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Yves Larock - 'Rise Up'

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I don't think I've ever seen anything like this before.  Egyptians are serious about having leadership that represents them.


CAIRO (AP) — Protesters stormed and ransacked the Cairo headquarters of President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group early Monday, in an attack that could spark more violence as demonstrators gear up for a second day of mass rallies aimed at forcing the Islamist leader from power.

Organizers of the protests, meanwhile, gave Morsi until 5 p.m. on Tuesday to step down and called on the police and the military to clearly state their support for what the protest movement called the popular will.


It is unclear now whether the opposition, which for months has demanded Morsi form a national unity government, would now accept any concessions short of his removal. The anticipated deadlock raises the question of whether the army, already deployed on the outskirts of cities, will intervene. Protesters believe the military would throw its weight behind them, tipping the balance against Morsi.

The country's police, meanwhile, were hardly to be seen Sunday. In the lead-up to Sunday, some officers angrily told their commanders they would not protect the Brotherhood from protesters, complaining that police are always caught in the middle, according to video of the meeting released online.

The RT reporter says that people want real change and they don't want "just another U.S. stooge", and that Morsi has broken every promise that he made and has been a disaster ever since he came into power.  Egyptians are worse off than they were when he took office and they want jobs and they want bread and different economic policies.  Morsi continued austerity policies, privatization, rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The journalist Neil Clark says that they are looking for more socialistic policies like they had under Nasser.  He says that there has been silence from the western leaders who do not want socialistic policies about these protests which are the biggest in history.  20 million people on the streets, people with nothing to lose.  It's a real revolution.  I wonder for how long the police and the military will stand with the leadership.
'Egypt Muslim Brotherhood Western puppet regime served eviction notice'

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Can't Tell You About NSA Abuses
He did say that his company's policy is to fight what they regard as overly broad requests for information.

Katie Couric's interview with Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is an excellent example of how charm and charisma can help a journalist to press a public figure to answer questions he'd rather not face. The exchange they have about NSA spying is of particular interest -- it starts around the 4 minute mark:

Published on Jun 29, 2013
Twitter's CEO fields questions at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Dick Costolo discusses his company's growth and ubiquity in recent news events. He shares his brief explanation of the Twitter and Vine platforms. Costolo shares stories of unique conversations that have happened in public, on Twitter. Katie Couric asks Costolo about his company's place in recent reports about the NSA's PRISM program, Twitter's IPO, and the "second screen" used by television viewers.
Interesting.  This is from the "Comment is Free" section of the Guardian.
The 'Edward Snowden Aviation Club' and other ways to beat US persecution
Some countries have offered asylum but the NSA whistleblower will need transport. How about concerned citizens raising money for a private plane?

With Edward Snowden stuck in limbo in the Moscow airport transit space, many people in the United States and around the world are wondering what can be done to help him. More than 123,000 Americans have signed a petition on the White House website saying that "Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a full, free, and absolute pardon". Other petitions of support have gathered as many as 1.3 million signatures.

Actually there is quite a bit that can be done by various people to help Snowden reach a safe place where he can be free from persecution by the US government.

This is a must read by emptywheel, a follow up on the protests of FISA court judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who has been quite exposed now.  The president claims that there was oversight by Congress and the judicial branch.  Really?
What Happened to that Third Branch Oversight?

After spending 2002 to 2006 as Chief Judge of the FISA Court struggling to keep parts of the American legal system walled off from a rogue surveillance program, she read the classified account the NSA’s Inspector General wrote of her efforts. And while that report does say Kollar-Kotelly was the only one who managed to sneak a peek at a Presidential Authorization authorizing the illegal program, she doesn’t believe it reflects the several efforts she made to reel in the program.

“In my view, that draft report contains major omissions, and some inaccuracies, regarding the actions I took as Presiding Judge of the FISC and my interactions with Executive Branch officials,” Kollar-Kotelly said in a statement to The Post.


Kollar-Kotelly disputed the NSA report’s suggestion of a fairly high level of coordination between the court and the NSA and Justice in 2004 to re-create certain authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law that created the court in response to abuses of domestic surveillance in the 1960s and 1970s.

“That is incorrect,” she said. “I participated in a process of adjudication, not ‘coordination’ with the executive branch. The discussions I had with executive branch officials were in most respects typical of how I and other district court judges entertain applications for criminal wiretaps under Title III, where issues are discussed ex parte.”

The WaPo story reporting on her objections makes no mention of the role one FISC law clerk — who got briefed into the program before any of the other FISC judges — played in this process, something I’m pretty curious about. - See more at:


Greenwald Derangement Syndrome

I just read an article by Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine that was so silly and self-indulgent I wasn't going to comment on it.  What's the point of comparing Greenwald to Ralph Nader (or to anyone else, really)?  What's the point of discussing Greenwald at all, compared to the importance of his reporting?  Can you really try to castigate Greenwald for arguing that in various ways Obama is worse than Bush, when so many Constitutional law experts are arguing that indeed, Obama is worse than Nixon?  Is Chait ignorant of the mountain of evidence behind this argument, or of the other people making it?  Why does he refer to but fail to address the actual evidence in the supporting piece he links to, instead treating the argument itself as ipso facto evidence of sanctimony?  What does it mean that liberals might break with Greenwald because he believes "even if Obama is the lesser of two evils, he’s the more effective of two evils" (oh no, the cool kids will stop inviting him to play dates... and is this more a reflection on Greenwald, or on liberals)?  And most glaring of all, did Chait really complain that "For Greenwald... the evils of liberals loom far larger than the evils of conservatives," when he's talking about a guy who's written no fewer than three books (and God knows how many blog posts) on the failings of conservatives -- with titles like How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President [Bush] Run Amok; and A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency; and Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics?

My initial reaction was just to shake my head at how someone could put his name on something so sloppily argued, and to briefly wonder why anyone would publish it.  But then, as sometimes happens when I've rolled my eyes and am about to click on a (hopefully) better link, something struck me that I thought was worth calling out.

That something is a remarkable case of psychological projection -- the "defense mechanism in which a person unconsciously rejects his or her own unacceptable attributes by ascribing them to objects or persons in the outside world."  In an odd cri de coeur, Chait declares:

I won't pretend to be neutral here -- I've tangled with Greenwald numerous times.  So, for instance, he called me a "McCain worshiper," and it is true that I have written some highly favorable things about John McCain.  I've also written some highly critical things.  I pointed out to Greenwald that, when I have called McCain, among other things, a "dangerous sociopath," it would at least complicate the picture in such a way as to preclude me from being called a "worshiper."  But no, Greenwald dug in deeper, assembling all the evidence he could muster for his side and ignoring all the evidence pointing in the opposite direction.
Washington Post releases four new slides from NSA's Prism presentation
Newly published top-secret documents detail how NSA interfaces with tech giants such as Google, Apple and Microsoft

The new slides underline the scale of the Prism operation, recording that on 5 April there were 117,675 active surveillance targets in the programme's database. They also explain Prism's ability to gather real-time information on live voice, text, email or internet chat services, as well as to analyse stored data.


Several of the participating companies listed on the third new slide released by the Washington Post – Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL and Apple – denied at the time of the initial publication that they had agreed to giving the NSA direct access to their systems. Google told the Guardian that it did not "have a back door for the government to access private user data".

The new slides show how Prism interfaces with the internet companies as government agents track a new surveillance target. The process begins, one annotated slide suggests, when an NSA supervisor signs off on search terms – called "selectors" – used for each target. Analysts are tasked with ensuring that the target is by "reasonable belief" of at least 51% confidence likely to be a foreign national who is not within the US at the time of data collection. The internal NSA supervision is the only check of the analysts' determination; a further layer of supervision is added with stored communications, where the FBI checks against its own database to filter out known Americans.

There is also broad authorization by federal judges in the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which the new slides refer to as "Special FISA Oversight and Processing". But this is of a generic nature and not made on an individual warrant basis.

Yeah, bugging your friends is not cool.  Bugging them and saving their conversations to your hard drive is really an assholish thing to do.  When you do things like that, your friends tend to resent you and not to trust you anymore, as in, ever.  That being said, who believes that Merkel had no idea about all of this?  People aren't stupid.  Merkel has an election coming up.  I don't think this is going to help her. It will be interesting to see how she reacts to all of this and what steps she takes.  Like Obama, she seems to be a person who is driven by one top priority -- her own reelection -- and has been driven by it for a long time.  There is nothing more important. So what is she going to do now in reaction to all of this and will the German people demand investigations, etc.?

The Trans Pacific Trade agreement, because it's being negotiated in secret, gets some attention but another huge trade agreement is in the works too, an Atlantic trade agreement, which may be imperiled by all of this mess.  These huge trade agreements seem  to codify globalization and threaten sovereignty, so I'm not sure it's a bad thing for them to be derailed or at the very least, reconsidered.

NSA spying row: bugging friends is unacceptable, warn Germans
US attempts to downplay spying allegations as growing European anger threatens to derail transatlantic trade talks

The leaders of Germany and France have rounded angrily on Washington for the first time, signalling that ambitious EU-US trade talks scheduled to open in Washington next week could become an early casualty of the burgeoning transatlantic espionage dispute.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and President François Hollande described the disclosures of massive US spying and snooping in Europe as "unacceptable", with the Germans suggesting there had to be mutual trust if the trade talks were to go ahead on Monday.

She delivered her severest warning yet on the National Security Agency debacle. "We are no longer in the cold war," her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said. "If it is confirmed that diplomatic representations of the European Union and individual European countries have been spied upon, we will clearly say that bugging friends is unacceptable."

He added that Berlin was keen on the trade talks with America, but qualified that support. "Mutual trust is necessary in order to come to an agreement."

Mutual trust?  How are they going to pull together mutual trust in such short order?  That's kind of a ridiculous statement by two leaders who have to put on a show right now, IMHO.  Do they really expect that the megalomaniacs in our military/intelligence industry complex are going to send out some repairment to dismantle all of it today?  Even more important, what kinds of information might be disclosed later, after all of these world leaders have denounced surveillance.  We're globalizing everything else, why not intelligence?  I'm willing to make a gentlewoman's bet that more information will come out, after they have pretended not to know anything about all of this, that they were cooperating in some way.


Stop Watching Us.

The revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA's spying programs.

Massive Spying Program Exposed
Demand Answers Now (EFF petition)

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