warrenellis + pol   137

Drugs smuggling in Africa: The Smack Track | The Economist
"EXPERTS are calling it the African “Smack Track”: a circuitous route to smuggle heroin from Afghanistan to Europe, passing through east Africa. Two drug busts in November, netting 712kg of the stuff, closed a record year for heroin seizures off the coast of Kenya. The haul is less a sign of improved policing and more evidence of the growing importance of the route."
crime  pol  drugs 
10 days ago by warrenellis
Amazon.com : Survival Seed Vault - Heirloom Emergency Survival Seeds - Plant a Full Acre Crisis Victory Garden - 20 Easy-to-grow Varieties : Vegetable Plants : Patio, Lawn & Garden
Sold by MyPatriotSupplyCo and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Waterproof Emergency Seed Supply
weird  pol  cult 
13 days ago by warrenellis
Is it Really Better to be Dead than Blind? | Just Security
"Late last year, the U.S. Navy announced that it’s $40 million laser weapon is finally ready for combat aboard the special operations staging ship USS Ponce. The laser, which “zaps and burns” at the cost of just 59 cents a shot, is designed for use against aircraft and small ships which “cannot outrun” the concentrated beams of light."
weapons  war  pol  crime 
13 days ago by warrenellis
Is this the beginning of the end of the nation state? - 25/11/2014
"For about AU$70 and a thumbprint you can now become an e-resident of Estonia. It's the first country in the world to offer what it calls a digital identity to foreigners. Some people say it may be the beginning of the end of the nation state."
pol  net 
8 weeks ago by warrenellis
Media ‘gagged over bid to report MP child sex cases’ | Society | The Observer
"The security services are facing questions over the cover-up of a Westminster paedophile ring as it emerged that files relating to official requests for media blackouts in the early 1980s were destroyed."
pol  crime 
9 weeks ago by warrenellis
What's happening in British politics? Paul Mason on the news - YouTube
"Paul Mason's raw thoughts on the news - and why what's happening in British politics is like when they blow up a council block and it collapses from the bottom up."
video  news  pol 
12 weeks ago by warrenellis
Secretive Mexican police unit questioned over 3 murdered Americans | Fox News Latino
"The men threatened witnesses not to talk and identified themselves as members of the Hercules Group, an elite security unit newly formed by the mayor of Matamoros, Leticia Salazar, in charge of protecting her."
war  pol  mexico 
12 weeks ago by warrenellis
Yoda Has Left the Building
"In fact, when Marshall argued that an arms race with the Soviets was inevitable, he meant there was no choice as long as the two countries existed. For example, remember that picture of Marshall, Wohlstetter, and friends, palavering late into the night? They were discussing "recovery" models -- as in, whether the United States or Soviet Union would recover more quickly after a nuclear war, gaining a head start in the inevitable rearmament race. Remember that joke in Dr. Strangelove about the "mine shaft gap"? That was, in fact, what Marshall was discussing."
war  pol 
october 2014 by warrenellis
What is a Singleton?
"In set theory, a singleton is a set with only one member, but as I introduced the notion, the term refers to a world order in which there is a single decision-making agency at the highest level.[1] Among its powers would be (1) the ability to prevent any threats (internal or external) to its own existence and supremacy, and (2) the ability to exert effective control over major features of its domain (including taxation and territorial allocation)."
october 2014 by warrenellis
Hong Kong police deny using triads to disrupt protests - video | World news | The Guardian
"Hong Kong's assistant police commissioner denies allegations that criminal gangs were called in to disrupt protests in the city. Thugs punched and kicked pro-democracy protesters on Friday night, drawing blood as they tore down their tents and attempted to force them out. Meanwhile, tensions remain high on Saturday between pro-government and Occupy groups"
crime  pol 
october 2014 by warrenellis
It’s time to modernise TV election coverage. — Medium
"You don’t have to be a posh sounding older bloke to be a TV anchor in an election but, oh wait a minute, you do."
pol  tv 
september 2014 by warrenellis
Ello | dymaxion
"We are at a juncture in the story of humanity. The decisions we make and the systems we build in the next twenty years will determine not just whether we live free from the boot of repressive dictatorships, but whether we live at all. The way out lies through hope, empathy, and learning to think like our systems -- through becoming creatures of the network."
pol  net  extinction 
september 2014 by warrenellis
China's Island Factory
"New islands are being made in the disputed South China Sea by the might of the Chinese state. But a group of marooned Filipinos on a rusting wreck is trying to stand in the way."
pol  geoengineering 
september 2014 by warrenellis
Switzerland reportedly offers Snowden safe passage, immunity from extradition - Boing Boing
"Even at a hearing Snowden by Parliament U.S. whistleblower protection could be granted. Namely, when his offense, for which the United States wants him hold accountable, according to Swiss opinion "has predominantly political character"."
september 2014 by warrenellis
Web Semantics: Pakistani political Twitter-speak | Beyond The Beyond | Wired.com
"Farishtey: Angels, in English. The term is used to describe another organization that prefers people wouldn’t talk about it, the Inter-Services Intelligence."
pol  spook 
september 2014 by warrenellis
North Korea Warns UK & C4: Political Thriller Would Bring “Disgrace” | Deadline
"In a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency, a spokesman for Korea’s National Defense Commission on Sunday called Opposite Number, “a conspiratorial charade painting a wrong picture of the DPRK’s reality as it is based on a sheer lie intended to give impression that the DPRK’s nuclear treasured sword for self-defense was manufactured by ‘illegally acquiring’ nuclear technology from Britain.”"

pol  mad 
september 2014 by warrenellis
The Isis leader's vision of the state is a profoundly contemporary one | Jason Burke | Comment is free | The Observer
"What Baghdadi has done is fuse the political Islamists' aim of seizing state power with the neo-traditionalists' more global vision to create a recognisable if rough-edged state that is simultaneously supposed to be a launchpad for greater expansion. This unprecedented combination is a powerful one."
pol  war 
august 2014 by warrenellis
BBC News - Mong La: Myanmar's lawless region where anything goes
"Special Region Number Four - also known as Mong La - is one such strip of land on the border between China and Myanmar.

It has existed entirely outside central government control for more than 25 years."
cities  pol  war 
august 2014 by warrenellis
Rise of the Super Drug Tunnels + Subtraction.com
"This short film from Reason takes a look at the struggle against the ever increasing number of tunnels being dug by drug cartels to transport drugs from Mexico into the United States. It focuses on Joe Garcia, a deputy special agent with the Department of Homeland Security and head of the San Diego Tunnel Task Force, who has discovered and shut down over two hundred tunnels since 1990, even as new ones continue to proliferate. It also features insightful commentary from David Shirk, associate professor of international relations and director of the Justice in Mexico project at the University of San Diego, who argues that simply throwing more money at the government agencies fighting this problem is a futile solution; “You can’t fight markets,” he says."
crime  pol  money 
august 2014 by warrenellis
Blacklisted: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a TerroristThe Intercept
"The rulebook, which The Intercept is publishing in full, was developed behind closed doors by representatives of the nation’s intelligence, military, and law-enforcement establishment, including the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, and FBI. Emblazoned with the crests of 19 agencies, it offers the most complete and revealing look into the secret history of the government’s terror list policies to date. It reveals a confounding and convoluted system filled with exceptions to its own rules, and it relies on the elastic concept of “reasonable suspicion” as a standard for determining whether someone is a possible threat."
pol  surveillance  spook  war  crime 
august 2014 by warrenellis
BBC - Blogs - Adam Curtis - NOW THEN
"If you are an American politician today, as well as an entourage you also have a new, modern addition. You have what's called a "digital tracker". They follow you everywhere with a high-definition video camera, and they are employed by the people who want to destroy your political career."
pol  media  surveillance  web 
august 2014 by warrenellis
As caliphate declared, Iraqi troops battle for Tikrit | Reuters
"Alarming regional and world powers, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed universal authority when it dropped the local element in its name and said its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as leader of the Islamic State, was now caliph of the Muslim world - a mediaeval title last widely recognized in the Ottoman sultan deposed 90 years ago after World War One."
pol  war 
june 2014 by warrenellis
Slumlord Cyber Killers | Betabeat
"It’s a huge problem in New York City. Sketchy slumlords freeze their (usually poor) tenants to save money and/or drive them out of their buildings to raise rents. The health effects of being “fuel poor” are well documented. But when freezing tenants complain in court, it’s their word against that of their legal-savvy landlords.

Unless there’s hard data proving otherwise."
iot  pol  eco  energy 
june 2014 by warrenellis
Hito Steyerl | Politics of Post-Representation «DIS Magazine
"There are a lot of brightly lit glossy surfaces, yet they don’t reveal anything but themselves as surface. Whatever there is — it’s all there to see but in the form of an incomprehensible, Kafkaesque glossiness, written in extraterrestrial code, perhaps subject to secret legislation."
pol  net 
june 2014 by warrenellis
Privacy under attack: the NSA files revealed new threats to democracy | Technology | The Guardian
"What if every book for the past 500 years had been reporting its readers at headquarters?"
surveillance  pol  comms  war  crime 
may 2014 by warrenellis
Turkey and Israel Headed for Geopolitical Face Off
"The contentiousness around Israel’s continued hold over Palestinian territory only seems to loom larger. And now, a gigantic wedge in the form of Turkey has lodged itself in the geopolitical contest that is particularly divisive for the United States. Long a US ally, the positioning of Turkey against the interests of Israel poses some tricky diplomacy from Washington."
may 2014 by warrenellis
Mouthbreathing Machiavellis Dream Of A Silicon Reich | Blog | The Baffler
"But he captures the fundamental problem with these mouthbreathers’ dreams of monarchy. They’ve never role-played the part of the peasant."
may 2014 by warrenellis
Jonathan Stray » What I learned at Build Peace, the first conference for technology and conflict resolution
"I suspect that most peace building efforts don’t end up helping very much, and all the experienced peace workers I’ve spoken to agree. If this seems harsh, consider that there are good reasons to believe that much international aid is ineffective, and quite plausibly that a wide range of non-profit work in general is ineffective. Preventing or resolving violent conflict is probably even harder than those things.

"There seems to be very little solid evidence that conflict resolution work does any good at all — certainly not anything up to the standards of a controlled study, because you can’t really do a controlled study in conflict areas. You go in and try to stop the violence because not attempting to stop it would be unethical (assuming, of course, you Do No Harm.) Then the violence diminishes or it does not. But there is no counterfactual to compare against. That is, we don’t know what would have happened had we done nothing."
may 2014 by warrenellis
BBC News - Cornish people granted minority status within UK
Cornish people will be granted minority status under European rules for the protection of national minorities.
april 2014 by warrenellis
History of 1953 CIA Covert Action in Iran to be Published - Secrecy News
"The publication of the 1989 Iran volume was a milestone in the history of U.S. government secrecy that prompted widespread outrage and ridicule, but it also inspired remedial efforts that had some lasting impact."
pol  spook  history 
april 2014 by warrenellis
Open the Future: Watching the World through a Broken Lens
"This is not a dilemma without a solution, however. Professional Foresight (aka Futurism) also went through a period where specialists would offer up a single prediction of a certain future. In more recent decades -- arguably since Hermann Kahn's On Thermonuclear War in 1960, but more generally since the advent of Shell-derived Scenario Planning in the 1990s -- futurism has been more comfortable with uncertainty, and more willing to offer multiple rival forecasts of possible outcomes instead of singular, certain predictions. Multi-scenario foresight has evolved various iterations since then, but they all come down to a core idea: you can't predict the future, but you can see the shape of different possible futures."
future  pol  war 
march 2014 by warrenellis
Transnistria: The Next Crimea?
"For its part, Russia can use its staging ground in Transnistria to exert continued pressure on Ukraine through Odessa, a major Ukrainian seaport. Protests here have mirrored protests in Ukraine as a whole, with contingents of both pro- and anti-Russian demonstrators taking to the streets."
war  pol 
march 2014 by warrenellis
NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls - The Washington Post
"In the initial deployment, collection systems are recording “every single” conversation nationwide, storing billions of them in a 30-day rolling buffer that clears the oldest calls as new ones arrive, according to a classified summary."
spook  pol  comms 
march 2014 by warrenellis
Sentient Developments: Bioengineered monkeys with human genetic diseases have almost arrived — and that's awful
"Looking to create more accurate experimental models for human diseases, biologists have created transgenic monkeys with "customized" mutations. It's considered a breakthrough in the effort to produce more human-like monkeys — but the ethics of all this are dubious at best."
med  crime  pol 
february 2014 by warrenellis
Can We Avoid a Surveillance State Dystopia? - Charlie's Diary
"Yearly reminder: unless you're over 60, you weren't promised flying cars. You were promised an oppressive cyberpunk dystopia. Here you go."
war  pol  comms  intel  spook 
february 2014 by warrenellis
Island of Terror: Don't Get Mad, Get Murderous
"Britain’s own The Angry Brigade took a gentler approach, trying to avoid hurting anyone if possible but, ultimately, they proved to be utterly ineffectual and got caught and imprisoned, so it was not a massively successful policy. I’m glad that they didn’t kill anybody, of course, but they might have got further if they had."
pol  crime  war 
february 2014 by warrenellis
BBC News - Pussy Riot whipped at Sochi Games by Cossacks
"Russian protest group Pussy Riot have been beaten with horsewhips by Cossacks who are helping patrol Sochi during the Winter Olympics."
crime  pol 
february 2014 by warrenellis
Karl reMarks: The incredible story of how Putin used secret KGB chess tactics to outwit the US
In the KGB for example, only agents promoted to the prestigious X2, nicknamed the steel professors

spook  pol  war 
november 2013 by warrenellis
ISVG - Welcome to the VKB
violent extremism knowledge base
war  pol  intel 
november 2013 by warrenellis
Say Hello to China's Brewing Financial Crisis | FP Passport
The problem is that very little is known about just how much debt Chinese banks have taken on amid that country's infrastructure-fueled growth. This has resulted in fears that a massive credit bubble may be about to pop. If that's true, the results could be catastrophic. 
money  pol 
june 2013 by warrenellis
How Inspire Magazine Motivates Acts of Terrorism | Analysis Intelligence
"The Boston bombing investigation continues to reveal new information on the two primary suspects, but quietly reported last Friday was the discovery of jihadi propaganda Inspire Magazine - produced by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) - on a computer belonging to the elder Tsarnaev brother’s widow. The publication, particularly its first issue containing instructions for building a pressure cooker bomb, was spotlighted as a possible resource immediately after the bombings."
crime  pol  war  magazines 
may 2013 by warrenellis
Meet Cody Wilson, the anarchist behind the world's first 3-D printed gun
"Yes, it's undetectable, but more importantly it's unobservable by institutions and countries and sovereigns.... This might be a politically important object."
crime  war  fabbing  pol 
may 2013 by warrenellis
BBC News - The beginnings of 'financial repression'?
"Financial repression is not, however, a term you are going to hear politicians come out with. It sounds scary and it is, to some, justifiably scary. Yet we today, in the developed world, have a near 100% debt-to-GDP ratio, and that is without having fought a world war."
money  pol 
march 2013 by warrenellis
The Syrian Civil War comes to Iraq, as 8 Iraqi and 48 Syrian Troops are Killed on Iraqi Soil | Informed Comment
"So on Saturday, Syrian rebels in the east of the country attacked another government checkpoint along the Iraqi border, al-Ya`rabiya, and took it. Some of the besieged Syrian troops, many wounded, escaped to the Iraqi side and were being escorted by Iraqi troops south when they were ambushed early on Tuesday and 48 were killed, along with 8 Iraqi border guards. The attackers had rocket propelled grenades and left three vehicles burning. It is not clear if the attackers were Syrian rebels in hot pursuit across the border or if local Sunni Iraqi clans, who are related to the largely Sunni insurgents in Syria, struck for themselves."
pol  war 
march 2013 by warrenellis
How the British Gov't Stripped Alleged Militants of Citizenship before they were Droned to Death | Informed Comment
"The government has secretly ramped up a controversial programme that strips people of their British citizenship on national security grounds – two of whom have been subsequently killed by US drone attacks."
pol  war  drones 
march 2013 by warrenellis
Circus Maximus - By Gianni Riotta | Foreign Policy
"In January, former Italian prime minister and current candidate Silvio Berlusconi praised Benito Mussolini, Italy's dictator for some 20 years, saying that the racial laws of 1938, which barred Jews from universities and many jobs, "are the worst fault of Mussolini, who, in so many other aspects, did good." A few days later, Berlusconi questioned a young woman in front of a laughing crowd, asking, "Do you come? Only once? How many times do you come? With what sort of time intervals?""
february 2013 by warrenellis
Parallel Campaigns | Notes on Metamodernism
"At the same time, Ulrich and Agathe begin their private attempt to live in the utopia of the ‘other state’ which they have designed. The development of the ‘other state’ is based on Ulrich’s study of the writings of mystics and on the idea which he refers to earlier as the ‘sense of possibility’ which implies that everything which exists could just as well be different, and so presents an opposite to the ‘sense of reality’."
pol  alt 
february 2013 by warrenellis
Iran Leader: Having Nukes is ‘Crime Against Humanity’ – US Sanctions Actually Target Fuel Enrichment
"Long-time readers know that I think Iran wants nuclear latency or ‘the Japan option,’ i.e. they don’t want to make or stockpile nuclear warheads, but do want the deterrence of invaders that comes with the known ability to put one together in short order"
pol  war 
february 2013 by warrenellis
NASA study finds that Middle East's water is disappearing fast | FP Passport
"...the Tigris and Euphrates basins -- which are ripe with border disputes, conflict over Kurdish minorities, and now major conflicts in Syria and Iraq -- might be more prone to the insidious effects of water instability than other places around the globe."
eco  war  pol 
february 2013 by warrenellis
Senate Puts Brakes on Defense Clandestine Service
"The Senate moved last week to restrain the rapid growth of the Defense Clandestine Service, the Pentagon’s human intelligence operation."
war  spook  intel  pol 
december 2012 by warrenellis
Geometries of Utopian Desire | Notes on Metamodernism
"The triangular figure that hangs in the night sky in each of these images, a digital cutout of the aurora borealis, is echoed in the equilateral segments of the domed architecture beneath. As a kind of occult ritualistic symbol, the triangle motif here seems to signify the return to a faith in the more primitive geometries of a bygone Euclidean age; one in which truth and beauty appeared one and the same, linear and attainable, yet mystical in their absoluteness."
art  architecture  pol 
november 2012 by warrenellis
"The People's Review is presented in order to show the reality
of going through the Work Capability Assessment
for those who are living with sickness and disability every day."
pol  social 
november 2012 by warrenellis
Resilience Maps - Simple Critical Infrastructure Maps
"Simple Critical Infrastructure Maps is a Creative Commons licenced mapping and analysis tool for evaluating personal and social resilience. It is intended to be used for planning, and is simple enough to learn during a crisis to facilitate cooperation and effective response."
resilience  pol  social  dooooom 
november 2012 by warrenellis
Carles Viñas – The skinheads as a rennovating element of the Spanish extreme right | Re-public: re-imagining democracy – english version
"...the neo-fascist skinheads far from forming a supplement to the old extreme right, became its principal renovating element. A homologous phenomenon soon spread throughout Europe, liquidating the nostalgic character of the former extreme right. Its innovative character was made visible in its iconography (closer to neo-Nazism rather than to Francoist symbols) characterized by the profusion of emblems that were not extensively used till then, like the Celtic cross or the runes taken from the Norse Mythology such as the one adopted by the South African Afrikaner Resistance Movement; in its publications (fanzines of a comics aesthetic called skinzines, which were bound in photocopies); in their modes of expansion, as in the sphere of sports as well as in music (football and neo-Nazi Rock also known as RAC)[5] and in their racist ideology (keeping a distance from the Catholicism that the extreme right previously advocated and that heralded the equality of all people and adopting a supremacist and xenophobic message that the Spanish extreme rightist skinheads were paradoxically trumpeting when the number of immigrants in Spain was not yet significant)."
june 2012 by warrenellis
5 Things the Pentagon Isn't Telling Us About the Chinese Military - By Trefor Moss | Foreign Policy
"Here are the five most important questions about Beijing's defense strategy that remain stubbornly unanswered."
war  pol 
may 2012 by warrenellis
Police Find 49 Bodies by a Highway in Mexico - NYTimes.com
"Forty-nine mutilated bodies were found dumped along a highway on Sunday near Monterrey, Mexico’s third-largest city, according to officials."
crime  drugs  war  pol 
may 2012 by warrenellis
Osama Bin Laden Letters Analyzed | Analysis Intelligence
"This post shows analysis of all 17 letters using Recorded Future’s temporal analytic technology and intelligence analysis tools."
pol  spooky  intel  comp 
may 2012 by warrenellis
The Jet That Ate the Pentagon - By Winslow Wheeler | Foreign Policy
"Claimed to be near invisible to radar and able to dominate any future battlefield, the F-35 will replace most of the air-combat aircraft in the inventories of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and at least nine foreign allies, and it will be in those inventories for the next 55 years. It's no secret, however, that the program -- the most expensive in American history -- is a calamity."
war  tech  money  pol 
may 2012 by warrenellis
Israeli Security Elite Slams Netanyahu, sidetracks War on Iran | Informed Comment
"Not only are high officials and former officials of the Israeli security establishment pushing hard back against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s seeming rush to war with Iran, they appear actually to be attempting to unseat him, as it becomes possible that Israel may go to early elections in September."
pol  war 
may 2012 by warrenellis
BBC News - MI6 inquest shown video of holdall in bath
"As the pictures were shown to the court, Mrs Sebire and coroner Fiona Wilcox agreed that at no point did anyone seem to be following him." Because, of course, if you were a kill team tasked to kill a man without leaving an obvious cause of death, fold his body into a holdall and padlock it shut, and then probably leave four years' worth of women's clothes in his flat, you'd be DAMN sure to get yourself seen on CCTV, wouldn't you?
crime  pol 
april 2012 by warrenellis
Sudan bombs South Sudan as Bashir vows not to negotiate | FP Passport
"South Sudan announced last week that it was withdrawing from the disputed Heglig border region in order to avoid all-out war, but the scope of the current attacks seem to go beyond Heglig, and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has vowed not to negotiate until all South Sudanese troops are out of Sudan since southern leaders “do not understand anything but the language of the gun and ammunition." Last week, he referred to the South Sudanese leadership as "insects" and vowed to drive them from power."
pol  war 
april 2012 by warrenellis
BBC News - Europe: A crisis of the centre
"There were two "moments" in the defeat of liberal centrist politics in Germany, Austria, Spain etc. in the 1930s: the first, where polite society realised the working classes were swinging to the right and left, but patronisingly reassured themselves that the world of Jazz, surrealist poetry and foreign holidays could never end. That is, they said to themselves: the workers are clinging to the past, but we, avatars of a more liberal and progressive future, have economic history with us, which points only in the direction of liberalism and economic co-operation."
money  pol  history 
april 2012 by warrenellis
The Pickers of Dandora - By Micah Albert | Foreign Policy
"East Africa's most populous city, Nairobi, is a booming metropolis, regional headquarters to major international corporations like Coca-Cola and Google, and filled with upwardly mobile urban dwellers. And all the trash they produce has to go somewhere. It ends up in Dandora, the city's only municiple dumpsite, where thousands of workers -- men, women, and children -- pick through refuse daily, looking for food and recyclable scraps to sell. It's a hard, toxic life -- but it's also the only job available..."
eco  photography  pol 
april 2012 by warrenellis
Julian Assange's TV debut
"Things got a bit odd with Assange's last question, in which he asked the reglious extremist, "Isn’t Allah, or the notion of God, the ultimate superpower? Shouldn’t you as a freedom fighter also seek to liberate people from the totalitarian concept of a monotheistic god"
tv  pol  war  culture 
april 2012 by warrenellis
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