June 12, 2013


Connecting the Dots on PRISM, Phone Surveillance, and the NSA’s Massive Spy Center. The article also sheds light on the enormous privatization not only of the intelligence agencies but now also of Cyber Command, with thousands of people working for little-known companies hired to develop the weapons of cyber war, cyber targeting, and cyber exploitation. The Snowden case demonstrates the potential risks involved when the nation turns its spying and eavesdropping over to companies with lax security and inadequate personnel policies. The risks increase exponentially when those same people must make critical decisions involving choices that may lead to war, cyber or otherwise. Wired

Paul Ryan told me he wants to privatize Medicare but the President won’t let him. I asked Paul Ryan “Congressman how are your plans to privatize Medicare going?”  Assuming I was a supporter he responded “We will need a new President first.”  I told him that “I like our current President, I liked Medicare and hope it will be available for me when I retire.”  He chuckled and I walked on.  Blue Virginia

NE: Lancaster County mental health services privatized. Three private agencies soon will take over mental health services that Lancaster County has been providing for about 3,500 low-income people with serious mental illnesses. San Francisco Chronicle

PA: Legislators Seek to Block Prison Mental Health Services Privatization. A bill that would allow 27 Pennsylvania state prisons to outsource mental health services has encountered heavy opposition from state legislatures who are saying such action would put local communities at risk. Correctional News

PA: Mayor Nutter Prefers Privatization to Public Schools – opinion. The irony of Philadelphia’s turn to privatization is that Philadelphia had the most extensive trial of privatization of any city in the nation about ten years ago. The district schools outperformed the privately managed schools, which lost their contracts. But that predated the charter movement, which is now hyped as having a secret formula to raise test scores at a lower cost. Diane Ravitch’s Blog

LA: After 2 prior vetoes, Jindal signs Medicaid transparency bill. Lawmakers will get more oversight of health care programs privatized by Gov.  Bobby Jindal, after a three-year struggle for the information. The Republic

CA: Save the Arboretum in Golden Gate Park – opinion. Ask any San Franciscans of a certain age about Golden Gate Park, and they will wax on about the days when every museum in the park was free and they could spend a day visiting all of them. Over the years, while still receiving public subsidies, every institution has been privatized and the entry fees raised to ludicrous levels. The latest being the semi-privatized Conservatory of Flowers, which is now employed as a cash cow for the Parks Alliance, an organization funded and controlled by wealthy elites. San Francisco Bay View