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Lady of the lake, version #938

Monday, July 1, 2013

You are getting very sleepy...


Edward Snowden may or may not have made a statement that was posted on Wikileaks today. Certain "experts" are questioning some of the syntax.  I think that it is probably his, but what do I know? Young guy, on a sinking lifeboat with no apparent safe harbor, people get a a little emotionally tattered. Probably close to a breakdown.

I like this last part:
In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.
I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.
Edward Joseph Snowden
Monday 1st July 2013
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Interesting that Putin told Snowden that he would have to agree to shut up if he wanted to stay in Russia. No more disclosures. Making it too hot for all the authoritarian regimes. Don't harm our American partners.

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Out of all the apologists for the Bushobama total surveillance state, former Bush henchman Marc Thiessen is definitely the most venal and hardcore. He wrote this a few weeks ago, Big Brother isn't watching you, then Yes, publishing NSA secrets is a crimeThe danger of what Edward Snowden has not revealed today.

I saw this Thiessen quote in the New York Times last week, the article was titled After Leaks, Obama leads damage control effort:
Mr. Thiessen said the president and his team have looked “weak and vacillating and defensive” while overreacting by giving out too much information.“It’s not just that they’re not effectively defending themselves,” he said. “It’s that they’re doing more damage by the way they’re defending themselves. They’re pandering to the civil libertarian left, and they’re afraid of the libertarian right. So their damage control has done almost as much damage as the leak itself... The president has his own base up in arms while we had our base more reflexively behind us. And the opposition is more vocal now.” 
Pandering to libertarians is it? I suppose the notion is that if the fourth amendment and its buddies can't keep up with the latest technology, there just won't be any fourth amendment. Heavens that people would be bothered, in this day and age...

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Officer Warns 'Babies Are Used By Terrorists' After Elite Country Club Calls Them Over Breast-Feeding Mom. A Belgian diplomat's family was kicked out of the Metropolis Country Club last month for breastfeeding.

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A few weeks ago I wrote about Sherwin Smith at the Tennessee Department of Environmental Control warning people that complaining about their water quality was a terrorist act. Supposedly they are now getting their water tested after the ensuing hubbub. Steven Hale in the above linked Nashville Scene writes a good article, A TDEC spokesman's 'terrorism' gaffe echoes a new crackdown on dissent.
I quote the following passage:
But you don't have to leave Tennessee to find evidence of the pernicious reflex to cast concerned or dissenting citizens as criminally dangerous. As part of a lawsuit between Camden, Tenn. residents and TDEC over an industrial landfill in their neighborhood — a case that was recently decided in the residents' favor — Mark Totty filed an affidavit detailing his experience living fewer than 800 yards from the landfill.
In his affidavit, Totty says that after spending months trying to contact elected officials at the city, county, state and federal levels, he sought a meeting with Gov. Bill Haslam during the summer of 2011 on behalf of a group of his neighbors. "We wanted an opportunity to voice our concerns about this landfill and how it got into our neighborhood without local approval," Totty states in the legal document.
After "numerous phone calls," Totty says he was asked to put his request for a meeting in writing. He says he did so "multiple times" prior to a public hearing in July 2011, but "did not get a response to any of these requests."
Or so he thought.
"In September of 2011," he says, "I learned that the Capital Police Department contacted my local police department asking if I was a threat to the governor. This is very disturbing to me and my family."
If such disturbances could ever be dismissed as paranoia, it's a luxury of the past, or at least the days before we knew our government was spying on us in almost every way and playing judge and jury behind closed doors. And if any agency would benefit from marginalizing or intimidating its critics, it's TDEC, facing a litany of complaints, legal challenges and defeats, and accusations of slipshod, indifferent environmental regulation.
There might not be anything in the water, and the government might use its power nobly. But given today's climate of justified distrust, they can't expect anyone to take their word for it. 
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I was sitting near my friend's pool this afternoon, fantasizing as the helicopter hovered overhead. Your phone is right there, it is omitting a signal, you will have the honor of being the first american citizen blasted out of the sky by a drone on the American continent. Because you may have pissed the wrong somebody off, all it takes is two analysts to start an investigation and once you're on the list, there is no oversight pal. It's open season.They will start looking in your underwear drawer and when they want to find something on you, they do and when they want to shut somebody up, they figure out a way. Ain't that right Mr. Hastings?

Can they really look through the camera on your computer without the light coming on? Hi Mom!

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Interesting article at WaPo, the secret court judges bristle at being perceived as "collaborators."
[Judge] Kollar-Kotelly disputed the NSA report’s suggestion of a fairly high level of coordination between the court and the NSA and Justice in 2004 to re-create certain authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law that created the court in response to abuses of domestic surveillance in the 1960s and 1970s.
“That is incorrect,” she said. “I participated in a process of adjudication, not ‘coordination’ with the executive branch. The discussions I had with executive branch officials were in most respects typical of how I and other district court judges entertain applications for criminal wiretaps under Title III, where issues are discussed ex parte.”
The perception that the court works too closely with the government arises in large part from the tribunal’s “ex parte” nature, which means that unlike in a traditional court, there is no legal sparring between adversaries with the judge as arbiter. Instead, a Justice Department official makes the case for the government agency seeking permission to carry out surveillance inside the United States. No one speaks for the target of the surveillance or the company that is ordered to allow its networks to be tapped or to turn over its customers’ data. 
Interesting article. General Hayden is running interference for the judges, "they weren't a rubber stamp. she spanked us when we were naughty..."

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I think that Snowden should disclose everything, come home and take his whipping. He has to have been smart enough to realize that he would never again lead a normal life. He made an ultimate sacrifice, of which many of us are grateful but staying in Russia would be a serious drag and lead to people think that he is some sort of commie traitor. Your life is over dude but you definitely made a splash. And now we know.

Maybe they could hypnotize the whole country, you will forget everything, feel free to text, type and talk on the phone. You are getting very sleepy.

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