Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 37,880
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 37,880
The Kremlin is considering radical plans to unplug Russia from the global internet in the event of a serious military confrontation or big anti-government protests at home, Russian officials hinted on Friday.
President Vladimir Putin will convene a meeting of his security council on Monday. It will discuss what steps Moscow might take to disconnect Russian citizens from the web "in an emergency", the Vedomosti newspaper reported. The goal would be to strengthen Russia's sovereignty in cyberspace. The proposals could also bring the domain .ru under state control, it suggested.
Russian TV and most of the country's newspapers are under the Kremlin's thumb. But unlike in China, the Russian internet has so far remained a comparatively open place for discussion, albeit one contested by state-sponsored bloggers and Putin fans.
The move comes at a time when Russia has been bitterly critical of the western media, which Moscow says has adopted a biased attitude towards events in Ukraine. Russian channels have portrayed the conflict in Ukraine as a heroic fight against "fascists" in Kiev. They have disputed western reports that Russian soldiers and heavy weapons are involved. A BBC team that went to investigate reports of Russian servicemen killed in Ukraine was beaten up this week.
According to Vedomosti, Russia plans to introduce the new measures early next year. The Kremlin has been wrestling for some time with how to reduce Russia's dependency on American technology and digital infrastructure, amid fears that its communications are vulnerable to US spying. It has mooted building a "national internet", which would in effect be a domestic intranet. These proposals go further, expanding the government's control over ordinary Russian internet users and their digital habits.
This is the part where I make my obligatory snide one-liner about Snowden, but since it's Friday I'll skip it...
Posted by Blue_Tires | Fri Sep 19, 2014, 05:18 PM (13 replies)
Attention, hipsters. Pabst Brewing Company — and its signature Pabst Blue Ribbon, the ironic, iconic favorite of the young and the cool — has sold to a Russian beverage firm after a century and a half of American ownership, an investing firm announced Thursday. Oasis Beverages, the largest independent brewer in Russia, bought Pabst, which also produces Colt .45, Old Milwaukee and Lone Star beers, according to a statement by the American investment firm TSG Consumer Partners, which will hold a minority stake.
Oasis Board Chairman Eugene Kashper said, “Pabst Blue Ribbon is the quintessential American brand — it represents individualism, egalitarianism and freedom of expression — all the things that make this country great." PBC's headquarters will remain in Los Angeles, according to the statement, but the terms of the sale were not disclosed. Pabst was established in 1844 in Milwaukee, according to the brewer's website. PBC was bought by investor Dean Metropoulos in 2010, and since then, he has managed the company with his two sons, Evan and Darren. "We are very supportive of the new ownership group and their exciting plans for the future," Metropoulos said.
Posted by Blue_Tires | Fri Sep 19, 2014, 03:21 PM (8 replies)
Posted by Blue_Tires | Mon Sep 15, 2014, 07:25 PM (9 replies)
UPDATE: I didn't anticipate there being so much meat on this bone...
But let's be real: If ANY other big-name journalist shilled this hard (appearing in person, no less) for a political candidate (who just happens to be a friend of his) and intentionally sat on a story for over a YEAR until a time that it would have the biggest benefit for a friend, Greenwald (and all of DU) would lose his fucking mind...He'd write 10 columns in a week screeching about how that person was bought-and-paid for, and a disgrace to the profession for such flagrant sucking up to power...This stunt Greenwald pulled was a new low in dirty-trick cowardly yellow journalism, and we all know it...
So, because I still don't have an answer, for the millionth time I must ask: Why is Glenn Greenwald allowed to get away with it? What gives him free reign to constantly disregard any semblance of conscious for journalistic professionalism, truthful reporting, writing standards, objectivity and compromising conflicts of interest? All this time why has he be able to simultaneously ridicule journalists who adhere to the 'old' rules AND mercilessly condemn them on the rare occasion that they break those rules??
(For the record, I did ask Greenwald these questions on Twitter, and he put me on mute)
The man is a living contradiction, and his enablers are only pushing him closer to the cliff's edge...After the unquestioned success of this test case in Auckland, don't delude yourselves by believing for a minute that he and Snowden aren't planning to torpedo the Dem nominee in '16 with an "October surprise", especially if Rand is the GOP challenger...You read it here first...
Posted by Blue_Tires | Mon Sep 15, 2014, 10:30 AM (107 replies)
Air France has said it will be forced to scrap more than half of its scheduled flights on Monday as a week-long pilots' strike begins over the French flag carrier’s plans to develop its low-cost subsidiary.
"We expect to be able to run 48 percent of our flights" with roughly 60 percent of pilots downing tools, Air France's director of operations Catherine Jude said on Sunday.
That forecast was slightly better than one given the day before by Chief Executive Frédéric Gagey, who said the airline would only be able to guarantee 40 percent of flights on Monday.
However, the transport situation could worsen on Tuesday and Wednesday as the pilots who worked on Monday would have to take their legally stipulated rest, unions warned.
The company said: "If the strike continues beyond September 15, the flight schedule will be modified as a result. The knock-on effects will be communicated to passengers the day before they are due to leave."
Pilots’ union SNLP has called for the week-long strike, which would be the longest at the company since 1998, over Air France’s plans to significantly expand its low-cost offerings to passengers through its Transavia budget airline.
Read more: http://www.france24.com/en/20140914-air-france-strike-half-flights-be-scrapped-monday/
Posted by Blue_Tires | Mon Sep 15, 2014, 04:33 AM (3 replies)
Trying to tip the polls a week before the election??
And exactly HOW much money did Kim Dotcom shell out to bring this circus to town? Once upon a time wasn't the purpose of this entire stunt supposed to only expose illegal domestic surveillance in the United States??
If GG is planning some "big reveal" during the town hall, you all do realize he has crossed into some really distasteful territory, right?? And since when is Snowden writing op-eds for The Intercept??
Yeah, yeah, I know, I know...I'm just a hater with a vendetta against Glenn Greenwald...We've been through this a thousand times before, so let's just skip it this time; because these are serious questions...
To be honest, I'm glad to see GG take such an interest in foreign affairs...Now he has no excuses whatsoever when I question his indifference about what's been going on in Brazil, Russia and China...
Posted by Blue_Tires | Mon Sep 15, 2014, 02:54 AM (12 replies)
Since the financial crisis of 2008, a defining question has been how to rein in Wall Street’s most reckless practices. In the face of the Dodd-Frank Act, a nascent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and some impressive legal settlements against banks involved in securities fraud and abusive loan servicing, Wall Street has not been shy about taking countermeasures.
After lobbying furiously against financial reform, the financial industry has worked to defang the new regulatory regimes where it can. For the most part, this response has aimed at rolling back reforms put in place following the 2008 financial crisis. But the backlash against regulation has not been limited to attacking new financial reforms.
Over the last several years, Wall Street has joined a coalition of groups in a litigation campaign to dismantle a crucial regulatory bulwark: federal civil rights protections against discriminatory lending. Pressing this litigation effort is a good investment for Wall Street. It provides a low-profile path to advance its deregulatory agenda. Under the guise of a technical debate over legal doctrine, this litigation campaign aims to radically roll back an indispensable legal constraint on reckless financial practices. In the process, it would tear down a vital pillar of civil rights law, making it much harder to mount legal challenges to discrimination throughout the housing and lending markets.
A Pillar of Civil Rights Law
Discrimination was one of the engines of the financial crisis. Unscrupulous lenders designed their entire business models to serve Wall Street’s bottomless appetite for loans to be packaged into securities. The most effective way to feed that appetite was to exploit long-standing patterns of discrimination and residential segregation, which had the effect of funneling African-American and Latino borrowers into hyper-risky loans that put borrowers on a path to foreclosure.
As a result, some of the most important legal actions against the banks have involved discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Many of those claims have relied on a long-standing pillar of civil rights law: The principle that the FHA prohibits housing practices that have a discriminatory effect – or, in the language of legal doctrine, a “disparate impact” – on the basis of race, sex, religion, disability or other protected characteristics. Disparate impact claims provide a way for judges to enforce anti-discrimination laws without forcing them to get inside the heads of decision-makers to determine whether discrimination was intentional.
Posted by Blue_Tires | Sun Sep 14, 2014, 08:11 PM (1 replies)
California’s largest school district just dealt a major blow to public transparency.
According to the Pasadena public radio station KPCC, the Los Angeles Unified school district (LAUSD) has voted to destroy all internal staff emails after one year. The reason for doing so, according to the board’s new policy, is that, “Because the District relies on public funds, it is imperative for the District to minimize its costs and, therefore, dispose of information and Records in a timely manner.”
That sounds reasonable on the surface, but consider the timing of the announcement: Less than three weeks ago, KPCC published emails revealing that LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy had met with representatives from Apple and the textbook company Pearson to discuss the purchase of iPads and educational software. These meetings occurred a year before public bidding opened up on the contract to supply technological resources to LA schools. Although Deasy claims the discussions were unrelated to the impending contract bid, Apple and Pearson went on to win the deal which is worth a record $500 million.
Following the release of the emails, Deasy cancelled the contract and vowed to reopen the bidding process.
The emails were made public by way of a California Public Records Act request, but thanks to the new policy the school district will no longer be required to – or, it seems, able to – produce internal emails like these because they are over a year old. Had the rule been in place a few weeks ago, KPCC could have been blocked from retrieving the emails and the Apple-Pearson deal would have likely stood unquestioned.
I'd said back when the deal was announced that it was just a big con...Here are some previous threads:
Posted by Blue_Tires | Sun Sep 14, 2014, 03:04 AM (2 replies)
In a never-before-released thesis, Reagan’s FEMA director discussed the potential internment of millions of blacks in concentration camps.
“Giuffrida's views really aren’t that offensive, despite what some of the articles on the web have said,” says the US Army War College spokeswoman, an officer of lieutenant colonel rank, unsolicited, over the phone.
I had asked for a copy of former FEMA director Louis Giuffrida’s 1970 thesis, “National Survival—Racial Imperative.” My request for the paper via Interlibrary Loan had been denied. I had called every number I could find to figure out why.
“ is actually against racial prejudice,” the spokeswoman continued. “It just is trying to figure out, that when the system breaks down, like Ferguson, what the Army’s response should be.”
I hadn’t mentioned Ferguson.
After filing a FOIA request, I finally got my hands on the thesis. Giuffrida’s paper, written at the US Army War College, is a pseudophilosophical, historical analysis of the origins of racial prejudice that then offers a proposal: the establishment of concentration camps to imprison potentially millions of black Americans in the event of a revolutionary uprising in the United States.
The thesis, which has never been published or excerpted, speaks for itself:
In the past decade, the United States has had an epidemic of confrontations in which outbreaks of bitter racial violence have brought death and destruction and widened the gap between Negro and white. Inevitably, the rising tensions and mutual distrust have led to more violence and disruption.
For purposes of discussion let us assume that racial relations have degenerated to the point where armed militants embark on a massive violent attempt to immobilize the normal routine of a large city. The militants have occupied the city hall, taken over the mayor’s office, and are shooting at police attempting to oust them. An extremely militant Black Nationalist group has seized the main radio stations and has been calling on all sympathizers to arm themselves and “join the people’s revolution.”
As soon as the violence starts, there are similar, though not necessarily preplanned, outbreaks of violence in other cities across the entire nation. The level of violence has quickly exceeded the control capacity of the various state and local agencies. Federal troops have been requested and are already committed. Fierce fighting is taking place in several major cities and intelligence reports indicate the disorder is likely to spread still further. Large numbers of United States troops are still committed overseas and cannot be readily recalled to the United States. To further complicate the problem, white vigilante groups have surfaced and are taking independent counteractions against blacks — without too much attempt to discriminate between militant and nonmilitant…
Faced by mounting death and destruction, as well as increasing demands that he do so, the President reluctantly declares a state of national emergency and puts the entire country on a war basis. The previously murmured suggestion that all Negroes be locked up now swells to a roar. It is like 1941 again, except that now it is the “Black Peril” rather than the “Yellow Peril.”
In the extremely unlikely event that the government were to order the evacuation and detention of all blacks from actual or potential trouble spots, how and by whom would the order be enforced? What are the yardsticks for collecting, evacuating, and interning either militant or pacifistic minority groups; or dissident, potentially disloyal elements; or law-abiding citizens whose only offense is accident of color? Where would the internees be kept? … What would be done with the blacks in the Armed Forces and in civil service and in Congress? The task would be far too large for the Justice Department; it would have to be greatly augmented by military forces, primarily from the United States Army.
The government has historically had the right to protect itself. A government faced with prolonged, simultaneous, apparently coordinated riots disrupting the entire nation to the point where the government feared its very existence was in jeopardy would take many actions which in calmer times would never be considered. “The authority to decide whether the exigency has arisen, belongs exclusively to the President and … his decision is conclusive upon all other persons.” (Martin v. Mott, US Supreme Court 1827).
Not a lot in this, really...More of a hypothetical academic exercise than anything else...But it is an eye-opening read...
Posted by Blue_Tires | Sun Sep 14, 2014, 03:00 AM (0 replies)
Black women in America just can't seem to catch a break these days.
Between Michelle Obama being called transphobic slurs for her stature and physique to Janay Rice getting shamed and lampooned by Fox News anchors after being assaulted by her NFL player husband, black women are routine targets for disrespectful jokes and offbeat questions about their everyday lives. These kinds of comments are deeply rooted in negative media stereotypes that have little-to-no connection with reality — and it's about time we put an end to all of the ignorance.
For years now, black women have openly challenged the racism and misogyny, but to no avail. In 2011, blogger Franchesca "Chescaleigh" Ramsey struck a nerve when she created the video "Shit white girls say...to black girls," a spin-off of the popular "shit people say" meme at the time. Black women everywhere applauded Chescaleigh for hilariously demonstrating to the rest of the world just how offensive and cringeworthy some of the remarks are, but the attitudes she so masterfully critiqued still persist.
Source: Chescaleigh via YouTube
Rather than taking that moment as a challenge to self-educate about the experiences of women of color — perspectives widely available on the Internet and in numerous books — many have instead rested comfortably in their privilege of not having to encounter the difficult challenges endured every day by black women.
It's not that talking to black women should be hard work, but people need to make a sincere effort to undo several years of unchecked, subtle racism and sexist microaggressions. And in the interest of elevating the conversation beyond the ridiculous tropes, here are a few of the most common statements that everyone should strongly consider avoiding while speaking with a black woman.
1. "You're so pretty for a black girl."
Just three years ago, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics claimed that black women were naturally unattractive in blog post at Psychology Today.
Despite the obvious pseudoscience related to "testosterone levels" and fat-shaming black women for having curvier figures than average, the author isn't alone in this line of unfortunate reasoning. In fact, this attitude still pervades many aspects of society, especially regarding dark-skinned black women.
This supremely backhanded compliment first and foremost suggests that all black women are ugly. Not to mention the condescending notion that the woman you're speaking with is a rare exception to a rule that only exists in the first place due to prejudice.
Next time, just drop the qualifier and offer a genuine affirmation of a black woman's beauty, without the racist tropes.
2. "I want hair like yours."
Source: AShotOfJenn via YouTube
No, you don't. To have black hair means being subject to highest degree of scrutiny — from assessments about your professionalism to comments from other black folks about your so-called lack of self-respect. More often than not, people who aren't black have the privilege of not having to agonize over the message you're sending to the world or to your own community every day by choosing to wear your hair a certain way.
Take for example Louisiana weather woman Rhonda Lee, who was fired in November 2012 after responding to negative comments about her natural hair on KTBS 3 News's Facebook page. When she was unable to find a job afterward, according to News One, her friends tried to help, but came up empty-handed.
Source: belovedque via YouTube
"Co-workers have had an intervention of sorts with me when I first started trying to get weather jobs. They took me to lunch and told me, 'You're going to have to grow your hair out,'" Lee said of the tedious search process. It took until July 2014 for Lee to land a new job with WeatherNation in Colorado, with her hair intact.
You might be trying to share your respect and admiration for black hair being cool, different and versatile, but there's a heavy burden associated with what adorns a black woman's head — one that you'll never quite understand.
3. "You don't look completely black. What exactly are you?"
More often than not, this question stems from a few things: genuine curiosity, implicit bias and one terrible attempt at complimenting or exoticizing a black woman. Sadly, these questions point to an unfortunate trend of colorism in American society, where minorities are more "acceptable" if they're closer to looking like a white person.
A recent study revealed that "educated" black people are perceived as having lighter skin, whereas "ignorant" and "athletic" black folks are thought to have darker skin — regardless of what their true skin tone was. Colorism also works as a divisive force within communities of color, as some racial minorities express similar attitudes and preferences.
Instead of telling a black woman that she's beautiful or intelligent, people of all races, including some black men, perpetuate the unfortunate assumption that these characteristics can only be achieved if one's recent ancestors mated with whites or anyone who wasn't black. Black women, too, are endowed with socially acceptable and desirable traits, regardless of their skin tone or their family lineage.
4. "Can you teach me how to dance?"
Source: Miley Cyrus Vevo via YouTube
Some people take classes, others practice in the mirror or watch YouTube tutorials. That goes for people of all races.
But the belief that black people are naturally better dancers than others — especially white people — is so strong that research has been done to determine its validity. So far, researchers have determined that rhythmic ability and the importance of music and dance is cultural, as opposed to innate or hereditary.
This question mistakenly assumes that you know someone's background or cultural upbringing, even their interests and talents, based entirely on their skin tone. Many black folks grew up in an environment where dancing was celebrated and encouraged. For others, that's just not the case.
Posted by Blue_Tires | Sun Sep 14, 2014, 02:32 AM (5 replies)