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Links 5/5/2014: Linux 3.15 RC 4, oRouter Introduced

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 10:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source


  • Acrobats Fall 40 Feet During Circus Show

    A platform collapsed during an aerial hair-hanging stunt at a circus performance Sunday, sending eight acrobats plummeting to the ground. Nine performers were seriously injured in the fall, including a dancer below, while an unknown number of others suffered less serious injuries.

  • Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter speaks on modern ethics of journalism

    As 21st century reporters become increasingly confronted by issues regarding journalistic ethics, the newest generation of workers in this field will need to establish ways to face obstacles like WikiLeaks, whistleblowers, NSA surveillance and data mining.

  • Hardware

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Day U.S.-Supported Fascists began Murdering Civilians A Day that will Live in Infamy

      Those of us who grew up in the west after WWII believed that supporting anything resembling fascism was unthinkable.

      The moral degeneration of the U.S. state and its Nato allies since that time is almost beyond belief. So too is the degeneration of the Washington Post, New York Times, and other corporate media which have helped to delude large numbers of Americans into believing that Russia, which has killed or attacked no one, is somehow the aggressor in Ukraine.

      In reality, and on the ground, the U.S. government – with no mandate from the American people – is supporting a fascist/oligarch unelected Ukrainian ‘government’ installed in a coup spear-headed by two openly fascist parties, Svoboda and Right sector.

    • CIA and FBI specialists assisting Ukrainian government in Kiev, report says
    • The US Failed Plan for Ukraine is to Incite Russia to Intervene. The Kiev Coup Government is Already a Dying Entity

      Two days ago a mob, supported by the fascists Right Sektor, killed over 30 federalist Ukrainians in Odessa by pushing them from their camp into a building and then setting fire to it. Those who escaped the massacre, not the perpetrators, were rounded up by police. Today pro-federalism people besieged the police headquarter in Odessa until the police released those it had earlier arrested.

    • Putin Should Send Troops Into Ukraine
    • Can Ukraine be pulled back from the brink?
    • Another NYT ‘Sort of’ Retraction on Ukraine

      The mainstream U.S. media likes to talk about Ukraine as an “information war,” meaning that the Russians are making stuff up. But the false narratives are actually being hatched more on the U.S. side, as a new New York Times story acknowledges, writes Robert Parry.

    • America Backed Ukraine Neo-Nazis In the Immediate Wake of World War II

      American Government Backed Ukrainian Nazis … Same Group Supported By the Leader of the Protests which Toppled the Ukrainian Government In February

    • Ukraine Crisis Accelerating the Restructuring of the World

      The Ukrainian crisis has not radically changed the international situation but it has precipitated ongoing developments. Western propaganda, which has never been stronger, especially hides the reality of Western decline to the populations of NATO, but has no further effect on political reality. Inexorably, Russia and China, assisted by the other BRICS, occupy their rightful place in international relations.

    • F35 deal a gift to world’s biggest arms dealer

      Serious concerns about spiralling costs and design faults have been voiced by its chief customers — the governments of the US, Canada and Denmark — the company that is still developing the F35, Lockheed Martin, reported a 23% increase for its first quarter profits this year.

    • In ongoing protest: Anti-drone demonstrators continue monthly campaign

      For three years, they’ve watched the sky turn from black to blue — the sun rising over the Sierra Nevada range — as they denounce drones at Beale Air Force Base.

      The protesters gather monthly, flashing signs at the airmen driving onto base.

      “You can’t bomb the world to peace.”

      “Kill the drones, not innocent people.”

      Janie Kesselman, a peace activist from North San Juan, said the group’s goal is to end the “remote-controlled murder of innocent people.”

    • Obama doesn’t deserve deference on drone deaths

      Killing American citizens and foreign nationals without procedural and substantive protection runs contrary to our bedrock legal and democratic principles. Worse, the justifications for doing so are shrouded in secrecy, and the intellectual authors of those policies are shielded from accountability. The executive branch has repeatedly proved it cannot be entrusted with unbridled power to secure the nation without violating human and constitutional rights.

    • Paul starts new drone war

      Rand Paul has warned Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that he will place a hold on one of President Obama’s appellate court nominees because of his role in crafting the legal basis for Obama’s drone policy.

      Paul, the junior Republican senator from Kentucky, has informed Reid he will object to David Barron’s nomination to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals unless the Justice Department makes public the memos he authored justifying the killing of an American citizen in Yemen.

    • Activists Re-enact Yemen Wedding Bombed by U.S. Drones

      Activists gathered in front of the White House on Sunday to stage a re-enactment of a wedding in Yemen attacked by U.S. drones. Twelve civilians died when U.S. aircraft bombed their wedding procession in December. The killings sparked a ban on U.S. military drone strikes in Yemen, but they continue under the CIA.

    • Israeli pr attempts aside, drones deadly weapon

      Major S., deputy commander of Israel’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV, or drone) squadron, began his military career at the Israeli Army Computer Center, but was looking for “action” and transferred to the air force. In 2007 S. joined the training course to operate drones. 99% of course participants are those who dropped out of the air force’s pilot training course.

    • Why it is hypocritical to boycott Israel

      We’re not normally called upon to justify a decision to travel abroad. Few people would challenge me if I were visiting China, despite that country’s appalling human rights record, repression of free speech, and colonisation of Tibet. If I was travelling to America, even though Predator drones kill thousands of innocent people each year, and even though Guantanamo Bay still holds 154 detainees, nobody would complain.

    • Secret CIA arms cache most likely kept in Texas
    • CIA’s Secret ‘Midwest Depot’ Arms Cache Really in … Texas?

      Thomson, who says he wasn’t privy to information on the depot’s location during his CIA career, says the facility’s history should be examined. “I have worried about the extent to which the US has spread small arms around over the decades to various parties it supported,” he says. “Such weapons are pretty durable and, after the cause du jour passed, where did they go? To be a little dramatic about it, how many of those AK-47s and RPG-7s we see Islamists waving around today passed through the Midwest Depot on their way to freedom fighters in past decades?” His research can be found on the website of the Federation of American Scientists. Unsurprisingly, the CIA and Pentagon declined to comment on the matter but whatever the camp’s true purpose, documents reveal that there have been quite a few new warehouses built at the site in recent years, the NYT notes.

    • Venezuela: Wealthy stir violence while poor build new society

      Before Hugo Chavez became president of Venezuela in 1999, the barrios of Caracas, built provisionally on the hills surrounding the capital, did not even appear on the city map.

      Officially they did not exist, so neither the city nor the state maintained their infrastructure. The poor inhabitants of these neighbourhoods obtained water and electricity by tapping pipes and cables themselves. They lacked access to services such as garbage collection, health care and education.

      Today, residents of the same barrios are organising their communities through directly democratic assemblies known as communal councils ― of which Venezuela has more than 40,000.

    • White feather or bowler hat? Charlie Chaplin and the first world war
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Jacob Zuma’s palatial folly sparks anger and resentment amid poverty

      Nicholas Ngonyama gazes across the valley and his eye settles on a palatial cluster of sand-coloured buildings whose thatched roofs glow in the autumn sunshine. “I’m not happy,” mutters the homeless, jobless man. “The country is not happy. Too much money was spent on one man’s home. That money could have been spent improving the lives of the people. It feels like he is spitting in our face.”

      President Jacob Zuma’s personal Xanadu, complete with stately pleasure-dome, has imposed itself on the landscape of one of South Africa’s poorest areas, Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal. It covers the equivalent of eight and a half football pitches and has swallowed 246m rand (£13.7m) of taxpayers’ money. “Nkandlagate” has become the defining scandal of Zuma’s five-year reign and left him fighting for his political life in this week’s elections.

    • Welcome to Plutocrat-geddon! Obama and Thomas Friedman flatter our new billionaire overlords

      With the children of today’s baby boomers scheduled to inherit $30 trillion in the next several decades, politicians and the press are hard at work flattering plutocrats of all ages by portraying them as paragons of wisdom.

    • Too Big to Jail Continues: DOJ May Charge Two Banks with Criminal Acts, But Not Hold Them Criminally Accountable

      In a recent breathlessly written “we have the inside scoop” article, The New York Times would have you believe that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is finally getting serious about filing criminal charges against a couple of banks.

      Technically, the Times may prove to be right, but on a practical level, the actions it is predicting would be more of the same kid-glove treatment of too-big-to-fail banks we’ve seen in the past. As BuzzFlash at Truthout noted in commentaries last year, Attorney General Holder has officially stated his concern that prosecuting the largest banks would have adverse affects on our economy.

    • ABC funding: Protesters call on Abbott government not to cut money

      Hundreds have attended rallies in Melbourne and Sydney to call on the Abbott government not to cut funding to the public broadcaster ABC.

      There are fears that funding cuts will be made to the nation’s public broadcaster in the May budget after the Abbott government announced an efficiency review of the ABC and SBS

    • A letter to fans of Workfare

      It doesn’t matter how much reactionary rhetoric the right-wing press spew about the unemployed, nor how often government ministers and DWP employees call people without jobs “idle” or “scrounger” and complain that they are getting “handouts” – thier bile doesn’t make mandatory labour confiscation schemes any less wrong or any less economically illiterate.

      The tendency to vilify the unemployed is a classic example of the “blame the symptom, not the cause” propaganda strategy.

    • Bring rail under state’s control to win back power, Ed Miliband told

      Ed Miliband has come under pressure to bring the rail network back into national ownership if Labour wins the next election, as more than 30 of his party’s parliamentary candidates call for a bold new policy to improve services and control train fares.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Bill Clinton’s Critics Are…Who, Exactly?

      The Times is obviously aware of the existence of critics to Clinton’s left. Chozick mentions that some argue that Clinton’s policies “might have exacerbated the current inequality,” and writes that “some policy experts argue that the era of centrist Clinton economics may have expired.” But instead of quoting them, the Times goes back to Bill Clinton, one more time, for a challenge to that argument.

    • A letter to fans of Workfare
  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Homeless Grandmother Arrested 59 Times for Sitting on Sidewalk

      Here’s an interesting use of public resources: as part of a decade-long effort to “clean up” Skid Row in Los Angeles (i.e. run the homeless out of the area to ease development), the city of LA has spent at least a quarter of a million dollars arresting, prosecuting and jailing just one homeless woman, 59-year-old Ann Moody, mostly for sitting on a public sidewalk.


      Gusmão was also told of a simultaneous raid on the Canberra home of Timor-Leste’s key secret witness in the dispute. This former Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) agent had reportedly provided an affidavit alleging that Australian spies bugged the Timor-Leste government’s cabinet room in order to secure a commercial advantage for Australia during treaty negotiations in 2004. His passport had been confiscated in the raid, preventing him from travelling to The Hague, where the Permanent Court of Arbitration was due to hear Timor-Leste’s application to overturn the treaty.

    • The violence of the State & the crime of peaceful protest

      The .01% (the very very rich) keep their place and assert their will through capture of the political process — payments to their retainers in the three branches of government via money and other goods (judges are bribed by “other goods,” as you’ll read below). The NSA and other agencies of the Deep State (FBI, CIA, Homeland Security) spy on your every move in order to “keep order,” a nicely theoretical phrase.

    • “Disappearing” What Irks You — College Rape, Iraq, Spying

      Today, we “disappear” issues.* They are rendered non-issues through a related process of collective sublimation. It does leave traces, physical ones in archives and psychic ones at some level of mind among the few who have motive to maintain conscious awareness. However, so far as public discourse or political action is concerned, they have been reduced to a zombie status that renders them innocuous. This is a subtle process requiring the tacit cooperation of politicos, pundits, media types, and intellectuals whose complicity takes shape despite diverse purposes and diverse professional roles. The permissive factor is a public that prefers to have these matters swept out of sight and out of mind.

    • Protests Force Condoleezza Rice to Cancel $35K Rutgers Speech

      Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced Saturday that she is backing out of delivering the 2014 graduation commencement address at Rutgers University after protests by Rutgers faculty and students over her role in the Iraq War and torture. Rice was a leading hawk in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war.

    • Campus Activists Shut Down Condoleezza Rice Speech At Rutgers

      As a reminder of her central role, this first video is Condoleezza Rice openly defending the torture tactics implemented under George W. Bush, who himself stated to a British newspaper that it was “damn right” that he had authorized them.

    • “I’ll never apologize for my white privilege” guy is basically most of white America

      A college student who doesn’t believe in the existence of structural racism or white supremacy wrote an essay about why he would “never apologize” for his white privilege, and Time magazine thought it would be a really cool idea to publish it. Probably because Princeton University freshman Tal Fortgang speaks for many white Americans when he says that racism and white privilege aren’t real.

      Tired of being told to “check his privilege” by others at his college, Fortgang goes through his family’s history and concludes that he deserves to go to an Ivy League school and live in a wealthy suburb of New York City and share his ridiculous baby tantrum thoughts on a national news site because his family made smarter and better choices than other families.

    • How a Fatal Disaster at Mt. Everest Has Turned Into a Full-Blown Labor Struggle

      Mount Everest is known as a place that defies gravity, but it’s also a place for upturning social order. To the climber, it’s the pinnacle of a glorious trekking experience. To the anonymous laborer who supports the Westerners’ ascent, it’s a precarious front in a Global South class struggle.

      A fatal disaster on April 18 turned the underlying tensions into a full-blown stand-off: an avalanche near the Base Camp in the perilous Khumbu Ice Fall swallowed sixteen local guides and workers, mostly ethnic sherpas. Since then, the trauma has set off the collapse of the climbing season.

      The labor relations of Everest expose the ethical twists of the international adventure industry. Sherpas, who identify as an ethnic group as well as a professional community of guides and porters, do make a relatively good living, pulling in several thousand dollars each season (much more than what they’d earn farming). But the risks tend to be higher than the rewards. Statistically speaking, the fatality rate of sherpas is roughly twelve times higher than that of Iraq war soldiers, and avalanche is a leading cause of sherpas’ deaths.

    • 93 Countries Who Have Changed Their Minds About Obama

      The 2013 USGLP report includes a caveat that Europe and other areas were surveyed in early 2013, soon after Obama’s reelection and before revelations of NSA wire-tapping, so the improved 2013 figures may reflect a fleeting revival of hope rather than a favorable response to U.S. policy.

      A closer look at the U.S.-Global Leadership Project report reveals an erosion of approval for U.S. leadership in countries all over the world since 2009. The specific question Gallup asks is, “Do you approve or disapprove of the job performance of the leadership of the United States?” Large numbers in some countries refuse to answer or express no opinion, masking unvoiced disapproval behind fear, deference or politeness. I don’t believe that 71 percent of Vietnamese really have no opinion of U.S. global leadership. But the approval figures are probably not as flawed as the disapproval ones.

    • Senate Dems antsy over W.H. release of CIA report

      Wondering what happened to the controversial CIA interrogation report that the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify a month ago? So are many Senate Democrats.

    • Working the Dark Side

      A. The U.S. prison system. “The physical, mental, and sexual abuse glimpsed at Abu Ghraib is part of the daily experience for two million people caged in American prisons,” she writes. For example, here in Chicago, where I live, a police commander was convicted in 1991 of presiding over the torture of several hundred criminal suspects.

      B. Vietnam. During that disastrous war, the U.S. government “imprisoned those Vietnamese it considered ‘the enemy’ in tiger cages, subjected them to physical abuses, deprived them of food and water, and, as if all that was not bad enough, poured lye on them to burn and scar them,” Power writes.

      C. Latin America. Our involvement in our “backyard” over the decades has included collusion with and training of torturers in both military and police forces in many of the countries south of our border. The notorious School of the Americas has long stood as a symbol of such involvement.

      D. Slavery. Remember that? It was a way of life in the United States for a long time, and even after it ended, the dehumanization and repression of African-Americans continued. Lynchings were so common in the South they inspired a song, “Strange Fruit,” which Billie Holiday turned into a soul-haunting hit.

    • Afghanistan’s ‘Torturer In Chief’ Now Lives Comfortably In The LA Suburbs – And No One Knows How He Got There
    • After Failed Peace Talks, Pushing to Label Israel as Occupier of Palestine

      More than a year after Palestine was upgraded to become a nonmember observer state of the United Nations, the attributes of statehood exist mainly on official Palestinian letterhead.

      Now, with the collapse of the American-brokered Middle East negotiations, the Palestinian leadership is focusing on its diplomatic and legal struggle for international recognition of Palestine as a state under occupation and for Israel to be held accountable as the occupier.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Free Culture Activist Begins One Year ‘Net Fast’

      Daniel Strypey Bruce is a writer, performer, activist, GNU/Linux user, permaculturist, Occupier, facilitator, and community developer based in Ōtepoti/ Dunedin. A student of Te Reo Māori and tikanga Māori, he acknowledges the mana whenua of hapū and iwi in Aotearoa. An early advocate of online activism, he was a founder of Aotearoa.Indymedia.org, and CreativeCommons.org.nz, and has been blogging on free culture in all its form at Disintermedia.net.nz for over 5 years. Over the last two years he has served as Co-Director of Circulation Festival, a Council member for Permaculture in NZ, and Communications Offer for the Pirate Party of NZ, for whom he is now Orientation Officer.

    • Save the Internet! Prevent Mega-corporations from Destroying Internet Freedom

      To ensure the Internet is open to all on an equal basis we must act now to prevent mega-corporations from destroying Internet Freedom

      Update: Actions every day starting on Wednesday, May 7th, at noon and 5 pm. To Save The Internet, we are building a People’s Firewall against the FCC’s proposed rule that will create a ‘pay to play’ Internet by ending net neutrality. The FCC is located at 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Obama Blasted for Lumping Critics of Trade Deal Secrecy with ‘Conspiracy Theorists’

      ‘If the president is concerned that people don’t know what’s going on in the negotiations then the president should release the text and remove it from being a state secret.’

    • Copyrights

      • Kim Dotcom: RIAA, MPAA, DOJ deserve some thanks for Mega’s explosive growth

        Kim Dotcom’s latest venture, MEGA, has seen explosive growth in the last six months, with uploads tripling and now totaling 500 million per month.


        In my last column, I explained how the copyright monopoly is fundamentally incompatible with private communications as a concept, and how we must weigh a silly distribution monopoly for one of many entertainment industries against such vital functions of society as whistleblower protection, freedom of the press, and the ability to hold a private conversation in the first place. While this argument is strong, it does require a bit of intelligence and the ability to see how two ideas conflict, so it can be hard to get across to copyright monopoly pundits.

        The threat against private communications isn’t the only thing wrong with the copyright monopoly, of course. I have previously argued here on TorrentFreak that there’s really nothing defensible about the monopoly at all. But in order to break the spell of “publishers have always told me that the copyright monopoly is good and I have never had any reason to question their self-interest in the matter”, there are other tricks of honest, effective argumentation.

      • Court Tells Ex-Wife Of Husband Who Killed Himself To Use Copyright To Delete Anything He Ever Wrote Online
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