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05.17.16

Links 17/5/2016: Wine 1.9.10, ChaletOS 16.04

Posted in News Roundup at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux, the GPL and the Power of Sharing

    Yes Virginia, there is a Linux community. It’s alive and well in just about every place you want to imagine. And it’s doing quite well for itself. Quite well.

  • End of Apple, maddog Recovering, PCLOS Drops 32-bit

    Top new today in the Linux world is the recovery of Jon “maddog” Hall. Hall, a staunch supporter of Linux and Open Source, recently suffered a heart attack and is now recovering comfortably at home. PCLinuxOS announced the end of the 32-bit versions and Dimstar blogged the latest in Tumbleweed. Elsewhere, Paul Venezia said Apple is on the ropes and Neil Rickert said Microsoft clearly doesn’t even care about security.

  • Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog: I give my heart to you

    One last thing. I would like to give a heartfelt (no pun intended) “Thank you” and my admiration for Dr. Berry and the entire staff of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Nashua, New Hampshire. How do you thank people for saving your life?

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • CoreOS Fest Showcases New Projects to Advance Containers

      CoreOS held its second annual CoreOS Fest event May 9-10 in Berlin, with a satellite event simulcast in San Francisco. CoreOS originally got its start in 2013 as an optimized delivery platform for Docker containers but has evolved to become one of Docker Inc.’s primary rivals, building out its own rkt container runtime. CoreOS also has become a leading contributor to the Kubernetes open-source container orchestration platform, originally built by Google. CoreOS’ commercial tectonic platform is a fully supported Kubernetes distribution that aims to provide organizations with a Google Infrastructure for Everyone Else (GIFEE) platform. At CoreOS Fest, the company announced a new $28 million round of funding to help advance its technologies and marketing efforts. Also at the event, Tigera, a new company that will oversee the commercialization of the Canal open-source effort, officially launched. Zachary Smith, CEO of Packet, used his time on the CoreOS Fest stage to detail how his cloud hosting company is enabling trusted cloud computing on a bare metal platform. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some of the highlights of the CoreOS Fest event.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Some new Breeze app icons in Frameworks 5.22

        Some icons I made, you can find them in KDE Frameworks 5.22

        The QOwnNotes icon became the official one. Give to this app a try, it’s super.

      • The initiation

        What will I be doing you ask? Well, as some people know Krita on Mac OS X is not quite there yet. Some of the new cool functionality added to Krita 3.0 is forcefully omitted from the OS X release. Deep down in the depths of Krita painting we paint decorations using Qt’s kindly provided QPainter class. This class allows us to make pretty lines and shapes very easily, and is perfectly suited to drawing all of the overlay functionality (such as grids, cursors, guides, etc.). What could possibly go wrong there? Well, even though we are grateful to have such easy rendering functionality, the backend of those functions haven’t exactly kept up with the times.

      • QtCon Call for Papers Extended!

        What have you been working on lately that you’d like to share at a QtCon talk? The Qt Community of developers wants to hear from you! Submit your proposal by Friday and get a chance to contribute to this one-off, unique Event in Berlin.

      • Care to help test Plasma 5.6.4?
      • Compiling all of Qt5, KF5, Plasma5, kdepim5, apps…

        I see a very high value in compiling my own Qt, and on top of it all the KDE-made software that I use. This makes it very easy to fix bugs and add improvements to the software I use on a day to day basis. Nowadays I think many developers use distro packages for Qt or KF5 or even the whole environment except for the one app they’re working on, but in my opinion this leads to “silo” thinking, with workarounds in upper layers rather than fixing issues at the right place.

        So, here’s a working and easy recipe for compiling all the Qt-based software you use.

      • Transmission in QML?

        One of the hardest parts of actually doing something is the action to do it. I spend quite a while saying to myself “I’ll start learning QML”, then I discovered that there is a Qt version of Transmission, the one used on Windows and also a few linux flavors. Unfortunately it’s not polished as I hoped to run unmodified on Mac, Gnome and such (it runs fine on Plasma, my DE of choice, but I wanted to make it work nice anywhere).

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • New features in GNOME To Do

        GNOME To Do is an application that manages a simple set of to-do lists. To Do was built by Georges Stavracas, a frequent contributor to GNOME software including Calendar and Nautilus, during Google Summer of Code. It’s designed to be the best tool to manage what you want to achieve with your projects and daily life.

        GNOME 3.20 (available in the upcoming Fedora 24 release) brings many new enhancements, some of which expand the functionality of GNOME To Do. I spoke with Georges about what these changes bring, and what the future holds for To Do.

      • Orca Screen Reader Updated for GNOME 3.20.2 with Performance Improvements

        The Orca open-source screen reader and magnifier software used by default in numerous GNU/Linux operating systems has been updated today, May 16, 2016, to version 3.20.2.

      • Reviving the GTK development blog

        The GTK+ project has a development blog.

        I know it may come as a shock to many of you, and you’d be completely justified in thinking that I just made that link up — but the truth is, the GTK+ project has had a development blog for a long while.

      • GNOME.Asia Summit 2016

        While I was going through news.gnome.org, a piece of news flashed on my screen stating that GNOME.Asia summit 2016 is to be held in Delhi, India which is my own place. Though at that time I was completely unaware about what happens in a summit, what it is meant for and all that sort of questions. But for once, I decided to atleast attend it, if not participate. I told about this news to my mentors Jonas Danielsson and Damian Nohales. Initially i was quite reluctant to participate there, but Jonas pushed me a lot to present a lightning talk about my outreachy project in the summit. Damian too motivated me to go for the summit. Therefore I decided to submit a lightning talk proposal about my project : “Adding print route support in GNOME-Maps”. Within few days i got the confirmation regarding the acceptance of my talk and also the approval of travelling sponsorship.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Review: Rebellin Linux v3 GNOME

        Last week, I finished and passed my generals! This not only means that I can continue doing research here with a roof over my head and with money to feed myself; it also means that I now have the time to get back to doing reviews and posting about other things here. I’m starting this week by reviewing Rebellin Linux.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro Linux 16.06 Release Candidate 1 Is Out with Linux Kernel 4.6 Support

        Today, May 16, 2016, Philip Müller proudly announced the availability of the first Release Candidate (RC1) build of the highly anticipated Manjaro Linux 16.06 “Daniella” computer operating system based on Arch Linux.

        Early adopters can now jump into the Manjaro Linux 16.06 RC bandwagon and take the upcoming for a test drive on their personal computers, as the team of skilled developers led by Philip Müller have done a great job in the past few months to make the Arch Linux-based distro as stable and reliable as possible.

      • Arch Linux and SparkyLinux Are Among the First Distros to Offer Linux Kernel 4.6

        Linux kernel 4.6 was officially announced, as expected, on May 15, 2016, by Linus Torvalds, and we were just wondering which GNU/Linux distributions will be the first to adopt it.

      • Manjaro 16.06 RC1 Polishes Xfce 4.12, Linux 4.4 LTS

        The first release candidate to the upcoming Manjaro 16.06 “Daniella” release is now available.

        Manjaro’s flagship desktop continues to be built upon Xfce 4.12, for which they’ve worked on more polishing and improvements this release cycle. Manjaro 16.06 for the KDE spin will feature Plasma 5.6 and KDE Applications 16.04.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • LetsEncrypt on openSUSE Leap

        I’ve been running my personal blog on rootco.de for a few months now. The server is a minimal install of openSUSE Leap 42.1 running on a nice physical machine hosted at the awesome Hetzner, who offer openSUSE Leap as an OS on all of their Physical and Virtual server hosting. I use the standard Apache available in Leap, with Jekyll to generate this blog. You can actually see the source to this Jekyll blog on GitHub. And to manage it all I use the awesome SaltStack and keep all of my Salt configuration in GitHub also so you can see exactly how my system is setup.

    • Red Hat Family

      • 5 rules for avoiding burnout

        Recently, I was asked to fly to India to help some new teams at Red Hat learn a bit more about how to approach the ideas underpinning Agile effectively. Impulsive me wanted to respond, “Yes, I will absolutely travel to India to meet people and share what I know.” However, reasonable me followed up with, “OK, so you are going to fly to India. That’s almost a two-day trip, you will only be there for around a day, and then you have to fly back for two days. You have a class that week, are teaching the following week, and somewhere in between all of that you are supposed to organize a yard sale. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, you need a visa.”

      • Fedora

        • Single sign-on improvements in Fedora 24

          How many times do you wish everything around you was a tiny bit smarter? A door opens automatically when you come in with bags of groceries. A light switches on when you step in. Entering a password twice in a row isn’t required to unlock your email after you logged in into your desktop.

          Home automation has improved greatly in the last decade. Numerous sensors and smart switches are cheaper and more accessible every year. For example, offices and shopping malls in Finland have had automatically opening doors for years. Lights in my office switch off to conserve electricity when I’d get too deep into coding or a debugging session. Darkness is a result of me not moving much in my chair, as if I froze or need to be kicked out for a run.

        • Fedora 24 alpha – Twine software.

          Today I tested teh Twine open-source tool with Fedora 24 alpha. I used virtual box software the last version.

    • Debian Family

      • ZFS comes to Debian, thanks to licensing workaround

        The ZFS file system has come to popular Linux distribution Debian, but in a way the distro’s backers think won’t kick up another row over compatibility of open source licences.

        Ubuntu 16.04 added ZFS, despite pre-release grumblings from Richard Stallman to the effect that anything licensed under the GNU GPL v2 can only be accompanied by code also released under the GNU GPL v2. ZFS is issued under a Common Development and Distribution License, version 1 (CDDLv1).

      • Skirting The Hole In The Ice Of ZFS

        The muddy part is how building and running a ZFS module with Linux is not a violation of copyright when a combined derivative work of Linux+ZFS is created. Making even one copy is probably a violation of both CDDL and GPL., so keep on skating.

      • What does it mean that ZFS is included in Debian?

        Petter Reinholdtsen recently blogged about ZFS availability in Debian. Many people have worked hard on getting ZFS support available in Debian and we would like to thank everyone involved in getting to this point and explain what ZFS in Debian means.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi Zero, the $5 Computer, Now Ships with a Built-in Camera Connector

      Approximately half a year after its launch, during which time every single copy was sold, the $5 computer, Raspberry Pi Zero, makes a comeback with a built-in camera connector.

    • New Arduino Srl SBC merges Arduino, WiFi, and Linux

      Arduino Srl’s new “Arduino Industrial 101” SBC includes Arduino circuitry and I/O, along with a soldered-on WiFi module that runs Linino Linux.

      Last November, Arduino Srl promised an Arduino Industrial 101 carrier board for Dog Hunter’s WiFi-enabled Chiwawa module, which is supported by the OpenWrt-based Linino Linux distribution. Arduino has now unveiled the resulting product: a $40, sandwich-style single board computer with a soldered-on, Arduino-branded version of the Chiwawa module, along with Linino Linux support.

    • BeagleBone Green Wireless adds WiFi, BLE, USBs

      The module also includes Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy (BLE) with support for Bluetooth Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) for stereo-quality audio control in automation projects. The Green Wireless SBC also supports Node-RED for wired IoT, and it integrates with the MRAA library, “so users can program with more Grove modules,” says the company.

      Features borrowed from the BeagleBone Green and Black include the ability to run Linux on a 1GHz, Cortex-A8 TI Sitara AM3359 SoC with an Imagination PowerVR SGX530 GPU and a programmable PRU subsystem for industrial I/O. The 3.4 x 2.1-inch SBC similarly supplies 512MB of DDR3 RAM, 4GB of eMMC flash, and a microSD slot.

    • Open, Linux-based platform simplifies wireless IoT

      Sierra Wireless and Element14 unveiled an open-spec Arduino compatible “mangOH Green IoT Platform” based on Sierra’s 3G, GNSS, and WiFi modules running Linux.

      Sierra Wireless announced a beta release of its AirPrime WP module and open-source “mangOH” carrier board last June. Now, the company has formally released the products with the help of Element14, which appears to have built the new mangOH Green IoT Platform carrier board.

    • The Raspberry Pi Foundation released

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation released a new version of the Raspberry Pi Zero with a camera connector and the same $5 price.

    • 91% of IoT developers use Open source

      Did you know that 91% of IoT developers use open source technology in their projects ? Our latest Premium report in the IoT series –Open source in the Internet of Things -not only confirms the figure but also sheds light to a number of tools and strategies that developers employ for open source, open hardware and open data.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • The need for Open source skills in Africa

    Despite the fact that OS skills development is nothing new, the subtle changes in business requirements over the years mean the need has progressed beyond foundational skills. Today, companies are looking for people who have more advanced OS skills reflecting a more dynamic, connected business landscape.

  • How Fuzzing Can Make A Large Open Source Project More Secure

    Emily Ratliff of the Linux Foundation explains the considerations to take when planning to fuzz your open source project

    One of the best practices for secure development is dynamic analysis. Among such techniques, fuzzing has been highly popular since its invention and a multitude of fuzzing tools of varying sophistication have been developed.

  • Despite New FCC Rules, Linksys, Asus Say They’ll Still Support Third Party Router Firmware

    The apocalypse for those who like to tinker with their router firmware may be postponed.

    Last year we noted how the FCC updated router and RF device rules for safety reasons, stating that some illegally modified router radios operating in the unlicensed bands were interfering with terminal doppler weather radar (TDWR) at airports. The rule changes prohibited tinkering with the just the RF capabilities of devices. But some sloppy FCC language worried tinker advocates and custom-firmware developers, who feared that because many routers have systems-on-a-chip (SOC) where the radio isn’t fully distinguishable from other hardware — vendors would take the lazy route and block third-party firmware entirely.

    And, at least with some companies, that’s exactly what happened. TP-Link for example stated that it would be preventing custom router firmware installations with gear built after June 2016, blaming the FCC for the decision while giving a half-assed statement about respecting the hobbyist community’s “creativity.” Again: the rules don’t mandate anything of the kind; TP-Link just decided to take the laziest, most economical route.

  • Conflict resolution: A primer

    People are pretty incredible. The open source community is a great example of this: hundreds and thousands of people passionate about building new things, collaborating together, and helping each other succeed. Good people deliver great results, time and time again.

    There is though, always going to be conflict. Sometimes people will disagree on ideas, on perspectives, on approaches, or ideologies. Sometimes you can’t point your finger at the source of conflict easily and it seems people just don’t get on.

    Conflict doesn’t just happen in open source projects though. It happens at work, in our families, in our groups of friends, and elsewhere. So, when you have two people who rub each other up the wrong way, how do you help to resolve it? Today I want to share some things I have learned that might help.

  • Amazon goes open source with machine-learning tech, competing with Google’s TensorFlow

    Amazon is making a bigger leap into open-source technology with the unveiling of its machine-learning software DSSTNE.

  • Events

    • OPNFV’s Inaugural Plugfest Hosted by CableLabs

      OPNFVs first Plugfest was held at CableLabs facility in Louisville, CO. This event, which focused on deployment and integration of OPNFV as well as Virtual Network Function (VNF) applications, was open to both OPNFV members and non-members.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla and Linux Foundation Advance New Trends in Open Source Funding

        Who pays for open source development? Increasingly, large organizations like Mozilla and the Linux Foundation. That’s the trend highlighted by recent moves like the expansion of the Mozilla Open Source Support (MOSS) project.

        The Mozilla Foundation has long injected money into the open source ecosystem through partnerships with other projects and grants. But it formalized that mission last year by launching MOSS, which originally focused on supporting open source projects that directly complement or help form the basis for Mozilla’s own products.

      • Mozilla Extends its MOSS Program, Providing Funding for Open Source Projects

        Mozilla isn’t alone in funding open source development outside its own purview. The Linux Foundation and other organizations are well known for providing such funding. Mozilla is now spreading its MOSS effort even wider, though. It is adding a second track for MOSS called “Mission Partners” which is open to any open source project in the world which is undertaking an activity that meaningfully furthers Mozilla’s mission.

      • The FBI and the Mozilla Foundation Lock Horns over Known Security Hole

        The Mozilla Foundation and the FBI recently have clashed over security weaknesses. The FBI is aware of a weakness in the Tor browser that may affect Firefox—it’s a weakness the FBI has exploited during an investigation.

        Mozilla wants the FBI to reveal the details of the exploit ahead of the trial, but the FBI is playing its cards close to its chest. Because of the potential risk to its users, Mozilla has turned to the courts to force the FBI to reveal its information.

        It’s just the latest of several high-profile cases this year concerning security and privacy. Each of these cases has involved the Federal government and software firms or communities. For the average guy on the street, it’s just business as usual. But for those who keep an ear to the ground, it’s hard not to read between the lines.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • AtScale, Focused on BI and Hadoop, Bags Another $11 Million in Funding

      In recent months, tools that demystify and function as useful front-ends and connectors for the open source Hadoop project are much in demand. Hadoop has been the driving technology behind much of the Big Data trend, and there are many administrators who can benefit from simplified dashboards and analytics tools that work with it. In fact, as we covered here, MapR’s CEO predicted that IT will embrace self-service Big Data to allow developers, data scientists and data analysts to directly conduct data exploration.”

  • CMS

    • My two cents about Jekyll

      WordPress is mainly about WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get), but you can also go the WYSIWYW way if you prefer (What you see is what you write). In other words, you can write your posts in plain HTML, or Markdown (thanks to the Jetpack plugin). The latter is what I used to do, but the downside is a slower productivity: you need to click the Preview button to get a preview of the resulting page.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • First impressions of FreeBSD 10.

      The BSD family of operating systems is typically reputed to be conservative, stable and dependable. FreeBSD typically embodies these characteristics quite well, showcasing reliability and offering few surprises. That being said, the latest release of FreeBSD, version 10.0, introduced a few important changes which I felt deserved a look. Some of the new features shipping with FreeBSD 10.0 included support for ZFS on the root file system, TRIM and LZ4 compression support for ZFS, virtualization improvements and a new package manager. The latest version also swaps out the venerable GNU compiler for the Clang compiler on supported architectures. The 10.0 release is available for several architectures, including x86, Power PC and Sparc. I was interested in the x86 releases which can be downloaded in 32-bit or 64-bit builds. We can further narrow our selection by downloading either a CD-sized ISO or a 2.2 GB ISO image. I opted to try the larger image for my trial.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • HSA IL Front-End Proposed For GCC

      HSA stakeholders are hoping to mainline their HSA IL front-end for the GCC compiler stack. In particular, BRIG, the binary form of the Heterogeneous System Architecture Intermediate Language.

      The HSA Foundation has been maintaining their repository with the HSA IL front-end on top of GCC 4.9 while now the developers are hoping to see this code mainlined. The development appears to be done primarily by Parmance, a company specializing in parallel performance engineering.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

Leftovers

  • The end of Apple? The early signs may be in

    No matter how much of a force a company might seem, all good things must come to an end. That’s not to say that today’s juggernauts will vanish overnight, but the tech world is littered with the corpses of powerful, even massive companies that failed to adapt to changing times and were either marginalized or became the dust of ages — Wang, DEC, Tandy, SGI, Compaq. More recently we witnessed the collapse of Sun into the murky depths of Larry Ellison’s ego. No matter how significant a corporation might become, it is not immortal.

    A few have more staying power and diversified well enough that they have a (possibly) longer lifespan than most. IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Apple appear to be in this category.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Glyphosate in the EU

      On 13 April, the EU Parliament called on the European Commission to restrict certain permitted uses of the toxic herbicide glyphosate, best known in Monsanto’s ‘Roundup’ formulation. Glyphosate was last year determined to be “probably carcinogenic” by the WHO.

      The parliament’s resolution called for no approval for many uses now considered acceptable, including use in or close to public parks, playgrounds and gardens and use where integrated pest management systems are sufficient for necessary weed control.

      The resolution, however, fell short of calling for an outright ban. Due to the various political maneuverings, a disappointing compromise was reached that called for the renewal of the licence for glyphosate to be limited to just seven years instead of the 15 proposed by the Commission.

      The resolution and the vote to re-approve glyphosate for seven years are non-binding, and, on Wednesday 18 May, the European Food Standard Authority Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed will meet to decide whether glyphosate is to be re-registered for use in the EU.

    • Zika Hysteria Spreads Faster than Zika Itself

      Despite the fact that viruses and mosquitos will attack humans regardless of how fancy their car is, poor communities suffer more from mosquito-borne illnesses. Communities of poverty have inadequate infrastructure that leads to a variety of ways that water can pool and mosquitoes can breed. Without running water, people are more likely to store water in basins and tanks. Shoddy, makeshift architecture creates areas where water can pool. Additionally, without glass windows and air conditioning, there are no barriers to mosquitos entering crowded dwellings.

    • Light Years Ahead of the US on Drug Reform, Canada Will Allow Prescription Heroin

      Health Canada announced Friday that it is proposing new regulations to allow access to prescription heroin under its Special Access Program (SAP). That program allows for emergency access to drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions when conventional treatments have failed or are unsuitable.

    • One Way To Help People Stay Out Of Jail? Sign Them Up For Health Insurance.

      For the thousands of incarcerated Americans, prison may be the first place they’ve ever received comprehensive health care. But what happens after their sentence is up?

      At least half of the inmates in America’s prisons and jails have some form of mental illness. Sixty-five percent have an substance abuse addiction. Behind bars, they may be able to get into rehab or start taking needed medication for the first time in their life.

    • Scalia’s Death Just Saved Thousands Of Women’s Access To Birth Control

      Zubik v. Burwell was supposed to be an epic showdown over the power of religious objectors to limit the rights of others. A sequel to the Court’s 2014 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Zubik involved regulations expanding women’s access to birth control that the conservative justices appeared to endorse in Hobby Lobby — even as they struck down a more direct method of providing contraceptive coverage to working women.

    • Sanders Has It Exactly Right: Majority of Americans Want ‘Medicare for All’ System

      Bernie Sanders’ call to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a single-payer healthcare system is a policy that a strong majority of Americans agree with, according to a new Gallup survey released on Monday.

      Fifty-eight percent of all U.S. adults favor replacing the ACA with a federally-funded healthcare program, such as Sanders’ Medicare for All.

      This is compared with 48 percent who prefer to keeping Obama’s healthcare system in place, a policy which has been a cornerstone of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s campaign platform.

    • ‘Train NHS staff’ to plug doctor gaps, bosses say

      Nurses, paramedics and pharmacists should be trained to fill in for doctors and help the NHS in England cope with demand, bosses say.

      Management body NHS Employers has given the plan the green light after advisers said there were a range of extra tasks they could do with more training.

      A Nuffield Trust review found examples of nurses filling in for hospital doctors and pharmacists for GPs.

    • Oklahoma GOP Does an About-Face on Medicaid Expansion

      In a surprising about-face, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) and the state’s GOP leaders are considering embracing a key tenet of Obamacare and expanding Medicaid to offer health insurance coverage to additional low-income Americans.

      The state’s overwhelmingly Republican state lawmakers are considering the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s proposal to move 175,000 people off Medicaid and into Obamacare’s subsidized private insurance markets, making room for new Medicaid enrollees. If state lawmakers and the Obama administration approve the plan, the federal government will cover 90 percent of the cost — reviving the state’s struggling Medicaid program with an influx of federal Obamacare dollars.

    • In surprising turnabout, Oklahoma eyes Medicaid expansion

      Despite bitter resistance in Oklahoma for years to President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, Republican leaders in this conservative state are now confronting something that alarms them even more: a huge $1.3 billion hole in the budget that threatens to do widespread damage to the state’s health care system.

  • Security

    • Security will fix itself, eventually

      Here’s my prediction though. In the future, good security will be cheaper to build, deploy, and run that bad security. This sounds completely insane with today’s technology. A statement like is some kook ten years ago telling everyone solar power is our future. Ten years ago solar wasn’t a serious thing, today it is. Our challenge is figuring out what the new security future will look like. We don’t really know yet. We know we can’t train our way out of this, most existing technology is a band-aid at best. If I had to guess I’ll use the worn out “Artificial Intelligence will save us all”, but who knows what the future will bring. Thanks to Al Gore, I’m now more optimistic things will get better. I’m impatient though, I don’t want to wait for the future, I want it now! So all you smart folks do me a favor and start inventing the future.

    • Does Microsoft care about security? [Ed: no, because leaks show it gives back doors to governments]

      On Wednesday, I also booted my laptop to Windows. I had not used the laptop for several days, so the AV definitions were three days old. It updated after around 3 hours. But the Vista system still has not updated.

      This is the third consecutive month when I have had problems with updating MSE, at around the time of patch Tuesday. The previous two months, I attempted to manually update. On the manual update, it did a search for virus updates, then seemed to hang there forever not actually downloading. It did eventually update, after repeating this for two days. This month, I decided to allow it to update without manual intervention, with the results described above.

      It seems pretty obvious that, recently, Microsoft has worsened the priority for updates to Windows 7 and to Vista. The priority worsening is greater for Vista than for Windows 7. It affects monthly patches as well as MSE virus table updates.

      The message to malware producers is loud and clear. Malware producers should distribute their malware on patch Tuesday, and Microsoft will give them a free run for several days.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • To Halt ISIS’s Spread In North Africa, UN Considers Lifting Arms Embargo Of Libya

      The White House is backing a United Nations plan to ease the arms embargo to Libya in an effort to counter the volatile spread of ISIS.

      The UN Security Council initially placed an arms embargo on Libya during the 2011 revolution. Libya’s then-leader Moammar Qaddafi was trying to violently repress the popular uprising. Since Qaddafi’s fall, the country has been divided and subject to violent clashes by militias, and a growing ISIS presence. Control over Libya was split between a secular fighting force in control of the country’s east and Islamist militias with hegemony over Tripoli and the west. But a UN-backed unity government arrived in Tripoli this past March, giving world powers new hope that a peaceful resolution can be reached to the country’s infighting.

    • Obama Disastrously Backed the Saudis in Yemen, Now He’s Deploying US Troops to Deal with the Fallout

      The Obama administration has said little about its fresh deployment of American troops to Yemen, where the U.S. has spent the past year backing the ruthless Saudi Arabia-led military intervention by shipping weapons, identifying bomb targets and sending its warships to assist the naval blockade.

    • Old Trafford bomb error a ‘devastating mistake’

      The boss of the firm that left a fake bomb at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium has apologised for making a “devastating mistake”.

      Chris Reid of Security Search Management & Solutions Ltd (SSMS) said he wrongly logged the item as found on Wednesday.

    • Manchester Mayor Shows Discontent Over Old Trafford Bomb ‘Fiasco’

      Following the recent bomb scare that happened at Old Trafford which caused the whole stadium to be evacuated the mayor, Tony Lloyd, expressed disappointment and has called for a full investigation on the issue and has made it known that someone has to be held accountable.

    • Owner of security firm blamed for Man Utd Old Trafford bomb scare blunder worked on Olympics and Rugby World Cup

      The owner of the security firm being blamed for with the Manchester United bomb scare blunder worked on the London Olympics and last year’s Rugby World Cup, Telegraph Sport can reveal.

      Chris Reid, a former counter terrorism (CT) advisor for the Metropolitan Police, also has an “ongoing” relationship with the Rugby Football Union, according to his LinkedIn page.

      The 62-year-old, of Biggin Hill, Kent, is the owner of Security Search Management & Solutions Ltd (SSMS), which were allegedly involved in the training exercise at Old Trafford last week that left behind a fake bomb, sparking a terror alert at United’s final Premier League match of the season.

    • Heartbroken Manchester United fan from Sierra Leone given FA Cup final tickets after Old Trafford fiasco

      The majority of Sunday night’s capacity Old Trafford crowd would have been completely devastated to hear that Manchester United’s home game with Bournemouth would have to be abandoned.

    • ‘This idiot’s in for a right kicking’: Fans’ fury at bungling security firm that left fake bomb in Old Trafford toilets as Man United face £3MILLION bill for replay after game was scrapped
    • Manchester United will increase Old Trafford security for rescheduled Bournemouth clash on Tuesday

      Manchester United will increase security for tomorrow’s rescheduled final Premier League game of the season against Bournemouth at Old Trafford.

      United’s game against Bournemouth was called off on Sunday following a terror alert after a suspect package – later revealed to be a dummy device left in error following a training exercise – was discovered inside the stadium.

      The game will now go ahead at 8pm on Tuesday and senior United sources have confirmed to MirrorFootball that enhanced security measures will be in force in and around Old Trafford.

    • 63 Thoughts Everyone Who’s Accidentally Left A Fake Bomb In Old Trafford Has Had
    • Pellegrini: I told City players to ignore Old Trafford drama

      The Chilean head coach admitted it was vital for the Etihad club not to miss out on a place in the Champions League on the final day of the season

    • April 17, 2016: The Day of Men

      On April 17, 2016 everyone across Brasil glued themselves to the television to watch Congress vote on the impeachment process against Partido das Trabalhadores (PT) president Dilma Rousseff. It was a historic moment, not just for the fragile Brasilian democracy that was installed in 1985, but also as one of the few opportunities for Brasilian citizens to watch the Congressmen they elected in 2014 on live TV.

      Political polarization was at its highest in São Paulo, the city where I was born and live in to this day. As much as the capital of São Paulo state seems to be a cosmopolitan city with rich cultural diversity it has a strong tradition of conservatism which still drinks from the fountain of the slavery era. Therefore, the state became one of the epicentres of right wing movements against the federal government since 2014 when they began to exclusively occupy Avenida Paulista, one of the most well-known streets in the city, during their protests.

    • North Korea, Following China and India, Pledges No-First-Use of Nuclear Weapons–So Could Obama

      North Korea’s May 7 declaration that it would not be first to use nuclear weapons was met with official derision instead of relief and applause. Not one report of the announcement I could find noted that the United States has never made such a no-first-use pledge. None of three dozen news accounts even mentioned that North Korea hasn’t got one usable nuclear warhead. The New York Times did admit, “US and South Korean officials doubted that North Korea has developed a reliable intercontinental ballistic missile that would deliver a nuclear payload to the continental United States.”

    • Seeing Humanity in ‘Enemy’ States

      Official Washington’s propagandistic view of the world sees “good guys” and “bad guys,” a simplistic and dangerous dichotomy that ignores the common human elements, as ex-State Department official Matthew Hoh observes.

    • Inciting Iran’s ‘Bad Behavior’

      Psychologists have observed that most of us favor a self-serving way of explaining the good and bad conduct of others with whom we interact. While we are quite comfortable with attributing some of the good to our own benign influence, we attribute all of the bad to the other person’s character and refuse to accept that our own conduct may have influenced what the other person is doing.

      This phenomenon arises frequently in foreign affairs. It is common with, for example, American perceptions of anti-U.S. international terrorism. The dominant popular concept is that terrorists do what they do because of their own malign nature. To the extent that terrorists focus on the United States, we like to think this is because, as former President George W. Bush put it, they hate our democratic values.

    • Kurd Fighter in Iraq Destroys U.S.-Made Turkish Helo With Russian-Model Missile

      There’s no past in Washington. There is no sense that actions taken today will exist past today, even though in reality they often echo for decades.

      A video making the rounds online shows a fighter from a Kurdish group known as Kurdish Workers Party, or, more commonly, the PKK. Using what appears to be a Russian model shoulder fired portable air-to-air missile, the fighter is shooting down a Turkish military, American-made Cobra attack helicopter.

      The attack helo is made by the United States and supplied to NATO ally Turkey;

      The missile is of Russian design but could have been made and could have come from nearly anywhere in Eastern Europe. However, such weapons were flooded into the Middle East after the United States deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. Many such weapons simply entered the black market when the Libyan army more or less dissolved, but many appear to have been sent into the Middle East by the CIA as part of a broader anti-ISIS strategy. Some say one of the functions of the CIA station overrun in Benghazi was to a facilitate that process.

    • Evaluating Obama’s Foreign Policy Record

      Obama’s foreign policy has been long on progressive rhetoric and (engagement with Iran and Cuba excepted) short on substantive accomplishment. To be sure, we need to make allowance for the backward-looking Congress with which he has had to contend; and we should give more than a little credit to Obama for going over its head on Iran, Cuba, and climate change. But we had come to expect more, much more, from him, especially on issues of war and peace. After all, he was supposed to have learned from the George W. Bush years that you “don’t do stupid shit” and get yourself bogged down in hopeless foreign adventures. But he hasn’t learned. A foreign-policy legacy that includes a costly and irremediable quagmire in the Middle East as well as hostile relations with Russia, considerable contention with China, and very modest advances on climate change is not much to crow about. The most positive prediction I can make is that by 2020, another Clinton presidency will make us feel much better about Barack Obama’s foreign policy record.

    • Brazil: Coup or Fiasco?

      The President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, has been suspended from her office while she goes on trial by the Senate. If convicted, she would be removed from office, which is what is meant in Brazil by “impeachment.” Anyone, even Brazilians, who have been trying to follow the last several months of political maneuvering may be excused if they are somewhat confused by the many turns this process has taken.

    • Daniel Berrigan Through the Eyes of a 1960s Ithaca Mom

      It was the everyday life of people in Ithaca, N.Y., the everyday life of me, my family and my neighbors.

      Jesuit priest, scholar, philosopher, poet and servant of justice Daniel Berrigan had arrived in town and thoroughly awakened anyone willing to wake, and a few who were not so willing. Many had already opened their eyes, of course, but had not yet gotten out of bed and stood up.

      At the time, there was very little anti-Vietnam War sentiment anywhere in the country, and, as with other progressive towns, Ithaca tended to wear its radicalism when convenient. We held a rally, and in addition to Berrigan, who looked like just a pleasant priest to the newspaper, we had to come up with another speaker, and finally found an anti-war professor who wore a suit and a crew cut.

    • Terrorist group Al-Qaeda threatens to murder Microsoft founder Bill Gates [Ed: recall this article]

      When Al-Qaeda destroyed two World Trade Center buildings, it felt like everything changed. Seemingly overnight, the citizens of the USA went from being fairly care-free to having to constantly look behind their collective backs. It is now 2016 and when I go to Penn Station in New York City, I still see military people with assault rifles. Sadly, this is apparently the new reality.

      Now, that same terrorist group is threatening business men and women in America. It is particularly sad that a person must live in fear because of their success. One particular person being threatened is Microsoft’s founder, Bill Gates.

    • Al Qaeda’s online magazine tells terrorists to target U.S. business leaders in their homes
    • Australian police authorities buying up sound weapons

      They can break up protests with loud, piercing sound, but Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs) can also cause permanent hearing damage. Australian law enforcement agencies are now investing in the technology, but sound and law experts say their potential use is extremely concerning.

    • Minh Quang Pham: FBI Continues Creating Terror Stories Assisted by Unrecorded Interviews

      Minh Quang Pham, whom I dubbed AQAP’s “graphic artist of mass destruction” because he was busted for providing graphic design skills to AQAP, got sentenced today; neither FBI nor SDNY have announced his sentence but it will be between 30 and 50 years in prison.

      The government, as it tends to do, has submitted a bunch of documents as part of the sentencing process to inflate the magnitude of Pham’s acts, which largely consist of carrying a Kalashnikov he wasn’t really trained to use and helping Samir Khan make Inspire look prettier. With the documents, DOJ suggests Pham might have attacked Heathrow if he hadn’t been stopped when he was.

    • Anti-war Is Pro-American

      Thomas Jefferson declared the American way of interacting with the world to be “peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.” However, over the course of at least the past seven decades, the US government has turned this admonition on its head.

      Peace? The US government has waged wars of choice almost constantly since the end of World War II. It has distributed death and destruction around the world for nearly 70 years straight in overt wars, covert wars, coup d’états, assassinations, cold wars, drone wars, etc.

    • Argentina after kirchnerismo: Populism’s defeat and Macri’s counter-hegemonic project

      Current political change in Argentina is of great trascendence, as it intends to undo fundamental policies of the Kirchner’s era. In this sense, Macri is as radical as its predecessors.

    • Our Military Needs to Defend the Country, Not Undermine American Security

      As President Obama visits still-communist Vietnam, a former American rival, in his “pivot to Asia” to recruit more countries to shelter against a rising China, the trip only serves to illustrate the global American Empire’s overextension. At the same time, he is opening missile defenses in Europe, quadrupling U.S. military spending there, and deploying more military forces near Russia – all of which will have the effect of continuing to provoke that already insecure country. Also, Obama has failed to withdraw US ground forces from Afghanistan, inserted them into Iraq and Syria to battle the terror group ISIS, and continued his accelerated air wars over Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya. Finally, the president sent the top general in the Army to Africa to showcase US efforts to train 38 countries to battle terror groups that could attack Europe, including affiliates of ISIS and al Qaeda. These US military forces may be valiantly battling threats to the Empire, but most of them pose very little threat to America.

    • Super Heroes Collide in Post-Traumatic America

      This long bout of emotional crisis was kicked off by the indelible visuals of 9/11, and then aggravated by the 2008 financial crisis. The terror attacks have not stopped and the job market has not recovered, and so America’s post-traumatic stress disorder has been chronic.

      The new wave of blockbuster super-hero movies began with Iron Man(2008). That film’s very first scene was saturated with trauma ripped from the headlines. Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is shown as a tech billionaire and devil-may-care playboy: a veritable personification of the go-go nineties, blissfully ignorant of the turmoil to come. Then his whole world is jarringly thrown into upheaval, as the U.S. military convoy taking him through Afghanistan is attacked. His escorts, mostly wide-eyed youngsters overawed by their celebrity passenger, are all massacred. Before he passes out, he finds himself lying in the dirt with a chest full of shrapnel.

    • Silence Is Not An Option: ADL Breaks With Israel – and U.S. – To Acknowledge Armenian Genocide

      Breaking with Israel’s decades-long insistence that Jews hold a monopoly as victims of mass murder, the Anti-Defamation League has for the first time declared the 1915 massacre by Turkish forces of over 1.5 million Armenians “unequivocally genocide,” and called on the US government to recognize the killings as such. The precedent-breaking move by new ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt – which came on the occasion of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, shortly after the 101st com­mem­o­ra­tion of the Armenian tragedy, and shortly after Palestinians marked Nakba Day – was seen by some as a rebuke to the denial of not just Turkey, but the US and Israel, of their respective crimes.

      In his statement, Greenblatt stressed the 103-year-old organization’s historic task to fight against all forms of big­otry, to “edu­cate and take action against hate in our own time (as) we vow, ‘Never again.’ Our mis­sion reflects the words of the Jew­ish Sage Hil­lel from 2,000 years ago: ‘If I am not for myself, who will be? And, if I am only for myself what am I?’” Citing both a moral and practical responsibility, he went on, “The first genocide of the 20th century is no different. What happened in the Ottoman Empire to the Arme­ni­ans begin­ning in 1915 was geno­cide.” Citing the awful progression from arresting and executing intellectuals to expulsion of families to death marches, torture, starvation and massacre – and a failure to act by too much of the world – he proclaimed, “We must edu­cate each gen­er­a­tion about the tragedies of the past. Silence is not an option.”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Obama defends leak prosecutions

      President Barack Obama is defending the record number of leak prosecutions launched under his administration, arguing that some of the cases were really the work of the Bush administration and that others involved unusually serious disclosures of classified information.

      “I am a strong believer in the First Amendment and the need for journalists to pursue every lead and every angle. I think that when you hear stories about us cracking down on whistleblowers or whatnot, we’re talking about a really small sample,” Obama said in an interview published Thursday by the Rutgers University student newspaper, the Daily Targum.

      [...]

      One prominent lawyer for whistleblowers said it was hard to assess the pace of leak prosecutions under Obama as anything but a significant increase.

      “This is not a really small sample. This is a tremendous uptick in whistleblower prosecutions,” said Jesselyn Radack of ExposeFacts.

      Radack also noted that, despite Obama’s embrace of the First Amendment, prosecutors have not been willing to permit alleged leakers to mount a defense that they were performing a public service by disclosing important information to the press.

      In many of the leak cases, “the government filed a motion to preclude any mention of the First Amendment,” she noted.

    • Not Just Hillary: State Department As A Whole Pretty Careless With Handling Of Classified Communications

      In their defense, State Department officials say they often can’t control how classified communications will be routed. After all, they have no control over receipt of messages from foreign government officials that might be considered classified. And they routinely use other insecure channels to communicate, like normal phone systems.

      For that matter, it’s difficult to determine what the government will consider classified at the point the communications are sent and received. In the case of Clinton’s emails, the investigation (which James Comey recently confirmed is an investigation, not a “security inquiry” as Clinton has portrayed it) and response to FOIA requests have prompted an after-the-fact classification review of State Dept. communications contained in the FOIA response.

    • An Unintended Side Effect of Transparency

      In 2013, ProPublica released Prescriber Checkup, a database that detailed the prescribing habits of hundreds of thousands of doctors across the country.

      ProPublica reporters used the data — which reflected prescriptions covered by Medicare’s massive drug program, known as part D — to uncover several important findings. The data showed doctors often prescribed narcotic painkillers and antipsychotic drugs in quantities that could be dangerous for their patients, many of whom were elderly. The reporters also found evidence that some doctors wrote far, far more prescriptions than their peers for expensive brand-name drugs for which there were cheaper generic alternatives. And we found instances of probable fraud that had gone undetected by the government.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Florida Proposes Tripling Amount Of Benzene That Can Be Polluted Into State Waters

      For the first time in over 25 years, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is proposing to revise its restrictions on what toxic chemicals can be discharged into surface water — but environmentalists worry that the proposed standards, which would triple the amount of a toxic chemical called benzene allowed to be discharged into surface waters like rivers and lakes, are meant more to entice fracking companies than keep Floridians safe.

    • Revealed: Prominent oceans scientist fails to disclose funding from fishing industry

      An outspoken marine scientist who rejects claims of overfishing in the world’s oceans has failed to disclose millions of dollars in funding from the fishing industry, a Greenpeace investigation has revealed.

      According to documents obtained by Greenpeace USA via the Public Records Act, Dr Ray Hilborn, a professor at University of Washington’s School Aquatic Fisheries Science, received at least $3.5 million from 69 fishing, seafood and other industry groups over the last 12 years.

      Hilborn – whose research has been published by reputable journals such as Science, Nature and Marine Policy – has only mentioned corporate funding from 21 industry groups in 26 instances.

    • Cities face flash flood hazards

      Scientists in Australia warn that global warming will lead to more intense and concentrated summer storms seriously testing city drainage systems already struggling to cope.

    • Halted Oil Trains, Arrests, And Crowds Of Thousands Spread Across 6 Continents In ‘Break Free’ Protest

      Thousands of people around the country protested over the weekend to stop fossil fuels and demand a just transition to an economy that uses 100 percent renewable energy. More than 50 people were arrested in the Pacific Northwest and five others were arrested in upstate New York, where protestors stopped trains carrying crude oil.

      Meanwhile, demonstrations in Washington, D.C., Albany, and Los Angeles drew thousands more to the Break Free movement, which brought a coalition of environmental groups together over 12 days of global action and civil disobedience.

    • April 2016 Hottest on Record as ‘Climate Emergency’ Grows

      This April was the hottest on record—and the seventh month in a row to break global temperature averages—setting up 2016 to be the hottest year ever, NASA has reported.

      April was 1.11°C hotter than previous averages between 1951 and 1980, which NASA uses as a barometer for measuring climate change, according to figures the agency released over the weekend. NASA also found that April was the third month in a row that the record-breaking jumps in temperature were reached by the largest increases yet.

      In fact, 2016 may not only be the hottest year in recorded history, but also by the widest margin, scientists say.

    • Navy Allowed to Kill or Injure Nearly 12 Million Whales, Dolphins, Other Marine Mammals in Pacific

      What if you were told the US Navy is legally permitted to harass, injure or kill nearly 12 million whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and seals across the North Pacific Ocean over a five-year period?

      It is true, and over one-quarter of every tax dollar you pay is helping to fund it.

      A multistate, international citizen watchdog group called the West Coast Action Alliance (WCAA), tabulated numbers that came straight from the Navy’s Northwest Training and Testing EIS (environmental impact statement) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Letters of Authorization for incidental “takes” of marine mammals issued by NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.

    • The Koch Brothers Stop Pretending

      In recent years, Charles and David Koch — the billionaire brothers who run Koch Industries — have sought to cast themselves as selfless patriots, pushing policies that were against their own interests for the good of the nation. The argument was part of a gauzy and extensive public relations campaign intended to blunt attacks from liberals highlighting their outsized influence on the political system.

    • Canadians Propose ‘Elegant Solution’ for Country’s Runaway Emissions

      The Canadian chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL Canada) on Monday launched a petition calling for the government to implement a carbon tax known as the fee-and-dividend, a measure environmental advocates say would help the country meet its climate promises without burdening citizens with the costs.

      Under a fee-and-dividend plan, the government would gradually increase taxation on fossil fuels at their entry point into the marketplace, which would help make alternative and renewable energy more economically competitive, spurring investment and innovation in the field, the lobby says.

      And the money collected from the fees would be redistributed among citizens to help offset the costs of transitioning to clean energy.

    • Renewables Are Leaving Natural Gas In The Dust This Year

      The renewables were primarily wind (707 MW) and solar (522 MW). We also added some biomass (33 MW) and hydropower (29 MW). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) latest monthly “Energy Infrastructure Update” reports that no new capacity of coal, oil, or nuclear power were added in the first quarter of the year.

    • Chomsky: Hillary Clinton Fears BDS Because It Counters Decades of U.S. Support for Israeli Aggression

      Chomsky says, “You can understand why Hillary Clinton is frightened” of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS.

    • Chomsky on Trump’s Climate Denialism: He Wants Us to March Toward the Destruction of the Species

      World-renowned political dissident Noam Chomsky weighs in on Trump’s candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, particularly his denial of climate change and push for greater militarization. “Trump is saying, ‘Yeah, let’s make the global warming problem as dangerous and imminent as possible. Let’s march towards destruction of the species, like we’re destroying everyone else. And let’s escalate militarization and, at the same time, sharply cut down resources by radical tax cuts, mostly for the rich,’” Chomsky says. “This is a really astonishing moment in human history, if you look at it.”

    • “Water Is Our Life”: How a Mining Disaster Affected the Navajo Nation

      In the midst of the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, it is not surprising that the World Health Organization recently released a report documenting that the environment is responsible for almost a quarter of deaths and disease in the world.

      But this is not news to the Diné (Navajo) people, who believe that all parts of nature — the water, fish, trees and stars — are equal members of society and are so intricately connected that an imbalance in one member may impact another.

  • Finance

    • Shift Away From Traditional Pensions Contributes to Inequality, and More

      A report from the US Government Accountability Office shows the shift away from traditional pensions to 401(k)-like plans contributes to inequality; Bernie Sanders endorsed a citizen-led initiative to fight soaring drugs prices in California; the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement has resulted in more than 95,000 lost US jobs; and more.

    • Rich people have access to high-speed Internet; many poor people still don’t

      Ever since Curtis Brown Jr. got his first Star Wars toy as a toddler, he has been fascinated by action figures. So much so that he has built a business customizing action figures for clients worldwide. But what could be a lucrative career has turned into an exercise in futility that traps Brown and his family in poverty.

    • Corrupt Elites and the Looting Machine

      The mechanics and dire consequences of this system are easily explained though often masked by neo-liberal rhetoric about free competition.

      In authoritarian states without accountability or a fair legal system, this approach becomes a license to loot. Corruption cannot be tamed because it is at the very heart of the system.

    • #PanamaPapersNZ – Long John Key Silver And His Treasure Islands

      I warned that New Zealand would be used as a tax haven on October 26th, 2011, if the National government was reelected.

      I wasn’t the first.

      Never did I expect we would be proven right in such a spectacular fashion as via the Panama Papers leak.

      A leak that has shone light on an agenda to use New Zealand as a port of safe harbour for vast swathes of foreign cash. An agenda that does not stem solely from the ruling Party. It comes from on high.

    • Donald Trump’s Pledge to Defend Spending for Old and Poor Belied by Staff Picks

      Throughout his campaign, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has advocated for building two walls: one between the U.S. and Mexico, and another around America’s public retirement programs.

      For more than a year, Trump has regularly assailed his rival candidates for “attacking Social Security… attacking Medicare and Medicaid.” He boasted that he was the one “saying I’m not gonna do that,” instead saying that he’d focus on economic growth so that we’d get “so rich you don’t have to do that.”

      At the Miami GOP presidential debate in March, he said he would “do everything within my power not to touch Social Security, to leave it the way it is; to make this country rich again.”

      But that second wall now appears to be crumbling.

    • RushCard Customers Can Finally Look Forward To Getting Paid For Being Locked Out Of Their Accounts

      Late last year, hundreds of customers who store their money not with a traditional bank but with a prepaid debit card from the company RushCard suddenly found themselves completely cut off from their funds, thanks to a technical problem. Customers reported that they ran low on food, had to resort to scrounging loose change out of their couch cushions, and even faced eviction, getting their water shut off, or losing their cars.

    • State Legislatures Attacking Community Wealth Building

      Meanwhile, a similar fight is unfolding in Louisiana. With over half of African-American men unemployed in New Orleans, local job creation has been a key priority for Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration. Already unable by state law to set local hiring quotas, the city instead opted in its Hire NOLA program to establish ambitious local hiring targets for projects receiving public subsidies, building an inclusive job training and hiring pipeline infrastructure that could help the construction industry meet these targets. But all of this is threatened by a proposed state law that would nullify the city’s policy. For Ashleigh Gardere, senior adviser to Mayor Landrieu and director of the Network for Economic Opportunity:

    • Bernie Sanders Gives a Very Important Speech on Poverty (Video)

      The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet 47 million Americans are living in poverty.

      Bernie Sanders spoke about the issue at the the Five Loaves & Two Fishes Food Bank in Kimball, W.Va., on May 5.

    • What’s Killing the American Middle Class?

      The great American middle was never large enough, even at its height. It always excluded too many people – sometimes, shamefully, merely for their skin color. And now, instead of growing and becoming more inclusive, it’s fading away instead.

    • Sanders Blasts ‘Vulture Capitalists’ and Colonialism in Puerto Rico

      Campaigning in Puerto Rico on Monday, Bernie Sanders railed against the “colonial-like relationship” that has allowed Wall Street “vulture capitalists” to profit off the debt-stricken territory’s economic crisis and demanded that Congress and the Obama administration grant immediate relief.

      “It is unacceptable to me for the United States government to treat Puerto Rico like a colony during a time when its people are facing the worst fiscal and economic crisis in its history,” the presidential hopeful declared in a rousing speech at a packed town hall in San Juan.

      Currently in the midst of economic free-fall, the territory defaulted earlier this month after the U.S. government—at the urging of hedge fund lobbyists—failed to take action on restructuring its $70 billion debt. Consequently, the island has had to slash many essential services while calls grow for even more cuts.

      “What vulture funds on Wall Street are demanding is that Puerto Rico fire teachers, close schools, cut pensions and abolish the minimum wage so that they can reap huge profits off the suffering and misery of the children and the people of Puerto Rico,” Sanders said. “We cannot allow that to happen. We will not allow that to happen.”

    • New series: Anti-Austerity and Media Activism

      Eight years after the emergence of a renewed global crisis of capitalism, there is no evidence of a wholehearted return to economic growth. The economic stagnation has been such that the IMF has had to consistently revise downwards its predictions of growth. The policies attributed to a politics of austerity have been presented as virtually the only solution out of this crisis.

    • UK media and the legitimisation of austerity policies

      On the 30 April 2015, during a Question Time Election Special, the Labour leader Ed Milliband was challenged by a member of the audience over the previous Labour Government’s economic record. “How can you stand there and say you didn’t overspend and end up bankrupting this country?” the man complained. “It’s absolutely ludicrous you are frankly just lying’. Research carried out after the 2010 and 2015 elections confirmed that Labour had indeed lost both contests in large part because the public believed that Labour had overspent and crashed the economy. Yet both these beliefs were false.

    • L.A. Car Wash Workers Turn Up Pressure

      In Juan Hernandez’s first car wash job, he and his co-workers used to put in nine-hour days for $40 in cash. Workers would often arrive at 8 a.m.—but have to wait three or four hours to start working, with no fixed schedule.

    • The United States Needs to Realize FDR’s Dream and Adopt the “Nordic Model”

      Life is nice in the Nordic countries — especially for those who are part of the white majorities in these countries. The five Nordic nations (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland), rank at or near the top of almost every single Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development human development index, and their citizens consistently poll among top 10 happiest in the world.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • How ‘Sanders Could Still Win the Nomination’
    • Extraordinary Stitch-Up at Nevada Democratic Convention

      I had heard much about the way that Hillary was able to use control of the Democratic Party machine to suppress the challenge of Bernie Sanders. I had not fully understood it until I saw this truly shocking video of the Nevada Democratic Convention, a stage in the awarding of that state’s delegates to Hillary or Bernie. After the announcement of a narrow win for Hillary, which to many seemed improbable, the chairwoman of the Convention, Roberta Lange, a member of the National Democratic Committee, absolutely refused demands for a recount. She then closed the Convention after calling for a voice vote, again uncounted, on a rules change to allow her to do that.

      Twice as many Sanders delegates to the Convention were disqualified by the Committee,for “administrative reasons”, as the supposed majority for Clinton, which even after those disqualifications did not appear to reflect the apparent balance of delegates present.

    • When the System Feels Rigged, How Surprising is Convention Mayhem?

      The Nevada Democratic convention was overwhelmed by utter turmoil on Saturday after the chair adopted a controversial set of new rules and disqualified 56 Bernie Sanders delegates from participating, handing rival Hillary Clinton a majority of the state’s delegates.

      This occurred after the Democratic frontrunner lost the state’s county level caucuses in April.

      The chaotic convention, organized and run largely by Clinton supporters, was yet another instance of what many observers have decried as the party’s rigging of the primary process in favor of the establishment candidate.

    • Clinton Does Best Where Voting Machines Flunk Hacking Tests: Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders Election Fraud Allegations

      At the end of the climactic scene (8 minutes) in HBO’s Emmy nominated Hacking Democracy (2006), a Leon County, Florida Election official breaks down in tears. “There are people out there who are giving their lives just to try to make our elections secure,” she says. “And these vendors are lying and saying everything is alright.” Hundreds of jurisdictions throughout the United States are using voting machines or vote tabulators that have flunked security tests. Those jurisdictions by and large are where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is substantially outperforming the first full wave of exit polling in her contest against Senator Bernie Sanders.

    • The Coming Democratic Crackup

      Though the mainstream media is focused on Republican divisions, a more important story could be the coming Democratic crackup, as anti-war Democrats resist Hillary Clinton’s pro-war agenda, writes Robert Parry.

    • Most Of Oregon’s Newly Registered Voters Won’t Be Able To Particpate In The State’s Primary

      For decades, Oregon has been at the forefront of making it easier to vote. Two decades ago, the state began offering each and every eligible resident the option to vote by mail. Oregon later became the first to conduct all its elections by mail. Then, in 2015, Oregon became the first state in the nation to automatically register voters every time they visit a Department of Motor Vehicles.

      The new “Motor Voter” policy has added more than 67,000 new voters to the state’s voter rolls, and officials are hoping Tuesday’s primary will have record turnout. The new system has especially been a boon for young voters; since September, the number of registered voters between the ages of 18 and 29 has increased 21 percent.

    • The Dangerous Insecurity of Donald Trump

      Donald Trump’s opponents in the primaries were right to call him a con artist, a narcissist and a pathological liar. Just ask “John Miller.”

      That’s one of the names Trump used with journalists to burnish his status as a bold-faced Manhattan celebrity; he also called himself “John Barron.” Both personae were supposedly publicists who just wanted to explain what a wonderful guy Mr. Trump was and how beautiful women seemed unable to resist his charms.

      Last week, The Washington Post ran a story about the “Miller” and “Barron” ruses, which took place years ago, and posted a 1991 recording of “Miller” explaining why Trump was dumping Marla Maples. “He’s coming out of a marriage, and he’s starting to do tremendously well financially,” the imaginary publicist says to a reporter from People magazine. “Actresses just call to see if they can go out with him and things.” Madonna is ostentatiously name-dropped as someone who “wanted to go out with him.”

    • Chomsky: Today’s GOP Qualifies as Candidate for Most Dangerous Organization in Human History—Part 2

      In Part 2 of our wide-ranging conversation with the world-renowned dissident Noam Chomsky, we talk about the conflict in Syria, the rise of ISIS, Saudi Arabia, the political crisis in Brazil, the passing of the pioneering lawyer Michael Ratner, the U.S. relationship with Cuba, Obama’s visit to Hiroshima and today’s Republican Party. “If we were honest, we would say something that sounds utterly shocking and no doubt will be taken out of context and lead to hysteria on the part of the usual suspects,” Chomsky says, “but the fact of the matter is that today’s Republican Party qualify as candidates for the most dangerous organization in human history. Literally.”

    • Vox’s CIA-Backed ‘Democracy’ Standard Is OK With Slavery and Women Not Voting

      Defining democracy is a notoriously difficult thing, but much is revealed by how media outlets choose to do so.

      One popular metric is called “Polity IV”—a methodology created by the Center for Systemic Peace, headed by Dr. Monty G. Marshall of Georgetown University, which has been cited in prestigious outlets like the Washington Post and New York Times. But few outlets have embraced the method as enthusiastically as the “news explainer” site Vox.

    • Copp’s Plea for You and Me

      The plain-spoken, public-spirited former Federal Communications Commissioner, Michael Copps, is indignant—and for good reason: The FCC is not enforcing the law requiring the “dark money” super PACs and other campaign cash conduits to reveal, on-the-air, the names of the real donors behind all political advertisements, which are now flooding the profitable radio and television airwaves.

    • Feminism is Bigger Than Gender: Why I’ll be Happy in Hell Without Hillary

      Are you a Bernie supporter and wondering if you will or can vote for Hillary if he loses the nomination? Or have you already decided that you’re for Hillary – either because she’s a woman or because we have an obligation to do anything we can to keep Trump out? Do you believe that it’s your obligation to vote and you would not be upholding your responsibility as a citizen if you didn’t vote?

      [...]

      Madelyn Albright has announced that there is a special place in hell reserved for women who don’t help each other – meaning women who don’t vote for Hillary. Let’s see, Sarah Palin, Madelyn Albright, Margaret Thatcher are all women. Is voting for women, because they re women, feminism? Can feminism be reduced to gender? Looks like hell is going to be pretty crowded for all of us women who won’t be voting for Hillary.

    • Corporate Idiocracy and the Manufacturing of ProducTrump

      There is no need for content, a stable platform, concrete policies, real issues or even reality (which worries some members of the establishment). There is also no need to think. The dummy can just spout off insipid inanities—spiced up with a ‘signature’ mix of bravado, strongman populist rhetoric, misogyny, racism and xenophobia—and be assured that the paparazzi will catch every last drop of mindless drivel and immediately export it to the four corners of human consciousness.

    • The End of Ideology: What Kind of Democracy is This?

      You are not alone. I watched in disbelief as Fair Trade champion and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown endorsed Clinton. I watched in disappointment as Elizabeth Warren remained on the sidelines. Either and both could have made a huge impact in exposing the duplicity of Hillary on trade policy and Wall Street reform. What were you afraid of? What were you waiting for? What did they promise you?

      It is frankly hard not to feel alienated. It is hard not to feel disenfranchised.

      We have an election in which I cannot in good conscience vote for either candidate and yet there is one candidate I am compelled to vote against.

      What kind of democracy is this?

      A week ago I reregistered as a Democrat for one reason and one reason only: To vote for Senator Bernie Sanders in the California primary. There’s still a slim chance this thing isn’t over. Six months ago there was no chance Trump could be nominated. In any case it may be a long time before I can cast a meaningful vote for a candidate again.

    • I Apologise Yet Again, and Another Request

      A hostile message I received from a fierce advocate of Israel, interested me because when I checked him out I noted he spent much time attacking Bernie Sanders. This led me to wonder what correlation there is between those individuals currently accused of anti-Semitism, and particularly those suspended from the Labour Party, and support of Bernie Sanders.

      It occurs to me equally that many of those most ardently throwing around the accusations of anti-Semitism, particularly mainstream journalists and MPs, are those most hostile to Sanders or supportive of Clinton.

      If I am right, the irony that the alleged “anti-Semites” support the excellent Jewish candidate for POTUS, and the witch-hunters oppose him, would be obvious.

    • BBC to drop online recipes as part of slimmed-down website

      Approximately 11,000 online recipes are to be dropped following a review of the BBC’s online output that promises to save £15m a year by cutting back on magazine-style content as well as local news.

      The recipes are being “archived or mothballed”, a source said, and will “fall off the face of the internet” after the food site is closed, with no live links.

      The broadcaster will archive the recipes on its food site although recipes from television shows will remain online for a 30-day period after transmission and the plans will not affect commercial services such as BBC Good Food. Other text-based online offerings are also expected to be hit. A number of travel articles are also expected to be taken offline.

      Although the recipes will still exist online they will be hard to find. One BBC source said: “The website will be closed and viewers will have to make a concerted effort to access the archive.”

    • Sharing the licence fee could reinvigorate the BBC

      Last week the government released its white paper on the forthcoming renewal of the BBC Charter. Prior to that event, many viewed the Corporation as under threat from a disapproving government and, in the person of John Whittingdale, a hostile Secretary of State. Only a week earlier footballer and national treasure Gary Lineker had tweeted how Whittingdale was a ‘chump’ after it was reported he had joked about privatising the BBC to a Tory student society. And yet, despite all that, the reforms it will now be subject to are relatively minor.

    • What does contestable funding mean for children’s TV in Britain?

      The government’s proposals for the BBC include creating a public service fund to prop up children’s content.

    • Let’s not shatter the fragile ecology of British broadcasting

      While the government’s plans for the BBC are under scrutiny, the future of Britain’s hugely successful system of public service broadcasting is at risk.

    • Obama Didn’t Birth Trump’s Movement

      Blaming President Obama for the rise of Donald Trump is popular among Republican leaders. They don’t want to take responsibility for the choices made by their own voters or their complicity in tolerating and even encouraging the extremism Trump represents.

      They also don’t want to face the fact that many Trump ballots were aimed at them.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • China’s “leftover women” and the left-out system

      Can a skin brand “change your destiny” in a socially empowering way? A video titled ‘Marriage Market Takeover’ seems to have done a good job, but not without an underlying agenda.

    • F.B.I. Director Says ‘Viral Video Effect’ Blunts Police Work [Ed: accountability "Blunts Police Work"]

      The director of the F.B.I. reignited the factious debate over a so-called “Ferguson effect” on Wednesday, saying that he believed less aggressive policing was driving an alarming spike in murders in many cities.

      James Comey, the director, said that while he could offer no statistical proof, he believed after speaking with a number of police officials that a “viral video effect” — with officers wary of confronting suspects for fear of ending up on a video — “could well be at the heart” of a spike in violent crime in some cities.

    • Three years after Rana Plaza: why Bangladeshi workers need trade unions

      Martin Luther King once said, “all labour that uplifts humanity has dignity and status and should be undertaken with meticulous excellence”. This sentiment has been largely lost in our world of global supply chains and bargain-basket prices, but I would see it revived. As good a place as any to start such a project is in Bangladesh, where millions upon millions of people work under harsh conditions to supply multinational companies with the goods westerners want to buy – yet there is little concern for ensuring their rights as labourers in return. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the ready-made garment industry.

    • Trump’s Politics of Whiteness and the CIA tip that Jailed Nelson Mandela

      The revelation that the Central Intelligence Agency provided the tip to the Apartheid South African government that led to Nelson Mandela’s arrest should come as no great shock, though the public confirmation is perhaps surprising.

      Nor is it unconnected to the popularity of Donald Trump, who is proposing a new Apartheid regime with regard to American Muslims.

    • SC Man Who Shot and ‘Slow-Cooked’ Two Men out on Bail Thanks to ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law

      James Edward Loftis, 39, is facing murder charges in the deaths of taxi driver Guma Oz Dubar, 46, and his friend James Cody Newland, 32, on March 5 after they demanded he pay his fare following a ride home from a strip club.

      While Loftis has given police varying accounts of what happened that evening—once saying he invited the men in, while another time saying they barged into his home—several facts are not in dispute.

    • Quantitative data in human rights: what do the numbers really mean?

      Quantitative researchers have been sweeping a pervasive “dirty little secret” under the rug for decades: the written reports we use to generate cross-national datasets of governments’ (lack of) respect for human rights are a record of alleged violations, not a census of actual violations. They represent a small fraction of governments’ violations of rights. Yet using these data as if they were actual measures of performance has become standard operating procedure.

    • Could a union do anything to protect Russian journalists?

      Physical attacks and management interference have put Russian journalists’ safety — and their ability to work freely — back on the table. A new union will have to survive in an increasingly hostile environmen

    • I’m Not Your Shorty

      More important than criminalizing catcalling, however, is changing the way men are taught to view and talk about women. We need to teach young men that hollering at women just isn’t OK. That a genuine compliment is always nice, but a litany of adjectives to describe women’s anatomy shouted from across the road is not. That they might feel quite cute when they compete with each other to offer up new harangues, but that women do not find them at all witty for doing so. We need to teach young men that true power isn’t about making women fear you. Such conversations need to happen in homes, schools, churches, and other institutions. And they need to happen often, starting at a young age. It’s time we put some more focus on the daily microaggressions that women must endure, rather than treating them as if they’re an inevitable fact of life if you were born with a vagina.

    • ‘Like most of my friends, I baptised my children so they could go to school’: The anger of Ireland’s non-religious parents

      IN SEPTEMBER OF last year, just over a week after the country’s primary schools had returned from the summer break, a parent of a five-year-old sat down in exasperation to write a letter to the Department of Education.

    • A Catholic School’s Weirdly Self-Defeating Push To Turn ‘Religious Liberty’ Against A Student

      Nevertheless, a Texas appeals court held on Thursday that the school enjoys broad constitutional immunity from its obligation to obey its own contracts because of the school’s status as a “religious institution.” That’s a decision the school — and many other religious institutions — could come to regret in the long run.

    • Duterte vows to kill criminals and reintroduce hanging in Philippines

      Philippines’ president-elect Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to reintroduce capital punishment and give security forces the power to “shoot-to-kill” criminals.

      In his first press conference since winning the 9 May elections in a landslide, Duterte, the tough-talking mayor of the southern of Davao, warned his campaign threats to kill were not rhetoric.

    • What’s the Best Way to Weed Out Potential Killer Cops?

      For generations, conventional wisdom has held that every cop—from prowl-car partners to sector sergeants to top-floor executives at headquarters—is acutely aware of which officers are dangerous powder kegs.

    • CIA Achieves a Whole New Scale of Torture Evidence Destruction

      I once made a list of all the evidence of torture the CIA or others in the Executive Branch destroyed.

      [...]

      Two key parts of this story: Sharpley appears to have no idea who decided to nuke the report off the IG server. Hmmmm.

      And DOJ has been suppressing this detail in filings in the FOIAs for the Torture Report itself (which may be what led Dianne Feinstein to make an issue of it last week).

      Click through if you want a really depressing list of all the ways Richard Burr is trying to disappear the report.

      I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the entire report got disappeared. But destroying the whole thing is rather impressive.

    • The Bitter Consequences of Corporate America’s War on Unions

      Last week, Oxfam America published a report in which it was revealed that, across the United States, workers at giant poultry factories are being denied basic human dignity in the name of productivity and corporate gain.

      Among other abuses, Oxfam found that some workers have been “reduced to wearing diapers while working on the processing line” after their requests to take bathroom breaks were repeatedly denied.

      American poultry workers, furthermore, “incur injuries at five times the national average” without compensation that justifies such risk; workers subsist, as a result, in a state of perpetual anxiety, resentful of their situation but powerless to do anything about it.

    • Michael Ratner’s Death Is a Loss for Freedom, Peace and Justice

      Legendary human rights lawyer Michael Ratner died Wednesday. His pathbreaking legal and political work on behalf of the poor and oppressed around the world is unmatched. His death is an incalculable loss for the cause of freedom, peace and justice.

      The last time I saw Michael was shortly before he was diagnosed with cancer. We were in New York for the annual dinner of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG). Both of us had served as NLG presidents, he during the Reagan years, I during the George W. Bush administration. When we met in New York, Michael had just returned from Cuba, where he had a wonderful visit with Gerardo Hernández, one of the Cuban Five. I was about to leave for Cuba, where I would meet with René González and Antonio Guerrero, two other members of the Cuban Five.

    • Private Prisons: American Slavery, Under New Management

      With U.S. crime down yet prisoners up, and private prisons raking in billions off their labor, it’s becoming increasingly clear that American slavery has returned with a new name.

    • CIA’s Idea of Digital Innovation: Attempt (and Fail) to Buy an Existing News Service

      Which raises even more questions for me about the timing of the request, and of these misleading claims from anonymous intelligence officials. Why go public now? It’s not like CIA is any more popular than it was six months ago (though it’s possible the pressure is tied to CIA’s reorganization).

      As far as the request, it’s interesting CIA never made this demand after the Arab Spring, which CIA missed entirely because it was listening to Omar Suleiman rather than watching social media like the rest of us. That would have been the moment to make this case (I assume CIA and FBI both use more targeted tracking of ISIS Twitter).

      Instead, the request seems more likely tied to the roll out of the larger organization, CIA’s new McKinsey-recommended Directorate of Digital Innovation last October. I would have thought that a claimed commitment to developing digital expertise would have led CIA to set up its own scraping system, rather than trying to purchase the same service news outlets use (to questionable value, according to some people commenting on this). Unless, of course, CIA’s goal is Dataminr’s “firehose,” including all Americans’ Twitter.

    • North Carolina Police Chief Implores Officers To Stop Arresting Addicts

      In a sharp turn away from the War on Drugs, the chief of police in Nashville, North Carolina announced in February that drug addicts in the small town would be taken to rehabilitation centers instead of jail. Now, in response to a growing opioid crisis, the chief is calling on other law enforcement officers across the state to do the same.

      Three months ago, following an “alarming” spate of prescription drug overdoses in Nash County, Thomas Bashore of the Nashville Police Department unveiled the HOPE Initiative to help addicts find treatment and divert them away from the criminal justice system. In lieu of arresting and imprisoning addicts, the initiative encourages them to go the department voluntarily and meet with a community volunteer who can connect them to counseling and treatment facilities. Addicts who have drugs or paraphernalia when they enter the department aren’t penalized

    • Strike Supporters “Adopt” Verizon Wireless Stores to Picket in New York City

      At the base of three escalators, tucked in a corner of a Brooklyn mall, striking Verizon workers and their supporters said they’re standing up to the company’s corporate greed.

      The workers, joined by about a dozen supporters, formed a picket line outside a Verizon Wireless retail store in the Atlantic Terminal Mall near downtown Brooklyn on Sunday, calling for job security, a fair union contract and an end to outsourcing.

    • Populism – the eternal ideology

      Populism – once associated mainly with Latin America – is now part of the political mainstream in western and eastern Europe. What’s behind this surge?

    • ‘Stunning’: CIA Admits ‘Mistakenly’ Deleting Copy of Senate Torture Report
    • CIA Destruction of Senate Torture Report ‘Stunning’ – Reprieve
    • CIA Inspector General Claims It Accidentally Deleted CIA Torture Report After Being Asked To Retain It

      The saga of the CIA torture report continues to get stranger and stranger. As we noted, last week, the appeals court shot down a FOIA lawsuit from the ACLU to get the full report released. If you remember, only the heavily redacted ~500 page executive summary of the report had been released, with another ~6,500 pages or so still locked away. And we do mean locked away. The Justice Department has basically told the entire executive branch not to open the report, and Senate Intelligence Committee boss Richard Burr has been demanding the report be sent back to the Senate so it can be destroyed. Senator Feinstein had actually distributed copies fairly widely throughout the administration, with the goal being that the full report would get read and, you know, the US government wouldn’t torture people again.

      Part of the reason why the DOJ instructed everyone in the executive branch not to read it was to play a game with the whole FOIA process. Only documents held by the executive branch are subject to FOIA requests. Things in Congress are exempt. So Burr has been making sure that everyone believes the report is “a Congressional record” and the DOJ is arguing that by not opening the report, the executive branch doesn’t run the risk of accidentally making the document subject to FOIA requests. But, as part of that, the DOJ also told everyone in the executive branch not to destroy their copies either — asking it to “preserve the status quo” during the course of the FOIA lawsuit.

    • Very Classy Donald Trump Challenges London’s New Mayor To An IQ Test

      Trump initially said he was “happy” at Khan’s victory — and that the mayor could be an exception to his proposed Muslim ban. In addition to Khan, Trump has previously said that his rich Muslim friends would also be exempted from the ban, and even that the ban was “just a suggestion.” When first describing the illegal and controversial proposal, however, Trump insisted it would apply to “everyone” — even Muslim Americans currently living abroad.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Comcast Now Trying To Claim That Delivering Just TV To Third-Party Set Top Boxes ‘Not Feasible’

      We’ve talked a lot about how the FCC is trying to open up the set top box market to additional competition, breaking open cable’s monopoly control of the hardware, while driving down set top prices and improving gear quality. Given this would kill $21 billion in annual set top rental fee revenue and expose customers to more streaming options than ever before, the cable industry has been engaged in raging histrionics to try and shut down the effort and protect the status quo.

      So far, this plan has involved whining, urging lawmakers (most of them about as well-liked as the cable industry) to also whine, while pushing an endless ocean of incredibly misleading editorials in news outlets nationwide claiming the FCC’s plan is going to hurt puppies and rip gigantic holes in the space-time continuum.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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