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I took It’s Just A Shot Away on July 20, 2013 at 01:31PM
and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 21, 2013 at 07:29AM
In a second follow-up to this minor, amusing tale, the @GSElevator guy lost his book deal.
In the face of a barrage of attacks on his credibility, his publisher stood by him. But on Thursday it reversed course and said it was canceling the book.
The publisher, Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, did not provide a reason for the turnabout. It released a terse statement saying: “In light of information that has recently come to our attention since acquiring John Lefevre’s ‘Straight to Hell,’ Touchstone has decided to cancel its publication of this work.”
In a phone interview Thursday afternoon, Mr. Lefevre said that he and his agent demanded a conference call with Touchstone, and received one Thursday morning, but were not told why the deal had fallen through. “All they would say is our hands are tied,” he said.
Only Goldman Sachs seemed to be enjoying the moment. “Guess elevators go up and down,” @GoldmanSachs tweeted in response to the news.
Guess elevators go up and down, http://t.co/xkDPZgaCI8
— Goldman Sachs (@GoldmanSachs) March 6, 2014
Mr. Lefevre’s proposed book, titled “Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance and Excess in the World of Investment Banking,” had drawn widespread attention — for the window it promised to provide into Wall Street’s often raucous culture, and as the latest test case in whether social media postings, some resembling online performance art, could be transformed into successful books.
(click here to continue reading Book Deal Falls Apart for Parodist of Goldman – NYTimes.com.)
from John Lefevre, the banker behind Goldman Sachs Elevator, this defense:
For the avoidance of any doubt, any person who actually thought my Twitter feed was literally about verbatim conversations overhead in the elevators of Goldman Sachs is an idiot.
Newsflash: GSElevator has never been about elevators. And, it’s never been specifically about Goldman Sachs; it’s about illuminating Wall Street culture in a fun and entertaining way. Without highlighting the obvious evolution of the tweets into more generally-appealing observations, let’s start with the simple fact that each of my tweets says “Sent from Twitter for Mac,” hardly the work of someone pretending to be hiding in the walls of 200 West.
Being called a “fake” or a “hoax” by the same people who embraced me as “satire” is simply laughable – and it really speaks to the silly and opportunistic attempts at cheap headlines.
(click here to continue reading GSElevator’s Open Letter To Haters – Business Insider.)
Gawker piled on, claiming it discovered plagiarism on the @GSElevator feed
and the beat goes on…
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I took reflections – Venice Canal Historic District on February 02, 2013 at 01:35PM
and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 30, 2013 at 01:24PM
From the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at LACMA.
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I took Looking At Lolita (Sue Lyon) on February 01, 2013 at 02:49PM
and processed it in my digital darkroom on March 03, 2013 at 05:46PM
Photo Republished at Government Accuses Sprint Of Overcharging By $21M For Its Wiretapping Services – Consumerist
My photo was used to illustrate this post
What is a Sprint?!? Are they listening now?!? I’m a cat. (swanksalot) The White House has gotten its tab from Sprint for wiretapping expenses and is sending it back with a big old frowny face on it, saying the company is overcharging it by more than $21 million. And by “sending it back,” of course I mean it’s suing Sprint. Feds claim in the lawsuit (PDF) that Sprint inflated charges by about 58% between 2007 and 2010, reports Wired.com.
click here to keep reading :
Government Accuses Sprint Of Overcharging By $21M For Its Wiretapping Services – Consumerist
automatically created via Delicious and IFTTT
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I took Don’t Say I Never Warned You on January 11, 2014 at 06:32PM
and processed it in my digital darkroom on February 10, 2014 at 09:29PM
Amusingly, since I recently sat through Kevin Costner’s portrayal of a root in’ tooting’ Eliot Ness with tough guy dialogue penned by David Mamet, there seems to be a mild controversy brewing whether or not to name a federal building after Ness who seems to have been quite a lot milder than the fictional version…
Far from the pistol toting, Al Capone-busting Chicago lawman of lore, Eliot Ness “was afraid of guns and he barely left the office,” according to a retired IRS agent who spoke out Friday against naming a federal law enforcement building in honor of the Prohibition-era leader of The Untouchables.
Ness was lionized thanks in part to oversimplified Chicago newspaper articles about the fight against Capone that downplayed the essential but less sensational role the Internal Revenue Service played in bringing the bootlegger to justice for tax evasion, said former agents at a City Hall hearing. Those early accounts were later conflated by authors and Hollywood producers into what they said was the legendary-but-inaccurate Ness character portrayed by Robert Stack on TV and Kevin Costner on film.
The testimony came as aldermen took a closer look at a notorious chapter in Chicago’s history with a movement afoot to rename after Ness the headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington, D.C. U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk are pushing for the name change, but veteran Southwest Side Ald. Ed Burke, a history buff, says Ness simply doesn’t deserve the honor.
Other Ness critics say his personal shortcomings contradict the strait-laced, incorruptible persona that brought him fame. By the end of his life, Ness was in debt, drinking heavily and had cheated on all three of his wives, according to several biographical accounts.
(click here to continue reading Chicago aldermen: Eliot Ness overhyped – chicagotribune.com.)
from the original press release, January 10, 2014:
Illinois’ U.S. senators proposed today that a major federal law-enforcement building in the nation’s capital be named for Eliot Ness, the Prohibition-era crime fighter who helped bring down Chicago gangster Al Capone.
The headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, built in recent years, would be called the Eliot Ness ATF Building under the senators’ resolution.…
“America’s fight against dangerous drug gangs is far from over,” Kirk said in a statement with the two other senators, “but in honoring Eliot Ness’ public service and his tireless crime fighting we reaffirm our commitment to safe streets and ensure that justice is brought to the Illinois families who have suffered.”
Added Durbin: “Chicago gangster Al Capone believed that every man had his price. But for Eliot Ness and his legendary law enforcement team, ‘The Untouchables,’ no amount of money could buy their loyalty or sway their dedication to Chicago’s safety.”
(click here to continue reading ‘Untouchable’ idea — building named for Eliot Ness – Chicago Tribune.)
I don’t know much of the history myself, but I would not be surprised if notorious press manipulator J. Edgar Hoover did not have some involvement in the marketing of The Untouchables.
As an aside, do you have a good suggestion for a book on this topic?
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I took Wilted Kale Salad on January 31, 2013 at 12:38PM
and processed it in my digital darkroom on February 01, 2013 at 05:38AM
Brief followup to the Goldman Faux-Elevator story, is this theory promulgated by Kevin Roose:
In the three years since that interview – while breaking the news of @GSElevator‘s book proposal, among other things – I’ve learned a bit more about who is behind @GSElevator. I’ve come to suspect that the account is a group effort, the product of at least two individuals working collaboratively, one or more of whom may work at Goldman or may have worked there in the past. Part of this is a simple smell test – the sharp, concise writing contained in @GSElevator‘s tweets has always read like the work of a different author than the loose, elementary prose in the book proposal and the writing contained in some of the account’s articles on sites like Business Insider. But I’ve also seen credible proof of multiple authorship. Several months ago, I was contacted by a person who works in finance and is not named John Lefevre, who showed me convincing evidence that he had access to at least one of the accounts affiliated with @GSElevator.
“Who cares?” you might be asking. And you’re right – this mystery matters to a handful of reporters in New York, and perhaps some tiny fraction of @GSElevator’s 625,000 Twitter followers. But as someone who has spent the better part of three years corresponding with @GSElevator, reading @GSElevator tweets, and reviewing a book proposal and several other pieces of @GSElevator output, I’m invested (albeit extremely reluctantly, since – reminder – this is a parody Twitter account!) in the outcome.
For now, I don’t have any other names to share, or a second-poster theory credible enough to print. But, if I were a betting man, I’d bet that we’re still not hearing the full story of who’s behind @GSElevator. Some of the tweets may have come from inside the building after all.
(click here to continue reading Is the @GSElevator Mystery Really Solved? — Daily Intelligencer.)
On The Internet Nobody Knows You Are A Dog – Peter Steiner, The New Yorker. Wiki
Three stories I read yesterday, exhibiting a common theme. These aren’t wrapped together as a neat thread, but if you think about it a bit, perhaps they are related after all.
First, and the most newsworthy by far was Glenn Greenwald’s latest amazing story about our National Security apparatus. There are Power Point documents created instructing how to ruin an enemy’s online reputation. You should read his article if you read nothing else today, and this adjunct tale of this process in action:
One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.
Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.”
By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.
Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.
(click here to continue reading How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations – The Intercept.)
God Is Ugly
Second, did you notice that the still-Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, Tea Party and Koch Brother favorite, paid his staff to write comments on newspaper articles? If you were a resident of Milwaukee, or later, of anywhere in Wisconsin, your taxpayer money was spent thus1. Doesn’t that make you pleased? Have you ever waded through comments on a news article?Yeah, nasty stuff most usually. Makes you wonder who the author of that sycophantic comment really is, or more precisely, who his employer is.
Madison — In the heat of the 2010 governor’s race, Scott Walker urged both county employees and campaign aides to go to news websites and post comments promoting him and his record, newly unsealed documents show.
It was just such anonymous posts by a county worker on campaign issues that prompted prosecutors to expand a secret “John Doe” investigation — launched to probe into missing money in a veterans fund — to also examine whether taxpayer dollars were being used illegally to finance political operations.
In one instance in May 2010, for example, a close ally posted online a portion of a Walker email almost verbatim on a Journal Sentinel story just minutes after receiving the directive. Walker had sent the note to an inner circle that included county administrators as well as campaign operatives.
Tapping out a message on his campaign Blackberry on the afternoon of May 4, 2010, Walker urged county aides, campaign staffers and other trusted volunteers to go to an online Journal Sentinel business story and respond to critics of his plan to privatize the airport in the comments section below the story.
“Someone should comment on the fact that the only way for the county to benefit from that success is to contract out operations,” Walker wrote in an email. “Having a well performing airport increases the value that the county could receive.”
A half-hour later, Brian Pierick — the boyfriend of Walker aide Timothy D. Russell — posted a comment on the story under the alias “WI_Calvin,” calling rising airport traffic “another example of Scott Walker’s outstanding leadership.”
“The only way the county can to (sic) benefit from that success is to contract out operations. Having a well performing airport increases the value that the county could receive,” Pierick wrote, adding only a single word to Walker’s phrasing. Pierick and Russell were both later convicted of other activities in the secret probe.
(click here to continue reading Scott Walker urged county staff, campaign aides to promote him online.)
Lastly, and probably least, there was an anonymous tweeter by the name of @GSElevator who got a book deal, based mostly on what he tweeted, things allegedly overheard in the elevator of Goldman Sachs. Except the author only briefly even came close to working for Goldman, years ago, and so made up most of what he quoted. He still got a lot of publicity though.
A three-year parlor game has been taking place on Wall Street to identify the Goldman Sachs employee behind a Twitter account that purports to reveal the uncensored comments overheard in the firm’s elevators.
The Twitter account, @GSElevator, reports overheard remarks like, “I never give money to homeless people. I can’t reward failure in good conscience,” and “Groupon…Food stamps for the middle class.”
The Twitter account, which has an audience of more than 600,000 followers, has been the subject of an internal inquiry at Goldman to find the rogue employee. The tweets, often laced with insider references to deals in the news, appeal to both Wall Street bankers and outsiders who mock the industry. Late last month, the writer sold a book about Wall Street culture based on the tweets for a six-figure sum.
There is a good reason Goldman Sachs has been unable to uncover its Twitter-happy employee: He doesn’t work at the firm. And he never did.
The author is a 34-year-old former bond executive who lives in Texas. His name is John Lefevre.
(click here to continue reading @GSElevator Tattletale Exposed (He Was Not in the Goldman Elevator) – NYTimes.com.)Footnotes:
- or is it thusly? [↩]
What nearly amuses me is that Beer Baron John Hickenlooper is so opposed, still, to citizens of his state taking positive steps towards ending the ridiculous drug war in the US. The vote wasn’t even very close, considering. No, if Gov Hickenlooper had his way, only beer should be legal…
Colorado Democrat John Hickenlooper has a firm answer to other U.S. governors asking him about marijuana as source of revenue: Just say no.
Hickenlooper said yesterday that about a half-dozen called or asked him at this weekend’s National Governors Association meeting in Washington about his state’s experience legalizing recreational pot. They want to know about the potential to collect money and avoid the costs of enforcement and incarceration, he said.
Colorado projected last week that sales would generate more than $100 million a year toward a general fund of about $9 billion. But Hickenlooper, who opposed legalizing marijuana, said he’s telling fellow governors that he’s not counting on it to lower other taxes or for spending — and that they shouldn’t, either.
(click here to continue reading Colorado’s Experience With Legal Pot Has U.S. Governors Curious – Bloomberg.)
and this is despite admitting in his own state budget that legal cannabis sales could reach $1,000,000,000 in their very first year! Just consider that for a second: a newly legal industry that already is this significant, despite foot dragging from the Beer Baron, and others of his ilk who hold anachronistic viewpoints about the demon weed.
new budget numbers predicted that those marijuana taxes could add more than $100 million a year to state coffers, far more than earlier estimates.
The figures offered one of the first glimpses into how the bustling market for recreational marijuana was beginning to reshape government bottom lines — an important question as marijuana advocates push to expand legalization beyond Colorado and Washington State into states including Arizona, Alaska and Oregon.
In Colorado, where recreational sales began on Jan. 1 with hourlong waits, a budget proposal from Gov. John W. Hickenlooper estimated that the state’s marijuana industry could reach $1 billion in sales in the next fiscal year, with recreational sales making up about $610 million of that business.
“It’s well on its way to being a billion-dollar industry,” said Michael Elliott, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, a Colorado trade association. “We went from 110,000 medical marijuana patients to four billion people in the world who are 21 and up.”
In the budget proposal that Mr. Hickenlooper released Wednesday, his office said the state could collect about $134 million in taxes from recreational and medical marijuana for the fiscal year beginning in July.
(click here to continue reading Colorado Expects to Reap Tax Bonanza From Legal Marijuana Sales – NYTimes.com.)
and the truth is that Gov Hickenlooper is just a hypocrite, a politician, in other words:
But the state’s Democratic governor said he “hates” his state’s legal weed “experiment.”
Gov. John Hickenlooper revealed his feelings about marijuana legalization to the Durango Herald’s editorial board Friday.
“I hate Colorado having to be the experiment,” he told the newspaper.
The governor said he intends the regulation of legal weed to be even more strenuous than alcohol. “We are going to regulate the living daylights out of it,” he told the Herald.
Hickenlooper was a beer brewer before governor and made his fortune from selling alcoholic beverages — a fortune that wouldn’t have been possible had the U.S. not ended its prohibition on alcohol in 1933. The irony that he hates the the end of another drug’s prohibition in Colorado was not lost on Marijuana Policy Project’s communications director, Mason Tvert.
“I doubt Gov. Hickenlooper felt like he was participating in an experiment when he was making a living selling alcohol in a legal market,” Tvert told The Huffington Post. “Our state has been successfully regulating alcohol for quite some time, so regulating a less harmful substance like marijuana is hardly something new. Does the governor want to go back to a system in which cartels control marijuana instead of licensed businesses and thousands of responsible adults are punished each year simply for using it? We let that experiment go on for 80 years and it never worked.”
Tvert also called out the governor for suggesting that marijuana should be more heavily regulated than alcohol. “Every objective study on marijuana has concluded that it is less toxic than alcohol, less addictive, and less likely to contribute to violent and reckless behavior,” Tvert said. “If he is truly concerned about public health, he should be encouraging adults to consider making the safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol when they are socializing or relaxing after work.”
(click here to continue reading Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper Hates His State’s Legal Weed ‘Experiment’.)
Wouldn’t our society be better off if fatties were smoked at sports arenas instead of endless 20 oz mugs of beer? Not to say that pot smokers can’t be aggressive or violent, but let your own experience with drunks be a guide.
This sounds like a good thing for Chicago; in our society, Defense budget items are sacrosanct, as we1 would rather cut the ability of poor people to eat2, or the medical cost reimbursements of a veteran before we3 slice a dime from the military machine’s budget…
Chicago will be the site of a digital manufacturing institute backed by $70 million in government money and another $250 million of private finding…Chicago competed against several other locations in a bidding process run by the Defense Department. The city envisions the institute would focus on such projects as the faster and cheaper production of a next-generation aircraft engine; drastically reducing the amount of scrap material associated with small manufacturing runs; and speeding the design process among geographically dispersed suppliers.
“This is clearly, without a doubt, one of the most significant things to secure Chicago’s long-term economic future,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a Saturday interview. “It is the best insurance policy you can buy, which is major research capacity.”
The $70 million grant will come from the Department of Defense. But far more was at stake, as city officials and business leaders quietly raised private commitments in excess of $5 million each from General Electric, Rolls-Royce, Procter & Gamble, Siemens, Lockheed Martin and The Dow Chemical Co.
The new institute, which is proposed for a leased building on the northern end of Goose Island, would fall under the oversight of UI Labs, a nascent University of Illinois-affiliated effort focused on turning academic research into moneymaking, job-creating products. UI Labs stands for “Universities and Industries.”
(click here to continue reading Chicago wins bid for $320 million manufacturing hub – chicagotribune.com.)
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I took Uhh, because it’s national Margarita day? on February 22, 2014 at 04:14PM
and processed it in my digital darkroom on February 22, 2014 at 10:16PM
Sursum Vestri Culus – a rough sketch of the flag for Upper Yurtistan
The flag colors:
and the treaty establishing its boundaries:
Update, added the whole SMS discussion of the proper phrase. You know, for posterity.
Lens: Lucifer VI
Film: Cano Cafenol
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I took Click Here To Confirm on November 26, 2012 at 10:51AM
and processed it in my digital darkroom on November 28, 2012 at 02:11PM