01/30/2015 leadership voids:
The Republican party has enormous credibility problems better addressed by accomplished diplomats than ill-bred thugs. Fueling adversarial relationships in government seems counterproductive in a nation with so many very real and imminent problems. Nowadays it appears that less of the world is being fooled by America's career-politicians' self-serving shenanigans: Washington Post. & PoliticusUSA.
01/29/2015 rays of hope:
Not all traditional American spirits have departed. Failing federal action, according to US News and World Report, eight states currently are considering NSA-curtailment legislation prohibiting "...state and local governments from offering material support to the agency, including use of public utilities that carry water and electricity. Two of the bills would criminalize official cooperation with the NSA...". These are marvelous steps in the right direction which eventually could help restore some lasting American pride and self-respect. Read the article.
01/27/2015 badass legislation*:
or its newer 2015 hybrid will soon be regurgitated for consideration by a more receptive congress.
One major CISPA thrust is "information sharing" with impunity between private corporations and
government agencies. Private companies would be exempt from breech of privacy lawsuits while "intelligence" agencies,
including employees of "intelligence" agencies, would be exempt from freedom of information requests.
Thoroughly read yesterday's article
about BADASS to better understand why CISPA is an absolutely horrible idea in light of US "intelligence"
overreach history, now known worldwide as the hysterical US security State. Constitutionally and ethically US surveillance
methodologies demand curtailment rather than support and expansion
with evermore ill-advised legislation precluding citizens' legitimate redress of grievances via the judiciary.
*edited/updated 2:30pm CST
01/26/2015 food for thought:
Some years ago, long before "Wikileaks", "Julian Assange", and "Edward Snowden" became household words, independent techies associated with this web site revealed concerns over Google trends by closing previously-held Google accounts. Today growing numbers of independent techies appear to appreciate the very real motives and opportunities for US government control and abuse of both cloud-based technologies and iPhone usage and consequently avoid supporting these two spheres of contemporary applied sciences despite worldwide promotion and acceptance. Whether or not such tiny inconsequential boycotts have any merit at all, they do provide some food for thought. Read the above links' content carefully and keep in mind CISPA is a-coming1.
1bad link removed 08/28/2017
01/22/2015 warmongers united:
Israel has been wanting to bomb Iran for a long, long time. Thanks to Speaker Boehner much of the work POTUS has done to preclude that action
appears to be unraveling. The Speaker's de facto vendetta against POTUS is placing the entire planet in greater danger of expanded warfare.
The single most telling quote in this article from
The Jerusalem Post is "The role of an Israeli leader is to adopt the policies that protect Israel, even when they are unpopular at
the White House". Well the role of POTUS is to adopt policies that most benefit the US, even when they are unpopular in Israel
and well beyond the comprehension of a US House Speaker. Study the above link with its source in mind. This is a battle for the
"hearts and minds" of the US public toward unconditionally supporting Israeli policies or supporting better US long-term interests and
the reinvigoration of worldwide diplomacy. Here is one
decent early assessment of the situation, and another from Chicago*.
*dead link http://chicago.suntimes.com/editorials-opinion/7/71/313317/iran-israel replaced 04/08/2016 02:00pm CST
01/21/2015 underscoring dysfunction:
House Speaker John Boehner is ensuring that the entire rest of the world knows exactly how dysfunctional the American system has become. Certainly he'll have less credibility when accusing others of overstepping bounds of office. By making an ultimately ill-advised move one day after POTUS solicited restraint toward giving ongoing diplomacy a chance, it appears that Mr. Boehner wants to run inept foreign policy from an isolated Speakers desk. Hopefully this is not what the American people desire from its "new" congressional leadership.
01/18/2015 whistleblowing revisited:
In these days and weeks before the US Congress chooses its cyber doom legislation narratives for expanding the hysterical security state, there seems to be ever widening belittlement of whistleblowers throughout lame stream press. Nevertheless it is important to remember that whistleblowers—unlike US "intelligence" chiefs—have not lied to the public and are the only high-profile group consistently espousing supremacy of Magna Charta principle. If it were not for whistleblowers there would be no significant transparency at all in what is outlandishly still called the land of the free. Only the best of foreign newspapers seem to faithfully underscore the importance of contemporary whistleblowering for the longevity of "traditional" western values.
01/16/2015 encryption, best defense:
For the past several weeks US and UK officials have been commenting with varying degrees of embellishment about cybersecurity issues. Today POTUS weighed-in1 on the side of absurdity. Encryption is a solution, not a problem. Experientially enlightened opinion tends to accept that unbreakable encryption ultimately benefits everyone, as was incidentally admitted in the recently-revealed 2009 report from the US National Intelligence Council.
State officials generally garner naive opinion from briefings conducted by vested interests. The US no longer has effective oversight of intelligence communities and all three branches of government go along with most any expedient thesis however ill concluded. US "intelligence" wants complete control of worldwide communications and POTUS has consistently expressed willingness to govern in accordance with what the "intelligence community feels is necessary to keep people safe"—obviously those agencies lack effective civilian oversight. .
Be forewarned. All the recent hoopla about cyber things is a precursor to congressional reconsideration of cyber legislation. CISA or CISPA or some 2015 hybrid will soon be regurgitated for consideration2 by a more receptive congress. A US congressional representative from Maryland, the state hosting NSA and its pre-CISPA $80-billion-plus in affiliated annual revenue streams, understandably is not apt to forget it.
1bad link replaced Sept. 8, 2016.
2bad link removed 08/28/2017
01/14/2015 official hyperbole:
Not unlike America's guileful DNI and his former NSA director, one past UK M15 Chief claims the sky is falling because of Edward Snowden's 2013 revelations. What makes the linked article most interesting is not the expected "official" comments but what worldwide readers have to say about the story. Increased terror episodes cited by Mr.Evans have little or nothing to do with Edward Snowden's past or present activities but have everything to do with existing western policies in the Middle East. In any case earthlings everywhere appear to be fed-up with oppressive legislation stealing individual rights.
01/12/2015 Senator Bill Nelson on DC:
After the November 2014 elections it was suggested to a few legislators that significant changes in both congressional leadership and congressional agendas
might be beneficial to both the nation's short and long term interests. Replies received to date follow:
1/12/2015 Senator Bill Nelson on overall congressional leadership and priorities*,
1/09/2015 Congressman Jeff Miller on the re-election of John Boehner as Speaker of the US House of Representatives.*
*posted when received
01/08/2015 Senator Barbara Boxer:
US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has announced that she will not seek re-election in 2016. Commendably she was one of a mere 23 senators opposing the October 2002 resolution authorizing the use of military force in Iraq. In February 2007 she opposed further escalation of the Iraq war in a speech made on the Senate floor1. Hopefully those praiseworthy acts will not be forgotten.
In June of 2014 she recognized that the "current crisis in Iraq 'has its roots in an ill-conceived war'" nonetheless appeared disinclined to blame US policy [the ill-conceived war] for current conditions. Likely that reluctance is a by-product of US intelligence communities working overtime to peddle ISIS hyperbole in keeping belligerence and associated revenue streams freely flowing.
As recently as September of 2014 Daniel Benjamin, who served as the State Department's top counterterrorism adviser during Mr. Obama's first term, said the public discussion about the ISIS threat has been a "farce", with "members of the cabinet and top military officers all over the place describing the threat in lurid terms that are not justified". Unfortunately after 4 more months of US commitments, the threats continue to grow in direct proportion to American entanglements.
In any case much of lame stream media continues to tout America's new bombing strategy as precursor to western victory over terrorism in general and ISIS in particular even though middle east belligerence consistently has failed since 2001. If you are looking for alternative solutions, here is a good place to start2.
1Barbara Boxer no longer has her official site and consequently this link is dead.
2bad commondreams.org link replaced 02/11/2017
01/05/2015 NSA Christmas:
Smells like a whitewash, Martha, or it could be just a bad joke: "NSA protects privacy and civil liberties while safeguarding the nation and our allies"—tee hee, tee hee.
01/05/2015 Republican control:
The most important agenda before Congress is restoration of constitutional protections for US citizens. Repeal of AUMF, PATRIOT, and the detention provisions of NDAA 2012 are the single most important issues that Congress can address in order to preserve and ensure the longevity of traditional American values. Curtailing questionable US intelligence-gathering techniques is ethically and constitutionally mandatory. Replacing war with diplomacy while reinvigorating America's enervated respect for international law is ultimately unavoidable.
Nonetheless the immediate Republican focus is legislation eventually benefiting Canadian oil companies and associated US firms at substantial environmental risk but under the guise of job creation—apparently another partisan showdown power-play. Reader comments attached to germane news articles indicate that many constituents understand the situation and few expect substantive change from Republican control. Contemporary members of congress deceive mainly themselves—as attested by the 15% congressional approval rating.
01/01/2015 restoring constitutional protections:
Think about it. In 2014 the top two US DoD spooks officially lied to the world in public with impunity in order to protect questionable methodologies and their associated revenue streams while using bogus claims of effectiveness. Aside from reporting on international CIA torture, no legislative, executive, or judicial actions have significantly curtailed or shed additional light on secret US government activities already adjudicated to be unconstitutional. Currently only whistleblowers advocate traditionally definitive American values.
The most important agenda before Congress is restoration of constitutional protections for US citizens. Repeal of AUMF, PATRIOT, and the detention provisions of NDAA 2012 are the single most important issues that Congress can address in order to preserve and ensure the longevity of traditional American values.
Curtailing questionable US intelligence-gathering techniques is ethically and constitutionally mandatory. In any case it appears to many that shuttering arguably dysfunctional intelligence bureaucracies would not attenuate national security at any level yet would save enormous revenue streams for better use while eliminating vested constitutional enemies—perhaps eventually restoring currently abrogated constitutional protections as well as lost national pride.