Cenk V. Harris

Below is my analysis of the debate between Cenk Uygur and Sam Harris in the first hour.

1:00 – 6:00: Right off the bat, Harris laments how Cenk gave Aslan and Werleman a platform to slander him (note: Werleman being outed as a plagiarist happened *after* he was on TYT, as Cenk notes later on). Harris explains how he regrets the “context” of these former interviews by Cenk and that he now has to thus rid himself of “the slime” produced by Aslan/Werleman (instead of talking about his latest book).


Notice that Harris has just simply disregarded the actual content of the critiques produced by Aslan on TYT and elsewhere – which were not ad hominem in the slightest but actually rational and factual – by launching an immediate ad hominem attack himself. Also, notice how Harris is simply lumping Aslan in with Werleman’s plagiarism, or at least something akin to it, without warranting the claim. He then goes on to switch gears into a non-sequitur about Salon, thus not warranting the claim that his person was attacked irrationally by the slime of Aslan/Werleman (which, by definition, is ironically an ad hominem itself).

Mr. Harris speculates how Salon has slandered his person through various articles (he does not cite actual content nor an actual title/author), one of which called him an outright “douchebag.” Harris claims “much of what you read on Salon is just maniacs in the bedroom typing” — Cenk then counters with an excellent point, stating how Harris essentially just generalized about Salon with a broad brush stroke based on these (alleged) several articles that slander his person. Harris quickly and tritely rejects the analogy as not being valid, but, yet again, does not explain how so.  Are we to simply just take his word for it?

Are you noticing a pattern here?

Notice the trend in just the first five minutes of the interview – Harris has made several claims already without backing it up with any actual sound evidence:

1. He claims Aslan/Werleman slandered him and now he must rid himself of “the slime” – but does not warrant this claim at all (implying or equating Werleman’s plagiarism in with Aslan’s alleged slime)
2. He claims Salon has slandered him with several articles and warrants this by offhandedly mentioning one of them (he doesn’t cite which) called him a “douchebag”
3. He rejects Cenk’s excellent analogy re: Harris’ hasty generalization of Salon overall, yet doesn’t say on which grounds, and quickly transitions back into his non-sequitur about Salon, not addressing the details of his original claim that Aslan/Werleman slandered him

6:00 – 7:00: Harris likens the treatment by Salon of Harris to that of Cenk and the TYT but then bizarrely says “but hey man, I trust that we are going to have a good conversation.” Harris just got done likening Salon to a place which promotes lazy maniac writers typing away ad hominem pieces in their bedrooms to that of TYT in one fell swoop and then -on a dime- he does a one-eighty and tries to be congenial and reasonable with Cenk…….

7:00 – 9:00: Harris then casually wades back into his previous critique of Werleman, but notice the mode in which he does so – he projects an attitude that everyone knows Werleman is a “well established fraud and liar” and a “plagiarist.” Cenk of course interjects that he had Werleman on before this came out — yet the damage is done. Harris, in disregarding the chronology, totally just painted a picture as such: “Cenk had invited on a guest that was a well-established fraud and plagiarist and gave him a platform to criticize me.” Unless Harris assumes Cenk ought to have the computational power of Google, this statement is disingenuous on Harris’ part.  But even though Harris just made an inaccurate statement that was corrected by Cenk, he does not retract it — instead in response he has the audacity to imply that it was obvious that this guy Werleman was a fake, thus implicating TYT for not having a similar penchant for clairvoyance.

Also, again, plagiarist or not, Wereleman’s actual argument – the content of it – has yet to be addressed, even though Harris made the claim that he was slandered. Nor is Aslan addressed.  Chalk this up to a red herring.

10:00-12:00: Harris revisits his broad brush denunciation of Salon by stating that it is the place “where journalism goes to die.”  Wow. That may or may not be the definition of “slime” on the part of Harris.  Cenk then interjects and reiterates his previous analogy but this time with gusto and he really does a good job of driving the point home, stating that Harris is doing the exact same thing that he claims Salon is doing by slandering all of Salon. Harris rejects this analogy by offhandedly saying under his breath “this is going nowhere.” Again, Harris seems to think he can just say things without supporting his critiques, and when somebody like Cenk calls him out for it he assumes this heir of utter disbelief. That sounds like a fundamentalist, in a way. I am not saying Harris is a fundamentalist, only that that characteristic is notably a hallmark one of fundamentalism.

12:00 – 20:00: Cenk poses the first question – what, if any, distinction do you, Sam Harris, make between Islam and Muslims? Cenk has several quotes on hand which would suggest that Harris is lumping in Islam as a belief system and actual Muslims living out their own interpretation of that belief as it mingles with cultural traditions. Notice, Cenk has actual facts to back up his assertion, something which Sam Harris has yet to demonstrate, now almost fifteen minutes into the debate (as shown above). Sam Harris actually goes on to make a very nuanced response, upon first blush – in short, he is interested in the range of beliefs people have in response to their belief system of Islam.  From 12:30 – 15:15 I pretty much agree with everything Harris is saying — to be honest, he sounds a lot like Cenk here. However this is *not* what Harris has said in his own literature, which is decidedly more glossed, as Cenk will note.

21:30 – After a tangent about the validity of religions in comparison, Cenk then again pursues his critique about Harris’ claims in detail, which were glossed by Harris in his initial response.

According to Harris’ own words in writing: ‘“Muslim extremism’ is not extreme among Muslims” and that the jihadist is the “best example of Islam in practice.”

Now, compare that statement to the previous thing Harris just said at the 12 minute mark. They are completely different takes which are dualistic and contradictory.  Harris at first says that he is interested in teasing out the range of interpretations in Islam – yet, as Cenk shows, his literature says the complete opposite, that “the militant and violent fringe is itself the core.” The cognitive dissonance is apparent.

25:00 – notice the straw man argument applied to Cenk by Harris. Harris is attempting to argue that Cenk believes that “there is a difference between what people say they believe and their actions.” The example he gives is that while a Muslim might tell a pollster he thinks an apostate should be killed, that doesn’t mean he will do so. But that is not Cenk’s argument, nor is it Aslan’s (given earlier TYT segments).

The poll regarding whether or not Muslims believe in Sharia Law, or the literal truth of Islam, ranks high among Muslims in certain countries, sure, but that is quite different from polling a specific question like “whether or not an apostate should be killed.” In essence, you are asking a believer whether or not they believe in Koranic law – if you polled Christians whether or not they believed in the literal truth of the Bible, it would score high. Actually, a Pew Poll found that 37% believe in the literal truth, as Cenk will later cite.

Now, does that mean 37% believe that homosexuals should be stoned to death or that you can’t mix yer fabrics? No, of course not. Likewise, just because a large percentage of Muslims in Indonesia believe the Koran is the law doesn’t mean they also believe in the killing of an apostate. Things are lost in translation. As Cenk has argued in previous segments, “Sharia law” does not mean you agree with everything, not in practice. It can mean many things: the literal truth of every word; the overall spirit or tenor of the book; or, quite literally, “legislation.” The latter term is actually quite interesting on first blush, as it would suggest wiggle room. Legislation is, by definition, a law as lived by people rather than a law which exists in a vacuum, or a universal and unbending law, for example. Unlike the unilateral and unmitigated truth of the Pope, Muslims are not beholden to one single entity; if one Imam declares a fatwa (legal opinion), then only its local adherents must abide by it; which is to say, if the Muslim that attends a different mosque with a different Imam down the street doesn’t agree with the former Imam’s fatwa, then he doesn’t have to abide by it. That qualitatively seems like a practice of Islam which is way more democratic than the papacy. But of course Sam doesn’t deal with that part of Islam.

32:30 – Harris makes a quite convenient comparison between Jihadists doing horrible things in the ME and Jews in Brooklyn. That is apples and orangutans. How about this comparison: ISIS and the IDF and its latest war of aggression into Gaza which was marked by an illegal collective punishment of all Gazans?

Or how about ISIS and the founding of Israel, where according to Henry Siegman re: noted Jewish historian Benny Morris, during the War of Independence, Israel itself engaged in terrorism.  In order to get Palestinians to flee their homes quicker leader David Ben-Guirion was ordering his major general to line up captured Palestinians against the wall and shoot them. This was actually a common terrorist tactic which predated the War of Independence by fringe Jewish terrorists.

Lastly, according to the FBI’s own stats, since the eighties, regarding the overall pie of terrorist attacks broken down in groups, there is a 6% chance it will be at the hands of a Muslim compared to a 7% chance it will be a Jew.  Would Harris have us profile those in yamakas as well as Bollywood Villains?

Harris is ultimately using selective logic here rather than being consistent across the board.

46:00 – Harris attempts to differentiate Jesus from Muhammad, seeing the latter as a warlord and the former as a guy who willingly and passively went to the cross. Yet Harris should refer to what Harris said a couple minutes earlier, where he admits (offhandedly) that with Christianity you have Christ returning in the end of times and engaging in holy war re: Revelation. Harris wants to conveniently partition off this bit of Christian dogma and see Christ only in terms of the good parts rather than the overall religious belief system, from beginning to end, ending with the rapture and holy war.

Given this logic, if Muhammad was a warlord, as Harris terms it, it was only in a local sense and he still had to deal with finite reality, whereas according to the tenets of Christianity Christ is a death-defying superman zombie cosmic warlord that is going to engulf a third of the earth in flames.

Gee I wonder why Bush and Hitler both waged crusades in such an irrational and genocidal nature, as Cenk is trying to get across? And that is another point: Cenk has given *actual* examples of Christian zealousness: the Crusades; Inquisition; World Wars; Iraq (I would also add Blackwater as well, being the largest contractor in the Iraq war whose CEO, Erik Prince, has publicly stated how he sees himself as doing the Lord’s work in his crusade). Let’s stack up those millions of kills next to Islamic states.  Iran and Saudi Arabia are supposedly the most egregious examples of Sharia. While both regimes have displayed atrocious human rights policies, how many times have they invaded other countries? How many kills? The kill count isn’t even fucking close. Iran hasn’t engaged in a war of aggression since 1826 during the 4th Russo-Persian War. Let’s not kid ourselves here.

Cenk makes an excellent point at the 58:00 minute mark.  He notes the presence of Islamic states and the problem of church and state as one, yet Cenk cites the Ottoman Empire and how even with a religious state it still didn’t en masse massacre those who didn’t believe in Islam.  Instead, it was an empire which allowed for religious autonomy as long as taxes were paid.  The original rise of the Muslim empire, Cenk notes, while brutal in its own ways as it was an empire, was actually more advanced scientifically and politically, during the dawn of the Dark Ages for European Christianity, comparatively speaking (they built libraries, allowed for free religious expression, took in tens and thousands of Jews from the Inquisition).  Harris bounces back with this as being a romanticization of history, and that the Ottomans/Abbasid were not providing a religious utopia — but that is a strawman, as Cenk is not arguing it to be the case.  Rather Cenk is making a comparative analysis between the two religions of Christianity and Islam.

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Dreams of Drones

I have a dream
that one day all races (but especially brown ones) will be powned
by simulator operators reclined in comfy leather armchairs at home
grippin joysticks and sippin hot coffee,
putting the target in your cross-hairs while eating a cinnamon scone —
I, Barack I’ll Bombya, hereby declare
as Executioner-In-Chief
that I lose not a wink of sleep
when I flip through baseball cards of bad guys every week
picking and choosing who to consume with hellfire coolness —
I’ll even greenlight strikes on weddings and funerals —
Fuck it, I’ll even bomb 123 Sesame St. if I have to
then follow the ambulance to the hospital
and pull the plug on Snuffleupagus,
laughing while I watch the encephalograph go flat

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Serial Killer

The court room, a space for humans
To have their law made manifest —
All rise —
fleshy obedient obelisks roused
From quarter-till slumbers —
Tall, proud-ish monuments
Pay their respects
to the black-robed
Withered orb
That paces paces paces to the bench —
You may be seated
The power of those few words:
A thousand little blue pills
For one big throbbing green ego —
But, if you look closely,
a myriad of strings
play about his lips
Pinocchioly unaware —
He’s just the master downstairs

The Legislative —
Engages in highfalutin fuckery
Because they know We The People
Have the attention span of
A squirrel watching a dog
Watch C-Span

The Judicial —
Interprets decades of sleepy reign
As precedence to thumb over
Constitutional norm,
As if it were a yacht club mag

The Executive — a supreme being
Sworn in on a copy of The Prince,
Presuming by virtue of an office title
And occupation of an
oval-shaped fucking room, 
He is thereby able to
target and liquidate
Poor brown Muslim Bedouins
between the ages of 18 to 35,
Routinely on Terror Tuesdays
And with the same weapon every time:
Drones —
All without a shred of due process..

— I’m no psychological profiler but
that sounds a fuck of a lot like an MO

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Speak Truth To Fuckery

Looking at the history of impeachment, time and time again we’ve impeached presidents for all the wrong reasons.

Nixon resigned not because of the secret wars illegally conducted in Laos and Cambodia, but because he was caught bugging the phones of his political adversaries across the aisle and for ordering aides to break into the Democratic party headquarters at the Watergate complex.  Nixon wasn’t cuffed, read his Miranda rights and thrown into the back of a squad car for violating the Constitution, Article 1 Section 8, which states that only Congress has the ability to enact war; nope, instead Nixon was given a catwalk, full media coverage and a fucking helicopter to resign from the White House.  And for the rest of his life, Nixon wasn’t relegated to an 8X10 cell, given some much-need time to reflect on the hundreds of thousands of innocents that were vaporized by massive ordinance dropped by B-52 bombardiers, rather he was given the comfy post-office title of former president, living luxuriously, and from time to time making a media appearance in order to rationalize his brazen lawlessness, such as, “when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”  Only a madman could say something like that with a straight face.

The same goes for Clinton.  Clinton wasn’t impeached for his violation of the War Powers Act when he conducted a languishing air campaign in Kosovo to squash Serbian ethnic cleansing without Congressional authority; notably, the first combat operation conducted for more than sixty days without express congressional authorization, setting the precedent for later presidents like Bush and Obama.  Clinton wasn’t impeached for the economic terrorism waged against Iraq by implementing economic sanctions, which resulted in over half a million innocent deaths due to malnutrition and lack of healthcare.  No, instead he was impeached because he put a cigar where he wasn’t supposed to.  Gasp. How dare he!

And then there is Bush.  I mean, really, take your pick — warrantless wiretaps; offshore penal colonies; torture; wars of aggression.  Yet, here, amazingly enough, there is no impeachment nor resignation to be found.  Actually, given the aforementioned trivial theater politics involving impeachment,  I’m surprised we didn’t move to impeach Bush after he mispronounced the word “nuclear.”

Over the last half century, POTUS has progressively gotten bolder with its actions, and Congress has progressively gotten weaker in turn.  Worse still, the only times when Congress has shown some “spine” in standing up to POTUS it has been for all the wrong reasons.

Presently, Obama too has waged his illegal wars.  His weapon of choice?  Drones.  And just like Nixon, this act of war has been shrouded in secrecy, as Glenn Greenwald recently elaborated upon in the Guardian:

What has made these actions all the more radical is the absolute secrecy with which Obama has draped all of this. Not only is the entire process carried out solely within the Executive branch – with no checks or oversight of any kind – but there is zero transparency and zero accountability. The president’s underlings compile their proposed lists of who should be executed, and the president – at a charming weekly event dubbed by White House aides as “Terror Tuesday” – then chooses from “baseball cards” and decrees in total secrecy who should die. The power of accuser, prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner are all consolidated in this one man, and those powers are exercised in the dark.

Furthermore, according to Obama’s “Disposition Matrix” legalese, the good president retains legal grounds to assassinate individuals based not on any actual link to terrorism but rather on “patterns-of-behavior” analyses alone.  For instance, POTUS would have us believe that some poor Bedouin in Yemen has allegedly been radicalized because of intelligence reports alone, and if we don’t act now he’ll will probably conduct a terrorist attack in the near future because a.) he posted a YouTube video proclaiming “Death to the Great Satan, America!” b.) visited Afghanistan for a “cousins’ wedding” c.) has a shirt that says “I Heart Osama.”  How is this even remotely legal, let alone in any way, shape or form accurate and effective?

Oh my god, unless… — Does Obama have his own Pre-Cogs?? And I thought Minority Report was just a movie!?

Barring Obama having access to any sort of clairvoyance, this ought to be an open-shut case for his immediate removal from office, and for him to face charges of crimes against humanity in international courts.  It’s time we impeach POTUS for the right reasons.  It’s time we stand up and speak truth to fuckery.

If you are with me on this, then link this story to Twitter and include the hashtag #STTF. 

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I Hereby Pinky Swear


MSM is the official PR team of politicians. The media is a hotbed of carefully manufactured rhetoric for the shiny, can-do-no-wrong Hill. Make no mistake, the linguistic formation of their content is organized and skewed toward co-opting the WH. In other words, media is the Goose to Obama’s Maverick.

Take for example ABC anchor Diane Sawyer’s opening salvo about the Syrian conflict during her World News broadcast on August 27:

“The clock is ticking on US military action in Syria. The White House says a decision is near and US warships are in position. And the rest of the world is also joining the debate about what kind of action and exactly when. The goal, to stop a man using brutal chemical weapons 5,000 miles away.”

This opener is rife with careful tinkering of linguistics and symbols in order to square up MSM’s language with that of the Oval Office.

“The clock is ticking on US military action in Syria…”

Right off the bat, the metaphor suggests “we are running out of time and better act quickly, otherwise more blood will be on the hands of US for not acting.” This simply subsumes American as a wing of the UN. Since when do we have a moral responsibility to fulfill international efforts of relief?!

“… The White House says a decision is near and US warships are in position.”

This further assumes military action is unequivocally immanent; the question now is, “just how much military action?” Again, such framing completely glosses the fact that BOTH the UN and British PM have voted down any military action, and that less than 1 out of every 10 Americans supports military action — but this context is cleverly omitted. Even though there’s zero domestic, international and coalition coordination, our military warships are in position?!

Furthermore, military action is immanent but we have yet to see any of the alleged “undeniable” evidence that Assad used chem agents on his people, according to a stern Secretary of State John Kerry. ABC decides to not frame this key element. War is staring us in the face and yet our media is not asking, demanding for evidence to warrant its very own logic for war??! This directly contradicts ABC’s very function as an outlet of media to report the facts and remain as objective as possible. Therefore, this suggests they are more or less in public relations for the Hill.

“…And the rest of the world is also joining the debate about what kind of action and exactly when.”

ABC has licked their finger and held it up to gauge the wind of the stale, neutral space found inside agitprop imaginarium of bloated elitists that wish to police the world with gaseous promises of peace.

There is no debate to be had here, Diane, because no facts have been brought to the table; only a pinky swearing Secretary of State.

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War Is, Has, and Always Will Be a Racket


Three simple reasons why we shouldn’t go to war with Syria:

1. War is a racket. This is the crucial foundation for all the below reasons as to why we shouldn’t go to war with Syria. Retired United States Marine Corps Major General and two time Medal of Honor recipient Smedly D. Butler gave a speech in 1935 entitled “War is a Racket,” where he said the following:

“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”

Butler’s prescience is underscored when one looks at the gargantuan profits made by the German subsidiaries of JP Morgan, IBM, Standard Oil (to name a few) during WWII. War is indeed something which seeks out profits; even when shamefacedly made from building Panzer Tanks, supplying oil and producing the punch cards for the Holocaust so that the trains could run on time (see The Untold History of the United States – these are just the facts. Some corporations even went so far as to sue for reparations because the Allied forces bombed their German factories, causing damage to infrastructure.. AND THEY WON). Fast-forward 65 years and you see the same underhanded tactics, where the likes of Halliburton and company are making a killing off the so-called war on terror. Butler’s words have never rung so true.

So you have to ask yourself, how much pressure are defense contractors and their lobbyists placing on our politicians on the hill? Is this war really about humanitarian intervention? Or is there an ulterior motive involved, one which looks at the bottom line of a balance sheet?

2. Wars don’t end. David Keen, a professor of conflict studies at the London School of Economics, explores why wars languish on despite the significant costs associated with them and despite western governments’ supposed efforts to preempt a situation with surgical “operations” so to prevent a larger metastasizing down the road. Keen states, we need to go beyond the usual model or paradigm of conflict, which belies that war is between two sides that wish to win outright. War, he argues, serves economic, political, and psychological functions that prevent anything close to a clean win. Keen explores a wide range of cases which support this theory: Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Uganda, Vietnam, and more.

Note the chilling observations Keen found regarding the Sierra Leone conflict:

“My interest in the paradoxical nature of modern war – and the proliferation of goals other than winning – was further stimulated by research in Sierra Leone at the height of the civil war there (in 1995) and again when the situation was calming down (in 2001). The Revolutionary United Front rebels in Sierra Leone had been widely – and rightly – condemned for their brutality against civilians, which included amputations and rape. But what most actors – including the major ‘players’ in the international community – seemed to be missing was just how pervasive was the complicity of a variety of powerful actors in the rebellion that they claimed to be opposing or suppressing.

One element of this complicity was when politicians from the ousted single party regime (the All People’s Congress) gave covert support to the rebels. Another was when families aspiring to the post of village chief supported rebels that were attacking their local rivals. A third element (and the most significant) was when government soldiers – generally poorly trained, poorly paid and poorly equipped – were drawn into a strange kind of symbiotic relationship with the rebels that included selling weapons to rebels in exchange for diamonds. Government soldiers would also engage in attacks on civilians (sometimes dressed as rebels with red bandanas) and they frequently proved more interested in taxing agricultural produce and in diamond mining than in confronting the elusive rebels. Battles were rare, and ‘both sides’ engaged in widespread attacks on civilians that predictably attracted support for ‘the other side’. At the same time, a climate of violence to which many government soldiers were contributing helped to legitimise the troops’ lucrative presence in resource-rich areas. Meanwhile, siphoning off international aid also became a significant part of this exploitative economic system.”

Compare this with the current findings of Jeremy Scahill, where after visiting Yemen he has found that we are supplying their Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU) with hundreds of millions of dollars to fight against AQAP (which is a branch off of al-Queada found in the Arabian Peninsula). But there is reason to believe that these monies aren’t going toward fighting actual terrorism but rather ousting possible tribal leaders that are vying for the presidency. They are using our tax dollars funneled through “foreign aid” to make political hits.

So again, we need to somehow divorce ourselves of the idea that war is a moral choice, that Uncle Sam is looking out for his fellow international man. Nothing could be further from the truth, and history has proven it so.

In conclusion, Syria is quite simply a geopolitical grab in order to further corner Iran, which as we know is oil rich. Furthermore, there is a pipeline from Pakistan which, if snaked through Iran-Syria-China, could be very lucrative for our perceived enemies. Make no mistake, this is on the top of the list as to why we would strike Syria.  War is, has and always will be a fucking racket.

3.  See Iraq.

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The Improbable Patriot

Leading up to Manning’s decision to do what whistleblowers and patriots do — to expose illegalities by our govt rather than passing the buck and diffusing the responsibility down the line — Manning pondered a dangerous “hypothetical” to a friend during an IM chat session; little did we know this hypothetical would defiantly and heroically be actualized by the young Army Private First Class.

Manning wondered aloud to the following to ex-hacker Adrian Lamo, as recorded in the leaked chat logs that are now public record:

(12:15:11 PM) bradass87: hypothetical question: if you had free reign over classified networks for long periods of time… say, 8-9 months… and you saw incredible things, awful things… things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC… what would you do?


Manning had the fortitude to follow through on the above hypothetical, snapping the securitization chain of illegalities linked together by top brass officials, extending down the line to otherwise acquiescent subordinates.  He imagined a world of transparency and accountability, a dangerous proposition in a world where suits and brass fly the flag of freedom whilst trampling on everything it stands for. This bravery, however, resulted in jingoist persecution by MSM and eventual conviction by a kangaroo court presided over by a wide-eyed, ambitious judge that knew her unabashed complicity with the prosecution would score her an upgrade in her comfy careerism as a member of the federal judiciary. A couple years from now I wouldn’t at all be surprised if she presides over some prestigious federal appellate court or something of the like (nice little kickback). But while putting another human being in a cage like an animal for 35 years scores her comfort and success in the present, over time I have complete confidence that Judge Denis Lind will serve an eternity of infamy in the eyes of history; meanwhile Manning will be hailed not just as a whistleblower or patriot, but as an honest, good human being that did the right thing.

And it all started during a seemingly harmless musing on a chat log between two everyday people, where Manning dared imagine what others thought was simply unthinkable, even impossible. But in reality it was really only improbable. Real, honest, imaginative dialogue made that dangerous improbability into an actuality. And the rest is history.

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Manning and the Spark of Peace

I just signed a petition to select Bradley Manning for the Nobel Peace Prize. I am number 108,698. Follow the link below if you wish to be on the right side of history.

— Why bother?

As the visionary and political dissident William Blake once said, “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s.”

Manning not only had the fortitude to stand up to the biggest systematic threat that faces our world today — the US military/intel apparatus and its slick jingoistic anthem of “US moral and political exceptionalism” played on repeat by media elites — in doing so he’s created a new paradigm of radical transparency in the face of tyranny that has caught fire and will continue to burn in the minds of others that demand liberty.

If Snowden blew the top off this thing, Manning was the incendiary spark, giving up his life, his happiness, his overall well-being for a cause bigger than himself.

Because of Manning’s choice to blow the whistle, this may very well be the beginning of the end for elitist crooks that cover up their toxic actions behind three-piece suits, prestigious oval rooms and rigged Nobel Peace Prize speeches which are riddled with conspicuous holes.. holes so fucking big you could fly a drone through it.

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Counterspin: Ed Murrow meets Bill Hicks


Found a new news source, Counterspin, one that actually reports real news. Counterspin digs into issues with a critical mindset rather than posing as dutiful stenographer lapdogs for the suits on the Hill.

The mood is old-school objective, reminiscent of a black-and-white Edward R. Murrow sternly speaking into that enormous RCA 44 ribbon mic. But while the style is delivered in a deadpan, nostalgic low-key, the content is deceptively cutting and on-point.  There’s some serious swagger behind the newsy tone.

— Think of it like Ed Murrow meets Bill Hicks.

You might look at Counterspin as muckraking news that critiques the corporate media, putting a mirror up to their lackey-like ways. They cast a careful, critical eye on MSM and underscore the bright-line bias of their reports, which to the otherwise untrained eye can go unseen. For instance, in the segment linked below, they report how the July 30th edition of NBC Nightly News horribly mischaracterized one of the leaks which Manning had disclosed, and in doing so drew inaccurate conclusions that conveniently fit oh-so well with the Pentagon’s narrative. Manning, NBC reported, admitted to leaking the 2007 collateral murder video to WikiLeaks, the one where the Apache helicopter killed two Reuters journalists while injuring other innocent bystanders, including two children. But listen to how they spin the story:

“In a pretrial statement to the court, Manning admitted he leaked this classified video of an Apache helicopter attack in Iraq that killed a number of insurgents and two innocent civilians.”

Insurgents? There is zero evidence of there being insurgents. And there have been no official investigations into the matter; at least not that we know of. Furthermore, they failed to capture the entirety of what took place that day. After the initial attack, a Reuters van pulled up to rescue and take the injured people to a nearby hospital. They too were fired on. After the Apache gunners saw that children were injured by their gunplay, the gunner is heard saying: “Well, it’s their fault bringing their kids to a battle.” Lastly, there was a third strike as well, which was not covered by NBC.

So how does NBC know that the attacks mostly killed “insurgents?” Well, again, that was the Pentagon’s unofficial story before WikiLeaks published the video, as Dan Froomkin pointed out at Huffington Post.

Counterspin then ends the segment with a slight twist of the knife, for good measure:

“… In conclusion to the report, Brian Williams referred to the Manning trial as “a widely watched case.” — Not on NBC it wasn’t..”

Well, said Counterspin, well said.

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Andy M. Boyle May or May Not Exist


Meet Andy M. Boyle.  He is a regular citizen, just like you or me.

In reaction to the increasing presence of that creepy old senile bastard Uncle Sam looking in on all our shit like an old pervert, he made a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request for “all records that you have collected corresponding to my phone number.”  The request was sent on June 25th and received/processed by the govt on July 8th.

Their response to Andy?

After a page which summarizes a bullshit rationale for why they are seeking out metadata without warrants, they said the following to Andy:

“To the extent that your request seeks any metadata/call detail records on you and /or any telephone numbers provided in your request, or seeks intelligence information on you, we cannot acknowledge the existence or non-existence of such metadata or call detail records pertaining to the telephone numbers you provided or based on your name.”

Soooo, Andy may or may not exist according to the govt.

This is where it gets hiiiiifuckinglarious..

“Any positive or negative response on a request-by-request basis would allow our adversaries to accumulate information and draw conclusions about NSA’s technical capabilities, sources, and methods… Therefore, your request is denied because the fact of the existence or non-existence of responsive records is a currently and properly classified matter in accordance with Executive Order 13526.”

.. So in other words — if I understand the logic correctly — Andy’s records may or may not exist, but in the event of them actually existing the govt cannot release them to him because it may or may not aid the enemy/adversary.  Andy’s phone record of his drunk dialing his ex-gf at booty o’clock tryin’ to get some may or may not help dudes that may or may not be doing jumping-jacks out in the middle of the deserts of Yemen and/or mountains of Tora Bora with 1980’s outdated Soviet-version Kalashnikov’s strapped over their shoulders screaming “death to the Great Satan.”  … Makes sense.

I wonder if they can acknowledge the existence or non-existence of the Fourth fucking Amendment.

Let’s tease out the twisted logic of this request a bit more.  Essentially, what the govt is saying is, you don’t exist or matter to them unless you are a terrorist, in which case then you WILL matter.. you’ll matter locked away in some brig without due process.  All you get is a case number, some arbitrary number stowed away in cyberspace which says you either are being recorded/tracked or aren’t.

They can steal our information whenever they want but we can’t have it back, even when hard, tangible legislative documentation like FOIA is in place.Why is this such an issue?  Why should regular everyday citizens, like you, me or Andy M. Boyle, care if the govt sifts through our shit IF we have nothing to hide???  If I have nothing to hide and am a law-abiding citizen, then why should I care??  This tired argument is used again and again.  But they are not seeing the logical conclusion of such a precedent — they are not seeing the endgame: how can we hold reps accountable for their actions if they’re operating in the dark, behind closed doors?

People in positions of power, when given an all expenses paid, full range one-way mirror into anybody and everybody’s digital lives, will inevitably use that power for ill.  And if they are using that power for ill without our knowledge, then we cease to live in a representative democracy.

<blockquote>It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority</blockquote>

~ Ben Franklin

In truth, we are too busy with our lives to see this far ahead in the game.   Why are people not in the streets about Snowden’s disclosures?  Because they can still get their Starbucks drink before and after work; because they still have their two-car garage and 1.5 kids; because they still have their SUV in their driveway with a half tank.. We are still too comfortable, too busy consuming products and services.

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