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  • marksb commented on the blog post Climate Change Nearing “Irreversible” Stage

    2012-03-27 14:55:07View | Delete

    Have a friend just got her PhD in, of all things, the history of ports. She says the future of ports–how to prepare for rising seas, how to rebuild to keep docks active, when to do it, how much, where’s the money–is on everyone’s minds. But nobody’s talking about it in any significant way, like maybe it’ll go away or be someone else’s problem years down the line.

    The costs are a nightmare and no one in any organization wants to even think about funding the changes, let alone start making plans.

    I’m afraid that’s everyone’s direction: to even start thinking out loud about what to do would admit the immense cost and radical changes that will have to be made to accommodate to a new reality.

    Said one frog to the other, “Seems to be getting a little warm in here, doesn’t it?” “Yeah, but we’re not boiling yet, so whatever.”

  • marksb commented on the blog post And the ‘Terrorists Might Use Drones’ Myth Was Born

    2012-03-27 10:44:29View | Delete

    Back in 1984 Kim Stanley Robinson, in the book “The Wild Shore”, speculated what 3,000 small nuclear bombs would do to America if placed in 3,000 white Chevy delivery vans, all parked in industrial parks in American cities and set to go off on the same night.

    Seriously, who needs drones?

  • marksb commented on the blog post ACLU FOIAs CIA for Documents on Juan Cole

    2011-07-13 14:49:04View | Delete

    NPR/APR Marketplace was openly discussing the question of did Murdoch’s US employees illegally access the phones of 9/11 victim’s families? I have no idea if there’s fire behind the smoke, but the question was being asked on fairly respectable media outlet.

    Interesting…will this scandal make Fox’s usual antics be publicly discussed–finally?

    Tim Rutten, the media critic at the LA Times, looked at Murdoch and his properties–as well as other US media idiocy–today.

    Fox News played a key role in legitimizing the notion of partisan news coverage and political commentary as not just normative but somehow inevitable.

    News Corp.’s unquestioned financial success has taken other media organizations — many essentially unmoored from their own values by the stress of technological change — down these same paths. Pre-Murdoch, could we really imagine a dubious gossip website and syndicated TV program such as TMZ being regularly quoted by mainstream media? Would CNN have given license to one of its news personalities to campaign for a guilty verdict in a criminal trial — and to excoriate a jury for disagreeing with her — as it has done with Nancy Grace in the Casey Anthony trial?

    The seeds of Murdoch’s British newspapers’ abuse of trust and power were sown in a media culture whose essentials — salacious celebrity coverage, gossip, overt partisanship — have infiltrated our own under his influence. The meltdown in London ought to be a wake-up call.

    More of this, please.

  • Somewhere recently–on the subject of the 23 short-term foster children, mostly teens–I read in the midst of the article that it was speculated that the foster kids were in-house unpaid help for her younger kids. Maybe, maybe not, but it was mainstream media, probably my morning LA Times.

  • Maybe the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. The place seems pretty much without a coordinated hand on the tiller these days. See yesterday’s EW post on Somalia–the CIA’s private fiefdom. And the DOJ in a whole bunch of ways. Ditto the DOD. The White House and the Congressional Dems IRT Social Security. And so on.

    Everybody seems to be singing from different hymnals.

  • The media–and financial establishment–are taking measures to protect themselves from Teh Crazy.
    Yesterday’s release of the Fed notes said, in part,

    “Some participants noted that if economic growth remained too slow to make satisfactory progress toward reducing the unemployment rate and if inflation returned to relatively low levels after the effects of recent transitory shocks dissipated, it would be appropriate to provide additional monetary policy accommodation….A few members noted that, depending on how economic conditions evolve, the Committee might have to consider providing additional monetary policy stimulus, especially if economic growth remained too slow to meaningfully reduce the unemployment rate in the medium run.”

    The “medium term” would be 2012.
    What I get is that if a new round of back-office stimulus (QE3) is needed to reduce unemployment and make it at least look like the economy is on the mend, and that’s what’s needed to keep Obama in power compared to whatever crazy the GOP puts up, well, let’s get it done.

    Now the media is going after the craziest of Bachmann’s many crazy aspects.
    The fix is starting, IMHO.

  • I think the great unwashed masses of evangelical Christians are afraid of the Magic Mormon Underwear.

  • marksb commented on the blog post Our Unilateral Counterterrorism Operations in Somalia

    2011-07-12 15:54:28View | Delete

    Oops. Bad link. Got a working one?

  • marksb commented on the blog post Our Unilateral Counterterrorism Operations in Somalia

    2011-07-12 15:48:09View | Delete

    OK, all good points, and I’m wondering if we are seeing this “devine knowledge” thing that conservatives act out. I mean the way they KNOW they are right–like they have an absolute knowledge from God–and anyone with a different viewpoint (especially if it’s “liberal”) are not only wrong, but evil.

    To my memory, CIA members have always been among the most conservative folks in government. I follows that perhaps they are acting based on their understanding of what is “right”, since there is basically no strategic policy in regard to Somalia. It’s a complete vacuum in terms of leadership and government control; that vacuum invites the CIA to run their version of the truth, as they see it should be.

    It’s just a theory.

  • marksb commented on the blog post Our Unilateral Counterterrorism Operations in Somalia

    2011-07-12 13:33:28View | Delete

    I read this and I don’t see a “policy” at work. Seems more like a rogue operation. The thing that I wonder is if the CIA leadership in charge of this operation is coordinating in any useful way with the folks in the Administration and State that are charged with strategic policy. Who is dictating the mission, the rules of engagement, the communications channels, the coordination with the U.S. State Dept?
    Cowboys in Africa.

  • marksb commented on the blog post Emptywheel Leaving Firedoglake

    2011-07-12 11:03:46View | Delete

    This is so exciting! Step right up folks, everybody’s a winner…

  • marksb commented on the diary post Globe’s Oceans at Risk of Mass Extinction by WeatherDem.

    2011-06-21 19:19:40View | Delete

    Somewhere between 15% and 30% will even hear about this, maybe 30% of those will remember it, maybe 10% of those will do something. The demographics are wrong. No political “leader” will do anything. There are no votes or money in it. In 1975 I took a little detour in studying bio into a new [...]

  • marksb commented on the diary post 48 of 65 US Nuclear Power Stations Have Leaked Tritium by Bill Egnor.

    2011-06-21 13:53:12View | Delete

    Interesting wiki to read about the National Ignition Facility, the laser-fusion experiment, at Lawrence Livermore Labs.

    Hard to separate the good bits from the sketchy bits, but still pretty intriguing.

  • So, to my eyes, allowing Romney to win (and the Rethug Establishment won’t allow Palin or Bachmann to win) won’t be that much worse in absolute economic terms, than Obama has proven to date.

    But but but…”what about the supreme court appointments?”

    That’s an issue we that are pissed off at our president enough to withhold support or actively counter him are going to have to face.


  • Red Tail Ale goes back to the Mendocino back-to-the-land/grow-your-own movement in the 70′s and early 80′s. My (then future) wife and I used to travel up there in maybe ’84 and stop in at the Hopland Brewery back when it was the first or second licensed microbrewery in CA. Great food, great beer, great music.

    Now it’s moved up to Ukiah after being purchased by a (relatively small) company and becoming the Mendocino Brewing Company, and it’s popularity has declined. I think that’s because the sales group sucks, but perhaps that’s just my view as a retailer.

    Great beer, great memories.

  • marksb commented on the blog post Another NSA-Private Sector Partnership

    2011-06-18 06:45:16View | Delete

    Silly, didn’t you know that if we don’t have “boots on the ground”, actually attacking an enemy, that it doesn’t count as “hostilities”?

    ‘Cause, you know, it all depends on what the definition of is, is. And torture isn’t actually torture if we do it and it’s for our Good Cause, and the people being tortured haven’t worn the uniform of an actual declared enemy, and tapping data lines isn’t illegal data mining if we are looking for specific terrorist targets, and and and.

    Sheesh. We are so far down the rabbit hole we may never see daylight again.

  • marksb commented on the blog post Another NSA-Private Sector Partnership

    2011-06-17 17:45:53View | Delete

    Maybe it is, at the moment, their only defense. The thinking goes, hey! I’m monitoring you! Any ‘suspicious’ patterns and addresses and that kind of thing will alert me and I’ll jump onto it, and GET YOU!

    Yeah. That’ll scare the hackers. Since we have no way to secure the network at the moment, without killing contractor commerce.

  • Well that’s stupid–and predictable. In addition to ice and other industrial products, I retail beer. Kegs of beer. What could be better than rolling up to a WWII warehouse and buying a bunch of ice, a keg of Stone IPA or Sierra Nevada, or Firestone DBA, or maybe something from a NorCal craft brewery like Lagunitas or Lost Coast or…the list is long and lovely, and includes a couple of excellent local brews.

    Once upon a time the craft market in my ice house was small and specialized, but over the last few years the major breweries have had their sales seriously kicked in the teeth by the craft breweries (and the Mexican brews, especially Pacifico and Modelo.)

    I’m not surprised that a state government bought and run by major corporate interests would go after craft brews. Makes as much sense as anything else they’ve done. Yup. Go after quality jobs, quality people, and quality beer.

  • marksb commented on the blog post Another NSA-Private Sector Partnership

    2011-06-17 12:35:51View | Delete

    In terms of contractors, the unkown would be who the actual operator of the monitoring would be, since the machines, code, and platforms are going to be from a very small group of vendors. Custom code and monitoring platforms could come into the picture, but only if they’ve been working for a couple of years of development on the blacker side of budgets, or are starting now for delivery in two years or so.

    Of course the contractor is important, as you point out with HB Gary, since these kind of traffic analysis systems can be used for anyone, anywhere, and it would be soooo easy to throw some political targets into the mix…

  • marksb commented on the blog post Another NSA-Private Sector Partnership

    2011-06-17 12:30:49View | Delete

    The program uses NSA-developed “signatures,” or fingerprints of malicious code, and sequences of suspicious network behavior to filter the Internet traffic flowing to major defense contractors. That allows the Internet providers to disable the threats before an attack can penetrate a contractor’s servers. The trial is testing two particular sets of signatures and behavior patterns that the NSA has detected as threats.

    Hm. This sounds to me like monitoring packet flow, watching for specific addresses and key words (pre-identified). If these are noticed, the traffic is sucked up for analysis.

    I’m curious about “behavior patterns” and what that means. Who the email is sent to? What the email pertains to? It sounds like content monitoring to me, key words, patterns of words, maybe even usage and language.

    In other words, it sounds like the Same Old Thing, and this is an attempt to legitimize it using some rather nifty law-enforcement-specific terms that no one who doesn’t have something to hide would complain about…right?

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