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As of March 2010, Google is no longer supporting FTP publishing of it's Blogger blogs. Therefore I will be consolidating all of my blogs into a single front page format that I will be experimenting with and changing from time to time until I find something I like.

posted by Lorenzo 3:23 PM

Don't trust FOX News' print outlet, the Wall Street Journal
[From Paul Krugman's blog July 3, 2009.]

This morning's Wall Street Journal opinion section contains a lot of what one expects to see. There's an opinion piece making a big fuss over the fake scandal at the EPA. There’s an editorial claiming that the latest job figures prove the failure of Obama’s economic plan - something I dealt with in the Times. All of this follows on yesterday’s editorial asserting that the Minnesota senatorial election was stolen.

All of this is par for the course; the WSJ editorial page has been like this for 35 years. Nonetheless, it got me wondering: what do these people really believe?

I mean, they’re not stupid - life would be a lot easier if they were. So they know they’re not telling the truth. But they obviously believe that their dishonesty serves a higher truth - one that is, in effect, told only to Inner Party members, while the Outer Party makes do with prolefeed.

The question is, what is that higher truth? What do these people really believe in?

posted by Lorenzo 7:19 AM

"Smart-Mob" Censorship at Google and YouTube
(Marc Baber,, June 21, 2007)
I soon learned that Google has a feature called "SafeSearch" intended to "block web pages containing explicit sexual content from appearing in search results." By default, the SafeSearch feature is set to "moderate filtering" which supposedly only filters explicit sexual images. Many Google users are unaware that any such filter exists or that it's normally enabled without their knowledge. . . . According to Google spokesperson Gabriel Stricker, "The users can flag content that they feel is inappropriate, and once it is flagged it is reviewed by our staff and removed from the system if it violates our Terms of Use… When SafeSearch is turned on, sites and web pages containing pornography and explicit sexual content are blocked from search results." . . . To find out if it's possible for any user to censor videos on Google, I had to choose a target in spite of my opposition, in principle, to censorship. I finally settled on a popular blond commentator infamous for referring to one of the current presidential candidates as a "f*ggot". If someone's free speech would have to be sacrificed to test my hypothesis, hers seemed a reasonable, if regrettable, choice. After confirming that the test video could be accessed both with and without filtering enabled, a friend and I each flagged the video as "inappropriate". Those two votes were sufficient to make the video immediately invisible in SafeSearch's 'strict filtering" mode. Presumably, a few more votes would have been enough to make the video invisible in the default "moderate filtering" mode as well. . . . Suddenly, the mystery of the "disappearance" of Dr. McConochie's video began to become clearer. . . . Having infiltrated the ranks of the self-appointed internet thought police, I decided to find out more about what other individuals and topics were being dropped on the cutting room floor, so to speak, by my fellow culture warriors. . . . As of this morning, I've searched on over two hundred search terms in both unfiltered and "moderate filtering" modes and noted how many more video links are returned in unfiltered mode and what percentage of the total videos for the search topic are deemed offensive. At this time, we can only speculate as to who is flagging videos as offensive and why, but, even so, I think these findings are sufficient to warrant further study.

posted by Lorenzo 9:15 PM

Top 25 Censored Stories for 2008
The above link will take you to details of the following stories:
* #1 No Habeas Corpus for "Any Person"
* #2 Bush Moves Toward Martial Law
* # 3 AFRICOM: US Military Control of Africa's Resources
* # 4 Frenzy of Increasingly Destructive Trade Agreements
* #5 Human Traffic Builds US Embassy in Iraq
* #6 Operation FALCON Raids
* #7 Behind Blackwater Inc.
* #8 KIA: The US Neoliberal Invasion of India
* #9 Privatization of America's Infrastructure
* # 10 Vulture Funds Threaten Poor Nations' Debt Relief
* # 11 The Scam of "Reconstruction" in Afghanistan
* # 12 Another Massacre in Haiti by UN Troops
* # 13 Immigrant Roundups to Gain Cheap Labor for US Corporate Giants
* # 14 Impunity for US War Criminals
* # 15 Toxic Exposure Can Be Transmitted to Future Generations on a "Second Genetic Code"
* #16 No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11
* # 17 Drinking Water Contaminated by Military and Corporations
* # 18 Mexico's Stolen Election
* # 19 People's Movement Challenges Neoliberal Agenda
* # 20 Terror Act Against Animal Activists
* # 21 US Seeks WTO Immunity for Illegal Farm Payments
* # 22 North Invades Mexico
* # 23 Feinstein's Conflict of Interest in Iraq
* # 24 Media Misquotes Threat From Iran's President
* # 25 Who Will Profit from Native Energy?

posted by Lorenzo 4:32 PM

Mormons Abuse Right of Free Speech
(Guy Adams, The Independent, 8 Nov 2008)
Daniel Ginnes carried a banner declaring: "No More Mr Nice Gay." Brian Lindsey held up a sign billing Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, as a "prophet, polygamist, paedophile." Hundreds of others simply chanted: "Mormon scum."
Protests against the anti-gay Mormons
More than 2,000 gay rights protesters marched on a Mormon temple in Los Angeles on Thursday, throwing the church and its followers on to the front line of the battle over California's decision to ban same-sex marriage. . . . Earlier this week, 52.5 per cent of voters in the supposedly liberal state decided to back Proposition 8, a ballot measure that adds 15 words to the constitution, saying that: "Only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognised in California." . . . The development marked a massive setback for gay rights and left 18,000 couples, who had married in the five months since California legalised same-sex weddings, in legal limbo. . . . In the large and traditionally laid-back gay community, it also left a sense of injustice. Proposition 8 passed with the assistance of a $70m (£44m) campaign largely funded by out-of-state donations from Mormons. . . . "We should have got nasty a long time ago," said Mr Lindsey, who is originally from a Mormon family. "I'm not going to be polite any more, I'm not going to step around my belief that this is a nasty church with disgusting views which managed to buy an election. I don't care if it's people's religion. I'm going to stand up and fight it." . . . The country music singer Melissa Etheridge, a prominent lesbian, announced yesterday that she will refuse to pay income tax until she's "allowed the same rights" as other taxpayers. Instead, she pledged to donate money to legal challenges arguing that the way Proposition 8 was put to the voters was unconstitutional. . . . Behind the scenes, the mood is turning increasingly ugly. "If they're going to vote away my rights based on fear and ignorance and prejudice, I'm going to give them something to be fucking scared of," read a message posted on the online bulletin board Queerty. . . . The Mormon Church is in damage limitation mode.

posted by Lorenzo 11:33 AM

George Carlin On Voting In US Elections

Thursday, March 13, 2008, 7:30pm - The Klein Memorial Auditorium. Bridgeport, CT

posted by Lorenzo 6:55 AM

Video Reporters Arrested While Trying to Cover the Republican Convention
The work of the I-Witness Video collective was interrupted this past Saturday, August 30, 2008, when St. Paul police detained 7 members of the group (along with an assortment of other individuals) for several hours. The NYC-based video collective is in St. Paul to document the policing of the protests at the Republican National Convention.
Police attack non-violent reporters at Republican National Convention
The incident began in the late morning when an FBI agent and a Wisconsin Deputy Sheriff showed up on the doorstep of the house in which members were staying (on Igelhart St.), interrupting a collective planning meeting. The officers left after a short conversation with members through a locked front door. Two hours later, around 30 police surrounded the house. Two people who left the house were detained in handcuffs; several others, who were inside, were told that if they left, they would be also be detained. Around the same time, three other I-Witness Video members who had left the house on bikes and two others who were riding in a car across town were also detained by police.

Two hours later, after the search warrant arrived, police at the Igelhart Street house stormed in, pointing an automatic handgun at the people inside. They handcuffed all the individuals inside, collected their personal information, and corralled them in the back garden. While police held the media activists and their friends there, members of the media, who had gathered in an adjoining backyard, interviewed I-Witness Video member Eileen Clancy from behind a fence. After completing their search, the police finally uncuffed everyone and departed. Within about two hours, the other I-Witness Video groups--who had been detained on bikes and in a car, all of whom also had their identifications verified and had undergone searches of various kinds--were also released.

During the raids, members of I-Witness Video managed to send out several email and text messages to supporters, legal support, and press. In response, hundreds of people called the office of the St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

Among those individuals detained was Democracy Now! producer Elizabeth Press, who had her camera with her throughout the incident. This morning, Democracy Now! ran a news segment on the many preemptive raids that police have launched against activists in St. Paul this month, including the raid that I-Witness Video suffered on Saturday.

This was a clear effort to intimidate and undermine the work of I-Witness Video--a group that was remarkably successful in exposing police misconduct and outright perjury by police during the 2004 RNC. Out of 1800 arrests made that week, at least 400 were overturned based solely on video evidence which contradicted sworn statements by police officers.

posted by Lorenzo 11:20 AM

Happy birthday to GNU! ... Open Source Rules!
Software should be free, and the using community should be responsible for its development.

For more information, please see:

posted by Lorenzo 7:47 PM

Storm Troopers Attack Student Demonstrators

posted by Lorenzo 10:43 AM

Amy Goodman Muzzled by Fascist Storm Troopers at Republican Convention

Democracy Now! radio host Amy Goodman and two producers were arrested while covering demonstrations at the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn. Goodman was released after being held for over three hours, but is still waiting to hear when Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar would be released. . . . "I was down on the convention floor interviewing delegates when I heard that two of our producers had been arrested," said Goodman. "I ran down to Jackson and 7th Street, where the police had moved in." . . . Goodman said that when she ran up to find out what was going on, she was also arrested. . . . "They seriously manhandled me and handcuffed my hands behind my back. The top ID [at the convention] is to get on the floor and the Secret Service ripped that off me. I had my Democracy Now! ID too. I was clearly a reporter."

[Click the link above for the full story.]

posted by Lorenzo 7:53 PM

Police Attack Demonstrators at 2008 Democratic Convention

posted by Lorenzo 2:33 PM

A Good Example of Free Speech At Work: FISA=Fascism

posted by Lorenzo 9:09 PM

This is the kind of truthful comedy that keeps free speech alive

posted by Lorenzo 8:48 PM Search, but with Privacy
(Peter Eckersley, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, March 25, 2008)
The level of privacy offered by search engines is generally woeful. Last year, the three big players (Google, Yahoo! and MSN) made some improvements by limiting the duration for full retention of logs about who has searched and what they've searched for. That means that after a year or two, it would be harder — though probably not impossible — for the major search engines and their advertising partners to reconstruct a complete history of your searches. . . . went further with their AskEraser feature, which allows users to have their logs deleted and to opt-out of being tracked ( could have done better by finding a way for opt-out to be available without a cookie). . . . Despite these improvements, the average Internet user still has very little privacy for their search history. We have documented the measures you can take to protect yourself, but they aren't all that simple. . . . So it's exciting to report that one small search engine is experimenting with ways to be an aide, rather than a threat, to privacy. PrivacyFinder is a research project at the CMU Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory (full disclosure: Lorrie Cranor, who heads the lab, is also on the EFF Board). It offers an interface to Yahoo! and Google, but with two notable improvements: an excellent logging/data retention policy, and a feature that shows the user information about sites' privacy policies along with the search results. That way, if two sites offer the same service but one of them is better from a privacy point of view, the user will see that quickly. The PrivacyFinder researchers tell us they've observed that people will, for instance, pay more for an item from an online store if they can see that it has an excellent privacy policy. . . . PrivacyFinder seems to be making productive use of P3P, an old privacy standard that has, in many other respects, fallen short of expectations. If you run a search on the site, you can quickly see when one result matches your standards and others don't. . . . Privacyfinder's logging policy is amongst the best in the industry (Ixquick is also first-rate). Privacyfinder only keeps search records for a week, unless the user explicitly opts in to being tracked. Because the CMU Laboratory wants to do research on the use of search engines, it's offering prizes for people who are willing to be tracked for research purposes. That's the way we like to see it done. . . . Meanwhile, several other developments are in the works. New York State legislators have been talking about taking parts of the search privacy problem into their own hands. There are rumors of new startups planning to enter the "privacy search" market. And EFF is working on a scorecard for systematically evaluating the effectiveness of various privacy measures at search engines. Stay tuned to Deeplinks for future developments!

posted by Lorenzo 3:56 PM

Pentagon Censors Internet Combat Videos
(Oliver Poole, The Telegraph, 26 July 2006)
The Pentagon is asking US soldiers in Iraq to stop posting private combat videos on to the internet amid fears that they could be regarded as anti-Arab. . . . Many of the digital clips feature explosions, gunfire and even dead bodies, [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Hey, it's a fucking WAR. What they expect to see in these videos.] with the images often set to a soundtrack of rock ballads, rap or heavy metal music. . . . Defence officials believe they could be interpreted as portraying the military as unsympathetic to Arabs and obsessed with barbarism. . . . [COMMENT by Lorenzo: The U.S. military IS barbaric . . . just watch some of the videos and you'll see what I mean.]

posted by Lorenzo 12:12 PM

Hundreds of Iraq War Videos Online at
In case you missed the announcement, that evil bastard Rumsfeld is doing his best to keep cameras away from the front lines of the Bush Crime Family's attack on the civilian population of Iraq. But if you go to and search on "Iraq combat" (no quotes) you'll find hundreds of videos posted by U.S. troops.

Here is one clip that shows how the U.S. tax dollars are being used to destroy the once lovely city of Fallujah:

posted by Lorenzo 6:53 AM

India bloggers angry at net ban
(BBC News, 19 July 2006)
India's burgeoning blogging community is up in arms against a government directive that they say has led to the blocking of their web logs. . . . The country's 153 internet service providers (ISP) have blocked 17 websites since last week on federal government orders. . . . Some of these sites belong to Google's Blogspot, a leading international web log hosting service. . . . Indian bloggers say that the decision is an attack on freedom of speech. . . . A number of them have started filing petitions under the country's new landmark freedom of information law which gives citizens the right to access information held by the government. . . . Bloggers say the ban has meant that people do not even have access to blogs like the one set up to help the relatives of the victims of the recent train bombings in Mumbai (Bombay), . . . Internet professionals and lawyers believe that blocking sites really serves no purpose in a large country like India with an increasingly thriving blogging community. . . . "The ISPs can block a specific site, but the person who runs it can easily tweak its name a bit and return," says Mr Tiwari. . . . There are an estimated 50 million internet users in India, according to ISP industry estimates. . . . Only seven million people subscribe to the internet, of whom 1.5 million receive broadband services.

posted by Lorenzo 4:21 PM

Hacktivists mount counter-offensive to Internet censorship
(Nestor E. Arellano, ITWorld Canada, 08 Jun 2006)
The arms race over Internet censorship is escalating. . . . A new weapon is being developed to help dissidents gain free access to the Web. . . . A team of Toronto-based "hacktivists" – hackers with a commitment to social responsibility – is beta-testing software that can circumvent Internet censorship by repressive governments. . . . Dubbed Psiphon, the software enables a third-party computer to act as a proxy that allows Internet users to access banned content. . . . Psiphon was developed by the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto's (U of T) Munk Centre for International Studies. Described as a "hothouse that brings together social scientists, filmmakers, computer scientists, activists, and artists," the Citizen Lab explores hypermedia technologies and grassroots social movements, civic activism, and democratic change within an emerging planetary polity. . . . The Citizen Lab is part of a larger coalition that includes Harvard and Cambridge Universities called the OpenNet Initiative (ONI), which investigates global Internet filtering. Each university has a distinct role: Harvard researches the legal aspects of the issue, Cambridge organizes activists in censored locations to conduct research and the Citizen Lab handles technical research and development. . . . The coalition has identified cyber-censorship in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Iraq, Burma, Tunisia, Yemen, India, and Pakistan – but China tops the list. . . . Psiphon employs a hub-and-spoke scheme to link dissidents to Internet activists outside a censored country's borders. An activist located in an uncensored country such as Canada installs the software on his computer. He then creates a list of trusted Internet users in censored countries, and sends his Internet Protocol (IP) address to the people on the list. These people can then link to his computer and use it to access banned sites. . . . To hide this traffic to banned sites from state surveillance, Psiphon data is encrypted and travels on a network reserved for financial transactions. . . . "The activity is masked. Censors won't see what the person is accessing because as far as they're concerned, the user could be making a Visa purchase," says Hull. . . . As an added safety feature, no software is actually installed on the censored computer. Should a crackdown occur, authorities would not be able find anything on the user's computer.

posted by Lorenzo 5:11 PM

Bush Caught Planting Fake News Stories
(Andrew Buncombe, The Independent, 29 May 2006)
Federal authorities are actively investigating dozens of American television stations for broadcasting items produced by the Bush administration and major corporations, and passing them off as normal news. Some of the fake news segments talked up success in the war in Iraq, or promoted the companies' products. . . . The report, by the non-profit group Centre for Media and Democracy, found that over a 10-month period at least 77 television stations were making use of the faux news broadcasts, known as Video News Releases (VNRs). Not one told viewers who had produced the items. . . . "We know we only had partial access to these VNRs and yet we found 77 stations using them," said Diana Farsetta, one of the group's researchers. "I would say it's pretty extraordinary. The picture we found was much worse than we expected going into the investigation in terms of just how widely these get played and how frequently these pre-packaged segments are put on the air." . . . "They have got very good at mimicking what a real, independently produced television report would look like," . . . Among items provided by the Bush administration to news stations was one in which an Iraqi-American in Kansas City was seen saying "Thank you Bush. Thank you USA" in response to the 2003 fall of Baghdad. The footage was actually produced by the State Department, one of 20 federal agencies that have produced and distributed such items.

posted by Lorenzo 8:46 AM

Judges Challenge Internet Wiretap Rules
(Ted Bridis, Associated Press, May 5, 2006)
A U.S. appeals panel sharply challenged the Bush administration Friday over new rules making it easier for police and the FBI to wiretap Internet phone calls. A judge said the government's courtroom arguments were "gobbledygook." . . . The skepticism expressed so openly toward the administration's case encouraged civil liberties and education groups that argued that the U.S. is improperly applying telephone-era rules to a new generation of Internet services. . . . "Your argument makes no sense," U.S. Circuit Judge Harry T. Edwards told the lawyer for the Federal Communications Commission, Jacob Lewis. "When you go back to the office, have a big chuckle. I'm not missing this. This is ridiculous. Counsel!" . . . At another point in the hearing, Edwards told the FCC's lawyer that his arguments were "gobbledygook" and "nonsense." . . . The court's decision was expected within several months. . . . In an unrelated case last year affecting digital television, two of the same three judges determined the FCC had significantly exceeded its authority and threw out new government rules requiring anti-piracy devices in new video devices. Lewis was also the losing lawyer in that case, and Edwards also was impassioned then in his criticisms of the FCC. . . . The panel appeared more inclined to support the FCC's argument that Internet-phone services _ which allow users to dial and receive calls from traditional phone numbers _ may be covered under the 1994 law and required to accommodate court-ordered wiretaps. The technology, popularized by Holmdel, N.J.-based Vonage Holdings Corp., is known as "voice over Internet protocol," or VOIP. . . . "Voice-over is a very different thing," U.S. Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle said. He said it offered "precisely the same" functions as traditional telephone lines. . . . Edwards told the lawyer for the civil liberties groups, Matthew Brill, that on his challenge that VOIP services aren't covered under the surveillance law, "I didn't think you have it." . . . Education groups had challenged the FCC rules because they said the requirements would impose burdensome new costs on private university networks.

posted by Lorenzo 10:17 AM

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