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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...

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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

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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.
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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.


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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


Libertarian Saturday
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/01/2008 11:19:14


We got nothing. At 10pm last night, the city of Waltham declared a snow emergency, to take effect at 11pm. Fortunately I was still up and about and happened to hear the cruiser driving by...so like a good soldier, I obediently got dressed and moved my car to off-street parking.

Since yesterday was February 29th, it quickly became obvious that the *real* reason was a budgetary shortfall, as the city began towing cars not very long after 11pm last night, and by midnight the street was clear.

Of course, I rise this morning to less than one inch of snow. I'd wager if the city fleet wasn't out plowing sparks last night, we wouldn't be having the usual snow budget crisis. Anyway, I digress.

Of course, if there's a Saturday blog before 7am, that can only mean your loyal TriSec is off for his monthly platelet donation. If you're already a regular blood donor, why not move on to the next level?

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14 comments (Latest Comment: 03/02/2008 05:10:37 by livingonli)

The Pendulum Swings
Author: BobR    Date: 02/29/2008 13:31:29

We went to our first Drinking Liberally last night and had a blast. There were some lively people there, discussing things both political and non-political. I got into a rather intense discussion with a fellow named Maurice we'd met previously and who was previously working on a senator's campaign, and is now working on the campaign of Rand Knight in an attempt to unseat Saxby Chambliss.

As I write this (and you read it) let me just say that a lot of this came from Maurice (quite the student of history), so I'd like to give credit to him in advance. To some extents, I am acting simply as a stenographer here...
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97 comments (Latest Comment: 03/01/2008 03:41:25 by livingonli)

Why this all matters
Author: Raine    Date: 02/28/2008 13:51:11

It is critical that we elect a Democratic Candidate to the Executive office in Novemeber. Critical.

It is critical that we get a super majority in the House and the Senate as well.
Damage Control at High Court:
Exxon Mobil, the giant oil corporation appearing before the Supreme Court yesterday, had earned a profit of nearly $40 billion in 2006, the largest ever reported by a U.S. company -- but that's not what bothered Roberts. What bothered the chief justice was that Exxon was being ordered to pay $2.5 billion -- roughly three weeks' worth of profits -- for destroying a long swath of the Alaska coastline in the largest oil spill in American history.

"So what can a corporation do to protect itself against punitive-damages awards such as this?" Roberts asked in court.

The lawyer arguing for the Alaska fishermen affected by the spill, Jeffrey Fisher, had an idea. "Well," he said, "it can hire fit and competent people."

The rare sound of laughter rippled through the august chamber. The chief justice did not look amused.
The Court Justice is more concerned about Poor Exxon and it's corporate profits than it is about the 10's of thousands of people who are plaintiff's in this case? Many of them have since died.
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230 comments (Latest Comment: 02/29/2008 02:35:38 by livingonli)

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