New CISPA in the Senate ready for a vote

July 31, 2012
Congress is debating a new cybersecurity bill that has garnered the help of the White House. Does that mean it will ease the fears from Capitol Hill while still respecting concerns of privacy though? Aaron Swartz of Demand Progress joins RT’s Liz Wahl to talk in this area the latest hard work regarding the newest cybersecurity legislation being considered.

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Gov. Hickenlooper Announces Marital Separation

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced today that he and his wife, Helen Thorpe, are separating. His full announcement: After years of marriage that have added tremendous like and depth to both of our lives, we have chose to break. This choice is mutual and excellent-humored. We continue to have the utmost respect for each other, and we remain close friends. We be going to to continue functioning as a family that spends a fantastic deal of time together. In fact, we will embark on our annual family vacation together this week, share meals often, and plot to spend holidays together. You can continue to expect to see both of us out in the community – sometimes together, sometimes solo. Please feel free to include both of us in social gatherings as we will not find it awkward. [More....] Our chief concern right now is the well-being of our son, so we question everyone to respect our privacy as we make this transition. While public personnel made this announcement necessary, it will be the only statement we make on this private matter. We want to thank our friends, family, and community for all of the help you have shown us as a couple and as individuals, and for the help we know you will provide as we go forward. Denver's 5280 Magazine has a very in depth report on the Governor's first year in personnel in its new August issue. Investigative reporter Maximillian Potter spent the last year "embedded" with the Governor, getting unparalleled access. Potter is a terrific reporter, and I highly recommend the article. Potter clarifies how the embedding process worked here. Read more

Hollande, Monti Stress Commitment to Euro Zone

July 31, 2012
French President François Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti reaffirmed their commitment to the euro zone Tuesday, stressing a message they and other European officials have espoused in recent days as they seek to boost confidence in the 17-nation currency bloc.
“We continual that we will do all so…that the euro zone is defended, preserved and consolidated,” Mr. Hollande said after a meeting in Paris with Mr. Monti.
The Italian prime minister called on European leaders to stay focused on addressing the sovereign debt quandary. “The euro-zone stability, which is at stake, is so vital that we can’t allow ourselves to be distracted for even one minute” said Mr. Monti.

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Joe Lieberman does not have to attend any political conventions though the Americans Elect would no doubt welcome him. This bothers me though: “Joe Lieberman is a victim of polarization. He’s another person cast aside by people who aren’t interested in centrist views,” said Professor Ross K. Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University, who has worked as a scholar in residence in the Senate. Wait, what? Maybe people rejected Lieberman's views, as different to "centrist" views, no matter what that means. Does that offend Professor Baker? Apparently so. Read more

Portrait of a Drone Killer: ‘I Have a Duty, and I Execute My Duty’

William Grigg
Lew Rockwell Blog
July 31, 2012
One wonders if drone pilot Col. D. Scott Brenton listens to Louis Armstrong in the suburban Air National Guard Base in Syracuse from which he murders people 7,000 miles away.
“I see mothers with children, I see fathers with children, I see fathers with mothers, I see kids playing soccer,” Brenton tells the New York Times. Drone operators see their intended targets “wake up in the morning, do their work, go to sleep at night,” clarifies Dave, another high-tech murderer who killed from an personnel cockpit at Nevada’s Creech Air Force Base and who now trains new recruits to the cyber-killer corps at New Mexico’s Holloman Air Force Base.
When instructed to kill someone he has stalked from the air for a prolonged period, “I feel no emotional attachment to the enemy,” Brenton insists. I have a duty, and I do my duty.” When the deed is done, he points out, nobody “in my immediate environment is aware of anything that has occurred.”
“There was a excellent reason for killing the people that I did, and I go through it in my head over and over and over,” insists another drone operator named Will, who — like Dave — served a deskbound “combat” tour at Creech and now trains others to do likewise at Holloman Air Base. Read more

Colorado Bakery Won’t Make Wedding Cakes for Gay Couples

Colorado Bakery Won't Make Wedding Cakes for Gay Couples

Masterpiece Bakery and its owner Jack Phillips in Lakewood, CO (just west of Denver) are engulfed in a storm of controversy after Phillips told a gay couple picking out their wedding cake he wouldn't make one for them because he doesn't help gay marriage. Philips claims he isn't discriminating hostile to gays, he will make them birthday cakes or cakes for any other occasion besides a marriage. Phillips is taking a beating on Facebook and even on Yelp. A large protest is scheduled for next Saturday. Phillips doesn't seem to be fazed. We would close down that bakery before we closed our beliefs, so that may be what it comes to … we’ll see,” Phillips said. There are plenty of other bakeries in Lakewood. Elegant Bakeries has won lots of awards for its wedding cakes and is family owned and operated. There's also Et Cetera Gourmet and Cakes by Karen. Masterpiece's discrimination is unacceptable. [More...] It seems to me if Masterpiece operates under a retail business license issued by Lakewood or Jefferson District, and is open to the public, it should be have to sell to all of the public. Stupid choice by Phillips. Update: It seems Masterpiece is violating Colorado law which prohibits retail businesses from discriminating hostile to people because of sexual orientation or marital status, amongst other reasons. The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act provides: Places of public accommodation may not deny any person partaking, entry, or services based upon the person’s sexual orientation, including transgender status. ... A public accommodation is any house of business engaged in offering sales or services of any kind to the public, as well as any house offering facilities, privileges, advantages or other accommodations to the public. Predictable examples of public accommodations include, but are not limited to, hotels, restaurants, stores, hospitals, clinics, and health clubs. Here's the statute. "house of public accommodation" means any house of business engaged in any sales to the public and any house offering services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to the public, including but not limited to any business offering wholesale or retail sales to the public; ...(2) It is a prejudiced practice and unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a assemble, because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a house of public accommodation or, directly or indirectly, to publish, circulate, issue, spectacle, post, or mail any written, electronic, or in black and white communication, notice, or advertisement that indicates that the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a house of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from, or denied an individual or that an individual's patronage or presence at a house of public accommodation is unwelcome, objectionable, unacceptable, or undesirable because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry. The penalty: 1) Any person who violates section 24-34-601 shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for each violation. A person aggrieved by the violation of section 24-34-601 shall bring an proceedings in any court of competent jurisdiction in the district where the violation occurred. Upon finding a violation, the court shall order the defendant to pay the fine to the aggrieved party. (2) For each violation of section 24-34-601, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars nor more than three hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the district jail for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. I wonder what happens if multiple gay couples now request wedding cakes from Masterpiece, are denied, and each files a complaint. Read more