selfownership1 January 8 2014
The National Security Agency on Saturday released a statement in answer to questions from a senator about whether it “has spied, or is … currently spying, on members of Congress or other American elected officials”, in which it did not deny collecting communications from legislators of the US Congress to whom it says it is accountable.
In a letter dated 3 January, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont defined “spying” as “gathering metadata on calls made from official or personal phones, content from websites visited or emails sent, or collecting any other data from a third party not made available to the general public in the regular course of business”.
The agency has been at the centre of political controversy since a former contractor, Edward Snowden, released thousands of documents on its activities to media outlets including the Guardian.
In its statement, which comes as the NSA gears up for a make-or-break legislative battle over the scope of its surveillance powers, the agency pointed to “privacy protections” which it says it keeps on all Americans’ phone records.
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate, controlled by the Democrats, joined the U.S. House of Representatives, controlled by the Republicans, in proving to Americans that political labels mean very little when it comes to Wall Street’s protection racket in Congress. Both houses of Congress have agreed on a plan to let interest rates on student loans fluctuate with financial markets, replacing the low fixed rate of 3.4 percent students previously enjoyed until July 1 of this year.
Under the Senate plan, the student loan rate is pegged to the 10-year Treasury note, with caps set extraordinarily high at 8.25 percent for undergraduates, 9.5 for graduate students and 10.5 for student loans taken out by parents. Wall Street, which also finances student loans, is very pleased with this outcome as it makes its rates more competitive with what the federal government offers. Sixteen Senate Democrats voted against the plan.
If signed into law by President Obama, an outcome which seems assured since he lobbied in favor of the plan, rates will reset annually. Loans taken out after July 1 of this year will rise to 3.9 percent for undergraduates; to 5.4 percent for graduate students; and to 6.4 percent for parents taking out the student loans.
Fresh off global protests against Monsanto, the Connecticut House and Senate agreed on a bill to label genetically modified foods.
“There is mounting scientific evidence showing that genetically modified foods are harmful to our health,” said Senate President Donald E. Williams (D-Brooklyn). “There’s an increasing avalanche of public support (for labeling GMOs).”
The original legislation would have made GMO labeling mandatory in Connecticut by 2016, but a compromise was made this week to add a trigger to the law requiring other states’ participation.
The trigger amendment states the law will go into effect when:
Four states, not including this state, enact a mandatory labeling law for genetically-engineered foods that is consistent with the provisions of this subsection, provided one such state borders Connecticut; and (2) the aggregate population of such states located in the northeast region of the United States that have enacted a mandatory labeling law for genetically-engineered foods that is consistent with this subsection exceed twenty million based on 2010 census figures.
In the Matrix, cover stories are everything. There are layers of them.
When it comes to so-called democratic governments, the lies and legends and fairy tales and half-truths and limited hangouts are nearly endless.
Imagine a bank robber posing as a hundred different people, with a history for each identity. Every identity’s story is a limited hangout, a partial exposure of who he really is…you get some truth about his mistakes, his problems, his struggles, his hopes and dreams, but the one thing you don’t get is the naked details of his bank robberies.
Intro: Robert Stuart, a US software developer, has been charged with a felony. He sold software to a firm outside the country, who used it to promote and facilitate online gambling. All legal. No problem.
But US authorities claim the software was then grabbed and deployed by American business people, who, without permission, used it to enable illegal online betting within these shores. Hence, charges have been filed against…Stuart!
Absurd on the face of it, so far.
“I grew tomatoes in California, sold them to a French wholesaler, but three guys in New Jersey somehow got hold of a few of the tomatoes, threw them in the face of an Atlantic City housewife—so I’m charged with assault.”
However, all this makes perfect sense, if you realize the government is incensed because they’re not getting a piece of the gambling action. And they have to punish somebody, anybody for that. It’s the money.
The money. Okay?