“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Edward Snowden, Get out of that airport. You are not safe there.

I believe that Snowden may be be getting set up for a snatch and grab at the airport. The Russians keep reiterating that it is not technically in Russia and for some reason do not seem to be in a big hurry to grant him entrance into Russia. 

Would it be in Russia’s interest to have the US agents grab Snowden? The Russians would be indignant but would probably do nothing substantial about it.

Saturday, July 27
17:00 GMT: The Russian Ministry of Justice said in a statement that according to the country’s laws, former CIA employer Snowden can stay inside the international transit zone for as long as he pleases, even though his travel documents were revoked by the United States.

The ministry also replied to US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul’s earlier tweet that the US was not seeking Snowden's extradition, but was instead asking for his return. The ministry explained that it could not comply with such a request, simply because the term “forced return” does not exist in international law.
"As a rule, the term 'return' in Russian law and practice is applied to voluntary entry of individuals from abroad into the country whose citizens they are," the ministry said. 


  1. desert ratSun Jul 28, 11:05:00 PM EDT
    It does not surprise that the state of Israel would murder Jews, as it supported genocide in Guatemala, in the 1980's. Those in charge of Israel then did not consider the victims in Guatemala to be human beings, either. They being brown skinned pagans.

    The people in charge of that secular state have little respect for human lives, other than their own.
    In their own land or abroad.

    A secular state, founded by terrorists, their descendents play that Goebbels card, time and again.

    And you wonder why people think you are an ant-semite?

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. These days this person must be spending all his free time working with the Susan B. Anthony List folk, as we know he always practices what he preaches.

    3. Though he isn't and everybody knows it and no one takes him seriously any longer.

      His credibility is shot.

    4. I am proud to have had my comment removed. It proves I still have an edge.


    5. Yesterday Q asked an important question, one that I only partially answered …

      Who cares about the Chief Rabbinate of Israel?
      The answer, the Jewish community, is correct but only partially so.

      For many years now, at the EB and then the new and improved Libertarian, there have been those that insisted that the state of Israel and Judaism could be conflated, that the two entities were one and the same. This conflation, a piece of Goebbels style propaganda that I have always rejected. The very concept of this idea, that a secular state that is not a theocracy could be a stand-in for a religion, a "Big Lie".

      The truth of the matter is that the state of Israel is both a secular and socialist polity, founded in Palestine for Europeons to immigrate to. The majority of those immigrants were people of Jewish ancestry, but the polity itself was secular and socialist to the extreme. At the founding of the state it was modeled on Eastern Europeon Communism in its organization, reflective of its Eastern Europeon roots.
      Kibbutz does translate as Commune.

      The state of Israel is a polity founded on terror.
      The King David Hotel bombing just the most publicized of the attacks, because some of the victims were English. But there is a long history of terror attacks, indiscriminate bombings of restaurants, cafes and public places where Arab civilians congregated. Entire villages were targeted and destroyed by terror squads, where women and children were shot down indiscriminately.

      The leadership of the terrorists went on to form the leadership of the secular state of Israel. To call terrorists heroes, warriors, soldiers or patriots is just another leftist lie.
      As boobie told us, terrorists are terrorists, perspective does not change that.

      Now some of the posters have called the secular state of Israel a "Jewish State", but then always deny it is a theocracy. They wanted to have their cake and eat it too.

    6. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel, that institution truly represents Judaism. They are visible to the world, are not anonymous, and publish their judgments on Judaic Law.
      They interpret Judaic Law in the modern world. That is their job, one of their primary religious functions and it is an important one.

      Their judgment is that the state of Israel is sanctioning the murder of Jews and that is important. It defines were Judaism stands on the subject of whether the nonviable tissue mass in a Jewish womb is human. Since being Jewish is not a personal choice, but a matter of the birth mother's ancestry, the sanctity and religion of that baby's life is, as far as the Chief Rabbinate and Judaism is concerned, a settled matter.

      From the Judaic Law perspective, as expressed by the real experts on the matter, the state of Israel is murdering Jews. Comparing the government of Israel and its policies to that of the Pharaoh of Egypt prior to Moses leading the Exodus from Egypt.

      This proves, rather conclusively, that the secular state of Israel and Judaism CANNOT be conflated. The two entities, Judaism and the state of Israel are diametrically opposed. Anyone that were to continue attempts to conflate the two separate entities, totally and completely wrong. They would still be playing the Goebbels card, wearing that "Big Lie" out.

      The division between the secular state of Israel and Judaism, that is no small thing.
      It is a matter of life and death.
      Death for over a quarter of a million murdered Jews, in this century alone.
      That they were Jews and that they were murdered a settled matter, under the precepts of Judaic Law.

      It also gives lie to the idea that criticism of the secular state of Israel is some how "anti-Semitic", to use the propaganda term coined by a 19th century Jew hater from Germany. It is a term favored by some of our "Jewish" posters, but it is so inaccurate that to use it invites derision from anyone that knows the meaning of the word Semitic. To be Semitic is to be a member of a language group, which is inclusive of Arabic. The language of the Koran.
      To be anti-Semitic would encompass being anti-Islamic as well as anti-Judaic, if the word Semitic has any real meaning in a religious sense.
      Words have meanings and sloppy language is a tool of propagandists.

      So, Q, that is the point of using the Chief Rabbinate of Israel as a reference point, it helps to stay on target.

      I care about that.
      As I am going to continue to fire for effect.

      By the bye, the reference to Bruce Catton's "The Coming Fury", that was directed towards boobie. Regardless it is an authoritative and informative read on the causes of the US Civil War.

      The grass is thick and green.
      There is water in all the stock tanks.

      Life is sweet.

    7. Life is sweet. And you're nuts.

      The post Deuce took down as your post blocker was a reference to your own self described years in Central America working for Uncle Sam.

      "So, Q, that is the point of using the Chief Rabbinate of Israel as a reference point, it helps to (((stay on target)))."

      I care about that."

      Yes, you WOULD wish to 'stay on target.'


  2. CRAP!

    Got to 203 comments in the last thread, and my 204th got eaten!

    The Humanity!


    Here's a couple that made it:

    DougMon Jul 29, 12:04:00 AM EDT
    What is "Occupation"

    Hey, WIO:

    Just listened to a Carolla "Carcast" Podcast from 2009 with a caller who's running his 240 Diesel on unprocessed Restaurant Oil.

    Kid filters it for his allowance, Dad puts it in the tank.

    Carolla thinks it might be a good add for the 10 or so restaurants he services by way of all the folks that will think of dinner out while inhaling the exhaust from Burger King, Denny's or etc.

    DougMon Jul 29, 12:06:00 AM EDT

    Lahaina Kaanapali Railroad's been running on restaurant waste for 20 years.

    Rufie drinks ethanol and spouts bullshit.

  3. Another on point comment:

    DougSun Jul 28, 08:26:00 PM EDT


    "Copacabana's famous mosaic sidewalks were strewn with trampled cardboard, plastic bags, empty water bottles and cookie wrappers as trash collectors in orange uniforms tried to restore order.

    "You'd think they could at least put their garbage in all the bins," said Jose da Silva, a 75-year-old retired farm worker who supplements his meager income by collecting empty cans for recycling.

    "I'm also pretty surprised that people who call themselves Christians would throw away all this food."


    Sounds like the level of commitmet of the Religion of the Left in the New "Secular" State of Amerika.

    Like Rufie's non-existent commitment to Solar Energy, even for the lowly task of heating his bath water.

    ("I may be moving, what if the new owners want Carbon Heated Water Too?")


    RepliesDougSun Jul 28, 08:59:00 PM EDT

    Seen one Hypocrit, seen 'em all.

  4. "Carolla thinks it might be a good add for..."


    (Ethanol Poisoning)

  5. I'll bet on Putin over Obama for having balls for his side vs the BHO Rhetoric Machineoid.

  6. Can't disagree with any of the six comments above.

  7. The Strange Upbringing of Wikileaks Founder Jullian Assange

    ConnieMortadellaUAdrian Chen

    Is there a hashtag for "men who look like kindly middle-aged ladies with great hair who love to garden and read harboiled detective novels and used to be bra-burning feminists back in the day (but not anymore)"? Because it would be quite appropriate in this instance. 5/31/10 1:04pm

    Artur Van AsinineUConnieMortadella


    #shesamanman 5/31/10 1:13pm


    @ConnieMortadella: I came in here to make this exact same comment. It's a bit creepy, actually... 5/31/10 1:34pm

    1. I wonder if I took Estrogen I could get back to bra burning?

      I'll never have a mop to match Julian's tho

  8. Google:
    Julian Assange

    Julian Paul Assange is an Australian editor, activist, publisher and journalist. He is known as the editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks, which publishes submissions of secret information, news ... Wikipedia

    Born: July 3, 1971 (age 42), Townsville, Australia
    Nationality: Australian
    Movies: Collateral Murder
    Children: Daniel Assange
    Parents: Christine Ann Hawkins, John Shipton
    TV shows: The World Tomorrow

  9. Where did the "Assange" come from?

  10. Anybody know details on how Snowden eats and showers?

    ...then there's the laundry, and need for coin.

    Sleeping might be less than ideal.

    The crap you go through these days just to tell the truth.

    Jack Webb woulda folded.


    I was gonna include "shits" but guess even the Soviets have toilets in the Aerodromes.

    1. I read about some poor old geezer who had been sitting in some airport for around 20 YEARS.

      Damn flight changes are a real bitch these days. Never on time.

    2. Always sitting in the same place, too.

      You'd think he could make money by being a tourist attraction.

    3. Seems it has been only 9 1/2 years. Still that is a pretty good run.

      Red tape confines man to airport Stranded: Expelled from his country 20 years ago for his political views, an Iranian emigre who lost his refugee documents makes a home in Terminal One.

      Sun Journal
      March 11, 1998|By Susannah Patton | Susannah Patton,SPECIAL TO THE SUN
      ROISSY, France -- It's 11: 30 on a weekday morning in Charles de Gaulle Airport's Terminal One, and passengers are sipping coffee and flicking cigarette ashes onto the gray linoleum floor. Flight attendants gather with sandwiches around a small table to pass the time before they will ride the glass-enclosed escalators to their plane and fly away.

      One man, however, has been waiting patiently for 9 1/2 years. Merhan Karimi Nasseri, nicknamed Alfred by the airport staff, sits on a red plastic bench and writes in his loose-leaf diary. By his side on a luggage rack sit six gray, neatly stacked airline cartons containing thousands of journal entries, back issues of Time magazine, books and his few, frayed possessions.

      In August 1988, Nasseri landed at Charles de Gaulle airport with no documents, the result of bungled bureaucracy and bad luck. Since then, Europe's increasingly strict immigration and refugee laws and Nasseri's deteriorating mental state have trapped him in a legal no-man's land.

      Nasseri, 48, frail with thinning dark hair, sunken eyes and hollow cheeks, says he still hopes one day to leave Charles de Gaulle. Those among the airport staff who watch out for him, however, say they think he is here for good.

      "He's like a part of this building now," said Cecile Bechet, who has worked as a clerk at the Lufthansa airlines counter for the past 18 years. "He sits there reading or writing and he never bothers anyone. I don't think he'll ever leave."

    4. Or start a TV Series:

      "No Fun, Can't Travel"

    5. " flights without papers in an indifferent land."

    6. Have Gun and Sea Hunt were high on my list of favorites.

    7. Same here.

      What about that one where the guy was always flying around out west? In a twin engine plane?

      Can't recall the name.

    8. Think I missed it.
      When was it?

    9. You remind me though, Rockford files and Columbo were two favorites later.
      My wife even shared my taste on Rockford, bought a DVD or two a few years ago.

      I wanted to look like Garner, and she no doubt wished I did.

    10. '51 to '59

      Guess the folks didn't watch, or it wasn't on one of the 3 or 4 stations in range.

      Don't think we got a TV until around '55.

    11. Yep, think it was 21 inch, but might have been 19.

      A real thing of beauty, steel, maroon with gold rim/trim, and knobs that looked like frog eyes.

  11. Little Siblings

    RogueMD 15 months ago
    It may be cute at this age, but just wait, two can get into trouble four times as fast :-)

    DTBの写真撮影 15 months ago
    Lovely image. And, its cute that they just started to quarrel ~ kids are very possessive of their toys.

    anthonyleungkc 15 months ago
    Totally agree. So once we have time, we must let them have a short gathering every week :-)
    Haha, yes. They know quarreling, I believe they will fight each other very soon :-D
    We are all laughing when seeing they are in quarreling :-D

    Emy ^^ 15 months ago

    好開心哦, 個個星期都有表哥仔同Hannah玩
    D小朋友都係咁, 一時糖黐豆,一時水溝油...^.^

    RogueMD 15 months ago
    It may be cute at this age, but just wait, two can get into trouble four times as fast :-)

    DTBの写真撮影 15 months ago
    Lovely image. And, its cute that they just started to quarrel ~ kids are very possessive of their toys.

    anthonyleungkc 15 months ago
    Totally agree. So once we have time, we must let them have a short gathering every week :-)
    Haha, yes. They know quarreling, I believe they will fight each other very soon :-D
    We are all laughing when seeing they are in quarreling :-D

    Emy ^^ 15 months ago
    好開心哦, 個個星期都有表哥仔同Hannah玩
    D小朋友都係咁, 一時糖黐豆,一時水溝油...^.^

    朋友都係咁, 一時糖黐豆,一時水溝油...^.^

    anthonyleungkc 15 months ago
    係堂哥哥 :-) 有幾分似樣架!! 哈哈無錯, 佢地成日都 "一時糖黐豆,一時水溝油" :-D

  12. India: Muslim mob kills two Hindus, injures many more for playing music in Hindu temple during Ramadan

    Jul 28, 2013 07:20 pm | Robert

    Here again we see the assumption that non-Muslims must change their behavior to conform to Muslim practices. We see this increasingly in the U.S. as well. "Hindu Women Dead & Many Hindus Injured by Muslim Mobs in Meerut for Playing Music in Temple During Ramadan," from The Chakra, July 28...

    India's Grand Mufti under fire for enjoying concert after issuing fatwa declaring music un-Islamic

    Jul 28, 2013 07:00 pm | Robert

    The real issue here is not his hypocrisy. There are hypocrites and people who fail to live up to their religious ideals in all religions, all over the world. The real issue here is that the Sharia prohibition against music, which the Grand Mufti endorsed and applied in his fatwa,...

    Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood supporters throw molotov cocktails at churches

    Jul 28, 2013 06:47 pm | Robert

    They blame the Christians for the fall of Morsi. "Attack on Minya churches repelled by residents, security forces," by Kanzy Mahmoud for Daily News Egypt, July 28: Muslim youth and security forces protected Al-Azraa and Anba Ebram churches from attacks by alleged Morsi supporters in Minya on Saturday, spokesperson of...

    Lebanese Muslim pop singer renounces music, joins the jihad

    Jul 28, 2013 06:24 pm | Robert

    And everyone in this New York Times story is scratching his head over why he did it, but the answer is plain: for whatever reason, whether it be the jihad in Syria or something else, he became more fervent in his commitment to Islam, and thus began to take seriously...

    Ramadan observance in Nigeria: Islamic jihadists murder over 20 fishermen and traders

    Jul 28, 2013 04:39 pm | Robert

    For them, it was an exercise of piety to slay the infidels wherever they were found (cf. Qur'an 9:5) during the holy month. "Islamists kill 20 in Nigeria's north," from AAP, July 29 (thanks to Kenneth): Suspected members of Nigeria's Islamist group Boko Haram have shot dead more than 20...

    Jihad Watch

    1. Ramadan observance in Iraq: Jihad-martyrdom suicide bomber murders eight security personnel

      Jul 28, 2013 04:34 pm | Robert

      A jihadi decides to renew his commitment to Allah, which is the goal of Ramadan, in a big way by laying hold of Allah's promise of Paradise to those who "kill and are killed" for him (Qur'an 9:111). "Suicide bomber kills eight Kurdish security personnel in Iraq," from Reuters, July...

      Hamas-linked CAIR calls on Obama to condemn attacks on Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

      Jul 28, 2013 04:12 pm | Robert

      The Investigative Project reported in 2007 that the FBI had identified CAIR as part of the Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee: Dallas--In testimony Tuesday, FBI Agent Lara Burns reported before the jury in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was listed as a member...

      Canada: Jihad plotter says Allah will punish nations that "spread secularism," rejects Canadian law as not coming from Allah

      Jul 28, 2013 02:23 pm | Robert

      Presumably he thought that Allah was going to use him as an instrument of the divine wrath by derailing the Toronto-bound Via passenger train. So does he think that the foiling of the plot and his arrest are Allah punishing him? "God will send natural disasters to ‘punish’ nations that...

      Ramadan observance in Somalia: Islamic jihadis murder six in attack on Turkish embassy

      Jul 28, 2013 02:12 pm | Robert

      " an effort to implement a stricter form of Islamic law in the country." "Police: 6 killed in attack on Turkish embassy in Somalia," by Omar Nor and Greg Botelho for CNN, July 27 (thanks to Pamela Geller): Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN) -- Blood and body parts littered the ground outside...

      Pakistan: Muslim leader says jihad of Hizballah, Taliban, and Hamas will continue until "revolution of Islam"

      Jul 28, 2013 01:10 pm | Robert

      And members of his party staged a pro-Morsi demonstration in Karachi. Recently Islamic supremacists in the U.S. who have strenuously denied having Muslim Brotherhood ties, including Hamas-linked CAIR's Hussam Ayloush, Hamas-linked ISNA's former president Ingrid Mattson and DHS official Mohamed Elibiary, have tweeted out strong support of the Muslim Brotherhood...

      Muslim Brotherhood top dog blames bloodshed on "haters of Islam"

      Jul 28, 2013 12:59 pm | Robert

      The Brotherhood is trying to make the question of whether or not they should be in power a question of whether Muslims there are loyal to Islam or not. They are trying to rule out the idea that one can be a Muslim and prefer secular government to Sharia. It...

      "Spencer’s comprehensive understanding of his Christian faith and Islam along with lucidly insightful writing give lie to his international notoriety as a bigoted 'Islamophobe'"

      Jul 28, 2013 12:43 pm | Robert

      Here is a fine review of my book Not Peace But A Sword (which you can get here) from the Institute on Religion & Democracy: "Cutting through Theological Confusion: Robert Spencer’s Not Peace but a Sword Distinctly Divides Christianity from Islam," by Andrew E. Harrod for the Institute on...

      Egypt: Assassin of secularist Farag Foda justifies his act: "The punishment for apostasy is death"

      Jul 28, 2013 10:00 am | Robert

      Muhammad said: "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him" (Bukhari 9.84.57). The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence. The Tafsir al-Qurtubi, a classic and thoroughly mainstream exegesis of the Qur'an, says this about Qur'an 2:217: "Scholars disagree...

      Today's Jihad Watch offerings......

      It's Ramadan! YAY!

    2. Just thinking about The Religion of Peace puts me in a mellow mood.

      Wish we had brought the son up right and proper.

      He'll no doubt see the light after he's been required to observe Ramadan for a decade or two.

  13. It disgusts me that a creep like Eric Holder has the audacity to be telling the World that the US will not be executing and torturing an American citizen that disclosed the criminal activity of those that rule in DC.

    “Mr. Snowden will not be tortured,” Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in a letter sent to Russia’s Minister of Justice on Wednesday. He added, as if saying so were adequate—as if it had, in recent years, been enough—“Torture is unlawful in the United States.” The letter, which the Department of Justice gave to the Times, is part of what appear to be discussions between the Obama Administration and the Putin government about where Edward Snowden, the N.S.A. leaker, might go next. He has been living in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport for some weeks now. Holder said that it wasn’t true that, with his passport revoked, Snowden couldn’t go anywhere without asylum: the government would gladly give him “a limited validity passport good for direct return to the United States”—and nowhere else. When he got here, Holder said, he wouldn’t be killed:

    First, the United States would not seek the death penalty for Mr. Snowden should he return to the United States. The charges he faces do not carry that possibility, and the United States would not seek the death penalty even if Mr. Snowden were charged with additional, death penalty-eligible crimes.
    Holder went on to say that Snowden would be “brought before a civilian court convened under Article III of the United States Constitution”—which makes sense, as he is a civilian—and “would receive all the protections that United States law provides to persons charged with federal criminal offenses in Article courts.” He could even get a lawyer.

    Holder said that he was writing to counter fears expressed in Snowden’s asylum application. What is striking, though, reading his letter, is how non-obvious these very obvious things have become. The United States has tortured, as much as the Obama Administration has disowned the practice. It has played fast and loose with the question of venues, keeping both American and non-American citizens out of the civilian courts where they belong. In just the past few weeks, lawyers for detainees at Guantánamo had to fight to keep from having their clients’ right to counsel undermined by the imposition of gratuitous genital searches before even simple contacts like phone calls to lawyers. (The Obama Administration did say Friday that it would begin the process of repatriating two Algerian prisoners; they are among eighty-six who are being held even though they’ve been cleared for release.)



  14. {…]

    Nor is it far-fetched to wonder what penalties or charges Snowden might ultimately face. Bradley Manning, whose case bears some similarity to Snowden’s, is being court-martialed for “aiding the enemy.” This crime can, in some cases, carry the death penalty, although prosecutors said from the outset that they would not seek it in Manning’s case. It is a deeply troubling charge, one that harms press freedom, because the prosecution’s theory is that Manning aided the enemy by releasing information that was published in places where people who don’t like the United States were able to read it. Without real modification, this could apply to any journalist-published secrets that the government considers harmful. The charge was also the basis upon which the prosecutor, in closing arguments, called Manning a traitor.

    And what about the Obama Administration’s legal finding that it can order the targeted killing of an American abroad who is working with Al Qaeda or affiliated organizations?

    Snowden’s revelations show how dangerous it is when one step of legal reasoning after another is taken, without a sense of where it all leads—without a sense of what it does to those constitutional rights that Holder gestures toward as self-evidently protective. There are now so many threads to our national-security jurisprudence, and not enough discussion about how they might be knotted up. Charlie Savage, in a piece in the Times on Friday, describes how the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has, as it stands, been shaped above all by the legal imagination of Chief Justice John Roberts, who has named all of its members. What was once a check on illegal domestic wiretapping has become a workshop where words are re-defined and precedents are strung together, all out of public view—to the point where one can get a letter from the Attorney General, written in plain language, and not have any idea what it means.

  15. theblamee120 hours ago
    Once you have called a person out for who they really are that is usually it. Snowdon has called his country out for behavior that more closely resembles that of a lying, cheating, two-timing, cold-hearted, mean-spirited home-wrecking, bloodsucking, loser spouse. The only option left is a divorce. With Snowdon, he has correctly pointed out how his country -- with its Department of Homeland Effrontery, its Patriot Acts, its NSAs, its GITMOs, it's manufactured terrorists acts, its endless wars, spending that will bankrupt a whole nation and probably take its neighbors if not the whole world with it -- Snowdon has correctly pointed out how the behavior of a democracy has become in fact that of a fascist, pig-faced goon, and because everything this country is founded upon are the greatest hopes and dreams of a whole world for freedom, the United States of America is actually likely to become the greatest betrayer of those dreams, the biggest liar, the greatest tyrant, the most hideous despot the world is likely to ever see. Snowdon is already dead.

  16. Well you people have discussed a thing a lot.As i observed i got only few things about your discussions..but thanks for explaining you post briefly..people easil can understand what you are tellling..

    get more fast instagram followers

  17. Reporter Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story about the National Security Agency’s surveillance program, on Sunday defended prior claims from leaker Edward Snowden that low-level analysts and contractors had access to private communications.

    “The NSA has trillions of telephone calls and emails in their databases that they’ve collected over the last several years,” Greenwald said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”

    “These programs are, are very simple screens, like the ones that supermarket clerks or shipping and receiving clerks use, where all an analyst has to do is enter an email address or an IP address, and it does two things,” Greenwald explained. “It searches that database and lets them listen to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you’ve entered, and it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address or that IP address do in the future.
    “It’s all done with no need to go to a court, with no need to even get supervisor approval on the part of the analyst,” he added.

    Greenwald said that he would publish a new story in the coming week with details on the access given to low-level analysts and contractors.
    Snowden, who leaked classified documents detailing the NSA surveillance programs, said in an interview last month that he had access to private communications of American citizens.

    “I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authority to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president if I had a personal email,” Snowden had said.

    But intelligence officials and lawmakers have disputed Snowden and Greenwald’s claims.
    Sen. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he would be shocked to learn that Snowden and Greenwald’s claims were true, saying they misrepresented the extent of the NSA’s activities.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    1. So the GOOD news?

      If Rat is the homicidal killer that he used to brag about being?

      The NSA has his IP. His phone records and recordings. His circle of friends.

      If I am the "foreign agent" that Rat accuses me of being?

      The NSA has MY IP. MY phone records and recordings. My circle of friends.

      I am cool with that.

    2. Still here, still visiting with agents of the FBI on a rather regular basis.

      They know me and what I've done, no doubt about it.


    3. I am sure that your LOCAL AZ FBI agents have you on their radar. As for the the folks at the NSA? One can only hope.

      People such as yourself, leaking information from the AZ FBI's files to the general public, do present a security breach. I crime.

      Just ask Eric Holder or Obama. The's be viewing you as a "rouge" lose cannon.

      Let us know when they arrest you.

  18. Thanks, but go fuck yourself.

    Google engineer Joseph Bonneau is the first person to be awarded the NSA's "Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper" award for his paper "The Science of Guessing," which analyzed over 70 million user passwords in an effort to study why we're all so horrible at making strong passwords. "Even seemingly distant language communities choose the same weak passwords," he concludes.


    In a blog post, Bonneau expresses thanks for winning the award, but decries the NSA's large-scale efforts to collect private documents from citizens. "I don't think a free society is compatible with an organisation like the NSA in its current form," Bonneau wrote. Yet, after presenting his paper to NSA engineers at the IEEE Symposium on Security & Privacy, Bonneau's convinced that America's "core problems" are in Washington and not at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, MD.

    "Our focus must remain on winning the public debate around surveillance and developing privacy-enhancing technology," writes Bonneau, "But I hope that this award program, established to increase engagement with academic researchers, can be a small but positive step."


  19. He is right about one thing. The problem is not at the NSA. It the flock of shit birds that have nested in every building in DC.

    1. Glenn Greenwald: 'I Defy' the NSA to Deny Edward Snowden's Most Radical Claims Under Oath

      Some officials say Edward Snowden was lying. The journalist who brought his revelations to light wants them to say it under oath.

    2. George Stephanopolous: Now that claim was denied by intelligence officials, and the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers, said that he was actually lying.

      But your new reporting you say bolsters Snowden's claim.

      Glenn Greenwald: Right, George. One of the most amazing parts of this entire episode has been that top-level national security officials like James Clapper really did get caught red-handed lying to the American Congress, which everyone now acknowledges, about what the NSA is doing. And it's amazing that he not only hasn't been prosecuted, but still has his job. And what that does is, it lets national-security officials continue to lie to the public, which is what happened in that exchange you just referenced.

      The way that I know exactly what analysts have the capability to do when they're spying on Americans is that the story I've been working on for the last month that we're publishing this week very clearly sets forth what these programs are that NSA analysts -- low-level ones, not just ones who work for the NSA, but private contractors like Mr. Snowden -- are able to do. The NSA has trillions of telephone calls and emails in their databases that they've collected over the last several years. And what these programs are, are very simple screens like the ones that supermarket clerks or shipping and receiving clerks use, where all an analyst has to do is enter an email address or an IP address and it does two things: it searches a database and lets them listen to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you've entered. And it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address of that IP address do in the future.

      And it's all done with no need to go to a court, with no need to even get supervisor approval on the part of the analyst. There are legal constraints for how you can spy on Americans. You can't target them without going through the FISA court. But these systems allow analysts to listen to whatever emails they want, whatever telephone calls, browsing histories, Microsoft Word documents. It's an incredibly powerful and invasive tool exactly of the type that Mr. Snowden described. And NSA officials are going to be testifying before the Senate on Wednesday. And I defy them to deny that these programs work exactly as I just said.

  20. I'm still smarting from that Amash Amendment vote. Still can't believe that. How can anyone vote against that, I ask myself. No answer is forthcoming. My mighty House delegation of two was split. Both are quite conservative, but one voted for it, one against it.

    I'm starting to think Raul Ladrador is one of the best Representatives we've had out this way.

    Totally shocked about the other guy, Risch.

    1. Thankfully, I have nothing to hide, so nothing to fear, according to the Gentleman from Mississippi.

      Think he is wrong, hope he is right, cause right now it's all I've got.

      We can do better than this non sense.

      Can't we?

  21. Hear it's been doing a little raining in Philly. 8 inches, wow.

    May keep the crime rate down for a couple of days. Lower the water bill, no lawn watering. Natural car wash. Clean the streets.


  22. July 29, 2013
    Obama, Alinksy and the Devil
    Kevin Jackson

    When people ask me, "Why would Obama want to destroy America" -- at least the America that most Conservatives know and love? It's simple. Why wait for Hell, when you can create Hell on Earth?

    We often hear of Liberals use of Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, and people discuss Alinsky's organizing abilities. What they omit is his underlying philosophy. Alinsky built his organizing model on a love of creating hell.

    Saul Alinsky interview in Playboy, 1972

    ALINSKY: Hell would be heaven for me. All my life I've been with the have-nots. Over here, if you're a have-not, you're short of dough. If you're a have-not in hell, you're short of virtue. Once I get into hell, I'll start organizing the have-nots over there.

    PLAYBOY: Why them?

    ALINSKY: They're my kind of people.

    The man who wrote what Liberals use as the definitive book on community organizing admits to having no virtue. So he destroys communities, using his kind of people.

    Take Hillary Clinton for example. Hillary loved Alinsky's work so much that she actually wrote her senior thesis at Wellesley College on his work, his most notable product being the bible of Liberalism: Rules for Radicals. Obama loved Hillary's work so much that he made her Secretary of State, or what I like to call America's Marketing Department. Why stop at America, when you can ruin the world.

    Alinsky dedicated Rules for Radicals to Lucifer:

    "Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins -- or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom -- Lucifer."

    Another Alinksy disciple, America's very own Barack "You didn't build that" Obama, built his community organizing model around that of Alinsky, including not worrying much about the results.

    The Washington Times reports:

    "Under Reagan, adult black unemployment fell by 20 percent, but under Mr. Obama, it has increased by 42 percent.

    Black teenage unemployment fell by 16 percent under Reagan, but has risen by 56 percent under Mr. Obama.

    The increase in unemployment rates has been far worse for blacks under Mr. Obama than for whites and Hispanics.

    Inflation-adjusted real incomes are slightly higher for Hispanics and whites than they were in 2008, but are lower for blacks.

    The labor force participation rate has fallen for all groups, but remains far lower for blacks than for whites and Hispanics."

    How in the Beelzebub could you have results like this, and still be held in high esteem without some sort of satanic intervention.

    Liberal blacks appear unconcerned about the devastation to the black community by Obama and the Left. It should be no surprise that while the Congressional Black Caucus met in Chicago, 9 black people were shot; by other black people.

    Is Obama a leader? Certainly. And like the Pied Piper, Obama is leading black people to the gates of Hell. The good news is that most black Liberals don't have to go far. They are already there. Thanks to Saul Alinsky...and Liberalism.

  23. BobMon Jul 29, 09:14:00 AM EDT

    "I'm still smarting from that Amash Amendment vote."


    OK, Mr. Tuned in:

    Please inform this Low Information Voter WTF the
    "Amash Amendment"

    1. Vote in the House to prohibit the NSA from collecting all you phone records, and other stuff too, I think.


      How can anyone vote for allowing the NSA access to your phone info, your text info, your e-mails?

      I would have thought such a vote would be political suicide. Maybe we really are a nation of sheeple these days, as Quirk claims. Sheeple led by dicks.

    2. What, me worry?

      I'll be dead and cremated before they catch up with me!

      Who the F... gives a crap about what this country was and stood for?

      As Rat used to say:

      "Party like it's 1999!"

  24. Schwarzenegger when caught going down on a lady:

    "Eating's Not Cheating!"


  25. Pink Panther gang strikes again, Switzerland. Responsible for about 490 million $'s worth of stolen gems and jewelry since the 1990's.

    Quirk learned some of his skills, honed his God given daring-do and developed much of his inordinate greed when he was a member back in the day.

  26. PA minister: New peace talks will help us conquer Israel later
    Monday, July 29, 2013 | Ryan Jones

    Related Stories
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    There are more than a few in the Palestinian Authority who are upset over the pending renewal of peace talks with Israel. Hamas in particular believes the move to be a detriment to the Palestinian cause.

    But Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash reassured everyone last week that the political peace process is just a ruse, and part of a larger scheme to defeat their enemy.

    In a sermon delivered in the presence of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and broadcast on official Palestinian Authority TV, Al-Habbash compared the US-driven peace negotiations to the Hudaybiyyah Peace Treaty concluded between Islam's prophet Mohammed and the Quraish tribe of Mecca.

    Peace talks with Israel at this time are "the right path, which leads to achievement, exactly like the Prophet [Mohammed] did in the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah," Al-Habbash stated, noting that all of the Palestinians' achievements to date "never would have happened through Hamas' impulsive adventure."

    Al-Habbash explained that, like Hamas, many of Mohammed's companions burned with anger that their leader was negotiating with the Quraish tribe rather than attacking Mecca. But Mohammed knew that only a more measured approach would lead to ultimate victory.

    Two years after signing the treaty, Mohammed's forces had gained enough strength and he launched the brutal conquest of Mecca.

    "This is the example and this is the model" that the Palestinian leadership is following, Al-Habbash acknowledged.

    Amazingly, all of the doe-eyed Israeli commentators who believe that this round of negotiations is for some reason going to be different from all the previous fail to take the simple step of listening to what the Palestinians themselves are saying.

    "Abbas is a real peace partner," they shout, while willfully ignoring what Abbas' own ministers are telling the public, in his name and in his presence, without any refutation by the "president."

    1. I used to call it a "Treace Peaty" back in the day in Grammar or High School.

  27. Fox News - Weather is reporting surf's up in your backyard, Doug. 16 foot surf.

    When you go out surfing fix up a head/helmet cam please and send us the excitement.

    1. I'll put the Go Pro Cam on the front of the board so you can see a cool dudes response to the "big waves" which will remain secondary in the videos as well as in reality.

    2. You think I wear a helmet?

      I may be from California, but I ain't IN California!

    3. My mistake. You the big Kahuna now, not some wimpy punk from San Diego.

    4. :-)

      You Ideehoe boyz are sweet potaters!

    5. San Diego's Democratic mayor, who is embroiled in sexual harassment allegations, should resign, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said ...

      (CNN) - San Diego’s Democratic mayor, who is embroiled in sexual harassment allegations, should resign, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Sunday.

      Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” the California Democrat said Bob Filner no longer held the moral authority to lead his city.

      “Being the mayor of a big city, you're a role model for people,” Feinstein told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. “You're either inspirational to people or you aren't. It's a very tough job. And I don't think that somebody who is lacking a moral compass really sets a role model or really will provide the kind of leadership that San Diegans want.”

      On Friday, Filner announced he would take a two-week hiatus from his job while undergoing “intensive counseling” in response to the sexual harassment allegations.

      He said he would remain engaged with city business while in therapy, and that he would return to office on August 19.

      "My focus will be on making sure I am doing right by this city by being the best mayor I can be and being the best person I must be,” he said.

    6. What about Weiner, Dianne?

    7. I've got the hots for Candy Creepy Crowley.

      Anybody else with me?

    8. There's so much there to love.

    9. Candy and Carly Tori -

      (Mon Jul 29, 07:16:00 AM EDT)

      My life would be complete again.

    10. Feinstein said the embattled mayor’s actions weren’t sufficient, suggesting a recall effort would be appropriate to remove him from office.

      “This kind of absence of a moral compass is subject to recall. I suspect there will be recalls, and the people will judge,” she said.

    11. Our Moral Compasses are alive and well in both parties!


  28. Common Black Girl 24 Jul

    The royal baby casually chucking up a deuce as he leaves the hospital.

    1. The King - in - Waiting gives the Churchillian V for Victory sign?

      Or, maybe he's congratulating himself on having chosen his parents wisely?

      Odysseus would have said he made a big mistake, a modest and quiet life with a good woman being the best life of all.

    2. Ain't that the truth.

      ...or at least, it was.

  29. >>>Pew poll: Major swing against government surveillance among tea partiers

    posted at 11:21 am on July 29, 2013 by Allahpundit

    If you’ve been following the Christie-versus-Paul “battle for the soul of the GOP” meme since Friday, don’t miss this important gloss from Pew. How major has the “major swing” among tea partiers been? Feast your eyes:<<<<

    Feast your eyes here:


  30. ‘Phony scandal’ update: Members of Congress still being denied access to Benghazi survivor

    By Doug Powers • July 27, 2013 03:13 PM

    Half of this story is to be filed under “what difference does it make,” and the other half under “phony scandals.”

    From the Daily Mail:

    David Ubben, a State Department diplomatic security agent who was gravely injured in the terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is in the Walter Reed medical center near Washington, D.C., recuperating from injuries that almost cost him his right leg, but until Friday was kept out of reach of reporters.

    Fox News established contact with Ubben at Walter Reed, showing only his blurred-out face in a still photograph during a television broadcast.

    But members of Congress say they are still meeting resistance from the State Department, which is reportedly stonewalling them and denying them access to Ubben, who is still on the federal payroll and can’t speak about his Benghazi experience without clearance from State.

    Ambassador Stevens, two former Navy SEALs and a State Department computer specialist were killed in an attack administration officials blamed on a YouTube video. Parents of two men killed in Benghazi say Hillary told them personally that the Mohammed video was to blame for the attack.

    David Ubben survived the attack, but his leg was shattered by mortar fire and he reportedly waited on a rooftop for 20 hours before he was rescued.

    The latest concerning the administration’s ongoing efforts to let the American people know all the facts safeguard Hillary’s 2016 chances in this video via GWP:

  31. "The storm was about 120 miles east-northeast of Hilo as of 5:00 a.m HST (11:00 a.m. EDT). It's moving west at about 16 mph.

    Flossie could also bring mudslides, tornadoes and waterspouts, the forecasters said.

    "For the folks on the Big Island and Maui, if you're preparing your home, you should be rushing those preparations to completion," said Michael Cantin, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

    "By the time you get up in the morning, the storm's going to already be there and you won't have any time," he said.

    My Gawd, it's gonna rain!

    I'm a goner.

    Nice knowing youz guys and gals.


  32. Guess I should roll up the windows in the car.

    1. At least put the convertible top up.

      Later, Dougo.


  33. Jul 29, 8:33 AM EDT

    Angelina Jolie speaks out against rape in war

    Latest Movie News

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    Paris Hilton in Federal Court: Deposition

    Paris Hilton in Federal Court: Exhibit 56

    TOKYO (AP) -- Movie star and director Angelina Jolie urged a Japanese audience Monday to join her fight to stop sexual violence in war zones.

    Jolie said she hoped "In the Land of Blood and Honey," her first film as writer and director, would inspire viewers to think about rape in war.

    In April, the Group of Eight leaders agreed to work to end rape and sexual violence in conflict and the United Nations Security Council adopted text urging sanctions against perpetrators of sexual violence during armed conflict.

    "This is just a beginning," she said. "Our aim must be to shatter impunity, so that rape can no longer be used as a weapon of war anywhere in the world as it was in Bosnia, and as it is today from Congo to Syria."

    Jolie, who serves as special envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, was speaking at a special screening event Monday at the U.N. University in Tokyo, as part of her campaign launched with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

    Jolie said she hoped her film would inspire the Japanese viewers to think further about the problem and take action, just as the campaign had taken her across the globe.

    "When I started down the road, making this film, I thought only of telling a story and doing my best to try to give a voice to survivors," she said. "But today I am here not only as a director, but as a campaigner, and a part of a global effort that is growing every day."

    Japan is no stranger to sexual violence at war. The country still has problems fully coming to terms with what its militarist government did to hundreds of thousands of Asian women before and during World War II - by forcing many of them to become "comfort women" and provide sex to Japanese soldiers. The issue remains a major diplomatic problem between Japan and South Korea. Jolie did not comment on the "comfort women" issue.

    Jolie's award-winning 2011 film about the war in Bosnia hits Japanese theaters on Aug. 10. The fictional tale of a romance between a Bosnian Serb man and a Bosnian Muslim woman, set during the Balkan war in the 1990s, won the Producer's Guild of America's Stanley Kramer Award

  34. It was in Paris, not Switzerland. $130 million worth of gems and jewels from the International Hilton there. Went in through a French window, ONE MAN ALONE, reports say, escaped the same, some gems dropping from his sack going down the street.

    Quirk, for sure, preternatural, inhuman, transcendental, sloppy escape. The shoe fits.

    1. (I think they upped the original estimate of loss for insurance purposes - called: $65 million)

    2. .

      Had you brought me the Skittles I asked for rather than the Milk Duds my nerves wouldn't have been on edge.


  35. I find it interesting that if private companies run data search algorithms on the data they gather it is greeted mostly with a yawn but if the government runs data search algorithms on the same data their is much gnashing of teeth and howling.

    Maybe it is because the US government tortures folk and summarily executes people as opposed to try to sell them stuff.

    1. You're on the right track, Ash, but taking it a little to far for now. Name someone who has been tortured and summarily executed inside the United States.

      Rather people fear the Government because of its power of arrest, and the IRS because of its power of harassment.

      People value their search and seizure rights.

      We aren't to the point of torture and summary execution here.........yet......

    2. I understand why they fear the government, especially one that tortures and kills summarily, but from a legal standpoint - i.e. constitutional is it ok in the one case (business) but not the other(government)?

    3. Good question. Don't know the answer to it.

      My hunch is probably OK, though, up to a point, for marketing purposes. You don't have to do business with them.

  36. BobMon Jul 29, 10:42:00 AM EDT
    I am proud to have had my comment removed. It proves I still have an edge.



  37. Whatever edge you had, you went over ages ago.

    1. Why, then, I've joined you!

      And yet, I am not yet at the point of hanging by a thread over the pit of incoherence, like yourself.

      rat's dropped into it, you are sometimes very close, I still have a ways to go.

      I attribute it to my blood pressure medication: Chlorthalidone.

      Always recommended for those over sixty.

  38. Checking up on the Gentleman from Mississippi's biblical scholar -

    >>>Reza Aslan Misrepresents His Scholarly Credentials

    Monday, July 29, 2013, 11:03 AM

    Matthew J. Franck | @MatthewJFranck

    There is a bit of a hubbub in the interwebs about an interview conducted by Lauren Green, religion correspondent for Fox News Channel, with Reza Aslan, author of a new book on Jesus titled Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Our friend Joe Carter, over at GetReligion, has the basic story. Green launched the interview (available here in full) with a question about why a Muslim should want to write a book about Jesus. A reasonable question, and not a hostile one on its face–but by the end of the interview Green has returned to it in a somewhat more accusatory fashion. As Joe says, the interview is a mess. But as he also points out, Green’s critics are passing right by something far more interesting: that Aslan has misrepresented his scholarly credentials.

    In fact, it is Aslan who immediately turns the interview into a cage match by reacting very defensively to Green’s first question. And here is where the misrepresentations begin. For roughly the first half of the interview Aslan dominates the exchange with assertions about himself that seem intended to delay the substance of the discussion:

    1. I am a scholar of religions with four degrees including one in the New Testament . . . I am an expert with a Ph.D. in the history of religions . . . I am a professor of religions, including the New Testament–that’s what I do for a living, actually . . . To be clear, I want to emphasize one more time, I am a historian, I am a Ph.D. in the history of religions.

      Later he complains that they are “debating the right of the scholar to write” the book rather than discussing the book. But the conversation took that turn thanks to Aslan, not Green! By the final minute he is saying of himself (and who really talks this way!?) that “I’m actually quite a prominent Muslim thinker in the United States.”

      Aslan does have four degrees, as Joe Carter has noted: a 1995 B.A. in religion from Santa Clara University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa and wrote his senior thesis on “The Messianic Secret in the Gospel of Mark”; a 1999 Master of Theological Studies from Harvard; a 2002 Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from the University of Iowa; and a 2009 Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

      None of these degrees is in history, so Aslan’s repeated claims that he has “a Ph.D. in the history of religions” and that he is “a historian” are false. Nor is “professor of religions” what he does “for a living.” He is an associate professor in the Creative Writing program at the University of California, Riverside, where his terminal MFA in fiction from Iowa is his relevant academic credential. It appears he has taught some courses on Islam in the past, and he may do so now, moonlighting from his creative writing duties at Riverside. Aslan has been a busy popular writer, and he is certainly a tireless self-promoter, but he is nowhere known in the academic world as a scholar of the history of religion. And a scholarly historian of early Christianity? Nope.

      What about that Ph.D.? As already noted, it was in sociology. I have his dissertation in front of me. It is a 140-page work titled “Global Jihadism as a Transnational Social Movement: A Theoretical Framework.” If Aslan’s Ph.D. is the basis of a claim to scholarly credentials, he could plausibly claim to be an expert on social movements in twentieth-century Islam. He cannot plausibly claim, as he did to Lauren Green, that he is a “historian,” or is a “professor of religions” “for a living.”

      It may be that Aslan sensed a tougher interview from Lauren Green than he is accustomed to. Hence he immediately went into high-dudgeon mode, and made the ten minutes all about her alleged disrespect of him and his alleged scholarly credentials. But in order to change the subject he told a string of gratuitous falsehoods about himself. Perhaps that master’s in fiction writing came in handy.

      Is Aslan’s book worth reading? I have no idea. But he has earned enough distrust from me that I haven’t any interest in finding out.<<<<

      I intend to get the book and will find out if it is worth reading.

  39. I KNEW Putin was a fraud when I first saw him fishing with his shirt off-

    >>>>Russian Bloggers Cast Doubt on Putin's Fishy Tale

    from AFP 29 Jul 2013, 10:26 AM PDT 153 t

    President Vladimir Putin's opponents on Monday gleefully sought to prove the Russian strongman had massively exaggerated the weight of a pike he caught on a recent fishing expedition to Siberia.

    The Kremlin on Friday had announced that Putin managed to catch a 21 kilogramme (46 pound) pike while on a trip to the region of Tuva, providing television footage and pictures of the president stripped to the waist as he cast his line.

    The images were clearly aimed at proving that Putin at the age of 60 is still comfortable in raw nature and has the physical energy to catch a huge fish and lead his nation in changing times.

    But the catch immediately sent the opposition -- whose scrutiny on the Internet of Putin's stunts becomes ever more thorough each year -- scurrying to their fishing manuals to prove the Kremlin wrong.

    And prominent opposition bloggers claimed Monday that Putin had fallen into the classic amateur fisherman's trap of exaggerating the size of his catch.

    Blogger and author Alfred Kokh calculated the length, diameter and volume of the fish and said it could only have weighed "10-11 kilogrammes" and not the 21 kilogrammes as claimed by the Kremlin.

    Pro-opposition journalist Oleg Kashin added that a fish with the density of a 21-kilo pike the size of the one caught by Putin would simply have sunk to the bottom of the lake.

    "A pike that heavy just could not swim," Kashin wrote on Twitter. "She would sink to the bottom! In fact this pike was made from granite."

    Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov rubbished the claims, which he blamed on "it being summer, there's nothing to do, people need to talk".

    "I personally saw the scales and was present at the weighing. The pike really weighed more than 20 kilogrammes," he told the Russian News Service.

    The pro-Kremlin mass-circulation daily Komsomolskaya Pravda showed no such suspicions, devoting a whole page to pictures of Putin in his camouflage outfit and fawning commentary.

    ******"Many people think that catching such a trophy is a pure accident," a fishing expert named Vitaly Maximov told the newspaper.

    "Be sure, it's not by chance! You need to have the psychology of a victor and a risk-taker."*****


    The standoff between pro-Kremlin media and bloggers recalls a similar controversy last year when Putin took to a hang-glider to fly with endangered cranes on their migration.

    It later emerged that the cranes had failed to migrate and had ended up being transported by plane to fenced enclosures in nature reserves.<<<<


  40. July 29, 2013

    8 Things We Don't Understand About the Brain

    George Dvorsky, io9

    Without question, conscious awareness is the most astounding — and most perplexing — aspect of the human brain. It’s what makes us the unique, self-reflective creatures that we are. Consciousness allows us to experience and react to our environment in an apparently self-directed way. We’re not just zombies; we have our own private thoughts, feelings, opinions, and preferences — and these traits allow us to figure out the world and operate within it.

    1. What is consciousness?

    Without question, conscious awareness is the most astounding — and most perplexing — aspect of the human brain. It’s what makes us the unique, self-reflective creatures that we are. Consciousness allows us to experience and react to our environment in an apparently self-directed way. We’re not just zombies; we have our own private thoughts, feelings, opinions, and preferences — and these traits allow us to figure out the world and operate within it.

    But we are still quite a ways off from understanding how the brain produces phenomenal experience, or qualia. Neuroscientists cannot explain how incoming sensations get routed around such that they can be translated into subjective impressions like taste, color, or pain. Or how we can conjure a mental image in our minds on demand.