StampStampede


Click to enlarge – it still won’t be worth more!

1) money is not speech; and Why do we need a constitutional amendment declaring that: 2) corporations are not people.

Well, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling under Citizens United has gotten a lot of coverage this election season, and for good reason. Unlimited donations by billionaires and corporations to SuperPacs have drowned out the voice of ordinary Americans…

Alternatively, a constitutional amendment has been drafted that would require all federal elections to be funded exclusively through public money. When some people first hear of the idea of public funding of elections their immediate reaction is “What? No way I’m going to give those politicians even more money.” But the reality is that the amount of money needed would be less than $2 Billion. That’s about .02% of the federal budget. It could be paid for by closing offshore tax loopholes for corporations.

But the big thing is “You buy ‘em, you own ‘em.” Right now elections are paid for by corporations and the super rich. And politicians do what the people who paid them want. When “we the people buy ‘em, we own em” and the politicians do what we want…

It’s important to note that no other major democracy in the world allows for the unfettered spending on elections by private individuals or corporations. Most countries allow for relatively small contributions from individuals and beyond that public dollars are used to pay for elections. Sure, wealthy individuals and large corporations still wield undue influence in those societies. But the only chance any of us have of government acting as a counterweight against that undue influence is to ensure that politicians need our support more than they need the support of a tiny percentage of wealthy individuals.

Every little bit helps. You will not be breaking the law by using your own personal stampstampede stamp to decorate our currency. You will be passing along a message to everyone who gets that dollar bill after you. Yes, other denominations are cool.

This stamp and several others are sold at cost to keep the campaign rolling. Click the link in the article and see which design suits your personal sense of humor. I like this one – it fits my cynicism.

Snowden releases info on US cyberwar on China

The US government is hacking Chinese mobile-phone companies to gather data from millions of text messages, Edward Snowden has told the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong.

US spies have also hacked China’s Tsinghua University in Beijing and Asia Pacific fibre-optic network operator Pacnet, the newspaper reported on Saturday quoting the former US…NSA contractor charged with espionage for exposing secret US surveillance activities…

The Post said Snowden had provided documents listing operational details of specific attacks on computers, including…IP addresses, over a four-year period…

The claims followed soon after a report in the UK’s Guardian newspaper in which he claimed the British government’s electronic-eavesdropping agency had gained secret access to fibre-optic cables carrying global internet traffic and telephone calls…

The Post has previously quoted Snowden saying there have been more than 61,000 NSA hacking operations globally, targeting powerful “network backbones” that can yield access to hundreds of thousands of individual computers.

He said these included hundreds of targets in mainland China and Hong Kong.

Snowden told the Post in the report that Tsinghua University, which counts China’s President Xi Jinping and previous President Hu Jintao among its graduates, was the target of extensive hacking by the US.

The university, which is home to one of the mainland’s six major backbone networks from where internet data from millions of Chinese citizens can be gathered, was breached as recently as January, he said…

The latest disclosures come amid reports that the US was pressuring Hong Kong to act quickly on its request to extradite Snowden…

The extradition effort was a failure. Hong Kong rejected what it termed an illegal effort. Snowden flew out of Hong Kong this morning – on his way apparently to Ecuador via Moscow and Havana to seek asylum.

US authorities had earlier issued a provisional arrest warrant and filed espionage and other charges against Snowden…

Snowden was charged with theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorised person, the document said.

The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights is the property of the people. As such it must supersede all other laws. Laws used by our government to violate our rights and our privacy are not legitimate. They must fall by the wayside as shall the politicians and bureaucrats who support them over our constitutional liberties.

Old beauty practices gain attention in the bovine world


Click to enlarge

Grooming cows so they look like unusually large poodles is a well-known beautification practice in the show cattle industry…But although it may be decades old, it’s just now getting attention on the Internet.

It started with a photo of a male cow named Texas Tornado who had a particularly fluffy coat. “Fluffy cow” photos are now making the rounds.

The practice is meant to help sell livestock for breeding or harvesting…The cattle go through a beauty pageant regiment: They’re washed, brushed and blow dried. Special oils add an extra fluff.

This bull’s owner, Matt Lautner of Lautner Farms in Iowa, helps raise many fluffy cows. He’s using social media to run with the overwhelming response, and hopes it brings more attention to the industry.

Surely got my attention. 🙂

Brits are sucking up 600 million communications a day

onlineprivacy

A British spy agency taps the network of cables that carry the world’s internet and telephone communications to secretly collect vast streams of private information, documents leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed.

The GCHQ agency scoops as much as it can from Facebook posts, email messages, internet histories and calls while tapping into the global fibre-optic network with little legal oversight, according to a report from the Guardian newspaper.

The activities are detailed in two documents leaked to the newspaper by Snowden, the former NSA and CIA worker who revealed America was spying on millions of foreigners and US nationals without their knowledge under the Prism scheme. The GCHQ scheme is billed as wider-ranging than Prism, with less legal oversight.

Snowden provided the Guardian with two GCHQ documents, titled Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, which detail how an operation codenamed “Tempora” has for 18 months gathered, stored and analysed vast amounts of data, while also passing information to its US counterpart, the National Security Agency.

“It’s not just a US problem,” Snowden told the newspaper. “The UK has a huge dog in this fight. They are worse than the US.”

The Guardian says the programme has turned the UK into an “intelligence superpower” among members of the Five Eyes electronic spying alliance of US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The leaked documents show that the GCHQ intercepted 600 million “telephone events” each day last year by tapping more than 200 fibre-optic cables. Hundreds of analysts from the GCHQ were assigned to sift through the intercepts, with lawyers saying the UK had “a light oversight regime compared with the US”, according to Snowden.

Like every clot of Big Brotherly snoops they claim everything they do is legal and designed to protect the nations under their watchful eye.

I wonder why my mates in the UK and several dominions feel less secure?