New blog. Far more dark, I’m done with politics. I stay updated but it’s the same old surveillance state.
"Once absolved of all extrinsic mediation, once withdrawn from any constituent relation to organic integrity or socio-psychological form, being is free to undertake creative sequences that (like Mandelbrot’s self-replicating fractals) are indifferent to scale. […] Within one-all there can be no fundamental difference between cosmic and molecular, far and near, moment and whole, instant and eternity. Once they have been sufficiently uprooted from any actual constraints or territory that might contain them, the molecular and cosmic merge in a single open movement which deploys space as such."
- Peter Hallward,
Out of This World: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Creation
The CIA’s chief technology officer outlined the agency’s endless appetite for data in a far-ranging speech on Wednesday.
Speaking before a crowd of tech geeks at GigaOM’s Structure:Data conference in New York City, CTO Ira “Gus” Hunt said that the world is increasingly awash in information from text messages, tweets, and videos - and that the agency wants all of it.
"The value of any piece of information is only known when you can connect it with something else that arrives at a future point in time," Hunt said. "Since you can’t connect dots you don’t have, it drives us into a mode of, we fundamentally try to collect everything and hang on to it forever."
Hunt’s comments come two days after Federal Computer Week reported that the CIA has committed to a massive, $600 million, 10-year deal with Amazon for cloud computing services. The agency has not commented on that report, but Hunt’s speech, which included multiple references to cloud computing, indicates that it does indeed have interest in storage and analysis capabilities on a massive scale.
Concluding that they suffer from “significant constitutional infirmities,” a federal district court judge in San Francisco on Thursday struck down sections of federal law that allow the FBI to warrantlessly obtain private information under a gag order in the name of national security.
But U.S. District Judge Susan Illston temporarily put her order on hold to allow the government to appeal her decision, recognizing that a higher court should first be able to “consider the weighty questions of national security and First Amendment rights” at issue in the case. The authority of national security letters, government orders to communications providers to reveal user information, was vastly expanded in the post-9/11 Patriot Act. The federal government has made wide use of them in the name of the fight against terrorism.
In May 2011, the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation brought a lawsuit against the national security letter statutes on behalf of an unnamed telephone service provider, arguing that placing the company under a gag order violated its First Amendment rights. EFF also argued that the 2005 renewal of the Patriot Act provided too little judicial review for the secret letters.
Illston’s ruling vindicated EFF’s arguments.
"Basically the court declared the national security letter statute unconstitutional on the grounds that it improperly gagged the recipients," said Cindy Cohn, the group’s legal director. "Nothing changes in the short term, but it’s a very strong ruling."
National security letters have been under renewed scrutiny recently. Earlier this month, Google revealed that the federal government has asked for data on thousands of its users over the past four years.
"Funeral for our Future" Protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline
A brain-to-brain interface (BTBI) enabled a real-time transfer of behaviorally meaningful sensorimotor information between the brains of two rats. In this BTBI, an “encoder” rat performed sensorimotor tasks that required it to select from two choices of tactile or visual stimuli. While the encoder rat performed the task, samples of its cortical activity were transmitted to matching cortical areas of a “decoder” rat using intracortical microstimulation (ICMS). The decoder rat learned to make similar behavioral selections, guided solely by the information provided by the encoder rat’s brain. These results demonstrated that a complex system was formed by coupling the animals’ brains, suggesting that BTBIs can enable dyads or networks of animal’s brains to exchange, process, and store information and, hence, serve as the basis for studies of novel types of social interaction and for biological computing devices.
A clip of Massachusetts freshman Sen. Elizabeth Warren posing a simple question to bank regulators this past week has been viewed more than 1 million times, putting it on pace to become the consumer advocate’s most-viral video hit to-date.
Three separate clips of the back-and-forth on YouTube combine for over 900,000 views, and a clip by HuffPost, which was the first to report on the exchange, has generated well over 200,000 views. It was Warren’s first foray on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
The question that flummoxed the bank regulators: When was the last time you took a Wall Street bank to trial?
Heartbreaking hilarity ensued.
Official crowd count at the Forward On Climate rally is 35,000! That’s 35,000 committed, passionate people calling on President Obama to take action on climate change and reject Keystone XL.
Watch the livestream: http://act.350.org/letter/Obama_ForwardonClimate/
Plaintiffs and supporters in the Hedges v. Obama lawsuit challenging the controversial indefinite detention provision set forth in § 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Earlier in the day, February 6, 2013, was argument before the 2nd Circuit in which the US appealed the historic ruling by Judge Katherine Forrest in favor of the plaintiffs.
“Let me start with this, well, what has happened is that we have undergone a corporate coup d’état and it’s over, they won. The major structural assaults carried out by the the Bush administration have been embraced by the Obama administration, all of them whether it is the expansion of imperial war, drone attacks, looting of the U.S. Treasury by Wall Street, and most importantly, the assault on civil liberties. The assault on civil liberties under the Obama administration is worse than under the Bush administration:
The radical interpretation of the AUMF to authorize the assassination of U.S. citizens.
The FISA Amendments Act which retroactively makes legal what under our Constitution has traditionally been illegal: the warrantless wiretapping, monitoring, and eavesdropping of American citizens, and we know that all our personal information is stored out in supercomputers in Utah.
The use of the Espionage act to shut down whistleblowers, I have friends who do investigative journalism and they will tell you they can’t even get a government official to talk to them anymore on background for fear of going to jail, anything that challenges the official narrative. Anyone within the system of power with a conscience who rises up to expose war crimes committed by our government will no longer speak.
Finally, the NDAA.
You have to ask yourself why. Why is there a steady assault, a stripping away of our most cherished civil liberties? What’s happening? What’s happening is that the corporate state which is, to use a business term, harvesting the nation and stealing as much as fast as they can on the way down, knows the combination of economic decline and climate change. They’re running scenarios, I can assure you, in the NSA and everywhere else. They know that eventually, there will be blowback. Eventually, people will respond and they want the powers to, in essence, criminalize any form of dissent.”
- Chris Hedges, 34:45
"For to him who does works of love the veil of Maya has become transparent, the illusion of the principium individuationis has left him. He recognizes himself, his will, in every being, and consequently also in the sufferer. He is now free from the perversity with which the will to live, not recognizing itself, here in one individual enjoys a fleeting and precarious pleasure, and there in another pays for it with suffering and starvation, and thus both inflicts and endures misery, not knowing that, like Thyestes, it eagerly devours its own flesh; and then, on the one hand, laments its undeserved suffering, and on the other hand transgresses without fear of Nemesis, always merely because, involved in the principium individuationis, thus generally in the kind of knowledge which is governed by the principle of sufficient reason, it does not recognize itself in the foreign phenomenon, and therefore does not perceive eternal justice. To be cured of this illusion and deception of Maya, and to do works of love, are one and the same. But the latter is the necessary and inevitable symptom of that knowledge.
The opposite of the sting of conscience, the origin and significance of which is explained above, is the good conscience, the satisfaction which we experience after every disinterested deed. It arises from the fact that such a deed, as it proceeds from the direct recognition of our own inner being in the phenomenon of another, affords us also the verification of this knowledge, the knowledge that our true Self exists not only in our own person, this particular manifestation, but in everything that lives.
By this the heart feels itself enlarged, as by egoism it is contracted.
For as the latter concentrates our interest upon the particular manifestation of our own individuality, upon which knowledge always presents to us the innumerable dangers which constantly threaten this manifestation, and anxiety and care becomes the key-note of our disposition; the knowledge that everything living is just as much our own inner nature, as is our own person, extends our interest to everything living; and in this way the heart is enlarged. Thus through the diminished interest in our own self, the anxious care for the self is attacked at its very root and limited; hence the peace, the unbroken serenity, which a virtuous disposition and a good conscience affords, and the more distinct appearance of this with every good deed, for it proves to ourselves the depth of that disposition.”
- Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation
White House reporters tried in vain to get information from press secretary Jay Carney about a newly released paper that deals with the Obama administration’s killing of American citizens.
The paper, which was obtained by NBC News, lays out some of the government’s justification for the assassination of Americans with drone strikes. The memo says that the US can order the killing of Americans if they are believed to be senior Al Qaeda members, even if they are not actively plotting attacks.
Carney was asked about the paper at the very beginning of Tuesday’s briefing. He called the strikes “legal, ethical and wise,” and said that they were constitutionally sound.
“The president takes his responsibilities very seriously,” Carney said. “And first and foremost that’s his responsibility to protect the United States.” He added that the strikes were conducted “in a way that is fully consistent with the Constitution and all the applicable laws.”
And that, essentially, is all he would say, despite a torrent of questions about the paper.
ABC’s Jon Karl wondered why it was more humane to “drop a bomb” on someone than to torture them. He also asked about the ACLU’s blistering criticism of the paper.
Carney kept referring to a speech given by John Brennan, the current nominee for CIA chief, and saying that the program was consistent with the Constitution.
"You’re taking away a citizen’s due process," CBS’ Bill Plante said. "Doesn’t it deserve a broader debate at a broader court hearing?"
"The administration has … reviewed these issues," Carney said. "Shouldn’t they be considered beyond the executive branch?" Plante pressed.
"Internally, they have been reviewed with great care," Carney said.
Puscifer - Momma Sed
Better than the original song.