October 25, 2014
Bomb ISIS with porn, beer and weed. Problem solved in 1 week or less.
by "Anarchist Banker"
As originally posted on: Anarchist Banker (anarchistbanker) on Twitter
August 8, 2014
Taylor Swift’s 8 second subliminal white noise message decoded
by "Kilgore Trout" [a/k/a "Kilgoar"]
As originally posted on: The Internet Chronicle
October 23, 2014
INTERNET — Earlier this week a puzzling 8 second Taylor Swift song seemingly featuring nothing but white noise was the most popularly downloaded song in Canada, disseminating subliminal instructions to millions of vulnerable teenage listeners. Wednesday, a terror attack struck the heart of Canada as shooters rampaged through the streets of Ottawa, its capital. Experts have shown a direct connection between Swift’s hit single and the terror sweeping through Canada.
Expert in subliminal psyop warfare at DARPA, Dr. Angstrom H. Troubador, said, “Taylor Swift has been radicalized by subliminal programming, fallen in with hackers who want to fight the surveillance state, and replicated the programming that radicalized her into an 8 second clip of so-called white noise containing specific programmatic instructions: Kill the government. The shootings in Ottawa are the beginning of a wave of terror like we’ve never expected, except instead of militant Islamists, this time it’s computer geeks. If I was to tell you the message that was coded, it could instantly brainwash anyone who read it or heard it read out loud.”
October 24, 2014
DUTCH AND GERMAN BIKER GANGS ARRIVE IN KOBANI TO FIGHT ISIS
by Frances Martel
As originally posted on: Breitbart
October 22, 2014
Last week, the Netherlands legalized the choice of some members of No Surrender, a biker gang, to travel to Syria and Iraq and fight alongside Kurdish forces against the Islamic State. They are no longer the only European biker gang to enter the fray, as German group Median Empire also announces its presence in Kobani, Syria.
An extensive report highlighting the war against the Islamic State from the perspective of European biker gangs in Spanish newspaper ABC notes that Median Empire, a group named after a Mesopotamian civilization, has chosen to showcase those who leave the comfort of Europe to protect minorities in Iraq and Syria from the jihadist scourge. Unlike No Surrender, a group comprised mostly of various European ethnicities, Median Empire boasts a largely Kurdish membership, so for these bikers, the fight is personal.
The group announced on Facebook that they had a presence in Kobani, currently the scene of an arduous battle for control between Kurdish forces and the Islamic State and have posted photos as proof.
"Our youths were in Kobani today," the post reads, "and have told me that they have been shot at but nothing has happened to them. They are fine." The post concludes, "While others prattle on, our boys are on the front lines, fighting the Islamic State."
The fight for Kobani has become particularly important in the quest to stop the spread of the Islamic State. Kobani rests on the border between Syria and Turkey. If the Islamic State gains control of it, it would have almost unchallenged passage between Turkey and Syria. While initially appearing to be successfully conquering the town, Kurdish forces have managed to keep the jihadists at bay as brutal fighting continues in the town.
The ABC article quotes one of the Median Empire bikers currently voyaging to the front lines. Azad, as he requested to be called, explained that, since emigrating from Kurdish territories when he was nine years old, his life is comfortable. "We are in Europe now, everyone is fine, we have jobs, money, a warm place, and enough food," he explained. "I see a bunch of people who have forgotten where they come from."
Meanwhile, No Surrender, which does not boast a particularly Kurdish membership, announced this week that at least three more members have begun traveling to Syria from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Breda. The No Surrender fighters are on their way to Mosul, Iraq--a city under the full control of the Islamic State.
October 23, 2014
Twitter 'source of all evil': top Saudi cleric
October 21, 2014
Riyadh (AFP) - Twitter is nothing more than "a source of lies" and evil, Saudi Arabia's top Muslim cleric said, in comments that sparked lively debate Tuesday on the microblogging site.
"If it were used correctly, it could be of real benefit, but unfortunately it's exploited for trivial matters," Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh said on his "Fatwa" television show broadcast late Monday.
Twitter is "the source of all evil and devastation", the mufti said.
"People are rushing to it thinking it's a source of credible information but it's a source of lies and falsehood."
The social media platform is popular among both men and women in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, where some supported the mufti's views but many others objected.
"This is why I will repent, and close my account to distance myself from this great evil," one Twitter user wrote with apparent sarcasm.
"Respected sheikh, how can you judge something without using it?" another post asked.
But a supporter of the sheikh wrote: "I swear the mufti has spoken the truth; the evils of Twitter are many."
Saudi Arabia adopts a strict version of Sunni Islam, including a segregation of the sexes, that influences all aspects of life in the Gulf kingdom.
October 22, 2014
She Tweeted Against the Mexican Cartels. They Tweeted Her Murder.
No newspaper dares to publish the truth about the drug lords in Tamaulipas. Those who break the silence on Twitter and Facebook are marked for death.
by Jason McGahan
As originally posted on: The Daily Beast
October 21, 2014
MEXICO CITY — She was a crusading Twitter journalist in a bastion of organized crime who chose a photograph of Catwoman as her online avatar and christened herself Felina. Like a comic-book avenger, her alter ego defied the forces of evil in her real-life Gotham of Reynosa, a border city in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas located a short drive from McAllen, Texas. Tamaulipas is notorious as a state caught in the iron grip of organized crime. Extortion, kidnappings, shootouts, arson, bodies excavated from arid pits, all of this happens in Tamaulipas, practically on a daily basis, but hardly any of it gets reported because of a media blackout the cartels decreed four years ago that is as strictly enforced as martial law after a coup.
Two rival drug cartels in Tamaulipas, the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, have final say over what gets printed or broadcast in the local media. By necessity the people of the state increasingly have turned to social media to share information about organized crime and its infiltration of the government. They are referred to as citizen journalists and have received international attention for their innovative use of sites like Facebook and Twitter to defy the imposition of the blackout.
Felina was an administrator for Valor por Tamaulipas (which means Courage for Tamaulipas), the most popular citizen news hub in the state, with more than 100,000 followers on Twitter and over half a million on Facebook. A sampling of the site’s content varies from the sensational to the specific. There are photos of young teenagers holding military-grade firepower with captions or comments that identify them as members of organized crime. There are posters of missing persons and news alerts about violence that are timely and specific: “At 10am there were isolated gunshots heard coming from Unidad Obrera”; “Since 12:25a.m. Explosions and machine gun fire at Cañada/Fuentes, and pickup trucks passed at high speed on 20th Street”; “In Balcones sector 2 white Ford pickup with 3 armed Men on Everest Street and Seventh.” Soldiers at the Mexican army base in Reynosa also post news alerts to the site about violent confrontations between the army and the narcos.
Felina posted under the handle @Miut3 and was best known for her posts of danger alerts that pinpointed the location of violent incidents in real time. People sent her bits of information as a way for them to resist the hegemony of the cartels. She also wrote posts pleading with victims of crime not to remain silent, to file a police report even if it meant having to brave reprisals. She would post emergency telephone numbers as a way to try to help.
Understandably the narcos wanted to know the real identities of Felina and her compañeros at Valor por Tamaulipas. A year and a half ago, a cartel had hundreds of leaflets distributed throughout Tamaulipas offering a reward of 600,000 pesos (about $48,000 at the time) for anyone who would divulge the names of the site’s administrators. At around the same time there were videos posted online of executions of individuals alleged to be contributors to the site. The founder shut it down and left the state, hoping that time away would diminish the danger. But when Valor por Tamaulipas went back online the situation only intensified: The number of followers to the site quadrupled and the threats resumed.
On Oct. 8, Valor por Tamaulipas received the following tweet: “We’re coming very close to many of you watch out felina.” The sender’s account was a shell but the message had the feel of authenticity. It was one in a series of posts that arrived on the same day. Each had an exasperated tone, demanding to know why the supposed generosity of the narcos toward people of low income went unreported, and why the focus on the Gulf Cartel but nothing on the crimes of soldiers and police? The concluding message defamed the site’s administrators as liars and threatened war on each of them by name, or at least by handle: “This is for you bandolera, felina, valor and all the rest who make things up.”
The founder of Valor por Tamaulipas, whose identity remains unpublished, said the need for secrecy had become greater than ever before. But he said Felina could not be convinced to alter her behavior to account for the increased danger. In a post on the site the founder described her as someone “who moved heaven and earth” for anyone in need. Her activity as a citizen journalist had fed into a larger vision of building a supportive community in Tamaulipas. She raised money; she organized blood donations, and helped people find affordable housing and free medical care. She listened but did not heed warnings from her peers that by raising her public profile in the community she risked being discovered. The founder removed Felina as an administrator after one last argument about helping someone in need of orthopedic shoes.
Felina nevertheless continued to post a high volume of news alerts to the site at the hashtag #ReynosaFollow. Until early in the morning of Thursday, Oct. 16, when this message from Felina @Miut3 was posted:
# reynosafollow FRIENDS AND FAMILY, MY REAL NAME IS MARÍA DEL ROSARIO FUENTES RUBIO. I AM A PHYSICIAN. TODAY MY LIFE HAS COME TO AN END.
The next message, sent moments later, is supposedly her warning friends and family not to make the same mistake she did, using social media to report on organized crime, because “there is no point.” The message after that is a warning to her followers and to three prominent citizen journalists that the cartels “are closer to us than you think.” The last message sent from Felina’s account is not written but rather consists of two photos: in the first, a middle-aged woman keeps her hands folded in front of her and looks directly at the camera; in the second the same woman is lying on a dirty floor with a coup de grace bullet wound in the face. The founder of Valor por Tamaulipas confirmed that the photos are of Felina. Twitter has since shut down her account.
How was Felina’s identity discovered? She may have been kidnapped, at first, for another reason completely. Staff at the Tierra Santa Clinic in Reynosa witnessed armed men riding in two pickup trucks pull into the parking lot and kidnap Del Rosario at between the hours of 10 and 11 a.m. after she had completed her shift last week. She was kidnapped along with another physician and a nurse.
The motive, according to a report in Zócalo Magazine, was revenge for the death of a 4-year old boy whose teenage parents had brought him to the clinic for treatment that morning. According to the report, Del Rosario administered a dose of Diazepam to treat the boy for a seizure and complications ensued, leading her to have him transferred to a hospital, and he died en route. But when the kidnappers went through the doctor’s cellphone, according to the Zócalo story, they saw her Twitter account, realized she was Felina, and executed her. With her cellphone, they were able to terrorize her followers with the photos and messages.
The founder of Valor por Tamaulipas disputes this version of events and has characterized it as disinformation. Meanwhile, fellow citizen journalists who knew her personally have had to change their cellphone numbers and delete old correspondence with her for fear the cartel will use it to track them down.
The state prosecutor’s office in Tamaulipas confirmed that a Dr. María del Rosario Fuentes Rubio was reported kidnapped on the day before the photos and messages were posted to Felina’s Twitter account. Officially the case remains a kidnapping because, according to the coroner’s office, the body of the woman in the photographs has yet to be recovered.
The founder of Valor por Tamaulipas posted a statement on the site expressing grief at the loss of “an angel who gave everything, her life, her future, her safety and peace, she gave it all for the good people of our state.”
“Today Miut3 ceased to report,” the founder said. “But what the criminals don’t know is that Miut3 is part of our soul and she will never permit us to surrender to organized crime. She will never surrender, and how disappointed she would feel knowing that a single one of all those whom she helped were to succumb.”
October 21, 2014
In America in 2014 if you work hard, follow the rules, and choose rich enough parents, you too can achieve the American Dream!
by "Tea Party Cat"
As originally posted on: Top Conservative Cat (TeaPartyCat) on Twitter
October 20, 2014
October 20, 2014
After Careful Thought, Teen Applies To College Where Family Donated Building
As originally posted: The Onion
October 20, 2014
CORAL GABLES, FL — Saying that she had given the decision considerable thought, local high school senior Katie Simmons told reporters Monday that she would be applying to Bristol College, a school where her family had donated funds for a new 50,000-square-foot library. “There are so many great choices out there, but I feel like I should at least consider Bristol,” said the 17-year-old, noting that while she would like to go somewhere that has a strong academic reputation and a vibrant social scene, it couldn’t hurt to apply to the institution where her family handed over the largest single gift in the school’s history to construct a new state-of-the-art library and digital media center. “Bristol’s a pretty good school, and I could definitely picture myself there, so I guess there’s no harm in filling out the application, right?” Simmons added that she was keeping her options open by also applying to the school whose president plays golf with her dad once a month.
October 19, 2014
the level of charisma society craves can only be produced by narcissistic sociopaths ensuring the predatory will attain positions of power
by Martin Bell
As originally posted on: lord crunkington III (postcrunk) on Twitter
October 16, 2014
October 18, 2014
President Obama To Send In Carol From The Walking Dead To Destroy ISIS
by Sarah Wood
As originally posted on: Free Wood Post
October 17, 2014
President Obama is about to tell ISIS to “look at the flowers.”
In an effort to combat the increasing presence of ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria, President Obama is sending in Carol from The Walking Dead to take them out in a matter of minutes.
“Airstrikes are working,” said the or president in an exclusive interview with Free Wood Post. “However, they are just no working fast enough. After watching last week’s episode of The Walking Dead the answer to our problems revealed itself. Carol is a badass. She took Terminus out in only a matter of minutes…. and they were just as ruthless as the militants we are dealing with in the Middle East. My administration and the rest of the nation are looking forward to watching her tear apart their regime.”
We here at Free Wood Post are just as excited.
by "⚡ CZAR DOZ ⚡"
As originally posted on: ⚡ CZAR DOZ ⚡ (Zardoz_Moot) on Twitter
October 18, 2014
October 17, 2014
take a drink every time america bombs another country
by Martin Bell
As originally posted on: lord crunkington III (postcrunk) on Twitter
September 23, 2014
October 16, 2014
Big Question: Can ISIS take down Saudi Arabia? Probably...
by John Robb
As originally posted on: Global Guerrillas
October 13, 2014
ISIS is the open source insurgency (see Wikipedia) I warned about when I began writing Global Guerrillas back in 2004.
- It operates very differently than the insurgencies we faced prior to Iraq.
- It's composed of many groups held together by a simple set of rules (minimal vs. the maximum rule sets we see in nations).
- It's fluid. It redily finds good use of new technologies and uses social media to good effect.
- It embraces the global black market and thrives on criminal enterprise.
- The groups participating in the insurgency learn and communicates stigmergically (see Nature 2009) -- which is similar to how we learn online. Try it fast --> copy anything that works (from targets to techniques to technologies).
- Since there isn't a hierarchy, it can spread very quickly to new areas as new groups self activate to join it.
- There's lots more.
The big question is when does ISIS stop expanding?
More specifically, can ISIS expand into Saudi Arabia?
Based on what I see: Yes.
If so, we're about to see an open source insurgency take down the heart of the Middle East.
Worse, the US government and its allies don't have a clue how to fight it nor any real desire to do so. They just wish it would go away.
PS: Even if the US and its allies did want to stop ISIS, they don't know how to fight an open source insurgency (the Sunni Awakening was dropped into their laps, it wasn't engineered). They are still trying to cram the round pegs of today's facts into the square holes of traditional models of insurgency.
October 15, 2014
As originally posted: BitCongress
[Post date not given]
BitCongress - decentralized legislation & voting blockchain platform
AXIOMITY - decentralized application & wallet for BitCongress
VOTE - a Counterparty asset designated as a Vote token given to each voter
Proof-Of-Tally - a tally token that is sent to each voter every time they vote
Bitcoin - the worlds first decentralized, peer to peer cryptocurrency & main Blockchain system
Blockchain - a decentralized, peer to peer, open source, public asset ledger
Counterparty - a decentralized asset creation system & decentralized asset exchange
XCP - Counterparty cryptocurreny & asset
Smart Asset - a tradable token created on a blockchain
Ethereum - the worlds first decentralized smart contract blockchain system
Ether - the Ethereum cryptocurrency used to activate a smart contract
Smart Contract - a programmable contract held in a decentralized blockchain cloud
Legislation - a set of defined terms, rules and expectations for a group of people or body of power
Election - a smart contract managing votes, containing rules, addresses for legislation or candidates
Voter - a holder of a VOTE token created on Counterparty & attached to ones Bitcoin address
Address - a cryptographic public key to accept a cryptocurrency or crypto token
Borda Count - The Borda count is a single-winner election method in which voters rank options
A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic vote would allow online votes to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a central voting register. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required to prevent double-voting. We propose a solution to the double-voting problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps elections by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work & proof-of-tally forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof chain. The longest chain not only serves as proof of the sequence of events witnessed, but proof that it came from the largest pool of computational power. As long as a majority of computational power is controlled by nodes that are not cooperating to attack the network, they'll generate the longest chain and outpace attackers. The network itself requires minimal structure. Messages are broadcast on a best effort basis, and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the longest proof-of-work & proof-of-tally chains as proof of what happened while they were gone. AXIOMITY as the front end wallet, law creation & voting application holds XCP, Ether, BTC, VOTE & uses them all in sync and combination with their respective blockchains. A VOTE token is sent by a legislation creation tool with combined cryptocurrency wallet. The VOTE is sent to a smart contract based election holding yay, nay and candidate addresses. The VOTE is returned to the voter after the election has ended due to a winning count or election time expiration. The voter is given a Proof-of-Tally count for each VOTE given to any election showing it as an active voter with a corresponding Proof-of-Tally count. This system allows legislation to be created, elections to be created and votes to be instantly counted, to implement instant legislation changes within the network.
With the creation of Bitcoin & the Blockchain there has been a true demonstration of a consensus based monetary system fully functioning globally for over 5 years now. The advantages of this system shows how a peer-to-peer system running a decentralized node network can become the most powerful computer network on the planet in under a half decade. We propose a voting system to be created in conjunction with Bitcoin, Counterparty & Ethereum using a distributed model to verify elections, votes and voters on separated blockchain networks. Using Bitcoin for its proof-of-work blockchain which has grown into the largest & safest blockchain in the world, votes will be created on the counterparty system which sits on top of Bitcoin. This will allow every vote to be hashed into the Bitcoin Blockchain, timestamped and registered on the public ledger forever. Ethereum will be used to create elections as smart contracts that have a set of rules to follow including election time, candidates, legislation & custom election rules. We have created a tool for legislation similar to a Bitcoin wallet or the Ethereum Contract Maker for legislation, amendment, debate & voting called Axiomity. It will be distributed to every available market and freely accessible to anyone online. With a combination of the Bitcoin, Counterparty & Ethereum Blockchain networks we have created a robust system to upgrade Voting, Legislation, Elections & Public Debate. BitCongress can be used by nations, states, communities, institutions, businesses and schools for both discussion, debate, rule making and voting on a scalable system. This allows for a variety of case uses, custom implementations & experiments to take place within the BitCongress platform.
BitCongress is a platform that combines Bitcoin, Counterparty, Ethereum & a new tool called AXIOMITY into a fully functional Congress on the Blockchain. BitCongress is the best tool for Governance 2.0, a remote control right in every IOT device, phone, tablet, tv and computer, to legislate, to vote, to decide in the moment how our society should be, in an instant, on the blockchain. The goal of BitCongress is to upgrade infrastructure within the governing bodies of society. From the US House Of Representatives, United Nations, Billboard Charts, POTUS or self made community rules, BitCongress can be implemented for many different case across society including existing state & national governments. Government is a system created & run by humans, over the years technology has always been introduced to governments to improve effective governing by not just a small group of people over the masses, but to more intimately interact with the constituency. The constituency is the governing body, unfortunately most are unable to communicate directly with their representative. One can ponder if representatives are needed when technology can instantly display ones choice across the wire & display it globally. With the advent of decentralized, peer to peer networking & cryptocurrency, government can become not a concept of the past in a future of chaos, but government can become the show everyone watches, the game that everyone plays, the activism that can be expressed by anyone at a whim, government is your control over yourself, why let someone else, let alone a small few, make decisions for you on your behalf? The concept of control or ruling over others must be molded by all people whom the control & ruling effects. Government can evolve as we rule over machines and they rule over us in a tangent and tangle of man vs machine as man vs man fade into a history. A long history of asset consolidation by banking institutions, cronyism & hidden decisions has caused a riff in the peoples concept of government. Government can be cool, useful, powerful, fun, even sexy when the people who must follow the rules are now the ones making the rules, carved into blockchain like stone.
We define an electronic vote as a chain of digital signatures. Each owner transfers the vote to the candidate or legislation by digitally signing a hash of the previous transaction and the public key of the candidate or legislation and adding these to the end of the vote. A voter can verify the signatures to verify the proof of tally.
The problem of course is the voter can't verify that one of the candidates or piece of legislation ignored the vote, received the vote, faked the vote or denied the vote. A common solution is to introduce a trusted central authority, or counter, that checks every vote for identity of voter, double-votes & onsite voter manipulation. After each election, the vote must be counted by a trusted authority, and only votes made directly within the centralized counter system are trusted not to be a double-vote, false voter or other voter fraud. The problem with this solution is that the fate of the entire voting, election & legislation system depends on the counter counting the votes, with every election having to go through them, just like a government election.
We need a way for the voter to know that the person, law or decision they voted for is recorded, counted, acknowledged & equally has power like all other votes. For our purposes, the election is held as a multi signature smart contact held between voters, candidates and legislation. This smart contract election will be running a set of rules for a set of time, able to accept votes with its public key, register them, process from them with the public key of the voter and return them to voter after election. The only way to confirm the absence of an election, its votes & its voters is to be aware of all elections. In the central counter based model, the counter was aware of all elections and decided which votes are registered first or at all. To accomplish this without a trusted party, elections must be publicly announced, and we need a platform for participants to agree on a single history of the order in which they were held, voted for and the ending results. The voter needs proof that at the time of each election, the majority of nodes agreed it was the first received.
3. Timestamp Server
The solution we propose includes the timestamp system of the Bitcoin Blockchain. A timestamp server works by taking a hash of
a block of items to be timestamped and widely publishing the hash, such as in a newspaper or Usenet post. The timestamp proves that the data must have existed at the time, obviously, in order to get into the hash. Each timestamp includes the previous timestamp in its hash, forming a chain, with each additional timestamp reinforcing the ones before it. This creates a history of all transactions, trades, requests, messages, elections, votes, voters, candidates, legislation, amendments, debates, quorum, filibusters & all election information needed to run the platform. STAMPS are a token created to allow messaging & peer to peer communications within AXIOMITY to take place over a token based blockchain messaging service. STAMPS are just like real world stamps as they are used to send & monetize messaging within the platform.
To implement a distributed timestamp server on a peer-to-peer basis, Bitcoin uses a proof-of-work system similar to Adam Back's Hashcash, rather than newspaper or Usenet posts. The proof-of-work involves scanning for a value that when hashed, such as with SHA-256, the hash begins with a number of zero bits. The average work required is exponential in the number of zero bits required and can be verified by executing a single hash.
For the timestamp network, Bitcoin implements the proof-of-work by incrementing a nonce in the block until a value is found that gives the block's hash the required zero bits. Once the CPU effort has been expended to make it satisfy the proof-of-work, the block cannot be changed without redoing the work. As later blocks are chained after it, the work to change the block would include redoing all the blocks after it.
The proof-of-work also solves the problem of determining representation in majority decision making. If the majority were based on one-IP-address-one-vote, it could be subverted by anyone able to allocate many IPs. Proof-of-work is essentially one-CPU-one-vote, but with the advent of ASIC technology that premise has been debated. The majority decision is represented by the longest chain, which has the greatest proof-of-work effort invested in it. If a majority of CPU power is controlled by honest nodes, the honest chain will grow the fastest and outpace any competing chains. To modify a past block, an attacker would have to redo the proof-of-work of the block and all blocks after it and then catch up with and surpass the work of the honest nodes. To compensate for increasing hardware speed and varying interest in running nodes over time, the proof-of-work difficulty is determined by a moving average targeting an average number of blocks per hour. If they're generated too fast, the difficulty increases.
To implement a voter identity system that keeps track of address sending votes for election fraud management, we use a Proof-of-tally for every Bitcoin address used for voting. Using AXIOMITY we input a tally count into the blockchain for each voting address every time it votes, giving a timestamped tally to each vote done by that voting address. The Proof-of-tally is read by both AXIOMITY for voter verification and by the election for election data recording on each voter. The election can keep track of the Proof-of-tally on each address using it for results within the election. Every VOTE is given to a single Bitcoin address as a Blockchain ID system that allows any Bitcoin Address to register for a VOTE. That address now gets hashed in a transaction with its Proof-of-Tally token & increases its Tally number on the Counterparty blockchain. The ethereum smart contract election looks for this Proof-of-Tally and records it in the election. Each election holds addresses, private keys & requests and sends tokens to a voter's address and a tally count that goes up on each vote completed. This gives a profile of a Bitcoin address as Active Status, Inactive Status or Fraudulent Status, allowing AXIOMITY to accept or reject the voter as a real voter or a fraud. The elections record the Proof-of-tally on each address showing a history of votes from a voter while keeping the actual person behind the Bitcoin address private.
6. Candidates, Legislation & Amendments
Using our Legislation & Voting tool called AXIOMITY, one can hold their votes securely using a private key like a Bitcoin wallet. Within AXIOMITY there are several features, from creating elections to creating legislation. Anyone can create a piece of legislation and post it to the election, viewable and interacted with by AXIOMITY, other AXIOMITY users can select that piece of legislation now viewable to the public, select any word, sentence or entire sections of the law and submit an amendment. This creates a new piece of legislation and posts it to a new election. All amended legislation is branched in a history viewable in AXIOMITY. Every piece of legislation can be viewed, amended and voted on by anyone holding a vote unless its created as a private election, this allows only specified vote addresses to vote. When a piece of Legislation is posted a new election is created on Ethereum with its custom set of rules implied by AXIOMITY. When a candidate or piece of legislation is voted for yay or nay, a VOTE, a Counterparty token, is sent from the voter to the election, the VOTE is immediately returned to the Voter when the election ends. Ether is sent by Axiomity to activate the Ethereum smart contract election holding the piece of legislation. Posting a Vote casts a yay or nay vote & the legislation gets a vote count up or down +1 or 0. Depending on the vote count in the election when it ends, the registered winner is sent a winning token using Counterparty and the legislation moves up in ranking on a public common law ledger similar to a blockchain explorer depending on its vote count, how many winning tokens it and its amendments have in total & a reddit like up and down popularity poll.
The posted Candidates, Legislation & Amendments can all be seen in AXIOMITY the wallet/explorer, as it relays callbacks from Counterparty running over the Bitcoin Blockchain. It will allow anyone to post as a candidate or law in a custom election, with all changes to legislation, all votes and all events timestamped into a blockchain of elections, holding votes and voters public keys within the elections history. All elections are hosted on the Ethereum blockchain and will be interactive using callbacks, websockets, get, post & http requests.
An election is created within Ethereum using its smart contract blockchain system. Each election will have an election timed lifespan, set of rules, candidates, legislation, budget & an accessible URL that can be accessed by the public. Each election has its own Ethereum address and using AXIOMITY communicates with the Counterparty address & Bitcoin Address that together holds and moves the votes from voter to candidate and then back to voter. Within an election each law can be voted for yay or nay. When a vote is casted a vote is sent from voters address to legislations yay or nay addresses or to a specific candidates address, these addresses are built into the election smart contract. When an election has candidates or legislation receiving votes the election smart contract responds to and records every vote into the Bitcoin Blockchain using the Counterparty VOTE token. The election logs the changes, the vote count is recorded and displayed within AXIOMITY using ether onto the Ethereum Blockchain. This allows a multiple blockchain record of the Legislation, Vote & Voter interaction. The election once expired will automatically return all votes casted, but will not increase the vote count of the legislation or candidates within the election.
When voting for a piece of legislation or candidate each yay, nay or candidate has an address. A vote token is sent from the voters AXIOMITY application to the address of the legislations yay nay or if a candidate their public address, the election maintains the votes until the election is ended, then the votes are returned to the voters. This way votes are recycled and personally held. A proof-of-tally system will allow each voter to build a tally count on the amount of elections they have participated in. This shows an address of a voter as active, non active or fraudulent depending on the proof-of-tally, a voter will be denied an election if the voters address is found to be fraudulent based on double-vote attempts from that address. VOTEs can be acquired by creating a profile on the BitCongress website. The only way to get a vote is to submit a Bitcoin address as a owner of the vote. Once a bitcoin address is given a VOTE, it will never be able to receive a VOTE again from the BitCongress site. This will allow for a truer proof-of-tally to be used with confidence. VOTEs can be sent from Voter
to Voter, they are automatically returned to the sender or voter, but there is a record of this on the Bitcoin Blockchain. This allows for the vote to not be used as a monetary tool, but a vote token for record of approval. It keeps a record of this to build a proof-of-tally on all Bitcoin addresses used in elections. Showing a voter profile for Bitcoin addresses, yet holding that voters privacy.
9. Count Methods
One of the most important features of BitCongress is the count method used for massive elections such as presidential, legislation that millions of people will be voting on does not constitute a normal vote count. We propose the use of the Borda Count in a modified manor married to a blockchain of consensus. The Borda Count allows for a points system of election over a normal standard election count. In the US Presidential elections there is a system used called the electoral college. This system allows an institution of electors to pick a candidate depending on the 270+ count. If the electoral college cannot elect a winner, the House, then the Senate votes for president. We propose a count system that uses a Modified Borda Count as a primary count for all elections by default & a Quota Borda System for any “large” scale elections. If this count method is not fulfilled a winner a secondary vote can be done using a different count method.
The Borda count is a single-winner election method in which voters rank options or candidates in order of preference. The Borda count determines the outcome of a debate or the winner of an election by giving each candidate, for each ballot, a number of points corresponding to the number of candidates ranked lower. Once all votes have been counted the option or candidate with the most points is the winner. Because it sometimes elects broadly acceptable options or candidates, rather than those preferred by a majority, the Borda count is often described as a consensus-based voting system rather than a majoritarian one. The Modified Borda Count is used for decision-making. For elections, especially when proportional representation is important, the Quota Borda System is used. Under the Borda count the voter ranks the list of candidates in order of preference. So, for example, the voter gives a '1' to their first preference, a '2' to their second preference, and so on. In this respect, a Borda count election is the same as elections under other ranked voting systems, such as instant-runoff voting, the single transferable vote or Condorcet methods.
10. Networks & Blockchains
The steps to run the network are as follows:
Within Bitcoin & Counterparty new transactions are broadcast to all nodes. Each node collects new VOTES into a block. Each node works on finding a difficult proof-of-work for its block, for the election as running & a proof-of-tally of voters within the election. When a node finds a proof-of-work, it broadcasts the block to all nodes. Then AXIOMITY finds the proof-of-tally for the address that sent the VOTE and accepts active status, inactive status and rejects fraudulent status addresses. Nodes accept the block only if all transactions in it are valid. Nodes express their acceptance of the block by working on creating the next block in the chain, using the hash of the accepted block as the previous hash.
Nodes always consider the longest chain to be the correct one and will keep working on extending it. If two nodes broadcast different versions of the next block simultaneously, some nodes may receive one or the other first. In that case, they work on the first one they received, but save the other branch in case it becomes longer. The tie will be broken when the next proof-of-work is found and one branch becomes longer; the nodes that were working on the other branch will then switch to the longer one.
New transaction broadcasts do not necessarily need to reach all nodes. As long as they reach many nodes, they will get into a block before long. Block broadcasts are also tolerant of dropped messages. If a node does not receive a block, it will request it when it receives the next block and realizes it missed one.
Counterparty running over the Bitcoin Blockchain gives each piece of legislation a yay & nay address and each candidate an address. The VOTE is a token created by Counterparty and thus uses the Bitcoin mining system, but has no monetary value as it is limitless and returns to sender after an election. The election is a smart contract created on the Ethereum Network. Ether is sent to the election from AXIOMITY to create and start a new election. Ether then is sent to a winner contract that executes a rule to return the VOTE back to all voters, while the winner contract registered the winner and sends the ether back to the Axiomity client. This allows for Ether, VOTE & Bitcoin to be recycled through elections, votes and voters, all the while posting all results on the corresponding Blockchains. AXIOMITY as the front end wallet, law creation & voting application holds XCP, Ether, BTC, VOTE & uses them all in sync and combination with their respective blockchains.
Bitcoin, Counterparty & Ethereum all work in a mesh like manner by distributing information across three different blockchains, each with unique features and purposes. In a model similar to the three branches of the United States Governments current concept of separation of powers, the three individual blockchains work together in a compartmentalized & organized interaction using decentralized & peer 2 peer platform allowing any government to be created locally or statewide. This platform runs on a package front end HTML5 Application consisting of a folder containing a Index.html file, controller.js file, css files, images, video, audio files & the back end runs on the 3 blockchains allowing data to be stored in Bitcoin Transactions, Counterparty Transaction & Ethereum Transactions & Cloud Data Storage. This allows a self run app with no servers or dependencies on anything centralized or consolidated. The individual runs everything themselves on their device.
11. Incentive & Infrastructure
Using Bitcoin, Counterparty & Ethereum as Blockchains to record, old and move data, we can depend on the mining ecosystem of these Blockchains to give the system functionality without creating a cryptocurrency with monetary value. VOTES are limitless and are returned to voter after election, giving incentive to vote, not to buy & sell VOTES. For monetary incentive the Bitcoin system is used as an underlying budget & infrastructure for BitCongress along side the Counterparty network for VOTE creation and distribution within the Bitcoin Blockchain. In Bitcoin, by convention, the first transaction in a block is a special transaction that starts a new token owned by the creator of the block. This adds an incentive for nodes to support the network, and provides a way to initially distribute votes into circulation using the Bitcoin Blockchain, since there is no central authority to issue them. The steady addition of a constant of amount of new Bitcoins is analogous to gold miners expending resources to add gold to circulation. In our case, it is CPU time and electricity that is expended.
The incentive can also be funded with transaction fees. If the output vote count of an election is less than its input vote count, the difference is a election fee that is added to the incentive value of the block containing the election. Once a predetermined number of votes have entered circulation, the incentive can transition entirely to election fees and be completely inflation free.
The incentive may help encourage nodes to stay honest. If a greedy attacker is able to assemble more CPU power than all the honest nodes, he would have to choose between using it to defraud people by stealing back his payments, or using it to generate new coins. He ought to find it more profitable to play by the rules, such rules that favour him with more new coins than everyone else combined, than to undermine the system and the validity of his own use. Votes are automatically returned to voters after an election, so every vote, has monetary value, identity information & multiple uses in multiple elections. The election fee is equivalent to the monetary cost of running a pencil, paper, brick & mortar & human vote counter based election. Elections are timed and when they end all votes are returned to voters public key. After every election a public record of all voting activity is held on a blockchain. Combining the Bitcoin Blockchain, Counterparty asset system & Ethereum smart contract network, alongside a wide range of features such as legislation creation, amendment and debate, qurum & filibuster, Electoral, House & Senate Protocols, public voting ledgers, custom elections, regional councils, Government Gateway Protocol & real time voting, real time legislating & public record of everything, BitCongress has a very strong infrastructure in place ready for its real world use. BitCongress has many case uses and can be used by nations, states, communities, institutions, businesses and schools for both discussion, debate, rule making and voting on a scalable system.
A Counterparty asset called CONGRESS has been created to crowdfund the seed capital needed to create BitCongress fully, market the technology to many different markets, develop the needed software and hardware for the case uses of Blockchain Voting & build a robust transparent & scalable front end for global legislation & voting. This requires a some funding to finish & market it to the world. Development is needed and CONGRESS will be used to pay all developers of BitCongress.
12. Simplified Token Verification
It is possible to verify votes without running a full network node. A user only needs to keep a copy of the block headers of the longest proof-of-work chain & the longest proof-of-tally chain from that voter, which he can get by querying network nodes until he's convinced he has the longest chains, and obtain the Merkle branch linking the VOTE to the block it's timestamped in. He can't check the election for himself, but by linking it to a place in the chain, he can see that a network node has accepted it, and blocks added after it further confirm the network has accepted it.
As such, the verification is reliable as long as honest nodes control the network, but is more vulnerable if the network is overpowered by an attacker. While network nodes can verify elections, VOTES and voters for themselves, the simplified method can be fooled by an attacker's fabricated elections, VOTES and voters for as long as the attacker can continue to overpower the network. One strategy to protect against this would be to accept alerts from network nodes when they detect an invalid block, prompting the user's software to download the full block and alerted transactions to confirm the inconsistency. Individuals, Schools, Businesses or States that hold frequent VOTEs will probably still want to run their own nodes for more independent security and quicker verification.
Within the election the smart contract can interact with callbacks, tokens and its native Ether. Within AXIOMITY a confirmation count is shown on both Bitcoin for fees, Counterparty for VOTES & Ethereum for Ether, these tokens & cryptocurrencies are all verified by their specified miners & auditing pools and cross referenced from the election to the voter within AXIOMITY.
13. Combining and Splitting Vote Denominations
Although it would be possible to handle VOTES individually, it would be unwieldy to make a separate a VOTE into 100,000,000 subVOTES for every portion of a vote in an election. To allow votes to be split and combined, transactions contain multiple inputs and outputs. A VOTE is divisible like A Bitcoin (1.00000000) into subVOTES, this allows for a more custom implementation of a vote count within a private or small election. Normally there will be either a single input from a larger previous elections or multiple inputs combining smaller amounts, and at most two outputs: one for the candidate or legislation, and one returning the vote to the voter after the election.
It should be noted that fan-out, where a election depends on several elections, and those elections depend on many more, is not a problem here. There is never the need to extract a complete standalone copy of a elections history.
The traditional centralized voting model even with electronic voting systems achieves a level of privacy by limiting access to information to the parties involved and the trusted third party. The necessity to announce all elections publicly precludes this method, but privacy can still be maintained by breaking the flow of information in another place: by keeping public keys anonymous. The public can see that someone is sending a vote to a candidate or piece of legislation, but without information linking the vote or election to anyone voting. This is similar to the level of information released by stock exchanges, where the time and size of individual trades, the "tape", is made public, but without telling who the parties were.
As an additional firewall, a new key pair should be used for each election to keep them from being linked to a common owner. Some linking is still unavoidable with multi-input transactions, which necessarily reveal that their inputs were owned by the same owner. The risk is that if the owner of a key is revealed, linking could reveal other elections, legislation, amendments and votes that belonged to the same owner. For this we propose the second output be the voter itself as the election has a timed contract and when it ends, the election holding the votes returns them to the voters. With this a voter can reuse the public key over and over again, building its Proof-Of-Tally. This helps the public give a numerical count to the public keys vote use but not its vote history or the identity of the private key owner. A vote can be sent from one address, but one person will always be able to make multiple addresses. A centralized authority using identity information can interact with BitCongress and utilize its technology with a registry of voters.
We have proposed a platform for electronic election, legislation & voting without relying on trust. We started with the usual framework of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Counterparty & The Blockchain technologies. The platform allows for an easy creation, post & ranking of legislation through a mobile application, timestamped and hashed by Bitcoin, managed by Counterparty & held in Election by Ethereum. This allows a combination of technologies to spread the decentralized notion of vote and election as far from centralized systems as possible. Incentive is from Bitcoin mining fees, Ethereum mining fees, Counterparty reward tokens for building infrastructure for BitCongress & its case use for the worlds first Blockchain Voting System that will be able to upgrade the current legislative and governing systems. We create a token on Counterparty called a VOTE and it is sent to legislation or candidates, recorded on the blockchain and then returned to the voter, giving a registered endorsement on a blockchain. We create a Legislation, Amendment & Voting wallet called AXIOMITY to hold Ether, Bitcoin, Counterparty & our VOTE token, it allows creation of legislation, amendment of posted legislation, debate, qurum, filibuster and voting in all public elections. It allows the
creation of private elections corresponding to designated voter addresses. BitCongress is a suite based on many technologies, many concepts and many systems running on Blockchain Technologies, Timestamps, Open Source code & Freedom based principles.
References: #Bitcoin #Counterparty #Ethereum #C++ #MorganRockwell
October 14, 2014
Dont worry, every dumb ass Senator, Representative, Executive & Political Middle Man will be replaced soon by @BitCongress & the @blockchain
by "Bitcoin Kinetics Inc."
As originally posted on: Bitcoin Kinetics (BitcoinKinetics) on Twitter
January 11, 2014
October 13, 2014
you can tell everything you need to know about a culture by what they fear
by Martin Bell
As originally posted on: lord crunkington III (postcrunk) on Twitter
October 9, 2014
October 12, 2014
Liberty Can't be Centrally Planned
by Skyler J. Collins
As originally posted on: Everything-Voluntary.com
June 2, 2014
"One Voluntaryist's Perspective" is an original column appearing most Mondays at Everything-Voluntary.com, by the founder and editor Skyler J. Collins. Archived columns can be found here. OVP-only RSS feed available here.
While I love a good discussion on the logical construction of property rights theory, and the implications stemming therefrom, in a free society concepts like "property," "aggression," "law," and "justice" will evolve to have different meanings in different areas and among different people in the same area. In other words, pure theory might define concepts one way, but without a central authority prescribing meaning, their practice will likely vary.
Let me demonstrate what I mean by first examining pure theory, and then speculating on practice. Pure libertarian property rights theory would define the previous example concepts somewhere along the lines of:
property: the characteristic given to a scarce resource that has either been appropriated out of nature, traded for, or received as rectification for a criminal offense.
aggression: the uninvited border-crossing of a scarce resource, such as trespassing, theft, battery, rape, and murder.
law: a rule laid down in society through either custom, norm, convention, or dispute resolution.
justice: being made as close to whole as possible after one's property became the subject of aggression.
Each of these definitions were produced through a logical construction of libertarian-based property rights theory. Non-libertarian-based property rights theory may produce different definitions. Let us now proceed to speculating on practice of these concepts in a free society.
A free society necessarily entails the freedom to compete in the provision of law (rule creation, dispute resolution) and order (security, national defense). In a free society, there is no monopoly on these provisions. Anyone can start a dispute resolution firm or security company. Law and order are thus provided by multiple entities, each doing so on the basis of profits, or rather, of customer satisfaction. Because nobody has the final say on what constitutes law, those resolving disputes to the satisfaction of not only the parties involved, but to everyone else in a given area, will likely have his services sought after in the future. Over time, and through competition by multiple dispute resolution firms, laws, or more accurately, customs, norms, and conventions will evolve and vary across localities, much as we see cultural variation across the world today.
With that in mind, it's not inconceivable that one area of society would define, say property, differently than another. Hunter-
gatherer societies today, in my understanding, are more egalitarian than their civilized neighbors. One explanation for this is that children are raised with empathy and so are more intrinsically-motivated to share their possessions with a greater number of people. People in such societies have evolved a practice of not locking away property, rather making it freely available to whoever needs it with the reasonable expectation that it will be taken care of and returned. Customs like this, that evolve over time and without a central authority, create different practical meanings to the concepts listed above.
I used to believe that a free society would adhere perfectly to libertarian theory, and would argue on that basis. The flaw in my thinking was the belief that anything, including the meanings of any number of concepts, could be guaranteed in the absence of a central authority, or of a monopoly on the provision of law and order. I am now of the opinion that liberty can't and shouldn't be centrally planned.
October 11, 2014
Non-Territorial Government and the Non-Aggression Principle
by Michael S. Rozeff
As originally posted on: LRC Blog
May 19, 2014
If the freedom to choose one’s non-territorial government is central to libertarianism, what is its relation to the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP)?
Choosing a non-territorial government is a narrower and more definite concept than non-aggression. It’s easier to get people to agree on what it means to choose a government voluntarily than it is to get them to agree on what constitutes aggression. The rather large disagreements over aggression can be seen by the different concepts of aggression, injury, justice and remedies across different countries, cultures, times and within the same country. For example, libertarians think that taxes are theft but many Americans and vast numbers of people across the globe think that the government can legitimately redistribute wealth. But while ideas of aggression, property rights and justice vary widely, choosing a government has a fairly well-defined meaning. One phrase that suggests this choice is “consent of the governed.” This “is synonymous with a political theory wherein a government’s legitimacy and moral right to use state power is only justified and legal when derived from the people or society over which that political power is exercised.” If this idea is understood as applying at the level of every individual person, and not through majority rule, then consent of the governed is close to the concept of choosing one’s non-territorial government. But it of course needs the very important qualification that government shed its territorial monopoly.
The freedom for each person to choose his or her own non-territorial government bears an if and only if relation to the freedom to opt out of a territorial government. If one is free to choose a non-territorial government, that implies that one has the freedom to opt out of a territorial government. Conversely, if one has the freedom to opt out of a territorial government, it implies that one has the freedom to choose one’s non-territorial government.
If a given set of people agree that imposing a government on someone who doesn’t consent to it is an aggression and agree that they will not commit this aggression, these two agreements suffice to enable the freedom to opt out of their government. This logic, however, doesn’t invoke the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) in all its generality. It refers only to one well-defined imposition, which is imposing a government against a person’s consent. The NAP is much broader. Referring to wikipedia, the NAP “is a moral stance which asserts that aggression is inherently illegitimate. NAP and property rights are closely linked, since what aggression is depends on what a person’s rights are.” This general statement, as suggested above, meets with differences when it comes to implementation.
If a set of people want the freedom to opt out of a government, it may be because they have different ideas about what aggression and justice are than the dominant ideas implemented by that government. If they can gain the option to choose their own non-territorial government, then they can define aggression and property rights as they will. (Their capacity to do so won’t be completely unconstrained, it should be noted, because they may well have differences with their neighbors and they will have to take into account the costs of conflicts or devise ways to lower these costs.) The fact that choice of (non-territorial) government coincides with or precedes notions of property rights, aggression and justice suggests that choice of government is the fundamental idea of libertarianism and not the NAP in all its generality.
If the central objective of libertarianism is to have the freedom to choose one’s non-territorial government (the choice of no government always being included therein), then although the NAP suffices to achieve this objective, it is not a necessary condition. It is unnecessarily broad to produce this result, and, because different people understand aggression in different ways, this undue generality fogs and confuses the central issue, giving rise to unnecessary resistance from those who do not agree on the meanings and implications of the NAP. All that is required to give choice in government is a narrower application of the NAP, namely, the idea that people at the individual level should have the freedom to choose their governing system on a non-territorial basis, because to be forced to live under a government one does not consent to is an aggression. A key slogan might be “consent of the governed”, but only if it is understood that this means that any persons can associate to form a non-territorial government. “Choice of non-territorial government” is a more accurate slogan that crystallizes the idea.
October 10, 2014
ISIS encroaches on ultimate prize in Iraq
by Elizabeth Palmer
October 10, 2014
BAGHDAD -- Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have infiltrated one of Baghdad's outer suburbs, Abu Ghraib which is only eight miles from the runway perimeter of Baghdad's international airport.
It's cause for serious concern now that the Iraqi Defense Ministry has confirmed ISIS has MANPADs, shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles.
The Iraqi army is still patrolling Abu Ghraib, but they play cat and mouse with the ISIS fighters who stage hit and run attacks on security forces.
It's a mixed picture around the city. ISIS took over the city of Fallujah -- only about 40 miles west of Baghdad -- in January, and the Iraqi security forces have fought in vain for a year to force them out.
Instead, and in spite of weeks of U.S.-led airstrikes, ISIS has gradually extended its reach. The extremist group is now either present or in control of a huge swath of countryside, forming a 180-degree arc around the Iraqi capital from due north around to the west, and all the way to the south.
Around this zone there have been skirmishes, and occasionally heavy fighting, with Iraqi security forces and Shiite militias battling ISIS.
American jets have carried out more than two dozen airstrikes in the area, mainly near Fallujah and the city of Ramadi, further to the west.
Inside Baghdad itself, there are ISIS sleeper cells that carry out almost daily bombings and assassinations.
An Iraqi officer told CBS News that the airstrikes are helping to clear an ISIS-free buffer zone around the city, where there are Iraqi boots on the ground. In fact, there are 60,000 men assigned to defend the capital, and CBS News correspondent David Martin reports that there are 12 teams of American advisers deployed with the Iraqi brigades. The estimate is that the Iraqi army will fight for the capital and there is no real concern that Baghdad is in imminent danger, Martin says.
Still, questions remain as to whether the Iraqi are disciplined enough to put up a sufficient fight if ISIS launches a major offensive.
As at least three major Iraqi military debacles have shown over the past five months -- the most stunning being the quick fall of Mosul in the north -- the army is plagued with problems of poor leadership and endemic corruption that undermine their effectiveness as a fighting force.
As Martin reported from the Pentagon on Thursday, due to the relatively poor performance of the Iraqi troops west of Baghdad, the airstrikes are having a limited impact.
In a clear indication of both the urgency of stopping any advance on Baghdad from the West, and in the need for precision strikes around the densely populated city, the U.S. used Apache attack helicopters -- for the first time in the fight against ISIS -- in Anbar province on Sunday.
Last week, the fighting in Anbar verged on a rout of the Iraqi army, Martin reports. In the past few days the ISIS offensive has slowed, but analysts aren't sure if that's because ISIS is overextended or are simply taking an "operational pause" while they reposition for the resumption of the offensive.
The militants largely control the main highway between Baghdad and the border with Jordan, to the west, and the desert surrounding it.
October 09, 2014
An imaginary distinction
by Kent McManigal
As originally posted on: Kent's "Hooligan Libertarian" Blog
October 7, 2014
I just don't get the distinction.
If a guy is trying to rob you, using potentially deadly force, is it wrong to kill him in self defense if you know he's a pastor?
What if he's a cop?
What does his job matter?
Here's a hint: it doesn't.
Violators deserve to die at the hands of their intended victims at the scene of the attack. That doesn't mean the victim is "required" to kill the attacker, but only an evil person would fault him for doing so.
ISIS Is Cutting Off Water to Uncooperative Villages
In parched Syria and Iraq, water is a weapon
by Colin Schultz
As originally posted on: Smithsonian.com
October 7, 2014
As the Islamic State pushes through Syria and Iraq, the group has adopted an alarming tactic—it works hard to gain control over a region's water supplies and then uses access to food and water to control the local population.
Over the summer, the group starved around 12,000 people in Amerli, Iraq, of water, food, and medicine for months, says CNN, before the siege was broken by the Iraq army. ISIS has also used its control over four dams that block the Tigris and Euphrates rivers—two of the most important rivers in the region—to “displace communities or deprive them of crucial water supplies,” says the Washington Post.
In August, the group took control of the Mosul Dam, blocking the Tigris. That dam produced electricity for the region, says Business Insider, and its “destruction would wash away Mosul in a matter of hours and send 15-foot high floods to Baghdad within three days.”
That dam was soon reclaimed by Iraqi and Kurdish troops, with American support, says the Post.
In September, the group cut off the water to Balad Ruz, says the Post. “According to the town’s mayor... the militants lined the roads to the dam with improvised explosive devices, and the government was forced to hire trucks to bring potable water to the residents.” In other cases, ISIS loosed the water rather than held it back, drowning uncooperative towns.
Iraq and Syria are prone to severe water shortages, making control over water an even more important strategic factor, says the Guardian. “One could claim that controlling water resources in Iraq is even more important than controlling the oil refineries,” researcher Matthew Machowski to told the Guardian.