Glenn Greenwald Still Covering for Omidyar on PayPal

I truly promise to stop blogging about Greenwald when he stops writing my blog posts for me or when lefts, media critics and transparency advocates start holding him to the same standard to which they hold everyone else.

In this post here, I showed how Glenn kinda lied on Twitter when pressed about Pierre Omidyar’s involvement in the suspension of Wikileaks’ account by eBay-owned PayPal.  I showed that, contrary to what Glenn had said,  Omidyar had, in fact, effectively supported PayPal’s decision. But Glenn knows that the most convincing 1/4 truths are the ones you tell over and over again, as this recent exchange with Amy Goodman shows:

AMY GOODMAN: …Are you concerned about issues like—well, you know, he’s a founder of eBay. EBay cut off—eBay owns PayPal, which cut off support for WikiLeaks. What kind of discussions have you had around that, which certainly would be relevant to what you want to do and your deep concerns about control?

GLENN GREENWALD: …I asked him about that exact issue. And what he told me was that, at the time—and this is absolutely true—he was not the CEO of eBay, he was not involved in its management or PayPal, and that he actually disagreed with that decision.  And a newspaper that he owned in Honolulu, that he created and helped out and at which he was working, editorialized against the government’s attacks on WikiLeaks’s funding.

Glenn’s background as a lawyer comes in handy, again and again, doesn’t it? Yes, it’s true Omidyar was not CEO of eBay. He was simply its chair, which, as we know, is a position of absolutely no influence, the way 123rd richest person in the world is a position of no influence.  And yes it’s also true that the editorial board of Omidyar’s little Hawaiian paper wrung their hands a bit over government interference.  But in the same editorial, Omidyar’s board also unequivocally endorsed PayPal’s decision to comply with government interference, even without a court order to do so:

The executives [of Paypal etc] have a fiduciary duty to do what’s best for their shareholders. And if they didn’t respond to government warnings, they very well could risk their own business being shut down.

So if,  as Glenn expects us to, we are to give Omidyar credit for his editorial board’s handwringing over government interference, then we must also credit him with his editorial board’s endorsement of PayPal’s decision to acquiesce. Which means that, in the absence of some record of Omidyar contradicting both PayPal and his own editorial board in some way suggestive of asserting genuine influence, Glenn is telling Amy Goodman the truth to the same extent that Omidyar meaningfully opposed PayPal’s decision to capitulate to the government.

Good ‘ol Goodman helpfully didn’t inconvenience Greenwald with an easily-researched follow-up and in that generous spirit allotted him free reign to offer up all kinds of risible lusciousness for the rubes, like this gem:

[Omidyar] would not start a new business in order to make money. He would only start a new business for some goal, some civic-minded goal.

Yeah, that’s the great thing about the toxic inequality that everyone is suddenly so enamored of.  It leaves billionaires free to pursue civic-minded goals, as they so often do. Where would we be without them? Perhaps we can persuade Jamie Dimon to pursue some civic-minded goals with Matt Taibbi.

Poor Glenn. I bet Pierre hasn’t even briefed him on the Booz Allen connections yet, but no doubt he’s up for whatever may come. His rabid fans believe anything — and woe to the blogger who doesn’t — which is what makes him so very useful.

UPDATE 4

I am extremely pleased that Alexa O’Brien, an independent journalist who distinguished herself with excellent, thorough reporting on Chelsea Manning, has not gone the way of so many of her colleagues, who have put their brains on vacation while Glenn and Pierre fill the roster of their new venture. Instead she has taken up the matter of Glenn, Pierre and the PayPal Wikileaks blockade in a very thorough and thoughtful manner that puts the orgy of unprincipled sycophants in our midst right now to shame.

UPDATE 3

Uh oh. Another one bites the dust. Arthur Silber recants.

UPDATE 2

Arthur Silber has a very good post about the Greenwald/Omidyar exemption from critiques of the rich and powerful that Greenwald and fans would never grant anyone else. Arthur quotes Glenn from a recent interview saying this:

“I came to believe if you’re smart, skilled, and have the resources, you should use those things to fuck with the powerful.”

As we have recently been instructed, there is no better way to ‘fuck with the powerful’ than to forge quarter billion dollar business partnerships with them. But it was not always so for Glenn. Here he is ‘fucking with the powerful’ in 2005, when he was 38, in two posts which I submit for entertainment purposes only, because he’s just totally different now:

The Reality of Latin American Reaction to Bush

Meet the Oh-So-Noble Peace Protestors in Argentina 

UPDATE 1

Mr. Bunny in comments concisely makes an excellent point about what bullshit the shareholder argument for endorsing the PayPal decision is.

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115 Responses to Glenn Greenwald Still Covering for Omidyar on PayPal

  1. AmishRakeFight says:

    Did you catch this gem a little later in that interview?
    “He [Omidyar] would not start a new business in order to make money. He would only start a new business for some goal, some civic-minded goal.”
    Holy shit. Glenn was in full-blown lawyer mode in that clip. It sounded as if Omidyar was facing trial and Glenn, serving as his defense attorney, was issuing incredibly presumptuous, deceitful statements on his behalf.
    But as the evidence clearly shows, billionaires have no interest in making even more money. No, once they amass a few billion dollars, their ventures are only focused on “civic-minded goals.”
    That he expects anyone with two brain cells to believe that is just laughable. That many people no doubt will believe it (or refuse to skeptically criticize it) is pathetic.

    • Tarzie says:

      I know. I saw it. I wanted to keep it short and sweet so I just stuck to the PayPal lie. This is truly a study, isn’t it? It just gets worse and worse. Glad you left that quote.

      That he expects anyone with two brain cells to believe that is just laughable. That many people no doubt will believe it (or refuse to skeptically criticize it) is pathetic.

      They’ll eat it up. It’s shocking how stupid his fans are. And the prospect of work in the new enterprise will keep the self-assigned PR squad currently spread across various chapters of the ACLU, the transparency club, ambitious journalists, and the liberal/libertarian blogosphere running interference and kissing ass.

      UPDATE: that ‘civic minded’ thing is such a good quote, I’ve made a shirttail out of it. Thanks for the inspiration.

      • AmishRakeFight says:

        “And the prospect of work in the new enterprise will keep the self-assigned PR squad… running interference and kissing ass.” This is easily one of the most repulsive side effects to have emerged since the announcement of the new media venture. It was bad enough for these shitheads to constantly blow sunshine up Glenn’s ass in the hopes of a reassuring pat on the head, maybe a re-tweet, or the highly-coveted mention/link in an update to one of his articles. At least then there was some semblance of principled agreement. Now you have careerism exposing just how little left principles matter to a lot of these people. It’s loathsome. Though I suppose it does have the silver lining of exposing those who can now be discounted and ignored.

      • Tarzie says:

        exposing those who can now be discounted and ignored.

        Which is just about everyone on Twitter. More fall each day. Asher Wolf this morning: ‘While I am troubled by some of Omidyar’s connections, he is certainly hiring some kickass journalists!’

        The dynamics that have been exposed by this suggest tuning out and turning away from this particular realm, which I intend to do after a few more blog posts.

  2. FYI: The dodge of “fiduciary duty” is bullshit. There’s a general duty to shareholders, but in practice that means you can’t sell the warehouse to your nephew for $10. It doesn’t mean that shareholders get to micromanage every business decision. They can always vote with their feet and dump your stock. Pissing off the govt. would probably be a wash in the market, given the number of libertarians who invest in tech stocks.

  3. Hieroglyph says:

    Greenwald’s defence has been weak, and I suspect he knows it, though credit to Goodman for asking. But, seeing as his work has genuinely been good for several years, we may cut him slack – on one proviso. That his new chum come out and openly castigate PlayBall, and Visa for their illegal, absurd blockade on Wikileaks. Let us accept the hypothetical premise that Omidyar was and is privately against the blockade, but merely ask him to be more forthcoming. Transparent, even.

    By the way, below quote is for me the most important:

    “And a newspaper that he owned in Honolulu, that he created and helped out and at which he was working, editorialized against the government’s attacks on WikiLeaks’s funding.”

    Greenwald is happy that a hugely rich bloke had the newspaper which he owns act as his ventriloquist dummy on an issue, in order to vaguely disagree with a boardroom decision. What about editorial independence? Very weird defense this one.

    • Tarzie says:

      Let us accept the hypothetical premise that Omidyar was and is privately against the blockade

      No, let us not. Omidyar had an opportunity to influence events at the time. At the very least he could have taken to the pages of his paper and opposed PayPal’s decision under his own name. Considering his stature, an op-ed under his own name could have likely run in far bigger papers, perhaps even the New York Times. As chair of PayPal’s parent, he might have advised them to fight, at least until there was a court order. Clearly he did nothing of the sort. So there is no undoing his compliance, and recanting it now when it doesn’t matter, except to make Greenwald’s dishonest defense less dishonest, would only compound the dishonesty.

      But, seeing as [Greenwald’s] work has genuinely been good for several years, we may cut him slack

      No, ‘we’ may not. That ship sailed for me already but if it hadn’t I would not be cutting slack for a journalist who is lying for his publisher-to-be when the stakes are so very low. And as far as all that great work that people keep throwing up to redeem his increasingly shitty behavior, if you take his whole output, from 2005, it’s really not all that great. In 2005, he was a reactionary douchebag who sorta shilled for Bush. From 2007-2008, he shilled for Obama. There’s been, maybe 4-5 years of principled, kinda repetitive, support for civil liberties and opposition to drone wars and government corruption bundled with such niceties as support for corporate free speech. Apart from that, I honestly don’t know what Greenwald believes, and I find his principles disquietingly mutable, particularly when the object of scrutiny is himself. I don’t care that he’s better than the rest because I do not see celebrity journalists as necessary to anything I require. I am content to write them all off. My only interest is in analyzing how very toxic they are and warning people off of them.

      • Tarzie,
        Thank you for the link to the reactionary douchebag. I’d never seen that before. I think if GG’s psychophants read that and the link in the update they might take a different view of him. That shit could have been written by the Wall Street Journal editorial board. He may live in South America but he doesn’t know shit about what most of the people down there want or what leaders they admire. Then, again, he doesn’t live like most people in South America. Laughable how he calls Castro one of the “world’s most repressive, spirit slaughtering dictators of the last forty years” while USA kills more innocent people on average every day than Castro did in those 40 years. The whole reason that Amerikkka has never openly invaded Castro’s Cuba and Chavez’s Venezuela is that the vast majority of the people there like what they’ve done and understand that the USA will fuck you up every time.

        White bread opportunistic unclassconsciouss lawyer, loved by liberals starved for any semblance of fighting back, now putting his trust into reforming the NSA through capital’s errand boys and girls in Congress instead of dumping everything and letting the computer geeks of the world come up with some defenses. GG would hate to betray those CIA hitters and informers/traitors to their own people in other nations. What a fucking crying shame — let’s be responsible! And I’ll give you one: he also defended the Supreme Court’s decision to keep animal “crush” videos legal which inspired this: http://www.counterpunch.org/2010/04/23/kitten-stompers-at-the-supreme-court/. Of course his blog was “unclaimed territory” — who’d want it?

      • Tarzie says:

        GG’s psychophants read that and the link in the update they might take a different view of him.

        Nah, they’ll just say it was 2005, and they’d have something of a point, except that’s a whole a lotta shitty to undo in eight years and I see that 2005 guy in a lot of what he does now.

        It’s unfortunate there is no documentation for the tweet about crush video mentioned in Counterpunch. It was sloppy of Counterpunch to allow paraphrasing without proof.

        Greenwald is a free speech purist, at least in relation to formal authority like the state, and may have weaselly arguments as to why there was more at stake then the crush videos themselves. That’s usually how free speech purists, who, like him, always tilt toward exploitation and power, operate.

        UPDATE

        I found the tweet you probably mean. It’s embedded in a comment below. You might want to bookmark it if you’re going to continue to cite it. The prevailing argument that Greenwald seems to be endorsing is that the statute is overly broad.

  4. Judd says:

    Wow. That Greenwald article. It’s like he’s trying to be a hip right-wing Matt Taibbi. “Obese, Castro-idolizing, soccer player”. Making fun of someone for being fat? How petty………and if that crush video thing is true that’s just so horrible. Need to see the tweet.

    This stuff is so bad. Omidyar thing is showing that ever present stockholm syndrome again amongst the left.

    He’s at that point where his second book, that one about how Bush saw the world through good vs. evil lens which allowed him to justify everything he did (zzzz) perfectly explains him. If he just changed a few of the names and events around he could make it his autobiography.

    • Tarzie says:

      I found the tweet that is probably the one Counterpunch unfortunately did not require the author to include.

      There is also this from the same day.

      • Judd says:

        Wrote that comment a little late last night right before bed. I don’t mean to say global left (realize that sounds bad) as a monolith. Just that Greenwald decisions, even if he isn’t as big a celeb in other countries as he is here, must be having an effect to varying degrees in different countries. What that exactly is I don’t know. Maybe very small in some. Don’t know other countries political dialogues as well as here so it was just something I was trying to imagine. Would need a lot more looking into. Regardless, the dialogue is probably better anywhere but here.

      • Tarzie says:

        I doubt that Greenwald matters much outside Brazil. I think most of his shitty influence will be felt in the US and UK, but as the story grows I suppose that could change. He has made a concerted effort to make himself matter as much as possible everywhere. As to ‘the good billionaire’ effect, I am starting to doubt just how many people think toxic wealth accumulation is really a problem in the first place.

      • Judd says:

        The drip drip. Increases his celebrity little by little until that big book comes out, the months leading up to which there will be a monster pr blitz which will include promoting his new Omidyar outlet as THE place to get similar shocking (!) revelations….Sounds like he’s got it made for a while. I’ll reevaluate when that landmark book comes out.

        Sometimes you just want to ask some people ‘Liiiiike do you fully comprehend how much a billion is? Are you just waiting for the first person to get to a trillion? When that happens will your heart swell with pride? Will you celebrate in front of the white house?’

      • Tarzie says:

        Sometimes you just want to ask some people ‘Liiiiike do you fully comprehend how much a billion is?

        I know! In advance of an upcoming post I have been trying to figure out a way to convey that. Nothing I’m finding is really satisfying. It’s horrifying that most of the demonstrations online are about how many cars, houses, sports teams you could buy instead of how many people could be fed, educated, housed, provided with health care etc. This society is seriously ill. I have been referring to Omidyar’s fortune as 8,500 million dollars since I think it makes the disgusting level of greedy hoarding more vivid. These people getting uncritically behind this shit are worse than useless. They’re a fucking plague.

        a monster pr blitz which will include promoting his new Omidyar outlet as THE place to get similar shocking (!) revelations

        I don’t think the revelations are going to be all that shocking. It’s amazing that people are perfectly fine waiting on his book to drop. After all, nothing is going to change anyway, and it will prolong all the delicious drama, which clearly is the real draw.

      • gregfullmoon says:

        How long for a human to count to a billion?
        I think I worked it out a little while ago at 95 years 8 hours a day no holidays and one integer per second.

        The Khan’s of Mongolia might have had the equivalent of a trillion.. for one to get to a $T? By then $USA might be similar to Reichsmark in the 1920s

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichsmark

        They appear to be trotting out the same NAZI solutions.

        Knocked over the Reichstag then, in the current incarnation the temples of trade and warfare..

        No conspiracies here though.

      • Tarzie says:

        in the current incarnation the temples of trade and warfare

        I have no idea what you mean by this.

        No conspiracies here though.

        You might want to re-read me if you’re going to continue to beat your little conspiracy knowingness drum. Can we agree that the corollary of ‘conspiracies happen’ — which I concede — is ‘sometimes they don’t’? And can we agree that conspiracy theories attract a lot of nitwits? People who are so eager to believe in conspiracies, they don’t let facts intrude, and who, in an extremely doltish and tedious fashion, find the conspiracy origin stories way more compelling than anything that happens afterward, which is usually the most important thing, even if the triggering event was conspiracy-concocted? Can we agree that conspiracy nitwits, being part of a self-segregating discourse characterized by iconic nutjobs and charlatans exaggerating things, have a way of discrediting similar but more rigorous analysis, including, maybe even especially, analysis of events where some kind of nefarious, but maybe more prosaic, colluding is actually taking place?

        Thanks!

      • gregfullmoon says:

        Sure on your request. Kill the iconclastic. When I hear that word I always think of your Thurman W Arnold who wrote ‘The Folklore of Capitalism’ back in 1937. He went on to become Roosevelt’s Trust buster; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thurman_Arnold

        The temple of trade is the WTC complex, and the temple of warfare is the 5 sided complex in the district of Columbia.

        Everything has context. And events inserted into the pages of history are the keys struck on the piano playing the harmonies and melodies that cascade into the now.

        I’m always interested in who’s playing even when it is only background muzak.

        Astrology is another Art to employ in this regard as it looks at energies and cycles.

        Good evening from New Zealand.

      • gregfullmoon says:

        Exchange iconlastic for posturing – nice trade.

      • Judd says:

        http://betterexplained.com/articles/how-to-develop-a-sense-of-scale/ The first example there. I thought the line they used “Spending 5 seconds to pick $100 off the floor is literally not a good use of his time.” was good. Also this is the first link on that page: http://instacalc.com/2337….Can just change the numbers around for Omidyar. I think seconds are great because people realize the time it took for them to read and digest that sentence a billionaire made more money than they probably will that day. Or maybe even linking the minimum wage to Omidyar. Like every nanosecond Omidyar makes the minimum wage….something like that.

        “It’s horrifying that most of the demonstrations online are about how many cars, houses, sports teams you could buy instead of how many people could be fed, educated, housed, provided with health care etc.” Really gross…….Recently I’ve talked to a few people who semi-support the occupy movement and who read quite a bit about the financial crisis (again some from elite colleges surprise surprise) and it’s like they are just interested in the sections of Taibbi’s prose where he’s like “this asshole is a two-timing corrupt motherfucker who sold his soul” etc, etc. But the moment you bring up foreclosures, people losing pensions, all that (which many times are in the same article) they snicker and say you have a bleeding heart all while they pretend to give a shit. It’s like what’s the point about reading about the crisis even? They just read about it to admire the graft and impress their buds at how much they know about the complexity of wall st. That’s how “The Wolf of Wall Street” by Scorsese (who will be directing an upcoming documentary on Bill Clinton by the way) will probably do so well. It look like Goodfellas/Casino on Wall St and these people will suck it up. It’s all a jealousy thing and then they turn it back on the principled ones and call them envious. gross.

    • Tarzie says:

      Omidyar thing is showing that ever present stockholm syndrome again amongst the left.

      Left support is bought more cheaply all the time. Critical analysis degrades commensurately allowing for cheaper sales down the road. A death spiral. The uncritical endorsement of toxic inequality and corporate power that Saint Omidyar represents is beyond the pale, considering the state of the country and that so many of these people identified with/participated in Occupy, y’know that movement that injected ‘inequality’ into ‘The Debate.’ And now here we are. Swooning over a Silicon Valley billionaire, come to save journalism.

      There is nothing in the whole Snowden spectacle that would have been credibly called ‘left’ even ten years ago.

      • Judd says:

        His opinion is “great”! Oh wow. That description in the CP article made me shudder I can’t comprehend it. People who boldly adopt these overarching theories and philosophies that stay constant no matter what freak me out.

        This Omidyar thing brings up these mixed emotions. There’s a real sadness for what it means for change, but personally it is liberating in a way. Just to see how convoluted the mental gymnastics get for the far left goes to cling to their leaders. At first I was just a little sad about Greenwald. Now how can you say anything less than fuck this guy? I can’t stand being even near the Omidyar/”Serious” Leakers left anymore. Just time to move on. It’s always a relief to drop those people who you’ve learned a lot from. You get to a point where that person’s limitations or careerism or unwillingness to take it all the way are just not going to cut it. You kind of outgrow a mind in a way. And you think of all the people out there that are taking that person’s word as the truth. I’ve had it a couple times with people I used to admire. It’s very nice for a few days. If that makes sense. Then those maddening frustrations always come back. But it’s nice while it lasts.

      • Tarzie says:

        I can’t stand being even near the Omidyar/”Serious” Leakers left anymore. Just time to move on. It’s always a relief to drop those people…

        I feel the same sense of liberation, when I am not knee-deep in it and feeling disgust. I am going to write a farewell post one of these days.

      • Judd says:

        Also, what do you think about the effects of Greenwald’s current decisions on the global left? He writes all these articles in the most establishment newspapers around the world. He gave the lame Guardian some of the best PR ever. He is becoming a global celebrity now. All those people then read about him partnering with Ebay Billionaire and creating a new journalism. It’s a kind of good apple billionaire fallacy that gets promoted globally. To think about this effect is very disheartening.

  5. J. Casey says:

    Tarzie:

    Wow, I’ve just discovered your blog. Three cheers to you! Nice work. I wonder what would happen if something GG and company revealed were actually something that hadn’t already been reported and discussed by several other insiders — Binney, Tice et. al. — in the last decade or so. I guess you could argue that Snowden provided documents to prove what was already known, and that is useful, but I’d like to see GG come up with something that seems less like the result of interagency rivalry or just plain, old limited hangout.

    • Tarzie says:

      I’d like to see GG come up with something that seems less like the result of interagency rivalry or just plain, old limited hangout.

      If this is what you think I’m writing about, you have completely misread me. This ‘nothing new, ergo conspiracy’ thing is really quite silly. There is no question that many people in high places are upset about the NSA disclosures, and while these stories may not disclose anything that wasn’t known or guessed in broad strokes, the proof makes a huge difference in how these stories are received.

      As to the benefits some people may be getting out of this, oligarchs and various state agencies will attempt to shape everything to their own ends and have considerable means for doing it. Grand conspiracies are not usually required. While I don’t doubt that bad people conspire, the truth is usually more prosaic. My reference to Omidyar’s BAH connections is simply a suggestion that he may have other reasons for getting Glenn under his wing besides saving journalism. Considering Silicon Valley’s complicity in mass surveillance, this partnership is literally equal to Matt Taibbi doing journalism with a banker.

      I believe Glenn is being warmly received by various corporate sectors because of his supernatural ability to generate faith in people who should know better. Like all public ‘lefts’, he is a role model of dissent-scented compliance, whether he is aware of it or not. He is is a new brand because he has a stronger dissent smell than most. But where power is concerned, he is a puppy at heart, eager for strokes and treats and a little piss-marked block he can call his own. He has practically remade whistleblowing as sitting on secrets and the rewards have been great.

      Just for the record, I really don’t like most conspiracy theorists, and discourage their taking up residency in my comments. This is what they sound like to me — ‘Forget the forest. I want to know which lizard person planted this tree.’ They have a tendency to gunk up and discredit any critique of how power works. In other words, they serve power better than they explain it.

      • gregfullmoon says:

        I dislike the tag ‘conspiracy theorist’ as it is used as a general swipe at those who investigate the background of surface offerings.

        Like the dialogue here about the workings that motivate Greenwald and other so-called gatekeepers.

        Sure there is heaps of dogmatized ‘conspiracy theory’ followers, however these are not generating material or doing the real investigation, more just parrots playing Chinese Whispers and generally muddying the opaque waters.

        At the root of the problem is a war. The global battlefield or war-theatre for the heart and mind of the public zeitgeist. It is waged between the poles of collectivism versus individualism. It seeks an absolute control and knows no limits in its application of energy to gain result.

        Every corporate boardroom is an active conspiracy to defraud the public estate of a part of its value. This statement is supported by the legal requirement that these entities maximize shareholder value. The corporate governments are complicit in this process, as is evidenced by the campaign to lock the globe’s nations into a new level of multilateral Free Trade Agreements as in the TPP and TTIP.

        Through a global conspiracy publicly advanced in secrecy the ‘globalists’ (a conspiracy to create a ‘corporation favouring legal framework’ that overrides states rights to legislate in the public interest).

        A direct result of advancing trade interests will result in a decline in ecological health.

        It will also severely limit the public power to effect government policy on the mitigation of Climate Change and will slow the move away from bankster imposed central banking and fossil fueled interests.

        Have a nice day and thanks for insight into Greenwald’s workings. I agree the expose afforded by Snowden’s leaks are both confirmation of the understanding many had and an advance and spread of this knowledge deep into the public psyche. To this effect Chris Hedge’s offering at Truthdig a few days ago is of note;

        http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/our_invisible_revolution_20131028

        First time in this puddle, I hope I haven’t turned the pool yellow.

      • Tarzie says:

        I dislike the tag ‘conspiracy theorist’ as it is used as a general swipe at those who investigate the background of surface offerings.

        I agree. At the same time, there is a certain political temperament that one can legitimately call conspiracist, that is inclined to habitually look for, and see, elaborate plots everywhere, and they get so fixated on the plots, they miss everything that is right out in the open. So, for instance, they’ll look for all the clues indicating the Snowden is, say, a Russian spy, or a CIA plotter settling a turf war with the NSA, instead of seeing what people with power are making of his leaks right out in the open. The Snowden Spectacle, like all big news events, has been a festival of distraction and indoctrination. This would be true regardless of what Snowden intended. So I guess my objection is to conspiracism as a unique kind of discourse, that has its own intellectual figureheads, web sites, podcasts etc which, by virtue of being attractive to a lot of drama-addicts and obsessives, tends to miss the point a lot of the time while playing fast and loose with facts, and thereby makes it easy for propagandists to disparage and smear any critique or critic that draws relationships between power, associations and interests.

      • 2cents says:

        Concealing conspiracies is all about controlling information, and legitimizing a certain set of stated or public facts. To the extent that ‘conspiracists’ are deprived of facts because those with knowledge of the events in question withhold them, does not necessarily make their arguments or questions any less cogent, especially when however scant available evidence directly contradicts the ‘stated facts’ surrounding an event.

        So, for example, prior to Snowden revealing documentation about the NSA’s mass spying program, if someone were to make the claim that all americans were being spied upon by their own government all the time, they could quickly be dismissed as a crazy tin-foil hat conspiracist… how could the government employ 10s of thousands of people in this endeavor, and no one has spoken up?

        I agree, however, that there is a difference between fantastical conspiracies (eg lizard aliens living underground and working with the NWO) and evidence based conspiracies (eg 9/11 video, witness, and laws of physics evidence contradicting the official retelling). Conflating the two is often what undermines the legitimacy of ‘conspiracists’, and makes it easy to discount any ‘unsanctioned history.’

      • Tarzie says:

        Pretty sure nothing here contradicts anything I said about conspiracy theory. I do think you gloss over the attraction conspiracies hold for a certain kind of temperament that is more akin to religiosity than curiosity or skepticism, and that the preponderance of people with this temperament in discussions of events where conspiracies might be involved aids and abets rather than undermines proponents of the official story. These people are also unbearably tedious in a way that drives out cooler heads. These people are a problem no matter what particular conspiracy they happen to be arguing for.

        I have nowhere insisted that conspiracies never happen. Nor have I said that people with power and their sycophants don’t use charges of conspiracism to shut down discussion.

      • 2cents says:

        Agreed that those types of ‘religious conspiracists’ are problematic, but on the flip side, many ‘mainstreamers’ behave similarly with religious zeal, only they are generally not categorized as fanatics or classed derogatorily as ‘mainstreamers’ by the press and public figures seeking to discredit their ideas. Perhaps the fault lies in society’s inability to separate those groups from a reasoned middle ground. I’m not saying anything you wrote contradicts this, just tossing in my thoughts on the conspiracy debate.

      • Tarzie says:

        many ‘mainstreamers’ behave similarly with religious zeal, only they are generally not categorized as fanatics or classed derogatorily as ‘mainstreamers’

        I agree entirely. I have often said that the conception of the Clintons as malevolent lizard people is truer in broad strokes than that they are dedicated public servants who wish and work only for a better world.

  6. Trish says:

    I hear you.

    One should never ever take something posted anywhere, and not try and check, and double check the information. It is something I tend to do by habit.

  7. deb says:

    well, since he’s all about principled, civic-minded efforts he should have at least advocated for a stand like lavabit, silent circle, and not just cooperate in pursuit of dividends, piss on the rest of us. and what about skype, wasn’t he involved when they put in the interception capabilities?

    i’ve also noticed recently greenwald has been especially snide in mocking ‘media and corporate elites’ and wonder how he doesn’t see himself in that group yet.

    my first comment here. i try to stay away from the honeypots 😉 but i do hope you don’t stop writing.

    • Tarzie says:

      i’ve also noticed recently greenwald has been especially snide in mocking ‘media and corporate elites’ and wonder how he doesn’t see himself in that group yet.

      The absurdity here is just emblematic of the whole thing. He gets away with this because his politics and the politics of his followers are Manichean, as opposed to being about systems and structures the way they are for analytical lefts like me. So Glenn is Good. Glenn is Brave. Glenn is a maverick who speaks truth to power. And for him and his fans those qualities are eternal, no matter where he sits in the food chain. So while I see him being eagerly bribed by, and absorbed into an oppressive system, he and his fans see him courageously crashing the gates and making the system better. He could make a deal with Goldman Sachs tomorrow, and he’d beat his outsider chest the same idiotic way and no one of consequence would say shit about it. They’d all applaud. Hooray, more billionaires! Empire trembles.

      It’s truly bizarre. It’s more ridiculous and toxic than anything I would have predicted coming out of the Snowden Leaks. It’s a freak show.

  8. diane says:

    I hope you don’t mind that I post the following here, as it is slightly off topic, but I think pertinent (I already posted it on your last commentary, please erase if you think it detracts from this current commentary):

    just touching down (wish I had the time to spit out more), there was something (not to mention that Ob$cene Wealth, which is never, ever, come upon by caring for the rest of humanity) that really niggled at me re Omidyar in that Omidyar first hit my consciousness in re: the Sunlight Foundation, which was heavily funded by both Dick Blum’s (DIFI’$ Hubby) bud bud Michael Klein – at the same time that DIFI’$ Ob$cene Amoral Profiteering, via her Power on the Appropriations Committee, was being exposed – and Omidyar.

    (gotta run ….. sigh. …..)

    • diane says:

      (before I run though, am I wrong that you’re being overburdened with where comments are ending up? I had posted my last comment such that it should have shown up as the last comment on this page.)

    • diane says:

      Yes, I haven’t ‘run’ yet (though I actually really do need to, desperately, like all of us who can barely keep our heads above the waves), was hoping that you were currently able to comment … just wanted to add that: yeah, Glenn was involved in that particular expose ….and ultimately ‘backed off’?…. unlike Peter Byrne (sp?) who ended up thourghly trashed on “THE WEB” …not that I would trust my life with Peter with no questions asked ….. but somehow or another the whole affair was dropped by the NetRoots …certainly no further questions asked about that Sunlight Foundation, which, to my knowledge, hasn’t had anything whatsoever to say about the NSA ,….anyone lurking out there see something which I don’t see, on their Issues Page?

      • diane says:

        Oh, …and then there is: Global Integrity, …funded by Omidyar, …. along with The U.S. Department of State, …The World Bank, ….et al ……

        Here is a Global Integrity’s 2011 Report Card on U$ Integrity, ….oh oopsie, ….. does everyone else see the blank page I see there?

        Here’s one from 2009 though [UUUGHHHHHH].

        And does anyone lurking, of the Omidyar as Philanthopi$t cult, see the U$ on this Corruption Reports page?

      • diane says:

        Glenn would be OUTRAGED!!!!!!!,…….

        oh wait ……..

      • diane says:

        Oh my, this certainly went well with the 24 ouncer I just felt the need to snap the lid on:

        With Omidyar Network’s investment, Global Integrity is enhancing its online platform, as well as launching Foglamp, a service for the investment community that provides customized research on corruption, governance, and regulatory issues. By [continually] arming [amoral, me first and only] investors with bottom-up reporting, Foglamp aims to [even further] stimulate …[misery for the masses]……

        Yes! That’s the answer to solving the world’s problems, “arm” the [Oh So Benevolent and Caring!] Inve$tor Cla$$ with a Foglamp (not to worry, the suffering masses, with no money left to invest even if they cared to, are in no need of a Fog Lamp, ….. besides: the U$ Department of State, clearly approves! …. along with Glenn,…quite apparently. ..)

        (bracketed notes mine, .. of course ….)

      • diane says:

        Oh, maybe I’m just a tad grumpy and post menopausal!!!!, after all, didn’t those eBay!!! Inve$tor Thought Leader$!!!!! ….. Change the World for the Better!!!?

        I mean where else can the Benevolent Inve$tor Cla$$, such as Nick Denton, et al, …… so control the pricing and profiteering of near and dear family mementos which the poverty ridden tearfully find the necessity to market?

      • diane says:

        And truly, all drinks aside, this is really, beyond the pale, creepy, from that same Omidyar Funded Global Integrity site:

        September 9th, 2013 Perhaps the Obama Doctrine is Open Government

        I have another theory: a unified Obama Doctrine arguably exists, it just happens to not be your run-of-the-mill national security-focused doctrine. It might be open government.

        if one is supposed to believe that Omidyar wants all revealed about the Obombster Admin’s ghastly continuation of privacy violations and Profiteering cORP[$E] gUV Thugs and Assassins, exposed.

      • diane says:

        anyway, just lovely: Bottle Fly Bezos, Gramp$ Buffet, and now Pierre O. …..are now among the go to noooz providers ……can’t ya just whiff that hope and change?

        (“$eeking Alpha” indeed. ….. )

  9. Pingback: A Harbinger of Journalism Saved | The Rancid Honeytrap

  10. Dissent Now says:

    “Considering Silicon Valley’s complicity in mass surveillance, this partnership is literally equal to Matt Taibbi doing journalism with a banker.”

    Lol, quote of the day.

  11. diane says:

    One would have thought that a lesson was learned [by the White & Asian Mostly [Blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics knew better, historically, let alone no high tech access], Mostly Middle Management/Academia/Coder Loving types] from that Corporate Do No Evil slogan and the horrifying , violating power and ob$cene wealth it wrought for its sociopathic benefactors, Brin, Page, Schmidt …………

    Oh noesie! …..now they’re enraptured with a slightly longer version of the $ame slogan having been cleverly uttered in a more passive voice repeatedly by yet another $ocial Engineer who has absolutely no clue and most likely doesn’t care to have a clue how the majority of the world population are degraded and punished daily by the ob$cenely wealthy. Have they really never heard anyone (who they ritually ignore like the plague) else utter those words about right and wrong and the fact that humans are generally caring mammals, oh oopsie, those people weren’t filthy rich, so they are irrelevant.

    Yes, human beings are quite capable of good, but the fortunes that Brin/Page/Omidyar, et al attained, were not attained by caring for anyone but themselves ……..how dare them lecture, especially since: if they actually believed in human kindness, they would never have amassed such wealth, which is never arrived at without much suffering of other humans.

    It should horrify everyone who thinks they are attaining wisdom from The Web NETROOTS!!! that Omidyar’s repeated utterance that human beings are basically good [THEREFORE LET$ MAKE SOME OB$CENE MICROFINANCE WEALTH!!!!!!], is being treated as if it hasn’t ever been uttered by those far kinder, over and over, for centuries.

    • diane says:

      Here’s a piece which discusses Omidyar’s Microfinancing:

      Charity Assets
      By Tom Slee

      Pierre Omidyar’s journalistic venture is another of his efforts to fuse philanthropy with profit — so far, not so good

      ….

      In Omidyar’s vision, profitable microfinance firms would eventually raise money in capital markets and so become “a self-sustaining, profitable model, which opens the door to reaching large numbers of people who need to be reached by this tool of access to capital.” Meanwhile Yunus held to a more traditional charity-based view. He demanded of Omidyar: “Why do you want to make money off the poor people? You make money somewhere else. Here, you come to help them.”

      Bruck reports what happened next: “Omidyar gave a hundred million dollars to Tufts [University]—the largest gift in its history. But he stipulated that the principal be dedicated to a fund to invest in microfinance—specifically, in investments that would promote microfinance’s commercialization.”

      From:

      12/04/09 Tufts’ microfinance director reports strong growth for fund

      Tryfan Evans is director of the Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund. He sat down with the Daily to speak about microfinance in general and the investments of Tufts’ fund.

      Christy McCuaig: We wanted to talk to you today about the microfinance industry in general and, of course, the fund specifically. Can you give us a sense of the fund’s mission and what it’s striving to do and the status at this point?

      Tryfan Evans: The fund has two objectives. The first is to support the university, as with any other long-term investment asset within the endowment, and the second is to … demonstrate the viability of institutional investment in the microfinance sector.

      At the end of the interview:

      CM: Going back to microfinance in general, can you speak to the future of it or maybe the future goals of the [Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund]?

      TE: Well, the goals for the fund remain the same. We are now four years into this project, and we are making some very long-term investments, and some of the partnership agreements we are entering into have terms of up to ten years. And so we still see ourselves as in the early stages of this fund’s evolution. We’re past the first stage — the fund is largely invested — but these are still early days. The goals remain the same. They have not changed, and I don’t anticipate they will change in the near future.

      CM: And the goals specifically are?

      TE: First, to support the university. Fifty percent of the total return of the fund in any given year is provided to the university in the form of a grant, and that goes into the operating budget of the university [to produce more Benefactor $ocial Engineer$ such as Omidyar]. And then the other 50 percent is reinvested in the fund, and then that capital is distributed back out among microfinance institutions. Second, to test the viability of institutional investment in the sector.

      (Last bracketed note mine. Thanks much for the Tom Slee link, BLCKDGRD! It’s very hard to find a critical piece on Omidyar and his Microfinancing ‘Arm.’)

      • diane says:

        Oh and here’s a bit about one of Omidyar’s ($pecialized DOD/$tate Department [Poor, Hardworking!!!!! [Despite Parents High $tanding in their country of birth?], Immigrant!!!! Vi$a’d?) Sly Con Valley Microfinancier peers (quite unfortunately, Omidyar is obscured in the following 12/28/10 Bloomberg piece), Vinod Khosla:

        12/28/10 Suicides in India Revealing How Men Made a Mess of Microcredit

        SKS Microfinance gets funds at about 12 percent interest and lends at 24.52 percent in Andhra Pradesh, spokesman Atul Takle says.

        Akula’s SKS attracted investors such as Khosla Ventures, Sun Microsystems Inc. co-founder Vinod Khosla’s venture capital firm.

        Capital flowed into the new industry from commercial banks, venture firms and private equity.

        Sequoia Capital, in Menlo Park, California, and Bangalore- based Infosys Technologies Ltd. Chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy were among the backers. George Soros’s Quantum Fund has a 0.37 percent stake in SKS.

        Private-equity investors alone have put $515 million into Indian microfinance companies since 2006, research service Venture Intelligence says

        (bolding mine)

      • diane says:

        From the above Immigrant!!!! link:

        Early Life
        Vinod Khosla was born on January 28, 1955 in New Delhi. He earned a B.Tech degree from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. After completing his graduation, he attempted to start his own company, a dream that he had since age 15, but the venture failed. Then he went to the United States to get his M. S. degree in Biomedical Sciences from the Carnegie Mellon and later did his M.B.A from the Stanford University in 1979. At the Stanford, Khosla found a business idea and partners from the Stanford Club. They founded a computer aided and design company- Daisy Systems but the venture failed because of economic problems.

        [source]

        yup, just your average poverty ridden immigrant allowed a fresh start – with such open Arms! – in the UZ$, by virtue of such high morality!

      • diane says:

        (shit, I really should have bold faced that Sequoia Capital, in Menlo Park, California from that Holiday Season!!!, 12/28/10, Bloomberg piece also (Sorry), as Sand Hill Road (which, as I recollect, Sequoia is headquartered at (if not, on a close ‘side street’)) is located on the far western (non cancerous and toxic superfund sited) perimiter of Sly Con Valley, in FAR West Menlo Park CALI, where Al Gore and Stunningly Deadly Winter of 2003 WMD lying Colin Powell are making yet another $$$Killing$$$ at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) ,…. is a huge CIA/DOD FEEDER into Sly Con Valley.)

      • diane says:

        Yup, FAR West Menlo Park CALI, unlike Far East Menlo Park, Cali vicinity (where ZuckerFuck/Face Fiend likely never appears now “in person.” Far East Menlo Park Cali vicinity, where the predominantly black and hispanic neighboring community is being told, in so many horrifying actions by the powers that be (including <a href=http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Chicago-Realty-Giant-Moves-In-Equity-office-2948718.php Samuel Zell (CHICAGO ILLINOIS BASED (see Obombster/Rahm/Duncan “Chi Town” Budsters)), that they just need to get the fuck out …and perhaps die …….)

        Unfortunately (regarding the above unlike Far East Menlo Park, Cali vicinity link), Nick Denton’$ VALLEYWAG employee, Sam, didn’t appear to be aware, that that neighboring community is the only remaining Sly Con Valley area where a proportion of Blacks and Hispanics still reside in a % anything close to the nations average census figures.)

      • diane says:

        oops, sorry for that broken Samuel Zell link, here it is:

        Samuel Zell

        (not that sfgate[KEEPER] (The San Francisco Chronicle!!!!) isn’t a gatekeeper in it’s own DIFI/BLUM hideous rite, but ever once in while they allow some ironic steam venting by ‘the masses,’ …… as that is known to work, quite well, indeed.)

      • diane says:

        More re Samuel Zell (directly following the East Menlo/East Palo Alto (they are neighboring communities), California Face Fiend “IPO”):

        By Bonnie Eslinger
        07/25/12 Hundreds of pre-eviction notices sent to East Palo Alto tenants by new landlord

        The largest landlord [Samuel Zell’s Equity Residential, of Chicago, Illionois] in East Palo Alto [California] has sent out about 1,000 pre-eviction notices to tenants, according to the official overseeing the city’s rent-control program.

        Equity Residential, which bought 1,793 East Palo Alto apartment units in December, started delivering the three-day “pay rent or quit” notices in January, according to Carol Lamont, the city’s Rent Stabilization Program administrator.

        …. of 725 notices Equity Residential sent tenants between January and June of this year, 111 sought rents that exceeded the maximum allowed under the city’s rent-control ordinance, Lamont wrote.

        The company has also failed to fully comply with a city ordinance that requires owners of rental units to provide copies of all eviction-related notices to the city’s rent board within five calendar days of giving them to tenants, Lamont added.

        … Equity owns more than half of East Palo Alto’s rental stock.

        Equity Residential, based in Chicago, is one of the nation’s largest landlords. It purchased the East Palo Alto properties from Wells Fargo, which took over the portfolio from previous owner Page Mill Properties after it foreclosed on a loan of about $250 million in March 2010.

        Tenant advocates and city officials battled Page Mill when it aggressively raised rents, evicted tenants and sued the city over its rent-control ordinance.

        Concerns surfaced that Equity Residential will act the same way, particularly since its chairman, Samuel Zell, has been an active opponent of rent-control laws.

        (not that the mercury news ([The]San Jose Mercury News) ownership isn’t a gate keeper either, but as I implied in the prior post, steam venting is quite the gate keeping art with the Nooz media in $ly Con Valley.)

  12. mardy says:

    I’ve been reading you, Tarzie, for about 3 weeks now. I’m not sure how I found your blog, but it’s a good thing I did. I’m almost ashamed to say that I was completely unaware of the Drip story and Glenn’s behavior. I never really stopped to consider the ethics of how they were releasing the docs. I think I was like most people, between work, school and running a business etc.. it became increasingly difficult to really analyse whats really happening. We just kind of take the news as it comes and read what we can when we can.

    I’ve been a follower of Greenwald for about 5 years; I appreciate his work greatly and often defended him. However, your latest string of blog posts have made me increasingly skeptical of judgement.And his behavior when asked penetrating questions about his judgement has been… illuminating.

    It shows that even Mr. Greenwald is susceptible to the corrosive power of ambition. His cognitive-dissonance is on full display in that conversation with Amy. It’s actually quite amazing to watch.

    Some may not agree, but I think we’re witnessing tragedy.

    • Tarzie says:

      And his behavior when asked penetrating questions about his judgement has been… illuminating.

      Yeah, exactly. Evasions, lies and verbal abuse. To me, that’s where he shows his hand. There is not a single claim I’ve made here that I regret in the least.

      • deb says:

        >>>>>>And his behavior when asked penetrating questions about his judgement has been… illuminating.

        >>>Yeah, exactly. Evasions, lies and verbal abuse.

        he’s truly a master at sideways one-liners that his twitter minions swarm like starving dogs on steak.

      • Tarzie says:

        I think he comes off like a repetitive, childish dumbass, myself, but yeah, the Beliebers eat it up.

  13. Bill Wolfe says:

    I knew from the get go, as soon as I saw the Snowden “leak” presented by Poitras videography, that something was badly wrong.

    The drip drip was an opportunistic marketing strategy from the beginning, and GG’s attack on the Wikileaks document dump model was cover for that opportunism, self promotion, and careerism.

    I was a fairly regular GG reader over the last 3 years or so, and saw his political views “evolve”. But I always knew his work was largely devoid of any political analysis, and when a perspective did emerge, GG’s politics were oblivious, or sketchy if not downright right/libertarian/corporate flavor (I think he supported Citizens United and his criticism of Supreme Court nominee Kagan was written through the wrong lens). I frequently wrote critical comments there, a few of which prompted GG petty attacks. I was attacked as the statist/leftist/hippie activist type, the bane of the pure libertarian.

    But my goodness, I was unaware of the reactionary posts you linked to.

    This is not the distant past or the writing of a naive or drunk undergraduate. He should be forced to address them ad his fans should be made aware of them. I don’t see how it is possible to make the argument that political views “evolved” in a progressive direction out of that mindset.

    • Bill Wolfe says:

      one more point – Jeremy Scahill is the real deal.

      What’s his take on all this? Is he just openly saying he’s taking the money but won’t be co-opted by it?

      • Tarzie says:

        I am not speculating about Scahill. I think all celebrity journalists are problematic, though. The view that people are Good or ‘The Real Deal’, regardless of what place they take in the food chain is the kind of Manichean thinking that legitimates every shitty thing Greenwald does. I don’t find it at all profitable to think that way about any of them. I will say that I am not a supporter of lefty advocacy journalists lending their credibility to toxic inequality via Omidyar, though I can certainly understand the temptation to do so. I think people who are being appropriated by corporate power in this way may be the worst judges of its impact on them. So I don’t honestly care what Scahill or Omidyar’s other journalists say about it. They’re certainly not going to admit that they’re compromised.

    • Tarzie says:

      But I always knew his work was largely devoid of any political analysis, and when a perspective did emerge, GG’s politics were oblivious, or sketchy if not downright right/libertarian/corporate flavor

      I have always felt the same way, but gave him a pass because of his excoriations of excessive govt authority and its enablers in media and the Dem party. But just because he’s a hair better than all the other slimeballs in a completely depraved media system doesn’t mean I need to like him. I don’t think any of these people are necessary and I think where things like whistleblowing are concerned, they are a great impediment.

      I don’t see how it is possible to make the argument that political views “evolved” in a progressive direction out of that mindset.

      I agree. He was 38 years old. I see a lot of that guy today in his top down approach to the leaks and all the disgusting, reactionary radical punching that’s gone with it. He’s just one more arrogant, rich white guy telling everyone else what’s important and what to do about it. But he has a gift for marketing himself to different constituencies and has shrewdly focused most vocally on areas where lefts/libertarians agree. The rest is largely a blank slate on which people happily project their hopes and dreams. Hence anarchists, libertarians, Marxists, non-partisan liberals, anons and transparency advocates all insist, absurdly, that he’s ‘one of us.’ I think the truth about him is in his actions, where careerist self-advancement on traditional corporate and state terms via dishonest, bullying authoritarianism and mutable principles predominates.

  14. Bill Wolfe says:

    Tarzie – is it impossible to have respect for someone’s work (i.e calling Scahill the “real deal”) without engaging in “Manichean thinking” and uncritically worshipping celebrity journalists?

    I like Scahill, I don’t want to blow him.

    Give me a break, will ya!

    • Tarzie says:

      is it impossible to have respect for someone’s work (i.e calling Scahill the “real deal”) without engaging in “Manichean thinking” and uncritically worshipping celebrity journalists?

      Yes, it’s possible, but you asked me what I think and what I think is that I don’t separate people and their conduct from the system they inhabit. I think Scahill’s work right now is shaped by his membership in The Nation clique, which is why I find it long on information (useful!) and short on critique (not so useful). Therefore I don’t consider him immune to additional shaping by a Silicon Valley billionaire. Whatever the case, he’ll be the last to know, so I see no profit in knowing what he thinks. Surely he will not antagonize his new boss by publicly expressing ambivalence, which also speaks to my point.

      If I sound annoyed, it’s because I have had way too many arguments every time I suggest that some hero has made adjustments to get inside the gate and keep himself there. I don’t think privilege, celebrity and journalism are generally a good mix, and in the midst of this Snowden spectacle, I am increasingly inclined to dispense with all celebrity journalists along with a discourse that insists far too adamantly upon their importance.

  15. diane says:

    Interesting, there seem to be a spate of anti ob$cene wealth posts floating about currently, on the inter net tubes, by Netroots!!!! Faves:Digby!!!!, Chris Hedges, and Gauis Publius!!!! ..(for just three, can’t stomach doing a search for the others).

    And Not A Predictable, Disgusting One of Them, questions Omidyar, ….. just like it seems quite acceptable (unless I’ve missed something?) about Bezos as a Media Mogul in addition to Clouding for the CIA et al, etcetera, etcetera …..)

    • Tarzie says:

      And Not A Predictable, Disgusting One of Them, questions Omidyar

      There’s a lot of that going around. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Especially the sinner that gives you money.

      See, Omidyar’s different because he hired some journalists we like, including one that was investigating the corporate sector he’s a part of, which is proof of his great commitment to transparency.

      Turns out, extreme inequality isn’t the problem. It’s that billionaires just hire the wrong people. It’s such a relief.

      • diane says:

        I’m still trying to wrap words around Naked Capitalism [Aurora Advisors!!!!], both linking to Arthur Silber’s latest (Omidyar) post (neener, neener …. can’t say we didn’t link to him? yet, no one on that Naked Capitalism [Aurora Advisors!!!!] “links page,” last I checked, felt comfortable questioning Omidyar ….) BUT PROMINENTLY HIGHLIGHTING: Digby!!!! , Chris Hedges, and Gauis Publius!!!! .

      • diane says:

        (and re that Naked Capitalism [Aurora Advisors!!!!] “links page” (just checked a few moments ago, and no Omidyar criticism showing), wouldn’t surprise me a bit, if some critical Omidyar comments magically show up (with no actual posting time noted, it will note as being posted when it was ‘swimmming in spam’ instead, versus when it became visible, hours and hours later) after that “links page” sinks below the horizon, …. while the noo links page is being prepared ……)

      • Tarzie says:

        We know the consensus position of the career left on Omidyar/Greenwald in broad strokes. I don’t really care how various liberal blogs express this consensus or don’t. These people are write-offs, mostly. As a topic they quickly yield diminishing returns.

        My post was about Greenwald lying and secondarily about Omidyar’s shady connections.

      • diane says:

        (and just to cover all bases, no Omidyar crticism shows as yet (moments ago) on that prominent, “cross posted!!!!” Gauis Publius!!!! anti obscene wealth rant!!!!™</b (which of course does the requisite circle jerk off with Digby!!!! and Chris Hedges, as if those two are the only persons alive who can speak to stunning inequality and misery.)

      • Tarzie says:

        Diane —

        It is weird, isn’t it, how the conspiracy sites get to that stuff first. Conspiracism works really well at discrediting any kind of analysis of interests just coming together.

        I rarely look at those sites but they can be useful I suppose as leads which one can then follow up with more reliable sources. Certainly one needn’t be a conspiracist to find close connections between Omidyar and the NatSec establishment problematic.

      • diane says:

        Actually, I don’t think it’s weird, or an accident, I think it makes perfect sense by the powers that be to sully any credible info immediately. I vetted some of that info on that piece that spanned the rense etctera sites, and certain bits appear to pan out. There seems to be info re certain employees and Omidyar’s background (background info that I didn’t find elsewhere, yet panned out). But then, of course, ones eyes glaze over at the rest of the muck piled on top of certain factoids to discredit all of it.

      • diane says:

        and let alone the muck, the visuals as in unexplained and odd, eye bothering, blinking graphic images on the site which that piece appears to have possibly originated from are inexplicably weird and disconcerting.

      • diane says:

        just touching bases, did you see that original source site I referred to? If not, one of the links here (you’ll know which one it is) will ultimately take you there.

        One really has to ask why a person who seems to have such a grasp of using language, would litter their site with unexplained eye disturbing, flashing images which totally discredit them. …….Am I wrong there? I don’t think so.

        I also have a niggling feeling that these types of sites are one of the main contributors from the pendulum swing from gwb’s Whitey GAWD to a Handful of Techie ‘White’ Gawdz who now appear to absolutely own $ocial di$course …no one even answers their fucking door or phone anymore, let alone saying hi when you walk by them on the stunningly pedestrian MEAN ‘sidewalks’ ……. (bike riders with an unaffordable bike (and an SUV, just in case it rains!!!!) are acceptable to converse with though).

      • diane says:

        worse (adding to my above comment) – it should have been noted as horrific enough that The [Historic] Poor, have never had access to these [Currently Bezos/Amazon/CIA] Cloud[ed], Netroots, discourses (much of which, was about their very own fates) – there will be (likely already are, in the millions) The [Thought They Were] Middle Class dropping like flies from “WEB” Discourse, as they decide between food and a roof over the head and the ‘puter ……and – much to their horror -…… discover that they have totally been robbed of their vocal chords … and, …. any consideration, ….. whatsoever, ……that they are even worthy of staying alive.

      • diane says:

        (In the mean time, while mostly white and a$ian folks still think their corp$e/mil/guv still cares, and that that DO NO EVIL $logan, and that previous (jus’ warmin up for the kill) Obscenely Huge Job’s Ghandi Bill Board, on the main [historically stunningly cancer ridden area of] $ly Con Valley Cali High Way, 101, was actually human kindne$$, sooprize:

        11/05/13 Silicon Valley [California] Named 13th Best Conservative City in America ……)

      • Tarzie says:

        Diane:

        I’m fond of you and you have lots of insights but if you want to be someone other than the one that people scroll past (including me) you’ll ease up on the off-topic over-posting and the the hard-to-read punctuating and $pelling, particularly stuff like this: A$ian. I get your views on immigration double standards, but that is not the message you are sending to the uninitiated and it’s hard to read on top. Please comment in the spirit of being read by a diverse audience, as opposed to simply blowing off steam.

        Thanks.

      • diane says:

        Neither you, or I, have a fully clear view what my comments ended up meaning to the majority of those “uninitiated,” Tarzie. You couldn’t possibly know within the span of a few moments (outside of those who may have commented from a knee jerk reaction, before giving the comments a bit of thought), neither could I. But I don’t want to be a bore, or certainly a hindrance. We’ve different backgrounds and see what’s important to note slightly differently; besides which, I’ve really been desiring to take a very long break (wish it could be permanent) from the “WEB” and now seems a pretty good time.

        Thank you for the voice and tolerance, Tarzie. I appreciated it very much.

      • Tarzie says:

        These are just guidelines, offered on the assumption that what I want on my blog carries some weight with commenters who like and respect me.

        Good luck with your hiatus. We should probably all take one and never come back.

      • diane says:

        I do like and respect you, and I understand that it is your blog, and that the way you feel the main points should be made should be respected. If it were my blog I would do exactly the same. Again, I very much appreciate the voice you’ve given me, I just can’t comment in a voice that is not mine, that is my issue not yours, and I’m not attacking you for it.

      • gregfullmoon says:

        Giggle giggle,

        looks like a couple of lovely and fixed Scorpions, having a tussle.

        cheers Diane for your insights and sleuthing, I’ve following it with interest, though haven’t followed every lead.

        Tarzie you are a great in providing the platform, however it being in the public arena and noting John Stuart Mill’s thesis ‘On Liberty’ it’s best to allow the full range of views into the discourse to gain the most robust outcome.

        Cheers and hurry back from the Caribbean.

      • Tarzie says:

        Diane:

        Always welcome here w/without the punctuation and overcommenting. Was just stating a pref.

        A break is prob a good idea, though, simply because, like me, you obviously want one but can’t kick the habit. It’s like cigarettes.

      • Tarzie says:

        $ilicon Valley is at the core of the problem and it cannot be concentrated on enough as a to the nastine$$ going on.

        That’s definitely true, and I found a lot of your posting on SilVal really useful, It may form the foundation of deeper investigation on my own part. I started raising flags about overcommenting when you got into the predations of Naked Capitalism and Digby. I just don’t find them interesting in part because they are never anything more than I expect them to be.

        I also think that sometimes the best way to expose the rot of the whole, is to expose the rot of the small. I imagine an exploration of Omidyar’s career and connections would expose quite a lot of the general problem.

  16. gregfullmoon says:

    I was deleting the notifications, however have tagged them in order to keep up with the erased content.

    By the way I was born on the 17th anniversary of Pearl Harbor’s planned or anticipated bombing by the zeros, so an Archer, albeit early Summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

    I’m not paranoid. I’m not even careful, as what’s the point? The ‘rulers’ have a line on everyone who they want to keep an eye on.

    The discourse on the machinations of the ‘new media’ are extremely important in order to understand the impulse that motivate it. There’s a war on in every other sphere of human relations and so the media or propaganda arm is key to the management of the public perception of the play.

    It is not outside my frame that some of the ‘new aristocrats’ are moral characters or actors. In any population there is a scale upon which folks are spread. I’ve not played with this idea sufficiently to identify where players sit on the fence. Or even the value that is being graded in making the scale.

    I’m not particularly fussed about much other than the foundational principles. Getting them right is KEY, stuff these and all else follows. There’s a few cliques about foundations, and building on sand, etc.

    Any who have been investigating would already have known that the World was spying on the World. The Snowden – Greenwald partnership, like the Assange – Manning deal give the mass an insight if the mass care to follow the huge lead they have been provided.

    The experiment appears to me ‘how much shit does it take to wake the World to the dilemmas?’

    No Government in the so-called democracies will get out in front of its electors. Here in New Zealand last night there was a public debate on our TV3 between the ‘mining lobby’ and the ‘green perspective’ on the question of opening the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ to more mining. TV3 is owned by a private company ‘Mediaworks’ and in receivership to the banks from June of 2013, had blistering attacks on the National or centre-right Government’s introduction of their GCSB Spying Bill a few months back.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10891045

    From the above article, ‘It is understood those lenders include Westpac Banking Group, Rabobank, RBS Group, TPG Capital, Oaktree Capital and JP Morgan.’ If these are about protecting their investment, it is significant that Westpac is the sponsor bank of Bathurst Resources who is the ‘culprit’ in wanting to mine the Denniston Plateau for coking coal to sell to China. More on this here;

    http://www.voxy.co.nz/business/nz-does-not-need-more-mining-tv3s-vote/5/173089

    I appreciate these links and the issue are local to NZ, I merely offer them by way of example.

    Is this impulse motivated by Climate Change concerns?

    There appears a significant lobby that is actively engaged in sharing information designed to open the public up to ‘Authority’s bastardy and mismanagement’.

    As I have given some credence to the likes of the Bilderberg, CFR etc. and others in prior history, influence on human affairs, I wonder whether that influence has slipped as the pie and the players have enlarged the chess board?

    As the wealthy ownership core grows do these dilute the ruthless capitalist impulse? The existing ownership core is heavily concentrated as the PLOS one study ‘who controls the world’ identifies. Do the New Aristocracy have a different ethos? Where does this lead?

    I note that John D Rockerfeller made significant philanthropic contributions toward health and learning, directed toward technological fixes. This was supported by the Carnegie and other foundations. These had a considerable sway over the institutional direction of the USA and thus the globe as a result of the US’s growing influence.

    What impulse is now at work?

    Reality sandwiches how big can anyone’s be?

    Cheers.

    • Tarzie says:

      I was deleting the notifications, however have tagged them in order to keep up with the erased content.

      Every comment gets a notification? Oh god. All the more reason to limit over-posting.

    • Tarzie says:

      It is not outside my frame that some of the ‘new aristocrats’ are moral characters or actors.

      Oh god. Yeah, I can see this idea catching on. In fact I think it already has. A Good Conspiracy. Good oligarchs opening our eyes. I felt that that goodness each of the twenty times Glenn Greenwald called me stupid and belittled radical transparency. Every time he lied about PayPal. I see it in every Booz Allen connection Omidyar ever made. Why, I bet Omidyar has 8500 million good intentions! One for every dollar of toxic wealth he hoards.

      No doubt oligarchs aren’t all the same. But they’re alike in mostly not giving a fuck about you or me in the same way most of your neighbors don’t. If you’ve been reading me — which honestly I doubt except by way of the Twitter fights that so appeal to your awesomely mellow good-vibesy nature — you know that I think we are having this surveillance debate precisely because surveillance isn’t two-tiered in the same way the US Justice System is. That’s not about moral actors. It’s about self-preservation. Which is probably the same reason why some elites are taking up things like global warming. Environmental catastrophe won’t spare anyone.

      Dare to dream, bub, but when I read comments like yours — suffused with the magical thinking and flight from analysis that characterizes so much of the anglophonic ‘left’ — I am just reminded of how fucked we are. I guess I was born under the wrong sign.

      • gregfullmoon says:

        Whatever sign you were born under is the correct one. After all in an intelligent universe you may have had a hand in the choice, merely you forget at this moment.

        The anglophonic thinking you allude to might well be more of a Eastern impulse inserted into the Caucasian stream, Eastern mysticism. Though there’s still a hangover from the Celts and their wizards the Druids. We have the hangover in the mistletoe and a kiss, symbolic of a fertility cult based in the feminine fecundity and a natural balance. The answer might require the cooperative approach to be allowed sway. It cannot win through if the base rules are bloodsports.

        I’ve not said that either GG or his patron with the 8.5 billion notes are moral characters. I’m merely musing aloud that there may be some within that patch that have a heart not of stone. U2’s Bono makes a mess of that, as he may well suffer the fate that power and prestige rein on any who clamber the greasy pole.

        There is appearing a mood which says we want equality of outcomes. I think it a reaction to the excesses of the obscenely wealthy. In any market innovation of a disruptive nature which captures a following offers opportunity if it can be harnessed or harvested in the form of energy/money directed to the innovator. And like anything it appears when its time is right. From a societal perspective it is no great matter, and was really a minor adjustment or synergy of the existing platforms. Also from a labour inputs perspective the innovator is merely the one who captures or secures ownership of the deed. Pirates by another name, privation.

        For the moment the profit motive is a motivator that stirs the innovative creative impulse. Would it occur to similar effect minus the capitalist prize? Is it better to not have the devil and allow progress a more leisured path? Is it true that the billionaire is less likely to keep her soul intact than the ordinary grafter?

        According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs the wealthy ought be the most well adjusted and the nearest to self actualization based on the fact that their material and one imagines ‘life purpose’ needs are well met. Or perhaps the fact that they are boosted by billion$ is testament that these voracious feeders can never be fulfilled?

        From this and taking a pessimistic view is there no hope ‘for any who ascend’, as far as maintaining a balanced priority toward supporting public interest? Their lens losing its focus on mundane problems from such lofty heights?

        Thesis; ‘the World runs on bias and interest, sectarian interest’ with large corporate interest holding sway in the contemporary setting. It appears to hold water from a casual scan.

        Needs a little universalism inserted, perhaps fair trade not free trade.

        Good night.

  17. Martin Walter says:

    From the sound of some comments here, I’d submit Narrative Sciences has gone comment experimenting.

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  19. Mary says:

    Your excellent piece was linked on the UK site Medialens.
    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1383860548.html

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  23. gregfullmoon says:

    You might appreciate this article also Tarzie;
    https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/extraordinary-pierre-omidyar/
    More grist to your mill. Cheers.

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    Reblogged this on a.nolen and commented:
    Something to ponder from The Rancid Honeytrap… (aren’t they all rancid? 🙂 )

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