Fact Checking the TPP

6 March, 2016 (09:46) | Economics, Politics | By: admin

BORDC/DDF Executive Director Sue Udry made these remarks

24 February, 2016 (10:02) | FBI, Politics | By: admin

A magistrate judge, an Apple employee, and an FBI agent walk into a …

Actually, only the Apple employee walks in. You know why?

Because the bar didn’t have a back door.

And, actually, because the FBI is too busy spinning this story to go drinking.

This week, FBI Director James Comey told us he wants into this iPhone because “the FBI simply must do all we can under the law to investigate”… what he really meant is that they must do all they can to leave no fear unexploited.

Because that is what the FBI is doing: simultaneously pandering to, exploiting and breeding Islamophobia to get what they want, a crow bar to get into our devices.

The only way you don’t see this is if you ignore the entire history of the FBI.

Like if you go watch Mississippi Burning and you think, wow, that FBI, what civil rights heroes they are.

Just think about all the ways the FBI can pry into our lives: they can use National Security Letters to demand our phone and bank records, scoop up our metadata under the USA Freedom Act, they can use Stingrays, ALPRs, get anything off the cloud, and of course, they can ransack our homes and offices. Without a warrant, without even suspicion of any wrongdoing, FBI agents can infiltrate a social movement like Occupy or Black Lives Matter, they can send a paid informant to pose as a Muslim to join a mosque, befriend and even seduce members in an attempt to entrap them in a fake terror plot, they can dig through our trash, question our friends, co-workers and bosses about us.

Our lives, our thoughts, our relations, are an open book for the FBI. never before have they had access to so much information about so many innocent people. And they are not above using it to harass and repress members of minority groups or groups whose politics they don’t like.

Ask Martin Luther King, ask Fred Hampton, ask Black Lives Matter, Occupy, Environmentalists, peace activists, animal rights activists or any Muslim, south Asian or Arab person in this country what it feels like to be targeted by the FBI for doing nothing illegal.

The FBI can’t have access to every millimeter of our lives, because they screw us when they do.

And I totally agree.

Clinton Caucus Spreads Lies

21 February, 2016 (07:58) | Politics | By: admin

I must admit my first caucus ever was fun, even more so since my precinct favored “the berne” by better than a two to one margin. I actually surprised myself by getting up and questioning the clinton supporters claiming that “the berne” had an electability issue by asking them why “the berne” in national polls beat all gubber challengers by wider margins than clinton did. Clap, clap, clap!

But I was disappointed by the clinton folks as they are either severely misinformed or deliberately spreading lies. One guy in particular got up twice and claimed that implementing a single payer health care system, medicare for all, would require a Constitutional amendment. Seriously?

The other, a member of the LGBT community claimed that she would lose her hard fight rights won under the obama years if “the berne” was elected. Again, nonsense.

This is the type of dirty pool that the clintons are known for and further solidifies my decision to never ever vote for the hill. Others shared my animosity toward anything clinton and worried what we would do since we would not be allowed to write in for “the berne” in the general election.

About 10% of the caucus was undecided on the first ballot and after our 15 minute discussion the undecided broke, again, two to one for “the berne”.

I also got to share my displeasure over the hills’ neo-con policies with one of the of the hill’s campaign leaders telling him I could never vote for the hill due to her foreign policy follies.

clinton’s win in Nevada was slim since she really only won in one area, that of sin city where I assume low informational latino voters gave the hill her margin of victory.

Yeah, right

17 February, 2016 (14:53) | CIA, NSA, Politics, Science | By: admin

The government’s use of a 230 year old law, the All Writs Act of 1789 to try to force Apple to provide the government with a backdoor to all iPhones has caused a huge stir today. And well it should.

What is crystal clear is that americans get all bent out of shape if anyone even suggests common sense gun laws while these same americans could care less when it is suggested that we should accept that our government should control our privacy.

Both issues are addressed in our Constitution.

The fools who could give a damn about privacy rely on their leader’s claims that they could prevent acts of terror if we had zero privacy. How do I know these folks are fools? Easy, they insult us by making claims that the Paris terror event WOULD have been prevented had it not been for encryption. No one can prove this, it is a known unknown. It is clear that those that proceed on false assertions are fools.

So please, all of you politicians that are banging the drum for government backdoors to encryption, just shut the fuck up.

But what can you expect from a country filled with the pride that dubya kept us safe, except on 9/11.

We need more Apples

17 February, 2016 (08:31) | NSA, Politics | By: admin

There have been a number of political candidates, indeed even our current administration, that claim that encryption is something that only our trusted government should be allowed to possess. Recently our current potus actually sent a delegation to silicon valley to shill for features that would allow our government unfettered access to all of our private data by designing in “backdoors” and other means of invading our privacy all in violation of our 4th amendment.

Truth be told, I believe these folks were rebuffed even though the hill claims otherwise. Yes, that bastion of pure progressiveness, the hill, wants our government to pursue policies contrary to our consititution, to continue to bury our 4th amendment rights and protections beneath a pile of false claims and questionable secret laws and secret courts.

No, just say no. We need more apples like Tim Cook. Taking clues from the nsa’s microsoft’s WinX as a OS in the cloud in which they claim unfettered access to all your data and keystrokes as a condition of use for their os, it may be time to toss microsoft and their big data folly aside and go with a company whose CEO values our privacy and constitutional rights.

We need more CEOs writing letters like this one:

February 16, 2016 A Message to Our Customers

The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.

This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake.

The Need for Encryption

Smartphones, led by iPhone, have become an essential part of our lives. People use them to store an incredible amount of personal information, from our private conversations to our photos, our music, our notes, our calendars and contacts, our financial information and health data, even where we have been and where we are going.

All that information needs to be protected from hackers and criminals who want to access it, steal it, and use it without our knowledge or permission. Customers expect Apple and other technology companies to do everything in our power to protect their personal information, and at Apple we are deeply committed to safeguarding their data.

Compromising the security of our personal information can ultimately put our personal safety at risk. That is why encryption has become so important to all of us.

For many years, we have used encryption to protect our customers personal data because we believe its the only way to keep their information safe. We have even put that data out of our own reach, because we believe the contents of your iPhone are none of our business.

The San Bernardino Case

We were shocked and outraged by the deadly act of terrorism in San Bernardino last December. We mourn the loss of life and want justice for all those whose lives were affected. The FBI asked us for help in the days following the attack, and we have worked hard to support the governments efforts to solve this horrible crime. We have no sympathy for terrorists.

When the FBI has requested data thats in our possession, we have provided it. Apple complies with valid subpoenas and search warrants, as we have in the San Bernardino case. We have also made Apple engineers available to advise the FBI, and we’ve offered our best ideas on a number of investigative options at their disposal.

We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good. Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software which does not exist today would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someones physical possession.

The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.

The Threat to Data Security

Some would argue that building a backdoor for just one iPhone is a simple, clean-cut solution. But it ignores both the basics of digital security and the significance of what the government is demanding in this case.

In todays digital world, the key to an encrypted system is a piece of information that unlocks the data, and it is only as secure as the protections around it. Once the information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.

The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But thats simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.

The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers including tens of millions of American citizens from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.

We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack. For years, cryptologists and national security experts have been warning against weakening encryption. Doing so would hurt only the well-meaning and law-abiding citizens who rely on companies like Apple to protect their data. Criminals and bad actors will still encrypt, using tools that are readily available to them.

A Dangerous Precedent

Rather than asking for legislative action through Congress, the FBI is proposing an unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority.

The government would have us remove security features and add new capabilities to the operating system, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by brute force, trying thousands or millions of combinations with the speed of a modern computer.

The implications of the governments demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyones device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phones microphone or camera without your knowledge.

Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.

We are challenging the FBIs demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.

While we believe the FBIs intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.

Tim Cook

Thank you Tim.

Gubbers Shame our Country

14 February, 2016 (11:30) | Politics | By: admin

Just minutes after scalia died the gubbers were out on the stump claiming that our potus should be prevented from nominating a replacement.

Of all the gall. The gubbers swear by our Constituion unless it doesn’t suit their political agenda.

Our potus nominates scotus judges with the consent of the senate. This bs about how our potus should be prevented from any nomination is an absolute disgrace to our country.

Warren referred to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) claim that it would be undemocratic to seat an Obama nominee in the presidents last year. McConnell “is right that the American people should have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court justice, Warren wrote. In fact, they did — when President Obama won the 2012 election by five million votes.

These fools are scrapping the bottom of the barrel and none of them should be allowed to continue in office. Their claims that a new nominee needs to have wide bi-partisian support means that these folks want yet another conservative judge that practices judicial activism.

On the brighter side of scotus vacancy, the democratic party faithful will have one less reason to blackmail us into a vote for the hill if our potus is successful with his nomination.

Tried the status quo, it failed

12 February, 2016 (11:25) | Politics | By: admin

Sit on it hillary

12 February, 2016 (11:22) | Politics | By: admin

The hill’s progressive policies

5 February, 2016 (09:30) | Politics | By: admin

Hillary is a staunch neocon whose record of favoring American war adventures explains much of our current security danger. The idea that the hill is not part of the establishment because she is a woman is laughable at best. She is a full fledged member of the establishment neocons.

And worse, she seeks to redefine what it means to be a progressive to suit her political ambitions. She is anything but progressive.

Jeffrey Sachs:

In the Milwaukee debate, Hillary Clinton took pride in her role in a recent UN Security Council resolution on a Syrian ceasefire:

But I would add this. You know, the Security Council finally got around to adopting a resolution. At the core of that resolution is an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva, which set forth a cease-fire and moving toward a political resolution, trying to bring the parties at stake in Syria together.

This is the kind of compulsive misrepresentation that makes Clinton unfit to be President. Clinton’s role in Syria has been to help instigate and prolong the Syrian bloodbath, not to bring it to a close.

In 2012, Clinton was the obstacle, not the solution, to a ceasefire being negotiated by UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan. It was US intransigence – Clinton’s intransigence – that led to the failure of Annan’s peace efforts in the spring of 2012, a point well known among diplomats. Despite Clinton’s insinuation in the Milwaukee debate, there was (of course) no 2012 ceasefire, only escalating carnage. Clinton bears heavy responsibility for that carnage, which has by now displaced more than 10 million Syrians and left more than 250,000 dead.

Thank you CNN

4 February, 2016 (14:35) | Politics | By: admin

I don’t often see opportunities to thank corporate media since it has been clear for some time that these folks gave up news reporting in favor of more lucrative infomercials.

But last nights town hall in NH was an exception. I have a lot of trouble sitting through any of the democratic debates because I can’t stand listening to the hill lie to us over and over. She changed her strategy several times before claiming her victory in iowa. It was no more a victory than rubio’s. Now she has gone from telling lies about her opposition to telling lies about herself.

The hill fancies herself a progressive, gag, puke, more gagging, more puking.

To a large extent I have had it with folks that claim we need to vote for the hill else suffer the fate of electing a gubber. That may well be, but voting for a republican dressed in democratic clothes, a dino, for me, it ain’t going to happen.

Let me plagiarize the facts from Jeff Cohen.

1] PROMOTING FRACKING WORLDWIDE IS NOT PROGRESSIVE
2] BOOSTING CORPORATIST TRADE DEALS IS NOT PROGRESSIVE
3] ENABLING MILITARY COUPS IS NOT PROGRESSIVE
4] POCKETING MILLIONS FROM CORPORATE LECTURE FEES IS NOT PROGRESSIVE
5] ESCALATING THE AFGHAN WAR IS NOT PROGRESSIVE
6] CHAOTIC MILITARY INTERVENTION IN THE MIDEAST IS NOT PROGRESSIVE

No, the hill looks, walks, and quacks like a gubber. And despite this deepest of flattery for the gubber by the hill, they still can’t stand her. This notion that the gubbers are her friends and that she can work with them is absurd. They already have yet another committee looking into her email server issues, again.

Last I checked, independents such as myself out number both democrats and gubbers. So listen up democrats, if you want to win in Nov stop pandering to the left. While I won’t go so far as to vote for any gubber, the hill will never get my vote.

So thank you CNN for separating the bern from the hill and having them appear in the town hall at different times. I could listen to the bern and not get all pissed off having to listen to the hill’s bs.