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I feel a lot of people need to calm down about the immigration "problem" here in America. But people believe what they believe.
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Keith Rutter

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POGO also obtained an unredacted, albeit incomplete, copy of the report. Comparing the two versions, it’s obvious that the redactions—based on FOIA Exemption 4, which covers trade secrets and sensitive commercial or financial information—are wholly unjustified.
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IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO SERVE IN AN AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT, NOT A PATHWAY TO A GOLD PLATED PENSION PLAN.

It has to stop somewhere.

In three days, most people in Australia will have this message.

This is one idea that really should be passed around

(proposed) Constitutional Reform Act of 2014

1. For Politicians, Tenure by election & No Pension.

A Politician collects a substantial salary while in office and so should receive no pay when they're out of office.

2. Politicians (past, present & future) participate in their own Superannuation scheme as do all other Australians - the Superannuation Guarantee Administration Act 1992 (SGAA).

All funds in the Politician's retirement fund move to the Centrelink system immediately. Politicians contribute to their superannuation the same way as 'ordinary' Australian people. Contributions may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Politicians can purchase their own retirement plan,

Just as most other working Australians are expected to do.

4. Politicians will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Politicians lose their current health care system and participate in the same health care system as the Australian people. I.e. Either pay for private cover or Medicare.

6. Politicians must equally abide by all laws they impose on the Australian people.

7. All contracts with past and present Politicians are void, effective 31/12/14. The Australian people did not agree to the perks with Politicians.

Politicians made all these contracts for themselves. No entity holds them accountable.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three or so days for most people (in Australia) to receive the message.

Don't you think it's time

If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete.

You are one of my 20+ - Please keep it going, and thanks.
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Keith Rutter

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Have you seen the Classified Section of OpenTheGovernment.org yet? You should check it out.
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Data Transparency Needs Data Strategy!

From the post: "We want systems and processes to be more effective and transparent, we want to be able to take advantage of improved standards and technologies when they make sense — but we also need to balance the cost benefits of change in a fiscally austere and change resistant environment."
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Who here has organized a civic hackathon? Where do you find the people that pitch problems?

I'm looking for actual problems that I can work on in my spare time, rather than just waiting for the next hackathon. Basically, I'd be absolutely thrilled if there were a Project Euler or Weekend Hacker for civic problems, especially if it were localized to states or cities.

+Terry Allen 
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Sharon Fisher

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 #CD
 
At $2 for every paper page represented digitally on a CD, a person wanting copies of 20 CDs’ worth of records would have to pay the Recorder’s Office $208,000 (as compared to $1,000 at the previous rate of $50 per CD). 
Sometimes we run into situations that remind us that the rest of the world just hasn’t quite caught up with electronic document management yet. We know from Freedom of Information Act requests that governments have sometimes been guilty of overcharging for access to public records. We were treated to a dilly of a case recently courtesy of the New York Times, which posted a dramatic reading of a deposition for an Ohio Supreme Court case regarding ...
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State government is now 'charging people to participate in their government.' #SPJ   #CJR  
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Keith Rutter

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Given DOJ's central role in FOIA administration, we believe that Justice is well-placed to take on issues that have long-plagued efforts to open the government.
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+Keith Rutter That is quite a document! I'm sending it to my Kindle to read at my leisure!
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As California is often a bellwether in technology issues, it raises the spectre that other states could follow suit. Not to mention, if private devices are considered protected for public officials, how long is it going to take for employees in the private sector to make the same argument?
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Keith Rutter

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Although proper implementation will be key, the bill promises to be a true game-changer for federal financial transparency.
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Alexander Howard
owner

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Some city legal codes have been unlocked. Much more to go: http://www.govexec.com/state-local/2014/07/ultimate-open-government-unlocking-laws/87997/ All citizens should be able to freely access & read the laws that govern them. Great to see the DC Council's own legal counsel directly involved in opening the law to the District's people: 
Forward-thinking public officials and open government advocates are updating outmoded, inflexible digital platforms that host local and state legal codes.
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Alexander Howard
owner

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I hope the open government and civic technology communities become more vocal, active participants in the privacy and civil liberties debates embroiling the world. They're all related. http://e-pluribusunum.com/2014/07/02/pclob-issues-report-on-us-surveillance-under-section-702-of-fisa/
The pre-release version of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board’s Report on the Surveillance Program Operated Pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) ...
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Alexander Howard
owner

Discussion  - 
 
Law professor Jack Goldsmith's review of Michael Kinsley's review of Glenn Greenwald's book is well worth a read. http://www.lawfareblog.com/2014/05/why-kinsley-is-wrong-about-the-connection-between-democracy-and-publication-of-national-security-secrets/

"One problem with Kinsley’s conclusion is that it pushes to government absolutism on secrets in the name of Democracy, and yet the People cannot judge its government’s secret actions.  Yes, the People have approved through law a system of checks and balances behind the wall of secrecy, but that does not suffice.  Many leaks over the past decade – on interrogations, drones, and surveillance, for example – have led the People to alter the course of government action.  If the government had the final say, these and dozens of other reforms and corrections never could have occurred.  Especially in an era of endless war, the government should not decide as a final matter what the People know.

So leaks of secrets will occur, and they are sometimes normatively appropriate.  But of course this necessary check on government leads to all sorts of problems.  For secrecy too is sometimes necessary and appropriate, and journalists sometimes, perhaps often, publish secrets that cause enormous harms that outweigh any conceivable benefit from the perspective of democratic governance."
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Keith Rutter

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The National Defense Authorization Act, one of the few bills usually passed every year, authorizes more than $600 billion in Pentagon spending and many wide-ranging policies. Yet, much of the Senate version of the bill is debated in secret, allowing the public little say in how a huge chunk of its taxes are spent.
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Now this is the kinda meaty good ness we like! Applause from the Publishing Staff at kaua'i Snarklectic!
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If the government wins this case, the public will be stripped of its right to access all White House executive orders, directives, proclamations, memos, or other correspondence provided to federal agencies—products that often have the force of law.
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A good case study of reporting in a digitally disrupted world.
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