Month: May 2011

PENTAGON: CYBER ATTACKS ARE ACTS OF WAR

 

Uh oh, who’s pulling Uncle Sam’s war powers cyber strings?

Huffington Post

‘Shut Down Our Power Grid, Maybe We Will Put A Missile Down One Of Your Smokestacks’

Cyber attacks that originate abroad can qualify as acts of war that could merit a military response by the U.S., the Pentagon has determined, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Citing a Pentagon report on cybersecurity strategy, part of which will be de-classified soon, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Pentagon has, for the first time, developed a cyber strategy that seeks to outline how the U.S. might react to cyber attacks targeted at the government, as well as critical infrastructure such as power plants, public transportation systems, financial institutions, and more.

“If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” an unnamed military official told the Journal.

At the core of the Pentagon’s plan is the idea of there being an “equivalence” between an electronic attack and a physical one. “If a cyber attack produces the death, damage, destruction or high-level disruption that a traditional military attack would cause, then it would be a candidate for a ‘use of force’ consideration, which could merit retaliation,” writes the Journal.

The report’s recommendations are likely to be controversial, sparking questions about how the government will be able to quickly and correctly track attacks back to their perpetrators, a notoriously difficult process. In addition, it remains to be seen how the policy would affect other countries’ response to covert cyber attacks or cyber sleuthing spearheaded by the U.S. For example, many have suggested that the U.S. was, in part, responsible for the Stuxnet worm that infiltrated Iran’s nuclear defense systems.

Continue reading here…

 

Fox News Ticker Gets Hacked in New York

AlterNet

Most news station headquarters in New York have building-spanning tickers blasting the breaking news of the day to the street. And recently, some resourceful soul decided to bring the real “fair and balanced” reporting to said ticker, hacking into the mainframe and broadcasting the truth. Some other people with a video camera took the train up to Rockefeller Center to capture the magic, which in all-caps displays such items as “Our country is not broke” and “We are being lied to.”

Check out the video:

Ht/Don In Mass

From Sign Of The Times

The message from hiropro999, who uploaded the video, goes as follows:

Hello

Last night I hacked into the FoxNews news ticker on 6th avenue in NYC.

Here’s the video. If you’d like to know why, just read the message in the hack.

I accessed the Fox ticker basically to get your attention. Also because Fox deserves it: they’re the 24/7 mouthpiece of the right wing. They are huge perpetrators of the big lie.

This country isn’t broke. Question is: where is the money going?

Americans have a right to know their pockets are being fleeced by corporations and tax breaks for the ultra-wealthy and we can no longer tolerate the deceit FoxNews is perpetuating.

For the record, I am not connected to Anonymous or any of the recent attacks on the PSN, PBS, Nasdaq or So-net.

We are being lied to and you cannot stop Americans from fighting for the truth. Sorry my friend is somewhat annoyingly enthusiastic in the video but it’s one of the best hacks in recent memory so cut her a break.

For those who think this is fake and that the sign can not play color. http://bit.ly/mRfOUD

“Weinergate”: Anatomy of a Social Media Scandal

I’ve been following this case about Rep. Anthony Weiner allegedly sending a 21 year old college student an alleged lewd picture of himself on Twitter, since it started late last week.  I chose not to comment on it until I saw this fiasco  was starting to reach the national media. 

Anything that has to do with the Andrew Breitbart blog, Big Government is automatically suspect, given their prior history of “set-ups“.

Daily Kos seems to have deciphered the entire mess here.  However, I have to look at their analysis the same way I do with those on the right analyzing President Obama’s birth certificate. 

Hopefully the truth will prevail soon.  For the most part I really like the Congressman’s stance on most issues.  I also follow him on Twitter.

This video is from the Los Angeles Times:

Time Magazine – Swampland

Here are the facts of the incident inevitably dubbed Weinergate.” Late Friday night, a lewd photo was posted on the Twitter account of Congressman Anthony Weiner, a Democrat who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens. It was included in a message sent to a Washington State college student. The tweet — as well as all photos connected to the account — was swiftly scrubbed, but a screen grab found its way to conservative provocateur Andrew Breitbart’s “Big Government” website.

Weiner has repeatedly denied sending the photo; the Congressman says his Twitter and Facebook accounts were hacked. An aide said the Democrat has hired a lawyer. “We’ve retained counsel to explore the proper next steps and to advise us on what civil or criminal actions should be taken,” said spokesman Dave Arnold. “This was a prank. We are loath to treat it as more, but we are relying on professional advice.”

While you were enjoying the holiday weekend, the denizens of the Interwebs were hard at word trying to solve the mystery. Mediaite commissioned a “photoshop expert” to scour the image for evidence of forgery. A Reuters employee juxtaposed the photo data with those of previous images.

A blogger for Breitbart’s Big Government site dangled a lucrative $200(!) reward for evidence that helps identify the hacker, presumably so that it can use the offer as evidence of Weiner’s guilt if the culprit fails to materialize. Another pointed out that the “skinny legs” visible in the photo might match those attached to Weiner’s lanky frame. A blogger for the liberal Daily Kos, using screen grabs and Twitter timelines, marshaled a case that Breitbart and a conservative blogger had teamed up to take Weiner down. Both have denied it.

Continue reading here…

“Tell Us What To Say” – Tea Party Group Gives GOP Freshmen Medicare Talking Points

So, what sort of power does a group like the Tea Party have over members of the House and Senate?  Could it be Corporate and special interests who are looking for members of both houses in Congress to tow the free market line?  

The wealthiest corporations and special interest groups usually pepper politicians with overwhelming amounts of money in hope of influencing the political process.   

It’s the same way with the Tea Party which is backed by the likes of Koch Industries and other corporate interests.

Huffington Post

FreedomWorks Gives Freshman Republicans Tips For Dealing With Medicare At Town Halls

The conservative group FreedomWorks has a message for freshman Republicans in Congress: Do not shy away from the Medicare fight.

On May 24, the group run by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey convened one of its regular off-the-record meetings with “communicators from limited-government conservative offices in the House and Senate who have a close relationship with the grassroots,” according to an email from FreedomWorks’ Media Coordinator Jackie Bodnar obtained by The Huffington Post. The email was intended for attendees of the breakfast meeting.

The main topics of discussion, according to notes attached to the email that recapped the meeting, were the debt ceiling and Medicare. The special guest that day was Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who argued, according to the recap, that the “debt ceiling has become a key bargaining chip that can be used to get the BBA [balanced budget amendment] passed.”

Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, focused on Medicare and gave the congressional offices tips for dealing with the hot topic in their districts (emphasis added):

  • Get out there and talk to people. Hold town halls at senior centers and other areas where the population is especially concerned about their benefits being cut. Take the lessons of ’94 and ’95 and get out there and explain to people that their immediate benefits will not be affected. Explaining the plan will offset confusion and the Democrats’ negative messaging.
  • We need to dispel the myth that if we leave Medicare alone it will stay the same. It won’t. By reforming them we are saving and strengthening these programs for the current and future generations.
  • Don’t bury your head in the sand. Republicans must not shy away from this issue. Expect Democrats to attack, but not fighting back will only makes it worse. BOLD action is needed.
  • Communicate that Democrats do not have a plan of their own. Hold up a blank piece of paper as a powerful image of their do-nothing approach.
  • Stick to your message.

Continue reading here…

 

Tuesday Blog Round Up

AL Mayor: No FEMA Trailers Allowed For Tornado Victims
Ironic, isn’t it? Alabama is noted for so many bad things, including poor education…

Once-Stately Trees Tell a Tale of Destruction in Joplin
The thick skeletons of oak, elm and hickory trees stand sentinel over a wasteland.

Forget Ideology: Conservatives Need to Develop a Basic Sense of Right ..
Body In the film Clear and Present Danger one of the president’s henchmen who h..

The Rule, Not The Exception
Despite their recent protestations to the contrary, Republicans have had Medicare in..

Fox Pundit Dennis Kneale Associates Public Schools With ‘The Crips Or ..
Click here to view this media While discussing the New Jersey Supreme Court decision..

‘Palin’s Historic Bus Tour’
I was in a coffee shop on Capitol Hill this morning when I glanced up and saw this c..

SLIDESHOW: Rolling Thunder
Sarah Palin was just a sidecar to the big annual Memorial Day weekend motorcycle rid..

President Obama marks Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery
President Obama speaks at a Memorial Day Service at Arlington National Cemetery, hon..

Right-Wing Media’s Relentless False Attack: Obama Does Not Suppor..
Right-wing media have claimed that President Obama attacked Israel in his recent res..

Bus Carrying Wedding Party In India Plunges Into Pond, At Least 26 Peo..
GAUHATI, India — A bus carrying a wedding party plunged into a large pond in India’..

Memorial Day – A History

 

Wikipedia

The first known observance of Memorial Day was in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865; freedmen (freed enslaved Africans) celebrated at the Washington Race Course, today the location of Hampton Park, and each year thereafter. African Americans founded Decoration Day, now referred to as Memorial Day, at the graveyard of 257 Union soldiers and labeled the gravesite “Martyrs of the Race Course” on May 1, 1865. Black Charlestonians created this American tradition.[4]

In the North in Waterloo, New York on May 5, 1866. The friendship between General John Murray, a distinguished citizen of Waterloo, and General John A. Logan, who helped bring attention to the event nationwide, was likely a factor in the holiday’s growth. On May 5, 1868, in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic – the organization for Northern Civil War veterans – Logan issued a proclamation that “Decoration Day” should be observed nationwide.[5] It was observed for the first time on May 30 of the same year; the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a battle.

There were events in 183 cemeteries in 27 states in 1868, and 336 in 1869. The northern states quickly adopted the holiday; Michigan made “Decoration Day” an official state holiday in 1871 and by 1890 every northern state followed suit. The ceremonies were sponsored by the Women’s Relief Corps, which had 100,000 members. By 1870, the remains of nearly 300,000 Union dead had been buried in 73 national cemeteries, located mostly in the South, near the battlefields. The most famous are Gettysburg National Cemetery in Pennsylvania and Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington.

The Memorial Day speech became an occasion for veterans, politicians and ministers to commemorate the war – and at first to rehash the atrocities of the enemy. They mixed religion and celebratory nationalism and provided a means for the people to make sense of their history in terms of sacrifice for a better nation, one closer to God. People of all religious beliefs joined together, and the point was often made that the German and Irish soldiers had become true Americans in the “baptism of blood” on the battlefield. By the end of the 1870s the rancor was gone and the speeches praised the brave soldiers both Blue and Gray. By the 1950s, the theme was American exceptionalism and duty to uphold freedom in the world.

Ironton, Ohio lays claim to the nation’s oldest continuously running Memorial Day parade, it has been a tradition since 1868. The first parade was held May 5, 1868.

You Might Be A Republican If…

I ran across this article while researching something and wanted to share it… 

You Might be a Republican If…

By Bruce Linder

1) You believe George W. Bush’s redistribution of middle-class tax cuts to the top
1% of tax-payers was good for America, but Obama’s plan to return it to the
middle class is ‘socialism.’
2) You believe stem cells are living human beings, but thousands of Iraqi children
are ‘expendable collateral damage.’
3) You believe tax cuts for billionaires is a great idea, yet you wonder why the
economy has stalled, your job just got outsourced to India, and oil company
executives receive $400,000,000.00 retirement packages.
4) You believe the surge worked because the violence in Iraq is back to 2006 levels,
which is only horrible, compared to what it was in 2007; intolerable. Besides, Brit
Hume said so.
5) You think trial lawyers are harmful to America, yet you support prosecuting some
guy in Muncie Indiana who burned his 99¢ American flag that was made in China
by forced child labor.
6) You’re all for the ‘rule of law’ when it’s applied to Bill Clinton for lying about his
infidelity, but not for prosecuting Karl Rove and Scooter Libby for committing
treason.
7) You think George W. Bush is actually a really smart guy, but his folksy manner
just makes him seem dumber than he really is.
8 ) You believe that those privileged from birth achieve success all on their own, and
that those who are born to poverty and never have opportunities for
advancement, got what they deserved.
9) You believe Ronald Reagan was a great president who had complete control of
all aspects of government, but the Iran-Contra Affair was an insignificant scandal
that went on without his knowledge.
10) You believe Democrats tax and spend, but George W. Bush was a fiscal
conservative.
11) You believe Oliver North, who was CONVICTED of perjury, obstruction of justice,
destroying evidence and accepting bribes, is a patriot. But John Kerry, who saved
a man’s life while under enemy fire in Vietnam is a coward.
12) You believe George W. Bush kept us safe from terror, and the failure to prevent
the 9/11 attacks were Clinton’s fault.
13) You actually believe Fox News is fair & balanced.
14) You still believe Saddam had truckloads of WMDs, and that he somehow
managed to sneak them into Syria, right under our noses.
15) You believe Terri Schiavo was sentient all along, and Bill Frist had the ability to
diagnose her condition by watching a 5 second video of her sleeping.
16) You’re in favor of stronger prison sentences for drug users, yet your favorite radio
personality is Rush Limbaugh.
17) You complain about having to press 1 for English, yet you hire undocumented
workers to mow your lawn because they’re cheaper than hiring the kid next door.
18) Homosexuality is abhorrent to you, except when a Republican senator, the
president of the National Association of Evangelicals, and a planted White House
journalist get caught having sexual affairs with gay men. Then you suddenly feel
sorry for them.
19) The war in Iraq makes perfect sense to you, but any suggestion by Barack
Obama that we target al Qaeda specifically is ‘dangerous and reckless.’
20) You don’t mind that president Bush tortured men who were never charged with a
crime, yet you’re horrified by the wrath of al Qaeda when they capture one of our
guys.
21) You believe the 1/10 of 1% of scientists who claim global warming is a hoax, and
reject the 99.9% who say it’s real, because Sean Hannity and his friends in the oil
industry have convinced you that science is a part of a greater liberal conspiracy.
22) You believe patriotism means you should support your government right or wrong
… unless a Democrat’s in power, then it’s your patriotic duty to call him a closet
Muslim, challenge his birth certificate, expose his sex life and impeach him.
23) You’re proud of your party’s ‘culture of life.’ Yet you support the death penalty for
minors, you believe 600,000 dead Iraqis is justified because one of them was
Saddam Hussein, and you oppose confronting the genocide in Darfur because
they don’t have oil.
24) You support prayer in school, as long as your kids aren’t subjected to Muslim
prayers.
25) You think Darwin’s theory of evolution is a loony fairy tale, and mankind actually
began with two naked teenagers, a magic apple and a talking snake.

Obama Visits Joplin, MO (Video)

 

After a long trip overseas, President Obama wasted no time meeting his obligation as “comforter-in-chief” visiting the people and the city of Joplin, MO after a series of devastating tornadoes hit the area last week…

Huffington Post

Face to face with the legions of homeless and the bereaved, President Barack Obama on Sunday toured the apocalyptic landscape left by Missouri’s killer tornado, consoled the community and committed the government to helping rebuild shattered lives.

Obama said survivors of the disaster in Joplin are showing the world how to come together, and he pledged that the nation, as he put it, “will be with you every step of the way.”

Obama spoke at a memorial service for victims on Sunday. He said it’s impossible to know when or why such devastation strikes. But he praised neighbors for helping each other at great risk to themselves. He said there are heroes “around us all the time.”

“This is not just your tragedy. This is a national tragedy, and that means there will be a national response,” Obama said.

Air Force One flew over a massive swath of brown as far as the eye could see – a landscape of flattened houses and stripped trees – on its approach to Joplin. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and others greeted him on the tarmac before they set out for their first stop, a walking tour of a destroyed neighborhood. A memorial service punctuated a day of remembrance one week after the disaster.

Continue reading…

Tea Party Pressuring Schools To Teach Constitution Using Controversial Right-Wing Group’s Materials

There are some really important news stories that seem to stay under the radar of scrutiny in the main stream media.   For the corporate (right-leaning) media perhaps it’s by design. 

The stories may appear in an evening newscast or two but quickly disappear from the usually “days long” news cycles.    This is just one of those many “under the radar” stories…

TPM Muckraker

America’s kids don’t know jack about the Constitution, and according to a national Tea Party group, the only way to save them is to have school’s teach the nation’s founding document with materials provided by a controversial conservative group whose founder is one of Glenn Beck’s favorite historians.

Tea Party Patriots, the Georgia-based organization that counts around 1,000 chapters nationwide, is asking its members to pressure schools to teach the Constitution during Constitution Week in September, as they are required to do by a 2004 law. And when schools do teach the founding document, the group is suggesting that they use materials provided by the National Center for Constitutional Studies, a group that claims the country and Constitution were, “established by the hand of God.”

NCCS’s founder, W. Cleon Skousen, became a tea party favorite in recent years when Glenn Beck touted him on his program as an exemplary constitutional scholar. But Skousen’s past is marred by accusations that his work is far from accurate, and at times rife with racism.

In 1982, critics derided one of Skousen’s books, “The 5,000 Year Leap,” as racist for describing African-Americans as “pickaninnies” and claiming that slave owners were the real victims of slavery. Last year, Princeton Historian Sean Wilentz described the book in The New Yorker as a, “treatise that assembles selective quotations and groundless assertions to claim that the U.S. Constitution is rooted not in the Enlightenment but in the Bible.”

Continue reading…

West Wing Week “OCONUS III: A Homecoming of Sorts”

The White House

Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, President Obama embarked on a six-day trip to Europe, visiting Ireland, the United Kingdom, France and Poland to engage our allies in the region on a host of issues. While overseas, the President pledged support for those back home affected by devastating tornadoes in Missouri and across the Midwest. Before leaving, the President met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and went to the CIA Headquarters in Langley, VA. That’s May 20th to the 26th, or “OCONUS (Outside the Continental United States) III: A Homecoming of Sorts.”

Find out more about the topics covered in this edition of West Wing Week:

Friday, May 20,2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011