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James Foley, Radical Islamic Terror, and How Quickly We Forget

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
Daniel Pearl by  Bosch Fawstin

Daniel Pearl by Bosch Fawstin

My two-word response to the beheading of James Foley and captivity of Steven Sotloff: Daniel Pearl. Americans still suffer under the delusion that oceans are borders. America is so physically huge that we can watch the riots in Ferguson the way we watch the rockets being fired from Gaza or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: From the comfort of our couch. Neither we, nor our families, nor our homes are physically in danger. In truth, we are disconnected. At best, those of us who do pay attention do so through screen media. We participate by commenting on internet forums or through social media, or perhaps writing a check to a charity to help those in need. But we should not confuse compassion or concern for actual awareness.

As I watch what is happening in my second home, Israel, I marvel at the reactionary comments I’ve seen from well-meaning Americans who are confident that if they lived next door to Hamas, they’d just go after the terrorists with Christianity-fueled faith in their Second Amendment rights. It’s so easy to see yourself as the next John Wayne from the comfort of your living room. It’s far more difficult when your family and your home are on the line. Much has been said about the right of those overseas to tell Israel how to run their military operations. From a writer’s point of view, I can remain at best pragmatic by saying that the surreality in which these armchair soldiers dwell is, at least, far more supportive than the stupor that plagues most Americans. For their sake, and the sake of America, I hope the bravado isn’t masking an army of summer soldiers and sunshine patriots.

I recall watching my friends collapse in horror on 9/11. As profoundly moved as I was by the horrific tragedy of that day, my response was simply: Intifada. The reality of countless suicide bombers trolling city streets, blowing themselves and countless civilians up at nightclubs, hotels, or on city buses had become a way of life for Israelis in the ’90s. Because I am so deeply connected to that land I felt that impact in a way most overseas do not. There was no shock in 9/11 for me, only awe at the sleeping America that responded to their alarm clock by repeatedly hitting snooze.

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Obama Moves to Defend Hamas

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House in 2010

The Times of Israel reports:

A senior Israeli official confirmed to Israeli media that the US had suspended a shipment of Hellfire missiles to Israel amid worsening ties over fighting in Gaza.

According to the report, the Israeli official corroborated a story published earlier in the Wall Street JournalWhile the article focuses mainly on the souring relationship between Netanyahu and Obama, it pays a decent amount of attention to the fact that both the White House and the State Department are actively working to block the shipment of arms to Israel.

The decision to evaluate every request by the Israeli military separately came after the White House and State Department discovered last month that the Pentagon was supplying Jerusalem with arms without their knowledge, the newspaper report said.

While one US diplomat described the American reaction to the arms transfer as a feeling of being “blindsided,” another US defense official emphasized that the back channel transfers were legitimate and did not require a sign-off from President Barack Obama or the State Department.

“There was no intent to blindside anyone. The process for this transfer was followed precisely along the lines that it should have,” a US defense official told the paper.

After learning of these transfers, the Obama administration, perturbed that much of the ammunition was used by the IDF in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, revised the review process in a move that is likely to limit or at least delay Israel’s requests for weapons.

Israeli officials are, of course, concerned over the apparent worsening of ties between Israel and the U.S., with Likud Knesset members using the incident to both defend Netanyahu and the America-Israel relationship. However, it has become impossible to deny the fact that Israel and certain political leaders in America have differing perspectives on radical Islamic terrorism:

Numerous US officials say the Gaza violence “has persuaded them that Mr. Netanyahu and his national security team are both reckless and untrustworthy,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

As far as the Israeli view of the Obama Administration, the report cited John Kerry when noting that “…Israeli officials consider the US view of the Middle East ‘weak and naive.’” Despite their lack of faith in Obama,

Netanyahu is confident his supporters in Congress will back Israel, and remains unconcerned that the sparring with Obama will have significant adverse effects.

With the American politics of the situation sure to be addressed in the upcoming mid-terms, the actions on the part of the Obama Administration (and Britain, for that matter) also make a strong case for the timeliness of crowdsourcing for Israel’s military defense.

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Palestinians in Gaza Tweet Their Solidarity with Ferguson Protesters

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

After disregarding pleas from the police in Ferguson, Missouri, to restrict their protests to daylight hours, angry demonstrators took to the streets for a fourth night in a row in response to the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Saturday.

The Ferguson Police Department expressed sympathy over the unarmed teen’s death, saying “police are working to restore confidence in the safety of our community and our neighborhoods so that we may begin the healing process.”

The city and the police department pledged to cooperate fully with local and federal investigations into the shooting.

“We ask that any groups wishing to assemble in prayer or in protest do so only during daylight hours in an organized and respectful manner,” the statement said. “We further ask all those wishing to demonstrate or assemble to disperse well before the evening hours to ensure the safety of the participants and the safety of our community.”

But early Wednesday evening a crowd gathered around a burned down gas station for another night of protesting. Officers set up barricades in an attempt to control the area, but when protesters refused to disperse and blocked a busy street, police moved in with tear gas and rubber bullets sending protesters running.

In the middle of the melee, Twitter started lighting up with messages of solidarity from Palestinians in Gaza, some of them sending advice for how to resist police or deal with the effects of tear gas.

Inas Safidi, whose Twitter profile says she lives in “Palestine,” began with a message of support for the protesters:

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‘Miracle’ Wind Saves Tel Aviv from Hamas Rocket

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg
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Iron Dome intercepts a rocket over Tel Aviv, July 12, 2014 via Haaretz

The IJReview picked up a story from the UK Daily Mail that featured the eye witness testimony of an Israeli Iron Dome commander responsible for protecting Tel Aviv, Israel’s business center, from incoming rocket attacks:

A missile was fired from Gaza. Iron Dome precisely calculated [its trajectory]. We know where these missiles are going to land down to a radius of 200 meters. This particular missile was going to hit either the Azrieli Towers, the Kirya (Israel’s equivalent of the Pentagon) or [a central Tel Aviv railway station]. Hundreds could have died.

We fired the first [interceptor]. It missed. Second [interceptor]. It missed. This is very rare. I was in shock. At this point we had just four seconds until the missile lands. We had already notified emergency services to converge on the target location and had warned of a mass-casualty incident.

Suddenly, Iron Dome (which calculates wind speeds, among other things) shows a major wind coming from the east, a strong wind that … sends the missile into the sea. We were all stunned. I stood up and shouted, ‘There is a God!”

The story, originally circulated in Israeli media, was translated into English by the Jerusalem-based news agency Israel TodayThe commander’s testimony continued:

“I witnessed this miracle with my own eyes. It was not told or reported to me. I saw the hand of God send that missile into the sea.”

Israel Today noted that earlier unconfirmed reports circulating around the Internet had Hamas fighters have attributed the success of Iron Dome to the ability of Israel’s God to move Hamas rockets in mid-air. This is not the first report of Divine intervention in the midst of Operation Protective Edge. Following the Biblical terms of a pre-Jubilee year harvest, Orthodox farmers took enough wheat from their fields to reveal terrorists hiding in their midst. Most recently, it was reported that an Israeli soldier’s well-timed recitation of the Shema saved a Hamas female suicide bomber in Gaza.

Israel Today ended their Iron Dome miracle report by detailing another report of miracles in the midst of combat:

Also last week, Col. Ofer Winter, commander of the Givati Infantry Brigade, described a mysterious fog that favorably covered he and his troops as they advanced on an enemy position in morning light, after their nighttime raid was postponed.

Col. Winter labeled the covering as “clouds of glory.”

Earlier in the Gaza war, Col. Winter sparked heated national debate when he encouraged his troops to lead the charge against an enemy that “curses, defames and abuses the God of Israel.” Col. Winter concluded his letter by praying that the “Lord your God go with you, to fight for you against your enemies and to save you.”

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The Man Behind StopARocket: Fundraising for the Iron Dome

Thursday, August 7th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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After watching his fellow pro-Israel ralliers get attacked by a pro-Palestinian mob, one average Canadian citizen wanted to send a message, not just to the thugs who sent 6 people to the hospital, but to the entire world. If you doubt that average people can do big things, you haven’t met Ron from Calgary, the founder of StopARocket.com.

Amused by the idea of a crowdsourcing campaign for the Iron Dome, I reached out to the folks at StopARocket.com to see if I could get a handle on the folks behind the fundraiser. It turns out that the “folks” is one guy named Ron who was willing to do an email interview. Obviously the guy has a day job. Most of his responses were sent in the wee hours of the morning, illustrating how dedicated he is to what he refers to as a simple, but profound way for Israel lovers across the globe to show their support for the civilian defense of the free world. Ron’s humble, straightforward responses illustrate how much we can accomplish when we’re willing to embrace Ben Carson’s axiom “Think Big”.

Please start by telling me a little about yourself and the group ForCanada. What is the group’s purpose? What are the goals?

I’m a private professional in Calgary. I attended a pro-Hamas rally a few weeks ago that degenerated into a violent mob that sent six people to the hospital. I’m worried not just about Israel’s safety in the Middle East, but the safety of Jews and non-Jewish Zionists in the west, including in North America.

For Canada is the committee that organized the pro-Israel rally last Thursday in Calgary. They agreed to let StopARocket.com use their mailing address and bank account to collect cheques from people who don’t want to use PayPal.

What drove you to fundraise specifically for the Iron Dome, as opposed to some kind of humanitarian aid for Israel (i.e. supplies for soldiers, etc.)? Shouldn’t military aid be managed by government officials?

Supporting Iron Dome is merely symbolic. I read a CNN article that said each Iron Dome anti-missile costs $62,000 so that seemed like an achievable fundraising goal. As we say on our website, we will ask the Israeli government to put the money towards the cost of one anti-missile, or any other civilian defence expenses to protect Israelis. It’s only for defensive efforts to protect civilians. But Iron Dome has captured the world’s imagination as a symbol of Israel’s ingenuity and value placed on life.

Are you working with any officials in Israel to coordinate this effort?

Before we launched the website, we confirmed with the Israeli embassy in Canada that they would support this project and would help us direct the funds to the appropriate agency in Israel.

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NDTV Exclusive Footage: Hamas Preps Rocket in Hotel Backyard

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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India’s NDTV has released exclusive footage of Hamas terrorists assembling a rocket to fire in a residential neighborhood in Gaza:

 In the minutes before the ceasefire kicked in at Gaza this morning,  Hamas fired a flurry of rockets towards Israel – 30 according to some counts.

Israel has argued that that these rockets are fired from civilian areas, and this is why its retaliatory strikes can result in civilian casualties.

But this morning, NDTV witnessed one such rocket silo being created under a tent right next to the hotel where our team was staying.  Minutes later, we saw the rocket being fired, just before the 72-hour ceasefire came into effect.

NDTV made sure to note that the report was filed after their team left the Gaza Strip:

This report is being aired on NDTV and published on ndtv.com after our team left the Gaza strip – Hamas has not taken very kindly to any reporting of its rockets being fired. But just as we reported the devastating consequences of Israel’s offensive on Gaza’s civilians, it is equally important to report on how Hamas places those very civilians at risk by firing rockets deep from the heart of civilian zones.

Blogger Aussie Dave posted a report at the popular pro-Israel blog IsraellyCool mapping out the location of the launch site based on the footage within the NDTV report:

As you can see, right near not just the hotel but the beach and houses.

From the hotel room view, you can see a tall white building on the right, and a tall building with jagged balconies in the background. The building on the right partially blocks the view of building in the back.

You can see that the right side of the image, is the source of the sun in the morning launch, making it a view towards the north.

When the reporter walks away from the launch area, across the street, a bit to the north, lies the 5-star Commodore Hotel with its yellow and glass facade.

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Pro-Hamas Activists Blockade Israeli Arms Factory in Britain

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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The International Business Times reports:

Pro-Palestine activists have shut down a factory in Staffordshire owned by an Israeli military company in protest at the current Gaza conflict.

Members of the London Palestine Action group scaled the roof and chained the doors of the UAV Engines Limited factory in Shenstone.

UAV states that it produces “engines for various size tactical UAVs, target drones and single mission platforms”. It is owned by Israel’s largest weapons company, Elbit Systems.

London Palestine Action are demanding a closure of the factory, as well as an “end to all forms of military trade and cooperation with Israel”.

The group unfurled banners on the roof of the factory with the slogans “Elbit Arms Israel Kills” and “UK: Stop Arming Israel” as part of the ongoing protest.

The link between UAV and Israel has long been a subject of British speculation. A 2009 article in the Guardian reported:

UAV Engines, of Lichfield, Staffordshire, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of engines for drones - unmanned aerial vehicles that are becoming critical frontline systems for military and civilian use around the world.

The company, known as UEL, is owned by the Israel drone specialists Silver Arrow, a subsidiary of the Israeli defence contractor Elbit Systems.

One of its rotary Wankel engines is used in Elbit’s Hermes 450 drone. A version of the 450 makes up a squadron of the Israeli air force and has been seen over Gaza in the current conflict, being used for surveillance and targeting for Israel’s F-16 strike fighters.

Commentators on reputable defence and aviation journals and Elbit’s own website suggest that the Lichfield factory produces engines for the Hermes.

But Elbit’s head of corporate communications, Dalia Rosen, has denied this. She said: “UEL engines are provided to the British UAV programmes and to other international customers, not to Hermes 450 in the service of the IDF [Israel Defence Forces].”

When provided with references she replied: “If you want me to confirm a false speculation you can do it, but I strongly recommend that you trust my comment.” She did not respond to a request asking which other engine could be used.

The Middle East Monitor, a pro-Palestinian media agency dedicated to “creating new perspectives,” issued a report on the factory protest in Staffordshire. Referring to the protesters as “occupiers” who are pursuing a new front in the battle against UAV and Elbit, the report detailed:

The occupation comes the day after the UK government pledged to investigate whether any of £8bn of arms exported to Israel in the last 5 years are being used in Israel’s ongoing attacks on Palestinians in Gaza.

Currently, British police have cordoned off the area around the factory and are working to “ensure the protest remains peaceful and safe.” An estimated 10 protesters are on the rooftop, many of whom are live tweeting photos and messages “…saying they have enough supplies to ‘last a week’.”

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Will the Power of the People Fund the Iron Dome?

Monday, August 4th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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A gentleman identifying himself as “Ron from Calgary, Canada” has taken it upon himself to start an Indiegogo campaign titled “Stop a Rocket” to crowdsource funding for Israel’s Iron Dome.

“Let’s stop a rocket and help Israel buy more Iron Dome anti-missles!” the campaign’s headline reads. The fundraising plea details:

So many people around the world are concerned about the terrorist attacks on Israel, especially through rockets fired by Hamas terrorists based in Gaza.

We are shocked at Hamas’s Nazi-like hatred for Jews; we feel sorrow for the victims of this violence, including innocent civilians in Gaza that Hamas uses as human shields. But most of all, we feel helpless — what can we personally do about this?

Is there something positive that people of goodwill around the world can do, both as a symbolic gesture, and that might actually save a life? We think there is.

…It wouldn’t be for an offensive weapon. You can’t use the Iron Dome to attack anyone. It’s 100% defensive — like a bulletproof vest. It only saves lives. And it doesn’t discriminate — it protects Jewish, Muslim and Christian Israelis all the same.

Let’s do it — let’s crowd fund this project, to save lives!

The campaign, which started on July 31, has already reached 27% of its goal. It is scheduled to continue fundraising until August 14.

Pamela Gellar, the blogging activist behind Atlas Shrugs endorsed the Stop A Rocket campaign, tweeting:

“Crowdfunding an Iron Dome!: FANTASTIC! I just contributed, so should you. Free people defending free people…”.

Canadian media personality and conservative political activist Ezra Levant promoted the campaign, tweeting:

“My friend Ron is crowdsourcing $62,000 to pay for one Iron Dome anti-missile. I think he’ll save a life: http://www.StopARocket.com  #Israel”.

Very little has been reported on the Stop A Rocket campaign. ForCanada, the organization to which donors can send checks, is a grassroots fundraising organization that has supported a Calgary for Israel Rally, and a Stop the Riots legal fund for victims of pro-Palestinian aggression. The organization is also tied to a campaign to “fight anti-Christian bigotry in Canada”.

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Rumsfeld an Alien Wizard? Cuba Faked Moon Landing? Congress Banned from Editing Wikipedia

Friday, July 25th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

Critics have slammed Wikipedia, the crowdsourced online encyclopedia, saying its lack of professional editors makes it an unreliable source.

Well, that’s true when Congress gets involved.

It seems our hardworking representative(s) and/or their hardworking staffer(s) devoted time, on the public dime, to altering Wikipedia pages to accuse the Cuban government of faking the moon landings (when everyone knows it was the U.S. government that did that), and to name Donald Rumsfeld as an alien wizard.

It seems that those edits were the final straw for Wikipedia’s administrators, who implemented a 10-day ban on any changes coming from one particular IP address within the US Congress, “due to disruptive editing originating from that address”.

Don’t expect a Congressional investigation into this misuse of public funds, because…

a) It’s Congress, and

b) there’s no physical evidence, because government hard-drives never survive these sorts of incidents.

And stop laughing at us, Great Britain. Your MPs have been caught doing the same…a lot.

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Liberty Island: Liberal’s Newest, Greatest Threat

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Apparently, it takes the declaration of a culture war for most human beings to acknowledge how dreadfully sad liberalism truly is.

Not classical liberalism, of course. The political philosophy guiding America’s founding fathers espouses an incredibly positive attitude built on, above all things, faith in the success of the individual against all odds. The liberalism I am referring to is the darker ethos that currently masquerades as Liberal, despite the fact that it is anything but. One need look no further for proof of this truth than Adam Kirsch’s response to Adam Bellow‘s call for a counterculture conservative establishment via Liberty Island.

…why does Adam Bellow continue to believe that conservative writers are a persecuted minority? The reason may have something to do with the description of the kind of work he seeks at his Liberty Island website: “At Liberty Island, good still triumphs over evil, hope still overcomes despair, and America is still a noble experiment and a beacon to the rest of the world.” The problem is not that these are conservative ideas, but that they are simpleminded ideological dogmas, and so by their very nature hostile to literature, which lives or dies by its sense of reality. If you are not allowed to say that life in America can be bad, that Americans can be guilty as well as innocent, that good sometimes (most of the time?) loses out to evil—in short, that life in America is like human life in any other time or place—then you cannot be a literary writer, because you have censored your impressions of reality in advance.

In this one paragraph Kirsch clearly defines the Liberal view of reality. According to Kirsch, Liberals view America as a “bad” place where good is defeated ”most of the time” by evil. Bellow’s desire to publish positive, hopeful literature illustrates his biased impression of reality, an implied trait among conservatives. According to Kirsch, Bellow is both deficient and needy: “…he wants reassurance, the certainty that reality—of which literature is the perceiver and guardian—is always on the side of his political beliefs.” He accuses Bellow of seeking succor through “Tea Party”-esque revenge tactics.

These accusations stand in stark contradiction to Kirsch’s conclusion in which he blatantly accepts the fact that Liberals have abused the arts, turning what used to be pleasurable cultural outlets into forums for intense, almost religious levels of political brainwashing. According to Kirsch, true writers understand that politics “must be corrected by literature” and not vice-versa. Hence, so many writers are Liberals. Liberals who busy themselves using their screeds to “correct” the political landscape. Thus, is his own grand conclusion he ends up convicting Liberals for Bellow’s supposed crimes.

In creating Liberty Island, Adam Bellow did one better than scare the Liberal literary establishment: He annoyed them. In his conservative counterculture manifesto Bellow named the sins that have turned the world of American fiction into nothing more than a finely written dystopia. It is what Bellow proposes, marketing hope to the hopeless, that is the greatest cause for alarm. Kirsch and his ilk can attempt to disinform the public by accusing conservative writers of being “out of touch” with reality. This has and will only continue to act as a public airing of their own hopeless despair. When challenged with a positive alternative, Liberal literati will ultimately fail, because in a world rife with rockets and bomb shelters, riots and dictators, wars and rumors of wars, there is nothing the public craves more than a future and a hope.

 

 

 

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Snowden Document Exposes UK’s Orwellian Online Spying Tactics

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

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A new document released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden shows that the British Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) has developed an extraordinary array of tools, not only for internet surveillance, but also for the purpose of promoting propaganda and manipulating social media.

The document, released to British newspaper, The Intercept, shows that the secretive spy agency — the British equivalent of the NSA — has in its possession tools created by GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate page view counts on web sites, “amplify” sanctioned messages on YouTube (or censor video content judged to be “extremist”), and even seed the internet with false information. JTRIG also has ability to find photos of specific targets on Facebook that are not available to the public.

The document—available here—is a Wikipedia-style page from 2012 designed to inform other GCHQ units of JTRIG’s “weaponised capability” in the area of internet technology. The document describes not only the run-of-the-mill tools used to create mayhem online by average hackers (“distributed denial of service” attacks and “call bombing”), but in a disturbing insight into the capabilities of the British government, also reveals tools that could be used to manipulate political discourse and public opinion — and even to disseminate state-approved propaganda.

JTRIG describes some of the tactics as “in development” but says most are “fully operational.” The document brags, “Don’t treat this like a catalogue. If you don’t see it here, it doesn’t mean we can’t build it.” Some of the capabilities described by JTRIG in the document, along with their code names are listed below:

• “Change outcome of online polls” (UNDERPASS)

• “Mass delivery of email messaging to support an Information Operations campaign” (BADGER)

• “Mass delivery of SMS messages to support an Information Operations campaign” (WARPARTH)

• “Disruption of video-based websites hosting extremist content through concerted target discovery”

•  ”Content removal” (SILVERLORD)

• “Find private photographs of targets on Facebook” (SPRING BISHOP)

• “A tool that will permanently disable a target’s account on their computer” (ANGRY PIRATE)

• “Ability to artificially increase traffic to a website” (GATEWAY)

• “Ability to inflate page views on websites” (SLIPSTREAM)

• “Amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube)” (GESTATOR)

• “Targeted Denial Of Service against Web Servers” (PREDATORS FACE)

• “Distributed denial of service using P2P. Built by ICTR, deployed by JTRIG” (ROLLING THUNDER)

• “A suite of tools for monitoring target use of the UK auction site eBay (www.ebay.co.uk)” (ELATE)

• “Ability to spoof any email address and send email under that identity” (CHANGELING)

• “For connecting two target phone together in a call” (IMPERIAL BARGE)

 

The new Snowden document also reveals that the agency has the ability to monitor Skype conversations in real time:

• “Active skype capability. Provision of real time call records (SkypeOut and SkypetoSkype) and bidirectional instant messaging. Also contact lists.” (MINIATURE HERO)

JTRIG Tools and Techniques   The Intercept

This raises questions about Microsoft’s cooperation with spy agencies or possible security vulnerabilities with the program. Microsoft uses advanced encryption for Skype and the company claims it “only respond[s] to legal government demands” and only complies with “orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers.” The document does note that though it is fully operational, there may be some “usage restrictions” for the Skype tool.

The Snowden document does not reveal whether all of the programs were used or how often. It does note that “there can be some reasons our tools won’t work for operational reasons” and adds that “there may also be some legal restrictions” on using the tools.

The release comes as the British parliament is considering an emergency surveillance law that would require telecom companies to retain customer data for a year. The companies had been required to retain data for 12 months under a 2006 European Union directive but the policy was thrown out in April by the European Court of Justice on the grounds that it violated human rights.

Prime Minister David Cameron has championed the surveillance legislation, saying the government’s powers must not be compromised at a time of growing concern over Brits traveling to Iraq and Syria to join militant Islamist groups. Privacy advocates have objected to the legislation, saying it is moving too quickly and without enough public debate about privacy and human rights.

 

 

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Americans Also Targets in Hamas Attacks

Sunday, July 13th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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The above news clip represents what the average American hears on a daily basis regarding Operation Protective Edge, the latest military spate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has been going on (officially) since 1948. In the span of the 2 minute report, the Palestinian civilian casualties in Gaza were mentioned 3 times. What was not mentioned: These civilians have been instructed by their Hamas government to ignore the flyers and phone calls from the Israeli Defense Forces warning citizens to get out of the way of impending rocket attacks in their areas.

While an Israeli mother putting her baby to sleep in a bomb shelter is included in the report, what the reporter didn’t bother to tell you are the number of Israelis currently being hospitalized for shock. Nor did the report include the fact that this is just another day for the residents of Sderot, who’ve received a constant barrage of rockets since Israel relinquished Gaza back to the Palestinians in 2005. That’s nearly a decade of rocket fire, making the generation who grew up under these attacks old enough to train incoming school students in how not to suffer the inevitable PTSD associated with a lifetime of death threats flying through the air and landing in your back yard.

American audiences hear none of this because the majority of American and world media have fallen prey to Hamas’s most powerful ongoing terrorist operation: A disinformation and glasnost campaign designed to destroy western support for Israel through a constant barrage of media bias.

Here is how the disinformation and glasnost campaign has been executed in response to Operation Protective Edge :

Seed of Truth: Palestinian civilians are being killed by Israeli rocket fire in Gaza.

Pack of Lies: Israelis are safely protected in bomb shelters under the Iron Dome while their military targets innocent civilians in the impoverished Gaza Strip.

Ultimate Goal: Encourage American and worldwide support for the Hamas campaign to wipe Israel off the map and eliminate all evidence of the Zionist entity, including the Jewish people and their supporters, from the face of the earth.

The glasnost element is the most perverse. Hamas plays on the western disbelief in the idea of martyrs, portraying these women and children as “innocent civilian victims” of Israeli aggression. When speaking to the non-Western media, these dead are referred to in a term most recently used by Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, “the Gazan martyrs.” Glasnost is the term for glorifying the leader’s image abroad. In this case, Hamas is using the bodies of women and children to shield their missiles in life and glorify their reputations in death.

Some news agencies and opinion sites are catching onto this disinformation campaign, willing to call it “media bias against Israel.” This is more than media bias. This is a calculated effort on the part of Hamas to sway world opinion against the only nation willing to confront and fight against Islamic terror. Therefore, whether the mainstream media is a willing partner in this endeavor makes no matter. The bottom line is, the media is marketing this disinformation to audiences in America and worldwide that are watching blind, with no Iron Dome to protect them.

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Tech News: 8-Bit Bacon, a 3D Printed Cast, a New Hubble Find, and That’s One Huge Frickin’ Bird!

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

J.K. Rowling almost broke the Internet. She published a Harry Potter short story and civilization nearly ended.

A Turkish student has come up with a 3D printed cast that supposedly heals bones as much as 80% faster than conventional casts.

It’s pretty cool-looking.

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Denny’s and Atari have teamed up to launch what may be the best retro app ever.

Denny’s has teamed up with Atari to release three of its classic games — Centipede, Asteroids and Breakout — on Denny’s mobile app, but with a branded twist. Asteroids, for instance, will be called Hashteroids, in a nod to Denny’s hash browns. In Asteroids, the object of the game is to destroy asteroids — which are replaced by hash browns destroyed by shooting ketchup from a spaceship-shaped bottle. Centipede is renamed Centipup, an homage to Denny’s pancakes, and Breakout is renamed Take-Out.

The campaign is for “Greatest Hits Remixed,” a new limited-time menu featuring some of Denny’s classics such as Moons Over My Hammy and the Grand Slam, though they are altered slightly. The Grand Slam meal will be “remixed” to the Red, White and Blue Slam, which includes pancakes with blueberries and a strawberry topping.

Whatever. All three of the games are very faithful recreations of the originals. The app has 8-bit bacon in the Takeout game. Bacon makes everything better.

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Scientists have discovered what may have been the largest flying bird ever. It had the wingspan of a small airplane.

With an estimated 20- to 24-foot wingspan, the extinct P. sandersi was twice the size of today’s biggest flying bird, the royal albatross, according to the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in North Carolina.

Researchers believe the P. sandersi lived about 25 million to 28 million years ago.

The Hubble Space Telescope (disclosure: I used to work there) has been used to find a couple of new Kuiper Belt objects.

Scientists looking for targets beyond Pluto for NASA’s New Horizon’s spacecraft to visit will get more time on the Hubble Space Telescope, managers decided after a two-week pilot study revealed at least two candidate objects.

The New Horizons team had spent three fruitless years using ground-based telescopes to find a Kuiper Belt Object that will be within range of New Horizons after its July 14, 2015, flyby of Pluto. Last month, scientists got two weeks of observing time on Hubble for initial scans.

The deal was that if they found at least two candidates, they could have another 160 orbits worth of telescope time to ferret out a second suitable target for New Horizons.

Analysis of an initial 200 Hubble images, taken between June 16 and June 26, showed that at least two Kuiper Belt Objects might be within range of New Horizons.

The Kuiper Belt is basically the frozen outer fringe of the Solar System. It’s where building blocks from the formation of the Solar System are thought to be, more or less like the pile of crap that building contractors amass when they build a house.

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Just What Did Lois Lerner Do to Her ‘Crashed’ Hard Drive?

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The current epicenter of the IRS scandal is the hard drive of Lois Lerner.

According to the IRS, the official at the center of the agency’s targeting scandal suffered a catastrophic hard drive crash in 2011. With that crash, she lost emails from January 2009 to April 2011 — the period during which she is suspected of targeting conservatives.

But Lerner did not lose all of her emails. Just the ones that go to people who work outside the IRS. The IRS was able to recover the others.

It’s difficult to make sense of that. Even if Lerner’s hard drive was used in a nuclear bomb test, her emails still lived on IRS Microsoft Exchange email servers.

The IRS says it recycled backup tapes, and erased all of those emails every six months. But what about people at the agencies Lerner was communicating with? What about their email servers? Lerner’s emails should be on them, or on their backups. Have they been checked?

Problem: We don’t know which exactly agencies and entities and their staff are involved. Well, Lerner does. But she has invoked Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. So she isn’t talking.

But back to her hard drive. White House lawyer Jennifer O’Connor testified this week that Lerner’s hard drive was “imaged.” Imaging a hard drive takes a full set of all of the data on that drive. So that preserved Lerner’s emails, right?

Well, no. O’Connor says that Lerner’s hard drive was imaged in May 2013 after the scandal broke. That’s roughly two years after Lerner’s alleged crash. So that’s a different hard drive altogether.

Lerner’s 2011 hard drive crash must have been truly extraordinary. The IRS claims that once that crash happened, it could not retrieve any of the data from it.

Sure, that’s possible. But data is routinely recovered in full from “crashes.” Data recovery company My Data Recovery highlights the case of a woman who used an external hard drive to back up her data, until that drive apparently died. It wouldn’t power on. My Data Recovery says that it was able to recover 100% of the data on that drive.

But that story is a commercial for a specific data recovery service. It’s a claim in advertising. Here’s another — a hard drive that was burned in a fire and soaked by the building’s sprinklers. 100% of the data on it was recovered, according to the company’s ad.

How about the story of the scientist who spilled acid on his hard drive? Full data recovery.

The woman who accidentally sent her USB drive through the washer at home? Full data recovery.

A company that suffered a fire in its office which melted data CDs to their cases? Full data recovery.

How about the story of the hard drive that had become an ant hive? Full data recovery.

None of those stories are in an ad for a data recovery company. And they’re not new. They were published in 2007, when data recovery was not as accomplished a skill as it was in 2011, or 2014.

Lerner’s drive allegedly crashed in 2011 and was subjected to attempts at data recovery. Without success. And it was recycled, so the IRS says, meaning that it was physically destroyed.

That hard drive was not, as far as anyone has said, burned, soaked, run through a washer, had a run-in with acid or been turned into a home by ants before the data recovery attempts, before the IRS decided to destroy it forever.

Just what on earth did Lois Lerner and/or the IRS do to that hard drive, before they “recycled” it?

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Did Lois Lerner Violate IRS Policy on Email Preservation?

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

Lois Lerner told the IT technician who was unable to recover the data from her crashed hard drive, “Sometimes stuff just happens.”

A lot is being made of both the alleged crash of Lois Lerner’s hard drive and the lack of backup tapes for the missing time period in the congressional investigation into the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. The IRS told congressional investigators last week that two years’ worth of emails sent and received by Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the investigation, have been destroyed because of a computer crash in mid-2011. And now, we learn, the hard drives of six other IRS employees also crashed and the emails have gone missing. But some of the “stuff” that happened to Lois Lerner’s email may be the direct result of her failure to follow IRS policy.

The IRS had policies in place in 2011 to prevent destruction of federal records, including emails. At the time, they also had a policy that limited employee mailboxes to 500 MB, so when employees approached their limit they were required to delete emails from the server to make room.

The Secure Enterprise Messaging system (SEMS) establishes a standard size of 500 MB (500 megabytes) for individual mailboxes. The system mails you daily warning messages that the limit is being approached when your mailbox reaches a size of 475 MB. When it exceeds the 500 MB limit, you will receive the following warning each time you attempt to send a message:

  • “You have exceeded your storage limit on your mailbox ” .
  • Delete some mail from your mailbox or contact your system administrator to adjust your storage limit. (Consider whether any of the items you want to delete may be a federal record. IRM 1.10.3.3.2 above.)

When an email is sent or received it goes to the email server, called an exchange. From there, the email client (Microsoft Outlook, your phone, your home computer) can access the email. It is then stored on the server, sometimes remaining there well beyond the moment the user actually deletes the email from the client. (There are also multiple logs that record all of the actions related to the emails and the servers.) Emails can also be saved in a file on a local computer, so if they’re deleted from the server, the individual still has a record of the correspondence.

The IRS is apparently alleging two things:  that Lerner’s personal computer crashed, rendering emails stored on her computer unrecoverable and also that there is no backup of what was on the email servers in 2011 because the backup tapes are overwritten every six months. Many IT professionals, including a former IRS employee, have called into question the IRS’s assertion that the agency has no backup of data stored on the servers for the time period in question. In fact, IRS commissioner Koskinen testified in March that IRS emails, including Lois Lerner’s, “get taken off and stored in servers.” The IRS also says it was able to recover 24,000 emails that related to Lerner, some of them from an “earlier 2011 data collection of Ms. Lerner’s email.” This would seem to confirm Commissioner Koskinen’s statement that the emails are “stored in servers” since the IRS says they were unable to recover any emails from Lerner’s hard drive.

In a letter explaining the missing emails to Congress the IRS said, “Any of Ms. Lerner’s email that was only stored on that computer’s hard drive would have been lost when the computer crashed and could not be recovered.” IT professionals are also scoffing at the notion that the data was not recoverable.

But before we even get to the problem of a possible backup failure or the computer crash, we must consider how Lerner got to the point of having “email that was only stored on the computer’s hard drive.”

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Comforting: Google To Acquire Satellite Manufacturer

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Hasta la vista, privacy.

Google’s ambitions to connect the world is set to launch into the stratosphere. Satellite builder Skybox Imaging announced Tuesday that the search giant, map maker and Project Loon creator has agreed to an acquisition deal worth $500 million. The deal hasn’t closed yet, so additional details are scarce at this point.

OK, I know that privacy is largely an illusion these days, as long as I want to use a smart phone, anyway. Still, there’s something about Google building its own satellites that makes my love/hate relationship with it a smidge more hate-y.

Odds are on the NSA being the first to call and congratulate when the deal closes.

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15-Year-Old Makes a Small Fortune on Bitcoin, Does Something Amazing With It

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Yeah, that’s a pretty Upworthy-esque headline. What can I say? This is a great story, and people are more likely to click on the emotional tug intro.

This story goes like this. Erik Finman got a $1,000 gift from his grandmother a couple of years ago. He invested all of it in Bitcoin. Bitcoin took off, and for him, it really took off. His $1,000 became worth a whole lot more and he sold it for $100,000. Getting in early tends to make a difference.

With that money, Finman turned around and launched a company — Botangle.com. Botangle offers tutoring in a whole lot of subjects over video chat. You can learn how to cook. You can learn about graphic design. You can learn French from someone who lives in Paris. Or you can learn how to start a business from Erik Finman. No kidding. He’s one of Botangle’s experts. He also knows a bit about robotics.

You can also offer yourself as a tutor and maybe get hired by somebody out there and make some money. You just have to give Botangle a cut of your fee. Basically, Finman brings people who want to learn something together with people who want to teach something.

Finman says he has a deal with his parents. If he makes $1,000,000 by the time he’s 18, he doesn’t have to go to college. If he succeeds, he’ll probably end up turning Botangle into a college.

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Putin Actively Trolls Your Favorite Websites

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

BuzzFeed broke the news that the Kremlin has been actively operating a disinformation campaign targeted at readers of a number of American-based internet publications including, but not limited to, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and BuzzFeed. Additional reports name Fox News, Huffington Post, The Blaze and World Net Daily in the list of targets. Russian agents would act as trolls on these sites, filling comment sections with various forms of anti-American propaganda.

In a report dated May 21, Internet Research Agency commercial director Svetlana Boiko discussed the progress of the trolling project’s $75,000 trial period, which began April 10. The report says that during that period, the trolls left more than 2,500 comments on 30 different news websites, tweeted 1,220 times from 12 accounts, wrote 85 Facebook posts, posted 175 times in an unspecified number of forums, and made five bizarre YouTube videos attacking the U.S. government andHarry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe.

As with many previous disinformation campaigns, the goal of the trolling operation is to:

…turn public opinion against the U.S. government on 40 different subjects ranging from Russia’s role in the world and the Ukraine crisis to unrelated American domestic issues like gun rights, taxes, and religion. The trolls also campaigned heavily against U.S. President Barack Obama on Twitter, where they used the hashtag #Obama to promote the keywords “fuck obama,” “ass obama,” and “ObamaCare.” The most popular account, @I_am_ass_, has 3,363 followers.

Millions of dollars are being spent on the Kremlin’s latest disinformation campaign, meant to manipulate internet freedom abroad while simultaneously increasing control within Russian territory:

The bizarre hive of social media activity appears to be part of a two-pronged Kremlin campaign to claim control over the internet, launching a million-dollar army of trolls to mold American public opinion as it cracks down on internet freedom at home.

A new law that comes into effect in August also forces bloggers with more than 3,000 followers to register with the government. The move entails significant and cumbersome restrictions for bloggers, who previously wrote free of Russia’s complicated media law bureaucracy, while denying them anonymity and opening them up to political pressure.

“The internet has become the main threat — a sphere that isn’t controlled by the Kremlin,” said Pavel Chikov, a member of Russia’s presidential human rights council. “That’s why they’re going after it. Its very existence as we know it is being undermined by these measures.”

The trolls have also set up YouTube accounts to post anti-American and anti-LGBT propaganda videos.  Comments on these videos illustrate the poor English skills of some of the Kremlin’s trolls, one of the dead giveaways of the now defamed disinformation campaign.

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Let’s Not Put the People in Charge of the Veterans Administration in Charge of the Internet

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 - by Seton Motley

The Veterans Administration (VA) has been a disaster since just about its inception.  Because it is government-only monopoly single-payer health care.  Championed by the exact same people dying to impose it on all the rest of us.

Then-Community Organizer Barack Obama: 

“I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer…universal health care plan.

“I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately.  There’s going to potentially be some transition process.

Does that “transition process” look like this?

Millions of Americans Are Losing Their Health Plans Because of ObamaCare

74% Of ObamaCare Sign-Ups Were Previously Insured

Meanwhile, the federal government is contemplating shoving the Internet under eerily similar government-managed monopoly regulations called Title II – so as to then impose Network Neutrality.

FCC Chairman On Net Neutrality: All Options Are On the Table

…(I)ncluding a reclassification of broadband services, something that commonly known as Title II reclassification.

About which a leading proponent says:

“At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.

Sound familiar?  They want government-regulation-time-bomb destruction of the private sector Internet – to end up with a single-payer government-only Web.  Upon which the Feds have already put a down payment.

2009 Stimulus Bill Includes $7.2 Billion for Broadband

Which has worked with Veterans Administration-esque alacrity.

The Internet ‘Stimulus’-Just as Destructive as the Rest of the ‘Stimulus’

Yet Another Terrible Internet ‘Stimulus’ Project

Update: The Utter Failure of Government ‘Stimulus’

It’s been such an all-encompassing, unmitigated disaster that:

20 States Now Have Restrictions on Municipal Broadband

But will that stop the government’s roll to control?  Of course not.

(Federal Communications Commission) FCC Thinks It Can Overturn State Laws that Restrict Public Broadband

How’s that for respect for federalism – and the Constitution?  And the Supreme Court?

…(A) 2004 US Supreme Court decision…said the Telecommunications Act “allows states to prevent municipalities from providing telecommunications services.”….

Speaking of the Telecommunications Act – it was written in 1996.  Net Neutrality wasn’t even created as a concept until 2002.  It is utterly absurd to argue the law authorized something that didn’t even yet exist.

Has that stopped the government?  Of course not.  The FCC has already twice imposed Net Neutrality – and twice the DC Circuit has unanimously rejected it.

Court Backs Comcast Over FCC on ‘Net Neutrality’

Verizon Wins Net Neutrality Court Ruling Against FCC

And yet here we are.

It’s Groundhog Day – Again: Government Taking Third Stab at Net Neutrality Power Grab

Including the Title II Reclassification threat.

Title II is the uber-regulatory superstructure where landline telephones exist.  To think that the dynamic, interwoven, free speech-free market Xanadu that is the World Wide Web is JUST like the monolithic, monorail, virtually-unchanged-for-seventy-plus-years wired phone is…ridiculous on stilts.  And incredibly destructive.

The Leviathan is relentless.  It wants Reclassification because it would dramatically accelerate the “transition process” from a free market Internet to government-monopoly broadband.

The Court has already twice said the FCC overreached on Net Neutrality.  The FCC’s response is to consider an overreach light years beyond these previous power grabs.

The Leviathan is relentless.

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FAA Official Tells Drone Convention Some Approvals to be Expedited Before Rules Complete

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Just a couple of days after the Federal Aviation Administration acknowledged that a near-miss in the skies between an airliner and drone could have had “catastrophic” results, an FAA told a drone industry conference that the agency wants to expedite approvals for some commercial drone operations.

Jim Williams, the head of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) office, said in a recent speech posted on YouTube that the incident showed the need “for detect-and-avoid standards to be developed and right-of-way rules to be obeyed” when integrating drones into U.S. airspace.

“Imagine a metal and plastic object — especially with (a) big lithium battery — going into a high-speed engine,” he told a San Francisco drone expo. “The results could be catastrophic.”

The March 22 incident involved U.S. Airways Flight 4650 coming from Charlotte, N.C., which encountered the drone five miles from the Tallahassee airport. The owner of the drone, which was flying at about 2,300 feet, has not been found, according to CNN.

At the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International drone mega-conference in Orlando today, Williams announced that the FAA is working to expedite approval of some unmanned systems uses even before rules on drone use are finalized.

Williams said industry representatives for filmmaking, powerline inspection, precision agriculture and flare stack inspection approached the FAA about expediting the approvals, and those are expected to be granted with “limited” permissions.

AUVSI and a few dozen other industry groups recently called on the FAA to allow limited operations immediately under its authority granted by Congress, arguing that they were losing too much money by waiting for the rules.

In March, a National Transportation Safety Board judge threw out the FAA’s $10,000 fine against the operator of a small unmanned aircraft, leaving the rules for drone operation and enforcement fuzzy.

“We applaud the FAA for working collaboratively with the industry and other stakeholders to help UAS technology begin to take off,” said AUVSI President and CEO Michael Toscano. “UAS have a host of societal and economic benefits, and many industries are clamoring to harness their capabilities. Limited commercial operations is a good first step, but we also need to begin the small UAS rulemaking immediately. We look forward to continue working with the FAA to advance UAS integration safely and responsibly.”

(Inside last year’s AUVSI conference in D.C.)

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Rushing to Regulate: Democrat Rosenworcel is Right – So She Should Vote ‘No’ on Net Neutrality

Thursday, May 8th, 2014 - by Seton Motley

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Democrat Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel yesterday made a very good point.

Rosenworcel: Delay Vote on Net Neutrality Rules

Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has asked FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to delay his planned May 15 vote on a draft of new network neutrality rules by at least a month….

“His proposal has unleashed a torrent of public response. Tens of thousands of e-mails, hundreds of calls, commentary all across the Internet….

“We need to respect that input and we need time for that input.  So while I recognize the urgency to move ahead and develop rules with dispatch, I think the greater urgency comes in giving the American public opportunity to speak right now, before we head down this road.

“I believe that rushing headlong into a rulemaking next week fails to respect the public response to his proposal.

She pointed out that the seven-day quiet period before the vote begins May 8. “That means we no longer accept public comment. I think it’s a mistake to cut off public debate right now as we head into consideration of the Chairman’s proposal. So again, at a minimum, we should delay the onset of our Sunshine rules.

So as of today, the FCC stops listening to what we have to say.  And Commissioner Rosenworcel thankfully wants to continue listening.

Chairman Wheeler, sadly, remains impervious.

 An FCC source speaking on background said the vote would go on as planned….

Commissioner Rosenworcel’s impression and instincts are exactly right.  And there’s a way she can get the appropriate delay – by voting “No” next Thursday.

Her Nay – combined with the likely Nays of the two Republican Commissioners – would be a majority three and stave off Net Neutrality’s imposition.

Would that mean Net Neutrality is dead and gone?  Of course not – its proponents are relentless.

Government-Imposed Net Neutrality: Twice-Bitten, Not Shy About a Third Try

It’s Groundhog Day – Again: Government Taking Third Stab at Net Neutrality Power Grab

Why Can’t the Government Take No for an Answer?

A Key Ingredient in the Left’s Wins: Persistence

What it would mean is We the People would have more time to weigh in on this huge government infliction on 1/6th of our nation’s economy.

Which is just what Commissioner Rosenworcel rightly wants.

Her No vote would give us that.

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Phone-A-Freud: ‘Telepsychiatry’ Brings Mental Health Help To Rural Areas

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Paging Dr. Skype.

North Carolina is facing a very big mental health care challenge — 28 counties across the state do not have a single psychiatrist. That’s despite the fact that in recent years, emergency rooms in the state have seen more patients with mental health, developmental disability or substance abuse problems.

So the state is trying telepsychiatry. When a patient comes into an emergency room, they can be connected via a two-way video connection with a psychiatrist. A recent study by the nonpartisan North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research found that the method is having some success in providing more timely treatment.

One of the psychiatrists, Dr. Sy Atezaz Saeed, told NPR’s Robert Siegel that that’s very much like being face-to-face with a patient.

“When you ask patients about this experience, most of them will tell you that after a few minutes of some hesitation, they even forget that they are talking to the doctor via this monitor,” Saeed, the chairman of the psychiatry department at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, says.

A clinic I go to has been doing some tele-diagnosis for a while with quite a bit of success. It seems to be an even more natural fit for psychiatric help, if the security concerns are always adequately addressed, that is. In our NSA-is-everywhere world that may never be the case.

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General: Military Knew Early On that Benghazi Had Nothing to do with a Video

Thursday, May 1st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Retired Air Force General Robert Lovell is testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today, on Benghazi. Lovell’s testimony comes just after it has been revealed that President Obama’s hand-picked speechwriter on the National Security Council, Ben Rhodes, laid out in an email that the “goal” of communications after the attack was to make sure that President Obama and his policies were not blamed.

The administration quickly began blaming a YouTube video for sparking protests that led to the attack. But Gen. Lovell told Congress under oath that the video was never considered a motivator by the military.

U.S. military personnel knew early on that the Benghazi attack was a “hostile action” and not a protest gone awry, according to a retired general who served at U.S. Africa Command’s headquarters in Germany during the attack.

While the exact nature of the attack was not clear from the start, “what we did know early on was that this was a hostile action,” Retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell said in his prepared statement Thursday morning to members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “This was no demonstration gone terribly awry.”

Lovell’s testimony contradicts the story that the Obama administration gave in the early days following the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. Consulate that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

As deputy director of intelligence for AFRICOM, Lovell would have been in a position to know far more about Benghazi than speechwriter Ben Rhodes. Lovell also testified that the military could have done more, and under questioning from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), acknowledged that the State Department was indecisive during the multi-hour attack.

CHAFFETZ: We had assets there in Europe. Did they actually go to the sound of the guns? Did they go into Benghazi?
LOVELL: No, sir, those assets didn’t.
CHAFFETZ: Why not?
LOVELL: There was looking for the State Department and the sense of deference to the desire of the State Department in terms of what they would like to have.

That points directly at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose actions on the night of the attack remain under a veil of secrecy, along with the actions of the president himself.

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John Kerry, Real Palestinian Sharia, and Imagined Israeli ‘Apartheid’

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 - by Andrew G. Bostom

Last Friday, during a closed-door meeting with a room of influential world leaders, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry opined that if Israel failed to accept his latest “peace formulation,” the country risked becoming an “apartheid state with second-class citizens.”

This statement was redolent with Kerry’s trademark mental and moral cretinism. For over a decade, the disputed territories in Gaza and Judea-Samaria under Fatah, and/or Hamas control have been under a real, not a theoretical system of Islamic Sharia-based religious apartheid.

After more than thirteen centuries of almost uninterrupted jihad in historical Palestine, it is not surprising that a finalized constitution proposed for a Palestinian Arab state declared all aspects of Palestinian state law to be subservient to the Sharia, in harmony with the popular will (i.e., 79.9 percent of Palestinians want the PA to follow the Sharia—Islamic religious law— including 68.6 percent who wanted the Sharia as the exclusive code of law, according to data published by the Palestinian Center for Research and Cultural Dialogue, March 3, 2005). Moreover, contemporary Palestinian Authority religious intelligentsia openly support restoration of the oppressive system of dhimmitude within a Muslim-dominated Israel as well.

During a Friday sermon broadcasted live on June 6, 2001 on PA TV, from the Sheik ‘Ijlin Mosque in Gaza, Palestinian Authority employee Sheik Muhammad Ibrahim Al-Madhi reiterated these sentiments with regard to Jews:

We welcome, as we did in the past, any Jew who wants to live in this land as a Dhimmi, just as the Jews have lived in our countries, as Dhimmis, and have earned appreciation, and some of them have even reached the positions of counselor or minister here and there. We welcome the Jews to live as Dhimmis, but the rule in this land and in all the Muslim countries must be the rule of Allah.

An assessment of such anachronistic, discriminatory views was provided by the Catholic archbishop of the Galilee, Butrus Al- Mu’alem, who, in a June 1999 statement, dismissed the notion of modern dhimmis submitting to Muslims:

It is strange to me that there remains such backwardness in our society; while humans have already reached space, the stars, and the moon . . . there are still those who amuse themselves with fossilized notions.

Eleven years ago (i.e., in 2003, prior to Hamas’ electoral victory in 2006), during a briefing for a visiting United States congressional delegation, then Vatican representative to Israel, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, informed US lawmakers that the Palestinian Authority’s new approved state constitution, funded by the US Agency for International Development, provided no juridical status for any religion other than Islam in the emerging Palestinian Arab entity. The Papal Nuncio warned, in addition, that the Palestinian Authority (PA) had adopted Sharia as the overarching guiding principle of their legal code, thus mandating the absolute supremacy of Muslims over non-Muslims as a matter of law. (Archbishop Sambi also initiated a study of the new PA textbooks, which the Vatican deemed to be brazenly Antisemitic.)

The Hamas contingent at the municipal council of Bethlehem confirmed (as reported by Karby Legget in the December 23, 2005, edition of the Wall Street Journal, p. A1) the organizations plan to reinstitute the humiliating jizya, and such policies, even their threatened implementation, will likely exacerbate the ongoing Christian exodus from Arab-controlled Judea/Samaria, especially Bethlehem. An early April 2006 Reuters report indicated that one thousand Christians per year were leaving these areas due to Muslim depredations, including assaults on Christians, uprooting their olive trees, and scrawling graffiti that depicts nuns being raped. After Hamas issued a warning to the YMCA of Qalqilya to close its offices and leave town, as reported on April 21, 2006, a Qalqilya Christian leader lamented:

The face of the new Hamas government is coming to the forefront now that they finally took over and have a lot more confidence. They want to create a territory free of Christians and Jews.

Just over three weeks ago (April 8, 2014) speaking at Uppsala University, a remarkably intrepid 26 year old Palestinian woman, Christy Anastas gave a forthright lecture (video here) “update” about the ongoing human rights abuses (predictably) engendered by this Sharia-based system of “law” adopted by Fatah-Hamas, including:

  • The forced payment of the Koranic poll-tax (per verse 9:29), or jizya (i.e., from the etymology of the word, per Edward Lane, the great 19th century Arabic-English lexicographer, “the tax paid in lieu of being slain”). Anastas explains, “if you are a non-Muslim, a Jew or a Christian, you have to pay protection money” (to those she aptly terms, “mafia”)…”My uncle had to pay this protection money.” Her uncle stopped making his jizya payments, whereupon he was accused of being a “traitor,” imprisoned, and then executed, right in front of his own home.
  • The grotesque violations of women’s rights (Anastas proclaims, “women don’t have rights there [in Fatah-Hamas controlled areas];” “women are treated as possessions there”), resulting from application of the Sharia, including legally sanctioned polygamy and honor killings.
  • The sheer absence of freedom of speech—another hallmark of the Sharia: “Israel doesn’t threaten to kill us (Christians) for sharing our views, Palestinians do!”

John Kerry should have viewed Christy Anastas’ lecture before belching forth his latest calumny. But I doubt it would have chastened him.

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It’s Groundhog Day: Government Taking Third Stab at Net Neutrality Power Grab

Friday, April 25th, 2014 - by Seton Motley

This is at once obnoxious and pathetic.

Wheeler Tees Up Net Neutrality for May Meeting

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said Wednesday that he would be circulating a draft of the FCC’s new network neutrality rules to the other commissioners Thursday (April 24).

This is their third attempt at this particular power garb.  It’s becoming fetishistic.

There was 2007.

Court Backs Comcast Over FCC on ‘Net Neutrality’

And there was 2010.

Verizon Wins Net Neutrality Court Ruling Against FCC

Yet here we remain – stuck in government overreach Groundhog Day.

We haven’t yet seen the Net Neutrality power grab order – but the fact that they’re trying again at all is at once obnoxious and pathetic.

Not yet having seen the order hasn’t stopped the Left from going apoplectic.  Because the Left never allows the facts to get in the way of a good beating.

The FCC Tosses Net Neutrality Out the Window

So This is How Net Neutrality Dies, Under a Democratic President

Thanks to the FCC Net Neutrality is Dead

Obama’s Second FCC Chairman Fails on Net Neutrality

Stop the FCC from Breaking the Internet

Not at all over the top.

To all of which I say:

It’s disappointing – but not surprising – that the Obama Administration is yet again going to impose the Internet power grab that is Network Neutrality.

The federal government is twice bitten – and not shy.  Having twice had their Net Neutrality impositions unanimously rejected by the courts – they remain undaunted in their desire to over-regulate the Web.

And it’s always a pleasure to watch the Leftist likes of Free Press and Public Knowledge preemptively freak out – over an order they haven’t even yet seen.

They are as always the perfect tool.  The Leftist screeching visual aides that allow an overreaching government to pretend “See, we’re finding middle ground – both sides are angry with us” as they grab even more Leviathan-sized hands-full of the once-private sector.

Don’t drive angry.

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Dallas Cowboys Release 2014 Schedule, Begin Early Preparations for Late Season Collapse

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

There’s no way to sugar coat this: The Dallas Cowboys’ 2014 schedule is brutal. It would make Attila the Hun look away with trembling lower lip.

America’s Former Team open the season at home against the San Francisco 49ers. Show of hands, who thinks Jerry’s Boys will win that one?

Yeah, it’s at home and it’s the season opener, but Jerry World hasn’t exactly been a fortress for the home team. Going into last season the Cowboys had compiled a record of 17-15 at what is now AT&T Stadium. Last season they went 5-3 at home but lost key games against the Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles. The Great Cheesehead Debacle of 2013 was the most painful — the Cowboys capitulated after leading by 23 at halftime to a team that didn’t even have its MVP quarterback. It was a disgraceful result of failing to follow the law that you run the ball when you have the lead, especially when your running back is averaging well over 5 yards per carry.

Don’t get me wrong, AT&T Stadium is great for importing European soccer matches. But the sheer spectacle of Jerry World seems to motivate the NFL’s visiting teams while the home crowd is too busy watching the pole dancers and the gigantic TV to cheer in sync with what’s happening on the field. The Niners will come in ready to roll over their old nemesis, and will probably come out with a season opening win.

Let’s suppose that the Cowboys then reel off a string of wins and get to November 23 with a record of 9-1. They won’t — they face the Seahawks on Oct 12 at Seattle, for one tough match, and have the Saints at home for another. Realistically, the Cowboys will be 5-5 or at best 6-4 after the first 10 games. The Cowboys have been weak in games against non-NFC East opponents over the past couple of years. They face some very difficult non-NFC East opponents in the first part of this season, plus a tricky match against the Texans, who were terrible last season but are always up for the in-state rivalry game.

But again, let’s just say that the Cowboys are 9-1 through Nov 9.

November 23 begins a nasty run. They travel to New York to face the Giants, who might actually be good again this year, then home to the Eagles, at Chicago, at the Eagles, home to the Colts and finish the season at Washington.

Those six games will define the season. The Cowboys over the past few seasons have gone into the late run with a chance to win the NFC East and get to the playoffs. But they have dropped just enough games in the late run to see them miss the post-season. In 2012, they went 3-3 after Thanksgiving and lost to the Redskins in a game that decided their post-season fate. In 2013, they went 3-3 after Thanksgiving, and lost 3 of their last 4 games, including a Jerry World loss to the Eagles that, again, decided their playoff fate.

Now look at this year’s late season run again.

cowboys2014sched

The Bears will be in their usual dogfight for the NFC North. The Colts have Andrew Luck to pick apart the always generous Dallas D, which if anything got weaker in the offseason. And four NFC East games that will decide who takes the division, including near back-to-back games against the Eagles. The Cowboys were very strong against the East last season, going 5-1, but thanks to their non-divisional games they still went 8-8 and missed the playoffs. They’re not likely to run up a division record like that again this season. None of the East teams look particularly strong, but the Cowboys haven’t used the offseason to get stronger either. They lost two key veterans on the defense, DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher, while also releasing WR Miles Austin. Austin has been injury-prone, but was still a threat when healthy. Hatcher went to Washington and is already talking smack.

The Cowboys could well go 1-5 during that late stretch, leaving them 9-7 even if they have gone into that stretch in command. The best realistic scenario is for them to get to that point at 5-5 and then break even, to end up with yet another mediocre 8-8 season and miss the playoffs by losing at the Redskins on Dec 28. Watch for Hatcher to close out the season by sacking Tony Romo and causing a fumble, when the Cowboys should have been running the ball anyway.

What the Cowboys will need in that run-in is someone on the sidelines and someone the field who can put some steel into the team and carry them across to the playoffs. But that’s the kind of personnel that the recent vintage Cowboys have lacked the most.

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VIDEO: The Government is a Horrendous Private Sector Prognosticator

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 - by Seton Motley

We have before us – and the government – Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

Which the Leviathan and the Left view as an opportunity to outright blockade the free market.  Or, barring that, unilaterally impose many, many a la carte regulations – that they otherwise can’t get imposed – in exchange for Mother-May-I government-transaction-approval.

These are known as regulatory “concessions.”  Absurdly called that because we pretend the imposed-upon companies happily concede to these regulations – the same way I happily concede my wallet to the guys with the masks and the guns.

These “concessions” are imposed – they claim – to try to mitigate what they think will be market harm resulting from the transaction.

But really – who is LESS qualified to prognosticate what will happen in the market…than bureaucrats?

Sadly, this is where we currently stand.

In this video, we assess the situation – and implore the government to not yet again try to guess what’s going to happen, and preemptively regulate predicated thereon.

Soothsayers they ain’t.

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That Terrible, No Good, Horrible Internet Security Flaw You’ve been Hearing About? The NSA Exploited it.

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Well, this is just great. The Heartbleed security flaw impacts a whole lot of web sites that everyone believed were secure. The NSA knew about it at least two years ago, but rather than alert Americans (and the rest of the world, of course) about it so that we could protect ourselves, No Such Agency decided that the flaw was a feature, and not a bug.

Heartbleed appears to be one of the biggest glitches in the Internet’s history, a flaw in the basic security of as many as two-thirds of the world’s websites. Its discovery and the creation of a fix by researchers five days ago prompted consumers to change their passwords, the Canadian government to suspend electronic tax filing and computer companies including Cisco Systems Inc. to Juniper Networks Inc. to provide patches for their systems.

Putting the Heartbleed bug in its arsenal, the NSA was able to obtain passwords and other basic data that are the building blocks of the sophisticated hacking operations at the core of its mission, but at a cost. Millions of ordinary users were left vulnerable to attack from other nations’ intelligence arms and criminal hackers.

What’s our government supposed to do? Oh right, provide for the common defense of its citizens. One would think that defending citizens against criminal hackers and who knows who internationally would have been part of that. Apparently not.

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Another $30 Million In Stimulus Money Down The Failed Green Company Drain

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Lather. Fail. Repeat.

Critics of Democrats calling for additional subsidies for electric vehicles are pointing to the financial troubles of one stimulus-backed car producer that just announced it is closing its U.S. plant.

Missouri-based Smith Electric Vehicles said this week that it is suspending operations in the United States due to a “tight cash-flow situation.”

Its financial troubles came despite nearly $30 million in funds from the Department of Energy (DOE) granted to the company through President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus package.

“You’re setting a model for what we need to be across this country,” Obama said when he visited Smith’s Kansas City production facilities in 2010.

“You’re doing more than just building new vehicles,” Obama said. “You are helping to fight our way through a vicious recession and you are building the economy of America’s future.”

In the minds of the politicians who support these taxpayer funded greendoggles, these businesses should work simply because they want them to work. The Democrats are the anti-economics and anti-real world party and just can’t factor in the presence of reality to any of their legislative lunacy. If you’re propping an industry that has no firm foundation, you’re going to have to continue to do so (not that I want to give them any ideas) indefinitely or market realities show up.

“We didn’t see value in continuing to build a small number of vehicles at the price point we were,” said Hansel, who noted that despite federal support the company was manufacturing vehicles at a loss.

Of course when things like price points and production costs are mentioned, the average Democrat legislator-and especially this president-don’t understand a single word.

Because hey-free money, right?

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Kickstarter Bullied Conservatives, Too

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Kirsten Powers’ USA Today column today is a must-read:

Kickstarter, the nation’s biggest crowd-funding site,refused to accept a film about convicted abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell unless descriptions of his crimes were removed.

After producers Phelim McAleer and his wife, Ann McElhinney, complained publicly, embarrassed Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler claimed on Twitter that the allegation was false. Strickler released an e-mail accepting the Gosnell film, but failed to mention that it was accepted only after the filmmakers withdrew in frustration. The producers released e-mails from Kickstarter demanding that references to stabbing babies and “similar language” be removed. The “acceptance letter” came March 28, the day after the producers withdrew their proposal.

Kickstarter explained its reasoning for blocking the movie by writing, “We understand your convictions … however … our Community Guidelines outline that we encourage and enforce a culture of respect and consideration, and we ask that that language specifically be modified.”

Somehow, making a movie recounting the crimes of a convicted abortion doctor is disrespectful and inconsiderate. Kickstarter would only speak off the record, but its explanations were dissembling and contradictory. That might be because Kickstarter’s standards aren’t exactly rigorously enforced. An album titled Incest is the Highest Form of Flattery was fine. The movie Die Sluts Die telling “the story of … sex crazed friends … murdered in unusual and creative ways,” ditto.

Read the rest.

Progressives censor and bully conservatives in the name of tolerance or whatever other weapon happens to be at hand, then lie about it. Sun rises in the east, sets in the west.

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Energy Exec: The ‘Future’ Is Still Coal, Nuclear And Natural Gas

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

If it ain’t broke

In this century, power companies are facing “far more intrusive and disruptive” interference from government than ever before, Anderson said Tuesday. The Chamber event came in advance of Thursday’s Senate Energy Committee hearing on the reliability of the electric grid.

Anderson heads the Akron-based holding company that can trace its lineage to the 1893 founding of Akron Electric Light and Power Co.

Unlike the past, “electricity is under attack in our country,” he said. “I believe state and federal policymakers are manipulating the supply and demand and distorting markets for electricity to further advance the ‘war on coal,’” he said.

Anderson said energy efficiency, renewable power, distributed generation, micro grids, roof-top solar and demand reduction may play “some role” in the future, but “they are not substitutes for what has worked.”

What works are the 19th and 20th centuries’ “real generating assets such as coal, nuclear and natural gas,” he said.

The Party of Science is hell-bent on making everyone use renewable energy sources that are expensive, inefficient or, most of the time, both. And they don’t care how broke it makes you.

So…science but ignore economics, technology and history.

Wait…they’re ignoring the science too.

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NASA Rover Sees ‘Bright Light’ Coming from the Surface of Mars

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Houston Chronicle reports that one of NASA’s Mars rovers has spotted something odd: a bright light coming up from beneath the planet’s surface.

A NASA camera on Mars has captured what appears to be artificial light emanating outward from the planet’s surface.

The photo, beamed millions of miles from Mars to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., was taken last week, apparently by one of two NASA rovers on the red planet.

Although the space agency hasn’t issued any official statement yet about the phenomenon, bloggers and NASA enthusiasts have started chiming in.

Scott C. Waring, who maintains the website UFO Sightings Daily, posted the photo April 6.

Waring noted that the light shines upward, as if from the ground, and is very flat across the bottom.

“This could indicate there there is intelligent life below the ground and uses light as we do,” Waring wrote on his website. “This is not a glare from the sun, nor is it an artifact of the photo process.”

Here’s the original photo, which was captured by Curiosity with its Navcam via visible light in a region that the rover scientists call the Kimberley.

mars-light-one

 

Close-up:

mars-light-two

 

I’d like to know more about the time of day, scale of the image, and overall brightness conditions when the rover captured this. Whatever it is, to me it doesn’t look like a light. It looks like gas escaping from beneath the surface. Or, a dust devil at distance that looks bright due to contrast enhancement. I don’t see why a light’s reach would be so defined and limited at the top. It could also be a processing artifact that wasn’t properly cleaned up.

What do you think?

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VIDEO — Sen. Barbara Boxer Sprints to Avoid Question About Whether Insurance Should Cover Viagra

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Viagra and other similar drugs are not widely covered by health insurance plans. That’s why the companies that make them air a billion ads a day to sell them, embarrassing everyone in the room when those ads show up while you’re trying to watch sports or River Monsters.

But that fact didn’t stop Barbara Boxer aka “Senator Ma’am” from going on MSNBC last week and accusing Hobby Lobby of having a double standard because its owners refuse to cover three out of about 16 contraceptive methods. Those specific methods end a life. Viagra — which most insurance policies don’t even cover — doesn’t end a life. That difference is so obvious that even MSNBC pointed it out to Boxer.

The Daily Surge sent its 60-year-old intern, Robb, into the halls of power to ask Senator Ma’am about all this. Apparently Boxer has been training for an Olympic sprinting berth. She’s got some wheels.

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Exit question: When Boxer compared Viagra to abortifacient drugs, was she being ignorant, dishonest, or both?

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Crony Socialism: Let’s Not (Yet Again) Emulate Europe

Monday, April 7th, 2014 - by Seton Motley

Crony Socialism is private companies using Big Government’s enormous power to better themselves – or to hobble their competition.

It is free market success stories – bailing on the free market once they’ve achieved a comfortable share of the marketplace.  Choosing instead to remain in sclerotic stasis, and have Big Government save them from themselves – and others.

Which is terrible for we consumers.  It is far better to have an unfettered market – where every company strives every day to improve.  It constantly makes things far better and much cheaper.

When some companies get Big Government to warp the market to protect their status quo, the market sags and lags – and we all lose.

Staying ahead of the curve is hard.  Continuing to create and innovate in the ways that first made you successful is a lot of work.  Long term, it is far easier to cop out and cozy up to Big Government as your protector – to become a remora on the bureaucracy shark.

Almost inherently, Crony Socialism is only a possibility for Big Companies – because only big companies have the financial wherewithal to entice the Leviathan to favor them with its largess.

By and large, the Mom & Pop Shops don’t have enough coin to get the government to do their bidding.  They are in fact often the targets of Crony Socialism.

Mom & Pops threaten the Big Cos – through their creation and innovation, which the latter have forsaken.  So the Big Cos have Big Gov tie them in knots – with miles and miles of regulatory red tape.

But Mom & Pops aren’t Crony Socialism’s only victims.  No one is safe when Big Gov plays favorites.

Netflix is looking to get Big Govs the world over to impose a whole new, ridiculously expansive definition of Network Neutrality.

Netflix Blasts Comcast and Verizon on Net Neutrality

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says that “net neutrality must be defended and strengthened,” calling out giants like Comcast and Verizon for bad behavior.

Charging Netflix for their exorbitant bandwidth use isn’t “bad behavior” – it’s basic economics.  Imagine the government mandating that gas stations charge the same to fill up Escorts and Escalades.

If Netflix doesn’t pay for what it uses, all the rest of us do – in the form of higher prices for our Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Why should a grandmother who only emails her grandkids pay substantially more – to subsidize Netflix Ned and his twenty-movie-a-day download habit?

In Europe, Netflix just had their Crony Socialist wish granted.  Behold Escalade-for-Escort Net Neutrality:

Google, Netflix Protected from Telecoms Charges in EU

The European Union has ruled that telecoms operators cannot make data-intensive services such as Google and Netflix pay more for using their network.

And as promised:

Net Neutrality ‘Victory’ Could See Broadband Price Rises

(I)t could have the unintended consequence of higher prices for consumers – either through their ISPs or through services such as Netflix, because someone has to pay for traffic.

Someone does indeed – right, Grandma?

Our government has already twice imposed Net Neutrality.  And twice had it unanimously thrown out by courts.

President Barack Obama-appointee Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler remains undaunted – he has pledged to impose it yet again.

Thankfully, Wheeler appears unwilling to expand Net Neutrality to Netflix’s ridiculous limitlessness.

FCC Shoots Down Netflix’s Call to Expand the Scope of Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission made clear today that it won’t heed Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ call to expand the scope of net neutrality to regulate the way companies connect across the physical infrastructure of the internet.

We have spent the last half-decade emulating poorly-functioning Europe in myriad ways.

Glad to hear we’re not going to do it yet again with Net Neutrality – at least not down to the bizarre anti-free market levels those across the Pond are mining.

It would be better still if our Big Gov finally just gave up the Internet-uber-regulation ghost once and for all.

We already have more than enough Crony Socialism going on.

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Surprise! OkCupid’s Board Includes At Least Two Democrat Donors

Friday, April 4th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

OkCupid launched the campaign against Brendan Eich at Mozilla. Today, the White House declined to give an opinion on whether Mr. Eich ought to have become unemployable for holding a position that Barack Obama held at the same time.

Perhaps the question should be re-asked on Monday.

Here is the OkCupid board of founders. They are, from left to right, Chris Coyne, Sam Yagan, Max Krohn and Christian Rudder.

Given the nature of the current debate, Mr. Rudder would be well advised to just have people call him “Chris.”

okcupid-founders

A quick donor look-up on OpenSecrets.org is revealing. Two of the four founders have donated money to political operations in recent years. Both donors gave money on a similar scale to Brendan Eich, the man they are responsible for getting ousted at a company they don’t even work for and is not a rival of their company. In fact, Eich developed a tool that OkCupid probably could not exist without.

According to OpenSecrets, Mr. Yagan donated to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign twice, once in 2007 and once in 2008. Humor Rainbow used to own OkCupid.

okcupid-yagan

 

At the time Yagan made both donations, Barack Obama was publicly opposed to same-sex marriage.

OkCupid’s other political donor appears to be Max Krohn. According to OpenSecrets, Krohn donated to the Democratic National Committee twice in 2004.

okcupid-krohn

 

Circumstantial evidence suggests that this Maxwell Krohn is the same one who co-founded OkCupid. Note that he lists MIT as his employer. OkCupid’s Max Krohn was a grad student at MIT from 2003, and co-founded OkCupid in 2004.

At that point, 2004, the Democratic Party as a whole opposed same-sex marriage. The majority of Democrats in Congress, and President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, had passed and signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which supposedly enshrined the traditional definition of marriage into federal law.

Let’s throw this in just for irony’s sake.

okcupid-zhi

 

Mr. Zhi did not come up in an OpenSecrets record search. I have no idea what his politics are, or if he even has any. But he works for a company that wanted strangers to quit using Firefox because Brendan Eich was Mozilla’s CEO. Well, Brendan Eich invented JavaScript.

For consistency’s sake, shouldn’t OkCupid demand that Morley Zhi and anyone else who works for their dating site stop using JavaScript immediately?

Or was this whole thing just a game to them?

Evidently, whatever the game is, it goes on even after OkCupid have kicked Eich’s head around.

Sam Yagan retweeted both of those tweets on his personal Twitter account. What “further steps” does he want Mozilla to take?

You know who is probably living in fear today? Anyone who works at OkCupid –a dating site — and supports traditional marriage.

I’m not a fan of boycotts, traditional marriage supporters should consider steering clear of OkCupid.

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