Now They Want to Track Our Daily Travel.

The Department of Homeland Security wants to keep a record of where you drive your car. According to the Washington Post, that agency wants a nationwide database of license-plate readers, and they've already asked private traffic-camera companies for access to their data. Of course, a DHS spokesperson said that license plate data “could only be accessed in conjunction with ongoing criminal investigations,” but that sounds a lot like the same old line we've been fed about other surveillance programs.

As of 2011, about three-quarters of police departments used these license-plate readers, and 85 percent planned to install even more cameras. These systems are snapping photos of our cars, and keeping track of almost every place we travel. Even before the recent announcement from DHS, the American Civil Liberties Union said that constantly monitoring our movement can “chill the exercise of our cherished rights to free speech and association.” Giving DHS the power to mine this data and track our movement only solidifies the ACLU's warning.

We have seen our civil rights whittled away under the guise of national security, and now we're being tracked online, on the phone, and even on our public roadways. The national security state has become intrusive, and the constant monitoring poses a serious risk to our privacy, our free speech, and our fundamental right to speak out against our government. We should not be giving these agencies more power to track us, we should be reigning them in and demanding that our civil rights be protected.

Comments

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 31 weeks ago
#1

Fascism 101.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 31 weeks ago
#2

Alice didn't you vote this guy in? Phone calls, plates, whats next? they are probaly going to try and control your health care. No, they would never do that. Not in America

Fascism isn't that far from Socialism. Be careful what you wish for.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 8 years 31 weeks ago
#3

If we had a free press, how would reporters function with government monitoring of their phones, email traffic, automobile location and movements? This is on top of a tendency not to report on issues of concern to advertisers. Ain't capitalism/fascism grand?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 31 weeks ago
#4

Kend -- If we had voted for the other guy, they would have got all the information without anyone knowing. I like the transparency.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 31 weeks ago
#5

Kend- Yeah right, I shoulda voted for McCain or Romney. Go soak your head.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 31 weeks ago
#6

When are they going to ask for a stool sample?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 31 weeks ago
#7

Is it me; or, does anyone else feel like they're under house arrest?

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 31 weeks ago
#8

Alice and Chuck well at least you would be spied on with a good economy. You have to admit the course you are on isn't working. You would think after spending 6 trillion dollars you would have at least have one bridge or a new highway somewhere to brag about. Instead you just have trillion more in debt. i guess everyone has a cell phone though. Hang in there things can only get better.

jkh6148's picture
jkh6148 8 years 31 weeks ago
#9

I am thinking - if the job creators fulfilled their part of the social contract - using their tax cuts to create jobs - the unemployment rate would not be so high - we would welcome workers coming into the country because of the high demand for workers.

HOWEVER, the job creators are hoarding their money in tax havens - because they believe rich people should not be required to pay taxes - thats only for the middle class.

THE job creators also invest their money and investing does not create jobs.

JOB creators do not create jobs. CONSUMERS who buy - creates demand - and demand creates more products being built by workers who build the products.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 31 weeks ago
#10

Boy, Kend, you'll say anything for your shilling fee. Fascism and socialism couldn't be more opposed. Are you poor Canadians suffering and oppressed because you are "forced" to enjoy universal healthcare?

I voted for Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney every time but I fell for the charm and smarm. Anybody who votes for him now only does because of the poor choices we have offered us. I knew he wouldn't keep a single campaign promise when he appointed Rahm Emmanuel chief of staff. That's DLC, Republican Lite.

Republicans, not Democrats, refused stimulus money which had funds for infrastructure projects and the jobs/infrastructure bill House Republicans wouldn't even listen to - even when Obama broke it up into its componant parts and tried to pass each one individually. We are on "the course we are on" because of Republican obstructionism.

But you knew that Kend, you're just a fraud. Nobody can be that dumb.

MiniMax's picture
MiniMax 8 years 31 weeks ago
#11

The technology exists. (They) will use it. It's too late to stop it, but now we must find a way to deal with it in a democracy.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 31 weeks ago
#12

That's why we either need new laws or new applications for existing ones. This an unforseen circumstance not specificly provided for in the origional language of the constitution, although I think it applies even to this.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 31 weeks ago
#13

We are regulating our people more than we regulate our businesses. We are only as good as we regulate our businesses. We are only as free as we regulate our people.

Gator Girl 8 years 31 weeks ago
#14

nO, kEND, the only thing that is NOT working here is Boner and the house along with old McDonald in the senate who do everything they can to block ANYTHING that the BLACK man does. Their stated intent from the very beginning was to NOT allow Obama to get ANYTHING done no matter how bad it is for the people, country or world. GOP - especially the Tethugs are nothing but a bunch of simpering, sniveling whiners so should go back home and stay there.

Whatever Obama may have or not have done pales incomparison to what the GOP has done to wreck our country and our economy totally and unrecoverably.

DO NOT try to tell me that that idiot Romney with his whiney wife would be better - not a snowball's chance in hell of that ever happening.

Gator Girl 8 years 31 weeks ago
#15

. As angry as I get at Obama - and that is QUITE angry - what they are doing now would have been a bigger walk in the park than it has been. We are headed down a path of no return and I am amazed at how some people are still of the same "if you have nothing to hide" idiocy. No, I have nothing to hide but that still does NOT give them the right to tape, collect, listen to, not listen to, have in their files anything I say, do or write without a legally obtained warrant. If we do not fight HARD to keep this from spreading and call, write, email, tweet - whatever - our senators and representatives to STOP THIS NOW!!!

Can I say BOMB - meaning something did terribly at the theatre or concert - without having some terrified NSA puke quickly key in and start a file on that? What else is on the "alert" list which would target someone?

GET THE FU*K OUT OF MY PERSONAL LIFE - EMAILS, PHONE CALLS, TWEETS AND FACEBOOK - AND GO FIND CRIMINALS WHO REALLY DO SOMETHING. WORK FOR A LIVING FOR A CHANGE WITHOUT HARRASING HARDWORKING PEOPLE.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 31 weeks ago
#16

You might have "nothing to hide" but the potential for abuse with that collected information is unlimited.

And even aside from that, you, like they and everybody else, deserve your privacy.

Gator Girl 8 years 31 weeks ago
#17

Agree - and the more whistle blowers the better.

If it had not been for that what would Watergate have gotten away with. Also all of the others whose names have just left my brain -and who all, inunison, tell Edward Snowden to NOT COME HOME because he will be whisked away and destroyed by our government. DO NOT trust the government or anything they say. They are like the cops in that they lie to you and then use anything YOU say against you.

WE must fight back -for anyone who has not heard him speak or read his books, Howard Zinn was correct. You get the government you deserve and if YOU are not willing to lay YOURSELF on the line then shut the hell up.

Gator Girl 8 years 31 weeks ago
#18

You're right, Mark. We are supposed to be living under a government where we are innocent UNTIL PROVEN guilty - not the other way around and NOT from information gathered illegally. Same as a cop coming to your door and wanting to come in - no warrant - no enter. Standard statements if you are stopped

1. Am I free to leave and if not,

2. I DO NOT CONSENT TO ANY SEARCH OF MY PERSON OR PROPERTY

3. I hereby invoke my right to remain silent

4. I want an attorney

And then SHUT YOUR MOUTH because the minute you begin talking again they take that as your assent to revoke your aforementioned "right to remain silent"

YOU have to take charge and it needs to start with each and every one of US - NOW!!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 31 weeks ago
#19

Kend, on days like today I really wish you'd stay in Canada and shift your focus to your own back yard. I find your posts irritating, and I get tired of answering the same stupid comments over and over. Socialism not far from fascism?! Give me a break. You are so full of it. Switch the word "socialism" for "capitalism" and we might have something to talk about.

I'm just glad there's people like Marc, Mark, Chuck and Gator Girl to step up to the plate and answer your silly posts in these moments when I just don't have the energy to deal with you and your bullshit. - Aliceinwonderland

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 8 years 31 weeks ago
#20

Ever since Henry Kissinger helped smuggle Nazis into the US after WW2, we've had nothing but trouble. Now, apparently, the Fascists have their finger on "the button" and if we go after the warmongers who attacked us on 9/11, and I don't mean 19 fictitious hijackers, they will detonate an EMP nuke miles up over Nebraska and bring the US to a standstill, resulting in the horrible deaths of millions.

Think about that.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 31 weeks ago
#21

Kend -- At least the top 0.01% are doing very well, Just imagine how good they would be doing if Romney won.

Rooz's picture
Rooz 8 years 31 weeks ago
#22

While some of us are upset because this just feels wrong I think we are forgetting to ask why they want this information? If it is to make us more safe how come we still have crime at all?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 31 weeks ago
#23

I think an interesting deterrent was something mentioned here as I recall. Any information gathered by the spy agencies on any congressman should be made available on request by any citizen.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 31 weeks ago
#24

Yes Mark I am forced to wait nine months for Knee surgery. I am also forced to pay 30% more taxes to pay for healthy non working lazy people to get the exact same care as I get.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 31 weeks ago
#25

The "black man" seriously. it has nothing to do with his failing policies. It is the color of his skin. Really. Come on gator.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 31 weeks ago
#26

Alice I was in the Soviet Union before it was Russia. I also spent some time in Sweden and Finland I know first hand the diferance. I will never forget when a freind of mine told me he had to work overtime and hated it because they took all the overtime money in taxes. Yes all of it. 100%. I was in a hotel room in Lenigrad trading my jeans for a beaver fur hat in total darkness with the tv sound at max. i have lived them all. I am blessed to live in a capitalist Counrty. God keep our land glorius and free.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 31 weeks ago
#27

Chuck Romney was going to tax them more. What are you talking about.

howardb4 8 years 31 weeks ago
#28

A comment for Hartman.

In your above statement you refer to America as 'national security state'. What a misnomer! It has been quite clear and evident for some years now, that this country has been taken down this path to it's present form which is now a 'Police State'. And in my mind, part of the responsibility for not nipping in the bud, this transformation into it's present malevolent form, should be shouldered by public persons like yourself, who have seemingly, because of your political attachment to the present Democratic Administration, not been forthright in your comments. Both political parties share in this American catastrophy. The political people, yourself included, even to this day are more concerned with their party's continued presence in Washington, D.C. than with truly recognizing, what is so apparent to anyone who's eyes are not veiled by their personal agendas, that this country in so many ways, has been transfigured into a brutal corporate Fascist State, with a lawless leader and a supporting congress.

You are a quite intelligent person, who seems to have misplaced the ability to 'call a spade, a spade'.

rocketman1701's picture
rocketman1701 8 years 31 weeks ago
#29

The genie is out of the bottle - there will only be more video cams, gps logs, web search logs, every purchace made recorded, every phone call, email, twiter tweet, and so forth. Google glass. Facial recognition....and now self driving cars - it is impossible to stop the fire. We may not be able to stop the collection of data, but we can control how the data is used. I believe we must move away from trying to prevent collection to protecting how it is used. Some type of HIPPA - for all maybe?

The point is: YOU CAN'T UNRING A BELL. While we can't stop this, we can control how it is used.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 8 years 31 weeks ago
#30

Has anyone ever noticed how Kend thrives on making statements that piss you guys off? Stop responding to this idiot and he will go away. It is like feeding stray animals, they only come around when they are sure they will be fed. He feeds on the negativity he spews from his frozen waste land, so he can get you guys going. He has to go to a desolate location like Southern Arizona to thaw his brain out! I think the poor old guy is in need of a brain transplant, but like he said he has to wait nine months for his knee surgery, I would suspect a brain transplant would take longer than he has left here on Earth. As far as surveillance goes, we have had cameras on our traffic signals for many years in California. But, I have turned off the GPS tracking on my "smart" IPhone so at least they cannot track my ever move. Believe me when I say it is no big deal, the different police departments will never readily share any info with other police departments, so do not worry about being tracked. Like the man said, it is too late to get them from using technology to track us; we need new laws to govern what they do with the info. Like the rest of you, I DO NOT LIKE THE GOV'T TRACKING US OR LISTENING IN AND MONITORING OUR PRIVATE LIVES. All new vehicles for the last several years come with a monitoring chip in a black box in our cars so they can tell what we were doing before any accidents at least that are what they tell us. The only upside to the whole game of spying on us, is they fear us. And, if we can get enough people angry enough to do something, and we act together we can change what and how they monitor us. But, marching on Wall St. was supposed to change things and I have not heard much from those guys after the first year. Just a note to Kend, people on Medicare do not have to wait for months to get a knee operation and they can go to any doctor who accepts Medicare, and as far as I know all doctors accept it. Wouldn't it have been nice if the idiot in the White House would have brought forth a healthcare bill with a single payer program, while the Senate and House were controlled by the Democrat’s? But then the Insurance Corporations would not have gotten their piece of the healthcare bill. I guess Osama Obama would not have gotten those political donations from the Insurance Crooks and god knows politicians on both sides of the political isle would rather eat their young, then give up the big bucks needed to get elected. K.W. P.S. Kend, don't bother on a comment replying to mine, I am shutting down for the night and won't read it anyway...

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 31 weeks ago
#31

"Come on gator" says that silly ka-nook. Kend responds to Gator Girl's comments in Post #15 as though she was claiming "It has nothing to do with his failing policies. It is the color of his [the president's] skin." As usual, Kend misses the point.

Gator Girl, if I were you I wouldn't dignify that with a response. Much as I hate to say it, I think K.W. is right; answering that guy's stupid comments is like feeding a stray dog. - AIW

bobcox's picture
bobcox 8 years 31 weeks ago
#32

The U.S. Border Security at Tijuana, (San Diego, CA) has been recording automobile and trucks licenses for years. The have noted, but done nothing about this, that many stolen vehicles pass through the border each day. This illustrates how nicely the governmental agencies are interested in "Rude of Law" and enforcement. If they can recognize, identify and record such information on felony activities and do nothing, something is wrong! Herbert Hoover spied on many people illegally and blackmailed Congress to increase his financial budgets each year, all of which was illegal but nothing was done.

Do you really think giving the power of the East German Secret police or the KGB will improve Democracy, or destroy it?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 31 weeks ago
#33

Kend -- what are you talking about? Romney was mostly very silent about any policy. However, one of the things he did say was that he was going to give a tax holiday to the $3 trillion held overseas. In one of the debates Obama mentioned that Romney's policies involved 5 tax breaks for the rich.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 31 weeks ago
#34

howardb4 -- I guess we can assume you never listen to Thom or read this blog.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 31 weeks ago
#35

howardb4- I agree with Chuck's comment regarding your post, which had me scratching my head. Thom is constantly speaking out openly about the very things you're decrying. - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 31 weeks ago
#36

AIW and KW -- What do you have against stray dogs? I wish Kend represented the better minds of the right, and he just might. His knee example (if true) is so definitive. Do we want to chose Israel HIlton's chance to live, over Kend having to wait 9 months for knee surgery (even if it wasn't Kend specifically).

Craig Bush's picture
Craig Bush 8 years 31 weeks ago
#37

Today, I am afraid and intimidated to speak on this issue. But, if we remain silent then we become cowards not worthy of freedom and liberty. We were nabbing german spies as they landed on the beaches of FLA in the 30's. How could a group of persians with box cutters come in from Canada and get away with starting 911? This was the biggest failure of our intelligence community in our history. Our politicians attempted to impeach our president over a cum stain on a dress. Where was the national hearing on this intelligence failure?

Instead of finding what went wrong with the old FBI they decided to create a new one? Give it a new name? We already have homeland security. It is called the dept. of defense. The reason for a new agency, with billions spent on new personnel with six figure salaries and million dollar pensions, was to better coordinate the different agencies? We already have an undersecretary of defense for intelligence communications to perform this mission. Billions spent to form a new FBI because the old one failed? To protect us from punjab ragheads living in caves with ak-47's and laptops? Who is going to be there to protect us from the wingnut down the block with a bushmaster and a 100 round clip? How many of us are going to die without healthcare compared to taliban terrorists?

In CA, the democrat lead legislature voted for a license plate gps tag system. They will be able to track us all where we travel too everyday forever. Some tried to limit this to 60 days but failed. our state senator Fran Pavla held her hands up and commented, "I don't want to stand in the way of police business". These are repocrats and do not belong in the democratic party. Imagine the costs to run this tracking system? Compare this to the cuts in education. We have laid off 300,00 teachers nationwide at a time when we should have hired 200,000. These policies financially crippled thousands of teachers and their families and degraded our public education system. We are packing in over 30 in a class now. This is not teaching. This is warehousing. All for what? To build up the military industrial complex?

Here in Santa Cruz the county supervisors voted to build a new prison. County law enforcement has the resources to buy expensive land and build community buildings that lay idle. Homeless people die from cold here. It has been decades since we built a new school here. The old mobile ones that were meant to be temporary were armored over and made permanent. Education budget slashed while the police budget went from 40% to 60% of total budget. This is the story throughout our country.

We are Americans unlike the germans of the 30's. Are we going to tolerate this erosion of our liberties and freedoms and go quietly in the night? Speak up people. Don't be afraid. Demand a return to priorities with value. Limit class size to 20, 15 in math and science. Don't rip off the next generation. Cut the budgets of the intelligence communities to pay for it.

Re-organize the intelligence communities. End overlapping services. Change the old FBI for their failure. Transfer their resources to Homeland security for terrorism protection. Downsize and make the ATF, DEA, divisions of the new FBI. Get them out of cannabis prohibition duties. Turn that over to the states. Hold public hearings on the failures of 911 and make good re-organizing solutions. We do not have to be spending this amount of money for law enforcement and national security. As a free society we must take control of these agencies. They exist to serve us. Our society does not exist to provide them with job security.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 31 weeks ago
#38

The pampered rich would rather other people die than to be delayed in getting non-life threatening care for themselves. And many people in the US would be delighted to have knee surgery even if they had to wait a year or two. Better to have a system that will, even if eventually, take care of non-life-threatening problems than a system that you will only get those problems taken care of only if you have enough money. And many people are more worried about getting life-threatening problems taken care of than minor ones.

And even if we had a universal health care system that would, eventually, take care of all problems of all the people; the wealthy will still be able to pay extra bucks to their high priced, elitist doctors, in private hospitals to take care of their miniscule belly aches and sniffles (and, yes, knee problems).

It is only selfishness and greediness that emotes the sneering, namby-pamby dandies who think THEY deserve everything, leaving nothing to the riff-raff at the bottom.

The French masses had a good idea when they lopped off heads of their dandies who thought they were too good to pay their fair share of the King's taxes leaving the burden upon the lowly poor who were struggling to survive.

It's happening all over the world now...and it's only a matter of time when USians will realize that nothing will change unless they stop hiding behind Gandhism and MLKism and act more like Malcolm X and maybe even the "real" Jesus...who was, if he even existed, most likely a Zealot or even a Sicarii...violent opponents of the ruling elite of the time. See Reza Aslan's new book or even older books of Joseph Atwill.

"..a controversial new discovery: ancient confessions recently uncovered now prove, according to Atwill, that the New Testament was written by first-century Roman aristocrats and that they fabricated the entire story of Jesus Christ."

“...but this is important for our culture. Alert citizens need to know the truth about our past so we can understand how and why governments create false histories and false gods. They often do it to obtain a social order that is against the best interests of the common people.”

http://lisaleaks.com/2014/01/24/we-invented-jesus-christ-why-governments...

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 31 weeks ago
#39

Craig Bush: I certainly agree with most everything you said there...especially:
"We are Americans unlike the germans of the 30's."

They, too, were good little obedient citizens who fell right into line with the ruling class. The banks and industrialists, at least the non-Jewish ones, in Germany were very much in support of Hitler and his Brown shirts. After all, what better way of weeding out the competition? What American, now, would not praise the idea of massive internal dissent against that Nazi regime. Well, it's happening right here in Amerika, right now!

I don't know about:
"Re-organize the intelligence communities. End overlapping services. Change the old FBI for their failure. Transfer their resources to Homeland security for terrorism protection. Downsize and make the ATF, DEA, divisions of the new FBI."

We should "re-organize" them alright but the first thing we need to do is to remove their ability to spy on us. We need to crack down on them hard for that. It is well established that spying on the overall population does nothing to prevent terrorism. They didn't even prevent the Boston Bombings or even 911 when our government was given plenty of warnings from many other government's intelligence sources.

The government was spying on us then...even way back before 911...the Echelon program was a conspiracy for member countries to spy on each other's citizens and then giving the results to each other's governments...thus skirting the laws of the countries participating in it.

And even when they had information, such as the FBI agent's own reports about the so-called "terrorists" to headquarters... which was ignored...not just a convenient faux pas...it was deliberate because 911 was an inside job!

Our intelligence agencies and the military industrial complex thrives on keeping the overall population scared and reliant on them for protection (however elusive that has proved to be).

And now the US is trying everything they can to re-ignite the old cold war between the US and Russia. Perhaps they feel that we just aren't buying their "terrorist" crap any more...that we are on to them about just who the real terrorists are. So, they need a change of bogey man yet again.

Who is behind the unrest in the Ukraine? Who is really behind the destabilization of Syria? Who was really behind the chemical false flag operation in Syria? .....It was the same people who engineered the overthrow of Iran many years ago. The same people who have been going into other countries and trying to destabilize those governments in order to gain more empire building advantage. It was the United(?) States of Amerika..Seig Heil! ....that's who!

Gator Girl 8 years 31 weeks ago
#40

chuckle8 I will support that totally. And with the mega amount of information they have saved if and when they needed it they would never be able to find it in time to be able to use it. Useless bullcrap is all that itis - plus puts our information where others with bad intentions can get access to it. Just purely wrong on anyone's standards who has half a brain.

Gator Girl 8 years 31 weeks ago
#41

Palendromedary

I agree with this part of your statement

"The French masses had a good idea when they lopped off heads of their dandies who thought they were too good to pay their fair share of the King's taxes leaving the burden upon the lowly poor who were struggling to survive."

And i also accept totally the false god idea - actually I believe in NO god/gods/religion - and believe that this is one of the biggest problems we have right now. Onward christian soldiers - bullshit! Religion has caused more ward and more killing and destruction that anything else - except greed - and that usually goes along with the religion anyhow.

Gator Girl 8 years 31 weeks ago
#42

Craig Bush

No, we do NOT need a bigger Homeland Security - we need to get rid of that agency totally along with the patriot act. TheFBI will screw up anything it touches and CIA has for too long been allowed to operate in secrecy with no accounting for any funding - not a good idea. Unleashed and unchecked power such as that leads to an extremely dangerous group who can orchestrate a take over of our government before we know it. And, this spying and data-gathering are only a start to that - next will come registration of all guns (NOT!!) as they did in the Slavic countrys so that they can they go house to house and collect those guns when they want to start implementation of that take over. Anyone who believes that it could not happen in THIS country is deluding themselves. WE have to be responsible for this government and start DEMANDING more transparency, no more drones, no more data-mining and destruction of personal info NOW!! I don't give a damn WHO is president this is NOT acceptable.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 31 weeks ago
#43

Really Kend? This is a change. Before you praised the Canadian healthcare system. Given your famous sincerity I'd have to conclude you're lying - again. You're either lying now or you were then, in any case. I believe your account differs from those of other Canadians and I belive the taxes are 15%, at least that's what they are in Germany for the German National Healthcare system. Maybe it's progressive and you're in a higher bracket but I don't think it's that high. After all, you're not that rich, are you?

Anyway, I had to wait over a year for a hernia operation right here in the good ol' USA because I was uninsured and uninsurable.

I'd been to the Soviet Union also in the '70s, the Brezhnev era, it was. My family comes from there, I come from the exile community of WW II refugees here in Chicago. I am pretty anti Soviet, not quite as much as I was before but still pretty much. I know the two systems well, better than most North Americans and can compare them. I can tell you the real story is more nuanced than the false dichotomy you righties like to proffer.

To be brief, the Soviet Union, by the '70s, was not genuine socialism nor even a genuine attempt at making socialism. The "for dummies" story is that state ownership is not the same as "people's" ownership if the people don't own the government. That's why Western European socialism is more genuine and successful. They didn't dispense with democracy to do it.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 31 weeks ago
#44

Right on! Gator Girl!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 31 weeks ago
#45

What we need, aside from all the other points we've mentioned, is a present-day German-style corporate control with representatives of the workers sitting equally on the boards of corporations. The top executives and the share holders should not be more powerful than the workers.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 31 weeks ago
#46

Are bankers committing suicide or are they being snuffed-out before they can squeal on the dirty rats they work for ...like JP Morgan, et al. So far, 20 bankers have "mysteriously?" died....ostensibly from suicide. Or, is it that their conscience is bothering them? Maybe both..but I doubt that they all committed suicide. The latest was a 37 year old bankster from Stamford, Connecticut who had a nice young family and everything to live for. Turns out he knew well the bankster in London who "offed himself" under suspicious circumstances.

I can't say that I am particularly saddened by the events but it's truly unfortunate that the top guys aren't being offed as well!

http://www.maxkeiser.com/tag/banker-suicides/

http://business.financialpost.com/2014/02/18/jpmorgan-banker-suicide-hon...

By the way, there's a really great documentary that RT is currently showing called "Branding Illness".

"An eye-opening documentary about how big drug companies create diseases and then supply the medications that can cure them. It's a reversal of the traditional approach — trying to discover a drug that cures an illness — and one that relies far more heavily on marketing than research." I think the next showing on RT is on Feb 23...but not sure.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 31 weeks ago
#47

I, personally, have doubts as to whether Kend actually did have to wait so long for his procedure or whether he' s making that up or exaggerating. It wouldn't be out of character for him and seems to contradict descriptions by other Canadians of their healthcare system which they usually tend to like very much - and like he stated that he did numerous times before..

He'll, basically, say anything.

Bluesyinohio's picture
Bluesyinohio 8 years 31 weeks ago
#48

I agree completely with every situation and history that you have stated.
I have watched each of these situations and have asked what I, as a voter can do. I read the news, I follow the information I find online, and I am always aware of the local government where I live.

We all have to remember that what happens in Washington is OUR responsibility. Government begins at home and if we allow local politicians to run roughshod on the needs of our communities then we deserve the governance we get.
If we don't vote we are lost. If we do not support programs that work on improving our lives in our Communities.
Everyone is always ready to let others make the decisions for us. This is what we have allowed to happen. It is time for 100% voting and really taking the Government back from the Politicians who are driving our Country to Fascism and a Police State.
Too many are only interested in making money at the expense of the many and not trying to help build our economy for everyone.

As a retired teacher I have had music classes with as many as 35-38 students in them. It is almost impossible to teach, let alone evaluate the individual child's advancement.

I believe that no child should be passed who has not been able to learn the material taught. I always used the National Standards to write lesson plans that correlate to the School's Curriculum. I had parents and even administrators ask me why I didn't give an A/Ex Grade to all students. I always responded that each student learned differently and not all thought they had to put the effort into the lessons offered them. If they did poorly, on purpose, I graded them appropriately. If they were able to learn the basics of the lesson they got good grades. If they only learned parts of the lesson they got a lesser grade.
I have done this all the years I have taught and when my classes were too large it was more and more difficult to do the job I was asked to do...to teach General Music to children from grades K-8.

Being a responsible Citizen means doing what we can do to put honest dedicated candidates into office. It also means that we need to correspond with our representatives and let them know what we think of proposed legislation and other things like Ecological necessities, Human Services for those who are in need, and Community needs as well as State and National needs.
We MUST Vote or we will never be able to get the representation we need. We will only get what we are willing to be forced upon us.

This includes looking at more than a 2 Political Party system.


Both Parties are now looking more and more the same and are not fulfilling our Countries needs. It is time for major changes within the Government and within the Parties. More Parties need to be added to the GOP and the Dems in order to truly represent the People of this Country.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 31 weeks ago
#49

My transcript of a small segment of the documentary "Branding Illness":

"In the extreme, their aim is to persuade everybody that the cholesterol levels, as defined in 25 year old men, are the norms. This is where we all should be at. And based on this, what we find is that the cholesterol levels, as defined, that a population such as in Germany means that 95% of Germans and French are technically ill. And from the industry point of view this news is wonderful. It's a HUGE market. They are in the business of being able to say to huge numbers of people that they should be on the Statin group of drugs to lower their cholesterol levels in order to lower their risk factor so that they don't have a heart attack or stroke. As a matter of fact we know that if you don't have the other risk factors, that if you haven't had a heart attack, or stroke, or that you aren't over weight, or that you don't smoke..taking this group of drugs, just because you have got a marginally raised cholesterol level, increases your risk of death."
--David Healy, MD
Psychiatrist and Historian of Psychopharmacology

"And in the cholesterol guidelines, the last major revision was in 2001. In the American cholesterol guidelines, 9 out of 14 of the experts who were on the panel that set the standards, have financial ties to the drug companies. Now this is very important because the 2001 guidelines almost tripled the number of Americans for whom that therapy was recommended.

The number went from almost 13 million to 36 million. And most of the 23 million people whom Statins became recommended, based on those guidelines, did not yet have heart disease."

"The cholesterol team, which later become known by the critics, as the "Cholesterol Mafia".

Their interest is not in pursuing not only the premise that lowering cholesterol results in better [??] outcomes but in really pushing forward the promotional message to the American population, on a sort of an individual consumer level, on an expectation level, and on a provider based level. That is multiple tiers of targeted promotional vehicles to get the American population concerned about their cholesterol. This "know your number" campaign. As a
way of getting Americans to identify with their number. That they should have a sense of consciousness of what their cholesterol number is.

--Jeremy A. Greene, MD
Historian of Medicine, Harvard University

"So, doctors will measure their patient's cholesterol. And the patients will ask for their cholesterol levels to be measured. And if the cholesterol is high, the doctor will often say 'Mr or Mrs Jones, your cholesterol is a little bit high. Why don't you come back in 3 months and between now and then why don't you exercise more and eat a healthier diet and we'll see if your cholesterol goes down and then we won't have to treat you if your cholesterol goes down.'

And, more often than not, cholesterol won't go down that much with these healthy lifestyles.

Then the doctor will say, 'Well Mr or Mrs Jones, I'm sorry your cholesterol hasn't gone down. So, we'll give you a cholesterol lowering medication. And, then you won't have to worry about it.' But, they have completely missed the boat! Because, taking the action of exercising more and eating a healthier diet, is going to decrease the risk of heart disease by somewhere around 60-80%. That's enormously effective therapeutic intervention. And when the doctor says 'Well, we'll give you cholesterol lowering drug...you won't have to worry about all that other stuff (that's so hard to do).' The doctor is focusing on the wrong thing because the patient has done the successful intervention to change their lifestyle. "

--John Abramson, MD
Author of "OverDo$ed America"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSHI9adcNyY

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 31 weeks ago
#50

I have also got to wonder about blood pressure standards. They started out saying normal blood pressure is supposed to be 120/80...then I believe they lowered that even. I suspect that you just can't pigeon hole everyone by the same standard. Physiology varies from not only the sexes but also from the races. And I'm sure there are other valid variables as well. I think it serves the pharmaceuticals and the medical industry as a vehicle for keeping people unnecessarily afraid that they are at risk so they are pushed into taking dangerous medications that will end up killing us anyway.

The rich get richer and they weed out large segments of the population, you know, those pesky dregs of society that are always demanding the thieves, who stole from our Social Security or other programs, pay up. The doctors could, of course, stop over-prescribing some of these dangerous drugs and tell the people the truth...stop pigging out...eat right...lose weight...stop smoking...but then that would put a dent in those capitalist pigs who get rich on selling super-sized fries and cigarettes and booze. So, they certainly are not going to do that!

You really can't blame the fatties, future lung cancer patients, and drunks too much because all of those commercials constantly drum into us to pig out and smoke and drink. It's psychological warfare compelling people to act against their best interests.

They used to get Indians drunk and hooked on alcohol. The British got the Chinese hooked on Opium. Reagan helped to get South Side LA hooked on Crack Cocaine! Freeway Ricky knows!

Now, they got people hooked on abusive credit and everything else that's bad for us!

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