We Will Watch the Watchers

On August 13th Ademo Freeman was convicted by a jury on 3 counts of felony wiretapping because he recorded phone conversations with pubic officials without the consent of said officials. While Ademo did violate the NH wiretapping law, the NH law violates federal court precedent. Last year the 1st Circuit Court ruled that filming public officials while on duty is a “basic and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment.”

The 1st Circuit Court ruling was cited by a judge in Illinois as a “persuasive authority” for ruling on similar cases. Specifically, the case of Michael Allison, who had been convicted of five counts of felony eavesdropping and sentenced to 75 years in prison. The Illinois law makes it a felony to record a conversation without consent of ALL parties involved, regardless of the circumstances. Allison’s troubles began when he recorded his encounters with police who were seizing cars from his front yard. Allison then attempted to record his court appearance and was arrested for supposedly violating the Judge’s privacy. However, there is good news for Mr. Allison, another Judge (David Frankland) dismissed the charges against Michael Allison and ruled, “A statute intended to prevent unwarranted intrusion into a citizen’s privacy cannot be used as a shield for public officials who cannot assert a comparable right to privacy in their public duties… Such action impedes the free flow of information concerning public officials and violates the First Amendment right to gather information.”

Last fall, a Chicago jury acquitted a woman for secretly recording a conversation with police regarding a sexual harassment complaint she was attempting to file against the department. This past spring, Illinois Judge Stanley Sacks dropped a case against Chris Drew and ruled that the law was too broad and potentially criminalized “wholly innocent conduct.” Among the abuses hypothesized by the judge: the prosecution of a parent who recorded her child’s soccer game and inadvertently captured a conversation between two bystanders.

Illinois along with New Hampshire are two of the dozen states that require all party consent for recordings. This restriction makes it a crime, in many circumstances, to attempt to hold pubic officials accountable.

I’m reminded of the quote from Plato “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

On August 15th I spoke to a New Hampshire House subcommittee and recommended the committee introduce a bill to modify RSA 570-A:2 so that the term “all parties” is replaced with “at least one party.” and include the phrase “It is neither invasion of privacy nor wiretapping nor eavesdropping to record a telephone conversation if a party to the conversation.”

I concluded by stating the Legislature should bring New Hampshire law in compliance with federal court precedent which states, “filming public officials while on duty is a ‘basic and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment’.” And said, the Legislature “can bring New Hampshire’s law into compliance the easy way, through legislation; or the hard way, through the courts. If the law is not changed through the State Legislature, I am tempted to challenge the law in federal court myself and I’m willing to record phone conversations with every Legislator in the State of New Hampshire if that is what it takes to bring about this much needed change in state law.”

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Fake screw story catches top tech publishers reporting a lie…
“More and more blogs wrote about the alleged leaks from Apple headquarters in Cupertino, USA. Yahoo, Wired and MacWorld jumped on.”

( -)-(- )Comments Off


DEVO gets political, goes after Romney: Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

A startup you’ve never heard of beat Google on one key number…

( -)-(- )Comments Off


2011 marked highest output ever for robot manufacturers…
“Those who are arguing that robotics will cause massive unemployment are wrong for the next few decades.”

( -)-(- )Comments Off

COUP: Ron Paul might get convention speaker slot, claims to have 500 reps & 200 delegates…
POLITICO: “The tea party playbook is more Paul than Santorum: Libertarianism is becoming a winning strategy for candidates of a major party”
FLASHBACK: Pre-Ryan Veep pick, Romney had already lost battle to define himself; Karl Rove agreed
LIBERTARIAN ONE-TWO: Gary Johnson could cost Romney Virginia…

( -)-(- )Comments Off


Billionaire philanthropist Charles Feeney: $6B and counting…
“I want the last check I write to bounce”

( -)-(- )Comments Off

GAWKER: How Paul Ryan will screw you…
“let’s assume for a second that Mitt Romney is only interested in choosing the music for his wife’s horse dances, and as president lets Ryan run the show — in particular, signing off on Ryan’s proposed budget, a supposedly Serious Piece of Legislation that is more or less the only reason he’s on the ticket in the first place.”

( -)-(- )Comments Off

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria caught up in plagiarism scandal…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Gary Johnson’s underdog narrative

In a most recent web video/ad entitled “Job Boom” Gary Johnson once again personally delivers another spoken dialogue imploring Americans to vote for him before the two-party system completely mucks everything up. I’m happy to finally see a Libertarian Party presidential candidate doing a substantial job of taking control of their own narrative and talking directly to people about the real economic and liberty issues. But at the end of the day I’ll admit he needs to go a lot further to win that superficial gay female vote.

Booyah.

( -)-(- )Comments Off

The Childishness of Presidential Election 2012

In early August the Presidential election slipped to a new low. It began when Barack Obama said, “He’d ask the middle class to pay more in taxes so that he could give another $250,000 tax cut to people making more than $3 million a year. It’s like Robin Hood in reverse — it’s Romney-hood.”

Romney countered by saying, “We’ve been watching the president say a lot of things about me and about my policies. They’re just not right. If I were to coin a term it would be ‘Obamaloney.’ He’s serving up a dish which is just simply in contradiction of the truth.”

It’s not bad enough that either man made such silly statements, I find it worse that the statements have become major news stories. A search on Google News showed over 36,000 results for “Romneyhood” and roughly 4,000 results for “Obamaloney.”

This is the most childish Presidential election I can remember, but the mudslinging is not as bad as it’s been in the past. I recall learning of some fairly low-brow elections from the 1800′s, mainly the 1884 election between Grover Cleveland and James G. Blaine. While the attacks were fairly childish, in my opinion, they were put together much more eloquently and in a way that sounded intelligent. The Cleveland campaign put together a poem referencing Blaine’s involvement in unethical business deals with the railroad industry and his behavior after they were exposed. “Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, The Continental Liar from the State of Maine.” The Blaine campaign responded with an equally childish poem “Ma, Ma, Where’s my Pa, Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha.” This poem reminded voters that Cleveland was alleged to have fathered a child out of wedlock.

In 2004 Walter Shapiro of USA Today wrote of the mudslinging in the 1988 campaign, “George H.W. Bush benefited politically from an explosive independent ad that featured Willie Horton, a black rapist released from prison under a furlough program championed by his Democratic rival, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis. The coded message in that vicious commercial, which used a photograph to highlight Horton’s race, directly played on white fears of crime.
Such racist scare tactics are as unlikely today…”

While I’m not aware of any racist scare tactics, scare tactics are alive this election season, as well. Priorities USA Action, a pro-Obama super PAC, released an attack ad – which has not actually aired and owes its notoriety to media coverage – effectively blaming Mitt Romney for the cancer death of a laid-off steelworker’s wife. The ad features Joe Soptic, who lost his job and his health benefits after Romney’s Bain Capital closed the GST Steel plant in Kansas City, Kansas in 2001. What the ad fails to mention is that Soptic’s wife had health insurance through her job until she quit in 2002 or 2003 due to an injury. The ad also fails to mention that she died in 2006, a full 5 years after he was laid-off. The ad is designed to paint Romney as a vulture-capitalist, but there is a subtle hint that universal health care, something promoted by both major party candidates, would have kept his wife alive.

Instead of getting pulled into the distraction that is Presidential election 2012, I encourage you to get involved at the State or local level. This could be as simple as writing a letter to the editor of your local paper in support of your favorite candidate or something more involved like lobbying your State Legislators to pass legislation reducing the size, scope and/or power of the government on at least one issue.

( -)-(- )1 comment

Arizona woman spends four months in jail because authorities thought she was Mexican…
“There are a lot of bad players in this travesty, but the bottom line is that they all had access, or could have had access, to Torres’ birth certificate, and they could have easily verified that it was legit.”

( -)-(- )Comments Off

FUCKING STUPID: Ogden, Utah pols attack free speech in parks, misdemeanor for swearing…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Wikipedia locks possible VP pages after Colbert joke

Politico: “The pages of Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie and (following yesterday’s Drudge bump) David Petraeus have been locked after Colbert, citing a Fox News report about the jump in revisions to Sarah Palin’s page in 2008, encouraged viewers to ‘go on Wikipedia, and make as many edits as possible to your favorite VP contender.’”

This comes on the heels of a report earlier this week by Micah Sifry: “None of Wikipedia entries for the current candidates being bandied about by Romney-watchers — Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Kelly Ayotte or Pawlenty — are currently showing anything like the spike in edits that Cyveillance spotted on Palin and Biden’s pages back in 2008. But most of those came in the 24 hours prior to the official announcement.”

Stephen Colbert of course deserves full credit for throwing the monkey wrench in Wikipedia when he told viewers: “We could be looking at Vice President Season Six of Buffy-the-Vampire Slayer. So, Nation, let your voice be heard in this history decision. Go on Wikipedia, and make as many edits as possible to your favorite VP contender.”

Sifry responds: “Oh well, I guess we all just pushed the needle deeper into the haystack.”

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Gary Johnson’s latest ad pitch

Fraught with source-less public opinion numbers, Gary Johnson’s latest ad is positive affirmation that he’s 100% on your side of the composite voter survey. With that kind of message, it can’t hurt that the video style leans towards Apple, but with awkwardly obvious b-roll clips (is that Dick Cheney sipping wine and gazing into the sea?).

Johnson will need to turn all that issue agreeing into impressive crowd mojo and increased fundraising if he’s going to claim the media spotlight as the non-duopoly contender.

( -)-(- )Comments Off

The cornucopian case for oil and next gen energy

Brian Wang at Next Big Future provides a ten-point list on the U.S. energy situation that should help put to bed the belief that we’re running full speed off the energy cliff (he also makes a strong case for more nuclear research).

Here’s some ridiculously high numbers of untapped oil in the U.S.:

10. Assigning estimated barrels of oil to various basins and shale oil plays plus including an estimate of yet to be discovered shale oil, I came to an estimate of oil in place. Oil in place in the continental US is from about 3 trillion to 5 trillion barrels of oil not including the 4.5 trillion barrels of oil shale.

1.53 trillion barrels Piceance Basin of Colorado (USGS, June 2011 oil shale)
1.44 trillion barrels Green River formation (USGS, June 2011 oil shale)
1.32 trillion barrels for the Uinta Basin of Utah and Colorado. (USGS, June 2011 oil shale)
260-500 billion barrels Monterey Formation (tight oil)
271-503 billion barrels Bakken Formation (tight oil)
etc…

Aggressive use of new fracking technology and combined with fire flooding and water flooding could enable 20-30% recovery rates. Large amounts of the Oil shale is likely recoverable with fire flooding. So 6.5 trillion to 9.5 trillion barrels of oil, with 20-30% recovery rates is 1.3 to 2.8 trillion barrels of oil. Oil Shale like in the Green River Formation cannot be recovered with horizontal drilling. It will require fire flooding or some other likely insitu method.”

Our current global burn rate is estimated to be 85-90K barrels per day. Doing some back of the napkin math — 1.3 trillion barrels of oil from the U.S. alone would last the entire world well over 39,000 years at current consumption levels.

Even accounting for a world population that consistently expands, it’s a solid cornucopian case for oil.

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Rand Paul to speak, endorse Romney at GOP convention

Hammer of Truth has learned that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has made the cut to speak at the week-long event held in Tampa Florida beginning, according to an announcement by Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus. The announcement comes just a few days after news that Congressman Ron Paul — Rand’s father and erstwhile presidential candidate — would be barred from speaking. A side rally dubbed “Paulfest” is officially being organized by Paul supporters outside the Tampa Bay Times Forum as a protest by the Paul campaign at the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome.

Rand Paul is already the libertarian favorite for 2016 should Romney fail to oust Barack Obama. We’ve been informed by sources inside the Paul campaign and D.C. Republicans that Rand Paul will be endorsing Mitt Romney (again) and that there’s virtually no chance that he’ll be picked for the VP slot.

Regardless of party politics playing an apparent role, Rand is one of two speakers newly selected — Rick Santorum was announced at the same time — that shows the 2012 GOP Convention is not a completely closed tent affair to the vociferous votes of libertarian or christian evangelicals.

After showing their primary clout in sinking Romney’s favorability ratings enough for several losses, it was wise not to exclude them.

Update: Added clarification on details of Ron Paul’s rally.

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Wayne Allyn Root: The Obama scandal is at Columbia…
Reason: “Why is Wayne Allyn Root giving him free campaign advice when he should be using his inside voice to talk to, and about, Libertarian Party candidates?”

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Romney negative on Fed’s QE3 intentions

Once again we can partially agree with Romney, though it’s painfully obvious he’s just been listening to Ron Paul’s fiscal conservatism and wants to hitch a ride on that political undercurrent. From CNN:

“I am sure the Fed is watching and will try to encourage the economy. But I don’t think a massive new QE3 will help the economy,” Romney said, referring to a program called quantitative easing.

While July’s just-released jobs figures showed the public sector taking a major beating, Romney repeated his belief that a government stimulus program is not the right course, saying the first one did not work and “expecting a different result is, as famously said, the definition of insanity.”

It’s a testament to Ron Paul’s vigorous House actions to audit the Federal Reserve that this is even being brought up on the campaign trail, much less by the same guy who less than six months ago claimed credit for the structured bankruptcy nature of the ill-fated U.S. auto maker bailouts: see more…

( -)-(- )Comments Off


NASA gold: Curiosity sticks Mars landing..
Let the science begin: Raw images start pouring in…
NASA’s naughty tweet: “GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!!”
ROVER’S BRAINS: 2.5 million lines of C…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Ron Paul delegate purge sparks GOP civil war in Maine…
Paul fans plan parallel rally…
Cheney not going to Tampa…
Nor W, Bush Senior…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Economic Death Spiral

If I said an economist said that the American economy was heading into a “death spiral,” most people would likely think I was referring to Peter Schiff, Bob Murphy or someone from the Mises Institute. They would be wrong. Reuters reports Richard Duncan, formerly of the World Bank said, “After a four-decade-long, $50 trillion expansion of credit, if credit now begins to contract, the debt-deflation death spiral of the kind described by Irving Fisher would destroy our civilization. Austerity is death.”

MoneyMorning.com is reporting that other mainstream economists are coming to similar conclusions. Laurence Kotlikoff, a former member of President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers estimates the true fiscal gap is $211 trillion when unfunded entitlements like Social Security and Medicare are included.

Duncan added, “Private sector debt has already started to contract a little bit, and if it were not for these trillion-dollar budget deficits by the U.S. and most other governments, topped up by a whole lot of paper money creation, we would have already spiraled into a new Great Depression.”

It seems Duncan is advocating for and against government spending and inflation. He argues, “many people who agree with the Austrians believe we should just now take our medicine and allow the system to adjust. But I don’t think they realize how harsh the medicine would be.” He adds that slashing government spending would immediately lead to a new depression. Duncan concludes, “We can take advantage of this opportunity and borrow and invest at 1.5 percent interest or we can collapse into a depression. Those are our options. Be imaginative and brave or fail because of our past mistakes.”

I like his proposal to “be imaginative and brave” and believe that we should learn from past mistakes. However, I do not believe that more government spending will solve the problems caused by government spending. Duncan’s approach seems akin to a doctor telling a bleeding patient “in order to stop the bleeding, we must make another cut.”
Whether Duncan is right or wrong about how to proceed, the economy will eventually collapse. The question is not “How do we stop it?” The question is “Are you prepared?”

When the economy collapses, everyone will need to know how to barter, hunt, gather, grow and store food and water. I know I’m not ready for the collapse, but I’m preparing. Are you?

( -)-(- )1 comment

Space privateer Elon Musk: The goal is Mars…
“it’s important we get out there and explore the stars, both for defensive reasons and ensuring the continued existence of [human] consciousness”

CURIOSITY ABOUT LIFE: NASA’s car-sized rover scheduled to land 1:31AM EDT Monday…
Seven minutes of terror…

( -)-(- )Comments Off