Monthly Archives: January 2013

U.S. government site hacked to avenge internet activist

via CBC: 

U.S. government site hacked to avenge internet activist. Revenge for prosecution of web activist.

Revenge for prosecution of web activist

The FBI has launched an investigation after hacker-activist group Anonymous says it hijacked the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to avenge the death of Aaron Swartz, an internet activist who committed suicide.

The website of the commission, an independent agency of the judicial branch, was taken over early Saturday and replaced with a message warning that when Swartz killed himself two weeks ago “a line was crossed.”

The hackers say they’ve infiltrated several government computer systems and copied secret information that they now threaten to make public.

Family and friends of Swartz, who helped create Reddit and RSS, say he killed himself after he was hounded by federal prosecutors.

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, in the wake of the suicide, said she believed the case was conducted “reasonably” and “appropriately.”

Officials say he helped post millions of court documents for free online and that he illegally downloaded millions of academic articles from an online clearinghouse.

The FBI’s Richard McFeely, executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, said in a statement that “we were aware as soon as it happened and are handling it as a criminal investigation. We are always concerned when someone illegally accesses another person’s or government agency’s network.”

Swartz’s supporters believe Ortiz’s office was overly aggressive in charging Swartz with 13 felonies for tapping into thecomputer network at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to download nearly five million articles from an online clearinghouse for academic journals.

Swartz’s lawyer, Elliot Peters, said prosecutors were insisting that any plea deal would involve Swartz pleading guilty to all 13felony charges against him and serving four to six months in prison.

Ortiz has said her prosecutors did not demand that Swartz plead guilty.


Ron Paul Texas Straight Talk

via Ron Paul: 

US Action in Mali is Another Undeclared War


President Obama last week began his second term by promising that “a decade of war is now ending.” As he spoke, the US military was rapidly working its way into another war, this time in the impoverished African country of Mali. As far as we know, the US is only providing transport and intelligence assistance to France, which initiated the intervention then immediately called Washington for back-up and funding. However, even if US involvement is limited, and, as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, US boots on the ground are not being considered “at this time,” this clearly is developing into another war. As usual, the mission is creeping.

Within the first week of French military action in Mali, the promise that it would be a quick operation to put down an Islamic rebel advance toward the capitol was broken. France announced that it would be forced to send in thousands of troops and would need to remain far longer than the few weeks it initially claimed would be necessary.

Media questions as to whether the US has Special Operations forces, drones, or CIA paramilitary units active in Mali are unanswered by the Administration. Congress has asked few questions and demanded few answers from the president. As usual, it was not even consulted. But where does the president get the authority to become a co-combatant in French operations in Mali, even if US troops are not yet overtly involved in the attack?

How did we get to Mali? Blowback and unintended consequences played key roles. When the president decided to use the US military to attack Libya in 2011, Congress was not consulted. The president claimed that UN and NATO authority for the use of US military force were sufficient and even superior to any kind of Congressional declaration. Congress once again relinquished its authority, but also its oversight power, by remaining silent. That meant the difficult questions such as why is the action necessary, what would it entail, and what kind of unintended consequences might we see if the operation does not go exactly as planned, were neither asked nor answered.

When Gaddafi was overthrown in Libya, many fighters from Mali who had lived in Libya and been trained by Gaddafi’s military returned to their home country with sophisticated weapons and a new determination to continue their fight for independence for northern Mali. Thus the France-initiated action against Libya in 2011 led to new violence and instability in Mali that France decided it must also address. Shortly after the French attack on Mali, rebels in Algeria attacked a BP gas facility in retaliation for their government’s decision to allow foreign military to fly over Algerian territory en route to Mali. Thus the action in Mali to solve the crisis created by the prior action in Libya is turning into a new crisis in Algeria. This is the danger of interventionism and, as we saw in Vietnam more than four decades ago, it threatens to drag the US further into the conflict. And Congress is AWOL.

There is a reason why the framers of our Constitution placed the authority to declare war strictly with the Legislative Branch of government. They knew well that kings were all too willing to go to war without the consent of those who would do the killing and dying — and funding. By placing that authority in Congress, the people’s branch of government, they intended to blunt the executive branch’s enthusiasm toward overseas adventurism. The consequences of this steady erosion of our system toward the unitary executive are dire.


PAUL RYAN: ‘The Sequester Is Going To Happen’

via Business Insider:

Republican House Budget Chair Paul Ryan has predicted a grim outcome for the next fiscal cliff battle.

“We think these sequesters will happen because the Democrats have opposed our efforts to replace those cuts with others,” Ryan said during an interview with David Gregory on Meet The Press Sunday. “We passed legislation, I voted and passed it in the House, twice to replace those sequesters with cuts in other areas of government. So we’ve shown precisely how we should protect defense spending by cutting spending in other areas.”

“But we think these sequesters will happen because the Democrats have opposed our efforts to replace those cuts with others and they’ve offered no alternatives,” he added.

Watch the full interview below, courtesy of MSNBC: 

Visit for breaking newsworld news, and news about the economy

Obama: Fox News And Rush Limbaugh Are Why Washington DC Is Such A Mess

via Business Insider: 


Rush obama

In a sit-down interview with The New Republic released today, President Barack Obama cast blame on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh for shaping compromise as a “dirty word.”

Obama talked about the recent deal to avert the fiscal cliff, saying he thought House Speaker “genuinely wanted” to come to a deal sooner but felt he was vulnerable to attack from the right.

Here’s the relevant excerpt:

I think if you talk privately to Democrats and Republicans, particularly those who have been around for a while, they long for the days when they could socialize and introduce bipartisan legislation and feel productive. So I don’t think the issue is whether or not there are people of goodwill in either party that want to get something done. I think what we really have to do is change some of the incentive structures so that people feel liberated to pursue some common ground.

One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.

I think John Boehner genuinely wanted to get a deal done, but it was hard to do in part because his caucus is more conservative probably than most Republican leaders are, and partly because he is vulnerable to attack for compromising Republican principles and working with Obama.

Obama said the same thing happens with the far left — but that “left-leaning media outlets” are more willing to accept compromise. In turn, that’s why Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are willing to compromise, Obama said.

Obama also criticized how the media in general shapes partisan gridlock in Washington as a two-party issue. He suggested that it’s a handful of conservative Republicans preventing compromise:

[L]et me be clear. There’s not a — there’s no equivalence there. In fact, that’s one of the biggest problems we’ve got in how folks report about Washington right now, because I think journalists rightly value the appearance of impartiality and objectivity. And so the default position for reporting is to say, “A plague on both their houses.” On almost every issue, it’s, “Well, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree”—as opposed to looking at why is it that they can’t agree. Who exactly is preventing us from agreeing?

Read the whole interview at TNR >

The Surest Sign Yet That The US Deficit Wars Are Coming To An End

via Business Insider: 

Eric Cantor

Something we’ve been tracking lately is the fact that folks on both sides of the aisle are talking less and less about the urgent need to slash the debt right now.

It’s still a widely held belief that the US has a big long-tern debt problem (owing to healthcare costs) but the need to make big cuts now is a passing fad.

The latest to shift?

Of all people, it’s House Majority leader Eric Cantor.

NYT’s Jonathan Weisman (via Morning Money) reports:

After more than two years of budget fights, the majority leader, more than anyone else in the leadership, is said to want to broaden the discussion. His mantra behind closed doors is “How do we make life work better?” aides say, and he would like the next two years to be at least as much about job creation and economic opportunity as about spending cuts and changes to entitlement programs.

This isn’t to say that Cantor doesn’t care about the debt, but clearly the message is changing. The cut-first political message has dramatically lost its appeal.

And remember, during the debt limit fight of 2011, it was widely seen that Cantor was driving the much harder bargain than Boehner was.

That Eric Cantor was about to make this shift started becoming clear last week. His interviews from Davos were a tad more conciliatory than usual.

And as we noted a few days ago, a top Cantor ally, Brad Dayspring, tweeted:

The US “fiscal cliff” battle isn’t over. There’s the sequester, the continuing resolution, and the next debt ceiling hike.

But so far things have gone smoother than anyone would have guessed, and there may be more reason to hope that both sides aren’t going to be locked in a death match in the battles over the next couple of weeks.

Read The Original Deleted Ending To ‘The Shining’

via Business Insider: 

If you’ve seen “The Shining,” you know the film (spoiler) ends with Jack Nicholson’s demise looming over the haunted Overlook Hotel; however, that wasn’t always the way the movie originally ended.

jack nicholson the shining

When the film first debuted it included an epilogue in a hospital where both Wendy and Danny went afterward to recover.

Co-screenwriter, Diane Johnson explained the original decision to include the scene:

“Kubrick felt that we should see them in the hospital so we would know that they were all right,” said Johnson. “He had a soft spot for Wendy and Danny and thought that, at the end of a horror film, the audience should be reassured that everything was back to normal.”

However, after Kubrick showed the film to former publicist for Warner Brothers, Julian Senior, right before its debut he said the original ending didn’t work for him.

The scene was then removed right after the films release with all of the copies supposedly being destroyed.

If you’re wondering how the scene played out “Toy Story 3” director Lee Unkrich hosts a site dedicated to the film, appropriately titled The Overlook Hotel, where he posted the script from the deleted scene.

Check it out below:



Read the rest of the scene on Unkrich’s site, here >  

If you need some imagery with your reading, there are also three Polaroids that remain of the scene’s existence.


Syria’s chemical weapons concern Israel

via UPI: 

JERUSALEM, Jan. 28 (UPI) — Amid growing fears that Syria’s stockpile of unconventional weapons may fall into terrorists’ hands, Hezbollah set up bases in Syria, an Israeli news site said.

Hezbollah, listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and other governments, recently set up a number of bases near chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, possibly in preparation to transfer them to Lebanon, said Monday.

Ynetnews, however, didn’t give the source of its information.

Syrian President Bashar Assad’s stockpile of chemical weapons is considered to be the largest in the world, the Israeli website said, noting Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has conducted a number of security assessments on the issue.

Netanyahu recently dispatched national security adviser Yaakov Amidror to Moscow to discuss the issue and steps to be taken to prevent Assad’s weapons arsenal from falling into the wrong hands, Maariv said. Amidror’s visit was apparently coordinated with the United States, the newspaper said.

Russia could influence Assad to increase security around weapons sites or search for another solution that will be acceptable in Israel, Israeli government sources told the Hebrew language daily.

In the backdrop of Syria’s chemical weapons threat, the Israeli army on Sunday deployed two Iron Dome missile defense batteries in northern Israel, including one near Haifa. The army described the move as a routine training step.

Syria has a border along northeastern Israel.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned Sunday the chances of Assad surviving are slipping away. Speaking to CNN at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Medvedev said “the chances of him surviving are slipping away as the days and weeks go by. But once again, it should not be up to us. It should be up to the Syrian people.”

‘Vaccine court’ awards millions to two autistic children damaged by vaccines

via Natural News: 

(NaturalNews) Quietly and without much fanfare, the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), or more accurately the congressionally-sanctioned kangaroo court whose sole purpose is to shield the vaccine industry from liability for vaccine injuries, has essentially admitted that vaccines cause autism. As reported by the Huffington Post, two more children who developed autism following routine vaccinations have been awarded millions of dollars to help pay for the lifetime of specialized care they will need to address their injuries.

The first case involves a 10-year-old boy named Ryan from California who quickly regressed into an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) following routine vaccinations he received between 2003 and 2005, and specifically the combination measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Prior to getting vaccinated, Ryan was a perfectly healthy young boy who was actually quite advanced for his age, according to reports. But after getting the MMR vaccine on December 19, 2003, he rather quickly developed an encephalopathy, or serious inflammation, in his brain.

Ryan’s family and friends testified before the kangaroo court that the cumulative effect of the boy’s receiving multiple vaccines from 2003-2005 caused him to suffer “neuroimmunologically mediated dysfunctions in the form of asthma and ASD,” a claim that the federal government eventually admitted to be true several years later. Ryan’s family eventually received compensation for his “Vaccine Table Injury,” but pertinent details about the case have been sealed, including particulars about whether or not the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agreed with the court’s decision.

You can read further details about Ryan’s case here:

Similarly, a young girl named Emily developed a seizure disorder and a form of ASD known as pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specific (PDD-NOS) following vaccination with DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis), as well as MMR, HiB (haemophilus influenzae type B), and Prevnar (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine), at 15 months old. According to Emily’s court filing, the young girl developed a fever of 105.7 degrees Fahrenheit following the vaccines, which developed into seizures, shaking episodes, and a measles-type rash.

Initially, the government attempted to deny that Emily’s injuries were caused by vaccines. The defendants even tried to deny that Emily was even sick in the first place. But it was eventually determined that young Emily had indeed developed an ASD, and the government agreed to settle the case by awarding Emily’s family for her vaccine-induced injuries. In Emily’s case, the government never came right out and admitted that vaccines were the cause of her injuries, but its actions in dropping its defense prove that there is no other logical explanation.

Emily’s case is spelled out further here:

Courts have quietly admitted in the past that vaccines cause autism, brain damage

Back in 2008, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims also admitted that vaccines, and particularly those that contain the mercury-based preservative Thimerosal, can cause autism. A young girl, whose identity was sealed for the family’s protection, was awarded compensation after a series of vaccines caused her to develop severe autism symptoms, including loss of language skills, no response to verbal direction, and no eye contact, among other things.

A year prior, a young boy named Bailey was also awarded compensation after suffering a seizure and developing Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) following vaccination with MMR. Bailey’s family was eventually awarded compensation for the boy’s injuries, which the court reluctantly admitted were caused by the vaccine.

Sources for this article include:

Learn more:

Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels’ Step-Grandchildren Are All Billionaires

via Business Insider: 

The step-grandchildren of Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels are billionaires, although their wealth comes mostly from their biological relatives, Bloomberg’s David de Jong reports.


Here’s how the relationship works:

  • In 1931, Goebbels married Magda Quandt, who’d previously been married to industrialist Guenther Quandt (as well as another man before).
  • Harald Quandt (actually the son of Magda’s first husband) wound up living with Goebbels after the marriage.
  • When Guenther — himself implicated as a Nazi follower though not involved in the regime’s crimes — died, Harald and his half-brother Herbert Quandt inherited his fortune.

That included ownership of two large manufacturing firms as well as stakes in Daimler-Benz and potash miner Wintershall AG.

Today, Herbert’s widow Johanna Quandt, 86, and their children Susanne Klatten and Stefan Quandt remain BMW’s dominant shareholders, de Jong says. Meanwhile, he writes, “the billionaire daughters of Harald Quandt — Katarina Geller-Herr, 61, Gabriele Quandt, 60, Anette-Angelika May-Thies, 58, and 50-year-old Colleen-Bettina Rosenblat-Mo — have kept a lower profile.”

Goebbels poisoned himself and his biological children as the war was ending.

Click here to read the full story from de Jong >

Now The French Want To Fine Twitter $1300 Per Day

via Business Insider: 

A civil court in Paris recently ruled that Twitter must hand over the names of its users who tweeted anti-Semitic content so they can prosecute them, The New Yorker’s Emily Greenhouse reports.


Back in October, the Union of French Jewish Students complained about anti-Semitic tweets that used the hashtag #UnBonJuif, meaning “a good Jew.” The group asked Twitter to help them identify the users, but Twitter refused.

Now, if Twitter doesn’t hand over the information within two weeks, the Trubunal de Grande Instance will fine the social network roughly $1,300 per day. The court also ruled that Twitter must implement a new system for users to report “illicit content” to Twitter.

Twitter said on Thursday that it was reviewing its legal options, but has previously argued that since it stores its data in the U.S., it doesn’t have to comply with French laws.