Wednesday, February 26, 2014

NSA and British Equivalent Hacking or Harassing


Here's an interesting story in which a Guardian journalist writing about Snowden saw his words disappear from the page. Luke Harding tells his story on Democracy Now! That is, the NSA may be breaking into computers and editing texts.

Harding "says paragraphs of his writing mysteriously disappeared when he was working on his latest book, "The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man." "I wrote that Snowden’s revelations had damaged U.S. tech companies and their bottom line. Something odd happened," wrote Harding in The Guardian. "The paragraph I had just written began to self-delete. The cursor moved rapidly from the left, gobbling text. I watched my words vanish." 

According to Harding, the NSA or the British equivalent have not changed any of their practices since the Snowden revelations.  He calls Obama's reforms, "tweaks." That may be an overstatement.

And then there is the interrogation of one of Snowden's human rights attorneys trying to enter the United Kingdom. 

What a job! Think of it. Harassing people is actually a job that someone does. How exactly does that habitual engagement damage the imagination? The flow of body fluids? The lifting of a hand? The turning of a foot? How does that habitual engagement affect the way one kisses someone's lips?  Touches an infant? Dream? Reach for a calendar? Can it get into one's blinking? 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Is Washington D. C. Incorporated?

Research on Corporations and How They Navigate Their Execs into Washington to Influence Decisions Made in Washington. (This ongoing list or information starting February 17, 2014)

To begin, I found the following information in a recent article published in Republic Report, a journal that promises to explore how corporations corrupt democracy:

Stefan Selig, a Bank of America investment banker nominated to become the Under Secretary for International Trade at the Department of Commerce, received more than $9 million in bonus pay as he was nominated to join the administration in November. The bonus pay came in addition to the $5.1 million in incentive pay awarded to Selig last year.
Michael Froman, the current U.S. Trade Representative, received over $4 million as part of multiple exit payments when he left CitiGroup to join the Obama administration. Froman told Senate Finance Committee members last summer that he donated approximately 75 percent of the $2.25 million bonus he received for his work in 2008 to charity. CitiGroup also gave Froman a $2 million payment in connection to his holdings in two investment funds, which was awarded “in recognition of [Froman's] service to Citi in various capacities since 1999.”
Many large corporations with a strong incentive to influence public policy award bonuses and other incentive pay to executives if they take jobs within the government. CitiGroup, for instance, provides an executive contract that awards additional retirement pay upon leaving to take a “full time high level position with the U.S. government or regulatory body.” Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, the Blackstone Group, Fannie Mae, Northern Trust, and Northrop Grumman are among the other firms that offer financial rewards upon retirement for government service. (See the full article.)

Additional Sites of Interest

Citigroup exec bonuses for getting into influential position in government not an anomaly. (Article in Pogo or Project on Government Oversight).

Ralph Nader on Corporations  (Article in On the Issues)
Every single agency and department in Washington is overwhelmingly controlled by corporations
They have 10,000 Political Action Committees. They put their high executives in high government positions. They have 35,000 full-time lobbyists. Just imagine that--even the Labor Department is not controlled by trade unions--it’s controlled by corporations.
It isn’t just the government under the CONTROL of corporations--the government IS the Corporation now! The corporation IS the government! 
That’s the kind of thing that Franklin Roosevelt called “fascism.” In 1938 he said to Congress, “When government is controlled by private economic power, that is fascism”
Source: 2008 Green Presidential Debate moderated by Cindy Sheehan , Jan 13, 2008
 Top Corporate Lobbyists in Washington (Article in the Daily Beast)
 To find out Capitol Hill’s coziest companies, The Daily Beast began by looking at the Fortune 100—the biggest, richest companies in America. [They] then did a simple ranking of the number of lobbyists on each company’s payroll in 2010, and their total lobbying expenditures for 2010, with data from the Center for Responsive Politics. AT&T lands in the top five. Click here to find out the company spending the most to bend legislators’ ears.
 February 17, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Why Jesus Called a Certain Man a Fool

Martin Luther King Jr. is being celebrated at this time. Here's a speech I never heard before and thought I'd pass it on if anyone chances on this Website.

Saturday, February 1, 2014