” In a letter sent today to the United States Congress, an international coalition of non-profit organizations called upon the U.S. government to protect the privacy and freedoms of not only its citizens, but of people everywhere. As news of the alarmingly broad reach and scope of America’s surveillance program reverberates around the globe, now is the time for the United States to pass formal privacy safeguards to protect the billions of foreign Internet users whose communications are stored in U.S. servers or whose data travels across U.S. networks.
EFF joined more than 50 NGOs—including European Digital Rights, Association For Progressive Communications, Center for Technology and Society (Brazil) and Thai Netizen Network—in signing the letter, which was organized through Best Bits, a global network of civil society organizations. In its letter, the coalition also expressed grave concern over information-sharing between U.S. authorities and the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium and New Zealand.”
How can America continue to lay claim to being the custodian of the internet and the guardian of free speech when the world looks on and sees nothing but a massive violation of privacy rights , both of Americans and themselves ? The hypocrisy is plain for all to see , even if DC refuses to acknowledge it .
This screenshot shows the debt at 10:17pm eastern on February 26, 2013 . Click the graphic for realtime debt .
” Some members of Congress apparently don’t like to be reminded about how much debt the country continues to rack up.California Rep. Maxine Waters and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison both issued complaints about the displays, according to video of the hearing.”
” The Pentagon notified Congress on Wednesday it will be furloughing its civilian workforce of 800,000 employees if sequestration goes into effect March 1.
Defense officials have warned lawmakers that sequestration will devastate the military and lead to a hollow force, but the civilian furloughs will be one of the first major impacts felt by the across-the-board cuts.
The Pentagon furloughs will affect civilians across the country. Pentagon officials have said that civilians could face up to 22 days of furloughs, one per week, through the end of the fiscal year in September. The employees would receive 30 days’ notice before being furloughed.”
Of course the first question that leaps to mind is , If the pentagon can cut it’s man-hours by twenty percent and stay in business why are we employing the better part of a million people in the first place ? Is the Pentagon in the “make work” business too , just like every other public entity that we know of ?
Well , duh , we’ve answered our own question . It is a government agency isn’t it ? why should it be any different ? But it’s all to the good we should say . Cut the civilian part of Defense … It is the soldiers we care about , not the Georgetown and Virginia suburban desk jockeys.
This has the stench of Chicago all over it . Panetta and Obama’s toadies in the upper echelon of the Joint Chiefs are behind this cheap attempt at manipulating public opinion .
” President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address included few new or unexpected proposals, but many factually incorrect or misleading assertions. Here are the lowlights.
“Corporate profits have rocketed to all-time highs – but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged.” Wages and incomes may not always be the best measurement, because they leave out benefits, which have increased overall compensation over several decades. Regardless, Obama chose his timeframe carefully, because over the past four years, middle class income has actually declined.
“In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars’ worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year.” Obama is referring to the sequester. He omits the fact that he (or his White House) proposed the sequester, and he personally signed it, with the hope of using it to push Republicans into passing higher tax rates on high earners.
Illustration By Lisa Benson*
Editor’s Note: This cartoon is a bit out of date , but still pertinent , the debt according to the US Debt Clock now stands at $16,519,646,395,560 and climbing rapidly . Warning … It climbs so fast that my number is out of date as you read this .
” My latest Townhall column is called, 7 Reasons Conservatives Don’t Trust the Republican Establishment. Here’s an excerpt from the column.
Just as moderates are completely unrepresented in a Democratic Party that’s dominated by liberals, movement conservatives often don’t feel represented by the Republican Party. At first glance, this seems rather odd since most Republicans in Congress are conservative. However, it’s a natural reaction to the Republican establishment that has its hands welded to many of the GOP’s levers of power. The Republican Party may be mostly conservative, but there are a multitude of reasons that you can’t trust the establishment Republicans as far as you can throw them. “
Illustration By Michael Ramirez