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Archive for August, 2011

Glass Houses

h/t to dancewater

 

Out Of That Interrogation Room, You Readers

Censored by the CIA

A 23-year veteran of the agency reveals how the vetting process is used to stifle critics of the war on terror

Salon, August 30, 2011

(excerpt)

Because Carle knew and even respected some individuals on the board, he felt that its members were exceptionally (and perhaps recklessly) candid with him. At one point, a man standing next to him at a urinal remarked, “Don’t you realize that people could go to jail for this?” referring to passages in “The Interrogator” where Carle alludes to detention and interrogation practices he regards as illegal.

The two things a former CIA officer is instructed to keep secret, Carle says, are “sources and methods.” However, like Soufan, he soon discovered that the PRB had no intention of stopping there. “They told me, ‘We will not allow you to take the reader into the interrogation room. We will not allow you to make the prisoner a human being. To the extent that we can, we will take out anything that gives him a personality.’ I couldn’t say I saw fear in his eyes, or that he was a middle-aged man. They had no right to take that out. But they did.”

 

Banished By The Trolls

The Election March of the Trolls (Chris Hedges, TruthDig)

Chris Hedges appears to have been reading a lot of the same stuff I have, as this article sums up a lot of it. They won, we lost, we can’t effect change through established channels anymore. They own all of it now.

Remember the days when we spoke of the importance of electing more and better Democrats? Well, one might argue that there are still a few at the federal level who aren’t afraid to stand up on their hind legs and speak truth to power. One must be fair.

Still, it does become a matter of where one puts one’s energy, what one’s priorities are. Hedges flat-out calls for turning one’s back on the Democratic Party in this piece, arguing that the “corporate trolls” play us with fears of Republican crazies, ensuring we dutifully turn out to the voting booths and vote in people who, for whatever reasons, don’t manage to make the kinds of changes we need, right now, not some indeterminate time further on down the line.

It’s a very well written piece.

We get to choose the rhetoric and manner in which we are deceived and disempowered. Nothing more.

A society is in serious trouble when its political pariahs have at the core of their demands a return to the rule of law.

 

Tim DeChristopher Speaks Out

US eco-activist Tim DeChristopher speaks out from prison

The Guardian, today

Tim DeChristopher was jailed for two years in July for disrupting an oil and gas industry auction.

(excerpt from letter)

It is now accepted as a basic fact of our criminal justice system that a defendant who exercises his or her right to a jury trial will be punished at sentencing for doing so. Transferring power from citizens to government happens when the role of citizens gets eliminated in the process.

Tim DeChristopher’s official statement at his sentencing here.

(excerpt)

The reality is not that I lack respect for the law; it’s that I have greater respect for justice. Where there is a conflict between the law and the higher moral code that we all share, my loyalty is to that higher moral code. I know Mr Huber disagrees with me on this. He wrote that “The rule of law is the bedrock of our civilized society, not acts of ‘civil disobedience’ committed in the name of the cause of the day.” That’s an especially ironic statement when he is representing the United States of America; a place where the rule of law was created through acts of civil disobedience. Since those bedrock acts of civil disobedience by our founding fathers, the rule of law in this country has continued to grow closer to our shared higher moral code through the civil disobedience that drew attention to legalized injustice. The authority of the government exists to the degree that the rule of law reflects the higher moral code of the citizens, and throughout American history, it has been civil disobedience that has bound them together.

 

Never Too Old For Graffiti

Germany’s Older Generations Take Up Graffiti

by Alison Kilian
via Spiegel Online International.

“Seniors with Spraycans.” Old dogs, meet new tricks.

(h/t to The Awl)

“I thought if graffiti can help motivate uninterested teenagers, then maybe it can also motivate seniors,” Hinz told SPIEGEL ONLINE. “It’s important for them to stay active.” She contacted the youth group’s organizer, who visited the Mosaik Kreis for a day of spraying along with one of the young graffiti artists.

The project was a success but there were some bumps in the road, admits Hinz: “Some of the seniors were bothered by the spray paint — they kept saying how bad it smelled.”

The generational interchange promoted by many senior graffiti courses can also be beneficial, says Anders. Both Jutta Hinz and Stephanie Hanna cite a desire to bridge the generation gap as one motivation behind their senior graffiti courses. “Seniors often have this negative attitude about ‘the young people these days,’ while young people often feel disconnected from their elders,” notes Hinz. “We wanted to facilitate communication.”

 

How To Prepare For The Pulling Of Plugs

How To Communicate If The Government Shuts Down The Internet

Dprogram.net, last February. Comprehensive overview on ways to prepare for having our current Internet tit taken away, or otherwise heavily compromised.

Most of this is well beyond my pay grade, but I link it here because this is important stuff. Here are the headings of the sections, with a few excerpts.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

MAKE YOUR NETWORK TANGIBLE

BROADCAST ON THE RADIO

TELEPHONE

FAX

NON-VIRTUAL BULLETIN BOARD

FIND THE PRIVATELY RUN ISPs

RETURN TO DIAL-UP

According to an article in the BBC about old tech’s role in the Egyptian protests, “Dial-up modems are one of the most popular routes for Egyptians to get back online. Long lists of international numbers that connect to dial-up modems are circulating in Egypt thanks to net activists We Re-Build, Telecomix and others.”

AD-HOC NETWORKING

BUILD LARGE BRIDGED WIRELESS NETWORK

Using popular wireless access point devices like a Linksys WRT54G, you can create a huge wireless bridged network — effectively creating a Local Area Network (LAN), or a private Internet that can be utilized by all users within range using a Wi-Fi enabled device.

NINTENDO DS

INTRANET

BECOME UNTRACEABLE

GET SATELLITE ACCESS

BACK TO BASICS

Make some noise: Have an air horn or other loud instrument handy. It may just come down to being able to alert people in your local geographic area, who would otherwise be unaware of an emergency. You may also want to learn a bit about Morse code and have a cheat sheet available.

 

Migrations

Raptors

Raptor Migration

(photocredit: Ed Park)

John Lennon

(Imagine)

 

Anonymous To Occupy Wall Street September 17

 

Sell Lemonade – Go To Jail

h/t to Eddie C

 

DOE Looking at Carlsbad WIPP for Plutonium Disposal

WIPP site being considered for DOE plutonium disposal

CARLSBAD — The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad is being eyed as a potential site for the disposal of surplus plutonium by the Department of Energy.

The material represents approximately 13 metric tons (MT) of surplus plutonium, including about 7 MT from retired nuclear weapons and 6 MT of non-pit plutonium. A “pit” is the plutonium core of a nuclear weapon, while “non-pit” plutonium comprises plutonium oxides or metals that existed when the Cold War ended.

The material under consideration for potential disposal at the WIPP facility is 6 MT of surplus non-pit plutonium to be moved from the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina. It could be disposed of as transuranic (TRU) waste at WIPP in the same way other TRU waste is disposed of currently.

They’re talking 7-10 years from now. I suspected this kind of thing was likely to happen, and more would not surprise me.