Spying on Flyers

Security check now starts long before you fly. “The Transportation Security Administration is expanding its screening of passengers before they arrive at the airport by searching a wide array of government and private databases that can include records like car registrations and employment information,” according to the New York Times. “While the agency says that the goal is to streamline the security procedures for millions of passengers who pose no risk, the new measures give the government greater authority to use travelers’ data for domestic airport screenings. Previously that level of scrutiny applied only to individuals entering the United States.”

Read the full story at:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/10/23/switchboard-tsa-starts-snooping-on-us-long-before-we-get-to-the-airport/?tid=up_next


Why do I feel less secure as a citizen of America by this news???

They creep up on you very slowly.  If you fly, you and your consolidated history are now in the federal governments databases.

“Show me your papers citizen, wait, never mind, we have them on the computer.”

Where do you think all this will lead??

Electronic Surveillance is Everywhere

We live in the golden era of surveillance; every phone is designed to be tapped, the Internet passes through snooping equipment of agencies that are so vast and unaccountable that we hardly know their bounds. Corporations are forced (though some are willing enough!) to hand over our data and data of those whom we love. Our lives are ruled by networks and yet those networks are not ruled by our consent. These networks keep us hooked up but it is not without costs that they keep us hooked together. The businesses, the governments, and the individuals that power those networks are incentivized to spy, to betray and to do it silently. The architecture of the very systems produces these outcomes.—This is tyranny.

http://craphound.com/homeland/Cory_Doctorow_-_Homeland.pdf

Are Atheists Better People

Science has done more for the development of western civilization in one hundred years than Christianity did in eighteen hundred years.
~ Jeff Burroughs

I predict the continued growth of atheism in America is going to make for some very interesting times. The putative leaders of the Christian Right in America have spent years trying to cast themselves as the victims in a secular society, the facts behind this assertion are kinda slim though. It’s been my experience and observation that the only way that secularism/atheism bothers religion is when it has to fight them (metaphorically) to keep religion where it belongs…out of people’s faces and out of our government.

Atheists are well-behaved and we seem to play well with others overall.

Atheists are not in the news, like the Christian right, for getting caught doing things they tell others not to do.  You know…those nasty little sexual things.   🙂

Atheists almost always co-exist peacefully with religious believing family and friends.

Atheists pay taxes just like the religious believers do.

Atheists are waaay under represented in jails and prisons…we’re actually pretty moral people.

Atheists don’t start wars on behalf of atheism…unlike religion

They do join the military however, and contrary to clichéd belief, they are found in foxholes.

Atheists believe strongly in America and the whole American Constitution, but particularly the First Amendment that separates church and state.

Atheists are secularists who support a government free from influence by any religion. We are not anti-religious, we are Non-Religious.

Atheists don’t take up a lot of space. The non-religious/atheist/agnostic members of American society only add up to a little less than 18% of the whole population…but we are growing.   🙂

Atheists make good neighbors. Chances are, if you live next door, or work with an atheist, you will  never know it.

Atheists in general, are much more supportive of women’s rights and for their right to control their own bodies and lives without church or state interference.

Unlike the religious right people, atheists don’t like to get into other peoples business and dictate how they should live….what they should do or not do.  You know…like who you should marry.

Atheists are not known for going door-to-door to convert people to our way of thinking. We are however, known to help our friends and neighbors with no thought of there being a heavenly reward in it for us.

Unlike many of the present Republican presidential candidates and the religious right in general Atheists do not advocate or align themselves with groups who want to take over our government and reshape America into a religiously ruled theocracy…you know, kinda’ like the Middle Eastern Islamic states.

Atheists, unlike the Republican Right, the Tea-Party, and the religious right, do not go around with guns in meetings and say the President will never take their guns away, or wishing the president would fail and generally disrespecting the President and the office.  Or call him ni_ger behind his back

Atheists mostly do know a lot about religion, as many were raised in a religious family, and they tend to research and know their positions really well.  In recent national polling about religious knowledge, atheists knew more than any religious sub-group.

Hmmm…could it be…could the atheists actually be better citizens and better people to know than theists???  I know I never disrespect, with malice, someone for believing the ‘wrong thing’…I just like to get into friendly arguments/debates with them.

And remember…Atheism cures religious terrorism

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Christian Right Wing Religion Spends 750 Million Annually

You need to check out this story at AlterNet

The 12 Worst (and Most Powerful) Christian Right Groups

“The Religious Right in America is lavishly funded and politically well connected. These groups raise more than three-quarters of a billion dollars (that’s 750 million bucks) annually, mostly tax-exempt.” My emphasis.

We atheists, agnostics, and skeptics have a long way to go in organization…something that is critically needed in the fight against the evil and immoral Christian Evangelical Fundamentalist Right.  Their ultimate goal is command and control of the American government (in many ways they already have this)…and they’re way out in front
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The Republicans Are Out To Get YOU

That Republican “scientist?” we all love to hate, Ms. Ann Coulter, has written a column wherein she says that the radiation the Japanese reactors are spewing out is good for the people over there. Read down to the comments section and then maybe go to P.Z.  Myers blog Pharyngula for his comments.

“Under a GOP-(Republican) backed bill expected to sail through the House of Representatives, the Internal Revenue Service would be forced to police how Americans have paid for their abortions. To ensure that taxpayers complied with the law, IRS agents would have to investigate whether certain terminated pregnancies were the result of rape or incest. And one tax expert says that the measure could even lead to questions on tax forms: Have you had an abortion? Did you keep your receipt?” Mother Jones Magazine

“Minnesota’s Republican lawmakers are, as expected, very angry about poor people. Why give those poor people money when we know they’ll just spend it on the hip-hop and fancy sneakers and for crack smokin’. So, the Republicans had an idea: Until any kind of welfare or assistance to the needy is completely outlawed, which will be soon enough, Minnesota should make it illegal for people getting “emergency cash assistance” to have any of the cash assistance in cash.”  So starts the sad story in Minnesota.  From Wonkette Welfare recipients could be arrested if found to have more than 20 bucks cash in their pocket.

“It’s good news/bad news time, Democrats. Bad news: The public doesn’t much like you. In fact, a whopping 60% disapprove of the job you’re doing in the latest AP poll. Good news: They dislike Republicans even more; 68% disapprove of them, and Sarah Palin and George W. Bush are viewed significantly more negatively than President Obama. But more bad news: The people who dislike Democrats are more likely to actually vote.”   The full story at Newser.com
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Democracy Killed in Michigan

From the Utne Reader

“The very essence of democratic rule may be about to die in Michigan.

If Gov. Rick Snyder (R) gets his way soon he will have the ability to unilaterally declare a “fiscal emergency.” Once such an emergency is declared he would then have the power to dissolve the entire municipal government of wherever this “emergency” exists, dismiss the elected officials with no replacement election to follow, seize control of local civil services and, last but certainly not least, cede control of taxpayer money, services and powers to private corporations.

Anyone else sense the Koch brothers lurking in the shadows?”

So begins the scary story of the poor people of Michigan and their descent into Fascism courtesy of the Tea Party Republicans.

From Forbes Magazine:

” The governor simply has to declare a financial emergency to invoke these powers – or he can hire a private company to declare financial emergency and take over oversight of the city. That’s right, a private corporation can declare your city in a state of financial emergency and send in its Emergency Manager, fire your elected officials, and reap the benefits of the ensuing state contracts.”

I think the Republicans are trying to take over the country…very quietly, in a way that we should be very worried about.
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