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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Neo-Colonialism and Neo-Liberalism, Intelligence Analysis, and More

Watch a lot of media outlets and over and over again and you hear the terms 'Neocolonialism' and 'Free Trade' from time to time. Until fairly recently, I wasn't entirely aware of what exactly this meant and how it came to be. As indicated in my last post, up until a certain point wealth was distributed rather evenly throughout the world. Then 'colonialism' happened and the wealth gap between geographical regions began to diverge. If you examine some graphs what's most interesting for me is that the gradient/rate of growth at the  final inflection point is basically identical across most regions during the industrial age which means that if the population growth is relatively stable across regions the only reason why the Western countries shot ahead of everyone was because of larger populations.

Thereafter, larger and larger empires began to emerge but in order to not get in each other's way they had to come up with ways of maintaining their wealth and grow it and countries broke free of colonialism.


There continued to remain the problem if greed though. Look at it carefully and it seems obvious that if they were also looking at this issue then neo-colonialism and neo-liberalism offer the perfect answers. Basically, we would no borders, open up trading barriers and whoever trades best builds up what is in effect a corporate, global empire without necessarily having to resort to militaristic measures.
CrossTalk - Neo-Colonialism In Africa
Noam Chomsky - Neoliberal assault led to significant decline in democracy
Africa Post-Colonial Development - Fatoumata Waggeh at TEDxGallatin
Are we seeing a wave of neo-colonialism in Africa
Neoliberalism and The Globalization of War - Michel Chossudovsky on GRTV
Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems
The Connection Between the Drug War In Mexico and Neoliberal Policies
The Debate - France Neo-Colonialism
US Politics 2.0 - NeoColonialism
Welcome to Neo-Colonialism...

- the world is complicated. If you think you know everything you probably don't (At times, I've looked back at the history of the Cold War and it seems as though it almost started off via an accident). The only thing you can be sure of is that you don't know everything and that if you try and build an empire you'll be forever in a 'doom loop' whereby you are forever trying to control resources but also maintain the happiness of those within your empire at the same time
Cenk Uygur - The Zeitgeist Movement Interview TYT
Zeitgeist’s Peter Joseph on Wealth Illusion, Structural Violence & The Fear of Truth
World War 3 Between America and China - Full Documentary
Tariq Ali - The Twilight of Democracy, Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2015
Tariq Ali - Socialism, Capitalism, Democracy
Tariq Ali - Capitalism and Democracy - Economic Crisis and Democratic Deficit
Tariq Ali on 'Russian Revolution and the Future of Socialism'
Tariq Ali - What is imperialism
Global Empire - Paralysis in Spain
The Julian Assange Show - Noam Chomsky & Tariq Ali (E10)
The Extreme Centre - How the Neoliberal Project Has Reshaped the World, Tariq Ali, SOAS
The World Today - Ukrainian Complexities
- one of the things which always runs through the back of your mind is if paradise as espoused in the end chapters of most religions involves everyone getting everything that they want it makes it hard to reconcile how people can be religious and capitalist at the same time? The other great irony of this is that despite what people say most people believe in the idea of 'capitalism' but have strong 'socialist tendencies' throughout the world. Look at Europe, South America, Cuba, United States,  Russia, Australia, NZ, etc... There is no bastian of genuine 'capitalism' left? I also fail to see how we can not end up in another potential global conflict if we use this particular version of 'capitalism' that we currently have? Finite resources for infinite growth just doesn't fit. As I've said previously the only obvious solution is space but we lack viable, inexpensive propulsion options at the moment
Peter Joseph and Cenk Uygur - The Zeitgeist Movement Interview TYT
Zeitgeist’s Peter Joseph on Wealth Illusion, Structural Violence & The Fear of Truth
Abby Martin Interview with Peter Joseph, Nov. 15th 2013 [ The Zeitgeist Movement ]
Third Industrial Revolution _ Dave Lucas _ ZDay 2015 London
Peter Joseph on Abby Martin's 'Breaking the Set', March 21 2013
Impacts of Income Inequality on Human Health _ Martin Wilkinson _ ZDay 2015 London
Political Science: Modern Foundation of Politics(Yale)
- I always wondered why we didn't learn a lot of history at school. It becomes obvious that the reasons for war are often awkward. Most of the time countries just try to find a resolution and at some point hope to forget about things. Hence, the strangeness in terrotorial conflict resolution in various parts of the world
Australia at War - Japanese Attacks on Australia WW2
Australian Army in World War II
United States enters World War I
World War II Part 1 - Crash Course US History #35
World War II Part 2 - The Homefront - Crash Course US History #36
Great Britain in World War 2 - Know Your Ally - Britain _ US Documentary on the British People in WW2
Japan's War in Colour _ 2004 Documentary with never seen before films
THE GERMAN INVASION OF RUSSIA - Military History - World War II
Untold Stories of World War II - National Geographic Documentary
World War 2 documentary history channel Full Length New HD 2015 _ History HD Channel
World War 2 Germany VS Russian  Documentary
World War II - Attack on Pearl Harbor. Watch Full Documentary in Color
World War II  - Strange Allied Weapons ( World War 2 Documentary )
WW1 History - WW1 Explained (WW1 Documentary)
[Nuclear] - NUCLEAR WORLD WAR 3 - National Geographic Documentary
Newly nominated Japanese defense minister turns blind eye to Nanjing Massacre

If you've been watching the news you would have seen a lot of stuff about what the intelligence community does. The following courses/lectures cover multiple countries. Most services cover slightly different areas owing to different needs and requirements:
PSSL6243: Intelligence and Strategic Analysis
Special Operators and Intelligence Analysts - the 21st Century’s Lead Warriors
How to Get Hired as an Intelligence Analyst
Intelligence Analysis - Continuity and Change
Reducing Uncertainty - Intelligence Analysis and National Security, with Dr. Thomas Fingar
VASS 2012 - Chris Baber - Intelligence Analysis and Sense-making - a practical exercise
Why is WMD Intelligence Analysis Problematic
World Leading Intelligence Analysis - Analyst's Notebook 8.5
- at times, it becomes very clear how frustrated how some intelligence professionals are...
Full Event - Organizing and Managing Intelligence Analysis to Fight Terrorism
- contrast this against what WikiLeaks says that they do. Never really got into the whole WikiLeaks thing earlier (didn't have the time)...
Assange on 'US Empire', Assad govt overthrow plans & new book 'The WikiLeaks Files' (EXCLUSIVE)
Jeremy Scahill And Julian Assange Discuss The Most Important Documents  Released By WikiLeaks
Nuclear War 2016 - Putin's Dire Warning
#PayToPlay - Clinton faces corruption scandal after links between donors & State Dept exposed
CrossTalk - Scapegoating Russia
Julian Assange Special - Do Wikileaks have the email that'll put Clinton in Prison (EP 376)
Keiser Report - Great Period of Instability (E950)
Julian Assange talks Geopolitics, Hillary Clinton and  TPP, TTIP, TISA .
Julian Assange Drops BOMBSHELL on Hillary Clinton
Julian Assange  - we have proof that the Clinton camp is rigging the election,we will release it soon
Australian police and Defence Force used infamous Hacking Team, Wikileaks reveals

Random Stuff:
- sometimes you don't know whether you should admire these guys or poke fun at them. Great sport for those who need an adrenaline rush (wingsuit)...
Dream Lines IV - Wingsuit proximity by Ludovic Woerth & Jokke Sommer
Best of Wingsuit Proximity Flying 2013
Best of Wingsuit Proximity Flying 2014
Best of Wingsuit Proximity Flying 2015
GoPro - Red Bull Stratos - The Full Story
Felix Baumgartner's supersonic freefall from 128k' - Mission Highlights
Felix Baumgartner Space Jump World Record 2012 Full HD 1080p [FULL]
GoPro - Wingsuit Pilot Jeb Corliss on His Crash and Recovery
- with all of the the online threats nowadays it should make sense that there are online scanners
- apparently Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are evil? LOL
- just run them through scenarios. Allies should have a chance to run things by them as well via consular/diplomatic staff? I think the consensus is that Trump hasn't really figured things out 100% yet and that while Clinton has a 'team' around her there are still things that need to be ironed out?
- as I've stated previously this is just too bizarre for words now. I would just make the assumption that all of their computers are compromised now
- Google having a go at building AI based music apparently as well
- spooks seem to get up to some ridiculous stuff from time to time? Spend enough time on online forums and you'll figure out that there are online trolls for various countries. Seem quite educated despite the impression that is given by some of the press. Funny thing is that I once recalled how journalists said that there isn't much money to be made in investigative journalism. Looking at some of what is online I beg to differ. If what you write meets the 'interests' of a particular nation or 'corporate entity' it feels like you could make some extra money from time to time (this reminds me of a computer game magazine I read a long time ago. When it first started it was fairly unbiased. Over time, it gradually become more biased. I'm guessing it gave in to corporate 'values'?)? Not so sure how it would go down with potential parents in laws or spouses though?
Even subversion is a rights issue for Western media
Rights of defendants in subversion case protected
Chinese Media is Totally Not Making Inappropriate Content _ China Uncensored
Russian Strategy for Fighting Upcoming Ground Wars
High Speed Race in Moscow - Posh FSB Boys Show Off and Get Nailed to the Wall
- if you are still are a student (or have access to your old account) the following development pack may be useful
FREE for Students: JetBrains Professional Developer Tools (Worth $649 US)
- apparently, people in the former USSR did have a sense of humour after all
Reagan tells Soviet jokes
- interesting films if you weren't already aware about what the whole Snowden affair was about and how it came into being
- if you don't need it why enable it (ipv6.disable as a kernel parameter)
- software to simulate mouse cursor movement periodically to stop idle states from kicking in your computer (free too)
- lots of solutions out there for firewall management on Linux. More than likely, you'll have to cook up your own toolset at some point (for the final Perl script link you'll need to change the spaces to 'tab' characters in the various 'conf' files and may need to make some code changes to get things going)
Generating Firewall Rules with Perl
- some stuff regarding development of some of the Russian military's latest aircraft (like others though, am not sure how accurate they are)
Russia Pak Da Stealth Bomber Simulation [1080p]
«Небо подвластно сильным»
- first impression of Boris Johnson is that he's good natured but gaffe prone. On deeper inspection a bit smarter then you'd expect
Boris v Dave - The history of their rivalry - BBC Newsnight
Boris Johnson - The Man Behind The Personality
- watch speeches of Hilary versus that of Bill Clinton and Obama. Un-natural and very awkward at times
‘America is great because America is good’ - Deep thoughts of Hillary Clinton
Gun issue, temperament - Reasons why MSM thinks Trump 'should go'
‘Am I not speaking English’ Reporters grill State Dept over Clinton emails
- at times I wonder who exactly is reading this blog? Use micro-drones in combination with long range mind reading drones (both ideas which I've previously wondered about and am aware that they are experimenting with) and you could have the potential to at least limit the damage from terrorist attacks? The only worry for me is that this is abused? For instance, what's the difference between a rebel uprising, terrorist attacks democratic protests, etc... and how would you 'codify' it?

Some quotes in the recent media:
- Turnbull is right that the UN secretary-generalship is not the most important matter before the government.

It's not an especially powerful job, certainly not the "leader of the world" as some reporters have misunderstood it.

 The secretary-general is the chief administrative officer of the UN and answers to the force-wielding Security Council; he does the council's bidding. He can raise matters for the Council but cannot decide any.

He, or she, could be an effective mediator and problem-solver in a limited way on the rare occasions where the great powers are actually interested in solving problems.The fate of the world doesn't depend on the choice. But the fate of Australia, in many ways, does depend on the Turnbull government and how the prime minister interprets his mandate. An anxious PM tip-toeing in fear of upsetting his most restive members is not a leader who will make difficult choices in the national interest.

We can only hope that this is an aberration, not a precedent, for a new term of government.
- There have long been reports that the ongoing delays with the commissioning of the Admiral Gorshkov frigate have to do with defects in its air defense systems. These were thought to be primarily related to problems with integration of the Poliment Redut air defense missile system. The Poliment system was designed to be Russia’s answer to AEGIS, with four phased array antennas that are able to track 16 targets at the same time. The Redut system consists of four or eight vertical launch systems that launch three types of missiles. The 9M100 is the short-range missile, with a range of up to 15km. The 9M96M is the medium-range missile, with a range of 40-50km. Finally, the 9M96 long-range missile is supposed to have a range of up to 150km.

It now appears that the Redut’s problems are much more serious than just integration. Arecent report notes that the Ministry of Defense has stopped trials of the system because of continuing problems with the 9M96 long-range missile. Specifically, the missiles appear to fail after three seconds of flight. Some reports indicate that the Redut system works well hitting targets up to 40km away, but fails in the long range. The implication is that the short and medium range missiles work well, but the long range missile does not. Nevertheless, this may be an improvement over previous results, as trials of the Redut system on the Steregushchiy class corvettes in 2014 showed that they were only able to hit targets at distances of up to 15km because the medium-range Furke-2 radar system was not functioning properly.

Instead of further trials, the problems will now be sorted out by an inter-agency commission, a sure sign that the problems are serious and are not expected to be fixed any time soon. The problems stem from issues at the design bureau, which is reportedly not up to the task of designing a missile with the requirements provided by the Defense Ministry. The Fakel machine design bureau, which is developing the missiles is supposedly in relatively poor condition, using technologies and equipment left over from the Soviet period.

Redut systems are supposed to be installed on both the Admiral Gorshkov frigates and the Steregushchiy class corvettes. The corvettes that have been commissioned so far with partial Redut systems that are not able to strike long-distance targets. It looks like the Russian military is now facing a choice regarding how long it is willing to wait to commission the already long-delayed first ship of the Admiral Gorshkov frigate class. So far, the Defense Ministry has not been willing to commission the frigate without a fully functional air defense system, though this may change as the delays grow longer.
- Embarrassing debuts aside, the T-14 looks like it has far superior defensive features compared to its predecessors. Like a Victorian lady, the Armata comes with layers of defensive petticoats designed to ward off unwelcome attention.

First of all, there is the Afganit Active Protection System, which boasts both hard and soft kill capabilities, set in motion by four or five advanced millimeter-wavelength AESA radar panels covering every aspect of the tank, providing warning of approaching projectiles.

‘Soft kill’ defenses seek to coyly misdirect missiles. Four multispectral smoke grenade dischargers can launch counter-measures that not only visually shroud the tank, but also mask the vehicle’s infrared signature and block targeting lasers and radars. The optically-guided TOW doesn’t care about the latter, but if the operator can’t see the tank then there’s a better chance of missing, especially if the tank moves. The countermeasures also work in theory against top-attack missiles, particularly if they aren’t manually guided like the TOW.

Next up, we have the ‘hard kill’ element that swats down impertinent missiles that don’t take no for an answer. The Afganit’s radar system automatically turns the turret turns towards incoming projectiles so that the active-kill system can engage. Five discharge tubes on each side of the turret can shoot rockets aimed at the incoming projectile. The Afganit system is untested in action, but other hard-kill systems such as Trophy have proven effective against missiles in combat.

As for top-attack missiles like TOW-2B, well…the Afganit doesn’t look like it’s designed to shoot upwards.

If the soft and hard kill systems don’t do the trick, then the Armata explodes…that is, it explodes its Relikt explosive reactive armor. The Armata’s radar times the detonation of an reactive-armor brick just before the enemy missile or shell hits, supposedly well enough in advance to neutralize tandem charge warheads. Is that how things would actually work? Only one way find out! Rebels in Syria captured footage of a Syrian T-90 tank appearing to survive the impact of a TOW missile thanks to its older Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor.

What if our stalwart TOW missile manages to evade all of these defenses? Will it manage to pierce its way into the Armata’s armored heart?

In terms of conventional armor, the Armata is still believed to be a slightly less well protected than an M1A2 Abrams or Leopard 2 judging by its weight of around fifty to sixty tons. (For comparison, an M1 weighs seventy tons). A maximum thickness of 1200mm to 1400mm RHA equivalent versus HEAT warheads has been claimed in Russian sources for the ceramic armor plates. That seems effective against the TOW-2A’s 900 millimeters of RHA penetration, but there’s no telling how even the armor protection is across the turret and hull—(there’s some speculation the turret will be notably more vulnerable) and whether those figures are accurate. In any case, the TOW-2B will still likely find the top armor vulnerable.

Finally, we must consider Armata’s unmanned turret. While an unmanned turret poses some difficulties—including the risk of blinding the crew if the sensors are knocked out—it does mean that there’s a good chance that the crew can survive a hit to the turret. Even if the turret is put out of action and the tank needs to withdraw for repairs, keeping flesh-and-blood crew alive is the name of the game for modern, professional militaries. A tank can maximize the chance it will take any hits on the turret by deploying in a hull-down position—that is, with only the turret peeking above the crest of a hill.

So, how good are the TOW-2A’s chances? Against a wire-guided system, the T-14’s soft kill system will work if the Armata’s radars are effective and the crew is quick enough to move the tank to a new position while the missile is in flight. The active-kill system, however, might have a good chances of taking out the missile if it’s as good as it’s cracked up to be. Relikt ERA will likely further complicate the missile’s chances of penetrating. Even without that, whether the TOW-2A’s shaped charge can penetrate the frontal armor is looking dicey. The bottom line is multiple missiles might be required for one to get through.
- Cyberwarriors working for Moscow and other regimes are already poking and prodding at our networks, so there's little reason to think Trump's words were all that damaging in themselves. But it's a good opportunity to talk about the state of state-sponsored hacking, and to offer a reminder that the United States is just as active in this space as the next government.

The U.S. approach to this digital battleground is pretty advanced. For example: Did you know that the military uses its submarines as underwater hacking platforms?

In fact, subs represent an important component of America's cyber strategy. They act defensively to protect themselves and the country from digital attack, but — more interestingly — they also have a role to play in carrying out cyberattacks, according to two U.S. Navy officials at a recent Washington conference.

"There is a — an offensive capability that we are, that we prize very highly," said Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, the U.S. Navy's program executive officer for submarines. "And this is where I really can't talk about much, but suffice to say we have submarines out there on the front lines that are very involved, at the highest technical level, doing exactly the kind of things that you would want them to do."

The so-called "silent service" has a long history of using information technology to gain an edge on America's rivals. In the 1970s, the U.S. government instructed its submarines to tap undersea communications cables off the Russian coast, recording the messages being relayed back and forth between Soviet forces. (The National Security Agency has continued that tradition, monitoring underwater fiber cables as part of its globe-spanning intelligence-gathering apparatus. In some cases, the government has struck closed-door deals with the cable operators ensuring that U.S. spies can gain secure access to the information traveling over those pipes.)

These days, some U.S. subs come equipped with sophisticated antennas that can be used to intercept and manipulate other people's communications traffic, particularly on weak or unencrypted networks.

"We've gone where our targets have gone" — that is to say, online, said Stewart Baker, the National Security Agency's former general counsel, in an interview. "Only the most security-conscious now are completely cut off from the Internet." Cyberattacks are also much easier to carry out than to defend against, he said.

One of America's premier hacker subs, the USS Annapolis, is hooked into a much wider U.S. spying net that was disclosed as part of the 2013 Edward Snowden leaks, according to Adam Weinstein and William Arkin, writing last year for Gawker's intelligence and national security blog, Phase Zero. A leaked slide showed that in a typical week, the Navy performs hundreds of so-called "computer network exploitations," many of which are likely the result of submarine-based hacking.

"Annapolis and its sisters are the infiltrators of the new new of cyber warfare," wrote Arkin and Weinstein, "getting close to whatever enemy — inside their defensive zones — to jam and emit and spoof and hack. They do this through mast-mounted antennas and collection systems atop the conning tower, some of them one-of-a-kind devices made for hard to reach or specific targets, all of them black boxes of future war."
- Pugachev’s bank, Mezhprombank  (International Industrial Bank, IIB), lost its Central Bank licence in October 2010, and was declared bankrupt the following month.  At that time Central Bank auditors and the Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA) estimated the deficiency in the bank’s accounts amounted to Rb70.1 billion (then $2.3 billion).  Rb32 billion of that ($1.05 billion) had been loaned by the Central Bank and disappeared.  In the subsequent Russian, UK and Swiss court records, about $700 million in US-denominated cash has been tracked into Pugachev front companies, trusts and bank accounts. There were Euro-denominated transfers in parallel. The assets identified by the DIA to the London courts as under Pugachev’s control in mid-2014 were valued at £1.17 billion ($1.93 billion).  That’s almost equal to the sum of the bank’s deficiency.

Pugachev, the control shareholder, was investigated by the Russian authorities for fraud and embezzlement in 2011, and he left the country that year. He wasn’t indicted until 2013, but the Moscow courts initially refused to confirm the charges and an international arrest warrant was withdrawn.  The indictment was revised, and a new warrant issued in mid-2014. By then Pugachev was living in London, Monaco, and Nice with his wife.
- Particularly, Russian experiences in Ukraine—where both sides are using upgraded Soviet-built tanks and anti-tank weapons—have shown that despite the best active, reactive and passive armor available, a tank will eventually be penetrated. “We discovered that no matter how skillful the crew, the tank would get up to ten hits,” Pukhov said during a luncheon at the Center for the National Interest in Washington, D.C.—which is the foreign policy think-tank that publishes The National Interest—on July 26. “Even if you have perfect armor—active, passive. In one case it will save you from one hit, in another case from two hits, but you’ll still get five hits and you’re done. That’s why now you’re supposed to have some kind of Tank 2.0.”

The Tank 2.0, as Pukhov describes it, is not the T-14 Armata—which despite its advanced unmanned turret and active protection systems—is still a more or less a conventional tank design. “I know Russians are thinking about this new tank and this tank is not Armata,” Pukhov said. “It’s what we call among us Boyevaya Mashina Podderzhki Tankov [Tank Support Fighting Machine]—but in fact it’s not a Podderzhki Tankov, but which can protect itself. So there is a serious debate about it.”

Later, during a one-on-one interview at the Center the same day, I asked Pukhov to elaborate on the Tank 2.0 concept. Pukhov said that traditionally, infantry has protected tanks—particularly in built up urban areas—but given the speed of modern armored vehicles, that is no longer possible in many cases. But while during previous eras tanks were more or less protected against weapons like rocket propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles, the latest generation of those weapons can punch through even the toughest armor.

As an example, Pukhov cited a particular battle in Eastern Ukraine where—even when operating under ideal conditions—a tank force fighting under the banner of Kremlin-backed separatist forces was all but annihilated by rocket-propelled grenades. If even a small force of anti-tank missile-equipped infantry could decimate a tank column, the take-away for the Russians was that they needed to rethink the entire concept of the tank. “That’s why we have the concept of the Tank 2.0,” Pukhov said. “We have a prototype of this machine that’s called the fighting vehicle to support tank attack—Terminator.”
- The future of produce is ugly. Twisted, blemished, mutated and deformed, to be specific.

That's because an increasing number of grocery chains and crop-sharing services have begun stocking and distributing fruits and vegetables that were once deemed unfit for sale based solely on appearance. To be clear, these goods aren't damaged or rotten or distasteful. If a chef chopped them up and served them in a soufflé, most would never know the difference. Their banishment from shelves was purely produce prejudice.

In recent years, a small number of eco-conscious consumers have begun buying imperfect produce, often at discounted prices, in an effort to chip away at the planet's staggering level of food waste.

Now, the buy-ugly movement has been thrust into the mainstream. Walmart, the planet's largest retailer with more than 4000 produce-selling stores, announced last week that it plans to sell less-than-pretty apples in 300 stores in Florida. This builds on an ugly-potato program the retail behemoth launched in Britain this year.
Consumers' vanity contributes to the world's waste epidemic. No matter how you slice it, tons of edible food are thrown away every year. The US Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that 40 per cent of food grown and produced in the world's largest economy each year goes uneaten. More fruit and vegetables are wasted than any other food category, with 52 per cent being lost rather than consumed.
- In testing, the F-35B has proved to be “phenomenally successful,” showing that it can easily destroy the most advanced enemy aircraft defenses and fighters, Davis said. In fact, F-35B pilots made a demonstration of the aircraft’s capabilities last month more challenging than Davis had asked for because they did not feel it was difficult enough, he said.

“I watched how they went and did this with two airplanes with pylons and two without,” Davis said. “It was a work of art. That’s not the way my brain works but that is the way their brains are working.”
Four F-35Bs from Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron

In little more than five minutes, the F-35Bs destroyed the targets and a surface-to-air-missile site using pictures from a forward air controller that were relayed to the aircraft through the cloud cover, he said.

Davis rebutted critics who claim the F-35B is “too much technology for the Marine Corps,” explaining the Marines’ mission is to be able to fight anywhere at any time against anybody.

To drive his point home, Davis recalled a conversation he had with retired Marine Lt. Gen. Frank Petersen Jr., the Marine Corps’ first African-American aviator and general officer. The two met before Petersen died in August.

“I said: Well, some people think we’re getting too much technology,” Davis said. “He goes: ‘I was shot down in Korea and I was shot down in Vietnam; never once did I think I had too much technology. Go tell them they’re idiots.’”
- Here is the real reason for the methodology change: according to Reuters "the inclusion of the word “Neither” is capturing Soft Trump supporters who, if given such an option, prefer not to make a choice. Here it is important to note that the soft supporter phenomenon also affects Clinton, but to a much lesser degree."

As a result, the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll - pre Friday evening - had Trump 40.2%, Clinton 38.5%, but, on a "pro forma" basis, eliminating "Neither" from the "Neither/Other" answer produced a different result. In that case, Clinton was ahead, 40% to 36%.

In other words, the real reason for the "tweak" was to push Hillary back in the lead simply due to a change in the question phrasing methodology.

With the first new poll under the new polling "approach" due to be released last night, we predicted that it would show a dramtic rebound for Hillary, just as Trump was picking up steam, and in doing so changing the entire frontrunner narrative from the ground up. 
- Conflict and war in 2035 cannot be understood by the simple identification of a set of individual trends and conditions. Instead, the intersection and interaction of many discrete trends and conditions will ultimately change the character of future conflict and illuminate the reasons why the Joint Force may be called on to address threats to U.S. national interests. In fact, conflict in 2035 is likely to be driven by six specific and unique combinations of trends and conditions.

Each of these Contexts of Future Conflict creates a troubling problem space for the Joint Force. They include:
1. Violent Ideological Competition. Irreconcilable ideas communicated and promoted by identity networks through violence.
2. Threatened U.S. Territory and Sovereignty. Encroachment, erosion, or disregard of U.S. sovereignty and the freedom of its citizens from coercion.
3. Antagonistic Geopolitical Balancing. Increasingly ambitious adversaries maximizing their own influence while actively limiting U.S. influence.
4. Disrupted Global Commons. Denial or compulsion in spaces and places available to all but owned by none.
5. A Contest for Cyberspace. A struggle to define and credibly protect sovereignty in cyberspace.
6. Shattered and Reordered Regions. States unable to cope with internal political fractures, environmental stressors, or deliberate external interference.

Each context includes elements of both contested norms and persistent disorder. However, their relative importance will vary depending on the objectives of potential adversaries and the capabilities available to them. Dissatisfaction with the current set of international rules, norms, and agreements will cause revisionist actors to make their own – and attempt to enforce them. Meanwhile, the loss of legitimacy or strength by governing authorities will permit other actors to effectively employ coercion and violence in pursuit of power or to further their beliefs.
- WikiLeaks is not only competing for readers’ attention but also for relevance in the eyes of hackers and whistleblowers around the world who have other choices of how to distribute documents, he says.

"In an odd sort of way, WikiLeaks is also competing for a global share of hackers and insiders who are releasing data," he says. "And, I think, what’s better to do that than to hit an American news cycle."

And at the same time, if reports of Russian involvement are correct, the organization appears to have found a new source for documents: state-sponsored hackers looking to influence politics abroad.

"I think this is actually sending a message loud and clear to other governments out there that they can have an impact on some adversarial government or ally," says Nigam.
- Today, the organisation has again used the columns of Fairfax Media, which appears to be a willing partner in spreading the bureau's spin, to try and justify the demand for names.

Nowhere is the fact that mainstream media is in lockstep with the government better illustrated. Indeed, when Fairfax caught out Kalisch for lying, it put its own spin on the revelation by headlining the article, "Census: The ABS has been quietly holding on to our names for years". A small publication like iTWire called the lie for what it was.

In the Fairfax article today, the ABS says the collection of names was helpful to determine the lifespans of Aborigines. But then why it does need the names of all and sundry?

Ever since its name collection scheme was criticised, the ABS has been shouting itself hoarse and trying to convince the populace that it can provide adequate security for the data it collects.

But in the face of repeated data leaks all over the world - the most recent example was the leak of emails from the US Democratic National Committee that led to the resignation of its chairperson - such statements cannot be taken even at face value.

The danger in this kind of overreach is that Australians, who are well known for giving authorities the metaphorical finger in this kind of situation, may react adversely and provide false data in the census. Or else, they may boycott the census altogether.
- Politics is the art of the possible. It should be about listening, figuring out what can be achieved, and then progressing towards a better future. Today it's become diminished. People squabbling over personal ambition and placing their own desires at the forefront. Then others, less equipped to understand what's really going on, fall in behind their hero's or seek to kick goals by perverting the political process and reducing everything to a partisan political scoreboard.
- The Tu-214R is the most modern Russian ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft.

Equipped with sensors to perform ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) and SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) missions as well as with all-weather radar systems and electro-optical sensors that produce photo-like imagery of a large parts of the ground the special mission aircraft, the aircraft can fly multiple intelligence gathering missions: it can intercept and analyse signals emitted by targeted systems (radars, aircraft, radios, combat vehicles, mobile phones etc) while collecting imagery that can be used to identify and pinpoint the enemy forces, even if these are camouflaged or hidden.

Built by KAPO (Kazan Aircraft Production Association) and flown from the company’s airfield in Kazan, the Tu-214R registered RA-64514, serial number 42305014, the second of the two examples of this kind of aircraft built under contract with Russia’s Ministry of Defense (the other being serialled RA-64511), deployed to Latakia airbase in Syria, between Feb. 15 and 29, 2016.

Interestingly, RA-64514 has not finished with Syria yet: on Jul. 29, the aircraft flew from Moscow to Syria, where it landed at 3.23AM LT, as the Flightradar24.com ADS-B tracking show.

The aircraft, that features the same types of external bulges of other very well-known intelligence gathering planes, as the U.S. RC-135 or the Israeli B-707 with the Phalcon system, along with minor differences with the first operative Tu-214R, RA-64511, serial number 42305011, will probably spy on Daesh while testing some of its onboard sensor packages: the aircraft is believed to be still under development and the Syrian battlefield has already been used as a real testbed for new weapons systems by the Russian Aerospace Forces since Moscow started the air war in Syria back in October 2015.

Actually, there is someone who believes the Tu-214R spyplane and other systems deployed by the Russians to Syria might be used to collect data that might be used to “characterize” the F-22’s signature at specific wavelengths.

According to an article published by Sputnik News, Maj. Jahara ‘Franky’ Matisek of the US Air Force, for instance, Pantsir-S1 (SA-22 Greyhound) and S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) anti-aircraft systems were deployed to Syria specifically to spy on the F-22, whose role imply a certain interconnection with other assets.

According to Matisek, these anti-aircraft systems could be “sniffing” the emissions of the F-22s and other NATO aircraft could be used to “[improve] tracking algorithms, air defense capabilities, and [enhance] the understanding of coalition weapons that are engaging in close air support and precision air strikes.”

Anyway, Syria aside, the spyplane has been pretty active in Europe as well: on Jul. 5, the aircraft flew an interesting mission along the borders of Finland, Estonia and Latvia, similarly to what happened on Jun. 18, 2015, when the aircraft flew from Kazan to Crimea and back, closely following the border between Russia and Ukraine (a mission profile that caused some concern back then).

As already explained, this kind of aircraft usually loiters/circles in a friendly or uncontested airspace at high altitude and at safe distance (but within range of the onboard sensors) from the target(s) of interest or along the border of the enemy country.
- Russian scientists in cooperation with the national space agency are developing a magnetic 3D bioprinter that will allow production of living tissue in the micro-gravity conditions of the International Space Station.

The unique technology will be developed in partnership between the United Rocket and Space Corporation, part of the Roscosmos and 3D Bioprinting Solutions, a resident of the Skolkovo Innovation Center.

“The development of a magnetic bioprinter will allow printing tissue and organ constructs which are hypersensitive to the effects of space radiation – sentinel-bodies (eg, thyroid gland) – for biomonitoring of the negative effect of cosmic radiation in the conditions of a prolonged stay in space and for the development of the preventive countermeasures,” 3D Bioprinting Solutions said in a press release after signing a contract with the space corporation on Monday.

The scientific team hopes to send the “unique” technology to the ISS by 2018. Scientists envision that in the long term the newly designed bioprinter could potentially be used to correct astronauts’ damaged tissues and organs during long space flights. In addition, the company says the new technology could be used on Earth for the “faster” printing of human tissue and organs to save people’s lives.

Announcing the new partnership, the United Rocket and Space Corporation’s Director General, has called the endeavor “one more step” that will aid “human exploration of other planets.” His colleague, the managing partner of the 3D Bioprinting Solutions, Youssef Hesuani believes that the technology will offer a “unique opportunity” to pursue “new approaches in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.”
- The prosecution believes that starting from at least 2006, Chun established connections in China, including at least one with a “Chinese Official,” which he failed to report to the FBI. In 2011, the 46-year-old started sharing US secrets with the Chinese.

“On multiple occasions prior to his arrest in March 2016, Chun collected sensitive FBI information and caused it to be transmitted to Chinese Official-1 and others, while at the same time engaging in a prolonged and concerted effort to conceal from the FBI his illicit relationships with these individuals,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

The court believes that Chun downloaded an organizational chart of the FBI and sent it to the “official”. The IT worker also stands accused of taking pictures of a sensitive area, with details about surveillance technologies used by the FBI. Prosecutors claim that in 2015, Chun told an undercover FBI agent posing as a potential buyer of US secrets that he would be willing to help pass sensitive information for a certain payment.

According to the criminal complaint, Chun also told an FBI agent that he had used the cash received from his Chinese connection to pay for prostitutes and cover some travel expenses.

“Americans who act as unauthorized foreign agents commit a federal offense that betrays our nation and threatens our security. And when the perpetrator is an FBI employee, like Kun Shan Chun, the threat is all the more serious and the betrayal all the more duplicitous. Thanks to the excellent investigative work of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, the FBI succeeded in identifying and rooting out this criminal misconduct from within its own ranks,” Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said at Monday's hearing.

Chun is scheduled to be sentenced in December and could potentially face 10 years behind bars.
- There’s been a lot of mystery around the purpose of the female orgasm in the science community, as it’s not essential to reproduction. But US researchers now say they’ve found its evolutionary origin. Sounds like time well spent.

While its function has left biologists baffled “for centuries,” researchers from Yale University and the Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, now believe that our female ancestors only released an egg after achieving an orgasm, which is still the case for other mammals, including cats, rabbits and camels.
- More from the WSJ op-ed: “The state-of-the-art technological research coming out of Skolkovo raised alarms among U.S. military experts and federal law-enforcement officials. Research conducted in 2012 on Skolkovo by the U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Program at Fort Leavenworth declared that the purpose of Skolkovo was to serve as a “vehicle for world-wide technology transfer to Russia in the areas of information technology, biomedicine, energy, satellite and space technology, and nuclear technology.”Moreover, the report said: “the Skolkovo Foundation has, in fact, been involved in defense-related activities since December 2011, when it approved the first weapons-related project—the development of a hypersonic cruise missile engine. . . . Not all of the center’s efforts are civilian in nature…”

“The FBI believes the true motives of the Russian partners, who are often funded by their government, is to gain access to classified, sensitive, and emerging technology from the companies. The [Skolkovo] foundation may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation’s sensitive or classified research development facilities and dual-use technologies with military and commercial application.”
- Lockheed is building three models of the F-35 Lightning II for the US military and 10 countries that have ordered them: Britain, Australia, Norway, Italy, Turkey, Denmark, the Netherlands, Israel, South Korea and Japan.

But the program, launched in 2001, has been dogged by huge cost overruns and technical problems that blew out its budget by nearly 70%. Britain slashed its orders and the decision of Australia’s Howard government in 2002 to buy the jet fighter has been heavily criticised as hasty and ill-judged as cost increases, delays and doubts about its capability have mounted up.

Problems with the fighter jet have included issues with the radar software and increased risk of neck injury to lower-weight pilots when they ejected from the aircraft. The jet was also reportedly out-performed by the ageing F-16 fighter in a mock dogfight.

Industry and US defence officials have said they are working hard to continue driving down the cost of the new warplanes to $85m per plane by 2019, as well as the cost of operating them.

“The U.S. Air Force decision to make the 15 F-35As ... combat-ready sends a simple and powerful message to America’s friends and foes alike – the F-35 can do its mission,” said the program’s chief, Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan.
- In all but cases of moral failings, commanders must assume responsibility for their subordinates — not “deflect criticism by throwing lower echelons under the bus.”
BEIJING (Reuters) - China is studying new methodologies to assess the economic contribution from industries seen as part of the "new economy", ranging from biotech firms to online retailers, a deputy head of China's statistics bureau said in speech published on Sunday.

The rise of some new and high-growth industries has brought challenges to evaluating a country's economic growth.

Xu Xianchuan said free services provided by internet companies had contributed to the country's gross domestic product, in comments carried on the Shanghai Securities Journal website.

Such services were underestimated, leading to lower official GDP numbers, he added.

Xu's comments come as China is due to release second-quarter GDP figures on July 15. The veracity of China's statistics is frequently called into question by investors.

The government has set a growth target of 6.5-7 percent for 2016, though some analysts believe real growth levels are already much weaker.

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