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Hometown: New England, The South, Midwest
Home country: USA
Current location: Chicago
Member since: Sat Mar 5, 2011, 12:32 PM
Number of posts: 10,992

About Me

Human. Being.

Journal Archives


If the DOJ Can't Attack Asylum Seekers, Attack Their Judges. Same Outcome.

The Department of Justice is challenging the right of the country’s 440 immigration judges to be represented by a labor union in a move the judges said was aimed at silencing their criticism.

In recent months, the immigration judges’ union has spoken out against new performance quotas and rules for managing court dockets.

The National Association of Immigration Judges has also called for the immigration courts to become independent of the Department of Justice, where the judges are currently employees...

“It’s absurd that anyone would consider us managers,” Immigration Judge Ashley Tabaddor, the association’s president, said in a statement. “We don’t even have the authority to order pencils.”

She called the move an “effort to mute” the country’s immigration judges.

Immigration judges are tasked with deciding who can stay in the country legally and who should be deported. The judges decide thousands of cases each year and are currently overseeing courts backlogged with 900,000 cases.

I hope Rachel pursues this.

We need to keep an eye on this case.

Let's hope the asylum judges win, since this is a move to weaken our judiciary that falls within the power of the Executive.




For the last two years, hackers have come to the Voting Village at the DefCon security conference in Las Vegas to tear down voting machines and analyze them for vulnerabilities. But this year’s village features a fancy new target: a prototype of a so-called secure voting machine, created through a $10 million project at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. You know it better as Darpa, the government's mad science wing.

DARPA wants you to know: Its endgame goes way beyond securing the vote. The agency hopes to use voting machines as a model system for developing a secure hardware platform—meaning that the group is designing all the chips that go into a computer from the ground up, and isn’t using proprietary components from companies like Intel or AMD.

“The goal of the program is to develop these tools to provide security against hardware vulnerabilities,” says Linton Salmon, the project’s program manager at Darpa. “Our goal is to protect against remote attacks.”


That there, my friends, is where the hacking community is -- right square in Democracy's corner.

So let's not fret. Let's trust that they're gonna help this messed up system right itself.

This particular prototype might not be ready in time for 2020, but tech folk are fanning out to watch swing states and the red state paperless ballot system.

Harry Reid Agrees With Gov. Inslee

Abolish the filibuster.


At the 5:00 mark (five months ago) :

Mother Jones, July 18: The Hate Pamphlet That Started It All

"Donald Trump’s Politics of Hate Began With a “Cynical and Evil” GOP Memo"


Trump has embraced the Newt way. He runs on hate. He turns political opponents into evil enemies, and he does so with an emphasis on race. He exploits and whips up fear. None of this is new for the Republican Party...

... what does [Frank] Luntz, who has been a GOP strategist for much of this time, think of Trump’s demagogic breakout? (Luntz, who was at odds with Trump during the 2016 campaign, has reportedly been advising the White House since his old friend Mick Mulvaney became Trump’s chief of staff.) “I don’t want to go there,” he says. “I’m not answering this for anyone. I don’t want to comment. It’s not what I would do. It’s not what I would say.” And Luntz, who blames “both sides” for the toxic political environment, continues: “But I will tell you this. I’m afraid for the country. I do not think we know how low we can go…I know what the outcome is. It’s bad. It’s France in 1793. It ends up consuming everything.”

The GOP has made use of race-driven and hate-propelled demagoguery since the early 1960s. But it has mostly done so in a manner that preserved deniability and would be acceptable at the country club. To a certain degree, Gingrich changed that.

But Trump, the owner of several country clubs, has decided that in his world no niceties at all are needed. He has essentially said to the party, “Thanks for the lift, fellows, I’ll take it from here.”

Better late than never. I hate it when media get stuff and file it for future reference.

It's late coming in usefulness for MF45's tweets and teleprompter messaging, but here the pamphlet's word chart without the pep talk.


Optimistic Positive Governing Words

Use the list below to help define your campaign and your vision of public service. These words can help give extra power to your message.
common sense freedom peace reform
courage hard work pioneer rights
crusade help precious strength
dream liberty pride truth
duty light principle(d) vision
empower(ment) moral pristine workfare
fair movement pro-environment
family passionate prosperity

Contrasting Words

Often we search hard for words to define our opponents. Sometimes we are hesitant to use contrast. These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, his record, proposals and party.

anti-child deeper liberal shallow
anti-flag disgrace lie shame
betray devour machine sick
bizarre destroy obsolete status quo
cheat excuses pathetic steal
collapse failure radical taxes
corruption greed red tape they/them
crisis hypocrisy self-serving traitors
decay incompetent sensationalists welfare

"The Family" -- A Church That Has Breached the Wall, Invaded The State -- On Netflix

Lawmakers, Intelligence Officials Welcomed To This Year's Def Con Conference

"Multiple members of congress, dozens of congressional staffers and members of the intelligence community are gathering in Las Vegas this weekend to rub shoulders with hackers at Def Con," reports CNN:

Washington's embrace of the hacking community comes amid heightened awareness of the threat of cyber attacks in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election and lawmakers realizing they need to get to grips with technology, Phil Stupak, one of the organizers of Def Con's A.I. Village told CNN Business before the conference began... Hackers here are also demonstrating potential vulnerabilities in voting machines used by Americans. The convention's election village includes a room full of voting equipment where hackers can let loose...

It will likely be the largest presence the government has had since before 2013, when, in the wake of NSA analyst Edward Snowden's leaks, Def Con founder Jeff Moss formally requested "the feds call a 'time-out' and not attend Def Con this year." But that has since smoothed over. "I think the record presence of both representative and administration reflect the reality that technology and security are built into our society," Moss told CNN Business.

"We are trying to break down the barriers between the people in tech who know what they're doing and the people in Congress who know how to take that knowledge to make laws," said Stupak, who is also a fellow at Cyber Policy Initiative at the University of Chicago.

Speaking at Def Con this year was the top cybersecurity official for America's Department of Homeland Security, who stressed the importance of backup paper ballots, as well as "auditability."

Also attending Def Con is Senator Ron Wyden, who emphasized another important election safeguard to CNN: that no voting equipment should be connected to the internet.


WISP -- Women In Security and Privacy

One More Time -- Roger Bonair Agard's Great Tribute To Toni Morrison

(Roger is a poet, teacher, father and spoken word artist living in Chicago, born in Trinidad.)

The first book of Toni Morrison's I ever read was Song of Solomon. It was 1998 and I was undertaking a 36hr bus ride from New York City to Dallas to do a series of poetry gigs. I forget now who recommended it, but I hadn't read a lot of fiction recent to that and thought a long bus ride would be perfect for it. Still, when i want to reference that book I often forget the name. It slips past my grasp.

What i remember first, is a passage from the book in which she talks about the difference between folks who are land locked, and folks who live at the ocean. That passage riveted me at the time. I recognized a truth that felt fundamental. It felt like it was a verifiable truth because the wording of it made me feel it / know it, in my bones. I recognized in her work more kin to poetry than i thought at the time fiction might hold.

I read the entire book on the way there, closed it, opened up my notebook and wrote a poem that at that time was a massive leap in accomplishment for me over what i had written before. The poem was called 'naming and other Christian things,' and i think it was several years before i'd write anything as good again.

On the 36hr bus ride on the way back from Dallas, i began a novel. I wrote probably 50 pages on the way back, and eventually about 150 pages of a terrible novel that is lost and locked away in a Toshiba laptop somewhere that only some computer savant can free.

Derek Walcott gave my language permission, ratified the ways in which we move from recognized English to the dialects of our speech - as literature. Willie Perdomo allowed to recognize the authenticity of the hybrid languages i was learning and evolving as poetry.

Toni Morrison completely blew the doors off the fake ass border between literary genres. I transformed almost immediately into someone who saw my potential as a writer as without boundary defined by genre. I understood how my prose might be poem, how my verse could be memoir, my notes - drama. It wasn't a new discovery by any means. It was only new to me, and I was young in my process of becoming a writer, even though i was already 30 years old.

Toni Morrison unlocked a current underneath the energy and swell of what should inform useful writing, if useful meant that it moved the reader, that it moved and was emotionally relevant somewhere to someone. She did that too while making my Black feel loved, while creating for me, personally, a paradigm which did not include white people.

By then i was already an acolyte of James Baldwin's. I have my mother to thank for that. She'd gifted me 'The Fire Next Time' while i was still a child, and it fascinated me - this public letter to the nephew, and in hindsight i believe it had some to do with my mostly absent father.

Some months ago, my father brought out a file of letters I had written him from ages 5 through 9, the pages over 40 years old and yellowed, but kept in pristine condition. It instantly re-wrote a narrative i had in my head about my childhood relationship to my father. The letters felt written from such pain too - the wanting to see my father, the hoping he could come home, back to Trinidad so he could be with us...

...when i first read Morrison I didn't know my father had kept those letters but Morrison's every line was weighted in the gravity of that boy's dreams. I believe Toni was a link in a chain that not just made me a writer but that ultimately provided a container wherein my father and I could discover each other again, and love each other, perhaps, anew.

There is no way for me to measure how responsible Toni is for any victory my writing can claim, but from Song of Solomon to Jazz - Paradise to Beloved, her Nobel Laureate acceptance speech and every random essay, which includes the sound of her voice reading them, Toni Morrison is a key element in my survival as a Black man in America.

I am certain I could not have survived the journey this far without her. To be certain, the jury is still out but she has a massive hand in getting me this far.

I can only imagine how many she has worked for similarly. I know the lady will travel well. She exhorts us to not be distracted from our work. That must include the current moment. I loved her. I love her. I'm a better human being for it.

Twitter doesn't run public conversation.

See this?


Looks impressive, right? Wrong.

Only 17 million out of 325 million people in the U.S. have public accounts. That's IT.

Only 10% of those public account holders create 80% of tweets. 1.7 million out of 325 million Americans. That's IT.

Trump's account fails to increase Twitter accounts. Only 19% of accounts follow his. 26% of accounts follow Obama's.

When Pew says that 1 in 5 Twitter users follow Trump, that's a fly on America's apple pie. That's IT.

Twitter is not a public temperature gauge.

Twitter's not a valid, reliable poll.

Twitter is not coherent or analytical. It cares not for history or context.

Twitter is the cult of clever.

Yet cult-of-clever Twitter is the tail that wags the retweet and media coverage dog,
which is only amounts to 5 million TV prime time viewers. That's IT.

Twitter is stupidly, stupidly overrated by media. Cable news, too.

When we really want to understand something, we need to READ.

Jay Inslee's 10-Point Plan to End White Nationalist Gun Violence

The long version:


Governor Inslee already has versions of this plan in effect in Washington state.

The short version:

Addressing White Nationalism:

1. Direct Federal Law Enforcement Resources To Confront White Nationalism:reinstate and expand federal funding for de-radicalization programs, intervention grants, and investigative resources, consistent with a whole-of-government strategy to confront white supremacy as a distinct and discrete terrorist threat

2. Create Systems to Identify, Track, and Prosecute White Nationalist Extremists: reinstate the requirement for an annual public report on the domestic terror threat.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has introduced legislation, the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, that lays out a roadmap to do this; Inslee would sign this bill. The Inslee Administration would also strengthen implementation of laws like the Hate Crime Statistics Act, which requires the Department of Justice to compile and report the number of bias crimes but is severely underenforced. The combination of new data sources would help enhance federal prosecution of hate crimes, especially where state laws are weak or non-existent.

3. Expanding International Cooperation to Fight White Nationalism: America will expand partnerships with international intelligence and domestic law enforcement agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private businesses like social media corporations, to take a unified, mutually-supportive approach to countering violent extremism.

Addressing the Ease-of-Access to Firearms

4. National Assault Weapons Ban: As president, Governor Inslee will reinstate a national assault weapons ban, as well as a ban on high-capacity magazines.

5. Extreme Risk Protection Orders: advance a national Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law, modeled after those passed in Washington state, Oregon, and 15 other states as well as the District of Columbia.
...allow police, family members, and household members to petition for firearms to be temporarily removed from people threatening to harm themselves or others.
... open federal courts to petitions by law enforcement and families to have access to firearm rights temporarily removed, and would also provide grant assistance to states to implement protection order laws, reflecting the essential role of local, regional, tribal, and state law enforcement in tackling this challenge.
Washington already has the first hate-specific ERPO law in America.

6. Disarm Hate: Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) have proposed legislation to do just that, the “Disarm Hate Act,” and Inslee would sign the bill into law as president.

7. Target People Who “Lie And Try” to Buy Guns: provide notification to state law enforcement when a person who “lies and tries” to buy a firearm is blocked by the federal background check system.

8. Close the Charleston Loophole: The House has passed legislation to address the Charleston loophole by expanding this period to ten days, yet the Senate has failed to act. As president, Inslee will close the Charleston loophole and end the “default proceed” rule.

9. Overhaul and Enhance ATF Enforcement: take executive action and support legislation to modernize long underfunded ATF’s data management systems and provide the resources necessary to conduct needed inspections.

10. Ban Untraceable Firearms: restrict the production and manufacture of 3D printer “ghost guns” in ... immediately end this dangerous and senseless action on the part of the Trump Administration... support legislation codifying into federal law restrictions on Trump's exporting plans for these types of weapons, ensuring America has the same strong standards on these weapons as Washington state does.

Inslee's ON IT!

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