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05.10.16

Links 10/5/2016: New RHEL and Fedora Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 6:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source skills in high demand but finding talented staff not easy

    Demand for open source skills is growing, according to the 2016 Open Source Jobs Report based on research conducted by the Linux Foundation and tech career recruiter Dice.

    Hiring managers at various companies revealed that 59 per cent will recruit people with open source skills in the next six months as demand increases for those with the technical know-how to get digital projects up and running.

  • Zillow Eschews Open Source for Proprietary Splunk

    As homeowners and realtors track the dynamic U.S. housing market, platforms like the online real estate database Zillow are seeing surges in traffic as buyers and sellers keep tabs on which properties are moving and when a seller might be ready to drop the asking price.

    To keep up with demand for its services and gauge customer preferences, Zillow Group Inc. (NASDAQ: Z) said this week it is standardizing on Splunk Inc.’s real-time “operational intelligence” platform. Seattle-based Zillow said the ongoing shift to Splunk (NASDAQ: SPLK) includes its mobile as well as web-based real-estate services.

  • Goldman Sachs Talks Open Source

    As you might expect for someone who is constantly surrounded by bankers, Don Duet uses the term “intellectual property” a lot — but it’s good to know that Wall Street is investing in sharing.

    Goldman Sachs doesn’t get a lot of positive press these days (for good reason), but check out what Don Duet, co-head of the Technology Division there, had to say about open source in this video that was posted last June.

  • Databases

    • Redis launches modules to add extensibility to the open source database

      Redis, a type of open source NoSQL database known as a key-value store, is getting an important but long delayed addition. Today at the 2016 RedisConf conference in San Francisco, Redis creator Salvatore Sanfilippo is announcing the launch of modules, a way to extend the functionality of the software.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Italian military to save 26-29 million Euro by migrating to LibreOffice

      The Italian Ministry of Defence expects to save 26-29 million Euro over the coming years by using LibreOffice. The LibreDifesa project aims to eventually migrate all of the organisation’s well over 100,000 desktops to the open-source office productivity suite. “Taking into account the deadlines set by our current Microsoft Office licences, we will have 75,000 (70%) LibreOffice users by 2017, and an additional 25,000 by 2020,” says General Camillo Sileo, Deputy Chief of Department VI, Systems Department C4I, for the Transformation of Defence and General Staff. That will make this deployment of LibreOffice the largest in Europe.

    • Another Big Rollout of LibreOffice Saves Money
  • CMS

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC 6.1 vs. LLVM Clang 3.9 Compiler Performance

      After carrying out the recent GCC 4.9 vs. 5.3 vs. 6.1 compiler benchmarks for looking at the GNU Compiler Collection performance over the past three years on the same Linux x86_64 system, I then loaded up a development snapshot of the LLVM 3.9 SVN compiler to see how these two dominant compilers are competing on the performance front for C/C++ programs.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • The Rise of Open Source Hardware

        “You’ve heard of open source software,” said Templeton, who in 1998 founded ClariNet Communications Corp. — an early dot-com success. “The software that’s running in your phone, in most of your laptops, except for Windows, [and] the Web service you’re going to, where everyone builds software and contributes it back to the world. This idea is actually spreading now into hardware.”

Leftovers

  • The Leicester City Miracle: Playing Against the Statistics

    In that particular erroneous equation, one person’s celebrated Christiano Rinaldo is as good as any other Lionel Messi, both being the grand figures in a broader game of power, capital and statistics. They represent huge clubs that take centre stage and strangle the game as a grand corporate venture rather than an emotional team experience.f

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Latest Strategy To Prevent Women From Getting A Safe Abortion

      Called Dilation and Evacuation (D&E), this type of surgical abortion has become the only legal option left for abortions that take place after 14 weeks that doctors consider safe. But, using inflammatory language describing the D&E procedure as “dismemberment” abortion, state lawmakers are moving to block doctors from using it.

    • 5 Reasons Why You Should Think Twice Before Jumping Into Your Local River

      Is that stream that runs through your backyard safe? What about the river that flows through your local park? Is it polluted? Americans should know that the waterways they swim, play or fish in don’t present a health hazard. But a shocking new report on the nation’s streams and rivers paints a bleak picture: The vast majority are not effectively studied for water quality.

    • Woman killed by ambulance billed $25K for ambulance ride she didn’t live long enough to take

      An ambulance company added insult to injury after billing an Indiana woman’s family for an emergency transport she didn’t live long enough to take.

      Sheila Breck was killed Sept. 23 when an ambulance slammed into her SUV at 85 mph as she was going to pick up her daughter from work, reported WRTV-TV.

      The emergency crew that responded to the Hancock County crash, which also injured two ambulance crew members and a pickup truck driver, called for a medical helicopter for the 64-year-old Breck—who died before it arrived.

    • From Cancer Patient to Medicines Activist

      But, Lyon points out to the crowd, most cancer patients are not this lucky. New cancer treatments average a whopping $10,000 per month. Many patients can’t afford that, even though it is likely their taxpayer dollars paid to develop the medicines. “In fact, much of cancer research happens in publicly funded research hospitals and universities,” Lyon explains. “But the publicly funded research often turns into privately held patents on these new therapies.”

  • Security

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • This Botnet, Called Jaku, Only Targets Scientists, Engineers, And Academics

      Jaku Botnet discriminates while targeting its victims in the wild. It is easier to download from the famous sources like images or Torrents — thanks to the unforced human errors — and once installed, it grips that computer and makes that a part of the Botnet network.

    • Reproducible builds: week 54 in Stretch cycle

      There has been a surprising tweet last week: “Props to @FiloSottile for his nifty gvt golang tool. We’re using it to get reproducible builds for a Zika & West Nile monitoring project.” and to our surprise Kenn confirmed privately that he indeed meant “reproducible builds” as in “bit by bit identical builds”. Wow. We’re looking forward to learn more details about this; for now we just know that they are doing this for software quality reasons basically.

    • Security Analyst Arrested For Disclosing Security Flaw In Florida County’s Election Systems

      A Florida man has been charged with felony criminal hacking charges after disclosing vulnerabilities in the voting systems used in Lee County, Florida. Security analyst David Levin was arrested 3 months after reporting un-patched SQL injection vulnerabilities in the county’s election systems. Levin was charged with three counts of unauthorized access to a computer, network, or electronic device and released on $15,000 bond. Levin’s first and biggest mistake was to post a video of himself on YouTube logging into the Lee County Elections Office network using the credentials of Sharon Harrington, the Lee County Supervisor of Elections.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • No More Fig Leafs: Doctors Without Borders Rejects World Aid Summit, Rips U.N. For Ongoing War Crimes

      Having watched in aggrieved horror the last year as over 75 of its hospitals were bombed and hundreds of its patients and health workers were killed “in violation of the most fundamental rules of war,” Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières, has withdrawn from the World Humanitarian Summit slated for later this month in Turkey. The action comes just days after an MSF-supported hospital in Aleppo, Syria was attacked, killing at least 50 people, including one of the city’s last pediatricians. It also follows last week’s almost entirely redacted, predictably egregious Pentagon report finding that 16 U.S. military personnel involved in the grisly bombing of a MSF hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan in October 2015 – killing 42 and injuring many more – committed “errors” worthy of “disciplinary measures,” but no war or any other kind of crime. The bombings have led many to charge that U.S. so-called policy in those countries is a murky “recipe leading to disaster” born of massive political confusion, and that in the wake of its inevitable disasters, “the Pentagon shouldn’t get to absolve itself for bombing a hospital.”

    • Police chief apologises after ‘suicide bomber’ shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ during Trafford Centre training exercise

      Greater Manchester Police came under fire on social media following the staged training exercise with people demanding to know why it had been linked to Islam

    • CIA-NSA Coup in Brazil loses steam [Ed: assuming that’s what it was in the first place]

      The impeachment proceedings against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, instigated by NSA surveillance and led by a corrupt legislator who bribed colleagues to vote against the country’s leader, faces a major setback.

    • Obama to visit Hiroshima, won’t apologize for World War II bombing

      Barack Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima in Japan later this month, but he will not apologize for the United States’ dropping of an atomic bomb on the city in World War Two, the White House said on Tuesday.

      Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize early in his presidency in 2009 in part for his commitment to nuclear nonproliferation, Obama on May 27 will visit the site of the world’s first nuclear bomb attack with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

      With the end of his last term in office approaching in January 2017, Obama will “highlight his continued commitment to pursuing the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” the White House said in a statement.

    • Still at War with Iran-Nuke Deal

      As neocons look forward to dominant roles in a Clinton-45 administration, they are continuing their attacks on the Iran nuclear deal, thus keeping hope alive to eventually bomb-bomb-bomb Iran, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

    • U.S. Can’t Say Whether or Not $759 Million Spent on Education in Afghanistan Helped Anything

      If at where you work you spent $759 million on something, and then told your boss you have no idea if anything was accomplished, and that the little data you do have is probably fraudulent, how might that work out for you?

      If you are the U.S. government in Afghanistan, you would actually have no problem at all. Just another day at the tip of freedom’s spear, pouring taxpayer cash-a-roni down freedom’s money hole.

    • A Longwinded and Winding Rhodes

      Official Washington is abuzz about the boasts of President Obama’s foreign policy speechwriter Ben Rhodes regarding his selling the Iran nuclear deal, a new club being wielded by the bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran neocons, explains James W Carden.

      [...]

      Rhodes, through the help of some well-connected family friends, quickly found his true calling: climbing the greasy pole of the Washington foreign policy establishment.

    • Top 4 Reasons Iran will stand by Syrian gov’t despite High Casualties

      On Saturday, Iran announced that 13 members of the Revolutionary Guards Corps had been killed and 21 wounded when the al-Qaeda-led Army of Islam fundamentalist Sunni coalition took the village of Khan Touman near Aleppo.

      Iran will nevertheless continue to back the regime of Bashar al-Assad against rebels. An envoy of Iran’s clerical leader, Ali Khamenei, was in Damascus on Saturday. Ali Akbar Velayati said he wanted actually to strengthen Iranian ties with Syria.

    • Christians among the victims in an unstable Yemen

      Christians and Yemen’s other dwindling minorities are now being targeted with little hope of protection from a divided, dysfunctional, and deteriorating state.

    • Which Country Will Vladimir Putin Go After Next?

      The most compelling aspect of The Master Plan is in how it surveys Russia’s relentless propaganda war in the Baltic States. The Russian-state media channels are freely accessible in the Baltics, and are the main news source for 70 percent of their Russian-speaking communities. They have gone to great lengths to “create a fog around the truth,” as Inga Springe, another Re:Baltica journalist, puts it. Much of the rest of the local population feels that they can’t trust any version of the information they receive. Meanwhile, the few Russian journalists who strive to report real news are often fired, and at times forced into exile. Galina Timchenko, the former Editor-in-Chief of lenta.ru, previously one of the most popular news sites in Russia, was fired by the Kremlin-linked owner at the lead up to the Crimean takeover. “They needed to clear the information channels before the Crimean operation,” Timchenko says in the film, speaking from the office of her new media outlet, Meduza, based in Latvia.

    • ISIS Under Bombs: Battered But Not Defeated

      It may not come to this. Not all the news is bad. The most hopeful sign in Syria is that Russia and the US are on occasion acting in unison and have been able for the first time in five years to prod their allies into agreeing ceasefires however shaky and short term. The lesson of the last five years in Syria and the last 13 years in Iraq is that it is very difficult for any single army, government, militia, party, sect or ethnic group to fight successfully for a long period without the support of a foreign power or powers. They may not want to compromise but they may be forced to do so if the alternative is the loss of this essential outside backing. Given that the Assad and anti-Assad forces hate each other, want to kill each other and have no intention of sharing power in future, such compromises are likely to be grudging and short term.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Lost in Bonkers: the Latest Episode in Pro-Nuclear Quackery

      In the old country, where I come from, you call a rubbish article like this one by Professor Steven Hayward, “bollocks.” And if it’s bollocks, then it needs a bollocking. Contrary to popular belief, we Brits are not very polite. So sorry about that, and here goes.

      Firstly, the article is barely by Hayward at all. Twelve of its 18 paragraphs were actually written by — and are attributed to — Hayward’s undeclared Breakthrough Institute crony; Twelve of its 18 paragraphs were actually written by — and are attributed to — Hayward’s undeclared Breakthrough Institute crony; its recently departed president, Michael Shellenberger (who–beware–now runs some outfit called Environmental Progress).

    • ‘Warning for the World’: Five Pacific Islands Officially Lost to Rising Seas

      Five Pacific Islands have been swallowed by rising seas and coastal erosion, in what Australian researchers say is the first confirmation of what climate change will bring.

      The submerged region, which was part of the Solomon Islands archipelago and was above water as recently as 2014, was not inhabited by humans.

      However, a further six islands are also experiencing “severe shoreline recession,” which is forcing the populations in those settlements—some of which have existed since at least 1935—to flee, according to a study published last week in Environmental Research Letters.

    • Climate change is corroding our values, says Naomi Klein

      The need for fossil fuels is destroying regions and communities, causing war and famine in the process, argues the activist and author

    • Why Used Electric Car Batteries Could Be Crucial To A Clean Energy Future

      Battery costs are plummeting to levels that make EVs a truly disruptive technology, as we’ve explained. That’s why electric vehicle (EV) sales are exploding world-wide, and why Tesla broke every record for pre-sales with its affordable ($35,000), 200+ mile range Model 3 last month.

    • Duke Study Finds A “Legacy of Radioactivity,” Contamination from Thousands of Fracking Wastewater Spills

      Thousands of oil and gas industry wastewater spills in North Dakota have caused “widespread” contamination from radioactive materials, heavy metals and corrosive salts, putting the health of people and wildlife at risk, researchers from Duke University concluded in a newly released peer-reviewed study.

    • Coal Power Plant Accused Of Contaminating Neighbors’ Well Water With Carcinogens

      So Kerr — who a week ago moved out of a property that state documents say is worth more than $100,000 — won’t discuss how Pat Calvert, an activist with James Riverkeeper, knocked on her door last year and offered to test her well water. She won’t discuss that, as state documents obtained by ThinkProgress show, small levels of various potentially toxic substances not normally found in nature, including hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen that is often detected in coal ash, were found in her well. She even avoids saying that the Southern Environmental Law Center, which only represents organizations, put her in contact with a lawyer that helped her and her husband navigate the process of negotiating with Dominion.

    • N.C. produces flawed study to dismiss cancer-cluster fears near Duke Energy coal plants

      The spill of tens of thousands of tons of coal ash into the Dan River from an impoundment at a Duke Energy power plant in North Carolina back in February 2014 triggered a long-overdue public discussion in the state about the dangers of toxic coal plant waste and how it might be better handled.

      Some of the most alarming stories came from communities near Duke’s plants, where residents fear the pollution is affecting their health. For example, people living near the Buck plant in Rowan County have reported unusual patterns of cancers and birth defects. Residents near the Belews Creek plant in Stokes County have also complained about high cancer rates, while those living close to the Asheville plant have pointed to unusual numbers of cancers in both people and their pets.

    • The Self-Indulgence of Prioritizing Income Equality While Ignoring US Militarism in the Era of Climate Change

      Income inequality has been rising in the United States for the last forty years and has become especially drastic since 2008. This state of affairs is no accident. Since the late 1970’s, regardless of which party holds the White House, public policy has favored redistribution of wealth upwards through a variety of means including tax cuts, deregulation and, starting in 2008, simply handing out cash, in the case of the bank bail-outs.

      [...]

      The economic might of the US was historically attained and is currently maintained by the power of its military. Our wealth is literally the spoils of war. It started with the theft of land from the Indians, was built on the backs of black slavery, and became a global imperial force through two world wars, the second of which ended with the only use (so far) of nuclear bombs on civilian populations. The slaughter continues to the present, with “peace candidate” Obama carrying on open warfare against at least seven countries, having not ended a single conflict begun by his predecessors. If one wants to see a graphic example of the price paid by some people to support US privilege, Google “Fallujah birth defects.”

      Making the world safe for US corporate resource extraction has been the driving force of American foreign policy. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler revealed that this business was going on a century ago: “I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.” Nothing has changed. The nation’s pie of wealth is still the product of global exploitation.

    • It’s Time for Turkey to Break Free from Coal

      Turkey is emerging as one of the biggest coal battlegrounds in the world, currently there are 71 coal projects at various stages of planning and permission. The Turkish government is pursuing an energy strategy that involves a rapid expansion of coal-fired generation, to meet the needs of a growing economy and reduce the country’s dependence on imported gas. But this rush to exploit coal will cost our country dearly in terms of our population’s health, our environment and also our financial well-being.

      Turkey currently relies heavily on gas-fired generation and has enormous potential for solar and wind power, despite this the government is looking to diversify towards coal justifying this choice by citing security of energy supply. This official plan would involve a 145% increase in coal-fired generation and a 94% jump in power sector emissions.

    • ‘On Borrowed Time’: Human Activity Puts One in Five Plant Species at Risk of Extinction

      Human activity, from the razing of forests to the spewing of carbon, has imperiled large swaths of the plant kingdom, according to a landmark survey of the world’s flora published Tuesday.

    • France studying possible ban on import of U.S. Shale gas – minister

      French Energy Minister Segolene Royal said on Tuesday she is investigating legal means to ban the import of shale gas from the United States because France has banned shale gas exploration using hydraulic fracking for environmental reasons.

      Royal, answering a question in parliament, said contracts signed by French gas utility Engie and power utility EDF with a U.S. producer have led to the import of LNG which contained about 40 percent shale gas.

      “I have asked the two companies why they weren’t vigilant and I have also asked for an examination of a legal means for us to ban the import of shale gas,” Royal said in parliament.

  • Finance

    • A few weeks after the Panama Papers’ release, The New York Times and Washington Post start digging in

      The Washington Post and The New York Times, initially not invited to participate in the worldwide Panama Papers investigation, have now signed collaboration agreements with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists leading the project.

    • Trump’s Dangerous National Debt Plan Is Also Unconstitutional

      Presumptive Republican presidential nominee has an unusual plan for our nation’s finances: intentionally refuse to pay back America’s debt.

      Trump offered this idea during an interview with CNBC last Thursday. “I would borrow,” Trump said. “knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal.” The “deal” Trump envisioned was an arrangement that would allow America to effectively repudiate some of its debt by not paying its creditors in full.

    • Trapped in ‘Vicious Circle,’ Greece Passes Crushing New Austerity Package

      Amid protests and strikes, Greek lawmakers passed a crushing new austerity package early on Monday.

      The reform package, which passed by a razor-thin margin, was described as “the toughest…the thrice bailed-out nation has been forced to enact since its debt crisis began,” according to the Guardian.

      The austerity measures represent €5.4 billion ($6.2 billion) in savings and would reduce Greece’s pension payouts while raising taxes. The so-called “Troika” of international creditors—the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Central Bank—are demanding such painful reforms in return for an €86 billion bailout agreed to last July in a bid to pull Greece out of its debt crisis.

    • The Ugly Truth Behind the Greek Bailout

      Meantime in Greece, transportation and civic services throughout the country grind to a screeching halt, full stop, as the people hit the streets.

      Queen Christine’s backroom stratagem, described in a Wikileaks’ leaked confidential letter exclusive to Troika members, preceded the three-day nationwide strike in very strong protest against more and more, infinitely more, austerity measures burying the Greek people as quid pro quo for bailout money, which almost exclusively (95%) serves to service creditors. This is insanity of the highest order. How can Greeks at all accede to a measly 5%?

    • 3 Oligarchs-Turned-GOP Governors Who Are Laying Ruin to Their States

      Bevin, Rauner and Scott are only too happy to attack the poor at every turn while their own fortunes continue to grow.

    • Sanders’ Tax Plan Will Reduce Inequality, But Could Go Much Further

      Perhaps, the biggest hole in his proposals is a greater focus on the taxation of income and not on the taxation of wealth—where one finds the greatest disparity.

    • Why the Economy Should Stop Growing—And Just Grow Up

      Listen to the political candidates as they put forward their economic solutions. You will hear a well-established and rarely challenged narrative. “We must grow the economy to produce jobs so people will have the money to grow their consumption, which will grow more jobs…” Grow. Grow. Grow.

    • Calling for New Global Rules, Economists Decry Financially Useless Tax Havens

      Hundreds of top economists on Monday released a letter stating that tax havens hurt the global poor and have no economic justification, urging world leaders to abolish offshore secrecy.

      “The existence of tax havens does not add to overall global wealth or well-being; they serve no useful economic purpose,” the letter reads. “Whilst these jurisdictions undoubtedly benefit some rich individuals and multinational corporations, this benefit is at the expense of others, and they therefore serve to increase inequality.”

      Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, which helped organize the letter, warned that “millions of the world’s poorest people will continue to be the biggest victims of tax dodging until governments act together to tackle tax havens.”

    • Higher education and neoliberal temptation

      The neoliberal agenda that came into being a few decades ago in the northern hemisphere, and was eventually globalized, now seems to threaten systems of higher education worldwide. The persistence of this phenomenon has become alarming to many who care about its social consequences. As you have correctly and insightfully observed in your 2014 book Neoliberalism’s War on Higher Education, “a full-fledged assault is also being waged on higher education in North America, the United Kingdom and various European countries. While the nature of the assault varies across countries, there is a common set of assumptions and practices driving the transformation of higher education into an adjunct of corporate power and values”. Why is this agenda taking over societies that are so different from each other? What makes neoliberalism so overwhelmingly powerful and resistant to criticism as well as to social action? Why do governments give themselves up to neoliberal ideology, even if they claim to represent quite different ideological positions?

    • Middle classes in Latin America (7). Impoverishment in Venezuela
    • Middle classes in Latin America (6). Between political instability and authoritarianism in Bolivia

      Understanding the emerging groups is a key ingredient for understanding the risks and challenges that Bolivia and other Latin American nations face. A context of economic crisis could force many of these new non-poor back into poverty, producing a sense of malaise and dissatisfaction that could fuel political instability and turmoil. On the other side, the unconditional support for an already strong government could consolidate an authoritarian project that ignores the constitution and the mechanisms that guarantee the division of powers that are basic for a republican government. A combination of responsible management of the economic and prudent democratic leadership could lead these emerging groups to consolidate themselves as the majoritarian middle class the country never had. But a combination of economic crisis and abusive leadership could imply the return to a past of instability that many think is gone forever.

    • TPP Critics to Make Case Against the Controversial Deal at Montreal Consultations
    • Why Millennials Have the Greatest Stake in Social Security Expansion

      Discussions about Social Security in politics and the media often focus on its role as a retirement program that provides vital protections to seniors. But the fact is that Social Security provides vital retirement, disability, and survivors’ insurance for all generations of Americans. In addition to significantly reducing senior poverty, Social Security is the nation’s largest children’s program and lifted 6.9 million Americans under age 65 out of poverty in 2014. And no generation has a greater stake in the fight to protect and expand Social Security benefits than today’s young workers, the millennial generation.

    • Hedge Funds Faced Choppy Waters in 2015, but Chiefs Cashed In

      He recently made headlines when he paid $500 million for two pieces of art. In September, Mr. Griffin, 47, reportedly paid $200 million to buy several floors in a new luxury condo tower that is being built at 220 Central Park South, in Manhattan.

    • Meet the Ayn Rand Enthusiast Whose Private College Empire Reaps a Fortune From the Govt.

      Yet, according to a New York Times profile by Patricia Cohen, Barney sees himself as a principled ideologue, contributing millions of his own dollars to the Ayn Rand institute and forcing employees who seek to advance in the ranks to read Atlas Shrugged, as well as his own manifesto.

      “This is what Rand taught me,” Barney told the Times, “identify that values are important to you and practices the virtues to achieve that.”

      In fact, Barney—who immigrated from Britain to the United States in the 1960s, told Cohen that the “central purpose” Rand infused him with inspired him to go into education in the first place. He described thinking, “Wow…you could actually buy a college? That’s what I want to do.”

      Barney did not buy just one college, purchasing or establishing CollegeAmerica, Stevens-Henager and California College, as well as the online Independence University. These schools in 2012 merged with the free market, non-profit “Center for Excellence in Higher Education,” whose organizational structure allowed Barney’s education empire to attain nonprofit status.

    • Big Banks Want To Take The Sting Out Of Payday Loans. Predatory Lenders Are Not Happy About It.
    • Donald Trump Still Loves Tax Cuts for the Rich

      TPC figures the average gazillionaire will save $1.3 million per year under Trump’s tax plan. So what Trump is saying is that he’s willing to consider a plan in which the gazillionaires will only get a tax cut of, say, a million dollars per year.

      Do you want percentages instead? Of course you do! Under Trump’s plan—like all Republican tax plans—a middle-class worker gets a tax reduction of only 4.3 percentage points. The gazillionaires get a whopping reduction of 12.5 percentage points.

      Quite the man of the people, no?

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Neoconservatism and the Trump Effect

      However, Trump’s ascendance is and will remain a particular cause for concern when it comes to the neoconservative wing of the Republican coalition, for whom Trump’s apparent foreign policy propensities are a much bigger issue than they are for the average Republican voter. Trump has hinted at holding philosophies that would be anathema to the neoconservative movement. For example, his promise to make “America first…the overriding theme of my administration,” and to “never send our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary,” suggests an isolationism that obviously clashes with the aggressively interventionist streak that defines neoconservatism. Trump has also talked about positioning himself as “neutral” on Israel-Palestine, and although it’s not clear exactly what he means by that it is a position that couldn’t be much more at odds with the neoconservative right’s unabashedly pro-Israel fervor. He’s also challenged core neocon precepts by heavily criticizing (and lying about his own record in opposing) the Iraq War, and famously mocking Jeb Bush’s contention that his brother George W. “kept us safe.”

    • Ralph Nader and Chris Hedges Breaking Through Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

      “Kshama Sawant and I spoke with Bernie Sanders at an event we did together the night before the climate march,” Hedges said. “We had urged Sanders not to run as a Democrat for precisely the reasons that are now evident. The Democratic Party establishment had fixed the system against him. He did surprisingly well given that they lock out independents, they have superdelegates, Clinton has super PACs.”

    • Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders: Debunking Some Election Fraud Allegations

      But looking at our criteria or factors that may indicate election fraud, there isn’t just a question of substantial-ness. Bernie actually outperformed his expectations from the initial entrance polling by around 6% and by 3% from the pre-election polling. There are mutual allegations of “cheating” coming out of the Polk County convention. You can read an exhaustive blow by blow of it here from a local blogger who has Bernie sympathies but strives to be fair to all. At the end of the day, it seems to me like Americans passionate about politics going a bit overboard.

    • Clinton and the DNC Are Not Just Colluding — They’re Changing the Rules for Superdelegates

      The award for most deliberate and egregious burying of a lead has just been handed out.

      It goes to NBC News, for a story entitled, “Bernie Sanders Makes Things Awkward for Hillary Clinton’s DNC Takeover.”

      Put aside for a moment that the story’s central premise is the uncritical repetition of a nonsense: the idea that a major-party convention can’t — as in literally cannot be — planned without a nominee being declared at least a month and a half in advance. We know that’s untrue because, up until a week ago, that’s exactly what the GOP was (with minimal public grousing by RNC Chair Reince Priebus) planning to do.

    • This Attack on Sanders’ Medicare-for-All Plan is Ridiculous

      The Urban Institute and the Tax Policy Center today released analyses of the costs of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ domestic policy proposals, including single-payer national health insurance. They claim that Sanders’ proposals would raise the federal deficit by $18 trillion over the next decade.

      We won’t address all of the issues covered in these analyses, just single-payer Medicare for all. To put it bluntly, the estimates (which were prepared by John Holahan and colleagues) are ridiculous. They project outlandish increases in the utilization of medical care, ignore vast savings under single-payer reform, and ignore the extensive and well-documented experience with single-payer systems in other nations – which all spend far less per person on health care than we do.

    • New Polling Shows Sanders, Not Clinton, Most Formidable Against Trump

      As forces in both major parties have begun to mobilize against a Trump presidency, a new national poll out Tuesday reveals the most surefire way to derail the GOP frontrunner: Nominate Bernie Sanders.

      The NBC News/SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll found that if the 2016 presidential election were held today, 53 to 40 percent of voters would elect Sanders over Donald Trump—which is more than double the margin that Hillary Clinton holds over the presumptive Republican nominee.

      According to the survey, which was conducted online from May 2 through May 8, the former secretary of state also leads Trump, but with a far smaller margin: 49 to 44 percent, with an error estimate of plus or minus 1.3 percentage points.

      Meanwhile, a separate poll found that in key presidential swing states the anointed nominees are running neck and neck.

      The latest Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday shows Clinton beating Trump by just one point—43 to 42 percent—in both Florida and Pennsylvania. In Ohio, the real estate mogul holds a four-point lead over Clinton, with 43 to 39 percent.

    • Automatic Motor-Voter Registration Now Law in Four States

      In a year when many states are making it harder to vote, some are pushing in the opposite direction.

    • Bernie Sanders Explains to Stephen Colbert How He Can Still Take Out Hillary Clinton

      Bernie Sanders has a response for anyone wondering why he hasn’t dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination: “It is not a lost cause.”

      The Vermont senator shared that message with Stephen Colbert on Monday night, as the Late Show host struggled to get his hands on a much-desired candy bar that got lodged inside a broken vending machine.

      “You can’t give up on that contested confection,” Sanders said, swaying the machine to successfully release the candy bar. “You’ve got to rock the system!”

    • Watch: Bernie Sanders Makes His Case to Colbert in Most Charming Way Possible

      “You’ve got to believe, Stephen. You’ve got to rock the system.”

    • Hillary Clinton Protesters in East L.A. Would Rather ‘Deport Her’ Than Support Her (Multimedia)

      Hillary Clinton made a campaign stop in East Los Angeles on Cinco de Mayo, but not everyone in the Mexican-American community welcomed the Democratic presidential candidate.

      Hundreds of protesters (some estimated the count to be as high as 1,000) gathered at Belvedere Park and then marched to East Los Angeles College, two blocks away, where Clinton spoke to supporters at a rally that included an eight-piece mariachi band.

      According to KPCC radio, the demonstration was organized by members of Unión del Barrio, an independent political group that also went to a recent rally for Donald Trump in Costa Mesa, Calif.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Father of Scientology Leader Goes After Inhumanity of the ‘Church’ as Controversy Builds Around His Tell-All Book

      The book’s publication has been met with protest from Scientology and David Miscavige — lawyers have sent letters to the book’s British and American publisher warning of a lawsuit for defamation. A statement from the Church calls the book “a sad exercise in betrayal” and claims that “Ronald Miscavige was nowhere around when David Miscavige ascended to the leadership of the Church of Scientology, mentored by and working directly with the religion’s founder L. Ron Hubbard, and entrusted by him with the future of the Church.”

    • Whistle-Blowers Accuse Facebook of Censorship, Bias

      But it might surprise you to know that Facebook may be deliberately filtering out some kind of stories and boosting others. This week, five former Facebook employees revealed to Gizmodo that they routinely suppressed conservative news. All of the former news curators declined to be named in the report for fear of violating their non-disclosure agreements with the company.

      [...]

      Though the idea of censorship might rub you the wrong way, many argue that Facebook is a private company that can promote the kind of content it wants. New York University Professor Jay Rosen, the author of PressThink, a blog about journalism in the digital age, weighs in on the debate.

    • Facebook disputes political censorship reports

      Facebook is pushing back on a Gizmodo report Monday that employees in charge of its “trending” bar avoided stories popular among conservatives. The social network didn’t reject the report outright, but said it has guidelines to ensure fairness. “There are rigorous guidelines in place for the review team to ensure consistency and neutrality. These guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives. Nor do they permit the prioritization of one viewpoint over another or on news outlet over another,” the company said in a statement.

    • Facebook denies censoring conservative stories from trending topics
    • Does Facebook Suppress Conservative News Outlets and Topics?

      Ex-staffers of the social media behemoth claim stories written by and about conservatives are deliberately kept from “Trending.”

    • ‘Blacklisting’ of Right-Wing Stories More Proof that Facebook ‘Rules the News’

      Revelations that Facebook may have regularly “blacklisted” conservative stories from the platform’s “trending” news section was met with outrage on Monday from journalists across the political spectrum who found the company’s alleged abuse of power “disturbing” and potentially dangerous.

      After speaking with several former “news curators,” Gizmodo technology editor Michael Nunez reported Monday that the social media platform routinely censored stories “about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.”

    • New unlimited VPN app for iPhone is designed to bypass censorship
  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Korea’s Next Generation

      Street protests throughout the southern tier of Europe – in Greece, in Spain – were also fueled by unemployed youth. In Greece, the unemployment rate for young people peaked at 60 percent in 2013, a time of huge popular unrest. The Spanish rate hit a high of 55 percent in July 2013, also a time of mass protests.

    • What It’s Like To Be A Principal Of Color Dealing With White Parents

      In a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in northwest D.C., a parent attending a school meeting is angry that her child doesn’t have enough time to play at recess. She berates the school principal — a black woman nearly a foot shorter than she is — in front of the other parents, pointing a finger no more than two inches away from her face and shouting, “How do you expect to keep your job?”

    • This Guide Challenges Colleges’ Tendency To Ask Students About Criminal Record

      On Monday, the U.S. Department of Education released a guide for colleges that will help them decide how to ask questions about someone’s criminal justice record — and that raises the issue of whether colleges should be asking for that information at all.

    • #StopTrump Protesters Lock Themselves to Ladders to Block Traffic Outside Trump Rally in Washington

      On Saturday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made his first campaign visit to Washington state, where he addressed thousands of supporters in Spokane and later in Lynden. He decried the loss of manufacturing jobs, and vowed to win Washington state in November. He also warned of the threat posed by Syrian refugees. Meanwhile, outside the rally, dozens of #StopTrump activists blockaded a highway in Lynden as Trump held a rally in the rural community near the Canadian border. Three activists were arrested after they used chains and PVC pipe “lockboxes” to form a human chain across two lanes of traffic. They said their action was a protest against what they described as a campaign rooted in fear and hatred. The protest held up traffic for more than a half-hour, delaying many Trump supporters. Democracy Now! was at the protest.

    • The curse of Brexit: the referendum claims its first scalp, Scottish Labour

      The UK’s 23 June referendum on membership of the EU is a European event and will have ramifications across the continent. Already it has had one clear consequence. The Labour party in Scotland has become the first victim of the Brexit referendum.

    • Brexit bunkum II – the professors and their pamphlet

      The “Economists for Brexit” pamphlet is riddled with nonsense.

    • The Anti-Semite’s Best Friend

      What Montagu and most other Jews feared was that the creation of a Jewish state in a far-flung territory dovetailed a little too neatly with the aspirations of Europe’s anti-Semites, then much in evidence, including in the British government.

      According to the dominant assumptions of Europe’s ethnic nationalisms of the time, the region should be divided into peoples or biological “races”, and each should control a territory in which it could flourish.

      The Jews were viewed as a “problem” because – in addition to lingering Christian anti-semitism – they were considered subversive of this national model.

      Jews were seen as a race apart, one that could not – or should not – be allowed to assimilate. Better, on this view, to encourage their emigration from Europe. For British elites, the Balfour Declaration was a means to achieve that end.

    • Gideon v. Wainwright in the Age of a Public Defense Crisis

      In my recent article in the Columbia Law Review, “What Gideon Did,” I examined the grassroots effects of Gideon v. Wainwright, the landmark 1963 Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to state-provided counsel in criminal cases. For a number of structural reasons, state-level funding for Gideon’s implementation has proven unpredictable in the best of times, and susceptible to collapse in the worst of times, as defendants in Louisiana can attest. Given this history, Congress should step in to secure the Gideon guarantee with federal funding, so that defenders like Natasha George—and the poor people they serve—are not so vulnerable to the politics of state budgets.

    • This 27-Year-Old Is Going to Prison for Life Because His Fiancée OD’d

      At every level of the criminal justice system, from patrol cops to judges, there’s an increased push for a more humane approach to drug use—treating addiction where it exists instead of shoveling drug users into America’s overcrowded jails and prisons.

      But you can always count on U.S. prosecutors to find some way to exact inhumanely long prison sentences. In several states, prosecutors have begun to charge people who sell or give someone drugs with murder if that person dies.

    • Prosecutor wants jail for Luxleaks whistleblowers

      Luxembourg prosecutors Tuesday asked for 18-month prison sentences for two whistleblowers accused of stealing private financial information in connection with the so-called Luxleaks scandal.

      Concluding a two-week trial, the prosecutors said that whistleblower protections should not apply to two French defendants, Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet, both former employees of the audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. The prosecutors also recommended a fine for another defendant in the case, French journalist Edouard Perrin.

      The three are on trial over actions that led to the November 2014 Luxleaks media revelations of favorable tax deals that Luxembourg gave to 350 multinational companies, including Amazon, Apple, Ikea and Disney. They are charged with theft and violation of trade secrets.

    • Private Prison CEOs ‘Pleased’ Their Earnings Soared From Keeping Immigrant Kids In Detention

      During separate conference calls to talk about earnings reports, two of the country’s largest for-profit private prisons indicated that they saw their profits soar from holding immigrant mothers and children in detention centers across the country.

      Revenues increased during the first quarter of 2016 for both the Corrections Corp. of America and GEO Group, executives told shareholders on conference calls.

      CCA saw a revenue of $447.4 million, a 5 percent increase from last year’s first quarter. The company’s press release attributed much of that increase to a federal contract with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

    • Student Hit With 70 Criminal Charges After Exposing Himself During Yearbook Photo Shoot

      When will schools tire of involving law enforcement in routine disciplinary matters? Not soon enough, apparently.

      Hunter Osborn, a senior at Red Mountain High School in Mesa, AZ, did a “teen” thing. Prompted by other teens who enjoy a good bit of teen lowbrow comedy, Osborn slipped the tip of his penis over his waistband during the football team’s photo shoot. Osborn and his crotch-level co-star went unnoticed as yearbooks and game programs containing his exposed penis were published and handed out.

      The school, of course, was furious. Instead of handling its own problems, it decided to turn it over to law enforcement — for reasons only completely understood by school administrators who believe “school discipline” is pronounced “police matter.” Perhaps this overreaction was fueled by the school’s own editorial lapse, as it only noticed the exposed penis in the photograph after Osborn bragged about it on “social media.”

    • Sadiq Khan and Trump: Why KKK Donald’s values are Unacceptable

      The charismatic young mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is calling out Donald Trump for his bigotry toward Muslims. He says he plans to visit the United States this fall before the presidential election, because in case Trump wins, he won’t be able to.

    • Local funding is not just an option anymore—it’s an imperative

      Most importantly of all, this small but growing field, which emphasizes multi-stakeholder governance and local asset development, and local philanthropy as key to constituency building, has a particular relevance for civil society sectors more generally in the context of shrinking spaces for civil society, the criminalization of activism and the overall reduction of resources in many parts of the world.

    • Somali Reporter Blocked From Entering Courtroom Is The Latest In String Of Incidents In Minneapolis

      Shortly after 8 a.m. on Monday, Mukhtar Ibrahim tried to make his way through a security checkpoint and into a federal courtroom in Minneapolis.

      Ibrahim, a Minnesota Public Radio journalist covering the first day of the trial of three Minnesota men accused of plotting to join ISIS, looked on as a white reporter and others make it through the checkpoint without incident. But when he reached the front of the line, a marshal stopped him.

    • Republicans Only Care About Children Before They’re Born

      When it comes to children, Republicans are hypocrites.

      They go on and on about how “pro-life” they are, but they really only care about “humans” before they’re born. After that, they couldn’t care less.

      Case in point: the so-called “Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016,” the brainchild of Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita that would decimate a key part of the federal free lunch program.

    • Filipinos Just Elected Rodrigo Duterte, Their Version of Trump, as President

      Despite his fondness for peppering campaign speeches with crude jokes about rape victims and his use of Viagra, the next president of the Philippines will be Rodrigo Duterte, a 71-year-old mayor whose signature policy proposal is a promise to eliminate crime within six months by licensing the police to murder suspects.

    • An Indian teen was raped by her father. Village elders had her whipped.

      The teenage girl, dressed in pink, sits in the dirt before six community elders.

      In a scene captured on a cellphone video, one of the men wags his finger angrily at her. He rages: This girl must be punished.

      A villager ties her waist with rope, holding the other end, and lifts a tree branch into the air. She bows her head. The first lash comes, then another, then another. Ten in all. She lets out a wail.

      Eventually the crowd starts murmuring, “Enough, enough,” although nobody moves to stop the beating. Finally, the man throws down his stick. It’s over.

    • Judge Rejects Attempt To Force Lauri Love To Decrypt His Computers, Despite Never Charging Him With A Crime

      Back in March, we wrote about the troubling situation in the UK, in which the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) was trying to force hacker/activist Lauri Love to decrypt his computers, despite never actually charging him with a crime. Back in 2014, US authorities sought to extradite Love for supposedly hacking into government computers. As part of that process, the government took all of his electronics and demanded he turn over his encryption keys. He refused. Under the RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) law in the UK, prosecutors could then charge him for failing to disclose his passwords… but, importantly, they did not do so.

      Last year, the NCA actually returned most of Love’s stuff, but held onto six items: three computers, two hard drives and an SD card. Love sought to get them back, using a civil legal action against the NCA. The NCA then, somewhat ridiculously, sought to use that civil action to again force Love to decrypt the devices it held, in particular asking that he decrypt some TrueCrypt files on the SD card and hard drives. Thankfully, the court has flatly rejected the NCA’s demand, noting that it appeared to be a clear attempt to do an endrun around RIPA, which has a variety of protections.

    • Judge refuses attempt to force alleged hacker Lauri Love to hand over passwords

      The National Crime Agency has lost its attempt to force alleged hacker Lauri Love to hand over the passwords and encryption keys to his seized computers and hard drives.

      In a landmark case, the security service failed to convince the court that it required access to all of the contents on Love’s seized devices. Had the NCA won, it would have created a backdoor into personal encrypted devices for law enforcement.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Immediate action for Human Resource Departments on the Defend Trade Secrets Act [Ed: The government of the corporate empire has new weapon against whistleblowers.]

      Whistle Blower Immunity: The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) amends 18 U.S.C. 1832 to provide limited whistle blower immunity. The headline for the provision is “immunity from liability for confidential disclosure of a trade secret to the government or in a court filing.” Thus, an action that would otherwise count as trade secret misappropriation will be immunized if the disclosure:

      (A) is made (i) in confidence to a Federal, State, or local government official, either directly or indirectly, or to an attorney; and (ii) solely for the purpose of reporting or investigating a suspected violation of law; or (B) is made in a complaint or other document filed in a lawsuit or other proceeding, if such filing is made under seal.

      The statute is clear that the immunity extends to protect against both state and federal law; both civil and criminal allegations. A statute also (unnecessarily in my view) includes a provision that allows someone “who files a lawsuit for retaliation by an employer for reporting a suspected violation of law” to disclose trade secrets to his attorney and “use the trade secret information in the court proceeding” so long as documents containing the trade secrets are filed under seal and are not disclosed except by court order.

    • Trademarks

      • Wines, spirits, cheese – and less GI infringement please!

        I enjoyed reading the European Union Intellectual Property Office’s report, “Infringement of Protected Geographical Indications for Wine, Spirits, Agricultural Products and Foodstuff in the European Union” last week—in no small part because it addressed some of my favourite things: wine, spirits, and cheese! Of course, not all things are created, or sold, equal. Some of my favourite things (like Scotch Whisky and Parmigiano Reggiano) are protected by Geographical Indications (GIs), a sui generis intellectual property right under EU law, and others are not.

    • Copyrights

      • UK Gov’t Pushing For 10-Year Jail Sentences For Copyright Infringement Based On ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        For many years, we’ve pointed out that so much policymaking around copyright law is what we’d argue to be purely “faith-based.” The fact that there is little to no actual evidence that stronger copyright protections lead to better outcomes for the public, the economy or for society is ignored by people who just know it must be true. And the constant assertions about extending and expanding copyright always seem to come from this same faith-based positioning. An exploration into the empirical basis for copyright law finds that there basically is none and the reason we have copyright is because a couple of centuries ago some people thought it was a good idea, and no one’s really bothered to check since then.

        One of the most ridiculous examples of this “faith-based” reasoning is the belief, among many, that the way to stop widespread copyright infringement is just to increase the punishment for those who are caught. Sure, you can understand the armchair economists’ reasoning here: if you increase the punishment, you’re increasing the “cost,” which should decrease the activity. But, that’s just wrong on many, many levels. First, let’s take a step out of the copyright realm and into the criminal justice realm. After vastly expanding punishment (via things like “three strikes” laws), many, many people (even those who supported such programs) are now admitting that long sentences don’t actually do much to deter crime. While there were some studies in the 80s and 90s suggesting long sentences reduce crime, more recent (and much more thorough) studies have basically rejected that view. A recent survey of many studies in the area found little support for the idea that longer sentences deter criminal activity.

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