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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 67,813

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Appeals Court Rules NSA Phone Program Not Authorized by Patriot Act

Appeals Court Rules NSA Phone Program Not Authorized by Patriot Act
ACLU lawsuit argued the data collection should be stopped because it violates Americans’ privacy rights
Updated May 7, 2015 10:09 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON—A federal appeals court ruled Thursday the National Security Agency’s controversial collection of millions of Americans’ phone records isn’t authorized by the Patriot Act, as the Bush and Obama administrations have long maintained.


The court's ruling came in a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union arguing the data collection should be stopped because it violates Americans' privacy rights. A lower court judge ruled the program was constitutional, and the civil liberties group appealed, leading to Thursday's decision.

"The text of (Section 215) cannot bear the weight the government asks us to assign to it, and...does not authorize the telephone metadata program," the court wrote.

The court declined to address the issue of whether the program violates Americans' rights, because, they found, it was never properly authorized by existing law.


How Bible-Thumpers Can Rethink Same-Sex Marriage In One Simple Chart


"Don't Treadeth On Me"


Surveillance planes spotted in the sky for days after West Baltimore rioting

Surveillance planes spotted in the sky for days after West Baltimore rioting

As Benjamin Shayne settled into his back yard to listen to the Orioles game on the radio Saturday night, he noticed a small plane looping low and tight over West Baltimore — almost exactly above where rioting had erupted several days earlier, in the aftermath of the death of a black man, Freddie Gray, injured in police custody.

The plane appeared to be a small Cessna, but little else was clear. The sun had already set, making traditional visual surveillance difficult. So, perplexed, Shayne tweeted: “Anyone know who has been flying the light plane in circles above the city for the last few nights?”

That was 9:14 p.m. Seven minutes later came a startling reply. One of Shayne’s nearly 600 followers tweeted back a screen shot of the Cessna 182T’s exact flight path and also the registered owner of the plane: NG Research, based in Bristow, Va.

“The Internet,” Shayne, 39, told his wife, “is an amazing thing.”




"Buck It"


A reminder for conservatives:


America’s ugly whitesplaining epidemic: Baltimore, Freddie Gray and the media’s utter cluelessness

America’s ugly whitesplaining epidemic: Baltimore, Freddie Gray and the media’s utter cluelessness
White Americans know nothing about Baltimore's pain, but that hasn't stopped them from condemning its protests



I am also the mother of a Black son who is currently 3-1/2. The other day, he came home from preschool and spontaneously declared, “I’m happy,” a wide smile beaming across his gorgeous little face. It made me proud because, well, I’m his mom and I love him like crazy. And it shattered my heart because I know he is living in a bubble of innocence that has an end date. Because one day, in the not-too-distant future, my wife and I are going to have to burst that bubble and start having awful conversations with him. We’ll have to explain the hideousness of racism and watch his big, beautiful smile fall, his lips quiver, and his whole face crumple into confusion and disillusionment. My wife and I will be devastated if he loses his sense of joy and humor—he naturally radiates these qualities. But in order for him to hold onto them, we have to prepare him for the ugliness out in the world. And there is so much fucking ugly that awaits him. I can’t even fathom how much. I can only be terrified and enraged and offer my support in the fight. And do every goddamn thing I can to protect my son.


It’s most definitely not the place of a White person to tell the Black Lives Matter protesters how to run a revolution, whether in Ferguson, New York City, Baltimore, or anywhere else. Because that is what this is: a revolution. Yes, a CVS was burned down and a mall was looted, and chaos broke out. But where was our outrage during the subprime mortgage crisis that left Baltimore devastated and its inhabitants homeless and scrambling? And where was the righteous rage when a bunch of White kids tore apart Keane, New Hampshire and lit the town on fire because of … pumpkins?


Yet, here we are, more enraged over a burned-down CVS than a Black man’s life being taken from him because he dared to make eye contact with police and run in the United States of America. Incidentally, look who was cleaning up and restoring order in Baltimore: the protesters and residents themselves. But the media doesn’t focus on that. It hardly matters, though. The real question is, as Nick Chiles at the Atlanta Black Starwrites, “Why doesn’t it happen more often? … From the relative comfort of white privilege, it may be hard to understand the nihilistic rage that accompanies Black oppression. Even for those Black people in America who are fairly well off, below the surface there is always a slow simmer of frustration and anger over slights and slams, big and small. For those truly on the margins, there is a visceral desire to disrupt and alarm. To disturb a system whose prosperity requires the suffering and disregarding of poor Black people … If you are going to create the largest wealth and income gap in American history, an economic system that has become noteworthy for its lopsidedness, you must expect periodic explosions.

the rest:

"Yes, but you're still alive."


"The Drug War"


"war is stupid, war is stupid, war is stupid."

Berlin 1945:


Whenever I watch something like this I just keep thinking over and over
"war is stupid, war is stupid, war is stupid."
Because war is stupid.
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