SkeptiSys

April 17, 2008

Texas Prisoner Keith Russell Judd Gets His Name Listed On Idaho Democratic Primary Ballot With Obama, Clinton

Filed under: law, News, politics — Tags: , , , , , , — skeptisys @ 8:36 am

America best democracy corporate lobbyists can buy button pin

CBS reported that a prisoner in Texas, Keith Russell Judd, “conned” his way into the Idaho Democratic Primary Ballot by following the applicable law and legally applying for the ballot.  Judd used the same method as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama but I can find no citation of their filings being a ‘con’.  Apparently CBS and the other news organizations consider this legal filing a con based on who did the filing, and not the action itself.

This article was repeated almost verbatim in other newspapers like the New York Times, providing a hint of the way current mainstream news is created.

Idaho state Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said, “We did some checking,” Ysursa said. “There was nothing legally to keep him off.”  Ysursa does not say if they then tried illegal means to try and keep him off.  Ysursa continued, “We may rethink how we get on our presidential ballot next time,” Ysursa said. “We’ll take a look at it. We’ve got four years to think about it.”  I am glad they are working hard to get those pesky non-corporate backed candidates off the ballot.  Why they consider Judd an issue when he has no chance to win, and they do not fix the well known problems in the voting system that got Bush to President, is a mystery.

The article states, as if mocking Orwell, “No matter how many votes he gets this time, he won’t get any national convention delegates. Idaho’s delegates are chosen at party caucuses.   “The good thing is the Democratic presidential primary has absolutely no legal significance,” Ysursa said.  Oh thank God for the reassurance that we don’t have to worry that any of our votes for a legally qualified candidate will be counted.

Summarizing the article: a person desiring to enter the presidential primary ballot in multiple states, conforms to all legal requirements, and is rejected by most states.   A state that does accidentally accept his ballot now regrets it and will do more in the future to find ways to keep ordinary citizens off the ballot.  But do not worry, your vote won’t count anyway, so no cause for alarm.  I commend CBS and other news organizations, and representatives for the Democratic Party and Idaho government for being so honest about how they are trying to subvert the Amercian democratic voting system.  Meanwhile, the public is more concerned with how Geore Bush stole the last 2 elections.

Who is Keith Russell Judd?  The articles’ only background is “Keith Russell Judd is serving time at the Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution in Texas for making threats at the University of New Mexico in 1999. He’s scheduled for release in 2013”  Fourteen years in federal prison for making a threat?  I started digging (news reporter word that means typing into Google and calling friends).

Most court records involving Judd have been sealed or unpublished, other than rejected appeals that do not mention details of the original case or cause of imprisonment.  The courts specifically reject Judd’s lawsuits due to multiple defective filings.  Could Judd be imprisoned for making multiple court filings against the University and other large organizations?   Through Google I found the earliest reference to Judd and University of New Mexico is from 1995, “Judd v. University of N.M., No. 94-2236, 1995 WL 228234”.  This rejection of appeal mentions “the United States Secret Service was voluntarily dismissed from this case on May 16, 1994”.

I did find, in the text of a book ‘The American Dictionary of Criminal Justice’ that Judd was barred by judicial order in Texas to not file any non-criminal complaints, due to his many ‘frivolous’ filings.  Probably, it appears, his imprisonment deals with a threat of lawsuit, also based on this text from a court proceeding:

“On September 27, 1999, the petitioner was convicted by a jury of two
counts of mailing a threatening communication with intent to extort money or
something of value in violation of 18 U.S.C.§ 876. See United States v. Judd,
252 F.3d 435 (5th Cir. 2001) (per curiam) (not published) (affirming conviction
and sentence). Because of various aggravating factors that increased the
offense level by a total of eighteen and the criminal history category from one
to four, the petitioner was sentenced to 210 months’ imprisonment. ”

Multiple frivilous court filings is the status quo for large corporate entities like the RIAA and the Democratic party (when trying to keep third party candidates off the ballot).  The surprising success of Judd in getting his name on the Idaho ballot could provide us with insight on how the United States surpresses political speech in individual non-corporate sponsors and treats the mentally ill.  If enough people in Idaho that vote for Judd it will do more to shine light on the issues in our voting system that need to be addressed for American democracy.

For more information on this candidate, see the informative site Project Vote Smart.  Among their information on Judd is his coloful nicknames (Mr. President, Dark Priest, W.D., Rusty), religion (Rastafarian-Christian), and his general background helping homeless people vote or producing music.

“Don’t hate the media, become the media” -Jello Biafra-

president rigged voting corporate interests

March 13, 2008

Around the world.

Filed under: Cool other, News, Strange — Tags: , , , , , , — skeptisys @ 9:40 am

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What is going on around the globe? Here is today’s news briefs:

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the NSA has continued its illegal wiretapping actions, even after congress explicitly told them it was illegal. The NSA collected and scanned all emails and phone calls for ‘strange’ activity and patterns. A reader somewhere wondered, “maybe the NSA has the missing White House emails.”

The BBC reports that China is accusing the United States of double standards on human rights, only ordering beef with broccoli.

Random visual poetry can be beautiful The most hypnotic website is up, flickrvision. The site takes photos uploaded to a public photo site, Flickr, and displays them one at a time – from all over the globe.

This is Wally Ballou signing off.

March 3, 2008

Verizon attacks civil liberties and makes illegal spying part of their policy

Filed under: law, News — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — skeptisys @ 3:01 pm

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Verizon released a new “Acceptable use policy” to take effect March 4, 2008. One of the main purposes of the new policy is to squash all freedom of speech by their users and to make public their policy of spying on their customers for government and industry behalf. Recent internet postings from American citizens have pressured government to reject senate bills granting Verizon and other large telecommunications companies immunity from any possible civil and criminal liability for laws broken with illegal wiretapping. Verizon has admitted to breaking these laws, but has, with the Bush administration, kept most of their activities secret from congressional and public oversight. The public fought against immunity for telecommunications companies, some of the type of political speech that Verizon is attempting to silence with this new document.

The new policy, released Feb 29, is multiple pages long and deals with vague restrictive policies that provides the ISP censorship control over all internet content by its providers, in strict violation of constitutional law. For civil libertarians and those who feel that the ruling class in America has become far too restrictive of all civil liberties, this latest policy will be most disturbing. Verizon is part of the upper % of America that has tremendous control over public laws and policies. This new policy is unilaterally being pushed on their users, with no recourse. Part of this overreaching new policy is a clause claiming Verizon has the ability to view, store, and share all internet activity and to share all this information with the government and all other entities. This shared information includes personal information.

Most of the new policy appears to be a reaction to the only viable outlet for American citizens to be involved with public policy and exercise their Constitutional rights, such as freedom of press and speech. The internet is the main channel that American citizens can use to achieve their Constitutional duty as overseer of those governing bodies, such as Verizon. The public is starting to assert those rights and duties, actively asking for no immunity to telecommunications companies that broke the law, no removal of our web pages (Baer and Wikileaks), and no government secrecy and torture. Those public debates have threatened the governing bodies’ belief that they alone should make decisions without oversight or debate. This document is one of Verizon’s attempts to destroy those rights, for their continued obscene (and yes, improper) profits.

The new policy by Verizon is quite long, so the sections here will take up some space, even in summary form (quoting directly from the source document).

The policy claims the right (by which I think they mean ‘power’) to remove internet service from any user “if your use of the Service or your use of an alias or the aliases of additional users on your account, whether explicitly or implicitly, and in the sole discretion of Verizon: (a) is obscene, indecent, pornographic, sadistic, cruel or racist in nature, or of a sexually explicit or graphic nature; (b) espouses, promotes or incites bigotry, hatred or racism; (c) might be legally actionable for any reason, (d) is objectionable for any reason, or (e) in any manner violates the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy. ”

Verizon feels they alone can determine the nature of all internet use, not you nor any 3rd party like a court or public opinion. Verizon’s own actions are indecent and might be legally actionable, but they have to power to restrict our speech and grant themselves immunity. The terms are very vague, including the meaning of ‘indecent’ and ‘objectionable’. Freedom of speech, by definition and court decisions, protect all of these types of speech. The courts have decided that hate and racist speech, like that of the KKK, is protected. This policy restricts much more than people like the KKK, it restricts all speech – with this vague language. Verizon wants to silence everybody.

Luckily the United States Constitution protects all citizens from this behavior. Unfortunately, Verizon appears to have the power to override the constitution – at least at this point.

The policy continues, “You may NOT use the Service as follows: (a) for any unlawful, improper or illegal purpose or activity”. To which code of etiquette ‘improper’ refers is unclear. Do they allow you to write about keeping the soup spoon on the left side? I always write with my pinky finger raised, thankfully.

It continues, “…to post or transmit information or communications that, whether explicitly stated, implied, or suggested through use of symbols, are obscene, indecent, pornographic, sadistic, cruel, or racist in content, or of a sexually explicit or graphic nature; or which espouses, promotes or incites bigotry, hatred or racism; or which might be legally actionable for any reason”

Throughout this document, terms like ‘implied’ are used, which could mean every speech. This document is so vague and restrictive, that it is almost impossible to find an internet post that does not fall under these restrictions. If someone posts that they are Christian and follow the bible, it can imply that they follow every aspect of that text, including the parts that deal with harming non believers. According to this document, that would be restricted. It is just intolerable in a society, even partially free, to allow such a restrictive powerful entity like Verizon to unilaterally force such a system, as seen in this document.

At this point, I would like to explain what I would find acceptable, in this document. Verizon, I feel, has the right to distance themselves from any legal or liable responsibility for any illegal or liable action resulting from someone using their system to connect to the internet. If a user breaks the law or is sued for liable behavior committed by an individual or company using Verizon internet connection, I do not believe Verizon should be liable (unless they took an active part) and their user agreement should spell this out. In fact, prior versions of this policy contain exactly that, (from memory I do not have a copy available to review).

Moving on, because so much of this very long document is intolerable to society. The document restricts posts that are: “flaming’ and “off-topic”, “deceptive” (like when Verizon was fined for deceptive activity?), “to use any name or mark of Verizon, its parent, affiliates or subsidiaries” (to use their name online? How do we as citizens or journalists refer to them, as the ‘BIG V’?), “or to cause the screen to “scroll” faster than other subscribers or users are able to type to it”.

Here is an interesting attempt by Verizon to circumvent court rulings. Courts have ruled that people can retain anonymity and free speech over the internet (see ruling summary here). That isn’t surprising, considering the basis of American law. However; Verizon here wishes to circumvent those ruling by removing all who, “…use a false name while using the Service or implying an association with Verizon.” Taken as worded, this apparently applies to people who post without their real name (like SkeptiSys) and imply they have used Verizon’s services in the past (association). That the name is false or hidden and the association can all be true and legal, is only an obstacle for Verizon.

Another item : “to make false or unverified complaints against any Verizon subscriber.” This clause is ridiculous. Many statements will be unverified or unverifiable. “I bet that there is a Verizon customer who drives an SUV while eating Cheetos”, is a statement both false and unverified.

A different twist in this one: “…to generate excessive amounts (as determined by Verizon in its sole discretion) of Internet traffic”. Verizon has already been fined for falsely deceiving their customers over internet connection, but this is truly fraudulent. People signed up for a rate of data transfer, and then they are later told that the rate is limited. How limited? We are not saying yet, just that we plan to cap the amount and charge you lots more for the same or less service. What a scummy way to do business.

I need to cut this article short (I believe it is Verizon’s intent to make the document unreviewable based on time and effort) .

There is a section on copyright infringement, which looks like it was written by a representative of the RIAA. This last section that follows the RIAA section I will include here, because I feel needs to be known by the public. “Verizon reserves the right to cooperate with legal authorities and/or injured third parties in the investigation of any suspected crime or civil wrong. Such cooperation may include, but not be limited to, provision of account or user information or email as well as monitoring of the Verizon network.” and “Verizon may, but is not required to monitor your compliance, or the compliance of other subscribers, with the terms, conditions or policies of this Agreement.”

This last part says they can at their discretion look at everything you do online, and will not keep that information private. They can, at their discretion, share that info with any person company or government they see fit, at a minimum on a suspicion. Of course, there is no recourse or criteria for such a suspicion. This clause actually states that they feel they have the right to spy on all users activity for the government and anyone else. Amazing.

People, the frog is beginning to boil.

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September 21, 2007

Poll, updated

Filed under: politics — Tags: , , , , , — skeptisys @ 10:50 am

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As of right now in my poll results, there is a tie for first place between ‘letting my 7-year old nephew guest post’, humor, and ‘politics’. Although the polls are still open, I will give the people what they appear to want. Since my nephew is busy at school and with puzzles, I will write about politics, with some humor attempted, as a 7 year old writes (with apologies to the New York Post who may have this style copyrighted).

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get away from the blatant health and safety violations committed by the poultry plant, enhanced by the Bush administration that has turned over governmental oversight to the industry’s most profitable corporations. Haha. I read that on a Dixie cup, I think.

 

August 22, 2007

We’re war, we are

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — skeptisys @ 3:16 pm

When I started this blog, my purpose was to communicate my feelings on whatever topics held my interest, which is usually sports and comedy. This is very different from 20 years ago, when I was 19, when my interests were sports, comedy, and tits. Of course, tits were most important to me during my first year of life, whenever I got hungry. After 1, I reached the age where the unelected FCC kindly protected me against such damaging images as tits, without them having to be asked. I was fortunately too old (over 18) to have been ruined by Janet Jackson’s tit briefly shown at the Superbowl, although I guess under age 2 would have been ok, as they see breasts everyday. I hope none of the kids between 2 and 18 saw that, so they could enjoy their wholesome images of broken bones sticking through football padding in 3 separate slo-motion angles. Now I have much less interest in tits, even naked ones. Oh yes lady, those are very nice – you still aren’t getting ahead of me in line.

But lately, I cannot see how I, or any American, can avoid being deeply involved in politics. As a bachelor, I can readily equate this situation to taking out the trash. Sure Mothers always tell you to take out the trash, but it only really needs to be attended to when the garbage builds so high that the stench and weight of it makes it difficult to comfortably live. That is where we are in America now. Everybody needs to get involved in cleaning up this mess.

Many of the major issues in this country have slowly and subtly worsened since Reagan took over in 1980 and then exploded with Bush 2.

One of these worsening issues is the establishment of an unconstitutional state religion, a fundamentalist sect of Christianity. To be fair, it was Carter that allowed fundamentalism into the White House, but the Christian Coalition began with Reagan. As a side note, the other thing that bothers me from Carter’s presidency is the absolute political failure of the attempt to sacrifice now for the betterment of the long term. This Tactic will be needed, if we are to deal with large issues such as Global Warming, but has been considered political suicide since Carter.

Another issue is corporate control over every aspect of American life, including: how we get our information, how we are educated as kids; how laws are made, how laws are implemented, and almost everything else. Another issue is today’s topic, and the 2nd on my list of issues to be addressed by any presidential candidate, the military.

War culture. Leaving aside the contributions made to other countries’ war efforts, the United States spends approximately half of the world’s war budget, and much more than half if you include other budgetary items that are used for war purposes and ‘emergency’ funds. Oh, and let’s make this clear, when I say the United States, I mean you and I pay, and large companies receive, the money – like GE (owns NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, etc). Who we are fighting is irrelevant to these companies, only that we keep the gigantic payments up. What makes it more disgraceful is the way this money is used.

1) This money is not for the soldiers, or ‘troops’ as is the new term. The Bush administration has slashed funding for health care and all other benefits for the soldiers. Corporate Democrats have been complicit in this, as usual. The term ‘support our troops’ means give money to war profiteers, like Haliburton, Titan, or Kelloggs. When news employees hide behind, ‘you hate our troops’, they mean ‘Don’t infringe on my employer’s profits, I want to keep my job’. Sometimes these news employees get out of line with their employers and get fired (Dan Rather is one)

2) The ‘enemy’ doesn’t matter, but the fear does. When I was a kid the cold war was the provided reason for the high military budget. Reagan scared us with descriptions of nuclear rockets just off the coast of Florida, aimed at us. The prior generation had to hide under desks as kids, to practice survival of a nuclear attack. When the Soviet Union was too weak to use as an enemy, naturally the military budget should be decreased. Nope, not according to this pdf U.S. budget over time. Clinton increased the budget, so did both Bushes. After the Soviet Union, the enemy became small countries in South America, mainly. Today, the enemy is ‘Terrorists”, which could belong to any country, I guess, and can never be eliminated, – constant threat and war.

3) Destroys human life in horrible ways. Although corporate McNews never reports it, the most conservative estimate is that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in this recent war, mostly women, children, and elderly. This is a third world country that has never attacked or threatened the United States, whose people died because Bush’s (Oil) and Cheney’s (Haliburton) employers needed to increase profit. That is sick.

4) The United States military is ineffective in every way but making money for certain big companies. Iraq is a third world country, who had been devastated by 10 years of UN sanctions, resulting in many deaths – and the United States multi trillion dollar military couldn’t defeat it? What will happen if we need to fight a real war against a real enemy? We are fucked! But who provided biological and other weapons to Saddam? That’s right, U.S. military. And who trained Osama bin Laden to kill and gave him lots of money to start his own army? Yep, U.S. military. Whomever is running the military, they need to be tried for treason, while we get someone who cares about the American people in charge.

For a presidential candidate to get my vote or to be seen by me as a serious candidate, he/she must have a plan to dramatically reduce the military budget, while increasing the quality of their services. The plan would need to deal with war profiteers like Haliburton, both in the future with oversight and fair bidding, and backward with criminal proceedings. Many polls show that this what the people want, and simply ignore it, as the candidates have done, is anti-democracy.

 

 

 

 

 

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