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23 February 2013


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ex-PFC Chuck

That was a powerful speech. He is not kidding about the targeting of activists. I suspect that most readers here are familiar with the fact that Aaron Swartz, whose activism on various Internet causes began when he was in his early teens, took his own life a few weeks ago at the age of 26. One of the people he worked with on various projects was Lawrence Lessig, a prolific law professor now at Harvard. Recently Lessig was installed in a newly endowed chair at the law school, and he took the opportunity of the installation ceremony to speak about what the harassment that Swartz endured and that drove him over the edge says about how far our country has fallen. Lessig's speech addresses many of the same issues touched upon by Appelbaum, albeit from a different perspective. If you choose to view it at the link below I suggest you click iahead to the 9 min. point, where his speech actually begins. The speaker prior to that, whom I presume is is the Dean or some other Pooh Bah at the law school, is a bit over the top in her introductory comments and introduction of the speaker. The question-and-answer session during the last eight or 10 min. is also very much worth listening to as is Lessig's closure at the very and.


There are two talks you need to have everyone you know watch. Both are by Eben Moglen.

Moglen is a lawyer and guardian of the GNU license with Richard Stallman. (Also a great friend of Lessig's, I might add.) Moglen also has a PhD in History from Yale, and he wrote the first networked email program when he was 16. He is incredibly entertaining to listen to: smart and funny. He talks like a rapping poet. He is a visionary guru to every teenage programmer.

In reverse order because once you watch the 15 minute talk, you'll agree to watch the longer one, which will explain in detail what's wrong with the net that needs to be fixed. And for you non-techies out there, you'll feel smart by the end of it.



Eben Moglen talks about "Freedom in the Cloud" at the Feb 5, 2010 meeting of the Internet Society's New York chapter. This set off a global movement. It was in this talk that Moglen declared, "Mr. Zuckerberg richly deserves bankruptcy." If you want the really technical part, search google for the Q&A video that followed in which he comes up with the idea that set off the global movement. (50 min)

ex-PFC Chuck

Here's another random log on the fire:


Moglen's latest, which I am listening to now:

F2C2012: Eben Moglen keynote - "Innovation under Austerity"


The NSA guy at minute 13:00 is lying through his teeth. I taught the NSA how to intercept and scarf up everything that went through AT&T's ten nodes (at the time) how to do it. [Jacob got the addresses right, but not the number of the nodes. They have one in Denver, and another in Texas, either Dallas or Houston.) That was in the mid-80s. At that time, they were directly attached through something called a Private Line Network (PLN), an AT&T program, which is what I was teaching them. Only 100 scientists knew how it worked, and I'm sure they were all sworn to secrecy.

What Klein discovered in 2007 in San Francisco had been going on for over 23 years at that point.

What permitted this lying piece of s88t to say that under oath is that it was then technically correct. NARUS is/was the intermediary. If anyone remembers Klein's testimony, he said there was a "linking machine" between AT&T and the NSA. That was NARUS.

NARUS was founded in Israel by Ori Cohen in 1997 (with purloined US technology, 'natch and new Russian tech know-how). He used to brag about the spying on his website--the classic 'Israel has bigger cajones' and 'we invented cherry tomatoes' stuff--until he was made to disappear from the corporate masthead, and they rolled in effete but competent northern CA whitebread to make it look country club American and uber patriotic. I think Boeing bought them out, eventually, but not before all the data they captured was streamed to Israel. The Fox News Dec 2001 series on Israeli spying was all about the power of NARUS. Watch it here, if you haven't seen it.

This all came about because we enacted CALEA in April 1994, the worse piece of telecommunication legislation in our history. It was just after I left. Ask me how much I screamed and howled into the night about it, and how everyone thought I was loony to give a damn. I worked on AT&Ts new phone system for the govt before leaving, and a newer name for it came into being in 1996, which was when an Israeli company got an exclusive on servicing the White House "telephonically" and in particular the Oval Office. In other words, it was carved out of FTS2001. FTS stands for Federal Telephone System.

That Israeli company, too, had to find an American subsidiary to hide beneath.

Here's an old Dkos diary on AT&T and NARUS:

Clinton gave away the keys to the kingdom. He decoupled the banking system from 60 year safeguards. He ran a federal government surplus which created the massive non-government sector deficit that created the financial crisis after the dotcom and housing bubbles burst. Clinton was a state governor. States need to get income before they can spend, so the law in Arkansas to balance the budget, or better yet, run a surplus, is a good one for any state in the union. Clinton balanced Arkansas' budgets, and like Reagan and Bush Jr--and apparently the whiz kid in office now--he thought he was supposed to balance the federal budget...and reduce the deficit. Hint: the Federal Government issues the currency. How can it ever go broke? The rest of us, including state and local govts, have to earn the green. The federal government creates it, and has domestically since 1934 and internationally since 1971, but we don't know that because the reporters wet busy covering Watergate. the banker and traders do.

Just for s88ts and grins, here's the list of the times in our history, since 1776, when the federal government ran balanced budgets, or surpluses, and the depressions they created:
Balanced budgets or surpluses
1817-21, 1823-36, 1852-57, 1867-73, 1880-93, 1920-30 and 1998-2001

1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893, 1929, and 2008. The latter delayed a little because the bubbles had to burst.

Sorry to ramble on like this, but I get steamed, still, at the connections.



Will have to disagree on the apparent correlation between budget balances and depressions. I would rather argue that the US government had to start balancing budgets because the market started to demand higher interest rates on the deficits, which was unaffordable to the government. The depressions happened for the same reason the market wanted higher interest rates: the economy had over-expanded and it was time to retrench.

It seems that depressions and recessions happen because there are too many con-men in the market, and it is no longer possible for banks/capital holders to distinguish between con-men and legitimate money-making businesses. For example, in the recent 2008 bubble, the market could no longer tell who could pay their mortgages and who couldn't, due to corroded underwriting standards, aka too many con-men.

To restore trust in the system, thus, banks and other capital holders stop lending. A lack of credit dramatically slows down the velocity of money, which means less money supply, aka a recession. Legitimate money-making businesses can continue to survive with little credit, while con-men get driven out of the system because they can't keep up the con without credit.

Once all con-men get driven out, lending starts again, so the business cycle starts again.

The various "stimulus" programs arguably delays this trust-restoration process, because the Government provides credit to all of the politically-connected con-men, which obviously con-men in general are good at getting connected. So con-men keep limping along, and we cannot figure out who we can lend money to.

If you want to be angry, get angry at the people who want to cheat you out of your money.

William R. Cumming

CFIUS enacted into law in 1988 requiring review on National Security grounds of all foreign investors acquisitions and mergers of and with US companies has IMO never been applied to Israel.
It was enacted into law as part of the Defense Production Act of 1950!

Paul Escobar


Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I was expecting some emotional speech, but the speaker is actually calm, factual & precise.



Nice find. I imagined all of this back when I read 1984(hint-that was still the future). It has been amazing watching all of this happen. However the surveillance state along with the financial slow collapse as well as the environmental challenges I envisioned were wrong in one aspect. Its bigger and worse than even my fertile young mind could imagine it.

I am glad most of my life was a happy memory of relative abundance and freedom. Interesting times are getting a little too interesting. Pity the poor kids who think this is all status quot now.

MRW- 0f course he was lying. That's the currency of his trade. Occasionally he might tell the truth just to throw off opfor intelligence agents but probably not.

Like the jihadist who has a license to lie, drink and whore to fool the infidel, spooks get a pass because shut up that's why. Exceptions to decent human behavior that can be morally justified just seem to hit he sweet spot for some people. Those people are mostly sociopaths.


Enjoyed the surveillance state and Aaron's Laws. According the the former, we all have a file for being on this site and even more so for viewing any of the above.

Gonna eat a good sandwich and read on a book the next couple hrs. in the company of my loyal dogs. This morning's viewings need some perculation time.



Thanks; a very interesting talk - a Nerd with a touch of charisma. It is strange speech in the sense that it is aimed straight at the workers toiling in the digital world. Much like a dissident giving a dog and pony show in the auditorium at the Lubyanka Headquarters of the Soviet KGB a few decades ago.

To what purpose this buildup of the digital surveillance state. The USA is broke. It is leaving Afghanistan. The Drone Wars are counter productive. The Middle East is on the verge of the Shiite Sunni Jihad. Even defense contractors will be hit by Sequestration not to mention the furloughed workers.

I think the surveillance is intended to keep the status quo - Bankers out of jail. Nevertheless, information and the truth tend to be disseminated; by Pamphlets in 1776, Cassette Tapes in the Soviet Union, or pirate SIM Cards today.


Legitimate money-making businesses can continue to survive with little credit, while con-men get driven out of the system because they can't keep up the con without credit.

I think you have it backwards, with all respect.

Read: "Reinventing Government: the 1995 Speeches announcing the Road to Ruin." Kinda long but written by the guy who put the con men in jail 20 years ago, which is where the current destroyers of the American economy belong.


Legitimate money-making businesses can continue to survive with little credit, while con-men get driven out of the system because they can't keep up the con without credit.

Actually, you have it backwards, with all respect, Jimmy. It's called Gresham's Dynamic, identified in Nobel Prize winners George Akerlof and Paul Romer's articles before they won the Nobel in 2000 (I think that's the year). Con men drive the legitimate ones out of business, which is why the Obama administration's failure to prosecute the CEO/Banker crooks who caused the 2008 crisis is so egregious. Obama called Geithner the greatest treasury sec as Geithner left. Geithner will go down in history as the peon intellect who made Herbert Hoover look like a genius, because Geithner didn't have the smarts to read and understand history before he destroyed the middle class with the disdain and alacrity he displayed in 'running' the economy. Mark my words.

Read: "Reinventing Government: the 1995 Speeches announcing the Road to Ruin." Kinda' long, but written by the guy who put the S&L frauds in jail, which included the Speaker of the House. The S&L crisis was a $160 billion crisis. The current one is 40X as large, and no one has gone to jail for it. Black describes the 'control fraud' that caused it. Control fraud is the technically correct white collar crime term for fraud committed by those in control, the CEOs. While Black, in this article, is describing the idiots who ran the Clinton admin, he describes accurately what you're not seeing about con men.



"Will have to disagree on the apparent correlation between budget balances and depressions. I would rather argue that the US government had to start balancing budgets because the market started to demand higher interest rates on the deficits, which was unaffordable to the government."

The private/public sectors mirror each other. They go hand-in-glove, although these writers don't understand why:

"U.S. economy contracts for first time since recession
By Annalyn Kurtz @CNNMoney January 30, 2013: 12:48 PM ET

Uncle Sam cut spending and businesses drew down inventories in the fourth quarter of 2012, causing the U.S. economy to contract for the first time in more than three years."

From: http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/30/news/economy/gdp-

"U.S. Treasury Posts First January Budget Surplus Since 2008
By Meera Louis - Feb 12, 2013 11:00 AM PT

The U.S. government posted a January budget surplus for the first time in five years, reflecting higher revenue from payroll and individual income taxes. . . .The nation had a $17.8 billion surplus in January 2008."

From: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-12/u-s-treasury-posts-first-january-budget-surplus-since-2008.html


A new article by Chris Hedges on true dignity and honor in the military:

The painful reminder.



I take it that your comment is an incitement to mutiny. I presume that you have no "creds" for the audacity to lecture soldiers as to what their duty might be. Are you under the impression that the US Government is the equivalent of Hitler's government? If you think so, don't come here again. pl


You should take this comment as a pointer to a collusion between the financial system and governmental/legislative sector, which explains the attacks on whistleblowers and honest journalists while the banksters and the miscreants that dishonor the military remain untouchable. Please do not force me to repeat that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Your site is dedicated to the truth. Chris Hedges, as well as Pilger, are honorable men that abhor dangerous conformism and stand for the protection of all of us. As Alexander Sokurov noted, neither Stalin nor Hitler were monsters by design. They were basically "like others" and they did what they did because they could. I am an educator, scholar, and professional pianist, that is, I am into the most peaceful vacation one can imagine. And as a former Soviet with a decent knowledge of the Russian history, I am against revolutions. I am indeed fervently for the control of those in power. You might not like the Hedges' comparisons, but they are apt.



"Please do not force me to repeat that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." " I did not have to force you. You did it all by yourself. The problem with people like you and your fellow academics criticizing the military is that you have no "skin in the game." Any fool can sit in a library and lecture those who "have borne the battle." pl


"... dangerous conformism...." One could get a couple of phd's writing about that, as long as he didn't write about the conformism in academia or anti-militray circles.


What is your point in regard to Hedges' speech and mine very clear statement that I am for the control over governmental officials at all levels so that we could avoid bloody revolutions and wars? Why are you so eager to defend the secrecy in high places?



Some secrecy is necessary for the functioning of government but you would not understand that since you probably have never served in government.

In any case my point had nothing to do with secrecy. you simply want to make that be my point. You must be great fun in the classroom where you can order students to be silent.

My point was that academics lack standing acquired in the real struggle of life (as opposed to writing papers) that would make their usually vicious attacks on soldiers credible. pl


I had my problems in the USSR when making TV and radio programs on the deplorable problems in health care. The Communist Party officials in my native city did not like the exposure in the same way the high-level officials everywhere want to be unaccountable. I did not have any intentions to belittle the honorable people in the military: we depend on their bravery, intelligence, and honor. My point was the universal features of those in power. And yes, "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." We do need principles whistleblowers and brave investigative journalists.


Civilians become soldiers when circumstances dictate that.

Secrecy is necessary for a successful state, but not for the sake of the protection of the .01 percent's status quo and not for covering the destruction of habeas corpus.



As I said my point was not about secrecy. So, you don't like professional soldiers? How about Eisenhower, Bradley Marshall, etc. Do you think they were shoe salesmen before WW2? I completely agree about Habeas Corpus and have been an expert eitness in a number cases in which the issue was this right. I am glsd to see that you too are unhappy with Lincoln. pl


Your previous comment was link to a Hedges write-up on the 'white rose movement' that quoted a couple of 90 year olds commenting on atrocities they didn't - and couldn't - have stopped. You labeled it "... true dignity and honor in the military". That essay is hardly about control over government officials at all levels. I made no "defense of secrecy in high places", I commented on conformism by pointing out it exists in academia as well as within governments.

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