Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform | #GIG | #NWO | #GlobalInformationGrid | #InternetOfThings | #SystemsOfControl | #InvasionOfPrivacy
The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S., in what privacy groups fear could be the first step to a ubiquitous national identification system.
Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan legislation (.pdf) is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.
Employers would be obliged to look up every new hire in the database to verify that they match their photo.
This piece of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act is aimed at curbing employment of undocumented immigrants. But privacy advocates fear the inevitable mission creep, ending with the proof of self being required at polling places, to rent a house, buy a gun, open a bank account, acquire credit, board a plane or even attend a sporting event or log on the internet. Think of it as a government version of Foursquare, with Big Brother cataloging every check-in.
“It starts to change the relationship between the citizen and state, you do have to get permission to do things,” said Chris Calabrese, a congressional lobbyist with the American Civil Liberties Union. “More fundamentally, it could be the start of keeping a record of all things.”
For now, the legislation allows the database to be used solely for employment purposes. But historically such limitations don’t last. The Social Security card, for example, was created to track your government retirement benefits. Now you need it to purchase health insurance.
“The Social Security number itself, it’s pretty ubiquitous in your life,” Calabrese said.
David Bier, an analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, agrees with the ACLU’s fears.
“The most worrying aspect is that this creates a principle of permission basically to do certain activities and it can be used to restrict activities,” he said. “It’s like a national ID system without the card.”
For the moment, the debate in the Senate Judiciary Committee is focused on the parameters of legalization for unauthorized immigrants, a border fence and legal immigration in the future.
The committee is scheduled to resume debate on the package Tuesday.
It is within the nature of mankind for a disproportionately small percentage of men to attempt to exert control over the greater multidinous horde. The primary method of control is achieved through violent oppression.
Violence is required as most people will not willingly submit to control by others, be it few or many. For violence to be perpetrated, weapons are required. Our history as a species can be defined, in large measure, by the vehicles of violence (weapons) employed at the point in history being addressed.
The battle for control of cyberspace is turning nasty, with young hackers, pirates and activists facing long prison sentences. We report from the frontline
Are you a “Critical Infrastructure Sector?” If so, then the Justice Department is giving you their stamp of approval to monitor private communications on your networks; an act which, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, is a questionable legal use of an Executive Order. Through two recent Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) recently revealed that the Justice Department has authorized internet providers — most prominently AT&T — to intercept and monitor communications on their networks. Its good news for these sectors: they get to freely violate existing federal wiretap laws. It’s bad news for you and me, though. Through these acts we lose major privacy rights; namely not having our communications and private data tracked. Worse yet, it’s due to a government-corporate partnership. Sounds bad? What is worse is that it ignores the actual cyber security issues we have, and it sets a terrifying precedent for the future.
The program in question began as an effort between the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and commercial defense contractors to protect military and commercial defense companies from cyber threats, in particular data theft. While the risk of cyber attacks on our military is a valid concern, it is clear now that this was not all that was on the architects of this project’s mind.
Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lyn said at the time of the program’s inception: “It is possible to imagine attacks on military networks or on critical infrastructure like the transportation system and energy sector that cause severe economic damage, physical destruction or even loss of life.”
No less than two years later, President Obama signed an Executive Order expanding this service to the same “critical infrastructure.” The president’s public renunciation of SOPA and CISPA is thus puzzling; those acts would accomplish many of the same goals and would be doing so legally. Obama’s Executive Order, on the other hand, is not legal.
But what’s most telling is that these safeguards are doing nothing to stop the underlying problem in the majority of these attacks: our global economic rival and current frenemy, China.
China accounted for 41% of the world’s computer attack traffic in the fourth quarter of 2012 and it is heavily suspected that hundreds of attacks are actually coming from the Chinese militaryitself. Adding fuel to that fire, a Chinese general just claimed that these cyber attacks are potentially as powerful as a nuclear weapon. If they are able to attack this powerfully, are we simply waiting for an electronic 9/11 to hit us before our electronic privacy is taken away forever? This act certainly sets the precedent for removing our privacy with its vague notion of what “critical infrastructure” is, which could potentially be interpreted as broadly as the infamous “interstate commerce” has been. If it is, than “critical infrastructure” could mean almost anything; and all our electronic privacy could be washed away. Coming at a time when Americans are becoming more wary of government intrusions into their privacy, this act is an embarrassment to our country and a failure of our leadership.
Citing 'environmental terrorism,' #Oregon House passes bills targeting tree-sitters, environmental activists ~ #DGR
With talk about “environmental terrorism,” the Oregon House approved two bills Monday that target tree sitters and other environmental activists who interfere with logging in state forests.
House Bill 2595, which passed 43-12, would create the crime of interference with state forestland management. House Bill 2596, which passed 51-4, would allow private contractors with the Oregon Department of Forestry to sue environmental protestors for the cost of damaged equipment, employee wages, attorney fees and similar costs. Both bills head to the Senate.
The legislation comes amid divisive efforts to increase logging in Elliott State Forest near Reedsport and proposals to increase logging in federal forest lands. Environmental activists affiliated with Cascadia Forest Defenders and Cascadia Earth First!staged protests at Elliott State Forest in recent years and at the Oregon State Capitol in May and June 2012, which led to arrests.
"They are known to overturn their vehicles on roads, chain themselves to trees, chain themselves to equipment, damage equipment, dig ditches in the roads, drive spikes in trees to cause injuries to workers, among other dangerous acts," said Rep. Wayne Krieger, R-Gold Beach, who carried both bills. “This type of conduct cannot and should not be tolerated.”
House Bill 2595 would allow district attorneys “to charge these terrorists with a crime and make them accountable,” he said.
Krieger also cited protests at a State Land Board meeting in 2011 and sit-ins in the offices of Secretary of State Kate Brown and Treasurer Ted Wheeler in June 2012, when protestors locked themselves together. One protestor also urinated on the carpet in the offices of the treasurer, and protestors howled and made animal noises, Wheeler’s spokesman said.State police arrested six protestors.
The bills passed despiteconcerns from environmental activists and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregonthat they would infringe upon free speech rights of environmental protestors. Activists can already be prosecuted for disorderly conduct, trespass, property damage and criminal mischief, said Becky Straus, legislative director of ACLU of Oregon.
"House Bill 2595 is effectively criminalizing civil disobedience for one particular group, and we think it’s really very dangerous to give this sort of discretion to law enforcement," Straus said. "It’s taking conduct that can already be penalized under our criminal code and heightening the criminal penalties of the conduct, simply because of the content of the speech and the type of person who engages in the conduct."
Defendants convicted of interfering with forestland management for the first time would face up to a year in jail, a $6,250 fine, or both. Subsequent convictions would net a minimum of 13 months in jail and a $25,000 fine. The maximum penalty would be 18 months in jail and a $125,000 fine.
If House Bill 2595 becomes law, environmental activists vow to challenge it in court.
"I can assure you that as soon as this bill becomes law, we’ll have as many people arrested and prosecuted under it as possible," said Jason Gonzales, a spokesman with Cascadia Forest Defenders. "There’s no law that can stop somebody from acting on something they passionately believe in. There’s not some level of punishment that will make us not want to do that."
Cascadia Forest Defenders has staged road blockades, tree sits and protests in Elliott State Forest in recent years. The group is opposed to an October 2011 decision to increase logging in the forest. Three environmental groups in May 2012 filed a lawsuit that said logging would threaten the marbled murrelet, a threatened sea bird.
Jim Geisinger, executive vice president of Associated Oregon Loggers, welcomed the passage of the two bills Monday. Although contractors can already sue for damages, current law is “a little vague and nebulous,” he said.
"When protestors or obstructionist activities in the forest cause a contractor to go home, and they’re unable to perform their duties, that costs money," he said. "The value of these bills is to put people on notice that there are consequences to their illegal actions."
Culminating a two-week trial in which no hacking in the traditional sense occurred, a California man was convicted Wednesday under the same hacking statute internet sensation Aaron Swartz was accused of before he committed suicide in January.
Defendant David Nosal was convicted by a San Francisco federal jury on all six charges ranging from theft of trade secrets to hacking, despite him never breaking into a computer. Nosal remains free pending sentencing later this year, when he faces a potential lengthy prison term.
Nosal, a middle-aged man wearing a dark suit, sat stone faced as a clerk read “guilty” on all counts. Jurors deliberated for little more than two days.
After U.S. District Judge Edward Chen dismissed the 12-member jury, Nosal’s defense team demanded a hearing to urge the judge to set aside the verdict. A hearing was set for later this year.
“We think, legally, these counts can’t stand,” Steven Gruel, a Nosal lawyer, said outside the courtroom. Prosecutors declined comment.
Nosal’s prosecution was a novel application of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the same statue Swartz was accused of violating when he allegedly breached security controls of an MIT database and downloaded millions of JSTOR academic articles. After Swartz’s death, the case set off calls across the nation to reform the 1984 hacking law and perhaps even reduce the 5-year terms each violation carries.
But unlike Swartz, Nosal never was accused of traditional hacking. Among other things, what the jury concluded was that he coaxed, sometimes through monetary payments, his former colleagues at Los Angeles-based executive search firm Korn/Ferry International to access the firm’s proprietary database and provide him with trade secrets to help him build a competing firm. Those associates cooperated with the government and were not charged.
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act was passed in 1984 to enhance the government’s ability to prosecute hackers who accessed computers to steal information or to disrupt or destroy computer functionality.
The act makes it a federal offense if one “knowingly and with intent to defraud, accesses a protected computer without authorization, or exceeds authorized access, and by means of such conduct furthers the intended fraud and obtains anything of value, unless the object of the fraud and the thing obtained consists only of the use of the computer and the value of such use is not more than $5,000 in any 1-year period.” Prison penalties are up to 5 years per violation.
Nosal’s case has had a lengthy history, with two trips to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A third trip is likely and perhaps the Supreme Court might weigh in to set boundaries around how far the government may go in prosecuting so-called hacking.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling in Nosal’s case for a second time last year, decided that employees may not be prosecuted under the anti-hacking statute for simply violating their employer’s computer use policy. The appeals court had tossed several charges against Nosal stemming from when he was a still a Korn/Ferry employee, in which he was accused of using his work credentials in 2005 to access his employer’s database to help build a competing business for himself.
To be sure, the government indeed levies charges under the anti-hacking statute targeting traditional hackers. Two California men, for example, were sentenced between two and four years Monday in an extortion scheme stemming from the hacking of e-mail accounts of professional poker players.
But clearly, you don’t have to be a hacker to be charged as one.
An online social media editor for the Reuters news agency, for example, was indicted last month for allegedly helping members of Anonymous hack another media organization’s network.
Matthew Keys, the now-fired 26-year-old deputy social media editor for Reuters in New York, allegedly provided log-in credentials for a server owned by the Tribune Company, his former employer. He encouraged members of Anonymous to use the credentials to “go fuck some shit up,” according to prosecutors.
#Anonymous - EMERGENCY ACTION REQUIRED - #CISPA #StopCISPA
Greetings citizens of the United States and the World,
Emergency action required. We have been valiant thus far in protecting our internet. We stopped both SOPA and CISPA. Then they pushed for the international treaty, ACTA. And the entire world pushed back. But we’re not finished yet.
There are two more threats that we must unite together again to defeat. The first is a CISPA-like executive order that the White House is considering. In order to pass these bills that Congress has rejected, the Obama Administration has taken to the use of executive orders so that they might bypass Congress entirely. This is incredibly concerning as the process is very complex for Congress to overturn laws passed this way. The Supreme Court may also declare it unconstitutional, but such incidence are very rare. With enough opposition, we can stop this before it even gets off the ground.
The second, and more immediate threat is another international treaty. Like ACTA, this treaty has been negotiated in secret. The Trans-Pacific partnership is so secret that not even the congressional committee in charge of such treaties can even see the Bill. It is, however, viewable by 600 corporate representatives.
All we know is what has been leaked this far, and it reaches well beyond the scope of simply censoring the internet. It’s yet another bill to grant more power to multinational corporations. If this treaty is ratified, the only way it can be altered is through the agreement of every country involved.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has tried to rally the troops. Don’t let the TPP become the next PIPA. Contact your lawmakers and demand transparency. The TPP is being negotiatied in secret and on a fast timetable. We don’t know what’s in the TPP IP chapter and that’s what worries us.
Entertainment industry executives who are members of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee will likely get to see the agreement drafts again, but the rest of us will be kept in the dark unless we speak up now. And they are not alone in attempting to warn everyone. The Huffington Post, Guardian, ACLU, Examiner, AlterNet, Current, Transfer, Daily Cause, Truth Out, and many more have all reported on this atrocity. Even members of Congress have introduced legislation due the extreme secrecy of this treaty.
This is an immediate call to action. Contact your members of Congress, educate your friends and family, create art, videos, and stage protests. Do everything you can to help raise awareness as they plan to push this through before the next election. We have very little time to stop this. Many around the world and few within the states have been trying to raise awareness. Let us unite once again to protect the very few freedoms we have left.
We are Anonymous.
We are legion.
We do not forgive oppression.
We do not forget censorship.
[ Watch the Video: Plasma Device Could Revolutionize Energy Generation ]
Scientists at the University of Missouri have devised a new way to create and control plasma that could transform American energy generation and storage.
Randy Curry, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering, and his team developed a device that launches a ring of plasma at distances of up to two feet. Although the plasma reaches a temperature hotter than the surface of the sun, it doesn’t emit radiation and is completely safe in proximity to humans.
While most of us are familiar with three states of matter – liquid, gas and solid – there is also a fourth state known as plasma, which includes things such as fire and lightning. Life on Earth depends on the energy emitted by plasma produced during fusion reactions within the sun.
The secret to Curry’s success was developing a way to make plasma form its own self-magnetic field, which holds it together as it travels through the air.
“Launching plasma in open air is the ‘Holy Grail’ in the field of physics,” said Curry.
“Creating plasma in a vacuum tube surrounded by powerful electromagnets is no big deal; dozens of labs can do that. Our innovation allows the plasma to hold itself together while it travels through regular air without any need for containment.”
The plasma device could also be enlarged to handle much larger amounts of energy, he said.
For the current work, Curry and his team used older technologies to build their prototype of a plasma-generating machine. But a considerably smaller device using newer, miniaturized parts could also be built within three to five years with sufficient funding, Curry said.
“We have a world-class team at MU’s Center for Physical & Power Electronics, but that team will evaporate without funding.”
#OilSpill #OilMoney #KeyStoneXL #WTF
All spills in order of occurrence:
March 11 – 21: Gwagwalada Town, Nigera
A week-long leak of Kilometer 407.5 NNPC (Nigeria National Petroleum Corp) pipeline. No official number of barrels spilled released, however the spill saturated a hectare (10,000 sq metres) of marshy ground near a major water source.
Tuesday, March 19: Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories Canada
Enbridge Norman Wells Pipeline leaks 6,290 barrels of crude oil
Monday, March 25: Fort MacKay, Alberta Canada
Suncor tar sands tailings pond leaks 2,200 barrels of toxic waste fluid into the Athabasca River
Wednesday, March 27: Parker Prairie, Minnesota U.S.
CP Rail train derails and spills 952 barrels of tar sands crude oil
Friday, March 29: Mayflower, Arkansas U.S.
Exxon Mobil’s Pegasus Pipeline suffers a 22 foot-long rupture, spilling at least 12,000 barrels of diluted tar sands bitumen
Sunday, March 31: A power plant in Lansing, Michigan U.S.
16 barrels of an oil-based hydraulic fluid spills into the Grand River
Tuesday, April 2: Nembe, Nigeria
After suffering a reported theft of 60,000 barrels of oil per day from its Nembe Creek Trunkline pipeline, Shell Nigeria shuts off the pipe for nine days to repair damage
Wednesday, April 3: 350KM southeast of Newfoundland, Canada
A drilling platform leaks 0.25 barrels of crude oil
Wednesday, April 4: Chalmette, Louisiana U.S.
0.24 barrels (100 lbs) of hydrogen sulfide and 0.04 barrels (10 lbs of benzene) leak at an Exxon refinery
Monday, April 8: Esmeraldas, Ecuador
The OPEC-managed OCP pipeline leaks 5,500 barrels of heavy crude oil, contaminating the Winchele estuary
Tuesday, April 9: 29KM NE of Nuiqsut, Alaska U.S.
Human error during maintenance spills 157 barrels of crude oil at a Repsol E&P USA Inc pipeline pump station
Visit EcoWatch’s ENERGY page for more related news on this topic.
Pipelines are the safest way to transport oil in the United States, a former U.S pipeline regulator said at a Nebraska meeting on the Keystone XL pipeline. The U.S. State Department requested public opinion on a draft assessment of the planned cross-border pipeline. Critics of the project say Canadian crude oil, the type designated for Keystone XL, may be more corrosive and therefore more likely to cause a pipeline spill. A so-called tar sands oil spill in Michigan in 2010 was the costliest incident of its kind. Exxon Mobil is working to clean up a similar spill in Arkansas, though that spill is far less severe than Michigan’s. Brigham McCown, former director of the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, brushed off some of the safety concerns. “I do want to point out that pipelines are the safest means to transport energy products in this country,” he was quoted by the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star as saying. The newspaper said the State Department took comments from supporters and detractors in a lengthy meeting Thursday. TransCanada Vice President Corey Goulet told the Journal Star he didn’t think the Arkansas spill would factor into the decision on Keystone XL. “I don’t like to make comparisons because a pipeline properly maintained can last indefinitely,” he said. Exxon’s pipeline, Pegasus, was installed in the 1940s. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kerri-Ann Jones said the government would consider things like Keystone XL consumers when considering the thousands of comments submitted on the draft report. No indication was given as to when a final decision was expected.
As usual, the limits of selective empathy, the rush to blame Muslims, and the exploitation of fear all instantly emerge
There’s not much to say about Monday’s Boston Marathon attack because there is virtually no known evidence regarding who did it or why. There are, however, several points to be made about some of the widespread reactions to this incident. Much of that reaction is all-too-familiar and quite revealing in important ways:
(1) The widespread compassion for yesterday’s victims and the intense anger over the attacks was obviously authentic and thus good to witness. But it was really hard not to find oneself wishing that just a fraction of that compassion and anger be devoted to attacks that the US perpetrates rather than suffers. These are exactly the kinds of horrific, civilian-slaughtering attacks that the US has been bringing to countries in the Muslim world over and over and over again for the last decade, with very little attention paid. My Guardian colleague Gary Younge put this best on Twitter this morning:
Juan Cole this morning makes a similar point about violence elsewhere. Indeed, just yesterday in Iraq, at least 42 people were killed and more than 250 injured by a series of car bombs, the enduring result of the US invasion and destruction of that country. Somehow the deep compassion and anger felt in the US when it is attacked never translates to understanding the effects of our own aggression against others.
One particularly illustrative example I happened to see yesterday was a re-tweet from Washington Examiner columnist David Freddoso, proclaiming:
Idea of secondary bombs designed to kill the first responders is just sick. How does anyone become that evil?”
I don’t disagree with that sentiment. But I’d bet a good amount of money that the person saying it - and the vast majority of other Americans - have no clue that targeting rescuers with “double-tap” attacks is precisely what the US now does with its drone program and other forms of militarism. If most Americans knew their government and military were doing this, would they react the same way as they did to yesterday’s Boston attack: “Idea of secondary bombs designed to kill the first responders is just sick. How does anyone become that evil?” That’s highly doubtful, and that’s the point.
There’s nothing wrong per se with paying more attention to tragedy and violence that happens relatively nearby and in familiar places. Whether wrong or not, it’s probably human nature, or at least human instinct, to do that, and that happens all over the world. I’m not criticizing that. But one wishes that the empathy for victims and outrage over the ending of innocent human life that instantly arises when the US is targeted by this sort of violence would at least translate into similar concern when the US is perpetrating it, as it so often does (far, far more often than it is targeted by such violence).
Regardless of your views of justification and intent: whatever rage you’re feeling toward the perpetrator of this Boston attack, that’s the rage in sustained form that people across the world feel toward the US for killing innocent people in their countries. Whatever sadness you feel for yesterday’s victims, the same level of sadness is warranted for the innocent people whose lives are ended by American bombs. However profound a loss you recognize the parents and family members of these victims to have suffered, that’s the same loss experienced by victims of US violence. It’s natural that it won’t be felt as intensely when the victims are far away and mostly invisible, but applying these reactions to those acts of US aggression would go a long way toward better understanding what they are and the outcomes they generate.
(2) The rush, one might say the eagerness, to conclude that the attackers were Muslim was palpable and unseemly, even without any real evidence. The New York Post quickly claimed that the prime suspect was a Saudi national (while also inaccurately reporting that 12 people had been confirmed dead). The Post’s insinuation of responsibility was also suggested on CNN by Former Bush Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend (“We know that there is one Saudi national who was wounded in the leg who is being spoken to”). Former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman went on CNN to grossly speculate that Muslim groups were behind the attack. Anti-Muslim bigots like Pam Geller predictably announced that this was “Jihad in America”. Expressions of hatred for Muslims, and a desire to do violence, were then spewing forth all over Twitter (some particularly unscrupulous partisan Democrat types were identically suggesting with zero evidence that the attackers were right-wing extremists).
Obviously, it’s possible that the perpetrator(s) will turn out to be Muslim, just like it’s possible they will turn out to be extremist right-wing activists, or left-wing agitators, or Muslim-fearing Anders-Breivik types, or lone individuals driven by apolitical mental illness. But the rush to proclaim the guilty party to be Muslim is seen in particular over and over with such events. Recall that on the day of the 2011 Oslo massacre by a right-wing, Muslim-hating extremist, the New York Times spent virtually the entire day strongly suggesting in its headlines that an Islamic extremist group was responsible, a claim other major news outlets (including the BBC and Washington Post) then repeated as fact. The same thing happened with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, when most major US media outlets strongly suggested that the perpetrators were Muslims. As FAIR documented back then:
“In the wake of the explosion that destroyed the Murrah Federal Office Building, the media rushed — almost en masse — to the assumption that the bombing was the work of Muslim extremists. ‘The betting here is on Middle East terrorists,’ declared CBS News’ Jim Stewart just hours after the blast (4/19/95). ‘The fact that it was such a powerful bomb in Oklahoma City immediately drew investigators to consider deadly parallels that all have roots in the Middle East,’ ABC’s John McWethy proclaimed the same day.
“‘It has every single earmark of the Islamic car-bombers of the Middle East,’ wrote syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer (Chicago Tribune, 4/21/95). ‘Whatever we are doing to destroy Mideast terrorism, the chief terrorist threat against Americans, has not been working,’ declared the New York Times’ A.M. Rosenthal (4/21/95). The Geyer and Rosenthal columns were filed after the FBI released sketches of two suspects who looked more like Midwestern frat boys than mujahideen.”
This lesson is never learned because, it seems, many people don’t want to learn it. Even when it turns out not to have been Muslims who perpetrated the attack but rather right-wing, white Christians, the damage from this relentless and reflexive blame-pinning endures.
(3) One continually encountered yesterday expressions of dread and fear from Arabs and Muslims around the world that the attacker would be either or both. That’s because they know that all members of their religious or ethnic group will be blamed, or worse, if that turns out to be the case. That’s true even though leading Muslim-American groups such as CAIR harshly condemned the attack (as they always do) and urged support for the victims, including blood donations. One tweeter, referencing the earthquake that hit Iran this morning, satirized this collective mindset by writing: “Please don’t be a Muslim plate tectonic activity.”
As understandable as it is, that’s just sad to witness. No other group reacts with that level of fear to these kinds of incidents, because no other group has similar cause to fear that they will all be hated or targeted for the acts of isolated, unrepresentative individuals. A similar dynamic has long prevailed in the domestic crime context: when the perpetrators of notorious crimes turned out to be African-American, the entire community usually paid a collective price. But the unique and well-grounded dread that hundreds of millions of law-abiding, peaceful Muslims and Arabs around the world have about the prospect that this attack in Boston was perpetrated by a Muslim highlights the climate of fear that has been created for and imposed on them over the last decade.
(4) The reaction to the Boston attack underscored, yet again, the utter meaninglessness of the word “terrorism”. News outlets were seemingly scandalized that President Obama, in his initial remarks, did not use the words “terrorist attack” to describe the bombing. In response, the White House ran to the media to assure them that they considered it “terrorism”. Fox News’ Ed Henry quoted a “senior administration official” as saying this: “When multiple (explosive) devices go off that’s an act of terrorism.”
Is that what “terrorism” is? “When multiple (explosive) devices go off”? If so, that encompasses a great many things, including what the US does in the world on a very regular basis. Of course, the quest to know whether this was “terrorism” is really code for: “was this done by Muslims”? That’s because, in US political discourse, “terrorism” has no real meaning other than: violence perpetrated by Muslims against the west. The reason there was such confusion and uncertainty about whether this was “terrorism” is because there is no clear and consistently applied definition of the term. At this point, it’s little more than a term of emotionally manipulative propaganda. That’s been proven over and over, and it was against yesterday.
(5) The history of these types of attacks over the last decade has been clear and consistent: they are exploited to obtain new government powers, increase state surveillance, and take away individual liberties. On NBC with Brian Williams last night, Tom Brokaw decreed that this will happen again and instructed us that we must meekly submit it to it:
“Everyone has to understand tonight that, beginning tomorrow morning early, there are going to be much tougher security considerations all across the country, and however exhausted we may be by that, we’re going to have to learn to live with them, and get along and go forward, and not let them bring us to our knees. You’ll remember last summer, how unhappy we were with the security at the Democratic and Republic conventions. Now I don’t think we can raise those complaints after what happened in Boston.”
Last night on Chris Hayes’ MSNBC show, an FBI agent discussed the fact that the US government has the right to arrest terrorism suspects and not provide them with Miranda warnings before questioning them. After seeing numerous people express surprise at this claim on Twitter, I pointed out that this happened when the Obama administration exploited the attempted underwear bombing over Detroit to radically reduce Miranda rights over what they had been for decades. That’s what the US government (aided by the sham “terrorism expert” industry) does in every single one of these cases: exploits the resulting fear to increase its own power and decrease everyone else’s rights, including privacy.
At the Atlantic, security expert Bruce Schneier has a short but compelling article on how urgent it is that we not react to this Boston attack irrationally or with exaggerated fear, and that we particularly remain vigilant against government attempts to exploit fear to impose all new rights-reducing measures. He notes in particular how the more unusual an event is (such as this sort of attack on US soil), the more our brains naturally exaggerate its significance and frequency (John Cole makes a similar point).
In sum, even if the perpetrators of Monday’s attack in Boston turn out to be politically motivated and subscribers to an anti-US ideology, it will still be a very rare event, one that poses far less danger to Americans than literally countless other threats. The most important lesson of the excesses arising from the 9/11 attacks should be this one: that the dangers of overreacting and succumbing to irrational fear are far, far greater than any other dangers posed by these type of events.
#Anonymous - To America - You ARE being WATCHED-1.8 Billion Megapixel Camera. #Argus - #NWO
We are Anonymous
We are Legion
We do Not forgive
We do Not forget
#Arkansas #OilSpill #WTF - Warren Andrews had just finished putting up balloons for his stepdaughter’s 18th birthday party at their suburban home in Mayflower, Arkansas, when his wife came inside and said something was wrong.After stepping out of his house, and taking one glance, he immediately dialed 911.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but I’ve got a river of oil coming down the street at me,” Andrews told the operator. Five minutes later, the slick of noxious black crude spewing from a ruptured Exxon Mobil pipeline was eight feet wide, six inches deep and growing fast.
In this photo, spilled oil from Exxon pipeline runs through a neighborhood in Mayflower, Arkansas on March 29, 2013. Reuters was recently given access to the photo from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Exxon is refusing to let reporters anywhere near the accident. They’re also controlling the airspace above the spill. They don’t want you to see what’s happening. TOO BAD, EXXON.
Is this really worth it??
Is it really worth the effort of pillaging our Mother’s resources only to waste them and contaminate everything else in the process? No.
Let this be a lesson for our children and the generations to come.. this cannot go on for much longer.