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10.28.13

Political Dissent is ‘Terrorism’ Now

Posted in America at 12:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

William Blum

Summary: It becomes ever more apparent that what those in power really fear is not the public getting hurt but the public seizing power

BEFORE changing the headline, one of Britain’s worst papers, known as the Daily Mail, published an article [1] titled “CIA drone strikes ‘rely heavily on NSA’s data-mining program’” (relate this to the previous post and the one about CIA drone strikes). According to the British press [2], the CIA was “suspicious of Edward Snowden years ago” and William Blum, who had worked in London with an ex-CIA officer (now a famous author and historian), said “[t]here is a drone with Assange’s name on it.” This ought to remind people of who’s the real enemy in the minds of CIA or NSA agents. The population is a real threat to the ambitions of conquest.

Since some time in early 2012 we have covered by mention many article about the NDAA, which includes provisions and actual laws that permit detention without trial (or even corporal punishment, which imprisonment itself can be) of US citizens. Think of internment of Japanese-Americans for an analogy. According to some news [3], there is effective resistance to this [4] and after what seems like publicity stunts by truckers [5,6] and others we seem to be seeing politicians following suit [7-9].

In the age when Nazi helpers like IBM (IBM helped Hitler ‘barcode’ people for assassination) seek to take the CIA contract away from Amazon [10] we are reminded that not much has changed since Japanese-Americans got imprisoned (punished collectively based on race — not political orientation — in order to be imprisoned in bulk). Based on some other news [11], the CIA’s equivalent of prison and punishment camps (like the Nazis’ in early stages of the war, before turning to death camps) may soon face declassification and the European Parliament is finally fuming over the CIA’s camps in Europe [12] (which months ago, as we repeatedly showed, the CIA wanted to shut down along with evidence, in the same country where the Nazis had put most of their camps). Don’t forget where many of the CIA’s first officers came from.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. CIA drone strikes ‘rely heavily on NSA’s data-mining program’
  2. CIA ‘suspicious of Edward Snowden years ago’

    Edward Snowden, the man behind the NSA spying revelations, aroused the suspicions of the CIA four years ago while he was working for the spy agency – but they failed to pass on a warning to the rest of the US government.

  3. Albany Common Council upholds U.S. Constitution!
  4. Wrong Then, Wrong Now: Mindful of Internment, California Condemns Detention Under NDAA
  5. Activists announce call campaign to repeal NDAA with truckers

    With truckers vowing to “restore the Constitution” due to start arriving in the nation’s capitol today, anti-NDAA activists have announced a call campaign to Congress to demand it enact one of the truckers’ principle demands, repeal of the NDAA.

  6. Trucker convoy demands arrest of congressmen who disobeyed oath

    Ride for the Constitution has issued a stern disavowal of some of Mr. Conlon’s remarks to US News and World Report, and affirms that he is not a spokesperson for the organization.

  7. California governor signs law defying cooperation with NDAA indefinite detention

    California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a law barring state cooperation with any attempt by the federal government to indefinitely detain people. The legislation targets the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

  8. California Governor Signs Ban on NDAA Detentions

    After an overwhelmingly successful run through the California legislature last months, Governor Jerry Brown has signed AB351, a law banning all cooperation with the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) or any other federal attempts to indefinitely detain people.

  9. Jerry Brown Signs California Ban On Indefinite Detentions
  10. U.S. court rules in favour of Amazon in CIA contract dispute
  11. Guantanamo lawyers want Obama to declassify CIA prison program

    Attorneys for five Guantanamo prisoners charged with plotting the September 11, 2001, attacks have asked President Barack Obama to declassify the CIA program that subjected the defendants to interrogation techniques that have been described as torture.

  12. European Parliament calls for investigation into CIA renditions

    Members of the European Parliament have called for an investigation into CIA operations in the European Union.

The NSA Causes an Atlantic Blunder

Posted in Action, Europe, Free/Libre Software at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hibernia Networks
Hibernia Networks map

Summary: US-EU relations suffer from revelations about espionage (with help from the NSA) and trust generally erodes

Occasionally we explain how Free software helps privacy, which helps whistleblowers, who in turn help fight financial disparity and fraud. Well, it seems like the Free software which helped Snowden reach journalists safely (and Microsoft SharePoint, the proprietary system which was broken enough for Snowden to access and download documents from) sure helps in many other ways, ending the cross-national deals which serve nothing but massive corporations. Let’s review the news to understand what has been happening.

In Europe, US data sharing has been suspended [1] and the EU Parliament has some harsh words [2] (Britain has been left red-faced [3,4]). The British press has been unable to spin the embarrassing revelations it must cover to retain some credibility [5,6] and other British press [7] covered the protests in the United States itself [8] (US media is being gagged by the NSA to the extent possible [9] and Facebook is part of the problem now [10]). The NSA’s site has gone down [11,12] and the EFF advises people to regain privacy [13] now that the NSA even harvests contact lists [14] (it’s considered to be a crime when others do that, as shown in the ‘Weev’ case).

“Never mind those Atlantic deals which serve only multi-nationals’ greed; the Atlantic ocean has become the grid for large-scale NSA surveillance through fiber.”“Pirate” parties in Europe have become very vocal about this [15,16], whereas one GOP congressman earned unwanted attention when he said Europe should be grateful for NSA spying [17]. He wants people in Europe to think that it’s about terrorism when in fact, based on new reports [18-20], the NSA monitored 60 million phone calls in Spain in one month alone. Either there are millions of terrorists there or the NSA is totally out of touch. Europe and south America find common ground here [21] as cases of espionage get revealed; it’s not about terrorism at all. Annie Machon, an MI5 whistleblower, gives her views on this [22-23] (naming “Open Source” on TV) and “Open Source Pundits” too become vocal [24].

The British press indicates that the Atlantic trade deals are in jeopardy now [25,26] and in Brazil the government is now making its hostility towards US-based E-mail providers more evident [27] (it helps the NSA apply McCarthyism [28]). The NSA is now being characterised as a “state-sponsored cybercrime gang” [29] which more altruistic organisations in the US can only try to exploit by saying they would challenge it [30,31]. Just because companies like Google try to openwash their dubious products [32] doesn’t make these benign. Due to US law requiring compliance (access to data of anyone, e.g. by intercepting it at endpoints of US networks), the only reasonable rule of thumb right now is: don’t route anything unencrypted through hopping points in the US, England, or Sweden. Never mind those Atlantic deals which serve only multi-nationals’ greed; the Atlantic ocean has become the grid for large-scale NSA surveillance through fiber. This is about power, control, and global domination; it’s nothing to do with terrorism.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. MEPs vote to suspend US data sharing

    The European Parliament has voted to suspend the sharing of financial data with the US, following allegations that citizens’ data was spied on.

    The allegation forms part of leaked documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    The vote is non-binding but illustrates MEPs’ growing unease over how much data was shared with the US.

    It comes a day after it was alleged that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone calls were monitored.

  2. EU Parliament says other countries spy, but not as much as the UK or US

    The European Parliament’s research department has found that four out of five member states surveyed carry out wide-scale telecommunications surveillance.

    In a report released on Friday the department revealed that the U.K., France, Germany and Sweden all engaged in bulk collection of data. The Netherlands, which was also examined, has not done so, so far, but is engaged in setting up an agency for that purpose.

  3. No debate please, we’re British.

    In a speech to the Royal United Services Institute on Tuesday, the Director General of MI5 said: “it causes enormous damage to make public the reach and limits of GCHQ techniques.Such information hands the advantage to the terrorists. It is the gift they need to evade us and strike at will.”

    This is a sentiment expressed on the front page of various national newspapers. The bad guys, you may have guessed, are the Guardian and Edward Snowden.

  4. NCA lacks oversight and transparency

    The National Crime Agency (NCA) has been launched today by the Home Office with announcements that it will have access to some of the most high tech surveillance tools available but will also promote an environment of transparency and openness. Yet, with an exemption from the Freedom of Act and being regulated by outdated legislation, how accountable will the Agency be?

  5. US National Security Agency ‘spied on French diplomats’

    The US National Security Agency has spied on French diplomats in Washington and at the UN, according to the latest claims in Le Monde newspaper.

  6. NSA spying allegations: Are US allies really shocked?

    If the US National Security Agency really has been listening in to Angela Merkel’s cell phone, as the Germans believe, then, courtesy of the fugitive US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, the Americans have broken a cardinal rule in the espionage play-book.

  7. Thousands gather in Washington for anti-NSA ‘Stop Watching Us’ rally
  8. Edward Snowden’s Statement Read at ‘Stop Watching Us’ Rally in DC

    Former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden had a statement read at the “Stop Watching Us” Rally against mass surveillance in Washington,DC. It was read by Justice Department whistleblower and attorney with the Government Accountability Project, Jesselyn Radack.

  9. As Europe erupts over US spying, NSA chief says government must stop media

    With General Alexander calling for NSA reporting to be halted, US and UK credibility as guardians of press freedom is crushed

  10. Partnership between Facebook and police could make planning protests impossible

    A partnership between police departments and social media sites discussed at a convention in Philadelphia this week could allow law enforcement to keep anything deemed criminal off the Internet—and even stop people from organizing protests.

  11. NSA claims website going down an ‘internal error’ rather than cyber-attack
  12. NSA site went down due to ‘internal error’, not DDoS attack, agency claims

    The website for the US National Security Agency suddenly went offline Friday in what some claimed was an Anonymous DDoS attack. The agency denied it was under attack, however, saying it was merely updating software.

  13. Ten Steps You Can Take Right Now Against Internet Surveillance
  14. Snowden leak alleges NSA snooping on web contact lists

    National Security Agency collects up to 250 million online address books each year.

  15. Those responsible for wiretapping crimes against us all must be brought to justice

    We thought that wiretapping was something that only happened to suspected criminals. Instead, it turns out we have all been wiretapped, all the time. This is a crime, and the responsible must be brought to justice.

  16. We Know With 100% Certainty That Mass Surveillance Hasn’t Foiled A Single Terror Plot

    We know with 100% absolute certainty that the wiretapping industry – NSA, GCHQ, FRA, etc – has stopped a total of exactly zero terror plots. We can be certain of this fact, as there have been no trials and no convictions of planning widespread destruction. Planning such a crime is almost as serious a crime as executing it, and while there can be secret evidence in some uncivilized countries, the courts and trials themselves are not secret.

  17. Europe should be grateful for NSA spying, Rogers says

    While outrage in Europe grows over reports of the NSA spying on its citizens and public figures, some in Congress have struck a less conciliatory tone, with a key GOP congressman saying Sunday that foreign publics should be grateful – not angry – because America’s spying keeps them safe.

  18. NSA ‘monitored 60m Spanish calls in a month’

    The US National Security Agency (NSA) secretly monitored 60 million phone calls in Spain in one month, Spanish media say.

    The reports say the latest allegations came from documents provided by the fugitive US analyst Edward Snowden.

  19. NSA monitored 60m phone calls in Spain, say media
  20. NSA spied on 60 million Spanish phone calls in a month – report
  21. Germany, Brazil enlist 19 more countries for anti-NSA UN resolution

    Twenty-one countries, including US allies France and Mexico, have now joined talks to hammer out a UN resolution that would condemn “indiscriminate” and “extra-territorial” surveillance, and ensure “independent oversight” of electronic monitoring.

    The news was reported by Foreign Policy magazine, which has also obtained a copy of the draft text.

    The resolution was proposed earlier this week by Germany and Brazil, whose leaders have been some of the most vocal critics of the comprehensive spying methods of the US National Security Agency.

  22. RT interview about new EU data protection measures

    Here is a quick inter­view I did about the EU’s new data pro­tec­tion meas­ures, laws that will have to be imple­men­ted in the wake of Edward Snowden’s dis­clos­ures about endemic NSA surveillance:

  23. RT interview on spy oversight
  24. Open Source Pundits Sound Off on Surveillance

    This week, some very high-profile voices from the open source community have been sounding off about surveillance and privacy invasion. Free software and open source guru Richard Stallman has an op-ed piece on the Wired site where he discusses the “social pollution” of surveillance. And, Rafael Laguna, who co-founded the open source cloud firm Open-Xchange is cautioning users against using public cloud services such as iCloud. He even goes so far as to advise users to use Firefox OS phones instead of iPhones.

  25. NSA Spying: Germany Demands Talks With US

    The latest spy revelations are threatening to derail a multibillion-pound trade deal between the US and European Union.

  26. Atlantic trade deal at risk from NSA bugging Angela Merkel phone
  27. Brazilian President tweets about new national email, continues anti-NSA rhetoric

    Brazil is continuing to spearhead a very public anti-NSA movement, with President Dilma Rousseff revealing more details on Twitter about the launch of a national secure email.

  28. NSA Maps Out Americans’ Social Connections

    The spy agency declined to say how many Americans have been snooped on, including people involved in no wrongdoing.

  29. NSA tactics no better than a CYBERCRIME GANG, says infosec’er

    The NSA operates like a state-sponsored cybercrime gang using much the same tools and techniques as miscreants slinging banking trojans, one cynic has suggested.

  30. Internet Archive Will Shield Visitors
  31. Lightbeam for Firefox gives users a look at which sites are tracking them
  32. People+ Glass app can help you recognise people in a party

    If you are a guy who is in the startup sphere or just someone who attends lot of high profile parties and conferences but have trouble recognising people who can be prove to be valuable in your contact list, People + app is for you.

Internet Censor Google Claims to be Fighting Internet Censorship

Posted in Deception, Google at 11:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nobody knows Google censorship better than Seth Finkelstein

Seth Finkelstein

Summary: Google has a new charm offence/PR trying to paint itself as a battling force against censorship (depends whose)

In this age of intimidation and terror by secret agencies we quickly learn that British press is under attack by those secret agencies and overzealous politicians [1, 2, 3]. Some newspapers buckle [1], whereas others don’t, although even those that pretend not to are selling out in other ways (yes, that would be The Guardian). The whole NSA scandal has taught us and continues to show us just how aggressive Western censorship can become. Wikileaks showed us something similar 3 years ago.

“Google is trying to impress us by saying that it’s a force for good, but serious questions remain for Google to answer.”Google says it will battle country-specific Internet censorship [2], but how does it intend to tackle surveillance, which acts as means of self-censorship? This is not going to help against Western censorship, which Google is collaborating with (many of examples exist*, including the infamous copyright censorship examples). Google says it will also help fight DDOS attacks which can attack NGOs [3] (DDOS can be an attack on free speech), but why does Google collaborate with the potentially biggest sources of DDOS attacks (some are initiated by the NSA, FBI, and their proxies/minions)?

Google is trying to impress us by saying that it’s a force for good, but serious questions remain for Google to answer. Google wants people to view itself as a tool of emancipation rather than oppression (like Facebook or Microsoft, which are even worse). Be sceptical.
___
* Seth Finkelstein wrote about Google censorship even a decade ago. Wikipedia has a long article about it.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The perfect epitaph for establishment journalism

    ‘If MI5 warns that this is not in the public interest who am I to disbelieve them?’, says the former editor of The Independent

  2. Google’s uProxy could help fight Internet censorship

    At its Ideas Summit in New York, Google has announced that it is working on developing a browser extension that will act as an easy-to-use way to bypass country-specific Internet censorship and make connections safer and more private.

  3. Google’s anti-DDoS service Project Shield activated

    DDoS attacks are a doubled edged sword – while it’s used by hacktivism groups anonymous as a means of online protest, they are also used to attack NGOs and activites to bring their sites down. Now Google is taking a stand against DDoS attackers by offering a service called Project Shield.

War Machines

Posted in Action at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chairman of the newly-created investment firm KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) Global Institute, formerly CIA Director

David Petraeus

Summary: War as an industry in search of investment, not a risk to be avoided

Wars are a sector; they are an industry. Every once in a few years there is a growth in demand and if there is no immediate demand, then the marketing pitch needs to change a bit, or new market segments discovered (new targets). Not too long ago, David Petraeus (CIA Director) feared the ‘threat’ of peace, so he identified a new market [1] and fueled yet another proxy war [2] which up until very recently [3] involved the CIA’s manufacturing of ‘rebels’ [4,5], funneling weapons to some terrorists [6] (labeling only the victims terrorists [7]), and as usual covering that up with some more televised propaganda [8]. War criminals, especially those from the last major invasion, already have traveling limitations [9] as they can’t rely on overzealous policing [10] even from violent police forces like Canada's.

A lot of people still overlook the CIA’s war on Yemen, which simply radicalises the population there [11,12,13] because killing a person is not the same as killing hate [14]. Moderate news sites [15] — not just US-hostile sites [16] have become very sceptical of this war on Yemen, which hardly solves the real problem [17]; instead it creates the problem. It appears as though rescuers are being killed by drones [18] (knowingly) and even innocent grandmothers lose their lives [19], leading to Amnesty International’s involvement [20] (rare in this context). The CIA-friendly press acknowledges allegations that the numbers we are given about deaths by drones are bogus [21] and other corporate media acknowledges the failure of one recently-released pro-CIA (and anti-Wikileaks) propaganda film [22]. There are films that speak to real people, not actors [23], and these are the films which people ought to treat as accurate documentaries, as opposed to dramatised propaganda.

The CIA would like us to be fearful of the ‘Red’ armies (see [24]), but most of today’s wars and deaths are in fact caused by covert wars or outright invasions designed to increase profits for the Western war industry. Always remember that war is a business; it’s an orgasm-inducing explosion of money to some.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Behind-the-Scenes Report Details How Obama Dragged His Feet on Syria

    A year later, Assad was still in power. At the first high-level talks on potentially getting involved in Syria’s civil war, then-CIA Director David Petraeus laid out a plan to secretly arm and train groups of Syrian rebels in Jordan. Obama’s advisers were split on the issue, and remained so throughout many subsequent discussions. The president appeared hesitant to intervene in Syria, or make a call one way of the other, even as new intelligence in early 2013 suggested Assad was using chemical weapons, and the rebels were losing. Per the Times:

  2. US Imperialism and the Proxy War in Syria

    Up until early September, it appeared that the Obama administration was about to order the bombing of Syria. However, on Monday, September 9, Secretary of State John Kerry made his now famous statement indicating that war could be avoided if Syria agreed to destroy its stockpiles of chemical weapons. Whether this statement was an off-the-cuff remark or a carefully planned diplomatic masterstroke—a maneuver so ingenious and subtle that even a Talleyrand would have been impressed—is not known. Given the confusion that found expression in the initial responses of State Department and White House spokesmen, the argument could be plausibly made that Kerry, who is not an especially intelligent man, had not thought through the implications of his response to a reporter’s question. On the other hand, an argument could be made that Kerry’s seemingly ad-libbed statement arose from secret discussions that had been held with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov.

  3. US halts aid to Syrian rebels

    The United States has cut off northern Syrian moderate rebel groups from non-lethal aid, with an al-Qaeda advance in northern Syria physically blocking the aid’s dispersal, as the Obama administration continues to ‘disengage’ itself from Syria.

  4. CIA ramping up covert training program for moderate Syrian rebels

    The CIA is expanding a clandestine effort to train opposition fighters in Syria amid concern that moderate, U.S.-backed militias are rapidly losing ground in the country’s civil war, U.S. officials said.

  5. Report: CIA Ramping Up Covert Training Program for Syrian Rebels
  6. CIA Supplying Weapons To Syrian Rebel Groups Legally Classified As Terrorists By The U.S.

    The U.S. military’s involvement (or lack thereof) in the Syrian civil war that has been taking place over the past few years has been a point of contention both within the U.S. and around the world. After a chemical attack killed and injured thousands, the debate as to whether or not the Obama administration would respond with a military strike dominated discussion within the U.S. and the U.N. governing bodies.

  7. U.S. arming Syrian rebels, but refugees aiding them considered terrorists

    Authorized by Congress, the CIA has started sending weapons to Syrian rebels. But under a legal definition of terrorism adopted by the U.S. government after the Sept. 11 attacks, those same rebel groups are considered terrorist organizations.

    The designation could prevent some of the more than 2 million refugees who have fled Syria from coming to the United States, even if they haven’t actually taken up arms against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

  8. Homeland nothing like real intelligence work, say CIA employees

    Homeland is nothing like the mundane reality of intelligence work, say former CIA staff members.

  9. Dick Cheney cancels Toronto trip, says Canada is too dangerous

    Former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney has cancelled an April appearance in Toronto citing concerns Canada is too dangerous.

  10. 13-year-old shot to death by police for open-carrying a toy rifle
  11. Former US Official: For Every Yemen Terrorist US Drones Kill, 40-60 New Enemies Are Created

    The list of former U.S. officials who believe drone strikes create more enemies than they eliminate juts got a little bit longer.

  12. US official: Every Yemen drone strike creates 40-60 new enemies
  13. Each drone strike creates at least 40 new militants – ex-State Dept. official
  14. Simply put, US drones kill

    Earlier this week, I opened the Daily Cal to find a harmless-looking sketch of a U.S. military drone flying in a purple sky. Under it, I saw the title “Drones make America safer.” After reading the op-ed piece written by political science student Blair Rotert, I felt absolutely compelled to stop studying for my midterms and write a response from my background as a peace and conflict studies major.

    The ultimate claim in the article was, “Simply put, drones are a more effective and efficient way to combat our enemies. What’s the point in opposing that?” Well, in direct opposition to that, I find it necessary for someone to present the ineffectiveness and inefficiency of drones.

  15. Using drones to kill people for doing calisthenics

    One reason US assertions of limited civilian casualties in drone strikes don’t hold water.

  16. ‘Drone strikes killed more civilians than publicly acknowledged’ – UN investigator

    A UN report accuses the United States of downplaying the number of civilians killed in anti-terrorist drone operations, while failing to assist in the investigation by releasing its own figures.

  17. US drones strategy relies ‘too much on killing people, too little on solving the problems’

    US policymakers don’t even claim that all the targets of their drone strikes are posing a threat to the US, Phyllis Bennis, director of the Institute for Policy Studies, told RT.

  18. Drones kill rescuers in ‘double tap’, say activists

    Drones are often lauded for their supposed precision and accuracy. Sometimes, though, the machines – and their human operators – make mistakes, as two new reports from human rights organisations show.

  19. U.S. drone strikes killed Pakistani grandmother, laborers: Amnesty
  20. USA must be held to account for drone killings in Pakistan
  21. Drone strikes killing more civilians than U.S. admits, human rights groups say

    In Yemen, Human Rights Watch investigated six selected airstrikes since 2009 and concluded that at least 57 of the 82 people killed were civilians, including a pregnant woman and three children who perished in a September 2012 attack.

  22. Is ‘The Fifth Estate’s’ Box Office Bomb a Victory for Julian Assange?

    Just a week before the wide release of “The Fifth Estate,” the DreamWorks-produced WikiLeaks picture, Julian Assange accurately predicted how the movie would perform.

    “‘The Fifth Estate’ is going to fail,” he told the Hollywood Foreign Press Association via Skype from the Ecuador Embassy in London, where he has been residing in diplomatic asylum for more than a year.

    [...]

    Some have called the film’s dismal numbers a victory for Assange.

  23. WikiLeaks promotes ‘Mediastan’ documentary in US as ‘The Fifth Estate’ launches

    With WikiLeaks biopic The Fifth Estate launching today in the US, the organization will show its own competing film for free on the opening weekend. Mediastan, a documentary, is described as a “road movie” that follows WikiLeaks during its 2011 distribution of classified government cables. It’s positioned as an antidote to The Fifth Estate, which praises WikiLeaks’ overall mission but suggests the cable leaks were irresponsible and poorly planned. WikiLeaks has been consistently outraged through the hype cycle of both it and earlier documentary We Steal Secrets, and it’s now getting a chance to go firmly on the offensive.

  24. Taiwanese soldiers wearing ballistic masks look like ‘the cavalry from hell’

Black Tuesday 2013 is Tomorrow (Wall Street, New York)

Posted in Finance at 10:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

NYSE

Summary: Popular action centered around the NYSE is being organised (expected to take place tomorrow), seeking to restore justice and democracy

It’s not Black Friday and it’s not Halloween, either. Tomorrow will be Black Tuesday 2013 [1], which protests against the criminally ruthless nature of some people in New York and elsewhere [2] — people’s whose crimes even result in the deaths of people in poorer nations [3]. A professor of economics protests against this system as a whole [4,5] and another professor, Larry Lessig, hopes to save democracy [6] by raising funds for real elections (despite the fact that defaulting seems imminent, as money-printing practices bring back memories from Germany in the 1930s [7]).

Those who want to stand up against the robber barons will hopefully be able to attend the protest tomorrow (26 Wall St, New York). The Establishment tried to crush previous events of this kind using surveillance and false accusations of “terrorism” (leaks and bombshell disclosures revealed this). Don’t let the bankers get their way this time. The NSA/CIA/FBI sure couldn’t stop the weekend’s successful protest. The protesters received a lot of corporate/mainstream press coverage such as [8] and the coverage was largely positive and supportive, unlike that of OWS.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Black Tuesday 2013

    On Tuesday October 29, 2013. We will hold a demonstration to raise awareness that if Wall Street is allowed to continue greedy corrupt practices history will repeat itself.

  2. Co-op members finding out the harsh reality of mutual banking

    Billionaire Mark Brodsky’s New York hedge fund is, as one financier put it: “like the Terminator – [it] just keeps on coming”.

    The Co-operative Bank this week discovered the truth of that when, despite months of claims it could remain true to its mutual roots with its members in charge, Mr Brodsky and other aggressive hedge funds triumphed in their relentless bid to seize control.

    For Co-op members, the sudden turn of events was baffling. Hadn’t the bank agreed a rescue deal to resolve the £1.5bn black hole in its finances? Hadn’t it told the likes of Brodsky that they would have to sacrifice £500m and accept a minority stake in the business?

    For seasoned observers of Brodsky and his Aurelius fund his victory was no surprise. The former bankruptcy lawyer has made himself and his investors very rich from similar situations. “They are legal tourists, going around the world looking for opportunities to freeze assets and gain control,” says Tim Jones of the Jubilee Debt Campaign. Once they find their target, they will litigate patiently until achieving their profit. Aurelius’s Manhattan boardroom is said to be decorated with a timeline of a previous Brodsky project – the bankruptcy of satellite phone company Iridium. It spans a decade.

  3. The Bangladesh poor selling organs to pay debts

    Kalai, like many other villages in Bangladesh, appears a rural idyll at first sight. But several villagers here have resorted to selling organs to pay back microcredit loans that were meant to lift them out of poverty. Journalist Sophie Cousins reports on an alarming consequence of the microfinance revolution.

  4. State of Democracy Lecture Series “Can Democracy Cure Capitalism?”
  5. Richard Wolff on The Campbell Conversations

    Professor Wolff joins Grant Reeher on The Campbell Conversations and argues that our economic recovery has so far been a “fiction,” unless you’re in the top one percent, and he further claims that this problem reflects something much more fundamentally wrong with our modern system of capitalism. He finds a solution to the problem in a reconsideration of the way we govern the workplace.

  6. Can we afford citizen-funded elections yet?

    The shutdown — and the threat of default — cost the economy billions. (Here’s one estimate of $24 billion. The NYT has some lower (though in the billions) estimates.)

  7. Jim Rogers and Doug Casey: Never Before In History Have All Central Banks Printed At the Same Time

    As we noted last year, this is the first time in history that all central banks have printed money simultaneously … And that’s terrifying.

  8. Protesters march in Washington against NSA spying

    His latest disclosures showed that the United States may have tapped the phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, adding to the growing outrage against U.S. data-gathering practices abroad and prompting a phone call between Merkel and President Barack Obama.

Late October Links/News About Canonical, Ubuntu, and Derivatives

Posted in News Roundup at 10:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • Canonical/Ubuntu

    • PHP Attacked, the Shuttleworth Tea Party & More…

      It seem that many of Ubuntu’s detractors became upset at the reference to “the Open Source Tea Party.” My gawd, it was just a joke–and to make sure everyone knew he was just kidding, he followed it with a winky emoticon.

    • GIMP 2.9 (2.10 Development Builds) Available In New PPA For Ubuntu 13.10

      Thorsten Stettin has created a new PPA for Ubuntu / Linux Mint users who want to use the latest GIMP 2.9 development builds.

    • Ubuntu 13.10 Finally Released, Big Yawner

      Ubuntu 13.10 is officially released. Of course, it’s been in the news so much that the official announcement today feels like old news. But at least news of 14.04 will replace 13.10 next week. Until then, though, Ubuntu 13.10 is released for “Desktop, Server, Cloud, Phone, and Core products.”

    • Why system76 always ships the newest ubuntu
    • Ubuntu races toward convergence

      Canonical is moving ahead toward the convergence of mobile phone and desktop operating systems with the launch of Ubuntu 13.10 on Thursday.

    • Convergence In The Cloud

      Many of you will have heard about Ubuntu’s convergence goals on the client side — running a single, consistent code-base and experience that adapts to phones, desktops, tablets, and TVs…but are you aware of our convergence on the cloud?

    • Interesting facts about Ubuntu Linux

      Since the first release nine years ago today, Ubuntu Linux has been powering millions of PCs around the world. Love it or hate it, the Ubuntu project has made a great stride for the overall betterment of Linux, and no one can deny that. As its founder Mark Shuttleworth puts it, Ubuntu is all about total commitment to everyday users, making things “just work” for them.

      Celebrating its 9th birthday today, I am going to share interesting facts and history behind Ubuntu Linux.

    • 10 best features of Ubuntu 13.10

      Jack Wallen lists the 10 features that make Saucy Salamander a more polished Ubuntu distribution.

    • Taking Saucy Salamander for a spin

      On Thursday 17 October last week the latest release of Ubuntu 13.10- christened Saucy Salamander was released. The distribution- especially this current release- has been rocked by several controversies and has since dropped to number 3 on distrowatch. It however remains a veritable force to reckon with in the Linuxsphere where it has spawned a host of derivative distros such as the number one ranked Linux Mint. Countless blogs have been written on how to install it. I am here to offer some local tweaks to those guides.

    • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Opens For Development

      Things won’t get off to a rollicking start just yet. The early part of every development cycle is spent getting things up-to-date by syncing the latest versions of key development packages.

    • Happy Birthday, Ubuntu 4.10 Warty Warthog

      The first version of Ubuntu 4.10, Warty Warthog, was released on October 20, 2004, nine years ago, marking the beginning of a great journey.

    • Reflections On Ubuntu 13.10
    • Flavours and Variants

      • Xubuntu 13.10
      • Ubuntu Studio 13.10
      • Q&A: Clement Lefebvre: The man behind Linux Mint

        I got a Masters in Computer Sciences from the University of South Paris in 2001. I was mostly interested in game development, but as it happened, I worked for banks, telecom and software companies in France and in Ireland. I had various job titles (web developer, IT engineer, software developer, J2EE architect), and in one company I was teaching rather than coding, but most of time my job was to design and to develop software or web applications.

K Desktop Environment/KDE Software Compilation Attracts Funding, New Patrons

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, KDE at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Digia

Summary: Noting the continued momentum and importance of KDE

KDE is in many ways more advanced than its counterparts, which may make it hard for beginners to grasp but at the same time irreplaceable for longtime users [1]. Google is actively supporting KDE [2] and so does Digia [3,4], the company behind Qt (which has changed many hands but is still in Finland). Some KDE applications, such as GRUB2 Editor [5], are useful for both GNOME and KDE, just like GParted helps both. This takes us back to the point made in the previous short article.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Seven Things You Can Do in KDE (But Not on Other Linux Desktops)

    If you don’t know KDE, you don’t know what the Linux desktop can do.

  2. KDE Accomplishments – Google Summer of Code 2013

    Google Summer of Code 2013 (GSoC) brought fifty budding new shoots and branches to the mighty KDE family tree, and the canopy of warmth and love offered by the community helped them blossom and bloom in the three months of the program. With a few snips, a little trimming and pruning, they have learned, innovated, created and contributed to one of the largest free and open source communities in the world, and have developed software that will touch many people around the world. They now have their roots firmly planted in the KDE community with the successful completion of their projects and are ready to shelter budding shoots to come!

  3. Digia becomes KDE patron

    Digia, the company that acquired Qt from Nokia, has now joined KDE e.V as a patron. Digia looks after Qt development and it’s licencing to other companies. The company also looks after the Qt Project under open governance and KDE software is based on the Qt framework.

  4. Digia becomes Patron of KDE eV

    We are happy to announce that Digia is joining KDE e.V. as a Patron.

  5. GRUB2 Editor 0.6.4 Is the Perfect Tool for Your GRUB Needs

    GRUB2 Editor, a KDE Control Module for configuring the GRUB2 bootloader, is now at version 0.6.4.

GNOME Desktop 3.10 Continues to Bring Great GTK-based Applications to All GNU/Linux Users

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, KDE at 9:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GTK logo

Summary: A quick note addressing complaints regarding “fragmentation” and “benevolent dictators”

THE schism — perhaps even the rivalry — between KDE and GNOME (or Qt and GTK) often overlooks the fact that both sides benefit from the other. The more they both advance, the more applications GNU/Linux have and the more compelling platform GNU/Linux becomes for more people. With bridges between these two toolkits and desktop environments it is evident that those who use GNOME and KDE as an example of maligned “fragmentation” simply misunderstand or berate GNU/Linux using misconceptions. For choice and freedom to be more than just marketing terms we do need to have competing (and quasi-collaborating) toolkits and desktops. What’s important is standards and copyleft.

“If many users are unhappy with a direction that some project takes, then it is probably that a large fork/branch will develop.”Many nice applications come with the latest GNOME (either core applications [1,2] or non-core ones [3]). Developers are free to do with these applications as they please [4,5], even port them to Qt if they like it better, so complaints like [6] sort of miss the point. Developers are not in the business of pleasing every user, but they should at least allow any single individual to take the project in any desired direction. If many users are unhappy with a direction that some project takes, then it is probably that a large fork/branch will develop.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. GNOME Settings Daemon 3.10.1 Fixes Memory Leaks

    The GNOME developers announced a few days ago that the first maintenance release of the stable GNOME Settings Daemon 3.10 package, a daemon run by all GNOME sessions to provide live access to configuration settings and the changes done to them, is available for download.

  2. GNOME Control Center 3.10.1 Released with Multiple Improvements

    GNOME Control Center, GNOME’s main interface for configuration of various aspects of your desktop, is now at version 3.10.1.

  3. GNOME CAKE 3.10 – Fully Baked, No Bugs
  4. Learn how to compile from source Linux software with AbiWord 3
  5. Writing a GNOME thumbnailer

    How does GNOME generate thumbnails for files? It uses a collection of programs called thumbnailers, each one generating thumbnails for a specific set of content-types of files. For example, totem-video-thumbnailer generates thumbnails for video files using GStreamer; evince-thumbnailer generates thumbnails for PDFs and other document files.

  6. The Linuxsphere – Benevolent Dictators Need Not Apply

    The issue was improving Nautilus by bringing back the ability of adding color and texture to the background. For as long as I can remember, Gnome/Nautilus users have been able to set a background in this file manager.

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