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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
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Bruce Springsteen Dedicates 'American Skin (41 Shots)' to Trayvon Martin

Bruce Springsteen Dedicates 'American Skin (41 Shots)' to Trayvon Martin
Rocker wrote the song in response to another shooting in 1999

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/bruce-springsteen-dedicates-american-skin-41-shots-to-trayvon-martin-20130717#ixzz2ZLmRVjUO
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook


NSA warned to rein in surveillance as agency reveals even greater scope

Source: Guardian

NSA warned to rein in surveillance as agency reveals even greater scope
NSA officials testify to angry House panel that agency can perform 'three-hop queries' through Americans' data and records

The National Security Agency revealed to an angry congressional panel on Wednesday that its analysis of phone records and online behavior goes exponentially beyond what it had previously disclosed.

John C Inglis, the deputy director of the surveillance agency, told a member of the House judiciary committee that NSA analysts can perform "a second or third hop query" through its collections of telephone data and internet records in order to find connections to terrorist organizations.

"Hops" refers to a technical term indicating connections between people. A three-hop query means that the NSA can look at data not only from a suspected terrorist, but from everyone that suspect communicated with, and then from everyone those people communicated with, and then from everyone all of those people communicated with.

A document published last month by the Guardian detailing the history of the NSA's post-9/11 bulk surveillance on telephone and internet data refer to one- or two-hop analysis performed by NSA. The document, provided by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, does not explicitly mention three-hop analysis, nor does it clearly suggest that such analysis occurs.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/17/nsa-surveillance-house-hearing

More from the AP:

For the first time, NSA deputy director John C. Inglis disclosed Wednesday that the agency sometimes conducts what’s known as three-hop analysis. That means the government can look at the phone data of a suspect terrorist, plus the data of all of his contacts, then all of those people’s contacts, and finally, all of those people’s contacts.

If the average person calls 40 unique people, three-hop analysis could allow the government to mine the records of 2.5 million Americans when investigating one suspected terrorist.
The government says it stores everybody’s phone records for five years. Cole explained that because the phone companies don’t keep records that long, the NSA had to build its own database.


Trayvon Martin, The NRA Speaks And Coughs Up Fur-Ball

NRA Says Holder Exploiting Trayvon Martin Death
The National Rifle Association accused Attorney General Eric Holder of exploiting the death of Trayvon Martin to push the Obama administration's gun-control agenda by calling for a review of "stand-your-ground" laws, The Hill reports.

Said NRA executive director Chris Cox: "The attorney general fails to understand that self-defense is not a concept, it's a fundamental human right. To send a message that legitimate self-defense is to blame is unconscionable, and demonstrates once again that this administration will exploit tragedies to push their political agenda."

Judge Debra Nelson did not instruct the FL v Zimmerman jury on Judge Nelson that:

an aggressor cannot claim self-defense and that a person who aggressively follows another person is an aggressor.

Notice this instruction is absent from Judge Nelson's instructions to the jury:

A person is justified in using deadly force if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself.

In deciding whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you
must judge him by the circumstances by which he was surrounded at the time the force was used. The danger facing George Zimmerman need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. Based upon appearances, George Zimmerman must have actually believed that the danger was real.

If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any
place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

In considering the issue of self-defense, you may take into account the relative physical abilities and capacities of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.

If in your consideration of the issue of self-defense you have a reasonable doubt on the question of whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you should find George Zimmerman not guilty.

However, if from the evidence you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman was not justified in the use of deadly force, you should find him guilty if all the elements of the charge have been proved.

Complete instructions (PDF, 27 pages) here.



This precise issue was discussed by the prosecution and defense at the hearing on the jury instructions. There is a specific Florida statute on a claim of self-defense by an aggressor. The prosecution wanted the judge to instruct the jury on that law, allowing the jury to conclude that Zimmerman was the "aggressor." The prosecution claimed that "profiling" and "following" Martin made Zimmerman an "aggressor" under that law.

The defense, relying on this case, http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=15783778784317286558 argued that the law was clear that, in order to be the "aggressor," or in order to provoke the use of force against you, you have to be the first one to use or threaten actual force. "Profiling" and "following" are not using or threatening actual force, and therefore doing those things does not make Zimmerman the "aggressor" under that law. The defense said the judge should not give the "aggressor" instruction because the prosecution had not presented the court with evidence that Zimmerman was an "aggressor" under that law.

The judge ruled that the Court would not give the instruction (essentially ruling for the defense).
The argument is contained in 3 videos on youtube. It starts about 3 minutes into this video.


Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?


Re: LIZ: let's hope that Darth Cheney was the Master, for if he was only the Apprentice...

This senate run in Wyoming is purely to set Liz up to run for president against Hilary in 2016. After all, the Senate has become a launch pad for presidential runs in the last couple of cycles. Being in the Senate gives her a national credibility that she can't get just by being Darth Cheney's daughter. And the Republicans think that any given vagina can sway the woman's vote, so if they run a conservative woman, all the women will vote for her instead of Hilary.


The master revealed himself when he ran the White House between 2001 and 2009 - actually, a lot earlier than that, but no one was paying attention to Wyoming back then - and now the apprentice seeks to demolish her party's faithful as part of her rise to power. At least, let's hope that Darth Cheney was the Master, for if he was only the Apprentice...


"What are you doing here?" is a question this country keeps asking black people every day.

Still Not at Home in America
"What are you doing here?" is a question this country keeps asking black people every day.
By: Jack White | Posted: July 17, 2013 at 12:19 AM

(The Root) -- No one is more American than I am. Our country's history is inscribed on my genes.

Some of my ancestors came here on slave ships. One arrived on The Mayflower. Others fought in the Revolution and the great Civil War.

But because I am 67 -- old enough to have personally experienced legally segregated public schools, water fountains and restrooms and white-only public accommodations; old enough to have been shocked into terrified silence by photos of Emmett Till's brutalized body after it was dragged from a muddy river in Mississippi; old enough to have written more stories than I can remember about black men and women who seemed to have lost their lives for no reason other than being black -- I have deeply ambivalent feelings about this nation.

W.E.B. Du Bois called those warring emotions "twoness" and "double consciousness." I call them not feeling at home.

There was a time, in the heady wake of Barack Obama's first successful run for the presidency, when I let myself hope that America would finally let that happen. I thought America might finally stop asking the question it has posed to black people since the days of the slave-hunting "paddy rollers": What are you doing here? I thought it might finally say we belong.

I was so wrong. What are you doing here? is still the question America asks black people like me, all these years after the emancipation, all these years after Brown v. Board, all these years after the passage of civil rights laws, whenever one of us shows up in a place that some white person regards as inappropriate. It's the question that underlies so much of the opposition to Obama's presidency -- not merely his policies, but the man himself -- and the vile comments about his wife and their children.


And What are you doing here? was the question with which a gun-toting vigilante named George Zimmerman justified his surveillance of a 17-year-old boy in a hooded sweatshirt whose only crime was arousing Zimmerman's suspicions. Strip away all the nuances of Florida's deeply flawed self-defense laws and the forever-unknowable details about the confrontation that developed that night, and it comes down to this: A self-appointed security man with no more legal authority to stop and question a fellow citizen than the man in the moon felt powerful enough to put that question to Trayvon Martin. Whether Zimmerman knew it or not, he had 350 years of history backing him up,

the rest:

"Have a lovely day. I'll just get down on my knees and put my hands up now so there's no confusion."

WED JUL 17, 2013 AT 08:31 AM PDT
"Curious" George (Zimmerman)
byIan ReifowitzFollow


Imagine how you'd feel if every time you went out, some non-black person treated you like a possible or even probable criminal (and that's how "curious George" treated Trayvon Martin), even if you were the law abiding person you are? After all, if it's ok for Zimmerman to have done it, why wouldn't it be ok for it to happen all the time? Would that be sustainable as a society?

Would you, in response to this kind of treatment, say to yourself?:

"Well, people who have the same skin color as I do commit crimes at a higher percentage than other people -- even though of course the overwhelming majority of black people and even young black men don't commit any violent crimes at all, and comparatively few of those are committed against random strangers of another race -- but despite those details of course you're justified in assuming I'm likely about to commit a crime no matter what I really am. I totally understand your fears and take no personal offense. Have a lovely day. I'll just get down on my knees and put my hands up now so there's no confusion."


I understand what it's like to be white, to think about crime and want to do what I can to protect my family and neighbors. Of course, every American of every race thinks about these things. But the answer cannot be -- on the basis of one's curiosity -- to treat every black person, or every young black male as a probable criminal.

It's counterproductive, immoral, and, oh yeah, the Constitution gives them the same rights and freedoms it does me.


Other Zimmerman Jurors Remind Everyone that B37 Doesn't Speak For Them

Juror B37 dominated her fair share of the post-verdict news cycle earlier this week with her since-aborted plans to write a book and her sit-down interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, the first public (albeit anonymous) comment from any member of the six-woman jury who found George Zimmerman not guilty in Trayvon Martin's death. Late Tuesday, four of the other five women spoke out to say they won't be speaking out—and to make it clear that Juror B37 doesn't speak for them. Their full statement:

We, the undersigned jurors, understand there is a great deal of interest in this case. But we ask you to remember that we are not public officials and we did not invite this type of attention into our lives. We also wish to point out that the opinions of Juror B-37, expressed on the Anderson Cooper show, were her own, and not in any way representative of the jurors listed below.

Serving on this jury has been a highly emotional and physically draining experience for each of us. The death of a teenager weighted heavily on our hearts but in the end we did what the law required us to do.

We appeal to the highest standards of your profession and ask the media to respect our privacy and give us time to process what we have been though.

Thank you,

Juror B-51
Juror B-76
Juror E-6
Juror E-40

Their effort to distance themselves from their fellow juror comes after B37 told Cooper that she thought Zimmerman's "heart was in the right place," and that she had no doubt that he feared for his life when he shot and kill Martin.

She also shared a few details about what went on behind closed doors, including that a preliminary vote at the very start of the deliberations was split with three jurors—including B37—in favor of acquittal, two supporting a manslaughter conviction, and the other believing Zimmerman was guilty of second-degree murder. Given the numbers, that means at least one of the jurors who signed Tuesday's statement was on the same side as Juror B37 during the preliminary vote—although she obviously may have taken a very different path to reach that conclusion.


Fed Chief Calls Congress Biggest Obstacle to Growth

Source: New York TImes

Fed Chief Calls Congress Biggest Obstacle to Growth
Published: July 17, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve’s chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, said Wednesday that Congress is the largest obstacle to faster economic growth, and he warned that upcoming decisions about fiscal policy could once again undermine the nation’s recovery.

“The economic recovery has continued at a moderate pace in recent quarters despite the strong headwinds created by federal fiscal policy,” Mr. Bernanke said in the opening line of his prepared remarks to a Congressional committee.

Moreover, he said, Congress could make things worse later this year.

“The risks remain that tight federal fiscal policy will restrain economic growth over the next few quarters by more than we currently expect, or that the debate concerning other fiscal policy issues, such as the status of the debt ceiling, will evolve in a way that could hamper the recovery,” he said.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/18/business/economy/fed-chairman-points-finger-at-congress.html?hp&_r=0

"I would NEVER Racially Profile..."

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