/)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on June 15, 2012, 11:13:58 am
Caught this on the local news this morning. Kid's given the bureaucrats a stiff kick in the teeth by all accounts. Well played! Notice the photo that's gone cover-story is obviously one of the shitty meals from the start of the blog. Apparently the school board responded by improving the quality of the food served but no one is looking at those pics :lulz:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on June 15, 2012, 01:28:39 pm
This has been making the rounds here too. The strange thing is apparently the more recent meals were rated 10/10, compared to 0-2/10 that the blog started with. A remarkable PR own goal really. It would have taken a day to smile and nod at the child. Instead you've thrown out a demand and created negative media attention on what could easily have been a huge success story.

Various people claiming that it violates some human rights rules or EU regulation. No idea on the veracity of this but if true this council have really fucked themselves. 

Excellent work. You've tried to silence a child journalist writing about a subject that has been in the public eye for a long time.

I'd expect a grovelling statement within the week and a meeting with council officials, the child and a celebrity chef by the end of the month. It's only real food news when Jamie Oliver is involved apparently.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on June 15, 2012, 01:42:45 pm
Update: Head of Argyle and Bute Council just ordered the ban lifted.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on June 15, 2012, 01:46:45 pm
When's the meeting with Jamie scheduled for?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on June 15, 2012, 01:50:48 pm
Probably take a couple of months to get the six part series scripted and production staff mobilised
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 15, 2012, 06:20:58 pm
Update: Head of Argyle and Bute Council just ordered the ban lifted.

Well, that's good. I just wasted an email full of scolding and shame,  though.  :lol:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on June 17, 2012, 08:18:26 pm
http://www.vancouverobserver.com/politics/2012/06/12/harper-government-targeted-artist-her-green-conscience-internal-documents-reveal

Canada's Harper Government retroactively cancels a $5,000 grant to help send a local environmentally focused artist on a European tour along side the Nektarina Non-Profit, an arts organization based in Croatia (all because a couple of her pieces are critical of Harper's oil sands policy). Deciding that's not dickish enough, the administration then proceeds to bad-mouth her to every Canadian embassy in the regions she was set to tour in, and then pressures her largest Corproate sponsor to drop $75,000 in funding. Which they did.


Tour canceled.

I mean, look at this shit. She got on an agenda list alongside Serbia/Kosovo and India/Pakistan last July, labeled as "an inconvenient artist" ("une artiste qui dérange").

 :horrormirth:

(http://vancouverobserver.com/sites/vancouverobserver.com/files/images/article/body/VO%20Franke%20James%20DFAIT_hotissues_0.jpg)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on June 18, 2012, 01:16:13 am
OK, it's really old news.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing

"Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which played a significant role in the creation of the modern computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence.

"During the Second World War, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GCCS) at Bletchley Park, Britain's codebreaking centre. For a time he was head of Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including the method of the bombe, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine."

"Turing's homosexuality resulted in a criminal prosecution in 1952, when homosexual acts were still illegal in the United Kingdom. He accepted treatment with female hormones (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. He died in 1954, just over two weeks before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning."


So basically, he laid the groundwork for computers, stopped the nazis from taking over and got chemically castrated for being gay.

FUCK.  :cry:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on August 21, 2012, 06:37:51 pm
What a surprise, another undercover FBI informant, providing weapons to violent political organizations.

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Activist-Richard-Aoki-named-as-informant-3800133.php

Quote
The man who gave the Black Panther Party some of its first firearms and weapons training – which preceded fatal shootouts with Oakland police in the turbulent 1960s – was an undercover FBI informer, according to a former bureau agent and an FBI report.

One of the Bay Area’s most prominent radical activists of the era, Richard Masato Aoki was known as a fierce militant who touted his street-fighting abilities. He was a member of several radical groups before joining and arming the Panthers, whose members received international notoriety for brandishing weapons during patrols of the Oakland police and a protest at the state Capitol.

Aoki went on to work for 25 years as a teacher, counselor and administrator at the Peralta Community College District, and after his suicide in 2009, he was revered as a fearless radical.

But unbeknownst to his fellow activists, Aoki had served as an FBI intelligence informant, covertly filing reports on a wide range of Bay Area political groups, according to the bureau agent who recruited him.

That agent, Burney Threadgill Jr., recalled that he approached Aoki in the late 1950s, about the time Aoki was graduating from Berkeley High School. He asked Aoki if he would join left-wing groups and report to the FBI.

“He was my informant. I developed him,” Threadgill said in an interview. “He was one of the best sources we had.”
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on August 23, 2012, 04:20:47 am
That's pretty much the job description, isn't it?

And almost as big a surprise as "Texas GOP judges are batshit".
http://dangerousminds.net/comments/dumbshit_gop_judge_in_texas_asks_for_tax_increase_to_fight_back_against_oba
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on September 24, 2012, 12:29:12 pm
Obama's "emergency appeal" of the indefinite detention ruling reminds me of the way Quebec legislators made use of emergency procedures that allowed them to rush their law through that made it effectively illegal to protest without a permit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_HeAlJwtkw
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 07, 2013, 07:10:27 pm
http://www.madcowprod.com/2013/03/06/source-rudi-dekkers-drug-case-will-never-go-to-trial/

Quote
The upcoming trial in Houston of Rudi Dekkers for drug trafficking has been pushed back and may now never happen, according to a lawyer close to the case.

“The case has been continued, and a plea agreement is in the works,” said the attorney, who asked for anonymity. “The case will never go to trial. That’s all I can say.”

Who is Rudi Dekkers and why should you care?

Well, Dekkers was the man who ran the flight school in Florida which trained, among others, a certain Mohammed Atta.  While investigating, Daniel Hopsicker, the author of the above article, discovered a number of discrepancies involving Dekkers flight school which led him to believe it may have been a drug trafficking front, and that the truth of 9/11 may have more to do with the drug trade than is normally suspected.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 07, 2013, 07:15:45 pm
Wow.

The CT nuts are NEVER gonna shut up now.

You should post this at HFT, for the laughs.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 07, 2013, 07:19:42 pm
Applied to join...just waiting for someone there to OK it.

As an aside, the evidence Hopsicker gives for the drug angle on Dekkers is pretty solid.  You've got a whole cast of ex Iran-Contra types, previous convictions, unusual cash flows, off the books flights to South America, friends who also have drugs being mysteriously found on their planes and so on.

How it figures into 9/11 is anyone's guess.  It could be coincidence...but it's a hell of a one if so.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 07, 2013, 07:22:37 pm
Applied to join...just waiting for someone there to OK it.

As an aside, the evidence Hopsicker gives for the drug angle on Dekkers is pretty solid.  You've got a whole cast of ex Iran-Contra types, previous convictions, unusual cash flows, off the books flights to South America, friends who also have drugs being mysteriously found on their planes and so on.

How it figures into 9/11 is anyone's guess.  It could be coincidence...but it's a hell of a one if so.

Perhaps.  Or perhaps Atta's crowd knew the guy was dirty, and used it to pressure Dekkers to take them on as students.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 07, 2013, 07:25:46 pm
Possible. I'm going to go over the notes I made from Hopsicker's book again.   There was a lot of very juicy, detailed information in there, and it'll refresh my memory too.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 07, 2013, 07:50:29 pm
OK, this may take some time.  I made a lot more notes than I remember, and whats more, some of this stuff is pretty damn juicy.  I'm going to go have to work in 10 minutes or so, so if I don't post before then, expect a mammoth post of quotes and info in about three hours or so.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 07, 2013, 07:51:29 pm
OK, this may take some time.  I made a lot more notes than I remember, and whats more, some of this stuff is pretty damn juicy.  I'm going to go have to work in 10 minutes or so, so if I don't post before then, expect a mammoth post of quotes and info in about three hours or so.

Looking forward to it.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 07, 2013, 10:13:05 pm
Here's a good one already:

Quote from: Welcome to Terrorland
Flight school owner Rudi Dekkers inadvertently released paperwork showing that Atta and sidekick Marwan Al-Shehhi paid $28,000 each for what the chief flight instructor at a nearby flight school, Tom Hamersley of Jones Aviation, explained to us was available at his school—as well as dozens of others—for a fraction of this price.

And

Quote from: Welcome to Terrorland
It was a simple question, really. We wanted to know if Dekkers had any local “priors.” But it made Sergeant Marty Treanor sigh. Then he started to say something, thought better of it, and sighed again. He said he couldn’t tell us if Dekkers had been in any trouble in Venice, because all of his files were gone. “Gone?” “The FBI took all our files, everything. They loaded the files right outside this window,” said Treanor, indicating a parking lot outside the station, “into two Ryder trucks, then drove them right onto a C-130 military cargo plane at the Sarasota airport, which took off for Washington with Jeb Bush aboard.”

Quote from: Welcome to Terrorland
An aviation executive in Venice who’d recently flown into the Key West Airport filled us in on its colorful history. “For a long time down in Key West, the Sheriff’s Department was under orders to keep all the dope sniffing dogs out of the airport,” he said. “At one time the Sheriff would even send patrol cars to escort the dope going up the road to Miami. At least they aren’t doing that any more. “But after the World Trade Center attack, it was only 4 hours before the FBI showed up at Big Pine Key. There were a bunch of Arabs on Little Pine Key,” this executive said. “They were gone three hours before the FBI got there.”
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We get an inkling of how much strange activity goes on at the Charlotte County Airport when the Sheriff told us, a little sheepishly, that 23 helicopters have been stolen there in the last several years… Stolen from the Sheriff’s Department. Later, wags at the airport told us that the helicopters hadn’t really been stolen… They’d just been “released on their own recognizance.”

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But the real history of Atta as a student pilot at U.S. flight schools is an altogether more elaborate tale than that. For example, Atta’s first flight school in the U.S. has never been named. It’s identity remains a mystery. We’re not sure why, but it does. After that he attended Huffman Aviation in Venice. Jones Aviation in Sarasota was next. Then Huffman Aviation again. After leaving Huffman for the second time, Atta and Marwan trained during January and February of 2001 at Professional Aviation at the Charlotte County Airport. When that school went suddenly and mysteriously bankrupt at the end of February 2001, Atta and Marwan returned to Huffman Aviation… for the third time.

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Jamie Hill’s partner in the company strongly suspected of having been a conduit for the disappearance of 23 helicopters from the County Sheriff’s Air Wing turns out to be another notorious covert operative with a significant presence at the Charlotte County Airport. Dietrich Reinhardt’s name, which could have been lifted straight out of transcripts of the Iran-Contra Hearings, had also been linked with Barry Seal’s infamous Mena, Arkansas cocaine smuggling. We discovered that one of Reinhardt’s companies active at the Charlotte County Airport, Caribe Air, had been doing business with Rudi Dekkers’ Huffman Aviation. Caribe Air was an especially notorious CIA proprietary whose past included “blemishes” like having all its aircraft seized at Mena, Arkansas after government prosecutors accused the company of using its planes to transport cocaine worth billions of dollars into the U.S.

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Reinhardt’s St. Lucia flew a C-130 military cargo plane often seen delivering arms to a remote airstrip in Zaire in 1986. The New York Times reported the weapons were on their way to Angolan rebels. But Reinhardt denied any involvement in arms shipments to Angola, saying the cargo was relief goods for Zaire. Zaire is one of the African countries said to have been involved in blood diamonds, supposedly a bin Laden organization specialty.

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Anne Greaves lifelong passion for aviation led her into pursuing her dream of learning to fly at Huffman Aviation. She was there at the same time as Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi were there. “When I checked with my instructor on one occasion about their (strange) habits,” she told 4 Corners, “I was informed that the men we now know as Mohamed Atta and Al-Shehhi actually had royal connections with a Saudi House and that Al-Shehhi was his bodyguard.”

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On the Saturday following the Tuesday attack, the Los Angeles Times broke the story in a long article on their front page. “A defense official said two of the hijackers were former Saudi fighter pilots,” reported the paper, “who had studied in exchange programs at the Defense Language School at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.” The story went wide the next day, Sunday, Sept 15th. Newsweek, the Washington Post and the Miami Herald all reported as many as seven of the terrorist hijackers in the Sept. 11th attacks received training at secure U.S. military installations. “Two of 19 suspects named by the FBI, Saeed Alghamdi and Ahmed Alghamdi, have the same names as men listed at a housing facility for foreign military trainees at Pensacola. Two others, Hamza Alghamdi and Ahmed Alnami, have names similar to individuals listed in public records as using the same address inside the base,” the Washington Post reported. “In addition, a man named Saeed Alghamdi graduated from the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, while men with the same names as two other hijackers, Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari, appear as graduates of the U.S. International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, and the Aerospace Medical School at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, respectively,” the Post said. According to the Post, seven of the suspected hijackers had been in the U.S. receiving military training. Newsweek said U.S. military officials gave the FBI information suggesting that five of the alleged hijackers received training in the 1990s at secure U.S. military installations. Three of them listed their address on driver licenses and car registrations as an address on the base of the Pensacola Naval Air Station which houses foreign-military flight trainees. “Pentagon spokesman, Col. Ken McClellan, said a man named Mohamed Atta had once attended the International Officer’s School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala,” reported USA Today.
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But there’s something big and important to understanding 9/11 here. Because there had been a “bus bomber Mohamed Atta,” the name “Mohamed Atta” was on a special CIA-FBI federal watch list, which should have red-flagged the terrorist ringleader to authorities on numerous occasions. In fact, an NBC report the day after the attack attributed the FBI’s quick zeroing in on Atta to the simple fact that they already knew who he was. They’d seen his name before, linked, said NBC’s Kerry Sanders, to the bus bombing in Israel. “Agents were in Hollywood, Florida serving search warrants inside an apartment complex,” Sanders reported. “They left with several boxes of evidence. The attention was really focusing on one person, Mohamed Atta, 33 years old, somebody who they know, because they’ve seen his name before, linked to a bombing of a bus in Israel in 1986.” “Atta, 33, who was born in the United Arab Emirates, was listed as a suspect in a bus bombing in Israel in 1986. That landed him on a CIA-FBI-Immigration & Naturalization Service watch list,” reported NBC’s Sanders.
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Chuck Clapper, owner of an air charter company in Lantana, Florida, told the Globe that several Florida flying schools had contracts with Saudi Arabian Airlines that enabled them to bypass much of the red tape involved in obtaining visas for their students. Saudi Arabia had authority to “pass through” anyone they wanted. They didn’t even need to be Saudi. They just needed “Saudi affiliations.”
Quote from: Welcome to Terrorland
Later a knowledgeable aviation source told us that the Lear jet in question had come from a Naples, Florida charter service. “Wally Hilliard owns the only charter Lear service in southwest Florida,” said the source. “If a Lear was flying that day, it would have been his.” Hilliard of course is the financier who purchased Huffman Aviation for Rudi Dekkers, and it had been the terrorist’s American beachhead. So not only had Hilliard financed the operation which trained Mohamed Atta and assorted other members of his terrorist cadre to fly, but he apparently also owned a Lear jet used to extricate Saudis from the Raytheon facility in Tampa.
Quote from: Welcome to Terrorland
The French newspaper Le Monde reported that Osama bin Laden’s Geneva, Switzerland-based brother Yeslam had also been sending student pilots to Venice for training. Yeslam bin Laden is one of three half brothers of Osama bin laden who head the Saudi Bin Laden Group, the parent company of the family’s far-flung business ventures, which include construction, telecommunications and finance. He has been called a key figure in the family’s business empire.

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As a result of what Le Monde called “a still unexplained coincidence,” the pilots of Yeslam bin Laden’s company trained at Huffman Aviation in Florida, the paper stated.

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One of the “stupid things” Hilliard is referring to was the seizure of a Lear jet he owned, on the tarmac of Orlando Executive airport in early July of 2000. DEA agents brandishing automatic weapons surrounded the plane before discovering 43 pounds of heroin onboard.

Quote from: Welcome to Terrorland
Wally Hilliard and Rudi Dekkers weren’t even in the flight school business, we slowly discovered. These were not two guys forming a partnership to make a profit selling goods or services. The Dekkers-Hilliard partnership lost money from the first day it began. There was no hint it mattered to either man.

Quote from: Welcome to Terrorland
“When they bought Huffman, they were already losing $40,000 a month on the Naples school,” said Stuart Burchill, a former Hilliard accountant. “It was ridiculous. No one could understand why they’d want to double the pain.”

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The first person we asked about Dekkers when we first arrived in Florida was a man who had just recently been pressed back into service, out of nearby McDill Air Force Base in Tampa, because his experience in the early ’80s running “Northern Alliance guys” in Afghanistan was deemed useful. He had also been a “troubleshooter” during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan. What he told us was chilling. “Rudi’s greedy, and when you’re greedy you can be used for something,” he muttered darkly. He would offer nothing further.

Quote from: Welcome to Terrorland
There were some odd “anomalies” in the circumstances surrounding the purchase of Huffman Aviation that occasioned comment out at the Venice Airport. When Hilliard and Dekkers arrived brandishing a big roll and proceeding in short order to purchase the flight school, they paid such an inflated price for the business that it appeared to local aviation observers that money was no object. There was talk. Rumors flew. “They made the deal overnight,” explained Coy Jacobs, who owns Mooney Aviation, a sales and maintenance facility right next door to Huffman Aviation. “They just blew into town. They did no due diligence to the best of my knowledge. That’s a cardinal no-no. I mean, you don’t just come in and buy a business like that overnight.”

Quote from: Welcome to Terrorland
A Naples aviation observer, Rob Tillman, confirmed Dekkers record of illegality there. “They got busted by the FAA, crashed some airplanes, violated air space enough to get grounded, chartered airplanes with no license… you name it.”
Quote
Rudi Dekkers had an erratic sense of cash management that often led to speculation among aviation observers. He went from dead broke to flashing a Big Roll in the blink of an eye. “Rudi would write a lot of bad checks, disappear for a while, and come back with lots of cash,” an airport observer recalled.

Quote from: Welcome to Terrorland
“I spent 5 years working at an avionics shop in Naples,” one aviation mechanic told us. “There were a lot of things about the guy that just did not add up. He’s claimed to me, for instance, that he’s a New York cop. He’s even got a plaque on his wall, with words to that effect. “A New York cop? You tell me: How does a Dutch con artist get a plaque claiming he’s an officer with the New York Police Department?”

Quote from: Welcome to Terrorland
“Arne Kruithof sat across from my desk one day and told me he had trained at a U.S. military installation in southeast Missouri,” said Jacob. “I’m from Missouri, and there aren’t any military bases there training foreign nationals that I know of. But the thing I kept wondering was,” ‘What’s a Dutch national doing training at a secure U.S. military facility?’”

Quote from: Welcome to Terrorland
When, less than a month before the September 11th tragedy, Rudi Dekkers finally paid Huffman Aviation’s rent, even that was considered newsworthy. “Huffman pays rent,” the paper headlined. It must have been good for a chuckle. But back when the Gondolier was highlighting Rudi Dekkers’ shortfalls, it wasn’t of interest, except locally. No one thought to question Dekkers about how he came to be suddenly flush with cash. He wasn’t notorious, yet. But when we first learned the “news”—months after 9/11—that he had finally managed to pay Huffman Aviation’s rent on time, our blood went cold. Because where did he come up with the money? If something changed in Rudi Dekkers financial condition just three weeks before the attack, we wanted to see him hauled in for questioning. Another question was why Dekkers, whose “clients” were forking over more than double the going rate for flight training, had always been late paying his rent.

Quote from: Welcome to Terrorland
“There was a warrant for Rudi’s arrest for smuggling computer chips. Both the DEA and U.S. Customs were interested in him back in ’93 and ’94,” he said.

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“He has a warrant in Holland for smuggling-in chips,” Vellada said. “He’s not allowed back in Holland. He got busted for smuggling chips and money fraud. I remember when DEA, Customs, everyone was after him over here.” To have aroused the interest of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Dekkers must have been involved with smuggling something besides computer chips… “Why was the DEA interested in Rudi? Nobody ever knew. That was everyone’s big question,” Villada replied. “All I know is the DEA was here, US Customs, Holland officials… That’s when I learned he had had to flee Holland.”

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“I was told that Rudi doesn’t check out clear,” he said. “When I asked about Dekkers, I was told, ‘He’s bigger than national. He’s transnational.’ And I was warned to stay away from him.” Something had now changed, apparently, because Burge was talking about Dekkers. “In the drive to indict Rudi,” he told us, smiling, “virtually every branch of the U.S. government lent a helping hand. Everybody offered to help in any way they could. The INS was especially helpful.”

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They chose, as partner, a man named Rick Boehlke, who owned an air carrier called Harbor Air, in Gig Harbor, Washington. Boehlke was also, just then, a participant in Portland, OR., in the $340 million looting of pension funds of mostly Mob-led unions, like the Laborers Union. We wondered: who had the temerity to steal pension money from Mob-led unions? Then we learned newspapers were calling the looting “Mob-led”, too. What were the odds that Rudi Dekkers and Wally Hilliard would go looking for a business partner and come up with a guy with Mob ties who’s helping pull off a spectacular $300 million heist?

Quote from: Welcome to Terrorland
“When people operate suspiciously at airports around here, people start investigating,” he told us. “I mean law enforcement hovers around most airports in the Southeast United States. They hover around airports around here, obviously. And they were told to stay away from that operation.”
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 07, 2013, 10:13:14 pm
Quote from: Welcome to Terrorland
Although Rudi Dekkers was listed as the airline’s CEO, he wasn’t even supposed to be an officer, we learned. Once again, his Dutch Uncle, “Uncle Sugar,” was protecting him. “Rudi is not a U.S. national, I don’t believe he’s a U.S. citizen,” explained Coy Jacob. “And historically the FAA is pretty picky about who they allow to even own U.S. registered airplanes. Non-US citizens cannot register an airplane in the United States, let alone own an airline.”

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Rick Boehlke’s friend Jeff Grayson had made a $6 million investment with Title Loans of America, a Georgia company that lends to individuals with low credit ratings at extremely high interest rates. The loans are secured by the titles to the borrowers’ cars. Some call it legalized loan sharking, which is pretty accurate, because Georgia Title is owned by Alvin Malnik, the man labeled in print as “Meyer Lansky’s heir” so often he should put it on his business cards. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission found Malnik to be a “person of unsuitable character” to have any role in the industry. Malnik was so intimately associated with organized crime figures that they denied licenses to two businessmen who had done deals with him. But it wasn’t Malnik’s gangster ties that made our jaw drop… It was his connection with the Saudi Royal Family. Alvin Malnik, who admits only to being a Jewish lawyer from Miami, has extremely close ties—family ties actually—to a leading prince of the Saudi royal family, King Fahd’s brother, Prince Turki Al-Faisal. Malnik’s son, Mark, converted to Islam, changed his name to Shareef, and married the daughter of Sheik Al-Fazzi, whose other daughter is married to Prince Turki. “The Saudi Prince not only blessed the marriage, but regularly works with the US organized crime associates,” read one account. “The Saudi King would frequently send his private 747 to Florida to pick up Malnik and his associates, so they could conduct business on the plane away from prying eyes.”

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Well, the airline did have one other accomplishment: it was publicly endorsed by than then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris.

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the opulent three-story red brick building is a monument to the rivers of money which have flowed through the financial empire of Jackson Stephens, whose name has been linked with every major American scandal of the past generation: from BCCI to Contra cocaine through Mena, Arkansas. Today the stately building still houses Stephen’s former law firm, local political powerhouse Boone Boone & Boone, a firm which worked so closely with client Stephens that at least one of his executives was permanently housed there. Some credit the Boone law firm with running the town of Venice still. “I don’t think you could safely say that they (Boone & Boone) run everything in town,” one local journalist told us. ”But you could safely say they run almost everything. They exert a strong influence here, including out at the airport.”

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He was named in the BCCI criminal bank scandal, figured somehow in the story of the death of Vince Foster, was linked to the stolen Promis software scandal of the Justice Dept., as well as the 1996 campaign finance scandal involving allegations of Red Chinese money. Most notably, Jackson Stephens was a figure in the huge scandal—involving gun-running and cocaine smuggling at Mena, Arkansas during the 1980’s—that was behind both the Iran-Contra and Whitewater Scandals

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The founder of Stephens’ law firm in Venice, Dan Boone, we discovered, was no slouch in the college roommate department. Back when both were Florida Gators his roommate had been former Florida Governor Lawton Chiles. Bringing things full circle, Lawton Chiles, although a Democrat, had given Republican Katherine Harris her start in politics, naming her to the Board of the Ringling Art Museum in Sarasota. Small world. Stephens was the chief domestic campaign contributor to both George Bush Senior and Bill Clinton, in, of course, different campaigns.

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Financier Hilliard ran money-losing flight schools. Now we discovered he leased jets to drug smugglers too. Major drug smugglers. A story in the August 2, 2000 Orlando Sentinel called the bust “the largest find of its kind in the southeastern United States in recent years.”

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The flight originated in Venezuela and then made a stop in Fort Lauderdale before landing in Orlando, with New York as its final destination, the paper reported. Passengers Edgar Valles and Neyra Rivas, both of Caracas, Venezuela, were arrested. Most of the heroin was found hidden in the soles of tennis shoes stashed in their luggage. Eventually five people in Orlando were convicted in connection with the seizure, including the two Venezuelans.

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Wally Hilliard got his Learjet from the same people who supplied the Learjet—two decades earlier—flown by famous drug smuggler and CIA agent Barry Seal. Federal records showed Hilliard got his Learjet from World Jet, Inc., owned by the drug smuggling Whittington brothers, Don and Bill, of Fort Lauderdale, FL, who in their heyday in the early 1980s had been historic figures in the rise of the trade, commanding fleets of fishing trawlers, sailboats, power boats, and jets.

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“They were told to stay away from that (Dekkers) operation.” “Who was told?” we asked. “The Sarasota County Drug Interdiction people,” came the response. “They were told that they had a green light to operate and that they were to stay away from them, that they were some type of… alluded to the fact that they may have some type of government protection. And the local Venice Police Department were also warned to leave them alone.”

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“I know more about Wally Hilliard than I ever want to know, said a former Huffman Aviation executive. “Why do you think the U.S. military didn’t close the passes into Pakistan during the Tora Bora bombing? This all goes far deeper than you think.”

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Dekkers never actually owned the flight school, we discovered. It was a ruse, a paper agreement which was never executed, or meant to be. Wally Hilliard owned Huffman Aviation. He was the sole owner, and had been all along.

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“Wally’s lost $40 million in the last 3 years, which is easy to do if you are spending $14 million on jets in one year as he did,” explained jet manager Villada. How does a retired insurance executive from Green Bay, WI “lose” $40 million? Whose money was Hilliard throwing around? “I managed all of his jets. And I said to him, ‘You have people flying all over the world and you don’t know where they are, and where they are going. This is crazy.’ Wally’s planes went all over the free world, flying wildly,” Villada said. “How could you have a fleet of jets and not even know what they’re doing?’ But the pilots’ attitude was always: ‘I’m not telling you where I’ve been and I’m not telling you where I’m going.’”

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Hilliard flirted with disaster in ways more staid executives avoided. He was recently subpoenaed by a Federal Court in Denver, for example, in a case in which he bought a plane from a man with connections to a Colombian drug cartel.

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Hilliard was friends with Bill Clinton. He kept a picture taken of himself with Clinton prominently displayed in his $3 million Naples, FL home.

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“Wally was manipulated by somebody with a lot of power,” said Mark Shubin. “He was blackmailed. Rudi was the one person who knew what was going on.”

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Then we recognized the name of another business partner of Shubin’s, a man who gained a bit of fame during the Savings and Loan Scandal of a decade ago. Mark Shubin was in business with the notorious Ken Good. Kenneth Good was a big part of the Silverado Savings and Loan collapse. He was in business with Neil Bush. In fact, Ken Good had been so clearly a Bush family retainer that it strained credulity to think that Shubin—and Wally Hilliard—now were not similarly connected.

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The Houston Post’s Peter Brewton, who broke the CIA-Mob connection to the Savings and Loan Scandal, said Neil Bush’s Silverado partners “all had connections to individuals or S&L’s in Texas that did business with organized crime figures or CIA operatives. Good is one Silverado borrower who got a large loan at a Texas S&L connected to (Herman) Beebe, allegedly connected to the underworld.” Herman Beebe was an intimate, as they say, of New Orleans “Mafia Kingfish,” Carlos Marcello. So Ken Good hung with both the Bushes and the Mob.

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One of Hilliard’s ventures, for example, is called Oryx, LLC. An “Oryx” is a kind of African gazelle, we learned. And a British mining company in Africa named Oryx was accused by the BBC of having links to Al Qaeda and trading blood diamonds.

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Here’s a newsflash we don’t know what to do with: Atta listened to the Beastie boys, nonstop.

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What was most revealing about Dekkers’ crash was that before he took off for what was to be a showdown with Hilliard, he had been seriously worried about having an in-flight “mishap.” Although the flight from the Naples-Fort Myers area to Venice takes barely half an hour, Dekkers prevailed on another helicopter pilot headed in the same direction, Tony Douangdara, to fly alongside him in an effort, as he explained it, unconvincingly, “to stave off boredom.” Either Dekkers was psychic, or he was afraid someone might want him dead. Something clearly was going very wrong for Rudi Dekkers even before his chopper began experiencing difficulties.

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When we called a man we know who used to work at something like the CIA, to ask him what could have been in that chest that was so heavy, his reply was swift and immediate, and seemed to put everything going on in Florida in its proper perspective… “Gold,” he said firmly. “There was gold in that chest.” Who deals in heroin? Who deals in gold? Islamic fundmentalists? Or Islamic spooks.

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Our suspicions grew when we discovered one reason Britannia was able to move so smoothly from Venice to Lynchburg. Huffman Aviation’s shadowy financier, Wally Hilliard, loaned Jerry Falwell a million bucks which the televangelist has shown no indication of repaying.

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As we learned more about Hilliard, a picture of the shadowy financier began to slowly fall into place. We discovered, for example, that the health insurance company he founded had a highly unusual corporate motto: “Hate Sin, Fight Communism, and Back the Pack!”

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After President Bush’s swearing-in in January 2000, the State Department announced the change of policy, instructing the U.S. Ambassador to Columbia, Anne Hamilton to “stop its opium eradication activities in favor of eliminating coca.”

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Before becoming a terrorist ringleader, Atta enjoyed the patronage of a government initiative known as the “Congress-Bundestag Program,” overseen by the U.S. State Department and the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, the German equivalent of the U.S. Agency for International Development. The jointly-funded U.S.-German government effort picked up the tab for Atta on sojourns in Cairo, Istanbul, and Aleppo in Syria during the years 1994 and 1995, as well as employing him as a “tutor” and “seminar participant” during 1996 and 1997.

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“The Taliban were launching an effort to take over the worldwide heroin trade,” stated this grizzled veteran of recent rescue missions behind enemy lines matter-of-factly. “They were going to use that as a basis to move into cocaine distribution as well. They were planning on supplanting the Cali Cartel.”

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Valles-Diaz was no ordinary South American drug dealer, Diego Levine told Shubin. He reportedly had close ties to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and a serious involvement in geopolitical intrigue in, of all places, Central Asia.

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During most of the year 2000, Levine told authorities, a Russian Mobster named Felix Igor Borisovich Rabaev, living in the Russian enclave in Brighton Beach in New York City was there to meet Venezuelan drug trafficker Edgar Valles-Diaz on his arrival.

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“Igor Rabaev is a name to be conjured with in certain circles,” a former U.S. covert operative in Central Asia told us. Rabaev was a member of one of the three largest Russian Mob families in the U.S., who flitted in and out of Central Asia at will, using the Uzbek capital of Tashkent as a transshipment point for heroin from Afghanistan wending its way to Russia and the West. “He’s from Uzbekistan, and escaped from Russia to Israel by saying he was Jewish, back when it was the only way you could get out. But he’s not Jewish. He’s Muslim, and he’s got close ties with radical Muslim circles in the ‘Stans’ who serve as a conduit for heroin coming out of Afghanistan.” “Non-Jewish Russian mobsters often fraudulently claimed Jewish ancestry in order to gain easier movement in and out of Israel, where the Russian Mafia has established a large operating base,” said the source. “It was a real scam by Russian organized crime; it was easier for lots of these people to say they were Jewish to get into Israel, and then from Israel to become instant citizens, get Israeli passports, and then into the U.S.”

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During the same period Wolfgang Bohringer was hanging out with Mohamed Atta, we learned, he had been the personal pilot for a major Eastern European Mafia figure named Victor Kozeny, known both as the “Pirate of Prague.”

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With his ill-gotten gains, Kozeny tried to buy off top officials in the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan to gain control of that country’s state-owned oil company. One man already convicted in the scheme, Hans Bodmer, belonged to a network of Russian oligarchs, one of whom, Pyotr Aven, has been accused by a Russian corruption task force of being engaged in drug trafficking. Kozeny’s partners in the Azeri scheme included a managing director of Hank Greenberg’s American Insurance Group (AIG). Greenberg was forced to step down amid the Eliot Spitzer probe, a scandal, it is rumored, which involved a major Bush family and associates’ international money-laundering operation that has spanned more than a generation and has been used to illegally fund US elections since the Nixon era.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on March 08, 2013, 10:10:37 am
Wow! Took a while to read but I'm glad I did. Cheers for that, Cain. The big question for me is, since 911 and operation-paranoid as a motherfucker came in has anything really changed regarding the whole - Saudis can do whatever the fuck they want - situation.

Strikes me that the whole - pissing off civilians at airports - bullshit is even more pointless than I'd ever imagined
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 08, 2013, 11:27:50 am
Hard to say.  By their nature, such operations tend to be covertly arranged.  We do have confirmation from a State Department official that the US consulate in Jeddah was used to issue visas to Saudi intelligence operatives for training in the USA.  Interesting, given how many of the hijackers gained their visas from said Jeddah consulate.

There are also other interesting things in regard to this book, which I decided not to quote, in order to focus on Rudi Dekkers and the drug connection angle.  For instance, Mohammed Atta's "German friends".  Many who knew Atta in Florida saw him hanging around with a bunch of white Germans, who he called "brother" and was on very friendly terms with.  The identity of these Germans has never been discovered.  My thoughts are possibly in the direction of the BND - German intelligence took the lead on running operations in the Balkans with the KLA.  The KLA were linked to Al-Qaeda, but also, more importantly, were linked to drug smuggling.

Coincidence?  Maybe.

Also, the descriptions of Atta are quite at odds with that of an Islamic extremist.  He was by all accounts a lecherous coke-head with a bad temper.  Also a kitten killer, according to Amanda Keller, his ex-girlfriend.  And, most damningly, listened to the Beastie Boys.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on March 08, 2013, 12:20:35 pm
Somewhere (can't remember where) I was give the impression that the jihadi vest models were given some kind of free pass to immerse themselves in western debauchery to their hearts content, given that blowing themselves up would earn them enough allah-credits to wipe the slate clean or some bullshit like that.

Let me know if this is complete bullshit (as it well might be)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 08, 2013, 12:29:32 pm
Well, there is the Islamic concept of Taqiyya, which allows you to lie about your faith and commit blasphemous acts...but that's a Shiite concept, and almost entirely alien to Sunni Islam.

The consensus Sunni view is that you can lie if under the threat of death, and drink wine and eat pork, but Allah isn't going to be very impressed with you.

Most scholars do not accept that Al-Qaeda engages in taqqiya at all...really, the only people who do are the various loons who make up the ranks of the "Counterjihadist" movement, whose credentials on Islam are suspect at best.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on March 08, 2013, 01:21:04 pm
Thanks again Cain, That's another book to add to the list.

Just highlights again that the conspiracy theories you know about are quite likely to be bullshit and there's probably something much more sinister occurring.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on March 08, 2013, 04:30:17 pm
I wouldn't necessarily say "sinister" Looks more like it's about filthy lucre. Colour me surprised  :kingmeh:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 08, 2013, 04:52:48 pm
I wouldn't necessarily say "sinister" Looks more like it's about filthy lucre. Colour me surprised  :kingmeh:

It's news to me, but I am utterly unshocked.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 08, 2013, 05:51:41 pm
I do recommend the book.  Hopsicker went down in person to interview these people, which is more than any arm-chair conspiracy theorist has ever done.  He also helped blow the lid on Iran-Contra, so the drugs angle is one he has experience in pursuing.

His conclusion is tentative, but the suggestion that drugs, Saudi Arabia and certain financial interests in the US were somehow involved in the intrigue around Dekkers, Atta and Hilliard is one that is hard to ignore, given the evidence presented.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 09, 2013, 07:29:23 pm
So this is interesting:

http://www.harrowell.org.uk/blog/2013/03/09/best-wanktank-pitch-ever/

Quote
Here’s someone from Policy Exchange arguing that what the prime minister needs is an internal thinktank made up of partisan Tory special advisers, not civil servants like the people in the No.10 Policy & Implementation Unit.

Quote
Is someone at Polex trying to change the procedure? The key question is usually under what circumstances a PM who calls an election and doesn’t get a working majority can call another, which is governed by the so-called Lascelles principles. Sir Alan Lascelles’ statement of them, in an anonymous letter to the Times, is as follows:

(1) the existing Parliament was still vital, viable, and capable of doing its job;
(2) a General Election would be detrimental to the national economy;
(3) he could rely on finding another Prime Minister who could carry on his Government, for a reasonable period, with a working majority in the House of Commons

Peter Hennessey, and Sir Gus O’Donnell, both hold that point 2) was dropped from the civil service handbook on the change of government some time between 1950 and the present day.

Consider this. At some point between here and 2015, the Lib Dems drop out of the coalition or split. David Cameron wants to stay as prime minister, perhaps fighting on as a minority government or trying to stick to some “National Liberal” splinter group. If there is a general election, obviously, he will be swept away. Or perhaps there is an election and somehow he doesn’t quite lose. I can certainly see how appealing to the state of the economy as a reason not to have an election might be attractive. We must not spook the markets!

Something to keep an eye on.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on March 09, 2013, 10:33:37 pm
I wouldn't necessarily say "sinister" Looks more like it's about filthy lucre. Colour me surprised  :kingmeh:

If "Doing it for the cash" isn't responsible for most of the shittiest and most sinister historical fuckups I'd be surprised.

That's pretty much why I go straight to the "Who stands to gain" angle immediately on any event. Some fucker makes a fortune out of every event. At a minimum media entities do.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 10, 2013, 01:37:19 pm
So, back to Iraq (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/06/pentagon-iraqi-torture-centres-link):

Quote
The Pentagon sent a US veteran of the "dirty wars" in Central America to oversee sectarian police commando units in Iraq that set up secret detention and torture centres to get information from insurgents. These units conducted some of the worst acts of torture during the US occupation and accelerated the country's descent into full-scale civil war.

Quote
Samari claimed that torture was routine in the SPC-controlled detention centres. "I remember a 14-year-old who was tied to one of the library's columns. And he was tied up, with his legs above his head. Tied up. His whole body was blue because of the impact of the cables with which he had been beaten."

Gilles Peress, a photographer, came across Steele when he was on assignment for the New York Times, visiting one of the commando centres in the same library, in Samarra. "We were in a room in the library interviewing Steele and I'm looking around I see blood everywhere."

The reporter Peter Maass was also there, working on the story with Peress. "And while this interview was going on with a Saudi jihadi with Jim Steele also in the room, there were these terrible screams, somebody shouting: 'Allah, Allah, Allah!' But it wasn't kind of religious ecstasy or something like that, these were screams of pain and terror."
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Juana Go? on March 11, 2013, 08:07:35 pm
Oh good.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 11, 2013, 09:07:39 pm
Well, it's a good thing we haven't turned into the monsters we set out to fight, or anything.

 :lulz:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on March 11, 2013, 09:08:18 pm
I do recommend the book.  Hopsicker went down in person to interview these people, which is more than any arm-chair conspiracy theorist has ever done.  He also helped blow the lid on Iran-Contra, so the drugs angle is one he has experience in pursuing.

His conclusion is tentative, but the suggestion that drugs, Saudi Arabia and certain financial interests in the US were somehow involved in the intrigue around Dekkers, Atta and Hilliard is one that is hard to ignore, given the evidence presented.

I've watched the video version while waiting for processed tree. Thanks for the recommendation 
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 13, 2013, 08:19:52 am
So, how about that Beppe Grillo, huh? Setting out a left-wing, populist program, fighting austerity and corruption.  He's a real go-getter, isn't he, a man who should be supported in his aims.

Or maybe not (http://www.newstatesman.com/2013/03/grillismo-yet-another-right-wing-cult-italy).

Quote
Some of you may have Italian friends who used to place themselves to the Left and recently chose to vote for the 5SM, or even become 5SM activists. We bet they didn’t tell you about the more right-wing aspects of the movement, because you’d certainly ask them: "I beg your pardon? You’re doing political work side by side with fascists? You’ve joined a movement that rejects the very notion of antifascism? A movement that wants to abolish trade unions?! You voted for a guy who praises Ron Paul and US-style ‘libertarianism’? Mate, what’s wrong with you?", and they’d have to scramble for self-justifications.

Quote
Not that Grillo doesn’t mention capitalism, the faults of bankers etc. He does it. However, there’s no peculiarity in that part of his discourse, he simply revives all the cliches of European right-wing populisms. The issue is framed in a simplistic neo-nationalist way: "real" capitalism (ie productive capitalism) is described as good because it is rooted in the territory, whereas financial economy is degenerate because it’s in the hands of evil transnational cliques and lobbie groups. Since the Euro is the main cause of the present crisis, if Italy leaves the Eurozone and gets rid of politicians and kicks "tens of thousands" of (unionised) employees out of the public sector, then we’ll have the conditions for entering a new golden age.

We all know that there’s often an antisemitic streak underlying this kind of talk about "nationless" enemies. Is it a coincidence that antisemitic tirades and insults are frequent in the below-the-line section of Grillo’s blog? In November 2012 a guest-blogger on beppegrillo.it attacked Gad Lerner, a Jewish journalist who dared criticise Grillo, by calling him "Gad Vermer". Verme is italian for "worm", a classic insult in the antisemitic repertoire.

Quote
Despite all the talk about direct democracy or online liquid feedback, the 5SM is a top-down organisation with no intermediate bodies between Grillo and Casaleggio and the populace of fans/activists. Every major decision is taken by those two wealthy sixty-somethings, and "direct democracy" only amounts to calling on the base to approve it in a tele-plebiscitarian way.

In the 2011-2012 period, the 5SM of Emilia-Romagna (the region whose capital is Bologna, the city in which we live) was stormed by a wave of expulsions. "Dissidents" like Giovanni Favia, Valentino Tavolazzi, Federica Salsi and many others dared question the absence of internal democracy. As a consequence, they were kicked out and exposed to angry online mobs. Expulsions were decided by Grillo and Casaleggio and communicated to the world by short posts on beppegrillo.it.

Quote
It is far from incomprehensible that many fascists, berluscones and leghisti are now looking to Grillo. Not only they like many of the things he says, but he also embodies their idealtype of the Strong Man mesmering enthusiastic crowds. To these people, Berlusconi and Bossi were no longer strong/fascinating enough, for they became too compromised with «old politics« and «the Caste». That’s why these angry petty bourgeois are making an emotional investment on someone they see as a new leader.

Moreover, there are deep similarities between Berlusconi and Grillo. They are both living testimonies of how the 1980s entertainment and television industry reshaped Italy’s national life. Journalist Giuliano Santoro wrote a very interesting book about this, it is entitled Un Grillo qualunque: Il populismo digitale nella crisi dei partiti italiani [A Grillo whatsoever: Digital populism in the crisis of Italian parties].

As a matter of fact, one cannot fully understand Grillo if s/he didn’t understand Berlusconi. Three years ago, in a piece for the London Review of Books, we easily predicted that after the fall of Berlusconi there would be a Berlusconism-without-Berlusconi. Nowadays things are even worse, because Berlusconi "fell" but is still around and 29.1 per cent of voters have chosen him for the umpteenth time. As a result, we have both old, classic berlusconism-with-Berlusconi, and a new kind of berlusconism without him. Giuliano Santoro wrote that "Grillo is the continuation of Berlusconi by other means."
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 15, 2013, 12:51:02 pm
Leveson may be over, and the papers commited to a new regulatory body (which they run...much like the old regulatory body which failed to stop phone hacking), but the arrests continue (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/mar/14/editor-arrested-phone-hacking-claims?CMP=twt_gu):

Quote
The Sunday People editor, James Scott, has become the first serving newspaper editor arrested over alleged phone hacking, relating to his time at the Sunday Mirror a decade ago.

Scott was one of four former Sunday Mirror senior journalists arrested in dawn raids on Thursday on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages. Tina Weaver, the ex-Sunday Mirror editor who is seven months pregnant, was also arrested on Thursday morning.

The other two were Nick Buckley, the deputy Sunday People editor, and Mark Thomas, the former People editor, who also both formerly worked for the Sunday Mirror.

Here's the interesting quote:

Quote
It is believed that detectives at the Met Police team have found a new witness who worked both at Mirror Group Newspapers, the Trinity Mirror subsidiary that publishes its national titles, and News International.

Now, what kind of witness would that be?  Are we talking about a private investigator who worked for all three groups?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on March 15, 2013, 01:05:58 pm
I would strongly suspect so, or a police officer who sold information to all parties.

Good to see it's still going, real reform looks dead in the water but I can hope for a few more high profile arrests.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on March 15, 2013, 05:09:25 pm
First I've seen of this. Googling for verification.

Clusterfuck in Flatbush (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLEr778nHAM)

ETA: http://www.youtube.com/results?filters=today&search_query=brooklyn+riots&lclk=today
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Bu☆ns on March 15, 2013, 05:12:46 pm
First I've seen of this. Googling for verification.

Clusterfuck in Flatbush (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLEr778nHAM)

yeah same...although the term 'media blackout' seems far fetched...how does this NOT get coverage eventually and, furthermore, wouldn't the blackout eventually generate MORE attention?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 15, 2013, 05:17:26 pm
I've turned off TV news in the morning a month or so ago, but we have been listening to NPR... And there's freakin NOTHING about this. Honestly, PD has been the first time I've heard of it.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on March 15, 2013, 05:20:53 pm
It's fucked up when you have to depend on something like youtube for news. */obvious*
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 15, 2013, 05:22:26 pm
The New York Times had coverage from around the 13th.  The NY Post from the 11th.  Same for HuffPo.

The thing is, and you have to remember this, the area has been declared a "frozen zone".  That means, no media allowed inside.  The media cannot report on what they cannot see, unless you're into FOX News style "reporting".  Of course, they could report that they are not allowed inside the frozen zone, and the events that led up to it...but such hopes may involve unrealistic expectations.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on March 15, 2013, 05:25:43 pm
People are speculating that they're going to use drones.
You know, the way people speculate when there's a media blackout.  :x
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 15, 2013, 05:31:28 pm
This is some of the most impressive media blackout-ing I've seen in a while.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Pergamos on March 15, 2013, 06:21:11 pm
People are speculating that they're going to use drones.
You know, the way people speculate when there's a media blackout.  :x

Personally I'd like to see the media using drones.  Media blackouts are unconstitutional, at least for political reasons they are, which this definitely is.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Bu☆ns on March 15, 2013, 06:31:10 pm
People are speculating that they're going to use drones.
You know, the way people speculate when there's a media blackout.  :x

Personally I'd like to see the media using drones.  Media blackouts are unconstitutional, at least for political reasons they are, which this definitely is.

now you're talking...Drones + 4th Gen Google Street view cameras = law enforcement accountability?  maybe??
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 15, 2013, 06:36:17 pm
Isn't it illegal to film police officers in most places?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 15, 2013, 06:40:11 pm
So long as they have the guns, yes.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Bu☆ns on March 15, 2013, 06:43:45 pm
IOW, it IS protected by the First Amendment but not really.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 15, 2013, 07:04:29 pm
Should we start a letter-writing campaign or something? A Facebook meme at least? I mean, WTF is going on, here.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 15, 2013, 07:25:51 pm
If we're just trying to get people to notice, a meme would be the best option.  I've already tried bringing it up on my FB feed, but some snazzy images might be helpful, too.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 15, 2013, 08:00:14 pm
If we're just trying to get people to notice, a meme would be the best option.  I've already tried bringing it up on my FB feed, but some snazzy images might be helpful, too.

Yeah, I think getting people to notice, and maybe ask questions, is a good idea.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 15, 2013, 08:02:40 pm
I mean, an unarmed 16-year-old black kid gets shot by a Hispanic homeowner in a Florida suburb and it's all over the media everywhere for months...but an unarmed 16-year-old black kid gets shot by police in Flatbush, there are riots, and the media isn't saying much.

Interesting.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on March 15, 2013, 08:09:04 pm
All of this makes me think a hacked version of the 5/6th gen of google glass or the equivalent is pretty much going to be a mandatory purpose just in case of shit like this.

On filming police, I thought most "democracies" allow it, those being filmed somewhat less so. Highly dependent on the person being filmed and the events being filmed. Most situations will probably result in a request to stop filming, I've never actually physically been prevented from it, only verbal. I have however, witnessed filming being prevented and cameras removed during the Manchester Anti-Iraq war marches (2000/2001?). Which was unfortunate given some surrounding events.

Your local arbiters of justice may and will vary is the point of that useless anecdote.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on March 15, 2013, 08:10:56 pm
I mean, an unarmed 16-year-old black kid gets shot by a Hispanic homeowner in a Florida suburb and it's all over the media everywhere for months...but an unarmed 16-year-old black kid gets shot by police in Flatbush, there are riots, and the media isn't saying much.

Interesting.

Outside lunacy- The fear of copycat youth riots, not unlike the UK a short while ago?

Surely not?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: McGrupp on March 15, 2013, 08:29:04 pm
This is very messed up. I've been posting a few things on facebook yesterday and today and trying to ask some old college buddys who I'm facebook friends with that live in New York if they know anything.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Bu☆ns on March 15, 2013, 08:39:13 pm
All of this makes me think a hacked version of the 5/6th gen of google glass or the equivalent is pretty much going to be a mandatory purpose just in case of shit like this.

On filming police, I thought most "democracies" allow it, those being filmed somewhat less so. Highly dependent on the person being filmed and the events being filmed. Most situations will probably result in a request to stop filming, I've never actually physically been prevented from it, only verbal. I have however, witnessed filming being prevented and cameras removed during the Manchester Anti-Iraq war marches (2000/2001?). Which was unfortunate given some surrounding events.

Your local arbiters of justice may and will vary is the point of that useless anecdote.

The App 'Tasker' (for Android) will allow you to create a widget that will secretly record video or audio without it being apparent.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: McGrupp on March 16, 2013, 02:38:08 am
If we're just trying to get people to notice, a meme would be the best option.  I've already tried bringing it up on my FB feed, but some snazzy images might be helpful, too.

Yeah, I think getting people to notice, and maybe ask questions, is a good idea.

Quick noob question on memes. Do you need to make sure that the picture used is public domain or can you use what you get from google images or various websites?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Golden Applesauce on March 16, 2013, 03:09:49 am
If we're just trying to get people to notice, a meme would be the best option.  I've already tried bringing it up on my FB feed, but some snazzy images might be helpful, too.

Yeah, I think getting people to notice, and maybe ask questions, is a good idea.

Quick noob question on memes. Do you need to make sure that the picture used is public domain or can you use what you get from google images or various websites?

Anything you're doing semi-professionally you should always get rights to use all your media, but for things "published" on FB and message boards... I really doubt the Associated Press is going to get on your case for using one of their images.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: McGrupp on March 16, 2013, 03:36:29 am
Thanks for the info. That's good to know.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 16, 2013, 05:19:47 am
I have been informed that the Frozen Zone may not be happening. Doesn't say if it WAS in force at some point, nor why no one seems to give a shit.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 20, 2013, 07:29:32 pm
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/20/17387052-imf-chief-christine-lagardes-paris-apartment-searched-by-police?lite
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 20, 2013, 07:32:47 pm
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economywatch/college-students-face-another-round-sticker-shock-1C8954755

CHRIST.  We're RETARDED.

TOMORROW NEVER COMES!
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 20, 2013, 08:02:26 pm
Yeah, we're completely insane. It's like we WANT to become a third-world country.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on March 23, 2013, 09:23:51 am
Yeah, we're completely insane. It's like we WANT to become a third-world country.

 :teabagger1:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 30, 2013, 01:32:13 pm
http://www.madcowprod.com/2013/03/06/source-rudi-dekkers-drug-case-will-never-go-to-trial/

Quote
The upcoming trial in Houston of Rudi Dekkers for drug trafficking has been pushed back and may now never happen, according to a lawyer close to the case.

“The case has been continued, and a plea agreement is in the works,” said the attorney, who asked for anonymity. “The case will never go to trial. That’s all I can say.”

Who is Rudi Dekkers and why should you care?

Well, Dekkers was the man who ran the flight school in Florida which trained, among others, a certain Mohammed Atta.  While investigating, Daniel Hopsicker, the author of the above article, discovered a number of discrepancies involving Dekkers flight school which led him to believe it may have been a drug trafficking front, and that the truth of 9/11 may have more to do with the drug trade than is normally suspected.

Hopsicker has two updates on Dekkers

http://www.madcowprod.com/2013/03/28/the-911-heroin-connection/

This article essentially reprises Hopsicker's book, and is reprinted from a 2004 article.  Not much new there, if you read the quotes I provided.

This, however, is much more interesting.

http://www.madcowprod.com/2013/03/28/rudi-dekkers-and-the-american-oligarchy/

Quote
“In Fashion,” intones Supermodel host Heidi Klum, on every episode, "One day you’re In, and the next day…You’re Out!”

Huffman ‘henchman’ Rudi Dekkers, in Houston, and former Turks & Caicos Premier Michael Misick, in Brazil, were busted within hours of each other last December.

When two famous but seemingly-unrelated high fliers get sent to the 'penalty box' at the same time, it’s usually an indication that both were playing for the samr team.

The biggest historical example is, of course, the Medellin Cartel.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 12, 2013, 06:37:39 am
Let's play a game called "see where these weapons turn up (http://www.worldtribune.com/2013/04/09/20000-u-s-m-16s-stolen-from-unguarded-warehouse-in-kuwait/)".

Quote
The Interior Ministry said thieves broke into a warehouse and stole a huge amount of firearms and ammunition. The ministry said 20,000 U.S.-origin M-16 assault rifles and 15,000 rounds for 9mm pistols were stolen.

“There were no guards during the break-in,” the ministry said on April
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 12, 2013, 07:51:25 am
Daaamn.  :crankey:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 15, 2013, 12:58:44 pm
Corey Robin (http://coreyrobin.com/2013/04/15/one-newspaper-two-elections-the-new-york-times-on-america-2004-venezuela-2013/) highlights how the press reports differently on election results, by comparing the 2004 American election with the recent Venezuelan election:

Quote
In November 2004, 50.7% of the American population voted for George W. Bush; 48.3% voted for John Kerry.

The headline in the New York Times read: “After a Tense Night, Bush Spends the Day Basking in Victory.”

Quote
Fast forward to 2013. Tonight, 50.6% of the Venezuelan population voted for Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro; 49.1% voted for his opponent Henrique Capriles.

The Times headline this time: “Maduro Narrowly Wins Venezuelan Presidency.”

Also note how 50.7% is "decisive" and "undisputed majority", but 50.6% is indicative of a lack of "passionate popular support".  Guess that 0.1% difference really is a big one.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 16, 2013, 11:19:11 am
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/apr/03/offshore-secrets-offshore-tax-haven
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on April 16, 2013, 12:25:47 pm
The ICIJ has been doing some great work:
http://www.icij.org/blog/2013/04/release-offshore-records-draws-worldwide-response
 Lets name some names:

Quote
French president Francois Hollande has published the personal financial details of  government ministers on the official government website, following the Jerome Cahuzac and Jean-Jacques Augier offshore assets scandals. The list of assets includes details of bank accounts, life insurance, property and other expensive items such as cars, art works and antiques. Various properties in Paris and the south of France have already been itemized by ministers, as well as designer lounge chair (Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg) and a David Beckham t-shirt (Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti).

European Council president Herman Van Rompuy announced that tax evasion will be discussed at the next European Council in May, saying "we must seize the increased political momentum to address this crucial problem."
BVI government officials have announced they are opening a new business headquarters in Hong Kong, with Orlando Smith, BVI Premier and Finance Minister, confirmed to officiate the opening. Executive director of BVI International Finance Centre, Elise Donovan, said the data obtained by the ICIJ was "a small fraction" of the total number of BVI firms. She later added, "We want to reassure clients in Hong Kong and the region that this is an isolated incident. We remain committed to clients' privacy and confidentiality."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged UK's PM David Cameron to crack down on tax havens during talks in Berlin, following a public outcry in Germany over the "offshore leaks." Sources "close to Cameron" claim he was actually the first to raise the issue, spelling out how his government was cracking down on tax avoidance in places such as Jersey and Guernsey.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov is moving his offshore assets back to Russia after ICIJ's revelations that Shuvalov's wife Olga Shuvalova was either a shareholder or owner of several secretive offshore entities. The Shuvalovs had a declared income of $12.7 million in 2011, most of which was earned by Olga.
 
Spanish political party Unión Progreso y Democracia submitted written questions to the Spanish Congress today in the wake of French president François Hollande's announcement that French banks had to declare their tax haven subsidiaries. The questions read: Is the government going to present in the European institutions any initiative to eradicate the tax havens within the Member States? and Is the government going to force banks to disclose the subsidiaries they have in tax havens and what are their activities?

French president François Hollande called for "eradication" of the world's tax havens and told French banks they must declare all of their subsidiaries. He also announced the creation of a special prosecutor to pursue cases of corruption and tax fraud. French government ministers have been ordered to declare their assets publicly within days.
 
Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker announced his country plans to lift bank secrecy rules for European Union citizens who have savings based in the country, ending decades of bank secrecy in Luxembourg. "We are following a global movement," Juncker told parliament in a state-of-the-nation address. The new transparency regime would begin in January 2015. Austria is now the only EU country not sharing data about bank depositors. In a recent interview, Austrian Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Spindelegger Fekter said: “How much money someone has in the bank is a matter between the bank and the customer and is no one else’s business."
Europe’s five biggest economic powers — Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain — announced they would begin regularly exchanging banking and tax information as a way of identifying tax dodgers and other financial wrongdoers.

Meanwhile, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) authorities are not fans of the ICIJ investigation. The BVI premier and Finance Minister Orlando Smith told the South China Morning Post that "BVI authorities are actively investigating how this private information has been illicitly obtained and used to attack the BVI financial services industry, which operates compliantly within international guidelines and the law."
Athens’ district attorney Panayota Fakou has started a preliminary probe to find out if Greeks who own offshore companies unearthed by the ICIJ investigation have evaded taxes or laundered money. According to the Greek newspaper Ta Nea, prosecutors will send information requests to British Virgin Islands’ financial authorities asking them to turn over records of 107 entities connected to Greek citizens.
An investigation by Finnish State Televisionand ICIJ exposing the offshore connections of state-owned postal company Itella has been received with surprise by the Finnish Finance Minister, Jutta Urpilainen. The minister said that “state owned companies should be an example for other companies. That is why it is especially unacceptable that Itella owns a company in a tax haven.” Urpilainen said the Finnish government should adopt clear rules on the use of offshore jurisdictions by state-owned corporations and called tax havens “one of the biggest threats to the Finnish welfare state.”

Canada's national revenue minister Gail Shea says the government may pursue the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in court to force it to share the offshore leaks records.
 
Quebec Premier Pauline Marois has declared that neither she, nor any other elected officials in her government have dealings in the offshore world. Marois also supported the handover of internal documents to Canadian authorities, stating the Quebec government would not hesitate to use "all legal means" to ensure this.
 
French budget minister Bernard Cazeneuve joins the clamor from governments around the globe in urging ICIJ and its media partners to release the offshore tax haven files to them, to "aid justice and help them do their job." Le Monde's response: "It is up to the justice system to establish responsibilities at a time when the law might have been broken ... It is up to the press to enlighten the reader..."
 
Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann says he is ready to make concessions on banking secrecy, to bring the nation in step with Switzerland and Luxembourg. "Austria should participate in talks on banking secrecy,” Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann declared to Die Presse.
 
The European Commissioner for Taxation, Algirdas Šemeta, called for an automatic exchange of information between countries and a "tough common stance." "Recent developments, fuelled by the outcome of the Offshore Leaks, confirms the urgency for more and better action against tax evasion .... Now it is time to put words into action." He said he was "very pleased" to see many of the Member States reviewing where they stand on the issues and "intensifying their political will to act."
 
The Swiss government has distinguised itself from other world governments by publicly stating it does not want access to the offshore leaks records. Finance minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said Switzerland has worked hard in recent years to curb fraud and tax evasion and that much of the activity pointed to in the leaked documents can be perfectly legal. She says the Swiss government does not want access to the data as "it was acquired illegally and Bern wants no part of that".
 
The Philippine Presidential Commission on Good Government probe into the disclosure that Maria Imelda Marcos Manotoc, the eldest daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was a beneficiary of a secret offshore trust in the British Virgin Islands, will release its report within two weeks.  “We are duty bound to investigate and, depending upon informed preliminary findings, decide whether to pursue the matter,” said Andres Bautista, the chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, tasked with recovering the Marcos family’s alleged ill-gotten wealth.

The president of the Association of German Banks denied that his group’s members had helped customers engage in tax evasion. “First in line are the individuals and the organizations that invest their money in tax oases,” Andreas Schmitz said."
 
The Berne internal revenue service authorities announced they will re-open the Gunter Sachs case after ICIJ's revelations about the former Mr. Brigitte Bardot's intricate offshore scheme.
 
In Canada, a Liberal senator urged his caucus colleague, Senator Pana Merchant, to answer questions in the wake of CBC News and ICIJ reports that she has been listed as beneficiary of an offshore trust created by her husband, a well-known class-action attorney. "We're all innocent until proven guilty in this country, but I want to hear her explanation," Senator Percy Downe told CBC News in an interview.
 
In the Philippines, two lawmakers dismissed a report by an ICIJ media partner, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), that they had offshore holdings. Senator Manuel Villar said his offshore entity was a “1-dollar shell company” that he wasn’t required to report, because he hadn’t made any real investment in it. Villar said that he hadn’t conducted business with the British Virgin Islands company “because I decided to concentrate in the Philippines.” Congressman Joseph Victor ‘JV’ G. Ejercito suggested the story about him was politically motivated. “To the best of my knowledge, I have truthfully and accurately declared all my assets, liabilities, and net worth” on required disclosures forms for public officials, he said in a statement.
 
Germany's Economics Minister Philipp Rösler urged the media to pass the data on to the government, stressing that tax evasion was a "criminal act."
Luxembourg's Finance Minister Luc Frieden says he is open to greater transparency of its banks in order to cooperate further with foreign tax authorities.
 
The Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said an inquiry had been initiated by the authorities against individuals whose names figured in the global media report. “Yes. We have taken note of the names and inquiries have been put in motion in respect of the names that have been exposed,” he told a press conference.
The Mongolian Deputy Speaker, Sangikav Bayartsogt, admitted to an "ethics failure" over his undeclared million-dollar Swiss bank account. He told a press conference: “It is true that there is 1,658 Euros or 2.9 million MNT in a Swiss bank account. I opened the account to trade in international stocks with three other acquaintances in 2008. My failure of responsibility is that I did not include the company in my declaration of income. I have admitted my ethic failure and I am ready to take responsibility."
 
Philippine government officials said they will investigate evidence that Maria Imelda Marcos Manotoc, a provincial governor and daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was the beneficiary of a secret BVI offshore trust. 
 
George Mavraganis, the Deputy Finance Minister of Greece announced that the Greek government is moving to address offshore-driven tax dodging. Greek members of parliament asked Mavraganis what he planned to do about the 103 offshore companies that ICIJ found hadn’t been registered with Greece’s tax authorities.
 
George Sourlas from Greece’s Ministry of Justice said the revenue loss caused by offshore was huge. “By the actions of offshore companies in Greece, the revenue loss to the Greek government is in the order of 40% or more of the debt of our country,” Sourlas said. “The offshore companies cast a shadow at this time of great crisis, when some get rich and many get poor.”
 
In France, President Francois Hollande denied knowledge of the offshore accounts held by his 2012 campaign manager, Jean-Jacques Augier, asserting that it’s up to the tax administration to monitor Augier’s private activities. Reports about Augier’s offshore dealings by Le Monde, the BBC and other ICIJ partners came in the wake of news about tax fraud charges against Hollande’s ex-budget Minister, Jerome Cahuzac.
 
The office of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev asserted there was nothing unusual about the information in the leak – which showed that his two daughters were shareholders of three offshore companies. The statement said the President’s daughters “are grown up and have the right to do business.”  A spokesperson for Azersun – a holding company controlled by Hasan Gozal, a corporate mogul who was listed as the director of the daughters’ companies – said the report was biased and based on inaccurate information. “I regret that authority of Press Council doesn't go beyond Azerbaijan and there is no such institution worldwide to fight racketeer journalists,” the spokesman said.
 
Ex-Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez publicly defended his sons’ involvement in offshore business. Uribe stated that his sons Tomás and Jerónimo are entrepreneurs and “have participated in business dealings since they were children” and “they are not tax evaders.”
 
In the UK, David Cameron is facing renewed pressure to take action over Britain’s entanglements within the offshore world. Lord Oakeshott, a senior Liberal Democrat said that the secrecy haven of the British Virgin Islands “stains the face of Britain.” Oakeshott and others are questioning whether Cameron will raise the issue in June of at the G8 summit of wealth nations. "How can David Cameron keep a straight face calling for the G8 to make big business pay tax when we let the BVI use British law and British protection to suck in billions in dirty money?" Oakeshott asked.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble stated on public radio that he was “pleased” with the ICIJ reports. He went on to say, “I think that such things as have been made known will increase the pressure internationally, and we will be able to increase the cooperation with those who have been more reticent”, a sentiment reflected in Germany’s previous lobbying to stamp out tax avoidance.

Canadian Federal Revenue Minister Gail Shea called the released of offshore banking information as “good news” for Canadians and bad news for tax evaders. Ms. Shea urged ICIJ or anyone else with information on tax cheats to come forward.
 
Pascal Saint-Amans, director of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, said: "Secrecy is no longer acceptable. We need to get rid of it. If the rules make it possible, then we'll change the rules.”

So I wonder when global pressure will actually seriously look at Tax Havens.

I guess we'll get round to it after dealing with Dole scum and the drug war.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on April 16, 2013, 12:43:59 pm
http://www.icij.org/blog/2013/04/highlights-offshore-leaks-so-far

More good Stuff, Please note that several hyperlinks are embedded in the originals.

Quote
For the past 15 months, journalists from over 40 countries have worked together to shed light on this issue.

And here’s some of what they found:

Five directors of Banco Amambay, owned by Paraguay's leading candidate in this month's presidential election, Horacio Manuel Cartes, created a secret bank in the Cook Islands with no building and no staff.
 
Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan is accusing his once-trusted tax adviser of absconding with $34 million he helped Hogan hide offshore in Switzerland.
 
Clariden Bank, part of Credit Suisse, sought highly-secretive structures and pushed offshore service providers to bypass anti-money laundering checks for its wealthy clients.
 
Baron Elie de Rothschild, the late guardian of the French banking dynasty, built an elaborate offshore empire in the Cook Islands involving at least 20 trusts and 10 holding companies, while managing to keep all assets and beneficiaries secret. One of the entities was named, appropriately, Anon Trust.
 
Two members of India’s Parliament, the world’s largest producer of cut roses and other major business owners are among hundreds from the subcontinent revealed to have links to the offshore world, prompting a government investigation.
 
Shares of an offshore company were held in trust for the daughters of one of Africa's most popular pastors, televangelist Rev. Chris Oyakhilome.
 
Dutch banking giants ING and ABN Amro helped set up offshore companies in faraway island states for their clients.
 
Billionaires with ties to former dictator Suharto, two sons of former president B. J. Habibie and nine of the Indonesia's richest 11 families, appear in the secret records of offshore trust and company owners.
 
Fabio Ghioni, the former head of information security at Telecom Italia who was later convicted of hacking the data of 4,000 people, had an offshore company called Constant Surge Investments Limited. Internal documents reveal he was advised by the Singapore branch of Deutsche Bank to do business with Portcullis TrustNet. When interviewed by L’Espresso, he denied being the beneficial owner of CSIL: “I don’t know anything of this. I don’t even know where the Virgin Islands  are located.”
 
Zurich-based law firm Lenz & Staehlin has aided some of Europe's richest families park their wealth offshore. “People don’t set up this kind of structure out of altruism, but to gain a profit,” says Christian Wanner, one of Switzerland’s leading authorities on tax collection.
 
Scandal-buffeted Pakistani politician Moonis Elahi, whose father Chaudhry Pervez Elahi has just stepped down as deputy prime minister, owned a secret company in the British Virgin Islands. The company's existence wasn't unearthed during a recent government probe into Moonis Elahi involving illegal payments in an alleged land scam.
 
Top Malaysian politicians and their families, including former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's son Mirzan and current cabinet minister Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin, are among prominent Malaysians with secretive offshore companies housed in Singapore and the British Virgin Islands.
 
"You’re certainly going to be using a nominee director if you’re doing anything bad," says university professor Jason Sharman. The CIA, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the company which shipped arms to Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, the former Kazakhstan banking head Mukhtar Ablyazov, and alleged spy Paul William Hampel are some of the clients who have used nominee directors and offshore entities to conceal their activities and identities.
 
Among the 4,000 U.S. individuals listed in the records, at least 30 are American citizens accused in lawsuits or criminal cases of fraud, money laundering or other serious financial misconduct, an analysis by the Washington Post and ICIJ found. Offshore trusts and companies set up in the South Pacific and Caribbean are the common factor in several prominent financial scandals in the U.S.
 
Offshore companies are ridiculously easy to establish and effective at concealing your identity. Watch our animated video explaining the process.

Two major French banks, BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole, oversaw the creation of a large number of totally opaque offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands, Samoa and Singapore from the late 1990s until the end of the 2000s for clients in search of secrecy and lower tax rates.
 
We take an in-depth look at the offshore service provider Portcullis TrustNet. The firm is used by many of the world’s major banks, such as UBS, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse subsidiary Clariden, and by the world’s biggest auditing firms, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and KPMG, to provide secrecy for their wealthy clients -- mostly from China, Taiwan, Singapore and other East and Southeast Asian nations -- and was implicated in New Zealand’s "winebox affair" scandal of the decade.
 
Gunter Sachs, the late millionaire playboy, businessman and former husband of Bridgette Bardot is revealed to have had an intricate offshore scheme to manage his vast fortune, a scheme that remained inscrutable to the fiscal authorities until the end.
 
Two Americans and one South African are revealed to have reaped $2.5 million dollars from the aborted sales of surplus military helicopters to President Lissouba during the 1997 civil war in the Republic of Congo.
 
François Hollande’s treasurer during the 2012 presidential campaign, businessman Jean-Jacques Augier, is revealed to have investments in the Cayman Islands.
Germany’s largest financial institution, Deutsche Bank, helped its customers maintain more than 300 secretive offshore companies and trusts through its Singapore branch.

New light is shed on a half-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme  in Venezuela that shuffled investor money among a maze of offshore companies, hedge funds and bank accounts stretching from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland and Panama, smoothing the way by funneling bribes to officials in Venezuela.
 
Commonwealth Trust Limited, a BVI-based firm, is revealed to have set up companies involved in the Magnitsky affair, a case that’s strained U.S.-Russian relations and blocked American adoptions of Russian orphans
One of Mongolia’s most senior politicians says he is considering resigning from office after being confronted with evidence that he has an offshore company and a secret Swiss bank account.
 
Newly uncovered documents link Maria Imelda Marcos Manotoc, the eldest child of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos and now a senior political figure in her own right, to two secretive offshore trusts and an offshore company. The Philippines’ Presidential Commission on Good Government is eager to find out if the entities might contain some of the estimated $5 billion that her father allegedly amassed through corruption.
 
A prominent Canadian lawyer, husband to a Liberal senator, moved CA$1.7 million (US$1.1 million) to secretive financial havens while he was locked in battle with the Canada Revenue Agency over his taxes, according to documents in a massive leak of offshore financial data.
 
A corporate mogul whose business empire has won building contracts worth billions of dollars amid Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s massive construction spree is tied to the president’s family through secretive offshore companies.
 
The prominent Thais listed in secret documents as owners of offshore holdings includes the former wife of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a sitting senator, a former high-ranking defense ministry official, Forbes-listed tycoons, and a former government minister whose assets in the United States are frozen because of her alleged links to Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe. 
 
Greek citizens who own or direct offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and other tax havens rarely declare them to Greek tax officials, a review of more than 100 companies shows. Just four out of 107 offshore companies investigated by ICIJ are registered with tax authorities as the law usually requires, particularly when the firms hold assets or conduct business in Greece. Officials apparently have no record of the other 103 firms — or whether the owners declared any assets held by these entities or paid taxes on them.

A list containing examples of some of the most high-profile names uncovered in this investigation, along with records of their offshore companies. Those named come in the form of politicians, businessmen, army generals, tycoons, relatives of dictators, and are scattered across 29 different countries.

Finally, for those interested in how ICIJ managed to tackle records cache, the data manager of the project, Duncan Campbell, writes an in-depth explanation of how our journalists were able make sense of the 260 gigabytes of information obtained. Four large databases, half a million text, PDF, spreadsheet, image and web files were dissected to reveal over 130,000 records on the people and agents who run, own, benefit from or hide behind offshore companies.


Also taking bets on how long these guys last until a wikileaks situation arises.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 16, 2013, 03:03:08 pm
The thing is, the City of London is one of the biggest tax havens in the world.

When you understand how the City of London corporation works, you understand how British finance and politics intersect.  And you understand why this country will never stand up to reckless bankers.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on April 16, 2013, 03:16:01 pm
The thing is, the City of London is one of the biggest tax havens in the world.

When you understand how the City of London corporation works, you understand how British finance and politics intersect.  And you understand why this country will never stand up to reckless bankers.

This sounds interesting. Any possibility it can be distilled down to bullet points for a hypothetical audience that was, say, borderline retarded with a short attention span and scottish?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on April 16, 2013, 03:16:32 pm
Well I'd given up on UK Government actually doing anything (FFS, most government buildings are now owned offshore. And they are rented back to occupant. In essence, every government organisation assists and finances tax dodgers.)

Given the notoriety of London for providing tax efficient solutions, Tax Havens are almost certainly here to stay.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on April 16, 2013, 03:27:46 pm
The thing is, the City of London is one of the biggest tax havens in the world.

When you understand how the City of London corporation works, you understand how British finance and politics intersect.  And you understand why this country will never stand up to reckless bankers.

This sounds interesting. Any possibility it can be distilled down to bullet points for a hypothetical audience that was, say, borderline retarded with a short attention span and scottish?

I'll second that request. I'll also guess that one fairly big bullet is PFI
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_finance_initiative

If that isn't one of the biggest, most blatant cons in the UK I'm not sure what is.

PFI was wonderful on paper. Private firms take Government money to do things and then charge the government for ongoing service provisions. As you can imagine, it was a total corrupt fuckup with taxpayers throwing money down a hole for services that never materialised. A lot of cash has vanished, Very little has been accomplished. PFI2 is currently in the works with the intention to do the same all over again under a new name.

In short, PFI is placing your balls in someone else's hands and then asking them to bill you. You'll pay or you'll PAY.

I'm sure there's a shitload of other factors but I think the change you would see from removing Tax Havens, Political parties being given "Free" tax advice by major accountancy firms(PWC/KPMG are two of the worst repeat offenders) and PFI there may even be hope for a saner future.

So, We're fucked.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 16, 2013, 03:38:35 pm
The thing is, the City of London is one of the biggest tax havens in the world.

When you understand how the City of London corporation works, you understand how British finance and politics intersect.  And you understand why this country will never stand up to reckless bankers.

This sounds interesting. Any possibility it can be distilled down to bullet points for a hypothetical audience that was, say, borderline retarded with a short attention span and scottish?

The City of London is it's own private political institution.  Companies who work in the City of London get to vote who runs it.  Most notorious off-shore tax havens, like those in the Caribbean, were set up with English influence and actual pass a lot of their work onto the City of London.  The Cayman Islands etc merely act as an outer ring of a web of international financial transactions, the heart of which is the City of London, where money flows virtually unregulated by UK or international law.

The City bankrolls British politics to ensure it is not interferred with.  Various motions to roll the City into the Greater London Authority, under the Mayor of London, always mysteriously fail.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Elder Iptuous on April 16, 2013, 03:44:45 pm
I recall hearing some CT folks going on about that one.
it's got legs, huh?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 16, 2013, 03:48:43 pm
To a degree, yes.  The book Treasure Islands has a lot of good detail on how the City works.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on April 16, 2013, 07:27:59 pm
The thing is, the City of London is one of the biggest tax havens in the world.

When you understand how the City of London corporation works, you understand how British finance and politics intersect.  And you understand why this country will never stand up to reckless bankers.

This sounds interesting. Any possibility it can be distilled down to bullet points for a hypothetical audience that was, say, borderline retarded with a short attention span and scottish?

The City of London is it's own private political institution.  Companies who work in the City of London get to vote who runs it.  Most notorious off-shore tax havens, like those in the Caribbean, were set up with English influence and actual pass a lot of their work onto the City of London.  The Cayman Islands etc merely act as an outer ring of a web of international financial transactions, the heart of which is the City of London, where money flows virtually unregulated by UK or international law.

The City bankrolls British politics to ensure it is not interferred with.  Various motions to roll the City into the Greater London Authority, under the Mayor of London, always mysteriously fail.

So, in effect, the financial heart of the country is pumping blood anywhere but the UK? Colour me surprised :kingmeh:

Thanks for the info. More fuel for my hate-engine!
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 17, 2013, 06:16:43 pm
The US government is trying to bury this (http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/04/16/violence-at-guantanamo-detainees-desperately-fight-for-their-humanity/).

Protest and hunger strikes have led to forced feeding, night raids and reporters barred from entering the facility. 
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 17, 2013, 06:35:37 pm
The US government is trying to bury this (http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/04/16/violence-at-guantanamo-detainees-desperately-fight-for-their-humanity/).

Protest and hunger strikes have led to forced feeding, night raids and reporters barred from entering the facility.

I had assumed this was happening.  We are basically North Korea with more food and some toys.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on April 17, 2013, 07:02:08 pm
Linked article is also most excellent and enlightening:
http://www.historynet.com/war-behind-the-wire-koje-do-prison-camp.htm

Quote
The Korean prisoners of war stood in sullen ranks, disciplined, belligerent, ready for battle even though their only weapons were homemade spears, clubs, and incendiary grenades. Their enemy-also disciplined and far better armed, with bayoneted rifles, tear gas, and tanks-stood ready to assault the POWs and recapture Compound 76 of Camp One, Koje-do, a hilly 150-square-mile island 20 miles off the southeastern coast of Korea. In May 1952, the Korean War continued hundreds of miles to the north, but on Koje-do prisoners were waging war as tenaciously as on Sniper Ridge or Porkchop Hill-and here the Communists were winning. N Modern Western ideas about POWs had developed during the American Civil War. The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 transformed these into international law, further refined after World War I in the Geneva "POW Convention" of 1929. That prisoners of war could be a strategic asset was a legacy of Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union, and the Geneva Convention of 1949 defined the ultimate responsibility of a detaining power to return POWs to the nation that put them in uniform. Conferees adopted these revisions because the Soviet Union was holding German and Japanese POWs as slave laborers, reparations for the damage inflicted on Russia in World War II. Even though tens of thousands of non-Germans-largely Soviet citizens-had served in the Wehrmacht and resisted repatriation in 1945 and 1946, the 1949 Convention revisions were largely silent on the right of POWs to refuse repatriation and on the detaining power's right to forcibly repatriate unwilling prisoners.

The Geneva Convention of 1949 assumed that prisoners would want to be liberated or exchanged and did not anticipate that the POWs might actually see themselves as unarmed combatants. Although the convention addressed attempts to escape or to attack other prisoners, it never foresaw prison camp violence on a mass scale directed against camp authorities. It was even more unthinkable that POWs would delay their own repatriation with such attacks, or that POWs refusing repatriation would resort to violent resistance. But even as an armistice loomed in Korea in 1952, prisoners in a U.S. Army-run POW camp were scheming to seize the American who ran the camp, Brig. Gen. Francis T. Dodd, and then extort from him a confession that prisoners were abused on his watch. Indeed, the senior officers of the United Nations Command in Korea were about to get a startling education in a POW war behind the wire.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on April 19, 2013, 06:51:31 am
Kind of queasy from this. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/04/victims-of-us-torture-respond-to-the-new-terror-detainee-report/274884/
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on April 19, 2013, 07:26:04 am
Kind of queasy from this. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/04/victims-of-us-torture-respond-to-the-new-terror-detainee-report/274884/

Yeah, that's awful, and betrays the depths to which this country has sunk.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Scott The Cuck on April 19, 2013, 06:27:23 pm
I'm still kind of an anarchist at heart but I will agree that if we want to do the whole reform song and dance, this: "paying any government official minimum wage and making them live in accommodation comparable to the average in their constituency" seems like its not the worst idea in the world.

Great.  Get that through congress/parliament, and we'll talk.

<3
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on April 19, 2013, 09:04:08 pm
http://dailycurrant.com/2013/04/18/cnn-reports-barack-obama-resigned/
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 19, 2013, 09:06:40 pm
You are aware that's a parody site, right?

And it's DELICIOUS.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Tiddleywomp Cockletit on April 19, 2013, 09:13:02 pm
Tasty and SPREADABLE.  :x
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on June 21, 2013, 08:56:31 pm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/21/mclibel-leaflet-police-bob-lambert-mcdonalds

Quote
An undercover police officer posing for years as an environmental activist co-wrote a libellous leaflet that was highly critical of McDonald's, and which led to the longest civil trial in English history, costing the fast-food chain millions of pounds in fees.

The true identity of one of the authors of the "McLibel leaflet" is Bob Lambert, a police officer who used the alias Bob Robinson in his five years infiltrating the London Greenpeace group, is revealed in a new book about undercover policing of protest, published next week.

McDonald's famously sued green campaigners over the roughly typed leaflet, in a landmark three-year high court case, that was widely believed to have been a public relations disaster for the corporation. Ultimately the company won a libel battle in which it spent millions on lawyers.

Lambert was deployed by the special demonstration squad (SDS) – a top-secret Metropolitan police unit that targeted political activists between 1968 until 2008, when it was disbanded. He co-wrote the defamatory six-page leaflet in 1986 – and his role in its production has been the subject of an internal Scotland Yard investigation for several months.

Eventually, it's going to turn out there are in fact no anarchists anywhere, and all anarchists are undercover police officers.  In fact, that the police have a laser-like focus on infiltrating anarchist and environmental groups almost exclusively may be revealing about their motives (ie; involving hippie chicks and pot).
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Wolfgang Absolutus on June 22, 2013, 12:29:07 pm
The police wish they were anarchists. It's their secret desire to destroy the society they have sworn to protect.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 22, 2013, 05:23:59 pm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/21/mclibel-leaflet-police-bob-lambert-mcdonalds

Quote
An undercover police officer posing for years as an environmental activist co-wrote a libellous leaflet that was highly critical of McDonald's, and which led to the longest civil trial in English history, costing the fast-food chain millions of pounds in fees.

The true identity of one of the authors of the "McLibel leaflet" is Bob Lambert, a police officer who used the alias Bob Robinson in his five years infiltrating the London Greenpeace group, is revealed in a new book about undercover policing of protest, published next week.

McDonald's famously sued green campaigners over the roughly typed leaflet, in a landmark three-year high court case, that was widely believed to have been a public relations disaster for the corporation. Ultimately the company won a libel battle in which it spent millions on lawyers.

Lambert was deployed by the special demonstration squad (SDS) – a top-secret Metropolitan police unit that targeted political activists between 1968 until 2008, when it was disbanded. He co-wrote the defamatory six-page leaflet in 1986 – and his role in its production has been the subject of an internal Scotland Yard investigation for several months.

Eventually, it's going to turn out there are in fact no anarchists anywhere, and all anarchists are undercover police officers.  In fact, that the police have a laser-like focus on infiltrating anarchist and environmental groups almost exclusively may be revealing about their motives (ie; involving hippie chicks and pot).

 :lulz: :lulz: :lulz: That is fucking BEAUTIFUL. I hope McDonald's sues the Metro police for damages. That would be AMAZING.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on June 22, 2013, 05:29:11 pm
I would encourage you all to read "The man who was Thursday"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Was_Thursday

Seems relevant.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on June 22, 2013, 08:41:13 pm
The blog I got this from commented:

Quote
The plot of my eventual prize-winning novel will feature a man who starts up an anarchist counterintelligence service because of all the cops floating around the movement. Except that it turns out that he, too is a police plant: the cops are worried about a previous group of infiltrators who have gone rogue, assimilated the doctrine and are now seeking to establish multigenerational clan based autonomous communes through various liasions with female activists. Not only does it turn out that all the anarchists are cops: all the cops have been converted to anarchism. As civil power now rests entirely on people now passionately committed to propaganda of the deed and the gratuitous act, lively times ensue.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on June 26, 2013, 06:52:53 pm
I would encourage you all to read "The man who was Thursday"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Was_Thursday

Seems relevant.

Beat me to it.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on June 30, 2013, 09:49:17 am
http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/06/28/do_republicans_really_need_hispanic_votes_nope.html

Commentary another site:

Quote
Trende proposes that even if Dems get 90% black, Hispanic and Asian, this is likely to depress the Dem share of the white vote to the point where Reps remain competitive for decades. He suggests that, electorally, the ‘Arizona model’ – i.e. apparently go out of your way to piss off Hispanics (he doesn’t put it that way) – is about as likely to work as the ‘Full Rubio’.

I have no opinion about Sean Trende and I don’t usually rely on “Real Clear Politics” for my wonky analysis, to say the least. But, whatever the merits or demerits of his specific deployments of data, this does strike me as noteworthy. It’s the first time I’ve seen a ‘wonky’ Republican suggest maybe extreme racial polarization should be on the table as a strategic option.

Assuming the data supports that model, this will not be a good thing for American politics.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cainad (dec.) on June 30, 2013, 12:57:08 pm
http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/06/28/do_republicans_really_need_hispanic_votes_nope.html

Commentary another site:

Quote
Trende proposes that even if Dems get 90% black, Hispanic and Asian, this is likely to depress the Dem share of the white vote to the point where Reps remain competitive for decades. He suggests that, electorally, the ‘Arizona model’ – i.e. apparently go out of your way to piss off Hispanics (he doesn’t put it that way) – is about as likely to work as the ‘Full Rubio’.

I have no opinion about Sean Trende and I don’t usually rely on “Real Clear Politics” for my wonky analysis, to say the least. But, whatever the merits or demerits of his specific deployments of data, this does strike me as noteworthy. It’s the first time I’ve seen a ‘wonky’ Republican suggest maybe extreme racial polarization should be on the table as a strategic option.

Assuming the data supports that model, this will not be a good thing for American politics.

Shit. Shit.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on July 01, 2013, 08:04:17 am
http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/06/28/do_republicans_really_need_hispanic_votes_nope.html

Commentary another site:

Quote
Trende proposes that even if Dems get 90% black, Hispanic and Asian, this is likely to depress the Dem share of the white vote to the point where Reps remain competitive for decades. He suggests that, electorally, the ‘Arizona model’ – i.e. apparently go out of your way to piss off Hispanics (he doesn’t put it that way) – is about as likely to work as the ‘Full Rubio’.

I have no opinion about Sean Trende and I don’t usually rely on “Real Clear Politics” for my wonky analysis, to say the least. But, whatever the merits or demerits of his specific deployments of data, this does strike me as noteworthy. It’s the first time I’ve seen a ‘wonky’ Republican suggest maybe extreme racial polarization should be on the table as a strategic option.

Assuming the data supports that model, this will not be a good thing for American politics.

I very doubt that data from 2012 and beyond will support that, as non-Hispanic White Americans are increasingly identifying with Hispanic White and White/indian Americans.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on July 01, 2013, 08:26:56 am
I kind of want them to run with it for a while, and suspect the GOP might just do that. With the control exerted by the tea party and such, they might just feel that that base is what needs pandering to. If they do, the results will be awful and glorious.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on July 31, 2013, 12:37:16 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23512840

Quote
Law firms, insurance companies and celebrities are among 94 clients that used private investigators convicted of illegally obtaining information, MPs have said.

The Home Affairs Select Committee published a breakdown of the clients but did not name them individually.

The four rogue investigators concerned were given jail sentences last year.

Committee chairman Keith Vaz said he wanted to name the clients when the committee published its final report.
Private data

The private investigators specialised in illegally obtaining private information from organisations such as banks, utility companies and HM Revenue and Customs.

Because the companies involved could be investigated by the police and the information commissioner, the committee says it has not named them. Instead it lists them by business sector.

The list suggested that private investigators often subcontract work to each other - 16 clients were other private investigation agencies.

Labour MP Mr Vaz said: "When we publish our report into private investigators, we would like to be in a position where we publish the entire list.

"But we don't want to compromise any investigation that the Metropolitan Police may or may not be involved in."

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he had "a lot of sympathy" with those who wanted big companies who use private detectives to be open about it.

He added he was "very concerned about the role of rogue private investigators" and that the government would be announcing plans to regulate the industry later on Wednesday.

Presented without comment.  I think if you read between the lines, you can see what is going on here.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on August 04, 2013, 09:49:22 am
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-30/al-qaeda-backers-found-with-u-s-contracts-in-afghanistan.html

Quote
Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.

The U.S. Army Suspension and Debarment Office has declined to act in 43 such cases, John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said today in a letter accompanying a quarterly report to Congress.

“I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract,” Sopko said.

Hahaha.  So the US can assassinate or indefinitely imprison suspected terrorists, but it cannot break off contracts with them because it might violate their right to due process.  Come on now.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Pæs on August 04, 2013, 11:26:25 am
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-30/al-qaeda-backers-found-with-u-s-contracts-in-afghanistan.html

Quote
Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.

The U.S. Army Suspension and Debarment Office has declined to act in 43 such cases, John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said today in a letter accompanying a quarterly report to Congress.

“I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract,” Sopko said.

Hahaha.  So the US can assassinate or indefinitely imprison suspected terrorists, but it cannot break off contracts with them because it might violate their right to due process.  Come on now.

That is beautiful.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Aucoq on August 04, 2013, 01:36:13 pm
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-30/al-qaeda-backers-found-with-u-s-contracts-in-afghanistan.html

Quote
Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.

The U.S. Army Suspension and Debarment Office has declined to act in 43 such cases, John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said today in a letter accompanying a quarterly report to Congress.

“I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract,” Sopko said.

Hahaha.  So the US can assassinate or indefinitely imprison suspected terrorists, but it cannot break off contracts with them because it might violate their right to due process.  Come on now.

 What the fuck? I can't even wrap my head around that level of stupidity.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cainad (dec.) on August 04, 2013, 02:18:24 pm
 :lulz: Magnificent!

Corporations are people, but Those People aren't people. I mean, duh.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on August 04, 2013, 02:24:41 pm
What the fuck? I can't even wrap my head around that level of stupidity.

Assuming this is stupidity.  Lets take this apart a bit:

Who are the biggest financial backers of the Taliban insurgency?  Likely the ISI, the Pakistani intelligence service and (probably) the Saudis.

What else do the ISI (and probably the Saudi intelligence agencies) do?  Well, they sponsor Islamist militants all over the Middle East and Central Asia.

What is happening in the Middle East at the moment?  Lots of political movements are underway to topple various dictators in the region and replace them with "democratic" governments.

Some of those regimes are overly friendly with Iran.  Others may take the whole "democracy" thing a bit too seriously, cancelling debts owed by their former dictators ("odious debt") and be looking at nationalizing their oil and gas industries, either partially or entirely.

Islamists undermine those regimes which are friendly with Tehran, while keeping democratic reformers in US allied states weak and in line through intimidation and outright violence.

How best to pay for such services?  Well, there are lots of no-bid contracts available in Afghanistan, where budget concerns are apparently not an issue....
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Aucoq on August 04, 2013, 04:14:51 pm
What the fuck? I can't even wrap my head around that level of stupidity.

Assuming this is stupidity.  Lets take this apart a bit:

Who are the biggest financial backers of the Taliban insurgency?  Likely the ISI, the Pakistani intelligence service and (probably) the Saudis.

What else do the ISI (and probably the Saudi intelligence agencies) do?  Well, they sponsor Islamist militants all over the Middle East and Central Asia.

What is happening in the Middle East at the moment?  Lots of political movements are underway to topple various dictators in the region and replace them with "democratic" governments.

Some of those regimes are overly friendly with Iran.  Others may take the whole "democracy" thing a bit too seriously, cancelling debts owed by their former dictators ("odious debt") and be looking at nationalizing their oil and gas industries, either partially or entirely.

Islamists undermine those regimes which are friendly with Tehran, while keeping democratic reformers in US allied states weak and in line through intimidation and outright violence.

How best to pay for such services?  Well, there are lots of no-bid contracts available in Afghanistan, where budget concerns are apparently not an issue....

Ugh. I figured there was more to it than the government just bumbling around, but my optimism got the better of me.

Thank you for the detailed response. Your knowledge and insight are invaluable for helping me understand the world of politics. I wouldn't know which way was up without you.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on August 04, 2013, 08:28:33 pm
Well, I'm not saying it's definitely happening, or happening exactly like that, only that it's a possibility.

I mean, the US does some pretty stupid shit at times.  But giving money to contractors with suspected links to the insurgents they are currently fighting, and then citing due process as the reason why they cannot do anything about it?  It does strain credibility a bit.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on August 08, 2013, 06:35:50 pm
http://consortiumnews.com/2013/08/08/pinning-argentine-bombing-on-iran/

Quote
Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman based his 2006 warrant for the arrest of top Iranian officials in the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994 on the claims of representatives of the armed Iranian opposition Mujahedin E Khalq (MEK), the full text of the document reveals.

The central piece of evidence cited in Nisman’s original 900-page arrest warrant against seven senior Iranian leaders is an alleged Aug. 14, 1993 meeting of top Iranian leaders, including both Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and then president Hashemi Rafsanjani, at which Nisman claims the official decision was made to go ahead with the planning of the bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA).

But the document, recently available in English for the first time, shows that his only sources for the claim were representatives of the MEK or People’s Mujahideen of Iran. The MEK has an unsavory history of terrorist bombings against civilian targets in Iran, as well as of serving as an Iraq-based mercenary army for Saddam Hussein’s forces during the Iran-Iraq War.

Quote
Nisman does not cite any non-MEK source as claiming such a meeting took place. He cites court testimony by Abolghassem Mesbahi, a “defector” who had not worked for the Iranian intelligence agency since 1985, according to his own account, but only to the effect that the Iranian government made the decision on AMIA sometime in 1993. Mesbahi offered no evidence to support the claim.

Nisman repeatedly cites the same four NCRI members to document the alleged participation of each of the seven senior Iranians for whom he requested arrest warrants. A review of the entire document shows that Kouchaksaraee is cited by Nisman 29 times, Roshanravani 16 times and Ahmadi and Eshagi 16 times, always together making the same statement for a total of 61 references to their testimony.

Nisman cited no evidence or reason to believe that any of the MEK members were in a position to have known about such a high-level Iranian meeting. Although MEK propaganda has long claimed access to secrets, their information has been at best from low-level functionaries in the regime.

Needless to say, MEK have provided a lot of factually incorrect propaganda designed to discredit the Iranian regime, as the article goes on to show.

Furthermore, when one reads the Argentinian newspapers, one finds a number of police officers were suspected as having a role in the bombing, though they were later cleared.  There is also the problem that Carlos Vladimir Corach, interior minister at the time of the bombing, gave $400,000 to Carlos Telleldin, whose van was used in the attack. 

The bombing also came at a time when Iran was negotiating with Argentina about the transfer of nuclear technology from the latter to the former.

Was the bombing designed to derail negotiations and prevent the transfer of nuclear technology?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on August 08, 2013, 07:01:48 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/posts/BUGGER

Adam Curtis would like to remind you that sometimes spies don't know what the fuck they are doing:

Quote
"One of the most famous successes of the British Security Service was its great spy round-up of August 1914. The event is still celebrated by MI5, but a careful study of the recently-opened records show it to be a complete fabrication - MI5 created and perpetuated this remarkable lie.

The great spy round-up of August 1914 never took place - as it was a complete fabrication designed to protect MO5(G) from the interference of politicians or bureaucrats.

The claim made next day that all but one had been arrested was false, and its constant repetition by Kell and Holt-Wilson was a lie."

Quote
The leading MI5 dissident who was leaking the information to Pincher was called Peter Wright. He was one of the most senior members of MI5 but he was also somewhat paranoid.

To get a sense of Peter Wright and how he saw the world I have put together some bits of him being interviewed in the 1980s about another of his conspiracy theories. This was that the Prime Minister - Harold Wilson - had also been a Soviet agent.

In Wright's mind much of the British establishment had been directly or indirectly taken over by the Soviet Union. He had no hard evidence for this - but he was driven by an underlying mind-set that was going to spread throughout much of the intelligence agencies - and journalism - over the next twenty years.

This said that if you imagined the other side was doing something devilish and deceptive - then they probably were. It meant that in the dark world of intelligence, imagination was more powerful than obvious facts. Because if you couldn't find the evidence it proved how clever the enemy had been at covering their tracks.

Quote
But then - in the midst of all these weirdos - a dissenting voice emerged.

James Rusbridger had been a spy back in the 50s and 60s - and he now wrote a book called The Intelligence Game arguing that all this was rubbish - and that all the journalists had been conned by a crazy gang of right-wing nutters in MI5.

Rusbridger said that the newspapers and TV were being used to promote the obsessive belief of MI5 officers that their failure to do anything worthwhile for a quarter of a century was the consequence of there being a Russian spy in MI5.

They couldn't face the fact that they were completely useless and incompetent.

At last a voice of sanity.

But unfortunately James Rusbridger was then found dead in his garden shed - apparently the victim of an auto-erotic game that had gone wrong. He was naked apart from a rubber coat and a gas mask - and his feet and legs were attached to the wall by a complicated system of pulleys.

Of course it might have been a fiendishly clever assassination.

Or just another spy-world weirdo.

Quote
Because at the very same time that everyone was talking excitedly about completely invented moles, MI5 missed the real moles at the heart of the intelligence services - even though they were completely obvious, and almost screaming to be noticed.

Michael Bettaney worked in counter-espionage in MI5. He had been recruited when he was at Oxford university - where he had been an admirer of Adolf Hitler and had a habit of singing the Nazi Party anthem in local pubs.

Quote
Bettaney came back to London a changed man. He decided that MI5 was both corrupt and incompetent. He started drinking heavily and told his colleagues loudly that he was no longer a fascist - but he had become a communist.

So MI5 decided to promote him. He was positively vetted again - found to be perfect MI5 material, and sent to the Russian desk.

Bettaney became more and more unstable. In October 1982 he was convicted of being drunk and disorderly. The next week he was convicted for fare-dodging. Finally MI5 did begin to notice - and two separate inquiries were set up to look into Bettaney's behaviour. But each was unaware of the other's existence.

Neither of them noticed that he had been stealing a huge amount of MI5 top secret documents and stashing them at his home. Bettaney was only caught when he took some of the best of these secrets and tried to stuff them into the letter box of the Second Secretary of the Russian Embassy - Mr Gouk.

Quote
The terrible truth that began to dawn in the 1980s was that MI5 - whose job it was to catch spies that threatened Britain - had never by its own devices caught a spy in its entire history.

The case that really shocked Mrs Thatcher was the traitor Geoffrey Prime. In the 1970s he had worked at the top secret listening centre GCHQ and had been selling all it's secrets to the Russians.

And yet again it wasn't MI5 who uncovered his treachery - it was the local police in Cheltenham.

In 1982 a policeman came to his house enquiring about his car - a rather distinct two-tone brown and white Mk IV Cortina - a which had been seen in the vicinity of an assault on a young girl.

Prime told the policeman that he had been at home all day. But that evening he and his wife Rhona went for a drive to the top of Cleeve Hill. As they sat in the twilight Prime told Rhona that he was the man the police were looking for. And not only that, he was also a Russian spy.

Here is part of a very powerful interview Rhona Prime gave to the BBC where she describes that day - and what she then did.

Prime was a paedophile - and had used spying techniques to monitor the activities of thousands of young girls around Cheltenham. He had created a vast set of index cards which showed when the girls were most likely to be alone at home. He then went round to their houses in his two tone Cortina and sexually assaulted them.

Despite this Prime had been positively vetted six times.

Even the Russians got worried about his paedophile activities and seemed to want to dump him. In 1980 Prime had gone to Vienna to meet the KGB. Instead of meeting him secretly as they normally did, the Russians took him openly to the best restaurants where they knew Western intelligence agents would recognise them as KGB agents.

But even then noone noticed them - or Prime.

Prime's wife Rhona wrestled with her conscience - and in the end went to the police and told them everything about Prime. He was sent to jail for 35 years for spying and 3 years for the assaults on young girls - which says a lot about the priorities of the British establishment at that time.

Quote
But the real reason that the intelligence agencies didn't predict the collapse of the Soviet system was because many of the people at the top of the agencies couldn't believe it was true.

Sir Percy Cradock was one of the most powerful figure in the British establishment. He was the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee - which co-ordinated the activities of MI5, MI6 and other intelligence groups. Even at the end of the eighties when everyone else was realising that the Soviet Union was collapsing, Sir Percy remained convinced that this was all a trick. That the Soviet Union was still aiming for communist domination of the world.

Cradock - along with a number of others high up in the intelligence agencies - really believed that Gorbachev's reforms were just a cunning ruse to deceive the West. And - as Mark Urban has pointed out in his book UK Eyes Alpha - Sir Percy used his position to make sure that this view dominated the Joint Intelligence Committee.

But as Urban also points out - Sir Percy and his allies had no secret evidence for this. They relied on what was pompously called "analysing open source data". Otherwise known as reading the newspapers and watching TV. Except they interpreted that data in a mad way - driven by their own fevered imaginings of a world completely possessed by infinite levels of deception

Mrs Thatcher realised this was bonkers - and she finally gave up on the spies.

And that really should have been that for MI5.

Except ten years later it was saved by the War on Terror - and since then MI5 has grown massively. But what no-one seems to know is whether MI5 has changed.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on August 08, 2013, 07:09:43 pm
Wow.  :lulz:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on August 08, 2013, 07:25:12 pm
Incredible.

Quote
But as Urban also points out - Sir Percy and his allies had no secret evidence for this. They relied on what was pompously called "analysing open source data". Otherwise known as reading the newspapers and watching TV. Except they interpreted that data in a mad way - driven by their own fevered imaginings of a world completely possessed by infinite levels of deception


How the FUCK do you get to a senior position in an intelligence agency and use THIS as your way to plan ANYTHING.

Memo - When I get stuck in charge of an intel outfit and anyone suggests this, shoot them immediately. Not worth the risk.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on August 08, 2013, 07:27:43 pm
Actually, open-source data is usually fairly good, so long as you rely on good newspapers.  Certainly better than most analyses by MI5 and MI6, anyway. 
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on August 08, 2013, 08:24:04 pm
I'll stand corrected.

However, I doubt these chaps were relying on anything more than the  BBC and the Sunday Sport(concealed craftily in a copy of the FT Daily Mail or somesuch)

I'd bet a fiver on that right now.

Edited obvious mistake. It wouldn't be a broadsheet. That's actually got half a chance of working.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on August 08, 2013, 08:46:20 pm
Interesting stuff. Thanks for passing that along, Cain.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 16, 2013, 03:41:23 am
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-camp/anti-occupy-law-passes-nea_b_1343728.html

Doo bee doo bee dooooooo
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on August 16, 2013, 04:09:33 am
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-camp/anti-occupy-law-passes-nea_b_1343728.html

Doo bee doo bee dooooooo

Um
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 16, 2013, 04:17:36 am
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-camp/anti-occupy-law-passes-nea_b_1343728.html

Doo bee doo bee dooooooo

Um

Oh, I know.

Just enjoying the moment.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on August 16, 2013, 04:31:04 am
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-camp/anti-occupy-law-passes-nea_b_1343728.html

Doo bee doo bee dooooooo

Um

Oh, I know.

Just enjoying the moment.

I have a weird... gnawing feeling in the back of my head. It's like my nerves all want my body to laugh hysterically, but they keep getting overruled by whatever part of my brain controls abject horror. And now my stomach is getting in on the action. I can't really tell whether I should cry, scream, or just run to the bathroom and hang on to the toilet for whatever is about to happen.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 16, 2013, 04:33:03 am
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-camp/anti-occupy-law-passes-nea_b_1343728.html

Doo bee doo bee dooooooo

Um

Oh, I know.

Just enjoying the moment.

I have a weird... gnawing feeling in the back of my head. It's like my nerves all want my body to laugh hysterically, but they keep getting overruled by whatever part of my brain controls abject horror. And now my stomach is getting in on the action. I can't really tell whether I should cry, scream, or just run to the bathroom and hang on to the toilet for whatever is about to happen.

My favorite part of this - and, to be honest, it was my first reaction myself - is when people say, "well, that only strengthened the existing article 1782 sec 18.

Which is sort of like saying that cancer spreading from your liver to your brain is no big deal because your liver already had it.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on August 16, 2013, 04:40:28 am
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-camp/anti-occupy-law-passes-nea_b_1343728.html

Doo bee doo bee dooooooo

Um

Oh, I know.

Just enjoying the moment.

I have a weird... gnawing feeling in the back of my head. It's like my nerves all want my body to laugh hysterically, but they keep getting overruled by whatever part of my brain controls abject horror. And now my stomach is getting in on the action. I can't really tell whether I should cry, scream, or just run to the bathroom and hang on to the toilet for whatever is about to happen.

My favorite part of this - and, to be honest, it was my first reaction myself - is when people say, "well, that only strengthened the existing article 1782 sec 18.

Which is sort of like saying that cancer spreading from your liver to your brain is no big deal because your liver already had it.

It could be worse. I mean, they could have...

Oh, they did. Well at least they haven't...

Oh, they did that, too.

Fuck.
This.
Century.

All I can say is, if they're going to make it this mandatory to be a Good American™, they damn well better start making being an American FUN again, god dammit.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 16, 2013, 04:47:56 am
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-camp/anti-occupy-law-passes-nea_b_1343728.html

Doo bee doo bee dooooooo

Um

Oh, I know.

Just enjoying the moment.

I have a weird... gnawing feeling in the back of my head. It's like my nerves all want my body to laugh hysterically, but they keep getting overruled by whatever part of my brain controls abject horror. And now my stomach is getting in on the action. I can't really tell whether I should cry, scream, or just run to the bathroom and hang on to the toilet for whatever is about to happen.

My favorite part of this - and, to be honest, it was my first reaction myself - is when people say, "well, that only strengthened the existing article 1782 sec 18.

Which is sort of like saying that cancer spreading from your liver to your brain is no big deal because your liver already had it.

It could be worse. I mean, they could have...

Oh, they did. Well at least they haven't...

Oh, they did that, too.

Fuck.
This.
Century.

All I can say is, if they're going to make it this mandatory to be a Good American™, they damn well better start making being an American FUN again, god dammit.

Well, we could go kick Mexico around again.

Might even get another Arizona out of the deal.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on August 16, 2013, 04:57:52 am
Well, we could go kick Mexico around again.

Might even get another Arizona out of the deal.



Definitely. In fact, if there's anything America could use right now, it's two Arizonas.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on August 16, 2013, 04:59:06 am
Well, we could go kick Mexico around again.

Might even get another Arizona out of the deal.



Definitely. In fact, if there's anything America could use right now, it's two Arizonas.

This implies two Tucsons.

And two Sheriff Joes.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on August 21, 2013, 11:33:14 am
http://www.madcowprod.com/2013/08/20/up-in-smoke-24-tons-of-cocaine-in-no-peek-burn-run/

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It started with a question that hardly ever comes up. “How are we going to get rid of all this cocaine?”

But law enforcement officials in Costa Rica were asking it several months ago. Or, at least, “allegedly" asking it.

Because while no one is questioning that Costa Rica sent 24 tons of cocaine to the US to be incinerated, the operation has been received with what can be characterized as somewhere between skepticism and disbelief.

For one thing, the atmospherics are all wrong. Like the ritualized perp walk every notorious drug baron endures when caught, drug burnings are spectator events in Latin America, filled with ritual pomp. If he's there, El Presidente wears the sash of office. Generals in mirrored Raybans, decked out like beauty queens, medals shining like bling.

When Latin American drug agencies incinerate huge amounts of seized narcotics, which happens on a regular basis, there’s often a reviewing stand. Representatives from all the federal agencies involved in the bust stand around and smile. They watch each other. They eye the drugs. There’s a couple of speeches. There's the traditional group picture in front of the piled-up dope.

Only then do they fire up the torches, and set fire to the bonfire. Spectators discreetly move downwind.

But not this time.

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Most Latin American nations get rid of seized drugs by piling it up in a field and lighting a match. So why not Costa Rica?

“It had to do with new regulations from the Costa Rican EPA,” said the DEA’s spokeswoman. Cocaine, she insisted, requires special incinerators that burn at 816 Celsius (1,500 Fahrenheit), with multiple chambers that filter out the hazardous fumes and leave nothing but carbon dioxide.

Pieced together from several Costa Rican newspapers, the story of how 24 tons of cocaine flew to Miami on a US Government plane goes like this:

Prior to the massive airlift of cocaine to Miami in late July, Costa Rica's Justice Dept (the OIJ) used to destroy seized drugs at a cement factory incinerator, until several unfortunate incidents resulted in the cancellation of the contract.

Bags holding 20 kilograms of pure cocaine began to go "missing."

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While DEA officials are understandably reluctant to look a 24-ton gift horse made of cocaine in the mouth, Costa Rica’s big donation raises a puzzling question: Why doesn't the math add up?

Where exactly did Costa Rica get the 24 tons of cocaine they're turning over to the gringos?

"The cocaine had been seized over the course of the last two years during anti-drug operations in the country,” reported Costa Rica’s online newspaper CRHoy.com.

Two years. Two years worth of seizures would be June 2011 through June 2013.

In 2012 Costa Rican drug seizures totaled 15.5 tons. In 2011 they seized 7.4 tons. This year, when the US Air Force came calling, they were at about 5 tons.

Take half of the 2011 total (3.5), all of 2012 (15.5 tons) and year to date through July in 2013(5 tons.)

That’s roughly 24 tons, about the same amount they turned over to the DEA.

Except… remember that mini-incinerator the cement factory gave them that broke, but not before successfully incinerating what newspapers said was up to 300 kilograms per hour, for an unspecified length of time?

If the mini-incinerator worked for just one day before it broke down, Costa Rican officials would have shaved 7 tons of cocaine off their total. The C-17 cargo flight to Miami would have had just 14 tons of cocaine aboard.

So—in addition to the cocaine seized by Costa Rica over two years—where did the additional 7 tons of cocaine the USAF flying to Miami come from?

And that's not the only cocaine weirdness out of Costa Rica:

http://www.madcowprod.com/2013/07/22/costa-ricas-president-flew-narco-jet-to-hugo-chavez-funeral/

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An American-registered drug plane has been plying the airspace over Central and South America carrying cargoes of cocaine for a good long while (authorities admit they’ve been “investigating” it since 2011) without apparent incident, until recently, when a newspaper in Costa Rica reported that the President of Costa Rica had been seen using it to fly to Hugo Chavez’s funeral, as well as the recent wedding of the son of Peru's Vice-President in Lima.

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As it turns out, a number of Latin American politicians and celebrities have at one time or another flown on the plane. Topping the list of travelers would be Laura Acuna, a television presenter and one of Colombia’s top models.

Also aboard has been Andres Fernandez Acosta, Colombia’s former Minister of Agriculture; as well as Juan Pablo Ortiz Bravo who occupied the strategic position of Director of Customs under President Alvaro Uribe.

And Marilu Mendez, the former head of Colombia’s Directorate of Public Prosecutions (CTI), who just today (July 22) was charged with embezzlement, influence peddling and forgery of public documents.

http://www.madcowprod.com/2013/08/12/narco-jet-in-costa-rica-scandal-tied-to-iran-contra-figure/

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A key employee in Bogotá of the Canadian oil company owners of the drug plane flown by Costa Rica’s President Laura Chinchilla was at the heart of the Contra Cocaine pipeline profiled by the late author Gary Webb in his 1996 best-seller “Dark Alliance.”

David Scott Weekly was both a CIA agent and drug trafficker, according to Webb’s book. His nickname was "Dr. Death."

Today he is in Bogotá, reports Colombian newspaper “El Tiempo," lobbying the Colombian government for oil leases for a company exploring for oil in the jungles of the Amazon Basin.

“Why does a Vietnam veteran, an expert on weapons and the training of mercenaries, so frequently visit the offices of the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) in Bogota?” asked the paper.

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Today the Contras are nothing more than a long-forgotten nightmare. But David Scott Weekly is very much alive, and working in Bogotá, for an outfit called Montco Energy.

But the “oil company” which owns the Citation 3 drug plane is THX Energy.

Thus Montco Energy and THX Energy would seem to be competitors, seeking the same prize: oil leases granted by the government of Colombia.

In theory, perhaps. In real life, not so much.

Because Montco Energy and THX Energy are owned by the same person.

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The drug plane was controlled by Gabriel Morales Fallan, a man of many aliases, none of them truly convincing.
In Panama in 1995 Fallan incorporated a company called Thorneloe, which is the name the plane is listed under in official FAA documents.

Thorneloe, a Panamanian-registered company, has since changed its names three times. It has been listed variously as Thorneloe Corp, Thorneloe Energy, THX Energy, and, currently, THX Oil & Gas SA.

THX is owned by a Canadian equity firm called Birch Island Capital.

Birch Island, in turn, is owned by Delavaco Capital, a US firm located in—of all places—Fort Lauderdale, Florida, America’s long-standing drug smuggling capital.

Delavaco Capital is owned by Andy DeFrancesco.

In 2003, Gabriel Morales was fingered by officials as a lieutenant of Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, alias el Chupeta, who ran Colombia’s largest remaining drug cartel, the Norte del Valle Cartel.

El Chupeta, from one of Columba’s wealthiest and most prestigious families, was trained as an economist before seeking employment—despite his fine manners and careful elegance—as the boss of the Norte Valle Cartel.
Fallan, also Colombian, spent much of the past decade pretending to look for oil—incorporating a dozen companies in Panama with names implying brawny men in hard hats facing down the elements—while working, according to numerous published reports, for El Chupeta, one of Colombia’s biggest drug traffickers.

He left Colombia in 2002, afraid, he said, of retaliation from the FARC for snitching on the drug trafficking. He spent several years in Texas, about which little is known, but much suspected, before settling in Costa Rica, where he changed his name, married a local girl and became a citizen.

El Chupeta was captured in Brazil in 2007 and extradited to the United States a year later.

On learning this, Fallon flew to the U.S. to come to an arrangement with the DEA that in exchange for information about the drug trafficking and money laundering would allow him to relocate in Costa Rica.

The details of this agreement were kept from her, says Laura Chinchilla.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on August 21, 2013, 11:53:28 am
And some Mike Lofgren and Joseph Britt, both former aides to Republican senators, on the American "deep state".

Lofgren:

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Your posts go some way in explaining the current political situation, but by no means do they go the whole way. A more complete explanation has to acknowledge the paradox of the contemporary American state. On the procedural level that the public can see, Congress is hopelessly gridlocked in the worst manner since the 1850s; that is true. The objective of the GOP is, obviously, to render the executive branch powerless, at least until a Republican president is elected (and voter suppression laws in the GOP-controlled states are clearly intended to accomplish that result). As a consequence, Obama cannot get anything done; he cannot even get the most innocuous appointees in office.

Yet he can assassinate American citizens without due processes (Holder's sophistry to the contrary, judicial process is due process); can detain prisoners indefinitely without charge; conduct surveillance on the American people without judicial warrant; and engage in unprecedented -- at least since the McCarthy era -- witch hunts against federal employees (the so-called insider threat program). At home, this it is characterized by massive displays of intimidating force by militarized federal law enforcement agencies and their willing handmaidens at the state and local level. Abroad, Obama can start wars at will and pretty much engage in any other activity whatever without so much as a by-your-leave from Congress, to include just recently forcing down a plane containing a head of state. And not a peep from congressional Republicans, with the exception of an ineffectual gadfly like Rand Paul. Democrats, with the exception of a few like Ron Wyden, are not troubled, either -- even to the extent of permitting obvious perjured congressional testimony by certain executive branch officials.

Clearly there is government, and then there is government. The former is the tip of the iceberg that the public who watches C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part is the Deep State, which operates on its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power. The Deep State is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies, key nodes of the judiciary (like FISC, the Eastern District of Virginia, and the Southern District of Manhattan); cleared contractors, Silicon Valley (whose cooperation is critical), and Wall Street.

This combination of procedural impotence on the one hand and unaccountable government by fiat on the other is clearly paradoxical, but any honest observer of the American state must attempt to come to grips with it. I will note in conclusion that in order for the Senate to pass major "social" legislation like immigration reform, it was necessary to grant an additional $38-billion tribute to Deep State elements, i.e., military and homeland security contractors. Clearly the GOP wanted it, but the Democrats didn't object; the $38 billion had been an internal "wish list" of the Deep State node called the Department of Homeland Security.

And Britt:

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First:  with respect to how the federal government functions, the level of continuity over the last dozen years or so doesn't get nearly enough attention.  In the Bush as in the Obama administration, Executive Branch agencies had little policy autonomy -- except for the security services, DoD and the intelligence agencies, who operated with little oversight even from within the administration in spite of major policy failures.

Republicans in Congress didn't defend the Bush administration so much as they repeated verbatim what they were told to say on national security affairs.  Meanwhile, other federal agencies dealt with a White House hypersensitive about political message discipline by undertaking as few potentially controversial initiatives as possible -- something that hasn't changed all that much under Barack Obama.

Second:  the absolute primacy of the permanent campaign industry in the policy making process gets rather taken for granted by many commentators.   Organized interest groups have traditionally been thought to exercise outsized influence within the two national parties, especially the Democratic Party.  One thing that's changed in recent years is the emergence of the people who do campaigns for a living as a powerful and effectively organized interest group themselves.

It is the pollsters, "strategists," and other campaign operatives, after all,  who are the chief beneficiaries of the continual fundraising that Senators and Congressmen now do.  Not only do these electioneering hands now work on campaign business full-time, but they have also gotten used to a standard of living requiring high and predictable levels of income.

The influence of campaign primacy on policy flows outward from Capitol Hill and the White House, enveloping agencies engaged in work that might offend any monied interest.  The military and intelligence agencies tend not to do work of this kind; their budgets, increased substantially after 9/11, tend therefore to receive little scrutiny, and their senior officials are normally treated with deference.

Is campaign primacy worse than it has ever been?  I'd say it is.  The very transparency celebrated by some in the media (because, among other things, it takes some of the hard work out of political reporting) makes it harder to do politically controversial business out of the view of rent-seeking monied interests.  Advocacy of causes with no potential to support the permanent campaign infrastructure -- from reducing unemployment to preparing for climate change to adhering to regular order on appropriations bills in Congress -- is effectively deterred.  The influence of campaign primacy on tax policy can't be overestimated.

The root cause of the latest crisis in Washington is that, for the party that came up short in the last election, the campaign never ended.  There is nothing but the campaign for Congressional Republicans -- and mostly for Democrats on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue as well, with the difference that they feel they have to at least look as if they want the government to function.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on August 21, 2013, 08:45:08 pm
I appreciate you passing these along. The cocaine stories are a bit odd, aren't they?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on August 21, 2013, 08:59:38 pm
It's one of those situations where you could probably find out eventually that everyone's involved. Just seems more probable to me. The US has never been averse to getting narcotics onto it's shores. The problem was summed up perfectly here:

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It started with a question that hardly ever comes up. “How are we going to get rid of all this cocaine?”

Who-ever had any of it no doubt easily converted it to currency and cleaned it. Rather than a dozen little cogs it just strikes me as easier for a few big cogs who control some medium cogs. Filter the blame, distribute the profit enough to keep people quiet. Pay the right people or put the right people in place. Business as usual.

Can't help but think about this guy too though.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%22Freeway%22_Rick_Ross

Can't help but think how many more people there are in similar positions. I'd guess multiple analogues in every state, just better protected/"just vanish" if any problems arise.  Ignore crazy paranoid ramblings.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on August 22, 2013, 05:20:33 pm
http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2013/08/03/maroc-le-pedophile-gracie-est-il-un-espion-espagnol_3457196_3212.html

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"International disgrace" deplored by thousands of Moroccans after the grace given to a Spanish pedophile is explained by the profession of the person sentenced? This is the theory of the Moroccan newspaper Lakome, who assured Thursday that Daniel Galvan, sentenced to thirty years in prison for sexual abuse of young boys in 2011, was gracie at the urging of the Spanish intelligence services .

Daniel Galván is the latest in a list of 48 released Spanish prisoners Friday, August 2 by the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, at the request of his Spanish counterpart Juan Carlos. But, according to Lakome, citing an anonymous source close to the folder its presence on the list would result in reality a "favor" granted by Rabat to the CNI, the Spanish intelligence agency.

SMUGGLED AFTER THE IRAQ WAR

Faced with the outcry caused by this decision, the Minister of justice Moroccan, Mustapha Ramid, assured in a statement that Galvan was released for "reasons of national interest". However, Lakome and the Spanish newspaper El País research has assumed that it could well be a spy of the CNI.

Mohamed Benjedou, counsel for Galvan, has indicated that his client had entrusted to him be an officer of thearmed Iraqi who had collaborated with foreign services to overthrow the dictator Saddam Hussein. In addition, El Pais found no trace of him in the Department of ocean sciences of the University of Murcia, where he claimed to have been a professor.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on September 22, 2013, 10:19:11 am
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cramulus on September 23, 2013, 03:36:30 pm
There must be a memo lying around somewhere which says "Right, but training the country du jour's pilots is only dangerous if they're mad at us." I wonder if we'll ever see it.

Let's say it becomes [more] public that Mohamed Atta was trained by the USAF... (which I'm inclined to believe) what do you think the public outcry would be? I don't think that fact in itself pins the US as having orchestrated the attacks---just that they trained the guy to fly planes. Which itself isn't so incriminating, right? Then why such a runaround regarding that fact?


Maybe you can fill in another blank for me - why is 9/11 in the news again right now? Judging from gossip I've heard, there are more truther cannons firing, did something kick this off?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on September 23, 2013, 04:38:35 pm
I don't think these guys being trained by the USAF or any other American school is that earth shaking in itself. They had to be trained somewhere, and the attacks were carried out here, so why not here? More interesting to me personally is the immediate blackout and cover-up of this information.

As for 9/11 being in the news around now, well, it's September and it happens a lot. We higher apes have surprisingly little room in our heads for emotional experience, so we like to stick to a loop that takes about a year to repeat. And truthers, well, they're just running on a slightly modified emotional experience reel. I do not buy their tales of controlled demolition, but there are a lot of "financial coincidences" surrounding the events that suggest that some important people were -- at least -- complicit in the event.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on September 23, 2013, 04:46:13 pm
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cramulus on September 23, 2013, 05:05:46 pm
Let's take a dip into the hypothetical universe for a sec

let's imagine that some some truther was wishing on the right star, and some ace reporter connects ome dots, and all of the public opinion shifts to think that the US gov was complicit in the 9/11 attacks

What then? Aren't all the people who would be responsible already preemptively/retroactively pardoned? 10+ years later, are any of them still in a position of authority? In what ways would it affect our current situation in the quagmire that is the middle east?

Everybody would be disgusted with the US Gov, that's for sure. ((Heh, maybe the truthers are an AQ plot to undermine everybody's trust in the US. What a twist!))

Whenever I'm in one of those "what really happened on 9/11" conversations (as I was, briefly this weekend), that's what I want to know -- if we knew what 'really' happened, what actions would we take? Who would we hold accountable and would anything stick?


I do think the 'official story' is highly fishy, I just don't know what to do with that information.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on September 23, 2013, 05:12:42 pm
Let's take a dip into the hypothetical universe for a sec

let's imagine that some some truther was wishing on the right star, and some ace reporter connects ome dots, and all of the public opinion shifts to think that the US gov was complicit in the 9/11 attacks

What then? Aren't all the people who would be responsible already preemptively/retroactively pardoned? 10+ years later, are any of them still in a position of authority? In what ways would it affect our current situation in the quagmire that is the middle east?

Everybody would be disgusted with the US Gov, that's for sure. ((Heh, maybe the truthers are an AQ plot to undermine everybody's trust in the US. What a twist!))

Whenever I'm in one of those "what really happened on 9/11" conversations (as I was, briefly this weekend), that's what I want to know -- if we knew what 'really' happened, what actions would we take? Who would we hold accountable and would anything stick?


I do think the 'official story' is highly fishy, I just don't know what to do with that information.

Seriously, Cramulus, what do you think would happen?

Nothing.  Nothing at all.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on September 23, 2013, 05:13:56 pm
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on September 23, 2013, 05:15:37 pm
Let's take a dip into the hypothetical universe for a sec

let's imagine that some some truther was wishing on the right star, and some ace reporter connects ome dots, and all of the public opinion shifts to think that the US gov was complicit in the 9/11 attacks

What then? Aren't all the people who would be responsible already preemptively/retroactively pardoned? 10+ years later, are any of them still in a position of authority? In what ways would it affect our current situation in the quagmire that is the middle east?

Everybody would be disgusted with the US Gov, that's for sure. ((Heh, maybe the truthers are an AQ plot to undermine everybody's trust in the US. What a twist!))

Whenever I'm in one of those "what really happened on 9/11" conversations (as I was, briefly this weekend), that's what I want to know -- if we knew what 'really' happened, what actions would we take? Who would we hold accountable and would anything stick?


I do think the 'official story' is highly fishy, I just don't know what to do with that information.

To me it's important to keep the wider picture in view. Truthers are wrong, because for all their earnest inquisition, they always find that the ultimate act of evil was planned, carried out, or coordinated by some group they already hated before their began their investigation. Bankers, Jews, Democrats, Republicans, Reptilians, Sixth-Dimensional Peacekeepers from the Galactic Star Alliance. The usual suspects. As always, when one's conclusions never differ from one's hypotheses, you can assume they are cheating.

But the rest of America is also wrong. Maybe they are not wrong to believe (in large part) the "Official Story." But they are wrong to believe it is true because the Government said it is true. A conspiracy theory does not have to be true to serve the beneficial purpose of making people doubt what they are told. They do not have to prove anything, all they have to do is not look completely batshit, and plant a reasonable doubt.

I feel much more comfortable among people who are suspicious of authority, even if their suspicions are based on fantasy.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Pergamos on September 24, 2013, 02:19:01 am
Let's take a dip into the hypothetical universe for a sec

let's imagine that some some truther was wishing on the right star, and some ace reporter connects ome dots, and all of the public opinion shifts to think that the US gov was complicit in the 9/11 attacks

What then? Aren't all the people who would be responsible already preemptively/retroactively pardoned? 10+ years later, are any of them still in a position of authority? In what ways would it affect our current situation in the quagmire that is the middle east?

Everybody would be disgusted with the US Gov, that's for sure. ((Heh, maybe the truthers are an AQ plot to undermine everybody's trust in the US. What a twist!))

Whenever I'm in one of those "what really happened on 9/11" conversations (as I was, briefly this weekend), that's what I want to know -- if we knew what 'really' happened, what actions would we take? Who would we hold accountable and would anything stick?


I do think the 'official story' is highly fishy, I just don't know what to do with that information.

Like the Kennedy assassination, I think people just enjoy knowing that they know more than everyone else.  The real who and why and so forth might matter, but it's pretty clear that we aren't going to get that,  all we are going to get is that the official story is fishy.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on September 24, 2013, 08:05:25 am
Let's take a dip into the hypothetical universe for a sec

let's imagine that some some truther was wishing on the right star, and some ace reporter connects ome dots, and all of the public opinion shifts to think that the US gov was complicit in the 9/11 attacks

What then? Aren't all the people who would be responsible already preemptively/retroactively pardoned? 10+ years later, are any of them still in a position of authority? In what ways would it affect our current situation in the quagmire that is the middle east?

Everybody would be disgusted with the US Gov, that's for sure. ((Heh, maybe the truthers are an AQ plot to undermine everybody's trust in the US. What a twist!))

Whenever I'm in one of those "what really happened on 9/11" conversations (as I was, briefly this weekend), that's what I want to know -- if we knew what 'really' happened, what actions would we take? Who would we hold accountable and would anything stick?


I do think the 'official story' is highly fishy, I just don't know what to do with that information.

Seriously, Cramulus, what do you think would happen?

Nothing.  Nothing at all.

Not sure about nothing. For a start you would have a large percentage of the population that would probably justify and support government regardless. Corporations have a lot of bribe money invested in the current structure, so I'd also guess to see huge corporate support and an easily created media blackout regarding any/all negative information. In short, I think it would speed up the future by a considerable degree. There's already empty prisons waiting for those not with them.

Vex,

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I feel much more comfortable among people who are suspicious of authority, even if their suspicions are based on fantasy.

Two words- David Icke. I get where you're coming from, but there is a point where anti-authority just becomes crazy.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on September 28, 2013, 09:50:31 pm
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on October 07, 2013, 07:11:51 pm
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/06/20841363-us-will-interrogate-terror-suspect-aboard-warship-in-mediterranean-officials-say?lite

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United States interrogators who specialize in so-called high value targets will question a suspected al Qaeda operative aboard an American warship without reading him his rights, U.S. officials told NBC News on Monday.

The suspect, Abu Anas al-Libi, was whisked off the streets of the Libyan capital of Tripoli over the weekend. He will be taken to the United States to stand trial in the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the officials said.

Al-Libi will be in U.S. military custody for several more days, perhaps a few weeks, a senior administration official told NBC News.

The interrogation will be conducted by a team including representatives of the CIA, the FBI and the military aboard the USS San Antonio, an amphibious helicopter carrier in the Mediterranean Sea, the U.S. officials said.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on October 07, 2013, 07:19:37 pm
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on October 07, 2013, 07:20:31 pm
I'm sure the US wouldn't, for example, drug up a suspect or use sensory deprivation in order to drive al-Libi made in order to get a confession, only to scramble his mind in the bargain so he cannot report on how MI6 approached him to kill Gaddafi in 1998.

No, certainly not.  I mean, just because KSM admitted, under waterboarding, to planning terrorist attacks against landmarks that didn't exist until a year after he was in custody, and that Abu Zubaydah was tortured into saying he was a member of Al-Qaeda's core leadership, when in fact he never even joined the group, doesn't mean that this time something will go horribly wrong.

I am certain that the interrogation team was chosen for their responsibility and integrity.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on October 07, 2013, 07:21:23 pm
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on October 07, 2013, 07:31:22 pm
 :horrormirth:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on October 08, 2013, 06:22:23 pm
I don't want any of that.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on October 10, 2013, 12:08:19 am
Just something I noticed today..... So "Chicken Nuggets" are all over the news-aggregators today.

Bing and GoogleNews both have headlines like:

Study: Chicken nuggets have surprise ingredients [MSN.com]
The average chicken nuggets is only HALF meat.. and the rest is fat, bone and nerve endings [Daily Mail]
Just what is in that chicken nugget? [Reuters]
Scientists reveal chicken nuggets are less than 50% chicken meat [io9.com]
Report: Chicken nuggets not just "meat" but blood vessels, nerve cells [cbs.news.com]

Let's look at the Fox New article that pulls up along side those:
Despite their reputation, chicken nuggets remain a favorite
http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2013/10/08/chicken-nuggets-remain-favorite/


Now extrapolate that to everything else (the environment, politics, etc).
Now extrapolate that to every other major news outlet.

HA HA HA HA  :horrormirth:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Salty on October 10, 2013, 12:12:14 am
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I think that chicken nuggets split the difference between real fried chicken (what's there not to like?) and Doritos,

 :horrormirth:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on October 10, 2013, 12:12:46 am
Who cares?  The breading alone is a deal-killer.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: AFK on October 10, 2013, 12:17:44 am
The chickens didn't starve before they were killed, so obviously McNuggets aren't "authentic" food.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on October 12, 2013, 01:23:59 pm
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on October 14, 2013, 07:01:07 am
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on October 14, 2013, 07:18:59 am
Fox has been freaking me out with real reporting lately.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on October 14, 2013, 09:38:34 am
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LuciferX on October 14, 2013, 10:14:36 am
I always thought thought those formula vehicles with conspicuous spoilers were just so darn cute :lol:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on October 15, 2013, 05:58:36 am
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on October 15, 2013, 06:02:06 am
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LuciferX on October 15, 2013, 11:02:38 am
I mean, of course it had to be an /amphibious/ carrier, right?  Just to bridge the gap between the worst I might imagine and the grand illusion otherwise still left standing there, with pale, commemorative eyes  :horrormirth:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on October 16, 2013, 01:55:01 am
I mean, of course it had to be an /amphibious/ carrier, right?  Just to bridge the gap between the worst I might imagine and the grand illusion otherwise still left standing there, with pale, commemorative eyes  :horrormirth:


Dude, communication requires context. You have the context for the above, but you haven't given it to the rest of us. This is a trend in your posts.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on October 16, 2013, 12:00:51 pm
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on October 16, 2013, 01:11:17 pm
That article has implications all over the show.

Quote
Bandar discussed the Syrian issue at length. He explained how the kingdom’s position had evolved on the Syrian crisis since the Daraa incident all the way to what is happening today. He said, “The Syrian regime is finished as far as we and the majority of the Syrian people are concerned. [The Syrian people] will not allow President Bashar al-Assad to remain at the helm. The key to the relations between our two countries starts by understanding our approach to the Syrian issue. So you have to stop giving [the Syrian regime] political support, especially at the UN Security Council, as well as military and economic support. And we guarantee you that Russia’s interests in Syria and on the Mediterranean coast will not be affected one bit. In the future, Syria will be ruled by a moderate and democratic regime that will be directly sponsored by us and that will have an interest in understanding Russia's interests and role in the region.


Looks like Bandar's acting as some kind of power broker for the region. Everyone talk to Bandar about what you want and let him go and "negotiate" for you. For a fee or favour, of course.

This also caught my eye:

Quote
At the bilateral level, Bandar relayed the Saudi king’s greetings to Putin and the king’s emphasis on the importance of developing the bilateral relationship. He also told Putin that the king would bless any understanding reached during the visit. Bandar also said, however, that “any understanding we reach in this meeting will not only be a Saudi-Russian understanding, but will also be an American-Russian understanding. I have spoken with the Americans before the visit, and they pledged to commit to any understandings that we may reach, especially if we agree on the approach to the Syrian issue.”


I wonder who stands to gain the most from the Syrian shitstorm. I also wonder who will appear to gain the most and who will actually gain the most. "The Syrian people" is not a likely answer to these questions.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on October 16, 2013, 01:17:44 pm
I mean, of course it had to be an /amphibious/ carrier, right?  Just to bridge the gap between the worst I might imagine and the grand illusion otherwise still left standing there, with pale, commemorative eyes  :horrormirth:


Dude, communication requires context. You have the context for the above, but you haven't given it to the rest of us. This is a trend in your posts.

Just scroll on by, Telarus.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on October 16, 2013, 03:17:42 pm
If true, this is pretty amazing:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2013/08/saudi-russia-putin-bandar-meeting-syria-egypt.html

Quote
“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year,” Bandar reportedly said. “The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”

You're playing a dangerous game, Bandar.  Putin isn't just some two-bit thug like Assad, who you can threaten without consequence.  You might have friends in Russia, but Sochi represents a lot of political favours and a lot of money for elements of the Russian elite.  If anything...untoward were to happen to their investments, I'm sure Putin would be happy to point them in your direction.  And the next thing you know, you'll be taking polonium with your tea.

This also puts Saudi information on the Boston Bombing in an interesting new context.  Saudi Arabia said, in the aftermath of the attack, that they passed on information to the USA regarding the brothers.  At the time it was widely ignored, so the question of how the Saudis knew anything about the case did not get asked.

This is certainly relevant to my interests.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on October 16, 2013, 03:31:51 pm
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on October 16, 2013, 03:48:30 pm
UNPOSSIBLE!  The Saudis are our allies.

[/straight face]
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on October 16, 2013, 04:07:54 pm
My guess would be the training camp Tamerlan attended was run or supervised by a Saudi asset.

This makes a disturbing amount of sense. Consider Bandar pretty much implied this as well it I would suggest that the US must have been aware of these activities too.

After all, Allies share intelligence, right?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on October 20, 2013, 05:00:34 pm
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on October 20, 2013, 06:40:24 pm
Why is the internet Eurozone so fascist?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on October 21, 2013, 02:58:47 am
Well, that's disturbing.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LuciferX on October 23, 2013, 07:33:38 am
Re: Fascist appeal in eurozone.  It's strange how easy it is to seduce the young ones by hijacking figures like Gabrielle D'Anunzio to serve right-wing propaganda.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on October 23, 2013, 09:47:02 am
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition Squid on October 23, 2013, 10:04:17 am
Yeah.

Some of the things Ed Milliband has been coming out with lately have been interesting (government-mandated energy prices, possible renationalisation of the railways, subsidized housing and actually making corporations pay taxes)... but he tends to just capitulate to criticism and fails to make his case. He says he'd do these things, then doesn't explain how, and winds up looking weak as a result.

I think the UK is suffering from a horrific Thatcherite hangover, and the only response anyone can articulate is 'the hair of the dog'. It doesn't help that the press practically enshrined Thatcher as the single reason for UK economic success when she died this year, and now flirting with even further right policies is given a gloss of legitimacy because hey, it worked in the 80s and this current crisis is basically just the same old boom and bust, right?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LuciferX on October 26, 2013, 10:16:15 am
-
So I was waiting to reply to what once was there, and then, just when I musters the guts to admit that the problem may have been beyond my capacity for a polite and considered response...  Poof.  Problem solved  :horrormirth:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on October 27, 2013, 06:12:34 pm
http://poorrichardsnews.com/post/65069957264/texas-judge-resigns-after-being-caught-texting
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on November 13, 2013, 02:35:43 pm
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/13/life-without-parole_n_4256789.html

Quote
Booker is one of more than 100 prisoners featured in an extensive new report from the American Civil Liberties Union on the rise of life sentences without the possibility of parole -- the harshest penalty faced by defendants in the American criminal justice system apart from death. Many such inmates are there "off the laws," as Booker put it, meaning they were incarcerated because of drug laws and not because they committed acts of violence. The report calculates that 3,278 prisoners were serving life without parole for drug, property and other nonviolent crimes as of 2012, comprising about 6 percent of the total life-without-parole, or LWOP, population.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on November 13, 2013, 03:54:14 pm
http://poorrichardsnews.com/post/65069957264/texas-judge-resigns-after-being-caught-texting

My favourite part of this:
Quote
UPDATE: via the research of Poor Richard’s Reader Bob, let’s play guess the political party affiliation of this corrupt judge! Ready to play? 

Yep. You guessed it.  She’s a Democrat….

How this isn't subject to investigations and considerable criminal charges is a mystery. It's pretty much textbook "Perverting the course of justice".

QJ - That link - Wow. Fastest growing sector of the prison population too. I guess that's what we can call "Future secured profits". I'm guessing these numbers will need to be a lot higher before anything changes. These seem largely to be victims of the war on drugs.

Best guess here on the way to progress would be mass information about Jury nullification. I suspect many of these people did not face a jury which makes it a little moot, but it's probably the best chance minor offenders have to not spend life incarcerated.

What's also startling here is the number of people facing life in prison on conspiracy charges and really sketchy testimony. It's not particularly surprising, more the inevitable and depressing result of plea bargains.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on November 13, 2013, 06:33:47 pm
LWOP is rarely the result of a plea bargain, most of this is mandatory sentencing that even the judges don't like. Juries may not be aware of the sentencing before handing down a verdict, so education is key, but the problem is that courts actively work to weed out educated jurors.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on November 13, 2013, 06:51:55 pm
My bad, I was implying the earlier offences were plea bargains (Some had incredibly petty offences as kids so I'd assume the early small shit got plead down, in at least some cases. Seems fine at the time until 3 strikes rules get implemented and suddenly ANYTHING fucks you.

I know that US courts have been strongly against any kind of jury education, is there still any kind of push for it over there? There were a couple of organisations doing this kind of stuff, but I'm assuming their impact has been minimal. 
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on November 13, 2013, 06:55:29 pm
My bad, I was implying the earlier offences were plea bargains (Some had incredibly petty offences as kids so I'd assume the early small shit got plead down, in at least some cases. Seems fine at the time until 3 strikes rules get implemented and suddenly ANYTHING fucks you.

I know that US courts have been strongly against any kind of jury education, is there still any kind of push for it over there? There were a couple of organisations doing this kind of stuff, but I'm assuming their impact has been minimal.

Oh, yeah early stuff almost always is. And the earlier convictions are used to justify or trigger bullshit sentencing.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on November 19, 2013, 03:25:25 pm
Some HA with your HA?
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/crime/after-prison-stint-tough-guy-ex-cop-bernie-kerik-now-crusades-against-mandatory

Quote
Some people can learn only through experience. All the factual presentations and logical arguments in the world do nothing for them. Disgraced former New York Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik is one of those people. But better to learn by experience than not at all.

The onetime hard-as-nails lawman now crusades to reform the U.S. justice system.

As a law-and-order tough guy who sat at the right hand of New York’s iron-fisted Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Kerik presided over a dramatic drop in New York’s crime rate and like his patron, became a national media darling following his cool performance in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

But later in the decade, Kerik (pictured as he appears today) fell fast and hard as scandal after Kerik scandal unfolded in the New York press. His extramarital affair with publishing queen Judith Regan was prime fodder for tabloids, but his shady financial dealings are what landed him in prison for three years.

Kerik got out this past May a changed man. While in prison, he saw first-hand the upside-down insanity of the criminal justice system on which he’d built his life and previous reputation. Kerik is now on the media circuit, not in an attempt to rebuild his personal reputation, but as a born-again reformer who now sees the injustice in mandatory sentencing laws.

Quote
Despite his earlier position as the country’s best-known policeman, he now claims that before going to prison himself, he had no idea that nonviolent offenders could have their lives destroyed by the system for almost nothing.

I would suggest this man to be either lying or mentally ill.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on November 19, 2013, 05:06:53 pm
Some HA with your HA?
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/crime/after-prison-stint-tough-guy-ex-cop-bernie-kerik-now-crusades-against-mandatory

Quote
Some people can learn only through experience. All the factual presentations and logical arguments in the world do nothing for them. Disgraced former New York Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik is one of those people. But better to learn by experience than not at all.

The onetime hard-as-nails lawman now crusades to reform the U.S. justice system.

As a law-and-order tough guy who sat at the right hand of New York’s iron-fisted Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Kerik presided over a dramatic drop in New York’s crime rate and like his patron, became a national media darling following his cool performance in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

But later in the decade, Kerik (pictured as he appears today) fell fast and hard as scandal after Kerik scandal unfolded in the New York press. His extramarital affair with publishing queen Judith Regan was prime fodder for tabloids, but his shady financial dealings are what landed him in prison for three years.

Kerik got out this past May a changed man. While in prison, he saw first-hand the upside-down insanity of the criminal justice system on which he’d built his life and previous reputation. Kerik is now on the media circuit, not in an attempt to rebuild his personal reputation, but as a born-again reformer who now sees the injustice in mandatory sentencing laws.

Quote
Despite his earlier position as the country’s best-known policeman, he now claims that before going to prison himself, he had no idea that nonviolent offenders could have their lives destroyed by the system for almost nothing.

I would suggest this man to be either lying or mentally ill.

 :lulz: :lulz: :lulz: Priceless.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LuciferX on November 25, 2013, 11:13:39 pm
My bad, I was implying the earlier offences were plea bargains (Some had incredibly petty offences as kids so I'd assume the early small shit got plead down, in at least some cases. Seems fine at the time until 3 strikes rules get implemented and suddenly ANYTHING fucks you.

I know that US courts have been strongly against any kind of jury education, is there still any kind of push for it over there? There were a couple of organisations doing this kind of stuff, but I'm assuming their impact has been minimal.
The Judge tells potential Jurors that their job is not to interpret the Law, but to determine if the defendant actually broke it.  The Defense then proceeds to select Jurors by asking them questions like whether they can articulate the distinction between relative and absolute law.  In the case of petty and/or non-violent crimes, the upshot is how some cases clearly demonstrate how, relatively, convicting someone /just/ for having broken a Law is a greater evil than simply allowing oneself NOT to be ordered by the Judge to stop thinking and questioning the nature of said Law.

Turns out the Judge can sometimes be full of shit, and it spreads, go figure.

This grass-roots message has been brought to you by "someone else".
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Bu☆ns on December 11, 2013, 04:50:52 am
Well this is pretty fucking scary...granted all it takes is a little extrapolation to come up with the implications of location data but shit...i wasn't quite ready to do that yet...

https://www.aclu.org/meet-jack-or-what-government-could-do-all-location-data
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 11, 2013, 05:41:38 am
Looks like Jack recently moved from Portland to Springfield.  :lol:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LuciferX on December 11, 2013, 09:45:27 am
Which is why I always travel with my dog.  Awe, ain't he just th cutest little thing?  Just rescued him; sometimes he gets lost at night.  I'm so glad I found him again.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on December 11, 2013, 12:56:12 pm
Well this is pretty fucking scary...granted all it takes is a little extrapolation to come up with the implications of location data but shit...i wasn't quite ready to do that yet...

https://www.aclu.org/meet-jack-or-what-government-could-do-all-location-data

Utter bullshit. No government would design a UI that functional.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Bu☆ns on December 12, 2013, 01:47:32 am
Well this is pretty fucking scary...granted all it takes is a little extrapolation to come up with the implications of location data but shit...i wasn't quite ready to do that yet...

https://www.aclu.org/meet-jack-or-what-government-could-do-all-location-data

Utter bullshit. No government would design a UI that functional.



Of course not--this is commercial.  We gave up our privacy for this really sweet app!
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on December 12, 2013, 11:00:56 am
Quote
Aaron Key wasn't sure he wanted a tattoo on his neck. Especially one of a giant squid smoking a joint.

But the guys running Squid's Smoke Shop in Portland, Ore., convinced him: It would be a perfect way to promote their store.

They would even pay him and a friend $150 apiece if they agreed to turn their bodies into walking billboards.

Key, who is mentally disabled, was swayed.

He and his friend, Marquis Glover, liked Squid's. It was their hangout. The 19-year-olds spent many afternoons there playing Xbox and chatting with the owner, "Squid," and the store clerks.

So they took the money and got the ink etched on their necks, tentacles creeping down to their collarbones.

It would be months before the young men learned the whole thing was a setup. The guys running Squid's were actually undercover ATF agents conducting a sting to get guns away from criminals and drugs off the street.

The tattoos had been sponsored by the U.S. government; advertisements for a fake storefront.

The teens found out as they were arrested and booked into jail.

Earlier this year when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel exposed a botched ATF sting in Milwaukee — that included agents hiring a brain-damaged man to promote an undercover storefront and then arresting him forhis work — ATF officials told Congress the failed Milwaukee operation was an isolated case of inadequate supervision.

It wasn't.
http://m.jsonline.com/more/news/watchdog/watchdogreports/atf-uses-rogue-tactics-in-storefront-stings-across-the-nation-b99146765z1-234916641.html#continue_reading

Quote
Among the findings:

■ ATF agents befriended mentally disabled people to drum up business and later arrested them in at least four cities in addition to Milwaukee. In Wichita, Kan., ATF agents referred to a man with a low IQ as "slow-headed" before deciding to secretly use him as a key cog in their sting. And agents in Albuquerque, N.M., gave a brain-damaged drug addict with little knowledge of weapons a "tutorial" on machine guns, hoping he could find them one.

■ Agents in several cities opened undercover gun- and drug-buying operations in safe zones near churches and schools, allowed juveniles to come in and play video games and teens to smoke marijuana, and provided alcohol to underage youths. In Portland, attorneys for three teens who were charged said a female agent dressed provocatively, flirted with the boys and encouraged them to bring drugs and weapons to the store to sell.

■ As they did in Milwaukee, agents in other cities offered sky-high prices for guns, leading suspects to buy firearms at stores and turn around and sell them to undercover agents for a quick profit. In other stings, agents ran fake pawnshops and readily bought stolen items, such as electronics and bikes — no questions asked — spurring burglaries and theft. In Atlanta, agents bought guns that had been stolen just hours earlier, several ripped off from police cars.

■ Agents damaged buildings they rented for their operations, tearing out walls and rewiring electricity — then stuck landlords with the repair bills. A property owner in Portland said agents removed a parking lot spotlight,damaging her new $30,000 roof and causing leaks, before they shut down the operation and disappeared without a way for her to contact them.

■ Agents pressed suspects for specific firearms that could fetch tougher penalties in court. They allowed felons to walk out of the stores armed with guns. In Wichita, agents suggested a felon take a shotgun, saw it off and bring it back — and provided instructions on how to do it. The sawed-off gun allowed them to charge the man with a more serious crime.

■ In Pensacola, the ATF hired a felon to run its pawnshop. The move widened the pool of potential targets, boosting arrest numbers.Even those trying to sell guns legally could be charged if they knowingly sold to a felon. The ATF's pawnshop partner was later convicted of pointing a loaded gun at someone outside a bar. Instead of a stiff sentence typically handed down to repeat offenders in federal court, he got six months in jail — and a pat on the back from the prosecutor.

It goes on and gets worse.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on December 13, 2013, 09:58:04 am
More from Hopsicker (http://www.madcowprod.com/2013/12/11/fort-lauderdale-florida-is-a-protestant-palermo-2/#rssowlmlink) on the American plane which crashed in Mexico carrying several tons of cocaine:

Quote
The affidavit sates, “On September 24, 2007, a 1975 Gulfstream II turbo jet bearing tail number N987SA crashed in the Yucatan Peninsula while carrying 3723 kilograms of cocaine, which was recovered by the Mexican Government, as documented by DEA Mexico City.”

“N987SA was owned by Donna Blue Aircraft Inc, which was subsequently identified as a front company for a Tampa Florida-based ICE undercover operation named Operation Mayan Jaguar.” (emphasis mine.)

The “Tampa-based ICE undercover operation” likely provided “cover” for a CIA operation, which “sheep-dipped”  an already-owned CIA plane, the Gulfstream II, to a dummy front company, Donna Blue Aircraft.

Quote
Bill Conroy of NarcoNews had reported that the now-mangled drug plane had been used for at least a decade by the CIA to fly "extraordinary renditions “to the US base in Guantanamo and to ferry extradited drug traffickers from Colombia to the USA.

At least on the surface, the DEA affidavit appears to indicate otherwise.

On the other hand, there is the possibility that the DEA was looking at pilots O’Conner and Smith as “persons of interest” in drug trafficking investigations at the same time the CIA was employing them as pilots?

Anyone who remembers Barry Seal would seem to have no trouble answering, at least tentatively,  “yes.”

Quote
This is a case of ICE running amok,” a DEA source told Conroy. “If this [operation] was being run by the book, they would not be doing it unilaterally” – without the participation of DEA – “and without the knowledge of the Mexican government.”

For my part, I’d interviewed the No 2 DEA official in Miami, who insisted on anonymity for reasons which will soon become obvious.

In my whiniest citizen-journalist voice, I asked him plaintively, “How come you guys aren’t investigating the planes out of St Petersburg busted with 10 tons of cocaine?”

He calmly replied that one Federal Agency does not, as a matter of course, investigate the operations of another Federal Agency.

What had been exposed by the Dc-9 and Gulfstream II seizures, he said,  was a rogue U.S. Customs operation (ICE is part of Customs, which in turn is part of Homeland Security).

For further answers, he pointed my to the Homeland Security’s Office of Professional Responsibility, charged with investigating internal misconduct.

Five years later, I’m still waiting to hear back from them.

For what it's worth on the drug-running/rendition angle...I've heard rumours that more than just people are taken on those rendition flights.  Only rumours, supposition and suspicions, no evidence.  But when you've got a secret, international smuggling system with state sanction, well, whose to say it wont be hijacked to serve multiple goals?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LuciferX on December 15, 2013, 08:32:15 am
Quote
This is a case of ICE running amok,” a DEA source told Conroy. “If this [operation] was being run by the book, they would not be doing it unilaterally” – without the participation of DEA – “and without the knowledge of the Mexican government.”

See, because otherwise the rendition would not be "extraordinary". :lol:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on December 24, 2013, 08:05:22 pm
http://m.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213

Quote
If you've ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you've ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or "drug paraphernalia" in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.

Breuer this week signed off on a settlement deal with the British banking giant HSBC that is the ultimate insult to every ordinary person who's ever had his life altered by a narcotics charge. Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (among others) and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), Breuer and his Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a "record" financial settlement of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about five weeks of income for the bank.

....
They're now saying that if you're not an important cog in the global financial system, you can't get away with anything, not even simple possession. You will be jailed and whatever cash they find on you they'll seize on the spot, and convert into new cruisers or toys for your local SWAT team, which will be deployed to kick in the doors of houses where more such inessential economic cogs as you live. If you don't have a systemically important job, in other words, the government's position is that your assets may be used to finance your own political disenfranchisement.

On the other hand, if you are an important person, and you work for a big international bank, you won't be prosecuted even if you launder nine billion dollars. Even if you actively collude with the people at the very top of the international narcotics trade, your punishment will be far smaller than that of the person at the very bottom of the world drug pyramid. You will be treated with more deference and sympathy than a junkie passing out on a subway car in Manhattan (using two seats of a subway car is a common prosecutable offense in this city). An international drug trafficker is a criminal and usually a murderer; the drug addict walking the street is one of his victims. But thanks to Breuer, we're now in the business, officially, of jailing the victims and enabling the criminals.


Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213#ixzz2oQOQbF6V
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

More at link.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: inode_buddha on December 24, 2013, 09:11:59 pm
http://m.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213

Quote
If you've ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you've ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or "drug paraphernalia" in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.

Breuer this week signed off on a settlement deal with the British banking giant HSBC that is the ultimate insult to every ordinary person who's ever had his life altered by a narcotics charge. Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (among others) and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), Breuer and his Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a "record" financial settlement of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about five weeks of income for the bank.

....
They're now saying that if you're not an important cog in the global financial system, you can't get away with anything, not even simple possession. You will be jailed and whatever cash they find on you they'll seize on the spot, and convert into new cruisers or toys for your local SWAT team, which will be deployed to kick in the doors of houses where more such inessential economic cogs as you live. If you don't have a systemically important job, in other words, the government's position is that your assets may be used to finance your own political disenfranchisement.

On the other hand, if you are an important person, and you work for a big international bank, you won't be prosecuted even if you launder nine billion dollars. Even if you actively collude with the people at the very top of the international narcotics trade, your punishment will be far smaller than that of the person at the very bottom of the world drug pyramid. You will be treated with more deference and sympathy than a junkie passing out on a subway car in Manhattan (using two seats of a subway car is a common prosecutable offense in this city). An international drug trafficker is a criminal and usually a murderer; the drug addict walking the street is one of his victims. But thanks to Breuer, we're now in the business, officially, of jailing the victims and enabling the criminals.


Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213#ixzz2oQOQbF6V
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

More at link.

Saw that yesterday, ya beat me to it. Good on ya! You know the weird thing is, I don't do drugs at all, don't drink or anything. Never been to jail. And ya know, this stuff *still* pisses me off cuz its just *wrong* ya know? "too big to fail" I guess it also means "too big to jail"
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on January 02, 2014, 06:28:52 pm
http://complex.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/12/31/transvestites_erotic_massages_and_metadata_dea_s_colombia_scandal_deepens
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on January 03, 2014, 11:33:01 am
http://complex.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/12/31/transvestites_erotic_massages_and_metadata_dea_s_colombia_scandal_deepens

Excellent find. I started pulling off a few quotes but then realised I'm pasting practically the entire article.

For me, what's surprising isn't that these things have occured, but the ineptness in which they always occur. It's not hard - Don't look at porn on the company laptop. Don't order hookers from the work phone. Sticking to rule #1 should not be difficult for these people, tet for some reason it always is.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on January 05, 2014, 05:04:52 am
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/25/technology-middle-class-jobs-policy

Quote
A widely held view in elite circles is that the rapid rise in inequality in the United States over the last three decades is an unfortunate side-effect of technological progress. In this story, technology has had the effect of eliminating tens of millions of middle wage jobs for factory workers, bookkeepers, and similar occupations.

These were jobs where people with limited education used to be able to raise a family with a middle class standard of living. However computers, robots and other technological innovations are rapidly reducing the need for such work. As a result, the remaining jobs in these sectors are likely to pay less and many people who would have otherwise worked at middle wage jobs must instead crowd into the lower paying sectors of the labor market.

This story is comforting to elites, because it means that inequality is something that happened, not something they did. They won out because they had the skills and intelligence to succeed in a dynamic economy, whereas the huge mass of workers that are falling behind did not. In this story, the best we can do for those left behind is empathy and education. We can increase opportunities to upgrade their skills in the hope that more of them may be able to join the winners.

That's a nice story, but the evidence doesn't support it. My colleagues Larry Mishel, John Schmitt, and Heidi Sheirholz, just published a paper showing that the pattern of job growth in the data doesn't fit this picture at all. This paper touches on a wide variety of issues related to technology and wage inequality, but first and foremost, it shows that the story of the hollowing out of the middle does not fit the data for the 2000s at all.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LuciferX on January 06, 2014, 02:56:49 am
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/25/technology-middle-class-jobs-policy

Quote
A widely held view in elite circles is that the rapid rise in inequality in the United States over the last three decades is an unfortunate side-effect of technological progress. In this story, technology has had the effect of eliminating tens of millions of middle wage jobs for factory workers, bookkeepers, and similar occupations.

These were jobs where people with limited education used to be able to raise a family with a middle class standard of living. However computers, robots and other technological innovations are rapidly reducing the need for such work. As a result, the remaining jobs in these sectors are likely to pay less and many people who would have otherwise worked at middle wage jobs must instead crowd into the lower paying sectors of the labor market.

This story is comforting to elites, because it means that inequality is something that happened, not something they did. They won out because they had the skills and intelligence to succeed in a dynamic economy, whereas the huge mass of workers that are falling behind did not. In this story, the best we can do for those left behind is empathy and education. We can increase opportunities to upgrade their skills in the hope that more of them may be able to join the winners.

That's a nice story, but the evidence doesn't support it. My colleagues Larry Mishel, John Schmitt, and Heidi Sheirholz, just published a paper showing that the pattern of job growth in the data doesn't fit this picture at all. This paper touches on a wide variety of issues related to technology and wage inequality, but first and foremost, it shows that the story of the hollowing out of the middle does not fit the data for the 2000s at all.

Without the middle, the few are more than the many.  Primitive mechanics stipulated that the advantage provided by leverage required a center upon which to turn.  Now, with the advent of computers, all we need to do the work is ones and zeros
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on January 06, 2014, 03:13:47 am
You didn't even read the damn article, did you?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LuciferX on January 06, 2014, 03:57:26 am
You didn't even read the damn article, did you?
My reader did.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on January 06, 2014, 10:42:28 am
You didn't even read the damn article, did you?

Who are you responding to, LMNO?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LuciferX on January 07, 2014, 05:57:03 am
Pills recreate optimal levels of brain plasticity - changing our noodle structure so we can learn things quickly and effortlessly like children again (just dont let yourself be fooled, this time):
http://www.npr.org/2014/01/04/259552442/want-perfect-pitch-you-could-pop-a-pill-for-that (http://www.npr.org/2014/01/04/259552442/want-perfect-pitch-you-could-pop-a-pill-for-that)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on January 07, 2014, 07:10:28 am
There are a few people on FB claiming that this drug kills your liver (overdose regime unspecified).

This, this is COOL.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on January 07, 2014, 09:18:31 am
The FBI has officially changed its factsheet (http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/01/05/fbi_drops_law_enforcement_as_primary_mission) to reflect it is a federally funded national security agency first, and not a crime investigation agency, as it previously claimed.

Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth from ahistorical liberals, who don't remember the FBI was denying the Mafia even existed, while infiltrating every chapter of the Communist Party.

The only difference is now they don't need to pretend any more.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on January 07, 2014, 09:59:01 am
For example, here is a quote from a Yale law professor in 1971:

Quote
"The inescapable message of much of the material wehave covered is that the FBI jeopardizes the whole system of freedom of expression which is the cornerstone of an open society . . . At worst it raises the specter of a police state . . . in essence the FBI conceives of itself as an instrument to prevent radical social change in America . . . the Bureau’s view of its function leads it beyond data collection and into political warfare."
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on January 07, 2014, 10:56:40 am
There's no chance that this change in remit is to open them up to new funding streams? It's not like there's a good bit of mystery in FBI funds anyway but perhaps the chance for NSA level funding makes it worth a shift in focus?

I'm just crazy anyway as I thought the purpose of the FBI was to investigate crimes that cross federal borders. I forgot it's actually for bullshit subversion and blackmail antics.

ETA- just had a thought that this may be boston bombing linked. Article mentions the general change of remit post 9/11, can't help but wonder if that ties in at all.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on January 07, 2014, 11:14:13 am
Most of what the FBI does nowadays comes under "counter-terrorism" anyway, to the point it's degraded the agency's capabilities to deal with organized or white collar crime (not that it had much of an interest in pursuing how those relate to terrorism and national security anyway...like how a banking collape could, you know, wreck the global economy, or even the relationship between big banks and money laundering).
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on January 07, 2014, 11:21:58 am
Which begs the question - Who's responsible for going after serious white-collar crime?

Local police departments tend to shy away from these cases because of the required time, resources and boundary issues. I can't help but suspect that we'll see the rise of some truly astonishing financial crimes in the next few years. By which I mean ones that make those to date look like pocket change.



Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on January 07, 2014, 11:26:19 am
What interests me is that the latest banking scam demonstrated just how easy it would be to destroy economy completely, like not our economy or their economy but the whole thing.

It also moved the world a step closer to the edge. I'm personally dying to see it actually happen, just for the inevitable lulzfest. Unfortunately I have no idea of how to pull it off  :sad:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on January 07, 2014, 11:35:10 am
Which begs the question - Who's responsible for going after serious white-collar crime?

The FBI, SEC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Securities_and_Exchange_Commission) or Treasury, depending on the particulars of the crime.  Sometimes a big DA's office, like New York City or Chicago could instigate an investigation using the above agencies.  Interpol as well, though they can only provide assistance, not take lead.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on January 07, 2014, 12:01:14 pm
What interests me is that the latest banking scam demonstrated just how easy it would be to destroy economy completely, like not our economy or their economy but the whole thing.

It also moved the world a step closer to the edge. I'm personally dying to see it actually happen, just for the inevitable lulzfest. Unfortunately I have no idea of how to pull it off  :sad:

Purchase one house.
Use said house as collateral for purchasing 2nd house.
Repeat until all houses owned by p3nt.
Refuse to service debt
????
Worldwide economic collapse.

Which begs the question - Who's responsible for going after serious white-collar crime?

The FBI, SEC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Securities_and_Exchange_Commission) or Treasury, depending on the particulars of the crime.  Sometimes a big DA's office, like New York City or Chicago could instigate an investigation using the above agencies.  Interpol as well, though they can only provide assistance, not take lead.

So only motivated parties then? From what I've seen DA's seem to mainly go after things that are easy to show the public as you being "Tough on crime".

I had assumed the SEC had a similar level of effectiveness to the FSA but from looking though here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_major_SEC_enforcement_actions_(2009%E2%80%9312)#2012
I may have been judging them a little harshly. That said, There appears to be no 2013 list which is unusual for Wikipedia. And those noted in the 09-12 list frequently have no comment on the results of the action and punishments levied which I assume means they're being appealed.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on January 07, 2014, 01:36:37 pm
What interests me is that the latest banking scam demonstrated just how easy it would be to destroy economy completely, like not our economy or their economy but the whole thing.

It also moved the world a step closer to the edge. I'm personally dying to see it actually happen, just for the inevitable lulzfest. Unfortunately I have no idea of how to pull it off  :sad:

Purchase one house.
Use said house as collateral for purchasing 2nd house.
Repeat until all houses owned by p3nt.
Refuse to service debt
????
Worldwide economic collapse.


Have you any idea how long that would take? It's not something that's so important to me I'm prepared to devote more than one lunch-hour to it, ffs!  :argh!:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on January 07, 2014, 08:58:02 pm
Most of what the FBI does nowadays comes under "counter-terrorism" anyway, to the point it's degraded the agency's capabilities to deal with organized or white collar crime (not that it had much of an interest in pursuing how those relate to terrorism and national security anyway...like how a banking collape could, you know, wreck the global economy, or even the relationship between big banks and money laundering).

Speaking of the FBI's "original purpose"....
http://www.npr.org/2014/01/07/260302289/the-secret-burglary-that-exposed-j-edgar-hoovers-fbi?ft=1
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on January 07, 2014, 10:44:16 pm
Bit of an aside, but I went for the "listen to this article" link and is it just me or do all the voices sound quite odd? Constant strange pauses makes it sound like it's been edited to fuck. Or shoved through some iffy text to speech program.



Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on January 08, 2014, 08:54:15 am
Most of what the FBI does nowadays comes under "counter-terrorism" anyway, to the point it's degraded the agency's capabilities to deal with organized or white collar crime (not that it had much of an interest in pursuing how those relate to terrorism and national security anyway...like how a banking collape could, you know, wreck the global economy, or even the relationship between big banks and money laundering).

Speaking of the FBI's "original purpose"....
http://www.npr.org/2014/01/07/260302289/the-secret-burglary-that-exposed-j-edgar-hoovers-fbi?ft=1

Yup, that's exactly it.  I didn't see COINTELPRO mentioned in the article by name, but that's a good place to start.  And the earlier Red Squads too.

And let's not forget that while the Iraq War was raging, the FBI decided the top counterterrorism priority in the USA was environmental terrorist groups, which it targeted in Operation Backfire and included...surveillance, infiltration, agent provocateurs and handed out life sentences for property damage.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: inode_buddha on January 12, 2014, 09:53:46 pm
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303819704579316584090630274?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303819704579316584090630274.html

Bank regulators soften up on fractional reserve limits in Basel.... say, didn't we have this financial thing a while back? Anyways, banks are saying that the new, higher limits are cramping their style and limiting their ability to lend... here we go again! :x
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on January 13, 2014, 12:25:54 am
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303819704579316584090630274?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303819704579316584090630274.html

Bank regulators soften up on fractional reserve limits in Basel.... say, didn't we have this financial thing a while back? Anyways, banks are saying that the new, higher limits are cramping their style and limiting their ability to lend... here we go again! :x

Why do you want to hurt the economy?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on January 24, 2014, 07:22:32 am
Quote
I made in a single year more than my mom made her whole life. I knew that wasn’t fair; that wasn’t right. Yes, I was sharp, good with numbers. I had marketable talents. But in the end I didn’t really do anything. I was a derivatives trader, and it occurred to me the world would hardly change at all if credit derivatives ceased to exist. Not so nurse practitioners. What had seemed normal now seemed deeply distorted.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/opinion/sunday/for-the-love-of-money.html?_r=0&referrer
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Left on January 24, 2014, 09:02:57 am
There are a few people on FB claiming that this drug kills your liver (overdose regime unspecified).

This, this is COOL.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/01/08/medicine-that-might-turbocharge-learning/

Quote
The side effects of valproic acid can include liver damage.  Hence, when the medicine is used clinically to treat seizures or bipolar disorder, liver function tests must be performed regularly, and blood levels of the medication must be monitored to keep its concentration from rising to toxic levels. 
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Reginald Ret on January 24, 2014, 02:19:21 pm
Whenever any of you takes an economist seriously, just remember how the GDP is calculated.
Quote from: wikipedia
Gross domestic product (GDP) is the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a year, or other given period of time.
That includes services, like a doggrooming service.
It probably includes Import/Export as well.
It also includes anything paid for by taxes, which should be registered as a drain on a nation's productivity and not as an addition.

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this, but my break is over,gtg.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on January 24, 2014, 07:01:47 pm
Quote
I made in a single year more than my mom made her whole life. I knew that wasn’t fair; that wasn’t right. Yes, I was sharp, good with numbers. I had marketable talents. But in the end I didn’t really do anything. I was a derivatives trader, and it occurred to me the world would hardly change at all if credit derivatives ceased to exist. Not so nurse practitioners. What had seemed normal now seemed deeply distorted.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/opinion/sunday/for-the-love-of-money.html?_r=0&referrer

This seems rather related:

http://money.cnn.com/2014/01/24/news/companies/dimon-pay/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Quote
n a government filing Friday, JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) said Dimon would receive $18.5 million worth of restricted stock that will vest over the next three years as his 2013 bonus. That's up from a $10 million bonus for 2012. His $1.5 million base salary remains unchanged.

The bank said its board considered "several key factors." Among them: JPMorgan's "sustained long-term performance" and its efforts to put its legal problems behind it.
Dimon, CEO and chairman, had his total 2012 pay slashed by about half to $11.5 million after JPMorgan suffered estimated trading loss of nearly $6 billion during the year attributed to a London trader known as the London Whale.
During 2013 the bank agreed to pay $1 billion in fines to U.S. and UK regulators for lack of proper oversight of its traders related to that loss.
But that was only a fraction the fines and legal expenses the bank shelled out during the year for a variety of transgressions.
SNL Financial estimates that total payouts by the bank came to $18.6 billion for 2013 alone, as well as more than $1 billion in attorney costs during the year.
Provisions for those payments forced the bank to report a loss in the third quarter, the first of Dimon's tenure as CEO. For the full year, the bank reported net income of $17.9 billion, down 16% from the previous year. But shares increased 33% during the year.

 
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on January 25, 2014, 06:10:51 am
Andrea Mitchell Had To Interrupt An NSA Discussion With Breaking Bieber News
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/24/andrea-mitchell-justin-bieber-nsa_n_4657934.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009


Yup, that just happened. And a "mainstream" newspaper called them out on it.  :fnord: :? :fnord:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on January 26, 2014, 12:06:18 am
Andrea Mitchell Had To Interrupt An NSA Discussion With Breaking Bieber News
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/24/andrea-mitchell-justin-bieber-nsa_n_4657934.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009


Yup, that just happened. And a "mainstream" newspaper called them out on it.  :fnord: :? :fnord:

That was... wow WTF?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LuciferX on February 04, 2014, 02:10:25 am
Skinny Puppy to invoice US for music played to Torture Terrorists
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsun/2014/01/skinny_puppy_we_spent_an_unnec.php (http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsun/2014/01/skinny_puppy_we_spent_an_unnec.php)

Quote
"We heard through a reliable grapevine that our music was being used in Guantanamo Bay prison camps to musically stun or torture people," founder cEvin Key explains by phone from his Los Angeles home. "We heard that our music was used on at least four occasions. So we thought it would be a good idea to make an invoice to the U.S. government for musical services, thus the concept of the record title, Weapons."
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on February 04, 2014, 04:52:09 am
Skinny Puppy to invoice US for music played to Torture Terrorists
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsun/2014/01/skinny_puppy_we_spent_an_unnec.php (http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsun/2014/01/skinny_puppy_we_spent_an_unnec.php)

Quote
"We heard through a reliable grapevine that our music was being used in Guantanamo Bay prison camps to musically stun or torture people," founder cEvin Key explains by phone from his Los Angeles home. "We heard that our music was used on at least four occasions. So we thought it would be a good idea to make an invoice to the U.S. government for musical services, thus the concept of the record title, Weapons."

It's a damn shame how our government runs around violating the hell out of copyright.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LuciferX on February 04, 2014, 08:36:15 am
Pimping the whore on weekends amounts to fair use.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on February 04, 2014, 09:13:08 am
Skinny Puppy to invoice US for music played to Torture Terrorists
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsun/2014/01/skinny_puppy_we_spent_an_unnec.php (http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsun/2014/01/skinny_puppy_we_spent_an_unnec.php)

Quote
"We heard through a reliable grapevine that our music was being used in Guantanamo Bay prison camps to musically stun or torture people," founder cEvin Key explains by phone from his Los Angeles home. "We heard that our music was used on at least four occasions. So we thought it would be a good idea to make an invoice to the U.S. government for musical services, thus the concept of the record title, Weapons."

It's a damn shame how our government runs around violating the hell out of copyright.

Something else here: Fucking stupidity as well as very late bandwagon hopping.

Let's go back about, oh, offhand say 10 years. Every other industrial band heard the same kind of shit about their music being used to torture prisoners because smudgy people hate guitar bands, right? Ministry cranked out "Houses of the Mole" which was pretty much 10/12 tracks of "Fuck George Bush". It is not a high point in his career. KMFDM? WW3, covering much of the same ground. I could mention more, but you get the idea. Skinny puppy around the same time were doing the reunion thing. Politics? Not so much.

So here we are, 10 years later. And suddenly reliable sources have let them get a little bit of press. It's going to be really groundbreaking shit I'm sure. The president of the US isn't a saint and war crimes are bad? Who would have ever thought?

While the albums done by Ministry, KMFDM and co were hardly high points of the careers, at least they did them at a time when they couldn't be accused of blatant fucking profiteering.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Bu☆ns on February 06, 2014, 02:40:57 pm
Not sure if this belongs here...but I suspect it does in some sense...

http://msn.foxsports.com/ufc/haymaker/george-zimmerman-to-face-dmx-in-celebrity-boxing-match-020514

Quote
“I am going to beat the living f**k out of him,” DMX said. … “I am breaking every rule in boxing to make sure I f**k him up right.”

DMX added that he would literally urinate on Zimmerman’s face.
 

If there WAS any justice in this world, they'd get R Kelly to do the later.

:lulz: 
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on February 07, 2014, 02:36:55 pm
Meh, FOX News confuses fame (or infamy) with celebrity, while DMX does his damndest to conform to the "black thug" stereotype (not that I probably wouldn't do the same...but nevertheless).

More interestingly, the UK's own NSA, GCHQ, carried out cyberattacks against Anonymous in 2011.  Why are we only hearing about this now?  Because fuck you pleb, that's why.

http://krypt3ia.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/assessment-operation-rolling-thunder/#rssowlmlink

Quote
It has come to light that the GCHQ (The UK’s NSA) took action against Anonymous by DDoS as well as the use of HUMINT and malware attacks to attempt to dissuade them from further actions. While this may be a surprise to some it is just a matter of action and reaction in the hive mind of the IC. Of course at one time there may have been more trepidation about carrying out direct action against quote unquote “dissidents” as some may call Anonymous but those days are long gone and one of the primary reasons such actions are easily rationalized now is because of terrorism. Terrorism used to mean blowing things up or taking hostages but now, with the 5th domain of cyber, that equation has changed greatly in the eyes of the worlds governments. Of course in this case it was the British carrying out the covert actions against the anonymous servers and users and as many know the Brits don’t have the most stellar first amendment record (D orders) and have a different perspective on what people have the right to do or say that may be considered civil disobedience. However, I should like to point out that it is highly likely that the UK did not act alone here and that it is probable that the NSA and the UKUSA agreements were in play here as well.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on February 17, 2014, 09:08:23 am
This has got to be worth a mention here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26222407

Quote
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has talked openly about the prospect of a coalition with Labour after the next general election.

He told a BBC documentary that Labour had changed and was realising it might have to share power with others.

Given how popular this government is, I find it hard to think that the liberal democrats are anything but done. The various actions taken in previous years have fucked chances for re-election to pieces where UKIP and the like are becoming increasingly viable options. Having a second party form part of your government for the sole purpose of carrying the can when the nasty policies come out may be the preferred option for future government. It keeps the 2 man con to 2 men and introduces everyone's favourite political tool - The scapegoat.

A future glorious career in politics is not likely to be in Cleggs future. In fairness all three "leaders" are dull shills in suits going through the motions. The script is known and the winners and losers established the only argument is in the details. Benefit cheats must be caught, but at exactly what price? To evict people from their homes do you send a team or a squad? Details matter, you see. 
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on February 17, 2014, 09:35:50 am
 :lulz:

Nick Clegg thinks he'll not only stay on as leader, but have enough MPs to make a coalition with him worth anyone's time.

 :lulz:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on February 17, 2014, 09:54:07 am
 :lulz:

Yeah, that too. Just another example of how you're allowed to detach yourself from political realities once you've got any kind of political power.

He must think he's going to do so well in the TV debates. He could black up do an impression of Tina Turner and it still wouldn't put him in a worse position than he is now.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on February 21, 2014, 05:01:56 pm
Holyshit, here's a double-whammy for you. 99.9% chance that various 'authorities' already enw about the connection I'm about to make below.

First off:
Birth Defects in Rural Washington Stun Experts
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/18/birth-defect-stuns-experts-washington_n_4808750.html
Quote
Doctors there are baffled by a cluster of local cases involving a birth defect known as anencephaly, in which babies are born with parts of their brain or skull missing. A study released last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed nearly two dozen such cases were reported from January 2010 through January 2013. This means that instances of anencephaly in rural Yakima County area are four times as high as the national estimate, ABC News points out.

Susie Ball of the Central Washington Genetics Program at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital recently told NBC News that she has reported “eight or nine” additional cases of anencephaly since the CDC's 2013 report.

The CDC and the Washington State Department of Health have yet to say exactly how many newborns in the counties of Yakima, Benton and Franklin were born with anencephaly. The agencies' study consisted of 27 women whose newborns had neural tube defects in 2010-2012; 23 of the babies were affected by anencephaly, but the CDC did not say whether these 23 were the total number of local infants born with the condition. The total number of infants born with the condition in 2013 has not yet been reported.

Researches used the women’s medical records to examine the hospitals where they gave birth, where they worked, if they smoked, drank alcohol or had any other diseases. The study did not find any unifying link.

NBC says no direct interviews have been conducted by the CDC and no mothers have been told that their heartbreaking cases might be connected.

"No statistically significant differences were identified between cases and controls, and a clear cause of the elevated prevalence of anencephaly was not determined," the report reads.

The report also indicates that it would monitor the issue only through 2013. In a statement to The Huffington Post, the CDC confirmed that it is still receiving updates from the Washington State Department of Health, but that nothing new has come in recently. The CDC will be reviewing the health department's analysis and expects to have a new report available in the spring.

Here's a second source:
'Bizarre' Cluster of Severe Birth Defects Haunts Health Experts
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/bizarre-cluster-severe-birth-defects-haunts-health-experts-n24986

Read it too. Note the "baffled" & "bizarre" terms and what those memes are meant to convey. Now, where is this happening? Let's pull up a map of Yakima, Washington:
Link: Yakima County Washington (https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=yakima+county+washington&aq=&sll=46.475699,-120.357971&sspn=1.592621,3.293152&vpsrc=0&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Yakima+County,+Washington&ll=46.54375,-120.756226&spn=1.590628,3.293152&t=m&z=9&iwloc=A)

Now, note that grey patch on the map to the right of the Yakima County borders, nestled between the town of Richland and the Saddle Mountain National Wildlife Refuge. THAT RIGHT THERE is the "Handford Nuclear Waste Storage Facility"... which was in the news earlier this week!

Whistle-Blower Who Raised Safety Concerns At Hanford Nuclear Reservation Fired
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/18/hanford-nuclear-reservation-whistle-blower-fired_n_4810421.html

Go ahead, I'll wait until you read that and let it sink in. Horrified yet?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on February 21, 2014, 05:07:25 pm
And, just in case there's any doubt that exposure to radiation might not cause these conditions, http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/encephalopathy/encephalopathy.htm.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on February 21, 2014, 11:23:08 pm
I wondered about that when I first saw it, but hadn't had time to follow it up.

I'm not surprised.  Unfortunately, because nuclear power falls under "national security", everyone will, of course, be baffled.  Just like it's baffling how everyone hates pork but so much of it gets spent on military contracts, or how the US fighting terrorism results in yet more. Utterly baffling.

The chief requirement for a national press position in the US seems to be the problem solving skills of a concussed duckling.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on February 22, 2014, 12:44:13 am
Yah, my face hurt from grinning to hard after reading that. Thanks for the laugh, Cain.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on February 23, 2014, 05:02:16 pm
Holyshit, here's a double-whammy for you. 99.9% chance that various 'authorities' already enw about the connection I'm about to make below.

First off:
Birth Defects in Rural Washington Stun Experts
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/18/birth-defect-stuns-experts-washington_n_4808750.html
Quote
Doctors there are baffled by a cluster of local cases involving a birth defect known as anencephaly, in which babies are born with parts of their brain or skull missing. A study released last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed nearly two dozen such cases were reported from January 2010 through January 2013. This means that instances of anencephaly in rural Yakima County area are four times as high as the national estimate, ABC News points out.

Susie Ball of the Central Washington Genetics Program at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital recently told NBC News that she has reported “eight or nine” additional cases of anencephaly since the CDC's 2013 report.

The CDC and the Washington State Department of Health have yet to say exactly how many newborns in the counties of Yakima, Benton and Franklin were born with anencephaly. The agencies' study consisted of 27 women whose newborns had neural tube defects in 2010-2012; 23 of the babies were affected by anencephaly, but the CDC did not say whether these 23 were the total number of local infants born with the condition. The total number of infants born with the condition in 2013 has not yet been reported.

Researches used the women’s medical records to examine the hospitals where they gave birth, where they worked, if they smoked, drank alcohol or had any other diseases. The study did not find any unifying link.

NBC says no direct interviews have been conducted by the CDC and no mothers have been told that their heartbreaking cases might be connected.

"No statistically significant differences were identified between cases and controls, and a clear cause of the elevated prevalence of anencephaly was not determined," the report reads.

The report also indicates that it would monitor the issue only through 2013. In a statement to The Huffington Post, the CDC confirmed that it is still receiving updates from the Washington State Department of Health, but that nothing new has come in recently. The CDC will be reviewing the health department's analysis and expects to have a new report available in the spring.

Here's a second source:
'Bizarre' Cluster of Severe Birth Defects Haunts Health Experts
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/bizarre-cluster-severe-birth-defects-haunts-health-experts-n24986

Read it too. Note the "baffled" & "bizarre" terms and what those memes are meant to convey. Now, where is this happening? Let's pull up a map of Yakima, Washington:
Link: Yakima County Washington (https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=yakima+county+washington&aq=&sll=46.475699,-120.357971&sspn=1.592621,3.293152&vpsrc=0&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Yakima+County,+Washington&ll=46.54375,-120.756226&spn=1.590628,3.293152&t=m&z=9&iwloc=A)

Now, note that grey patch on the map to the right of the Yakima County borders, nestled between the town of Richland and the Saddle Mountain National Wildlife Refuge. THAT RIGHT THERE is the "Handford Nuclear Waste Storage Facility"... which was in the news earlier this week!

Whistle-Blower Who Raised Safety Concerns At Hanford Nuclear Reservation Fired
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/18/hanford-nuclear-reservation-whistle-blower-fired_n_4810421.html

Go ahead, I'll wait until you read that and let it sink in. Horrified yet?

Hanford is one of those nightmares that everybody knows about, yet which the government refuses to admit is a problem. WE ALL KNOW IT'S LEAKING. WE ALL KNOW THAT THE EXTENT OF THE LEAKING IS FAR GREATER THAN ANYONE WILL ADMIT.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Red on February 24, 2014, 11:38:11 pm
Random mass Killing Attempt in Japan (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/23/1279803/-Random-Mass-Killing-Attempt-In-Japan). (Formatting is theirs, not mine)
Quote

Today in Nagoya, Japan a man attempted to kill as many people as he could (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/02/23/national/driver-held-after-running-over-13-pedestrians-in-nagoya/#.UwpMfazLd2k). He rented a car and then deliberately drove it into a crowd hitting whomever he could. His rampage ended when he struck a tree. He reportedly told police, "I tried to kill people with the car."

Thirteen people were injured. One man has a broken hip

There were no fatalities and as of this writing none of the victims is reported to be in a life-threatening condition.

A man flips out and goes on a rampage. It's an all too familiar story. However, in this case the man lived in Japan, where they do not have free access to firearms with large capacity magazines. He injured thirteen people and killed none.

There are dangerous crazy people in every culture in every part of the world.

There is only one developed nation where they have free and easy access to firearms.

That is our country and in our country when somebody flips out and goes on a rampage, there is inevitably a much higher body count.

Firepower matters.

We need strict and common sense gun laws now.

The Second Amendment was about preventing the central government from developing a standing army that could be used as an instrument to suppress states' rights. That theory was put to the test during the Civil War. It failed.

The Second Amendment is a dangerous anachronism and it ought to be repealed. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/07/04/881679/-The-Second-Amendment-is-a-Dangerous-Anachronism)

Ummm... doesn't this article just confirm that even without guns people still flip out and try to kill each other? In fact, it seems cars are a popular Japanese murder weapon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akihabara_massacre) and things like knives and baseball bats are still pretty effective. If I use the same logic as the reposter, shouldn't Japan ban all mentally disturbed people from driving, owning knives, or buying a baseball bat?

Another shining example of using a tenuous link to attempt to force others into doing things out of fear.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on February 24, 2014, 11:55:28 pm
Someone kills people with a car.  Ergo guns are bad.

 :lulz:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Reginald Ret on February 25, 2014, 02:18:06 pm
Someone kills people with a car.  Ergo guns are bad.

 :lulz:
Inaccurate, no one was killed in that story.

Not that that matters, it is still  :lulz:
I'm sure there are thousands of stories about people not killed by a crazy man with a gun, ergo cars should be banned?
I dunno. their kind of logic confuses me.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on March 03, 2014, 11:38:21 am
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/02/bob-packwood-lobbying-politics-103966.html?ml=m_pm#.UxR3ofl_sh1

How failed congressentities become successful lobbyists.

Utterly shocking, unending surprise abounds.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Random Probability on March 05, 2014, 01:07:11 pm
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/03/04/220161/cia-monitoring-of-senate-computers.html (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/03/04/220161/cia-monitoring-of-senate-computers.html)

So, apparently, the Senate doesn't like being spied on.   :lulz:  :lulz:  :lulz:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 05, 2014, 01:09:09 pm
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/03/04/220161/cia-monitoring-of-senate-computers.html (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/03/04/220161/cia-monitoring-of-senate-computers.html)

So, apparently, the Senate doesn't like being spied on.   :lulz:  :lulz:  :lulz:

DAWWWWWWWWWWW
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 05, 2014, 01:45:36 pm
Is the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee finally starting to remember why the Church and Pike Commissions occured?  Are they finally realising that when you let a wild dog off the leash, it's just as likely to end up biting you as your enemies?

I mean, it's not like the CIA hasn't been doing this to Gitmo defense lawyers for years.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on March 05, 2014, 03:57:41 pm
Hadn't seen that yet, thanks.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 06, 2014, 02:36:49 pm
It gets better (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/05/obama-cia-senate-intelligence-committee-torture):

Quote
A leading US senator has said that President Obama knew of an “unprecedented action” taken by the CIA against the Senate intelligence committee, which has apparently prompted an inspector general’s inquiry at Langley.

The subtle reference in a Tuesday letter from Senator Mark Udall to Obama, seeking to enlist the president’s help in declassifying a 6,300-page inquiry by the committee into torture carried out by CIA interrogators after 9/11, threatens to plunge the White House into a battle between the agency and its Senate overseers.

So this isn't the CIA being a rogue agency, necessarily.  This is the CIA serving the executive...by treating the Senate as the enemy.

If Udall's right, this is well into Nixonian territory. 
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on March 06, 2014, 02:46:23 pm
It's simply that Obama is really committed to taking the idea of "separation of powers" to its logical conclusion.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 07, 2014, 04:24:43 am
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/03/04/220161/cia-monitoring-of-senate-computers.html (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/03/04/220161/cia-monitoring-of-senate-computers.html)

So, apparently, the Senate doesn't like being spied on.   :lulz:  :lulz:  :lulz:

 :lol: Oh, how delightful is that?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 07, 2014, 01:17:57 pm
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/03/04/220161/cia-monitoring-of-senate-computers.html (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/03/04/220161/cia-monitoring-of-senate-computers.html)

So, apparently, the Senate doesn't like being spied on.   :lulz:  :lulz:  :lulz:

 :lol: Oh, how delightful is that?

I WEEP FOR THEM
I TRULY SYMPATHYZE...
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 09, 2014, 10:11:06 am
Some Daniel Hopsicker in the morning:

http://www.madcowprod.com/2014/03/06/christian-cult-leader-worked-tampa-black-ice-operation/#rssowlmlink

Quote
Douglas Aaron McClain Sr., 62, whose Argyll Equities was a shady and now-bankrupt “investment bank” in Boerne Texas which provided services to at least three drug smuggling operations, including supplying a DC-9 to a very-possibly criminal Tampa-based ICE-HSI drug operation, is awaiting trial on charges of defrauding a 74-year-old neuro-psychiatrist paralyzed in a motorcycle accident several years ago.

An investigation into McClain’s past has uncovered overwhelming evidence that he is a career financial criminal, who has sometimes rubbed elbows in fraudulent operations with famous and near-famous names, including Jimmy Carter Administration official Bert Lance, and, more surprisingly, Chip Carter.   

Moreover, during the 1970’s and 1980’s, McClain was one of the leaders of a bizarre Christian cult which grew to more than 10,000 members living on farms and ranches in wilderness areas on three separate continents, including remote corners of Colombia, Peru, and Guatemala.

According to an account in the New York Times, the cult—in which McClain was active for a decade and maintained cordial relations afterwards— also owned its own fleet of planes. 

Quote
“We were ready to charge him back in 2008,” said the retired detective in a recent phone interview.  “Then the local office of the FBI got involved. Everything we had, the Feds just kind of adopted as their own, and then took it over.”

“And when we’d ask what they were doing with it, they’d say, oh, we still have it.’ But that would be it. If I pressed them they’d get sort of deliberately vague. We worked a lot of cases with the Feds. I knew these guys personally, but they would not talk about  it.”

“It wasn’t normal. It was just very surprising to me," he stated. "I’m shocked that its taken so long to bring criminal charges against this guy.”
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 09, 2014, 10:53:50 am
And while I'm here, this is an interesting story about how Hollywood helped propagandize nuclear weapons:

http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/03/09/bombing-hiroshima-got-hollywood-makeover/

Quote
The Beginning or the End, which billed itself as “basically a true story,” opened across the country in March 1947 to mixed reviews. Time laughed at the film’s “cheery imbecility,” but Variety praised its “aura of authenticity and special historical significance.” Bosley Crowther, the New York Times critic, applauded its handling of the moral issues in portraying the “necessary evil” of the atomic attacks.

On the other hand, Harrison Brown, who had worked on the bomb, exposed some of the film’s factual errors in The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. He called the claim that warning leaflets had been showered on Hiroshima the “most horrible falsification of history.”

Physicist Leo Szilard knew what violence had been done to the truth. He summed it up this way: “If our sin as scientists was to make and use the bomb, then our punishment was to watch The Beginning or the End.”
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on March 23, 2014, 10:40:55 am
Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer has been in solitary confinement for tweeting from prison. (http://readwrite.com/2013/04/03/att-hacker-is-livetweeting-from-jail#awesm=~ozkIl1cpKcCzeB)

Quote
I am disgusted to have to write an actual paper letter but they took away all my electronic comms methods and put me in the special housing unit where I am under 24/7 lockdown. All this for the high crime of blogging, despite nation B.O.P. [Federal Bureau of Prisons] officials having made public statements that what I was doing wasn’t against the rules[...]

It has been a week of this and I feel completely alone and abandoned. I don’t even have my loved ones or attorney’s address (they took most of my papers and I happened to have your address on a property slip they didn’t toss). and am unsure when or if anyone will find out about my situation.

http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/13/hacker-andrew-auernheimer-placed-in-solitary-confinement-for-tweeting-from-prison/

The prosecutor who put him in prison admitted that he doesn't even know what Weev did. (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/03/lawyers-for-self-described-hacker-weev-contest-his-computer-fraud-conviction/) Listen to this shit:

Quote
We have a case here where…[the defense counsel] is arguing that this was completely open to everyone. But you look at the testimony of Daniel Spitler and the steps he had to take to get to this wide open Web and I’m flabbergasted that this could be called anything other than a hack. He had to download the entire iOS system on his computer. He had to decrypt it. He had to do all sorts of things—I don’t even understand what they are.

:lulz:

So what did Weev actually do?

Quote
“The ‘flaw’ in AT&T’s system was they put material on a public web server with no password, where there is an implicit license to access it,” he told me. “They put it on the library bookshelf. There was no unauthorized access, this material was available to anyone willing to type in a URL in an address bar. There was no ‘exploitation.’” He added, “I could have taken that list and made a shitton of money off of it, or had a botnet of a couple hundred thousand iPads. Instead I did the right thing. Like everyone that does the right thing in America, I was punished for it.”

http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/no-more-lulz-should-weev-the-world-s-most-notorious-troll-go-to-jail-for-hacking

Almost forgot to add, that Weev wasn't allowed to attend his own appeal. (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/mar/19/hacker-andrew-auernheimer-try-overturn-conviction)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: whenhellfreezes on March 24, 2014, 11:40:59 pm
Obama doesn't know what hes doing. Not dealing with holder, selectively choosing which laws to enforce etc. Our courts are out of control and the judges don't know computers.

Computers are just so damn complex and those who don't understand the human element of things are more likely to be good at computing. Women in IT would be nice though its currently infested with creeps and so nobody feels like cleaning house.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 25, 2014, 01:03:09 pm
Obama doesn't know what hes doing.

 :lulz:

Optimist.

 :lulz:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on March 27, 2014, 06:06:45 pm
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/document-points-to-nixon-in-my-lai-cover-up-attempt/

Quote
This past week marked the 46th anniversary of the My Lai massacre, in which 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were massacred by U.S. troops in 1968. It's one of the most shameful chapters in American military history, and now documents held at the Nixon Presidential Library paint a disturbing picture of what happened inside the Nixon administration after news of the massacre broke.

The documents, mostly hand-written notes from Nixon's meetings with his chief of staff H.R. "Bob" Haldeman, lead some historians to conclude that President Richard Nixon was behind the attempt to sabotage the My Lai trials and cover up what was becoming a public-relations disaster for his administration.

One document, scribbled by Haldeman during his Dec. 1, 1969, meeting with Nixon, reads like a threatening to-do list under the headline "Task force - My Lai." Haldeman wrote "dirty tricks" (with the clarification that those tricks be "not too high a level") and "discredit one witness," in order to "keep working on the problem."
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on March 27, 2014, 07:30:48 pm
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/document-points-to-nixon-in-my-lai-cover-up-attempt/

Quote
This past week marked the 46th anniversary of the My Lai massacre, in which 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were massacred by U.S. troops in 1968. It's one of the most shameful chapters in American military history, and now documents held at the Nixon Presidential Library paint a disturbing picture of what happened inside the Nixon administration after news of the massacre broke.

The documents, mostly hand-written notes from Nixon's meetings with his chief of staff H.R. "Bob" Haldeman, lead some historians to conclude that President Richard Nixon was behind the attempt to sabotage the My Lai trials and cover up what was becoming a public-relations disaster for his administration.

One document, scribbled by Haldeman during his Dec. 1, 1969, meeting with Nixon, reads like a threatening to-do list under the headline "Task force - My Lai." Haldeman wrote "dirty tricks" (with the clarification that those tricks be "not too high a level") and "discredit one witness," in order to "keep working on the problem."

LOLWUT
(http://www.japanfocus.org/data/hiroshima_afterbomb.jpg)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 29, 2014, 07:38:25 pm
Turkey may have been planning a false flag operation to justify intervention in the Syrian Civil War against ISIL

http://conflictantiquities.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/turkey-tomb-suleyman-shah-false-flag-operation-syria-war-provocation/

Quote
What was/is the plan?

The politics and logistics of invasion-by-provocation

Sinirlioğlu reminded Turkish Armed Forces’ Deputy Chief of Staff (Lieutenant General) Yaşar Güler that ‘there was no government decision’ on deployment of special forces and army battalions in northern Iraq, that they ‘managed that just with a single order’.

Lt. Gen. Güler demanded the stockpiling of at least six months’ arms and ammunition inside Syria to enable the establishment/maintenance of a long-term army war/occupation. Davutoğlu observed that Turkish armed forces had already been to and ‘come back from…. Çobanbey [Jawbān Bak in Aleppo Governate]‘. Davutoğlu made everything more explicit: ‘between doing that [sending tanks and establishing a long-term armed foothold] and triggering/declaring war, we are doing an operation’. How?

A false flag attack on the Tomb of Suleyman Shah to provoke and excuse an invasion of Syria

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu confided: ‘Just between us, Prime Minister [Recep Tayyıp Erdoğan] said that this (attacking the Tomb of Suleyman Shah) should also be considered an opportunity’.

Davutoğlu’s Under-Secretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu stated: ‘We’re going to portray this [as] Al-Qaeda, there’s no distress [public outcry/diplomatic protest] there if it’s a matter regarding Al-Qaeda. And if it comes to defending Suleiman Shah Tomb, that’s a matter of protecting our land…. [T]he whole world will be behind us.’

Agreeing with National Intelligence Organisation (Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı (MİT)) Director Hakan Fidan’s coy assessment, Sinirlioğlu calmly recognised that retaliatory Al-Qaeda ‘bombings are of course going to happen’. Why?

To do list, 2014: invade Syria; win elections; binge-watch Muhteşem Yüzyıl; ban Muhteşem Yüzyıl

    Brain: We must prepare for tomorrow night.
    Pinky: Why? What are we going to do tomorrow night?
    Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky – try to take over the world!

With Lt. Gen. Güler’s complete support, Sinirlioğlu complained that ‘national security ha[d] been politicized…. become a matter of domestic policy’.

Davutoğlu made it clear that Turkey had wanted to commit this attack in 2011, 2012 and 2013, but that it hadn’t been able to ‘get the human factor in order’; now it has. Fidan reported that Turkey had delivered 2,000 trucks’ worth of supplies to the rebels. [And it's delivered 160+ plane loads too.] And Sinirlioğlu and Güler affirmed that another order to supply more military material had already been given.

Cannot accept, can do

Fidan ‘[could not] accept’ that Turkey would risk military conflict ‘for the 22-28 soldiers’ in the Turkish exclave, but ‘[would not] risk it for the lives of millions of people’ in the Turkish borderlands; and Güler bitterly noted that ‘our Ministry of Foreign Affairs can never find a reason for the latter’.

Nevertheless, Fidan blithely stated: ‘I can send four men to the other side, and make them fire 8 missiles into deserted territory. It is not a problem! A justification can be created.’ Güler pointed out that ‘our forces there have been ready for a year, waiting’.

Since Sinirlioğlu had said that their retaliatory military offensive ‘should create a shocking effect’, and you can only guarantee a shocking retaliation when you control the triggering provocation as well, Fidan queried:

Why are we still waiting for the Tomb of Suleyman Shah [to be attacked]….[?] I can fabricate a justification…. If necessary, we can make an attack there ([against] the Tomb of Suleyman Shah) as well, there too, we [can] attack pre-emptively.

Given the history of the Turkish "Special Warfare Department", this isn't entirely surprising.  Or, as the author of the blog, Sam Hardy puts it, "Is this both the most dangerous and the most unsurprising secret plan yet?"

Indeed, previous "Al-Qaeda" attacks inside Turkey bear more than trace signs of derin devlet, with the specific group behind the bombings originally set up by the above Special Warfare Department to combat the influence of the secular PKK.

Poor little Turks.  They wanted to encourage a ravenous monster yet believed it would respect national boundaries and borders.  And then they realised it didnt, and so they wanted it shut down.  And maybe certain people in the military...well, you know black operations.  It's so very easy for funds to become...lost.  Dead insurgents tell no tales.  ISIL probably didn't even keep the receipts.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on March 30, 2014, 11:13:42 pm
Kansas City Sherrif SWAT-raids an ex-CIA couple. Hilarity ensues...

http://www.kctv5.com/story/23951053/leawood-family-seeks-7-million-for-swat-style

The side-bar has some interesting info:
Quote
Kansas City couple questions drug raid

A Kansas City couple says the DEA busted down their front door, and they did absolutely nothing wrong.

The address the DEA searched was in fact the one they got a warrant for, but the concern is about what sent the federal agents there - a photo and the GPS info attached to it.

Shanila Jimerson was already suffering from wrist and knee pain when agents told her to hit the floor, and a panic attack set in.

"All I seen was an AK and they say open the door," Jimerson said. "I started telling him, 'I'm getting sick, because I don't know what's going on. Please tell me what's going on.' And he was like, 'I don't know, shut up!'," she said.

It was 6:15 p.m. Thursday. Her husband says he answered the knock just as the battering ram hit.

"And he is like, 'Freeze. Freeze, don't move. Don't move.'," Marco Christian said.

A search warrant came back as "nothing seized."

Earlier that day, an undercover deal for $18,000 worth of methamphetamine went bad when the suspect got wise, led police on a chase, and wrecked.

Agents seized an iPhone from the suspect's car and found some photos of what appeared to be drug money. On those photos were geotags, latitude and longitude identifiers.

However, when KCTV5 keyed in that info, Christians' address appeared for one photo and a neighbor's home for the other, neither of which returned any local police activity in recent months.

Now, the Christians say they have mental and physical damage to deal with, and they want law enforcement to reconsider how useful the technology is.

"I just think they should make sure their evidence is more substantial than this, a photo with a longitude and latitude. Everybody knows a GPS is not totally 100-percent accurate," Christian said.

Authorities could not say how accurate the geotags on phones really are. The DEA referred KCTV5's Betsy Webster to the U.S. Attorney's Office where no one would comment due to the drug case being still under investigation.

And here is the main article:
Quote
Leawood family seeks $7 million for SWAT-style raid

Posted: Nov 12, 2013 6:13 PM PST
Updated: Feb 13, 2014 5:12 AM PST
By DeAnn Smith, Digital Content Manager - email
By Jeanene Kiesling, Reporter - bio | email

KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -
A Leawood couple is seeking $7 million in damages for what they said was a SWAT-style raid intended to find marijuana plants that instead turned up nothing.

The former CIA workers and their two young children on Tuesday sued in federal court in KCK. The lawsuit was filed against the Johnson County commissioners, Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning and various deputies involved in the 2012 raid.

Citing the pending lawsuit, Johnson County officials said they could not comment.

Adlynn and Robert Harte say they and their then 13-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter were mistakenly detained at gunpoint for hours as deputies in SWAT gear turned their Leawood home upside-down.

They said their trash was searched several times in the days leading up to the raid and that deputies made false assumptions and failed to do proper legwork before deciding that the family had a major marijuana-growing operation inside their basement.

"The Hartes - targeted as marijuana growers on the basis of innocent purchases and the brewing of loose tea leaves that they discarded in the trash - were intimidated, accused, traumatized and held under armed guard for 2 1/2 hours despite the fact it was clear on the warrant on its face rested on virtually no grounds," according to the lawsuit.

The family contends if any probable cause did exist that it vanished within three minutes of deputies arriving and finding the family's hydroponic garden contained only "scraggly" tomatoes, squash and melons.

They said two innocent activities occurring at the same time led to the false conclusions. Robert Harte wanted to grow a small indoor garden for a class project with his son, and his wife liked to brew high-end tea with loose leaves.

"It was obvious after the discovery of the vegetable plants that the prolonged and illegal search was aimed simply at uncovering something that would get the deputies off the hook for their improper actions," the lawsuit says. "But the Hartes had never used any type of drugs, and there was nothing to find."

Two drug-sniffing dogs were brought in, the family claims, but neither found anything. Deputies tried to claim then that the 13-year-old boy was using marijuana.

The couple said they left their jobs with the CIA to come to a quieter neighborhood to raise their children. Adlynn Harte is an in-house counsel at a financial services firm while Robert Harte is now a stay-at-home father. The family has lived in their Leawood home since 2004.

After the humiliating experience, they said they had to take the search warrant receipt stating, "No items taken," to show neighbors in an effort to prove that they weren't drug dealers living in the midst of a quiet neighborhood.

The couple previously went to court to force the sheriff's office to turn over documents related to the raid.

The couple said their ordeal began when a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper saw Robert Harte and his two children leave a hydroponic store that caters to organic gardeners with "a small bag of merchandise."

Eight months would lapse in between. The family maintains that in those eight months that deputies failed to conduct any surveillance, interview neighbors, conduct thermal imaging, check electrical records or look at their clean criminal history before conducting the raid.

The family says Denning's desire to get publicity for making raids and arrests caused the sloppy investigative work.

"The raids were not a legitimate law enforcement operation, but rather were part of a publicity binge intended to place the sheriff and the department in a positive light," the lawsuit says.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 31, 2014, 07:39:03 am
An addition to my earlier post:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/27/1287880/-John-Kerry-Encouraged-Turkish-Invasion-of-Syria

Quote
"Almost buried in a secret recording made of a meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's office which included intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, army deputy chief of staff Yasar Guler, and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu was the revelation that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry repeatedly asked about and seemed to encourage a Turkish invasion of Syria."
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 05, 2014, 04:55:56 pm
Calabria's most infamous company is doing well (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/26/ndrangheta-mafia-mcdonalds-deutsche-bank-study):

Quote
The 'Ndrangheta mafia from southern Italy made more money last year than Deutsche Bank and McDonald's put together with a turnover of €53bn (£44bn), a study has claimed.

The study by the Demoskopika research institute detailed the international crime syndicate's sources of revenue, including drug trafficking – which brought in an estimated €24.2bn – and illegal garbage disposal, which earned it €19.6bn.

The southern Italian mafia earned the equivalent of 3.5% of Italy's gross domestic product (GDP) last year, said the report based on analysis of documents from Italy's interior ministry and police, parliament's anti-mafia commission and the national anti-mafia task force.

The 'Ndrangheta is thought to have about 400 key "operatives" in 30 countries, but its activities are believed to involve as many as 60,000 people worldwide, the report said.

Extortion and usury last year brought in a substantial €2.9bn, while embezzlement earned the mafia €2.4bn and gambling €1.3bn. Arms sales, prostitution, counterfeiting goods and people-smuggling were less lucrative, bringing in less than €1bn together.

Meanwhile, the Italian government has sent troops to Naples (http://www.gazzettadelsud.it/news/english/85782/Gov-t-sending-100-troops-to-fight-ecomafia-in-Naples-area.html) to combat the Camorra:

Quote
Italy's government is sending 100 military troops to fight the so-called ecomafia in the area between Naples and Caserta, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Monday. The illegal burning of toxic waste in the area has led to it being dubbed the "land of fires".

With 90 clans and 4,000 affiliates active in the region, the powerful Naples-based Camorra mafia has long infiltrated the rubbish-collection industry and has raked in huge profits even as its illegal dumps and uncontrolled burning of waste and other toxic materials have been blamed for unusually high levels of cancer and other disease linked to pollution that will plague future generations.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on April 11, 2014, 12:24:39 pm
Seriously, give the intercept another look. Underwhelming start is progessing into some really excellent articles:

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/03/28/us-takes-break-condemning-tyranny-celebrate-obamas-visit-saudi-arabia/

Quote
What made Cameron’s statement so notable wasn’t the trite tactic of depicting opposition to western intervention as tantamount to support for dictators. That’s far too common to be noteworthy (if you oppose the war in Iraq, you are pro-Saddam; if you oppose intervention in Libya, you love Ghaddafi, if you oppose US involvement in Ukraine, you’re a shill for Putin, etc. etc.). What was so remarkable is that David Cameron – the person accusing Galloway of supporting every “brutal Arab dictator” he can find – is easily one of the world’s most loyal, constant, and generous supporters of the most brutal Arab despots. He has continuously lavished money, diplomatic support, arms and all sorts of obsequious praise on intensely repressive regimes in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, and Egypt. That this steadfast supporter of the worst Arab dictators could parade around accusing others of supporting bad Arab regimes was about as stunning a display of western self-delusion as I could have imagined . . .

Quote
Until this week. Tommy Vietor was President’s Obama National Security Council spokesman during the first term. He left to form a consulting firm (along with Obama’s former speechwriter Jon Favreau) that trades on his White House connections by forming messaging and communications strategies for corporations that have extensive business with the government, although he still literally adorns the walls of his home with multiple large posters of President Obama (see this remarkable 3-minute video profile of Vietor and his new work, which a friend sent with the title “the care and feeding of a young imperial bureaucrat” (it features a bonus pre-Snowden quote angrily condemning the Chinese for hacking)). Vietor’s function, which he performs quite faithfully, is simple: to express and embody the most conventional, defining views of official imperial Washington about itself.

Quote
And then there’s the closest US ally of them all, which also just happens to be one of the world’s most brutally repressive regimes: the House of Saud. During Vietor’s tenure, the administration revealed “plans to offer advanced aircraft to Saudi Arabia worth up to $60 billion, the largest US arms deal ever, and is in talks with the kingdom about potential naval and missile-defense upgrades that could be worth tens of billions of dollars more.” Five months ago, the Pentagon announced “plans to sell Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates $10.8 billion in advanced weaponry, including air-launched cruise missiles and precision munitions,” a package that “includes the first US sales to Middle East allies of new Raytheon and Boeing weapons that can be launched at a distance from Saudi F-15 and UAE F-16 fighters.” The Obama White House has repeatedly affirmed its “strong partnership” with the Saudi tyranny.

I'm sure you're all shocked and amazed. It's not often you see actual journalism nowadays.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on April 11, 2014, 12:27:29 pm
Seriously, have a read around it:
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/03/07/nsa-advice-columnist-seriously/

Quote
What if the National Security Agency had its own advice columnist? What would the eavesdroppers ask about?

You don’t need to guess. An NSA official, writing under the pen name “Zelda,” has actually served at the agency as a Dear Abby for spies. Her “Ask Zelda!” columns, distributed on the agency’s intranet and accessible only to those with the proper security clearance, are among the documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The columns are often amusing – topics include co-workers falling asleep on the job, sodas being stolen from shared fridges, supervisors not responding to emails, and office-mates who smell bad. But one of the most intriguing involves a letter from an NSA staffer who complains that his (or her) boss is spying on employees.

In the letter, which Zelda published in a column on September 9, 2011, the employee calls himself “Silenced in SID” – referring to the Signals Intelligence Directorate, the heart of the NSA’s surveillance operations. Zelda’s column, headlined “Watching Every Word in Snitch City,” offers an ironic insight into a spy agency where the spies apparently resent being spied upon.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Reginald Ret on April 11, 2014, 01:08:32 pm
Seriously, have a read around it:
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/03/07/nsa-advice-columnist-seriously/

Quote
What if the National Security Agency had its own advice columnist? What would the eavesdroppers ask about?

You don’t need to guess. An NSA official, writing under the pen name “Zelda,” has actually served at the agency as a Dear Abby for spies. Her “Ask Zelda!” columns, distributed on the agency’s intranet and accessible only to those with the proper security clearance, are among the documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The columns are often amusing – topics include co-workers falling asleep on the job, sodas being stolen from shared fridges, supervisors not responding to emails, and office-mates who smell bad. But one of the most intriguing involves a letter from an NSA staffer who complains that his (or her) boss is spying on employees.

In the letter, which Zelda published in a column on September 9, 2011, the employee calls himself “Silenced in SID” – referring to the Signals Intelligence Directorate, the heart of the NSA’s surveillance operations. Zelda’s column, headlined “Watching Every Word in Snitch City,” offers an ironic insight into a spy agency where the spies apparently resent being spied upon.
MWHAHAHAA THAT IS HILARIOUS!
Thanks for the link, bookmarking when i get home.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on April 11, 2014, 01:42:24 pm
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/document/2014/03/07/silenced-sid/

The lack of irony is breathtaking.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 11, 2014, 04:05:38 pm
I'm sorry, but any publication that has only just discovered USAID is involved in subversion abroad and works as a proxy for the CIA is too dumb and historically ignorant to report critically on national security issues.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on April 11, 2014, 04:47:18 pm
Wow, really?

Ignore above commendations, that's just embarrassing.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 11, 2014, 04:53:19 pm
Especially when its founder works with USAID himself.  Pierre Omidyar was quite involved in events in Ukraine.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 11, 2014, 06:02:01 pm
http://www.stanforddaily.com/2014/01/13/palo-alto-delays-car-dwelling-ban-enforcement-for-a-year/

Delays, not abolishes.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 11, 2014, 06:17:30 pm
I can't decide whom I hate more.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/11/militias-head-nevada-ranchers-standoff-feds-were-n/
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on April 11, 2014, 09:04:02 pm
I'm sorry, but any publication that has only just discovered USAID is involved in subversion abroad and works as a proxy for the CIA is too dumb and historically ignorant to report critically on national security issues.

On his last blog post at Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi said he's going to be working for First Look Media. So at least the parent company has someone reliable in the pipeline, though not necessarily the Intercept.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 11, 2014, 10:15:15 pm
I can't decide whom I hate more.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/11/militias-head-nevada-ranchers-standoff-feds-were-n/

Uuuugh, saw a lot of this one today.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Luna on April 12, 2014, 12:42:26 am
I can't decide whom I hate more.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/11/militias-head-nevada-ranchers-standoff-feds-were-n/

Uuuugh, saw a lot of this one today.

Yeah, I'm trying to make sense of it from what I can gather...  Sounds like the rancher's family HAS always used the land... but it always PAID the required fees to do so, until this guy decided to stop in 1993.  They've been fighting with him for twenty years, have gotten a court order for him to move his cattle off public land, he's basically said, "screw you, touch my cows and I'll shoot your dumb ass."  Then, when they finally came to get his cows, he was offended that they brought guns, used a taser on his kid, and is basically yelling for any yahoo with a gun to come shoot the evil feds for him.

Did I miss anything?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 12, 2014, 06:07:55 pm
I'm sorry, but any publication that has only just discovered USAID is involved in subversion abroad and works as a proxy for the CIA is too dumb and historically ignorant to report critically on national security issues.

On his last blog post at Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi said he's going to be working for First Look Media. So at least the parent company has someone reliable in the pipeline, though not necessarily the Intercept.

Yeah, I'm not sure how I feel about that particular move.

I mean, Taibbi, Marcy Wheeler and Jeremy Scahill are all great journalists, with a good history of muckracking.  But Pierre Omidyar is intimately involved in how The Intercept is run (according to Scahill, he uses the internal messaging system more than anyone else at The Intercept, and is heavily involved in every story that is run), so I'm definitely getting a feeling that this may be a limited hangout, with Pierre and, to a lesser extent, Greenwald, acting as the gatekeepers and self-appointed guardians of "responsible whistleblowing".

I mean, Greenwald summed up the whole Cuba affair as "this is just one propaganda technique among a sea of them" which, while true, is also the kind of comment which can suggest this is not worth paying much attention to.  That does worry me.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 12, 2014, 07:21:43 pm
I can't decide whom I hate more.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/11/militias-head-nevada-ranchers-standoff-feds-were-n/

Maybe this will help.  The Houston Freethinkers, vis something called the "National Liberty Federation", posted this image

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t1.0-9/s526x395/10152436_734879106564978_4458335089254174558_n.jpg)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on April 12, 2014, 07:56:53 pm
I can't decide whom I hate more.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/11/militias-head-nevada-ranchers-standoff-feds-were-n/

Maybe this will help.  The Houston Freethinkers, vis something called the "National Liberty Federation", posted this image

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t1.0-9/s526x395/10152436_734879106564978_4458335089254174558_n.jpg)

Waiiiiit, what?  :lol: These people have no idea what "socialism" is, do they?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 12, 2014, 07:58:55 pm
Of course they do, they're freethinkers.  They're free to think socialism is whatever they want it to be.  Stop imposing your socialist tyrannical narrative on them.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on April 12, 2014, 08:02:27 pm
I think I'm getting the hang of this. When the government lets THEM have access to a publicly-owned resource for free, that's "freedom". When the government lets someone ELSE have access to a public resource for free, that's "socialism".
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 12, 2014, 09:04:51 pm
Nah, I see this as totally political.

His family has maintained the lands roads and waterways there for about a hundred years (giving them certain "easement" rights) and paid fees to the state to use the land as seasonal grazing. The current controversy is that the feds declared the area "tortoise habitat", deemed that superseded any contracts they ranchers had with the state, and that the cut herds to 10% of previous numbers and pay them the fees to continue grazing. That meant from over 1k cattle to 150. He refused, took them to court and stopped paying any fees to the feds.

Now, they're confiscating cattle and euthanizing most of them.

This all starts to sounds like "yay environment" until you learn that the feds also plan to kill 700 tortoises (half) in the local federally funded conservatory nearby: http://linkis.com/www.rawstory.com/rs/XROjg

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 12, 2014, 09:08:09 pm
That sounds like something Joe Stalin would do.  Obama's tortoise Holodomor must be stopped.

OK, seriously, I do feel kinda bad for the rancher.  And I suppose I cannot fault him for running to the only people who appear to give a shit, even if they are retards who think Obama's the next incarnation of Ho Chi Minh.  And really don't give a shit, beyond pushing their "anything less than full metal JOHN GALT is the next coming of Lenin" nonsense.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 12, 2014, 09:14:40 pm
Hence my reaction of "Uuuugh..."  :lulz: Such a face-palm worthy situation.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on April 12, 2014, 10:59:18 pm
I'm sorry, but any publication that has only just discovered USAID is involved in subversion abroad and works as a proxy for the CIA is too dumb and historically ignorant to report critically on national security issues.

On his last blog post at Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi said he's going to be working for First Look Media. So at least the parent company has someone reliable in the pipeline, though not necessarily the Intercept.

Yeah, I'm not sure how I feel about that particular move.

I mean, Taibbi, Marcy Wheeler and Jeremy Scahill are all great journalists, with a good history of muckracking.  But Pierre Omidyar is intimately involved in how The Intercept is run (according to Scahill, he uses the internal messaging system more than anyone else at The Intercept, and is heavily involved in every story that is run), so I'm definitely getting a feeling that this may be a limited hangout, with Pierre and, to a lesser extent, Greenwald, acting as the gatekeepers and self-appointed guardians of "responsible whistleblowing".

I mean, Greenwald summed up the whole Cuba affair as "this is just one propaganda technique among a sea of them" which, while true, is also the kind of comment which can suggest this is not worth paying much attention to.  That does worry me.

That's good to know.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 13, 2014, 04:38:38 am
I think I'm getting the hang of this. When the government lets THEM have access to a publicly-owned resource for free, that's "freedom". When the government lets someone ELSE have access to a public resource for free, that's "socialism".

And the nonstop nervous breakdown of the right continues.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 13, 2014, 04:51:25 am
(https://scontent-b-lax.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1.0-9/1534472_623846807682265_1830491067810788960_n.jpg)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on April 13, 2014, 07:57:31 am
Nah, I see this as totally political.

His family has maintained the lands roads and waterways there for about a hundred years (giving them certain "easement" rights) and paid fees to the state to use the land as seasonal grazing. The current controversy is that the feds declared the area "tortoise habitat", deemed that superseded any contracts they ranchers had with the state, and that the cut herds to 10% of previous numbers and pay them the fees to continue grazing. That meant from over 1k cattle to 150. He refused, took them to court and stopped paying any fees to the feds.

Now, they're confiscating cattle and euthanizing most of them.

This all starts to sounds like "yay environment" until you learn that the feds also plan to kill 700 tortoises (half) in the local federally funded conservatory nearby: http://linkis.com/www.rawstory.com/rs/XROjg

Do you have some better articles that tie this issue into the land-use story at all?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on April 13, 2014, 08:01:44 am
I ask partly because of the lack of any connection whatsoever of tortoise habitat or preservation or any mention of the above at all in all previous stories. I'm also curious about your source.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the S
Post by: hirley0 on April 13, 2014, 03:23:57 pm
I ask partly because of the lack of any connection whatsoever of tortoise habitat or preservation or any mention of the above at all in all previous stories. I'm also curious about your source.
eveN though i have no idea what you are referring too.. this anyway}
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Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Emo Howard on April 14, 2014, 05:54:35 am
I haven't been able to find any good sources on the story either. It's mostly right-wing loony sites saying it's a conspiracy between George Soros and Warren Buffet to steal his land because it's full of gold, platinum and uranium, also Buffet needs it for his solar panels or something.

The rest is mostly left-leaning sites just saying "Sheesh! These guys, again. Amirite?"

It seems the original legislation in question was an executive order from Reagan, but then in 1993 the Bureau of Land Management changed the rules on account of the endangered tortoise, and he stopped paying.

Reagan's executive order on grazing fees:
http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1986/21486b.htm

A short article from Mediamatters:
http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/04/11/the-nevada-tortoise-war-is-a-right-wing-false-f/198860





Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Emo Howard on April 14, 2014, 06:39:46 am
We know one thing. We know that armed "Militia" can run around ready to engage government officials, and there doesn't seem to be much that anyone is going to do about it.

Makes me wonder what would happen if a bunch of people with guns showed up to show their support for the government.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on April 14, 2014, 06:57:25 am
What, like some kind of Armed Force that's operated and owned by the government directly?

That'll never catch on.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 14, 2014, 08:00:32 pm
That's what I'm saying, this story has become Overly Politicized. You can't read a story about it without running into "X political party's memes/narrative".

Point in case, this is a good look at the story but is written from an attack PoV (although, this story _does_ link to some court case documents which is rare from the stories I've read):
http://aattp.org/debunked-cliven-bundy-cattle-not-seized-by-blm-for-fracking-or-chinese-solar-panel-projects/
Quote
Libertarians and teanuts far and wide have gathered unto Cliven Bundy’s sacred sheath of land for one purpose: LIBERTY! Or something. Nevermind that said liberty comes by way of simply ignoring federal claims on land that their hero doesn’t own. This isn’t about a bunch of people simply crying because they don’t like the law, or having to obey it. Nor, is it about using threats of violence to affect government policy — i.e “terrorism.”

Nope…this one’s all about Harry Reid, the Chinese, Fracking, and Illuminati Lizard Men cunningly disguised as desert tortoises.

Here's a local story that give some more details on the lead-in to the current situation:
http://mesquitelocalnews.com/sections/opinion/editorials/cliven-bundy-hero.html

I've even used "Million Short" (a search engine which scrapes the first million hits from a google search, and shows you what's left), and all I get is current stories. After ignoring a million hits.

So, regardless of this rancher's position or "rights", this has become a narrative to fight over. Winner take all, baby.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: von on April 14, 2014, 10:07:05 pm
Makes me wonder what would happen if a bunch of people with guns showed up to show their support for the government.

There are militiae like this, but they are far less prolific in their media presence because they're simply less interesting...plus most of the people they would attract are already into forces/movements that are more..."normal".

Anyway, they exist in two forms for the most part.

The first are so-called "state defense forces" that some states maintain. They're typically volunteer forces that have a military command structure, and are even integrated into the official state political system. Most of these, however, are unarmed and primarily used as volunteer relief units for shit like minor natural disasters or other things like that.

The second group here would be simply non anti-government "unorganised" militiae. In this sense, "unorganised" means that they do not answer to the official political system directly, but often try to contract with the official government and tend to be more politically moderate than the "obama is a bolshevik nigger" crowd.
These groups often are armed, but they claim it is primarily for hypothetical invasion scenarioes, and because one of their more frequent uses is as a sort of cheap security solution for poor counties to contract with for public events, etc.
Although they try to maintain the aire of legitimacy by contracting with official governments, often times they can only find clientele within the ranks of underfunded county-level governments who need things like traffic control or event security on the cheap -- and even in these cases, the sheriffs that hire them tend to be buddy-buddy with the militiamen themselves to some degree.
Outside of state work, this type of militia tends to do "unofficial" relief work in remote regions that would normally be too difficult for official emergency management agencies to reach...however, in most cases, because they are armed, don't answer to political authority directly, and aren't privy to an EMAs plan of operations, they tend to be moreso bumblingly obstructionist than helpful in a "captain linger" sort of way.
...and of course, there's always the chance that such a unit is really a sneaky anti-federalist militia that's simply making local level government contacts so as to appear legitimate for PR reasons.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 14, 2014, 10:12:52 pm
A well rounded look at the issues:
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/04/the-irony-of-cliven-bundys-unconstitutional-stand/360587/
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Trivial on April 15, 2014, 12:32:11 am
http://www.thewildlifenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Order-US-v.-Bundy-7-9-13.pdf (http://www.thewildlifenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Order-US-v.-Bundy-7-9-13.pdf)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on April 16, 2014, 11:34:10 am
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27032642

Quote
A food bank charity says it has handed out 913,000 food parcels in the last year, up from 347,000 the year before.

The Trussell Trust said a third were given to repeat visitors but that there was a "shocking" 51% rise in clients to established food banks. It said benefit payment delays were the main cause.

In a letter to ministers, more than 500 clergy say the increase is "terrible".

The government said there was no evidence of a link between welfare reforms and the use of food banks.

Yes, I live in a land where we use the word "Austerity" multiple times daily yet there is no connection at all between austerity and poverty.

NO CONNECTION. AT ALL.

Quote
The clergy from all major dominations, who include Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan and several senior Church of England bishops, describe the increase in the use of Trussell Trust food banks as "terrible", in a letter to the government.

They insist it does not give a full picture of hunger in the UK because it does not include people who are too ashamed to use food banks and others who are cutting the size of meals.

I really wish numbers were available on that. I'm sure it's happening and I'm reasonably certain about which age ranges it's probably happening the most in. But no worries eh? We're a modern nation capable of anything including starving folk. It's how we show ourselves to be more civilised than others.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 16, 2014, 01:28:21 pm
Prince Bandar, international politics tutor to George W Bush, Iran-Contra player, former Saudi Ambassador to the USA, has stepped down as head of Saudi intelligence.

No reason has been given so far, and he is currently tipped to be replaced by his deputy, General Yousef Al Idrissi.

No reading tea leaves on this one today, but worth making a note of.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on April 16, 2014, 01:31:03 pm
Very interesting.

At a total guess, I'd say he was becoming a bit too high profile and had made a number of potentially damaging statements. Probably best for him to get back into the shadows where he can get up to shit with a little less oversight and attention.

Total speculation, but like you say, worth watching.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on April 24, 2014, 03:34:36 pm
http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/we-talked-to-matt-taibbi-about-criminalized-poverty-and-why-wall-street-is-above-the-law

Quote
Broadly speaking, how does the justice system treat you when you don't have money?

You get the individual attention of a human being in the criminal justice system if you're a person of means, whereas if you're a nobody you fall into this machine. It's very merciless, as I tried to document in the book—once you get put into this meat grinder, it's very very difficult to get somebody to listen to you and to your individual story, whatever it may be, while if you're a person on the other side, you get to pay a phalanx of lawyers to have a sit-down with people at the highest levels of the criminal justice system and make a personal plea, and they may very well listen to you. That's the difference: a machine for the people at the bottom and a human being for the person at the top.

Quote
Are judges basically just tax collectors now, appropriating wealth from the poor?
There is actually a bizarre financial motive that drives a lot of this behavior. There are all sorts of little and not-so-little financial unfairnesses that are built into the system. One that drove me nuts was this idea that whenever you get arrested, you have to have a DNA test done and you have to pay for that. You have to pay for your own lab test, your own disenfranchisement. There are other little things, like the fact that when you are at Chase or HSBC and get fined a gazillion dollars, you can write that off as a deduction, whereas if you get a speeding ticket or you have to pay for your DNA test or pay a $250 processing fine for a prostitution conviction, you can't write that off. We're almost subsidizing white-collar crime at the top, whereas at the bottom there are all these ways we're squeezing people who don't have money anyway. There's this really awkward comic element to the whole thing, where if you're sitting and watching this over and over again, it does start to become funny and upsetting at the same time.

Taibbi describing Horrormirth.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 24, 2014, 05:29:13 pm
Good find!

Now this.

http://www.oregonlive.com/newsflash/index.ssf/story/homeland-securitys-top-watchdog-altered-reports-senate/c03d9eef5b015793671dfb296e39a9f1
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on April 24, 2014, 07:24:04 pm
L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. used spy plane to watch Compton
http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-compton-surveillance-20140424,0,3710359.story#ixzz2zpkCWlmw

After secret air surveillance of Compton, mayor wants protections
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-air-surveillance-compton-mayor-wants-protections-20140424,0,6911829.story#ixzz2zpkHbvRO
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on May 21, 2014, 11:51:23 am
Stinks.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/rival-militias-prepare-for-showdown-in-tripoli-after-takeover-of-parliament/2014/05/19/cb36acc2-df6f-11e3-810f-764fe508b82d_story.html?wpsrc=AG0003336

Quote
Two weeks before he masterminded an assault on two major Libyan cities, Khalifa Hifter hosted a dinner to court a potential ally. Hifter was normally a confident man, a former general who had gone on to spend years in Northern Virginia as an exiled opposition leader before returning home for the 2011 Libyan revolution.

Quote
As a young army officer, Hifter took part in the coup that brought Gaddafi to power in 1969. But Hifter switched sides in the late 1980s, after he was captured while fighting for Gaddafi’s army in a war in neighboring Chad.

He became the leader of a rebel group called the Libyan National Army, which he claimed received U.S. assistance. He later sought refuge in the United States. He apparently became a U.S. citizen — he voted in Virginia in elections in 2008 and 2009, records show.

One member of a prominent Libyan opposition family who knew Hifter when both were living in Northern Virginia noted that he and his family were comfortable. Hifter resided in Falls Church until 2007 and later in a five-bedroom home in a quiet neighborhood in Vienna, near the golf course of the Westwood Country Club. He sold the second home in 2010 for $612,000, according to public records.

“They lived a very good life, and nobody knows what his source for compensation was,” said the acquaintance, who added that Hifter’s family was not originally wealthy.

A cynical person might think that this chap has been having some substantial resources shoved at them. That person might start thinking that Hifter is being primed to take over the role vacated by Ghaddafi some years back.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on May 21, 2014, 01:06:33 pm
Pretty sure this is the CIA backed "Libyan warlord" who was mentioned when the bombing campaign in Libya actually started.  Check news sources from that period, it's pretty obvious who his backers are.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on May 22, 2014, 09:59:28 am
Will have to have a look at the historical side, I've honestly lost all track of Libya fuckery at this point.

Totally unsurprising chart:
http://www.npr.org/2014/05/19/312455680/state-by-state-court-fees

and related article:
http://www.npr.org/2014/05/19/312158516/increasing-court-fees-punish-the-poor

Quote
n Augusta, Ga., a judge sentenced Tom Barrett to 12 months after he stole a can of beer worth less than $2.

In Ionia, Mich., 19-year-old Kyle Dewitt caught a fish out of season; then a judge sentenced him to three days in jail.

In Grand Rapids, Mich., Stephen Papa, a homeless Iraq War veteran, spent 22 days in jail, not for what he calls his "embarrassing behavior" after he got drunk with friends and climbed into an abandoned building, but because he had only $25 the day he went to court.

The common thread in these cases, and scores more like them, is the jail time wasn't punishment for the crime, but for the failure to pay the increasing fines and fees associated with the criminal justice system.

Looks like debtors prisons are back with a slightly new face.

Quote
A state-by-state survey conducted by NPR found that defendants are charged for many government services that were once free, including those that are constitutionally required. For example:

In at least 43 states and the District of Columbia, defendants can be billed for a public defender.
In at least 41 states, inmates can be charged room and board for jail and prison stays.
In at least 44 states, offenders can get billed for their own probation and parole supervision.
And in all states except Hawaii, and the District of Columbia, there's a fee for the electronic monitoring devices defendants and offenders are ordered to wear.

If you can't pay for justice, don't expect any.

Quote
In Washington state, for example, there's 12 percent interest on costs in felony cases that accrues from the moment of judgment until all fines, fees, restitution and interest are paid off in full. As a result, it can be hard for someone who's poor to make that debt ever go away. One state commission found that the average amount in felony cases adds up to $2,500. If someone paid a typical amount — $10 a month — and never missed a payment, his debt would keep growing. After four years of faithful payments, the person would now owe $3,000.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on May 22, 2014, 11:13:49 am
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/03/26/111109/new-rebel-leader-spent-much-of.html

Quote
The new leader of Libya's opposition military spent the past two decades in suburban Virginia but felt compelled — even in his late-60s — to return to the battlefield in his homeland, according to people who know him.

Khalifa Hifter was once a top military officer for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, but after a disastrous military adventure in Chad in the late 1980s, Hifter switched to the anti-Gadhafi opposition. In the early 1990s, he moved to suburban Virginia, where he established a life but maintained ties to anti-Gadhafi groups.

It's just coincidence he chose to live in suburban Viriginia, with its easy access to both DC and Langley.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on May 22, 2014, 11:50:42 am
I tried to think of something amusing but failed miserably. It seems to be exactly what it looks like and it's probably a bad sign for the future.

 
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on September 04, 2014, 01:23:02 pm
So on the nose for this thread, I nearly stopped laughing for a minute:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29052861

Quote
Ed Miliband has accused the SNP of attempting to "con" Scottish voters into believing independence was the only way to achieve social justice.

The Labour leader described the Conservatives as "divided and demoralised" and predicted a Labour government "is on its way".

Again, no further reading is required, it's a classic bout of two man con. Conservatives claim almost identical things about Labour and the whole circus continues.

I think it was Nigel who suggested a while ago about making clown costumes mandatory for cops to weed out those who are just on authoritarian power trips. It's tempting to push for something similar for politicians. If you're going to act like one, at least have the fucking decency to look the part.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on October 23, 2014, 02:17:52 am
So I was reading through this article (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/17/us/politics/fbi-director-in-policy-speech-calls-dark-devices-hindrance-to-crime-solving.html?emc=edit_th_20141017&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=30254405&_r=2), when a sentence jumped out at me and something in my patternmatching software went *click*:

Quote
The Snowden disclosures about the surveillance carried out by the National Security Agency killed all those proposals. Now Mr. Comey appears to be going even further, seeking a way into data stored on phones even if it is never transmitted. And he wants to make sure that Apple, or other phone manufacturers, do not “throw away the key” that allows that information to be unencrypted. The companies, meanwhile, are going the other way: They want to convince customers that their data will be private, even from the phone’s maker.

“Just as people won’t put their money in a bank they won’t trust, people won’t use an Internet they won’t trust,” Brad Smith, the general counsel for Microsoft, said recently.

Recognizing America’s suspicion of government surveillance, Mr. Comey has based his argument on the need to conduct investigations into child pornographers and kidnappers, not terrorists. The office of the director of national intelligence and the N.S.A. have deliberately stayed out of this argument, leaving the issue to Mr. Comey.

But under questioning from Benjamin Wittes, a cybersecurity expert at Brookings, and from reporters and audience members, Mr. Comey made clear he was speaking only for the F.B.I. As a result, he made no commitment that the N.S.A. or other American intelligence agencies would never exploit the technology that could unencrypt data.


No. Fuck you. You and plague ridden horse you ride in on. You're all quite terrified of a future where all these little networks of SERIOUS FUCKS you've setup all over the world (including mafia, cartelistos, terrorists, child-pornographers, arms dealers, etc) will suddenly be able to *poof* vanish into the crowd if you don't have actual eyes on them. The tech companies are threatening to cut the strings on all of your Kites at once. It has you pissing your shorts.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on November 03, 2014, 08:30:26 am
http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/11/02/the-deep-state-plots-the-1980-defeat-of-jimmy-carter/

Quote
The Safari Club was an alliance between national intelligence agencies that wished to compensate for the CIA’s retrenchment in the wake of President Carter’s election and Senator Church’s post-Watergate reforms. As former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal once told Georgetown University alumni,
Quote
In 1976, after the Watergate matters took place here, your intelligence community was literally tied up by Congress. It could not do anything. It could not send spies, it could not write reports, and it could not pay money. In order to compensate for that, a group of countries got together in the hope of fighting Communism and established what was called the Safari Club. The Safari Club included France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Iran. (1)

After Carter was elected, the Safari Club allied itself with Richard Helms and Theodore Shackley against the more restrained intelligence policies of Jimmy Carter, according to Joseph Trento. In Trento’s account, the dismissal by William Colby in 1974 of CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton,
Quote
combined with Watergate, is what prompted the Safari Club to start working with [former DCI Richard] Helms [then U.S. Ambassador to Iran] and his most trusted operatives outside of Congressional and even Agency purview. James Angleton said before his death that “Shackley and Helms … began working with outsiders like Adham and Saudi Arabia. The traditional CIA answering to the president was an empty vessel having little more than technical capability.”
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on November 03, 2014, 11:25:45 am
Somewhat related to the Verison thread, article covering links between  Pierre Omidyar, "microtransactions" (read: loans with a new name) and systemic debt:

https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/extraordinary-pierre-omidyar/

Quote
The idea behind micro-loans is very simple and seductive. It goes something like this: the only thing that prevents the hundreds of millions of people living in extreme poverty from achieving financial success is their lack of access to credit. Give them access to micro-loans—referred to in Silicon Valley as "seed capital"—and these would-be successful business-peasants and illiterate shantytown entrepreneurs would pluck themselves out of the muck by their own homemade sandal straps. Just think of it: hundreds of millions of peasants working as micro-individuals, taking out micro-loans, making micro-rational investments into their micro-businesses, dutifully paying their micro-loan payments on time and working in concert to harness the deregulated power of the markets to collectively lift society out of poverty. It's a grand neoliberal vision.

To that end, Omidyar has directed about a third of the Omidyar Network investment fund—or about $100 million—to support the micro-lending industry. The foundation calls this initiative "financial inclusion."

Shockingly, micro-loans aren't all that they've cracked up to be. After years of observation and multiple studies, it turns out that the people benefiting most from micro-loans are the big global financial players: hedge funds, banks and the usual Wall Street hucksters. Meanwhile, the majority of the world’s micro-debtors are either no better off or have been sucked into a morass of crippling debt and even deeper poverty, which offers no escape but death.

ETA - Seriously, this is some really horrifically evil shit. Even by my standards.

Note - SKS is a Omidyar backed/funded entity:
Quote
"Both reports said SKS employees had verbally harassed over-indebted borrowers, forced them to pawn valuable items, incited other borrowers to humiliate them and orchestrated sit-ins outside their homes to publicly shame them. In some cases, the SKS staff physically harassed defaulters, according to the report commissioned by the company. Only in death would the debts be forgiven.

"The videos and reports tell stark stories:

"One woman drank pesticide and died a day after an SKS loan agent told her to prostitute her daughters to pay off her debt. She had been given 150,000 rupees ($3,000) in loans but only made 600 rupees ($12) a week.

"Another SKS debt collector told a delinquent borrower to drown herself in a pond if she wanted her loan waived. The next day, she did. She left behind four children.

"One agent blocked a woman from bringing her young son, weak with diarrhea, to the hospital, demanding payment first. Other borrowers, who could not get any new loans until she paid, told her that if she wanted to die, they would bring her pesticide. An SKS staff member was there when she drank the poison. She survived.

"An 18-year-old girl, pressured until she handed over 150 rupees ($3)—meant for a school examination fee—also drank pesticide. She left a suicide note: 'Work hard and earn money. Do not take loans.'"

Quote
"First they were stripped of their utensils, furniture, mobile phones, televisions, ration cards and heirloom gold jewelry. Then, some of them drank pesticide. One woman threw herself in a pond. Another jumped into a well with her children.

"Sometimes, the debt collectors watched nearby."

Quote
It was subprime lending fraud taken to the poorest regions of the world, stripping them of what little they had to live on. It got to the point where the Chief Minister of Andrah Pradesh publicly appealed to the state’s youth and young women not to commit suicide, telling them, "Your lives are valuable."

It's an almost impressive level of evil to target the poorest regions of the world with the sole motive of sticking them in eternal debt to boost your profit line.

The notable thing for me here is it again highlights the nature of the system. Money must flow upwards in greater amounts at all costs or all is lost, cats and dogs living together, snakes everywhere etc. etc.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on November 03, 2014, 02:23:13 pm
It's shit like this that makes me want the Old Testament God to exist.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on November 03, 2014, 03:03:39 pm
It's shit like this that makes me want the Old Testament God to exist.

It's shit like this that starts making me think that perhaps it does, and it's got much more inventive over the years.

Why turn everyone to salt and rain fire when you can set it up so they'll do it to themselves?

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Emo Howard on November 03, 2014, 07:38:37 pm
Muhammad Yunus (the guy who came up with, and received a Nobel Prize for microfinance) taught at my school for a while. I remember being quite optimistic about the idea at the time.

That'll teach me.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on November 03, 2014, 07:49:25 pm
Muhammad Yunus (the guy who came up with, and received a Nobel Prize for microfinance) taught at my school for a while. I remember being quite optimistic about the idea at the time.

That'll teach me.

When the money men have a great idea that they want to talk about, they probably aren't having a fit of altruism. 

You may notice that anytime an HR person talks about "restructuring benefits", they don't mean they just had a spasm of generosity.  No, they mean they're going to fuck your benefits like a sex-crazed weasel.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on November 03, 2014, 08:43:16 pm
Muhammad Yunus (the guy who came up with, and received a Nobel Prize for microfinance) taught at my school for a while. I remember being quite optimistic about the idea at the time.

That'll teach me.

It's another questionable Nobel prize award for sure. That said, there's been somewhat questionable awards ever since Milton Fuckwit Fuckwit Friedman Fuckwit.

I think probably my favourte Nobel fuckup, excluding the joke that is the Peace award, would have to be Antonio Moniz though. Name not familiar? The word "Lobotomy" might be.

Quote
n 1949, the neurologist António Egas Moniz received the Physiology or Medicine Prize for his development of the prefrontal leucotomy. The previous year Dr. Walter Freeman had developed a version of the procedure which was faster and easier to carry out. Due in part to the publicity surrounding the original procedure, Freeman's procedure was prescribed without due consideration or regard for modern medical ethics. Endorsed by such influential publications as The New England Journal of Medicine, leucotomy or "lobotomy" became so popular that about 5,000 lobotomies were performed in the United States in the three years immediately following Moniz's receipt of the Prize.

There's a dollop on Freeman and the various horrors he inflicted with his lobotomobile. I'm not even joking there, there was a fucking lobotomobile. Google it. Right fucking now. Google "Lobotomobile" and you can see Freeman, who I must stress is not a surgeon and is now remembered for developing the "Ice pick method".


Roger, I take back the above. An old testament god would be much more preferable to whatever kind of batshit insanity this is. At least you know where you stand with fire and brimstone. Away. You stand away pushing your neighbours towards it.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on November 03, 2014, 09:19:09 pm
Muhammad Yunus (the guy who came up with, and received a Nobel Prize for microfinance) taught at my school for a while. I remember being quite optimistic about the idea at the time.

That'll teach me.

It's another questionable Nobel prize award for sure. That said, there's been somewhat questionable awards ever since Milton Fuckwit Fuckwit Friedman Fuckwit.

I think probably my favourte Nobel fuckup, excluding the joke that is the Peace award, would have to be Antonio Moniz though. Name not familiar? The word "Lobotomy" might be.

Quote
n 1949, the neurologist António Egas Moniz received the Physiology or Medicine Prize for his development of the prefrontal leucotomy. The previous year Dr. Walter Freeman had developed a version of the procedure which was faster and easier to carry out. Due in part to the publicity surrounding the original procedure, Freeman's procedure was prescribed without due consideration or regard for modern medical ethics. Endorsed by such influential publications as The New England Journal of Medicine, leucotomy or "lobotomy" became so popular that about 5,000 lobotomies were performed in the United States in the three years immediately following Moniz's receipt of the Prize.

There's a dollop on Freeman and the various horrors he inflicted with his lobotomobile. I'm not even joking there, there was a fucking lobotomobile. Google it. Right fucking now. Google "Lobotomobile" and you can see Freeman, who I must stress is not a surgeon and is now remembered for developing the "Ice pick method".


Roger, I take back the above. An old testament god would be much more preferable to whatever kind of batshit insanity this is. At least you know where you stand with fire and brimstone. Away. You stand away pushing your neighbours towards it.

This thread is making "A Million Ways to Die in the West" look downright comfy.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on November 03, 2014, 09:28:17 pm
I had to google that and now have another reason to just hate everything.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on November 04, 2014, 01:14:43 am
I had to google that and now have another reason to just hate everything.

It had a couple of funny moments, but it was mostly gratuitous gore that made me very uncomfortable.

Let me say that again:  It made ME uncomfortable.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on November 06, 2014, 06:02:10 pm
Um.  Wow.

https://www.emptywheel.net/2014/11/05/was-alex-brown-a-cia-front-when-it-was-shorting-911/

tl;dr version: Bank chairman is CIA NOC - turns out his company was shorting United and American stocks pre-9/11
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on November 06, 2014, 06:27:31 pm
Oh, that's just ugly.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on November 09, 2014, 08:50:33 am
Saw this when Cain posted it to FB. Very ugly.  :evilmad:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on November 09, 2014, 09:24:07 am
You know I'm not one to believe the standard 9/11 truther tales.  So I'm having something of a hard time trying to fit this into a narrative I can accept.  There are other possibilities, but as evidence, if this is accurate, it does lend the strongest support to some kind of pre-event knowledge specifically involving those airlines.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: N E T on November 10, 2014, 08:55:06 am
You know I'm not one to believe the standard 9/11 truther tales.  So I'm having something of a hard time trying to fit this into a narrative I can accept.  There are other possibilities, but as evidence, if this is accurate, it does lend the strongest support to some kind of pre-event knowledge specifically involving those airlines.

What narratives do you find most plausible at this point?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on November 10, 2014, 11:04:32 am
The one I tend to believe is that elements of the US intelligence community were unofficially following a "hands off" approach to Bin Laden's group due to his support to the Chechen rebels, as part of their plans to undermine Russia and create conditions for state collapse (in hope of reducing Russian influence over gas and oil routes into Europe).

Elements of the Saudi Arabian government were also supporting Bin Laden, in a general fashion, to expand their influence over Afghanistan and Pakistan, along with the ISI, who hoped to use them and the Taliban for "strategic depth" against India.  I doubt the specifics of 9/11 were known to them, except perhaps a few individuals (Hamid Gul, associates of Turki bi Faisal al-Saud who later died in specific circumstances), but they were willing to write cheques, exert influence and turn a blind eye.

And in addition to that, the usual administrative incompetence (the White House was sabre-rattling with China, not focused on the Mid East at all) and the intelligence community lack of cooperation and general rivalry/lack of intelligence sharing, allowed 9/11 to occur.

There's also the drugs angle, highlighted by Hopsicker, but I'm not sure how that fits in, either.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on November 16, 2014, 08:39:17 pm
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/10/us-usa-courts-banking-iran-idUSKCN0IU1Q120141110

U.S. veterans sue banks, claim they should pay for Iraq attacks
BY ALISON FRANKEL
Quote
Reuters) - Wounded U.S. veterans and family members of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq sued five European banks on Monday, seeking to hold them responsible for shootings and roadside bombings because they allegedly processed Iranian money that paid for the attacks.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, named Barclays Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Standard Chartered.

Barclays, Credit Suisse, RBS and Standard Chartered declined to comment. HSBC did not respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit was brought under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act, a 1992 law that permits victims to bring private suits against alleged financiers of militant operations.

The lawsuit alleges the banks conspired with Iranian banks to mask wire transactions in order to evade U.S. sanctions. The Iranian banks then funneled more than $100 million to militant groups that operated in Iraq at Iran's direction, according to the suit.

The militant groups included a Shi'ite militia in Iraq, Kataib Hezbollah, as well as Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the suit says.

Since 2009, the five banks have agreed to pay about $3.2 billion to the U.S. government to resolve allegations that they handled money in violation of sanctions against nations such as Iran, Libya and Cuba. All the banks signed deferred prosecution agreements with the U.S. Justice Department in addition to settlements with U.S. banking regulators.
.....
[MORE] (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/10/us-usa-courts-banking-iran-idUSKCN0IU1Q120141110)


Very interesting. May actually see some legal responsibility for shady shit. We'll see.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on November 17, 2014, 06:33:45 pm
While that would be nice, I doubt it will occur. I suspect we will instead see another charming instance of how the Law system deals with those in positions of substantial power. I'm not expecting to see anyone in jail any time soon, let's put it that way.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on November 17, 2014, 08:13:28 pm
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/14/government-planes-mimic-cellphone-towers-to-collect-user-data-report

 :fnord:
Quote
The US justice department is reportedly using electronic equipment on aircraft to simulate cellphone towers so it can collect phone location and identifying information on a mass scale from users on the ground below.


The allegations, reported in the Wall Street Journal late on Thursday, suggest that the US Marshals Service has for seven years flown Cessna aircraft outfitted with “dirtbox” devices that mimic cellular towers, permitting the collection of thousands of unique IDs and location data from users.


According to the Journal the planes operate from at least five metropolitan airports, permitting a “flying range covering most of the US population”.


The reportedly indiscriminate collection would permit the marshals and potentially other justice department agencies to avoid having to seek records from the phone companies themselves, especially in criminal investigations where a court order may be required.

The legal basis for the previously undisclosed program is unclear. It is not reportedly a national security or counterterrorism program, but instead used to target crime. The justice department is said to have modified the equipment so as not to interfere with 911 emergency calls.

....
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition Squid on November 25, 2014, 05:31:24 pm
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/25/-sp-tesco-director-facing-questions-lobbying-government-dirty-chicken-report

(As a warning, some of the pictures in that article are pretty disgusting)

Quote
Exclusive: Former FSA chief Tim Smith understood to have warned Department of Health that revealing food poisoning contamination rates could provoke a food scare and damage the industry

Quote
The former head of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), who went straight from his job as regulator to a lucrative role as technical director of Tesco, lobbied the government this summer about its plans to publish the official food poisoning contamination rates for supermarket chicken, the Guardian has been told.

So the dude who used to be in charge of public health, warned that if people knew how contaminated their food is, that might provoke a panic and damage the bottom line. Also, he did this in violation of the agreement that made it legal for him to jump ship to one of the UK's biggest food retailers.

You rarely see their priorities laid out so clearly.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on November 25, 2014, 06:05:03 pm
That's almost beautiful.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on November 26, 2014, 03:33:03 am
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/25/-sp-tesco-director-facing-questions-lobbying-government-dirty-chicken-report

(As a warning, some of the pictures in that article are pretty disgusting)

Quote
Exclusive: Former FSA chief Tim Smith understood to have warned Department of Health that revealing food poisoning contamination rates could provoke a food scare and damage the industry

Quote
The former head of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), who went straight from his job as regulator to a lucrative role as technical director of Tesco, lobbied the government this summer about its plans to publish the official food poisoning contamination rates for supermarket chicken, the Guardian has been told.

So the dude who used to be in charge of public health, warned that if people knew how contaminated their food is, that might provoke a panic and damage the bottom line. Also, he did this in violation of the agreement that made it legal for him to jump ship to one of the UK's biggest food retailers.

You rarely see their priorities laid out so clearly.

This is a recurring theme in the USA.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on November 26, 2014, 08:20:25 am
Also interesting to note that he went to Tesco.

Tesco are coming in for a lot of flak lately.  Their financial misdeeds, along side this, and their government connections almost makes them sound like the Goldman Sachs of the retail and food industry.

And I'm not sure that isn't a very apt comparison.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on November 26, 2014, 02:07:07 pm
How long are Tesco going to exist as a thing now that ze germans are invading (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/lidl-and-aldi-pose-biggest-supermarket-threat-ever-9191275.html)? Just saying - problem might resolve itself.  :evil:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on December 01, 2014, 07:06:47 pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh0InepmCwQ&list=UUswH8ovgUp5Bdg-0_JTYFNw

Credit where's it's due, Russell Brand and George Monbiot doing a nice breakdown of the implications of the TTIP, which is going to do all kinds of crap to all kinds of places.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition Squid on December 07, 2014, 04:36:39 pm
Just in case anyone was forgetting the UK also has plenty of racism...

http://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/dec/07/judge-resigns-racist-remark-about-victim-richard-hollingworth

Quote
An immigration judge has been forced to resign as a district judge after making a racist remark about a crime victim.

Richard Hollingworth was hearing a case of harassment at Preston magistrates court when he told officials to bring the victim, Deepa Patel, to court because he wanted to complete his sentencing that afternoon.

The prosecutor, Rachel Parker, said she thought it was too short notice and didn’t know whether Patel could get the time off work.

Hollingworth asked where she worked, and Parker said she did not know. The judge replied: “It won’t be a problem. She won’t be working anywhere important where she can’t get the time off. She’ll only be working in a shop or an off-licence.”

Parker asked what he meant, and Hollingworth replied: “With a name like Patel, and her ethnic background, she won’t be working anywhere important where she can’t get the time off. So that’s what we’ll do.”

At that point Parker withdrew from the case, telling the judge: “I am professionally embarrassed. I cannot prosecute this case.”
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 07, 2014, 05:41:49 pm
Just in case anyone was forgetting the UK also has plenty of racism...

http://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/dec/07/judge-resigns-racist-remark-about-victim-richard-hollingworth

Quote
An immigration judge has been forced to resign as a district judge after making a racist remark about a crime victim.

Richard Hollingworth was hearing a case of harassment at Preston magistrates court when he told officials to bring the victim, Deepa Patel, to court because he wanted to complete his sentencing that afternoon.

The prosecutor, Rachel Parker, said she thought it was too short notice and didn’t know whether Patel could get the time off work.

Hollingworth asked where she worked, and Parker said she did not know. The judge replied: “It won’t be a problem. She won’t be working anywhere important where she can’t get the time off. She’ll only be working in a shop or an off-licence.”

Parker asked what he meant, and Hollingworth replied: “With a name like Patel, and her ethnic background, she won’t be working anywhere important where she can’t get the time off. So that’s what we’ll do.”

At that point Parker withdrew from the case, telling the judge: “I am professionally embarrassed. I cannot prosecute this case.”

Wowwwwwww. :facepalm:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition Squid on December 15, 2014, 12:24:47 pm
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/dec/15/leaked-document-labour-strategy-counter-ukip-threat-immigration

This is quite interesting - well, not the document, but the reporting on it.

Quote
An internal Labour document sent to the party’s MPs has urged them to combat the electoral threat from Ukip by talking about the pressures immigration places on services such as health and housing.

Quote
It also says “Volunteers and activists must understand and acknowledge electors’ concerns about immigration on the doorstep, which will mean hearing opinions that may not gel with their own. In these cases, it’s important to remember that first phase of re-establishing trust is to listen and understand.

“Our focus must instead be moving the conversation on to issues where we have clear policy which tackles the problems people are worried about, whether they express those concerns through the prism of immigration or not.”

The damage in the paragraph potentially lies in the implication that voters do not understand the root causes of their concern about immigration.

Cue a lot of politicians with mealy-mouthed responses, because you can't outright tell someone they do not understand something.

But actually, they're right. People don't understand the issues, because the Right have lied, distorted and manipulated so hard that 'the immigrants' have become the root of all our ills - not slashed budgets, a false recovery, or the steady erosion of worker's rights. All these things are laid at the door of 'the immigrants', even though immigration has more to do with the solution than the problem. Because most immigrants work and pay their taxes, which is pretty fucking vital when you've got an ageing population with the elderly starting to outnumber the young.

Labour are terrified of outright stating the truth - they're so desperate not to seem 'out of touch' with people (even though those people are out of touch with reality) they are actually willing to don the 'prism' of racist rhetoric in order to try and obfuscate their true beliefs and get back into power. Because they believe the british public are too stupid to listen to and understand their argument.

What makes me really depressed is that they may be right in thinking that.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on December 15, 2014, 01:52:07 pm
The thing that always gives me the shits with people blaming immigration for X woe is that you're targeting an inherently vulnerable group with fuck all political power and sway. To me, it's equivalent to targeting the homeless or mentally ill.

The sickening part is where it's encouraged by political ideologies to protect their own interests. It's blatantly obvious why Farage bleats on about immigration instead of Banking. Same for the conservatives. Same for Labour. These people all have substantial backing and interests to protect.

Here's an interesting idea - Actually enforce the tax regime that you legally have the right to do so. Once everyone's actually coughing up the correct amount then there may be some kind of basis for attacking those with fuck all.

It would be nice to see a few attacks on Russian oligarchs with the "IMMIGRANTS!" tone. I'm being silly of course, if you've got any wealth you're not the same as those other immigrants.


Here's the final irony, for me anyway, I'm currently running jobs in Holland and Germany. I've had more than a few people try and blame their woes on "these people" terkin' der jerbs and they can't understand why what I am doing is essentially exactly the same thing. Apparently what I'm doing is OK, but the other way round is VERBOTEN. If you can work that out, you're doing better than I.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition Squid on December 15, 2014, 01:58:11 pm
Well, the subtext here is that Labour - at least - acknowledge that immigrants aren't the problem and their people don't want to buy into that rhetoric (because otherwise, they wouldn't need to add the 'hold your nose' type tone...). I think most Tory and all UKIP politicans bar potentially Farage himself actually do believe the bullshit they spew - so at least they believe they are acting in the right way, even if it is misguided.

But rather than take the fight to the right wing and explain why it is bullshit, they'd rather concede that point in the rhetoric (and thus, sell out the immigrant community) which is ... not as bad, I guess. But it is disappointing.

(Incidentally, when I watched Question Time I was reminded why I try not to talk politics with my dad - nothing like a reasonably intelligent man calling Enoch Powell a 'genius' to remind you how smart people can believe stupid things)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on December 15, 2014, 02:01:51 pm
The thing that always gives me the shits with people blaming immigration for X woe is that you're targeting an inherently vulnerable group with fuck all political power and sway. To me, it's equivalent to targeting the homeless or mentally ill.

It's also the go-to solution for fascism, when a foothold needs to be solidified.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on December 15, 2014, 02:18:31 pm
Quote
I think most Tory and all UKIP politicans bar potentially Farage himself actually do believe the bullshit they spew - so at least they believe they are acting in the right way, even if it is misguided.

Horseshite.

Farage, and to a greater or lesser extent all UK politictians have become obsessed with the battle over the middle which is one of the reasons they now appear so similar. They are similar. The policies on offer are in reality no different to the suit next door. I strongly doubt that any of them believe much of anything, they will literally say the thing that has the opportunity of getting the most votes.

Here's a thing, If I said whatever it took to get you to give me a cheque, I could easily be done for fraud. Did we notice that all political parties dropped the "recall MP's" idea? I did. Did we also notice how Labour is talking about how it's austerity will be less austere than others? I did.

You've got the songbook set and if you want in the club you'll sing the fucking song.


Quite simply, the purpose of parliament and government should be to regulate the power of those entities with more influence than the general populace. In reality, the UK Governments have successively done deals with these entities for their own private gain. It's not a co-incidence that the top chap at HMRC does a deal with companies over their tax and gets to walk into a cushy job which has "conflict of interest" written all over it. That's not even the most galling example.

Quote
But rather than take the fight to the right wing and explain why it is bullshit, they'd rather concede that point in the rhetoric (and thus, sell out the immigrant community) which is ... not as bad, I guess. But it is disappointing.

Horseshite again.

It is as bad, and personally I call it worse. You're showing what should be your potentially most loyal voting base that you don't give a fuck and you'll throw them under a bus to try and win over Gladys Worthering-smythe-fortesque, who shares none of their interests or concerns and actively blames them for the nation's woes.

I guess it's an easy out for all concerned. If the target has already been picked (By whom, I wonder?) why bother pointing out that better, easier RICHER target over there? You know the targets that dodges tax, controls the media and influences government directly and indirectly? If you think I'm referring to anyone in particular there, I would note that there's easily at least a dozen names that could apply to.

Joining in with this shit and being part of the club that will kick those with minimal financial and political power is just shitty. And I say that anyone that does so is a shitty, shitty person indeed.


It'd be nice to see Immigrants say "Fuck this bullshit" and down tools for a day nationwide to see the effect. Unlikely to happen as they'd probably all get sacked for such a thing. I bet the papers would have some interesting headlines though. Probably blame them all twice as hard.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on December 15, 2014, 02:19:00 pm
The thing that always gives me the shits with people blaming immigration for X woe is that you're targeting an inherently vulnerable group with fuck all political power and sway. To me, it's equivalent to targeting the homeless or mentally ill.

It's also the go-to solution for fascism, when a foothold needs to be solidified.

That too. Very much that too.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on December 15, 2014, 05:44:15 pm
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/dec/15/leaked-document-labour-strategy-counter-ukip-threat-immigration

This is quite interesting - well, not the document, but the reporting on it.

Quote
An internal Labour document sent to the party’s MPs has urged them to combat the electoral threat from Ukip by talking about the pressures immigration places on services such as health and housing.

Quote
It also says “Volunteers and activists must understand and acknowledge electors’ concerns about immigration on the doorstep, which will mean hearing opinions that may not gel with their own. In these cases, it’s important to remember that first phase of re-establishing trust is to listen and understand.

“Our focus must instead be moving the conversation on to issues where we have clear policy which tackles the problems people are worried about, whether they express those concerns through the prism of immigration or not.”

The damage in the paragraph potentially lies in the implication that voters do not understand the root causes of their concern about immigration.

Cue a lot of politicians with mealy-mouthed responses, because you can't outright tell someone they do not understand something.

But actually, they're right. People don't understand the issues, because the Right have lied, distorted and manipulated so hard that 'the immigrants' have become the root of all our ills - not slashed budgets, a false recovery, or the steady erosion of worker's rights. All these things are laid at the door of 'the immigrants', even though immigration has more to do with the solution than the problem. Because most immigrants work and pay their taxes, which is pretty fucking vital when you've got an ageing population with the elderly starting to outnumber the young.

Labour are terrified of outright stating the truth - they're so desperate not to seem 'out of touch' with people (even though those people are out of touch with reality) they are actually willing to don the 'prism' of racist rhetoric in order to try and obfuscate their true beliefs and get back into power. Because they believe the british public are too stupid to listen to and understand their argument.

What makes me really depressed is that they may be right in thinking that.

If it makes you feel better, the vast majority of people in the UK, going by the polls, give a relatively low weighting to immigration as an issue.

Which makes this even more foolish, IMO.  You never accept an opponent's framing of a debate - they framed that debate in a particular way because it plays to their strengths, and in accepting the frame, you are purposefully allowing yourself to be gimped.  In particular, Labour are never going to get the Crazy Vote while the option of the 'Kippers is available to the public.  It's a losing proposition, why even bother?

That said, I don't think the Tories or UKIP are very sincere about their concerns regarding immigration, except maybe at a rank and file level.  Immigration has always been the UKIP wedge for attacking Europe - I honestly don't think Farage in particular gives a toss about where anyone comes from, mainly because no matter where they live, it's not as awesome as his own opinion of himself.  And the Tories are in a halfway house, where their Eurosceptic backbench does it for much the same reason as UKIP, and Cameron does it in order to not lose voters to UKIP.

I'm wondering if this leak is also timed to coincide with pressure to question the Blair cabinet with what they knew over torture.  Ed Miliband can claim with some credibility he had nothing to do with that...but his brother did, and he is tainted by proximity.  If someone wanted to mount a leadership bid, a hypothetical MP by the name of Jlan Aohnston, or Cvette Yooper, for example, they'd be moving towards ideal conditions for doing so.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on December 30, 2014, 06:26:36 pm
The website is sketchy, but the facts seem straight enough. (http://thefreethoughtproject.com/supreme-court-rules-citizens-protection-violations-cops-ignorant-law/)


Quote
In April 2009, a Surry County (N.C.) law enforcement officer stopped a car traveling on Interstate 77, allegedly because of a brake light which at first failed to illuminate and then flickered on. The officer mistakenly believed that state law prohibited driving a car with one broken brake light. In fact, the state traffic law requires only one working brake light. Nevertheless, operating under a mistaken understanding of the law, during the course of the stop, the officer asked for permission to search the car.

Nicholas Heien, the owner of the vehicle, granted his consent to a search. Upon the officer finding cocaine in the vehicle, he arrested and charged Heien with trafficking. Prior to his trial, Heien moved to suppress the evidence seized in light of the fact that the officer’s pretext for the stop was erroneous and therefore unlawful. Although the trial court denied the motion to suppress evidence, the state court of appeals determined that since the police officer had based his initial stop of the car on a mistaken understanding of the law, there was no valid reason for the stop in the first place.

On appeal, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that even though the officer was wrong in concluding that the inoperable brake light was an offense, because the officer’s mistake was a “reasonable” one, the stop of the car did not violate the Fourth Amendment and the evidence resulting from the stop did not need to be suppressed.

Short version: Your Fourth Amendment rights can be violated if the cops don't understand the law.


Edit: A slightly less sketchy source here. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/12/15/reasonable-mistake-of-law-can-generate-reasonable-suspicion-supreme-court-holds/)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on December 30, 2014, 06:55:31 pm
You know, I've never actually read the statues on murder, so I can't really know that stabbing someone in the face 27 times is, technically, not legal.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on December 30, 2014, 07:10:42 pm
"Your honor, I honestly believed that walking around all smudgy and stuff was illegal.  So I shot him."
      /
 :chickenhawk:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on December 30, 2014, 07:30:02 pm
You know, I've never actually read the statues on murder, so I can't really know that stabbing someone in the face 27 times is, technically, not legal.

Ah, but ignorance of the law is no excuse, legally.

The lesson here seems to be the same as always, avoid interaction with the Law as far as is reasonably practicable.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 30, 2014, 08:05:41 pm
You know, I've never actually read the statues on murder, so I can't really know that stabbing someone in the face 27 times is, technically, not legal.

Ah, but ignorance of the law is no excuse, legally.

The lesson here seems to be the same as always, avoid interaction with the Law as far as is reasonably practicable.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse unless, apparently, you're supposed to be the one enforcing it, in which case it totally is.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on December 30, 2014, 09:07:03 pm

Ah, but ignorance of the law is no excuse, legally.



You're SO 20th Century.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on December 30, 2014, 10:56:24 pm

Ah, but ignorance of the law is no excuse, legally.



You're SO 20th Century.

Can't help it really, spent a lot of time listening to people using that line to justify horrible shit and just seemed apt.
You know, I've never actually read the statues on murder, so I can't really know that stabbing someone in the face 27 times is, technically, not legal.

Ah, but ignorance of the law is no excuse, legally.

The lesson here seems to be the same as always, avoid interaction with the Law as far as is reasonably practicable.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse unless, apparently, you're supposed to be the one enforcing it, in which case it totally is.

Look, stop trying to imply that police should be held to the same standards as everyone else. It's a difficult job and needs the perks like, say, ignorance, graft, grift and the ability to murder with impunity.

For those unfamiliar with the working difference between graft and grift, and how it can work for YOU I'm running a small seminar that's got a few places left. Reasonably priced. 
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Telarus on December 31, 2014, 10:10:36 pm
I've been fuming to myself about this ruling for a while. Thanks for posting.
I think the outcome of this one is a further degradation in the public trust.
I've been convincing myself this wasn't done on purpose.
I know that I no longer trust Justice Roberts to act appropriately in the position he was placed in (this last one was just the final straw), which severely cripples oh, 1/3 of our government. Checks and what now?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition Squid on January 12, 2015, 05:49:04 pm
Quote
Britain’s spying agencies need more powers to read the contents of communications in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, David Cameron has said.

The prime minister’s comments suggest a Conservative government would bring in new intercept legislation in 2016 to make sure there is no form of communication that cannot be requested with a warrant signed by the home secretary.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jan/12/uk-spy-agencies-need-more-powers-says-cameron-paris-attacks

Well, at least they waited almost a week.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on January 12, 2015, 06:07:37 pm
You have to give them this, they're consistent.

One day, when every kind of communication is under real-time surveillance with warrants issued by policemen and intelligence agents themselves, we will finally be able to stop terrorism.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on January 15, 2015, 09:49:54 am
Amusingly, Cameron's proposal will also turn the UK into a cybercrime/cyberterrorism free for all which will cause every business with even an ounce of sense to flee this country, alongside most of its citizenry.

Charles Stross (http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2015/01/ah-politics.html#rssowlmlink) explains:

Quote
If the government can decrypt an end-to-end encrypted session, then a third party can in principle use the same mechanism to decrypt it. (The third party could be a rogue government employee, or a crypto hacker.) This is not a hypothetical: it's intrinsic to how cryptography works. It's either secure against all third-party snoopers, or it isn't secure and will be cracked in time inversely proportional to the value of the data conveyed. Also, merely knowing that an encryption protocol has a weakness makes it easier to attack.

Quote
But email is only the tip of the iceberg. How about the encrypted web session you use to check your bank account? Or to pay your income tax? If you're a small business, the VATMOSS system is obviously a target—and a high value one, where an attacker could steal large amounts of money. Mandatory back doors in encryption imply weakening the security around the government's own tax-raising system. (Talk about sawing off the branch you're sitting on.)

Quote
Let's start with SCADA systems that control blast furnaces, nuclear reactors, water treatment plants, and factories. Then we can add other online systems: the in-cab signalling system used to deliver signals to drivers of trains on railway lines cleared for high-speed running, traffic signal boards on motorways, and in the not too distant future systems used by air traffic control for filing flight plans and transferring security-related passenger information.

We should then add online finance systems, from Paypal to the APACS credit card settlement system, the BACS payment system through which about 80% of the pay cheques in the UK are sent straight to the recipients' bank accounts, to inter-bank settlement and reconciliation, the share dealing system used by the London Stock Exchange, and every supermarket and wholesale warehouse inventory management and stock control/ordering system in the country.

Basically, Cameron doesn't understand the internets, and is going to screw us all over with this.

Fortunately, the idea is so spectacularly awful, even Nick Clegg is refusing to support it.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on January 15, 2015, 10:52:06 am
I've been saying for years, the people making the decisions have no idea how the technology works that they're making decisions about. I can see this because IT is my field but now I'm wondering if this disparity is across the board. Would certainly explain a hell of a lot  :horrormirth:
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition Squid on January 21, 2015, 10:22:15 am
This has been in the news again. I'm fairly sure we covered it at the time, but:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29743857

Quote
The 14 hours of labour that delivered Jacqui's first child was the most intimate moment of her life. In her words, she shared it with a ghost.

Alongside her as she prepared to bring a child into the world was the man she loved, Bob Robinson. She thought he loved her, too. "Well done Jac," he wrote to her in a note after their boy was born.

That was 1985. Two years later he disappeared into the ether, leaving Jacqui tormented and a toddler without a dad.

Three decades on, Jacqui, former animal rights activist turned suburban middle class woman, knows there was more to Bob than his easy charm, love and a shared desire to change the world for the better.

Bob Robinson was not Bob Robinson, but Bob Lambert - an undercover police officer sent by the Met's then Special Demonstration Squad to infiltrate what commanders suspected were the dangerous fringes of London's animal rights scene.

Quote
Throughout his undercover work, the officer had four relationships with women in groups he was tasked to target, two of them long term. When he formed a relationship with Jacqui, he would spend part of the week with her before disappearing off to join his wife and two children elsewhere.

Why has this been in the news again? Because the man is now employed once more as a part-time lecturer at the London Metropolitan University.

So to sum up: the police will infiltrate your 'dangerous groups' (hunt protesters well known for their bombing campaigns) and literally fuck you over.

For bonus points, the fact this woman managed to get £400,000 payout for her ordeal usually results in comments along the lines that the matter has been settled and all is well. I think they HAVE changed the guidance, but I'd be unsurprised if the undercover cops continue to ignore it. The response from the police was largely 'well, what do you expect? We have to keep up the cover'. Because obviously, she would have gotten suspicious if he'd broken it off or just... used protection.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on January 21, 2015, 11:53:58 am
Funny story - he's also one of my professors for my current course.

More interesting are the allegations made in Parliament that he once took part in a bombing as an undercover officer.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition Squid on January 21, 2015, 11:57:34 am
... I'd love to hear the justification for that, if true.

That is, surely, exactly the kind of thing you put undercover officers in there to stop. There's got to be some impressive mental gymnastics going on there.  :?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on January 21, 2015, 11:59:47 am
I don't know the specifics, unfortunately.  There are a lot of things I'd like to ask him, but obviously it would be unprofessional for me to do so with my current status.

I can definitely see why he was chosen for undercover work though - he's almost supernaturally easy to get along with, and his congenial nature masks an extremely sharp mind.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on January 22, 2015, 06:43:19 pm
Remember ages ago when I linked to an article describing how Republicans used the House Rules Committee to effectively do whatever they wanted?

Well, Paul Ryan (http://www.vox.com/2015/1/14/7537371/paul-ryan-presidential-run) apparently came to similar conclusions as the masterminds behind that legislative chicanery.

Quote
Most politicians who can gin up presidential speculation do (see Gingrich, Newt). It means more reporters covering their speeches, more money for their PAC, more invitations to the Sunday shows. But Rep. Paul Ryan took himself out of the race early.

"After giving it a lot of thought, I've decided not to run for president," he said. "Our work at the House Ways and Means Committee over the next few years will be crucial to moving America forward, and my job as chairman deserves undivided attention."

In doing, Ryan showed he understands something most ambitious politicians don't. The real power in American politics resides in Congress, not in the presidency.

People say the president has the power to set the agenda, and it's true. But presidents only set agendas they think Congress might pass, or at least consider. The president leads — but only where he thinks Congress will follow.

Quote
But now Ryan's chair of the vastly more powerful House Ways and Means Committee (it's roughly the counterpart to the Senate Finance Committee, which Baucus ran). Now he has control over the process that will produce the key bills, as well. Combining the role Ryan has built in the party as Ideologist-in-Chief with the power of the House Ways and Means Committee almost instantly makes Ryan the most powerful Republican in the country when it comes to party's policy direction, particularly on economic and domestic policy.

Given that, it makes sense that Ryan pulled himself out of the race early. If Ryan was running for president in 2016 — or if Republicans even thought he might run for president in 2016 — they would assume his work at Ways and Means was really preparatory work on behalf of Ryan 2016. Worse, his fellow potential candidates would have to distance themselves from Ryan's ideas, as he would be a threat to them. But now Ryan can work to shape all their agendas simultaneously, and they will have to compete for his favor — they'll want both his endorsement and, if they win, his help.

Ryan has been better at understanding how much power ideas can have in American politics than pretty much any member of Congress in recent years. This shows that he's got a clear-eyed view of how much power congressional process holds, too. If he was running for president in such a crowded field, odds are that he probably wouldn't win — and, thus, neither would his ideas. But now that he's forsworn any interest in the presidency while making clear he's going to really use the power of the House Ways and Means Committee, no Republican will be able to win and govern without adopting Ryan's ideas.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on January 22, 2015, 07:00:36 pm
Oh, crap.  A real politician has shown up.  We're screwed.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Doktor Howl on January 22, 2015, 07:07:56 pm
Oh, crap.  A real politician has shown up.  We're screwed.

Gingrich was way more dangerous than this guy, and we survived him.  Marginally.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on February 07, 2015, 07:32:44 pm
The Family is getting busy...in Sudan, of all places.

http://barthsnotes.com/2015/02/05/national-prayer-breakfast-highlights-the-fellowships-support-for-sudan/

Quote
The Fellowship has been busy in Europe, as I discussed here, and in June it held a Prayer Breakfast in Ukraine. There has also been particular controversy over its influence in Uganda.

But how could an Islamist regime be assimilated into such a vision? The answer is in the Fellowship’s vague theology of “Jesus Plus Nothing”; its “elite fundamentalism” (to use Jeff’s term) is quite distinct from the religious right rhetoric of televangelists and mega-church leaders.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LuciferX on February 07, 2015, 08:15:11 pm
I've been saying for years, the people making the decisions have no idea how the technology works that they're making decisions about. I can see this because IT is my field but now I'm wondering if this disparity is across the board. Would certainly explain a hell of a lot  :horrormirth:
I hate to say it might be a trend.  It is easier to manipulate a person that is insecure about their competence because they generally need to be told what to do.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on February 23, 2015, 05:16:14 pm
More bad news for The Intercept

http://jimromenesko.com/2015/02/22/ken-silverstein-resigns-from-pierre-omidyars-first-look-media-blasts-dishonest-leadership/

Quote
Investigative reporter Ken Silverstein has resigned from First Look Media’s The Intercept after 14 months, saying he and others were hired “under what were essentially false pretenses [by being] told we would be given all the financial and other support we needed to do independent, important journalism, but instead found ourselves blocked at every step of the way by management’s incompetence and bad faith.”

Quote
Also, just one last comment on First Look Media: The fact that that it hired so many talented people to create Racket and spent millions of dollars on it and in the end fired everyone and Racket never published a single story is probably the greatest squandering of money and example of criminal ineptitude in the history of modern journalism.

Quote
But let me just say that while I admire them both, Matt is definitely more likable than Glenn. Glenn’s role at FL is troubling in some ways, especially standing by silently (as far as I can tell) and tolerating the terrible actions of corporate management. Glenn’s work is excellent but Matt would never put up with the bullshit from management that Glenn has.

Quote
You know what’s cool about being a former employee of First Look/The Intercept? That Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, Betsy Reed and Pierre Omidyar all believe in Free Speech and the First Amendment so they won’t mind my writing about my time working for and with them. Tentative title: “Welcome to the Slaughterhouse.”
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on March 26, 2015, 10:49:53 pm
Those swell, stand-up guys from the DEA are at it again:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11498214/US-agents-had-sex-parties-prostitutes-paid-for-by-Colombia-drug-cartels.html

Quote
In a scathing report from the US Justice Department, agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) are accused of leaving their weapons in the hands of Colombian police so they could go have sex with the women.

Seven of the ten men accused admitted their role in the sex parties and were suspended from duty up to ten days before being allowed to return to work. The parties are alleged to have taken place over a three-year period between 2005 and 2008.

The report also alleges that three DEA supervisors were "provided money, expensive gifts, and weapons from drug cartel members".

The allegations are the latest in a long string of claims of misbehaviour by American law enforcement agents while stationed abroad.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on March 26, 2015, 10:54:07 pm
Still classy. Good old DEA. It's shit like this that makes me think we need a "I can't believe it's not satire" thread.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 31, 2015, 03:33:52 pm
Those swell, stand-up guys from the DEA are at it again:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11498214/US-agents-had-sex-parties-prostitutes-paid-for-by-Colombia-drug-cartels.html

Quote
In a scathing report from the US Justice Department, agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) are accused of leaving their weapons in the hands of Colombian police so they could go have sex with the women.

Seven of the ten men accused admitted their role in the sex parties and were suspended from duty up to ten days before being allowed to return to work. The parties are alleged to have taken place over a three-year period between 2005 and 2008.

The report also alleges that three DEA supervisors were "provided money, expensive gifts, and weapons from drug cartel members".

The allegations are the latest in a long string of claims of misbehaviour by American law enforcement agents while stationed abroad.

BUT IT'S OBVIOUSLY JUST A FLUKE, CAIN, MOST DEA AGENTS ARE STAND-UP GUYS AND THERE IS NO DEEPLY EMBEDDED CORRUPTION.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on April 04, 2015, 03:13:44 pm
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/04/uk-intelligence-services-attack-snp/

Quote
The FCO “memo” reporting that Nicola Sturgeon would rather have a Tory government, is a remarkable document. Firstly, its provenance is very strange. It has been leaked ostensibly by the FCO to the Telegraph. According to the Guardian:

Quote
“The leaked document was drafted by a Whitehall official after Coffinier called the FCO, as protocol requires, to pass on a confidential account of several of the ambassador’s meetings in Edinburgh, which included a meeting with Alistair Carmichael, the Scottish secretary.”

The extraordinary thing is, this is just a lie. As someone who worked in the FCO for over twenty years and was an Ambassador myself, I can assure you there is absolutely no protocol requirement on the French Ambassador to give the FCO the content of the meetings she, her Consul-General or anybody else from the French Embassy held in Edinburgh. That claim is absolute nonsense.

Look at it from the Embassy’s point of view. If you repeated everything Nicola Sturgeon told you to the FCO, do you not think she would shortly stop telling you anything at all interesting? That is why diplomats absolutely do not retail such conversations to their host governments.

The second quite extraordinary thing is that both sides of the alleged conversation categorically deny it was said. Nicola Sturgeon denies she said it and the French Embassy deny she said it. So we have a leaked account of a conversation which all the participants say is untrue, yet the unionist media all feel this evidently untrue account is worth splashing as their lead story? The collusion of security services and corporate media is terrifying.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/04/frenchgate-definitely-the-security-services/

Quote
It damages the French Embassy, it damages the SNP, and it damages Miliband by repeating the meme about his being weak and unfit. Those would all seem good results to the security services. Only Miliband has been stupid enough to go along with it.

It seems to me the overwhelming probability is that this document, whether it purports to be a FCO or Scottish Office document, was originated by the Security Services, possibly with the active collusion of someone in the Scottish Office, or equally possibly without their knowledge. Whatever it purported to be, it never entered the normal civil service distribution systems, as the FCO would have a copy, and it would have raised alarm bells all over the place as seriously weird and improbable. It is in that sense a fake, even if it were physically produced inside the Scottish Office. Its purpose was to be leaked to the media and influence the election.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition Squid on April 14, 2015, 01:43:10 pm
Interesting thing here: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/14/how-much-of-the-conservatives-2010-election-manifesto-was-implemented

Given that the Tories were in coalition, it looks like a surprisingly high proportion of their manifesto was actually implemented. (40/60 met or partially met by my count - counted pretty quick though as I'm at work).

Although some of the most important and high profile cases haven't been met (no top down reorganization of the NHS!) it does cast the importance of the manifesto in new light. Especially the Europe Referendum provision with how many Tory back benchers are likely to hold them to the fire over it.

I'd been under the impression that the manifesto was broadly irrelevant; the stereotype is that nothing in it has any bearing on what happens after the election. 2/3 isn't a bad hit rate, though, and I may bother to actually read the Conservative manifesto as a result. I wish I'd thought to look at manifestos vs outcomes in more detail when I was at university.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on April 16, 2015, 10:51:21 am
http://boingboing.net/2015/04/14/cops-have-killed-way-more-amer.html
Quote
Police have killed more Americans on U.S. soil since the year 2000 than the Islamist terrorists.
Map is a nice touch:

(http://i2.wp.com/boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/vox.jpg?resize=600%2C358)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition Squid on April 30, 2015, 09:00:12 am
Well this is heartbreaking. (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/30/brazilian-executed-by-indonesia-was-hearing-voices-all-the-time)

Quote
“But when they took [the prisoners] out of the cells … and when they put these bloody chains on them, he said to me, ‘Am I being executed?’ ” Burrows said.

“I said, ‘Yes, I thought I explained that you.’ He didn’t get excited – he’s a quiet sort of a guy – but he said, ‘This is not right.’

“He’s lost because he’s a schizophrenic. He asked if there was a sniper outside ready to shoot him, and I said no, and whether somebody would shoot him in the car, and I said no,” Burrows said.

After Gularte was strapped to a wooden plank, Burrows was permitted to see him again: “He said, ‘This is not right, I made one small mistake, and I shouldn't have to die for it.’ So he was annoyed more than anything else, because he’s a soft-spoken, quiet and sensitive man.”

After our recent discussion re: the death penalty, this seemed like a good story to highlight where that can wind up going at the extreme end.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LuciferX on April 30, 2015, 09:44:11 am
Well this is heartbreaking. (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/30/brazilian-executed-by-indonesia-was-hearing-voices-all-the-time)

Quote
“But when they took [the prisoners] out of the cells … and when they put these bloody chains on them, he said to me, ‘Am I being executed?’ ” Burrows said.

“I said, ‘Yes, I thought I explained that you.’ He didn’t get excited – he’s a quiet sort of a guy – but he said, ‘This is not right.’

“He’s lost because he’s a schizophrenic. He asked if there was a sniper outside ready to shoot him, and I said no, and whether somebody would shoot him in the car, and I said no,” Burrows said.

After Gularte was strapped to a wooden plank, Burrows was permitted to see him again: “He said, ‘This is not right, I made one small mistake, and I shouldn't have to die for it.’ So he was annoyed more than anything else, because he’s a soft-spoken, quiet and sensitive man.”

After our recent discussion re: the death penalty, this seemed like a good story to highlight where that can wind up going at the extreme end.

I only skimmed article b/c it nearly broke my puter, but, yea, it made me grow a new heart in under five seconds...

[ ED.  In retrospect, moor than only unjust, a metaphor of life]
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition Squid on May 20, 2015, 12:20:26 pm
Some of y'all might remember I brought up my prediction we'd see a lot more cases of abuse and corruption because the probation service it being privatized.

Turns out I was behind the times!

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/may/20/misconduct-youth-jail-rainsbrook-ofsted-g4s

Quote
An Ofsted report on the G4S-run Rainsbrook secure training centre, near Rugby, says some staff were on drugs while on duty, colluded with detainees and behaved “extremely inappropriately” with young people, causing distress and humiliation.

It says poor staff behaviour led to some young people being subjected to degrading treatment and racist comments.

The inspectors reveal that one child, who had suffered a fracture potentially as a result of being restrained, did not receive treatment for 15 hours because senior staff overruled clear clinical advice that he needed medical treatment.

At least they're pressing ahead with getting as many private companies involved in the justice system as possible anyway, though. We wouldn't want them to miss a chance to turn a buck.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Cain on May 20, 2015, 11:45:08 pm
"Extremely inappropriately" is usually bureaucrat-ese for some kind of sexually related offense which is not direct molestation or abuse.

What the fuck are they doing there?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition Squid on June 10, 2015, 12:03:58 pm
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jun/10/george-osborne-public-finances-victorian-values

Quote
The chancellor will use his annual Mansion House speech on Wednesday to exploit the political advantage of the Conservative victory in the general election with a “new settlement” that would allow the government to borrow only in exceptional circumstances.
...
Governments were expected to at least balance the books in the 19th century and in the first three decades of the 20th century, when the public finances were run on the Mr Micawber principle that income exceeding spending equalled happiness and spending exceeding income equalled misery.

Osborne will drive home his desire to bring back the days of sound finance by announcing he will convene the first meeting in more than 150 years of the committee of the commissioners for the reduction of the national debt.

Set up by William Pitt the Younger to help repair the damage to the public finances caused by the Napoleonic wars, the body last met in 1860 when William Gladstone was chancellor. Commissioners include the chancellor, the governor of the Bank of England, the speaker of the House of Commons, and the lord chief justice.

I for one am glad to see that our economic policy is being dictated on the realities of the world today and not through some insane ideological beli-- oh wait, damn.

The fact that he's directly trying to drag Britain back to the Victorian era, and has already laid out commitment plans to slash public spending to levels pre-WW2 (when there was no NHS, for instance) is just...  :horrormirth:

I'm seriously thinking it might be time to start stashing my cash under the bed rather than trust the bank will continue to even be there in a year or three.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Rev Thwack on June 10, 2015, 12:25:42 pm
The banks will be there, you just have to take the advice of the Nazis and use the right banks in the right countries.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition Squid on June 10, 2015, 01:13:57 pm
And another great one for this thread today.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/10/azelle-rodney-met-police-officer-fired-eight-shots-at-close-range-court-told

Quote
A Metropolitan police firearms officer murdered a suspect by firing a rapid volley of eight shots from close range, including two that struck the man in the top of his head, a jury has heard.
...
The jury was told by Hill: “The prosecution say that it was not necessary for Mr Long to open fire upon the Golf and Azelle Rodney. Therefore, we say Mr Long was not acting lawfully when he opened fire.

“That being so, Mr Long’s actions in deliberately killing Azelle Rodney when it was not necessary to do so make Mr Long guilty of murder.”

The prosecutor told the 12 jurors that they would “need to consider very carefully the actions of Mr Long and the events surrounding the moment when he pulled the trigger and opened fire”.

The court heard that a video of the shooting exists because a police officer in a car just behind Long’s vehicle made a recording of the incident for “training purposes”.

The officer who made the video can be heard saying “we’re going in” as police started the manoeuvre to force Rodney’s car to stop.

The shots fired by Long are not captured on the video. But the jury heard the soundtrack captured the eight rapid gunshots.

The officer who was recording the video can be heard saying “sweet as, sweet as,” as the shots are fired. The shots lasted about two seconds, according to the recording.

I don't think there's much I can add to that.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 10, 2015, 03:58:07 pm
And another great one for this thread today.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/10/azelle-rodney-met-police-officer-fired-eight-shots-at-close-range-court-told

Quote
A Metropolitan police firearms officer murdered a suspect by firing a rapid volley of eight shots from close range, including two that struck the man in the top of his head, a jury has heard.
...
The jury was told by Hill: “The prosecution say that it was not necessary for Mr Long to open fire upon the Golf and Azelle Rodney. Therefore, we say Mr Long was not acting lawfully when he opened fire.

“That being so, Mr Long’s actions in deliberately killing Azelle Rodney when it was not necessary to do so make Mr Long guilty of murder.”

The prosecutor told the 12 jurors that they would “need to consider very carefully the actions of Mr Long and the events surrounding the moment when he pulled the trigger and opened fire”.

The court heard that a video of the shooting exists because a police officer in a car just behind Long’s vehicle made a recording of the incident for “training purposes”.

The officer who made the video can be heard saying “we’re going in” as police started the manoeuvre to force Rodney’s car to stop.

The shots fired by Long are not captured on the video. But the jury heard the soundtrack captured the eight rapid gunshots.

The officer who was recording the video can be heard saying “sweet as, sweet as,” as the shots are fired. The shots lasted about two seconds, according to the recording.

I don't think there's much I can add to that.

What's different here is that the officer is being prosecuted for murder.

I could be wrong, but I don't recall a past where that was a thing.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Demolition Squid on June 10, 2015, 04:03:04 pm
True! That is a positive step.

I just found the training video guy going 'sweet as' as the poor bastard got blown away particularly horrifying - even if he was an armed murderer and it would have been justified, I'd like the police not to be jeering as they gun down criminals.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on June 10, 2015, 04:13:59 pm
True! That is a positive step.

I just found the training video guy going 'sweet as' as the poor bastard got blown away particularly horrifying - even if he was an armed murderer and it would have been justified, I'd like the police not to be jeering as they gun down criminals.

You can tell shit is just wrong as fuck when they're excited about killing people.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Rev Thwack on June 10, 2015, 04:15:02 pm
True! That is a positive step.

I just found the training video guy going 'sweet as' as the poor bastard got blown away particularly horrifying - even if he was an armed murderer and it would have been justified, I'd like the police not to be jeering as they gun down criminals.

You can tell shit is just wrong as fuck when they're excited about killing people.


You'd kind of hope that the people charged with protecting the lives of citizens actually consider those lives to be of value.



You'd hope, but you'd be wrong.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on November 09, 2016, 03:48:27 pm
I've got a feeling this thread will be quite useful in the foreseeable future.

For a start, there's all of these:
http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=37471.0

Quite possibly the greatest success and failure of the two man con to date.

Secondly, there's been more "Police shooting unarmed guy" stories than I can name with the usual lack of consequences in most cases. Escalation seems inevitable there.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Vanadium Gryllz on November 09, 2016, 04:25:11 pm
I've got a feeling this thread will be quite useful in the foreseeable future.

For a start, there's all of these:
http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=37471.0

Quite possibly the greatest success and failure of the two man con to date.


This election season has been the epitome of the two man con. If Trump was indeed a plant seeded by the DNC to have someone 'unelectable' run against Hilary then it's just more hilarious. Either way, both candidates were unlikable and ultimately probably controlled by unknown powers.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on November 09, 2016, 04:30:37 pm
I've got a feeling this thread will be quite useful in the foreseeable future.

For a start, there's all of these:
http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=37471.0

Quite possibly the greatest success and failure of the two man con to date.


This election season has been the epitome of the two man con. If Trump was indeed a plant seeded by the DNC to have someone 'unelectable' run against Hilary then it's just more hilarious. Either way, both candidates were unlikable and ultimately probably controlled by unknown powers.

He was indeed. This has been proven by Wikileaks.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on November 10, 2016, 07:22:20 am
I've got a feeling this thread will be quite useful in the foreseeable future.

For a start, there's all of these:
http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=37471.0

Quite possibly the greatest success and failure of the two man con to date.

Secondly, there's been more "Police shooting unarmed guy" stories than I can name with the usual lack of consequences in most cases. Escalation seems inevitable there.

Oh yes. I am thinking riots. Bigger riots. Probably enough to get the extremists talking about race war.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on November 10, 2016, 03:46:13 pm
I've got a feeling this thread will be quite useful in the foreseeable future.

For a start, there's all of these:
http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=37471.0

Quite possibly the greatest success and failure of the two man con to date.

Secondly, there's been more "Police shooting unarmed guy" stories than I can name with the usual lack of consequences in most cases. Escalation seems inevitable there.

Oh yes. I am thinking riots. Bigger riots. Probably enough to get the extremists talking about race war.

"If there are more riots the extremists who arent rioting might make tweets from their moms basement about a race war. Extremely."
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 09, 2016, 02:59:55 am
So this is a thing now

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/alt-right-social-network-fake-news-232398
Quote
The new social media website that is a growing platform for adherents of the "Alt-Right" movement dominated by white nationalists vows to never censor content based on whether it is true or false, asserting its expanding user base in the United States and abroad can decide for themselves what is fake news.

Two of the key architects of Gab, which was launched this summer out of concern that Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and other "Big Social" sites were stifling conservative political discourse, told POLITICO their guiding principles of free speech and expression mean they don't have a responsibility to ensure claims that are made and spread on their website are accurate.

 :lulz: I bet that's about all they won't censor.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 09, 2016, 03:27:56 am
So this is a thing now

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/alt-right-social-network-fake-news-232398
Quote
The new social media website that is a growing platform for adherents of the "Alt-Right" movement dominated by white nationalists vows to never censor content based on whether it is true or false, asserting its expanding user base in the United States and abroad can decide for themselves what is fake news.

Two of the key architects of Gab, which was launched this summer out of concern that Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and other "Big Social" sites were stifling conservative political discourse, told POLITICO their guiding principles of free speech and expression mean they don't have a responsibility to ensure claims that are made and spread on their website are accurate.

 :lulz: I bet that's about all they won't censor.

Lol this is some crazy disinfo. Gab was originally a twitter clone that sold itself on having more than 140 characters per tweet. Alt-Right started going to it after Twitter cracked down on them because Gab has a no censorship policy, which has now become the primary selling point. Actually check it once, theyre serious about no censorship.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 10, 2016, 06:52:01 pm
Youre all getting that Ministry of Truth you want so much.

http://www.portman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=3765A225-B773-4F57-B21A-A265F4B5692C

Quote
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) today announced that their Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act – legislation designed to help American allies counter foreign government propaganda from Russia, China, and other nations – has passed the Senate as part of the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report. The bipartisan bill, which was introduced by Senators Portman and Murphy in March, will improve the ability of the United States to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation by establishing an interagency center housed at the State Department to coordinate and synchronize counter-propaganda efforts throughout the U.S. government. To support these efforts, the bill also creates a grant program for NGOs, think tanks, civil society and other experts outside government who are engaged in counter-propaganda related work. This will better leverage existing expertise and empower local communities to defend themselves from foreign manipulation.

“The passage of this bill in the Senate today takes us one critical step closer to effectively confronting the extensive, and destabilizing, foreign propaganda and disinformation operations being waged against us. While the propaganda and disinformation threat has grown, the U.S. government has been asleep at the wheel. Today we are finally signaling that enough is enough; the United States will no longer sit on the sidelines. We are going to confront this threat head-on,” said Senator Portman. “With the help of this bipartisan bill, the disinformation and propaganda used against our allies and our interests will fail.”

“Congress has taken a big step in fighting back against fake news and propaganda from countries like Russia. When the president signs this bill into law, the United States will finally have a dedicated set of tools and resources to confront our adversaries’ widespread efforts to spread false narratives that undermine democratic institutions and compromise America’s foreign policy goals,” said Murphy. “I’m proud of what Senator Portman and I accomplished here because it’s long past time for the U.S. to get off the sidelines and confront these growing threats.”
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Prelate Diogenes Shandor on December 12, 2016, 04:59:37 pm
But what about fake news coming from Austrailians?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 12, 2016, 05:32:19 pm
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/electoral-college-slavery-constitution/
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 12, 2016, 07:43:06 pm
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/electoral-college-slavery-constitution/

This is some solid gold butthurt. Finding one mention of slavery in relation to the Electoral College and ignoring all the other reasons given for it and why almost everyone agreed with it, including ones who opposed Slavery like John Adams and Northerners.

Its also worth noting that the people who are so opposed to the Electoral College are currently doing so for the exact reason the founders thought we needed it. So population dense urban areas can bully flyover states into free trade agreements and immigration policies that are good for them(the urban areas) and bad  for everyone else. Of course, thats totally, not what this is about. Youre just moral upright warriors of truth and justice fighting against an evil monster supported by ignorant hateful rednecks, and its just a coincidence that youd rather someone who wants completely free trade was in office instead of the person who is promising to kill the TPP.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Prelate Diogenes Shandor on December 12, 2016, 11:21:52 pm
The TPP isn't about free trade, IIRC it mandates sterner intellectual property laws in some places. That's like the opposite of free trade.

but as much as I oppose IP it's not worth putting someone in charge who's likely to bankrupt the country like everything else he's been chief executive of.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Prelate Diogenes Shandor on December 12, 2016, 11:27:30 pm
Its also worth noting that the people who are so opposed to the Electoral College are currently doing so for the exact reason the founders thought we needed it. So population dense urban areas can bully flyover states into free trade agreements and immigration policies that are good for them(the urban areas) and bad  for everyone else.

Why should their vote count any more than mine!?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 12, 2016, 11:48:27 pm
The TPP isn't about free trade, IIRC

YDNRC

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32498715

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpLQzeCoNnA


Why should their vote count any more than mine!?

Because otherwise their vote would not count at all, and depending on where you currently live yours could not count at all either.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Prelate Diogenes Shandor on December 13, 2016, 05:33:40 pm
You mean it would depend on what you believe, not where you live. Why would anything in the presidential election still be done by region without the electoral college?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 13, 2016, 05:38:54 pm
You mean it would depend on what you believe, not where you live. Why would anything in the presidential election still be done by region without the electoral college?

You dont understand the population disparity between states. It would literally be Texas, Florida, New York and California deciding every election with 90% of our landmass, each individual states with their own economies and interests, having no say in anything. Again, this election is a perfect example of why we need it. The dense urban areas trying to force free trade agreements on the rest of the country which doesnt want it so they can profit at their expense.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Prelate Diogenes Shandor on December 13, 2016, 05:44:25 pm
You mean it would depend on what you believe, not where you live. Why would anything in the presidential election still be done by region without the electoral college?

You dont understand the population disparity between states. It would literally be Texas, Florida, New York and California deciding every election with 90% of our landmass, each individual states with their own economies and interests, having no say in anything. Again, this election is a perfect example of why we need it. The dense urban areas trying to force free trade agreements on the rest of the country which doesnt want it so they can profit at their expense.

I get that the liberals and conservatives are in different geographic areas, what I don't get is why this is in any way relevant
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 13, 2016, 05:49:05 pm
You mean it would depend on what you believe, not where you live. Why would anything in the presidential election still be done by region without the electoral college?

You dont understand the population disparity between states. It would literally be Texas, Florida, New York and California deciding every election with 90% of our landmass, each individual states with their own economies and interests, having no say in anything. Again, this election is a perfect example of why we need it. The dense urban areas trying to force free trade agreements on the rest of the country which doesnt want it so they can profit at their expense.

I get that the liberals and conservatives are in different geographic areas, what I don't get is why this is in any way relevant

Hold on

Two things:

1) Would this reform extend to the senate as well? Because its the same principle and few people ever bitch about it.

2) This would have been no guarantee against a Trump victory this year and if it ever happens would not guarantee a lack of future victories. As he himself explained, he built his campaign around scoring electoral votes because thats what it takes to win. If the election was based on the popular vote he would have altered his strategy for that.

Also, think about this for a moment. California and New York being the big contendors seems nice, but the other two heavy weights would be Texas and Florida. I know you think Trump is bad, but do you really really want every Republican candidate from this point on basing his platform on winning the Texan vote out of necessity?

   Which brings us to the point of the EC. America isnt a homogeneous nation, it has a lot of different interests and cultures. Without the EC (and the Senate) America would be run by Texas, Florida, New York and California with the rest of us all just along for the ride. Do you honestly want this? Just because Clinton won in some alternate reality what if fanfiction where Article II vanished on November 7th?

One point I want to drive home here is that Trump based his strategy on winning swing states, going for electoral votes. In a popular vote he would have likely used a different strategy and very well could have won on swinging Florida R and Texas's given R votes.

Again, why do you want to destroy an institution that protects weaker states from stronger ones because in some hypothetical scenario where Trump went for electoral votes but the election was really decided on the popular  vote Hillary wins?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Prelate Diogenes Shandor on December 13, 2016, 11:18:41 pm
You talk as if the states were seperate countries rather than arbitrary administrative divisions. That hasn't been the case for over 221 years. And for 36 of the states it was never the case anyway.

I mean, maybe if they were separated by some vast distance it would be different, but it's not like we have any regions that are more than half a day's travel away from each other (give or take an hour or two)

EDIT:
Not counting embassies. I suppose travel between some of the embassies could be longer than maine to hawaii.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 14, 2016, 12:45:32 am
You talk as if the states were seperate countries rather than arbitrary administrative divisions. That hasn't been the case for over 221 years. And for 36 of the states it was never the case anyway.

I mean, maybe if they were separated by some vast distance it would be different, but it's not like we have any regions that are more than half a day's travel away from each other (give or take an hour or two)

EDIT:
Not counting embassies. I suppose travel between some of the embassies could be longer than maine to hawaii.

So states dont have their own individual economies, and populations with different desires and interests? Rust Belt Michigan and California have the exact same goals and values?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Prelate Diogenes Shandor on December 14, 2016, 01:49:29 am
They're not supposed to
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 14, 2016, 02:01:09 am
They're not supposed to

What are you even trying to say dude?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 14, 2016, 02:26:50 am
https://archive.is/qKSm2

Quote
An ABC FOX Montana investigation tonight into Richard Spencer, the part-time Whitefish resident who is inspiring white supremacists across the country.
Our reporting has uncovered an unexpected by-product of Spencer's notoriety - - a family and a community torn apart.
Spencer’s latest news-storm came last week when he spoke at Texas A & M, provoking heated confrontation and once-again, mentions of Montana - - and Whitefish specifically - - as his part-time home.
So, we went back to Whitefish - - and here's what we uncovered.
Richard Spencer was raised in Texas, but has been spending time in Whitefish for years with his family.  His mother, Sherry Spencer, still lives in a beautiful home at Whitefish Mountain Resort.  She also runs a business downtown, but perhaps not for long.
"Hail trump!  Hail our people!  Hail victory!" says Richard Spencer.
In a speech last month at the National Policy Institute's annual convention, the crowd's Nazi-like response rocketed Richard Spencer into the media stratosphere. But back here on Earth, and specifically in Whitefish, the war over Spencer's white nationalist views has locals fighting battles in the newspaper and on the street - - 22 Lupfer Avenue specifically.
It’s a new building in Whitefish's downtown historic district.  First owned by Richard Spencer, and now owned by his mother, Sherry.  There are vacation rentals on the top floor, businesses lease at street-level.
But Sherry says her son's political views - - and his detractors - - are forcing her to sell the property.  In an email to us, Sherry says, "As painful as this is, I am exploring a potential sale of the building."
One of those detractors is Tanya Gersh, a prominent member of the community, who told me in an email: "She (Sherry) is profiting off of the people of the local community, all the while having facilitated Richard’s work spreading hate by letting him live and use her home address for his organization.”
Virginia’s state corporation commission still lists Sherry's home as the principle office location for Richard’s white nationalist organization, The National Policy Institute.   And a dive into Sherry's Facebook page supports the fact that Richard has spent a substantial amount of time with his mother in Whitefish, snow skiing, water skiing, hiking, holidays.
Sherry’s Facebook page also has photos of her son when he spoke at the Mencken Club's annual gathering in 2010, A group the Southern Poverty Law Center refers to as “A band of white nationalists and pseudo academic racists.”  Pictures also show Sherry and her husband attending.
In Sherry's email to me, she says, "As parents, we deeply love our son, as we always will.  We unequivocally do not agree with the extreme positions espoused by Richard."
She goes on to say, "We are stunned by the actions of Love Lives Here, an organization claiming to advocate tolerance and equal treatment of all citizens, yet coursing financial harm to many innocent parties."
Ina Albert, Love Lives Here co-founder, says, "I don't know what she's talking about.  We don't cause financial harm to anybody."
Human rights group Love Lives Here has been vocally opposed to Richard Spencer's views, but its co-founder says she has no problem with Richard spending time, or his mother doing business in Whitefish.
"I don't know what he does when he comes here,” says Albert.  “But that is not our problem with Richard Spencer.  It is the national policy institute and what that stands for and our town being smeared by his philosophy."
Tanya says she does have a problem with it, though.  She says, Sherry "Could address this by selling the building, making a donation to human rights efforts, and making a statement in opposition to white supremacist ideas spread by Richard."
One thing on which both Tanya and Sherry agree: The tenants at 22 Lupfer are stuck in the middle.  The owner of Whitefish Aesthetics tells me her association with the building is destroying her business and she's moving out if Sherry doesn't sell it.
Sherry wrote to Tanya that, “Her son's actions have been a source of anguish within her family.”
It’s also been a source of contention in Whitefish.  A letter to the editor of the Daily Interlake: "The mob rule reaction to Richard Spencer's mere existence in Whitefish reminds me of the old Frankenstein movies where the townspeople gathered with pitchforks and torches."
And: “This ‘group’ which is supposed to love all, only loves those who agree with them.”
A town divided, a mother torn, and a man whose mission is continuing to stir controversy on a national, and very local level.

So Richard Spencers mother is being bullied into selling her property and leaving town. Because hes mean.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Prelate Diogenes Shandor on December 14, 2016, 04:51:48 am
They're not supposed to

What are you even trying to say dude?
Everyone ought to be copying cultural elements from everyone else and by this time everything ought to be everywhere
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 14, 2016, 05:26:20 am
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2016/12/12/records-many-votes-detroits-precincts/95363314/

(http://i.imgur.com/BEnMgeR.jpg)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Prelate Diogenes Shandor on December 14, 2016, 07:15:52 am
What is that? A bomb? A clock? Some kind of DIY vibrator?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on December 14, 2016, 01:16:20 pm
https://archive.is/qKSm2

Quote
An ABC FOX Montana investigation tonight into Richard Spencer, the part-time Whitefish resident who is inspiring white supremacists across the country.
Our reporting has uncovered an unexpected by-product of Spencer's notoriety - - a family and a community torn apart.
Spencer’s latest news-storm came last week when he spoke at Texas A & M, provoking heated confrontation and once-again, mentions of Montana - - and Whitefish specifically - - as his part-time home.
So, we went back to Whitefish - - and here's what we uncovered.
Richard Spencer was raised in Texas, but has been spending time in Whitefish for years with his family.  His mother, Sherry Spencer, still lives in a beautiful home at Whitefish Mountain Resort.  She also runs a business downtown, but perhaps not for long.
"Hail trump!  Hail our people!  Hail victory!" says Richard Spencer.
In a speech last month at the National Policy Institute's annual convention, the crowd's Nazi-like response rocketed Richard Spencer into the media stratosphere. But back here on Earth, and specifically in Whitefish, the war over Spencer's white nationalist views has locals fighting battles in the newspaper and on the street - - 22 Lupfer Avenue specifically.
It’s a new building in Whitefish's downtown historic district.  First owned by Richard Spencer, and now owned by his mother, Sherry.  There are vacation rentals on the top floor, businesses lease at street-level.
But Sherry says her son's political views - - and his detractors - - are forcing her to sell the property.  In an email to us, Sherry says, "As painful as this is, I am exploring a potential sale of the building."
One of those detractors is Tanya Gersh, a prominent member of the community, who told me in an email: "She (Sherry) is profiting off of the people of the local community, all the while having facilitated Richard’s work spreading hate by letting him live and use her home address for his organization.”
Virginia’s state corporation commission still lists Sherry's home as the principle office location for Richard’s white nationalist organization, The National Policy Institute.   And a dive into Sherry's Facebook page supports the fact that Richard has spent a substantial amount of time with his mother in Whitefish, snow skiing, water skiing, hiking, holidays.
Sherry’s Facebook page also has photos of her son when he spoke at the Mencken Club's annual gathering in 2010, A group the Southern Poverty Law Center refers to as “A band of white nationalists and pseudo academic racists.”  Pictures also show Sherry and her husband attending.
In Sherry's email to me, she says, "As parents, we deeply love our son, as we always will.  We unequivocally do not agree with the extreme positions espoused by Richard."
She goes on to say, "We are stunned by the actions of Love Lives Here, an organization claiming to advocate tolerance and equal treatment of all citizens, yet coursing financial harm to many innocent parties."
Ina Albert, Love Lives Here co-founder, says, "I don't know what she's talking about.  We don't cause financial harm to anybody."
Human rights group Love Lives Here has been vocally opposed to Richard Spencer's views, but its co-founder says she has no problem with Richard spending time, or his mother doing business in Whitefish.
"I don't know what he does when he comes here,” says Albert.  “But that is not our problem with Richard Spencer.  It is the national policy institute and what that stands for and our town being smeared by his philosophy."
Tanya says she does have a problem with it, though.  She says, Sherry "Could address this by selling the building, making a donation to human rights efforts, and making a statement in opposition to white supremacist ideas spread by Richard."
One thing on which both Tanya and Sherry agree: The tenants at 22 Lupfer are stuck in the middle.  The owner of Whitefish Aesthetics tells me her association with the building is destroying her business and she's moving out if Sherry doesn't sell it.
Sherry wrote to Tanya that, “Her son's actions have been a source of anguish within her family.”
It’s also been a source of contention in Whitefish.  A letter to the editor of the Daily Interlake: "The mob rule reaction to Richard Spencer's mere existence in Whitefish reminds me of the old Frankenstein movies where the townspeople gathered with pitchforks and torches."
And: “This ‘group’ which is supposed to love all, only loves those who agree with them.”
A town divided, a mother torn, and a man whose mission is continuing to stir controversy on a national, and very local level.

So Richard Spencers mother is being bullied into selling her property and leaving town. Because hes mean.

I should know better than to respond, but there is quite literally nothing in that article that states what Love Lives Here's actions in regards to the building even are. 
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 14, 2016, 05:28:16 pm
https://archive.is/qKSm2

Quote
An ABC FOX Montana investigation tonight into Richard Spencer, the part-time Whitefish resident who is inspiring white supremacists across the country.
Our reporting has uncovered an unexpected by-product of Spencer's notoriety - - a family and a community torn apart.
Spencer’s latest news-storm came last week when he spoke at Texas A & M, provoking heated confrontation and once-again, mentions of Montana - - and Whitefish specifically - - as his part-time home.
So, we went back to Whitefish - - and here's what we uncovered.
Richard Spencer was raised in Texas, but has been spending time in Whitefish for years with his family.  His mother, Sherry Spencer, still lives in a beautiful home at Whitefish Mountain Resort.  She also runs a business downtown, but perhaps not for long.
"Hail trump!  Hail our people!  Hail victory!" says Richard Spencer.
In a speech last month at the National Policy Institute's annual convention, the crowd's Nazi-like response rocketed Richard Spencer into the media stratosphere. But back here on Earth, and specifically in Whitefish, the war over Spencer's white nationalist views has locals fighting battles in the newspaper and on the street - - 22 Lupfer Avenue specifically.
It’s a new building in Whitefish's downtown historic district.  First owned by Richard Spencer, and now owned by his mother, Sherry.  There are vacation rentals on the top floor, businesses lease at street-level.
But Sherry says her son's political views - - and his detractors - - are forcing her to sell the property.  In an email to us, Sherry says, "As painful as this is, I am exploring a potential sale of the building."
One of those detractors is Tanya Gersh, a prominent member of the community, who told me in an email: "She (Sherry) is profiting off of the people of the local community, all the while having facilitated Richard’s work spreading hate by letting him live and use her home address for his organization.”
Virginia’s state corporation commission still lists Sherry's home as the principle office location for Richard’s white nationalist organization, The National Policy Institute.   And a dive into Sherry's Facebook page supports the fact that Richard has spent a substantial amount of time with his mother in Whitefish, snow skiing, water skiing, hiking, holidays.
Sherry’s Facebook page also has photos of her son when he spoke at the Mencken Club's annual gathering in 2010, A group the Southern Poverty Law Center refers to as “A band of white nationalists and pseudo academic racists.”  Pictures also show Sherry and her husband attending.
In Sherry's email to me, she says, "As parents, we deeply love our son, as we always will.  We unequivocally do not agree with the extreme positions espoused by Richard."
She goes on to say, "We are stunned by the actions of Love Lives Here, an organization claiming to advocate tolerance and equal treatment of all citizens, yet coursing financial harm to many innocent parties."
Ina Albert, Love Lives Here co-founder, says, "I don't know what she's talking about.  We don't cause financial harm to anybody."
Human rights group Love Lives Here has been vocally opposed to Richard Spencer's views, but its co-founder says she has no problem with Richard spending time, or his mother doing business in Whitefish.
"I don't know what he does when he comes here,” says Albert.  “But that is not our problem with Richard Spencer.  It is the national policy institute and what that stands for and our town being smeared by his philosophy."
Tanya says she does have a problem with it, though.  She says, Sherry "Could address this by selling the building, making a donation to human rights efforts, and making a statement in opposition to white supremacist ideas spread by Richard."
One thing on which both Tanya and Sherry agree: The tenants at 22 Lupfer are stuck in the middle.  The owner of Whitefish Aesthetics tells me her association with the building is destroying her business and she's moving out if Sherry doesn't sell it.
Sherry wrote to Tanya that, “Her son's actions have been a source of anguish within her family.”
It’s also been a source of contention in Whitefish.  A letter to the editor of the Daily Interlake: "The mob rule reaction to Richard Spencer's mere existence in Whitefish reminds me of the old Frankenstein movies where the townspeople gathered with pitchforks and torches."
And: “This ‘group’ which is supposed to love all, only loves those who agree with them.”
A town divided, a mother torn, and a man whose mission is continuing to stir controversy on a national, and very local level.

So Richard Spencers mother is being bullied into selling her property and leaving town. Because hes mean.

I should know better than to respond, but there is quite literally nothing in that article that states what Love Lives Here's actions in regards to the building even are.

This isnt the best source on this, but if you read the bold and then this article you see how sneaky the denial is.

http://www.dailyinterlake.com/opinion/is-it-love-or-hate-that-lives-here/article_109d0cfe-782a-11e4-83b5-ff31a2d4698f.html

Quote
100 people, led by a group known as “Love Lives Here,” packed into Whitefish’s small town city council chambers demanding our local government pass an ordinance prohibiting Richard Spencer and the National Policy Institute he represents from doing business or having offices in Whitefish.

The article is here, was up the other day but appears to have be TechCrunch effect'd:
http://www.whitefishpilot.com/news/whitefish-rallies-for-no-hate-ordinance/article_e5affe4a-6e8b-11e4-b514-0b06fc748f5e.html?mode=image&photo=

So what happens is, Spencer used to live there and use the place as the office for his group because, as Ive stated before, Spencers group is like 15 people. He then moves away but lets his mother move into his former home. Even though he doesnt use it as a headquarters, and again, his MOTHER lives there, Love Lives Here tries to pass a local law which would force his Mother to get rid of her house.

Meanwhile his poor Mother is forced to publicly denounce her sons ideas, is put under a microscope because her son VISITS her, and even has a member of the pro-kicking her out law camp declare that for the sin of raising someone who seig hailed some journalists she should sell her house and give it to human rights organizations, like Love Lives Here.

Again, this is because Richard Spencer is mean.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on December 14, 2016, 05:35:08 pm
Ok, getting closer.  A proposed ordinance.

Still nothing about what the text of the ordinance is, nor how likely it is to pass.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 14, 2016, 05:53:14 pm
Ok, getting closer.  A proposed ordinance.

Still nothing about what the text of the ordinance is, nor how likely it is to pass.

Lol ok dude. When they print the full text of the bill to ban a poitical opponents mother from her own home maybe then we can judge. And of course, the important thing isnt the attempt to target a political opponents mother, its how likely it is to succeed.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on December 14, 2016, 05:56:39 pm
None of the bolded aligns with your summation.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 14, 2016, 06:01:48 pm
None of the bolded aligns with your summation.

Please, tell me your read on all this.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on December 14, 2016, 06:04:40 pm
I have.  Comprehension is not your friend, is it?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 14, 2016, 06:09:58 pm
I have.  Comprehension is not your friend, is it?

No it isnt. Please quote or link to it as I am a very stupid man.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 14, 2016, 06:53:01 pm
Ok here is a play by play:

I should know better than to respond, but there is quite literally nothing in that article that states what Love Lives Here's actions in regards to the building even are.

To which I responded with two links outlining Love Lives Here's support of an ordinance that would ban Richard Spencer from owning an office in Whitefish. Richard Spencers mother lives in his former home which is still listed as one of Richards offices from when he lived there. Now even if this doesnt pass, what it has done is brought a lot of negative publicity and hate down on Richard Spencers mother, who hasnt done anything besides giving birth to Richard Spencer and him occasionally visiting.

Ok, getting closer.  A proposed ordinance.

Still nothing about what the text of the ordinance is, nor how likely it is to pass.

And apparently a local news article detailing the ordinance is not enough proof. Until they publish the full text of the proposal. Which is totally something that happens all the time and a standard of proof that you would ask for in all other situations.

These are you only posts on this topic by the way. I am desperately searching for any more but I just cant find them. As previously stated I am stupid.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on December 14, 2016, 07:48:49 pm
1. No confirmation that's what the ordinance is.

2. Local news article did not detail the proposed ordinance.


Either get your shit together, or get back to fucking chickens.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on December 14, 2016, 09:11:43 pm
1. No confirmation that's what the ordinance is.

2. Local news article did not detail the proposed ordinance.


Either get your shit together, or get back to fucking chickens.

Half a used chicken on the latter occurring.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 14, 2016, 10:13:15 pm
1. No confirmation that's what the ordinance is.

2. Local news article did not detail the proposed ordinance.


Either get your shit together, or get back to fucking chickens.

Quote
100 people, led by a group known as “Love Lives Here,” packed into Whitefish’s small town city council chambers demanding our local government pass an ordinance prohibiting Richard Spencer and the National Policy Institute he represents from doing business or having offices in Whitefish.

What short of publishing the entire proposal would satisfy you? What more details do you need? What details could possibly make this not as bad as it looks?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 15, 2016, 12:16:07 am
Imagine that:  what he wants to do to 30% of the population is happening to his kin.  Because of him.



Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 15, 2016, 12:56:34 am
Because of him.

Look what you made me do.

Also thank you for clearing up your stance on attacking the families of people who have wrong opinions. But of course youre totally for free speech because something something first amendment only applies to government.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 15, 2016, 01:01:49 am
Right now, the sole thing I am judging people on is what they believe in, and what they are willing to do to defend those beliefs and, not coincidentally, the people around them.

So just to clarify. If someone has wrong opinions their families deserve to be targeted. Even if their families dont even share those wrong opinions. This is what you are willing to do to defend "the people around you" who dont include anyone related to a racist.

I mean its real brave, going after a dudes mother to protect people from his mean words.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Wizard Joseph on December 15, 2016, 01:12:43 am
Right now, the sole thing I am judging people on is what they believe in, and what they are willing to do to defend those beliefs and, not coincidentally, the people around them.

So just to clarify. If someone has wrong opinions their families deserve to be targeted. Even if their families dont even share those wrong opinions. This is what you are willing to do to defend "the people around you" who dont include anyone related to a racist.

I mean its real brave, going after a dudes mother to protect people from his mean words.

Imagine that:  what he wants to do to 30% of the population is happening to his kin. Because of him.

Look what you made me do.

Also thank you for clearing up your stance on attacking the families of people who have wrong opinions. But of course youre totally for free speech because something something first amendment only applies to government.


I'm having trouble understanding how you're interpreting this in some sort of personal violence context.

For real. YOU AND ONLY YOU went there.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 15, 2016, 01:15:20 am
Right now, the sole thing I am judging people on is what they believe in, and what they are willing to do to defend those beliefs and, not coincidentally, the people around them.

So just to clarify. If someone has wrong opinions their families deserve to be targeted. Even if their families dont even share those wrong opinions. This is what you are willing to do to defend "the people around you" who dont include anyone related to a racist.

I mean its real brave, going after a dudes mother to protect people from his mean words.

Imagine that:  what he wants to do to 30% of the population is happening to his kin. Because of him.

Look what you made me do.

Also thank you for clearing up your stance on attacking the families of people who have wrong opinions. But of course youre totally for free speech because something something first amendment only applies to government.


I'm having trouble understanding how you're interpreting this in some sort of personal violence context.

For real. YOU AND ONLY YOU went there.

I didnt say it was violent. Sorry if youre too stupid to understand what "attack" means in the context of legally bullying someones mother out of their home.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Sung Low on December 15, 2016, 02:01:18 am
Joseph.

Apparently, Nazi's just have 'wrong opinions'.  :lol:

It appears that he needs to invent a villain to justify his association with fascism. I don't think anyone here would defend attacking innocent families, no matter who their offspring were. Pointing out the irony on the other hand? YMMV. Or, more specifically, HMMV.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 15, 2016, 02:12:49 am
Joseph.

Apparently, Nazi's just have 'wrong opinions'.  :lol:

What has Richard Spencer actually done besides state controversial things?

Quote
It appears that he needs to invent a villain to justify his association with fascism. I don't think anyone here would defend attacking innocent families, no matter who their offspring were. Pointing out the irony on the other hand? YMMV. Or, more specifically, HMMV.

Dont speak for Rodger. Hes a big boy and can backpeddle for himself.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Wizard Joseph on December 15, 2016, 02:17:39 am
Joseph.

Apparently, Nazi's just have 'wrong opinions'.  :lol:

It appears that he needs to invent a villain to justify his association with fascism. I don't think anyone here would defend attacking innocent families, no matter who their offspring were. Pointing out the irony on the other hand? YMMV. Or, more specifically, HMMV.

Too stupid to understand acronyms plz
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Sung Low on December 15, 2016, 09:29:40 am
Joseph.

Apparently, Nazi's just have 'wrong opinions'.  :lol:

It appears that he needs to invent a villain to justify his association with fascism. I don't think anyone here would defend attacking innocent families, no matter who their offspring were. Pointing out the irony on the other hand? YMMV. Or, more specifically, HMMV.

Too stupid to understand acronyms plz

Your Mileage May Vary. The second one I changed to mean 'His' in reference to our resident fascist.

I recognise that it's bad form to change acronyms on the fly, apologies for any confusion.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Wizard Joseph on December 15, 2016, 02:58:45 pm
Joseph.

Apparently, Nazi's just have 'wrong opinions'.  :lol:

It appears that he needs to invent a villain to justify his association with fascism. I don't think anyone here would defend attacking innocent families, no matter who their offspring were. Pointing out the irony on the other hand? YMMV. Or, more specifically, HMMV.

Too stupid to understand acronyms plz

Your Mileage May Vary. The second one I changed to mean 'His' in reference to our resident fascist.

I recognise that it's bad form to change acronyms on the fly, apologies for any confusion.

No apologies needed. Thanks.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 15, 2016, 06:34:28 pm
Boy Rodger sure ducked out of this thread fast.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: LMNO on December 15, 2016, 06:39:04 pm
(http://pre12.deviantart.net/8a6f/th/pre/f/2014/135/3/7/this_is_bait_by_sirianlee-d7iinm5.jpg)
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Wizard Joseph on December 15, 2016, 06:52:32 pm
(http://pre12.deviantart.net/8a6f/th/pre/f/2014/135/3/7/this_is_bait_by_sirianlee-d7iinm5.jpg)

 :lulz:
He needs his king NOW tho
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 15, 2016, 06:56:36 pm
(http://pre12.deviantart.net/8a6f/th/pre/f/2014/135/3/7/this_is_bait_by_sirianlee-d7iinm5.jpg)

Again, Rodger is a big boy he can weasel out of owning up to his own words himself. He can also explain that he is too SMARTtm to bother wasting his time on me(except for when he just did, and all the times he inevitably will in the future) himself before yall play that card. Let the man speak for himself.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 15, 2016, 07:53:13 pm
Boy Rodger sure ducked out of this thread fast.

I've been at work, you stupid Nazi cunt.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 15, 2016, 09:48:31 pm
Boy Rodger sure ducked out of this thread fast.

I've been at work, you stupid Nazi cunt.

Eggcelent I thought you flounced on me. Now we can pick up where we left off.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 16, 2016, 12:35:23 am
Boy Rodger sure ducked out of this thread fast.

I've been at work, you stupid Nazi cunt.

Eggcelent I thought you flounced on me. Now we can pick up where we left off.

Sure.  I love the irony of the situation.  So what?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 16, 2016, 01:10:48 am
Boy Rodger sure ducked out of this thread fast.

I've been at work, you stupid Nazi cunt.

Eggcelent I thought you flounced on me. Now we can pick up where we left off.

Sure.  I love the irony of the situation.  So what?

So you dont approve of it at all then?
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 16, 2016, 03:09:27 am
Boy Rodger sure ducked out of this thread fast.

I've been at work, you stupid Nazi cunt.

Eggcelent I thought you flounced on me. Now we can pick up where we left off.

Sure.  I love the irony of the situation.  So what?

So you dont approve of it at all then?

Oh, I absolutely do.  It's like your glorious leader says, "target their families, too".  I mean, we're gonna do this, right?  No fucking wimping out now.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on December 16, 2016, 03:12:35 am
Do you think he's realized that he's turning his own family into legitimate targets yet? I bet no-ones bothering to explain why this is such a terrible idea to him.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 16, 2016, 03:31:54 am
Oh, I absolutely do.  It's like your glorious leader says, "target their families, too".  I mean, we're gonna do this, right?  No fucking wimping out now.

Good to see at least youre dedicated to the fight against mean words.

Do you think he's realized that he's turning his own family into legitimate targets yet? I bet no-ones bothering to explain why this is such a terrible idea to him.

"Do you think he realizes that by holding a different opinion than us were going to go after his family?"

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: Junkenstein on December 16, 2016, 03:35:16 am
I was referring to trump, not you.

Also, he's helping legitimise US civilians as targets. So sleep a little more soundly as a result of that, I guess. To be clear, terrorists are going to do this kind of shit anyway, handing them justifications to do so is the mark of a world class moron.

Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on December 16, 2016, 03:36:07 am
Oh, I absolutely do.  It's like your glorious leader says, "target their families, too".  I mean, we're gonna do this, right?  No fucking wimping out now.

Good to see at least youre dedicated to the fight against mean words.


I hate fascists.  I don't actually need a reason to be shitty to them.  Or violent, for that matter, especially if I have a reasonable chance of getting clear before the police show up.  They exist; that is all that is required.

And so if a cunt decides he wants to fuck whole segments of the population, I can hardly be expected to cry if he and his get the same treatment.  Hell, they didn't even get burned out of their home.

It's like none of you guys are serious about having a good time.
Title: Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
Post by: xXRon_Paul_42016Xxx(weed) on December 16, 2016, 04:18:51 am
Oh, I absolutely do.  It's like your glorious leader says, "target their families, too".  I mean, we're gonna do this, right?  No fucking wimping out now.

Good to see at least youre dedicated to the fight against mean words.


I hate fascists.  I don't actually need a reason to be shitty to them.  Or violent, for that matter, especially if I have a reasonable chance of getting clear before the police show up.  They exist; that is all that is required.

And so if a cunt decides he wants to fuck whole segments of the population, I can hardly be expected to cry if he and his get the same treatment.  Hell, they didn't even get burned out of their home.

It's like none of you guys are serious about having a good time.

What same treatment? All Spencer has done is seig hail some journalists and LARP about starting an ethnostate with his like 50 newsletter subscribers. Spencer hasnt fucked anyone. More importantly you arent talking about fucking over Spencer, youre talking about his mother.

Quote
Hell, they didn't even get burned out of their home.

They, their. He doesnt even live there anymore. Its just her and hers.