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Jeff Harp, a KPIX 5 security analyst and former FBI special agent said, “They put microphones under rocks, they put microphones in trees, they plant microphones in equipment. I mean, there’s microphones that are planted in places that people don’t think about, because that’s the intent!”
FBI agents hid microphones inside light fixtures and at a bus stop outside the Oakland Courthouse without a warrant to record conversations, between March 2010 and January 2011.
Government Surveillance Program In The Bay Area Exposed « CBS San Francisco
You might ask then, “What about the great religious traditions, the teachings? They speak of discipline, rules and regulations. How do we reconcile these with the notion of a sense of humor?” Well, let’s examine the question properly. Are the regulations, the discipline, the practice of morality really based on the purely judgmental attitude of “good” as opposed to “bad”? Are the great spiritual teachings really advocating that we fight evil because we are on the side of light, the side of peace? Are they telling us to fight against that other “undesirable” side, the bad and the black? That is a big question. If there is wisdom in the sacred teachings, there should not be any war. As long as a person is involved with warfare, trying to defend or attack, then his action is not sacred; it is mundane, dualistic, a battlefield situation. One would not expect the great teachings to be as simple-minded as that, trying to be good, fighting the bad. Such would be the approach of the Hollywood western movie—even before you  have seen the conclusion, you already know precisely that the “goodies” will not be killed and the “baddies” are going to get smashed. This approach is obviously simple-minded.
Chögyam Trungpa: Cutting through spiritual materialism
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“All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

In this environment, Rhodes has become adept at ventriloquizing many people at once.

The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru - The New York Times

Few men seem to realize how many of the evils from which we suffer are wholly unnecessary, and that they could be abolished by a united effort within a few years. If a majority in every civilized country so desired, we could, within twenty years, abolish all abject poverty, quite half the illness in the world, the whole economic slavery which binds down nine tenths of our population; we could fill the world with beauty and joy, and secure the reign of universal peace. It is only because men are apathetic that this is not achieved, only because imagination is sluggish, and what always has been is regarded as what always must be. With good-will, generosity, intelligence, these things could be brought about. 

The world is full of preventible evils which most men would be glad to see prevented. Nevertheless, these evils persist, and nothing effective is done toward abolishing them. This paradox produces astonishment in inexperienced reformers, and too often produces disillusionment in those who have come to know the difficulty of changing human institutions. War is recognized as an evil by an immense majority in every civilized country; but this recognition does not prevent war. The unjust distribution of wealth must be obviously an evil to those who are not prosperous, and they are nine tenths of the population. Nevertheless it continues unabated. The tyranny of the holders of power is a source of needless suffering and misfortune to very large sections of mankind; but power remains in few hands, and tends, if anything, to grow more concentrated. I wish first to study the evils of our present institutions, and the causes of the very limited success of reformers in the past, and then to suggest reasons for the hope of a more lasting and permanent success in the near future.

Bertrand Russell: Political Ideals (1917)

In an agreement uncovered by the New Scientist, Google and its DeepMind artificial intelligence wing have been granted access to current and historic patient data at three London hospitals run by the Royal Free NHS Trust, covering 1.6 million individuals.

That would include any chronic illness people may be suffering from and the circumstances over why they were admitted – for example, if they have suffered a drug overdose. The agreement provides Google with access to data going back five years and is far more expansive than expected.

Google AI gains access to 1.2m confidential NHS patient records • The Register

One of the “audit auditors” from the citizen group testified in front of the Election Board committee that she witnessed shocking altercations to the hand-counted tallies from voting machines by Chicago Election Board auditors, noting that the auditors were changing final tallies in a bid to ensure the results matched the machine counts even when they were off by a significant margin.

In one particularly concerning instance, the citizen group witnessed an auditor erase 21 Bernie Sanders votes and add 49 Hillary Clinton votes in order to ensure the audit matched the machine’s official count. This, according to the group, is proof that the Chicago Election Board is not performing a true audit, but rather performing a “fake” audit that hides the fact that hand-counted votes were significantly different from the machine counted votes in the Chicago area.

Election Board Scandal: 21 Bernie Votes Were Erased And 49 Hillary Votes Added To Audit Tally, Group Declares
Allerdings müsse man den Menschen auch wieder klar machen, dass die Rente ein öffentliches Versicherungssystem sei, sagte Riester. Bei vielen sei der falsche Eindruck entstanden, dass der Staat denen, die lebenslang gearbeitet haben, eine anständige Rente garantieren müsse. “Was man rausbekommt, hängt vor allem von der Dauer und der Höhe der Einzahlungen ab”, stellte der frühere Arbeitsminister klar. “Die Rente ist nicht das Ergebnis einer Lebensleistung.”
Diskussion um Rente und Altersvorsorge: Walter Riester rechnet ab - Politik - Tagesspiegel
The secret court, over the objection of its hand-selected amicus, determined that once information is collected by the NSA for “foreign intelligence” purposes under section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, that information can be searched by the FBI for regular criminal investigations without any need for a warrant or prior court oversight.
Secret Court Takes Another Bite Out of the Fourth Amendment | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Asset forfeiture is fast growing – in 2014, for instance, federal authorities seized more than $5 billion in assets. That’s more than the value of assets lost in every single burglary that year.
The feds have resumed a controversial program that lets cops take stuff and keep it - The Washington Post
At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. “You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
[Report] | Legalize It All: How To Win The War on Drugs, by Dan Baum | Harper’s Magazine
If developers who aren’t officially paid to work on the project get the feeling that design decisions or feature additions are simply available to the highest bidder, they’ll head off to a project that seems more like a meritocracy and less like unpaid labor for someone else’s benefit. They may never complain overtly on the mailing lists. Instead, there will simply be less and less noise from external sources, as the “out” developers gradually stop trying to be taken seriously. The buzz of small-scale activity will continue, in the form of bug reports and occasional small fixes. But there will be fewer and fewer large code contributions from unexpected sources, fewer unexpected opinions voiced in design discussions, and so on. People sense what’s expected of them, and live up (or down) to those expectations.
Karl Fogel: Producing Open Source Software – How to Run a Successful Free Software Project
For nine years, I was the senior counterterrorism official in the U.S. government. […] I think the Justice Department and the FBI are on their own here. You know, the secretary of defense has said how important encryption is when asked about this case. The National Security Agency director and three past National Security Agency directors, a former CIA director, a former Homeland Security secretary have all said that they’re much more sympathetic with Apple in this case. You really have to understand that the FBI director is exaggerating the need for this and is trying to build it up as an emotional case, organizing the families of the victims and all of that.
Richard Clarke, former US national security official, on NPR
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In recent years, numerous studies of development aid have found impressive correlations between free money and reductions in crime, inequality, malnutrition, infant mortality, teenage pregnancy rates and truancy. It is also correlated with better school completion rates, higher economic growth and improvement in the condition of women.“The big reason poor people are poor is because they don’t have enough money,” economist Charles Kenny, a fellow at the Center for Global Development, wrote in June. “It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that giving them money is a great way to reduce that problem.”
Free money might be the best way to end poverty - The Washington Post
[Google Project Shield] is an example of what Bruce Schneier calls feudal computing, where individuals and groups swear allegiance to a large and powerful “lord” who protects them from bandits and opposing lords.
Google launches Project Shield, to protect news sites from DDoS attacks / Boing Boing
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