Tag Archives: Politics

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Snake Cyberweapon Unleashed in Ukraine

We recently added Krebs On Security to the sidebar, and now that it’s starting to pick up pace expect more cybercrime stories to appear here. Ukraine has already been in the news this week with an escalation of traditional military forces however reports of cyber-weaponry being used are starting to surface.

Cyber Snake plagues Ukraine networks [via FinancialTimes]

{A]ccording to clues left in the code, parts of which also contain fragments of Russian text. It is believed to be an upgrade of the Agent.BTZ attack that penetrated US military systems in 2008.

BAE has identified 56 apparent infections by Snake globally since 2010, almost all in the past 14 months. Ukraine is the primary target, with 32 recorded instances, 22 of which have occurred since January 2013.

Rand Corporation Headquarters

Rand (The Corporation, Not Ayn or Paul)

A lengthy write-up today in Neatorama about the RAND Corporation, a think-tank most are familiar with on some level without really knowing it’s place in history.

Think, of a huge R&D house, that inspired Doctor Strangelove, but also researched the effectiveness of government healthcare under the Nixon administration.

While I think their headline is a bit too suggestive and I don’t buy into the whole “controls America” appeal, this was a worthwhile read.

The Rand Corporation: The Think Tank That Controls America

Health care was just the beginning of RAND’s expansion into the social sciences. Although 50 percent of RAND’s current $223 million budget still comes from federal funding, much of that goes toward non-defense work. The think tank currently employs close to 1,000 researchers, who spend their time analyzing everything from renewable energy and obesity to hurricanes and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Ratko Mladić Arrested

Without the need for a NATO intervention or  challenge to national sovereignty, world news sources are announcing the arrest Ratko Mladić, the mastermind behind the Srebrenica Massacre during the Bosnian War of the 1990s.

My disdain for the handling of the conflict, especially the Srebrenica Massacre is something I have mentioned on this site before; the international response during the war undoubtably has left a long-standing impression on me.

This is major news, and I find it disappointing it is not a top headline on more news sources this morning; Mladić is responsible for masterminding one of the larger genocides of my lifetime. Additionally, the arrest opens the door for Serbian entry into the European Union, as they have demanded Mladić be brought to justice before any considerations began.

Read more about the arrest from the NYTimes or NPR

UN Peacekeeping : A Humantarian Greatest Hits Box Set

It is a shame that the United Nations is far better at resourcing architects than they are peacekeepers. I will spare everybody a Bush : Iraq/Afghanistan :: Obama : Libya/Afghanistan comparison. What I would like to bring attention to however is the United Nations’ recent history when it comes to it’s “Peacekeeping Efforts” in ares under political turmoil.

Below I have paraphrased from Wikipedia and other sources some esteemed highlights. I would like to point out that all the examples provided below happened during my life, at a time I can vividly remember. Most likely yours too. These events are not far removed in our collective history. As the US, and other countries enter Libya under similar pretenses described below under the guise of NATO and the UN alike, hopefully we are not doomed to make the mistakes of our past.

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RIP: The Fourth Amendment (1791-2010)

“Nobody likes to have their 4th Amendment violated going through a security line, but truth of the matter is, we’re gonna have to do it”

Their words, not mine. If this doesn’t make you angry or scared….

We need to take our country and privacy back from thugs like the TSA, FEMA, and DHS. I am all for some Hope and Change but it needs to come from the populace, not any current political administrations or organizations. This is America, we are a Republic – remind your elected officials that we hold the power, not them.

USDA – Culinary Spin Doctors

Dairy Management spent millions of dollars on research to support a national advertising campaign promoting the notion that people could lose weight by consuming more dairy products, records and interviews show. The campaign went on for four years, ending in 2007, even though other researchers — one paid by Dairy Management itself — found no such weight-loss benefits.

An interesting article today from the NY Times, reporting on how the same government agencies than warn us about the dangers of saturated fats and cheese consumption are using government money to develop and market products for such purveyors of healthy foods as Domino’s Pizza and Taco Bell. I love cheese, and, yes I am aware that there are more pressing political issues than the aforementioned however – I love food and politics so, this one seemed worth sharing

The USDA’s conflict of interest problem in a nutshell [via NY Times]

Philadelphia requiring business license to blog

I am not sure what exactly the city of Philadelphia is thinking requiring city-based bloggers begin paying for what amounts to a business license. For most bloggers I know, we are doing this as a labor of love. I myself have a regular day job and do this just for my own benefit and, the simple fact that a handful of people actually do enjoy the content here from time to time. I have no ads here, I generate no income from this site, in fact – I come out of pocket to pay hosting costs and invest my own free time into contributing content and updating things on the back-end (hence why it happens so sporadically). Either way, what a bunch of crap…

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/philly-requiring-bloggers-to-pay-300-for-a-business-license-101264664.html

http://consumerist.com/2010/08/itll-cost-you-300-to-blog-in-philadelphia.html

WaPo exposes depth of Gov't disarray

Recently, the Washington Post launched on an extensive expose surrounding the myriad changes to government programs and spending as a result of the attacks on September 11, 2001 in New York City. The report exposes an extreme number of unsettling revelations obviously, and I don’t want to use this space here to rehash all the information they have collected.

I have not had an opportunity to read the whole thing as of yet, however, I definitely plan on it and I highly encourage sharing the link with as many people possible. Regardless of what side of the political fence you stand on I think everybody in America is ready for some form of change. Information only helps serve voters in bringing about the changes important to them so, as we enter a new election period in 2010, I highly suggest the following:

TOP SECRET AMERICA – A Washington Post Investigation
short link: http://l.icnt.mx/cTJT3j

Weeks later, as he sat in the corner of a ballroom at the Willard Hotel waiting to give a speech, he [retired Adm. Dennis C. Blair] mused about The Post’s findings. “After 9/11, when we decided to attack violent extremism, we did as we so often do in this country,” he said. “The attitude was, if it’s worth doing, it’s probably worth overdoing.”

Please read, please form your own opinions, please share with a friend, and please discuss this openly.

Oysters Love Crude Oil

For all my seafood and shellfish loving friends, I am similarly concerned about the state of good food as a consequence of Deepwater Horizon spilling tonnes of oil into  the Gulf of Mexico.  Fortunately, this wonderful film reel explains how much our beloved bivalves appreciate living in oil infested waters. Skip ahead to the 9:00 mark for the lulz.

Thanks to the Consumerist for the original breakout on this

General Motors : I hope GMAC didn't teach you this

General Motors has recently aired commercials noting it’s newfound success for it’s ability to repay government loans, and promises a commitment to exceed consumer expectations. The Washington Times reports however that the company is currently under investigation for repayment fraud, allegedly using TARP funds to repay government loans.

I’m not going to pretend to have huge economic prowess but you can’t convince me this looks good long-term.

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Wannabe Veeps

If you had told me a week and a half ago that I would have nothing to say about the presidential debate at Ole Miss and would end up writing a semi-political post to my blog about the Vice Presidential selection I would have been disappointed and probably wouldn’t have believed you. However, before we begin with the meat of this discussion let me first give the caveat that I have absolutely no stake in these debates, or arguably the election as a whole; for the first time in my voting life, I am not a supporter of either of the two major candidates for office. The state of things both internally and externally have formed what most people would refer to as “Libertarian” mindset,  however I’m reluctant to label myself as such. This election I am supporting Ron Paul, and unfortunately that seems like nothing more than an idealistic vote at this point — however, I digress…..

Ok, let me be the first to admit I haven’t been following up on these VP candidates nearly as much as I should, the most I knew about Sarah Palin coming into tonight was she made for some pretty awesome memes online, and apparently made SNL culturally relevant for the first time in seven years. Biden I was totally in the dark about as well. After watching the debate, a few things became clear, however, I don’t think they were the “selling-points” either side was really looking for. With that being said, I have a complete understanding now of why McCain has chosen Sarah Palin as his running mate. Love her or hate her she’s profoundly charismatic, and has the same allure that W had over Kerry in the previous election. Say what you will about W but the fact of the matter is W is more of an “average Joe” you would run into at the local bar on a slow Friday night and get into casual conversation with. You may not necessarily agree with the guy but, you connect with him on a social level. Palin is able to accomplish this through her use of conversational English over strict eloquence during the debate. Unfortunately, for the GOP this time, it’s going to take more than a down-to-earth personality to shake up the Obama hype-train. Unfortunately, where she stands on issues, I have no freaking clue — anytime she began to try and speak at any great length about anything it turned into some long diatribe about who knows what. Listening to Sarah Palin reminded me of my days in college; a somewhat attractive female speaking very quickly and using a lot of words, but even after a couple minutes I haven’t really picked up anything of substance.

Biden I am not too sure of, first off, he doesn’t know what Article I of the Constitution of the United States provisions, this may seem like a minor detail but if you are going to use this as a debate point, make sure you are using it correctly. When asked about Clean Coal, he pointed the finger at our one trillion dollar lender for the horrors of global warming. Now might be a good time to point out that the United States hasn’t never accepted the terms of the Kyoto Protocol — who are we to go around pointing the finger? Biden also seemed to want to contradict his own running-mate quite a bit, to the point where I wondered if they have ever gotten together to discuss their stance on policy. Barack Obama said he would sit down with Ahmadinejad, Biden claims otherwise, which is disappointing considering Barack Obama’s own site has an entire page dedicated to explaining Obama’s stance on this issue. And as far as small-businesses and small-business owners going unaffected by a tax increase at the $250k mark, that just doesn’t seem to add up to me.

This debate, for better or worse was not the train-wreck everybody expected Sarah Palin to fall into, and to be quite honest, there were times I felt her approach to the debate had Biden appearing to be on the defensive, whether or not it will have any measurable effect, or has one measurable enough to cause any real change is a whole other story. Either way, that 90 minutes pretty much solidified it in my head, I’m not voting for either of those two people to be in the White House next year.

(This article was Cross-Published from bipped.com)