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Surveillance in America: Dark arts, black hats

For those of us who have nothing to hide today, the idea that tomorrow’s leaders may be peeping at everything we do that we presume to be private is downright creepy!  Indeed, the so called leak scandal in DC today is giving more and more people some pause.

Imagine that we continue to allow the government to peek in on our lives with impunity.  Tomorrow, a government program that is partly privatized lands your most personal and private information in the hands of a leaker.  But that leaker does not leak to the general public, he or she sells or uses your information for personal gain.   The possibilities are no longer hypothetical.  It  all seems to be unraveling before our very eyes…

“‘WE WANT you to help us do this better,” asserted General Keith Alexander (pictured), the director of America’s National Security Agency (NSA), to hundreds of computer hackers at Black Hat, an annual information-security conference in Las Vegas on July 31st. General Alexander claimed that his agency’s mass-surveillance programmes had stopped 54 potential terrorist plots. He reassured the audience that their privacy was being protected. Still, there were a few heckles.

America’s spies have had a tough time since Edward Snowden, a former intelligence contractor, began leaking information that revealed the massive scale of NSA snooping. Indeed, just as General Alexander tried to charm the geeks, Britain’s Guardian newspaper published another leak by Mr Snowden. This one revealed a system called XKeyscore that lets the NSA glean emails, chats and browsing histories without specific authorisation. The intelligence agency confirmed the programme, but said it was lawful and essential.”

More via Surveillance in America: Dark arts, black hats | The Economist.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, Culture Think, MashCrunchWired, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, political corruption, Political Economy, Political Facts and Fiction, political plots, propaganda and spin, Public Policy, Technology and You,

Mountain of Petroleum Coke From Oil Sands Rises in Detroit – NYTimes.com

There may be no more important singular idea than the notion that corporations are persons.  Indeed, they are.

The Koch brothers continue to be the target of media attention and this time they are not strategizing or paying for it.  They are getting a freebee.  It appears that an environmental secretion from their pursuit of wealth function has piled up higher and deeper in the  eye of the media and in the middle of the “pristine” great lakes region.  Oil… of course.  Texas gold, or US black mud… or whatever earth exploiters and investors call it these days.  Environmentalists and world builders are colliding once again as they accuse one another about tree hugging the world on the one hand and exploiting it for  greed on the other.  In the meantime the real lesson at hand here goes unnoticed.

The key and central problem we see on the horizon today is not piles of environmental waste but the proverbial “free rider problem” which is as old as cave metaphors and necessary untruths.   It is big corporate money (to be sure corporate profits in the hands of ideologues) applied to our political discourse.  The NYTs points it out… but what are we to do?

“Assumption Park gives residents of this city lovely views of the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit skyline. Lately they’ve been treated to another sight: a three-story pile of petroleum coke covering an entire city block on the other side of the …”

via Mountain of Petroleum Coke From Oil Sands Rises in Detroit – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, consumers, ideology, lobbying, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, political corruption, Political Economy, profit motive and carcinogens, propaganda and spin, Public Health, Public Policy, regulations, , , , ,

There is a reason why we have a war on drugs and why we cannot win it… « HealthThinkShop

So the issue is twofold:

First, there is the problem of a powerful drug being re-marketed as Oxycontin and promoted in ways that lead to abuse.

Secondly, there is the demand for this drug that is created that in turn creates a tremendous market that seduces the greedy and the stupid (the marketers and the profiteers because thinking you can sale this stuff and not get caught is not brilliant) and the users who are often victims who innocently become dependent and spend the rest of their lives needing more of the drug to prevent from “getting sick” when they violently experience withdrawal from this highly addictive and dangerous drug–people get so sedated under this drug that they stop breathing and die…).

This is not most importantly a debate about weed or about politics, or even about criminality… It is a calculated business move by investors to promote a substance that is now running wild in our society and killing innocent people…

via There is a reason why we have a war on drugs and why we cannot win it… « HealthThinkShop.

Filed under: Behavioral Health Outcomes, Blogosphere, Community Tragedy, consumers, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Culture Think, Death and Dying, ethics, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, News, Parenting, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, political corruption, Political Economy, Political Facts and Fiction, Public Health, Public Policy, regulations, waging war, WeSeeReason, , , ,

Report Faults India Government Over Child Sex Abuse – NYTimes.com

India’s troubles continue beyond its economic slump into its social fabric.  The immense country is home to a huge portion of the world children and it’s laws do not seem up to the task of nurturing and protecting them.  India is a society of hierarchy and class leaving many poor children at the mercy of those with privilege and power…

“Sexual abuse of children is “disturbingly common” in India, and the government’s response to it has fallen short, both in protecting children and in treating victims, Human Rights Watch said in a report released…”

via Report Faults India Government Over Child Sex Abuse – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Behavioral Health Outcomes, Blogosphere, Child Abuse, Children and Poverty, Community Tragedy, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Culture Think, Gender, Gender Policy, Maternal and Child Health, News, Parenting, political corruption, Political Economy, Women's rights,

Venezuela’s presidential election: The autocrat and the ballot box | The Economist

ON SEPTEMBER 12th a queue of stationary vehicles kilometres long blocked the coastal highway that leads out of Puerto Cabello. “Politics,” said a resident, wearily, by way of explanation.

The politics in question were taking place beside the entrance to the port city’s weed-infested airstrip. A small group of supporters was waiting to escort …

More via Venezuela’s presidential election: The autocrat and the ballot box | The Economist.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Latin American Alliances, Latinos, News, political corruption, political plots, propaganda and spin, , , ,

U.S. Tracking Killers in Attack on Libya Mission – NYTimes.com

The United States is laying the groundwork for operations to kill or capture militants implicated in the deadly attack on a diplomatic mission in …

More via U.S. Tracking Killers in Attack on Libya Mission – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Africa, Blogosphere, Community Tragedy, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Death and Dying, Election 2012, News, political corruption, political plots, Political Violence,

News Corporation: Have I got news for you | The Economist

THE most humble day of my life,” is how Rupert Murdoch, the boss of News Corporation, described his experience being excoriated by British parliamentarians in July 2011. Accusations of phone hacking, police bribery and negligence involving Mr Murdoch’s News …

More via News Corporation: Have I got news for you | The Economist.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Crimes and Misdemeanors, ethics, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, Paper Media, political corruption, political plots, Privacy, propaganda and spin, ,

Video – Miscues Before Assault on U.S. Embassy in Libya – WSJ.com

The deadly assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya on Sept. 11 was preceded by a succession of security lapses and misjudgments, compounded by fog-of-battle decisions, that raise questions about whether the scope of the tragedy could have been …

MORE via Video – Miscues Before Assault on U.S. Embassy in Libya – WSJ.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Election 2012, International Relations, Middle East Freedom, News, political corruption, political plots, Political Violence, social protests, symbolic uses of politics, waging war, , ,

Eight Charged With Phone-Hacking Offenses in U.K. – WSJ.com

British prosecutors accused a group of former top journalists at News Corp.’s NWSA -0.32% now-closed News of the World tabloid—including former editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson—of conspiring to hack the voice mail of more than 600 celebrities, sports stars, politicians and …

MORE via Eight Charged With Phone-Hacking Offenses in U.K. – WSJ.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, consumers, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, Paper Media, political corruption, Privacy

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