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Breaking the Calm – Musing on Misinformation & Morons

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From Breaking the Calm

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Musing on Misinformation & Morons.

The net is abuzz with a rumor claiming that the CIA is behind a Wikileaks mirror that was hosted at http://wikileaks.psytek.net.  This rumor lacked any real evidence, yet was reported by many in the hacker/hacktivist community as fact.

The rumor was started by a comment on Reddit.com. On Thursday, December 9th 2010 at 08:28 PM PST Reddit user isoteemu commented:

“I was going thru WikiLeaks mirrors list, and noticed a small oddity; http://wikileaks.psytek.net was on netblock which belonged Central Intelligence Agency. It has now changed, but 010-12-08 12:27:34 (EEST) was still registered for CIA.”

Most users replied with more baseless speculation, while the few users asking for real evidence were drowned out by a beautiful circle-jerk of ignorance.

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Star Trek: Of Gods and Men – Part 1 (playlist)

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Forbidden Planet Part 1

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Opera “The Ring of the Nibelung” by Wagner, Karajan, Bayreuth in English

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Right Wing Watch – Right Wing Round-Up and Leftovers

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From Right Wing Watch:

Right Wing Round-Up

Submitted by Kyle on December 10, 2010 – 4:32pm

Right Wing Round-Up

Submitted by Kyle on December 9, 2010 – 4:56pm

Right Wing Leftovers

Submitted by Kyle on December 10, 2010 – 4:18pm

  • Brian Fischer takes a break from his vacation to wonder if the repeal of DADT will lead to “mandatory cross-dressing.”
  • Why am I not surprised that Fox News loves the living nativity?
  • Need racist soap?  This is the store for you.
  • You know that Jesus is coming back soon because foreign Christians are picking grapes in Israel.  Seriously.
  • Finally, Peter LaBarbera rejoices over the failure of the DADT vote: “”[I]f Obama and Sen. Reid succeed in repealing the homosexuality ban, it will devastate our military, lead to an exodus of Christian- and tradition-minded servicemembers from the military, and serve as a catalyst for America’s continued moral decline.”

Right Wing Leftovers

Submitted by Kyle on December 9, 2010 – 4:45pm

  • FRC hails the failure of the DADT vote.
  • Speaking of FRC, they remain very upset about being classified as a hate group by the SPLC.
  • But I do want to highlight this good post by Tom McClusky pointing out the ridiculousness of Grover Norquist’s self-serving rationalization.
  • What a surprise: Westboro Baptist Church is going to protest Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral.
  • Finally, CNSNews has started asking members of Congress whether they believe Jesus had a right to life at the moment of conception.  I have no idea why.
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Marie C. Baca – Some Appointees to Oil and Gas Commission Are Industry Execs, Lobbyists

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From Truthout:

Some Appointees to Oil and Gas Commission Are Industry Execs, Lobbyists

Thursday 09 December 2010

by: Marie C. Baca   |  ProPublica | Report

Joseph Pettey is the owner of Pettey Oilfield Services Inc., and the 2003 Virginia Oil and Gas Festival Man of the Year. Thomas E. Stewart is a third-generation driller who lobbies the government on behalf of energy companies. Both sit on the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, which is increasingly positioning itself as an authority on drilling-related issues like hydraulic fracturing.

The 38-state commission was created in 1935 to promote the efficient harvesting of oil and gas. Its mission was later expanded to acknowledge the need to protect health, safety and the environment while accomplishing that goal. It is funded by government grants and fees from the states. The commission members are appointed by the member governors. Most are state regulators who oversee gas and oil drilling, but at least seven states have representatives who are either lobbyists or energy executives.

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Evan Solomon interviews Noam Chomsky (4/16/2002)

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Authors@Google: Daniel Ellsberg

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People & Power – Chiquita: Between life and law

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People & Power – Corporation on trial – update

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Related…

The Corporation (23 part playlist)

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The Corporation

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US Corporations and the Nazis

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News Analysis-UK Budget Deficit

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Countdown Keith Olbermann Clinton touts tax deal

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Countdown Keith Olbermann Indicting Julian Assange

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Rachel Maddow House Dems prepare tax cut counter-offer

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Rachel Maddow The weeks stupidest story about taxes (and Texas)

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Rachel Maddow Making sense of the lame duck Congressional agenda

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On the Edge with Max Kaiser – Latest on Global Financial Crisis

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Halliburton Pays Spill Oversight Congress Members

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Halliburton May Pay $500 Million to Keep Cheney Out of Prison

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Homeless in New York City

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Homeless in Moscow

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Washington’s Blog – This Week in the Gulf

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Julian E. Zelizer – Obama is dealing away FDR’s legacy

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From Salon:

Obama is dealing away FDR’s legacy

By Julian E. Zelizer

With public attention focused on President Obama’s compromise with Republican leaders to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, there has been less discussion about a feature of the deal that could have enormous long-term consequences: the payroll tax holiday.
 
Under the plan, which still must be approved by the House and Senate, the payroll tax would be cut by 2 percentage points for all wage-earners — meaning that a worker making $40,000 would receive an extra $800 in his or her paycheck over the course of a year. The White House and its defenders are touting this as a way to boost the stalled economy, and it might just do that. But they’re also playing with fire.

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techdirt – FBI Almost Entirely Arbitrary In Redacting Info On Freedom Of Information Requests

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From techdirt:

FBI Almost Entirely Arbitrary In Redacting Info On Freedom Of Information Requests (Politics)

by Mike Masnick from the transparency dept on Friday, December 10th, 2010 @ 4:16PM

The officials rules from the Obama Administration, when it comes to Freedom of Information requests, is that the default view should be the transparent one. In practice, we’ve seen exactly the opposite. Studies have shown that the Obama Administration has turned down FOIA requests at a greater rate than the previous administration (which was already pretty damn secretive) and often uses political reasons, rather than genuine secrecy reasons to hide information (for example, claiming ACTA had to be secret for national security reasons).

The EFF (which the administration has highlighted internally as an organization deserving more political scrutiny before documents can be released to it) has now pointed out that it appears that the FBI has extremely arbitrary standards for figuring out what to redact when complying with FOIA requests. Specifically, the EFF asked for multiple documents on two separate occasions and was amazed to find that the redactions were entirely different — even if the reasons for the redactions were the same:

Through a careful comparison of thousands of pages of documents we received from this FOIA request with the same documents we received from an earlier FOIA request, we found that redactions in many of these duplicated documents were strikingly different. In several cases, the FBI redacted more information in later-produced documents than it did in earlier-produced documents. In other cases, the FBI redacted differing amounts of information when it produced two copies of the same report in response to the same FOIA request. Sometimes the agency blocked out whole paragraphs, while at other times it blocked out only the key words that explain the details of its acts. What is interesting is that the FBI claimed the same FOIA exemptions in each version; it just applied them differently.

What’s most troubling is that the documents in question had to do with evidence of the FBI’s own misconduct. So, if it’s being arbitrary in figuring out what to redact, what’s to stop it from just redacting the information it doesn’t want to get out? The EFF page discussing this has some funky “slider” functionality that lets you look at the two different versions of redacted documents to see how the redactions appear to change quite arbitrarily. As the EFF notes, there might be less public demand for things like Wikileaks if the US government wasn’t so secretive in such an arbitrary manner.

Zero Hedge – Federal Reserve Loses $2.4 Billion In Taxpayer Money In Most Recent QE2 POMO Interval

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Fron Zero Hedge:

Record Social Inequality And Its Violent Aftermath, Explained By A Three Minute Cartoon

CLSA’ Chris Wood On Why Chinese Inflation Is Not That Big Of A Deal, And Other Issues

China Is Overheating… Again: CPI And PPI Both Come Much Higher Than Expectations

Guest Post: The Bond Bust Has Begun

CFTC Weekly Update: FX Revulsion Continues As Bearish Bond Sentiment Moderates

PIMCO Shares Its Thoughts On The BAB Dilemma; Discloses How It Is “Protecting” Itself From A Worst Case Scenario

November Budget Deficit $150.4 Billion, Worse Than $138 Billion Consensus, Biggest November Deficit On Record

Second QE2 POMO Schedule Released: Fed Will Buy Back $105 Billion In Bonds Through January 11

Watch Senator Sanders’ 3 Hour (So Far) Long Filibuster On Taxes… Update: At 6:58PM Sanders’ Speech Has Ended, Almost 9 Hours Long

Federal Reserve Loses $2.4 Billion In Taxpayer Money In Most Recent QE2 POMO Interval

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/10/2010

With the Federal Reserve now actively participating in capital markets, it should be noted that just like every other asset manager, the Fed has to be held accountable for its trading efficacy. After all, the Treasury takes every opportunity to remind the US public how courtesy of record amounts of new government debt, it has managed to make “profits” on its assorted investments, which are merely transfers of risk from one entity to another, and the “another” being the US taxpayer, although not directly, but indirectly via the now ludicrous amount of US debt which will never be repaid. Which is why the US taxpayer may want to know that in just the most recent POMO schedule – that from early November to December – the Federal Reserve has lost $2.4 billion in taxpayer capital by its mistimed market operations, primarily due to the recent rise in interest rates. This is $2.4 billion that has not evaporated, but instead has been transferred to Primary Dealers under the “profit on trade” category. This is also money that will be used to determine, and fund, banker bonuses.

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AlterNet – Phone Companies’ $100 Billion Rip-off — Where Is That Hidden $6 a Month Going in Our Phone Bills?

December 11, 2010 Leave a comment

From AlterNet:

Phone Companies’ $100 Billion Rip-off — Where Is That Hidden $6 a Month Going in Our Phone Bills?

The phone companies are soaking all of us for a good chunk of money every month, and they’re allowed to conceal it in the fine print of your monthly bill.

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CSPAN – Sen. Sanders Holds 8 1/2 hour Tax Cut Filibuster

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From CSPAN:

Sen. Sanders Holds 8 1/2 hour Tax Cut Filibuster

12/10/2010

Yesterday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), wrapped up an 8 ½ hour speech, or what his office called a “tax cut filibuster” on the Senate floor opposing the White House and Republican compromise on tax cuts and unemployment benefits. He began his speech saying, “I am simply here today to take as long as I can to explain to the American people the fact that we have got to do a lot better than this agreement provides.”

watch Sanders Filibuster: Part 1

watch Sanders Filibuster: Part 2

watch Sanders Filibuster: Part 3