Archive for the ‘news’ Category
I barely noticed the irony of the situation – that the TSA and NYPD were clearing me for takeoff, but JetBlue had decided to ground me. At this point, I could think of nothing else but how to inform my family, who were expecting me to be on the other side of the country, that I wouldn’t be meeting them for dinner after all. In the meantime, an officer entered the room and told me to continue waiting there. “We just have one more person who needs to speak with you before you go.” By then, I had already been “cleared” by the TSA and NYPD, so I couldn’t figure out why I still needed to be questioned. I asked them if I could use my phone and call my family.
“No, this will just take a couple of minutes and you’ll be on your way.” The time was 12.35.
[Amazingly sad. These processes don't work at all at the individual level. They protect no one, harm innocent people, and give people who don't care, or who want to exercise power over others, the freedom to do so with impunity. It all needs to change, stop, and go away.]
Amazon isn’t a store. It’s a system for making other systems, some of which sell things. He has a meta-platform from which he can, with a wink and a wave, fabricate any media platform he could imagine. Still he buys a big old paper?
Again—not Bezos. He could slip leaflets into every Amazon box and have a greater reach than any paper in the world. As to the Post, aren’t there cheaper, more efficient ways to find power in Washington, D.C., and without alienating your customers? For example Bezos could buy Politico and destroy it utterly, then salt the ground on which it sits while grinding its web servers into powder, and we would all celebrate this gift to humankind way more than the future descendants of our parched hellworld will celebrate some oddball clock in the desert.
People hate the media and with good reason; it tells them things, often without first asking their permission (self-link; deal). And usually the writers take the brunt of popular hatred; after all the words are theirs. But sooner or later people figure out who really owns the paper and pays the salaries and start to yell and scream and promise boycotts. In order to stomach running a paper, an owner needs to take a near-erotic pleasure in being: (A) hated; and (B) sued. Newspaper employees sometimes hate their owners, too, and will humiliate them. It’s the inverse of a compliment sandwich. The owner of a mass-market news publication is typically the money cream in an Oreo of hate.
[Love the viewpoint. Delicious writing and descriptions. ]
When I finally did finish, at 1:05 am, my knees and elbows were crusted with blood, and my palms dotted with blood blisters from falling down, my skin pickled and covered in a sun rash, my ankles swollen red and hot, dirt everywhere, and my face completely flushed with fever. It was, after so many runs in my life, the first time I felt so deeply that I could not possibly have gone one extra step. So often people have commented upon seeing me after a 30 mile day that I look great, considering. I’ve always felt conflicted about that – sure it’s nice I can run that much and not look awful, but on the other hand, I want to look awful! I want to look like I’ve been through something. And finally, at 1 am on Friday morning, I looked like I had been through something. 23 hours, 110 degree heat, 8000 feet of elevation gain, all of it was written on my face, etched in my body. Finally, I looked like hell. And it felt great.
[It's amazing anyone ever thinks of these things… let alone complete them.]
The Japanese nuclear energy watchdog raised the incident level from one to three on the international scale that measures the severity of atomic accidents.
This was an acknowledgement that the power station was in its greatest crisis since the reactors melted down after the tsunami in 2011.
But some nuclear experts are concerned that the problem is a good deal worse than either Tepco or the Japanese government are willing to admit.
They are worried about the enormous quantities of water, used to cool the reactor cores, which are now being stored on site.
Some 1,000 tanks have been built to hold the water. But these are believed to be at around 85% of their capacity and every day an extra 400 tonnes of water are being added.
“The quantities of water they are dealing with are absolutely gigantic,” said Mycle Schneider, who has consulted widely for a variety of organisations and countries on nuclear issues.
“What is the worse is the water leakage everywhere else – not just from the tanks. It is leaking out from the basements, it is leaking out from the cracks all over the place. Nobody can measure that.
[How many times do we need to go down this road? And guess where that sea water is headed?]
During one of these meetings I asked directly whether the government would move to close down the Guardian’s reporting through a legal route – by going to court to force the surrender of the material on which we were working. The official confirmed that, in the absence of handover or destruction, this was indeed the government’s intention. Prior restraint, near impossible in the US, was now explicitly and imminently on the table in the UK. But my experience over WikiLeaks – the thumb drive and the first amendment – had already prepared me for this moment. I explained to the man from Whitehall about the nature of international collaborations and the way in which, these days, media organisations could take advantage of the most permissive legal environments. Bluntly, we did not have to do our reporting from London. Already most of the NSA stories were being reported and edited out of New York. And had it occurred to him that Greenwald lived in Brazil?
The man was unmoved. And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian’s long history occurred – with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian’s basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents. “We can call off the black helicopters,” joked one as we swept up the remains of a MacBook Pro.
Whitehall was satisfied, but it felt like a peculiarly pointless piece of symbolism that understood nothing about the digital age. We will continue to do patient, painstaking reporting on the Snowden documents, we just won’t do it in London. The seizure of Miranda’s laptop, phones, hard drives and camera will similarly have no effect on Greenwald’s work.
The state that is building such a formidable apparatus of surveillance will do its best to prevent journalists from reporting on it. Most journalists can see that. But I wonder how many have truly understood the absolute threat to journalism implicit in the idea of total surveillance, when or if it comes – and, increasingly, it looks like “when”.
[We have no idea what we've done. We'll find out. After the fact.]