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99th_Monkey

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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 11,253

Journal Archives

Ouch! Please file under: "Ugly Things One Is 'Required' To Do As POTUS" ...

Obama toasts Bush: 'We are surely a kinder and gentler nation because of you'
By Michael O'Brien, Political Reporter, NBC News

In a rare and warm appearance, former President George H.W. Bush returned to the White House on Monday. The 89-year-old was there to hand out the 5,000th award from his "Points of Light" Foundation, but the celebration also recognized the 41st president’s legacy of charity and altruism.

In brief remarks, Bush, who suffered from a protracted hospital stay late last year and was confined to a wheelchair, thanked Obama for his hospitality: "It's like coming home for Barbara and me."

President Barack Obama credited the 89-year-old Bush with sparking a "national movement" to advance volunteerism and community service as the 41st president of the United States, joined Obama onstage.

"You've described for us those thousand points of light -- all the people and organizations spread out all across the country who are like stars brightening the lives of those around them," Obama said at the White House. "But given the humility that's defined your life, I suspect it's harder for you to see something that's clear to everybody else around you, and that's how bright a light you shine."
"On behalf of all of us, let me just say that we are surely a kinder and gentler nation because of you, and we can't thank you enough," Obama added.
http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/15/19487988-obama-toasts-bush-we-are-surely-a-kinder-and-gentler-nation-because-of-you

Peter Van Buren: "Snowden is one of us"

State Dept. Whistleblower Peter Van Buren: Edward Snowden is One Of Us
By: Peter Van Buren Friday July 12, 2013 3:26 pm

Edward Snowden today made clear both his own bona fides as a whistleblower, and the hypocrisy of the United States in its manhunt for him.

Whistleblower? Snowden’s remarks reinforce the basic tenet of whistleblowing, that is an act of conscience. He made clear what he gave up– home, family, perhaps even his liberty and life– and what we gained, learning what a government which claims to be “of the people” is doing to the people.

Snowden still loves America, if not its government and its intelligence services. He reinforced that idea that one courageous act of conscience might make a difference in a nation gone astray.

Hypocrisy? Of the countries that offered to help Edward Snowden, the U.S. itself has accepted 3,103 of their own asylees, 1,222 from Russia and 1,762 from Venezuela.

The U.S. took those people in without a hint of regard for anyone’s opposition. This is in fact how the asylum system, codified by various UN treaties the U.S. has signed, should work.

The concept of asylum reaches back to the original democracy, Greece, and it is shameful that the United States today, in only this one case, refuses to recognize it as a fundamental right of a free people.

Our Founders, who pledged their own lives, fortunes and sacred honor to such ideals, would weep.

Irony? During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was notorious for refusing to grant dissidents passports, while the U.S. regularly waived such requirements when they escaped to the West.

Indeed, it was only about a year ago that the U.S. gave Chinese dissident Chen Guang Cheng refuge in our own embassy in Beijing before allowing him to enter the United States.

Snowden also touched on the most fundamental of points: that the America he is defending is not limited to physical safety, but extends deeper, to the freedoms from unwarranted search and seizure that define America.

Source: http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/07/12/state-dept-whistleblower-peter-van-buren-edward-snowden-is-one-of-us/

Don't you mean, "prosecute him for exposing US Gov't lies to American public"?

AKA blowing the whistle on "Mr. Transparency" <-- while on campaign trail, running for POTUS.

Blowback from the White House's Vindictive War on Whistleblowers

Blowback from the White House's Vindictive War on Whistleblowers
Edward Snowden is explicit: seeing whistleblowers like me punitively treated only motivates citizens of conscience more
Saturday, July 6, 2013 * The Guardian * by Shamai Leibowitz

In 2009, I was working as a contract linguist for the FBI when I discovered that the FBI was committing what I believed to be illegal acts. After I revealed these to a blogger, the Department of Justice came after me with a vengeance.

When the FBI confronted me, I admitted what I had done. I tried to negotiate for a reasonable resolution of my case. The documents I disclosed were never explicitly published anywhere, but that didn't matter: the DOJ was adamant that I be charged under the Espionage Act and spend time in jail. Even though I leaked the material because I thought the FBI was doing something illegal, and the American people had a right to know, I faced the threat of dozens of years in prison. I did what was best for my family, and signed a plea agreeing to a 20-month sentence.

Considering Edward Snowden's revelations, what I witnessed pales in comparison. But reading about the secretive NSA programs collecting the private data of millions of Americans did not surprise me. As Snowden explained, he watched for years as the military-industrial-intelligence complex turned our country into a massive surveillance state, and observed a "continuing litany of lies" from senior officials to Congress. Eventually, he decided to speak out, because he could not in good conscience remain silent.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/07/06-1

Article V Convention To Amend Constitution Pushed By Several States

Article V Convention To Amend Constitution Pushed By Several States
HuffPo produced this video back in March of this year, calling for a new Constitutional
Convention as a way to push back against Citizen's United.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/25/article-v-convention_n_2951027.html

If a new Constitutional Convention was a good progressive thing to do regarding
Citizen's United, back in March; then I think the Snowden/NSA dust-up is ALL THE
MORE reason to be concerned that our Liberty is being eclipsed by the Koch Bros.,
the NSA, et. al. very rapidly and pretty much completely.

Max Keiser website discussion re: Naomi Wolff's creepy concerns about Snowden.

http://www.maxkeiser.com/2013/06/is-naomi-wolf-or-edward-snowden-working-for-the-nsa/

Now that literally "Everybody Knows", there is no turning back

There is no escaping our responsibility -- both collectively and personally -- to
begin imagining and recreating our world completely anew, from the grass-roots
up, based on what kind of future we ALL want for our children and grandchildren.

We ALL "have skin" in this endgame. Every last one of us.

Can you say "Constitutional Convention" yet?




AP: SNOWDEN'S FATE UNCLEAR DESPITE ASYLUM OFFERS

SNOWDEN'S FATE UNCLEAR DESPITE ASYLUM OFFERS
BY NATALIYA VASILYEVA * Jul 6, 1:32 PM EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOSCOW (AP) -- Edward Snowden has found supporters in Latin America, including three countries who have offered him asylum. But many obstacles stand in the way of the fugitive NSA leaker from leaving a Russian airport - chief among them the power and influence of the United States.

Because Snowden's U.S. passport has been revoked, the logistics of him departing are complicated. Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia have made asylum offers over the past two days, but the three countries haven't indicated they would help Snowden by issuing a travel document, which he would need to leave Russia.

The former NSA systems analyst, who is charged with violating U.S. espionage laws, is believed to be stuck in the transit area of Moscow's main international airport after arriving June 23 from Hong Kong.

Russia doesn't appear willing to help him leave the airport, with Kremlin spokesman Alexei Pavlov saying Saturday the issue of Snowden's travel documents is "not our business." On Monday, President Vladimir Putin said Snowden would be offered asylum in Russia if he stopped leaking U.S. secrets. Snowden then withdrew his Russian asylum bid, a Russian official said.

While President Barack Obama has publicly displayed a relaxed attitude toward Snowden's movements, saying last month that he wouldn't be "scrambling jets" to capture him, other senior U.S. officials have used unusually harsh language that they want him back.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said China had "unquestionably" damaged its relationship with Washington for not returning Snowden, who recently turned 30, from semi-autonomous Hong Kong while he was still there.

"The Chinese have emphasized the importance of building mutual trust," Carney said last month. "We think that they have dealt that effort a serious setback. If we cannot count on them to honor their legal extradition obligations, then there is a problem."

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/N/NSA_SURVEILLANCE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-07-06-12-15-45

Obama may not be "scrambling jets", but you can bet your booties that the USA's "Shadow Government" is in full panic mode, pulling out all the stops to apprehend Mr. Snowden; while their front man in the WH pretends to be unconcerned. Quite an odd juxtaposition imho.


NOTE TO DU ADMIN: This was posted in another forum, and locked by Admin. for being "off-topic". The mod conceded that this was "good information", said "we hope you will repost ... as an OP in the GD". I looked to see if it had been reposted and couldn't find it, so am doing it myself. If it actually WAS reposted in GD, then by all means I'd be happy to self-delete.

To those who say ‘trust the government’ on NSA spying: Remember J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI?

It's after 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, and I'm heading to bed finally; but I just stumbled
across this at Raw Story (from the Guardian), and couldn't resist posting it before logging
off to go nite-nite.

_____^_____^_____^_____^_____^_____^_____^_____^_____^_____^_____^_____^

To those who say ‘trust the government’ on NSA spying: Remember J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI?
By Barrett Brown, The Guardian
Monday, July 1, 2013 13:19 EDT

Those who tell us to trust the US’s secret, privatised surveillance schemes should recall the criminality of J Edgar Hoover’s FBI

It’s a fine thing to see mainstream American media outlets finally sparing some of their attention toward the cyber-industrial complex – that unprecedented conglomeration of state, military and corporate interests that together exercise growing power over the flow of information. It would be even more heartening if so many of the nation’s most influential voices, from senator to pundits, were not clearly intent on killing off even this belated scrutiny into the invisible empire that so thoroughly scrutinizes us – at our own expense and to unknown ends.

Summing up the position of those who worry less over secret government powers than they do over the whistleblowers who reveal such things, we have New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who argues that we can trust small cadres of unaccountable spies with broad powers over our communications. We must all wish Friedman luck with this prediction. Other proclamations of his – including that Vladimir Putin would bring transparency and liberal democracy to Russia, and that the Chinese regime would not seek to limit its citizens’ free access to the internet – have not aged especially well.

An unkind person might dismiss Friedman as the incompetent harbinger of a dying republic. Being polite, I will merely suggest that Friedman’s faith in government is as misplaced as faith in the just and benevolent God that we know not to exist – Friedman having been the winner of several of the world’s most-coveted Pulitzer Prizes.

If Friedman is, indeed, too quick to trust the powerful, it’s a trait he shares with the just over half of Americans, who tell pollsters they’re fine with the NSA programs that were until recently hidden from their view. Why, our countrymen wonder, ought we to be disturbed by our state’s desire to know everything that everyone does? Given the possibility that this surveillance could perhaps prevent deaths in the form of terrorist attacks, most Americans are willing to forgo some abstract notion of privacy in favor of the more concrete benefits of security.

Besides, the government to which we’re ceding these broad new powers is a democracy, overseen by real, live Americans. And it’s hard to imagine American government officials abusing their powers – or at least, it would be, had such officials not already abused similar but more limited powers through repeated campaigns of disinformation, intimidation and airtight crimes directed at the American public over the last five decades. Cointelpro, Operation Mockingbird, Ultra and Chaos are among the now-acknowledged CIA, FBI and NSA programs by which those agencies managed to subvert American democracy with impunity. Supporters of mass surveillance conducted under the very same agencies have yet to address how such abuses can be insured against in the context of powers far greater than anything J Edgar Hoover could command.

Many have never heard of these programs; the sort of people who trust states with secret authority tend not to know what such things have led to in the recent past. Those who do know of such things may perhaps contend that these practices would never be repeated today. But it was just two years ago that the late Michael Hastings revealed that US army officials in Afghanistan were conducting psy-ops against visiting US senators in order to sway them towards continued funding for that unsuccessful war. If military and intelligence officials have so little respect for the civilian leadership, one can guess how they feel about mere civilians.

Not that anyone need merely guess. Discussing the desirability of such “information operations” in his 2001 book, retired USAF Lt Col George Crawford noted that voters tend to view these sorts of programs with suspicion. “Consequently,” he concludes, “these efforts must take place away from public eyes.”

MORE HERE: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/07/01/to-those-who-say-trust-the-government-on-nsa-spying-remember-j-edgar-hoovers-fbi/

NSA/Greenwald/Snowden: Everybody Knows the Deal is Rotten

Watching this whole NSA/Greenwald/Snowden thing day-to-day, prompts me to imagine -- if only for brief periods -- living inside the mind of one of the .01%, and when I do, it feels increasingly crowded with lies, fear and frustration. Through this imaginal Looking Glass, I see someone living in fear, stuck in a frenzied mental state that spells "Danger to Others", especially if your name happens to be Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, or now Glen Greenwald & The Guardian. Imagine the anguished screams & the heads exploding among the ranks on goon squads at NSA, CIA, FBI, et. al, both to CYA AND to "GET SNOWDEN NOW!! (e.g. before he spills ALL the beans) ... except that they cannot really stop these leaks anymore. A whole handful of very brave people have clearly put themselves very much in harms way, and that's putting very lightly; and they did it for me and for you, and for the constitution. As surely as the sun will rise in the East, others will follow, and imho ...this is "Game Over". Period.

Now Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows" takes on a brand new meaning.


The reason it's pretty much OVER for "Captain$ of the Univer$e" is because of Snowden's public statements (which I have no reason to disbelieve) to the effect that he has already given 100% of the information in question, duplicated many times over, deposited "for safe keeping" at many locations, for immediate release,
just in case Mr. Snowden has any unseemly "accidents" in a small plane, or his car suddenly & inexplicably accelerates out of control until it bursts into flames.

The mind-boggling but indisputable "Good News" is this: like it or not, the cat is out of the bag now, and all the horses have left the barn. These rather embarrassing USA/NSA issues are Front & Center on the World Stage right now, and we're not looking so good. There really is no going back now, a simple refreshing truth for which I am immensely grateful, and every American should be. Most of us will get through all the shit-storms that will be thrown at us as we enter this potentially transformative period of history. But -- make no mistake about it -- I think we ARE "on our way" to a somewhere much better than our Corporate Overlords wanted. All the more reason we must keep our wits about us, and not just "be open to change", but actually step forward to embrace needed changes, step into making history. Rather than remaining invisibly oppressed by it, why not recreate it?

Yes we can. < I think the 99% should hijack and recycle this, all the way to Obama's doorstep. My hopeful side believes that Obama desperately wants us to do that. Yes, we need to begin choosing our battles a bit more carefully at times, but never will the 99% completely give up, even when the cops come, or the threats come, or whatever they throw.

One way to look at this is that Obama NEEDS us to resist. I don't believe for a minute Obama likes what is happening, but I DO know how much he appears to love his family, and want to raise his lovely children, as he should, sheilded by the wealth they have acquired along the way to becoming a president no one thought they elected, once post-election everyones masks came off behind closed doors.

The Big Lie is that it's "every person for themselves now" , like most lies, this lie creates separation and fear if I buy into it, because that is precisely how your average rich greedy fuck thinks, if you can call it thinking. This whole "survival of the fittest" and " sounds more like literally casting an evil spell, through their hired mega-corporate mouthpieces, by projecting their own selfishness and twisted inner-ugliness out onto the rest of the Human Race. Fuck that. I don't buy it for a second. But I digress ... where were we? Oh yah, we were imaging BEING one of the .01% ruling class, sitting on ALL the weaponry, and ALL the riches, and ALL the political influence you will ever need to be with all our secrets

Red State or Blue, imagine what must be racing through millions of upper-class minds right now, perhaps caught red-handed pilfering from the public purse, while profiting from the misery of most of their "fellow citizens", while at the same time discovering (perhaps for the first time) that even if you are rich and famous -- all of YOUR DATA, phone calls & emails, etc. could ALSO very easily slip into SOMEONE ELSE's hands, the "wrong hands, to be used against you anytime they so chose. All that 'humming' you hear is all the imagination wheels racing to recall where all the bodies are buried, if there is any damning evidence "they" NOW have on ME. It's like pretty much ALL of us are now living in a Spy v. Spy fishbowl surrounded by one-way see-through glass,

So THIS is the world we really WANT to be co-creating? I think not. In fact I believe we now live in a world where .01% of the people get to live in unimaginable wealth and god-like splendor, while literally everyone else is either a "Partner in Crime", or ultimately a hireling at their OverLord's beck and call, publicly, vocationally, covertly, directly or indirectly, all of those and more. But eventually, when someone is no longer "useful", then what?

For the 99.9%, when you become no longer useful you are "laid off", if you are lucky. If you are not lucky, i.e. you know too much and/or are "in the wrong VIPs way", then you get murdered, or otherwise disposed of, likely reduced to poverty and lack. You will NOT be a happy camper blacklisted, trying to somehow find another decent job in our jobless economy. can just fuck off and die as far as the .01% cares; unless we get real "creative" to conjure up a totally new way to be "useful", to "do your part" to keep this Wall St./DC Punch & Judy Show going. If I were even one of the wealthiest 50%, I'd probably be trying to recall all my slips, and weak moments, wondering just how "loyal" my "trusted help" really is, wondering what their own "profile" looks might like behind the NSA/CIA e/phone curtain, To sum up, unless you ARE ALREADY behind The Curtain, you are already "under suspicion of being a traitor unless you STFU, lay low, listen to your bosses, listen to your government so-called, take care of your family and be just be thankful your number hasn't come up yet.

imagine suddenly becoming a "person of interest" while holding a high socio-economic rank or office. If it were me, I'd be racking my memory trying to recall every slip of the tongue, every batch of key-strokes, that someone might use against me, since anyone who can get their hands on it will be able to hurt me bad. Is there any way for this person to live an honorable life, living in perpetual fear of getting thrown like so much red meat out the back door to pack of ravenous beasts, while the whole house of cards comes crashing down around our ears? Now LOTS of people are wondering who might show up at the door with some very unseemly pictures of them at that crazy party (pics who someone else there took on their cell phone), pictures that would be sufficiently embarrassing to ruin my marriage, destroy my career, pictures with which I suddenly find myself being blackmailed.

No one is completely safe now. Certainly not us, you and me, as we're mere pawns & peons. But even if you are Warren Buffet, you DO have enemies, enemies who now may be able to "get the goods" on you, to bring you down. Even certain rich people can become very "expendable" very fast, just ask the Kennedy Clan about that. So even if you are rich, you are now more vulnerable to becoming a "person of interest" now for going to the wrong webnsites, or having the wrong opinions about politics or the economy, or caring about who is really running things in Amerika.

Besides the Super-rich, there are certainly others who deserve some "credit" for this draconian train-wreck, i.e. all those obedient lapdogs, 100s of thousands of good folks mostly working & living in either NYC or Washington DC, who work as a Congress Critter, OR as Congressional staff, OR for a Federal Bureau, OR as a Lobbyist with the infamous "K Street" crowd, OR you get a paycheck from one of the M$M outlets (formerly known as the "Free Press").

Now that literally EVERYONE is under surveillance by people authorized to murder them, if they fit a certain "terrorist profile", anything and everything can and will be used against us, to our detriment. We will all get used-up eventually, to be "exposed" and/or disposed of. The NSA files that Snowden is exposing day by day -- drip drip -- it will continue until many a Fat Cat gets taken down by an angry public or by the .01%'s goons, all of which means that ever more people are likely to step forward so much so, that the list simply gets too long to keep track of anymore, as citizens begin waking up, re-imagining and re-creating our world anew, to be a much healthier and happier place, especially when compared to the Hellhole we were being bamboozled into accepting as a "future".

It's time we devise a better way to conduct our public business: i.e. convene a Constitutional Convention, or come upwith some kind of "National Referendum", to revise and update our founding documents, so that:
a) They accurately reflect the situation we actually live in, especially in light of medical & technological advances,
b) also such that it is clearly the "will of the people", and not dictates of the super-rich.

I know I've indulged in a bit rambling here & have perhaps become a little grandiose at times, but I felt inspired to start a DU conversation about some of surprisingly constructive opportunities & longer-term possible outcomes that are becoming much more imaginable as the GG/ESnowden/NSA revelations keep doing their work of disinfecting this place.
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