Sunday, January 19, 2014

Brick TeeVee's Wake for The Death of Net Neutrality


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Wake for The Death of Net Neutrality Looks like, for right now, Big Telecom and Big ISPs rule the day although the FCC says [it] may appeal court ruling against its net neutrality rule. More on this and the NSA and TPP in a bit but first to MCHM. Funny how NO ONE in Mass Media can pronounce "FOUR-Methyl Cyclo Hexane Methanol" isn't it? We tried to find the chem safety sheet (which is HUGELY important to fire/safety peeps) and we came up with: NADA. Why? At the Environmental Defense Fund EDF.org Richard Denison, Ph.D., has 29 years of experience in the environmental arena, specializing in policy, hazard and risk assessment and management for industrial chemicals and nanomaterials and a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Standing Committee on Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions. Dr. Denison posts West Virginia officials trust shaky science in rush to restore water service: One-part-per-million “safe” threshold has questionable basis In a press conference today outlining plans to restart the water system serving 300,000 people, West Virginia state officials and executives from the West Virginia American Water utility company stressed that levels of the toxic chemical that contaminated the supply after last week’s spill had reached a “safe” level of one part per million (1 ppm), the threshold agreed upon by state and federal officials on Saturday. Unfortunately, the science behind this standard remains unclear. Based on what we do know, there are good reasons to believe that officials are overlooking significant health risks. We know, for example, that the manufacturer’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) that officials say they are using as their primary source lacks any information about chronic health impacts. The major federal databases we consulted suggest such data simply do not exist for this chemical. It also appears that officials made significant leaps in their calculation of a “safe” exposure level – including assumptions that deviate from generally accepted practices. As a result, these estimates fail to adequately account for either acute or chronic health effects from ongoing exposure to water contaminated at the 1 ppm level. At a bare minimum, the public deserves to know a lot more about the calculations behind officials’ insistence that a 1 ppm level in drinking water is safe. So how was this level, which is now being declared safe, derived? The short answer is, it was done through a mix of standard practice, problematic deviations from standard practice, and utter hand-waving. ....... MORE! And it gets worse.
CommonDreams.com staff writer Lauren McCauley explains Beyond W. Virginia, Unregulated Toxins Number in Tens of Thousands As authorities race to understand the toxic impact of the leak of the coal-cleaning chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (or MCHM), on the water supply of 300,000 West Virginia residents, experts caution that this chemical is only one of "tens of thousands of industrial compounds" not tested for their risk to human health. "West Virginia is getting a hard lesson in how little we know about these chemicals," Marshall University environmental engineer Scott Simonton told the Wall Street Journal Friday. "This chemical is not even listed as something the water company has to look for." Unlike pesticides or pharmaceuticals, a "detergent" such as MCHM wouldn't be regulated under the primary drinking water standards that regulate chemicals. Richard Denison, a senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, said that unlike pesticides or pharmaceuticals, such industrial chemicals are rarely tested for toxicity to humans. The Wall Street Journal reports:
    A review of the safety data sheets from five chemical companies that make or sell the solvent had little to say about any chronic health hazards. A hazardous substance fact sheet compiled by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Service notes that the risk of cancer, reproductive hazards and other chronic health effects and effects "has not been tested."
........ At the time of the spill, state and water officials had no effective way to quickly test for Crude MCHM. American Water President Jeff McIntyre told reporters on Friday that his company didn't know much about the chemical's possible dangers, the West Virginia Gazette reports. Further, McIntyre added that he "wasn't aware of an effective treatment process." ........

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT explains the Founder of WV Chemical Spill Company Is a Twice-Convicted Felon According to the Charleston Gazette (West Virginia), "Freedom Industries, the company responsible for contaminating the water of 300,000 Kanawha Valley residents, was founded by a two-time convicted felon [and] benefited from the 2009 federal stimulus." The Gazette identifies the co-founder as Carl Lemley Kennedy II. The Gazette also states that Kennedy, "In 1987 ... pleaded guilty to selling between 10 and 12 ounces of cocaine in connection with a scandal that toppled then-Charleston Mayor Mike Roark." He eventually got his sentence reduced for his company related felonies by becoming a government informant to entrap cocaine dealers. ........... Serving as a symbolic poster child for corporations that both pollute and exploit employees, it is noteworthy to document what exactly Carl Lemley Kennedy II was found guilty of, according to the Gazette:
    Kennedy filed for bankruptcy in 2005 after he was charged with tax evasion and willful failure to pay employees' withholdings to the government. He pleaded guilty to both charges in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of West Virginia. He admitted that between 2000 and 2003, while he was the accountant for Freedom Industries, Poca Blending and New River Chemical Co., he withheld more than $1 million from employee paychecks that he never passed on to the federal government, according to court filings. He also owed more than $200,000 in state taxes. "Carl L. Kennedy II took steps to conceal a large portion of his income from the Internal Revenue Service by, among other things, using his position as an accountant to ensure a W2 form was not filed in his name," the court document reads, "using corporate funds for his personal benefit and writing corporate checks to cash for his personal enrichment."
No, not all corporation execs are as a corrupt as Kennedy, but the chemical industry appears to have many companies within it who act recklessly in regards to preventing hazards that might endanger local populations. This is particularly true in poorer areas, where constituents have little political impact over zoning and the regulation of pollutants. ......... Kennedy, after all, is the ultimate literal "taker": taking from his employees, taking from the government, and founding a company that just caused a colossal toxic spill. It may be excessive to generalize, but there does appear a seedy, profligate symmetry at work here that surely extends to many other corporate "takers" in the environmental and toxic pollutant industries. Further Note: The Koch Brothers Connection - According to the Gazette:
    In 2008, Freedom Industries secured a contract to distribute a line of products called Talon that are used as a binder in coal processing, according to a news release issued at the time. Freedom distributed Talon to eight states, including West Virginia. "We are excited to offer our customers inventive products like Talon that push past the status quo in coal recovery to bring profit and productivity benefits to mining preparation plants," Joshua Herzing, a Freedom executive, said in the press release. Talon is made by Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC. Georgia-Pacific is owned by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch.
That information just adds to the whole toxic tale revealing the dark side of US corporate "takers."

Listen to BOB KINCAID's Monday show (below) who describes the founder of FREEDOM INDUSTRIES as a CONVICTED COCAINE DEALER! AND water systems along the Ohio River watershed are closing their intake valves as the release of toxic 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (or Crude MCHM) makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico. For example Cincinnati To Stop Using Water From Ohio River as Chemicals from West Virginia Spill Move Downstream AP at weather.com.
See DN! Tuesday (below) with THE REAL Erin Brockovich who is in WVA AND Mike Elk of In These Times. PLUS Bob was on "ALL IN with Chris Hayes" TUESDAY Inside the West Virginia chemical spill and Hayes did this great WVA SUMMARY with BOB KINCAID on "ALL IN with Chris Hayes" FRIDAY Truth behind Freedom Industries bankruptcy where Hayes explains the bankruptcy. For more info see MSNBC's Traci G. Lee Freedom Industries files for bankruptcy protection Freedom Industries, the company behind last week’s chemical spill in West Virginia, filed for bankruptcy on Friday. ...... More than two dozen lawsuits have been filed against Freedom Industries since the company’s storage tanks leaked thousands of gallons of 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) into the Elk River, leaving as many as 300,000 residents without access to clean water for days. Local businesses and schools were forced to shut down as well. Filing for bankruptcy would give Freedom Industries a reprieve from having to answer the lawsuits. More than two dozen lawsuits have been filed against Freedom Industries since the company’s storage tanks leaked thousands of gallons of 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) into the Elk River, leaving as many as 300,000 residents without access to clean water for days. Local businesses and schools were forced to shut down as well. According to the bankruptcy filing, Freedom Industries is solely owned by Chemstream Holdings Inc. The Washington Post and The Charleston Gazette reported that Chemstream Holdings is owned by J. Clifford Forrest. The company enabling Freedom Industries to file for bankruptcy by lending it money to restructure – with the potential upside of acquiring the company’s assets if it does go bankrupt – is called Mountaineer Funding. Mountaineer Funding was incorporated Friday, according to a document posted to the state’s website. One of the company’s two officers listed on the document is J. Clifford Forest – the same name reported by The Washington Post and The Charleston Gazette as the owner of Freedom Industries. .... Did you get that? The same guy who runs Freedom Industries created another company THE SAME DAY his company Freedom Industries filed for bankruptcy to bail out his own ass from lawsuits! Now that's some kind of chutzpa! Our hope is this rat basturd is caught and goes to The Big House for decades. Hard to say what fate and remedies WVA residents will face going forward. Robert Riech touches on this in Fear is Why Workers in Red States Vote Against Their Economic Self-Interest .......... Last week’s massive spill of the toxic chemical MCHM into West Virginia’s Elk River illustrates another benefit to the business class of high unemployment, economic insecurity, and a safety-net shot through with holes. Not only are employees eager to accept whatever job they can get. They are also also unwilling to demand healthy and safe environments. The spill was the region’s third major chemical accident in five years, coming after two investigations by the federal Chemical Safety Board in the Kanawha Valley, also known as “Chemical Valley,” and repeated recommendations from federal regulators and environmental advocates that the state embrace tougher rules to better safeguard chemicals. No action was ever taken. State and local officials turned a deaf ear. The storage tank that leaked, owned by Freedom Industries, hadn’t been inspected for decades. But nobody complained. .......... So why wasn’t more done to prevent this, and why isn’t there more of any outcry even now? The answer isn’t hard to find. As Maya Nye, president of People Concerned About Chemical Safety, a citizen’s group formed after a 2008 explosion and fire killed workers at West Virginia’s Bayer CropScience plant in the state, explained to the New York Times: “We are so desperate for jobs in West Virginia we don’t want to do anything that pushes industry out.” Exactly. ..... People are so desperate for jobs they don’t want to rock the boat. They don’t want rules and regulations enforced that might cost them their livelihoods. For them, a job is precious — sometimes even more precious than a safe workplace or safe drinking water. This is especially true in poorer regions of the country like West Virginia and through much of the South and rural America — so-called “red” states where the old working class has been voting Republican. Guns, abortion, and race are part of the explanation. But don’t overlook economic anxieties that translate into a willingness to vote for whatever it is that industry wants. .........
At BoingBoing.net Cory Doctorow explains how the Harper Government is committing Canadian libricide: Tories torch and dump centuries of priceless, irreplaceable environmental archives ......... Unsurprisingly, given the Canadian Conservatives' war on the environment, the worst-faring archives were those that related to climate research. The legendary environmental research resources of the St. Andrews Biological Station in St. Andrews, New Brunswick are gone. The Freshwater Institute library in Winnipeg and the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland: gone. Both collections were world-class. An irreplaceable, 50-volume collection of logs from HMS Challenger's 19th century expedition went to the landfill, taking with them the crucial observations of marine life, fish stocks and fisheries of the age. Update: a copy of these logs survives overseas. The destruction of these publicly owned collections was undertaken in haste. No records were kept of what was thrown away, what was sold, and what was simply lost. Some of the books were burned. .........
HARVEY WASSERMAN explains at commondreams.org the Toll of U.S. Sailors Devastated by Fukushima Radiation Continues to Climb ......So many have come forward that the progress of their federal class action lawsuit has been delayed. Bay area lawyer Charles Bonner says a re-filing will wait until early February to accommodate a constant influx of sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and other American ships. Within a day of Fukushima One’s March 11, 2011, melt-down, American “first responders” were drenched in radioactive fallout. In the midst of a driving snow storm, sailors reported a cloud of warm air with a metallic taste that poured over the Reagan. Then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan, at the time a nuclear supporter, says “the first meltdown occurred five hours after the earthquake.” The lawsuit charges that Tokyo Electric Power knew large quantities of radiation were pouring into the air and water, but said nothing to the Navy or the public. Had the Navy known, says Bonner, it could have moved its ships out of harm’s way. But some sailors actually jumped into the ocean just offshore to pull victims to safety. Others worked 18-hour shifts in the open air through a four-day mission, re-fueling and repairing helicopters, loading them with vital supplies and much more. All were drinking and bathing in desalinated water that had been severely contaminated by radioactive fallout and runoff. ......... The metallic taste that came with it parallels the ones reported by the airmen who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and by Pennsylvania residents downwind from the 1979 meltdown at Three Mile Island. When it did leave the Fukushima area, the Reagan was so radioactive it was refused port entry in Japan, South Korea and Guam. It’s currently docked in San Diego. ......... Bonner says Tepco should be subject to U.S. law because “they are doing business in America … Their second largest office outside of Tokyo is in Washington DC.” Like the lawsuit, the petitions ask that Tepco admit responsibility, and establish a fund for the first responders to be administered by the U.S. courts. ....... But with U.S. support, Japan has imposed a state secrets act severely restricting reliable news reporting from the Fukushima site. So now we all live in the same kind of dark that enveloped the USS Reagan while its crew was immersed in their mission of mercy. Petitions in the sailors’ support are circulating worldwide on NukeFree.org, MoveOn, Avaaz, RootsAction and elsewhere.
MORE LOOSE NUKES: At TheGuardian.com Julian Borger tells us The truth about Israel's secret nuclear arsenal Israel has been stealing nuclear secrets and covertly making bombs since the 1950s. And western governments, including Britain and the US, turn a blind eye. But how can we expect Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions if the Israelis won't come clean? Deep beneath desert sands, an embattled Middle Eastern state has built a covert nuclear bomb, using technology and materials provided by friendly powers or stolen by a clandestine network of agents. It is the stuff of pulp thrillers and the sort of narrative often used to characterise the worst fears about the Iranian nuclear programme. In reality, though, neither US nor British intelligence believe Tehran has decided to build a bomb, and Iran's atomic projects are under constant international monitoring. The exotic tale of the bomb hidden in the desert is a true story, though. It's just one that applies to another country. In an extraordinary feat of subterfuge, Israel managed to assemble an entire underground nuclear arsenal – now estimated at 80 warheads, on a par with India and Pakistan – and even tested a bomb nearly half a century ago, with a minimum of international outcry or even much public awareness of what it was doing. Despite the fact that the Israel's nuclear programme has been an open secret since a disgruntled technician, Mordechai Vanunu, blew the whistle on it in 1986, the official Israeli position is still never to confirm or deny its existence. When the former speaker of the Knesset, Avraham Burg, broke the taboo last month, declaring Israeli possession of both nuclear and chemical weapons and describing the official non-disclosure policy as "outdated and childish" a rightwing group formally called for a police investigation for treason. Meanwhile, western governments have played along with the policy of "opacity" by avoiding all mention of the issue. In 2009, when a veteran Washington reporter, Helen Thomas, asked Barack Obama in the first month of his presidency if he knew of any country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons, he dodged the trapdoor by saying only that he did not wish to "speculate". UK governments have generally followed suit. But through the cracks in this stone wall, more and more details continue to emerge of how Israel built its nuclear weapons from smuggled parts and pilfered technology. The tale serves as a historical counterpoint to today's drawn-out struggle over Iran's nuclear ambitions...... Much more and VERY IMPORTANT! Read all of this!
TPP UPDATE: Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - Environment Consolidated Text Today, 15 January 2014, WikiLeaks released the secret draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Environment Chapter and the corresponding Chairs' Report. The TPP transnational legal regime would cover 12 countries initially and encompass 40 per cent of global GDP and one-third of world trade. The Environment Chapter has long been sought by journalists and environmental groups. The released text dates from the Chief Negotiators' summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The Environment Chapter covers what the Parties propose to be their positions on: environmental issues, including climate change, biodiversity and fishing stocks; and trade and investment in 'environmental' goods and services. It also outlines how to resolve environmental disputes arising out of the treaty's subsequent implementation. The draft Consolidated Text was prepared by the Chairs of the Environment Working Group, at the request of TPP Ministers at the Brunei round of the negotiations. Read the full press release here AND Download the full secret TPP Treaty Environment Chapter as PDF here. Watch The Big Picture Tuesday Beware the TPP Fast Track with Rep. Peter DeFazio AND TPP...fast track to poverty in America? with Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI, 2nd District).
VERDICT: NET NEUTRALITY IS DEAD. Bloomberg's Andrew Zajac and Todd Shields report Verizon Wins Net Neutrality Court Ruling Against FCC Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) won its challenge to U.S. open-Internet regulations as an appeals court ruled against the Federal Communications Commission, saying the agency’s restrictions have no basis in federal law. The FCC rule required companies that provide businesses and consumers high-speed Internet service over wires to treat all traffic equally. With the regulation voided, companies such as Google Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. could face new charges for fast connections. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington today sent the rules back to the FCC, which may attempt to rewrite the regulations that bar companies from slowing or blocking some Internet traffic. The FCC is trying to regulate Verizon and other companies that supply broadband Internet service under a statute that doesn’t apply, according to Circuit Judge David Tatel, writing for a three-judge panel. ........ At CommonDreams.org staff writer Andrea Germanos explains Federal Court Sides With Telecom, Deals Blow to Open Internet ..... Ahead of the ruling Josh Levy of Free Press warned that "If Verizon gets its way, the FCC’s rules protecting Internet users from corporate abuse will disappear." Tuesday's ruling siding with Verizon "is a game-changer," business and technology site Gigaom reports,
    because it upsets the FCC’s current practice of requiring broadband internet providers to act akin to “common carriers.” In plain English, this means that they have had to behave in a similar way to phone companies and not give special preference to one type of call (or traffic) over another, even though the FCC’s authority to regulate the broadband providers was not clear cut.
Net neutrality advocates are calling Tuesday's ruling "disappointing," and are warning that big telecommunications companies will be able to turn what was a move towards an open Internet into "something that looks like cable TV." .......

Also on The Big Picture discussion about the huge internet ruling in the Tuesday Panel where Thom explains the Chinese Internet Model and compares it to what this anti-net neutrality ruling will allow the big ISPs to do Full Show 1/14/14: The End of the Internet As We Know It? Thom sez, "The FCC never declared the ISPs as Common Carriers. The FCC still has that power." THEN Watch ACLU's Anthony Romero on ALL IN with Chris Hayes FRIDAY Is the president’s NSA overhaul enough?
TIM KARR FROM FreePress.org The Net Neutrality Solution In the wake of this week's devastating court decision on Net Neutrality, a consensus is emerging as to how the FCC can clean up its mess. ........ More and more people are now calling for a specific fix: To protect the open Internet, the FCC must reclassify broadband access as a telecommunications service. The New York Times editorial board wrote on Wednesday that the court decision against the Open Internet Order could turn the Internet into a domain controlled only by powerful corporations:
    “If this ruling stands, broadband providers would be free to strike deals with companies like Netflix and Apple to pay to have their movies, software and other data streamed to customers faster than or ahead of other content. Such deals would hurt smaller businesses or start-ups that cannot afford to pay for preferential treatment.” ........ And the Times is not alone. Thus far several prominent voices and publications have called on the agency to do the same. Reclassifying broadband would return the FCC’s established tradition of oversight, treating customer-facing communications networks as common carriers. Under this standard, defined under Title II of the Communications Act, a network provider cannot block, slow or discriminate among websites and services. For instance, Verizon wouldn’t be allowed to block your use of FaceTime, Google Hangout or Skype to favor of its own video-calling service. .......
Much more!!! WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT: The Last Mile. The wires that originally carried telephone and cable were given "right-of-way" by localities to use public space (like telephone poles) for those wires. Much of broadband still travels on those same wires (cable, DSL, etc.). But do you have a choice what provider you can get? In most communities you have a choice of TWO: The Cable Operator (usually locking cities into long-term exclusitivy agreements) or Ma Bell (AT&T, Verizon, Quest). One solution would be to restore "home rule" to these wires making up the last mile and return control of the network to the localities. But for over a decade Telecoms Fight Plans For Public Networks. Also sign this savetheinternet.com petition and this PETITION at freepress.net Tell the FCC: Restore Net Neutrality
In a related matter at HuffPoAOL author Norman Soloman explains another merger between government and media Under Amazon's CIA Cloud: The Washington Post News media should illuminate conflicts of interest, not embody them. But the owner of the Washington Post is now doing big business with the Central Intelligence Agency, while readers of the newspaper's CIA coverage are left in the dark. The Post's new owner, Jeff Bezos, is the founder and CEO of Amazon -- which recently landed a $600 million contract with the CIA. But the Post's articles about the CIA are not disclosing that the newspaper's sole owner is the main owner of CIA business partner Amazon. Even for a multibillionaire like Bezos, a $600 million contract is a big deal. That's more than twice as much as Bezos paid to buy the Post four months ago. And there's likely to be plenty more where that CIA largesse came from. Amazon's offer wasn't the low bid, but it won the CIA contract anyway by offering advanced high-tech "cloud" infrastructure. Bezos personally and publicly touts Amazon Web Services, and it's evident that Amazon will be seeking more CIA contracts. Last month, Amazon issued a statement saying, "We look forward to a successful relationship with the CIA." As Amazon's majority owner and the Post's only owner, Bezos stands to gain a lot more if his newspaper does less ruffling and more soothing of CIA feathers. ............... Propaganda largely depends on patterns of omission and repetition. If, in its coverage of the CIA, the Washington Post were willing to fully disclose the financial ties that bind its owner to the CIA, such candor would shed some light on how top-down power actually works in our society. "The Post is unquestionably the political paper of record in the United States, and how it covers governance sets the agenda for the balance of the news media," journalism scholar Robert W. McChesney points out. "Citizens need to know about this conflict of interest in the columns of the Post itself." In a statement just released by the Institute for Public Accuracy, McChesney added: "If some official enemy of the United States had a comparable situation -- say the owner of the dominant newspaper in Caracas was getting $600 million in secretive contracts from the Maduro government -- the Post itself would lead the howling chorus impaling that newspaper and that government for making a mockery of a free press. It is time for the Post to take a dose of its own medicine." ......... "What emerges now is what, in intelligence parlance, is called an 'agent of influence' owning the Post -- with a huge financial interest in playing nice with the CIA," said former CIA official Ray McGovern. "In other words, two main players nourishing the national security state in undisguised collaboration." .........
$600 Million sure sounds like a government hand-out to a private company, no? Loyola law professor BILL QUIGLY calls out the corporate welfare queens at CommonDreams.org Ten Examples of Welfare for the Rich and Corporations Here are the top ten examples of corporate welfare and welfare for the rich. There are actually thousands of tax breaks and subsidies for the rich and corporations provided by federal, state and local governments but these ten will give a taste. ............. If you want to look at the welfare for the rich and corporations start with the federal Internal Revenue Code. That is the King James Bible of welfare for the rich and corporations. Special breaks in tax code is the reason there are thousands of lobbyists in the halls of Congress, hundreds of lobbyists around each state legislature and tens of thousands of tax lawyers all over the country. If you want a deeper understanding of this (and have steam coming out of your ears) then read David Cay Johnston's book Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill)
NSA SPYING UPDATE: On Thursday James Ball in New York for The Guardian exposes how the NSA collects millions of text messages daily in 'untargeted' global sweep The National Security Agency has collected almost 200 million text messages a day from across the globe, using them to extract data including location, contact networks and credit card details, according to top-secret documents. The untargeted collection and storage of SMS messages – including their contacts – is revealed in a joint investigation between the Guardian and the UK’s Channel 4 News based on material provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The documents also reveal the UK spy agency GCHQ has made use of the NSA database to search the metadata of “untargeted and unwarranted” communications belonging to people in the UK. The NSA program, codenamed Dishfire, collects “pretty much everything it can”, according to GCHQ documents, rather than merely storing the communications of existing surveillance targets. The NSA has made extensive use of its vast text message database to extract information on people’s travel plans, contact books, financial transactions and more – including of individuals under no suspicion of illegal activity. ............ The revelation the NSA is collecting and extracting personal information from hundreds of millions of global text messages a day is likely to intensify international pressure on US president Barack Obama, who on Friday is set to give his response to the report of his NSA review panel. ............. The GCHQ memo sets out in clear terms what the agency’s access to Dishfire allows it to do, before handling how UK communications should be treated. The unique property of Dishfire, it states, is how much untargeted or unselected information it stores. “In contrast to [most] GCHQ equivalents, DISHFIRE contains a large volume of unselected SMS traffic,” it states (emphasis original). “This makes it particularly useful for the development of new targets, since it is possible to examine the content of messages sent months or even years before the target was known to be of interest.” ............ But Vodafone, one of the world’s largest mobile phone companies with operations in 25 countries including Britain, greeted the latest revelations with shock. “It’s the first we’ve heard about it and naturally we’re shocked and surprised,” the group’s privacy officer and head of legal for privacy, security and content standards told Channel 4 News. ........... “But what you’re describing is something that sounds as if that’s been circumvented. And for us as a business this is anathema because our whole business is founded on protecting privacy as a fundamental imperative.” He said the company would be challenging the UK government over this. “From our perspective, the law is there to protect our customers and it doesn’t sound as if that is what is necessarily happening.” ......... Click over for more sordid details! Of course on Friday Obama presents NSA reforms with plan to end government storage of call data reports The Guardian's Spencer Ackerman and Dan Roberts in Washington US president Barack Obama forcefully defended the embattled National Security Agency on Friday in a speech that outlined a series of surveillance reforms but stopped well short of demanding an end to the bulk collection of American phone data. ........ But Obama did not say what should replace the databases and made it clear the intelligence agencies should still be able to access call records information in some unspecified way, signalling a new round in the battle between privacy advocates and the NSA’s allies. Mounting a forceful defence of the NSA, Obama said: “They’re not abusing authorities in order to listen to your private phone calls, or read your emails.” He did not mention that judges on the secret surveillance court have found NSA has repeatedly and “systematically” overstepped its bounds. Instead, he counselled strongly against any steps that would undermine US national security. “We cannot unilaterally disarm our intelligence agencies,” he said. ...... To explain further what else Obomber didn't mention we go Marcy Wheeler at EmptyWheel.net for Things Barack Obama Doesn’t Consider “Abuse” so read all of that! Glenn Greenwald explains Obama's NSA 'reforms' are little more than a PR attempt to mollify the public In response to political scandal and public outrage, official Washington repeatedly uses the same well-worn tactic. It is the one that has been hauled out over decades in response to many of America's most significant political scandals. Predictably, it is the same one that shaped President Obama's much-heralded Friday speech to announce his proposals for "reforming" the National Security Agency in the wake of seven months of intense worldwide controversy. The crux of this tactic is that US political leaders pretend to validate and even channel public anger by acknowledging that there are "serious questions that have been raised". They vow changes to fix the system and ensure these problems never happen again. And they then set out, with their actions, to do exactly the opposite: to make the system prettier and more politically palatable with empty, cosmetic "reforms" so as to placate public anger while leaving the system fundamentally unchanged, even more immune than before to serious challenge. ........... This was also the same tactic used in the wake of the 2008 financial crises. Politicians dutifully read from the script that blamed unregulated Wall Street excesses and angrily vowed to rein them in. They then enacted legislation that left the bankers almost entirely unscathed, and which made the "too-big-to-fail" problem that spawned the crises worse than ever. And now we have the spectacle of President Obama reciting paeans to the values of individual privacy and the pressing need for NSA safeguards. "Individual freedom is the wellspring of human progress," he gushed with an impressively straight face. "One thing I'm certain of, this debate will make us stronger," he pronounced, while still seeking to imprison for decades the whistleblower who enabled that debate. The bottom line, he said, is this: "I believe we need a new approach." But those pretty rhetorical flourishes were accompanied by a series of plainly cosmetic "reforms". By design, those proposals will do little more than maintain rigidly in place the very bulk surveillance systems that have sparked such controversy and anger. To be sure, there were several proposals from Obama that are positive steps. A public advocate in the Fisa court, a loosening of "gag orders" for national security letters, removing metadata control from the NSA, stricter standards for accessing metadata, and narrower authorizations for spying on friendly foreign leaders (but not, of course, their populations) can all have some marginal benefits. But even there, Obama's speech was so bereft of specifics – what will the new standards be? who will now control Americans' metadata? – that they are more like slogans than serious proposals. Ultimately, the radical essence of the NSA – a system of suspicion-less spying aimed at hundreds of millions of people in the US and around the world – will fully endure even if all of Obama's proposals are adopted. That's because Obama never hid the real purpose of this process. It is, he and his officials repeatedly acknowledged, "to restore public confidence" in the NSA. In other words, the goal isn't to truly reform the agency; it is deceive people into believing it has been so that they no longer fear it or are angry about it. .................. As is always the case, those who want genuine changes should not look to politicians, and certainly not to Barack Obama, to wait for it to be gifted. Obama was forced to give this speech by rising public pressure, increasingly scared US tech giants, and surprisingly strong resistance from the international community to the out-of-control American surveillance state. Today's speech should be seen as the first step, not the last, on the road to restoring privacy. The causes that drove Obama to give this speech need to be, and will be, stoked and nurtured further until it becomes clear to official Washington that, this time around, cosmetic gestures are plainly inadequate. Catch MARCY WHEELER's interview with SCOTT HORTON below! Next see Rob Kall at OpEdNews.com who has this Podcast: NSA Whistlebower-- William Binney: Corruption in NSA, Lies About Snowden, Threats to Democracy and Peter B Collins has a two-part interview with William Binney below! All good items!
From the this-is-why-no-one-trusts-them dept. at TechDirt.com Mike Masnick explains how NSA Goes From Saying Bulk Metadata Collection 'Saves Lives' To 'Prevented 54 Attacks' To 'Well, It's A Nice Insurance Policy' Want to know why no one trusts anything NSA officials and their defenders have to say any more? When the bulk metadata collection was first revealed, those defenders went on and on about how the program "saved countless lives" and was instrumental in stopping terrorist attacks. Some skeptics then asked what terrorist attacks, and we were told "around 50" though details weren't forthcoming. Eventually, we were told that the real number was "54 terrorist events" (note: not attacks) and a review of them later revealed that basically none of them were legitimate. There was one "event" prevented via the program on US soil, and it was a taxi driver in San Diego sending some money to a terrorist group in Somalia, rather than an actual terrorist attack. In fact, both judges and the intelligence task force seemed shocked at the lack of any actual evidence to support that these programs were useful. And yet, the NSA and its defenders keep insisting that they're necessary. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, a few months ago, tried out a new spin, claiming that effectiveness wasn't the right metric, but rather "peace of mind." Of course, the obvious response to that is to point out that spying on everyone makes most of us fairly uneasy, and we'd have a lot more "peace of mind" if they dropped the program. And, now, the NSA number 2 guy, who's about to retire, John C. "Chris" Inglis, gave a long interview with NPR, in which he is now claiming that even if the program hasn't been particularly useful in the past, that "it's a good insurance policy." "I'm not going to give that insurance policy up, because it's a necessary component to cover a seam that I can't otherwise cover." Basically, we want to keep this information because we want that information, even if it's not been shown to be at all useful. Of course, that's the same logic one can use to defend just about any violation of the 4th Amendment. Putting a private drone with a camera and a recording device streaming everything it sees and hears while following around NSA deputy director Chris Inglis may not discover that he's a corrupt bureaucrat willing to lie to the public, but it seems like a reasonable "insurance policy" to make sure he stays honest. After all, without that, the American public can't prove that he's not corrupt -- so it seems like a reasonable "insurance policy to cover a seam we can't otherwise cover." At least, in the logic of Chris Inglis.
BTV LAST WORD: BTV's own Maddy points us to Esquire's Charlie Pierce and this Required Reading If you read nothing else this weekend, read Gregory Johnsen's somewhat epic performance on Buzzfeed 60 Words And A War Without End: The Untold Story Of The Most Dangerous Sentence In U.S. History about the original Authorization for the Use of Military Force that came out of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the permanent state of war that one 60-word sentence in that document created in the United States, a phenomenon that the Founders specifically and repeatedly warned against. (Johnsen is the recipient of first Michael Hastings Fellowship, named for the renowned journalist who died in an automobile accident last year.) If nothing else, the piece functions as a very loud warning siren against upending the rule of law and the separation of powers out of fear and panic. War, Mr. Madison cautioned, is "the true nurse of executive aggrandizement." We have traded his wisdom for the undying partisan hackery of apparatchiks like David Addington and John Yoo. It is not a good trade.
    Unbound by time and unlimited by geography, the sentence has been stretched and expanded over the past decade, sprouting new meanings and interpretations as two successive administrations have each attempted to keep pace with an evolving threat while simultaneously maintaining the security of the homeland. In the process, what was initially thought to authorize force against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan has now been used to justify operations in several countries across multiple continents and, at least theoretically, could allow the president - any president - to strike anywhere at anytime. What was written in a few days of fear has now come to govern years of action.
The piece goes on to illustrate with painful clarity a meek and timorous Congress, which had allowed so much of its constitutional war powers to leach into the executive over the previous five decades that most of its members had forgotten how to exercise them at all, let alone how to exercise them at a moment of national trauma. (One pissant aide to a forgettable schlub like Dennis Hastert gets to bulldoze past legitimate constitutional questions because we...must...do...something, and everybody acclaims him a hero.) Congress -- in the persons of Joe Biden and John Kerry, among others -- tries to cover its ass but ends up taking what everybody knows is a dive. And, after the dive, we see Yoo, who should have been kept away from the councils of government for the same reason we keep Charlie Manson out of the cutlery, immediately find a way to renege on a deal that had been cut with the Congress and expand the president's power beyond anything remotely conceived of in the Constitution. .......... Read the whole thing and understand how we got to where we are today, when the president is going to deliver a speech about the NSA revelations, arguing for "reforms" in which there is no good reason to believe. Read the whole thing and see in it the seedbed for unlimited drone warfare and whatever comes after that, which undoubtedly will be worse. Read the whole thing and understand how Abu Ghraib happened and why Gitmo is still open. Read the whole thing and watch the relentless abandonment of self-government over the past 13 years. Read the whole thing and realize that we are no longer even the nation we pretend to be, Read the whole thing and realize how much the late Osama bin Laden actually won.
Excellent read! Plenty more to dig through in the BTV Alerts and all our regulars on all of this and much more! And the Beltway Bubalas will wring their collective hands on Sunday so have your bricks at the ready if you tune in to any of them. NOTE: They won't be discussing the massive poisoning of 300,000+ WVA citizens from the discharge of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol. And we also remind you to check out our award-winning essay BTV Special! 50th Anniversary March for Jobs and Freedom! for Martin Luther King Day as well as Washington's Blog MLK ASSASSINATED BY US GOVT: King Family civil trial verdict. Looks like we'll be plunging into another deep freeze this week so stay safe and warm and we'll see you next week!





BRICK TEEVEE ALERTS!©

Democracy NOW!

Headlines Monday, Jan. 13, 2014

Headlines Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 Headlines Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 Headlines Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 Headlines Friday, Jan. 17, 2014

GRITtv GRITtv @ www.grittv.org with Laura Flanders
»»» FEATURED SHOW The US Corporate Model Behind the World Economic Crisis "Frankly, American workers won't find jobs if the workers in China, Indonesia and India don't have well paid jobs…" says Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation. ........ more!

BRICK TEEVEE SPORT!©
»»» NFL AFC Championship on CBS Patriot @ Broncos 3:00 pm et Sunday
»»» NFL NFC Championship on FOX 49ers @ Seahawks 6:30 pm et Sunday
»»» NBA on TNT Thursday Doubleheader! Lakers @ Heat 8 pm et then Nuggets @ Trailblazers 10:30 pm et

BRICK TEEVEE ACTION!©
The 1st Amendment is Our Permit Our permit to occupy is The First Amendment. Quickly sign the following statement which will be delivered to mayors, police chiefs and major media across the country:

    Our permit to occupy public squares and parks is in The First Amendment, which affirms "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." When people across the Middle East occupied public squares, leaders in Washington mostly cheered those protesters and warned Middle Eastern governments not to use force to clear them. Those other societies don’t have a First Amendment. Yet Washington affirmed the universal right to assembly and protest. We do have a First Amendment. The force being used to clear nonviolent protesters from public squares in our country is unacceptable. It must stop.

StrikeDebt.org & RollingJubilee.org! A bailout of the people by the people Rolling Jubilee is a Strike Debt project that buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it. Together we can liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal. Debt resistance is just the beginning. Join us as we imagine and create a new world based on the common good, not Wall Street profits. ADDENDUM: Naked Capitalism reports Top Tax Expert Confirms Our Doubts About Occupy Wall Street’s Debt Buying/Forgiveness Scheme

STOP the ACHE NEW WEBSITE! AcheAct.org and Appalachian Community HEALTH EMERGENCY Advocating for government action and protection of the public from the health crisis in mountain top removal communities. The A.C.H.E. Act Is Re-Introduced In The 113th Congress!

    Washington, DC – Today a group of U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers introduced the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act (ACHE Act, H.R. 526) to protect Appalachian families and communities from the nation’s most extreme form of coal mining, mountaintop removal. The Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act’s leading sponsors are Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), joined by original cosponsors Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA), Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Rep. Janice Schakowksy (D-IL), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Rep. Jared Polis (DCO).

Community-Wealth.org community-wealth.org a project of the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland Community-Wealth.org brings together, for the first time, information about the broad range of community wealth building activity. Featuring Overview: The Cleveland Model—How the Evergreen Cooperatives are Building Community Wealth Something important is happening in Cleveland. The Democracy Collaborative—the host of C-W.org—in partnership with the Cleveland Foundation, the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, Shorebank Enterprise Cleveland, the City of Cleveland, and the city's major hospitals and universities—is helping to implement a new model of large-scale worker-owned and community-benefiting businesses. The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative is beginning to build serious momentum in one of the cities most dramatically impacted by the nation's decaying economy. Increasingly, this model is being referred to nationally as The Cleveland Model. Initial planning is now underway to assist other cities in Ohio and nationwide to replicate and adapt this innovative approach to economic development, green job creation, and neighborhood stabilization. Find more many resources at Community-Wealth.org!

NET NEUTRALITY! SaveTheInternet.com Declaration of Internet Freedom Tired of fighting bad bills like SOPA, PIPA and CISPA? Want to stand up against those who are trying to control what we do and say online? It's time for something different. A group of more than 1,500 organizations, academics, startup founders and tech innovators has come together to produce a Declaration of Internet Freedom, a set of five principles that put forward a positive vision of the open Internet. Our goal: Get millions of Internet users to sign on to this Declaration. Build political power for Internet users to make sure that we get a seat at the table whenever, and wherever, the future of the Internet is being decided. It's time to stop playing defense and start going on the offensive. The open Internet is central to people’s freedom to communicate, share, advocate and innovate in the 21st century. But powerful interests want to censor free speech, block the sharing of information, hinder innovation and control how Internet users get online. And all too often, people in power are making political decisions behind closed doors about how the Internet should operate — and they're doing this without the involvement of actual Internet users. The result: policies that could close down the open Internet and destroy our freedom to connect. It’s time for us to reclaim the Internet for its users. Take action now and sign the Declaration of Internet Freedom. ACTION! Meet the New CISPA. Same as the Old CISPA. Last year, thanks to a public outcry, the effort to pass overreaching cybersecurity legislation stalled in the Senate. Now supporters have reintroduced the House version of that legislation — the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The “new” version is in fact identical to the original CISPA — and poses the same threat to our digital civil liberties. If CISPA becomes law, it will be a major blow to our online privacy. But more than that, CISPA’s passage would have a chilling effect on our freedom to connect online. We won’t feel as free to state unpopular opinions, or to speak truth to power, if we know that Big Brother could get a feed of everything we say and do. This is not what the free and open Internet is about. We must tell Congress: Vote NO on CISPA and bury this bill for good.

NEW!!! Stop Media Consolidation! Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski is trying to change the agency’s ownership rules to pave the way for Murdoch to get exactly what he wants. Worse, Genachowski and Murdoch are keeping this all very hush-hush, hoping you won't notice.3 These changes wouldn’t just benefit Murdoch. If the FCC proposal passes, one company could own the major daily newspaper, two TV stations and up to eight radio stations in your town. And that one company could be your Internet provider, too. What is the FCC thinking?!? We can still stop the agency from taking this perilous step — but we have less than a month to do it. By taking action, you’re joining a movement of millions who are working to stop big media from getting even bigger. Please take action today. Click HERE to view our infographic and send a message to the FCC! More info at Another FCC Cave-In: Julius Genachowski’s Media Consolidation Christmas Gift to Murdoch at StopTheCap.com! And Sign Senator Bernie Sanders petition to the FCC Protect Media Diversity: Stop Media Consolidation!

CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA'S FUTURE American Majority Rejects Washington Austerity Consensus – And We Demand Media Coverage by Roger Hickey, President, Campaign for America's Future: No more silent majority. The Campaign for America’s Future is joining with the Center for Economic and Policy Research (whose Co-Director, Dean Baker blogs regularly about economic bias in the media) and with FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) to monitor the media’s coverage and representation of the American Majority views as they go into covering the big deficit fight. But we want to enlist YOU too. Send us accounts of unbalanced coverage in the national media and in your local newspapers and television. Call up reporters, editors, assignment people and tell them when they are under-representing the views of the American Majority. We should have at least half the experts, pundits, quotes and real people represented in their coverage. In a debate as important as the one we are going into, we can’t allow the media to ignore the American Majority. Much more at www.ourfuture.org

MOVE TO AMEND! www.movetoamend.org SIGN HERE NOW! And check out more actions on the Move to Amend Calendar for more! Also visit Rep Alan Grayson's site www.savedemocracy.net GET INVOLVED! And Alan Grayson is BACK in the 113th Congress! Help out at CongressmanWithGuts.com and check out his latest effort DontAttackSyria.com!

REPRESENT.US IT’S TIME TO GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS SO THE GOVERNMENT CAN REPRESENT US. Represent.Us is a fresh campaign to pass the American Anti-Corruption Act: a law that would overhaul campaign finance, impose strict lobbying and conflict of interest laws, and end secret political money. We are mobilizing millions of Americans — conservatives and progressives, young and old, every issue group fighting K Street, online and offline — to join this campaign. Represent.Us is not just building a movement to pass the Act. The campaign will use hard-hitting accountability tactics to unseat politicians who fail to endorse the Act. If passed, the Act will completely reshape American politics and policy-making and give people a voice. See this Guest Blog at Greenpeace by Executive Director Josh Silver The $6 Billion Auction: Finally, A Plan to Get Money Out of Politics for more information!

SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT See CourageToResist.org and Bradley Manning Support Network From the Bradley Manning Support Network Announcing the Private Manning Support Network! August 26, 2013, By attorney David Coombs and the Private Manning Support Network (formerly the Bradley Manning Support Network). Additional clarification on PVT Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning's request regarding her gender and name. With your continued support, our network will continue its advocacy efforts in support our heroic WikiLeaks whistle-blower through this new phase of her life. ....... UPDATE! Based on NYT criteria, Snowden and Manning deserve clemency January 10, 2014. By the Private Manning Support Network. Last week, the New York Times editorial board thrilled government transparency advocates worldwide when they released an article calling on President Obama to grant clemency to Edward Snowden. The same criteria all apply equally to Chelsea Manning. ..... AND Update 1/14/13: Public pressure works! Sign these petitions today Public pressure resulted in Chelsea's transfer from the abusive command at Quantico prison where she endured what the UN asserts was "cruel, inhuman and degrading" pretrial punishment. Last week another prisoners conditions were significantly improved after demonstrations by the public. Demonstrate your support for Chelsea Manning today! .....

DONATE YOUR OLD CELL PHONES TO T.J. MARTELL FOUNDATION Help save lives. Donate your old & used iPhone, Blackberries, Droid and other phones to help the T.J. Martell Foundations fund life-saving cancer & AIDS research. For more information, go to www.tjmartellfoundation.org

CELLULAR PHONE TASK FORCE EDUCATION, ADVOCACY, SUPPORT at CellPhoneTaskForce.org The Cellular Phone Task Force is dedicated to halting the expansion of wireless technology because it cannot be made safe. We provide: education to the public concerning electromagnetic pollution (electrosmog); advocacy for an electromagnetically cleaner environment; support for individuals disabled by radiation from wireless technology and other sources. WATCH THIS MOVIE at Top Documentary Films Resonance: Beings of Frequency Now we live an an ocean of electromagnetic radiation. It’s all around us now, invisible, but we know it’s there. Every time you lift up your mobile phone you know it’s there. It is very hard to turn the clock back, in fact it is impossible, but we need to be aware of the adverse health effects so that we can have the choice of taking precautions against the exposures. How we could have possibly thought that putting microwaves to our brain was safe. We just don’t fully understand what we’re doing. "Resonance: Beings of Frequency" is the first documentary to investigate the actual mechanisms by which mobile phone technology can cause cancer. The film takes a deeper look at how humanity is reacting to the most profound environmental change the planet has ever seen. Read more HERE!!

B R I C K T E E V E E
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The essential guide for watching government propaganda!
THEY report. YOU throw bricks.©
Get your Foam Bricks at ThrowThings.com HERE!
IRAQ: 4,486 US Military Dead as of April 21, 2012
AFGHANISTAN: 2,308 US Military Dead as of Jan. 17, 2014
The Obameter: Tracking Obama's Campaign Promises
MOCKINGBIRD: The Subversion Of The Free Press By The CIA
Who Owns The Media? The 6 Monolithic Corporations That Control Almost Everything We Watch, Hear And Read
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media at informationclearinghouse
R.I.P. Peter Wintonick "Manufacturing Consent" Director Peter Wintonick Dead at 60

  • This Week (ABC) Host George Stephanopoulos
    • Russian President Vladimir Putin
    • House Homeland Security Committee Chair Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas
    • ROUNDTABLE: political odd couple James Carville and Mary Matalin, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, New Yorker editor David Remnick, and television and radio host Tavis Smiley.


  • Face The Nation (CBS) Host Bob Schiefer
    • Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich.
    • Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.
    • former National Security Advisor Tom Donilon
    • former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell.
    • ROUNDTABLE: Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post, Christi Parsons of the Los Angeles Times, and David Sanger of the New York Times.


  • 60 Minutes (CBS)
    The Fox 'News'-ification of CBS News and '60 Minutes': 'The Cleantech Crash'
    • Coming Up Sunday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. ET/PT
    • 60 Minutes Presents: Tales of Survival - Two tales of survival -- one about an American who nearly lost her life in Africa, the other about Africans who found their lives in America.


  • Meet the Press (NBC) Host David Gregory
    Microsoft, NBC News Dissolve MSNBC.com Joint Venture NBC is buying Microsoft's 50 percent interest in the MSNBC website for an undisclosed amount. MSNBC.com will be rebranded as NBCNews.com, and readers who logged into MSNBC.com late Sunday were automatically redirected to NBCNews.com. Microsoft is preparing to launch its own news service this fall. Although he declined to provide many details about the operation general manager of MSN.com Bob Visse said the news staff will be about the same size as the roughly 100 people who created original content for the MSNBC.com. "There is no question that we are going to have more flexibility to make our own decisions," said Vivian Schiller, NBC News' chief digital officer. "This is really an amicable breakup. We think competition will make us better." Okay then.
    • Congressional Intelligence Committee Chairs Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI)
    • Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
    • Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian
    • Former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Robert Gates
    • New Jersey State Assembly Transportation Committee chairman John Wisniewski (D) shares the latest on his investigation of the • George Washington Bridge controversy
    • Christie Defender Rudy Giuliani
    • ROUNDTABLE: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, NBC political analyst and former Obama adviser David Axelrod, The Washington Post’s Nia-Malika Henderson and NBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell.


  • State of the Union With Candy Crowley (CNN) Sunday at 9 am ET and Noon ET.
    • House Intelligence Chair Mike Rogers (R-MI)
    • Senator Angus King
    • ROUNDTABLE: CNN Commentator Donna Brazile joins Republican Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson with Time’s Michael Crowley (no relation to Candy).


  • HEAD ON RADIO with Bob Kincaid
    HEAD ON
    Headon Radio with Bob Kincaid 6 PM Eastern, 3 PM Pacific, 2300 GMT. Duration: 3 hrs. To be part of Conversation Radio call toll-free (877) 443-2366, or use our Liberal community line at 304-658-3333. Email bob [at] headonradio [dot] com during the show!
    • MORAN MONDAY! Bob continues updates on the WVA Freedom Industries chem leak! Pull up a cold one! Listen NOW HERE - Monday, January 13th, 2014 (mp3)! Amen to the White Rose Society! Bob's show archives at the White Rose HERE! Keep Bob on the air! Donate to Head On HERE! And join Coal River Mountain Watch at www.crmw.net!


  • YOUR GREEN NEWS REPORT With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen!
    desi-n-bradCBSFoxNewsChannel_60Minutes
    The Green News Report with Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen: 6 minutes of green news, politics, analysis & snarky comment! BOOKMARK greennews.bradblog.com NOW!
    'Green News Report' - January 16, 2014 IIN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Unprecedented drought & wildfires in California; Unprecedented heat shuts down Australian Open; EPA smacks down Alaska's proposed Pebble Mine; Putting all the sh*t in Washington DC to good use!; PLUS: The impacts of the toxic chemical spill in West Virginia still flowing ... All that and more in today's Green News Report! IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links at site): World may have to suck gases from air to meet climate goals; TPP: WikiLeaks exposes what Obama's secret trade deal would do to the environment; Italy's government agrees to send in Army against mafia dumps; Floods and landslides in Southeast Asia; Keystone XL: TX high court gives hope to landowners in eminent domain fight; Massive Antarctic glacier has entered 'irreversible' melt ... PLUS: D. R. Tucker: Resentment Rules the Right - 'there are plenty of permanently ignorant people who actually want to be misinformed and lied to' ... and much, MUCH more! ...
    'Green News Report' - January 14, 2014 IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Tap water ban lifted in West Virginia after chemical spill, but serious questions remain; Dim bulbs in U.S. Congress; Solar beats natural gas in Minnesota; Google is moving into your house; PLUS: New Jersey's last wilderness saved from fossil fuels (and maybe even from Chris Christie!) ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
    • BRADBLOG UPDATE! VIDEO! Springsteen & Fallon Destroy Christie on 'BridgeGate' We now appear to be entering the 'National Joke' phase of the Chris Christie scandal. That's not a good sign for a (former?) 2016 Presidential front-runner. [MUST WATCH!]...
    • BRADBLOG UPDATE! Civil Libertarians Hopeful but Dubious About NSA Reforms As usual, rather than offer much-needed sweeping reform, our President attempts to split the baby, leaving almost nobody particularly happy about any of it...
    • BRADCAST! Following the 'BridgeGate' Money & the Poison in WV Bryan Murphy, former employee of David Wildstein, the man who shutdown the GWB in Christie's 'BridgeGate' on the "billion dollar development" that may explain it all; PLUS: Bob Kincaid from WV on the chemical spill...
    • BRADBLOG UPDATE! VIDEO! Christie's Implausible Deniability and Maddow's Alternate Theory Why doesn't the NJ Governor seem to want to know what really happened? An alternate scandal theory could offer answers...


  • The Peter B. Collins Show PODCAST!
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    Listen at PeterBCollins.com!
    The Peter B. Collins Show covers American news and politics from the Left Coast. Veteran talk radio personality Peter B. Collins, based in San Francisco, delivers fresh interviews, commentary and analysis on a range of important topics, with views and voices you don’t often find in the corporate media.
    Holiday Break and Website Changes
      To my valued listeners: We are making some changes to the website and our terms, effective in January. We will continue to offer free podcasts–my new daily news and commentary. Our in-depth interviews will be available for $1 per episode, or to subscribers who pay $5 per month or more. Loyal listeners who simply can’t afford it should send an email to peter@peterbcollins.com, as we will be offering a limited number of scholarships to our friends who are hurting during these tough times. More information will be posted as we complete the revisions. I’m grateful to each of you for listening and supporting this work, and hope that the new model will enable us to keep it going well into the future. All the best, -pbc
    • Peter B Collins, Truthout | Op-Ed An Insider's View of the Progressive Talk Radio Devolution
    • PBC News & Comment 16 Jan 2014 PBC News & Comment: Poll Shows 59% of Americans Want NSA Reform Obama is expected to propose minor reforms to surveillance in speech, as strong majorities express distrust of government and Obama….
    • PBC News & Comment 17 Jan 2014 PBC News & Comment: Obama’s NSA Reforms Fall Short of Lowered Expectations; Gary Chew Comments on Oscar Nominees Obama’s long-awaited speech on reforming domestic surveillance is all talk, no substance, demonstrated serious lack of leadership; Chew on Oscars….
    • PBC Standard Podcast January 14, 2014Part 1, NSA Whistleblowers Bill Binney and Tom Drake Explain Their Open Memo to President Obama No Subscription Required Preview Clip Former top NSA officials William Binney and Thomas Drake expand on their 18-page memo to Obama detailing corruption, profiteering and illegal acts–and reject claim that metadata could have prevented 9/11.
    • PBC Standard Podcast January 15, 2014Part 2: Former NSA Officials Binney and Drake Explain Their 21-Point Agenda for Real Intelligence Reform No Subscription Required. In part 2 of our exclusive interview with William Binney and Thomas Drake, we review, point by point, their 21-point plan to truly reform our intelligence practices into constitutional compliance.


  • Ring of Fire Radio
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    Find us at http://ringoffireradio.com and http://goleft.tv/ hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder
    Ring of Fire Radio - GoLeft TV - Robert F. Kennedy, Mike Papantonio, Sam Seder - Politics, Commentary, and News.
    This Weekend on Ring of Fire Radio! January 17, 2014 Saturdays at 3 o’clock Eastern, rebroadcasts Sunday nights at 8 pm Eastern. Best of Ring of Fire Radio!
    • Author Thomas Frank will tell us why the stalemate in Washington, D.C. can be blamed equally on both Republicans AND Democrats.
    • Alexis Goldstein will tell us what the Volcker Rule will mean for investor protections.
    • And author Ed Caudill will be here to tell us why creationists have been so successful in their war on the teaching of evolution.
    • NEW! This Week on Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV! January 18, 2014 Sundays at NOON!
    »» Attorney Joe Cotchett will talk about the need for a renewed fight against poverty in America.
    »» Author Michael T. Klare will debunk the energy industry’s claims that peak oil is a myth.
    »» Attorney Howard Nations will tell us about the rise of “workplace loans,” and how they trap employees.
    »» And Ring of Fire co-host Sam Seder will be here to talk about the Chris Christie bridge closure scandal, and what it could mean for his future political career.
    Ring of Fire’s Weekly Rewind Posted on December 21, 2013 by Joshua Schwitzerlett - Ring of Fire’s top stories from the past week.
    • VIDEO! THE HISTORY OF CORPORATE CORRUPTION & FRAUD with Robert Kennedy Jr & Mike Papantonio “Call us if you have a personal story about Fraud on Taxpayers or False Claims for Payment made by Corportations at 1-866-389-FIRE (3473) or contact us by email at info@ringoffireradio.com if you have evidence of fraud that robbed taxpayer dollars. If our government is paying too much due to fraud by a corporation, Ring of Fire wants to do a story on it.”
    Ring of Fire’s Weekly Rewind Posted on January 4, 2014 by Joshua Schwitzerlett
    • VIDEO! Pap and Seder: Regulations Mean Nothing In West Virginia (VIDEO) Ring of Fire’s Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder discuss the recent chemical spill that placed West Virginia in a state of emergency, and how the substandard regulation laws in the state contributed to the disaster.
    • VIDEO! RFK, Jr. and Seder: Water Crisis Shows Our Regulatory Flaws (VIDEO) Ring of Fire’s Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder discuss the nearly catastrophic chemical spill in West Virginia, and how the incident speaks a louder message for environmental regulations in the United States.
    • Join our blog at www.ringoffireradio.com. You can now SUBSCRIBE TO OUR PODCAST by clicking on the "Podcast" tab at the top of the Ring of Fire blog. Please help support progressive radio by signing up! Ring of Fire Radio Ring of Fire, hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder: Saturdays at 3 o’clock Eastern, rebroadcasts 7-10 et Sunday evenings on Chicago's Progressive Talk WCPT AM & FM and 4 pm et on Sirius/XM 167 featuring The PAP Attack! "We’ll bring you the stories that the mainstream media didn’t feel like reporting this week."


  • Majority Report with Sam Seder Streaming LIVE weekdays 12 NOON et @ Majority.fm!

    • MONDAY 1/13/14 Daniel Levy: The Real Legacy of Ariel Sharon
    • TUESDAY 1/14/14 David J. Blacker: The Falling Rate of Learning and the Neoliberal Endgame
    • WEDNESDAY 1/15/14 Tom Philpott: The Real Reasons To Be Afraid of GMOs
    • THURSDAY 1/16/14 Tanner Colby: SNL’s Race Problem is America’s Too
    • FRIDAY 1/17/14 Casual Friday: Cliff Schecter & Judy Gold
    • MORE Podcast Interviews at majorityfm.libsyn.com!


  • KEISER REPORT Podcasts and more @ MaxKeiser.com!
    maxheaderhiyall
    "HI Y'ALL! Tell the people! Tell the people!"
    WHO IS MAX KEISER? Max Keiser is a financial expert, Prediction Markets analyst, inventor and filmmaker. He is the creator of the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX) the first Prediction Market. Max Keiser co-hosts "The Truth About Markets" on ResonanceFM 104.4 in London. He also produces and presents documentary films covering markets and finance for Al Jazeera’s "People & Power" series. Max Keiser started his career on Wall Street in 1983. He is the creator of KarmaBanque a site that enables activists to challenge corporate power.
    • VISIT PirateMyFilm.com!!! Crowd Funding for Pirates!
    • MaxKeiserTV on YouTube! MaxKeiserTV
    KEISER REPORT ON FACEBOOK STACY SUMMARY: For once and for all, here are our real Facebook pages, the other ones are fake. But if you feel like chatting to the fake ones, by all means, go ahead.
    »» Max Keiser
    »» Keiser Report
    »» Stacey Herbert
    The Federal Reserve 100th Anniversary Road Show Spectacular! by alexschaefer - Paint Provocateur Alex Schaefer wants to say “Happy Birthday, Federal Reserve!’ You made it to 100 years of conducting the nation’s monetary policy! Since mainstream media didn’t send a card, a painter, a protestor, a filmmaker, a freedom fighter and a mad crew are going on a road trip across the USA to visit all twelve of your branches to help you celebrate! Come rain or monkey shines, they are on a mission to throw the birthday party nightmares are made of. A party to highlight the historic END of the original 100 year charter the Federal Reserve Bank has with the U.S. Government December 23rd, 2013! CLICK HERE FOR THE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN & HELP GET THE SHOW ON THE ROAD! Lots of great donation perks, all original works of art by Alex Schaefer and Cain Motter! This is a great way to collect some art AND help fund this amazing journey and film. It’s a win-win situation! Let’s some history and shake things up around here!
    Assange: How cryptography is a key weapon in the fight against empire states by maxkeiser - READ What began as a means of retaining individual freedom can now be used by smaller states to fend off the ambitions of larger ones (guardian.co.uk)
    China Expands Gold Reserves, Surges Past Italy & France in Ranking by Stacy Herbert - Stacy Summary: Looking more and more likely that the 5,000 – 6,000 tonne estimates are true. Back in 2008 when we broke the Bundesbank gold story, we were told by people at the Bundesbank that China likely had more gold than Germany. READ China Expands Gold Reserves, Surged Past Italy & France in Ranking
    Bushfires in South Australia, wildfires in California by Stacy Herbert
    West Virginia Chemical Spill Company Files For Bankruptcy Protection; Americans #WINNING #TigerBlood by Stacy Herbert - Stacy Summary: The sort of American that votes in West Virginia demands the sort of lax regulation in which sort of company thrives; so while theoretically, in a democracy, you get the consequences you deserve – I’m sure there are quite a few who are not creationist morons in the area. Alas, when you are surrounded by such gullible sorts who buy any guff the allegedly “Freedom” loving corporations push, you get the same toxic cancer causing spills caused by the idiots around you who believe in the propaganda merely because the company calls themselves ‘Freedom.’ This item below means that the company involved will not be responsible for paying for cleanup; but as West Virginia is dirt poor, they will not be able to pay either. This means the federal taxpayer will have to pay; which means, of course, the ‘liberal,’ ‘femi-nazi’ states like Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, Oregon, etc – ie net contributors to federal government – will have to pay for red state dummies. Again.........
    The International Criminal Court has been asked to investigate allegations of abuse and torture by British soldiers in Iraq by maxkeiser
    • KEISER REPORT [KR549] Keiser Report: Shrinkflation We discuss the moral sink estate that is the City of London where dealers sell debt crack on street corners and many old ladies have their pensions stolen. They also discuss the corruption of the leveraged buyout whereby now whole nations are stolen using the nation’s own assets and resources as collateral and now, with the TPP deal, the globe is about to be taken for cheap. In the second half, Max interviews investment adviser, Pippa Malmgren, a politics and policy expert who used to be Special Assistant to the President of the United States for Economic Policy on the National Economic Council and former member of the US President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. They discuss ‘shrinkflation,’ inflation and the Plunge Protection team.
    • KEISER REPORT [KR550] Keiser Report: Pimping USA We discuss the pimps from the Pacific Northwest of America who claim to have no idea just how dangerous their products are to innocent bystanders – like the backdoors in Skype which are dangerous weapons against Constitutional rights or the holes in the internet which leave it vulnerable to malware that turns users into bitcoin slaves. In the second half, Max interviews Arjen Kamphuis about tinfoil as the new black and intelligence agency click fraud as the new payment system for co-operation with corporate and industrial espionage.
    • KEISER REPORT [KR551] Keiser Report: Capitalism 2.0 We discuss Bitcoin 2.0. The currency application of Bitcoin was version 1.0, now there are dozens of new and innovative ideas riding the blockchain and, in the process, creating Capitalism 2.0. In the second half, Max interviews Reggie Middleton of BoomBustBlog.com about his own Bitcoin 2.0 application for hedging. Reggie says that if Bitcoin were a car, it would be one which also comes with its own road and which can go faster than any other car on the road and pay no tolls – it is an intelligent currency, unlike dumb fiat.
    • THE TRUTH ABOUT MARKETS [TaM-1302] The Truth About Markets – 11 January 2014 Stacy Summary: First episode of 2014! We discuss the recent Keiser Report interview with Kim Dotcom; their observations on Jacob Applebaum’s talk at Chaos Computer Club conference about the NSA spying programs – Turbine and Turmoil. They also talk about the role of corporations like Microsoft and Yahoo degrading the infrastructure and security of the internet. And they ask what hope is there when Bill Gates is voted the ‘most admired person in the world.’ Download show HERE (mp3)
    • Donate to ResonanceFM here!


  • The Scott Horton Radio Show
    scotthorton
    Scott Horton is host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles and KUCR 88.3 in Riverside, and the Scott Horton Show on No Agenda Radio. (You can listen live Monday through Friday from 3-5 PM Eastern HERE.) Plenty of archives too!
    • Scott Horton Radio Show Progress Report: All right, yall, welcome back to the show to the inaugural Scott Horton Show progress report! It’s been an eventful year since the show and I (amicably) parted ways with Antiwar.com, so I thought I would highlight just a few of the show’s important milestones, as well as preview some of the exciting projects to look for in the near future. ........ The show on Pacifica KPFK 90.7 FM in L.A., still called Antiwar Radio, has now moved to join their Sunday morning public affairs line up (8:30 am pt), and remains the largest source of listeners, with 15,000-20,000 people tuning in weekly. The future: Liberty Express Radio is growing and bringing me along for the ride. The great Charles Goyette hooked me up with Alan Butler and the Liberty Express earlier this year, and what has been the daily replay there from 3-5 eastern time has become my best listened-to show. And now they’re adding my friend Tom Woods to the lineup from 2-3 PM. That does it. I’m making the switch! Starting Monday, October 14, the live show is moving to 3-5 PM Eastern time on LibertyExpressRadio.com, as well as NoAgenda and my own stream.......
    • Scott Horton Radio Show 01/16/14 Trevor Timm: Trevor Timm, co-founder and executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, discusses the addition of whistleblower Edward Snowden to their board of directors; how government employees can submit leaks with SecureDrop and remain anonymous; combining tech solutions and legislation to rein in the NSA; and how the Espionage Act prevents Snowden from getting a fair jury trial if he returns to the US.
    • Scott Horton Radio Show 01/16/14 Michael Ratner: Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights, discusses the mainstream media’s talk of clemency for Edward Snowden, and why Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, and Jeremy Hammond deserve – but aren’t getting – the same recognition.
    • Scott Horton Radio Show 01/17/14 Marcy Wheeler:Blogger Marcy Wheeler discusses Obama’s predictably disappointing speech on NSA reforms; the “pixie dust” Presidential Policy Directive; the Third-Party Doctrine’s attack on privacy; and how the NSA’s offensive cyber warfare degrades internet security for everyone.
    • Visit his blog Stress. See ScottHorton.org for archives! Send emails to Scott at scotthorton.org to help Scott keep his podcast going!
    • Older interviews at Antiwar Radio!


  • fauxnews
    • Sen Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
    • Gen Michael Hayden, former head of the CIA and NSA
    • David Kennedy, founder of TrustedSec


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