Ed Snowden: Privacy in the Age of Trump

I believe that this world can be better. I believe that this world should be better. But it’s not going to get better unless we make it better,” he said. “And that requires risk. That requires hard work. That ultimately might require sacrifice. Things change,” he went on. “If they can change for the worse, they can change for the better. If more good people are organizing… if we’re willing to draw lines that we will not allow people to cross without moving us out of the way, the pendulum will swing.”

RTFA. A transcription from the podcast – which can be overly complex at times. Still, it addresses the crimes and crap rationales passing for politics with a fake president in the White House.

98% of Fed Grant dollar$ to fight opioid addiction – going to counties that voted for Trump


Unloading sharps at the Mountain Center in Española, NM

❝ Despite Rio Arriba County having historically high opioid overdose rates, it did not make a list of 220 counties the federal government will focus on when allocating $100 million in grant money to create prevention, treatment and recovery programs for people suffering with opioid addiction.

The U.S. Department of Health and the Human Services Health Resource and Services Administration will use a 2016 Centers for Disease Control study that identified 220 counties vulnerable to an outbreak of HIV and rising of Hepatitis-C. Of the 220 counties on the list, 215 of them voted for President Donald Trump in the 2016 general election. All of the counties have majority white, non-Hispanic populations…

❝ Rio Arriba County is about 70 percent Hispanic and 13 percent white, non-Hispanic.

❝ Instead of focusing on rural communities with the highest opioid overdose rates, the 2016 study identified six indicators that were associated with increased HIV and Hepatitis-C infection rates. These included drug overdose deaths, prescription opioid sales, per capita income, unemployment, potential buprenorphine prescriptions and being a white, non-Hispanic county.

You could look at the details of this administration’s decision and wonder what exactly are they trying to do? Are they focusing on a single demographic and arbitrarily deciding these folks are the only ones worth trying to save from addiction?

Or are they applying Trump-level ignorance and over-simplification? Trump gets lots of votes from white junkies and their families; so, they get the dollar$ in social and medical aid for their addiction.

EPA grants waiver to oil refinery owned by billionaire Trump supporter


Welcome, Don Carlo! I owe you.

❝ A fossil fuel company owned by former Donald Trump adviser and billionaire Carl Icahn received a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency meant to help small refineries struggling to meet fuel standards.

The waiver would exempt Icahn’s refinery in Oklahoma from the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which could save it tens of millions of dollars…

❝ With the waiver, Icahn’s company, CVR Energy Inc., can avoid compliance with an EPA biofuel regulation that mandates that businesses spend money to mix oil and gas products with ethanol or buy renewable fuel credits.

The Obama administration had denied the refinery an exemption…

❝ Icahn was an early supporter of Trump’s candidacy for the presidency…Icahn previously served as Trump’s special regulatory adviser but in August stepped down from the position after lawmakers raised concerns about his role playing both an adviser and an investor.

Who expects the fake president’s pimp to cut his profits?

GDPR comes with teeth – and it starts up May 25th

❝ GDPR is the European Union’s latest effort to protect the personal privacy of its citizens – and it comes with teeth. As a Regulation rather than a Directive, all member states, including the UK, must comply without the additional step of national ratification.

Businesses and people who don’t live or work in the EU aren’t immune. Anyone who has customers in the EU, or works with information processors in the bloc, is subject to the GDPR. In light of this, it’s a little scary to note that, as of today, 64% of US firms either don’t know or don’t care about GDPR.

❝ The concept of privacy protection makes sense, but whenever a governmental body steps into a debate, and then regulates, there is usually collateral damage. The scope of GDPR is wide and the impacts are nuanced and complex – which means there will be winners and losers once the regulation kicks in.

Unsurprising, the European Union is going ahead with privacy protection that American politicians haven’t the backbone to consider. In a globalized marketplace, American corporations – particularly those living and profiting from the Internet – will have to make the effort even while the profit pimps in Congress/White House are working at destroying access and affordability to the Web.

Betrayal of the American People

Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s beleaguered Environmental Protection Agency administrator, faced tough questioning at a Senate hearing Wednesday that included one Democrat calling Pruitt’s entire tenure a “betrayal of the American people…”

“Every day there seems to be a new scandal and you at dead center,” New Mexico Democrat Tom Udall told Pruitt. “Your tenure at the EPA is a betrayal of the American people. You have used your office to enrich yourself at the expense of the American taxpayer and public health.”

Udall lives up to his family’s tradition, a Senator’s responsibility to the people who he represents and the nation as a whole. Unlike scumbags like Pruitt and our fake president.

Religious nutballs – including the fake president – expand 19th Century “morality” attack on American women

❝ The Trump administration moved Friday to place new restrictions on access to abortion, as the Health and Human Services Department prepared new regulations that would effectively bar organizations that receive federal family planning money from providing abortions or counseling women about how to get the procedure.

The much-anticipated proposal — which has not yet been officially issued as a rule — would greatly expand limits on what activities organizations such as Planned Parenthood can provide.

And it almost certainly will set off a new legal battle over abortion services.

❝ According to the White House, the proposal would require recipients of Title X family planning funds to establish a “bright line of physical as well as financial separation” between federally-funded family planning services and any programs where abortion services are performed or discussed…

❝ “This ‘gag rule’ is not only unconscionable, but it undermines medical ethics by forcing healthcare professionals to withhold accurate and timely medical information from patients,” said Dr. Jenn Conti, a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health.

“As a provider of comprehensive reproductive health care, it is my number one priority to keep my patients safe and honor the trust they give me. If I can’t mention the word ‘abortion,’ then I am not providing my pregnant patients who want to know all of their options with complete, accurate, unbiased medical information.”

As far as this voter is concerned, this is a litmus test for political candidates who want my vote. A right to know, the right to full family planning access I fought for over decades. A freedom women and men of conscience fought to achieve as a constitutional right for decades before I was born and sadly must continue to defend against hypocrites and reactionaries.

So, How Many Countries Are Bribing Our Fake President?

China…just committed $500 million to build a theme park in an Indonesian luxury mega-development that will also feature Trump Organization-branded hotels and a golf course. Days after the commitment was finalized, Trump announced that he wants to lift sanctions that have been imposed on a Chinese telecom company called ZTE, which did business with Iran…

Qatar’s government has…reportedly met multiple times with representatives of Newsmax, the conservative media outlet run by Trump’s frequent Mar-a-Lago companion Christopher Ruddy, about a potential investment in the company. The reported negotiations have coincided with a shift in the Trump administration’s rhetoric about Qatar: After initially condemning the country for supporting terrorism, a condemnation that coincided with a Qatari decision not to invest in Jared Kushner’s company, the White House has now decided that Qatar is a trustworthy ally whose leader is, in Trump’s words, a “great friend….”

• Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, named the developer of a Trump-branded building in Manila as the country’s trade envoy to the U.S.

Actually, the headline should be “How many countries are working at bribing our fake president – that we know about?” The number grows every day, Professional journalists continue to ply their craft regardless of the small but powerful number of cable news pimps, tabloid flacks and payroll politicians working their runny butts off for populist scumbags. They may have won a few rounds. Chalk that up to ignorant voters.

The best army that generals of fascism ever have is uneducated voters. Still, even the dullest follower must recognize the economic and social losses resulting from their obedience to fear and bigotry shouted out at campaign rallies. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.