• China Has Made Obedience to the State an Online Game

    With a concept straight out of a cyberpunk dystopia, China has gamified obedience to the State. China has created a social tool named Sesame Credit which gives people a score for how good a citizen they are. The system measures how obediently citizens follow the party line, pulling data from social networks and online purchase histories. – Independent

  • Justice for Hero of the Kargil Conflict

    The ghosts of Kargil keep coming back to haunt the army. However, a recent judgment of the main bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (ATF), New Delhi, is likely to be received well as a valiant soldier’s honour has been redeemed. Brigadier Devinder Singh, brigade commander in the Batalik sub-sector of Kargil during Pakistan’s infamous intrusions in 1999, had been wronged by his superior officer and has received justice after 11 long years. Accepting his contention that the ‘after action report’ of 15 Corps, a key war report, was fudged to downgrade his operational performance, the ATF has directed that the official war records be corrected. The tribunal has also directed that the annual confidential reports of the officer reviewed by Lt Gen Kishan Pal, the corps commander, be expunged from the record. – Deccan Herald

  • Pentagon Logistics System Broken by Design

    Fifty-four years ago, the brand-new Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara thought he could bring Pentagon spending on everyday items under control by applying efficiencies he had used to help turn around Ford Motor Co. Instead, he created a monster. McNamara’s creation, known as the Defense Logistics Agency, has grown into a global, $44 billion operation that, were it a private enterprise, would rank in the Fortune 50. Its 25,000 employees process roughly 100,000 orders a day for everything from poultry to pharmaceuticals, precious metals to aircraft parts. In terms of Pentagon contracts, it is nearly as large as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s largest contractors, combined. – Politico

  • NSA Spied on Israel During Iran Talks

    In 2014, Washington was buzzing over a controversial new nuclear agreement between the US and Iran — but the negotiations may have kept America’s spy agencies busy as well. A new report in The Wall Street Journal claims the negotiation process saw sustained efforts by the National Security Agency to monitor the communications of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, particularly once he came to Washington to lobby Congress to oppose the deal. The Journal had previously reported on Israel’s own efforts to spy on the closed door talks. Those efforts are particularly sensitive because many of the conversations involved members of Congress, a constitutionally troublesome target for a foreign-oriented spying agency. They also reflect the ongoing political issues presented by spying on world leaders, which came to a head when it was revealed the NSA had been monitoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone in 2013. President Obama’s response to the scandal was to establish a list of friendly world leaders who would be exempt from NSA targeting, although Netanyahu does not appear to have been included on the list. – The Verge

  • Hillary and ISIS…

    BERLIN, N.H. — Hillary Clinton condemned ISIS for committing “genocide” against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East for the first time at a campaign stop here Tuesday. Clinton, who admitted she was reluctant to use the term a few months ago, said she would now employ the word “genocide” to denounce what ISIS is doing, citing “enough evidence.” “What is happening is genocide, deliberately aimed at destroying not only the lives but wiping out the existence of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East in territory controlled by ISIS,” she said in response to a question at a town hall event. – NBC News

[Featured image: The 1.3 million-square-foot Susquehanna Distribution Center in Pennsylvania is one of several dozen run by the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency that have undergone a series of mock financial audits in preparation for the agency’s first-ever attempt to pass an independent scrub of its books. | John Shinkle]