Capdiamont\’s Weblog


Save the Drakes Bay Oyster Co
Sunday 9 Dec 2012, 09:24
Filed under: Marin | Tags: , , , , ,

There is an insanity to the decision to not renew the lease. Forty percent of the oysters in California are produced there. Thirty jobs. Yet in the same decision the ranches are allowed to stay in this “pristine” area. Yes they should stay, but so should the oyster business. Even the creators of the original bill stated it was never the intent to close down these businesses. Oysters filter the water and make it cleaner. Yet though a convoluted process aided by junk science, the decision was to not allow the renewal of their lease. The aftermath is importing of oysters in to the area using planes according to one retail shop. That does not strike me as very environmental. The other thing to consider is existing oyster beds are under threat due to pollution and acidification.

Please sign the petition to save this important part of California. As of today there is 3k signers.

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In Warrantless Wiretapping Case, Obama DOJ’s New Arguments Are Worse Than Bush’s | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Thursday 9 Apr 2009, 04:53
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

In Warrantless Wiretapping Case, Obama DOJ’s New Arguments Are Worse Than Bush’s | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

We had hoped this would go differently.

Friday evening, in a motion to dismiss Jewel v. NSA, EFF’s litigation against the National Security Agency for the warrantless wiretapping of countless Americans, the Obama Administration’s made two deeply troubling arguments.

First, they argued, exactly as the Bush Administration did on countless occasions, that the state secrets privilege requires the court to dismiss the issue out of hand. They argue that simply allowing the case to continue “would cause exceptionally grave harm to national security.” As in the past, this is a blatant ploy to dismiss the litigation without allowing the courts to consider the evidence.

It’s an especially disappointing argument to hear from the Obama Administration. As a candidate, Senator Obama lamented that the Bush Administration “invoked a legal tool known as the ‘state secrets’ privilege more than any other previous administration to get cases thrown out of civil court.” He was right then, and we’re dismayed that he and his team seem to have forgotten.

Sad as that is, it’s the Department Of Justice’s second argument that is the most pernicious. The DOJ claims that the U.S. Government is completely immune from litigation for illegal spying — that the Government can never be sued for surveillance that violates federal privacy statutes.

This is a radical assertion that is utterly unprecedented. No one — not the White House, not the Justice Department, not any member of Congress, and not the Bush Administration — has ever interpreted the law this way.

Previously, the Bush Administration has argued that the U.S. possesses “sovereign immunity” from suit for conducting electronic surveillance that violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). However, FISA is only one of several laws that restrict the government’s ability to wiretap. The Obama Administration goes two steps further than Bush did, and claims that the US PATRIOT Act also renders the U.S. immune from suit under the two remaining key federal surveillance laws: the Wiretap Act and the Stored Communications Act. Essentially, the Obama Adminstration has claimed that the government cannot be held accountable for illegal surveillance under any federal statutes.

Again, the gulf between Candidate Obama and President Obama is striking. As a candidate, Obama ran promising a new era of government transparency and accountability, an end to the Bush DOJ’s radical theories of executive power, and reform of the PATRIOT Act. But, this week, Obama’s own Department Of Justice has argued that, under the PATRIOT Act, the government shall be entirely unaccountable for surveilling Americans in violation of its own laws.

This isn’t change we can believe in. This is change for the worse.



Washington Post: Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations
Tuesday 4 Nov 2008, 12:29
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor’s identity, campaign officials confirmed.

Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited.

The Obama organization said its extensive review has ensured that the campaign has refunded any improper contributions, and noted that Federal Election Commission rules do not require front-end screening of donations.

In recent weeks, questionable contributions have created headaches for Obama’s accounting team as it has tried to explain why campaign finance filings have included itemized donations from individuals using fake names, such as Es Esh or Doodad Pro. Those revelations prompted conservative bloggers to further test Obama’s finance vetting by giving money using the kind of prepaid cards that can be bought at a drugstore and cannot be traced to a donor.

The problem with such cards, campaign finance lawyers said, is that they make it impossible to tell whether foreign nationals, donors who have exceeded the limits, government contractors or others who are barred from giving to a federal campaign are making contributions.

How do you refund such donations? Maybe the whole point is to show that you’ve rasised X amount of money?

The Obama team’s disclosures came in response to questions from The Washington Post about the case of Mary T. Biskup, a retired insurance manager from Manchester, Mo., who turned up on Obama’s FEC reports as having donated $174,800 to the campaign. Contributors are limited to giving $2,300 for the general election.

Biskup, who had scores of Obama contributions attributed to her, said in an interview that she never donated to the candidate. “That’s an error,” she said. Moreover, she added, her credit card was never billed for the donations, meaning someone appropriated her name and made the contributions with another card.

So now stolen ID is ok with Obama?



AP: Obama aunt from Kenya living illegally in US
Saturday 1 Nov 2008, 11:40
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama’s aunt, a Kenyan woman who has been quietly living in public housing in Boston, is in the United States illegally after an immigration judge rejected her request for asylum four years ago, The Associated Press has learned.

Yet is donating to his campaign.

According to Federal Election Commission documents filed by the Obama campaign, Onyango has contributed $260 to Obama over a period of time. Under federal election law, only U.S. citizens or green-card holders are legally permitted to give money to campaigns. Onyango, who listed her employer as the Boston Housing Authority, gave in small increments to the Obama campaign. Her latest contribution was $5 on Sept. 19.




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