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Fri, 22 Oct 2021
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Hackers Declare War on Government

© NY Times
Lulz Security claimed responsibility for knocking the Central Intelligence Agency’s Web site offline last week.

The Internet may be about to get a little more chaotic than usual. Over the weekend, a group of hackers declared that they are initiating cyber warfare with governments and security companies around the world.


U.S. allegedly spying on New York Times reporter James Risen

© Unknown
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Risen has been subjected to government surveillance and harassment that began under the Bush administration, according to a 22-page affidavit he filed Tuesday.

In his 2006 book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration, author and New York Times reporter James Risen describes a CIA effort to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions by secretly providing them with faulty blueprints. In the end, a Russian defector working for the CIA exposed the plot.

Risen was subpoenaed twice to testify about his sources. The first grand jury was dissolved before he could be forced to testify. For reasons that have not been revealed, U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema quashed the second subpoena last year.


Libya conflict: France Air-Dropped Arms to Rebels

© Reuters
Libyan rebels in the west of the country are battling their way towards Tripoli
France has air-dropped weapons to rebels fighting Col Muammar Gaddafi's troops in Western Libya, the French military has confirmed.

Light arms and ammunition were sent to Berber tribal fighters in the Nafusa mountains in early June, it said.

Earlier, a report in Le Figaro newspaper said the arms included rocket launchers and anti-tank missiles.

France, a leading force in the Nato operation in Libya, did not inform its allies about the move, Le Figarosaid.

"We began by dropping humanitarian aid: food, water and medical supplies," said Col Thierry Burkhard, spokesman for the French general staff.

"During the operation, the situation for the civilians on the ground worsened. We dropped arms and means of self-defence, mainly ammunition," he told AFP news agency.

He said the arms were "light infantry weapons of the rifle type", dropped over a period of several days "so that civilians would not be massacred".

Bizarro Earth

UK: Right to Self-Defence in Homes to be 'Much Clearer'

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has said a householder who knifes a burglar will not have committed a criminal offence under plans to clarify the law on self-defence in England.

He told the BBC people were entitled to use "whatever force necessary" to protect themselves and their homes.

David Cameron recently said the issue should be put "beyond doubt".

Labour said the law was "already clear" and the remarks were a "smokescreen" to hide confusion over sentencing changes.

Mr Clarke has come under attack over proposed changes to sentencing policy, but has denied making a series of U-turns on key elements amid pressure from Tory MPs and sections of the media.

He has said he is committed to axing indeterminate prison sentences, despite opposition from many Tory MPs.

He said indeterminate sentences - where prisoners can be held beyond their original release date if they still pose a danger to society - had been an "unmitigated disaster" since they had been introduced by Tony Blair and suggested an alternative to them would be in place within two years.

On people's rights to self-defence in their homes, Mr Clarke said there was "constant doubt" about the issue and the proposed legislation would make this "much clearer".

Under the terms of the 2008 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, homeowners who use "reasonable force" to protect themselves against intruders should not be prosecuted, providing they use no more force than is absolutely necessary.


Hackers steal personal data of military, gov personnel

Please don't feed the spear phishers

Hackers breached the security of a defense industry news website and stole sensitive subscriber information that could be used in attacks targeting the US military and its contractors.

Gannet Co., publisher of DefenseNews, disclosed the bad news in an advisory published Monday. Data exposed included subscribers' first and last names, usernames, passwords, email addresses, and in many cases military duty status, paygrade, and branch of service.


A message for Israel and Evangelicals: Genesis isn't a policy guide

Evangelical support israel
© Unknown
With a dogmatic loyalty to Israel born out of a literal interpretation of the Bible, is the American Christian Right the new Jewish lobby in US politics? Mixing religion and statecraft isn't just dangerous and unwise. It's sacrilegious.

I recently passed a local evangelical church here in rural New England with a sign that read: "We Love You Israel. Hold God's Land."

The sign is part of a wider phenomenon: the American Christian right's dogmatic support for Israel and the Jewish state's claim to the "Holy Land." It's a loyalty born out of a literal interpretation of the Bible and its apocalyptic narrative and a view that ascribes divinity to a physical place. And this reflexive support for Israel has spread to the broader conservative base and American political scene in general. Look no further than Glenn Beck's "Restore Courage" trip to Jerusalem planned for this August, which at least one GOP presidential contender has noted he will attend.

Such religious attachment isn't an isolated theological agenda. It's at the heart and history of the conflict in the Middle East.

But with a Palestinian bid for statehood planned for September and escalating tensions in the region, there's too much at stake to use God as a real estate broker. To avoid a potentially violent flash point, leaders must look to a peaceful constituency - not the political ploys - of the world's great religions, all converging in this Holy Land.


New Poll: 48% of New Yorkers Support a New 9/11 Investigation into Building 7′s Collapse

© Unknown
As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches quickly, a new Siena poll shows that half of New Yorkers today are in support of a new probe into the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7.

The poll shows that 1 in 3 New Yorkers were unaware of Building 7′s collapse and, despite the importance of the events of that day, only 25% have ever seen video footage of Building 7 collapsing at free fall. Only 14% could identify the name of the skyscraper.

Moreover, the poll shows that only 49% who were aware of Building 7′s collapse believe fires brought it down. 24% believe it was a controlled demolition, and 23% are unsure.


Microsoft patents spy tech for Skype

'Legal Intercept' will allow it to silently record VoIP communications.

A newly patented Microsoft technology called Legal Intercept that would allow the company to secretly intercept, monitor and record Skype calls is stoking privacy concerns.

Microsoft's patent application for Legal Intercept was filed in 2009, well before the company's $8.5 billion purchase of Skype in May. The patent was granted last week.

From Microsoft's description of the technology in its patent application, Legal Intercept appears similar to tools used by telecommunication companies and equipment makers to comply with government wiretap and surveillance requests.

According to Microsoft, Legal Intercept is designed to silently record communications on VoIP networks such as Skype.


The American Police State is the 'New Normal'

america police state
© Unknown
According to The New York Times, the FBI just raided a data center in Virginia and seized many of its servers, causing websites owned by "tens of clients" to go offline -- including those belonging to people who hadn't broken a law, and were not suspected of any crime.

It may seem silly to get upset about the police taking down websites you don't use. A certain quote may come to mind, though, as we look at other ways that the police in America abuse their power.

Tasering nonviolent people to death

A 72-year-old woman named Kathryn Winkfein got tasered not too long ago after she lost her temper at the cop who pulled her over. Her offense? Shouting at him.

Luckily, she "learned her lesson" about talking back to America's authority figures. She was also awarded $40,000 in damages, which her County Constable, Richard McCain, complained was a reward for "bad behavior." Apparently putting 50,000 volts through the heart of someone's great-grandma is not bad behavior, as long as you wear a police uniform.

Winkfein was lucky. In what Digby calls the "Taser Atrocity Of The Day," a man who took groceries without having paid for them was tasered continuously for 37 seconds, after he became "aggressive and was communicating loudly." He died in the hospital.

The police officer who killed him was suspended for five days.

Comment: It appears that the average person is now catching up with what SOTT has been reporting for years. The fascist machinery that has been creeping into place ever since 9/11 is now plain enough to see for anyone with two neurons firing. How it will be met is another question. The PTB are hoping for violence and with Earth Changes already underway and resource shortages looming in the near future, it doesn't appear that inciting those predisposed to violence will be very hard. It will make the final clampdown justifiable to authoritarian types.

The rest of us must keep ourselves as educated and objectively aware as possible to avoid being stampeded into a crisis situation, whether it be cosmic or man-made. As many have already discovered, meditation, particularly our Eiriu Eolas breathing program, is one good way to reduce stress and stay aware during these difficult times that face us.

Heart - Black

Who Knew That Walmart Was a Marxist Company?

evil walmart
© Reclaim Democracy.org
According to several aggrieved women who filed a class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart, the giant retailer's recent employment practices were not based on merit. Instead, those women say, Sam Walton's empire employed a crude form of Marxism.

Men were often paid more than women in the same jobs, according to legal documents, and women who complained were told that the men needed more money because they were expected to support their families. Or, as Karl Marx put it, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

It would no doubt have come as a surprise to the male managers who endorsed the higher-pay-for-heads-of-households theory that they shared a basic tenet of Marxism. After all, Wal-Mart's image rests solidly on down-home, all-American values with a Southern accent -- God, guns and cheap electronics.

Indeed, Wal-Mart's culture isn't foreign. Its anti-union activities are a commonplace. Over the years, moreover, there have been countless American companies where women employees complained about discrimination -- where they received lower wages for the same work, where they were denied promotions despite stellar work histories, where they complained of sexist antics and crude, juvenile "jokes."

Wal-Mart is not only the world's biggest retailer, but it is also the nation's largest private employer. Its sales are heavily dependent on women, who determine a major portion of most household purchases. Most of Wal-Mart's hourly employees are women, but most of its salaried managers are men.

The retailer has not been judged innocent by the U.S. Supreme Court. Last week, instead, the court rejected the class-action filing, Dukes v. Wal-Mart, that might have allowed as many as 1.5 million current and former female employees to collect financial redress. A conservative majority let the retail empire off the hook because, as Justice Antonin Scalia put it, the plaintiffs "provide no convincing proof of a company-wide discriminatory pay and promotion policy."

I cannot imagine that any American company would have an official policy that supports discrimination. Instead, Wal-Mart appears to have allowed individual managers at various levels to get away with rank sexism. Unfortunately, many of the women who suffered at their hands would be hard-pressed to amass the resources to file individual lawsuits, so a class action was their best hope for justice.