Burglars or Whistle-blowers? Exposing the FBI’s illegal COINTELPRO … precursors to Snowden.

A fascinating piece of history — eight ‘new left’ activists acting in 1971 to protect the citizenry’s right to dissent … by exposing the FBI’s actions to infiltrate protest groups, spy on all sorts of people opposed to the Vietnam war, and, along the way, to ‘enhance paranoia’. Nice work.

click to view 'Stealing J. Edgar Hoover’s Secrets' at NYTimes.com

click to view ‘Stealing J. Edgar Hoover’s Secrets’ at NYTimes.com

Well worth watching at NYTimes.com. Pretty courageous, huh?

- P

    Converting lies, by repetition, to …


    via Banksy

      The escape of exnzpat, Part 18

      The Second Bait of the Innocent

      How Mia got out of the rental, she did not know, but when her senses returned to her, she found herself driving very fast along a busy highway.  She didn’t remember how she got there.  And it did not matter.  She was driving recklessly, weaving in and out of traffic like a lunatic or a drunk; and that scared her almost as much as the dragon had.  She slowed immediately and pulled the car into the emergency lane.

      She sat there hunched, breathing heavily and with difficulty as cars rushed by.  Her face, wet from sweat, was hot to her touch.  She turned up the air-conditioning, and with slick and slimy hands grasped at the steering wheel and rested her head against it.  She stared straight ahead, looking at nothing at all.

      Never, never in all her long life had she been so close to death.  Not even when those men in Charleston had attacked her had she been so close. Continue reading →

        Yeah. It’s a cat video. Get over it.

        Funny! (And I like my cat.)

        - P

          Lawyer says ‘My inaccurate client wasn’t lying’ (Oh gee, I think I will die laughing)

          How lovely for James R Clapper to have someone willing to speak up for his honesty and integrity …


          Click to read at NYTimes.com

          Short version: He didn’t lie, he merely “… was surprised by the question and focused his mind on [something else] …”*

          Now waiting for my kids to try that one on me.

          - P

          * “In that context, his answer was and is accurate.” (Oh stop it! Hahahahaha … I can’t breathe!)
          It’s all just a misunderstanding of the question.

            Spoofing the use of Photoshop to distort the reality of women’s bodies in ads

            I spotted this wonderful ‘defacement’ of a fashion billboard image (in Germany?) It looks like the activists have pasted on a Photoshop toolbar. How wry.

            Click to view @jakkse's tweet on Twitter

            Consumer warning: You’re looking at distorted images. Click to view @jakkse’s tweet on Twitter

            Left: already beautiful.  Right: 'Flawless' — and impossible. (click for link)

            Left: already beautiful. Right: ‘Flawless’ — and impossible. (click for link)

            Given our discussions before about the use of Photoshop to create impossible-to-attain ‘role models’ (bleurgh) and the negative effects on women and girls of such distortions, it’s good to see a guerrilla PR campaign like this.

            Is it vandalism? Yeah, maybe. Or maybe it’s social commentary … bordering on art. It makes me think, it makes a point about the inauthenticity of such ‘fashion’ images — so that’s good. Where do I donate?


            - P

              Dick move Macworld. Really.

              This article wafted across my browser …


              Really? I thought Leaked images? That sounds intriguing … but it’s not till you get to the bottom of the 1300 word ‘article’ (cough) that you read:


              “There are no leaked images of iOS 8 yet, but as soon as we see them, we’ll share them with you here.”

              Dorks. Yeah, I won’t bother to ‘check back regularly’.

              - P

                Strive for peace (from a different angle)

                Late last year (ha! That’s the first time I’ve said that in 2014!) in a post Settlement of legal action as a ‘peace premium’ I explored how …

                Sometimes it’s clearly in the interests of a ‘wrongdoer’ to pay something for peace … and it’s appropriate for prosecutors to accept effectively an admission and a plea bargain — even if the dollar amount levied and paid is actually a fraction of their real ‘proceeds of crime’ (as is often the case).
                In the interests of peace (being a cessation of hostilities) it can be worth accepting a demonstrably token gesture.

                Here’s a similar thought flicked to me via Facebook

                Selective - battles v peace

                Linked to this thought ‘sometimes peace is better’ (at least in my thinking) is this key line from the Desiderata

                As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

                So, yeah, there’s a time for calculation. (‘Be selective …’ above.) By all means, conduct a cost-benefit analysis, and, for the sake of your mental and physical health, be prepared to leave some battles unfought. (Some fights are ‘not worth the candle’ or, put another way, ‘A total waste of lipstick’. ;))

                But some are. And let me admit this, as I have disclosed before: I struggle with the whole ‘Turn the other cheek’ thing  — a version of which was recently expressed by Malala Yousafzai (wikipedia), the Pakistani girl shot by a member of the Taliban opposed to her advocacy for education for girls in her home country.

                "Then I said, 'If he comes, what would do, Malala?' "click to watch this interview at The Daily Show

                “Then I said, ‘If he comes, what would you do, Malala?’ “- Click to watch this interview at The Daily Show

                Inspiring. And, taking nothing away from her, as my friend poormastery has pointed out, sometimes evil must be opposed by force. Fascism, imperialist communism/totalitarianism, religious persecution, genocide, [fill in the gap] … the suggestion that one be selective in one’s battles (i.e choose them carefully, like your enemies) presupposes that you are prepared to fight some battles.

                If I may mangle Ecclesiastes (not for the first time, nor the last): ‘For everything there is a season…’

                I am, sometimes, prepared to play the part of avenging angel, defender, whistle-blower and critic. I’m not a saint* but I try to act fairly and based on facts.

                Damn the torpedoes.

                - P

                * this is, of course, old news.

                  For my darling

                  Lovebirds singing a wonderful song by Sara Bareilles.
                  - P

                    Behind the Washington Post’s end-of-year interview with Edward Snowden

                    Worth watching …

                    December 24, 2013 3:54 PM EST — Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman discusses how his exclusive interview with Edward Snowden came about and whether the former NSA contractor would ever want to return to the United States. (Jeff Simon / The Washington Post) LINK TO VIDEO HERE

                    Snowden is being predictably and relentlessly demonised by the US administration and its apologists, some of whom appear perfectly willing to misrepresent to the point of outright lies, and others who merely ignorantly and unfairly berate him, question his character and his motives based on their own undisclosed ‘loyalty’ and connections to the power elite.

                    Tribalism, take a bow.

                    The Gellman interview with Snowden is here: Edward Snowden, after months of NSA revelations, says his mission’s accomplished – The Washington Post.

                    - P

                      Presented without comment


                      Read on at the NZ Herald.

                      I am saying nothing!

                      - P

                        This looks like the raw output of a comment spambot …


                        from ‘Preventing Blog Spam: The Worst 4 Letter Word’ RivalIQ.com – click

                        Wow, WordPress’s Akismet spam filter snapped this so it wouldn’t appear as a comment, but it’s fascinating to look at the syntax … I remember my geek pal Sarah describing translation-type scripts that spammers sometimes put article copy through to try to make it seem like ‘unique’ copy (to prevent Google downgrading it).

                        This looks like it’s in the same neighbourhood … in other words, the sorry sort of crap that internet marketing cowboys put their energy into.

                        Submitted on 2014/01/01 at 12:01 pm
                        {I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online
                        more than {three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
                        {It’s|It is} pretty worth enough for me. {In mmy opinion|Personally|In my view},
                        if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners}
                        and bloggers made good content as you did, the
                        {internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than ever before.|
                        I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting. {Very well|Perfectly|Well|Exceptionally
                        well} written!|
                        {I will|I’ll} {right away|immediately} {take hold of|grab|clutch|grasp|seize|snatch}
                        your {rss|rss feed} as I {can not|can’t} {in finding|find|to find} your
                        {email|e-mail} subscription {link|hyperlink} or {newsletter|e-newsletter} service.
                        Do {you have|you’ve} any? {Please|Kindly} {allow|permit|let} me {realize|recognize|understand|recognise|know} {so
                        that|in order that} I {may just|may|could} subscribe.
                        {It is|It’s} {appropriate|perfect|the best} time to make some plans for the
                        future and {it is|it’s} time to be happy. {I have|I’ve} read this post and if I could I {want to|wish to|desire to} suggest you
                        {few|some} interesting things or {advice|suggestions|tips}.

                        {Perhaps|Maybe} you {could|can} write next articles referring to this article.
                        I {want to|wish to|desire to} read {more|even more} things about it!|
                        {It is|It’s} {appropriate|perfect|the best} time to make {a few|some} plans ffor {the future|the longer term|the long run} and {it is|it’s} time to be happy. Continue reading →

                          Big Time (1986)

                          Happy New Year!

                          - P

                            Hot flushes and other responses to emotion

                            Mapping How Emotions Manifest in the Body - The Atlantic - click

                            Mapping How Emotions Manifest in the Body – The Atlantic – click

                            ‘Self-reported’, but even so. I always try to keep an open mind about these things.

                            Here’s the article: Mapping How Emotions Manifest in the Body Across cultures, people feel increased activity in different parts of the body as their mental state changes. — Olga Khazandec The Atlantic

                            - P

                              Oh. The NSA ‘owns’ iPhones (but only if it can get its hands on them, for now)

                              It appears the FBI’s assessment (‘assume that [your communication] will be intercepted and retained’) was based on reality … including the remote control of your phone’s microphone & camera.

                              click through for article and to watch video

                              click through for article at The Daily Dot and to watch video

                              According to leaked documents, the NSA claims a 100 percent success rate when it comes to implanting iOS devices with spyware. The documents suggest that the NSA needs physical access to a device to install the spyware — something the agency has achieved by rerouting shipments of devices purchased online — but a remote version of the exploit is also in the works.

                              From the NSA document in question: (quoted by Forbes, see: The NSA Reportedly Has Total Access To The Apple iPhone)

                              “DROPOUT JEEP is a software implant for the Apple iPhone that utilizes modular mission applications to provide specific SIGINT functionality. This functionality includes the ability to remotely push/pull files from the device. SMS retrieval, contact list retrieval, voicemail, geolocation, hot mic, camera capture, cell tower location, etc. Command, control and data exfiltration can occur over SMS messaging or a GPRS data connection. All communications with the implant will be covert and encrypted.”

                              Gawd. Alienating.

                              - P

                              Of course, I tooootally trust Android and Microsoft Windows phones … :-) (cough)
                              The NSA Has Inserted Its Code Into Android OS, Or Three Quarters Of All Smartphones and NSA Has Full “Back Door” Access To iPhone, BlackBerry And Android Smartphones, Documents Reveal Sheesh.

                              Update: Make of this what you will: Apple Denies Working with NSA on iPhone Backdoor

                              Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone. Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products. We care deeply about our customers’ privacy and security. Our team is continuously working to make our products even more secure, and we make it easy for customers to keep their software up to date with the latest advancements. Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers. We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them.

                              Nice bit of FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) or is it Shock and Awe?