A new report tonight from Buzzfeed describes a situation where Russia has PE Trump in a compromised position and open to influence. In admittedly unverifiable information, they report Trump, while in Russia, rented a hotel room frequented by the President and Michele Obama then hired hookers to perform urination acts on the bed because Trump disliked the President and his wife so much. Worst of all, they report Russia has the incident recorded on video and planned to influence Trump with it.
Soon after the story broke, 4Chan bubbled up past conversations of a successful catfishing attempt on the story’s originator Rick Wilson. An Anon from 4Chan convinced Rick Wilson that the crazy fanfiction story was real. 4Chan is archived and a search confirmed the hoax root of the story.
“They took what I told Rick Wilson and added a Russian spy angle to it.”
From Rick Wilson, the story made its way through Washington and eventually into the hands Sen. John McCain, who then took it to the Intelligence Agencies. The “incident” is now part of the special intel report, already read by both Obama and Trump. Classy.
Even though proof of the story’s origin came from 4Chan tonight, the story has been around journalistic circles for a while looking for a publisher. Many publications passed on printing it, considering the story unverifiable and doubtful. Others used it anyway.
In one example, /pol/anon was promoted to “Veteran Spy” in a David Corn “exclusive”:
Defamatory accusations, new-low hit pieces, duped journalists, politicians, and spys–
Once again, the hivemind of internet chanboards mass-effect our world.
The incident occurred on the corner of Kantstrasse and Budapester Strasse, near the location of Berlin’s iconic Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on the Kurfürstendamm shopping mile. So far, one person is reported to have died as a result of the incident. At least ten people have been reported as injured.
Executed by the Sons of Liberty 243 years ago today, The Boston Tea Party was the political protest that began the trend towards the American Revolution. Frustrated about paying taxation without representation, the Sons and their men, some in disguise, boarded ships and dumped their tea cargo into Boston Harbor.
That much we know. But from there, much of the who-what-why of it all can get criss-crossed. The Journal of the American Revolution has a great list of myths and what’s going on behind them. In his November 2013 article, Benjamin L. Carp laid out and investigated 7 interesting myths back. For example, about that “Boston Tea Party” in 1773:
The earliest known reference to the phrase “Boston Tea Party” comes from a newspaper story on December 30, 1825. At a dinner celebrating the landing of the Pilgrims, W. P. Hawes offered the following toast: “The Boston Tea-party—May tyrants and oppressors throughout the world be speedily invited to a like entertainment.”[ii] Then shortly afterward in 1826, another story mentioned “a temperate, hardy old veteran” named Joshua Wyeth who “often boasts of the ‘Boston tea party.’”[iii] Initially the phrase may have referred to the party of men who dumped the tea, not the event itself. An 1829 obituary of Nicholas Campbell reported that he “was one of the ever memorable Boston Tea Party.”[iv] For the first fifty-three years afterward, people referred to the events of December 16, 1773, as “the destruction of the tea in Boston harbor,” or something similar.
Julian Assange stated point blank that Russia was not the source for the DNC/Podesta email leaks. He goes on to discuss motivations around the Russia accusations, potential of DNC money laundering and much more.
The full interview below opens with the Russian election hullabaloo.
Newsmax is reporting President-Elect Trump and FBI head James Comey spoke on the phone. They talked about there being no clear evidence showing Russia influenced the election result. Comey told Trump that DNI James Clapper agrees with him, but CIA head James Brennen does not. Comey implied that was probably because of President Obama:
The only member of the U.S. intelligence community who was ready to assert that the Russians sanctioned the hacking was John Brennan, the director of the CIA, according to sources who were briefed on Comey’s conversations with Trump.
“And Brennan takes his marching orders from President Obama,” the sources quoted Comey as saying.
Comey feels the story being pushed is an effort delegitimize Trump’s presidency by Democrats. While the FBI has been aware the Russians might cause mischief around the election, Comey told Trump it was unclear if anything happened or why Russia would prefer one candidate over the other.
The continuing saga of the Reddit Meltdown moves into the next stage of CEO Steve Huffman coming clean in a mea-culpa that may prove to be too little too late. Sitting down with Re/code and reported on CNBC.
Huffman, showing how clearly out of touch he still is, laments that people are using “his” platform (emphasis ours).
“The irony is, they’re on my platform. I’ve defended their right to be on our platform many times,” he said. “I don’t want to take your voice away. I just want you to stop being a_______s.”
Yes, he is CEO and currently in charge of Reddit. But last I checked it was owned by Condé Nast Publications. Importantly, the only value web properties like Reddit have are their User base. Reddit is a User sustained community with all of their content coming from user submissions. The platform is the Users. Without them there’re nothing. He’s more a steward than an owner
You can read the original post and listen to the full podcast on Recode/Decode.
President-Elect Donald Trump has named Marine Corp Retired General John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security. As reported by Reuters, the Trump Team feels General Kelly is an important of locking down the free-flow U.S. border immigration. From the Trump statement, General Kelly will:
“spearhead the urgent mission of stopping illegal immigration and securing our borders”
You can read more quotes and background on Gen Kelly at Breitbart, along with some video.
We’re proud to spotlight Adam Curtis to kick off our new series: Courageous Profiles. We’ll be focusing on some of the people (artists, investigators and muckrakers) who dare to show us how to greater understand our world. Along with each profile in the series, we’ll separately review each of their important works in our “Interesting” section.
If there has been one man in the current era to try and shine a light on the who, what and why of modern life it’s Kevin Adam Curtis. Best known as simply Adam Curtis, Adam is a unique journalist and filmmaker who works with and in the archives of the BBC. His voice is important one, and his chosen subject matter has been focused on trying to make sense of the chaos going on around us. He does this with an amazing ability to review and digest untold hours of video footage to produce illuminating and revelatory documentaries.
Born on May 26, 1955 in Dartford, Kent, England, he studied at Oxford, graduating with a degree in human sciences. He pushed on the get a PhD, but dropped out after becoming disillusioned with academia.
He soon began working for the British Broadcasting Corporation in film and he career was off an running. You can listen to an interview with him here and we’ll be showcasing some of his films over the coming months.
1983 Just Another Day: Selfridges
1983 Just Another Day: The Seaside
1983 Trumpets and Typewriters: A History of War Reporting
1984 Inquiry: The Great British Housing Disaster
1984 Italians: The Mayor of Montemilone
1984 The Cost of Treachery
1987 40 Minutes: Bombay Hotel
1988 An Ocean Apart
1989 40 Minutes: The Kingdom of Fun
1989 Inside Story: The Road to Terror
1992 Pandora’s Box
1995 The Living Dead
1996 Inside Story Special: £830,000,000 – Nick Leeson and the Fall of the House of Barings
1997 Modern Times: The Way of All Flesh
1999 The Mayfair Set
2002 The Century of the Self
2004 The Power of Nightmares]
2007 The Trap: What Happened to our Dream of Freedom
2007 The Rise and Fall of the TV Journalist
2009 Oh Dearism
2009 It Felt Like a Kiss[
2010 Paranoia and Moral Panics
2011 All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace
2011 Every Day is Like Sunday
2013 Everything is Going According to Plan (Massive Attack v Adam Curtis)
2014 Oh Dearism II
2015 Bitter Lake
2016 Living in an Unreal World
The insanity at Reddit continues this week with various sources reporting on the internal wars going on between management, moderators and users. It was last revealed the Reddit CEO Steve Huffman (u/spez) had changed user comments that were directed at him. The changes replaced Huffman as the target of ire to moderators of the subreddit r/The_Donald. He posted a mea-culpa yesterday but it has done nothing to douse the fire. If anything it’s reignited it.
One report on the Verge titled Reddit lost an adult CEO and installed a child, shows the internal arrogance of CEO Huffman as he derided ex CEO Ellen Pao in comments, only to realize she was still a reddit user and saw them, prompting a scathing reply:
When a Reddit user called out an ArsTechnica piece comparing his behavior to Pao’s disciplined approach in the role, Huffman first responded by questioning her expertise:
It’s fair. Ellen wasn’t the first Reddit engineer, so she probably lacked the expertise to do it, and even if she did, she was smart enough to not.
Pao later saw the comment and responded directly to Huffman:
Yeah, there’s no comparison. I would have immediately fired anyone who did that.
This comes as reddit management tried to clamp down on the wildly successful and influential The_Donald. Their actions have many people concerned about free speech implications of online public forums and the cherry-picking involved in removing “unwanted” speech and expression. They swear that’s not the casr but no one really bnelieves that with Huffman’s mealy mouth reply. From Reuters:
“We don’t want to be censoring political beliefs, but then they do misbehave,” he said. “That’s why we have worked so closely with the r/The_Donald community. We tell them: don’t force us to ban you.”
The first wave of bans will likely be skewed to the r/The_Donald community because “that is a catalyst for a lot of this right now. That community is stirred up,” Huffman said.
Given the fact Steve Huffman has already admitted changing and faking user generated content. No one can trust the site won’t maliciously set-up subreddits/users/content/commentary it doesn’t like.
The long-time leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro has died at age 90. Probably most known for his dealings with JFK, The Bay of Pigs, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, he survive innumerable assassination attempts to lead the small island country for 5 decades. He officially stepped down in 2008 for health reason yet still ruled via proxy through his brother Raúl.
Today, Friday 25th November, WikiLeaks releases The Yemen Files.
The Yemen Files are a collection of over 500 documents from the United States embassy in Sana’a, Yemen. Comprising of over 200 emails and 300 PDFs, the collection details official documents and correspondence pertaining to the Office for Military Cooperation (OMC) located at the US embassy. The collection spans the period from 2009 until just before the war in Yemen broke out in earnest during March 2015. This time covers both Hillary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State (2009-2013) and the first two years of Secretary John Kerry.
Julian Assange said: “The war in Yemen has produced 3.15 million internally displaced persons. Although the United States government has provided most of the bombs and is deeply involved in the conduct of the war itself reportage on the war in English is conspicuously rare.”
Yemen is of significant strategic interest as Yemen controls a narrow choke point to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal through which 11% of the world’s petroleum passes each day. In addition Yemen borders Saudi Arabia (to the north) and Oman (to the east) and has access to the Arabian Sea through which another 20% of the world’s petroleum passes from the Strait of Homuz (including the oil of Saudi Arabia and Iran). Saudi Arabia seeks to control a port in Yemen to avoid the potential constriction of its oil shipments by Iran along the Straight of Homuz or by countries which can control its other oil shipment path along the Red Sea.
The Yemen Files offer documentary evidence of the US arming, training and funding of Yemeni forces in the years building up to the war. The documents reveal, among other things, procurement of many different weapon types: aircrafts, vessels, vehicles, proposals for maritine border security control and Yemeni procurement of US biometric systems.
US presence remained in the country until February 2015 when the US closed its embassy due to the continuing unrest between different factions in the country. The war broke out a month later.