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Posts Tagged ‘Social unrest’

Well, of course BART’s action resembles a strategy employed by Middle East dictatorships. The high-tech control grid is being deployed uniformly around the world. And yet many in America and Europe and other “social democracies” are stuck in the illusion that we have liberty.

BART’s shut-off of subterranean cell phone service in its downtown San Francisco stations may have prevented a protest Thursday, but it sparked accusations Friday that the action stifled free speech and smacked of the kind of government intrusion employed by Middle East dictators.

“All over the world, people are using mobile devices to protest oppressive regimes, and governments are shutting down cell phone towers and the Internet to stop them,” said Michael Risher, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. “It’s outrageous that in San Francisco, BART is doing the same thing.”

Read the rest at the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Consider Google’s motto: “Don’t be evil.” Have you ever stopped to think about that motto? Isn’t it a little bit like Richard Nixon saying “I am not a crook”? Does it not sound like a reassurance intended to refute that which is true? “Give the lady what she wants”—now there’s a motto that confirms that a company’s priority is the customer. But why would a truly good corporation need to urge its employees not to be evil? And what about the choice of the word evil? Why choose the extreme? No, “Don’t be evil” is something a serial killer my say to himself when his killing is out of control. Good people don’t need to tell themselves not to be evil.

Google has admitted complying with requests from US intelligence agencies for data stored in its European data centers, most likely in violation of European Union data protection laws.

Gordon Frazer, Microsoft UK’s managing director, made news headlines some weeks ago when he admitted that Microsoft can be compelled to share data with the US government regardless of where it is hosted in the world.

At the center of this problem is the USA PATRIOT ACT, which states that companies incorporated in the United States must hand over data administered by their foreign subsidiaries if requested.

Not only that, but they can be forced to keep quiet about it in order to avoid exposing active investigations and alert those targeted by the probes.

This situation poses a serious problem for companies like Microsoft, Google or Amazon, which offer cloud services around the world, because their subsidiaries must also respect local laws.

Read the rest at Softpedia.

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Make of this what you will. Notice that the prior peak came just following the 2008 banker bailout and the election of President Obama.

. . . And while we recreate the key points from the report, the one item that should be highlighted is that, as we have suspected for a while, the social undertow of fear, skepticism and anger is coming to a boil, as Google queries of the “Buy A Gun” search querry have just hit an all time high. How much of this is due to the recent events from Tucson, AZ is unclear. What is clear is that the trend is most certainly not your friend (unless you are of course the CEO of Smith and Wesson).

Read the rest at Zero Hedge.

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TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) – Tunisia’s president declared a state of emergency Friday and announced that he would fire his government as thousands of protesters mobbed the capital to demand his ouster. Tunisian air space was closed, gunfire rang out in Tunis, and police beat any protesters they could grab.

President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was facing his toughest challenge yet in 23 years of repressive rule after weeks of anti-government riots across the North African nation.

Protesters thronged the capital, fueled by pent-up anger at high unemployment and at a leadership many see as controlling and corrupt. Marching through the city, they demanded Ben Ali’s resignation and some even climbed onto the roof of the Interior Ministry — a symbol of his iron-fisted regime.

Many shouted “Ben Ali, out!” and “Ben Ali, assassin!” Another poster read “We won’t forget,” a reference to the rioters killed, many by police bullets.

Read more at The Associated Press.

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The inevitable consequence of the looting of the American people is upon us. The ruling class controls the wealth while the impoverished masses scrounge for sustenance. Expect more outbursts, more security clampdowns, more abuse of citizens by agents of the state, and more restrictions of speech.

There is a telling detail in the US retail chain store data for December. Stephen Lewis from Monument Securities points out that luxury outlets saw an 8.1pc rise from a year ago, but discount stores catering to America’s poorer half rose just 1.2pc.

Tiffany’s, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue are booming. Sales of Cadillac cars have jumped 35pc, while Porsche’s US sales are up 29pc.

Cartier and Louis Vuitton have helped boost the luxury goods stock index by almost 50pc since October. Yet Best Buy, Target, and Walmart have languished.

Such is the blighted fruit of Federal Reserve policy. The Fed no longer even denies that the purpose of its latest blast of bond purchases, or QE2, is to drive up Wall Street, perhaps because it has so signally failed to achieve its other purpose of driving down borrowing costs.

Yet surely Ben Bernanke’s `trickle down’ strategy risks corroding America’s ethic of solidarity long before it does much to help America’s poor.

The retail data can be quirky but it fits in with everything else we know. The numbers of people on food stamps have reached 43.2m, an all time-high of 14pc of the population. Recipients receive debit cards – not stamps — currently worth about $140 a month under President Obama’s stimulus package.

The US Conference of Mayors said visits to soup kitchens are up 24pc this year. There are 643,000 people needing shelter each night.

Jobs data released on Friday was again shocking. The only the reason that headline unemployment fell to 9.4pc was that so many people dropped out of the system altogether.

Read the rest at The Telegraph.

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File this article under “civil unrest.” The year 2011 may well be the year of the popular uprising as austerity hits home throughout the developed world. The unrest will be more acute in Europe than in the U.S. because the U.S. isn’t as highly socialized and fewer people are dependent on government largess—so far.

Unions are gearing up for a demonstration in the spring against the Government’s massive cuts in public spending, predicting it will be a “huge” national event.

The TUC is organising the protest in London on March 26 and said that by then, the impact of the austerity measures will have started to take hold, with an expected loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

Union members from across the UK are set to join the demonstration in London’s Hyde Park, which will follow a series of protests in recent weeks against increases in student tuition fees and cuts in public services.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “People have yet to feel the full impact of the Government’s cuts. When they do – as we saw with the cancellation of the schools building programme – they have been angry.

“But in 2011 thousands of people will lose their jobs and councils will have little choice about slashing away at popular and vital services.

“As it becomes more and more obvious that the cuts bear down on those who did least to cause the crash, while those who were responsible continue to live in their bonus-driven super-rich bubble, people will get even angrier.”

Read more at The Independent.

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From ICxTechnologies:

“Vantage point is everything when it comes to surveillance. SkyWatch™ units provide a high level platform for an array of surveillance options. Every tower includes the basics for the comfort and safety of the officer inside through adjustable heat and air conditioning, tinted sliding glass windows and comfortable seating. And no matter the application, only one person is required to set up and deploy a unit.

“The SkyWatch can easily be relocated and is rugged enough to handle even the most primitive off-road conditions. And all models are adaptable for cameras, radios, public address systems and other equipment integration.

“Now, one officer can cover an area previously requiring three or more personnel.”

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