BIG BROTHER, NOT SNOWDEN AND GREENWALD, IS THE STORY

“Instead of being adversaries to government power … [the media of Washington, D.C., are] … servants to it and mouthpieces for it.”

So said the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story of Edward Snowden’s disclosure of NSA spying on the American people, after Greenwald’s confrontation with Meet the Press’s David Gregory. Greenwald needn’t have limited his observation to the D.C. media. Plenty of reporters and cable-news talking heads are playing the same role in the NSA drama.

Indeed, if they spent half the time investigating Obama’s Big Brother operations that they spend sneering at Snowden and Greenwald, Americans might demand that the government stop spying on them.

But to much of the mainstream (and not-so-mainstream) media, Snowden and Greenwald — not the NSA, the Obama administration, and the supine Congress — are the story — a story of villainy.

via BIG BROTHER, NOT SNOWDEN AND GREENWALD, IS THE STORY

Army reportedly blocking military access to Guardian coverage of NSA leaks

The Monterey Calif. Herald reported that employees at the Presidio of Monterey, an Army public affairs base about 100 miles south of San Francisco, were unable to gain access to The Guardian’s articles on former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and his professed leaks of classified information about the intelligence programs.

Late Thursday, an Army spokesman told The Herald by email that the newspaper’s NSA reports were, in fact, being blocked across the entire Army. He wrote that it’s routine for the Defense Department to take “network hygiene” action to prevent disclosure of classified information, The Herald reported.

via Army reportedly blocking military access to Guardian coverage of NSA leaks

Teen Justin Carter Jailed In Texas After Making Sarcastic Threat In Facebook Comment

Earlier this year, Carter and a friend got into an Facebook argument with someone regarding “League of Legends,” an online video game with notoriously die-hard fans. Justin’s father, Jack, explained to ABC local affiliate KVUE that at the end of the conversation “[s]omeone had said something to the effect of ‘Oh you’re insane, you’re crazy, you’re messed up in the head,’ to which [Justin] replied ‘Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts,’ and the next two lines were lol and jk [all sic].”

In case you’ve never been online before today: Internet shorthand LOL stands for “laughing out loud”; JK means “just kidding.”

A woman in Canada who came across the boy’s post failed to see the humor, however, and alerted police after Internet research revealed Carter, who was 18 at the time of the incident, lived near an elementary school. Carter was taken into custody and charged with making a “terroristic” threat.

via Teen Justin Carter Jailed In Texas After Making Sarcastic Threat In Facebook Comment

California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

Jeff Olson, the 40-year-old man who is being prosecuted for scrawling anti-megabank messages on sidewalks in water-soluble chalk last year now faces a 13-year jail sentence. A judge has barred his attorney from mentioning freedom of speech during trial.

According to the San Diego Reader, which reported on Tuesday that a judge had opted to prevent Olson’s attorney from “mentioning the First Amendment, free speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or political speech during the trial,” Olson must now stand trial for on 13 counts of vandalism.

via California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: ‘WAR ON COAL IS EXACTLY WHAT’S NEEDED’

“A war on coal is exactly what’s needed,” White House climate adviser Daniel P. Schrag told the New York Times.

Obama’s plan will crack down on emissions even further, give $8 billion in taxpayer money to fund loan guarantees for energy projects, and allocate $7 billion to finance foreign climate mitigation and adaptation projects, reports The Times.

National Mining Association President and CEO Hal Quinn said Obama’s anti-coal policy is wrongheaded, costly to the 76% of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck, and will continue the already bleak jobs outlook in America.

via WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: ‘WAR ON COAL IS EXACTLY WHAT’S NEEDED’

RAND PAUL UNLOADS ON IMMIGRATION BILL

“This Gang of Eight bill delegates a lot of authority to the administration,” he explained.

“So, with my amendment, ‘Trust But Verify,’ we tried to get that authority back and keep it in Congress, where Congress would vote on whether the border is secure.“Ultimately, whether or not these people become citizens, under the Gang of Eight bill, is up to the president,” Paul continued. “I don’t care if it’s a Republican president or a Democratic president. That’s too much power for one person to have.”

“So, I would have kept that power with Congress and said Congress has to vote whether the border is secure before we keep moving forward. I would make even the initial process of giving work people visas dependent on a secure border,” he stated.

via RAND PAUL UNLOADS ON IMMIGRATION BILL

We’re all Osama Bin Laden now

For war hawks, the year is perpetually 1939 and every tin pot dictator is Adolf Hitler, even if originally installed and supported by the U.S. government. We have been forced to pay for two completely useless wars over the past twelve years, with the specter of Nazi Germany and another Holocaust thrown in the faces of anyone who objected. Anything other than full commitment constitutes “appeasing a dictator,” the fatal mistake that led to WWII.

Yet, the abridged world history textbook that every neoconservative seems to have read apparently contains nothing else about Nazi Germany. It doesn’t seem to tell them anything about why Hitler was a dictator in the first place, long before the Holocaust got under way.

The truth regarding that question is stranger than fiction.

Five years earlier, Germany had suffered a spectacular terrorist attack. Someone set fire to the German parliament building, the Reichstag. Joseph Goebbels regarded the first report of the attack as “a tall tale” and hung up on the caller. Only upon receiving a second call did he believe the report and inform Hitler. Tragically, the eerie similarity to Bush’s reaction to 9/11 didn’t end there.

via We’re all Osama Bin Laden now