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ancianita

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Member since: Sat Mar 5, 2011, 11:32 AM
Number of posts: 6,013

Journal Archives

Andrew Sullivan: The White House Mole

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/02/andrew-sullivan-the-white-house-mole.html?mid=facebook_nymag

There's a clarity here that's helpful to everyone.

Andrew Sullivan -- a fine writer and fine human -- has lately presented one perspective on Trump, Trump supporters and -- in the context of the power contests -- the mentality of that world that opponents in media and around here call chaotic and mentally unstable. This article is particularly worth a read because of the compassion that all of us can feel toward those dealing with global dynamics of energy, politics, law and the controlling of masses of humans.

I like Sullivan's look at how religious world views posed in HBO's The Young Pope -- I'm one atheist who totally 'gets' that show -- also inform us about the depth of believers' instinct to stay loyal to this president until the furor (in contrast to seeing just fuhrer) of his constructing of his administration becomes clearer.




Cyberwar, Inc. -- Private Hacker Firms Turn Email Hacking Into Weapons For Hire

From last week's NYT Magazine -- an important read:

The White House, C.I.A. and F.B.I. have all claimed that, based on classified evidence, they can trace the hacks of Podesta’s email account (and other hacks of people close to the Clinton campaign) back to the Russian government. But with the rise of private firms like Hacking Team, penetrating the email accounts of political opponents does not require the kind of money and expertise available to major powers
.

A subscription-based website called Insider Surveillance lists more than a dozen companies selling so-called ethical malware, including Milan-based Hacking Team and the German firms FinFisher and Trovicor. Compared with conventional arms, surveillance software is subject to few trade controls; a recent attempt by the United States to regulate it under a 41-country pact called the Wassenaar Arrangement failed. “The technology is morally neutral,” says Joel Brenner, a former inspector general of the National Security Agency. “The same program that you use to monitor your babysitter might be used by Bashar Assad or Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to keep track of whomever they don’t like.”


Hacking Team has fewer than 50 employees, but it has customers all over the world. According to internal documents, its espionage tool, which is called the Remote Control System, or R.C.S., can be licensed for as little as $200,000 a year — well within the budget of a provincial strongman. After it has been surreptitiously installed on a target’s computer or phone, the Remote Control System can invisibly eavesdrop on everything: text messages, emails, phone and Skype calls, location data and so on. Whereas the N.S.A.’s best-known programs grab data in transit from switching rooms and undersea cables, the R.C.S. acquires it at the source, right off a target’s device, before it can be encrypted. It carries out an invisible, digitized equivalent of a Watergate-style break-in.


The United States government is almost certainly the world’s most formidable repository of hacking talent, but its most powerful cyberweapons are generally reserved for intelligence agencies and the military. This might explain why, according to company documents, at least two federal law-enforcement agencies have been Hacking Team clients: the F.B.I., beginning in 2011, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, beginning in 2012. The F.B.I. contract paid Hacking Team more than $700,000; the D.E.A. appears to have used the software to go after targets in Colombia.


Our innovation comes back to bite us. No more labeling people paranoid CT's around here, because this shit's been going on for at least ten years. My oldest son sells firewalls for Palo Alto Networks to combat this crap.

As well, the EFF (Electronic Freedom Foundation) tries to globally promote and nationally enforce the founding hacker ethics historically chronicled in Fred Turner's must-read book, From Counterculture to Cyberculture.

Again. As others on DU have asked:

If the GOP went to SCOTUS over hanging chads 16 years ago, why hasn't the Democratic Party gone to SCOTUS over classified intel to invalidate the 2016 election?!

This election, compromised by a foreign government, is at least as great a constitutional crisis as hanging chads ever were.
Ever.

As capitalism's last-gasp efforts cause chaos, disinformation and geopolitical drama, corporate and state cyberwar will continue to be a big fucking deal. Obama reminds us: stay vigilant, not afraid.


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/04/magazine/cyberwar-for-sale.html

World Champion Chicago Cubs Honored By President Obama

The last official White House event was so classy, sassy, and fun!

The best of America: Martin Luther King, baseball, Chicago, the Obama family and that

Yes-We-Can hope!!

D.L. Hughley Smashes Trump For Daring To Pander To Black Celebrity

This is Hughley's response to Steve Harvey's earlier meeting with Trump, as we read it in The Chicagoist.

http://chicagoist.com/2017/01/13/trump_asks_steve_harvey_to_help_chi.php

I'm totally with Hughley on this. My take is that Trump's attractive wealth or appeals to manhood should never excuse his use of racism before all of America. Racism is why the vast inequalities of manhood and wealth exist to begin with.

I'd ask conservative Steve Harvey: "Just what are you conservatives conserving, again? Life? Liberty? Happiness? For whom? Are you sure this isn't a 'Lucy and the football" moment?





Four Futures -- Life After Capitalism by Peter Frase

This 156-page mapping of four possible futures for the world and America, this is a discussion of four ways the post-capitalist world might look.

Published by Jacobin's editor (available on Amazon), it's a short, dense book that looks at futures run by
equality and abundance (communism),
hierarchy and abundance (rentism),
equality and scarcity (socialism) and
hierarchy and scarcity (exterminism).

So far, our global leaders are colluding with forces of capitalism that will start, if not end, in a frame of exterminism.

It's not an easily accessible read for the everyone, but it's well written. It informs us of paths for decision making, and it is worth the effort.

Ava DuVernay's "13th"-- American History

Ava DuVernay's "13th" is American history. It's my white life's witness in the South 50 years ago. Which was nothing if not hurtful, and privileged because I got to study Black culture on a one-year college scholarship.

I was poor, lived in a two-room house poor, witnessed WWII alcoholic vets' violence, but by the time I was in high school, knew I hadn't lived anything like the black victims whose lives I witnessed. And so I knew the rest of white America had no clue. I left. Since then, I might not have done enough, but I've tried.

And I will tell you that Jeff Sessions doesn't give a fuck about black people. No fucks.



Chris Hedges on The Myth of Human Progress -- "The honest eye of Starbuck fell downright..."

This speech is four years old, but, given the new state of America's governance, it's more relevant than ever and needs to be re-seen regularly.

As DU'ers look to politics, Chris Hedges' review of complex societies' collapses reveals what is going on.

Can we face this? Ourselves? Can we think and act in ways to stop digging this hole we're in?

"...This understanding comes at a high cost...Dying civilizations make war on independent intellectual inquiry, art, and culture, and on their 'burnt' children.

The masters of the corporate state do not want us to peer into the pit, or heed the cries of those who've seen what awaits us. The corporate state, rather, feeds the thirst for illusion, happiness and hope...

...the argument of globalizatin is that our voyage is unalterable, decreed by Natural Law...Those who challenge this myth are heretics...

...catastrophic climate change is virtually certain...To emotionally accept impending disaster, to attain the gut level understanding that the power elite will not respond rationally to collapse, is as difficult to accept as our own mortality.

The most daunting existential struggle of our time is to ingest this awful truth, intellectually and emotionally and yet rise up to resist the corporate forces that are destroying us...the game is up...the technical and scientific forces that created a life of unparalleled luxury, as well as unrivaled military and economic power for a small global elite, are the forces that now doom us...the capitalist expansion ... is now a curse... we lack the vision and the courage to shut down the engines of global capitalism...when we go down, the planet will go with us..."





Transcript:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/chris_hedges_jan_27_column_transcript_collapse_of_complex_societies_2014012

Recommended reading:

Ronald Wright -- A Short History of Progress(2006)

Peter Frase -- Four Futures - Life After Capitalism (2016)

Paul Mason -- Postcapitalism (2015)



Trump is not who he says he is, but who his people say he is. Are they united? No.

Yes. I want to post google images of Trump as an hitlerian dictator in kingly robes. But I'm a Democrat.

If we're so smart, we need to pay attention. Not to Trump, but to the next four years of every. fucking. body. else. That's what democracy is. That's what a Democrat fucking does.

'Trump,” he wrote, “alone among candidates for high office in this or in the last seven (at least) cycles, has stood up to say: I want to live. I want my party to live. I want my country to live.

By holding the line on unauthorized immigration and rethinking free trade, Decius argued, Trump could help foster “solidarity among the working, lower-middle, and middle classes of all races and ethnicities.”

Decius identified himself as a conservative, but he saved much of his criticism for “house-broken conservatives,” who warned of the perils of progressivism while doing nothing in particular to stop it.
Electing Trump was a way to take a stand against both ambitious liberalism and insufficiently ambitious conservatism.


http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/09/intellectuals-for-trump

Does this define our game plan? Hell, no! But it does inform it.



DU must work toward clarity and a better future.

Key & Peele: Obama and Luther's Farewell Address

Stay strong. And have an occasional laugh.

The Christians and the Pagans -- Dar Williams

A tribute to what we have in common.

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