Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for August 21st, 2008

You are presumed guilty until found innocent by an agency of the State

Posted by Charles II on August 21, 2008

I don’t pay any attention to the NYT, and heard about this on Rachel’s radio show.

Eric Lichtblau, NYT (via ICH):

A Justice Department plan would loosen restrictions on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion, Democratic lawmakers briefed on the details said Wednesday…

Mr. Mukasey emphasized that the F.B.I. would still need a “valid purpose” for an investigation, and that it could not be “simply based on somebody’s race, religion, or exercise of First Amendment rights.”…

The Democratic senators [Feingold, Durbin, Kennedy, Whitehouse] said the draft plan appeared to allow the F.B.I. to go even further in collecting information on Americans connected to “foreign intelligence” without any factual predicate. They also said there appeared to be few constraints on how the information would be shared with other agencies.

Michael German, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union and a former F.B.I. agent, said the plan appeared to open the door still further to the use of data-mining profiles in tracking terrorism.

As Rachel said, this is how the Stasi operated.

It seems the PATRIOT Act made this all “legal.”

And there are no Democrats in Washington holding hunger strikes, no one willing to chain themselves to the podium to protest.

Nothing at all. Not even a whimper.

Posted in abuse of power, fascism, PATRIOT Act, totalitarianism, wiretapping | 2 Comments »

The pwnership society

Posted by Charles II on August 21, 2008

Daniel Howden, London Independent shows us what private property means under corporate government:

Peru is considering sending in the army to break up protests by Amazonian Indians who claim the government is preparing a massive land grab in the country’s remote jungles.

Indigenous groups have blockaded roads and a river and set up pickets at energy installations to protest changes in the law which would make it easier for commercial interests to buy up collectively owned tribal lands in the northern regions of Peru.

“Indigenous people are defending themselves against government aggression,” said an Amazon Indian rights campaigner, Alberto Pizango….

Relations between indigenous groups and the President Alan Garcia have become increasingly hostile as the government has sought to exploit what are thought to be rich oil and gas deposits in lands owned by Amazon Indians. Energy companies have pushed deep into supposedly protected areas in the past year, leading to clashes with some of the most remote tribal peoples left in the world.

Posted in Latin America, Oil, wrong way to go about it | Comments Off on The pwnership society

Armaggedon in the 8 oz. box: CBO report on Social Security is out

Posted by Charles II on August 21, 2008

Shorter report: The sky is falling, but it’s made of air, which is pretty soft.

The reason for their reduction in the predicted shortfall is that they assume more immigrants of working age will come here and that wages will actually rise.

Posted in Social Security | 1 Comment »

Silver-Spoon McCain Owns So Many Houses, Even He Can’t Keep Track Of Them All

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 21, 2008

I kid thee not:

Days after he cracked that being rich in the U.S. meant earning at least $5 million a year, Republican presidential candidate John McCain acknowledged that he wasn’t sure how many houses he and his wealthy wife actually own.

“I think — I’ll have my staff get to you,” McCain responded to a question posed by Politico, according to a story Thursday on the publication’s Web site. “It’s condominiums where — I’ll have them get to you.”

Later, the McCain campaign told Politico that McCain and his wife, Cindy, have at least four in three states, Arizona, California and Virginia. Newsweek recently estimated the two owned at least seven properties.

Talk about elitist Republicans!

Obama’s people took advantage of McCain’s setting up the T-Ball for them with this ad and these comments from Obama:

“Now think about that – I guess if you think that being rich means you gotta make five million dollars, and if you don’t’ know how many houses you have, then it’s not surprising that you might think the economy is fundamentally strong!”

“But if you’re like me and you’ve got one house – or you were like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so that they don’t lose their home, you might have a different perspective.”


Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, eedjits, John McCain, Silver Spoon Squad | 7 Comments »

News Flash: Modest Dress Doesn’t Stop Sexual Harrassment – But It May Well Encourage It

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 21, 2008

Ziska did a post on the inverse relationship between dressing modestly and sexual harrassment (and the degree of control that men have over their bodily impulses) that’s caused much comment. Here’s a taste from the Bitch PhD link that was the cornerstone of Zuska’s post:
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in feminism, Fundies, rights, women's issues | 5 Comments »

GOP to vets: shut up and shoot

Posted by Charles II on August 21, 2008

Ben Adler, Politico (via t/o)

Forty-four Democrats, but no Republicans, are co-sponsoring a bill aimed at making it easier for military veterans to register to vote.

Unlike the usual targets of many voter registration and turnout efforts – minorities, low-income voters and young people – veterans typically lean hard toward the GOP. President Bush carried 55 percent of the veteran vote in 2004, and a recent Rasmussen poll had vets favoring John McCain over Barack Obama by nearly 20 points.

So why are Obama, six other Senate Democrats and 37 of their House colleagues backing a bill that would allow outside groups to conduct voter registration efforts inside veterans hospitals?

“Barack Obama is committed to increasing opportunities for veterans to exercise the very rights they fought to protect, regardless of who they are likely to support,” said Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan.

No Republicans! Not one!

It’s a shame that so few vets have caught on that the GOP is all talk and no walk.

Posted in Republicans acting badly, veterans | 3 Comments »

Meet Yoda, The Gifted Kitty

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 21, 2008

He’s a Korat, he has four ears, and he’s got loving catstaff to look after him:

Valerie, 65, said: ‘We were at a pub on the south side of Chicago with a group of friends when we noticed a small cage sitting on the bar and people passing around a kitten.

‘He had been part of a large litter and the owners were looking to find a home for him.

‘Ted and I had just lost a cat that was our pet for over 20 years, and we were sure we were done with cats.

‘When he was passed around he reached for Ted, crawled up into the crook of his neck and fell asleep – Ted was a goner.

‘It was a done deal when the kitten made himself at home on Ted’s shoulder.

‘We decided to name him Yoda. I understand the Star Wars character was based on George Lucas’ cat.’

Beautiful kitty, purr unto me.

Posted in cats, Good Things | 4 Comments »

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