Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ed @ TED . . . .

The "29-year-old hacker" (as barry referred to Edward Snowden last summer) made a virtual appearance at the TED Conference currently underway here in Vancouver:




After watching the full video (at the end of which he receives a standing ovation, BTW) no doubt you will agree the young man is a true hero and patriot, unlike some of the government elected "representatives" who have been disparaging his actions.


 No doubt the world would be a much better place with Edward in a government position of power rather than the assorted clowns who have had that honour in recent years . . . .



H/T to "drf" for discovering the TED talk before I did . . . .

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Today We Fight Back . . . .



Since June, ongoing revelations about the NSA's activities have shown us the expanding scope of government surveillance. Today is the day people around the world are demanding an end to mass spying.
A broad coalition of organizations, companies, and individuals are loudly voicing their stance against unwarranted mass spying—over 6,000 websites have joined together today to demand reform. EFF stands by millions of users—represented by groups like Demand Progress, ACLU, PEN, and Access as well as companies like Google, Twitter, Mozilla, and reddit—to reform governmental collection of innocent users' information.


In the US? Call Congress today.

Dial 202-552-0505 or click here to enter your phone number and have our call tool connect you
Privacy Info: This telephone calling service is operated by Twilio and will connect you to your representatives. Information about your call, including your phone number and the time and length of your call, will be collected by Twilio and subject to Twilio's privacy policy.
Calling Congress takes just five minutes and is the most effective action you can take right now to let your elected officials know that mass surveillance must end.
Here's what you should say:

I'd like Senator/Representative __ to support and co-sponsor H.R. 3361/S. 1599, the USA Freedom Act. I would also like you to oppose S. 1631, the so-called FISA Improvements Act. Moreover, I'd like you to work to prevent the NSA from undermining encryption standards and to protect the privacy rights of non-Americans.

I called the number listed above and it was a VERY simple process.

Give 5 minutes to the cause.

It's only your privacy and your internet at risk . . . .

Thursday, September 19, 2013

You and Your (Government) Toys . . . .

From Luke Rudkowski at We Are Change yesterday:




Or - as Alison would say - Get Your NSA on, Zombies.

Still gotta have one ? ? ? ?

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Deleted an Email and Want to Retrieve It ? ? ? ?

No problem!

Call the NSA they may be able to help.




But - of course - not the way you're saying . . . .


Monday, September 02, 2013

Eroding Excited States Civil Liberties . . . .

Chris Hedges in his TruthDig column today details his case against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and its chances of success.  barry's kangaroo court has the upper hand  at this point in the legal proceedings.

Illustration by Mr. Fish

All we have left is the Supreme Court, which may not take the case. If the Supreme Court does not take our case, the law will remain in place unless Congress strikes it down, something that federal legislators have so far refused to consider. The three branches of government may want to retain the ability to use the military to maintain control if widespread civil unrest should occur in the United States. I suspect the corporate state knows that amid the mounting effects of climate change and economic decline the military may be all that is left between the elite and an enraged population. And I suspect the corporate masters do not trust the police to protect them. 

My bet is The Supremes don't touch this case with the proverbial 10-foot pole and the march toward total annihilation of civil liberties in The Excited States continues.

Sure would like to be wrong on this one, tho . . . .

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

bennie and his jerks return . . . .

Oh, fer krissakes.

It appears "the devil god made him do it?!?  (Maybe some help from "the devil made me do it," aka, Geraldine, aka, Flip Wilson might jog the old geezer's memory.)

From The Star today:

Former pope Benedict has said he resigned after “God told me to” during what he called a “mystical experience,” a Catholic news agency reported. 


Benedict, whose formal title is now Pope Emeritus, announced his shock resignation on Feb. 11. And on Feb. 28 he became the first pontiff to step down in 600 years.

“God told me to do it,” the Zenith agency quoted Benedict as saying to a visitor to the convent in the Vatican gardens where he is living out his retirement in near isolation.

According to the agency, Benedict told his visitor, who asked to remain anonymous, that God did not speak to him in a vision but in what the former pope called “a mystical experience.”



It appears bennie is not quite ready to exit the world stage after all.

Pity . . . .






Monday, August 19, 2013

A "USian" Apology to Canada . . . .

This is not ethically cool, but David Swanson's post today is so good I'm gonna post it in its entirety.

Hope you appreciate it as much as I did  . . . .

Apology to Canada From Your Southern Neighbor

Secession first he would put down
Wholly and forever,
And afterwards from Britain's crown
He Canada would sever.
Yankee Doodle, keep it up,
Yankee Doodle dandy.
Mind the music and the step
and with the girls be handy!


I don't speak for the United States or harbor any affection for nationalism.  I'd break this country into several manageable pieces if I could.  But I think someone owes you an apology, Canada -- and, much as our political leaders are accused of making apologies (as if that were a bad thing) I don't expect any of them to get it remotely right any time soon.

So, here goes.

As a Virginian, let me begin by apologizing for the fact that, six-years after the British landing at Jamestown, with the settlers struggling to survive and hardly managing to get their own local genocide underway, these new Virginians hired mercenaries to attack Acadia and drive the French out of what they considered their continent (even if they failed).  I'm sorry, also, that this idea never went away, that the Virginia-based U.S. military still thinks as the Jamestown settlers thought, centuries of cultural progress having passed it by. 
I'm sorry that the colonies that would become the United States decided to take over Canada in 1690 (and failed, again).  I'm sorry that they got the British to help them in 1711 (and failed, yet again).  I'm sorry that General Braddock and Colonel Washington tried again in 1755 (and still failed).  I'm sorry for the ethnic cleansing perpetrated and the driving out of the Acadians and the Native Americans.

I'm sorry for the British and U.S. attacks of 1758 that took away your fort, renamed it Pittsburgh, and eventually built a giant stadium across the river dedicated to the glorification of ketchup.  It wasn't your land any more than it was U.S. land, but I'm sorry for the aggression against you by the future-U.S. and by Britain.  I'm sorry that in 1760 you were conquered by Britain.  I'm more sorry for everything that came next.

I'm sorry that George Washington sent troops led by Benedict Arnold to attack Canada yet again in 1775, and that -- unlike his future desertion -- this action by Arnold was considered righteous and admirable.  I'm sorry that these imbeciles talked of liberation and expected to be welcomed with gratitude.  I'm sorry their descendants have suffered from the same delusions with regard to every new country invaded for centuries.  I'm sorry that the 13 colonies sought to impose the status of "14th colony" on you by force.  I'm sorry that an early draft of the U.S. Constitution provided for the inclusion of Canada, despite Canada's lack of interest in being included. 

I'm sorry that Benjamin Franklin asked the British to hand you over during negotiations for the Treaty of Paris in 1783.  I'm sorry that Britain, in fact, handed a large chunk of you over: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana.  If it makes you feel any better, 60 years later Mexico would catch it even worse.  I'm sorry to the Native American residents of the land handed over from Canada to the United States, as if land were ownable, and as if that land were uninhabited.

I'm sorry for the Louisiana Purchase.  I'm sorry for the War of 1812, and for the idiots who've been celebrating its bicentennial.  I'm sorry that Thomas Jefferson, whose house I see out my window, declared that you would be conquered purely by marching in and being welcomed.  I'm sorry that when Tecumseh tricked a U.S. general into believing he had many more troops than he had, the U.S. "intelligence" "community" was effectively born.  I'm sorry that, at the end of the war, the British agreed to betray you again, handing over territory.  I'm sorry that the drive to annex more never vanished.  I'm sorry that the U.S. got Oregon and Washington by the same means -- negotiating with Britain, not you.

I'm sorry that, by the 1840s, with the take-over of half of Mexico underway, the strategy for the take-over of Canada began to focus more on the imposition of "free" trade agreements.  I'm sorry for the Reciprocity Treaty of 1854.  I'm sorry for the U.S. bribery of your politicians that put it through.

I'm sorry for the U.S. support for an Irish attack on you in 1866.  I'm sorry for the 1867 U.S. purchase of Alaska from Russia, which was aimed at reducing you and weakening you.  I'm sorry that the U.S. Congress condemned your formation as a nation.  I'm sorry that the drive to annex you continued.  I'm sorry for the trade agreement of 1935, and the ever-growing push for "freer" trade agreements ever since, right up through the FTA, NAFTA, and the TPP.  I'm sorry that despite its greater wealth, the United States keeps dragging your social standards downward.

I'm sorry for all the assaults on your nation by the U.S. military, U.S. industry, U.S. labor unions, and the CIA.  I'm sorry that your military has been made a subsidiary of the U.S. military.  I'm sorry for so much U.S. interference in your elections.  I'm grateful for the refuge you've offered deserting U.S. soldiers.  I'm sorry that when your prime minister ever so slightly questioned U.S. genocide in Vietnam, President Lyndon Johnson picked him up by the neck, screaming "You pissed on my rug," and that your prime minister then wrote to Johnson thanking him for speaking so frankly.  I'm sorry you've progressed from there to greater subservience.

I applaud you for pushing through the land mine ban despite U.S. interference.
I know you always had your own major problems.  I know the United States has given you good as well as bad.  But you resisted destructive domination mightily for many years.  Other nations curious about the U.S. and its spreading array of military bases should ask its nearest neighbors for references.  Your successful resistance, for so long, is an example to the world, and to your current self.  You overcame internal divisions to unite and survive.  Perhaps the rest of the world can follow suit.

One can only hope . . . .

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Chris Hedges: "The Death of Truth" . . . .


Chris Hedges has a powerful interview and analysis with WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange yesterday on Truthdig.

A few highlights:

“The status quo, for them, is a loss,” Assange said of the U.S.-led campaign against him as we sat in his small workroom, cluttered with cables and computer equipment. He had a full head of gray hair and gray stubble on his face and was wearing a traditional white embroidered Ecuadorean shirt. “The Pentagon threatened WikiLeaks and me personally, threatened us before the whole world, demanded that we destroy everything we had published, demanded we cease ‘soliciting’ new information from U.S. government whistle-blowers, demanded, in other words, the total annihilation of a publisher. It stated that if we did not self-destruct in this way that we would be ‘compelled’ to do so.” 

“But they have failed,” he went on. “They set the rules about what a win was. They lost in every battle they defined. Their loss is total. We’ve won the big stuff. The loss of face is hard to overstate. The Pentagon reissued its threats on Sept. 28 last year. This time we laughed. Threats inflate quickly. Now the Pentagon, the White House and the State Department intend to show the world what vindictive losers they are through the persecution of Bradley Manning, myself and the organization more generally.” 
_______________ 

At least a dozen American governmental agencies, including the Pentagon, the FBI, the Army’s Criminal Investigative Department, the Department of Justice, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Diplomatic Security Service, are assigned to the WikiLeaks case, while the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are assigned to track down WikiLeaks’ supposed breaches of security. The global assault—which saw Australia threaten to revoke Assange’s passport—is part of the terrifying metamorphosis of the “war on terror” into a wider war on civil liberties. It has become a hunt not for actual terrorists but a hunt for all those with the ability to expose the mounting crimes of the power elite. 
_______________ 

It is from this room that Assange and his supporters have mounted an election campaign for a seat in Australia’s upper house of Parliament. Public surveys from the state of Victoria, where Assange is a candidate, indicate he has a good chance of winning. 

Assange communicates with his global network of associates and supporters up to 17 hours a day through numerous cellphones and a collection of laptop computers. He encrypts his communications and religiously shreds anything put down on paper. 
_______________ 

The New York Times, The Guardian, El Pais, Le Monde and Der Spiegel giddily printed redacted copies of some of the WikiLeaks files and then promptly threw Assange and Manning to the sharks. It was not only morally repugnant, but also stunningly shortsighted. Do these news organizations believe that if the state shuts down organizations such as WikiLeaks and imprisons Manning and Assange, traditional news outlets will be left alone? Can’t they connect the dots between the prosecutions of government whistle-blowers under the Espionage Act, warrantless wiretapping, monitoring of communications and the persecution of Manning and Assange? Don’t they worry that when the state finishes with Manning, Assange and WikiLeaks, these atrophied news outlets will be next? Haven’t they realized that this is a war by a global corporate elite not against an organization or an individual but against the freedom of the press and democracy? 
______________

Assange spoke repeatedly about Manning, with evident concern. He sees in the young Army private a reflection of his own situation, as well as the draconian consequences of refusing to cooperate with the security and surveillance state. Manning’s 12-week military trial is scheduled to begin in June. 

The prosecution is calling 141 witnesses, including an anonymous Navy SEAL who was part of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Assange called the Navy SEAL the “star diva” of the state’s “12-week Broadway musical.” Manning is as bereft of establishment support as Assange. 

“The old media attempted to remove his alleged heroic qualities,” Assange said of Manning. “An act of heroism requires that you make a conscious act. It is not an unreasoned expression of madness or sexual frustration. It requires making a choice—a choice that others can follow. If you do something solely because you are a mad homosexual there is no choice. No one can choose to be a mad homosexual. So they stripped him, or attempted to strip him, of all his refinements.”

Chris' concluding paragraph:

The world has been turned upside down. The pestilence of corporate totalitarianism is spreading rapidly over the earth. The criminals have seized power. It is not, in the end, simply Assange or Manning they want. It is all who dare to defy the official narrative, to expose the big lie of the global corporate state. The persecution of Assange and Manning is the harbinger of what is to come, the rise of a bitter world where criminals in Brooks Brothers suits and gangsters in beribboned military uniforms—propped up by a vast internal and external security apparatus, a compliant press and a morally bankrupt political elite—monitor and crush those who dissent. Writers, artists, actors, journalists, scientists, intellectuals and workers will be forced to obey or thrown into bondage. I fear for Julian Assange. I fear for Bradley Manning. I fear for us all.

The piece also includes a full-screen option interactive timeline of WikiLeaks major moments and audio clips of the interview.  The opening artwork is impressive in itself.

A bit lengthy, but definitely worth the read by and of today's real progressive heroes . . . .

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

barry's Continued Assault on Civil Liberties . . . .


continues with this report from AllGov.com today:

Government Plans to Fine Internet Companies for Refusing Wiretaps 

Seeking to foil terrorism and criminal plots, the Obama administration wants Congress to adopt legislation that would fine Internet companies for not going along with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) intercepts of electronic communications. 
______________



Under the proposed plan, a company could face a series of escalating fines for not turning over information sought by the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies. The fines would begin at tens of thousands of dollars and, after 90 days, would double every day for noncompliance.
     _______________
The agency’s general counsel, Andrew Weissmann, has said that wiretapping the Internet is currently the FBI’s “top priority.”

Wonder how the "progressive" voters of The Excited States are feeling 'bout their prez these days?  Aww, they prob'ly agree with everything he does what with that "lesser of two evils" mantra and all.

The sad thing is, the "lesser" is becoming the "major" with each passing day . . . .



Saturday, April 27, 2013

Moral of the Story . . . .

To the San Francisco Pride Committee on their decision to not have Bradley Manning as one of their Grand Marshals of the annual pride parade:  Don't piss off Glenn Greenwald and not expect to be taken to task on it:


So apparently, the very high-minded ethical standards of Lisa L Williams and the SF Pride Board apply only to young and powerless Army Privates who engage in an act of conscience against the US war machine, but instantly disappear for large corporations and banks that hand over cash. What we really see here is how the largest and most corrupt corporations own not just the government but also the culture. Even at the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, once an iconic symbol of cultural dissent and disregard for stifling peities, nothing can happen that might offend AT&T and the Bank of America. The minute something even a bit deviant takes place (as defined by standards imposed by America's political and corporate class), even the SF Gay Pride Parade must scamper, capitulate, apologize, and take an oath of fealty to their orthodoxies (we adore the military, the state, and your laws). And, as usual, the largest corporate factions are completely exempt from the strictures and standards applied to the marginalized and powerless. Thus, while Bradley Manning is persona non grata at SF Pride, illegal eavesdropping telecoms, scheming banks, and hedge-fund purveryors of the nation's worst right-wing agitprop are more than welcome. 

The entire article is an indictment on today's culture being hijacked by the Corporatocracy . . . .