Our man on the spot IX – by SPE

Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

DNA files include victims and suspects

(N.Y. Times, June 13, 2013, Joseph Goldstein)

“[What’s] so profoundly disturbing – that you would provide DNA to the police to clear yourself (of being a premeditated victim?!) and then once cleared, the police use it to investigate you for, other crimes and retain it indefinitely,” said Stephen B. Mercer, a Maryland public defender.

For whites more deaths than births

(N.Y. Times – National, June 13, 2013, Sam Roberts)

“Deaths exceeded births among non-Hispanic White Americans for the first time in at least a century…coupled with the fact that a majority of births in the United States are now to Hispanic, Black and Asian mothers, is further evidence that White Americans will become a minority nationwide within about three decades.”

Photo of cormorant courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo of cormorant courtesy of Wikipedia.

Fish nets kill birds

(N.Y. Times, Michael Wines, June 13, 2013)

Fishing vessels that deploy gill nets snare and drown at least 400,000 seabirds every year. “It’s quite startling,” said Dr. Cleo Small. “In Japan, for example some populations have already been extirpated on islands.”

Sensenbrenner says

Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin (NPR-June 13) said the FISA Court judge who authorized the dragnet SURVEILLANCE OF PHONE RECORDS did not understand section 15 of The Patriot Act, which he helped draft as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, which specifically prohibited dragnet trolling for phone record or internet traffic!

Out from behind the camera and out of the country

(N.Y. Times, June 15, 2013)

Awards Night Ceremony - 2011 Sundance Film FestivalLaura Poitras (The film-maker of the Snowden interview about NSA surveillance) who won a Genius Grant from the MacArthur Foundation, last year and was nominated for an Oscar for My Country, was already living and working outside the country. After six years of being questioned at the border – upwards of 40 times, probably more, she lost count – and having her laptop seized and her notes copied, she relocated to Europe.”

Joe Nocera who knows

(N.Y. Times, June 15, 2013)


Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

“…This has become one of the trademarks of the Obama administration- decries human rights abuses abroad, but holds men in prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who have never been accused of a crime. Say all the right things about freedom of the press – even as they are subpoenaing reporter’s phone records.”

Bees pollinating food crops could charge $200 billion a year

(N.Y. Times Op-Ed, Marielle Anzelone)

“A study published early this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that bumblebees preferred to forage at sites with a greater of variety plants and more floral choices – they would like our landscapes to look more like diverse natural meadows than single – species farm fields.”

Too poor to warrant aid

(N.Y. Times, May 25, 2013)

Those states that by the Supreme Court ruling chose not? Medicaid eligibility they will be told says Bee Moorhead in one of the states, Texas, “If only you had a little more money, you could get insurance subsides, but because you are so poor, you cannot get anything.”

Smart phone theft so easy manufacturers encourage it

(San Francisco Chronicle, June 5, 2013)

“Cell phone theft rose 40% in New York and other big cities in 2012. George Gascon, S.F. district attorney says the rise could be reversed if manufacturers installed kill switches but have suggested that manufacturers have an economic incentive not to add kill switches, as people who lose their phones to thieves have to replace the devices (millions of Americans had smart phones stolen in 2012).”


Photo of Lorenzo Adamson center.

Cop racially profiled during traffic stop

(S.F. Chronicle, June 5, 2013)

“Are you on probation or parole?” The question asked S.F. police officer Lorenzo Adamson who was arrested during a traffic stop – (Adamson’s attorney) said Adamson was being racially profiled: “That’s not the question you should ask. You should ask for my driver’s license, my registration, and my insurance,” Adamson told the arresting officer. The officer ordered Adamson out of the car. Soon…two rookie officers who were in training, struck Adamson (a 15-year veteran of the force who is on disability leave) put him in a choke hold… arresting him on suspicion of resisting police.”

As to expanded government surveillance

Photo of Charles Blow courtesy of the N.Y. Times and photographer Damon Winter.

Photo of Charles Blow courtesy of the N.Y. Times and photographer Damon Winter.

(N.Y. Times June 8, Charles Blow)

“Furthermore, the fact that this administration has continued or even expanded the practices begun under the Bush administration is beyond unsettling and so far down the slippery slope that I can see the darkness of the valley.”

Armed robots on demand

(Times International, May 31, 2013)

“A United Nations expert called…for a global moratorium on the testing, production and use of armed robots that can select and kill targets without human command.”

“Some states active in developing such weapons have committed to not deploy them for the foreseeable future… (However) Mr. Heyns said, ‘It is clear that very strong forces, including technology and budgets, are pushing in the opposite direction.’”

Let’s talk body scanners

(N.Y. Times, editorial page, letters, June 5, 2013)

“Most of the public’s concern with T.S.A.’s screening equipment has been focused on privacy issues. If more Americans voiced concern about radiation exposure and put pressure on their elected officials, the agency might be forced to discontinue its use of machines in favor of safer technologies. That would reduce the risk for both the public and the workers.”

– J. David Cox Sr. National President, American Federation of Government Employees

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