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Demeter's Journal
Demeter's Journal
July 1, 2013

Jury Acquits Man Who Wrote On Sidewalk With Chalk

Source: NPR

Jeffrey Olson faced 13 years in jail for writing on a sidewalk with chalk. But a San Diego jury of two men and 10 women found him not guilty of criminal vandalism. Olson, 40, was charged with 13 counts of vandalism for expressing his opinions on sidewalks outside three Bank of America branches. His messages... included:

— "No Thanks, Big Banks"

— "Shame on Bank of America"

"There's no evidence that he wrote anything obscene. His messages could be easily erased. And they don't seem to have upset many, if any, people." The jury, which began deliberations Friday, took less than five hours to reach its verdict.

"I'm really relieved," Olson said. "It's been an incredibly stressful situation. It feels really good to know that the people of San Diego as represented by the jury are on my side."...Olson's remarks to the newspaper last week during a courtroom break that the trial was "an unconstitutional overreach and a total waste of taxpayer money" resulted in a gag order against him and others involved in the case.

Read more: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/07/01/197721394/jury-acquits-man-who-wrote-on-sidewalk-with-chalk?ft=1&f=1001

Is it fascism, yet? Not quite...talk about prosecutorial abuse and judicial overreach! And wasting taxpayer money.
June 28, 2013

Week-End Economists: WEE R Legend! June 28-30, 2013

WEE note the passing of Scence Fiction author Richard Matheson after 87 years on this planet, on June 23rd.

Author Richard Matheson, whose injection of humanity into science-fiction tales engaged audience for more than five decades, has died. Matheson's work included The Shrinking Man, I Am Legend, and numerous other movie and TV scripts, including episodes of The Twilight Zone...Many of Matheson's stories placed otherwise normal people in extreme or fantastic circumstances — a hallmark of The Twilight Zone, for which he wrote more than a dozen episodes. He also wrote a short story about a trucker tailgating a driver, which he then used to create a screenplay for the 1971 Steven Spielberg film Duel, starring Dennis Weaver.

Rob Bricken summarizes some of Matheson's other career highlights:

"Along with I Am Legend, Matheson wrote What Dreams May Come, A Stir of Echoes, and The Shrinking Man, all of which became Hollywood movies (in the case of I Am Legend, more than a few times). He was also one of the original Twilight Zone's greatest screenwriters, penned the classic William Shatner-starring episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." His Twilight Zone episode "Steel" became the basis for Real Steel, starring Hugh Jackman."

Another film adaptation of I Am Legend was 1971's The Omega Man, with Charlton Heston in the lead role. In 2011, NPR readers voted the novel No. 65 on a list of the top 100 Science Fiction books. Matheson also took up the essential questions of the human condition in his 1993 non-fiction book The Path, based on the concepts of Harold W. Percival... In 1984, Matheson received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement. In 2010, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame."

As for how Matheson viewed his work, Io9 pulled this quote from a 2007 interview:

"I think we're yearning for something beyond the every day. And I will tell you I don't believe in the supernatural, I believe in the supernormal. To me there is nothing that goes against nature. If it seems incomprehensible, it's only because we haven't been able to understand it yet."

The Archive of American Television tells us they have posted interviews with Matheson, in which he discusses his stories, the craft of writing, and other topics: SEE LINK FOR THESE AND OTHER FILM CLIPS, SUCH AS TWILIGHT ZONE EPISODES...

June 27, 2013

'Not going to be scrambling jets' to get Snowden, Obama says

Source: LA Times

“I’m not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker,” President Obama said Thursday as he sought to downplay the nearly weeklong hunt for Edward Snowden, the fugitive leaker of national security secrets.

“I get you that it’s a fascinating story for the press,” Obama told reporters at a news conference with Senegal’s president here. But “in terms of U.S. interests, the damage was done with respect to the initial leaks.”

Obama said he is interested “in making sure that the rules of extradition are obeyed,” and that U.S. officials had conducted “useful conversations” with Russian officials and officials in other countries that might be interested in offering political asylum to Snowden.

But, he said, “in the meantime, we’ve got other business to do.”

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-obama-snowden-20130627,0,5627004.story

"That's what drones and SEALS are for", said the Predatory President. "Have you priced jet fuel lately?"
June 25, 2013

A Giant Blackmail Machine / NSA Spying: So They Are Listening In, After All By Tom Burghardt


Despite a stream of mendacious twaddle from President Obama, congressional grifters and spook agency mouthpieces like Office of the Director of National Intelligence head James Clapper, FBI Director Robert Mueller and NSA chief General Keith Alexander, it turns out our guardians are listening in to America's, and most of the world's, telephone conversations after all....In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente was asked by CNN whether there's a way that investigators "can get the phone companies" to cough up audio of a particular conversation.

Clemente responded: "No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It's not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her [the alleged bomber's wife]. We certainly can find that out."

CNN's incredulous reply: "So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible."

Clemente: "No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not."

When questioned the next day whether he would confirm his previous statements, Clemente told CNN, "I'm talking about all digital communications are--there's a way to look at digital communications in the past. I can't go into detail of how that's done or what's done. But I can tell you that no digital communication is secure. So these communications will be found out. The conversation will be known."

While there was scant media follow-up to Clemente's assertions, recent revelations of NSA dragnet spying have confirmed what analysts, researchers and whistleblowers have been saying for years: the secret state has the technological wherewithal to digitally record the content of all electronic communications, including telephone calls, and store them in massive cloud computing server farms in the event they're needed for future "reference." And as it turns out, according to Internet Archive founder, computer engineer Brewster Kahle, who has wide experience storing large amounts of data, the cost of doing so is incredibly cheap. A spreadsheet created by Kahle estimates it would cost the government a mere $27 million to "store all phonecalls made in a year in the 'cloud'." To do so would require less than 5,000 square feet of space and $2 million in electricity costs to store the estimated 272 petabytes of data generated annually in the United States!

A Giant Blackmail Machine

Recent disclosures by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have done much to dispel remaining myths (government spying is "focused," "legal," etc.) surrounding the secret state's privacy-killing surveillance programs. It now seems likely that NSA is hoovering up far more than the "telephony metadata" revealed by The Guardian's publication of the secret FISA Court Order to Verizon Business Services. Following-up on PRISM program reporting, The Washington Post disclosed June 15 that the Bush administration's "warrantless wiretapping" program STELLAR WIND

"was succeeded by four major lines of intelligence collection in the territorial United States, together capable of spanning the full range of modern telecommunications, according to the interviews and documents."

"Two of the four collection programs, one each for telephony and the Internet," Barton Gellman reported, "process trillions of 'metadata' records for storage and analysis in systems called MAINWAY and MARINA, respectively."

According to the Post, "Metadata includes highly revealing information about the times, places, devices and participants in electronic communication, but not its contents. The bulk collection of telephone call records from Verizon Business Services, disclosed this month by the British newspaper the Guardian, is one source of raw intelligence for MAINWAY."

Dropping a bombshell, although withholding supporting documents, Gellman reports that the "other two types of collection, which operate on a much smaller scale, are aimed at content. One of them intercepts telephone calls and routes the spoken words to a system called ­NUCLEON."

"MARINA and the collection tools that feed it are probably the least known of the NSA's domestic operations," the Post averred. "Yet they probably capture information about more American citizens than any other, because the volume of e-mail, chats and other Internet communications far exceeds the volume of standard telephone calls."

"The NSA calls Internet metadata 'digital network information.' Sophisticated analysis of those records can reveal unknown associates of known terrorism suspects. Depending on the methods applied, it can also expose medical conditions, political or religious affiliations, confidential business negotiations and extramarital affairs."

In other words, it seems likely that harvested data gleaned from phone calls, emails, video chats and credit card records are being used in ways that are as old as the spy game itself: political and economic blackmail. Indeed, NSA whistleblower Russ Tice, the principal source for The New York Times exposé of illegal Bush administration spy programs, told Sibel Edmonds' Boiling Frogs Post podcast that the secret state has ordered surveillance on a wide range of groups and individuals, including antiwar activists, high-ranking military officials, lawmakers and diplomats.

According to Tice: "Okay. They went after--and I know this because I had my hands literally on the paperwork for these sort of things--they went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and some of the--and judicial. But they went after other ones, too. They went after lawyers and law firms. All kinds of--heaps of lawyers and law firms. They went after judges. One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Court that I had his wiretap information in my hand. Two are former FISA court judges. They went after State Department officials. They went after people in the executive service that were part of the White House--their own people. They went after antiwar groups. They went after US international--US companies that that do international business, you know, business around the world. They went after US banking firms and financial firms that do international business. They went after NGOs that--like the Red Cross, people like that that go overseas and do humanitarian work. They went after a few antiwar and civil rights groups. So, you know, don't tell me that there's no abuse, because I've had this stuff in my hand and looked at it."

"Here's the big one," Tice told hosts Sibel Edmonds and Peter B. Collins, "this was in summer of 2004, one of the papers that I held in my hand was to wiretap a bunch of numbers associated with a 40-something-year-old wannabe senator for Illinois. You wouldn't happen to know where that guy lives right now would you? It's a big white house in Washington, D.C. That's who they went after, and that's the president of the United States now."

Other political targets revealed by Tice included all nine Supreme Court justices, Senate Intelligence Committee head Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and ousted CIA director General David Petraeus, who allegedly resigned over a sex scandal.

Is it any wonder then, that House and Senate leaders driving the "oversight" clown car are the ones now braying loudest for Ed Snowden's head!

Like ECHELON, Only on Steroids

A new series of disclosures published by The Guardian, based on the Snowden files but, like the Post, without public disclosure of the actual documents, we learned that Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) "has secretly gained access to the network of cables which carry the world's phone calls and internet traffic and has started to process vast streams of sensitive personal information which it is sharing with its American partner, the National Security Agency (NSA)."

"The sheer scale of the agency's ambition is reflected in the titles of its two principal components: Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, aimed at scooping up as much online and telephone traffic as possible," The Guardian reported.

Britain's "Mastering the Internet" scheme was first reported by The Register and The Sunday Times back in 2009; Antifascist Calling published an analysis of NSA's key role in the GCHQ program; a few months later, citing documents posted by WikiLeaks, AFC commented on the cozy relations amongst private intelligence contractors, the European Union and the secret state. The architecture of these highly intrusive, illegal programs was created decades ago however, in intelligence-sharing arrangements in the English speaking world under the rubric of NSA's global surveillance network known as ECHELON. As one of the "Five Eyes" partner agencies of the Cold War-era UKUSA Security Agreement (US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) exposed by journalists Duncan Campbell and Nicky Hager in their ECHELON investigations, GCHQ, through a contemporary operation code named TEMPORA, has tapped into and stored vast quantities of data gleaned from fiber optic cables passing through the UK.

"This includes recordings of phone calls, the content of email messages, entries on Facebook and the history of any internet user's access to websites--all of which is deemed legal, even though the warrant system was supposed to limit interception to a specified range of targets," The Guardian reported.

But as we know from Campbell and Hager's reporting, while intelligence and law enforcement officials in Britain and the United States are required to obtain an individualized warrant to target a suspect's communications in their own nation, no such restrictions apply should one of the five "partner agencies" spy on another country's citizens. One must assume this arrangement continues today.


June 21, 2013

Weekend Economists Profiles in Courage...and Tenacity...and Grit! June 21-23,2013

I was strolling through the web when I was captured by this:

Portrait of Susan B. Anthony
by Francis Benjamin Johnston

Susan Brownell Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. She was co-founder of the first Women's Temperance Movement with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as President. She also co-founded the women's rights journal, The Revolution. She traveled the United States and Europe, and averaged 75 to 100 speeches per year. She was one of the important advocates in leading the way for women's rights to be acknowledged and instituted in the American government. Her birthday, on February 15, is commemorated as Susan B. Anthony Day in the U.S. states of Florida and Wisconsin.

Susan B. Anthony was born to Daniel Anthony (1794–1862) and Lucy Read (1793–1880) and raised in West Grove, Adams, Massachusetts. She was the second-oldest of seven children; her siblings were Guelma Penn (1818–1873), Hannah Lapham (1821–1877), Daniel Read (1824–1904), Mary Stafford (1827–1907), Eliza Tefft (1832–1834), and Jacob Merritt (1834–1900). She grew up as a Quaker who believed in hard work and a simple life. Her publisher brother Daniel would become active in the anti-slavery movement in Kansas and her sister Mary became a teacher and a women's-rights activist. Anthony remained close to her sisters throughout her life.
Parents of Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony's birthplace

Her earliest American ancestors were the immigrants John Anthony (1607–1675), who was from Hempstead, Essex, and his wife, Susanna Potter (c. 1623 - 1674), who was from London, Middlesex.

Anthony's father Daniel was a cotton manufacturer and abolitionist, a stern but open-minded man who was born into the Quaker religion. He did not allow toys or amusements into the household, claiming that they would distract the soul from the "inner light." Her mother, Lucy, was a student in Daniel's school; the two fell in love and agreed to marry in 1817, but Lucy was less sure about marrying into the Society of Friends (Quakers). Lucy attended the Rochester women’s rights convention held in August 1848, two weeks after the historic Seneca Falls Convention, and signed the Rochester convention’s Declaration of Sentiments. Lucy and Daniel Anthony enforced self-discipline, principled convictions, and belief in one's own self-worth.

Susan was a precocious child, having learned to read and write at age three. In 1826, when she was six years old, the Anthony family moved from Massachusetts to Battenville, New York. Susan was sent to attend a local district school, where a teacher refused to teach her long division because of her gender. Upon learning of the weak education she was receiving, her father promptly had her placed in a group home school, where he taught Susan himself. Mary Perkins, another teacher there, conveyed a progressive image of womanhood to Anthony, further fostering her growing belief in women's equality.

In 1837, Anthony was sent to Deborah Moulson's Female Seminary, a Quaker boarding school in Philadelphia. She was not happy at Moulson's, but she did not have to stay there long. She was forced to end her formal studies because her family, like many others, was financially ruined during the Panic of 1837. Their losses were so great that they attempted to sell everything in an auction, even their most personal belongings, which were saved at the last minute when Susan's uncle, Joshua Read, stepped up and bid on them in order to restore them to the family.

In 1839, the family moved to Hardscrabble, New York, in the wake of the panic and economic depression that followed. That same year, Anthony left home to teach and pay off her father's debts. She taught first at Eunice Kenyon's Friends' Seminary, and then at the Canajoharie Academy in 1846, where she rose to become headmistress of the Female Department. Anthony's first occupation inspired her to fight for wages equivalent to those of male teachers, since men earned roughly four times more than women for the same duties.

In 1849, at age 29, Anthony quit teaching and moved to the family farm in Rochester, New York. She began to take part in conventions and gatherings related to the temperance movement. In Rochester, she attended the local Unitarian Church and began to distance herself from the Quakers, in part because she had frequently witnessed instances of hypocritical behavior such as the use of alcohol amongst Quaker preachers. As she got older, Anthony continued to move further away from organized religion in general, and she was later chastised by various Christian religious groups for displaying irreligious tendencies. By the 1880s, Anthony had become agnostic.

In her youth, Anthony was very self-conscious of her appearance and speaking abilities. She long resisted public speaking for fear she would not be sufficiently eloquent. Despite these insecurities, she became a renowned public presence, eventually helping to lead the women's movement.

We may have thought that Susan B. did the hard stuff, and we had reached the Promised Land. Not so. I expect any day now, some idiot in Texas will devise "Math for Girls" just because he can...

And while this Greater, Never-Ending Depression is hard, it could have been (and for centuries was) so much harder.

So screw your courage to the sticking point, and let us manufacture a NEW new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men AND women are created equal...

and entitled to equal pay and benefits and career opportunities.....and honest banks!
June 20, 2013


And I mean that in all senses of the word.

This will be bigger than anything ever in physics/chemistry. As big as genes.

Simply amazing!

June 19, 2013

Green Shadow Cabinet Joins Critical Struggle to Defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership


The Green Shadow Cabinet stands united in opposition to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and is committed to defeating this Obama administration effort to enrich and empower global corporations at the expense of people and planet.

For three years, the Obama administration has engaged in 16 rounds of secret negotiations to develop the TPP. Those negotiations have included hundreds of representatives of global corporations. The TPP negotiations have excluded representatives of the vast majority of the American people. It is a fact that the TPP is global economic policy for the 1%, at the expense of the 99%.

Today, all five branches and 81 members of the Green Shadow Cabinet begin to act in concert to not only defeat the TPP, but to show America that another government with another global economic agenda is possible. There is an alternative to the corrupt political establishment that produces economic terrors like the TPP. Our Cabinet is proof of that alternative.

Daily this week, the Green Shadow Cabinet will release over a dozen statements in opposition to the TPP; these statements describe the threats posed by the TPP, and offer better alternatives. This month, our Cabinet members will begin participating in the broader movement against the TPP through actions and events across the United States and urge all Americans to join this effort. We are bringing our networks and communities into this critical struggle.


If you oppose the industrial farming practices of Monsanto, Cargill and other giant food and agribusiness corporations, with their intense use of toxic herbicides and other harmful chemicals, production of untested genetically modified food, efforts to control the seed supply and patent life, their pollution of the water, air, soil and food supply, then you must oppose the TPP.

If you oppose the actions of the big banks and financial institutions that led to the world economic crash, exploding wealth inequality, risky investments that endanger the economic future, and their ability to dominate national economies, then you must oppose the TPP.

If you are committed to protecting the rights of working people to a living wage, the right to organize, and to safe working conditions, then you must oppose the TPP.

If you favor a free and open Internet where free speech is protected and creativity and communication flourish, then you must oppose the TPP.

If you understand that healthcare is a human right and that the inflated prices of pharmaceutical drugs should not be protected by law, then you must oppose the TPP.

If you want to see the air, waters and lands protected from toxic chemicals and pollution, and know that the ecological crisis of species extinction and environmental breakdown must be reversed, then you must oppose the TPP.

If you would live in a world where local, state, and national governments are allowed to take urgent action to deal with the global climate crisis, and to implement a Green New Deal, then you must oppose the TPP.

We look forward to working with you in the coming months to defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership and to prevent its sister trade agreement, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, from following the same path. The first step is to stop enactment of Trade Promotion Authority legislation, also known as “Fast Track,” that would prevent Congress from holding hearings on the TPP or amending the TPP. There must be no end-run around the Constitution, or the right of the American people to petition the government for redress.


We know that another world is possible. We are building that world every day through local governments, cooperatives, community organizations, and publicly owned financial institutions.

Those who defend corporate capitalism also understand that another world is possible, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership is their attempt to foreclose our new world. The TPP gives major corporations legal personhood to sue in transnational courts dominated by judges who themselves are lawyers for major corporations. Under the TPP, corporations would be able to claim that environmental, labor, financial, health and other laws cost them profits, and to extract damages from our governments - and from us as taxpayers - if they enforce those laws.

The current administration in Washington D.C. is committed to passing the TPP and to defeating America’s grassroots movement for economic democracy. The Green Shadow Cabinet is committed to defeating the TPP, and to strengthening the U.S. democracy movement. We and our allies are the many, they are the few. Let us defend our communities and our future and stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Statement of the Green Shadow Cabinet of the United States of America:

Jill Stein, President
Cheri Honkala, Vice President
Patch Adams, Assistant Secretary of Health for Holistic Health
Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Government Transparency and Accountability, Director
Kali Akuno, Secretary of Racial Justice
Kris Alman, Assistant Secretary of Health for Data Privacy
Gar Alperovitz, New Economy Advisor to the President
Marc Armstrong, Secretary of Commerce
Ajamu Baraka, Public Intervenor for Human Rights
Bill Barry, Workers Rights Administration, Administrator
Roshan Bliss, Assistant Secretary of Education for Higher Education
Leah Bolger, Secretary of Defense
Steve Breyman, Environmental Protection Agency, Administrator
Mary Bricker-Jenkins, Aid to Families and Youth, Director
Ellen Brown, Secretary of the Treasury
Richard Bruno, Assistant Secretary of Health for Medical Education and Training
Shahid Buttar, Civil Rights Enforcement, Director
Lee Camp, Commissioner for the Comedic Arts
Olveen Carrasquillo, Assistant Secretary of Health for Health Equity
Claudia Chaufan, Assistant Secretary of Health for System Design
Steven Chrismer, Secretary of Transportation
David Cobb, Commission on Corporations and Democracy, Chair
Khalilah Collins, Public Intervenor for Social Justice
Christopher Cox, Political Ecology Advisor to the President
Michael Crenshaw, People's Culture Bureau, Work Progress Administration
Maureen Cruise, Assistant Secretary of Health for Community Wellbeing
Ronnie Cummins, Administrator, Food and Drug Administration
Tim DeChristopher, Emergency Climate Action Coordinator
King Downing, President's Commission on Corrections Reform, Chair
Mark Dunlea, White House Office of Climate and Agriculture, Director
Steve Early, Workers Power Administration, Administrator
Robert Fitrakis, Federal Elections Commission, Chair
Margaret Flowers, Secretary of Health
George Friday, Commission on Community Power, Chair
Bruce Gagnon, Secretary of Space
Jack Gerson, Assistant Secretary of Education for K-12
Jim Goodman, Secretary of Agriculture
Philip Harvey, Full Employment Council, Chair
Howie Hawkins, Full Employment Council, Vice Chair
Kimberly King, Secretary of Education
Charles Komanoff, Assistant Secretary for Sustainable Urban Transportation
Bruce Levine, Assistant Secretary of Health for Clinical Mental Health
Vance "Head-Roc" Levy, Poet Laureate
Ethel Long-Scott, Commission on Women's Power, Co-Chair
Sarah Manski, Small Business Administration, Administrator
Ben Manski, White House Chief of Staff
George Paz Martin, Peace Ambassador
Gloria Mattera, Assistant Secretary of Health for Public Health Education
Richard McIntyre, U.S. Trade Representative
David McReynolds, Peace Advisor to the President
Gloria Meneses Sandoval, Secretary of Immigration
Richard Monje, Secretary of Labor
Suren Moodliar, Global Democracy Programs, Director
Jim Moran, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Administrator
Carol Paris, Assistant Secretary of Health for Mental Health Systems
Sandy Perry, Secretary of Housing
Todd Price, Assistant Secretary of Education for Education Technology
Jesselyn Radack, National Security and Human Rights Advisor to the President
Jack Rasmus, Federal Reserve System, Chairman
Michael Ratner, Division of Civil, Social & Economic Rights, Director
Ray Rogers, International Labor Rights, Advisor
Anna Rondon, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs
Lewis Rosenbaum, Public Media Administration, Administrator
Daniel Shea, Veteran's Affairs: Chemical Exposure
Diljeet Singh, Assistant Secretary of Health for Women's Health and Cancer
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Bureau of Water Preservation, Director
Robert Stone, Assistant Secretary of Health for Emergency and Palliative Care
David Swanson, Secretary of Peace
Sean Sweeney, Climate Change Advisor to the President
Clifford Thornton, Drug Policy Agency, Administrator
Brian Tokar, Director of the Office of Technology Assessment
Bruce Trigg, Assistant Secretary of Health for Drug Policy
Walter Tsou, Surgeon General
Kabzuag Vaj, Commission on Women's Power, Co-Chair
Harvey Wasserman, Secretary of Energy
Rich Whitney, Office of Management and Budget, Director
Richard D. Wolff, Council of Economic Advisors, Chair
Ann Wright, Secretary of State
Bruce Wright, Commission on Ending Homelessness, Chair
Stephen Zarlenga, Monetary Authority Board, Chair
Kevin Zeese, Attorney General

For more information please visit Greenshadowcabinet.us
June 18, 2013

7 Powerful Ways to Maintain Your Privacy and Integrity Online By Eliot Estep


The recent NSA leaks from whistleblower Ed Snowden have publicly confirmed that digital privacy does not exist. The federal government and intelligence agencies have direct server access to the world’s most popular sites and services including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and more. This means that all of your data when using these services including Skype, YouTube, etc has been compromised and can be used against you whenever strategically necessary.

Always remember, you are being recorded and monitored regardless of whether you have done anything wrong or not. This includes your emails, internet activity, searches, banking activity, passwords, etc. Basically everything to build a complete profile about who you are, how you think, how you live, etc. This is very powerful data gathering and the goal of the intelligence agencies is nothing less than Total Information Awareness to be used to control and manage populations.

For these reasons, I have compiled some helpful tips to help you maintain your privacy and integrity when using the Internet. These are by no means comprehensive, but they can be quite useful and give you some semblance of peace when browsing....

1. Use StartPage.com for all your searches. Known as “the world’s most private search engine”, StartPage will allow you to search anonymously and securely through Google. It is probably the only search engine that does not collect or share any personal information about you. You can even access pages through a proxy quickly and easily. StartPage functionality can be easily added to your browser for all searches made through the address bar. If you value your privacy, this is really a no-brainer.

If you use Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc then everything you search is logged to your IP address and is used to build a comprehensive profile about all your online activity. This means that the government literally has the ability to know everything you’ve been interested in, how you type (thus, how you think), and much more. Protect your searches!

2. Consider using an Anonymizer such as Tor to protect your identity. Tor prevents anyone from learning your location, browsing habits, and is an extremely effective tool against network surveillance and traffic analysis. Tor is essentially a network of virtual tunnels run by volunteers that allows your real IP address to remain hidden and undetectable when browsing the Internet. It is used by whistleblowers, hackers, and all those who value anonymity. You can also use it to access sites that your ISP has blocked or banned. Keep in mind, if you use Tor to access personally-identifying sites like Facebook then you pretty much lose your ability to remain anonymous. Learn more about this powerful software and please use it responsibly! To get started quickly, please download the Tor Browser Bundle. Using this software wisely and effectively will likely require changing your browsing habits, so be aware of this.

3. Consider using a private and secure social network like Pidder. This is a private social network that uses encrypted communication and offers the ability to remain anonymous. If you are truly looking for ways to stay in touch with close ones in a uncompromised manner, this could be the site for you. While it will not have the userbase of Facebook, this is still an excellent alternative for secure social networking.

4. Use a firewall and a secure wireless connection. Protecting your inbound and outbound network traffic is essential. There are many free software options available for this. I cannot guarantee the integrity of these programs, but I personally recommend Little Snitch for Mac users. It appears that Outpost may be a good alternative for Windows. The key is to be able to see what services/sites are trying to send/receive data over your connection. The more stringent your firewall rules are, the better. Keep your computer clean by using some kind of anti-spam/spyware software and minimize your use of highly sketchy sites.

5. Delete your cookies regularly and log out of Facebook when you are not actively using it. Almost everytime you visit a site, you download a cookie from that site, which is often used to track and collect data about you, the sites you visit, etc. Therefore, deleting cookies and temporary internet files from your browser frequently is necessary. I recommend CCleaner as an effective way to do this. Most people leave a Facebook tab open and continue browsing, not realizing that every page that has a “Like” button actively logs and tracks their online activity. Facebook collects all your browsing data and then sells it to third parties, including passing it onto intelligence agencies. Therefore, when you are not actively using Facebook, be sure to log out! Why should they know everything you’re up to online?

6. Cover up or disconnect your webcam when you are not using it. Did you know that your webcam can be secretly activated without you being aware of it? Hackers and intelligence agencies have the ability to do this, so effective countermeasures must be taken here. This can be done WITHOUT the indicator light coming on, so you won’t even know that you are being watched or recorded. This is why I recommend taping over or covering up your webcam when you’re not using it. Why take the risk? Do you really want the government to have the ability to spy on you while you are in your bedroom? The same thing can be done on cellphone cameras/microphones, so be aware of that too. The only way your phone cannot be used to track/record you is if the battery is taken out, which is another reason why many new smartphones come with non-removable batteries these days.

7. Learn to use secure email services like HushMail or encrypted email. Communicating using email is vital and part of our everyday lives. If we use services like Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo, those services are not secure and are compromised. Therefore, switching over to a secure service such as Hushmail can be valuable. Or learn how to use Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), which is a way to send encrypted email and files that only a trusted third party can open and view. Essentially, PGP uses public-private key cryptography, where you will give out your public key to trusted recipients. Messages can only be decrypted by using your special private key file (that you keep safe) and the sender’s public key. You can even encrypt files so that only a specific person can open them. Learning to use PGP requires some technical knowledge but can be very useful for those who want to communicate securely and is well worth learning, in my opinion. Please see this tutorial or this video to get started. There are some excellent YouTube videos that can really help out with this.

Be smart about how you communicate online. If you take no precautionary measures, then you should assume that your communications are being recorded and monitored at all times. Do not discuss illegal or secret activities on Facebook or through Skype or Gmail. Ultimately, we should be greatly decreasing our use of these compromised services altogether! Be aware of what you type and consider their ramifications if ever made public. We must exercise great discretion and discernment when it comes to our online activities now. The methods listed above are by no means comprehensive and are just a small way to boost your privacy. If you have other privacy tips, please mention them here in the comments for all to see and benefit from. In the end, it is all up to the user to do their part in maintaining their online integrity. Safe browsing my friends!
June 15, 2013

History Teaches That We Have the Power to Transform the Nation By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers


We live in a time of great crises on many fronts. As the economy continues to fail and extraction methods for energy become more radical and harmful to people and the planet, momentum is building for a mass uprising. Turkey is the most recent illustration that the event which sparks popular unrest cannot be predicted. We can only suspect that it is coming. So, we must be prepared.

Times of crisis also offer opportunities for real change. We can create an economy and society that are more just and sustainable. Alternatively, we can continue down the same destructive path. What type of society emerges from this unrest will be determined in large part by our actions.

The question we hear frequently is: How do people build power and ultimately transform the nation and the world in a way that is lasting and based on our values? Many people in the United States feel the task is futile, the power structure too strong, so that working for real, transformational change of the economic and political system is unrealistic.

The fact is, United States and world histories show that an organized and mobilized populace is what has always caused transformational change. This history is not taught in our education system or emphasized in the heroes we idolize in our culture, but it is so significant that it cannot be hidden from view. The country could not operate if the people refused to participate in its corrupt systems. The ultimate power is with us, if we let go of fear and embrace it...


100 Years of Resistance Shows What Works
June 15, 2013

Weekend Economists Salute Our (Founding) Fathers June 14-16, 2013

Sunday is Father's Day, and for those with fathers to honor, go forth and do so!

But if you don't have a suitable candidate, or if you want a bigger picture, consider our Founding Fathers, the men who stepped outside of the box they found themselves trapped in, envisioned and built a better deal for themselves and their neighbors and their future generations.

Their names are legendary, their legacies enduring. Franklin, Adams, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton and so forth, men of conscience, men of learning, men who dealt with Reality and constructed a new world combining new ideas and ancient practices.

They didn't get everything right, they couldn't anticipate every eventuality, but their careful craftsmanship and their first principles still guide us.

In this 237th year since the Declaration of Independence passed the First Continental Congress, people have argued about what the Founders actually said, and what theyactually meant. This year, anybody can participate---their papers have gone on line for all to access.

No more pleading for permission, securing credentials, rooting in basements and file cabinets. Visit this site:


and expand your mind!

Correspondence and Other Writings of Six Major Shapers of the United States:

George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams (and family), Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. Over 119,000 searchable documents, fully annotated, from the authoritative, federally funded Founding Fathers Papers projects....

The National Archives, through its National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), has entered into a cooperative agreement with The University of Virginia Press to create this site and make freely available online the historical documents of the Founders of the United States of America.

Through this website, you will be able to read and search through thousands of records from George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison and see firsthand the growth of democracy and the birth of the Republic.

For the past 50 years, the NHPRC has invested in these detailed collections of all of the documents authored and received by, or related to, individual leaders of the period. Scholars have collected—from archives across the country and around the world—copies of the original 18th- and 19th-century documents, transcribed them, provided annotations, and produced hundreds of books. You can see a complete list of titles of these printed volumes along with links to the documents.

Founders Online also includes transcriptions of thousands of documents that have not yet appeared in the published volumes, provided via our Early Access program.

Now, for the first time, users can freely access the written record of the original thoughts, ideas, debates, and principles of our democracy. You will be able to search across the records of all six Founders and read first drafts of the Declaration of Independence, the spirited debate over the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the very beginnings of American law, government, and our national story. You will be able to compare and contrast the thoughts and ideas of these six individuals and their correspondents as they discussed and debated through their letters and documents.

In its initial phase, Founders Online contains nearly 120,000 fully searchable documents. Soon we will be adding more documents drawn from the print editions and additional transcriptions of documents. As work continues on each of the ongoing publishing projects, newly annotated and edited records will be added. When it is complete, Founders Online will include approximately 175,000 documents in this living monument to America’s Founding Era.


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