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Member since: Wed May 27, 2015, 02:02 PM
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Journal Archives

Cop Uses Facebook To Taunt Family of Unarmed Man He Killed

Salt Lake City, Utah – In a sickening move, the purported Facebook account of the cop who shot and killed Joey Tucker six years ago posted comments demeaning the life of the man he killed.

The damning comments, posted to a Facebook page set up by Tucker’s family to memorialize their son’s life, belittled the family of the dead man, taunting that his life was only worth $100,000; the amount of the settlement the family apparently received in a lawsuit related to Tucker’s killing.

Tucker was gunned down by Salt Lake City police officer Louis “Law” Abner Jones, after he failed to pull over for the officer in what began as a non-emergency assistance call.

Earlier that day Tucker entered diabetic shock and began acting irrationally, after failing to take his insulin, according to Justin King of The Fifth Column News.


Michael E. Dyson: Bernie Sanders is surging because there’s ‘a little bit of socialist’ in everybody

Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson asserted over the weekend that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) had an unexpected amount of support because socialist policies are secretly very popular with voters.

During a Sunday panel discussion on ABC’s This Week, host George Stephanopoulos wondered if the “huge crowds” that Sanders was seeing at events would be a problem for former Gov. Martin O’Malley’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“It’s a huge challenge to O’Malley,” author John Heilemann observed. “Six months ago, if you had said, would Bernie Sanders become the primary alternative to [Hillary] Clinton, no one would have thought that was possible. He has an incredible degree of authenticity, and he has incredibly strong, distinctive economic proposals, which are very appealing to the populist, far-left wing of the party.”

“If you’re a mainstream liberal, you’re going to like Hillary Clinton,” he continued. “If you’re further to the left, Bernie Sanders is your guy.”


Bernie Sanders talks about racial justice, the 1963 March on Washington, and MLK's legacy

Nice car, boss!

Bernie Sanders Pledges To End No Child Left Behind, Shut Down For-Profit Prisons

Last night, Bernie Sanders did a series of events in New Hampshire, with the largest being in Portsmouth, where he spoke to 800 people at a local church.

Much of the territory he covered was the traditional Sanders spiel: raise taxes on the wealthy who have long dodged their tax responsibilities, make education and health care free, combat rising political and economic inequality.

But during the question and answer session he divulged from his normal territory and took on a few new areas: education, the prison industrial complex, and immigration, staking out left-wing positions that are bolder than any major party nominee in recent memory.


Dennis Hastert paid to conceal sexual misconduct, sources say

Source: LA Times

Indicted former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was paying an individual from his past to conceal sexual misconduct, two federal law enforcement officials said Friday.

One of the officials, who would not speak publicly about the federal charges in Chicago, said “Individual A,” as the person is described in Thursday’s federal indictment, was a man and that the alleged misconduct was unrelated to Hastert’s tenure in Congress. The actions date to Hastert’s time as a Yorkville, Ill., high school wrestling coach and teacher, the official said.

“It goes back a long way, back to then,” the source said. “It has nothing to do with public corruption or a corruption scandal. Or to his time in office.” Thursday’s indictment described the misconduct “against Individual A” as having “occurred years earlier.”

Asked why Hastert was making the payments, the official said it was to conceal Hastert’s past relationship with the male. “It was sex,’’ the source said. The other official confirmed that the misconduct involved sexual abuse.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-hastert-misconduct-20150529-story.html

Ben & Jerry's releases climate change flavor, "Save Our Swirled"

With its new flavor, Save Our Swirled, Ben & Jerry’s is urging fans to dig their spoons into climate change activism.

The flavor is a mix of raspberry ice cream, marshmallow and raspberry swirls, and dark and white fudge ice cream cones. But Save Our Swirled is also a flavor with a message: when you dig out a spoonful, the website says, “you can’t help but notice” that those cones appear to be melting. Abbreviated on pint lids as SOS, Save Our Swirled’s message is simple: If it’s melted, it’s ruined, whether it’s our ice cream or our world. The flavor launched earlier this week in the U.S., and will debut in European markets in the summer and move into Asian and Australian markets later in the year.

“The place where we interact with our consumers most is in the freezercase,” Chris Miller, Ben & Jerry’s Social Mission Activism Manager, told ThinkProgress. While the flavor is a central element, it is part of a “larger, global campaign” against climate change, Miller said.


Stewart had a lot of fun with 2016 tonight.

“They’re all very colorful characters, but for me — for me — there can be only one Fuckface von Clownstick,” Stewart said, before playing the clip of Trump saying he knows how to defeat ISIS, but doesn’t want to give it away.

“Not because I don’t have a foolproof plan, I do,” Stewart said as Trump. “But I’m not going to tell you, I’m withholding it for now, because I am a tremendous asshole.”

Stewart went on to praise the “excitable” and “unpolished” Bernie Sanders in relation to the overly controlled Hillary Clinton, who somehow becomes southern when she speaks in the South.

“The problem isn’t Bernie Sanders is a crazy-pants cuckoo bird,” Stewart concluded. “It’s that we’ve all become so accustomed to stage-managed, focus-driven candidates that authenticity comes across as lunacy.”


There's a video clip at the link. The text doesn't do the 9-minute segment justice.

How Private Contractors Have Created a Shadow NSA

About a year ago, I wangled a media invitation to a “leadership dinner” in northern 
Virginia sponsored by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance. INSA is a powerful but 
little-known coalition established in 2005 by companies working for the National Security Agency. In recent years, it has become the premier organization for the men and women who run the massive cyberintelligence-industrial complex that encircles Washington, DC.

One of those clapping was a former Navy SEAL named Melchior Baltazar, the CEO of an up-and-coming company called SDL Government. Its niche, an eager young flack explained, is providing software that military agencies can use to translate hundreds of thousands of Twitter and Facebook postings into English and then search them rapidly for potential clues to terrorist plots or cybercrime.

This small company, and INSA itself, are vivid examples of the rise of a new class in America: the cyberintelligence ruling class.

These are the people—often referred to as “intelligence professionals”—who do the actual analytical and targeting work of the NSA and other agencies in America’s secret government. Over the last 15 years, thousands of former high-ranking intelligence officials and operatives have left their government posts and taken up senior positions at military contractors, consultancies, law firms, and private-equity firms. In their new jobs, they replicate what they did in government—often for the same agencies they left. But this time, their mission is strictly for-profit.

So what does the existence of such a class mean? First off, it deepens inequality. We all know that corporations can buy access to lawmakers through hefty political donations. Now they have access to some of the state’s most closely held secrets. According to a declassified document obtained in April by The New York Times, Hayden and Alexander were “read into” Stellar Wind, the warrantless-surveillance program started after 9/11. They are bound by law not to divulge those secrets. But their knowledge based on those secrets is of unfathomable value to the corporations they advise on cybersecurity and acquisitions strategies. That knowledge isn’t shared with the public, but it is available to the companies that can afford it.

Second, it places participatory democracy at risk. The vast majority of Americans are excluded from the consequential discussions that take place at the cyber-intelligence elite’s secret meetings. While hashing over controversial programs such as domestic spying, offensive cyberintelligence operations, or FBI terrorist-entrapment programs, the state and corporate leaders at INSA—as well as other places where the new class meets—operate on a completely different plane from the rest of us. Meanwhile, the black hole of secrecy keeps the new hybrid class and its organizations immune from any meaningful oversight by either the executive branch or Congress.

Do yourself a favor and read the whole article: http://www.thenation.com/article/208481/how-private-contractors-have-created-shadow-nsa

The Patriot Act May Be Dead Forever

Barring any last-minute compromises, powerful government surveillance authorities under the Patriot Act will expire at the stroke of midnight Monday. And they may never return.

This week, senators have been negotiating over whether to pass a House bill that would renew and tweak existing provisions in the long-controversial law, rather than let them “sunset” on June 1. But if the sunset comes and the provisions are off the books, lawmakers in both chambers would be facing a vote to reinstate controversial surveillance authorities, which is an entirely different political calculation.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s Senate session, Schiff said, “I don’t feel confident at all” that lawmakers will pass the Freedom Act.

And that may suit civil libertarians and privacy advocates just fine.

Geiger, with the Center for Democracy and Technology, said, “We hope that if the Senate fails to pass meaningful surveillance reform that it does lead to a sunset, and then meaningful reform of the Patriot Act.”

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