Rachel @Maddow Teaches Redacting

maddow-redactions

True fact: As they age, all rich white Democrats begin to look like John Kerry.

So transfixed have I been by the Henry Fordian brilliance of  GlennCo’s innovations in heat vampirism, it has been absolute eons since I indulged the guiltless pleasure of cathartically loathing/being fascinated by the Queen of The Damned, Rachel Maddow, no slouch in heat vampirism herself.  In an extraordinary recent segment, Maddow proved why the bigwigs pay her seven million dollars a year, by deftly merging indignation over the FBI’s unaccountability with detailed instructions in how to keep such institutionalized unaccountability unmolested. Yes readers, as fictional instructor Mavis Beacon teaches typing, fictional journalist Rachel Maddow teaches redacting.

In the simplest terms, heat vampirism is propaganda in resistance drag. It is a directive to comply in the guise of defiance. Maddow’s rubes are surely far less risibly invested than Greenwald’s in feeling rebellious. Nevertheless, there may be a gaggle that would find a straight up, unscented lesson in how to redact vaguely weird if not downright creepy, especially given Maddow’s context — the recent accidental disclosure of the FBI agent who shot Ibrahim Todashev, a friend of suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. So with vocal fry a-sizzlin’,  Maddow begins with a minor fuss over the fact that “the FBI only investigates itself when FBI agents shoot people.”

They only ever investigate themselves and they ALWAYS, always exonerate themselves. In the last 151 times that an FBI agent has shot someone and the FBI has investigated that shooting, the FBI has. . . exonerated its own agents 151 times out of 151 times.

Maddow goes on to report that the Boston Globe got the FBI agent’s name by way of a Florida state prosecutor who released a document in which the agent’s name was unredactable. This disclosure, Maddow says, has raised “some new and important questions about why that shooting was judged to be ok.”

Having glamoured her fans into thinking she’s on the side of accountability and accordingly considers the faulty redaction a happy accident, Maddow begins shifting gears:

All of this has happened by the technological FRREEEAK show of the fact that they were able to get his name out of that document where the author of that document thought the name in the document was redacted and it wasn’t in there anymore… It’s also part of a trend, a bigger STUPID trend about redactions.

Heat vampires flourish on the vanity of their victims. They know that the best way to wean a left-liberal rube from dissidence to obedience is to recast it in terms of dumb vs. smart. So the above passage, in which she puts unauthorized disclosure emphatically on the side of DUMB, is her segue to the obvious point of the segment.

This is where things get innovative.  It occurred to someone in a high place, clearly, that Maddow’s base no doubt includes a lot of people who might be tasked with redactions, such as government workers, lawyers and journalists.  So what follows is no mere overview of how redactions go wrong. Rather, it’s a detailed training in how to make them go right that lasts over nine minutes in a thirteen minute segment.  I won’t belabor the details, but Maddow really runs the gamut, ultimately concluding that the only entirely risk-free way of redacting a document is to physically cut out the secret bits, shred them and photocopy what remains.

Now from one angle, you could perhaps see Maddow’s helpful lesson as being as much a lesson to aspiring unredactors as redactors, which from a propaganda standpoint comes out a wash. But there are a couple problems with this, besides the mere fact that Maddow is an accomplished servant of power: one, the kind of people inclined to unredact are motivated enough to seek this information themselves. They don’t need help from Maddow.  Two, at no point in the entire segment does Maddow reveal the name of  the FBI agent,  Aaron McFarlane, despite how public it now is.  In a section where Maddow demonstrates unredacting on the prosecutor’s document itself, McFarlane’s name is helpfully blurred out — a detail Maddow explicitly notes — along with Todashev’s alleged “confession”.  But she really tips her hand near the end, after instructing interested viewers to “invest in an X-Acto knife”:

It may seem time-consuming and weirdly backward to do it this way, but imagine how good you will feel when you never accidentally reveal the name of an FBI agent who shot someone…

Yes, just imagine…

Related

From the Rancid FAQ: What is a Heat Vampire?

The Cable News Heroism of Chris Hayes

The Fraudulent Dissent of Lawrence O’Donnell

A Heat Vampire in Search of a Movie Deal

In Conclusion

The Toxically Useful Idiocy of Amy Goodman

 

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126 Responses to Rachel @Maddow Teaches Redacting

  1. “Heat vampires flourish on the vanity of their victims. They know that the best way to wean a left-liberal rube from dissidence to obedience is to recast it in terms of dumb vs. smart.”

    This, of course, goes to the essence of liberalism/progressivism, which has always been (going back to e.g. the eugenicist Progressives of the early 1900s, through New Deal Democrats, LBJ, Clinton, etc) technocratic elitism disdainful of populism and denigrating the poor and working class as stupid sheep who don’t know well enough to listen to them instead of those terrible Republicans. It’s very similar to Randian libertarianism in that way, indulging its adherents’ beliefs in their own intellectual superiority, justifying their membership in the top tiers of a hierarchy that is for everyone’s own good, and claiming to be above politics and ideology.

  2. BRUCE TYLER WICK says:

    Why should one assume the disclosure UNintentional of the FBI shooter’s name? Although, I agree Rachael Maddow is attempting to make manual redaction the “new normal” or “best practice.”

    • Tarzie says:

      You can’t assume anything, I guess. Given that it was a state prosecutor’s error, I’m inclined to take the story at face value, but I don’t know anything about the prosecutor’s role in the story, so I don’t know if they have interests overriding the likely unpleasant consequences of making the mistake.

  3. BRUCE TYLER WICK says:

    I agree, but continue to hope that murder and torture will never achieve a consensus–within law enforcement or anywhere else.

  4. diane says:

    Sounds like the Dick Helms/MK Ultra redaction method our lovely, SMART teacher is instructing in: destroy the original document (or an original copy of the document) such that the history of what actually happened is permanently in the dark.

    UUUGH, but typical. And of course there are way too many who will swallow her switch without even taking the time to think on the fact that she just switched the tables around. Analytical thinking has been deliberately near destroyed, an underbelly of technology, where one is constantly reminded that the [rigged] algorithms know best, for one, is my thought.

  5. b-psycho says:

    I bet she wishes she could blame redaction errors on republicans somehow. Then she’d have Prog BINGO!

  6. thedoctorisindahouse says:

    When did they go all out body snatchers like this? F’n creepy shit.

    The pairing of teen angst inner circle tone with an unflailing loyalty to the system that once seemed like a psy op against the right (appeal to their extremism through self moderation) finishes in full out naked police sycophancy, with a swirl of condescension to those nutty keystone kops, our guardians who, aw shucks, can’t help murdering innocent people or improperly securing information.

    She’s covering every stupid angle, like a mirror fun house for the terminally inept. What a freak show. I’m already covered in vomit.

    • thedoctorisindahouse says:

      The subject itself is pointedly synchronized. All this weird shit about redactions, the Snowden Saga obsession, and here is another media star of dweebery to pump it from another angle. Concert of info porn fetishism and here’s the Puritan in denial to shame us about even looking. Mixed in with tu quoque hipsterism.

      • Tarzie says:

        Yeah, I noticed a strange synchronicity myself. So many lessons on collaborating with the government in so short a time.

  7. Goldfish Training Institute says:

    She managed to roll several facets of bourgeois protectionism into her spiel: security state boosterism, nationalism, imperialism, collusion. The pivot from her faux hatin’ on the FBI to supporting agents of imperialism and the U.S. military wasn’t even subtle.

    And now her listeners have been normalized to redacting. They won’t question redacting itself, now they’ll question the quality of redaction and complain about “lazy” redaction by stupid unskillful people who can’t even figure out how to use a Word document.

    I’m not sure how much this kind of Maddow crap is mitigated by the bulk of her listeners being useless to radicalization in the first place. The problem of course being the size of the audience. She’s getting way more eyeballs than Workers World or anti-imp.com. It’s the nature of the capitalist beast, though: as long as pissed off liberals need an outlet, the mouthpieces and assholes like RM will pick up the ball and throw it to them.

    • Tarzie says:

      I’m not sure how much this kind of Maddow crap is mitigated by the bulk of her listeners being useless to radicalization in the first place.

      Well, putting aside that people change — I’m wary of the idea that liberal/radical are fixed — that’s really not the aim here, is it? Sure, there’re tons of ideology, but isn’t the primary aim just to make people better redactors?

    • nimbus says:

      There is the omnipresent background effect, of course, of letting the armchair liberals feel smug about their “involvement” without having to act. More devastatingly, this kind of hyuck,hyuck broadcast provides the ultimate weapon to those who want to maintain the status quo while deluding themselves that they have a conscience: “It was meant to be funny! Where’s your sense of humor?” Those who criticize it will no longer be welcome at cocktail parties, will be shunned at family reunions, will be labelled Troll or worse, Drudge. My own experience has been that the hardest kind of lie to expose is the one that is told with a knowing chortle (“Can’t you just lighten up?”). Witticisms for the witless, the whole world weeps…..

  8. Ha! I’m a producer at ██████████████████ and let me tell you, ███████ is more awful than you could possibly imagine. Just the other day █████████ went on a 15-minute tirade when an intern accidentally cc’d ████████████ on an internal email regarding the ████████ story. Poor kid probably won’t come back to ██████, ever.

  9. Jeff Nguyen says:

    Great minds and all…I just posted about Ibragim Todashev and our mutual friend from DrippyLeaks:

    The State Knows What You Did Last Summer

    • Tarzie says:

      I just added your link. No need to be shy around here.

      UPDATE: That’s a really good piece.

    • diane says:

      Bleakly beautiful writing. I love the highlighting of the acknowledged, legally, to be sadistic: Former Oakland cop being Todashev’s FBI shooter. This vaguely brings to mind the – on legal criminal record as being a sadist (with both peers and prisoners under his ‘watch’ … a razor blade in the food, for one ..) wife beater – Former Pennsylvania prison guard who was promoted to ‘accomplishing’ the lethal and sadistic Abu Ghraib events and consequent photos, under Rumsfeld’s watch.

      And I love the highlighting of the timing of Glenn’s:

      … spectacular multicolored hues. This will be the finale…

      And the highly convenient, right around the bend, July Fourth. … I would lay odds that he was quite cognizant of the potential subliminal effect on folks who have ceased (or never have) analyzing: what’s wrong with this [whole] picture?

      • Jeff Nguyen says:

        Truth is stranger than fiction, it seems the elite have picked their gatekeepers well. The illusion of dissent from the proto-left to counter the illusion of an omnipotent state. It reminds me of the Truman Show…a show within a show. I’m with you on the odds, Diane.

      • Tarzie says:

        The illusion of dissent from the proto-left to counter the illusion of an omnipotent state.

        Could you clarify by what you mean by this? I get what you mean by the ‘illusion of dissent from the proto-left’. A little unclear on what you’re getting at with the rest.

      • Jeff Nguyen says:

        Logistically, the state cannot monitor and surveil 300 plus million people 24/7. The illusion of an all-knowing, all powerful state is an important step in laying the groundwork for fascism hence the NSA leaks. Another tactic is using citizens to report on their “suspicious” neighbors which alleviates the burden for the state and, again, achieves the desired result of a climate of constant fear and compliance. In my post one of the links was to an article that talked about how people are afraid to even google certain search terms for fear of getting a knock on the door.

        What the general public gets ala Greenwald and others is theater carefully scripted to create these desired effects. Hence, the Truman show reference.

      • Tarzie says:

        That’s interesting. On one hand, I agree that GlennCo is essentially wheatpasting “Big Brother is Watching You” all over the place; on the other, I think their unique focus on the NSA and the touted promise of improved crypto to save us is weirdly minimizing. By my lights, the problem of surveillance is actually worse that what GlennCo is reporting which also elides the whole jail/execution side of the equation. I don’t think the state needs to surveil 300 million people 24/7 to keep them disciplined. Looking from local police on up, it seems to me they pretty much do have the problem of serious disruption mostly solved. I don’t think it needs to be entirely coordinated nor omnipotent to achieve the usual police state ends. Other societies managed with far less. What am I overlooking?

        I also think it’s a mistake to assume that reminding people they’re being watched is the only objective being sought here.

      • Jeff Nguyen says:

        There’s the rub. While all eyes are on the NSA the bouncing ball has left the building. DHS has provided umpteen toys for local and state law enforcement agencies to play with so the public is still mostly in the dark on the surveillance state at street level. In Florida, police were using cell phone spying software (Stingray). But just as the U.S. cannot logistically go to war with every single country on the planet simultaneously so it must project dominance, law enforcement cannot monitor everyone, all the time, no matter how advanced their capabilities.

        My not so lucid points were more directed at the psychological implications of this whole DrippyLeaks nonevent.

      • Tarzie says:

        Something here doesn’t add up, though. Why minimize? To simply keep people constantly confused about the ways in which they’re surveilled? If the goal is to keep people in fear, doesn’t the unique focus on one small subset of surveillance work against that?

        law enforcement cannot monitor everyone, all the time, no matter how advanced their capabilities.

        They don’t *have* to.

      • Jeff Nguyen says:

        “I also think it’s a mistake to assume that reminding people they’re being watched is the only objective being sought here.”…I never said that, only that it’s part of a bigger picture.

        “If the goal is to keep people in fear, doesn’t the unique focus on one small subset of surveillance work against that?”…For people whose only media source is the corporate media outlets, the NSA is a scary enough acronym to keep them in line. For more critical thinkers, more intensive methods are needed

        “They don’t *have* to.”…Exactly, not if everyone is well behaved and acting like good little children. The homeland will keep them safe from the scary people in this world.

        I know some of my leaps of logic are a stretch and may be out of bounds. Unlike Greenwald, I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong.

      • Tarzie says:

        “They don’t *have* to.”…Exactly, not if everyone is well behaved and acting like good little children. The homeland will keep them safe from the scary people in this world.

        That’s not what I meant. I meant that between the time you have a disruptive thought and the time you and people like you have planned a disruptive action, they will be aware of you at the very least. Watching everyone at all times is not at all logistically necessary to a police state regardless of whether or not the people all think they’re being watched or not.

        I see no cause not to take NatSec claims for bulk collection at face value: it keeps data available for dots-connecting when something or someone becomes interesting. Someone becomes interesting by way of both HumInt and automated data analysis. When you factor all the HumInt involved and all the analysis of the data we shed freely, I think everyone pretty much is under surveillance or soon will be. To conclude, while I agree that there is a goal to remind people they’re being watched, I am less convinced that this is to overcome deficiencies in the panopticon. An alternative theory is the whole thing just works with vastly more efficiency if people discipline themselves before the apparatus needs to intervene. I am open to other possibilities — I would love to believe the panopticon is an illusion — but I don’t see the evidence. But, who knows, it could just me drinking the Kool Aid about what Big Data offers the surveillance state.

        The majority of people “behave” in almost all conditions with only routine law enforcement.

      • Jeff Nguyen says:

        Heck, the time between my thoughts and actions are long enough for Inspector Clouseau to close the case.

        Points taken, tarzie.

      • Jeff Nguyen says:

        I missed this comment…”I would love to believe the panopticon is an illusion — but I don’t see the evidence.”

        I’m not saying the panopticon is an illusion, it’s very real. Only that the projection of omnipotence is at play here as well. The U.S. is a huge country, geographically and population wise. Psychological control goes hand in hand with physical control.

    • trish says:

      Anyone see snowden wants to come back to US, and has a team in negotiations. The plot thickens.

  10. diane says:

    Thanks for the hilarity on the twit feed, you two [‘Mavis’ and Tarzie].

    Our dear redaction instructor properly identified as yet another Helmet Hair, I love it. So many Helmet Hairs (a long history of them), so little time! There needs be a site dedicated to the Helmet Hair[s] of our time.

  11. Goldfish Training Institute says:

    I want to get a Greenwald pinata for Put Stars by It Day. :p

  12. tanglebum says:

    “…imagine how good you will feel when you never accidentally reveal the name of an FBI agent…”

    This is incoherent speech, but it’s speech that sounds normal and human, unless you listen close.
    It’s the kind of language an alien intelligence would end up using, if it hadn’t studied Earth-English well enough before landing.
    It’s like one of those weird proclamations that are always being laid at the feet of North Korea’s leadership.
    Imagine how good you’ll feel when you never do something.
    Either you’ll go through life feeling good all the time because you’re not doing it, ever, or after your life’s brief span is run, you can look back from the after-world and feel good, because you never.

    Rachel Maddow is not from here.

  13. tanglebum says:

    I think that’s the whole point about alien invasions, they’re here, exactly prominently publicly here. But they’re not from here.

  14. Lorenzo says:

    A couple of months ago, Maddow did a segment on the Senate torture report where she called the CIA’s control of Congress “‘death of the Republic’ type stuff.” Maddow’s show is really the epitome of Heat Vampirism: a program that talks about the implacability of the Deep State sandwiched between a photo-op of Joe Biden delivering muffins to workers and Day 4 of her continuing coverage of Rand Paul’s plagiarism scandal.

    • Tarzie says:

      a program that talks about the implacability of the Deep State sandwiched between a photo-op of Joe Biden delivering muffins to workers and..Rand Paul’s plagiarism scandal.

      That really is a superb encapsulation of Heat Vampirism. This shit is so pervasive it almost seems like some think-tank concocted method. Among the reasons I tend not to observe Maddow so closely — and why her name doesn’t always leap to mind when I am thinking about HVs — is that the compliant side of her heat vampirism is so very compliant. Like someone said about this piece, her pivot from indignation over the FBI to redaction trainer wasn’t at all subtle. The vampires that work the crowds not taken in by her have pulled on my interest more. But she is the real deal for sure.

      • Lorenzo says:

        I appreciate how obvious Maddow makes Heat Vampirism, since her alchemy is grade school-level compared to the more formidable HVs. Despite how slick the production values are, there’s too much tension between defiance & compliance to make it as the thinking rebel’s millionaire celebrity. I picture her walking down the halls of MSNBC with Chris Hayes, discussing their broadcasts for the day:
        “First, Chris, I’m leading with 7 minutes about the FBI killing this Chechnyan guy in Florida. They’ve evidently exonerated themselves of wrongdoing in EVERY internal investigation.”
        “Wow, Rache. The 8 o’clock slot is going to love that. Get the Bureau back to its good old days, catching the bad guys. Damn twilight of the elites! What’s next?”
        “The last 12 minutes are going to cover Michelle shopping at Target. Panel discussion, the nines. To close out the show: probably check in on Todd Akin.”

  15. I have a tendency to like Maddow and her ilk and certainly to loathe the likes of Beck and Hannity, but your post makes some good observations. You can’t really trust anyone in a pundit’s chair. I’m not tribal. I don’t like being lied to no matter who is doing it.

    • Tarzie says:

      You can’t really trust anyone in a pundit’s chair

      Nope, it’s all theatre. Take a close look and you’ll see that Beck, Hannity and Maddow are all selling pretty much the same thing.

  16. robertmstahl says:

    And, who wins at Bingo each and every time, but, da gov?

  17. robertmstahl says:

    Since absolute total manipulation of the marketplace via manipulation of the gold/silver derivatives market, then, everything else to ‘support’ the dollar makes the need for this Bingo game worth $7 mil/yr. Hell, maybe with your help, they’ll up the anti for her, considering the efforts of mankind for the sake of it sustainability. I sure would like to see the real journalism of yours push it the other way. Should I hold my breath.

    (good work)

  18. trish says:

    RM is an actress along with CH, and both look oddly alike – must have both been created in some govt lab. RM is just a mouthpiece for power. I guess TPTB are worried that the govt dependent wage slaves are too dumb to be trusted to redact shit properly, so they are now telling them just use a KNIFE. RM and MSNBC in general has been bleeding viewers. Personally I don’t think it is because they “appear” too liberal/progressive (obviously they are not) but because they are boring, irrelevant, and obnoxious. Even my self identified “libs/progressive” friends can’t stand MSNBC, and its various blowhorns.

    I just read your CH piece on Heat Vamps, interesting, especially your comments -GG turned out to be another HV.

    Thanks for RM laugh, I am suprised they didin’t follow the segment with a commercial on buy the knife now, and we will send one to your friend for free with a copy of RM video on “idiot proof redaction”.

    • Tarzie says:

      I never think of Maddow and Hayes as looking alike. I think Maddow’s starting to look like John Kerry, though.

      • trish says:

        I don’t know for me they look alike. CH looks like Rm looked several years ago. I stopped watching RM many years ago, as she was everything you have pointed out. i do wonder what kind of training they get to do this, and when/where it starts. years ago I saw RM interview SR, a true sociopath, and RM body language and tone reminded me of the character in Lord of the Rings, you know the slivery dude. Never watched RM after that. saw this in GG twitter. really worth reading.

        http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2001/09/mcveigh200109

      • Tarzie says:

        Who is SR?

        Cool thing about blogs: no char limits.

      • klmayes605 says:

        I think, at times, her voice sounds like Obama’s when he isn’t orating. You know: a terse, stringent, strange, nasal tone which I find odd.

      • Tarzie says:

        When I listen to Maddow I hear the sound of self-adoration. A conformist shill that thinks its a fucking adorable rebellious genius.

  19. Peter says:

    Maddow’s main rhetorical weapon is akin parental controls where the viewer is patted on the head and reminded that “Father Knows Best”. Let’s see, a Rhodes Scholar who attended Oxford and has a PhD in Public Policy; does one suppose she ever got around to reading Quigley’s ‘Tragedy and Hope’? If not, she should ask for her money back.

    Though MSNBC and the like are bleeding viewers and money they represent for the elite an important propaganda function. To expect them to disappear would be akin to expecting Saddam to have taken Baghdad Bob off the air for missing earnings expectations on their quarterlies.

    Total tool.

    • Tarzie says:

      they represent for the elite an important propaganda function.

      Every time I watch it I am shocked by how slick it is, particularly when it’s not being nakedly partisan.

      • Peter says:

        After reading works such as ‘Tragedy and Hope’ or John Taylor Gatto’s dissection of the purpose of compulsory public schooling it became clear to me that there are/were people who spent more time thinking about my life than I did. It was always right there, but it took a paradigm shift to see it.

      • Tarzie says:

        it became clear to me that there are/were people who spent more time thinking about my life than I did

        That’s a great way of putting it. The way a farmer thinks about a hog.

    • babaganusz says:

      Quigley’s ‘Tragedy and Hope’

      this, by gum, should be on that reading list thingie i keep not stumbling over.

  20. Webb Traverse (news anchor) says:

    Breaking News! This Just In!

    GE and Comcast (the owners of MSNBC) have announced new cost cutting measures… Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes are to be replaced by a talking version of the IPS5100 Intelligent Platform, the same GE ready-to-run platform that enables 360° local situational awareness and is integrated into a broad range of existing and new military vehicles, operating in war zones throughout the Middle East.

    But if you’re an MSNBC watching progressive Democrat, you have nothing to worry about…just take the red pill and sit back….to watch and listen to the IPS5100, you would never imagine you’re being addresssed by an intelligent weapons system. The IPS5100 will be programmed to identify a voice pattern corresponding to voice data retrieved from a Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes dialogue voice database.

    According to a spokesman for GE’s Weapons Manufacturing Solutions, this machine has been optimized (using a rugged 3U VPX COTS system) to give you the news with a progressive liberal slant, and once you get used to its slightly altered voice, you won’t be able to tell any difference between this piece of high-tech weaponry and the real Rachel Maddow or Chris Hayes.

    Coming soon…an IPS5100 talking version of Glenn Greenwald that delivers Snowden news while shooting fireworks out its ass….

    Snowden knows about it and is very excited…..

    • Goldfish Training Institute says:

      Snowden knows about it and is very excited.

      That’s because according to GG he’s the happiest person on earth!

    • Tarzie says:

      See this yet? Drumroll for the big finale.

      • Goldfish Training Institute says:

        Interesting to see how this goes. We already know Congress is being spied on, that didn’t prevent them from reupping budgets and engaging in faux-committee “investigations” into NSA spying. Does he think if he names politicians, they’ll become outraged when they hadn’t before?

        If these are actual political dissident and activist groups, the question becomes, why the fuck didn’t he release these names when he first discovered the material? Clearly the propaganda arm is still at work here. That means he continued to allow dissidents and activists to be jeopardized for personal gain.

        Then again he’s always despised true dissidents and those doing the actual work of liberation movements.

        I just can’t wrap my mind around what an asshole this guy is.

      • Tarzie says:

        I just can’t wrap my mind around what an asshole this guy is.

        Just when you think he can’t be any worse…

        I feel like we’re being trained to find nothing unacceptable.

      • trish says:

        I know I have said this early on in my comments here. if I were to steal this kind of information and risk everything then I would not only steal how they do it “technical plan” but more importantly how they are using it to control major “decision makers” politicians, judges etc. For me, the fact that until now we have not been shown how it has been used has made me “seriously wonder” about snowden. what GG now reveals will answer for me many questions. My gut tells me it will be weak. In other words we will learn they are spying on “x people” but we will not learn how in doing so they controlled “x decision” when x was for example on the supreme court or major politician.

        I hope I am wrong, but I don’t think so. I think this will be just a list of names, with a few details on some, wrapped in a nothing burger,.

    • diane says:

      The ex-exiled pair, Levine/Ames seem to be two of the most talented white male journalists – at solidly providing and clarifying the previously highly obscured and damning details in their exposes – on the most widely read online nooz sites.

      Nice expose of typical EFF weasel words today by Yasha Levine also.

      Still, for one, wish they weren’t on the Pando, ultimately pom poms for technotopia platform (e.g: Apple reportedly plans to tackle the Smart Home market. It’s about time. Apparently the baby-faced author has never read about Apple’s stunning complicity in privacy violations, and perhaps never read about Petraeus positively drooling over 24/7 Household Appliance data feeds to the Smart Grid).

      • Goldfish Training Institute says:

        I agree on all counts, they have a libertarian bent because of their Silicon Valley ties, which is really unfortunate. I can’t even read their pieces on these private app taxi services like the pink mustache company (whose name escapes me at the moment). The first piece I read about it over there was really denigrating to taxi companies. And they really came down hard on the protesters who were fighting against Google gentrification in the Mission.

        I live in San Francisco and really despise seeing these private mustache cars almost everywhere now (at least in the good hoods). You know these assholes are going to drive on by if they have calls coming from the projects in the Fillmore or in Visitacion Valley or the Bayview. It disgusts me. It’s privatizing gain and socializing cost, where have we heard and seen that before.

        Having said that, they really do some hard ass investigative reporting, I only hope those guys don’t get swallowed up by the Intercept or another company like it. That’s what reporting really is, not this bullshit blogging and regurgitating Snowden documents that Greenwald does. GG is not a journalist, he’s a fucking blogger.

      • Tarzie says:

        they have a libertarian bent because of their Silicon Valley ties

        Ames and Levine tend more toward statist authoritarianism and it’s just as awful. Hooking up with Pando seems to have made this less pronounced, which is good in my view.

        I rather like that Ames and Levine write shit against SilVal in a mag pitched at tech enthusiasts. Better that they should maroon themselves somewhere where they can sing to a choir? Why, exactly? Sounds religious to me.

        If you think there is any chance of them being swallowed up by the Intercept, you either credit GG with a lot less petty grudge-holding than I do, or you’re not aware of the history between them all. It’s precisely because they have 0 chance of being in GG’s good graces that they are writing the stuff about Omidyar, First Look and EFF that they do. They have no social capital to lose. It’s not because they’re fine, principled people.

        GG is not a journalist, he’s a fucking blogger.

        I love you GTI, but I find this distinction irritating and not simply because I’m a blogger. GG’s deficiencies have absolutely nothing to do with form and, as a form, ‘journalism’ is nothing to particularly aspire to in the first place. Ames and Levine write lengthy pieces using Google and interviewing no one. That’s not many people’s idea of journalism either. Who gives a shit?

      • diane says:

        Waves and kisses (very, very, very sorry: it may seem so belated in this ghastly nanosecondry environment) to my northern neighbor, I’m still pondering the numerous conversations here. I totally agree on the insidiousness of PANDO Daily [!], …. though I do agree with Tarzie that the two ex-exiled parties, particularly Ames, are POUTS Daddies, along with agreeing that being a Journalist, is really nothing to aspire to.

      • diane says:

        (In other bleakly amusing acronyms: POTUS Daddies)

    • dominique says:

      Remember Jeremy Scahill’s interview with the Daily Beast when he said of Omidyar, “this guy has a vision”, at the same time Obamabots everywhere were swooning over GG, and converting in droves to the Glennbot sect.

      The only thing fearless investigative journalist Scahill failed to mention (or notice?) is that Omidyar’s “vision” consisted of supporting Neo-Nazis in the Ukraine, Narendra Modi in India (mastermind of the Gujarat riots that resulted in the death of up to 2,000 Muslims), etc….and no doubt these revelations are just the tip of the iceberg…

      Not that room temperature IQ Glennbots could be expected to understand any of this, as they continue believing in their good billionaire fairy tale, while gibbering on and on, from the Lobotomy Ward…..

  21. Dan Henry says:

    This is off topic. You have written on Yves Smith over at NC before (IIRC its how I originally found your site) and I want to highlight one of her lines from a post today that sums her up perfectly.

    “I joined the corporate finance department of Goldman in the early 1980s, when Wall Street was criminal only at the margin.”

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/05/welcome-new-private-equity-readers.html

    I really am ashamed at how much energy Ive wasted reading her.

    • Tarzie says:

      I really am ashamed at how much energy Ive wasted reading her.

      Ahh, don’t be. Even shitstains are occasionally useful. Yves’ pal Matt Stoller certainly has his useful moments and he’s a dick too. They’re all declinists at that level; they need to believe they came by their advantages fair and square, if only by being born into some rich, fair and square family.

      Lambert, however, is simply an asshole. No redeeming qualities.

    • Goldfish Training Institute says:

      There’s a video out there of an interview that Taibbi and Smith did on a talk show discussing the meltdown. I remember sort of half-assedly watching this thing, wondering why I bothered because neither one of them would be mentioning sweeping away capitalism and beginning a socialist project. :p

      And this wasn’t something I picked up on, but in the comments at the website, somebody mentioned that Taibbi looked distracted and nervous and kept sneaking glances at Smith (apparently she’s a hot babe or something??), and I just busted up laughing. Like he couldn’t even keep it together for 10 minutes on a fucking talk show. I really don’t know much about Smith but Taibbi comes off just as lame and arrogant as Scahill. Leeches to power.

      Throw all of them on the “problem” pile, not the “solution” pile.

      • trish says:

        bothered because neither one of them would be mentioning sweeping away capitalism and beginning a socialist project. :p

        what do you mean by that. what does a socialist project look like to you?

      • Tarzie says:

        what does a socialist project look like to you?

        I will make sure that anyone who wants to go off on this tangent regrets not keeping it short and entertaining.

      • trish says:

        when politicians and oligarchs are joined at the hip, socialism, capitalism etc are one and the same. I wish i could be funny, Tarzie, but I am just fed up of people thinking these things are different. Maybe in theory, but in practice no. behind all these structures at the root has been the monetary system. so long as it functions as it does all “ism” are the same and a waste of energy discussing.

      • Tarzie says:

        My rule for derailments is ‘allowed if interesting.’ I don’t find hairsplitting over ‘real’ capitalism interesting. I think I have said this before.

        Pretty sure GTI’s point was simply that Taibbi and Smith just want to refine the system, not replace it. Which means you mostly agree in broad strokes.

      • trish says:

        My rule for derailments is ‘allowed if interesting.’ I don’t find hairsplitting over ‘real’ capitalism interesting. I think I have said this before.

        if that is what you think i was doing then you have no clue what i was i saying, and further confirm why we are going nowhere

      • Tarzie says:

        By derailing, I just meant going off-topic. I didn’t mean it was being done in bad faith.

        I don’t think this blog has any impact at all on where ‘we are going’ but there’s a reason why you won’t find a single blog post here on the monetary system. It doesn’t interest me. Perhaps it should, but it doesn’t.

      • trish says:

        I don’t think this blog has any impact at all on where ‘we are going’ but there’s a reason why you won’t find a single blog post here on the monetary system. It doesn’t interest me. Perhaps it should, but it doesn’t.

        and yet it as at the root of everything. Your blog, i will say no more

    • diane says:

      I never have cared for the Perfected Capitalism spokes peep ideology; but, people are complex and sometimes they come around to a different perspective. Yves has some very good and enoyably non arrogant insights – regarding cancer, for one. One thing I have always admired about Yves (in my own view), is that she has never ever struck me as being stunningly arrogant, totally opposite from my gut reaction regarding Lambert

      Like Tarzie, I don’t have any use for Lambert and his enormous, nanny ego, though I will say he has done a commendable job on slaying the ACA disaster (but then, most likely for his own economic benefit).

  22. Milo Minderbinder says:

    This was a great thread. My personal growth exercise for today is to figure out if I’m a shitstain, a dick, or an asshole, because I like NC. Guess I’m not a dick, because to my mind Stoller is nowhere near deprogrammed yet. Maybe I’m a shitstain, because, like Yves, I cashed in on the deep state but now I’m pure. (No really, totally. Besides which, our apprenticeships imparted handy skills for knocking over moribund regimes like this one.) But why is Lambert an asshole? He’s somewhat inflexible, that’s all, but it seems to me his heart is in the right place, and you can see his thinking evolve.

    • Tarzie says:

      If you re-read my comment, you’ll see I never said liking NC or anyone there makes one anything. But that bit about cashing in on the Deep State and knocking over moribund regimes sounds both shitstainy and grandiose if you’re not being satirical.

      I have no interest in disabusing you of your affection for Lambert and even less in proving the merits of my dislike. Forced to choose between him and Stoller, though, I’d choose Matt, because of the much lower self-adoring creep factor. Lambert’s just a fucking dick.

  23. tanglebum says:

    Dominique-
    Be careful you don’t drink the second-level kool-aid.
    It isn’t possible that Omidyar is a free-range power. He’d have been knocked down by now if he wasn’t co-operating.
    With whom?
    Well yeah.
    I can’t work the idea he’s out there being all “billionaires get to do whatever they want” the lonesome world-changin’ cowboy.

    Nobody gets to run regime-change ops like Ukraine w/o permission, and Modi’s up now because he was selected, and not by Omidyar.
    That’s just a deeper version of the Bush/Obama sock puppet symmetry. Where the Prezdent is the guy in charge,and we don’t like how things are so hey let’s get a new one.
    Where they had so many signifiers that are culturally exclusive – race, origin, social history etc, that the obvious fact of their serving identical off-stage interests was obscured just long enough to get the transition accomplished.

    Where are the intersections of Omidyar’s back-door affinities?
    Not who’s working for him, who’s he working with?

    Aliens.
    Mark my words.
    Aliens.

  24. Jay23 says:

    I wanted to watch this before reading your take and the key thing that jumped out at me was that she was BEMOANING the release of 2 things (the FBI thug with a police brutality history and the Senator covering up for a sex predator) that a purported journalist of her ilk should be thrilled to know – and issuing directions so such things never, ever get exposed to her again. I could see 2009-2010 Glenn excoriating this segment before becoming more ingratiated with her toxic crew.

    • Tarzie says:

      Yeah. GG hasn’t said a word. Busy with Michael Kinsley, who says mean things about GG and therefore wishes to ruin journalism. Also has to plan the fireworks finale.

      I thought the sex assault thing was just an opportunity to slam Republicans again. I mean, she mentioned a bunch of leaks in her little training. Clearly the primary context was the release of Aaron McFarlane’s name.

  25. wendyedavis says:

    I couldn’t find any Reply buttons upthread where this could have gone. An NSA abolitioinist e-friend kept maintaining that even were it abolished, plenty of the many other surveillance state apparats would do the job of oppression, jailing dissidents, stoking fear. Including modern-day Pinkerton spies and thugs hired by businesses galore (many on Wall Street). But here are a few more.

    http://my.firedoglake.com/wendydavis/2013/12/05/the-other-surveillance-security-and-police-powers-corporate-and-fbi/

    Fusion centers acting in concert to crush the Occupy movement is big again with CCR’s new FOIA’ed, docs. Stir in that eco-protestors, et.al. have been labeled ‘domestic terrorists’, oh boy.
    Keep the prison system beds full.

    http://www.justiceonline.org/commentary/exposed-the-hidden-role-of-fusion-centers.html

    • Tarzie says:

      Yes, one of the points we’ve been making around here for a while is that the unique focus on the NSA is minimizing.

      • wendyedavis says:

        Ah, I see that now that I’ve read the thread to the bottom. Could you explain this please: “Ames and Levine tend more toward statist authoritarianism and it’s just as awful.”?

        Re: Maddow: she utterly nuked Assange and WikiLeaks on some late night show, drew wild cheers, and that was when she found her power, imo, and never looked back. She became a mega-war cheerleader once her buddy became an ’embedded reporter’ (can’t remember his name at the moment)

        I’m a bit more convinced that the security state operating (so far without linked cameras, as in Britain) as TIA is building bit by bit, given that Congress didn’t fund it some years ago is not just about intimidation, but actually having total command and control of the population.

        That’s why it’s kinda fun to send them messages on our posts, use the vaunted ‘key words’ that get extra scrutiny and all that. there are a few great videos on youtube that quite irreverently propose how to jam the system. crudbump’s nsa one: ‘I put a thousand pictures of my ass on the internet today’, for one (or however it goes).

      • Tarzie says:

        Could you explain this please: “Ames and Levine tend more toward statist authoritarianism and it’s just as awful.”?

        There are a few examples, but the main one is how much heavy lifting they do for the TSA.

        Re: Maddow: she utterly nuked Assange…that was when she found her power, imo

        I think anyone with a gig at MSNBC can be written off long before they pull any talk show stunts. ‘Sell-out’ is a convention I do not embrace for the most part when describing the professional trajectories of these people. I also don’t credit little interpersonal things like embedded friends with making individuals like Maddow go one way or the other. Everyone on MSNBC supports state doctrine to varying degrees or they don’t stay on.

  26. wendyedavis says:

    Ah, I hadn’t used the term ‘sell-out’, but saw it (imo) as a defining moment in her accelerating hubris as ‘Dem spokesperson for the Empire’, along with shifting and increasing support of the war while working with Richard Engel. ‘Embedded reporters’ become one of the soldiers, and sell their outlooks.

    But I hadn’t known that Levine and Ames did any sort of lifting for the TSA. I’d read at ‘the Exiled’ a bit, but mainly knew Levine as a severely maltreated, imprisoned Occupier back in the day.

    • Ché Pasa says:

      It’s sometimes hard to grok where Ames and Levine’s positions are. They can be disruptors, I’ll give them that, and that’s usually a good thing.

      The TSA stuff I recall was this which caused them to be denounced and disparaged no end by Greenwald and his buds, denunciations which caused Katrina to intervene once she was made aware that there was some unpleasantness over the Ames and Levine piece about John Tyner and the Kochs at The Nation.

      Ames and Levine have apparently not been asked back to write for The Nation.

      The whole affair seemed odd to me because it did seem as if A&L were defending the abuses by TSA from the anti-TSA Kochs and Tyner, ie: letting their anti-Libertarianism and anti-Kochevism overwhelm their general outrage at government/corporate bullshit.

      When the controversy or contest is between Libertarian/Kochevik elements and the government, they tend to side with the government.

      • Tarzie says:

        When the controversy or contest is between Libertarian/Kochevik elements and the government, they tend to side with the government.

        I think your formulation is exactly backwards. There is a love of/trust in state authority that animates their idiotic preoccupation with libertarian oligarchs to the exclusion of others and the venomous hatred they direct at anarchists. Their first piece on Omidyar struggles to integrate him into the great Libertarian anti-government conspiracy, as if the simple facts of his predations aren’t bad enough.

        Also your summary of the work they do for the TSA is flawed as well. It certainly doesn’t begin and end with the piece you cited. Levine recently wrote a screed which attempted to create a link between the TSA shooter at LAX and ‘anti-government conspiracy theories’ and irrational left/right hatred of the TSA. If you’re going to defend state authority, security goons seems a very odd place to put your energy, but they do it a fair bit.

        I don’t find their positions ‘hard to grok’ if you mean something other than that they’re state/private dichotomy is deeply stupid. It’s certainly not ambiguous.

  27. Ché Pasa says:

    I think your formulation is exactly backwards. There is a love of/trust in state authority that animates their idiotic preoccupation with libertarian oligarchs to the exclusion of others and the venomous hatred they direct at anarchists. Their first piece on Omidyar struggles to integrate him into the great Libertarian anti-government conspiracy, as if the simple facts of his predations aren’t bad enough.

    This doesn’t add up to “statism” or “authoritarianism” to my mind. Doesn’t mean you’re wrong, just that I don’t see it.

    When Ames and Levine were in Russia, they were vehemently against Yeltsin and later Putin’s authoritarianism, and they fiercely denounced and ridiculed the west’s economic destruction and pillage of the former Soviet Union — as they still do. They were equally fierce about the Bush regime’s warmongering, authoritarianism and corporate fealty. Their defense of TSA didn’t fit. I didn’t see Levine’s later piece — not a fan of NSFWCorp — but I can imagine his defense was not so much of the TSA as it was of TSA workers.

    Yes, they laugh at anarchists and they denounce Libertarianism as a complete fraud. It looks to me like they see what passes for Libertarianism (ie: oligarchic authoritarianism) as an existential threat to the well-being of “the people” and so they are hyper-vigilant against libertarian/neo-liberal and oligarchic inroads both here and abroad. I think they see anarchists as naive and useless. But what’s their alternative? I don’t know. Do you?

    • Tarzie says:

      I can imagine his defense was not so much of the TSA as it was of TSA workers.

      Cops are workers, too. So are prison guards. But the important thing is that they have a union! Smearing is cool if for the worthy cause of unionized state goons. Private cops, that’s a whole other ball o wax.

      But what’s their alternative? I don’t know. Do you?

      I believe they’re Marxists and like most American Marxists, they’re anguished Democrats in the meantime. They don’t make too much of their Marxism because not really smart when you’re seeking mainstream success and sucking at Silicon Valley’s teat. It’s abundantly clear that they think things will improve when ‘the people’ recapture (ha ha) The State. Obama’s revolving door with oligarchs and banksters is a sign of decay; bug, not feature.

      Their scorn for anarchists goes beyond thinking we’re naive and useless, which is certainly stupid enough. By their own account, anarchists are proto-neoliberals because, what else could we be if we distrust state power in the same way we distrust private power? We’re only pretending to distrust private power and this they know because we don’t mark the huge gaping chasm between Koch Industries and Bank of America. Ames called me a Koch-sucker, har har har. Side note: His aversion did not keep him from uncredited pilfering from this here anarchist blog when he decided to fuck with First Look. Not entirely useless, I guess.

      Content to disagree without comment on the rest, especially on what statism means. I thought statism was a fairly straightforward thing, but I guess not! I even call Chomsky a statist, and he’s an anarchist!

      • Ché Pasa says:

        I believe they’re Marxists and like most American Marxists, they’re anguished Democrats in the meantime. They don’t make too much of their Marxism because not really smart when you’re seeking mainstream success and sucking at Silicon Valley’s teat. It’s abundantly clear that they think things will improve when ‘the people’ recapture (ha ha) The State.

        I think a real Marxist would find Ames and Levine too chaotic, naive and useless (ie: too “anarchic.”) Maybe in their own minds, they are thoroughgoing Marxist-Leninists, though. In which case, yes, the power of the State in the hands of the People is the answer, not the problem.

        Yes, Chomsky is a statist but he’s not an anarchist. Don’t let him fool you. (ha ha)

        Defending workers against the smears and assaults of political opportunists — even if the workers work for the government — is not the same as defending their employers or the policies of their employers or the government.

        Here’s the link to the Levine piece I think you referred to. Indeed, it is, as I suspected, a defense of TSA workers who were then under constant assault, not a defense of TSA or its policies.

        Didn’t know that you’d had dealings with Ames and/or Levine. I just read them. I can’t imagine why Ames would slur you and steal your material like that unless he was out of it — or more of a jerk than even I thought. Live and learn…

      • Tarzie says:

        I am talking about Ames way more than I want to but you’re such a nudge I can’t help myself.

        You’re doing a no true scotsman thing on Marxism. They’re very much a part of the Jacobin/In These Times clubs, most of whom consider themselves Marxists. Whatever they are, they seek salvation through capture of the state, to use its monopoly on violence for the greater good. That makes them statists at least. They sure as hell ain’t anarchists.

        With you on the difference between defending workers and blah blah. Just saying state goons is an odd, and I would say, revealing place to put your emphasis. They are on far too easy terms with what these workers do. As an anarchist the worker rights of oligarchy’s front line soldiers are not real important to me.

        I regret I am less inclined than you to see the line between all but the most principled anti-libertarianism as immunizing Democrats from attacks on their complicity in state violence. In general, it’s hard for me to see anti-libertarianism as anything but interference-runnning for Democrats, regardless of what’s intended. A pox on all houses concerned, but especially the drone Democrats.

  28. wendyedavis says:

    Thank you. Shazaam, what an unholy mess that piece was. Astroturfed right-wing outrage all to keep the TSA employees from unionizing. The sole point that may have been correct was the calls for that arm of the security state to be privatized were partially behind it. And yet I do find it curious because of their past cries against Russian state authoritarianism. But yes, it was your use of the word ‘statist’ describing the two that I’d hope you would explain earlier; sorry I wasn’t more clear.

    • Tarzie says:

      Authoritarians don’t love all authoritarianism, so I really don’t get your and Che’s points about Russia.

      • Ché Pasa says:

        Whatever they are, they seek salvation through capture of the state, to use its monopoly on violence for the greater good. That makes them statists at least. They sure as hell ain’t anarchists.

        All right. I think you’ve misread them — and Ames, at least, has misread you. What I’ve seen them do over the years is defend the people against the state, against arbitrary and destructive imposition of authority, and against systematic oligarchic exploitation and against political opportunism from any direction. They did it in Russia, they do it in the United States. They’ve declared American-style Libertarianism to be an oligarch-sponsored fraud, one that has combined with neo-liberal and neo-con policies which have devastated the lives of millions upon millions and is in the process of devastating the lives of many millions more.

        It may not make them anarchists, but it doesn’t make them Democrats, either.

        Meanwhile, Rachel Maddow barely registers on my radar. That’s how it goes when you don’t have cable teevee, one of the most insidious conditioning/propaganda mechanisms and mind-fucks in American history.

      • Tarzie says:

        I am officially tired of this. Obviously you drink the ‘libertarian oligarchs are the worst oligarchs’ Kool-Aid and a lot follows from that. Stuff that I don’t agree with and won’t agree with. Stuff that I associate with people who, when pressed, will attest to 1) favoring a large central government and 2) voting for Democrats.

        But as I said, the kind of anti-libertarian Trutherism that Ames/Levine trade in runs interference for liberal state violence whether it intends to or not. That’s why it finds purchase in our discourse. It’s where Marxists and liberal Democrats hang out together. For every condemnation of Obama’s violence, this crowd excretes twenty disquisitions on the history-changing moment when Rahm Emanuel and Pinochet emerged fully formed from Milton Friedman’s anus, and the terrible libels against put-upon workers who degrade people at airports.

        Read this tweet, view the linked graphic and determine whether Levine has extracted the most necessary and clearly non-partisan lesson. If you come back at me with some shit about irony or sarcasm, I’m gonna take the gloves off.

        That’s gonna be it with me for searching and citing, since you’ve disobliged yourself of the same burden. We’re making declarations at each other. Let’s stop. Interpersonal engagements and a lot of their writing have convinced me that Ames and Levine are, at best, peerlessly shitty people, whose politics are too muddled to warrant analysis as to their secret not Marxist/not Democrat/not statist/not anarchist meaning. I find them tactically useful right now because they have no social capital to lose by going after Greenwald and his billionaire. The occasional good piece that comes out of it is really the beginning and end of my affinity.

        I am glad Rachel Maddow barely registers on your radar, but have absolutely no clue as to the relevance. Does this mean you’re less brainwashed and ergo right about Ames and Levine? A less trifling person than someone who would write a post about her? I don’t watch her either but your point is lost on me. Surely if TV is as pernicious as you think it is, makes sense to write about it.

      • higharka says:

        “Surely if TV is as pernicious as you think it is, makes sense to write about it.”

        Sounds like GG logic to me. Why not devote your time to the workings of power, seeing as the powerful are, well, powerful?

      • nimbus says:

        I confess my ignorance of the prevailing definition of GG logic, but the logic of Tarzie’s comment seems clear (to me): television is an integral and potent weapon of those who wield power in the US. Writing about its pernicious (and its blatantly destructive) impact IS addressing the workings of power. The medium is the message, Maddow is the medium… maybe breaking the psychological stranglehold that the media has on the masses will create the opportunity for change. Personally, I don’t see change happening as long as most people believe it comes with a campaign slogan.

        As far as that goes, even for those of us who have given up hope of realizing that childhood dream of “World Peace and Harmony and Adequate Nourishment for Every Child” in our lifetime, there is encouragement and solace to be found in knowing we aren’t alone in cherishing the dream nonetheless. And that comes from hearing others speak truth to power.

        God, what a litany of hackneyed metaphors that was….

      • Tarzie says:

        Why not devote your time to the workings of power, seeing as the powerful are, well, powerful?

        So an FBI thug’s name gets out due to a faulty redaction and a cable news ‘personality’ pulling down 7 million a year teaches the peons how to redact & that’s got nothing to do with ‘the workings of power’? Do tell!

        No, don’t. Because I don’t presume to be toppling anything around here. All I aim for nowadays is fewer credulous morons in my midst while the world crumbles.

        GG’s logic is the same as Maddow’s: Dress propaganda up as defiance and cash in. We could not be more unalike. But then you think blog moderation and the immiseration of Detroit are, like, totally the same so…

  29. wendyedavis says:

    Leaving their names aside, yes, ‘the enemies of my enemies are my friends (within limitations) is a tried and true construction. With say, Mark Ames at Pando, whose articles seem to stretch the facts a bit to fit his agenda (Pierre’s folks in India funding the election of The Winnah! there) is almost preferable to me in his pot-stirring polemics to say, Chris Hedges, self-appointed, then approved, Savior of the 99% and the Occupy movement. But that’s just me, of course.

    Question: are you the sort of anarchist David Graeber is (not that I know if he indeed even parses his labels)? The man who edits Mosquito Cloud says that he is an ‘anarcho-syndicalist’ (with a narrowing caveat or two), but even when he commented at two of my past websites, I never grasped what that signified, again showing the Unbearable Lightness of my Intellectual Prowess.

    • wendyedavis says:

      Oopsie, I replied in the wrong place.

    • Tarzie says:

      are you the sort of anarchist David Graeber is

      I am not a big theory person, or a big label person either. Anarchism is merely the best shorthand for what I am, which is a person who thinks people shouldn’t have the means to tell other people what to do unless there’s a damn good reason for it. I think the ideal society would be one of voluntary associations among people where no entity retains a monopoly on violence.

    • Tarzie says:

      In what way did Mark Ames stretch the facts about Omidyar Network and India?

      • wendyedavis says:

        Pardon; not about Omidyar and India, more the Gujurat riots. Wiki (fwiw) makes it sound a bit more complicated than Ames wrote it, but historians seem to be writing it as a pogrom that Modi failed to stop, in any event. And it may be that I paid too much attention to the Indian ‘visitors’ on the thread, and that the India Times reported a lot of it wrong. It was just a big piece of ugly history that I didn’t know about, so I Wikied it. Pierre? Pfffft.

        Thanks for explaining your type of anarchism.

  30. Goldfish Training Institute says:

    I’ve unfairly demonized the NSA. 😦

    • Tarzie says:

      That interview is so bizarre.

      • Goldfish Training Institute says:

        I could have sworn I heard him say he “still works for them [CIA]” but I’d have to go back and listen again. Those three quotes by @GovtofFear were cringe-inducing but I felt like almost every other line he uttered gave away his nationalism, his imperialism, his belief in the benevolence of the criminal state. It reminded me of the Maddow piece, like it’s not what it seems on the surface.

      • Tarzie says:

        To me the whole thing has been a spectacle of obedience. From the Manning smears on. Very much like the Maddow thing but on steroids. Compliance all dressed up as defiance. I am shocked at how reactionary all of it is and that alleged radicals stay on board. It’s not even liberal.

      • Tarzie says:

        I think he said “I’m still working for the government”. Trying to avoid watching the whole thing.

      • Goldfish Training Institute says:

        It is all so sickening, they worship the ground he walks on and would take a bullet for this asshole. I could barely look at Greenwald during that segment when he was on the interview. Hell I could barely look at Snowden. Somebody somewhere described him as a “disaffected technocrat.” There’s just something smarmy and disingenuous about him.

  31. wendyedavis says:

    Do you reckon Zapatismo is relatively anarchistic? I’ve been spending parts of the past couple days trying to divine the meaning of this ‘final communiqué from Subcommander Marcos of the EZLN. I’ve found a few sites that decode it in different ways. Was ‘he’ always a chimera made of many, a worthy trickster out of necessity, a mestizo whose time is gone, given the evolving bottom-up self-rule in the Chiapas villages?

    Well, anyway, I’d hoped to get a handle on it to use to reprise a post on the most recent time the Zapatistas emerged from the jungles…in silence. And this has all been happening after the initial barbaric response from the Mexican government. Amazing is not too strong a word for it. (I saw it at Counterpunch originally, oddly enough, but this version is easier to read.

    http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2014/05/27/between-light-and-shadow/

  32. Ché Pasa says:

    Interpersonal engagements and a lot of their writing have convinced me that Ames and Levine are, at best, peerlessly shitty people, whose politics are too muddled to warrant analysis as to their secret not Marxist/not Democrat/not statist/not anarchist meaning. I find them tactically useful right now because they have no social capital to lose by going after Greenwald and his billionaire. The occasional good piece that comes out of it is really the beginning and end of my affinity.

    No doubt,

    And I agree, it’s time to drop this particular line of inquiry as continuing it will get us nowhere.

    As for Maddow, she was your original topic, not Ames and Levine, and your post on her redaction instructional was informative. I merely pointed out that without cable television, one isn’t exposed to her or the perniciousness of the cable “news” that floods from her and MSNBC and from every other outlet. Of course, write about it. The point is not that you or anyone writes about it, the point is that there are ways to avoid it.

    Truce?

    • Tarzie says:

      The point is not that you or anyone writes about it, the point is that there are ways to avoid it.

      Of course there are. One day I will get around to my intended Unplug! post. Until then, I am attempting to provide incentives. But whether or not *we* unplug, we will still be subject to the social fallout from people who don’t.

  33. Pingback: Iced Borscht » iCeD lInKs 05-to-the-29-to-the-2014

  34. Goldfish Training Institute says:

    “Snowden was so poised and prepared.”

    “What a wonderful interview subject.”

    “The man is a genius.”

    “I’d take a bullet for him.”

    “I’d take two.”

    “It was wondrous to behold.”

    “Were those unicorns and butterflies flitting around behind his head.”

    “Greenwald and Snowden together – better than an orgasm!”

  35. diane says:

    An asides to Che Pasa (Pinche Tejano …is that you, …in TEXAS? (personal query)): your web site is not, never has been – for the last few years I, personally, have attempted to view it on Dial Up– at all friendly to those who are praying the computer systems they cannot afford to update (which they are constantly in fair of becoming beyond there means to access Privately) , though are stuck with, don’t utterly collapse for them when they are being increasingly forced to do everything pertaining to their staying alive, ONLINE

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