“War on Whistleblowers”: Another Whistleblower Sentenced

In 2013, just weeks before revelations by Edward Snowden and PFC Chelsea Manning, we released War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State.

Two years later, the aggressive war on whistleblowers is still being waged. This Monday, Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer, was found guilty of 9 criminal counts and is likely on his way to a lengthy prison sentence for telling the truth.

Now, War on Whistleblowers is more relevant than ever. Watch the trailer below and go here for more information.

Four renowned cases of whistle-blowing serve as the backdrop to a much larger story of what happens to people who resort to the media to expose fraud and abuse:

  • Franz Gayl (Deputy Branch Head for the Space and Information Operations Integration Branch) — a lifelong Marine Gayl blew the whistle to stop unnecessary death and dismemberment of soldiers by replacing Humvees with MRAP’s (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles) in Iraq.
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The State of the Union Address vs. Helena Norberg-Hodge, the Importance of Localization, and the Death of the Techno-Economic Juggernaut

Aaron Dames writes for Divided Core.

 As for the developed countries from which this corrupting ethos of progress goes out: more and more their “growthmania” distorts their environments and robs the world of its nonrenewable resources for no better end than to increase the output of ballistic missiles, electric hairdryers, and eight-track stereophonic tape recorders.  But in the statistics of the economic index such mad waste measures out as “productivity,” and all looks rosy.

-E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful

 

During the State of Union address last week, President Barack Obama insinuated that Congress should grant him Fast Track authority (trade promotion authority that cannot be blocked by Congress) to make real the embryonic Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TPP) without directly referring to this nascent legislative monstrosity by name.  He promised that, unlike previous trade agreements (such as NAFTA), the TPP would lead to domestic job creation, boost worker protections, and help the United States maintain its economic lead over China.… Read the rest

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Hackers List, Where You Can Hire Hackers To Do Dubious Things

Do you need someone to be your own private North Korean-style hacker? ArsTechnica suggests checking out Hackers List:

One recent post on Hacker’s List, a site dedicated to matching up hackers with those who need something hacked, was headed “FB [Facebook] Account Hack for Justice.”

hackers list

“Scumbag guy I met at a bar over the weekend followed me home and assaulted me,” it read. “Thankfully the police caught him and he’s thinking long and hard about what he did in a county jail. This is apparently not the first time he’s done this, but he got off free of charge the last time. I want to hit him where it hurts.”

The poster offered between $200-$300 for access to the man’s account.

Since being profiled in The New York Times two weeks ago, Hacker’s List has buckled under a deluge of traffic and still goes up and down on a regular basis. Upon registering for an account, the site reminds users that it is “intended for legal and ethical use” and that “if you feel a project violates our terms of service, please report the listing immediately.” But a search through the last few weeks of job postings on the site shows an almost total absence of “legal and ethical” requests.

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Honeycomb Geometry

Karunakar Rayker (CC BY 2.0)

Karunakar Rayker (CC BY 2.0)

Via Alistair Bird at A Periodical:

Bees have encouraged mathematical speculation for two millennia, since classical scholars tried to explain the geometrically appealing shape of honeycombs. How do bees tackle complex problems that humans would express mathematically? In this series we’ll explore three situations where understanding the maths could help explain the uncanny instincts of bees.

Honeycomb geometry

Honeybees collect nectar from flowers and use it to produce honey, which they then store in honeycombs made of beeswax (in turn derived from honey). A question that has puzzled many inquiring minds across the ages is: why are honeycombs made of hexagonal cells?

The Roman scholar Varro, in his 1st century BC book-long poem De Agri Cultura (“On Agriculture”), briefly states

“Does not the chamber in the comb have six angles, the same number as the bee has feet? The geometricians prove that this hexagon inscribed in a circular figure encloses the greatest amount of space1.”

This quote is the earliest known source suggesting a link between the hexagonal shape of the honeycomb and a mathematical property of the hexagon, made more explicit a few centuries later by Pappus of Alexandria (sometimes considered to be the last Ancient Greek mathematician).

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“Slave Monitoring Device Maker” Apple posts the biggest quarterly profit in history

Yeray Hdez Guerra (CC BY 2.0)

Yeray Hdez Guerra (CC BY 2.0)

Via BBC

US technology giant Apple has reported the biggest quarterly profit ever made by a public company.

Apple reported a net profit of $18bn (£11.8bn) in its fiscal first quarter, which tops the $15.9bn made by ExxonMobil in the second quarter of 2012, according to Standard and Poor’s.

Record sales of iPhones were behind the surge in profits.

Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones in the three months to 27 December – well ahead of most analysts’ expectations.

In a conference call with financial analysts Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook said that demand for phones was “staggering”.

However, sales of the iPad continued to disappoint, falling by 22% in 2014 from a year earlier.

Apple quarterly results

$18bn profit

(£11.8bn) – biggest ever by a public company

$142bn

(£93bn) net cash reserves

  • 74.5m number of iPhones sold
  • 39.9% profit per product
  • 22% fall in sales of iPads

Apple (Figures for three months to end December 2014)

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“People often ask me, ‘How can you be so stupid and still proclaim yourself a communist?’” — Slavoj Žižek

Philosopher Slavoj Žižek argues that our current brand of global capitalism is quickly outgrowing democracy and that a divorce between the two is inevitable. This leads to an array of social and geopolitical concerns regarding the public commons. These problems include but are not limited to ecology, biogenetics, finance, neo-apartheid, crisis management, intellectual property rights, and personal freedom. Žižek touches on all these topics and more in this epic delivery of political and social theory.

h/t Biblioklept

Transcript:

Well people often ask me how can you be so stupid and still proclaim yourself a communist. What do you mean by this? Well, I have always to emphasize that first I am well aware that let’s call it like this – the twentieth century’s over. Which means all not only communists solution but all the big leftist projects of the twentieth century failed. Not only did Stalinist communism although there its failure is much more paradoxical.… Read the rest

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AOD: Assholes On Demand

Many of you may know Erik Martin from his time as Reddit’s General Manager. Little known fact: Erik also used to do some marketing for us here at disinformation. He’s a great guy and wants to help anyone who’s having some customer service problems, perhaps at America’s least popular company (Time Warner Cable). His new venture is called Assholes On Demand, and this is what they do:

Assholes on Demand helps people navigate the confusing and frustrating world of customer service and get what you deserve. We’re caring and resourceful assholes* who will help you fight your battles. You’re not alone and you aren’t going crazy.

AOD

Assholes on Demand currently only accepts pro bono cases. We specialize in helping senior citizens, active duty military, and non-English speakers.

If you or a loved one have no where else to turn, contact us — maybe we can help. If you’re an asshole, volunteer with usand put your powers to good use.

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War criminals throwing stones…

Republished with permission from Art Killing Apathy 

“I have been a member of this committee for years and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable…”

You know that feeling you get when someone says something that is just so laughably absurd that you feel yourself stuck in this mental and emotional limbo between anger and hysterical laughter, typically settling somewhere in between; a murderous chuckle, perhaps.

Well, that’s the place my mind settled today at about 9:30am EST when McCain said those words about a group of activists, myself included. In a government run on logic, justice, freedom and honesty, McCain would have of course been directing those comments to the lizard-faced Kissinger. But alas, those four tenets are about as absent from these hearings as youth and common sense.

Today, the Senate Armed Services Committee (@SASCMajority) invited three dinosaur war criminals to testify on our National Security Strategy: Madeleine Albright, George Shultz and Henry Kissinger.… Read the rest

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