Wikileaks has announced:

TPP fails after scandal over US spying on Japan's trade negotiators

This conclusion is not supported by the story they link to, so it is not clear where they are getting this information. Maybe Wikileaks is spying on the Japanese.


Also: David Sirota claims that Hillary Clinton was "deeply involved" in promoting the TPP.

The Supreme Court let stand the Google v. Oracle decision finding APIs to be copyrightable (mentioned earlier). They did not make a decision but chose not to hear it on the advice of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli who affirmed the appeals court ruling.

This also does not seem to be an April Fool's Day joke. I think the whole country saw this coming when Shrub started seizing accused terrorists' assets without a warrant.

Florida's Department of Environmental Protection has banned all use of the terms "climate change" and "global warming". Permanent sea-level rise is referred to as "nuisance flooding". The order appears to come from the office of Governor Rick Scott.

Succession

Jan. 23rd, 2015 03:04 am

Saudi Arabia's new king funded al-Qaeda in the 1990s and has told us all the problems in the Middle East would go away if we'd kill all the Jews. Expect less cooperation.

Edit: this may become a moot issue since the guy is 79 years old.

The notion that "we found no WMDs in Iraq" was Pentagon propaganda. We found over 5,000 chemical warheads, most from before 1991. Why would the Pentagon cover this up? Who made the decision, who followed the decision, and for what reasons?

The author, John Paul Williams, has no previous history at the New York Times and I cannot find a journalist with that name. This makes me wonder if this is a pseudonym and/or if he is a spook or a Pentagon officer himself. [EDIT]: Tang can't read. Williams is apparently the photographer credit on an image that isn't showing up in my browser. The author is C.J. Chivers.

Followup #1: The Internet shitstorm mentioned earlier is still going on and got a boost today from Breitbart reporting on the existence of a secret mailing list (allegedly) used by gaming journalists to set agendas and decide what stories to cover and what not to.

Followup #2: In a report by the Heritage Foundation, one of the State Department officials disciplined over Benghazi accuses Hillary Clinton's aides of withholding documents from Congress.

Both reports follow a couple of patterns. In both cases we see the hard-right, ideologically biased media breaking the news about a major scandal in a widely known situation where the majority of the media have told us that there is no scandal. By inference, we see that the traditional media failed in its job to get to the story first. Also, both are about situations where the cover-up may be worse than whatever original scandal there may have been.

Whatever was in this post, the submitter was banned from Reddit for saying it. As-yet-uncensored conversation suggests that it was about "Admins being corrupt including interview with moderator whistleblower". The interview is an hour long and I haven't heard anything outrageous in a few minutes of listening. [Edit] Somewhere near the end the interviewee says that Reddit admins use "vote manipulation" as an excuse to ban people they don't like. Also, one of the moderators suspected of banning people for no good reason is Reddit's PR person.

Also: everyone posting a story "IGF and Indiecade accused of racketeering" is being banned from Reddit.

A middle school teacher in Maryland was arrested and placed in a mental institution for writing two books about a school shooting in the year 2902. From the report:

Early last week the school board was alerted that one of its eighth grade language arts teachers at Mace's Lane Middle School had several aliases. Police said that under those names, he wrote two fictional books about the largest school shooting in the country's history set in the future ... Phillips said McLaw was taken in for an emergency medical evaluation. The sheriff would not disclose where McLaw is now, but he did say that he is not on the Eastern Shore. The same day that McLaw was taken in for an evaluation, police swept Mace's Lane Middle School for bombs and guns, coming up empty.

The book is mentioned on Google Books but otherwise the book and its author have no web presence outside of this news article.

Faisal Gill, the director of intelligence policy policy director of the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection unit at the Department of Homeland Security, had previously worked for al-Qaeda frontman Abdurahman Alamoudi. That does not make him a bad guy; he could have been one of ours spying on Alamoudi's people. It does make one wonder just what the hell was going on over there.


This came to my attention now because Glenn Greenwald published a list of people under investigation by the NSA, Gill was the first name on the list, and I Googled him. This investigation is being framed by Greenwald as an injury to liberty; it is supposed to somehow be wrong that the government got a warrant to eavesdrop on the communications of a guy with a known direct connection to al-Qaeda. The position of Greenwald and his echo chamber is that these people should be immune from investigation for their connections to al-Qaeda because they happen to be Muslim. What the hell is going on over there?


Edit Aug. 12: On rereading the article, Gill was policy director of the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection division.

Here's another conservative conspiracy theory, but one that appears to have substantially more behind it than most. The Department of Homeland Security sought tenders for a $350 million contract to handle 65,000 unaccompanied minors illegally crossing the Mexican border well before such a number of minors crossed the border. The core claims are:

  1. The government was expecting up to 65k unaccompanied children to show up. (seems solid)
  2. The contract was for "transporting these juveniles to Office of Refugee Resettlement" (seems solid) for permanent resettlement in the US (justified speculation)
  3. Circa 65k children did show up. (The Washington Times claims 60,000.)
  4. No more than 5k unaccompanied children had shown up in a previous year. (Not quite true: 10,000 were found in 2007). ([Edit Jul 2]: the count was almost 25,000 last year)
  5. Large numbers of children don't just show up like this. This has to be organized. (a matter of speculation at this point)

The resulting conspiracy theory is that the government was planning to import a large number children to to pressure the public for immigration reform For The Children™. While everyone is speculating, I will add my own CT: this could be an intelligence operation. Cuba once once emptied its jails and mental institutions and sent everyone to the Florida Keys accompanied by several teams of intelligence officers, and presented them all as refugees fleeing Communism to fool the Cuban anti-communist movement into demanding that they be welcomed into the United States. It's possible that some of these children are members of politicized "youth" groups seeking to meet up with contacts inside the States. Even if they're not, stressing the target's economy and moving your population onto the target's land are classic strategies. Also, organized crime has the opportunity to make money from all sides: moving the children in, moving them around, moving them out, and moving contraband with them. Causing the problem and then billing the government to handle it is the sort of thing the mafia would do.

The points of contact on the federal contract are Tony Ross and Rachel Ali of DHS.


[Edit Jul 2] The feds are pushing through an extra $2 billion for the services that the government has already sought a contract for, which implied that they had already allocated the money. So some group of contractors is about to be $2 billion richer. This is over $30,000 per child, far more than is needed to feed, clothe, and house them.

Todd Starnes at Fox News claims that A security force from the Baptist Child and Family Services Emergency Management Division calling themselves the "Brown Shirts" had ordered the staff at the refugee camp at Lackland Air Force Base not to talk about what they saw there. Quote: "Anyone caught with a phone was immediately fired." This comes from the political side of Fox News, so take it with a grain of salt.

The BFCS EMD is a "non-profit" security firm getting government contracts across the country and around the world, claiming operations in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Their website was registered in November 2012 and was not noticed by Internet Archive until 2014. Here's the boss's CorpWiki page. A former treasurer of BCFS retired from Arthur Anderson, moved from Texas to be self-employed in Richmond, Virginia, and now works for the Send Out Cards greeting card (and multi-level marketing) company with offices in Richmond and Salt Lake City.

The Emergency Management Division was involved in the seizure of the Mormons' Yearning for Zion Ranch (wikipedia background).

Edit #2: The private security contractors denied a Congressman entry to one of the holding camps, which is ringed by recently erected barriers to prevent anyone from looking inside. They have offered to let him come back in a few weeks on the condition that he ask no questions and talk to no one. WTF is this about? Our nuclear weapons research facilities are less secure.


[Edit Jul 12] Some of the kids are showing up wearing Obama shoes, assuming the pictures aren't Photoshopped. The same source published an alleged border patrol memo the day before. Both shoes look like the Nike Air Force One.

A little bit of Googling shows that a limited edition of Obama Air Force One shoes looking just like those two was produced in 2008, designed by the artist Van Taylor Monroe.

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