Political Violence at a Glance has an interesting discussion of ISIS that branches out to this:
Vanguards often emerge from movements led by ideologues – whether student revolutionaries or foreign jihadists – who are weakly connected to local networks and communities. This is the most interesting organizational starting point because groups with vanguard origins can take remarkably diverse trajectories, from the rapid collapse of urban-based leftist insurrections in Latin America to the transformation of the Viet Minh from an isolated band of activists into a hegemonic insurgency.
Networks of Rebellion outlines pathways through which vanguards change, toward both integration and fragmentation. Vanguards fragment as a result of two processes. First, sustained leadership decapitation can be devastating to vanguard groups. Because of weak local institutions, there is not a deep layer of second-rung leaders to take over (in contrast to a group, such as Hamas, that can refill the ranks even in the face of decapitation campaigns). Though the downfall of many vanguards, decapitation is unlikely to undermine ISIS because of the Iraqi government’s weak intelligence and organizational dysfunction. Adding American advisers (or, for that matter, combat forces) will do little to generate the fine-grained information necessary for a comprehensive decapitation campaign.
Second, vanguards can be undermined by revolts from below. They rely on opportunistic cooperation from local factions and networks that their central leadership does not tightly control. These local free agents can turn against the center, launching fratricidal rebellions that weaken or even wipe out the leadership. In mid-1990s Afghanistan, for instance, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s inability to embed his Hezb-e Islami into tribal networks in eastern Afghanistan left him vulnerable to local defection in the face of the Taliban.
So, thinking of Occupy... My first thought is to say "Decapitation, fuck yeah!" and remember the 17-city paramilitary crackdown. Read below the fold...
1. Why don't most Americans seriously care that the Obama faux-humanitarian war machine continues killing foreign peoples, that he is militarizing, destabilizing and plundering Africa, that he supports the dispossession and oppression of Palestinians, the crippling sanctions against innocent Iranians, etc.?
2. Why don't most Americans seriously care that Obama enabled and still does Al Qaeda/ISIS jihadists in Syria slaughtering and displacing hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens for the sake of the regime change of Assad? Read below the fold...
I saw the first honeybee today, so I hope it's doing alright. Report warns that widely used plant pesticide can harm bees:
Many home-garden plants promoted as “bee-friendly” are in fact pretreated with a class of pesticides that can kill bees and other pollinating insects, says a report to be released Wednesday in Portland by the environmental advocacy group Friends of the Earth.
Test results show that more than half of the garden plants from major retailers in 18 cities in the U.S. and Canada, including Portland, contain neonicotinoids, commonly used pesticides that are toxic to bees and many other organisms, according to the report.
Don't buy plants from "Garden Centers" at big box stores! Read below the fold...
That's what my father called his daily walk; a "tour." The garden seems to be complexifying as summer, at last, begins to be summer -- although it's the high 60s and rainy today, so we're still getting April showers in late June, low 60s tomorrow, fer chrissake -- but so and there was a lot to see today.
Below is the second of the two heirloom iris from the bulbs I cannot be lazy, again, about splitting this fall:
Administration takes first steps to privatizing Social Security by closing offices and crapifying service
For months there have been rumors that the Social Security Administration has a “secret plan” to close all of its field offices. Is it true? A little-known report commissioned by the SSA the request of Congress seems to hold the answer. The summary document outlining the plan, which is labeled “for internal use only,” is unavailable from the SSA but can be found here.
Does the document, entitled “Long Term Strategic Vision [ugh] and Vision Elements,” really propose shuttering all field offices? The answer, buried beneath a barrage of obfuscatory consultantese, clearly seems to be “yes.” Worse, the report also suggests that many of the SSA’s critical functions could soon be outsourced to private-sector partners and contractors.
Somebody should ask Hillary what she thinks about this. Snort. Read below the fold...
Storm brewing in US states as they finally realize TTIP trade pact's "standstill" signs away their rights and attempts to irreversibly "freeze" future environment, chemical, food safety, and fracking laws, creating a potential minefield for the nation.
This could be a very important development. The links below give more information.. It should be noted that the US media has for at least the last 20 years, almost completely avoided covering these horrible trade deals in any more than the most superficial manner possible. So, although this standstill/investor-state problem with the FTAs is extremely important to dozens of areas (healthcare, where it blocks needed changes is a big one) the US media leaves Americans in the dark, perhaps intentionally. Read below the fold...
WeAreChange.org: non-camping, Occupy-like movement in Europe ramps up to 100 cities, in over 2 months. Lawrence Lessig, take note!
WeAreChange.org is the best thing to come out of the 911 movement, IMO, and they've continued their fearless (and occasionally foolish, IMO) work as 911 fades from our collective memory. Luke Rudkowski founded We Are Change, and I first became aware of this new movement about 2 days ago, as he was interviewed by Max Keiser on RT television. Read below the fold...
A Kossack, as a Kossack would, made a special trip to record Jack Trammell -- Cantor-slayer David Brat's Democratic opponent, and, in a cute story, a professor with Brat at Randolph-Macon College -- addressing the Hanover County Democratic Committee in Ashland, VA on June 14, 2014. Here it is:
Trammell's got that slow and syrupy Mr. Rogers tone down cold, no? I think Trammell could mug Brat, given funding. Because debating Trammell would be like kicking a puppy. And if the Democrats don't give Trammell funding, they're idiots or so Machiavellian you could use them to uncork a wine bottle. The transcript from the YouTube (any errors are mine) shows why: Read below the fold...
Newly uncovered components of a digital surveillance tool used by more than 60 governments worldwide provide a rare glimpse at the extensive ways law enforcement and intelligence agencies use the tool to surreptitiously record and steal data from mobile phones.
The modules, made by the Italian company Hacking Team, were uncovered by researchers working independently of each other at Kaspersky Lab in Russia and the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs in Canada, who say the findings provide great insight into the trade craft behind Hacking Team’s tools.
The new components target Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry users and are part of Hacking Team’s larger suite of tools used for targeting desktop computers and laptops. But the iOS and Android modules provide cops and spooks with a robust menu of features to give them complete dominion over targeted phones.
ZOMG!!!!! Even BlackBerry!MR SUBLIMINAL Even Windows Mobile Read below the fold...