You May Have Met The Son … Now Meet The Father

Americans for Prosperity

Americans for Prosperity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am in Orlando, Florida, where after two days of attendance at an event conducted by Americans For Prosperity,  I was fortunate to hear and see Texas State Senator, Ted Cruz.  If you follow politics at all, you know Senator Cruz is a powerful and compelling speaker about conservative ideals.  His message today was a simple and straight forward message on how to get out of our heads the deep, throbbing sense of malaise  and foreboding we have come to feel under this Obama administration.  It seems, rather it actually feels, as though there is a leviathan roiling the waters of our life as it splashes about in the oceans surrounding the people of this planet.

His message to this administration and this congress was, “Listen to the people.”  As I said before, hearing and seeing him was fortunate.  Right after I returned to my lodging, I found an email from a friend which contained a URL.  My friend asked me to follow the URL, and further wrote the father of Ted Cruz was the speaker in the video accessed with the URL.  I did as my friend requested, and I was pleased to find in the case of Ted Cruz, the acorn certainly didn’t fall far from the tree, and it was plain the oratory skills of the father has passed to the son.

Here is the video, please access it and see if you come to my conclusion:

Now follow the related articles below to learn more about where Senator Rubio gets his “stuff.”

What’s Up In Texas

We are pleased to bring this article to you as it sounds more like a progressive New Mexico initiative than something happening in Red Texas.  Our thanks to Texas Values for letting us help pass the word:

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Citizens Overwhelm San Antonio City Council Against Ordinance
On Wednesday, the San Antonio City Council publicly discussed the ordinance for the first time, admitting that the city has no evidence of any discrimination based upon an individual’s sexual orientation and gender identity. City Attorney Michael Bernard answered questions about the ordinance, and his answers caused more doubt and concern about the ordinance’s legal status and ability to hold up in court. It was also clear from the testimony of multiple individuals that LGBT groups want “bathroom protection” for transgendered persons.
Concerned citizens wearing blue swarmed the council chambers in opposition to the ordinance and for over six hours expressed serious concerns about how the ordinance would attack private businesses, stifle free speech, trample on religious liberty, and potentially create safety concerns in public-use bathrooms and changing facilities. It was clear that a super-majority of citizens were there to express concerns and stand in opposition to the ordinance.
Watch Wednesday’s press conference of San Antonio faith, legal, and business leaders uniting against the radical ordinance:
San Antonio press conference video clip (550 w)
Next Steps: The City Council is expected to potentially vote on the ordinance next Thursday, September 5. If you are in the San Antonio area, some of our friends are organizing a “Let My Values Speak Day” on Tuesday, September 3 to encourage people to visit their council member’s district office. Get the details here. And there will be another “Citizens to be Heard” session in front of the council on Wednesday, September 4.
More State Leaders Condemn Radical Ordinance
Three more state leaders have condemned the controversial proposed ordinance in San Antonio that extends so-called non-discrimination protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in a way that stifles free speech and tramples on religious liberty. State Sen. Donna Campbell, whose district includes a portion of San Antonio, State Sen. Dan Patrick, and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples have joined a growing group of state leaders, that include U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Attorney General Greg Abbott, and State Rep. Ken Paxton and Dan Branch in opposing the proposed ordinance. Read their statements.
Obama Administration Undermines State Marriage Laws
The IRS and Treasury Department announced this week that “married” same-sex couples will be allowed to file joint tax returns and receive tax benefits, including in the majority of states like Texas that do not recognize homosexual marriage. This ruling subverts the rule of law in states like Texas that only recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman and show that the Obama administration is attempting to unlawfully force homosexual “marriage” on the public. Read more.
back-to-school-sign (245-147)Back to SchoolAs our children head back to school, we encourage you to continue to value the time you have with your children and play an active role in their education and development, as it goes fast. We also hope that Texas children will freely exercise their constitutional rights to free speech and religious liberty while in school and if your children or you as a parent have questions about these rights, please feel free to reach out to our office for information. Like us on facebook (245 147)“Like” Us on FacebookOne of the best ways to keep up with important values issues in Texas is to follow our growing Facebook page. If you haven’t already, “Like” Texas Values on Facebook and help us reach 25,000 “likes” in the fight to stand for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube page.

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Rev. Al Sharpton Is A Perfect Example Of Waste

I wish Sharpie would shut it down for a while and give the air and earth a reak.

DistressedLincoln3WebCR-8_29_13Visit: TerrellAfterMath

 

 

The Surveillance Reforms Obama Supported Before He was President

This article was originally posted by ProPublica. It is republished here with permission from them.  We note it is always easy to be against or for something when one is entirely stupid or blissfully ignorant.  Oh, did I say that?

by Kara Brandeisky
ProPublica, Aug. 7, 2013, 10:24 a.m.ins

When the House of Representatives recently considered an amendment that would have dismantled the NSA’s bulk phone records collection program, the White House swiftly condemned the measure. But only five years ago, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. was part of a group of legislators that supported substantial changes to NSA surveillance programs. Here are some of the proposals the president co-sponsored as a senator.

As a senator, Obama wanted to limit bulk records collection.

Obama co-sponsored a 2007 bill, introduced by Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., that would have required the government to demonstrate, with “specific and articulable facts,” that it wanted records related to “a suspected agent of a foreign power” or the records of people with one degree of separation from a suspect. The bill died in committee. Following pressure from the Bush administration, lawmakers had abandoned a similar 2005 measure, which Obama also supported.

We now know the Obama administration has sought, and obtained, the phone records belonging to all Verizon Business Network Services subscribers (and reportedly, Sprint and AT&T subscribers, as well). Once the NSA has the database, analysts search through the phone records and look at people with two or three degrees of separation from suspected terrorists.

The measure Obama supported in 2007 is actually similar to the House amendment that the White House condemned earlier this month. That measure, introduced by Reps. Justin Amash, R-Mich., and John Conyers, D-Mich., would have ended bulk phone records collection but still allowed the NSA to collect records related to individual suspects without a warrant based on probable cause.

The 2007 measure is also similar to current proposals introduced by Conyers and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

As a senator, Obama wanted to require government analysts to get court approval before accessing incidentally collected American data.

In Feb. 2008, Obama co-sponsored an amendment, also introduced by Feingold, which would have further limited the ability of the government to collect any communications to or from people residing in the U.S.

The measure would have also required government analysts to segregate all incidentally collected American communications. If analysts wanted to access those communications, they would have needed to apply for individualized surveillance court approval.

The amendment failed 35-63. Obama later reversed his position and supported what became the law now known to authorize the PRISM program. That legislation — the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 — also granted immunity to telecoms that had cooperated with the government on surveillance.

The law ensured the government would not need a court order to collect data from foreigners residing outside the United States. According to the Washington Post, analysts are told that they can compel companies to turn over communications if they are 51 percent certain the data belongs to foreigners.

Powerpoint presentation slides published by the Guardian indicate that when analysts use XKeyscore — the software the NSA uses to sift through huge amounts of raw internet data — they must first justify why they have reason to believe communications are foreign. Analysts can select from rationales available in dropdown menus and then read the communications without court or supervisor approval.

Finally, analysts do not need court approval to look at previously-collected bulk metadata either, even domestic metadata. Instead, the NSA limits access to incidentally collected American data according to its own “minimization” procedures. A leaked 2009 document said that analysts only needed permission from their “shift coordinators” to access previously-collected phone records. Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., has introduced a bill that would require analysts to get special court approval to search through telephone metadata.

As a senator, Obama wanted the executive branch to report to Congress how many American communications had been swept up during surveillance.

Feingold’s 2008 amendment, which Obama supported, would have also required the Defense Department and Justice Department to complete a joint audit of all incidentally collected American communications and provide the report to congressional intelligence committees. The amendment failed 35-63.

The Inspector General of the Intelligence Community told Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mark Udall, D-Co. last year that it would be unfeasible to estimate how many American communications have been incidentally collected, and doing so would violate Americans’ privacy rights.

As a senator, Obama wanted to restrict the use of gag orders related to surveillance court orders.

Obama co-sponsored at least two measures that would have made it harder for the government to issue nondisclosure orders to businesses when compelling them to turn over customer data.

One 2007 bill would have required the government to demonstrate that disclosure could cause one of six specific harms: by either endangering someone, causing someone to avoid prosecution, encouraging the destruction of evidence, intimidating potential witnesses, interfering with diplomatic relations, or threatening national security. It would have also required the government to show that the gag order was “narrowly tailored” to address those specific dangers. Obama also supported a similar measure in 2005. Neither measure made it out of committee.

The Obama administration has thus far prevented companies from disclosing information about surveillance requests. Verizon’s surveillance court order included a gag order.

Meanwhile, Microsoft and Google have filed motions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking permission to release aggregate data about directives they’ve received. Microsoft has said the Justice Department and the FBI had previously denied its requests to release more information. The Justice Department has asked for more time to consider lifting the gag orders.

As a senator, Obama wanted to give the accused a chance to challenge government surveillance.

Obama co-sponsored a 2007 measure that would have required the government to tell defendants before it used any evidence collected under the controversial section of the Patriot Act. (That section, known as 215, has served as the basis for the bulk phone records collection program.) Obama also supported an identical measure in 2005.

Both bills would have ensured that defendants had a chance to challenge the legalityof Patriot Act surveillance. The Supreme Court has since held that plaintiffs who cannot prove they have been monitored cannot challenge NSA surveillance programs.

Those particular bills did not make it out of committee. But another section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requires that the government tell defendants before it uses evidence collected under that law.

Until recently, federal prosecutors would not tell defendants what kind of surveillance had been used.

The New York Times reported that in two separate bomb plot prosecutions, the government resisted efforts to reveal whether its surveillance relied on a traditional FISA order, or the 2008 law now known to authorize PRISM. As a result, defense attorneys had been unable to contest the legality of the surveillance. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., later said that in both cases, the government had relied on the 2008 law, though prosecutors now dispute that account.

On July 30, the Justice Department reversed its position in one bomb plot prosecution. The government disclosed that it had not gathered any evidence under the 2008 law now known to authorize sweeping surveillance.

But that’s not the only case in which the government has refused to detail its surveillance. When San Diego cab driver BasaalySaeedMoalin was charged with providing material support to terrorists based on surveillance evidence in Dec. 2010, his attorney, Joshua Dratel, tried to get the government’s wiretap application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The government refused, citing national security.

Dratel only learned that the government had used Moalin’s phone records as the basis for its wiretap application — collected under Section 215 of the Patriot Act — when FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce cited the Moalin case as a success story for the bulk phone records collection program.

Reuters has also reported that a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit uses evidence from surveillance to investigate Americans for drug-related crimes, and then directs DEA agents to “recreate” the investigations to cover up the original tip, so defendants won’t know they’ve been monitored.

As a senator, Obama wanted the attorney general to submit a public report giving aggregate data about how many people had been targeted for searches.

Under current law, the attorney general gives congressional intelligence committees a semiannual report with aggregate data on how many people have been targeted for surveillance. Obama co-sponsored a 2005 bill that would have made that report public. The bill didn’t make it out of committee.

Despite requests from Microsoft and Google, the Justice Department has not yet given companies approval to disclose aggregate data about surveillance directives.

As a senator, Obama wanted the government to declassify significant surveillance court opinions.

Currently, the attorney general also gives congressional intelligence committees “significant” surveillance court opinions, decisions and orders and summaries of any significant legal interpretations. The 2005 bill that Obama co-sponsored would have released those opinions to the public, allowing redactions for sensitive national security information.

Before Edward Snowden’s disclosures, the Obama Justice Department had fought Freedom of Information Act lawsuits seeking surveillance court opinions. On July 31, the Director of National Intelligence released a heavily redacted version of the FISA court’s “primary order” compelling telecoms to turn over metadata.

In response to a request from Yahoo, the government also says it is going to declassify court documents showing how Yahoo challenged a government directive to turn over user data. The Director of National Intelligence is still reviewing if there are other surveillance court opinions and other significant documents that may be released. Meanwhile, there are severalbills in Congress that would compel the government to release secret surveillance court opinions.

Related articles

Does the NSA Tap That? What We Still Don’t Know About the Agency’s Internet Surveillance

As the reader can see, ProPublica is the original publisher of this article. It is posted here with permission from them.

The idea that the NSA is sweeping up vast data streams via cables and other infrastructure — often described as the “backbone of the Internet” — is not new. In late 2005, the New York Times first described the tapping, which began after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. More details emerged in early 2006 when an AT&T whistleblower came forward.

But like other aspects of NSA surveillance, virtually everything about this kind of NSA surveillance is highly secret and we’re left with far from a full picture.

Is the NSA really sucking up everything?

It’s not clear.

The most detailed, though now dated, information on the topic comes from Mark Klein. He’s the former AT&T technician who went public in 2006 describing the installation in 2002-03 of a secret room in an AT&T building in San Francisco. The equipment, detailed in technical documents, allowed the NSA to conduct what Klein described as “vacuum-cleaner surveillance of all the data crossing the internet — whether that be peoples’ e-mail, web surfing or any other data.”

Klein said he was told there was similar equipment installed at AT&T facilities in San Diego, Seattle, and San Jose.

There is also evidence that the vacuuming has continued in some form right up to the present.

A draft NSA inspector’s general report from 2009, recently published by the Washington Post, refers to access via two companies “to large volumes of foreign-to-foreign communications transiting the United States through fiberoptic cables, gateway switches, and data networks.”

Recent stories by the Associated Press and the Washington Post also described the NSA’s cable-tapping, but neither included details on the scope of this surveillance.

Upstream slide (<a href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html' _cke_saved_href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-nsa-slide-you-havent-seen/2013/07/10/32801426-e8e6-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_story.html'>Washington Post)</a>

Upstream slide (Washington Post)

A recently published NSA slide, dated April 2013, refers to so-called “Upstream” “collection” of “communications on fiber cables and infrastructure as data flows past.”

These cables carry vast quantities of information, including 99 percent of international phone and Internet data, according to research firm TeleGeography.

This upstream surveillance is in contrast to another method of NSA snooping, Prism, in which the NSA isn’t tapping anything. Instead, the agency gets users’ data with the cooperation of tech companies like Facebook and Google.

Other documents leaked by Edward Snowden to the Guardian provide much more detail about the upstream surveillance by the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the NSA’s U.K. counterpart.

GCHQ taps cables where they land in the United Kingdom carrying Internet and, phone data. According to the Guardian, unnamed companies serve as “intercept partners” in the effort.

The NSA is listening in on those taps too. By May 2012, 250 NSA analysts along with 300 GCHQ analysts were sifting through the data from the British taps.

Is purely domestic communication being swept up in the NSA’s upstream surveillance?

It’s not at all clear.

Going back to the revelations of former AT&T technician Mark Klein — which, again, date back a decade — a detailed expert analysis concluded that the secret NSA equipment installed at an AT&T building was capable of collecting information “not only for communications to overseas locations, but for purely domestic communications as well.”

On the other hand, the 2009 NSA inspector general report refers specifically to collecting “foreign-to-foreign communications” that are “transiting the United States through fiber-optic cables, gateway switches, and data networks”

But even if the NSA is tapping only international fiber optic cables, it could still pick up communications between Americans in the U.S.

That’s because data flowing over the Internet does not always take the most efficient geographic route to its destination.

Instead, says Tim Stronge of the telecom consulting firm TeleGeography, data takes “the least congested route that is available to their providers.”

“If you’re sending an email from New York to Washington, it could go over international links,” Stronge says, “but it’s pretty unlikely.”

That’s because the United States has a robust domestic network. (That’s not true for some other areas of the world, which can have their in-country Internet traffic routed through another country’s more robust network.)

But there are other scenarios under which Americans’ purely domestic communication might pass over the international cables. Google, for example, maintains a network of data centers around the world.

Google spokeswoman Nadja Blagojevic told ProPublica that, “Rather than storing each user’s data on a single machine or set of machines, we distribute all data — including our own — across many computers in different locations.”

We asked Blagojevic whether Google stores copies of Americans’ data abroad, for example users’ Gmail accounts.  She declined to answer.

Are companies still cooperating with the NSA’s Internet tapping?

We don’t know.

The Washington Post had a story earlier this month about agreements the government has struck with telecoms, but lots of details are still unclear, including what the government is getting, and how many companies are cooperating.

The Post pointed to a 2003 “Network Security Agreement” between the U.S. government and the fiber optic network operator Global Crossing, which at the time was being sold to a foreign firm.

That agreement, which the Post says became a model for similar deals with other companies, did not authorize surveillance. Rather, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources, it ensured “that when U.S. government agencies seek access to the massive amounts of data flowing through their networks, the companies have systems in place to provide it securely.”

Global Crossing was later sold to Colorado-based Level 3 Communications, which owns many international fiber optic cables, and the 2003 agreement was replaced in 2011.

Level 3 released a statement in response to the Post story saying that neither agreement requires Level 3 “to cooperate in unauthorized surveillance on U.S. or foreign soil.”

The agreement does, however, explicitly require the company to cooperate with “lawful” surveillance.

More evidence, though somewhat dated, of corporate cooperation with NSA upstream surveillance comes from the 2009 inspector general report.

“Two of the most productive [signals intelligence] collection partnerships that NSA has with the private sector are with COMPANY A and COMPANY B,” the report says. “These two relationships enable NSA to access large volumes of foreign-to-foreign communications transiting the United States through fiber-optic cables, gateway switches, and data networks.”

There’s circumstantial evidence that those companies may be AT&T and Verizon.

It’s also worth noting that the NSA might not need corporate cooperation in all cases. In 2005, the AP reported on the outfitting of the submarine Jimmy Carter to place taps on undersea fiber-optic cables in case “stations that receive and transmit the communications along the lines are on foreign soil or otherwise inaccessible.”

What legal authority is the NSA using for upstream surveillance?

It’s unclear, though it may be a 2008 law that expanded the government’s surveillance powers.

The only evidence that speaks directly to this issue is the leaked slide on upstream surveillance, and in particular the document’s heading: “FAA702 Operations.” That’s a reference to Section 702 of the 2008 FISA Amendments Act. That legislation amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1970s law that governs government surveillance in the United States.

Under Section 702, the attorney general and director of national intelligence issue one-year blanket authorizations to for surveillance of non-citizens who are “reasonably believed” to be outside the U.S. These authorizations don’t have to name individuals, but rather allow for targeting of broad categories of people.

The government has so-called minimization procedures that are supposed to limit the surveillance of American citizens or people in the U.S. Those procedures are subject to review by the FISA court.

Despite the procedures, there is evidence that in practice American communications are swept up by surveillance under this section.

In the case of Prism, for example, which is authorized under the same part of the law, the Washington Post reported that the NSA uses a standard of “51 percent confidence” in a target’s foreignness.

And according to minimization procedures dating from 2009 published by the Guardian, there are also exceptions when it comes to holding on to American communications. For example, encrypted communications — which, given the routine use of digital encryption, might include vast amounts of material — can be kept indefinitely.

The government also has the authority to order communications companies to assist in the surveillance, and to do so in secret.

How much Internet traffic is the NSA storing?

We don’t know, but experts speculate it’s a lot.

“I think that there’s evidence that they’re starting to move toward a model where they just store everything,” says Dan Auerbach, a staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “The Utah data center is a big indicator of this because the sheer storage capacity has just rocketed up.”

We know more details about how the GCHQ operates in Britain, again thanks to the Guardian’s reporting. A breakthrough in 2011 allowed GCHQ to store metadata from its cable taps for 30 days and content for three days. The paper reported on how the spy agency — with some input from the NSA — then filters what it’s getting:

The processing centres apply a series of sophisticated computer programmes in order to filter the material through what is known as MVR – massive volume reduction. The first filter immediately rejects high-volume, low-value traffic, such as peer-to-peer downloads, which reduces the volume by about 30%. Others pull out packets of information relating to “selectors” – search terms including subjects, phone numbers and email addresses of interest. Some 40,000 of these were chosen by GCHQ and 31,000 by the NSA.

How does the NSA do filtering of the data it gets off cables in the United States?

“I think that’s the trillion dollar question that I’m sure the NSA is working really hard at all the time,” Auerbach, the EFF expert. “I think it’s an incredibly difficult problem.”

Marita Noon: North America: An Oil And Gas Powerhouse

The lady seems to be on a roll, although telling it like it is has always been a straight trait of hers.  Below she places truth before nonsense from on operating on pure bull butter.  Have a look at the slashing and dicing from Ms. Noon:

Greetings!

Last week I was sent a link to a USA Today op-ed written by Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council titled: More oil and gas ups our addiction. I read it and was appalled at the lies it contained. I knew I couldn’t let it go unanswered. This week’s column (attached and pasted-in-below) is my examination of her statements. I had a lot of fun writing North America: an oil and gas powerhouse—and it is getting a very positive response.

I am sending you North America: an oil and gas powerhouse early because I am speaking in Ruidoso, NM, tomorrow at lunch and am doing two in-studio radio interviews there in the morning. I am driving (3 hours) there this afternoon. You are welcome to post, pass on and/or personally enjoy North America: an oil and gas powerhouse today—if that fits your schedule—or tomorrow as usual.

Thanks for helping me spread the “Energy makes America great!” message.

Marita Noon, Executive Director

EnergyMakesAmericaGreat Inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

For immediate release: August 25, 2013

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

North America: an oil and gas powerhouse

Perhaps you read the USA Today editorial on August 19 that concludes with: “the most important gains could come from radical shifts that are as unanticipated as was North America’s emergence as an oil and gas powerhouse.” It points out “that free enterprise has a way of solving problems that is beyond the capabilities of government.” And continues: “The surge in domestic oil and gas production—spurred on by such new techniques as hydraulic fracturing (or ‘fracking’) did not come about as the result of government energy polices, but largely in spite of them.”

 Other oil producing countries are taking note.

Mexico has huge oil-and-gas reserves— estimated at 115bn barrels of oil equivalent, comparable to Kuwait’s—but lacks the technology to develop non-conventionals, such as shale gas and deep-sea crude. President Pena Nieto is looking to make reforms that would allow foreign companies to partner with the state-owned oil company, Pemex, to bring the wealth to the surface.

The Saudi Prince Alwaleed recently warned: “the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy is increasingly vulnerable to rising U.S. energy production.” Alwaleed’s comments were penned before Mexico announced its intended energy reforms. The thought of Mexico’s resources flowing on to the global market has got to make the prince increasingly nervous.

The reality of North America becoming an “oil-and-gas powerhouse” threatens more than just OPEC nations. In response to the USA Today editorial, Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), wrote an “opposing view” proclaiming: “Increasing domestic oil and gas production is no panacea for our nation’s energy needs or economy.”

Energy and the Economy

Apparently, she is not aware that regions with oil-and-gas development have some of the lowest unemployment in the country—states with resource extraction such as Texas, Montana, Oklahoma, and Wyoming all have unemployment rates below the national average and North Dakota has the lowest in the country at 3.9%. My home state of New Mexico shares the rich Permian Basin with Texas. There, they tell me: “Anyone who can pass a drug test can get a job.”

Due to the increasing domestic resource development, President Obama’s stated 2010 goal of doubling exports by 2015 has already been met—though not through his initiatives, and in fact, in spite of them. Alan Tonelson, an economist at the US Business and Industry Council, says: “When the president talks about trade, when he talks about creating middle class jobs, when he talks about turning the US economy into an economy that lasts, he usually talks about manufacturing, those are the classic American living wage jobs. There’s no chance that he’s been thinking mainly about petroleum.”

Rayola Dougher, a senior economic adviser at the American Petroleum Institute, sums up the economic impact of oil and gas on the economy: “We have been a real engine of growth at a time when other industries have been languishing.”

Gas Prices

Next, Beinecke states: “U.S. oil production may be up 44% since 2008, but so are prices. The costs of crude oil have risen 6% in that time.” While this claim appears to be accurate on the surface, it ignores the fact that the Federal Reserve has driven the value of the dollar down. In his Forbes article, “The rising price of the falling dollar,” contributor Charles Kadlec, explains: “The real price of the on-going debauchery of the dollar is measured by the loss of our prosperity and the debasement of our liberty.” Similarly, Paul Streitz, in American Thinker, draws the connection between our national debt and the price of oil: “excessive spending means monetizing our debt, which means printing money, which means foreign oil producers want more of it for the same barrel of oil.”

Fracking

Of course, Beinecke resorts to the environmentalists’ standard claim: “The fracking that is driving our oil and gas surge has grown at breakneck speed.” She continues: “states have responded with weak rules and limited enforcement.” Environmental groups, like Beinecke’s NRDC, want federal government to add regulation on fracking—which will increase the cost and slow the growth of drilling.

Friday, August 23, was the deadline for public comment on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) draft rule to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt and attorneys general from four other states sent a letter to the BLM, objecting to the agency’s intent to duplicate the state’s long-standing regulation of hydraulic fracturing. “States have been regulating hydraulic fracturing for more than 40 years with great success. This proposed rule is just another layer of unnecessary regulation that will cause significant delays and hinder natural gas production,” General Pruitt said. “The Supreme Court has made it clear that regulation of water and land use is a state and local power, and no law gives an agency such as the BLM the authority to pre-empt state regulations.”

Environmentalists’ hyperbole about the use of hydraulic fracturing would lead the general public to believe that the practice is new. In fact it has been successfully used to extract oil and gas for more than 60 years—and, over the decades, it has been refined and made giant technological leaps. Attempts to link fracking to water contamination have repeatedly been disproven.

Climate Change

Then her “opposing view” takes the climate change tack: “more oil and gas production will only exacerbate climate change … Last year alone, Americans suffered $140 billion in crop losses, wildfires, storm damage and other impacts of extreme weather made worse by climate change.” Once again, baseless charges.

The $140 billion in crop losses pertains to the 2012 drought, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Drought Task Force, put together to examine whether or not “human-caused CO2-fueled global warming” was the cause, said, in a report, dated March 20, 2013: “natural variations in weather patterns caused this sudden ‘flash drought,’” and “The report rules out global ocean conditions as well as human-induced climate change, as major culprits.” 

Additionally, as I addressed last month, Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr., from the University of Colorado, at the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee hearing on climate, testified to the effect that Weather Related Disaster losses globally as a percentage of GDP had actually decreased by about 25% since 1990, while droughts have “for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U S over the last century.”  Other figures of merit, hurricane frequency, intensity, damages, landfalls, and ‘accumulated tropical cyclone energy’ have shown no trends over long periods of record. Floods have not increased, flood losses have gone down significantly, while tornadoes have not increased in frequency, intensity, or normalized damage since 1950, and there is some evidence to suggest they have actually declined. Beinecke is either ignorant of the facts, or guilty of deliberately misstating information. 

The wildfires Beinecke mentions are connected to the drought and add drama to her comments as we are currently fighting wildfires in 11 western states. However, the true blame falls squarely on the forest management plans as enacted by the US Forest Service, which has allowed the forests to be overgrown and unhealthy. Keeping the forest healthy through thinning costs about $600 per acre, but fighting a forest fire can cost nearly four times more.

CAFE Standards

One of her last assertions is: “Our new 54.5 mpg fuel standards will cut oil imports by one-third and save consumers $1.7 trillion at the pump.” The 54.5-mpg figure is a standard that Obama announced in 2009 and it applies to the fleet average a company must have. Because Americans continue to purchase more trucks and SUVs with much lower mpg, a company must produce cars like the Volt or the Leaf that are measured at 93 and 99 mpg equivalent. Overall the average might come out in the mandated range. BMW recently announced the introduction of its first electric car, the i3. They are moving into electric cars, not because of customer demand, but “to meet regulatory requirements.” The Wall Street Journal reports: “The car will earn emissions credits for BMW in markets such as California, reducing the likelihood that BMW will have to pay fines for failing to comply with carbon dioxide restrictions and giving BMW headroom under those rules to keep selling its more profitable internal combustion models.” While electric cars may slightly reduce gasoline use, they really still run on fossil fuels—namely coal.

I close my examination of Beinecke’s “view” with this: “True energy independence means reducing our reliance on oil and gas by investing in America’s abundant clean energy resources that can power our country and boost our economy without endangering our health and climate.” I believe that we all want to end US dependence on oil imports from countries that wish to destroy us. But nebulous “clean energy resources” will not do that. When environmentalists refer to “clean energy,” they are most often referring to wind and solar—which produce electricity, albeit ineffectively, inefficiently and uneconomically. Only a tiny fraction of electricity in the US is produced from oil. The oil we import goes toward the transportation fleet. Until there are quantum leaps in technology, there will never be a massive shift from petroleum-based vehicles to electric. So Beinecke’s dream of “clean energy resources” will not reduce our “reliance on oil and gas.”

The title of Beinecke’s USA Today post is: “More oil and gas ups our addiction.” In reality, the true addiction is the clean energy she touts. Alternative energies such as wind, solar and biofuels are addicted to government money and the junkies’ dealers are those with close ties to President Obama and other high ranking Democrats engaged in crony corruption.

 Let’s give the Saudi prince something to really worry about. Let free enterprise solve problems that are beyond the capabilities of government. Let’s build the Keystone pipeline and work with Mexico to use techniques, perfected in America’s oil fields, to bring its wealth to the surface. North America can be an oil-and-gas powerhouse—but government energy polies have to change. Then prosperity and liberty can be restored.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy.

Need A Little Inspiration … Then Follow Dean’s Example

Do you find yourself wanting to try a new hobby, skill or vocation, but the doubt creeps in to stall your beginning:  so much so, you put the desire away in your “chest of desires,” never to bring them out to the light of day.

Take a look at Dean and bring out your dream … don’t forget to pray to the other part of the team:

Marita Noon: Keystone XL, Not Just A Pipeline … A Lifeline

Keystone XL: not just a pipeline, a life-line

Marita Noon

The final State Department report on the Keystone XL pipeline’s environmental impact is expected in a matter of weeks. Yet, the administration continues to send mixed messages as to which direction it is leaning. If the government announced it would make no sense to rebuild the World Trade Center in New York because when finished it would create only 50 jobs for maintenance people, you would laugh yourself silly. Yet that’s the line of argument President Obama used recently while talking about the Keystone XL pipeline project that, to appease environmental activists, he has blocked for the past five years.

“They keep on talking about this—an oil pipeline coming down from Canada that’s estimated to create about 50 permanent jobs—that’s not a jobs plan,” he said.

By Obama’s calculus, the 5,000 to 6,000 jobs a year created in the construction of the pipeline (State Department estimate) or the “approximately 42,100 average annual jobs across the United States over a one-to-two-year period” with wages totaling $2 billion the project would support (also State Department) are to be dismissed. These jobs include the manufacture of steel, the people making the pipe, and the waitresses and hotel workers.

No one knows better than the major labor unions—which support building the pipeline—that the entire construction industry is based on a continuing series of single projects, be they roads, buildings, bridges, or other structures.

Sean McGarvey, president of the AFL-CIO Construction Trades Department, which represents 13 unions, makes the point: “The interstate highway system was a temporary job; Mount Rushmore was a temporary job. If they knew anything about the construction industry they’d understand that we work ourselves out of jobs and we go from job to job to job.”

The AFL-CIO explains its support: “The American construction industry has suffered greatly. The national unemployment rate for construction workers remains above 13 percent and far too many of our members have lost homes and are struggling to put food on the table. For many members of our unions, Keystone XL is not just a pipeline; it is, in the most literal sense, a life line.”

And the bi-partisan support the pipeline attracts in Congress, clearly signals that legislators understand the economic benefits that are generated throughout the supply chain and the economy down to the local level.

The oil pipeline from Canada will carry 830,000 barrels of oil daily to US refineries on the Gulf Coast. That will help strengthen trade relations with Canada, which already is our largest foreign supplier of oil, and reduce the nation’s dependence on other foreign sources of oil, many of which are hostile to the United States—such as Venezuela, with oil “dirtier” than that from Canada.

Obama’s green supporters argue for denying approval for construction on the basis of increased carbon dioxide emissions, and Obama has taken a deep bow toward them by insisting that he will veto pipeline construction if it “significantly” contributes to high emissions, but he didn’t define “significantly.”

The XL pipeline has been subjected to four environmental studies, and as lately as March of this year the State Department has said it presents no meaningful environmental risks.

One reason is that if Canada cannot send its oil to the United States, there is talk of building a pipeline to Canada’s coast and exporting the oil by tanker to Asia, particularly China. Thus any US action to deny pipeline construction would not affect emissions. In fact, US environmental controls are much more stringent that any found in developing countries like China.

The case for the Keystone XL pipeline is straight forward. Jobs will be created. Families will benefit. Local businesses and professions will gain business. Governments will increase their tax receipts. The US economy will be fueled to a larger extent by oil from a nearby friendly country, thereby improving national security. Coupled with increased oil production in this county, we will move closer to energy self-sufficiency—while additional exports of petroleum products will help reduce the trade deficit.

The President should end the polarization of energy policy and begin uniting the country by supporting the real job creators. He should give the go-ahead for the XL pipeline immediately.

Marita82313

 Marita Noon

Marita Noon, Executive Director

Energy Makes America Great, Inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

Alfonzo Rachael Explains Victimhood

Alfonzo Rachael who does ZONATION on PJTV tells it like he knows he is correct … which he is.  Have a look and listen to his video below and see if you believe he is on something that explains how people, black and white, buy into group pity parties.

What Does Your Congress Member Vote For Or Against

Ralph Hill, a member of the Sandia Tea Party, sent this to us.  We hope the information will help when you consider our representatives and senators when they come for your vote.

Our NM delegation looks hopeless (only Pearce with record over 50%).
The Voting Index formerly hosted on the John Birch Society Website (www.jbs.org) has a new look, a different format and is now cumulative over years, rather than cumulative for each Congressional period (2 years total divided into 6 month periods) as in the past. It is now hosted on The New American Website:

The following is excerpted from that site and provides an explanation of the Index:

“The Freedom Index: A Congressional Scorecard Based on the U.S. Constitution rates congressmen based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements. The percentages below are cumulative scores are based on key votes from 1999 through 2013. Click on a senator’s or representative’s name to get a detailed breakdown of his or her voting record.”
While the two methods of scoring each offer different perspectives of a congress person’s thinking (or lack thereof), I will argue that cumulative scores calculated over longer periods are more apt to expose a person’s true nature. One downside to this newer method maybe that new members may not become fully exposed initially. If the scores in this most recent index are any indication, the future of anything resembling constitutional government is bleak. The 4th of July will continue to be just another day of food, drink, parties, picnics and fireworks with little thought given to its basis and intent.
So how has your congressional critters done over the last 5 years? As a general rule, very poorly!
DGlenn