Tag Archives | Change

President Obama Signs Extension of PATRIOT Act: The Same Act He Railed Against During His Campaign

Obama / Patriot Act

Image Courtesy of TheDissenter.

“Lawmakers will soon start debating” … yeah right, it seems like the PATRIOT Act is a permanent reality. I’d like to know more about the scope of this “lone wolf” provision. Via the Washington Post:

President Barack Obama has signed a three-month extension of key surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act.

The law extends two areas of the 2001 act. One provision allows law enforcement officials to set roving wiretaps to monitor multiple communication devices. The other allows them to ask a special court for access to business and library records that could be relevant to a terrorist threat.

A third provision gives the FBI court-approved rights for surveillance of non-American “lone wolf” suspects — those not known to be tied to specific terrorist groups.

Obama signed the three-month extension of the provisions Friday. They were to expire Monday.

Lawmakers will soon start debating a multiple-year extension of the provisions, which have drawn fire from defenders of privacy rights.

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Haitians Mark One Year Anniversary Of Earthquake


The Haitian National Palace after the earthquake on January 12, 2010

A year after tragedy hit Haiti, survivors are marking the anniversary of the devastating earthquake. A year later and hundreds of thousands of people are living in shelters, communities are slowly being rebuilt and there is a constant battle against cholera. BBC News reports:

Haitians are preparing to mark the anniversary of the earthquake that devastated their country and left some 250,000 of their fellow citizens dead.

Church services are due to be held around the nation, including at the ruined cathedral in Port-au-Prince.

There will also be a minute’s silence at 4.53pm (2153 GMT) – the exact moment when the 7.0 magnitude quake hit.

Traffic stopped as the streets of Port-au-Prince turned quiet and businesses were closed.

People walked in solemn processions to prayer services marking the anniversary of the worst natural disaster in the nation’s history. Many people wore white, a colour associated with mourning in Haiti, and sang hymns as they made their way to the services.

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Media Roots TV: Is Obama’s Support Warranted? (Video)

Obama: Change We Can Believe In?Via Media Roots: The Obama campaign mobilized one of the largest grassroots movements for a presidential candidate in recent history, and the SF bay area was a hub of support for Obama during election time. Now two years into his presidency, Media Roots set out to see if people are tuned into their favorite candidate’s actions — and if his actions warrant their support. Media Roots conducts on the spot interviews with people in Berkeley and Oakland, CA about their support for President Barack Obama.
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My Holiday Gifts for President Obama

Ho Ho HopeWhat follows is an open letter to the President of the United States, extending my holiday greetings and providing a brief explanation of some perhaps ‘idiosyncratic’ gifts sent to Pennsylvania Avenue via U.P.S. this past week.

Okay, okay, I realize this may seem rather belated, but let’s be realistic: there was no way you were going to get around to opening my Xmas gifts to you until now. Indeed, they probably still remain unopened in some storage room, if they haven’t already been nicked by the staff you’ve assigned to opening packages. Or the security detail hasn’t mistakenly drawn a sinister interpretation of their contents and ruined them by soaking them in some watery defusion contrivance.

Which would be a great shame. Not because my personal feelings would be injured by the gifts’ destruction, but because recent events have shown me that you sorely in need these items. So much so that I regard it as equally necessary to append this open letter describing the thought process behind each of the gifts.… Read the rest

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Wealth: When Will The 98% Tell The 2%, Enough Is Enough?

LeprechaunGilbert Mercier writes on News Junkie Post:

Congress has passed, a two year renewal of the Bush tax cuts. The bill is a nice extra Christmas bonus for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, and it will only amplify the monumental US budget deficit.

The logic behind the bill goes against, not only common sense but also against the global trend, notably in Europe, to cut spending and increase taxation in order to address a spreading budget crisis.

The governments of countries such as Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain are pushing for unpopular austerity measures, and richer countries such as the UK and France are trying to implement the same type of economic policies often by cutting social benefits and programs.

If austerity is the trend in Europe, it is certainly not the case in the United States. The US political and financial ruling class, which can be credited for starting the global financial meltdown of 2008, is still betting on the “virtues” of shock capitalism by cutting taxes and not cutting spending.

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How the Rise of the Information War Gave Birth to a New Digital Culture


Rachel Haywire | experimenthaywire.net

What happened? For the past few years I’ve been nailing the death of the Internet into the coffin. I recently posted about The Death of Memetics and was all but ready to give up on creating any sort of digital revolution. The cancer had spread too fast and we were completely outnumbered. The new generation of cyber-thugs decided to shit on the city that we built for them. Anonymous was no longer about free information but getting depressed 12 year old goth girls to kill themselves. The mobbing of innocent people was not related to natural selection but sexual rejection. Bullycide everywhere.

Enter Julian Assange. Enter Wikileaks.

Enter the beginning of Information War I.

Suddenly Anonymous wakes up and suddenly we are rewriting the manifestos. The cancer is no longer relevant. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive and we do not forget. We support the freedom of information.… Read the rest

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A Demographic Explanation of Why America May Never Be Great Again

Saturn devouring

Saturn Devouring His Son (de Goya).

Populist Dissatisfaction with Economy Hands Senate Seat to Millionaire Dilettante

Around 11:00 p.m. CNN called the U.S. senate race in Wisconsin for Tea Party favorite Ron Johnson, finally ending a nail-biter that saw incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold projected at within one half of one percentage point of Johnson shortly before polls closed at 8:00 p.m. local time.

During that three-hour window of opportunity we held a breathless deathgrip around that slender hope over at one of Russ’s suburban canvassing centers.

The crew had literally worked their asses off for Russ — at 17 calories per minute, our 12-hour shifts of non-stop door-to-door troop rallying, we’d shed about a pound each day.

I figure that I alone must have knocked on over a thousand doors during this election cycle, reminding folks not only of what Russ has done for Wisconsin, but what Johnson’s Tea Party threatened to do to it, and why it all added up to an unequivocal imperative to support Russ.… Read the rest

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Waiting For Superman: Good Luck, Going to Public School, Kids Today! (Parents Take Notice.)

SupermanAs a product of the public school system in the Great State of New York, this film is well overdue. Everyone, please watch this. If you attended public school in any state in the U.S. I think you know what I mean. And if you have kids, please, at least watch at least a minute into this trailer. You will realize the filmmaker's intent. The public school education system is BROKEN .... if you're working within it, please speak out and join the effort to reform it. I knew something wasn't right as a child in the system, but what the hell do kids really know? Time to make a change,
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The Daily Show on Obama’s “Wisdom” in the “Ground Zero Mosque” Media Circus

Jon Stewart is a Stormtrooper "Yes we can ... but should we?" — Jon Stewart Politics is often defined as the "art of the possible." However it should also be defined as "you can't please all the people all the time." Especially the ones being idiots on the "ground zero mosque" media shitstorm. Thankfully The Daily Show's Jon Stewart (who recently George Lucas made a Stormtrooper) is on the money again about President Obama's mixed public comments regarding this non-story. I could not complete this post without mentioning the great Jon Oliver's commentary: "There is a difference, Jon, between what you can do and what you should do. You can build a Catholic Church next to a playground. Should you?"
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