Sunday, August 13, 2017


We had a wonderful Show planned and then the WHITE SUPREMACISTS decided to attack in Virginia. So we shifted our focus and did some digging we bring you this show on brotherhood

We will feature Brook Hines recent journalistic investigations and we will discuss the evil of those who would ethnically and racially "purge" this country of all the immigrants

Then we will hear from the UF President discussing welcoming white supremacists and taliban and cannibals to lecture at the campus.
The a speech of Dr. Kings

PNN Brotherhood & Sisterhood Show
Brook Hines & Fred Barr - Movement Mentality

1. Chanting "blood and soil,” “white lives matter”
   and “you will not replace us,” scores of white nationalists
   holding torches marched across the University of Virginia campus
   in Charlottesville on Friday night.

   Scuffles broke out between them and a small group of
   counter-protesters calling themselves “anti-fascists” who
   were surrounded as they demonstrated in advance of Saturday’s
   “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, which is expected
   to be one of the largest far-right gatherings in the U.S.
   in at least a decade.


2. In memory of Heather Heyer
   who lost her life opposing RACISM

3. Give me your tired your poor
   your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
   the wretched refuse of your teeming shore
   send these the homeless tempest tossed to me
   I lift my lamp beside the GOLDEN DOOR


4. White-nationalist group that influenced alleged Charleston shooter is subsidized by American taxpayers Council of Conservative Citizens is 'social welfare' an organization that pays no federal taxes

   Alleged Charleston gunman Dylann Roof wrote that he was never the same after discovering a website with “pages upon pages of these brutal black on white murders.”

   The pages that left Roof in disbelief were the product of a white-nationalist group subsidized by American taxpayers.

   The Council of Conservative Citizens Inc. is listed by the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit organization that promotes social welfare, also known as a 501(c)(4).
   Such groups pay no federal taxes, a form of government subsidy.

   The council is now under fire for allegedly inspiring racial hatred in Roof, a 21-year-old high school dropout. He is charged with nine counts of murder.

   Tax-exempt social welfare groups are supposed to “primarily promote the common good and general welfare of the people of the community as a whole,” according to IRS documents.

   The Council of Conservative Citizens explains on its website that its members believe “that the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character….
   We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind.”

   Groups that espouse hate can be stripped of their tax-exempt status, said Marcus Owens, who ran the IRS’s exempt organizations division in the 1990s. That happened to the neo-Nazi group
   National Alliance in 1982. The Council of Conservative Citizens has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “notorious, racist hate group.”

   However, Owens says Republicans in Congress have made it virtually impossible for the IRS to revoke the tax-exempt status of political groups after the recent, so-called tea party scandal. Republicans criticized the IRS for what they said was  the inexcusable targeting of conservative 501(c)(4)s. And the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said the agency had employed “inappropriate criteria” in scrutinizing some groups’ tax-exemption applications.

Vigils in Palm Beach, Stuart, Gainsville

Friday, July 21, 2017

Good Neighbor Policy



The New Good Neighbor Policy

The corporations exist at the sufferance (charter) of civil society it was "assumed" in the past that the corner butcher or dry goods shop owner or car dealer who lived and prospered by the use of civic roads and infrastructure was compelled by native instinct to avoid shirking community norms and would not poison, or pollute or adulterate their products because the good city burghers would not tolerate such abuse from a fellow shopkeeper. (Now corporate entity) run by another villager to deal so imprudently and callously with a neighbor and fellow villager. 

As corporations or shop keepers got bigger,  so large so as to claim resources from many villagers, they have learned two diabolical skills - first playing fast and loose with international taxation loopholes (as in apple or microshaft or gargle) ((and many mangy more))

"I'm not living here, for tax paying purposes" they claim, and because,  playing tax bill "whack a mole" and chasing these international shopkeepers scofflaws is a time consuming and expensive task. 
 (not to mention) How lobbyist cash "donations" have become a strong disincentive for strict enforcement of shop keeper responsibility. 

We can no longer afford to have these international scofflaws thrive and hide, who expect to be able to sell in this village, but claim to live "over there" (for tax responsibility purposes) 
While all the while using all the infrastructure they need,  to do business  (mail service, street lights, EMT, roads, bridges, power, police, all civil structures) in not just one,  but so many villages. 

You say, These shopkeepers or corporations, or  companies are people too? Well then, we must respond, It's time, to put an end to these tax responsibility scofflaws. 
They need to ante up and support your town and mine. Let  me also add, when they poison our lakes, streams, rivers and air... no legal niceties should absolve them, shield these irresponsible shopkeepers  allowing them to skirt a good neighbor's civic duty. 

You insist your four year old cleans up their mess - should these cross border shopkeepers should do less? And if our civic leaders be reluctant to hold them as responsible for their messes as you would your child. 
Then they need a lesson in responsibility too. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017



PNN The Voices of Gaia

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Two activists talk about the threat to free speech when corporation use threat and suits against activists The Voice of Gaia

This Sunday Two Woman Who Fight the good fight for Gaia and for us, and have each faced down censure and political pressure, address how fighting to protect our environment becomes a fight for free speech.
Tune In Live Sunday: Maggie Hurchalla (Longtime Conservation /Preservation Activist) and Professor Wendy Lynne Lee (Human Rights/Anti-Fracking Activist) discuss Threats to Free Speech & Speaking Up for the Environment
Brook Hines Senior Political Commentator and Associate Producer?? as always brings her keen political insight to the latest political news.

Live Sunday 7pm East/  4pm West
Or Anytime


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SLAPP Suits
Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation
Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation, also known as SLAPP suits, ordinarily arise out of defamation lawsuits. Defamation is a common law tort whereby one citizen can sue another citizen for damage to reputation. The difference between an ordinary defamation lawsuit and a SLAPP suit is that the plaintiff in a SLAPP suit does not generally plan to actually win their lawsuit. Instead, SLAPP suits are intended to intimidate, censor, disparage, burden, and punish activists for exercising their right to free speech and protest. SLAPP suits are used against individuals who may have meager resources and are unable to afford the legal counsel necessary to help them protect their rights.
As one court has stated:
SLAPP suits function by forcing the target into the judicial arena where the SLAPP filer foists upon the target the expenses of a defense.
The purpose of such gamesmanship ranges from simple retribution for past activism to discouraging future activism.
Those who lack the financial resources and emotional stamina to play out the “game” face the difficult choice of defaulting despite meritorious defenses or being brought to their knees to settle.
Persons who have been outspoken on issues of public importance targeted in such suits or who have witnessed such suits will often choose in the future to stay silent. Short of a gun to the head, a greater threat to First Amendment expression can scarcely be imagined.
Gordon v. Marrone, 590 N.Y.S. 2d 649, 656 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1992
The use of SLAPP suits as a harassment tool became so pervasive that beginning in the 1990’s, some states began adopting laws — commonly referred to as “anti-SLAPP” laws — to protect a citizen’s rights to engage in free speech. Not all of these laws are alike, but many of these anti-SLAPP laws offer defendants the opportunity to recoup their legal fees if they prove that they have been forced to defend themselves from a frivolous lawsuit. CLICK HERE to see if your state has anti-SLAPP laws and to get updates on progress of federal anti-SLAPP legislation. However, even if the defendant ultimately prevails with an anti-SLAPP suit, the defendant will likely have wasted multiple years defending their case. Thus, exoneration from a SLAPP suit, if it comes at all, will not come without years of time wasted on litigation and emotional turmoil, as well as the loss of thousands of dollars if a defendant is not lucky enough to live in the few states that have anti-SLAPP laws.
In the last twenty years, animal rights activists in particular have been a target of these suits, some for merely posting a blog on their personal website, and others for their acts of protest and political demonstration. The threat of these lawsuits is enough to make any social change advocate hesitate before expressing their opinion, in effect illegally chilling that individual’s exercise of the First Amendment.
CLDC is a national expert in defending activists and their campaigns from the threat of unconstitutional SLAPP suits. CLDC has a large brief bank and legal resources available for lawyers. If you are an attorney representing environmental or social change activists, please contact us. If you are an activist or organizer and a SLAPP suit has been filed against you, contact the CLDC immediately for assistance. In most states, you only have 30 days from when you were served with the lawsuit to file a response asserting constitutional defenses. CLDC provides trainings to activist campaigns on SLAPP suits.
Defamation in the Political Arena
Because the First Amendment protects our right to free speech, the common law legal claim of defamation can only be used against activity that is not protected speech under the Constitution. Essentially, there is no defamation of a public figure or concerning a matter of public concern unless the speaker knowingly and recklessly made a false statement with a “malicious intent” that caused injury to the affected individual. See New York Times Company & Ralph Abernathy et al. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964). However, in the realm of SLAPP suits, the corporations and individuals who file the lawsuits routinely ignore these Constitutional safeguards. For example, even though animal welfare advocacy is an issue of public interest that receives Constitutional protection, see e.g. Dienes v. Associated Newspapers, Inc., 137 Mich. App. 272, 276, SLAPP suits against animal welfare advocates may be filed and proceed for years without any proof that statements made against them were false or made with a reckless disregard for the truth.

Blog Posting
Comins v. VanVoorhis, Case No. 2009 CA 15047-0 (PDF)
(9th Judicial District Circuit Court, Orange County, Florida)
In 2008, a blogger named Matthew VanVoorhis posted a YouTube video link to a video of a man named Chris Comins shooting two dogs, along with two articles expressing his concern, anger, and opinion on the incident. Comins was later charged with two counts of felony animal abuse for this incident. Despite the video documentation of the event and the pending felony charges, Comins sued VanVoorhis for defamation and “tortuous interference with a business relationship,” and has requested an unspecified amount of damages that at least exceed $15,000. Comins argues that the blog postings “contain numerous factual inaccuracies, gross exaggerations and damaging statements regarding Plaintiff and the incident.” He argues that the “blog posts are designed to incite violence and pose an imminent threat to Plaintiff and employees of his company.” Van Voorhis has filed a motion to dismiss the complaint and has filed counter claims in the lawsuit arguing that the lawsuit violates his First Amendment rights.

https://cldc.org/organizing-resources/slapp-suits/


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History of Audubon in Florida
The voice of conservation in Florida for over 115 years.

In the beginning there was the Audubon Society
The creation of the Audubon Society by George Bird Grinnell in 1886 marked the beginning of the nation's conservation ethic. As editor of Forest and Stream, Grinnell appealed to his readership to unite for bird preservation and protection. Within a year 39,000 individuals joined the Audubon Society, which Grinnell named after the distinguished naturalist and painter John James Audubon. With the magazine staff unable to manage the overwhelming response, the society folded in less than three years.
In 1896, Bostonian socialite Mrs. Augustus Hemenway took up the mission and formed the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Hemenway was outraged by the slaughter of entire flocks of birds for their plumage, many in the recesses of the Everglades and South Florida. Florida had become the primary hunting grounds for plume hunters, where the change from abundant birdlife to scarcity and sometimes extirpation was occurring with incredible speed.
This time the Audubon idea endured, and by the turn of the century, more than 15 state Audubon Societies had been formed and were already working collaboratively to protect birds, wildlife and their habitats.
The First Decade: The end of the reign of the plume hunters
From the beginning, Audubon made major strides in bird protection, from legislation outlawing plume hunting in the state, education programs that reached thousands of children and adults, to on-the-ground wardens who protected important rookeries. Florida Audubon's early success came from its partnerships with leaders of other state Audubon Societies, the American Ornithologists' Union, and the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs.
1900
On March 2, the first meeting of the Florida Audubon Society is held in Maitland at the L.F. Dommerich estate. The list of early Ôofficers' included: N.Y. Governor and later U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, Florida Governor W.D. Bloxham, American Museum of Natural History's Frank Chapman, Rollins College President G.M. Ward, Stetson University President J.F. Forbes, and the editors of the state's largest newspapers. A little later, the list grew to include President Grover Cleveland, Florida Governor W.S. Jennings, ornithologist Theodore S. Palmer, and Maria R. Audubon.
Working together, the state Audubon Societies successfully push for the passage of the Lacey Act, prohibiting the interstate trade of wildlife killed in violation of state laws.
A regular winter visitor to Florida, Frank Chapman, ornithologist and curator of the American Museum of Natural History, organizes the first Christmas Bird Count. The holiday tradition has grown into the largest volunteer wildlife census in the world and today, in Florida, more than 2,000 people participate in over 60 Christmas Bird Counts each year during a three-week period around Christmas.

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1901
William Dutcher, chairman of the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) Committee on Bird Protection, acts on behalf of the state Audubon Societies and is the glue that holds together the various elements of the conservation movement. Dutcher travels to Florida in 1901 and assists Florida Audubon in persuading the legislature to pass the Audubon Model Law, outlawing plume hunting in the state. Dutcher administers the AOU's Thayer Fund to hire wardens to protect birds, and hires lighthouse keepers in Key West and the Dry Tortugas.
Later that same year, FAS executive committee member Mrs. Kingsmill Marrs travels to New York to meet with Dutcher and other Audubon leaders to discuss the formalization of a National Association of Audubon Societies.
1902
The National Committee of Audubon Societies is formed in November, in Washington, DC.
Dutcher hires Guy Bradley as warden in South Florida, upon the recommendation of FAS' Kirk Munroe and Mrs. Kingsmill Marrs.
1903
On March 14, with the encouragement of Frank Chapman and FAS, President Theodore Roosevelt establishes Pelican Island in the Indian River Lagoon as the first Federal Bird Reservation, giving birth to the National Wildlife Refuge system. Audubon hires Paul Kroegel as the first warden of Pelican Island. By the end of his presidency, Roosevelt names nine more bird reservations in Florida
"The Audubon Society, which has done far more than any other single agency in creating and fostering an enlightened public sentiment for the preservation of our useful and attractive birds, is [an organization] consisting of men and women who in these matters look further ahead than their fellows, and who have the precious gift of sympathetic imagination, so that they are able to see, and wish to preserve for their children's children, the beauty and wonder of nature."
- Theodore Roosevelt
1904
By 1904, Florida Audubon's educational efforts are in full gear, with 14 educational leaflets produced and about 6,000 leaflets and pamphlets distributed. The following year, the Orange County Board of Education sets aside one-half hour per week for bird study. FAS uses bird outlines and large charts purchased from Massachusetts Audubon for the program.
1905
In January, the National Association of Audubon Societies for the Protection of Wild Birds and Animals [later to become National Audubon Society] is incorporated. William Dutcher is named president, John E. Thayer first vice president, Theodore S. Palmer second vice president, Frank Chapman treasurer, and T. Gilbert Pearson secretary.
NAS assumes full responsibility of the warden program. Dutcher and Mrs. Marrs work closely to retain the Florida wardens, including Guy Bradley.
Bird-Lore [later to become Audubon Magazine] becomes the official magazine of NAS and includes Florida Audubon's annual reports, written each year by Kingsmill Marrs.
On July 8, Guy Bradley is killed in the line of duty near Flamingo.
1908
Audubon warden Columbus G. MacLeod is killed in the line of duty at Charlotte Harbor. The murder sparks the nation's conscience and Audubon intensifies its nationwide campaign against the wearing of feathers.
The 1910s and 1920s: Gaining Ground, Losing Ground
Audubon lost some ground in the 1910s, when the Audubon Warden program suffered from a lack of funding and wardens were withdrawn from Florida. In "The Florida Audubon Society: 1900-1935," Lucy Worthington Blackman recounts: "The Alligator Bay rookery [in southwest Everglades], the largest egret rookery in Florida, was shot out and burned that year by hunters, simply for lack of $750 for wardens to protect it - burned so that the remnants of the colony would abandon the place ... Three Audubon wardens had carried the eight hundred egrets in the colony safely through the 1915 nesting season. The next year they were abandoned to their fate."'
But Audubon still made major strides in conservation during this era through the establishment of sanctuaries, passage of important legislation like the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and after years of battle, the establishment of the State Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission.
1910
William Dutcher suffers a disabling stroke. T. Gilbert Pearson who grew up in the backwoods of Archer, Florida, succeeds him as chief executive officer and leads the Society for the next twenty-four years. Pearson works tirelessly to push for legislation to protect wildlife.
In 1911, FAS member Oscar Baynard encourages NAS to purchase Bird Island in Orange Lake in Alachua County. Baynard is named as warden.
1912
FAS' L.F. Dommerich retires his presidency due to poor health. After his death in July, Dommerich's family donates $5,000 to National Audubon to protect birds in Florida.
Pathologist Dr. Herbert R. Mills, St. Petersburg leader Katherine B. Tippetts, and botanist Professor Henry Nehrling are named to the executive committee.
1913
After an intense campaign with an estimated 200,000 letters and telegrams written to Congress, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is passed into law.
National Audubon and Florida Audubon jointly hire Katherine Stuart to lecture at schools and Junior Audubon Clubs in 25 towns throughout Florida. By 1914, 30,000 leaflets had been distributed and Audubon in Florida boasted more than 3,500 members and 162 Junior Audubon Clubs.
National Audubon acquires Micanopy Rookery and, four years later, San Sebastian Rookery, adding them to the sanctuary program.
1914
The last Passenger Pigeon dies in captivity in Cincinnati.
1916
Alligator Bay Rookery in southwest Everglades is wiped out in the absence of Audubon wardens.
Audubon celebrates the creation of National Park Service.
1918
The last Carolina Parakeet dies in captivity in Cincinnati.
1919
Florida Audubon begins publishing the Florida Audubon Bulletin, predecessor of the Florida Naturalist magazine.
1920
Katherine Tippetts, a strong leader with St. Petersburg Audubon, becomes president of FAS. She had already convinced Pinellas County to create 11 municipal bird sanctuaries, and within three years of her presidency, helps to establish 30 more municipal sanctuaries, including the designation of all of Volusia County as a bird sanctuary for a 2-year period.
1923
The Legislature makes bird study compulsory in schools. NAS and FAS arrange for credit courses to be taught at colleges and universities.
1925
After years of efforts, Audubon succeeds in getting the legislature to pass two acts, one creating a Department of Game and Fresh Water Fish, and the other establishing a State Game Commissioner.
1927
Florida Audubon Bulletin is transformed into the Florida Naturalist magazine. R.J. Longstreet becomes it first editor and remains editor for more than two decades. Longstreet also serves as president of Florida Audubon from 1930 to 1936.
The 1930s and 1940s: New vitality in the Everglades and Audubon Warden program
Despite the Depression, National Audubon found new vitality in the leadership of John Baker. Like every NAS president before him, Baker spent time working directly in Florida to protect birds in the state. The Audubon warden program was strengthened under Baker's leadership, with a flurry of activity in the Everglades and south Florida.
1934
Long-time FAS activist, Dr. Herbert Mills hires warden Fred W. Shultz to protect Green Key in the Tampa Bay area. Almost immediately, his territory is expanded to include several other islands in Hillsborough Bay.
Today, Audubon's Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries program protects some 50,000 breeding pairs of birds from Tarpon Springs to Sarasota, as well as five islands near West Palm Beach.
John Baker becomes executive director (and later president) of NAS and succeeds in building Audubon membership in the midst of the Depression. His first day on the job, Baker hires the great teacher and illustrator of birds, Roger Tory Peterson. Baker goes on to build a team of educators, artists and scientists, including Allan D. Cruickshank, a photographer and popular lecturer who teaches with slides and an amazing assortment of bird calls. Soon, Peterson and Cruickshank team up to create some of the most successful natural history programs in the nation.
Later, Cruickshank retires with his wife, Helen, to Rockledge where the naturalist team continues to be active in monitoring and photographing Florida birds and publishing several books on the natural and human history of Florida.
1935
Alexander Sprunt, Jr. becomes Director of Audubon's Southern Sanctuaries and supervisor of wardens in the southeast. After the Great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, Sprunt conducts the first aerial survey of the Great White Herons.
Aldo Leopold, who revolutionized game management, is named to the National board.
1936
Marvin Chandler becomes the first in a series of family members to serve as Audubon wardens to patrol Kissimmee Prairie and Lake Okeechobee.
NAS acquires Lake Okeechobee Sanctuary in 1938, and the Ordway-Whittell Kissimmee Prairie Sanctuary in 1980.
1938
NAS' Director of Audubon Sanctuaries, Robert Porter Allen establishes a research station in Tavernier, in the Florida Keys, commencing a full time study of the life history of Roseate Spoonbills.
By the 1950s, Audubon expands the focus of the Tavernier Science Center to include all aspects of the Florida Bay and Florida Keys environment, ranging from corals, seagrasses and mangroves, to game fishes, crocodiles and Bald Eagles. Today, the Roseate Spoonbill studies that Allen began 65 years ago continue in Tavernier.
1940
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Bald Eagle Protection Act into law.
1945
Audubon works with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Ira Gabrielson to salvage the Whooping Crane from the jaws of extinction. Today, a non-migratory population of Whooping Cranes is being reintroduced in Florida by Gabrielson's grandson, Dr. Steve Nesbitt, who works for the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
1947
Marjory Stoneman Douglas publishes The Everglades: River of Grass and teaches the world to love a swamp. That same year, Audubon's long efforts in the Everglades pay off when Everglades National Park is established.
The 1950s and 1960s: The Dawn of Ecology, War on Pesticides
By the 1950s technological advances presented Audubon with new and more complex threats to wildlife than the market hunting of the early days. Audubon expanded its scientific research programs and became heavily involved in the effort to ban the use of pesticides that were suspected of causing population failures in eagles, ospreys, brown pelicans, and other "end-of-chain" consumers.
1954
After a nationwide grassroots campaign, NAS' John Baker secures acquisition of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, the last great stand of ancient bald cypress left in Florida.
Today, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary has become the model for Audubon Centers in Florida, with its new Blair Center, interpretive programs, and boardwalk that meanders through the cypress swamp.
1962
Bald Eagles in Florida hit their low point with 251 nests. After the release of Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring," Audubon launches campaign to ban toxic pesticides.
Alexander "Sandy" Sprunt IV becomes Research Director at Tavernier. He conducts a continent-wide study of Bald Eagle reproduction and pesticide effects.
Today, Florida boasts the largest population of Bald Eagles in the continental United States with over 1,000 nesting pairs. Audubon continues its commitment to the Bald Eagle by serving on the Southeast Bald Eagle Recovery Team to establish protection for the eagle once it is removed from the endangered species list, and by rehabilitating and releasing injured eagles at Audubon's Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland.
1964
Audubon celebrates legislative successes including the Water Conservation Act, the Wilderness Act, and the state's Outdoor Recreational Lands program.
1967
Alligator products are boycotted, leading to listing and protection until populations recover.
1969
With the support of Florida Audubon, long-time board member, Marjory Harris Carr, establishes the Florida Defenders of the Environment to halt construction of the Cross-Florida Barge Canal.
The 1970s and 1980s: Nature in the Balance
Population growth and industry were having an increasing affect on wildlife, wetlands, rivers and streams. Audubon worked to develop major new federal policies and laws for endangered species, clean air and water, and wild and scenic rivers. The focus in Florida was on land acquisition programs, protecting wetlands and managing the state's explosive growth.
1970
The first EarthDay is held on April 22.
Congress passes the Clean Water Act.
1971
Audubon blocks a proposed jetport in Big Cypress.
By executive order, President Richard Nixon puts a halt to the Cross-Florida Barge Canal. Today, Audubon and Florida Defenders of the Environment continue the fight to remove the Rodman Dam and let the Ocklawaha River run free.
1972
After a long battle with Audubon in the forefront, DDT and DDE are banned from use in the U.S.
The Legislature enacts Land and Water Management Act and Water Resources Act. These laws become the basis for Water Management Districts, and land use protection, including designation of the Florida Keys, Big Cypress and Green Swamp as Areas of Critical Concern.
The first environmental ballot vote for land acquisition is passed in Florida, creating the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.
Audubon helps to establish the Florida Ornithological Society.
Audubon plays role in setting strict regulations for oil drilling in Big Cypress.
1973
Congress passes Endangered Species Act.
Audubon pushes the state to pass oil and gas rules and regulations.
1974
Congress establishes Big Cypress National Preserve.
1976
Audubon's Peter C.H. Pritchard calls a meeting of experts to discuss a recovery plan for the Florida Panther. Soon after, the Florida Panther Recovery Team is formed.
1978
Audubon's campaign to protect the West Indian manatee succeeds in passing the Manatee Protection Act.
1979
The Legislature passes the Conservation and Recreation Lands program [CARL].
Establishment of Audubon's Center for Birds of Prey. Since opening, more than 3,000 raptors have been treated and released, including hundreds of Bald Eagles.
1981
Save Our Rivers and Save Our Coasts programs are approved by the Legislature.
1984
Congress passes the Wetlands Protection Act.

Photo: Florida Audubon
1985
Growth Management Act approved by Legislature. Florida Audubon publishes "citizens handbook" to guide environmentalists in using the new process.
Lake Apopka Restoration Act is passed by Legislature.
Audubon encourages the purchase of North Key Largo lands and begins restoration projects in the Florida Keys with support from Environmental Protection Agency's Florida Keys Environmental Trust Fund.
1987
Surface Water Improvement and Management Act [SWIM] is approved by the Legislature.
Audubon supports the expansion of Big Cypress National Preserve by 115,000 acres through an Arizona land exchange.
Attempts to save the Dusky Seaside Sparrow by Audubon's Dr. Herbert W. Kale II, Santa Fe Community College Teaching Zoo, Walt Disney World Discovery Island Zoological Park fail, when the last Dusky dies in captivity.
1988
Legislature passes the Wekiva River Protection Act.
The Last Decade of the Century: Conservation alive and well
During the last decade of the 20th century, our 100-year commitment to the Everglades paid off when Floridians passed two constitutional amendments, and both the Congress and Legislature committed funds to restore the River of Grass. In addition, Audubon played a strategic role in placing the Conservation Amendment on the ballot in 1998, and led the campaign to see it ratified by an overwhelming majority of voters, showing that Floridians - across the board - care about the environment. And, on November 6, 1999, Florida Audubon and National Audubon unified their work in the state, to become one booming voice for conservation for the new century.
1990
Preservation 2000, a model land acquisition program, is approved by the Legislature with Audubon support.
1992
Upon the suggestion of Audubon, Disney purchases Walker Ranch as mitigation, giving birth to the "Disney Wilderness Preserve."
Audubon establishes Everglades Conservation Office in Miami to ensure the restoration and conservation of the Greater
1994
Everglades Forever Act approved by Florida Legislature. The 49-member Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida (GCSSF) is established by Governor Lawton Chiles.
1995
In their Initial Report, the GCSSF finds South Florida's future unsustainable, both ecologically and economically.
1996
The GCSSF develops broad-based conceptual plan for Everglades Restoration. Congress approves the Water Resources Development Act, which calls for full restoration of the Everglades based on the GCSSF's conceptual plan. The Act calls for the development of a comprehensive restoration plan (the Restudy) as an intergovernmental partnership.
Congress approves the farm bill for $200 million for Everglades restoration and Vice President Al Gore announces Clinton Administration's $1.2 billion Everglades Restoration Plan. 1996Voters approve two of the three "Save Our Everglades" amendments, calling for a "Polluter Must Pay" requirement concerning Everglades pollution.
1997
Audubon serves on Constitutional Revision Commission, which places "Conservation Amendment" on the ballot.
1998
Audubon leads campaign to see Amendment 5 ratified by over 70% of voters.
1999
Florida Audubon and National Audubon unify their efforts in Florida, becoming a stronger, more effective Audubon of Florida. At the turn of the century, Audubon of Florida boasts 40,000 members in 45 community based chapters throughout the state.

http://fl.audubon.org/about-us/history

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Sunday, July 09, 2017

PNN - Defending Civilization




PNN - Defending Civilization 
Brook Hines our Senior Political Commentator, discusses the latest foibles of the party whose new slogan is "We're Not Him!" Reading the "D" leaves is no easy task.  But BROOK BRINGS IT!


We welcome these staunch defenders of civilization:
Denis Campbell Internationally renown, Progressive Journalist, publisher of the UK Progressive, and Host and Producer of the Three Muckrakers. (On iTunes). 

We also welcome another defender of Civilization Keith McHenry one of the founders of Food Not Bombs, discusses the growing and increasingly criminalized poor and homeless. 

We welcome Anna Eskamani, New Candidate for Florida House District 47, a women's rights and human rights activist currently a doctoral fellow and long time Reproductive Rights advocate with Planned Parenthood, as she addresses today's issues for Central Florida.



We all urge : Don't Mourn ORGANIZE - 
Do not Succumb to TRUMP FATIQUE - 


The battle is bigger than one Buffoon. even that the forces that made him the figurehead - 
He's just the front man for the forces that would enslave us all.
and tune in and SUPPORT PNN


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Tuesday, July 04, 2017

PNN - Tree Huggers and Senate District 4



Interview with Ruddy - On GMO Trees

DEMAND MORE TESTING 
STOP THE RELEASE OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED  EUCALYPTUS TREES
JULY 5th -  End of Comment Period

OPPOSE COMMERCIAL RELEASE
STOPGETREES.ORG
USDA WEBSITE

SIGN ON TO OPPOSE GMO TREES
EVERGLADESEARTHFIRST.net

Ruddy@globaljusticeecology.org




And our Second Guest for the ShowAnnette Taddeo Candidate for Florida Senate District 4
Annette Taddeo 

She is a committed progressive Democrat
She is deserving of your support


VOTE ANNETTE TADDEO 
for Florida Senate District Four






Sunday, June 11, 2017

PNN - POETS WHO KNOW NO SPHERE



PNN_NOTES: 6/11/17

1. When was the last time we had a sitting president and a former FBI director calling each other liars? And something like 100 per cent of the population seems to believe that at least one of the accused liars is a real liar. That’s the new American normal.

LISTEN

The Comey circus produced a holiday atmosphere in DC, with bars open for business before the live hearings came on. And the TV audience for the Comey show was an apparently impressive 19 million-plus viewers. But that’s pallid next to the presidential inauguration’s 30 million-plus, or the Super Bowl’s typical 110 million-plus in the US. Here you may insert the appropriate comment about how these numbers reflect American priorities, with football being five times more engaging than a game where the republic is an underdog.

In this kind of carnival atmosphere, it is little wonder little attention is paid when the director of National Intelligence stonewalls the Senate Intelligence Committee rather than answer questions about presidential law-breaking. Little attention was paid when the director of the Central Intelligence Agency stonewalled rather than answer questions about presidential law-breaking. Even the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Republican majority paid little attention to the stonewalling by top national intelligence community officials, both Trump appointees. Some Democrats paid a little attention, albeit decorously

2. The hearing didn’t begin to get close to testy until Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was instrumental in getting Comey fired, refused again and again to answer a simple question. The question from Democratic senator Kamala Harris of California (where she was state attorney general) was whether Rosenstein would assure the independence of the independent counsel, former FBI director Robert Mueller, who is investigating the relationship between the Trump campaign and Russian power brokers. Rosenstein would not give a direct answer, choosing to stonewall by filibuster. Senator Harris interrupted:

Sir, if I may, the greater assurance is not that you and I believe in Mueller’s integrity … it is that you would put in writing an indication based on your authority as the acting attorney general that he has full independence.

Again Rosenstein rambled unresponsively and again Harris intervened. At that point, two Republican senators, chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina and John McCain of Arizona, intervened and curtly lectured the senator from California on the need for “courtesy.” It looked for all the world like Republicans playing to their base by trying to put the uppity black woman in her place. As a result, Rosenstein was granted the courtesy of being allowed to stonewall like the others, not even giving lip service to future independence, integrity, or justice.


3. Comey's Successor
The White House’s tweeted choice for James Comey’s successor is Christopher Wray, who has been greeted by largely respectful, if muted acceptance, in the words of The New York Times:
In choosing Mr. Wray, the president is calling on a veteran Washington lawyer who is more low key and deliberative than either Mr. Mueller or Mr. Comey but will remain independent, friends and former colleagues say…. [He] would bring a more subtle management style to the FBI…. [He] is a safe, mainstream pick….


LISTEN

To emphasize that point, the Times ran a picture showing Mueller and Comey, with Wray slightly behind them. The picture was taken in 2004, when Wray was in the Justice Department helping to craft torture policy for President Bush. Wray is overtly political, having given consistently and only to Republican candidates. In 2004, Wray’s testimony about the homicide of a CIA detainee was characterized as “less than truthful” by Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont. Wray’s most recent high-profile success was helping to keep New Jersey governor Chris Christie from being indicted for the criminal closing of the George Washington Bridge as political payback. A court allowed Wray to withhold potential evidence against his client.

If being a dishonest Republican torture-promoter isn’t enough to disqualify, maybe his legal work as a partner in the 900-lawyer King & Spalding international law firm would serve. His clients have reportedly included Trump family members. Another partner is the ethics advisor to the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust. And then there are Wray’s apparent Russian connections reported by USA Today (but not the Times). Wray’s firm has a Moscow office. It “represents Rosneft and Gazprom, two of Russia’s largest, state-controlled oil companies.” Rosneft also has ties to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who, as Exxon CEO made a $500 billion oil drilling deal with Rosneft, a deal suspended by sanctions imposed by the Obama administration.


LISTEN

4. Tainted Waters
Since the Florida Legislature has in many instances pre-empted the ability of local governments to make environmental policy, local citizens are at the mercy of federal and state administrations to protect their health. But even as the concerns grow, government protection is eroding.
In Washington, President Trump has proposed eliminating monies for the South Florida Geographic Initiative, the federal body that monitors the threat of phosphorous, mercury and other pollutants seeping into the Everglades and other regional waters. The proposed cut is part of the president’s wholesale downsizing of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, based on a belief that environmental regulation undermines economic growth. Whether Congress will go along with the elimination of the program is still in question.


But it is the state that has the more immediate, hands-on role to play in protecting Florida’s natural resources. Any discussion of possible long-term effects requires a balance between overreaction and a commitment to gather accurate, relevant information that provides what the public needs to know about those threats. Scientists interviewed said it was precisely the state’s failure in recent years to address the potential dangers of algae contamination that has heightened their concerns.


Martin County had suffered a serious algae outbreak in 2013 and, in 2016, some residents saw another one coming. One of those watchdogs was Mark Perry, executive director of the Florida Oceanographic Society, based in Stuart. He is also co-chairman of the Rivers Coalition — a consortium of local environmental groups, homeowners’ associations, business owners and fishing clubs.


Perry recounts how the crisis unfolded. He says in the second week of May, 2016, a scientist for the South Florida Water Management District identified an algae mat 33 square miles in area floating in Lake Okeechobee. At the same time, the Army Corps of Engineers was forced to continue releasing the rising waters into the St. Lucie Canal which leads to the St. Lucie River.
GET THE REPORT


LISTEN

https://aclufl.org/report-tainted-waters-threats-to-public-health-and-the-peoples-right-to-know/

4. Tainted Water -2 Stand Down
On May 26, state scientists sampled water in Lake Okeechobee and found levels of microcystin that were considered dangerous. Nonetheless, releases of lake water increased dramatically from 420 million gallons per day to 1.2 billion.

Neither the state nor local health departments responded to calls for this report, but according to local press accounts it was May 31 that the scourge reached the main channel of the river, in Stuart, and that was also the day signs were first posted to warn people about the dangers of the water.
That same day, state scientists took more samples. Three days later the reported they had found no toxins, but many locals didn’t believe it.


The Martin County residents say a major aggravation was that the local health department employees were ordered by their superiors in Tallahassee not to do or say anything without word from above. The response was taken out of their hands.


LISTEN

Lippisch remembers a call she received during the crisis. It came from a frightened mother.
“’Should I let my children go outside?’ she asked me. I said, ‘Don’t do it until we know more about this.’ No one warned us it was coming. During those weeks, there was panic. It was like a house being on fire but there was no warning and suddenly the fire was everywhere.’’
According to local news reports, it wasn’t until June 24 that Florida Department of Health, through its local office, contacted local media and issued a health warning.
5. INDIAN GIVER... Rubber Bullets - GAS - TANKS - SONIC CANNONS
On a freezing night in November, as police sprayed nonviolent Dakota Access Pipeline opponents with water hoses and rubber bullets, representatives of the FBI, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, North Dakota’s U.S. Attorney’s Office, and local law enforcement agencies frantically exchanged emails as they monitored the action in real time.


“Everyone watch a different live feed,” Bismarck police officer Lynn Wanner wrote less than 90 minutes after the protest began on the North Dakota Highway 1806 Backwater Bridge. By 4 a.m. on November 21, approximately 300 water protectors had been injured, some severely. Among them was 21-year-old Sophia Wilansky, who nearly lost her arm after being hit by what multiple sworn witnesses say was a police munition.


The emails exchanged that night highlight law enforcement efforts to control the narrative around the violent incident by spreading propaganda refuting Wilansky’s story, demonstrate the agencies’ heavy reliance on protesters’ social media feeds to monitor activities, and reveal for the first time the involvement of an FBI informant in defining the story police would promote.


The exchange is included in documents obtained by The Intercept that reveal the efforts of law enforcement and private security contractors to surveil Dakota Access Pipeline opponents between October and December 2016, as law enforcement’s outsized response to the demonstrators garnered growing nationwide attention and the number of water protectors living in anti-pipeline camps grew to roughly 10,000. Although the surveillance of anti-DAPL protesters was visible at the time — with helicopters circling overhead, contingents of security officials watching from the hills above camp, and a row of blinding lights illuminating the horizon along the pipeline’s right of way — intelligence collection largely took place in darkness.


In addition to the email communications, The Intercept is publishing 15 internal situation reports prepared by the private security firm TigerSwan for its client, Dakota Access parent company Energy Transfer Partners, as well as three PowerPoint presentations that TigerSwan shared with law enforcement. The documents are part of a larger set that includes more than 100 internal TigerSwan situation reports that were leaked to The Intercept by one of the company’s contractors and more than 1,000 Dakota Access-related law enforcement records obtained via public records request.


Last week, The Intercept published an exclusive report detailing TigerSwan’s sweeping enterprise, over nine months and across five states, which included surveillance of activists through aerial technology, social media monitoring, and direct infiltration, as well as attempts to shift public opinion through a counter-information campaign. The company, made up largely of special operations military veterans, was formed during the war in Iraq and incorporated its counterinsurgency tactics into its effort to suppress an indigenous-led movement centered around protection of water.


LISTEN



Sunday, June 04, 2017

PNN - Wrote on the Gifts of a Artist


PNN Does it WRITE 
We bring in addition to the Marvelous Ms. Brook Hines Senior Political Commentator and Essayist 

This week from our writers pool we bring Deborah M. Hodgetts author of YA fiction and soon to be released  - "The Curtain Twitchers of Oakley Place" and also her amazing poetry collection  "A Universe of Love". You can hear her very heart beating. and additionally upcoming non-fiction "You Should have been here Yesterday" about Ex-BBC Cameraman Tony Jacobs, who led and photographed a thrilling life.
We also welcome long-time friend of the show, Cosmo Ohms a Producer and Mixing Engineer with.over forty years of production experience. Who will tell us about life backstage andout at the Sound Mixing Desk from coast to coast

Hosted and produced by News Director Rick Spisak for Canary in a Coalmine Films.

Tune in 7pm Eastern / 4pm Pacific ... or Anytime

Deborah M. Hodgetts

Listen in Live or Anytime

Sunday, April 30, 2017

PNN - The Particular is the Universal



PNN NOTES: 4/30/17

1. @POTUS on getting things done in government:

"It's a very rough system. It's an archaic system...
It's really a bad thing for the country."

Donald Trump doesn’t like the whole concept of government of, by and for the people,
the idea that political power derives from the will of the people rather than
gods or kings or priests or…dare we say, political strongmen, real and imagined.
Archaic means “old-fashioned” and “obsolete” and “out of date” and, perhaps wistfully
here for would-be dictator Donald Trump, “no longer used.”
You know, because we have this whole thing about three co-equal branches of government and checks and balances that prevent the president from ruling like a king
or a Putinesque banana republican dictator.
It’s inefficient, he says. In other words, he’s frustrated that he can’t do
anything he damn well pleases without appeal to all those pesky and inconvenient laws. He can’t try to rule by fiat without somebody saying “un-Constitutional!”

Of course, Trump doesn’t want any of that, having to work with people and persuade
them with intelligible arguments (foot-stomping tantrums don’t count).
He wants people to just do what he says because he’s “kind of a smart guy”
and he’s the only guy who can fix it. Just ask him. Why does he have to bother
with all these lesser beings who just get in the way of his brilliance?
If Trump’s tears were just excuse-making it would be bad enough. Sure, he
needs to explain why he hasn’t done anything in his first hundred days
(cutting back on the golf game might seem an obvious solution) but the
real problem here is that Donald Trump honestly thinks his word should be law.
Even though it is the word of a guy who hasn’t made the slightest attempt
to learn a single thing while he’s been in office and leaves it at every
opportunity to play.
His executive orders and his reaction to judicial oversight as mandated
by the United States Constitution verifies his dictatorial leanings.
Judges are unelected, he says. What right do they have to “set policy”
in reality, of course, to question his judgment?
Trump is used to ruling like a king in the corporate world.
A government isn’t like that, outside a monarchy or a dictatorship.
Trump thinks it’s inefficient. What it is safe. It protects us
from people like, well…Donald Trump.
The Constitution was set forth to protect us from dictators and kings.
And as Trump’s frustrated and whiny rants have shown, it is a protection
we very badly need.


2. PRES DISSES

Commission’s Rule on Privacy of Customers of Broadband Services
S.J.Res. 34 – Disapproving the Federal Communications Commission’s
Rule on Privacy of Customers of Broadband Services
(Sen. Flake, R-AZ, and 24 cosponsors)
The Administration strongly supports House passage of S.J.Res. 34,
which would nullify the Federal Communications Commission’s
final rule titled "Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband
and Other Telecommunication Services," 81 Fed. Reg. 87274
(December 2, 2016). The rule applies the privacy requirements
of the Communications Act of 1934 to broadband
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and other telecommunications
carriers. In particular, the rule requires ISPs to obtain
affirmative "opt-in" consent from consumers to use and
share certain information, including app usage and web browsing
history. It also allows ISPs to use and share other information,
including e-mail addresses and service tier information,
unless a customer "opts-out." In doing so, the rule departs
from the technology-neutral framework for online privacy
administered by the Federal Trade Commission. This results
in rules that apply very different regulatory regimes
based on the identity of the online actor.
If S.J.Res. 34 were presented to the President, his
advisors would recommend that he sign the bill into law.


3. ICE Data Shows Half of Immigrants Arrested in Raids Had Traffic Convictions or No Record

About half of the 675 immigrants picked up in roundups across the United States in the days after President Trump took office either had no criminal convictions or had committed traffic offenses, mostly drunken driving, as their most serious crimes, according to data obtained by The Washington Post.
Records provided by congressional aides Friday offered the most detailed look yet at the backgrounds of the individuals rounded up and targeted for deportation in early February by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents assigned to regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York.
Two people had been convicted of homicide, 80 had been convicted of assault, and 57 had convictions for “dangerous drugs.” Many of the most serious criminals were given top billing in ICE news statements about the operation.
The largest single group — 163 immigrants convicted of traffic offenses — was mentioned only briefly. Over 90 percent of those cases involved drunken driving, ICE said Friday. Of those taken into custody in the raids, 177 had no criminal convictions at all, though 66 had charges pending, largely immigration or traffic offenses.
The raids were part of a nationwide immigration roundup dubbed Operation Cross Check, which accounts for a small portion of the 21,362 immigrants the Trump administration took into custody for deportation proceedings from January through mid-March.

The two-month total represents a 32 percent increase in deportation arrests over the same period last year. Most are criminals, administration officials have said. But 5,441 were not criminals, double the number of undocumented immigrants arrested for deportation a year earlier. The administration has released a detailed breakdown of the criminal records only of the raids in early February.
Trump has said that public safety threats are his top priority. Shortly after he was elected, he vowed to first deport serious criminals from the United States.
But critics say immigration agents instead have also targeted students, parents of U.S. citizens who do not have serious criminal records and minor offenders.
That makes me so angry,” said Kica Matos, a spokeswoman for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, which is organizing demonstrations Monday to protest Trump’s immigration policies. She said that many of the DUI convictions are years-old and that the data “confirms our worst fears, which is that this administration is really trying to deport as many as possible regardless of whether they have a criminal record.”
President Barack Obama also deported thousands of people who never committed crimes, but toward the end of his administration, he imposed strict new rules that prioritized the arrest of criminals.
The Trump administration has said the current president also wants to prioritize deporting criminals. But officials add that anyone in the United States illegally could be detained and deported.
As Secretary Kelly has made clear, ICE will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement,” said ICE spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea, referring to Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly. “All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”
ICE arrested immigrants across the United States in February as part of Operation Cross Check, an initiative that seeks to detain immigrants that also occurred during the Obama administration.
Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors limits on immigration, said ICE is properly enforcing immigration laws by arresting criminals and people in the United States without papers.
Those are legitimate reasons to remove people,” she said. “ICE officers are no longer operating under the restraints imposed by the Obama administration. They’re not forced to look the other way when they encounter people who are removable.”
Congressional aides said the information from ICE follows months of frustration from lawmakers that the agency is not responding fast enough to requests for information.
After initially being supportive of Kelly, many Democrats have turned on him, believing he is being less than forthcoming about his sprawling department’s moves to implement Trump’s immigration policy.
Kelly, a retired Marine general, shot back at congressional critics last week in a speech at George Washington University.
If lawmakers do not like the laws they’ve passed and we are charged to enforce, then they should have the courage and skill to change the laws,’’ Kelly said. “Otherwise they should shut up and support the men and women on the front lines.’’
That kind of approach “wasn’t a constructive way to deal with Congress,” House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said in an interview Friday. Democrats, he said, are frustrated by Trump’s immigration policies but are unable to change laws because they don’t currently control Congress.
That kind of language ought to be jettisoned,” Hoyer said.


4. THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY on Friday suddenly announced it is curtailing one of its major surveillance programs.


Under pressure from the secret court that oversees its practices, the NSA said its “upstream” program would no longer grab communications directly from the U.S. internet backbone “about” specific foreign targets — only communication to and from those targets.

This is a major change, essentially abandoning a bulk surveillance program that captured vast amounts of communications of innocent Americans – and turning instead to a still extensive but more targeted approach.

This change ends a practice that could result in Americans’ communications being collected without a warrant merely for mentioning a foreign target,” Senator Ron Wyden said in a statement. “For years, I’ve repeatedly raised concerns that this amounted to an end run around the Fourth Amendment. This transparency should be commended. To permanently protect Americans’ rights, I intend to introduce legislation banning this kind of collection in the future.”

The “upstream” surveillance program is one of two controversial programs authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is scheduled to expire in December unless it is reauthorized by Congress. It was among several programs whose existence was a secret until being revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Until now, upstream was examining every Internet communication that traveled on the huge telecommunication cables going in and out of the U.S., searching through every word, grabbing sometimes very big chunks of data that included even a single mention of a specific target, and then putting everything into a database for NSA analysts to look through.

Communications between people, including Americans, was being captured and examined not because they were suspected of anything, but because of what they were saying. And the program wasn’t even efficient at limiting it to that.

The NSA statement on Friday said the move came “after a comprehensive review of mission needs, current technological constraints, United States person privacy interests, and certain difficulties in implementation.”

But reading between the lines, it wasn’t voluntary.

In a companion statement, the NSA acknowledged that it had failed to follow the rules the FISA court established for “about” collection in 2011: “NSA discovered several inadvertent compliance lapses,” is how they put it.

NSA self-reported the incidents to both Congress and the FISC, as it is required to do. Following these reports, the FISC issued two extensions as NSA worked to fix the problems before the government submitted a new application for continued Section 702 certification. The FISC recently approved the changes after an extensive review.”

In other words, after giving the NSA two extensions, the court refused to reauthorize the wider program until it stopped “about” searches entirely.

That is less surprising considering that the 2011 FISC decision establishing the new rules came after a judge was shocked to learn that the 702 program wasn’t just snatching communications to and from targets, but was in fact looking through everything. Judge John Bates wrote at the time:

Based upon the government’s descriptions of the proposed collection, the Court understood that the acquisition of Internet communications under Section 702 would be limited to discrete “to/from” communications between or among individual account users and to “about” communications falling within [redacted] specific categories that had been first described to the Court in prior proceedings.

The independent Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board concluded in its 2014 reportthat “certain aspects of the Section 702 program push the program close to the line of constitutional reasonableness.” One of those aspects: “the use of ‘about’ collection to acquire Internet communications that are neither to nor from the target of surveillance.”

Laura K. Donahue, the director of the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown University – and now an amicus for the FISC – wrote in a seminal 2015 law review articlethat the “about” collection “significantly expands the volume of Internet intercepts under Section 702.” She noted that “to obtain ‘about’ communications, because of how the Internet is constructed, the NSA must monitor large amounts of data” and was “not just considering envelope information (for example, messages in which the selector is sending, receiving, or copied on the communication) but the actual content of messages.”

And she said it was clearly unconstitutional. “While the targeting procedures and the interception of information to or from non-U.S. persons located outside the United States meet the Fourth Amendment’s standard of reasonableness, when looked at in relation to Section 702, the inclusion of communications ‘about’ targets or selectors and the knowing interception of entirely domestic conversations shift the program outside constitutional bounds.”

Privacy activists expressed delight over the change Friday, although they retained their mistrust of the NSA and their demand that Congress refuse to reauthorize Section 702 as is.

The NSA should never have been vacuuming up all of these communications, many of which involved Americans, without a warrant. While we welcome the voluntary stopping of this practice, it’s clear that Section 702 must be reformed so that the government cannot collect this information in the future,” said Michelle Richardson, Deputy Director of the Freedom, Security, and Technology Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, in a statement.

As a baseline, this makes a statutory ban on ‘about’ collection much more feasible. It becomes much harder for the NSA to justify the necessity of something they’re not doing,” said Jake Laperruque, senior counsel at the Constitution Project.

The change does not affect the other major program that operates under Section 702, called Prism. That program warrantlessly harvests communications to and from foreign targets from major Internet companies like Facebook and Google. But like upstream, Prism “incidentally” sweeps up innocent Americans’ communications as well. Those are then entered into a master database that a Justice Department lawyer once described as the “FBI’s ‘Google’ of its lawfully acquired information.” Critics call those “backdoor searches” of warrantless surveillance.

Wyden and other members of Congress have been trying to understand the scope of 702 surveillance for years, but the government has refused to provide even a ballpark figure.

Security fences surround the National Security Agency’s Utah data collection center in Bluffdale, Utah near Salt Lake City on April 12, 2017.


5. Civilians holding the Oligarchs accountable


Who/What/Why

Twenty-five years ago, a California jury failed to convict four cops accused of savagely beating a black man. What sounds today like an all-too-common story was anything but back then. The verdict triggered massive unrest and, within a week, parts of Los Angeles had gone up in smoke and 55 people had died. So what made this case of police brutality different? The beating of Rodney King was caught on tape.

Fast-forward to this month, when a passenger on a United Airlines flight was asked to give up his seat to make room for a crew member who had to get to Louisville. The man refused and was subsequently bloodied and dragged off the plane. This event was also caught on tape. Within hours, the video had been seen by millions and had become a PR nightmare for United. Within a few days, airlines had begun making changes to how they “bumped” passengers.

In both cases, seeing an injustice committed was much more powerful than reading about it. Without the videos, high-priced attorneys protecting the ruling class could have spun both of these events into something completely different — if they had made the news at all.

This is an important lesson to keep in mind.

There is no doubt that the lives of Americans have never been more exposed than at this very moment. Using the pretext of “national security,” the government constantly assaults and chips away at privacy protections that had been established throughout the course of US history.

In many cases, those in power don’t even bother to change the laws — which would more often than not turn out to be unconstitutional. It’s much easier to give agencies such as the NSA carte blanche.

At the same time, lawmakers are opening the doors to allow their corporate paymasters to collect unprecedented amounts of information about their customers and then use that data as they see fit.

Last week, for example, it was revealed that the NSA identified holes in Microsoft’s Windows software and then exploited these vulnerabilities instead of warning the company and its customers. Earlier in April, President Donald Trump signed legislationthat voided privacy rules preventing Internet service providers from selling the browsing history of their customers without their consent.

In fact, unless you have taken extraordinary steps, either the government or at least one corporation (and probably both) know that you are reading this article right now.

There is a bit of a silver lining. Just as new technologies have allowed those in power to invade your privacy and gobble up massive amounts of data about your life, they also give you the means to expose them. You can turn the tables by keeping an eye on the powerful.

Bad cops don’t want you to record them. A huge corporation does not want you to be there with a camera when it violates a customer in order to save a few bucks or pays hired hands to clear out protesters. Lawmakers don’t want you to ask them difficult questions while putting a microphone or camera in their faces.

And none of these people — all of whom want to exert their authority over your life in some way — wants you to put this video online and make it available to a wide audience.

So please do both these things. In the American oligarchy, it’s one of the few ways to keep the powerful accountable.



6. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from OPED News

What could you be thinking of in transporting high level radioactive waste, the most toxic substance in the universe, across many miles in many states?

What could you be thinking of in wanting to bury this high level radioactive waste in low income communities? This is not environmental justice, in fact - just the opposite. Bury it in your own yards instead of theirs.

What could you be thinking of in wanting to bury this high level radioactive waste in communities of color? This is White Supremacy. Bury it in your own yards instead of theirs.

What could you thinking of in calling this burial "temporary"? Another lie, and we've got plenty [borrowing from Holly Near] from you already.

What could you be thinking of in allowing nuclear power plants anywhere at any time since radioactive waste lasts millions of years? See the film "Containment" with people you love. Will you want your children to see this film, to know this, will you tell them?

What could you be thinking of in allowing nuclear power plants anywhere at any time, since there is no way to get rid of this high level radioactive waste? Again, see the film "Containment" with people you love. Will you want your children to see this film, to know this, will you tell them?

What could you be thinking of in allowing nuclear power plants to be built in the first place?

What could you be thinking of in relicensing old nuclear power plants?

What could you be thinking of in allowing nuclear power plants to exist - causing leukemia and other cancers not only seven generations out, but into eternity - affecting fetuses, our children, grandchildren, their children - into eternity? Will you tell your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great grandchildren this?

What could you be thinking of in not caring that "Children are 10 to 20 times more vulnerable to the carcinogenic effects of radiation than adults?" [Dr. Helen Caldicott] Will you tell your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces nephews this?

What could you be thinking of in not caring that girls are more sensitive to radiation than boys? [Dr. Helen Caldicott] Will you tell your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews this? Read and see the film on Hulu "The Handmaid's Tale" and watch it with the women you love in your lives.

What could you be thinking of in not caring that women are more sensitive to radiation then men? [Dr. Helen Caldicott] Will you tell this to the women in your lives? Read and see the film on Hulu "The Handmaid's Tale" and watch it with the women you love in your lives. Margaret Atwood, the author, sends the least valued women in this cautionary tale - elders, other women who cannot bear children - to clean up the radioactive waste and they die there while they are cleaning.

What could you be thinking of in not caring that fetuses are thousands of times more sensitive, more prone to cancer than adults? [Dr. Helen Caldicott] Will you tell this to the women in your lives?  "The Handmaid's Tale" again is your required assignment and to watch with the women in your lives.

What could you be thinking of in allowing more nuclear power plants to be built when in 2014 Dr. Ian Fairlie warned us that "There's a very close association between increased childhood leukemias and proximity to NPP's [nuclear power plants]." Will you tell your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews this?

How are you going to answer this question when you are asked - Mommy, daddy, grandmother, nana, granny, grandpa, auntie, uncle - why did you not close all nuclear power plants when you knew how dangerous they are because people all over the country were telling you this and even some very few officials. What will you say to them?

You are on the wrong side of history and you will not be absolved.



7. Foxes in Our Henhouse

In early 2007, a group of Morgan Stanley bankers bundled a group of subprime mortgage instruments into a package they hoped to sell to investors. The only problem was, they couldn't come up with a name for the package of mortgage-backed derivatives, which they all knew were doomed.
The bankers decided to play around with potential names. In a series of emails back and forth, they suggested possibilities. "Jon is voting for 'Hitman,'" wrote one. "How about 'Nuclear Holocaust 2007-1?'" wrote another, adding a few more possible names: Shitbag, Mike Tyson's Punchout and Fludderfish.
Eventually they stopped with the comedy jokes, gave the pile of "nuclear" assets a more respectable name – "Stack" – and sold the $500 million Collateralized Debt Obligation with a straight face to the China Development Industrial Bank. Within three years, the bank was suing a series of parties, including Morgan Stanley, to recover losses from the toxic fund.
The name on the original registration document for Stack? Craig S. Phillips, then president of Morgan Stanley's ABS (Asset-Backed Securities) division. Phillips may not have written the emails in question, but he was the boss of this sordid episode, and it was his name on the comedy-free document that was presented to Chinese investors.
This is just another detail in the emerging absurd narrative that is Donald Trump naming Phillips, of all people, to head up the effort to reform the Government-Sponsored Entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
As ace investigative reporter Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times noted in a piece back on April 7th, Phillips headed a division that sold billions of dollars of mortgage-backed investments to Fannie and Freddie. Many of those investments were as bad as the ones his unit sold to the Chinese. In fact, as Morgenson noted, Phillips became a named defendant in a lawsuit filed by the Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA), which essentially charged, as the Chinese did, that Morgan Stanley knowingly sold Fannie and Freddie a pile of crap.
Morgan Stanley ended up having to pay $625 million apiece to Fannie and Freddie to settle securities fraud charges in that case.
Phillips worked in an area of investment banking that was highly lucrative and highly predatory. The basic scam in the subprime world in particular was buying up mortgages from people who couldn't possibly afford them, making those bad mortgages into securities, and then turning around and hawking those same mortgages to unsuspecting institutional dopes like the Chinese and Fannie and Freddie.
Phillips had a critical role in this activity. As Morgan Stanley's ABS chief, he was among other things responsible for liaising with fly-by-night subprime mortgage lenders like New Century, who fanned into low-income neighborhoods and handed out subprime mortgages to anyone with a pulse.
In a 2012 suit, a group of Detroit-based borrowers accused Morgan Stanley of discriminatory practices, claiming the bank helped New Century target minority areas with predatory loans. One Morgan Stanley due diligence officer, Pamela Barrow, joked in an email about how to go after borrowers.
"We should call all their mommas," Barrow wrote. "Betcha that would get some of them good old boys to pay that house bill."
Phillips was named in the suit and quoted in the complaint. He said that New Century was "extremely open to our advice and involvement in all elements of their operation."
The worst actors in the financial crisis worked in this shady world involving the creation of subprime-backed securities.
Of those bad actors, there is a subset of still-worse actors, who not only sold these toxic investments to institutional investors like pension funds and Fannie and Freddie, but helped get a generation of home borrowers – often minorities and the poor – into deadly mortgages that ended up wiping out their equity.
Phillips, who helped Fannie and Freddie into substantial losses and worked with predatory firms like New Century, belongs in this second category. As Beavis and Butthead would put it, Phillips comes from the "ass of the ass."
Donald Trump, then, has essentially picked one of the last people on earth who should be allowed to help reshape the mortgage markets. This is like putting a guy who sold thousand-dollar magazine subscriptions to your grandmother on the telephone in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the A.A.R.P.
More foxes for more henhouses. Welcome to the Trump era. 



8. TRUMP the Snake Charmer

He read the lyrics to a 1960s song about a woman who took in a snake that which bit her after she nursed it in her bosom to explain why the United States should block immigration. It was a hit of the campaign trail, as he noted. 

"You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in!" he said, imitating the snake, his voice rising to a climax.


9.  comment from Naked Capitalism
  1. IIRC, the DNC bylaws explicitly stated that the DNC was to be neutral until a candidate won the primary. Gabbard stated this when she resigned to endorse Sanders.
    The DNC has an uphill climb to remove itself from that point as this bylaw is in writing, was used or enforced, and was clearly violated by their own admission in testimony and in their emails. Now I’m not an attorney, but on its face this is a strong case for fraud if I’ve ever seen one.


11. Net Neutrality under Attack

The term “net neutrality” was coined by Tim Wu (interviewed at NC here when he was a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York). In fact, Wu wrote the FAQ (which you should read in its entirety):

Network neutrality is best defined as a network design principle. The idea is that a maximally useful public information network aspires to treat all content, sites, and platforms equally. This allows the network to carry every form of information and support every kind of application.

That’s more than a little wonky, so let’s give an English translation.

From the Google:

The principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.


And if you think about how you “surf the web,” treating “all content, sites, and platforms equally” (“access to all content and applications regardless of the source “) pretty much describes how your Internet works; you can click seamlessly from a small blog like Naked Capitalism to an enormous website like Google’s search page to YouTube or Vimeo for video to satellite imagery from NASA to a Bear Cam in Katmai National Park, Alaska. Who could be against that?