HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » WillyT » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 67 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 72,631

Journal Archives

When Privacy is Treason - The Surprisingly Short Life of Privacy

When Privacy is Treason
The Surprisingly Short Life of Privacy

by EVAN YOES - CounterPunch
DECEMBER 26, 2013


The word does not occur in our Constitution. It is a Judicial Construct by Extension from the British custom of granting privilege to an Englishman’s Private Property.

Privacy rode into our Bill of Rights on the Fourth Amendment, as authored by James Madison, which specifies protection against ‘unreasonable search and seizure’ of documents or persons without judicial warrant based upon ‘probable cause’. Extension of Fourth Amendment rights to include personal Privacy happened only in the 20th century — with Katz v. United States (1967), when the Supreme Court held that 4th Amendment protections extend to the privacy of individuals as well as physical locations.

When Kings ruled and lesser nobility took what they wanted from common people, rulers were always alert to plots against them. Spies were paid and eavesdropping rewarded. Communication among subjects, if in writing, was interdicted or intercepted as necessary. The Royal Post in England was created under Henry VIII, in response to the desire of authorities to control publication and dissemination of ideas. Especially heretical ones.

In July 1655 the Post Office came under the direct control of John Thurloe, a Secretary of State, Cromwell’s spymaster general. Previous English governments had tried to prevent conspirators communicating; Thurloe preferred to deliver their posts having surreptitiously read them.

In those times, even people exchanging letters with friends often relied on various forms of secret writing. True cryptography — first developed by Islamic scholars in the 800s — bloomed again everywhere in Europe.

Thus matters stood until Samuel F. B. Morse developed his electric telegraph, setting off a cascade of related inventions and applications that almost immediately — think 1861-65 — evoked government oversight and surveillance. “Television kills telephony in brothers’ broil,” wrote James Joyce; he was wrong: telecommunication media and methods don’t supersede one another, they co-evolve, and the State’s interest in adapting them to its purposes ensures that it continues to control them in one way or another.

In 1913 the U.S. Justice Department inked a consent decree with...


Much More: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/12/26/when-privacy-is-treason/

Maintaining Nuclear Arsenal To Cost $355 Billion - FDL

Maintaining Nuclear Arsenal To Cost $355 Billion
By: DSWright - FDL
Thursday December 26, 2013 8:23 am


As unemployment benefits are set to expire Saturday for 1.3 million Americans the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has produced an estimate for the costs of maintaining and modernizing America’s doomsday weapons – $355 billion.

In these times is there a more telling comparison? Over one million Americans are casually tossed into the pain of poverty while in the halls of power all available resources are summoned to affirm our country’s commitment to preserving a weapons system that if ever used would lead to total annihilation of our life on this planet.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost to maintain and modernize nuclear forces over the next decade will be $355 billion, including $221 billion for Defense Department programs to sustain strategic and tactical strike systems as well as nuclear command, control, communications and early warning systems.

Didn’t the Soviet Union collapse in 1989? Isn’t China one of our biggest trading partners? Haven’t we claimed it is unacceptable for new nations such as Iran to develop nuclear weapons? Aren’t we spending billions on nuclear missile defense?

So why are we dropping all this cash to “maintain and modernize” our nukes???


Link w/Links: http://news.firedoglake.com/2013/12/26/maintaining-nuclear-arsenal-to-cost-355-billion/

“Hey, it’s radioactive snow!” - Fukishima/TEPCO/USS Ronald Reagan

Navy sailors that were on a humanitarian mission in Japan which provided aid proceeding the March 11, 2011 tsunami, were poisoned by the nuclear fallout contained in the waters while aboard the aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan. The storm blew toward them from Fukushima, whose nuclear power plant was melting down after an earthquake caused a tsunami that flooded the plant and ultimately took the lives of 19,000. When the storm’s path crossed that of the ship, crew member Lindsay Cooper “felt this warm gust of air, and suddenly it was snowing.”

The sailors on board weren’t aware that the snow falling down on them was a mixture of cold ocean air and radioactive steam, which was emitted from the nuclear reactor that melted down after power failures caused by the tsunami caused cooling equipment to fail. Cooper describes the snow as having a metallic taste and recalls that both she and her fellow sailors made jokes about it. She remembers saying, “Hey, it’s radioactive snow!” Cooper shot videos and took photos of the snow.

The moment of levity on board the ship that day has become a lifetime of misery for Cooper and many of her fellow Navy sailors. Sailors who were on board the USS Ronald Reagan and her sister ship, the USS Essex, as well as 5,000 crew members from other humanitarian ships in the area find that three years later, they are suffering various diseases. The diseases encompass issues of the thyroid, cancer and other traumatic health ailments, including serious vaginal bleeding.

In addition to being exposed to radiation from the falling snow, the ships themselves were floating in radioactive sea waters, which was pumped into the ship, treated for saline and then piped throughout to supply faucets, showerheads and etc. After realizing that the ship was highly contaminated, the crew attempted to change its position, but by that time the radiation was so widespread in the area that it made little difference.

According to Cooper, the Navy sailors charged with giving aid to Japan after the tsunami were stranded aboard the ship for two and a half months while continuing to be poisoned by nuclear fallout. They were denied entry by Japan, Korea and Guam before Thailand allowed them to dock.

More: http://guardianlv.com/2013/12/navy-sailors-giving-aid-to-japan-after-tsunami-poisoned-by-nuclear-fallout/

You Want To Get Outraged ??? - Try THIS On For Size !!!

Pregnant woman kept alive against family's wishes in Texas
Linda Carroll NBC News


The last time Erick Munoz saw his pregnant wife conscious, she had gotten up before 2 a.m. to give their son a bottle.

When Marlise didn’t return to bed and with the boy still crying, Erick went in search of her. He found her unresponsive on the kitchen floor, her face blue from lack of oxygen. A short time later, doctors declared her brain dead at a Fort Worth hospital.

Erick and Marlise Munoz hold their son Mateo. (Courtesy Kathy Chruscielski/KC Studios)

Marlise Munoz had been clear about her wishes never to be hooked up to life-support machines if she were fatally injured. But when the unthinkable happened to the 33-year-old mom, doctors told her family that they could not respect her wishes. Because she was 14 weeks pregnant, they would have to follow a Texas statute making it illegal to disconnect life support from a pregnant woman.

“The doctors told us that even if a pregnant woman has a DNR or a living will, the law supersedes that,” Munoz’s mom, Lynne Machado, told NBC News. “So any pregnant woman must be kept alive with life support because of the fetus. We had never heard of this and we wanted to get the information out there. No family should have to go through this. It’s been pure hell.”

Although doctors have been sympathetic to the family’s plight, they feel they have no other choice.

“We follow the state law on this," said J.R. Labbe, vice president of communication and community affairs for JPS Health Network. "We cannot withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment from a pregnant patient."


More: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/pregnant-woman-kept-alive-against-familys-wishes-texas-2D11792149

LOL !!! - Well That Explains A Lot... The Pilgrims Landed At Plymouth Rock Because...

They Were About To Run Out Of Beer

Let's rewind to 1620: the Pilgrims had been at sea for nearly two months and were off-course by the time they sighted land. While they had set a course for the Virginia colony (already established on a permanent basis some 13 years before), they had ended up in New England, and they had a problem—they were running out of beer.

Laugh all you want, but this was no small matter—water aboard ship was likely to become brackish and potentially deadly, while beer remained drinkable. Captain Christopher Jones recognized the need to preserve the dwindling stocks for his sailors on the return journey (which would be far too dangerous to undertake until the following spring), and so the passengers were encouraged to land near the top of Cape Cod.

These instructions did not go down well with the Pilgrims; William Bradford complained that he and his companions "were hastened ashore and made to drink water, that the seamen might have the more beer."

Once on land, the new settlers remained suspicious of the local water, given that few (if any) were accustomed to drinking fresh water, and unrest reigned. Bradford was called upon to negotiate with the captain, who remained anchored in the harbor with his crew for the winter, but he was rebuffed and told that he would not receive more beer "not even if he were their own father." But with the harsh weather conditions, the Pilgrims were back aboard ship very shortly—and on Christmas day they were even allowed some of the beer, although half the settlers would still die over the course of that first winter.

So far, so good—but beer writer Bob Skilnik notes...

More: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/11/beer-myths-corn-pilgrims-first-beer-thanksgiving-lager-prohibition-history.html

Before The Falcons/Niners Game At Candlestick Coming Up, A Little Factoid For You All...

If I'm remembering correctly...

The first year the Niners went to the Super Bowl (and won) in Detroit, Art Hoppe was with DiFi (then mayor), and Hoppe reported that while driving around Detroit..

They kept coming upon a particular bumper-sticker that was selling like hotcakes...

It read: Beat The Gays From The Bay !!!

The Niners went on to win that Super Bowl and pretty much kicked the NFL's ass for the next decade and a half.

So there's that.

Go Niners !!!

Ah... The Holidays... Nothing Says "Merry Christmas" More Than DU Gender Wars...

The Word Starts With An "F", But It Does NOT End With A "K" Or A "U"/"You"...

For First Time, Anti-Terrorism Law Used to Have Americans Protesting Keystone XL Pipeline Arrested

Link: http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/12/17/for-first-time-anti-terrorism-law-used-to-have-americans-protesting-keystone-xl-pipeline-arrested/

A Glitter-Covered Banner Got These Protesters Arrested for Staging a Bioterror Hoax
Energy giants have lobbied police to treat environmental activists like potential terrorists. Looks like it's working.

Link: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/tar-sands-keystone-protesters-arrested-terrorism-glitter

From June: TransCanada Calls Nebraska Ranchers Agressive and Abusive, Talks of Terrorism

TransCanada, the Canadian corporation behind the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, is providing security briefings to Nebraska authorities warning them to look into the application of "anti-terrorism laws" on people who oppose the pipeline despite the fact that no Nebraskan has committed a crime in the state in their efforts to stop the pipeline.

Bold Nebraska obtained TransCanada documents from the Nebraska State Patrol through a Freedom of Information Act request and was alarmed to discover what they describe as efforts to build distrust between Nebraska police and citizens who have organized to oppose the pipeline which threatens their air, land and water.

"It's outrageous that a foreign corporation would come into our state to sow fear of landowners and citizens," said Jane Kleeb, executive director of Bold Nebraska. "Every meeting, rally, and action that we have done in Nebraska has been peaceful, non-violent and lawful."

The preponderance of opposition in the state has come from farmers and ranchers, whose threat level TransCanada describes as "low" while calling them "abusive and aggresive." In the presentations, dated December of 2012 but presented last month in Nebraska, TransCanada warns authorities that actions in Texas and by Anonymous could be coming to Nebraska and are "potential security concerns." They warn authorities to prepare for coming incidences of property destruction and "monkeywrenching." No such incidents have occurred in Nebraska to date.

Story with training documents: http://boldnebraska.org/transcanadatactics

Sen. Mark Udall: 'Status Quo' Argument For NSA Spying 'Fell Apart This Week' - HuffPo

Sen. Mark Udall: 'Status Quo' Argument For NSA Spying 'Fell Apart This Week'
Christina Wilkie - HuffPo
Posted: 12/22/2013 12:22 pm EST | Updated: 12/22/2013 12:38 pm EST


WASHINGTON -- Colorado Sen. Mark Udall (D) said on Sunday that any arguments against reform of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs crumbled this past week, following the release of a White House report that criticized the programs and a judge's ruling that questioned their constitutionality. Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Udall said, "The arguments for the status quo fell apart this week in Washington."

"It's now time to really fundamentally reform the way in which the NSA operates," he said.

Udall pointed to the 46 recommendations contained in the White House panel's report. They include the establishment of an independent privacy panel, the presence of public advocates at secret surveillance court hearings, and better protections for whistleblowers.

Also this week, a federal judge ruled that the NSA's massive telephone metadata dragnet is likely unconstitutional because it violates the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden earlier this year revealed that the spy agency collects information on tens of millions of phone calls by private citizens worldwide.

As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Udall has long been aware of the NSA's surveillance programs, but until Snowden made the highly classified programs public, Udall was forbidden to discuss them. Nevertheless, he said he feels like he has "been shouting from the wilderness" for years about the NSA violations of privacy.


More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/22/mark-udall-nsa-surveillance_n_4489527.html

Organizing Community Unions

Moderator's Note: Unifor was officially formed on August 31, 2013, at a Founding Convention in Toronto, Ontario. It marked the coming together of the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) - two of Canada's largest and most influential labour unions.


It has been only a few months since Unifor was created on Labour Day weekend. As part of the key priorities adopted by members was a renewed commitment to organizing. The commitment was partly on monetary terms, with ten per cent of the union's total budget going to organizing. Interestingly, the commitment was also on principle: to adapt the union's traditional organizing ways to reach out to new groups of workers.

By "new groups of workers," the union is referring to the increasing number of people working in what can be qualified as the new working conditions in Canada: contract, freelance, part-time, low-waged and shift work, as well as unemployed people, student-workers and others who find themselves in a situation where they could not get a collective agreement, even if they would like to.

After a few months of making efforts to kick start the community chapters program, one thing is clear: there are a lot of people who do, indeed, want to join a union.

The new Unifor model of community chapters has generated much interest from within the ranks of the union as well as from the general public.

At the union's first of five regional council meetings held in Ontario earlier in December...


More: https://portside.org/2013-12-20/organizing-community-unions

Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 67 Next »