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Douglas Carpenter

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Corry (Erie County), Pennsylvania 16407
Home country: USA
Current location: Saipan, U.S. Commonweath of the Northern Mariana Islands
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2005, 08:56 PM
Number of posts: 19,529

Journal Archives

Sen. Bernie Sanders: Is NSA Spying on Congress?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday asked the National Security Agency director whether the agency has monitored the phone calls, emails and Internet traffic of members of Congress and other elected officials. “Has the NSA spied, or is the NSA currently spying, on members of Congress or other American elected officials?” Sanders asked in a letter to Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA director. “ ‘Spying’ would include gathering metadata on calls made from official or personal phones, content from websites visited or emails sent, or collecting any other data from a third party not made available to the general public in the regular course of business?”

Sanders said he was “deeply concerned” by revelations that American intelligence agencies harvested records of phone calls, emails and web activity by millions of innocent Americans without any reason to even suspect involvement in illegal activities. He also cited reports that the United States eavesdropped on the leaders of Germany, Mexico, Brazil and other allies.

Sanders emphasized that the United States “must be vigilant and aggressive in protecting the American people from the very real danger of terrorist attacks,” but he cited U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon’s recent ruling that indiscriminate dragnets by the NSA were probably unconstitutional and “almost Orwellian.”

Sanders has introduced legislation to put strict limits on sweeping powers used by the National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation to secretly track telephone calls by millions of innocent Americans who are not suspected of any wrongdoing.

The measure would put limits on records that may be searched. Authorities would be required to establish a reasonable suspicion, based on specific information, in order to secure court approval to monitor business records related to a specific terrorism suspect. Sanders’ bill also would put an end to open-ended court orders that have resulted in wholesale data mining by the NSA and FBI. Instead, the government would be required to provide reasonable suspicion to justify searches for each record or document that it wants to examine.


To read Sen. Sanders' letter to the NSA: http://www.sanders.senate.gov/download/letter-to-nsa

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sat Jan 4, 2014, 12:41 AM (0 replies)

Washington Post: Is New York’s de Blasio prompting a repositioning by the Clintons?

By Dan Balz, Thursday, January 2, 7:25 AM

It isn’t often that the swearing-in of a new mayor of New York draws national television attention, but then, it isn’t every day that you see a mayor sworn in by a former president of the United States with a prospective presidential candidate also on the stage. De Blasio, now one of the most liberal elected officials in the United States, delivered an unabashedly progressive inaugural speech that closely tracked the themes of his “tale of two cities” mayoral campaign. It was the kind of speech not often heard in national politics since Bill Clinton redefined the Democratic Party as New Democrats.

De Blasio has become a beacon to those in the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, who have often been disappointed by or disillusioned with President Obama and what he has done and not done in office. The progressives see few political leaders on the left — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is one exception — willing to give voice to their agenda. All that would be enough to lend significance to Wednesday’s swearing-in. But it was the added presence of the former president and former secretary of state that gave it significance beyond the city’s boundaries.

And so, after his generous words for Bloomberg, he said, “I have to say this. I strongly endorse Bill de Blasio’s core campaign commitment that we have to have a city of shared opportunity, shared prosperity, shared responsibilities.”

The former president was clearly mindful that the Democratic Party of 2014 and of Barack Obama is not quite the same as the one he led in the 1990s — and that one potential obstacle in the path of Hillary Clinton’s possible presidential ambitions is a primary challenge from the left. His embrace of de Blasio’s message was a deliberate step in the positioning of the Clintons as they look to a possible campaign


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Wed Jan 1, 2014, 05:34 PM (23 replies)

Is there a mechanism other than the jury system to report a suspected rightwing troll?

There are a few - not many - but a few relatively clever trolls - Those who are clever enough to stay just enough within the rule book to avoid getting their posts hidden by a jury - yet show a pattern of pushing rightwing points. And I do not mean those who disagree with me on the NSA, drones or Palestine - but people who I think you would probably suspect of being trolls if someone were to take a serious look at them. Other than the jury system - is there a way to report such characters to either MIRT or Admin for proper consideration?
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Tue Dec 31, 2013, 03:11 PM (1 replies)

It is now 2014 on U.S. Sovereign Territory

Happy New Years from Saipan and Guam - the sky rockets are screaming over the place right now
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Tue Dec 31, 2013, 09:02 AM (0 replies)

CNN Poll: Afghanistan war arguably most unpopular in U.S. history

Source: CNN

Just 17% of those questioned say they support the 12-year-long war, down from 52% in December 2008. Opposition to the conflict now stands at 82%, up from 46% five years ago.

"Those numbers show the war in Afghanistan with far less support than other conflicts," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Opposition to the Iraq war never got higher than 69% in CNN polling while U.S. troops were in that country, and while the Vietnam War was in progress, no more than six in 10 ever told Gallup's interviewers that war was a mistake."

The U.S. timetable for Afghanistan calls for the removal of nearly all troops by roughly this time next year, and that can't come fast enough for the vast majority of Americans. Just over half would rather see U.S. troops withdrawn earlier than December 2014. Only a quarter say that America should still have boots on the ground in Afghanistan after that deadline.

"Independents have a much gloomier view of the war in Afghanistan than Republicans or Democrats," Holland said. "That may be because a Republican president started the war and a Democratic president has continued it, so there may be some residual support among people who identify with either party."

Read more: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/30/cnn-poll-afghanistan-war-most-unpopular-in-u-s-history/
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Mon Dec 30, 2013, 06:51 AM (9 replies)

UK anti-Muslim hate crime soars, police figures show

Source: The Guardian

A petrol bomb explodes outside the Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre in May. Photograph: CPS/PA

Hundreds of anti-Muslim offences have been carried out across the country in 2013, with Britain's biggest force, the Metropolitan police, recording 500 Islamophobic crimes.

Many forces reported a surge in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes following the murder of soldier Lee Rigby by two Islamic extremists in Woolwich, south-east London, in May.

And the figures could be much higher, because nearly half the 43 forces in England and Wales did not reveal how many hate crimes had targeted Muslims. Some forces admitted they did not always record the faith of a religious hate crime victim.

"The far right groups, particularly the EDL perniciously use the internet and social media to promote vast amounts of online hate," he said.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/27/uk-anti-muslim-hate-crime-soars?CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Fri Dec 27, 2013, 03:34 AM (1 replies)

2016 CNN Poll: Clinton deadlocked with Christie but leads other GOP presidential possibilities

Source: CNN

December 26th, 2013

04:00 PM ET
- 20 minutes ago

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser

Washington (CNN) - In a potential preview of the next presidential election, a new national poll suggests Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie would be neck and neck if the 2016 contest were held today.

But a CNN/ORC International survey released Thursday also indicates Clinton leading eight other possible Republican White House hopefuls in hypothetical general election matchups.

According to the poll, 48% of registered voters say they would support support Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, if he were the GOP nominee, with 46% saying they would back Clinton, the former secretary of state, U.S. senator, and first lady, if she captured the Democratic nomination. Christie's 2-point margin is within the survey's sampling error. The CNN poll is the third non-partisan, live operator national survey conducted this month to indicate a possible matchup between Clinton and Christie basically all tied up.

If she decides to run, Clinton would instantly become the overwhelming frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. And Christie, fresh off his landslide re-election last month as New Jersey governor, is on top of the pack in recent polls of the race for the Republican nomination.

So what's the secret of Christie's strength against Clinton?

Read more: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/26/2016-cnn-poll-clinton-deadlocked-with-christie-but-leads-other-gop-presidential-possibilities/
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Dec 26, 2013, 04:36 PM (16 replies)

Polls: Clinton, Christie deadlocked in hypothetical 2016 matchup

Source: CNN

Posted by
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser

CNN) - In a possible preview of the next presidential election, two new national polls on Wednesday suggest Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie would be neck and neck if the 2016 contest were held today.

A Quinnipiac University survey indicates that 42% of registered voters nationwide say they would support Christie, the Republican Governor of New Jersey, if he were the GOP nominee, with 41% saying they would back Clinton, the former Secretary of State, if she captured the Democratic nod.

According to a McClatchy-Marist poll, 48% of registered voters say they would support Clinton, with 45% backing Christie.

The new numbers are a switch from this summer, when both surveys indicated Clinton with an advantage over Christie. He grabbed national headlines last month for his landslide re-election victory.

While Clinton and Christie are deadlocked, the McClatchy-Marist survey indicates the former Senator, 2008 Democratic presidential candidate and First Lady, holding double-digit leads in hypothetical general election matchups against seven other potential Republican contenders.

Read more: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/11/polls-clinton-christie-deadlocked-in-hypothetical-2016-matchup/
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Dec 26, 2013, 04:16 PM (3 replies)

CNN Poll: GOP has edge in early midterm indicator

Source: CNN

A CNN/ORC International survey released Thursday also indicates that President Barack Obama may be dragging down Democratic congressional candidates, and that the 2014 midterm elections are shaping up to be a low-turnout event, with only three in 10 registered voters extremely or very enthusiastic about voting next year.

Two months ago, Democrats held a 50%-42% advantage among registered voters in a generic ballot, which asked respondents to choose between a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district without identifying the candidates. That result came after congressional Republicans appeared to overplay their hand in the bitter fight over the federal government shutdown and the debt ceiling.

But the Democratic lead evaporated, and a CNN poll a month ago indicated the GOP holding a 49%-47% lead. The new survey, conducted in mid-December, indicates Republicans with a 49%-44% edge over the Democrats.

Read more: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/26/cnn-poll-gop-has-edge-in-early-midterm-indicator/comment-page-1/

Please don't try to bullshit yourself into denying reality by claiming that this poll is some sort of corporatist conspiracy. The fact is Americans are a profoundly ignorant people. But that is what we have to work with. We have to face reality if we want to advance civilization and move the country and the world forward.
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Dec 26, 2013, 09:24 AM (90 replies)

my goodness - the little town I was born in has become a popular destination for same-sex weddings

Letter: Jamestown, New York has benefited from doing the right thing

Marriage equality went into effect more than two years ago. During that time it has been my pleasure as a city marriage officer to perform sometimes as many as 10 same-sex marriages per week. Couples have come to Jamestown from 20 different states and every continent in the world. My goal was to make Jamestown a same-sex marriage destination, and we have succeeded.

Couples stay in hotels, eat at restaurants and reserve local venues for receptions, including the Lucy-Desi Museum. Doing what is right has been good for business without the city having to spend a dime on promotion but relying on word of mouth. Every couple has remarked to me how friendly everyone in Jamestown has been and how warmly they have been received, resulting in referrals to their friends to get married in Jamestown by an openly gay city councilman.

In addition, we have been fighting poverty by waiving my fee and asking the couples to donate to St. Susan’s Center, our local soup kitchen, providing hundreds of meals each week to Jamestown residents in need. The couples have been very generous, writing checks in 100, 200 and 300 dollar amounts. This is all out-of-state money. I drop hundreds of dollars off to St. Susan’s each week without it having to do anything other than continue its good work.

I knew marriage equality was the right thing to do, and thanks to everyone in Jamestown and beyond, it has turned out to be a good thing as well.

I bring this up not to brag about my work but to celebrate this community and the wonderful loving gay and lesbian couples it has been my pleasure to bring together in marriage celebrating their love. Merry Christmas!

Gregory Rabb


Jamestown City Council
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Wed Dec 25, 2013, 12:58 AM (13 replies)
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