Friday, May 29, 2015

Efforts to Stop Extention of the Patriot Act...

Kudos to All Participating Websites
Thousands of websites are blocking Congress’s access to their sites in a show of force to protest the Patriot Act.

Led by the online activist group Fight for the Future, more than 10,000 sites have added code that redirects any visitors from Internet protocol (IP) addresses from Congress away from their site and towards a protest page.


“Congress: This is a blackout,” the site reads. “We are blocking your access until you end mass surveillance laws.”

Instead of renewing or reforming the three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act, the activist group wants Congress to let them expire.

“The real answer is to end all authorities used to conduct mass surveillance,” Fight for the Future says on the protest page. “Until you do, thousands of websites have blocked your access, and more are joining every day.”
Hat Tip THE HILL.

Should Illegal Immigrants (or undocumented immigrants in PC speak) be Afforded the Right to Vote?...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth


We should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us he shall be treated on an exact equality with every one else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed or birth-place or origin.

But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. . . We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding-house; and we have room for but one soul loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.

Theodore Roosevelt

There are those who think surveys are fleeting and really don't accurately reflect political reality. This may or may not be so. But they do reflect attitudes and changing attitudes over time result in policy decisions that affect the nation. The following Rasmussen Survey, if even close to accurate is deeply troubling. Troubling for what this site believes are obvious reasons. We hope the survey is but a political tool whose purpose it is to stir right wing angst in order to insure conservative congressional domination. For this reason we are especially interested in our liberal/progressive readerships viewpoint on this subject.

Are voters ready to let illegal immigrants vote? A sizable number, including most Democrats, are.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that one-out-of-three Likely U.S. Voters (35%) now believes that illegal immigrants should be allowed to vote if they can prove they live in this country and pay taxes. Sixty percent (60%) disagree, while five percent (5%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-three percent (53%) of Democrats think tax-paying illegal immigrants should have the right to vote. Twenty-one percent (21%) of Republicans and 30% of voters not affiliated with either major political party agree.

Continue reading full survey BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Another Gallop Survey Shows American's Moving Leftward On Moral Issues...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth


PRINCETON, N.J. -- Americans are more likely now than in the early 2000s to find a variety of behaviors morally acceptable, including gay and lesbian relations, having a baby outside of marriage and sex between an unmarried man and woman. Moral acceptability of many of these issues is now at a record-high level.

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The upward progression in the percentage of Americans seeing these issues as morally acceptable has varied from year to year, but the overall trend clearly points toward a higher level of acceptance of a number of behaviors. In fact, the moral acceptability ratings for 10 of the issues measured since the early 2000s are at record highs.

Americans have become less likely to say that two issues are morally acceptable: the death penalty and medical testing on animals. But Americans' decreased acceptance of these practices actually moves them in a more liberal direction.

These results reflect the same type of shift evident in the public's self-reported ideology on "social issues." More Americans now rate themselves as socially liberal than at any point in Gallup's 16-year trend, and for the first time, as many say they are liberal on social issues as say they are conservative.

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Implications

Americans are becoming more liberal on social issues, as evidenced not only by the uptick in the percentage describing themselves as socially liberal, but also by their increasing willingness to say that a number of previously frowned-upon behaviors are morally acceptable. The biggest leftward shift over the past 14 years has been in attitudes toward gay and lesbian relations, from only a minority of Americans finding it morally acceptable to a clear majority finding it acceptable.

The moral acceptability of issues related to sexual relations has also increased, including having a baby outside of wedlock -- something that in previous eras was a social taboo. Americans are more likely to find divorce morally acceptable, and have also loosened up on their views of polygamy, although this latter behavior is still seen as acceptable by only a small minority.

This liberalization of attitudes toward moral issues is part of a complex set of factors affecting the social and cultural fabric of the U.S. Regardless of the factors causing the shifts, the trend toward a more liberal view on moral behaviors will certainly have implications for such fundamental social institutions as marriage, the environment in which children are raised and the economy. The shifts could also have a significant effect on politics, with candidates whose positioning is based on holding firm views on certain issues having to grapple with a voting population that, as a whole, is significantly less likely to agree with conservative positions than it might have been in the past.




As America moves ever more leftward on moral (social) issues and issues of equality the religious fundamentalists (as shown by Marco Rubio) become ever more fervent in their effort to push their beliefs on secular society. Often fundamentalists advocate forcing their brand of morality on us all by force of law. As evidenced above America is gradually yet surely moving away from the anility of past eras.

For the purpose of clarity and so there can be no false accusations this site does not advocate for or support several of the noted behaviors above. Should anyone have any questions on which ones they are ASK. Do not ASSUME.

For related commentary be sure to read Captain Fogg's article in today's publication of The Swash Zone.

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Criminals Hack IRS, Gain Personal Information On 100,000 Taxpayers...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth


Associated Press - Sophisticated criminals used an online service run by the IRS to access personal tax information from more than 100,000 taxpayers, part an elaborate scheme to steal identities and claim fraudulent tax refunds, the IRS said Tuesday.

The thieves accessed a system called "Get Transcript," where taxpayers can get tax returns and other filings from previous years. In order to access the information, the thieves cleared a security screen that required knowledge about the taxpayer, including Social Security number, date of birth, tax filing status and street address, the IRS said.

"We're confident that these are not amateurs," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "These actually are organized crime syndicates that not only we but everybody in the financial industry are dealing with."

Koskinen wouldn't say whether investigators believe the criminals are based overseas — or where they obtained enough personal information about the taxpayers to access their returns. The IRS has launched a criminal investigation. The agency's inspector general is also investigating.

Identity thieves, both foreign and domestic, have stepped up their efforts in recent years to claim fraudulent tax refunds. The agency estimates it paid out $5.8 billion in fraudulent refunds to identity thieves in 2013.

"Eighty percent of the of the identity theft we're dealing with and refund fraud is related to organized crime here and around the world," Koskinen said. "These are extremely sophisticated criminals with access to a tremendous amount of data."

Congress is already pressing the IRS for information about the breach.

"That the IRS — home to highly sensitive information on every single American and every single company doing business here at home — was vulnerable to this attack is simply unacceptable," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. "What's more, this agency has been repeatedly warned by top government watchdogs that its data security systems are inadequate {emphasis mine} against the growing threat of international hackers and data thieves.
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Really gives the citizens and taxpayers a really warm and fuzzy feeling about our government. On the one hand its data mines our phone conversations and intrudes into our private affairs . and on the other it cannot protect us from criminals getting or personal information. NICE. I can see a few law suits a coming and they damn well should!

Via: Memeorandum

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