Friday, April 28, 2017

SCOTUS Not Amused by DoJ Hard Line on Deportations for Lying

SCOTUS Not Amused by DoJ Hard Line on Deportations for Lying

SCOTUS Not Amused by DoJ Hard Line on Deportations for Lying -

The Chief Justice and several other SCOTUS members were taken aback by the Trump administration's very hard line making naturalized citizens vulnerable to deportation. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

It hasn't gotten as much attention as the agitation over the border wall, "sanctuary cities," deportation policy, and other administration measures aimed at dealing with undocumented immigrants. But the Trump administration is quietly supporting efforts to reduce legal immigration as well, which is one hallmark of the true nativist, who is worried not just about lawbreaking but about the changing demographics of the country.

The Supreme Court may have gotten a glimpse of this new attitude just yesterday in oral arguments for a case involving a naturalized citizen from Serbia who was deported after it became clear she had failed to disclose her husband's involvement in Bosnian Serb militias committing atrocities back in the 1990s.

As Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog explained, the petitioner in Maslenjak v. United States was not a particularly sympathetic figure, but the very hard line taken by the Justice Department in the case seemed to be inclining even some conservative justices to give her a second chance, if only to establish a reasonable standard for deportations based on mendacity in citizenship applications.

Although they may not have been fans of Maslenjak personally … the justices were even less enthusiastic about the prospect of ruling for the government, expressing concern that such a ruling would give U.S. officials boundless discretion to take away citizenship based on even very minor lies.

Indeed, some of the Justices expressed, as the New York Times' Adam Liptak put it, "indignation and incredulity" at Justice Department attorney Robert Parker's unflinching contention that any evidence of a failure to disclose not only crimes but lies in citizenship applications could be grounds for revoking citizenship. And this reaction was by no means confined to SCOTUS "liberals."

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. tried to test the limits of the government's position at a Supreme Court argument on Wednesday by confessing to a criminal offense.

"If I answer that question no, 20 years after I was naturalized as a citizen, you can knock on my door and say, 'Guess what, you're not an American citizen after all'?" Chief Justice Roberts asked.

Parker agreed that could happen, and the Chief Justice said: "Oh, come on."

Other Justices found some grim humor in the government's position:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked about the failure to disclose an embarrassing childhood nickname. Justice Elena Kagan said she was a "little bit horrified to know that every time I lie about my weight it has those kinds of consequences."

Mr. Parker said the law applied to all false statements, even trivial ones.

But Justice Kennedy was not amused:

"Your argument is demeaning the priceless value of citizenship," he told Mr. Parker.

It doesn't look like the administration is going to win this one.

But more important, it's another illustration that whenever it can get away with it, the Trump administration is taking a position on immigration that only Steve King could love.

SCOTUS Not Amused by DoJ Hard Line on Deportations for Lying


N.S.A. Halts Collection of Americans’ Emails About Foreign Targets

N.S.A. Halts Collection of Americans' Emails About Foreign Targets -

N.S.A. Halts Collection of Americans' Emails About Foreign Targets

The National Security Agency campus in Fort Meade, Md.

Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency is stopping one of the most disputed forms of its warrantless surveillance program, one in which it collects Americans' emails and texts to and from people overseas and that mention a foreigner under surveillance, according to officials familiar with the matter.

National security officials have argued that such surveillance is lawful and helpful in identifying people who might have links to terrorism, espionage or otherwise are targeted for intelligence-gathering. The fact that the sender of such a message would know an email address or phone number associated with a surveillance target is grounds for suspicion, these officials argued.

But privacy advocates argue that such broad collection of information means the agency, with help from telecommunications companies, is intercepting communications based on what they say, rather than who has sent or received it.

The existence of this so-called "about the target" collection was first reported by The New York Times in 2013.

The N.S.A. made the change to resolve problems it was having complying with special rules imposed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2011 to protect Americans' privacy. For technical reasons, the agency ended up collecting messages sent and received domestically as a byproduct of such surveillance, the officials said.

The problem stemmed from certain bundled messages that internet companies sometimes packaged together and transmitted as a unit. If even one of them had a foreign target's email address somewhere in it, all were sucked in.

After the N.S.A. brought that issue to the court's attention in 2011, a judge ruled that it violated the Fourth Amendment, which bars unreasonable searches. The agency then proposed putting the bundled messages in a special repository to which analysts, searching through intercepts to write intelligence reports, would generally not have access. The court permitted that type of collection to continue with that restriction.

But last year, officials said, the N.S.A. discovered that analysts were querying the bundled messages in a way that did not comply with those rules. The agency brought the matter to the court's attention, resulting in a delay in reauthorizing the broader warrantless surveillance program until the agency proposed ceasing this collection practice.


If You Want To Change The World… Resisting Hate

If You Want To Change The World… – Resisting Hate

If You Want To Change The World…


We live in a society made up of individuals who are taught how to think, how to feel, how to conform, and how to hide. It forces us to place the world into simple categories so that we may understand the complexities around us.

We are taught that a spirit is our savior and the law is our sanctuary. We learn to recognize both good and evil; black and white; blessed and damned. We are forced to identify good or evil; black or white; blessed or damned. A society that allows us to believe in fate and destiny, and allows us to blame failure and injustice on circumstance and gods. It teaches hatred and intolerance, and breeds complexity and anger. It is a society I neither respect, nor believe; and a society that needs careful evaluation and gentle handling. There is no order; there is no justice, there is no comfort. It is the society of a people in need of a soul.

There is a theory about Psychologists that claims many people choose to study the field of psychology in an effort to understand their own mind. I have spent so many hours contemplating the source of my insecurities and fears. Eventually I came to the field of sociology and education, since I feel it was the combination of the two which facilitated my belief that a degree from Harvard, Princeton or Yale would make my problems disappear. The day I was accepted at Columbia was one of the most difficult days of my life because it was something I was told I would never accomplish. I chose to go to Vanderbilt after receiving an advanced Masters from the Ivy League for my PhD since it represented freedom. Freedom from the confused ideals of my parents and marked a clear boundary between their world and my own.

This year, my mother told me I did not deserve to get into Comell. My father told me that he was "not willing to gamble $50,000 on my future." I thought if I could just make it through graduation, everything would be O.K. I would be able to pick up student insurance, and my pain, stress, and anxiety would all disappear. I would no longer be subject to my fathers conventions of checks and balances, and the stress and dependency would all disappear. I would be free from the ghosts and voices that were echoing through my head (in case there is any doubt, that was a figurative not a literal statement.) I will end this here because I wrote this before I made peace with my family and now have a better understanding of why they felt my most significant accomplishments should be mine and mine alone. I am proud to say that I did accomplish these achievements on my own and received a full academic scholarship to the top ranked university in the nation and graduated with a 3.93/4.0. No one can take that away from me. No one. Ever.

When I see people who put others down for their race, religion or special needs, all I can think is that the haters have nothing else to be proud of because they haven't achieved anything of significance in their life. The only thing they have to feel superior about is the color of their skin and that tells me everything I need to know about a person. They are generally underachieving, ignorant, working class bullies who are grasping at straws to feel better about their own miserable lives and their failure to achieve anything of significance on their own.

If the only thing you have to be proud of is your skin color, you have already failed at life. Work harder, and stop blaming others for your shortcomings. No one is coming for your jobs or your guns. The immigration (travel ban) is among the most ridiculous things I've ever heard considering we are a nation of immigrants who came to America seeking freedom of persecution for religion. The only thing more ridiculous is building a wall.

Trust me. No one is coming for your jobs. The fact is that immigrants (many of whom have advanced degrees in engineering or medicine) come here desperate for a better life and often take jobs they are overqualified for. I can't help but laugh when I hear these lower class white Supremacists claim that Blacks or Mexicans are stealing their jobs and opportunities. You think a wall is gonna keep people out? Then why bother with a travel ban for the airlines. I didn't think Trump would be able to change much but with Pence breaking these ties over things like finding for Planned Parenthood and women's health I fear for the future of our country. We are only 70 some days in and America is already so much worse than it was a few months ago.

If you want to change the world, start with yourself. If you are blaming Jews, Blacks, Mexicans or Muslims for your problems you need a reality check. The only thing holding you back from achieving the American Dream is yourself. People who are secure in their identity and lot in life don't feel the need to put others down. When one is truly at piece with their soul, they lift people up. Try it sometime. That's all for now.

@ElyssaD aka Chilly P Elyssa D. Durant, Ed.M., ABD Research and Policy Analyst



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Submit a Report - Watchdog

Submit a Report - Watchdog
C''mon people!! Tell Comcast how you feel!!!

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    Saturday, April 15, 2017

    BREAKING: Palm Beach Passes Tax to Make Trump Pay for His OWN Vacations. Support?

    BREAKING: Palm Beach Passes Tax to Make Trump Pay for His OWN Vacations. Support?
    I didn't vote for him and I most definitely do not want to pay more taxes for Trump's excessive travel and spending. 

    BREAKING: Palm Beach Passes Tax to Make Trump Pay for His OWN Vacations. Support?

    Palm Beach officials proposed a tax on Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort to cover the cost of his frequent visits. Trump will finally have to pay for his own frequent golf trips.

    According to CNN, Trump's many travels cost taxpayers over $20 million in the first eighty days of his presidency. This cost represents 21 days at Mar-a-Lago.

    That amounts to one-quarter of his time as president spent golfing in Palm Beach, Florida. Well, his travels not only costs the American taxpayer, but also Palm Beach County, and residents are NOT happy.

    Trump's trips cost the county $60,000 PER DAY for law enforcement overtime. That brings the total to over $2 million for the president's first 80 days in office, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

    The county is still looking for the federal reimbursement. So, to combat the country expenses for Trump, County Commissioner Dave Kerner to proposed a tax on Trump's resort to cover the costs.

    "We're very honored to have the president here, but at the same time, his travel here is such high frequency he's not visiting Palm Beach County — he's governing from it," Kerner told Money Magazine.

    Kerner went on to make it clear that Palm Beach taxpayers did not sign up for this ludicrous expense. "Whatever our priorities are, the taxpayers didn't pay this money to us to protect the president," Kerner said.

    The tax on Mar-a-Lago would help with some of the county's expenses, but it needs more. That's why Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) who represents Palm Beach, called on the government to provide reimbursements for the local governments' security costs or for Trump to cut back on his visits.

    It is ridiculous for counties and cities to pay for Trump's many escapades. If Trump is so rich, he should have no problem footing his own bill.

    Don't you think Trump should be paying for his own frequent vacations?

    POLL: Should Trump pay for his Mar-a-Lago trips?

    Trump has already spent an absurd amount of money on his golfing trips to Mar-a-Lago. It has put an extreme financial burden on the citizens of Palm Beach.

    Trump claims to be filthy rich. Shouldn't he pay for his own vacations instead of relying on hardworking Americans to foot the bill? Tell Trump what you really think in the poll below.

    At the rate Trump is going, he will bypass the total costs of President Obama's vacations over an eight-year period IN ONLY ONE YEAR. This from the president who tweeted that Obama took too many vacations and needed to stay in the White House.

    His travels are so frequent that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly requested additional funding for the Secret Service. Apparently, Secret Service agents work so much overtime to protect Trump that they had to call in other agents around the country.

    This is an atrocious use of taxpayer money. The citizens of Palm Beach deserve better. We hope that the new tax on Mar-a-Lago provides much-needed relief soon.

    If you agree that Trump takes too many vacations and that local governments receive reimbursement for them, please take our poll and share this article on Facebook.