This started as a comment in the "Early returns" thread, but it got so long that I decided to make it a post of my own. "Our guns are finally safe." Yeah. Agreed. Our guns are finally safe. For now. I had to drive to DC, yesterday. On the way home I was listening to CSPAN on the radio. They were covering a group of ultra-right-wing extremist christianistas taking turns speaking. Tony Perkins is one name that stood out. If you don't want to go to the link, Tony's the kind of RW fanatic who thinks your right to love who you choose is outweighed by his belief that the ghost in the sky hates anyone who disagrees with him (disagrees with Tony, not the ghost, about whom Tony is clueless). Be prepared for Donald J. (the antichrist) tRump and Michael (christianista sharia) Pence shoving an extremist christianista world view down our collective throat. Continue reading "Our guns are safe"
You may have seen this, by now, but it's worth bookmarking. The full title is USA TODAY's Editorial Board: Trump is 'unfit for the presidency' Two choice excerpts:
In the 34-year history of USA TODAY, the Editorial Board has never taken sides in the presidential race. Instead, we’ve expressed opinions about the major issues and haven’t presumed to tell our readers, who have a variety of priorities and values, which choice is best for them. Because every presidential race is different, we revisit our no-endorsement policy every four years. We’ve never seen reason to alter our approach. Until now. This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.And:
Where does that leave us? Our bottom-line advice for voters is this: Stay true to your convictions. That might mean a vote for Clinton, the most plausible alternative to keep Trump out of the White House. Or it might mean a third-party candidate. Or a write-in. Or a focus on down-ballot candidates who will serve the nation honestly, try to heal its divisions, and work to solve its problems. Whatever you do, however, resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue. By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump.
At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance. Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used. The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person's house without first obtaining a search warrant. The radars work like finely tuned motion detectors, using radio waves to zero in on movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet. They can detect whether anyone is inside of a house, where they are and whether they are moving.
This will not be news to any of you.
"The public be damned!" — William H. Vanderbilt, railroad magnate, 1882 A shattering new study by two political science professors has found that ordinary Americans have virtually no impact whatsoever on the making of national policy in our country. The analysts found that rich individuals and business-controlled interest groups largely shape policy outcomes in the United States. This study should be a loud wake-up call to the vast majority of Americans who are bypassed by their government. To reclaim the promise of American democracy, ordinary citizens must act positively to change the relationship between the people and our government ==snip== If only they vote and organize, ordinary Americans can reclaim American democracy and challenge the politicians who still echo the view of old Vanderbilt that the public should be damned.
Ferguson, Missouri is burning. If you can't grasp that the subject line is ironic, let me know and I'll give you some links to what happened. Basically, an unarmed kid was shot by a cop, and no one seems to give a shit because, well, as near as I can tell the cop was white and the kid was black.
She may have had a better handle on what to do on healthcare, but she's a neocon. Elizabeth Warren, who I'd support, has made it crystal-clear that she's not running. This basically leaves me at choosing Biden or whatever truly horrendous right wing extremist fuck-stick the GOP allows the crazed baggers to nominate. Or maybe someone can beat Biden in a primary. I don't claim to know, but historically VPs have succeeded POTUS's. Who should I vote for in the general election? The Green candidate, who (if they get enough votes) will get the truly horrendous right wing extremist fuck-stick the GOP allows the crazed baggers candidate elected? The Libertarian candidate (don't insult my intelligence)? Maybe I should protest the complete failure of the American political system by writing in Goofy or Minnie Mouse, which would result in the election of the truly horrendous right wing extremist fuck-stick the GOP allows the crazed baggers to be nominated. I agree we're trapped by our system. I don't agree letting the truly horrendous right wing extremist fuck-stick the GOP allows the crazed baggers candidate GETS INTO THE WHITE HOUSE and then runs the world into the ground to teach the world a lesson about electing truly horrendous right wing extremist fuck-stick the GOP allowing the crazed baggers is the best outcome. We NEED government. Do you want to drive anywhere? You need government. Do you want your bank to treat you fairly? You need government. Continue reading "I REALLY Hope Hillary Decides Not To Run"
...Track Your Cell Phone Without a Warrant
The government and police regularly use location data pulled off of cell phone towers to put criminals at the scenes of crimes—often without a warrant. Well, an appeals court ruled today that the practice is unconstitutional, in one of the strongest judicial defenses of technology privacy rights we've seen in a while. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the government illegally obtained and used Quartavious Davis's cell phone location data to help convict him in a string of armed robberies in Miami and unequivocally stated that cell phone location information is protected by the Fourth Amendment. "In short, we hold that cell site location information is within the subscriber’s reasonable expectation of privacy," the court ruled in an opinion written by Judge David Sentelle. "The obtaining of that data without a warrant is a Fourth Amendment violation."Sentelle is a Reagan appointee to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, generally considered to be the second most important court after the Supremes, so the decision will likely be considered to be precedential.
This is the kind of argument that even an idiot neocon can understand.
The Chinese government is reviewing whether domestic banks’ reliance on high-end servers from International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) compromises the nation’s financial security, people familiar with the matter said, in an escalation of the dispute with the U.S. over spying claims. Government agencies, including the People’s Bank of China and the Ministry of Finance, are asking banks to remove the IBM servers and replace them with a local brand as part of a trial program, said the four people, who asked not to be identified because the review hasn’t been made public. The review comes a week after American prosecutors indicted five Chinese military officers for allegedly hacking into the computers of U.S. companies and stealing secrets, while former contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations last June of a National Security Agency spying program already hurt U.S. technology sales in China. Last week, China’s government said it will vet technology companies operating in the country, while the Financial Times reported May 25 that China ordered state-owned companies to cut ties with U.S. consulting firms.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, escalated a behind-the-scenes dispute with the CIA by publicly accusing the spy agency of secretly searching a Senate computer system, an act she said undermines congressional intelligence oversight and may have violated the law. The expanding dispute has opened a rift between the CIA and the Senate committee that oversees it and often has defended it. Already, some CIA officers could face criminal prosecution as a result of a Justice Department investigation of the incident. "I have grave concerns that the CIA search may well have violated the separation of powers principles," Feinstein said on the Senate floor. "I am not taking it lightly."I haven't decided, yet, how I feel about this. On one hand, she's saying something, and from what I understand they deleted documents that could have resulted in further shaming the Bush/Cheney two-man torture team. On the other hand, I don't remember her ever complaining about the rest of us being spied on. So, I'm still inclined to refer to her as "the odious DiFi".