• tangent4ronpaul

      by Published on 04-03-2014 07:15 AM

      Frm GOA e-mail:

      America was already pretty close to reaching a Kenya-style Third World tinpot dictatorship.

      First, it was the VA's efforts to disarm law-abiding military veterans for supposedly being “mental defectives,” even though 18 U.S.C. 922(g) requires “adjudications” and there were none.

      Then, it was the ATF's actions to copy 4473's and compile a gun registry, even though 18 U.S.C. 923(g) and other provisions of McClure-Volkmer prohibited that.

      Then, it was Obama's moves to illegally require reporting of multiple gun sales ... and feed gun information into a national health database ... and repeal federal privacy laws (HIPAA) ... and try to ban the importation of shotguns.

      All without any statutory authority ...
      by Published on 04-02-2014 07:50 AM


      (lots of links - click through!)

      Last Thursday, the Obama Administration announced details of its plan to overhaul the government’s bulk phone-records collection program, previously authorized under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act.

      Under the proposed changes, the National Security Agency would no longer be in the business of collecting call records in bulk. Rather, the agency will be required to go directly to phone companies to obtain records, and it will need prior permission from a judge to access such information.

      Some, like Michelle Richardson of the American Civil Liberties Union, have praised this action, calling the White House proposal “a crucial first step toward reining in the NSA’s overreaching surveillance,” according to NPR. Even NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden described this moment as “a turning point.”

      Nevertheless, while this is an important step, many believe that the proposed action alone is not enough. Today, a coalition of public interest organizations joined together in writing a letter to Congress and the president, requesting a stop to all bulk collection practices by intelligence agencies and urging the passage of the Senate USA Freedom Act. ...
      by Published on 02-27-2014 07:10 AM

      North Korean defector fights Pyongyang with thumbdrive-laden balloons

      SAN FRANCISCO—For years, Park Sang Hak has fought the North Korean government with balloons.

      The long, thin, translucent, 36-foot-long (12-meter) balloons are loaded up with USB sticks with Wikipedia entries, DVDs of popular TV shows, anti-government leaflets, and even single American dollar bills. (The last is included so starving North Koreans can buy rice on the black market.) While the balloons typically make it over the border by only a few kilometers or so (often dropping inside the Demilitarized Zone), sometimes they can land as far away as Pyongyang, about 125 miles from the border.

      Speaking in a local South of Market coffee shop, the North Korean defector explained Monday morning to Ars through an interpreter that he’s currently on a tour of Northern California, looking for tech-savvy benefactors to help improve his air-dropped messages. Park’s group, the Freedom Fighters of North Korea, claims to have sent 52 million leaflets in recent years. But with hardly any original information getting out of North Korea, it’s almost impossible to know what impact, if any, they’re having.
      “I believe that if we can get 100 times more balloons, then we will make [North Korean dictator] Kim Jong Un paranoid—sending more and more balloons to North Korea is more effective than sending a bomb on North Korea,” Park added. “The thing is that if South Korea or the United States Air Force dropped a bomb, there's a way that [North Korea] would react to it, but the thing is with leaflets there's no way to react.”
      Full story: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2...aden-balloons/
      by Published on 02-09-2014 09:45 AM


      The Affordable Care Act, a k a ObamaCare, became law almost four years ago. It became operational last Oct. 1. ... Feb. 4, 2014, the ACA may well have been dealt its death blow.

      The Congressional Budget Office released a major study of the government’s budget and its effect on the overall economy over the next 10 years. In dull bureaucratic language, it delivers a devastating analysis of the inefficiencies, ineffectualities and problematic social costs of ObamaCare.

      The one-two punch: Virtually as many Americans will lack health coverage in 10 years as before the law was passed — but 2 million fewer will be working than if the law hadn’t passed.

      One killer detail comes on Page 111, where the report projects: “As a result of the ACA, between 6 million and 7 million fewer people will have employment-based insurance coverage each year from 2016 through 2024 than would be the case in the absence of the ACA.” (cont)
      by Published on 02-06-2014 09:05 AM


      The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, funds a lot of important advanced research, much of which has remained hidden from public view — until now.
      The agency this week launched a new public website called Open Catalog, featuring a curated list of DARPA-sponsored software and peer-reviewed publications. The website aims to encourage those interested in DARPA's software and research to build upon the agency's work.
      "Making our open source catalog available increases the number of experts who can help quickly develop relevant software for the government," DARPA program manager Chris White said in a statement. "Our hope is that the computer science community will test and evaluate elements of our software and afterward adopt them as either standalone offerings or as components of their products."


      Some very cool stuff here!!!!

      by Published on 01-29-2014 03:41 PM


      Edward Snowden was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian politicians, including a former government minister, for contributing to transparency and global stability by exposing a U.S. surveillance program.

      “The public debate and changes in policy that have followed in the wake of Snowden’s whistleblowing have contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order,” Norwegian parliamentarians Snorre Valen and Baard Vegar Solhjell said in the nomination letter obtained by Bloomberg.

      by Published on 01-23-2014 03:05 PM


      Edward Snowden will be answering questions submitted by the public on his official support site, freesnowden.is, this Thursday 23 January at 8pm GMT, 3pm EST. The support site is run by The Courage Foundation and is the only endorsed Snowden Defence Fund.

      This is the first Snowden live chat since June 2013 and will last for an hour starting at 8pm GMT, 3pm EST. Questions can be submitted on twitter on the day of the event using the #AskSnowden hashtag. Edward Snowden’s responses will appear at http://www.freesnowden.is/asksnowden

      The live chat comes exactly a week after US President Barack Obama gave an address in response to the public concerns raised by Edward Snowden’s revelations about US surveillance practices. In the live chat, Edward Snowden is expected to give his first reaction to the President’s speech.

      Courage (formerly the Journalistic Source Protection Defence Fund) is a trust, audited by accountants Derek Rothera & Company in the UK, for the purpose of providing legal defence and campaign aid to journalistic sources. It is overseen by an unrenumerated committee of trustees. Edward Snowden is its first recipient.

      freesnowden.is was commissioned by the trustees of Courage to provide information on the threats Edward Snowden faces and what can be done to support him, and details all revelations made to date in a convenient central archive.

      by Published on 01-14-2014 04:34 PM

      As part of budget deal, Congress blocks light bulb efficiency standards
      Incandescents get a reprieve as part of the new budget agreement.

      Shortly after the US Department of Energy helped broker a deal that would see television set-top boxes save their users a billion dollars' worth of electricity, another branch of the government has decided to undercut energy efficiency efforts. As part of the new budget deal announced today, Congress has voted to eliminate standards for light bulb efficiency, standards that would see incandescent bulbs phased out in favor of technologies that convert far more electricity into light.

      These ideas were first enacted during the Bush administration, via the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Incandescent bulbs were unable to meet the standards, so they would eventually be forced off the market in favor of LEDs and compact fluorescent bulbs. But Republicans have since soured on the bill, viewing it as an intrusion on the market and attempting to identify it with President Obama. Recent Congresses have tried many times to repeal the standards, but these have all been blocked.

      However, US budgets are often used as a vehicle to get policies enacted that couldn't pass otherwise, since having an actual budget is considered too valuable to hold up over relatively minor disputes. The repeal of these standards got attached to the budget and will be passed into law with it.

      Full story: http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/...ncy-standards/
      by Published on 01-14-2014 09:31 AM

      WASHINGTON -- Many federal decisions hung in the balance Monday as Supreme Court justices wrestled with a case that involved the appointments made by presidents during a congressional recess.

      In a high-stakes constitutional fight, justices from both right and left sounded skeptical about the Obama administration's reasoning in making so-called "recess appointments" to the National Labor Relations Board. If the appointments are deemed invalid, myriad board decisions resolving labor disputes would be cast into doubt, while presidential clout overall would be curtailed.

      "You are making a very, very aggressive argument on behalf of executive power," Justice Samuel Alito warned Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. "You're just saying when the Senate acts, in your view, irresponsibly, and refuses to confirm nominations, then the president must be able to fill those positions."

      The court on Monday also handed a setback to abortion opponents, refusing to revive an Arizona law that would have generally banned the procedure once a woman's pregnancy reached the 20-week point.

      Full story: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/nat...s/201401140094
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