Saturday, September 28, 2013

NYT: The NSA Has "Social Network" Maps That Can Index Everyone You Know

From gizmodo:

NYT: The NSA Has "Social Network" Maps That Can Index Everyone You Know

The New York Times is reporting that the NSA is using all the data it's collecting on US citizens to make giant "social networks" of everyone their targets know.

At this point it is no secret that the NSA has been slurping up as much data as it can, but this is new information on exactly how it all fits together into a horrifying surveillance state, courtesy of our good friend Edward Snowden. From the New York Times:

Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans' social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials.

According to documents seen by the Times, the data for these graphs comes from bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls, GPS location information, property records and unspecified tax data, and more. And, as a bonus, there seem to be no restrictions on the use of any of this data to create these so-called social networks on US citizens. Delightful.

Of course, the fact that the NSA has been doing this for foreign individuals should come as no surprise, but it's the seemingly unhindered extension to US citizens that's particularly problematic. The NSA (naturally) declined to comment to the New York Times on how many US citizens were being mapped, or what databases are being used to get this data. But the documents indicate that at least part of the collection process is tapping directly into fiber optic cables coursing with raw internet.

Social networking doesn't sound as fun anymore, does it? [The New York Times]

From me:
You have to live like a celebrity at this point. Assume you are being suvailed by a government of adoring fans, that will get to know every useless detail of your life. 

It's not the real you, and, as will become obvious, false realities are destined to become tools to be used against you in an ever increasing and personal way.

I called the servailiance state the Technostasi in 2007, it becomes more true with each passing moment.

This reminds me, The Lives of Others was on TV last night. It's a study guide disguised as a well made drama.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Seattle, Wa

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Seattle Times: Mayor McGinn suggests soft-drink tax for parks money

Wow, a sketchy idea from McGinn, well, that's new, right? No?

"While details were sketchy, McGinn said his plan would raise the city's business-and-occupation (B&O) tax on businesses that sell sugary drinks."

The Washington State Food and Beverage Association will find this idea interesting, as well as any place the serves food and beverages.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Seattle, Wa

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Monday, September 23, 2013

How is everybody enjoying the Seattle Process right now?

The Stranger lists out six good reasons why the Seattle City Council should consider and potentially release a resolution denouncing the restrictive and destructive laws against being something equal to other than heterosexual. 

But, I think I know why they, and in particular Sally Clark, have not acted: we haven't had the Seattle Process yet. Pretty obvious, right?

First, let me help the Sally Clark's of the world by pointing out the actions of a place in the world that the city council obsesses over:

Government and Prince Frederik speak out against Russia's anti-gay law

I've saved the taxpayers some travel expenses.

Next, a blue ribbon commission:
Look in the mirror, kiss each other's asses for an afternoon, order coffee, water (not bottled), and Plocky's hummus chips (Caramelized Onion).
Voice vote, yea or nay .

There, one day Seattle Process, you are welcome.

The Stranger: Sally Clark Speaks Up on Russia—Sorta

Seattle City Council president Sally Clark may be coming around: Whereas last week she had only a flat-out rejection of a resolution opposing the anti-gay laws and violence in Russia, now she seems to be moving toward a middle-ground. She wrote a long blog post today on the subject. Here's the section titled that "Now What?"
What's happening in Russia is deplorable. Let's also recognize that what's happening in 75 other countries not mentioned in the recent focus on Russia is equally deplorable ( Instead of building conspiracy theories about why I didn't say yes to a resolution, why not come up with strategies to better educate people on what's happening in Russia and in these 76 countries, and give people real ways to be heard and make change. And do you want to talk about the situation for women in far too many parts of the globe? That can keep us busy with resolutions for a while, too.
If we need to do a resolution to make the point super clear, great, let's do it — and let's do it right. Let's use the Council's convening power and the platform made possible by Seattle Channel to get the best information we can about international human rights abuses against LGBT people in Russia and elsewhere, and let's identify constructive steps City government and others in Seattle can take to effect change. I think the City's LGBT Commission and Human Rights Commission can assist, but so can other Seattle-based organizations deeply involved in world affairs.
The resolution should mean something and shouldn't be the end of people's attention to what's happening around the world and the attacks that happen in our own city and country.
Clark is making progress, but still dodging and blaming "conspiracy theories." She appears to be saying the same thing Council Member Tom Rasmussen said yesterday: suggesting the city council needs to take its time and consider atrocities around the globe. I understand that argument, but the other council members should dismiss that excuse as punting.
Here are six reasons why the city council shouldn't put this off:
Follow the link to read the six reasons:

Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Seattle, Wa

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Stranger: Joel Connelly Tells City Council to Denounce Anti-Gay Laws in Russia

What am I missing?
Who isn't right with this?

Absent any tangible leavers to enact change as there are, our voices in opposition something not to be left to atrophy, we express our free speech precisely because others can not. It is that seemingly intangible thing that is being thrown out on the world stage as an acceptable simptom of an indefensible structure of social norms.

The fact that our representative democracy doesn't "represent" in all its old community or old school ways is a travesty. It's an absolute failure of our system of governess if the only way our city council could voice the displeasure is if we have tangible, or "business" interaction.


How the hell do you think you got where you are? Did somebody owe you a favor?
No, people of this city voted for you to represent us. Please try to do that.

The Stranger: Joel Connelly Tells City Council to Denounce Anti-Gay Laws in Russia

posted by  on THU, SEP 19, 2013 at 4:32 PM

As everyone in the Slogiverse now knows, Seattle City Council president Sally Clark says standing up for bloodied gay Russian youth is off-topic (never mind all the other off-topic resolutions she's supported in the past). But three council members now say they support a resolution on Russia. Meanwhile over at the, Joel Connelly—who's no fan of resolutions himself—is coming down hard in favor of a resolution:

The Seattle City Council, a body known for silly and meaningless resolutions, ought to tell Putin what a previously friendly place thinks of Russia's draconian new anti-gay laws, enacted months before the Sochi Winter Olympics....

Seattle City Council President Sally Clark has apparently said that resolutions should be relevant to city business. It's somewhat surprising for a body that embraced the Occupy movement, advocated breaching Snake River dams and almost voted to ban the circus because of its treatment of animals.

We do, however, have another, overriding tradition in these parts — a commitment to human rights... If there is no Council resolution, we send another message: Silence gives consent.

Joel is right. Council Member Jean Godden is right. Council Member Nick Licata is right. Council Member Mike O'Brien is right. And both state senator Ed Murray and Mayor Mike McGinn, who are running against each other, are right. The city should back a resolution.

Sally Clark can be right, too. It should be easy for her, right?

Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Seattle, Wa

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Publicola - Wednesday Jolt: Another Council Endorsement for Murray

Today, Seattle City Councilwoman Jean Godden endorsed Ed Murray for Mayor of Seattle. That makes a majority of the city council endorsing Murray, and that majority was 5 of the 7 majority votes in favor of the arena.
Still waiting on Sally Bagshaw. I think Mike ÔBrien will endorse Mike McGinn.
Those are the 7 that voted "yes" on the arena. The two that voted "no" will not be named here, they don't deserve to have their names mentioned, even with disdain.

Along with council members Tom Rasmussen, Bruce Harrell, Tim Burgess, and Sally Clark, the mystery council member will bring Murray's support on the council to a majority—something the Murray camp says hasn't happened since at least the 1970s.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Seattle, Wa

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Arena opponents obtain signatures paid for by Seattle’s Chris Hansen - Arena Issue - The Sacramento Bee

"These petitions represent the will of 18,000 people who took the time to provide their signatures and express their desire to put this tax subsidy to a vote," Julian Camacho, president of STOP, said in a statement. "We believe it would be wrong – ethically and legally – to deny them that right."

Where Sacramento is going wrong on this is that they are addressing this one plan. They would have to rerun this kind of campaign again if the plan was replaced by another.
In Seattle we had one vote, once, I-91, that gave the Seattle City Council specific criteria for accepting or rejecting any plan that came along.
At no point would the arena subsidy proposed in Sacramento ever get to the Seattle City Council. 
So, here is STOP in Sacramento working one opposition effort at a time.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Seattle, Wa

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Seattle Arena faces another big week, NHL watching | Seattle

The Downtown Design review board will once again meet on Tuesday to review his proposed NBA/NHL arena complex.  Another public meeting, over the environmental review, will happen two days later.  They are both key meetings, as his project continues to progress, and evolve.

Sources with intimate knowledge of the situation, believe the NHL is now watching the status of the project, and gauging corporate and fan interest in a potential expansion franchise.  Hansen has been seeking a partner who could be a tenant in a new building.  Sources say NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has been quietly pushing owners to award a franchise to Seattle, perhaps as early as next year.  The NHL has denied that any talks have taken place, and sources suggest nothing has been finalized.

Read the rest here:

Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Seattle, Wa

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Sonics Fans, the point it moot

The Seattle Times noted in a graphic way which candidates for mayor of Seattle thought the "NBA arena in SoDo" was a "Good idea". Both Ed Murray and Mike McGinn's faces appear in the "Good idea" section.

(Photo: Seattle Times)

[self-editing note 1: the fact that there isn't a clip on YouTube of Jesse Jackson on SNL doing "the point is moot" skit from Weekend Update is just wrong. Seriously, I'm cheesed off about it, because I could really use it right now.]
Both candidates for mayor in the general election, Ed Murray and Mike McGinn, support the arena. It's a non-factor in the general election. But, I believe Peter Steinbrueck's robotic repeating his opposition to the arena at every opportunity in the primary election was not only weird, but just not a popular message for him. A pathetic attempt to split the "I'm a Sonics fan" message from "pull the plug" on the arena was self-conflicting and weak. 
I don't See Ed Murray flip-flopping on the arena just to pick up votes that are simply not going to Mike McGinn anyway. 
What I think did Peter Steinbrueck in was the same issue this election as in 2009, Tim Ceis cornered the market on the folks most likely to donate to his campaign. The difference this go round was that I think Steinbrueck had been paid up front by the Port as a lobbyist to keep pounding that pathetic message. The first big weekend Murray released the bulk of his fund raising numbers Peter's goose was cooked. 
Campaigns are about money, it's true. Money matters. giving something of value also matters. People volunteering is the same as paying people to phone bank if the net result is that the calls were made.
Peter Steinbrueck's numbers peaked early, and he didn't have the cash or volunteers to do anything. So he flapped his gums about the arena (because all the people that live in warehouses would be drawn to his nimby message?). 
About as many people care about dead warehouses as do about the potential blocked views of one cube of people living in SLU by a proposal to build another big cube in SLU. And that was the other paid-to-talk issue Peter Steinbrueck had, his selective myopathy when it comes to density and blocked views. Seriously, he was in one giant cube of condos while complaining about those views being blocked by another giant cube of condos. Pathetic.

Nobody gives a shit about either f those "issues" to give Peter Steinbrueck campaign money in an individual level on the scale that could get him anywhere in this race. The old school media whores gave him every opportunity to parade his father's corps, and placed way to much value in name recognition in a port city that turns over 1/3 of its population pretty damn quickly. People love Victor Steinbrueck park, and Pike Place Market, but those are old and closed issues. Peter attempting to make the area and large buildings in SLU as campaign talking points were so sad and pathetic. Those are not enticing positions for Ed Murray to take on as his own.
Back to the arena.
It's hard to measure what the political influence the arena was among the general public, or how many Sonics/sports fans "moved the needle" in favor of Mike McGinn. The most help anybody got directly from Sonics fans, other than embracing the positive message about the arena to the point that it it was a non-issue, was actually volunteering at Mike McGinn's campaign. They could have been darn near anybody, but they weren't, they were motivated Soncs fans. I think that's where they made any kind of measurable difference. The rest is guesswork.
The top two candidates support the arena in the general election. Sonics fans, find another reason to vote for or against a candidate. The arena isn't the issue that turns this race one way or another, basic competence is.
I'm voting for Ed Murray for a variety of other reasons, and he supports the arena, and the arena process. At no point will you find me volunteering for the McGinn campaign.
[self editing note 2: I started writing this before the KING-TV poll was released showing McGinn getting crushed by Ed Murray.
Below is a photo from from the NJ Boardwalk fire, somehow it fits this story, you decide where.]

Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Seattle, Wa

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McGinn well behind Murray in new Seattle mayor poll | Seattle

"The poll of 503 likely Seattle voters finds 52 percent said they would vote for state Senator Ed Murray over McGinn, 52 percent to 30 percent, if the election were held today. Eighteen percent were undecided.

The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA over the weekend, also found that 40 percent of 652 registered voters approve of the job McGinn is doing while 44 percent disapprove.

Murray has a 57 percent approval rating and 19 percent disapproval."
Read the rest here:

That's a hole nobody climbs out of.

Good thing for Sonics fans that both candidates favor the SoDo arena process.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Chris Hansen, Adam Silver has a message for you

Good luck figuring it out.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Matt Taibbi's coming to Seattle on October 2nd

Matt Taibbi's coming to Seattle on October 2nd

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Emilio Garza"
Date: September 11, 2013, 5:09:59 PM PDT
To: me
Subject: Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Burien, Olympia...
Reply-To: "Emilio Garza"

Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Burien, Olympia...
full-spectrum, hands-on, democracy.
All Together Now

Fun fact: Last year, 61% of all registered young people in WA cast a ballot. However, the young folks who registered with the Bus voted at over 81%. The biggest reason for the huge increase? Hundreds of Bus volunteers reminded them to vote. Simple, easy, hella effective.

GOTV - fun resized
Also hella goofy.
Be part of the magic and help make sure our generation is not just at the proverbial table, but taking an organic, free-range bite out of the election.

We've got reminder parties going down throughout October. Democraseize the day (it makes more sense out loud) right here.

State of the State

The Bus will be journeying around the state to support an amazing line-up of forward-thinking candidates in some of our favorite Washington locales. Sign up for your dream location/candidates below!

Gig Harbor - Nathan Schlicher (State Senate)
Tacoma - Olgy Diaz (Tacoma City Council)
Burien - Lauren Berkowitz and Joey Martinez (Burien City Council)
Spokane - Jon Snyder and Candace Mumm (Spokane City Council)
Olympia - Mary Hall (Thurston County Auditor)
Matt Taibbi


You may know the suave gentleman above from his work as a Rolling Stone writer and editor. Or perhaps as the guy who once colorfully described Goldman Sachs as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity."
Either way, Matt Taibbi's coming to Seattle.

A prolific writer on topics ranging from money in politics, to income inequality, to student loan debt, he'll be bringing the goods for a rad evening.

Town Hall Seattle
Weds, October 2nd


High five to the hosts, Sightline Institute, defenders of real life vampire squids.
The Washington Bus: of young people, by young people, for all people

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News Flash - "My kid is addicted to these.", Brian Robinson

Sources close to the candy confirm its deliciousness.
But the most direct of direct marketing may be to blame for its popularity.