Grizzly cub, Snow

Monday, December 16, 2013


Keyhole Man - © Robert Sommers 2013
A Federal Judge believes that the Prism NSA Surveillance operation is likely unconstitutional. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon, an appointee of George W. Bush, said that the program, leaked by Edward Snowden earlier this year, appears to violate the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which states that the "right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated."

“"The Fourth Amendment typically requires 'a neutral and detached authority be interposed between the police and the public,' and it is offended by 'general warrants' and laws that allow searches to be conducted 'indiscriminately and without regard to their connections with a crime under investigation.' 

" I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval,” Leon wrote in his 68 page ruling.

"The almost-Orwellian technology that enables the Government to store and analyze the phone metadata of every telephone user in the United States is unlike anything that could have been conceived in 1979."


The San Diego Union Tribune ran an apology this weekend after running an ad for the Western American and Gun show right next to the story about the recent school shooting in Colorado.

The bizarre juxtaposition was first noticed by Dave Holland of City Beat, who tweeted the picture. The Tribune was quick to apologize.


I dig this Pope. Rush Limbaugh be damned, I love this guy. This is the Pope I have been waiting for my whole life. New sheriff in town. Very decent man. Time to kick ass and take names.

Megyn Kelly. Yawn.

Tony Soprano, er, Chris Christie's, main political consigliere David Wildstein has apparently bought up all the choice websites of his don's potential political opponents. In other places this kind of behavior would stink like a Jersey waste management company but in Trenton it's called business as usual.

He may be a real lovable guy and everybody loves a fat man but what do you get when you dig down deep? First the vindictive bridge scandal, now this. Oh New Jersey, you are the best.

Interesting to see more intrusive surveillance and a ratcheting down on civil liberties post Snowden in both France and Japan. No one wants to be the last police state on the block.

One of the more interesting parts of Judge Leon's ruling was his calling bullshit on the Justice Department's stance that the defendants in the surveillance lacked standing because who knew if Verizon was actually getting bugged?
In his ruling, Leon rejected the government’s argument that Klayman and a co-plaintiff — the father of an NSA cryptologist killed in Afghanistan in 2011 — lacked standing to bring the suit because they were customers of Verizon subsidiary Verizon Wireless, which has not been publicly revealed as taking part in the program. “The government,” he said, says it has created a “comprehensive” database — “in which case, the NSA must have collected metadata from Verizon Wireless, the single largest wireless carrier in the United States.” Yet, at the same time, he wrote, the government asserts that the plaintiffs lack standing “based on the theoretical possibility” that the NSA has not collected Verizon’s records. “Candor of this type defies common sense and does not exactly inspire confidence!” he wrote. To draw an analogy, he wrote, omitting Verizon Wireless, AT&T or Sprint “would be like omitting John, Paul and George” and building a “Ringo-only database.”
This is the kind of sophistry and gamesmanship on the part of our government that makes me frankly, sick. Thank you Wyden, thank you Udall, thanks you Leahy, thank you Judge Richard Leon.

Blast viewing is way up in the last two months. Not near as high as it was pre tantrum but well over twelve hundred people a day and steadily climbing. Maybe some day I could write for a living. That would be nice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The church has long preached to the pews that money is only good if it is given and that we do not reach heaven by Jesus alone but also by doing some works (which means being of service....which is how the church views Christ). Protestants are more about being saved.

Catholic Christianity has always been a "socialist" based religion as it come to the poor, however as we both know there were several centuries where its actions (wars etc) were more of this world than the next.

Also I thought you would enjoy my latest gripe......People who want to keep the Christ in Christmas!

Seems they forget that the time of year (not exactly the date) has been celebrated long before Christ's birth (which he actually was probably born in the spring) by pagans as the Winter Solstice and of course the Jews as Hanukah.

So for my Christian friends its Merry Christmas............for everyone else Happy Holidays ...with respect for their beliefs.

Gee, I hope I don't get excommunicated!!!!