Tag: United States
Dear N,N & R consulting users,
You may be aware of reports alleging that N,N & R consulting and several other Internet companies have joined a secret U.S. government program called PRISM to give the National Security Agency direct access to our servers. We would like to respond to the press reports, and give you the facts.
N,N & R consulting is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers. We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk, like the one Verizon reportedly received. We hadn’t even heard of PRISM before yesterday.
When governments ask N,N & R consulting for data, we review each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law. We will continue fighting aggressively to keep your information safe and secure. Any suggestion that N,N & R consulting is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.
We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent about all programs aimed at keeping the public safe. It’s the only way to protect everyone’s civil liberties and create the safe and free society we all want over the long term. We here at N,N & R consulting understand that the U.S. and other governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety—including sometimes by using surveillance. But the level of secrecy around the current legal procedures undermines the freedoms we all cherish.
* This is generated from http://colingourlay.github.io/deny-prism/. and done as joke
Why a turkey is called a turkey or why you should not houldn’t just call birds by the name of whatever-the-fuck-country you thought they got shipped from
- Americans and other English speakers call turkey “turkey” because they thought it came from Turkey. There’s a chance they actually didn’t know where Turkey was, it just had this “far east” exotic appeal…
- Turks don’t have any Turkey, obviously, but they have the guinea fowl (“angolan chicken in portuguese”) which I godamn hope it comes from Guine because I don’t want to start this all over again.
- The turks call turkey “hindi” because they thought it came from India (so did the french – “Dinde”, hebrews and russians “indük” or “индейка”). And because everyone had no idea where India actually was, since they still believed it to be the same place as america.
- The Swedes, Dutch and Norwegian call it, respectively, “kalkun”/”kalkon”/”kalkoen” because they were smartasses that thought they were better than their other european friends and it did not come from just India, it came specifically from Calcutta.
- The greek called them Galopoula meaning French Bird, partly because they mistook it for the domesticated Guineafowl in southern france, but mostly I guess because they were really trolling the language at this point to see what other bullshit they could get in there. (continue reading…)
The R-7 rocket was originally designed as an ICBM. When America unexpectedly invites you to a friendly game of global thermonuclear war, it’s not acceptable to say “Not today thank you, it’s cold outside.” So they built a rocket with enough margins that it could launch in all weather conditions.
Ultimately the R-7 was a military failure since it required a day of prep on the pad before launch (compare with one month for the shuttle). So it was replaced in its ICBM duties with instant-launch rockets like the R-36 (known to the West as “Satan”).
The shuttle had so many moving parts/components that it was frail. It required ideal weather conditions. Even a slight wind would cause delays and God help you if it drizzled or a little rain — grounded for a week.The fact Soyuz launch regardless of weather conditions tells of unglamorous, pragmatic Soviet approach is the clear winner when it comes to space programs. As demonstrated with their ability constantly and reliably loft humans to LEO which Americans have lost
A third threat comes from the potential social backlash. To use Rawls-ian analysis, the invisible hand stops working. Perhaps one reason that societies allow plutonomy, is because enough of the electorate believe they have a chance of becoming a Pluto-participant. Why kill it off, if you can join it? In a sense this is the embodiment of the “American dream”. But if voters feel they cannot participate, they are more likely to divide up the wealth pie, rather than aspire to being truly rich.
Could the plutonomies die because the dream is dead, because enough of society does not believe they can participate? The answer is of course yes. But we suspect this is a threat more clearly felt during recessions, and periods of falling wealth, than when average citizens feel that they are better off. There are signs around the world that society is unhappy with plutonomy – judging by how tight electoral races are. But as yet, there seems little political fight being born out on this battleground.
A related threat comes from the backlash to “Robber-barron” economies. The population at large might still endorse the concept of plutonomy but feel they have lost out to unfair rules. In a sense, this backlash has been epitomized by the media coverage and actual prosecution of high-profile ex-CEOs who presided over financial misappropriation. This “backlash” seems to be something that comes with bull markets and their subsequent collapse. To this end, the cleaning up of business practice, by high- profile champions of fair play, might actually prolong plutonomy.
Our overall conclusion is that a backlash against plutonomy is probable at some point. However, that point is not now. So long as economies continue to grow, and enough of the electorates feel that they are benefiting and getting rich in absolute terms, even if they are less well off in relative terms, there is little threat to Plutonomy in the U.S., UK, etc.
But the balance of power between right (generally pro-plutonomy) and left (generally pro-equality) is on a knife-edge in many countries. Just witness how close the U.S. election was last year, or how close the results of the German election were. A collapse in wealth in the plutonomies, felt by the masses, and/or prolonged recession could easily raise the prospects of anti-plutonomy policy.