Home » Posts tagged 'jake johnson'

Tag Archives: jake johnson

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Alarm as Trump Requests Permanent Reauthorization of NSA Mass Spying Program Exposed by Snowden

Alarm as Trump Requests Permanent Reauthorization of NSA Mass Spying Program Exposed by Snowden

“The White House is calling for reauthorization of a program that security agencies have used to spy on innocent people, violate their privacy, and chill free speech.”

Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden speaks via video link as he takes part in a round table meeting on March 15, 2019. (Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images)

Civil liberties groups and privacy advocates raised alarm Thursday after the Trump administration called on Congress to reauthorize an NSA mass surveillance program that was exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The New York Times, which obtained the Trump administration’s request to Congress, reported that “the administration urged lawmakers to make permanent the legal authority for the National Security Agency to gain access to logs of Americans’ domestic communications, the USA Freedom Act.”

“It’s long past time that this surveillance program was shuttered once and for all.” 
—Patrick Toomey, ACLU

“The law, enacted after the intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden revealed the existence of the program in 2013, is set to expire in December, but the Trump administration wants it made permanent,” according to the Times.

The administration claimed in its letter to Congress—which was signed by outgoing National Intelligence chief Dan Coats—that the NSA has suspended the spying program, but Free Press Action government relations director Sandra Fulton said in a statement that this “should give little comfort to those whose privacy rights are routinely violated by authorities.”

“The White House is calling for reauthorization of a program that security agencies have used to spy on innocent people, violate their privacy, and chill free speech,” said Fulton. “The NSA program permits the mapping of relationships among members of marginalized communities and distant associates of targeted individuals, even when most individuals in those communities were never suspected of wrongdoing.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article….

Think US Media Won’t Help Lead Nation Into War With Iran Based on Flimsy or False Intelligence? Looks Like They Already Are

Think US Media Won’t Help Lead Nation Into War With Iran Based on Flimsy or False Intelligence? Looks Like They Already Are

“Do U.S. reporters, anchors, and editors really want more Middle Eastern blood on their hands? If not, they need to fix their rather credulous and increasingly hawkish coverage of Iran—and fix it fast.”

CNN’s presentation of video footage released by the U.S. military. (Photo: CNN/Screengrab)

If there were any lingering hopes that the corporate media learned from its role in perpetuating the lies that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and would never again help start a Middle East war on the basis of false or flimsy evidence, the headlines that blared across the front pages of major U.S. news websites Thursday night indicated that such hopes were badly misplaced.

The U.S. military late Thursday released blurry, black-and-white video footage that it claimed—without any underlying analysis or further details—showed an Iranian patrol boat removing an unexploded limpet mine from the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, one of the oil tankers damaged in attacks in the Gulf of Oman.

Here’s how CNN presented the U.S. military’s video:

Iran has denied any involvement in the attacks, and Yutaka Katada—the owner of the Kokuka Courageous—contradicted the Trump administration’s account during a press conference on Friday.

“Our crew said that the ship was attacked by a flying object,” Katada said. “I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship.”

Independent critics were quick to call for extreme skepticism in the face of U.S. government claims, given the quality of the “evidence” and the warmongering track records of those presenting it.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘The American People Do Not Want Endless War’: Sanders, Warren, and Ocasio-Cortez Back Pledge to Bring Post-9/11 Conflicts to a Close

‘The American People Do Not Want Endless War’: Sanders, Warren, and Ocasio-Cortez Back Pledge to Bring Post-9/11 Conflicts to a Close

“Congress must reassert its constitutional authority over the use of force and responsibly end these interventions,” said the Vermont senator.

“The United States has been in a state of continuous, global, open-ended military conflict since 2001,” the new pledge reads. (Image: Common Defense)

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) were among the first members of Congress to sign a new pledge vowing to end America’s “forever wars.”

“We’re watching our friends who we served with now on their eighth and ninth deployments. We’re seeing our kids now will be old enough to enlist and having to have hard conversations about that.” 
—Alexander McCoy, Common Defense

“The United States has been in a state of continuous, global, open-ended military conflict since 2001,” reads the pledge, which the veterans group Common Defense launched on Monday. “Over 2.5 million troops have fought in this ‘Forever War’ in over a dozen countries—including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Niger, Somalia, and Thailand.”

The five other lawmakers who joined Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, and Warren as the first supporters of the “End the Forever War” pledge were: Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.).

“I pledge to the people of the United States of America, and to our military community in particular, that I will (1) fight to reclaim Congress’s constitutional authority to conduct oversight of U.S. foreign policy and independently debate whether to authorize each new use of military force, and (2) act to bring the Forever War to a responsible and expedient conclusion,” the document states.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘Exactly What I Was Worried About’: Warren Warns New Big Bank Merger Will Increase Risk of Another Crash

‘Exactly What I Was Worried About’: Warren Warns New Big Bank Merger Will Increase Risk of Another Crash

“We can’t let banks become too big to fail again: American families will suffer.”

“Gigantic banks wrecked our economy, but the Fed told me they are rubber-stamping nearly every proposed bank merger,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wrote on Twitter. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

In response to news that SunTrust and BB&T are attempting to merge in a deal that would create the sixth largest bank in the United States, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) declared that this is precisely the kind of financial sector consolidation she was warning about last year as congressional Democrats and Republicans teamed up to ram through a major bank deregulation bill.

“Two of the country’s biggest banks—SunTrust and BB&T—are merging to form one of the biggest banks in the country. That’s exactly what I was worried about a year ago after Congress passed its big bank deregulation bill,” wrote the Massachusetts senator and likely 2020 presidential candidate, referring to the legislation that critics took to calling the “Bank Lobbyist Act.”

As Common Dreams reported, 17 Senate Democrats and 33 House Democrats voted for the legislation, which President Donald Trump signed into law last year.

Warren went on to express concern that the merger—which, if approved, would be the largest since the 2008 financial crisis—could set the stage for another economic meltdown.

“Gigantic banks wrecked our economy, but the Fed told me they are rubber-stamping nearly every proposed bank merger,” Warren wrote on Friday. “SunTrust and BB&T are probably next. We can’t let banks become too big to fail again: American families will suffer.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Here’s the Dire Climate Report the Trump White House Didn’t Want You to See

Here’s the Dire Climate Report the Trump White House Didn’t Want You to See

“The decision to release this damning report when families are beginning to celebrate the holidays and newsrooms are short-staffed is a brazen attempt to bury the truth.”

A house burns during the Woolsey Fire on November 9, 2018 in Malibu, California. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

In a move environmentalists and journalists denounced as a blatant effort to bury facts that conflict with the president’s denialism and pro-fossil fuel agenda, the Trump administration used the Friday after Thanksgiving to quietly release Volume II of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), which warned “Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization” and concluded that “greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the only factors that can account” for planet-threatening warming.

“Climate change is spawning more extreme weather, causing irreparable harm to communities, costing billions of dollars a year, and leading to countless deaths. We can stop climate destruction, but only if we act quickly to end the use of fossil fuels.”
—Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch

“The decision to release this damning report when families are beginning to celebrate the holidays and newsrooms are short-staffed is a brazen attempt to bury the truth from the public that we must act now to move off fossil fuels and stabilize the climate,” Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said in a statement.

“Releasing this report when no one is looking, tweeting his annual nonsense about global warming and cold weather, and announcing that he’ll use the upcoming U.N. climate meetings as a fossil fuel tradeshow, Trump is doubling down on his climate denial for the holidays—as many families are still reeling from unnatural climate disasters across the country,” Hauter continued. “The science is way past in on climate change… We must prepare for our climate future in spite of Trump.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

In Private Meeting, Facebook Exec Warns News Outlets to Cooperate or End Up Dying in ‘Hospice’

In Private Meeting, Facebook Exec Warns News Outlets to Cooperate or End Up Dying in ‘Hospice’

“Anyone who does care about news needs to understand Facebook as a fundamental threat.”

Facebook admitted Wednesday that “most” of its 2 million users likely had their personal information collected by “malicious actors.” (Photo: Legal Loop)

During a closed-door and off-the-record meeting last week, top Facebook executive Campbell Brown reportedly warned news publishers that refusal to cooperate with the tech behemoth’s efforts to “revitalize journalism” will leave media outlets dying “like in a hospice.”

“We desperately need to develop alternative delivery mechanisms to Facebook.”
—Judd Legum, ThinkProgress

Reported first by The Australian under a headline which read “Work With Facebook or Die: Zuckerberg,” the social media giant has insisted the comments were taken out of context, even as five individuals who attended the four-hour meeting corroborated what Brown had stated.

“Mark doesn’t care about publishers but is giving me a lot of leeway and concessions to make these changes,” Brown reportedly said, referring to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “We will help you revitalize journalism… in a few years the reverse looks like I’ll be holding hands with your dying business like in a hospice.”

As The Guardian reported on Monday, Facebook is “vehemently” denying the veracity of the comments as reported by The Australian, referring to its own transcript of the meeting. However, Facebook is refusing to release its transcript and tape of the gathering.


Facebook is saying these comments didn’t happen but The Australian has an explosive story on the company’s position with publishers. Five people at the meeting confirmed these comments and the company has tape of the conversation that it will not release.


…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase