12.22.2014

12.21.2014

NY Police Shooting


ISIS

Syrian rebel Yarmouk Brigades ditch US and Israel allies, defect to ISIS:
The Syrian rebel Yarmouk Shuhada Brigades, backed and trained in Jordan for two years by US officers and supported by the Israeli army, has abruptly dumped them and switched to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,

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12.20.2014

Evangelicals

Why white evangelicals rule the midterms - The Washington Post:
"For good and for ill, white evangelicals are one of the most effectively organized groups in American politics, and they reliably vote Republican. "
The very effective conservative-libertarian-evangelical propaganda network, talk-radio, Fox News, the NRA and their religious leaders has been very effective at demonizing perceived enemies of their America, focusing their hate and getting them to the polls.

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Sony - All

Updates:

Good post with lots of links here:

The FBI told their story about North Korea attacking Sony. Before we retaliate, read what they didn’t tell you.


Also,...


NK?

Where's the evidence?

Still,... The sites I've been following for Sony updates:

A few found this morning

Sony's Network Security


My earlier Sony links

12.19.2014

Sony 3

The FBI says they are sure.

Still a lot of doubt..Krebs and HP

The US Government may be using the SONY job as an excuse to turn its cyber-arms more toward NK/Russia? .. or as cover if our cyber efforts are found?

Sony 2

No, North Korea Did NOT Threaten War Over Seth Rogen Movie

SONY hacked in 2011 by LulzSec

The best summary I've seen is here: Risk Based Security: Sony

Sony

Given the current evidence, I'm about as convinced that North Korea is to blame as I was that Saddam was behind the 9-11 attacks and had weapons of mass-destruction.

some links....

Pros don't seem to think North Korea is to blame.

From a good Wired post
New reports, however, indicate that intelligence officials who are not permitted to speak on the record have concluded that the North Koreans are behind the hack. But they have provided no evidence to support this and without knowing even what agency the officials belong to, it’s difficult to know what to make of the claim. And we should point out that intelligence agencies and government officials have jumped to hasty conclusions or misled the public in the past because it was politically expedient.

Nation-state attacks aren’t generally as noisy, or announce themselves with an image of a blazing skeleton posted to infected computers, as occurred in the Sony hack. Nor do they use a catchy nom-de-hack like Guardians of Peace to identify themselves. Nation-state attackers also generally don’t chastise their victims for having poor security, as purported members of GOP have done in media interviews. Nor do such attacks involve posts of stolen data to Pastebin—the unofficial cloud repository of hackers—where sensitive company files belonging to Sony have been leaked. These are all hallmarks of hacktivists—groups like Anonymous and LulzSec, who thrive on targeting large corporations for ideological reasons or just the lulz, or by hackers sympathetic to a political cause. 
Despite all of this, media outlets won’t let the North Korea narrative go and don’t seem to want to consider other options. If there’s anything years of Law and Order reruns should tell us, it’s that focusing on a single suspect can lead to exclusionary bias where clues that contradict the favored theory get ignored.

Possibly an inside job or maybe with help from a disgruntled employee?
 Cybersecurity expert Hemanshu Nigam also finds it hard to believe that North Korea is the perpetrator. Instead, he theorizes an employee or ex-employee with administrative access privileges is a more likely suspect. For the studio — which has laid off hundreds of employees over the past year in an effort to contain costs — the possibility of a disgruntled employee wreaking havoc is very real.

Don't have the technical capabilities.
"It could be. In my personal opinion, it's not," Monsegur said. "Look at the bandwidth going into North Korea. I mean, the pipelines, the pipes going in, handling data, they only have one major ISP across their entire nation. That kind of information flowing at one time would have shut down North Korean Internet completely." 
Monsegur is confident they don't have the infrastructure to carry out this kind of attack.

An opportunity to argue for more elite/corporate control of the interent?

Of course Fox News is sure North Korea is behind it, probably with help from all of our other enemies, Iran, Russia and China. What the hell is the administration going to do about it? Why won't they act? Obama is weak? Benghazi!

Ain't propaganda wonderful...



Bush vs Clinton?

If Jeb Bush Is In, Who Will Win Wall Street's Money? | Informed Comment:

easy,....The candidate seen as most likely to win.

Corporate cash doesn't just go to the candidate because of their political stance, big chunks go to the candidate the corporate interest, or lobby group, thinks is going to win. Once a candidate looks like they have the race sewn-up the corporate backers pile the cash on so they have a voice at the victor's table.

I think this might be why we saw so many skewed polls in 2012. They R's had to make the race look close or the corporate cash would have been cut-off early and shoveled to the D's for future favors. Skewing the polls kept the cash rolling in a little longer.

Another reason for the skewed polls,... American voters like to be on the winning side. If the poles showed that Romney was going to be trounced, as he was, many potential Romney voters would have just stayed home making the loss appear even worse. The host of bogus conservative polls showing Romney close or even leading were produced to keep up the appearance of a chance of victory to get the Fox News viewers to vote.

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Cuba




This should be turned into a campaign ad against Cruz and Rubio in their next election cycle.

12.17.2014

Kasich

John Kasich Isn't Ready For Prime Time On The Federal Budget - Forbes:
But anyone who calls for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would require a balanced budget each year, as Politico has reported Kasich has done, doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to fiscal policy. He deserves to be denounced for doing it.

I agree.

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12.16.2014

Interpretation

Putin on the Fritz by Paul Krugman - The Conscience of a Liberal - NYTimes.com:

 Well, it turns out that Putin managed to get himself into a confrontation with the West over Ukraine just as the bottom dropped out of his country’s main export, so that a financing shock was added to the terms of trade shock.
or you could say,.....
The west manufactured a confrontation with Russia in the Ukraine and is now intentionally bombing the Russian economy with cheap oil in order to force Russia to bend to it's will.
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12.14.2014

Serfdom for the American Worker

Here's a pretty good list of business/corporate attacks on labor over the last 30 years.

The Devaluation of American Workers | The Economic Populist:

As a result, there has been an average transference of $7,000 every year from lower and middle income earners to the top. How the hell did things get this bad for middle and working class labor? It has been a long time coming, but numerous processes were at work:
  • Cutting employee benefits, i.e. health plans — even after employees have retired with them.
  • Eliminating defined benefits plans, such as provided standard corporate pensions — in favor of defined contribution plans (such as 401ks) in which workers are in it for themselves to accumulate adequate savings for retirement.
  • Cutting wages — either de facto, or through eliminating labor unions which protected them (much exacerbated after Reagan ascended to power).
  • Firing/downsizing workers just before their retirement dates, so the company is free not to have to pay retirement plan benefits, or provide stock options, as per contract clauses.
  • Re-engineering the workplace to increase its automation factor in order to dump workers, so as to increase profit margins by not having to pay benefits, etc.
  • Shipping as many jobs as possible overseas, to places like India or China, with labor costs barely 20% of what they are in the U.S. (and with no benefits to factor in).
  • Firing — downsizing workers after mergers and acquisitions, as dictated by Wall Street interests, in order to enhance a company' profits through higher Wall Street share prices.
  • Identifying older (over 50) workers as "surplus" so that they can be replaced with younger workers for whom half the wages (or less) can be paid, with fewer benefits. (A recent 5-4 Supreme Court ruling a few years ago exacerbated this by asserting anyone claiming "age discrimination" could not file a suit in standing if that was the only charge)
  • Eliminating nearly all permanent jobs which carry health and pension benefits, in favor of using temp workers, outsourcing/offshoring, or some other device not requiring benefits. On the academic (university) front: by using "adjunct" professors, hired on a per-hour, per-course basis, without benefits and with no possibility of "tenure".
  • Tying health insurance to employment, so that when let go or fired, workers are waylaid again by having to do without critical protection — and hereby driving them into bankruptcy and/or poverty if they should get seriously ill or seriously injured in an accident.

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