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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 46,669

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Luckovich cartoon: Oh, say can you see

The "Privacy moderate" desperate to avoid the full extent of establishment's extreme behavior.

I am mystified by the "privacy moderate" who yearns for a debate about the surveillance state without anyone being so transgressive as to leak the information without which there would be no debate.

What I sense, but cannot prove, is the privacy moderate's desperation to avoid facing the full extent of the establishment's extreme behavior. Americans once condemned such excesses. The Obama Administration is nowhere near as morally odious as, e.g., the bygone East German state. But Americans didn't just criticize its surveillance apparatus, the Stasi, because the East German regime used it for evil. Quite apart from the character of the regime and its secret police, Americans found the very notion of secret, pervasive spying on innocent citizens repugnant. We found the notion of vast files kept on private citizens creepy, because that isn't the role the state ought to play in a free society. Today, the American state is engaged in intentionally spying on tens of millions of innocent citizens. It did its utmost to hide the truth about that spying.

Civil libertarians are objecting as if this is a historic scandal of the utmost importance -- and it is exactly that. Privacy moderates are obsessed with policing the objections for hyperbole. They can tell their grandkids, "When I found out America was secretly spying on tens of millions of innocents, I focused on criticizing the people who overreacted rhetorically." It's like the blogs that spent the run-up to the Iraq War obsessing about scattered Bush-Hitler signs at anti-war protest rallies, as if, absent push-back, the nation was ready to side with the sign-makers; or like a doctor who worries more about cosmetic scars than cratering white blood-cell counts.

Coincidence? KKK Leaves 'Neighborhood Watch' Letters in CT, Just as Zimmerman Defense Wraps Up

Coincidence? KKK Leaves 'Neighborhood Watch' Letters in CT, Just as Zimmerman Defense Wraps Up
Racists do not keep America's streets 'safe.'

(CBS) MILFORD, Conn. - The group United Klans of America (UKA), a part of the Ku Klux Klan, has been leaving a note on the driveways of Milford residents, which reads:

"NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: You can sleep well tonight knowing the UKA is awake!"

CBS affiliate WFSB reports the note is delivered in a plastic bag weighed down with rocks. The station says the note contains a phone number with an Alabama area code and a website for the UKA.

Officials reportedly said this is the first time police in the coastal Connecticut town have had to deal with KKK activity.



Oops! Northwoods Mercenaries Hired To Patrol Drilling Site - -Not Properly Licensed to Operate in WI

WED JUL 10, 2013 AT 03:42 PM PDT
Oops! Northwoods Mercenaries Not Properly Licensed to Operate in WI
bynoise of rainFollow
Bulletproof Securities, the out of state company hired by GTac to patrol their drilling site, is not properly licensed in Wisconsin!

Armed guards at mine site stand down while Bulletproof seeks state license
Guards had been on patrol for a week

By Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel Updated: 5:47 p.m.

Madison — An out-of-state security company providing armed guards for a proposed mining site in northern Wisconsin is standing down for now after it was revealed that the firm isn't licensed to provide private security inside Wisconsin.

A spokesman for mining firm Gogebic Taconite LLC said Wednesday that his firm had asked Bulletproof Securities to withdraw its guards from the proposed mine area until it obtains a license to operate in the state. Informed by a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Wednesday that the security firm was unlicensed, the district attorney for Iron County also said that he would look into the matter.

The decision by Gogebic to pull back the guards was a change from the mining company's stance of just a day before, when spokesman Bob Seitz said Gogebic was keeping Bulletproof's paramilitary-style guards at the site despite criticism from mine opponents. The Bulletproof guards had been operating at the mine site since July 4 without the proper state license, Seitz acknowleged.

"Until they get the license we've had them stand down. They were unaware apparently that they needed that...This isn't a normal thing for any of us, I guess," Seitz said.


"Any person, acting as a private detective, investigator or private security person, or who employs any person who solicits, advertises or performs services in this state as a private detective or private security person, or investigator or special investigator, without having procured the license or permit required by this section, may be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500 or imprisoned not less than 3 months nor more than 6 months or both. Any agency having an employee, owner, officer or agent convicted of the above offense may have its agency license revoked or suspended by the department. Any person convicted of the above offense shall be ineligible for a license for one year."


State Dept Contractor ERM Lied About TransCanada Ties, Another Fatal Flaw of Environmental Review

Wed, 2013-07-10 12:27STEVE HORN
Steve Horn's picture
State Dept Contractor ERM Lied About TransCanada Ties, Another Fatal Flaw of Environmental Review

The contractor the Obama U.S. State Department hired for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) of the northern half of TransCanada's Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands export pipeline overtly lied on its conflict-of-interest disclosure form that it signed and handed to State in June 2012.

A major research dossier unfurled today by Friends of the Earth-U.S. (FOE-U.S.) and The Checks & Balances Project (CBP) shows that Environmental Resources Management, Inc. (ERM Group) played "Pinocchio" in explaining its ties - or as they say, lack thereof - to Big Oil, tar sands and TransCanada in particular on its conflict-of-interest form.

The two groups dug deep and revealed State's contractor ERM and its subsidiary Oasis Environmental both have ongoing contractual relationships with the Alaska Gas Project - now known as the South Central LNG Project - co-owned by TransCanada, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and BP. Further, ERM's Socioeconomic Advisor Mark Jennings served as a "Consultant to ExxonMobil Development Company for the Alaska Pipeline Project, according to his now-scrubbed LinkedIn profile.

ERM's own documents - FOE-U.S. and CBP further explain - also reveal the multinational firm has business ties with over a dozen companies active in the Alberta tar sands, including Exxon, Shell, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Total and Syncrude.


Monsanto’s climate-resilient crop patent claims rejected

Source: The Economic Times

Monsanto’s climate-resilient crop patent claims rejected
By Sanjay Vijayakumar, ET Bureau | 10 Jul, 2013, 04.06AM

India’s patent appeals board has denied Monsanto a patent for a genetically-engineered method of increasing climate resilience in plants.

CHENNAI: India's patent appeals board has denied MonsantoBSE 0.25 % a patent for a genetically-engineered method of increasing climate resilience in plants. The decision is significant not only for Monsanto's loss of possible exclusivity in an increasingly important segment but also for the interpretation of India's home-grown clauses in patent law — these are unpopular with global companies — for the first time in the case of plants.

The Intellectual Property Appellate Board, in rejecting the American seed company's patent claims, said the technology is merely a discovery of a new property of known substance and not an invention under Section 3(d) of the Indian Patent Act. Section 3(d) is the same Section under which the Swiss drug-maker Novartis' patent claim for its cancer drug Glivec was rejected. An appeal was turned down by the Supreme Court in April. Developing countries are looking to include this clause in their own patent laws.

Monsanto's method of "enhancing stress tolerance in plants and methods thereof" has already been accepted in the US and Europe. "This is the first time Section 3(d) has been used on plant patents, and its implications are farreaching," said environmentalist Vandana Shiva. This is also the first judgement citing Section 3(j), which specifies that plants and animals aren't patentable.

Monsanto, which earned over $13 billion in revenue last year, played down the decision while its baiters welcomed it. In an emailed statement, Monsanto said the company is in the process of evaluating possible actions with its advisers, but does not foresee any special implications from this decision.

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/monsantos-climate-resilient-crop-patent-claims-rejected/articleshow/20995862.cms

The Koch philosophy:You're richer than the average Somali so STFU -by digby

The Koch philosophy:You're richer than the average Somali so STFU

by digby


On Wednesday, the Charles Koch Foundation launched a $200,000 media campaign in Wichita, Kansas, with a hint of expanding it elsewhere. It is the Kochs’ biggest media buy since they promised to do more to “persuade politicians” after suffering losses in the 2012 election.

In an interview with the Wichita Eagle published Tuesday, Koch said that the minimum wage is one policy he is working against:

We want to do a better job of raising up the disadvantaged and the poorest in this country, rather than saying ‘Oh, we’re just fine now.’ We’re not saying that at all. What we’re saying is, we need to analyze all these additional policies, these subsidies, this cronyism, this avalanche of regulations, all these things that are creating a culture of dependency. And like permitting, to start a business, in many cities, to drive a taxicab, to become a hairdresser. Anything that people with limited capital can do to raise themselves up, they keep throwing obstacles in their way. And so we’ve got to clear those out. Or the minimum wage. Or anything that reduces the mobility of labor.

I don't know if you know this, but before we had subsidies like the minimum wage or health and safety regulations there were no poor people. You remember those good old days, right?


oh, the tangled web we weave...

and, it doesn't even work...

updated to add bonus LOL:

US Voters Say Snowden Is Whistle-Blower-Not Traitor-Quinnipiac University Nat'l Poll-Big Shift

Source: Quinnipiac University

uly 10, 2013 - U.S. Voters Say Snowden Is Whistle-Blower, Not Traitor, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Big Shift On Civil Liberties vs. Counter-Terrorism
PDF format

American voters say 55 - 34 percent that Edward Snowden is a whistle-blower, rather than a traitor, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

In a massive shift in attitudes, voters say 45 - 40 percent the government's anti-terrorism efforts go too far restricting civil liberties, a reversal from a January 10, 2010, survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University when voters said 63 - 25 percent that such activities didn't go far enough to adequately protect the country.

Almost every party, gender, income, education, age and income group regards Snowden as a whistle-blower rather than a traitor. The lone exception is black voters, with 43 percent calling him a traitor and 42 percent calling him a whistle-blower.

There is a gender gap on counter-terrorism efforts as men say 54 - 34 percent they have gone too far and women say 47 - 36 percent they have not gone far enough. There is little difference among Democrats and Republicans who are about evenly divided. Independent voters say 49 - 36 percent that counter-terrorism measures have gone too far.

Read more: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-and-centers/polling-institute/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=1919

another link (not PDF)
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