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bito On January - 17 - 2013

The place to post your comments without interrupting the single topic posts. However, be mindful of the strict rules!!

If you find the rules here are too confining, try the Morning Blog.





You know the rules, now follow them! Please?

Every so often I intrude TO/OT with a personal pick of a site that I find important that I feel needs to be shared and not lost in the shuffle of the constant flow of thoughts on The Planet.

And yet with globalization, we seem to have developed a strange apprehension about the efficacy of our ability to apply the innovation and hard work necessary to successfully compete in a complex security and economic environment. Further, we have misunderstood interdependence as a weakness rather than recognizing it as a strength. The key to sustaining our competitive edge, at home or on the world stage, is credibility — and credibility is a difficult capital to foster. It cannot be won through intimidation and threat, it cannot be sustained through protectionism or exclusion. Credibility requires engagement, strength, and reliability — imaginatively applied through the national tools of development, diplomacy, and defense.

The Y Article

A National Security Narrative



Written by bito

Was once a handsome frog until kissed by an ugly corporate princess.----- Like a well honed knife, the internet can be a wonderful and useful tool. It can be used to prepare and serve a delicious meal or it can be used to cause harm. peace

12,661 Responses so far.

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  1. Nirek says:

    In the news, another shooting in St. Louis.
    I wonder when something will be done about people who shouldn’t have guns getting them?

  2. Kalima, I think it would be very difficult to imagine humanitarian rebels that employ Islamist extremists. Separating them would indeed be tricky, I would say nearly impossible.

    The “red line,” was drawn because of the possible use by Assad, of chemical weapons. My question is, what’s the big difference between limited chemical weapons use or conventional weapons. The end result is death, no matter which type of weapons are used. Why draw a line in the sand between the two?

    What would happen if we did not intervene, except for a not so nice reputation around the world? Can we, by intervention stop the murder of innocents? What would change if the rebels win? As I said, I seriously question the humanitarianism of these rebels. Ideology is nearly impossible to stop, or stop from spreading. What if these rebels are yet undecided about joining al Qaida?

    • SallyT says:

      KT, personally I say before our government assists or invades another country for using chemical weapons on its people, we stay home and invade Monsanto! My opinion for all it worth.

    • Kalima says:

      KT, in 1993, Syria was one of the countries not to sign a pact to ban production or use of chemical weapons, known as “Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction”. In other words they were outlawed whether Syria joined or not. I saw people dying here in Tokyo after our Sarin gas attack, it is not an immediate death and horrifying to witness.

      I don’t know what would happen if you didn’t intervene except that the body count would and will increase, and about the rebels who joined extreme Islamist groups, I would think that their beliefs were already leaning that way before this all started.

      As an interesting btw. As of June 2013, 189 states are party to the CWC. Israel and Myanmar have signed but not yet complied with the convention.

      • Kalima, there is no obvious solution in this. I don’t envy the job that Obama has before him. I think killing is killing, and the method used isn’t that relevant. The people are still dead.

        I simply don’t trust the rebels to be any different than Assad himself. Things could go either way, and this is a civil war. I question the good sense of a foreign nation getting involved in another nation’s civil war. We’ve been there before, more than once. I’m thinking Vietnam. I don’t think any involvement in this day and age would be the scale of warfare that Vietnam was, but there is always that possibility. Look how long we were in Iraq? What good came out of that. There are still daily killings and sectarian strife. Car bombs and suicide bombers are still there.

        I know I am taking a hard line here, and maybe I’m wrong. It will take greater minds than mine to make this thing better for all.

        • Kalima says:

          I agree that it’s a huge decision for your President and not one he will make lightly I’m sure, but as I mentioned before, NATO was formed after WW2 to protect innocent civilians in allied member states and worldwide, from what is happening in Syria today. Like you, I’m glad it’s a decision I don’t have to make because apart from toppling the monster, someone close to him finishing him off or arresting Assad for war crimes, I can’t see an end game either right now.

          The only thing we can all thank our lucky stars for is that we don’t have a President Romney in your WH.

  3. How The US May Use Military Force In Syria

    “For the last two years, the bloody conflict in Syria has careened toward a tipping point.
    Ladies and Gentlemen, we may be there.
    The timing of this is a little bit crazy:
    A deputy national security advisor has announced that the White House believes the Bashar al-Assad regime used chemical weapons against the rebels in Syria.
    The Pentagon has proposed a plan that would arm and train the rebels, as well as instill a limited no-fly zone over Syria.
    And 4,500 U.S. forces are a stone throw away, in Jordan, conducting a training exercise with Jordanian forces.”


    There seems to be conflicting reports about whether we will or will not send military aid to Syria. Personally, I think it’s a bad idea.

    • Kalima says:

      I doubt very much that there will be boots on the ground KT, but with over 93, 000 murdered, many of them women and children, the West can’t just sit, watch and do nothing at all. A no-fly zone sounds like a good start because Assad talking to the U.S. would be as impossible to do as changing water into wine. Russia is the elephant in the room on this and have much innocent blood on their hands. Your President won’t act alone on this, it would have to be an UN approved combined NATO offensive.

      One thing I must say is that I respect the President’s waiting on this, and am annoyed by Clinton trashing him behind his back. Bosnia and what is now happening in Syria are two very different things. Shame on Clinton for second guessing the President and promoting himself at a critical time like this.

      • Hey Kalima, yes, there is talk of setting up a limited no fly zone. According to reports, we already have 8,000 troops in Jordan, waiting for further instructions.

        I can’t help thinking about Libya and how certain people turned on us. We unleashed a stockpile of Ghadaffi’s heavy weapons, including very dangerous, shoulder fired surface to air missiles, capable of taking down commercial jets, and they are now in the hands of al Qaida and the Taliban.

        It is absolutely horrible that the things in Syria are going on. I’m not against helping to end the slaughter of innocents there. I just wonder, at what cost there may be in the future for the US. Isn’t the Afghanistan war enough, especially after over 9 years of a war in Iraq. Why must we always be the world’s police force? If we give the rebels weapons, that are reported to consist of al Qaida members, how many of those weapons will be used against us in the future. Did we learn nothing from arming the Mujahadin, that later turned into the Taliban and al Qaida?

        • Nirek says:

          KT, I heard that a no fly zone would cost us 50 million dollars a day. We need to stay out of it.
          Let the UN do their thing.

          • Hey Nirek. Fifty mill a day? That sounds like an awful lot. I’m worried about inadvertently arming al Qaida factions. I wonder, if Assad loses, that a very dangerous arsenal will be up for grabs.

            Like I said to Kalima, it’s gonna take greater minds than mine to sort this out.

            Sometimes I think, we should stand by and let all the crazies kill each other, but then, I know that thousands of innocent people would be killed in the process. It’s truly a real mess.

        • Kalima says:

          I understand KT, but the US is a member of NATO and the UN, and no one is talking about a ground war because no one wants that there or anywhere else for that matter. I don’t think it’s a matter of being the “world’s police” but a matter of conscience to help innocent people caught up in the carnage that is now Syria. The U.S. can refuse to help of course, but how would that be received when NATO was formed to stop this kind of genocide in the first place?

          It’s a slippery slope, and so far no amount of talks and diplomacy has changed a thing.

          • Kalima, I’m not against helping and I don’t think it should be unilateral. I am very leery of “boots on the ground.” As I said, we already have 8,000 troops in Jordan, ready to go at a moment’s notice. This could/ or could not turn into something very messy and regrettable.

            It’s absolutely horrendous to think of innocents caught in the crossfire, and I’m pretty sure that is the case. Assad is a monster, no doubt.

            All I can say is, I hope a no fly zone works. I also think negotiations should be the first thing we do. Maybe this can be solved diplomatically, but I think that’s unlikely. I also don’t have much faith in the democratic and humanitarian intentions of the rebels. I don’t see this as another Arab Spring.

            Just last week the rebels shot and killed a 14 year old boy, who was overheard making a disparaging remark about Mohammed. They beat him then shot him several times, in front of his family! Are these people expected to be humanitarian?

            • SueInCa says:

              KT and Kalima

              By putting in a No Fly zone are we not egging Assad on? So he breaks the no fly zone, then what do we do? To me, and I may be simple, this is just a first step into Iran. Iran is helping Syria and the right has been itching to “destroy” that country. Neo conservatives spelled it out for all of us in the PNAC document including Clinton who refused their services. Iraq was their test country. For fighting a war on two fronts(which proved to be disastrous in fact we created terrorists where they were either non-existant or in the minority), but as long as these people don’t have to put their boots on the ground it will never end.

            • Kalima says:

              No one wants to put boots on the ground and they won’t. The problem in Syria is the honest opposition and those now infiltrated by Al Queda, so finding out who is good and who is bad there is proving a problem and that is why no one has rushed to arm them.

              The incident that you mentioned was in a link on MB and was carried out by a group connected to Al Queda. However not everyone fighting Assad is bad, but sorting out the good guys from the bad has taken a long time as access is limited.

              I agree, put in the no-fly zone and see if that dampens Assad’s ability to bomb innocent civilians indiscriminately before moving on to any further action.

    • Nirek says:

      KT, I agree it is a bad idea to send arms to anyone. We should offer to host talks to mediate them and that is all we should do.

  4. SallyT says:

    50 years ago: John F. Kennedy’s finest moment, single most important day in civil rights history

    If you have time, listen to his speech. You will find a recording in the following link:


  5. funksands says:

    (This is the kind of guy I’d want my kids to grow up to be like)

    Bob Fletcher, Who Saved Farms of Interned Japanese Americans During WW2 Dies at Age 101

    “..In the face of deep anti-Japanese sentiment -- including a bullet fired into the Tsukamoto barn -- Fletcher worked 90 acres of flame Tokay grapes. He paid the mortgages and taxes and took half the profits. He turned over the rest -- along with the farms -- to the three families when they returned to Sacramento in 1945…”

    Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/05/31/4266527/bob-fletcher-who-saved-farms-of.html#storylink=cpy


  6. Kalima says:

    Putting to rest the mistaken myths about immigrants. Very well done too.

    Mathematics || Spoken Word by Hollie McNish

  7. Kalima says:

    “Glenn Greenwald, the lead author of the Guardian’s surveillance stories, told the New York Times that he expects a U.S. investigation and upgraded the security measures on his computer in Brazil, where he lives, as a precaution”.

    Greenwald added on Twitter, “Dear DOJ: your bullying tactics will scare some sources, but they embolden others.”

    Sounds to me like Greenwald should be investing in tin foil futures and changing his name to Breitbart or Drudge. He seems to have lost a few screws on his relocation to Brazil. Living in a lair in Brazil??? I’d say that judging by his articles, they have been missing for years before that, he certainly has some sort of a vendetta going on against the President and this administration. His Guardian articles are sleep inducing and full of boring, repetative outrage. So do you think that Greenwald got his “15 minutes of fame”? Yawn.

    Personally I don’t believe that any of this is about any freedom of the press or even internet privacy but rather another attempt to smear your President, damage his standing, and to try to usher in crackpots like Rand Paul. Shame on them.

    “Attorney general under pressure to open more leak inquiries”



    “Edward Snowden identified as source of NSA leaks”


    Snowden says motive behind leaks was to expose ‘surveillance state’

    “Everyone everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten,” former CIA employee said..


    There is a follow up story in The Guardian where this guy is already portraying himself as a “victim”, co-authored by Greenwald, and I have no intention of promoting this grandstanding by either of them. You can find the story on the Front Page of The Guardian if you are interested.

    • agrippa says:

      I am not impressed with Greenwald. I think that he is a table pounding zealot. At this moment ( pending more information) I thnk that Snowden is a very naive and foolish young man. I think that he may be in a very dangerous place.
      I was not in favor of the Patriot Act. I thought ( and still think) that it was an over reaction. Understandable, though.
      This may not turn out well for those who think that Snowden is some sort of hero.

    • choicelady says:

      Yesterday the Sacramento Bee, in a way too small story, revealed that several county sheriffs in northern and even central CA have vowed to resist enforcing “Obama’s Unconstitutional seizure of guns”. These people are ‘Oath Keepers’ -- law enforcement personnel who signed on to a 10-point pledge to resist tyranny. That any gun laws we might pass come from our ELECTED CONGRESS seems to elude them. They did not worry about tyranny and martial law under Bush -- just, you know, the Black guy.

      So here we have Libertarian Edward Snowden who also seems to have NO understanding of government at all. He, like so many hysterical zealots, has been paying NO attention to how things are under the rule of law. Over the years since the Patriot Act was passed, court challenges from human rights and civil rights groups have produced huge changes including the demand for warrants before ANY surveillance at all. We have known about the secret NSA spying for YEARS. What IS news is that they no longer have carte blanche to invade our privacy. And they are not.

      This morning’s paper, however, brings what I think is the REAL story about the NSA leaks.Unlike Daniel Ellsberg, Snowden fled to a safe harbor in Hong Kong so he faces no consequences. The REPORTER Barton Gellman at the Washington Post this morning has a feature all about his and Snowden’s clandestine meetings with secret code names and all the bells and whistles of a covert operation including how Snowden warned Gellman he might be killed over this because our security people under Obama are SO EVIL.

      Seriously dudes? Seriously???

      Suddenly this story is about the participants NOT about the issues. Somewhere the facts are lost, the hype prevails, the serious discussion about what remains to be changed about both the Patriot Act and our role in the world -- all that and more is lost to the faux revelation about two guys pretending to be doing something significant. But their focus betrays them -- this is about THEM and their ‘brand’ not about issues of national importance.

      So now two things are really clear. One -- lots of Americans of all stripes no longer believe they need to follow the rule of law, feel no responsibility to others, do not need to change those laws via legislation or the courts, but only have to ignore, disobey, flout any and all rules they dislike. Each of us knows best about everything and can go our own way.

      Second -- it’s not about beliefs. It’s about how you can sell your brand and get fame and maybe fortune. These folks are no Daniel Ellsbergs, no Woodward and Bernstein. That Gellman’s story is about himself and Snowden, about the theater they created to feel they were doing something important -- that’s the MAIN THING now. Snowden safe in Hong Kong , Greenwald safe in Brazil, and Gellman safe with the power of the Post areall seeking their 15 minutes-plus of fame and all of them clearly now are mostly self promoters.

      So what is the difference between the Oath Keepers and Snowden? Nothing. What is the relationship between investigative reporting and either Greenwald or the Post reporters? None.

      Narcissism rules and when it does, the rule of law weakens, the engagement of people with making real change alters, and theater trumps serious commitment. Left or Right we seem devoted to celebrity, to grandstanding, to pretense so we can justify our actions. But nothing changes or grows from that. It’s not noble, it’s cowardly, and it diverts us too often from the serious work we have to do to create real change. THAT is the real danger in America.

      • SallyT says:

        CL, I agree with you except I would add that Snowden was a former worker at the CIA and most recently an employee of private contractor Booz Allen, and has worked on NSA related projects for the past four years. The 3 month was at location. Now my concerns is that this gathering of phone records or such is being done by a private military contracted company for the government and not the government. So, are they protecting this information properly? Obviously not if this young man could do all the things he claims he could have. I also wonder if this young man may have been paid to disclose this information.
        I do not like that this is a contract company and how they may use information available to them and their employees. Blackwater comes to mind and their mistakes.

      • Kalima says:

        Choicelady, that is a very noteworthy and astute summation of what these people stand for, and personally I have no respect or the misguided ” hero” worship I’m reading about in your press. They broke the law, put your country’s National Security at risk and ran like cowards. I felt exactly the same about Wikileaks and Assange, who is still in hiding in the Embassy of Ecuador, cost the British taxpayers millions of pounds in the added security, and thinking he’s that special he does’t have to face rape charges in Sweden. Who talks about Wikileaks these days and what did it accomplish apart from a few embarrassed diplomats losing their jobs? Nothing.

        I’m appalled by the way people jumped on this story thinking it would bring your President down without knowing the extent of this programme. The jumping to conclusions before any facts were known smells like “mob mentality”, the same mob mentality that used to get people killed by hotheads who couldn’t wait for trials and justice. It’s sickening to me to read the use of the word treason used against your President when my limited understanding of your Constitution tells me that this word actually applies to those who did this with intent to harm the security of the country.

        One of the most annoying things is the comparison of your President to Bush. President Obama is no Bush, and anyone who thinks so, needs to remove their head from their rear end and make sense. They can’t hear or see facts with all that brown stuff smeared all over their faces.

        I’m so exhausted by the amount of space this so-called “scandal” has taken up on my usual news sources for Morning Blog, that I went on a boycott yesterday and refused to read any more articles. With so much suffering going on in the world, I feel sickened by these self absorbed losers who as you pointed out, have no respect for country or it’s laws.

        This will blow over for most people, just like Benghazi and this IRS nonsense, polls have shown that the majority of Americans are not as concerned as your hair-on-fire press. In the meantime, it will be another hurdle trying to stop your President from doing the people’s business, and I feel sick to the very core of me. What about the jobs, gun control, immigration reform, repairing your infrastructure, and healthcare for all? *sigh*

        Finally, if you feel so strongly that what you are doing is right, why leave the country to hide? Rather than “15 Minutes of Fame” this should be known as “15 or more Years of Shame”.

        As for those hothead sheriffs, an officer of the law not abiding by the law? What a disgrace and what kind of role model for law and order. Fine them, remove them or jail them.

        • choicelady says:

          Thank you, Kalima. It must be appalling watching this unfold over there?

          All I can say at this point in the day is that I will NEVER watch Chris Hayes again. I have HAD it with people who pay no attention to facts, who promote lies and then try to build policy and movements upon that quicksand.

          Furthermore, I will work tirelessly to make sure that law enforcement people don’t get to determine what laws they uphold, which ones they do not. Shades of the civil rights days and southern sheriffs with fire hoses! And are those still some of the laws they will not uphold? Not clear.

          No one is spying on us. NO ONE. I’ve BEEN spied upon -- it’s ugly. We demanded and got courts especially FISC to vet everything and they did. So we got what we wanted, are NOT being wiretapped, and we’re still screaming.

          Narcissism is our worst trait as Americans. I posted something funny about this from a pin I saw years ago at a dance similar to square dancing: “No damned caller’s gonna tell ME what to do!” We think we have the right to disobey laws we don’t like. Stop signs, red lights? Hah -- they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

          This personal choice to reject following existing laws is called “nullification” and has been, until recently, the province of the extreme right wing, but it’s now ubiquitous. Pat Robertson’s law school teaches courses in legal nullification -- the ‘right’ of the jury to determine the LAW and decide if they ‘like it’ or not. Yikes!

          As today progressed, the facts about Snowden emerged, and they’re scary -- he was there less than 3 months, has NO background so how’d he get clearance, and was in touch with Greenwald two months BEFORE he took the job with Booz, Allen. So what’s up with this?

          So we have left and right converging on support for the most extremist positions ever -- nothing the government does, no matter how in compliance with the Constitution, will ever be OK. We are prepared to do -- I’m not sure what. But it’s scary to see a nihilism creeping across the land.

          I keep thinking of all the people who’ve died and all who have NOT -- folks on planes where bombs were removed before the flight -- because of legal and Constitutional surveillance. I do not want to give that up.

          To the Left I’d just ask -- if we substituted “Chilean dictators” or “Nazi Germany” for Al Q’aeda -- how would you think about this then?

          America may be on the brink of disintegration, and the reasons lie in the purely self interest of each of us that exists at the expense of all of us.

          I love this country, warts and all, and watching it unravel at the hands of idiots is distressing indeed. Move over, Kalima -- we may be joining you over there. It seems very dangerous here in America not because of the government but because of those who hate it. We have to find a way to stop it NOW.

          • Kalima says:

            Yes it is shocking to watch because even from this far away, this NSA kerfuffle seems totally overblown and not at all what it seems to these extremists, and yes, I don’t use that word lightly because this is what they really are.

            Unlike some, I’ve never had much time for Hayes. His eyes are shifty and intense when he talks about the government. He speaks too quickly as if trying to suppress his real Libertarian thinking, and whenever he stood in for Rachel, I could stand about 5 minutes before I had to turn it off. This guy Snowdon has the same clueless expression in his eyes as does his “hero” Rand Paul, you can see the time bomb waiting to explode there because they can’t be told that they are wrong without exploding. Discussion of two different opinions are alien to them because they think that only their cockeyed views are right.

            You are right, that these people can cause so much mayhem is scary, but I hope that common sense on this will prevail with the majority of the American public.

            To be honest I’m in “scandal” overload right now, and just want to see Congress concentrating on doing the job they are being payed to do. Working for the American people. I feel as if I need a vacation from all of the obvious bs in your press and the international press too. You would think that the U.K. didn’t have their own crisis with an incompetent government pushing austerity which doesn’t work. Millions of “new” poor because of it, and the Tories trying to finish off the only respectable thing left, our NHS, to private companies who have already made an absolute mess of it in their bloodthirsty grab for profit only. Oh and of course no new jobs and wanting to leave the EU. Big mistake for their remaining workers of course.

            We are just building our new house so yes, come over. Must warn you that everything is very expensive though. I’ve heard that New Zealand is a very nice place to live. Or how about Hawaii, they seem very friendly and civilised over there too.

            I agree, things have to change, or sane people will no longer be able to handle the insanity that has taken hold since a black man took control of the WH. Logical thinkers like yourself will survive. You have the facts and strong convictions for justice on your side. Those who follow blindly will suffer the most.

            Many years ago on HP when the racists came out of the woodwork suddenly emboldened by RW lies and overt racism, I remember someone suggesting that the White House should be now known as The Black House. This poster thought they were hilarious and I remember thinking what an arsehole. Not long after that the “N” word starting flying there, and the monitors just chose to ignore them. That’s when I decided it was time to leave there.

            Btw, I’m not in the least surprised that Snowden has no real credentials.

            As Plato said:

            “As empty vessels make the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest blabbers.”


            Hours later found this interesting article by Tomasky, I’ve followed his work for years and like his take on how this will play out on the Right.

            “Snowden and the Right” by Michael Tomasky


      • glenn says:

        Brava, Choice Lady! Well said.

        I’ve read other articles about law enforcement officials who have said they won’t follow the law. How they can call themselves “law enforcement officers” when they actually come out and say they will refuse to follow the law of the land, just boggles my mind.

        But, then again, I’m a “lib”, a “progressive”, and a former teacher, so I’ve got three strikes against me, according to those on the right. And, supposedly, we’re (libs, progressives, teachers) the problem, because we follow the law. I think it was someone here on the Planet who said we’re living in an Alice in Wonderland world, where right is wrong, up is down, and now, supposed law enforcement officers are applauded for not following the law and/or their sworn duty. IOKIYAR

        • choicelady says:

          Thank you, glenn, you unholy radical, you! A TEACHER??? Robbing the public blind you must be.

          Yeah. Right.

          While I’ve vetted my Twitter account to keep friends and toss off idiots, the majority of comments seem to support you. That is reassuring as are polls that indicate most people get the truth of the matter. Only the fringes, both sides, seem totally at odds with reality.

          Thanks for the kind words! Go forth and TEACH people. Obviously we have too many who learned NOTHING. Your work is essential!

          • glenn says:

            Good morning, CL. Just wanted to share these words from another teacher, Geoffrey R. Stone, a professor of law at the University of Chicago. He wrote an article for HP which asks whether Snowden is a hero or a traitor. I am including the link, but the last paragraph states Stone’s position, which is that Snowden is nothing more than a criminal:

            “…what should Edward Snowden have done? Probably, he should have presented his concerns to senior, responsible members of Congress. But the one thing he most certainly should not have done is to decide on the basis of his own ill-informed, arrogant and amateurish judgment that he knows better than everyone else in government how best to serve the national interest. The rule of law matters, and no one gave Edward Snowden the authority to make that decision for the nation. His conduct was more than unacceptable; it was criminal.”


            “…on the basis of his own ill-informed, arrogant and amateurish judgment that he knows better than everyone else in government how best to serve the national interest.”

            Seems to me, this gets right to the heart of the matter. I have read quotes that Snowden has said, essentially, that he does not want to live in a country that “spies” on its citizens. That is his decision to make--but to put our national security at risk because he has made this decision, is immature at the least, and as Stone says, criminal at “best”!

            • Isn’t Snowden living in China now? That’s certainly the wrong country for someone that doesn’t want to live in a nation that spies on it’s citizens.

  8. agrippa says:

    I do have problems with data collection on electronic communications. It is intrusive and has potential for harm to civil liberties.
    But, we had, some years back, a dispute between security and civil liberties. When that occurs, security needs will trump civil liberties. I think that we have to live with that, as I do not think that will change.

  9. Nirek says:

    Yet another senseless shooting at a college. When will we get rid of these fools?

    Hope you don’t mind Nirek that I just added this link from our news widget.



  10. Kalima says:

    I think a round of applause and cheers are in order for all of her hard work and determination to make sure that this dangerous nuclear plant stayed closed. Let’s hear it for Patsy!! Great news and a job well done to all. Congratulations!!

    “Calif. utility will close troubled nuclear plant”


    • AdLib says:

      You beat me to it, Kalima! Cheers to Patsy and all of those great people she’s been working with for a huge success!!!

      • Kalima says:

        Oops. I was up quite early and full of it. 😉

        Wonderful outcome for everyone who worked so long and so hard. Wish we had a group like that here for us because with this hawkish RW government, the stalled reactors are going back online again soon. If Abe and the companies running them had their way, even those with active faults running beneath them would be restarted.

        I don’t know what news they read but I have linked to stories almost every day about increased seismic activity since last year, and the possibility of another magnitude 9.0 earthquake in our region this time, within the next two years. When earthquakes occur every two days, it’s time to rethink energy plans. When a tragedy like Fukushima happens, sane people never want it to happen again.

        Japan has had more than enough time to invest in alternative energy, but the government was and is too involved with the nuclear power industry and not just in Japan. Look at the U.K. cutting funds for green energy while boosting funds and tax breaks for nuclear energy and fossil fuels. This is what conservatives do the world over because these companies are their biggest campaign contributors. So much for working for the people.

    • Nirek says:

      Yes, Patsy GREAT job!
      Now we need to shut Vermont Yankee as well.


    • SallyT says:

      Good work, Patsy, and all those that work hard on this. One down, more to go.

    • choicelady says:

      Woo hooo! GREAT work, Patsy! I will write, but if you see Rochelle, please give her my love! You folks absolutely ROCK and just made the world -- not just CA -- much, much safer!

  11. SueInCa says:

    I saw a really cute meme and if you are worried about people listening in, use it. It was originally made for “Restricted” incoming calls but heck use it for everything. Just make sure you have a willing participant



    • choicelady says:

      LOL!!! I think you have absolutely the right attitude about this all.

      That just cracked me up. I will remember it. Can you post bail?

      Love you!

      • SueInCa says:

        Yup only have 14 more years on the mortgage got plenty of equity, if those bastids on Wall Street don’t muck it up again.

        Honestly, this has been going on for years and CBS just had a brain fart? What else can you do but laugh at their “explosive story”.?

    • Nirek says:

      Too funny! You’ll have the FBI all over you if you do that, Sue.

      • choicelady says:

        If it’s the Sacramento area FBI -- and it would be for Sue -- they’d just fall out laughing. They are not stick in the mud idjits thank goodness. They and our US Attorney all have a sense of humor and proportion!

      • SueInCa says:

        I am sorely tempted. When they got here, I would explain just like I did to the Martinez cop when I answered the door with a machete in my hand. The story was so crazy he had to believe it.

    • AdLib says:

      Sue, a willing participant in the call, right? 😉

      Maybe we could have a day of protest where millions of people talk on their phone quoting from plots Lex Luthor has planned in comic books?

      • SueInCa says:

        Yes please it would prove they are not listening to you or I. SMDH at people who blow stuff out of proportion. We have to get a Guardian in the US lol. I doubt even Democracy Now would have gotten this story right. I am amazed at the lunacy of the news media thinking this is something new. How the hell do they think SS can show up at your house without you calling?

        Black helicopters everywhere for some.

  12. SueInCa says:

    I know this surveillance stuff has been going on for years but this was not the time for Verizon to send me an email with this subject line:

    Susan, We have a calling plan for you!

    Oh my, I was checking outside to see if the Black Helicopters were on the way.

  13. audadvnc says:

    CBS News just came out with what should be a bombshell: “Report: Feds getting phone records of all Verizon customers”. From my reading the US Constitution, this is a blatant and flagrant violation of the 4th Amendment.

    Where’s the outrage? If this were a GWB / Cheney operation, you guys would be all over this.

    • SallyT says:

      I find it really funny how many people are outraged about this on Facebook. You’re on Facebook! And, you are concerned about privacy? You tell everything and show pictures to everyone to look. The Patriot Act started under Bush. Congress has kept it going. Now the NSA is tapping into internet providers and emails. On Facebook? They see you. You are tracked every time you log on by many corporations to see what you are buying. Yup, privacy is a thing of the past.

      • SueInCa says:

        We had this mini chat yesterday. Actually my friend Sharon and I were talking about how she looked at an item on the internet and that item tracked her all day on FB. Yet people are outraged by metadata. I challenge any one lady who went to look at a Coach purse to boycott Coach because they can now follow them all over the Internet. My guess is they will say, oh but that is different. Yeah, because they don’t want to give up their Coach. Coach never asked for permission either.

        • choicelady says:

          OMG -- every time I want to look at something I get blasted with headlines, popups, whatever from some company related to that thing I looked up! What we live with in material land of goodies we scream about if the gubbmint is anywhere close. They are NOT collecting info on our calls’ content or numbers linked to us or other data that they trace. The metadata was obtained -- unlike Bush -- with a warrant. If, heaven forefend, they find something curious or worrisome, they have to get ANOTHER warrant specifically about the number/people in question.

          The ONLY people who have a right to be concerned are in fact Muslims whose families reside in nations we’re not friendly with. That might trigger something. For example, it would NOT trigger a case once it was determined my Iranian friend was calling home, that the number was a family one, and that he and his wife were long time US citizens with no ties to terrorism.

          Sorry folks -- the threat IS real. Put Nazi Germany into this little black box and then tell me you’d still want the government to do nothing.

          And if you’re shoe shopping online, realize they already know a ton more about you than the government does -- including your credit and purchasing etc. That’s really scary, and we don’t care.

          • SueInCa says:

            Choice was gonna say you said it in a nutshell but really you said it in a big clam shell lol. I totally agree with you and Sally on this whole feigned outrage, it is on the left too. CNN this morning with that Ashleigh Bans…whatever going over and over it, one of these days my husband is either going to not get dinner or his tv will be smashed. I cannot stand CNN and he wants to watch for his news….sigh. He turns it when I get too loud though, so he is learning. I call them TeaNN

      • audadvnc says:

        The current administration is in clear violation of the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution . What Obama’s gang are doing is treasonous and criminal, they should be tried for treason (but the libs want to believe he’s on your side, so you roll over -- as usual).

        • SueInCa says:

          Audadvnc you have a right to your own opinion but not to your own facts. And quite frankly you have no idea of what I am thinking or doing on my end. When you agree to try Bush and Cheney for treason then you might have some support. Your loss of memory is astonishing, I must say.

        • Kalima says:

          Hilarious! 😆 If this were a treasonable offence, Bush, his puppet master Cheney, and the rest of that crooked “gang”, would be in jail. Starting a war and deliberately putting the lives of Americans in danger to seek revenge for your “Daddy” and steal their oil must also be akin to treason in your Constitution I would think, as it was against your country’s best interest.

          Strange how for some people, 2000 to 2008 never happened. Selective memory and the inevitable double standards leading to faux outrage are so predictable now. For some, it’s all they have left, that and accusing others of the same thing they have done in the past. Good luck with that and your memory loss. I hope it’s only temporary.

        • SallyT says:

          Audadvnc, good for you for speaking your mind. I have no problem with that. But, I do feel this is an outrage that is pretty much a waste of effort. We are watched all over. You have a smart phone that will let you turn your lights on in your home from France. How does that do that? Because it is tracking your whereabouts. You have trouble with your cable? They can turn it off and on or trouble shoot it from across the country. How? Because they are in your home in that little black box. You use a credit card or debit card and they know where you shop and buy. Or even a service you purchased. Vote on a poll or visit a site on the internet, well, they got your political opinion and the causes you believe in. You have GPS in your car or on your phone? Well, they know where you are at any given time. There is a camera on every downtown corner and in every store. You run a red light? They took your picture. Someone looking for you? They can Google your address and pull up your street and a picture of your home at every angle! You can have a camera in your home to let you know when your child gets home while you are at work. Well, so can the company monitoring your service. For convenience and all our gadgets, we have given up our privacy. Now if you are a pervert living in Cincinnati holding three women hostage for years, you might get away with it. But, for the most part, we are being monitored most of the time.
          Audadvnc, I am a liberal and sometimes very progressive but I am not rolling over. I have my disagreements with some actions and lack of actions with President Obama. And, I have stated them and received blow back. The only crime would be not being able to do that here or anywhere. However, I don’t think shouting treason will get very far. Treason is those controlling and poisoning our food and water and the air we breath. There are many things to shout about. But for the desires of gadgets and conveniences we are way too late about spying. My opinion, anyway.

          • choicelady says:

            Sally -- that is a boffo statement, and thank you! That IS one of our strengths here -- we can disagree and still care about one another and respect those differences.

            That means Sue’s black helicopters ain’t here yet -- for anyone.

        • SueInCa says:


          Your feigned outrage is duly noted.

        • AdLib says:

          Er…when Bush violated the Constitution and the Geneva Convention by employing torture, setting up this very surveillance that you find treasonous and lied to the American people about there being absolutely no doubt that there were WMDs in Iraq and if we didn’t let him start a war there, we’d be waiting for a mushroom cloud as a smoking gun, I didn’t see a single comment by any of those who now howl “Obama is a traitor!!!”, saying, “Bush is a traitor, a criminal and should be tried and convicted!!!”.

          The purely prejudicial and unprincipled nature of those on the Right yelping about the violation of principles is so transparent. We get it, they resent that America elected and re-elected Obama as President and these same people who despise our democracy…ironically rail against Obama as a “traitor” for doing lesser versions of things they supported Bush doing.

          Bush actually tapped our phone calls and emails without any court giving him the right to do so. The NSA under Obama asked for and received a court order to get the data about phone calls, numbers called and received, from Verizon for a limited period. So, if you have such clear principles you stand by and find such things treasonous, it is quite curious why you omit any call for Bush and Cheney, the originators of these policies, to be tried for treason. And I would wager that when Bush and Cheney were in office and exposed for having done so, it was not such a betrayal of principles that you campaigned for their impeachment for treason.

          This game playing is ineffective, the American public knows that whether its Benghazi, the IRS or this continuation of Bush policies that were perfectly okay and Constitutionally defensible when a Republican was in the WH, Republicans are so devoid of any honest principles or vision that all they have left is the “outrage” game.

          Are Progressives and Dems critical of the Obama Admin over this spying? Some are as is plainly clear from the comments here, others believe that this is a legal and acceptable trade off of privacy for security under the Patriot Act.

          Personally, I abhor the Patriot Act, which was passed by Bush and mainly Republicans and allows such surveillance, I do hold Obama fully responsible for continuing it and I am upset at him for doing so, I would rather have a more restrained surveillance that targets suspicious and likely suspects.

          If you, however, find it treasonous to use the power legally granted under the Patriot Act, I look forward to your campaign to prosecute for treason, all of the Republican Congress who passed it and all of those in the Bush Admin including Bush and Cheney who used it to spy on us.

    • SueInCa says:


      How is this a bombshell? Did you also read the Patriot Act? You should probably be worrying about that and you had 8 years to tell Bush to repeal it. AND I was all over it back then but was told I was not Patriotic because of my disdain for the act. Bush tore up your constitution, after all it was just “a piece of paper”, right?

      • AdLib says:

        Sue, as we’ve seen, it’s always the same, facts and principles are so conditional for those on the right. If a Republican President and Congress pass a law allowing spying on Americans and proceed to do so, they’re “protecting us”.

        If a Democratic President uses the same law in a more restrained way, he is “treasonous” and should be impeached.

        As I mentioned above, the game has been so overplayed by Repubs, the majority of Americans are immune to it and in fact resent Repubs more and more each day for being such small minded, dishonest people (Obama’s approval numbers have actually gained a point throughout the Benghazi/IRS witch hunts by Repubs).

        This is a legit issue to with which to have a conflict with Obama but the Repubs who were all supportive or silent while Bush was doing far worse have no legitimacy in their crocodile wails of “Treason!” In this ongoing campaign of hypocrisy and demagoguery.

        • SueInCa says:

          Adlib most people do not even know what metadata is but that does not stop them from their feigned outrage. Do I like the fact that a government can even get that bit of data? Hell no but every single person in Congress who voted yes on the last extension of the Patriot Act Needs to be confronted as well. I would bet, too, that a few of these righteous people complaining have been to England some time in the past. Are they aware that they are watched every single minute they are on the streets of London or any other city there? If they are, give up your travels if you feel that strong about it. You cannot say this is good for one country in order to justify your vacation. There are so many issues to debate here and they cannot be resolved with a hit and run post.

          BTW, I dd that this morning on an incoming call from a collection agency that has been told 100 times that Katie Bell does not have my phone number. My husband said, no, you didn’t, I said yes I did. LOL

      • Nirek says:

        Sue, I couldn’t agree more. bush and company started the ball rolling and we who did complain were tagged with “unpatriotic”. Now the congress has renewed the PA several times and so many people are up in arms about it. CRAZY, huh?

        • choicelady says:

          Remember Nirek that in the intervening years, even SCOTUS -- yup that one -- passed rulings that mandated warrants and other civil liberty safeguards.

          THE most under-reported stories ever are the court rulings that led to the destruction of much of the Bush doctrine. It did not end the Patriot Act but strongly shaped boundaries it had not had at the beginning. Obama has respected those boundaries, and I am no longer afraid of my government. I was. I’m not now.

          As one who was hacked in 2003, I know the difference between metadata searches that have NO ties to us individually and actual surveillance over our ‘patriotism’. Knowing things have to be screened by the FISC is HUGE in terms of protecting our rights and personal security.

          As long as the president and security personnel follow the law and Constitution, I am OK with it. Because as with the Nazi threat in WW II, there really IS an enemy, and the enemy really DOES want us dead. And I’m pretty NOT all right with THAT.

        • SueInCa says:

          Exactly that is why I get so pissed when people act outraged now. It is not because I believe that it should be done, it is the hypocrisy now. Same reason I hate the term, :they fought for our freedom”, since when? The Civil War? To my knowledge that was the last time a war was fought for freedom.

          • Nirek says:

            Sue, I also hate that term. I was drafted and served in Vietnam. That was not fighting for our freedom. In my case , it was fighting to survive. I would have gone to Canada but for my Dad being a career soldier and WWII and Korean War veteran. I could not disgrace him. We had no good reason to invade Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan! In my opinion.

            • SueInCa says:

              Thanks Nirek. I am sometimes afraid to speak my mind because people will jump all over you as Unpatriotic. I am just glad you made it back. I won’t say in one piece because war and it’s aftermath can never bring that soldier back as they were sent. I don’t care whose war it is. There is always an ulterior motive behind war for Vietnam it was rubber for Firestone and the incessant need to take out a leader of a sovereign country. I won’t even go into all the others.

    • Kalima says:

      ” you guys”? Isn’t that like calling us “you people”?

      President Obama “bashing” just for the sake of it, or because others are doing it blindly and out of ignorance of the facts, is becoming extremely boring to say the very least.

      The Planet is a site for peaceful discussion whether we agree with each other or not. It’s not a place for thinly veiled “hit and run” contempt aimed at our membership here. Thank you for your future cooperation.

      FYI, the article linked to below, supports exactly what choicelady stated it in her reply to you below. My advice to everyone is to always read more than just the glaring headlines and from many different sources before reacting without knowing all of the facts.

      As far as I can tell, the majority of Americans ask the government to stop terrorist attacks, then some scream blue murder when the government tries to do just that. You can’t have it both ways and have them protect you without being able to collect any information. Did you feel outrage when Bush tore up your Constitution over and over again?


      From The Guardian who broke this story before your msm grabbed it to turn it into “hair-on-fire” headlines.

      “He pointed out that the order only relates to the so-called metadata surrounding phone calls rather than the content of the calls themselves. “The order reprinted overnight does not allow the government to listen in on anyone’s telephone calls,” Earnest said.
      “The information acquired does not include the content of any communications or the name of any subscriber. It relates exclusively to call details, such as a telephone number or the length of a telephone call.”


      • AdLib says:

        What I find amusing is that those who cheered on Bush throughout, on the Patriot Act, Iraq, etc. appear so rabid about accusing Obama for those things continuing through his admin.

        So spying on Americans is only a bad thing when it happens under a Dem President?

        That said, I do think the surveillance over innocent Americans has gone way too far, we do have a right to privacy and even though it’s not spying on the content of our calls, the government should not have the right to spy on who Americans call or are called by in the name of preventing terrorism.

        I do agree though, had Obama restrained the NSA from spying and then the Boston bombing took place, Republicans would be savaging him for not protecting us and weakening our defenses.

        Politically, it is a losing proposition to reduce surveillance on the public because of the above yet Constitutionally and ethically, protecting the right of citizens to their privacy is the right thing to do.

        Terrorism will happen, look how few people and resources it takes to commit terrorism, it can never be 100% prevented so losing our right to privacy still won’t give us total security.

        Life is risk, people die in car accidents every day, bad things can happen but a society that gives up its freedom and privacy for the delusion that it will keep them fully protected only victimize themselves.

        • AlphaBitch says:

          Ad: Interesting fact. More people die in car wrecks in Texas each year than civilians dying in Afghanistan. They are the same size, close in population. Yet driving on a road in Texas can be more dangerous. I used that fact -- and the statistics on it -- with the children. Now, there have been about 14,728 deaths in the last six years in Afghanistan, or about 2,457/year. Texas had 3,050 car fatalities in 2010, and 3,015 in 2011. You are right -- life is a risk. How we choose to take that risk is what makes the difference. -- AB

        • Kalima says:

          I agree completely about the impact of losing our privacy, but if it does indeed save us from even one terrorist attack, isn’t it the price we have to pay in this age of uncertainty and targeted carnage worldwide. How would it look if the Obama administration were thought of by the people as being weak on national security, isn’t that what the GOP and their minions are preaching from day one?

          If they actually listened to or recorded private conversations that would be something else. I personally have no problems with all the extra surveillance cameras in public places if it makes us that much safer by being able to identify criminals like the 7/7 London bombers. I have a clear conscience so it makes little difference to me, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand your concerns.

          What would strike a good balance then to allow the agencies to foil a terrorist attack, and how far should they go to find out that information to keep America safe from either domestic or foreign threats?

          • Kalima says:

            Exactly AdLib. As the people in Northern England always say; “They don’t know if they want a shit, a shave or a haircut”. I think it says all you need to know about the GOP of today, don’t you? 😀

          • AdLib says:

            Who would have predicted that AFTER Obama gave the green light to get Bin Laden and succeeded, the Repubs would still try to attack him as “making America less safe”.

            They condemn the drone killings of top Taliban and Al Qaeda members while claiming he is weak on protecting America.

            Now, it’s so predictable, like gravity and sunrises, whatever Obama does, Republicans will attack it as dangerous to Americans.

          • AdLib says:

            The concern for me is, what would a President Romney and a Corporate States of America do with the ability to monitor the details on all of our calls? Or a President Rand Paul? It’s too much power and too much of a compromise of privacy rights IMO.

            I would not be opposed to there being a “blacklist” of phone prefixes, for example, calls coming from Taliban areas in Pakistan and elsewhere that triggered logging of phone numbers but this broad spying on all Americans’ calls isn’t a trade off I think is Constitutional.

            The 4th Amendment says:

            “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

            I do think that probable cause is lacking to spy on all Americans’ call records and that it is an unreasonable search.

            So while I oppose this policy, I think it’s clear that neither Dems nor Repubs appear to have any intention on dialing back this spying nor does the public seem to be outraged enough by this to demand it stop.

            Everyone does worry about the “what if”, what if this spying was reduced then an attack happened? We’ve seen the Repubs go mental over Benghazi, one can only imagine how horrible they would be if the “what if” happened.

            • choicelady says:

              Can’t answer Sue and Kalima but yes -- we HAVE to get rid of the Patriot Act and find better vehicles because the care Obama is taking on FISA warrants and interpretation of data MAY NOT BE ENOUGH if we have a conservative president.

              Since it’s clear that under Bush and undoubtedly under Romney even the CONSTITUTION was insufficient, we do need better immediate laws.

            • choicelady says:

              I don’t disagree on the probable cause, but with Chechnya suddenly in the picture (whoda thunk it) they are simply looking for patterns of calls NOT at your calls or mine.

              If something pops -- a flurry of calls somewhere -- they HAVE to get more warrants, and these require massive amounts of probable cause to obtain.

              WE are not being scrutinized. Nothing about this is tied to any one of us at all. That makes me considerably more comfortable.

            • SueInCa says:


              If I were an Attorney, I would challenge the Patriot act on the fourth amendment alone. When Obama is president, the supremes would agree with me, in Bush days, they would have struck me down.

            • Kalima says:

              Well when you put it that way with a “President Romney” or “Rand Paul” although I think the name “Paul Rand” suits him much better, I have to agree 100%. Terrifying.

              I also agree with your suggestions for an alternative because it makes more sense. Like you, I think the GOP haters would have an orgasm if the President decided to weaken these powers. They have been trying unsuccessfully to label him as weak on National Security since before he took office. That they don’t all choke on their own hypocrisy is amazing to me. Their constant double standards are bile inducing as are their daily lies.

              Btw, Rand Paul is “appalled” and mumbles something about “moral authority”. 😆


    • choicelady says:

      I think the outrage is over-reach. It is not getting the content of anyone’s calls at ALL. Neither is it tracking individuals per se. As someone who had a total stranger call my office in 2003 and report a back to me the totally private email discussion in the pursuit of the NAMES and ADDRESSES of those involved in the discussion (about whether we should protest the FBI’s over-reach in demanding imams’ sermons before they were delivered) I don’t see the gathering of metadata the same intrusion at all.

      The Patriot Act MUST be re-evaluated, that is for sure. But to have an administration be careful NOT to gather content but only look for patterns of possible contact with terrorists seems very different from the Bush-Cheney pursuit of definitely private information.

      Before we flame out, we need to look at the distinctions AND the care this administration has been taking on content. I’m not so sanguine I think we can demand our government pursues nothing at all about large movements that might help reflect patterns of terrorist group contacts. This requires some nuanced understanding. I’ve been surveilled. I sort of know the difference.

      • AdLib says:

        CL, the spying that Bush did was far worse, actually tapping the ATT exchange and having computerized listening in on millions of Americans’ calls.

        So, while this is not as bad as monitoring actual calls, it does sound too rampant and intrusive.

        It’s easier to just spy on the phone records of all Americans than doing the detective work necessary to root out suspects and spy on them but that is what their jobs are in the NSA.

        Repubs are in “Get Outraged at Scandals!” mode and happy to goad Dems and Progressives into attacking Obama in outrage.

        The problem for Repubs is that the economy is getting better, the majority of Americans oppose nearly all of their positions on the economy, immigration, women’s right to abortion, voting equality for minorities, etc. so there sure seems to be a concerted effort to do the only thing a party devoid of any vision or principles can do, throw one contrived, exaggerated “scandal” after another at Obama and see what sticks.

        That’s all they have left, the desperation of a hollowed out party of hollowed out people.

        • choicelady says:

          Over either at Imasmartypants or Balloon Juice,the blog-o-meister pointed out that this warrant covers ONLY corporate/business records, not individual accounts.

          There IS a warrant. That is critical since my little go around clearly was a warrantless intrusion -- there simply was not time for the intruder to GET one.

          The current administration folks are looking for patterns. I am not feeling at risk. OK -- truth in posting: I have NO Verizon account, so maybe I’m just blowing this off. But I am not feeling under threat at ALL from their reviewing call records that we willingly turn over and get on our paper bills. And again -- it’s companies, not people, whose call patterns are being aggregated for patterns of trends to other nations.

          I do NOT want another 9/11. I’ve not recovered from the first one. So this seems balanced to me. See if there is something to worry about. Worry about it if there is. Leave us our rights, privacy, peace of mind intact.

          I’m pretty OK with this.

          But I will not be calling Verizon for the Friends and Family discount…

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