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Jesus Malverde

Jesus Malverde's Journal
Jesus Malverde's Journal
May 30, 2015

Obama Steps Up Pressure for Renewal of Surveillance Measures

President Barack Obama is stepping up pressure on the U.S. Senate, which appears set for a political showdown Sunday when it meets only hours before some key surveillance powers of the National Security Agency are set to expire.

Before both chambers of Congress left for a one-week recess, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the USA Freedom Act. That compromise legislation would end bulk collection of Americans’ phone records but let the NSA search the records held by phone companies on a case-by-case basis.

Obama strongly urged the Senate to act quickly Sunday to pass the House bill before three provisions of the USA Patriot Act, enacted in 2001, expire. The president said Friday that he met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the White House to discuss a number of issues, including the NSA measures.

The president said he needed to remind everyone that at midnight Sunday, a range of authorities that the U.S. intelligence community uses to track terrorists would expire.

He said he had indicated to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he expected the Senate to act quickly to pass the USA Freedom Act. Obama said there are Democratic and Republican lawmakers in both the House and the Senate who think the compromise bill is the way to go. He said the only thing in the way is a handful of senators who are resisting reform.

The president said "heaven forbid" a terrorist attack occur that could have been prevented if these programs were in place.


Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection and Online Monitoring Act.

The USA Freedom Act is perceived as containing several concessions to pro-surveillance legislators meant to facilitate its passage, such as extending the Patriot Act powers until 2019. Many civil liberties groups believe that the USA Freedom Act doesn't go far enough. "This bill would make only incremental improvements, and at least one provision-the material-support provision-would represent a significant step backwards," ACLU deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer said in a statement. "The disclosures of the last two years make clear that we need wholesale reform." Jaffer wants Congress to let Section 215 sunset completely and wait for a better reform package than endorse something half-baked.

Members of the anti-surveillance Civil Liberties Coalition are dismissing the USA Freedom Act in support of the Surveillance State Repeal Act, a far more comprehensive piece of legislation in the House that completely repeals the Patriot Act, as well as 2008's FISA Amendments Act. A group of 60 organizations called Congress to not stop at ending the NSA's bulk collection of telephone information under the USA PATRIOT Act, but to also end the FISA Amendments Act and Executive Order 12333 mass surveillance programs and restore accountability for bad actors in the Intelligence Community.

The Center for Democracy and Technology endorses the bill, but it points out that it doesn't limit data retention for information collected on people who turn out to have no connection to a suspect or target, and emphasizes that this is not an omnibus solution. The group argued the bill had to be supported because "the Senate will weaken the USA FREEDOM Act right before the sunset deadline, forcing the House to accept a weaker bill".

“This bill purports to ban certain acts under narrow authorities, but it doesn’t ban those behaviors outright. Nor does it increase meaningful oversight of the NSA," said David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress, who wants Section 215 to expire. The group said "a vote for a bill that does not end mass surveillance is a vote in support of mass surveillance."

"Companies are provided monetary incentive to spy and share that information with the government and blanket liability once they do under USA Freedom -- even if that breaks that law," said Sascha Meinrath, the director of X-lab, an independent tech policy institute previously associated with New America. "Once companies receive that, they'll have almost no reason to weigh in on meaningful surveillance reform." "In a way, it's kind of like PRISM," the program revealed by Snowden where major tech companies turned over the content of online communications to the NSA, said longtime independent surveillance researcher Marcy Wheeler. "It pushes things to providers: Everyone gets immunity, but it doesn't add to the privacy."

“We think of the USA Freedom Act as yesterday’s news,” said Shahid Buttar of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, “and we’re interested in forcing the (intelligence) agencies into a future where they comply with constitutional limits.” “If passed, it’ll be the only step,” predicted Patrick Eddington of the Cato Institute, a former House staffer, since the next expiration date for a major piece of surveillance legislation is 31 December 2017.


May 29, 2015

Amazon is Looking for the Perfect Warehouse Worker

Amazon.com Inc.’s inaugural “Amazon Picking Challenge” inspired mechanical engineering and computer science students from around the world to design robots that can grab boxes of Oreo cookies and pencils from warehouse shelves and place them in bins, tasks ordinarily done by people.

The Seattle retailer hopes to make its challenge a regular event that encourages innovation in robotics and steers academic research toward e-commerce automation.


Amazon has made big investments in automation to make its warehouses more efficient. It purchased warehouse robot-maker Kiva Systems Inc. for $775 million in 2012 and has 15,000 robots deployed in its facilities. Those machines move entire shelving units, but picking individual items is a difficult task for machines and remains better performed by people.

That was the focus of the Amazon challenge. Each team’s robot tried to pick up a shopping list of items of varying shapes and sizes -- Crayola markers, a duck toy, tennis balls -- stored on shelves and place them in a bin.

May 29, 2015

Good interview

Thanks for posting this.

May 29, 2015

Vladimir Katriuk, among most wanted Nazi criminals, dies at 93

Source: Haaretz

The second most wanted man on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of Nazi war criminals — charged earlier this month by Russia with genocide — has died at age 93, his lawyer said.

Vladimir Katriuk passed away last week after a long illness, Orest Rudzik said Thursday.

News of Katriuk's death emerged several hours after the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs said Ottawa should take the necessary steps to ensure that he be held accountable if he were found guilty of war crimes committed in collaboration with the Nazis.

Russia charged Katriuk earlier this month with genocide in connection with the 1943 killing of civilians in Khatyn, now part of Belarus. According to war reports, Katriuk was a member of a Ukrainian battalion of the SS, the elite Nazi storm troops, between 1942 and 1944. He had denied the accusations against him.

The Russian Embassy in Ottawa called on the Harper government a few weeks ago to support a criminal case against Katriuk. The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, a law-enforcement body that reports only to Putin, called on Canada to deliver Katriuk to Moscow so he can be tried for alleged war crimes.

Read more: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.658684

In 2007, the Harper cabinet decided not to revoke his citizenship.
May 28, 2015

Fresh food movement sweeping the nation

Many Americans are changing the way they eat.

Genetically modified organisms or GMOs and processed foods are being pushed out and more and more natural foods are moving in.

"I think people are just thinking about eating healthier and there is so much information available to them socially," said Vice President of Harmon's Bob Harmon.

It's the fresh food movement and companies like Chipotle, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell are listening to customers. They are all now GMO free.

"They are cooking fresh ingredients and they're taking some of their isle way of prepared food space and making it more of prepared food from scratch," said Scott Albert with Nicholas and Company.

Nicholas and Company provides food for Subway, Burger King, Kneaders and local restaurants.
Like grocery stores, their freezer and dry good space has condensed making way for more refrigeration.

"People are becoming more veg-centric meaning vegetables are taking more of center plate," Albert adds.

If you're a meat lover this movement affects you too. Animals are eating non-GMO feed, making them taste better.


May 28, 2015

The Iran Talks Game Changer: An Israeli-Hezbollah War?

There are signs Israel may be at war again this summer. This time, not with Hamas in Gaza but with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Such a war may be the result not only of spillover from the Syrian war or ongoing Israeli-Hezbollah tensions. The deciding factor may be an Israeli calculation that war will shift momentum in the U.S. Congress decisively against the pending nuclear deal with Iran -- a deal that critics say will increase Iran's maneuverability in the region, including its support for Hezbollah.

In spite of AIPAC, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Saudis and some of its GCC allies having done everything they could to kill the pending nuclear deal with Iran, they have failed. The negotiations are on track. Many opinion polls show that a comfortable majority of Americans support President Barack Obama's diplomacy with Iran.

If a Congressional vote on a resolution rejecting the nuclear deal were held today,President Obama probably would prevail -- possibly without even having to use his veto to defeat the attempt by Republicans and pro-Netanyahu Democrats to scuttle the historic diplomatic agreement with Tehran. Opposition arguments -- from claiming that the deal is a capitulation to Iran to the notion that it is unacceptable to make a deal with a regime like that in Tehran -- have not sufficiently resonated with the public to kill the agreement. This has caused some disarray in the opposition camp.

Indeed, if you are in that camp right now, it is reasonable to expect that the search is not for a new argument but for a game changing development: an event so powerful it shifts the momentum in Congress back to AIPAC, Netanyahu, Saudi Arabia and the other opponents of a nuclear deal.


May 28, 2015

Self-parking Volvo ploughs into journalists after owner neglects to pay for extra feature.

Self-parking Volvo ploughs into journalists after owner neglects to pay for extra feature that stops cars crashing into people

A video showing a car attempting to park but actually plowing into journalists might have resulted from the Volvo’s owner not paying an extra fee to have the car avoid pedestrians.

The video, taken in the Dominican Republic, shows a Volvo XC60 reversing itself, waiting, and then driving back into pedestrians at speed. The horrifying pictures went viral and were presumed to have resulted from a malfunction with the car — but the car might not have had the ability to recognise a human at all.

The accident may have happened because owners have to pay for a special feature known as “pedestrian detection functionality”, which costs extra. The cars do have auto-braking features as standard, but only for avoiding other cars — if they are to avoid crashing into pedestrians, too, then owners must pay extra.

It appears as if the car in this video is not equipped with Pedestrian detection,” Volvo spokesperson Johan Larsson told Fusion. “This is sold as a separate package.


May 27, 2015

Brain implant that decodes intention will let us probe free will

Imagine a world where you think of something and it happens. For instance, what if the moment you realise you want a cup of tea, the kettle starts boiling?

That reality is on the cards, now that a brain implant has been developed that can decode a person's intentions. It has already allowed a man paralysed from the neck down to control a robotic arm with unprecedented fluidity.

But the implications go far beyond prosthetics. By placing an implant in the area of the brain responsible for intentions, scientists are investigating whether brain activity can give away future decisions – before a person is even aware of making them. Such a result may even alter our understanding of free will.


May 27, 2015

Obama's message: I represent American Jewish values better than Netanyahu

Jewish Americans are the most consistently and staunchly liberal group in the United States. They have been at the vanguard of the fight for equal rights, for gay rights, women’s rights and the rights of minorities. They are the strongest proponents of separation of church and state and the fiercest opponents of Evangelicals who seek to erase it, despite the latters’ strong support for Israel. And even if they harbor reservations about his policies on Iran or the Palestinians, President Barak Obama is still the embodiment of those values that American Jews hold most dear.

These are the heartstrings that Obama pulled on in his speech at the Conservative congregation Adas Israel in Washington on Friday, and in his extensive interview with Jeffrey Goldberg that was published in the Atlantic on Thursday. Obama made light of Goldberg’s description of him as “the first Jewish President," but he nonetheless anchored his address on the emotional and cultural pillars of the American Jewish diaspora: Yiddishkeit, Tikkun Olam, a progressive world view and support for Israel. Not necessarily the current government of Israel or its policies, as Obama repeatedly pointed out, but the Israel that Obama and many of his liberal followers would like it to be.

The timing of Obama’s speech was linked to Jewish American Heritage Month as well as Solidarity Shabbat, a worldwide event coordinated by the Tom Lantos Foundation aimed at raising awareness of global anti-Semitism. It is also part of a White House campaign aimed at shoring up American Jewish support in advance of the expected fight in Congress over an Iran nuclear deal: Obama knows that the stronger American Jews object to an accord with Tehran, the harder it will be for him to prevent Democratic lawmakers from joining the GOP opposition.

But Obama’s speech at Adas was much more that. It was an appeal by Obama to American Jews to prefer his own liberal-progressive vision of Israel to the conservative, rightwing world-view espoused by Netanyahu, the one that triumphed in Israel’s recent elections. He made no mention of the Israeli prime minister, but his essential message to American Jews was nonetheless stark: I represent your core values far better than the elected leader of Israel.


Profile Information

Name: Jesus Malverde
Gender: Male
Hometown: SF
Current location: Japan
Member since: Fri May 17, 2013, 10:44 PM
Number of posts: 10,274

About Jesus Malverde

Jesús Malverde, sometimes known as the generous bandit or angel of the poor is a folklore hero in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. One day we\'ll live free and no longer in fear. Fear of losing jobs, fear of being raided, your dogs shot, your children kidnapped by the state. Your land stolen, and maybe even your life lost. Fear no more, the times are a changing.

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