There have been a couple of highly significant articles today at spiegel.de in which more and more top German political leaders are increasingly calling for the country to grant him asylum. We are talking about people like the former General Secretary of the ruling CDU party alongside with top leaders from left-opposition parties, and the vice-chief of the second-most powerful SPD party:
Asyl für Snowden: “Welcome Edward!”
The article even quotes the head of the German federal soccer league (Fußball-Bundesliga) Reinhard Rauball as criticizing the “increasing erosion of human rights”.
This latest article has the top candidate for the German Green party from the most recent federal elections calling for asylum:
NSA-Affäre: Trittin fordert Asyl für Snowden
“Edward Snowden hat mit seinen Enthüllungen einen ungeheuren Abhörskandal aufgedeckt. Er ist alles andere als ein Verbrecher und hat einen gesicherten Aufenthalt in Deutschland verdient”
tr: “Edward Snowden has revealed an enormous eavesdropping scandal with his disclosures. He is anything but a criminal and has earned a secure residence in Germany”
— Jürgen Trittin, former top candidate of the German Green Party
Schaden der Beziehung zwischen Berlin und Washington fürchte er dadurch nicht. “Belastet werden die deutsch-amerikanischen Beziehungen nicht durch ein freies Geleit und einen sicheren Aufenthalt für Edward Snowden, sondern durch die skandalöse Schnüffelpraxis der NSA”, sagte er.
tr: He [Jürgen Trittin] has no fear for consequential damage to the relationship between Berlin and Washington. “The German-American relationship has become strained not through a safe conduct and secure residence for Edward Snowden, but through the scandalous snooping practice of the NSA” he said.”
In reading these articles the tone in Germany at the present moment all the way to the top political levels seems to be completely different than that in the United States. It seems like what is happening in Germany right now is basically only vaguely being acknowledged in US media and essentially ignored.
Is this any surprise? Hell no. The US mainstream media is utter and complete bullshit. All major networks are a total fucking disgrace.
As one other example, Germany just had its most major federal elections in close to a decade. In the previous election it was groud-breaking that the top two parties – the CDU and SPD – formed what is called a grand coalition to create a government. This is major news, something highly significant happening in one of the world’s most economically powerful countries, and it got totally fucking ignored by “news” networks in the United States.
Well, it has just happened again. There was just another federal election and again there was not jack shit mentioned in US media. This is fucking inexcusable.
I thank God I can read German. Actually I thank City College for a long time ago before it descended into bullshit when it still offered actual UC-equivalent courses und auch meine ausgezeichene Österreichere Professorin.
I know there are people who don’t support Edward Snowden. The only people who don’t support him are facist bigots.
Of course there are facist bigots who don’t give a fuck about human rights. What do you think is going on in America? Why do you think all this shit is going on in the first place?
The truth is, Edward Snowden is exactly the kind of person America needs as its president. He is a responsible, intelligent person with a strong conscience and a deep sense of justice.
Don’t you think that if Edward Snowden was the leader of the United States that we could get things back in the right direction again?
One thing this affair is doing is exposing a lot of the deep bigotry in our midst. Take a good look around, right now. Open your eyes and notice where people are.
What do people stand for, if they don’t stand for human rights?
Human rights isn’t some ancillary thing. Its the foundation of everything. Human rights is the basis from which everything stems, not the other way around!
Germany has passed a law that now makes it possible to designate a baby as neither male nor female. This puts less pressure on parents of intersex children who may feel they have to rush to have the baby operated on to make it “male” or “female”.
The importance of using a password utility such as the eminent Lastpass has been shown with yet another mass-breach of user data from a large company: this time Adobe, which had a 9.2 gigabyte file of user data including passwords stolen.
Lastpass is a cross-platform password manager that integrates into web browsers. It is available as a Firefox plugin, as an Internet Explorer add-on, as an add-on for Dolphin and Firefox on Android, and certainly most other major browsers.
Every time you have to register for a new site Lastpass can generate a highly secure password that will be used for that site only. I cannot overstate the significance of this. This is extremely important. If anyone is not doing this – if they are using the same password or passwords for multiple sites – it is a huge mistake and they should immediate stop.
Given the fact that Lastpass makes it so freakingly simple to manage passwords there’s no excuse not to be using it. And the $12 annual cost to go “premium” is more than worth it considering the security and convenience it provides.
With Lastpass you will only ever need to remember one password. Ok, not actually one for some people. I still need several for different things. But still.
5 injured in crash involving car thief suspect
(10-30) 21:21 PDT SAN FRANCISCO — A young man who blew through a red light in a stolen Honda Accord triggered a violent four-car wreck on busy Geary Boulevard in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon, sending all four drivers to the hospital along with a pedestrian who was struck by flying debris, police said.
All of the drivers and the pedestrian are expected to survive, Shyy said, though two of the wounded – he didn’t know which ones – are in serious condition.
I wonder if it was the same thief who stole my car last year and crashed it into a station wagon filled with a parent and children and then fled on foot?
Whoever it was was a serial vehicle thief. Inside my recovered, smashed car I found numerous keys and garage door openers which were left behind when the thief fled in haste from the accident.
Yet there was no investigation. No fingerprints taken. No attempt to identify the culprit even though he was caught on surveillance video in at least two different parking garages (because I managed to locate another person some of whose items were in my car).
Car theft is such a commonplace crime that it is not even investigated even when its clear there are serial thieves at large.
Yet our government spends tens of billions of dollars to spy on people and violate their basic human right to privacy in order to “protect” us?
What kind of definition of “protection” and “security” is it when serial theives are able to roam, when the police do not even bother trying to catch them, and now two people are in hostpital with serious injuries?
Someone should visit these two people in the hospital and ask them how protected and safe they feel.
S.F. offenders repeatedly return to streets
For those who wonder why San Francisco has such a problem with street people, look no further than the case of Daniel Grijalva, who most recently came to the attention of police when – while high on paint fumes – he allegedly masturbated on a downtown street in the middle of the day.
Grijalva, 45, has been arrested 98 times in San Francisco since 1991, records show. The list of crimes is impressive: robbery, resisting arrest, burglary, possession of narcotics, sale of narcotics, possessing narcotics near schools, battery, assault with a deadly weapon, destruction of evidence, false identification as a police officer, check passing, receiving stolen property, selling hypodermic needles, fraudulent use of credit cards, petty theft, sale of controlled substances, and battery with serious bodily injury.
Oh yes, and indecent exposure.
On Sept. 6, he was arrested at Washington and Drumm streets on suspicion of robbery, resisting arrest and violating parole. Twelve days later, he was picked up at 18th and Castro streets on a parole violation.
But because Grijalva is on what is called non-revocable parole – something given to nonviolent offenders – he was cut loose both times.
Then came Oct. 3, when Grijalva allegedly was flopping around on the sidewalk at Sutter and Hyde streets, masturbating, his mouth covered with paint.
Once again, he was taken down to the Hall of Justice and booked and placed on a parole hold.
Once again, he was cut loose within a week.
Police suggested we call the district attorney to find out why no charges were being filed. The DA’s spokesman, Alex Bastian, said it was a state parole issue and that we should call the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The agency said it had no record of any Grijalva in the system.
Whatever the case, Grijalva is back on the streets.
Lest you think Grijalva is an isolated case, look up the court records on 28-year-old Leslie Bailey, who was picked up for indecent exposure while he allegedly tried to have sex with a BART seat in May.
Bailey, who is homeless and has two convictions for lewd acts, was on a crack cocaine binge when a BART driver called police.
At his trial, Bailey’s public defender, Emily Dahm, argued that while he might have been exposed, he was not trying to direct public attention to himself, a requirement for an indecent-exposure conviction.
“Mr. Bailey thought he was having a private moment,” Dahm said. “Unfortunately, he picked a really inappropriate place.”
An expert in addiction and pharmacology testified that Bailey, who has a history of mental illness, had stopped taking his antipsychotic medication.
While in jail, Bailey began taking his meds again.
After a day of deliberation, the jury convicted Bailey of lewd acts, but not of the felony indecent exposure charge. He was sentenced to time served and released.
“Our understanding is that Mr. Bailey was receiving mental health treatment prior to the incident,” said Public Defender Jeff Adachi. “Our understanding is that he is going to continue in that same treatment.”
Meanwhile, if you’re on the street, watch your step – and if you’re on BART, be sure to check your seat.
Seriously, unbelievably fucked.
U.S. threatens to take $3.52 billion from California schools in testing dispute
Reinforcing its threat to punish California for dumping its old standardized state tests next spring, the U.S. Department of Education said that decision could cost the state at least $3.5 billion.
The state could lose $15 million it receives to administer a federal program for poor children, known as Title I. More critically, a letter sent Tuesday by Deborah S. Delisle, an assistant secretary of education, hinted California risks significantly more money from other federal initiatives, for the lowest-performing schools, English-language learners, disabled students, rural schools, migrant children and teacher training. Those totaled about $3.5 billion last school year.
The dispute between state and federal education officials boils down to whether students need to take standardized tests in English and math every year, and whether the public should be able to see those results. Federal officials say the law requires that, but California believes that’s unreasonable.
It sounds like state officials are trying to skirt around a federal requirement that kids be regularly tested for English and math because so many would be flunking and failing. Seriously fucked.
Beyond that, what appeal is there to bright people to move to Silicon Valley to work in the tech industry and have their children go to schools where probably half the budget is devoted to language translation and remedial, flunkie courses?
What the hell is happening in California?
Federal complaint spurs change for non-English speakers in Oakland schools
OAKLAND — A Vietnamese-speaking parent whose high school-age son was suspended, expelled and denied evaluation for special education because his school didn’t provide adequate interpretation or translation services has won new rules requiring the services as part of a civil-rights complaint brought in 2009.
Without any debate or discussion, the school board last month approved a sweeping new written policy assuring translation and interpretation services for those who don’t understand English.
The new policy comes four years after the school district signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to resolve the problem. As part of the agreement, the district was supposed to have the new policy ready by Nov. 1, 2009.
I don’t understand this. It appears that they are saying that it is a right for a non-English speaking parent and child who emmigrated to the USA (legally?) to have a school pay for translation services for them. Why?
How many languages exist on planet Earth? Is it a civil right that any person who speaks any language to have a translator availble, all-expenses-paid by the state, because they do not speak English?
Why isn’t there a requirement that if someone comes to an English-speaking country that they are responsible to learn English? However they can meet that end is their own prerogative. If they have to pay for their own private instruction so be it.
Why do taxpayers have to pay for it? Is this an actual civil “right”?
The civil rights complaint was brought by the parent in 2008 who tried to get help for his son who was failing academically and was eventually expelled for bad behavior from his school partly because neither the parent nor the son understood enough English to get help, the investigation found.
About a third of the Oakland Unified School District’s 36,000 students are English learners.
Holy fucking shit!
San Francisco Sues To Block City College Accreditation Sanctions
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking to stop the agency that certifies two-year colleges in the western U.S. from revoking the accreditation of City College of San Francisco.
In March, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges pulled the accreditation of City College of San Francisco, effective next year, if changes aren’t made in classes and governance.
What the City is saying is “We have a right to operate a failed institution! Who are you to prevent us from maintaining a failed status quo and yanking accredidation?”
The following IP addresses are all from people who tried attacking my computer via SSH. My server has only been up for a couple months but look at how many intrustion attempts there are.
I run a utility called DenyHosts which detects the intrusion attempts and bans them.