Sunday, September 18, 2016

PNN - The Circle of Waters

1. Geoengineering is the deliberate and large-scale intervention into the Earth’s climatic system. This is done through various means, one of which is the spraying of chemicals into the atmosphere via planes. Weather modification actually dates back to the 1940s, when the General Electric Company demonstrated that a cloud of super-cooled water droplets could be transformed into ice crystals when seeded with dry ice.

The Hughes Aircraft Company even has a patent dating back more than twenty years ago, to 1990. You can take a look at it here. It contains 18 claims to reduce global warming through stratospheric seeding with aluminum oxide, thorium oxide, and refractory Welsbach material.
Today, geoengineering programs are spread across various academic institutions. For example, if we look at  SPICE, a United Kingdom government funded geoengineering research project that collaborates with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Bristol, some of the proposed particles to spray in the atmosphere include
  • Sulphate/Sulphuric Acid/Sulphur Dioxide
  • Titania
  • Silicon Carbide
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Alumina
  • Silica
  • Zinc Oxide
SPICE is just one example of multiple programs. It’s always noteworthy to mention that geoengineering has also been used for more mundane purposes, such as to modify the weather in China for the 2008 Olympics. (source) This, to me, seems like a grossly irresponsible use of technology. In fact, there is a great deal of evidence to suggest these programs are already operational, and have been for quite some time. Whether their true purpose is indeed to combat climate change, or something else, is still up for debate.
The CIA and other federal agencies control these programs, and under the guise of national security they remain classified. This means that if they are actually spraying things into the atmosphere, we would never hear about it. A 1996 report conducted by top military personnel in the U.S., titled “Weather as a Force Multiplier; Owning the Weather in 2025,” reveals the supposed urgency to implement these programs.
In addition to specific research programs sponsored by federal agencies, there are other functions related to weather modification which are performed in several places in the executive branch. Various federal advisory panels and committees and their staffs — established to conduct in-depth studies and prepare comprehensive reports, to provide advice or recommendations, or to coordinate federal weather modification programs — have been housed and supported within executive departments, agencies, or offices.

There are literally dozens upon dozens of documents like the ones you see listed above. As you can see, this has been the topic of discussion for many years, but most people are still unaware of it, and these programs have not been publicly discussed until now. That being said, many ‘prominent’ figures have voiced their concerns over the years.
The latest example would be HRH Princess Basmah Bint Saud, humanitarian and daughter of King Saudi, when she compared geoengineering science and programs to weapons of mass destruction, arguing that their implementation is like setting off a bomb without the nuclear explosion. You can read more about in the specific article about her that’s linked below.
Personally, after researching this topic for years, I have come to believe that climate change, while a legitimate threat to our planet, is being used for alternative agendas, and I’m not the only one. It wasn’t long ago when the Australian prime minister’s chief business adviser said that climate change is a ‘ruse’ led by the United Nations to create a new world order under the agency’s control.
You can read more about his comments here. We see the same thing with the ‘war on terror,’ which is now littered with false flag terrorism, or the ‘war on drugs,’ even though the CIA seems to be the biggest drug dealer of them all. The list goes on and on. The global elite are no strangers to creating a problem so they can propose and justify the solution that will best serve their own ends. We seem to be approaching this point with climate change — it’s something that will require drastic measures to solve, so I wonder if geoengineering will be presented as the solution. I hope not.
Below is a video a video of the current CIA director, John O. Brennan, discussing the topic. What are your thoughts?

2. The new Snowden Movie
It turned out, last night was more than a live interview with Mr Snowden, it was a sneak preview of the new Snowden movie by Oliver Stone. The film was made with grace and respect. It was on a par with his (Oliver Stones') JFK FILM. Stone gives us a guided tour into the life of a gifted hacker, who through skills and his internal compass of honor rose rapidly in the elite of technical programmers. 
Quite effectively guiding us into the world of security hacking in a way that made clear Snowden's slow inexorable tilt (think of King slow bending arc of Liberty) to a place where he recognized that the "possible" wasn't always a positive achievement and "the good guys"  by circumventing all safeguards and stepping cunningly around constitutional limits, these guardians had become the barbarians not at the gate, but had become the barbarians that had loosed the hell of "the end of privacy" and a new global insecurity state. 
Superbly drawn, telling not just a human tale, and a intricate technological story.  But weaving in the Glen Greenwald, Laura Poitras Hong Kong press revelation and exposure story and keeping us cooped up, waiting with Snowden in that Hong Kong hotel suite, We too begin to succumb to a feeling of being exposed and vulnerable. We too are one human, poised against the security state, while trying to thread the needle of international media and real danger. Hoping to somehow keep his very endangered skin all in one piece. 
A story of high geekdom, and managing to explain effectively the precarious state of our vanishing liberties in the age of global interconnectivity.  Snowden in the post film chat gave us one other important set of metaphors about privacy.
He said, and I paraphrase - "PRIVACY is at its root the very center of self. We can have no freedom with out privacy. Freedom of speech alows us to define ourselves by what WE CHOOSE to reveal, and what we choose to keep inside. Our Constitutional guarantee of protection from unreasonable searches and seizure is at its core about PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS even the idea of ownership is impossible without a privacy right. And those who drag out that dangerous old saw - I you have nothing to hide... hardly ever recognize that was HERMAN GOEBBELS logic, when asked about the POLICE STATE " 
Highly recommended- 
PNN - Listen
  1. The Feds will soon be able to hack anyone (LEGALLY)
igital devices and software programs are complicated. Behind the pointing and clicking on screen are thousands of processes and routines that make everything work. So when malicious software—malware—invades a system, even seemingly small changes to the system can have unpredictable impacts.
That’s why it’s so concerning that the Justice Department is planning a vast expansion of government hacking. Under a new set of rules, the FBI would have the authority to secretly use malware to hack into thousands or hundreds of thousands of computers that belong to innocent third parties and even crime victims. The unintended consequences could be staggering.
The new plan to drastically expand the government’s hacking and surveillance authorities is known formally as amendments to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the proposal would allow the government to hack a million computers or more with a single warrant. If Congress doesn’t pass legislation blocking this proposal, the new rules go into effect on December 1. With just six work weeks remaining on the Senate schedule and a long Congressional to-do list, time is running out.
The government says it needs this power to investigate a network of devices infected with malware and controlled by a criminal—what’s known as a “botnet.” But the Justice Department has given the public far too little information about its hacking tools and how it plans to use them. And the amendments to Rule 41 are woefully short on protections for the security of hospitals, life-saving computer systems, or the phones and electronic devices of innocent Americans.
Without rigorous and periodic evaluation of hacking software by independent experts, it would be nothing short of reckless to allow this massive expansion of government hacking.
If malware crashes your personal computer or phone, it can mean a loss of photos, documents and records—a major inconvenience. But if a hospital’s computer system or other critical infrastructure crashes, it puts lives at risk. Surgical directives are lost. Medical histories are inaccessible. Patients can wait hours for care. If critical information isn’t available to doctors, people could die. Without new safeguards on the government’s hacking authority, the FBI could very well be responsible for this kind of tragedy in the future.
No one believes the government is setting out to damage victims’ computers. But history shows just how hard it is to get hacking tools right. Indeed, recent experience shows that tools developed by law enforcement have actually been co-opted and used by criminals and miscreants. For example, the FBI digital wiretapping tool Carnivore, later renamed DCS 3000, had weaknesses (which were eventually publicly identified) that made it vulnerable to spoofing by unauthorized parties, allowing criminals to hijack legitimate government searches. Cisco’s Law Enforcement access standards, the guidelines for allowing government wiretaps through Cisco’s routers, had similar weaknessesthat security researchers discovered.
The government will likely argue that its tools for going after large botnets have yet to cause the kind of unintended damage we describe. But it is impossible to verify that claim without more transparency from the agencies about their operations. Even if the claim is true, today’s botnets are simple, and their commands can easily be found online. So even if the FBI’s investigative techniques are effective today, in the future that might not be the case. Damage to devices or files can happen when a software program searches and finds pieces of the botnet hidden on a victim’s computer. Indeed, damage happens even when changes are straightforward: recently an anti-virus scanshut down a device in the middle of heart surgery.
Compounding the problem is that the FBI keeps its hacking techniques shrouded in secrecy. The FBI’s statements to date do not inspire confidence that it will take the necessary precautions to test malware before deploying them in the field. One FBI special agent recently testified that a tool was safe because he tested it on his home computer, and it “did not make any changes to the security settings on my computer.” This obviously falls far short of the testing needed to vet a complicated hacking tool that could be unleashed on millions of devices.
Why would Congress approve such a short-sighted proposal? It didn’t. Congress had no role in writing or approving these changes, which were developed by the US court system through an obscure procedural process. This process was intended for updating minor procedural rules, not for making major policy decisions.
This kind of vast expansion of government mass hacking and surveillance is clearly a policy decision. This is a job for Congress, not a little-known court process.
If Congress had to pass a bill to enact these changes, it almost surely would not pass as written. The Justice Department may need new authorities to identify and search anonymous computers linked to digital crimes. But this package of changes is far too broad, with far too little oversight or protections against collateral damage.
Congress should block these rule changes from going into effect by passing the bipartisan, bicameral Stopping Mass Hacking Act. Americans deserve a real debate about the best way to update our laws to address online threats.

  1. Detention of Turkish Intellectuals
Repression of Turkish intellectuals elicits global response

Prolonging religious holidays to make them long vacations has been an established practice in Turkey. Religious holidays were seen as opportunities to heal social wounds and settle disputes. But nowadays, that practice appears to further deepen existing political and ideological fissures while enabling millions of Turks to hit the roads for short holidays.

At dawn on Sept. 10, the apartments of two Turkish opinion leaders and public intellectuals were raided by police in Istanbul. They have been under detention since the first hours of the nine-day-long Eid al-Adha holidays. Nobody has heard from them. Their lawyers could not find the prosecutor who signed their detention warrants because he was on vacation, and they were not allowed to see their clients.

The detainees are not only neighbors in the same condominium, they are also brothers. The elder brother, Ahmet Altan, 66, is a best-selling novelist, a veteran journalist and the former editor-in-chief of Taraf, the controversial daily that rocked Turkey with sensational news stories on the alleged coup preparations of the military against the Justice and Development Part government during the first decade of the 2000s.

The younger brother, Mehmet Altan, 63, is a professor of economics but is better known as a columnist who pioneered the trend called “Second Republicans” demanding the termination of the “First Republic” founded by Kemal Ataturk, whose guardian was the military.

Both are household names in Turkey, known for their irreconcilable hostility to anything related to the military. Yet, a public prosecutor — one of those who orchestrated the unprecedented crackdown in Turkey’s recent history — charged the brothers with colluding with the military. With no substantial evidence to prove the brothers’ association with the failed coup, the prosecutor brought up an unheard-of charge, accusing the Altans of participating in a coup plot by giving “subliminal” or “subconscious” messages in a television talk show a day before the coup attempt.

Subliminal” messages!

The Altans’ lawyers, who had no access to their clients nor to the prosecutor himself, uncovered the brand-new allegation from information the prosecutor’s office had leaked to the press.

The two brothers are spending the long religious holiday in detention and in unknown conditions. The Turkish media — those that are pro-government propaganda tools under the strict control of authorities and also circumscribed by the State of Emergency — has remained silent about the fate of their well-known colleagues. Some even found this an opportunity to settle scores using pro-government propaganda tools and to engage in vendettas.

As much as there is silence in the media of today’s Turkey, there is simultaneously an uproar in the world’s intelligentsia.

The detentions of Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan created an enormous backlash across the world, with hundreds of international intellectuals signing a letter of protest against the Turkish government. At the time of this writing, the number of international intellectual celebrities had reached 217, and the number continues to soar. [See related reading below.]

The campaign — initiated by Nobel laureates J.M. Coetzee of South Africa, the recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in literature, and Orhan Pamuk of Turkey, a 2006 Nobel winner — has been joined by Herta Muller of Germany, the 2009 Nobel laureate.

The signatories include very prominent literary figures from all around the world. The names of Elena Ferrante, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Hanif Kureishi, Julian Barnes, Elif Shafak and Gunter Walraff are just some among the scores of important pens.

Internationally acclaimed philosophers and sociologists have quickly joined in. Among leading intellectuals and academics are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Noam Chomsky — a familiar name for similar campaigns — international heavyweight and octogenarian American sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein, renowned French philosopher Etienne Balibar and his Irish colleague Philip Pettit. Many belong to the most prestigious learning institutions in the world.

Names ranging from British movie star Emma Thompson to her compatriot — the well-known playwright Tom Stoppard — and Nick Cave, a big-name musician with millions of fans around the globe, are united in solidarity with the Altans and other prominent Turkish intellectuals and journalists such as Asli Erdogan, Sahin Alpay and Nazli Ilicak, who were arrested during the witch hunt, which continues in the wake of the failed coup.

To bring together so many influential literary, artistic and intellectual heavy guns is no easy task. It serves as a clue to the severity of the repression of intellectuals in Turkey. It beckons with the call: Nobel laureates and prominent intellectuals of the world unite! Unite against the repression of Turkish intellectuals!

Indeed, the British online daily The Independent published an article headlined ‘Novelists fighting for jailed Turkish writer Ahmet Altan is the kind of modern diplomacy we urgently need’. Alessio Colonnelli wrote, “With Western leaders failing us, we need great international minds to act. They have a clear vision and an audience of tens of millions of people.”

He brilliantly stated, “These writers have huge international readerships, with their words translated into [dozens] of languages. Their timely reaction is precisely what has been lacking in the handling of diplomatic and cultural events such as these up until now. We are seeing the direct engagement of our finest minds in addressing brutality on our behalf. We pay for their work, and they speak for us; a personal relationship between writer and reader of the type we used to see regularly until the end of the 1970s.”

From Turkey to Egypt, the imprisonment of creative[s] and intellectuals has reached unprecedented levels,” read Colonnelli’s piece in The Independent — realizing that the governments of those countries are increasingly becoming a burden on the civilized world.

Turkey in particular–different from Egypt–is part of the Western world and a member of Western organizations, institutions and alliances. Turning their backs to such irregularities in Turkey for the sake of short-range interests and realpolitik is becoming a shameful act on the part of Turkey’s Western friends and allies.

It is getting to be more and more unsustainable. The growing reaction of the international intelligentsia is a glimpse of hope not only for the freedom of Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan — who are spending the long holiday in an Istanbul jail — but also for other jailed intellectuals and journalists and for Turkey itself.

Cengiz Candar is a columnist for Al-Monitor’s Turkey Pulse. A journalist since 1976, he is the author of seven books in the Turkish language, mainly on Middle East issues, including the best-seller Mesopotamia Express: A Journey in History. Currently, he is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Stockholm University Institute of Turkish Studies (SUITS). On Twitter: @cengizcandar

Related reading:
World outrage over detentions in Turkey of writers and journalists, published by Platform 24, Sept 14, 2016 (updated on Sept 16, 2016)

The number of international writers and scholars supporting a letter protesting persecution of Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and other prominent writers in Turkey has reached 241 as of Sept 16, 2016.

PNN the Circle of Waters, whether dividing us or linking us, we must drink deep. We find ourselves discussing how we come together to protect each other and the sacred waters in a wonderful heart to heart with Nicole Williams a deeply committed member of the First Nations who has committed so much of her life as has her family to protecting the waters that surround and nurture us. She talks with us about the Standing Rock confrontation where the PROTECTORS have faced vicious dogs and pepper-spray and bulldozers are they try to awaken an understanding of the seriousness of the threats to their sacred burial lands, their precious water and the waters that ultimately nourish millions who depend on the Missouri River. We stand with her and with all those who oppose the poisoning of our Earth and her Sacred Waters upon which we all depend.

Brook and I will also be joined by Lucy Garin a psychologist whose family fled Armenia during the Turkish genocide and found refuge in Syria and Lebanon. Her young life was spent in these countries and she offers us a very different perspective than you might obtain from CNN or MSNBC.
Finally, we have the great good fortune to welcome a Progressive webcaster Gwendolyn Holden Barry who will share her insights both spiritual and political sharing with us the benefit of her long experience defending the Earth and her family.
Brook will as always share her political insight on the democratic party and the party movers and molders.
(Some much moldier than others)