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We have been fined for asking Lorde to boycott Israel …

An Israeli court this month ordered us to pay NZ$18,000 (9,000) in damages for harming the artistic welfare of three Israeli teenagers. This ruling came after New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde heeded the call of activists, including a letter from the two of us, and cancelled her show in Tel Aviv. The teenagers claimed they suffered damage to their good name as Israelis and Jews; their legal action was possible because of a 2011 Israeli law allowing civil lawsuits against anyone who encourages a boycott of the country.

This is no farce. It may sound laughable, but the political implications are deadly serious. The lawsuit is a vivid example and extension of Israels suppression of dissenting voices.

Since the inception of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in 2005, which promotes action against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law, Israel has used a range of strategies to obstruct and undermine the global campaign. Some of these strategies are unassuming, such as the advocacy app Act.IL, which aims to influence the online debate about Israel. The app enlists users to identify online criticism of Israel and copy and paste pre-approved responses to inundate the critics with government propaganda.

Other tactics are more punishing. The lawsuit against us was filed by Shurat HaDin Law Centre. For years now, it has targeted advocates of the BDS movement, a testament to the potential of the boycott movement to transform Israeli policy in the region.

Israeli ministers have recently debated a bill that calls for up to seven years imprisonment for anyone who advocates for BDS. Rather than intimidate, this response only demonstrates the necessity of BDS.

These tactics embroil activists in costly and time-consuming debates, strawman arguments, bogus lawsuits and drawn-out disputes. They have a chilling effect, aiming to scare us into submission and silence, to undermine the moral integrity and dignity of individuals and groups affected. To some extent, this is working. But it will not work on the two of us, a preschool teacher and a student tucked away in the farthest reaches of the South Pacific.

When we wrote our letter to Lorde we joined a chorus of other voices. Lordes cancellation is a testimony to her own intelligence and humility when presented with the facts of Israeli aggression. That we recognised she was likely to change her mind speaks to the swaths of moral ground the BDS movement has managed to win over the past decade.

Our letter didnt sway the balance of forces. The slow patient work of movement-building did. Nevertheless, Israel has thrust a platform beneath our feet. This platform comes with a responsibility to demonstrate how we can and should respond to its tactics. Israels aim was to intimidate, but also to set the terms of the debate. Israeli sensibilities are the starting point from which things must be understood. We see this in the way Palestinians are constantly quizzed on whether they believe in Israels right to exist, while Palestinian existence is denied and threatened.

This year, US-Palestinian journalist and writer Ramzy Baroud toured New Zealand. He impressed upon us the need to reject these terms. He argued that the Palestinian struggle required Palestinians and their supporters to reclaim the narrative.

Israel wanted the discussion of our case to distract from both the content and broader context of our letter. This context is one where ordinary Palestinians get up every day to stand against a continuous onslaught.

In response to the court order, we received many offers of financial assistance. We wanted to channel that spirit of generosity into the grassroots work of organisations in Gaza. We set up a crowdfunding page to raise funds for groups doing vital mental health work in Gaza. Within a week the page has generated nearly NZ$40,000 from a global community. The strength of feeling is clear. People are looking for ways to play a role in the struggle for justice in Palestine.

This money will go into important projects determined by grassroots organisations seeking to deal with the immediate circumstances of a humanitarian and mental health crisis. But treating the psychological wounds of Israeli aggression in Gaza is not enough. A 2016 report showed that 70% of children in Gaza suffer recurring nightmares. Treating nightmares is worthy work, but ultimately we must change the preconditions. We must work with Palestinians to realise their collective dreams of freedom and justice.

The pursuit of Palestinian dignity requires our full attention. There is much work to be done. In the words of Audre Lorde: I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.

Nadia Abu-Shanab is an activist, teacher and trade unionist of Palestinian descent. Justine Sachs is a student, activist and writer of Jewish descent

Our letter to Lorde didnt sway the balance of forces. The slow patient work of movement-building did

Originally posted here:

We have been fined for asking Lorde to boycott Israel …

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October 22, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower – nytimes.com

Seven months ago, the world began to learn the vast scope of the National Security Agencys reach into the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe, as it collects information about their phone calls, their email messages, their friends and contacts, how they spend their days and where they spend their nights. The public learned in great detail how the agency has exceeded its mandate and abused its authority, prompting outrage at kitchen tables and at the desks of Congress, which may finally begin to limit these practices.

The revelations have already prompted two federal judges to accuse the N.S.A. of violating the Constitution (although a third, unfortunately, found the dragnet surveillance to be legal). A panel appointed by President Obama issued a powerful indictment of the agencys invasions of privacy and called for a major overhaul of its operations.

All of this is entirely because of information provided to journalists by Edward Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who stole a trove of highly classified documents after he became disillusioned with the agencys voraciousness. Mr. Snowden is now living in Russia, on the run from American charges of espionage and theft, and he faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life looking over his shoulder.

Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service. It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger oversight of the runaway intelligence community.

Mr. Snowden is currently charged in a criminal complaint with two violations of the Espionage Act involving unauthorized communication of classified information, and a charge of theft of government property. Those three charges carry prison sentences of 10 years each, and when the case is presented to a grand jury for indictment, the government is virtually certain to add more charges, probably adding up to a life sentence that Mr. Snowden is understandably trying to avoid.

The president said in August that Mr. Snowden should come home to face those charges in court and suggested that if Mr. Snowden had wanted to avoid criminal charges he could have simply told his superiors about the abuses, acting, in other words, as a whistle-blower.

If the concern was that somehow this was the only way to get this information out to the public, I signed an executive order well before Mr. Snowden leaked this information that provided whistle-blower protection to the intelligence community for the first time, Mr. Obama said at a news conference. So there were other avenues available for somebody whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions.

In fact, that executive order did not apply to contractors, only to intelligence employees, rendering its protections useless to Mr. Snowden. More important, Mr. Snowden told The Washington Post earlier this month that he did report his misgivings to two superiors at the agency, showing them the volume of data collected by the N.S.A., and that they took no action. (The N.S.A. says there is no evidence of this.) Thats almost certainly because the agency and its leaders dont consider these collection programs to be an abuse and would never have acted on Mr. Snowdens concerns.

In retrospect, Mr. Snowden was clearly justified in believing that the only way to blow the whistle on this kind of intelligence-gathering was to expose it to the public and let the resulting furor do the work his superiors would not. Beyond the mass collection of phone and Internet data, consider just a few of the violations he revealed or the legal actions he provoked:

The N.S.A. broke federal privacy laws, or exceeded its authority, thousands of times per year, according to the agencys own internal auditor.

The agency broke into the communications links of major data centers around the world, allowing it to spy on hundreds of millions of user accounts and infuriating the Internet companies that own the centers. Many of those companies are now scrambling to install systems that the N.S.A. cannot yet penetrate.

The N.S.A. systematically undermined the basic encryption systems of the Internet, making it impossible to know if sensitive banking or medical data is truly private, damaging businesses that depended on this trust.

His leaks revealed that James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, lied to Congress when testifying in March that the N.S.A. was not collecting data on millions of Americans. (There has been no discussion of punishment for that lie.)

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rebuked the N.S.A. for repeatedly providing misleading information about its surveillance practices, according to a ruling made public because of the Snowden documents. One of the practices violated the Constitution, according to the chief judge of the court.

A federal district judge ruled earlier this month that the phone-records-collection program probably violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. He called the program almost Orwellian and said there was no evidence that it stopped any imminent act of terror.

The shrill brigade of his critics say Mr. Snowden has done profound damage to intelligence operations of the United States, but none has presented the slightest proof that his disclosures really hurt the nations security. Many of the mass-collection programs Mr. Snowden exposed would work just as well if they were reduced in scope and brought under strict outside oversight, as the presidential panel recommended.

When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government. Thats why Rick Ledgett, who leads the N.S.A.s task force on the Snowden leaks, recently told CBS News that he would consider amnesty if Mr. Snowden would stop any additional leaks. And its why President Obama should tell his aides to begin finding a way to end Mr. Snowdens vilification and give him an incentive to return home.

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Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower – nytimes.com

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October 22, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Fundraising Appeal — Recurrent Donations

We are still trying to get back to normal after getting bounced by PayPal. The biggest problem is that it was easy to set up recurrent donations with PayPal. Many people who formerly made recurrent payments in this manner no longer do so. There are two ways to get around this. One is to use […]

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Fundraising Appeal — Recurrent Donations

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October 22, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Occidental Observer  Comments Closed

Treble Tribal Trouble: A Review of Ben Cobley’s The Tribe

The Tribe: The Liberal-Left and the System of Diversity Ben Cobley Imprint Academic 2018 I’m sure that Ben Cobley will be displeased to see a positive review of his book The Tribe at a fully certified hate-site like the Occidental Observer. But I think that it’s an important book and that its themes chime perfectly […]

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Treble Tribal Trouble: A Review of Ben Cobley’s The Tribe

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October 21, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Occidental Observer  Comments Closed

A Math Paper Is Sent Down the Memory Hole

It should be no surprise to anyone that Political Correctness has managed to conquer subjects such as English Literature or Sociology. The more subjective and speculative the subject is, the easier it is for ideology to exert its Death Grip. So you’d think that Mathematics – the most objective subject in existence – would be […]

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A Math Paper Is Sent Down the Memory Hole

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October 21, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Occidental Observer  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden, NSA leaker, says he’s not safe in Russia …

Edward Snowden has raised concerns regarding his safety in Russia, where the former U.S. intelligence contractor has resided for over five years in the wake of leaking classified National Security Agency documents.

As for the future in Russia and what will happen there, I cant say Im safe. I dont know Mr. Snowden said Thursday during an address telecast to a crowd in Austria.

But the real question is: Does it matter? the NSA leaker added. I didnt come forward to be safe.

Mr. Snowden, 35, had has passport revoked while traveling internationally in June 2013 shortly after revealing himself as the source of recently leaked NSA documents, leaving him stateless and stranded at an airport near Moscow for several weeks prior to ultimately receiving asylum from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He previously worked for the CIA in addition to government contractors Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton, including a stint at the latters office in Kunia Camp, Hawaii, prior to being terminated after leaking documents exposing the NSAs surveillance abilities and operations.

If I wanted safety, Id be sitting in Hawaii right now, making a lot of money, spying on everyone, Mr. Snowden said during Thursdays event, organized by University of Innsbruck in Tyrol, Austria.

Mr. Snowdens asylum status is valid through at least 2020, his lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said previously. Questions concerning his fate have emerged repeatedly in recent years, however, on account of factors including his criticism of Mr. Putins policies, as well as President Trump, a staunch critic of unauthorized leaks and Mr. Snowden in particular, taking office in 2017.

He previously referred to a surveillance law signed by Mr. Putin in 2016 as an unworkable, unjustifiable violation of rights, and his leaks resulted in Mr. Trump previously called him a traitor who should be executed accordingly.

I have criticized them repeatedly, Mr. Snowden said of the Russian government during Thursdays event, and I will continue to do so. But my focus is not going to be on Russia, because Russia is not my home. Russia is my place of exile. The United States will always be my first priority.

We have to fix our own societies first before we try to save the world Mr. Snowden added.

Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, indicated earlier this year that Moscow was disinterested in pursuing any plans to punt Mr. Snowden back to the U.S., where he faces criminal counts of espionage and potentially a lengthy prison sentence.

We respect his rights as an individual, Mr. Lavrov said previously. And thats why we were not able, we were not in the position to expel him against his will because he found himself in Russia even without the U.S. passport.

Mr. Trump, on his part, has expressed a drastically different opinion with respect to Mr. Snowden.

A spy in the old days, when our country was respected and strong, would be executed, Mr. Trump tweeted in 2014.

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Edward Snowden, NSA leaker, says he’s not safe in Russia …

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October 21, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Ukraine Overview – worldbank.org

Strategy

World Bank Portfolio

No. of projects:8 IBRD investment operations, plus one guarantee

Total lending:US$2.5 billion, including US$148 million from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF)

Ukraine joined the World Bank in 1992. Over the 26 years of cooperation, the Banks commitments to the country have totaled close to US$12 billion in about 70 projects and programs.

In March 2014, after receiving a request from the-then Ukrainian Government, the World Bank Group (WBG) immediately announced its support for a reform agenda aiming to put the Ukrainian economy on a path to sustainability. The current International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) portfolio consists of eight investment operations of roughly US$2.5 billion and one guarantee of US$500 million.

The World Bank and the authorities are implementing a Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Ukraine for FY1721 that supports the countrys efforts to achieve a lasting economic recovery benefiting the entire population. The new CPF focuses on ensuring that markets work more effectively, establishing the necessary conditions for fiscal and financial stability, and improving service delivery for all Ukrainians.

Key Engagement

Responding to the crisis in Ukraine, in March 2014, the WBG announced that it would provide additional financial and technical support to the country. Since 2014, the Bank has supported the people of Ukraine through two series of Development Policy Loans (DPLs), seven new investment operations, and a guarantee amounting to approximately US$5.5 billion aimed at improving critical public services, supporting reforms, and bolstering the private sector.

The World Bank has supported high-priority reform measures to address the key structural roots of the current economic crisis in Ukraine and to lay the foundation for inclusive and sustainable growth through two series of budget support operations: the multi-sector DPL series (MSDPL-1, US$750 million, approved in 2014, and MSDPL-2, US$500 million, approved in 2015) and the Financial Sector (FS) DPL series (FSDP -1, US$500 million, approved in 2014, and FSDPL-2, US$500 million, approved in 2015).

Reform measures aided by these four budget support operations promote good governance, transparency, and accountability in the public sector, as well as stability in the banking sector; a reduction in the cost of doing business; and the effective use of scarce public resources to provide quality public services at a crucial time. These operations also support the authorities in continuing to reform an inefficient and inequitable housing subsidy system while protecting the poor from tariff increases by strengthening social assistance.

World Bank investment projects have focused and will continue to focus on improving basic public services, such as district heating, water and sanitation, health, and social protection, as well as public infrastructure, such as the power transmission networks and roads. The Bank is also supporting Ukraine through policy advice and technical assistance on formulating and implementing comprehensive structural reforms.

In addition to financing several ongoing private sector projects, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) is implementing a large advisory program in the country, working to simplify regulations, improve the investment climate and energy efficiency, boost the completeness of local food producers, help open new markets, and increase access to finance.

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Ukraine Overview – worldbank.org

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October 20, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ukraine  Comments Closed

Doing Business in Ukraine – World Bank Group

Note:

If the duration and frequency of outages is 100 or less, the economy is eligible to score on the Reliability of supply and transparency of tariff index.

If the duration and frequency of outages is not available, or is over 100, the economy is not eligible to score on the index.

If the minimum outage time considered for SAIDI/SAIFI is over 5 minutes, the economy is not eligible to score on the index.

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Doing Business in Ukraine – World Bank Group

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October 20, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ukraine  Comments Closed

Rense – Media Bias/Fact Check

Sources in the Conspiracy-Pseudosciencecategory may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence. These sources may be untrustworthy for credible/verifiable information, therefore fact checking and further investigation is recommended on a per article basis when obtaining information from these sources.See all Conspiracy-Pseudoscience sources.

Factual Reporting: LOW

Notes: Rense is a website filled with ads which makes it hard to even locate the content. The content is conspiratorial and has an absolute disdain and crackpot fear of Muslims. This is not credible on any level. (7/21/2016)

Source:http://www.rense.com/

Link:

Rense – Media Bias/Fact Check

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October 20, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Rense  Comments Closed

We have been fined for asking Lorde to boycott Israel …

An Israeli court this month ordered us to pay NZ$18,000 (9,000) in damages for harming the artistic welfare of three Israeli teenagers. This ruling came after New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde heeded the call of activists, including a letter from the two of us, and cancelled her show in Tel Aviv. The teenagers claimed they suffered damage to their good name as Israelis and Jews; their legal action was possible because of a 2011 Israeli law allowing civil lawsuits against anyone who encourages a boycott of the country. This is no farce. It may sound laughable, but the political implications are deadly serious. The lawsuit is a vivid example and extension of Israels suppression of dissenting voices. Since the inception of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in 2005, which promotes action against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law, Israel has used a range of strategies to obstruct and undermine the global campaign. Some of these strategies are unassuming, such as the advocacy app Act.IL, which aims to influence the online debate about Israel. The app enlists users to identify online criticism of Israel and copy and paste pre-approved responses to inundate the critics with government propaganda. Other tactics are more punishing. The lawsuit against us was filed by Shurat HaDin Law Centre. For years now, it has targeted advocates of the BDS movement, a testament to the potential of the boycott movement to transform Israeli policy in the region. Israeli ministers have recently debated a bill that calls for up to seven years imprisonment for anyone who advocates for BDS. Rather than intimidate, this response only demonstrates the necessity of BDS. These tactics embroil activists in costly and time-consuming debates, strawman arguments, bogus lawsuits and drawn-out disputes. They have a chilling effect, aiming to scare us into submission and silence, to undermine the moral integrity and dignity of individuals and groups affected. To some extent, this is working. But it will not work on the two of us, a preschool teacher and a student tucked away in the farthest reaches of the South Pacific. When we wrote our letter to Lorde we joined a chorus of other voices. Lordes cancellation is a testimony to her own intelligence and humility when presented with the facts of Israeli aggression. That we recognised she was likely to change her mind speaks to the swaths of moral ground the BDS movement has managed to win over the past decade. Our letter didnt sway the balance of forces. The slow patient work of movement-building did. Nevertheless, Israel has thrust a platform beneath our feet. This platform comes with a responsibility to demonstrate how we can and should respond to its tactics. Israels aim was to intimidate, but also to set the terms of the debate. Israeli sensibilities are the starting point from which things must be understood. We see this in the way Palestinians are constantly quizzed on whether they believe in Israels right to exist, while Palestinian existence is denied and threatened. This year, US-Palestinian journalist and writer Ramzy Baroud toured New Zealand. He impressed upon us the need to reject these terms. He argued that the Palestinian struggle required Palestinians and their supporters to reclaim the narrative. Israel wanted the discussion of our case to distract from both the content and broader context of our letter. This context is one where ordinary Palestinians get up every day to stand against a continuous onslaught. In response to the court order, we received many offers of financial assistance. We wanted to channel that spirit of generosity into the grassroots work of organisations in Gaza. We set up a crowdfunding page to raise funds for groups doing vital mental health work in Gaza. Within a week the page has generated nearly NZ$40,000 from a global community. The strength of feeling is clear. People are looking for ways to play a role in the struggle for justice in Palestine. This money will go into important projects determined by grassroots organisations seeking to deal with the immediate circumstances of a humanitarian and mental health crisis. But treating the psychological wounds of Israeli aggression in Gaza is not enough. A 2016 report showed that 70% of children in Gaza suffer recurring nightmares. Treating nightmares is worthy work, but ultimately we must change the preconditions. We must work with Palestinians to realise their collective dreams of freedom and justice. The pursuit of Palestinian dignity requires our full attention. There is much work to be done. In the words of Audre Lorde: I am deliberate and afraid of nothing. Nadia Abu-Shanab is an activist, teacher and trade unionist of Palestinian descent. Justine Sachs is a student, activist and writer of Jewish descent Our letter to Lorde didnt sway the balance of forces. The slow patient work of movement-building did

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October 22, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Boycott Israel  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower – nytimes.com

Seven months ago, the world began to learn the vast scope of the National Security Agencys reach into the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe, as it collects information about their phone calls, their email messages, their friends and contacts, how they spend their days and where they spend their nights. The public learned in great detail how the agency has exceeded its mandate and abused its authority, prompting outrage at kitchen tables and at the desks of Congress, which may finally begin to limit these practices. The revelations have already prompted two federal judges to accuse the N.S.A. of violating the Constitution (although a third, unfortunately, found the dragnet surveillance to be legal). A panel appointed by President Obama issued a powerful indictment of the agencys invasions of privacy and called for a major overhaul of its operations. All of this is entirely because of information provided to journalists by Edward Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who stole a trove of highly classified documents after he became disillusioned with the agencys voraciousness. Mr. Snowden is now living in Russia, on the run from American charges of espionage and theft, and he faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life looking over his shoulder. Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service. It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger oversight of the runaway intelligence community. Mr. Snowden is currently charged in a criminal complaint with two violations of the Espionage Act involving unauthorized communication of classified information, and a charge of theft of government property. Those three charges carry prison sentences of 10 years each, and when the case is presented to a grand jury for indictment, the government is virtually certain to add more charges, probably adding up to a life sentence that Mr. Snowden is understandably trying to avoid. The president said in August that Mr. Snowden should come home to face those charges in court and suggested that if Mr. Snowden had wanted to avoid criminal charges he could have simply told his superiors about the abuses, acting, in other words, as a whistle-blower. If the concern was that somehow this was the only way to get this information out to the public, I signed an executive order well before Mr. Snowden leaked this information that provided whistle-blower protection to the intelligence community for the first time, Mr. Obama said at a news conference. So there were other avenues available for somebody whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions. In fact, that executive order did not apply to contractors, only to intelligence employees, rendering its protections useless to Mr. Snowden. More important, Mr. Snowden told The Washington Post earlier this month that he did report his misgivings to two superiors at the agency, showing them the volume of data collected by the N.S.A., and that they took no action. (The N.S.A. says there is no evidence of this.) Thats almost certainly because the agency and its leaders dont consider these collection programs to be an abuse and would never have acted on Mr. Snowdens concerns. In retrospect, Mr. Snowden was clearly justified in believing that the only way to blow the whistle on this kind of intelligence-gathering was to expose it to the public and let the resulting furor do the work his superiors would not. Beyond the mass collection of phone and Internet data, consider just a few of the violations he revealed or the legal actions he provoked: The N.S.A. broke federal privacy laws, or exceeded its authority, thousands of times per year, according to the agencys own internal auditor. The agency broke into the communications links of major data centers around the world, allowing it to spy on hundreds of millions of user accounts and infuriating the Internet companies that own the centers. Many of those companies are now scrambling to install systems that the N.S.A. cannot yet penetrate. The N.S.A. systematically undermined the basic encryption systems of the Internet, making it impossible to know if sensitive banking or medical data is truly private, damaging businesses that depended on this trust. His leaks revealed that James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, lied to Congress when testifying in March that the N.S.A. was not collecting data on millions of Americans. (There has been no discussion of punishment for that lie.) The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rebuked the N.S.A. for repeatedly providing misleading information about its surveillance practices, according to a ruling made public because of the Snowden documents. One of the practices violated the Constitution, according to the chief judge of the court. A federal district judge ruled earlier this month that the phone-records-collection program probably violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. He called the program almost Orwellian and said there was no evidence that it stopped any imminent act of terror. The shrill brigade of his critics say Mr. Snowden has done profound damage to intelligence operations of the United States, but none has presented the slightest proof that his disclosures really hurt the nations security. Many of the mass-collection programs Mr. Snowden exposed would work just as well if they were reduced in scope and brought under strict outside oversight, as the presidential panel recommended. When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government. Thats why Rick Ledgett, who leads the N.S.A.s task force on the Snowden leaks, recently told CBS News that he would consider amnesty if Mr. Snowden would stop any additional leaks. And its why President Obama should tell his aides to begin finding a way to end Mr. Snowdens vilification and give him an incentive to return home.

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October 22, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Fundraising Appeal — Recurrent Donations

We are still trying to get back to normal after getting bounced by PayPal. The biggest problem is that it was easy to set up recurrent donations with PayPal. Many people who formerly made recurrent payments in this manner no longer do so. There are two ways to get around this. One is to use […]

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October 22, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Occidental Observer  Comments Closed

Treble Tribal Trouble: A Review of Ben Cobley’s The Tribe

The Tribe: The Liberal-Left and the System of Diversity Ben Cobley Imprint Academic 2018 I’m sure that Ben Cobley will be displeased to see a positive review of his book The Tribe at a fully certified hate-site like the Occidental Observer. But I think that it’s an important book and that its themes chime perfectly […]

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October 21, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Occidental Observer  Comments Closed

A Math Paper Is Sent Down the Memory Hole

It should be no surprise to anyone that Political Correctness has managed to conquer subjects such as English Literature or Sociology. The more subjective and speculative the subject is, the easier it is for ideology to exert its Death Grip. So you’d think that Mathematics – the most objective subject in existence – would be […]

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October 21, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Occidental Observer  Comments Closed

Edward Snowden, NSA leaker, says he’s not safe in Russia …

Edward Snowden has raised concerns regarding his safety in Russia, where the former U.S. intelligence contractor has resided for over five years in the wake of leaking classified National Security Agency documents. As for the future in Russia and what will happen there, I cant say Im safe. I dont know Mr. Snowden said Thursday during an address telecast to a crowd in Austria. But the real question is: Does it matter? the NSA leaker added. I didnt come forward to be safe. Mr. Snowden, 35, had has passport revoked while traveling internationally in June 2013 shortly after revealing himself as the source of recently leaked NSA documents, leaving him stateless and stranded at an airport near Moscow for several weeks prior to ultimately receiving asylum from Russian President Vladimir Putin. He previously worked for the CIA in addition to government contractors Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton, including a stint at the latters office in Kunia Camp, Hawaii, prior to being terminated after leaking documents exposing the NSAs surveillance abilities and operations. If I wanted safety, Id be sitting in Hawaii right now, making a lot of money, spying on everyone, Mr. Snowden said during Thursdays event, organized by University of Innsbruck in Tyrol, Austria. Mr. Snowdens asylum status is valid through at least 2020, his lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said previously. Questions concerning his fate have emerged repeatedly in recent years, however, on account of factors including his criticism of Mr. Putins policies, as well as President Trump, a staunch critic of unauthorized leaks and Mr. Snowden in particular, taking office in 2017. He previously referred to a surveillance law signed by Mr. Putin in 2016 as an unworkable, unjustifiable violation of rights, and his leaks resulted in Mr. Trump previously called him a traitor who should be executed accordingly. I have criticized them repeatedly, Mr. Snowden said of the Russian government during Thursdays event, and I will continue to do so. But my focus is not going to be on Russia, because Russia is not my home. Russia is my place of exile. The United States will always be my first priority. We have to fix our own societies first before we try to save the world Mr. Snowden added. Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, indicated earlier this year that Moscow was disinterested in pursuing any plans to punt Mr. Snowden back to the U.S., where he faces criminal counts of espionage and potentially a lengthy prison sentence. We respect his rights as an individual, Mr. Lavrov said previously. And thats why we were not able, we were not in the position to expel him against his will because he found himself in Russia even without the U.S. passport. Mr. Trump, on his part, has expressed a drastically different opinion with respect to Mr. Snowden. A spy in the old days, when our country was respected and strong, would be executed, Mr. Trump tweeted in 2014.

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October 21, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Edward Snowden  Comments Closed

Ukraine Overview – worldbank.org

Strategy World Bank Portfolio No. of projects:8 IBRD investment operations, plus one guarantee Total lending:US$2.5 billion, including US$148 million from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) Ukraine joined the World Bank in 1992. Over the 26 years of cooperation, the Banks commitments to the country have totaled close to US$12 billion in about 70 projects and programs. In March 2014, after receiving a request from the-then Ukrainian Government, the World Bank Group (WBG) immediately announced its support for a reform agenda aiming to put the Ukrainian economy on a path to sustainability. The current International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) portfolio consists of eight investment operations of roughly US$2.5 billion and one guarantee of US$500 million. The World Bank and the authorities are implementing a Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Ukraine for FY1721 that supports the countrys efforts to achieve a lasting economic recovery benefiting the entire population. The new CPF focuses on ensuring that markets work more effectively, establishing the necessary conditions for fiscal and financial stability, and improving service delivery for all Ukrainians. Key Engagement Responding to the crisis in Ukraine, in March 2014, the WBG announced that it would provide additional financial and technical support to the country. Since 2014, the Bank has supported the people of Ukraine through two series of Development Policy Loans (DPLs), seven new investment operations, and a guarantee amounting to approximately US$5.5 billion aimed at improving critical public services, supporting reforms, and bolstering the private sector. The World Bank has supported high-priority reform measures to address the key structural roots of the current economic crisis in Ukraine and to lay the foundation for inclusive and sustainable growth through two series of budget support operations: the multi-sector DPL series (MSDPL-1, US$750 million, approved in 2014, and MSDPL-2, US$500 million, approved in 2015) and the Financial Sector (FS) DPL series (FSDP -1, US$500 million, approved in 2014, and FSDPL-2, US$500 million, approved in 2015). Reform measures aided by these four budget support operations promote good governance, transparency, and accountability in the public sector, as well as stability in the banking sector; a reduction in the cost of doing business; and the effective use of scarce public resources to provide quality public services at a crucial time. These operations also support the authorities in continuing to reform an inefficient and inequitable housing subsidy system while protecting the poor from tariff increases by strengthening social assistance. World Bank investment projects have focused and will continue to focus on improving basic public services, such as district heating, water and sanitation, health, and social protection, as well as public infrastructure, such as the power transmission networks and roads. The Bank is also supporting Ukraine through policy advice and technical assistance on formulating and implementing comprehensive structural reforms. In addition to financing several ongoing private sector projects, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) is implementing a large advisory program in the country, working to simplify regulations, improve the investment climate and energy efficiency, boost the completeness of local food producers, help open new markets, and increase access to finance.

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October 20, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ukraine  Comments Closed

Doing Business in Ukraine – World Bank Group

Note: If the duration and frequency of outages is 100 or less, the economy is eligible to score on the Reliability of supply and transparency of tariff index. If the duration and frequency of outages is not available, or is over 100, the economy is not eligible to score on the index. If the minimum outage time considered for SAIDI/SAIFI is over 5 minutes, the economy is not eligible to score on the index.

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October 20, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ukraine  Comments Closed

Rense – Media Bias/Fact Check

Sources in the Conspiracy-Pseudosciencecategory may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence. These sources may be untrustworthy for credible/verifiable information, therefore fact checking and further investigation is recommended on a per article basis when obtaining information from these sources.See all Conspiracy-Pseudoscience sources. Factual Reporting: LOW Notes: Rense is a website filled with ads which makes it hard to even locate the content. The content is conspiratorial and has an absolute disdain and crackpot fear of Muslims. This is not credible on any level. (7/21/2016) Source:http://www.rense.com/

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October 20, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Rense  Comments Closed


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