So, Jennifer is like the rest of us and Nicky “Komodo Dragon” aka “Poopy Pants” is a RadFem Ally

I kind of knew Nicky (KomodoDragon) was phony from the get go.  Hence my attacking Phony Intersex Trolls in the first few months of this Blog’s existence.

I’ve always found the mentally disturbed transphobes who claim they are really intersex to be an interesting gang, suitable for some serious psychiatric study.  So disturbed in comparison to ordinary normal TS/TG folks.

I wonder if the RadFems are aware of their “Intersex” ally’s violent tendencies?

This piece is from Dana Lane Taylor:

By Dana Lane Taylor
July 23, 2013

Reposted with permission

So, it seems Jennifer has lived the life a lot of us who identify as transsexual and/or transgender. A lot in our community(ies) can certainly relate to her story. However, what I don’t understand is what criteria Jennifer uses to “judge others” or to give her “diagnosis” pertaining to other trans* women. For example, I was diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder at the University of Pennsylvania and have been treated for it ever since. However, Jennifer calls me basically a crossdresser. Or someone who gets turned on by a women’s clothing fetish. Even though I am being treated by a doctor and prescribed HRT including estrogen and progesterone. I successfully transitioned at work though I am still planning my GRS in December of 2014. That part doesn’t really matter though as their are women who either are perfectly fine with their genitals they were born with or cannot afford surgery.

Obviously Jennifer has no power over my own existence and I am certainly glad she doesn’t.  It would be pure hell and I am sure I wouldn’t survive it. The same thing as those radical feminists who would deny our right to exist and live our lives how we need to live them.

So, Jennifer did actually identify as a crossdresser at one point only later to find out she was actually transsexual. Again, a lot of trans women can identify with that. In my case, however, I never identified as a crossdresser though I did participate in some crossdressing forums before I came out. It was a place that really helped me learn about the differences between crossdressers and transsexuals.  I am not going to lay out my full story of how I came to terms with being transsexual, at least for now. The important thing is that I found out what was “wrong” with me my entire life and have pretty much fixed what was broken, for the most part.

Jennifer mentions she did post a lot of posts on USENET and if you go back and look at those groups you will see she was doing the same thing back then. Instigating drama where everyone ends up turning against her. There is no shortage of those who got fed up with her abuse and called her out.

I am curious if Jennifer will ever be able to overcome her hate. Perhaps internalized transphobia (which describes me in my TS Separatist days) is the problem. Who knows. I do hope she will one day do some soul searching. If she doesn’t, she will end up living the rest of her life as a miserable isolated woman.


Not surprising, as I have clearly upset some very violent men, including both Mr. Taylor, and Mr. Williams.

Wait..WHAT? lol…no fucking way. Someone who admits to physical violence calls me a violent man. Well, I have never been violent to anyone but am a survivor of an attack by a man who crushed my eye socket and collapsed my nasal cavity. Brain fluid leaked out of my nose. No, Jennifer, I am a victim of violence not a perpetrator of it. You have a more violent past than I do. You being the violent one.

And look at this comment on the article by Nicky.

Nicky said…

It just seems to me that Mr. “Cristan” Williams is doing the typical transgender extremist tactics of intimidating, bullying and even threatening physical violence on anyone who disagrees with them. It’s clear that they are using their male behavior. Just like Mr “Dana” Taylor, he’s starting to follow the same path that transgender extremist are doing to people.

What’s clear is that these transgender extremist are getting more dangerous by the day. It’s why I had to get a pistol permit and be allowed to carry a pistol for self defense against these Transgender kooks. They are getting more violent and more extremist to the point that they may end up using their male upbringing, male behavior and male mentality to push their fragile ideology on to people. It could include physical violence to push their ideology.

It’s why people are starting to take notice and these transgender kooks are really showing their true colors to people.

July 22, 2013 at 10:34 PM

I assure you, he doesn’t own a gun. But if he were to ever get close to me, I hope I am armed with some Lysol. I did a search and found out Nicky had a pastebin posted on him. CREEEEEEEPY!

”’Nick K.D. Chaleunphone”’

”’Nick (Nilavong) Khamhou Dethoudom Chaleunphone a.k.a Nicky”’ (born May 15, 1976) is one of the most bizarre inhabitants on the Internet. Nicky claims to be Intersex, due to being diagnosed with Kallmann Syndrome even though Kallmann Syndrome is a disorder that affects puberty development and there is no medical definition that substantiates his claims. He says that Transsexuals are trying to hijack the Intersex condition to justify their transitions and he has a deep rooted hatred for them and especially for Transsexual Women. Since he was born with normal male genitalia and identifies as a tomboy, it is likely that he is a self-loathing transsexual woman and is doing the very same thing he accuses some Transsexual women of doing, claiming a false Intersex condition to justify his existence. His relentless attacks against the Transgender and Intersex communities have earned him a place on Rational Wiki. There is so much information out there on Chaleunphone, it would take a year to archive it all.

==Aliases== Kamododragoon
Nicky Diaperdragon Razgriz “wild weasel” BIThumper550 RescueRanger21 Cindy Capleton MsKamododragon PJRESCUE Bartman Flyingswordsman Kangaroo Jack Kavsuvb

==Kallmann Syndrome== Wikipedia

”’Kallmann syndrome”’ is a Heredity|genetic condition which results in the failure or non-completion of puberty. It is characterised by hypogonadism and by a total lack of sense of smell (anosmia) or a heavily reduced sense of smell (hyposmia). The term hypogonadism describes a low level of circulating sex related hormones; (testosterone in men and oestrogen and progesterone in women)

Failure to start or fully complete puberty in both men and women
Lack of testicular development in men; size ❤ ml
Primary amenorrhoea or failure to start menstruation in women
Poorly defined secondary sexual characteristics in both men and women.
Infertility Chaleunphone tries to alter Intersex definition on Wikipedia and here

Chaleunphone is being treated for this syndrome with a testosterone patch which indicates he is male. If he was female then he would be taking estrogen for treatment.

==Interesting Findings== Nick’s Resume Some jobs he was there only a month. What a shocker!

Nick identifies as a bisexual male but also identifies as a tomboy. Tomboys have female hormones in their systems yet Nick has male hormones. It is literally impossible for him to be a tomboy.

”A tomboy is a girl who exhibits characteristics or behaviors considered typical of the gender role of a boy.”

Nick claims that Kallmann Syndrome is a variation of an intersex condition that has an extra set of XXY chromosomes.

==Favorite Things==
Abena X Plus Diapers
Dunkin Donuts
Plastic Fetish
==Further reading==

===Articles=== Intersex Community unites with Radfems against the Transsexual Empire – The entire Intersex community, minus anyone from the Intersex community, unites with radfems against the evil transsexuals

==Videos== Nicky the Bigot Hilarious. Nicky the Bigot remix Full Diaper? KamodoDraGoon Closed the Goon Account What Intersex is and isnt Nicky unfiltered

==External links==
Kallmann’s syndrome life
Twitter “I’m just your average tomboy who’s trying to be me”
Nicky’s World
Encyclopedia Dramatica
The Nick Chaleunphone Daily
Daily Diapers “Diapered up and sitting in a poopy diapered I pooped into” “Good luck with that because women who are AB/DL are a very small minority and the most of the people who claim to be a woman in here are either trans or men pretending to be a woman ”
Google Plus
Nick’s No Spin zone “I maybe the most vocal person who ever put my words online.” Many porn links here.
Last FM

And where Nick confuses nudity for objectifying nude women. You gotta see this.


lol. Sorry, all I can do is laugh now.


UPDATE 7/24/2013

So, Nicky just threatened me.

Nicky said…

It seems that Mr. “Dana” Lane Taylor, is trying for cyberbullying and cyberharasing. Since he’s from my home state, I know a few people in high places that can put Mr. “Dana” Lane Taylor, in his place. All I have to do his drop his name in front of a curtain person and things can change really fast for Mr. “Dana” Lane Taylor.

July 23, 2013 at 9:10 PM

His talk about guns is pretty disturbing to me. I doubt very seriously he owns a gun as he would likely not be able to pass any test to get one. At least I hope. Does anyone know if he has one or if I should worry about his threats?

Nicky said…

I see now Mr. “Dana” Lane Taylor is scared because he’s afraid of people defending themselves, which is clearly a Right in the US Consitution under the 2nd amendment. Mr. “Dana” Lane Taylor is scared of Radical feminist, lesbian women, Biological Women and Intersex people for standing up and defending themselves. He’s scared because some people like me have a pistol permit to carry a pistol and have weapons for self defense. It’s why you are seeing his scared comments here cause he’s afraid of people standing up and defending themselves.

It’s very typical of Transgender kooks/extremist such as Mr. “Dana” Lane Taylor, Mr. “Cristan” Williams and Mr. “Autumn” Sandeen to bully, harass, intimidate and threaten anyone who disagrees with their fallacy. They use their male behavior and male upbringing to intimidate anyone who disagree with them. Because of them, people have to take the step of arming themselves with a pistol and have a legal pistol permit to defend themselves. These Transgender kooks/extremist have brought it on to themselves and have forced people to defend themselves legally.

That’s why Jennifer, I would just watch your back around these transgender kooks/extremist. They can be very violent and potentially unstable when you disagree with them.


I am Bradley Manning

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End The Doctrine of At Will Employment

TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2013


I’m glad to see a few other working class activists besides myself finally beginning to speak out about the need for a struggle to put an end to “At-Will Employment” although we need to put an end to “At-Will Hiring and At-Will Firing” which would assure fairness and non-discrimination when it comes to both hiring and firing.

It is bad enough employers have the “right” to exploit the labor of workers; employers shouldn’t have the “right” to determine who should work and who shouldn’t work based on any forms of discrimination— be it age, sex, racial, political thinking & ideology or whether workers are engaged in union organizing activities, drives & campaigns.

Class collaboration among the top circles of leaders of organized labor has prevented a campaign to repeal “At-will hiring and At-will firing” since these labor “leaders” believe employers have more rights than workers and they are for going along to get along with employers which has proven to be detrimental to union organizing as the declining membership in unions proves.

When I introduced a resolution to repeal “At-Will Hiring and At-Will Firing” at the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party’s State Convention in Duluth, it was then Minnesota AFL-CIO President Ray Waldron and his little toady, Mark Froemke, who organized opposition to the resolution— more organizing than either of these labor-fakers have done in their entire lives. This resolution was defeated by about a 70% majority vote which tells us a great deal about the commitment of the Democratic Party for justice for working people; and, it tells us a great deal about why organized labor, while doing the bidding of employers, can’t organize Wal-mart, Marvin Windows and Doors, Arctic Cat, Polaris, Digi-Key or any of the other large non-union employers in Minnesota… there is even the huge Northshore mining operation that Cleveland Cliffs operates that the huge United Steel Workers Union hasn’t been able to organize because all the rank-and-file organizers keep getting fired because of “At-Will.” Then there was the failed Canal Park organizing fiasco where organized labor couldn’t even organize a couple hotels… again, because of “At-Will Employment.”

Not one single Democratic Party politician has had the moral or political courage to take on the repeal of “At-Will Employment.” What does this tell us about the Democratic Party and labor?

When I first brought forward Precinct Caucus resolutions to repeal “At-Will Employment” here in Minnesota I was told by every single sitting member of the DFL Caucus in the State Legislature that the obstacle was Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty. Well, now there is a Democratic Party super-majority with a billionaire Democratic governor supported by the Rockefellers claiming to be sympathetic to organized labor and the State Senate leader is Tom Bakk who claims to be a leader of the Building and Construction Trades unions and working people can’t even get a hearing on the repeal of “At-will hiring and At-will firing.” Of course, these same labor loving Democrats left Minnesota’s Minimum Wage at $6.25 an hour, too; below the Minimum Wages of Mississippi and even North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Not one single labor “leader” from Change To Win or AFL-CIO unions in Minnesota has brought forward the need to repeal “At-will hiring; At-will firing;” why not? Because they fear a struggle with employers and their Democratic Party partners over this issue.

Unless At-will hiring and At-will firing are both confronted at the same time I doubt we can successfully replace At Will Employment with “Just Cause” because workers of color, women and the youth understand that they will remain the last hired and never get jobs in the first place… this is why for over 40 years I have pushed the idea that we need to challenge the “rights” of employers over hiring and firing. Here in Minnesota, fair employment hiring could take place through the Minnesota Workforce Centers with these government centers matching workers to employment opportunities; why would any employer not want to get employees through these centers which employ professionals? One reason only— employers want complete control over workers and their work-forces.

The repeal of “At-will hiring; At-will firing” is all about justice and democracy… it is all about workers, who are human beings, forced by economic circumstances and an unjust economic system being entitled to human rights.

The “Doctrine of At Will Employment” has to go— it is a thoroughly reactionary concept dating back to the days of the emerging industrial industrial revolution when employers believed they had the “right” to treat workers like shit.

Here is an interesting perspective deserving of wide discussion:

The United States is alone among industrialized countries in allowing workers to be considered “at will” employees and dismissed for any reason – justified or not, unless protected by a union contract or individual agreement. Labor should seize the opportunity to champion the passage of “just cause” standards into state laws. It’s a labor law reform proposal that will appeal to all workers while putting employers on the defensive.
July 30, 2013 4:03 pm

The next collective bargaining battleground is likely to be the job security provisions of union contracts, including the “just cause” clause.

Instead of waiting for such an attack, labor should seize the opportunity to champion the passage of “just cause” standards into state laws. It’s a labor law reform proposal that will appeal to all workers while putting employers on the defensive.

It’s long overdue.

The United States is alone among industrialized countries in allowing workers to be considered “at will” employees and dismissed for any reason – justified or not, unless protected by a union contract or individual agreement. Governments such as France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom require employers to have a “just cause” to dismiss non-probationary employees. Just cause appeals to basic fairness, just as due process does in court. Workers who believe they have been fired unfairly have the opportunity to contest their dismissals before various types of industrial tribunals. In the U.S., such recourse is available only to public employees with civil service protection and/or union-represented workers with access to a negotiated grievance/arbitration procedure.

At-will employees have no job security: they can be fired for a mistake, an argument with a supervisor, a critical comment about the enterprise or management, taking a sick day, a complaint about working conditions or pay, or involvement in outside political campaigns – all activities that just-cause protected workers can take part in without worry.

One state has passed a law: The Montana Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act was passed in 1987. Applicable to non-union non-probationary employees, it prohibits discharges without good cause, allows workers to sue for up to four years of back pay, and provides a method for workers to recover attorneys’ fees. Despite fear-mongering by opponents, the Big Sky state’s robust economic growth has not been affected. Statutes in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands also prohibit termination without the slightly more ambiguous “good cause.”

Winning state “just cause” legislation would certainly not be easy. But building a movement to win it offers union leaders and activists an opportunity to champion an issue that would benefit all workers and also help union growth. Short of winning state legislation, local unions, Central Labor Councils and workers’ centers could seek to enforce a community “just cause” standard through workers’ rights boards and / or strategically applied public pressure on employers.

A “just cause for all” campaign could engage working people at many different levels. One can imagine communities declaring certain areas “just cause zones” while other activists could be involved using the proposed legislation as a “litmus test” for politicians to gain labor support in electoral campaigns. Still others could be involved in holding hearings on the importance of achieving a “just cause for all” standard and lobbying for resolutions with their city councils.

Some union leaders have voiced concerns that winning just cause for all could make the main reason workers join unions irrelevant. However, if just cause campaigns succeed, workers will have more security to participate in union campaigns. Union leaders and organizers will be able to make the point that they are experts at enforcing just cause protections and can provide representation at hearings etc.

Even if campaigns for just cause do not succeed, millions of non-union workers will learn about the concept (especially if campaigns are based on ballot referendums) and the increased security it could bring to their lives. By popularizing the just cause concept, more workers may respond by thinking, “If we can’t get this important protection through legislation, let’s get it by forming a union!”

Meanwhile, when employers seek to roll back the just cause articles in our contracts, union members won’t be in the same position we were with the attacks on health care and defined benefit pensions. Instead, we will have laid important groundwork to fend off the employers’ attack by building broader public support for union job security provisions.

Imagine the labor movement leading a $50 to $100 million campaign over the next five years to win just cause protections for all workers in eight to ten states where grassroots movements have shown a desire to pursue it. Employers (and their political handmaidens) would be on the defensive. Most likely they would spend five or ten times more than our side to defend the “freedom to fire.” By over-reaching, it would actually help us raise more awareness about the importance of having just cause job protections.

A major Just Cause for All campaign would make labor a champion of the 99 percent and spur more workers to form unions. The sooner we get started the better!

Rand Wilson is currently on the staff of SEIU Local 888 in Boston. Wilson was the founding director of Massachusetts Jobs with Justice and has been active in community-labor coalition building for more than 30 years. This article is adapted from a forth-coming article in Democratic Left.

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Bradley Manning Awaits Verdict After Trial Ends With Prosecution “Smears” & Harsh Gov’t Secrecy

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Bradley Manning judge to release verdict on Tuesday in WikiLeaks trial

From The Guardian UK:

Army private faces sentence of life in military custody with no chance of parole if convicted on ‘aiding the enemy’ charge

in New York, Monday 29 July 2013

Bradley Manning, the self-confessed source of the massive WikiLeaks trove of US state secrets, will learn his fate on Tuesday when a military judge announces her verdict in the most high-profile prosecution of an official leaker in at least a generation.

The army private faces a possible sentence of life in military custody with no chance of parole should Colonel Denise Lind find him guilty of the most serious charge – that he knowingly “aided the enemy” by transmitting intelligence to WikiLeaks.

In the course of the eight-week trial, which ended on Friday, the US government sought to create a new precedent by arguing that Manning knew he was helping al-Qaida when he released more than 700,000 documents to the anti-secrecy website.

The verdict will be issued at 1pm ET by Lind sitting alone in the courtroom at Fort Meade, Maryland, in the absence of a jury – an arrangement made at Manning’s own request. The soldier’s decision to put his faith in a military judge, rather than in a panel of his peers – the military equivalent of a jury – was a big legal gamble whose merits will become clear when the verdict comes in.

In another huge legal roll of the dice, Manning decided to plead guilty to a lesser version of 10 of the 21 counts of which he is accused, carrying a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in military jail. He did so with nothing in return in the form of a plea bargain, a highly unusual step in criminal proceedings.

The outcome of the trial has huge potential ramifications, not just for Manning personally but for the wider health of investigative journalism in the United States. Leading media experts have warned that a guilty verdict on the most serious charges could send a devastating chill across news outlets by frightening away potential official leakers.

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Why Did 83 Democrats Vote to Continue NSA Surveillance?

From In These Times:

This time, we can’t blame the Republicans.

BY Cole Stangler
July 26, 2013

On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of legislators in the House came extraordinarily close to passing an amendment that would have prevented the National Security Agency from collecting bulk data on Americans. The Amash-Conyers amendment would have limited Section 215 of the Patriot Act to apply only to individuals subject to investigation under that law, barring mass surveillance programs like PRISM.

Failing by a 217-205 vote, the amendment earned support from an unlikely coalition of Republicans and Democrats—a group that could perhaps lead future legislative rebellions against the surveillance state.

A majority of Democrats actually supported the amendment, in defiance of party leadership, the White House and the NSA itself, which, in a moment of panic, organized an emergency meeting the day of the vote in which director Keith Alexander personally lobbied against the measure. At the end of the day, 83 Democrats still voted against it.

Most of the “no” votes came from what Glenn Greenwald characterized as the “establishment” wing of the party. These include figures like Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), once a fierce critic of the Bush administration’s attack on civil liberties, and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.). Hoyer, who sent out an alarmist and factually incorrect email to House Democrats in his efforts to shoot down the amendment, asserting that it would bar the NSA and other agencies to collect records of people who “may be in communication with terrorist groups.” Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) also voted against the amendment, as did Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Steve Israel (N.Y.).

But in addition to the more predictable defenders of the White House and the national security state, the “no” camp included support from some Democrats who typically lean left on a number of issues, from the economy to military spending and even civil liberties. With the Amash-Conyers amendment failing by such a close margin, these key Democrats could have helped swing the vote.

Eight of those votes to defend the NSA’s blanket surveillance came from the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), the left flank of the Democratic Party in Congress.

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Lawmakers Protecting NSA Surveillance Are Awash In Defense Contractor Cash

From The Nation:

Lee Fang
on July 28, 2013

Though it failed by a twelve-vote margin, Congressman Justin Amash’s (R-MI) amendment last week to curtail the NSA’s dragnet surveillance efforts reveals new fault lines in the debate over privacy. The roll call for the vote shows that 111 Democrats and ninety four Republicans supported the measure, which was co-sponsored by Amash’s Democratic colleague, John Conyers.

The amendment failed as the White House and NSA director General Keith Alexander personally lobbied lawmakers to oppose the measure. At first glance, a look at the ‘no’ votes seems to suggest an odd coalition of establishment Republicans and Democrats rallying to support the administration’s position. Congressman Darrell Issa, a Republican who casts himself as a leader on privacy issues and as a tough opponent of most of President Obama’s domestic policies, voted against the Amash bill. So did minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who, as The Huffington Post reported, previously criticized the section of the Patriot Act enabling large-scale data-mining as a “massive invasion of privacy.”

Why would an anti-Obama Republican and a supposedly pro-privacy Democrat join forces to uphold the NSA’s surveillance policies?

MapLight, the Berkeley-based campaign finance website, has aggregated the numbers and found that lawmakers “voting to continue the NSA’s dragnet surveillance programs received on average 122 percent more money ($41,635) from defense contractors and other defense industry interests than did representatives who voted to end the programs (18,765).” Amash has received a mere $1,400 from industry PACs and individuals.

Profit-driven defense contractors, like Booz Allen Hamilton and Boeing, manage the lion’s share of the government’s surveillance efforts. While it’s unknown at this point if any of the firms involved in the NSA’s domestic spying efforts attempted to influence the vote, the evidence suggests that recipients of defense contractor cash are more likely to vote to support NSA policies.

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Ralph Nader Whos On The Run! Theyre NOT Pursuing The Criminals Theyre After The Right Doers

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Is online privacy a right?

From Salon:

Feds want an Internet skeleton key that would allow surveillance of encrypted content. Will tech companies agree?

Monday, Jul 29, 2013

Keep Calm, and Encrypt — this slogan, a play off Britain’s World War II posters, is the privacy-seeker’s new motto in the age of mass surveillance and data mining. The idea is that even with the expansion of surveillance, some data can still be kept away from eavesdroppers, as long as it is properly encrypted. It is the assumption behind whistleblower Edward Snowden’s insistence on only communicating via encrypted conduits and it is the basis for watchdog groups like the Freedom of the Press Foundation to help reporters learn how to communicate through such conduits with their sources.

Using encryption is clearly a smart move in this Orwellian era. After all, even with the NSA’s impressive codebreaking abilities, secure encryption still works. In fact, when done properly, it works so well to preserve privacy and lock data away from snoops that the government has now kicked off an aggressive campaign to turn the concept of “secure encryption” into an oxymoron.

Specifically, the Obama administration has launched an initiative to force tech companies to give the NSA a set of Internet-wide skeleton keys. The radical move, which would let law enforcement agencies access vast troves of encrypted information, adds significant questions to the ongoing debate over privacy. It begs us to ask not only whether the government has a right to vacuum up millions of Americans’ private data, but also to ask whether the security-conscious among us should even be allowed to retain the right to make data truly secure?

The word “right” is important here — the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution does not only bar unreasonable searches and seizures nor does it only mandate probable cause for searches. In addition to all that, it enshrines “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects.” In the digital age, it shouldn’t be a stretch to assume that such a precept means a basic right to access tools that keep personal property, including data and intellectual property, secure.

That tool is encryption — aka software and hardware that codes data so that it is locked and inaccessible to everyone except those who are specifically given a key. But as CNET’s Declan McCullagh reports, “The U.S. government has attempted to obtain the master encryption keys that Internet companies use to shield millions of users’ private Web communications from eavesdropping.” Accurately describing the move as “a technological escalation” in the government’s effort to conduct mass surveillance, McCullagh goes on to explain why this is such a big deal:

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Noam Chomsky “Snowden Should Be Honored for Telling Americans What the Government Was Doing”

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Stranded by Sprawl

From The New York Times:

By Published: July 28, 2013

Detroit is a symbol of the old economy’s decline. It’s not just the derelict center; the metropolitan area as a whole lost population between 2000 and 2010, the worst performance among major cities. Atlanta, by contrast, epitomizes the rise of the Sun Belt; it gained more than a million people over the same period, roughly matching the performance of Dallas and Houston without the extra boost from oil.

Yet in one important respect booming Atlanta looks just like Detroit gone bust: both are places where the American dream seems to be dying, where the children of the poor have great difficulty climbing the economic ladder. In fact, upward social mobility — the extent to which children manage to achieve a higher socioeconomic status than their parents — is even lower in Atlanta than it is in Detroit. And it’s far lower in both cities than it is in, say, Boston or San Francisco, even though these cities have much slower growth than Atlanta.

So what’s the matter with Atlanta? A new study suggests that the city may just be too spread out, so that job opportunities are literally out of reach for people stranded in the wrong neighborhoods. Sprawl may be killing Horatio Alger.

The new study comes from the Equality of Opportunity Project, which is led by economists at Harvard and Berkeley. There have been many comparisons of social mobility across countries; all such studies find that these days America, which still thinks of itself as the land of opportunity, actually has more of an inherited class system than other advanced nations. The new project asks how social mobility varies across U.S. cities, and finds that it varies a lot. In San Francisco a child born into the bottom fifth of the income distribution has an 11 percent chance of making it into the top fifth, but in Atlanta the corresponding number is only 4 percent.

When the researchers looked for factors that correlate with low or high social mobility, they found, perhaps surprisingly, little direct role for race, one obvious candidate. They did find a significant correlation with the existing level of inequality: “areas with a smaller middle class had lower rates of upward mobility.” This matches what we find in international comparisons, where relatively equal societies like Sweden have much higher mobility than highly unequal America. But they also found a significant negative correlation between residential segregation — different social classes living far apart — and the ability of the poor to rise.

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Rage and frustration during Burkhardt Lac Mégantic visit

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Flood, Rebuild, Repeat: Are We Ready for a Superstorm Sandy Every Other Year?

From Mother Jones:

Why we pretend the next storm won’t happen—and flush billions in disaster relief down the drain.

July/August 2013

Two months after Hurricane Sandy pummeled New York City, Battery Park is again humming with tourists and hustlers, guys selling foam Statue of Liberty crowns, and commuters shuffling off the Staten Island Ferry. On a winter day when the bright sun takes the edge off a frigid harbor breeze, it’s hard to imagine all this under water. But if you look closely, there are hints that not everything is back to normal.

Take the boarded-up entrance to the new South Ferry subway station at the end of the No. 1 line. The metal structure covering the stairwell is dotted with rust and streaked with salt, tracing the high-water mark at 13.88 feet above the low-tide line—a level that surpassed all historical floods by nearly four feet. The saltwater submerged the station, turning it into a “large fish tank,” as former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota put it, corroding the signals and ruining the interior. While the city reopened the old station in early April, the newer one is expected to remain closed to the public for as long as three years.

Before the storm, South Ferry was easily one of the more extravagant stations in the city, refurbished to the tune of $545 million in 2009 and praised by former MTA CEO Elliot Sander as “artistically beautiful and highly functional.” Just three years later, the city is poised to spend more than that amount fixing it. Some have argued that South Ferry shouldn’t be reopened at all.

The destruction in Battery Park could be seen as simple misfortune: After all, city planners couldn’t have known that within a few years the beautiful new station would be submerged in the most destructive storm to ever hit New York City.

Except for one thing: They sort of did know. Back in February 2009, a month before the station was unveiled, a major report from the New York City Panel on Climate Change—which Mayor Michael Bloomberg convened to inform the city’s climate adaptation planning—warned that global warming and sea level rise were increasing the likelihood that New York City would be paralyzed by major flooding. “Of course it flooded,” said George Deodatis, a civil engineer at Columbia University. “They spent a lot of money, but they didn’t put in any floodgates or any protection.”

And it wasn’t just one warning. Eight years before the Panel on Climate Change’s report, an assessment of global warming’s impacts in New York City had also cautioned of potential flooding. “Basically pretty much everything that we projected happened,” says Cynthia Rosenzweig, a senior research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, co-chair of the Panel on Climate Change, and the co-­author of that 2001 report.

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