Daniel Hannan: the Fallacy of Green Jobs

 

Pat Condell: Celebrating diversity

 

From FightForTheFuture.org

A message from Fight For the Future:

Yesterday, a Federal judge issued a fiery ruling condemning the NSA’s bulk phone record collection program as “likely” unconstitutional. Judge Richard Leon went on to call the program “almost Orwellian” and stated in no uncertain terms that it “infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the Founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment.” (1)

 

Congress needs to hear this. The NSA’s programs are illegal. Tell them before they ram through a bill that will give the NSA even more power.

 

This is a huge blow to the NSA’s programs — and one that would not have been possible without the massive grassroots movement that YOU helped us build. We’ve been saying these programs are unconstitutional since even before Snowden came along — it feels good to be vindicated, doesn’t it?

 

”They’re pushing a bill called the “FISA Improvements Act” that would legalize, and even expand, the very same program that Judge Leon just declared unconstitutional.

 

We won’t let that happen. Help us tell Congress that we won’t accept any fake fix to NSA abuses. Click here to demand an end to illegal spying — nothing less.

 

Make sure you take action on this one — it’s really important — but also take a minute today to savor how awesome this all is: the NSA’s power is crumbling. They’re taking a beating from the courts, the tech community, and even the UN, who recently de clared digital privacy a human right. (3)

 

It’s important that we keep the pressure on. We’re working on our campaign to take our privacy campaigns to an epic level in the coming year. There are incredibly powerful interests doing everything they can to muddy the debate and keep the NSA in the shadows. And even if Judge Leon’s ruling is upheld, it’s only a beginning, since it would primarily protect the rights of Americans and we all know that EVERYONE deserves freedom and privacy, regardless of where they live.

 

One thing is for sure. If NSA defenders in Congress pass the FISA Improvements Act, things will go from bad to worse. Click here to speak out in defense of our most basic rights.

 

When I started writing this email, the first thing I wanted to say was “BOOH YAH NSA!” We have a long way to go, but everyone should savor this moment. It’s another big win to add to our streak.

 

This fight is in Congress, but if you’re not in the U.S. we still need your help to spread the word. U.S. laws unfortunately affect all of us, so share this image to voice your demands. We’re planning more action soon to tackle government surveillance internationally, so stay tuned.

 

Glad to have you on team Internet,

-Tiffiniy and Evan

Fight for the Future

 

P.S. We’re just about to start our year-end fundraising drive. Not everyone has the ability to donate, so if you do, please chip in whatever you can here.

 

P.P.S. We thought we’d leave you with this awesome quote from Edward Snowden himself about Judge Leon’s ruling. The last sentence will give you goosebumps. Also, be sure to read this fascinating account from a current NSA employee that seriously calls into question many of the government’s’ claims about Snowden.

 

“I acted on my belief that the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts. Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans’ rights. It is the first of many.” — Edward Snowden

 

SOURCES:

1) New York Times, Federal Judge’s Ruling on N.S.A. Lawsuit
2) Maplight, Senate NSA Data Collection Bills -Top Intelligence Contractors Contribute Three Times More to Feinstein Than Leahy

3) United Nations General Assembly, Third Committee Approves Text Titled “Right to Privacy in the Digital Age.”

 

Alert: explosives may have been placed at Harvard

Breaking news:

Alert: 12/16/2013

10:40am EST

As you learned from the MessageMe alerts this morning, the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) received an unconfirmed report that explosives may have been placed in four buildings on campus: the Science Center, and Thayer, Sever and Emerson halls. Out of an abundance of caution, the buildings have been evacuated while the report is investigated by the HUPD and the Cambridge Police Department.

Access to Harvard Yard has been restricted to residents of the Yard with Harvard ID. As of the writing of this message the report remains unconfirmed and the HUPD has no reason to believe there is a threat to any other site on campus.

Harvard’s focus is on the safety of our students, faculty and staff. We will continue to update the community via MessageME and through messages posted here and on the University’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

 

Could this be related to the finals?  I knew of one journalism prof who threatened to fail his whole class if at least one bomb threat were not called in during finals.

Good things happening in Zamboanga

It is so awesome when the religionists get along with each other!

And not just lip service, ‘outreach’ and photo-ops:  actually helping each other in practical ways.

In Zamboanga, Philippines, that is exactly what happened:

“We thought they were just looking for damaged mosques to rebuild,” said Jimmy Villaflores, Santa Catalina barangay (village) head.

But to the surprise of the mostly Christian residents, the Muslims, a number of them residents Zamboanga City who returned home from abroad recently, announced they had come to Santa Catalina to rebuild the Christ the King chapel.

“We have not heard of any Muslim helping build a chapel before,” Villaflores said.

But before the Christians could say anything to the Muslims, they went to work, sawing lumber, driving in nails and doing other things to rebuild the chapel.

“We are very happy about it. Santa Catalina residents are deeply touched by their efforts. We really appreciate how our Muslim brothers and sisters are helping us,” Villaflores said.

Retired police Chief Superintendent Sukarno Ikbala said he was listening to a live-streaming radio broadcast in the United States one day when he heard a  fellow retiree, Senior Supt. Julmunier Jubail, rallying Muslims to help in the rebuilding and relief efforts in the city.

Ikbala said he immediately came home, met with Jubail, retired Senior Supt. Bensali Jabarani and several other Muslim professionals and formed a group they called “Esperanza” (Hope).

“Esperanza stands for Environmental, Socio-Psychological, Economic, and Religious Advancement of Neo-Zamboangaenos’ Aspirations,” he said.

Ikbala said from that meeting, they raised P120,000 from the Asia Foundation and from fellow Muslim Abdurahman Nuno. The money is now being used in rebuilding of the Christ the King chapel.

It is awesome when people help people – without waiting for the governments to come and meddle, without religious leaders (really just another breed of politician) foaming at the mouth at the thought that members of different religions are actually getting along and helping each other!
And when it happens, we need to let everyone know that it is possible, so that those who have hate preached at them just might get to see that there is another way.

The things my hubby says

I think that I have the bestest, most perfectest husband ever possible.

Not only is he incredibly punny, he also says some of the sweetest things ever!

For example, one of his favourite sayings is:

Don’t pet the sweaty things!

OK, so his dyslexia may have something to do with it, but it carries much the same meaning as the original, don’t sweat the petty things, but with a lot more panache!

Another one of his sayings:

Strong like bull – smart like bag of hammers!!!

And, he pays me the sweetest compliments ever!  Just the other day, he told me that I was 3 standard deviations from the mean!!!  What could be sexier than that?

And today, he called me ‘his personal Wikipedia’!

Did I ever mention that Aspie-to-Aspie marriages tend to be the happiest and most long lasting ones?

People are not the only ones suffering needlessly in Gaza

While Pallywood has excellent skills in staging grievance-mongering videos, the people of Gaza truly are suffering.  The violence Hamas – a Muslim Brotherhood organization – has inflicted on any Palestinians opposed to its thuggish rule have been victimized, systematically marginalized and even murdered.

And, of course, the schools that they send their children to – the schools we, Westerners, pay for through the UN, brainwash the next generation, ensuring the continuance of the conflict so deeply trenched in religious dogma, no secular process can ever solve it.

For the record:  those familiar with the history of the region will know that the land originally granted for the creation of the new state of Israel had, in fact, been divided into an ‘Arab (Palestinian)’ section and the rest of Israel.  So, the ‘two state solution’ is, in fact, in place already.   The ‘Arab (Palestinian)’ section became known as the kingdom of Jordan. 

While the Jews from that area moved to the new, much smaller state of Israel, the combination of the Arab’s resistance to move to Jordan and Jordan’s resistance to accept them is the true cause of the displacement of the now called ‘Palestinians’

But, horrendous and unforgivable as it is, the human suffering in Gaza is not the subject this post.  Let’s just stipulate that it exists and hope that the international community (led by the UN) will soon wake up and stop funding Hamas and other oppressors of the Palestinian people and that one day soon, Palestinian children will live in a world where they can freely choose their own religion, without fear of marginalization, injury or death!

And, yes, there have, over the years, surfaced stories of the atrocious treatment of zoo animals in Gaza.  But, this post is not about them, either.  It’s not that they are not important, but they are visible and their fate has been brought to the world’s attention already.

This post is about many, many more animals:  the food animals imported into Gaza.

I must admit, I did not dare to watch the video at this link – but, reading the article, I knew I had to help spread the word about what is happening!

‘The Opposition says footage that appears to show Australian cattle being beaten, stabbed and dragged in Gaza may warrant a suspension of trade licences.’

‘”I think anyone who watches this footage and sees images of Australian cattle being stabbed in the eye, having their throats slit while still alive and being taunted and tortured would understand that now is the time to end the live export trade,” he [Greens MP Adam Bandt] said.’

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  Halal slaughter must be banned and Halal-slaughtered-meat must be banned from sale in all civilized countries!!!

For those of you who think this will infringe on the right to freedom of religion of Muslims – it will not.  Islam, in its wisdom, teaches that if halal food is not available in the country in which a Muslim resides, it is permissible for the Muslim to eat non-halal food.  If no transgression is intended, then none has happened!

Thus, halal food is not a requirement for Muslims and banning this horrible, torturous treatment of animals does not infringe on any religious freedom – even if such an infringement were a ground on which to permit unnecessary animal suffering.

Wherever you live – please, let your supermarket and your butcher know that you object to halal meat being sold by them.  Contact any food manufacturers who display a halal mark on their product and inform them why you will boycott their products in the future!

Market pressure is the best way to stop this unnecessary animal suffering. Because the question is not ‘Can they think?’ but ‘Can they feel pain?’