Showing posts from October 26, 2016

PRIVATE EYES: The Little-Known Company That Enables Worldwide Mass Surveillance

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[In case, like me, you've ever wonder whether New Zealand actually does anything for the Five Eyes alliance. *RON*]
Ryan GallagherNicky Hager, The Intercept, 23 October 2016
IT WAS A POWERFUL piece of technology created for an important customer. The Medusa system, named after the mythical Greek monster with snakes instead of hair, had one main purpose: to vacuum up vast quantities of internet data at an astonishing speed.

The technology was designed by Endace, a little-known New Zealand company. And the important customer was the British electronic eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ.

Dozens of internal documents and emails from Endace, obtained by The Intercept and reported in cooperation with Television New Zealand, reveal the firm’s key role helping governments across the world harvest vast amounts of information on people’s private emails, online chats, social media conversations, and internet browsing…

Indiana officials are trying to block almost 45,000 black citizens from voting

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["They saw that there was a very successful voter registration drive happening, and this was an attempt to shut it down." *RON*]
Kira Lerner, Think Progress, 26 October 2016
Roughly 45,000 newly registered voters in Indiana — almost all of whom are black — may not be allowed to vote next month after state police targeted the state’s largest voter registration drive, forcing it to shut down its operation.

Police raided the Indiana Voter Registration Project (IVRP) offices on October 4, seizing documents and equipment and forcing the group to cease its get-out-the-vote efforts one week before the end of the state’s registration period. Bill Buck, a spokesperson for the liberal nonprofit Patriot Majority USA which runs the IVRP, told ThinkProgress that IVRP could have registered about 5,000 more voters in that additional week.

Gord Downie Was Wrong About Justin Trudeau

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["Following through on Indigenous issues is politically inconvenient, especially for a leader who relies on his charm to secure support, and hopes that charm will soften the blow when he doesn't deliver... Trudeau campaigned on a promise of a 'renewed relationship' with Canada's Indigenous communities. The government said they would not allow energy companies to break ground unless detailed environmental assessments were conducted and supported by native populations impacted by development. But without warning, the Trudeau government approved BC Hydro's construction of the Site C Dam.... The most egregious slight came when Trudeau's government refused to meet two compliance orders by the Human Rights Tribunal pertaining to the welfare of Indigenous children. Documents proved the Trudeau government had determined what it would spend on child welfare long before the tribunal ordered it to increase funding, ignoring its…

Hail Wallonia!

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[Maybe we can hire Wallonia to torpedo the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well! *RON*]
Humberto DaSilva,, 26 October 2016

You can view this on YouTube as well.
The Canada-EU trade agreement has met its Waterloo in Wallonia. Turns out CETA -- the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement -- which the Harper regime said was a done deal, may indeed be done. Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland's dream of a done deal has been laid to ruins by Wallonians.

Thanks, Wallonia. Canada owes you one.

As Aging Population Increases, Elders and Allies Fight for Social Supports

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[Some good ideas and models are out there. I can imagine full-out class warfare if the Boomers don't get a fair deal. *RON*]
Eleanor J. Bader, Truthout, 26 October 2016

According to a spring 2016 report released by the Older Women's League, men in the top 1 percent live 15 years longer than those in the bottom 1 percent. The gap for women is 10 years. And it's getting worse. As the league's annual study, "Aging in Community," notes, "The inequality of life spans between rich and poor has widened from 2001 to 2014."

The result? By the time folks reach age 75, 6.7 percent of men and 12.3 percent of women live below the poverty line: $11,880 for a single person and $16,020 for a household of two. Gender, of course, is a key variable: Women earn, on average, a lower annual income -- typically caused by wage disparities as well as breaks in employment to rear children -- resulting in smaller monthly Social Security c…

Barack Obama's Sweet Revenge Tour

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[Republicans created a toxic political climate that made his presidency hell. Now it's payback time. Perhaps Obama can help create a Republican rout in the down ticket races! *RON*]

Tim Murphy, Mother Jones, 26 October 2016

President Barack Obama's approval rating is the highest it has been in 45 months, and Republicans have taken note. In Ohio, Sen. Rob Portman is running an adboasting of his work with the Democratic commander-in-chief "to break the grip of heroin addiction." In California, Rep. Darrell Issa—who once called Obama "one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times"—is sending out mailers with Obama's face on them, touting his work with the president "to protect victims of sexual assault."
How scared is an unpopular Issa that Doug Applegate will beat him? Scared enough to use a photo of Obama on a mailer— Howie Klein (@downwithtyranny) October 24, 2016 There is a…