For the Global Thinker

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Takin' It to the Streets

The world is getting angrier and with the prevalence of smartphones, Twitter and FB...Cities will continue to be the battleground between citizens and governments and corporations.  Interesting read.
"thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, Twitter, Facebook and blogging, angry individuals now have much more power to engage in, and require their leaders to engage in, two-way conversations — and they have much greater ability to link up with others who share their views to hold flash protests. 

As Leon Aron, the Russian historian at the American Enterprise Institute, put it, “the turnaround time” between sense of grievance and action in today’s world is lightning fast and getting faster. 

The net result is this: Autocracy is less sustainable than ever. Democracies are more prevalent than ever — but they will also be more volatile than ever. Look for more people in the streets more often over more issues with more independent means to tell their stories at ever-louder decibels." 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

That Tree

A photographer takes a photo a day of just one tree...exceptional work...Full size images here...


Snowden’s only safe choice may be to stay in Russia indefinitely

"Russia, on the other hand, would seem to get around all three of these problems. The country is not a liberal democracy, or at least not widely viewed as such, meaning Moscow would risk little international credibility by defying a U.S. extradition request. It’s big enough that it doesn’t need to worry too much about upsetting the United States, which it clearly doesn’t, and is economically mostly tied to neighboring European and Asian states anyway. But Russia is also geopolitically weak enough that, unlike in the Soviet era when it was a true global power that negotiated frequently with its rivals, Moscow doesn’t have lots of crucial ongoing deals with the Americans. The biggest ones, cooperation on terrorism and Syria, are mostly stalled anyway.

Maybe most important, though, is Russia’s long history of sheltering Western fugitives, unbroken even by the fall of the Soviet Union and complete transformation of the Russian government. Deposed heads of state, shunned by most of the world, get luxurious homes in the upscale town of Barvikha, a little Paris custom-built for high-profile exiles. British intelligence officials who were caught spying for the Soviets and fled there half a century ago are still under Moscow’s protection; George Blake, now 91 years old, is still living on a Soviet KGB officer’s pension, though neither the KGB nor the Soviet Union have existed in 20 years."


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Whistleblowers

In the past week I've read about two whistleblowers... and it's made me wonder which one of them will get killed first.  Sorry state of affairs to be honest, certainly there needs to be much more protection afforded to whistleblowers.

Author of Blog del Narco, chronicle of Mexico's drug war, flees

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations


Other Whistleblowers


NSA hacks China, leaker Snowden claims


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Three Videos to Warm the Soul VII

With a focus on Africa here are some incredible videos and of course I saved the best one for the last.

PS: Play these videos on your HDTV for maximum enjoyment!

60 Seconds in Congo

Sahara Wonderland


Here's a link to Three Videos to Warm the Soul VI

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Revealed: NSA collecting phone records of millions of Americans daily

When do they install barcodes on our foreheads?


The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.
The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.

Read more here...