Jul 27th – International News Round-Up (Part I)

Alt-Right/ Neo- Nazi

National Alliance via VNN Forum

Article is the transcript of a radio broadcast. It’s actually the first article that I have read that very clearly details the basis of the worldview of all those who are on Daily Stormer and the Vanguard Network and the entire Neo-Nazi alliance. The specific question that I had was what was the fount of much of this rhetoric. According to the Dr. Pierce that is said to have been the man behind the broadcast, the Jewish world that he sees as taking hold in the world, all came from this one transcript: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which had been published by a Russian, who had got him from another Russian official who had got it from a member of the Russian Nobility, who had herself got it from a Jew in Paris.

He then goes on to explain how communism was essentially harnessed by this alliance of Jews to wrestle power away from the gentiles. It’s difficult to see how communism could have been one monolithic institution that could have been manipulated to a specific end. Dr. Pierce counts Marx and Stalin as players in this game that he sees playing out in the world. Interestingly he points out that the Russian who published the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was not publishing an already finished document, but was instead a patriot who recognized how “harmful” the Jews were to Russia and decided to create this bit of literature to illustrate his point.

Sounds like baiting to me.

United States

FiveThirtyEight

FiveThirtyEight and their weekly political chat on what Trump hopes to gain from this Sessions fiasco, what’s going to happen to Comey and if this is a bad situation for the administration (yes, it is.)

Tech

Motherboard

Motherboard (VICE) video on what you need to build an ethereum mining rig and the parts that you need to do it. Use the links and VICE Media gets kickbacks. Support them if you like them, maybe. Or alternatively you could go on Youtube and learn how to do it. It’s not that complex. Though I will have to warn you that it’s not worth the effort unless you have the money to really scale up the process and know how to create cooling solutions for these monster mining rigs that people have.

Ethereum (Image Source: Flickr)
Ethereum (Image Source: Flickr)

(1) MSI Z-170a Motherboard – http://fave.co/2vGI3LV

(2) 470rx Gigabyte graphics processing units –
http://fave.co/2h0XzyP

(2) powered risers – http://fave.co/2h19X22

(8) ½ in. aluminum angles – http://fave.co/2h1a1P8 cut to 14 inches

(5) ½ in. aluminum angles – http://fave.co/2h1a1P8 cut to 24 inches

(3) 1×2 wooden blocks – http://fave.co/2h1uyTJ

(1) 1000 watt Corsair power supply unit – http://fave.co/2vH129p

(1) Intel Celeron G3900 central processing unit –
http://fave.co/2h132pH

(1) 4 GB stick of RAM – http://fave.co/2vGLcvc

(1) power switch – http://fave.co/2h0y0hE

(1) ethernet cable – http://fave.co/2h1diOs

(1) 16 GB USB stick – http://fave.co/2vGJMkk

(1) computer monitor – http://fave.co/2vH9y8i

(1) computer keyboard – http://fave.co/2vGPIK6

(1) computer mouse – http://fave.co/2h1iGRC

(1) pack of zipties – http://fave.co/2h11I69

(36) self-driving screws – http://fave.co/2vGLjXP

July 26th – International News Round-Up (Part III)

Right Wing/ Conspiracy Theorist

Stefan Molyneux on Info Wars

Stefan Molyneux and Alex Jones have a talk on what to do about the world. That’s actually the general topic of discussion. It’s actually pretty confusing what they stand for. Molyneux, I remember from a documentary about cults. From what I recall, Free Domain Radio was all for “unshackling” their kids from their parents. In this interview however, Stefan proudly says that he is in fact a father and that he is working with other members of the alternative media to create a better world for his child. It’s difficult to tell where these guys come down on various subjects. They conflate globalization, communism and socialism. There’s a very real fear of the left. I think you would have to be American to understand where they’re coming from here, and I don’t mean to agree with them, I just mean to understand them. Though, in many ways the idea of large scale narratives explaining certain phenomena that we see isn’t new to me. You see the same kind of fear when people talk about Love Jihad and the wiping out of Hindu’s in India. We don’t mind smaller narratives to explain why we scraped our knee or why we fell off the bike, but I think when it comes to explaining larger phenomenon, like why our daughter won’t pray or why half my son’s friends are brown, we might resort to bigger explanations.

United Kingdom

LSE Blog

It’s been such a roller coaster in the UK. From Brexit to the partial rejection of Theresa May. Article explores the political currents that have shaped the fact that conservative party in Scotland has been putting up a solid performance at the ballot box. The author think that this is a combination of the fact that the conservatives were able to market themselves as unionists but also as those who believed in the devolution of powers. While the idea of being Scottish might be different from the idea of being British, they funnily enough are both euro-sceptics.

Media

Ritholtz

Earthquakes are the most covered natural disasters. 33% of the media coverage that natural disasters get in the media are focused on earthquakes. Couple of reasons for this, I think. Earthquakes affect urban centers much worse than they affect rural areas. At least in terms of casualties. Putting aside the idea of it being a “disaster” only if it takes human life. Storms are 14%. I think the American east coast accounts for a huge portion of this. It is also the country that produces the most amount of media. Again, I could be dead wrong. I haven’t bothered to check if I’m right on this one. Let me know.

Mongolia

Mongolia Focus

Article on the state of Mongol-Turkish relations at the moment. Turkey has long considered Mongolia to be a neighbor to him they have deep ethnic linkages. The Turks are seen to have originated in the general region. The author doesn’t really talk about the state of relations as much as mention that Turkey could use a friend right now and that the friend is not coming from the west, which Turkey has pissed off enough this year alone.

AI

Daily Dot

China is using AI to predict and preempt crime. The system works by putting together various points of data that can span days or even weeks. It then creates a pattern out of this, along with the individual and predicts crime. The article also mentions that the United States is attempting to do this in Chicago. It would be very interesting to see how that turns out. How would you predict gang violence?

Cambodia

The Cambodia Daily

The CPP heavy constitutional council passed amendments to the constitution on Tuesday. This will pass on to the National Assembly and the Council of Ministers (who will both approve it) before it will have to be signed by the king. He of course, isn’t home. Funnily enough he left as soon as the opposition kicked up a fuss about the law. According to law, in the absence of the king, the acting head of state (The Senate President) can sign legislation into law.

France

SPERI

Article on the awful performance by the French Socialist party in the recent elections which saw the French public deliver the throne to one Emmanuel Macron.

China

South China Morning Post

The Honk-Kong and Mainland China railroad link throws up some interesting legal questions about whose jurisdiction various parts of the station and train belong to. For example, a baby born on the train counts as a citizen of mainland China and will not be granted residency in Honk Kong.

The high-speed rail link is set to be completed by 2018. It’s been delayed quite a few times, is projected to cost almost twice as much as it was supposed to and resulted in the demolition of 200 homes. That’s the price to pay for high speed connectivity, right?

United States

Breitbart News

Trump is making enemies out of some of his best friends. I’m not sure how this is sustainable. Almost every conservative worth his/her salt has stood behind Sessions. He is seen as a respectable figure who stood behind Trump from the very beginning. Immigration policy and immigration cities are seen as some of his biggest talking points in his job as AG. Does all this come down to the fact that Trump really wants to go behind Clinton? After all this time?

Jeff Sessions being sworn in (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
Jeff Sessions being sworn in (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

July 26th – International News Round-Up (Part II)

United States

Zero Hedge

A poll conducted by Delphi Analytica concluded that Kid Rock had a slight edge over the incumbent democrat who occupies the Michigan senate seat that he is apparently going to contest. An absurd 44% of those who were polled were undecided. It seems ludicrous that someone like Kid Rock could win a senate seat, but stranger things have happened. The Dem’s blue wall fell in 2016 and I don’t see any real effort by them to repair the damage done by Clinton. Everybody seems to think that Trump is doing irreparable damage to the Republican party, but having Clinton as a candidate has done untold damage to the democratic cause. We’ll have to wait for the mid-terms to see if the democrats can make some gains off the fact that the Trump presidency has been doing nothing more than fending off allegations of Russian influence, though I’m not too optimistic about their chances to do that.

Kid Rock (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
Kid Rock (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

The Hill

In what might be its biggest move yet, the House passed bipartisan legislation that would impose sanctions against Russia for its role in the 2016 elections. The bill also extends to Iran and North Korea.

Race

Article by Joan who was born in Africa and moved to America when she was very young. She speaks of the troubles of being African and struggling to hide her “African-ness” from others. Interesting thoughts on integration and holding on to what you would consider central to your identity.

Philosophy

Aeon via 3quarksdaily

Author (Robert Hartman) evaluates our response to a hypothetical situation of drinking and driving. He points out that we feel, for some odd reason, that someone who drinks and drives and does not end up killing anyone is better off morally than someone who does end up killing someone. Luck, then, ends up being a part of what we would consider right or wrong. Which then leads him to consider different ways of reacting to stimulus and whether or not it matters.

Finance

Motherboard

The United States Securities and Exchange commission has stated that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), might be considered securities under certain circumstances and would thus be subject to laws that govern securities. I’m not a finance guy so I don’t really know how this would impact cryptocurrency or its value, but I do know that part of the charm of digital currency is the fact that it is completely anonymous. You don’t have to reveal your identity if you don’t want to. You have a digital wallet that has a unique identifying code and that’s all you need to reveal for transactions. Digital currencies till now have not been very heavily regulated, but governments will try to cash in on this as and when they can. If the SEC considers certain types of ICOs to be securities then the companies in question would have to reveal the identities of those involved in the transaction. Apart from this, I’m sure that the US government would also like to tax these transactions more and also regulate it if possible. You can still be taxed for digital currencies now. Right now, it’s treated as an asset and you still have to report capital gains and losses that you make. Just like any other financial instrument.

Sudan

Sudan Tribune

The US Embassy in Khartoum called for the Sudanese Government and the Sudanese Liberation Army to allow the UN to establish an UNAMID mission in the Jebel Marra town.

July 25th – International News Round Up (Part II)

Energy Markets

Zero Hedge

Barclays allegedly unloaded the last bits of its oil contracts to unidentified buyers. This is expected to raise prices of futures and also make oil riskier.

“Perhaps the best news from today’s book sale is that it concluded smoothly and without any major market impact, suggesting it was planned well in advance. The question is what would happen to the oil derivative market if a similarly-sized block hit the tape ad hoc and without prior warning. For the sake of the Fed’s “market stability” mandate, let’s hope we don’t find out.”

Saudi Arabia

Trend via SPA

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain have added 9 new entities and individuals to their Qatar linked blacklist.

“The countries accused some of the individuals named with roles in raising funds to support Nusra Front jihadists and other militia groups in Syria, the SPA reported, while others were said to have contributed to and supported Al Qaeda.”

China

China Digital Times

Bao Tong, former aide to Zhao Ziyang, has come out with a series of tweets in support of Guo Wengui’s allegation fueled scandal.

HNA Group is a Chinese company that has been the subject of Guo’s ire. The allegations tie top Chinese leaders such as Wang Qiashing to the company. Bank of America has since stopped any transactions with the HNA Group. Share prices have since dropped and stayed low.

Follow the link to read the original tweets in Mandarin.

South Sudan

South Sudan Tribune

Article by an independent journalist on the state of the South Sudanese Peace. He accuses the government of the country to be full of sectarian elements and blames corruption for the state of the country.

“In Conclusion, the world must impose sanctions on the government of South Sudan by not giving or donating foreign aids to the Country. All the European Union (EU) funding projects should be put to an end, United States of America (USA) projects should be put to an end. Japanese developmental projects should be put to an end. Peace will ONLY be achieved in South Sudan when world leaders stop sending money to South Sudan. Let all Organizations withdraw their funding’s from South Sudan and within a week, peace will come to the South Sudanese people.”

Religion

Torah Musings

Nachmandies/ Rabbi Moses ben Nahman/ Ramban was a medieval scholar whose commentary on Jewish scripture is considered to be of particular importance to the community. The article mentions particular teachings of Ramban in reference to the scriptures and asks the reader to go beyond simplistic explanations.

The Sefer Torah (Image Source: Wiki Commons - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/09/PikiWiki_Israel_4204_Sefer_Torah_from_Theresienstadt_concentration_camp.jpg/1280px-PikiWiki_Israel_4204_Sefer_Torah_from_Theresienstadt_concentration_camp.jpg)
The Sefer Torah (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

United States

Washington Post

Attacks on opposition leaders keep the voting public focused on individuals and not ideologies. This is a problem that Indian politics is in many ways beholden to. The narrative that you can create as the only hope against your opponent is important. Trump being elected in a lot of ways was a result of the fact that Clinton was a pretty weak opponent. Keeping the narrative anti-Clinton allows Trump to not be bothered by the rest of the problems that are plaguing his administration. It might work for 6 months but I doubt it’s going to work for 4 (let alone 8) years.

July 24th – International News Round-Up (Part III)

United States

Political Wire

Republicans seem more divided than ever. A Trump presidency has deepened the ideological divides within the GOP.

Metro Times

Detroit is using taxpayers money that was initially intended to keep people in their houses to demolish them, in what’s a pretty bad indictment of the general plan here. Detroit rejects almost 80% of those who apply for the Hardest Hit Fund, as opposed to 53% in other states. There’s more to this story.

Mother Jones

Kevin Drum points out the influence that the anti-vaccine community has had on the spread of Lyme disease. It involves a seemingly spurious correlation between adult onset arthritis. It was never conclusively proven, and yet the fear alone was enough and the vaccine was withdrawn.

Africa

Sputnik

The Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, has called on Libya and Nigeria to join the agreement to scale back oil production in the wake of falling prices. Russia has agreed to cut their production 300,000 barrels per day as part of the agreement. If the agreed upon levels of oil production are maintained, it could go a long way in helping the Russian economy which has been impacted by the glut of cheap oil in the international market.

Sudan

Sudan Tribune

Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour and the UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan discussed the possibilities of the lifting of US backed sanctions. Sudan was on the track of being free of the sanction while Obama was in office, but that changed when Trump decided to move the deadline for the decision. Al- Bashir remains committed on paper to the talks.

 Culture

Jezebel

Jodie Whittaker continues to face flak for donning the cape of the Doctor. She is all set to be the 13th doctor.

Yemen

National Yemen

Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghar received an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation at Aden. He stressed that Yemen remains committed to the peace process and that he would continue to exchange Houthi rebel prisoners with the Houthi higher command. The ICRC is midwifing this rather risky process.

Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghar (Image Source: Wiki Commons - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/18/Ahmed_Obaid_Bin-Dagher.jpg)
Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghar (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

July 24th – International News and Writings Round-Up (Part I)

Iraq

Musing on Iraq

Ayatollah Ali Sistani called on Iraqis and the Iraqi forces in specific to not engage in the handing out of the extra-judicial punishment to captured IS forces in the recently captured city of Mosul. There have also been reports of confrontation between the various armed forces/militia that helped in the military assault on IS controlled Mosul. Bodies continue to be moved as an eerie calm descends on the city.

Iraqi News

2 policemen were killed in a bomb blast took place at the entrance of Fallujah City in the Anbar Province in Iraq. Iraqi defense forces have restored some calm since retaking the cities in the Anbar province from the Islamic State.

Ukraine

Kyivpost

Anzhelina Diash, a Femen activist who bared her breasts, which had “Long Live Belarus” scrawled on, in black. Her protest took place at the meeting of the Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The specific action that could lead to her facing time in prison is the fact that she resisted arrest when a law-enforcement official attempted to remove her from the premises.

Femen Activists
Femen Activists (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

France

Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron has been having a rough time. His approval ratings dropped a full 10 percentage points, though he still enjoys 54% approval in France. The drop-off in popularity comes after spats with his Prime Minister and with the former Chief of the Armed Forces.

Venezuela

Reuters

Venezuela’s opposition coalition controlled parliamentarians called for a 2-day strike against the government of Nicolas Maduro. Violence continues to grip the country. Wuilly Arteaga, a violinist, who is famous for adding a musical flavor to the protest has been injured in the newest wave of protests. Maduro does not seem to be backing down, despite increasing national and international pressure. He also reportedly took to state TV to sing along to John Lennon’s Imagine, in a confusing display of symbology.

Syria

Iraqi News

Russian cluster bombs have killed 25 people in the besieged city of Raqqa. Reports suggest that they were probably civilians.

United States

Marginal Revolution

President Trump might not have the power to grant pardons to anybody he wants to. According to Marginal Revolution, the President can only grant pardons for federal crimes, and not crimes that came under the jurisdiction of specific states.

“President’s authority to grant clemency is limited to federal offenses and offenses prosecuted by the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia in the name of the United States in the D.C. Superior Court.  An offense that violates a state law is not an offense against the United States.  A person who wishes to seek a pardon or a commutation of sentence for a state offense should contact the authorities of the state in which the conviction occurred.  Such state authorities are typically the Governor or a state board of pardons and/or paroles, if the state government has created such a board.”