Author Topic: Random News Stories  (Read 477190 times)

Junkenstein

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Re: Random News Stories
« Reply #3360 on: May 21, 2014, 10:31:01 am »
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/05/20/heres-some-wasteful-big-government-spending-why-isnt-fox-news-outraged/?wpsrc=AG0003336

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Do you remember the $16 muffin? It was big news in 2011, coming from an inspector general’s report on Justice Department overspending at conferences. There were front-page articles in newspapers, but the real heat came from conservative media, particularly Fox News, which blasted the government for spending so much for muffins. It turned out that there was no $16 muffin, though there may have been overpriced hotel breakfasts.
That story contained everything Fox wanted its viewers to believe about government employees fleecing taxpayers.
Now here’s another similar story from today you won’t be hearing about on Fox, or perhaps anywhere else. It appeared on page A11 of today’s Post:
Northrop Grumman improperly charged the U.S. government more than $100 million in “questionable” costs on a contract, according to a Defense Department inspector general’s report.
The report found that from October 2007 through March 2013, the major defense contractor “did not properly charge labor rates” for a counter-narcoterrorism contract, and that the Army agency in charge of the contract did not ensure that the people performing the work had the necessary qualifications. The agency also did not review invoices for millions of dollars of overtime, the report said.
The IG found $21.7 million in “potentially excessive payments” for overtime, including one employee who billed $176,900 for 1,208 hours in a 12-day period. That caught investigators’ attention, since the employee was billing for more than 100 hours a day.

$100 million could buy you an awful lot of muffins. Back when the muffin story broke, I wrote a post about it and did a Google News search, which produced 443 articles about the muffins in the prior 24 hours. How many stories do you think there have been in the last 24 hours about Northrop Grumman’s $100 million overcharge (I suppose we might even call it “fraud”) of the American taxpayer? A dozen? A hundred? Nope. Just one — the one in the Post. Nobody else seems to find it interesting.
So what does this tell us? First, conservatives have a media apparatus that they can use to force certain stories into mainstream awareness when they find those that tell a tale they want people to hear. It doesn’t always work — for instance, their efforts to get everyone to care about the New Black Panthers have not borne fruit — but it works often enough.
Second, if there’s a vivid detail, even one that turns out to be untrue (like the $16 muffin), then all journalists are much more likely to find it compelling and do stories about it. You’d think that the story of the guy who managed to bill for 100 hours of work per day would be pretty compelling. Guess not.
Third, people seem to get angrier about bad behavior from government employees than from contractors, even though contractors at a place like Northrup Grumman are government employees in all but name (according to Northrop’s 2013 annual report, $21.3 billion of its $24.7 billion in sales came from U.S. government contracts). I’d give folks like Fox some credit for that, since they’ve worked so hard to convince everyone that “government bureaucrats” are both slothful and sinister, working every day to crush Americans’ freedom when they aren’t taking 3-hour lunches.
And fourth, the actual magnitude of the waste of taxpayer money is all but irrelevant to whether this kind of story gains traction. You know about the muffins, but do you remember that in Iraq, the Defense Department lost — literally just lost, with no idea where it went — a staggering $6.6 billion in cash? We’re talking pallets full of $100 bills, sent over there to make it rain on the various factions whose support we were trying to buy. Just disappeared. That should have been an earth-shaking scandal, but few people ever heard about it.

How's the USA doing on the corruption index nowadays? I'm guessing quite well on paper but the reality seems a little different. Hardly the first tale of this kind and it'll be interesting to see if this gets any traction at all. I can't imagine either side will want to use it in election propaganda.
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Junkenstein

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Re: Random News Stories
« Reply #3361 on: May 21, 2014, 10:56:20 am »
Surely prison pipleline related :
http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/05/20/fbi_rules_prohibit_hiring_marijuana_users_but_many_desirable_cybercrime.html

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This week at the White Collar Crime Institute, an annual New York City Bar Association conference, Comey said that cybersecurity is an important priority for the FBI, but that the agency may need to re-evaluate its hiring stance when it comes to marijuana use. Currently anyone who has used pot in the three years before applying to an FBI job is automatically disqualified from consideration.

“I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” Comey said, according to the Wall Street Journal. A conference attendee brought up a friend who hadn't applied for an FBI job because of pot use. Comey replied, “He should go ahead and apply.”

It would certainly be handy for various people to have a list of known (or highly likely as proven by SHUT UP) smokers who could be raided on demand to make up crime figures. You'd have to seven shade of insane to actually trust that this won't end up in arrests and deal making all over the show. "No prison for you.... if you work for us."
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Junkenstein

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Re: Random News Stories
« Reply #3362 on: May 21, 2014, 11:00:24 am »
Nine naked Men just walking down the road will cause a heap of trouble for all concerned.

LuciferX

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Re: Random News Stories
« Reply #3363 on: May 21, 2014, 11:28:34 am »
Surely prison pipleline related :
http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/05/20/fbi_rules_prohibit_hiring_marijuana_users_but_many_desirable_cybercrime.html

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This week at the White Collar Crime Institute, an annual New York City Bar Association conference, Comey said that cybersecurity is an important priority for the FBI, but that the agency may need to re-evaluate its hiring stance when it comes to marijuana use. Currently anyone who has used pot in the three years before applying to an FBI job is automatically disqualified from consideration.

“I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” Comey said, according to the Wall Street Journal. A conference attendee brought up a friend who hadn't applied for an FBI job because of pot use. Comey replied, “He should go ahead and apply.”

It would certainly be handy for various people to have a list of known (or highly likely as proven by SHUT UP) smokers who could be raided on demand to make up crime figures. You'd have to seven shade of insane to actually trust that this won't end up in arrests and deal making all over the show. "No prison for you.... if you work for us."
It'd be one of those weird, trick questions.  On the application there would be something to the order of "... have you in the last four years...". Trying to be a "agent" and such, they'd chexk your answer against references, and that's the only liability for that question, detective  :wink:
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Junkenstein

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Re: Random News Stories
« Reply #3364 on: May 23, 2014, 02:35:21 pm »
This is odd:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-27540945
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Police fail to seize terror inmate Munir Farooqi's home

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Munir Farooqi was given four life sentences in 2011 after he tried to recruit two undercover police officers for jihad in Afghanistan.

His trial heard he used the family home for meetings to radicalise recruits.

But a judge at Manchester Crown Court said seizing the home would harm Farooqi's family.

The house is estimated to be worth about £200,000 and is registered in the name of Farooqi's wife and daughter.

Greater Manchester Police wanted to seize the property under a clause of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Quote
On Friday, Deputy High Court Judge Richard Henriques agreed.

He said he was satisfied Farooqi had control of the house at time of his offences, but that his family did not know of his terrorist activities.

He said seizing the home would adversely affect the family, rendering six innocent adults and two children homeless.

The judge also ruled that Farooqi, of Longsight, Manchester, must pay £500,000 towards the costs of his trial.

It is understood any cash recovered would go to the Treasury, not Greater Manchester Police.

So the Police are apparently pushing for asset seizures now, doubtless after seeing how lucrative it's been in the USA.

It seems that the "right" decision has been made in this instance but I doubt it bodes well for anyone arrested without extensive assets and family to wave around in court. I've got to find it a little strange how the home can be used for the claimed purposes yet everyone was entirely unaware of such activities.

That resulted in couple of searches leading to this:
http://www.islam21c.com/politics/savethefamilyhome-interview-with-the-daughter-of-munir-farooqi/
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Cramulus

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Re: Random News Stories
« Reply #3365 on: May 23, 2014, 03:02:14 pm »
Welp. http://wikileaks.org/WikiLeaks-statement-on-the-mass.html

Even Greenwald  was like "Okay we should probably keep that one buttoned up, releasing that info will get people killed"

assange goes "LOL NO"



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Re: Random News Stories
« Reply #3366 on: May 23, 2014, 03:03:58 pm »
Wikleaks vs Journalists, battleground twitter https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/468451149495148544

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Re: Random News Stories
« Reply #3367 on: May 27, 2014, 02:34:17 pm »
Does anyone know if Republicans are trying to attack Obama over the accidental* exposure of the Kabul CIA Station Chief this weekend?

I could do with a laugh, and that would provide oh so many. 

*I have no idea if this was accidental or "accidental".  Let's just recall that the military in Afghanistan and the CIA in general are a hotbed of anti-Obama sentiment, and going by the ousting of McChrystal and Petraues, the feeling is mutual.

Junkenstein

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Re: Random News Stories
« Reply #3368 on: May 28, 2014, 09:17:05 am »
5/5:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/no-way-to-prevent-this-says-only-nation-where-this,36131/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=Default:1:Default

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SLA VISTA, CA—In the days following a violent rampage in southern California in which a lone attacker killed seven individuals, including himself, and seriously injured over a dozen others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Tuesday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place. “This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said North Carolina resident Samuel Wipper, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations. “It’s a shame, but what can we do? There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep this guy from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what he really wanted.” At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past five years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.
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Junkenstein

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Re: Random News Stories
« Reply #3369 on: May 28, 2014, 09:48:36 am »
"European Paedophilia networks" is probably worth it's own thread by now, it keeps coming up frequently enough.
http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/matthew-mcvarish-interview
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Back in the 1990s, Romania was the paedophile paradise of Europe – mostly due to a lack of laws that followed the fall of communism. Thousands of tourists from northern countries would travel there to abuse minors and if caught, they would usually get off with just a warning.

Unfortunately things haven't changed much since then. Once every couple of years, European or American authorities arrest a different network of paedophiles or human traffickers operating in Romania. Just last year, they discovered a giant child porn network, for which the movies were made in Romania and Ukraine.

The new penal code made the situation even worse, as both the punishment and the statute of limitations for pedophilia decreased to a maximum of seven years. That means that if you got raped at five years old and reported it at 13, your assailant is basically a free man.

An American NGO called 'Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse' is fighting to eliminate the statute of limitations for pedophilia across Europe. They’re doing this through a campaign called Road to Change, in which a Scottish actor called Matthew McVarish travels by foot from one European capital to another, trying to convince local governments to adopt harsher paedophilia legislation. His aim is to travel a total of 16,000 kilometers.

Interview details the situation in Romania and other European countries in general terms.
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Re: Random News Stories
« Reply #3370 on: May 28, 2014, 10:01:24 am »
5/5:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/no-way-to-prevent-this-says-only-nation-where-this,36131/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=Default:1:Default

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SLA VISTA, CA—In the days following a violent rampage in southern California in which a lone attacker killed seven individuals, including himself, and seriously injured over a dozen others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Tuesday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place. “This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said North Carolina resident Samuel Wipper, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations. “It’s a shame, but what can we do? There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep this guy from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what he really wanted.” At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past five years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.

Talk about missing the obvious. The solution is simple - more guns! How many people in the US "snap" every day? Some of them don't have a gun so they can't shoot both other potential "snappers" and then themselves. Every person who gets killed is one less potential rampage, waiting to happen. If we can just get fully automatic weapons into the hands of the people who need them most, I'm confident the situation will resolve itself. :evil:
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Re: Random News Stories
« Reply #3371 on: May 28, 2014, 02:52:17 pm »
I swear to fucking god, if one more person takes a story from a satire site seriously I'm going to give up on PD.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Junkenstein

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Re: Random News Stories
« Reply #3372 on: May 28, 2014, 02:58:22 pm »
Pretty sure P3nt's familiar with the Onion.

This is a bag of creepy shit, somewhat related. Turns out the shooter was part of a "PUAhate" forum, trolled bodybuilders and much, much more.
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:9jm67Lf42GUJ:puahate.com/showthread.php%3Ft%3D139474+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca&client=firefox-a

Warning - Nothing specific, its all fucking awful.
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Re: Random News Stories
« Reply #3373 on: May 28, 2014, 03:02:09 pm »
The worst part of that for me is that "PUAHate" isn't a bunch of people who hate PUAs because of their slimy, creepy, rape-y, objectifying ways, they hate PUAs because they feel "ripped off" the PUA techniques couldn't get them the sex they DESERVED.

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Re: Random News Stories
« Reply #3374 on: May 28, 2014, 03:03:38 pm »
Pretty sure P3nt's familiar with the Onion.

This is a bag of creepy shit, somewhat related. Turns out the shooter was part of a "PUAhate" forum, trolled bodybuilders and much, much more.
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:9jm67Lf42GUJ:puahate.com/showthread.php%3Ft%3D139474+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca&client=firefox-a

Warning - Nothing specific, its all fucking awful.

There's a whole conversation on this elsewhere on the forum.

“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”