The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows.. here.
It’s worth republishing this old story on how Google and the government become Big Brother.. not so far fetched today.
Scroogled by Cory Doctorow
October 2007 issue of Radar magazine
Greg landed at San Francisco International Airport at 8 p.m., but by the time he’d made it to the front of the customs line, it was after midnight. He’d emerged from first class, brown as a nut, unshaven, and loose-limbed after a month on the beach in Cabo (scuba diving three days a week, seducing French college girls the rest of the time). When he’d left the city a month before, he’d been a stoop-shouldered, potbellied wreck. Now he was a bronze god, drawing admiring glances from the stews at the front of the cabin.
Four hours later in the customs line, he’d slid from god back to man. His slight buzz had worn off, sweat ran down the crack of his ass, and his shoulders and neck were so tense his upper back felt like a tennis racket. The batteries on his iPod had long since died, leaving him with nothing to do except eavesdrop on the middle-age couple ahead of him.
“The marvels of modern technology,” said the woman, shrugging at a nearby sign: Immigration — Powered by Google.
“I thought that didn’t start until next month?” The man was alternately wearing and holding a large sombrero.
Googling at the border. Christ. Greg had vested out of Google six months before, cashing in his options and “taking some me time” — which turned out to be less rewarding than he’d expected. What he mostly did over the five months that followed was fix his friends’ PCs, watch daytime TV, and gain 10 pounds, which he blamed on being at home instead of in the Googleplex, with its well-appointed 24-hour gym. He should have seen it coming, of course. The U.S. government had lavished $15 billion on a program to fingerprint and photograph visitors at the border, and hadn’t caught a single terrorist. Clearly, the public sector was not equipped to Do Search Right.
The DHS officer had bags under his eyes and squinted at his screen, prodding at his keyboard with sausage fingers. No wonder it was taking four hours to get out of the god damned airport.
“Evening,” Greg said, handing the man his sweaty passport. The officer grunted and swiped it, then stared at his screen, tapping. A lot. He had a little bit of dried food at the corner of his mouth and his tongue crept out and licked at it.
“Want to tell me about June 1998?” More »
Vancouver is the first Canadian city to take part in the global campaign to not eat meat this Monday, probably because of the attraction of following celebrity supporters… including Oprah Winfrey, Al Gore and Sir Paul McCartney.
Meatless Monday aims to educate people about how going meat-free can reduce their carbon footprint, minimize water usage, cut down on fossil fuel dependence and improve health.
“It’s really about awareness,” said city councillor Heather Deal, who also works as a biologist and is a strong supporter of the Meatless Monday concept.
“We have a lot of vegetarianism in the city as it is … so it seems like a natural fit for Vancouver. Read more.
So, today to prepare for the glorious celebration, we headed down to Bellingham, WA, to load up on the good stuff… at a large price reduction. LLyod’s ribs, chicken breasts, steak, bacon and all the things a family needs to have a happy balanced diet.
Monday at our home we are celebrating meat day. No veggies allowed. Other than potatoes with bacon bits.
No Vegans allowed.
Besides, we are doing our part to help stem the flow of corn into Canada needed to create the 2.2 billion litres of ethanol that is required to be blended into our gas supply.
Maybe they should question why we are using our veggies for fuel instead.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 12, 2012
SENATE DEMOCRATS URGE IRS TO IMPOSE STRICT CAP ON POLITICAL SPENDING BY NONPROFIT GROUPS—VOW LEGISLATION IF AGENCY DOESN’T ACT
Senators Seek To End Tax Code Abuse By Political Groups Masquerading As ‘Social Welfare Organizations’
In Letter to IRS, Lawmakers Say Firm Limit Should Be Set on Percentage of Nonprofits’ Spending That Can Be Devoted To Political Activities
Reforms Also Urged To Prevent Political Donors From Claiming Tax Deduction For Their Contributions
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A group of seven Senate Democrats urged the Internal Revenue Service on Monday to impose a strict cap on the amount of political spending by tax-exempt, nonprofit groups. More »
They have it backwards… the one percenters aren’t the top, they are the stupid among us.
This weekend, one of the concerned neighbors in the area came to my door with a petition. The petition was to allow the city to add traffic calming features to our quaint little subdivision. Not that the 3 huge speed bumps they already put in are enough.
I asked “what seems to be the problem?”
And got, “there are a few people that consistently break the 30 km speed limit in the area, and we need to slow them down to make it safer for all of us.”
Maybe paying someone to sit on the street to take license numbers… then send them a letter may be more effective? At least from a cost perspective.
Which got me thinking… why do the 99% always have to pay for the stupid 1% among us?
Vancouver passes law after law to deal with these stupid people.. let’s let nature’s laws take care of them.
- 1% drink too much – let’s tax the products to death so no one can afford to drink.
- 1% drive bicycles like maniacs – let’s make everyone wear helmets.
- 1% throw out too much garbage – let’s only pick up garbage once every two weeks.
- 1% don’t know how to cross the street – let’s give pedestrians the right of way. Probably resulting in more pedestrians being killed, as now no one looks before crossing the street. And on East Hastings, Canada’s worst drug den on a major route into downtown, they dropped the speed limit to 30 km to protect heroin addicts from pretending to be deer. Add another 5 minutes to your commute.
- It’s even illegal to operate a leaf blower without manufacturer’s decal ($250 fine)
- Not sure who, but if you are considering it – Vancouver has a nuclear law. No Nukes allowed.
- And don’t even think of sitting in your stopped car for more than 3 minutes – it’s illegal to leave it running.
If we passed laws under the principle that the 99% will do the right thing, we’d be able to drastically cut our nanny state down to size, and focus on creating a better, more free society. We might even lose the title of “No Fun City”.
Next time they try to pass a law for the 1%, please speak up. If 99% of us get it right, what’s the problem?
They even made a documentary on how Vancouver kills anything fun and creates unintended consequences:
“Our econometric findings suggest that house prices are higher than the levels consistent with current fundamentals in a number of Canadian provinces and that a correction in house prices would have measurable effects on consumption and output through wealth effects.”
Vancouver, the city that leads the decline, is weeks away from the traditional spring buying frenzy. Asking prices are already 20-30% below appraisal.
We’ve had a raft of tricks uncovered to try to keep the market prices up, but it looks like the bomb is ready to go off.
The media is finally starting to release some of the surprises ahead:
- CMHC seeking to hide foreclosure information from home buyers. The CMHC’s exposure is equal to the national debt. And the real estate boards are now not allowed to tell you that house you’re thinking of buying is in foreclosure.
- Vancouver Sun and Province continue to plant realtor articles on a weekly basis.
- The media is pumping false stories about prices and even houses that don’t actually exist… read more, it gets better.
The IMF released the scary reality…
- Price-to-rent ratio is 60% above Canada’s historic average.
- Price-to-income ratio is 40% above historic average.
- IMF believes that housing prices are 10% to 15% above what is supported by fundamentals
- There is evidence of over building, for instance IMF notes that residential investment just reached a two-decade high of 7% of GDP.
- Most of excess housing supply is concentrated in Ontario and Quebec.
- Mortgage rates will begin to increase in the end of 2013.
- Home equity extraction to fall by half.
- Housing starts to fall to around 165,000 units per year over next three years.
- Worst case scenario is price declines of 18% nationally by 2017 if employment levels remains at 2012 level.
I can’t see how Vancouver can avoid a 30% price drop over the next 3-4 months as buyers have left the table… as have the Chinese. Toronto will follow, and then we have all the makings of an American housing collapse. But without the ability to print a trillion or so to try to stave off the pain.
The good news is my house in Florida is back to where I started in 2004 now.
It only took 5 years. Be warned.
Quite a collection has been uncovered since the official release. Yeah, Obama is a gun nut.
“This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph,” the White House warned in a written statement. “The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.”
Some other shots to offer further proof that Obama is an avid marksman:
“As B.C. readies $2.5B transfer to First Nations Health Authority, questions arise about unclear programs, missing $4M”
As the different auditors look into the programs we are handing billions over for, it only gets worse….
VANCOUVER — Health Canada insiders are raising concerns about millions of dollars in federal funds provided to a First Nations health organization that is set to take over responsibility for all aboriginal health services in British Columbia.
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) will soon replace Health Canada in delivering aboriginal health care in B.C., an unprecedented transfer of power and money that includes $2.5-billion in government payments over the next five years.
But the FNHA has already directed millions of dollars to programs that lack clear objectives, according to Health Canada documents obtained by the National Post. Numerous financial “discrepancies” and “differences” have also been identified.
And last year:
The FNHA “confirmed” it held as “surplus” $33-million in government funding meant for programs in its start-up phase, says the Health Canada report. “However, it should be noted that currently no documentation as to the reason for the surplus is on file,” it reads. “The FNHA is in the process of providing us with a surplus usage plan.”
An FNHA spokesman said in an email Monday that the organization uses a different accounting method than Health Canada, suggesting that this may have caused confusion about “surplus” funds. The FNHA expects to have only a $1.8-million surplus when its current fiscal year ends in March.
Any wonder what the different accounting system is? And how much of the money will ever actually get used for health care?
Health Canada currently funds and delivers comprehensive health-care coverage to approximately 127,000 status Indians in B.C., (about 60,000 of whom live on reserves) including $180-million worth of annual, non-insured health benefits such as dental care, vision care, drugs, counselling and medical-related travel. Status Indians in B.C. do not pay medical premiums of any kind.
The solution is to take whatever funding we give the First Nations collectively and set minimum accountability or performance levels. If not achieved, funding is cut to match the actual monies accounted for in the past year. Unaccounted dollars are removed from the next year’s budget.
The thief’s, I mean Chiefs, would most likely take the money and run, solving the biggest issue in year one.
Or, better yet, just give each First Nation adult a cheque for their family’s share of the funds, and allow them to take responsibility for themselves. First Nations could impose an income tax system to cover costs of education, policing and healthcare, etc. No accounting to the Canadian Governments required. These folks, as well as these, are stepping up to help them with a new form of governance.
I would bet that “Idle no More” would quickly be synonymous with the moving vans of those fleeing corrupt reservations.
I’ve been following this site for over a year, and after the election in the US, it has exploded.. check out www.dailyjobcuts.com with bad news.
Obama’s next 4 years are off to a great start.
And, by the end of this year, everyone will have cashed out to avoid the huge tax increases on the “wealthy”. Then the fun really begins.
Next year is going to usher in another world recession, and printing money will likely crater us all. Europe is already showing the final signs of collapse with Germany slowing quickly.
Here’s to hoping that the American’s let Obamanomics go to work, and finally prove that his ideology is the undoing of the world.
Glad I am in the west coast of Canada, where hopefully our resources will carry us through this disaster. All that’s left to do is to get out of Vancouver… if global warming would kick in, Calgary would be a good pick.