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Libertarian Saturday
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/08/2008 13:19:13

Good Morning!

We've had some new members join us this week...so why don't you come and join us on the weekends, too? We're like Dave's Lounge; We're always open!

We've got a new Liberator Online this week, so let's see if there's anything interesting going on...

Since a fair number of our members are heading to Washington, DC in a few weeks, maybe you should all have a make-over before you get there. After all, Big Brother is Watching You.
According to the Washington Post: "D.C. police are now watching live images from dozens of surveillance cameras posted in high-crime parts of the city, hoping to respond faster to shootings, robberies and other offenses and catch suspects before they get away.

"Since August 2006, the city has installed 73 cameras across the city, mostly on utility poles, at a cost of about $4 million. But until recently, officers were using them mainly as an investigative tool -- checking the recordings after crimes were committed in hopes of turning up leads and evidence."

Now, however, under a new policy, police watch live feeds from a dozen or so cameras. And they want to greatly expand that.

Live police surveillance of citizens via camera is already standard policy in U.S. cities including Baltimore, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia.

U.S. cities are following the model of London, where 500,000 surveillance cameras allow government agents of Big Brother to peer at citizens around the clock. The average Londoner is caught on camera several hundred times a day.

Many U.S. politicians and enforcers are eager to follow London's example. New York mayor Michael Bloomberg toured London last year and virtually salivated at the widespread surveillance there. He dismissed critics of government surveillance as "ridiculous," and, observing that London has a camera in every bus and subway car, declared, "We are way behind and we really do have to catch up."

Similarly, D.C Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier told the Washington Post: "I'd love to have the whole city wired like London."

According to the Washington Post: "The District's cameras have quite a range ... Officers can rotate angles for different views. They can zoom in on faces of potential suspects and pick up license plate numbers from cars several blocks away."

Around-the-clock government surveillance of streets and public spaces fits in nicely with other developing government trends, like the REAL ID national ID scheme (discussed last issue), the continuing erosion of Fourth Amendment protections, plans for the creation of massive government databases on U.S. citizens, and reports of new levels of federal electronic eavesdropping.

Does anybody see a trend here?

Continue reading...

21 comments (Latest Comment: 03/09/2008 02:18:01 by Mondobubba)

Things That Piss Me Off
Author: BobR    Date: 03/07/2008 13:31:00

It's Friday and I should be happy it's almost the weekend. Yet after perusing the headlines, I'm pissed off. There are so many things, I can't tie them all together with quotes and commentary, so in a rare departure from my usual eloquence , I'll just give you the links and let you see for yourselves:
Continue reading...

393 comments (Latest Comment: 03/08/2008 05:53:04 by livingonli)

Steph on Fox
Author: Shane-O    Date: 03/06/2008 21:54:16

Here's Steph on Neil Cavuto's show. The whole three minutes... Fox News = junk for people with ADD and a proclivity to switch to their favorite episode of "Cops."

But, whatcha think all?
13 comments (Latest Comment: 03/07/2008 04:00:04 by Mondobubba)

FISA Violations and You
Author: Raine    Date: 03/06/2008 13:42:04

Your privacy is being bought and sold.
AT&T Could Owe You $146,000
FISA violation means $36,500 per claimant, per four years of wiretapping

The Legality Blog has an interesting read on just how much telecom providers like AT&T could owe their customers should the lawsuit against them for illegal wiretapping be allowed to proceed. While there are more than forty potential suits currently open against Sprint, Verizon and AT&T, the EFF's case against AT&T is the most highly visible, given it involved a 22-year former employee turned whistleblower. If the EFF case proceeds and it shows widespread violation of FISA laws, AT&T would be in some serious financial trouble:
Code provision 50 U.S.C. § 1810 imposes civil liability on any person (or entity) for each violation of FISA. Victims of illegal surveillance are entitled to recover $100 for each day they were wiretapped, or actual damages over $1000, whichever is greater. Additionally, FISA provides compensation for attorney’s fees and other costs of litigation. . . As you may imagine, one hundred dollars per day, per person adds up over four years. If the Hepting lawsuit is successful, AT&T could face damages of over $36,500 per claimant per year. Nearly every person with a computer or phone in the United States could be impacted.

AT&T serves 14.2 million broadband customers and roughly 70 million landline users. If they were forced to pay $146,000 to each landline customer, AT&T could be facing a total legal liability cost of $10,220,000,000,000.
This is what the Telco immunity is all about. NOT our Security. There is the dirty little secret.

Guess what Else? FISA and Telco Immunity isn't dead. The Vote could very well happen today, SO I urge everyone to go out there and make those phone calls. Tell your Representatives that you know the real deal. Tell them to say NO TO IMMUNITY.
Every one of these Telecom companies will end up singing like a Canary because they certainly won't want to be the ones that actually have to face these fines. The Federal Government under the Bush Administration MADE THEM DO IT.
(And please, do not forget the fact that this all started before 911™... )

It's Thursday. I am sure it will be another wild and wooly day of Kitchen Sinks Flying around, So watch out and don't be afraid to duck and cover.

:peace: and
294 comments (Latest Comment: 03/06/2008 22:38:44 by BobR)

David & Goliath
Author: BobR    Date: 03/05/2008 13:16:24

As we continue our march towards the Bush Administration's total usurpation of power, we get yet another bit of bad news. This may not be getting much play in the MSM, but Bush has gutted the Intelligence Oversight Board:
On Friday, the White House issued a new executive order effectively gutting the Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB ), “created in 1976 in the wake of widespread abuses by U.S. intelligence agencies.” Under the order, many of the IOB’s investigative powers will now be transfered to DNI Mike McConnell. “Rather than intelligence agencies reporting their activities to the board for review, they will now report them to McConnell,” the AP notes...

Continue reading...

183 comments (Latest Comment: 03/06/2008 16:44:33 by Raine)

F The President
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/05/2008 00:40:01

Fuck the President.

There, I said it. After 8 long years, I said it.

Fuck the president, and everything he believes in and represents. Fuck his family, his wife, his children, his forebears and all his descendants for all eternity.

Fuck the republican party and everything they stand for. Fuck everyone that ever claimed to be a Republican, supported them, voted for them, or even believes one iota of the bullshit that they spout and pass off as policy.

Fuck you if you even have the slightest illusion that the Republican party, or its financiers, or its policymakers think about you and your concerns for so much as one second. You're such a fucking idiot, I can't help you anymore.

Why this rant, why now, why today?

Because this evening, I was talking to my wife about uprooting us from this fair Commonwealth and the only life we've ever known for the perceived greener pastures of Belfast, Maine and the opportunity that my company opening a branch office there represents.

When I was seven years old, my parents owned our home, I had a yard to play in, a dog, a swingset, and a safe neighborhood full of friends and trees and grassy places to play.

I can give Javier none of these things.

Whatever you call us, Generation X, children of the 80s, any label you wish...we're the first generation that is less well off than the one before it in these United States. All the things I had, did, or wanted to do...we can't do for our own children.

We live paycheck to paycheck, one unanticipated expense away from total disaster. We have no savings, little retirement money, and no college fund for our son. We can't even dream about owning a piece of the "American Dream"...that doesn't exist for us anymore. My "American Dream" consists of paying all our bills on time and finishing with a positive balance in our account for one month.

Eleven years from now, Javier will be finishing his senior year in High School, looking at his 18th birthday and perhaps a bleak future. A President McCain will have us in Iraq for the next century, and under any republican administration, nothing will change...expenses and inflation will keep choking the lifeblood out of the middle class, and Javi will be faced with either a lifelong mountain of debt or the prospect of entering the army and going to a shooting war just to have a pittance for a minimal college education.

These aren't the United States anymore. At least not the ones that we read about in the history books and our parents and grandparents helped to build so that ours and the next generation can live better, safer, and healthier.

All of this because of a failed philosophy, because of a misguided leadership, and because of one man, one party, and everything they have said, done, changed, manipulated, and supported over these past 8 years.

George W. Bush, YOU RUINED MY LIFE!!!

May you burn in hell, now and forever, Amen.

57 comments (Latest Comment: 03/05/2008 04:31:46 by livingonli)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/04/2008 11:54:50

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,812th day in Iraq.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 3973
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3834
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3512
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3115
Since Election (1/31/05): 2535

Today's Cost of War nearing a significant milestone as it passes through $ 499, 615, 000, 000.00

Continue reading...

202 comments (Latest Comment: 03/05/2008 03:01:43 by livingonli)

When You Walk In The Garden...
Author: Mondobubba    Date: 03/03/2008 13:25:04

These words are familiar to two groups of folks, people what like Tom Waits and people what like "The Wire." I fall into both groups. We are fast coming up on the final episode of David Simon's "Russian Novel for television." This show as you all know is something of a obsession/passion of mine since it first came on the HBO mosheen back in 2002. I will now try to explain why in few short paragraphs.

At first "The Wire" looks like a cops and robbers show. There are cops, lots of them, drug dealers and lots of them too. Into the mix are tossed, snitches, longshoremen (season two), politicians, school kids and now in the last season, newspaper people. But it's much more than that. It uses Baltimore as a metaphor for almost any large sized post-industrial city in the US.
Continue reading...

124 comments (Latest Comment: 03/04/2008 04:14:19 by livingonli)

Velveeta does NOT look good in orange.
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 03/02/2008 13:58:53

Welcome to March! Seems like we got here pretty darn fast, this year is flying by! Perhaps it seems to be moving so quickly due to the amount of vacations and lack of camera time from George W. Bush, our current criminal in charge. (I'll end up in Gitmo for that comment - I forgot, our "Constitution" is merely a historical document, much like the Magna Carta).

Eight years ago this week, we Americans lived in isolated bliss - having that pre-9/11 mentality ™. The only thing about the Taliban making headlines was that on this day in 2001 they began the destruction of the Ancient Buddha statues that had stood for centuries in Afghanistan.

Despite an international outcry and many groups trying to intervene in an effort to save the Buddhas, the puritanical Taliban's Islamic militia began demolishing the statues across the Bamian Province in the heart of Afghanistan. Even the suggestion of building a concrete wall in front of the statues to block their view, was rejected by the Taliban.

The statues were a marvel of artistry, workmanship and wonder. Two of the tallest Bamiyan Buddhas, carved into a sandstone cliff near the provincial capital in central Afghanistan, stood 175 feet and 114 feet tall and were built around the second century. They stood, tall and proud, overlooking the farming fields below the mountains on the Hazara peoples of that region.


Continue reading...

13 comments (Latest Comment: 03/03/2008 04:44:25 by Mondobubba)

Silly computer..........double post blog!
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 03/02/2008 13:58:23


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