Monthly Archives: February 2015

Warren Buffett Greensboro News Record offer to purchase from Roy Carroll, Rhino Times Owner, News & Record has drifted far left of center in terms of its coverage and stories

Warren Buffett Greensboro News Record offer to purchase from Roy Carroll, Rhino Times Owner, News & Record has drifted far left of center in terms of its coverage and stories

“The (American) press, which is mostly controlled by vested
interests, has an excessive influence on public opinion.”… Albert Einstein

“the Times of the nineteenth of December had published the official forecasts of the output of various classes of consumption goods in the fourth quarter of 1983, which was also the sixth quarter of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. Today’s issue contained a statement of the actual output, from which it appeared that the forecasts were in every instance grossly wrong. Winston’s job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones.”…George Orwell, “1984”

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984”

 

 

I already liked Roy Carroll, a local businessman who has played a major role in the revitalization of downtown Greensboro and who resurrected the Rhino Times.

Now I love the man.

From the Rhino Times February 26, 2015.

“A Letter to Mr. Buffett

February 26, 2015

Since resuscitating the Rhino Times, hardly a day has passed without someone asking me to take the Rhino to a daily publication so that they could get fair and balanced local news and editorials.  Since day one of owning the Rhino, I have studied doing just that; however, the thought recently occurred to me that it might be advantageous to just purchase the News & Record.  Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns the Greensboro News & Record, along with the Winston-Salem Journal and a list of other daily publications across the country.  I believe the News & Record has turned its back on mainstream Greensboro and taken a hard left turn, and, while I don’t know this for a fact, I would surmise that the paper’s readership and ad sales numbers are bound to have taken a downward turn as well.

Under my business plan I would return the News & Record to a “middle of the road” publication, using the Rhino Times to complement the News & Record with its typical political commentary and coverage of city, county and state news.”

“Dear Mr. Buffett:

 

I first would like to introduce myself.  My name is Roy Carroll and I own several Greensboro businesses, including Snap Publications, the parent company of the Rhino Times, a local weekly news publication.

 

Speculation is that you are not satisfied with the financial performance of several of your newsprint publications since you acquired them.  If that is correct, I would ask that you seriously consider the enclosed Letter of Intent to Purchase the Greensboro News & Record.

 

Please understand that this is not a publicity stunt but a bona fide offer.  I have developed a business plan to turn the News & Record around and to hopefully make it a viable business.  The plan involves utilizing the synergies that could be created between both publications being located in the same city, and consolidating senior management, advertising sales and distribution.  I envision changes to the editorial team that would result in potentially the most cost savings and revenue growth.

 

Over the course of several years, the News & Record, in my opinion, has drifted far left of center in terms of its coverage and stories.  I believe that this drift far to the left has hurt the News & Record in terms of readership and ad sales.  Under my business plan, I would prune back some of the writers that have gone so far left of center and hire writers that were less dogmatic in their far left of center news coverage and opinions.    Don’t get me wrong, I value opposing viewpoints and would promote healthy debates on important topics.  Publishing opposing viewpoints is productive and, in my opinion, a responsibility of a local daily.  Actually, most Greensboro citizens see themselves in the political center.

 

I’ll give you a classic example of what I’m saying.  I’m sure you have research detailing the unfortunate state of the local Greensboro economy.  Over the last four or five years we have somehow lost our way in terms of job creation and wage growth.  While our peer cities were actively recruiting new businesses on the back side of the recession, Greensboro, in my opinion, had the wrong people and possibly the wrong economic development structure in place.  As a result, there have been virtually no net jobs created in Greensboro.  You would think that a responsible local daily would be all over this issue, regularly writing about the lack of job growth and local economic development, especially since it hurts everyone in our community, including the readers and advertisers that the News & Record relies on.”

Read more:

http://www.rhinotimes.com/a-letter-to-mr-buffett.html

I have criticized the News Record as well.

From Citizen Wells February 22, 2015.

“There are numerous variations of the AP January 2015 jobs report from around February 7, 2015.

The Greensboro News Record regurgitated their own version in print. I could not find an online version so the print edition is provided in full below.

The News Record has been diligent in fact checking the employment data and record of the NC Republicans in power but when it comes to Obama and the national economy, anything goes.”

I am disappointed that instead of fact checking the AP article and presenting the truth, they regurgitated it.

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/ap-january-jobs-economy-report-lies-inaccuracies-misleading-statements-greensboro-news-record-regurgitates-sloppy-reporting-bias-or-orwellian-lies/

 

 

 

FCC open internet rules exposed by commissioner Ajit Pai and Small Business Administration, Obama told us to do so, Unilateral authority to regulate Internet conduct, Higher broadband prices, slower speeds, less broadband deployment, less innovation, fewer options for consumer

FCC open internet rules exposed by commissioner Ajit Pai and Small Business Administration, Obama told us to do so, Unilateral authority to regulate Internet conduct, Higher broadband prices, slower speeds, less broadband deployment, less innovation, fewer options for consumer

“If you like your current service plan, you should be able to keep your current service plan. The FCC shouldn’t take it away from you.”…FCC commissioner Ajit Pia February 10, 2015

“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth’s centre. With the feeling that he was speaking to O’Brien, and also that he was setting forth an important axiom, he wrote:

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984”

 

From FCC commissioner Ajit Pai February 26, 2015.

“ORAL DISSENTING STATEMENT OF
COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI

Re: Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet, GN Docket No. 14-28.
Americans love the free and open Internet. We relish our freedom to speak, to post, to rally, to learn, to listen, to watch, and to connect online. The Internet has become a powerful force for freedom, both at home and abroad. So it is sad this morning to witness the FCC’s unprecedented attempt to replace
that freedom with government control.
It shouldn’t be this way. For twenty years, there’s been a bipartisan consensus in favor of a free and open Internet. A Republican Congress and a Democratic President enshrined in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 the principle that the Internet should be a “vibrant and competitive free market . . . unfettered by Federal or State regulation.” And dating back to the Clinton Administration,
every FCC Chairman—Republican and Democrat—has let the Internet grow free from utility-style regulation. The results speak for themselves.
But today, the FCC abandons those policies. It reclassifies broadband Internet access service as a Title II telecommunications service. It seizes unilateral authority to regulate Internet conduct, to direct where Internet service providers (ISPs) make their investments, and to determine what service plans will
be available to the American public. This is not only a radical departure from the bipartisan, marketoriented policies that have served us so well for the last two decades. It is also an about-face from the proposals the FCC made just last May.
So why is the FCC turning its back on Internet freedom? Is it because we now have evidence that the Internet is broken? No. We are flip-flopping for one reason and one reason alone. President Obama
told us to do so.
On November 10, President Obama asked the FCC to implement his plan for regulating the Internet, one that favors government regulation over marketplace competition. As has been widely reported in the press, the FCC has been scrambling ever since to figure out a way to do just that.
The courts will ultimately decide this Order’s fate. Litigants are already lawyering up to seek judicial review of these new rules. Given the Order’s many glaring legal flaws, they will have plenty of fodder.
But if this Order manages to survive judicial review, these will be the consequences: higher broadband prices, slower speeds, less broadband deployment, less innovation, and fewer options for American consumers. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet
isn’t the solution to a problem. His plan is the problem.
In short, because this Order imposes intrusive government regulations that won’t work to solve a problem that doesn’t exist using legal authority the FCC doesn’t have, I dissent.
I.
The Commission’s decision to adopt President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet. It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works. It’s an overreach that will let a Washington bureaucracy, and not the American
people, decide the future of the online world.
One facet of that control is rate regulation. For the first time, the FCC will regulate the rates that ISPs may charge and will set a price of zero for certain commercial agreements. And the Order goes out of its way to reject calls to forbear from section 201’s authorization of rate regulation and expressly
invites parties to file such complaints with the Commission. A government agency deciding whether a rate is lawful is the very definition of rate regulation.
2
Although the Order plainly regulates rates, the plan takes pains to claim that it is not imposing further “ex ante rate regulation.” Of course, that concedes that the new regulatory regime will involve ex post rate regulation. But even the agency’s suggestion that it today “cannot . . . envision” ex ante rate regulations “in this context” says nothing of what a future Commission—perhaps this very
Commission—could envision.
Just as pernicious is the FCC’s new “Internet conduct” standard, a standard that gives the FCC a roving mandate to review business models and upend pricing plans that benefit consumers. Usage-based pricing plans and sponsored data plans are the current targets. So if a company doesn’t want to offer an
expensive, unlimited data plan, it could find itself in the FCC’s cross hairs.
Our standard should be simple: If you like your current service plan, you should be able to keep your current service plan. The FCC shouldn’t take it away from you. Banning diverse service plans would just hurt consumers, especially the middle-class and low-income Americans who are the biggest beneficiaries of these plans.
In all, the FCC will have almost unfettered discretion to decide what business practices clear the bureaucratic bar, so these won’t be the last plans targeted by the agency. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote just this week: This open-ended rule will be “anything but clear” and “suggests that the
FCC believes it has broad authority to pursue any number of practices.” And “a multi-factor test gives the FCC an awful lot of discretion, potentially giving an unfair advantage to parties with insider influence.”
Then there is the temporary forbearance. Although the Order crows that its forbearance from some Title II rules yields a “‘light-touch’ regulatory framework,” in reality it isn’t light at all, coming as it does with the caveats that the public has come to expect from Washington, DC. In discussing additional
rate regulation, tariffs, last-mile unbundling, burdensome administrative filing requirements, accounting standards, and entry and exit regulation, the plan repeatedly states that it is only forbearing “at this time.”
For other rules, the FCC will refrain “for now.”
To be sure, with respect to some rules, the agency says that it “cannot envision” going further.
But as the history of this proceeding makes clear, assurances like these don’t tend to last very long. In other words, expect forbearance to fade and the regulations to ratchet up as time goes on.
A.
Consumers will be worse off under President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet. Consumers should expect their bills to go up, and they should expect that broadband will be slower going forward.
This isn’t what anyone was promised, to say the least.
1. New broadband taxes.—One avenue for higher bills is the new taxes and fees that will be applied to broadband. Here’s the background. If you look at your phone bill, you’ll see a “Universal Service Fee,” or something like it. These fees—what most Americans would call taxes—are paid by Americans on their telephone service. They funnel about $9 billion each year through the FCC.
Consumers haven’t had to pay these taxes on their broadband bills because broadband has never before been a Title II service.
But now it is. And so the Order explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes.
Indeed, it repeatedly states that it is only deferring a decision on new broadband taxes—not prohibiting them.
This is fig-leaf forbearance. Indeed, the FCC has already referred the question of assessing federal and state taxes on broadband to the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service and “has requested a recommended decision by April 7, 2015,” right before Tax Day. It’s no surprise that many view this referral as a question of how, not whether to tax broadband, and states have already begun
discussions on how they will spend the extra money.
3
And the agency’s preference is clear. The Order argues that taxing broadband “potentially could spread the base of contributions” and could add “to the stability of the universal service fund.” For those not familiar with this Beltway argot, let me translate: “Taxing broadband would make it easier to spend
more of your money with minimal public oversight.”
We’ve seen this game played before. During reform of the E-Rate program in July 2014, the FCC secretly told lobbyists that it would raise USF taxes after the election to pay for the promises it was making. Sure enough, in December 2014, the agency did just that—increasing E-Rate spending (and with it telephone taxes) by $1.5 billion per year.
Public reports indicate that the federal government is eager to tap this new revenue stream soon to spend more of consumers’ hard-earned dollars. So when it comes to broadband, read my lips: More new taxes are coming. It’s just a matter of when.
2. Slower broadband.—These Internet regulations will work another serious harm on consumers.
Their broadband speeds will be slower.
The record is replete with evidence that Title II regulations will slow investment and innovation in broadband networks. Remember: Broadband networks don’t have to be built. Capital doesn’t have to be invested here. Risks don’t have to be taken. The more difficult the FCC makes the business case for deployment, the less likely it is that broadband providers big and small will connect Americans with digital opportunities.
The Old World offers a cautionary tale here. Compare the broadband market in the United States to that in Europe, where broadband is generally regulated as a public utility. Today, 82% of Americans have access to 25 Mbps broadband speeds. In Europe, that figure is only 54%. Moreover, in the United States, average mobile broadband speeds are 30% faster than they are in Western Europe.
It’s no wonder that many Europeans are perplexed by what is taking place at the FCC. Just this week, the Secretary General of the European People’s Party, the largest party in the European Parliament, observed that the FCC, “at the behest” of President Obama, was about to impose the type of “[r]egulation
which . . . has led Europe to fall behind the US in levels of investment.”
Making it all worse is the fact that the FCC now welcomes litigation—from individual claims about the justness and reasonableness of ISP pricing to sprawling class actions for violations of the new Internet conduct rule—as an appropriate means of regulating the Internet economy. Judging from what
we’ve seen in the patent world, this will be a boon for trial lawyers.
And these are just the intended results of reclassification!
There are unintended consequences as well. The fees that broadband providers—from smalltown cable operators to new entrants like Google—must now pay to deploy broadband using things like utility poles will go up by an estimated $150–200 million per year. And reclassification will expose many small companies to higher state and local taxes. Here in Washington, for instance, companies will face an instant 11% increase in taxes on their gross receipts. That big bite will leave a welt on consumers’ wallets.
All of these new fees and costs add up. One estimate puts the total at $11 billion a year. And every dollar spent on fees and new costs like lawyers and accountants has to come from somewhere: either the pockets of the American consumer or projects to deploy faster broadband. And so these higher costs will lead to slower speeds and higher prices—in short, less value—for the American consumer.
B.
So do American consumers want slower speeds at higher prices? I don’t think so.
4
That’s certainly not what I heard when I hosted the Texas Forum on Internet Regulation in College Station, the FCC’s only field hearing on net neutrality where audience members were allowed to speak. There, Internet innovators, students, everyday people told me they wanted something else from
the FCC—something that I thought had a familiar ring to it. These consumers wanted competition, competition, competition.
And yet, literally nothing in this Order will promote competition among ISPs. To the contrary, reclassifying broadband will drive competitors out of business. Monopoly rules designed for the monopoly era will inevitably move us in the direction of a monopoly. President Obama’s plan to regulate
the Internet is nothing more than a Kingsbury Commitment for the digital age. If you liked the Ma Bell monopoly in the 20th century, you’ll love Pa Broadband in the 21st.
This isn’t just my view. The President’s own Small Business Administration—apparently acting independently—admonished the FCC that its proposed rules would unduly burden small businesses.
Following the President’s lead, the FCC ignores this admonition by applying heavy-handed Title II regulations to each and every small broadband provider as if it were an industrial giant.
Unsurprisingly, small Internet service providers are worried. I heard this for myself at the Texas Forum on Internet Regulation. One of the panelists, Joe Portman, runs Alamo Broadband, a wireless ISP, or WISP, that serves 700 people across 500 square miles south of San Antonio.
What does Joe think of Title II? He thinks it’s “pretty much a terrible idea.” His staff “is pretty busy just dealing with the loads we already carry. More staff to cover regulations means less funds to run the network and provide the very service our customers depend on.”
Other WISPs feel the same way. Just last week, 142 WISPs joined the chorus. These WISPs have deployed wireless broadband to customers who often have no alternatives. They often run on a shoestring budget with just a few people to run the business, install equipment, and handle service calls.
They have no incentive and no ability to take on commercial giants like Netflix. And they say the FCC’s new “regulatory intrusion into our businesses . . . would likely force us to raise prices, delay deployment expansion, or both.”
Or consider the views of 24 of the country’s smallest ISPs, each with fewer than 1,000 residential broadband customers. They wrote us that Title II “will badly strain our limited resources” because they “have no in-house attorneys and no budget line items for outside counsel.”
Or how about the 43 municipal broadband providers that flatly told the FCC that Title II “will trigger consequences beyond the Commission’s control and risk serious harm to our ability to fund and deploy broadband without bringing any concrete benefit for consumers or edge providers that the market is not already proving today without the aid of any additional regulation.”
There’s a special irony given that right before this vote, the FCC voted to preempt state laws regarding city-owned broadband projects. This is an initiative President Obama announced just last month in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and the FCC is dutifully implementing it. But Cedar Falls Utilities, the very municipal broadband provider the President promoted, tells us that Title II is a tremendous mistake.
So what does the Order tell Americans whose ISP isn’t a Comcast, an AT&T, a Google, or a Sprint? What does it tell those whose service will be more expensive as a direct result of reclassification?
What does it tell those who may lose their Internet service if their small operator goes out of business?
What does it tell those who worked for years to serve their community and build a business, one that’s finally in the black? There’s no explanation. There’s not even an acknowledgement. There’s just the smug assurance that it won’t be that bad.
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C.
So the FCC is abandoning a 20-year-old, bipartisan framework for keeping the Internet free and open in favor of Great Depression-era legislation designed to regulate Ma Bell. But at least we’re getting something in return, right? Wrong. The Internet is not broken. There is no problem for the government to solve.
That the Internet works—that Internet freedom works—should be obvious to anyone with an Apple iPhone or Microsoft Surface, a Samsung Smart TV or a Roku, a Nest Thermostat or a Fitbit. We live in a time where you can buy a movie from iTunes, watch a music video on YouTube, listen to a personalized playlist on Pandora, watch your favorite Philip K. Dick novel come to life on Amazon Streaming Video, help someone make potato salad on KickStarter, check out the latest comic at XKCD, see what Seinfeld’s been up to on Crackle, navigate bad traffic with Waze, and do literally hundreds of other things all with an online connection. At the start of the millennium, we didn’t have any of this
Internet innovation.
And no, the federal government didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
For all intents and purposes, the Internet didn’t exist until the private sector took it over in the 1990s, and it’s been the commercial Internet that has led to the innovation, the creativity, the engineering genius that we see today.
Nevertheless, the Order ominously claims that “[t]hreats to Internet openness remain today.” It argues that broadband providers “hold all the tools necessary to deceive consumers, degrade content or disfavor the content that they don’t like,” and it asserts that the FCC continues “to hear concerns about other broadband provider practices involving blocking or degrading third-party applications.”
The evidence of these continuing threats? There is none; it’s all anecdote, hypothesis, and hysteria. A small ISP in North Carolina allegedly blocked VoIP calls a decade ago. Comcast capped BitTorrent traffic to ease upload congestion eight years ago. Apple introduced Facetime over Wi-Fi first, cellular networks later. Examples this picayune and stale aren’t enough to tell a coherent story about net neutrality. The bogeyman never had it so easy.
So what is there to fear? A sober reader might borrow from the father of Title II: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” But the FCC instead intones the nine scariest words for any friend of Internet freedom: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”
To put it another way, Title II is not just a solution in search of a problem—it’s a government solution that creates a real-world problem. This is not what the Internet needs, and it’s not what the American people want.
D.
So—that’s substance. A few words on process. When the Commission launched this rulemaking, I said that we needed to “give the American people a full and fair opportunity to participate in this process.” Unfortunately, we have fallen woefully short of that standard.
Most importantly, the plan in front of us today was not forged in this building through a transparent notice-and-comment rulemaking process. Instead, The Wall Street Journal reports that it was developed through “an unusual, secretive effort inside the White House.” Indeed, White House officials, according to the Journal, functioned as a “parallel version of the FCC.” Their work led to the President’s announcement in November of his plan for Internet regulation, a plan which “blindsided” the FCC and “swept aside . . . months of work by [Chairman] Wheeler toward a compromise.”
Of course, a few insiders were clued in about what was transpiring. Here’s what a leader for the government-funded group Fight for the Future had to say: “We’ve been hearing for weeks from our allies in DC that the only thing that could stop FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler from moving ahead with his sham
6
proposal to gut net neutrality was if we could get the President to step in. So we did everything in our power to make that happen. We took the gloves off and played hard, and now we get to celebrate a sweet victory.”
What the press has called the “parallel FCC” at the White House opened its doors to a plethora of special-interest activists: Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, and Public Knowledge, just to name a few. Indeed, even before activists were blocking Chairman Wheeler’s driveway late last year, some of them had met with executive branch officials. But what about the rest of
the American people? They certainly couldn’t get White House meetings. They were shut out of the process. They were being played for fools.
And the situation didn’t improve once the White House announced President Obama’s plan and “ask[ed]” the FCC to “implement” it. The document in front of us today differs dramatically from the proposal that the FCC put out for comment last May. It differs so dramatically that even zealous net
neutrality advocates frantically rushed in recent days to make last-minute filings registering their concerns that the FCC might be going too far. Yet the American people to this day have not been allowed to see President Obama’s plan. It has remained hidden.
Especially given the unique importance of the Internet, Commissioner O’Rielly and I asked for
the plan to be released to the public. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune and House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton did the same. And according to a survey last week by a respected Democratic polling firm, 79% of the American people favored making the
document public. But still the FCC has insisted on keeping it behind closed doors. We have to pass President Obama’s 317-page plan so that the American people can find out what is in it. This isn’t how the FCC should operate. We should be an independent agency making decisions in a transparent manner based on the law and the facts in the record. We shouldn’t be a rubber stamp for
political decisions made by the White House.
And we should have released this plan to the public, solicited their feedback, incorporated that input into the plan, and then proceeded to a vote. There was no need for us to resolve this matter today.
There is no immediate crisis in the Internet marketplace that demands immediate action.
The backers of the President’s plan know this. But they also know that the details of this plan cannot stand up to the light of day. They know that the more the American people learn about it, the less they will like it. That is why this plan was developed behind closed doors at the White House. And that is why the plan has remained hidden from public view.
II.
These are not my only concerns. Even a cursory look at the plan reveals glaring legal flaws that are sure to mire the agency in the muck of litigation for a long, long time. But rather than address them today, I will reserve them for my written statement.
* * *
At the beginning of this proceeding, I quoted Google’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt, who once said: “The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand.” This proceeding makes abundantly clear that the FCC still doesn’t get it.
But the American people clearly do. The threat to Internet freedom has awakened a sleeping giant. And I am optimistic that we will look back on today’s vote as an aberration, a temporary deviation from the bipartisan path that has served us so well. I don’t know whether this plan will be vacated by a court, reversed by Congress, or overturned by a future Commission. But I do believe that its days are numbered.
For all of these reasons, I dissent.”

http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2015/db0226/DOC-332260A5.pdf

 

IHS study 75 percent of jobs added go to Hispanics by 2034, Citizen Wells news flash, They already are!, 75% of Obama jobs added went to Hispanics/Latinos

IHS study 75 percent of jobs added go to Hispanics by 2034, Citizen Wells news flash, They already are!, 75% of Obama jobs added went to Hispanics/Latinos

“Of the approx. 6 million new employments since Obama took office in January 2009, 4,511,000, 75 percent, were Hispanic/Latino!”…Citizen Wells

“In today’s labor market, there are nearly 1 million “missing” young workers—potential workers who are neither employed nor actively seeking work (and are thus not counted in the unemployment rate) because job opportunities remain so scarce. If these missing workers were in the labor market looking for work, the unemployment rate of workers under age 25 would be 18.1 percent instead of 14.5 percent.”…Economic Policy Institute May 1, 2014

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

I’ve got a news flash for IHS and Americans.

75 percent of Obama jobs, since he took office in January 2009, went to Hispanics and Latinos.

Straight from the US Labor Department.

This is one of the reasons millennials are hurting.

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/janet-yellen-millenials-a-mystery-citizen-wells-schools-yellen-student-debt-and-jobs-influx-of-illegals-impacting-job-market-75-percent-of-obama-jobs-went-to-hispanics-latinos-high-unemployment-r/

From IHS February 24, 2015.

“Hispanics Will Account for More Than 40 Percent of the Increase in U.S. Employment in the Next Five Years, IHS Study Says

Share of job growth will rise to more than 75 percent from 2020 to 2034”

“The Hispanic population will play an increasingly significant role in future U.S. employment growth, accounting for more than 40 percent of growth in the next five years and more than 75 percent between 2020 and 2034 – an increase of 11 million jobs out of an economy-wide gain of 14 million –according to a new study from IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), a leading global source of critical information and insight.

The IHS study, Hispanic Immigration and U.S. Economic Growth, projects that Hispanic employment growth will average 2.6 percent per year over the next 20 years. At the same time, growth of the non-Hispanic working age population will slow to near zero, and new non-Hispanic entrants to the labor force will barely offset retiring Baby Boomers. As a result, the Hispanic share of total U.S. employment will rise from 16 percent in 2014 to 23 percent in 2034.

Other key findings include:

  • Immigration will play a key role in future U.S. employment growth. By 2020, labor force growth is expected to slow to the point that the annual change in the labor force is roughly equal to the amount of net migration.
  • Despite a generally positive long-term economic outlook for Latin American countries, the U.N. projects continuing net outmigration from the 10 Latin American countries and Puerto Rico that are the primary countries of origin of the foreign-born U.S. Hispanic population.
  • According to U.S. Census Bureau assumptions about future Hispanic net international migration, the number of foreign born Hispanics will grow from 22 million in 2014 to over 29 million in 2034, and the foreign-born share of the Hispanic population will fall slowly over this period – from 39.7% to 34.8%.
  • The number of Hispanics that speak Spanish in the home will rise from 36.9 million in 2014 to 55.4 million in 2034.
  • Higher levels of immigration are conducive to stronger U.S. economic growth, and there are credible scenarios for higher levels of Hispanic immigration than assumed in the study’s baseline forecast.”

Read more:

http://press.ihs.com/press-release/economics-country-risk/hispanics-will-account-more-40-percent-increase-us-employment-n

 

 

Janet Yellen millennials a mystery, Citizen Wells schools Yellen, Student debt and jobs, Influx of illegals impacting job market, 75 percent of Obama jobs went to Hispanics Latinos, High unemployment rates for young Americans

Janet Yellen millennials a mystery, Citizen Wells schools Yellen, Student debt and jobs, Influx of illegals impacting job market, 75 percent of Obama jobs went to Hispanics Latinos, High unemployment rates for young Americans

“Of the approx. 6 million new employments since Obama took office in January 2009, 4,511,000, 75 percent, were Hispanic/Latino!”…Citizen Wells

“In today’s labor market, there are nearly 1 million “missing” young workers—potential workers who are neither employed nor actively seeking work (and are thus not counted in the unemployment rate) because job opportunities remain so scarce. If these missing workers were in the labor market looking for work, the unemployment rate of workers under age 25 would be 18.1 percent instead of 14.5 percent.”…Economic Policy Institute May 1, 2014

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

Janet Yellen testified before congress today, February 24, 2015.

“Current Economic Situation and Outlook

Since my appearance before this Committee last July, the employment situation in the United States has been improving along many dimensions. The unemployment rate now stands at 5.7 percent, down from just over 6 percent last summer and from 10 percent at its peak in late 2009. The average pace of monthly job gains picked up from about 240,000 per month during the first half of last year to 280,000 per month during the second half, and employment rose 260,000 in January. In addition, long-term unemployment has declined substantially, fewer workers are reporting that they can find only part-time work when they would prefer full-time employment, and the pace of quits–often regarded as a barometer of worker confidence in labor market opportunities–has recovered nearly to its pre-recession level. However, the labor force participation rate is lower than most estimates of its trend, and wage growth remains sluggish, suggesting that some cyclical weakness persists. In short, considerable progress has been achieved in the recovery of the labor market, though room for further improvement remains.

At the same time that the labor market situation has improved, domestic spending and production have been increasing at a solid rate. Real gross domestic product (GDP) is now estimated to have increased at a 3-3/4 percent annual rate during the second half of last year. While GDP growth is not anticipated to be sustained at that pace, it is expected to be strong enough to result in a further gradual decline in the unemployment rate. Consumer spending has been lifted by the improvement in the labor market as well as by the increase in household purchasing power resulting from the sharp drop in oil prices. However, housing construction continues to lag; activity remains well below levels we judge could be supported in the longer run by population growth and the likely rate of household formation.”

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20150224a.htm

From CNN February 24, 2015.

“Janet Yellen: Millennials are a mystery”

“Millennials are a bit of a mystery to Janet Yellen.

The head of the U.S. Federal Reserve said Tuesday that the behavior of millennials — which typically refers to a generation of people born in the 80s and 90s — has top economists scratching their heads.

“I think we’re just beginning to understand how the millennials are behaving,” Yellen said before the Senate Banking Committee. “They’re certainly waiting longer to buy houses; to get married. They have a lot of student debt. They seem quite worried about housing as an investment. They’ve had a tough time in the job market.”

As the economy continues to gain strength, Yellen said she expects more millennials to buy homes and start families. “But,” she quipped, “we’ve yet to really see how this is going to affect that generation.””

Read more:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/24/politics/janet-yellen-capitol-hill-preview/index.html?iid=EL

“top economists scratching their heads.”

Janet Yellen apparently does not have a firm grasp of the impact of the economy on millennials.

Chief economist at Goldman Sachs, Jan Hatzius must not either.

Several weeks ago I corrected his statement about baby boomers impacting the drop in the percent of the population employed.

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/economist-jan-hatzius-baby-boomer-impact-debate-with-citizen-wells-drop-in-percent-of-population-working-email-debate-both-agree-not-enough-jobs-2-percent-allegation-in-cnbc-interview/

The problem with the percent of population employed is the increase of people over 16 in this country.

The US Labor Dept. states that we have approx. 15.5 million more since January 2009.

Those turning 16 each year netted by those dying adds approx. 1.5 million a year which totals 9 million since 2009.

From The Daily Caller February 23, 2015.

“But Obama has used his power over the immigration agencies to minimize enforcement of immigration laws. Since 2009, Obama’s senior deputies have repeatedly instructed his immigration agencies to reduce enforcement of immigration laws. For example, since 2009, his aides have given work-permits and temporary residency to 4.7 million migrants, including illegal immigrants, tourists, guest-workers and students.

That 4.7 million is in addition to the annual inflow of 1 million legal immigrants. Roughly 4 million American youths enter the workforce each year.”

Read more:

http://dailycaller.com/2015/02/23/federal-judge-new-illegal-immigrants-must-be-released/

So, there you have it.

At least 9 million native born Americans being added to the labor force and immigrants taking native born American jobs.

There was an increase of over 12 million not in the labor force since Obama took office.

The youngest members of the workforce, 16 and above will be hit the hardest by immigrant workers.

And all of those jobs that Obama bragged about and Janet Yellen and others referred to….

Of the approx. 6 million new employments since Obama took office in January 2009, 4,511,000 were Hispanic/Latino!

We have barely, if at all,  recovered all of the jobs lost during the recession and 75% of the job growth went to Hispanic/Latinos!!

There were approx. 1.8 more people employed in the last 6 months. 50 percent of those, approx. 900,000, were Hispanic/Latino.

From CNS News February 17, 2015.

“Census Bureau: 30.3% Millennials Still Living With Their Parents”

Read more:

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/census-bureau-303-millennials-still-living-their-parents

From the Economic Policy Institute May 1, 2014.

“This paper’s title, The Class of 2014, is admittedly something of a misnomer, as we do not yet know the labor market outcomes of these soon-to-be graduates. However, the outcomes of recent high school and college graduates provide a good sense of the labor market conditions the young men and women graduating this spring will face. This briefing paper examines the labor market that confronts young graduates who are not enrolled in further schooling—specifically, high school graduates age 17–20 and college graduates age 21–24. We look at young graduates who are not enrolled in further schooling in an attempt to focus as closely as possible on the labor market outcomes of those who are starting their careers. ”

“Key findings include:”

  • “In today’s labor market, there are nearly 1 million “missing” young workers—potential workers who are neither employed nor actively seeking work (and are thus not counted in the unemployment rate) because job opportunities remain so scarce. If these missing workers were in the labor market looking for work, the unemployment rate of workers under age 25 would be 18.1 percent instead of 14.5 percent.
  • Unemployment and underemployment rates among young graduates are improving but remain substantially higher than before the recession began.
    • For young college graduates, the unemployment rate is currently 8.5 percent (compared with 5.5 percent in 2007), and the underemployment rate is 16.8 percent (compared with 9.6 percent in 2007).
    • For young high school graduates, the unemployment rate is 22.9 percent (compared with 15.9 percent in 2007), and the underemployment rate is 41.5 percent (compared with 26.8 percent in 2007).
  • Overall unemployment rates of young graduates mask substantial disparities in unemployment by race and ethnicity. The unemployment rates of blacks and Hispanics are substantially higher than the unemployment rates of white non-Hispanics, for both young high school graduates and young college graduates.
  • The large increases since 2007 in the unemployment and underemployment rates of young college graduates, and in the share of employed young college graduates working in jobs that do not require a college degree, underscore that the current unemployment crisis among young workers did not arise because today’s young adults lack the right education or skills. Rather, it stems from weak demand for goods and services, which makes it unnecessary for employers to significantly ramp up hiring.
  • The long-run wage trends for young graduates are bleak, with wages substantially lower today than in 2000. Since 2000, the real (inflation-adjusted) wages of young high school graduates have dropped 10.8 percent, and those of young college graduates have dropped 7.7 percent.
  • The erosion of job quality for young graduates is also evident in their declining likelihood of receiving employer-provided health insurance or pensions.
  • Graduating in a bad economy has long-lasting economic consequences. For the next 10 to 15 years, those in the Class of 2014 will likely earn less than if they had graduated when job opportunities were plentiful.”

Read more:

http://www.epi.org/publication/class-of-2014/

 From Market Watch February 18, 2015.

“High student debt equals fewer home buyers”

“Going to college usually leads to better jobs and better pay, but it’s also left many people dangerously in debt and unable to buy a house years after they leave school.

A pair of reports in the past two days illustrate the point. The percentage of student loans at least 90 days overdue rose to 11.3% from 11.1% in the final three months of 2014, the New York Federal Reserve said Tuesday.

While delinquencies have fallen from a record 11.8% in 2013, they are still almost twice as high as they were 10 years earlier.

Then on Wednesday the government reported that construction of new homes fell slightly to a 1.06 million annual pace in January. While sales have been rising gradually, they still aren’t increasing nearly as fast as expected almost six years into an recovery. And the percentage of buyers purchasing their first home is still unusually low.

In a fully functioning economy, housing starts should be running around 1.4 million to 1.8 million a year, analysts estimate.

Clearly the weight of student loans is too heavy for many young people to buy a single-family home. Many can’t qualify for a loan in an era of tougher lending standards or afford the monthly cost of a mortgage.”

Read more:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/high-student-debt-equals-fewer-home-buyers-2015-02-18

Janet Yellen, which part of the millennial reality do you not understand???

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 Signs That Most Americans Are Flat Broke, Millions out of work or working part time jobs, 30.3 percent of millenials live with family members, 75 percent of Obama jobs went to Hispanics and Latinos, Record numbers get government assistance

14 Signs That Most Americans Are Flat Broke, Millions out of work or working part time jobs, 30.3 percent of millenials live with family members, 75 percent of Obama jobs went to Hispanics and Latinos, Record numbers get government assistance

“Of the approx. 6 million new employments since Obama took office in January 2009, 4,511,000, 75 percent, were Hispanic/Latino!”…Citizen Wells

“Over the last six months, of the net job creation, 97 percent of that is part-time work,”…Keith Hall, former BLS chief

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

I was preparing another article about the testimony of Janet Yellen when I ran across a hard hitting article from Zero Hedge.

She is clueless and/or being controlled.

She apparently doesn’t understand the plight of millenials.

Or the average American.

Am I the only one reporting that 75 percent of the Obama jobs added went to Hispanics/Latinos?

This comes straight from the US Labor Department data.

How about telling Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity.

We all know how bad the economy is.

We or people we know are getting clobbered and we are tired of being told about the recovery.

From Zero Hedge February 24, 2015.

“14 Signs That Most Americans Are Flat Broke And Totally Unprepared For The Coming Economic Crisis”

“The following are 14 signs that most Americans are flat broke and totally unprepared for the coming economic crisis…

#1 According to a survey that was just released, 24 percent of all Americans have more credit card debt than emergency savings.

#2 That same survey discovered that an additional 13 percent of all Americans do not have any credit card debt, but they do not have a single penny of emergency savings either.

#3 At this point, approximately 62 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

#4 Adults under the age of 35 in the United States currently have a savings rate of negative 2 percent.

#5 More than half of all students in U.S. public schools come from families that are poor enough to qualify for school lunch subsidies.

#6 A study that was conducted last year found that more than one out of every three adults in the United States has an unpaid debt that is “in collections“.

#7 One survey discovered that 52 percent of all Americans really cannot even financially afford the homes that they are living in right now.

#8 According to research conducted by Atif Mian of Princeton University and Amir Sufi of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 40 percent of Americans could not come up with $2000 right now without borrowing it.

#9 That same study found that 60 percent of Americans could not say yes to the following question…

“Do you have 3 months emergency funds to cover expenses in case of sickness, job loss, economic downturn?”

#10 A different study discovered that less than one out of every four Americans has enough money stored away to cover six months of expenses.

#11 Today, the average American household is carrying a grand total of 203,163 dollars of debt.

#12 It is estimated that less than 10 percent of the entire U.S. population owns any gold or silver for investment purposes.

#13 48 percent of all Americans do not have any emergency supplies in their homes whatsoever.

#14 53 percent of all Americans do not even have a minimum three day supply of nonperishable food and water in their homes.”

Read more:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-24/14-signs-most-americans-are-flat-broke-and-totally-unprepared-coming-economic-crisis

Janet Yellen February 24, 2015 semi annual monetary policy testimony, Humphrey-Hawkins, Yellen speaking to Hispanics?, Labor market improved further second half last year and early 2015?, For Whom?, Yellen correct about part time jobs

Janet Yellen February 24, 2015 semi annual monetary policy testimony, Humphrey-Hawkins, Yellen speaking to Hispanics?, Labor market improved further second half last year and early 2015?, For Whom?, Yellen correct about part time jobs

“Of the approx. 6 million new employments since Obama took office in January 2009, 4,511,000, 75 percent, were Hispanic/Latino!”…Citizen Wells

“Over the last six months, of the net job creation, 97 percent of that is part-time work,”…Keith Hall, former BLS chief

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

Janet Yellen, as I write this, is giving her semi annual monetary policy, Humphrey-Hawkins, testimony.

Is she on drugs?

Or is she addressing primarily Hispanics?

From the transcript.

“The labor market improved further during the
second half of last year and into early 2015,
and labor market conditions moved closer to
those the Federal Open Market Committee
(FOMC) judges consistent with its maximum
employment mandate. Since the middle of last
year, monthly payrolls have expanded by about
280,000, on average, and the unemployment
rate has declined nearly ½ percentage point
on net. Nevertheless, a range of labor market
indicators suggest that there is still room for
improvement. In particular, at 5.7 percent, the
unemployment rate is still above most FOMC
participants’ estimates of its longer-run
normal level, the labor force participation rate
remains below most assessments of its trend,
an unusually large number of people continue
to work part time when they would prefer
full-time employment, and wage growth has
continued to be slow.”

http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/files/20150224_mprfullreport.pdf

Reported at Citizen Wells February 24, 2015.

“There are numerous variations of the AP January 2015 jobs report from around February 7, 2015.

The Greensboro News Record regurgitated their own version in print. I could not find an online version so the print edition is provided in full below.

The News Record has been diligent in fact checking the employment data and record of the NC Republicans in power but when it comes to Obama and the national economy, anything goes.

I am disappointed that instead of fact checking the AP article and presenting the truth, they regurgitated it.”

“First lie/inaccuracy: There were 3 million not 3.2 million more people working since last January.

Error of omission: Over 1.3 million of those gains in employment in the last year went to Hispanic/Latinos.”

“Of the approx. 6 million new employments since Obama took office in January 2009, 4,511,000 were Hispanic/Latino!

We have barely, if at all,  recovered all of the jobs lost during the recession and 75% of the job growth went to Hispanic/Latinos!!

The large numbers of young people entering the labor force are the reason that the percent of population working has dropped under Obama. I will examine this more in detail and report soon.

Approx. 9 million people net have entered the population counted by the BLS for employment population since Obama took office. That is the people turning 16 years old subtracted by deaths. That is the reason for the increase in those not in the labor force, not baby boomers as some would have you believe.

There was an increase of over 12 million not in the labor force since Obama took office.”

““The labor market was about the last thing to recover from the Great Recession, and in the last six months it has picked up steam,”
There were approx. 1.8 more people employed in the last 6 months. 50 percent of those, approx. 900,000, were Hispanic/Latino.”

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/ap-january-jobs-economy-report-lies-inaccuracies-misleading-statements-greensboro-news-record-regurgitates-sloppy-reporting-bias-or-orwellian-lies/

If you are Hispanic, especially an illegal alien, you are doing well in this Obama economy.

 

 

Edward Snowden answers on Reddit February 23, 2015, I would have come forward sooner, Government power authority exponentially more difficult to roll back, If you’re not willing to be called a few names to help out your country you don’t care enough

Edward Snowden answers on Reddit February 23, 2015, I would have come forward sooner,  Government power authority exponentially more difficult to roll  back, If you’re not willing to be called a few names to help out your country you don’t care enough

“Edward Snowden should not be forced to choose between living in Russia or spending decades in a cage inside a high-security American prison.
DC officials and journalists are being extremely deceitful when they say: ‘if he thinks he did the right thing,he should come back and face trial and argue that.”
Under the Espionage Act, Snowden would be barred even from raising a defense of justification. The courts would not allow it. So he’d be barred from raising the defense they keep saying he should come back and raise.
The goal of the US government is to threaten, bully and intimidate all whistleblowers – which is what explains the mistreatment and oppression of the heroic Chelsea Manning – because they think that climate of fear is crucial to deterring future whistleblowers.
As long as they embrace that tactic, it’s hard to envision them letting Ed return to his country. But we as citizens should be much more interested in the question of why our government threatens and imprisons whistleblowers.”…Glenn Greenwald Reddit February 23, 2015

“The detentions have thankfully stopped, at least for now. Starting in 2006, after I came back from making a film about Iraq’s first election, I was stopped and detained at the US border over 40 times, often times for hours. After I went public with my experiences (Glenn broke the story in 2012), the harassment stopped. Unfortunately there are countless others who aren’t so lucky.”…Laura Poitras Reddit February 23, 2015

” My perspective is if you’re not willing to be called a few names to help out your country, you don’t care enough.
“If this be treason, then let us make the most of it.””…Edward Snowden Reddit February 23, 2015

 

Here are many of the Edward Snowden responses from the February 23, 2015 Reddit question and answer session.

“Good question, thanks for asking.

The answer is “of course not.” You’ll notice in all of these articles, the assertions ultimately come down to speculation and suspicion. None of them claim to have any actual proof, they’re just so damned sure I’m a russian spy that it must be true.
And I get that. I really do. I mean come on – I used to teach “cyber counterintelligence” (their term) at DIA.
But when you look at in aggregate, what sense does that make? If I were a russian spy, why go to Hong Kong? It’s would have been an unacceptable risk. And further – why give any information to journalists at all, for that matter, much less so much and of such importance? Any intelligence value it would have to the russians would be immediately compromised.
If I were a spy for the russians, why the hell was I trapped in any airport for a month? I would have gotten a parade and a medal instead.
The reality is I spent so long in that damn airport because I wouldn’t play ball and nobody knew what to do with me. I refused to cooperate with Russian intelligence in any way (see my testimony to EU Parliament on this one if you’re interested), and that hasn’t changed.
At this point, I think the reason I get away with it is because of my public profile. What can they really do to me? If I show up with broken fingers, everybody will know what happened.”

“It is very realistic that in the realpolitik of great powers, this kind of thing could happen. I don’t like to think that it would happen, but it certainly could.
At the same time, I’m so incredibly blessed to have had an opportunity to give so much back to the people and internet that I love. I acted in accordance with my conscience and in so doing have enjoyed far more luck than any one person can ask for. If that luck should run out sooner rather than later, on balance I will still – and always – be satisfied.”

“I would have come forward sooner. I talked to Daniel Ellsberg about this at length, who has explained why more eloquently than I can.
Had I come forward a little sooner, these programs would have been a little less entrenched, and those abusing them would have felt a little less familiar with and accustomed to the exercise of those powers. This is something we see in almost every sector of government, not just in the national security space, but it’s very important:
Once you grant the government some new power or authority, it becomes exponentially more difficult to roll it back. Regardless of how little value a program or power has been shown to have (such as the Section 215 dragnet interception of call records in the United States, which the government’s own investigation found never stopped a single imminent terrorist attack despite a decade of operation), once it’s a sunk cost, once dollars and reputations have been invested in it, it’s hard to peel that back.
Don’t let it happen in your country.”

“To tag on to the Putin question: There’s not, and that’s part of the problem world-wide. We can’t just reform the laws in one country, wipe our hands, and call it a day. We have to ensure that our rights aren’t just being protected by letters on a sheet of paper somewhere, or those protections will evaporate the minute our communications get routed across a border. The only way to ensure the human rights of citizens around the world are being respected in the digital realm is to enforce them through systems and standards rather than policies and procedures.”

“Whistleblower protection laws, a strong defense of the right for someone charged with political crimes to make any defense they want (currently in the US, someone charged with revealing classified information is entirely prohibited from arguing before the jury that the programs were unlawful, immoral, or otherwise wrongful), and support for the development of technically and legally protected means of communications between sources and journalists.
The sad truth is that societies that demand whistleblowers be martyrs often find themselves without either, and always when it matters the most.”

“This is a good question, and there are some good traditional answers here. Organizing is important. Activism is important.
At the same time, we should remember that governments don’t often reform themselves. One of the arguments in a book I read recently (Bruce Schneier, “Data and Goliath”), is that perfect enforcement of the law sounds like a good thing, but that may not always be the case. The end of crime sounds pretty compelling, right, so how can that be?
Well, when we look back on history, the progress of Western civilization and human rights is actually founded on the violation of law. America was of course born out of a violent revolution that was an outrageous treason against the crown and established order of the day. History shows that the righting of historical wrongs is often born from acts of unrepentant criminality. Slavery. The protection of persecuted Jews.
But even on less extremist topics, we can find similar examples. How about the prohibition of alcohol? Gay marriage? Marijuana?
Where would we be today if the government, enjoying powers of perfect surveillance and enforcement, had — entirely within the law — rounded up, imprisoned, and shamed all of these lawbreakers?
Ultimately, if people lose their willingness to recognize that there are times in our history when legality becomes distinct from morality, we aren’t just ceding control of our rights to government, but our agency in determing thour futures.
How does this relate to politics? Well, I suspect that governments today are more concerned with the loss of their ability to control and regulate the behavior of their citizens than they are with their citizens’ discontent.
How do we make that work for us? We can devise means, through the application and sophistication of science, to remind governments that if they will not be responsible stewards of our rights, we the people will implement systems that provide for a means of not just enforcing our rights, but removing from governments the ability to interfere with those rights.
You can see the beginnings of this dynamic today in the statements of government officials complaining about the adoption of encryption by major technology providers. The idea here isn’t to fling ourselves into anarchy and do away with government, but to remind the government that there must always be a balance of power between the governing and the governed, and that as the progress of science increasingly empowers communities and individuals, there will be more and more areas of our lives where — if government insists on behaving poorly and with a callous disregard for the citizen — we can find ways to reduce or remove their powers on a new — and permanent — basis.
Our rights are not granted by governments. They are inherent to our nature. But it’s entirely the opposite for governments: their privileges are precisely equal to only those which we suffer them to enjoy.
We haven’t had to think about that much in the last few decades because quality of life has been increasing across almost all measures in a significant way, and that has led to a comfortable complacency. But here and there throughout history, we’ll occasionally come across these periods where governments think more about what they “can” do rather than what they “should” do, and what is lawful will become increasingly distinct from what is moral.
In such times, we’d do well to remember that at the end of the day, the law doesn’t defend us; we defend the law. And when it becomes contrary to our morals, we have both the right and the responsibility to rebalance it toward just ends.”

“Wow the questions really blew up on this one. Let me start digging in…
To be honest, I laughed at NPH. I don’t think it was meant as a political statement, but even if it was, that’s not so bad. My perspective is if you’re not willing to be called a few names to help out your country, you don’t care enough.
“If this be treason, then let us make the most of it.””

“So when you work at NSA, you get sent what are called “Agency-All” emails. They’re what they sound like: messages that go to everybody in the workforce.
In addition to normal bureaucratic communications, they’re used frequently for opinion-shaping internally, and are often classified at least in part. They assert (frequently without evidence) what is true or false about cases and controversies in the public news that might influence the thinking about the Intelligence Community workforce, while at the same time reminding them how totally screwed they’ll be if they talk to a journalist (while helpfully reminding them to refer people to the public affairs office).
Think about what it does to a person to come into their special top-secret office every day and get a special secret email from “The Director of NSA” (actually drafted by totally different people, of course, because senior officials don’t have time to write PR emails) explaining to you why everything you heard in the news is wrong, and how only the brave, patriotic, and hard-working team of cleared professionals in the IC know the truth.
Think about how badly you want to believe that. Everybody wants to be valued and special, and nobody wants to think they’ve perhaps contributed to a huge mistake. It’s not evil, it’s human.
Tell your friend I was just like they are. But there’s a reason the government has — now almost two years out — never shown me to have told a lie. I don’t ask anybody to believe me. I don’t want anybody to believe me. I want you to look around and decide for yourself what you believe, independent of what people says, indepedent of what’s on TV, and independent of what your classified emails might claim.”

“One of the biggest problems in governance today is the difficulty faced by citizens looking to hold officials to account when they cross the line. We can develop new tools and traditions to protect our rights, and we can do our best to elect new and better representatives, but if we cannot enforce consequences on powerful officials for abusive behavior, we end up in a system where the incentives reward bad behavior post-election.

That’s how we end up with candidates who say one thing but, once in power, do something radically different. How do you fix that? Good question.”

“To answer the question, I don’t. Poll after poll is confirming that, contrary to what we tend to think, people not only care, they care a lot. The problem is we feel disempowered. We feel like we can’t do anything about it, so we may as well not try.
It’s going to be a long process, but that’s starting to change. The technical community (and a special shoutout to every underpaid and overworked student out there working on this — you are the noble Atlas lifting up the globe in our wildly inequitable current system) is in a lot of way left holding the bag on this one by virtue of the nature of the problems, but that’s not all bad. 2013, for a lot of engineers and researchers, was a kind of atomic moment for computer science. Much like physics post-Manhattan project, an entire field of research that was broadly apolitical realized that work intended to improve the human condition could also be subverted to degrade it.
Politicians and the powerful have indeed got a hell of a head start on us, but equality of awareness is a powerful equalizer. In almost every jurisdiction you see officials scrambling to grab for new surveillance powers now not because they think they’re necessary — even government reports say mass surveillance doesn’t work — but because they think it’s their last chance.
Maybe I’m an idealist, but I think they’re right. In twenty years’ time, the paradigm of digital communications will have changed entirely, and so too with the norms of mass surveillance.”

“To dogpile on to this, many of the changes that are happening are invisible because they’re happening at the engineering level. Google encrypted the backhaul communications between their data centers to prevent passive monitoring. Apple was the first forward with an FDE-by-default smartphone (kudos!). Grad students around the world are trying to come up with ways to solve the metadata problem (the opportunity to monitor everyone’s associations — who you talk to, who you sleep with, who you vote for — even in encrypted communications).
The biggest change has been in awareness. Before 2013, if you said the NSA was making records of everybody’s phonecalls and the GCHQ was monitoring lawyers and journalists, people raised eyebrows and called you a conspiracy theorist.
Those days are over. Facts allow us to stop speculating and start building, and that’s the foundation we need to fix the internet. We just happened to be the generation stuck with fighting these fires.”

Read more:

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2wwdep/we_are_edward_snowden_laura_poitras_and_glenn/

Any of this remind you of the past 7 years, Obama campaigns and administration?