Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Federalist No. 46

... Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it.


The Battle of Cannae 216 BC

Monday, June 20, 2016

Database corruption erases 100,000 Air Force investigation records - ars technica

The database of the Air Force's Automated Case Tracking System (ACTS)—which is used by the Air Force Inspector General's Office to manage investigations into complaints from whistleblowers of waste, fraud, and abuse; Freedom Of Information Act requests; and congressional inquiries—has become corrupted, rendering over 100,000 case files dating back to 2004 unreadable. And because of the way the database was backed up, an Air Force spokesperson said that neither the service nor Lockheed Martin—the contractor that operates the ATCS system for the Air Force—can recover the data.
"The database crashed and there is no data," Ann Stefanak of Air Force Media Operations said in a statement to press. "We’ve kind of exhausted everything we can to recover [the data internally]... and now we’re going to outside experts to see if they can help." Efforts are being made to see if the data was backed up in other locations, and the Air Force has begun asking for help from other organizations within the Department of Defense and from outside experts in recovering the database's contents.
Air Force officials were informed by Lockheed Martin employees of the database crash on June 6 after the company spent two weeks attempting to recover the data. While much of the data in the system was historical, ACTS is primarily used to track ongoing investigations and inquiries—and those cases are now "experiencing significant delays,” Stefanek said.

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/06/database-corruption-erases-100000-air-force-investigation-records/

-bth: how convenient. Whistleblower files lost without backup.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Northwest Syria Ethnic Composition

Click to see the full-size map

Russia Is Recruiting The U.S.’s Rebel Allies In Syria - Buzzfeed

.......
The commander said that five years into a war that has killed some 400,000 people and created nearly 5 million refugees, Russia is recruiting current and former U.S. allies to its side. His revelation was confirmed by four people who said they, too, had been approached with offers from Russia and by two Syrian middlemen who said they delivered them.
The moves come as Russia ratchets up its involvement in Syria with troops and airstrikes. Russia says its military campaign is designed to target ISIS — in reality it has targeted all rebels, including some who are still backed by the U.S., while also wreaking havoc on civilians.
The secret outreach shows that as it works to muscle the U.S. out of Syria, Russia isn’t just bombing the U.S.’s current and former rebel allies — it’s also working to co-opt them, launching a shadowy campaign that seeks to highlight U.S. weakness in Syria. Ultimately, Russia could be hoping to help Assad win the war by dividing the opposition, driving a wedge between rebel groups and their traditional backers, and getting them to turn their guns on his enemies.
The commander said he found Russia’s offer appealing. Delivered by a Syrian agent who met him first in Antakya and then inside Syria, he said, the offer was this: Choose a rebel-held area in northern Syria and head there with his men, many of whom were trained as part of the CIA program. Russia would protect him — “from any group” and “any country” — with airstrikes, which he could personally call in. And it would give him all the money and weapons he would need.....

https://www.buzzfeed.com/mikegiglio/russia-is-recruiting-the-uss-rebel-allies-in-syria?utm_term=.wu99px22M#.quW2n8xxw