"There have been a lot of people criticizing Clive Bundy because he did not pay his grazing fees for 20 years. The public is also probably wondering why so many other cowboys are supporting Mr. Bundy even though they paid their fees and Clive did not.
by Nicholas Kristof | April 12, 2014
...Yet the shadow of war is difficult to escape, and a United States veteran still kills himself (or, sometimes, herself) almost once each hour. A few weeks ago, Leigh Anna returned the ring Mike had given to her and called off their engagement. She says she still loves Mike, but she is 26 and full of dreams, and he’s a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder and a brain injury that, for all his intelligence, leaves him speaking slowly and sometimes sounding punch drunk. He muddles his age, forgets his address, struggles to hold a job, and he isn’t getting much help from Veterans Affairs.
“I want a family, and I want a lot of things girls want,” Leigh Anna told me, crying softly. “There are things I’m giving up.”
Leigh Anna has stood by Mike for three and a half years, but how much does a girlfriend sign on for? She isn’t sure what to think now. “I’m taking it a day at a time,” she said.
Iraq is but a fading memory for most Americans, and Afghanistan may soon recede as well. But for countless others like Mike and Leigh Anna, the war continues and will for decades to come.
It’s Official: America is an OLIGARCHY and NOT a Democracy
Posted on April 16, 2014 by WashingtonsBlog
Scientific Study Shows that the U.S. Is an Oligarchy
We noted last year:
American democracy – once a glorious thing – has devolved into an oligarchy, according to two leading IMF officials, the former Vice President of the Dallas Federal Reserve, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Moody’s chief economist and many others.
But don’t take their word for it …
By Ben Swann.
In this ongoing story surrounding cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, there are a series of questions media has ignored. For instance, in the 20 years Bundy hasn’t been paying his fees, why hasn’t he been taken to court? Why this year, spend nearly $1,000,000 of taxpayer money to round up 400 cattle that ultimately have to be returned? Why didn’t the BLM just place a lien on the cattle rather than attempting to take them by force and then auction them off? The Bureau of Land Management has suffered a huge black eye this week because of their response to the Bundy situation. Perhaps though, there is a reason the BLM chose force over the courts.
Among the questions Devlin asked of the BLM, “Is it possible that this guy (Cliven Bundy) has prescriptive rights?” The response from top officials at the BLM, “We are worried that he might and he might use that defense.”
So what exactly are prescriptive rights? Prescriptive right to property is an easement that gives some one the right to use land owned by someone else for a particular purpose. An example is using a path through Party A’s land to get to your land, a prescriptive easement is allowed which gives the user the right to get to his land through A’s property.
I’ve discussed before the trouble with relying on the Constitution when making arguments for this or that policy, particularly among libertarians. There is a great irony in seeing those that deride “statism” stand side-by-side with a document that created one of the largest, most overreaching states in the history of the world.
BY Klint Finley | Wired | 04.14.14
When NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden first emailed Glenn Greenwald, he insisted on using email encryption software called PGP for all communications. But this month, we learned that Snowden used another technology to keep his communications out of the NSA’s prying eyes. It’s called Tails. And naturally, nobody knows exactly who created it.
Tails is a kind of computer-in-a-box. You install it on a DVD or USB drive, boot up the computer from the drive and, voila, you’re pretty close to anonymous on the internet. At its heart, Tails is a version of the Linux operating system optimized for anonymity. It comes with several privacy and encryption tools, most notably Tor, an application that anonymizes a user’s internet traffic by routing it through a network of computers run by volunteers around the world.
Snowden, Greenwald and their collaborator, documentary film maker Laura Poitras, used it because, by design, Tails doesn’t store any data locally. This makes it virtually immune to malicious software, and prevents someone from performing effective forensics on the computer after the fact. That protects both the journalists, and often more importantly, their sources.
Nobody knows how many firearms are owned in the USA. The estimates from various sources range from about 200,000,000 to about 300,000,000.
There are roughly 30,000 deaths each year from firearms, and the vast majority of those -- about 2/3 -- are suicides.
Found this story linked from another one I just posted on people living in cars.
For months now, Mr. Smith has feared he might lose his current home, which is stationed on a street near a quiet Palo Alto park. An ordinance passed by Palo Alto last year would punish people cited for living in a vehicle with as much as a $1,000 fine or six months in jail.
"You're at risk of losing everything," Mr. Smith said recently. "It's a weird feeling that until you've lived this way, you don't realize what it's like."
For the moment, the city has delayed enforcing the ban while the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers a challenge to a similar law in Los Angeles. A decision is expected in the next few months and could affect similar laws in cities including nearby San Jose and Santa Clara. At least 70 cities across the nation have laws targeting people who live in their vehicles.
by Mark Karlin | Truth Out
The war on the homeless - in which some cities have passed laws outlawing giving food to the homeless, not to mention longstanding laws against "vagrancy" - has taken a cruel turn. Now, some municipalities are outlawing living in cars and other vehicles.
Muckraking journalist Matt Taibbi makes us look at what we might want to avoid, ignore. And he does it with a rage that compels us to keep looking. He’s gone after the lords of Wall Street as a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.” This time out, he’s going after a great skewing, he says, of American justice. In an age of great inequality, says Taibbi, our rule of law has been subverted. Divided into two tiers. Free passes for the rich. Criminalization for the poor. This hour On Point: Matt Taibbi on separate and unequal American justice in the age of inequality.
Flashback: Sen. Reid Breaks Ground for Nevada Solar Farm Near Bundy Ranch
The senator’s plan for solar farms in Nevada wasn’t just limited to the shelved project near Laughlin
April 14, 2014
Despite deadline, protesters ‘will not comply’ with SAFE Act
Chants at the rally included “We will not comply” and “Cuomo’s got to go.” Some of the signs included: “Millions of Gun Owners Hurt No One Yesterday” and “You Won’t Get Gun Control By Disarming Law Abiding Citizens.”
My apologizes for not vetting this. Couple of reasons why I didn't but I sure learned my lesson. When you get sent something from someone you think is a reliable source, still double check it.
Sorry to Mods and all DP'ers.
The Beer Institute points out that “taxes are the single most expensive ingredient in beer, costing more than labor and raw materials combined.” They cite an economic analysis that found “if all the taxes levied on the production, distribution, and retailing of beer are added up, they amount to more than 40% of the retail price” (note that this may include general sales tax and federal beer taxes, which are not included in the estimates displayed on the map). Last year, we did a podcast with Lester Jones, Chief Economist at the Beer Institute on tax treatment of beer, which is worth a listen.