Conservatism has been killing Americans

“Conservatism has been killing Americans. The recent food safety crisis is only one case study. . .

The Associated Press studied the records and found that between 2003 and 2006 the Food and Drug Administration conducted 47 percent fewer safety inspections. FDA field offices have 12 percent fewer employees. Safety tests for food produced in the United States have gone down by three quarters—have almost ground to a halt—in the previous year alone.”

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GOP claims immigration and the devil are one and the same

Utah County GOP Chairwoman Marian Monnahan says District 65 Chairman Don Larsen has proposed legislature urging the closing of national borders to illegal immigrants to “prevent the destruction of the U.S. by stealth invasion.”

“In order for Satan to establish his ‘New World Order’ and destroy the freedom of all people as predicted in the Scriptures, he must first destroy the U.S.,” his resolution states. “The mostly quiet and unspectacular invasion of illegal immigrants does not focus the attention of the nations the way open warfare does, but is all the more insidious for its stealth and innocuousness.” Jump to full article read more

Nation-state Walmart store “police” use harsh interrogation tactics

Excerpt from article by Barbara Ehrenreich.

Justin Kenward, who worked at a Target store in Chino CA for three years, wrote to tell me about his six hour interrogation, in 2003, by the store’s “Asset Protection” agents, who accused him of wrongly giving a fellow employee a discount on a video game a year earlier:

After about an hour of trying to tell them that I don’t remember any thing about that day let alone that transaction, I had to use the restroom. I asked if I could and was denied. This goes on for about another hour when I say “Look I have to pee, bad, can I go to the restroom?” Once more I was told no. So I stand up and start walking out the door, and was stopped. At this point I thought to my self “They’re looking to fire me!” So I start to think of ways that transaction might have came to be. I say something like read more

Princeton Professor emeritus & 25-year Marine on Terrorist Watch List

Mark Graber [Professor, U Maryland School of Law]
posts on Balkinization

Princeton University Professor Walter F. Murphy, “the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence (emeritus) but also a retired Marine colonel,” discovered last month at an airport that he’s been placed on a terrorist watch list. One security aide asked, “”Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that.” I explained that I had not so marched but had, in September, 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the Constitution. “That’ll do it,” the man said.” Jump to article. read more

The study of garbage

Don Hazen interviews Heather Roger on her book On Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage

I wrote the book because I wanted to know what happened to my garbage. I knew that it disappeared — and I knew that it didn’t. I also was interested in this system that, if it failed to work, whole cities could be brought to a grinding halt. I wanted to know more about what garbage collecting looked like and how it really worked — something so integral to the way a city functions.

Is [recycling and reusing] happening better in other parts of the world, in Europe or … ? read more

My National Security Letter Gag Order

Article published in the Washington Post 2007 03 23

It is the policy of The Washington Post not to publish anonymous pieces. In this case, an exception has been made . . . The Post confirmed the legitimacy of this submission by verifying it with the author’s attorney and by reviewing publicly available court documents.

The Justice Department’s inspector general revealed on March 9 that the FBI has been systematically abusing one of the most controversial provisions of the USA Patriot Act: the expanded power to issue “national security letters.” It no doubt surprised most Americans to learn that between 2003 and 2005 the FBI issued more than 140,000 specific demands under this provision — demands issued without a showing of probable cause or prior judicial approval — to obtain potentially sensitive information about U.S. citizens and residents. It did not, however, come as any surprise to me. read more

Apple attacks researchers

How Apple orchestrated web attack on researchers

Apple is a mega corporation that nearly smashed the reputation of two individuals with bogus claims of fraud. It didn’t matter that they weren’t the ones pulling the trigger because they were pulling all the strings. . . .

So what was the end result of all this? Apple continued to claim that there were no vulnerabilities in Mac OS X, but came a month later and patched its wireless drivers (presumably for vulnerabilities that didn’t actually exist). Apple patched these “nonexistent vulnerabilities” but then refused to give any credit to David Maynor and Jon Ellch. Since Apple was going to take research, not give proper attribution, and smear security researchers, the security research community responded to Apple’s behavior with the MoAB (Month of Apple Bugs) and released a flood of zero-day exploits without giving Apple any notification. The result was that Apple was forced to patch 62 vulnerabilities in just the first three months of 2007, including last week’s megapatch of 45 vulnerabilities. read more

Steal an election, courtesy Diebold

Princeton University researchers show how easy it is to steal votes using Diebold software in an electronic voting machine. In this fascinating video, we see how a substitute memory card can be installed in under a minute containing software which steals votes from one candidate and gives them to another – and then deletes itself so the vote-stealing cannot be detected.

Full story and research data at http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting/

The fastest and easiest way to insert the contaminated memory card in a Diebold machine is by opening the machine’s security door with a key. Installing a card with the vote-stealing software takes less than a minute. The very same security door key is used in every Diebold voting machine, so there are thousands of keys in circulation, and, “any locksmith will make a copy.” But just in case a malicious hacker didn’t have free access to a copy of his own, Diebold posted a picture of the key on its website. It’s easy to get 3D keys made from the picture. It’s been done. Diebold removed the picture of the key from its website but Digg reports you can still see a screenshot of it on the Brad Blog. read more