(CNSNEWS) -There have been 65,376,373 background checks completed for Americans purchasing firearms since February of 2009, the first full month of Barack Obama’s presidency.
According to data compiled by the FBI, the number of Americans purchasing guns has skyrocketed since Obama was elected.
In 2009, there were 13,984,953 background checks for Americans buying firearms. If we subtract the 1,212,860 checks completed in the month of January, the total checks for the year under Obama were 12,772,090.
For 2010, background checks totaled 14,320,489. In 2011, checks were 16,336,732, and in 2012, 19,463,832. Background checks for the month of January 2013 were 2,483,230.
This totals 65,376,373 background checks completed since President Obama’s first full month in office, or 44,748 background checks per day!
By comparison, the number of background checks in Obama’s first term is 91.1% higher than President George W. Bush’s first-term total of 34,214,066.
(CNSNews.com) – Since taking office in 2009, food stamp rolls under President Barack Obama have risen to more than 47 million people in America, exceeding the population of Spain.
“Now is the time to act boldly and wisely – to not only revive this economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity,” said Obama during his first joint session address to Congress on Feb. 24, 2009.
Since then, the number of participants enrolled in food stamps, known as the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP), has risen substantially.
When Obama entered office in January 2009 there were 31,939,110 Americans receiving food stamps. As of November 2012—the most recent data available—there were 47,692,896Americans enrolled, an increase of 49.3 percent.
According to the 2011 census, Spain had a population of 46,815,916.
Furthermore, between January 2009 and November 2012 the food stamp program added approximately an average 11,269 recipients per day.
President Obama will deliver his fourth State of the Union address Tuesday evening. Obama is expected to focus on jobs and the economy.
(Prevent Disease) -We don’t have to live in a medicated world, but we certainly choose to. The crux of the matter is that we refuse to proactively think about prevention because we reactively commit to treating the symptoms of underlying health problems. This is the allopathic model. We want the quick fix so we can continue our poor lifestyle and dietary habits. It doesn’t have to be this way, but it is. We can blame doctors, the medical institutions and healthcare systems all we want, but self-responsibility is our only recourse if we are ever to surface from this mess. There are no excuses–if you’re taking one of these drugs, consult with a Natural Health Practitioner this week about phasing out your medication and phasing in these powerful natural foods and remedies.
Of the over 4 billion prescriptions written every year, the United States and Canada make up more than 80% of the world’s prescription opioids (psychoactive medications). Between 1997 and 2012 prescription opioids increased in dosage by almost 500%. Pharmaceuticals and medical errors are now a leading cause of death. Painkillers are the leading cause of accidental death.
In the last 15 years of life, people are experiencing more pain for longer periods than at any point on our historical record. If you think life expectancy has increased to the benefit of mankind, you’re not looking at the numbers.
78% of U.S. prescriptions written in 2010 were for generic drugs (both unbranded and those still sold under a brand name). The most prescribed drugs aren’t always the best selling drugs, there’s a difference.
Prescriptions for pain, cholesterol reduction, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, antacids, antipsychotics, diabetes and antibiotics make up 100% of the most prescribed drugs.
Make a commitment to yourself right now and start incorporating some of these amazing foods into your diet with no consequence of side effects. When you accept this, you will get off prescription medications for good.
Check out the top 7 most prescribed drugs and the best natural remedies to treat and prevent disease.
1. HYDROCODONE (Acetaminophen/Vicodin/Oxycontin)
Use: For Pain Currently the single most prescribed drug in the world. More and more doctors are getting huge payouts from pharmaceutical companies to promote these hydrocodone, especially generic drugs. They make up more than 20% of the top prescribed medications.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Fox News that doctors are handing out narcotics like candy. Some doctors are giving patients prescriptions for narcotics for even minor injuries.
How it Works: It is an orally psychoactive compound that works as a narcotic and analgesic. It is biotransformed by the liver into several metabolites. It is highly dependent on metabolism by the Cytochrome P450 pathway.
Consequences: Respiratory depression; bradycardia; coma; seizures; cardiac arrest; liver damage; and death. Inherited genes such as the Cytochrome P450 affects metabolic pathways–some cannot process it at all, whereas a smaller percentage can get even more strength from it than usual.
Natural Foods: Ginger, turmeric, berries, cayenne pepper, celery/celery seeds, cherries, dark green veggies, walnuts. See: Natural Healing Remedies: 10 Foods That Fight Inflammation And Pain
2. STATINS (Generic versions of Lipitor/Zocor/Crestor)
Use: Reduction of LDL Cholesterol
Approximately 15% of the top prescribed medications are generic statins. A study published in January 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine linked statins to 48 percent increased risk for type-2 diabetes.
The are NO scientific studies ever documented which have proved through causation that lowering LDL cholesterol prevents disease. The obsessed culture of lowering cholesterol may actually be causing cancer.
How it Works: Statins artificially lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting a critical enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver.
Consequences: Inflammation and pathological breakdown of muscle, acute kidney failure, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, interference with sex hormones and death.
Natural Foods: Nuts, spinach, apples, turmeric, cranberries, tomatoes, green tea, fatty fish, beans, alfalfa herb, capsicum fruit, garlic, psyllium, fenugreek seeds, butcher’s broom, licorice root, hawthorn berry. See: – New Data Shows Lycopene Reduces Heart Disease Up To 26 Percent – Two Apples a Day More Effective At Reducing Heart Disease Than Statin Medications – Top 5 Foods and Herbs To Control Cholesterol – World Renown Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease
3. LISINOPRIL (Prinivil/Zestril) AND NORVASC (Amlodipine)
Use: Reduction of High Blood Pressure
In combination, Lisinopril and Norvasc make up a whopping 23% of the top prescribed medications. This makes them the most prescribed generic medications (if combined) for cardiovascular disease and blood pressure. Individually, Lisinopril constitutes approximately 14% and Norvasc about 9%.
How it Works: Lisinopril is typically used for the treatment of hypertension, congestive heart failure, and heart attacks. Norvasc is used for hypertension and angina. It accomplishes this by inhibiting the influx of calcium ions into vascular smooth muscle and cardiac muscle so it essentially interferes with the metabolism of calcium.
Consequences: Cancer, blood disorders, development of breasts in men, impotence, depression, tachycardia, enlargement of gums, inflammation of the liver, elevated blood glucose, hepatitis, life threatening skin conditions.
Natural Foods: Any foods high in vitamin C (chili peppers, guavas, bell peppers, thyme, parsley, dark leafy greens, broccoli), any foods high in magnesium (chocolate, green leafy vegetables, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin and squash seeds, pine nuts, and black walnuts) and any foods high in potassium (mushrooms, bananas, dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, oranges and dates). Coconut oil/water and CoQ10 are also very effective for lowering blood pressure. See: – Magnesium Reduces Blood Pressure Naturally Without Side Effects – Low Salt Diets Do Not Decrease Blood Pressure, Period – Vitamin C Supplements Reduce Blood Pressure Without Side Effects Associated With Medication – Low Potassium Linked To High Blood Pressure
4. SYNTHROID (levothyroxine sodium)
A synthetic form of the thyroid hormone thyroxine, generic Synthroid makes up more than 11% of the top prescribed medications. It’s used to treat hypothyroidism. The related drug dextrothyroxine (D-thyroxine) was used in the past as a treatment for elevated cholesterol but was withdrawn due to cardiac side-effects.
How it Works: It replaces the thyroid hormone which is naturally occurring in the thyroid gland essentially halting natural production.
Consequences: Long-term suppression of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) causes cardiac side-effects and contributes to decreases in bone mineral density (high TSH levels are also well known to contributes to osteoporosis.) May also cause elevated blood glucose levels, heart failure, coma and adrenal insufficiency. TSH directly influences the whole process of iodine trapping and thyroid hormone production so use of synthroid directly affects how the body metabolizes iodine.
Natural Foods: Any foods containing iodine such as seaweed, kelp, radish, parsley, fish, seafood, eggs, bananas, cranberries, strawberries, himalayan crystal salt. Also, copper, iron, selenium and zinc are essential in the production of thyroid hormones. Exercise a minimum of 20-30 minutes per day — enough to raise the heartbeat. See: – Seaweed Extracts Can Help You Lose Weight, Mostly Body Fat – 8 Critical Nutrients Lacking In More Than 70 Percent of Diets – The Number One Reason So Many Women Have Trouble Losing Weight
5. PRILOSEC (omeprazole/generic versions of nexium)
A proton pump inhibitor which constitutes just over 8% of the top prescribed medications. Omeprazole is one of the most widely prescribed drugs for reflux disease (GORD/GERD/LPR) and ulcers internationally and is available over the counter in some countries.
How it Works: It suppresses gastric acid secretion by specific inhibition of the gastric acid ions in cells. The absorption of omeprazole takes place in the small intestine essentially turning off the switch which promotes healthy digestion of foods. Omeprazole is also completely metabolized by the cytochrome P450 system.
Consequences: Angina, ulcers, tachycardia, bradycardia, palpitations, elevated blood pressure, development of male breasts, inflammation of the pancreas, irritable colon, mucosal atrophy of the tongue, liver disease/failure, elevated blood sugar, muscle weakness, skin conditions, tinnitus, inflammation of the eyes, urinary frequency, testicular pain, anemia and blood cell disorders.
Natural Foods: Grapefruits, probiotics, broccoli sprouts, manuka honey, mastic gum, marshmallow tea, glutamine, slippery elm, deglycyrrhized liquorice (DGL), aloe vera juice, baking soda, pickle juice. See: – Grapefruit Heals Stomach Ulcers – Broccoli Sprouts May Prevent Gastritis, Ulcers and Stomach Cancers – Manuka Honey Reverses Antibiotic Resistance, Treats Disease
6. AZITHROMYCIN AND AMOXICILLIN
In combination, azithromycin and amoxicillin contribute towards a mind-blowing 17% of the top prescribed medications. Then we wonder why we have antibiotic resistance. On their own, each contributes about 8.5%. Azithromycin is one of the world’s best-selling antibiotics and derived from erythromycin. Amoxicillin is usually the drug of choice for children.
How it Works: Inhibits the synthesis of bacterial cell walls and interfering with their protein synthesis. These drugs also inhibit the protein synthesis of good bacteria needed for immunity and proper digestion.
Consequences: Inflammation of the liver, inflammation and destruction of the stomach lining, destruction of healthy bacterial populations, inflammation of the colon, allergic reactions, obesity, human antibiotic resistance.
Natural Foods: Sunlight (vit D), garlic, coconut oil, turmeric, foods high in nicotinamide (vit B3) such as salmon, sardines and nuts. Also manuka honey, olive leaf extract, green tea, pau D’Arco, rose water, myrrh, grapeseed extract, golden seal, oregon grapes, oregano oil, andrographis paniculata, and probiotics. See: – Garlic Proven 100 Times More Effective Than Antibiotics, Working In A Fraction of The Time – Before Antibiotics Ever Existed, Sunlight Was Used To Treat Diseases With Great Success – The Most Potent B Vitamin That Combats Infections Better Than Antibiotics Ever Could
7. GLUCOPHAGE (metformin)
Use: Oral anti-diabetic drug
Glucophage drugs round up the top 7 but the prescription rate of this drug is rapidly increasing. It makes up about 7% of the top prescribed medications. It is the first-line drug of choice for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, in particular, in overweight and obese people. It also acts to indirectly lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
How it Works: By suppressing natural glucose production by the liver, the drug activates an enzyme which plays an important role in insulin signaling, whole body energy balance, and the metabolism of glucose and fats.
Consequences: Lactic acidosis, impaired liver/kidney function, decreasing thyroid stimulating hormone and testosterone, increased homocysteine levels, malabsorption of vitamin B12, B12 deficiency, bladder cancer, heart failure. The biggest consequence of diabetes drugs is that it causes pancreatic function to substantially decrease inhibiting several hormones and causing other imbalances which are never correctable without abstaining from the drug.
Natural Foods: Black tea, Sunlight (vit D), potentially coffee (more research needed), turmeric, nuts, chia seeds, green leafy vegetables, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, red grapes, steel cut oatmeal, broccoli, spinach, green beans and strawberries. 90% of all cases of diabetes can be resolved by eating foods with a low glycemic load, and pursuing both weight training and aerobic exercise. See: – Study on Black Tea Consumption From 42 Countries Shows It Lowers Diabetes Risk – Two More Bombshells For Vitamin D: It Prevents Both Type I Diabetes and Cavities – Coffee’s Anti-Diabetes Benefit – Healthy Diet, Moderate Exercise Reduce Diabetes Risk Better Than Drugs – How Turmeric Has An Anti-Diabetic Effect On The Body
The drugs on which we spend the most money are those that are still new enough to be protected against generic competition. That’s why drugs like Abilify and Seroquel (antipsychotics), as well as Plavix (blood thinner) and Advair Diskus (asthma inhaler) don’t make the list.
(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night that he will end the war in Afghanistan by the end of next year, and that after that he will keep tens of thousands of American troops in Afghanistan to fight a war in Afghanistan.
“And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over,” said Obama.
For the period after 2014, he said, “We are negotiating an agreement with the Afghan government that focuses on two missions: training and equipping Afghan forces so that the country does not again slip into chaos, and counter-terrorism efforts that allow us to pursue the remnants of al Qaeda and their affiliates.”
Thus, U.S. forces left in Afghanistan after the war is “over,” will “pursue the remnants of al Qaeda and their affiliates.”
“Tonight, we stand united in saluting the troops and civilians who sacrifice every day to protect us. Because of them, we can say with confidence that America will complete its mission in Afghanistan, and achieve our objective of defeating the core of al Qaeda,” said Obama. “Already, we have brought home 33,000 of our brave servicemen and women. This spring, our forces will move into a support role, while Afghan security forces take the lead. Tonight, I can announce that over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan. This drawdown will continue. And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.
“Beyond 2014, America’s commitment to a unified and sovereign Afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change,” said Obama. “We are negotiating an agreement with the Afghan government that focuses on two missions: training and equipping Afghan forces so that the country does not again slip into chaos, and counter-terrorism efforts that allow us to pursue the remnants of al Qaeda and their affiliates.”
The GAO reported this week that there were about 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan as of December. If 33,000 of those troops are brought home over the next year, as President Obama said in his State of the Union, that will leave another 33,000 U.S. troops still in Afghanistan.
Those 33,000 U.S. troops Obama intends to keep in Afghanistan–as Obama described it–will pursue al Qaeda, which is what U.S. troops first went to Afghanistan to do in 2001.
(Wired) -In a few years, the soldier, marine or special operator out on patrol might be able to record the facial features or iris signature of a suspicious person all from his or her smartphone — and at a distance, too.
The Defense Department has awarded a $3 million research contract to California-based AOptix to examine its “Smart Mobile Identity” biometrics identification package, Danger Room has learned. At the end of two years of research to validate the concepts of what the company built, AOptix will provide the Defense Department with a hardware peripheral and software suite that turns a commercially available smartphone into a device that scans and transmits data from someone’s eyes, face, thumbs and voice.
“They’ve asked us, based on what they’ve seen of our product, to work on some more specific needs and requirements for DoD,” Chuck Yort, AOptix’s vice president for identity solutions, tells Danger Room. Data security for the system will be provided by partner CACI International, which shares in the $3 million contract, which will be officially announced Wednesday morning.
Currently, U.S. troops rely on a single-use device, known as the Handheld Interagency Identity Detection System (HIIDE), to scan, upload and transmit data from someone’s facial, eye or thumb features to its wartime biometrics databases. The HIIDE, shown below, looks a bit like the camera Hipstamatic uses for its logo, and troops who want to operate it need to bring it close to the faces and thumbs of the people they scan.
The hardware AOptix has developed isn’t itself a phone. It’s a peripheral that wraps around a phone to enable the additional sensing capabilities necessary to acquire the biometric data. AOptix was hesitant to describe the peripheral, but supposedly it won’t impact the phone’s form factor, and the company swears a smartphone bulked up with its sensing dongle will weigh under a pound. Unlike HIIDE, it’ll only take one hand to operate.
Outside of the add-on, the computational power of the smartphone is supposed to enable the software package that AOptix built — and displayed at a September conference in Tampa partially sponsored by the National Security Agency. The company won’t say what operating system Smart Mobile Identity it’s configured to run on, but the Defense Department tends to like the relative cheapness and open architecture of Android devices. Yort promises the software will have a “very intuitive interface that leverages smartphone conventions.”
Smart Mobile Identity has limited ability to record biometric data at a distance, but its specs outperform the HIIDE camera. It scans faces at up to two meters away, irises from one meter, and voice from within the typical distance from a phone. Thumbprints will still require a finger against the reinforced glass face of the phone. Joey Pritikin, another AOptix executive, says that an additional advantage of the system is its ability to capture an iris in bright sunlight, which is a challenge for HIIDE and other biometrics device. Apparently the system will also be able to snap an image of someone’s face or eye once the phone running the software focuses on it, without a specific click, swipe or press.
AOptix is also cagey about which part of the Defense Department inked the deal with the company. (Pentagon officials didn’t respond to requests for additional information.) But since AOptix and CACI are supposed to deliver Smart Mobile Identity after 24 months of research, its most likely application would be for special operations forces, who after the 2014 completion of the troop drawdown from Afghanistan will be doing the majority of patrolling in places where biometric ID collection on a mobile device will be relevant.
It’s worth noting that even though the military is backing away from foot patrols in warzones, it’s not backing away from biometric data acquisition — far from it. The U.S. Central Command has held on to the biometric database of three million people it compiled during the Iraq war. And Darpa-funded projects are already working on biometric identifier devices that can scan irises and even fingerprints from further distances than Smart Mobile Identity — to say nothing of next-gen biometrics projects that can scan thearea around your eye, your odor, and even the way you walk.
It’ll be a very long time before any of those detection systems can run on a phone, however. And even with the Defense Department’s budget crunch, the Army and now the Navy are showing interest in equipping their troops with smartphone and smartphone-like devices. Enabling them to scan someone’s physical features with the same device may not be a step too far.
(Forbes) -U.S. assistant attorney Stephen Heymann built his career taking on hackers in computer crime cases. Now at least 25,000 people believe he took one such case too far–enough voices that the White House will have to respond to their calls that he be fired.
Over the weekend, a petition on Whitehouse.gov calling for the dismissal of Heymann reached 25,000 signatures, the threshold that requires a response from the administration under the rules outlined on the site. (The White House has since raised that threshold to 100,000 signatures, but that new rule doesn’t apply to older petitions like one focused on Heymann.)
The outcry against Heymann follows the suicide of activist Aaron Swartz last month, who was being prosecuted by Heymann for allegedly violating computer crime laws in his downloading of millions of academic papers from the website JSTOR.
The petition hit its goal after Swartz’s girlfriend Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman posted a call for signatures in her blog late last week, calling for Heymann’s firing and an investigation into what she described as prosecutorial overreach in Swartz’s case.
“Heymann saw Aaron as a scalp he could take,” she wrote. “He thought he could lock Aaron up, get high-profile press coverage, and win high-fives from his fellow prosecutors in the lunchroom. Aaron was a way of reviving Heymann’s fading career. Heymann had no interest in an honest assessment of whether Aaron deserved any of the hell he was being put through.”
Heymann isn’t the only prosecutor the White House must now consider firing in the Swartz case. Another petition calling for the dismissal of Heymann’s boss, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, quickly reached more than 52,000 signatures in the days following Swartz’s suicide.
But Heymann holds special significance for hackers and digital activists. He serves as chief of the computer crime unit for Massachusetts’ U.S.’s attorney’s office, one of the first such operations in the country. In 1996, he led the prosecution of an Argentine man accused of hacking into Harvard’s computer network, a case that involved the first-ever Internet-based wiretap.
More recently, Heymann served as prosecutor in the case of a group of hackers involved in the unprecedented theft of hundreds of millions of credit card numbers from the networks of companies including TJ Maxx and Heartland Payment Systems. Heymann received a Department of Justice award for his convictions of five defendants in the case, which included a 15-year sentence for the most active member of the team, Alberto Gonzalez. But the case’s outcome was also controversial: One defendant, Stephen Watt, was sentenced to two years in prison despite claiming to have merely written one element of the software Gonzalez used. Another hacker involved in the case, Jonathan James, committed suicide.
Accusations that Heymann overreached in prosecuting Swartz have reached a much higher pitch. Swartz, after all, had no intention of profiting from the JSTOR articles he downloaded and even gave the files back to JSTOR, which then ceased to press charges against him. Swartz’s supporters including freedom of information activist Lawrence Lessig have attacked what they call prosecutorial overreach in the case. And two congressmen have also demanded the Department of Justice investigate and explain the prosecutors’ behavior.
A spokesperson at the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office declined to comment, but U.S. Attorney Ortiz has previously defended Swartz’s prosecution and Heymann’s conduct: “I know that there is little I can say to abate the anger felt by those who believe that this office’s prosecution of Mr. Swartz was unwarranted and somehow led to the tragic result of him taking his own life,” she wrote in a public statement last month. “I must, however, make clear that this office’s conduct was appropriate in bringing and handling this case. The career prosecutors handling this matter took on the difficult task of enforcing a law they had taken an oath to uphold, and did so reasonably.”
Soon we’ll know whether the White House holds the same opinion of Heymann’s actions–and those of Ortiz herself.
Correction: This post originally included a photo that was labelled as Stephen Heymann. In fact it showed MIT president Rafael Reif. Apologies for the error.
(ArsTechnica) -Just before issuing the 2013 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama signed an executive order on cybersecurity—creating a series of “best practices” between “critical infrastructure” corporations and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
“It is the policy of the United States Government to increase the volume, timeliness, and quality of cyber threat information shared with US private sector entities so that these entities may better protect and defend themselves against cyber threats,” the order states.
According to The Hill, a draft version of this framework will be due in 240 days and the final will be published within a year from now.
The order comes after Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) failed in Congress last year—although it may be poised for a comeback. While many civil libertarians were concerned that CISPA did not have adequate privacy protections, some have shown some cautious optimism about the new order.
“The executive order says that privacy must be built into the government’s cybersecurity plans and activities, not as an afterthought but rather as part of the design,” said Center for Democracy and Technology President Leslie Harris in a statement.
“By explicitly requiring adherence to fair information practice principles, the order adopts a comprehensive formulation of privacy. The annual privacy assessment, properly done, can create accountability to the public for government actions taken in the name of cybersecurity.”
Others, including the American Civil Liberties Union, agreed.
“The president’s executive order rightly focuses on cybersecurity solutions that don’t negatively impact civil liberties,” Michelle Richardson, a legislative counsel for the ACLU, added, in a statement. “For example, greasing the wheels of information sharing from the government to the private sector is a privacy-neutral way to distribute critical cyber information.”
As Chris Matyszczyk of CNET puts it, “It’s like sleepwalking, but potentially more amusing.”
According to a study by Elizabeth Dowdell, a nursing professor at Villanova University, “It’s just what you’d think it is, it’s texting while asleep.”
“It’s exactly what is sounds like, or really more between that, you know, that area between being asleep and being awake.”
“The phone will beep, they’ll answer the text,” she says. “They’ll either respond in words or gibberish. (It) can even be inappropriate. Ex-girlfriends contacting ex-boyfriends, saying ‘I miss you. I want to see you.’”
The thing is, though, just like with sleepwalking, “when they wake up, there’s no memory.” The possibilities for total embarrassment are endless.
According to Dowdell, teens need from eight to ten hours of sleep per night. Sleep interruption can cause depression, obesity, falling grades and all sorts of other problems.
“Overplugged and overextended teens and young adults tend to get less than that,” she says, “so this interrupts what could be a good night’s sleep, because they’re an hour-and-a-half or two hours into their sleep cycle, and they’re answering texts or the machines are beeping at them.”
Texting during sleep is disruptive not only to the texting teen, but also to the teen who receives a message – a beeping cell phone in the middle of the night disrupts another person’s rest.
Dowdell states that the answer is a technology-free bedroom, or the teenager should at least put the phone on the other side of the room and turn off the ringer. Ah, but what teenager would do that and potentially miss some exciting news or gossip?
Law enforcement officials first spotted Dorner after setting up a road block following a home invasion and carjacking report.
When Dorner approached the road block, he opened fire on officers, striking two sheriff’s deputies. San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told reporters that one of the deputies who were shot has died from his injuries. The second deputy is still being treated at California’s Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Following the shootout with deputies, Dorner fled the area and barricaded himself into a cabin in the San Bernardino National Forest according to KCAL. Reports state tear gas was fired into the cabin. Smoke could be seen coming from the cabin a short time later, and the cabin is now fully engulfed in flames.
Law enforcement officials have not said whether Dorner is believed to still be in the burning cabin or if police have taken him into custody.
Live streaming video of the scene can be seen here.
UPDATE 7:24 p.m. CST
According to CBS2, tear gas was fired into the cabin just before the cabin went up into flames. One gun shot was also heard.
CNN is reporting that law enforcement authorities have confirmed that a fire and smoke from tear gas has engulfed the cabin where Dorner was hiding. Ammunition is exploding inside the cabin.
UPDATE 7:32 p.m. CST
ABC 7 is reporting that police officials are letting the fire “burn itself out” before attempting to enter the cabin to try and locate Dorner. The cabin is surrounded and authorities have stated that if Dorner is not in the cabin, he is “pinned down” and unable to escape.
UPDATE 7:42 p.m. CST
Cindy Bachman, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, told CNN:
“There was active gunfire before the fire.”
She could not confirm if Dorner is still in the cabin, but reiterated that the cabin is surrounded and that no one is allowed to approach the cabin at this time.
UPDATE 8:56 p.m. CST
The Associated Press is reporting that a “charred body” has been found in the burned out cabin were Dorner was hiding.
An LAPD official has confirmed that that body of Dorner has been recovered according to KTLA.
After a shootout and fire apparently ended the hunt for Christopher Dorner on Tuesday night, it was not clear if he was dead or if his body had been found.
(IBITimes) -Several sources told the Los Angeles Times and many other news organizations that a body was located in the rubble of a cabin in Big Bear, Calif. But LAPD officials said the cabin was still too hot to search and no body has been found.
As authorities moved in earlier on Tuesday, they heard a single gunshot.
Police had broken down windows, fired tear gas into the cabin and blasted over a loudspeaker, urging Dorner to surrender, a law enforcement source told the Times. When they got no response, police used a vehicle to rip down the walls of the cabin “one by one, like peeling an onion,” a law enforcement official said.
By the time they got to the last wall, authorities heard a single gunshot, the source said. Then flames began to spread through the structure, and gunshots, probably set off by the fire, were heard.
It is unclear if Dorner committed suicide. The possible end of the manhunt comes after a week of violence in which four individuals, two of them police officers, were killed and four more were wounded.
Police believe Dorner had used the cabin near Big Bear as a hideout during the weeklong manhunt. Earlier in the day, Dorner broke into a home and stole a truck, leading police on a violent chase back to the cabin. From there, police and Dorner engaged in a shootout that left one officer dead and another wounded.
(Image credit: Joe Ravi under CC-BY-SA 3.0)
(EndTheLie) -Questions about the legality of the secretive cell phone surveillance tool known as “Stingray” are being raised as the use of the device, originally billed as a counterterrorism tool, expands into everything but cases related to terrorism.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called Stingrays “the biggest technological threat to cell phone privacy you don’t know about” and “an unconstitutional, all-you-can-eat data buffet” in October of last year and unfortunately it has only become more important since then.
The Stingray essentially dupes cell phones into treating the device as if it were a real cell phone tower, thus allowing “the government to electronically search large areas for a particular cell phone’s signal—sucking down data on potentially thousands of innocent people along the way,” as the EFF puts it.
The major problem is that law enforcement has used them while circumventing the need for individualized warrants as the Constitution requires.
Since this is dragnet surveillance, anyone and everyone can be targeted by the device without a warrant being issued for the search and seizure of their data.
In late January, LA Weekly reported that Stingray while “intended to fight terrorism, was used in far more routine LAPD criminal investigations 21 times in a four-month period during 2012, apparently without the courts’ knowledge that the technology probes the lives of non-suspects who happen to be in the same neighborhood as suspected terrorists.”
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was able to purchase their device thanks to a 2006 grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Keep in mind, DHS funds many highly troublesome surveillance efforts around the nation.
While the original grant request from the LAPD claimed they would be using the Stingray for “regional terrorism investigations,” they’ve been using it for everything from drug cases to burglary and murder cases.
“Of course, we’ve seen this pattern over and over and over,” the EFF points out. “The government uses ‘terrorism’ as a catalyst to gain some powerful new surveillance tool or ability, and then turns around and uses it on ordinary citizens, severely infringing on their civil liberties in the process.”
As previously mentioned, the biggest problem with Stingrays is the lack of a specific warrant issued for an individual, instead, it essentially gives police “general warrant” powers.
Blocking general warrant powers was exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when drafting the Fourth Amendment since, as the EFF rightly notes, “In pre-revolutionary America, British soldiers used ‘general warrants’ as authority to go house-to-house in a particular neighborhood, looking for whatever they please, without specifying an individual or place to be searched.”
Instead of obtaining a warrant for a specific individual’s cell phone data, the Stingray acts as the “digital equivalent of the pre-revolutionary British soldier” by allowing police to simply “point a cell phone signal into all the houses in a particular neighborhood, searching for one target while sucking up everyone else’s location along with it. With one search the police could potentially invade countless private residences at once.”
The EFF isn’t the only group questioning these devices. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) obtained a paltry two FBI documents (see here and here) on Stingrays (out of an estimated 25,000) as part of their Freedom of Information Act lawsuit attempting to uncover more information on the use of Stingrays.
The documents, which are unsurprisingly heavily redacted, reveal that even within the government itself there are concerns that the use of Stingrays may in fact be in violation of a prohibition of interference with communications signals in a section of the Communications Act.
This demonstrates that “there are clearly concerns, even within the agency, that the use of Stingray technology might be inconsistent with current regulations,” EPIC attorney Alan Butler told Slate. “I don’t know how the [Department of Justice] justifies the use of Stingrays given the limitations of the Communications Act prohibition.”
The FBI declined to comment on the specifics of the legality or illegality of Stingrays since it remains in litigation. However, FBI spokesman Christopher Allan told Slate’s Ryan Gallagher by email that “in general the FBI cautions against drawing conclusions from redacted FOIA documents.”
Perhaps most disturbing of all revealed in the documents is that they “disclose that the feds have procedures in place for loaning electronic surveillance devices (like the Stingray) to state police. This suggests the technology may have been used in cases across the United States, in line with a stellar investigation by LA Weekly last year, which reported that state cops in California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona had obtained Stingrays,” writes Gallagher.
Some of the questions surrounding Stingrays and the information obtained through their use may be answered on March 28th.
Both the EFF and American Civil Liberties Union submitted an amicus brief in the case, United States v. Rigmaiden, and the March hearing will address if evidence obtained by using a Stingray should be suppressed.
“It will be one of the first times a judge will rules on the constitutionality of these devices in federal court,” writes the EFF.
The EFF urges local and federal law enforcement agencies alike to come clean about the Stingray technology and how they are using it before even more innocent people have their Fourth Amendment rights violated.
UPDATE: EPIC just announced a new release of documents related to this technology.
In the fifth interim release of documents in EPIC v. FBI, a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the agency has turned over nearly 300 pages about the surveillance technique directed toward users of mobile phones. The documents obtained by EPIC reveal that agents have been using “cell site simulator” technologies, also known as “StingRay,” “Triggerfish,” or “Digital Analyzers” to monitor cell phones since 1995. Internal FBI e-mails, also obtained by EPIC, reveal that agents went through extensive training on these devices in 2007. In addition, a presentation from the agency’s Wireless Intercept and Tracking Team argues that cell site simulators qualify for a low legal standard as a “pen register device,” an interpretation that was recently rejected by a federal court in Texas. For more information, see EPIC v. FBI (StingRay).
Vice Adm. Richard W. Hunt, commander of U.S. 3rd Fleet speaks with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom at the St. Francis Yacht Club during the San Francisco Fleet Week 2010 Parade of Ships. (Image credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeremy M. Starr/Released)
(EndTheLie) – Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, brazenly lied about the number of civilians killed by the U.S.’s so-called “targeted killing” (or “targeted force” as she put it) program during her remarks at the beginning of the confirmation hearings of John Brennan.
This assassination program, mostly – but not entirely – comprised of strikes carried out by drones, was recently shown to be even more disturbing than previously thought with the leak of a Justice Department white paper, although a federal court ruling determined that the Obama administration never has to explain the legal basis for the strikes in court.
The program also has some calling for increased oversight through another secret court even though Attorney General Eric Holder claims the secret reviews of classified evidence carried out by the Obama administration count as due process.
“But for the past several years, this committee has done significant oversight of the government’s conduct of targeted strikes, and the figures we have obtained from the executive branch, which we have done our utmost to verify, confirm that the number of civilian casualties that have resulted from such strikes each year has typically been in the single digits,” Feinstein said.
The claim that civilian deaths resulting from “the use of targeted force,” as she put it, have “typically been in the single digits” is simply ludicrous.
Conor Friedersdorf massive underestimates the magnitude of this lie when he calls the claim “imprecise.” It is nothing short of an egregious lie.
Even if Feinstein was using some of more “conservative” statistics like those compiled by the New American Foundation – shown to be woefully inaccurate by Friedersdorf in July of 2012 – her claim wouldn’t be truthful.
Researchers at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in the UK estimates the number of civilians killed in drone strikes in Pakistan – not including those killed by drones in Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere – to be at a minimum 2 in 2004, 6 in 2005, 96 in 2006, 4 in 2007, 74 in 2008, 119 in 2009, 97 in 2010, 68 in 2011 and 7 in 2012.
Maybe Feinstein chose to only look at the figures for 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2012? Even then, the claim would be dubious at best since those figures only include Pakistan.
Keep in mind, as the Bureau of Investigative Journalism points out, that from 2004-2013 the CIA has conducted 364 drone strikes in Pakistan. 312 of those have been during the Obama administration.
Somewhere from 473-893 civilians have been reported killed as a result of those 364 strikes and 176 children were reported killed in Pakistan alone. Anywhere from 1,270 to 1,433 civilians were reportedly injured. Remember, this is all just in Pakistan where the CIA targets rescuers and funerals with drone strikes.
In Yemen, 42-52 U.S. drone strikes have been confirmed from 2002 to 2013 while 54-64 total U.S. operations have been confirmed, according to the Bureau. Possible extra U.S. operations range from 135 to 157 and possible extra U.S. drone strikes range from 77 to 93.
The total number of people killed ranges from 374 to 1,112 with 72 to 178 civilians killed by all operations. The number of children killed by all U.S. operations in Yemen during the period ranges from 27 to 37.
Thankfully, the numbers in Somalia are significantly lower, but those numbers are from 2007 to 2013. The total number of U.S. strikes is 10-23, while the total number of U.S. drone strikes range from three to nine.
Total number of people reported killed ranges from 58 to 170 while civilians killed range from 11 to 57 with one to three children reported killed.
Friedersdorf also points out that there have been instances where a single strike caused more civilian casualties than she claims occur in an entire year.
One example is a 2009 strike in Yemen which resulted in far more civilian deaths than Feinstein’s numbers would allow.
“Some months after the attack in Al Majalah, Amnesty International released photos showing an American cluster bomb and a propulsion unit from a Tomahawk cruise missile,” according to an article published on the New Yorker’s Daily Comment blog. “A subsequent inquiry by the Yemeni parliament found that fourteen Al Qaeda fighters had been killed—along with forty-one civilians, including twenty-three children.”
As the article points out, when American officials were spoken to, “they seemed genuinely perplexed. They didn’t deny that a large number of civilians had been killed. They felt bad about it. But the aerial surveillance, they said, had clearly showed that a training camp for militants was operating there.”
“It was a terrible outcome,” an unnamed official told Dexter Filkins, the author of the piece. “Nobody wanted that.”
If Feinstein’s claim was accurate, the casualties from that single “targeted” strike would have to be spread out over some five years.
That’s not the only single incident that proves Feinstein’s claim to be completely and totally false.
An incredibly detailed and lengthy report published in September 2012, “Living Under Drones,” by the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic at Stanford Law School and the Global Justice Clinic at New York University School of Law focused on one such incident in Pakistan.
The report focused on a single drone strike on March 17, 2011 in Pakistan which killed around 40 or more people according to “nearly all available sources.”
While individuals with Pakistani intelligence said that 12 or 13 of those killed were Taliban militants, the report stated that, “the Associated Press investigation found that it was likely only four. Of those four, only one, Sherabat Khan, has ever been identified by name.”
Separate investigations carried out by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism “so far obtained the names of 24 civilians killed who died in the strike,” according to the report.
The most noteworthy of all points, however, is that according to a New York Times report from last year, “Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.”
This method of counting civilian deaths is, on its face, completely absurd.
Feinstein’s justification for trusting the Obama administration’s numbers are perhaps even more absurd.
Spencer Ackerman of Danger Room asked Feinstein why the Intelligence Committee would be confident in believing that the CIA was not misleading Congress about civilian deaths from drones when they previously misled Congress about their torture and detention program.
“That’s a good question, actually,” Feinstein said, according to Danger Room. “That’s a good question.”
“She said she felt the CIA wasn’t ‘defensive’ of the drones in the way it was defensive of the torture program, however,” wrote Ackerman.
Feinstein refuses to even recognize the fact that the Obama administration’s estimates are not only based on a patently absurd methodology but also that the administration “has clear incentives to lie,” as Friedersdorf rightly points out.
This issue is only going to become more important as outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated that the U.S. needs an open-ended drone war in order to prevent a future attack on America and the problem of domestic drone use is becoming increasingly contentious.
Did I forget anything or miss any errors? Would you like to make me aware of a story or subject to cover? Or perhaps you want to bring your writing to a wider audience? Feel free to contact me at admin@EndtheLie.com with your concerns, tips, questions, original writings, insults or just about anything that may strike your fancy.
(Liberty Blitzkrieg) -I read a lot of news every day. It’s become my life and my passion. Rarely do I come across a story of greed and corruption so absurd that I can’t believe my own eyes as they scroll the page. This is one of those stories.
This takes the concept of slumlord to an entirely new level. As New York City struggles to find shelter for its increasingly large homeless population, some landlords are paying off their rent-stabilized tenants in order to overcharge the city on rentals for the homeless. In some cases, the rent ends up being as high as $3,000 a month for a tiny room without a kitchen or a bathroom. Yep, you read that correctly. So next time you wonder why you are paying so much money for your little box in the sky, you can thank America’s growing slumlord industry. Prepare your jaw to remain open for the next couple of minutes.
From the New York Times:
The city’s Department of Homeless Services pays many times the amount the rooms would usually rent for — spending over $3,000 a month for each threadbare room without a bathroom or kitchen — because of an acute shortage in shelters for homeless men and women.
Indeed, the amount the city pays — roughly half that amount goes to the landlord, while the other half pays for security and social services for homeless tenants — has encouraged Mr. Lapes to switch business models and become a major private operator of homeless shelters. He is by most measures the city’s largest and owns or leases about 20 of the 231 shelters citywide. Most of the other shelters and residences are run by the city or by nonprofit agencies, but his operation is profit-making, prompting criticism from advocates for the homeless and elected officials.
The fact that these modest living spaces have such high rents opens a window on a peculiarity of the city’s overall homeless policy. That policy, which was put in place in response to court settlements in 1979 and 2008, requires the city, under threat of sizable fines, to find a roof immediately for every homeless person. It has given landlords willing to house the homeless leverage to dictate rental prices and other terms.
With the number of homeless people rising to 30-year record levels — over 47,216 people as of early this month, 20,000 of them children — the city has struggled to find landlords willing to accommodate a population that includes people with mental health and substance abuse problems.
Wait a minute. The number of homeless is at a 30 year high? How could this be in the booming economic recovery we’ve got going?
Joyce Colon, a resident there who entered the homeless system in December, said she was shocked by the violence and prostitution in the building.
“For $3,000 I could have gotten an apartment, a down payment and a security deposit and some furniture,” Ms. Colon, 49, said. “The landlord is getting $3,000 and I’m getting nothing.”
Patrick Markee, a senior policy analyst for the Coalition for the Homeless, blamed the Bloomberg administration for the continuing use of private landlords to house the homeless, citing a policy not to give the homeless priority for public housing projects and Section 8 vouchers because of long waiting lists.
Of course Bloomberg has his little paws in this somehow. Perhaps he should’ve thought about this instead of spending his time banning large sodas.
“The crisis that’s causing the city to open so many new shelters is mostly of the mayor’s own making,” he said. “Instead of moving families out of shelters and into permanent housing, as previous mayors did, the city is now paying millions to landlords with a checkered past of harassing low-income tenants and failing to address hazardous conditions.”
Welcome to the recovery.
This week ended the public comment period on a proposed law that would put so-called black boxes in every new car sold by September 1, 2014. The thing is, most cars already have them unbeknownst to many drivers.
Automakers have been quietly tucking the devices, which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop, into most new cars for years.
When a car is involved in a crash or when its airbags deploy, inputs from the vehicle’s sensors during the 5 to 10 seconds before impact are automatically preserved. That’s usually enough to record things like how fast the car was traveling and whether the driver applied the brake, was steering erratically or had a seat belt on. This data has been used recently, for example, to determine what was happening in cars before accidents when some Toyota owners were claiming their cars were accelerating out of control as they were driving.
The idea behind mandating black box data recorders is to gather information that can help investigators determine the causes of accidents and lead to safer vehicles. But privacy advocates say government regulators and automakers are spreading an intrusive technology without first putting in place policies to prevent misuse of the information collected.
Data collected by the recorders is increasingly showing up in lawsuits, criminal cases and high-profile accidents. Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray initially said that he wasn’t speeding and that he was wearing his seat belt when he crashed a government-owned car last year. But the Ford Crown Victoria’s data recorder told a different story: It showed the car was traveling more than 100 mph and Murray wasn’t belted in.
In 2007, then-New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was seriously injured in the crash of an SUV driven by a state trooper. Corzine was a passenger. The SUV’s recorder showed the vehicle was traveling 91 mph on a parkway where the speed limit was 65 mph, and Corzine didn’t have his seat belt on.
In this way, the black boxes can nail liars trying to blame their cars for bad driving.
There’s no opt-out. It’s extremely difficult for car owners to disable the recorders. Although some vehicle models have had recorders since the early 1990s, a federal requirement that automakers disclose their existence in owner’s manuals didn’t go into effect until three months ago. Automakers that voluntarily put recorders in vehicles are also now required to gather a minimum of 15 types of data.
Besides the upcoming proposal to put recorders in all new vehicles, the traffic safety administration is also considering expanding the data requirement to include as many as 30 additional types of data such as whether the vehicle’s electronic stability control was engaged, the driver’s seat position or whether the front-seat passenger was belted in. Some manufacturers already are collecting the information. Engineers have identified more than 80 data points that might be useful.
Privacy complaints have gone unheeded so far. The traffic safety administration says it doesn’t have the authority to impose limits on how the information can be used and other privacy protections. About a dozen states have some law regarding data recorders, but the rest do not.
“Right now we’re in an environment where there are no rules, there are no limits, there are no consequences and there is no transparency,” said Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy advocacy group. “Most people who are operating a motor vehicle have no idea this technology is integrated into their vehicle.”
Part of the concern is that the increasing computerization of cars and the growing communications to and from vehicles like GPS navigation and General Motors‘ OnStar system could lead to unintended uses of recorder data.
“Basically your car is a computer now, so it can record all kinds of information,” said Gloria Bergquist, vice president of the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers. “It’s a lot of the same issues you have about your computer or your smartphone and whether Google or someone else has access to the data.”
The alliance opposes the government requiring recorders in all vehicles.
Data recorders “help our engineers understand how cars perform in the real world, and we already have put them on over 90 percent of (new) vehicles without any mandate being necessary,” Bergquist said.
The National Transportation Safety Board has been pushing for recorders in all passenger vehicles since the board’s investigation of a 2003 accident in which an elderly driver plowed through an open-air market in Santa Monica, Calif. Ten people were killed and 63 were injured. The driver refused to be interviewed and his 1992 Buick LeSabre didn’t have a recorder. After ruling out other possibilities, investigators ultimately guessed that he had either mistakenly stepped on the gas pedal or had stepped on the gas and the brake pedals at the same time.
Some automakers began installing the recorders at a time when there were complaints that air bags might be causing deaths and injuries, partly to protect themselves against liability and partly to improve air bag technology. Most recorders are black boxes about the size of a deck of cards with circuit boards inside. After an accident, information is downloaded to a laptop computer using a tool unique to the vehicle’s manufacturer. As electronics in cars have increased, the kinds of data that can be recorded have grown as well. Some more recent recorders are part of the vehicle’s computers rather than a separate device.
Last week the Houston City Council passed an ordinance requiring people who sell precious metals to be fingerprinted and photographed.
According to KTRK-TV, the ordinance is “meant to help track down criminals who try to resell stolen valuables. Gold-buying businesses will now be required to photograph and fingerprint sellers as well as photograph the items that are being sold to the dealer.” In other words, citizens who sell gold will be considered criminals until they demonstrate otherwise.
“It’s going to allow us the tools necessary to combat a lot of the high-end jewelry thefts that’s going on in the city, whether it’s robberies or burglaries,” Houston Police Officer Rick Barajas told the news station last Wednesday.
Audi S8s, Shelby Mustangs, BMW M5s, Dodge Chargers and Honda S2000 roadsters are stolen thousands of times a year and yet people who own them are not required by government to be fingerprinted and photographed in order to sell their cars. Ditto folks who sell expensive items at pawn shops or on eBay. Can you imagine the chaos in commerce that would occur if every item over say $1,000 required the seller to surrender fingerprints and photographs – more accurately, mugshots – which the buyer would be obliged under penalty of law to submit to the state within 48 hours?
“No precious metals thief is going to agree to a mug-shot and thumbprint,” said Houston City Council Member Helena Brown in response to the law. “That’s like declaring that the thieves are going to be turning themselves in. It’s ludicrous. I don’t know who told HPD that this is going to help them. It’s not going to help anyone, but rather it will be damaging to an industry and to our self-respect and liberty.”
Instead of reducing crime, the new law will instead put a damper on the sale of gold, silver and other precious metals. Jim Guidry notes that despite a claim made by Houston police, the precious metals industry will be hard pressed to comply with the turnaround demanded by the city, will balk at the prospect of alienating customers by demanding their fingerprints and mugshots, and the industry will ultimately suffer through loss of its customer base and through fines and criminal charges.
Finally, it is hardly a secret that government hates the idea of citizens trading in gold and other precious metals. In 2009, the U.S. Mint made it more difficult to purchase gold and rationed the sale of American Gold Eagle coins and the previous year suspended the sale of American Buffalo 24-karat gold coins. Bernard von Nothaus of Liberty Dollar was prosecuted for daring to challenge the fiat money monopoly held by the Federal Reserve and the banks (and daring to have a political agenda, namely getting rid of a parasitical Federal Reserve).
“The modern and oppressive State is against freedom. The argument regarding gold versus fiat money has been settled both theoretically and empirically,” writes Monty Pelerin. “The good fight fought against fiat currency is a long and lonely one. This fight will not be won by intellectual persuasion, but will be determined by the brute forces of the markets the State believes it can control. A currency collapse is likely inevitable. That will expose the fraud and corruption of the current fiat currency regime. Even when that occurs, the elites will do whatever they can to avoid an honest money system.”
“The defamation of gold wrought by central banks and governments is because gold exposes the devaluation of fiat currencies and the flawed policies of government. Governments hate gold because the people cannot be fooled by it,” writes Ron Paul. “If the government persists in debasing the Dollar – as money monopolists have always done – then the people would be able to protect themselves by using alternatives such as gold that are both sound and stable.”
The City of Houston and its police, however, are not colluding with the Federal Reserve in an effort to control the sale of precious metals. The police are reacting as police always do – as gold and precious metals rise in value, it is quite natural that there is an increase in theft and fraud, a situation police react to quite naturally by demanding authoritarian laws that inevitably create a new class of criminals requiring more police and more prisons.
(Telegraph) -Scientists have dismissed fears an asteroid due to whizz past the Earth on Friday will ‘destroy London’ – but it could take out vital telecommunications satellites.
Scientists say they are sure there is no chance of the 150ft (45.7m) wide space rock hitting the planet.
But there is a remote possibility that it could collide with one of more than 100 telecommunication and weather satellites in fixed orbits above the Earth.
The asteroid, 2012 DA14, has been closely tracked since its discovery a year ago.
It is predicted to reach its nearest point to the Earth at around 7.30pm UK time on Friday.
Experts have calculated it will stay at least 17,200 miles (27,681km) away – easily far enough to be safe, but a very close shave in astronomical terms. Scientists have never observed such a narrow miss before.
Dr Dan Brown, from Nottingham Trent University, said telecommunication satellites – that ping data between our mobile phones – could be in danger.
Travelling at between 12,427mph (20,000kph) and 18,641mph (30,000kph) – around five miles (8km) a second, or eight times the speed of a rifle bullet – the asteroid will fly inside the orbits of high geostationary satellites some 22,000 miles (35,406km) above the Earth.
”These are the satellites that provide us with telecommunications and weather forecasts,” said Dr Brown.
”There are loads of them but you’re talking about a very big area. It would be very unlucky if a satellite was hit. The asteroid is more likely to hit some space junk, but most of this is only about a centimetre across and the impact won’t even be noticed.”
Through binoculars, the object should be visible as a tiny dot of light crossing the sky.
”It will be too faint for the naked eye but with binoculars it should be visible if you know where to look. It will be low to the north-eastern horizon and moving quite quickly,” said Dr Brown.
”You’ll be able to see it pass from the constellation Leo to roughly the Plough, more or less from anywhere in the UK, and it will be bright for about an hour.”
DA14 belongs to dangerous family of near-Earth objects (NEOs) that are small enough to be missed but large enough to cause serious damage.
It was detected in February last year by La Sagra Observatory in southern Spain as it fell under the spotlight of the Sun’s rays.
The asteroid will pose no danger to the International Space Station, which orbits at an altitude of only a few hundred kilometres.
Precise calculations showed there was absolutely no possibility of DA14 hitting the Earth, Dr Brown said.
But scientists had a good idea of what the effect of such an impact would be because a similar sized meteor devastated a remote region of Siberia in 1908.
Exploding a short distance above the ground over Tunguska, the object generated a blast 1,000 times more powerful than the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Forest was completely flattened over an area of 830 square miles (2,150 sq km).
“‘We think the object that impacted at Tunguska would have been of a similar size to DA14,” said Dr Brown.
”Actually, it exploded in the air. It didn’t destroy humanity, but if this object had exploded over London it would have wiped out London. It’s not a global impact, but it’s a severe impact.”
During the flypast, scientists will use radar to study DA14 and learn about its composition and structure. The knowledge could prove useful if steps have to be taken to remove the threat of another space rock.
The ”Hollywood option” of blowing up an incoming asteroid has been ruled out by experts. Such a dramatic solution would only result in deadly debris raining down on Earth. Instead, scientists are looking at ways of gently nudging an asteroid onto a safer trajectory.
(TheDailySheeple) –Rahinah Ibrahim is a Malaysian citizen and a mother of four. She was in the United States legally, having arrived in 2001. On January 2, 2005 the PhD student in Construction management and Engineering at Stanford University arrived at San Francisco International Airport to board a scheduled flight to a Stanford sponsored conference, where she was to present the findings from her doctorate in her home country of Malaysia. She was wheelchair bound at the time, a complication of recent surgery.
At the airport she was handcuffed and taken to a holding cell by the TSA agents that had detained her. She was given no explanation as she was searched as to why she had been arrested. She was interrogated for several hours by the FBI and during the interrogation she was told she had been placed on a ‘No-Fly’ list. At no time was she advised why she was on such a list.
She was eventually cleared to fly by the FBI and told she was not a security risk, and she was assured there would be no further problems as she was sent on her way.
When Ibrahim tried to board a flight to come back to the USA however, there were problems, big ones. She was prevented from boarding her flight by local authorities in Malaysia who had been instructed by the US Consulate that she was barred from returning to the US.
Now, some eight years on she is still in Malaysia. She is banished, effectively in exile for reasons unknown to her.
This case is nowhere near being unique over the past 10 years there have been numerous documented cases of people holding legal residency status, and even US citizenship, being barred from returning to the US after taking a trip abroad.
Saadiq Long is a US citizen and a US Airforce veteran. He was banned from boarding a flight to Oklahoma to visit his mother who was in bad health and deteriorating daily due to congestive heart failure. American born and raised in Oklahoma but working in Qatar after leaving the Airforce an official from the Department of Homeland Security informed Long he was on a ‘No-Fly’ list and was not allowed to return to the country of his birth. After a massive public outcry he was eventually allowed to visit his mother. This man is a US citizen. He was born in the USA and had served in the military.
Of the 10,00 people currently on the US ‘No-Fly’ list, 500 of them are US citizens.
There is obviously a genuine and urgent need to protect the United States from terrorism, and to prevent such people entering the country, but the secrecy involved in the decisions that are affecting thousand of genuine law-abiding people, has no place in a modern democracy. It shows a major deterioration in constitutionally protected rights of Us citizens and those legally entitled to reside in the country.
The US justice system has been subverted and the erosion of civil liberties has increased in pace under Obama and it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
(America Blog) -Chris has gone on at length about the corporate “welfare queens” on Wall Street and the right (they’re almost always Republican) who took billions in federal bail out money in late 2008 and early 2009, and now turn around and tell the rest of us that we need to tighten our belts by cutting Medicare and Social Security, and increasing the age of eligibility for each program.
Just like the Republican wars, there’s always money to be found when corporations need a bailout. But when American citizens need the support of their government, such as when they reach 65 and (hopefully) are able to retire, suddenly the money’s all gone (until the next war).
Citigroup is a perfect example. Remember how shortly after the bailout Citi wanted to raise salaries as the entire country was losing jobs? And how Citi wanted to pay one energy trader $100 million in 2009, in the midst of the crisis? And how later in 2009, Citigroup increased the salaries of its executives? At the same time Citigroup just couldn’t say “no” to its employees, it jacked up interest rates exorbitantly on its own credit card customers. See, it’s never a problem asking you to pay more.
From Senator Bernie Sanders, writing in the Huffington Post, we learn that Citigroup hasn’t paid federal taxes in four years.
In 2010, Bank of America set up more than 200 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands (which has a corporate tax rate of 0.0 percent) to avoid paying U.S. taxes. It worked. Not only did Bank of America pay nothing in federal income taxes, but it received a rebate from the IRS worth $1.9 billion that year. They are not alone. In 2010, JP Morgan Chase operated 83 subsidiaries incorporated in offshore tax havens to avoid paying some $4.9 billion in U.S. taxes. That same year Goldman Sachs operated 39 subsidiaries in offshore tax havens to avoid an estimated $3.3 billion in U.S. taxes. Citigroup has paid no federal income taxes for the last four years after receiving a total of $2.5 trillion in financial assistance from the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis.On and on it goes. Wall Street banks and large companies love America when they need corporate welfare. But when it comes to paying American taxes or American wages, they want nothing to do with this country. That has got to change.
I love the Senator’s next point about these companies being American in name only:
Here’s the simple truth. You can’t be an American company only when you want a massive bailout from the American people. You have also got to be an American company, and pay your fair share of taxes, as we struggle with the deficit and adequate funding for the needs of the American people. If Wall Street and corporate America don’t agree, the next time they need a bailout let them go to the Cayman Islands, let them go to Bermuda, let them go to the Bahamas and let them ask those countries for corporate welfare.
It’s a point we’ve raised before. If these companies, like Mitt Romney, want to pay foreign taxes – which often are no taxes at all – then why turn to the US government when they’re in trouble and need to be bailed out? Are they American or aren’t they?
Reuters notes that in 2011, Citigroup didn’t get any less generous with its own senior employees as it was in 2009 and 2010. Citigroup was one of 26 companies that paid its CEO more in 2011 than it paid in taxes that year:
* Citigroup, the financial services giant, with a tax refund of $144 million based on prior losses, paid CEO Vikram Pandit $14.9 million in 2011, despite an advisory vote against it by 55 percent of shareholders.
* Telecoms group AT&T paid CEO Randall Stephenson $18.7 million, but was entitled to a $420 million tax refund thanks to billions in tax savings from recent rules accelerating depreciation of assets.
* Drugmaker Abbott Laboratories paid CEO Miles White $19 million, while garnering a $586 million refund. Abbott has 64 subsidiaries in 16 countries considered by authorities to be tax havens, the institute said.
It Mitt Romney is correct that corporations are people. Then they’re clearly very greedy people.
And now we get to the fun stuff. Who used to work at Citigroup? Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew. And what did he do to avoid taxes? Lew had up to $100,000 invested in the Cayman Islands, in order to save on taxes. From Chris writing the other day:
As I said when President Obama first nominated Jack Lew for Treasury Secretary, Lew is part of the banking problem, not the solution. Jack Lew may not have dumped as much money into offshore locations as, say, Mitt Romney, but like many others from the banking world, he was using the tax-avoidance tools mostly available to only 1% types.
Lew didn’t create the offshore fund, but you have to love thatonce again, Citi – the bank that loves taxpayer money so much it’s practically addicted to it – offers easy ways for employees to once again avoid paying their fair share to the country that kept them alive to the tune of $336.1 billion.
Who did have to pay taxes the past four years? You and me. Who didn’t get a bailout? You and me.
(www.sherriequestioningall.blogspot.com) Well is it any wonder they want to wipe out every single Bill of Rights we have? We have had only 2 left, the 2nd amendment (they are working on) and the 1st amendment (up to a point).
Obama is set to sign an Executive order on Wednesday for Cyber Security, due to all the hackings going on.
I have a question for everyone? Have you ever seen any of the “top secret” documents from hackings? We heard about the Pentagon hacking last week. Yet I never saw anything from it. We heard about the Bush email hacks the other day. The only thing released was a portrait that Bush Jr. painted of himself. So, in other words…. we are suppose to just take their word for it all. Just like all the other events. If they say it “it must be true.” Jeez… have they ever lied to us before? The government and media wouldn’t do that now…. would they?
Oh.. how convenient for the government that Aaron Swartz committed suicide a couple of weeks ago, considering he is the one who was instrumental in stopping any other cyber security (control) of the internet.
With the “control” of the internet, we will not actually have our 1st amendment left. They will begin taking down the sites they do not want. They will stop the flow of information of truth and questioning their actions.
Don’t think that won’t happen? When the government takes control of anything…. has any good ever come from it?
We don’t know what is going to be in that Executive order, but I guess we will find out after it is signed. OH… who was that person in 2008 who spoke about transparency and all bills/orders being on the net 2 days before being voted or signed off on? Oh… yeah that Nobel Peace Prize winner who has murdered more innocent people with drones and begun more wars than any other President before him.
Portion from article:
The White House is poised to release a cybersecurity executive order on Wednesday, two people familiar with the matter told The Hill.
The highly anticipated directive from President Obama is expected to be released at a briefing Wednesday morning at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where senior administration officials will provide an update about cybersecurity policy.
The White House began crafting the executive order after Congress failed to pass cybersecurity legislation last year. Officials said the threat facing the United States was too great for the administration to ignore.
(dcxposed.com) Phillip Marshall, a former airplane pilot and author whose works included the 2003 novel “Lakefront Airport,” – “False Flag 911: How Bush, Cheney and the Saudis Created the Post-911 World (08)” and “The Big Bamboozle: 9/11 and the War on Terror,” a 2012 publication in which he theorized it wasn’t al-Qaida but U.S. and Saudi government officials who orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States, was found dead along with his two children in their Murphrys-area home in California. Reports indicate all 3 died of gunshot wounds.
Friends of Marshall’s kids, Alex 17 and Macaila 14, discovered the gruesome scene after showing up to check on them on Saturday after not having heard from them for numerous days.
The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office reported that both children as well as the family dog were shot once in the head with a handgun.
Marshall’s estranged wife and mother of the 2 kids was traveling abroad at the time of the shootings.
A possible motive for the shootings has not been determined but police reports indicated evidence that it was a murder suicide.
According to his Amazon author bio:
I’ve included links to Phillip’s 3 works, which are available on Amazon, so that perhaps readers could familiarize themselves with the work he left behind:
(Daily Mail) Tesco has admitted that samples of its frozen Bolognese ready meals were up to 100 per cent horsemeat
The Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese, which sells for £1, was made for the supermarket giant by Comigel of France.
This is the same company implicated in the manufacture of beef products for Findus and Aldi, which were contaminated with horsemeat.
It is claimed that horses slaughtered in Romania were used by Comigel factories to make ready meals distributed across Britain and Europe.
As the contamination scandal deepens, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is conducting tests to determine whether veterinary drug phenylbutazone, known as bute, is present in some of the horsemeat.
Animals treated with the drug are not allowed to enter the food chain.
The Tesco group technical director, Tim Smith, apologised to customers over the latest revelation.
He said: ‘A week ago Tesco withdrew a frozen Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese product from sale.
‘We did this as a precaution because Findus products from the same factory were reportedly at risk of containing horsemeat.
‘Since then, we have carried out a number of tests on the product and those tests identified the presence of horse DNA.
‘Of the positive results, most are at a trace level of less than one per cent but three showed significant levels of horse DNA, exceeding 60 per cent.
‘We have carried out further tests to ensure that there is no danger to health through the presence of potentially harmful bute. The test for bute was clear.’
He added: ‘The frozen Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese should contain only Irish beef from our approved suppliers.
‘The source of the horsemeat is still under investigation by the relevant authorities.
‘The level of contamination suggests that Comigel was not following the appropriate production process for our Tesco product and we will not take food from their facility again.’
Mr Smith, who is former chief executive of the Food Standards Agency, said: ‘We are very sorry that we have let customers down.
‘We set ourselves high standards for the food we sell and we have had two cases in recent weeks where we have not met those standards.
‘Our DNA testing programme is underway and will give us and our customers assurance that the product they buy is what it should be.’
Tesco’s shock announcements are the latest news in the horsemeat scandal that has rocked consumer confidence in retailers and producers.
Families could still be unwittingly tucking into horsemeat which may be harmful to human health, the Environment Secretary warned yesterday.
Owen Paterson said he was prepared for ‘further bad news’ as the results of tests on processed beef products are published later this week.
And today he announced to the House of Commons that officers from the Metropolitan Police have met with counterparts at Europol about a potential criminal fraud investigation.
He said: ‘The events we have seen over the past few days in the UK and in Europe are completely unacceptable.
‘Consumers need to be confident that food is what it says on the label. It’s outrageous that consumers have been buying products labelled beef that have turned out to be horsemeat.’
He says the investigation into the source of the horsemeat is still ongoing and that major food retailers are in the process of testing meat products, and must report the results by Friday at the latest.
‘Food businesses need to do whatever is necessary to provide reassurance to consumers that their products are what they say they are,’ he added.
‘There needs to be openness and transparency in the system.’
Mr Paterson said that unless products had been designated as unsafe by the Food Standards Agency, consumers should not worry.
He said: ‘The advice on food is very, very simple. I have been completely consistent on this. I have been absolutely clear, the independent agency which gives professional advice is the Food Standards Agency.
‘I, you, MPs, and the public should follow their advice – so as long as products are free for sale and they have not been recommended for withdrawal by the Food Standards Agency, they are safe for human consumption.’
Moments earlier, Mr Paterson told MPs it appeared that ‘criminal activity’ had been at the heart of the scandal.
He said there would be immediate testing of products across the supply chain, telling the Commons this would also include tests at schools, hospitals and prisons.
The FSA had also reassured him that the products recalled did not present a risk to the public, but consumers who had bought Findus beef lasagnes should return them to the shop they had bought them from as a ‘precaution’.
He said the ‘ultimate source’ of the problem was not yet known but agencies were investigating a supply network that stretched across Europe.
Mr Paterson said: ‘At the moment this appears to be an issue of fraud and mis-labelling, but if anything suggests the need for changes to surveillance and enforcement in the UK we will not hesitate to make those changes.
‘Once we have established the full facts of the current incidents and identified where enforcement action can be taken, we will want to look at the lessons that can be learned from this episode.
‘I want to re-iterate that I completely understand why people are so concerned about this issue. It is unacceptable that people have been deceived in this way. There appears to have been criminal activity in an attempt to defraud the consumer.
‘The prime responsibility for dealing with this lies with retailers and food producers who need to demonstrate that they have taken all necessary actions to ensure the integrity of the food chain in this country.’
There are an estimated 70,000 horses unaccounted for in Northern Ireland, Labour claimed today as the Government sought to allay fears that contaminated meat was being sold in British supermarkets.
Shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh said unwanted horses were given false paperwork in Northern Ireland before being sold for 10 euro (£8) and then resold to dealers for meat for as much as 500 euro (£423).
She said there was currently a ‘lucrative’ trade in horses, claiming that while the Polish and Romanians were being ‘conveniently’ blamed for the scandal, the contamination problem had started across the Irish Sea.
Speaking in the Commons, Ms Creagh said: ‘The Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have clear evidence of an illegal trade of unfit horses from Ireland to the UK for meat, with horses being re-passported to meet demands for horse meat in mainland Europe.
‘It says that there are currently 70,000 horses unaccounted for in Northern Ireland. Unwanted horses are being sold for 10 euro and being sold on for meat for 500 euro – a lucrative trade.
‘It is very convenient to blame the Poles and the Romanians but so far neither country have found any problems with their beef abattoirs.’
Many horses are also believed to be contaminated with the carcinogen phenylbutazone, often referred to as bute, she said, claiming that the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson had been ‘incompetent’.
The lack of information from the Government had been a ‘disgrace’, Ms Creagh added, telling MPs the British public’s confidence in the food chain was ‘sinking like a stone’.
Ms Creagh accused the Environment Secretary of not taking the situation seriously enough as he had to be called back to London from a long weekend last Friday to deal with the crisis.
She also claimed the Environment Agency and police failed to act on information she provided that three British companies were involved in potentially importing beef that contained horse.
The information was handed to the Serious and Organised Crime Agency but there was no ‘live’ investigation.
Mr Paterson also failed to share the names of the three companies with industry leaders during a meeting on Saturday, Ms Creagh told MPs, adding the Government was ‘dangerously complacent’ about the situation.
It was not good enough for there to be a 10-week delay before the results of the first tests are known, she added, as she accused Mr Paterson of ‘hiding behind civil servants’.
Ms Creagh added: ‘The French government estimates that the Findus fraud alone has netted criminals 300,000 euros. This is clearly big criminal business.’
Meanwhile, officials are investigating whether a Romanian abattoir was the ultimate source of the ‘beef’ products harbouring horsemeat in Britain, via France.
The chairman of the Commons food and rural affairs committee, Conservative MP Anne McIntosh, yesterday reiterated calls for a temporary ban on all processed or frozen meat imports from the EU until the source of the contamination was found.
But Mr Paterson said it was impossible to ban imported meat products within the rules of the EU. A moratorium along the lines of the Continental ban on British beef during the BSE scare would only be permitted if products adulterated with horsemeat are found to be a health risk.
(Memphis) An off-duty Memphis police officer, accused of threatening a man by getting the victim’s phone number from the 911 call center, is now under arrest.
Officer Darrell Malone will be prosecuted for harassment.
This comes more than three months after the incident was first reported.
The victim says he’s relieved the DA’s office is taking action.
“I’m tickled pink,” said Michael Montgomery, who thought the county forgot about his case.
“I had some real concerns that it was just being dropped.”
But it looks like someone believed he had one against Officer Malone.
He’s been arrested for harassment. Court documents show the officer turned himself in Monday after authorities issued a warrant for his arrest.
Montgomery first came forward demanding action back in October.
“It’s a complete abuse of power,” said. ”He stepped across a line that shouldn`t be stepped across.”
Montgomery says Malone flashed a gun at him on Germantown Parkway and threatened him.
When Montgomery called 911 for help, the off-duty officer was able to get Montgomery’s personal cell phone number from 911 Dispatcher Jenny Rice,.
Montgomery told us, “I got a phone call from a blocked cell phone number. It was the off-duty police officer again who had gotten my information from dispatch. He was making more threats to me.”
Since then, Montgomery has wanted Officer Malone charged with a crime, but MPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau decided Malone didn’t commit one and put him back on the job November 27th.
Now, the police department says he’s relieved of duty, again, but won’t say when that happened or why.
Montgomery’s just glad to know the system works, even if it takes a while.
“If you fight the system, it will work for you,” said Montgomery. ”You just have to knuckle down and bear with it. It may not be what you want immediately but in the end you are going to get your results.”
Officer Malone’s first court hearing has been set for April 5th. Montgomery says prosecutors tell him he has a right to attend all of Malone’s hearings but doubts he’ll go to them.
(EFF) -In an amazing victory for privacy advocates and drone activists, yesterday, Seattle’s mayor ordered the city’s police agency to cease trying use surveillance drones and dismantle its drone program. The police will return the two drones they previously purchased with a Department of Homeland Security grant to the manufacturer.
EFF has been warning of the privacy dangers surveillance drones pose to US citizens for more than a year now. In May of last year, we urged concerned citizens to take their complaints to their local governments, given Congress has been slow to act on any privacy legislation. The events of Seattle proves this strategy can work and should serve as a blueprint for local activism across the country.
Back in early 2012, the Seattle city council was told that the Seattle police agency had obtained an authorization to fly drones from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). But they did not find out from the police; they found out from a reporter who called after the council after he saw Seattle’s name on the list obtained by EFF as part of our lawsuit against the FAA.
City council was understandably not happy, and the police agency was forced to appear before the council and apologize. It then vowed to work with the ACLU of Washington and the FAA to develop guidelines to make sure drones wouldn’t violate Seattle citizens’ privacy. But as long as the guidelines weren’t passed in a binding city ordinance, there’d be no way to enforce them.
After a townhall meeting held by police, in which citizens showed up in droves and angrily denounced the city’s plans, some reporters insinuated that city counsel members’ jobs could be on the line if they did not pass strict drone legislation protecting its citizens privacy.
Documents obtained by MuckRock and EFF in October as part of our 2012 drone census showed that the Seattle police were trying to buy two more drones despite the controversy. But that ended yesterday as the Mayor put a stop to the program completely.
Critics of the privacy protests said the participants were exaggerating the capabilities of the Seattle drones, given they would only fly for less than an hour at a time and are much smaller than the Predator drones the military flies overseas and Department of Homeland Security flies at home.
But while Seattle’s potential drones may not have been able to stay in the air for long, similar drones have already been developed and advertised by drone manufacturers with the capability to stay in the air for hours or days at a time. In fact, Lockheed Martin has been bragging about a drone that weights 13.2 pounds (well within the FAA’s weight limits) that can be recharged by a laser on the ground and stay in the air indefinitely.
Since the Seattle protests have heated up, similar complaints have been heard at local city counsels and state legislatures across the country. At least thirteen states are now considering legislation to restrict drone use to protect privacy, and there are also members of Congress on both sides of the aisle pushing the same thing.
Here in the Bay Area, we’ve experienced a similar situation. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office tried to sneak through drone funding without a public hearing and told the county board of supervisors it only wanted to use the drone for emergency purposes. Yet in internal documents obtained by EFF and MuckRock as part of our 2012 drone census, the Sheriff’s Office said it wanted to use the drone for “suspicious persons” and “large crowd control disurbances.”
When EFF and ACLU held a press conference pointing out this discrepancy, the county backtracked and is now attempting to write privacy guidelines that could potentially be turned into binding law. We will keep you updated on further developments.
But regardless, it’s important that privacy advocates take the lesson from Seattle and apply it all over the country. This is an important privacy victory, and like we said back in May, local governments will listen to our concerns, so let’s make our voice heard.
United States –-(Ammoland.com)- Yesterday, California politicians held a press conference to introduce the most draconian
gun control, err, civilian disarmament bill seen to date in this country.
Seeking to exploit the tragedy of Newtown to achieve a political end, lawmakers introduced a bill that is completely filled with unconstitutional and extreme measures aimed at nothing other than the disarmament of law abiding Americans.
The list includes placing extreme financial burdens on gun owners by requiring them to pay what are essentially “poll taxes” on firearms and ammunition purchases as well as requiring liability insurance, annual certifications, and licensing of gun ownership. Standard self defense and hunting ammunition are now classified as “assault bullets” and are felonious violations for everyone except law enforcement. Almost every currently manufactured semi-automatic firearm in existence – and countless bolt action hunting rifles – are now a prohibited device merely because they have the ability to accept detachable magazines. Certain firearms such as shotguns are being redefined to make them prohibited under the new law even if they don’t meet the legal requirements to be prohibited.
The list goes on and on.
With this despicable new law the ruling class politicians in California have drawn a line in the sand and have now shown everyone that they believe that the Bill of Rights is a privilege that they grant to their subjects. It is now painfully obvious that they believe that they grant us our rights, and that they can proportion them out as they see fit. That they can amend our rights whenever they get the whim and however they wish. If that does not scare you as an American then you have no pulse, because as goes the second amendment so goes every other freedom that this great country has to offer... and as goes California, so goes the rest of the country.
The anti-gun crowd has now shifted their focus and moved the battle for liberty to the state level, and that is where we must engage them. I want to make this perfectly clear… The fight for the second amendment will be won or lost in the states. Federal legislators do not have the political will to risk their lucrative careers over direct civilian disarmament. However, liberal anti-gun bastions like New York, California, New Mexico, and the like are directly attacking the Bill of Rights… and they have enough votes to make it become state law.
The problem for the rest of us in America is that these extreme measures will not be defeated until they reach the highest court in the land. By the time that happens, Obama may have already added one or more liberal activist justices to the court to ensure that civilian disarmament is applicable nationwide. Even a court that is not stacked with liberal activists may choose to only throw out the most extreme of these measures as they will only be challenged in lawsuits one-by-one.
This attack on the Bill of Rights marks yet another cross-roads for our great nation. Make no mistake… Americans are being attacked here. We must make a conscientious decision to stand with our fellow Americans because as goes the constitutional rights of Americans in these liberal bastions, so goes the constitutional rights of every American. We can no longer sit back and just be happy to know that we dont live in California. We can no longer laugh it off and make jokes about “Kalifornistan” or “Live free or there“. We must stand with our fellow Americans if We The People wish to remain free. We must engage the anti-gun crowd and beat back any attempt to undermined the constitution anywhere that it occurs.
We must get involved on the state level even if it is not our state. Their fight is our fight. We have to contact the national gun-rights organizations and convey to them the importance of engaging in these local fights. We must join and financially contribute to local pro-guns organizations like the Calguns Foundation that are on the front lines of this fight. We have to help these state-level organizations get out in front of these battles and do everything we can to stop these invasive violations of all American’s rights.
We can not and will not allow any Americans to be treated like subjects and have their rights dictated to them by elected representatives. Politicians all over this country have now declared war on the Bill of Rights and we must stand up to them no matter where it occurs. As goes California, so goes our Bill of rights.
Make no mistake… WE ARE ALL CALIFORNIANS NOW!
This week, the Obama administration released a “bold new vision for addressing the nation’s health and economic burdens caused by preventable hazards associated with the home.”
The project has a name: “Advancing Healthy Housing: A Strategy for Action.”
“People in the United States spend about 70% of their time in a home,” the announcement said.
“Currently, millions of U.S. homes have moderate to severe physical housing problems, including dilapidated structure; roofing problems; heating, plumbing, and electrical deficiencies; water leaks and intrusion; pests; damaged paint; and high radon gas levels. These conditions are associated with a wide range of health issues, including unintentional injuries, respiratory illnesses like asthma and radon-induced lung cancer, lead poisoning, result in lost school days for children, as well as lost productivity in the labor force.”
According to the Obama administration, the health and economic burdens from preventable hazards associated with both subsidized and privately owned homes cost billions of dollars.
The new strategy “unifies” federal efforts to advance healthy housing — “demonstrating the connection between housing conditions and residents’ health.”
The federal partners pushing healthy housing include the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Surgeon General, and Energy Department.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan says the federal government must do “everything we can to ensure that individuals and families have a healthy place to call home.” He said the strategy “will help the federal government unify action (on) controlling and preventing major housing-related exposures and hazards.”
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the government now has a “specific plan for action to address radon and other preventable hazards found in homes across the country.” The strategy, she added, “is a critical step” toward ensuring that “Americans in all communities have healthy places to live, work and play.”
The healthy homes strategy sets five goals for reducing the number of substandard homes:
— Establish healthy homes recommendations (homes should be dry, clean, pest-free, safe, contaminant-free, well-ventilated, and well-maintained and thermally controlled);
— Encourage adoption of healthy homes recommendations (federal, state and local regulations);
— Create and support training and workforce development to address health hazards in housing (train people for new jobs in green energy and construction);
— Educate the public about healthy homes (advertising campaigns telling Americans how their homes ought to be)
— Support research that advances healthy housing in a cost-effective manner (taxpayer-funded grants to study the problem).
A 2013 report from the “Federal Healthy Homes Work Group” notes that “susceptible and vulnerable populations, such as children, the poor, minorities, individuals with behavioral health issues, and people with chronic medical conditions, may be disproportionately impacted by inadequate housing.”
The report also says many home-based hazards are preventable — “and opportunities exist for intervention programs that would not only reduce health impacts on occupants, but the economic burden as well, resulting in a positive return on investment.”
(Wired) -The Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights watchdog has concluded that travelers along the nation’s borders may have their electronics seized and the contents of those devices examined for any reason whatsoever — all in the name of national security.
The DHS, which secures the nation’s border, in 2009 announced that it would conduct a “Civil Liberties Impact Assessment” of its suspicionless search-and-seizure policy pertaining to electronic devices “within 120 days.” More than three years later, the DHS office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties published a two-page executive summary of its findings.
“We also conclude that imposing a requirement that officers have reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a border search of an electronic device would be operationally harmful without concomitant civil rights/civil liberties benefits,” the executive summary said.
The memo highlights the friction between today’s reality that electronic devices have become virtual extensions of ourselves housing everything from e-mail to instant-message chats to photos and our papers and effects — juxtaposed against the government’s stated quest for national security.
The President George W. Bush administration first announced the suspicionless, electronics search rules in 2008. The President Barack Obama administration followed up with virtually the same rules a year later. Between 2008 and 2010, 6,500 persons had their electronic devices searched along the U.S. border, according to DHS data.
According to legal precedent, the Fourth Amendment — the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures — does not apply along the border. By the way, the government contends the Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone stretches 100 miles inland from the nation’s actual border.
Civil rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union suggest that “reasonable suspicion” should be the rule, at a minimum, despite that being a lower standard than required by the Fourth Amendment.
“There should be a reasonable, articulate reason why the search of our electronic devices could lead to evidence of a crime,” Catherine Crump, an ACLU staff attorney, said in a telephone interview. “That’s a low threshold.”
The DHS watchdog’s conclusion isn’t surprising, as the DHS is taking that position in litigation in which the ACLU is challenging the suspicionless, electronic-device searches and seizures along the nation’s borders. But that conclusion nevertheless is alarming considering it came from the DHS civil rights watchdog, which maintains its mission is “promoting respect for civil rights and civil liberties.”
“This is a civil liberties watchdog office. If it is doing its job property, it is supposed to objectively evaluate. It has the power to recommend safeguards to safeguard Americans’ rights,” Crump said. “The office has not done that and the public has the right to know why.”
Toward that goal, the ACLU on Friday filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding to see the full report that the executive summary discusses.
Meantime, a lawsuit the ACLU brought on the issue concerns a New York man whose laptop was seized along the Canadian border in 2010 and returned 11 days later after his attorney complained.
At an Amtrak inspection point, Pascal Abidor showed his U.S. passport to a federal agent. He was ordered to move to the cafe car, where they removed his laptop from his luggage and “ordered Mr. Abidor to enter his password,” according to the lawsuit.
Agents asked him about pictures they found on his laptop, which included Hamas and Hezbollah rallies. He explained that he was earning a doctoral degree at a Canadian university on the topic of the modern history of Shiites in Lebanon.
He was handcuffed and then jailed for three hours while the authorities looked through his computer while numerous agents questioned him, according to the suit, which is pending in New York federal court.
(Natural Society) -Yet another disturbing reason has emerged as to why you should be avoiding health-devastating genetically modified organisms, and it may be one of the most concerning yet. We know that GMO consumption has been linked to a host of serious conditions, but one thing we are not so sure about is the recent discovery of a hidden viral gene deep within genetically modified crops.
For years, GMOs have been consumed knowingly and unknowingly around the globe, with Monsanto and the United States government claiming that the altered franken crops are perfectly safe despite very limited (or virtually none in some cases) initial testing and scientists speaking out against the dangers. One such danger that has actually not been spoken about has been revealed in a recent report by a safety watchdog group known as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Another Dirty Secret of Monsanto
In the EFSA report, which can be read online, you can find (within the scientific wording) that researchers discovered a previously unknown viral gene that is known as ‘Gene VI’. What’s concerning is that not only is the rogue gene found in the most prominent GMO crops and about 63% of GMO traits approved for use (54 out of 86 to be precise), but it can actually disrupt the very biological functions within living organisms. Popular GMO crops such as Roundup-Ready soybeans, NK603, and MON810 corn were found to contain the gene that induces physical mutations. NK603 maize, of course, was also recently linked to the development of mass tumors in rats.
According to Independent Science News, Gene VI also inhibits RNA silencing. As you may know, RNA silencing has been pinpointed as vital for the proper functioning of gene expression when it comes to RNA. Perhaps more topically, it is a defense mechanism against viruses in plants and animals alike. On the contrary, many viruses have developed genes that disable this protective process. Independent Science News reports that the Gene VI is one such gene.
Overall, there is a degree of knowledge on Gene VI. What we do know going by information within the report is that the gene:
- Helps to assemble virus particles
- Inhibits the natural defense of the cellular system
- Produces proteins that are potentially problematic
- Makes plants susceptible to bacterial pathogens
All of which are very significant effects that should be studied in depth by an independent team of scientists after GMO products are taken off the market pending further research on the entire array of associated diseases. And that does not even include the effects we are unaware of.
This is yet another incident in which Monsanto and other biotech companies are getting away with an offense against the citizens of the world with (most likely) no action taken by the United States government. What we have seen, however, is nations like Russia, Poland, Hungary, and Peru taking a stand against Monsanto in direct opposition to their disregard for public safety. Russia, in fact, banned Monsanto’s GMO corn variety after it was linked to mass tumors in rats.
As more and more dirty secrets come out from the GMO industry at large, it gives further reason and more support to remove GMOs as a whole from the food supply.
(IntelHub) -New information has now been brought forth by Connecticut State Attorney Stephen Sedensky, suggesting that records pertaining to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have been sealed to possibly hide the identity of witnesses from multiple shooter suspects and that they should not be unsealed anytime soon.
Officials fear the safety of witnesses.
Now we are getting somewhere, after nearly two months this new information is startling.
An article in the Digital Journal reports;
Vance nor the CT Attorney General’s office have ever ruled out the possible presence of other suspects. The New Haven Register reports Vance as having said:
“Whenever you conduct an investigation you don’t speculate as to where it’s going to take you, as I said, we’re going to look at every single thing, every piece of material and we’ll take it from there.”
The CT State Attorney General’s Office is handling the investigation of the mass shooting, in which 20 children and 8 adults died last December 14th.
The motion to extend the seal on the records for 90 days was granted by Superior Court Judge John Blawie, who wrote in his decision that:
“The court finds that due to the nature and circumstances of this case and the ongoing investigation, the state’s interest in continuing nondisclosure substantially outweighs any right to public disclosure at this time,”
The warrants were for searches, on different dates, of the Lanza home, and of Adam Lanza’s mother’s two cars. One of the cars, a 2010 black Honda Civic, was the vehicle which Lanza allegedly drove to the crime scene. The other, a 2009 silver BMW, was parked in the garage attached to the Lanza home. The court motion seals the affidavits stating what was found upon execution of the warrants for another 90 days, until late March.
Although I myself believe this could potentially be a staged release of information by officials, as something still doesn’t seem right.
According to The Huffington Post, the girl was 8-years-old when she became pregnant.
AFP reports the mother of the girl told officials: “The father is a boy who is 17, but we have not found him, since he ran away.”
According to The Telegraph, Jorge Vllasenor of the state’s prosecutor’s office, said: “We are looking for the young man to get his story because she does not understand what has happened. This is a rape or child sex abuse case.”
Lino Ginizalez Corona, Jalisco State Police spokesperson, said the mother gave an account of her relationship with her boyfriend, saying it was loving. She admitted that she was dating the 17-year-old but was reluctant to give detailed information about the relationship when pressed, ABC News reports. Corona said: “Due to her young age, we don’t know if she is being entirely truthful.” She added: “She did not realize that she was pregnant until the seventh month.”
When the 17-year-old father asked his “girlfriend” to move in with him so they can raise the child together, she refused. Corona said the young father decided “to leave town two months ago.”
State authorities say they are looking for the father so they can have his side of the story. State prosecutors say they may request assistance of neighboring state authorities. Corona said investigators are still considering the “possibility of rape or child sex abuse.”
ABC News reports that the 9-year-old mother belonged to a family of 11 siblings. Her parents gave the excuse that they were unable the watch the child while they were at work. The family lives in Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos, a “poverty-stricken neighborhood 25 miles south of Guadalajara.” Corona explained: “Her parents work all day and were not watching after her, and therefore didn’t realize what was about to happen.”
The girl has been released from the hospital, The Telegraph reports. Doctors say they will be giving extensive follow-up care because of the mother’s tender age.
A hospital official said at a press conference that the mother will also be receiving psychological attention.
Dafne’s is not the first in recent times that a child has given birth. According to The Telegraph, a 10-year-old Colombian girl gave birth last year. A 9-year-old Chinese girl also reportedly gave birth in 2010, The Huffington Post reports.
(Infowars) -The Department of Homeland Security is set to purchase a further 21.6 million rounds of ammunition to add to the 1.6 billion bullets it has already obtained over the course of the last 10 months alone, figures which have stoked concerns that the federal agency is preparing for civil unrest.
The solicitation asks for 10 million pistol cartridge .40 caliber 165 Grain, jacketed Hollow point bullets (100 quantities of 100,000 rounds) and 10 million 9mm 115 grain jacketed hollow point bullets (100 quantities of 100,000 rounds).
The document also lists a requirement for 1.6 million pistol cartridge 9mm ball bullets (40 quantities of 40,000 rounds).
An approximation of how many rounds of ammunition the DHS has now secured over the last 10 months stands at around 1.625 billion.
To put that in perspective, during the height of active battle operations in Iraq, US soldiers used 5.5 million rounds of ammunition a month. Extrapolating the figures, the DHS has purchased enough bullets over the last 10 months to wage a full scale war for almost 30 years.
Such massive quantities of ammo purchases have stoked fears that the agency is preparing for some kind of domestic unrest. In 2011, Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano directed Immigration and Customs Enforcement to prepare for a mass influx of immigrants into the United States, calling for the plan to deal with the “shelter” and “processing” of large numbers of people.
The federal agency’s primary concern is now centered around thwarting “homegrown terrorism,” but information produced and used by the DHS to train its personnel routinely equates conservative political ideology with domestic extremism.
A study funded by the Department of Homeland Security that was leaked last year characterizes Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.
In August 2012, the DHS censored information relating to the amount of bullets purchased by the federal agency on behalf of Immigration & Customs Enforcement, citing an “unusual and compelling urgency” to acquire the bullets, noting that there is a shortage of bullets which is threatening a situation that could cause “substantial safety issues for the government” should law enforcement officials not be adequately armed.
As we highlighted last month, the DHS’ previous ammunition solicitation was awarded to Evian Group, an organization that was formed just five days before the announcement of the solicitation and appeared to be little more than a front organization since it didn’t have a genuine physical address, a website, or even a phone number.
While Americans are being browbeaten with rhetoric about the necessity to give up semi-automatic firearms in the name of preventing school shootings, the federal government is arming itself to the teeth with both ammunition and guns. Last September, the DHS purchased no less than 7,000 fully automatic assault rifles, labeling them “Personal Defense Weapons.”
(CNSNews) -One of the most obnoxious liberal talking points on guns involves the idea that guns, in and of themselves, cause gun violence. Apparently, as this argument goes, guns or “gun culture” cause law-abiding citizens to transform into murderous nuts. In other words, more guns must mean more gun violence.
The argument was famously made by sports writer Jason Whitlock and forwarded by Bob Costas on Sunday Night Football after a player reportedly murdered his girlfriend and killed himself. According to Costas and Whitlock, guns “exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it.” In other words, guns make us violent.
Obviously, this argument is as flawed as saying that refrigerators exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate our eating, and bait us into embracing gluttony rather than avoiding it. However, it’s also an argument that doesn’t remotely match up with what the numbers tell us. In fact, the numbers tell quite a different story.
According to the latest Small Arms Survey conducted by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, the U.S. tops the world in civilian gun ownership. We have 89 guns for ever 100 residents. That’s well above Yemen’s second place rate of 55 guns per 100 and nearly twice the rate of Switzerland which comes in third at 46 guns per 100 residents.
To put it bluntly, we have a lot of guns.
If Whitlock, Costas, and their allies are correct, that must mean that our gun murder rate is by far the highest in the world, right? We must be first in gun murders.
The U.S. is not the world leader in the homicide-by-firearm rate. It does not even crack the top 25 in that category.
Instead, the U.S. has the 28th highest homicide by firearm rate of the countries in the report.
This phenomenon isn’t uniquely American, either. Switzerland, which ranks third in civilian gun ownership rate at 46 guns per 100 residents, has only the 46th highest homicide rate. Finland, which has the fourth most civilian owned guns at 45 guns per 100 residents, is 63rd on the list.
So, despite the blustering of Bob Costas and the like, guns do not appear to turn ordinary people into monsters. More guns do not, in fact, mean more gun violence. Guns can be, and commonly are, used in a responsible manor by people all over the world and, especially, here in the United States.
TAMPA BAY – The Florida Highway Patrol Troop C (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, Hernando, Sumter and Citrus counties) has announced the roads it plans to target with driver license and/or vehicle inspection checkpoints in February. FHP says the checkpoints will be conducted during daytime hours, and generally cause delays of five minutes or less. Scroll down for a list of all affected roads.
Here are your questions (submitted via Facebook and Twitter @TampaBayTraffic ) about the checkpoints:
Q: Is this legal?
A: There is a policy established by the Florida Highway Patrol that specifies the legal guidelines that must be undertaken by the agency to conduct driver license and vehicle safety inspection checkpoints. The information provided below comes directly from that policy, which was provided by FHP.
Q: How will this impact my drive? Won’t these checkpoints cause big traffic jams?
A: Initially, every third vehicle will be stopped, however the Checkpoint Supervisor will monitor traffic to ensure a backup doesn’t occur. If delays of more than three to five minutes occur, the Checkpoint Supervisor may order an alternate vehicle count (i.e. every fifth vehicle). If the traffic conditions cause a back up that cannot be easily alleviated by the alternate vehicle count, the Checkpoint Supervisor may temporarily suspend the checkpoint until the back-up has been cleared. Once cleared, the checkpoint can be reactivated using the last vehicle count method that was in place. Per the policy, the degree of intrusion to motorists and the length of detention to each driver should be kept to a minimum.
Q: Do these checkpoints affect trucks and buses too?
A: All vehicles and drivers, including commercial vehicles, buses and large trucks, that enter the checkpoint are subject to screening. The only exception is emergency vehicles.
Q: Isn’t this profiling?
A: The FHP police states “vehicles and drivers shall not be stopped on a discretionary basis (i.e., due to the ‘looks’ of the vehicle or it occupant(s).”
Q: What’s a “driver license checkpoint”?
A: Troopers will request the driver license and vehicle registration from each driver detained. If a driver is also the owner or registrant of the vehicle, the Trooper also may request proof of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. FHP says violations will be enforced pursuant to Florida law and Division policy.
Q: What are” vehicle inspection checkpoints”? Troopers aren’t mechanics, so why are they checking my car?
A: Per FHP, defective vehicle equipment, such as bad brakes, worn tires and defective lighting equipment, poses dangers to the public.
Q: What will officers inspect on my vehicle if I’m stopped?
A: Troopers may inspect the following equipment on vehicles:
- Windshield wipers
- Tail lamps
- Directional signals (required on all vehicles manufactured after January 1, 1972)
- Stop lamps
- License plate lamp
- Steering mechanism
- Exhaust system
- Other readily visible equipment (windshield, bumpers, etc.)
Q: Am I going to get a ticket? How much do they cost?
A: During the vehicle inspection checkpoints, Troopers may issue a Faulty Equipment Violations, which are non-moving violations and do not carry points for the driver’s record. Fees for non-moving violations vary by county. In Hillsborough County, a non-moving violation fee is $103, however if a citation is issued, drivers may have the faulty equipment replaced or repaired, provide proof of those repairs, and have the fine reduced to $83. The non-moving violation fees for other counties included in the checkpoints are: Citrus $116; Hernando $114; Pasco $114; Polk $114; Sumter $11
During the driver license or vehicle inspection checkpoints, citations may be issued for seat belt violations ($103-$116 fine). Drivers that appear to be impaired may be arrested, and their vehicles may be towed.
US Highways: US-92, US-41, Bus 41, US-301
State Roads: 60/Adamo/Brandon Blvd; 582, 597, 678, 580, 45, 600, 573, 599, 676, Alt 676, 39, 674, 43, 601, 583, and 685
County Roads: 587, 576, 579, 581, 672, 640, 574, 574A, 39B, 582A, and 584
- South Mobley Highway
- Lutz Lake Fern Road
- Wilsky Avenue
- Linebaugh Avenue
- Van Dyke Road
- Barry Road
- Livingston Avenue
- Crenshaw Lake Road
- 127 th Avenue
- Skipper Road
- County Line Road
- Davis Road
- Trapnell Road
- Jap Tucker Road
- Lithia Pinecrest Road
- Williams Road
- Harney Road
- Symmes Road
- Balm Road
- Magnolia Lane
- North Taylor Road
- Pruett Road
- Rhodine Road
- McIntosh Road
- Turkey Creek Road
- Balm Riverview Road
US Highways: US-41, US-301
State Roads: 54, 52
County Roads: 1, 41, 52A, 77, 518, 575 577, 578, 579, 579A, 587, 587A, 595
- Key Lime Drive
- Hudson Avenue
- Shady Hills Road
- County Line Road (Pasco/Hernando)
- County Line Road (Hillsborough/Pasco)
- Thys Road
- Hays Road
- Hicks Road
- Lock Street
- Moog Road
- Mile Stretch Drive
- Jasmine Boulevard
- Madison Street
- Old Dixie Highway
- Moon Lake Road
- Denton Avenue
- Old Pasco Road
- Foam Flower Boulevard
- Dayflower Boulevard
- Quail Hollow Boulevard
- Boyette Road
- Monteverde Drive.
County Roads: 476, 480, 481, 484, 491, 493, 495, 541, 580, 572, 576, 581, and 597
- LaRose Road
- WPA Road
- Yontz Road
- Kettering Road
- Reynolds Road
- Daly Road
- Ridge Manor Boulevard
- Grove Road
- Horse Lake Road
- Osowaw Road
- Barrett Road
State Roads: 600, 700
County Roads: 35A, 540, 542, 546 557, 17A, 659, 655, 54, 542A, 580
- Pine Chase Avenue
- Wabash Avenue
- Thompson Nursery Road
County Roads: 39, 470, 480, 486, 488, 490, 490A, 491, 494
- Highlands Street
- West Cardinal Street
- Century Boulevard
- Elkcam Boulevard
- West Pine Ridge Boulevard
- Dunkenfield Road
- Rock Crusher Road
- North Croft Avenue
- West Seven Rivers Drive
- West Venable Street
- Pleasant Grove Road
- Green Acres Boulevard
- Fort Island Trail
- West Riverbend Road
- Fishbowl Drive
- Miss Maggie Drive
- Gobbler Drive
- North Citrus Avenue
- Turkey Oak Drive
- Dunklin Avenue
- Yulee Drive West
- North Citrus Springs Boulevard
- Grover Cleveland
- Turner Camp Road
- Istachatta Road
- West Highland Street
- Halls River Road
- Old Floral City Highway
State Roads: 35 and 471
County Roads: 44A, 48, 209, 229, 400, 412, 416, 437, 462, 466, 466A, 468, 469, 470, 471, 472, 475, 476A, 476B, 478, 478A, 501, 575, 647, 673, 696, 721, 723, and 747
- Buena Vista Blvd
- Morse Blvd
Manatee, Sarasota counties
These counties operate outside of Troop C. Information about checkpoints in those areas has not been announced at this time.
(Boing Boing) -Phillip (alternately, “Philip”) Marshall, 54, a career airline pilot who claimed to have once served as a contract pilot for the CIA and DEA during the Iran-Contra affair, shot and killed his two teenage children, and the family dog, then killed himself.
According to local news reports, teen friends of Alex Marshall, 17 (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and Macaila Marshall (Facebook, Twitter,Instagram), 14, noticed the siblings had not been active via text or social media updates since Thursday and went by the house on Saturday to check on them.
The last posts made by either child to Instagram and Facebook were dated Thursday night.
The friends told police that when they arrived, they found Phillip Marshall, 54, “lying in a pool of blood inside the home,” his 9mm Glock nearby.
Deputies believe the children were shot while sleeping on a couch.
The family dog was found shot to death in a nearby bedroom.
Marshall’s estranged wife Sean, the children’s mother, was out of the country at the time.
Phillip Marshall has been identified as a former pilot for Eastern and United airlines. He self-published a number of books, including at least two about his 9/11 conspiracy theories: “The Big Bamboozle” (February 9, 2012) and “False Flag 911: How Bush, Cheney and the Saudis Created the Post-911 World” (July 29, 2008).
A previous novel published in 2003, “Lakefront Airport, New Orleans,” detailed his claimed experience as a pilot for the US during Iran/Contra.
In his books and his social media bios (including multiple Facebookaccounts, his Twitter account and a Tumblr), he claims to have served as a contract pilot for the CIA’s Special Activities Division during the Iran-Contra affair, flying shipments to and from Nicaragua.
He appeared on “outsider truth” shows like Coast to Coast to promote the theories in his books that 9/11 was an “inside job,” the result of a plot between the US government and the Saudis.
From his author bio on Createspace.com, Amazon.com’s self-publishing service:
Philip Marshall, a veteran airline captain and former government “special activities” contract pilot, has authored three books on Top Secret America, a group presently conducting business as the United States Intelligence Community.Beginning with his role in the 1980s as a Learjet captain first as part of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sting on Pablo Escobar, and later in the covert arming of the Nicaraguan Contras, Marshall has studied and written 30-years worth of covert government special activities and the revolving door of Wall Street tricksters, media moguls, and their well funded politicians.
I am unable to confirm the veracity of the claims in his self-authored bio at this time.
A Facebook page for “The Big Bamboozle” showed posts as recent as January 31 with titles like, “WHAT IS THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY HIDING?,” “THE ARAB WORLD KNOWS THE RAID WAS A HOAX,” and posts about the Bin Laden assassination having been faked.
“PICTURES PAINT A THOUSAND WORDS,” read one such Facebook post from Marshall about photographs of the assassinated Al Qaeda leader. “Since bin Laden died in 2001, these would be “alleged” photos of bin Laden. Give us a break.”
He once also pitched those theories to a television news journalist with whom this blogger is acquainted.
A young friend of the two slain teens with whom this blogger is personally acquainted described them as “sweet, funny, lively, good kids.”
Photos from the siblings’ Instagram feeds suggest that they were outgoing, well-liked by friends, and loved one another very much. In one, Macaila is in the hospital after a “golf cart accident,” with her father sitting in the background.
In the last self-portrait she posted on January 28, her brother blows a hair dryer at her while she goofs in the mirror.
“I pretty much just wanted to say how great of a big brother you are,” Macaila writes to her brother in another Instagram caption, “I love you so much!”
A family photo Instagrammed by Alex shows the boy at a much younger age.
In it, he is helping his father mow the lawn with a toy lawnmower.
(Liberty Blitzkreig) -This simple piece of legislation proves that you can make a difference at the local level. We need a lot more of this type of thing all over these United States. As I have said many times, it’s not that I am against drones in all capacities; however, we must be vigilant about how these things are used and must have serious safeguards in place to protect civil liberties. Kudos to the Rutherford Institute for leading the charge here.
From US News:
Charlottesville, Va., has become the first city in the United States to formally pass an anti-drone resolution.
The resolution passed by a 3-2 vote and was brought to the city council by activist David Swanson and the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties group based in the city. The measure also endorses a proposed two-year moratorium on drones in Virginia.
Councilmember Dede Smith, who voted in favor of the bill, says that drones are “pretty clearly a threat to our constitutional right to privacy.”
“If we don’t get out ahead of it to establish some guidelines for how drones are used, they will be used in a very invasive way and we’ll be left to try and pick up the pieces,” she says.
“With a lot of these resolutions, although they don’t have a lot of teeth to them, they can inspire other governments to pass similar measures,” she says. “You can get a critical mass and then it does have influence. One doesn’t do much, but a thousand of them might. We want this on [federal and state lawmakers’] radars.”
(Explosive Reports) -According to AFP, a state official working to enforce China’s one-child policy drove over a 13-month old baby-boy, resulting in the infant’s death.
A news item issued by PhuketNews relates that the official had an argument with the parents as, presumably, they “violated” the one-child policy by refusing to pay a fine. The reports goes on to say that the parents acted “agitated” in response to the official’s request.
The spokesman stated that the parents of the murdered baby were “agitated” as a result of the disagreement with the one-child policy enforcer, after which the official in question drove his car over the baby. PhuketNews however reports that Wenzhou authorities were quick to label the murder as an unfortunate accident:
“After starting the car to bring the family to the office to discuss the matter, the official discovered the child had been crushed underneath the car.”
Tragically the baby died soon as a result of his wounds shortly after he was rushed to the hospital: yet another victim of China’s draconian one-child policy. The Global Post goes into more detail in regards to the fine mentioned in the AFP report:
“Under China’s population controls, instituted more than 30 years ago, couples who have more than one child must pay a “social upbringing” fine, while in some cases mothers have been forced to undergo abortions.”
The Global Post article also brings into memory that China’s population control policies have been increasingly subject to criticism, both from outside China and within.
“There was widespread outrage last year after a woman who had been forced to abort seven months into her pregnancy was pictured with the bloody foetus.”
On March 29, 2012, Paul Joseph Watson brought attention to the brutal face of China’s one-child policy, describing how a 9-month old baby was forcibly aborted, after which it was thrown in a bucket. Watson writes:
“Because the parents of the baby already had a child, they were hunted down and forced to comply with China’s draconian one child policy.
The mother was injected with a poison that induced an abortion, but after the baby was “pulled out inhumanly like a piece of meat,” it was still alive and began to cry before doctors slung the defenseless child into a bucket and left it to die.”
Although some may try to comfort themselves by imagining these one-child ideas are limited to China, the fact is these ideas and policies are widely held and promulgated by politicians and scientists all over the world. In 2010, Business Insider featured a post by geography professor Gary L. Peters under the header Population Growth Is Still The Biggest Problem Facing Humanity
After channeling armchair-eugenicist Alan Weisman, who stated: “The intelligent solution (to the problem of population growth) would require the courage and the wisdom to put our knowledge to the test. It would henceforth limit every human female on Earth capable of bearing children to one”, the professor added:
“Started now, such a policy would reduce Earth’s population down to around 1.6 billion by 2100, about the same as the world population in 1900. Had we kept Earth’s population at that level we would not be having this conversation.”
Who is the “we” Peters mentions that would be assigned to keep the earth’s population at any level? As John P. Holdren, Obama’s science czar, wrote in his monstrosity Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment:
“(…) a Planetary Regime- sort of an international superagency for population, resources, and environment. (…). The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits. Control of population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.”
Such an agency exists. It is called the United Nations. After all, only a global government with a system-wide, coordinated eugenics-agenda would have the power necessary to impose such laws upon all the peoples of the world. There’s no other way to make it so.
“We can no longer wait for increasing wealth to bring down fertility in remaining high fertility nations; we need policies and incentives to stop growth now”, Peters stated in his article.
“Population growth on earth must cease”, Peters argues again. Citing eugenics-front-man Paul Ehrlich and his equation of death (I = PAT), he attempts to disarm critics of the overpopulation mantra with this spell:
“(…) I represents our impact on the Earth, P equals population, A equals affluence (hence consumption), and T stands for technology.”
Let’s not forget it’s not just professors that advocate global one child policies. CNN founder Ted Turner, who has openly stated the earth would be better off when 95% of the human population would vanish, has also professed his admiration for the Chinese (read: UN) policies. In 2010 the Globe and Mail quoted Turner as saying:
“the environmental stress on the Earth requires radical solutions, suggesting countries should follow China’s lead in instituting a one-child policy to reduce global population over time. He added that fertility rights could be sold so that poor people could profit from their decision not to reproduce.”
This echoes the views of Jeffrey Sachs, Ban Ki-moon’s “sustainability” advisor. In June of 2011, US congressman Chris Smith rightly announced that the UN and China are working hand-in-hand to export China’s one-child policy to Africa. Sachs told AFP newswire in May of that year he “worries” about Africa’s “ballooning population”. Sachs:
“I am really scared about population explosion in Nigeria. It is not healthy. Nigeria should work towards attaining a maximum of three children per family.”
As I reported some time ago, UN strongman Maurice Strong told an audience of environmentalists at a side-event to the 2012 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro that China is the model-state for the rest of the world to emulate in regards to environmental matters.
“What China does matters to the world”, Strong said, “and what China is doing is actually a tremendous source of encouragement.”
Strong went on to say that “sustainable development” has become a “people’s movement guided by the people’s government.”
Strong is a long-time advocate of the sort of draconian population policies that China has forced upon its people. As far back as the early 1970s, Strong hesitatingly admitted to the BBC that such a thing as a license to have a child is the kind of system he would see implemented globally.
Besides these UN hotshots calling for a global one-child policy, low-grade actors from Hollywood have joined the dehumanizing choir. For example, Baywatch “star” Alexandra Paul recently spoke at a TEDX conference, calling not only for a total rewiring of human biology “to recognize the benefits of a one-child family”, but also for the global human population to be brought down to two billion- a 75% reduction compared to current levels.
Paul, who starred in over 70 films and television shows, explicitly states that the entire modern-day culture should serve to convince people to “rewire biology” so that the natural urge to procreate will be changed into a rational, “eco-friendly” one, aspiring to just one child per family.
“Will it (world population) stop growing because of famine, disease, or war over resources- or will it stop growing because people choose to have smaller families- and by smaller families I mean one-child families.”
Although Paul stresses that “forcing people to have fewer children does not work”, she does emphasize that modern culture should be molded in such a way as to convince people that we have to “change and rewire our biology and our culture to recognize the benefits of a one-child family.”
“As a culture we need to emphasize the benefits of having a one-child family so people will choose to have fewer kids.”, she stated.
The Baywatch-”star” explains why she has chosen to not have kids:
“(kids) might be wonderful, but they’re also wasteful.”
Quoting UN population projections, she advocates a fairly massive reduction in human numbers compared to current levels:
“The number of humans on earth needs to go down. And I believe it needs to go down to two billion.”, she said.
She closed her anti-human speech by calling on her listening audience to take her words to heart and quit reproducing after the first child:
“Let’s be part of the solution, and choose from now on to bring forth no more than one child ourselves.”
It’s this kind of dangerous thinking that ultimately leads to brutal policies that are designed to target the most vulnerable.