Corporatism’s New PR Tool: “Limited Hangout” Puff-Pieces
Maurer-smartmeterad-4-3-14On Sunday, Forbes Magazine published an article entitled, Smart Meters: Between Economic Benefits And Privacy Concerns. This is an example of a new type of propaganda we’re increasingly seeing, which could be called a “limited hangout” (ie. partial truth-disclosing) industry puff-piece.
The column admits to concerns regarding the eradication of your in-home privacy, but ignores basic facts (such as, economic benefits to whom exactly?), and comes wrapped in a mind-numbing tone attempting to leave the reader with the false idea that there is nothing they can do.
The use of this tactic isn’t surprising, with the magazine’s status as voice for mainstream corporate business. Their inherent conflicts of interest make it unlikely that it would present anything other than the perspective that corporates deserve more money and more control.
As our film Take Back Your Power was specifically mentioned in the industry piece, at the bottom of this post is my response.
THE United States Army’s combat uniforms will soon be covered in a new camouflage. Military.com, a news website, recently reported that the army will wear a pattern called Scorpion, which the service has owned since 2002. This brings to an end the army’s long, costly use of its “universal” camouflage pattern (UCP), which was designed to work anywhere but which soldiers complain works nowhere. This flawed camouflage cost the army millions to create, and then at least $5 billion in uniforms and equipment. Replacing all this kit could cost another $4 billion over five years, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Why is the army’s approach to camouflage so wasteful?
Two of the world's top spies during the Cold War, one American and one Russian, recently detailed the probable relationship between Russia's post-Soviet security services (FSB) and NSA leaker Edward Snowden in similarly disconcerting ways. Jack Devine, a former director of CIA operations, and ex-KGB General Olig Kalugin believe that if the 30-year-old was not a Russian asset when he stole hundreds of thousands of NSA documents, he is now.
"It would be most unusual if he were allowed to remain there as a guest for free," Devine said. “I don’t think he was a controlled asset, but I think at the end of the day he will be."
Kalugin, who was the youngest KGB general in history, was blunt: “These days, the Russians are very pleased with the gifts Edward Snowden has given them," the 80-year-old told VentureBeat. "He’s busy doing something. He is not just idling his way through life."
Snowden accessed 1.7 million documents before flying to Hong Kong and giving an estimated 2oo,000 to journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras in early June. On June 23, following the advice of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Snowden flew to Moscow.
You read the headline right, The Pentagon has created a plan for what to do in the zombie apocalypse. We'll leave it up to you whether you now feel safer, or a whole lot less safe.
Not surprisingly, this isn't something the US military establishment is keen to talk about, but Foreign Policy Magazine dug up the document, which helpfully tells us, "Because zombies pose a threat to all non-zombie human life, [Strategic Command] will be prepared to preserve the sanctity of human life and conduct operations in support of any human population -- including traditional adversaries."
CONOP 8888, as the document is known, is dated April 30, 2011, not 29 days earlier (or 28 days later for that matter). The authors are keen to assure us the document is not a joke, but nor is it entirely serious, saying, “The hyperbole involved in writing a 'zombie survival plan' actually provided a very useful and effective training tool.”
"Planners ... realized that training examples for plans must accommodate the political fallout that occurs if the general public mistakenly believes that a fictional training scenario is actually a real plan," the authors wrote, adding: "Rather than risk such an outcome by teaching our augmentees using the fictional 'Tunisia' or 'Nigeria' scenarios used at [Joint Combined Warfighting School], we elected to use a completely-impossible scenario that could never be mistaken for a real plan."
Everything from the release of government documents, to high level testimonies from high ranking military and political figures has ignited a massive surge of interest in the UFO phenomenon from people all over the world. Unidentified Flying Objects (performing maneuvers that defy our understanding of physics) are now a confirmed reality. Official government documents prove that defence and government agencies have been examining this topic for a while. For example, you can view the UK’s latest release of files from June 2013 here. You can find at more information about that from CE by clicking here. As yourself, why is there such a high level of interest from government and military agencies?
The question people are asking has changed from “do UFOs exist?” to “are UFOs extraterrestrial spacecraft?” Attributing today’s unknown ariel phenomenon to extraterrestrial craft might be a big jump to some, but the jump continues to decrease. There are a lot of factors that are attributing to that decrease, and it comes in the form of body marks and extracted implants from people who’ve claimed to have extraterrestrial contact. I’m not saying all UFOs are extraterrestrial craft, I believe many of them are also “ours,”classified projects that come from the black budget world.
“There are a great many photographs of such body marks, many of which are in an equilateral triangle pattern of red dots on the wrist or near the ankle. Also common are scoop marks,” in which it appears as if a small amount of tissue was removed from beneath the skin, leaving an indentation.” -Richard Dolan
Flight Attendants, pilots, or engineers, what are some secrets that passengers don’t know when you ride on planes?
Many answers were submitted, and here are 30 of the most interesting ones. Note: Reading some of these responses may make you think twice about flying… you have been warned!
That if the oxygen masks drop down, you only have about 15 minutes of oxygen from the point of pulling them down. However, that is more than enough time for the pilot to take us to a lower altitude where you can breathe normally.
More important – at altitude, you have 15-20 seconds before you pass out. Put yours on first, then do your kids. Passing out for a few seconds won’t harm the kids.
The whistleblower Edward Snowden accused the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee of double standards on Tuesday, pointing out that her outrage at evidence her staff were spied on by the CIA was not matched by concern about widespread surveillance of ordinary citizens.
Snowden, the former contractor whose disclosures to journalists revealed widespread surveillance by the National Security Agency, was responding to an explosive statement by Senator Dianne Feinstein about the CIA’s attempts to undermine a congressional investigation into interrogation and detention.
Dear International Editor:
Listen and understand. The game changed in Venezuela last night. What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.
What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood.
Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting. People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street. And that’s just what came out in real time, over Twitter and YouTube, before any real investigation is carried out. Online media is next, a city of 645,000 inhabitants has been taken off the internet amid mounting repression, and this blog itself has been the object of a Facebook “block” campaign.
What we saw were not “street clashes”, what we saw is a state-hatched offensive to suppress and terrorize its opponents.
Recently, our nation’s financial chieftains have been feeling a little unloved. Venture capitalists are comparing the persecution of the rich to the plight of Jews at Kristallnacht, Wall Street titans are saying that they’re sick of being beaten up, and this week, a billionaire investor, Wilbur Ross, proclaimed that “the 1 percent is being picked on for political reasons.”
Ross's statement seemed particularly odd, because two years ago, I met Ross at an event that might single-handedly explain why the rest of the country still hates financial tycoons – the annual black-tie induction ceremony of a secret Wall Street fraternity called Kappa Beta Phi.
“Good evening, Exalted High Council, former Grand Swipes, Grand Swipes-in-waiting, fellow Wall Street Kappas, Kappas from the Spring Street and Montgomery Street chapters, and worthless neophytes!”
It was January 2012, and Ross, wearing a tuxedo and purple velvet moccasins embroidered with the fraternity’s Greek letters, was standing at the dais of the St. Regis Hotel ballroom, welcoming a crowd of two hundred wealthy and famous Wall Street figures to the Kappa Beta Phi dinner. Ross, the leader (or “Grand Swipe”) of the fraternity, was preparing to invite 21 new members — “neophytes,” as the group called them — to join its exclusive ranks.
With the increased reliance of people on web services comes a certain, necessary level of trust. The assumption is that the data sits there, unviewed by outsiders and accessible only to those with the requisite password. Recent events, like the Snowden leaks, have proven that assumption false, and have also sent tech companies scrambling to show exactly how government surveillance affects its users.
In early November, Apple released a document detailing the number of requests governments made in regard to its products, releasing the number of times (or a broad range, in the case of America) such a request was made. The document also made the claim that Apple, unlike other tech giants like Google and Facebook, has little to no interest in collecting and keeping the data of its users, saying:
Following his detention at Heathrow Airport in August, David Miranda has taken legal action against accusations of terrorism, with a court hearing soon to follow.
Miranda, 28, was thrown in detention under the Terrorism Act this past August at London’s Heathrow Airport, and has been in there due to carrying a password on a piece of paper that could reveal confidential state secrets.
Miranda, who is the boyfriend of journalist Glenn Greenwald of British newspaper The Guardian, was questioned for nine hours at the airport on August 18 under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, which states that police reserve the right to detain anyone at an airport even if there are no reasons for them to suspect them of committing terrorist activities.
imae via http://www.geekosystem.com
The existence of hackers – people who use advanced computer skills, or a little bit of trickery, to gain access to private information – is nothing new. Slightly novel is the brazen way that world governments employ enormous teams of hackers, part of a cyber warfare division whose purpose it is to glean secrets from, and generally harass, foreign corporations and government agencies.
The information at stake can be very sensitive. A recent case involved hackers affiliated with the Chinese government who attacked American contractors in an effort to get information on the US drone program. Speaking to the New York Times, cyber-security expert Darien Kindlund said “I believe this is the largest campaign we’ve seen that has been focused on drone technology.”