Thursday, January 22, 2015

SAR #15022

Experience is the term we use to describe our previous mistakes.

More Is More: Officials in the EU – along with Canada and the US – are using the attacks in Paris as an excuse to widen government surveillance even more and to intrude even further into the private lives of citizens – even though almost every significant terrorist event in the last 15 years has been carried out by persons already known to the intelligence and security services.

Again, Again: They're meeting in Davos, again. To figure out how to fix the world's economy, again. After 7 years... they are still getting richer, we are not; what's to fix?

Fishing Expedition: Richard Burr (Revisionist, NC), who has replaced Dianne Feinstein as Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wants the administration to return all copies of the full 6,000 page Senate report on CIA torture so they can be destroyed and the record of years of government-sponsored torture be erased from history.

Fine Print: One of those ultra-safe pipelines shuttling oil around for the benefit of the rich has spilled 50,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River. Animals residents have been told not to drink the water.

The Myth of Progress: 80 individuals have as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion of us. By next year, 1% of the world's population will control more wealth than the other 99% combined. 
The Killing Fields: There's a tight race going on in Kansas between the fundamentalist Christians who want to ruin public education with Bible stories, the fundamentalist capitalists who want to privatize it and steal all the money, and Governor Brownback who is trying to starve the entire state into submission through Koch brothers inspired tax cut experiments that have created enormous deficits and no economic benefit to the state. But there seem to be few sentient being left in the state, so the parade marches on. 
America The Beautiful: A Dutch court has blocked a US requested extradition because the court feared the individual would be tortured if delivered to US control.

Do You Think It's Going To Rain? A majority of Americans – regardless of their political affiliation – think that equal pay and affordable child care are important goals. A majority of American politicians do not give a damn what average Americans think.

Too Many Is Too Many: The Pentagon's Inspector General reports that the Air Force has far more drones than it needs and has wasted billions on the flashy toys – far more than are required to crash the occasional Muslim wedding party.

All's Well That Ends: Colorado police report that after a year of legalized marijuana, civilization has not collapsed, crime has not skyrocketed and in general “everything's fine,” although sales of munchies are reportedly on the rise.

Civics Lessons: Republicans in Illinois have given schools the power to demand students surrender their social media passwords so the schools can snoop at will. This is seen as an essential training experience to prepare the students docile adults in the surveillance society. So far the schools do not use the radar devices that can see through walls
Clip and Put In Your Wallet: A federal court has ruled that it is completely legal to give the cops the finger. Legal, not smart.

1 comment:

Blissex said...

«the record of years of government-sponsored torture be erased from history.»
«the court feared the individual would be tortured if delivered to US control.»

The article about the Feinstein/Burr story (which to me seems political theatre) end with what is probably unintentional dark humour:

«Obama’s prohibition on torture came in the form of a 2009 executive order, which a successor president can overturn at leisure.
Feinstein, now the vice-chair of the committee, also said on Tuesday that she intended “to introduce legislation soon to outlaw torture and enact a series of reforms to our interrogation procedures”.»

That's amazing! Absolutely amazing! It would be really funny if it weren't so awful.

Explanation: torture is already a crime in the USA, both under USA law and international treaty. The president cannot overturn the law at his leisure, and no new laws are needed to outlaw torture.