Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 28/11/2020: RenderDoc 1.11, GNOME 40 Scrolling Horizontally

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Configuring Dwm's Panel Is Easy With Dwmblocks - YouTube

        Dwm has a builtin panel that can be a bit tough to configure. Getting it to display the information that you want is not as simple as it should be. Thankfully, there is a program called dwmblocks that makes this a lot easier!

    • Kernel Space

      • Linus Torvalds doubts Linux will get ported to Apple M1 hardware

        "I'd absolutely love to have one, if it just ran Linux," Torvalds replied. "I've been waiting for an ARM laptop that can run Linux for a long time. The new [Macbook] Air would be almost perfect, except for the OS."

        Torvalds, of course, can already have an ARM based Linux laptop if he wants one—for example, the Pinebook Pro. The unspoken part here is that he'd like a high-performance ARM based laptop, rather than a budget-friendly but extremely performance constrained design such as one finds in the Pinebook Pro, the Raspberry Pi, or a legion of other inexpensive gadgets.

        Apple's M1 is exactly that—a high performance, desktop-and-laptop oriented system that delivers world-class performance while retaining the hyperefficient power and thermal characteristics needed in the phone and tablet world. On paper, an M1-powered Macbook Air would make a fantastic laptop for Linux or even Windows users—but it seems unlikely that Apple will share.

      • Graphics Stack

        • RenderDoc 1.11 Released As The Leading Open-Source, Cross-Platform Graphics Debugger - Phoronix

          RenderDoc 1.11 is out as the newest feature release for this leading open-source graphics debugger supporting platforms from Linux to Windows to the Nintendo Switch to even Google's Stadia and supporting all major graphics APIs.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Starting Over

          Up until now, I’ve been relying solely on my Intel laptop’s onboard GPU for testing, and that’s been great; Intel’s drivers are robust as hell and have very few issues. On top of that, the rare occasions when I’ve found issues have led to a swift resolution.

          Certainly I can’t complain at all about my experience with Intel’s hardware or software.

          But now things are different and strange because I received in the mail a couple weeks ago a shiny AMD Radeon RX 5700XT.

          Mostly in that it’s a new codebase with new debugging tools and such.

          Unlike when I started my zink journey earlier this year, however, I’m much better equipped to dive in and Get Things Done.

        • Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan Development Now Being Done On RADV With Navi GPU

          Mike Blumenkrantz who has spent most of the year working on the "Zink" Gallium3D code for allowing universal OpenGL over Vulkan translation and took this Mesa code to OpenGL 4.6 compatibility and in some cases 90%+ the performance of a native OpenGL driver is now working on Zink development from a Radeon Navi graphics card with the RADV driver, which may in turn help uncover bugs and areas of optimizations for the open-source Radeon driver stack.

          Blumenkrantz, who is now being funded by Valve as another Linux graphics driver developer and at least for now will continue devoting significant amounts of time to Zink, has switched his development system from using Intel graphics with the ANV Vulkan driver to now in large part using a Radeon RX 5700 XT "Navi" graphics card with RADV.

    • Applications

      • Bashtop on openSUSE | Terminal

        I am generally behind the curve when it comes to the new hotness out there. Not sure what it is, maybe I am out of phase with the rest of the world, maybe just behind on my podcast listening or not really paying attention, so while everyone else has moved on to the next new hotness, I am hanging out in one-month-ago time and have enjoyed this thing called “Bashtop”

        What is Bashtop and why do I care?

        If you are a nerd about what your system is doing and like to see the numbers, charts graphs, etc, than Bashtop is going to be an application you absolutely adore. The little bits of information it gives you from CPU load, load average, and frequency is superb. The chart it produces on the CPU usage looks fantastic and really makes you wonder how they accomplished this when it is only in text mode. Truly a feat of terminal engineering!


        I have historically made htop my go-to terminal system monitoring application. I still think htop is good but I happen to enjoy the experience of Bashtop just a bit more. It feels more like a full fledged product as opposed to a terminal application. If you like such technical information, I highly recommend installing and trying bashtop. I believe you will really enjoy it.

        I have been informed, today, that there is yet another system resource application to try in the terminal called bpytop. That means, more relishable application exploration is on the horizon! Linux and open source software is so much fun!

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install SNAP on Linux Mint 20 - Linux Shout

        The snap universal package management has been removed by the Linux Mint 20 developers. Yes, out of the box, you can’t use the SNAP command as we do in Ubuntu.


        However, we can install most of the available Debian packages using the APT package manager, yet, if any of us still want to use the SNAP on Linux Mint, we can do that because being on the open-source OS, we are not bounded to any particular thing and it’s our choice what to use and what to not. Therefore, if any one of you is interested then here is the tutorial on it.

      • How to install PHP 8 on CentOS 8 & RHEL 8

        In this article, you will learn how to install the latest PHP version 8 on CentOS 8, RHEL 8 Linux distributions.

        PHP is one of the most popular server-side scripting languages. Most of the websites on the internet are using PHP including Facebook, Yahoo, Wikipedia. There are many frameworks that are also built with PHP, like WordPress, Codeigniter, Laravel, etc.

        Even this website is using PHP. This blog is built on the WordPress framework which is written in PHP.

        So let’s go through the complete guide on how to install the latest stable release of PHP 8.0 on CentOS and REHL.

      • How To Install Pantheon Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Pantheon Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Pantheon is a default desktop environment for Elementary OS. It is developed by the same team that builds the elementary OS. It is written from scratch using Vala and the GTK3 toolkit and is widely known for its highly polished appearance.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Pantheon Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to check who's logged in to your linux machine - The Linux Juggernaut

        If you have a linux server, It is absolutely necessary to know how to check the users that are logged in to your system and what they are doing. To do that, you have to get yourself familiar with number of different linux commands. In this guide, we will show you how to identify the user accounts on a linux system using commands like whoami, id, and more.

      • How To Install Xtreme Download Manager on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Xtreme Download Manager on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Xtreme Download Manager is a free and open-source download manager. XDM is cross-platform and is available for Linux, Windows, and Mac. It is also compatible with all major web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox Quantum, Opera, Vivaldi, and many popular browsers.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Xtreme Download Manager on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • cpupower-GUI – A Simple Graphical Tool to Adjust CPU Frequency | UbuntuHandbook

        CPUPower-GUI is a simple graphical utility allows to change the frequency limits of your cpu and its governor.

        With the tool, you can easily change the frequency settings based on CPU core by adjusting the sliders and clicking apply button.

        You can also change the cpu governor profiles, Performance and Balanced. And the profiles can be selected easily from the system tray indicator menu.

      • Enable Timestamp For History Command In Zsh In Linux - OSTechNix

        Enabling timestamp in history command output helps us to find when a certain command is executed in Linux. We already have seen how to enable timestamp in Bash history. Today let us see how to enable timestamp for history command in Zsh shell in Linux.

      • How to Resize LVM Partition Inside an Extended Partition

        Resizing a logical volume in Linux is not very difficult and can be achieved through very straightforward approach.

      • Do You Know How To Secure The OpenSSH Server?

        In the last few articles, we have installed the OpenSSH server know we will see how to secure OpenSSH Server.

        Already you know the SSH server is the best secure and simple and easy way to connect with the remote servers, router, and switches. Using OpenSSH gives you One more layer of security.

        At the time of installing we just too basic setup but you need to tweak more to get a highly secure way to connect.

        Few tweaks are required to harden security So, you just need to follow me and change or update the setting according to your need.

      • How to Go Full Dark Mode With LibreOffice

        LibreOffice is a free and open-source cross-platform office productivity software. If you’re not making the most of it, the LibreOffice Tips article is a must-read.

        Dark theme is getting popular even among non-programmers. It is less stressing on the eyes specially for extended use of the screen. Some people believe that it makes the texts looks crisp and clear and that helps improve their productivity.

        Some Linux distributions like Ubuntu come with dark mode these days giving your systems a darker tint. When you turn on the dark mode, some applications will automatically switch to dark mode.

      • How can I Identify who SSH into my Linux System?

        Identifying who has logged into your system in Linux is way easier than the Windows Operating System.

        In Linux System whenever someone tries to log in using SSH is recorded by the log file, the log file is located in /var/log/auth.log. location can be different in other distribution.

      • Mullvad and TailScale coexisting (or “Hello Nftables!”)

        The fix was simple eventually – add two rules to the rules created by Mullvad, allowing access to & from the tailscale interface. However, since I took a look at Nftables, and I am sure I’ll forget it in a few days, I wanted to jot down the commands here for future reference.

      • The Origin of the Shell

        CTSS was developed during 1963 and 64. I was at MIT on the computer center staff at that time. After having written dozens of commands for CTSS, I reached the stage where I felt that commands should be usable as building blocks for writing more commands, just like subroutine libraries. Hence, I wrote "RUNCOM", a sort of shell driving the execution of command scripts, with argument substitution. The tool became instantly most popular, as it became possible to go home in the evening while leaving behind long runcoms executing overnight. It was quite neat for boring and repetitive tasks such as renaming, moving, updating, compiling, etc. whole directories of files for system and application maintenance and monitoring.

      • Self-modifying code in production

        YouTube famously uses a rolling cipher and effective downloader tools need to be able to decipher it to produce useful links to video files. The cipher changes every few days so downloader tools avoid the need for daily manual updates by automatically downloading the JavaScript implementation of the cipher from YouTube and caching the result.

        I use three downloader tools that have some automated mechanism for dealing with cipher updates.

      • The better way to make an Ubuntu 20.04 ISO that will boot on UEFI systems

        First, I've learned that you don't want to extract ISO images with 7z, however tempting and easy it seems. 7z has at least two issues with ISO images; it will quietly add the El Torito boot images to the extracted tree, in a new subdirectory called '[BOOT]', and it doesn't extract symlinks (and probably not other Rock Ridge attributes). The Ubuntu 20.04.1 amd64 live server image has some symlinks, although their presence isn't essential.

        The two reliable ways I know of to extract the 20.04.1 ISO image are with bsdtar (part of the libarchive-tools package in Ubuntu) and with xorriso itself. Bsdtar is easier to use but you probably don't have it installed, while you need xorriso anyway and might as well use it for this once you know how. So to unpack the ISO into our scratch tree, you want: [...]

      • How to Add Local User to Sudo Group in Debian Linux

        In Linux/Unix systems, sudo is a program that grants a regular user elevated privileges to execute administrator-level tasks. Once a regular user is added to the sudo group, they are able to carry out tasks that a reserve for the root user. Such include installing and removing software packages, starting and stopping services, updating and upgrading the system to mention a few.

      • How to Install PHP 8 on Debian - Cloudbooklet

        How to Install PHP 8 on Debian. This guide let you learn how install the latest PHP version 8 on your Debian system or your Debian server on any VPS or any Cloud or any Dedicated hosting and configure it with Apache and Nginx.

        The latest PHP 8 version is officially released on November 26th, 2020. It comes with a number of new features and a few incompatibilities that you should be aware of before upgrading from the previous version.

        This installation is tested on Google Cloud Platform with a Compute Compute Engine VM Instance. So this set up is guaranteed to work on all Linux based servers.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Bugfixes and bug triaging

          This week we worked very hard not only fixing bugs in our software, but also on triaging bugs in our venerable bug tracker, Thanks to the coordinating efforts of Justin Zobel, the KDE BugSquad has been working harder than ever to separate the wheat from the chaff so developers can focus on what matters, rather than wading through a sea of obsolete reports and bugs that have been fixed ages ago. If this sounds like fun, please feel free to get involved!

        • KDE Closing Out November With More Plasma Wayland Fixes

          KDE developers remain as busy as ever even with pandemic and Christmas season upon us.

          It's been another busy week of bug fixing in the KDE world. A new feature was added for allowing color previews within the Konsole when moving the mouse cursor over HTML color codes. But most of the prominent activity this week seems to revolve around bug fixes:

          - The Dolphin 20.12 file manager restores support for being able to launch AppImages and other executable files.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 40 App Grid Now Scrolls Horizontally

          The GNOME 40 is under development at the moment. And a recent change on App Grid functionality shows that it now scrolls horizontally.

        • GNOME 40 Mutter Moves Input Work To A Separate Thread
          An exciting addition for GNOME 40 is that the Mutter compositor will be punting the input work off to a separate CPU thread.

          The long in development effort by Red Hat's Carlos Garnacho for restructuring Mutter so that the input work can be handled in a separate CPU thread has finally reached the state where on Friday it was merged into Git.

          This merge request has been open for the past three months but merged on Friday to handle input on a separate thread.

          By moving the input work to a separate thread should allow for avoiding possible blocked cursor pointer situations, better dealing with high frequency input devices, ensuring no libinput events are missed, and just being a superior architecture.

    • Distributions

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Ardour updated to 6.5.0 €» PCLinuxOS

          Ardour is a digital audio workstation. You can use it to record, edit and mix multi-track audio. You can produce your own CDs, mix video sound tracks, or just experiment with new ideas about music and sound.

        • Ardour updated to 6.5.0 €» PCLinuxOS

          Calibre is meant to be a complete e-library solution. It includes library management, format conversion, news feeds to ebook conversion as well as e-book reader sync features.

        • Calibre updated to 5.6.0 €» PCLinuxOS

          Songkong is an intelligent music tagger app designed to make the task of managing, organizing and cleaning up your digital music collection easy. Lite version is free. Professional version requires purchase of a license.

        • Songkong updated to 6.11 €» PCLinuxOS

          ClipGrab is a multi-platform software package for downloading videos from various websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion or Facebook. It has been praised for its user-friendliness.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Reorganization and migration of Mercurial repositories

            Since Richard Stallman adopted GNU Health in 2011, the development environment has been hosted at GNU Savannah, which generously provided a mercurial (hg) repository, that has been in use since then.

            Many years have passed, and GNU Health is today a Libre digital health ecosystem made of different components.

            In the last couple of years, GNU Health has been facing a tremendous growth, both in the community and in the development environment, yet, the hosting facilities at Savannah has remained pretty much the same.

            One of the issues I have faced is not being able to have multiple mercurial repositories to match all the new components. To give you an idea, this is a list of the GNU Health ecosystem components from 2011 and 2020.

      • Programming/Development

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Failed States of Conscience

        Keen leads the reader through three stages in the journey toward his unsettling conclusions – Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0, which roughly correspond to the past, present and future of the Internet’s development. He begins with Web 1.0, reminding us of the Internet’s paranoia-driven beginnings. There might not be the online environment we have all come to depend on if not for the US military panic over the Soviet launching of the Sputnik satellite in 1959, which demonstrated an unimagined first-strike capability and made militarists aware of the catastrophic vulnerabilities of the national telecommunications system.

        Keen details the discovery and implementation of two still-key electronic protocols – TCP/IP – that would allow any two computers anywhere in the world to speak and share with one another. It was rather like a Westphalian treaty for data, which provided standardization of rules – protocols – making communication uniform and universal, as the system reduced all human languages to logical data bits. Once generals were certain they’d developed a system of networked computers capable of reliably talking to one another even in the event of nuclear war – they called it ARPANET – they breathed a sigh of relief from within the padded walls of the Cold War policy known as Mutally Assured Destruction (MAD).

      • I Rest My Case

        Jeff Rothenberg's seminal 1995 Ensuring the Longevity of Digital Documents focused on the threat of the format in which the documents were encoded becoming obsolete, and rendering its content inaccessible. This was understandable, it was a common experience in the preceeding decades. Rothenberg described two different approaches to the problem, migrating the document's content from the doomed format to a less doomed one, and emulating the software that accessed the document in a current environment.

        The Web has dominated digital content since 1995, and in the Web world formats go obsolete very slowly, if at all, because they are in effect network protocols. The example of IPv6 shows how hard it is to evolve network protocols. But now we are facing the obsolescence of a Web format that was very widey used as the long effort to kill off Adobe's Flash comes to fruition. Fortunately, Jason Scott's Flash Animations Live Forever at the Internet Archive shows that we were right all along. Below the fold, I go into the details.

  • Leftovers

    • Channeling Mad Men On Black Friday

      Mad Men spoilers to follow. Also to be spoiled is anti-consumer Black Friday Scrooges.

      Black Friday, the day where everything is cheap and people buy it is coming up. A lot of people seem to be outraged about consumerism. It’s the disease infecting “the people”. Just like fascism infects “the people”. Give me a break!

    • Maradona: the Bolivarian Soccer Genius

      The hundreds of thousands of tributes being paid throughout the world portray a particular image: Maradona in close solidarity with the biggest progressive leaders of the social reformist wave embraced by the peoples of Latin America, the so called Pink Tide. In fact, Maradona put to the service of the Bolivarian revolution in Latin America all his fame, his influence and his skilled legs. He embraced the peoples of Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Argentina and more, by developing deep friendships with Fidel, Raúl, Lula, Evo, Hugo, Nicolás, Daniel, the Kirchners, and many more.

      Maradona was for the people of South America what Mohamed Ali was for Black America.

    • Maradona, Soccer’s God has Died

      Maradona came from a very poor family, and he became a very rich man, but he dilapidated his fortune in alcohol and drugs. Although when he as a player he was in remarkable physical form, at the end of his life he became overweight and was plagued with several serious ailments. I believe, however, that very few people ever provoked the kind of admiration that he did.

      He will be always remembered for the extraordinary performance of Argentina against the British during the 1986 Word Cup in Mexico, winning the final game against West Germany to become world champions. With his two goals against the British his legend was cemented forever. The notoriety of his first goal and the majesty of his second goal led the French newspaper L’Equipe to describe him as “half-angel, half-devil”.

    • Prosecutors pull Hitler stamps off the shelves in Russia’s Oryol region

      Prosecutors in Russia’s western Oryol region have managed to get postage stamps featuring a portrait of Nazi Germany’s leader Adolf Hitler withdrawn from sale. According to the head of the Karelia-based community organization that printed the stamps, they were meant to underscore the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War. The Oryol Regional Prosecutor’s Office, on the other hand, concluded that the stamps violate Russia’s federal law banning the use of Nazi symbols.

    • Don’t Cancel Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!

      Holiday specials, a staple of North American childhoods since the early 1960s, are increasingly falling victim to our fragmented media culture. Just as the liturgical calendar gave structure to the lives of the medieval peasants, an equally ritualized TV schedule shaped a communal culture in the era of the cathode tube: The Ten Commandments for Easter, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for Halloween, and then, after Thanksgiving, a slew of familiar shows and movies revisited every year: A Charlie Brown Christmas, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, It’s a Wonderful Life, and the many iterations of A Christmas Carol.

    • The Lies of Faith and Youth’s Search for Meaning

      The entrenched situation the primary characters find themselves in are both unique to their families’ particular Muslim observances and as universal as the struggle between generations. There are times when that generational struggle is fought primarily inside families. In other words, there is never a question among those participating that the younger generation will accept the parents’ world for their own. There are other times when that struggle is part and parcel of a greater dynamic; a dynamic that affects the entire world. It is when this happens that the world changes, that revolutions and counterrevolutions occur. The period we call the Sixties was one such period for much of the world. This time is arguably such a period in the Muslim world. There is a struggle that involves cultural identity, anti-imperialism, and individual freedom. In Bhutto’s Runaways, that struggle is reflected in each character’s internal search for a meaning to their life—something more than the next iPhone or the next sexual encounter. In fact, something which provides a lifelong meaning in a seemingly meaningless existence. Something that helps make sense of the world.

      As the 1960s turned into the 1970s, many young people looking for more than what they had found began studying the works of Marx, Lenin, and Mao. Their lessons helped the world become clear. The path to a better world became clear, even if it meant that some people had to die. There were those who understood the texts they were reading were from a certain time and that the ideas and methods presented wee dialectical, not static. However, there were many more who missed that part of the conversation, attempting to apply nineteenth-century restrictions to twentieth-century change, becoming dogmatic and intolerant in the process. Consequently, instead of the movement to make the world a better place becoming more popular, it shrank until only a few hardcore believers remained. For the rest, life had to go on. Some gave up their ideals, some kept them and expanded on them. It seems safe to say that all became more cynical about the possibility for a better world. Perhaps it was the most cynical of all who turned to terrorism or became the political opposite of what they were, becoming ultra-right fanatics hell-bent on destroying the politics of their past.

    • Where is Authority for Inclusivity?

      BTW I take my chances as a writer on a leftward website saying anything good about Andrew Cuomo. Opening an essay with him is likely suicidal. But, I argue, this is not a political endorsement! It is a protest against cancel culture, as everything I write is. Please – must I beg? – don’t cancel me! I need my Cuomo example to make my point – (which, in part, I’ve just revealed).

      Governor Cuomo’s daily pandemic briefings last spring were instances of someone in public office for once using it for the common good at the risk of making himself extremely unpopular with many constituents. The arguments he gave for mask-wearing weren’t intended to appease anyone, but were aimed at those of us whose compliance he needed. As the numbers kept rising, each of those numbers, Cuomo reminded us tirelessly – just as though relationships matter – was someone’s grandmother, father, aunt, cousin, etc. This is not political, he repeated, knowing that cynical ears, the ones smoldering over some other controversial decision he’d made, such as the NYS SAFE Act, or his refusal to tax Wall Street billionaires would respond, Yeah, sure, no matter what he said! The assurance he gave us was of a special kind, rarely voiced by politicians; his explicit inclusion of the ones least able to protect themselves meant, to the specially tuned ears of the heart, all of us were included.

    • Dear Orange Man Bad: An Open Letter From the Enemy of Your Enemy

      Well, winter is coming with a vengeance and I’m guessing that you’re feeling pretty bummed. I’ve noticed the dayglo orange has drained from your cheeks and your once histrionic tirades have taken on all the petty melodrama of a garden variety adolescent hissy fit. And who could blame you? After months of some of the finest race baiting since Willie Horton danced with the devil in the pale moonlight, after what felt like years of a vast Soros funded conspiracy of Black lesbian Bolsheviks and fire breathing Mau Mau flag desecrators coming to put their filthy Marxist fingers all over a daughter near you, even the excitable suburban soccer moms have agreed that they’d rather spend the next four years with a disintegrating fossil like Biden than the next four minutes with you. Tough blow motherfucker! And usually that would be all I have left to say to a glorified chatroom troll getting his comeuppance but, believe it or not, the two of us have something in common and I think it might just be something worth looking into.

      I know what your thinking, what could you possibly have in common with me? On paper we couldn’t be more different. I’m everything you despise; a BLM supporting, Marx quoting, genderqueer anarchist dyke. I “chose” to be a woman and I don’t even have a pussy to grab, just a tiny limp dick like yours and a big set of those things you gave to Bibi Netanyahu for the keys to the White House. I probably disgust you, and trust me honey, the feeling is more than mutual. As far as I can tell, you’ve spent your whole miserable existence failing your way to the top, burning other people’s money like Marlboros just to grab another pack from the taxpayer’s pocket so you can buy more gaudy crap no one on earth needs and get your rocks off next to Bill Clinton with some teenage sex slave on Jeffrey Epstein’s private airline. As far as I can tell, you’re all the toxic byproducts of state sponsored crony capitalism poured into one disgusting lumpy orange beanbag chair and you’ve generally ran the White House like a call girl service for Israel and their head-chopping peace-pals in the Persian Gulf.

    • The Pardon of Corn

      Two of the turkeys in the Rose Garden almost certainly were slightly worried knowing that, absent a pardon, they would almost certainly soon find themselves lying in repose in someone’s oven from which they would be moved to the dining room table and an inglorious end.€  The other turkey had a similar concern although absent a pardon his fate would not be known until many months after January 20.€  As he well knew, the absence of a pardon might mean a jail cell rather than an oven.

      To the extent the turkeys had an awareness of the control the trump had over their futures, they may have believed that the future of one of them was secure-for good reason.€  They had probably been told of the three earlier ceremonies that had taken place during the trump administration in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday during which one of the participants was always pardoned.€  Furthermore, in anticipation of the exciting event, the turkeys’ owner had almost certainly told them of some of the pardons the trump had given during the period the power to pardon belonged to him.€  € Their € owner would have told them € about the pardon given former Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio who was convicted of “immigrant roundups” while serving as sheriff. He would have told them of the pardon given vice-president Pence’s former chief of staff who was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice.€  He would have told them of the pardon given Roger Stone, a long-time friend of the trump who was convicted on charges of witness tampering, obstructing an official proceeding and five counts of making false statements € in an investigation of the trump campaign.€  And those names were just a just a smattering of those who had been pardoned by the trump, the owner would have explained to them.

    • Short Dialogue between Hyman and Phil in Opposition to Neoliberalists - With Apologies to Berkeley

      Berkeley included in title of his work: ‘in opposition to Sceptics and Atheists’.

      Plato also employed technique of ‘Dialogue’; -as indeed more recent did C.S. Lewis in ‘The Screwtape Letters’ – wherein ‘dialogue’ assumes the form of letters one fictional character to another – context of religious polemic against the hierarchy of satan evidenced as apperceived thru the category ‘senior demon’ to ‘junior tempter’ as ‘intimative’.

    • Thanksgiving à la Mode

      In culinary terms and tastes, this francophile feast is an ocean away from Squanto and Miles Standish and their roast turkey and other meats, dried corn, beans and pumpkins. It’s a menu that might have sent the most ardent New Worlders paddling frantically back to Europe for those Gâteaux à la Napolitaine.

      Two-and-half-centuries on from the first Thanksgiving, these Americans abroad were celebrating with three soups, including a crayfish bisque (crayfish perhaps evoking something of New England); four fish dishes (turbot, cod, hake, and smelt); then it was on to the entrées (smaller items that preceded the main course), among them the chicken “à la Washington” (the first American President lauded in one of the toasts for having freed his own slaves, though only posthumously); other delicacies among this course were the veal sweetbreads with sorrel and game meatballs “à la Lincoln.” The Grosses Pièces (main course) include the obligatory turkeys (Dindons), but these were stuffed with truffles. How difficult it would have been to leave room for the chicken “à la Prairie” and the roast gosling in potato sauce, not to mention the mutton loin and beef. The diners were men and women of stature—and of girth.

    • IBM reportedly cutting 10,000 employees from European services unit

      International Business Machines Corp. is planning to eliminate about 10,000 jobs from its European services unit to cut costs ahead of a spinoff of the division next year, according to a report today from Bloomberg.

      The job cuts would affect about 20% of IBM staff in the region, with the biggest cuts coming to offices in the U.K. and Germany. Offices in Poland, Slovakia, Italy and Belgium will also reportedly see their headcounts cut as well.

    • Science

      • Anti-lockdown ideologues’ “science” is now as bad as antivaccine “science”

        One of the most notable things about the COVID-19 pandemic has been how fast two science denialist movements made common cause and, in essence, fused to become one movement. I’m referring, of course, to the antivaccine cranks/grifters and COVID-19 deniers/minimizers/antimaskers/cranks/grifters, who rapidly formed an unholy alliance that ultimately added QAnon conspiracy theorists to the mix to form one of the most toxic groups of conspiracy theorists ever seen. I note that by “toxic,” I don’t just mean toxic personalities, but I also mean toxic to science, medicine, public health, and the politics of trying to respond to the pandemic, with antivaxxers frequently augmenting COVID-19 deniers at various rallies and events, all the while crying “censorship,” infusing the COVID-19 denialist movement with antivaccine pseudoscience and conspiracy theories, and even launching a pre-emptive disinformation war against COVID-19 vaccines. Just two examples, antivax leader and propagandist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has gone all-in on COVID-19 minimization/denial, and Del Bigtree, who made the antivaccine propaganda film VAXXED with Andrew Wakefield, has urged his listeners to “catch this cold” in order to build up herd immunity among the “healthy,” because, to him, COVID-19 is not dangerous except to those who deserve to be endangered, specifically those with chronic conditions due to overeating, lack of exercise, excess drink, and the like. It was blaming the victim at its most blatant, very typical of antivaccine activists, typical of antivaccine nonsense. That’s not the only antivaccine tactic that COVID-19 denialist/minimizers have adopted, however; they’ve also started abusing the ecological fallacy, the same way antivaxxers have been doing for at least 12 years, which is the first time I noticed it, this time in the context of claiming that lockdowns don’t work.

    • Education

      • One in five British kids don't know milk comes from cows

        Research has revealed the bizarre beliefs that primary school kids have about where basic essentials, such as bread and milk, and treats like chocolate originate from.

        Of the 1,000 children quizzed, one-fifth (21%) didn't know milk comes from cows while a tenth (11%) believe milk comes from supermarkets.

        A fifth of kids believe bread is made on a farm (18%) while one-in-ten (11%) believe chocolate is made there too.

      • Many school children have no idea where milk comes from

        The research, by leading dairy cooperative Arla, revealed the lack of understanding may be compounded by the fact that one in ten (9%) had never been to a farm before.

        Ex-Blue Peter host and Countryfile presenter Helen Skelton is backing the campaign, which has seen Arla release a kid-friendly book to bust the myths surrounding dairy farming.

      • Differing Mask Mandates in Georgia Schools Put Teachers at Risk for COVID

        On a balmy August morning in Emanuel County in eastern Georgia, hundreds of children bounded off freshly cleaned school buses and out of their parents’ cars. They were greeted by the principal, teachers and staff at Swainsboro Middle School who hadn’t seen them in four months. Before allowing the children to enter, a longtime receptionist beamed a temperature gun at their foreheads and checked for violations of the public school’s strict dress code: mostly neutral colors, nothing tight and no shoulders exposed.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • 'Cruel Slap in the Face': Senate GOP Quietly Pushing Pay Freeze for Federal Workers Amid Deadly Pandemic

        "We call on lawmakers to reject this insulting maneuver," said the president of the largest union of federal employees.

      • Why COVID-19 Granted the U.S. Most Favored Nation Status

        The first and most obvious answer is that its government has been headed by a fascist lunatic who has fanned and fueled the pandemic in numerous overlapping ways: publicly denying its lethal impact while privately understanding its deadly nature; falsely and repeatedly claiming that the virus would soon disappear; backing paranoid-style protests of elementary public health protections; promoting quack cures; setting states against each other in the race for federal medical supplies; failing to order a mask mandate and a comprehensive national testing plan; failing to use the Defense Production Act to direct the manufacture of sufficient medical equipment; demeaning medical and public health expertise; modeling reckless virus-spreading behaviors; mocking and€  politicizing€ mask-wearing; holding numerous super-spreader rallies and other COVID-19-promoting events.

        As with climate change and more, Trump has disdained science, facts, and proper policy and practices. In 2018, he closed a federal office created precisely to prepare for pandemics. Last January, he blew off coronavirus warnings and advice from intelligence officials and his Secretary of Health and Human Services. Beginning in 2017, Trump removed dozens of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s office in China, where the disease originated. Last July, he slashed funding from an American epidemiologist working in China’s leading disease agency.

      • 'Bleak Milestone': More Than 100,000 Nursing Home Residents and Staff Killed by Pandemic

        Forty percent of all Covid-19 deaths in the United States have occurred in long-term care facilities.€ 

      • As US Hospitalizations Hit New Record, Fauci Warns Pandemic Not Expected to Ease for Holidays

        As travelers ignored warnings, Thanksgiving marked the 24th consecutive day of more than 100,000 new daily Covid-19 cases in the United States.

      • 'Hunger Like They've Never Seen It Before': US Food Banks Struggle as 1 in 6 Families With Children Don't Have Enough to Eat

        "We're now seeing families who had an emergency fund but it's gone and they're at the end of their rope," said one Texas food bank director.€ 

      • Desperation and Hope Amid the Wuhan Outbreak

        On January 23, the day the Chinese central government locked down Wuhan, the filmmaker Hao Wu flew from New York City to Shanghai to celebrate Lunar New Year with his parents. Hundreds of miles away from the world’s first known Covid-19 outbreak, Shanghai residents were staying in. Even without a formal lockdown, gatherings were canceled. The city streets were empty. It was like living in the movie Contagion, Wu recalled.

      • The Focus on Wild Horses Distracts From the Massive Damage Caused by the Livestock Industry

        In the article, the writer characterizes the wild horse issue as an “emotional battle,” and correctly observes, “Many ranchers see the mustangs as an overpopulated invasive species that competes for the public land their livestock grazes.”

        However, the reality is that wild horses are only bit players in a very real, West-wide ecological battle in which the livestock industry is the principle antagonist. Domestic cattle and sheep (not horses) are the most significant overpopulated invasive species, competing for the public land that our wildlife – elk, mule deer, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep – need to survive.

      • Ricardo Salvador on US’s Dysfunctional Food System

        This week on CounterSpin: As those that celebrate tuck into our Thanksgiving dinner, this year as every year, we’re encouraged to be grateful for what we have, as symbolized by the food on the table. This year, as every year, we ought also to acknowledge the work that brings that harvest from the earth to the plate.

      • How the Privatization of Medicine in India Is Accelerating Its COVID-19 Death Toll

        To ensure that his sick mother received the best treatment, Singh, a self-employed motor mechanic in the small town of Bilaspur, in Chhattisgarh, India, decided to take her to a popular private hospital nearby. She had been running a fever since July 7 and had also developed breathlessness by July 9. Singh rushed her to the hospital, and when they reached the emergency department around 8 p.m., her oxygen levels were dangerously low. The hospital ordered a battery of tests for COVID-19 and quickly admitted her to an intensive care unit to give her oxygen and medicine. In the first eight hours of his mother being admitted to the hospital, Singh deposited Rs 34,000 ($455) and then paid another Rs 1,96,000 ($2,627) over the next four days. To arrange money for his mother’s treatment, Singh had to sell off two and a half acres of land that he owned in his native village. Despite all his efforts, his mother’s condition worsened progressively, and she died on July 16. While still grieving the loss of his beloved mother, he was further stressed about how his family would survive the next month with most of his resources having been exhausted during his mother’s treatment.

        Also in the state of Chhattisgarh, when 60-year-old Savani Bai from the village of Dhanokhar developed mild symptoms of COVID-19, she spoke to a doctor on the state helpline and was advised to go to the hospital. Since all the government hospital beds were occupied, she had to be admitted to the same private hospital in Bilaspur as Singh’s mother, where she was admitted to a general COVID ward. During her 10-day hospitalization, she was given acetaminophen and was kept under daily observation to ensure her condition was not worsening. For this basic treatment, she ended up spending Rs 85,000 ($1,137) and had to mortgage her one-acre farm to meet her hospital expenses.

      • I Got COVID at Work. I Won't be the Last One

        And there I was, working the floor of a big box store during a pandemic. It was all hands on deck as COVID-19 hit the country and my Kansas town.

        We had lines wrapping around the building and no way to know how many people we had in the store. We tried to control incoming numbers from the front, but no one was counting those exiting. We had cones and arrows to try to manage the flow, but customers weren’t following directions.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Someone attacked our company

        At the start of November, someone decided that they would try to destroy our company. They subjected us to multiple, malicious, targeted DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks over two weeks. They intended to damage the integrity of our customers’ data and take our service offline. This attack wasn’t random and it wasn’t just your typical spam. This attack was targeted at Fathom and was intended to put us out of business.

      • Proprietary

        • Manchester United being held to RANSOM by cyberhackers who STILL have control over their computers [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The embarrassing lapse of security at one of the world’s biggest sports clubs is believed to be far more serious than first feared.

          United’s network has been infected by ransomware – a computer virus - and they now face the option of having to pay up or risk seeing highly sensitive information about the club and its stars leaked into the public domain.

          It’s unclear who the criminals are or how much they want, but the NCSC revealed that in the last year an EFL club were hit with a €£5m demand and the biggest single loss to a sports organisation from cyber crime was €£4m.

          United could also face fines of €£9m, €£18m or two per cent of their total annual worldwide turnover from the independent government body Information Commissioner’s Office if the attack is found to have breached their fans’ data protection – although the club last night reassured supporters that is not the case.

        • The emerging cybersecurity headaches awaiting Biden

          The incoming administration will face a slew of cybersecurity-related challenges, as Joe Biden takes office under a very different environment than existed when he was last in the White House as vice president.

          The big picture: President-elect Biden's top cybersecurity and national security advisers will have to wrestle with the ascendancy of new adversaries and cyberpowers, as well as figure out whether to continue the more aggressive stance the Trump administration has taken in cyberspace.

          Here are details on some key challenges confronting Biden: [...]

        • Security

          • Sophos tight-lipped about data breach, no lessons learnt from WannaCry bungle

            It's surprising that global cyber security firm Sophos has hidden from public view the fact that it has suffered a security breach which is said to have taken place during the week.

          • Why Aren’t Viruses a Problem on Chrome OS?

            Chrome OS has a reputation for being virus-proof. Google likes to boast about how secure its operating system is compared to others. Are Chromebooks really immune to viruses, though? And, if so, how do they achieve this? Allow us to explain.

            First, let’s consider what a computer virus actually is. Viruses fall under the umbrella of “malware.” They’re destructive because they inject a code into a file (usually, one that’s executable), and when that file is run, the malicious code is released.

            Once the code is released on your system, it can do any number of malicious things, like destroy data, overwrite files, or even replicate itself and spread to other systems.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Google ordered to disclose emails in Russia oligarch's divorce

              A federal judge in San Jose, Calif., has ordered Google to hand over emails from the son of Russian oligarch Farkhad Akhmedov, a billionaire who has been embroiled in a four-year, $600 million divorce battle with his ex-wife.


              The information from the emails will be used to determine whether Temur helped his father in the fraudulent transfer of millions of dollars in assets, Bloomberg reported.
            • Google Must Disclose Emails in Russian Oligarch’s Divorce

              U.S. Magistrate Judge Virginia M. DeMarchi said she was inclined to comply with the London court’s ruling allowing Akhmedova to seek her son’s emails from Google. The judge said the information released should not go beyond the requirements of the litigation in London.

              The information from the emails will be used to learn whether Temur assisted his father in the fraudulent transfer of assets, and if so, to win a judgment against him, Tatiana Akhmedova said in a filing.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Expansion and Mass Eviction: Israel ‘Takes Advantage’ of Trump’s Remaining Days in Office

        “These days are an irreplaceable opportunity to establish our hold on the Land of Israel, and I’m sure that our friend, President (Donald) Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu will be able to take advantage,” Miki Zohar, a member of the Likud Party was quoted in the Christian Science Monitor.

        By “these days”, Zohar was referring to the remaining few weeks of Trump’s term in office. The US President was trounced by his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, in the presidential elections held on November 3.

      • On to Normalcy

        Many CounterPunch readers are likely familiar with Major General Smedley Butler but far too few are aware among the broad public, which is why we describe ourselves with his name. It is no accident that he has been erased from ideological history. When I was in Marine basic training in 1965 all of us “boots” were regaled with the heroics of Butler’s career and his two congressional medals- the ultimate badge of “manhood” in our toxic militarized culture. Nothing was ever revealed about his denunciation and excoriation of the military exploits he came to comprehend as raw imperialist exploitation. As one of the few who rose to the heights of the military establishment at the time he remains unique and unheralded to this day. He knew first hand of the deceptions that led to American incursions into the Caribbean, Central America, and China and ultimately World War I. He was, he avowed, “a racketeer for capitalism” and had acted as a “gangster for the bankers.” He revealed to Congress a secret plot by agents of Wall Street to overthrow the election of Franklin Roosevelt that was quickly hushed up and spent the last years of his life condemning what he knew to be surreptitious plans to enter World War-Round II. No other general officer in American history has ever been so honest about the realities of American foreign policy and had the moral courage to speak out. No such rectitude will be forthcoming from the likes of four-star marine generals James Mattis or John Kelly, both now in highly paid retirement as consultants to the very arms corporations that, with Big Oil, and major banks dominate U.S. foreign policy.

        A primary reason the U.S. entered World War I was the perception among corporate barons that the occasion of Europe’s self-destruction was a gilded opportunity to insert the U.S. and eventually restructure the global system to the benefit of American capital, to extend the “Open Door” to the entire planet. Indeed, American capital abetted the postwar restitution of Germany’s industry and its ability to rearm, thus a major factor leading to Round Two of the centuries-long inter-imperial war. The U.S. entered that war deceitfully, willing to sacrifice over 400,000 American lives but emerging as the only viable economy, upon which the reconstruction of the planetary system would ensue. World War II also advanced the development and manufacture of cataclysmic weapons, especially nukes, and the profits that accrued to immensely powerful institutions.

      • Keeping the Empire Running: Britain’s Global Military Footprint

        Phil Miller’s rich overview of Britain’s military footprint for Declassified UK shows it to be heavy. “The size of the global military presence is far larger than previously thought and is likely to mean that the UK has the second largest military network in the world, after the United States.” The UK military, for instance, has a presence in five countries in the Asia-Pacific: naval facilities in Singapore; garrisons in Brunei, drone testing facilities in Australia; three facilities in Nepal; a quick reaction force in Afghanistan. Cyprus remains a favourite with 17 military installations. In Africa, British personnel can be found in Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Mali. Then come the ever dubious ties to Arab monarchies.

        The nature of having such bases is to be kind to your host, despite him being theocratic, barking mad, or an old fashioned despot with fetishes. Despite the often silly pronouncements by British policy makers that they take issue with authoritarians, exceptions numerous in number abound. The UK has never had a problem with authoritarians it can work with or despots it can coddle. A closer look at such relations usually reveal the same ingredients: capital, commerce, perceptions of military necessity. The approach to Oman, a state marked by absolute rule, is a case in point.

      • China Stabilizes as the West Dithers

        It isn’t about what happened, it’s about what will happen. Our time has come is the catchphrase, a rallying cry. The people are told they have been cheated. It won’t happen again. We are the justice seekers. Upend the global trade order, it is skewed against us. This is heady stuff.

        These are not the viewpoints of the (current) occupant of the White House but rather of another world leader.

      • 'Intended to... Set the Stage for War'? Questions and Warnings Follow Assassination of Top Iranian Nuclear Scientist

        "This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators," said Iran's top diplomat.

      • Hyper-Patriarchal Saudi Arabia Equates Mild Feminism With Terrorism, as Sen. Murphy Calls on Biden To Review Ties With Kingdom

        There is nothing in Islam that forbids women to drive, and all the 900 million Muslim women have all along driven€ except€ in Saudi Arabia.

      • US Intervenes as Venezuela Prepares for High Stakes Election

        Ambassador Story took his post in Bogotá, Colombia. No, this is not another example of Trump’s bungling by sending his man to the wrong capital. The US government does not recognize the democratically elected government in Caracas.

        Impasse of two Venezuelan presidents

      • Why Imperialism is Obsolete in Latin America

        In September 2018, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro visited China, where he met with China’s President Xi Jinping and signed a series of important agreements on trade and culture. Toward the end of his stay, Maduro said that the two countries had built “a relationship of mutual benefit, of shared gain.”

        Among these agreements was one that highlights the depth of the collaboration: this was for China to participate with the Great Venezuela Housing Mission (GMVV) to build more than 13,000 homes in the El Valle parish in Caracas. The focus of the international media has been on the oil trade between China and Venezuela, and in the aid from China to Venezuela; but the connections go deeper, into the social life of the people who are struggling to emerge from deprivation.

      • Four Days in Occupied Western Sahara — A Rare Look Inside Africa’s Last Colony as Ceasefire Ends

        In this special rebroadcast of a Democracy Now! exclusive documentary, we break the media blockade and go to occupied Western Sahara in the northwest of Africa to document the decades-long Sahrawi struggle for freedom and Morocco’s violent crackdown. Morocco has occupied the territory since 1975 in defiance of the United Nations and the international community. Thousands have been tortured, imprisoned, killed and disappeared while resisting the Moroccan occupation. A 1,700-mile wall divides Sahrawis who remain under occupation from those who fled into exile. Earlier this month, a three-decade ceasefire in Western Sahara ended after the Moroccan military broke into a southern no-go buffer zone on November 13 to attack Sahrawi civilians and exchanged fire with the Polisario Front, the Sahrawi liberation movement seeking independence. Morocco’s action came shortly after a top U.S. general met with the commander of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces Southern Zone, which includes occupied Western Sahara. As Morocco and the Polisario engage on the battlefront, dozens have been arrested in the occupied territory. In late 2016, Democracy Now! managed to get into the Western Saharan city of Laayoune, becoming the first international news team to report from the occupied territory in years. Many of the Sahrawis in this film are currently under police siege or in hiding.

      • German government publishes roadmap on drone armament

        The governing coalition of Christian and Social Democrats wants to introduce armed drones in a hurry before the Bundestag elections. More and more SPD members of parliament are now positioning themselves against it

      • An 'Implicit Approval If There Ever Was One': Trump Retweets Post Calling Assassination of Iranian Scientist a 'Major' Blow

        "If the U.S. was involved with this assassination, it will be further evidence on top of the already heaping pile that Trump, Pompeo, and the other war hawks will do everything in their power to prevent the Biden administration from succeeding at diplomacy with Iran."

      • Escaping the Armed Madhouse

        What a gift to receive new€ material from Robert Anton Wilson, more than 13 years after his passing. Originally written in 1972, The Starseed Signals brings together many familiar themes we see throughout his subsequent work: Timothy Leary’s eight circuit model of consciousness; model agnosticism; Wilson’s autobiographical account of 1960s and 70s counterculture; skewering political and cultural commentary; and the possibility of higher intelligence, space migration, and life extension. I had high hopes for Starseed Signals, and it did not disappoint.

        I think Starseed is Wilson’s most accessible explanation of the eight circuit model of consciousness (more aptly, the eight circuit model of the human nervous system). Wilson’s 1983 title, Prometheus Rising, represents what I would describe as a more refined, albeit advanced, take on the model. Having now seen Wilson’s treatment of the theory in a number of forums, and in a variety of ways, over the course of several years, I think I finally grok all eight circuits. Let me take a stab at a high-level overview of the theory, for those unfamiliar.

      • [Old] A Horrific Korean War Battle Is Now A Haunting Animation

        An animated film, produced by Veterans Expeditionary Media and HOPR studios, illustrates the terror and ferocity of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, as well as the extraordinary resolve of the Marines who fought there. The film, “CHOSIN: Baptized by Fire,” was released in June 2014 on Vimeo and depicts the brutal combat of one of the Korean War’s most decisive battles, which lasted from Nov. 27 to Dec. 13, 1950.

        Surrounded by 120,000 Chinese soldiers, roughly 15,000 American soldiers and Marines struggled to hold a 15 foot-wide mountain pass against a determined onslaught by a numerically superior enemy force. It was also North Korea’s coldest winter in 100 years.

      • [Old] Army Corporal's remains returned home after more than 65 years

        Hash was a member of the Army’s Headquarters Battery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division during the Korean War of the early 1950s.

        In November to December 1950, Hash and his division were part of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, a fierce 17-day battle that saw 30,000 U.S., Republic of Korea (ROK), and British surprise attacked by more than 100,000 Chinese soldiers in the harsh North Korean winter where temperatures regularly fell to 25 degrees below zero.

      • MIA for 70 years, Korean War veteran’s remains to be returned to family; Boston to honor his sacrifice

        The Department of Defense Prisoner of War and Missing In Action Accounting Agency positively identified Redgate through DNA testing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Hawaii in April, just seven months ago.

        Jeannette Gray, a mortuary affairs officer for the Department of the Army Casualty Past Conflict Repatriations Branch, has been working with the family since April to make arrangements for the return of Redgate’s remains. The department works to identify Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action in conflicts including World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars and the Cold War.

      • [Old] A VETERAN’S STORY: The Tootsie Roll Marines

        The Chinese hid in ravines between mountain ridges to protect themselves from small arms fire while regrouping for their next assault. The only weapon the Marines could use against their concealed enemy was the high arcing fire of 60mm mortars, yet ammunition ran low and was near depletion. The Marines sent out emergency requests via radio for resupply of 60mm mortar rounds using code words. The code word for 60mm ammo was “Tootsie Rolls.”

        As bad luck, or conceivably good luck, would have it, the radio operator receiving the emergency request did not have a copy of the Marine code sheets. However, he knew the request was from command authority, which meant it was extremely urgent. As zany as the request may have seemed to the radio operator, he knew there were tons of the candy at supply bases all over Japan. The request went out for urgent shipments of Tootsie Rolls to be dropped to the trapped Marines.

      • [Old] US Marines used chewed-up Tootsie Rolls to patch up damaged vehicles at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir

        General Oliver P. Smith, USMC (October 26, 1893 – December 25, 1977).

        He is famous for his iconic order: “Retreat? Hell, we’re not retreating, we’re just advancing in a different direction.”

      • Reflecting On A Key Korean War Battle, 70 Years Later

        STEVEN RUDDER: Surrounded and beset by some 120,000 Chinese troops, the battle was fought over some of the roughest terrain during some of the harshest winter weather conditions of the Korean War. The battle for and the breakout from Chongjin has become Marine Corps legend.

        KUHN: Chongjin is what the reservoir is called in Korean. Some 30,000 U.S., South Korean and other troops under U.N. command faced the Chinese. Among them was John Lee, a Korea University sophomore when the war broke out. He worked as an interpreter at U.S. 1st Marine Division headquarters at Hagaru-ri on the southern end of the Chosin Reservoir. His mission - gather intelligence on Chinese troops from North Korean locals.

      • Incredible photos from the Korean War campaign that showed what the US Marine Corps is made of

        Still, the UN forces reached Hungnam by December 24. A 193-ship armada evacuated the soldiers, along with 98,000 refugees that the UN and Marines Corps troops protected on the long march to the sea. After the evacuation, the US destroyed the port to deny the Chinese access to it. The Korean War wouldn't end until July of 1950, and although the US prevented the communists from dominating the south of the peninsula, Korea remains divided to this day.

      • A legendary Marine battle 70 years ago is now becoming part of a rallying cry for China

        On the night of November 27, 1950, US Marines and Army soldiers suddenly came under intense human-wave attacks by Chinese soldiers on both sides of the Chosin Reservoir.

        The Americans, part of a UN force of about 30,000 men, soon found themselves in their first major clash with the Chinese during the war, facing the full weight of about 120,000 Chinese soldiers committed to their destruction.

        The attacks, by hundreds of troops at a time and in temperatures as low as -36 degrees, marked the start of a brutal 17-day fight that became one of the Korean War's bloodiest battles and one of the most intense battles in modern history.

      • Response to Israeli expert on whistleblowers and The Matter of Mordechai Vanunu

        Israel’s political leaders have, he said, consistently lied about Israel’s nuclear-weapons programme and he found this unacceptable in a democracy. The knowledge that Vanunu had about Isreal’s nuclear weapons, about the operations at Dimona, and about security at Dimona could not be of any use to anyone today. He left Dimona in October 1985 and the design of today’s Israeli nuclear weapons will have been considerably changed since then… Modern nuclear weapons bear little relationship to those of the mid-1980.

      • One Is a Free Hero, the Other, a Hostage

        Vanunu, who deserves much greater admiration for his courage, sacrifice and determined struggle, will never be hoisted on the shoulders of most of Israel’s left. Only overseas does he get the respect he deserves: He has won a countless number of international awards, including the John Lennon peace prize. Vanunu wants to sever ties with Israel. Israel prevents his departure based on false excuses which the court approves again and again. Vanunu is the real Prisoner of Zion of the two. Pollard who petitioned the High Court of Justice for the title, doesn’t deserve it. Vanunu served an 18-year sentence, including 11 in scandalous isolation, and Israel still doesn’t loosen the noose. It even sent him back to prison for “speaking to foreigners” and “moving to another apartment without permission” – oh, the democracy.

      • US Air Force to reorganize network, security groups under single entity

        The Air Force is collapsing some of its groups within the 688th Cyberspace Wing to build a network and security operations cell.

        This spring, the service is conducting an experiment in which it will collapse the 690th Cyberspace Operations Group — focused on network operations — the 26th Cyber Operations Group — focused on security operations — and the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group into a single entity, according to Col. Joshua Rockhill, commander of the 26th Cyberspace Operations Group, who spoke Nov. 18 during a virtual presentation as part of an AFCEA Alamo chapter conference.

      • Russia Says It Foiled Islamic State Attacks In Moscow Region

        Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) says it has broken up a cell of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group that was planning "acts of sabotage and terror" in the Moscow region.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Siege the Day: QAnon, Trumpist Blockages, and the Logistics of Spiritual Warfare

        A rarely discussed precursor is Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, launched in 1988. Robertson used the then-new media of cable television to expand and sustain his flock. Robertson’s CBN Family Channel centered around The 700 Club, a daily, hours-long news program that decoded world events through an apocalyptic lens. He also wrote a book called New World Order that laid out the Satanic cabal’s centuries-old secret plans for global control, now careening to the End Times.

        Beyond the garish accounts of decadent cannibal cabals, QAnon has a tripartite narrative structure of biblical proportions. First, we have the Great Awakening, a period encompassing the last few years in which revelations about how the world truly works are being experienced on a mass scale. An individual experience of epiphany, especially in the sharing economy, demands the personal conversion be spread. QAnon encourages proselytizing which, borrowing from the earlier internet “manosphere”, they call Redpilling.

      • Unreliable sources Fake quote attributed to future U.S. Secretary of State spreads from Wikipedia to the Russian media

        Before U.S. president-elect Joe Biden formally announced Antony Blinken as his pick for Secretary of State, an anonymous Wikipedia editor took it upon himself to edit Blinken’s Wikipedia page. The editor beefed up the section on his attitude towards Russia and its President Vladimir Putin, throwing in a quote attributed to Blinken for good measure. The quote was quickly picked up by Russian and Ukrainian media and it spread across social networking sites. But as it turns out, Antony Blinken never actually spoke those words.

      • OAN Is So Dangerous Because It Looks Like a Real News Channel

        It’s the president’s favorite “news” channel, and a cornerstone of America’s growing disinformation problem. It’s One America News (OAN), a rotating collection of wobbly conspiracies and gibberish that has more in common with a state-run disinformation network than a credible news organization.

        OAN’s definition of “news” has included false claims of electoral fraud, baseless Kremlin-backed conspiracy theories, false claims that the novel coronavirus was developed in a North Carolina lab as part of a vast government conspiracy, and accusations that last summer’s protests over the police killing of George Floyd were part of a diabolical “coup.”

      • Sore Loser Trump Snaps at Reporter for Doing His Job

        When asked whether he would concede after the electoral college votes for Joe Biden, Trump responded, “It’s going to be a very hard thing to concede. Because we know there was massive fraud.”

        The president rambled from there, making all sorts of false claims while stating, “I didn’t lose.”

        Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason tried to pin the president down, asking again about the electoral college, which is set to vote on December 14th.

      • Trump’s Pentagon Now Vetting Nonpolitical Experts

        Other officials described the move—which appears to target people who have made remarks critical of Trump on social media—as not just about finding new talent loyal to Trump but an effort to build out the Republican national security bench in the two months before the end of his term. That rationale has also been used to explain the promotion of several Trump allies through the Pentagon’s ranks after the firings of Defense Secretary Mark Esper and acting Undersecretary of Defense for Policy James Anderson in a postelection purge earlier this month, including former National Security Council staffers Kash Patel, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Joe Francescon, and Tom Williams, who now hold high-profile roles near the top of the Defense Department’s organizational chart.


        The vetting of nonpolitical experts appears to be an expansion of an ongoing effort to weed out perceived Trump detractors from the ranks of political appointees. Earlier in the administration, the Presidential Personnel Office would find and flag social media posts of appointees at the Schedule C rank and above that were deemed to be a slight to Trump. But the Trump administration has shown interest in remaking the career civil service, too.
    • Environment

      • Advertisements harm the planet, researchers say

        Like them or loathe them, advertisements are everywhere. And they’re worsening the climate crisis, say social scientists.

      • Energy

        • Optimizing Your Web App 100x is Like Adding 99 Servers

          It may sound obvious, but - optimizing your app to fulfill a request in 1/10 the time is like adding 9 servers to a cluster. Optimizing to 1/100 the time (reducing requests from say 1.5 sec to 15ms) is like adding 99 servers.

          That's a 1U server doing the work of two 42U server racks, formerly busy turning inefficient code into heat.

          That may be an extreme case - but unnecessary bloat is common, and these kinds of gains could be as simple as adding a well-chosen index to speed up a common query by 10x or 100x, or caching some seldom-changing response in memory rather than re-rendering it every time.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • The Rich Are Cheering Wall Street's Latest Records. Americans of Modest Means Are Draining 401(k)s.

        The nation's woefully inadequate response to the pandemic is jeopardizing millions of retirement futures.

      • Republican Senator Faces Insider-Trading Accusations Ahead of Georgia Runoff
      • Lookout for Karl Marx!

        Our rulers will never knowingly provide a forum for Marxism and will continue to demonize it as a threat to “freedom,” which indeed it is if by freedom we understand the continued operation of the capitalists’ “free enterprise” system with all the wealth created by labor going to the corporate owning class, whose failures are palpable today world-wide. Why else would we be treated to the calling out of Marxism by the Right, now led by Donald Trump, who also abuses, literally and verbally, anyone who sees it in their interests to fight racism and fascism? The “centrists” of the Democratic party have also weighed in by blaming and trying to proscribe “socialism” for their own failures and defeats? Is this not boiler plate ruling class red baiting in the face of workers’ demands for a betterment of the conditions of life? We’ve seen this all before: in the ‘20s with the government’s anti-communist Palmer Raids that arrested and deported immigrant workers organizing in the interests of their class after World War I, when the Russian Revolutions struck fear into the hearts of the bankers and big businessmen; then after World War II with McCarthyism, which began the capitalist assault on workers’ gains during the Great Depression that continues today; and now, when workers everywhere are once again looking to defend themselves from another capitalist crisis, this time containing both the threats of nuclear war, and global climate change.

        Recently, CounterPunch published a superb essay by Peter Linebaugh, that focused on Marx’s “Critique of the Gotha Program.” It was an inspiration to me, (as has been Linebaugh’s work generally), and I sent it out to friends in a discussion group I attend because I thought it made incisive use of Marx’s ideas to show what was needed in working towards a different and better world. It also prompted me to go back and re-read the Critique, which I had not read for 40 years. Here I would like to share some of my reflections on this experience, which I hope will help emphasize the continuing relevance and importance of Marx’s work, and encourage others to read him.

      • Senate GOP Wants to Freeze Pay for All Federal Workers During a Pandemic
      • The Plight of Blue-Collar Temp Workers

        In 2018-2019,€ the Responsible Jobs Creation Act€ mandated the Illinois Department of Labor€ to begin€ tracking demographic information of temp agency workers.€ The€ Prairie State’s€ data collection approaches differed from€ the€ U.S.€ Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state-level data delivered “a clearer picture of blue-collar tempworkers,” according to DeSario, director€ of€ Temp Worker Justice, and White, lead organizer€ and digital media coordinator€ with the€ Temp Worker Union Alliance Project.

        Here is€ a€ shortcoming of Uncle Sam’s data on temp workers. “Businesses that engage in more than one activity, of which temporary staffing is included,” according to DeSario and White, “are€ not having their temporary workers counted by BLS if temporary staffing is not how they€ define their principal product or service.”€ Company definitions matter.

      • Real Platitudes from a Fake Democracy

        You know he’s treated very unfairly. Horribly. The IRS treats him very unfairly. Everyone in the press is nasty to him. Just recently Leslie Stahl was very nasty to him.

        Meanwhile, with notable irony, the Proud Boys are standing back and standing by. I have to wonder if there aren’t some of them that cringe a little and wish he would “man up”, just go outside and pick up a stick or something.

      • Why the G20’s Failure on Debt Cancellation Is Bad News for Women

        World leaders have put wealthy creditor interests before debt justice, further jeopardising women’s rights.

      • Britain's Class War on Children

        In Hackney, in 1975, I filmed Irene Brunsden’s family. Irene told me she gave her two-year-old a plate of cornflakes. “She doesn’t tell me she’s hungry, she just moans. When she moans, I know something is wrong.”

        “How much money do you have in the house? I asked.

      • Far From a Change, RCEP Agreement is More Capitalism as Usual

        It is true that the RCEP is less draconian than recent trade deals, and less one-sided in advancing corporate profiteering above all other human concerns than the Trans-Pacific Partnership was when the United States was involved and pushing for the harshest rules. But is that the standard we wish to uphold? “It’s not as bad as the worst agreements out there” really shouldn’t be a cause for celebration.

        Much of the same language commonly found in “free trade” agreements is in the RCEP, and what appears to be the most promising development, the lack of the usual “investor-state dispute settlement” process that uses corporate-dominated tribunals that consistently overturn health, safety and environmental regulations, is much less than it appears once we look into the details. And there are no labor or environmental provisions. What we have here is more capitalism as usual, including a dispute process still weighted toward corporate interests.

      • A Deputy Prosecutor Was Fired for Speaking Out Against Jail Time for People Who Fall Behind on Rent

        An Arkansas prosecutor has been fired after speaking out against the state’s criminal eviction statute in an October ProPublica story. Garland County deputy prosecutor Josh Drake was let go from his position on Oct. 31 by Michelle Lawrence, the prosecuting attorney.

        Arkansas is the only state where landlords can file criminal charges rather than civil complaints against tenants for falling behind on rent. Drake told ProPublica, “I hate that law. It’s unconstitutional.” It constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, he said, echoing other Arkansas legal experts and advocates across the political spectrum.

      • Mnuchin's Treasury Department Shelves $455 Billion in Unspent Stimulus

        Fed chair Powell initially balked at Mnuchin’s request, replying that the Fed needed the funds to ensure market stability since the US economy was entering a “difficult period” in late 2020 and early 2021.€  According to Powell, the $455 billion was essential “as a backstop for our ill-stressed and vulnerable economy”. Returning the funds therefore was “not appropriate”.€  To do so now was not the right time. Not “yet”, replied Powell.€  Not even “very soon.”

        The Fed’s initial response to Mnuchin no doubt reflected Powell’s concern the US economy may very likely weaken in the current 4th€ quarter, compared to the 3rd. That means possibly more defaults and bankruptcies could be on the agenda for the 1st€ quarter 2021—in particular for junk bond heavy businesses and state and local governments that appear most vulnerable at the moment. € The Fed therefore needs to keep the $455 billion funds in reserve to address a potentially worsening economic situation.

      • Stripe reportedly eyeing new funding at $70B+ valuation

        Stripe Inc., the startup whose technology powers the online payment features of Amazon and numerous other online platforms, is reportedly in talks for a new round of funding at a valuation exceeding $70 billion.

        The investment could potentially value San Francisco-based Stripe at as much as $100 billion on the high end. That’s according to Bloomberg, which reported the startup’s funding talks Tuesday afternoon, attributing the information to people familiar with the matter.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Senators Warren and Baldwin Say Rehab Work Camps May Violate Federal Law
      • The Road Less Traveled: Cuba and Black America

        In 1953, Cuban revolutionaries attacked the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. In those days, a school in Tennessee [Highlander Folk School] was starting classes to organize and train civil rights workers, most of them Black. The citizen mobilization in Cuba in the 1950s was an expression of the same, parallel struggle for civil rights in the southern and northern United States. At the same time, the social and political struggles at the grassroots level in Cuba and the United States, although separate, were in turn an expression of the decolonization processes in Africa and Asia after World War II. The arguments that Fidel Castro used in his defense were very similar to the concepts of citizen rights that the U.S. Supreme Court recognized in Brown v. Board of Education, prohibiting the segregation of schools. These two traditions referred to 18th and 19th century thinkers, part of a clearly revolutionary culture.

        Cubans, like Americans, confronted the authorities of their respective countries for violating their respective Constitutions.

      • 'Good But It's Not Up to Him Anyway': Trump Says He Will Leave White House If Electoral College Votes for Biden

        "Constitutional law professor says it doesn't matter what Trump says if the Electoral College votes for Biden."

      • Maduro’s Government and the Left

        Take privatization of state-run enterprises. Take campesino protests. Take workers’ struggles to control factories. Take police murders of young men from the barrios. On those counts the Maduro government disappoints the left. It compromises. It cedes ground to the right. But it is under siege. And it’s better than the only alternative on offer – a gangster opposition headed by a ridiculous pretender, Juan Guaido, crowned in absentia by regime-change maniacs in Washington.

        Maduro does still pursue a form of socialism. And Venezuela’s economic crisis is by no means all his fault. The chief cause was the collapse of the price of oil some years back. Had oil remained at $100 a barrel, as it was in Chavez’s day, Venezuela could have avoided recession. But then came barbaric U.S. economic sanctions. The Trump regime’s effort to kill the Venezuelan economy, to punish it for its socialism, overthrow its elected leaders, install puppets and rob it of its oil, all intensified the damage done by the oil price plunge.

      • How Mitch McConnell's Do Nothing Republicans Are Killing You

        To them I ask: How much death and suffering must the American people endure before you act?

      • Forward Into the Past

        It became undeniable, after the Obama-Biden ticket won the general election, as news of Obama’s personnel decisions trickled in.

        Everyone who ran against Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries ran to his left except Biden and Hillary Clinton, his future Secretary of State. These were the two he empowered.

      • Tiny Desk, Tinier Man
      • Lukashenko renews talk of amending the Belarusian constitution

        During a visit to a Minsk hospital on Friday, November 27, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko seized the opportunity to share his thoughts on the importance of amending the country’s constitution.

      • NPR’s Shameful Comparison of Stacey Abrams to Donald Trump

        NPR, in this instance, trivialized the outcry against not just this instance of voter suppression, but the context of historic voter disenfranchisement in the South.

      • Navalny urges EU to impose targeted sanctions against Russian billionaires

        Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny is urging the European Union to impose personal sanctions against Russian billionaires and oligarchs. He raised this issue while speaking at a meeting of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday, November 27.

      • Black and Latinx Voters Helped Deliver the Nation To Joe Biden—Now, He Owes Them.

        The stage is set for a power struggle over what direction the incoming Biden Administration should take, between the party's left flank seeking a transformative agenda and moderates pining for a "return to normal" after Trump.€ € 

      • Trump and a Republic That We Could not Keep

        So goes the script of commentators on American politics.€  If only it were that simple.€  The problems with American democracy are deeper than simply a president refusing to concede an election and claim fraud, yet they will again be glossed over with a return to normalcy with the Biden Administration.

        Since election day pundits and many academics€  have bemoaned Trump’s disparaging of the integrity of the elections.€  They note how his false accusations of election fraud will do lasting damage to American democracy, instilling in many who voted for him a distrust of our democracy.€  Political science research tells us that democracies are held together both by institutions and cultural values, with both requiring a degree of buy-in from political elites and the public.€  Yet there has been a hysterical and misplaced emphasis on Trump’s comments when it comes to the stability of American democracy.

      • What is Happening in the United States
      • Putin’s annual press conference to take place on December 17

        Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold his annual press conference on December 17, the Kremlin’s website says.

      • A New World is Possible

        We have to take back the country, and what I really mean is take it “forward,” beyond situation normal — endless war, structural racism, consumer culture and ecological devastation — and into what one might call planetary stewardship.

        This sounds, of course, absurd, as though there’s any facet of the American status quo, political or economic, that would abandon its interests and embrace a vision-in-progress: of a world that has transcended nationalism, borders and war . . . of a world that has transcended us-vs.-them thinking and dominion over Planet Earth.

      • Biden Needs To Report Trump’s Wreckage in Executive Branch as Markers

        The Trump regime gave itself lawless license to do whatever it wanted. Trump operatives dismantled or disabled humane program after humane program, health and safety regulations, and economic protections designed to protect working people, children, the elderly, and people living in poverty.

        After all, the Trumpsters got the green light from their boss Donald, who when not playing golf, tweeting tantrums, and watching Fox News, believed that “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”

      • Covid Under Biden: What Can be Done?

        In the period between the 1773 Boston Tea Party up through the start of the American Revolution with the battles of Lexington and Concord and on into late 1775, the citizens of Boston were under the thumb of a tyrannical autocrat, Gen. Thomas Gage, a leader who not only closed off economic life by shutting down Boston harbor as punishment for the city’s acts of rebellion, but also ignored a worsening smallpox epidemic, preventing local authorities from taking action to contain it.

        Recounting that historic time of political and medical crisis, Charles Vidich, author of a€ forthcoming book Germs at Bay: Politics, Public Health & American Quarantine (Praeger, 2021), on the history of quarantines in America dating back to the early colonial era, notes that Gage’s unwillingness to heed experienced local authorities about the dangers of not dealing with smallpox led to public anger, contributed to the support in Boston for the growing insurgency against British rule, and ultimately undermined his ability to resist the uprising. Indeed the widespread smallpox epidemic in Boston quickly infected to his own Redcoat garrison in their cramped barracks in the city because of his mismanagement, diminishing the forces he had available.

      • Tlaib, Palestine and Israel

        I never cease to be amazed at how people with an agenda will so quickly and easily see anti-Semitism everywhere they look. It has reached the point where anyone who dares accuse Israel of violations of international law and human rights is painted with the ugly brush of anti-Semitism.

        Happily, however, the paint doesn’t stick as it once did. Gone are the days when one takes seriously the bizarre concept of the ‘self-hating Jew’, the Jewish man or woman who, for example, supports the human rights struggles of the Palestinian people and dares to speak out against the apartheid regime that Israel has become.

        But what horrors the Zionists imagine when a Palestinian actually criticizes anything related to Israel! And that is just what has happened with the appointment of Antony Blinken, a Jew, as secretary of state in the incoming administration of that self-proclaimed Zionist, Joe Biden. Michigan member of the House of Representatives Rashida Tlaib had this comment to make about Blinken: “So long as he doesn’t suppress my First Amendment right to speak out against [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s racist and inhumane policies. The Palestinian people deserve equality and justice.”

      • An Open Letter to Trump Voters

        The issue here isn’t that this description of your plight is wrong but that there wasn’t a scintilla of sincerity and conviction behind it. In truth, as they shed their crocodile tears, neither Clinton, Obama before her, nor Biden now, has ever had the slightest interest of solving any of your real problems. Just recently, recall Biden’s assurances to Wall Street funders that “Nothing will change under a Biden presidency.” As you certainly realize, other than for pandering for your votes, the Corporate Democrats have zero respect for you, can’t believe you’re still falling for their con job and laugh at you behind your backs.

        Now — and this will be a sticking point for many of you but please hear me out — the attitude I’ve just described applies equally to those who fund and control the Republican Party. All the evidence suggests that Trump’s policies actually helped the rich get massively richer while not addressing your real life daily grievances, the ones caused by obscene economic inequality and narrowly concentrated wealth and power.

      • Under Biden, We’ll Still Need to Protect Social Security
      • It’s True That Corporate Media Is Biased – But Not in the Ways Right-Wingers Say
      • Janet Yellen at Treasury Is One of Biden’s Best Appointments

        Barring any shenanigans from the Senate, the new Biden administration will feature America’s first ever female Treasury secretary in 2021. It may not be Elizabeth Warren, but at least the nomination of Janet Yellen means that we shall break free—at least for a time—of the seemingly endless Wall Street/DC revolving door that has characterized recent appointments to this crucial position.

      • Snap Judgments

        For the report please click on the image above. (Steve Brodner)

      • 5 Stages of Loss
      • 'A Win for Voters': Rights Advocates Celebrate After Appeals Court Rejects Trump's Attempt to Block Certification of PA Election Results

        "The Trump campaign should end its pathetic and futile attempts to subvert democracy and ignore the will of the people."

      • New Strategies for the Left on a Global Scale

        Although divided into six regions—North America, Latin America, South and East Asia, Africa, Middle East and Northern Africa, and Europe—Dissidents of the International Left drives home the point that, for example, the “Islamic world” and the “West” are not two distinct worlds. In truth, the Left needs to act on the understanding that there is one global system. “Leftism is primarily a domestic politics,” said Michael Walzer, a prominent American intellectual whom Heintz interviewed. “I wanted an international Left that is alert to the realities of the world and honest in confronting them.”

        As humanity copes with the rise of authoritarian leaders, endless wars, systemic racism, environmental degradation, misogyny, religious extremism, and many other challenges, Dissidents of the International Left will continue opening up critical discussions. Such conversations will ideally lead to leftist movements and individuals across international boundaries finding more humane, inclusive, and realistic solutions to dangerous crises that, if left unaddressed, will only worsen over time.

      • Hey, Joe! Here Are Our Demands

        Because there isn’t a political party or other formation that can credibly speak for a broad base of the American left, and because the left is divided between work-from-inside AOC-Bernie types and street-level activists, no one has defined a clear metric to judge the Biden Administration’s personnel, policy and legislative actions. As we saw under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, vague demands foment the unaccountability that allows Democrats to wiggle away and take us for granted.

        We need a clear set of demands.

      • Biden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount | TheHill

        A€ recount paid for by the Trump campaign of votes cast in Milwaukee County ended on Friday with 132 votes being added to President-elect Joe Biden’s margin of victory.€ 

      • When he leaves office, can ex-President Trump be trusted with America's national security secrets?

        Priess and other former intelligence officials say Joe Biden would be wise not to let that tradition continue in the case of Donald Trump.

        They argue soon-to-be-former President Trump already poses a danger because of the secrets he currently possesses, and they say it would be foolish to trust him with more sensitive information. With Trump's real estate empire under financial pressure and his brand suffering, they worry he will see American secrets as a profit center.

      • Twitter Has Flagged 200 of Trump’s Posts as ‘Disputed’ or Misleading Since Election Day. Does It Make a Difference?

        The question is: Are Twitter’s attempts to fact-check the conspiracy-mongering lame-duck president (who continues to reject the fact that he lost to Joe Biden) doing any good to curb the spread of misinformation?

      • Undermining Democracy

        American democracy’s vulnerability to disinformation has been very much in the news since the Russian disinformation campaign in 2016. The fear is that outsiders, whether they be foreign or domestic actors, will undermine our system by swaying popular opinion and election results.

        This is half right. American democracy is an information system, in which the information isn’t bits and bytes but citizens’ beliefs. When peoples’ faith in the democratic system is undermined, democracy stops working. But as information security specialists know, outsider attacks are hard. Russian trolls, who don’t really understand how American politics works, have actually had a difficult time subverting it.

        When you really need to worry is when insiders go bad. And that is precisely what is happening in the wake of the 2020 presidential election. In traditional information systems, the insiders are the people who have both detailed knowledge and high level access, allowing them to bypass security measures and more effectively subvert systems. In democracy, the insiders aren’t just the officials who manage voting but also the politicians who shape what people believe about politics. For four years, Donald Trump has been trying to dismantle our shared beliefs about democracy. And now, his fellow Republicans are helping him.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Sudan tightens cybercrime law as army pursues “fake news”

        Dura Qambo was on vacation in Egypt in July when a friend called to warn her to stop criticizing the Sudanese army online, she told CPJ. Earlier that day, the army had announced on Facebook that it had appointed a Special Commissioner in May to sue anyone who insults or defames the military on the [Internet].

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Controlled interaction Journalists ask Kremlin spokesman to explain why Putin isn’t social distancing during the pandemic

        During a press conference on Friday, November 27, journalists asked Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov why, in the midst of a global pandemic and spike in coronavirus cases across Russia, footage has aired of President Vladimir Putin walking around without a mask and even shaking hands with people. Here’s what Putin’s press secretary had to say.

      • What’s in store for technology and press rights in 2021?

        For starters, as Josh Gerstein recently reported for Politico, a Biden Justice Department will need to decide whether to go forward with a number of controversial prosecutions that implicate First Amendment rights. Top of mind for many in the media will be the ongoing effort to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Obama administration had previously concluded that charging Assange with espionage for his role in publishing leaked government documents would chill reporting (and violate the Constitution). The Trump administration, though, has charged ahead, and a decision in the extradition proceeding is expected in early January. Similarly, the new administration will confront the question whether to pursue a number of charges arising out of the summer’s protests against systemic racism and police brutality.

      • Police raid on Mezopotamya Agency bureau in Van

        As reported by MA, several police officers from the Counterterrorism Bureau raided the MA Van Bureau by the warrant of the Van 1st Penal Judgeship of Peace which was issued upon the request of the Erzurum Chief Public Prosecutor's Office. The police came to the bureau with Dindar KarataÅŸ, the detained journalist, and searched the bureau.

        The officers seized the laptop used by KarataÅŸ and the letters from prison as well as 3 hard disks and a laptop of the MA. Following the search, police officers took down a report documenting the materials seized. Then, they left the bureau by handcuffing journalist KarataÅŸ behind his back.

      • Journalist Hacı BoÄŸatekin acquitted

        Having his final hearing at the Adıyaman 2nd Heavy Penal Court, Hacı Boğatekin, the Editor-in-Chief of Gerger Fırat local newspaper, has been acquitted of "terror propaganda" and "praising the crime and criminal."

        Boğatekin was facing this charge over his Facebook posts where he called on the state to come to terms with Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

      • Philippine soldiers shoot and kill journalist Ronnie Villamor at checkpoint

        In the afternoon of November 14, Philippine Army soldiers shot and killed Villamor, a contributor to the local independent Dos Kantos Balita weekly tabloid, outside a military checkpoint in Milagros, a town in Masbate province in the central Philippines, while he was on his way to cover a disputed land survey, according to press reports.

        The troops, led by Second Lieutenant Maydim Jomadil, were investigating reports of armed men in the area, according to local broadcaster ABS-CBN. Major Aldrin Rosales, the local police chief, alleged that the troops ordered Villamor to stop his motorcycle, and opened fire when the journalist drew a firearm, according to that report.

      • Thug culture, not a warrior culture, to blame

        The warrior ideal instills a code of conduct that encapsulates duty, honour, loyalty and bravery.

        When I hear ‘warrior’ I think of the brave Indigenous warriors who fought to protect their land against the brutal British invasion; I think of the Samurai ethos of Bushido that is composed of eight virtues: justice, courage, mercy and compassion, respect, honesty, honour and personal dignity.

        Whistleblowers are the true warriors who exemplify the Australian spirit of fairness and talking truth to power. The 10-year flaying of Julian Assange’s rights and repute to deter whistleblowers and freedom of speech doesn’t seem to have worked, given that moral truth-tellers continue to step forward … proving time and time again that integrity and courage are stronger than cover-ups and intimidation.

        Julian Assange, David McBride, Witness K and Bernard Collaery are warriors whose freedom is our responsibility.

      • Julian Assange's partner appeals to Trump to pardon him

        Moris said he has been confined exclusively to his cell for over a week because of a coronavirus outbreak on his prison block.

        Assange attended four weeks of an extradition hearing at London’s Central Criminal Court in September and October. The judge overseeing the case said she would deliver her decision on Jan.4.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Progressive Coalition Stages Worldwide Black Friday Protests to 'Make Amazon Pay'

        The corporation is trying to pacify workers with holiday bonuses of $150 to $300, even though "Jeff Bezos could pay a $105,000 bonus to every Amazon worker and still be as rich as he was at the start of the pandemic."

      • Roaming Charges: Dumb All Over, Again

        + Gorsuch goes on to deprecate the€ “implied right to ‘bodily integrity,’ … that some [judges] have found hiding in the Constitution’s penumbras.” This is an explicit right that has been repeatedly recognized by the Supreme Court itself in Roe, Griswold and Casey. Though with this court, those cases and that right seem destined to be overturned.

        + So we have the same “originalists” who used to argue that the “Constitution isn’t a suicide pact” to justify torture, rendition and extrajudicial killings have now ruled that the Constitution is a murder-suicide pact when it comes to religious services during a killer pandemic.

      • The Rise of Black Power in Britain

        McQueen calls his anthology Small Axe, inspired by a not very well-known Bob Marley song that includes this lyric:

        From the opening minutes of “Mangrove”, you are immersed in Caribbean culture with a stirring soundtrack featuring not only Marley but other great reggae musicians like Toots and the Maytals. In the film’s opening moments, we see a grinning Frank Crichlow (Shaun Parkes) rising up victoriously from a poker game with cash in hand. He strides down the main street in Notting Hill with the strains of Marley’s “Try Me” following his footsteps. The net effect is to identify a time, a place and a character in the same way of John Travolta’s character in “Saturday Night Fever” backed up by the strains of “Stayin’ Alive.”

      • Will Biden Ensure My Family is Reunited?

        In April 2020, just as I was putting together the final stages of an arduous sponsorship application for my parents to obtain legal residency, President Trump signed an executive order upending our lives. Under cover of the COVID-19 pandemic, he enacted a 60-day suspension of most immigrant visas including those that enable citizens to sponsor their non-citizen parents. Two months later, Trump added more visa categories to the ban and extended it until the end of the year.

        Although the authority to change immigration laws lies with Congress, Trump managed to push through many aspects of an anti-immigrant wish list he has been touting for years. Americans like me suddenly have no access to the same rule that first lady Melania Trump used to sponsor her parents from Slovenia.

      • Toronto police officer says she faced years of sexist, racist retribution for reporting colleague

        A Toronto police officer alleges she was subjected to years of intimidation and reprisals by fellow officers and supervisors after she intervened to stop what she said was the unjustified use of force during the arrest of a Black suspect.

        In her complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Iranian-Canadian officer said she was punched by her partner at the time when she tried to step in during the March 2011 arrest. After reporting him, she said, she was passed over for promotions and left vulnerable to prolonged racist and sexist attacks from colleagues who called her a "rat."

      • My New Part Time Job

        Starting December 1st, I am one of the three members of the board that authorizes warrants for the Dutch intelligence and security services. This board is called “Toetsingscommissie Inzet Bevoegdheden” or TIB.

        If either of the civil or the military intelligence and security services of The Netherlands want to use their lawful intercept, SIGINT or hacking (& some other) legal powers, they have to first convince their own jurists, then their ministry and finally the TIB. The TIB then studies if the warrant is legal, and that decision is binding.

      • Swedish Foreign Minister Calls Iranian Counterpart Over Death Sentence Against Doctor

        She said she had spoken with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif after reports Iran may be planning to enforce the death penalty sentence against Djalali, a Swedish citizen.

        Swedish radio quoted Djalali's wife as saying earlier on November 24 he had called her to tell her he believed he may soon be executed.

      • Teenaged Arzoo's marriage with Muslim man is lawful, lawyer tells court

        A Karachi court was told on Friday that the marriage between underage Christian girl Arzoo Raza, who has reportedly converted to Islam, with her Muslim husband was permissible under the federal laws and the Shariah.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day Seven: Beware Bill C-10’s Unintended Consequences

        There is no Canadian-content production crisis at the moment, but Mr. Guilbeault’s new bill may well create one.

      • Goodbye DNS, Goodbye PowerDNS!

        A few years ago, I became somewhat upset with DNS. This is not the main reason for quitting the profession, but now that I have your attention for one final time I do want to take one last stand on two important issues.

        In 2018 I did a talk over at the IETF on the ever increasing size of the combined set of DNS specifications – I had looked through the upcoming work from the various standards groups. I plotted the amount of text involved, and also extended this to the historical beginnings of DNS. And it turned out that DNS was growing at one page every two days – without getting any better. I titled this talk “The DNS Camel”, and I wondered if just one more standard might break the back of the protocol.

    • Monopolies

      • Switzerland’s Responsible Business Initiative & Google

        This weekend, the Swiss have another round of referendums, including the Responsible Business Initiative. The initiative aims to codify in Swiss law the obligation of due diligence from the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Fifty significant NGOs and all major Swiss political parties have endorsed the referendum and it seems likely that it will be passed. Nonetheless, it still provides an interesting opportunity to reflect on the way the campaign has been operated and especially the exploitation of children around the world.

        Publicity for the initiative has focused on Glencore, the largest company domiciled in Switzerland. A leaflet dropped in Swiss letterboxes claims that Glencore uses children at the Porco mine in Bolivia. Glencore has denied it and announced legal action.


        One of the world's largest tobacco companies, Philip Morris, is headquartered in Switzerland. Their products frequently find their way into the hands of children. A case is currently underway in the federal court in Chicago claiming that Juul and Philip Morris deliberately marketed vaping products to children.

        Google's Android phones remain incredibly popular in Switzerland, many Swiss children use Facebook and many Swiss parents donate to the church. It is not hard to understand why Glencore executives feel they have been unfairly singled out in the campaign for this referendum.

      • Patents

        • Guest book review: Patent Management

          We have before us "Patent Management – Protecting Intellectual Property and Innovation", the first English edition of the "Patentmanagement", published in German in four editions, including frequent updates.

          Legal advisors often find that there seems to be a language barrier with managers of various organizations (their clients), when decisions must be made regarding the registration of patents and other intellectual property rights (IPR), or when legal action must be taken for infringements. Even more so when the fillings or procedures are cross-border and the costs increase. Although globally active organizations have already assimilated the strategic use of intellectual property, there is still a lack of understanding of the who, why, what, how, and when of protection within the framework of the company's competitive strategy. Facilitating this understanding and decision making seems to be the goal of Patent Management. How to make reasoned decisions that justify the associated financial flows? Only an explicit and assumed strategy can justify the financial consequences of IPR decisions.

          The authors are well-known practitioners with strong academic links. Prof. Dr. Martin A. Bader (Technical University of Applied Sciences Ingolstadt/Munich, Germany; WIPO Mediator, iam strategy 300 and former CIPO of Infineon Technologies), Prof. Dr. Oliver Gassmann (University of St.Gallen, Switzerland’s major business school and former VP R&D and Innovation Schindler Group), and Dr. Mark James Thompson (PhD graduate from the famous Swiss ETH University and specialist in patent quality and IP data statistics at IP Australia). This dual role of intangible asset management and academia makes the book of special interest to those in charge of managing portfolios of IPR, especially patents. In fact, the book illustrates the theoretical structure on the management of intangible assets using numerous practical cases, more from a business perspective than from legal practice.

      • Copyrights

        • EU Commission Calls For Substantial Law Enforcement Boost to Fight Piracy

          The EU Commission is calling for the capacity of law enforcement agencies around Europe to be "substantially strengthened" to fight piracy and other IP crimes. Promising to reinforce cooperation between rightsholders, intermediaries, police and prosecutors, the Commission says that dealing with these threats must become a higher priority.

        • Torrentz2 Suffers Prolonged 'Downtime' and Returns a 503 Error

          The popular torrent meta-search engine Torrentz2 is suffering some technical problems, it seems. For more than a day the site has been returning a "503 Service Unavailable" error which indicates that the server is overloaded, possibly due to a DDoS attack.

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