The Open Dimension

Commentary on social issues; politics; religion and spirituality

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Location: Laguna Hills, California, United States

I am a semi-retired psychotherapist/psychiatric social worker and certified hypnotherapist. Originally a practicing attorney, I changed careers during the 1980's. My interests include history, constitutional law, Hindustani classical music, yoga, meditation and spirituality.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Send In Your Comments On The Expansion Of Fracking ( Democracy for America )

The Obama administration just released its first major fracking decision: the Bureau of Land Management's proposal to open 600 million acres of Federal and Native American land for fracking. It's no surprise the proposed rule changes won't hold gas and oil companies accountable for the damage they cause to public health and the environment, since the new rules were written by ExxonMobil.

If we want to protect our communities from fracking over the long term, we need to generate heat around this issue right now, so current and future administrations realize a vote for fracking carries political cost. By speaking up now, we can work towards a long-term solution.

Will you speak up to let politicians know you're against fracking and its negative consequences?

Yes, I will comment now to show Democrats fracking is not the way to win the future.

We need to take every opportunity to raise a huge outcry about fracking, and the BLM has presented a golden opportunity. By commenting on the rule change proposal, our voices will add to the millions of Americans trying to be heard above the avaricious drone of fracking. It's time once and for all to show politicians fracking has no future here.

Will you comment now and help create buzz on this important issue?

Thank you for all you do.

- Jim

Jim Dean, Chair
Democracy for America.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Edward Snowden's July 12 Statement

Statement by Edward Snowden to human rights groups at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, posted by WikiLeaks:

Friday July 12, 15:00 UTC

Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone's communications at any time. That is the power to change people's fates.

It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.

I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."

Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.

That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.
Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president's plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.

Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.

I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela's President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.

This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.

If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.

Thank you.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Help Stop Big Brother Obama

Date: Jul 8, 2013 10:11 AM

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Stoking suspicions, choking democracy.

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This summer, no news about surveillance has been more disturbing than revelations about the U.S. government's "Insider Threat Program."

The McClatchy news service has exposed "a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions."

Please click here and let your senators and representative in Congress know that you oppose any such program!

President Obama’s "unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach," McClatchy reported. "It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments."

Take action now to express clear opposition to this assault on civil liberties.

McClatchy documented that the Insider Threat Program "emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of 'insider threat' give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct."

In response to the Insider Threat Program, say No! By clicking here, you can quickly tell your representative and senators that this kind of program to promote snooping and fuel suspicions is unacceptable.

Please forward this email widely to like-minded friends.

-- The team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, and many others.

McClatchy: Obama’s Crackdown Views Leaks as Aiding Enemies
The Nation: Obama’s “Insider Threat Program”
Democracy Now: Government Employees Urged to Tattle
Digby: This Really Is Big Brother . . .
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