George Weigel — The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God — Videos

Posted on November 4, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Book, Books, Catholic Church, Communications, Constitution, Documentary, Elections, Employment, European History, Faith, Family, Fiction, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, history, Immigration, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Radio, Radio, Religion, Talk Radio, Television, Television, Terrorism, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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“Democracy Without God?” by George Weigel

Christianity and Democracy, War and Peace, Pope John Paul II – Books (2008)

George Weigel (born 1951) is an American author and political and social activist. He currently serves as a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Weigel was the Founding President of the James Madison Foundation. He is the author of the best-selling biography of Pope John Paul II, Witness to Hope and Tranquillitas Ordinis: The Present Failure and Future Promise of American Catholic Thought on War and Peace.

Weigel was born and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, where he attended St. Mary’s Seminary and University. He later received his masters degree from St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto. He has received 18 honorary doctorate degrees, as well as the papal cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice and the Gloria Artis Gold Medal from the Polish Ministry of Culture.

Weigel lived in Seattle, serving as Assistant Professor of Theology and Assistant Dean of Studies at the St. Thomas the Apostle Seminary School of Theology in Kenmore, and Scholar-in-Residence at the World Without War Council of Greater Seattle, before returning to Washington, D.C. as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Weigel served as the founding president of the James Madison Foundation (not to be confused with the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation) from 1986 to 1989. In 1994, he was a signer of the document Evangelicals and Catholics Together.

He currently serves as Distinguished Senior Fellow and Chair of Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C..

Each summer, Weigel and several other Catholic intellectuals from the United States, Poland, and across Europe conduct the Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society in Krakow, in which they and an assortment of students from the United States, Poland, and several other emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe discuss Christianity within the context of liberal democracy and capitalism, with the papal encyclical Centesimus Annus being the focal point.

Weigel and his wife Joan live in North Bethesda, Maryland. He has three children.

He is a member of the advisory council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Weigel writes and serves on the Institute board for the Institute for Religion and Public Life, which publishes First Things, an ecumenical publication that focuses on encouraging a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society.

The main body of Weigel’s writings engage the issues of religion and culture.

Weigel advocates a U.S. foreign policy guided not by utopian notions about how nations should behave, but by moral reasoning. “From the Iliad to Tolstoy and beyond, that familiar trope, “the fog of war,” has been used to evoke the millennia–old experience of the radical uncertainty of combat. Some analysts, however, take the trope of “the fog of war” a philosophical step further and suggest that warfare takes place beyond the reach of moral reason, in a realm of interest and necessity where moral argument is a pious diversion at best and, at worst, a lethal distraction from the deadly serious business at hand.”

In some cases, he adds, moral reasoning may require that the United States support authoritarian regimes to fend off the greater evils of moral decay and threats to the security of the United States. For Weigel, America’s shortcomings do not excuse her from pursuing the greater moral good.

Weigel achieved much fame for writing Witness to Hope, a biography of the late Pope John Paul II, which was also made into a documentary film. In 2004 Weigel wrote an article in Commentary magazine, entitled “The Cathedral and the Cube”, in which he used the contrast between the modernist Grande Arche, and the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, both located in Paris, France, to illustrate what he called a loss of “civilizational morale” in Western Europe, which he tied to the secular tyrannies of the 20th century, along with, more recently, plummeting birthrates and Europe’s refusal to recognize the Christian roots of its culture. Weigel questions whether Europe can give an account of itself while denying the very moral tradition through which its culture arose: “Christians who share this conviction (that it is the will of God that Christians be tolerant of those who have a different view of God’s will) — can give an account of their defense of the other’s freedom even if the other, skeptical and relativist, finds it hard to give an account of the freedom of the Christian.” This is a theme sounded clearly by Marcello Pera and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (from 2005 to 2013 Pope Benedict XVI), in their book Without Roots: the West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam, for which Weigel authored the foreword. In 2005, he expanded the article into a book, The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God.

Ten Things To Know About Pope Francis (George Weigel – Acton Institute)

Top 10 Immigrant Countries

The ten countries with greatest number of foreign born residents.
10. Spain 6.5 million immigrants (13.8% of pop)
9. Australia 6.5 million immigrants (27.7%)
8. Canada 7.3 million immigrants (20.7%)
7. France 7.4 million immigrants (11.6%)
6. United Kingdom 7.8 million immigrants (12.4%)
5. United Arab Emirates 7.8 million immigrants (83.7%)
4. Saudi Arabia 9.1 million immigrants (31.4%)
3. Germany 9.8 million immigrants (11.9%)
2. Russia 11 million immigrants (7.7%)
1. USA 45.7 million immigrants (14.3%)

The World in 2015: Global population and the changing shape of world demographics

Demographic Winter – the decline of the human family (Full Movie)

Future World Populations (2050)

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Big Brother Barack Targets All The American People As Enemies of The State and Democratic Party — National Security Agency’s PRISM Is The Secret Security Surveillance State (S4) Means of Invading Privacy and Limiting Liberty — Outrageous Overreach–Videos

Posted on June 11, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Computers, Constitution, Crime, Economics, Employment, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Press, Programming, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Security, Tax Policy, Technology, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

~United States Constitution, Amendment IV

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know what no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”

“Big Brother is Watching You.”

~George Orwell’s 1984

POWER IS NOT A MEANS, IT IS AN END

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montesquieu

Maxine Waters Confirms Big Brother Database 2013 Foretells NSA Phone & Internet Spying

Glenn Beck:Govt Storing Citizen Cellphone& Internet Activity

Digital Blackwater: How the NSA Gives Private Contractors Control of the Surveillance State

Glenn Greenwald on How NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Helped Expose a “Massive Surveillance Apparatus”

“A Massive Surveillance State”: Glenn Greenwald Exposes Covert NSA Program Collecting Calls, Emails

He told you so: Bill Binney talks NSA leaks

What You Should Know About The New NSA Utah Data Center

Is Edward Snowden a Hero? A Debate With Journalist Chris Hedges & Law Scholar Geoffrey Stone

Spying On Americans By NSA Prism Collection Details – Rand Paul On Hannity

NSA is Spying on EVERYTHING you do. Phone calls and internet activity is being stored and monitored.

PRISM: Why the NSA is Mining Internet Data

Total Surveillance : N.S.A. data mining all computers, phone calls, internet, emails

CNET Update – Uproar over PRISM government surveillance

NSA Caught Spying on Americans’ Internet Use

Columnist exposes Obama surveillance

Meet Edward Snowden: NSA PRISM Whistleblower

Sky News interview w/ Julian Assange and JP Barlow RE: Prism and Edward Snowden

Complete News – Snowden leaks show NSA ‘routinely lies’ to Congress

Judge Napolitano On NSA Spying: Most Extraordinarily Broad Search Warrant Ever Issued In US History

Rand Paul Discusses The NSA’s Violation Of The Bill Of Rights On Yahoo News (6-6-13)

Rand Paul On NSA Spying: ‘I’m Going To Challenge This At The Supreme Court’ –

Ron Paul: NSA Seizing Phone Records Symptom of Failure of The State

NSA Constitutional Violations? – Judge Andrew Napolitano – Geraldo

Clever Denials Surrounding the NSA PRISM Piracy Scandal

Peter Eckersley from the Electronic Frontier Foundation stopped by to explain why Silicon Vally’s top tech companies are dancing around PRISM allegations. Interview recorded Friday June 7, 2013

NSA Surveillance – Does Obama Have ANY Credibility Left?

“In his remarks today defending the NSA programs gathering telephone records and mining Internet companies, Obama sounded a familiar refrain, saying he welcomes the “debate” over the proper balance between civil liberties and national security.”*

Obama gave a speech in defense of recently uncovered secret programs to wiretap and data-mine U.S. citizens almost indiscriminately, and Congress agrees. Do you believe his remarks that we NEED these programs? Would Obama agree with himself campaigning about his stance on civil rights? Cenk Uygur, Ben Mankiewicz, and John Iadarola discuss.

*Read more form Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/p…

“Obama Is BIG BROTHER And He’s A LIAR!”

How PRISM Easily Gives Your Private Data Over to Big Brother

The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.

The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called Prism, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.”*

We’ve been assured by the president that the NSA’s PRISM program won’t affect “ordinary” U.S. citizens, but what is the criteria for deciding who gets their data mined and monitored? Cenk Uygur, Ben Mankiewicz, and John Iadarola (Host, TYT University) discuss the egregious reach of the Obama administration’s secret mass surveillance program.

*Read more from The Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/…

Fourth Amendment Has been Suspended

The federal government is launching an expansive program dubbed “Perfect Citizen” to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants, according to people familiar with the program.The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government’s chief eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack, though it wouldn’t persistently monitor the whole system, these people said.

Defense contractor Raytheon Corp. recently won a classified contract for the initial phase of the surveillance effort valued at up to $100 million, said a person familiar with the project.

An NSA spokeswoman said the agency had no information to provide on the program. A Raytheon spokesman declined to comment.

Some industry and government officials familiar with the program see Perfect Citizen as an intrusion by the NSA into domestic affairs, while others say it is an important program to combat an emerging security threat that only the NSA is equipped to provide.

“The overall purpose of the [program] is our Government…feel[s] that they need to insure the Public Sector is doing all they can to secure Infrastructure critical to our National Security,” said one internal Raytheon email, the text of which was seen by The Wall Street Journal. “Perfect Citizen is Big Brother.”

Glenn Becks “SURVEILLANCE STATE” (Must Viewing)

NSA spying on All Americans Part 1

NSA spying on All Americans Part 2

How to Protect Yourself from The NSA

NSA Whistleblower Seeks Asylum in Iceland

Former CIA Officer: Officials Considering NSA Whistleblower’s Case Potential Chinese Espionage

Judge Jeanine Slams IRS, NSA and Obama for Expanding Surveillance Program – Opening Statement

James Bamford: Inside the NSA’s Largest and Most Expansive Secret Domestic Spy Center 1 of 2

James Bamford: Inside the NSA’s Largest and Most Expansive Secret Domestic Spy Center 2 of 2

NSA Whistleblower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post

“The NSA Is Lying”: U.S. Government Has Copies of Most of Your Emails Says NSA Whistleblower

NSA whistleblower William Binney Keynote at HOPE Number Nine

U.S. v. Whistleblower Tom Drake

Tom Drake, a former NSA senior executive indicted last year for espionage after leaking to the media allegations that the nation’s largest intelligence organization had committed fraud, waste and abuse will appear in his first television interview. Scott Pelley reports.

Whistle Blower Threatened with 35 Years in Prison, Warns of Developing Tyranny

NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake Prevails in Unprecedented Obama Admin Crackdown

NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake speaks at National Press Club – March 15, 2013

Part 2: Former NSA Employee Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack on Whistleblower Crackdown

The Police – Every Breath You Take

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. …”

The Declaration of Independence

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

Background Articles and Videos

Domestic Spying, Mainstream Source – NSA, Internet Spying, AT&T

Domestic Spying, Mainstream Source – NSA Copying Entire Internet

Glenn Becks “SURVEILLANCE STATE”

Barack Obama’s Surveillance Society

GLENN BECK ‘They Are Liars’

Glenn Greenwald: Challenging the US Surveillance State

2012.05.01 – GBTV – The Glenn Beck Radio Program – NSA Warning

Project Vigilant: Shadowy Spy Group Building Dossiers On Internet Users For Feds – Alex Jones Tv 3/3

Total Information Awareness – Social Networking Sites (mirror)

The Information Awareness Office (IAO) was established by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in January 2002 to bring together several DARPA projects focused on applying surveillance and information technology to track and monitor terrorists and other asymmetric threats to national security, by achieving Total Information Awareness (TIA). This would be achieved by creating enormous computer databases to gather and store the personal information of everyone in the United States, including personal e-mails, social networks, credit card records, phone calls, medical records, and numerous other sources including, without any requirement for a search warrant.[1] This information would then be analyzed to look for suspicious activities, connections between individuals, and “threats”.[2] Additionally, the program included funding for biometric surveillance technologies that could identify and track individuals using surveillance cameras, and other methods.[2]
Following public criticism that the development and deployment of these technologies could potentially lead to a mass surveillance system, the IAO was defunded by Congress in 2003. However, several IAO projects continued to be funded, and merely run under different names.

ThinThread

ThinThread is the name of a project that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) pursued during the 1990s, according to a May 17, 2006 article in The Baltimore Sun.[1] The program involved wiretapping and sophisticated analysis of the resulting data, but according to the article, the program was discontinued after the September 11, 2001 attacks due to the changes in priorities and the consolidation of U.S. intelligence authority. The “change in priority” consisted of the decision made by the director of NSA General Michael V. Hayden to go with a concept called Trailblazer, despite the fact that ThinThread was a working prototype that protected the privacy of U.S. citizens.

ThinThread was dismissed and replaced by the Trailblazer Project, which lacked the privacy protections.[2] A consortium led by Science Applications International Corporation was awarded a $280 million contract to develop Trailblazer in 2002.[3]

Whistleblowing

Redacted version of the DoD Inspector General audit, obtained through FOIA[4][5]

A group of former NSA workers — Kirk Wiebe, William Binney, Ed Loomis, and Thomas A. Drake, along with House Intelligence Committee staffer Diane Roark (an expert on the NSA budget[6]) — believed the operational prototype system called ThinThread was a better solution than Trailblazer, which was just a concept on paper at the time. They complained to the DoD Inspector General office in 2002 about mismanagement and the waste of taxpayer money at the NSA surrounding the Trailblazer program. In 2007 the FBI raided the homes of these people, an evolution of President Bush’s crackdown on whistleblowers and “leaks” after the New York Times disclosed a separate program (see NSA warrantless surveillance controversy). In 2010, one of the people who had helped the IG in the ensuing investigation, NSA official Thomas Andrews Drake, was charged with espionage,[6][7] part of the Obama administration’s crackdown on whistleblowers and “leaks”.[7][8][9] The original charges against him were later dropped and he pled to a misdemeanor.

The result of the DoD IG complaint was a 2004 audit report that was released under FOIA in 2011.[5] Although highly redacted, the report contained significant criticisms of Trailblazer, and included some relatively minor criticisms of ThinThread, for example, citing a low “quality of service and support” from the ThinThread program team, a lack of documentation, a lack of a configuration management system, and a lack of a trouble ticket system. However, “The findings that led to the recommendations would not have prevented the successful deployment of THINTHREAD … the recommendations were made to improve the operational efficiency of THINTHREAD after it was deployed …”[10]

Technical details

The program would have used a technique of encrypting sensitive privacy information in order to comply with legal concerns, and would have automatically identified potential threats. The sources of the data for this program would have included “massive phone and e-mail data,” but the extent of this information is not clear. Only once a threat was discovered, would the data be decrypted for analysis by agents.[11]

ThinThread would have bundled together four cutting-edge surveillance tools.:[citation needed]

  • Used more sophisticated methods of sorting through massive phone and e-mail data to identify suspect communications.
  • Identified U.S. phone numbers and other communications data and encrypted them to ensure caller privacy.
  • Employed an automated auditing system to monitor how analysts handled the information, in order to prevent misuse and improve efficiency.
  • Analyzed the data to identify relationships between callers and chronicle their contacts. Only when evidence of a potential threat had been developed would analysts be able to request decryption of the records.

Intelligence experts describe as rigorous testing of ThinThread in 1998, the project succeeded at each task with high marks. For example, its ability to sort through massive amounts of data to find threat-related communications far surpassed the existing system. It also was able to rapidly separate and encrypt U.S.-related communications to ensure privacy.[1]

The Pentagon report concluded that ThinThread’s ability to sort through data in 2001 was far superior to that of another NSA system in place in 2004, and that the program should be launched and enhanced. ThinThread was designed to address two key challenges: One, the NSA had more information than it could digest, and, two, increasingly its targets were in contact with people in the United States whose calls the agency was prohibited from monitoring.[citation needed]

Trailblazer Project had more political support internally because it was initiated by Michael Hayden when he first arrived at the NSA.[citation needed]

NSA’s existing system for data-sorting has produced a database clogged with corrupted and useless information. The mass collection of relatively unsorted data, combined with system flaws erroneously flag people as suspect, has produced numerous false leads, draining analyst resources. NSA leads have resulted in numerous dead ends.[citation needed]

NSA dropped the component that monitored for abuse of records. It not only tracked the use of the database, but hunted for the most effective analysis techniques, and some analysts thought it would be used to judge their performance. Within the NSA, the primary advocate for the ThinThread program was Richard Taylor. Taylor has retired from the NSA. The strength of ThinThread’s approach is that by encrypting information on Americans, it is legal regardless of whether the country is at war.[citation needed]

ThinThread “was designed very carefully from a legal point of view, so that even in non-wartime, you could have done it legitimately.”[12]

End of the project

The project was ended after successful testing by General Michael Hayden, and while the privacy elements were not retained, the analysis technology is reported to be the underlying basis of current NSA analysis techniques.

“They basically just disabled the [privacy] safeguards.”[11] [That quote does not appear in the link]

Some anonymous NSA officials told Hosenball of Newsweek that the ThinThread program, like Trailblazer, was a “wasteful failure”.[6]

Drake was interviewed on The Daily Show on August 6, 2012 about his charges and the program with his lawyer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThinThread

Trailblazer

Trailblazer was a United States National Security Agency (NSA) program intended to develop a capability to analyze data carried on communications networks like the Internet. It was intended to track entities using communication methods such as cell phones and e-mail.[1][2] It ran over budget, failed to accomplish critical goals, and was cancelled.

NSA whistleblowers J. Kirk Wiebe, William Binney, Ed Loomis, and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffer Diane Roark complained to the Department of Defense’s Inspector General (IG) about waste, fraud, and abuse in the program, and the fact that a successful operating prototype existed, but was ignored when the Trailblazer program was launched. The complaint was accepted by the IG and an investigation began that lasted until mid-2005 when the final results were issued. The results were largely hidden, as the report given to the public was heavily (90%) redacted, while the original report was heavily classified, thus restricting the ability of most people to see it.

The people who filed the IG complaint were later raided by armed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. While the Government threatened to prosecute all who signed the IG report, it ultimately chose to pursue an NSA Senior Executive — Thomas Andrews Drake — who helped with the report internally to NSA and who had spoken with a reporter about the project. Drake was later charged under the Espionage Act of 1917. His defenders claimed this was retaliation.[3][4] The charges against him were later dropped, and he agreed to plead guilty to having committed a misdemeanor under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, something that Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project (which helped represent him) called an “act of civil disobedience“.[5]

Background

Trailblazer was chosen over a similar program named ThinThread, a less costly project which had been designed with built-in privacy protections for United States citizens.[4][3] Trailblazer was later linked to the NSA electronic surveillance program and the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy.[3]

In 2002 a consortium led by Science Applications International Corporation was chosen by the NSA to produce a technology demonstration platform in a contract worth $280 million. Project participants included Boeing, Computer Sciences Corporation, and Booz Allen Hamilton. The project was overseen by NSA Deputy Director William B. Black, Jr., an NSA worker who had gone to SAIC, and then been re-hired back to NSA by NSA director Michael Hayden in 2000.[6][7][8] SAIC had also hired a former NSA director to its management; Bobby Inman.[9] SAIC also participated in the concept definition phase of Trailblazer.[10][11]

Redacted version of the DoD Inspector General audit, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Project on Government Oversight and others. [12][5]

The NSA Inspector General issued a report on Trailblazer that “discussed improperly based contract cost increases, non-conformance in the management of the Statement of Work, and excessive labor rates for contractor personnel.” [13]

In 2004 the DoD IG report criticized the program (see the Whistleblowing section below). It said that the “NSA ‘disregarded solutions to urgent national security needs'” and “that TRAILBLAZER was poorly executed and overly expensive …” Several contractors for the project were worried about cooperating with DoD’s audit for fear of “management reprisal.”[5] The Director of NSA “nonconcurred” with several statements in the IG audit, and the report contains a discussion of those disagreements.[14]

In 2005, NSA director Michael Hayden told a Senate hearing that the Trailblazer program was several hundred million dollars over budget and years behind schedule.[15] In 2006 the program was shut down,[3] after having cost billions of US Dollars.[16] Several anonymous NSA sources told Hosenball of Newsweek later on that the project was a “wasteful failure”.[17]

The new project replacing Trailblazer is called Turbulence.[3]

Whistleblowing

According to a 2011 New Yorker article, in the early days of the project several NSA employees met with Diane S Roark, an NSA budget expert on the House Intelligence Committee. They aired their grievances about Trailblazer. In response, NSA director Michael Hayden sent out a memo saying that “individuals, in a session with our congressional overseers, took a position in direct opposition to one that we had corporately decided to follow … Actions contrary to our decisions will have a serious adverse effect on our efforts to transform N.S.A., and I cannot tolerate them.”[3]

In September 2002, several people filed a complaint with the Department of Defense IG’s office regarding problems with Trailblazer: they included Roark (aforementioned), ex-NSA senior analysts Bill Binney, Kirk Wiebe, and Senior Computer Systems Analyst Ed Loomis, who had quit the agency over concerns about its mismanagement of acquisition and allegedly illegal domestic spying.[3][18][19] A major source for the report was NSA senior officer Thomas Andrews Drake. Drake had been complaining to his superiors for some time about problems at the agency, and about the superiority of ThinThread over Trailblazer, for example, at protecting privacy.[19] Drake gave info to DoD during its investigation of the matter.[19] Roark also went to her boss at the House committee, Porter Goss, about problems, but was rebuffed.[20] She also attempted to contact William Renquist, the Supreme Court Chief Justice at the time.[19]

Drake’s own boss, Maureen Baginski, the third-highest officer at NSA, quit partly over concerns about the legality of its behavior.[3]

In 2003, the NSA IG (not the DoD IG)[19] had declared Trailblazer an expensive failure.[21] It had cost more than $1 billion.[8][22][23]

In 2005, the DoD IG produced a report on the result of its investigation of the complaint of Roark and the others in 2002. This report was not released to the public, but it has been described as very negative.[18] Mayer writes that it hastened the closure of Trailblazer, which was at the time in trouble from congress for being over budget.[3]

In November 2005, Drake contacted Siobhan Gorman, a reporter of The Baltimore Sun.[24][17][25] Gorman wrote several articles about problems at the NSA, including articles on Trailblazer. This series got her an award from the Society of Professional Journalists.[17]

In 2005, President George W. Bush ordered the FBI to find whoever had disclosed information about the NSA electronic surveillance program and its disclosure in the New York Times. Eventually, this investigation led to the people who had filed the 2002 DoD IG request, even though they had nothing to do with the New York Times disclosure. In 2007, the houses of Roark, Binney, and Wiebe were raided by armed FBI agents. According to Mayer, Binney claims the FBI pointed guns at his head and that of his wife. Wiebe said it reminded him of the Soviet Union.[3][18] None of these people were ever charged with any crime. Four months later, Drake was raided in November 2007 and his computers and documents were confiscated.

In 2010 Drake was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges of obstructing justice, providing false information, and violating the Espionage Act of 1917,[17][26][27] part of President Barack Obama‘s crackdown on whistleblowers and “leakers”.[24][17][28][18] The government tried to get Roark to testify to a conspiracy, and made similar requests to Drake, offering him a plea bargain. They both refused.[3]

In June 2011, the ten original charges against Drake were dropped, instead he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.[5]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trailblazer_Project

ECHELON

ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA Security Agreement[1] (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, referred to by a number of abbreviations, including AUSCANNZUKUS[1] and Five Eyes).[2][3] It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications.[4]

ECHELON, according to information in the European Parliament document, “On the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system)” was created to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War in the early 1960s.[5]

The system has been reported in a number of public sources.[6] Its capabilities and political implications were investigated by a committee of the European Parliament during 2000 and 2001 with a report published in 2001,[5] and by author James Bamford in his books on the National Security Agency of the United States.[4] The European Parliament stated in its report that the term ECHELON is used in a number of contexts, but that the evidence presented indicates that it was the name for a signals intelligence collection system. The report concludes that, on the basis of information presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks (which once carried most Internet traffic) and microwave links.[5]

Bamford describes the system as the software controlling the collection and distribution of civilian telecommunications traffic conveyed using communication satellites, with the collection being undertaken by ground stations located in the footprint of the downlink leg.

Organization

UKUSA Community
Map of UKUSA Community countries with Ireland

Australia
Canada
New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States of America

The UKUSA intelligence community was assessed by the European Parliament (EP) in 2000 to include the signals intelligence agencies of each of the member states:

The EP report concluded that it seemed likely that ECHELON is a method of sorting captured signal traffic, rather than a comprehensive analysis tool.[5]

Capabilities

The ability to intercept communications depends on the medium used, be it radio, satellite, microwave, cellular or fiber-optic.[5] During World War II and through the 1950s, high frequency (“short wave”) radio was widely used for military and diplomatic communication,[7] and could be intercepted at great distances.[5] The rise of geostationary communications satellites in the 1960s presented new possibilities for intercepting international communications. The report to the European Parliament of 2001 states: “If UKUSA states operate listening stations in the relevant regions of the earth, in principle they can intercept all telephone, fax and data traffic transmitted via such satellites.”[5]

The role of satellites in point-to-point voice and data communications has largely been supplanted by fiber optics; in 2006, 99% of the world’s long-distance voice and data traffic was carried over optical-fiber.[8] The proportion of international communications accounted for by satellite links is said to have decreased substantially over the past few years[when?] in Central Europe to an amount between 0.4% and 5%.[5] Even in less-developed parts of the world, communications satellites are used largely for point-to-multipoint applications, such as video.[9] Thus, the majority of communications can no longer be intercepted by earth stations; they can only be collected by tapping cables and intercepting line-of-sight microwave signals, which is possible only to a limited extent.[5]

One method of interception is to place equipment at locations where fiber optic communications are switched. For the Internet, much of the switching occurs at relatively few sites. There have been reports of one such intercept site, Room 641A, in the United States. In the past[when?] much Internet traffic was routed through the U.S. and the UK, but this has changed; for example, in 2000, 95% of intra-German Internet communications was routed via the DE-CIX Internet exchange point in Frankfurt.[5] A comprehensive worldwide surveillance network is possible only if clandestine intercept sites are installed in the territory of friendly nations, and/or if local authorities cooperate. The report to the European Parliament points out that interception of private communications by foreign intelligence services is not necessarily limited to the U.S. or British foreign intelligence services.[5]

Most reports on ECHELON focus on satellite interception; testimony before the European Parliament indicated that separate but similar UK-US systems are in place to monitor communication through undersea cables, microwave transmissions and other lines.[10]

Controversy

Intelligence monitoring of citizens, and their communications, in the area covered by the AUSCANNZUKUS security agreement has caused concern. British journalist Duncan Campbell and New Zealand journalist Nicky Hager asserted in the 1990s that the United States was exploiting ECHELON traffic for industrial espionage, rather than military and diplomatic purposes.[10] Examples alleged by the journalists include the gear-less wind turbine technology designed by the German firm Enercon[5][11] and the speech technology developed by the Belgian firm Lernout & Hauspie.[12] An article in the US newspaper Baltimore Sun reported in 1995 that European aerospace company Airbus lost a $6 billion contract with Saudi Arabia in 1994 after the US National Security Agency reported that Airbus officials had been bribing Saudi officials to secure the contract.[13][14]

In 2001, the Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System recommended to the European Parliament that citizens of member states routinely use cryptography in their communications to protect their privacy, because economic espionage with ECHELON has been conducted by the US intelligence agencies.[5]

Bamford provides an alternative view, highlighting that legislation prohibits the use of intercepted communications for commercial purposes, although he does not elaborate on how intercepted communications are used as part of an all-source intelligence process.

Hardware

According to its website, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is “a high technology organization … on the frontiers of communications and data processing”. In 1999 the Australian Senate Joint Standing Committee on Treaties was told by Professor Desmond Ball that the Pine Gap facility was used as a ground station for a satellite-based interception network. The satellites were said to be large radio dishes between 20 and 100 meters in diameter in geostationary orbits.[citation needed] The original purpose of the network was to monitor the telemetry from 1970s Soviet weapons, air defence radar, communications satellites and ground based microwave communications.[15]

Name

The European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System stated: “It seems likely, in view of the evidence and the consistent pattern of statements from a very wide range of individuals and organisations, including American sources, that its name is in fact ECHELON, although this is a relatively minor detail.”[5] The U.S. intelligence community uses many code names (see, for example, CIA cryptonym).

Former NSA employee Margaret Newsham claims that she worked on the configuration and installation of software that makes up the ECHELON system while employed at Lockheed Martin, for whom she worked from 1974 to 1984 in Sunnyvale, California, US, and in Menwith Hill, England, UK.[16] At that time, according to Newsham, the code name ECHELON was NSA’s term for the computer network itself. Lockheed called it P415. The software programs were called SILKWORTH and SIRE. A satellite named VORTEX intercepted communications. An image available on the internet of a fragment apparently torn from a job description shows Echelon listed along with several other code names.[17]

Ground stations

The 2001 European Parliamentary (EP) report[5] lists several ground stations as possibly belonging to, or participating in, the ECHELON network. These include:

Likely satellite intercept stations

The following stations are listed in the EP report (p. 54 ff) as likely to have, or to have had, a role in intercepting transmissions from telecommunications satellites:

Other potentially related stations

The following stations are listed in the EP report (p. 57 ff) as ones whose roles “cannot be clearly established”:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON

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Paul Ryan CPAC 2011 Speech–Videos

Posted on February 13, 2011. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Talk Radio, Taxes, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , |

CPAC: Rep. Paul Ryan Speech(1)

 

CPAC: Rep. Paul Ryan Speech(2)

 

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Federal Judge Vinson Rules Obamacare Unconstitutional–Videos

Posted on January 31, 2011. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Medicine, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Security, Taxes, Technology, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

“I can only say that while I have considered the preservation of the constitutional power of the General Government to be the foundation of our peace and safety at home and abroad, I yet believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people, not only essential to the adjustment and balance of the general system, but the safeguard to the continuance of a free government. I consider it as the chief source of stability to our political system, whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.”

~General Robert E. Lee

 

“Every step which leads from capitalism toward planning is necessarily a step nearer to absolutism and dictatorship.”

“What vitiates entirely the socialists economic critique of capitalism is their failure to grasp the sovereignty of the consumers in the market economy.”

~Ludwig von Mises’

Text of Judge Vinson’s Decision

http://www.scribd.com/doc/47905280/vinsonruling1-31-11

Florida Judge Rules Health Care Law Is Unconstitutional

Obamacare Declared Unconstitutional by Federal Judge

 

Why Obamacare Was Ruled Unconstitutional

 

Ron Paul Exposes Obamacare on Freedom Watch

A big fail.

President Obama can kiss his legacy good-bye and his second term in office.

How sweet it is!

Judge uses Obama’s words against him

By Stephen Dinan

The Washington Times

“…Judge Vinson, a federal judge in the northern district of Florida, struck down the entire health care law as unconstitutional on Monday, though he is allowing the Obama administration to continue to implement and enforce it while the government appeals his ruling.

The footnote was attached to the most critical part of Judge Vinson‘s ruling, in which he said the “principal dispute” in the case was not whether Congress has the power to tackle health care, but whether it has the power to compel the purchase of insurance.

Judge Vinson used Mr. Obama‘s campaign words from an interview with CNN to show that there are other options that could fall within the Constitution — including then-candidate Obama‘s plan.

During the presidential campaign, one key difference between Mr. Obama and his chief opponent, then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, was Mrs. Clinton‘s plan required all Americans to purchase insurance, and Mr. Obama‘s did not.

In the heat of the primaries in 2008, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman predicted Mr. Obama‘s opposition to an individual mandate could come back to haunt him: “If Mr. Obama gets to the White House and tries to achieve universal coverage, he’ll find that it can’t be done without mandates — but if he tries to institute mandates, the enemies of reform will use his own words against him.”

Mr. Obama has since defended the constitutionality of the individual mandate, arguing it’s the linchpin of the program to bring in more customers, which is key to expanding the availability and affordability of insurance. …”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/31/judge-uses-obamas-words-against-him/ 

 

 

BREAKING: Federal judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional

“…The full text of the decision from Federal Judge Roger Vinson is not available yet, but according to reporters who’ve seen the decision, he’s ruled the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. The ruling favors of the 26 state attorney generals challenging the law. The judge ruled the individual mandate that requires all Americans to purchase health insurance invalid and, according to the decision, “because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void.”


Background Articles and Videos

Health Care Bill aka Obamacare Ruled Unconstitutional By Judge

 

Judge Rules Obamacare Unconstitutional(?)

 

Newt Gingrich says Obamacare dealt a tremendous blow

 

Federal Judge Strikes Down Obamacare Mandate

 

PBS: Virginia vs. ObamaCare; the judge’s ruling (pt. 1)

PBS: Virginia vs. ObamaCare; the judge’s ruling (pt. 2)

 

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Bill of Rights–You Have No Rights!

Posted on September 11, 2009. Filed under: Blogroll, Crime, Economics, Education, Employment, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Medicine, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Science, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , |

You Have No Rights

Japanese Relocation – U.S. Gov’t Explanation 1942 (Japanese Internment Camps)

 

Future Fright: Losing the Bill of Rights part 1

 

Future Fright: Losing the Bill of Rights Part 2

 

Future Fright: Losing the Bill of Rights Part 3

 

Future Fright: Losing the Bill of Rights Part 4

 

Future Fright: Losing the Bill of Rights Part 5

 

Future Fright: Losing the Bill of Rights Part 6

 

Future Fright: Losing the Bill of Rights Part 7

 

Background Aticles and Videos

 

FDR Fireside Chat. 2nd Bill of Rights

 

 

Bill of Rights

“..bill of rights is a list of the rights that are considered important and essential by a nation. The purpose of these bills is to protect those rights against infringement by the government. The term “bill of rights” originates from Britain, where it referred to a bill that was passed by Parliament in 1689.

An entrenched bill of rights exists as a separate instrument that falls outside of the normal jurisdiction of a country’s legislative body. In many governments, an official legal bill of rights recognized in principle holds more authority than the legislative bodies alone. A bill of rights, on the other hand, may be weakened by subsequent acts passed by government, and they do not need an approval by vote to alter it.

An unentrenched bill of rights exists as a separate act that is presented by a legislative body. As such it can be changed or repealed by the body that created it. It is not as permanent as a constitutional bill of rights. A constitutional bill cannot be changed except with the approval of that country’s voting public.

In other jurisdictions, the definition of rights may be statutory. In other words, it may be repealed just like any other law, and does not necessarily have greater weight than other laws. Not every jurisdiction enforces the protection of the rights articulated in its bill of rights.

Australia is the only Western country with neither a constitutional nor legislative bill of rights, although there is ongoing debate in many of Australia’s states. Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) are the only regions of the nation’s states to have a human rights bill. …”

United States Bill of Rights

“…In the United States, the Bill of Rights is the name by which the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known.[1] They were introduced by James Madison to the First United States Congress in 1789 as a series of articles, and came into effect on December 15, 1791, when they had been ratified by three-fourths of the States. Thomas Jefferson was a proponent of the Bill of Rights.[2]

The Bill of Rights prohibits Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, forbids infringement of “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms…”, and prohibits the federal government from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. In federal criminal cases, it requires indictment by grand jury for any capital or “infamous crime”, guarantees a speedy public trial with an impartial jury composed of members of the state or judicial district in which the crime occurred, and prohibits double jeopardy. In addition, the Bill of Rights states that “the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,”[3] and reserves all powers not granted to the federal government to the citizenry or States. Most of these restrictions were later applied to the states by a series of decisions applying the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868, after the American Civil War.

Madison proposed the Bill of Rights while ideological conflict between Federalists and anti-Federalists, dating from the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, threatened the overall ratification of the new national Constitution. It largely responded to the Constitution’s influential opponents, including prominent Founding Fathers, who argued that the Constitution should not be ratified because it failed to protect the basic principles of human liberty. The Bill was influenced by George Mason’s 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, the 1689 English Bill of Rights, works of the Age of Enlightenment pertaining to natural rights, and earlier English political documents such as Magna Carta (1215).

Two additional articles were proposed to the States; only the final ten articles were ratified quickly and correspond to the First through Tenth Amendments to the Constitution. The first Article, dealing with the number and apportionment of U.S. Representatives, never became part of the Constitution. The second Article, limiting the ability of Congress to increase the salaries of its members, was ratified two centuries later as the 27th Amendment. Though they are incorporated into the document known as the “Bill of Rights”, neither article establishes a right as that term is used today. For that reason, and also because the term had been applied to the first ten amendments long before the 27th Amendment was ratified, the term “Bill of Rights” in modern U.S. usage means only the ten amendments ratified in 1791.

The Bill of Rights plays a central role in American law and government, and remains a fundamental symbol of the freedoms and culture of the nation. One of the original fourteen copies of the Bill of Rights is on public display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

 

Second Bill of Rights

“…The Second Bill of Rights was a proposal made by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944 to suggest that the nation had come to recognize, and should now implement, a second bill of rights. Roosevelt did not argue for any change to the United States Constitution; he argued that the second bill of rights was to be implemented politically, not by federal judges. Roosevelt’s stated justification was that the “political rights” guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had “proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.” Roosevelt’s remedy was to create an “economic bill of rights” which would guarantee:

A job with a living wage
Freedom from unfair competition and monopolies
A home
Medical care
Education
Recreation
Roosevelt stated that having these rights would guarantee American security, and that America’s place in the world depended upon how far these and similar rights had been carried into practice. …”

Second Bill of Rights

“…Excerpt from President Roosevelt’s January 11, 1944 message to the Congress of the United States on the State of the Union[1]:

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights

 

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