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No, I don't think Levine/Ames raise excellent questions at all. They merely hate capitalism with a passion, so they ventilate their spite. That's not journalism. We missed them complaining about much, much more famous micro-credit schemes years ago with the same vicious pressure on loan recipients. Gonzo journalism is always about The Man, but now The Man is only certain Men they don't like -- not any of their own funders who have "betterworldist" philosophies no different, and often worse, than Pierre's. My critique of Omidyar is that he takes from the lower middle-class (on ebay), then gives to the selected poor -- or rather, the NGO sector lords of aid to the third world, which isn't the quite thing. And in doing so, he practices this "capitalism for me, communism for you" philosophy that is the real ideology of Silicon Valley (not mere technolibertarianism or neo-liberalism as Evgeny Morozov pouts about all the time). Then the rents go up on ebay for all those middle-aged mid-Western ladies selling their dolls and doilies, and the third sector also kept alive by Soros grows larger and uses all this soft money to vote for Obama. Nowhere do these people take care to sustain and develop the free market capitalist system itself. Indeed, how could they, with their socialist ideals and with the Leninist press biting at their heels constantly? Omidyar at least gives to the needy, and doesn't call "charity" just finding cures to diseases he suffers from, like Sergei Brin. The problem with the viciousness of Levine and Ames is that they argue against Omidyar (it's not journalism) from this vitriolic perspective of Leninism (Limonovism) but they don't have an answer as to how they and their journal and the rest of society are going to be kept in livelihoods without any capitalism.
I personally don't like this notion of running charities as businesses and trying to make non-profits shape up with business demands and 90-day impact studies and bottom lines. If your project is, say, publicizing torture in Uzbekistan or Turkmenisan, you will never see progress in your lifetime -- there is no bottom line. You just keep doing it anyway because it's right to do. After-school programs for poor minority children -- absent any other reforms of the larger picture for their parents -- is the same thing you will do for the rest of your life. "The poor ye always have with you," as Jesus said. But these people think they can change human nature -- and actually, Levine/Ames are no different in their glazed-eyed idealism about some more perfect world where none of these sins they pounce on will exist because....they say so.
I don't see a problem even with "investing" in micro-credits to make a profit -- why not do that instead of making useless widgets that are outmoded in 6 months and need a new iteration? It's fine. But he should work at changing the culture of brow-beating -- that in fact comes out of socialism -- in India.
All I want these people to do, whose subscripions I actually paid for, and whose ads I click on, is to *pick up the phone* and actually talk in full paragraphs to their sources instead of having silly Twit fights.
And I want them to stop calling me a "troll" if I merely point out the obvious about them.
17 hours, 2 minutes ago on Pierre Omidyar in 2009: “Anybody who publishes stolen info should help catch the thief”
Investigative journalism doesn't mean having some nerd dredge through old tweets to find something to play "gotcha" with from 2009 (!).
It means calling up Omidyar himself and having a direct discussion with him about whether revealing corporate secrets is the same as revealing classified state secrets. If he won't talk, asking other experts. Obviously it's not the same thing, as Paul Carr concedes in a postscript. It's not because an entire nation's security is at stake, not just the profit of one company.
Investigative journalism isn't merely smearing Omidyar with implications that he's responsible for Indian farmers' suicides, it's actually asking him if he knew about the methods used in loan recovery in his micro-credit scheme and if he did, why he didn't do anything to curb it. It means digging more to see if this scheme actually benefited some people even if unscrupulous loan methods meant it was harmful to others. Mark Ames seems to think that it's enough to fulminate against corporations and capitalism and make insinuations and not have to pick up the phone and actually ask any source anything.
Instead of investigation, we just get viciousness and a default anti-capitalist animosity. That does not substitute for critical journalism.
Also journalistic ethics means not insisting that Mark Ames (formerly of Exiled) is merely writing "fiction" when the issue comes up with his own reporting of his own antics in Russia in the 1990s, involving sex with a 15-year-old Russian girl. It means demanding to know whether it is true or not *from him*. He has been silent. It means not assuming that if someone raises this legitimately, that they are merely out to cover for Greenwald or Omidyar or "attack Mark's reporting". What reporting? It's opinion. And I personally am a bigger critic of Greenwald, Omidyar, etc. than Paul Carr and co. over a longer period of time.
But instead of real investigation, we get name-calling and nastiness on Twitter. Oh, wait. Omidyar finally gets a "respectful" and "productive" Twitter debate because he's worth millions. Those of us in the cheap seats get called "fucking insane" and smeared with false charges based on Wikipedia vandalism by Anonymous. Appalling.
I'm unsubscribing from NSFW, which I once believed in enthusiastically, and hoping Sarah Lacy might shape up this crew before they pull her down. Pando is a very good thing and it's good she is trying to save NSFW. But she should realize that calling people names on Twitter doesn't prove there was "investigative journalism" either.
21 hours, 37 minutes ago on Pierre Omidyar in 2009: “Anybody who publishes stolen info should help catch the thief”
Like with all the Snowden stories, this story doesn't really reveal an actual violation of the law. No criminal investigation let alone court finding has established that law is violated.
Of course there is the concept of "just law," and just because not everything is found to be wrong in court, doesn't mean that it *isn't* ultimately a violation of justice.
But even, there, too, this story doesn't establish that there's an injustice. To accept that there's an injustice, first you'd have to establish that scooping up metadata for the purpose of tracking criminals and terrorists is a violation of law. Nothing said here proves that it is. The FBI is not creating dossiers it actually fills and reads with human intelligence on massive numbers of people, it's only sifting through machine data to find matches to criminal investigations established in other ways or through the matching of known suspect data, i.e. mafia members home or business phone.
Civil libertarians often make a claim that gathering metadata is overreach because it establishes location and type of machine and "might" be used for government hacking (the claim made here as well). Yet has it? No case is established in fact that it has; no individual whose rights are violated has actually been produced. Given that the FBI has to make their cases stand up in court, it's not in their interests to gather data illegally.
Stories like this always imply that the government is sieving millions of people's data and then dip-netting randomly or with prejudice or unfounded suspicion on those millions to "come up with something". But from all accounts, it seems that the government is tracking suspects that it should be tracking and legally gathering data on them.
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Access denied | Foreign Policy
German, Brazil, and their anti-American NGO supporters as well as the whole Snowden hackes' collective are pretty hypocritical about all this.
They allowed Google to reputation-launder with their participation in the lobbying group GNI, and never complained about Google's far more intrusive data-scraping of the content of email and social media communications. They actively sought Facebook's membership, and didn't complain about their privacy busting.
We never learn the content of either Merkel's or Rouseff's conversation, in fact, and we never confirm that in fact they *were* bugged; CNN asked the Der Spiegel editor who ran this Snowden claim and he said all he had was a document showing Merkel's name in a list.
Germany can posture like this at the UN in the full knowledge that Russia, where it has considerable business interests, will never comply with this resolution, which it will sign to harass the US, and never implement at home, where it does far worse surveillance.
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Access denied | The Cable
German, Brazil, and their anti-American NGO supporters as well as the whole Snowden hackes' collective are pretty hypocritical about all this.
They allowed Google to reputation-launder with their participation in GNI, and never complained about Google's far more intrusive data-scraping of the content of email and social media communications. They actively sought Facebook's membership, and didn't complain about their privacy busting.
Germany, Brazil and their NGO and adversarial NGO friends are all pretty hypocritical about this.
They were silent for years when Russia, China, and Iran kept surveillance over their populations far more intrusive and devastating for human rights than anything the NSA does.
They were silent when Big IT like Google scraped and retained all the data of the *content* of their communications -- which the NSA has not done, restricting itself through elaborate checks and balances to gathering metadata in pursuit against terrorists and other criminals.
They were silent and inactive when all the EU countries gathered communications data, and even shared it with the NSA.
It was only when WikiLeaks and the Russian government joined to exploit the defector Snowden that we got all these revelations damaging to the Western alliance -- and profitable to Russia.
And speaking of profits, Germany is happy to make billions from its interdependence with US companies like Amazon on amazon.de -- in fact, it had a banner sales year.
So it doesn't tackle its claims of privacy-busting in ways that might really matter, by demanding that Amazon cede control of all German data and let it be kept on German owned servers -- a deal they might not get for reasons of cost among other issues of interdependency.
Thus, their use of the UN, where every silly anti-American sentiment can be amplified 100 times over, without any care or concern that any universal principle applied tendentiously to a liberal democratic state will ever have to be complied with by authoritarians -- least of all those where there are business interests of Germany, like in Russia.
2 weeks, 6 days ago on Access denied | The Cable
@zenmastermojo Oh, not at all. I challenged Warren specifically on the quote made by Noam in his article, in which he took great glee, where she confronts the Wall street regulators. She implies in her quote that the purpose of regulation is to produce criminal sentences. That implies that regardless of the truth, regardless of the facts, such boards should nail people to the wall to satisfy populism regardless of the truth. That *is* what Bolshevism *is*.
She herself cites no cases; she doesn't supply any facts; she doesn't say, "I've been researching Jamie Diman and here's why I think that the hefty fine is not enough, he needs to go behind bars because of X, Y, Z facts and argumentations I'm bringing." Instead, she implies in a highly politicized manner that ONLY if people are put in jail -- like Russia -- without due process, without facts, can she "win". Win for her Bolshevik cause, of course, because it's not a win for any just justice system.
Corporate lawyers with PhDs themselves aren't businessmen and aren't even practicing lawyers if they go into politics, and begin to spew ideological statements in a partisan manner. It's great she has a legal background, but she never seems to have run a business and she has a great animus to commerce and capitalism.
Fox News is watched by only 2 million people. The Tea Party is waning. What you're really up against are liberals and centrists in the Democratic Party itself, as well as independents, who will not stand for this kind of socialist demogoguery.
If she really has found corporate fraud, let her bring the facts, let her have hearings, call witnesses, commission reports. I don't any of that. She has no case. She is substituting rhetoric and grand-standing for having a case. That's extremely dangerous and unjust.
4 weeks, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115509/elizabeth-warren-hillary-clintons-nightmare
If you have a criminal case, by all means bring it. But you don't. The end.
1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115509/elizabeth-warren-hillary-clintons-nightmare
Noam is rooting for Liza, and Chris Huges the Silicon Valley tycoon must have decided that TNR should become the socialist candidate vehicle, but the graphics guy is resisting. He's portraying Warren with red in every single photo, and that's exactly the problem -- the communist ideology that university professors absorb and regurgitate without question. Go, graphics guy! You're telling the story right here.
At least Noam is admitting that young people openly opt for the "s" word.
So make a Socialist Party, or revive the Democratic Socialists of America, and go into that, rather than wrecking the Democratic Party.
Ever since I saw Warren's clip about "you didn't build that," I've watched her closely to see whether that was a one-off or in fact emblematic of her socialist "progressive" views. And the answer is: the way you know she is a stealth socialist even worse than Obama is her harping on the "middle class". Whenever you hear somebody blathering about "the middle class," you know their real agenda is socialism. They think that is a supercool way to cloak their hidden agenda, like any "single issue" fake politics concealing hard-core cadre organizing for socialist programs. They think that "ordinary people in the middle class" will then follow them. Baloney.
I'm not in the middle class; I'm in the lower class as a single mom of two in the non profit sector. But I'm not fooled by all his talk of middle class. The way to lift all boats is to encourage business to thrive, which creates jobs and commerce. Warren is afraid of commerce; she's a scold and takes a punitive approach to commerce.
She adopted the Bolshevik Occupy rhetoric of wanting to hang the rich from the lamp-posts, asking when these regulators stopped beating their wives. The objective is to regulate, not send to prison. Good Lord. If there is no crime committed worthy of sending someone to prison like Madoff, then fines are the appropriate way to go, and certainly Chase is being shaken down. Punitive practices regarding non-cronies is like Russia; it has no place in America. Keep it away.
First come people's hard work, and for some, entrepreneurialism. Then comes the paying of their taxes. Then comes using that taxes to build roads to sustain them, as government for and by the people. It's not about putting first the socialists in the redistribution committee in power and having them extract and redistribute. Warren doesn't get that. It's not about her and her power to redistribute; it's about people's work and their entrepreneurial achievements.
If the Democratic Party doesn't realize that they cannot have Warren or leftist clones worse than Obama, and can't produce Hillary in 2016 or some reasonable moderate candidate who doesn't hate business, then we will be forced to put in protest votes with the Republican Party. And not for the first time.
It's not about privacy or the content of what is hidden, it's about power -- who gets to encrypt absolutely.
1 month ago on Access denied | Foreign Policy
I oppose holds like this -- I thought they had worked to get of holds. And I oppose *these* holds.
But I still think questions about Benghazi are in order. I'm not sure John Hudson does, however, since questions asked after he asked them in September 2012 in the Atlantic seem to be deemed "trolling" and never legitimate.
Since the witness being discredited now himself told everyone to look to his FBI testimony, I think there will be more to the story.
It's good that Eli Lake is cited and that this story now appears more balanced than previous ones. Does this happen without prompting from the consumer? No, I don't think it does, quite frankly.
1 month ago on Access denied | The Cable
This may be a very expert insider's account, but it is terribly one-sided. You behave as if the US "stood up" all of this militarization in a vacuum, just out of some love of toys or geopolitical hegemony or something. You utterly fail to portray the very real enemies the US has from Iran to Russia to China to Pakistan to Anonymous. You aren't credible when you don't supply a real picture of what these countries do, which isn't playing catch-up, but which is launching the cyber attacks in the first place. Most of the cyber attacks on Europe, as we know from the Brussels Forum, come from Russia. Most of the ones on the US come from China these are real threats,and yet you diminish them. That's why nothing you say is persuasive.
The reason why this is a negative development is that the relatives of those killed or those injured in drone attacks who are not the combatants or terrorists have no way of applying for compensation because it is run by the CIA in secret, so they don't accept applications. Those killed openly by the US armed forces by mistake in collateral damage can get compensated, but not drone victims. Surely that much could be fixed about this program.
1 month ago on Access denied | Killer Apps
And now what?
1 month, 1 week ago on Access denied | The Cable
This sort of piece seems like oppo research, and not journalism, and feels like a "gotcha" rather than reporting. Or this is supposed to be the new adversarial journalism a la Greenwald?
The real purpose of this piece - and what is revealed in the first sentence -- is to expose "GOP outrage over the Obama administration's handling of the September 2012 incident" as misfounded. That's all. And that's why it all feels so instrumental.
Look, did you call up Jones and ask him directly why his story appears to conflict? No. Instead you've speculated -- and pounced. It may be that the witness has lied. But we don't have that yet.
Meanwhile, the distinct implication here is that CBS is cravenly flogging its book with known lies. So how does that work? The parent company calls up 60 minutes and says, "Hey, can you lie about a witness in order to flog our book"? Because that's what you imply here, by raising the issue of ownership of this conglomerate as "a fact not disclosed" as if it is a conspiracy.
Might it be possible that Jones filed a deliberately bland report to his boss closer to the events, but then told more of the story to CBS? Why assume that he lies to CBS and not to his boss?
Oh, because that serves the narrative -- the burning need of the progressives to make the GOP "get off of this topic" a recurring theme at FP.
The thing is, you don't have to be in the GOP or Tea Party to question Benghazi. No, it does not seem as if Hillary should be blamed. No, it's misplaced to heckle Susan Rice over this, she went by her briefing papers. But we should still ask why there wasn't sufficient protection, what was really going on there, and why that narrative got so horribly spun before the elections. These are all valid questions and journalists should ask them.
A lot of people rejoiced at the CBS story precisely because 60 minutes has credibility as a mainstream investigative reporter and it seemed like finally the wall of prejudice on this topic in the liberal/leftist media has zealously maintained was going to be breached. So it seems particularly important to you to impugn 60 minutes.
But here's the thing. It doesn't matter if this witness turns out to be a fraud. 60 minutes isn't stupid, but if it *is* the case they bought tainted goods, it doesn't mean there's no more to the story and no more to try to tackle the Obama scrim around it.
Yet we don't know if he was lying, we only have bloggy speculation.
As for "cashing in," that's simply not credible on your part. Do you put in parentheses every time you cover Assange or Greenwald for the way they have cashed in on WikiLeaks and Snowden? Does everybody who has a book out become a non-credible witness merely for publishing his story and properly getting paid for it?
As for the paying of sources, indeed that is wrong and not a practice in American journalism and rightly so. But he was not paid for his participation in 60 minutes. Would any person paid in the past by other media outlets automatically be disqualified from being a witness? That might really cut down on the news.
And you know, it's not as if we need this particular witness to challenge the Administration's narrative. I recall a piece published by Foreign Policy soon after Benghazi (can't find link now) recounting the narrative of a woman who thought to visit hospitals until she found a wounded guard who recounted to her a narrative of an assault on the compound that was completely at odds with the "demonstration which got out of hand" narrative. So there are other witnesses out there.
@John Suffolk why does the Chinese Army need to keep hacking us the, John? You don't account for all that enormous amount of aggressive hacking. Even the New York Times. What's the purpose there? It seems like not only industrial espionage and sabotage of the country to knock out a global rival, but pure spite.
Barton Gellman's piece does not supply proof that the NSA actually breaks into Google. What he has is a sketch that possibly shows the aspiration to do so. We don't know if that is consultant hype -- Snowden was at Booz Hamilton at the time, and we don't know if this was a consultant's pitch or an actual internal engineer's drawing. Doesn't seem like the latter, and it's pretty informal. Once again, we have a story with allegations and outlines and no content or validation.
@shekissesfrogs @kablosna No, they most certainly did not fall on their faces. Instead, they followed civil rights constraints because all they had were some trips abroad and some Youtubes. Not probably cause. And that's because THE RUSSIANS failed to tell the FBI that Tamerlan had befriend at least one if not three jihadists who *were assassinated that summer* by the Russians. WHEN were the Russians going to mention THAT? This has all been reported in the Russian media and I've translated it on my blog. Seriously, that's news, that an American resident with refugee status and a green card travelling on a Kyrgyz passport, with his Dagestani passport "lost" and being replaced, meets up with people who are *killed by Russian forces*. They watch foreigners and suspicious types very closely and they can't have missed him. He passed through Moscow for several days. We'll never know if in fact he was a Russian double agent or something.
There are also other FISC cases, like Muhtorov which I've reported on extensively. There isn't just one.
Parallel construction tells us there is something wrong with a system that creates artificial firewalls of "foreign" and "domestic" in cases where drugs move across borders easily in a very interconnected world. That's what has to change. Some way of having interagency sharing on certain cases like this.
1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115002/invasive-nsa-will-protect-us-cyber-attacks
@shekissesfrogs Yes I agree @kablosna