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08.18.17

Lack of Independent Judiciary Under the Unitary Patent (Like Boards of Appeal Under Battistelli, in Defiance of the EPC) Will Possibly Kill the Unified Patent Court

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Germany, a key player in UPC negotiations (most patents at stake), cannot proceed to ratification and Britain’s expected exit from the European Union further restricts any progress

THE EPO hardly speaks about what happened in Germany. What happened there? Well, the UPC may be dead there. Earlier today or late last night Mathieu Klos (Juve) retweeted Thorsten Bausch (Hoffmann Eitle), who had published an important/exclusive article. He added: “UPC – und da ist sie wieder, die Brexit-Problematik. Komplexe Verfassungsbeschwerde. Urteil + Lösung erst nach Abschluss des Brexits?”

“They pretend, yet again, that the UPC is inevitable and everyone must prepare for it. Bristows is notorious for such bad character; they’re patently dishonest.”He speaks of the Brexit issue and the complex constitutional complaint in Germany. Judgment/solution, apparently, can only come after completion of Brexit (i.e. years from now). Unless we misunderstood what he and Thorsten Bausch meant to say…

The blog which published this is part of Team UPC. Those are UPC proponents.

What do UPC boosters say? Well, the EPO and Bristows (a Battistelli booster) speak of a so-called UPC “Guide [which] is currently only available in PDF format, but the EPO is working on providing an online version of the same.”

They pretend, yet again, that the UPC is inevitable and everyone must prepare for it. Bristows is notorious for such bad character; they’re patently dishonest.

Christopher Weber, a German booster of the UPC, moaned about “Attack on the #UPC on all levels. Everybody who thought limited attack on formal grounds = completely wrong…”

“The UPC is stuck on the table.”“The UPC itself is an attack (on businesses, for law firms),” I told him, so “this is merely a defense.”

He only responded with an irritated off-topic rant. These people have nothing but frustration.

The original article from Bausch said this:

The third alleged violation pertains to the perceived lack of an independent judiciary under the UPC. Perhaps (but this is my speculation based on Prof. Bross’ criticism to the EPO system) this is related to the fact that the judges are only appointed for six years, with a re-appointment being possible, but not guaranteed (Art. 4 UPC Statute).

“Excellent update,” Richard Gillespie wrote in the comments, “many thanks for asking that question! The only thing to add is that as the UK triggered Article 50 on 29 March 2017 – my understanding is that if the UPC is not in place before 29 March 2019 (i.e. before the UK leaves the EU) the UPC will effectively be dead – the UK can no longer sign up at that point as it will no longer be a member state and as the UK is hardwired into the treaty renegotiation will be required.”

“As Battistelli has just months left at the job, the UPC looks like another dying project, just like TPP when Obama left Office.”Birgit Clark, a German based in the UK, said this: “Just to confirm that I contacted the court’s press officer who confirmed the content of the above blogpost to me today by email. Thorsten Bausch was simply quicker and took the initiative. All completely above board!”

She then received a rude response: “Dear Birgit, how about just keeping quiet until it was you who took the initiative and brought something forward in this matter, instead of first questioning the legitimacy of Dr Bausch’s post and then, after – of course – it got confirmed, quickly moving back in line, now trying to pretend that you had any meaningful stake in this? Just awful.”

Suffice to say, the liars and cheats from Bristows also took the opportunity to meddle, having repeatedly written dismissive posts about this complaint (without even knowing what it was about!).

As we said before, we don’t expect any major progress this year. The UPC is stuck on the table. As Battistelli has just months left at the job, the UPC looks like another dying project, just like TPP when Obama left Office.

The Staff Union of the EPO Has Long Warned About Declining Patent Quality

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The quality of granted European Patents (EPs) has been declining sharply and the EPO’s staff representatives have warned about it for a long time, only to find themselves severely reprimanded for telling the truth

MR. MINNOYE is no longer at the EPO, but we should never forget how he attacked staff representatives for warning delegates about the decline in patent quality. In fact, these staff representatives spoke about patent quality even years earlier, but it wasn’t a mainstream topic until people like Thorsten Bausch (Hoffmann Eitle) publicly complained. Right now in the EPO’s Twitter feed a lot of the posts keep mentioning “quality”; they just keep hammering over and over with the same lies, occasionally linking to Web pages that attempt to support these lies (self-referential loops).

Look what the EPO has become; it’s an utter embarrassment, not much better than pundits who still attempt to deny human factor/impact on the climate in 2017.

We spoke about declining patent quality at the EPO for a number of years and saw numerous SUEPO publications which spoke about it too. It’s not a new thing, yet some anonymous coward left a comment suggesting otherwise (we responded to it yesterday). People have already responded to that comment also in the same forum (IP Kat), but we don’t think many people still stalk a comments thread from March of this year, so here it is reproduced in full. This comment from 2 nights ago spoke about declining patent quality of patents at the EPO:

correction to the post of “Anonymous said dated Wednesday, 16 August 2017 at 17:23:00 BST”

What you allege is partly not correct: SUEPO has denounced for years the risks that too high production pressure was meaning for patent quality, this to no avail.

Most IP blogs have so far laughed and reported (eg IAM) that SUEPO were crying wolf, that there would be no proof of this etc etc.

Now all of sudden the IP world (read German newspapers such as Wirstschaftswoche) discover that yes, it could be well possible that currently the EPO is producing patents of low quality since it is impossible to produce solid ones at the pace at which examiners are requested to produce.

Please guys do not spit on SUEPO which did the job. And yes the EPO produces low quality patents. This is the elephant in the IP room.

IAM is rightly singled out above; for a number of years IAM was Battistelli’s go-to place for justifying his lies about patent quality. IAM is not just a de facto mouthpiece of the EPO but also a mouthpiece for patent trolls and lobby for software patents in Europe (never mind what the rules actually say).

Speaking of this lobby, yesterday we found Peter Finnie, Managing Partner at Gill Jennings & Every (law firm in the UK), spreading a big fat lie. It was pushed in an article that is basically not journalism but pure marketing. He was pushing for software patents which no British software company wants, misusing terms like “UK innovation” (in the headline, even though his firm does no such thing) and mocking the status quo as “archaic patent law”. These were his conclusions:

The legal system’s treatment of software becomes an ever-increasing liability as we reach a new phase of innovation – the 4th Industrial Revolution. Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things are the next frontiers of technical progress in almost all industries and sectors – yet, they are both software defined and will absolutely not be patentable unless the UK Patent Office’s perception of ‘technical’ is radically changed or the legal exclusion is removed entirely.

Without the ability to get the necessary protection for their technology in the UK, there is a very real risk that companies will look to other markets with a fairer approach to the protection of innovative software. Not only do we risk the companies that could lead the next digital revolution leaving the UK’s shores, but we’ll also lose vital investment into the UK tech industry – as patent protection is often a key factor in investment decisions.

What we see here is the typical lobby from the patent ‘industry’, which strives to expand patent scope so as to make more money from patent application/renewal processes as well as litigation. We certainly hope that every single examiner at the EPO understands that these are the people whose interests reduce the quality of work.

Patents don’t exist for the sake of merely existing and it’s not as though the more patents exist, the better off we are (as society/industry). It ought to be obvious.

The EPO’s Management Needs a Perception of Security Crisis

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And more so, a perception of aggressive and dangerous staff

Fear politics

Summary: The EPO follows that familiar pattern of writing about every Islamic terror attack in Europe (and in the US too) while media in Munich tells a story where facts are yet uncertain

THE US patent office is still without a head. We’ll write quite a lot about it over the weekend. As for the EPO, its two bosses are on their way out (Office and Organisation).

Today, some time after the Barcelona terror attack, the EPO characteristically leaped at the opportunity to piggyback a crisis; it didn’t take long for EPO critics to come up with cynical replies like “LOL: EPO believes in an open and inclusive society based on of freedom, equality, justice and tolerance” (that same old phrase it so typically uses when it writes about such inhumane disasters).

“Today, some time after the Barcelona terror attack, the EPO characteristically leaped at the opportunity to piggyback a crisis…”When terror attacks hit the US (last year) Battistelli wrote to Michelle Lee an open letter, basically piggybacking the events in the US to paint himself (and perhaps the US patent office) as collateral/victim of these attacks. Collective thinking. We covered that at the time.

Since the EPO’s Web site has devolved into a shrine of Battistelli, it’s hardly surprising that only he has a blog there and a recurring theme is terror. A very large proportion of the “news” in that site is about terror attacks. We have already explained/outlined likely motivations for that.

This morning we got told about these two articles [1, 2].

“Reports of suspected arson attempt in Munich,” a source told us, were being published. “The local Munich press has published reports of a suspected arson attack on the house of an EPO Director in Unterhaching (a suburb of Munich).

“According to the news reports, the matter is under investigation by the Munich police.

“For the moment there is no information available which would indicate whether this incident might have been work-related or whether it was a purely private matter.”

“Since the EPO’s Web site has devolved into a shrine of Battistelli, it’s hardly surprising that only he has a blog there and a recurring theme is terror.”We wanted to wait for a while and find out if there’s an imminent discussion about EPO bodyguards and security-related contract renewals some time soon (perhaps the meeting next month) because the infamous bicycle tale of Battistelli coincided with/overlapped the budget discussion (the last time he got approval for six bodyguards at a tremendous cost). We wrote about half a dozen articles about it at the time.

We don’t intend to suggest that any of this is fake. “At the moment,” however, a source told us “there is no more information available. The incident has been mentioned by the Munich Police on its website” where it says this:

1280. Brand auf der Terrasse eines Reihenhauses – Unterhaching
Am Dienstag, 15.08.2017, bemerkten Nachbarn in den frühen Morgenstunden, gegen 03.55 Uhr, einen Brand auf der Terrasse eines Reihenhauses in der Truderinger Straße in Unterhaching. Sofort verständigten sie die Feuerwehr „112“ und begannen selbst mit mehreren Feuerlöschern den Brand zu löschen.

Auf der Terrasse brannte ein dort aufgerichteter Holzstapel. Die Flammen hatten bereits die Holzterrasse und den darüber liegenden hölzernen Balkon erfasst. Außerdem brannten die Rahmen des Wohnzimmerfensters sowie der Terrassentür.

Durch die starke Hitzeentwicklung sprangen Fenster- und Türscheiben.

Ein Übergreifen der Flammen in den Wohnbereich konnte gerade noch durch den beherzten Einsatz der Nachbarn und der Freiwilligen Feuerwehr Unterhaching verhindert werden.

Durch den Brand entstand ein geschätzter Schaden von ca. 20.000 Euro.

Personen wurden nicht verletzt.

Die Brandermittlungen wurden durch das Fachkommissariat 13 aufgenommen. Die Beamten schließen es nicht aus, dass der Holzstapel mit einem flüssigen Brandbeschleuniger vorsätzlich angezündet worden ist.

Bei einer Absuche der Umgebung wurde ein frischer Brandfleck auf dem Asphalt und ein intensiver Geruch nach Benzin oder Diesel im Abgang einer dortigen Tiefgarage festgestellt.

Zeugenaufruf:
Personen, welche Hinweise zu dem Brand von gestern, Dienstag, 15.08.2017, in der Truderinger Straße, geben können, werden gebeten sich mit dem Kommissariat 13 des PP München unter der Rufnummer 089/2910-0, oder jeder anderen Polizeidienststelle in Verbindung zu setzen.

“Apparently,” a source told us, “the director in question is Italian and does not have a reputation for being “staff-friendly”. But that does not necessarily mean that the incident was work-related.”

If anyone can shed more light on that, it will certainly help because no doubt Battistelli is going to exploit it somehow. Battistelli has long milked perceived threat to give himself more powers. According to recent reports from Germany, he has not given up on his job, either.

Links 18/8/2017: Wallpaper of Plasma 5.11, Oracle Liberates Java EE a Bit

Posted in News Roundup at 4:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Rust-Written Redox OS Closer To Self-Hosting

    The Redox operating system, the interesting original OS written around the Rust programming language, is closer to self-hosting as a result of this year’s Google Summer of Code.

    The GSoC’s goal has been to get Redox OS self-hosting where it can natively run a compiler toolchain for itself from within Redox rather than needing to build support on another platform.

    This summer has seen Redox OS now running on it GNU binutils, GCC, GNU Make, Dash, Curl, LLVM and Rustc, and more, but with these packages there are some limitations.

  • Podcast: CLUECON SPECIAL REPORT – The open source developer show bringing open source telephony together

    FreeSWITCH is a scalable open source cross-platform telephony platform designed to route and interconnect popular communication protocols using audio, video, text or any other form of media. It was created in 2006 to fill the void left by proprietary commercial solutions. FreeSWITCH also provides a stable telephony platform on which many applications can be developed using a wide range of free tools.

  • What are the differences between SDN open source and vendor products?

    Choosing between SDN open source and vendor-provided options is easier when you know some of the available choices. Industry analyst Lee Doyle lists some of the options.

  • Events

    • Serverless launches open source Event Gateway to tie cloud functions together

      There’s a new open source tool in town for tying different event-driven functions together. Serverless, a startup that builds tools for building applications without having to worry about underlying infrastructure, announced a new Event Gateway project today that provides developers with a platform-agnostic tool for passing events from one program to another.

      Event Gateway combines two different sets of functionality: an API gateway that lets developers monitor and manage connections between different applications, and a publish-subscribe (Pub/Sub) service that is designed to route information from one to another.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Toad in the (open source data toolset) hole [Ed: openwashing proprietary software merely because it "supports" MySQL]

      Systems management and security software company Quest Software has announced its Toad Edge product.

      This is a commercial database toolset for software application development teams and database administrators (DBAs) to develop and manage open source database environments with the first release supporting MySQL.

    • Where are You Running Off To? Open Source GIS and Fitness Route Tracking
    • Juniper Wants OpenContrail to Garner More of the Spotlight

      Juniper Networks is looking to increase its focus on OpenContrail, noting the community around the open source software-defined networking (SDN) controller has been overshadowed by its commercial Contrail platform.

    • Visual Search Goes Open Source

      The Zappen visual search repository is available on Github under the LGPL license at https://github.com/ZappenVDNS. Future planned enhancements include machine learning and integration with the EmerDNS distributed domain name system.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Richard Stallman made me change the name of my music project

      What do music and software have in common, and how far can you apply the principles of the free software movement to the music industry? Those are questions that pianist Kimiko Ishizaka and I set out to answer in 2012 when we released the Open Goldberg Variations and again in 2015 with the Open Well-Tempered Clavier. Now, we are asking for support for our next big Bach project on Kickstarter.com.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Programming/Development

    • Oracle opens up Java EE

      Oracle continues to make progress Java EE 8, the enterprise edition for the Java platform, and moving forward it would like to advance Java EE within a more open and collaborative community. Specifications are nearly complete and the Java team expects to deliver the Java EE 8 reference implementation this summer.

      As the delivery of Java EE 8 approaches, Oracle believes they have the ability to rethink how Java EE is developed in order to “make it more agile and responsive to changing industry and technology demands.”

    • Oracle considers moving Java EE to an open source foundation

      With the finalization of the Java EE 8 platform on the horizon, Oracle on Thursday said it’s considering moving Java Enterprise Edition technologies to an open source foundation.

      The move, Oracle said in a blog post, “may be the right next step, in order to adopt more agile processes, implement more flexible licensing, and change the governance process.”

    • Oracle doesn’t want Java EE any more

      Oracle wants to end its leadership in the development of enterprise Java and is looking for an open source foundation to take on the role.

      The company said today that the upcoming Java EE (Enterprise Edition) 8 presents an opportunity to rethink how the platform is developed. Although development is done via open source with community participation, the current Oracle-led process is not seen agile, flexible, or open enough. ”We believe that moving Java EE technologies to an open source foundation may be the right next step, to adopt more agile processes, implement more flexible licensing and change the governance process,” Oracle said in a statement.

    • Oracle Wants to Open Up Java EE

      Java Enterprise Edition could be leaving the tight control of Oracle and moving to an Open Source Foundation (maybe).

      Sure Java on the client side has had open-source options and sure they has been the Java Community Process (JCP) as well – But what about Java EE?

      Oracle is now openly talking about moving the Java EE process to a more open model that could include moving the whole model to a third party open source foundation.

    • Oracle Is Looking To Offload Java EE To A New Steward

      Oracle is looking to move Java EE off into an open foundation for future development.

      Oracle continues developing Java EE 8 as the Enterprise Edition with the official release expected before the end of the year, but following that, they are looking to move Java EE into some existing foundation to steward the project moving forward.

    • Don’t hate COBOL until you’ve tried it

      COBOL is the Rodney Dangerfield of programming languages—it doesn’t get any respect. It is routinely denigrated for its verbosity and dismissed as archaic. Yet COBOL is far from a dead language. It processes an estimated 85% of all business transactions, and 5 billion lines of new COBOL code are written every year.

      I worked for 10 years as a COBOL programmer, and I don’t think it’s quite as bad as its reputation would lead one to believe. In fact, it’s quite good at handling currency and fixed-format records. But COBOL does have its quirks, many of them rooted in the computing environments of the early days of programming. This is a story of how a punch card ate my program.

    • RcppArmadillo 0.7.960.1.0

Leftovers

  • How to change your email address without losing your friends
  • Sharp sues Hisense over a foreign “gag order”

    The dispute is rooted in a licensing deal gone sour between Sharp and Hisense, a fast-growing Chinese maker of televisions and appliances. In financial stress a few years ago, Sharp sold one of its factories to Hisense, along with the rights to sell televisions under the Sharp brand in the North American market for five years.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Refusing to Learn Lessons from Libya
    • The Barcelona attack

      The air war has used tens of thousands of missiles and guided bombs and after three years the Pentagon reports that the coalition assault has killed at least 60,000 ISIS fighters. This is in itself quite an achievement since the DoD view three years ago was that ISIS had a total force of no more than 30,000. Either the original estimate was wrong or ISIS has had a steady flow of new recruits from the region and beyond, the evidence pointing to the latter.

    • Trump elevates Cyber Command; split with NSA still an option

      President Donald Trump on Friday announced plans to elevate U.S. Cyber Command to the status of a unified combatant command, underscoring the significance of the cyberspace-focused mission on national security.

      In a statement released by the White House, Trump said the move “will strengthen our cyberspace operations and create more opportunities to improve our nation’s defense.”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Rundle: more bollocks broadcast about WikiLeaks

      Racing round the world this morning is a fresh “shock horror” WikiLeaks story, which purports to show that even if the organisation isn’t just a bunch of balalaika strumming Cossacks in the pay of Putin, it may as well be.

      “WikiLeaks Turned Down Leaks of Russian Government During US Presidential Campaign” the headline reads to a piece on the Foreign Policy site. Has the smoking AK-47 been found?

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • What can be learned from the movement to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline?

      He highlights this recent history of Native American and First Nations civil resistance movements on Turtle Island—the name, from Lenape mythology, that refers to the landmass others call North America—and takes stock of their characteristics, challenges and successes, arguing that nonviolent resistance has been a more effective strategy than violent resistance in defending Native peoples and their “lifeways.”

    • Court Lets Exxon Off Hook for Pipeline Spill in Arkansas Neighborhood

      A federal appeals court has let ExxonMobil largely off the hook for a 2013 pipeline spill that deluged a neighborhood in Mayflower, Arkansas, with more than 200,000 gallons of heavy tar sands crude oil, sickening residents and forcing them from their homes.

      The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday overturned federal findings of violations and the better part of a $2.6 million fine imposed on Exxon’s pipeline unit in 2015 by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The regulator had accused the company of failing to maintain the decades-old Pegasus Pipeline and to prioritize testing of a segment of older, high-risk pipe where a 22-foot gash eventually opened along a metal seam.

      Exxon challenged the violation and fine, arguing there was no proof its actions contributed to the spill and saying it had conducted adequate testing of the pipeline as required by law. The appeals court agreed, saying the company met its legal obligation when it “conducted a lengthy, repeated and in-depth analysis” of the pipeline and its risks.

  • Finance

    • Australia moves to regulate bitcoin exchanges

      Australia has said it will move to regulate exchanges that deal in the cryptocurrency bitcoin, as part of its crackdown on money laundering and terrorist financing.

    • Ericsson is reportedly planning to cut 25,000 jobs in ‘brutal’ response to crisis

      Moreover, the sources say are advanced plans to cut Ericsson’s operations by 80-90 percent in some markets, and centralize several European markets. However, the 14,000 employee-strong Swedish work force is to stay intact – at least all R&D engineers.

    • Trump’s Immigration Plan Will Harm Americans and the Economy

      Claiming that the United States takes in too many low-skill immigrants, president Trump endorsed the RAISE Act on August 2, which would reduce legal immigration by half over the next ten years. At a White House event, he said he wanted immigration policy that “puts America first.” But Trump’s immigration plan does not put America first. If the RAISE Act passes, it will harm the U.S. economy without making Americans safer. Instead of blocking workers from entering the country, the government should expand legal, low-skill immigration.

      Freer flow of labor creates wealth for both migrants and domestic citizens. Immigrants are twice as likely to start a business as natural-born citizens, and they generally fill education gaps rather than displacing workers. An Indiana University and University of Virginia study found that 1.2 jobs are created for every one immigrant that enters the country. They also raise local wages.

      If Trump relaxed immigration laws rather than tightening them, the U.S. would enjoy more of these private sector benefits, more tax revenue, and a healthier economy overall. By shying away from foreign migration, the government will directly deprive U.S. citizens of jobs and prevent businesses from hiring suitable workers. That’s hardly putting America first.

    • Post-Brexit Trade Rules as Murky as Ever for U.K.

      The British government published proposals this week about how the U.K. might go about developing what it called “the freest and most frictionless trade possible in goods” with the European Union after Brexit.

      But they leave British exporters confused as ever about the future of trade across the English Channel, and importers with hints of heavy red tape to come.

      There was one piece of clarity: the U.K. would seek to associate itself temporarily with the EU’s customs union after Brexit. That implies that for some years the U.K. will be willing, if the EU agrees, to apply the bloc’s common external tariff to non-EU goods and zero tariffs on EU goods.

      The big benefit for Britain would be to avoid EU tariffs on goods and rules of origin—which requires exporters to establish and certify where components in their exports come from.

    • Capitalist Economies Create Waste, Not Social Value

      More production means more waste: more waste means more production. Waste is a sign of capitalism’s success. When people throw away a product after using it for a short period of time, in the spirit of planned obsolescence, they will buy a new one, contributing to growth and corporate profits.

    • Americans’ debt level notches a new record high

      Americans’ debt level notched another record high in the second quarter, after having earlier in the year surpassed its pre-crisis peak, on the back of modest rises in mortgage, auto and credit card debt, where delinquencies jumped.

      Total U.S. household debt was $12.84 trillion in the three months to June, up $552 billion from a year ago, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York report published on Tuesday.

      The proportion of overall debt that was delinquent, at 4.8 percent, was on par with the previous quarter. However a red flag was raised over the transitions of credit card balances into delinquency, which the New York Fed said “ticked up notably.”

    • Why There Will Be No 11th Hour Debt Ceiling Deal

      A new milestone on the American populaces’ collective pursuit of insolvency was reached this week. According to a report published on Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, total U.S. household debt jumped to a new record high of $12.84 trillion during the second quarter. This included an increase of $552 billion from a year ago.

      Moreover, this marked the second consecutive record high on a quarterly reported basis for U.S. household debt. Indeed, this is a momentous achievement. From our vantage point, it is significant for several reasons.

      One, it shows U.S. household debt has returned to its upward trend which had previously gone uninterrupted from the close of World War II until the onset of the Financial Crisis in late 2008. Second, it demonstrates that, like the S&P 500, new all-time highs are being attained with the seeming precision of a quartz clock. Is this just a coincidence?

      More than likely, it’s no coincidence at all. More than likely, the mass quantities of central bank liquidity that have been injected into the financial system over the last decade have provided the plentiful gushers of cheap credit that have pushed up both stock prices and household debt levels. But remember, the easy stock market gains can quickly recede while the increased debt must first drown the borrowers before it can be expunged.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • It’s Not Hysterical to Recognize the Threat Trump Poses
    • The State of Trump’s Brain

      In a previous brief publication (Posted on www.counterpunch.org May 17,2017, Diagnostic Conclusions) I discussed the diagnosis “Narcissistic Personality Disorder.” While I mentioned no name (adhering to the psychiatric admonition that one should not diagnose a patient without having completed a direct thorough examination), it was perfectly clear about whom I was referring. I now believe that not only does he fulfill all of the criteria for this disorder to a remarkable degree, but that his behavior has become worse than I thought and that not all of this can be ascribed to his personality disorder, but there is adequate evidence of deteriorating brain function.

      Sharon Begley in a brief but wonderful paper, (MEDPAGE TODAY Neurology-General Neurology, “Does the Way Trump Speaks Reveal an Underlying Problem?” By Sharon Begley, STAT News, May 23, 2017) presents compelling evidence of Trump’s cognitive decline. She bases her opinion on several studies that analyze his previous language productions that were articulate with sophisticated vocabulary and construction as contrasted with his current verbal productions and tweets that are frequently incoherent, often rambling and never, except in reading prepared material, display any of his previous superior use of language. This contrast between past and current functioning is detailed strikingly in this paper and I urge everyone to read it.

    • MSNBC Ranks as No. 1 Cable Network in Total Viewers for First Time Ever

      For Wednesday, Aug. 16, MSNBC averaged 1.52 million viewers for the total day across all of cable, edging out second place Fox News, who averaged 1.5 million. CNN ranked fourth among all cable networks for the day with 1.13 million total viewers. Nickelodeon was third with 1.17 million. However, in the key adults 25-54 demographic, CNN was number one among the cable news networks for the total day, averaging 381,000 viewers in that measure. Fox News was second in the demo for total day with 353,000 viewers, and MSNBC was third with 343,000.

    • Here are all the Republican members of Congress who have called out the president

      President Trump offered support for white nationalists and the Confederacy more than a century and a half after the end of the Civil War Tuesday, blaming the “alt-left” for violence in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend and saying there were “very fine people” on both sides of the clashes.

      The president’s off-script comments were cheered by white nationalists just one day after he timidly criticized the movement.

      While a number of members of Congress have released statements explicitly condemning white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK following the president’s remarks, just 24 of 292 Republicans in Congress have released statements that call out Trump directly by name or title.

    • Republicans are even avoiding Fox News when asked to talk about Trump and Charlottesville

      Congress is in recess, but Republicans are in hiding, apparently unsure how to answer questions about President Trump’s response to last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville — and unwilling to try.

      “We invited every single Republican senator on this program tonight — all 52,” Chuck Todd said on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily” on Wednesday. “We asked roughly a dozen House Republicans, including a bunch of committee chairs, and we asked roughly a half dozen former Republican elected officials, and none of them agreed to discuss this issue with us today.”

      That’s about 70 rejections altogether, and other news anchors had the same experience on Wednesday — even on Fox News.

    • Texas’ congressional delegation weighs in on Trump’s response to Charlottesville protests

      Several Texans in Congress said they were troubled by President Donald Trump’s response to recent white supremacist-fueled violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

      The Texas Tribune surveyed all 38 Texans in Congress Wednesday, asking if they believed Trump’s response to Charlottesville has encouraged the white nationalist movement.

      In a press conference Tuesday, Trump blamed “both sides” — criticizing both the “alt-left” groups that he called “very, very violent” and the white nationalists who led a protest that left several injured and one dead.

    • Bannon Mocks Colleagues and ‘Alt-Right’ in Interview
    • The New Yorker and The Economist covers blast Trump

      Unless you’ve been hiding in your nuclear bunker, you are probably aware of this week’s huge public backlash against President Donald Trump. For the past few days, Trump has blamed counter-protestors at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., for some of the violence that ultimately led to a young woman’s death. He later on Twitter praised the beauty of the statues honoring Confederate leaders that sparked the rallies in the first place.

    • Democrats in Congress to explore creating an expert panel on Trump’s mental health

      Three congressional Democrats have asked a psychiatrist at Yale School of Medicine to consult with them about forming an expert panel to offer the legislators advice on assessing President Trump’s mental health.

      Yale’s Dr. Bandy Lee told STAT that over the last few weeks members of Congress or their staff have asked her to discuss how members might convene psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals “to review the president’s mental health, and review it on a periodic basis.” The closed meeting is expected to take place in September, she said.

      The request came from three current congressmen and one former member, she said. She declined to name them, saying they told her they did not wish to be publicly identified yet.

    • When Illusion Turns to Delusion

      The year is 2022, and as nuclear warheads start raining down on the streets of New York people are running for their lives, others are staring in the sky witnessing their last moments of life rain down upon them, and then there’s one person shouting a message for all to cling to in their final moments. It’s a message filled with hope and inspires those human beings around them to die with grace.

      The message… “we must keep our eyes on the prize, the elites/mainstream media are doing this to distract us.”

      This opening statement was used as a form of sarcasm but also it holds much truth to it. The earth’s resources we use to maintain this privileged lifestyle are vanishing, flames of violence this country is unleashing on us here and to countries abroad matches the flames of orange on the fox pelt glued to our President’s head, and now the smoking gun we are starting to adopt is what lies underneath the fox pelt glued to the President’s head… his brain.

    • Playing A Symphony On That White Skin

      As the Russian collusion noose tightens around his neck, Trump needs to change the subject in a big way. To capture the dialogue it pays to conjure up a major international threat and/or seize upon a domestic tragedy like a terrorist attack or a sustained civil disorder.

      Trump quickly sensed that threatening nuclear war with North Korea had the power to rally the country around him. Even his hated “fake news” outlets seemed titillated by the ins and outs of ballistic missiles, nuclear warheads, and Guam duck and cover instructions. You could hear commentators saying that maybe Trump is right to stand up so vociferously to those lunatics in North Korea.

      But isn’t coddling Nazi/supremacist rabble a pretty stupid way to capture the news? Maybe not. Trump’s “both sides/Alt-Left” approach could create the kind of internal disorder he needs for his own survival.

    • Trump’s Economic Council Implodes As White House Defends Fash

      Donald Trump’s private and political career has been colored by several accusations of blatant racism, but it was the President’s recent defense of white supremacists and neo-Nazis that forced CEOs to finally distance themselves from the administration.

      Two White House panels, staffed with CEOs of top companies, were abruptly disbanded on Wednesday by President Trump, whose hand was forced by several high-profile resignations in the wake of the President’s reaction to the racist violence in Charlottesville, Va.

      The CEO of the mining company 3M, Inge Thulin, and Campbell’s soup CEO Denise Morrison announced they were leaving Trump’s Manufacturing Advisory Council on Wednesday morning. They were the seventh and eighth business leaders to step down from the panel since the attack in Charlottesville on Saturday.

    • 4 National Publications Call for Trump’s Removal from Office

      President Trump’s equivocating statements about white supremecists, beginning with his deplorable initial response to the Charlottesville terror attack, have drawn condemnation across the political spectrum. Numerous Democrats are calling for his impeachment.

      Now, national publications are running editorials calling for the president’s removal from office. Suggestions for removal include impeachment, forced resignation and invocation of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    • Erdoğan: prophetic leader or political suicide?

      Last year, Erdoğan publicly encouraged women to bear at least three children, saying that women who are childless are “incomplete”, and this may well be extended to infertile women. Consequently, fertility and motherhood are fundamental bases upon which women are divided socially into ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’, which represents a most atavistic mentality. Furthermore, he reiterated the necessity of having children by asserting that women’s ability to enter the job sector ought not to act as a hindrance to their starting a family.

      Despite his repeated remarks of denial, it is clear that Erdoğan has delusions of grandeur with regards to wishing to be seen as a sultan, especially after he oversaw an extensive revival of Ottomanism, for example hosting the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in his 3.1 million square feet palace surrounded by men dressed as Ottoman soldiers. The president highlighted his intention of hosting world leaders in a similar fashion in the future.

    • Why Trump Could Be Gone Before 2020

      Throw in a financial collapse, major civil disturbances, and/or a significant domestic terror attack (real or “false flag”) and expect that number to go closer to 75 percent if not higher.

      Does it all smell a little fascistic? You betchya!

      Increasingly, though, one really must wonder if the arch-authoritarian racist idiot Donald Trump will make it to 2020. The supreme madness and evil of the rolling atrocity that is the Insane Clown Trump presidency has just now reached a new level of bizarre and scary-weird ruling-class dysfunction. Just last week, the demented, Twitter-addicted brute in the White House engaged in a reckless game of thermonuclear chicken with North Korea’s dictator Kin Jong-un. The orange-tinted beast threatened “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Trump’s aptly nicknamed war chief Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis threatened “actions that will lead to the end of the [North Korean] regime and destruction of its people.”

    • America Asleep

      There has never been a time when America was good. There was goodness in America, certainly in culture, in art and even in certain movements for social justice. There was the Wobblies and early socialists and union organizers. But the overriding reality has been one of acute racism, both institutional and individual, and of conquest and since WW2 of a rabid all consuming anti communism and quest for global hegemony. The U.S. was founded on the twin pillars of slave labor and the genocide of six hundred indigenous tribes. It is a settler colonial project that has never wavered in support for the Capitalist system. It was founded by rich white men, and that also has never changed.

    • After Charlottesville, Republicans Defend Bills to Protect Drivers Who Hit Protesters

      Following Heather Heyer death on Saturday—killed when a suspected Nazi sympathizer allegedly drove his car into a crowd of people counter-protesting violent white supremacist gatherings in Charlottesville, Virginia—Republican lawmakers have doubled down on proposals that critics say offer immunity from liability to drivers who run down protestors.

      Largely in response to mass demonstrations by Black Lives Matter activists and water protectors protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, this year state legislators in Florida, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas introduced bills designed to protect motorists who strike people demonstrating on roads.

      On Sunday, Texas State Rep. Pat Fallon defended his proposal (pdf)—which was recently referred to committee—and accused critics of not knowing “the difference between lawfully protesting in a street and illegally blocking a [highway],” according to a screenshot published by The Intercept (his original posts on Twitter and Facebook have been deleted).

    • Donald Trump’s approval rating sinks to new low, latest poll finds

      Donald Trump’s approval rating has hit a new low and most Americans have an unfavourable view of him, according to a new poll.

      Around 55 per cent of those surveyed said they disapproved of the manner in which Mr Trump is leading the country with just 35 expressing positivity about his performance, the poll by analysts Marist found.

      The clear majority of Americans – 60 per cent – had an unfavourable impression of Mr Trump generally, while just 34 per cent viewed him favourably. It marks the highest negative poll rating Mr Trump has received by Marist during his tenure as president so far.

    • Trump’s evangelical panel remains intact as others disband. Who are his religious cheerleaders?

      Donald Trump was forced to disband two business advisory councils and an infrastructure panel after some of America’s most prominent business leaders fled their posts, protesting against Trump’s statements appeasing white nationalist marchers at the weekend rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

      But the president’s religious evangelical advisory board, a mix of radical born-again preachers, televangelists and conservative political influencers, still stands pristine. Not only have members avoided criticism of the president, while occasionally scolding the violence in general – some have been openly supportive of Trump’s statements assigning blame “on many sides” and slamming those who turned up to oppose the militant neo-Nazis.

    • Tabloid hate is damaging our society. The Sun’s advertisers must help stop it

      Hateful words can have hateful consequences. Experts have repeatedly warned that the drip-drip of negative stories in the UK press about migrants, Muslims and other groups has fuelled hate crime on our streets. The situation has become so extreme that UK newspapers have been called out by the United Nations over their coverage.

      This week, in an article about Brexit and immigration, the Sun columnist Trevor Kavanagh cites the horrific sexual abuse cases in Rotherham to suggest that “Muslims are a specific rather than a cultural problem”. He concludes by asking “What will we do about The Muslim Problem”.

      One of the hallmarks of extremism is a tendency to project guilt onto a whole community for the crimes of individuals within that group. Calling an entire section of our society a “problem” is not just divisive, it risks legitimising hatred towards anyone who happens to be a member of that community. It should go without saying that it’s possible to discuss – and address – the appalling crimes committed in Rotherham, without implying that the Muslim community as a whole is at fault.

    • Live Updates: Trump’s Arts And Humanities Committee Has Resigned In Protest
  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Leak of proposed US law reveals plans for widespread use of multiple surveillance technologies at borders

      Here on Privacy News Online, we often write about the impact on privacy of technologies such as facial recognition, iris scans, DNA databases, and drones. Individually, those powerful and rapidly-advancing technologies all pose different challenges to the protection of our privacy. Imagine how dangerous it would be if they were brought together in a complete, integrated system.

    • Student Privacy Tips for Parents

      The beginning of the school year is right around the corner. Over the summer, your school may have acquired new devices, software, and educational technology (or ed tech) to use in classrooms. Or, your school may have expanded existing technology programs, or may be thinking about adopting new forms of ed tech. Any of these scenarios can mean new privacy concerns and new chances for you to advocate for student privacy.

    • Hortonworks, DLT Team Up to Drive Open Source Analytics at Agencies; Shaun Bierweiler Comments [Ed: Hortonworks calls itself "open source", but it's deep in the mass surveillance business and is connected to the NSA]

      Hortonworks (Nasdaq: HDP) has entered into a partnership with DLT Solutions to help increase public sector adoption of open source analytics technologies in efforts to generate insight from data, ExecutiveBiz reported Aug. 10.

    • Whatever Your Side, Doxing Is a Perilous Form of Justice

      These groups are also changing the scope of doxing, which used to be a digital punishment for digital “crime.” “This is the internet policing the internet, but also outside lives,” Zolides says. “It’s not as bad as mob rule, but it is a kind of surveillance state.” And if stating your beliefs in public becomes a risk not just for you but for your family, and even strangers who look like you, effecting change is going to be a whole lot harder—for everyone.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Chaos in Charlottesville: No One Gave Peace a Chance, Including the Police

      What should have been an exercise in free speech quickly became a brawl.

      It’s not about who threw the first punch or the first smoke bomb.

      It’s not about which faction outshouted the other, or which side perpetrated more violence, or even which group can claim to be the greater victim.

      One young woman is dead because of the hate, violence, intolerance, racism and partisanship that is tearing this country apart, and it has to stop.

      Lawful, peaceful, nonviolent First Amendment activity did not kill Heather Heyer.

    • Pardon Me! High Crimes and Demeanors in the Age of Trump

      In such a global context, our Congress has been eager indeed to sanction the Russians, the Iranians, and the North Koreans for their roles in spreading misery, but who’s going to sanction us? Honestly, don’t you wonder how we got off the hook so easily for the world we swore that we alone would create? Isn’t the U.S. responsible for anything? Doesn’t anyone even remember?

      We now have a president with the strangest demeanor imaginable, a bully spouting a kind of rhetoric that eerily echoes the bellicose threats of North Korea. However, like the spreading terror movements and failed states of the Greater Middle East, he should be seen as a spawn of the actions, programs, and dreams of the sole superpower in its self-proclaimed glory and of its plans for a military-enforced global Pax Americana. By the time he’s done, President Trump may be responsible for high crimes, including nuclear ones, of a sort that even impeachment wouldn’t cover and who, these days, could ever miss his demeanor?

      Blame the evil doers for the devastation visiting this planet? Sure thing. But us? Not for a second.

      And while you’re at it, welcome to the post-American world.

    • Exclusive: Stonewall Jackson’s Great-Great-Grandsons Call for Removal of Confederate Monuments

      As President Trump faces growing outrage over his response to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, we bring you an exclusive: an interview with the great-great-grandsons of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. At least 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy can be found in public spaces across the country. But now a number of the monuments are coming down. Calls for the removal of the statues are even coming from the descendants of the leaders of the Confederacy. We speak with two of the great-great-grandsons of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. Jack and Warren Christian have just written an open letter to the mayor of Richmond calling for the removal of the Stonewall Jackson statue in Richmond. They write, “Our sense of justice leads us to believe that removing the Stonewall statue and other monuments should be part of a larger project of actively mending the racial disparities that hundreds of years of white supremacy have wrought.”

    • White supremacists take DNA tests, find they’re not so white

      Pure of spirit, pure of thought and, well, pure of blood.

      Surely not many.

      Yet in our fractured times, some want to believe that they are superior because of their pure whiteness.

      A few of these sorts featured in the Charlottesville, Virginia, marches last weekend.

    • Joshua Wong’s mother’s letter to son blasts Hong Kong government’s pursuit of jailed pro-democracy activists

      Imprisoned political activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung’s mother has urged her son to “follow the truth and be courageous”, as she expressed disappointment in the justice department’s decision to seek jail terms for young student leaders.
      Grace Ng Chau-mei said the government’s pursuit of her son and two other prominent activists suggested the city had become “depraved”.
      In a letter written to her son before his sentence was handed down on Thursday, Ng said Wong, 20, had sacrificed personal and family time since first entering political activism in May 2011, for the sake of “building a more beautiful Hong Kong”.
      The letter was posted on Wong’s Facebook on Thursday night.

    • We Must Remove Shrines to White Supremacy From Public Property

      Shrines to white supremacy and racial violence denigrate my existence and that of millions of North Carolinians.

      The resurgence of white supremacy and the violence perpetrated by neo-Nazi terrorists in Charlottesville are painful reminders of how much work remains to challenge and defeat systems of hate and racial oppression in our nation.

      As a Black woman living in a former slave state adorned with monuments to the Confederate cause, I believe that work requires us to confront our own history and ask: What message do we send when we chose to honor one part of history but not others?

      The Confederacy sought to protect slavery, dissolve the Union, and preserve white supremacy. While Confederate armies ultimately failed to achieve those first two goals, the monuments erected in their memory years later under Jim Crow were and remain vile symbols of white supremacy and the terrorization of communities of color.

    • President Trump’s ‘White Blindness’

      By defending “beautiful” Confederate statues, President Trump shows how little he understands about the evils of slavery and the cruelty on lynchings and segregation, but he is by no means alone, writes Robert Parry.

    • Photographing a White-Supremacist Attack

      Some of the most dramatic scenes from last weekend’s neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville — images of white extremists beating a black man in a parking lot — were captured by photographer Zach Roberts who talked with Dennis J Bernstein.

    • Monuments to Treason

      The Mayor of Lexington, Kentucky noted on August 12 that he is taking action with the city council to remove two confederate monuments from a former city courthouse.

      The City of New Orleans in Louisiana took down four Confederate monuments earlier this year, including a large statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in May 2017.

      In Durham, North Carolina, activists toppled over a Confederate Statue on government property this past weekend.

    • CIA ‘torture psychologists’ avoid trial with secret settlement

      Two psychologists who helped design the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation programme settled a lawsuit Thursday by detainees alleging they were tortured.

      The secret settlement in the suit, brought on behalf of two living ex-detainees and one who died of hypothermia after brutal questioning in US custody, avoided what would have been the first public trial of the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of torture on suspected al-Qaeda members.

      The American Civil Liberties Union brought the suit in 2015 against psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, who were recruited by the CIA in 2002 to design and help conduct interrogations of War on Terror suspects captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

      The two were paid around $80m for their work, which included helping interrogate Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks by al-Qaeda, and Abu Zubaydah, another top al-Qaeda suspect.

    • South Africa plans to grant immunity to Grace Mugabe, sources say

      The source said the government was anxious to avoid the diplomatic fallout of an arrest that would ensue from Zimbabwe, which has been led for nearly four decades by Robert Mugabe, the 93-year-old president.

    • U.S. Taxpayers May Pay CIA Torture Doctors Legal Bills

      The contractor psychologists who designed the CIA’s torture program earned a $81 million fortune from that brutality. But now that they’ve reached a settlement with some of the agency’s torture victims, taxpayers are likely to be left footing their legal costs.

      On Thursday, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, who delivered for the post-9/11 CIA an interrogation regimen modeled on what Senate interrogators called “learned helplessness,” settled a case brought by three survivors of CIA black sites and the family of a man, Gul Rahman, who froze to death in one of them.

      Though the terms of the settlement are not public, and the case was not a criminal trial, both attorneys and human rights advocates consider it a major victory in the long-thwarted effort at imposing accountability for torture. It also could serve as a potential precedent for other torture survivors seeking damages.

    • Against All Decency, the Government Is Indefinitely Detaining a Man It Cannot Deport

      What the government is trying to do to Mamadu Balde is clearly unconstitutional and heartless.

      In its zeal to deport anyone, the Trump administration has jailed a man that the government has tried and failed to deport in the past. Fortunately for those of us who care about constitutional rights — not to mention basic human decency — the Supreme Court has built a wall around the government’s ability to do such a thing.

      In 1999, Mamadu Balde fled Sierra Leone, which was in the middle of a civil war that had started in 1991 and didn’t end until 2002. Mamadu’s hometown was occupied by rebels, the Revolutionary United Front, and his home was burned to the ground. In the fire, he lost all of his personal documentation, and he was separated from his parents and his sister during the occupation.

    • Adam Johnson, Keri Leigh Merritt on Charlottesville

      Many, many Americans are shocked and saddened by the horror of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, the violence and hatred it represented, even before the beating of Deandree Harris and the murder of Heather Heyer. And saddened, if perhaps less shocked, to have a president who can’t bring himself to denounce it. Whether it does more than shock and sadden will depend in part on the quality of the conversations we have about it—and that has something to do with media. How capable and how willing can we expect them to be, of examining the role of US institutions, including their own, in what happened in Charlottesville—what led to it, what could lead away from it?

    • Documenting Hate News Index
    • Track News Stories About Hate With the Documenting Hate News Index

      A Waco, Texas, black Baptist church was vandalized with a swastika and the words “Satan” and “Trump.”

    • Why explaining internal strife in the United States through “Russian influence” is lazy and unhelpful

      On 11-12 August, violent clashes erupted between the far-right Unite the Right movement and anti-fascist counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. One woman died when an alleged neo-Nazi sympathizer rammed a car into a crowd of counter-protesters. There were numerous injuries and a major national crisis erupted in the United States resulting from and inspired by the rapid rise of white nationalist, neo-Nazi and other similar sentiments far to the right of the political spectrum.

    • To See or to Nazi: Trump’s Moral Blindspot is America’s

      We’ve have entered the time of mock outrage. The press was shocked that armed neo-Nazis were marching through the streets of Charlottesville shouting “Blood and Soil” and “Jews will not replace us!” Republicans were aghast that many of these thugs were wearing Trump’s red “Make America Great Again” caps. Democrats were indignant that Republicans didn’t call for Trump’s head on a platter. Everyone felt very good about how bad they felt.

      In this national psychodrama, Trump plays the role of the Great Revealer. Trump has pulled back the curtains on the cesspool of American politics for the inspection of all but the most timid. Trump speaks the forbidden words that many other Americans secretly think. Trump utters these heresies self-righteously and without shame. Therefore he must be punished for putting the system at risk. He must be lashed for his shamelessness. He must be castigated for exposing the sickness at the heart of the American project.

    • Colin Kaepernick Won

      In angering the NFL’s white billionaire owners, the quarterback lost his job but started a movement.

    • In Charlottesville, the Local Jewish Community Presses On

      For half an hour, three men dressed in fatigues and armed with semi-automatic rifles stood across the street from the temple. Had they tried to enter, I don’t know what I could have done to stop them, but I couldn’t take my eyes off them, either. Perhaps the presence of our armed guard deterred them. Perhaps their presence was just a coincidence, and I’m paranoid. I don’t know.

    • Vice News’ Elle Reeve Confirms There Were No ‘Very Fine People’ Among White Supremacists

      “No,” Reeve answered. “Everyone who was there knew what they were doing. They were shouting ‘Jews will not replace us.’ It was very well coordinated. They had an order to the chants. There was no mistaking. There’s no innocent person wandering up and accidentally getting involved in this.”

      Reeve’s 22-minute documentary was heralded as required watching for Americans in 2017 by multiple news organizations, including HuffPost. Reeve focused her coverage on white nationalist leader Christopher Cantwell, and followed events from Friday night’s march to Sunday’s vigils.

    • White House review nears end: Officials expect Bannon firing

      Bannon has felt freed this past week and has told friends that he is ready to go “medieval” on enemies of Trump and his populist agenda both in and out of the White House.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Tattoo Copyright Infringement Suit Dribbles On

        Readers of this blog may remember that Solid Oaks Sketches filed a copyright infringement suit against Take-2 Software, the maker of the NBA 2K video game, claiming that its reproduction of several tattoos worn by famous basketball players was copyright infringement. The case is still ongoing in the Southern District of New York, and defendants filed this month a motion for judgment on the pleadings, where they argue that the use was fair use. HT to the Hollywood Reporter.

      • Artists Protest RIAA for Trampling on Their Moral Rights

        A coalition of several artist groups has sent a letter to the RIAA, accusing the group of ignoring the moral rights of songwriters. In a recent response to a US Government consultation, the RIAA argues that it would be “complex” to always attribute writers for their work, on streaming services for example. However, the artist groups stress that their rights shouldn’t be trumped by metadata concerns.

      • Cloudflare Kicking ‘Daily Stormer’ is Bad News For Pirate Sites

        For several years CloudFlare has stood up to pressure from copyright holders, both in and out of court. The entertainment industry repeatedly urged the company to take action against the Pirate Bays of this world, and Cloudflare refused time and again, stressing that it doesn’t “monitor, evaluate or judge” content on its clients’ websites. That argument is now dead.

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