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Autumn

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Elizabeth Warren Book Is A Liberal Call To Arms That Rips Tea Party 'Magical Thinking'

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/18/elizabeth-warren-book_n_5175662.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

WASHINGTON -- Elizabeth Warren's new book isn't just a memoir -- it's a full-throated endorsement of modern, populist liberalism and a scathing indictment of anti-government "magical thinking" by the tea party.

While the Democratic Massachusetts senator structures her new volume, A Fighting Chance, as a chronological tale of her life, she also uses her experiences to make strategic points and arguments about her political philosophy, which embraces government and the labor movement as forces for good.

"We can't bury our heads in the sand and pretend that if 'big government' disappears, so will society's toughest problems. That's just magical thinking -- and it's also dangerous thinking," Warren writes. "Our problems are getting bigger by the day and we need to develop some hardheaded, realistic responses. Instead of trying to starve the government or drown it in the bathtub, we need to tackle our problems head-on, and that will require better government."


No more NSA spying? Sorry, Mr Obama, but that's not true

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/mar/30/no-more-nsa-spying-obama-not-true


Last week in the Hague, Barack Obama seemed to have suddenly remembered the oath he swore on his inauguration as president that stuff about preserving, protecting and defending the constitution of the United States. At any rate, he announced that the NSA would end the "bulk collection" of telephone records and instead would be required to seek a new kind of court order to search data held by telecommunications companies.

This policy change is a tacit admission of what Edward Snowden (and 2001 whistleblower William Binney before him) had been claiming, namely that the warrantless surveillance of US citizens by the NSA and other government agencies does, in fact, violate the constitution of the United States. Obama's announcement looked to some observers as the first crack to appear in the implacable facade of the national surveillance state. This looked promising because, as we know from second world war movies, the first crack is inevitably the harbinger of the eventual total collapse of the dam.

Dream on. The significant thing about Obama's announcement is the two things it left out: surveillance of the internet (as distinct from the telephonic activity of American citizens); and of the rest of the world that's you and me. So even if Obama succeeds in getting his little policy swerve through Congress, the central capabilities of the national surveillance state will remain in place, untouched and unimpaired.

At the heart of these capabilities is the "bulk collection" (that is, warrantless) collection and storage of communications metadata on an unimaginable scale. Given that metadata in this context is essentially a log of every communicative act that you make in cyberspace where you went; who you emailed or texted; who emailed or texted you; the URL of every website you visited; a list of every web search you've ever made; and so on metadata nowadays constitutes information of a very detailed and intimate nature
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