When in early days of military training, did he envision homelessness as his future after serving his country?
Snowden accuses Senate intelligence chair of hypocrisy over CIA disclosures
NSA whistleblower accuses Dianne Feinstein of double standards, pointing out her lack of concern about widespread surveillance of ordinary citizens
The whistleblower Edward Snowden accused the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee of double standards on Tuesday, pointing out that her outrage at evidence her staff were spied on by the CIA was not matched by concern about widespread surveillance of ordinary citizens.
Snowden, the former contractor whose disclosures to journalists revealed widespread surveillance by the National Security Agency, was responding to an explosive statement by Senator Dianne Feinstein about the CIA’s attempts to undermine a congressional investigation into interrogation and detention.
In a surprisingly combative statement on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Feinstein, who has been widely criticised by privacy experts for failing to hold the NSA to account, accused the CIA of conducting potentially unconstitutional and criminal searches on computers used by her staff.
The remarks put the Democratic senator on a collision course with the CIA’s director, John Brennan, who strongly denied “hacking” the committee’s computers. Feinstein described the controversy as “a defining moment for the oversight of our intelligence community”.
In a statement to NBC News, Snowden said: “It’s clear the CIA was trying to play ‘keep away’ with documents relevant to an investigation by their overseers in Congress, and that’s a serious constitutional concern.”
Snowden, who is in Russia on temporary asylum, added: “But it’s equally if not more concerning that we’re seeing another ‘Merkel effect,’ where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it’s a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them.”
Read it all at the Guardian.
FactCheck.org “FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit ‘consumer advocate’ for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.”
CIA steals the limelight from the NSA – and finds itself in full-blown crisis
By antagonizing the Senate intelligence committee, the agency has dug itself into a hole the NSA has managed to avoid
After a year in which the National Security Agency faced global condemnation, the Central Intelligence Agency has now taken over as the US intelligence body most firmly in the midst of a full-blown crisis. The CIA has dug itself into a morass the NSA has firmly avoided: antagonizing its congressional overseers.
It is a crisis redolent with ironies. A White House that labored intently to move past the CIA’s post-9/11 torture legacy, disappointing many supporters, must now resolve a row stemming directly from it.
A CIA director who first missed out on his job over fears he was soft on agency torture is now in the crosshairs of what his Senate overseers considers a cover-up.
Read more HERE.
Gesturing with hands is a powerful tool for children’s math learning: Children who use their hands to gesture during a math lesson gain a deep understanding of the problems they are taught, according to new research .
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson
The Invention of the AeroPress
Among coffee aficionados, the AeroPress is a revelation. A small, $30 plastic device that resembles a plunger makes what many consider to be the best cup of coffee in the world. Proponents of the device claim that drinks made with the AeroPress are more delicious than those made with thousand-dollar machines. Perhaps best of all, the AeroPress seems to magically clean itself during the extraction process.
There’s really nothing bad to say about the device other than the fact that it’s a funny-looking plastic thingy. Then again, its inventor, Stanford professor Alan Adler, is a world renowned inventor of funny-looking plastic thingies; while Adler’s Palo Alto based company Aerobie is best known today for its coffee makers, the firm rose to prominence in the 1980s for its world-record-setting flying discs.
This is the story of how Adler and Aerobie dispelled the notion of industry-specific limitations and found immense success in two disparate industries: toys and coffee.
Read on HERE.
In praise of immigration
I’ve had it with being balanced on immigration.
As the son and partner of immigrants, I am biased on this point. Naturally so, as I would neither exist nor, having sprung into existence, then been content without immigration.
So forgive me for taking issue with the regular assumption that immigration a bad thing, a problem, something to be discouraged.
Because it isn’t. Immigration is both the sign of and enabler of an ability to live your life the best you can, and what’s more, immigration strengthens, burnishes and gives moral and economic power to those nations fortunate and strong enough to attract immigrants.
At this point, being a tedious bore, I usually go off and quote studies that show that immigration probably boosts GDP per capita, has a minimal negative effect on domestic wages and then subjectively argue that immigration improves cultural life, makes us more tolerant, varied and interesting.
But there’s always a response that argues otherwise.
The sophisticated versi0n of this argument states that immigration might be good for the likes of me, the taco munching, metropolitan elite, but what about those struggling to get by, who are threatened by immigration, whose wages are undermined, or who face competition for homes and public services1?
Well, again, I could be all boring and point you in the direction of reports that make the careful case that’s there’s no evidence for that actually happening, but since those reports have been around for ages and never convince anyone, let me use a different approach.
Because even if the facts of the case are disputable, the sentiment of the argument is right.
Even if immigrants don’t actually undermine wages, it feels like they might because they’re competition to the existing workforce, and competition, even when ultimately beneficial, is disruptive, scary and disturbing.
I know this, because I fear my competition.
Can I tell you about the new arrivals who really scare me?
Young people. There are loads of the baby-faced little sods , all of whom got here more than a decade after I did, and they’re everywhere.
Not only are they willing to do my job for less money than me, they’re now doing jobs I’d rather like, editing newspapers and magazines, being government ministers and having newspaper columns.
More found HERE.
“The widely respected Florida political analyst Adam Smith sees big problems for Democrats in the loss of Alex Sink to Republican David Jolly in the special election to fill the House seat from Florida’s 13th Congressional District. “Democrats had a better-funded, well-known nominee who ran a strong campaign against a little-known, second- or third-tier Republican who ran an often wobbly race in a district Barack Obama won twice,” Smith wrote Tuesday night. “Outside Republican groups — much more so than the under-funded Jolly campaign– hung the Affordable Care Act and President Obama on Sink. It worked.”
…the Florida contest may or may not be a bellwether. But it did lay bare the Democrats’ “fix Obamacare” dilemma. By the time midterm campaigning is at full speed in September and October, Democratic candidates will probably not be able to get away with listing a couple of non-germane tweaks as their program to “fix” Obamacare. If they try, they could pay a high political price. But if they suggest fundamental changes to the law, they’ll run afoul of party orthodoxy and risk losing national Democratic support. It will be just another added cost of the Affordable Care Act.” –Byron York