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09.28.14

Links 28/9/2014: Moto X, End of OpenSUSE 11.4

Posted in News Roundup at 7:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Happy 4th Birthday, LibreOffice!

      The famous office suite built by the Linux Foundation, LibreOffice, has just turned four years and the developers have been quick to celebrate this momentous occasion.

    • LibreOffice Con in Bern, Switzerland

      I was invited to give a talk in Bern, Switzerland, for the LibreOffice Conference. The LibreOffice people are a nice crowd with diverse backgrounds. I talked to design people, coders doing rather low-level GL things, marketing folks, some being new to Free Software, and to some being old farts. It sounds like a lot of people and one is inclined to think of boat loads of people attending the conference when having the community statistics in mind. But it has been a very cosy event, with less than a hundred people. I found that surprising, but not necessarily in a bad way.

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Americans find issues harder to understand, poll says

    It’s not just people who have tuned out politics who feel perplexed.

  • Confused by issues of the day? Join the club
  • Google HR Boss Says 58% Of Résumés Get Trashed Because Of One Spelling Mistake
  • Kirin promotes new alcohol by filming rural people with pigeon shaped drones… because they can
  • Security

    • Ex-con Kevin Mitnick now selling zero-day exploits, starting at $100K

      So it probably shouldn’t surprise anybody that Mitnick, who post-prison reinvented himself as a skilled penetration tester, security consultant and social engineer, is now offering to sell zero-day exploits at the eye-popping opening price of $100,000 (£61,283).

      Not a humble price!

      As Wired reports, Mitnick last week unveiled a new branch of his security consultancy business called Mitnick’s Absolute Zero Day Exploit Exchange that will both develop zero-day exploits – i.e., tools that take advantage of as-yet unpatched software bugs – in-house, as well as buy them from developers.

    • China, United States Hold Secret Cyber Talks
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • America’s never-ending war

      It is official: US President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama is at war again. After toppling Libyan ruler Muammar el-Qaddafi and bombing targets in Somalia and Yemen, Obama has initiated airstrikes in the Syria-Iraq belt, effectively declaring war on the Islamic State – a decision that will involve infringing on the sovereign, if disintegrating, state of Syria. In his zeal to intervene, Obama is again disregarding US and international law by seeking approval from neither the US Congress nor the United Nations Security Council.

    • Lizza says Obama has bombed more nations than Bush
    • The absent intellectual war against Islamist cutthroats

      The aerial war waged by the United States and its Western and Arab allies against the cutthroats of the so-called “Islamic State” (formerly known as the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” – ISIS – or the “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” – ISIL) is a mere tactic in a war without a strategy.

    • The Primaries Project: Will Foreign Policy Finally Become Part of the Debate?

      So far this year foreign policy and defense issues have been pretty absent from the campaign trail. Will this week finally be the week when the 2014 candidates for Congress finally discover foreign policy?

    • Obama, power and responsibility

      It is important to question not merely the legal bases of the administration’s claim, but also the wisdom of establishing a national security policy without congressional aid. It is important to note that several national security experts have made arguments that congressional vetting of proposed executive actions improves the quality of the product, legitimizes the policy and lends itself to lesser chance of backlash, either by the public, the federal judiciary or Congress. In short, getting Congress’s approval is often in the best interest of the president.

    • Obama and his Nobel “Peace” Prize

      Now it’s a new war or better yet the latest phase of an endless war against whatever new “enemy” is out there to be demonized and contrived as the latest threat to America and Americans.

    • Indictments issued in attempted sale of Saddam Hussein’s family guns

      The men, David Phillip Ryan, 50, of Miami, and Carlos Quirola-Ordonez, 57, of New Jersey, are believed by the federal government to have attempted over a four-month period in 2012 to sell a cache of guns smuggled out of Iraq. The firearms, a mixture of exotic shotguns and handguns, was understood to be stolen from the family of Saddam Hussein following the U.S. invasion of Iraq and obtained by Ryan who enlisted Quirola-Ordonez and two others in an attempt to sell the guns for between $250,000 and $350,000. The plan came apart when the buyers turned out to be undercover federal agents working with Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

    • UK fighter jets fly into Iraq on combat mission
    • RAF planes fly first combat missions over Iraq

      Two Tornado aircraft which left an RAF base in Cyprus to fly the first combat missions over Iraq have returned without carrying out air strikes, the MOD says

    • UK MPs vote overwhelmingly for ISIS airstrikes in Iraq

      MPs have voted to back Britain joining US-led airstrikes on Islamic State in Iraq in a vote on Friday. Attacks could begin within days, as ministers admit that UK military intervention could last two or three years.

    • New flight plan on drones

      In 2000, the United States had about 50 drones. There are some 7,500 today, armed and unarmed.

    • Al-Qaida splinter group claims rocket attack on US embassy in Yemen
    • Al Qaeda Group Claims Firing Rocket at U.S. Embassy in Yemen

      An al Qaeda splinter group claimed to have fired a rocket that intended to hit the U.S. Embassy in Yemen on Saturday, wounding several guards in an attempt to retaliate against an air drone strike carried out by the United States in Yemen a day before.

    • US drone kills four suspected militants in Wana

      Intelligence officials in Pakistan say a US drone strike has killed four suspected militants in a northwestern tribal region along the Afghan border.

      The two officials and three local Taliban fighters say the strike Sunday killed two Arab militants and two of their local allies in a compound in the town of Wana in South Waziristan.

    • An Open Letter to President Obama: Stop Preaching Peace To The World, Even As You Support Terrorists And Wage Illegal Wars

      You Mr. President accused Russia of aggression, arming the rebels in Ukraine, even though Russia has done its utmost to find a political solution and now, there is a ceasefire on the ground. Far more progress towards a political solution has been made in Ukraine, than in any other recent theatre of war.

    • Terrorists: UN in line with SA law

      A United Nations Security Council resolution unanimously adopted this week, which aims to curb foreigners joining extremist militants in countries such as Syria and Iraq, is in line with existing South African legislation, according to the Department of International Relations.

    • Arms-smuggling Taiwanese duo snared in FBI sting plead guilty
    • Top-secret plan to invade Cuba declassified

      The most popular analogy used to describe Fidel Castro’s turning Cuba into communism’s only bastion in the Western Hemisphere in 1959 was “cancer.” And the fear, to carry the analogy further, was that it would metastasize elsewhere in Latin America.

      The CIA, therefore, decided that invasive surgery was needed and launched the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961. Lacking air cover, all 1,400 anti-Castro paramilitaries were killed or captured as they waded ashore. That was taken to mean that the Castro regime posed a potential military as well as a political threat to the area. It was decided that the best way to excise the malignancy was to cut it out.

    • U.S. Propaganda Enters Into Insane, Irrational Overdrive in Attempt to “Sell” War in Syria

      Thanks to a dizzying barrage of lies, mainstream media fear-mongering and a couple of beheadings, the Obama Administration finally achieved its long sought after war in Syria. The tactic that proved most effective in mobilizing the American public back into a shivering, post-9/11 fetal position, was the same tactic used by elites in the UK to convince Scotland against voting for independence. That tactic, as I detailed in a recent post, is fear.

    • What a Mess the United States Has Gotten Into

      Wouldn’t that be a pretty turn of events. Obama started out trying to form a Sunni alliance to take down Shiite Assad and now the NYT suggests that he form a Shiite alliance to take down Sunni ISIS. But then again, the NYT is Obama’s mouthpiece.

    • Scott DeSmit: Liars and fools and we buy it all

      ISIS. ISIL. Alibaba. Ebola. Khorasan.

      I checked The Daily News archives for records of such words.

      ISIS? Our first reference to this was in June.

    • Going back to Iraq bad idea

      Since 2003 more than 1 million people in Iraq have been killed in the conflict. Do you think that more surgical strikes will change anything, other than to anger the citizens that live there and live under the threat of being accidentally targeted? Is this how we are to win the peace? This will do nothing but send even more “freedom fighters” into the camps of the terrorists.

      It would be prudent to ask where did ISIS get all the weapons and training it currently seems to have and the answer is very alarming. We allowed half a billion dollars of weapons to get into the hands of anti-Gaddafi organizations. Their leadership includes former generals of the Iraq Army that we disbanded.

      Apparently, we arm and train “freedom fighters” when we don’t like the current ruler. Then we have to go fight those same organizations that we built a few years later. We are supplying the resistance forces in Syria and now we want to side with that same government to reduce the capabilities of the rebels?

      Here’s an idea: leave the internal affairs of other countries to the people that live there and lets mind our own business. Let’s get our economy back on track and get our Fourth Amendment robbing government restrained.

    • Arming Syrian rebels: Deja vu all over again

      It was only just six weeks ago that the president argued that arming the Syrian rebels was “fantasy.” Now, as he abruptly shifts his strategy – both in bombing Syria and aiding the opposition to President Bashar al Assad — he should first answer three important questions: Who will be on the receiving end of these weapons? And, just who are these “moderate” rebels? And, now that the U.S. is at war with the Islamic State, what is to guarantee the weapons will stay out of their hands?

    • CIA-vetted Syrian rebels battling Islamic State say airstrikes haven’t helped

      In the skies over Syria, U.S. and Arab combat aircraft have bombed Islamic State targets 20 times since Tuesday. But on the ground, commanders for rebel groups that are part of a CIA-run program say they’ve pleaded in vain for arms, ammunition and even field rations so they can fight the same extremists.

      Although they are among the few chosen to receive aid under the covert U.S. program, the commanders say the U.S. has done little to help them as they struggle to hold onto their main supply route from Turkey against a determined Islamic State offensive.
      ]

    • Selling the Syrian Airstrikes

      The U.S. war establishment is using the ISIS propaganda scare to police the world and continuously subject resistant nations to their global NATO imperial plans through massive aerial bombardment violence that is already murdering people not taking part in hostilities.

      [...]

      The U.S. war criminals dropped as many bombs on Syria in one night on September 23 than the entire span of recent bombings/170 plus death dealing airstrikes on Iraq in the name of waging war against ISIL, which is really a campaign designed to further destroy the Iraqi nation to control its petroleum . In Syria, U.S. NATO imperialists bombed 50 targets in Raqqa, Deir al-Zor and Hasakah provinces and also conducted airstrikes in Alleppo.

    • U.S.-led coalition bombs ISIL oil refineries in Syria — Republicans OK war money for Ebola fight

      The United States and a couple of Arab allies yesterday bombed small oil refineries in eastern Syria controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, seeking to deprive the group of one of its top funding sources. The strikes came as President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly, delivering a 39-minute speech that left no doubt he’s given up his aspiration of bringing an end to U.S. military entanglements in the Middle East — and now views himself, however reluctantly, as a wartime president.

    • When the U.S. goes to war, TV networks call on the warheads

      When President Barack Obama decided to drop bombs in Iraq this month, television news turned to a group of familiar faces to decipher the plan for viewers.

    • The West’s Syria policy has been shaped by media missionaries

      Eager for scoops, both credulously relayed the stories; and eager to furnish serviceable information, the CIA gave them credence. Together they helped trigger one of the most disastrous interventions in recent history.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning sues U.S. military for gender treatment
    • WikiLeaks’ Assange Talks Google, NSA & Granai Airstrike Video At NYC Book Launch

      Assange repeatedly warned of the dangers posed by the mass surveillance of tech giants Google and Facebook, assailing Schmidt and the omnipresent search engine he oversees as worse than the National Security Agency (NSA) in terms of privacy concerns and the sheer, unregulated power it wields via the mass personal data voluntarily handed over by users.

    • WikiLeaks Founder Dubs Google The ‘Privatized NSA’
    • Wandering Eye: CIA complicity in coke trade, some backstory on prospective councilman Costello’s juice, and Drew Daniel’s anti-listicle listicle

      The story of the CIA’s complicity in the cocaine trade is finally coming to the big screen next month, through the tragic story of Gary Webb, as told in “Kill the Messenger.” Old timers will remember that Webb, a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, broke the story in a huge series called “Dark Alliance” in 1996, detailing how CIA contract employees used multi-kilo sales to a notorious LA crack dealer named Rick Ross (from whom that Rick Ross took his name) to finance the agency’s counter insurgency in Nicaragua. As Ryan Devereaux of The Intercept reports, Webb’s worst enemy was not in Langley, but in DC, New York, L.A., and Miami, where mainstream newspapers put squads of reporters on the task of picking his stories apart. The CIA, naturally, observed all this with glee. Webb committed suicide a decade ago, having seen his once promising career reduced to ruins (he was working for a tiny alt-weekly in the end). His work abides though (you can read it all here.) And he was mostly right. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

    • Gary Webb: Vindicated

      Sometimes, they kill the messenger, and the message takes flight, only to return later, with its truth self-evident to a new generation. And then, the messenger is resurrected.

    • Movie Trailer: Investigative Journalist Gary Webb From “Kill The Messenger” Was Plain Dealer Reporter

      Webb committed suicide after his reports linking the Reagan-era CIA to the cocaine epidemic in the United States was discredited by major outlets in the mainstream media, though Webb was largely accurate. (There’s also a righteous profile of Webb and the whole story in this 1988 Esquire piece.)

    • Trailer: Kill the Messenger

      Instead of a superhero or super soldier, Renner is playing real life journalist Gary Webb – a man who uncovered the CIA’s role in cocaine entering the US.

    • The lesson Hollywood cannot teach us

      Possibly the most insightful statement ever made by a journalist was from Gary Webb, who killed himself in 2004, years after the CIA and media rivals destroyed his career and credibility.

      I was winning awards, getting raises, lecturing college classes, appearing on TV shows, and judging journalism contests. And then I wrote some stories that made me realize how sadly misplaced my bliss had been. The reason I’d enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn’t been, as I’d assumed, because I was careful and diligent and good at my job. The truth was that, in all those years, I hadn’t written anything important enough to suppress.

    • Managing a Nightmare: How the CIA Watched Over the Destruction of Gary Webb

      Eighteen years after it was published, “Dark Alliance,” the San Jose Mercury News’s bombshell investigation into links between the cocaine trade, Nicaragua’s Contra rebels, and African American neighborhoods in California, remains one of the most explosive and controversial exposés in American journalism.

      The 20,000-word series enraged black communities, prompted Congressional hearings, and became one of the first major national security stories in history to blow up online. It also sparked an aggressive backlash from the nation’s most powerful media outlets, which devoted considerable resources to discredit author Gary Webb’s reporting. Their efforts succeeded, costing Webb his career. On December 10, 2004, the journalist was found dead in his apartment, having ended his eight-year downfall with two .38-caliber bullets to the head.

    • Revealed: CIA Created ‘Foreign Power’ Chatbot, Interrogated Own Agents

      So how far have we come in the last 30 years? As Pearson points out, the federal government is currently testing bots to interview people for national security purposes. But, there’s still some way to go, since even this year’s “most intelligent” chatbot isn’t as smart as its developers hyped it to be.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Pro-Beijing Media Accuses Hong Kong Student Leader of U.S. Government Ties

      Evidence for Mr. Wong’s close ties to the U.S. that the paper cited included what the report described as frequent meetings with U.S. consulate personnel in Hong Kong and covert donations from Americans to Mr. Wong. As evidence, the paper cited photographs leaked by “netizens.” The story also said Mr. Wong’s family visited Macau in 2011 at the invitation of the American Chamber of Commerce, where they stayed at the “U.S.-owned” Venetian Macao, which is owned by Las Vegas Sands Corp.

  • Censorship

    • SOUL talks banned books, censorship

      A group of about 15 students gathering Wednesday night in Greenlaw Hall to discuss the history of banned books agreed that banning literature keeps people from considering important ideas.

    • Free Speech Organizations Report to UN About Censorship In Prisons and Schools

      The report in question cites the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as the main example, where 11,851 titles have been banned from their prisons. “Of the 11,851 total blocked titles, 7,061 were blocked for ‘deviant sexual behaviour’ and 543 for sexually explicit images,” says the report. “Anthologies on Greco-Roman art, the pre-Raphaelites, impressionism, Mexican muralists, pop surrealism, graffiti art, art deco, art nouveau and the National Museum of Women in the Arts are banned for the same reason, as are numerous textbooks on pencil drawing, watercolour, oil painting, photography, graphic design, architecture and anatomy for artists,” the report went on to say. Works from Gustav Flaubert, Langston Hughes, Flannery O’Connor, George Orwell, Ovid, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, John Updike, Shakespeare and Alice Walker were all found on the banned book list. The report also touched on American schools, where people like Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut and Alice Walker are examples of writers banned based on “objections centering around moral and religious reasons.”

    • China’s internet censorship machine has become even more advanced to cope with social media
    • Exhibit B: Victim Of Mob Censorship Or Vile History Used As Entertainment?
    • Exhibit B: Censorship pure and simple

      So let’s be clear. People have every right to object to art they find objectionable but no right whatsoever to have that work censored. Free expression, including work that others may find shocking or offensive, is a right that must be defended vigorously. As an organisation, while we condemn in no uncertain terms all those who advocate censorship, we would – as a free expression organisation – defend their right to express those views. What we do not and will never condone is the use of intimidation, force or violence to stifle the free expression of others.

    • Old Story, New Plot: A Look at Censorship
    • Book Review: ‘Censors at Work’ by Robert Darnton

      I still think that my argument was right. Pornography, libel, sedition, hate speech and lies are a fair price for freedom of speech. They would be powerless in a justly ordered, well-educated society. If pornography incites your lust, commend the pornographer for success and condemn yourself for succumbing. If you believe the propagandist, he or she has done his job: It is your critical faculties that are at fault. If the advertiser exaggerates, caveat emptor.

    • Censorship of books in US prisons and schools ‘widespread’ – report to UN

      Free-speech organisations find US government is ‘failing to protect the rights of its most vulnerable citizens’ as popular books – including Shakespeare – are banned from institutions

    • Denver students stage mass walk-out over US history ‘censorship’

      Students at six Denver-area highs schools walked out their classrooms en masse, protesting a plan by the conservative-majority Jefferson County school board to push for curriculum changes to Advanced Placement history courses to promote patriotism and deference to authority. The proposed changes would include the removal of topics that could ‘encourage’ civil disobedience from textbooks and materials.

    • Denver-area students accuse school board of censoring U.S. history

      It is the call for a review of the Advanced Placement curriculum for U.S. history classes to ensure that teaching materials present positive aspects of U.S. history and its heritage. According to the wording of the proposal, teaching materials should “promote citizenship, patriotism … (and) respect for authority” and not “encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.”

      “I understand that they want to take out our very important history of slavery and dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki because it portrays the U.S. in a negative light,” said Casey McAndrew, a high school senior.

    • Australian Government Scrambles to Authorize Mass Surveillance

      This week, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott used recent terrorist threats as the backdrop of a dire warning to Australians that “for some time to come, the delicate balance between freedom and security may have to shift. There may be more restrictions on some, so that there can be more protection for others.”

    • ‘Freedom party’s’ terror laws will have a chilling effect
    • New Australian Law Would Permit Unlimited Government Internet Spying, Jail Time For Journalists

      The Australian government is primed to give the nation’s spy agency unfettered access to citizens’ computer networks and potentially put journalists in jail thanks to drafted national security reform laws passed by the country’s Senate Thursday, The Sydney Morning News reported.

      The Australian Senate passed an anti-terrorism bill called the “National Security Legislation Amendment Bill” that would give the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) more power to monitor Web traffic. If finalized, the law permits ASIO agents to search and monitor an unlimited number of computers on a particular network based on a single warrant request. Journalists, bloggers and government whistleblowers could also spend up to 10 years in prison for revealing details of intelligence operations, as part of the law. The bill is set to be voted on and approved by Australian’s House of Representatives next week.

    • Free Speech at Risk in Australia, Thanks to Terrible New Counter-Terrorism Bill

      Free speech advocates from across Australia’s political spectrum have raised concerns about new counter-terrorism legislation passed by the Australian senate this week.

    • With Its New Security Law, Australia Tries to Out-NSA the NSA

      Australia is in the process of passing new intelligence gatherings laws that, on the face, appear troublingly wide-ranging, even by American privacy standards.

    • Reddit Punishes /r/technology for Censoring Keywords, Including “Bitcoin” and “Dogecoin”

      Bitcoin and Dogecoin were among the list of at least 20 words banned by the popular /r/technology subreddit. The scandal shook the Reddit sphere last week. Monday, Reddit punished the censorship by obscuring the community. They officially pulled the subreddit from the list of “default subreddits” awarded to popular sub-communities.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Author Ronald Kessler offers inside scoop on the Secret Service
    • ‘You Are a Bastard and You Know It’ and Other Chilling Quotes From This CIA Interrogation in ’80s New York
    • Petition to Obama Administration: End the Harassment and Targeting of Reporters

      Imagine the United States without independent reporters. Where would the news come from? Press releases and corporate statements? Government-run media? And more importantly, what would we have missed over the last century? Watergate, COINTELPRO, the CIA’s manipulation of politics in Vietnam—none of these things would be common knowledge without courageous reporters, who were willing to publish stories on scandals that rocked the entire country.

    • Nothing to crow about

      President Obama made some commendable speeches at the United Nations last week, but his self-serving remarks to a panel on open government won’t win any plaudits from supporters of an independent news media. They were an astonishing example of saying one thing while doing just the opposite.

    • History Will Not Be Kind To Eric Holder
    • ACLU Comment on Attorney General Holder’s Resignation

      However, we’ve had profound disagreements with the Attorney General on national security issues. During his tenure, DOJ approved the drone killing of an American far away from any battlefield, approved the NSA’s mass surveillance programs, failed to prosecute any of the Bush administration torturers, and presided over more leak prosecutions than all previous Justice Departments combined. We acknowledge, nonetheless, that he fought, albeit unsuccessfully, to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in federal criminal courts rather than in flawed military commissions.

    • Eric Holder’s dark civil liberties legacy

      Holder’s work on civil liberties has been far less inspiring.

    • Holder’s exit doesn’t come soon enough for critics: Editorial cartoon extra

      Thursday President Obama announced Eric Holder will be leaving as Attorney General of the United States as soon as his yet to be named replacement is confirmed.

      Holder is the fist African-American and the 4th-longest serving U.S. Attorney General. He has served in Department of Justice under six Presidents of both parties. But his last five and half years as A.G. were the most eventful, as he confronted issues that were both controversial and historic.

    • Bill Maher: Political Correctness Silences Liberals On Radical Islam [Video]

      On Thursday night’s broadcast, however, he suggested that otherwise nonjudgmental liberals, multi-culturalists, and others who express outrage when Jonah Hill, Donald Sterling, Rush Limbaugh, or Mel Gibson say stupid or offensive things, or when a baker refuses to make gay wedding cakes, remain silent “while gross atrocities are ignored across the world.” He also called attention to the fact that a group of Yale students recently tried to prevent Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali from speaking on campus.

    • Holder’s Disappointing Tech Legacy

      Large-scale violations of electronic privacy, many of which were exposed by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, also occurred on Holder’s watch. Holder didn’t initiate the bulk collection of phone or e-mail records; nor did he run the N.S.A. But Holder, as the Administration’s top lawyer for half a dozen years, nonetheless bears responsibility for these gross and repeated violations of Constitutional principles. It is ultimately the Justice Department’s duty to stand up for the Constitution when other parts of government want to abandon it, and this Holder failed to do. (During the Bush Administration, Justice Department lawyers, like Jack Goldsmith and then Acting Attorney General James Comey, fought the White House’s excessive surveillance of American citizens at a key moment.) We don’t know what he knew, but Holder’s Justice Department does not seem to have put a real brake on the program.

    • How can an Islamophobe train without bias?

      This month, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery hosted a “terror training” for law enforcement led by someone we consider a notorious Islamophobe, John Guandolo. As Muslim leaders of Arizona, we are deeply disappointed that Mr. Montgomery ignored our repeated calls to invite reputable trainers to address this important topic and chose individuals who advocate extreme anti-Muslim views.

    • GOLDCAMP: Lincoln, Roosevelt and slavery

      The Nazis and the Japanese resurrected the institution of slavery, and the Nazis even industrialized slavery and genocide in the Holocaust. Allied victory in World War II destroyed slavery based on anti-Semitism. Harry Truman followed up FDR’s work by laying the foundation for confronting the Stalinist brand of slavery, and Ronald Reagan played the major role in bringing down the Soviet Union some 40 years later without a shot being fired.

    • Mliswa Exposed for ‘Sleeping and Dining’ with ‘US Spy’, Faces Gamatox
    • Jonathan Moyo the real CIA spy, Mliswa

      Mliswa had been challenged over allegations he took US embassy staffer, Eric Little, on a tour of Hurungwe West in June to meet local government officials.

    • Passports and foreign affairs

      While Agee was in West Germany, he campaigned traitorously against the CIA. He revealed the identities of several CIA officers, and put their lives in danger. For the domestic purpose of making it difficult for Agee to continue his anti-CIA campaign, the State Department revoked his passport.

    • Roger Stone’s Book ‘Nixon’s Secrets’ A Shocking Read

      Roger Stone’s new book Nixon’s Secrets: The Rise, Fall, and Untold Truth About The President, Watergate, and The Pardon is a Washington thriller that hinges on a shocking revelation: that the CIA once planned to assassinate President Richard Nixon.

    • JFK theorists gather, press for document release
    • 50 years later, doubts still raised on Warren Report

      One panelist, John Newman, who gave a presentation on CIA pseudonyms used by agents connected with the Kennedys, said the Warren Report “was not just wrong. The longer we have to study the case, the wronger its conclusions become.”

    • Kill The Messenger: the Gary Webb story has holes but Renner’s performance still sticks – review
    • The CIA/MSM Contra-Cocaine Cover-up

      In 1996 — as major U.S. news outlets disparaged the Nicaraguan Contra-cocaine story and destroyed the career of investigative reporter Gary Webb for reviving it — the CIA marveled at the success of its public-relations team guiding the mainstream media’s hostility toward both the story and Webb, according to a newly released internal report.

      Entitled “Managing a Nightmare: CIA Public Affairs and the Drug Conspiracy Story,” the six-page report describes the CIA’s damage control after Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series was published in the San Jose Mercury-News in August 1996. Webb had resurrected disclosures from the 1980s about the CIA-backed Contras collaborating with cocaine traffickers as the Reagan administration worked to conceal the crimes.

      Although the CIA’s inspector general later corroborated the truth about the Contra-cocaine connection and the Reagan administration’s cover-up, the mainstream media’s counterattack in defense of the CIA in late summer and fall of 1996 proved so effective that the subsequent CIA confession made little dent in the conventional wisdom regarding either the Contra-cocaine scandal or Gary Webb.

    • CIA still hiding the worst details of black sites

      The preceding paragraphs will come as no surprise to anyone who has researched or read about the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program. But if I held a security clearance, I could lose my career or face prosecution for publishing them.

    • Senate CIA report release slips again

      The release of a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation program appears to have slipped further, judging by filings Thursday afternoon in a pair of related court cases.

    • Release of CIA report pushed back again

      The release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on “enhanced interrogation” techniques has been delayed again, this time until late October, according to an aide to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

      The Department of Justice was due to release a summary of the report that details the committee’s investigation of a CIA interrogations program under former President George W. Bush in late September. The report was requested via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

      Feinstein intervened, requesting a one-month extension, so that the Intelligence Committee she leads, and the White House, could reduce heavy redactions made to the summary by the CIA, the aide said.

      This is Feinstein’s second request for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to delay the summary’s release under the FOIA request.

    • Anatomy of a Non-Denial Denial

      The non-denial denial is an art that takes many forms in official Washington.

      The basic idea is that when you or your organization are accused of doing something that you did in fact do, you respond with what sounds like a denial, but really isn’t.

      You issue a very narrowly-crafted denial involving a lot of hairsplitting, while avoiding the central claim. Or you dismiss the accusation as unworthy of response. Or you deny something else: You raise a straw man accusation and deny that; or – possibly best yet — you take advantage of a poorly worded question.

    • The CIA, the President, and the Senate’s Torture Report
    • Helen Thomas comes to my rescue

      Gen. Augusto Pinochet and his minions overthrew Allende’s democratic election in 1973 with the full connivance of President Richard Nixon, National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

    • America’s War With Its Dark Side, Part 4

      Less than two weeks later, Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, the two political leaders in San Francisco, where most of the Jonestown victims came from, most likely to undertake an independent investigation of the covert CIA involvement in Jonestown were also murdered.

    • Watch Lists and the First and Fourth Amendments

      If you don’t know Ray McGovern yet, you probably should.

      You see, Ray just beat down, in court, Hillary Clinton, the State Department, and a small part of Post-Constitutional America.

    • Is it 2014 or 1984?

      Now this CISPA bill, which is yet again pushed by congressional support of the executive, deals with pre-emptively “defending” against cyber terrorism. What this bill actually does is allow, under law, for private corporations and businesses to give detailed information about our lives such as our search, text, email, online store accounts, word and endless other technological privacies, including complete “cloud” access of each U.S. citizen to the federal government.

    • Donnelly reflects on Assembly term, critics, future

      On Oct. 2, 2013, Gov. Brown signed the Donnelly-introduced Assembly Bill 351 into law. Coined The California Liberty Preservation Act, the law opposes the indefinite military detention of persons without charge or trial and prohibits state cooperation with federal officials in enacting the provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Agreement.

      The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California lauded the bill as signaling that NDAA was “contrary to the common values of all Americans.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

CBS Continues to Get Heavily Occupied by Microsoft Staff to Spread Microsoft Propaganda

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 11:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The author of the email, posted on ZDNet in a Talkback forum on the Microsoft antitrust trial, claimed her name was Michelle Bradley and that she had “retired” from Microsoft last week.

“”A verbal memo [no email allowed] was passed around the MS campus encouraging MS employee’s to post to ZDNet articles like this one,” the email said.

“”The theme is ‘Microsoft is responsible for all good things in computerdom.’ The government has no right to prevent MS from doing anything. Period. The ‘memo’ suggests we use fictional names and state and to identify ourselves as students,” the author claimed.”

Wired Magazine

Summary: The CBS-owned ZDNet continues to hire people who have worked or are currently working for Microsoft and unsurprisingly enough they use their newly-acquired positions to praise Microsoft and bash Microsoft’s competition, usually with no disclosure of their conflict of interest

Microsoft’s infamous strategy (which it privately admits to) of conquering the technology media has evolved. A week and a half ago we showed how CBS had hired yet another Microsoft person to cover Microsoft matters (or Microsoft's competition). We have lost count of the number of people with such a conflict of interest, especially in CBS (far worse than any other large network). As a side note, CBS also hired senior people from the CIA, which helps explain its grooming of Microsoft’s super-special partner (the NSA) and the pro-war agenda, especially as of late.

Having taken control of ZDNet, the CBS network has become absolutely flooded with Microsoft staff past and present (some work for both at the same time) and days ago we noticed Eileen Brown writing for ZDNet. What’s not evident in the page (not in her intro, but in only in her disclosures, a page away) is that she too comes from Microsoft. The separate page (not even HTML) clearly states that “She worked at Microsoft from 2001 to 2009.” So CBS has essentially hired yet another Microsoft propagandist for articles that cover Microsoft, like this new example. Bing marketing. How much marketing and grooming should CBS be allowed to get away with? How long before it’s widely recognised that CBS is not a serious news network but corporate media working for selected corporations?

Here is another new example.

Longtime Microsoft booster Mary Branscombe ridicules people who self host and promotes “cloud” lunacy. Much of the time she just spends promoting Microsoft and it should be no surprise as she has done that for decades. To quote her own intro:

Mary has been a technology writer for nearly two decades, covering everything from early versions of Windows and Office to the first smartphones, the arrival of the web and most things inbetween.

In her blog there is not even a effort at providing information. She is making an effort to appear balanced and historically she has also smeared Microsoft’s rivals. There are many more examples like that and no site demonstrates that quite as clearly as ZDNet (with about a dozen Microsoft-connected writers); CBS is bad, CNET is worse, but ZDNet is by far the worst and all are operated by the same company. It’s like advertising and agenda disguised as “news”. It runs 24/7 in many countries. One might even call that “AstroTurfing“.

It’s one thing when Microsoft promotes Microsoft, but it’s another when a media company pretends to be a source of news but actually promotes Microsoft and employs people from Microsoft. Here is a new example of Microsoft staff bamboozling the media. It is Michel van der Bel, not to be confused with ECMA’s Microsoft mole, van der Beld. Here is what Ahonen has to say about him:

Microsoft Lies. Then there is the perennial Microsoft propaganda and lies machine. On May 23, 2011, the Microsoft mafia decided to spin a story about Nokia Lumia Windows success in China. They picked the wrong target when they compared the supposed success to the iPhone in China. Microsoft mouthpiece Michel van der Bel (Microsoft COO of China) got himself quoted in the press claiming that Windows Phone smartphones like Lumia 800c were outselling the iPhone in China. You don’t spread lies like that on my watch! So I debunked that sillyness with 18 separate items of proof. When the numbers came out two months later, I was of course correct and Mr van der Bel has not been seen in the press about this ever again. But for a brief moment there as this alternate reality created by the Microsoft Imaginarium. Who debunked them comprehensively and immediately for you to keep your Apple facts straight? Yeah.

It is very common for sites like those of CBS (which owns a lot of influential news sites) to parrot such technology disinformation and unsurprisingly, as CBS hires many people from Microsoft, it is inevitable that these lies from Microsoft will be relayed to the press, enter news feeds, and ultimately change perceptions based on lies.

Avoid CBS. It’s not journalism.

Links 27/9/2014: Linux (Almost) Everywhere, Features Of Linux 3.17

Posted in News Roundup at 2:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Giving Away Software to Make It More Valuable
  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack day two operations tools

      This is the third part in a series of three articles surveying automation projects within OpenStack, explaining what they do, how they do it, and where they stand in development readiness and field usage. Previously, in part one, I covered cloud deployment tools that enable you to install/update OpenStack cloud on bare metal. In part two, I covered workload deployment tools. Today, we’ll look at tools for day two operations.

  • CMS

    • Bitnami: Making it easy and efficient to test server apps on your desktop and in the cloud

      It’s Friday morning and marketing tells you they need a WordPress blog up and running by Monday and they want a theme like this and features like that and, and, and … you’ve not got much time if you plan to have a weekend off so the last thing you’re going to want to do is work with a remote server. If you did you’d be loading themes one after another, testing them with various plugins, and generally beating the application into submission while dealing with the delays inherent in using a machine that’s somewhere out on the Internet. That would mean you’d be waiting just that little bit longer (or quite possibly, a lot longer) to do everything than you’d prefer.

  • Project Releases

    • xfce4-power-manager updated to 1.4.1

      Xfce4-power-manager has now been updated to the latest version on my xfce411 COPR repo.One nice thing about this update for me is that it seems to fix the lid closing actions!

    • PSPP 0.8.4 has been released.

      I’m very pleased to announce the release of a new version of GNU PSPP. PSPP is a program for statistical analysis of sampled data. It is a free replacement for the proprietary program SPSS.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Churchgoers decrease in Germany due to ‘church tax’

    The Catholic Church in Germany has even forbidden those who do not pay their church taxes from receiving communion.

  • Tory minister Brooks Newmark quits over sex scandal

    The married dad-of-five exchanged X-rated pictures with an undercover reporter posing as a young female activist

  • Mark Reckless is second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month

    “Today I am leaving the Conservative party and joining Ukip,” Tory MP Mark Reckless announced today in a second shock defection to the Eurosceptic party in recent weeks.

    Mr Reckless, the MP for Rochester and Strood, made the announcement that he is quitting the party this afternoon at the Ukip party conference in Doncaster.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The cost of action in Iraq

      When parliament voted to invade Iraq in 2003, it was based on what we later found out to be disinformation and deceit. We were misled. The countless thousands who opposed the war were vocal in their opposition – but they were not listened to, they were ignored. And the UK went to war.

    • Iraq – Repeating Past Mistakes

      Before we move forward against ISIL in Iraq, we have to learn from our past mistakes, or we will be doomed to repeat them.

    • Should the UK fight ISIL in Iraq
    • Bombing Islamic State is fueling the violence

      So yes, we need to do something. But that “something” is not more violence and war. Answering violence and war, with more violence and war, is always part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    • A Wartime President

      All pretense ended Monday night, when President Barack Obama became Commander-in-Chief at a time of war. He has never been reluctant to kill terrorists with unmanned drones, but now the United States military is bombing ISIS targets inside Syria. The president has authorized strikes by fighter planes, bombers, and Tomahawk missiles, the same weapons brandished by President Bush a decade ago.

    • The Aborted Origins Of The First Hunt For Osama Bin Laden

      The author of a new book on the U.S. drone program reveals an early attempt to pilot drones out of Germany, without the German government’s knowledge.

    • Drone warfare in Good Kill … and a roundtable interview with writer-director Andrew Niccol and actor Ethan Hawke
    • ‘Norway can stop drone war’: UN advisor

      Professor Christof Heyns asked Norway on Thursday to challenge its allies on the US’s use of armed drones which Heyns states violates international law and will, in the long run, make the world become a more dangerous place, reported NTB.
      Heyns, who normally investigates and reports to the UN on extra-judicial and illegal executions, said: “The world listens to the voice of Norway for it is often the voice of reason.”

      The professor thinks Norway should bring the case to a human rights council of the UN and the general assembly.

      The issue of the US’s drone attacks was the subject of a seminar in the Norwegian parliament on Thursday. The debate was raised by spokesperson for foreign affairs, Bård Vegar Solhjell.

    • Killing people rarely kills their ideas

      Every vote I cast in Parliament weighs heavily on my mind, especially as, unlike most other MPs, I have no whip telling me what to do – I consider the evidence, reflect on the principles I was elected to stand up for, listen to my constituents in Brighton Pavilion.

    • How the Pentagon Exploits ISIS to Kill Surveillance Reform and Re-Occupy Iraq

      As the US, Britain and France are maneuvering to escalate military action in Iraq and Syria against the ‘Islamic State’ in an operation slated to last “years,” authorities are simultaneously calling for new measures to tighten security at home to fend off the danger of jihadists targeting western homelands. Intervention abroad, policymakers are arguing, must be tied to increased domestic surveillance and vigilance. But US and British military experts warn that officials have overlooked the extent to which western policies in the region have not just stoked the rise of IS, but will continue to inflame the current crisis. The consequences could be dire – while governments exploit the turmoil in the Middle East to justify an effective re-invasion of Iraq along with intensified powers of surveillance and control – the end result could well be accelerated regional violence and increasing criminalization of Muslims and activists.

    • US’ Anti-ISIS Campaign: Emulating the ‘Success’ in Somalia and Yemen?

      US President Barack Obama pointed to “successful” campaigns in Yemen and Somalia as models for his strategy to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). But in both countries, US military action has only worked to embolden extremist groups like al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Shabaab.

    • US government tweets and deletes photos of dead jihadists

      A US government Twitter account tasked with countering jihadist propaganda triumphantly posted pictures of dead Islamic State fighters only to delete them a short while later.

      The US State Department runs a number of social media accounts to push back against Isil and al-Qaeda and convince young Muslims not to enslist with the jihadists.

      The “Think Again Turn Away” Twitter account posted pictures of the corpses of four jihadist fighters reportedly killed in US air strikes in an apparent warning to those thinking of taking up arms.

    • Why Are We Sending Soldiers Trained for War to Respond to the Ebola Crisis?

      The use of the US military in this operation should raise red flags for the American public as well. After all, if the military truly is the governmental institution best equipped to handle this outbreak, it speaks worlds about the neglect of civilian programs at home as well as abroad.

    • US says airstrikes targeted ISIL-run oil refineries
    • Australia, the United States, the Islamic State and oil

      The current commentary about Australia’s latest Middle East military adventure ignores the obvious, says Dr Geoff Davies — oil and its impact on U.S. foreign policy.

    • FP’s Situation Report: Islamic State oil installations are targeted; France weighs joining the fight in Syria; Ebola takes center stage at U.N.; and a bit more.
    • U.S.-Led Strikes Target ISIS Oil Operations in Syria

      U.S.-led warplanes are bombarding oil-producing facilities in eastern Syria for a second day in a row in a bid to cut off key revenue from Islamic State militants. According to U.S. Central Command, the refineries net about $2 million per day. On Thursday, the Pentagon rejected accounts that up to 24 civilians have been killed by U.S.-led strikes in Syria, saying there are no “credible” reports of civilian deaths. U.S. planes are also continuing to bomb Iraq with at least 11 airstrikes on Thursday. Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby acknowledged the Islamic State remains strong.

    • Lord Alton on Government call for military action against ISIS

      It is hard to imagine that a campaign of aerial bombardment in Syria will make that dire situation any better.

    • Drone crashes in Shabwa

      A drone crashed into a mountain in Shabwa governorate, southeast of Sana’a, on Tuesday morning, eyewitnesses told the Yemen Times.

    • US pulls some embassy staffers from Yemen
    • US orders some of its diplomats out of Yemen
    • US gives ‘strong support’ to Yemen government despite Shia rebel uprising

      Administration officials say there has been has no dropoff in backing for Hadi, days after Shia minorities, who have endured a brutal crackdown, took hold of government and military installations in the capital of Sana’a. Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism chief, a critical manager of the relationship with Yemen, passed along the US president’s “strong support” for Hadi in a phone call to him earlier this week.

    • How TV dupes our public

      IF today, with remote in hand, you randomly flip through channels on your TV, or browse through nearly two dozen online newspapers, you will see video clips or photos of Pakistan Air Force jets pounding targets in North Waziristan, artillery firing into the mountains, or, perhaps, some other celebration of Operation Zarb-i-Azb. But hang on! You rub your eyes. Our jets bombing Islamic fighters within the territory of this Islamic republic?

    • Q&A with journalist John Pilger: ‘What the US did to Cambodia was an epic crime’

      Since his early days as a correspondent covering the wars in Southeast Asia in the 1960s and 1970s, documentary filmmaker and journalist John Pilger has been an ardent critic of Western foreign policy. Following in the footsteps of Martha Gellhorn, Pilger set out to cover the Vietnam War from the perspective of those most affected by it – the Vietnamese people and US draftees. In 1979, he filmed Year Zero: the Silent Death of Cambodia, which depicted the humanitarian catastrophe following the ousting of the Khmer Rouge from Phnom Penh. He would go on to make three more films about Cambodia and become an outspoken critic of the United States’ intervention in the country and the West’s support of Pol Pot.

    • ISIS: Their barbarism… and ours

      The incessant drumbeat of war, accompanied by the harsh propaganda of “barbarism” and “brutality” directed at individuals in Syria and Iraq, is as wearily familiar as that used to demonize the German “Hun” a century ago and dozens of other “enemies” in the interim. The PR industry, which is the landing pad for many politicos from the Conservatives to the NDP, is having a field day, from allegations that “Islamic militants” are murdering seniors in hospital rooms (perhaps an update of the Hill & Knowlton-created falsehood that Iraqis ripped babies from incubators after the 1991 invasion of Kuwait) to claims that a group with no air force, weapons of mass destruction, overseas military bases, aircraft carriers, and hundreds of billions in other war infrastructure presents the greatest threat known to our generation.

    • US drone strikes like death sentences, worse than ISA, says Dr M
    • ISA not nearly as bad as killing people with drones, says Dr M

      Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today shrugged off criticism over his use of the now-defunct Internal Security Act (ISA), saying it does not compare to the atrocities committed by the United States in the use of unmanned drones to kill suspected terrorists.

    • Don’t Reinvent the Wheel in Syria and Iraq

      Hersh further explains the clandestine unit masqueraded as “a civilian aerial photography operation.” He is referring, of course, to the units that ultimately found Pablo Escobar, in an age predating drones. Manhunting is a core competency of the United States, and the last thirteen years have seen no shortage of attempts to not only reinvent the wheel but form an octagon for no logical reason.

    • Officials: US drone kills 10 in northwest Pakistan

      A suspected U.S. drone fired four missiles at a vehicle carrying Uzbek and local militants in the country’s northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border on Wednesday, killing 10 of them, two Pakistani intelligence officials said.

    • Echoes of Bush in Obama’s U.N. speech

      President Barack Obama’s blunt words on Islamic terrorism marked a striking shift for his annual address to United Nations, as he moved away from the language of accommodation to rhetoric reminiscent of predecessor President George W. Bush.

    • US drones kill eight militants in N. Waziristan

      US drones on Wednesday fired missiles at a compound and vehicle and killed at least eight militants in a restive tribal area bordering Afghanistan, officials said.

    • ‘Brainwashed’ British fighter reportedly killed by US drone strike in Syria

      A British teenager fighting with Islamist militia Al-Nusra Front in Syria has reportedly been killed in US airstrikes, with his mother finding only finding out via social media.

    • 9 Arrested in Overnight U.K. Terror Raids As Strikes Against ISIS Continue
    • British Police Arrest 9 in Antiterror Sweep

      A day after Prime Minister David Cameron pledged British support for the American-led air campaign in Iraq, the counterterrorism police in Britain rounded up nine men suspected of having links to a banned Islamist group and searched 18 buildings across the capital and in the English Midlands.

    • As U.S. Bombs Fall, Islamic State’s British Hostage Warns of Another Vietnam

      In the propaganda video, Cantlie is again seated at a table wearing an orange jumpsuit, in a reference to the outfits worn by Muslim prisoners at U.S. detention centers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He reads from a prepared script, explaining how the United States’ involvement in the Syrian conflict will mirror its misadventures in Vietnam.

    • Islamic State posts video showing British hostage John Cantlie

      Man identified as British journalist criticises Obama preparations for US-led attacks on militant group in five-minute clip

    • Blasts From The Past

      So, the other day, he hipped me to some recently declassified CIA material, specifically National Intelligence Estimates dated April 17, 1963 and titled “Prospects In South Vietnam.” These concerned, among other things, the CIA’s assessment of the relative strength of the Viet Cong in our adopted Indochinese client state.

    • Letter: Signs of imminent war in Ukraine

      Our CIA and German BND triggered a coup in Kiev because independent Ukraine elected Victor Yanukovich president of Ukraine. He is the legal Ukrainian president. When the BND took over the government in Kiev, NATO and the European Union offered membership to Ukraine and Russia, detached Crimea and annexed it into Russian rule for its strategic importance, as well as its economic importance.

    • FBI report: Mass shootings increasing fast

      The number of shootings in which a gunman wounds or kills multiple people has increased dramatically in recent years, with the majority of attacks in the past decade occurring at a business or a school, according to an FBI report released Wednesday.

    • The Secret Service’s Open-Door Policy

      In the first case, federal prosecutors said Omar Gonzalez, 42, jumped the White House fence and raced into the front door before he was apprehended. He was carrying a small pocket knife and, apparently a message for the president about global warming. Later, authorities said they found two hatchets, a machete and 800 rounds of ammunition in his car.

    • French, U.S. planes strike ISIL; Britain to join coalition

      The strikes killed 14 fighters and at least five civilians, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian conflict.

    • America’s wartime president

      Quick: Which U.S. president has authorized wars of various kinds in seven Muslim countries?

      If you guessed Barack Hussein Obama, you are correct.

    • Syria Strike Protesters Arrested at White House

      About two dozen anti-war activists rallied near the White House Tuesday against U.S. airstrikes in Syria, which began Monday.

      Five of the mostly gray-haired protesters were arrested for blocking a White House gate after insisting they meet with President Barack Obama or a senior official to discuss their concerns.

    • As US Bombs ISIS in Syria, Even Some Pro-War Pundits Express Skepticism

      Here we go again, I thought. This is how modern America goes to war. When superpower Goliath is challenged by sudden savagery, it has no choice but to respond with brute force. Or so we are told. Otherwise, America would no longer be a convincing Goliath. When war bells clang, politicians of every stripe find it very difficult to resist, lest they look weak or unpatriotic. And the American people, as usual, rally around the flag, as they always do when the country seems threatened. Citizens and members of the uniformed military are tired of war, but both in a sense are prisoners of the media-hyped hysteria that is the usual political reflex. Shoot first, ask questions later.

    • In Post-Qaddafi Libya, It’s Stay Silent or Die

      On Sept. 19, Benghazi witnessed a string of assassinations that seemed to be coordinated. The assassins targeted military and security personnel as well as civilians. Among those killed were two teenage civil society activists, Sami al-Kawafi and Tawfik Bensaud. They were 17 and 18 years old respectively. Their murders have capped off more than two years of extremist attacks on peace activists and journalists, killings that are endangering any remaining freedoms Libyans still have.

    • Islamic fighters advance in Syria despite US strikes

      US and coalition planes pounded Islamic State positions in Syria again on Wednesday, but the strikes did not halt the fighters’ advance in a Kurdish area where fleeing refugees told of villages burnt and captives beheaded.

    • Syrians say 8 to 24 civilians killed in US airstrikes

      Hours after the last airstrike, fighters with the group gathered on Tuesday in public areas of the city where the corpses of those executed by Islamic State are put on display. They told residents that Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which took part in the airstrikes, were attacking them, resident Abu Muhammad said. The militants threatened the Arab countries with car bombings in retaliation for cooperating with the West, he said.

    • Ron Paul: Congress Votes For More War In The Middle East
    • The big question on ISIS: Does Obama really know what he’s getting into?

      Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also warns about jumping head-first into funding Syria’s rebels.

    • War On Terror II: Upping The Ante

      With congressional authorization in his back pocket, U.S. president Barack Obama stepped up American military aggression against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) this week.

    • US drone strike kills as many as 10 in Pakistan

      While AP’s source claimed ten were killed in the strike, Reuters cited “intelligence officials” who said five to eight militants perished in the blast.According to AFP, eight suspected fighters died.

    • Foreign Ministry slams US drone strike on militants
    • Dawn reveals scope of bombardments

      Many government supporters were worried about where events might lead because some of the countries in the coalition, like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, have called for Assad to step down or actively supported his enemies with money and arms.

    • The Islamic State and Obama’s Diabolical “Hidden Agenda”: Iraq, Syria and “Superpower Prerogatives”

      Obama’s intention to bring his air war against IS to Syria may result in a serious violation of international law. The Damascus government has said it will allow the U.S. to act but Washington must first ask permission to bomb its territory. The White House indicated it has no desire to ask for authorization. In addition, the Russian government, which supports and supplies arms to both Iran and Syria, pointed out that any such strike against Syria would need backing from the UN Security Council. Otherwise, it “would constitute an act of aggression.”

    • The audacity of air strikes and secret deals: just making Isis grow stronger?

      The insurgency in Iraq, Syria and beyond is a fight for natural resources as much as political control. Why are we so busy giving leverage to terrorists?

    • ‘Private sector’ mobilization to fight IS launched in NY

      CEP lists among its goals the compilation of the world’s most exhaustive database on extremist groups and their networks, and places unmasking the funding sources for IS high on its list of immediate priorities.

    • Help Us Crowd-Fund SecureDrop For These Four Independent Media Organizations

      We are excited to announce the first four recipients of our next crowd-funding campaign, all of whom may now start receiving donations intended to cover the costs of installing SecureDrop, our open-source whistleblower submission system. The first round includes BalkanLeaks, the Government Accountability Project, Cryptome and Firedoglake.

    • UK warned to increase transparency of armed UAV operations

      Failure of the British government to inform Parliament of its intention to redeploy armed unmanned air vehicles outside recognised warzones may result in legal action, a charity and law firm have warned.

      Following a notification by the UK’s minister of state for the armed forces, Mark Francois, in July that claimed it was not necessary for Parliament to approve UAV strikes, charity Reprieve and law firm Deighton Pierce Glynn notified the government that action will be taken if it is not clear on where armed UAVs are being used.

    • War on Terror: What’s Old Is New Again [pro-war ravings]
    • Germany Decides Not To Arm Syrian Rebels

      As we just heard, so far there is no coalition behind U.S. airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. There is more support, however, for operations in northern Iraq, where France and Germany are actively involved. Peter Wittig is German Ambassador to the U.S. I spoke with him earlier this week and asked him to describe Germany’s current strategy against ISIS.

    • Arming ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Is Questionable

      Heeding the call to do something about ISIL, Congress passed and Barack Obama signed a measure approving weapons and training for “moderate” Syrian rebels. These moderates are ostensibly fighting against the new Islamic upstarts but are also sworn to overthrow Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad. Obama has repeatedly assured Americans that no boots would be on the ground in Syria (or Iraq, for that matter), sending out National Security Advisor Susan Rice to state, “This program will be hosted outside of Syria in partnership with neighboring countries.” Rice added the process would take “many months,” which the administration hopes will be enough time to sort out all of the various regional players.

    • ANSWER statement against the U.S. bombing of Syria

      We in the ANSWER Coalition oppose this war and are calling for demonstrations to oppose the bombing of Syria and Iraq from September 23 through September 28. This war, like the earlier ones, is being sold on the basis of misinformation and fear. The United States is a major part of the problem and cannot be the solution to the current crisis in Syria and Iraq.

    • US military has large force arrayed across Mideast

      Having expanded its air war against Islamic State jihadists into Syria, the US military can draw on a vast arsenal of aircraft, troops and hardware across the Middle East.

      Here are the basic facts on the American military presence in the region and the strikes carried out so far, according to the Pentagon and defense analysts:

    • American Amnesia: Why the GOP Leads on National Security

      If the latest polls are accurate, most voters believe that Republican politicians deserve greater trust on matters of national security. At a moment when Americans feel threatened by rising terrorist movements and authoritarian regimes, that finding is politically salient—and proves that amnesia is the most durable affliction of our democracy.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Inside the New York Fed: Secret Recordings and a Culture Clash

      Barely a year removed from the devastation of the 2008 financial crisis, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York faced a crossroads. Congress had set its sights on reform. The biggest banks in the nation had shown that their failure could threaten the entire financial system. Lawmakers wanted new safeguards.

    • Housing, Fair Wages, Water, Food, Schools — Ya’ Gotta Bomb them First!

      Don’t forget that much of this murder hardware is designed and conjured up by the best and brightest at our Western colleges. Lawyers abound in this industry. Unions love good Boeing missile making jobs. This is the legacy of killing, empire, a black president who isn’t and is, fabricated by the same shit schools and teachers who also advance murder, economic hits or direct hits with drones and napalm or guided bunker busters.

    • Tax fraud’s such a drone on economy

      The Buenos Aires province’s tax agency says it has used drones to identify around 200 mansions and 100 swimming pools that have not been declared by their owners.

    • Should The Cuban Trade Embargo Be Scrapped?

      It seems like ages ago that Americans spent 13 days wondering if we were on the brink of nuclear war as the Soviet Union and Cuban government engaged the Kennedy Administration in the tumultuous Cuban Missile Crisis. Or even longer ago when American CIA agents stormed the shores of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in a failed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro’s government. Cuba’s allegiance to the Soviets and their admiration for communism encouraged the US to go on the defense and place a trade embargo and severed diplomatic relations with our neighbors 90 miles to the south.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Awful Spanish Copyright Law May Be Stalled Waiting For EU Court Ruling On Plans To Change Spain’s Copyright Levy System

        Techdirt has written about Spain’s new copyright law a couple of times. There, we concentrated on the “Google tax” that threatens the digital commons and open access in that country. But alongside this extremely foolish idea, there was another good one: getting rid of the anachronistic levy on recording devices that was supposed to “compensate” for private copying (as if any such compensation were needed), and paying collecting societies directly out of Spain’s state budget. Needless to say, it is such a good idea that the collecting societies hate it, and have appealed against the new system.

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