The Walls Have Ears: Warrant Granted for Amazon Echo Home Data, Setting Precedent

and read my work on the subject:

by Alice Salles  from Antimedia

… Instead of reforming the system to make sure officials observe the constitution, laws have been passed to increase the government’s access to technologies used widely by Americans and visitors. The result? The widespread normalization of government spying.

Instead of sweeping outrage, many Americans continue to feel that being spied upon is part of their everyday lives — and that instead of fighting it, they should embrace it as a means to protect the country from external forces.

To nearly half of the population, recent news about a court order regarding a private Amazon Echo may not seem as shocking as it should.

A case involving a murder in Arkansas just helped the public learn that companies like Amazon often retain recordings of people’s conversations through devices like Amazon Echo — and that these recordings are stored in servers that may later be subject to law enforcement investigations. Depending on how the case shapes up, it could set a legal precedent that would open up government access to similar smart devices, and even force companies to keep these recordings in storage for future investigations…

[read more here]

The Essence of Neoliberal Globalization in One Photo

Statement by the President of Russia Regarding President Obama’s Expulsion of Russian Diplomats

from the official website of the President of Russia

We regard the recent unfriendly steps taken by the outgoing US administration as provocative and aimed at further weakening the Russia-US relationship. This runs contrary to the fundamental interests of both the Russian and American people. Considering the global security responsibilities of Russia and the United States, this is also damaging to international relations as a whole.

As it proceeds from international practice, Russia has reasons to respond in kind. Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy but will plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration.

The diplomats who are returning to Russia will spend the New Year’s holidays with their families and friends. We will not create any problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anyone. We will not prevent their families and children from using their traditional leisure sites during the New Year’s holidays. Moreover, I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin.

It is regrettable that the Obama Administration is ending its term in this manner. Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family.

My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people.

I wish all of you happiness and prosperity.

December 30, 2016

Obama’s Russian Sanctions Have Nothing to Do With Hacking: It’s About Syria, Not the FBI’s “Grizzly Lie” Report

by Scott Creighton

UPDATE: Putin refuses to retaliate against Obama’s bullshit instigation attempt.

Obama’s “Grizzly Lie” report is indeed a grizzly step toward total war across the Middle East and perhaps the entire world.

Since Russia and Syria were finally able to oust Obama’s “moderate” terrorists from Aleppo and liberate the city from it’s 5-year-long regime change siege, the Russian ambassador to Turkey has been murdered in cold blood, a Russian plane on route to Syria has mysteriously crashed into the Black Sea and now… President Peace Prize has evicted 35 Russian diplomats from U.S. soil and imposed some meaningless sanctions on a number of other Russian agencies and individuals. The claims are that we had nothing to do with the first two incidents and Obama’s actions against Russia are as “retaliation” against their supposed efforts at influencing our elections here in the states.

Of course, our intelligence agencies can’t very well take credit for killing ambassadors anymore than they can admit downing planes (Flight MH17 comes to mind). Wars have started for less and CIA Directors have been fired for meddling like this in the past (Bay of Pigs?). Not very often, but it has been done.

By the same token, President Obama can’t be seen as punishing Russia for driving al-Qaeda from eastern Aleppo. There’s that whole “providing aid and comfort” law to think about.

But the truth is there if you read a little between the lines… or if you just bother to actually read the lines instead of just listening to the lying talking heads giving their spin jobs on the MSM.

Mr. Obama said, and added that the United States acted after “repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior.” New York Times

The expulsion of the 35 RussiansIt was unclear if they were involved in the hacking.”

closing of two waterfront estatesofficials declined to say whether they were specifically used in the election-related hacks.” New York Times

If they say it’s “unclear” if those expelled from the U.S. were involved in the hacking, that’s spinspeak for “they were not involved in the hacking

There have been no warnings coming from the United States to Russia about staying out of our election process. The warnings President Obama is speaking of were regarding staying out of Syria and out of the way of our “national interests” over there.

Like the president, the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, avoided getting his message muddied up in spinspeak as well. He made it quite clear yesterday that the sanctions and expulsions had nothing to do with hacking and everything to do with Russia interfering with our “national interests” abroad.

Russia does not share America’s interests. In fact, it has consistently sought to undermine them, sowing dangerous instability around the world. While today’s action by the administration is overdue, it is an appropriate way to end eight years of failed policy with Russia” Mediaite

Off the top of my head I imagine Ryan was speaking about Syria, Ukraine and BRICS but there could be other examples.

In Syria, Russia helped stop our regime change operation that intended to bring along with it the Qatar-Turkey pipeline and the creation of the western quarter of Greater Kurdistan.

In Ukraine our regime change operation took place immediately after the Ukrainian people decided they wanted no part of the European Union and the new IMF loans that came along with the deal.

And in regards to the BRICS nations… well, that speaks for itself.

And there are the interests of our neoliberal and Likudnik friends in London and Tel Aviv to think about as well.

These are the “national interests” Paul Ryan and President Obama speak of. They wont specify what they are because Americans are not likely to want to charge into global war over oil and banking hegemony since it’s their loved ones who will be fighting it, not Ryan’s or Obama’s. In fact, Sec. Kerry just lamented recently that it’s a “problem” that Americans are getting tired of sending their kids off to fight and die in these wars. You think I’m kidding?

And a lot of Americans don’t believe we should be fighting and sending young Americans over to die in another country. That’s the problem.” Sec. of State John Kerry

That’s the problem. We’re tired of sending our children to fight and die in other countries for the lies of corrupt people and the profits of our “national interests”. That, according to the Secretary of State in the Obama regime, is “the problem”.

Gee. I guess they need more motivation, huh? Lucky Larry been buying anymore buildings recently?

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Neoliberal News of the Day: Tweets Edition

by Scott Creighton

After writing this morning and yet still recovering from my cold or whatever it was, I wanted to do a Neoliberal News of the Day for you guys but am too tired to write it all out. However, there is some interesting stuff on my Twitter feed this morning so I thought I would post a few of them after the break.

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The Collins Murder and Amazon Echo: Custom-Made Legal Case to Introduce Us to Big Business’ Version of Big Brother

by Scott Creighton

You would absolutely have a fit and swear to die with a gun in your hand before you let Big Brother watch and listen to everything in your home. Don’t say you wouldn’t. But when Big Business becomes Big Brother… well… let’s get our checkbooks.” Scott Creighton, Dec. 15th, 2016

The case seems like it was custom-made to introduce the notion of Big Brother to America. Not necessarily the murder… but the case. In order to explain this to you, I have to delve into the murder case itself a bit.

Victor Collins 1968-2015

On Nov. 21st 2015, James Andrew Bates, 31, of Bentonville, Arkansas invited a few friends over to watch a Razorbacks football game with him. The home team was playing Mississippi State in a game they lost 51-50. The game started at 6pm local time and was being played at home at Razorback stadium in Fayetteville. Bentonville is a straight shot north on I49 about 20 miles from the stadium.

house

3502 SW Elm Manor Avenue

On a Saturday in a modest home in a subdivision at 3502 SW Elm Manor Avenue, four friends got together to watch their local team lose a heart-breaker of a game by one point. Bates was there with his guests Victor Parris Collins, 47, Owen McDonald and Sean Henry.

On Sunday, Nov. 22nd at around 9:30am, James Bates called local police to inform them he found Victor Collins floating dead in his hot-tub.

Remarkably, it took Bentonville police until Feb. 22nd of 2016 to arrest James Bates and charge him with murder. At first he was held without bond but then released on bail in April of this year. The case is scheduled for trial sometime in 2017.

Why they waited to file charges or even need a trial in this case is beyond my comprehension. Here are some of the facts.

It is undisputed that after the game the men hung out for a while drinking beer and vodka until late in the evening.

First to leave that night was Sean Henry. After he left the three remaining men decided to hop in the hot-tub that was outside on Bates’ deck in the back yard. It was a very cold late November evening. ( ಠ_ಠ )

This is where the stories of the two surviving members of that hot-tub party diverge from one another.

According to Owen McDonald, he left somewhere around midnight, leaving Bates and Collins still drinking in the hot-tub. His story is backed-up by his wife who claims he returned home at around 12:30am that night as well as by a neighbor who picked him up and gave him a ride home when he saw Owen stumbling down the street, obviously drunk.

McDonald was later examined by police and found to have no signs of a struggle on his body (scratches, bruises, etc.)

Bates claims he went to bed around 1am leaving McDonald and Collins still drinking in the hot-tub. He says when he woke up he found Collins dead and McDonald gone.

But his story is much, much weaker.

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Di$info Jone$ ( Alex Jones ) Lets his Hasbara Slip Once Again

by Scott Creighton

(Just a quick note as I’m still very sick)

“Public diplomacy in Israel (also hasbara, Hebrew: הַסְבָּרָה‎‎ hasbará, “explaining”) refers to public relations efforts to disseminate abroad positive information or propaganda about the State of Israel and its actions.[1][2] The term is used by the Israeli government and its supporters to describe efforts to explain government policies and promote Israel in the face of negative press, and to counter what they see as delegitimisation of Israel around the world. “

Over at BOTH Prison Planet and InfoWars, Alex Jones (a.k.a. Di$info Jone$) has allowed a mindless, Henny Penny “sky is falling!” screed by Michael Snyder to be published about how Obama’s refusal to veto UN Security Council resolution 2334 is the worst possible thing anyone has done to the Israelis and in fact, by doing so, Obama has now cursed the United States… in the eyes of God.

“As I just explained in an article on The Most Important News, those that bless Israel will be blessed, and those that curse Israel will be cursed… By defiantly attempting to divide the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem during the waning days of his presidency, Barack Obama has cursed America. You may not believe in blessings and curses, but the Word of God says that those that curse Israel will be cursed, and without a doubt we will most assuredly be cursed as a result of what Barack Obama has done.” Michael Snyder, on Di$info Jone$’ websites

Mr. Snyder’s arguments in this article are beyond irrational bordering on psychotic.  Can you imagine? You know that house you live in? God said I get to have it so you gotta get out and if you don’t like that, that means “you’re defiantly shaking your fist at the one true God” and you better stop it before you get us all cursed. You think I am exaggerating?

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