Tag Archives: obama

“We’ve Done the Impossible, and That Makes Us Mighty!”

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“The Alliance said they were gonna waltz through Serenity Valley. And we choked ‘em with those words. We’ve done the impossible, and that makes us mighty! Just a little while longer. Our angels are gonna be soaring overhead, raining fire on those arrogant Khags. So you hold.”- Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds ”Firefly”

So went one of the opening lines of the pilot to the short-run TV show, Firefly. Of course, the rebel “brown coat” Independents’ leadership never sent in the “angels” (starships) because the fight was “too hot” and their foot soldiers were ordered to “lay down arms”.

Shortly thereafter, the Independents’ revolt against the dictatorial “Alliance” was defeated.

Larry Summers for Fed Chairman, because the economy isn’t bad enough yet.

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Larry Summers, erstwhile Treasury Secretary and President of Harvard University, is in the news again. Ryan Grimm of the Huffington Post is reporting the President is considering Summers for the Federal Reserve’s top job, much to the consternation of virtually everyone outside the hedge fund community. Back in May, I wrote a piece when Summers was rumored to be in the running for the job, and I feel that the piece is even more relevant given the president’s apparent desire to ruin the economy even more by appointing Larry Summers to chair the Fed. After all, when you’ve destroyed your university’s endowment, gambled its cash reserves on derivatives, ensured that derivatives would remain deregulated so your friends could gamble at 40:1 leveraging, why not move on to managing our monetary policy next?  What could possibly go wrong?!

Without further adieu, I give you Larry Summers: Failure will get you everywhere, printed below. The piece originally appeared on dustinstockton.com.  Enjoy!

The Inglorious Exploits of Dear Leader, Episode 2

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Our Dear Leader, President Obama, is back to the grind with an Executive Order, the HIV Care Continuum Initiative, in which he claims that the authority vested in him as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America empowers him to recommend HIV screening for all Americans ages 15 to 65.  That’s right, all Americans, ages 15 to 65, must bow to the recommendations of Dear Leader and undergo their recommended HIV screening.  Though the total number of Americans estimated to be living with HIV is just 1.5 million, with breast and prostate cancer both topping out at 2.762 million and 2.5 million apiece, Dear Leader is recommending HIV screening for all Americans 15 to 65.

Makes sense, especially given that cancer prevalence from all invasive cancer sites is estimated at over 12,549,000 Americans.  Nevertheless, priorities are what Dear Leader says they are.  With 600,000 deaths from heart disease annually, or 1 in every 4 deaths, it might make more sense to recommend screening for that health issue, but Dear Leader is fixated on HIV screening.

 

Truth Up: NSA Edition

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It’s your daily re-truthing, and today we’re focused on the ever-evolving NSA spying stories.  The First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles has joined forces with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Human Rights Watch, People for the American Way, and other organizations to sue the NSA for violating their First Amendment right of association by illegally collecting their phone records.  Represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the plaintiffs are suing the NSA over its bulk telephone records collection program, the same program that the New York Times characterized as criminal.

Revelations continue to come about the NSA’s spying programs, particularly the existence of an NSA program named FAIRVIEW, which is an “upstream” program designed to collect information before it even reaches the Internet.  According to NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, FAIRVIEW is intended to “own the Internet.”  FAIRVIEW, according to Drake, is “just a name, that at the highest level means to own the Internet” by enabling the NSA to tap fiber optic cables to access information securely before it even reaches the Internet.

Am I The Only One Seeing This

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I’m a little worried about my comprehension.  As far as this immigration bill goes, I really don’t understand either side of the argument very well.

On the one side we have big government Republicans and the lockstep Democrats (impressive synchronization) pushing for a system that “rewards” immigrants.  Do we really believe that subjecting a bunch of immigrants to big government is going to make them grateful to us over time?  From my vantage point, that seems idiotic.

Imagine that you’ve been living outside the reach of big government, with its ever-changing tax policies and a federal tax code that’s almost four million words long.  MOST of the illegal immigrants I’ve interacted with have struck me as incredibly hard-working and moral people who are figuring out a way to live fruitful and happy lives outside the eye of the federal government.

Truthing Up: News from Around the Web

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Welcome to Truthing Up, your re-truthing stop for the truth of government overreach, abuse, and civil liberties violations from around the web.  Truth Up will be a regular feature here on Liberty Pulse, and a reliable means for you to get an overview of the government’s advances against your liberties and your bottom line.

Zero Hedge has detailed the NSA’s efforts to include its code into Google’s Android OS, which runs three-quarters of the world’s smartphones. The code, which has been christened Security Enhancements for Android, was created by the NSA to prevent hackers and marketers from gaining access to personal or corporate data on a smartphone.  Agency spokesman Vanee Vines outlined the NSA’s plans to include the code on every device that runs Android, from phones, tablets, televisions, cars, and other devices.  Vines would neither confirm nor deny the code’s role in the NSA’s PRISM program.

They Know You’re Reading This!

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“I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you, or even your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President if I had a personal e-mail,” Snowden said, revealing himself to be the source of recent leaks exposing the extent of the NSA’s domestic surveillance program.

Snowden has been employed by the NSA and the CIA. More recently, as an employee of a corporation that contracted with the CIA, he has had “privileged access” to information that these law enforcement agencies have culled from e-mails, mobile phones, and other technologies. During his career, he found that the NSA’s mission was to gather any information – including domestic communications – that it could.

Snowden proved what many believers in liberty already knew: that if government is unchecked, it will continue to grab more and more power for itself. Knowledge, after all, is power. That includes the knowledge of which websites you have visited, who you call regularly, and what you told your friends in an e-mail. The NSA “is focused on getting intelligence wherever it can by any means possible,” said Snowden; and while that used to be “narrowly tailored as foreign intelligence gathered overseas,” that has changed.

A Case Against CISPA and for the Internet

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Chicago April 18, 2013 – The story to come out of Boston is still in flux, and we are only now putting together the pieces of what happened in the aftermath of that terrible event. It will take much longer to piece together what preceded it. But we now know that within several hours of the attack, law enforcement had named a “person of interest” (an amorphous word that allows media and law enforcement alike to get around calling someone a “suspect” when there is a dearth of evidence against him): a 20-year-old Saudi Arabian student who was here on a student visa. Lest anyone think he was merely profiled for being Saudi Arabian, he was behaving suspiciously, according to witnesses: when the bomb went off, he ran away from it. It did not take long to clear him of any wrongdoing. But first, law enforcement had to ransack his apartment in Revere, Mass., and interrogate his roommate for several hours.

Within 48 hours of the Boston Marathon bombing, two other communities of laymen were conducting their own investigations. The first, Reddit.com, produced 14 threads (each with thousands of comments) over the course of two days. Many of those threads were dedicated to disseminating information about the bombing, and about relief efforts. But some of the comments were directed towards aggregating information, any information, that would become useful in identifying the perpetrator. Soon, the site was inundated with videos and photographs of the scene in the lead-up to the bombing, and in the moments thereafter. When law enforcement revealed that the bomb was likely transported in a black backpack, with silver reflective strips, the pictures were combed for information, in a project dubbed “Where’s Waldo?” by reddit moderators.

Obama right: Boston Marathon bombing possibly not terrorism

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TAMPA, April 16, 2013 – Conservative critics immediately criticized President Obama’s initial statement about the Boston Marathon bombing because he did not classify the crime an act of terrorism.

“We still don’t know who did this or why, and people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But, make no mistake; we will get to the bottom of this,” said the president.

This libertarian doesn’t get to say this very often about any president, but Obama was right. The bombing was a heinous crime, but there is no way to know if this was an act of terrorism until it is determined who perpetrated it and, more importantly, why. That’s because a mass murder is not necessarily an act of terrorism, unless it is carried out for a political purpose. According to Title 22, Chapter 38 of the United States Code,

“…the term ‘terrorism’ means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents;”

UN says Obama’s US drones violate Pakistan’s sovereignty – 400 confirmed civilian deaths

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ISLAMABAD (AP) — The head of a U.N.team investigating casualties from U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan declared after a secret research trip to the country that the attacks violate Pakistan’s sovereignty.

Ben Emmerson, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, said the Pakistani government made clear to him that it does not consent to the strikes — a position that has been disputed by U.S. officials.

President Barack Obama has stepped up covert CIA drone strikes targeting al-Qaida and Taliban militants in Pakistan’s tribal region along the Afghan border since he took office in 2009.

The strikes have caused growing controversy because of the secrecy surrounding them and claims that they have caused significant civilian casualties — allegations denied by the United States.

According to a U.N. statement that Emmerson emailed to The Associated Press on Friday, the Pakistani government told him it has confirmed at least 400 civilian deaths by U.S. drones on its territory. The statement was initially released on Thursday, following the investigator’s three-day visit to Pakistan, which ended Wednesday. The visit was kept secret until Emmerson left.

Imtiaz Gul, an expert on Pakistani militancy who is helping Emmerson’s team, said Friday that the organization he runs, the Centre for Research and Security Studies, gave the U.N. investigator during his visit case studies on 25 strikes that allegedly killed around 200 civilians.

Read full article here

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