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WillyT's Journal
WillyT's Journal
October 31, 2013

What Happened To "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" ???

"GOD... Bless America???"

October 31, 2013

Hypothetical Question For The Class... How Would Passing A Public Option...

Have Influenced The Current Insurance Pricing Controversy??? (Re: ACA)

I'm NOT talking about the wesite problems... I'm talking about the Insurance Industry.

Healthcare Insurance Monopolies Difficult to Unseat, Even Under ACA

Link: http://www.nonprofitquarterly.org/policysocial-context/22223-healthcare-insurance-monopolies-difficult-to-unseat-even-under-aca.html

I'm just asking... what price we are paying for playing footsie with these amoral leeches.

October 30, 2013

:( ::::::: Translator At Drone Strike Hearing Moved Nearly To Tears By Survivor Testimony - RawStory

Translator at drone strike hearing moved nearly to tears by survivor testimony
By David Ferguson
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 13:50 EDT


A translator at a Capitol Hill hearing on the U.S. drone program was moved nearly to tears Tuesday during the testimony of Pakistani primary school teacher Rafiq Rehman. Rehman and his family — whose story was revealed to the world by Amnesty International — traveled to Washington from Pakistan’s northern Waziristan region. The teacher’s mother was killed in a U.S. drone strike and his two children were injured.

The family’s congressional appearance was held in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill and was sponsored in by the Brave New Foundation, a global nonprofit social justice foundation. Brave New Films has just released the documentary film “Unmanned: America’s Drone War,” which details the Rehman family’s losses.

“Congressman Grayson,” said Rehman via a translator, “As a teacher, my job is to educate. But how do I teach something like this?”

“How do I explain what I myself do not understand?” he continued. “How can I in good faith reassure the children that the drone will not come back and kill them, too? If I do not understand why it killed my mother and injured my children…”

It was there that the translator broke off and took a hasty swallow of water as she choked up. Rehman spoke again.

“My mother is not the first innocent victim of U.S. drones,” relayed the translator, “Numerous families in our community and in the surrounding area have lost loved ones — including women and children — in these strikes over the years.”

In October of 2012...


More: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/30/translator-at-drone-strike-hearing-moved-nearly-to-tears-by-survivor-testimony/

October 30, 2013

It's A Darn Good Thing All Those Snowden Revelations Came To Nothing...

Lawmakers propose USA Freedom Act to curb NSA’s powers
By Brendan Sasso - TheHill


Dozens of lawmakers from both parties introduced legislation Tuesday to rein in the National Security Agency's spying powers. The USA Freedom Act, which has 16 co-sponsors in the Senate and more than 70 in the House, would end the agency's massive phone record collection program — one of the most controversial revelations from the leaks by Edward Snowden.

The bill was authored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), the original author of the Patriot Act in 2001.

In a statement, Sensenbrenner said the Patriot Act has helped keep Americans safe, but that "somewhere along the way, the balance between security and privacy was lost." "It’s now time for the Judiciary committees to again come together in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the law is properly interpreted, past abuses are not repeated and American liberties are protected," he said.

Civil liberties groups cheered the introduction of the USA Freedom Act, saying it would help end the NSA's privacy violations.

"The last five months have proven that the NSA cannot be trusted with the surveillance authorities they have been given by a secret court without the knowledge or approval of the American people," Michelle Richardson, a lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union, said. "The only way to stop the NSA's collect-it-all mentality is for Congress to pass legislation that prohibits the intelligence community from engaging in the dragnet surveillance of Americans' communications."

Other Senate co-sponsors include Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). In the House, the bill is backed by Reps. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

The National Rifle Association, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Constitution Project and other civil liberties groups have also endorsed the bill...


More: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/331199-usa-freedom-act-would-curb-nsa-power

October 30, 2013

If You Could Go Back In Time... And Could Have The President's Ear... Regarding The ACA...

What Advice Would You Give ???

Me... beware of Max Baucus, Kent Conrad... to name two.

You ???

October 30, 2013

James Clapper: Spying On Leaders Not Significant Enough To Tell Congress - HuffPo

James Clapper: Spying On Leaders Not Significant Enough To Tell Congress
Michael McAuliff - HuffPo


WASHINGTON -- It is "unrealistic" for the White House to know about reported United States eavesdropping on foreign leaders, and perfectly reasonable for intelligence officials to have neglected to tell Congress, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper argued Tuesday.

Clapper was among a clutch of officials who trouped to Capitol Hill to testify to Congress about the ongoing surveillance programs revealed over the summer by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. But their appearance came after revelations that the U.S. monitored the phones of other leaders, including allies such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Clapper suggested such activities were not particularly remarkable and didn't rise to the significance meriting explicit notification to Congress or the White House. He said trying to figure out what foreign leaders are thinking is a mainstay of his job.

“As long as I've been in the intelligence business, 50 years, leadership intentions in whatever form that's expressed is kind of a basic tenet of what we are to collect,” Clapper told the House Intelligence Committee, without confirming the specific reports of spying. “It's invaluable to us to know where countries are coming from, what their policies are, how that would impact us across a whole range of issues."

When Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) suggested...


More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/29/james-clapper-spying_n_4175703.html

October 30, 2013

So With The Current "Divisions" Within DU... How Do You Plan To Vote In 2014... IF You Do...

Personally... with as much complaining I do...

I do plan to vote... and vote for the Democrats...

BUT... I live in NorCal... that's fairly easy.


Will I support "Leftier" Dems... Yes.

If a Bernie Sanders type Indie shows up... maybe.

But Republican... NEVER!

You ???

October 30, 2013

George Carlin Said Many Things Well... But THIS Is My Fave...

Now, to balance the scale, I'd like to talk about some things that bring us together, things that point out our similarities instead of our differences. 'Cause that's all you ever hear about in this country. It's our differences. That's all the media and the politicians are ever talking about--the things that separate us, things that make us different from one another. That's the way the ruling class operates in any society. They try to divide the rest of the people. They keep the lower and the middle classes fighting with each other so that they, the rich, can run off with all the fucking money! Fairly simple thing. Happens to work. You know? Anything different--that's what they're gonna talk about--race, religion, ethnic and national background, jobs, income, education, social status, sexuality, anything they can do to keep us fighting with each other, so that they can keep going to the bank! You know how I define the economic and social classes in this country? The upper class keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there just to scare the shit out of the middle class. Keep 'em showing up at those jobs.

Link: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Carlin

Bonus Video:

October 29, 2013

15 Ways The United States Is The Best (At Being The Worst)

15 Ways The United States Is The Best (At Being The Worst)
Maxwell Strachan, Alissa Scheller & Jan Diehm - HuffPo
Posted: 10/29/2013 10:26 am EDT | Updated: 10/29/2013 5:59 pm EDT

More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/29/american-exceptionalism_n_4170683.html?utm_hp_ref=business

October 29, 2013

In Case You Missed This... On The NSA, The Media May Tilt Right - CJR

On the NSA, the media may tilt right
An inquiry finds a pro-surveillance bias in the language

By Albert Wong and Valerie Belair-Gagnon - CJR


Since June 6, the world has been roiled by an ongoing series of disclosures based on Edward Snowden’s document leaks, with coverage led by the Guardian and the Washington Post, about clandestine mass surveillance conducted, with little oversight, by the NSA and its international partners.

Public perceptions of these surveillance revelations are affected not only by the NSA’s actual actions, but also by the news coverage of the government’s spying programs. Previous studies have shown that the latter factor can have a profound effect on public opinion. Given the importance of this issue, we decided to analyze major US newspapers’ “post-Snowden” coverage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to determine if there was an overall bias in either a pro- (traditionally conservative) or anti-surveillance (traditionally liberal) direction.

The results were unexpected, and quite remarkable.

Our analysis of total press coverage of FISA and FISC between July 1 and July 31 (July was the first full calendar month after the initial disclosures in June) revealed that the widely held assumption that major media outlets uniformly tilt to the left does not match reality. In fact, if anything, the media appears to tilt to the right, at least on this issue.

We did a LexisNexis search of four of the largest US newspapers by circulation: The New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. Of the 30 traditionally pro- or anti-surveillance terms we examined (15 each, listed below) in all four newspapers, key words generally used to justify increased surveillance, such as security or terrorism, were used much more frequently than terms that tend to invoke opposition to mass surveillance, such as privacy or liberty.

USA Today led the pack...


More: http://www.cjr.org/the_kicker/news_media_pro_surveillance_bi.php?page=all

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