Updates & Weekly Round Up for January 24

This is going to be a short round up. I will spend this afternoon and a good part of the evening in meetings with Kristina Borjesson and Katrina Rill, during which we are planning to go over our first video series and discuss our upcoming projects.

Please welcome our new addition, Dr. Julien Mercille, to the Boiling Frogs analyst team. You can read his recent articles here, and here. Peter and I interviewed him last week, and will have that available to you in about 2 weeks. Here is Dr. Mercille’s bio:

DrJulienMercilleDr. Julien Mercille is a lecturer in US foreign policy at University College Dublin, where he moved after obtaining his PhD from UCLA. He teaches on US history and foreign policy and has published academic articles on Iran, Iraq and the Cold War and is now researching the "War on Drugs" and Afghanistan. He has also written for various websites and magazines on those topics and others.

I only had time to gather a few noteworthy articles and headlines for this weekend’s round up (a hectic week). Let’s start with this brief video (even though it predates the recent disastrous SC decision!):

Lobbyists cash in on Bruce Springsteen

And here are a few noteworthy articles:

Why Use A National Security Letter When You Have Post-It Notes
Jacob Sullum, Reason

CCTV in the sky: police plan to use military-style spy drones
Paul Lewis, Guardian

Shadowy Arms Deal Traced to Kazakhstan
Simon Shuster, AP
Afghans protest deaths of 4 in NATO-government raid
Sayed Salahuddin, Reuters

More secrecy: Obama hides objections to laws
Watertown Daily Times

US continues to look the other way on 'war on terror' abuses
Amnesty International

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  1. Civilian drones…hm. Perhaps that image of taking out drug dealers in New York with a missile (or anyone the government deems “anti-“) isn’t so far away after all?

  2. When I was younger, I loved to read the supermarket tabloids and conspiracy-theory type fare. They all used the same formula, which was to take a mundane topic and sensationalize it with crazy stuff. For example:

    “Woman gives birth to baby in taxicab” becomes “Woman gives birth to Elvis’ baby in taxicab”

    “Rocket is destroyed by launch command 10 seconds after liftoff” becomes “UFO’s destroy NASA rocket”

    These days, I notice the tabloid/conspiracy folks just reprinting and linking MSM articles. The world has become so crazy that there’s no need to sensationalize anything.

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