Again, shouldn’t be a surprise.

Mr. Pickering was targeted by a longtime surveillance system called mail covers, a forerunner of a vastly more expansive effort, the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program, in which Postal Service computers photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail that is processed in the United States — about 160 billion pieces last year. It is not known how long the government saves the images.

Together, the two programs show that postal mail is subject to the same kind of scrutiny that the National Security Agency has given to telephone calls and e-mail.

And here’s one reason why this and electronic snooping is all a problem:

The program has led to sporadic reports of abuse. In May 2012, Mary Rose Wilcox, a Maricopa County supervisor in Arizona, was awarded nearly $1 million by a federal judge after winning a lawsuit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The sheriff, known for his immigration raids, had obtained mail covers from the Postal Service to track her mail. The judge called the investigation into Ms. Wilcox politically motivated because she had been a frequent critic of Mr. Arpaio’s, objecting to what she considered the targeting of Hispanics in his immigration sweeps.



  1. bobbo, how do you know what you know, and how do you change your mind says:

    Tim no longer arguing the cracks in AGW goes on to the solutions and says:
    7/5/2013 at 5:09 pm

    I was thinking more of a tax-like structure. /// Me too. A simple carbon tax. Easy to apply, calculate, collect and enforce. Thereafter, the free market takes over. Best use of both modalities.

    Instead of leeching wages, the property tax would be that a part of one’s land is dedicated to bio-mass production to be turned into the local converter {sort of like a garbage incenerator steam plant} instead of 3-inch needy grass. — any extra could still be exchanged for filthy lucre. /// Sound to labor intense to me. I have no desire at all to grow weeds in my back yard. I doubt the economics make it worthwhile… but flesh it out, make it an option, let the free market determine.

    This keeps the charletons with the tax n credit schemes tamed. The only solutions with that is removal of individual empowerment. That does nothing to reduce CO2, but only dictates who can produce it. /// Making reasonable assumptions regarding most formulations of “carbon trading”… I agree. It might be better than nothing, but it does strike me as a scheme for Algore to make another billion.

    I do like decentralized “everything” as much as possible. Thats one of the attractions of photovoltaic collection. But, its not good for everyone/every issue. Market competition helps sort a lot of those issues out…… the fact that Coors Light still exists notwithstanding.

    Oh, yea; terra preata.

    • Tim says:

      Gosh. I guess the free market has done a great job with pharmaceuticals, fibers, food choice {think raw milk over cabbage with transgenic scorpion genes}, and fuel.

      Ffffuuuu….. I’ve been so blind. How could I forget that the guys with the guns keep one so free with only the things that matter. I guess I should have paid more attention at the government school I didn’t know I had a choice not to attend as a minor (well, that and I was made to believe that mommy and daddy go to jail If I missed a couple days) — I just didn’t learn the most important lesson Slavery is Freedom nor did I work and play well with others.

      • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

        gibberish. Rather a FERP approach too to think, post, that a free market approach is not the best approach to use ON THIS PARTICULAR SUBJECT because it is not so good on other particular subjects or is not a perfect solution.

        Stupid thinking, if thinking at all it is.

        Yes–a straight carbon tax like a phase in on gas starting a 5 cents a gallong and going up to 3 dollars over time==whatever Europe is doing==would then allow the MARKET to decide what kinds of mass transit, energy efficient cars, and alternative fuel cars would be appropriate. All other government intervention involves way more interference…….and btw==doing nothing is for idiots. A rational man DOES SOMETHING, guages the reaction, and does something again.

        Its the difference between being progressive/liberal and devolving/science denying/conservative/republican.

        • Tim says:

          exibit a: *co2 follows warming?/// I read about that once until I got confused. Seems to me the feed back loops, delays, and cycles are such that those with the intent to do so can play games.*

          You are damn right they play games. Right past the point of shifting the relationships 180 degrees, tacking on another 90, calling it a “correction” and then publishing it in the exclusive kid-gloves NSF journals.

          I’m not confused that you got confused. {see exibit a}

          There is a word for such passion on a subject one knows nothing about, bobbo; That word is ‘faith’.

          Faith, bobbo. But your faith is with mere bankers with an agende, here.

          Is there room for blind faith in ‘science’ or should it be left to the FERPS?

        • Tim says:

          All I’m saying about free market is that we don’t really have one. There is a difference between free market and stock market, bobbo, and that Invisible Hand has lots of strings attached limiting it’s degrees of freedom.

          For instance: consider a man who is out of work, in debt, a farmer with only one acre of land. Now, He has to consider his inputs vs. return on that land that not only feeds his family but makes the $$ for the property tax.

          Hmm. Shall he grow sweet corn, feed corn, silage corn, or Monsanto incentivised pop-corn. — Well, he can’t go to the bank for a load for conscripted seed or 400 gallons of tank-mix 2-4-d and Fuckup ™. Those inputs are too expensive.

          Considering free market value of that same acre of land — tell me, is he free to then do what science and reason dictates and grow 1/4 acre of veggies and 3/4 of an acre of the finest Alaskan Thunderfuck this side of the Prime Meridian??

        • Tim says:

          Furthermore, I don’t give a rat’s ass about limiting CO2 as that is for mis-lead fools. I only advocate the biomass economy to get us of that bridge over troubled waters (heroin) of that silver lady (needle) of the current control scheme of the past 80 years.

          Here is a story — those plotters all get their dicks-in-a-row first. Remember the energy crunch and gas lines of the mid-70′s?? Well, the head of DuPont and the head of GM were husband and wife. DuPont developed the neoprene parts for carbeurators that had no other benifit than it melted in the presensce of methanol while GM was busy making the exploding truck bombs with the huge gas-tanks outside the frame-rails; All two years before that gas-lined crunch.

          They were not going to have the happy farmers hold up the guiding light and showing the way by making fuel out of cellulose like they did during WW2, you see?

      • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

        gibberish.

        • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

          Damn posting system. Still…. this is gibberish too. What happens a billion years from now is not relevant to the discussion. I do wonder what made you link to this……nothing good that I can think of. Lazy, careless.

          • Tim says:

            Ohh, that is right; You berate someone for not caring about the human race (well, only the beach-houses) 100,000 years in the future but fuck them greys a billion years down the road??

    • Tim says:

      O. O. somebody said, “Yep==it will take a religion based on Green/Mother Earth/Nature/Gaia to spend more money and avoid the evil of petrochemicals. We are already past the tipping point for voluntary action to avoid these consequences. I look for a revolution, but revolution or not===it won’t be pretty.

      You don’t want weeds. You suggest it is too labor-intensive? Worried about letting a garbage collection truck into your backyard? Man Up!

      • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

        Any regulatory/encouragement scheme based on voluntary significant life style changes will not work.

        Simple stuff.

  2. bobbo, how do you know what you know, and how do you change your mind says:

    Tim–exh a. Rebuttal:

    http://scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=ice-core-data-help-solve

    To think that co2 follows temperature is a 180 on the universally accepted fact that co2 is a green house gas.

    Tim–do you agree co2 is a green house gas?

    • Tim says:

      Yes. I agree co2 is a green-house gas. And I also posit that because of the wavelenth of photon to exite up the rotational state of the molecule then one might at least think it is much as a blanket one way, as the other — could even cause cooling. like I said, I don’t give a flying fuck as it is such a small signal upon daily variation.

      Hurricanes do that to — transporting away the sensible heat. Kind of self-regulating, you see? If we were to have too much heat, then we get hurricanes to convert latent heat to sensible heat high up where it can radiate back out into space.

    • Tim says:

      The term they are dancing around about the ice bubbles in the snow is *firn* — that is a whole nother batch of hypothesis to support hypothesis. I’m all scienced out so that I’m gonna defer to this drama:

      http://imdb.com/title/tt0120152/

      http://youtube.com/watch?v=8-k8LbTQ0xs

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        Very nice opening sequence but I HATE IT. Seems to be totally unrelated to the movie…. as I read its description.

        Sounds like a good movie. I’ll watch for it.

        There was another Scandanavian plotted movie a while back with women trudging around in the snow and it “may have” been about a murder too, or some other mystery, but it was not this one. I wouldn’t mind watching it again too.

        Just watched the trio of Dragon Tattoo pictures subed in English. Very well done and kept my attention. Got to piss of the Swedes that the American version was very near shot for shot and dialogue wise the same movie and while totally good, the acting/settings/photography were no better. Lots of “good” American movies are redo’s like that.

        • Tim says:

          “Was Return of the Jedi made a retarded flop because Ewocks are stupid?” — Alex Jones

  3. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Tim starting to fracture when posting past the quick snark says:
    7/7/2013 at 11:09 pm

    Yes. I agree co2 is a green-house gas. And I also posit that because of the wavelenth of photon to exite up the rotational state of the molecule then one might at least think it is much as a blanket one way, as the other — could even cause cooling. /// No, it doesn’t. Most particles/compounds/elements in the atmosphere do have both qualities and most have a net cooling or net heating affect. co2 reflects a tiny amount of incoming energy but blocks a lot of the outgoing. Basic Science…coming very close to what the defintion of a Green House Gas means. Its the mark of a religious mindset to “know” one thing and to lazily believe the opposite. Ha, ha.

    like I said, I don’t give a flying fuck as it is such a small signal upon daily variation. /// Define small. Its the factor that without correction is going to change humanity’s experience on this earth—it can do this directly or by triggering heat related conspirators like methane and hydrogen sulfide and a host of other non gas related consequences brought on by co2 heating.

    Hurricanes do that to — transporting away the sensible heat. /// Again===BASIC VOCABULARY. co2 does not transport heat except as being part of the air mass. co2 TRAPS HEAT. Hurricanes do not trap heat but as you say transports heat around, probably with a net cooling effect…but I’m guessing at that. Also guessing the net heat reduction is very minimal.

    Kind of self-regulating, you see? // No. Its not. Basic Science.

    If we were to have too much heat, then we get hurricanes to convert latent heat to sensible heat high up where it can radiate back out into space. /// Yea==except its not which is why the SEA LEVEL KEEPS RISING.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_sea_level_rise

    Total fail.

    • Tim says:

      I should think it matters a great deal where the gasses are in the atmospheric column as to which way the net flux points.

      As a test, Go camping the next clear night with low humidity and no wind out there {I suggest, Siberia}. But not just any camping — go squamping {squatter’s camping} inside a large an abandoned water-tank. Lay out your bedroll in advance and also check the timer and regulator on that bottle of compressed o2 you will be relying on to live because that other tank is to fill that sucker up with 100% CO2. If you awake in the morning, jot down as to how toasty warm it is in there.

    • Tim says:

      I’ll repost my position on sea level rise:

      As the graph shows, sea level today is very near the lowest level ever attained (the lowest level occurred at the Permian-Triassic boundary about 250 million years ago)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eustasy#Changes_through_geologic_time

      I’m assuming you know what a pendulum is and how the motion looks as it swings back and forth? Fastest in the middle and stationary momentarily at each end?

      We are at the low end of that swing but ‘momentarily’ is still well within the inter-generational miopia — If it was different in grandad’s day then we screwed the pooch somehow.

      And what a small change we’re talking about over hundreds of years. It is like 1/00th the modulation of even medium waves and breakers.

      It becomes essentially an engineering challenge and If humanity can’t deal with a few inches of water they’d had hundreds of years to work with then they probably deserve to wade around in the warm, shallow end of the pool.

      Venice seems to be fitting illustration of how to deal with too many kids peeing in the pool.

      • Tim says:

        P.S. It is ocean *acidification* and not rise I might be conserned with even if the rise is a symtom of warming from excess co2.

        But several species of plankton have been stepping up to ‘sequester’ the excess in their dolomitic bodies. — Man is probably going to fuck that up though trying to ‘help them along’ by dumping millions of tons of iron sulfide into the drink to fertilize them.

        • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

          Half Assed Science…. poorly applied. Wrong format to discuss “why” you have chosen Devo. Might be interesting….. might not.

          I wonder if you will ever recognize the hows and whys you denied science on this issue…. but not for so many other issues.

          Thats the nugget.