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August 14, 2012

Did a concerted campaign by Chick-Fil-A block an openly gay singer from winning American Idol?

Hilarious whether it's true or not. Joe. My. God.: Did Chick-Fil-A Franchise Block Adam Lambert From Winning American Idol?
While every measurable indicator favored an Adam Lambert victory around the nation, back in Conway, Arkansas Chick-fil-A mounted a campaign to change that outcome. Week after week people gathered to vote at Chick-fil-A sponsored events. It was not just ordinary voting, but power texting with multiple phones and after hour voting with West coast go-phones. Voters were encouraged to vote thousands of times each with free food and prizes. It was an appealing incentive in this sleepy collage town. Keep in mind that they could rack up an impressive number of votes. 10,000 votes from 2,000 people = 20 million votes, 3,000 people = 30 million votes. There were about 3,000 people at the Vote Party on the night of the final. Allen Kiser attended with his Chick-fil-A cows baring name tags that identified themselves as Vote Party "Staff". For weeks Kiser stuffed his take out sandwich bags with "Vote Party" fliers at his local restaurant, he fed the late night voters free sandwiches, he gave out hundreds of food coupons and Chick-fil-A toy stuffed cows. Kaiser made up gift baskets as prizes for the highest voters and a grand prize of free food for a year. The result was that a very ordinary singer won the contest.

August 12, 2012

WikiLeaks reveals mother of all surveillance conspiracies

I would love a second source on this or some other verification. Short version: Wikileaks says it has documents that show the U.S. government has municipal surveillance cameras all wired into a facial recognition system that is extremely advanced, enabling a level of passive tracking of innocent American citizens that is downright Orwellian. WIKILEAKS: Surveillance Cameras Around The Country Are Being Used In A Huge Spy Network - Business Insider
Anyway, here's what Trapwire is, according to Russian-state owned media network RT (apologies for citing "foreign media"... if we had a free press, I'd be citing something published here by an American media conglomerate): "Former senior intelligence officials have created a detailed surveillance system more accurate than modern facial recognition technology—and have installed it across the U.S. under the radar of most Americans, according to emails hacked by Anonymous. Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence. It’s part of a program called TrapWire and it's the brainchild of the Abraxas, a Northern Virginia company staffed with elite from America’s intelligence community. The employee roster at Arbaxas reads like a who’s who of agents once with the Pentagon, CIA and other government entities according to their public LinkedIn profiles, and the corporation's ties are assumed to go deeper than even documented. The details on Abraxas and, to an even greater extent TrapWire, are scarce, however, and not without reason. For a program touted as a tool to thwart terrorism and monitor activity meant to be under wraps, its understandable that Abraxas would want the program’s public presence to be relatively limited. But thanks to last year’s hack of the Strategic Forecasting intelligence agency, or Stratfor, all of that is quickly changing." So: those spooky new "circular" dark globe cameras installed in your neighborhood park, town, or city—they aren't just passively monitoring. They're plugged into Trapwire and they are potentially monitoring every single person via facial recognition. In related news, the Obama administration is fighting in federal court this week for the ability to imprison American citizens under NDAA's indefinite detention provisions—and anyone else—without charge or trial, on suspicion alone. So we have a widespread network of surveillance cameras across America monitoring us and reporting suspicious activity back to a centralized analysis center, mixed in with the ability to imprison people via military force on the basis of suspicious activity alone. I don't see how that could possibly go wrong. Nope, not at all. We all know the government, and algorithmic computer programs, never make mistakes.

August 05, 2012

Oakland mayor Quan implies that the police set her up against Occupy Oakland

But as with all of Quan's public statements, she immediately denied saying it. Oakland's Quan disputes interview quotes - SFGate
Once again, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is on the defensive. This time, it's for comments made to the New York Times Magazine that imply that the city's controversial Oct. 25 crackdown on the Occupy Oakland camp may have been orchestrated by Oakland police officers to make her look bad. The magazine piece, which is online and will be released in print Sunday, examined, in part, Quan's relationship with Occupy Oakland. The first raid to sweep the City Hall encampment happened Oct. 25, while she was out of town. "The theory among some of my left friends and among some members of my family was that I was set up," she told the magazine. "You know, I was out of town, they closed down the camp a day early and then overreacted. Certain people in the police had tried to set me up before. I mean, my car got booted right after the election." When the reporter asks why, Quan responds: "To send the message that they can do what they want. That I better watch out." Quan told The Chronicle that the article implied it was her opinion, too, that police set her up, when really that isn't what she thinks. . . .