Stock markets around the world continue to collapse as this new global financial crisis picks up more steam. In the U.S., the Dow lost 254 more points on Thursday, and it has now fallen for five days in a row. European stocks continued to get obliterated, and financial institutions are leading the way. But this week what is happening in Japan has been the most sobering. After falling 918 points the other day, the Nikkei plunged another 760 points early on Friday. The Nikkei has now fallen for seven of the past eight days, and investors in Japan are in full panic mode. Overall, global stocks are well into bear market territory, and nearly 17 trillion dollars of global stock market wealth has already been wiped out.
Amid discussions of whether women should be forced to register for the military draft, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced legislation to abolish the Selective Service System.
Reps. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) say their legislation is necessary because the Selective Service System is outdated and would be ineffective in a wartime emergency.
“Maintaining the Selective Service simply makes no sense,” Coffman (R-Colo.), a Marine veteran, said in a statement. “In 1973, the last draftee entered the Army and since then, despite the first Gulf War and subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has never considered reinstituting the draft. Our all-volunteer military has given us the most elite fighting force in the history of this country.”
Currently, the Selective Service System is maintained at an annual taxpayer cost of about $23 million.
As Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign continues to disappoint Democrats, you can add a famous Watergate reporter and a former top U.S. security official to the list of people saying her presidential ambitions are doomed.
Carl Bernstein gained international notoriety for the reporting he and Bob Woodward did on the scandal that disgraced President Richard Nixon. These days, he’s watching another corrupt politician suffocate under the weight of a mountain of scandals.
The veteran journalist says Clinton ought to come clean with the American people while she still has a choice in the matter.
“She has to acknowledge she’s made some terrible misjudgments and errors, particularly on the server,” he said on CNN.
“The vast right-wing conspiracy didn’t put the server in her damn closet,” Bernstein continued. “She’s going to have to get by this thing, and she’s going to have to acknowledge a terrible misjudgment it seems to be here.”
Cybersecurty expert and Libertarian presidential aspirant John McAfee isn’t being taken very seriously in political circles. That has much to do with his recent well-publicized personal troubles and eccentric attitude. But when it comes to the cybersecurity matters upon which he’s based his presidential platform, McAfee is dead on about government’s inability to protect online networks.
President Barack Obama recently revealed his “Cybersecurity National Action Plan,” which would allot $19 billion in government spending and appoint a “Cyber Czar” tasked with enhancing the safety of the nation’s vulnerable information and infrastructure networks.
McAfee, who is the mind behind the first widely available commercial anti-virus software, says no amount of government spending is going to fix the U.S.’s increasingly apparent cybersecurity problems until Washington sets its priorities straight.
The nation’s security experts, he contends, should end efforts to exploit technology to spy on citizens and fully focus on hedging against outside cyber threats.
Just when you thought the banksters had done all they could to rig the game against people that bail them out, you hear another tale of industrial-strength greed.
This time, the scam is so ironic it’s almost absurd.
For almost a decade the U.S. government has been going around the world forcing governments to shut down tax haven status for U.S. money. Rich individuals and shrewd companies have been “offshoring” money into tax havens like the Bahamas or Panama or Switzerland for decades.
Governments in these countries would allow banks to protect the identities of the account holders and many accounts were set up as shell corporations to hide the true identity of the depositors.
Never mind the fact that huge companies like Apple, Shire, Google, Tyco and scores of others have been offshoring tens of billions in profits for years and the U.S. government says it’s helpless to do anything. It seems the might of U.S. only works when it comes to individuals, not powerful corporations.
On February 15, 1898, the battleship USS Maine exploded and sank in Cuba’s Havana harbor, killing 260 of the 400 American crew members on board.
A naval inquiry determined the ship was exploded by a mine, and although the official report did not blame Spain directly, the American public and most of Congress determined that Spain was responsible.
A Cuban exile group based in New York was propagandizing about the cruel and inhumane treatment Spanish rulers were imposing on the Cuban people. The mainstream media, led by William Randolph-Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, were exaggerating and fabricating stories of Spanish barbarism. When sent to cover the situation for Hearst’s newspapers, artist and correspondent Frederick Remington wrote back, “There is no war. Request to be recalled.” Hearst replied, “Please remain. You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war.”
How much safety does $5.7 billion in government spending on cybersecurity buy taxpayers? According to information in a new federal audit of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity Protection System, it doesn’t buy much.
The Government Accountability Office revealed in its report that the nationwide firewall, dubbed EINSTEIN by DHS insiders, was implemented and managed pretty stupidly by government bureaucrats working for America’s vast post-9/11 security machine.
EINSTEIN was developed by the Department of Homeland Security to serve as a government grade firewall to keep hackers, foreign spies and other potential evil doers from getting into federal computer networks. Unfortunately, the GAO reported, the DHS software is actually probably far less capable of guarding against malicious attacks than software the government has already bought from commercial providers. In other words, spending a couple thousand dollars on a business-grade network security system offers more protection than the $5.7 billion boondoggle.