Mood: don't ask
Now Playing: The Military should be sued!
Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Suicide - All in a days work - when Uncle Sam pays you to kill
Mood: don't ask
Now Playing: The Military should be sued!
Marine Corporal James Jenkins, a decorated veteran of the Iraq invasion and the Battle of Najaf, took his life after serving for 22 months. His mother shares his story with ANP a tragedy repeated 15 times a day in the US.
Monday, 4 August 2008
Look at his pee pee (hahaha)
Mood: party time!
Now Playing: TSA in Miami - have cool pee pee / boobie monitor (hehe)
Topic: CIVIL RIGHTS
HA ha ha
This just keeps getting better
Oh ...heck (dont forget to) catch the ....shhhhhh Terrorists
Miami airport security cameras see through clothing
By Ina Paiva Cordle | Miami Herald
Travelers, be aware: Your full-blown image — private parts and all — could soon be visible to a security officer, on-screen, at an airport near you.
Miami International Airport is one of a dozen airports nationwide that have begun pilot-testing whole-body imaging machines, which reveal weapons and explosives concealed under layers of clothing.
"It allows us to detect threat objects that are not metallic and that cannot be detected by metal detectors, and items that are sometimes missed even in a physical pat-down, in a nonintrusive manner," said Mark Hatfield, federal security director for the Transportation Security Administration at MIA
As passengers step inside the machine, they extend their arms and legs for several seconds, as millimeter wave technology creates an image. About 25 feet away, in a covered booth, a security officer in radio contact, views the ghostly silhouette -- with the face blurred -- on a screen. The officer determines if a concealed weapon, such as a ceramic knife, or explosive detonation cord, exists, Hatfield said.
''The image projected is more humanoid than human,'' he said. "What's important is providing a clear view of a threat object. And the person going through the machine will never see the operator.''
So far, the technology has been used for five days at two MIA checkpoints, at Concourses G and J, replacing the machines that emitted puffs of air. At least two more body-imaging machines will be deployed in the next few months, one at J and one at an interim checkpoint at C/D, Hatfield said. Each machine costs $170,000. To date, no explosives have been detected, he said.
At least for now, the TSA is using ''continuous, random selection'' to choose passengers for the machines, and it is optional. Travelers who decline will be physically patted down. All passengers must still go through metal detectors.
''For our travelers, through this airport, this machine adds even an additional layer of security,'' said Miami-Dade Aviation spokesman Marc Henderson.
I found this funny article here
dont you just love this funny crap we are doing in the name of ...shhhhhhh
Brand new Tasers just in time for the St Paul - RNC Convention
Now Playing: Plan on protesting ? Are you planning on being tasered?
Topic: CIVIL RIGHTS
News > August 4, 2008
Don’t Tase Me, GOP!
'[They have been] taking every opportunity to try and intimidate the people who live here,' says an activist using the name "Diablo Bush," referring to the local police
The St. Paul Police Department is arming itself with Tasers.
Local activists and media say that the department ordered 230 stun guns in late February — adding to the 140 already in its possession — in preparation for protests at the upcoming Republican National Convention (RNC), which St. Paul will host from Sept. 1 to Sept. 4.
Police spokesman Tom Walsh denies any connection between the arrival of the Tasers and the upcoming RNC. “They are not related to the convention in any way,” says Walsh. “A patrol officer suggested months ago that we supply our force with Tasers.”
But some demonstrators are wary of such assurances.
“Our concern is that they’ll have them and that they’ll use them,” says Marie Braun, a member of Women Against Military Madness, which has received a permit to protest in a St. Paul park on Sept. 1. “These are dangerous weapons and people have died as a result of them being used.”
Four years ago at the RNC in New York, the New York Police Department (NYPD) arrested thousands of demonstrators, holding many of them in an asbestos-filled pier on the Hudson River until the convention’s conclusion.
And at an impromptu mass march toward Madison Square Ground where President Bush’s re-election fest was being held, an NYPD officer in civilian clothing reportedly provoked a fight by driving a scooter into the crowd.
St. Paul Assistant Police Chief Matt Bostrom told the online newspaper MinnPost.com in December that no St. Paul police officers would infiltrate protest organizations, and the force will dress in regular uniforms — not riot gear — during the convention.
And spokesman Walsh insists that the department will patrol the streets of St. Paul without help from contract cops or the Secret Service, who will operate only inside the Xcel Energy Center where the convention will take place.
Nevertheless, an underground anarchist group that calls itself the “RNC Welcoming Committee” states on its website that “the RNC, local police and federal agents are likely to get violent.”
The group and other activists cite a Critical Mass bike ride last August in neighboring Minneapolis that led to police using Tasers and pepper spray to break up the event and arrest 19 protesters. The gathering coincided with what the Welcoming Committee calls the “pReNC, a weekend of radical organizing in preparation for the RNC.”
During the subsequent trial of one cyclist, Minneapolis police Sgt. David Stichter reportedly testified that the department had created a task force to monitor Critical Mass because it knew RNC protesters would participate in the ride.
“[They have been] taking every opportunity to try and intimidate the people who live here,” says an activist using the name “Diablo Bush,” referring to the local police.
On March 13, the Welcoming Committee’s website began requesting Taser donations. So far it has received none, according to an e-mail message to In These Times from Diablo Bush.
“Any Tasers we do receive would be simply for day-to-day maintenance of public safety,” jokes Diablo, “and are not at all related to the RNC — just like the St. Paul Police Department’s order [of Tasers].”
In May, the Twin Cities’ alternative-weekly, City Pages, reported that University of Minnesota police were working with an FBI special agent to recruit “moles” to attend vegan potlucks, gain the trust of RNC protesters and report back to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, a partnership between federal agencies and local police.
Last summer, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the nearby Ramsey County Sheriff’s office was preparing to construct pens to hold 5,000 arrested protesters — a report Bostrom of the St. Paul police claimed was news to him.
Says Braun of Women Against Military Madness: “We have as much concern about the police as anyone, because when we look at political conventions in the past, it’s often the police that have a history of overreacting.”
Filters On The Web - How to get around them
Now Playing: How to Get Past Internet Filters
How to Get Past Filters:
A Guide for Students
Submitted by adb on Mon, 07/07/2008 - 22:22
It's unfortunate that this guide ever had to be written, that we ever had to use proxies in the first place, that anybody ever thought we weren't smart enough to decide for ourselves what was right and wrong, and that somebody ever thought censorship was a good idea. Unfortunately, the world we currently live in has found it acceptable to censor internet access to kids because we aren't smart or responsible enough to use it. This guide will debunk some popular myths about web filters and show you how to get past them.
I'd like to take some time to quickly destroy some arguments that people use to install filters on internet
1. Filters only block bad sites
2. Filters stop kids from seeing "bad" content
3. There are places out there on the internet that tell kids how to do bad things, we have to stop them!
4. They're my kids, I should be able to control what they see online!
5. If we don't censor myspace, my kids will get abducted by pedophiles!
6. Isn't the school required by law to put filters on the internet?
7. Isn't it illegal to give out these proxies? Isn't it illegal to bypass filters?
8. The blocklists used by filters are reviewed by humans, so they're 100% accurate!
9. But kids will use Facebook/Myspace to harass each other! I've seen it happen!
10. If a filter wrongly blocks something, why don't you just tell the school?
Peacefire, a group that distributes proxies for students, also has a wonderful piece on whey we shouldn't censor kids at school at http://peacefire.org/info/why.shtml
There are three different types of filters that you will encounter called whitelists, blacklists, and keyword filters.
Whitelist filters have a list of sites that the filter provider (school, Fortiguard, etc.) have determined to be "acceptable" for you to view. By design, whitelist filters block the majority of the internet as well as all new sites. The Leelanau School moved from a Blacklist filter to a Whitelist filter in 2007.
Blacklist filters have a list of sites that have been deemed "bad". These, like all filters, also block tons of academic sites. Everything that hasn't been blocked is automatically unblocked.
Keyword filters usually have a blacklist in them, but they operate by inspecting the pages you view for keywords such as proxy, pipe bomb, porn, etc.
As I said earlier, the school uses a whitelist filter which is probably the most restrictive type. As anybody who has spent five minutes on the school internet can tell you, it's almost worthless because of the vast number of sites that it blocks.
Beating the Filter: Web Proxies
Beating the Filter: Tor
It's important to remember that using these programs or bypassing the filter is usually a violation of your school's computer use policy. I don't know anybody at Leelanau who has gotten in trouble *specifically and only* for bypassing the filter, but I guess there's a first time for everything. Everybody does it, so they'd have to get everybody in trouble. I did it all the time and nothing ever happened to me so my advice to you is: Don't worry about it!
Friday, 1 August 2008
Homeland Security: We can seize laptops for an indefinite period
Now Playing: The Feds Own You - How does it feel to loose your freedom
Topic: CIVIL RIGHTS
Z3 Readers will not be surprised to read this unscrupulous attack on our personal liberties and privacy when crossing the border. Yes my fellow faithful readers ..we are getting screwed. If you ever thought America had freedom and liberty ...those days are over! Yes now days "freedom and liberty" only means Attacking other countries". Now days expected privacy, personal non-illegal papers, letters, and files all belong to the Homeland Security. Hitler is smiling! The real terrorists are stealing "in the name of the law" Our lives now..... BELONG TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
First we took our shoes off, dumped our baby bottles and chap stick in the trash, background checks, sniffing machines smell us a s we walk by, disrobing, frisking, and now your lap top and cell phone is theirs for life
How does it feel to be "fucked" ...heheh! Good Ole American Freedom at its best .....
We can seize laptops for an indefinite period
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has concocted a remarkable new policy: It reserves the right to seize for an indefinite period of time laptops taken across the border.
A pair of DHS policies from last month say that customs agents can routinely--as a matter of course--seize, make copies of, and "analyze the information transported by any individual attempting to enter, re-enter, depart, pass through, or reside in the United States." (See policy No. 1 and No. 2.)
DHS claims the border search of electronic information is useful to detect terrorists, drug smugglers, and people violating "copyright or trademark laws." (Readers: Are you sure your iPod and laptop have absolutely no illicitly downloaded songs? You might be guilty of a felony.)
This is a disturbing new policy, and should convince anyone taking a laptop across a border to use encryption to thwart DHS snoops. Encrypt your laptop, with full disk encryption if possible, and power it down before you go through customs.
Here's a guide to customs-proofing your laptop that we published in March.
It's true that any reasonable person would probably agree that Customs agents should be able to inspect travelers' bags for contraband. But seizing a laptop and copying its hard drive is uniquely invasive--and should only be done if there's a good reason.
Sen. Russell Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, called the DHS policies "truly alarming" and told the Washington Post that he plans to introduce a bill that would require reasonable suspicion for border searches.
But unless Congress changes the law, DHS may be able to get away with its new rules. A U.S. federal appeals court has ruled that an in-depth analysis of a laptop's hard drive using the EnCase forensics software "was permissible without probable cause or a warrant under the border search doctrine."
At a Senate hearing in June, Larry Cunningham, a New York prosecutor who is now a law professor, defended laptop searches--but not necessarily seizures--as perfectly permissible. Preventing customs agents from searching laptops "would open a vulnerability in our border by providing criminals and terrorists with a means to smuggle child pornography or other dangerous and illegal computer files into the country," Cunningham said.
The new DHS policies say that customs agents can, "absent individualized suspicion," seize electronic gear: "Documents and electronic media, or copies thereof, may be detained for further review, either on-site at the place of detention or at an off-site location, including a location associated with a demand for assistance from an outside agency or entity."
Outside entity presumably refers to government contractors, the FBI, and National Security Agency, which can also be asked to provide "decryption assistance." Seized information will supposedly be destroyed unless customs claims there's a good reason to keep it.
An electronic device is defined as "any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form" including hard drives, compact discs, DVDs, flash drives, portable music players, cell phones, pagers, beepers, and videotapes.
Thursday, 31 July 2008
Military Sexual Assults on Women - Oh SURE !!!
Now Playing: I am shocked ...why hasnt this been reported on more (sarcasm)
Let me preface this bullshit by my own word then read the (no) shocking article
....This is your America Z3 Readers
There have been numerous charges and there have been numerous times that rape and assault have been brought up in the past 5 years. But like most of all this sick evil fucking shit our Government LETS HAPPEN it takes years latter and thousands more to be VICTIMS before any fucking body does anything...
ya (im talking about you)
Let me tell you .... what made a congresswoman's jaw drop
(as stated in the article below)
..... is NO FUCKING NEWS TO ME!
Shit keep your head in the sand (or up your own ass) and and your brains deep up in your asshole and you will never know anything and you to can be shocked as hell when you pull your head or your brain out
SHit ....we kill ...rape.....torture....rape..... kill ...maime..... on and on and on..... now its in the fucking headlines when someone says 40% of women are assaulted in the military...... NOOOOOOO SHIT!
WHERE TYHE FUCK HAVE YOU BEEN FOR 5 YEARS!?
Wake the FUCK up and smell the coffee... smell the rot of America from this stinkng crime family of the Bush & company (sic)
Read the Fucking Corporate Media (oh wait they will never report what is really happening <duhhh>)
.....and then hey ...! JUST DO NOTHING (as usual)
Be proud that this charge like most of the twisted shit I am reading is...coming from our USA military...GO FIGURE!
As I said .....fuck rape kill torture and melt their fucking body to a puddle ...cluster bombs cluster fuck and old glory
WE ARE A NATION OF ANIMALS - This news story below is old hat
Shit who cares?!!!!!! its been going on for years !!!!!
(everybody sing God Bless America at this time)
Sexual assault in military 'jaw-dropping,'
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A congresswoman said Thursday that her "jaw dropped" when military doctors told her that four in 10 women at a veterans hospital reported being sexually assaulted while in the military.
A government report indicates that the numbers could be even higher.
Rep. Jane Harman, D-California, spoke before a House panel investigating the way the military handles reports of sexual assault.
She said she recently visited a Veterans Affairs hospital in the Los Angeles area, where women told her horror stories of being raped in the military.
"My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41 percent of the female veterans seen there say they were victims of sexual assault while serving in the military," said Harman, who has long sought better protection of women in the military.
"Twenty-nine percent say they were raped during their military service. They spoke of their continued terror, feelings of helplessness and downward spirals many of their lives have taken since.
"We have an epidemic here," she said. "Women serving in the U.S. military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq."
As of July 24, 100 women had died in Iraq, according to the Pentagon.
In 2007, Harman said, only 181 out of 2,212 reports of military sexual assaults, or 8 percent, were referred to courts martial. By comparison, she said, 40 percent of those arrested in the civilian world on such charges are prosecuted.
Defense statistics show that military commanders took unspecified action, which can include anything from punishment to dismissal, in an additional 419 cases.
But when it came time for the military to defend itself, the panel was told that the Pentagon's top official on sexual abuse, Dr. Kaye Whitley, was ordered not to show up despite a subpoena.
"I don't know what you're trying to cover up here, but we're not going to allow it," Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, said to the Defense official who relayed the news of Whitley's no-show. "This is unacceptable."
Rep. John Tierney, the panel's chairman and a Democrat from Massachusetts, angrily responded, "these actions by the Defense Department are inexplicable."
"The Defense Department appears to be willfully and blatantly advising Dr. Whitley not to comply with a duly authorized congressional subpoena," Tierney said.
An Army official who did testify said the Army takes allegations of sexual abuse extremely seriously.
"Even one sexual assault violates the very essence of what it means to be a soldier, and it's a betrayal of the Army's core values," Lt. Gen. Michael Rochelle said.
The committee also heard from Mary Lauterbach, the mother of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, a 20-year-old pregnant Marine who was killed in December, allegedly by a fellow Marine.
Mary Lauterbach said her daughter filed a rape claim with the military against Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean seven months before he was accused of killing her.
"I believe that Maria would be alive today if the Marines had provided a more effective system to protect the victims of sexual assault," she said.
In the months after her daughter filed the rape claim, she said, the military didn't seem to take her seriously, and the onus was on "Maria to connect the dots."
"The victim should not have the burden to generate evidence for the command," Lauterbach told the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs. "Maria is dead, but there will be many more victims in the future, I promise you. I'm here to ask you to do what you can to help change how the military treats victims of crime and to ensure the victims receive the support and protection they need and they deserve."
Another woman, Ingrid Torres, described being raped on a U.S. base in Korea when she worked with the American Red Cross.
"I was raped while I slept," she said.
The man who assaulted her, she said, was a flight director who was found guilty and dismissed from the Air Force.
Fighting back tears, Torres added, "he still comes after me in my dreams."
The Government Accountability Office released preliminary results from an investigation into sexual assaults in the military and the Coast Guard. The GAO found that the "occurrences of sexual assault may be exceeding the rates being reported."
"At the 14 installations where GAO administered its survey, 103 service members indicated that they had been sexually assaulted within the preceding 12 months. Of these, 52 service members indicated that they did not report the sexual assault," the GAO said.
The office found that the military and Coast Guard have established policies to address sexual assault but that the implementation of the programs is hampered by an array of factors, including that "most, but not all, commanders support the programs."
"Left unchecked, these challenges can discourage or prevent some service members from using the programs when needed," the GAO said.
Tierney said, "what's at stake here goes to the very core of the values of the military and the nation itself.
"When our sons and daughters put their lives on the line to defend the rest of us, the last thing they should fear is being attacked by one of our own."
Saturday, 26 July 2008
Torture - Proof - Torture Hearings - Bill Moyer
Now Playing: Bill Moyer discusses torture with Jane Mayer
Z3 Readers check this out
there is a few videos
all on recent information about the USA using Torture
Please Check This Out
Thursday, 24 July 2008
Now Playing: Spying on the people
Topic: CIVIL RIGHTS
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Panopticon is a type of prison building designed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham in 1785. The concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) prisoners without the prisoners being able to tell whether they are being watched, thereby conveying what one architect has called the "sentiment of an invisible omniscience."
Bentham himself described the Panopticon as "a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example."
 Conceptual history
Bentham derived the idea from the plan of a military school in Paris designed for easy supervision, itself conceived by his brother Samuel who arrived at it as a solution to the complexities involved in the handling of large numbers of men. Bentham supplemented this principle with the idea of contract management; that is, an administration by contract as opposed to trust, where the director would have a pecuniary interest in lowering the average rate of mortality. The Panopticon was intended to be cheaper than the prisons of his time, as it required fewer staff; "Allow me to construct a prison on this model," Bentham requested to a Committee for the Reform of Criminal Law, "I will be the gaoler. You will see ... that the gaoler will have no salary — will cost nothing to the nation." As the watchmen cannot be seen, they need not be on duty at all times, effectively leaving the watching to the watched. According to Bentham's design, the prisoners would also be used as menial labour walking on wheels to spin looms or run a water wheel. This would decrease the cost of the prison and give a possible source of income.
Bentham devoted a large part of his time and almost his whole fortune to promote the construction of a prison based on his scheme. After many years and innumerable political and financial difficulties, he eventually obtained a favourable sanction from Parliament for the purchase of a place to erect the prison, but in 1811 after Prime Minister Spencer Perceval (1809-1812) refused to authorise the purchase of the land, the project was finally abandoned. In 1813, he was awarded a sum of £23,000 in compensation for his monetary loss which did little to alleviate Bentham's ensuing unhappiness.
While the design did not come to fruition during Bentham's time, it has been seen as an important development. For instance, the design was invoked by Michel Foucault (in Discipline and Punish) as metaphor for modern "disciplinary" societies and its pervasive inclination to observe and normalise. Foucault proposes that not only prisons but all hierarchical structures like the army, the school, the hospital and the factory have evolved through history to resemble Bentham's Panopticon. The notoriety of the design today (although not its lasting influence in architectural realities) stems from Foucault's famous analysis of it.
 Panoptic prison design
The Panopticon is widely, but erroneously, believed to have influenced the design of Pentonville Prison in North London, Armagh Gaol in Northern Ireland, and Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. These, however, were Victorian examples of the Separate system, which was more about prisoner isolation than prisoner surveillance; in fact, the separate system makes surveillance quite difficult. No true panopticons were built in Britain during Bentham's lifetime, and very few anywhere in the British Empire.
Many modern prisons built today are built in a "podular" design influenced by the Panopticon design, in intent and basic organization if not in exact form. As compared to traditional "cellblock" designs, in which rectangular buildings contain tiers of cells one atop the other in front of a walkway along which correctional officers patrol, modern prisons are often constructed with triangular or trapezoidal-shaped buildings known as "pods" or "modules". In these designs, cells are laid out in three or fewer tiers arrayed around an elevated central control station which affords a single correctional officer full view of all cells within either a 270° or 180° field of view (180° is usually considered a closer level of supervision). Control of cell doors, CCTV monitors, and communications are all conducted from the control station. The correctional officer, depending on the level of security, may be armed with nonlethal and lethal weapons to cover the pod as well. Increasingly, meals, laundry, commissary items and other goods and services are dispatched directly to the pods or individual cells. These design points, whatever their deliberate or incidental psychological and social effects, serve to maximize the number of prisoners that can be controlled and monitored by one individual, reducing staffing; as well as restricting prisoner movement as tightly as possible.
 Panopticon-inspired prisons
 Other panoptic structures
The Panopticon has been suggested as an "open" hospital architecture: "Hospitals required knowledge of contacts, contagions, proximity and crowding... at the same time to divide space and keep it open, assuring a surveillance which is both global and individualising", 1977 interview (preface to French edition of Jeremy Bentham's "Panopticon").
The Worcester State Hospital, constructed in the late 19th century, extensively employed panoptic structures to allow more efficient observation of the inmates. It was considered a model facility at the time.
The only industrial building ever to be built on the Panopticon principle was the Round Mill in Belper, Derbyshire, England. Constructed in 1811 it fell into disuse by the beginning of the twentieth century and was demolished in 1959. 
Contemporary social critics often assert that technology has allowed for the deployment of panoptic structures invisibly throughout society. Surveillance by closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in public spaces is an example of a technology that brings the gaze of a superior into the daily lives of the populace. Further, Middlesbrough, a town in the North of England, has put loudspeakers to the CCTV cameras. They can transmit the voice of a camera supervisor.
 In popular culture
The growth of panoptic monitoring technologies has provoked backlashes by privacy advocates. However, some observers argue that these technologies don't always favor the hierarchical structure outlined by Orwell, Bentham, and Foucault, but can also enable individuals, through inverse surveillance or sousveillance, to appropriate technological tools for individual or public purposes. Still others predict a balanced state of a universal "participatory panopticon" in which there is an equiveillance, or equilibrium of monitoring and control structures between parties.
 See also
 External links
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Big Brother & My Privacy
Mood: don't ask
Now Playing: "More" from Big Brother and citizens lack of privacy
Topic: CIVIL RIGHTS
June 30th, 2008
Z3 Readers Check out he Big Brother Article I found here:
The FBI has confirmed to Popular Mechanics that it’s not only adding palm prints to its criminal records, but preparing to balloon its repository of photos, which an agency official says ‘could be the basis for our facial recognition.’ It’s all part of a new biometric software system that could store millions of iris scans within 10 years and has privacy advocates crying foul. Quoting: ‘The FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) system, which could cost as much as $1 billion over its 10-year life cycle, will create an unprecedented database of biometric markers, such as facial images and iris scans. For criminal investigators, NGI could be as useful as DNA some day — a distinctive scar or a lopsided jaw line could mean the difference between a cold case and closed one. And for privacy watchdogs, it’s a duel threat — seen as a step toward a police state, and a gold mine of personal data waiting to be plundered by cybercriminals.
Read more thoughts on the subject here:
The Slashdot article mentions that Privacy advocates are up in arms over this, and rightly so. From the Washington Post article that Slashdot comments on:
To enable global sharing of data, NGI is to be built to technical standards shared by the departments of Homeland Security, Defense and State, as well as by Britain, Canada and other countries, Bush said.
Which is great, because those organizations have such a prooven track record of building things to secure technical standards (you should note the sarcasm). The Washington Post article continues:
The FBI also hopes to offer a service allowing employers to store employees’ prints, subject to state privacy laws, so that if employees are ever arrested, the employer would be notified.
Great. Joint privacy abuse by government and commercial… exactly what America needs more of. A final point about privacy from the Washington Post article:
Privacy advocates said that the work is proceeding before the technologies have been prooven. “Congress needs to do a better job of assessing how taxpayer dollars are being spent, particularly on programs that impact the privacy rights of Americans,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
That bold portion reads so obvious, but there it is. We’re going to spend billions on something that is eroding our privacy. It’s a celebration, so enjoy yourself.
You know, I think I watched a movie about this… there were these things called pre-cogs and they could predict the future… and they’d know if you committed a crime before you knew you’d commit the crime. Then these military police forces would come arrest you and you’d have no idea what was going on, and there was no point in running, because all over the streets were these biometric devices that could scan your face and recognize you and have the police on you within seconds. No point in running, that is, unless you are Tom Cruise.
Despite my fiendishly good looks and charming wit, I am not Tom Cruise, and this scares the jeebus out of me from a privacy standpoint (that’s not a mis-spell, it’s a Homer Simpson quote). I’m not sure I’m as worried about the police using it against me (since I’m not a criminal), as I am about the precedence it starts to create. I think that technology is currently far outpacing our government’s capability of keeping up with it, which I’m assuming puts the fear into them. I fear a world where our government makes snap decisions on things it may not understand that could have lasting ramifications. I also fear the rapid loss of our civil liberties that’s occurred since 9/11.-Nate
FEMA Trailers and lack of responsibility
Mood: accident prone
Now Playing: FEMA stands for Failure
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT
Seeks immunity from suits over trailer fumes
Z3 Readers this article was copied from here:
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN,
Associated Press WriterWed Jul 23, 3:08 PM ET
The Federal Emergency Management Agency asked a federal judge Wednesday for immunity from lawsuits over potentially dangerous fumes in government-issued trailers that have housed tens of thousands of Gulf Coast hurricane victims.
Lawyers for victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita accuse FEMA of negligence for sheltering them in trailers with elevated levels of formaldehyde, a preservative used in construction materials that can cause health problems.
But a government attorney told U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt that the FEMA's decisions in responding to a disaster, including its use of travel trailers after Katrina, are legally protected from "judicial second-guessing."
"It is what the legislative branch is supposed to second guess, and they are doing that," Department of Justice attorney Henry Miller said, referring to a series of congressional hearings on formaldehyde concerns.
Plaintiffs attorney Gerald Meunier said FEMA can be held liable for providing hurricane victims with trailers that didn't meet federal safety standards and weren't designed to be long-term housing.
"Some of these people are still living in these trailers almost three years later," Meunier said.
Engelhardt took FEMA's request for immunity under advisement and didn't indicate how soon he will rule.
The judge is presiding over several consolidated cases filed against the federal government and the companies that supplied FEMA with tens of thousands of trailers after Katrina made landfall on Aug. 29, 2005, and Rita struck about a month later.
FEMA spent more than $2.5 billion to purchase more than 140,000 new trailers from recreational vehicle dealers and trailer manufacturers after the storms.
The lawsuits accuse trailer makers of providing FEMA with shoddily built units in a rush to meet the agency's unprecedented demand for emergency housing. Plaintiffs lawyers also claim FEMA ignored concerns about formaldehyde levels in trailers for months after Katrina.
"At what point do you say, 'We know there's a crisis here, but there is a minimal standard where people have got to be protected against danger,'" Meunier said.
Earlier this year, federal officials announced that tests on hundreds of occupied FEMA trailers and mobile homes detected formaldehyde levels that were, on average, about five times higher than what people are exposed to in most modern homes.
Miller said FEMA fielded its first formaldehyde complaint from a trailer occupant in March 2006 and only had seven or eight complaints by June 2006.
"What was the alternative (to using trailers)?" Miller asked. "To move them to Baton Rouge, to move them to Arkansas, to move them to Texas?"
Lawyers for the plaintiffs want the cases certified as a class action on behalf of tens of thousands of current and former trailer occupants in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Engelhardt hasn't ruled on that request yet.
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