Thursday, February 11, 2016

why the truly great adolph reed jr. gets no love at all while tanussy is the belle of the ball...,

educationright |  This also helps to make sense of what has struck me as most incomprehensible about the reparations movement -- its complete disregard for the simplest, most mundanely pragmatic question about any political mobilization: How can we imagine building a political force that would enable us to prevail on this issue? As with earlier Pan-Africanist ideologues, internationalist rhetoric is in part a sleight-of-hand attempt to sidestep that question by abstracting to a larger black universe.

But the question ultimately does not arise because reparations talk is rooted in a different kind of politics, a politics of elite-brokerage and entreaty to the ruling class and its official conscience, the philanthropic foundations, for racial side- payments. Robinson makes this appeal unambiguously: "Until America's white ruling class accepts the fact that the book never closes on massive unredressed social wrongs, America can have no future as one people." Lest there be any doubt about the limited social vision that makes such an entreaty plausible, he brushes away the deepest foundations of American inequality: "Lamentably, there will always be poverty." His beef is that black Americans are statistically overrepresented at the bottom. It is significant as well that Jim Forman's 1969 demand was crafted at a conference funded and organized by liberal religious foundations. This is a protest politics that depends on the good will of those who hold power. By definition, it is not equipped to challenge existing relations of power and distribution other than marginally, with token gestures.

There's a more insidious dynamic at work in this politics as well, which helps to understand why the reparations idea suddenly has spread so widely through mainstream political discourse. We are in one of those rare moments in American history -- like the 1880s and 1890s and the Great Depression -- when common circumstances of economic and social insecurity have strengthened the potential for building broad solidarity across race, gender and other identities around shared concerns of daily life, concerns that only the minority of comfortable and well-off can dismiss in favor of monuments and apologies and a politics of psychobabble. Concerns like access to quality health care, the right to a decent and dignified livelihood, affordable housing, quality education for all. These are objectives that can be pursued effectively only by struggling to unite a wide section of the American population who experience those concerns most acutely, the substantial majority of this population who have lost those essential social benefits or live in fear of losing them. And isn't it interesting that at such a moment the corporate-dominated opinion-shaping media discover and project a demand for racially defined reparations that cuts precisely against building such solidarity? And isn't it also interesting that Randall Robinson, mainstream poster boy for reparations advocacy, is a member of the Rockefeller family's Council on Foreign Relations?

I know that many activists who have taken up the cause of reparations otherwise hold and enact a politics quite at odds with the limitations that I've described here. To some extent, I suspect their involvement stems from an old reflex of attempting to locate a progressive kernel in the nationalist sensibility. It certainly is an expression of a generally admirable commitment to go where people seem to be moving. But we must ask: What people? And where can this motion go? And we must be prepared to recognize what can be only a political dead end -- or worse.

ta-nussy not exactly feeling the bern, but he'll mail in his vote from the arrondissement jes the same....,

democracynow |  AMY GOODMAN: That was Bernie Sanders speaking at the Black and Brown Forum in Iowa in January. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also said at the forum she didn’t support reparations for slavery.

Following the forum, Ta-Nehisi Coates challenged Sanders’ position in an article for The Atlantic entitled "Why Precisely Is Bernie Sanders Against Reparations?" In the piece, he wrote, quote, "Unfortunately, Sanders’s radicalism has failed in the ancient fight against white supremacy. ... This is the 'class first' approach, originating in the myth that racism and socialism are necessarily incompatible," end-quote.

The piece has sparked both praise and controversy from across the political spectrum. In one response, University of Illinois professor Cedric Johnson wrote in a piece for Jacobin magazine, quote, "Coates’s latest attack on Sanders, and willingness to join the chorus of red-baiters, has convinced me that his particular brand of antiracism does more political harm than good, further mystifying the actual forces at play and the real battle lines that divide our world," end-quote.

This comes as both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ campaigns shift attention away from New Hampshire toward South Carolina, where black voters could decide the primary.

Well, to discuss the 2016 presidential campaign and the case for reparations, we are joined by Ta-Nehisi Coates, the national correspondent for The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics and social issues. He’s the author of Between the World and Me, which is a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. He won the 2014 George Polk Award for his Atlantic cover story, "The Case for Reparations."

It’s great to have you back, Ta-Nehisi.

TA-NEHISI COATES: Thanks for having me back, Amy.

Granny Goodness personifies racism, militarism, and greed...,

democracynow |  AMY GOODMAN: Ben Jealous is also with us. He’s from North—he’s in North Carolina right now, and he was just recently in New Hampshire. Ben, you came out last week and endorsed Bernie Sanders. Why?

BENJAMIN JEALOUS: You know, look, I looked at his record. And for the same reasons that I supported Jesse Jackson in 1988—which Bernie did, too—when I was 15 years old, I signed up for Bernie this time, which is that on the issues that Dr. Martin Luther King referred to as the "giant triplets of evil"—racism, militarism and greed—Bernie is the clearest and the most consistent.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Ben, what about this—the whole issue—obviously, there’s been a lot of attention drawn to the fact that Bernie Sanders so far has very little support in the African-American and Latino community in most of the polls, and very few major African-American leaders or Latino leaders have come out to support him. Keith Ellison of Minnesota has, and Raúl Grijalva of Arizona. But your decision to support him, and why—what you think the impact will be in terms of the African-American and Latino community as we get into the states that have many more African-American and Latino voters?

BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Well, look, we’ve already begun to see people switch down in South Carolina. Justin Bamberg, a state rep, switched from Hillary to Bernie. We will see many more. I was meeting with folks last weekend. People are very excited. And what’s happening is people are starting to tune in. And the reality is, because of their long history of connection to the black community, especially in the South, with Bill Clinton being the former governor of Arkansas, you know, they have built up a lot of loyalty and a lot of friends. But black voters, we take our votes extremely seriously. They come—you know, we earned them. If it wasn’t us personally, it was our parents or grandparents. And what you’ll see is that now that he’s seen as a top-tier contender, we’ll find that candidate Clinton has hit her high watermark. She will begin to lose support. How fast and how much remains to be seen.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

what kind of fool even considers voting for Granny Goodness?

thenation | Hillary Clinton loves black people. And black people love Hillary—or so it seems. Black politicians have lined up in droves to endorse her, eager to prove their loyalty to the Clintons in the hopes that their faithfulness will be remembered and rewarded. Black pastors are opening their church doors, and the Clintons are making themselves comfortably at home once again, engaging effortlessly in all the usual rituals associated with “courting the black vote,” a pursuit that typically begins and ends with Democratic politicians making black people feel liked and taken seriously. Doing something concrete to improve the conditions under which most black people live is generally not required.

Hillary is looking to gain momentum on the campaign trail as the primaries move out of Iowa and New Hampshire and into states like South Carolina, where large pockets of black voters can be found. According to some polls, she leads Bernie Sanders by as much as 60 percent among African Americans. It seems that we—black people—are her winning card, one that Hillary is eager to play.

And it seems we’re eager to get played. Again.

The love affair between black folks and the Clintons has been going on for a long time. It began back in 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president. He threw on some shades and played the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show. It seems silly in retrospect, but many of us fell for that. At a time when a popular slogan was “It’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand,” Bill Clinton seemed to get us. When Toni Morrison dubbed him our first black president, we nodded our heads. We had our boy in the White House. Or at least we thought we did.

Black voters have been remarkably loyal to the Clintons for more than 25 years. It’s true that we eventually lined up behind Barack Obama in 2008, but it’s a measure of the Clinton allure that Hillary led Obama among black voters until he started winning caucuses and primaries. Now Hillary is running again. This time she’s facing a democratic socialist who promises a political revolution that will bring universal healthcare, a living wage, an end to rampant Wall Street greed, and the dismantling of the vast prison state—many of the same goals that Martin Luther King Jr. championed at the end of his life. Even so, black folks are sticking with the Clinton brand.

What have the Clintons done to earn such devotion? Did they take extreme political risks to defend the rights of African Americans? Did they courageously stand up to right-wing demagoguery about black communities? Did they help usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization, globalization, and the disappearance of work?

No. Quite the opposite.

new hampshire turned out against the political grown-ups...,

dissentmagazine |  Of course candidates have to deny that they listen to Wall Street, and flatter voters into thinking ordinary people’s opinions about high finance and economic fairness really matter. But of course most candidates also suppose that ordinary people don’t understand banking, that bankers do, and that part of their job as governing elites is to listen to the bankers. Which, of course, the bankers appreciate—appreciation that they express in the language of the super-rich gift economy: “We’re all responsible elites here; take some of my money.” Bernie Sanders’s bad manners and alleged demagoguery lie in his taking the part about flattering voters too seriously, and not accepting the delicate hypocrisy of grown-up politics.

This revealing little dispute is a microcosm of the impatience that a certain kind of elite feels for the Sanders campaign. Consider the two major lines of dismissal against Sanders, and the way they come together in more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger condescension toward democracy.

If you want to dismiss the Sanders campaign, you can choose between two lines of attack. You can join Paul Krugman at the New York Times, asserting that governing is too hard for an idealistic democratic socialist: Sanders doesn’t seem built for compromise, and his proposals lack detail. And governing, as opposed to campaigning, is all about compromise and detail. Endorsing Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary, the Times editorial board marveled, “Mrs. Clinton has done her homework on pretty much any issue you care to name.” Homework, you see. That’s the ticket; not staying out after dark working up the ruffians and messing with other people’s property. Grow up! is the bottom line here: as Krugman puts it in High Adult tones, “politics, like life, involves trade-offs.”

If that seems a little dreary, you can take the line Alexandra Schwartz presses at theNew Yorker. Developing themes that have been in the air for months, Schwartz offer a cultural take on Sanders’s appeal to young voters (who are supporting him by margins of seventy points or more in early primaries and polling). It must be his air of “purity” and “nostalgia for an imaginary time of simpler, more straightforward politics.” Looking back on her own Wordsworthian “very heaven” of imagining young Barack Obama “entirely pure,” Schwartz urges Sanders’s enthusiasts to find a “passage into political adulthood,” where we give up our idle fantasies about candidates (and about time, since Bernie reminds her of “the nutty great-uncle at the Seder table,” pungent with “hokiness” and rhetorical “staleness,” and of the “false nostalgia for past purity, in fashion or food, for instance”). Away with this iceberg lettuce salad of a candidacy, this sweaty vintage dress, this itchy, unkempt lumbersexual beard of a Democratic primary hopeful! Let’s grow up, release our grip on childish things, and get back to business, which is to say, compromise.

Despite their very different tones and concerns, the two lines of dismissal come around to the same point: adults learn not to take campaigns, promises, or political hopes too seriously. They learn that the real work is tedious, often invisible to the public, and highly constrained. They do their homework. Whether the dismissal comes in an eye-roll or a Nobel prizewinner’s rank-pulling, the lesson is the same: either political campaigns are festivals of feeling, mosh pits of emotional projection and crude fantasizing—about utopias of free stuff, unblemished leaders, or, more darkly, throwing bankers into jail—or they are a chance to choose responsible elites who will always do their homework.

All of this is one version of the lessons of the Obama era. Obama’s post-partisan but unmistakably “progressive” speeches thrilled young voters and former idealists who thought they would never feel that way again. His campaign upended a Clinton game plan that was supposed to be unstoppable, as he promised ecstatic throngs, “We are the people we have been waiting for.” Upon winning, Obama began displaying enormous deference to the designated adults of the early millennium: economists, bankers, and generals, as well as vicious political professionals like Rahm Emanuel (who was known for his contempt for the idealists who put Obama in office). “Look… I know those guys,” President Obama said of the country’s leading bankers early in his first term. “They’re very savvy businessmen.” Associating himself with grown-up authority, he followed his party’s hawks into a disastrous intervention in Libya and dilatory engagement with the Syrian catastrophe.

Still, within the limits of official adulthood, Obama has been a good president: he has consistently presented a dignified and inclusive face—whether inviting Pete Seeger to his first inauguration or, this week, visiting a mosque—and he appointed many earnest, incorruptible officials who have been pressing forward compromised progress on climate change, criminal justice reform, labor standards, and nearly anything else the government touches. (I know these people; they’re very decent and effective public servants.)

the physics of energy and the economy

ourfiniteworld |  There is a standard wrong belief about the physics of energy and the economy; it is the belief we can somehow train the economy to get along without much energy.

In this wrong view, the only physics that is truly relevant is the thermodynamics of oil fields and other types of energy deposits. All of these fields deplete if exploited over time. Furthermore, we know that there are a finite number of these fields. Thus, based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the amount of free energy we will have available in the future will tend to be less than today. This tendency will especially be true after the date when “peak oil” production is reached.

According to this wrong view of energy and the economy, all we need to do is design an economy that uses less energy. We can supposedly do this by increasing efficiency, and by changing the nature of the economy to use a greater proportion of services. If we also add renewables (even if they are expensive) the economy should be able to get along fine with very much less energy.

These wrong views are amazingly widespread. They seem to underlie the widespread hope that the world can reduce its fossil fuel use by 80% between now and 2050 without badly disturbing the economy. The book 2052: A Forecast for the Next 40 Years by Jorgen Randers seems to reflect these views. Even the “Stabilized World Model” presented in the 1972 book The Limits to Growth by Meadow et al. seems to be based on naive assumptions about how much reduction in energy consumption is possible without causing the economy to collapse.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

endless corruption as banksters diversified their debt-slave portfolios...,

HuffPo |  Since leaving office, both Bill and Hillary have made millions of dollars giving speeches to banks while being remarkably quiet about prosecution of financial crime, not to mention the Obama administration's appalling record since the crisis - zero prosecutions, bankers in senior regulatory positions, inviting bank CEOs to state dinners dozens of times, et cetera. Now Hillary says she'll rely on Bill for economic policy. Bad idea. The financial sector became a pervasively criminal and economically destabilizing industry largely through Clinton policies, and now Hillary takes their money. When pressed, Democratic insiders concede all this, but then say, well, OK, the financial sector is just too powerful to rein in, but think of what Hillary could do in, say, education.

Let us therefore take a brief tour of the Education Management Corporation (EDMC), one of the most repulsively predatory companies in America. EDMC specialized in exploiting poor people seeking to better themselves educationally. It used fraudulent marketing, luring students into paying high tuition - by taking out student loans signed over to EDMC. EDMC kept all the money, but provided abysmal schooling with high dropout rates. EDMC made huge profits while poor students wasted time, obtained no skills, and dropped out with crushing debts.

EDMC raked in $11 billion this way. Assuming, say, $11,000 per student, EDMC screwed one million poor Americans. Eventually the Justice Department sued, but as usual the settlement was a wrist-slap with no criminal prosecutions, no admission of guilt, and no financial relief to victims.

But why am I telling you all this?

Well, now. Who devised EDMC's strategy, aided by relaxed Federal regulation? Who was EDMC's largest shareholder, buying 41% of the company in 2006?

Goldman Sachs.

Now, Hillary, when you and Bill have your little cocktail parties for the Clinton Foundation in Goldman Sachs offices, when you give your speeches to Goldman Sachs executives, when you chat them up for donations, when you meet them at White House state dinners, just how frequently do you bring this up?

OK, Hillary ain't so great. But could Bernie do any better? Well, he could appoint an Attorney General and a head of the DOJ Criminal Division who haven't spent their careers defending corporate criminals, and then invite the Justice Department to put lots of bankers in jail. (There is overwhelming evidence to justify doing so; for details, read this, or chapter 6 of this.) Bernie could also appoint an Antitrust Division head who would actually investigate the cozy, cartel-like arrangements that pervade finance, and bring major cases against the banks. He could appoint a Federal Reserve chair who would require banks to divest assets and operate safely, plus regulating bankers' compensation so that if you caused a disaster, you couldn't profit from it. All this can be done without a single new law, and both Bill Clinton and Obama could have done them too. 

WTF is wrong with the Bern? - Mr. Miracle would've harpooned that big ass....,

kunstler |  Bernie blew his biggest chance yet to harpoon the white whale known as Hillary when he cast some glancing aspersions on Mz It’s-My-Turn’s special side-job as errand girl of the Too-Big-To-Fail banks. Together, Bill and Hillary racked up $7.7 million on 39 speaking gigs to that gang, with Hillary clocking $1.8 million of the total for eight blabs. When Bernie alluded to this raft of grift, MzIMT retorted, “If you’ve got something to say, say it directly.”

There was a lot Bernie could have said, but didn’t. Such as: what did you tell them that was worth over $200,000 a pop? Whatever it was, it must have made them feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Did it occur to you that this might look bad sometime in the near future? Is there any way that this might 
not be construed as bribery? And how is some formerly middle-class out-of-work average voter supposed to feel about you getting paid more for 45 minutes of flapping your gums than he or she has earned in the past five years?

Bernie could have found a gentlemanly way to say that directly, but perhaps he experienced a sickening precognitive vision of his jibes being used against the party establishment’s candidate in the fall general election. Of course, if it looked like Hillary was going to get elected, the remaining sound-of-mind in this country might be falling over each other to apply for citizenship in Uruguay.

Beyond all the political histrionics, is there not some broad recognition that whoever occupies the White House in 2017 will preside over a financial debacle like unto nothing in scale that the world has ever seen before? With all the reverberating side effects imaginable among the traumatized nations? Something wicked has been creeping through the stock markets since the year began. The velocity and damage are amping up. Credit default swap spreads are yawning like fault lines in a ‘quake. Bankers are watching their share prices collapse. It’s a wonder that panic has not already broken out.

fuuudge-yew.., Granny ain't releasing a dayyum thing...,

slate |  Pressed during Thursday’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton said that she would “certainly look into” releasing the transcripts of the paid speeches she gave in private to Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street institutions. By Sunday, her promised careful consideration was apparently complete. “Let everybody who’s ever given a speech to any private group under any circumstances release them—we’ll all release them at the same time,” Clinton said on ABC’s This Week, noting that her opponents from both parties have also “given speeches to groups.” Her conclusion: “These rules need to apply to everyone.”
The answer was both tone-deaf and disingenuous. Clinton’s six-figure speeches are a point of contention in the Democratic race not because she was paid to give them but because of whopaid her to give them. Bernie Sanders is running on the idea that Washington and Wall Street are too cozy and that the former will never be able to effectively regulate the latter as long as the status quo continues. He’s not challenging Clinton because he thinks she rigged the game; he simply contends that she is playing it like everyone else in politics.
Clinton’s decision to ignore the transcript controversy in hopes it will go away is hardly a surprise. She deployed a similar strategy early last year in the face of questions about the overlap between her family’s financial interests and those of the Clinton Foundation’s global donors, and to defend her use of a private email server to conduct official government business while secretary of state. Hillary responded to those controversies like she is responding to this one: by suggesting they are not controversies at all. Most politicians, she says, do the same thing, but she alone is treated differently. Many of her supporters agree, though many Democratic voters do not.

Monday, February 08, 2016

pluripotent matter: building complex nanostructures with DNA

sciencemag |  Researchers have engineered tiny gold particles that can assemble into a variety of crystalline structures simply by adding a bit of DNA to the solution that surrounds them. Down the road, such reprogrammable particles could be used to make materials that reshape themselves in response to light, or to create novel catalysts that reshape themselves as reactions proceed.

“This paper is very exciting,” says Sharon Glotzer, a chemical engineer at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who calls it “a step towards pluripotent matter.” David Ginger, a chemist at the University of Washington, Seattle, agrees: “This is a proof of concept of something that has been a nanoparticle dream.” Neither Glotzer nor Ginger has ties to the current research.

The dream started decades ago when chemists first discovered ways to synthesize nanoparticles, clumps of atoms below 100 nanometers in size. Researchers quickly began looking for ways to control how these particles assembled in order to build new materials from the bottom up.

Today, few materials are built from scratch. One exception is laser materials, which are used in everything from telecommunications gear to barcode scanners. But the materials, formed by adding atoms on a surface layer by layer, are very expensive to make, and severely limited in size. Assembling nanoparticles could offer a new way to grow larger—and more varied—materials cheaply. But in most cases, mastering the level of control needed to do this has turned out to be elusive.

One approach that has worked well was pioneered by chemist Chad Mirkin and colleagues at Northwestern University, Evanston, in Illinois. Mirkin’s team decorated the outer surface of gold nanoparticles with snippets of single-stranded DNA, and then used those strands like Velcro to link together neighboring particles. As the separate particles approached one another, the strands knitted themselves into the more common form of double-stranded DNA, holding the particles together. Over the years, Mirkin’s team showed that it could use this setup as a means to coax particles coated with different sequences to assemble into different types of crystals, creating powerful sensors for detecting specific DNA strands and proteins in the process. But despite the success of this approach, each time the team wanted to build a material with a new crystal orientation, it had to re-engineer its DNA linkers.

fires rage, words fail...,

dailyimpact |  The Daily Impact has been a quiet place lately, and I will tell you why: words fail me. The scale of the global crash now enveloping us, and the fecklessness of the leaders pretending to protect and defend us, exceed the vocabulary of this wretched scribe. If one manages, however briefly, to comprehend the enormity of the multiple disasters bearing down on us, then one accidentally sees part of a presidential-candidate debate and has to pick up  pieces of one’s skull all over the room again.

One verse that has been sung for years now by the “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” Chorus is that we are converting to a service economy, in which half of us will serve meals, keep house and otherwise cater to the other half, and that will work fine. But now — just now — the malaise that has been eating at all the other economic enterprises of the country has attacked the restaurant industry. “If services stumble too,” observes a writer on David Stockman’s website, “there truly is nothing left.”

Another verse from the aforementioned Chorus: We may not make much anymore, but we sure move stuff around, and that employs a lot of people and keeps the economy chugging along. Not so much anymore. “The Transportation Recession Spreads,” says Wolf Richter of WolfStreet, with the subhead “Hope came unglued all over again.” Orders for new 18-wheeler trucks have been falling since September of 2015, because of declining freight volumes, and after a slight recovery in December (hence the hope), plummeted nearly 50% (year-to-year) in January. Rail freight is experiencing a similar, vertigo-inducing slump.

American jobs of all kinds are being vaporized at a rate not seen since the Great Recession got traction in 2009. 
Just in January, layoffs quadrupled.  See this partial list of job cuts so far this year, and an assessment of the mass layoffs just ahead. Every month the government issues, and the “Happy” Chorus extols, monthly reports lauding robust job-creation and the continued low (seasonally adjusted, statistically weighted, seasoned-to-taste) unemployment rate, while ignoring the gut-wrenching disappearance of hundreds of thousands of people from the job market. These people, six million or so of them now, are not unemployed. They are vanished.

The U.S. oil industry, which was promoting itself just a few months ago as the progenitor of a new American Revolution, of a return to American energy independence, and on, and on — is a smoking ruin. Shale drillers are in the process of reporting
losses of about $15 billion for 2015 reductions of 25 per cent and more in their balance sheets because of devalued oil; and levels of debt that forced 42 oil companies into bankruptcy last year and will drive under many more than that this year. Nor is the carnage limited to the shale patch; from Exxon down, Big Oil is experiencing shrinking profits, tumbling stock prices and credit ratings

Sunday, February 07, 2016

lest you think I'd forgotten about that other psychopathocratic trash - jes cuz Jeb is so lame...,

ian56 |  Booz Allen Hamilton is owned by the Carlyle Group. The Carlyle Group are a private equity fund that invests in lots of companies that make money out of the business of war - arms companies, private spy contractors etc. 

Significant board members, associates and "consultants" of the Carlyle Group include the Bush's and a who's who of ex US government war hawks for the last 40 years. 

Significant investors in the Carlyle group include the House of Saud and the Bin Laden Family. 

Saudi Arabia wants a very high oil price - it sells lots of oil.

Saudi Arabia's foreign policy is directed at increasing the price of oil. Mostly this is done by destabilizing and starting conflicts and wars in, other countries that have oil (or are major distribution routes).

This is done in two main ways:-

By funding, arming and recruiting Islamic Extremist terrorists to attack other countries

By bribing the American government to conduct policy that is in the interests of Saudi Arabia and not in the interests of America.

Having a high oil price is directly against the interests of America and it's main export market - Europe. Every $1 rise in the price of a barrel of oil makes everyone in America, Europe and over 99% of the rest of the world poorer (except for the major owners & CEO's of oil companies and oil assets).

Some of the wealth of evidence for the involvement of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States in funding, arming, recruiting and supporting Islamic terrorism:- 

If the NSA is actually fighting terrorism why haven't they stopped Saudi Arabia, Qatar & Kuwait funding Islamic terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Nusra?

Saudi Royal Family and Saudi government involvement in 9/11

It is also in the interests of the Carlyle Group, in order to boost their profits, that there is more war, conflict and Islamic terrorism.

Some of the details of the major players in Booz Allen and the Carlyle Group

Granny's trap-game stacking bandos out here grinding in these streets...,

WaPo |  Bill Clinton used his charisma and intellect to captivate new supporters. And Hillary applied her characteristic attentiveness — sending handwritten notes to celebrate engagements and new babies, and poetry books to comfort those in mourning — to win over lifelong allies.

“She remembers everything we ever talked about,” saidSusie Tompkins Buell, a close friend and co-founder of Esprit, who, with her husband, Mark, has given $420,000 to the Clintons’ campaigns and $11.25 million to their foundation.

“Hillary does not like to ask for money,” Buell added. “It’s not natural for her. But she’s got really good people who work for her who speak for her, and she’s very, very appreciative when she knows someone has done something for her. And you know it’s sincere.”

As she makes her second White House bid, Hillary Clinton is raising money in a dramatically different environment than her past campaigns. Since then, the Supreme Court has made it easier for wealthy individuals, corporations and unions to spend huge, unregulated sums on political activity.

the clinton donor machine...,

NYBooks |  The record of the Clinton System raises deep questions about whether a Hillary Clinton presidency would take on the growing political influence of large corporate interests and Wall Street banks. The next president will need to address critical economic and social issues, including the stagnating incomes of the middle class, the tax loopholes that allow hedge-funders and other members of the super-rich to be taxed at lower rates than many average Americans, and the runaway costs of higher education. Above all is the question of further reform of Wall Street and the banking system to prevent a recurrence of the behavior that brought about the Great Recession of 2007-2008.

So far, Hillary Clinton has refused to commit herself to a reintroduction of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which Bill Clinton allowed to be repealed in 1999 on the advice of Democrats with close ties to Wall Street, including Robert Rubin and Larry Summers. The reintroduction of Glass-Steagall, favored by Bernie Sanders, would prevent banks from speculating in financial derivatives, a leading cause of the 2007-2008 crash. With leading Wall Street banks so prominent in the Clintons’ fundraising streams, can Hillary Clinton be relied upon to reform the banks beyond the modest achievements of the Dodd-Frank bill of 2010?

Saturday, February 06, 2016

NSA says it "must act now" against the threat of quantum computing...,

technologyreview |  The National Security Agency did a surprising thing last August – it suddenly declared that the algorithms it had spent a decade telling the world were the best way to lock up secret data weren’t safe anymore. The reason? The danger of quantum computers.

The NSA has now released more detail on those fears. “There is growing research in the area of quantum computing, and enough progress is being made that NSA must act now,” says a new Q&A-style document on the problem. It’s aimed at companies and government departments working with sensitive data.

The catch is that no one knows how to make quantum-computer-proof encryption. The NSA can only tell companies building new systems to use certain algorithms “believed to be safe from attack by a large quantum computer.” It says it’s working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology on coming up with some new standard algorithms that could survive in a post-quantum era.

Work in that area is still in an embryonic state, however. Quantum-resistant encryption algorithms that have been proposed by researchers at Microsoft and other places have not been formally proved to be safe against the power of quantum computers.

just use kik like the 13 year olds do...,

govtech |  The recent round of global terrorist attacks have reignited the homeland security versus personal privacy debate. Law enforcement officials point to the apparent use of encryption by ISIS terrorists as proof that encrypted communications need “back doors” to protect the public. But many security experts disagree. So what is the future for encrypted communication as we head into 2016?

Where next for encryption?
That is just one of the many security and privacy questions asked this week by a long list of business and technology professionals and media outlets. And the diverse viewpoints and differences of opinion run very deep.
For example, Bloomberg highlighted renewed calls for government access to certain encrypted communications:
The bloodshed in Paris led U.S. officials Monday to renew calls for limits on technology that prevents governments from spying on phone conversations, text messages and e-mails.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, said she asked Silicon Valley companies to help law enforcement and intelligence agencies access communications that have been encrypted — or scrambled to evade surveillance — if terrorists are using the tools to plan attacks.
“I have asked for help. And I haven’t gotten any help,” Feinstein said Monday in an interview with MSNBC.
As the French parliament gave broad new emergency authority, including online surveillance permissions, to police to track down and capture terrorists, Fortunemagazine pointed to the immense cybersecurity implications of recent events:
Paris thrusts this issue onto the front pages because one of the big questions that quickly emerged was how a group could execute such a complex attack while evading detection from intelligence services. Encryption is one potential answer. Indeed, experts hypothesize three different possibilities: (1) the attackers used powerful over-the-counter encryption; (2) they collaborated on the dark web; (3) they stopped using technology for coordination once they reached a certain level of operational readiness.
And Wired magazine presented the response from intelligence community leaders like CIA director John Brennan, who hoped that Paris would serve as a global “wake-up call” to people who oppose government surveillance in the name of personal privacy. Brennan said, “There are a lot of technological capabilities that are available right now that make it exceptionally difficult both technically as well as legally for intelligence security services to have insight that they need to uncover it.

ain't a damn thing funny about a $6 Billion warsocialist epic fail....,

theregister |  The US government's firewall, named Einstein, is not as smart as its name would suggest.
A report [PDF] by the General Accounting Office (GAO) into the National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS) has concluded that it is only "partially meeting its stated system objectives." Which is a polite way of saying it sucks.

Among the extraordinary pieces of information to emerge are the fact that the system – which has cost $5.7bn to develop – does not monitor web traffic for malicious content, just email. It can't uncover malware on a system and it doesn't monitor cloud services either.

The system also carries out only signature-based threat assessment and intrusion detection i.e. it's a dumb terminal waiting to be told what to find rather than looking for unusual activity. And that means it is wide open to zero-day attacks.

If that wasn't enough, the department behind the system – the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – hasn't included anything to measure the system's own performance so it doesn't even know if it's doing a good job or not. And it is failing to ask for or share information with other agencies, effectively making it blind.

It is hardly surprising then that the uptake of Einstein has not exactly been stellar. The report notes that federal agencies have adopted the NCPS "to varying degrees."

There are 23 agencies that are actually required to implement the system but the GAO found that while those agencies were routing "some" traffic to the system, only five of them were using the system to deal with possible intrusions.

"This occurred in part because DHS has not provided network routing guidance to agencies," the report notes. "As a result, DHS has limited assurance regarding the effectiveness of the system."

Which is a roundabout way of saying that sysadmins want nothing to do with it.

Friday, February 05, 2016

poised and polished: when your viscera no longer transmit through the vestibular complex...,

cain't buh-lieve you pissants kwestining Granny's fat gwap ....,

realclearpolitics |  TODD: Thank you both. Let me move on to our next question here, and in fact it comes to us through New England Cable News.

Secretary Clinton, it's addressed to you, and it's about this issue of the speeches, particularly to Goldman Sachs. This is what the questioner wrote verbatim.

"I am concerned with the abuses of Wall Street has taken with the American taxpayers money," and then she asks whether you would release the transcripts of your Goldman Sachs speeches, and then added, "Don't you think the voting public has a right to know what was said?"

But, let's make that bigger. Are you willing to release the transcripts of all your paid speeches? We do know through reporting that there were transcription services for all of those paid speeches. In full disclosure, would you release all of them?

CLINTON: I will look into it. I don't know the status, but I will certainly look into it. But, I can only repeat what is the fact that I spoke to a lot of different groups with a lot of different constituents, a lot of different kinds of members about issues that had to do with world affairs. I probably described more times than I can remember how stressful it was advising the President about going after Bin Laden.

realclearpolitics |  NBC's Andrea Mitchell says Hill Clinton should release transcripts she gave to investment banks to reassure the public she was not talking about something that involves a conflict of interest. At Thursday's Democratic primary debate moderated by MSNBC, former Secretary of State Clinton said she would look into releasing the transcripts.

"It's very hard for the average working person to believe that someone could make that much money from a speech and that there is nothing given in return if it's someone who just left government," Mitchell said.

"She's been claiming all along that I'm invited to speak to these investment banks because they want to know my world view -- what do I think of Russia, what do I think of China, I'm a former Secretary of State and all former Secretaries of State have done this in recent decades. And if the transcripts shows that they were talking about something that involves a conflict of interest, I mean, I have no idea. But just to settle it, reassure the public that they are being brought inside these secret board rooms and they know what's going on," Mitchell said.

long ago, Granny had overies, thereby permanently establishing her progressive bonfides...,

msnbc |  In a Democratic primary that has been largely fought on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ terms and issues, Hillary Clinton hasn’t gotten to be the transformative candidate. But at Thursday’s MSNBC debate, she made the risky choice to argue that as a woman, she could be.

“Honestly, Senator Sanders is the only person who I think would characterize me, a woman running to be the first woman president, as exemplifying the establishment,” Clinton said.

As for Clinton’s implicit point that gender has disqualified her from being part of the establishment, Sanders’ press secretary, Symone Sanders, responded in an interview with MSNBC, “Yes, women can be part of the establishment… To me, that’s just like asking can a black person be part of the establishment, can a white person be part of the establishment. One’s gender or race is not the thing that determines ‘the establishment.’”