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Monday, September 12, 2016

Diplomacy Part 2, Russia Vs USA Part 2, and More

This is obviously a continuation of my last post, http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2016/09/diplomacy-russia-vs-usa-and-more.html

- if you've ever been exposed to communism then you'll realise that there are those who have been exposed to the 'benefits' of capitalism look back upon it harshly. It's taken me a long while but I get where they're coming from. Many times regional and the global economy has collapsed and ultimately it comes from people trying to extract too much from an increasingly poorer and poorer group. This leads us to our present circumstances. Deepening debt with lackluster global growth. The USSR, China, etc... clearly took the largest hits to their economy and countries during the World Wars. They must have thought that to break out of the doom loop of capitalism (increasing competition for fewer resources) they would share the spoils across society (though the way they reached this conclusion was drastically different). They'd also resort to resort to mercantile beliefs which sought to create the burden outside of their immediate area. This obviously set up 'capitalists' and 'communists/socialists' on a collision course. The irony is that technically they were right (some translations of what defectors and politicians have previously said that they would live to see the end of Western 'leadership' and that the perspective of the West would change. It seems to be coming true?). Look at the Western (and global) economy now. Slowing growth, mounting debt, a return to borderline feudalism (if we're not careful), and a sharing/gig economy that is bears strange similarities to socialism/communism?
Stephen F. Cohen on the history of Russia
Who Were the Bolsheviks and Why They Matter Today...
Stallin' history Ft. Stephen Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies, NYU
Keiser report - Ali-Baba Revolution (E706, ft. Paul Schulte)
- after finding out more about some of the former USSR and it's allies I'm finding it very difficult to believe that they're as 'evil' as some people have tried to make them out to be (they have clearly done some silly stuff though and the political class aren't exactly protagonists of the socialist/communist ideal?). Even in North Korea there is heavy subsidising of food, housing while education and healthcare are free? One interesting gambit with North Korea would be to offer them a peace deal in which they give up nuclear weapons and join a permanent military alliance with China and Russia (sets us up for a complicated New World Order though that seems to be happening anyhow) while South Korea drops plans for THAAD. There's another interesting perspective to this. Imagine that other countries just want to see whether North Korea, Cuba, etc... can 'make it work' some day using an alternative social system (they seem to have ended up with hybrid capitalist/socialist/communist systems now with caps being placed on capital buildup to help ensure people get what they need while also preserving a communist/socialist core belief system? Need to counter this against external destablisation by some countries who see alternative social systems as threats?)?  The other interesting thing for is had everyone started from the same starting point after WWI and WWII would the world look the way it does now?
Community Doctors _ Official Documentary (2016) ELAM - Cuba's Latin American School of Medicine
- it's clear we live in a mass surveillance world (WikiLeaks, Snowden, Assange, etc...) with backdoors into most (if not all) of our technology. Given that a lot of 'evil states' such as Russia, North Korea, etc... end up under sanction a lot of the time would it not make sense that they would attempt to recuperate some of their lost earnings via the cyber-domain? We're stuck in a 'doom loop'...
- you have to admire them at times? In spite of being somewhat of an international pariah they've managed to survive all these years?
- had no idea how much of politics was just 'theatrics'? This is the great irony. There are those who say that either Clinton or Trump are preferable. I say that neither one is an out an out standout candidate. The public don't trust them, the general perception seems to be that others have had the measure of Clinton as Secretary of State, while Trump is somehow pro-Russia?
CrossTalk - The Hillary Doctrine
CrossTalk - The Trump Doctrine
CrossTalk on Hillary Clinton - Fit To Rule
Not sure if serious - US suspect Moscow of meddling in election, admit no evidence at all
‘You clearly corrupted our national security’ – US veteran to Hillary Clinton
Top Psychiatrist - Hillary Showing Signs of Dementia _ Alzheimers _ Tumor
- once you realise how much negativity, lies, manipulation, mistakes, etc... exists in modern media you it's hard to take a lot of this seriously. If you know enough it's pretty funny. Some people are so biased against their own systems that it's difficult to distinguish between a foreign agent and a patriot who don't like the way their countries are headed? (there are laws against this in some countries where you must register as a 'foreign agent' if you decide to take up a particular cause). Difficult to understand why people go into politics knowing the balance of pros and cons sometimes...
Keiser Report - Jihadists under your nose, go catch them (E621)
Hillary Admits She's Brain Damaged!
- overview of the history of PSYOPS/propaganda
Propaganda Fidei
- the way I see the 'potential superpowers' such as China, Russia, Europe, BRICS countries, etc... are that they are frustrated wondering why they are in the place that they are? Why they aren't treated with more respect? etc... It's easier to understand the problem with former USSR states if you think about it differently. Putin once said that it was a huge 'geo-political' disaster. One of the problems that was cause was that Russians were stuck outside of Russia which has given rise to our present problem (especially with regards to 'frozen conflicts', http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2016/02/a-new-cold-war-economic-crisis-and-more.html). While there are those who decided to migrate back to Russia there are still many stuck outside but want a better relationship between Russia and their state. In the case of China think about this, look into their background and you'll see that in the past they were the world's leading power for large chunks of time. Look further and you'll realise that the reason that they lost their wealth was due to conflict. Some of it a direct consequence of being pulled into conflict with Western powers (or even de-stablisation caused by Western powers depending on who you listen to which is also similar to Russia and the 'Bolshevik Revolution' and even to now?). Things aren't that clear cut if you look at the whole picture...
- deep rivalry. They never really embraced one another in spite of the end of the 'Cold War'
- some more background regarding the US and Russian relationship
American Betrayal of Russia, Stephen Cohen (2011 speech)
U.S.-Russia Relations and the Future of Arms Control
Crisis in US-Russia Relations - The View from Moscow _ Institute of Politics
U.S.-Russia Relations and the Future of Arms Control
- some stuff regarding the Russian media machine. They sound ridiculous at times because they seem to be pulling such a long bow? Once you understand how they think everything seems much easier. In the West most people just think in terms of A leading to B. They think much more analytically/systemically. If A leads to C leads to D leads to B they'll tell you that both are the same (even if the chances of A to C may be tiny?). Either way, both patterns are valid but it can lead to major mis-understandings (outright lies/mis-information versus genuine thoughts). Either way, it sometimes takes a bit of background knowledge to understand what exactly their position is? Almost like they're running out of material to talk about from time to time? Watch some of their series programs and they seem to cover the same material regularly? Irony is that there is probably more than enough material out there already? People say they prefer it because it's entertaining and offers alternative viewpoints (even if they seem quirky or crazy). Also notice that it's tit for tat? I remember hearing stuff about the US accusing Russia of being criminal and kleptocratic. Exact same in the opposite direction. All the time, over and over again between the two. Realise what's going on and it's almost comical?
Leaked WADA documents - US Olympic team players were allowed to take banned substances
Soviet propaganda is not dead: How Max Keiser mixes truth and lies for the new alliance against the West
Putin’s Propaganda Machine
‘Not just another perspective, but parallel universe’ – George Galloway on switching from RT to  BBC
- the following is a good example of systemic thinking. In Hayek's examination of free market/liberalist thinking versus a more authoritarian market system (private control versus state control is a better description probably?) it is said that you ultimately become a slave to the state in the more authoritarian system. In a systemic perspective being a 'slave' to the state of private enterprise is not all that different. Hence, they aren't?
An Introduction to Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom- A Macat Economics Analysis
F.A. Hayek - Biography, Economics, Road to Serfdom, Quotes, Books, Nobel Prize (2001)
Friedrich Hayek en Masters of Money
Friedrich Hayek - Free Market vs Socialism
The Levin interviews - Friedrich Hayek
The Life & Thought of Friedrich Hayek
- deep down I think the Russians and Chinese feel that our version of capitalism and life are flawed and/or inappropriate for them. While they go along with the present circumstances note that the Communist party is still the second largest political party in Russia and the Chinese still call it the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)? Similar in some of their old allies where there is a strong leftist movement?
Keiser Report - 26 Most Terrifying Words (E758)
Keiser Report - The Dream Thieves & Sick Economies (E760)
Keiser Report - Occupy Rupert Murdoch (E738)
Keiser Report - Very serious people repeat after Max (E739)
Keiser Report - Bring Austerity to Bankers! (E774)
Stephen F. Cohen on the history of Russia
- watch alternative media and it becomes a lot more obvious that there's a bit of frustration out there. Was always under the impression that things were relatively calm elsewhere? Guess there's less coverage of international media over here but that's also due to lower profitability of local media outlets which means they deploy overseas less often and have to rely on external sources/affiliates for information?
- the core part of the problem with the potential 'New World Order'. A lot of people are saying that there is no genuine 'drop in replacement' for the US (or at least that's the perception. Where there's uncertainty there is fear). It seems clear that they believe that other countries will pick up the slack. Strong perception of US (mutual actually) arrogance and hypocrisy that is apparent in both Russia and China
CrossTalk - Bullhorns Revolt
CrossTalk - Containment 2.0 (ft. Stephen Cohen & John Mearsheimer)
Leaked WADA documents - US Olympic team players were allowed to take banned substances
- everything seems inverted at the moment?
- have the funny feeling that the fierce nationalism is just to keep morale up in some countries? Can be off putting at times to people who aren't familiar with it
American 'Exceptionalism' an Outdated Concept
War, Media Propaganda and the Police State - Prof. James F. Tracy
America 2016 - Brexit - Economic Collapse - US Economy - Noam Chomsky - EU collapse
Inside Story - UN Security Council - A relic of the past
- given what happened between the two it's clear that they perceive a zero sum game a lot of the time. A genuine partnership is difficult owing to trust and rivalry issues. They see us as fools from time to time especially with regards to our socio-economic issues. Complicated relationship with religion. Like their state they changed over time
Stephen F. Cohen on the history of Russia
Stallin' history Ft. Stephen Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies, NYU
Stephen Cohen on Russian Protests and 'The Soviet Union's Afterlife' in The Nation Magazine
The Media's Dangerous anti-Russian Jingoistic Game (w_ Prof. Stephen Cohen)
Stephen F Cohen - Coast to Coast AM [short] 'Russia & Syria'
Stephen F. Cohen - The Ukrainian Crisis - It's not All Putin's Fault
aStephen Cohen - Pakistan, Friend or Foe
Keiser Report - Sovietization of capitalism (E723)
- if you have a hard time dealing with what countries do and 'Realpolitik', think of countries as being like being like your parents who don't have much of a education and have to resort to being part time criminals to help pay the bills
- one of the strange things about online media is that there aren't as many genuine Western alternatives of the same length, depth, analysis as that of Russian media (I mean from official channels like RT Vs BBC, CNN, CNBC, DW, etc...)? Alternative media outlets are a different matter altogether though. Go the YouTube channels of the BBC, CNN, CNBC, DW, etc... and they're mostly shorter clips?
- the public generally does not know what some of these alliances mean? The obvious question is why and the obvious answer is because it might damage relations with some other nations which makes you wonder about the silliness of all this? The other thing that a lot of people don't get is that power doesn't automatically garner respect. The questions being raised about Western leadership have more to do with what it does rather than with it's power. People would gladly look to Western leadership each and every time if they knew what they were getting were the genuine article much like we look to good experts, professionals, craftsmen, etc... Think about people who are extremely skillful at their job and get the job done professionally, then think about the rank amateur. The problem is that the more you read foreign media (any. Though the criticism seems to be much stronger in certain countries than others) the more you realise that the perception of the West is a lot of the latter. That said, some of the choices that politicians face are comical (least worse circumstances)
Keiser Report - US vs China. Battle for Latin America (E709)
CrossTalk - Bullhorns Sparring
- even if all that happened was the toning down of nationalism (both US and Russia) I think that would go a bit of a way towards making things a bit smoother between the two countries (and others as well?). I'm honestly not certain that they (either of them) realise when they may step on the toes of others sometimes? They see massive faults in one another even with regards to small issues. Integrity issues both ways
CrossTalk - Bullhorns Revolt
- SDR (basically a basket of currencies that can double as a 'World Currency' if need be) provides a neat mechanism for transition (if there is to be one) of world order?
Keiser Report - Will the dollar live to die another day (E963)
Keiser Report - Ruble’s Baptism by Fire (E695)
- didn't realise Iraq still used Russian/Soviet equipment?
- methods are brutal at times but effective. Focus is more on efficacy then precision (partly to due to budgetary issues as well?) MLRS system is equivalent of TOS in NATO arena
- either way difficult to believe that removing/suppressing single countries are going to change things? The other obviously interesting thing is how the way the USSR is perceived amongst those in within the former union itself
- I think some of the people who have been calling for containment (or even) break up of Russia are underestimating the possible threat that may be caused? Look carefully around at some of the former USSR countries and it's allies. They may have broken up but they are still on good terms (even if things are still a bit awkward). Look at some of what has been said. Look at the nationalism. Look at slowing global economic growth and the number of Muslims who could turn to terrorism in Russia alone. Look at what has happened in Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Kosovo, Iraq, etc... and previous Western intervention. Look at the previous breakup of the USSR and the people in power and the people who seem to be running media operations in other countries. Many are from former USSR countries (whether they do so voluntarily or not). While Russia could break apart those who are best placed to take advantage of the carnage will also take advantage of the new circumstances (see Dmitri Orlov's work on this and his description of the breakup of the former USSR, http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2016/07/neuroscience-in-psyops-world-order.html). I wouldn't be be surprised if they mount a challenge against Western powers even in that state. With Europe in the economic state it's in don't be surprised if they 'fall' as well. For those who think that you can bring down Russia 'peacefully' notice all of the former USSR states and their split allegiances? Even without direct Russian intervention there are heaps of Russians everywhere which complicates things (similar in the case of the US though). They can continue to play this game but I don't see a clear, cut winner. They'll just end up pulling one another down... with China most likely pulling out ahead (if it can keep out of the way). At the other extreme end, if you push them too far a distant possibility is the reformation of a new power block similar to the former USSR (Putin and other Russian think tanks have previously indicated a preference for a union/group that stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic/Asia to Europe. I doubt that they mean through military conquest though. A union where countries want to go in with their eyes open. Watch for countries that were treated badly during the Euro economic crisis in particular and now seem to have closer relations to Russia?)
America 2016 - Brexit - Economic Collapse - US Economy - Noam Chomsky - EU collapse
Keiser Report - Puny Tax Evasion (E720)
EU state of the union: Juncker warns UK on single market
MPs attack Cameron over Libya 'collapse'
- given the nature of media outreach (seems voluntary on first view), the awkward nature of the takeover of Crimea, wouldn't it also make sense that their cyberwarfare program is run in the same manner?
Putin’s Propaganda Machine
- I have no idea why some of the political elite seem to have an obsession with 'globalism'? If it happens it happens? In the meantime we have more than enough difficulties to deal with? One other interesting thing
- one of the things that always passes through the back of your mind is whether or not some of the political class are secretly ultra religious? If the bloodline theory of 'conspiracy theorists' are true then they are testing for prophets and possible 'Christ' figures. That would explain the strange desire for 'globalism'? (of course, the straight out need for economic growth also explains it) The other thing you sort of begin to understand is how possible problems possibly came into being? For instance, think about the basis for 'communism' and the way it relates to some of Jesus' teachings with regards to worldly possession. It could have easily led to a schism between church and state (as we saw in the former USSR). Bring this back to the not knowing when we're stepping on one another's toes problems and suddenly the world becomes much clearer?
SERVED -  Shadow Government Subpoenaed
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - Televangelists (HBO)
- the strategy to keep them coming back is obvious for most PSYOPS/propaganda. Entertain. Once you understand how the neuroscience works (dopamine) though it you realise the problem that people face in making films. Budgets have no choice but to grow larger and larger
[114] Media Censorship Hits New Level, New Leak Shows Collusion Against BLM, Huge Prison Strike
- part of the RT strategy is obvious. Pull in more traffic using interesting videos and it's a bonus if people watch the more analytical stuff. Notice the higher level of political and analytical content on their websites (as opposed to that of Western websites)?
- possible solution is to sell/lease equipment (even if it's older) for other countries in the area to run their own operations/patrols against Russia. At least it will reduce the antagonism between Russia and US? Would the data even be useful if using less up to date equipment (for security reasons)? Guess that there are other reasons for this though?
- the frustrating thing for me is this. The way I see it this battle has to be won in trade but the US/West keeps on taking it's eye off the ball (or is simply distracted?)? Full blown 'Cold War' not possible given nature of globalised trade?
- if you ever want to learn Russian (or brush up on it)
- in a way most countries want you to believe their particular version of the truth (very few exceptions here). If they ever do open up it will be when China and Russia are stronger and more confident in themselves and the society that they have built. A lot of stuff gets politicised now. Nothing is clean cut and everyone wants an edge no matter how small. A lot of things difficult to verify. You sometimes don't know what you're looking at
EXCLUSIVE - Full Interview with Vladimir Putin by Bloomberg
- one of the funny things about 'alternative media' is that in spite of them having 'altruistic designs' some of them seem to have rampant advertising running through them
- apparently Reagan (while president) was borderline Alzhemier's according to some reports? Shouldn't matter in Hillary's case as long as she's competent? Strange theories about Clinton's health online (has had multiple instances of coughing and fainting instances/fits)? Didn't realise how vehemently against both candidates some members of the US public are? Some of it is pretty comical to be honest
What Does Hillary Clinton’s Coughing Fit Mean (VIDEO)
#HillarysHealth - Clinton diagnosed with pneumonia, cancels trip to California
US media accused of burying concerns over Clinton health
Bill Clinton lets it slip that Hillary Clinton faints 'frequently'
Clinton Admits She Has Fainted “A Few Times” Can't Remember...
'He loves the guy' - Obama slams Trump's appearence on RT, compares Putin to Saddam Hussein
Donald Trump Swing Analysis by Hank Haney
Russian TV News Asks - “Will They Kill Trump”
Hillary Admits She's Brain Damaged!
- as with most PSYOPS/propaganda it can be a turn off if it comes on too strong. This is particularly the case if it's the first time you've seen it
- notice that those are calling for a more co-operative relationship between the US and Russia are more likely to have spent time in both countries?
- interesting series pertaining to the role people play in modern diplomacy
- it's never made sense how the US ended up with so much gold to me. Apparently, it was shifted there during the World Wars for 'safe keeping'. At times, it feels like a continuation of the British empire?

Random Stuff:
- defense constantly coming up with interesting stuff. Didn't realise the role that Silicon Valley once played in the World Wars?
The Secret History of Silicon Valley
- always wondered what this does for anyone
- I often come across corrupted files. Most of the time I can do something about them but in the case of the I've only been able to do a limited amount since core the actual disc itself seems to be physically damaged after a certain point rather than files themselves (which are more easily repairable if you now your way around a hex editor, file formats, etc...)
modifying WIM images
cat WinRE.wim | tr -cd '[:print:]\n' | grep WINDOWS
- tools for extracting URLs from a web page
How do I parse links out of a web page
- have a difficult time believing a lot of this is worth it sometimes?
- I find it very difficult to believe that out of the our entire parliament, public service, Australian public, etc... that we can't come up with a worthwhile plan for the future or at least a few things that could make life a little bit easier for people? Or it's just a super cynical tactic to justify another election?
- everytime you see something like this you wonder about 'Hybrid Warfare' and just where exactly states have placed trojan code and it's nature
- free development, interesting stuff
- free Xamarin eBook and courses
Free Xamarin eBook by Charles Petzold and Free Courses
- many cool and interesting things you can do with small development FOSS libraries/kits nowadays
- how to whiten keys on a piano/keyboard

Random Quotes:
- According to Paul Craig Roberts (2011), the conspiracy theory concept “has undergone Orwellian redefinition”…

A “conspiracy theory” no longer means an event explained by a conspiracy.  Instead, it now means any explanation, or even a fact, that is out of step with the government’s explanation and that of its media pimps….

In other words, as truth becomes uncomfortable for government and its Ministry of Propaganda, truth is redefined as conspiracy theory, by which is meant an absurd and laughable explanation that we should ignore.

Fiction becomes fact.

Investigative journalism has been scrapped.

Factual analysis of social, political and economic issues is a conspiracy theory because it challenges a consensus which is based on a lie.
- While this may once again be seen as the EU picking on American companies, with Google the biggest news aggregator in the business — as the EU's move against Apple has been interpreted — the biggest media company in the world, the US-based News Corporation, is sure to support it.

News Corporation, which owns the WSJ, filed an official complaint with the EC over Google's new search practices earlier this year. The company has claimed that Google pushes its domination of search by not showing articles from a particular publisher unless the the publisher agrees to Google copying or scraping content to display such articles in its search results.

The question of how to make a buck has dominated discussion of online publishing for a long time, with publishers resorting to paywalls of varying levels in a bid to make their businesses profitable.

But the only victors in the game have been Google and Facebook, with the two companies accounting for more than half of online advertising, according to the most recent figures.
- When a branch of the US military starts rolling out a new pet project, it is rarely either cost effective or literally effective. The US Navy’s littoral combat ship (LCS) program is really underscoring that recently, with more ships breaking at seemingly random, meaning four nearly brand new ships have broken down in less than a year.

Just yesterday, the Navy discussed problems with its first LCS, the USS Freedom, which inexplicably was put out of commission back in July when seawater got into the engine and the oil system and started rusting things out. Limping back to home port, the USS Freedom now needs an engine replaced outright, with no timetable for the fix, or the cost.

Today, officials reported the USS Coronado, which only got commissioned back in 2014, has suffered an unspecified “engine casualty” and is struggling back to Pearl Harbor for repairs. It had just left Pearl Harbor on Friday.

That makes four LCS ships that have broken down in the past year, which is a pretty disastrous track record considering that even the oldest ship, the USS Freedom, was commissioned in late 2008, and the US only had a total of six active duty LCS ships in total.

The LCS is a product of the US Navy’s efforts, in the wake of the Cold War, to shift its priorities away from having more large capital ships than the Soviet Union toward just having a lot of stuff that floats about in the water, so they could have a nominal presence more or less anywhere.

The idea was that the LCS would be a low-cost, reliable ship for limited missions around coastlines, but the reality is that upkeep on the ships has been dramatically higher than initial estimates, and an LCS ends up costing more than a larger, and more combat-ready ship like a frigate.

Still, with several billion dollars sunk into the plan and the Navy’s priorities still squarely on quantity over quality, the LCS fleet is being constructed in earnest, even as the few already completed stumble back into the docks, because they didn’t do so great on the reliability front either.
- A group of researchers from the cybersecurity start-up MedSec has opened up an ethics debate after it combined with an investment firm to short the stock of a maker of medical devices in order to make it aware of vulnerabilities in its products.

Staff from Miami-based MedSec found that the defibrillators and pacemakers manufactured by St Jude Medical, which is headquartered in St Paul, Minnesota, had security holes that could put lives at risk. St Jude also has branches in Japan, Brazil, Costa Rica and Belgium.

But they did not inform the company or post the information to any security mailing list where such vulnerabilities are normally ventilated. They did not try to sell their knowledge of the flaws on the grey market either.

Instead, the MedSec team contacted Carson Block, who runs Muddy Waters Capital, an investment firm, and made a deal: he would short the St Jude stock while they would provide information that the equipment could be life-threatening.

There was an additional condition: the cost of their information would increase in proportion to the fall in the St Jude stock. If the gamble hadn't paid off and the stock had not fallen, then MedSec stood to lose.

But as it turned out, things did go their way. The St Jude stock fell by as much as 4.4% in New York on 26 August, to US$77.50.
- Turnbull’s internal divisions are more substantial. While a resentful Abbott is relishing Turnbull’s discomfort, his desire for revenge is not driving the agenda.

Rather, Turnbull is sitting on an ideological fault-line between the conservatives and the small ‘l’ liberals.

His conservative base is pushing for a softening to racial discrimination laws, blocking any meaningful action on climate change and continuing their quest to frustrate marriage equality.

Turnbull’s inability to resolve these issues internally leaves little positive about his agenda but a blind faith in trickle down economics and trade liberalisation.

Indeed, all that unites this Coalition is the signature union-bashing of the restoration of the ABCC, tighter controls on union governance and the ham-fisted opportunism of the CFA bill.

As the government wades into battle on these pieces of legislation, it can’t explain how it will deal with the issues that are actually driving the collapse of trust in government: rising levels of inequality, industrial-scale corporate tax evasion and a disconnect with the political project.

When a public loses faith in public institutions, parliamentary tactics are the least of a government’s worries.
- Europe is planning to forge ahead with plans for an EU Army that some fear could eventually displace Nato, with senior officials in Brussels urging EU member states to capitalise on the “political space” left by Britain’s decision to vote to leave. 

Federica Mogherini, the EU's foreign policy chief, is preparing to forward a timetable setting out steps to create EU military structures “to act autonomously" from NATO. 

Europe’s top diplomat reportedly told colleagues that the military plan - billed by some countries as the foundation of a “European army” - represented a chance for the EU to relaunch itself after the "shocking" Brexit vote.

“We have the political space today to do things that were not really doable in previous years,” Ms Mogherini told EU ambassadors, according to a report in The Times. 

The military plan foresees countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland creating permanent military structures to act on behalf of the EU and for the deployment of the EU's battle groups and 18 national battalions. 

It could also comprise an EU military planning and operations headquarters in Brussels that could be a rival to NATO. Last week, the Czech Republic and Hungary backed the plan as the basis to "setting up a joint European army.” 
- Consumers are familiar with the term, sponsored by. Someone put up some scratch and in turn gets the right to sell their wares. It’s a business deal. We’ve seen the word “sponsor”, in this sense, prefaced by another word, like “official”, or “proud”. Official sponsor means something like…actually it doesn’t mean anything beyond what sponsor means. It’s merely trying to sound important. Now proud sponsor means something like…no, actually there’s no content to it either but it seems to be trying to puff up the sponsor. What do we really care about how proud they are of, what, to sell us something?

Words can sometimes mean nothing. How about these? Do you think your choice of candidate is “honest and trustworthy”? This is a popular subject in the upcoming presidential election. A Google search yields about 350,000 results from the four words, Trump, Clinton, honest, trustworthy. It should be more though.

A Google search for the three words — advertising, honest, trustworthy — yields over four million results. But we still fall hook, line, and sinker for advertising’s inaccuracy, exaggeration, misdirection, manipulation, exploitation, lies of omission and outright lies. It works, and works so wonderfully that it is the engine for consumer mass commercialization. We’re a great country as long as we keep shopping, this taking a little liberty with a line from one G.W. Bush.

Politicians no more have to tell the truth than advertisers do. That’s not their job. They’re in sales and, as such, occupy the lowest rung in Washington. Marlon Brando once said that actors are the lowest rung in Hollywood. Same thing. Both get pushed out front where they act as instruments of those with permanence in the establishment structure. At best, they become part of the structure.
- Russia's justice ministry has branded Russia's only major private pollster a "foreign agent," a stigma that could lead to its closure.

The ministry issued a statement Monday evening saying that the Levada polling agency has been listed as a "foreign agency" after a snap inspection found some irregularities.

Following major protests against his rule in 2011 and 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that requires all NGOs receiving foreign funding and found to engage in vaguely defined "political activity" to register as "foreign agents." Those who fail to comply face fines and potential closure. Many organizations have said the stigma of "foreign agent," which rings like "spy" in Russian, would make it impossible for them to work in the country.

The decision comes less than a week after the respected pollster founded by and named after the late sociologist Yuri Levada published its latest election survey, indicating a drop in the ruling party's ratings. Russia holds a parliamentary election on Sept. 18.

Levada on Tuesday vowed to contest the ruling and expressed its dismay, saying that the ministry had not given it a chance to present its own case before issuing the decision.

"Placing an organization on a foreign agent list does not put an end to its activities, that's why we will continue our work," the Interfax news agency on Tuesday quoted Levada's deputy director Alexei Grazhdankin as saying. "That said, the foreign agent label can have a bad impact on our activities, on the perceptions of those polled."

The other two major Russian pollsters are state-owned and their surveys on political parties and politicians often differ significantly from what Levada research shows.
- List of undesirable NGOs in Russia

The Prosecutor General’s Office has earlier said five foreign organizations were undesirable in Russia. The NGOs, which have been included in the list of the Justice Ministry, are the National Endowment for Democracy, the OSI Assistance Foundation, the Open Society Foundation, the U.S. Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.
- Russia’s Defense Ministry has signed long-term contracts worth more than 130 billion rubles ($2.019 billion) at the Army-2016 International Military-Technical Forum, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said on Sept. 7.

"A total of 17 long-term contracts to the tune of more than 130 billion rubles have been signed," he said.

The second International Military-Technical Forum Army-2016 opened in Kubinka outside Moscow on Sept. 6, and will run until Sept. 11.

According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, this large-scale event provides an excellent opportunity for direct communication between Russian and foreign developers, and manufacturers of military and dual-purpose products. "The latest scientific and technological achievements are demonstrated here, they are displayed not only statically, but there is also a dynamic display of weapons and military equipment on the ground and in the air," Shoigu said on Sept. 6.

The minister said that this year the number of the forum participants had increased and the forum’s geography had expanded. Thus, more than 1,000 Russian enterprises and organizations are represented on the grounds of the Patriot Park in the Moscow region, more than 80 foreign countries have sent delegations to the forum, and the first national expositions have been opened by Russia’s allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) - Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia.

According to Shoigu, pavilions with a total exhibition space of 80,000 square meters, including 28 conference halls have been built for the forum. The universal outdoor grounds area for the display of weapons, military and special equipment exceeds 100,000 square meters.
- The target of the latest purported “Russia” hacks was two state voter registration systems. This fits well with the useful campaign narrative that Putin is trying to manipulate the election to favor Donald Trump. But a moment’s thought reveals that this story has contradictions of its own. On the one hand, we are told that we must fear the recklessness of Donald Trump and be appalled at the idea he would have control of nuclear weapons. But on the other hand, the reckless Donald Trump is also allegedly a “puppet” of Vladimir Putin, the leader of the other nuclear country that the US is most likely to exchange nuclear weapons with. How do we possibly reconcile this?

To believe both of those ideas simultaneously is to believe that Russia is trying to manipulate the elections in Donald Trump’s favor, so that once elected, Donald Trump will start a nuclear war against Russia. Sure, no one ever says it like that. But if you believed both narratives that the Clinton campaign advances, that’s where you end up. Hopefully, you don’t need me to tell you that is crazy.

Thus, I have a humble suggestion. If you’re going to demonize Russia, ideally try to use some actual facts. But if you can’t muster that, at least get your conspiracy theories straight. It would save the rest of us a lot of needless frustration.
- Many Americans who interact with Russians in their regular lives understand that the political posturing between Washington and Moscow is completely removed from the positive, everyday reality of cultural and business cooperation.

Our leaders may be rattling their sabers at each other, but many of their citizens are cooperating, building understanding and creating friendships that couldn’t have even been conceived of 30 years ago. Let’s not backslide into the counter-productive thinking of the Cold War. With a combined population of almost half-a-billion citizens, there’s just too much at stake.
- Mikhail Gorbachev’s feline spokesman, Gennadi Gerasimov, once teased suspicious Western correspondents by sneering at them in the early days of the great perestroika and glasnost experiment, “We have done the cruelest thing to you that we could possibly have done. We have deprived you of an enemy.” He was laughing at us, but he was dead right. The Cold War was a period of moral clarity when the other side really was an evil empire, and when armed resolve for once succeeded in defeating the expansion of evil in the world. It allowed my own poor country to feel more important than it really was, and it suppressed the seething impulses and rivalries of the European continent.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West has struggled to find a new bogeyman. Noriega would hardly do. The Taliban crumbled at a touch. Saddam Hussein was not up to the job, and the failed attempt to make him look more dangerous than he was has made the populace more incredulous than ever. Even the Iran of the Ayatollahs turned out to be quite keen to make friends. Al-Qaeda and now the Islamic State have an unconvincing fuzziness about them, nasty for sure but not as big as the headlines that are written about them. So what a relief to return to the old and trusted Russian menace, even if it does not really exist and its supposed aggression consists mainly of retreats.

The misreading of Russia’s geopolitical situation is especially sad because for the first time in many decades there is much to hope for in Moscow. Out of utopian misery has come the prospect of rebirth. It is as yet incipient. But I see great possibilities in it, in the many once-blighted churches now open and loved and full again, in the reappearance of symbols of pre-Bolshevik Russia, in the growth of a generation not stunted and pitted by poisoned air and food, nor twisted by Communist ethics. Many Russians will never recover from the cynicism they were taught, the mistrust, the contempt for religion and the foul cult of Comrade Pavlik. But their children can, and may. Why then, when so much of what we hoped for in the long Soviet period has come to pass, do we so actively seek their enmity?

Hillary Clinton’s comparison of President Putin to Adolf Hitler in a speech in California in March is the most striking example of this willingness to adopt the most extreme possible language, even by senior figures in government. Diplomats and media follow the same course, squawking about a “New Cold War” and seeking the most alarmist possible interpretation of every Russian action. But much of this NATO-related chatter increases the very fear and tension against which this odd alliance (whose actual purpose was fully achieved in 1991) claims to be defending us. We are now talking ourselves into a conflict for no good reason.

There was an old English description of the collapse of all order, hope, and mercy during the reign of King Stephen: “Seven long years when God and his Angels slept.” In Russia it was seventy years, not seven. Now they are over, and it is time we acknowledged this. If Russia is ever to become a country in which safety is normal and danger an aberration, we must understand the depths to which they were forced to sink and from which they are now slowly emerging. It is time not for a New Cold War, but for the Consolation of All Sorrows. If we do not recognize this, there will be many more sorrows to be consoled, here and there.
- Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has come out against all of the sequestration cuts, framing the levels as arbitrary.

Trump will also call on his generals to draw up a plan to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria within his first month in office.

He will call to expand every branch of the military, putting hard numbers to the broader pronouncements he’s made at rallies in recent weeks. 

That means an Army of about 540,000 troops, a Marine Corps of about 36 battalions, a Navy with about 350 surface ships and submarines and an Air Force of 1,200 fighter planes.

Those numbers rely on recommendations by the Army chief of staff, the Heritage Foundation and the National Defense Panel, the campaign said.

Trump’s speech comes as Clinton and her Democratic allies continue to assert that Trump’s temperament could lead to a nuclear war. Clinton has rolled out several high-profile GOP national security figures who crossed the aisle to back her for president.

On Tuesday, the pro-Clinton super-PAC Priorities USA released a video ad that meshed Trump’s declaration of “I love war” over pictures of battle and a nuclear mushroom cloud.
- Western journalism is sometimes biased, usually unconsciously, but it is actuated by some concern for the truth which in major news organisations results, for example, in formal rules about sourcing. These rules are constantly examined and updated. Complete cynicism about such matters is rare and punishable — see, for instance, the fate of Stephen Glass, who invented stories out of whole cloth for the New Republic. But when Pomerantsev met the managing editor of RT in his office, he was told: ‘There is no such thing as objective reporting.’ And that mission statement goes far beyond a humble acceptance that reporting cannot overcome every bias; it treats the truth as something malleable in theory and determined by authority in practice.

A number of those American and British twentysomething recruits have discovered that unpleasant reality in the course of their reporting. Abby Martin, the host of RT America, protested on air at the support that RT gave to Russia’s invasion of Crimea. Reporter Liz Wahl resigned shortly afterwards for the same reason. Staci Bivens, another RT reporter, said that she had been ordered by editors to write a story arguing the absurd case that Germany was a ‘failed state’. (She refused, which led to her leaving the network.) Overall, past and present employees of RT described a workplace in which reporters and commentators might write original stories only to find them rewritten by senior Russian editors — not to clarify or correct them, but to suit obvious Kremlin interests.

Some of these editing decisions are very transparent in their intentions. RT is an enthusiastic reporter of almost any protest against fracking anywhere, reflecting the interest of the Russian state and Gazprom in discouraging competition and keeping energy prices high. More generally, its underlying pose is that while Russia is far from perfect, the West as a whole is just as bad, and the US a great deal worse — the fountain of all bad things.
- One criticism comes up again and again in complaints about the poor quality of much of our political class: a lack of "real world" experience.

In hyper-factionalised major parties it is all too likely that candidates backed into parliament are not outsiders attracted to a career in public service, but apparatchiks whose entire working life has been spent inside the bubble of organised politics.
- James Fetzer, an emeritus at the University of Minnesota, made the remarks on Wednesday, after reports emerged that as many as 400,000 people were suffering from medical conditions linked to the 9/11 attacks.

According to a report published on Wednesday by Newsweek, as of June, a total of 5,441 of the 75,000 people enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program have developed at least one type of cancer related to the attacks.

Altogether, some 70 types of cancer have been linked to Ground Zero, the report added.

“This report is the tip of the iceberg in relation to the events of 9/11,” Fetzer told Press TV on Wednesday. “We have vast evidence of significant population—with some estimates running as high as 700,000—who have been affected by medical maladies associated with exposure to ionizing radiation.”
- "A lot of them are PRC students who migrated to Australia or come here to study. I think they are quite ambivalent about Australia, and China. Culturally and emotionally they still identify with China, but they don't like the corruption, pollution, propaganda or the regime. So they migrate here and they have some perception about this country, that it's beautiful, clean, prosperous, there is press freedom and the media is objective, not like the propaganda in China.

"Here they expect the media to do a lot better than the media they're used to back there. When they realise that the media here is just as one-track mind about these things as the Chinese side but exactly the opposite, they find it really hard to reconcile with what they're experiencing.

"So they might come across being really visceral and emotional and angry, sometimes using emotional terms, very rude, then they get picked up by the sensationalist tabloid media and translated back to mainstream Australian society.

"So the war of words escalates between both sides. They become more and more alienated by the mainstream, because they feel treated as the other in this country, so they talk like the other as a result. It is quite a concern."

The report recommends the Australian government play a proactive role to reposition migrant media so they become more reflective of a "genuinely multicultural, multilingual mainstream media landscape".

Many Chinese-language online news outlets in Australia source and translate stories from the mainstream media, but often shy away from negative or politically sensitive news regarding China.

The Chinese-language Sydney Today, which originally reported Labor senator Sam Dastyari's support of China's stance on the South China Sea, has made no mention of the ensuing donations furore and subsequent resignation from the Opposition frontbench that has dominated headlines in the mainstream press.

The Australia-China Relations Institute itself has come under scrutiny for its self-described "unabashedly positive view" on relations with China.

ACRI is chaired by prolific political donor Huang Xiangmo, who helped set up the institute with a $1.8 million donation. Mr Huang also helped Senator Dastyari foot a legal bill, and helped organise the now infamous press conference at which Senator Dastyari made his South China Sea comments.

However Professor Sun said she had initiated the report and approached ACRI to support it, and her research would stand on its merits.

"I don't mind you raising the question, it's fair enough – but in all good conscience that hasn't been my experience at all. There's no interference," she said.
- "Our system identifies posts that are clickbait and which web domains and pages these posts come from. Links posted from or shared from pages or domains that consistently post clickbait headlines will appear lower in News Feed," Facebook staff wrote in a blog post in early August. "Websites and pages who rely on clickbait-style headlines should expect their distribution to decrease."

Mr Hegeman said Facebook wanted to deliver meaningful and important stories. It will continue its relationship with media companies that "post content into our ecosystem", because it knows their content attracts users.

"We are really committed to continuing to partner closely with all these publishers to help them continue to get great distribution on our platform and post content that people will find really valuable," he said.
- Rickard: Well these kinds of actions have been going on for decades. The Russians constantly would fly next to American reconnaissance aircraft always within quite close proximity, a lot of times even doing barrel rolls and getting up underneath the aircraft and hitting their afterburners, these kinds of incidents are not uncommon.

Now what is uncommon is you have the Americans who are continually probing not only the Russians territories but also China, Iran unfortunately and many other countries around the world with this “reconnaissance aircraft.”

Now this particular aircraft in question – the P-8 - now let’s be clear here, this is not a reconnaissance aircraft. It has anti-ship missiles, it has anti-submarine torpedo capability that it just tremendously outflanks most of the equipment that any other country in the world has, and the fact that they are flying without transponders on and teasing the Russians as they fly towards the Russian border, the Russians are actually showing quite a bit of patience and they are certainly protecting their sovereignty and their land.

Certainly we do not see Russians flying warplanes, not reconnaissance planes, but warplanes, planes equipped with this kind of armament right up to the American border because there will be a lot of noise and certainly the Iranians are not doing that as well.
- Russia's objectives in the South China Sea

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says Russia is not a party in this confrontation and is not going to get involved.

However, strategic analysts interviewed by RBTH see benefits for Russia if the disputed islands of the Spratly Archipelago and the Malacca Strait were under China’s influence and beyond the influence of the United States and its allies in the region.

“Willingly or unwillingly Russia supports China's claim to disputed islands in the South China Sea,” says military expert Viktor Litovkin. “The construction of Chinese military infrastructure will provide Russia with protection in the area against U.S. Navy ships and the Aegis system and SM-3 and Tomahawk missiles.”

Washington insists on the principle of freedom of navigation, which is at odds with the interests of China in the region. The placement of military infrastructure by Beijing on the Spratly Archipelago would eliminate the ability of U.S. warships to navigate these waters.
Russia-China military cooperation

“In the near future this area will become home to China's aircraft carrier group,” says Alexey Maslov, an academician with the National Research University Higher School of Economics. “Russia has recently been trying to significantly strengthen its military and military-technical cooperation with Beijing.”

Maslov says the military partnership between the two countries is developing at a much better pace than a number of economic projects.

“The current goal of the drills is to test the ability of the naval forces of the two countries to work together to solve crises in East and Southeast Asia,” he adds.

Maslov believes that Russia and China are exploring the possibility of a future political and military alliance. However, such an alliance is not likely to resemble NATO.
- Norilsk Nickel denied an industrial spill into the Daldykan and said the “colour of the river today doesn’t differ from its usual condition”, the state news agency RIA Novosti reported. But the company said it was temporarily reducing manufacturing work while it monitored the situation. The Norilsk mayor’s office said the city’s water supply came from other sources.

According to Denis Koshevoi, a PhD candidate at the Vernadsky Institute for Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, who is researching pollution in the area, Norilsk Nickel pumps chemical solutions from Nadezhda to a nearby tailings dam via pipes. It also pumps metal concentrates from ore mills to Nadezhda, he said.

“Periodically there are accidents when these pipes break and the solutions spill and get into the Daldykan – that’s why it changes colour,” Koshevoi told the Guardian.

“A leak into the river from the Nadezhda factory,” the Norilsk resident Yekaterina Basalyga wrote under two pictures of the river on her Instagram account. “You get scared when you see this. And people are still gathering mushrooms and berries.”

Another commenter quoted the Bible passage in which the Lord tells Moses and Aaron to “strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood”.

Norilsk developed as a gulag camp in 1935 and is known for its harsh winters, two-month polar night and high level of industrial pollution.
- Both Trump and Clinton said they would not seek to privatize the VA.

When an audience member asked him what he plans to do to stop the 20 veterans, on average, who die by suicide every day, Trump erroneously sought to correct her by citing an old figure of 22 veterans. "Actually, it's 22," he told the woman. The VA in July released its latest study on the issue and concluded an average of 20 veterans kill themselves each day, down from 22 veterans in a 2014 study. The victims are mostly older vets.

"A lot of it is they're under tremendous pain and can't see a doctor," Trump said. "We're going to speed up the process."

Clinton, meanwhile, pledged to hold weekly meetings in the White House to better coordinate services as troops transfer from the Defense Department to veterans at the VA. She said she was "outraged" by some of the stories she has heard about missing records and vowed to help move the department into the 21st century.

"We've got to remove the stigma" associated with mental health, she said. "We've got to help people currently serving not to feel that if they report their sense of unease, their depression, that somehow it's going to be a mark against them."
- So what’s behind Russia’s diplomatic success and growing clout in the region? There are a few things. One is the ability to learn from past mistakes. Russia is not the Soviet Union. Its foreign policy is unencumbered by the burden of spreading any particularly ideology. Unlike the West, it is uninterested in nation building, values promotion or any kind of moralizing.

Second, its use of force is more strategic and limited in its aims. Respected Canadian historian and expert on Russian affairs Paul Robinson put it this way: “Whereas modern Western states often pursue absolutist goals – regime change in Iraq and Libya, for instance – Russia seems to view the purpose of force not as being to destroy its enemies but rather to get them to talk. Once the enemy agrees to talk, Russia is prepared to talk back.”

But Moscow’s engagement in the Middle East is about more than simply its national interests. It’s about sending a message that the rules of the game have changed; that the unipolar world is in its twilight years.

At a time when the United States was actively and publicly attempting to isolate Russia internationally, that it has achieved this level of success in its Middle East policy is undeniably impressive.
- And for good measure Trump slammed the US news media, telling Russia Today: "The media has been unbelievably dishonest – I mean, they'll take a statement that you make which is perfect and they'll cut it up and chop it up and shorten it or lengthen it or do something with it."

It didn't seem to have occurred to Trump that what he was describing is how he speaks.
- “This administration really wanted to end these wars,” said Paul Scharre, a former Army Ranger and Pentagon official now at the Center for a New American Security. “Now, we’ve got U.S. combat operations on multiple fronts and we’re dropping bombs in six countries. That’s just the unfortunate reality of the terrorism threat today.”

In meeting those threats, Obama has sought to limit the large-scale deployments of the past, instead relying on air power, including drones; isolated Special Operations raids; and support for foreign forces.

But militant groups have defied eight years of these sustained counterterrorism efforts.

Nowhere are the unexpected turns of Obama’s foreign-policy record more visible than in Iraq, where thousands of U.S. troops returned after the 2011 withdrawal to support local forces’ battle against the Islamic State. A smaller Special Operations force is based in northern Iraq, responsible for hunting down militant leaders.
- I am old enough to remember when a typical attack on Soviet, Polish, Romanian, Hungarian, or Yugoslavian Olympic teams was that they were not “amateur” in the original spirit of the invented Olympic tradition. When the US lost in competitions against USSR or GDR athletes Americans (and presumably the subjects of their post-war dominions) were told that this was because US teams were only “amateur” and the Communist Bloc was fielding athletes who were trained and paid by the State. State athletes were not real competitors. Whereas Western amateurs were the real athletes. When the Soviet Union collapsed, not only did an ever-expanding batch of commercially lucrative “sports” join the list of Olympic disciplines but also the pretence that there was any distinction between amateur and professional athletes was abolished.

Although as far as I know there has never ever been an Olympic location whose subsidised infrastructure was paid by the event itself or the supposed spin-offs, the IOC has succeeded in perpetuating the myth that an Olympic venue is a blessing instead of the curse it really is.

The answer for this is quite simple. The facts do not count– it is their interpretation. When promoters (or sponsors) of the Olympics raise the five-ringed host above their heads they are practicing finance according to the Tridentine rite. The blessings (profits) are for the priests and the church, not the congregation (which also under Catholicism pays all the costs of the clergy’s sloth, gluttony and paedophilia). Yes, the Olympics are profitable. Yes, they create a variety of long-term financial opportunities. But for whom? This is transubstantiation in the highest degree– profit and opportunity to the most high (the capitalists) and purgatory (at best) for the rest.
- When final U.S. jobs numbers come out for 2015, the mainstream financial press will cheer the creation of more jobs. The U.S. will show numbers that the country has created over 8 million new jobs since 2011. This job creation number is not enough to cover to entrants coming into the workforce hence the lack of wage increase pressure in the economy. The country will also have imported 12 million workers in that time frame and greatly expanded disability and handouts for the native population to offset employment pressures.

In the same time frame, a “collapsing China” created 64 million jobs and has seen wages double over that time frame. In low tax, manufacturing friendly China finding workers has become extremely difficult. Meanwhile, in the U.S. , no one is setting up a physical factory and get stuck in 40% tax rates. The companies here already have been leaving in record numbers through inversion and escaping to Europe for lower taxes.

What will not be reported in the mainstream press is that wage packets in the U.S. and China have now converged. The average new job created in the United States is categorized as “low wage” averaging between $9.48-$13.33 an hour. That would make the monthly salary in the U.S. working at $10/hour and 30 hours a week at $1,200 per month. Minus social security and taxes this would make the average new job created in the United States roughly $12,000 per annum. This is very similar to current Chinese wage structures when factoring in overtime and annual Chinese New Year bonuses.

Americans of the future will have to adapt to a Chinese style pay packet but with 50% tax rates and medical and educational costs that are ten times the rate of anywhere else.

The long slow decline has set it.
- Professor Austin says the more frequent such tainted uses of information become, the more likely over time that voters give up trying to understand the news and events shaping their world.

"To reverse the trend toward mass resignation [of voters] in the long term, we need to open up a contest for information power like we have not seen before," he says.

"We need to have a mechanism for promoting integrity and standards," he adds. The government, private sector and civil society "need to combat abuse of the media to promote hate or simply to spread lies.  In Australia, the major parties don't seem to understand this.

"They are losing the battle to escalating hysteria," he said.

Elsewhere, debate has turned to what to do next to fight back in a globalised information war. The BBC has mulled a satellite news service in Russian. The EU has a small, full-time misinformation debunking outlet. The US is funding researching into blocking internet trolls.

Professor Sussex goes further, saying he believes Australia will eventually have to "re-nationalise" its internet, not only taking a more activist approach to warding off cyberthreats from abroad but promoting its own ideas and values in its own backyard. And that would represent a sea change to the internet as we know it.

Dr Muraviev, who advises Canberra on security issues, warns that "an oversimplified approach to addressing Russia propaganda can be counterproductive".

The glut of Western reporting on Russia that focuses on President Vladimir Putin signals to Russian people who "feel they are under attack" that if the "West doesn't like Putin, he must be doing something right".

Meanwhile, Russia's English-language "stories that aim to disseminate a message are not as blunt as ours are. They are more subtle and analytical".

Russia often outsources their information campaign "to prominent Western commentators, who have a good reputation and who would deliver the news and opinion in a way that is presentable to Western audiences".

The blending of psychology and message hint at the reality of the information battle democracies face in the 21st century.

When this hits Australia may just be a matter of time.
- When Sergey Shoygu became Russia’s minister of defence in 2012, Russian leader Vladimir Putin gave him some interesting advice: If you want to understand America, he said, watch House of Cards, the New York Post writes.

The Netflix series about a Machiavellian president of the United States, who manipulates and even murders some of his opponents while making speeches about justice and human rights, perfectly captures Putin’s worldview, says Russian journalist Mikhail Zygar.

For Putin, House of Cards “affirmed his belief that Western politicians are all cynical scoundrels whose words about values and human rights are pure hot air and simply a tool to attack enemies,” writes Zygar in his new book, All the Kremlin’s Men: Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin.
- At the same time, he admitted that Russia is a powerhouse in the cyber-realm, saying “we have to be very, very wary of what the Russians might be trying to do in terms of collecting.” 

When asked for details about the investigation into the attack on the Democratic Party’s servers, he referred the journalist to the FBI for answers.

Brennan also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is an “aggressive” and “assertive” leader that Washington needs to  be “very wary of,” as Putin is able to advance Russia’s cause due to his ability to “manipulate environments” to his country advantage.
- Two Israeli teenagers, who allegedly ran a popular online service that could be hired to launch distributed denial of service attacks, have been arrested and released on bail, according to a published report.
The pair, whose service was called vDOS, are claimed to be behind more than 150,000 attacks that knocked thousands of websites offline. They were arrested in connection with an investigation carried out by the FBI.

The teens, named as Itay Huri and Yarden Bidani, have been placed under house arrest for 10 days, and forbidden from using the Internet or telecommunications equipment for 30 days.

Security journalist Brian Krebs managed to obtain a copy of the vDOS database in July after someone had hacked into it and obtained the contents.
- She had been feeling the impact of policing on every moment of her life since July 6, the day an officer pulled over her boyfriend, Philando Castile, in the suburb of Falcon Heights for at least his 46th minor traffic stop in the past 13 years. “Again?” Diamond remembered saying to Castile that day, as the officer asked to see his license and registration. Castile, 32, reached down toward his waistband, where he kept not only his wallet but also a gun that he was licensed to carry. The officer shot him four times, and then Diamond took out her phone to record, just as she had done during a few of Castile’s other traffic stops. “Stay with me,” she told her boyfriend, as blood spread across his white T-shirt and she started to live-stream on Facebook.

For those next 10 minutes of video, she had become both the emotional catalyst and the cleareyed narrator in the debate over American policing: somehow composed, somehow cordial, continuing to live-stream even as the officer aimed his gun in her direction and screamed profanities, telling him “yes, sir” and “I will, sir” and “no worries” while she spoke into the camera and contradicted his version of the shooting in real time.

The governor of Minnesota had called her actions “heroic” and blamed the deadly shooting on racism. President Obama had posted his own Facebook message in response to say the country had a “serious problem” with “racial bias, year after year.” There were retaliatory shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, and peaceful demonstrations in 37 cities, during which protesters marched and demanded consequences.
- The company that manufactures and sells USB Killer explains that when the computer-killing flash drive is inserted into a bus port without a test shield, it charges its capacitors with electricity then delivers a whopping 200 volts of direct current into the machine via data lines. The result is total devastation of the host device. This can be useful if you need to totally plunder a computer prior to disposal. But if someone with mischief on their mind inserts one of these bad boys into your laptop when your back is turned, you could lose your work, pictures, files, and every other thing that you keep in your computer. In other words, your computer will be toast, and the ruination is irreversible.
At the time of this writing, the USB Killer thumb drive costs around $56 or €49.95. The USB Killer Protection Shield, which allows computer techs to test for an attack without frying hardware, costs an additional $16 or €13.95. USBKILL offers a 50 percent discount and free shipping when both devices are purchased together.
The USB Killer is intended as a pen-testing adjunct and should never be used for any so-called “black hat” purposes, says the USBKILL company. The fact remains, however, that the devices are selling as fast as they can be made and are undoubtedly getting into the hands of hackers and other technological ne’er-do-wells.
- "I discovered a fish that goes 20 miles per hour faster than a cheetah and it's going through a much denser medium," says Stephenson. "When that fish is at speed, its scales create a series of air bubbles around it, so the fish is moving through a pocket of air and the water isn't even touching it at all."

"Once you understand how the fish scales work, you can then design material to line the intake ducts where air goes into the engine [of a supercar] and use that to actually pull air in."

- as usual thanks to all of the individuals and groups who purchase and use my goods and services

Cheesy Tomato Based Pasta Recipe, Adding Subtitles to Video Files, and More

This is the latest in my series on quick, easy, and tasty meals:   http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2018/08/cheapeasyhealthy-tomato-based-pa...