26 August 2016

American soldiers die "dressed up as women" in Syria

The Blog

In its shocking aggression, the US has declared a new illegal military occupation and no-fly zone in an Arab country. This time, Syria.

US soldiers, often dressed as civilians and terrorists, were occupying the country for some time already - supposedly just to "train" rebel fighters. Americans were already involved in combat and suffering losses, but fatality numbers in this latest invasion of an Arab country are supposedly limited to only one or two deaths - so told by US-led media.

Due to the constant evasiveness of the White House on questions of US losses and defeats, a more realistic number of wounded and dead US troops in the country cannot be stated. However, it is likely that many American soldiers are getting killed without their uniforms, fighting alongside illegal armed gangs propped up by the US government inside Syria. It is also credible that their deaths and their identities are being kept secret.

One former CIA chief had earlier encouraged American forces to fight "covertly" by sending soldiers into the country dressed up as civilians. This, of course, would leave them open to death in the ongoing Russian campaign in Syria.

Analysis: Mr. "I Ran the CIA" Doubles Down on Call to Kill Russians and Iranians

The CIA expert's claims would mean US soldiers "covertly" getting killed in combat while dressed in the rags of terrorists or even disguised as Arab women. These dead soldiers would be forgotten, without any acknowledgment of their sacrifice by the US government or any funeral taking place to remember their wasted lives. In light of recent events, it seems this is already happening.

Russia already bombed US-backed terrorist camps, sending a message to Americans they will share graves with terrorists.

In recent statements, US generals leading the invasion warned that their soldiers must not be threatened by Russia or the Syrian government, hinting at prior deaths of US soldiers in Syria and incredible fear of being attacked by the Russians.

This latest US invasion of a country comes at the same time as the United States loses and withdraws from Afghanistan, another in a series of defeats for the American Army.

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British regime seeks to end human rights

The Blog

Shocking many, the British regime is making a renewed effort to abolish the Human Rights Act 1998.

Protest action group 38 Degrees is seeking to rally its members to oppose the government's plans for abolition of the 1998 legislation.

Many believe the regime's attack on human rights could undermine some of the most basic rights of the British people, including the "right to life" - according to which the government must supply military forces with adequate equipment to survive. Affecting people back in the UK, removal of the Human Rights Act may mean parents have no control over whether their children are put into care, a 38 Degrees petition states.

Removal of human rights in Britain could even leave people vulnerable to slavery, assassination, torture by the regime, and other affronts to humanity.

Many have feared the UK's withdrawal from the EU will lead to a despotic regime that refuses to abide by EU agreements governing environmental protection, consumers, and human rights.

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23 August 2016

When will all copyright get terminated?

The Blog

Efforts to reform copyright in an age of easy and convenient digital sharing could well "kill" copyright altogether, writes Kevin Carson.

Responding to an Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) lawsuit in a post for the Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) on 21 August, Carson offered the following commentary.

The EFF lawsuit states, "Section 1201 of the [US] Digital Millennial Copyright Act (DMCA)... is a violation of free speech rights under the First Amendment" since it "criminalizes not only the circumvention of Digital Rights Management (DRM), but criminalizes the sharing of information about how to do it".

Quoting Zag Rogoff at Defective by Design, Carson states the success of the EFF lawsuit would "amount to obliterating the “DRM Curtain” model of capitalism in the information field".

"It would put an end to the centerpieces of copyright culture today — DMCA takedowns, “three strikes” laws cutting off ISP services to illegal downloaders, and domain seizures of file-sharing sites", the C4SS writer elaborates.
The model of proprietary digital capitalism we’re familiar with — the central model of global corporate rent extraction — is absolutely dependent on police state measures like criminalizing the circumvention of DRM, the takedown (without due process of any kind) of allegedly infringing content online, and government seizure of Internet domains and web hosting servers without due process. Without them, it would simply collapse. 
But fortunately, that model of capitalism is doomed regardless of the outcome of EFF’s lawsuit (and I wish it well!). Even as it is, circumvention technologies have advanced so rapidly that DRM-cracked versions of new movies and songs typically show up on torrent sites the same day they’re released, and Millennials accept it file-sharing as a simple fact of life. This culture of circumvention is now spreading into academic publishing with SciHub. How long before it spreads to proprietary spare parts and diagnostic software?
Full post: Why “Reforming” Copyright Will Kill It

The analysis offered by Carson agrees with his overall thesis that intellectual property of any kind is untenable in the long term, as information and other types of production are easier to circulate and harder to control. All this is thanks to a revolution in the way we all communicate, with the aid of the internet and the diffusion of skills and technologies.

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Scientists "rewiring" bacteria to feed the world

The Blog

In their task to unlock the infinite resources inherent in nature, scientists have achieved "the most far-reaching rewiring yet of a bacterial genome".

This may literally be a tiny task (microscopic, in fact), but the implications of it are enormous. By being able to re-engineer life with great skill and precision, scientists are on the path to eliminating scarcity and possibly reconstructing the world in a more humane and useful form.

According to Nature on 18 August, the breakthrough occurred with E. coli, as "scientists replaced 7 of its 64 genetic codons — sequences that code for amino acids — with others that produce the same components.".

Nature: ‘Radically rewritten’ bacterial genome unveiled

One synthetic biologist commented the breakthrough demonstrates "malleability of the genetic code and how entirely new types of biological functions and properties can be extracted from organisms through genomes that have been recoded". Nature also reported, "They can also be made entirely dependent on synthetic amino acids in their diets, to allay the fear that recoded bacteria could escape from a lab and wreak havoc in the wild."

Synthetic biology is one area in which science could produce a vast alternative supply of renewable energy. The world's leading synthetic biologist J. Craig Venter wrote in Life at the Speed of Light (2013), "the knowledge gained in doing this work would one day undoubtedly lead to a positive outcome for society".

Designer bacteria will be quickly "tailored to deal with pollution or to absorb excess carbon dioxide or even meet future fuel needs", Venter wrote. Overcoming the state of immense poverty affecting much of the world would therefore be dependent on sharing such gifts of science.

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