Mini-Me: Ghani Named Winner in Afghanistan — US Overrides Afghan Constitution and Forces Him to Accept Panjshiri Criminals As “Partners”

Who?  Mini-Me?

Who? Mini-Me?

Ghani named winner of Afghan election, will share power with rival in new government

Former finance minister Ashraf Ghani was declared the winner of Afghanistan’s contested presidential election Sunday, setting the stage for President Hamid Karzai’s departure from office and a security agreement allowing American troops to remain in the country after this year.

Ghani, 65, will become Afghanistan’s second president since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 and will face the continued threat of Islamist militancy, a severe budget shortfall that threatens to bankrupt the government, and rampant public corruption.

But before he was declared the winner in Afghanistan’s grueling year-long election process, Ghani agreed Sunday to share power with the second-place finisher, Abdullah Abdullah.

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Sep 21

Stephen E. Arnold: Russia (BRICS?) Firewalling the Internet

Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold

Russian Content: Tough to Search If Russia Is Not on the Internet

Forget running queries on Yandex.ru if Russia disconnects from the Internet. Sure, there may be workarounds, but these might invite some additional scrutiny. Why am I suggesting that some Russian content becomes unsearchable. Well, I believed the story “Russia to Be Disconnected from the Internet.” Isn’t Pravda a go to source for accurate, objective information?

The story asserts:

This is not a question of disconnecting Russia from the international network, yet, Russian operators will need to set up their equipment in a way to be able to disconnect the Russian Internet from the global network quickly in case of emergency, the newspaper wrote. As for the state of emergency, it goes about both military actions and large-scale riots in the country. In addition, the government reportedly discusses a possibility to empower the state with the function to administer domains. Currently this is a function of a public organization – the Coordination Center for the National Domain of the Internet. The purpose of the possible measure is not to isolate Russia from the outside world, but to protect the country, should the USA, for example, decide to disconnect Russia from the system of IP-addresses. It will be possible to avoid this threat, if Russia has a local regulator to distribute IP-addresses inside the country, rather than the ICANN, controlled by the United States government. This requires operators to set up “mirrors” that will be able to receive user requests and forward them to specific domain names.

Interesting. Who is being kept in the information closet? I suppose it depends on one’s point of view. Need an update for Sphinx Search? There will be a solution because some folks will plan ahead.

Stephen E Arnold, September 20, 2014

See Also:

BRICS Internet @ Phi Beta Iota

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Sep 21

SchwartzReport: Wind/Solar Surpass Oil as Investment

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

We have reached the tipping point in the transition out of carbon, and the momentum of this historic change is just beginning to gather speed. This is profoundly good news. Click through to see the charts and tables.

$100B in Wind or Solar Will Now Produce More Energy Than the Same Investment in Oil
Impact Lab/Reader Supported News

Kepler Chevreux, a French investment bank, has produced a fascinating analysis that has dramatic implications for the global oil industry. The investment bank estimates that $100 billion invested in either wind energy or solar energy – and deployed as energy for light and commercial vehicles – will produce significantly more energy than that same $100 billion invested in oil.

The implications, needless to say, are dramatic. It would signal the end of Big Oil, and the demise of an industry that has dominated the global economy and geo-politics, for the last few decades. And the need for it to reshape its business model around renewables, as we discuss here.

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Sep 21

SchwartzReport: Localism Accelerating — Virtual Secession

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

Here is some excellent news about the Localism Trend. I am beginning to see in many trends a meta-trend emerging. The shift of power to the local level. It is, I think, a response to the perceived corruption of all branches of the Federal government to the service of the uber-rich. Power then began moving to the states but, even there this same corruption is at work, and so it ! steps down to the local level.

Beyond the CSA: Four Ways Communities Support Everything From Books to Beer
DANA DRUGMAND – Yes!

Since the first community supported agriculture program was established in western Massachusetts in the 1980s, the concept of buying food directly from local farms has taken off. There are now thousands of CSAs across the country. It’s a simple enough model-consumers purchase a share of the season’s harvest upfront, and they get a box or bag of fresh, locally grown produce each week from the farm.

And this model is not restricted to farming. In recent years, people have applied the CSA idea to other types of goods and services such as dining out, microbrews, and even fish. It’s a system that works for both producers and consumers. Here are some of our favorite examples.

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See Also:

Secession @ Phi Beta Iota

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Sep 21

Anthony Judge: Reimagining Tesla’s Creativity through Technomimicry – Psychosocial empowerment by imagining charged conditions otherwise

Anthony Judge

Anthony Judge

Reimagining Tesla’s Creativity through Technomimicry

Psychosocial empowerment by imagining charged conditions otherwise

Introduction
Fulsome appreciation of the problem-filled life of an eccentric genius
Creative insight into handling duality
Progressive engagement of the gifted with reality
Visual thinking as indicated by Tesla and by consideration thereof
Psychosocial relevance of Tesla’s creative process
Imagining a method for adapting Tesla’s insights to a psychosocial context
Detecting a meta-pattern of connectivity amongst Tesla’s insights
Patterns of patterns: towards dynamic integrative mapping of inventions
Potential implications of alternation and rotation in psychosocial fields
Psychosocial insights from the electrical War of Currents — AC versus DC
Tesla as an extraordinarily instructive experimental failure
Encycling positive and negative for future sustainability
References

See Also:

Anthony Judge @ Phi Beta Iota

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Sep 20

Berto Jongman: Ebola Speculation – Martyrs in Venezuela, US Role in African Outbreak?

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

“Ebola Martyrs” Have Now Reached South America, US Warned Is Next

The Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) is warning today that a “strong contingent” of Islamic State (IS) “Ebola Martyrs” they had previously described in their 15 August report, and who are preparing to target the United States, have now reached the South American nation of Venezuela where at least 10 people have died showing symptoms of this feared disease during the past week.

. . . . . . .

If this Ebola virus is not airborne then, SVR intelligence analysts in this report state, the only way to describe its unprecedented spread is by “manipulated human means”…meaning “someone” is deliberately spreading this disease.

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Sep 20

Berto Jongman: Clint Watts on Seven Flaws in US Strategy to Counter ISIS

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Seven Flaws In the U.S. Strategy to Counter ISIS

(Editor’s Note: This blog post is derived from Clint Watts’ Ginsburg Lecture delivered at the National Liberty Museum on September 16, 2014.)

The past week’s debate on how to counter ISIS has proven just how effective terrorism is as a tactic for extremist groups.  Two videos showing the beheading of American hostages have provoked the largest U.S. response since the attacks of 9/11, compelling President Obama to hastily gather up a strategy to counter ISIS. Aside from the general confusion over what to call the group, there is even greater disagreement over what to do.  Overall, I don’t disagree with most of the actions the U.S. is taking to counter ISIS, but I am baffled why ISIS, America’s third or fourth most pressing national security concern right now, requires such a reaction.  The lesson for other extremist groups scattered from Morocco to Malaysia is clear – fly a black flag, film an atrocity and post it on the Internet and you too can capture the American media cycle and provoke a U.S. response.

LIST ONLY

1. Syrian Civil War
2. Turkish Border
3. Double-Edged Sword of Saudi Arabia
4. Arab Partner Nations
5. Iran is a bigger adversary to the US than ISIS
6. Sunni partners in Iraq
7. Shi’a dominated Iraqi Government

Read full article.

See Also:

ISIS @ Phi Beta Iota

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Sep 20

Berto Jongman: US in 5-134 Wars (Right Now)

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

The US is now involved in 134 wars or none, depending on your definition of ‘war’

The White House spent much of last week trying to figure out if the word “war” was the right one to describe its military actions against the Islamic State.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was at first reluctant:

“We’re engaged in a major counterterrorism operation,” he told CBS News on Sept. 11. “I think war is the wrong terminology and analogy but the fact is that we are engaged in a very significant global effort to curb terrorist activity… I don’t think people need to get into war fever on this. I think they have to view it as a heightened level of counter terrorist activity.”

Kerry said similarly hedgy things during interviews on CNN and ABC.

By the next day, the Obama administration appeared more comfortable with the word war, yet hardly offered any more clarity. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters, “The United States is at war with ISIL in the same way we are at war with Al Qaeda and its affiliates.”

The problem is that our traditional definition of “war” is outdated, and so is our imagination of what war means.

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Sep 20

Chuck Spinney: Uri Avnery on the Obsolescence of the Nation-State

Chuck Spinney

Chuck Spinney

Scotland on the Euphrates

The Obsolescence of the Nation-State

by URI AVNERY

Counterpunch, WEEKEND EDITION SEPTEMBER 19-21, 2014

[This essay originally appeared at http://www.avnery-news.co.il/english/index.html ]

TWO COUNTRIES competed this week for first place in news programs all over the world: Scotland and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

There could not be a greater difference than between these two countries. Scotland is damp and cold, Iraq is hot and dry. Scotland is called after its whisky (or the other way round), while for ISIS fighters, drinking alcohol is the mark of unbelievers, who should lose their head (literally).

However, there is one common denominator of both crises: they mark the approaching demise of the nation-state.

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Sep 20

Electronic Frontier Foundation: Human Rights Require a Secure Internet

effHuman Rights Require a Secure Internet

Between 15th-19th of September, in the week leading up the first year anniversary of the 13 Necessary and Proportionate Principles, EFF and the coalition behind the Principles will be conducting a Week of Action explaining some of the key guiding principles for surveillance law reform. Every day, we’ll take on a different part of the principles, exploring what’s at stake and what we need to do to bring intelligence agencies and the police back under the rule of law. You can read the complete set of posts online. The Principles were first launched at the 24th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on 20 September 2013. Let’s send a message to Member States at the United Nations and wherever else folks are tackling surveillance law reform: surveillance law can no longer ignore our human rights. Follow our discussion on twitter with the hashtag: #privacyisaright

Human Rights Require a Secure Internet

The ease by which mass surveillance can be conducted is not a feature of digital networks; it’s a bug in our current infrastructure caused by a lack of pervasive encryption. It’s a bug we have to fix. Having the data of our lives sent across the world in such a way that distant strangers can (inexpensively and undetectably) collect, inspect and interfere with it, undermines the trust any of us can have in any of our communications. It breaks our faith not only with the organizations that carry that data for us, but the trust we have with each other. On a spied-upon network, we hold back from speaking, reading, trading and organizing together. The more we learn about the level of surveillance institutions like the NSA impose on the Net, the more we lose trust in the technology, protocols, institutions and opportunities of the Net.

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Sep 20