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Member since: Fri Apr 4, 2014, 03:21 PM
Number of posts: 16,104

Journal Archives

Snowden on 'Privacy'

"One of the most important things I think we all have a duty collectively in society to think about is when we’re directed to think a certain way and accept a certain argument reflexively without actually tackling it.

"The common argument we have — if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear — the origins of that are literally Nazi propaganda. This is not to equate the actions of our current government to the Nazis, but that is the literal origin of that quote. It's from the Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels.

"So when we hear modern politicians, modern people repeating that reflexively without confronting its origins, what it really stands for, I think that's harmful.

"And if we actually think about it, it doesn’t make sense. Because privacy isn’t about something to hide. Privacy is about something to protect. That’s who you are. That's what you believe in. Privacy is the right to a self. Privacy is what gives you the ability to share with the world who you are on your own terms. For them to understand what you’re trying to be and to protect for yourself the parts of you you’re not sure about, that you’re still experimenting with.

"If we don’t have privacy, what we’re losing is the ability to make mistakes, we’re losing the ability to be ourselves. Privacy is the fountainhead of all other rights. Freedom of speech doesn’t have a lot of meaning if you can’t have a quiet space, a space within yourself, your mind, your community, your friends, your family, to decide what it is you actually want to say.

"Freedom of religion doesn’t mean that much if you can’t figure out what you actually believe without being influenced by the criticisms of outside direction and peer pressure. And it goes on and on.

"Privacy is baked into our language, our core concepts of government and self in every way. It’s why we call it 'private property.' Without privacy you don’t have anything for yourself.

"So when people say that to me I say back, arguing that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is like arguing that you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say."

FBI director: Cover up your webcam

We get it, Comey. Somebody might be hacking you (Hillary).

That's right. Never give up on your "paranoia."

The head of the FBI on Wednesday defended putting a piece of tape over his personal laptop's webcam, claiming the security step was a common sense one that most should take.

“You go into any government office and we all have the little camera things that sit on top of the screen,” he added. “They all have a little lid that closes down on them.

“You do that so that people who don’t have authority don’t look at you. I think that’s a good thing.”

“It’s not crazy that the FBI director cares about personal security as well,” the FBI director added. “So I think people ought to take responsibility for their own safety and security.”

Never mind these are the government computer systems Comey said would have been much better for Hillary's use.

So sophisticated they can't stop webcam hacks?


Sales of Hillary Clinton’s New Book Are Off to a Slow Start

You didn't know she and her VP pick had a new book out?

Source: New York Times, by Amy Chozick

Hillary Clinton’s newest book, “Stronger Together,” which provides a policy blueprint for where she hopes to take the country if she is elected president, sold just 2,912 copies in its first week on sale, according to Nielsen BookScan.

First-week sales typically account for around a third of the total sold, thanks to the publicity blitzes that accompany publishers’ biggest releases. By comparison, Mrs. Clinton’s 2014 memoir, “Hard Choices,” which also fell short of expectations, sold more than 85,000 copies in its first week.

In 2006, Senator Barack Obama published “The Audacity of Hope,” which laid out his vision for the country. In February 2008, when Mr. Obama’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination against Mrs. Clinton gained momentum, the book averaged sales of more than 35,000 a week.

Timed to the Sept. 6 release of the book, Mrs. Clinton “will do a series of ‘Stronger Together’ speeches over the course of the next several weeks,” a campaign spokesman, Jennifer Palmieri said. (A case of pneumonia caused Mrs. Clinton to postpone the first of those speeches, on an “inclusive economy,” initially scheduled for Tuesday in California.)

Read it all at: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/15/us/politics/clinton-book-stronger-together.html

Clinton aide says, ‘We could have done better,’ amid criticism over health disclosures

Ya' think?

Source: Washington Post, by Abby Phillip

A top aide to Hillary Clinton acknowledged that the campaign could have handled news of her pneumonia diagnosis better after being criticized for keeping the public and the media in the dark.

“We could have done better yesterday, but it is a fact that the public knows more about HRC than any nominee in history,” wrote Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri on Twitter in response to the criticism, using the initials of the Democratic presidential nominee.

President Obama’s former campaign strategist David Axelrod took a swipe at the campaign earlier in the morning by suggesting that although Clinton’s pneumonia could be treated with antibiotics, an “unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems” could not.

But Palmieri noted, in response to Axelrod’s criticism, that Clinton has released more medical and financial information than Trump, who has refused to release his tax returns and released a letter from a doctor that was widely criticized for lacking any concrete medical information about his health.

More at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clinton-aide-says-we-could-have-done-better-amid-criticism-over-health-disclosures/2016/09/12/58883a50-78f2-11e6-bd86-b7bbd53d2b5d_story.html

When LSU football loses, Louisiana judges give harsher sentences, mostly to black juveniles

Researchers described this as emotional shock, but the burden of such is mostly attached to black defendants

Word to the wise - delay your court date if your college team loses!

Source: SB Nation, by Tyler Tynes

When LSU football loses, especially when it loses games it shouldn’t, judges across the state dish out harsher sentences to juvenile offenders, most notably black boys and girls.

In a January study by LSU researchers Ozkan Eren and Naci Mocan, the pair revealed data on their university’s football team — specifically the differences between when LSU football wins or loses — over a span from 1996 to 2012.

Mocan — the LSU Chair in Economics, who researches the economics of crime, health and labor — said that upon presenting his findings to folk in Baton Rouge, none were surprised. Likely because football dominates the South and everything else is fighting to be a distant second, even a profession which is supposed to be fair and just by law.

“For people that are not familiar with college football and the intensity of it, it may come as a surprise. It all comes down to the deep connection of the state and the institution and the football team,” Mocan told SB Nation. “Here, they are indoctrinated in this culture of football.”

Much more at: http://www.sbnation.com/2016/9/7/12829620/college-football-lsu-louisiana-judges-sentencing

When the M$M likes a candidate!

Whatever you want, "He's the man!"

4,500 people were shot and killed while Congress went on vacation: report

Source: Raw Story, by Sarah K. Burris

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence released a report Tuesday with a detailed count of 4,500 people, who were shot and killed since members of Congress left for their summer vacation in mid-July.

House Democrats staged a sit-in on the floor of Congress, demanding that the Republican-lead legislature take action on gun violence. Republicans responded by cutting off the cameras, forcing members to air the speeches from their cell phones using Facebook Live and Periscope. Protesters flocked to the Capitol building and staged a vigil on the steps, joining in chants like, “No bill, no break.”

“Congress is in for a rude awakening today if they thought seven weeks of vacation would wipe the slate clean,” Brady President Dan Gross said according to The Hill. “While Congress enjoyed nearly two months of sun and fun, the American people paid the ultimate price for Congress’ inaction, with 4,500 shot and killed during August recess alone. Now that they’re finally back at work, gun violence must be a priority for Congress.”

The group announced that it will post the names of constituents in their corresponding legislator’s office if that member takes money from the gun lobby.

“These lives were abruptly and violently cut short by guns while politicians did nothing,” Gross continued.


Why Clinton’s perceived corruption seems to echo louder than Trump’s actual corruption

Hillary Clinton seems more tainted than Donald Trump, even though she isn't. Why?

Source: Washington Post, by Daniel W. Drezner

Now, consider Donald Trump. Here are a few stories about possible conflicts of interest and corruption scandals involving him in recent weeks:

• The Huffington Post reported that Trump quintupled the rent charged to the campaign for using Trump Tower between March and July, even though the campaign had fewer paid staff in the latter month. The obvious inference to draw is that Trump raised the rent once his campaign was being financed primarily by outside contributions rather than the candidate himself.

• The Wall Street Journal reported that, as of July, 17 percent of all of the Trump’s campaign spending had gone to “companies linked to himself or his children, or to reimburse their travel expenses.”

• The Post’s David Fahrenthold reported that Trump had to pay a $2,500 fine to the IRS because “Trump’s charitable foundation had violated tax laws by giving a political contribution [of $25,000] to a campaign group connected to Florida’s attorney general.” Oh, and by the way, after Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s campaign received that money, she decided not to investigate fraud allegations against Trump University. This is but one in a series of Fahrenthold’s investigations into Trump’s bogus claims of charitable donations.

• The AP reported the appearance of a similar pay-for-play deal with Texas governor Greg Abbott back in 2010 when Abbott was the Texas Attorney General and decided, like Bondi, not to pursue an investigation into Trump University. A former Texas official says he was told to drop any investigation for “political reasons,” according to CBS.


In a nutshell?

Read it all at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/09/06/why-hillary-clintons-perceived-corruption-seems-to-echo-louder-than-donald-trumps-actual-corruption/?utm_term=.f5246ab51d21

Hillary Clinton FBI Notes Didn’t Really Show 39 Times Hillary ‘Couldn’t Remember’

Source: Mediaite, by Tommy Christopher

But the devil, as they say, is in the details. While the FBI’s notes did, indeed, contain the number of references reported, they were not, in fact, what respected journalists like Jake Tapper claimed they were. As has been feverishly noted, this report was not a transcript of the interview, because the interview was not recorded, so what we have here is not Hillary Clinton “(telling) the FBI ‘I do not recall’ 39 times,” but rather, 39 examples of an FBI agent saying Hillary could not recall something.

That’s not Hillary forgetting or evading, that’s her just saying “no,” and an FBI agent noting it the way FBI agents do. You could probably read any random pile of police reports, and come away concluding that people routinely talk about leaving their “domiciles” to enter their “vehicles,” but no one actually talks that way.

There is not a single instance of Hillary Clinton saying “I do not recall” (which is the specific claim that these journalists made) because this report is not a transcript, and contains almost no direct quotes from Hillary Clinton. That’s why the FBI normally doesn’t release these reports, because they don’t actually have any evidenciary value, and are, in fact, subject to misinterpretation by novices, or mischaracterization by those hostile to the truth. You’d have to ask the FBI why they decided to do so in this case.

Read it all at: http://www.mediaite.com/online/hillary-clinton-fbi-notes-didnt-really-show-39-times-hillary-couldnt-remember/

The bloody history of Labor Day

"Most people probably don't think of Labor Day as a holiday commemorating struggle and death. But that's what it used to be."

Source: The Week, by Jeff Spross

Railroad baron George Pullman created his eponymous town in 1880 just outside Chicago. It was a model of capitalist feudalism, with workers offered housing in line with their position in the company. Residents worked for Pullman's company and their rent was automatically docked from their paychecks. They even banked at Pullman's bank. But Pullman's business plummeted when the recession hit. Hundreds were laid off and wages were deeply cut — yet rents in the town did not decline.

In response, 4,000 of Pullman's workers went on strike on May 11, 1894.

On June 26, the American Railroad Union — led by Eugene V. Debs — called for a supporting boycott. One hundred and fifty thousand railway workers in 27 states joined the strike, refusing to operate Pullman rail cars. The massive halt to the rail industry and the interruption of U.S. mail cars set off a national crisis. Congress and President Grover Cleveland, looking to save face, rushed through a bill declaring Labor Day a national holiday. Cleveland signed it on June 28, 1894. He was backed by the AFL — the more conservative portion of the labor movement — which threw the first official Labor Day parade that year.

But it was a brutally ironic gesture.

Six days later, under pressure from the furious leaders of the rail industry, and facing the virtual shutdown of U.S. mail trains, Cleveland invoked the Sherman Antitrust Act to declare the stoppage a federal crime. He sent in 12,000 federal troops to break the strike. Days of fighting and riots ensued, as strikers overturned and burned railcars, and the troops responded with violent crackdowns. Anywhere from a dozen to over 30 workers were killed before the strikers were dispersed and the trains restarted.

Debs was sent to prison, where he read Marx for the first time, setting him on the path to becoming arguably America's most famous socialist.

Read it all at: http://theweek.com/articles/646621/bloody-history-labor-day

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