Category Archives: Domestic Politics

Fed. Govt. Spending Nearly $1 Mill to Track Twitter Political Activity

Of course, the federal government is doing this in such a fashion so as to be able to make it appear not them through funding this third party, but God knows that the point will be to be able to consult these people and build a veritable database of peoples & collections of people who actively engage in a government unapproved political ideology.

The goods below:

The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.

The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.

The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”

The university has received $919,917 so far for the project.

“The project stands to benefit both the research community and the public significantly,” the grant states. “Our data will be made available via [application programming interfaces] APIs and include information on meme propagation networks, statistical data, and relevant user and content features.”

{snip}

“This service could mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate,” the grant said.

“Truthy,” which gets its name from Stephen Colbert, will catalog how information is spread on Twitter, including political campaigns.

{snip}

“Truthy” claims to be non-partisan. However, the project’s lead investigator Filippo Menczer proclaims his support for numerous progressive advocacy groups, including President Barack Obama’s Organizing for Action, Moveon.org, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Amnesty International, and True Majority.

AmRen

Pretty fabulous to consider that this is meant to produce ‘reports’ beneficial to the American people on ‘social pollution,’ but we all know that this will presumably function as a dragnet for the NSA to now monitor people with the false pretense of doing it for research.

And we are all quite sure that this funding will not lead to damning reports of right wing activists (the few that there seemingly are in comparison to the Left) on twitter. The Colbert watching MoveOn.org crowd has never been known for their moderate and objective approach towards political discourse and analysis — but, suddenly, we are interested in funding research that will have them monitoring twitter accounts.

Fun, fun, fun.

Hobby Lobby: Their Rights… & What About Universal Health Care?

The Hobby Lobby debate is a great illustration of a distracting issue that quickly devolves into a meme contest of mud slinging & false comparisons. The basic facts of the case are often ignored, and there is little to no discussion on what people actually believe government or business should do, or what obligations they actually have towards people. It seems to be more about what team you signed up for years ago, and what shirt you are wearing, than about the actual discussion of it.

That is why being ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal’ isn’t helpful in this debate. The only thing that is actually helpful is having a clear view of the role of government, the role of business, and the role of individuals within society. And when you even take a moment to understand all of these perspectives that you might have, and come to conclusions on them, you are then suddenly overwhelmed by the absurdity of the Hobby Lobby debate as it stands….

Let us be clear for a minute: Hobby Lobby is only fighting to not pay for 4 of 20 different contraceptive devices that they believe specifically to be involved in the process of abortion.

They even released a statement saying that the 4 items they do not provide through their health care plan are generally quite cheap and readily available, and any of their employees can certainly purchase these on their own dime if they do not intend to use any of the other 16 methods that range from the classic Jimmy Hat to vasectomies & female sterilization surgeries (The Blaze).

But some people are still not satisfied because of the four things they cannot buy — most notably, the morning after pill, for this is where they have decided to draw their line in the sand, believing that abortion is an immoral action, and they do not want to spend any of their money on it.

There is a really simple line of argument for the right of Hobby Lobby to not do this:

(1) People should be able to negotiate their terms of business. 

I simply believe that private enterprise has the right to come up with their own contracts.

If person A agrees to work for person B for 40/hours week for X-amount of money, and they put in the contract that person A also gets one bottle of Jack Daniels every Friday night, that is their business; if person A agrees only to work for person B if he is paid in Swedish Krona because he plans on returning to Sweden at the end of the summer and he wants his money in that, so be it; if person A wants to be paid exclusively in foodstuffs, that is also their business.

it seems remarkably silly that a person wouldn’t be able to negotiate the terms of a health care plan.

(2) People Should Be Able To Express Religion / Ideology, Even In Business.

Is it the best idea for a major chain store to advocate a religious or ideological standpoint? Probably not. But if the local Hallal butcher wants to talk about how great of a Muslim he is, or a Hallal grocer wants to insure the Hallal-ity of his groceries, why not?

Let’s say we even have a private Buddhist school, and it only has about 100 students… They only need about 10 teachers and a few other staff, and they want every employee to be a devout Buddhist because of the environment that they try to foster, and they give special priority to Buddhist monks or nuns to be teachers…
Can we be upset with them if they hire only Buddhists? Can we be upset with them if they hire only monks & nuns, and for these people they have zero plans for birth control?

Follow this logic t its natural conclusion.

(3) Personal Responsibility & Strength

I am responsible for everything that I do. if I were to ride my bicycle without a helmet consistently, who could I blame if I suffered a head injury? My employer who didn’t buy me a helmet even though he knew I was a cyclist?

If my employer doesn’t buy me a helmet… I guess if I want to cycle, I just have to use a portion of my own income to buy my own helmet. If my employer doesn’t want to give me abortion pills but still offers to buy me condoms, should I really complain if they do not buy me my abortion pill?

(4) If You Want Universal Health Care So Bad, How About You Universalize Health Care?

I want universal health care in the sense that I think everyone who doesn’t make a certain amount of money should have affordable and essentially free health care provided by the state.

I have no idea why we would just fight for businesses to provide some sort of… vast health care plan. Then we are denying health care to loads of unemployed people. Then we are denying health care to people who will just go to jobs that will cut their hours below X-amount so they do not qualify for certain health care costs…

I thought there was some goal for this generation of young Americans to universalize the health care system…

… Instead, they are taking the fight to make hobby lobby buy them abortion pills, as if this is the new frontier of a meaningful healthcare plan. 

Whatever happened to the campaign for universal health care? How did the Left suddenly see this Red Herring, and then go barking up this tree?

They are just being duped by super-liberal organizations capitalizing off of anti-religious  & anti-conservative sentiment.

This really should all be addressed in calm, quiet terms and be an issue about private enterprise and its rights to negotiate their own terms of service…

If this was really about health care, why would we focus on getting private businesses to buy abortion pills for people while the far greater injustice is the fact that many people are without viable health care plans?

I think the whole thing is a distraction from real issues & being discussed in entirely the wrong way.

Perhaps we should all go sit on some ice for a minute and re-think our priorities.

The “Dead Broke” Clintons: They’re So Much Like Us, Right?

There are many politicians who like to pretend that they are closer to the common man than they actually are. This is often captured in the Fall before the big elections by multimillionaire career politicians pretending to be hunters; it is seen by them occasionally going into a McDonalds or some other place that they associate with the proletarian values.

But Hillary Clinton is apparently trying to kill two birds with one stone here:

Hillary Clinton says she and her husband Bill went from the White House to the poor house.

In an interview with ABC News broadcast Monday, Hillary Clinton defended the six-figure speaking fees she and Bill reel in, saying, “We came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt.”

“We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy,” she added.

NY Daily News (Cont.)

What is so insulting about it is that the figures are generally that she charges around $200,000 a speech, and of course, had $780,000 in registered assets while claiming she was entering the poor house. It is almost as if she just felt the right to brazenly ignore the fact that the average American cannot go and make $200,000 grand from a single speech which, if you ask 99% of Americans, would solve all of their financial worries.

Hell, if I could just get $200,000 II think I wouldn’t be worrying about any money at all over the next decade considering my frugality…

The other fun aspect is that how important Chelsea Clinton’s education was — so important it would be unthinkable to send her to a public school for a year or two, again like the majority of Americans; so important that she would have to go into debt in order to support this.

Her attempt at justifying speaker’s fees was, in fact, thoroughly entertaining — consider, also, that it doesn’t match up in the least with easily accessible facts:

Still, as Bill Clinton’s presidency ended, the couple bought a $2.85 million home in Washington and a $1.7 million spread in Chappaqua. And Hillary landed an $8 million advance for her memoir, “Living History.” (from the above article)

The general comedy of it is that she would even come out to say this — as if she is so out of touch with the regular American people that she would attempt to… impress us with her ‘hard times’ and her necessity of making these speeches?

Regardless…

II am not that into American politics or surprised, and I am not that supportive of Mitt Romney or his horse that lives so much better than I do; I merely have taken the opportunity to point out that Clinton, in this particular case, should insert her foot into her mouth & stop pretending to be anything else but an insanely wealthy career politician.

US Charges 5 in Chinese Army w/ Hacking: Can We Charge 5 in NSA w/ Hacking?

There seems to now be surfacing a precedent where we can charge foreign nationals who are actively doing service to their country’s government with hacking for tapping into the sensitive data of corporations:

The Justice Department indicted five Chinese military officers, alleging they hacked U.S. companies’ computers to steal trade secrets, a major escalation in the fight between the two superpowers over economic espionage.

The indictment, unsealed Monday, marks the first time the U.S. government has publicly accused employees of a foreign power with cybercrimes against American firms. It also marks the most extensive formal allegations by the government of the kind of hacking that American corporations have long complained about, but until now have rarely acknowledged.

Among those named as victims in the document are brand names from America’s industrial heartland, including U.S. Steel Corp., Westinghouse Electric Co. and Alcoa Inc.

U.S. officials said other cases relating to China are being prepared. In addition, alleged hackers in Russia are likely to be charged soon, according to people familiar with the government’s investigations. U.S. agencies have also been investigating incidents with possible ties to Iran and Syria, these people say.

It is unlikely the suspects will ever be brought to trial in the U.S., since there is no extradition treaty with China. Yet in publicly naming the five, and providing details in a 48-page indictment, the Obama administration is ratcheting up the political and diplomatic costs to China and others if they use computers to steal secrets or attack U.S. interests.

Wall Street Journal

The only question I have… Can we charge the NSA or other US Gov’t agencies with, similarly, violating the property of American parties?

The definite plus side is that, since we are Americans, we can actually bring them to justice as we have jurisdiction over these agents who operate within America! 

The difference, of course, is that the most powerful office in America protects some Americans from hacking into the accounts and sensitive information, but it doesn’t prevent others. A significant barrier to justice…

But I thought only corrupt countries had ways of skirting their own laws for the powerful and elite to fulfill their will?

… Only corrupt countries.

Anti-Russian Policy Compromises US Space Program

The Obama administration has dropped the ball on effectively containing Russian foreign policy successes — whether Syria or the Ukraine, the Russians have been able to get everything they want and then some.

Recently we put some really cute sanctions on the Russians — incredibly weak and ineffective ones that cannot disrupt the Russians in any real sense but are meant to look like they are doing something. Sec. of State John Kerry refers to this as a scalpel rather than a hammer, as if to lend credence to his impotent policies.

But the Russians, of course, are not going to stand by and watch:

Here is an informative video on the issue:

And here is a more detailed article specifically concerning rockets:

PARIS, WASHINGTON – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said May 13 that Moscow would halt the sale of RD-180 and NK-33 rocket engines to the U.S. for the purpose of launching military satellites.

The RD-180 is used to power the first stage of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, while a modified version of the NK-33 – the Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ-26 – provides core propulsion on the first stage of the Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares launch vehicle.

“We will assume that, without guarantees that our engines are used only for launching non-military spacecraft, we won’t be able to deliver them to the U.S.,” Rogozin told reporters during a news conference.

ULA, which says it has more than two year’s worth of RD-180 engines in its U.S. inventory, is “not aware of any restrictions,” according to a company statement. “If recent news reports are accurate, it affirms that [Space Exploration Technology’s] SpaceX’s irresponsible actions have created unnecessary distractions, threatened U.S. military satellite operations, and undermined our future relationship with the International Space Station.” The company is referencing a protest in Federal Claims Court filed April 28 by SpaceX claiming that the Air Force’s five-year, sole-source deal with ULA unfairly cut the company, and its new Falcon 9 v1.1 launcher, out of the competition. The filing prompted a temporary injunction in payments for RD-180 work and thrust the issue into the public debate amid mounting tensions between Washington and Moscow.

Aviation Week

The whole venture has been a great disaster in the end for Americans who will now have to find other means to send satellites into space if they are truly determined to continue squaring off with the Russians.

This, of course, comes with the fact that our economy isn’t what it used to be and our entire military sector is merely a series of vast dependencies on military contractors who are fleecing the tax payers. Of course, we will get off the ground again — and spend ten times as much as necessary towards Northrop-Grumman or some other contracting agency that makes far too much money.

This whole Ukraine debacle has only shown the inability of the European & American dove administrations from doing anything effective at all.

It is hard to watch these people work. They are nothing more than overly idealistic imbeciles who really look like they are having their first go at foreign policy — and for all intents & purposes, that is fairly true. 🙂

Montana Exchange Student Killing Highlights Media Agenda

By now we have all heard of the killing of the German exchange student who was living in Montana. The media would have you believe that there are millions of gun-loving Americans that have to support the unhinged Markus Kaarma (or the theoretical right to ‘stand one’s ground’ or what not) over the German teenager he caught snooping in his garage…

The story is a lot less complicated — but silly MSM tries to spice it up for all of us:

New details in the case of a slain German exchange student suggest that teenage mischief may have played a role in a Montana shooting that has, once again, put US self-defense laws in the international spotlight.

In what’s turned into a peculiar American allegory involving marijuana, enhanced self-defense laws, and suburban crime fears, police say a 29-year-old Forest Service firefighter named Markus Kaarma shot and killed 17-year-old German exchange student Diren Dede on April 27 after the teenager apparently entered Mr. Kaarma’s open garage as part of a “garage-hopping” prank he learned from local Missoula kids, according to what a friend told police.

Kaarma’s live-in girlfriend told neighbors that someone had stolen marijuana from the firefighter’s garage stash on several occasions. Investigators say they removed a glass jar full of pot during the course of their investigation.

The shooting of Diren became an international incident as German diplomatic staff said “what happened [was] completely out of proportion to the probable risk.”

US prosecutors agree, already having charged Kaarma with homicide. An open question is whether a jury will believe police allegations that Kaarma set a trap for Diren by opening the garage door and linking up a baby monitor feed before shooting blindly into the darkened garage after spotting movement.

Kaarma is set to plead not guilty by self defense at an upcoming arraignment. Through his lawyer, he has said he was simply defending his home – including a 10-month-old baby and girlfriend – from a repeat burglar who may have posed an armed threat. His lawyer says the couple had the garage door open not to trap anyone but to air out cigarette smoke.

Christian Science Monitor

What is so funny about this from the start (before we delve into the harder parts of this article) is how the journalist implies that this is just some kind of fun prank kids are doing called ‘garage hopping,’ and then later implies that this is about the theft of marijuana. What makes me chuckle so hard about all of this is that journalists are called out so rarely on this sort of sloppy assessment of situations.

Journalists are the type of people who call an assembled group of rioters a ‘flash mob’ if it suits the purposes of an article, later to clearly note that the crowd was pillaging and looting like a lot of medieval Vikings showing up on Irish shores.

When we boil it down to the details here it is that there was a baby monitor in the garage in order to catch a potential thief. The plan wasn’t to go out and warn the guy with a guy, nor was the plan ever to call the Police after gaining some description and holding him via citizens arrest… The plan was to gun down the thief.

Kaarma insists that the man could have been armed, and that is why he must immediately spray bullets at the person. But any gun owner, any sane person, who understands the intruder isn’t even in the house but snooping around in their garage understands that in bloody Montana this probably doesn’t pose a clear and immediate threat to one’s life.

… Especially considered that you think its teenagers stealing pot from you like they did before.

People need to conceptualize this properly and understand this isn’t a scenario where a man is fending off a legitimate threat in the least. It is one of an overzealous idiot literally waiting for a marijuana thief to come to his garage to blast him.

He should be in jail — he is not a good example of the American gun owners and the American self-defense laws. He is a good example of absolute idiots who give our country a bad name.

But the media has picked this issue to dwell on — they do not pay attention to the Australian killed in Oklahoma by thugs for the contents of his pockets; they do not pay attention to the French street artist murdered in Detroit in a similarly unsolved murder case.

And why not? These are things that would help highlight the dangers for foreigners of living in the United States due to perpetual violent street crime that the government has been incapable (or unwilling) to solve. It shows a greater problem that is not only a threat to foreigners, but a threat to all manner of Americans as well who are victimized by senseless violent crimes for street thugs.

But this does not benefit any major political agenda to highlight whereas this case of the German teenager does. it gives more talking points to the anti-gun crowd that will seek to limit gun ownership as much as possible.

They forget to mention: Markus Kaarma has been arrested and under the relatively lax Montana home invasion laws was deemed to be a responsible party in the shooting of the German teen. Markus Kaarma very well may be going to jail for violating American laws. Yet, already, they are stirring up potential protest against these standing gun laws because it serves a political purpose.

But they do not cast criticism on the continuous violent crime that plagues the US, everywhere from Oklahoma to Los Angeles to Miami to Detroit, because it serves no clear political agenda for anyone but speaks only of a far more deep seated problem in our community.

Shame on the media, really.

Google & Tech Firms: Still Gov’t Cronyism & Profits Before People w/ a Hip Facade

Google has always tried to show itself as being truly a force not for evil; in fact, they recently were involved in the production of a popagandizing film with Vince Vaughn & Owen Wilson to show you just how utterly new, unique & community positive they are. We know though that Google has previously changed search results to appease China & even deleted entire user groups to appease the critics of the Indian governmen (source).

But still, guys, come on! Google is the company of the future! And they are different! They are young & hip and building a brighter future, and we sure better listen to their perspective because they are looking out for us — fun parts in bold:

Email exchanges between National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander and Google executives Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt suggest a far cozier working relationship between some tech firms and the U.S. government than was implied by Silicon Valley brass after last year’s revelations about NSA spying.

Disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the agency’s vast capability for spying on Americans’ electronic communications prompted a number of tech executives whose firms cooperated with the government to insist they had done so only when compelled by a court of law.
But Al Jazeera has obtained two sets of email communications dating from a year before Snowden became a household name that suggest not all cooperation was under pressure.
On the morning of June 28, 2012, an email from Alexander invited Schmidt to attend a four-hour-long “classified threat briefing” on Aug. 8 at a “secure facility in proximity to the San Jose, CA airport.”
“The meeting discussion will be topic-specific, and decision-oriented, with a focus on Mobility Threats and Security,” Alexander wrote in the email, obtained under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the first of dozens of communications between the NSA chief and Silicon Valley executives that the agency plans to turn over.
Alexander, Schmidt and other industry executives met earlier in the month, according to the email…
“About six months ago, we began focusing on the security of mobility devices,” Alexander wrote. “A group (primarily Google, Apple and Microsoft) recently came to agreement on a set of core security principles. When we reach this point in our projects we schedule a classified briefing for the CEOs of key companies to provide them a brief on the specific threats we believe can be mitigated and to seek their commitment for their organization to move ahead … Google’s participation in refinement, engineering and deployment of the solutions will be essential.”
Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, said she believes information sharing between industry and the government is “absolutely essential” but “at the same time, there is some risk to user privacy and to user security from the way the vulnerability disclosure is done.”
The challenge facing government and industry was to enhance security without compromising privacy, Granick said. The emails between Alexander and Google executives, she said, show “how informal information sharing has been happening within this vacuum where there hasn’t been a known, transparent, concrete, established methodology for getting security information into the right hands.”
The classified briefing cited by Alexander was part of a secretive government initiative known as the Enduring Security Framework (ESF), and his email provides some rare information about what the ESF entails, the identities of some participant tech firms and the threats they discussed.
Alexander explained that the deputy secretaries of the Department of Defense, Homeland Security and “18 US CEOs” launched the ESF in 2009 to “coordinate government/industry actions on important (generally classified) security issues that couldn’t be solved by individual actors alone.”
“For example, over the last 18 months, we (primarily Intel, AMD [Advanced Micro Devices], HP [Hewlett-Packard], Dell and Microsoft on the industry side) completed an effort to secure the BIOS of enterprise platforms to address a threat in that area.”
“BIOS” is an acronym for “basic input/output system,” the system software that initializes the hardware in a personal computer before the operating system starts up. NSA cyberdefense chief Debora Plunkett in December disclosed that the agency had thwarted a “BIOS plot” by a “nation-state,” identified as China, to brick U.S. computers. That plot, she said, could have destroyed the U.S. economy. “60 Minutes,” which broke the story, reported that the NSA worked with unnamed “computer manufacturers” to address the BIOS software vulnerability.
But some cybersecurity experts questioned the scenario outlined by Plunkett.
“There is probably some real event behind this, but it’s hard to tell, because we don’t have any details,” wrote Robert Graham, CEO of the penetration-testing firm Errata Security in Atlanta, on his blog in December. “It”s completely false in the message it is trying to convey. What comes out is gibberish, as any technical person can confirm.”
And by enlisting the NSA to shore up their defenses, those companies may have made themselves more vulnerable to the agency’s efforts to breach them for surveillance purposes.
“I think the public should be concerned about whether the NSA was really making its best efforts, as the emails claim, to help secure enterprise BIOS and mobile devices and not holding the best vulnerabilities close to their chest,” said Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s digital civil liberties team.
He doesn’t doubt that the NSA was trying to secure enterprise BIOS, but he suggested that the agency, for its own purposes, was “looking for weaknesses in the exact same products they’re trying to secure.”
The NSA “has no business helping Google secure its facilities from the Chinese and at the same time hacking in through the back doors and tapping the fiber connections between Google base centers,” Cardozo said. “The fact that it’s the same agency doing both of those things is in obvious contradiction and ridiculous.” He recommended dividing offensive and defensive functions between two agencies.
Two weeks after the “60 Minutes” broadcast, the German magazine Der Spiegel, citing documents obtained by Snowden, reported that the NSA inserted back doors into BIOS, doing exactly what Plunkett accused a nation-state of doing during her interview.
Google’s Schmidt was unable to attend to the mobility security meeting in San Jose in August 2012.
“General Keith.. so great to see you.. !” Schmidt wrote. “I’m unlikely to be in California that week so I’m sorry I can’t attend (will be on the east coast). Would love to see you another time. Thank you !” Since the Snowden disclosures, Schmidt has been critical of the NSA and said its surveillance programs may be illegal.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did attend that briefing. Foreign Policy reported a month later that Dempsey and other government officials — no mention of Alexander — were in Silicon Valley “picking the brains of leaders throughout the valley and discussing the need to quickly share information on cyber threats.” Foreign Policy noted that the Silicon Valley executives in attendance belonged to the ESF. The story did not say mobility threats and security was the top agenda item along with a classified threat briefing.
A week after the gathering, Dempsey said during a Pentagon press briefing, “I was in Silicon Valley recently, for about a week, to discuss vulnerabilities and opportunities in cyber with industry leaders … They agreed — we all agreed on the need to share threat information at network speed.”
Google co-founder Sergey Brin attended previous meetings of the ESF group but because of a scheduling conflict, according to Alexander’s email, he also could not attend the Aug. 8 briefing in San Jose, and it’s unknown if someone else from Google was sent.
A few months earlier, Alexander had emailed Brin to thank him for Google’s participation in the ESF.
“I see ESF’s work as critical to the nation’s progress against the threat in cyberspace and really appreciate Vint Cerf [Google’s vice president and chief Internet evangelist], Eric Grosse [vice president of security engineering] and Adrian Ludwig’s [lead engineer for Android security] contributions to these efforts during the past year,” Alexander wrote in a Jan. 13, 2012, email.
“You recently received an invitation to the ESF Executive Steering Group meeting, which will be held on January 19, 2012. The meeting is an opportunity to recognize our 2012 accomplishments and set direction for the year to come. We will be discussing ESF’s goals and specific targets for 2012. We will also discuss some of the threats we see and what we are doing to mitigate those threats … Your insights, as a key member of the Defense Industrial Base, are valuable to ensure ESF’s efforts have measurable impact.”
A Google representative declined to answer specific questions about Brin’s and Schmidt’s relationship with Alexander or about Google’s work with the government.
“We work really hard to protect our users from cyberattacks, and we always talk to experts — including in the U.S. government — so we stay ahead of the game,” the representative said in a statement to Al Jazeera. “It’s why Sergey attended this NSA conference.”
Brin responded to Alexander the following day even though the head of the NSA didn’t use the appropriate email address when contacting the co-chairman.
“Hi Keith, looking forward to seeing you next week. FYI, my best email address to use is [redacted],” Brin wrote. “The one your email went to — sergey.brin@google.com — I don’t really check.”
Al Jazeera
The fellows who have always presented themselves as the hip, new group of forward looking dudes are right here helping the government spy on you completely.
Of course – we do not know the precise details of these occurrences, though, because neither the US government nor Google are transparent organizations.

We’re Google founders; we are happy go lucky, nice guys. We wear semi-formal, borderline informal (OMG) clothes to official meetings and we are just so easy going… We’re NOT your grandfather’s corporation!

Check out our zany interior; we are really open minded and we aren’t stuffy or formal at all. We are cutting edge and just like, so CREATIVE, so like, people are confused we are a multi-billion dollar corporation and stuff because we really have this super laid-back & progressive environment…

Check it out — you see that guy is like sitting on a BOAT! that’s actually a chair (because we recycle? and stuff?), and, you can WRITE ON THE WALLS, because we combine like… Technology with a Free Spirit. So even in our meetings, we are just so relaxed and let the energy flow and… Like I said, we are TOTALLY not WALL STREET. Aren’t you impressed?

 

Google does everything that it can to portray itself as this ABOVE & BEYOND futuristic legion of free thought & excellence.

At the end of the day, they are spying on you and working closely with the NSA.

At the end of the day, they are more interested in profits to be made in India & China and will support their status quo.

At the end of the day, they aren’t a heroic, bold new face of companies. Unless that is really what you were hoping for: superficial spraypaint on a 1950s guy wearing a suit.

Because that is what the New World Order is: an attempt to look cutting edge and revolutionary, a great facade erected before the altar of Money & Power meant to dazzle the eyes and convince the people that they are actually getting something new.

But none of this is new at all.

It is a repackaging and retooling of old power structures portrayed as a benign force — but this really is Gordon Gecko international capitalism & elitist cronyism. But they changed the interior decorating and told their lies more bold faced — but, thanks for playing.

US Violates Own Laws Through Aiding Ukrainian Gov’t

There is always the interesting conundrum of how laws and the government’s desires affect one another, and this is no different as we are looking at a situation where the US has actually violated its own laws on book.

I am not here to say that the aid to the Ukraine was necessarily wrong, but rather to point out that such a law does exist, and that our “lawmakers” seem to have neither very much foresight nor concern for their hypocrisy…

Washington’s decision to provide financial aid to the coup-appointed government of Ukraine goes against the US laws, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said, urging American politicians to think about the consequences of supporting the radicals in Kiev.

Ukraine’s ousted president, Viktor Yanukovich, said on Tuesday that the US plans to loan $1 billion to the country’s new authorities are illegal.

“Indeed, in accordance with the amendments introduced to the 1961 law (Foreign Assistance Act) a few years ago the provision of foreign assistance is prohibited to ‘the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.’ The relevant provision is contained in 22 US Code § 8422,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Thus, by all criteria the provision of funds to the illegitimate [Kiev] regime, which seized power by force, is unlawful and goes beyond the boundaries of the US legal system,” the statement added.

RT

It makes the whole thing rather comical because it seems that we have ignored our own laws not so much for aiding a democratic movement, a movement for transparency and superior government in the Ukraine but at this point it seems clear such aid has only come to play some geopolitical games with the Russians.

But what did we really expect?

The US truly concerned with consistency? This, of course, from a country that labels itself the most free but has illegalized having a beer on the street (or selling alcoholic beverages after a certain hour).

This is a rather embarrassing situation.

Camouflaging Extremism With Bigotry Accusations

What is the easiest way to distract people from the fact that you are an overbearing ideologue and disinterested in rational discourse on a complex, highly nuanced political topic? Pretend that the enemy is solely made up of bigots! And this is a tactic currently being employed most notably in the gay marriage debates.

The tactic is simply the Poisoning the Well fallacy which, ironically, in the wikipedia article even includes the poignant example of someone accusing the other party of being a Fascist. Referring to someone as a bigot before the argument even gets started is quite a closely related term — how a propos.

This poisoning of the well is often worked into the idea of creating a large false dichotomy. One has to side with the liberals because, if we don’t, we will be left only with the bigotry, fascism, narrow-mindedness, etc. of the conservative. One can also see this in other debates such as the immigration debate (the right, for opposing immigration, are often accused of being closet racists), the abortion debate (the right hates women) or, conversely, conservatives will use it in Patriot Act debates (the left are clueless pacifists), Obamacare (the Left is ‘Socialist,’ oh dear), etc. 

The real issue with this debate tactic is that it appeals to the dumb (who make the argument and who read it and feel ‘convinced’) that the opponent really cannot possibly say anything worthwhile. Even if his arguments are rational or well constructed, they must be ignored because they are bigoted / Communist or some other words of an extreme individual.

The great underlying irony of all of this is clear: this is often used to mask the fact that the poisoners of the well are quite extremist in their own right.

In some recent discussions on the Gay Marriage issue, it is easy to see people being labeled universally bigots for their mere opposition to the policy. How is bigotry typically defined? Dictionary.com would tell us:

stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.

Obviously, there exists a burden that would have to be fulfilled — the burden that the particular person consistently was ‘completely intolerant’ of another creed, belief or opinion; obviously, they would not be the sort of person who was actively discussing said topic. They would not be a person who was merely using their God-given right to voice their own opinions and thoughts on an issue…

… In this case, the real bigots are obvious: those who consistently drum up hatred and extreme views against people for their beliefs and thereby demonstrating their complete intolerance. An intolerance so complete that the mere participation of people of other beliefs in a discussion warrants the sort of name-calling that constitutes poisoning the well.

Anyone who associates with the conservative grassroots movement is merely a racist or a homophobe to this open-minded & tolerant liberal.

Clearly, the false dichotomy is meant to be drawn back here to the regular businessman, politician looking fellow in the center, meant to insinuate that the real power is the KKK, skinheads, confederate flag wearing ‘Huns’ (lol, fun image) and beer swilling blue collar ignoramuses that appear vaguely monstrous (lol).

And here we see people organizing boycotts of a business because of the personal beliefs of one of the business owner’s political beliefs — not something that he has grafted onto the business! This is the sort of democratic opinion bubbling to the surface of the hate-filled bigots who invest their time witch hunting people for their personal political beliefs.

 

Obviously, a person is allowed have whatever beliefs that they wish and said beliefs do not necessarily make anyone a bigot (barring obvious ones that are advocating hatred).

The real bigots here are the ones who resort to all manner of logical fallacies and emotional arguments when a serious discussion is trying to be had.

Watch out for open minded people who prefer caricatures of their opponents than legitimate discussion.