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International NSA Fallout As U.S. Citizens wondered what freedoms they were celebrating this Independence Day (between too many adult beverages and pork products) comes FreedomFromReligion.com with a new ad FFRF’s July 4 ad counters Hobby Lobby disinformation The Freedom From Religion Foundation is running a full-page ad celebrating “our GODLESS Constitution” in a number of U.S. dailies on July 4. FFRF, a state/church watchdog based in Madison, Wis., serves as the nation’s largest association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics). The ad is a direct response to a series of July 4 ads sponsored annually by Hobby Lobby since 2008, which shamelessly promote the myth that the United States was founded on God and Christianity. The large craft store chain’s ads of disinformation appear ti run in hundreds of dailies. Although FFRF can’t compete with Hobby Lobby by running ads in virtually every daily, it is undertaking the single most expensive ad campaign in its history to counter the Religious Right message. ........ The ad documents that not only is the U.S. Constitution godless, but that there was no prayer during the Constitutional Convention, and that the Constitution’s primary architect, Madison, came to oppose government days of prayer, congressional chaplaincies and even “three pence” of tax dollars used in support of religion. The ad includes a website link that not only documents the quotations, but takes the reader to the original script in most cases! FFRF’s ad will run in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Arizona Republic, Seattle Times, Albuquerque Journal, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post and Columbus Dispatch. Most of the ads are in black and white, but a color version will run in The New York Times and a few other dailies. ....... See the FFRF ad HERE! Good Item! Meanwhile ALEC-led GOPhers continue their GOPHER WAR ON WOMEN: At ThinkProgress Tara Culp-Ressler tells us Iowa Governor Must Personally Decide Whether Each Poor Woman On Medicaid Deserves Abortion Coverage Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) has approved a measure to expand his state’s Medicaid program under Obamacare, which will extend health coverage to tens of thousands of his poor residents. But there’s a catch buried in the Medicaid expansion legislation that the governor signed last week. Now, when low-income women on Medicaid seek insurance coverage for medically-necessary abortions, they’ll have to get approval from Branstad himself. ...... If a woman who gets her health care through Medicaid has an abortion that falls under one of the exceptions in the state’s abortion coverage ban — if she has been a victim of rape or incest, if her fetus has fatal abnormalities that won’t allow it to survive outside the womb, or if her life will be put in danger unless she ends the pregnancy — she’ll need to have her case approved by the governor’s office. Presumably, Branstad will choose whether to approve or deny each woman’s request for insurance coverage for her abortion. It’s the first law of its kind in any state. “This bill — now law — is outrageous on many different levels,” Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said in a recent statement. “Women in Iowa already face so many barriers in trying to get safe, legal abortion care. Now their governor will be deciding personally on a case-by-case basis, whether a woman’s doctor will be paid for providing a legal, medically appropriate, and constitutionally guaranteed procedure.” ....... YIKES! Click over to see a pic of Branstad! DOUBLE YIKES! We wish his mom would have had an abortion. But it gets worse, like here in the Buckeye State. Writing at the Cleveland Scene Magazine Sam Allard explains how Kasich and His Buddies Declare War on Women's Rights "If the Backstreet Boys could regroup and go on tour, so can the Caveman Caucus," shouted State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio at a press conference Tuesday morning outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. "Because that's what we've got, a Caveman Caucus." She and other regional Democrats were voicing their disapproval—and utter disbelief—at the state budget passed Sunday evening, a budget with the most aggressive anti-abortion legislation in the state's history. ....... To be clear, the budget is just about the worst piece of legislation ever. In addition to their continued systematic attack on low-income families—no Medicaid expansion, notably—the Republican-led legislature weaseled into the budget controversial line-items that directly affect women's access to reproductive healthcare and family planning services. "These restrictive clauses push back women's rights to the 1950s," said Cynthia Demsey, chair of the Cuyahoga Democratic Women's Caucus, in a prepared statement. "Governor Kasich, we will not forget that you chose to put politicians in charge of women's private medical decisions... and pass legislation that jeopardizes women's lives." Five significant pieces got through, all of which Kasich chose not to veto.
1) Planned Parenthood has been moved to the back of the line for family-planning funds. That looks to be a practical loss of about $1.4 million dollars. The Columbus Dispatch expects three Ohio clinics will close as a result. (This means reduced access to low-cost cancer screenings and contraception, by the way.)
2) Physicians are now legally required to perform a medically unnecessary transabdominal ultrasound and check for a fetus' heartbeat before performing an abortion.
3) Rape crisis centers will lose their funding if they counsel rape victims about abortion.
4) Transfer agreements have been limited for abortion clinics, which means that should medical emergencies occur during a procedure, women cannot be transferred to public hospitals for additional care.
5) Temporary assistance for needy family funds have been diverted to unregulated "pregnancy crisis centers"—often run by religious organizations—which do not offer abortion referral services.
Demsey said afterwards that what's most upsetting is legislators' limiting resources at both ends of the process. "They make it impossible to prevent a pregnancy and then impossible to get access to family planning services," she said. "It challenges common sense," added Antonio, who voted no on the budget. "I'm sick of women being used as a political football. Our lives hang in the balance here." She said these items likely will not be up for referendum, and that the only recourse is at the ballot in 2014. Enter Ed FitzGerald. "When I saw what happened down in Columbus, I had to pinch myself and say 'Where am I?'" said the Cuyahoga County Executive in candid remarks at the microphone. "This isn't just for women. All people should be speaking out against this." ....... "They may have thought this was something they could do late on a Sunday evening, but they are going to be living with this decision every day until November," he said, as the gathered women behind him began chanting We will not forget. Go to EdFitzGeraldForOhio.com to help make K-SICK a One-Term Guvnor in 2014!
Next at The Nation John Nichols advises us the SCOTUS Voting Rights Act Decision Means We Need 'Right to Vote' Amendment What the US Supreme Court has done, with its decision to strike down essential elements of the Voting Rights Act, is wrong. But the Court has not gone so rogue as might immediately seem to be the case in a nation that our civics teachers tell us is committed to democratic values. Rather, the Court’s conservative majority has taken advantage of a gap in the Constitution that must be addressed. The Court’s 5-4 ruling invalidated the formula used to determine which states come under the requirement that changes to voting laws, procedures and polling place locations in all or part of fifteen targeted states be approved in advance by the Justice Department or a panel of federal judges. ......... Mark Pocan and Keith Ellison want to do something about that. The two congressmen, both former state legislators with long histories of engagement with voting-rights issues, in May unveiled a proposal to explicitly guarantee the right to vote in the Constitution. “The right to vote is too important to be left unprotected,” explained Pocan, who announced the initiative at the state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, where the Republican legislators were rushing to enact restrictive “voter ID” legislation before the 2014 election. “At a time when there are far too many efforts to disenfranchise Americans, a voting rights amendment would positively affirm our founding principle that our country is at its strongest when everyone participates. As the world’s leading democracy, we must demand of ourselves what we demand of others—a guaranteed right to vote for all.” Without that clear guarantee, argues Ellison, politicians continue to propose and enact legislation that impedes voting rights. Noting recent wrangling over voter identification laws, burdensome registration requirements and reduced early voting opportunities in various states, as well as the challenge to the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court embraced, the Minnesota Democrat, who co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, says, “Even though the right to vote is the most-mentioned right in the Constitution, legislatures across the country have been trying to deny that right to millions of Americans, including in my home state of Minnesota. It’s time we made it clear once and for all: every citizen in the United States has a fundamental right to vote.” If approved by the Congress and then ratified by three-fourths of the states, it would add to the founding document this declaration:
SECTION 1: Every citizen of the United States, who is of legal voting age, shall have the fundamental right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides.
SECTION 2: Congress shall have the power to enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation.
There is nothing radical about that language. It outlines a basic premise of the American experiment, and a concept that the United States has proudly exported. .......... Much more! Yves Smith at NakedCapitalism has some good news EU Antitrust Authorities Sue 13 MegaBanks Over Credit Default Swaps Collusion to Stymie Exchanges ...... Just as not every regulator in the US has given up on doing his job, so too seems to be the case overseas. Recall that the Treasury and the FSA in the UK pushed hard for a Glass-Steagall type split between retail banking and other operations. Concerted opposition by Treasury resulted in that being watered down to mere ring-fencing. And now, in an amusing coincidence of timing, while one cohort of European regulators is trying (with not much success) to get Gensler leashed and collared, another has launched a major attack on a big derivatives profits engine, credit default swaps. .......And from a regulatory standpoint, CDS are one of the most important products to shrink or eliminate. As long as banks can keep writing them without having to put up adequate capital or margin, they have economic incentives to pile up more risky exposures than they can handle. The fear of setting off cascading failures was the big reason Bear, an otherwise not systemically important player, was rescued (Bear was one of the three biggest prime brokers and hence writing a lot of CDS to hedge funds). And remember CDS are almost certainly booked in depositaries (recall the controversy over Bank of America moving its Merrill Lynch exposures into the deposit book of the bank). Mind you, I’d rather see the market slowly strangled out of existence (banning it outright would be very disruptive), but moving CDS onto exchanges would reduce their profit potential to bank and lead to higher margin being charged, both of which should reduce the size of the market (higher margins would make them more costly to users, and lower profits to banks means they’d devote fewer resources to selling them). ....... But the fines the EU can levy represent a sword of Damocles over these banks’ heads: up to 10% of turnover, which presumably would be the notional amount of CDS sold in the relevant time frame (2006 to 2009). Given that the market’s value was $62 trillion at its peak, the EU would seem to be able to force compliance if its charges are well documented (and although I have to confess to not having read the 400 page case yet, I suspect they are). ...... Richard Eskow at AlterNet explains 13 Mindblowing Facts About America's Tax-Dodging Corporations A judicious writer avoids adjectives like "mindblowing," especially when covering political or economic issues. But no other word seems to describe the stunning reality of corporate taxation in modern America, which cries out for the italics-heavy, exclamation-point-driven format made famous by Ripley's Believe It or Not. Stylistic overkill? Read these thirteen facts and you may change your mind. ..... Read on!
Jonathan Stempel at Reuters reports HSBC wins OK of record $1.92 bln money-laundering settlement HSBC avoided criminal prosecution through settlement; Judge acknowledged public dissatisfaction with accord; HSBC says bolstering oversight, has more to do A federal judge has approved HSBC Holdings Plc's record $1.92 billion settlement with federal and state investigators of charges that it flouted rules designed to stop money laundering and thwart transactions with countries under U.S. sanctions. While noting "heavy public criticism" of the settlement, which enabled HSBC to escape criminal prosecution, U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn, New York, called the decision to approve the accord "easy, for it accomplishes a great deal." Gleeson ruled on Monday after more than six months of review, rejecting arguments by the U.S. government and HSBC that federal judges lacked "inherent authority" over the approval or implementation of so-called "deferred prosecution agreements." The settlement, announced Dec. 11, 2012, included a $1.256 billion forfeiture and $665 million in civil fines. It resolved charges accusing HSBC of having degenerated into a "preferred financial institution" for Mexican and Colombian drug cartels, money launderers and other wrongdoers through what the U.S. Department of Justice called "stunning failures of oversight." HSBC acknowledged compliance lapses, including a failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, and conducting transactions on behalf of customers in Burma, Cuba, Iran, Libya and Sudan, which were all subject to U.S. sanctions. As part of the settlement, HSBC agreed to tie executive bonuses to meeting compliance standards, improve the internal sharing of information, and retain a compliance monitor. ....... HSBC's $1.92 billion payout was the largest U.S. penalty against a bank, topping a $780 million penalty imposed in 2009 against Swiss bank UBS AG for aiding tax evasion. ....... Gleeson said "much of what might have been accomplished by a criminal conviction has been agreed to in the DPA," whose administration he will supervise. He noted having received requests from the public to reject the agreement because it did not hold HSBC criminally liable. He also read numerous editorials and columns suggesting, as one put it, that HSBC was "too big to indict." Gleeson, nonetheless, said "significant deference" was owed to the Obama administration in deciding not to press an indictment. "A pending federal criminal case is not window dressing. Nor is the court, to borrow a famous phrase, a potted plant," he wrote. "As long as the government asks the court to keep this criminal case on its docket, the court retains the authority to ensure that the implementation of the DPA remains within the bounds of lawfulness and respects the integrity of this court." The case is U.S. v. HSBC Bank USA NA et al, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 12-cr-00763.
The international blowback continues. Angelique Chrisafis for The Guardian in Paris reports France 'runs vast electronic spying operation using NSA-style methods' France runs a vast electronic surveillance operation, intercepting and stocking data from citizens' phone and internet activity, using similar methods to the US National Security Agency's Prism programme exposed by Edward Snowden, Le Monde has reported. An investigation by the French daily found that the DGSE, France's external intelligence agency, had spied on the French public's phone calls, emails and internet activity. The agency intercepted signals from computers and phones in France as well as between France and other countries, looking not so much at content but to create a map of "who is talking to whom", the paper said. Le Monde said data from emails, text messages, phone records, accessing of Facebook and Twitter, and internet activity going through sites such as Google, Microsoft or Yahoo! was stocked for years on vast servers on three different floors in the basement of the DGSE headquarters. The paper described the vast spying programme as secret, "outside any serious control" and illegal. ...... Referring to the system as a "French Big Brother", Le Monde said the French state was able to use the surveillance "to spy on anybody at any time". The paper wrote: "All of our communications are spied on." Le Monde said that after Snowden's revelations about the NSA's Prism surveillance programme prompted indignation in Europe, France "only weakly protested, for two excellent reasons: Paris already knew about it, and it was doing the same thing". When revelations about the Prism programme harvesting citizens' data emerged, the French government did not immediately comment. But after fresh allegations about the US spying on the European Union and foreign embassies, including the French embassy in Washington, the president, François Hollande, said these practices must "cease immediately". France demanded the suspension of talks on the EU-US free trade pact until it had received full explanations about surveillance. .....
The Guardian's Ian Traynor also reports NSA leaks: UK blocks crucial espionage talks between US and Europe Britain has blocked the first crucial talks on intelligence and espionage between European officials and their American counterparts since the NSA surveillance scandal erupted. The talks, due to begin in Washington on Monday, will now be restricted to issues of data privacy and the NSA's Prism programme following a tense 24 hours of negotiations in Brussels between national EU ambassadors. Britain, supported only by Sweden, vetoed plans to launch two "working groups" on the espionage debacle with the Americans. Instead, the talks will consist of one working group focused on the NSA's Prism programme, which has been capturing and storing vast amounts of internet and mobile phone metadata in Europe. ........ The talks on Prism and data privacy have been arranged to coincide with the trade talks in an attempt to defuse the transatlantic tension. EU diplomats and officials say the offer of talks by the Americans is designed to enable the leaders of Germany and France to save face following revelations about the scale of US espionage – particularly in Germany, but also of French and other European embassies and missions in the US. Other aspects of the dispute, such as more traditional spying and intelligence matters, will be off limits for the Europeans after Britain insisted the EU had no authority to discuss issues of national security and intelligence. ......... Officials said the abortive attempt to come up with a common European position only served to highlight the divisions that have surfaced as a result of the espionage scandal, with the Europeans against the Americans, the French and the Germans against the British, and leading pro-EU figures arguing that the fiasco has underlined the case for Europe constructing its own cyber-defences. ......... More Ian Traynor European firms 'could quit US internet providers over NSA scandal' ...... Neelie Kroes, the commission vice-president who speaks on digital affairs, predicted that providers of cloud services, which allow users to store and access data on remote servers, could suffer significant loss of business if clients fear the security of their material is under threat. The warning came as it appeared that the Americans and the Europeans were to start investigating alleged breaches of data privacy in the EU as well as US intelligence and espionage practices. Despite threats from France to delay long-awaited EU-US negotiations on a new transatlantic free trade pact, scheduled to open in Washington on Monday, EU ambassadors in Brussels reached a consensus on Thursday to go ahead with the talks. They could not yet agree, however, on how to respond to a US offer of parallel talks on the NSA scandal, the Prism and Tempora programmes and issues of more traditional espionage arising from reports of how US agencies bugged and tapped the offices and embassies of the EU and several member states. ....... "If businesses or governments think they might be spied on, they will have less reason to trust cloud, and it will be cloud providers who ultimately miss out. Why would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes?" she said. "It is often American providers that will miss out, because they are often the leaders in cloud services. If European cloud customers cannot trust the United States government, then maybe they won't trust US cloud providers either. If I am right, there are multibillion-euro consequences for American companies. If I were an American cloud provider, I would be quite frustrated with my government right now." ....... Kroes warned that US firms could be the biggest losers from the US government's voracious appetite for information. "Concerns about cloud security can easily push European policy-makers into putting security guarantees ahead of open markets, with consequences for American companies. Cloud has a lot of potential. But potential doesn't count for much in an atmosphere of distrust."
German politician Malte Spitz penned this NYT editorial Germans Loved Obama. Now We Don’t Trust Him. where he explains In Germany, whenever the government begins to infringe on individual freedom, society stands up. Given our history, we Germans are not willing to trade in our liberty for potentially better security. Germans have experienced firsthand what happens when the government knows too much about someone. In the past 80 years, Germans have felt the betrayal of neighbors who informed for the Gestapo and the fear that best friends might be potential informants for the Stasi. Homes were tapped. Millions were monitored.
Although these two dictatorships, Nazi and Communist, are gone and we now live in a unified and stable democracy, we have not forgotten what happens when secret police or intelligence agencies disregard privacy. It is an integral part of our history and gives young and old alike a critical perspective on state surveillance systems. ....... Lots of young Germans have a commitment not only to fight against fascism but also to stand up for their own individual freedom. Germans of all ages want to live freely without having to worry about being monitored by private companies or the government, especially in the digital sphere. That was my motivation for publishing the metadata I received from T-Mobile. Together with Zeit Online, the online edition of the weekly German newspaper Die Zeit, I published an infographic of six months of my life for all to see. With these 35,830 pieces of data, you can follow my travels across Germany, you can see when I went to sleep and woke up, a trail further enriched with public information from my social networking sites: six months of my life viewable for everybody to see what exactly is possible with “just metadata.” Three weeks ago, when the news broke about the National Security Agency’s collection of metadata in the United States, I knew exactly what it meant. My records revealed the movements of a single individual; now imagine if you had access to millions of similar data sets. You could easily draw maps, tracing communication and movement. You could see which individuals, families or groups were communicating with one another. You could identify any social group and determine its major actors. All of this is possible without knowing the specific content of a conversation, just technical information — the sender and recipient, the time and duration of the call and the geolocation data. With Edward J. Snowden’s important revelations fresh in our minds, Germans were eager to hear President Obama’s recent speech in Berlin. But the Barack Obama who spoke in front of the Brandenburg Gate to a few thousand people on June 19 looked a lot different from the one who spoke in front of the Siegessäule in July 2008 in front of more than 200,000 people...... MORE! Click over to read all of this! And watch his interview on DN! below!
In a related matter John Pilger sez Forcing down Evo Morales's plane was an act of air piracy The forcing down of Bolivian President Evo Morales's plane – denied airspace by France, Spain and Portugal, followed by his 14-hour confinement while Austrian officials demanded to "inspect" his aircraft for the "fugitive" Edward Snowden – was an act of air piracy and state terrorism. It was a metaphor for the gangsterism that now rules the world and the cowardice and hypocrisy of bystanders who dare not speak its name. ........ Historians seem to agree that the rise of fascism in Europe might have been averted had the liberal or left political class understood the true nature of its enemy. The parallels today are very different, but the Damocles sword over Snowden, like the casual abduction of Bolivia's president, ought to stir us into recognising the true nature of the enemy. Snowden's revelations are not merely about privacy, or civil liberty, or even mass spying. They are about the unmentionable: that the democratic facades of the US now barely conceal a systematic gangsterism historically identified with, if not necessarily the same as, fascism. On Tuesday, a US drone killed 16 people in North Waziristan, "where many of the world's most dangerous militants live", said the few paragraphs I read. That by far the world's most dangerous militants had hurled the drones was not a consideration. President Obama personally sends them every Tuesday. ....... This hidden history – not really hidden, of course, but excluded from the consciousness of societies drilled in American myths and priorities – has never been more vulnerable to exposure. Snowden's whistleblowing, like that of Manning and Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, threatens to break the silence Pinter described. In revealing a vast Orwellian police state apparatus servicing history's greatest war-making machine, they illuminate the true extremism of the 21st century. Unprecedented, Germany's Der Spiegel has described the Obama administration as "soft totalitarianism". If the penny is falling, we might all look closer to home.
Following on that thread Fred Branfman asks and answers World's Most Evil and Lawless Institution? The Executive Branch of the U.S. Government at AlterNet.org Editor's Note: The following is the latest in a series on the Executive Branch of the United States. America has a secret. It is not discussed in polite company or at the dinner tables of the powerful, rich and famous. Parents do not teach it to their children. Best-selling authors do not write about it. Politicians and government officials ignore it. Intellectuals avoid it. High school and college textbooks do not refer to it. TV pundits do not comment on it. Teachers do not teach it. Journalists from the nation's most highly regarded TV news shows, newspapers and magazines, do not report it. Columnists do not opine about it. Editorial writers do not editorialize about it. Religious leaders do not sermonize about it. Think tanks and professors do not study it. Lawyers do not litigate it and judges do not rule on it. The courageous few who do not keep this secret, who try to break through to their fellow citizens about it, are marginalized and ignored by society at large. ...... And the secret that is never discussed is far larger. To the 430,000 to 2 million civilians killed in Vietnam must be added those killed in Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq and many other nations (see below), all those wounded and maimed for life, and the many millions more forced to leave villages in which their families had lived for centuries to become penniless refugees. All told, U.S. Executive Branch leaders – Democrat and Republicans, conservative and liberal—have killed wounded and made homeless well over 20 million human beings in the last 50 years, mostly civilians. U.S. leaders have never acknowledged their responsibility for ruining so many lives, let alone apologized or made proper amends to the survivors. Those responsible have not been punished, but rewarded. The memory of it has been erased from national consciousness, as U.S. leaders endlessly declare their nation’s, and their own, goodness. Millions of civilian lives swept under the rug, forgotten, as if this mass murder and maiming, the destruction of countless homes and villages, this epic violation of basic human decency—and laws protecting civilians in time of war which U.S. leaders have promised to observe—never happened. ..... This is a very long essay but we urge you to read every word! It's THAT IMPORTANT! Catch Scott Horton's interview 6/28/13 Fred Branfman for more insights.
HuffPoAOL has this item by the AP's Micheal Weissenstein and Angela Charlton Evo Morales' Snowden Plane Incident Infuriates Latin America LA PAZ, Bolivia -- The European rerouting of the Bolivian presidential plane over suspicions that National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden was aboard ignited outrage Wednesday among Latin American leaders who called it a stunning violation of national sovereignty and disrespect for the region. But as President Evo Morales arrived home after an unplanned 14-hour layover in Vienna, there was no immediate sign that Latin America anger would translate into a rush to bring Snowden to the region that had been seen as likeliest to defy the U.S. and give him asylum. ....... Bolivia's ambassador to the United Nations, Sacha Llorenti, said "the orders came from the United States." "They want to frighten and intimidate me but they won't scare me," Morales said before finally taking off to Spain's Canary Islands and on to Brazil and then home. "We're not in colonial or imperial times ... this is an aggression against Latin America." ....... "This is a humiliation for a sister nation and for the South American continent," said Cristina Fernandez, the leftist president of Argentina, describing the plane's rerouting as a "vestige of the colonialism that we thought we had completely overcome." She said Morales' "total and indisputable" immunity as head of state had been violated when he was "illegally detained in old Europe." Preventing the passage of a presidential jet and even searching it is legal under international law but unprecedented in recent memory, aviation experts said. "It is extraordinary to prohibit passage through one's state air space en route to another state," said Ken Quinn, former chief counsel at the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and head of the aviation practice at the Washington-based law firm Pillsbury Winthrop. "From a diplomacy standpoint, one does not normally interfere with diplomats and high-ranking public officials in transit." ........ Across the continent, however, outrage didn't lead to immediate action. President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, one of the U.S.'s toughest critics in the region, said from the Moscow summit Tuesday that while "Snowden deserves the protection of international humanitarian law, as a young man who has spoken a great truth," he said later that Venezuela will wait for "the reaction of the world," to give its final opinion on the matter, and wasn't considering any asylum request from Snowden. "Despite the anger, governments have other strategic interests in the region and nobody is jumping in to say `yes we will offer him asylum.' Venezuela could, Ecuador could, Bolivia could, but there is clearly a price to be paid for that and they are thinking carefully whether they are willing to pay that price," said Geoff Thale, program director at the Washington Office on Latin America think tank. ....... Cuba called Morales' treatment "unacceptable, baseless and arbitrary, and offensive to all of Latin America and the Caribbean." Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador and Chile condemned European nations' handling of the case, with Brazil expressing "indignation and condemnation of the restrictions imposed on President Evo Morales by some European countries." Mexico's federal government issued a statement saying it lamented the way Morales was treated and urged countries to adhere to "good diplomatic practices." UNASUR, the union of South American nations, said it had learned of the situation "with the greatest concern." ......... Martin Cohen at OpEdNews.com explains NSA spying - another side of the story-- Data Privatized For Corporate User The latest revelations of US spying on Europeans are far from novel, but I think nonetheless significant. They may well may prove to be the straw that broke the camel's back, in terms of trans-Atlantic trust. Well-informed Europeans (such as the German MEPs) recall very well that the issue came up in the 1990s, after certain triumphs of US communications intelligence came to light, notably the successful derailing of several trade deals for European companies like Airbus in favour of US contractors. A delegation of MEPs was sent to Washington - but they returned empty-handed. The matter was simply 'too secret' to even talk about, they were told. ...... As we have just seen, (with their formal letters to the US government requesting details on the extent of the interceptions) the German 's take the issue very seriously, and Directive 97/66/EC, adopted on 15 December 1997, concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the telecommunications sector., states specifically (Article 5) that: 'Member States shall ensure via national regulations the confidentiality of communications. In particular, they shall prohibit listening, tapping, storage or other kinds of interception or surveillance of communications, without the consent of the users concerned, except when legally authorised.' So 'unsecret' is it that there is the WASSENAAR Arrangement which establishes an international system for controlling the export of technologies that would make interception of communications difficult. It regulates the export of encryption products on the grounds that they constitute dual-use goods, i.e. goods which have both civil and military applications. Only technologies providing a very limited degree of security are authorised for uncontrolled export. Lawful cryptography offers no real protection against global interceptions of communications. Unfortunately, if predictably, the media has so far in its coverage put the emphasis on the wrong issues - and allowed the debate to be on the ground chosen by the surveillance agencies - that is of "security' and "protection' of the public. The real story is very different. The STOA report explains convincingly why the American interest is so great. The claim made by the authors (by Duncan Campbell and others) is that mass communications interception and processing is a system which enables the countries using it to obtain significant economic information and, hence, to secure a leading position on the commercial markets. The study quotes examples where American companies have secured contracts as a result of communications having been intercepted. ........... Finally, according to a well-informed 1995 press report in the Baltimore Sun : "from a commercial communications satellite, NSA lifted all the faxes and phone calls between the European consortium Airbus , the Saudi national airline and the Saudi government. The agency found that Airbus agents were offering bribes to a Saudi official. It passed the information to U.S. officials pressing the bid of Boeing Co and McDonnell Douglas Corp., which triumphed last year in the $6 billion competition." Other accounts have been published by reputable journalists and some firsthand witnesses citing frequent occasions on which the US government has utilised covertly intercepted communications for national commercial purposes. These include targeting data about the emission standards of Japanese vehicles; 1995 trade negotiations the import of Japanese luxury cars; French participation in the GATT trade negotiations in 1993; the Asian-Pacific Economic Conference (APEC), 1997. ...... MORE! Bruce Fein is representing Eric Snowden's father Lon Snowden. Edward Snowden's father writes open letter to NSA whistleblower in Moscow Here is the text of the open letter Lon Snowden, along with his attorney, Bruce Fein, wrote to US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden. The letter was provided to the Associated Press. SNIP: ..... As regards your reduction to de facto statelessness occasioned by the Executive Branch to penalize your alleged violations of the Espionage Act, the United States Supreme Court lectured in Trop v. Dulles (1958): "The civilized nations of the world are in virtual unanimity that statelessness is not to be imposed as punishment for crime." We think you would agree that the final end of the state is to make men and women free to develop their faculties, not to seek planetary domination through force, violence or spying. All Americans should have a fair opportunity to pursue their ambitions. Politics should not be a football game with winners and losers featuring juvenile taunts over fumbles or missteps. Irrespective of life's vicissitudes, we will be unflagging in efforts to educate the American people about the impending ruination of the Constitution and the rule of law unless they abandon their complacency or indifference. Your actions are making our challenge easier. .....
Here is the Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow from July 1 ......For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum. In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be. I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.
And also from WikiLeaks MasterCard breaks ranks in WikiLeaks blockade For almost three years, US financial giants VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, the Bank of America and Western Union have been engaged in an unlawful banking blockade against WikiLeaks. The blockade started in December 2010 in response to the start of WikiLeaks’ publication of US diplomatic cables. Now, one of the financial companies involved in the blockade, MasterCard International, has backed down and reversed its position. WikiLeaks was notified of MasterCard International’s change in position by VALITOR, the Icelandic partner for VISA and MasterCard. On April 24, 2013 WikiLeaks and DataCell won a lawsuit, which had been running for two years, against VALITOR for breach of contract and blockading WikiLeaks’ donations at the behest of VISA and MasterCard. The Icelandic Supreme Court ordered VALITOR to recommence processing donations to WikiLeaks. VALITOR complied and reopened its payment gateway, but gave formal legal notice that it would terminate its contract and reclose the gateway on July 1, 2013, citing a unilateral termination clause in the contract. VALITOR has now fully reversed its position and announces it will honor the contract with DataCell and process payments to WikiLeaks. .... Donations by credit cards to WikiLeaks through https://paygate.datacell.com are therefore fully re-instated as of Monday, July 1, 2013.
Russia requires "don't release any more stuff on 'our friend' USA", Snowden rejects. At Politico Vladimir Putin: Edward Snowden must stop leaking secrets to stay in Russia Russia's President Vladimir Putin said Monday that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden will have to stop leaking U.S. secrets if he wants to get asylum in Russia, but added that Snowden has no plan to quit doing so. ...... He insisted that Snowden isn't a Russian agent and that Russian security agencies haven't contacted him. ...... "If he wants to go somewhere and there are those who would take him, he is welcome to do that," Putin said. "If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: he must stop his activities aimed at inflicting damage to our American partners, no matter how strange it may sound on my lips." Putin added that Snowden doesn't want to stop his efforts to reveal information about the U.S. surveillance program. ..... Are the Russians afraid of the next shoe to drop?
At TruthDig.com David Sirota outlines America’s Newest Global War Out of all the harrowing storylines in journalist Jeremy Scahill’s new film “Dirty Wars,” the one about Abdulelah Haider Shaye best spotlights the U.S. government’s new assault against press freedom. Shaye is the Yemeni journalist who in 2009 exposed his government’s cover-up of a U.S. missile strike that, according to McClatchy’s newswire, ended up killing “dozens of civilians, including 14 women and 21 children.” McClatchy notes that for the supposed crime of committing journalism, Shaye was sentenced to 5 years in prison following a trial that “was widely condemned as a sham” by watchdog groups and experts who noted that the prosecution did not “offer any substantive evidence to support (its) charges.” What, you might ask, does this have to do with the American government’s attitude toward press freedom? That’s where Scahill’s movie comes in. As the film shows, when international pressure moved the Yemeni government to finally consider pardoning Shaye, President Obama personally intervened, using a phone call with Yemen’s leader to halt the journalist’s release. Had this been an isolated incident, it might be easy to write off. But the president’s move to criminalize the reporting of inconvenient facts is sadly emblematic of his administration’s larger war against journalism. And, mind you, the word “war” is no overstatement. ...... MORE! The AP's David Dishneau and Pauline Jelinek report at CSMonitor.com WikiLeaks trial: Prosecution rests after calling 80 witnesses Prosecutors rested their case against Pfc. Bradley Manning on Tuesday after presenting evidence from 80 witnesses, trying to prove the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst let military secrets fall into the hands of Al Qaeda and its former leader Osama bin Laden. ....... The defense could begin its case as early as Monday, when the trial will resume. ....... Prosecutors presented evidence that Manning, a former intelligence analyst, used military computers in Iraq to download reams of documents and battlefield video from a classified network, transferred some of the material to his personal computer, and sent it to WikiLeaks. The evidence showed Manning's training repeatedly instructed him not to give classified information to unauthorized people. As they wrapped up their case, prosecutors offered that Al Qaeda leaders reveled in WikiLeaks' publication of classified U.S. documents, urging members to study them before devising ways to attack the United States. ........ Prosecutors struggled to prove Manning collaborated with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange or looked to the website for guidance — assertions meant to show that he leaked the material with evil intent. ..... Manning has pleaded guilty to reduced charges on seven of eight espionage counts and two computer fraud counts. He also has pleaded guilty to violating a military regulation prohibiting wrongful storage of classified information. The offenses carry a combined maximum prison term of 20 years. Despite his pleas, prosecutors are seeking to convict him of the original charges. More below in BTV Alerts!
At the NYT Wednesday Ron Nixon explains the low-tech USPS photographing all envelopes of 160 BILLION per DAY using "mail covers" "Mail isolation control" and other tracking programs U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law EnforcementWASHINGTON — Leslie James Pickering noticed something odd in his mail last September: a handwritten card, apparently delivered by mistake, with instructions for postal workers to pay special attention to the letters and packages sent to his home. “Show all mail to supv” — supervisor — “for copying prior to going out on the street,” read the card. It included Mr. Pickering’s name, address and the type of mail that needed to be monitored. The word “confidential” was highlighted in green. ....... As the world focuses on the high-tech spying of the National Security Agency, the misplaced card offers a rare glimpse inside the seemingly low-tech but prevalent snooping of the United States Postal Service. Mr. Pickering was targeted by a longtime surveillance system called mail covers, a forerunner of a vastly more expansive effort, the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program, in which Postal Service computers photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail that is processed in the United States — about 160 billion pieces last year. It is not known how long the government saves the images. Together, the two programs show that postal mail is subject to the same kind of scrutiny that the National Security Agency has given to telephone calls and e-mail. The mail covers program, used to monitor Mr. Pickering, is more than a century old but is still considered a powerful tool. At the request of law enforcement officials, postal workers record information from the outside of letters and parcels before they are delivered. (Opening the mail would require a warrant.) ......... “It’s a treasure trove of information,” said James J. Wedick, a former F.B.I. agent who spent 34 years at the agency and who said he used mail covers in a number of investigations, including one that led to the prosecution of several elected officials in California on corruption charges. “Looking at just the outside of letters and other mail, I can see who you bank with, who you communicate with — all kinds of useful information that gives investigators leads that they can then follow up on with a subpoena.” But, he said: “It can be easily abused because it’s so easy to use and you don’t have to go through a judge to get the information. You just fill out a form.” ....... Court challenges to mail covers have generally failed because judges have ruled that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy for information contained on the outside of a letter. Officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations, in fact, have used the mail-cover court rulings to justify the N.S.A.’s surveillance programs, saying the electronic monitoring amounts to the same thing as a mail cover. Congress briefly conducted hearings on mail cover programs in 1976, but has not revisited the issue. .... WOW! How about THAT you snail-mailers? So capturing "meta-data" in the form of who sent you a letter and when can be aggregated in much the same way your emails and phone calls and tweets are now. And it's been done for more than A CENTURY!
Award-winning columnist for the Guardian Suzanne Moore gets our Brick TeeVee LAST WORD When states monitored their citizens we used to call them authoritarian. Now we think this is what keeps us safe The internet is being snooped on and CCTV is everywhere. How did we come to accept that this is just the way things are? America controls the sky. Fear of what America might do can make countries divert planes – all because Edward Snowden might be on one. Owning the sky has somehow got to me more than controlling the internet. Maybe because I am a simpleton and sometimes can only process what I can see – the actual sky, rather than invisible cyberspace in which data blips through fibre-optic cables. Thus the everyday internet remains opaque to all but geeks. And that's where I think I have got it wrong. ....... What I failed to grasp, though, was quite how much I had already surrendered my liberty, not just personally but my political ideals about what liberty means. I simply took for granted that everyone can see everything and laughed at the idea that Obama will be looking at my pictures of a cat dressed as a lobster. I was resigned to the fact that some random FBI merchant will wonder at the inane and profane nature of my drunken tweets. Slowly but surely, The Lives of Others have become ours. CCTV cameras everywhere watch us, so we no longer watch out for each other. Public space is controlled. Of course, much CCTV footage is never seen and often useless. But we don't need the panopticon once we have built one in our own minds. We are all suspects. Or at least consumers. iTunes thinks I might like Bowie; Amazon thinks I want a compact tumble dryer. Really? Facebook seems to think I want to date men in uniform. I revel in the fact that the algorithms get it as wrong as the man who knocks on my door selling fish out of a van. "And not just fish," as he sometimes says mysteriously. But how did I come to accept that all this data gathered about me is just the way it is? Wasn't I once interested in civil liberties? Indeed, weren't the Lib Dems? Didn't freedom somehow incorporate the idea of individual privacy? When the state monitored all its citizens as though they were suspects – whether in East Germany or North Korea – we called it authoritarianism. Now we think it is what keeps us safe. ........ What Snowden, who is no spy, has revealed is the nature of the game: that surveillance is a huge private industry; that almost full control of the internet has been achieved already; that politicians here and in the US have totally acquiesced to industrial-scale snooping. There is a generation now made up of people who will never have had a private conversation online or by phone. These are my children. And should they or anyone else want to organise against the powers that be, they will be traceable. We have sleepwalked into this because liberty remains such an alien concept, still. But the US has the fourth amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizure, shall not be violated." It has been violated. Bradley Manning is in prison, Guantánamo remains open, CIA agents who spoke out about waterboarding are banged up. And there are other kinds of whistleblowers who conveniently kill themselves. ........ As John Locke said: "As soon as men decide all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil they set out to destroy." He could have been talking about our passivity. When did you surrender your freedom to communicate, something that was yours and yours alone, whether an email to a lover or a picture of your child? Ask yourself, do you feel safer now you know that you have no secrets? Now, the intimacies that are of no import to anyone but you have been subject to virtual extraordinary rendition. Because, fundamentally, your government does not trust you. Why therefore should you trust it? There it is. And echoing Eric Snowden, "No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be." Click anything here and be instantly smarter! Do check out all our regulars for more informed comment! See you next week!
- Sharif Abdel Kouddous Sharif Abdel Kouddous: Millions Protesting Morsi Show Egyptian Revolution Still Going Strong
- Brandon Webb, former U.S. Navy SEAL & Jack Murphy, former Airborne Ranger and Special Forces sergeant Was Benghazi Killing of Ambassador Stevens, 3 Others "Blowback" for Secret U.S. Assassinations? We’re joined by the book’s authors, Brandon Webb and Jack Murphy, both veterans of U.S. special operations. Last week they published the contents of Ambassador Stevens’ diary from the days before the Benghazi attack on their website, SOFREP.com.
- Kristinn Hrafnsson, a spokesperson for WikiLeaks WikiLeaks Blasts U.S. for Leaving Snowden "Stateless" as NSA Leaker Withdraws Asylum Bid in Russia
- Kristinn Hrafnsson & Malte Spitz, a member of the German Green Party’s executive committee Obama Admin Faces Diplomatic Uproar as Massive Surveillance of EU Governments, Citizens Exposed
- Reed Brody, counsel and spokesperson for Human Rights Watch U.S.-Backed Chadian Dictator Hissène Habré Faces War Crimes Trial in Historic Win for His Victims
- Sharif Abdel Kouddous Sharif Abdel Kouddous: As Morsi-Army Showdown Grips Egypt, Protesters Reject Authoritarian Rule
- Novelist Ahdaf Soueif Novelist Ahdaf Soueif: By Ignoring Egypt’s Majority, Morsi Begat the Uprising Against His Rule
- Micah Hauptman, financial policy counsel for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch & Pamela Brown, Ph.D. student in sociology at the New School Failure to Stop Doubling of Student Loan Rates Sparks Call to Tackle "Systemic" Debt Crisis
- Edward Snowden NSA Leaker Edward Snowden In His Own Words: "You’re Being Watched"
- Daniel Ellsberg, Mike Gravel & Robert West How the Pentagon Papers Came to be Published By the Beacon Press Told by Daniel Ellsberg & Others In 2007, Amy Goodman moderated an event at the Unitarian Universalist conference in Portland, Oregon, commemorating the publication of the Pentagon Papers and its relevance today.
- Rep. John Lewis Rep. John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon, on the Struggle to Win, and Now Protect, Voting Rights in U.S. Today we spend the hour with 13-term Congressmember Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, one of the last surviving speakers from the historic 1963 March on Washington, D.C. — which took place 50 years ago this year.
GRITtv @ www.grittv.org with Laura Flanders »»» FEATURED SHOW The God Particle? What is the Higgs Boson? One year ago on July 4th , 2012, the discovery of the Higgs Boson Particle, or what media headlines dubbed the “God Particle,” was announced to the world. What does that mean? GRITtv sits down with a professor of Physics and others to find out. more.....
BRICK TEEVEE SPORT!© »»» SUNDAY BASEBALL on TBS Orioles @ Yankees 1:05 pm et »»» SUNDAY NIGHT BASEBALL on ESPN Red Sox @ Angels 8 pm et »»» MONDAY NIGHT BASEBALL on ESPN Nationals @ Phillies 7 pm et »»» WEDNESDAY NIGHT BASEBALL on ESPN Athletics @ Pirates 7 pm et
BRICK TEEVEE ACTION!© The 1st Amendment is Our Permit Our permit to occupy is The First Amendment. Quickly sign the following statement which will be delivered to mayors, police chiefs and major media across the country:
- Our permit to occupy public squares and parks is in The First Amendment, which affirms "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." When people across the Middle East occupied public squares, leaders in Washington mostly cheered those protesters and warned Middle Eastern governments not to use force to clear them. Those other societies don’t have a First Amendment. Yet Washington affirmed the universal right to assembly and protest. We do have a First Amendment. The force being used to clear nonviolent protesters from public squares in our country is unacceptable. It must stop.
StrikeDebt.org & RollingJubilee.org! A bailout of the people by the people Rolling Jubilee is a Strike Debt project that buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it. Together we can liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal. Debt resistance is just the beginning. Join us as we imagine and create a new world based on the common good, not Wall Street profits. ADDENDUM: Naked Capitalism reports Top Tax Expert Confirms Our Doubts About Occupy Wall Street’s Debt Buying/Forgiveness Scheme
STOP the ACHE NEW WEBSITE! AcheAct.org and Appalachian Community HEALTH EMERGENCY Advocating for government action and protection of the public from the health crisis in mountain top removal communities. The A.C.H.E. Act Is Re-Introduced In The 113th Congress!
- Washington, DC – Today a group of U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers introduced the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act (ACHE Act, H.R. 526) to protect Appalachian families and communities from the nation’s most extreme form of coal mining, mountaintop removal. The Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act’s leading sponsors are Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), joined by original cosponsors Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA), Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Rep. Janice Schakowksy (D-IL), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Rep. Jared Polis (DCO).
Community-Wealth.org community-wealth.org a project of the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland Community-Wealth.org brings together, for the first time, information about the broad range of community wealth building activity. Featuring Overview: The Cleveland Model—How the Evergreen Cooperatives are Building Community Wealth Something important is happening in Cleveland. The Democracy Collaborative—the host of C-W.org—in partnership with the Cleveland Foundation, the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, Shorebank Enterprise Cleveland, the City of Cleveland, and the city's major hospitals and universities—is helping to implement a new model of large-scale worker-owned and community-benefiting businesses. The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative is beginning to build serious momentum in one of the cities most dramatically impacted by the nation's decaying economy. Increasingly, this model is being referred to nationally as The Cleveland Model. Initial planning is now underway to assist other cities in Ohio and nationwide to replicate and adapt this innovative approach to economic development, green job creation, and neighborhood stabilization. Find more many resources at Community-Wealth.org!
NET NEUTRALITY! SaveTheInternet.com Declaration of Internet Freedom Tired of fighting bad bills like SOPA, PIPA and CISPA? Want to stand up against those who are trying to control what we do and say online? It's time for something different. A group of more than 1,500 organizations, academics, startup founders and tech innovators has come together to produce a Declaration of Internet Freedom, a set of five principles that put forward a positive vision of the open Internet. Our goal: Get millions of Internet users to sign on to this Declaration. Build political power for Internet users to make sure that we get a seat at the table whenever, and wherever, the future of the Internet is being decided. It's time to stop playing defense and start going on the offensive. The open Internet is central to people’s freedom to communicate, share, advocate and innovate in the 21st century. But powerful interests want to censor free speech, block the sharing of information, hinder innovation and control how Internet users get online. And all too often, people in power are making political decisions behind closed doors about how the Internet should operate — and they're doing this without the involvement of actual Internet users. The result: policies that could close down the open Internet and destroy our freedom to connect. It’s time for us to reclaim the Internet for its users. Take action now and sign the Declaration of Internet Freedom. ACTION! Meet the New CISPA. Same as the Old CISPA. Last year, thanks to a public outcry, the effort to pass overreaching cybersecurity legislation stalled in the Senate. Now supporters have reintroduced the House version of that legislation — the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The “new” version is in fact identical to the original CISPA — and poses the same threat to our digital civil liberties. If CISPA becomes law, it will be a major blow to our online privacy. But more than that, CISPA’s passage would have a chilling effect on our freedom to connect online. We won’t feel as free to state unpopular opinions, or to speak truth to power, if we know that Big Brother could get a feed of everything we say and do. This is not what the free and open Internet is about. We must tell Congress: Vote NO on CISPA and bury this bill for good.
NEW!!! Stop Media Consolidation! Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski is trying to change the agency’s ownership rules to pave the way for Murdoch to get exactly what he wants. Worse, Genachowski and Murdoch are keeping this all very hush-hush, hoping you won't notice.3 These changes wouldn’t just benefit Murdoch. If the FCC proposal passes, one company could own the major daily newspaper, two TV stations and up to eight radio stations in your town. And that one company could be your Internet provider, too. What is the FCC thinking?!? We can still stop the agency from taking this perilous step — but we have less than a month to do it. By taking action, you’re joining a movement of millions who are working to stop big media from getting even bigger. Please take action today. Click HERE to view our infographic and send a message to the FCC! More info at Another FCC Cave-In: Julius Genachowski’s Media Consolidation Christmas Gift to Murdoch at StopTheCap.com! And Sign Senator Bernie Sanders petition to the FCC Protect Media Diversity: Stop Media Consolidation!
CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA'S FUTURE American Majority Rejects Washington Austerity Consensus – And We Demand Media Coverage by Roger Hickey, President, Campaign for America's Future: No more silent majority. The Campaign for America’s Future is joining with the Center for Economic and Policy Research (whose Co-Director, Dean Baker blogs regularly about economic bias in the media) and with FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) to monitor the media’s coverage and representation of the American Majority views as they go into covering the big deficit fight. But we want to enlist YOU too. Send us accounts of unbalanced coverage in the national media and in your local newspapers and television. Call up reporters, editors, assignment people and tell them when they are under-representing the views of the American Majority. We should have at least half the experts, pundits, quotes and real people represented in their coverage. In a debate as important as the one we are going into, we can’t allow the media to ignore the American Majority. Much more at www.ourfuture.org MOVE TO AMEND! www.movetoamend.org SIGN HERE NOW! And check out more actions on the Move to Amend Calendar for more! Also visit Rep Alan Grayson's site www.savedemocracy.net GET INVOLVED! And Alan Grayson is BACK in the 113th Congress! Help out at CongressmanWithGuts.com
REPRESENT.US IT’S TIME TO GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS SO THE GOVERNMENT CAN REPRESENT US. Represent.Us is a fresh campaign to pass the American Anti-Corruption Act: a law that would overhaul campaign finance, impose strict lobbying and conflict of interest laws, and end secret political money. We are mobilizing millions of Americans — conservatives and progressives, young and old, every issue group fighting K Street, online and offline — to join this campaign. Represent.Us is not just building a movement to pass the Act. The campaign will use hard-hitting accountability tactics to unseat politicians who fail to endorse the Act. If passed, the Act will completely reshape American politics and policy-making and give people a voice. See this Guest Blog at Greenpeace by Executive Director Josh Silver The $6 Billion Auction: Finally, A Plan to Get Money Out of Politics for more information!
SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT See CourageToResist.org and Bradley Manning Support Network UPDATE! From the Bradley Manning Support Network Government rests its case against Bradley Manning: trial report, day 14 July 2, 2013. By Nathan Fuller. Bradley Manning's trial is in a long closed session for the testimony of DIA counterintel agent Daniel Lewis. The judge ruled on the government's motion for judicial notice, and partially qualified Lewis as a CI expert. We'll update this post later today...... AND Greg Palast for Vice Magazine Bradley Manning & The Deepwater Horizon Bradley Manning tried to save the eleven men who died, burnt alive, on the Deepwater Horizon. But Barack Obama and the New York Times made sure that wouldn't happen.
DONATE YOUR OLD CELL PHONES TO T.J. MARTELL FOUNDATION Help save lives. Donate your old & used iPhone, Blackberries, Droid and other phones to help the T.J. Martell Foundations fund life-saving cancer & AIDS research. For more information, go to www.tjmartellfoundation.org CELLULAR PHONE TASK FORCE EDUCATION, ADVOCACY, SUPPORT at CellPhoneTaskForce.org The Cellular Phone Task Force is dedicated to halting the expansion of wireless technology because it cannot be made safe. We provide: education to the public concerning electromagnetic pollution (electrosmog); advocacy for an electromagnetically cleaner environment; support for individuals disabled by radiation from wireless technology and other sources.
B R I C K T E E V E E The essential guide for watching government propaganda! THEY report. YOU throw bricks.© Get your Foam Bricks at ThrowThings.com HERE! IRAQ: 4,486 US Military Dead as of April 21, 2012 AFGHANISTAN: 2,249 US Military Dead as of July 4, 2013 The Obameter: Tracking Obama's Campaign Promises MOCKINGBIRD: The Subversion Of The Free Press By The CIA Who Owns The Media? The 6 Monolithic Corporations That Control Almost Everything We Watch, Hear And Read
- This Week (ABC) Host George Stephanopoulos
• Exclusive: former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush discuss their continuing relief work in Africa
• Egypt’s Ambassador to the U.S. Mohamed Tawfik
• National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown
• Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis
• EGYPT ROUNDTABLE: ABC News’ George Will, ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, and the American Enterprise Institute’s Michael Rubin.
• ROUNDTABLE: ABC News’ George Will and Cokie Roberts, ABC News contributor and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, and ABC News Political Director Rick Klein.
- Face The Nation (CBS) Host Bob Schiefer
• Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
• Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee
• Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus
• ROUNDTABLE: Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report, David Rohde of Reuters, Michael O'Hanlon of the Bookings Institution and CBS News' own John Dickerson
- 60 Minutes (CBS) Summer Reruns
• Lincoln - 60 Minutes explores the character of Lincoln, the president and the man, as seen through the eyes of the team that made the 12-time Oscar nominated film "Lincoln": best-director nominee Steven Spielberg, best-actor winner Daniel Day-Lewis and the historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, on whose book the movie was based. Lesley Stahl reports. Ruth Streeter is the producer.
- Meet the Press (NBC) Host David Gregory
• Microsoft, NBC News Dissolve MSNBC.com Joint Venture NBC is buying Microsoft's 50 percent interest in the MSNBC website for an undisclosed amount. MSNBC.com will be rebranded as NBCNews.com, and readers who logged into MSNBC.com late Sunday were automatically redirected to NBCNews.com. Microsoft is preparing to launch its own news service this fall. Although he declined to provide many details about the operation general manager of MSN.com Bob Visse said the news staff will be about the same size as the roughly 100 people who created original content for the MSNBC.com. "There is no question that we are going to have more flexibility to make our own decisions," said Vivian Schiller, NBC News' chief digital officer. "This is really an amicable breakup. We think competition will make us better." Okay then.
• Exclusive! Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei
• Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
• Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID)
• ROUNDTABLE: columnist for the New York Times, Tom Friedman; author and senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Robin Wright; Bloomberg View's Jeffrey Goldberg; and NBC's Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd.
• ROUNDTABLE: NBC's Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd, Columnist for the Washington Post EJ Dionne and Eugene Robinson, and New York Times columnist David Brooks.
- State of the Union With Candy Crowley (CNN) At 9 AM ET, Candy talks to the power players: politicians, business leaders and international newsmakers who will make Monday morning's headlines. At NOON ET, Candy wraps it all up with fresh interviews and the best of the earlier hours.
• Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey
• Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI)
• CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Fareed Zakaria
• EGYPT ROUNDTABLE: former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Ned Walker, former National Intelligence Director John Negroponte and Middle East analyst Shibley Telhami
- HEAD ON RADIO with Bob Kincaid
Headon Radio with Bob Kincaid 6 PM Eastern, 3 PM Pacific, 2300 GMT. Duration: 3 hrs. To be part of Conversation Radio on Head-on Radio, call toll-free (877) 443-2366, or use our Liberal community line at 304-658-3333. Email bob [at] headonradio [dot] com during the show!
• FRONT PORCH FRIDAY!!!!! Pull up a chair and a cold one! Listen NOW HERE - Friday, July 5th, 2013 (mp3)! Keep Bob on the air HERE ya hear? Amen to the White Rose Society! Bob's show archives at the White Rose HERE! Donate to Head On HERE! And join Coal River Mountain Watch at www.crmw.net!
- YOUR GREEN NEWS REPORT With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen!
The Green News Report with Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen: 6 minutes of green news, politics, analysis & snarky comment! BOOKMARK greennews.bradblog.com NOW!
• 'Green News Report' - July 2, 2013 IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Wildfire season turns tragic - 19 firefighters killed in AZ and the climate connection; Record SW heat wave "one of the greatest in American history"; L.A. bets on solar; Billionaire Koch Bros. sneaky 'No Climate Tax' pledge ... PLUS: Obama keeps up climate change pressure ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
• IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see link): The Bike Boom: more Americans now choosing bicycles to get around; A new normal for Arctic sea ice; MIT: new solar cell could be 1,000x more powerful; Chemical, oil companies say EPA rule will expose trade secrets; Sunday news shows ignored Obama's historic climate speech; GOP silent as DOE launches billions in fossil fuel loan guarantees; Maine lobstermen now support climate action; CO2 has big consequences for ocean food chain ... PLUS: The Coal Lobby's Fight for Survival ... and much, MUCH more! ...
• BRADBLOG UPDATE! Grayson: Secret TPP Trade Pact 'Hands U.S. Sovereignty to Corporations' Democratic Rep allowed to see secret 'free-trade' document, joins Sen. Warren in warning against dangers, lack of transparency...
• THE BRADCAST! KPFK 'BradCast': Illegal NSA Surveillance State 101 EFF's Mark Rumold on what we know (and don't) about the illegal NSA programs revealed by Edward Snowden. Plus: Egypt, TPP, hypocrite Scalia & MORE...
• BRADCAST UPDATE! As Featured on 'Overview with Rick Overton' Brad's occassionaly maddening, almost always amusing conversation on everything from NSA spying to Andy Kaufman, with the great actor and 'comedian's comedian' Rick Overton...
• BRADBLOG UPDATE! Falling for the Propaganda War Against Progressive Talk Former Republican D.R. Tucker explains how he had to be carefully taught...to hate non-Rightwing talk radio...
- The Peter B. Collins Show PODCAST!
Listen at PeterBCollins.com!
The Peter B. Collins Show covers American news and politics from the Left Coast. Veteran talk radio personality Peter B. Collins, based in San Francisco, delivers fresh interviews, commentary and analysis on a range of important topics, with views and voices you don’t often find in the corporate media.
• Holiday Break and Website Changes
- To my valued listeners: We are making some changes to the website and our terms, effective in January. We will continue to offer free podcasts–my new daily news and commentary. Our in-depth interviews will be available for $1 per episode, or to subscribers who pay $5 per month or more. Loyal listeners who simply can’t afford it should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, as we will be offering a limited number of scholarships to our friends who are hurting during these tough times. More information will be posted as we complete the revisions. I’m grateful to each of you for listening and supporting this work, and hope that the new model will enable us to keep it going well into the future. All the best, -pbc
• PBC News & Comment July 1, 2013 PBC News & Comment: Extreme Weather Confronts Climate Science Deniers Obama’s climate speech last week undercut by weak political strategy, support for fracking, and probable approval of Keystone XL pipeline….
• PBC News & Comment July 2, 2013 PBC News & Comment: Ohio Returns to the Dark Ages Rolling back abortion rights to almost nil, Ohio Republicans ram through budget bill with pro-life wish list of amendments….
• PBC News & Comment July 3, 2013 PBC News & Comment: Egyptian Military Forces Out President Morsi; in US, More Surveillance Exposed Will Muslim Brotherhood yield to the generals without a fight? In US, Postal Service is scanning every letter & package….
• PBC Standard Podcast July 3, 2013 Reporter Steve Horn Updates Keystone Pipeline, Obama Climate Plan, and More; Podcaster Matt Filipovicz Left More Than His Heart in Ess Eff
• PBC Standard Podcast June 28, 2013 Journalist Trevor Aaronson Exposes FBI’s Fabricated “Domestic Terrorism” Cases; Reporter Kevin Gozstola Recaps the Bradley Manning Court Martial Proceedings
- Ring of Fire Radio
Find us at http://ringoffireradio.com and http://goleft.tv/ hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder
Ring of Fire Radio - GoLeft TV - Robert F. Kennedy, Mike Papantonio, Sam Seder - Politics, Commentary, and News.
This Weekend on Ring of Fire Radio! Saturdays at 3 o’clock Eastern, rebroadcasts Sunday nights at 7 pm Eastern.
• Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author Mark Mazzetti will be here to discuss the evolution of the CIA from an intelligence-gathering agency, to an unstoppable killing department.
• Author and syndicated columnist Cliff Schecter will tell us why Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann decided to call it quits.
• Richard Eskow from the Campaign for America’s Future will join us to discuss the continued push for austerity.
• Journalist Alex Zaitchik will be here to talk about the corporations that are getting rich off climate change.
• And William Rivers Pitt from Truth-Out will tell us why the growing income disparity in America is going to be a disaster for our children and grandchildren.
• NEW! This Week on Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV! Sundays at NOON!
»» Radio and television host Thom Hartmann will talk to us about the crimes of the oil industry, and why its time for them to pay up for destroying our environment.
»» Investigative journalist Rick Outzen will join us for a discussion on the global revolts taking place by workers being squeezed by their employers.
»» Corporate lobbyists have successfully stalled or completely killed a host of government regulations, and Farron Cousins from The Trial Lawyer Magazine will will tell you why corporate greed is putting American lives at risk.
»» Attorney Ben Gordon will tell us about the growing problem of big corporations taking over medical services.
»» And middle class Americans have become an endangered species thanks to wage theft and benefit cuts – attorneys Joe Cotchett and Dave TeSelle will bring us the details on that story.
• VIDEO! THE HISTORY OF CORPORATE CORRUPTION & FRAUD with Robert Kennedy Jr & Mike Papantonio “Call us if you have a personal story about Fraud on Taxpayers or False Claims for Payment made by Corportations at 1-866-389-FIRE (3473) or contact us by email at email@example.com if you have evidence of fraud that robbed taxpayer dollars. If our government is paying too much due to fraud by a corporation, Ring of Fire wants to do a story on it.”
• VIDEO! Papantonio: Bank of America – Bad For America (VIDEO) The following interview originally aired on the June 30th, 2013 episode of Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV. It was recently revealed that Bank of America encouraged their employees to lie and cheat in order to sell mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them. This deceit helped lead to the massive foreclosure crisis in America. Ring of Fire host Mike Papantonio speaks with investigative journalist David Dayen about Bank of America’s crimes.
• VIDEO! RFK, Jr.: SCOTUS Cuts Heart Out Of Voting Rights Act (VIDEO) Ring of Fire’s Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. appears on The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann to discuss the Supreme Court’s gutting of The Voting Rights Act.
• Ring of Fire’s Weekly Rewind June 29, 2013 featuring the top stories from Ring of Fire from the past week.
• Join our blog at www.ringoffireradio.com. You can now SUBSCRIBE TO OUR PODCAST by clicking on the "Podcast" tab at the top of the Ring of Fire blog. Please help support progressive radio by signing up! Ring of Fire Radio Ring of Fire, hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder: Saturdays at 3 o’clock Eastern, rebroadcasts 7-10 et Sunday evenings on Chicago's Progressive Talk WCPT AM & FM and 4 pm et on Sirius/XM 167 featuring The PAP Attack! "We’ll bring you the stories that the mainstream media didn’t feel like reporting this week."
- Majority Report with Sam Seder Streaming LIVE weekdays 12 NOON et @ Majority.fm!
• MONDAY 7/1/13 Max Blumenthal: Exposing the Dark Forces Behind the Glenn Greenwald Smears
• TUESDAY 7/2/13 Barbara Garson: How the 99% Live in the Great Recession
• WEDNESDAY 7/3/13 Joe Muto: The Fox News Mole
• FRIDAY 7/5/13 Barney Frank: Obama's Missed Chance, Cut Military Spending & Shannyn Moore: Pebble Mine
• MORE Podcast Interviews at majorityfm.libsyn.com!
- KEISER REPORT Podcasts and more @ MaxKeiser.com!
"HI Y'ALL! Tell the people! Tell the people!"
WHO IS MAX KEISER? Max Keiser is a financial expert, Prediction Markets analyst, inventor and filmmaker. He is the creator of the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX) the first Prediction Market. Max Keiser co-hosts "The Truth About Markets" on ResonanceFM 104.4 in London. He also produces and presents documentary films covering markets and finance for Al Jazeera’s "People & Power" series. Max Keiser started his career on Wall Street in 1983. He is the creator of KarmaBanque a site that enables activists to challenge corporate power.
• VISIT PirateMyFilm.com!!! Crowd Funding for Pirates!
• MaxKeiserTV on YouTube! MaxKeiserTV
• STACY SUMMARY: For once and for all, here are our real Facebook pages, the other ones are fake. But if you feel like chatting to the fake ones, by all means, go ahead.
»» Max Keiser
»» Keiser Report
»» Stacey Herbert
• The Federal Reserve 100th Anniversary Road Show Spectacular! by alexschaefer - Paint Provocateur Alex Schaefer wants to say “Happy Birthday, Federal Reserve!’ You made it to 100 years of conducting the nation’s monetary policy! Since mainstream media didn’t send a card, a painter, a protestor, a filmmaker, a freedom fighter and a mad crew are going on a road trip across the USA to visit all twelve of your branches to help you celebrate! Come rain or monkey shines, they are on a mission to throw the birthday party nightmares are made of. A party to highlight the historic END of the original 100 year charter the Federal Reserve Bank has with the U.S. Government December 23rd, 2013! CLICK HERE FOR THE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN & HELP GET THE SHOW ON THE ROAD! Lots of great donation perks, all original works of art by Alex Schaefer and Cain Motter! This is a great way to collect some art AND help fund this amazing journey and film. It’s a win-win situation! Let’s some history and shake things up around here!
• VIDEO! Flashback: Max & Stacy in Cairo 2 yrs ago by maxkeiser
• In the 12 weeks to June, food price inflation was running at above 5pc, this is 10 times the rate of inflation, which was only 0.5pc last month by maxkeiser - READ What new property bubble tells us about inequality
• Students Ask Tough Questions of NSA Recruiters by Stacy Herbert - Stacy Summary: This recording from the University of Wisconsin ought to give some hope that not all is lost in the world of Nothing To Hiders. NSA recruiters are interrogated by a journalist student, Madiha R Tahir, who asks much better and harder than any shameless power enabler in D.C. No doubt she’ll be marked for eternal surveillance, or should I say added surveillance:
• KEISER REPORT [KR465] Keiser Report: Dumb Luck, Wash Trading & Gold Suppression (ft. Jim Rogers) We discuss the failure to understand English as saviour of the Japanese banking system. While price signals, the language of the market, are so manipulated as to be indecipherable by even those who speak the language. In the second half, Max talks to legendary investor, Jim Rogers, about gold, bonds and China.
• KEISER REPORT [KR466] Keiser Report: Crony Capitalism & Collusion with Govt We discuss Tiny Dick Fuld, the former CEO of Lehman Brothers, who is now working for ‘pennies’ while the world tries to recover from the global financial disaster that he partly created by acting like a penny stock company. Max and Stacy also discuss interests rates on savings accounts being slashed across the United Kingdom as banks no longer need to attract deposits in this post Tiny Dick Fuld world in which the government and the central bank provide unlimited ‘free’ cash against which they can lend and in which hunky Mark Carney has been brought in to oversee the new property market ‘boom’ times. In the second half, Max talks to Paul Sommerville of Sommerville Advisory Markets (sam.ie) about the story of Anglo Irish bank, the toxic hedge fund masquerading as a bank which was run by charlatans lending to just twenty or thirty toxic individuals. The Anglo Irish story is one of crony capitalism and collusion with government and regulators, one where the Chairman’s loans were bed and breakfasted and over which the burnt speculators are outing each other’s role in the crimes.
• KEISER REPORT [KR467] Keiser Report: Art of Debt Juggling We discuss tipping points on the way to the Bondpocalypse, a time when flipping houses to greater fools will no longer be a viable retirement plan and incarcerating your fellow slightly annoying citizens for eternity will be far too much decadence to afford. In the second half, Max talks to Karl Denninger of Market-Ticker.org about bonds, QE tapering and Wimpy from Popeye paying for a hamburger next Tuesday. Karl says that as any investor under 50 will only know a world of ever declining interest rates, they will have to adjust their thinking for this new period of ever rising or flat rates.
• THE TRUTH ABOUT MARKETS [TaM-1284] The Truth About the Lockbox of Thought Stacy Summary: The Truth About Markets for 06 July 2013. We talk about the bond market, the surveillance state and more. Download show HERE (mp3)
• Donate to ResonanceFM here!
- The Scott Horton Radio Show
Scott Horton is host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles and KUCR 88.3 in Riverside, and the Scott Horton Show on No Agenda Radio. (You can listen live Monday through Friday, excluding Thursday, from 12-2 PM Eastern HERE.) Plenty of archives too!
• Scott Horton Radio Show 7/4/13 The Other Scott Horton: The Other Scott Horton, “No Comment” blogger for Harper’s Magazine, discusses how the NSA’s surveillance program could threaten the Atlantic Alliance; the illegal US-led hijacking of the Bolivian president’s airplane in Europe on suspicion whistleblower Edward Snowden was aboard; and the US media’s coverage of Snowden himself, rather than the damning information he leaked about massive government spying.
• Scott Horton Radio Show 7/5/13 The Other Scott Horton: The Other Scott Horton, human rights lawyer and blogger for Harper’s Magazine, discusses how Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz wrested control of one of Africa’s biggest prizes; the corruption in Western financial centers that facilitates the looting of third world nations; why George Soros recommended Horton to investigate Steinmetz for Guinea’s new government; and the test for whether corruption and bribery laws apply to billionaires.
• SCOTT HORTON July 5, 2012: Scott says goodbye to Antiwar.com. Scott Horton is the former host of Antiwar Radio. Visit his blog Stress. Due to budget cuts Scott lost his gig at AntiWarRadio.com! Whoa! See ScottHortonShow.com for archives! Send emails to Scott at scotthorton.org to help Scott keep his podcast going!
• Older interviews at Antiwar Radio!
• Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)
• Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)
• Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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