Authoritarians

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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It’s a coincidence, White House aides say. President Barack Obama did not deliberately schedule his big NSA speech for Friday to mark the anniversary of Dwight Eisenhower’s warning that the “military-industrial complex” posed a potential threat to American democracy.

Eisenhower’s Jan. 17, 1961, speech portrayed the country as locked in a struggle of “indefinite duration” — he meant against Soviet Communism, though the label could apply today to Islamist extremism. He also noted that a vigorous military, and the industrial and technological apparatus that supports it, were necessary.

But then the former five-star general shocked Americans with this:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

He went on: Link

Will be interesting to see what he has to say, and what will actually come of it.

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These greedy fuckers are keeping cumstains like Rand(y) Paul and Mike(y) Lee in office almost single-handedly. People gotta stop believing the hateful lies they spew (like, fer example, giving all of our money to 2 extraordinarily wealthy spoiled inherited wealth rich kids is somehow magically going to create jobs in this country).

Honestly, on some days I think these 2 fuckers, all by themselves, are worse for the country than the entire GOP (and the GOP’s idiot supporters).

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Good Question

Senator asks if FBI can get iPhone 5S fingerprint data via Patriot Act.

Al Franken, who is of course a Democrat, is inspiring.

It’s up to us, not congress. Get them to repeal the so-called “Patriot Act” and AUMF, or live with the consequences of our collective silence.

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