CJE Wednesday News Briefs
WS – I had a dream that the Supreme Court Justices were arrested for stalking. Then I awoke to this…
Unless you can prove you’re being surveilled in a program the government keeps secret, you have no right to sue.
In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit challenging the US government’s warrantless surveillance powers on the grounds that the plaintiffs do not have “standing.”
Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Chief Justice John Roberts concluded that the plaintiffs cannot sue the government for the 2008 expansion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) because they can’t prove the law directly effects them.
The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 authorized broad, warrantless surveillance of Americans’ international communications, checked only by a secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that doesn’t make it’s activities and procedures available to the public.
Even though the government has acknowledged that the secretive program has exceeded its legal limits, violating Americans’ Fourth Amendment constitutional rights, the majority decision on Tuesday rejected the notion that a group of American lawyers, journalists and rights organizations have any standing to challenge it. More…
Today is “Chase Your Tail Day” – Hint; They drive black SUV’s.
WS – At least it’s quicker than a dose of radiation.
Five tons of liquid waste, including the toxic chemical sodium cyanide, leaked from a Japanese plating factory after a snowplow accident. An estimated 125,000 lethal doses of the poison soaked into the surrounding snow.
The vehicle smashed into a factory in Hanamaki, northern Japan, causing five tons of the fluid wastage, including cyanide, to pour out into the surrounding area. One liter of the toxic liquid chemical, which is frequently used to remove nickel plating from various surfaces, is enough to kill 25 people, according to a factory official.
“Fortunately, snow absorbed most of the liquid and we have been able to collect the contaminated snow…the leak has not reached a nearby river and we have not received any reports of impact on people,” the official told AFP. More…
Have You Noticed?
WS – Generically, Newspeak has come to mean any attempt to restrict disapproved language by a government or other powerful entity.
Have you noticed, your Social Security check is now referred to as a “Federal Benefit Payment”?
This isn’t a benefit, it’s earned income!
Not only did we all contribute to Social Security but our employers did too.
It totaled 15% of our income before taxes.
If you averaged $30K per year over your working life, that’s close to $180,000 invested in Social Security. More…
Allman Brothers guitarist Dan Toler dies at 64
WS – Sad, sad day. RIP Brother!
Dan Toler, best known for playing guitar with the Allman Brothers Band, has passed away at age 64 after battling Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Musician Dan Toler died Monday at his home near Sarasota, Florida, after battling Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Nicknamed “Dangerous Dan,” Toler was a prominent rock guitarist who played alongside Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts in the Allman Brothers Band from the late 1970s through the 1980s.
Toler and his brother Frankie then spent much the 1980s playing with the Gregg Allman Band, touring and recording I’m No Angel in 1986 and Just Before the Bullets Fly in 1988. Toler rejoined Betts’ Great Southern band in 2002 and later created the Townsend Toler Band with John Townsend. He then joined the Renegades of Southern Rock and wrapped his career with Toler Tucci Band, along with Chaz Trippy from the Gregg Allman Band.
WS – Stop “Stalling” Larry… You’re gay man. Embrace it. Then pay your own fu$king bills.
WASHINGTON — A federal judge this week will confront the surprisingly important fallout from former Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig’s 2007 bathroom arrest.
Craig’s own money may be on the line Wednesday, but that’s not all. Other politicians, too, could have a future stake in what U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson says about how campaign dollars can be spent.
The Federal Election Commission says Craig improperly used more than $216,000 in campaign funds to pay attorneys after being charged with disorderly conduct for his behavior in a Minneapolis airport men’s room. Craig’s attorneys insist he was on official business and so could use his campaign treasury as other legally embattled lawmakers have done before him. The judicial resolution to this dispute could have a broad reach. More…
Trekkies put their stamp on Pluto moon naming contest
After nearly a half million votes cast by the public, Pluto’s two tiniest moons may have new names – one of them possibly being christened after the home world of a famous fictional pointy-eared humanoid named Mr.Spock.
Astronomer Michael Showalter and his team who discovered these tiny worldlets put a call out to the internet community asking for help in naming the moons, now known only as P4 and P5. The only stipulation for original entries were that they had to be associated with the gods of the underworld from Greek and Roman mythology., just like Pluto and its three other moons which already have names.
Originally their were 12 names on a list to choose from but thanks to the suggestion of famed actor William Shatner aka Captain James T. Kirk from the original Star Trek television series, a new, wildly popular entry- Vulcan – took the lead early on. According to ancient Roman mythology Vulcan is the god of lava and is also the nephew of Pluto. More…
A crowd of about 200 volunteer performers staged a flash mob in Times Square to protest gun violence and call for stricter gun control laws in the wake of the Newtown.
WS – Oxfam can “Bite Me”.
Corporations relying on cheap land and labor are ruining human lives and the natural world, says campaign
In a new effort called Behind the Brand, part of their ongoing GROW campaign to fix the broken food system, Oxfam has singled out the ten largest food processing companies—Associated British Foods (ABF), Coca Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Mondelez, Nestlé, Pepsico and Unilever—to make a singular statement about the failure of these behemoths to fulfill their social and environmental responsibilities.
According to Oxfam, these “Big 10”—that together generate $1 billion-a-day in profit—are failing millions of people in developing countries who supply land, labor, water and commodities needed to make their products. More…
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