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08.03.16

Links 3/8/2016: Fedora Flock Starts, ownCloud Hiring, LibreOffice 5.2 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Is Windows 10 Anniversary Update Deleting Linux Partitions? [Ed: Microsoft Loves [to Sabotage] Linux]

      Yikes — if you plan on installing the Windows 10 Anniversary update on your PC you may want to be extra careful.

      It seems that the latest version of Microsoft’s OS has attention issues. Not content with forcing itself on users who didn’t want it, it may be taking even more drastic steps of hosing other operating systems entirely!

      A handful of reports surfacing on social media suggest, anecdotally, that the Windows 10 anniversary may interfere with, affect and even delete other partitions on the same disk.

    • Linux desktop marketshare has grown for three consecutive months [Ed: Net Applications, for the uninitiated, is Microsoft-connected, so expect real numbers to be a lot higher]

      Not strictly gaming related, but we do cover other important or interesting things here and there. According to netmarketshare [Net Applications] for three months straight Linux marketshare has gone up.

      2016
      April: 1.65%
      May : 1.79%
      June : 2.02%
      July : 2.33%

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Docker 1.12 Advances Mac and Windows Desktop Editions

      Lots of container technology news is rolling in this week. Mesosphere announced support for the Confluent Platform for data streaming management, and heralded that “the time is now for Container 2.0.”

      Meanwhile, many more users are taking to Docker’s recently unveiled version 1.12 of its core software-containerization system today, accompanied by the first full desktop editions of the software for development on Mac and Windows machines.

      Docker for Mac and Docker for Windows have graduated from beta and are now stable and ready for production.

    • ALSA 1.1.2 Released

      The alsa-lib 1.1.2 release adds some improvements to the control API, thread safety to the PCM API, mixer and PCM API changes, topology API improvements, and a range of other changes. Alsa-utils 1.1.2 was also released and it mostly contains changes to its Basic Audio Tester (BAT).

    • Encrypted File Sharing Service Tresorit Offers Linux Desktop Client, But…

      On Thursday I received an email from Eszter Szilva, a PR manager at Tresorit, which is an “end-to-end encrypted file sharing service.” She was offering an invitation to take a peek at the company’s just released client for GNU/Linux. I must admit I was a little excited by this, despite the fact that I already figured the service was also end-to-end proprietary. I was willing to ignore that, thinking it’s about time for companies to start treating Linux users with the same respect given to users of other operating systems.

      A quick gander at the company website told me the service encrypts files client-side before uploading using AES, the Advanced Encryption Standard established by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. The company uses servers located in Ireland and the Netherlands, which is an important plus for those trying to stay out of the long reach of the US government. The company is headquartered in Switzerland and user data is protected under Swiss privacy laws, which offer more protection than in the US or even the EU.

    • syslog-ng 3.8 – what changed?

      Almost a year has passed since the last major syslog-ng release. The first beta of the upcoming 3.8 release was published last week. This brought many changes both in terms of new features and in packaging. To encourage testing I would like to highlight some of the most important new features. Most people prefer using packages, so I also collected what changed in packaging.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • ZeMarmot at GUADEC 2016

        We are all happy users of GNOME here, and this is the first time we will be in GUADEC, so this is pretty exciting. Both Aryeom, the film director, and myself, Jehan, are sponsored by the GNOME Foundation to present our film, produced with FLOSS, in room 1, on Sunday, August 14. We will talk about the movie, its current status, about our work on GIMP too, how GNOME and Free Software works in a media creation workflow, and so on. So we hope you will be many to check this out if you are around!

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • 7 Essential Open Source DevOps Projects

    This is very short list of projects in the DevOps space; many other projects are available, with each one catering to a certain use case. What’s most impressive is that all of these projects are fully open sourced. It’s more or less become a phenomenon. The success of the Linux development model has made even hard-core proprietary companies comfortable with the idea of open sourcing such projects.

    When you talk about the DevOps movement, open source is the de facto development model. It has become so commonplace that no one even really mentions it. We have started to take it for granted that “it has to be open source.”

  • Why open sourcing your software is a smart business decision

    Proprietary software developers beware: open source has become mainstream with non-tech brands like Nike rushing to prove their open source credentials by publishing open source projects and sharing code on GitHub.

    Meanwhile, Facebook has just open sourced the spec for Surround 360, its 3D-360 hardware and software video capture system. It is therefore a small surprise that the 2016 annual ‘Future of Open Source‘ survey revealed that 65% of respondents have increased their use of open source software compared with 60% in 2015.

  • How-to Video Training: Open Source Component Management and Intelligence

    As a developer I am constantly chasing new tools and enjoy learning new things. I read a lot of blog posts, tutorials, and documentation. And, I listen to podcasts and attend webinars as well. More and more I find that watching videos of conference and webinar presentations is great. But even better are shorter, focused videos that give you a chance to quickly learn something new.

  • ownCloud is hiring!

    After the recent news, we are now back on stage and with this blog we want to point you to our open positions. Yes, we are hiring people to work on ownCloud. ownCloud is an open source project, yes, but ownCloud GmbH, the company behind the project, provides significant people’s power to expand the project to serve the needs for both the community and ownCloud GmbH’s customers. So if you ever dreamed of getting paid for work on open source, read on.

  • Enterprises increasingly joining open source ecosystem – Wikibon

    A new wave of open source participation is growing among large traditional enterprises not normally considered technology developers, writes Wikibon Lead Cloud Analyst Brian Gracely. Companies like Capital One Financial Corp., Nike Inc., Deere & Co. and General Electric Co. are joining open source consortia both as users of and contributors to major initiatives.

    They are doing this for the same basic reason that IT vendors such as IBM, Google and Intel have become major drivers of Apache open source projects – it allows them to participate with outside teams on developing software they need, creating better solutions to their needs faster and at less cost.

  • Comma.ai open-sources the data it used for its first successful driverless trips

    Comma.ai, the startup that George Hotz (aka Geohotz) founded to show that making driverless vehicles could done relatively cheaply using off-the-shelf components and existing vehicles, has open-sourced a dataset of 7.25 hours of highway driving.

    It might not seem like a lot, but in terms of comparative datasets for highway driving out there, it is. And it’s what Hotz used to build the initial successful self-driving demo used to ferry Bloomberg around for comma.ai’s big public debut.

    “When I started this project, I didn’t want to have to put things in cars – I just wanted to play with the machine learning,” explained Hotz in an interview. “But I looked around and there was no good source of data to do that.”

  • comma.ai releases 7 hours of self-driving car data, calls for Tesla, Google and others to do the same

    comma.ai CEO George Hotz recently praised Tesla, Google and Otto for being fairly opened about their self-driving car programs, but he is taking his own company a step further in openness with the release of a dataset of 7.25 hours of comma.ai’s prototype at work.

    We’ve often discussed at Electrek how data will be extremely important in the race to create a fully self-driving car, and also in the race to get such a system approved by regulators, which is why comma.ai’s move here is particularly interesting.

    Back in May, we talked about Tesla adding an impressive ~1 million miles of data every 10 hours due to its important fleet of about 100,000 cars equipped with Autopilot sensors. On the other hand, Google has just over 1 million miles of data since launching its program in 2009 due to its smaller fleet, but it’s arguably collecting more data per mile due to using more sensors than Tesla.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.2 Officially Released with Interface Refinements, New Features

      Today, August 3, 2016, The Document Foundation non-profit organization has had the great pleasure of announcing the general availability of the LibreOffice 5.2 open-source and cross-platform office suite software.

    • LibreOffice 5.2 Released, This Is What’s New
    • LibreOffice 5.2 Officially Released
    • LibreOffice 5.2 released

      LibreOffice 5.1.5 “still” announced, for enterprise class deployments

      Berlin, August 3, 2016 – The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 5.2, a feature-rich major release of the best free office suite ever created – targeted to early adopters and power users – with several user interface improvements and enterprise grade features.

      At the same time, LibreOffice 5.1.5 has been released, for enterprise class deployments and more conservative office suite users.

    • LibreOffice under the hood: a year of progress from 5.0 to 5.2

      Today we release LibreOffice 5.2.0, the next step in our journey, and what will become the base of the increasingly stable 5.2.x series. There is a fine suite of new features for people to enjoy – you can read and enjoy all the great news about the user visible features from many great hackers, but there are, as always, many contributors whose work is primarily behind the scenes, and a lot of work that is more technical than user-facing.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Brendan Eich’s Innovative Brave Browser Gets Funding

      Brendan Eich, formerly CEO of Mozilla, has been busy with Brave Software and the new Brave browser, which is getting a lot of notice as an open source browser that blocks online ads and other trackers. As TechCrunch noted: “Unlike traditional web browsers where ad-blocking takes place via a third-party add-on or extension, Brave’s browser has this technology built in, claiming not only to offer users more privacy, but also increased speed and performance – especially when surfing the mobile web.”

      It’s also significant that the Brave browser is a blockchain-enabled browser with hardened security, enhanced speed and micropayment capabilities. Now, Brave Software has announced that it has raised $4.5 million in seed funding. Investors in the round include Founders Fund’s FF Angel, Propel Venture Partners, Pantera Capital, Foundation Capital, and Digital Currency Group.

    • Patreon

      I’ve been funded for two years by the DataLad project to work on git-annex. This has been a super excellent gig; they provided funding and feedback on ways git-annex could be improved, and I had a large amount of flexability to decide what to work on in git-annex. Also plenty of spare time to work on new projects like propellor, concurrent-output, and scroll. It was an awesome way to spend the last two years of my twenty years of free software.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Poland to boost sharing and reuse of software

      Poland’s Ministry of Digital Affairs is nudging the country’s public administrations to share and reuse ICT solutions. In July the ministry published draft clauses for contracts and procurement, asking citizens to comment. The clauses do not explicitly stipulate the use of free and open source software licences. However, the ministry emphasises that when developing software, public administrations should own the code and have the right to share and redistribute it.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Is Erdogan really stronger after failed coup?

      The prevailing view among punditry and the media, both Turkish and international, is that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has emerged much stronger from the July 15 coup attempt and is now empowered to steer the country as he likes.

    • Why Do Liberals Keep Calling Donald Trump a Dove?

      While the Democrat made the case for liberal militarism, the Republican attacked the interventionist status quo. “Yeah, I’m not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say, ‘This is the way it’s gotta be,’” he said, as if he’d read his Chomsky. “I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called ‘nation-building,’” he continued, lashing out at occupations that had killed U.S. troops and civilians alike. “I think what we need to do is convince the people who live in the lands they live in to build the nations. Maybe I’m missing something here.”

      That was in 2000 and that Republican, George W. Bush, put America’s perceived interests first after winning the race for the White House—by ignoring effete international prohibitions against aggressive war, bypassing the United Nations, and unilaterally invading Iraq. Now, 13 years later, there is another Republican, Donald Trump, railing against the “arrogance” of U.S foreign policy in a race against a Democrat whose record is marked by support for war, including the one launched by the last conservative critic of liberals with bombs.

    • Donald Trump asked 3 times in 1 hour why U.S. doesn’t use its nuclear weapons
    • This ‘Morning Joe’ Discussion About Trump And Nuclear Weapons Is Terrifying
    • Trump’s ‘erratic’ behavior could test nuclear protocols, former head of CIA and NSA says
    • The Mystery of Turkey’s Failed Coup

      The failed Turkish coup and President Erdogan’s harsh reprisals have left more questions than answers, including who was really behind the botched putsch and why, reports Joe Lauria.

    • The War That Won’t Go Away

      “Amid ‘Sacrifice’ Debate, a Look at How Trump Avoided War” (New York Times, August 1, 2016), attempts to cast doubt and suspicion on Trump’s motives as a student and young man when he successfully got out of military service during the Vietnam War. The article takes Trump’s statements about his health and deferments during that period and shows the inconsistencies in how Trump describes his history vis-a-vis the draft. But the problems here are twofold. Mr. Trump seems to have a problem in general with inconsistencies and outrageous statements in almost every policy pronouncement he makes on the campaign trail. In the case of Vietnam and the draft, however, he was doing what hundreds of thousands of other young men did during that unpopular war to get out of serving in the military. To judge Trump by the standards of 1968 or 1969 is to take the current views about war and apply them retroactively to that era.

    • As US Attacks Libya Again, Peace Group Tells Obama: ‘Stop the Bombing’

      Citing the disastrous bombing campaign in 2011 that pushed the nation into political chaos and bloody violence, anti-war groups are calling for an immediate end to a new wave of airstrikes on Libya approved by U.S. President Barack Obama.

    • We Refuse To Be Targets in This Nuclear World

      Despite our unsuccessful local efforts, we do not wish be targets any more. We believe the millions of human beings who are tired of dreaming the nuclear nightmare need to be brought into the process. We are not alone in this goal. Mayors of 5300 cities across the world have asked that their cities not be targets any more—targets of national military decisions in which their communities have no voice or role. We are proposing the creation of an international campaign that stands up to say “We refuse to be targets”—to ask governments in the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, China, Pakistan, India, Israel and other countries having, or contemplating having nuclear weapons across the world, to cease and desist.

      We need a new Nuclear Freeze and then systematic reductions with a protocol for controlling fissionable materials. Our suggestion would be that the campaign advocate for gradual reductions: first of 25% or more (which has at least been proposed for US/Russian bilateral reductions to follow-up the New START agreement), then of 50%, then of 75%, and finally of 95% both in nuclear warheads and in fissionable materials. This would require the creation of infrastructure for monitoring and verifying compliance with agreed reductions.

    • What Khizr Khan Said That Wasn’t About Trump and You Probably Won’t Hear

      On Monday, the same day the U.S. started its new campaign in Libya—a move one antiwar group said will only further “entrench divisions and intensify violence” in the region—the Khans gave an interview on MSNBC’s “Hardball.”

      Asked by host Chris Matthews, “What do you think when you, or feel, when you see us attack Iraq or go into Afghanistan after Osama bin Laden, or we go attack with bombs Libya? We’re bombing Syria now—all Islamic countries. What do you feel as an Islamic man?”

      Khizr Khan replied, “As a Muslim-American, not just as Islamic man—as a Muslim American, I feel that these policies are not in the interest of United States of America, and we see the result of it. We are more vulnerable now. We have created a chaos and—for ourselves.”

      “Well, you know you’re speaking to the choir,” Matthews responded. (In fact, “Matthews’ record isn’t entirely consistent” on being against either the war in Iraq or on avoiding a military approach to confronting ISIS, Norton notes.)

      “I wish this country would have listened to Chris Matthews when he was talking, when he was preaching,” Khan said, “we could have saved ourselves from this quagmire.”

      This section of the interview, Norton points out, “is not included in the isolated clips for the episode on MSNBC’s website. One has to watch the full episode to see it.”

      The situation may remind some of how the corporate media chose to portray Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel laureate and children’s education advocate who was attacked by the Taliban. She met with President Barack Obama at the White House and told him that “drone attacks are fueling terrorism.” Yet, as Peter Hart wrote at FAIR in 2013, that “didn’t register in a corporate media that followed Malala’s visit, and her story, very closely.”

    • Dear Trumpists: Khizr Khan is not ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ and it wouldn’t matter if he Were

      A Trump adviser is trying to smear Khizr Khan, the Pakistani-American legal consultant who spoke at the DNC, as a “Muslim Brotherhood agent.”

      This ignorant discourse is only possible because people just have no idea what they are talking about. It wouldn’t fly if done about Western Christians. So for instance we would know that most Swedes are fairly liberal Lutherans and most Spanish are Catholic. Among far right wing Catholics in Spain you have the secretive cult, the Opus Dei. What the Trump people are doing is he equivalent of charging that a liberal Swedish Lutheran is an Opus Dei agent. That charge wouldn’t make any sense to anyone who knew about ethnicity and Christianity in the West. A liberal Swedish Lutheran couldn’t be Opus Dei.

      I’m not sure it will do much good, but let me try to explain why a liberal Pakistani wouldn’t be Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood as a movement began in Egypt in 1928. It began as a reassertion of Arab Muslim values in the wake of the 1880-1922 direct British occupation of Egypt, and the subsequent British hidden hand in Egyptian affairs through 1956. The Brotherhood is vague about the kind of government they want, but when they had a chance in 2011-13, they supported democratic elections.

    • My Response to Bill Clinton: On (My) Liberty and (Your) America

      According to the results of a recent Economist/YouGov poll, a majority of Americans believe that Islam, more than any other religion, encourages violence. Republicans are particularity anti-Muslim (74 percent shared these views) but a sizable number of Democrats (41 percent) hold such toxic ideas about Islam and its followers, as well.

    • Justice Department Officials Raised Objections on U.S. Cash Payment to Iran

      Senior Justice Department officials objected to sending a plane loaded with cash to Tehran at the same time that Iran released four imprisoned Americans, but their objections were overruled by the State Department, according to people familiar with the discussions.

      After announcing the release of the Americans in January, President Barack Obama also said the U.S. would pay $1.7 billion to Iran to settle a failed arms deal dating back to 1979. What wasn’t disclosed at the time was that the first payment would be $400 million in cash, flown in as the prisoners were released, as The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • After Louisiana Flooding, the Red Cross Draws a Deluge of Complaints

      Three months after record floods swept through Louisiana in March, the government officials in charge of disaster response set up a post-mortem with area Red Cross staffers.

      The meeting’s purpose: Airing officials’ many complaints with the charity’s performance.

      “Basically, during the Miss. River flooding and the recent severe weather events, most of the Parishes who reached out to the American Red Cross were not happy with the assistance they received or did not get some or any assistance that was requested from them,” a parish emergency manager wrote in an email eliciting the specifics of local officials’ experiences.

      He compiled their responses into a page of talking points for the June 28 meeting. Among the most common gripes: That there had been so much turnover at the Red Cross that government emergency managers didn’t know who to call for assistance; that Red Cross staffers didn’t call emergency managers back; and that the Red Cross didn’t provide enough shelter support.

    • Fracking For President WTF?

      Like your choices weren’t pitiable enough before, now some gas and oil industry pimps in Texas have launched a mock independent bid for the presidency on behalf of – wait for it – fracking. The stunt is part of FrackFeed.com, a new website by the “grassroots” (read astro-turf industry front) group North Texans for Natural Gas (NTNG), which with the support of four energy companies seeks to “give a voice to those who support natural gas.” Aimed at millennials and dedicated to the gonzo proposition that fracking brings you everything good in life – gas, A.C., housing, health care, vacations, burgers, Christmas, celebrity life styles and don’t forget clean water – the site uses laughable memes, quizzes, listicles and other fun stuff to “explain the benefits of fracking to a new generation of Americans.” “Energy is everywhere,” it exclaims, and if you look around you’ll find life itself on God’s green earth, including the toxic water, is “Brought To You By Fracking.”

    • Mega-Utility Dodges $500M ‘Bullet’ as Feds Slash Potential Fine for Pipeline Explosion

      A federal judge on Tuesday night quietly slashed a potential $562 million fine against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) for the privately owned, publicly regulated utility’s role in a 2010 deadly natural gas pipeline explosion near San Francisco.

      The incident six years ago “sent a giant plume of fire into the air, killing eight people and destroying 38 homes in the San Francisco Bay Area city of San Bruno,” the Associated Press recalls.

      As Common Dreams noted at the time, “In the weeks before the catastrophe, residents had been reporting gas odors and had voiced fears about a leak. But this brought no action from the company. A state assemblyman from the San Bruno area noted that the torn pipeline was over 60 years old, having been installed in 1948. He criticized PG&E for its poor maintenance and lax response. After the explosion, it took the company almost three hours to shut off the gas supply.”

    • Prosecutors in PG&E case abruptly reduce potential fines

      Abruptly and without explanation, federal prosecutors slashed potential criminal penalties for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. from $562 million to $6 million Tuesday while a jury was considering whether the company violated safety laws both before and after the lethal 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno.

      The decision was made public in a court filing as both sides awaited the jury’s verdict in federal court in San Francisco.

      Prosecutors had maintained, in filings before and during the trial, that California’s largest utility could be punished for any convictions with penalties equal to twice the amount it saved by shortcutting safety laws. They said those savings could be measured by the $281 million that PG&E estimated it would cost to comply with safety standards after the San Bruno explosion — leading to a potential fine of $562 million if the federal jury in San Francisco returned guilty verdicts.

    • Missoula Wins Right to Control Its Own Water in Victory Against Privatization

      Missoula, Montana scored a major victory for community ownership of public resources when the state’s supreme court ruled 5-2 on Tuesday that the city’s use of its water system was “more necessary” than its use by a private company.

      The city has been embroiled in a costly, years-long legal battle over control of its water supply. Missoula previously argued it has the right to use its powers of eminent domain to purchase Mountain Water Co. from then-owner the Carlyle Group—which has since sold the water company to Canada-based Liberty Utility—an argument which the Missoula County District Court agreed with last June.

      Now, their argument has been vindicated, as the Montana Supreme Court on Tuesday found the lower court’s “detailed factual findings” supported the eminent domain decision.

    • Montana Supreme Court clears way for city’s Mountain Water purchase

      The city of Missoula won its eminent domain case to buy Mountain Water Co. in a 5-2 decision Tuesday from the Montana Supreme Court.

      In the majority’s opinion, Justice Patricia Cotter said the state high court gave the record an “exhaustive review” and found the lower court’s “detailed factual findings” supported public ownership.

    • Is Solar Energy Really Too Expensive?

      Utilities are lobbying against the expansion of rooftop solar, and that’s no good for anyone.

    • Energy-wise buildings can cut gas imports

      A renovation programme to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings in Europe could create a million jobs, provide warmer homes, more comfortable factories and offices, reduce fuel bills across 28 countries, and cut imports of Russian gas, researchers say.

      This is because buildings are currently the biggest single emitter of GHGs in Europe. Many have inefficient heating and cooling, combined with poor insulation.

      But with existing technology and political will, they could be transformed into energy producers and become carbon-neutral, says a report produced by OpenEXP, an international group of experts helping policymakers to reach sustainable development goals.

    • 6 Signs the Big Global Switch to Solar has already Begun

      China has installed 20 gigawatts of new solar power just in the first half of this year. This achievement beats analysts’ expectations by a wide margin. China wants to add 20 GW of new solar every year for the next four, but apparently could do twice that. At the end of 2015, China had about 40 gigawatts of installed solar power, so in just six months it has added half again as much. It already surpasses the previous solar champ, Germany.

      The Crescent Dunes “concentrating solar power” plant in Nevada, operated by a Santa Monica firm, is using molten salt as a battery so that it can generate electricity 24/7. It is the first such plant to use solar energy to melt the salt directly instead of via oil, e.g,, which is a huge advance in efficiency. All electricity plants are just a way to turn turbines using boiling water. If you can turn the turbines with molten salt heated hours ago by the sun, then you can make electricity all day and all night. The Crescent Dunes plant can power 75,000 homes. All those critics of solar power who maintain that it needs gas or nuclear for baseload generation when it is dark or very overcast can now find some other talking point. Solar can do it all. Concentrating solar power costs as little as 10 cents a kilowatt hour, making it competitive with nuclear both in cost and in non-intermittency. Photovoltaic cells plus battery storage may ultimately be cheaper but this means that at the very least we have a relatively inexpensive solar technology that isn’t intermittent.

  • Finance

    • Let’s Understand Why We’re So Finished Economically

      The myth of the American Dream is the dominating factor in keeping people mostly complacent in the United States. You know it — work hard, and your life will improve. Well, maybe not your life, but your kids’, or at least your grandkids’. If that doesn’t work, it is the fault of the Irish immigrants, or the darn Chinese, or those welfare freeloaders. Ask Donald Trump how it all works.

      The thing that makes the myth so powerful is that the tiny percent that is true sounds better than the 99 percent which is a lie. As long as near-constant growth could be assured, enough pieces would fall to the the lower and middle classes to make the Dream seem real. It helped that a kindly media would promote the heck out of every exception, whether it was the shoeshine boy in the late 19th century who went to college, or the plucky guys who invented some new tech in their garage and became billionaires. See, you can do it too, just like if we run hard enough, everyone can be in the Olympics. It’s just a matter of wanting it, believing in yourself, having passion and grit, right?

    • Our Revolution Marches On as Washington’s Jayapal Nabs Primary Win

      Pramila Jayapal, one of the standard-bearers for Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution movement, won a decisive victory in the primary race for Washington’s 7th Congressional District Tuesday night and will advance to the November general election.

      Jayapal, an Indian-born state senator who was endorsed by Sanders in April, won 38 percent of the vote. The Seattle Times reported late Tuesday that rivals Joe McDermott and Brady Walkinshaw were “neck and neck,” taking—by the latest count—21.5 percent and 20.9 percent respectively. The top two will advance to the fall election.

    • There’s a Hunger Problem in Every County in America—and It’s Solvable

      Loudoun County is a suburban area with colonial roots, nestled about 45 miles northwest of the District of Columbia. It boasts the nation’s highest median household income at nearly $124,000 per year. It also has 14,000 residents who struggle with food insecurity, or a lack of reliable access to affordable and nutritious food.

      Elizabeth and her daughter, Jennifer, are Loudon County residents that struggle with hunger. Both women once had full-time jobs, but Elizabeth was let go from her job as a car mechanic when she injured her wrist. Then, Jennifer had to quit her job to help care for Elizabeth’s four-year-old daughter.

    • In Wealthy Vancouver, Mayor Promises to Turn Tent City into Subsidized Housing

      The mayor of Vancouver, B.C., announced late Tuesday that an empty lot, the site of a tent city of homeless residents and affordable housing activists, will be transformed into subsidized housing for seniors and people on welfare.

      The announcement marked a rare progressive victory in a city marred by rapid gentrification, a years-long housing crunch, and an influx of foreign money that has transformed the coastal community into a “playground for the rich.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Cornel West: Trump Will Be a Neofascist Catastrophe and Clinton a Neoliberal Disaster

      Polls indicate that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got a four-point bounce from the heavily scripted Democratic Party Convention. But it is hard to know the depth and intensity of support from Sanders activists passionate enough to earn themselves a place at the convention. Those are the kinds of activists that could help Clinton the most come November. Yet, an informal survey of dozens of Bernie delegates indicates a lack on enthusiasm for the Clinton cause. No doubt, the decision by prominent Bernie booster Cornel West to go for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein won’t help.

    • Can Jill Carry Bernie’s Baton? A Look at the Green Candidate’s Radical Funding Solution

      Bernie Sanders supporters are flocking to Jill Stein, the presumptive Green Party presidential candidate, with donations to her campaign exploding nearly 1000% after he endorsed Hillary Clinton. Stein salutes Sanders for the progressive populist movement he began and says it is up to her to carry the baton. Can she do it? Critics say her radical policies will not hold up to scrutiny. But supporters say they are just the medicine the economy needs.

      Stein goes even further than Sanders on several key issues, and one of them is her economic platform. She has proposed a “Power to the People Plan” that guarantees basic economic human rights, including access to food, water, housing, and utilities; living-wage jobs for every American who needs to work; an improved “Medicare for All” single-payer public health insurance program; tuition-free public education through university level; and the abolition of student debt. She also supports the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, separating depository banking from speculative investment banking; the breakup of megabanks into smaller banks; federal postal banks to service the unbanked and under-banked; and the formation of publicly-owned banks at the state and local level.

    • Leaked DNC Emails Confirm Anti-Sanders Conspiracy

      The release by Wikileaks of a trove of emails from high-ranking Democratic Party officials has confirmed what many Americans – both progressive and conservative – have suspected throughout this election cycle: that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) actively conspired against Bernie Sanders in an attempt to ensure the nomination for Hillary Clinton.

      But it wasn’t simply party apparatchiks like the disgraced Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the recently resigned Chair of the DNC and close ally of Clinton, but also their trusted cronies in the corporate media who actively collaborated with DNC officials to ensure that nothing too critical of Hillary would make it into the Mighty Wurlitzer of contemptibly ‘respectable’ journalism. Indeed, what the Wikileaks revelations expose to the world is the fact that there’s nothing democratic about the Democratic Party, or America’s alleged democracy in general.

    • China and Africa: handling ‘otherness’

      Take one example. For years, the complaint by many outside China during the era of great enclosure under Mao Zedong was that the place was written about as though it were on another planet. People who managed to enter went to observe, maintaining an outsider’s distance as they gazed in at lives they perceived to be either suffering or deluded. In recent years, however, this example of outsider’s language has undergone a metamorphosis from pity to criticism. Martin Jacques, Frank Dikötter and others have examined how Chinese writings themselves contain deep strains of racial and cultural superiority vis-à-vis ‘the other’. But whilst Chinese mainstream discourse does convey a sense of superiority, that isn’t by any means the full story. Countering the notion of a proud, ancient continuous civilisation is an opposing sense of resentment and victimhood, born in the modern era and currently expressed in narratives of colonial oppression promoted by the Chinese government.

    • The Citizens United Playbook

      How a Top GOP Lawyer Guided a Chinese-Owned Company Into U.S. Presidential Politics

    • Power Couple

      Meet the Chinese Husband-and-Wife Team Whose Company Spent $1.3 Million Trying to Make Jeb Bush President

    • Cracks in the Dam

      Three Paths Citizens United Created for Foreign Money to Pour Into U.S. Elections

    • A “Desperate” Seller

      Gary Locke, While Obama’s Ambassador to China, Got a Chinese Tycoon to Buy His House

    • Trumped

      Well, you can’t, in fact. Claiming that Hillary Clinton won the 2016 primary is like claiming Bush won the 2000 election. It’s one of those things that everyone will say, using it as shorthand, and repeating it until everyone forgets that the thing was stolen. So, let me rephrase: How can you get people to pretend en masse that you won the 2016 Democratic presidential primary despite lugging around the same baggage as 8 years before only now stuffed with putrid rotting flesh?

    • Green Alert: Presidential Hopeful Dr. Jill Stein Taps Human Rights Activist Ajamu Baraka as Her VP Pick

      Green Party presidential hopeful Dr. Jill Stein has tapped Ajamu Baraka as her vice presidential pick for the upcoming 2016 election.

    • Baseless “Anti-Vax” Attacks Against Dr. Jill Stein Distract from Her Call to End the Corrupting Influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry Within the FDA

      Dr. Jill Stein has repeatedly articulated her support for vaccinations in interviews and online. The online fact-checking website Snopes.com has debunked accusations claiming Dr. Stein opposes the use of vaccines. The conspiracy theory that Dr. Stein is “anti-science” is becoming a bizarre new counterpart of the “birther”controversy that hounded President Obama’s candidacy in 2008.

      Stein noted, “Anyone who supports vaccinations and wishes to prevent dropping vaccination rates should be concerned about the erosion of public trust caused by the corrupting influence of the pharmaceutical industry in regulatory agencies and government in general.”

      Dr. Stein voices widely-shared concerns that the pharmaceutical industry exerts undue influence in our regulatory institutions – as well as on the politicians to whom they donate.

    • Hillary Clinton’s campaign: ‘We’ll have a press conference when we want to have a press conference’

      When is Hillary Clinton going to hold that long-awaited news conference — the first of 2016? Whenever she feels like it.

      This has always been true, of course. The media can’t force her into one. But the Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign hasn’t been quite so blunt about it.

      Until now.

      “We’ll have a press conference when we want to have a press conference,” Clinton pollster Joel Benenson said on ABC News on Thursday evening.

      Okay then. This is the Clinton campaign flaunting its control, reminding the media who calls the shots.

    • Green Party candidate Jill Stein names running mate

      Presumptive Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein has named Ajamu Baraka, an international human rights scholar and activist, as her running mate.
      “Ajamu Baraka is a powerful, eloquent spokesperson for the transformative, radical agenda whose time has come — an agenda of economic, social, racial, gender, climate, indigenous and immigrant justice,” Stein said in a statement Tuesday. “Ajamu’s life’s work has embodied the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

      Stein, a doctor, is expected to be formally nominated as the Green Party’s presidential candidate Saturday at its national convention in Houston.

    • Mark Crispin Miller

      Peter and Mickey spend the hour in discussion with Mark Crispin Miller, NYU professor, author, and media critic. Their conversation included both critiques of corporate media’s recent performance (such as coverage of the presidential campaign), and ongoing developments that threaten freedom of the press and of thought.

    • What Price Victory?

      Virtually the entire political class has now united to defeat Donald Trump, with Morning Joe today staging a Michael Hayden appearance that served largely to allow Scarborough to tell the story of Trump asking three times in a foreign policy briefing why the US couldn’t use its nukes. As Dan Drezner pointed out on Twitter, Scarborough says the event happened months ago — when the primary was still going on — but has just now staged its telling.

      Beating Donald Trump is important. He’s a racist who aims to win by promising white working class people they can resume persecuting people of color again, and he is dangerously inconsistent. That said, he does want to spend lots on infrastructure and protect workers from the ravages of globalization, something often forgotten in depictions of him as entirely policy free.

      But the transpartisan obsession with beating Trump has largely applauded two developments that, for liberals, for democrats, for those who believe in peace, for progressives, should be a worry.

      First, the Neocon establishment has come out in enthusiastic support for Clinton, with ideologue Eliot Cohen orchestrating serial efforts (one that even includes John Yoo!!) to oppose Trump. They point to Trump’s erratic nature and more recently the theories of Putin’s influence. They do so even in the face of a report that Paul Manafort, through whom any Putin influence would be managed, is checking out.

      [...]

      And even while the focus has been on Russia’s alleged influence with Trump, there has been no focus on Hillary’s unquestioning support of Saudi Arabia (the country that had ties to 9/11) and Israel. Or on Hillary’s equally troubling policy proposals, such as starting a No Fly Zone over Russian planes. As Will Bunch noted in a great column, Democrats have become the party that shuns people who chant No More War.

    • The Populist Insurgency is Ratcheting Up

      “We” being the millions of young people, mad-as-hell working stiffs, independents, deep-rooted progressives, and other “outsiders” who felt The Bern and forged a new, game-changing, populist force of, by, and for grassroots Americans. True, this progressive-populist coalition did not win the White House on its first go ’round behind the feisty Sanders insurgency (which the the smug political establishment had literally laughed at when he began his run). But they are not laughing now, for even they can see the outsider revolt against the power elites won something even more momentous than the 2016 election: The future.

    • Why the Shake-up at the Democratic National Committee Is Doomed

      The shake-up at the Democratic National Committee after an embarrassing breach of its email system continued Tuesday with the departure of three senior officials.

      But purging the DNC of top officials won’t remedy the DNC’s problems. Those problems aren’t attributable to individuals who didn’t do their jobs. To the contrary, those individuals probably fulfilled their responsibilities exactly as those jobs were intended to be done.

      The DNC’s problems are structural.

      The Democratic National Committee – like the Republican National Committee – has become little more than a giant machine designed to suck up big money from wealthy individuals, lobbyists bundlers, and corporate and Wall Street PACs.

    • With Clinton at Helm, Democratic Party Again a ‘Plaything of the Super-Rich’

      It appears that nothing is holding her back now that Hillary Clinton has officially become the Democratic nominee for president. With “cash machine” Tim Kaine by her side, the Democratic ticket’s fundraising operation is in full swing, and the money—Big Money—is pouring in.

      On Tuesday, the campaign announced a record take of $90 million last month for the candidate and the Democratic Party, not including that brought in by the Super PACs supporting her bid. Republican nominee Donald Trump raised a reported $80 million last month.

      According to CNN, “Clinton will look to match her July haul with a series of August fundraisers, including star studded late-August events hosted by Oscar-winning actors and tech billionaires like Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple.”

    • Tim Kaine’s other role: Cash machine

      When newly minted vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine first showed his face in Philadelphia at the Democrats’ convention last week, it wasn’t on stage at the Wells Fargo Center. It was in the tony private suites high above the festivities, where he dropped in on a handful of the campaign’s highest-flying fundraisers.

      That was no coincidence. Much has been made of the Virginia senator’s suburban dad-like mien and his Spanish-speaking skills as he’s started to attack Donald Trump, but Kaine also brings to Hillary Clinton’s ticket an under-appreciated resume point: his stealth status as one of the Democratic Party’s most powerful fundraisers.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Study: Trolls Are Even Worse When Using Real Names

      Now, this is just one report on one dataset, and there may be a variety of other factors at play. But it certainly matches with our own experience here as well. The idea that people only act like jackasses because they’re anonymous just doesn’t fit with the pattern we’ve seen in the over 1 million comments we have on this site. Yes, sometimes there are anonymous jerks, just like there are sometimes named jerks. But on the whole, anonymity doesn’t seem to magically lead to worse comments.

    • Censor Boards in India, Pakistan Very Myopic: John Abraham

      Actor John Abraham, whose latest release Dishoom could not release in Pakistan as the country’s censor board members failed to reach a unanimous decision on it, says he is neither disappointed nor surprised as he feels that the censor boards across both the countries have been “very myopic”.

      Asked his opinion on the fate of Dishoom in Pakistan, John told IANS over phone from Mumbai: “Well, I think censorship generally across the board in both countries has been very myopic and consistently myopic. So, I am not disappointed, but I am also not surprised.”

      John, who plays a police officer in the film, shared that Dishoom is neither biased nor an anti-country movie. It is all about entertainment.

    • Anurag Kashyap to conduct masterclass on censorship in Melbourne

      After locking horns with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) recently over ‘Udta Punjab’, Anurag Kashyap’s stock continues to rise. His take-no-prisoners stance on the ‘Udta Punjab’ issue has endeared him to young filmmakers and moviegoers alike. Known for making the right noise at crucial moments, the filmmaker has now been invited to conduct a masterclass on censorship and its impact on Indian cinema in Melbourne as he will be attending the Indian Film Festival there from August 11 to 21.

    • Turkey’s media crackdown has reached the Netherlands

      Following last month’s failed coup, journalists in Turkey are facing the largest clampdown in its modern history. Journalists covering the events from abroad have not escaped unscathed, including a number in the Netherlands who have faced threats and attacks.

      Unusually, the journalists of the Rotterdam-based Turkish newspaper Zaman Today welcomed the increased police presence. Long before the military coup that failed to remove Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan from power, the government had been targeting journalists. But today a Dutch police officer drops by frequently to check if Zaman’s journalists are alright. It makes journalist Huseyin Atasever, who has been working for the Dutch Zaman since 2014, feel safe. Or at least safer than he has felt in a while.

      On the morning of Tuesday 19 July Atasever was on his way to Amsterdam when he received a phone call. A Turkish-Dutch individual had been abused by Erdogan supporters at a mosque in the city of Haarlem. Atasever decided to go there immediately.

    • Canadian Comedian Plans To Appeal $42k For A Joke That Insulted Someone

      Okay, okay, I know that Canada doesn’t have a First Amendment like we do down here — even if people like to joke about it being the 51st state — but it still seems quite bizarre that comedian Mike Ward has been told to pay $42,000 for making an offensive joke about a singer named Jeremy Gabriel. Ward is planning to appeal, but the fact that he’s been found guilty of a “human rights” violation seems ridiculous enough.

    • Comedian Mike Ward ordered to pay $35K to Jérémy Gabriel

      Quebec’s Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that comedian Mike Ward must pay Jérémy Gabriel $35,000 for making jokes that violated his rights.

      Ward has been ordered to pay the former child singer with disabilities $25,000 in moral damages and $10,000 in punitive damages.

      He will also need to pay Sylvie Gabriel, Jérémy’s mother, a total of $5,000 for moral damages and $2,000 for punitive damages.

    • The Summer Blockbuster That’s More About Politics Than You Think

      Meanwhile, the trolls went after not only the movie, but its stars as well. Leslie Jones, a strong black actress and comedian from Saturday Night Live, complained to Twitter that she was being targeted by racist tweets that compared her to an ape and worse. It got so bad that Twitter finally rescinded the accounts of some of the trolls, including that of Milo Yiannopoulos, a writer for the extremist, right wing, Trump-supporting Breitbart site.

      Of course, Yiannopoulos complained that he was a victim of political correctness and left-wing censorship. Finally, Jones herself had enough and quit Twitter, saying, “I feel like I’m in a personal hell.” Leaping to her defense, original Ghostbusters star Dan Aykroyd called the trolls “losers” and “insignificant gnats,” adding: “I would say that you’re looking at obese white men between 50 and 60 who are active Klan members or members of the Aryan Nation, and there are millions of them.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • New Jersey Man Files Lawsuit Over Pokemon Go After A Few Players Politely Knocked On His Door

      Since Pokemon Go launched last month, we’ve seen an endless stream of players oddly forget that “augmented reality” doesn’t mean the rules of traditional reality no longer apply. Players have spent the last month playing the game in some admittedly “inappropriate” places, while wandering in and out of private property or unsafe areas in a quest to capture virtual monsters.

      [...]

      Apparently fed up with the phenomenon (or just looking for a payday), a New Jersey man last Friday filed a lawsuit in California federal court against Niantic Labs and Nintendo. The 16-page complaint is quick to play up complaints about Pokemon Go players catching monsters in places like the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and says the game makers actively invited “unwanted incursions” on to private property when they populated reality with augmented reality monsters…

    • Massive new study lifts the lid on top websites’ tracking secrets

      So, just how tracked are you? Plenty, according to the largest, most detailed measurement of online tracking ever performed: Princeton University’s automated review of the world’s top 1,000,000 sites, as listed by Alexa.

      But you probably knew there’s a whole lotta trackin’ goin’ on. What’s interesting (and sometimes surprising) are the details. Princeton’s Steven Englehardt and Arvind Narayanan have captured the clearest picture of third-party web tracking that we’ve ever seen.

      To begin, huge numbers of folks are trying to track you: 81,000+ third-party trackers appeared on at least two of the top million sites.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • [Old but relevant today] For CIA, Truth About Torture Was an Existential Threat

      For the CIA officials involved in torture, one thing was clear from the very beginning: The only way they would be forgiven for what they did was if they could show it had saved lives.

      It was the heart of their rationale. It was vital to public acceptance. It was how they would avoid prosecution.

      The executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s grindingly exhaustive torture report released Tuesday indelibly captures CIA officials turning their back on human decency, and it all starts with a “novel” legal defense floated in November 2001 by CIA lawyers – and arguably prompted by their White House masters, lurking offstage – that the “CIA could argue that the torture was necessary to prevent imminent, significant, physical harm to persons, where there is no other available means to prevent the harm.”

      Specifically, they pointed out: “states may be very unwilling to call the U.S. to task for torture when it resulted in saving thousands of lives.”

    • Obama’s CIA Director Wants to Stick Around for Clinton

      If Hillary Clinton wins the U.S. presidential election in November, John Brennan would like to continue his post as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

      Current and former U.S. intelligence officials tell me Brennan has signaled in private conversations that he loves the job and would like to keep it if she’s elected. Plus, Brennan does not want to be perceived as a lame-duck director, particularly as he leads an ambitious plan to restructure the agency.

      At the same time, Brennan has all but taken himself out of consideration to serve in a Trump administration. Speaking last month at the Brookings Institution, he said he would not execute an order to torture captured terrorists or target the families of terrorists, as Trump has promised he would authorize if elected president.

    • Eli Lake’s Portrayal of the CIA Director Campaign: Drones, Benghazi, and … ?

      I thought maybe Brennan wanted to stick around to make sure he gets credit for bettering Allen Dulles’ record for regime change (after all, it’s not clear how the regime change conducted while Brennan was at the White House gets counted in these things).

    • Arizona Law Enforcement Charging Innocent Car Owners $2,000 To Reclaim Their Wrongfully-Seized Vehicles

      If you’d like some more evidence on how civil asset forfeiture has become legalized theft, you need only look at this investigative report by Curt Prendergast for Tuscon.com. Not only is it extremely easy for the government to claim assets are tied to criminal activity, but the obstacles placed in front of individuals to reclaim seized assets are numerous and expensive to navigate — sometimes outweighing the value of the items seized.

      On top of that, even when the state loses, it still wins. Arizona residents who have seen their vehicles seized for extremely tenuous connections to criminal activity are still forced to pay an incredible amount of money to reclaim items the state has agreed to return to their owners.

    • Tucson-area seized vehicles are returned — for a price

      The fortunes of a local woman took a disastrous turn when she loaned her car to her son so he could take her granddaughter to school.

      Her son was arrested on suspicion of credit-card fraud in Oro Valley and police seized the woman’s orange 2005 Mini Cooper, which she said in court documents she needed to drive to her $14-an-hour job at Red Lobster.

      She hired a lawyer — the court does not provide lawyers in civil matters — to challenge the seizure and subsequent forfeiture proceedings. Authorities agreed on July 7 to return her car, but first she had to pay $2,000 into the Pima County Anti-Racketeering Fund, with $1,500 going to Oro Valley police and $500 to the County Attorney’s Office.

    • Court Throws Out Terrorism Conviction in Canada, Citing Police Entrapment

      Sting operations — in which an undercover agent or informant provides the means and opportunity to lure otherwise incapable people into committing a crime — have represented the default tactic for counterterrorism prosecutions since the 9/11 attacks.

      Critics believe these stings amount to entrapment. Human Rights Watch, for instance, argues that law enforcement authorities in the U.S. have overstepped their role by “effectively participating in developing terrorism plots.” Nonetheless, U.S. courts have rejected entrapment defenses, no matter how hapless the defendants.

      In Canada, however, the legal standing of counterterrorism stings has suddenly shifted. Last week, a high-ranking judge in British Columbia stayed the convictions of two alleged terrorists, ruling that they had been “skillfully manipulated” and entrapped by an elaborate sting operation organized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

      “The specter of the defendants serving a life sentence for a crime that the police manufactured by exploiting their vulnerabilities, by instilling fear that they would be killed if they backed out, and by quashing all doubts they had in the religious justifications for the crime, is offensive to our concept of fundamental justice,” the judge wrote. “Simply put, the world has enough terrorists. We do not need the police to create more out of marginalized people who have neither the capacity nor sufficient motivation to do it themselves.”

      This is the first time that a counterterrorism sting — whose tactics were developed by the FBI through modifying those of undercover drug stings — has been thrown out of court whole cloth in Canada or the U.S.

      Supreme Court Justice Catherine J. Bruce was ruling in the case of John Nuttall and his common-law wife, Amanda Korody, two drug addicts who lived on the streets in British Columbia. As part of sting operation in which the RCMP paid at least 200 officers a total of more than $900,000 Canadian in overtime, law-enforcement agents encouraged the couple to place pressure-cooker bombs at the British Columbia parliament building on Canada Day 2013.

    • 18-Year-Old Arrested on Terrorism Charges Is Mentally “Like a Child”

      An 18-year-old recently arrested on terrorism charges in Arizona has the mental capacity of a child and had been in regular contact with the FBI for years before his arrest, according to family members, former teachers, and medical documents reviewed by The Intercept. Mahin Khan was arrested July 1 on charges of plotting to support the Taliban as well as the militant group the Islamic State and commit acts of terrorism in the local community.

      People close to Khan say that he suffered from serious mental and emotional illnesses and that the FBI was aware of this, having met with him regularly since he was a young teenager. According to medical records and statements from family members, he was first referred to the FBI after sending a threatening email to one of his teachers at the age of 15. After an initial meeting with the FBI, he spent 45 days at an inpatient psychiatric facility for evaluation. His family says this stay at the facility was coordinated with FBI officials. Agents reportedly continued to meet with Khan regularly after he returned home and continued to do so up until the time of his arrest.

    • Black Lives Movement Answers the Question: What Are Your Demands?

      In the midst of an election year in which issues of race and policing have often taken center stage, the most comprehensive and detailed policy platform on how to tackle them has come not from candidates or elected officials, but from a movement that found its voice on the streets of Ferguson, Baltimore, and dozens of other cities.

      The Black Lives Matter movement erupted spontaneously in nationwide protests following the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In its early days, it was propelled by pain and rage, with little organization, but in the weeks and months that followed it grew coordinated and strategic, while never losing the horizontal, inclusive quality that allowed it to scale up so rapidly.

      As community organizations and individuals operating under the Black Lives Matter principle denounced police violence, racism, and lack of accountability, they also took on broader issues affecting black communities: mass incarceration, access to clean water, economic justice. While the number of mostly black and brown people killed by police continued to grow, street protests have been sporadic. But away from the spotlight, a movement that made its name by way of protest continued to organize, and this week released a comprehensive policy platform, “A Vision for Black Lives,” that is at once an exhaustive indictment of the nation’s systemic racism and a clear-eyed presentation of concrete solutions to the problem.

    • Outcry Swells After Military Threatens to Punish Chelsea Manning ‘Essentially for Living’

      Since news emerged last week that imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning is facing new criminal charges and further punishment from the U.S. Army for attempting suicide, public outcry has been swift.

      Civil liberties group Fight for the Future has received over 30,000 signatures on a petition that demands the new charges be dropped and that Manning be provided with adequate healthcare.

      A separate petition demanding that Manning be spared solitary confinement garnered over 2,000 signatures in a matter of hours.

    • Chelsea Manning Faces Indefinite Solitary Confinement & Extra Prison Time After Suicide Attempt
    • Tell the Army Not to Put Chelsea Manning into Solitary Confinement for Attempting Suicide
    • Petition Demands Army Not Put Chelsea Manning in Indefinite Solitary Confinement for Attempting Suicide
    • From Rio, Olympic Refugee Team Urges Compassion for Displaced People

      It’s hard to imagine good news emerging from environmental chaos in Brazil and warfare around the globe, but a team of refugees competing at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this month stood in the spotlight on Tuesday, and took the opportunity to urge compassion for displaced people worldwide.

      The 10 athletes on the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team (ROT) were given a standing ovation as they joined the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

      “We are ambassadors for the other refugees. We cannot forget this chance that you gave us,” said Yiech Pur Biel, a track and field athlete originally from South Sudan. “We are not bad people. It’s only a name to be a refugee.”

      Yusra Mardini, a Syrian swimmer, said this year’s games make clear that people displaced from their home countries can still contribute to society—countering an argument that has been waged by rightwing opponents of open borders.

    • Amid City Hall Protests, NYPD Chief Bill Bratton Resigns, But “Broken Windows” Continues Nationwide

      New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton has announced he is resigning next month. Bratton was a lead advocate of the so-called broken windows theory that called for officers to crack down on minor infractions in an attempt to decrease more violent crime. Over the past four decades, Bratton has served as New York police commissioner twice as well as the head of the Boston and Los Angeles police departments. Supporters of Bratton credit him with lowering crimes rates, but critics say broken windows policing unfairly targets communities of color. In a statement, Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi told Democracy Now!, “William Bratton is the key architect of programs that have terrorized our communities for decades. His implementation of broken windows theory has wreaked havoc on communities from Los Angeles to New York City and beyond.” Bratton resigned just one day after hundreds of activists gathered outside New York City Hall demanding the defunding of the New York Police Department and his firing. Protests against William Bratton have been escalating ever since the police killing of Eric Garner two years ago. We speak to Trinity College professor Christina Heatherton, Darius Charney of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Nabil Hassein of Millions March NYC.

    • NYPD Chief Bill Bratton’s Next Stop: Private Consulting Firm Tied to the Clintons

      On Tuesday, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton announced he is resigning next month. Bratton has served as the NYPD commissioner twice. He’s also served as head of the Boston and Los Angeles police departments. But Bratton’s resignation doesn’t mean he’s retiring. His next job will be at Teneo Holdings, a global private consulting firm with controversial ties to Hillary Clinton. Bratton will be the chairperson of a new branch of the company called Teneo Risk. For more, we speak with Christina Heatherton, assistant professor of American studies at Trinity College. She’s co-editor of “Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter.”

    • Stop living in denial, Israel is an evil state

      Israel may not be Nazi, nor even a fascist state. Yet it is a member of the same terrible family, the family of evil states. Just consider these acts of evil perpetrated by the state…

      After we’ve cited nationalism and racism, hatred and contempt for Arab life, the security cult and resistance to the occupation, victimhood and messianism, one more element must be added without which the behavior of the Israeli occupation regime cannot be explained: Evil. Pure evil. Sadistic evil. Evil for its own sake. Sometimes, it’s the only explanation.

      Eva Illouz described its signs (“Evil now,” Haaretz Hebrew edition, July 30). Her essay, which challenges the idea of the banality of evil, considers the national group as the source of the evil. Using philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s concept, she finds a “family resemblance” between the Israeli occupation and history’s evil regimes. This similarity does not mean that Israel is Nazi, nor even fascist. And yet it is a member of the same terrible family, the family of evil states. It’s a depressing and brilliant analysis.

      The evil that Illouz attributes to Israel is not banal, it cannot happen anywhere, and it has political and social roots that are deeply embedded in Israeli society. Thus, Illouz joins Zeev Sternhell, who warned in his impressive and resounding essay about the cultural soil out of which fascism is now growing in Israel (“The birth of fascism,” Haaretz Hebrew edition, July 7).

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Simply not credible: The extraordinary verdict against the body that hopes to run the internet

      In an extraordinary judgment, the organization that hopes to take over running the top level of the internet later this year has been slammed by an independent review as at best incompetent and at worst deliberately mendacious.

      The decision [PDF] by ICANN’s Independent Review Panel (IRP) over the organization’s decision to refuse “community” status for three applications covering business suffixes has exposed a level of double-dealing that many suspected occurred in the non-profit organization but has been difficult to prove.

      The ICANN Board Governance Committee (BGC) in particular comes under fire for having repeatedly failed to carry out its duties.

      Despite serious allegations being made against ICANN’s staff and the “independent” evaluator it had selected – the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) – the panel found that the BGC did not carry out any investigation. Instead it had relied solely on material supplied by ICANN’s legal team – the very people at the center of the complaints.

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  17. Today's Example of Microsoft's Faked 'Love'

    “On 7 September 2017, users began noticing a message that stated “Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams”. This was confirmed on 25 September 2017, at Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference,” according to Wikipedia



  18. Links 10/12/2019: Kubernetes 1.17, Debian Init Systems GR

    Links for the day



  19. 'Cancel Culture' as 'Thoughtpolice' Creep

    Richard Stallman spoke about an important aspect of censorship more than 2 decades ago (before “Open Source” even existed); it was published in Datamation (“Censoring My Software”) 23 years before a campaign of defamation on the Internet was used to remove him from MIT and FSF (censoring or ‘canceling’ Stallman himself)



  20. Microsoft Still Hates GNU/Linux and Mark Shuttleworth Knows It (But He is Desperate for Money)

    We're supposed to believe that a PR or image management (reputation laundering) campaign alone can turn Microsoft from GNU/Linux foe into friend/ally



  21. Actions Against EPO Corruption and Unitary Patent (UPC) Injustice/Lobbying

    The EPO is apparently going on strike again and an action against the UPC is scheduled for later this week (protest in Brussels)



  22. “The Fifth Freedom as a Meme”

    The issue with systemd (or SystemD) has provoked or at least stimulated discussions about the limits of the famous Four Freedoms



  23. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 09, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, December 09, 2019



  24. Demonstration Against Unitary Software Patents, Thursday 12 Dec in Brussels

    FFII's call to demonstrate against the UPC



  25. Links 9/12/2019: China on GNU/Linux, Canonical Wants Help to Improve Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  26. Links 9/12/2019: Linux 5.5 RC1, EasyOS Buster 2.1.9

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 08, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 08, 2019



  28. Mandatory Education for Those Who Use and Misuse Buzzwords Would Go a Long Way

    In an age of substitution — where marketing terms replace meaningful words and concepts — it has gotten more difficult to have honest debates, for example about the scope of patents



  29. Once Upon a Time Banter Was Allowed on Mailing Lists

    Hours ago Torvalds announced RC1 of the next Linux (kernel) release; it has been a while since he last said something ‘controversial’ (following his month at the penalty box); free speech deficit can make us weaker, not stronger (advantage to those who work in the dark)



  30. Links 8/12/2019: Debian Init Systems GR, NomadBSD 1.3

    Links for the day


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