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06.15.14

Links 15/6/2014: News Catchup, Build-up for Another Iraq Invasion

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 10:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • p2p Video Chat
  • Open source electronics project: Oscilloscope

    A couple of years ago, I needed an oscilloscope for a fun electronics project I was working on: a 500W Tesla coil. I’d already spent quite a bit of money importing a kit of parts for the project from the United States, so the budget for the scope was pretty tight.

  • What Got You Involved in Open Source?

    If there is a “right way” to come in to open source, then surely this is it. So many people answered to say that their first brush with open source projects was that they spotted a problem somewhere in a tool they were using, and offered a fix. Open source is the combined effort of countless humans doing exactly this, and I was pleased and encouraged to find this as the biggest chunk of responders.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox risks user backlash by adding search box to new tab page

        Mozilla has pulled a “Chrome” by adding a search box to the new tab page in Firefox 31, which reached beta status yesterday and is slated to ship in final form on July 22.

      • Firefox OS Apps run on Android
      • You can run Firefox OS Apps on Android

        FireFox OS is the smartphone operating system from Mozilla. It is based on web technologies and FireFox OS apps are written in HTML5. Using WebGL FireFox apps can access the hardware elements of the smartphone and provide experience like a true native app. FireFox For Android 29 is bringing the Open Web Apps ecosystem to Android.

      • Mozilla begins repackaging Firefox OS apps for Android

        Mozilla has today extended its Open Web App repackaging to Android.

        Users of Firefox for Android are now able to install apps from the Firefox Marketplace, and have them install and behave like a regular Android app.

        “As a developer, you can now build your Open Web App for Firefox OS devices and have that app reach millions of existing Firefox for Android users without having to change a single line of code,” said the announcement blog post.

      • Mozilla and Spreadtrum get closer to $25 Firefox OS smartphone

        The Mozilla Foundation and chip maker Spreadtrum have partnered with two Indian vendors to launch ultra-low-cost smartphones in the next few months. Spreadtrum said the phones could cost just $25.

      • Firefox 30 Officially Lands in Ubuntu
      • Firefox 30 Officially Released

        Mozilla has officially released Firefox 30 for all supported operating systems. Firefox 30 is minor release as compared to 29 that came in with many new changes and complete user interface design. Some new features have been introduced in both desktop and mobile versions including the addition of new languages. Series of changes in were also implemented in the developer version of Firefox 30.

      • Firefox Runs On 64-bit ARM (AArch64)
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Is the government doing enough for computing?

      Preparations are under way for the biggest change in the UK’s approach to computing education – but Raspberry Pi’s education expert Clive Beale reveals that the government is not putting enough money where its mouth is

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 9.3-BETA3 Now Available

      The third BETA build of the 9.3-RELEASE release cycle is now available on the FTP servers for the amd64, i386, ia64, powerpc, powerpc64 and sparc64 architectures.

      This is expected to be the final -BETA build of the 9.3-RELEASE cycle.

      The image checksums follow at the end of this email.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • International team of scientists open sources search for malaria cure

      In late November 2012, the Open Source Malaria (OSM) team gained a new member who lived and worked almost 1700 kilometers away from the synthetic chemistry hub at the University of Sydney. Of course, collaboration across continents is not unusual for scientists, but until recently, recruitment in less than 140 characters certainly was.

    • 4 ways to make open science easier

      When it comes to opening up your work there is, ironically, a bit of a secret. Here it is: being open—in open science, open source software, or any other open community—can be hard. Sometimes it can be harder than being closed. In an effort to attract more people to the cause, advocates of openness tend to tout its benefits.

    • Digital archaeology and open source

      As its base layer, DINAA adapts governmental heritage management datasets for broader open and public uses. DINAA is an exercise in open government data and community data sharing based on open source standards and ethics. DINAA (from construction, through rollout, and into future planning) is an example of how digital is simply the way we do archaeology now, and what that means for us as professionals and social scientists.

    • Science

      • What makes this journal the most open?

        F1000Research, a scientific journal with a strong focus on open access and life sciences, operates quite differently than even the average open access journal. The team there uses new approaches to publishing scientific research; a few of their most noteable characteristics are:

      • Respected journal makes transition to open science
      • Scientists manage research with open source Zotero

        References and citations are what make the scientific and academic worlds go round. Everyone has their own system for keeping track of their research, from dumping everything onto a desk, to dumping everything into a folder (I like to call this the Pensky Method), to dumping everything into folders on a computer.

      • Using OpenStack for scientific research

        As scientists and researchers develop new and better methods for collecting data, from new sensor technology to advancements in data mining techniques, the sheer volume of data to be analyzed grows accordingly. For big data, you need big clusters, and OpenStack has proven to be an important tool for many scientific institutions seeking to manage and orchestrate their machines and workloads.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: June 2014
    • Scientific Graphing in Python

      In my last few articles, I looked at several different Python modules that are useful for doing computations. But, what tools are available to help you analyze the results from those computations? Although you could do some statistical analysis, sometimes the best tool is a graphical representation of the results. The human mind is extremely good at spotting patterns and seeing trends in visual information. To this end, the standard Python module for this type of work is matplotlib. With matplotlib, you can create complex graphics of your data to help you discover relations.

    • CMake 3.0 Released

Leftovers

  • IRS tells Congress it has lost trove of emails by central figure in tea party investigation

    This May 22, 2013 file photo shows Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner on Capitol Hill in Washington. The IRS says it has lost a trove of emails to and from a central figure in the agency’s tea party controversy. The IRS told congressional investigators Friday it cannot locate many of Lois Lerner’s emails prior to 2011 because her computer crashed that year. Lerner headed the IRS division that processed applications for tax-exempt status. The IRS acknowledged last year that agents had improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status by tea party and other conservative groups. The IRS was able to generate 24,000 Lerner emails from 2009 to 2011 because Lerner had copied in other IRS employees. But an untold number are gone. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

  • Masters of Love

    Science says lasting relationships come down to—you guessed it—kindness and generosity.

  • Cameron: ‘Stop being bashful about Britishness’

    People in the UK should stop being “bashful” about being British, the prime minister has urged.

    Writing in the Mail on Sunday, David Cameron said the country should be “far more muscular” in promoting its values and institutions.

    He repeated Education Secretary Michael Gove’s call to promote “British values” in the classroom following the Trojan Horse claims in Birmingham schools.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Exclusive: UK to step up collaboration with US over nuclear warheads

      Documents released under FoI reveal ‘enhanced collaboration’ plans, raising questions over independence of UK deterrent

    • Scottish independence: nuclear free promise for constitution

      The removal of nuclear weapons from Scottish soil should be part of a post-independence constitution, according to Scotland’s deputy first minister.

    • Tony Blair: west must intervene in Iraq

      Tony Blair has urged western governments to recognise that they need to take an active role in the Middle East, saying the west should consider military options short of sending ground troops.

      The former prime minister said there was a huge range of options available, including air strikes and drones as used in Libya.

      Blair was speaking on UK morning TV shows after writing a lengthy essay setting out how to respond to the Iraq crisis, including his belief that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was not the cause of the country’s implosion.

    • Tony Blair: ‘We didn’t cause Iraq crisis’
    • Iran sends troops into Iraq to aid fight against Isis militants

      Tehran hints at cooperation with US to aid Nouri al-Maliki as jihadist group threatens to take Baghdad

    • Convicted Soldier Warns Of ‘Lies’ About Iraq
    • Chelsea Manning says U.S. public lied to about Iraq from the start
    • Manning says U.S. public lied to about Iraq from the start
    • Manning says US lied about Iraq
    • Analysts: Misguided US invasion spawned crisis in Iraq
    • NATO’s Terror Hordes in Iraq a Pretext for Syria Invasion

      All roads lead to Baghdad and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is following them all, north from Syria and Turkey to south. Reading Western headlines, two fact-deficient narratives have begun gaining traction. The first is that this constitutes a “failure” of US policy in the Middle East, an alibi as to how the US and its NATO partners should in no way be seen as complicit in the current coordinated, massive, immensely funded and heavily armed terror blitzkrieg toward Baghdad. The second is how ISIS appears to have “sprung” from the sand dunes and date trees as a nearly professional military traveling in convoys of matching Toyota trucks without explanation.

    • US sends aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf as Obama considers air strikes in Iraq
    • The new left-right alliance in the US

      Political convergence between Republicans and Democrats has successfully passed popular legislation.

    • Mikdad: West’s Policies Uncovered During Crisis in Syria

      He affirmed that after the 9/11 attacks, the US has ordered its tools in the Persian Gulf to close windows of terrorism, but after the outbreak of the crisis in Syria, it sent billions of Dollars through the Persian Gulf Arab states to the terrorist groups to kill the Syrians.

    • ‘Pattern of Life,’ a tale of modern warfare

      Rahmat, meanwhile, hates and fears the drones, which deal death and destruction from above in a land where there’s already too much of both. Directly and indirectly, they cut him off from a better future, and even fuel support for the Taliban.

      “For me the research was about figuring out what that world is like,” said Nacer. “There’s a great website, Living Under Drones, that’s exactly what it is, what life under drones is like. It’s terror, all the time, because drones are up there 24/7.”

    • U.S. drone attacks shrouded in secrecy, possible illegalities
    • Choice between parties is already quite clear

      One party chooses to concentrate on the destruction of a State Department/CIA outpost in Africa…

    • The Milk Carton GuyThe Milk Carton Guy

      Bergdahl Critics Didn’t Howl When Bush Freed Prisoners

    • US does more harm than good with military intervention on foreign soil
    • What made CIA resume drone attacks?

      These developments include the June 5 Islamabad High Court order to lodge a murder case against ex-CIA station chief, Jonathan Banks, the June 6 Karachi Airport attack by the Taliban and the subsequent collapse of the Govt-TTP talks, the rising terrorist activities of the Haqqani network across the border in Afghanistan and the May 31 release of a US soldier who was reportedly being kept in the Waziristan tribal belt by the Haqqanis.

    • U.S. drone attacks shrouded in secrecy, possible illegalities

      What happens if China or North Korea start to undertake the same actions as the United States is taking? Japan will also face a similar problem as its Self-Defense Forces plan to introduce three UAVs in five years starting this fiscal year.

    • The Fog Machine of War

      The U.S. Military’s Campaign Against Media Freedom

    • Protesters throw stones, firecrackers, Molotov cocktail at Russian embassy in Kiev

      Footage from the scene then showed protesters upturning several diplomatic cars parked in front of the embassy. The vehicles also had their number plates ripped off and were covered by graffiti. Someone drew several swastikas in the colors of the Ukrainian flag on one of the cars.

    • Two Occupations Ending in Hopeless Disasters

      The U.S. formally ended its occupation of Japan, while maintaining a vast military presence, in 1952. The economy, largely due to U.S. military special procurements, had finally revived to the 1937 level during the Korean War, then grown to 150% of that level by 1952. There was stability; labor demonstrations and protests against U.S. bases were common and sometimes violent, but there was nothing remotely resembling civil war. It surely was a success story, from Washington’s point of view, if not necessarily from the point of view of the Japanese obliged to forego neutrality in the Cold War.

    • The Lack of Major Wars May Be Hurting Economic Growth

      An additional explanation of slow growth is now receiving attention, however. It is the persistence and expectation of peace.

    • US should stay out of Iraq, that war was a lie and repeating it would be a crime

      Going to Iraq for the first time was like lighting a lighter and putting it under your hand. You get burnt badly, but the lighter company got to make money. You should have learned the lesson.

      Now Republicans want us to do it again. They want us to put our hands on the lighter again, because they probably get paid for buying the lighters or that’s how they control the mindset of misinformed Americans.

      Republican leaders are not idiots (they are smart and know a majority of Americans have below average IQ (thanks to glorification of not going to school, dropping out or making it to expensive to get any education) and they won’t be able to fully understand these issues so they hit where they know it will work. And they are doing it again with Iraq, making us all forget it it was a fraud and Bush should be serving life time sentence for murder of innocent men & women or US armed forces as well as innocent Irqis.

    • THE IRAQ MESS: PLACE BLAME WHERE IT IS DESERVED
    • Dear Tony Blair, thanks for everything, hope you enjoy the oil, Love – Iraq

      According to your website you’ve got about six jobs, Google says you own seven or eight houses and you privately jet about the world a lot visiting media moguls, their wives, their ranches and their yachts.

    • Inspector General Reveals Staggering Waste in Afghan War

      A new round of comments from Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko has revealed Pentagon waste was even more staggering than previously imagined, with billions likely spent on war materiel that was not only never used, but never even sent to Afghanistan.

    • Deadly Fiasco

      The present problems of Iraq are 100% down to our murderous invasion and occupation.

    • Facebook, YouTube, Twitter Blocked in Iraq Amid Crisis

      As Iraq faces a growing insurgency in the north that is threatening to pull the country apart, the country’s Ministry of Communications has blocked access to a number of social media sites on Friday.

    • Facebook, Google, Twitter and YouTube blocked in Iraq
    • Drone strikes kill three suspected militants in Yemen

      Wealthy Gulf neighbours and the West fear for the stability of Yemen, which shares a long border with the world’s top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia.

    • Drone kill communications net illustrated

      Computer Weekly can illustrate how a UK network connection forms part of a US weapons targeting system that has slaughtered civilians in anti-terrorist attacks gone wrong.

      The illustrations add credibility to a legal challenge begun last month over a 2012 contract BT won to build the UK branch of the system – a fibre optic network line between RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire and Camp Lemonnier, a US military base in Djibouti, North Africa.

      British officials had been slow to finger the BT contract under human rights rules because they said there was no evidence to suggest the UK connection was associated with US drone strikes, let alone any that had gone wrong.

    • Issues of drone warfare get a female pilot’s human face

      Eventually, being in charge of this new kind of death-from-above exacts an emotional and even hallucinatory toll, building up to a crescendo with shattering consequences.

    • Debate: Is Human Rights Watch Too Close to US Government to Criticize Its Foreign Policy?

      Human Rights Watch, one of the world’s largest and most influential human rights organizations, is facing an unusual amount of public criticism. Two Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire, and a group of over 100 scholars have written an open letter criticizing what they describe as a revolving door with the U.S. government that impacts HRW’s work in certain countries, including Venezuela. The letter urges HRW to bar those who have crafted or executed U.S. foreign policy from serving as staff, advisers or board members. Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth has defended his organization’s independence, responding: “We are careful to ensure that prior affiliations do not affect the impartiality of Human Rights Watch’s work. … We routinely expose, document and denounce human rights violations by the US government, including torture, indefinite detention, illegal renditions, unchecked mass surveillance, abusive use of drones, harsh sentencing and racial disparity in criminal justice, and an unfair and ineffective immigration system.” We host a debate between HRW counsel Reed Brody and Keane Bhatt, a writer and activist who organized the open letter.

    • Bush makes birthday parachute jump

      Former US President George H W Bush celebrated his 90th birthday today by making a tandem parachute jump near his summer home in Maine, fulfilling a promise made five years ago despite having lost the use of his legs.

    • When Johnny Comes Marching Home

      Their reality is seen in bipartisan politicians creating a deficit of trillions of dollars to fund the unlawful wars of choice against Afghanistan and Iraq, and then failing to anticipate and provide adequate care for the large number of wounded veterans returning home. The long delays and cover-ups in treating veterans at the Phoenix VA medical center and elsewhere indicate that no soldiers are left behind—until they come home. Never mind that there would be no need for such extensive medical care for “wounded warriors” if former President George W. Bush and his vice president Dick Cheney– and their neocon advisors—had not launched these unnecessary, illegal pre-emptive wars.

    • Neill and Bronwyn Dowrick want evidence their son Chris Harvard had become a jihadist in Yemen

      Queensland parents Neill and Bronwyn Dowrick are demanding federal authorities provide hard evidence to show the Islam convert and English language teacher had been “radicalised’’ and become a foot soldier in the Holy War.

    • Pakistan denies ‘express approval’ for drone hits

      Apparently in a belated but calculated reaction, Pakistan strongly condemned Thursday the two incidents of drone strikes near Miranshah in North Waziristan which reportedly killed at least 16 foreign militants amid suspicions the two countries coordinated over the attack in the aftermath of a Taliban siege of Karachi airport.

      Reports earlier quoted two unnamed government officials as saying Islamabad had given the Americans ‘express approval’ for the strikes. Underlining Pakistan’s alarm over the brazen Taliban attack on the airport, just weeks after peace talks with the militants stalled, the top officials told Reuters a ‘joint Pakistan-US operation’ had been ordered to hit the insurgents.

      Another official said Pakistan had asked the United States for help after the attack on the country’s busiest airport on Sunday, and would be intensifying air strikes on militant hideouts in coming days.

    • Drone strikes revival

      The intriguing aspect of the revival of the drone strikes is whether they have been restarted with the ‘express approval’ of Pakistan.

    • What made CIA resume drone attacks?

      At a time when the American CIA’s targeted killing programme in the tribal areas of Pakistan was winding down, some recent developments seem to have made the US resume its deadly drone strikes after an unprecedented break of six months.

    • Resumption of drone strikes raises questions

      After an unanticipated long break, the American CIA resumed its controversial drone programme in Pakistan’s restive North Waziristan tribal region raising concerns among its critics whether Islamabad has given a tacit go-ahead for fresh strikes.

    • Anonymous Pakistani Government Officials Suggest Drone Strikes to Intensify in Coming Days
    • Back to Iraq? No Troops, But Obama Ponders ‘Other Options’
    • Lack of intelligence: What CIA chief said is ‘never going to happen’ is happening in Iraq and Syria

      When CIA Director John Brennan — then the White House counterterrorism adviser — laid out the Obama administration’s new approach to fighting Islamist terrorism on June 29, 2011, he mocked conservatives who suggested that Islamist extremists were plotting to re-establish a caliphate across the Middle East.

    • Wilson explores CIA and Ukraine

      “Coming into my freshman year, I was very interested in the history of intelligence and espionage, which was something I didn’t know much about. I ended up working with two great professors – one of whom actually spent 30 years as an undercover CIA officer during the Cold War – and continued researching the CIA even after my career focus shifted to business and finance.”

    • Why the CIA presence on Twitter is a really bad idea

      The CIA doesn’t need a brand. If anything, the agency is supposed to be all about discretion and secretiveness, meaning that it should be defined solely by its conspicuous absence. In fact, if the CIA ever wanted to run a TV ad, it should consist of 30 seconds of silence and a black screen. People would be left scratching their heads, unsure about who would even pay for such a thing, let alone what the objective was. And that would be the whole idea.

    • Wikileaks Had A Great Response To The CIA Joining Twitter
    • Dr. Zhivago’s CIA Connection and the Pope

      What made Doctor Zhivago such a bitter pill for Khrushchev’s regime to swallow? Unlike Solzhenitsyn’s book, which was a head-on indictment of Soviet crimes, Pasternak’s novel was a poetic and abstract work, most of whose literary energy goes into miraculously vivid descriptions of weather and nature. Indeed, Doctor Zhivago was Pasternak’s first and only novel; before he started writing it, in 1945, he had been famous as a lyric poet and translator of Shakespeare. It was partly Pasternak’s great stature as a poet—he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature several times on the strength of his verse alone—that made it difficult for the Soviet leadership to deal with him. If even Stalin, in his massacre of Soviet writers, had taken care to spare Pasternak, how could Khrushchev—who was supposed to be presiding over a “thaw” in Soviet cultural life—dare to silence or jail him?

    • Why foreign-funded NGOs need to be monitored

      Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer, in 2012, had accused the United States Government of funding environmental group Greenpeace via the CIA to undermine Australia’s coal mining sector. He was reportedly angry at Greenpeace’s plan to use lawyers to thwart future coal mining projects and claimed that funding is coming from an American environmental charity, the Rockefeller Foundation. He alleged it is funded by the CIA and is trying to harm Australia’s industry and help American interests.

    • Neocons Double-Down on Iraq/Syria

      America’s neocons won’t let go of their Middle East delusions, now trying to leverage the worsening crisis in Iraq into an excuse to return U.S. forces to that tragic country while also escalating military involvement in Syria, a compounding of misjudgments, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

    • US counter-terrorism abroad: Fighting terrorism or encouraging it?

      The US has a disastrous record of involvement in ‘counter-insurgency’ efforts in Central America.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • “Siggi Hacker” Charged With Multiple Fraud And Theft Counts

      Sigurður Ingi Þórðarson, also known as “Siggi Hacker”, will tomorrow arrive in Reykjanes District Court to face charges of embezzlement, fraud, and theft adding up to about 30 million ISK.

      DV reports that Sigurður faces a total of 18 counts of the charges, ranging from funneling millions into a private bank account from Wikileaks to using the accounts of companies to which he did not belong to buy everything from laptops to fast food.

    • Peru: WikiLeaks cables shed light on US massacre role

      The FTA granted greater rights to US investors. These included Colorado-based Newmont Mining, which had billions of dollars of interests in the area affected by protests.

      Newmont, the world’s second-largest gold-mining company, holds a majority stake in Yanacocha, one of the world’s largest gold mines. Newmont is now developing the Conga mine, the biggest ever foreign investment in Peru.

      Another cable, sent on June 5, provides an account of the outbreak of violence. Police sources cited by the ambassador said about 600 police moved on the blockade outside Bagua involving thousands of protesters.

      Police started firing after a group of about 60 of their own became isolated and surrounded by the Amazonian protesters. Police sources claim that protesters triggered the violence by firing on a helicopter that was shooting tear gas into the crowd in support of the isolated police.

      The police shot dead 10 protesters. Human rights groups later reported six indigenous men as missing, presumed dead.

    • “Getting Away with Murder”: Immunity of US Intelligence from Criminal Prosecution

      The very day 33-year old Michael Hastings died last year, he was busily contacting friends and associates including WikiLeaks to report that he was under an FBI investigation. He feared that his car had been tampered with, and even went so far as to ask a neighbor friend if he could borrow her car just hours before his death. Hastings also announced that he was about to release a major bombshell of a news story involving covert operations deployed by US intelligence agencies, specifically targeting current CIA Director John Brennan. The UK’s Daily Mirror published an August 15, 2013 article stating the CIA contractor Stratfor’s president claimed that Brennan was on a “witch hunt” for investigative journalists, which of course is consistent with the Obama administration.

    • Wikileaks Says Ukraine’s Poroshenko ‘Was US Informant’

      Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko handed to the US Embassy in Kiev inside information on the forging of a coalition government in 2006, according to Wikileaks data.

    • Wikileaks exposes dark sides of Ukraine’s Poroshenko, Tymoshenko
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Koch Brothers Unveil New Strategy at Big Donor Retreat

      In the face of expanding energy regulations, stepped-up Democratic attacks and the ongoing fight over Obamacare, the billionaire Koch brothers and scores of wealthy allies have set an initial 2014 fundraising target of $290 million which should boost GOP candidates and support dozens of conservative groups—including a new energy initiative with what looks like a deregulatory, pro-consumer spin, The Daily Beast has learned.

    • Virunga is saved but Africa’s wildlife is being encircled sliver by sliver

      Campaigners have managed to keep the Congo national park free from drilling just as protected sites elsewhere are being cravenly redrawn

  • Finance

    • Lord Lucan was ‘smuggled out of Britain by ex-MI5 agent and hidden in Greek monastery’

      Lord Lucan was smuggled out of Britain to a remote Greek monastery by a former MI5 agent after the murder of his children’s nanny.

      The sensational claim is made in a new book which tells how spook James Gurney helped to mastermind the elaborate escape.

      Gurney says he moved the fugitive from a country pub in Kent to a remote safe house in Wiltshire before they boarded a flight from Heathrow to Greece.

    • The emergence of the neoliberal containment state in Canada | Part I

      The last decade in Canada has seen the strengthening of the instruments of repression of the Canadian State such that we can now begin to describe and analyze the neoliberal containment state as a specific set of policies and institutions. These policies and institutions are aimed at containing the growing social ‘disorder’ and emerging resistance that have resulted from 30 years of the neoliberal economic order.

    • Detroit’s Sad Decline Is Shown In These Shocking Transformation Photos

      It’s no secret that the city of Detroit is not the thriving industrial city that it once was, but as things decay over time, it’s sometimes hard to notice just how drastic some of the changes have been. Redditor Scarbane has compiled a startling collection of images from Google Street View showing just how much things have deteriorated in just a few years. These pictures broke my heart a little bit…

    • Yo Walmart, Go Subsidize Yourself

      Every year taxpayers subsidize Walmart – the world’s wealthiest corporation 1 – to the tune of $7.8 BILLION!

      HUH? Walmart, America’s largest private employer, raked in $17 billion in profit last year 2; its owners, the Walton family, have more wealth than the bottom 42% of Americans combined 3. But every year, Walmart’s poverty wages and extensive tax dodging cost taxpayers $7.8 BILLION in subsidies.

    • Richard Rockefeller Dies in Plane Crash

      Mr. Rockefeller, the son of David Rockefeller and an advisory trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, was the only person on board the aircraft, an airport official said.

    • About $18 million worth of Bitcoins going up for auction later in June

      The auction of the 29,000 bitcoins is scheduled to take place on the 27th of June over 12 hours. Interested bidders need to register themselves by 12 p.m. EST of 23rd June. They are also required to make a deposit of $200,000 through wire from a bank within the US. In addition, the participants need to provide a government issued ID and prove that they are not affiliated or related in anyways to either Ulbricht or Silk Road. All the bitcoins will be broken up into 10 chunks with each bidder able to bid on multiple chunks.

    • US government selling nearly $18 million in bitcoin seized from Silk Road

      Looking to buy some Bitcoin? The US government has plenty to sell. It’s put up for auction the more than 29,000 bitcoins that it seized from the underground drug sales site Silk Road earlier this year, all of which are currently valued at close to $18 million. The auction will occur and close later this month, and bidders won’t be required to purchase the entire, expensive chunk. Instead, it’ll be broken up into 10 chunks, most of which are worth about $1.8 million, and interested parties can bid on as many chunks as they want.

    • 10 Photos of Amazon Chiefs’ Clash With Brazilian Police at World Cup Protests

      According to The Week, protestors said that the cup’s $1 billion budget should have been used to support the country’s poorest regions through government funded programs.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • When Is Terrorism Not Terrorism?

      ABC-VEgasWhen a husband and wife allegedly murdered two police officers and a bystander in Las Vegas, the story received a lot of coverage. But it was coverage that mostly failed to call the crimes “terrorism,” despite the alleged killers leaving behind a note that said, “The revolution is beginning,” and a Revolutionary-era “Don’t Tread on Me” flag closely associated with both the Patriot and Tea Party movements (Hatewatch, 6/9/14). The couple, both white, were also associated with far-right causes and had expressed extreme hostility toward authorities.

    • Plagiarism: Why It Matters

      When a reporter fabricates stories, or passes along government lies as truth, people can get killed.

    • How Finance Controls the White House

      Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters by Andrew Kreig (Eagle View Books 2013) is a comprehensive expose of the wealthy corporate interests who are the real power behind the federal government. Kreig orients his book around Obama and Romney, the major presidential candidates in the 2012 elections. However in discussing Mitt Romney’s hidden ties to the financial oligarchy, he also explores the Bush family’s Wall Street connections, the history and structure of the Mormon Church (especially as it relates to corporate America) and Karl Rove’s role in orchestrating Republican dirty tricks and voting fraud. Presidential Puppetry is meticulously researched and sourced, with a 17 page bibliography and 110 pages of footnotes and references.

  • Censorship

    • Twitter Has Suspended An ISIS Account That Live-Tweeted Its Advance In Iraq

      Twitter has suspended at least six accounts affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the extremist group gaining ground in Iraq and Syria since fighting escalated this week.

    • Police block publication of human rights newsletter, accuse group of trying to oust government

      Egyptian security forces confiscated copies of a human rights group’s newsletter, saying the publication threatened the government, the head of the group said Sunday.

      Gamal Eid, the head of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, said police seized 1,000 copies of the publication, entitled Wasla, or Link, from the print shop the night before, also arresting a worker at the press.

    • A Tribe Called Red Accused Of Racism Over ‘Caucasians’ T-Shirt

      A Tribe Called Red’s Ian “Deejay NDN” Campeau has become one of Canada’s most high-profile First Nations activists. As his Ottawa-based electronic music crew have surfed EDM’s wave to unprecedented heights — including a Juno Award for breakthrough group and Rolling Stone shoutout — Campeau has used his public profile to raise awareness about respecting Aboriginal culture.

    • Steve Coogan joins Index on Censorship as patron

      Steve Coogan has become a patron of Index on Censorship, the international organisation that promotes and defends the right to freedom of expression.

      “We are delighted that Steve has agreed to be a patron of Index,” said its newly appointed chief executive Jodie Ginsberg.

      “Comedians, writers and performers often bear the brunt of attempts to stifle free expression – in both authoritarian regimes and in democracies.”

      Coogan said: “Creative and artistic freedom of expression is something to be cherished where it exists and fought for where it doesn’t. This is what Index on Censorship does. I am pleased to lend my support and patronage to such an important cause.”

    • Global media body condemns soft censorship by governments

      A new report by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN) has strongly condemned “soft censorship” by governments and regulators as a “very serious threat to media independence and the very viability of media companies”. WAN, which is the umbrella organization of newspapers representing more than 18,000 publications and 15,000 online sites in 120 countries around the world, has urgently called for rapid action to stop this blatant repression of media and press freedom.

    • Behind the Great Firewall: What it’s really like to log on from China

      Censorship in China affects many popular Internet services and websites, but there are ways to make do

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Disbelief as FBI frames up St. Petersburg Florida man

      The US government used informants and spies to coax Osmakac into making “radical YouTube videos”. The FBI eventually got him to buy fake weapons, with money the FBI gave him, and then arrested him on felony charges. Osmakac’s trial is like many others in the US, where the government prosecutes Muslims and Arab-Americans for pre-emptive crimes–crimes the FBI sets up, but that are not actually committed. Osmakac’s defense said that the FBI entrapped a mentally ill man.

    • U.S. government lies as Sami Osmakac trial begins

      The federal prosecutors are using recordings from two FBI informants who had been spying on Osmakac or months. However, he had been talking with and led on by FBI informants for much longer. Sami Osmakac’s brother Avni Osmakac, said he had “seen agents around his house every day since 2010.” Their house frequently had undercover police vehicles parked nearby. Back then Sami had worked as a grocery stocker for a local market. This is where they think he met the first government informant. From there he spent over a year being coaxed and pushed by agents into making “radical YouTube videos”. He was eventually guided into buying fake weapons with money given to him by the FBI. Government videos show FBI informants teaching and pushing Sami into committing acts of terrorism.

    • Terrorism trial in Tampa coming to a close

      Osmakac was using government money to buy government weapons, Tragos said. The FBI was on “both sides of this transaction.”

    • A Party At The Last Magazine: An Exclusive Excerpt From Michael Hastings’ New Novel

      Michael Hastings was one of our generation’s best, most driven, and fearless reporters. His work at Rolling Stone changed the course of the American war in Afghanistan. At BuzzFeed, he told the story of the 2012 election and was building a beat on the dark side of Hollywood when he was killed in a car crash at 33, one year ago.

      Michael’s obsessive observation, his drive to figure it out, extended to his own profession. In his last years, he became obsessed with the internet, seeing, more so than most of his peers, that it would be a great home for big narratives. But Michael was ready for the change because he had seen the big changes shaking his business up close, watching the death throes of a great print institution as a young reporter for Newsweek from 2003 to 2008. It turns out that he observed that experience with the same obsessiveness and the same reflection.

    • Brazilian police fire tear gas at World Cup protesters
    • Ben Dangl: Capitalism’s Bullets in Latin America

      The notorious US private militia group Academi – previously known as Blackwater – trained Brazilian security forces in North Carolina in preparation for the current World Cup in Brazil, as reported by sportswriter Dave Zirin. Zirin pointed to the 2009 diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, which revealed that Washington viewed the expected World Cup-related crises as opportunities for US involvement. Zirin wrote that for Washington, “Brazil’s misery created room for opportunism.”

      Capitalism’s bullets follow the World Cup just as they do Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) signed with the US. Five years ago this month, protests were raging in northern Peru where thousands of indigenous Awajun and Wambis men, women and children were blockading roads against oil, logging and gas exploitation on Amazonian land. The Peruvian government, having just signed an FTA with the US, was unsure how to deal with the protests – partly because the controversial concessions in the Amazon were granted to meet the FTA requirements. According to a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, on June 1st, 2009 the US State Department sent a message to the US Embassy in Lima: “Should Congress and [Peruvian] President Garcia give in to the [protesters’] pressure, there would be implications for the recently implemented Peru-US Free Trade Agreement.” Four days later, the Peruvian government responded to the protest with deadly violence, leading to a conflict which left 32 dead.

    • Activists Poured Concrete All Over Some ‘Anti-Homeless’ Spikes This Morning

      The war against London’s “anti-homeless” spikes escalated today from sign-waving to radical criminal action. In the small hours of the morning, some activists dressed as builders poured concrete over the metal spikes outside a Tesco Metro on Regent Street, before vowing to strike again.

    • Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown

      Social science is being militarised to develop ‘operational tools’ to target peaceful activists and protest movements

    • U.S. officials scrambled to nab Snowden, hoping he would take a wrong step. He didn’t.

      U.S. officials thought they saw such an opening on July 2 when Bolivian President Evo Morales, who expressed support for Snowden, left Moscow aboard his presidential aircraft. The decision to divert that plane ended in embarrassment when it was searched in Vienna and Snowden was not aboard.

    • Did US Send CIA Rendition Jet To Europe In The Hope Of Grabbing Snowden?

      The story’s credibility is greatly enhanced by virtue of who wrote it. Duncan Campbell has an unmatched track record for covering the world of spies and surveillance, which includes being the first to reveal the existence of both GCHQ and Echelon, the precursor to today’s Five Eyes surveillance system.

    • CIA rendition jet was waiting in Europe to SNATCH SNOWDEN

      As the whistleblowing NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden made his dramatic escape to Russia a year ago, a secret US government jet – previously employed in CIA “rendition” flights on which terror suspects disappeared into invisible “black” imprisonment – flew into Europe in a bid to spirit him back to America, the Register can reveal.

    • Instagrams from Auschwitz

      Still, many take pictures. Crowds gather in front of the ARBEIT MACHT FREI gate in waves, photographing it almost synchronously, because you can’t not take a picture of it. Some people pose under it and have their companions take their pictures. A few people take selfies. It’s weird. Where does the impulse to take a picture of the entrance to a place of horror come from? Because hardly anyone took pictures when it was happening? As evidence that you have visited?

    • America is Rapidly Being Transformed into a “Controlled” State

      While many Americans don’t seem to comprehend what’s happening all around them, the U.S government is implementing more methods of surveillance over this society and many of its agencies are acquiring more powerful weaponry. And now we are also seeing state and local law enforcement agencies following this government’s initiative of establishing greater and greater control over the American people. And that most certainly does not bode well for those who still value their privacy and rights under the Constitution.

      It seems as if the U.S. government is waging two Wars on Terror; one in foreign lands against Al-Qaeda and one here within this country and society. So with that in mind let’s examine some of the distinct similarities that are present in the U.S. government’s foreign surveillance and methods of hunting down suspected terrorists around the world and those same strategies and tactics that it and various other law enforcement agencies are using here in America.

      First let’s talk about surveillance. It’s no secret that, for many decades, the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies have been conducting comprehensive surveillance operations on various foreign governments and specific individuals in those countries. That’s been going on for so long that few Americans even give it a second thought.

    • Gov’t must give up 5 secret surveillance docs for court to review, judge orders

      In a key transparency case, a federal judge has ordered the United States government to hand over four orders and one opinion from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) published in secret between 2005 and 2008. US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers will then review those documents in private.

    • Senate’s Latest NDAA Draft Further Tramples Americans’ Rights

      Senior legislative counsel for the ACLU estimates that if the Senate has its way, 100 U.S. citizens could immediately find themselves in Guantánamo-like indefinite detention.

    • Massachusetts Town Nullifies NDAA Indefinite Detention
    • NDAA, Barring The US From Indefinitely Detaining, Assassinating US Citizens
    • Black Man Driving Wife to Work Accused of Being Illegal Cab Driver: Lawsuit

      After dropping Palermo off, Keys was pulled over by TLC investigators and accused of operating the black Town Car as an illegal cab, according to the lawsuit filed last week in Queens Supreme Court.

    • The Tyranny of the Taxi Medallions

      The life of a taxi driver is hard. When cabbies start a shift, they owe about $100 to their company as payment just for the opportunity drive a taxi. They might not break even until halfway through their shift, or maybe not at all that day. In most American cities, they have to work very long hours to make a living.

      During a shift, taxi drivers play a strange form of roulette when they pick up anonymous customers. The customer could be a pleasant family that tips them well, a drunk college kid that vomits in their car, or a violent criminal that robs and assaults them. After the customer leaves the car, there is no record of their behavior in the taxi.

    • The Forgotten Fight Against Fascism

      Anyone who has gone through school in the United States knows that history textbooks devote a lot of attention to the so-called “Good War”: World War II. A typical textbook, Holt McDougal’s The Americans, includes 61 pages covering the buildup to World War II and the war itself. Today’s texts acknowledge “blemishes” like the internment of Japanese Americans, but the texts either ignore or gloss over the fact that for almost a decade, during the earliest fascist invasions of Asia, Africa, and Europe, the Western democracies encouraged rather than fought Hitler and Mussolini, and sometimes gave them material aid.

    • Defence officials prepare to fight the poor, activists and minorities (and commies)

      The self-defeating logic of militarised social science targets anti-capitalist ‘extremists’ in the new ‘age of uncertainty’

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • 2nd Cir. Affirms That Creation of Full-Text Searchable Database of Works Is Fair Use

        The fair use doctrine permits the unauthorized digitization of copyrighted works in order to create a full-text searchable database, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled June 10.

      • MPAA’s Chris Dodd Praises Pirate Site Blockades

        This week, MPAA chief and former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd praised pirate site blockades as an important anti-piracy measure. Speaking at the IP Summit in London, Dodd said that ISP blockades are one of the most effective tools available. Does this mean that Hollywood will try to get these blacklists in place on its home turf?

      • Copyright Troll Accuses Critic of Leading “Psychopathic” Hate Group

        Informing the masses about the activities of settlement-seeking copyright trolls is what FightCopyrightTrolls.com does best, so no surprise that its rivals are now hitting back. In a motion revealed this week, the world’s most prolific filer of lawsuits against BitTorrent users accuses the site of running an Internet hate group that is both “criminal and scary”.

      • Porn studio attacks blogger for leading a “fanatical Internet hate group”

        With the copyright lawsuit factory formerly known as Prenda Law now mired in sanctions, a California company called Malibu Media has become the most litigious copyright holder in the US.

      • Police & FACT Claim Big Successes in UK Anti-Piracy Drive

        City of London Police and Hollywood’s Federation Against Copyright Theft are claiming big results in a new government IP crime report. PIPCU say they have suspended 2,359 UK domains and cut off payment to 19 sites, with FACT claiming the closure of 117 pirate sites and the arrest of seven release group members in the past 12 months.

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