Tag Archives | United States

American Engineer’s Death Suicide or Cyber-Espionage?

via CBS News Year of the Snake

The death of an American computer engineer, Shane Todd, in Singapore has created quite a stir. His parents contend he was murdered, but authorities say it was suicide. The mystery seems to have links to the dark world of cyber-spying and could possibly involve China.
Rick and Mary Todd traveled from Montana to Singapore to prove that their son was actually the victim of a web of international cyber-espionage.

“We really appreciate the process that is going on; it’s a slow process so we really appreciate the way Singapore conducts its court system,” said Rick Todd.

The Todds are attending an 11-day inquiry into their son’s death. Shane Todd had been an engineer for a Singapore government research agency called the Institute of Microelectronics (IME). Then two days after quitting last June, he was found dead, hanging in his apartment bathroom. Police and the coroner ruled it a suicide.

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Is the US in Terminal Decline?

You might very well think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment. BBC News‘ North America editor Mark Mardell has some interesting thoughts, however:

It is eerie to walk so close to a weapon of mass destruction.

The B-52 bomber is one of the ultimate expressions of American power. If the president decides to drop a nuclear bomb, this is the sort of aircraft that would do it.

I am careful not to step over the red line around the plane. A sign painted on the ground warns lethal force can be used against those who cross it without authorisation.

I’ve come to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, filming for the new BBC One programme The Editors.

The programme aims to get the BBC’s on-air editors to explore – and hopefully answer – a big question. My chosen subject is the decline of American power.

There’s little evidence of it at the base, where the sign above the gate reads: “Only the best come North”.

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Poll: Three in Ten US Voters Say “Armed Revolution Might be Necessary”

Sprit_of_'76.2Jillian Rayfield writes at Salon:

A new survey of voters by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind finds that 29 percent agree with the statement,  “In the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties” – including 18 percent of Democrats, 27 percent of Independents and 44 percent of Republicans.

From the survey:

Only 38 percent of Americans who believe a revolution might be necessary support additional gun control legislation, compared with 62 percent of those who don’t think an armed revolt will be needed. “The differences in views of gun legislation are really a function of differences in what people believe guns are for,” said Cassino. “If you truly believe an armed revolution is possible in the near future, you need weapons and you’re going to be wary about government efforts to take them away.”

The poll also found that 25 percent of those surveyed “think that facts about the shootings at Sandy Hook elementary last year are being hidden.” 11 percent are unsure.

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‘Motorville’, Animated Short About U.S. Addiction to Oil

Motorville is an animated short film by Patrick Jean about a hungry city map in America that travels to a foreign nation in hopes of feeding it’s oil deprived body made up of “streets, highways and freeways.” via Vimeo Staff Picks: http://vimeo.com/62468031 The short film features sounds design by David Kamp and additional animations by both One More Production and Stephen Vuillemin.
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Creating torture centers and death squads in Iraq: Allowing psychopaths to abuse and rape children in the United States

via chycho

For me, the most amazing aspect of our society is that we have not yet come to terms with the origin of the horrors that are visited upon us. How is it possible that we do not understand that there are consequences to our actions? That if we do not begin to hold psychopaths responsible for creating death and misery around the world in our name, then how can we hope to have a different fate from those who we have victimized?

I believe the following paint a pretty clear picture, that the old axiom, we reap what we sow, is not just some abstract proverb.

In Iraq

BBC-Guardian Exposé Uses WikiLeaks to Link Iraq Torture Centers to U.S. Col. Steele & Gen. Petraeus – “A shocking new report by The Guardian and BBC Arabic details how the United States armed and trained Iraqi death squads that ran torture centers.… Read the rest

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The future of Africa looks bleak, here is why

via chycho

Contrary to what some have been hoping for, the future of Africa looks to be bloodier than its past. The reasons for this are as vast and varied as the continent itself, such as resources (oil, water, land, minerals), economic interests of external powers (growth, trade, monetary policy), and ideological differences (structure of governments, corruption, tradition, ethnicity).

One of the main reasons that this scramble for Africa has intensified in the last few years and will most likely continue to escalate for the next few decades is because western nations are losing major battles on multiple other fronts. Just to name a few: the coalition of the willing has lost Iraq as well as Afghanistan; Syria is a stalemate; Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Algeria, Congo, and Mali are a disaster; Bahrain is in lockdown; Latin America is freeing itself from U.S.

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‘Secession Is A Deeply American Principle’

So sayeth Ron Paul, via his blog. Should we expect the retiring Congressman to return to Texas and lead its secession movement?

Is all the recent talk of secession mere sour grapes over the election, or perhaps something deeper? Currently there are active petitions in support of secession for all 50 states, with Texas taking the lead in number of signatures. Texas has well over the number of signatures needed to generate a response from the administration, and while I wouldn’t hold my breath on Texas actually seceding, I believe these petitions raise a lot of worthwhile questions about the nature of our union.

Is it treasonous to want to secede from the United States? Many think the question of secession was settled by our Civil War. On the contrary; the principles of self-governance and voluntary association are at the core of our founding. Clearly Thomas Jefferson believed secession was proper, albeit as a last resort.

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What to Expect from the Obama Administration for the Next Four Years: Synopses from Tariq Ali, Gore Vidal, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, and Ralph Nader

via chycho

We are already familiar with Obama’s policies from the last four years, so we should not expect much to change now that he has retained his title as the President of the United States of America. No matter the opinion on his domestic policy both in praise and in criticism, most would agree that his foreign policy has been a dismal failure. Hence, in the grand scheme of things his administration gets a failing grade, especially considering that foreign and domestic policy have become indivisible.

Tariq Ali: Obama’s Expansion of Af-Pak War “Has Blown Up in His Face”

Below you will find four interviews conducted by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! The first is a 2008 interview with Gore Vidal about where we’ve come from – up to and including the Bush years. The second, third, and forth are 2012 interviews with Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, and Ralph Nader, respectively, summarizing Obama’s first term and giving us a glimpse of what to expect for the next four years.… Read the rest

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