The U.S. Government: Paying to Undermine Internet Security, Not to Fix It
The Heartbleed computer security bug is many things: a catastrophic tech failure, an open invitation to criminal hackers and yet another reason to upgrade our passwords on dozens of websites. But more than anything else, Heartbleed reveals our neglect of Internet security.
The United States spends more than $50 billion a year on spying and intelligence, while the folks who build important defense software -- in this case a program called OpenSSL that ensures that your connection to a website is encrypted -- are four core programmers, only one of whom calls it a full-time job.
In a typical year, the foundation that supports OpenSSL receives just $2,000 in donations. The programmers have to rely on consulting gigs to pay for their work. "There should be at least a half dozen full time OpenSSL team members, not just one, able to concentrate on the care and feeding of OpenSSL without having to hustle commercial work," says Steve Marquess, who raises money for the project. Is it any wonder that this Heartbleed bug slipped through the cracks? ... Read more
LastPass Heartbleed checker: With news breaking on Monday, April 7th that the Heartbleed bug causes a vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptographic library, which is used by roughly two-thirds of all websites on the Internet, we want to update our community on how this bug may have impacted LastPass and clarify the actions we're taking to protect our customers. Click here.
Why No Sustained Protests (Yet)?
The post-1945 destruction of the New Deal coalition - unionists, socialists and communists - keeps influencing Americans' lives. Today, its effects help explain why popular actions have been so muted against US economic changes since the 1970s and especially against the bailouts and austerity since the crash of 2008. Those effects also suggest what could reignite sustained protests and demands for change.
US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study
A study, to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, finds that the U.S. is no democracy, but instead an oligarchy, meaning profoundly corrupt, so that the answer to the study’s opening question, "Who governs? Who really rules?" in this country, is:
"Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But, ..." and then they go on to say, it's not true, and that, "America's claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened" by the findings in this, the first-ever comprehensive scientific study of the subject, which shows that there is instead "the nearly total failure of 'median voter' and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories [of America]. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy." To put it short: The United States is no democracy, but actually an oligarchy.
The Great Lakes Are Still Almost Half Frozen, And It Could Affect The Environment For Years
Though more than a month has passed since ice coverage on the Great Lakes reached a near-record high, the amount of ice that still remains could have a big impact on the environment in the months -- and years -- ahead. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Friday, April 18 [12:23] DN | Gabriel García Márquez in His Own Words on Writing "100 Years of Solitude" (04/18/14) [13:38], Part 2 [19:52], Part 3 [10:13]
Bill Moyers*Bill Moyers | What the 1% Don’t Want You to Know: Economist Paul Krugman explains how the United States is becoming an oligarchy -- the very system our founders revolted against. (preview) (04/16/14) [0:42]
The median pay for the top 100 highest-paid CEOs at America’s publicly traded companies was a handsome $13.9 million in 2013. That’s a 9 percent increase from the previous year, according to a new Equilar pay study for The New York Times.Bill Moyers | Bill Moyers Remembers the Day FDR Died (04/11/14) [2:08]
These types of jumps in executive compensation may have more of an effect on our widening income inequality than previously thought. A new book that’s the talk of academia and the media, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, a 42-year-old who teaches at the Paris School of Economics, shows that two-thirds of America’s increase in income inequality over the past four decades is the result of steep raises given to the country’s highest earners. ...
Diane Rehms ShowDomestic News - Friday (04/18/14) [1hr]
International News - Friday (04/18/14) [1hr]
TYT News*TYT | Proof The US Is An Oligarchy, Not A Democracy (04/17/14) [10:28]
TYT | Leaflet Tells Jews To Register In East Ukraine (04/17/14) [7:18]
TYT | Obama: 'We Don't Need a War' With Russia (04/17/14) [6:01]
TYT | Do Putin's Remarks Mean Significant Violence Is Coming? (04/17/14) [6:59]
PBS Call the Midwife SeriesPBS | Call The Midwife S03E01 (04/01/14) [53:51]
PBS | Call The Midwife S03E02 (04/06/14) [53:51]
PBS | Call The Midwife S03E03 (04/13/14) [53:51]
United States owes a lot of money, with its debt equal to the size of the economy as of 2012. See the Statue of Liberty & WTC being dwarfed by the debt.
Five Banks Account For 96% Of The $250 Trillion In Outstanding US Derivative Exposure; Is Morgan Stanley Sitting On An FX Derivative Time Bomb?
Zero Hedge | Author | 09/24/11
The latest quarterly report from the Office Of the Currency Comptroller is out and as usual it presents in a crisp, clear and very much glaring format the fact that the top 4 banks in the US now account for a massively disproportionate amount of the derivative risk in the financial system. Specifically, of the $250 trillion in gross notional amount of derivative contracts outstanding (consisting of Interest Rate, FX, Equity Contracts, Commodity and CDS) among the Top 25 commercial banks (a number that swells to $333 trillion when looking at the Top 25 Bank Holding Companies), a mere 5 banks (and really 4) account for 95.9% of all derivative exposure (HSBC replaced Wells as the Top 5th bank, which at $3.9 trillion in derivative exposure is a distant place from #4 Goldman with $47.7 trillion). The top 4 banks: JPM with $78.1 trillion in exposure, Citi with $56 trillion, Bank of America with $53 trillion and Goldman with $48 trillion, account for 94.4% of total exposure. As historically has been the case, the bulk of consolidated exposure is in Interest Rate swaps ($204.6 trillion), followed by FX ($26.5TR), CDS ($15.2 trillion), and Equity and Commodity with $1.6 and $1.4 trillion, respectively. Read more