Archive for June, 2013

In the furore surrounding the Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks revelations, it is easy not to notice the connection to three other huge issues that are bearing down on humanity like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

These issues threaten every system that currently supports human existence and happiness on this planet.

…this piece continues in full at new section crossroad for humanity

AlterNet / By Max Blumenthal

Exposing the Dark Forces Behind the Snowden Smears

Who is planting anti-Snowden attacks with Buzzfeed, and why is the website playing along?

Since journalist Glenn Greenwald revealed the existence of the National Security Agency’s PRISM domestic surveillance program, he and his source, the whistleblower Edward Snowden, have come in for a series of ugly attacks. On June 26, the day that the New York Daily News published a straightforward smear piece on Greenwald, the website Buzzfeed rolled out a remarkably similar article, a lengthy profile that focused on Greenwald’s personal life and supposed eccentricities…

…click here for piece in full @ Alternet…

Revelations of the past few weeks confirm the existence of a mass surveillance programme, ‘PRISM’, created by the US government.

According to Reporters Without Borders, these revelations confirm that journalists, bloggers and netizens need not only to circumvent censorship but also to master tools and techniques that will help shield them from mass surveillance, both in countries that are Enemies of the Internet and in the leading western democracies.

Reporters Without Borders has published an Online Survival Kit on its website that has tools and practical advice that will allow you to protect your communications and data.

You don’t need to be an IT engineer to learn how to protect the content of your emails and remain anonymous online. The tools and techniques presented in this kit do not require advanced knowledge of computers and programming.

Online Survival Kit

Agence France-Presse reporting Snowden’s ‘safe exit from Hong Kong’ this eve assisted by WikiLeaks…

The advent of new supercomputers that can use algorithms to trade thousands of shares in a blink of an eye or read the transactions of slower computers and human traders and benefit by buying the sought shares more quickly and on-selling them to those purchasers, have subverted the market and destroyed its value to society. It now means that those more wealthy organisations that have the fastest access to shares have a considerable advantage over ordinary investors. It is in fact super speed insider trading.

More importantly as these algorithmic transactions take over more of the market share, trading will become increasingly for speculation and enhance the ability of these super speculators to manipulate the true values of companies and therefore be able to destroy productive businesses for a quick share profit.

These algorithms will not be calculating the loss of jobs or the disruption of communities. Neither will they calculate the impacts on life systems like the quality of the air we breathe. The non-monetary impacts of tornadoes and floods, droughts and rising temperatures on people outside the air-conditioned board rooms in New York, London and Beijing mean nothing to super computers.

There is a growing disconnect between the real world and real world impacts and share trading and the market system itself. The market is working for the wealthy priests of the temple of Mammon and sucking the life out of world communities and the planet. It has an overwhelming influence on society to the extent that it has become society’s master.

If there is no benefit to society in this type of trading the question arises whether society should continue with this type of market system or change it for something more sophisticated? A system that meets the material and social needs of humanity and maintains  the biological world they live in.

— for more on this story, click here for an infographic on ‘Trading @ the Speed of Light’ —

…Presenting the award June 20th in London, John Pilger, the veteran war reporter described the bureau’s work as ‘extraordinary’ and ‘truly pioneering’.

The prize honours Martha Gellhorn, a renowned war reporter and humanitarian. She was one of the first reporters in Vietnam to reveal what she called ‘a new kind of war against civilians’. Her long career included reporting on the rise of Fascism in Europe and accompanying the first American troops into Dachau concentration camp during the Second World War, as well as filing dispatches from Panama, South Vietnam, Nicaragua and Brazil.

Judges look for reporting that reflects Gellhorn’s pioneering journalism. The prize seeks to recognise journalism that tells an ‘unpalatable truth, validated by powerful facts’ and in so doing exposes what Gellhorn described as ‘official drivel’.

Pilger said of the Bureau’s work on drones:

‘This was extraordinary work on Barack Obama’s lawless use of drones in a campaign of assassination across south Asia. Woods, Ross and Serle stripped away the façade of the secret drone ‘war’, including how it is reported and not reported in the United States: how civilian casualties are covered-up and how rescuers and funerals are targeted…

…as important, in many respects, as the recent leaks from inside Washington: remarkable work in the highest tradition of investigative journalism.’

The short-list was made up of seven other journalists including Andy Worthington, a London-based independent journalist and filmmaker who has covered the ongoing detention of over 100 individuals at Guantanamo Bay and Yemen-based Iona Craig.

Previous winners of the award have included Robert Fisk of the Independent, Nick Davies of the Guardian and Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. In 2010, an additional award was given to the late Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times.

The Bureau’s work on drones and the covert war can be read here.

…Earlier interpretOr drone posts include…

doodlebugs tO drones: terror from the sky

…just click above to access…more drone news too in our Fear Trade section…

Why I must speak out

NASA climate scientist tells truth about climate change.  There is also a message here for fishermen who oppose the newly designated marine park fishing exclusion areas. See Al Gore’s Video called New Thinking on Climate Change (13 minutes in) on the Ted series at

The Australian Government has indicated breathtaking complacency in answer to Senator Scott Ludlam’s Senate question today about the PRISM surveillance program:

“A warrantless surveillance system that grants real-time Government access to emails, audio and video chats, photographs, documents, connection logs and location data, to potentially the entire Australians population, and today the Government shrugged it off as business-as-usual.”

“The Greens would appear to be the only party in Australia concerned by widespread surveillance of Australian citizens and the meaninglessness of Australia’s Privacy Principles,” said Senator Ludlam.

“While Australian authorities appear to have been fed some kind of tranquiliser, parliamentarians in other parts of the world are taking action over this warrantless real time mass surveillance…”

…for more on this story, click here…

“…Top European officials are demanding more information about the controversial US Internet surveillance program known as Prism. But new information has revealed that the EU weakened privacy regulations in early 2012 following intense US lobbying.

…European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding vented her fury over the US data spying program known as Prism. The far-reaching online surveillance operation, which saw the US National Security Agency spying on users across the globe, clearly demonstrates “that a clear legal framework for the protection of personal data is not a luxury, but is a fundamental right,” Reding told SPIEGEL ONLINE…

…click here for more @SPIEGEL ONLINE…

Last Post For Democracy

Edward Snowden has provided democracy with its last chance. He has confirmed what we already suspected to be true but did not have the evidence to confirm our belief. Our governments are at war with their citizens.

The sad and frightening thing about Prism to me is that it confirms Western Governments do not trust their citizens. Conversely Western citizens don’t trust their governments. This distrust is largely driven by the overwhelming hegemony of the United States over other states and the takeover of our governments by strategic resource corporations and militaristic organizations to the extent that ordinary citizens feel disempowered and dispossessed.

Our governments are owned and directed by ALEC, Exxon, Philip Morris, Serco, BHP Billiton and the Koch Bros to name a few major players.

With the compliance of governments these organisations have driven exploitation and used armed conflict against any resistance. It is this greed and lust for power that has created a world of terrorism and distrust.

Democracy, like our planet, is close to death. Can we save it or should we create a new system of living and governance that gives back the power to the citizenry?

The answer lies in each one of us and we are divided in our opinions which are informed largely by corporate media organizations that drive wedges between us and fill our heads with trivia and conflict rather than reporting in an unbiased or even a logical way. The corporate media is complicit in maintaining the status quo, they betray and divide us. We must learn to be more discerning, to sort the wheat from the chaff.

The first step in removing ourselves from our current status as consumer subjects and regaining our power as citizens is to support whistle-blowers like Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. Like Christ they sacrifice their lives so that we may see the light. They give us the truth, and in return we should give them our attention and support.

Avaaz is running a campaign to support Edward Snowden. You can find it at:


The Australian Greens will introduce a Bill next week to strengthen regulation of data collection on Australians, returning normal warrant procedures to law enforcement agencies accessing peoples’ private data…

“This is the first step to winding back the kind of surveillance overreach revealed by the PRISM whistleblower,” Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said.

“Law enforcement agencies – not including ASIO – made 293,501 requests for telecommunications data in 2011-12, without a warrant or any judicial oversight.* Under the Telecommunications Interception and Access Act, that’s entirely legal.

“Vast amounts of private data are being accessed – including the precise location of everyone who carries a smartphone – without any recourse to the courts. A law enforcement agency simply fills out a very basic form. My bill will return to the system where they will need a warrant.*

…for more on this story, click through HERE to Scott Ludlam’s site…



Guilty in Guatemala
The U.S. owes more than empty apologies in Central America.
By Noam Chomsky

The Dirty Wars, Abroad and At Home
Jeremy Scahill’s new film on drone warfare shows why we need to stop the war on whistleblowers.
By Trevor Timm

Aloha, Workers’ Rights!
Hawaii is poised to become the second state in the nation to protect the rights of domestic workers.
By Luke Brinker

Where Unions Went Wrong on ‘Right to Work’
Labor activists retool their tactics against the bosses.
By Rebecca Burns

Obama’s SEC Cop-Out
The new chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission is fresh off Wall Street.
By Joel Bleifuss

Mad Professors
The adjuncts are at the barricades.
By Rebecca Burns

Growing Up Under Goebbels
Nancy Kricorian’s novel shines light on a little-known Armenian-run resistance movement in Nazi France.
By Eleanor J. Bader

Out of the Pen and Unrepentant
Environmentalist Tim DeChristopher on the future of climate activism.
By Rebecca Burns

How China Changed After Tiananmen Square
China remains as politically oppressive as ever, but there has been a sideways revolution.
By Andrew Lam


Rethinking American Exceptionalism
America is certainly exceptional, but that isn’t necessarily something to be proud of.
By David Sirota

Time for the Democrats to Go Nuclear
Harry Reid has nothing to lose by banning the filibuster of appointments.
By Leo Gerard


Chicago Demands Justice for Wal-Mart Workers
Roughly 100 supporters, union members and Wal-Mart employees gathered in downtown Chicago to demand the company change the treatment of its workers.
By Griffin Bur


Photojournalists Fight Replacement by iPhones
The Chicago Sun-Times laid off its entire photography department, and now wants to replace it with reporters trained in “iPhone photography basics.”
By Rebecca Burns

Ever heard of Prism? It’s heard of you.

The Australian Government should immediately disclose whether or not it has access to private information on Australian citizens using the PRISM program used by US intelligence agencies to access the servers of nine major US tech companies including Apple, Google and Facebook.

The revelations are contained in a presentation leaked by an NSA whistleblower to the Washington Post, which notes that ‘much of the world’s communications flow through the US’ and goes on to list a menu of content that the US intelligence community can access via the PRISM program.

“A number of the tech companies are denying that they’ve ever heard of PRISM or that US intelligence agencies have installed ‘backdoors’ in their servers,” Senator Scott Ludlam, Australian Greens communications spokesperson said today.

“Australians use these services to the point of ubiquity. Does the Australian Government believe it is appropriate that the US intelligence agencies appear to be engaged in warrantless realtime surveillance of the entire online population? Does the Australian intelligence community have access to this material? And is this the reason the Attorney Generals Department have been so insistent that Australian ISPs institute a two-year data retention regime?

“This is a major example of the important role whistleblowers play, and it is unfolding with the trial of whistleblower Bradley Manning under way in the United States, and just one day before the anniversary of the publication of George Orwell’s 1984. It wasn’t intended to be an instruction manual,” Senator Ludlam concluded.

Senator Ludlam intends to submit Questions to the Attorney General’s department later today and has sought input and additions from Australian internet users alarmed by developments in the United States.…


the interpretOr …

…now read in 98 countries across the globe…and proud to introduce our new section…‘Abbott Junta’







(source: – June 2013)

excerpt of…

…Joint Doorstop Interview, Queanbeyan

  Posted on Tuesday, 4 June 2013

In 2001, what happened when your department knocked back a request from Telstra to provide compensation for those affected by asbestos?
Look, I’m not going to comment on decisions that the department made. What I can do is certainly defend my own record when it comes to asbestos. One of my early acts as Minister for Workplace Relations was to commence the process for banning the importation and use of Chrysotile asbestos. As Health Minister I committed $6 million to establish a national research centre into asbestos-related diseases. So, the record is there for all to see and my plea to the Government now is please, please, given what we know about asbestos, make sure that the roll-out of the National Broadband Network doesn’t add to the asbestos hazards that the Australian people face.
 But as Minister were you aware of that decision?
I’m just not going to comment on who said what to whom, when, what document might have gone to what person when. The fact is you can always ask the department what the department did back then…

Sri Lanka, June 2013: intolerance and fear

“…A climate of intolerance and fear continues to sweep the island as the government’s stranglehold on the population grows ever tighter. In March, Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was impeached after declaring a government bill unconstitutional.

Lawyers working on torture and other human rights cases have been targeted and harassed. Meanwhile, the cases of Kumar, Poddala and the many activists who have disappeared have not been independently or credibly investigated.

Yet the authorities claim that their human rights record has improved – a claim reinforced by their selection as hosts of the November meeting of Commonwealth leaders. It is a whitewash of immense proportions, says Poddala.

“I can’t understand why the Commonwealth has decided to do this,” he told us, “because no civil society organization is allowed to function there. There are no human rights in Sri Lanka.”

…for more on this story, click through here to Amnesty International…

the interpretOr

With a history of plagiarism and consistent lack of compassion, it is hard to determine whether Julie Bishop’s stance may be attributable to sheer ignorance or zero empathy, but heck, maybe they’re not mutually exclusive in this particular case? The civil war in Sri Lanka endured for 25+ years and the situation in northern areas may still be fraught and perilous, particularly for the Tamil minority.

This interpretOr reported on the plight of Tamil refugees in May 2008 (from Australia), in conjunction with David Gray of news agency Reuters who was on the ground in north eastern Sri Lanka and one of the few Western journalists behind the lines with hundreds of thousands of trapped largely Tamil CIVILIANS.

One of Gray’s pieces touched on:

“An estimated 450,000 people have been displaced in the 25 year old Sri Lankan civil war. Since 1983, well over 70,000 people have lost their lives.”


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June 2013

…just click above to access in English…

“Wrecked lives for another ten cents’ profit”

  • Bangladesh’s exploitation economy — Olivier Cyran

    Before the collapse of Rana Plaza, which killed over a thousand people, most of them textile workers, there was the fire that killed a hundred at the Tazreen factory. A major cause is western companies’ greed for profits.
    Translated by George Miller
  • A tale of two fires — Olivier Cyran

    Translated by George Miller


JUNE 2013                            

The paradox of knowing

Why do we have greater insight into others than ourselves? David Dunning outlines some intriguing research.


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