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Libertarian Saturday!
Author: TriSec    Date: 10/20/2007 13:01:24

Good Morning!

Well, I haven't done one of these in a while. Let's see what's going on...

You'd think with all the kerfuffle going on in the airport about shoes, and liquids, and carry-ons, and electronics, and everything else that a book is probably the least offensive and safest thing you could take on board. You'd be wrong. Watch out what you read; Uncle Sam wants to know!
"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

"The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as long as 15 years, as part of the Department of Homeland Security's effort to assess the security threat posed by all travelers entering the country."

That's right. Fifteen-year-long records are created and stored, regardless of your innocence, without your knowledge or consent.

That can include even the books you travel with. The Post reports that a group of activists requested information on their travel records, and found the records included a description of a book on marijuana one of them carried.

"The federal government is trying to build a surveillance society," John Gilmore, a libertarian and a heroic civil liberties activist, told the Washington Post. "The job of building a surveillance database and populating it with information about us is happening largely without our awareness and without our consent."

What other personal information is Homeland Security collecting (all to keep you free, of course)? Lots -- like, for instance, the kind of hotel bed you sleep in.

Notes The Washington Post:

"The [Department of Homeland Security] database generally includes 'passenger name record' (PNR) information, as well as notes taken during secondary screenings of travelers. PNR data -- often provided to airlines and other companies when reservations are made -- routinely include names, addresses and credit-card information, as well as telephone and e-mail contact details, itineraries, hotel and rental car reservations, and even the type of bed requested in a hotel."

The Washington Post also told the story of Zakariya Reed, a Toledo firefighter, who said he has been detained at least seven times at the Michigan border since fall 2006.

Twice, Reed said, he was questioned by border officials about "politically charged" opinion pieces critical of U.S. policy in the Middle East he had published in his local newspaper.

Once, during a secondary interview, he said, "they had them printed out on the table in front of me."

Incidentally, your DHS travel file is exempt from Privacy Act requirements. So you have no right to correct even erroneous information that might be there -- waiting to bite you.

Continue reading...

6 comments (Latest Comment: 10/20/2007 17:19:59 by starling310)

It's Friday, Ya Bastahds..
Author: BobR    Date: 10/19/2007 12:03:27

Yesterday afternoon we heard from Ms. Rhodes herself about the "unfortunate incident" that resulted in her missing some teeth, and apparently almost losing an eye. She said she walked outside for a smoke and the next thing she remembered was waking up with her face caved in. Not a mugging?... Not a vicious attack?... Sorry, but I don't believe you get that kind of damage from blacking out and falling down. Not being able to remember seems like a common reaction to trauma. So it seems that there are still a lot of unanswered questions, and she doesn't seem interested in answering them.

So for now, let's just enjoy this mid-October Friday. It's the perfect time of year for carving pumpkins, going to the local spook house, and drinking beer at the local Oktoberfest.

For those of you looking to do more than just the typical carving, there's Pumpkin Masters, the well-known company that has made an industry out of pumpkin art. They have a few basic free patterns, but if you want the good ones, you have to buy them.

...Or you could just go for really weird:
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173 comments (Latest Comment: 03/04/2020 12:01:52 by nirshproductions)

ALCS Game 5
Author: TriSec    Date: 10/18/2007 21:42:56

Good Afternoon!

How's a little baseball grab you this evening?

We'll start in the Big Apple...Looks like Joe Torre is all done.

NEW YORK -- Joe Torre is out as manager of the New York Yankees, rejecting a substantial pay cut after the team failed to make it past the first round of the playoffs for the third straight year.

Torre turned down a $5 million, one-year contract Thursday that still would have made him the highest paid manager in baseball.

Bench coach Don Mattingly is the leading contender to replace Torre, who led the Yanks to 12 straight playoff appearances and won four World Series championships. Yankees broadcaster Joe Girardi, the NL Manager of the Year with Florida in 2006, is another top contender.

"It's a difficult day," general manager Brian Cashman said.

But it was one Yankees' fans could see coming.

After losing the first two playoff games to Cleveland, owner George Steinbrenner said he didn't think Torre would be back if the Yankees didn't advance. They lost in four games.

Torre, who took over the team to start the 1996 season, made his decision after traveling fom New York to the team's spring training complex in Tampa, Fla. He was accompanied by Cashman and chief operating officer Lonn Trost.

"It is now time for the New York Yankees to move forward," team president Randy Levine said.

Heading west, we've got a critical game situation at the Jake. But if any team can come back from being down 3 games...it's the Boston Red Sox.

TIME: 08:00 P.M. EST
VENUE: Jacobs Field

Probable Pitchers:

Boston - Josh Beckett

20-7, 3.27

Cleveland - C.C. Sabathia

19-7, 3.21

Boston is the underdog tonight (heh, the Sox always are).

Check out the complete
Head-to Head comparison. Boston seems ahead in most categories...on paper.

But that's why they play the game.

95 comments (Latest Comment: 10/19/2007 03:47:42 by livingonli)

Fuck you, (yes you) you fucking fuckwad!
Author: Raine    Date: 10/18/2007 11:34:30

I did that for the team morale... I did it so we can all feel better. Yesterday a report was released that saidSwearing at work boosts moral and helps team spirit. From the article:
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126 comments (Latest Comment: 10/18/2007 22:57:39 by Raine)

FISA, Phone Calls, and the End of Privacy
Author: TriSec    Date: 10/17/2007 13:01:44

You might have noticed this is rather long. My intention when I started collecting info for this blog post was to discuss the FISA program and the phone companies. I found some other info that was certainly eye-opening, so I thought I'd share it, despite the length.

First of all - what sort of information is the government looking for when they make a request? According to this 13-page letter that Verizon released to the Energy and Commerce Committee on Monday, the government wants to know:
1. Subscriber Name;
2. Subscriber Address;
3. Local and long distance telephone connection records, or records of session times and durations;
4. Length of service and type of service utilized;
5. Telephone or instrument number or other subscriber number or identity, including any temporarily assigned network address; and
6. Means and source of payment for such service, including credit card or bank account number of a subscriber to such service.
(bold-face mine)

excuse me? Local calls?? Didn't Bush specifically say they only got the info for calls made into or out of this country? Keep this in mind - it will be important later...
Continue reading...

96 comments (Latest Comment: 11/08/2007 19:43:55 by Raine)

Ask A Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 10/16/2007 10:42:30

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,672nd day in Iraq.

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

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 3829
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3690
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3368
Since Handover (6/29/04): 2970
Since Election (1/31/05): 2392

Other Coalition Troops: 302
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 449

Turning to our friends at IAVA, we find that they too are concerned about the recent veto of the SCHIP program. As it turns out, there are two little-known riders within the program that help the families of wounded troops.

NEW YORK – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation's first and largest nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, today urged Congress to override the President’s veto of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) reauthorization. SCHIP includes two little-known provisions which help the families of critically wounded troops. The provisions provide one year of employment discrimination protection to family members caring for severely injured troops, and extends permitted work leave for those family members from three months to six months. Congress passed SCHIP earlier this month, but President Bush vetoed the legislation for reasons unrelated to these military families’ amendments. This Thursday, the House will vote on whether to override the President’s veto.

“Any member of Congress who supports the troops should vote to override the President’s veto. If SCHIP fails, so does this protection for families of our most grievously wounded troops. These service members and their families carry the heaviest burdens of this war and they need all the help they can get,” said Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA Executive Director. “Thanks to improved battlefield medicine, thousands of troops are surviving catastrophic injuries, but they face long and painful recoveries at home. The last thing these wounded heroes should have to worry about is whether the loved one at their bedside is going to lose his or her job.”

One in five severely wounded troops say a family member or friend has been forced to give up a job to care for them. This is true of Annette McLeod, who is featured in the national TV ad campaign IAVA is running this week to demand that Congress and the President improve care for veterans. Mrs. McLeod’s husband, Specialist Wendall McLeod, sustained multiple, life-threatening injuries while serving in Iraq. “When my husband returned home grievously wounded, it ripped my life apart,” said Mrs. McLeod. “I lived in South Carolina, but Wendell was being treated in Washington, DC. After just three months, the human resources department at the factory where I had worked for 20 years said I had exhausted my time off. Being forced to give up my job made a heart-wrenching and difficult time even harder.”

Continue reading...

139 comments (Latest Comment: 10/17/2007 07:37:18 by MMB)

Monday overnite Open thread.
Author: Raine    Date: 10/16/2007 02:54:54

Four Freedoms Message board is closed for a little while... We will be back as soon as we can, I promise. It seems as tho the server... NOT THE BOARD... is being attacked. So, instead of risking our members computers, I chose to close the board for the night. You got something? post it there... no restrictions... Love you, miss you.... Raine
1 comments (Latest Comment: 10/16/2007 05:27:44 by livingonli)

Monday night Sports! NY v Atl, Sox V Indians and whatever else you got!!!
Author: Raine    Date: 10/16/2007 00:53:09

YEah... it is that time of year, when I cannot deny my love of the Giants... Even tho I now live in Atlanta, and have been trying to root for the falcons... (I used to call them the FAIL cons before I moved down south... But I can't... tonite I am rooting for big blue. Note... I changed the blog title... At this point I am hearing that the BoSax are down 2-0... I am rooting for the Sox! (Cleveland burns me with their crazy locusts and all...) Friggin lord of the flies defense... it just ain't right.
50 comments (Latest Comment: 10/16/2007 03:46:51 by livingonli)

4F Message board problems/IPB free problems.
Author: Raine    Date: 10/15/2007 23:24:38

Four Freedoms Message board is currently experiencing some strangeness. Please post your particular issues here and we will report it as soon as possible to alleviate the problems. Sorry guys. I know it sucks, but I hope you know we are here for all you posting needs! Blog away! Edit.... I have temporarily taken Four Freedoms offline... Please feel free to post here. This really sux. I am sorry guys. As soon as I feel good about getting 4F back up, I will do it. (that sounded dirty, didn't it?) Edit part duex: (10:36 PM, Monday night) IPB free seems to be under attack. (see inside for more details) The 4F message board will remain offline to prevent our members from this vulnerability. You can contact the staff at our links sections and we will be creating new blog posts as needed until the board is back up.
26 comments (Latest Comment: 10/16/2007 15:32:10 by Raine)

Armenian Genocide, it ain't so!
Author: Raine    Date: 10/15/2007 12:41:38

Why the President won't recognize it and why he is in good company...

Last week the President said the following, regarding the House resolution condemning the deaths of 1.5 Million Armenians as genocide:

"We all deeply regret the tragic suffering of the armenian people that began in 1915. This resolution is not the right response to these historic killings."

Did you know that Ronald Reagan called the Armenian Massacres a genocide? Did you know that in 2000, W did as well? Well they both did. But then, Bush changed his mind. He did it because of politics.

When it comes to genocide, the President is in good company in denying the acknowledgment of human atrocities for political gain.

Exhibit #1) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad... he denies the holocaust exists. Interesting considering the meaning of Iran is ARYAN. Mahmoud knows of this. He knows it as well just as Bush knows that genocide occurred in Armenia... and both leaders know that politically it benefits them to deny the reality of life. (The man might be the Iranian version of Rush Limbaugh.... please stay tuned for further blog posts about this...)
Continue reading...

77 comments (Latest Comment: 10/16/2007 01:08:46 by Raine)

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