| The Greatest Speech Ever Made? Charlie Chaplin

| The Greatest Speech Ever Made? Charlie Chaplin ~ YouTube.

Charlie Chaplin’s mesmerising oratory from 1940 speaks to humanity to this day for as science, technology and materialism progress exponentially, arguably we have lost the way as a society by letting propaganda poison our minds, obscuring the Truth, leaving our consciences and moral compasses adrift.

“We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness — not by each other’s misery.”

YouTube: http://youtu.be/K4IcSYVo9Do

Courtesy:  The Great Dictator (1940), satirising Adolf Hitler.

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| I’m Mad as Hell + I’m not gonna take this any more!

| I’m Mad as Hell + I’m not gonna take this any more! ~ YouTube.

Peter Finch‘s award winning performance in ‘Network‘ [1976] parodies sensationalism and propaganda whilst lamenting the lack of objectivity and independence by both the media and political establishment.

As relevant today as when first aired, so why are we not learning?
Beware consumerism, for in the end, it consumes YOU!

YouTube: http://youtu.be/LesvvuXGkaM

“Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.” ~ Noam Chomsky

“The greatest threat to peace is the barrage of rightist propaganda portraying war as decent, honorable, and patriotic.” ~ Jeannette Rankin

“We become slaves the moment we hand the keys to the definition of reality entirely over to someone else, whether it is a business, an economic theory, a political party, the White House, Newsworld or CNN.” ~ B.W. Powe

“The American people are free to do exactly what they are told.” ~ Ward Churchill

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Humility Pill

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| UK Parliament: George Galloway speaks out on Syria!

| UK Parliament: George Galloway speaks out on Syria!Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 29 August 2013, c1472)

George Galloway (Bradford West, Respect)

Thank God for the erudition and historical memory of the last three speakers; those qualities were almost entirely absent from the Prime Minister’s initial address. He was clearly making a speech that was not the one he intended to make here this afternoon. Otherwise, Mr Speaker, he would not have persuaded you to recall the House of Commons, at vast public expense, to decide that we were actually going to decide on this matter next week or the week after, when we shall be back here in any case. It is absolutely evident that, if it were not for the democratic revolt that has been under way in this House and outside among the wider public against this war, the engines in Cyprus would now be revving and the cruise missiles would be ready to fly this very weekend. Any attempt by the Prime Minister to pretend that he had intended to take this course of action all along is just bunkum.

The unease on both sides of the House, demonstrated in two exceptional speeches by the last speaker and Dr Lewis, reflects the feelings of the people of this country. According to The Daily Telegraph this morning, only 11% of the public support Britain becoming involved in a war in Syria. Can any British Government have ever imagined sending their men and women to war with the support of only 11% of the public?

There is no compelling evidence—to use the Leader of the Opposition’s words—that the Assad regime is responsible for this crime, yet. It is not that the regime is not bad enough to do it; everybody knows that it is bad enough to do it. The question is: is it mad enough to do it? Is it mad enough to launch a chemical weapons attack in Damascus on the very day on which a United Nations chemical weapons inspection team arrives there? That must be a new definition of madness. Of course, if Assad is that mad, how mad will he be once we have launched a blizzard of Tomahawk cruise missiles on his country?

As I heard those on the Front Benches describe how bad Assad was, I wondered just why the former Prime Minister forced Her Majesty to billet him in her guest room at Buckingham Palace just a few years ago, and why a former Prime Minister recommended him for an honour. I remembered how he was hailed from all corners as a moderniser. The narrative has now changed, of course, because this Government are intent on regime change in Damascus.

That brings me to the only other point I am going to be able to make in the time available. The reason for the unease is that people can see the character of the Syrian opposition. They have seen the horrific videos that we have heard about. Take a look at the video of one of the commanders of the Syrian revolution cutting open the chest of a human being and eating his heart and liver. He videotaped himself doing it and put it up on YouTube because he thought that it might be considered attractive. Take a look at the videos of Christian priests having their heads sawn off—not chopped off; sawn off—with breadknives. Even a bishop in the Christian Church was murdered by these people. Every religious minority in Syria—there are 23 of them—is petrified at the thought of a victory for the Syrian rebels, whom the British Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have been doing their utmost to supply with weapons and money over

the last two years. They cannot deny that. They say that this is now about this new crime, whoever committed it, but it has been the Government’s policy for two years to bring about the defeat of the regime in Damascus and a victory for the kind of people who are responsible for these crimes.

I have 20 seconds left—

John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington, Labour)

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

George Galloway (Bradford West, Respect)

Willingly.

John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington, Labour)

If only for another 60 seconds. The hon. Gentleman made reference to arms supplied to Syria, but let us remember where those arms have come from over decades, from this country.

George Galloway (Bradford West, Respect)

Indeed.

I now have 60 seconds at my disposal, so let me make this point more clearly. When did the 2.5 billion people of Russia and China cease to be members of the international community? Who are you on the other side to decide what the international community should do, if you are unable to persuade the Security Council to go along with your point of view? Who are you to decide that you will launch a war in any case?

I keep hearing about the unreasonable use of the veto. I have heard that many times in this House over the past few years. The United States has vetoed every attempt to obtain justice for the Palestinian people and to punish and issue retribution for international lawbreaking on the part of Israel, and nobody in this House has said one word about it.

Matthew Offord (Hendon, Conservative)

Mr Speaker, I think you will be very interested to know that several constituents have e-mailed me about comments made by the hon. Gentleman on Iran’s Press TV. One constituent claims that he said that Israel supplied the chemical for the attacks in Syria. I find it very hard to believe that the hon. Gentleman said that. Would he like to take this opportunity to refute that claim or to provide the evidence to satisfy my constituent?

George Galloway (Bradford West, Respect)

That just shows the unreliability of green-ink letters, whether they come in the post or by e-mail. I said no such thing.

But the Syrian rebels definitely had sarin gas, because they were caught with it by the Turkish Government, as the last speaker, the former Government Minister said—I hope he will forgive me because I have forgotten his constituency.[Interruption.] No, I know my constituency. It is where I gave you such a bloody good hiding just over a year ago.

The Syrian rebels have plenty of access to sarin. It is not rocket science. A group of Shinto obscurantists in Japan living on Mount Fuji poisoned the Tokyo underground with sarin gas less than 20 years ago. One does not have to be Einstein to have one’s hands on sarin gas or the means to distribute it.

Russia and China say no to war; so do I and most people in this country.

 

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| How the Internet Makes Us Overshare!

How the Internet Makes Us Overshare , Pacific Standard.

Does the Web just make the loudest of us even louder—or is it changing the way we all see ourselves?

(PHOTO: GONZALO ARAGON/SHUTTERSTOCK)

Perhaps you’ve met a fellow dog walker at the park who, just six minutes into your first conversation, started talking about her teenage daughter’s menstrual cycle. Maybe you have a roommate who routinely shouts unsolicited updates from the bathroom every time he endures a marathon session on the toilet. These are oversharers. They comprise a certain percentage of the population that either doesn’t know what’s generally considered inappropriate to divulge—or simply doesn’t care.

When it comes to posting things on the Internet, however, it seems anyone and everyone is susceptible to oversharing. There’s apparently something alluring about filling those empty white boxes with embarrassing anecdotes—anecdotes that BuzzFeed then compiles and publishes in list form for everyone else to laugh at. Plus, judging by humor sites such as Lamebook, there doesn’t appear to be a scarcity of material to draw from, either. Even criminals can’t resist revealing incriminating evidence about themselves sometimes, and thus examples of TMI abound online.

Forging a personal identity, after all, is generally considered a collaborative effort.

But why? What compels us to tell the world with our fingers what we’d hesitate to utter in a room full of loved ones?

Social scientist and author Sherry Turkle thinks we’relosing a healthy sense of compartmentalization. Last year, researchers at Harvard found that the act of sharing our personal thoughts and feelings activates the brain’s neurochemical reward system in a bigger way than when we merely report the attitudes and opinions of others. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Bernstein of the Wall Street Journal asked around and concluded that our newfound urge to disclose is partially due to not only the erosion of private life through the proliferation of reality TV and social media, but also due to our subconscious attempts at controlling anxiety.

“This effort is known as ‘self regulation’ and here is how it works,” she writes. “When having a conversation, we can use up a lot of mental energy trying to manage the other person’s impression of us. We try to look smart, witty, and interesting, but the effort required to do this leaves less brain power to filter what we say and to whom.”

While all these viewpoints help us better understand the oversharing epidemic, they don’t exactly address how the Web itself entices us to expose information that we probably wouldn’t otherwise.

SOME OF THE LATEST research to directly tackle this issue comes from professor Russell W. Belk, chair in marketing at York University in Toronto. In his most recent paper, “Extended Self in a Digital World,” which will appear in the Journal of Consumer Research this October, Belk argues that our relationship with social media is gradually creating a more complex idea of who we think we are as individuals. Through Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, whose former slogan was “Broadcast Yourself,” we construct our identities in a manner that has never before been possible.

“When we’re looking at the screen we’re not face-to-face with someone who can immediately respond to us, so it’s easier to let it all out—it’s almost like we’re invisible,” said Belk, of the so-called “disinhibition effect” that online sharing helps create. “The irony is that rather than just one person, there’s potentially thousands or hundreds of thousands of people receiving what we put out there.”

As for the consequences of these actions, Belk writes:

The resulting disinhibition leads many to conclude that they are able to express their “true self” better online than they ever could in face-to-face contexts. This does not mean that there is a fixed “true self” or that the self is anything other than a work in progress, but apparently self-revelation can be therapeutic, at least with the aid of self-reflexive applications.

Just as a psychoanalyst’s couch or Catholic confessional booth are settings in which we can sort out the details of who we are by divulging our innermost secrets to someone without staring directly at him, Belk believes these sorts of exchanges are migrating onto the Internet:

[It appears] that we now do a large amount of our identity work online. For the Internet constantly asks us “Who are You?” “What do you have to share?” Coupled with new self-revealing proclivities, this incites more open self-extension than in a pre-digital world.

The feedback of friends, family members, acquaintances, and strangers therefore provides continual criticism and validation. Forging a personal identity, after all, is generally considered a collaborative effort.

Of course, some might point out that the perceived increase in oversharing is nothing more than that: a perception. In other words, it’s not that there’s an eruption of people willing to bare everything online; it’s that those who do typically post more status updates and garner more exposure on news feeds.

While difficult to measure, the Washington Post published a survey last spring stating that only 15 percent of American social media users feel they share either “everything” or “most things” online. That’s not a lot—especially considering that over 60 percent of participants from Saudi Arabia admitted they belong in that same category. As the accompanying story implies, however, the survey doesn’t account for the vastly different cultures and social norms the various participants exist within. While tweeting about your aunt’s divorce might be considered taboo in one country, it might be received with a shrug in a nation inured to the antics of the Kardashians.

Still, something seems amiss when people feel it’s more important to express a desire on Facebook for the president to be assassinated than it is to, say, exercise tact or avoid losing your job. (Yes, she was fired.)

ANOTHER CRUCIAL INGREDIENT ENCOURAGING online exhibitionism is, as stated by Belk, the “tension between privacy and potential celebrity.” For some people, the longing to be popular far outweighs the longing to be respected, and their social media accounts can verify this.

According to a 2010 study, playfully titled, “Examining Students’ Intended Image on Facebook: ‘What Were They Thinking?!’” Facebook users who didn’t mind if strangers could view their profile, as opposed to those who did, were “significantly more likely to post inappropriate content and to portray an image that would be considered sexually appealing, wild, or offensive.” In other words, they want everyone to think they’re cool.

As Jen Doll notes at the Atlantic Wire, “[N]o one gets criticized specifically forundersharing. No one says that word. People just say ‘boring.’”

In sum, the traditional line separating what’s private from what’s public is disintegrating with each and every overshare, and while some offenders may not be thinking about their actions this deeply, Belk’s research suggests it’s our ongoing quest for identity—or as some prefer to call it, “personal brand”—that’s propelling this disintegration. We want to be interesting. We want to be memorable. We want people to follow us, but we need their attention first. And if there’s one thing reality TV and advertising has taught us, it’s that the lowest common denominator is both the easiest and most efficient way of getting people to notice.

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 commonsenseAAA

| US cops arrest man for filming them then shoot his dog! [2:20]

|  US cops arrest man for filming them then shoot his dog! [2:20] ~ YouTube.

While Swat and police waited for people to exit the scene of a reported robbery, a driver, Leon Rosby, pulled up to film the scene managing to annoy other cops who asked him to put his rottweiler in the car before arresting him. Distressed at seeing him get handcuffed, his dog Max, jumped from the car to protect his master so a cop shot him four times.

Rosby’s attorney Michael Gulden said he plans to file a lawsuit against the Hawthorne Police Department. He accused the police of targeting his client because of a pending lawsuit. He said: “There’s been a pattern of harassment against him and other African-Americans in Hawthorne. Last July, the police responded to his home and beat him unnecessarily, then threw him in jail for no reason. We sued for that. We’ll amend that complaint to include the dog incident.”

URLhttp://youtu.be/CT0cv1WXRLQ

Courtesy: RT

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| RT’s Truthseeker: Obama’s arrest, Bush’s trial! (12:22)

| RT’s Truthseeker: Obama’s arrest, Bush’s trial! (12:22) ~ YouTube.

“We’ll get Bush in the US” the world’s top war crimes prosecutor tells The Truthseeker after Dubya’s deputies warn him against travel, lawyers file for Obama’s arrest tomorrow when he hits South Africa, huge secret wars in America’s name being masked from the folks funding them.

Seek truth from facts with Yousha Tayob of the Muslim Lawyers Association, leading war crimes prosecutor Francis Boyle, Senior Staff Attorney Katherine Gallagher of New York‘s Center for Constitutional Rights which stopped Bush’s first trip after his waterboarding admission, Marjorie Cohn, author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law, and former NSA intelligence officer Scott Rickard.

Courtesy: RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios.

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Bush Angry

| Police State: The Strange Case of Barrett Brown!

The Strange Case of Barrett Brown | The NationPeter Ludlow.

Amid the outrage over the NSA’s spying program, the jailing of journalist Barrett Brown points to a deeper and very troubling problem.

 


Barrett Brown. (Photo courtesy of Barrett Brown’s YouTube channel.

In early 2010, journalist and satirist Barrett Brown was working on a book on political pundits, when the hacktivist collective Anonymous caught his attention. He soon began writing about its activities and potential. In a defense of the group’s anti-censorship operations in Australia published on February 10, Brown declared, “I am now certain that this phenomenon is among the most important and under-reported social developments to have occurred in decades, and that the development in question promises to threaten the institution of the nation-state and perhaps even someday replace it as the world’s most fundamental and relevant method of human organization.”

About the Author

Peter Ludlow
Peter Ludlow, a professor of philosophy at Northwestern University, is currently co-producing (with Vivien Lesnik…

Also by the Author

WikiLeaks is not the one-off creation of a solitary genius, and with or without Julian Assange, it is not going away.

By then, Brown was already considered by his fans to be the Hunter S. Thompson of his generation. In point of fact he wasn’t like Hunter S. Thompson, but was more of a throwback—a sharp-witted, irreverent journalist and satirist in the mold of Ambrose Bierce or Dorothy Parker. His acid tongue was on display in his co-authored 2007 book, Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern Creationism, Intelligent Design and the Easter Bunny, in which he declared: “This will not be a polite book. Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession.”

But it wasn’t Brown’s acid tongue so much as his love of minutia (and ability to organize and explain minutia) that would ultimately land him in trouble. Abandoning his book on pundits in favor of a book on Anonymous, he could not have known that delving into the territory of hackers and leaks would ultimately lead to his facing the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison. In light of the bombshell revelations published by Glenn Greenwald and Barton Gellman about government and corporate spying, Brown’s case is a good—and underreported—reminder of the considerable risk faced by reporters who report on leaks.

In February 2011, a year after Brown penned his defense of Anonymous, and against the background of its actions during the Arab Spring, Aaron Barr, CEO of the private intelligence company HBGary, claimed to have identified the leadership of the hacktivist colletive. (In fact he only had screen names of a few members). Barr’s boasting provoked a brutal hack of HBGary by a related group called Internet Feds (it would soon change its name to “LulzSec”). Splashy enough to attract the attention of The Colbert Report, the hack defaced and destroyed servers and websites belonging to HBGary. Some 70,000 company emails were downloaded and posted online. As a final insult to injury, even the contents of Aaron Barr’s iPad were remotely wiped.

The HBGary hack may have been designed to humiliate the company, but it had the collateral effect of dropping a gold mine of information into Brown’s lap. One of the first things he discovered was a plan to neutralize Glenn Greenwald’s defense of Wikileaks by undermining them both. (“Without the support of people like Glenn, wikileaks would fold,” read one slide.) The plan called for “disinformation,” exploiting strife within the organization and fomenting external rivalries—“creating messages around actions to sabotage or discredit the opposing organization,” as well as a plan to submit fake documents and then call out the error.” Greenwald, it was argued, “if pushed,” would “choose professional preservation over cause.”

Other plans targeted social organizations and advocacy groups. Separate from the plan to target Greenwald and WikiLeaks, HBGary was part of a consortia that submitted a proposal to develop a “persona management” system for the United States Air Force, that would allow one user to control multiple online identities for commenting in social media spaces, thus giving the appearance of grassroots support or opposition to certain policies.

The data dump from the HBGary hack was so vast that no one person could sort through it alone. So Brown decided to crowdsource the effort. He created a wiki page, called it ProjectPM, and invited other investigative journalists to join in. Under Brown’s leadership, the initiative began to slowly untangle a web of connections between the US government, corporations, lobbyists, and a shadowy group of private military and information security consultants.

One connection was between Bank of America and the Chamber of Commerce.  WikiLeaks had claimed to possess a large cache of documents belonging to Bank of America. Concerned about this, Bank of America approached the United States Department of Justice. The DOJ directed it to the law and lobbying firm Hunton and Williams, which does legal work for Wells Fargo and General Dynamics and also lobbies for Koch Industries, Americans for Affordable Climate Policy, Gas Processors Association, Entergy among many other firms. The DoJ recommended that Bank of America hire Hunton and Williams, explicitly suggesting Richard Wyatt as the person to work with. Wyatt, famously, was the lead attorney in the Chamber of Commerce’s lawsuit against the Yes Men.

In November 2010, Hunton and Williams organized a number of private intelligence, technology development and security contractors—HBGary, plus Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies, and, according to Brown, a secretive corporation with the ominous name Endgame Systems—to form “Team Themis” —‘themis’ being a Greek word meaning “divine law.” Its main objective was to discredit critics of the Chamber of Commerce, like Chamber Watch using such tactics as creating a “false document, perhaps highlighting periodical financial information,” giving it to a progressive group opposing the Chamber, and then subsequently exposing the document as a fake to “prove that US Chamber Watch cannot be trusted with information and/or tell the truth.” In addition, the group proposed creating a “fake insider persona” to infiltrate Chamber Watch. They would “create two fake insider personas, using one as leverage to discredit the other while confirming the legitimacy of the second.” The leaked emails showed that similar disinformation campaigns were being planned against WikiLeaks and Glenn Greenwald.

It was clear to Brown that these were actions of questionable legality, but beyond that, government contractors were attempting to undermine Americans’ free speech—with the apparent blessing of the DOJ. A group of Democratic Congressmen asked for an investigation into this arrangement, to no avail.

By June 2011, the plot had thickened further. The FBI had the goods on the leader of LulzSec, one Hector Xavier Monsegur, who went under the nom de guerre Sabu. The FBI arrested him on June 7, 2011 and (according to court documents) turned him into an informant the following day. Just three days before his arrest, Sabu had been central to the formation of a new group called AntiSec, which comprised his former LulzSec crew members, as well as members as Anonymous. In early December AntiSec hacked the website of a private security company called Stratfor Global Intelligence. On Christmas Eve, it released a trove of some five million internal compnay emails. AntiSec member and Chicago activist Jeremy Hammond, has pled guilty to the attack and is currently facing ten years in prison for it.

The contents of the Stratfor leak were even more outrageous than those of the HBGary hack. They included discussion of opportunities for renditions and assassinations. For example, in one video, Statfor’s Vice President of Intelligence, Fred Burton, suggested taking advantage of the chaos in Libya to render Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who had been released from prison on compassionate grounds due to his terminal illness. Burton said that the case “was personal.” When someone pointed out in an email that such a move would almost certainly be illegal—“This man has already been tried, found guilty, sentenced…and served time”—another Stratfor employee responded that this was just an argument for a more efficient solution: “One more reason to just bugzap him with a hellfire. :-)”

(Stratfor employees also seemed to take a keen interest in Jeremy Scahill’s writings about Blackwater in The Nation, copying and circulating entire articles, with comments suggesting a principle interest was in the question of whether Blackwater was setting up a competing intelligence operation. Emails also showed grudging respect for Scahill: “Like or dislike Scahill’s position (or what comes of his work), he does an amazing job outing [Blackwater].”)

When the contents of the Stratfor leak became available, Brown decided to put ProjectPM on it. A link to the Stratfor dump appeared in an Anonymous chat channel; Brown copied it and pasted it into the private chat channel for ProjectPM, bringing the dump to the attention of the editors.

Brown began looking into Endgame Systems, an information security firm that seemed particularly concerned about staying in the shadows. “Please let HBGary know we don’t ever want to see our name in a press release,” one leaked email read. One of its products, available for a $2.5 million annual subscription, gave customers access to “zero-day exploits”—security vulnerabilities unknown to software companies—for computer systems all over the world. Business Week published a story on Endgame in 2011, reporting that “Endgame executives will bring up maps of airports, parliament buildings, and corporate offices. The executives then create a list of the computers running inside the facilities, including what software the computers run, and a menu of attacks that could work against those particular systems.” For Brown, this raised the question of whether Endgame was selling these exploits to foreign actors and whether they would be used against computer systems in the United States. Shortly thereafter, the hammer came down.

The FBI acquired a warrant for Brown’s laptop, gaining the authority to seize any information related to HBGary, Endgame Systems, Anonymous, and, most ominously, “email, email contacts, ‘chat’, instant messaging logs, photographs, and correspondence.” In other words, the FBI wanted his sources.

When the FBI went to serve Brown he was at his mother’s house. Agents returned with a warrant to search his mother’s house, retrieving his laptop. To turn up the heat on Brown, the FBI initiated charges against his mother for obstruction of justice for concealing his laptop computer in her house. (Facing criminal charges, on March 22, 2013, his mother, Karen McCutchin, pled guilty to one count of obstructing the execution of a search warrant. She faces up to twelve months in jail. Brown maintains that she did not know the laptop was in her home.)

By his own admission, the FBI’s targeting of his mother made Brown snap. In September 2012, he uploaded an incoherent YouTube video, in which he explained that he had been in treatment for an addiction to heroin, taking the medication Suboxone, but had gone off his meds and now was in withdrawal. He threatened the FBI agent that was harassing his mother, by name, warming:

I know what’s legal, I know what’s been done to me… And if it’s legal when it’s done to me, it’s going to be legal when it’s done to FBI Agent Robert Smith—who is a criminal.”

That’s why [FBI special agent] Robert Smith’s life is over. And when I say his life is over, I’m not saying I’m going to kill him, but I am going to ruin his life and look into his fucking kids… How do you like them apples?”

The media narrative was immediately derailed. No longer would this be a story about the secretive information-military-industrial complex; now it was the sordid tale of a crazy drug addict threatening an FBI agent and his (grown) children. Actual death threats against agents are often punishable by a few years in jail. But Brown’s actions made it easier for the FBI to sell some other pretext to put him away for life.

The Stratfor data included a number of unencrypted credit card numbers and validation codes. On this basis, the DOJ accused Brown of credit card fraud for having shared that link with the editorial board of ProjectPM. Specifically, the FBI charged him with Traffic in Stolen Authentication Features, Access Device Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft, as well as an Obstruction of Justice charge (for being at his mother’s when the initial warrant was served) and charges stemming from his threats against the FBI agent. All told, Brown is looking at century of jail time: 105 years in federal prison if served sequentially. He has been denied bail.

Considering that the person who carried out the actual Stratfor hack had several priors and is facing a maximum of ten years, the inescapable conclusion is that the problem is not with the hack itself, but with Brown’s journalism. As Glenn Greenwald remarked in the Guardian: “it is virtually impossible to conclude that the obscenely excessive prosecution he now faces is unrelated to that journalism and his related activism.”

Today, Brown is in prison and ProjectPM is under increased scrutiny by the DOJ, even as its work has ground to a halt. In March, the DOJ served the domain hosting service CloudFlare with a subpoena for all records on the ProjectPM website, and in particular asked for the IP addresses of everyone who had accessed and contributed to ProjectPM, describing it as a “forum” through which Brown and others would “engage in, encourage, or facilitate the commission of criminal conduct online.” The message was clear: Anyone else who looks into this matter does so at their grave peril.

Some journalists are now understandably afraid to go near the Stratfor files. The broader implications of this go beyond Brown; one might think that what we are looking at is Cointelpro 2.0—an outsourced surveillance state—but in fact it’s worse. One can’t help but infer that the US Department of Justice has become just another security contractor, working alongside the HBGarys and Stratfors on behalf of corporate bidders, with no sense at all for the justness of their actions; they are working to protect corporations and private security contractors and give them license to engage in disinformation campaigns against ordinary citizens and their advocacy groups. The mere fact that the FBI’s senior cybersecurity advisor has recently moved to Hunton and Williams shows just how incestuous this relationship has become. Meanwhile the Department of Justice is also using its power and force to trample on the rights of citizens like Barrett Brown who are trying to shed light on these nefarious relationships. In order to neutralize those who question or investigate the system, laws are being reinterpreted or extended or otherwise misappropriated in ways that are laughable—or would be if the consequences weren’t so dire.

While the media and much of the world have been understandably outraged by the revelation of the NSA’s spying programs, Barrett Brown’s work was pointing to a much deeper problem. It isn’t the sort of problem that can be fixed by trying to tweak a few laws or by removing a few prosecutors. The problem is not with bad laws or bad prosecutors. What the case of Barrett Brown has exposed is that we confronting a different problem altogether. It is a systemic problem. It is the failure of the rule of law.

Journalist Michael Hastings, 33, died in a car crash yesterday. Read Greg Mitchell’s obituary here.

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fascist-police

| BDS: Alicia Keys Don’t Play Apartheid Israel!

| Alicia Keys Don’t Play Apartheid Israel! ~ YouTube.

Sign the petition: https://www.change.org/petitions/alic…

People around the world are calling on Alicia Keys to join figures such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker and Roger Waters who are boycotting Israel’s human rights abuses.

In the spirit of the South African movement that helped end Apartheid, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) was called for by Palestinian civil society in 2005.

This film is inspired by the Palestinian women who every day nonviolently resist the illegal occupation of their land.

URL: http://youtu.be/yAuc2EFwd-A

Learn more & video sources:

http://www.bdsmovement.net/
http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha…
http://adalah.org/eng/Israeli-Discrim…
http://www.hrw.org/news/2010/12/18/is…
We do not own the rights to this song:
“Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys.

| No rogue, criminal, pirate state is worth the trouble it causes!

Americans really should now give their heads a wobble and demand to cut the ziocolony loose to sink or swim as a well-behaved neighbour instead of funding more ethnic-cleansing and land-thievery with yet more impunity like a pandering parent with it’s spoilt brat.

European post-war holocaust guilt is no excuse to still raid the meddle-east or dispossess Semite Palestinians, whatever emotional-blackmail hissy-fit the Jewish lobby throws up.

Apathy is shameful, willful ignorance is worse.

The goals of the Palestinian Boycott, Divest & Sanction [BDS] campaign are crystal clear — to simply :

{1} End Israel’s occupation & colonisation of all Arab lands + Dismantle the Apartheid Wall;

{2} Engage & Secure the basic Human Rights of the Palestinian-Arab citizens of israel to Full Equality; Respect, protect & promote the inalienable Rights of Palestinian refugees to Return to their homes and properties & to ensure Full compliance with all UN Resolutions.

MORE HERE:
http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node%2F9
http://www.inminds.co.uk/boycott-bran…
http://www.boycotisrael.info/
http://www.mylinkspage.com/israel.html
http://www.monabaker.com/
boycottisraeliproducts.h…

| No rogue, criminal, pirate state is worth the trouble it causes! http://wp.me/p1xXtb-2Lh

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| “The American Dream” – Best 3 minutes of George Carlin’s career! [3:15]

| “The American Dream” Best 3 minutes of George Carlin’s career! [3:15] ~ Doc Truth, YouTube.

“There’s a reason education SUCKS, and it’s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it, be happy with what you’ve got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the REAL owners, now. The REAL owners, the BIG WEALTHY business interests that control things and make all the important decisions — forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. YOU DON’T. You have no choice. You have OWNERS. They OWN YOU. They own EVERYTHING.

They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations; they’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the State houses, the City Halls; they’ve got the judges in their back pockets, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all the news and information you get to hear. They gotcha by the BALLS. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying — lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want — they want MORE for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They DON’T want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that, that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests.

That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting FUCKED by system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin’ years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want OBEDIENT WORKERS. OBEDIENT WORKERS. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passably accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime, and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.

And now they’re comin’ for your SOCIAL SECURITY MONEY. They want your fuckin’ retirement money. They want it BACK. So they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it ALL from you sooner or later — ‘cuz they OWN this fuckin’ place. It’s a big CLUB. And YOU AIN’T IN IT. You and I are NOT IN the big club. By the way, it’s the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long, beating you over the in their media telling you what to believe — what to think — and what to buy. The table is tilted, folks. The game is rigged. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-workin people — white collar, blue collar — doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on.

Good honest hard-workin people CONTINUE — these are people of modest means — continue to elect these RICH COCKSUCKERS who don’t GIVE a fuck about them. They don’t give a fuck about you, they don’t GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOU. T HEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU — AT ALL. AT ALL. AT ALL. You know? And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care … that’s what the owners count on, the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that’s being jammed up their assholes every day. Because the owners of this country know the truth — it’s called the American Dream … ‘coz you have to be asleep to believe it.”

George Carlin’s Final Words To The World …
George Carlin on “The American Dream!”

URLhttp://youtu.be/E1OgEG_FSIg

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| ‘No sensation, only standing contracts’ – Lavrov on Russia’s weapons supplies to Syria!

No sensation, only standing contracts – Lavrov on Russia’s weapons supplies to Syria ~

Russia’s weapons supplies to Syria are fully in compliance with the law and do not give the government troops any advantage over the rebels, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said commenting on the hype in Western media.

I don’t understand why mass media are trying to make a sensation out of the fact. We do not conceal it that we supply weapons to Syria according to signed contracts, violating neither any international agreements, nor our own weapon export control legislation, one of the strictest in the world,” Lavrov said at a press conference on Friday.

He stressed all of the weapons supplied are in fact air defense systems, and thus cannot impact the existing power balance between the Assad forces and the rebels.

Lavrov’s remark comes in response to the recent uproar in the media, concerning Russia’s allegedly sending Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria and earlier reports on supplies of S-300 anti-missile systems, which are capable of intercepting ballistic targets.

Later in the day US State Department spokesperson Jennifer Psaki also stated that Washington has no information regarding the reported supplies of anti-ship cruise missiles.

Anti-aircraft S-300V missile system (RIA Novosti)

Anti-aircraft S-300V missile system (RIA Novosti)

Russia has underlined on numerous occasions any supplies to Syria are according to old contracts, many of which are Soviet-era, the supplied weapons are missile-defense ones and after completing these contracts no new deals are planned.

Lavrov and Ban talk Syrian deadlock as more evidence of rebels atrocities emerge

The Russian FM commented on Russia’s weapons supplies at a press-conference following his talks with the UN chief. The Syrian crisis dominated the agenda of the meeting, which is part of a recent flurry of diplomatic efforts to end the violence in the country, preceded by Vladimir Putin holding similar talks with worlds’ top officials, including the US secretary of state and the British and Israeli leaders.

The S-300 is a series of Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems, designed to intercept ballistic missiles and regarded as most potent weaponry of its class.

The Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles can carry 200kg warheads as far as 300km long, they are also capable of cruising several meters above the water surface, making them difficult to detect.

Eventually, a joint initiative was authored by Moscow and Washington to hold peace conference on Syria, planned for June.

Before the conference happens though, both the US and Russia have several stumbling blocks to overcome, such as divisions inside the Syrian opposition, making it unclear who exactly can represent it at the conference, and harsh preconditions set by the rebels.

In contrast to the Syrian government, which has responded quite positively to the Russian-American initiative, the opposition’s answer was quite vague. They said that they welcome any initiatives that will help to stop the violence, but before that Assad must go – reiterating their stance, which has been the cause of the deadlock for many months, ” said Lavrov on Thursday in an interview to Al Mayadeen.

As for the US it is expected to object to Iran’s participation, on which Moscow insists.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a news conference following the talks in Sochi. (RIA Novosti)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a news conference following the talks in Sochi. (RIA Novosti)

Another thing is that when Western leaders are talking to Russia they seem to be on the same page with Moscow’s position, agreeing on the need for negotiating peace, but as soon as they leave, they are once again calling for Assad to step down and promise increasing support to the rebels.

The UK and France have become increasingly vocal in their calls to supply the insurgent groups with arms. British and French efforts at lifting the EU embargo on Syria are however strongly opposed by Austria, showing a divide on the issue in Europe.

Meanwhile, the situation in Syria aggravates with more reports of atrocities on both sides of the conflict.

Human Rights Watch has issued a report providing evidence of torture used in a government prison in the city of Raqqa, in eastern Syria. Human rights activists were allowed by opposition forces who gained control of the city to examine the facility.

A shocking video from the same city, released this week shows three men from the government troops being publicly executed by rebels in the city square. The killings have been confirmed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

And the episode added up to a series of reports on atrocities performed by the rebels, which emerged this week.

Earlier, another YouTube video was posted showing fighters of the Al Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front in Syria executing 11 government soldiers. Still earlier this week another shocking video was released featuring a Syrian rebel eating a lung of a slain government soldier in what the insurgent described as an act of revenge.

Growing evidence of atrocities committed by rebel groups, however did not prevent the UN from voting for a resolution condemning Assad and praising the opposition. Russia voted against the document, describing it as one-sided.

Russia still urges all of the sides to resolve the crisis by negotiations, something Lavrov reiterated on Friday, saying a peace conference should be held “the sooner the better.

He was echoed by Ban Ki-moon’s call to “not lose the momentum.”

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S-300_PMU2 A S-300 A