Showing posts from June 13, 2015

Fake mobile phone towers found to be ‘actively listening in’ on calls in UK

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[Big Brother says 'Welcome to the surveillance state!' The London Metropolitan Police have refused to say who is controlling them or what is being done with the information they are gathering. See also: GCHQ spying on British citizens was unlawful, secret court rules in shock decision. *RON*]
Paul Gallager, Independent, 10 June 2015

More than 20 “intrusive” fake mobile phone towers that eavesdrop on public conversations have been found active in the UK, the first time the technology has been detected in the country.

The IMSI catchers, also known as Stingrays, have been found to be operating in London, but the Metropolitan Police have refused to say who is controlling them or what is being done with the information they are gathering.

IMSI stands for International Mobile Subscriber Identity – a unique number that identifies users on their phone network.

The controversial surveillance technology, used by police forces around the world, is supp…

5 Ways Powerful People Trick You Into Hating Protesters

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[An excellent piece that accounts for about 90% of what passes for "news" on the "media" today. The media are the 1%. *RON*]
By David Wong, Cracked, 9 June 2015

Let's say that tomorrow you are elected Secret Ruler of the USA, a position that gives you total power over the government, economy, and the culture at large -- everything that hippies refer to as "the system." Now, your first job is to not get beheaded by rioting peasants, which means your first job is really to maintain "stability" (i.e., "keeping things mostly the way they are").

Immediately you'll find that you're facing a never-ending stream of protests from disgruntled groups who say they're being treated unfairly or otherwise getting left out -- this group over here is upset that somebody got abused by the police; this other bunch is demanding better wages or something. How do you handle it? Sure, you could crush their…

The Collapse of Rush Limbaugh's Radio Empire: Is Limbaugh's political impact waning?

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[I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: 'Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear -- "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.'            Percy Bysshe Shelley. *RON*]
By Eric Boehlert, AlterNet, 7 June 2015

The bad news just keeps coming for conservative talker Rush Limbaugh.

Which bulletin was worse, though? The news in April that he was being dropped by WIBC in Indianapolis, a booming talk powerhouse that played home to Limbaugh's radio show for m…

Defeat for Obama on trade as Democrats vote against him

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[Whatever the odd combination of reasons involved, the lack of US political support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, merged with the chaos that has emerged around discussions about this agreement in Europe, may (thankfully) mean that this stealth constitution for a global corporatocracy is finally sunk. See also: House Rejects Obama's Corporate-Friendly Trade Deal In Stunning Defeat. *RON*]

Ben Jacobs, Guardian, 12 June 2015
A strange brew of Democrats and conservative Republicans came together on Friday to defeat Barack Obama in a crippling blow to his international trade agenda.

With the Democratic minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, speaking in opposition to the bill and going directly against Obama less than three hours after the president begged his party’s caucus to support it, the vote on trade adjustment assistance (TAA) – which would have provided government aid to workers who had lost their jobs because of free trade agreements – marks…

The schools that had cemeteries instead of playgrounds

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[A deep stain on the Canadian conscience, only equally by the fact that of 94 recommendations made by Justice Sinclair, only one has been accepted by the Harper government. *RON*]

By Sian Griffiths, BBC News, 13 June 2015
Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has released its findings into more than a century of abuse in Indian Residential Schools. Between the 1880s and 1990s 150,000 aboriginal children were sent to institutions where they were stripped of their language and culture. Many faced emotional, physical and sexual abuse.

I wriggled my way through an expectant crowd in a ballroom of a downtown Ottawa hotel. It was standing room only. Several hundred people, among them former residential school students, known as "survivors" - many of them now elderly - stood shoulder to shoulder with camera crews.

The event was going to be broadcast and streamed live across the country. Rarely had an aboriginal-led event attracted suc…

Explosive intervention by Pope Francis set to transform climate change debate

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[I doubt that Harper will be re-visiting the Pope any time soon. The most anticipated papal letter for decades will be published in five languages on Thursday. It will call for an end to the ‘tyrannical’ exploitation of nature by mankind. Could it lead to a step-change in the battle against global warming? See also: Angry US republicans tell Pope Francis to ‘stick with his job and we’ll stick with ours’, and We Asked Climate Deniers What They Think of the Pope. Here's What They Said. *RON*]

John Vidal, Guardian, 13 June 2015
Pope Francis will call for an ethical and economic revolution to prevent catastrophic climate change and growing inequality in a letter to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Thursday.

In an unprecedented encyclical on the subject of the environment, the pontiff is expected to argue that humanity’s exploitation of the planet’s resources has crossed the Earth’s natural boundaries, and that the world faces ruin without a re…

Manuela Carmena: New anti-austerity Mayor marks end of Madrid's old guard

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[As also happened in Barcelona and Valencia, anti-austerity politician, former judge, and human rights advocate Manuela Carmena ends 20+ years of right-wing rule in Madrid on being sworn in as mayor. See also: Podemos-Backed, Anti-Austerity Leftist Becomes Madrid's New Mayor. *RON*]
Alasdair Fotheringham, The Independent, 12 June 2015
Ms Carmena says one of her first measures will be to try to halt evictions of families defaulting on mortgages from their homes.

More than two decades of uninterrupted rule for the right-wing Partido Popular (PP) party in Madrid will come to an end today when Manuela Carmena, the candidate for the Ahora Madrid platform that includes anti-austerity party Podemos, is sworn in as the capital’s next mayor.

Ms Carmena, a 71-year-old former judge and human rights activist, finished second in last month’s local elections. However, she has struck a deal with the Socialist Party (PSOE) whose nine seats on the city coun…