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friendly_iconoclast

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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 12:47 PM
Number of posts: 11,790

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Laura Poitras Sues US Government To Find Out Why She Was Detained Every Time She Flew

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150714/05544231629/laura-poitras-sues-us-government-to-find-out-why-she-was-detained-every-time-she-flew.shtml

These days, Laura Poitras is known as the Oscar-winning director of the Ed Snowden documentary CITIZENFOUR, and with it, one of the reporters who helped break Snowden's story in the first place. Pre-Snowden, she was a not-as-widely-known-but-still-celebrated documentary filmmaker, who also got some attention after her future colleague Glenn Greenwald wrote an article about how she was detained at the border every time she flew into the country (which was frequently, as she had made a documentary, My Country, My Country, concerning the Iraq War, along with The Oath, which reported on two Yemenis who had worked with Osama bin Laden)...

...It wasn't only at the border that she was subject to such searches. Often, even when flying domestically within the US, she was called out for further scrutiny and searches.

After Greenwald's article, a bunch of documentary filmmakers signed a petition protesting the treatment of Poitras, and between the press coverage and the petition, the harassment of Poitras suddenly stopped.

After this, she filed some FOIA requests to find out why she had been supposedly given a high threat rating in the DHS database, causing such detentions. Not surprisingly, the government refused to reveal any such information. And that brings us to the latest, where Poitras, with help from the EFF, has now sued the US government (specifically the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice) to get them to reveal why she was considered a threat.


Link to the EFF's take on this:

https://www.eff.org/press/releases/oscar-and-pulitzer-award-winning-journalist-laura-poitras-sues-us-government-uncove-0

Oscar and Pulitzer Award-Winning Journalist Laura Poitras Sues U.S. Government To Uncover Records After Years of Airport Detentions and Searches

Washington, D.C. ­– Academy and Pulitzer Prize Award-winning documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. transportation security agencies today demanding they release records documenting a six-year period in which she was searched, questioned, and often subjected to hours-long security screenings at U.S. and overseas airports on more than 50 occasions. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is representing Poitras in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, DOJ, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

“I’m filing this lawsuit because the government uses the U.S. border to bypass the rule of law,” said Poitras. “This simply should not be tolerated in a democracy. I am also filing this suit in support of the countless other less high-profile people who have also been subjected to years of Kafkaesque harassment at the borders. We have a right to know how this system works and why we are targeted.”

Poitras is a professional journalist who won an Academy Award this year for her documentary film “CITIZENFOUR” about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, shared in the 2014 Pulitzer for Public Service for NSA reporting, and is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. During frequent travel from 2006 to 2012 for work on her documentary films, Poitras was detained at the U.S. border every time she entered the country.

During these detentions, she was told by airport security agents that she had a criminal record (even though she does not), that her name appeared on a national security threat database, and, on one occasion, that she was on the U.S. government’s No Fly List. She’s had her laptop, camera, mobile phone, and reporter notebooks seized and their contents copied, and was once threatened with handcuffing for taking notes during her detention after border agents said her pen could be used as a weapon. The searches were conducted without a warrant and often without explanation, and no charges have ever been brought against Poitras....




Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Jul 15, 2015, 10:44 PM (0 replies)

Adventures in racism at the supermarket checkout

http://boingboing.net/2015/07/02/adventures-in-racism-at-the-su.html

To excerpt:

Writer of piece is at supermarket checkout. In front of her are three AA women
First one attempts to use her EBT card-rejected for "incorrect PIN"

Other two attempt same, with same results, machine rejects all three PINs.

Shoppers say "We entered correct PINs" Cashier says:
"No, NSF or you all used wrong PINs" Bystanders pass hat, pay for groceries. Then:

I'm not telling you this story to give a warm fuzzy about the good Samaritans of Giant Eagle. I am telling it because of what happened next, after my stuff was checked out.

“I hate to say it,” the cashier said, which means she didn't hate to say it at all, “but people like that just don't keep track of their money. They think they have all of it on their cards, but they just don't budget well.”

As I went to pay, I took out my debit card and entered my PIN.

Declined.

“My card was declined. It says I'm not using the right PIN.”

She looked at me blankly for a moment. Then she said this:



Need I add that the writer is white?


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Jul 2, 2015, 10:41 PM (23 replies)

Wonder if we'll ever see the likes of this?

I changed a few words in a quote from a controlling culture warrior, to wit
a high Southern Baptist mucky-muck named Russell Moore, "President of the SB Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026925456

Conservatives Gun Control Advocates Explain Why They Lost On Marriage - HuffPo


....In an interview, Moore told The Huffington Post that one of the movement's main mistakes in the gay marriage gun control fight was assuming traditionalists gun control
advocates would always have public opinion on their side. Social conservatives
These advocates didn't anticipate or prepare for the dramatic turnabout in national sentiment on this issue over the last 10 years, he said, assuming they'd always operate from a position of strength in the culture war. They believed that fundamentally, Americans shared their values...


Probably not, the die-hards will probably just quietly fade away like the Women's Christian
Temperance Union...





Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Jul 1, 2015, 12:36 AM (8 replies)

IMF: austerity measures would still leave Greece with unsustainable debt

Source: Guardian(UK)

Greece would face an unsustainable level of debt by 2030 even if it signs up to the full package of tax and spending reforms demanded of it, according to unpublished documents compiled by its three main creditors.

The documents, drawn up by the so-called troika of lenders, support Greece’s argument that it needs substantial debt relief for a lasting economic recovery. They show that, even after 15 years of sustained strong growth, the country would face a level of debt that the International Monetary Fund deems unsustainable.

The documents show that the IMF’s baseline estimate – the most likely outcome – is that Greece’s debt would still be 118% of GDP in 2030, even if it signs up to the package of tax and spending reforms demanded. That is well above the 110% the IMF regards as sustainable given Greece’s debt profile, a level set in 2012. The country’s debt level is currently 175% and likely to go higher because of its recent slide back into recession.

The documents admit that under the baseline scenario “significant concessions” are necessary to improve Greece’s chances of ridding itself permanently of its debt financing woes.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/30/greek-debt-troika-analysis-says-significant-concessions-still-needed



Grexit seems inevitable
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Jun 30, 2015, 03:49 PM (21 replies)

It's a slow day over at the Gun Control Busy Box

Seems "My Fantastic Career in The Air Force Is Why You Should Follow My Advice
About Guns" isn't quite pulling in the crowds after some ...inconvenient... details
were pointed out by several other posters, as see:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1172170317#post5
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Jun 28, 2015, 04:15 PM (0 replies)

On processed pork shoulder meat in a can, and why we're getting it:

As a counter to embarassment. A widespread, yet unacknowledged, embarrassment
about being fooled - because some so wanted to believe something was true
they left healthy skepticism behind.

Embarassment over being taken in by a fake PSA, and not realizing it was staged
even as some GC&RKBA regulars recognized that it was phony:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017253473

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1172168674

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1017&pid=271286

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1172163317#post10

The alert reader will note that many of the other group's stalwarts (including
a rather outspoken host, who also recommended it) got taken in:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=thread&address=1017253473&info=1#recs


Seems none of the folks that were so impressed a few months ago care to discuss it
now. Posting here at GC&RKBA, now, would be a natural occasion for some
inconvenient questions.

Now we are (again) getting hit and run posts, and posts from members who have rarely, if ever,
posted here before.

I find that rather interesting...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sat Jun 13, 2015, 07:31 PM (17 replies)

Revealed Emails Show How Industry Lobbyists Basically Wrote The TPP

(This got locked in LBN, so I'm reposting it here)

From Techdirt:

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150605/11483831239/revealed-emails-show-how-industry-lobbyists-basically-wrote-tpp.shtml

Back in 2013, we wrote about a FOIA lawsuit that was filed by William New at IP Watch. After trying to find out more information on the TPP by filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and being told that they were classified as "national security information" (no, seriously), New teamed up with Yale's Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic to sue. As part of that lawsuit, the USTR has now released a bunch of internal emails concerning TPP negotiations, and IP Watch has a full writeup showing how industry lobbyists influenced the TPP agreement, to the point that one is even openly celebrating that the USTR version copied his own text word for word.

What is striking in the emails is not that government negotiators seek expertise and advice from leading industry figures. But the emails reveal a close-knit relationship between negotiators and the industry advisors that is likely unmatched by any other stakeholders.

The article highlights numerous examples of what appear to be very chummy relationships between the USTR and the "cleared advisors" from places like the RIAA, the MPAA and the ESA. They regularly share text and have very informal discussions, scheduling phone calls and get togethers to further discuss. This really isn't that surprising, given that the USTR is somewhat infamous for its revolving door with lobbyists who work on these issues. In fact, one of the main USTR officials in the emails that IP Watch got is Stan McCoy, who was the long term lead negotiator on "intellectual property" issues. But he's no longer at the USTR -- he now works for the MPAA...

...Perhaps the most incredible, is the email from Jim DeLisi, from Fanwood Chemical, to Barbara Weisel, a USTR official, where DeLisi raves that he's just looked over the latest text, and is gleeful to see that the the rules that have been agreed up on are "our rules" (i.e., the lobbyists'), even to the point that he (somewhat confusingly) insists "someone owes USTR a royalty payment." While it appears he's got the whole royalty system backwards (you'd think an "IP advisor" would know better...) the point is pretty clear: the lobbyists wrote the rules, and the USTR just put them into the agreement. Weisel's response? "Well there's a bit of good news..."


Searchable versions of the emails are available through the Electronic Frontier Foundation's
website:

https://www.eff.org/cases/ip-watch-v-ustr

https://www.eff.org/document/foia-released-emails-between-ustr-and-lobbyists-searchable-1-4

https://www.eff.org/document/foia-released-emails-between-ustr-and-lobbyists-searchable-2-4

https://www.eff.org/document/foia-released-emails-between-ustr-and-lobbyists-searchable-3-4

https://www.eff.org/document/foia-released-emails-between-ustr-and-lobbyists-searchable-4-4


Us proles need to remember that we're not important enough to see these drafts- nor are
Congressional aides, for that matter

But lobbyists are...


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Jun 10, 2015, 03:49 PM (7 replies)

Confidential USTR Emails Show Close Industry Involvement In TPP Negotiations

http://www.ip-watch.org/2015/06/05/confidential-ustr-emails-show-close-industry-involvement-in-tpp-negotiations/

Note: also covered in LBN:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10141113732

While a full range of stakeholders would be affected by the outcome of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement under secret negotiation by the United States and a dozen trading partners, corporate representatives have had a special seat at the negotiating table, as shown by hundreds of pages of confidential emails from the US Trade Representative’s office obtained by Intellectual Property Watch. The emails give a rare and fascinating perspective on how policy is developed in the trade office.

Years into the negotiation, the TPP is said to be nearing completion and is the subject of a US congressional debate over renewal of fast-track negotiating authority for the president (limiting Congress to a yes or no vote). But the TPP text has never been made available to the public of the countries negotiating it, except through periodic leaks of parts of the text, making these emails timely for the debate.

Through a US Freedom of Information Act request, Intellectual Property Watch has obtained some 400 pages of email traffic between USTR officials and industry advisors. Most of the content of the emails is redacted (blacked out), but they still give insight into the process.

http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/USTR-FOIA-Mar-2015-1-of-4.pdf

http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/USTR-FOIA-Mar-2015-2-of-4.pdf

http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/USTR-FOIA-Mar-2015-3-of-4.pdf

http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/USTR-FOIA-Mar-2015-4-of-4.pdf


A searchable version of these is available via the EFF:

https://www.eff.org/cases/ip-watch-v-ustr

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Jun 9, 2015, 04:24 PM (0 replies)

Revealed Emails Show How Industry Lobbyists Basically Wrote The TPP

Source: Techdirt

Back in 2013, we wrote about a FOIA lawsuit that was filed by William New at IP Watch. After trying to find out more information on the TPP by filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and being told that they were classified as "national security information" (no, seriously), New teamed up with Yale's Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic to sue. As part of that lawsuit, the USTR has now released a bunch of internal emails concerning TPP negotiations, and IP Watch has a full writeup showing how industry lobbyists influenced the TPP agreement, to the point that one is even openly celebrating that the USTR version copied his own text word for word.

What is striking in the emails is not that government negotiators seek expertise and advice from leading industry figures. But the emails reveal a close-knit relationship between negotiators and the industry advisors that is likely unmatched by any other stakeholders.

The article highlights numerous examples of what appear to be very chummy relationships between the USTR and the "cleared advisors" from places like the RIAA, the MPAA and the ESA. They regularly share text and have very informal discussions, scheduling phone calls and get togethers to further discuss. This really isn't that surprising, given that the USTR is somewhat infamous for its revolving door with lobbyists who work on these issues. In fact, one of the main USTR officials in the emails that IP Watch got is Stan McCoy, who was the long term lead negotiator on "intellectual property" issues. But he's no longer at the USTR -- he now works for the MPAA...

...Perhaps the most incredible, is the email from Jim DeLisi, from Fanwood Chemical, to Barbara Weisel, a USTR official, where DeLisi raves that he's just looked over the latest text, and is gleeful to see that the the rules that have been agreed up on are "our rules" (i.e., the lobbyists'), even to the point that he (somewhat confusingly) insists "someone owes USTR a royalty payment." While it appears he's got the whole royalty system backwards (you'd think an "IP advisor" would know better...) the point is pretty clear: the lobbyists wrote the rules, and the USTR just put them into the agreement. Weisel's response? "Well there's a bit of good news..."

Read more: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150605/11483831239/revealed-emails-show-how-industry-lobbyists-basically-wrote-tpp.shtml



Us proles need to remember that we're not important enough to see these- nor are
Congressional aides, for that matter

But lobbyists are...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Jun 9, 2015, 04:08 PM (23 replies)

"Third Way®" types don't want to discuss the last year of M.L. King, Jr.'s life

They'll praise MLK to the skies in general terms while repeatedly
quoting his speech at the 1963 March on Washington. They'll denounce his asassination.

All these things should be done, and it's good of them to do so-but it's not enough.

Ignoring or eliding the last year of Dr. King's life is to ignore or elide a vital part of the man.
I invite you to read on:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125355148

The Story Of King's 'Beyond Vietnam' Speech

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Beyond Vietnam" was a powerful and angry speech that raged against the war. At the time, civil rights leaders publicly condemned him for it.

PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley's new documentary, MLK: A Call to Conscience explores King's speech. The film is the second episode of Tavis Smiley Reports. Smiley spoke with both scholars and friends of King, including Cornel West, Vincent Harding and Susannah Heschel.

By the time King made the "Beyond Vietnam" speech, Smiley tells host Neal Conan, "he had fallen off already the list of most-admired Americans as tallied by Gallup every year." Smiley continues, "it was the most controversial speech he ever gave. It was the speech he labored over the most."

After King delivered the speech, Smiley reports, "168 major newspapers the next day denounced him." Not only that, but then-President Lyndon Johnson disinvited King to the White House. "It basically ruins their relationship," says Smiley. "This was a huge, huge speech," he continues, "that got Martin King in more trouble than anything he had ever seen or done."








https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/publications/autobiography-martin-luther-king-jr-contents/chapter-31-poor-peoples

From "The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.":


Chapter 31: The Poor People's Campaign

We have moved into an era where we are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society. We are still called upon to give aid to the beggar who finds himself in misery and agony on life's highway. But one day, we must ask the question of whether an edifice which produces beggars must not be restructured and refurbished. That is where we are now.

...We intended to channel the smouldering rage and frustration of Negro people into an effective, militant, and nonviolent movement of massive proportions in Washington and other areas. Similarly, we would be calling on the swelling masses of young people in this country who were disenchanted with this materialistic society and asking them to join us in our new Washington movement. We also looked for participation by representatives of the millions of non Negro poor-Indians, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Appalachians, and others. And we welcomed assistance from all Americans of goodwill.



From a sermon in Memphis, during a sanitation worker's strike:

You know Jesus reminded us in a magnificent parable one day that a man went to hell because he didn't see the poor. His name was Dives. And there was a man by the name of Lazarus who came daily to his gate in need of the basic necessities of life and Dives didn't do anything about it. And he ended up going to hell. There is nothing in that parable which says that Dives went to hell because he was rich. Jesus never made a universal indictment against all wealth. It is true that one day a rich young ruler came to Him talking about eternal life and he advised him to sell all, but in that instance Jesus was prescribing individual surgery, not setting forth a universal diagnosis. If you will go on and read that parable in all of its dimensions and its symbolism you will remember that a conversation took place between heaven and hell. And on the other end of that long distance call between heaven and hell was Abraham in heaven talking to Dives in hell. It wasn't a millionaire in hell talking with a poor man in heaven, it was a little millionaire in hell talking with a multimillionaire in heaven. Dives didn't go to hell because he was rich. His wealth was his opportunity to bridge the gulf that separated him from his brother Lazarus. Dives went to hell because he allowed Lazarus to become invisible. Dives went to hell because he allowed the means by which he lived to outdistance the ends for which he lived. Dives went to hell because he sought to be a conscientious objector in the war against poverty.

And I come by here to say that America too is going to hell if she doesn't use her wealth. If America does not use her vast resources of wealth to end poverty and make it possible for all of God's children to have the basic necessities of life, she too will go to hell. I will hear America through her historians, years and generations to come, saying, "We built gigantic buildings to kiss the skies. We built gargantuan bridges to span the seas. Through our space ships we were able to carve highways through the stratosphere. Through our submarines we were able to penetrate oceanic depths." It seems that I can hear the God of the universe saying, "Even though you have done all of that, I was hungry and you fed me not. I was naked and you clothed me not. The children of my sons and daughters were in need of economic security and you didn't provide it for them. And so you cannot enter the kingdom of greatness."
This may well be the indictment on America. And that same voice says in Memphis to the mayor, to the power structure, "If you do it unto the least of these of my children you do it unto me .






Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sat May 30, 2015, 04:36 PM (29 replies)
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