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The Morning Grumpy – 6/10/13

10 Jun

All the news, views, and filtered excellence fit to consume during your morning grumpy.

 LawdJesus

1. Meet Edward Snowden, the man behind the NSA Surveillance leak revealed last week in The Guardian. In a lengthy video interview with The Guardian, Snowden reveals the reason he leaked information about the broad-based NSA surveillance of American citizens. Snowden has fled the United States and will most likely never return unless under arrest. Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower responsible for the release of  “The Pentagon Papers” was asked for his thoughts on both the surveillance program and Snowden, and said this; “Can it really be a crime to expose crime?”

While I agree with Ellsberg’s sentiment, the sad part is that nothing that Snowden revealed is against the law. It’s all legal (as of now), and was supported by the overwhelming majority of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives (including Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand and Rep. Higgins). Hopefully, Snowden’s actions will force this country to revisit the constitutionality of these laws now that they are out in the open.  As an aside, it’s nice to see Ellsberg back on major news outlets after being condemned to the far-flung outposts of independent liberal media for decades.

2. How does President Obama compare to President Bush on matters of civil liberties, surveillance, targeted killing, CIA black sites, and drone warfare? ProPublica has a handy chart.

3. America’s fifty worst charities rake in millions of dollars each year yet devote less than 4% of donations to direct cash aid for their causes.

Every year, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations in the name of dying children and their families.

Every year, it spends less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids.

Most of the rest gets diverted to enrich the charity’s operators and the for-profit companies Kids Wish hires to drum up donations.

In the past decade alone, Kids Wish has channeled nearly $110 million donated for sick children to its corporate solicitors. An additional $4.8 million has gone to pay the charity’s founder and his own consulting firms.

Before you donate to a charity, check Guidestar to review the charity’s tax documents which breaks down how much of your money goes to overhead or direct program services.

4. Vice put together a fantastic piece about the gun and gang culture in Chicago or “ChIraq” as the locals call it. Really, just watch it. This is America.

5. Conspiracy theorist nutjob Alex Jones visited BBC News this past weekend to discuss his theories on the New World Order and the Bilderburg Conspiracy. Um, it didn’t go well.

I’m a sucker for this guy and his nonsense.

Fact Of The Day: There is a website that allows you to anonymously send a gallon of elephant, gorilla, or cow shit to anyone.

Quote Of The Day: “You can’t wait around for someone else to act.” – Edward Snowden

Video Of The Day: “How a mechanical watch works”

Song of The Day: “What Do I Get?” – Buzzcocks

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