Friday, February 28, 2014

Justifying "atrocities in defense of the faith"

If the priests are the Lord's emissaries, why are they so often corrupt? Does God condone it, or does he just look the other way?

I support a strong government, but not when it loses sight of it's real purpose. This ain't it.

NSA and GCHQ's dirty-tricking psyops groups: infiltrating, disrupting and discrediting political and protest groups

Cory Doctorow
Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 1:03 pm
In a piece on the new midyar-funded news-site "The Intercept," Glenn Greenwald pulls together the recent Snowden leaks about the NSA's psyops programs, through which they sought to attack, undermine, and dirty-trick participants in Anonymous and Occupy. The new leaks describe the NSA's use of "false flag" operations (undertaking malicious actions and making it look like the work of a group they wish to discredit), the application of "social science" to disrupting and steering online activist discussions, luring targets into compromising sexual situations, deploying malicious software, and posting lies about targets in order to discredit them.

As Greenwald points out, the NSA unit that conducted these actions, "Jtrig" (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group), does not limit itself to attacking terrorists -- it explicitly targets protest groups, and political groups that have no connection with national security, including garden-variety criminals who are properly the purview of law enforcement agencies, not intelligence agencies.

The UK spy agency GCHQ operates a parallel programme, called the "Human Science Operations Cell," whose remit is "strategic influence and disruption."

Shooting report

Too many shootings are the result of bad guys with guns. We need gun control so we can reduce the number of guns in the hands of people who have nothing but evil intent.

Gun control: the sooner we act, the more lives we save.

Let's hope their influence is dying off a bit

No one wants to drive out to Walmart stores anymore (Click on nthis heading to read more) (kos)
Monday, February 24, 2014, 2:30 pm
Things are looking tough for our favorite corporate exploiters.
    The world's largest retailer, which gets more than half its sales from groceries, on Thursday gave a disappointing full-year forecast. It blamed sharp cuts in food stamp benefits and higher payroll taxes that will hit disposable income for its core customers. Wal-Mart shares fell 2.2 percent in morning trading.
Walmart helped create the low-wage economy and GOP-style anti-government corporatism that is now, ironically, biting it in its ass. But there's more to the retailer's problems than austerity cuts. Fact is, its business model is increasingly an anachronism.
    Cold weather and a reduction in food stamp benefits aren't the only reasons behind Wal-Mart's lowered fourth-quarter forecast.
    The big-box discounter is in need of a bricks-and-mortar makeover, analysts said. To resonate with today's shopper, Wal-Mart needs to move its stores closer to major population centers, shrink the square footage of its superstores and shutter about 100 underperforming U.S. locations, they suggest.

A small sigh of relief in the war for more gun control

High Court Rejects NRA Appeals On Young Adults Accessing Guns (Click on this heading to view the original post)

AP - February 24, 2014, 12:34 PM EST480
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has turned away appeals from the National Rifle Association which complained about resistance by governments and judges to the high court's recent seminal rulings declaring that Americans have a constitutional right to own a gun.
The justices on Monday let stand rulings that upheld a federal law that prevents young adults ages 18-20 from purchasing a handgun or ammunition from a licensed federal firearms dealer and a Texas regulation that prohibits most 18-to-20 year olds from carrying a handgun outside the home.
The NRA said the laws make it difficult, if not impossible, for young adults to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
The court did not comment in denying the appeals.

Five more political posters

Understanding what it means to be a citizen.

By "will of the people," John Boehner means his own will.

My favorite posters are the ones that lay out the facts.

Your share of the Federal budget

Yeah - the racism is still strong with many.

Cutting the social safety net hurts women and children the most.

But for the social safety net...

Fracking hypocrite - reprise

Aaahahahahaha - Fucking hypocrite

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Well, there's some of that in there too. Depends on what you want to find.

Yes I am. But wait - is He His Dad? Or is He He? I am so confused.

Republicans hating on democracy and America

Goldilocks Old Party: Making the laws just right (Click on this heading to read more) (mark Sumner)
Sunday, February 23, 2014, 9:18 pm
As it turns out Goldilocks is a Republican. You know the story: young girl with little regard for personal property, breaks into a wilderness cabin, steals and vandalizes. Granted, young and female are not terms often associated with the modern Republican Party, but the attitude? That's just perfect. Anything you don't like? Tear it up.
It's exactly the attitude the a Republican Party has adopted when it comes to the application of laws.  You see, some federal laws are too big.
    The Missouri Senate on Thursday passed two bills: one outlining federal gun law nullification ...
    The federal gun law nullification bill, sponsored by Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, passed on a vote of 23 to 10.
    The bill would declare all federal gun laws null and void, and law enforcement agents enforcing those bills would be subject to up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
That takes care of that. All federal gun laws, including the Federal Firearms Act of 1934, which prohibited most folks from owning fully automatic machine guns, grenades, and poison gas, to the Gun Control Act of 1968, which created the Federal Firearms License system for gun manufacturers and dealers, gone just like that. Why drive an Escalade that merely looks like a tank, when you can drive a tank?

Shooting report

More reasons we need better gun control laws.

Why we need gun control. Two words - Ted Nugent

A discussion of our current economic structuring

Should it be unfettered capitalism for the masses or real free enterprise? (egberto Willies)
Sunday, February 23, 2014, 6:18 pm
David Brooks's New York Times piece "Capitalism for the Masses" is a blood-boiler. Macroeconomic math is very simple. There is one mathematical fact. If the wealth of the rich is growing at a consistently higher rate than the rate of the economy's aggregate wealth creation and that rate differential is not completely attributable to sources external to the U.S., then wealth is being transferred from the poor and the middle class to the rich.
If one listens to CNBC or reads the Wall Street Journal, the only thing that matters is growth. If a company does not meet growth expectations, its stock is clobbered. When a company has exhausted its growth potential because of product saturation and the inability to expand to other markets a semblance of continued growth is usually attained on the backs of the workers in the form of lower wages, lower benefits, etc. When that cycle is complete, stock collapse followed by either acquisition or some sort of liquidation is likely.
David Brooks's article was sort of an ode to the president of the American Enterprise Institute, Arthur Brooks. Arthur Brooks and David Brooks are not related. David Brooks was enamored with Arthur Brooks's rather long essay titled "Be Open-Handed Toward Your Brothers." He intimates that Arthur Brooks is providing tough love to conservatives by suggesting they declare a truce on the social safety net. Yet, the tone and ideology of his essay is still based on pointless fallacies.
    The 2008 election marked the return of progressive politics in America. For the first time in 16 years, Democrats won both houses of Congress and the White House. They wasted no time in articulating a progressive agenda they claimed would offset the Great Recession and turn America toward greater fairness and compassion. Lifting up the poor, decreasing inequality, and curbing runaway income gains among the wealthiest Americans ranked high among their stated priorities.

Why net neutrality is so important - its loss will cost you more

Netflix Agrees to Pay Comcast For Access to Its Broadband Network (Click on this heading to read more)

In a landmark deal, Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast for direct access to the company's broadband system. The announcement comes after months of dispute between Netflix and broadband providers about who should pay for increasing bandwidth loads.
If you haven't been following the streaming wars, here's the basic gist: As Netflix has grown, an argument over who should pay for the increasing loads-the broadband provider or Netflix-has emerged. In the meantime, Netflix has been buying its bandwidth from a company called Cogent, which acts as the middle man between Netflix and Comcast or Verizon, which in turn deliver the stream to you. But that agreement hasn't worked out very well.
Under this new deal, Netflix will access Comcast's network directly-or, almost directly, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news this afternoon. "Under the deal, Netflix won't be able to place its servers inside Comcast's data centers, which Netflix had wanted," the paper explains. "Instead, Comcast will connect to Netflix's servers at data centers operated by other companies."

Abuisng the government's sub-contracting ploy.

This week in the War on Workers: America's highest-paid government workers (laura Clawson)
Saturday, February 22, 2014, 2:21 pm
Republicans like to complain about how overpaid government workers are. It's a complaint that's not mostly grounded in fact, and one that ignores the fact that one of the preferred Republican solutions-privatizing government jobs-leads to higher costs in most cases. [One of my personal, recurring bitches about the Republican agenda - Bozo] But to say that private contractors cost more than federal workers in 33 out of 35 cases isn't enough. A new report by the Center for Media and Democracy looks at six of America's highest paid government workers - top executives of private companies that make most of their profits through government contracts. For instance:
        Ron Packard of K12 Inc. is America's highest paid "teacher." Packard made more than $19 million in compensation between 2009 and 2013, despite the alarming fact that only 28 percent of K12 Inc. cyber schools met state standards in 2010-2011, compared to 52 percent of public schools. CMD estimates that K12 Inc. makes 86 percent of its revenue from the taxpayers.
        George Zoley, America's highest paid "corrections officer" and CEO of private prison giant GEO Group. Zoley made $22 million in compensation between 2008 and 2012. CMD estimates that GEO Group makes 86 percent of its revenue from the taxpayers. GEO Group writes language into private prison contracts that forces taxpayers to keep prisons full or else pay for empty beds. GEO Group has faced hundreds of lawsuits over prisoner deaths, assaults, excessive force, and more, which have led to secret court settlements.
        Richard Montoni, CEO of Maximus, is America's highest paid "caseworker." Maximus is a for-profit firm that handles government services for poor and vulnerable residents. Montoni made more than $16 million between 2008 and 2012. In 2013, Maximus landed in hot water for improper billing in Wisconsin. In 2007, Maximus paid $30 million to settle a U.S. Department of Justice criminal investigation into fraudulent billing.

Five more political posters

Somehing Boehner has said.

Things Obama could say.

Where funds from our "safety net" go. We're subsidizing low-wage corporations.

Bill Maher points to REAL news

Speaking truth to Republican fiction.