Reminder: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” US Constitution, Amendment IV of the Bill of Rights (Before NSA 'rethought' it.)
No Confidence: The IMF/ECB/EU pauperization of Greece has been so effective that when the Greeks put their natural gas system up for bids – as part of the privatization required by their overlords – no one wanted it. There is no economy, thus no demand for the gas, and the residential customers have no money. No one wants a monopoly that makes no profit.
The Important Story: Sure, the NSA kerfuffle is fascinating, but in the long term it won't matter. What does is that the barely tolerable global temperature rise of 2ºC by the end of this century is no longer possible. We're looking at 2ºC and more by mid-century and 5ºC or more by 2100. That matters. And is pretty much unavoidable, because we're human and self centered and don't care any more about global warming than we do about the government spying on us.
Interpretations Vary: Turkish PM Erdogan, facing ever larger demonstrations against him and his party's rule, says that "Those who do not respect this nation's party in power will pay a price.” Definitions of democracy are often problematic. Ask Barak.
Safe: The Supreme Court has given those who ordered torture – both military officers and their civilian superiors - blanket immunity from being sued by the survivors, if any. Nuremberg? What'ca mean, Nuremberg?
Cart, Horse: The NY Senate, noting that “too many people in our society have lost the respect they need to have for a police officer" has made it a felony to annoy a cop. Now if they can do something to get the cops to give citizen the respect they deserve, too.
The Better Part Of Valor: Rather than face charges in the United States, NSA leaker Snowden has fled to Hong Kong, hoping to be safe from extradition and protected from rendition. [Iceland may be a better bet.] He has learned from history: Daniel Ellsberg willingly surrendered, was granted bail and – after the Supreme Court had declared warrantless wiretapping unconstitutional and refused to block publication of the Pentagon Papers – had the charges against him dropped. Bradley Manning has spent 3 years in jail awaiting a show trial. None of the civilian whistleblowers targeted by Obama's administration have made it to trial – the government threatens them with draconian sentences, then accepts a plea bargain for lesser charges and lighter jail time. Aaron Swartz, forced into such a choice, chose suicide. Open government has come to mean the government opens up and swallows its critics. In secrecy.
Liberal, Educated: There is something wrong with an education system that stresses testable facts while deadening the desire to understand. Knowing 'facts' and knowing something about the subject are worlds apart. Forcing memorization forces people to stop wondering. Teaching 'facts' teaches compliance, which should not be the goal of education.
Only Human: Some of the finer arguments for unbridled capitalism drove from Virginia to Moore, Oklahoma in order to loot the tornado wrecked community of its copper wire and scrap metal.
Inevitable: Pests targeted by GMO crops (Bt corn and Bt cotton) are becoming resistant to Monsanto's magic mucking with the gene pool. Of 13 major pest species, five have become resistant, another is well on the way, and four more are beginning to show resistance.
Ah, Good Ones: “If the NSA Trusted Edward Snowden With Our Data, Why Should We Trust the NSA?” “I’ve seen this all before–and have an FBI file to show for it.” NSA knows a lot more about what we're doing than we do about what they're doing.
Porn O'Graph: Peak Oil consumption?
The Parting Shot:
Firewheel Gaillardia pulchella