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Arguing That You Don’t Care About The Right To Privacy Because You Have Nothing To Hide Is No Different Than Saying You Don’t Care About Free Speech Because You Have Nothing To Say

Most Americans value privacy and oppose mass surveillance. The minority who don’t – and who think spying is okay because they have “nothing to hide” – are grossly misinformed (and don’t know that spying is meant to crush dissent and consolidate power … not stop terrorism).
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New Jersey May Not Be Able to Find Money for Pension Payment This Year, State Officials Say

Barring a successful appeal, New Jersey will be forced by the courts to make its full pension contribution this year, which will total $1.6 billion. But that payment hasn’t been budgeted for – and since Gov. Chris Christie has vowed not to raise taxes, the bulk of the money must come from spending cuts. But budget and treasury officials testified on Tuesday that it might be “fiscally and physically” impossible for the state to come up with the money required to make the full payment.
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“The UK’s nuclear arsenal is a version of the US Trident. The missiles used in the system are so accurate that they can be used as a “first-strike” weapon. This means they can be used to attack enemy installations in the hope of preventing a counter strike. This makes the system more dangerous since it – theoretically – could be used without the absolute guarantee of destructive retaliation, so gaining – theoretically – a strategic advantage.
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Obama’s Strategic Shift

President Obama has belatedly detected the looming catastrophe in Syria and Iraq as Sunni terrorists gain ground. He also grasps the need for Russian and Iranian help. But his administration remains infested with neocons and liberal war hawks who could sabotage the needed deals, reports Robert Parry.
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Six Baltimore Officers Indicted in Death of Freddie Gray

A grand jury in Baltimore has indicted six police officers on homicide and assault charges in the death of Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured last month in police custody, the city’s chief prosecutor said Thursday. The charges announced by Marilyn J. Mosby, the state’s attorney for Baltimore City, do not differ greatly from those she initially filed against the officers. But getting a grand jury to agree and deliver an indictment is a milestone in a case that has generated national attention.
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Chinese Law Firm to Merge With American Firms, Employ Howard Dean, Newt Gingrich

Dacheng, one of the biggest law firms in the People’s Republic of China, is set to merge with two major American law firms, Dentons and McKenna Long & Aldridge, making it the largest law firm in the world. The merger will reportedly give Chinese companies that Dacheng represents — including major Chinese state-owned firms — access to advice from attorneys and policy professionals in the United States employed by Dentons and McKenna Long — and vice-versa.
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Claim of ‘Stalking’ of pro-vaccine lobbyists prompts warning from doctors’ group

The emotional debate over Senate Bill 277, which would make vaccinations compulsory for California schoolchildren and passed the Senate last week, has taken a personal turn in recent weeks. Lobbyists championing the bill on behalf of the California Medical Association and the California Academy of Family Physicians have attracted the attention of bill opponents, who have begun sharing information on the lobbyists and disseminating photos of their locations on social media.
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Charges Dropped Against Cop Caught Having Sex With Cows

When a citizen journalist recently sent us a tip about an officer who was caught having sex with cows, we were admittedly skeptical. But it turns out that the case of former Moorestown police officer Robert Melia Jr. is just as bad as it sounds. In Mount Holly, New Jersey, Officer Melia was indeed caught assaulting sexually abusing a cow. But his sexual crimes did not end with non-humans. Melia was also charged, several years ago, with sexually assaulting three girls.
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VIDEO: Navy Unveils Video of Manmade Islands in South China Sea

Parts of the Spratly Islands are claimed by China, Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. The Pentagon has released video, taken high above the South China Sea, of Chinese construction crews expanding reefs and building an airbase in the contested Spratly Islands.
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Pentagon sham: Defense Dept altered books in long-awaited audit, reports claim

The US Defense Department’s watchdog knowingly turned a blind eye to financial irregularities, leading to the Pentagon signing off on an audit. This has led to questions regarding just how transparent the government auditing process actually is. A special investigation by Reuters revealed that a senior member of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Inspector General team had colluded with an independent auditing company, Grant Thornton LLP, to falsely keep the US Marine Corps books clean. The DoD remained the only federal organization that had not abided with a 1992 law passed by Congress to undergo an audit. This was despite the DoD receiving in excess of $500 billion a year, which is by far the largest appropriation of any department.
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Google Fiber users suspected of downloading illegal content may find automatic demands for money

Demands for payment, often settled online, can range from $20 to several hundred dollars.
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Report: NSA hijacked app stores to hack phones

The National Security Agency planned to infiltrate the Google and Samsung app stores to plant spying software on smartphones, according to new documents published from files leaked by Edward Snowden. The Intercept and CBC News jointly published the documents Thursday, which outline the snooping efforts designed by the U.S. and its “Five Eyes” alliance — Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.
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Public Confused Why World’s Biggest Banks Admitting Criminal Fraud, Leads To Public Yawns

Since then things have gone from bad to worse for believers in fair and efficient markets, with not only countless more banks now admitting they rigged Libor and FX, not to mention gold (yes gold too was manipulated as impossible as it sounds) and even the CFTC finally figured out just how spoofers manipulate the price of both stock indices and gold, but that biggest master manipulator of all, the world’s central banks, unleashed a record liquidity blitz into world markets with 2015 set to be the year in which CBs are set to monetize all net issuance.
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BP oil spill caused biggest dolphin die-off in Gulf history – study

“The data we have seen thus far, including the new study from NOAA, do not show that oil from Deepwater Horizon accident caused an increase in dolphin mortality…Even though the UME may have overlapped in some areas with the oil spill, correlation is not evidence of causation,” said Geoff Morrell, BP’s senior vice president for US communications, in a statement. The 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused an unprecedented number of fatal diseases in roughly 1,300 dolphins over the course of five years, according to a new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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It’s Official, Police Lives Matter, MORE: Obama Signs “Blue Alert” Bill for Cops Who May be In Trouble

This week, President Obama signed a bill that will create a national alert system for the capture of anyone who hurts or makes a threat against a police officer. The new bill further solidifies the fact that the lives of police officers are seen as more valuable than that of the average citizen. The new bill would create a system that would be comparable to the Amber Alerts used to find abducted children, but would likely be taken far more seriously.
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JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon Deals With His Bank’s Felony Charge – Badly

JPMorgan Tries to Claim It’s a Felon Because of One Bad Apple
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Our Social Depression

This erosion of opportunities to complete life’s stages and core dramas is rarely recognized, much less addressed. The consequences of economic stagnation are not limited to finance: stagnation is causing a social depression.We can best understand this social depression by examining how the natural stages of human life are being disrupted.
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GM says you don't own your car, you just license it

GM has joined with John Deere in asking the government to confirm that you literally cannot own your car because of the software in its engine. Like Deere, GM wants to stop the Copyright Office from granting an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that would allow you to jailbreak the code in your car's engine so that you can take it to a non-GM mechanic for service, or fix it yourself. By controlling who can service your car, GM can force you to buy only official, expensive parts, protecting its bottom line.
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Fox News Pundit Paid by NSA Contractor Reacts to Rand Paul: “Trust the NSA”

Yesterday a contingent of U.S. Senators critical of domestic surveillance, led by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., spent nearly eleven hours giving speeches critical of Patriot Act-enabled spying on Americans.
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"We Reached The Tipping Point": Income Inequality Is Highest Since Records Began

While soaring stock prices do nothing to boost the economy, because as 7 years of hard facts have shown, the only thing "trickle down" QE has done is forced economists to jump the shark and demand not one but two seasonal adjustments to goal seek collapsing economic data, the S&P hitting new all time highs on a daily basis has certainly succeeded in one thing: pushing inequality around the globe, and especially in the US, to new record highs. And earlier today the latest OECD report confirmed just that, when it reported that gap between the rich and poor in most of the world's advanced economies is at record levels.
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