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Brazil's Vinegar Revolution: Left in Form, Right in Content - Part 1

© unknown
Fascism has presented itself as the anti-party; has opened its gates to all applicants; has with its promise of impunity enabled a formless multitude to cover over the savage outpouring of passions, hatreds and desires with a varnish of vague and nebulous political ideals. - Gramsci

The Working class spontaneously gravitates towards socialism; nevertheless most widespread (and continuously and diversely revived) bourgeois ideology spontaneously imposes itself upon the working class to a still greater degree. - Lenin

"It's not just about 20 cents". This was the status message of Mark Zuckerberg, head of Facebook last week, a message that was relayed through several of Brazil's major cities. The message became one of the initial slogans of what many are now calling the "Vinegar Revolution" which was reportedly triggered by a 20 cent hike in bus fares in the city of Sao Paulo June 20th.


Hi, I'm your new Axis of Evil

Axis of evil
© Unknown
I have argued that what has just happened in Egypt is a bloodbath that is not a bloodbath, conducted by a military junta responsible for a coup that is not a coup, under the guise of an Egyptian "war on terror". Yet this newspeak gambit - which easily could have been written at the White House - is just part of the picture.

Amid a thick fog of spin and competing agendas, a startling fact stands out. A poll only 10 days ago by the Egyptian Center for Media Studies and Public Opinion had already shown that 69% were against the July 3 military coup orchestrated by the Pinochet-esque Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

So the bloodbath that is not a bloodbath cannot possibly be considered legitimate - unless for a privileged coterie of Mubarakists (the so-called fulool), a bunch of corrupt oligarchs and the military-controlled Egyptian "deep state".

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) government led by Mohamed Morsi may have been utterly incompetent - trying to rewrite the Egyptian constitution; inciting hardcore fundamentalists; and bowing in debasement in front of the International Monetary Fund. But it should not be forgotten this was coupled with permanent, all-out sabotage by the "deep state".


David Miranda says he was threatened with jail if he didn't co-operate

Glenn Greenwald, David Miranda
© Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, left, walks with his partner, David Miranda, in Rio de Janeiro's International Airport. U.K. authorities detained Miranda Sunday as he passed through London's Heathrow Airport. Greenwald has close links to Edward Snowden, the former U.S. spy agency contractor who has been granted asylum by Russia
Partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald gives his first interview on nine-hour interrogation at Heathrow airport

David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian journalist who broke stories of mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency, has accused Britain of a "total abuse of power" for interrogating him for almost nine hours at Heathrow under the Terrorism Act.

In his first interview since returning to his home in Rio de Janeiro early on Monday, Miranda said the authorities in the UK had pandered to the US in trying to intimidate him and force him to reveal the passwords to his computer and mobile phone.

"They were threatening me all the time and saying I would be put in jail if I didn't co-operate," said Miranda. "They treated me like I was a criminal or someone about to attack the UK ... It was exhausting and frustrating, but I knew I wasn't doing anything wrong."

Miranda - a Brazilian national who lives with Greenwald in Rio - was held for the maximum time permitted under schedule seven of the Terrorism Act 2000 which allows officers to stop, search and question individuals at airports, ports and border areas.

During that time, he said, he was not allowed to call his partner, who is a qualified lawyer in the US, nor was he given an interpreter, despite being promised one because he felt uncomfortable speaking in a second language.

"I was in a different country with different laws, in a room with seven agents coming and going who kept asking me questions. I thought anything could happen. I thought I might be detained for a very long time," he said.

He was on his way back from Berlin, where he was ferrying materials between Greenwald and Laura Poitras, the US film-maker who has also been working on stories related to the NSA files released by US whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

Eye 2

How to Hide Data: Spy-Coins


£1 MicroPound Hollow Spy Coin
Anyone with data to conceal can get one of these coins and hide a micro-SD card inside that will hold up to 128 GB of data.

This is why it was a pointless exercise in Gestapo tactics for the UK government to destroy the computers at the UK Guardian to try to erase the Edward Snowden leaks. That data is out there and there is no way to get it back, ever.

Available, here


Hosni Mubarak to be freed as Army tightens its grip on Egypt

© Associated Press/Amir Nabil
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak sits during his meeting with Emirates foreign minister, not pictured, at the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt.
Jailed ex-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could be released later this week, judicial officials said Monday, a move that would fuel the unrest roiling the country after the autocratic leader's successor was removed in a military coup.

Underscoring the growing anger over Mohammed Morsi's ouster, suspected Islamic militants ambushed two minibuses carrying off-duty policemen in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, forcing the men to lie on the sand and shooting 25 of them dead.

The brazen daylight attack raised fears that the strategic desert region bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip could be plunged into insurgency.

The 25 were given a funeral with full military honors after a plane brought their bodies to an air base in eastern Cairo. Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, who is in charge of the police, and the army's Chief of Staff, Gen. Sobhi Saleh, led the funeral.


Pervez Musharraf indicted over Benazir Bhutto murder

Pakistan's former military leader Pervez Musharraf was formally charged by a court on Tuesday with murdering Benazir Bhutto, the ex-prime minister who was assassinated at a political campaign rally in 2007.

Musharraf was indicted during a short hearing at a court in the city of Rawalpindi, a move that adds to the problems facing the former president who returned from self-exile in March only to be entangled in three legal cases, barred from contesting elections and put under house arrest.

Public prosecutor Mohammad Azhar told reporters that the 70-year-old retired general was charged with murder, conspiracy to murder and facilitation of murder during a short hearing.

Comment: Read also the SOTT focus from December 27 2007, the day Benazir Bhutto was murdered: Benazir Bhutto - A Warning To Us All


Feeling safer yet? TSA to purchase 3.5 million rounds of ammunition

© Unknown
The Transportation Security Administration is set to purchase 3.5 million .357 SIG caliber bullets, enough for its agents to fire 9,400 rounds a day, every day of the year.

According to a solicitation issued by the agency on August 16, the TSA is looking to buy "3,454,000 rounds of .347 SIG Caliber Training Ammunition."

Although TSA agents in airports are currently unarmed, last month the TSA announced its plan to hire the use of a firing range within a 20 mile radius of LaGuardia Airport in order to train TSA workers.


Biting our tongues doesn't keep us safe ... It only Increases danger in the long run

Martin Niemöller
© niemoellerschule.de
Martin Niemöller.
First They Came ...

Preface: German pastor Martin Niemöller initially supported Hitler. But he later opposed him, and was imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp for years.

Niemöller learned the hard way that keep your head down doesn't keep one out of trouble ... in the long run, it increases the danger to all of us.

Niemöller wrote a brilliant poem - First They Came - about the manner in which Germans allowed Nazi abuses by failing to protest the abuse of "others" ... first gypsies, gays, communists, and Jews, then Catholics ... and eventually everyone.

This is my modern interpretation of Niemöller's poem ...


British Government facing legal action over David Miranda detention

Alan Rusbridger, Edward Snowden and David Miranda
© C4 News
Alan Rusbridger, Edward Snowden and David Miranda
Home Secretary Theresa May says she was briefed ahead of the possible detention of David Miranda, the partner of a Guardian journalist, at Heathrow airport.

Mr Miranda was held for almost nine hours at Heathrow, as he travelled from Germany to Brazil where he lives with Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who reported on leaks from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Theresa May revealed she was briefed about the "possibility" that he might be detained. She said it was right for police to act as they see fit to prevent terrorism, and it was not for her to tell police who they should or should not stop at ports, or who they should arrest.


Watchdogs blast David Miranda treatment, harassment and intimidation

Glenn Greenwald, David Miranda
© Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, left, walks with his partner, David Miranda, in Rio de Janeiro's International Airport. U.K. authorities detained Miranda Sunday as he passed through London's Heathrow Airport. Greenwald has close links to Edward Snowden, the former U.S. spy agency contractor who has been granted asylum by Russia
Media watchdogs and observers on Monday widely blasted the detention of David Miranda, the partner of The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, as "disturbing" and an "attempt at pure intimidation."

Miranda, a Brazilian citizen, was held for nine hours Sunday at London Heathrow Airport and questioned under Britain's Terrorism Act, a move that many media critics decried in columns and statements on Monday. Miranda, 28, lives in Rio de Janiero with Greenwald and was passing through London's Heathrow airport after spending the week in Berlin with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, who has been working with Greenwald to release information leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The Guardian paid for Miranda's flights, the paper reported.