Showing posts from March 23, 2015

Have the Banks Escaped Criminal Prosecution because They’re Spying Surrogates?

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[Big banks, the surveillance state, and impunity. Oh well, one more post because this is interesting, and raises a really good question. Are the terms under which we're collecting this information on one set of bad guys precisely what is preventing us from stopping an even bigger set of bad guys who have an even more egregious impact on our daily lives, i.e., the Big Bankers? *RON*]
By emptywheel, 21 March 2015

I’m preparing to do a series of posts on CISA, the bill passed out of SSCI this week that, unlike most of the previous attempts to use cybersecurity to justify domestic spying, may well succeed (I’ve been using OTI’s redline version which shows how SSCI simply renamed things to be able to claim they’re addressing privacy concerns).

But — particularly given Richard Burr’s office’s assurances this bill is great because “business groups like the Financial Services Roundtable and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association have a…

Comments on David Harvey’s “A Brief History of Neoliberalism”

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[I'm surprised that Harvey's Brief History is news to anyone, but it's such a good book that this is well worth posting. I'm not taking my laptop on the road with me, so this is my last posting until Saturday! *RON*]
Lambert Strether of Corrente, posted at Naked Capitalism on 23 March 2015.

I like physical bookstores (as opposed to virtual bookstores like the one to your right) because real shelves are easy to browse. Serendipitously, then, I encountered David Harvey’s A Brief History of Neoliberalism, bought it, and read it. Harvey[1] is a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at CUNY but it could well be that anthropologists (like David Graeber) are better equipped to interpret our political economy to it than either politicians or economists. Here are some reviews of the the book: Thom Hartmann, Theory, Culture, and Society, and Monthly Review.

What we might call “the question of the state” — its nature, our experience of it, a…

Tens of Thousands Flood Dublin Demanding Abolition of Austerity Tax On Water

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["We refuse to be bullied and intimidated into acquiescence." See also Protesters march against austerity measures in Madrid, and in Montreal where Thousands mobilize against austerity in first of weekly demonstrations, and Paul Krugman: No, Great Britain isn’t an austerity success story. *RON*]
by Sarah LazareCommon Dreams, 21 March 2015

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the Irish capital on Saturday to demand the abolition of a controversial water tax—an austerity measure that protesters say violates the human right to this vital good.

The campaign Right2Water announced in a press statement on Saturday that over 80,000 people from across Ireland took part in the demonstration. The group, whose steering committee organized the rally, had insisted ahead of the event that a big turnout is vital to "send a clear message that we refuse to be bullied and intimidated into acquiescence."

The Dublin rally was the lat…

'Go Big': Inside The $24 Million, 2-Year Federal Plan To Market Canadian Oil

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[In the corporatocratic state, the 'free market' means twenty-four million of your tax dollars hard at work, paying for what Big Oil should be paying for itself. *RON*]
By Alexander Panetta, CP / Huffington Post, 22 March 2015

WASHINGTON D.C., - The multimillion-dollar campaign to market Canadian oil in the U.S. was hard to miss.

The Maple Leaf was plastered on the walls of subway stops in Washington, D.C., and it popped up in all sorts of American publications with messages like, "America's Best Energy Partner," and "Friends and Neighbors."

Documents obtained by The Canadian Press offer a peek at the behind-the-scenes strategic considerations in 2013, as the federal government conducted a $1.6-million U.S. ad campaign that grew into a $24-million, two-year program that wraps up this month.

The records, released under the Access to Information Act, reveal the websites to be shunned as advertising outlets; the Internet …

Communication Security Establishment's Cyberwarfare Toolbox Revealed

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['Terror' is whatever threatens corporatocratic interests. Scary as hell. Remember that the Liberals also support Bill C-51, while the NDP have been shuffling around staring at their feet. It has only been actively and unequivocally opposed by the Green Party. *RON*]
By Amber Hildebrandt, Michael Pereira & Dave Seglins, CBC / Huffington Post, 23 March 2015

Top-secret documents obtained by the CBC show Canada's electronic spy agency has developed a vast arsenal of cyberwarfare tools alongside its U.S. and British counterparts to hack into computers and phones in many parts of the world, including in friendly trade countries like Mexico and hotspots like the Middle East.

The little known Communications Security Establishment wanted to become more aggressive by 2015, the documents also said.

Revelations about the agency's prowess should serve as a "major wakeup call for all Canadians," particularly in the context of the cu…

European far-right groups back Putin at Russia forum

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[Via my friend Harry. Can you imagine how the world would look if you had these guys in Russia then the Tea Party fanatics get elected in the US? *RON*]

By Marina Koreneva, Yahoo! News, 22 March 2015

About 150 members of Russian nationalist and right-wing European parties -- including Greece's Golden Dawn and Germany's National Democratic Party -- met in Russia's second city Saint Petersburg to berate the West for its stance on the Ukraine conflict and to promote "traditional values".

Far-rights groups across Europe have become vocal supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin over his handling of the Ukraine crisis, prompting allegations they have reached a Faustian pact to help burnish the Kremlin's battered image.

The growing ties come despite Moscow's claims it is aiming to counter what it sees as "fascism" in Ukraine, where pro-Western protesters swept a Kremlin-backed president from power last year.


Spain’s Socialist Party Wins Andalusia Election, Staving Off Challenge From Podemos

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[The first big test for Podemos and Cuidadanos resulted not in an outright win, but it has forced the formation of a coalition government, and the Conservative Party lost a substantial number of seats. I think it's pretty good that they did this despite the fact that the national parties brought in all their heavy hitters to campaign against the populist upstarts. The Socialists, on the other hand, are the "old guard" in Andalusia, and have been widely decried for their corruption, which has been just as bad as that of their conservative predecessors. See also Spain's Andalusia vote sets stage for national upheaval, and Andalusia Election a Measure of Spain’s Disillusionment*RON*]

By David Roman & Jeanette Neumannu, Wall Street Journal, 22 March 2015 MADRID—Spain’s two establishment parties, the Socialists and the conservative Popular Party, staved off a challenge by a pair of insurgent parties in a regional election Sund…