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Daily Archives: 11/05/2011

(csmonitor.com) Fighting, particularly in Misratah, has interrupted the supply lines that provide Libya with food, fuel, and other essentials. Meanwhile, Tripoli sees heaviest bombings in weeks.

he United Nations aid chief has called for a pause in fighting in Libya to provide a window of time to address dire supply shortages.

The shortages, which could soon create a humanitarian crisis, are partly a result of sanctions that have disrupted the country’s supply lines as well as “paralyzing” fighting, said Valerie Amos, the UN aid chief. Libya’s food supply will only last a couple more months, BBC reports.

Meanwhile, NATO bombed Tripoli Tuesday morning in its heaviest air campaign against the capital city in weeks. The strikes hit at least four sites in Tripoli, possibly including the compound where the family of leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi lives, according to the Associated Press.

One of the buildings hit was used by the military intelligence agency, according to local residents, and another was used by parliament members as a research library.

Action has also escalated in the country’s rebel-held east, where fighting has been stalled for several weeks. Rebels have unsuccessfully attempted to push on from outside Ajdabiya to Brega, a town slightly farther west. On Monday, there were reports of fighting outside Ajdabiya. Rebels withdrew from the front line later that day on NATO’s orders because NATO was planning to stage airstrikes on Colonel Qaddafi’s forces, according to the AP.

A skirmish south of Ajdabiya during the weekend and relative quiet in the east has rebels worried that Qaddafi’s troops are moving south now, only to surprise rebels from the east again later near the Egyptian border, Reuters reports.

Amid accusations that NATO has allowed Libya’s conflict to stall, NATO Sec. Gen. Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance was “making progress” and that it had eliminated much of Qadaffi’s military power. But he told CNN “it’s hard to imagine an end to the violence as long as Qaddafi remains in power.”

General Rasmussen said Qaddafi and his regime “have no future,” although NATO still insists that the goal of the NATO operation in Libya is not regime change.

The stalemate is at least partially a result of mismatched technological capabilities. The use of NATO planes has “created a tactical stalemate: The rebels have inadequate ground capabilities but can count on some of the planet’s most technologically advanced air weapons systems, while Qaddafi’s men boast superior ground troops but have no air resources,” the Los Angeles Times notes.

Ms. Amos told the UN Security Council that eastern Libya has only about two months left of food, medicine, and other crucial commodities and western Libya has only three month’s worth, CNN reported. Desalination plants may soon run out of the fuel.

The siege on the port city of Misratah in western Libya has been at the center of supply concerns, Amos said. The fighting has prevented aid ships from docking in the city, and at least 150 Libyans are waiting to be evacuated.

The AP reported that an aid ship carrying medical supplies and baby food was able to dock on Monday in Misratah’s port, the first since Wednesday, although shelling on certain parts of the city continued Monday. The ship that docked Wednesday was fired on with rockets. A rocket attack Saturday set fire to the city’s main fuel depot, a key supply point for vehicles, ships, and generators.

“We are in dire need for humanitarian and medical supplies. We also need arms and ammunition for self-defense,” said one Misratah resident. “We have no way to get this as long as the port is not secure.”

By Ariel Zirulnick

Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/terrorism-security/2011/0510/UN-aid-chief-If-Libya-s-fighting-continues-the-country-will-run-out-of-food

(Dandelion Salad) Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA is proud to present world renowned linguist, philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky to speak on current developments, options and prospects within the Palestine-Israel conflict. From the current situation to the options ahead, come out for Professor Chomsky’s insightful analysis on one of the most polarizing issues in modern times.

More info at: http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/noam-chomsky-palestine-and-israel-in-crisis/

(Foreign Policy Blogs Network/Cybersecurity and Internet Communications) With revolutionary fever fermenting across the Arab world, other long-serving dictators are getting a bit jittery these days.

The demonstration effect is a powerful phenomenon- when long-suffering citizens see people in similar situations casting off the shackles of repressive regimes, they’re inclined to as “well, why not us, too?” It isn’t a coincidence that all the post-Soviet governments fell within a few months of each other, though if you want a really remarkable story read up on the extraordinary year 1848.

Living in this world of compressed news cycles and ubiquitous social media, citizens get that revolutionary bug faster and easier than ever.

That doesn’t sit well with autocrats.

So when Munyaradzi Gwisai, Zimbabwean prof and obviously ballsy fellow, decided to show a some YouTube footage of protests taking place elsewhere on the continent he got a response – before class had even finished, the police broke up the class.

The agents seized laptop computers, DVD discs and a video projector before arresting 45 people, including Gwisai, who runs the Labor Law Center at the University of Zimbabwe. All 45 have been charged with treason — which can carry a sentence of life imprisonment or death — for, in essence, watching viral videos.

Gwisai and five others were brutally tortured during the next 72 hours, he testified Thursday at an initial hearing.

From Wired’s writeup.

When you’re running a thuggish police state you can get the information you need via watching the pipes – but you also probably have informants everywhere. Authoritarians are playing a game against activists on many levels, and they can checkmate their opponents in any of them.

The trump card is the pure, brutal violence.

Mugabe is known as one of the most ruthless and vicious dictators in the world, and it appears he has managed to terrorize his own people sufficiently that the prospect of any sort of popular uprising is very remote.

“They’re too fractured and fearful,” Bloemen said of Zimbabwe’s opposition movement. “They’re inspired by what has happened in North Africa, but you have to reach a turning point, a critical mass, to convince people it’s worth it and you’re going to succeed. That’s always been the difficult question in Zimbabwe, getting that critical mass.”

Virtual protests and other actions in North Africa had a chance to grow to large numbers before the government moved against them, providing a certain degree of safety in numbers. It looks like Mugabe’s not going to make that mistake.

Naturally there’s a Facebook group decrying these actions. Unsurprisingly, most of the members do not appear to be Zimbabwean. I hope those that are have their privacy settings correct.

By Chris Doten

Source: http://cybersecurity.foreignpolicyblogs.com/2011/03/10/if-you-cant-beat-em-beat-em/

(c4ss.org) A recent letter to the editor of the Boston Globe from an officer at the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group asks, “We’ve already paid to bail out banks and other big corporations — is it fair to ask us to pay their taxes as well?” Her question comes in response to a Globe article from May 1 that reports on a number of big companies that “paid no federal income taxes last year, despite making millions of dollars in profits.”

Since market anarchists regard taxation as no different from any other form of theft, one might assume that we toast Big Business’s tax avoidance. After all, in a free market everyone is entitled to what they make, right? And the answer to that question is yes — again, assuming we were in anything remotely close to a free market.

Unlike a free market, today’s economic system is a product of what Murray Rothbard called “oligarchic rule: rule by a coercive elite which has managed to gain control of the State machinery.” What those elites make is in no way something they’re entitled to, something obtained through simple, mutually satisfactory trade in a market where all are allowed to compete.

In the accepted political lexicon, free market phraseology has long been applied in the service of a state capitalist system defined by constraints and controls on economic activity, poisoning the well against the ideas of genuine freedom. Likewise, the language of egalitarianism and social justice has been dominated by advocates of a statist status quo who are hardly motivated by justice for the productive class.

What we’re left with is a distorted ideological framework wherein economic exploitation is associated with free markets, equitable conditions for the worker with state intervention in the economy. But the American Enterprise Institute doesn’t stand for true free markets, and the Center for American Progress doesn’t stand for true social justice.

The truth, though perhaps most will find it counterintuitive, is that unbridled economic freedom leads to economic justice. The two are not at all in conflict, as we’ve been assured by the fallacies of “both sides,” but are naturally and inseparably bound. It is monopolization, possibly only through the state’s coercive restraints on consensual economic behavior, that allows a few to amass enormous hoards of wealth, that allows them to extract rents from the toils of industrious society.

Although we all implicitly understand the effects of monopoly, we have been instructed to believe that they arise naturally from the uncontrolled bedlam of “cutthroat competition.” Monopoly, though, is a creature of the state, requiring coercion to cordon off resources and limit our options for survival.

Where open competition generates choice for workers and drives prices down for consumers, the state’s obstruction of potential competitors allows a favored few to skim off the top. Without the external pressure that would accompany total economic freedom, elites are allowed to pocket the difference between the price as it would be and the price reflecting a state-created condition of undersupply.

Whatever the amount of that difference, it is owed to the state’s violent intrusion into the economy for the benefit of the ruling elite; it is decidedly not owed to Big Business “giving the consumer what she wants,” or coming out on top in anything like real competition. Next time you’re looking for something to blame for “corporate greed” as it exists within state capitalism, look no further than heap of “consumer protection” and “safety” rules that suppress real free market alternatives.

Regardless of what you need — be it food, a job, anything — if you have to genuflect before the plutocrat’s system to get it, you’re going to be paying more than you would if free people were allowed to use their labor and resources in any peaceful way. Within this nefarious context, corporate tax breaks are repugnant enough, but let’s also spotlight all of those structures of privilege that advantage Big Business every day.

From direct subsidies and intellectual property to government contracts and regulatory cartelization, privilege is literally all around us, forcing us into an arrangement created by the ruling class. Counter to prevailing myth, a free market it is not. As Robert McIntyre of Citizens for Tax Justice rightly observes in the Globe article, “Our swashbuckling capitalists couldn’t live without the government subsidizing them.”

by David D’Amato
~ is a market anarchist lawyer currently completing an LL.M. in commercial law at Suffolk University Law School. His aversion to superstition and all permutations of political authority manifests itself at www.firsttruths.com.

Source: http://c4ss.org/content/7034

(Forbes.com) A small group of hackers today released a list of email addresses and passwords for 363 employees of Fox.com and defaced the LinkedIn accounts of 14 of them.

The group announced the hack through Twitter handle LulzSec, or The Lulz Canon, featuring a stick figure in a top hat, monocle and twirly moustache. The group also hacked the Twitter account of Fox15 TV before releasing a few bawdy tweets.

The same hackers were behind the theft of names, phone numbers and email addresses of 73,000 people who had applied for information on auditions for the U.S. edition of Simon Cowell’s talent show The X-Factor, to be broadcast on Fox television – this information was taken together with the Fox.com employee details in the same attack. Earlier this week the group posted the X-Factor list of names as a text file on Pirate Bay. A spokeswoman for Fox did not wish to comment on the matter.

One of the Tweets from hacker group LulzSec:

The group was unclear about why they were attacking Fox, saying there were different motivations among its members. They added that LulzSec was not part of Anonymous, a larger hacktivist and trolling collective that claimed responsibility for cyber attacks on HBGary Federal, MasterCard and PayPal, though its members have participated in some of these previous operations.

tweet earlier today from LulzSec’s Twitter account invited supporters of Anonymous to join in its shenanigans. And in a public letter which appears to rally support from the disparate strands of Anonymous and elsewhere, the group wrote:

Dear Fox.com,

We don’t like you very much. As such, we cordially invite you to kiss our hand-crafted crescent fresh asses.

Remember that time we leaked all your X-Factor contestants? http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/6372763/X_Factor_Leaked_Contestants_Database

Well now we’re leaking some more of your junk. We invite the Internet to ravage the following list of emails and passwords (from a database within Fox.com) – Facebook, MySpace, PayPal, whatever you can get your hands on. Take from them everything. Remember to proxy up, or tunnel like a pro!

Follow us on twitter; we’re owning more things next week. Kisses!

All the best,

LulzSec

twitter.com/LulzSec

One of the group’s members said they manually went through all 364 lines of employee passwords to test them on LinkedIn accounts, then defaced the ones that shared the same password by replacing their profile picture with the LulzSec stick man. The 16 compromised LinkedIn profiles have since been taken down.

The main attack happened on April 19 when a group of  four hackers searched Fox.com’s servers for vulnerabilities. By the time Fox.com’s IT administrators noticed the breach, a week had gone by and the hackers had taken information from several databases. One said they were still trawling through the data and were planning to leak more in the coming days, “probably more user login info.”

They hinted at their next target in a Tweet earlier today: “What’s next you ask? #FuckFBI.”

“They will not be happy bunnies lol,” the hacker added.

by Parmy Olson

Source:
http://blogs.forbes.com/parmyolson/2011/05/10/hacker-group-raids-fox-com-targets-fbi/