Little noticed by most Americans, Merriam Webster, one of the world’s most important dictionaries, announced a few months ago that the two most looked-up words in 2012 were “socialism” and “capitalism.”
Traffic for the pair on the company’s website roughly doubled from the year before. The choice was a “kind of no-brainer,” observed editor at large, Peter Sokolowski. “They’re words that sort of encapsulate the zeitgeist.”
Leading polling organizations have found converging results among younger Americans. Two recent Rasmussen surveys, for instance, discovered that Americans younger than 30 are almost equally divided as to whether capitalism or socialism is preferable. Another Pew survey found those aged 18 to 29 have a more favorable reaction to the term “socialism” by a margin of 49 to 43 percent.
This certainly shows the importance of criticizing our government and engaging on key social issues
A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans’ e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.
CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans’ e-mail, is scheduled for next week.
Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans’ e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge. (CNET obtained the revised draft from a source involved in the negotiations with Leahy.)
It’s an abrupt departure from Leahy’s earlier approach, which required police to obtain a search warrant backed by probable cause before they could read the contents of e-mail or other communications. The Vermont Democrat boasted last year that his bill “provides enhanced privacy protections for American consumers by… requiring that the government obtain a search warrant.”
Leahy had planned a vote on an earlier version of his bill, designed to update a pair of 1980s-vintage surveillance laws, in late September. But after law enforcement groups including the National District Attorneys’ Association and the National Sheriffs’ Association organizations objected to the legislation and asked him to “reconsider acting” on it, Leahy pushed back the vote and reworked the bill as a package of amendments to be offered next Thursday. The package (PDF) is a substitute for H.R. 2471, which the House of Representatives already has approved.
One person participating in Capitol Hill meetings on this topic told CNET that Justice Department officials have expressed their displeasure about Leahy’s original bill. The department is on record as opposing any such requirement: James Baker, the associate deputy attorney general, has publicly warned that requiring a warrant to obtain stored e-mail could have an “adverse impact” on criminal investigations.
Christopher Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said requiring warrantless access to Americans’ data “undercuts” the purpose of Leahy’s original proposal. “We believe a warrant is the appropriate standard for any contents,” he said.
Update: Senator Patrick Leahy has abandoned his controversial proposal that would grant government agencies more surveillance power — including warrantless access to Americans’ e-mail accounts — than they possess under current law.
The Vermont Democrat said today on Twitter that he would “not support such an exception” for warrantless access. The remarks came a few hours after the CNET article was published this morning that disclosed the existence of the measure.
A vote on the proposal in the Senate Judiciary committee, which Leahy chairs, is scheduled for next Thursday. The amendments were due to be glued onto a substitute (PDF) to H.R. 2471, which the House of Representatives already has approved.
Leahy’s about-face comes in response to a deluge of criticism today, including the American Civil Liberties Union saying that warrants should be required, and the conservative group FreedomWorks launching a petition to Congress — with more than 2,300 messages sent so far — titled: “Tell Congress: Stay Out of My Email!”
Special thanks to puszcza for updating me.
MUST WATCH: Jazeera’s counting the cost takes on the banking system and the reality of banking. Must Watch, simple, 25 min, explanation of an exceptional injustice.
From Lehman to Libor, scandal and even criminal activity have stalked the banking sector. Despite taking taxpayers money to survive the North Atlantic financial crisis, there is very little evidence the banks are actually using that money to help bolster economic growth.
That has many questioning the role of the banks, and it surprised us that our commercial banks are actually responsible for creating 97 per cent of money. The way they do that, they create money into existence with a few taps on a keyboard.
So, who is actually in charge of all the money? Are the bankers and the system out of control? And with banks failing the West, does Islamic finance have some answers to the world’s money troubles?
Joining Counting the Cost to discuss these issues are: Professor Jem Bendell of the University of Cumbria and Tarek El Diwany, a senior partner at the Islamic investment and finance consultancy Zest Advisory.
Having taken taxpayer money, the banks have been reluctant to loan money out. A problem entrepreneur David Fishwick had to deal with, as his clients could not buy his minibuses because they could not loan money from the banks. When he decided to turn his hand to opening a bank in his home town of Burnely, he quickly ran into a lot of red tape.
We speak to David Fishwick about his experiences and his decision to take on the banks and the system which regulates them, to set up his own small-time bank for everyday people.
He says: “It [trust] doesn’t exist any more [in the banking sector], but it does if you put social responsibility back into people, they do pay …. My little ‘bank’ is completely different from most banks …. We keep it in one big circle, a community bank that works for the community, that serves the community, that we get a 98 per cent payment rate on because it’s for the community.
If a bank is too big to fail, then it’s just too big to exist and it shouldn’t be there in the first place. If banks are kept small and they are run by capable people who are very comfortable with the amounts of money that are going in and out, we would have never gotten the problems that we have got at the moment. But the big problems that lie at the door of the banks: When people rob banks they go to prison, when banks rob people they get bonuses. That has to stop.”
— Jeremy Varon. Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies (Kindle Location 332). Kindle Edition.
About 97.3 million Americans fall into a low-income category, commonly defined as those earning between 100 and 199 percent of the poverty level, based on a new supplemental measure by the Census Bureau that is designed to provide a fuller picture of poverty. Together with the 49.1 million who…
Members of the 1% are clearly at an advantage when it comes to opportunity, and that advantage carries through when it comes to finding a job.
While it’s common for people to find employment through family and friends, there’s a direct correlation between a father’s income and the likelihood his son will work for the same employer, according to a report last year in the Journal of Labor Economics (via Miles Corak, who co-wrote the paper).
The researchers found that that among its subjects, around 40% of young Canadian men had been employed by an employer for whom their father worked.
But for earners in the top percentile, that figure jumps to around nearly 70%.
All parents want to help their children in whatever way they can. But top earners can do it more than others, and with more consequence: virtually guaranteeing, if not a lifetime of high earnings, at least a great start in life.But most rich people work super hard for their money! They deserve it!
If you don’t have a parent who’s a high ranking executive at a Fortune 500 company, blame yourself.
Hey! It’s not Daddy’s company, it’s Father’s.
When people in the United States are asked how US wealth is distributed, they think that the richest 20% should own up to 40% of national wealth. That includes 90% of republicans surveyed. In fact, the richest 20% own 85% of the national wealth. Those surveyed also thought the bottom 120 million people should own around 10% of the national wealth. The reality? 0.3%.
The richest 1% of the US population own one third of the US’s net worth.
In 2010, the average American earned $26,487 - down over $2,000 in real terms on 2006. That’s a drop of 5.27%, including inflation. If you were poor it’s been an even bigger drop - the 24 million least wealthy households in America saw their average income go down by 10% From $12,276 in 2006 to $11,034 in 2010.
• One in six Americans have no health insurance - 50 million people, a population twice the size of Texas (27m people). Of every 17 Americans, at least one will be earning below the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
- 14.5% of Americans households are defined as “food insecure”. That means for every seven households, one will have trouble putting enough food on the table
What about taxes? The 400 wealthiest households paid $19.6bn in taxes in 2008 - the latest year we have data. That’s 1.9% of all the income tax the IRS collects. If you are in the top tax bracket, your tax rate is 35%. But it doesn’t quite work like that.
Imagine you are a billionaire and your income comes mostly from investments. Imagine you are Warren Buffet. You would end up paying a tax rate of under 20%. In fact, Buffett paid 17.4% tax last year. This is the “effective” tax rate.
If you earn between $100,000 and $200,000 you will be paying up to 25% effective tax rate - and that’s before payroll taxes kick in. The 400 richest tax returns surveyed by the IRS paid just 18.1% in 2008.
— William Lloyd Garrison, abolitionist, journalist
Anonymous asked: how does one get over an ex boyfriend? I'm literally going insane. its been more than a year since we broke up. he's with someone else now. and i cant stop thinking about him. what the fuck do i do?
Communism is not love. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy.
Leftists are not liberals.
Leftists are not liberals.
Leftists are not liberals.
Leftists are not liberals.
One of the worst things to happen to Islam is the Islamic revolution in Iran.
For all you undecided voters out there...
Take a look at Jill Stein in the Green Party… someone who has truly stood by her...
For the upcoming US elections, think about the way in which the American elites have been able to exclude a large and important amount of people...
Oh, snap.ROMNEY: Let's talk about the other big one --LEHRER (interrupting): No, let's not.