about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.
Why you should care about the NSA et al Surveillance
Because there are a lot of false positives. They make mistakes.
For example, when a computer programmer named David Mery entered a tube station wearing a jacket in
warm weather, an algorithm monitoring the CCTV brought him to the attention of a human operator as
someone suspicious. When Mery let a train go by without boarding, the operator decided it was
alarming behaviour. The police arrested him, searched him, asked him to explain every scrap of paper
in his flat. A doodle consisting of random scribbles was characterised as a map of the tube station.
Though he was never convicted of a crime, Mery is still on file as a potential terrorist eight years
later, and can't get a visa to travel abroad. Once a computer ascribes suspiciousness to someone,
everything else in that person's life becomes sinister and inexplicable.
Doctorow | guardian.co.uk |14 June 2013 ]
How many David Mery's are out there? How many innocent people do we improperly tag? How effective
is this procedure? What is the ratio of intercepted events to non-intercepted events? How
insulated is this from potential abuse?
I do a lesson with my statistics students involving a test that is inaccurate ONLY one percent of
the time for a rare disease. Because the disease is rare however, the one percent error rate of the
huge number of non-diseased people will produce a large amount of false positives.
Say a test has a 1 percent error rate for a disease that occurs in 0.1 percent of the population.
This means that out of 1,000 people, 1 person has the disease but one percent (the error rate) of
the 999 who don't will get a positive test result nonetheless, which is 9.99 or 10 people. One
percent of the diseased 1 person out of 1,000 will also get a negative test result because of the
so only 0.99 of the 1 gets a positive (1 minus .01 times 1) test result. Adding the 9.99 false
the 0.99 true positives and you get the total number of positive test results, 10.98 out of 1,000.
Notice that 9.99 out of 10.98 positive results is the percentage of false positives.
90 percent of the positive results are false.
Even if the error rate was 0.1% (99.9 percent accurate) the false positives would still be 50%. You
can't rely on data mining to find suspects. You have to use search warrants after the proper police
work, which is how almost every single terrorist was ever found or initially identified. Data
mining isn't useful for finding terrorists.
But the number one problem with the data mining aspect of the Surveillance programs is too many false
positives. How many lives will be ruined while we believe the illusion of security?
Saturday, 15 June 2013 at 15h 20m 21s
Glenn Greenwald 1 hour speech
You have to respect the knowledge that Glenn Greenwald has. He gives this essentially impromptu
speech and pulls out quotes off the top of his head. You can also tell that he is someone who is
truly strong in his convictions by the elaborate and honest reasoning he gives.
Of course, I'm sure he's not a saint, but if there is any dirt on this man, it will be out there for
them to find and broadcast loudly everywhere.
I suspect there isn't any, because Glenn has been good with civil liberties and the 4th amendment
for more than a decade. He is reliable where others (I'm looking at you Josh Marshall and Dianne
Feinstein) have shown themselves fickle and inconsistent on these matters.
And then what if one of Fox Corporations corporately owned entities uses a government NSA contractor
to develop a list of ... hmmm.
How come these lists show up at inopportune times throughout our nations history?
Friday, 14 June 2013 at 5h 44m 3s
Syrian Civil War
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 at 15h 54m 12s
Another song thats got me now
Where have I been? Paramore is really good.
And here's a live performance
Hayley Williams has such an incredible, versatile, beautiful voice. She could sing to anything.
I'm absolutely stricken with love at first sound. God bless this child. She really has an
intrinsic sense at so many levels in so many ways.
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 at 14h 3m 9s
Chris Hayes attempts to address the NSA revelations
I like Chris Hayes. He's sincere and he really cares about getting different opinions. He really
wants to know how other people think about specifics and different situations. He's also really smart.
I just took a personality test, that asked 40 questions and then put you on 5 different scales (or
Here's what it said about my axis of "Abstract to Concrete" :
You are intellectually curious, imaginative, and literary. I do believe the technical term is
"artsy fartsy." When reading poetry, the images may move you until you quiver with delight, or
perhaps quivering from all of the espresso that you've been drinking. Speaking of caffeine, it would
not be a big surprise if you indulged in other substances to heighten your senses. After all,
whoever heard of creative geniuses who were sober? Freud was a coke-head, Hemingway was a fall-down
drunk, and Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the devil, probably while high on wacky
tabacky. You have quite the active fantasy life and are often in la la land, earning you the
well-deserved nickname "space cadet" from your loved ones. Mostly, you're a lot of fun to hang out
with because you're always game for whatever idea your non-medicated (but should be) friend has in
mind. The next time someone suggests that you streak naked in the dead of winter, do think twice, or
at least wear some mittens.
And here's my Cooperative to Competitive Axis:
You are such a nice person that people often wonder if there's something darker lurking beneath the
surface. Your Eddie Haskell, "Gee, you look really nice today, Mrs. Cleaver" behavior may make some
people wonder what it is that you're really after, but then they realize that you're the real deal
and they plot to take advantage of your kindness. After all, you also tend to believe that most
people are trustworthy and honest so you would fall for just about any ruse. I'll warn you now,
don't give away any of your savings to phone psychics or in-laws with big plans to strike it rich.
Your tenderness makes you a big sucker for anything that might tug at your heart strings. It would
not be surprising if you've sent money off to Ethiopia to save the starving children or at the very
least, donated to your local homeless person down the street. In short, you're a sweet, kind person
and you should never change.
And here's the Neurotic to Unemotional Axis:
Some people consistently react emotionally to their environment and freak out over little things.
You, my friend, are not among those people - at least not usually. Worrying and stressing are not
your typical style. Even faced with absurd circumstances, you are calm and may pride yourself in
your ability to use logic and reason. As a consequence of your Dalai Lama-like persona, you seldom
experience the highs and lows of more emotionally reactive folks. Rather, your moods could be
graphed like the flat-line of an ER patient. That analogy may seem grim, but *really*, who is more
placid than the person who ceases to be? Anyhoo, if you're annoyed with my analogy right now, it's
probably because you only scored medium high in the emotional stability trait and have some
tendencies to be easily disturbed and offended.
And the Casual to Disciplined Axis:
Conscientiousness is not one of your defining traits, meaning that you are neither anal retentive
nor anal expulsive. What does that mean? In a nutshell, you keep it together fairly well, but you do
not suffer too much if you let things fall through the cracks every once in a while. If you make
plans with a friend, chances are good that you will show up at the designated time. Then again,
something better may come up or you just might forget. Either way, you're good. Another possibility
is that you are very conscientious about some things, but more relaxed about other things. For
example, you might demand the utmost rigor and discipline in your scholarly/work life, but keep your
home looking like a garage sale gone terribly awry, with various articles of clothing and personal
belonging strewn about. Where's Fido? Hopefully he hasn't been eaten by the alien life that has
developed since the last cleaning.
The thing about these tests, as with all tests absent the addition of human interaction, is that
they are prone to projection errors. People will respond based upon how they believe about
themselves, so you have to be careful with how you mix the questions, and be clever about using the
differences between pairs of questions to mitigate the projection effect.
I took the test again this morning, just to see if there would be any variability. Everything was
exactly the same except a slight difference in the "extroverted to introverted" axis and the
"cooperative to competitive" axis.
About that "Cooperative" bubble... Your scores would suggest that you tend to be more
agreeable than you are competitive. What does that mean? For starters, it means that you have a
fairly strong tendency to believe in social harmony and cooperation. You are a nice person. You want
people to get along and do the right thing - for each other, for the greater humanity. That's not to
say that you are a total pushover, but that you believe in the niceties of life. This is probably
why you are very popular with people and have many friends. The difference between you and someone
who is very high in agreeableness is that you have a bit of an edge. Maybe you laugh when people
fall down and hurt themselves, maybe you secretly occasionally think people suck. Whatever it is
that's holding you back from winning Ms. or Mr. Congeniality, that's also what makes you more
About that "Extraverted" bubble... I have a friend who can strike up a conversation with
anyone: Nobel Peace prize nominees and winners, muppets, sanitation workers, perfect strangers, my
crazy uncle Harry. My friend is a bona-fide extravert. Your scores indicate that while you tend to
be extraverted, you also have some degree of reserve. Perhaps in some situations, you prefer to say
less or maybe you have duct tape over your mouth. Either way, you may save your high energy for the
situations when you have a need or desire to be "on" and your quiet moments for those with whom you
feel most comfortable.
I think the second time I took the test is more accurate, but I'm amazed at the authenticity of this
I wonder what personality would result from answering the questions at the extreme? Hmm.
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 at 11h 52m 34s
Did you hear the story about how the Chechnyan operatives who were coaxed by their commanders into
showing up at a marathon where they got blamed for explosives?
Yes, it's probably just another conspiracy theory. But what about Lee Harvey Oswald? Oswald
goes to Russia working with CIA posing as a socialist, then returns to the United States and poses
as a Free Cuban Socialist on the streets of New Orleans. Next thing you know he is in the Library
of downtown Dallas and you know the rest of the story.
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 at 11h 39m 46s
More reasons to be skeptical
The use of data mining wasn't how they foiled prior terrorist plots. The data mining wasn't even
Lawyers and intelligence experts with direct knowledge of two intercepted terrorist plots that the
Obama administration says confirm the value of the NSA's vast data-mining activities have questioned
whether the surveillance sweeps played a significant role, if any, in foiling the attacks.
... court documents lodged in the US and UK, as well as interviews with involved parties, suggest
that data-mining through Prism and other NSA programmes played a relatively minor role in the
interception of the two plots. Conventional surveillance techniques, in both cases including
old-fashioned tip-offs from intelligence services in Britain, appear to have initiated the
In the case of Zazi, an Afghan American who planned to attack the New York subway, the breakthrough
appears to have come from Operation Pathway, a British investigation into a suspected terrorism cell
in the north-west of England in 2009. That investigation discovered that one of the members of the
cell had been in contact with an al-Qaida associate in Pakistan via the email address
British newspaper reports at the time of Zazi's arrest said that UK intelligence passed on the email
address to the US. The same email address, as Buzzfeed has pointed out, was cited in Zazi's 2011
trial as a crucial piece of evidence. Zazi, the court heard, wrote to firstname.lastname@example.org asking
in coded language for the precise quantities to use to make up a bomb.
Eric Jurgenson, an FBI agent involved in investigating Zazi once the link to the Pakistani email
address was made, told the court: "My office was in receipt – I was notified, I should say. My
office was in receipt of several email messages, email communications. Those email communications,
several of them resolved to an individual living in Colorado."
Michael Dowling, a Denver-based attorney who acted as Zazi's defence counsel, said the full picture
remained unclear as Zazi pleaded guilty before all details of the investigation were made public.
But the lawyer said he was sceptical that mass data sweeps could explain what led law enforcement to
"The government says that it does not monitor content of these communications in its data
collection. So I find it hard to believe that this would have uncovered Zazi's contacts with a known
terrorist in Pakistan," Dowling said.
Further scepticism has been expressed by David Davis, a former British foreign office minister who
described the citing of the Zazi case as an example of the merits of data-mining as "misleading" and
"an illusion". Davis pointed out that Operation Pathway was prematurely aborted in April 2009 after
Bob Quick, then the UK's most senior counter-terrorism police officer, was pictured walking into
Downing Street with top secret documents containing details of the operation in full view of cameras.
The collapse of the operation, and arrests of suspects that hurriedly followed, came five months
before Zazi was arrested in September 2009. "That was the operation that led to the initial data
links to Zazi – they put the clues in the database which gave them the connections," Davis said.
Davis said that the discovery of the email@example.com email – and in turn the link to Zazi –
had been made by traditional investigative work in the UK. He said the clue-driven nature of the
inquiry was significant, as it was propelled by detectives operating on the basis of court-issued
"You can't make this grand sweeping [data collection] stuff subject to warrants. What judge would
give you a warrant if you say you want to comb through vast quantities of data?"
[Some defenders] have also pointed to the case of David Headley, who in January was sentenced to
35 years in jail for having made multiple scouting missions to Mumbai ahead of the 2008 terrorist
attacks that killed 168 people. Yet the evidence in his case also points towards a British tip-off
as the inspiration behind the US interception of him.
In July 2009, British intelligence began tracking Headley, a Pakistani American from Chicago, who
was then plotting to attack Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in retaliation for its publication of
cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. Information was passed to the FBI and he was thereafter, until his
arrest that October, kept under targeted US surveillance.
An intelligence expert and former CIA operative, who asked to remain anonymous because he had been
directly involved in the Headley case, was derisive about the claim that data-mining sweeps by the
NSA were key to the investigation. "That's nonsense. It played no role at all in the Headley case.
That's not the way it happened at all," he said.
Ed Pilkington and Nicholas Watt
| Guardian.co.uk | 12 June 2013]
And it didn't help with the Boston bombers despite their 6 month trip to Chechnya and despite the warning
given to the United States by the Russians. The FBI were supposedly following them.
Ah ha. It's because they didn't get a hit on the search term "terrorists who want to bomb" and
decided their work was done.
Nothing to see here. Move along to the next officially manufactured crisis please.