NSA spy hub in NYC

They called it Project X. It was an unusually audacious, highly sensitive assignment: to build a massive skyscraper, capable of withstanding an atomic blast, in the middle of New York City. It would have no windows, 29 floors with three basement levels, and enough food to last 1,500 people two weeks in the event of a catastrophe.

But the building’s primary purpose would not be to protect humans from toxic radiation amid nuclear war. Rather, the fortified skyscraper would safeguard powerful computers, cables, and switchboards. It would house one of the most important telecommunications hubs in the United States — the world’s largest center for processing long-distance phone calls, operated by the New York Telephone Company, a subsidiary of AT&T…

…33 Thomas Street is different: An investigation by The Intercept indicates that the skyscraper is more than a mere nerve center for long-distance phone calls. It also appears to be one of the most important National Security Agency surveillance sites on U.S. soil — a covert monitoring hub that is used to tap into phone calls, faxes, and internet data.

Your taxpayer dollar$ at work. Who wants better education or healthcare when you can erect an edifice like this – just to snoop?

Have a mellow, thoughtful holiday

Remembering the folks I lived and worked with in the Navajo Nation. Especially – this morning – the brothers I used to shuck and jive with hanging out in front of Basha’s. And most especially a hard-working freedom fighter I was fortunate enough to engage when he and his wife were living in the Chinle neck of the prairie – Russell Means. We miss your thoughts as well as your deeds.

Who-smiles-like-a-bear

“Jewtropolis”

New York Times: New York City Is Briefly Labeled ‘Jewtropolis’ on Snapchat and Other Apps

❝ I thought we were beyond this…

The Reformation, the Holocaust, they were supposed to be one time things, we were supposed to now be more civilized. But to quote Talking Heads, it’s the same as it ever was…

***

❝ This is the story of our time, how things went horribly wrong. Blame income inequality, blame globalization, blame the starving of schools, blame the lack of opportunity for those who are not legacies.

But no, it’s easier to blame the Jews.

Same as it ever was.

Thanks, Bob Lefsetz
Thanks, Barry Ritholtz

Historic Fireboat John J Harvey Gets Dazzle Camouflage


Nicholas Knight/Public Art Fund

❝ During WWI and WWII, dazzle camouflage (also known as razzle-dazzle in the U.S.) was painted onto thousands of ships both in the U.K. and U.S.

Its development is credited to the British marine artist Norman Wilkinson, who in 1917 claimed that painting ships with geometric shapes in contrasting colors — interrupting and intersecting each other — would make it difficult for enemy vessels to target them. Unlike traditional camouflage, dazzle was used to confuse and disorient ships rather than to conceal or hide them.

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I must add:

❝ — In the panic of Sept. 11, 2001, as tens of thousands of people tried to leave the island of Manhattan, an aging boat once headed for the scrap heap became a hero of sorts.

On 9/11, the John J. Harvey raced to Pier 11, evacuating 150 terrified, dust-covered people…

❝ Then came a second call. Firemen battling blazes at the World Trade Center had no water because the twin towers had fallen on the water lines…

For three days, the Harvey joined three active-duty fireboats to provide the only water there was to keep the 9/11 fires from getting worse.

No reason to let this heroic craft be retired. Surely, there are enough folks with heart enough to make this monument stay afloat forever.

Judge Rules That Bars Can Refuse Service to Trump Supporters

❝ A Manhattan judge ruled…that there’s nothing “outrageous” about throwing the president’s supporters out of bars — because the law doesn’t protect against political discrimination.

Philadelphia accountant Greg Piatek, 31, was bounced from a West Village watering hole in January 2017, just after Trump took the oath of office, for wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap, according to his lawsuit…

❝ “Anyone who supports Trump — or believes in what you believe — is not welcome here! And you need to leave right now because we won’t serve you!” Piatek claims the staff of The Happiest Hour on West 10th Street told him after he and his pals complained about the rude service they were getting from a bartender…

❝ “Plaintiff does not state any faith-based principle to which the hat relates,” Justice David Cohen said in tossing the case.

RTFA to chuckle over the silliness Piatek and his lawyer came up with when they realized they were on shaky ground.

#MovingWhileBlack

❝ A black former White House staffer to President Obama had the police called on him for burglary while moving into his new New York City apartment.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Darren Martin was moving in on the Upper West Side Friday night when police arrived.

A neighbor called 911 to report that someone who had a weapon or large tool was trying to break in. They complained about someone opening and banging doors.

Martin said he felt he was racially profiled by whoever made the call that caused a half-dozen officers to come and question him…

❝ Martin, who is now working as an aide in the New York City government, said on Twitter that he had a “lingering pit” in his stomach over how his neighbors viewed him…

He used the hashtag #MovingWhileBlack to Tweet the video he originally planned to record moving in and setting up in his new home. Which became a video recording the effects of one or more racist neighbors calling in the cops.

The multiple post at TWITTER is in the article linked to above.

NYC sues the Big 5 oil companies in USA over climate change

❝ New York City has sued five of the United States’ biggest oil companies on the grounds that they have contributed to global warming and will divest from fossil fuel companies over a five-year period.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is seeking damages from BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell for the billions of dollars he anticipates the city will spend to protect New Yorkers from the effects of climate change. The city filed the lawsuit on Tuesday night…the 13th.

The city wants compensation for damages that the city has already experienced, as well as for damage the city will undergo over the course of the 21st century…

❝ The mayor and city comptroller Scott Stringer plan to submit a join resolution to pension fund trustees to start analyzing ways to divest from fossil fuel owners—a first-in-the-nation goal. In total, the city’s five pension funds hold about $5 billion in the securities of more than 190 fossil fuel companies, according to the administration.

You can stand up for principles like this no matter where you live. It doesn’t take big city smarts – just educated good sense – to oppose the pimps of carbon-based power, profit before people.