Crushing regulations are driving small banks to sell out to the megabanks, a consolidation process that appears to be intentional. Publicly-owned banks can help avoid that trend and keep credit flowing in local economies.
“Knowledge (of) the scale of our capability would raise public awareness generating unwelcome publicity for us and our political masters.” — Classified UK NSA document
“To approve such a program, the Court must have every confidence that the government is doing its utmost to ensure that those responsible for implementation fully comply with the Court’s orders. The Court no longer has such confidence.” — U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Order, p. 12, 3-9-2009
The Executive justifies its actions, like all authoritarian institutions, on the grounds that it is protecting us. We must reverse the tide.
“America no longer has a functioning democracy. This invasion of privacy has been excessive, so bringing it to public notice has probably been beneficial —President Jimmy Carter
Millions of Americans will face a basic question in the coming decade: how much loyalty do we owe a U.S. Executive Branch which extracts huge sums from us to spy upon and lie to us, on the false grounds that doing so is protecting us? Or do we owe our moral allegiance to the ideal of democracy, which requires us to fight the Executive which is its enemy?
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
August 9, 2013
President Obama believes that there should be increased transparency and reforms in our intelligence programs in order to give the public confidence that these programs have strong oversight and clear protections against abuse. That is what he has pursued as President, and today he is announcing several initiatives that will move that effort forward.
www.democracynow.org – National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has been given one year temporary political asylum in Russia. Snowden has reportedly already left the Moscow airport where he has been holed up for over a month. On Wednesday, The Guardian newspaper revealed details about another secret NSA program based on leaked documents provided by Snowden. The program, XKeyscore, allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals giving NSA analysts real-time access to “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet.” To discuss these latest developments, we’re joined by Spencer Ackerman, national security editor at The Guardian.
I’m finding New York City harder and harder to deal with. First, I’m accosted by the “If you see something, say something” signs painted on the steps in the subway stations. And once I’m on the train there’s the disembodied voice straight out of Orwell’s “1984” warning me, “If you see a suspicious package, we have the right to search all bags and backpacks; if you see something, say something;” and on and on it drones.
Far from having broken with his Republican predecessor, Democratic President Barack Obama has now reinforced the law of exception that he criticised when he was a senator. It is now possible to deprive United States citizens of their fundamental rights because they have taken part in armed action against their own country, but also when they take a political position favourable to those who use military action to resist the Empire. Worse – Barack Obama has added to the law John Yoo’s “Unitary Executive theory,” which puts an end to the principles of the separation of powers as defined by Montesquieu. The security policy of the United States President now escapes all control.
Every nation gets the government it deserves. (Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre (1 April 1753 – 26 February 1821) was a Savoyard lawyer, diplomat, writer, and philosopher.)
This is a fact not an opinion. When I first read this quote, I believed the author had it wrong. I thought about nations that had governments forced on them, from outsiders and from their own people. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that the author had it wrong. Continue reading →
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who has led opposition to the PATRIOT Act since its inception, today released the following statement after the Justice Department confirmed it maintains classified legal interpretations of the Act.
“In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Department of Justice recently confirmed that it maintains secret interpretations of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. Continue reading →
On Monday, November 28, 2011, students at UC-Davis occupied Dutton Hall, the University’s financial center, and held an all-day teach-in. Author/Journalist/Filmmaker Charles Shaw was one of the featured speakers. Here is his talk, “The History of Police Militarization in the US.”