Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for April 20th, 2012

The lawman above the law

Posted by Charles II on April 20, 2012

Via Ritholtz.

(Image from The Atlantic)

Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic:

Lt. [John] Pike reportedly disobeyed a direct order to deploy that day without riot gear. He carried with him a pepper spray disbursement mechanism bigger and more powerful than what UC Davis police are authorized to carry and use.

Apparently untrained in using that disbursement device, he shot pepper spray at a distance far closer than is recommended in its instructions for safe use. While claiming that he was afraid for his safety due to being encircled by students, Lt. Pike failed to perceive the openings in the circle confirmed by video evidence, and apparently did not know that one of his fellow officers was traversing the circle, prisoners in tow, without a problem. In planning and executing the raid, Lt. Pike made other errors that investigators judged partly responsible for the needless escalation. And one graduate student present that day insists Lt. Pike said that no one would be pepper sprayed by police unless they turned violent, information passed to the whole group via the human mic system. Finally, Lt. Pike reportedly failed to follow standard debriefing protocol.

So what happens to Lt. Pike?

Once placed on administrative leave, he was subject to an internal affairs investigation. The law requires that its findings alone can bear on personnel actions…

Their method and findings are secret.

The public never gets to read them.

And he may never get any punishment out of this unless one considers paid vacation to be punishment.


Posted in corruption, crimes, impunity, Occupy movement | 1 Comment »

15-20 Trillion communications: the national security state

Posted by Charles II on April 20, 2012

It all depends on what you mean by “intercepted.” It all depends on what you mean by “you.”

William Binney, the NSA cryptomathematician who oversaw the design of the first (and constitutional) intercept program and more recently blew the whistle on the massive data storage facility in Bluffdale, estimates that the US government has recorded and stored 15-20 Trillion communications between US citizens.

In this Democracy Now interview, he describes how what began as a legitimate attempt to intercept foreign communications mutated into a system that monitors every phone call, e-mail, blog post, tweet, electronic business transaction, FAX, etc. that goes out within the US.

As James Bamford said, much of this is done by private telecommunications companies, which in turn subcontract to companies like Narus and Verint, which Bamford describes as “shady” and says they have ties to Israeli intelligence. They haven’t even designed an estimate of a chart for what the potential for abuse of this kind of unsupervised snooping could end up in, but the Murdoch phone hacking scandal gives one a sense of what it would look like on a very, very small scale. The former head of Verint is a fugitive from the FBI on a number of criminal charges.

Click for more
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in NSA eavesdropping, wiretapping | 2 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on April 20, 2012

Special Guest Cat: Horatio is the barn cat at historic Firestone Farm in Greenfield Village. He gets regular vet visits but is otherwise self-sufficient, thriving on a steady diet of mice and pigeons. He enjoys attention from visitors, though he made it clear he does not like belly rubs.

Friday Cat Blogging - Special Guest Cat

Friday Cat Blogging - Special Guest Cat

Posted in Friday Cat Blogging, guest cats | 4 Comments »

I Am Mitt, Destroyer Of Jobs – Especially Non-Mormon Jobs?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 20, 2012

While Mitt Romney was grandstanding at a factory that shut down under Bush the Younger and pretending it closed during Obama’s tenure, this article appeared at Gawker:

Bain Capital, a job creating powerhouse established by America’s number one job creator Mitt Romney, is being sued by a group of people that claim they were fired for not being part of the Mormon church (LDS). This rogue group of secular sweat hogs were threatening the very foundation of ethics and morals Bain was built on. It was time to call out Romney Rooter and snake out these infiltrators of normalcy and make sure that the pains in Bain go mainly down the drain.

The filing can be seen at Courthouse News, which is where Gawker probably got the story.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

%d bloggers like this: