Politicians Are Poody Heads

and they're not the only ones…

CISPA update…

CISPA started out as a laser pointed at cyber criminals and has been modified to be a bludgeon aimed at everyone.  The problem is the vagueness of the wording.  Laws are made purposefully vague so they can be used at the wielder’s discretion, and are meant to function as much as a threat as an actual instrument.  The House has passed an extremely sloppy version of the bill, and the Senate is already hard at work making it even looser.

Some people are putting their faith in the President, who has stated quite firmly that he will veto it.  In case you’ve forgotten, that’s the same guy who said he’d veto NDAA (and didn’t).

Sources:  Cnet News, Forbes, Mother Jones, Newser, Scripd, The Guardian

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Obama’s new slogan

Because you’ll believe anything…

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Senate decides torture ineffective

The Senate Intelligence Committee just took three years to find out what the experts told them before they started:  torture only gets you what you want to hear.  Of course, they put it differently.  They said they found no evidence that “enhanced interrogation techniques” have produced any counter-terrorism breakthroughs so far.

Meaning, what — that maybe it will next time?  What a bunch of poody heads…

Sources:  Edmonton JournalNewserReuters



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I, Romney…

Let’s see…Mitt Romney is stiff, inarticulate, uneasy around humans, and often blurts out non sequiturs.  Sound like any robot you know?  According to the Obama team, the main weapon they’re going to use when fighting Romney is Romney.  Since the current POTUS is the exact opposite of the Mittster, that should be an easy battle.  But the GOP is fighting back with the same ammunition.  They’re calling Obama slick, smarmy, and a brainiac, and that seems to be selling with their base.

The same people who, 12 years ago, wanted a President they could “have a beer with” are now saying that’s the last thing they want leading the country.  Could that be because they finally took a look at what GW left us?

Sources: New York Times, Salon

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Just a note for our republican friends…

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Bear Falls From Tree

zorbear, this one’s for you. But don’t worry, the bear wasn’t hurt.

A black bear was tranquilized after it wandered onto the University of Colorado campus in Boulder.

The 200-pound animal was spotted near university housing on April 26. One woman said it brushed past her as she was putting money into a parking meter.

CU Independent photographer Andy Duann captured the astonishing images of the bear falling from the brush onto a pad that workers had positioned beneath the tree to ensure the animal had a soft landing spot.

Source: Huffington Post

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Gov. Walker Lost Most Jobs in Nation

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker wasted no time after taking office in pushing a massive amount of Conservative legislation through the Republican State Congress.  This resulted in a loss of business for the state and several recall elections.  Now we discover that Wisconsin lost more jobs than any other state in America.

I have relatives in Wisconsin, and they tell me that the mood of the voters is getting more and more hostile.  Poody heads will roll, cheese hats and all…

Sources:  Christian Science Monitor, Newser, Politifact, Scott Walker

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Profits over people, bro…

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Oh, yeah…

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TSA screeners arrested for smuggling

Seven people, including four TSA employees, were caught assisting a drug smuggling operation at Los Angeles International Airport.   They apparently looked the other way as shipments of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine stuffed into carry-on bags passed through their X-ray machines.

“This case underscores the unique nature of 21st century drug smuggling,” said Briane Grey the acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA office in Los Angeles. “The defendants traded on their positions at one the world’s most crucial airport security checkpoints and used their special access for criminal ends.”

So this is why we gave up our privacy and convenience at the airport?  This is government controlled security?  It certainly looks like it…

Sources: Daily Mail, UPI

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Perfect match!

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Marine to be discharged for publicly refusing to obey the President

The usual headline for this story is: “Marine given dishonorable discharge for criticizing Obama”.  Unfortunately for those who are interested in the truth, that’s not actually the story.  In fact, not much in that sentence is correct.  Yes, Sgt. Gary Stein, is a Marine and will probably be discharged (it hasn’t happened yet).   But the discharge won’t be classified as dishonorable.  Although it’s called “other-than-honorable”, that’s because there are several classes of discharge (for reasons relating to medical, personal emergencies, etc) of which only one is called “honorable”.   [There are five general classes of discharge: Honorable; General (under honorable conditions); Under Other than Honorable Conditions (UOTHC); Bad Conduct; and Dishonorable. The first three are given when a service member is administratively discharged, while the latter two are the outcome of the judicial process.]

Also, the discharge isn’t for criticizing Obama.  What happened was Sgt. Stein wrote on his Facebook page that he wasn’t going to follow all the orders he might receive from the President.  Because the President is in charge of the military, that’s the sort of thing that cannot be allowed.  For one thing, it’s against the rules all service personnel agree to when they sign up.  Since Stein had been in the service for 10 years, he had to know about that.

Personally, I think the military over-reacted.  When called on it, Sgt. Stein changed the posting and apologized for writing it.  In a case like that I think that perhaps a reduction in rank (and pay grade) would be sufficient punishment and still show other military people that the folks in charge won’t put up with that sort of crap.  But they didn’t ask me and what’s done is done.  Of course there’s going to be considerable backlash from the conservative members of the armed forces, to say nothing of the screaming the civilians will do, but with any luck the bozos who made this decision won’t learn anything from it.  After all, once a poody head…well, you know.

Sources:  UPIMSNBC

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Christmas for the GOP…

Republicans have said that their goal is to make the economy so bad that all immigrants just leave.  Looks like they got their wish, according to the LA Times.

Between 2005 and 2010, 1.4-million Mexicans immigrated to the United States, less than half the number that migrated from 1995 to 2000. At the same time, the number of Mexicans and their children who moved to Mexico in the same five-year period rose to 1.4 million, about double the number that did so from 1995 to 2000.

Aren’t you glad that people are losing their homes and children are starving for a good cause?

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White House invents yet another spy agency

Because, like, for sure, we didn’t have enough of them already.

The Defense Clandestine Service, approved by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last week, would work closely with the CIA at a time when the military and spy agency increasingly focus on similar threats, the senior Defense Department official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Don’t you feel safer now?

Source: New York TimesUPIWashington PostWikipedia

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Homeland Security Nixes Fake Guccis

And fake Louis Vuittons, fake Nikes, fake Polos, and so on. Federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security raided a large flea market in Baltimore, MD, after a 2 1/2 year long investigation.
Five people were indicted.

The market for counterfeit goods and pirated and unlicensed merchandise has become widespread, especially with the explosion of online marketplaces.

It is a practice that deprives companies of revenue as well as debases the quality of brand names, said Ned T. Himmelrich, who heads the intellectual property and technology practice group at Baltimore law firm Gordon Feinblatt LLC. Companies have been working with federal authorities to crack down on the illegal activity, he said.

Yes, I’m sure that counterfeiting does, indeed, “deprive companies of revenue and debases the quality of brand names,” but why is this the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security? Don’t they have anything more important to do? How much did it cost us, the US taxpayer, to mount this multi-year investigation? Will the companies whose goods were being counterfeited pay back at least some of the taxpayer dollars spent going after the counterfeiters? Somehow, I sincerely doubt it.

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