Archives May 2021

The Non-Proliferation of Cyber Weapons Treaty (NPCWT)

Why a Non-Proliferation of Cyber Weapons Treaty?

Because the world needs a Non-Proliferation of Cyber Weapons Treaty to eliminate cyber attacks worldwide: cyber attacks that can bring an entire nation to its knees, or interrupt local commerce.

Much like the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) there is a global interest in maintaining the safety and security of ALL NATIONS.

I support such a cyber-treaty which offers a foreign government a reward in the amount of (or even double) the ransom demanded by cyberattack groups, in exchange for that government arresting the perpetrators and confiscating their equipment, relinquishing the cybercriminals and their equipment to the U.S. under existing int’l extradition treaties already in place.

Our NSA is fully capable of providing a foreign government with either exact or proximate GPS coordinates of the location of the perpetrators.

Problem is, the U.S. government is the ALL-TIME WORLD LEADER when it comes to cyber attacks, eavesdropping, spying. For decades the U.S. government reigned supreme when it came to spying and surreptitious information acquisition. The U.S. gov’t is accustomed to being the BIG BULLY ON THE BLOCK when it comes to these issues.

BUT NOW, with the explosive advent of technology, even smaller governments and small groups can wage cyber attacks on larger nations.

Read the rest here >>>

Studies Find No Link Between Enhanced Unemployment Benefits and any “Worker Shortage”


“Employers enjoy no statutory or constitutional right to cheap labor, period. It is a FACT wages have remained stagnant since the seventies while corporate profits have risen by orders of magnitude. Why are employers complaining about not having cheap labor ON DEMAND? Welcome to Capitalism! Capitalism works BOTH WAYS, not just for the employer.”

A great majority of Americans SUPPORT enhanced unemployment benefits.

“We find no evidence to support concerns about adverse aggregate labor supply effects of expanded UI generosity in the context of the current pandemic.”
Yale University Study: Employment Effects of Unemployment Insurance Generosity During the Pandemic

Aggregate Employment Effects of Unemployment Benefits During Deep Downturns: Evidence from the Expiration of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation

“The expiration of the temporary $600 boost to weekly UI benefits under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) led to a sharp, unprecedented, 98 percentage point reduction (on average) in the replacement rate during a time when employment was recovering during the Covid recession. Leveraging the considerable variation in this drop across states, I use a difference-in-differences event study design to estimate the macro employment effects. I find little impact of job gains from the benefit reduction, especially when I focus on groups (non-college graduates, and those from non-high-income households) that comprise of most UI recipients.
Read the rest here >>>

Employers are outraged that workers won’t come crawling to work for peanuts in a pandemic

Laura Clawson for Daily Kos Labor
Daily Kos Staff
Friday April 30, 2021

The big push is on to blame the American Rescue Plan for businesses not being able to find enough workers to fill their jobs. Business owners—restaurant owners in particular—are lining up to tell reporters how those darn lazy workers would rather stay home and collect unemployment than go back to work. Rarely do these stories of employer pain ask questions like, say, how much pay they’re offering or how careful they’re being with their workers’ health in the midst of the pandemic. Stories asking people why they’re hesitating to go back to work are mysteriously not so common.

“People felt abused in the beginning stages of opening back up,” a Washington, D.C., server and bartender told Washington City Paper in one of the few stories that did consider the workers’ side. “It shook people enough to say, ‘I don’t think I want to get back into this.’ If you’re not going to follow protocols and you’re not going to have my back if guests get out of line, what’s the point?”

A woman who bartends as second job in Florida explained to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that she’d seen a lot of people leaving the restaurant industry for other careers “partially due to COVID and the hours changing and not making consistent money.”

Read the rest here >>>

Being Black In America

This package has been sitting outside my house for days now. Why? Because we are black. And yes, I’ll explain.
UPS mistakenly delivered this package to the wrong house. The address on the package is for a house just a block over, so we are waiting for UPS to pick up the package and deliver it to the right house.
“But Sean, why wouldn’t you be a decent person and just take the package to your neighbor? Or better yet, you have teenage sons. Send one of them. That’s the perk of having teenagers — free menial labor.”
The answer is because we’re black. And it’s extremely unsafe to send our boys to the home of any family that we don’t know in this predominantly white neighborhood.
Why? Because there is a realistic chance that one of my neighbors will see my boy as a threat and call the police or even pull a gun on him.
And if you think I’m being ridiculous or paranoid, Google “Brennan Walker,” a 14 yo black boy who earlier this month, missed the bus and tried to walk to school. He got lost and approached a house to ask for directions. The owners of this home were convinced that this 14 yo BOY had come to kill them (in broad daylight), causing the husband to pull out his gun and open fire on the fleeing BOY.… Read the rest here >>>

Justice Hidden In Plain Sight

For a very long time I have complained how prosecutors/Congress IGNORE the most relevant important federal law on the books: U.S.C. TITLE 18, SEC. 242 DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW and its sister statute, SEC. 241 CONSPIRACY AGAINST RIGHTS. These federal laws apply to any person acting under color of law who violates a person’s U.S. civil, constitutional rights.
The penalty for violating a person’s rights is a minimum of one year in federal prison and up to life in prison depending upon the severity of the offense.

The enforcement of this statute (SEC. 242) is THE MISSING LINK, THE MISSING COMPONENT of the justice we all seek. Congresspersons intentionally refrain from discussing SEC. 242, much less using SEC. 242 in a investigation/prosecution. Why? Because SEC. 242 categorically applies to all elected and unelected officials. Hopefully one day Americans will realize there is something we can do about state legislators drafting and passing bills which are so unconstitutional the act of the author is literally a federal crime – a CRIMINAL CONSTITUTIONAL LAW VIOLATION.

How come you don’t hear talking heads on MSNBC or CNN or anywhere else for that matter discussing this very law and pertinent issues? To protect the guilty, that’s why.

Read the rest here >>>

Healthcare In Other Countries

Cole Gurley: Hello from Australia…Im a stage 4 Ovarian Cancer patient. I was diagnosed in 2017 & immediately was referred to a Specialist Gynaecological Oncologist surgeon …that appointment cost me a few hundred dollars that I had to pay out of pocket. The Surgeon immediately scheduled me for a MRI scan, PET scan , CT scan, full bloods, DNA testing Mammogram & then after all that booked me in for surgery. I had a full hysterectomy & debulking surgery followed by 6 rounds of 3 weekly chemotherapy. Every single thing was covered by my Medicare card. It took me almost 2 weeks to get into see the specialist…it only took me a further two weeks to receive surgery in a public hospital. For all of this I pay 2% tax based on my totally annual income. Thats it. Sure if I was a millionaire 2% tax might add up…but for me & 95% of Australians…its value for money plus some. It didnt cost me a cent. Our system is definitely not perfect but when your desperately sick it’s life changing.
· Reply · 19m
Karen Suykens:
Cole Gurley – I am in Canada and have been waiting for foot surgery for quite a long time.
Read the rest here >>>

Anand Giridharadas Quotations

“A successful society is a progress machine. It takes in the raw material of innovations and produces broad human advancement. America’s machine is broken. When the fruits of change have fallen on the United States in recent decades, the very fortunate have basketed almost all of them.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“Rich American men, who tend to live longer than the average citizens of any other country, now live fifteen years longer than poor American men, who endure only as long as men in Sudan and Pakistan.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“the top 10 percent of humanity have come to hold 90 percent of the planet’s wealth. It is no wonder that the American voting public—like other publics around the world—has turned more resentful and suspicious in recent years, embracing populist movements on the left and right, bringing socialism and nationalism into the center of political life in a way that once seemed unthinkable, and succumbing to all manner of conspiracy theory and fake news.”
― Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

“Elite networking forums like the Aspen Institute and the Clinton Global Initiative groom the rich to be self-appointed leaders of social change, taking on the problems people like them have been instrumental in creating or sustaining.”… Read the rest here >>>

Republican governors scoffed at COVID-19, but treat cutting unemployment insurance as an emergency

Saturday May 08, 2021

COLUMBIA, SC – NOVEMBER 03: South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster speaks to a crowd during an election night party for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on November 3, 2020 in Columbia, South Carolina. Graham defeated Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jaime Harrison. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster at a rally for Sen. Lindsey Graham

On Friday, the monthly jobs report showed an unexpectedly weak rate of job growth for the month of April. For economists, it was a something of a puzzle, but for Republicans on the hunt for a narrative, it was the answer to a prayer. Across the nation, Republicans declared that the problem was lazy Americans sitting at home, enjoying their fat unemployment checks, rather than looking for a job. As a result, governors in Montana and South Carolina announced that they were immediately ending the states’ expanded unemployment programs, treating the situation with the kind of emergency status they never showed when dealing with COVID-19.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said asking students to wear masks was “ridiculous,” insisted that large events stay open, and said that there was “no cause for public alarm in South Carolina.” It’s the kind of leadership that propelled his state to a position near the top of the cases per capita chart with 113,300 cases per million South Carolinians.

Read the rest here >>>

US Capitol Police says threats against members of Congress up 107% compared to 2020

Fri May 7, 2021

(CNN) US Capitol Police said Friday that there has been a 107% increase in threats against members of Congress this year compared to 2020 and the department is “confident” the number of cases will continue to increase.

“As the Department has previously reported, the number of threats made against Congress has increased significantly. This year alone, there has been a 107% increase in threats against Members compared to 2020,” USCP said in a press release on security recommendations detailed in a third preliminary report by its inspector general.
“Provided the unique threat environment we currently live in, the Department is confident the number of cases will continue to increase,” it adds.
While USCP did not offer any details about the nature of these threats or what it believes is behind the increase, it noted its support of recommendations for “increasing threat assessment manpower and restructuring the Department to establish a stand-alone counter-surveillance entity.”

“In 2020, the (US Secret Service), which has more than 100 agents and analysts, had approximately 8,000 cases. During the same time period, the USCP, which has just over 30 agents and analysts, had approximately 9,000 cases,” USCP said in its Friday release.
In late January, CNN reported that intelligence based on social media chatter and other information, which increased after the January 6 insurrection, indicated a heightened threat for members of Congress.

Read the rest here >>>

Tenth Amendment Claims Regarding Federal Benefits

Conservative governors routinely cite the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as legitimate excuse for denying federal benefits to the residents of their state.

I hope some resident of Montana, Arkansas or South Carolina files a federal lawsuit challenging their state governor denying them access to federal benefits under the American Rescue Plan; namely the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

Tenth Amendment claims do not override a person’s 14th Amendment right to equal application of the law. It is patently unconstitutional for any official acting under color of law to offer benefits to some people but not all people.

In its 1987 decision in South Dakota v. Dole, which arguably remains the leading case regarding the use of the federal government’s conditional spending power, the Court held that legislation enacted pursuant to the Spending Clause must be in pursuit of the “general welfare.” In addition, the Dole Court held that any conditions attached to the receipt of federal funds must:

(1) be unambiguously established so that recipients can knowingly accept or reject them;

(2) be germane to the federal interest in the particular national projects or programs to which the money is directed;

(3) not violate other provisions of the Constitution, such as the First Amendment or the Due Process or Takings Clauses of the Fifth Amendment; and

(4) not cross the line from enticement to impermissible coercion, such that states have no real choice but to accept the funding and enact or administer a federal regulatory program.

Read the rest here >>>