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“The key to that… is a citizens politics… that can beat big-money politics…..”

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I really didn’t give this report much respect coming out of the gate for the word-leaked-out, was that it does nothing to stop the NSA’s abuse.   However, I have deep respect for Richard Clarke who was one of the five, so I felt compelled to read the whole thing

Since I’m sure few of you will venture to read the entire report, If something jumps out, I jotted it down below…

1. The United States Government must protect, at once, two different forms of security: national security and personal privacy.

In addition to reducing risks to national security, public officials must consider four other risks:

• Risks to privacy;
• Risks to freedom and civil liberties, on the Internet and elsewhere;
• Risks to our relationships with other nations; and
• Risks to trade and commerce, including international commerce.

We recommend that Congress should end such storage and transition to a system in which such metadata is held privately for the government to query when necessary for national security purposes.

In our view, the current storage by the government of bulk meta-data creates potential risks to public trust, personal privacy, and civil liberty.

We recognize that the government might need access to such meta-data, which should be held instead either by private providers or by a private third party. This approach would allow the government access to the relevant information when such access is justified, and thus protect national security without unnecessarily threatening privacy and liberty.

We endorse a broad principle for the future: as a general rule and without senior policy review, the government should not be permitted to collect and store mass, undigested, non-public personal information about US persons for the purpose of enabling future queries…

We also recommend that legislation should be enacted authorizing telephone, Internet, and other providers to disclose publicly general information about orders they receive directing them to provide information to the government. Such information might disclose the number of orders that providers have received, the broad categories of information produced, and the number of users whose information has been produced…

We recommend that, in the absence of a specific and compelling showing, the US Government should follow the model of the Department of Homeland Security and apply the Privacy Act of 1974 in the same way to both US persons and non-US persons.

We recommend a series of organizational changes.  We believe that the Director should be a Senate-confirmed position, with civilians eligible to hold that position; the President should give serious consideration to making the next Director of NSA a civilian. NSA should be clearly designated as a foreign intelligence organization….

The head of the military unit, US Cyber Command, and the Director of NSA should not be a single official.

We favor a newly chartered, strengthened, independent Civil Liberties and Privacy Protection Board (CLPP Board) to replace the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB)…

We recommend that Congress should create the position of Public Interest Advocate to represent the interests of privacy
and civil liberties before the FISC.

The US Government should take additional steps to promote security, by

(1) fully supporting and not undermining efforts to create encryption standards;

(2) making clear that it will not in any way subvert undermine, weaken, or make vulnerable generally available commercial
encryption; and

(3) supporting efforts to encourage the greater use of encryption technology for data in transit, at rest, in the cloud, and in
storage.

The use of “for-profit” corporations to conduct personnel investigations should be reduced or terminated.

There then follow forty-six recommendations, most of which were mentioned above… They start on page 26 and continue until page 44,  For the most part, these are where the complaints that the report is too soft, lie.  The report states things should be in a certain way, and like the Articles of Confederation, there is no teeth to back them up….  For instance it states we recommend that private third parties turn over data only if it is necessary to the security of the United States… Easily setting up this scenario… “Hi, can you give me info on Ms Murphy.  Appears we have some trousers in some soup…” ” Is it a national emergency?” “Yes, sure is”… “Ok here are all their calls…” Essentially unless teeth are added, this allows the same actions as go on today, to progress further.

Teeth such as:  any third party who gives, or any governmental employee who asks for private confidential information for purposes other than an immediate physical threat to national security, may be sued in court for any damages such misuse of information may cause…. etc…

It is our sincere hope, that one, this power is removed from the government.  Private corporations cannot arrest one in the middle of the night, and that with this data in the hands of private entities, that those private entities are at risk if any wrong information falls into anyone’s wrong hands…

Most of us would still trust our privacy in that scenario…  “What?  Someone just told my spouse I was sexting Miley Cyrus?  Oh well, (sigh) with the judgment of $68 million I’ll eventually receive, I’m much better off if I’m divorced before I receive it… ..”

Why is Delaware Day no big deal?   Because it celebrates a bunch of colonials sitting in the Golden Fleece in Dover,  having a brief discussion, then voting for ratification, then hurrying home….   The timing of their decision would eventually lead 216 years later to Delaware having the first quarter minted in its honor…  That was about it…

So why is Pearl Harbor a big deal?  We got beat… Hey lets go down to the bar and celebrate that time Biff beat us up real bad as kids… 

No, we celebrate Pearl Harbor Day because on that day, Republicans everywhere (except for the DuPont family) stopped being Republicans.  The entire nation became Democrats, solidly behind FDR, committed to their government for its fulfilling of one task no matter what the cost…. 

Great things were accomplished because of Pearl Harbor…  That is why we celebrate it… It proved the Republican philosophy that we should leave the world alone and just support our billionaires, to be wrong, and it stayed wrong for the next 53 years later…  That time frame turned out to be America’s greatest, ever, btw…   So it is worth that we celebrate Pearl Harbor Day….  It caused the disappearance of the Republican Party…. 

Fingers crossed that perhaps we will celebrate November 4, 2014 the same way?…..  for the same thing?  For getting rid of all influence by the Republican Party?…. 

(Note, to reader:  I started this post in jest, but now it is scaring me exactly how closely similar the Republican Party was leading up to Pearl Harbor, as it is today..)  

One of the nice things about this past-time is that one sees trends flow across one’s desk….

Right now, look at what is happening.

  • Gigantic Power Plant Being Rammed Through Newark.
  • Gigantic Scheme to Funnel Billions of Educational Dollars to Private Firms Through Common Core.
  • Gigantic Scheme to Cut Government Spending Despite It’s Known Benefit to the Economy
  • Gigantic Scheme to Funnel Money Out of Social Security Into Privately Managed Accounts.
  • Gigantic Scheme to Funnel Your Money from Medicare Into Private High Cost Health Care.
  • Gigantic Scheme to Prevent the Breakup of Gigantic Medical Conglomerates by Obamacare.

Common thread?  There is too much money, and it can now do gigantic things….

Like putting out a gas fire, the first thing is to shut off the gas…  Control the money.

We first broke monopolies .  When they grew back, we instilled Income tax.  When that was rescinded, it eventually created the Great Depression so afterwards, we then put them back in. While in place we had outstanding economic growth from 1930- 2001.  That has never happened in any economy before income taxes were invented.

We rescinded taxes again, and got 2008… We puttered until 2013, when taxes were added to the top half of the top one percent.  Just that has driven growth alone.  More would be better.

It is obvious that raising taxes on the top one percent forces reinvestment back into the economy of this country that does not happen by their altruistic, philanthropic  tendencies alone….

If none of these entities had so much money to burn, smaller amounts of money would now be burning in each of these cases attacking the very foundations of American economic stability and health….

Taxes are good.  More taxes are better than less taxes…  Taxes don’t take money; they allow for better choices to reinvest that money, and all become richer in the process, not just those already rich beyond all means of being able to spend it……

So again, tell me why Newark should have to breath uranium residue just so they can get richer?

So please continue to fight these little battles.  Just realize where the reinforcements are coming from, that every fiscal year they are spawned anew,  and acknowledge they’ve been beaten before, and can be again.  Particularly when the odds are 99 to 1 in OUR favor…..

This is post number 2000.

The only real significance is it is 150 posts more than where Tommywonk stopped exactly one year and fifteen days ago…

If some future historian looks back, I can only guess they may kindly make some note of the quality of thought that underlies these efforts, but my guess, is no one will ever notice…

Irregardless, as long as the urge to put thoughts down for others continues, we will go on. As usual, with no goal, no direction, and no ulterior motive. Probably upon reflection, my biggest surprise, right here, right now … is that I still enjoy it so much, and can’t wait to jot my thoughts down, click the button, and send them off to where ever cyberspace and the vast internet ocean, lets them drift….

For each of you who have become regular over the years, … thank you friend…


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

The global markets lost 1% today… Actually that is pretty good. The losses stemmed over the fact that Republicans won’t allow new revenue to enhance our failing budget…….

Like George Washington, they want to apply more leeches (tax cuts) which eventually will bleed the father of our country dry, and kill him dead.

There are great ideas to get around the impasse……

One was so close last week in which Obama and Boehner had come almost to a 4$ Trillion Deal… It was so, so close. Boehner was about to become the Alexander Hamilton of the 21st Century: Historians would forever know him as the man who brought America back from economic ruin…….

But Boehner’s owner, jerked hard on his leash… cracking Boehner’s trachea. He then spun Boehner to the ground, and applied zip strips to his wrists and ankles. He then tazed Boehner repeatedly. For the first time in his life, Boehner did not cry. He was then strapped to a board, tilted backwards into a tank of water, and held for 45 seconds, over 111 times. He was then blindfolded and pummelled with cans of Pepsi, embedded in old cotton socks, leaving no evidence. He then poked with a tube, in his (you know where) and the other end was attached to a fire hydrant.

The next morning, Boehner said the deal was off; he refused to return Obama’s calls.

Leaks from those working for his owners, tell us the taxes on the wealthy 1% were the sole reason Boehner was given “the treatment”… It’s a damn shame; for a package of $3 trillion in cuts, (yes, includes modifications to SS and Medicare) and a Trillion in tax increases on the top 1%… would shake the dynamics of our economy.

It would spur investment here in America.
It would therefore create jobs.
It would stop the uncertainty where America was financially headed.
It would prevent the immediate loss to our economy of $4 billion a day.
It would reduce the deficit over time, and save money spent paying interest, which could then be used for services.
It would be the proper step at this time in the direction we need to go.

But, if the US defaults on its debt, nothing in the financial markets is sacred, and when nothing is sacred, that… causes panics…

And a panic in 1929… caused the Great Depression. A panic in 2008, caused the mess we’re in right now.

The world’s managed wealth is $122 trillion… A one percent drop.. is $1.2 trillion. That is the amount, that one half, of one third our government,… cost the world today.

They are kids, playing with a live junction box… Sticking a screwdriver in the wrong hole, burns down the entire house……

(At $50,000 a job, today’s loss is the financial equivalent of putting 24 million human beings out of work)

My suggestion is that until that $5 million tax burden on the poor is taken off the table, I am hard pressed to support a tax cut of $7 million on those higher earners“,  
 
John Kowalko, State Representative 24th District

And in 34 words, we see the folly of tax cuts on the wealthy. What good does $80 dollars per $100,000 assessed, do to the economy? But the Medicare cuts, which are simply a percentage of the total costs a person must payout, mean additional charges to individuals that range from $800 to $50,000?

You tell me! Which one affects the local economy more… Creating additional charges which take away money that otherwise would be spent on groceries or necessities, or an unneeded $80 dollars that gets spent towards buying a piece paper: one that declares you the owner of a small piece of a bar of gold, somewhere supposedly stored in a someone-who-you-don’t-know’s vault?

Tax cuts will never, never, never stimulate the economy. The only thing that stimulates the economy is to put more money in the hand of people who buy “things”. Pay people more. If corporate America won’t agree do that, then we need a government who will make them….

Remember the past decade? The fight about unions? This, is why America needs strong unions. Get rid of unions, we become nothing.

When unions were strong, the middle class was strong. When unions became weak, the middle class couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

Delaware is overdue for a non work day, to show corporate America, that Delaware will help them succeed, but only to the point that it doesn’t kill us in the process…..