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dballance

Profile Information

Name: Dave
Gender: Male
Hometown: Gallatin, TN
Home country: USA
Current location: Portland, OR
Member since: Mon Nov 6, 2006, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 5,756

Journal Archives

Why was Snowden's information such a revelation to everyone, well, almost everyone?

Didn't anyone else notice how Al Qaeda is smart enough to read the Manning/Wikileaks docs off the web so Manning was alleged to have aided the enemy. BUT, apparently they're too stupid to do a Google search and find the myriad of ways that the US can snoop on them. So Snowden is a terrible traitor because he divulged something any idiot with a computer and internet capability could find broad information about and then make the not-too-large leaps about how to avoid US surveillance. Especially the people who have reason to be paranoid.

It's pretty common knowledge that you shouldn't take a cell phone anywhere you don't want to be tracked. The practice of screening cars, rooms, buildings for bugs and erecting a Faraday cage to prevent transmissions of signals has been around for a while. The fact the NSA has been routing all the traffic they can get through their servers has been known since the Bush/Cheney post-911 dystopia began and the FISA amendments were passed.

Frankly, I don't understand why the Snowden thing has been such a revelation to everyone. Certainly not to any foreign government. Certainly not to any parties that had reason to be suspicious about whether or not the US was spying on them. If all foreign governments weren't already operating under the assumption the US is monitoring them any way possible then they are downright stupid. That would be willful ignorance.

The US government routinely lies to us and our congressional representatives. We know that. It is a fact.

On edit: Silly me. I forgot. Of course the British, the Germans and others knew. They were participating. The real crime in the eyes of the government is now the "sheeple" know and it's not going away after one news cycle.

CNN says "Centrist" Republican Chirs Christie signed law outlawing conversion therapy.


New Jersey to outlaw gay conversion therapy for minors

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/19/new-jersey-to-outlaw-gay-conversion-therapy-for-minors/

Centrist my ass!!! Apparently CNN has forgotten that Christie has, otherwise, practiced the same policies as other right-wing GOP governors. Including vetoing a raise in the minimum wage and same-sex marriage while governor of NJ.

Just as nice round-up of his views: http://www.ontheissues.org/Chris_Christie.htm

Sure sounds like every other GOP candidate to me. He just plays centrist and nice on TV. The MSM loves him as one can tell from CNN's phrasing, they're already in the bag for him.

This Guy Needs to Work w/ Herman Cain and EW Jackson.

With friends like this guy who needs the GOP? So basically this asshole wants to continue to allow Wal-Mart to force people into substandard paying jobs where they still have to use public assistance to make up the difference. And the moralizing about choices of when to start a family and so on make me want to wretch.


No D.C. Bargain for Wal-Mart
Over the past few weeks, the D.C. City Council has been in the news quite a bit, though but for all the wrong reasons. They recently passed a law that would prevent thousands, yes you heard me right, thousands of jobs from being created within their city.

---snip---

At issue is the “Large Retailer Accountability Act,” introduced by council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D). The bill would require large retailers, defined as businesses operating an indoor store of at least 75,000 square feet and whose corporate parent has sales of at least $ 1 billion—to pay wages no lower than $12.50 per hour plus benefits. They call this a “living wage” and it would be indexed to the local consumer price index every year. (Note: The Federal minimum wage is $ 7.25/hour but D.C. has tacked on an additional $ 1, so in D.C. the minimum wage is $ 8.25/hour. This is almost a 40 percent premium that the council wants to subject job creators to.)

---snip---

The only reason a person opens a business is to make a profit. Period. Not to pay a “livable wage,” but to make a profit. You not being able to raise your family on the wages your employer is paying is not their issue. Before one starts a family, one must be able to financially afford a family.


link: http://www.blackpressusa.com/no-d-c-bargain-for-wal-mart/

"Lesbian May Be Forced to Testify Against Wife" This ought to be interesting.

Where the Prop 8 Case failed to make sweeping changes this case could bring those changes about. This has the twist that the women involved have a legally recognized civil union from another state. KY has an amendment or law that refuses to recognize those from other states and forbids them in KY. To my untrained legal mind this is a lot more like Loving v Virginia that invalidated bans on inter-racial marriages than any other case has been. The state will have a high hill to climb to prove there is any compelling state interest in banning civil unions and, subsequently, same-sex marriages after the DOMA decision. Just my opinion and hope.

From ABC News:

Lesbian May Be Forced to Testify Against Wife

The murder trial of a Kentucky woman could become an important gay rights case after the woman's partner in a civil union was asked to testify at the murder trial.

The case of Bobbie Jo Clary, who is accused of murdering a man in Louisville in 2011, has turned into an argument over discrimination and rights after Kentucky prosecutors subpoened Clary's partner.

Prosecutors say Clary used a hammer to beat and kill George Murphy, 64, at his home in October 2011, and claim that she shared details of the murder with her partner, Geneva Case, according to ABC News affiliate WHAS.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/lesbian-woman-forced-testify-wifes-murder-trial/story?id=19828792

Ending Corporate Personhood and Money as Free Speech - Move to Amend.

I just started an internship with Move to Amend

Move to Amend has two important goals 1) End corporate personhood and 2) End money as free speech. Both corporate personhood and money as free speech came out of court decisions - namely Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United. Therefore, the only way to overturn those decisions and wrestle power away from corporations and other big-money interests now is with a constitutional amendment.

What is corporate Personhood?
There are two conceptions of "corporate personhood". The first simply bestows upon corporations the ability to engage in many legal actions (e.g. enter into contracts, sue, be sued, etc). This is widely accepted and we do not object to this.

However, "corporate personhood" also commonly refers to the Supreme Court-created precedent of corporations enjoying constitutional rights that were intended solely for human beings. We believe this form of "corporate personhood" corrupts our Constitution and must be corrected by amending the Constitution. Neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution ever mention corporations. But thanks to decades of rulings by Justices who molded the law to favor elite interests, corporations today are granted so-called "rights" that empower them to deny citizens the right to full self-governance.

For example, the Supreme Court has:

** prohibited routine inspections of corporate property without a warrant or prior permission, even though scheduling such visits may permit a company to hide threats to public health and safety. Marshall v Barlow's, 1978
** struck down state laws requiring companies to disclose product origins (International Dairy v. Amnestoy), thus creating “negative free speech rights” for corporations and preventing us from knowing what’s in our food.
** prohibited citizens wanting to defend their local businesses and community from corporate chains encroachment from enacting progressive taxes on chain stores. (Liggett v. Lee, 1933)
** struck down state laws restricting corporate spending on ballot initiatives and referenda, enabling corporations to block citizen action through what, theoretically, is the purest form of democracy. (First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti).

The notorious 1886 case of [link:http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=118&invol=394Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad] is just one in a long series of Supreme Court cases that entrenched "corporate personhood" in law. Justices since have struck down hundreds of local, state and federal laws enacted to protect people from corporate harm based on this illegitimate premise. Armed with these "rights," corporations wield ever-increasing control over jobs, natural assets, politicians, even judges and the law.

Move to Amend believe corporations are not persons and possess only the privileges citizens and their elected representatives willfully grant them. Our Amendment will reverse the Court’s invention of "corporate personhood" and limit corporations to their proper role: doing business.

Money as Free Speech

I think everyone here on DU is probably familiar with the Citizens United vs the FEC decision by the Supreme Court. The simple summary of Citizens United decision is that it granted corporations the ability to use money as free speech. It removed spending limits in campaigns. The result is, corporations with their vast and deep pockets can use money as speech to drown out the speech of regular, real, human people.

We saw the rise of the super pacs and all those dubious 401(c)4 non-profits during the last election after the Citizens United decision. The result is we had a presidential election in which over a billion dollars was spent on candidates and campaigns. Either directly or indirectly.

Until we wrest away control of our government from the hands of the large corporations and big money interests we will continue to get more ALEC-written laws like the FL Stand Your Ground law or US Chamber of Commerce written laws concerning minimum wages and worker rights (mostly lack of rights). We'll get more of ALEC and US Chamber of Commerce bought and paid for politicians on every level from local and state to the federal level passing laws favorable to them. We'll get more Right to Work (work more for less pay and benefits) states.

You can start out by simply signing Move to Amend's petition that states simply "We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights." Sign Petition

I'm very committed to this work. If you have questions or would like to become involved here are some links.

Suggested Amendment Text

Move to Amend home page
Move to Amend FAQs
Recommended Reading

Ending Corporate Personhood and Money as Free Speech - Move to Amend.

I just started an internship with Move to Amend

Move to Amend has two important goals 1) End corporate personhood and 2) End money as free speech. Both corporate personhood and money as free speech came out of court decisions - namely Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United. Therefore, the only way to overturn those decisions and wrestle power away from corporations and other big-money interests now is with a constitutional amendment.

What is corporate Personhood?
There are two conceptions of "corporate personhood". The first simply bestows upon corporations the ability to engage in many legal actions (e.g. enter into contracts, sue, be sued, etc). This is widely accepted and we do not object to this.

However, "corporate personhood" also commonly refers to the Supreme Court-created precedent of corporations enjoying constitutional rights that were intended solely for human beings. We believe this form of "corporate personhood" corrupts our Constitution and must be corrected by amending the Constitution. Neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution ever mention corporations. But thanks to decades of rulings by Justices who molded the law to favor elite interests, corporations today are granted so-called "rights" that empower them to deny citizens the right to full self-governance.

For example, the Supreme Court has:

** prohibited routine inspections of corporate property without a warrant or prior permission, even though scheduling such visits may permit a company to hide threats to public health and safety. Marshall v Barlow's, 1978
** struck down state laws requiring companies to disclose product origins (International Dairy v. Amnestoy), thus creating “negative free speech rights” for corporations and preventing us from knowing what’s in our food.
** prohibited citizens wanting to defend their local businesses and community from corporate chains encroachment from enacting progressive taxes on chain stores. (Liggett v. Lee, 1933)
** struck down state laws restricting corporate spending on ballot initiatives and referenda, enabling corporations to block citizen action through what, theoretically, is the purest form of democracy. (First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti).

The notorious 1886 case of [link:http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=118&invol=394Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad] is just one in a long series of Supreme Court cases that entrenched "corporate personhood" in law. Justices since have struck down hundreds of local, state and federal laws enacted to protect people from corporate harm based on this illegitimate premise. Armed with these "rights," corporations wield ever-increasing control over jobs, natural assets, politicians, even judges and the law.

Move to Amend believe corporations are not persons and possess only the privileges citizens and their elected representatives willfully grant them. Our Amendment will reverse the Court’s invention of "corporate personhood" and limit corporations to their proper role: doing business.

Money as Free Speech

I think everyone here on DU is probably familiar with the Citizens United vs the FEC decision by the Supreme Court. The simple summary of Citizens United decision is that it granted corporations the ability to use money as free speech. It removed spending limits in campaigns. The result is, corporations with their vast and deep pockets can use money as speech to drown out the speech of regular, real, human people.

We saw the rise of the super pacs and all those dubious 401(c)4 non-profits during the last election after the Citizens United decision. The result is we had a presidential election in which over a billion dollars was spent on candidates and campaigns. Either directly or indirectly.

Until we wrest away control of our government from the hands of the large corporations and big money interests we will continue to get more ALEC-written laws like the FL Stand Your Ground law or US Chamber of Commerce written laws concerning minimum wages and worker rights (mostly lack of rights). We'll get more of ALEC and US Chamber of Commerce bought and paid for politicians on every level from local and state to the federal level passing laws favorable to them. We'll get more Right to Work (work more for less pay and benefits) states.

You can start out by simply signing Move to Amend's petition that states simply "We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights." Sign Petition

I'm very committed to this work. If you have questions or would like to become involved here are some links.

Suggested Amendment Text

Move to Amend home page
Move to Amend FAQs
Recommended Reading

Shark attack claims Brazilian teen's life. Talk about super unlucky

From CNN:

As lifeguards approached to pull a drowning Brazilian teenager from the water, she suffered a second, fatal misfortune -- a shark attack.

Bruni Gobbi, 18, and a cousin were on the verge of drowning at Boa Viagem beach in the northeastern Brazil city of Recife on Monday, according to the local government's social defense secretariat.
Lifeguards responded immediately to try to save them, and in the midst of the rescue, a shark attacked Gobbi's left leg, the secretariat said.

Rescuers managed to move her to shore, and then to a hospital, but she died later that night, CNN affiliate Globo TV reported.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/23/world/americas/brazil-shark-attack/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

I hear Russia, Bolivia, Argentina, and Nicaragua R offering Zimmy Asylum

Okay, so I couldn't resist making the joke. He'd be wise to get his sorry not guilty but not innocent ass out of the country for a while.

Fox Blames President Obama for Zimmerman Verdict

Well that didn't take long. I think I threw up in my mouth watching Geraldo going on and on about poor Zimmy and how it was a political prosecution. The whole crew is delighted Zimmy got off.

If anyone thought that Geraldo Rivera wasn't done saying offensive things about the murder of Trayvon Martin now that the jury has found George Zimmerman not guilty, they would be sadly mistaken.

Rivera has already gone on record blaming Martin for his own death by "dressing like a wannabe gangster" and wearing a hoodie. And as we discussed here, he was blaming the Rev. Al Sharpton for using "race politics" to force the prosecution to bring a weak case against Zimmerman. Whether the case was weak, or Florida's laws are just really horrible, or whether the prosecution just did a bad job or not will be a point of contention and debate for some time to come, I'm sure.

What's utterly ridiculous is where Fox's Geraldo and his fellow host Jeanine Pirro went next, which is to of course blame President Obama for this mess as well, because he dared to weigh in on the case when he said that if he had a son, he'd look like Trayvon. He politicized the case! He forced them to take it up when it was obvious that Zimmerman wasn't guilty! Sorry, but no, President Obama did not force them to take up this case. Public pressure did along with the media attention the case received. And no one demanded that Zimmerman be found guilty. Just that he had his day in court.


more at link (video): http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/fox-blames-president-obama-zimmerman-verdi

The feds are not going to touch the Zimmerman situation

A jury acquitted because they felt he acted in self defense. That means they felt no hate crime was committed.

The feds are not going to try to make a hate crimes case on top of that.

For the record, I was hoping for at least manslaughter.
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