Think the U.S. is a Democracy? Think Again | The Bilerico Project

http://www.bilerico.com/2014/04/think_the_us_is_a_democracy_think_again.php

The Telegraph reports:
After sifting through nearly 1,800 US policies enacted in that period and comparing them to the expressed preferences of average Americans (50th percentile of income), affluent Americans (90th percentile) and large special interests groups, researchers concluded that the United States is dominated by its economic elite.
The peer-reviewed study, which will be taught at these universities in September, says: “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”
Researchers concluded that US government policies rarely align with the the preferences of the majority of Americans, but do favour special interests and lobbying organisations: “When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it.”

Read more at http://www.bilerico.com/2014/04/think_the_us_is_a_democracy_think_again.php#EP7upvDFiwdxQyTR.99

It’s Time to Encrypt the Entire Internet | Enterprise | WIRED

http://www.wired.com/2014/04/https

Many security experts — including Google’s in-house search guru, Matt Cutts — think it’s time to bring this style of encryption to the entire web. That means secure connections to everything from your bank site to Wired.com to the online menu at your local pizza parlor.

Cutts runs Google’s web spam team. He helps the company tweak its search engine algorithms to prioritize certain sites over others. For example, the search engine prioritizes sites that load quickly, and penalizes sites that copy — or “scrape” — text from others.

If Cutts had his way, Google would prioritize sites that use HTTPS over those that don’t, he told blogger Barry Schwartz at a conference earlier this year. The change, if it were ever implemented, would likely spur an HTTPS stampede as web sites competed for better search rankings.

The Failed Pretext For War: Seymour Hersh, Eliot Higgins, MIT Rocket Scientists On Sarin Gas Attack

http://www.mintpressnews.com/the-failed-pretext-for-war-seymour-hersh-eliot-higgins-mit-professors-on-sarin-gas-attack/188597/
It’s clear and unambiguous this munition could not have come from Syrian government-controlled areas as the White House claimed,” Theodore Postol told MintPress News.
Postol is a professor in the Science, Technology, and Global Security Working Group at MIT.

Water Wars: Corporations Begin To Lay Claim To the World’s H20

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/water-wars-corporations-begin-lay-claim-worlds-h20

It’s bad enough that Nestlé former CEO—now Chairman of the Board—Peter Brabeck-Letmathe supports GMO farming, saying that genetically modified (GM) foods are “perfectly safe” and don’t cause any health problems, while also saying that organic farming is “not the best.
But now he’s dipped his toes into the water supply, indicating that the world’s water supply should—and will soon—come under the control of corporations such as Nestlé. He believes that water should be managed by businesses and governing personnel. In short, Brabeck-Letmathe wants water to be controlled, privatized and delegated, monitoring and controlling people’s water use—including amounts and how and where it’s used. 

And let’s be honest . . . since Brabeck unwaveringly supports GM farming, you can bet that GM foods would have first priority of water rights, while organic farming would be forced out.