Global trumpism: how India's brutal leader manufactures reality with trumped-up "polls"

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an authoritarian war criminal who is part of the worldwide surge of trumpist leaders and hopefuls, including Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte; Hungary's Viktor Orbán; Russia's Vladimir Putin; South Korea's Park Geun-hye; France's Marine Le Pen; the UK's Nigel Farage, Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and others -- bound together by xenophobia, a lack of transparency, violent suppression of opposition, and savvy use of the internet. Read the rest

2,100+ veterans pledge to build barracks to help Dakota Access Pipeline water defenders survive the winter

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Yesterday, Wesley Clark Jr -- son of retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark -- met with North Dakota law enforcement officials on behalf of the 2,100 members of the Veterans Stand for Standing Rock group, who have pledged to come to the conflict site and build barracks to shelter the water defenders fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Read the rest

Pirate Party invited to form Iceland's next government

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Though the October polls that predicted a great showing for the Pirate Party in the Icelandic elections turned out to be wrong, that election did end with a deeply divided parliament that has been unable to find enough common ground upon which to form a new government. Read the rest

Congressional Science Committee tweets link to Breitbart climate denial by self-confessed bullshit artist

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James Delingpole is an invective-hurling anti-climate science columnist who has candidly admitted that he doesn't bother to read scientific papers, calling himself a "an interpreter of interpretations." Read the rest

Out of 8 companies surveyed, only Twitter would rule out helping Trump build a database of Muslims

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Trump's Muslim database promise was extreme, even by Trump's standards; worse news, the US tech industry has built out a surveillance capability that would let him do it. Read the rest

Florida atheists pair public nativity scene with a combustible Trump-themed Distrestivus pole

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Every year, the Religious Liberty Project puts Festivus poles on the lawns of public buildings that sport Christian religious holiday symbols; this year, RLP's Chaz Stevens put a "Distrestivus" pole adjacent to a nativity scene on Deerfield Beach, Florida public land. Read the rest

Science fiction vintage Japanese matchbox art mashup prints

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Etsy seller Chet Phillips sells his amazing science-fiction/vintage Japanese matchbox art remixes as 5"x7" signed prints with mats and backing boards at $12 each. (via Kadrey) Read the rest

Homophobe-in-chief Mike Pence rented a house in DC, so his new neighbors are flying rainbow flags

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VP-elect Mike Pence's political career has consisted of a series of attacks on the rights of LGBTQ people and women, and his new neighbors in the navy blue precincts of DC know it, and they want him to know that his medieval views are considered aberrant by good people, so they've festooned their homes with rainbow flags that he'll have to pass during the transition -- until he gets to move into the new VP's residence in the basement of Trump Tower. Read the rest

China's We Chat "shadow-bans" messages with forbidden keywords, but only for China-based accounts

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The University of Toronto's Citizen Lab (previously) continues its excellent work, this time with a deep investigative piece on a sneaky form of censorship in China's popular We Chat service, where messages posted to group chats that contain words on a government blacklist are made invisible to other participants in the chat, while the original poster still sees it, giving the illusion that everyone's read the controverial message but no one found it worth commenting upon. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders: Trump just used your taxes to reward Carrier for offshoring American jobs

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Last February, Carrier announced that it was offshoring its US air-conditioner manufacturing jobs to Mexico, despite having made a $7.6B profit that year, despite having received more than $6B in US military contracts, despite having recved a $50M tax-break, despite having paid its retiring CEO a $172m bonus, despite having spent $12b on stock-inflating accounting tricks. Read the rest

Air plants in sea urchin shells

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Hinterland's Pink Sea Urchin Jellyfish are a $13 set of three air plants (Oxacana, Scaposa, Medusa) set in 2-3.5" sea-urchin shells that you hang in a way that simulates jellyfish -- keep 'em misted and they'll remain jauntily decorative! (via Interesting Finds) Read the rest

Washington data scientists: a chance to figure out how to use your skills for good

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A pair of data-scientists in Washington State are convening a meeting of "Data Scientists, Data Science Enthusiasts, and Advocates for Civic Liberties and Social Justice" who want to figure out how "Data Scientists & IT Professionals use their expertise to help answer the current human questions which social and policy-based organizations are currently struggling to address?" Read the rest

Hamilton's eerie relevance to this moment in America's terrifying political journey

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Lin-Manuel Miranda's smash Broadway musical Hamilton -- which recounts the events of 240 years ago -- keeps looming large in our very current political discourse, from Hamilton's role in the establishment of the Electoral College to Mike Pence's night at the theater and the ensuing Trumpian call for a safe-space for vulnerable politicians who have only their status as the second-most powerful man on the planet to defend themselves from the terrifyingly mild petitions delivered by actual, globe-striding singing fellows. Read the rest

British politicians exempt themselves from warrantless spying under the Snoopers Charter

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The Snoopers Charter is the most invasive surveillance law ever passed by a "democracy", requiring service providers to retain records of virtually everything you do online and with your phone, and then allowing virtually "everyone" to search that data, without a warrant or even record-keeping, so it's virtually impossible to catch systemic abuse of the system. Read the rest

My keynote from the O'Reilly Security Conference: "Security and feudalism: Own or be pwned"

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Here's the 32 minute video of my presentation at last month's O'Reilly Security Conference in New York, "Security and feudalism: Own or be pwned." Read the rest

EFF battles misleading, sloppy, secret FBI warrants aimed at the Internet Archive and CREDO

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation has disclosed that it has won two key victories for clients who'd received the FBI's notorious, gag-ordered National Security Letters -- a form of secret warrant that has become the go-to way for law enforcement to avoid scrutiny since the Patriot Act's passage. Read the rest

Double your donations to EFF and help dismantle mass surveillance in the Trump era

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Aaron at the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes, "Every dollar you give during the Power Up Your Donation campaign means two dollars for EFF—that’s double the support for building privacy-enhancing tools, stopping illegal government surveillance, fighting censorship, promoting encryption, and more. It means double the impact as we prepare for grave challenges to our civil liberties in the months to come. Join the campaign and power up your donation today!" Read the rest

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