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pragmatic_dem

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Member since: Fri Feb 21, 2014, 12:15 AM
Number of posts: 410

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all aboard the trans-pacific partnership express

If you believe a great nation is built on illegal wiretapping, spying on citizens and armed surveillance drones...

If you have faith in Goldman Sachs, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase and taxpayer subsidized mortgage fraud...

If you celebrated NAFTA as it decimated communities and lowered the standard of living for millions of US workers...

If watching Monsanto force GMO products into your food chain fills you with patriotic pride...

If you love having your meat sent to China on boats, processed in Chinese factories and sent back on boats to your store...

If you make too much money and hate having a job...

Then, get ready to celebrate because the Trans-Pacific Partnership is ready to roll!

- Super-charged with extrajudicial power allowing corporations to bypass state and federal laws!

- Fortified with intellectual property provisions to protect PhRMA by keeping labor costs low and drug prices high!

- Big, bold tax incentives for shipping US jobs to Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Laos, Malaysia!

- Slave-like working conditions at a 50-75% discount over India and China!

- Unconditionally endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce!

Act now and you'll also receive this beautiful, Made-in-China medallion commemorating 40 years of off-shoring American jobs and technology to India - Absolutely Free! (Extra shipping and handling fees apply).














Posted by pragmatic_dem | Tue Feb 25, 2014, 02:09 AM (18 replies)

NSA Spying and Target - What It Means

Most people don't know that the USA has only a handful of exchange points where network data flows into and out of the country. That's why it is not such a difficult task for NSA to tap them all. Of course the data flow is massive, but so is the expense budget allocated for spying.

Estimates range from 70,000,000 customers to more than 100,000,000 who had their account information stolen from Target over holiday shopping period.

If you take at face value NSA's assertion that it only monitors communications entering and leaving the US, they surely should have noticed a massive uptick in packets heading to Russia and Eastern Europe.

In fact, over the period of a couple of months, there would have been a rather obvious spike in messages to Romania, Russia and a handful of other destinations, that spike could have been as high as an extra 500,000 to a 1,000,000 a day.

So I am going to ask a few obvious questions-

1. Why didn't our $100 billion dollar spy agency, allegedly only spying on foreign traffic (*), notice anything unusual about 10s of millions of messages heading to Romania and elsewhere?

2. If they did detect it, what could possibly be gained by keeping it a secret. Is NSA going to cover the estimated $400,000,000 losses?

Anyone with basic knowledge of the technology at work understands there can be no apologies or excuses for this breach given our massive spying infrastructure. It is inconceivable that NSA or CIA or FBI didn't notice anything unusual.

In fact, there is every reason to believe that our infrastructure could be made much more secure, however the same measures that would secure our privacy would also make it more difficult for NSA, CIA and FBI to spy on us. Our government has chosen to not invest securing our networks and instead is spending the money buying people and equipment to to spy on us.

There must be accountability for these programs given our billions of investment. However, once again another secret too big to fail institution gets amnesty for incompetence at best, and amnesty for deliberate and willful negligence at worst.

Such a profound breakdown of principals has come to be expected from Republicans, but the leadership core of the Democratic Party also seems to agree that the money is better spent spying on their own country, instead of applying it solve data security and networking problems that would benefit us all.

At best this was a chance to show some value out of the spy programs that the administration claims is keeping us safe. Instead it just furthers my conviction that our spy programs are totally out of control with zero accountability. If nothing else it sends a message to hackers everywhere that the US is an easy Target.

(*) as the Snowden documents make clear, spying activity is focused on nearly all communications - both domestic and foreign.




Posted by pragmatic_dem | Mon Feb 24, 2014, 01:02 AM (0 replies)

The Sierra Club or Russians stealing 100,000,000 credit cards? Screwed up priorities!

Are US spy agencies so busy spying on environmentalists, lawyers and scraping websites like this one, that they don't have time to focus on criminals that captured over 100,000,000 credit cards?

I believe the answer is unconditional yes. A true WTF moment for Holder, NSA and CIA.

Target, Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Michaels, Neiman Marcus.. on and on.

Many (most?) won't notice the extra charges as they simply pay a fixed monthly charge.

Instead, NSA is scrubbing your email and phone calls and assigning you a threat rating.

There is now growing concern that CIA and NSA are spying on environmentalists and feeding the data to corporations.

Then there's this gem, granting police powers to the military last year, this was a unilateral power grab by DoD...

Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.


No apologies should be accepted by Democrats for these programs that violate the spirit and intent of the constitution - Washington is militarizing the police, stifling dissent and eroding quality of life by wasteful spending on domestic spying programs.

If you can't feel safe without these extraordinary and extreme measures, move to a bunker in Utah or Idaho. Much safer there as long as you don't get shot by some nut with a gun. Odds are much better for that than Mullah Jones planting a bomb in your panties.

These stories are easy to research. The links below are easy to find and just a sample of what is available:


http://www.longislandpress.com/2013/05/14/u-s-military-power-grab-goes-into-effect/

http://krebsonsecurity.com/tag/neiman-marcus-breach/

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/jun/14/climate-change-energy-shocks-nsa-prism













Posted by pragmatic_dem | Sun Feb 23, 2014, 04:54 PM (7 replies)

Shout out for the President's TPP Program!

It's a golden piece of shit for anyone who works for a living.

Clearly, trillions in Wall Street bailouts weren't enough. Wall Street wants to be able to hire someone in India at $7/Hr to help offshore your job to Vietnam at $0.30/Hr.

And they'll figure out how to deduct the "restructuring/capital improvement" costs for it from their taxes.

It isn't a third way - it's a third rail and Washington and Wall Street are holding your gonads to it.

Think Citizens United was bad? This is worse.


Posted by pragmatic_dem | Fri Feb 21, 2014, 10:02 PM (23 replies)
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