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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 02:05 PM
Number of posts: 12,881

Journal Archives

My take: in the end, Zimmerman grabbed a gun and approached Trayvon. That's not self defense, IMHO.

That is all.

USA vs NSA Animation: Which Side are You on?

Personally, I prefer the USA, our Constitution, and my privacy.

The apologists may as well be working for the Stasi, IMHO.

Snowden Seen as Whistle-Blower by Majority in New Poll

A majority of U.S. registered voters consider Edward Snowden a whistle-blower, not a traitor, and a plurality says government anti-terrorism efforts have gone too far in restricting civil liberties, a poll released today shows.

Fifty-five percent said Snowden was a whistle-blower in leaking details about top-secret U.S. programs that collect telephone and Internet data, in the survey from Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University. Thirty-four percent said he’s a traitor. Snowden, 30, worked for McLean, Virginia-based federal contractor Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. (BAH)......

“The verdict that Snowden is not a traitor goes against almost the unified view of the nation’s political establishment,” Brown said.

Simply put, being anti-privacy is being anti-constitution.

Saudi princess arrested in human trafficking case

Source: CBS

A Saudi princess was charged Wednesday with human trafficking for allegedly holding a domestic worker against her will and forcing her to work at an Orange County condominium, prosecutors said.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas identified 42-year-old Meshael Alayban as a Saudi princess who was charged with one count of human trafficking. If convicted, she faces up to 12 years in prison.

Alayban was arrested after a Kenyan woman carrying a suitcase flagged down a bus Tuesday and told a passenger she believed she was a human trafficking victim. The passenger helped her contact police, who searched the Irvine condo where Alayban and her family were staying, authorities said.

The 30-year-old woman told authorities she was hired in Kenya in 2012 and her passport was taken from her on arrival in Saudi Arabia. She was forced to work excessive hours and was paid less than she was promised and not allowed to leave, authorities said.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57593204/saudi-princess-arrested-in-human-trafficking-case/

The irony, oh the irony.

Should the Director of National Intelligence Be Impeached for Lying to Congress About PRISM?

Wyden: And this is for you, Director Clapper, again on the surveillance front. And I hope we can do this in just a yes or no answer because I know Senator Feinstein wants to move on. Last summer the NSA director was at a conference and he was asked a question about the NSA surveillance of Americans. He replied, and I quote here, '...the story that we have millions or hundreds of millions of dossiers on people is completely false.' The reason I'm asking the question is, having served on the committee now for a dozen years, I don't really know what a dossier is in this context. So what I wanted to see is if you could give me a yes or no answer to the question: Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"

Clapper: "No, sir."

Wyden: "It does not."

Clapper: "Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly."

Wyden: "All right. Thank you. I'll have additional questions to give you in writing on that point, but I thank you for the answer."

Clapper's statement appears to be untrue; however, legal experts may able to parse it in a different way. If it wasn't a lie it appears to be clearly misleading.

Lying to Congress is an extremely serious offense, although few have been found guilty. Roger Clemens was indicted for lying to Congress (but ultimately found innocent of perjury). Many of the cases of individuals convicted of lying to Congress arose from Watergate, including President Nixon's Attorney General, John Mitchell, and Nixon's Chief of staff, H.R Haldeman.

Executive officials can be impeached for "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors." As a non-criminal matter, there are serious grounds to argue that lying to Congress is among the most severe potential "high crimes and misdemeanors."
Lying to a Grand Jury was the grounds for President Clinton's impeachment; and that was lying to a grand jury, not lying to Congress when Congress is the relevant oversight branch.


MSNBC Just Had Its Most Dreadful Ratings Period in 6 Years

Despite a heavy period of news that included the Boston Marathon bombings and the Jodi Arias trial, MSNBC's second-quarter ratings plunged to their lowest level since 2007.

In primetime, MSNBC drew an average of 584,000 total viewers and 196,000 viewers in the key 25-54 age demographic. Those numbers were down 16% and 12%, respectively, from the second quarter of 2012. And they accounted for quarter lows not seen since the fourth and second quarters of 2007, respectively.

The network had seen signs of this coming in some dreadful monthly ratings, particularly in May. The same factors contributed to the network's ratings decline over the full quarter. "The Rachel Maddow Show" suffered its lowest-rated quarter in terms of total viewers since 2008. And June alone was the lowest rated month ever for Maddow in both total viewers and in the 25-54 group.

New host Chris Hayes continues to pull in sluggish ratings for "All In With Chris Hayes," which in its first full quarter on air provided MSNBC with the lowest-rated 8 p.m. hour in the 25-54 demographic since 2006.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/msnbc-ratings-fall-fox-news-cnn-rachel-maddow-chris-hayes-2013-7#ixzz2Y6uGOfNJ

Well, I guess that's what they get for silencing their most liberal voices (Olbermann and Cenk).

What I wouldn't give for the old MSNBC and the promise of what they may have become - a truly progressive voice - instead of sycophantic ramblings for for the status quo of the ruling class.

Let's hope DU does not suffer from the flood of Think Tank personas posting here!



US Policy Makers: Get Your Dirty Hands Out of Egypt!

Posted by grahamhgreen | Wed Jul 3, 2013, 04:06 PM (5 replies)

Edward Snowden: a whistleblower, not a spy

Edward Snowden: a whistleblower, not a spy

He has published US government information. And it is for this – not espionage – that he will have to answer to the law

It is now 10 days since the former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, source of the Guardian's NSA bugging revelations, flew out of Hong Kong, apparently en route to Ecuador. For 10 days he has been stalled at Moscow airport, while his passport has been annulled and repeated attempts to continue his journey to sympathetic jurisdictions have failed or been foiled. Over the weekend, Ecuador aborted the idea that he might find sanctuary in Quito. Mr Snowden submitted a request for political asylum in Russia, later withdrawn. Several other asylum bids also faltered at the start of this week. On Tuesday, Mr Snowden remained in Moscow, still dependent on the Russians while waiting on the apparently diminishing chance of being welcomed elsewhere around the world.

All this poses the complex and unavoidable question: what should now happen to Mr Snowden? The answer matters to Mr Snowden above all, as well as to the United States, whose data was published by the Guardian and the Washington Post. But it also matters to the world, because the internet is in every respect a global phenomenon, not an American one, and the data that the NSA is now routinely capturing does not belong to the agency or to the US. That is why the European Union and several member states, including France and Germany, have been so concerned about the allegations. It is also why so many people of all nations who regard themselves as admirers and allies of America are rightly concerned that the US should act appropriately towards the man who has triggered a debate which Barack Obama himself has acknowledged needs to take place.

Mr Snowden is clear that he leaked his information in order to alert the world to the unprecedented and industrial scale of NSA and GCHQ secret data trawling. He did not, he insists, leak in order to damage the US, its interests or its citizens, including those citizens in harm's way. Nothing of this sort has been published. Nor should it be. As long as he remains in Vladimir Putin's Russia, however, the real issue remains clouded. This damages Mr Snowden's cause, which this newspaper supports. He should therefore leave Russia as soon as he practically can.

The United States is deliberately not making this as easy as it could. Mr Snowden has always accepted that he will have to face the music for what he has done. This is likely to happen sooner or later. But it needs to happen in a way which respects Mr Snowden's rights, and civilian status, and which, above all, also recognises the high public seriousness of what he has decided to do. His welfare matters. It is wrong to acknowledge that there should be a proper debate about data trawling and secret internet surveillance – a debate that could not have started without Mr Snowden – and simultaneously to treat him as a spy in the old cold war sense. Too many US politicians and government officials are doing so.


No wonder the govt has now censored the Guardian - they fear the truth. Fearing the truth is NON-sense, not pro-sense.
Posted by grahamhgreen | Wed Jul 3, 2013, 04:01 PM (0 replies)

Made in China: The top five products allegedly manufactured in Chinese Gulags

Can we please stop the TPP and other costly trade agreements now? They are bad for America, even worse for these poor souls.

But while in the U.S. it’s generally hardened criminals who process meat, build dorm room furniture and sew lingerie, in China the situation is far different. Beginning in the 1950s, the Communist Party set up controversial reform-by-labor camps, or Laogai, as a way for the government to maintain order. Since then, the labor camps have imprisoned petty thieves, prostitutes and political agitators. (China’s Ministry of Justice says 160,000 people were imprisoned in 350 camps at the end of 2008.)

Those sentenced to the Laogai often never receive a trial and are often there for many years, work grueling hours, making everything from circuit boards to blue jeans. Ex-prisoners have complained of severe beatings, a paucity of food and infestation by disease carrying pests, according to Human Rights Watch. And while the Chinese government says that products made in these prisons aren’t exported, many Chinese labor camps manufacture their goods under different names. That’s led many analysts to believe that these these prison-made goods, which are illegal in the U.S., have flooded the global marketplace. Here’s a roundup of products that have allegedly been made in the Laogai:

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