Nanny State: 2010

29 December 2010

Because of you the world doesn't have to wait any longer

Going on 9 Guantánamo Years

Tuesday, 28 December 2010 06:30
By Debra Sweet

Lost in the flurry of bills passed as Congress ended was the inclusion in the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act of language that forbids any Pentagon funds being used to transport any detainee from Guantánamo to the U.S. for any reason. There’s no evidence that the Obama administration really opposed this language; they’ve accepted that detainees such as Khalid Sheik Mohammed won’t be tried in federal courts. They’ve delineated a group of detainess for indefinite detention for the reason that they’ve been tortured, and such information, from the government’s standpoint, can’t be made public.

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27 December 2010

The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's detention


"Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime. Despite that, he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months -- and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait -- under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture.

...What all of this achieves is clear. Having it known that the U.S. could and would disappear people at will to "black sites," assassinate them with unseen drones, imprison them for years without a shred of due process even while knowing they were innocent, torture them mercilessly, and in general acts as a lawless and rogue imperial power created a climate of severe intimidation and fear. Who would want to challenge the U.S. Government in any way -- even in legitimate ways -- knowing that it could and would engage in such lawless, violent conduct without any restraints or repercussions?"

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05 December 2010

Surrendering our civil liberties - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Surrendering our civil liberties - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Government Workers Ordered Not to Read Cables

Published: December 4, 2010

WASHINGTON — In a classic case of shutting the barn door after the horse has left, the Obama administration and the Department of Defense have ordered the hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors not to view the secret cables and other classified documents published by Wikileaks and news organizations around the world unless the workers have the required security clearance or authorization.

[Fellow froggies, is the water getting warmer?]

26 November 2010

27 August 2010

28 March 2010

Taking the Tenth, by Fred Reed

The Last Hope

March 19, 2010

Washington is out of control. It does as it likes, without restraint. It spends American money and American lives to fight remote wars for which it cannot provide a plausible reason. It determines what our children will be taught, who we can hire and fire, to whom we can sell our houses, whether we can defend ourselves, even what names we can call each other. The feds read our email and track the web sites we visit, make us hop around barefoot in airports at the command of surly unaccountable rentacops. They search us at random in train stations without even a pretense of probable cause. We have no influence over them, no way of resisting.

Except, perhaps, to ignore them.

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04 March 2010

TSA Announces New Security Check-In Procedures

For smaller airports that will not have the new backscatter imaging technology devices, the following procedure for security check-in will be in place.

To maintain complete security, everyone will be required to disrobe in the outer area before entering the check-in area. For privacy and modesty concerns there will be separate lines for males and females.

20 February 2010

08 February 2010

FBI wants records kept of Web sites visited

by Declan McCullagh

WASHINGTON--The FBI is pressing Internet service providers to record which Web sites customers visit and retain those logs for two years, a requirement that law enforcement believes could help it in investigations of child pornography and other serious crimes.

FBI Director Robert Mueller supports storing Internet users' "origin and destination information," a bureau attorney said at a federal task force meeting on Thursday.

As far back as a 2006 speech, Mueller had called for data retention on the part of Internet providers, and emphasized the point two years later when explicitly asking Congress to enact a law making it mandatory. But it had not been clear before that the FBI was asking companies to begin to keep logs of what Web sites are visited, which few if any currently do.

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The Census and Despotism

by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

“There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus,” says St. Luke on why Mary and Joseph found themselves in Bethlehem, “that all the world should be taxed.” Joseph had to go to his own city because the tyrannical Roman government was conducting a census. But the information may have been used for more than just taxation. The Roman government’s local ruler later decided he wanted to find the Christ child and kill Him.

Did the government make use of census data to find out where the members of the House of David were? We can’t know for sure, although a later Roman despot did. But we can know that Joseph made a huge error in obeying the census takers in the first place. They were up to no good. In fact, another group of religious Jews in Judea decided that they would not comply with the Roman government’s demand to count and tax them. The group was known as the “Zealots” (yes, that’s where the word came from). They saw complying with the census as equivalent to submitting to slavery. Many ended up paying for their principled stand with their lives.

And yet, their resistance arguably made would-be tyrants more cautious. For 10 centuries after Constantine, when feudal Europe was broken up into thousands of tiny principalities and jurisdictions, no central government was in a position to collect data on its citizens. This is one of the many great merits of radically decentralized political systems: There is no central power that controls the population through data gathering and population enumeration.

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07 February 2010

4th grader in trouble for 2 Inch LEGO gun

And most folks can't understand why many parents prefer home schooling their children.

25 January 2010

17 January 2010

Obama staffer wants ‘cognitive infiltration’ of 9/11 conspiracy groups

In a 2008 academic paper, President Barack Obama's appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs advocated "cognitive infiltration" of groups that advocate "conspiracy theories" like the ones surrounding 9/11.

Cass Sunstein, a Harvard law professor, co-wrote an academic article entitled "Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures," in which he argued that the government should stealthily infiltrate groups that pose alternative theories on historical events via "chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine" those groups.

As head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Sunstein is in charge of "overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs," according to the White House Web site.

...Sunstein argued that "government might undertake (legal) tactics for breaking up the tight cognitive clusters of extremist theories." He suggested that "government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action."

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05 January 2010

Coming to an airport near you

"You got two choices...pat-down or get naked. Let's keep the line moving, please."

Here is the backscatter Xray machine you've heard about.

I predict that within five years, we will not be able to carry on anything on an airplane. I used to think we would have two lines to be screened, male and female, because we will have to be naked to be screened, but the backscatter Xray machine will serve the same purpose. Ain't technology grand?

04 January 2010

The Trouble with Profit-Driven Healthcare System

'Nobody's out there trying to prevent cancer, they're all so busy treating it because you get paid for it.'