Snowden cites Orwell in Christmas message

From the

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden invoked George Orwell and warned of the dangers of unchecked government surveillance Wednesday in a televised Christmas message to the British people that reflected his growing willingness to take a public role in the debate he ignited.

Speaking directly into the camera from Moscow, where he took refuge after leaking vast troves of information on NSA spying, Snowden said government surveillance methods far surpass those described in Orwell’s dystopic novel “1984.”

“The types of collection in the book — microphones and video cameras, TVs that watch us — are nothing compared to what we have available today. We have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go,” he said. “Think about what this means for the privacy of the average person.”

The brief video marked Snowden’s first television appearance since he fled possible prosecution in the United States and arrived in Moscow in June. It came days after The Washington Post published an extensive account of Snowden’s comments during more than 14 hours of interviews.

Revelations from documents leaked by Snowden first appeared in June in The Post and in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, and have continued to emerge in the months since.

In The Post interview, Snowden said he had succeeded in spawning the debate he sought by bringing the extent of surveillance by the US and British governments to light.

“The mission’s already accomplished,” he said. “I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember, I didn’t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself.”

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A Brief History Of Santa And so say we all:

Meanwhile the homies at RedIce have more of that Christmassy esoterica over here:

Bob Curran - Hour 2 - Earth Lights, Modern Interpretations, Tomtar & Troll

Bob Curran - Hour 1 - Dark Fairies, Folklore, Spirits & Creatures

Michael Dunning - The Sacred Yew Tree: The Embryonic Tree of Life

Monkey in a Winter Coat Goes On IKEA Rampage

From Atlantic Wire:

What looks like someone's pet monkey escaped Sunday and terrorized a Toronto IKEA, all while wearing a very stylish winter coat.

Seriously, we can't even make this stuff up. From what we can gather from reports on Twitter, the monkey ran loose in the department store for less than an hour. The CBC reports animal serviceswere brought in to capture the monkey. It was brought in without any major incident.

Despite its fleeting freedom, the escaped style icon still captivated people on both sides of the border. There's already an IKEA Monkey parody account. Also, everyone seems to love the sight of an adorable monkey running free in a winter coat:


WATCH: Huey and the New Yorkers - Christmas by the Side of the Road (RTE, 25th Oct) From Huey Morgan's new LP, Say It To My Face.

Shit is very beautiful. I was gonna holla ta Huey this morning and ask him if he wanted to make a song on this VERY subject for the redux of my Christmas LP, which I'm wrapping this week. No need, dude did it.

LISTEN: Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire - Merry eX​-​Mas & Suck My Dick

<a href="" _mce_href="">Merry eX-Mas &amp; Suck My Dick by Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire</a>


Mr Nu New York deads his year in fine festive fashion. And a very merry to you too.


2011: Big Bank Bonuses set to be near-record, $156 billion

Drawing by me, 2005

From The New Bottom Line and the Public Accountability Initiative, via War is Crime:

According to a "mini-report" released today by the The New Bottom Line and the Public Accountability Initiative, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, US Bank, and Wells Fargo are set to award themselves $156 billion in compensation (including salaries, benefits and bonuses) to executives in 2011, a 3.7 percent increase over 2010. (Although, they do not release data on compensation until next year, it is possible to estimate the size of the compensation pool based on the first three quarters of 2011.)

  • To download the mini-report: click here.
  • To see our blog post about the report (including info on bank bonus actions in Chicago and Minneapolis last week), click here
  • To read the full press release, click here
  • To see some infographics we cooked up (comparing BofA, Wells Fargo, Chase CEO compensation to that of hourly, daily, annual pay to average worker) click here

We recently called on the CEOs of Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase to forego holiday bonuses for their executives and use the money to write down mortgage principal for families facing foreclosure or who owe more than their homes are worth, make loans to small businesses, and pay their fair share of taxes. In Chicago and Minneapolis last week, National People's Action groups delivered more than 5,000 signatures from that online call to action. On Thursday,  families inChicago pledged to move $218,000 from Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase to community banks and credit unions that share their values (Move Our Money campaign in action!!). On Friday, in Minneapolis, about 50 people protested in front of Wells Fargo and urged the bank to create jobs and help people stay in their homes instead of dispersing huge bonuses. In January, when information about the banks’ compensation packages becomes more available, there will be more protests to com


LISTEN: Justin Bieber Ft. Busta Rhymes – Drummer Boy

This I shall drop, as is my wont, for Set Dressing Tim, who has a Biber T shirt in the SLayer font. Also the rap about feeding the hungry is most righteous.

Busta, meanwhile, dropped a similar rap on a Cher Lloyd record, for which he is most definitely GOING TO HELL.