The Breakfast Club: 6-24-2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone’s welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.

Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Breakfast News


House of Representatives Moves to Ban NSA’s ‘Backdoor Search’ Provision

Surveillance reform gained new congressional momentum as the US House of Representatives unexpectedly and overwhelmingly endorsed stripping a major post-9/11 power from the National Security Agency late Thursday night.

By a substantial and bipartisan margin, 293 to 121, representatives moved to ban the NSA from searching warrantlessly through its troves of ostensibly foreign communications content for Americans’ data, the so-called “backdoor search” provision revealed in August by the Guardianthanks to leaks from Edward Snowden.


How the U.S. Surveillance State Is Absurdly Touting Itself as Pro-Internet Privacy

Over the past year, the United States government has been in the news a lot for its efforts to undermine the Internet’s basic privacy and security protocols.


So with all that in mind, it seems more than a bit hilarious that the U.S. government has just posted its latest annual announcement about “funding for programs that support Internet freedom.” In that dispatch, the U.S. State Department says it is looking to support “technologies that enhance the privacy and security of digital communications” and that are “less susceptible to intrusion or infection.”

Yes, you read that right: The same U.S. government that has been one of the most powerful forces undermining Internet security is now touting itself as a proponent of Internet privacy and security.

Of course, when you are done laughing about this, remember that there may also be other, less funny subtexts to this story.


Ex-CIA Spy: The Open Source Revolution Is Coming and It Will Conquer the 1%

I first came across Steele when I discovered his Amazon review of my third book, The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation and the Anatomy of Terrorism. A voracious reader, Steele is the number 1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction across 98 categories. He also reviewed my latest book, A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization, but told me I’d overlooked an important early work – ‘A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility, Report of the UN High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change.’

Last month, Steele presented a startling paper at the Libtech conference in New York, sponsored by the Internet Society and Reclaim. Drawing on principles set out in his latest book, The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth and Trust, he told the audience that all the major preconditions for revolution – set out in his 1976 graduate thesis – were now present in the United States and Britain.


Huge Propaganda War Going On in Baghdad

Sunni rebels and Iraqi army forces fought for control of Iraq’s largest refinery at Baiji, as Baghdad waited for a US response to its request for airstrikes to hold back the offensive by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis).

The struggle to take the giant refinery has swayed backwards and forwards, with Isis raising its black flag over one tower while the government deployed helicopter gunships. The Iraqi army appears to be holding together better than it did last week, when it lost much of northern Iraq in a few days.

The US Government is linking military assistance with the departure of Nouri al-Maliki as Prime Minister, on the grounds that his policies have provoked the Sunni revolt and that no attempt at national reconciliation will be taken seriously as long as he is in office. Generalised Sunni hostility to Mr Maliki as a sectarian hate figure has enabled Isis to ally itself with seven or eight Sunni militant groups with which it had previously been fighting.


Police Can Just Take Your Money, Car and Other Property – and Good Luck Getting It Back

Alda Gentile was driving back home to New York from Florida, after having viewed condos with her son and grandson ahead of a potential move. She had $11,000 in cash with her, which she brought in order to make a deposit on her new place. As she drove through Georgia, she was stopped for speeding, and upon hearing that she was carrying such a large sum of cash (which is legal, by the way), state troopers questioned her on the side of the road for a total of six hours. In the end she was sent on her way-without the cash, which the officers kept.

Gentile’s case is an extreme example, but such occurrences happen on a smaller, broader scale across the country every year. Civil asset forfeiture is one of those arcane statutes you never hear about until it screws you. It’s a legal fiction spun up hundreds of years ago to give the state the power to convict a person’s property of a crime, or at least, implicate its involvement in the committing of a crime. When that happened, the property was to be legally seized by the state.

That made sense in the 18th century, when the government invoked the law to legally claim loot left behind by pirates who escaped into the blue horizon of the Atlantic. Today, however, the police are the ones who confiscate property, and they’re usually the ones who end up keeping it. The most ridiculous thing about civil asset forfeiture’s modern form is that police use it to confiscate a person’s things even if that person is never convicted of, or even charged with, a crime.


Must Read Blog Posts

The Humanitarian Left


Hellraisers Journal: July 29-August 1 ~~Spirit of Mother Jones Festival~~ Cork Honors Rebel Daughter

by JayRaye

Sunday Train: Improving the Conventional Amtrak California services

by BruceMcF

Demonstrators march in Nassau County for Equal Rights

by rserven

What Happened When 5 Religious Doubters Traveled to One of the Holiest Sites in Christendom

by Marty Kaplan


The Daily Wiki

Heat Index

The heat index (HI) or humiture or humidex (not to be confused with the Canadian humidex) is an index that combines air temperature and relative humidity in an attempt to determine the human-perceived equivalent temperature-how hot it feels. The result is also known as the “felt air temperature” or “apparent temperature”. For example, when the temperature is 32 °C (90 °F) with very high humidity, the heat index can be about 41 °C (106 °F)

The human body normally cools itself by perspiration, or sweating. Heat is removed from the body by evaporation of that sweat. However, relative humidity reduces the evaporation rate because the higher vapor content of the surrounding air does not allow the maximum amount of evaporation from the body to occur. This results in a lower rate of heat removal from the body, hence the sensation of being overheated. This effect is subjective; its measurement has been based on subjective descriptions of how hot subjects feel for a given temperature and humidity. This results in a heat index that relates one combination of temperature and humidity to another one at higher temperature and lower humidity.


Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Blogs are evil. Actually, the blogs aren’t as evil as blog comments. ~Christine Teigen


Breakfast Tunes


Stupid Shit by LaEscapee

People call me a drunk


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  1. I would be happy with a month of days like this: sunny, warm with a cooling breeze and low humidity. Just perfect.

    Our good friend OPOL from the orange sewer has opened the doors to his new web site, Humanitarian Left. We’ve added him to our blog roll under Affiliated Sites here and at Docudharma.

    On to World Cup News

    With yesterday’s 4 games, we are starting to see the knock out stage shape up.

    Australia 0 – Spain 3 (both teams were already eliminated)

    Netherlands 2 – Chile 0

    Brazil 4 – Cameroon 1

    Mexico 3 – Croatia 1

    With Netherlands win against Chile and winning Group B, they will play Mexico play Mexico on June 29.

    On June 28 Chile will face Brazil, who won Group A defeating Cameroon.

    Today matches are all on ESPN at Noon & 4 PM EDT

    12 Noon: Bosnia v Iran

    Nigeria v Argentina

    4 PM: Honduras v Switzerland

    Ecuador v France

    Analysis Groups E & F from the NYT

    Argentina has clinched advancement. It wins the group by beating or tying Nigeria.

    Nigeria advances a) if it ties or beats Argentina; b) if Bosnia-Herzegovina beats or ties Iran c) even in the event of a Nigeria loss and Iran win, if Nigeria wins the tiebreaker between the two. The tiebreaker order is: goal differential; goals scored; head-to-head result; and “drawing of lots.” Nigeria currently has a goal differential of +1 and has scored 1 goal, while Iran has 1 and has not scored. The two teams tied each other, 00. Nigeria wins the group by beating Argentina.

    Iran advances and Iran beats Bosnia in a combination of scores that allows Iran to win the tiebreakers against Nigeria. (See the Nigeria entry, above, for more detail.) Iran cannot win the group.

    Bosnia-Herzegovina has been eliminated.

    Only a stunning turn of events would keep France from finishing first. Most simply, it wins the group by tying or winning its final match, against Ecuador. Even if France loses, only a highly improbable turn of events would keep it from winning the group. Its goal-differential is currently +6; to win the group, it merely needs to end up with a better goal differential than both Ecuador (now 0) and Switzerland (-2). To advance with a loss, France would have to have a better goal differential than only one of those two countries. (If goal differential is tied, the next tiebreaker is goals scored, followed by head-to-head results, following by “drawing of lots.”) As we said, France is in good shape.

    The good news for Ecuador is that it probably needs only to match Switzerland’s result to advance: win, tie or lose. The bad news is that Ecuador faces France. One silver lining: Because France will probably win the group no matter what, it may not give the match its full effort. As is the case with Switzerland, Ecuador can technically still win the group, in much the way that you can technically win the lottery.

    Despite its dismal loss to France, Switzerland remains in a decent position. It will advance with a better outcome than Ecuador in the two teams’ final matches – and while Ecuador must play France, Switzerland faces relatively low-ranked Honduras. If Switzerland and Ecuador have the same result – win, draw or loss – Switzerland will probably be eliminated, because its goal differential is now -2 and Ecuador’s is 0. To win the group, Switzerland needs one of the outlandish scenarios described previously in France’s section.

    Honduras isn’t officially dead yet. But to have any chance at advancing, it needs to beat Switzerland and to have France beat Ecuador. Honduras would also need to win by enough to emerge from a three-way tiebreaker with Ecuador and Switzerland. Honduras cannot win the group.

  2. Oh yes, the police have been profiteering peoples stuff for years and years now. Just mostly low class people, so that’s okay, you know?

  3. Just got some good news. I have funding to attend a conference in Arizona next month. I just hope I get my puppy completely housebroken…

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