Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Patriot Act set to be renewed for another four years

Call it crony capitalism, corporatism, pseudo-capitalism, criminal capitalism, whatever.  Big business and big government conspire together to strip average citizens rights in an ever increasing authoritarian regime.

This title pretty much says it all, great article too:
Protecting Us from Our Freedoms: Congress Set to Renew Patriot Act Spy Provisions by Tom Burghardt.

A couple of quotes:
As Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald writes, "the way a republic is supposed to function is that there is transparency for those who wield public power and privacy for private citizens."
 As this filthy system continues to implode amidst an orgy of financial and political corruption that would make a Roman emperor blush, the capitalist oligarchy is hell-bent on shielding themselves from any meaningful oversight or accountability, thus ensuring that the secret state's war on democracy itself continues.
To sum up what's being renewed:
  • roving wiretaps.
  • business records provision, warrant for any tangible thing.  e.g. financial, medical, phone records
  • "loan wolf" provision, allowing surveillance on individuals with the wrong ideological thinking
The Patriot Act is being renewed very quietly with bipartisanship and without debate.  The Patriot Act represents 'old surveillance powers' which are just so 2002.  The current government has been busy expanding its surveillance powers instead of disseminating them.

You can read all about that here:
It's funny that when the current government party was not in power they were dead set against the Patriot Act.  Now that the roles are reversed, the descent comes mostly from the opposition - the party who enacted the Patriot Act to begin with.  The articles clearly show how democracy has been hijacked in the US and in particular the senate.

I save the last article for our president who has flip flopped so badly on this issue (and others) that it leaves us with little hope (more Glenn Greenwald):
This country badly needs political reform (executive, judicial and legislative branches), economic reform and even constitutional changes but we're never going to get them as long as our congressmen and congresswomen are beholden to large corporations.  We can support political action groups and fight these issues one by one:
Or we can pledge not to vote for candidates who accept large donations or corporate donations.  It doesn't matter if the candidate is Democrat, Republican or other.  Vote for candidates who work for the little guy.  Also, don't support political action group if they in turn support candidates who accepts large donations or corporate donations.

We cannot become disillusioned and give up.  We cannot become complacent with the status quo.  We must not become disheartened and stop voting.  Vote for the candidates who take the pledge.  Call us, 'United Citizens for Peace and Prosperity'.

One final note, exposing war crimes is not a crime.  Free Bradley Manning.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Second Coming of the Dark Ages

Worldwide corporatism and its accompanying authoritarianism.  From China to the good ol'USA.

From corporate control of the media:  Rupert Murdoch drops Current Italia in response to Current TV hiring Keith Olbermann:  (story).

To corporate control of education:  Charles Koch buys right to veto hirees in a publicly funded university's economic department. (story).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011



Shhh... We're not allowed to talk about it.  The new Internet Blacklist Bill shows so little regard for free speech and Internet freedom that it would actually ban people from having serious conversations about the new Internet Blacklist Bill

It would block "information location tools" from pointing to sites suspected of piracy.  So that means that we couldn't send you an email just like this one with links to the websites that were being prosecuted.

Will you click here to urge Congress to oppose the ridiculous, obscene, draconian, PROTECT-IP Act?

It's not an exaggeration for CNET's headline to shout, "Senate bill amounts to death penalty for websites." They say the draft bill "would certainly sweep in Google, Yahoo, and search engines, and may also cover many other Web sites." 

Please help us fight this legislation, which is far worse than the first Internet Blacklist Bill -- just click here.

Thanks for standing with us,
 -- The Demand Progress team

P.S. The new bill is a "death penalty for websites" and it's moving fast.  Will you forward this email to your friends or share the petition with them using these links? 

[fb] If you're already on Facebook, click here to share with your friends.
[fb] If you're already on Twitter, click here to tweet about the campaign: Tweet

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Last week, James Mulva, chief executive of Houston-based ConocoPhillips, tried to add a new activity to the list: asking big oil companies to give up tax breaks.
The Senate Finance Committee pulled Mr. Mulva and honchos of BP America, ChevronExxon Mobil and Shell into a hearing where CEOs repeated their usual sound bites: Getting rid of their cherished tax breaks would mean higher energy prices, fewer oil-industry jobs, more dependence on foreign oil, reduced competition and lower returns for shareholders.
Mr. Mulva went further, issuing a press release decrying "un-American tax proposals."

Not paying taxes, that's un-American.

Being too big to fail, that's un-American.

When huge multi-national companies are bailed out by the government, not only is is un-American, it's un-capitalist.

When extremely profitable multi-national companies are given subsidies, it's not only un-American, it's insane.

Raising health insurance costs to the point where average Americans can no longer afford health insurance, that's un-American.

Cutting off your nose despite your face by destroying the actual people who buy your products is un-American and sociopathic.

Invading countries and starting wars for profit, that's un-American.

Indiscriminately carpet bombing countries back to the stone age, that's un-American.

Using WMD such as depleted uranium and cluster bombs, that's un-American.

Torturing detainees, that's un-American.

Assassinating enemies, that's un-American.

Holding detainees indefinitely without a trial, that's un-American.

Being brainwashed by the media, that's un-American.

When all television personalities and pundits are either Democrats or Republicans, that's un-American and undemocratic.

Defending the government by news hosts is un-American.

Not criticizing you government, that's un-American.

Blind patriotism is un-American and dangerous.

Apathy and complacency as the corporations take over the government while continuing to curb your civil liberties is un-American and happening right now...

Wake up America! 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

America is Losing its Way

I fear America is losing its way.  Osama bin Laden is dead.  Hooray!  Yippee!  What disturbs me is we've thrown out all our values as Americans.  First, we declared war on a non-country and responded by invading two countries.  Now three?  Then we created a prison where the detainees are being tortured, have absolutely no rights and most are held indefinitely without any kind of a trial.  We threw out the rule of law here in the US.  Next we created the Patriot Act where the president can label anyone an "Enemy Combatant" and strip him or her of  rights as as a US citizen, wiretap American citizens without a warrant, and ramped up the 'police state' in numerous ways.

The media is now reporting that catching bin Laden justifies the torture that we openly subjected  to numerous detainees.  Since when does the end justify the means in this country?  In catching bin Laden, it was first reported that Seal Team 6 had 'shoot to kill' orders which was soon retracted.  First of all, we didn't 'catch' bin Laden. Second, it was first reported (and later retracted) that he cowered behind one of his wives. Well, she was shot in the calf and he was executed. Third, he was unarmed. That's murder and Unamerican.  One final note - it was our special ops and not a full scale military invasion that got bin Laden.

It's time to take bring this country back to a pre-9/11 era:

Top 10 Terror Policies Continued by Obama

Losing Our Way

Osama Bin Laden Is Dead, But Will the Patriot Act Live On?

Much of the Patriot Act has been made permanent but that doesn't mean that we should extend what's left of the Patriot Act permanently.  Sign the petition to end the Patriot Act:

Petition to End the Patriot Act

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo celebrates a decisive victory of the Mexican army over a well equipped and undefeated in almost 50 year French (Napoleon's) army of double the size on May 5th, 1862.  It was also the humble beginning of the American Empire:
Some historians have argued that France's real goal was to help break up the American Union, at the time in the midst of a civil war, by helping the southern Confederacy:[23] "The Mexicans had won a great victory that kept Napoleon III from supplying the confederate rebels for another year, allowing the United States to build the greatest army the world had ever seen. This grand army smashed the Confederates at Gettysburg just 14 months after the battle of Puebla, essentially ending the Civil War." The consequence of Cinco de Mayo to the United States has been thus recognized:"The defeat of the French army had consequences for America as well...the French defeat denied Napoleon III the opportunity to resupply the Confederate rebels for another year."[24]