IT can be disconcerting to learn what, not to mention how much, marketers know about us. Consider a consumer like Scott E. Howe.
, a marketing technology company that has amassed details on the household makeup, financial means, shopping preferences and leisure pursuits of a majority of adults in the United States, knows that Mr. Howe is 45, married with children, the owner of a house in the 2,500-square-foot range, and is interested, among other things, in tennis, domestic travel, cooking, crafts, sweepstakes and contests. Those intimate details, Mr. Howe says, are entirely accurate.
“I am crazy about that stuff,” he says of the sweepstakes and contests.
Mr. Howe is one of the first Americans to get a detailed glimpse of his own marketing profile because he happens to be the chief executive of Acxiom. But most consumers never learn the specific pieces of information that have been compiled about them by marketers.
That is about to change. Acxiom, one of the most secretive and prolific collectors of consumer information, is embarking on a novel public relations strategy: openness. On Wednesday, it plans to unveil a free Web site where United States consumers can view some of the information the company has collected about them, just as Mr. Howe did.
The data on the site, called AbouttheData.com, includes biographical facts, like education level, marital status and number of children in a household; homeownership status, including mortgage amount and property size; vehicle details, like the make, model and year; and economic data, like whether a household member is an active investor with a portfolio greater than $150,000. Also available will be the consumer’s recent purchase categories, like plus-size clothing or sports products; and household interests like golf, dogs, text-messaging, cholesterol-related products or charities.
Read it all at the NY Times.
Syria crisis: How could US target chemical weapons?.
Al-Qaeda working to defeat US drones since 2010 .
Does Assad Win No Matter What the U.S. Does in Syria? .
AP confirms former bin Laden doctor leading jihadists in Sinai .
War News Updates: Who Is Really Doing The Fighting In Syria?.
Why the Latest Snowden Leaks about Pakistan Are Scary
In a blockbuster story in The Washington Post, Greg Miller, Craig Whitlock and Barton Gellman detail more aspects of the United States’s so called “black budget,” which was revealed by Edward Snowden in leaks to the newspaper. Today’s long piece is about the United States’s strained relationship with Pakistan, and offers some fresh detail about the country’s secretive nuclear program. As the story notes, “Pakistan appears at the top of charts listing critical U.S. intelligence gaps. It is named as a target of newly formed analytic cells. And fears about the security of its nuclear program are so pervasive that a budget section on containing the spread of illicit weapons divides the world into two categories: Pakistan and everybody else.” The real importance of the piece, however, is what it indirectly explains: namely, that even if the Pakistanis follow our wish and wholeheartedly pursue terrorist groups and Taliban elements, there is bound to be serious collateral damage, and a host of fresh problems.
For years now, the United States has begged the Pakistani military and intelligence service (ISI) to cut all ties to terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Pakistan itself. The new prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, has pledged a dialogue with the Taliban, however, and although the army chief–the most powerful man in the country–has called for strong action against terrorist groups, there is little doubt that elements in the military and ISI have maintained a relationship with many of these militant organizations. The purpose of this double-game, which has been going on for over a decade, is to ensure a Pakistani (read: Taliban) presence in Afghanistan as a hedge against Indian influence, and to maintain that same influence in the disputed region of Kashmir, which is predominantly Muslim, and which India controls in colonial fashion.
Much more found HERE.
OBAMA PASSED THE BUCK ON SYRIA TO CONGRESS AND NOW HE’S PASSING THE BUCK ON THAT INFAMOUS RED LINE REMARK TOO. HELL WE ALL KNOW, THAT OBAMA DIDN’T DRAW THAT STINKING RED LINE IN SYRIA, SOMEBODY ELSE DID THAT. OBAMA NEVER, NEVER PUTS “FOOT IN MOUTH”. OBAMA WILL ALWAYS, ALWAYS TAKE CREDIT FOR DEVINE MIRACLES, BUT NEVER, NEVER FOR THOSE SETBACKS. CARTOON BY LISA BENSON
Sysadmin security fail: NSA finds Snowden hijacked officials’ logins .
Hezbollah’s Empty Threats Against Israel – .
Putin Says He Could Back Syria Strike If Evidence Is Convincing .
Syria ‘hemorrhaging’ refugees as number of displaced tops 6 million (PHOTOS) .
NSA Laughs at PCs, Prefers Hacking Routers and Switches .
Jon Lewis Alexander is an Iraq veteran who served four tours of duty in his 30 years in the military. Video surveillance from a convenience store in Marionville, Missouri shows a thief entering and hesitatingly pulling a gun on Alexander. But the 54 year old war vet didn’t go through hell and come out clean on the other side just to take a bullet from some low-life thug. The grizzled vet whips out his Walther PPX 9mm handgun and shoves it right in the would-be thief’s mouth.
When British prisoner of war Robert Campbell asked the Kaiser if he could visit his dying mother, he was astonished to be given permission – on condition that he promised to return.
The Army captain kept his word and returned to the German camp after the two-week trip in November 1916, remaining in captivity until the end of the First World War.
Historian Richard van Emden, who discovered the incredible incident, said such an act of chivalry was rare even a century ago. ‘Capt Campbell was an officer and he made a promise on his honour to go back,’ he said. ‘Had he not turned up there would not have been any retribution on any other prisoners.
“Really, Congress? …You’re willing to bail out President Barack Obama after he’s managed to set the Middle East on fire?
You’re going give Obama cover after two years of Syrian civil war, a growing threat to Israel, a nuclear Iran closer than ever, and Egypt and Libya in chaos…all of which has been met with a shrug and “at this point what difference does it make?” nonchalance?
…He’s being played by sand-trap dictators, Al Qaeda’s bankers and Russian bad boys like some rube just fallen off the pumpkin truck…but please, go ahead and join him.
By all means, become a stakeholder in an ill-planned Administration policy with almost no possible good outcomes for the United States.
While you’re at it, reward Obama and the Democrats’ brazen, utterly shameless hypocrisy over war and Presidential power as if the last 10 years didn’t happen…” —Rick Wilson
Enemy Inside the Wire: The Untold Story of the Battle of Bastion
It was a suicide mission. None of them had a doubt about that.
They gathered in the Afghan village just outside Camp Bastion’s perimeter wire, the fifteen young men who’d been chosen, some of them barely out of their teens. The village wasn’t much to look at, a scraggly collection of mud-walled compounds erected on what, until recently, had been empty desert. Then, like an apparition from the sky, the foreigners had come and built a base so vast that its sewage runoff gave life to the barren ground outside the wire. Fields of opium poppy had sprouted within sight of the perimeter fence, their colorful flowers waving in the wind. For months, disguised as farmers, this team had been sending men to crawl inside the outermost lines of barbed wire, testing the foreigners’ alertness and responses. Now they had found a weak point, and the mission could begin. There was no moon tonight, and darkness would cover their approach.
Earlier, in preparation, they had donned their stolen U.S. Army uniforms and faced a video camera. Their leader stood in the center with a Koran in one hand and a British assault rifle in the other. It was early morning, still cool enough for breath to form.
“In the name of almighty Allah, who is king of the kings,” he said in broken, memorized English. He was a little older than the rest of them, his beard fuller but still short-trimmed, his face calm and confident. “I want to give this message to Obama, crusaders, and other non-Muslims. You have come to Afghanistan to guilt all Muslims under the name of terrorism. It is not terrorism. We are not terrorists.”