North Korean killers in heels: Female soldiers spotted patrolling border as world leaders warn madman dictator he will face tough new sanctions unless he backs down

(DailyMail) -North Korea was today warned it faced fresh sanctions if it went ahead with a predicted missile test in the escalating nuclear stand-off with its neighbours and their Western allies.

Following a meeting of the G8 nations in London, foreign ministers said they had committed themselves to ‘further significant measures’ if the test was carried out.

It came on another tense day on the Korean peninsula, where images of four female soldiers in heels and Soviet-style hats were released in the latest act of bravado from madman dictator Kim Jong Un.

They were accompanied by a fresh round of rhetoric by the pariah state which claims it had ‘powerful striking means’ on standby for a launch.

The official statement is the latest in a torrent of warlike threats seen outside Pyongyang as an effort to raise fears and pressure Seoul and Washington into changing their North Korea policy.

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Femme fatales: Female North Korean soldiers patrol along the banks of Yalu River, near the town of Sinuiju, as the world remained on high alert for a North Korean missile launchFemme fatales: Female North Korean soldiers patrol along the banks of Yalu River, near the town of Sinuiju, as the world remained on high alert for a North Korean missile launch

Frontline females: Women are believed to represent more than 10 per cent of the entire North Korean People's Army, according to visitors to the stateFrontline females: Women are believed to represent more than 10 per cent of the entire North Korean People’s Army, according to visitors to the state

 

G8 condemns North Korea nuclear threats

The eyes of the world remain focused on the secretive nation after South Korea warned that the prospect of a missile attack was ‘considerably high’

The U.S. is on standby to intercept any missile fired and warned North Korea it was ‘skating very close to a dangerous line’ after it emerged the communist state’s weapons system was ‘fuelled and ready to launch’.

In London, William Hague hosted counterparts from G8 nations including the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia amid fears the escalating tensions could trigger a nuclear war.

But it was the image of a group of female soldiers patrolling along the Yalu River at the town of Sinuiju that triggered fresh interest today.

With the ladies: North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un with female members of the Korean People's Army Unit 4302 in an undated picture. Many of the artillery units along the coasts are manned with womenWith the ladies: North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un with female members of the Korean People’s Army Unit 4302 in an undated picture. Many of the artillery units along the coasts are manned with women

Goose-stepping girls: Propaganda songs have been written to attract more women into the coastal artillery units and women fighters now guard nearly all tunnels and bridges (file picture)Goose-stepping girls: Propaganda songs have been written to attract more women into the coastal artillery units and women fighters now guard nearly all tunnels and bridges (file picture)

Trend-setter: The image of women in uniform sparked memories of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's distinctive band of female bodyguards, who wore sunglasses and headdresses and knee-bootsTrend-setter: The image of women in uniform sparked memories of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s distinctive band of female bodyguards, who wore sunglasses and headdresses and knee-boots

The town is the biggest border crossing between North Korea and China and has been closed to tourist groups, but business travel was still allowed.

The image of women in uniform sparked memories of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s distinctive band of female bodyguards, who wore sunglasses and headdresses and knee-boots.

Women are believed to represent more than 10 per cent of the entire North Korean People’s Army,  according to visitors to the state, with many of the artillery units along the coasts manned with women.

Propaganda songs have been written to attract more women into the coastal artillery units and women fighters now guard nearly all tunnels and bridges.

Kim Ok-Hee, 28, a former instructor at a training camp described in a 2007 interview how the state relies heavily on its female soldiers.

Final preparations: U.S. soldiers check their tank at a military training field near Seoul, South Korea as the Obama administration warned North Korea it is skating a 'dangerous line' with its proposed missile launchFinal preparations: U.S. soldiers check their tank at a military training field near Seoul, South Korea as the Obama administration warned North Korea it is skating a ‘dangerous line’ with its proposed missile launch

Tinkering with the tanks: The U.S. is preparing to intercept any missile after it emerged the communist state's weapons system was 'fuelled and ready to launch'Tinkering with the tanks: The U.S. is preparing to intercept any missile after it emerged the communist state’s weapons system was ‘fuelled and ready to launch’

Female NK soldier ‘threatens to turn Washington into sea of…

Kim served at the 4.25 boot camp, a mechanised division whose mission is to guard the coasts of South and North Pyongan Provinces against the infiltration by enemy paratroopers during a crisis.

The boot camp had five regiments and each regiment had a women infantry battalion consisting of tanks and artilleries, she said.

But even in North Korea’s supposedly egalitarian society, women with good looks or family influence are deployed at more desirable postings, such as medical units, while others end up in artillery units, she said.

Choi Young-Il, 38, who served as a maintenance mechanic in the North Korean air force, said in the same interview that women began to be deployed in his units around 1998.

‘In my unit, all the pilots for IL-28 bombers were women and many women were pilots for the AN-2, which Kim Jong-Il boasted as a more deadly weapon than nuclear bombs,’ Choi said.

Staying sharp: A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jet takes off from a runway during a military exercise at the Osan U.S. Air Base in Osan, South KoreaStaying sharp: A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jet takes off from a runway during a military exercise at the Osan U.S. Air Base in Osan, South Korea

Weapons ar the ready: South Korean soldiers stand guard at an observation post near the demilitarised zone which separates the two Koreas in Paju, north of SeoulWeapons ar the ready: South Korean soldiers stand guard at an observation post near the demilitarised zone which separates the two Koreas in Paju, north of Seoul

Meanwhile, one cyber expert warned today that it may be the escalating battles between the two Koreas over the internet that triggers full-scale warfare in the real world.

Jarno Limnell, doctor in military science and director of cyber-security for Stonesoft, based in Finland, said a ‘cyber war arms race’ is now in operation on the peninsula.

 

He told The Huffington Post: ‘Actions in the cyber world easily escalate to warfare or threats of war as the situation on the Korean peninsula demonstrates.’

He spoke out after South Korea yesterday accused the North of orchestrating a cyber attack that shut down about 32,000 computers and servers at South Korean broadcasters and banks.

And with hacking group Anonymous now targeting Kim Jong Un’s regime and increasingly powerful cyber weapons emerging, Limnell warned the worst is yet to come.

He said: ‘The side effects and results of actions in the cyber world are difficult to estimate and manage, which makes them even more dangerous.

‘Cyber activities play a significant role in the rapidly escalating chain of events – which, in the worst case, may lead to large-scale warfare.’

Unrest: Members of the Korea Freedom Federation chant slogans during a rally for North Korea to re-start operations at the joint Kaesong Industrial Complex as the country remained on high alertUnrest: Members of the Korea Freedom Federation chant slogans during a rally for North Korea to re-start operations at the joint Kaesong Industrial Complex as the country remained on high alert

Crisis: Members of the Korea Freedom Federation were also protesting against North Korea's warmongeringCrisis: Members of the Korea Freedom Federation were also protesting against North Korea’s warmongering

At the G8 meeting today, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was also expected to come under pressure over Moscow’s support for Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria.

Other topics covered are likely to include Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Mr Hague is due to hold a press conference when the session concludes this afternoon.

Germany’s foreign minister said North Korea’s provocations were escalating a tense situation and this ‘war rhetoric needs to end’.

Speaking on the sidelines of the G-8 foreign ministers’ meeting in London, Guido Westerwelle said all of the group’s ministers shared his conviction.

‘This war rhetoric is not in any way acceptable and the G-8 has a united position on this,’ he said.

The two-day talks among eight world powers are expected to focus on North Korea and the civil war in Syria.

They will also get some celebrity wattage from an expected appearance by a U.N. special envoy for refugees, Angelina Jolie, who has teamed up with U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague to combat sexual violence in war.

Jolie and the U.N. special representative on sexual violence in conflict, Zanab Bangora, will meet with G-8 foreign ministers and issue a statement.

Still finding time to relax: North Korean military, along with foreign military attaches from Russia, China, and Iran watch a dance performance as they visit the Pyongyang Folk Park on the outskirts of the capitalStill finding time to relax: North Korean military, along with foreign military attaches from Russia, China, and Iran watch a dance performance as they visit the Pyongyang Folk Park on the outskirts of the capital

Chilling out: North Korean soldiers can afford a laugh despite the escalating missile crisisChilling out: North Korean soldiers can afford a laugh despite the escalating missile crisis

North Korea’s missile, dubbed the Musudan after the name of the village where North Korea has a launch pad, could reach the U.S. territory of Guam and US military installations in Japan.

Foreign minister Yun Byung-se said South Korea had asked China and Russia to intercede with the North to ease tension that has mounted since the UN Security Council slapped fresh sanctions on Pyongyang after a nuclear arms test in February.

A test-fire of the Musudan missile would violate UN resolutions banning North Korea from nuclear and missile activity, and escalate tensions with the US, South Korea and Japan.

Mr Yun said: ‘According to intelligence obtained by our side and the US, the possibility of a missile launch by North Korea is very high.’

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said North Korea was skating close to a ‘dangerous line’, while Japan’s defence minister Itsunori Onodera said his nation was on ‘high alert’.

North Korean officials have not announced plans to launch a missile, but have urged tourists in South Korea to take cover, warning that a nuclear war is imminent. However, most diplomats and foreign residents have dismissed this.

There were also reports that North Korea’s army is split over leader Kim Jong-un’s threats to wage an all-out war with the West.

The madman dictator is said to be facing an insurgency from within his own military despite threatening to launch missiles that could reach Japan.

As the peninsula edges ever closer to war, there were reports that the military is split over the young dictator’s aggression, which may stem from a desire to rein in his discontented but powerful generals.

Urgent talks: British Foreign Secretary William Hague (right) walks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ahead of a G8 meeting which will focus on the developing crisis in North KoreaUrgent talks: British Foreign Secretary William Hague (right) walks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ahead of a G8 meeting which will focus on the developing crisis in North Korea

Crisis: William Hague is hosting counterparts of the G8 from the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia amid fears the escalating tensions could trigger a nuclear warCrisis: William Hague is hosting counterparts of the G8 from the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia amid fears the escalating tensions could trigger a nuclear war

First Lieutenant Kim, 42, said he had been forced to flee North Korea after he murdered a rival officer as factions in his unit vied for control.

‘I killed a three-star company commander, the same rank as me,’ he said. ‘He was the head of the faction supporting Kim Jong-un. There were two fights. In the first fight, they surrounded us and arrested a lot of people.

‘But I got away and gathered others from the barracks. We found them and I shot the commander. After that, I escaped.’

The Daily Telegraph reported that the battles occurred at the end of 2011, shortly before Kim Jong-un succeeded his father as the ‘supreme commander’ of the 1.2million-strong Korean People’s Army.

He said there may have been a violent disagreement between two major departments over army reconnaissance last year, possibly alarming the 30-year-old and spurring him on to tighten his grip on power.

Zone of terror: Maps and diagrams detail the potential effective range and threat represented by several North Korean missile systemsZone of terror: Maps and diagrams detail the potential effective range and threat represented by several North Korean missile systems

At the ready: Japanese forces set up Patriot anti-missile defence systems in Tokyo today as the threat level over a North Korea missile launch was raised to 'vital'At the ready: Japanese forces set up Patriot anti-missile defence systems in Tokyo today as the threat level over a North Korea missile launch was raised to ‘vital’

Primed: Japan mobilised its tropps as it was claimed by U.S. and South Korean sources that at least one previously untested missile with a 3,000km (2,000-mile) range is fuelled and ready for launch

Primed: Japan mobilised its tropps as it was claimed by U.S. and South Korean sources that at least one previously untested missile with a 3,000km (2,000-mile) range is fuelled and ready for launch

This view is echoed by North Korean defector Kim Hyun-hee, who today told an Australian broadcaster: ‘Kim Jong-un is too young and too inexperienced. He’s struggling to gain complete control over the military and to win their loyalty.’

South Korea fears Pyongyang could launch up to three different types of missiles. One unnamed official told the Yonhap news agency: ‘There are clear signs that the North could simultaneously fire off Musudan, Scud and Nodong missiles.’

In rare cases, foreigners have heeded Pyongyang’s warnings and fled Seoul, despite repeated attempts by analysts to play down Pyongyang’s aggressive rhetoric.

‘One of my friends left for the airport this morning,’ said Zoe Chau, a hotel receptionist from Hong Kong told North Korea News. ‘She felt Seoul was too close to the action so bought a ticket to Jeju Island, she’s there now.’

A South Korean vehicle - complete with padding taped to the roof - and workers return from the Kaesong industrial complex, a joint business zone operated by both KoreasA South Korean vehicle – complete with luggage taped to the roof – and workers return from the Kaesong industrial complex, a joint business zone operated by both Koreas

Escape: A car loaded with boxes arrives in South Korea from the Kaesong joint industrial complexEscape: A car loaded with boxes arrives in South Korea from the Kaesong joint industrial complex

Observers and North Koreans who fled the country say the young dictator wishes to tighten his precarious grip on powerNorth Koreans who fled the country say the young dictator wishes to tighten his precarious grip on power

The U.S. and South Korea believe dictator Kim Jong-un may test fire a nuclear-capable missile with a 3,000km (2,000-mile) range at any time and without issuing a standard notice to commercial aviation and maritime shipping so they can avoid the area.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se told a parliamentary hearing: ‘According to intelligence obtained by our side and the U.S., the possibility of a missile launch by North Korea is very high.’

North Korea, he added, could launch a Musudan missile ‘at any time from now’.

A border crossing between North Korea and China was closed to tourist groups as the Korean peninsula edged closer to nuclear war.

The Obama administration believes North Korea will likely test one of its mobile ballistic missiles imminently after the most recent intelligence showed Pyongyang had probably completed its launch preparations.

A map showing North Korea missile ranges. The Pentagon has announced it is deploying missile defense systems to the U.S. base in Guam and missile defense ships to sea between Japan and the rogue nation

A map showing North Korea missile ranges. The Pentagon has announced it is deploying missile defense systems to the U.S. base in Guam and missile defense ships to sea between Japan and the rogue nation

South Korean soldiers keep watch on North Korea through binoculars from an observation post near the border village of PanmunjomSouth Korean soldiers keep watch on North Korea through binoculars from an observation post near the border village of Panmunjom

Leave, now: Foreign tourists pose for a picture in Seoul. North Korea urged foreigners in South Korea to evacuateLeave, now: Foreign tourists pose for a picture in Seoul. North Korea urged foreigners in South Korea to evacuate

PYONGYANG MARATHON WILL GO AHEAD DESPITE WAR ON HORIZON

Having threatened to bomb the United States and warned foreigners to leave South Korea due to an impending thermonuclear war, North Korea said today it was readying for a marathon to celebrate its founder’s birthday.

The North’s state news agency said a big contingent of foreign runners was expected from countries including Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Ethiopia as well as 600 North Koreans at the April 14 race.

‘I think enthusiasm for the upcoming tournament is running high among local marathoners and their coaches as never before,’ the KCNA news agency cited Ham Chang-hyok of the Sports Ministry as saying.

This is the 26th time the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon has been held.

But a U.S. official said there was no guarantee North Korea would give any warning of its launch to civilians.

‘We hope they issue a notification, but at this point we don’t expect it. We are working on the assumption they won’t,’ the unnamed official told CNN.

In anticipation, the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces have raised their alert level to Watchcon 2 – a vital threat – to increase surveillance monitoring, Yonhap news agency quoted a senior military official as saying.

Watchcon 4 is in effect during normal peacetime, while Watchcon 3 reflects indications of an important threat. Watchcon 1 is used in wartime.

U.S. defenses could intercept a ballistic missile launched by North Korea if it decides to strike, said Admiral Samuel Locklear, the top American military commander in the Pacific.

Locklear told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he was confident that the U.S. military can thwart North Korea if it chooses to act.

Foreign minister Yun said he was coordinating with China and Russia ‘to make efforts to persuade North Korea to change its attitude’.

China is North Korea’s sole major ally, although its influence over Pyongyang is open to question and Beijing has, in any event, backed the new sanctions.

Moscow backed North Korea in Soviet times, though its influence has waned unquestionably.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman issued a fresh appeal for restraint on the Korean peninsula and said nothing about any possible effort to bring about a change in the North’s policy.

A North Korean soldier passes by roadside propaganda depicting a North Korean soldier killing a U.S. soldier in Pyongyang, North Korea today. The poster reads in Korean A North Korean man passes by roadside propaganda depicting a soldier killing a U.S. soldier in Pyongyang, North Korea today. The poster reads in Korean ‘Life or Death Battle. Merciless Punishment to U.S. Imperialists and Puppet Traitors’

Business as usual: A North Korean man drives a small tractor in central PyongyangBusiness as usual: A North Korean man drives a small tractor in central Pyongyang

Patricia Lewis, Research Director at the London-based think tank Chatham House, said that strictly on the basis of the North’s vast conventional forces, caution was required.

‘The conventional military capabilities of North Korea are all too real and all too close to Seoul,’ she wrote in a paper. ‘Any incursion could escalate involving the U.S. and Japan, China, perhaps Russia and others.’

Pyongyang has tested short-range Scud missiles. The longer-range Musudan and Nodong missiles are an unknown quantity.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said during a visit to Rome that he had spoken to the Chinese leadership to try to calm tensions, and would discuss the issue with US President Barack Obama tomorrow.

‘The current level of tension is very dangerous, a small incident caused by miscalculation or misjudgement may create an uncontrollable situation,’ Ban said.

Yesterday, North Korea warned all foreigners to evacuate South Korea yesterday because the two countries are on the verge of a nuclear war – as Japan set up a huge new anti-missile system in Tokyo.

In a further sign of rising nuclear tensions, a key border crossing between North Korea and China has been closed to tourist groups, a Chinese official said Wednesday.

Keeping watch: A North Korean patrol boat cruises the Yalu River after a key border crossing between North Korea and China was closed to tourist groups as nuclear tensions mountedKeeping watch: A North Korean patrol boat cruises the Yalu River after a key border crossing between North Korea and China was closed to tourist groups as nuclear tensions mounted

An official at the Dandong Border Office, who declined to give his name, told AFP: ‘Travel agencies are not allowed to take tourist groups to go there, since the North Korean government is now asking foreign people to leave. As far as I know, business people can enter and leave North Korea freely.’

A woman surnamed Wu at a travel agency in the town said municipal authorities told it not to take tours into North Korea.

‘It was absolutely North Korea’s (decision) because the travel bureau told us “North Korea is now no longer allowing tour groups to be taken in”,’ the woman told 9 News World.

‘WE’RE STILL GOING’: TOUR OPERATORS SAY TRIPS TO PARIAH STATE WILL GO AHEAD

Western tour operators ‘Koryo Tours’ and ‘Young Pioneer Tours’ both said today that there were no plans to cancel any of their forthcoming tours, making it unclear if the suspension applied to everyone.

‘We have a group in the county at the moment led by Dan, one of our guides, and he phoned in today on his mobile saying everything is as normal as it ever is,’ Nick Bonner of Koryo Tours wrote on the tour group’s Facebook page.

Meanwhile the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to say that travel to North Korea remains unaffected by the latest tensions.

It said: ‘Our overall assessment is that there is currently no immediate increased risk or danger to those living in or travelling to the DPRK as a result of these statements.’

Dandong-based Explore North Korea published a notification last night telling customers that all tours to the DPRK would be cancelled until further notice.

Following a nearly two hour long meeting with North Korean tour officials, the Chinese company, which normally brings western visitors to North Korea, posted an advisory adding that tours would only be resumed once official confirmation was provided by North Korea, reports NK News.

Leonid Petrov, a researcher at the Australian National University in Canberra, told NK News that the move showed a ‘logical’ and ‘consistent’ approach to escalating a feeling of crisis on the peninsula.

He said: ‘War zones are incompatible with joint industrial parks, travel groups or even with foreign embassies. Pyongyang wants to convince the world that Korea will soon be engulfed in the flames of nuclear inferno.

‘The scary truth is that this can really happen regardless of who makes the first shot. ‘China is North Korea’s sole major ally and the provider of the vast majority of its trade and aid, with most of the business passing through Dandong.’

 

The rising tensions come just days before the April 15 birthday of North Korea’s founder, historically a time when it seeks to draw the world’s attention with dramatic displays of military power.

In Pyongyang, however, the focus today was less on preparing for war and more on beautifying the city ahead of the nation’s biggest holiday.

Soldiers hammered away on construction projects, gardeners got down on their knees to plant flowers and trees, and students marched off to school, belying a sense that tensions on the Korean Peninsula have reached their highest point since the Korean War ended nearly 60 years ago.

Last year, the days surrounding the centennial of the birth of Kim Sung-il, grandfather of the current ruler, was marked by parades of tanks, goose-stepping soldiers and missiles, as well as the failed launch of a satellite-carrying rocket widely believed by the U.S. and its allies in the West to be a test of ballistic missile capabilities.

Mobilising: South Korean soldiers ride a military truck on the road leading to North Korea at a military checkpoint in the border city of PajuMobilising: South Korean soldiers ride a military truck on the road leading to North Korea at a military checkpoint in the border city of Paju

 

Threat level raised: A South Korean military vehicle drives past barricades on the road leading to North Korea, which is expecting to launch a missile 'at any time'Threat level raised: A South Korean military vehicle drives past barricades on the road leading to North Korea, which is expecting to launch a missile ‘at any time’

On standby: South Korean soldiers ride a military truck on the road leading to North Korea as the co-ordinated military surveillance status was upgradedOn standby: South Korean soldiers ride a military truck on the road leading to North Korea as the co-ordinated military surveillance status was upgraded

A subsequent test in December went off successfully, and that was followed by the country’s third underground nuclear test on Feb. 12 this year, a step toward mastering the technology for mounting an atomic bomb on a missile.

The resulting U.N. sanctions have been met with an unending string of threats and provocations from the North, raising tensions on the peninsula to their highest point since the end of the Korean War in 1953, according to some experts.

The moves are seen as an attempt by North Korea to scare foreigners into pressing their governments to pressure Washington and Seoul to avert a conflict, and boost the militaristic credentials of its young and relatively untested leader, Kim Jong-un.

NORTH KOREA CYBER ATTACK ‘SHUT DOWN 32,000 COMPUTERS IN THE SOUTH’

North Korean government agents were behind a March cyber attack that shut down about 32,000 computers and servers at South Korean broadcasters and banks, an investigation has found.

An official at South Korea’s internet security agency, Chun Kil-soo, told reporters Wednesday that the attack was similar to past North Korean hacking. He said investigators believe that six computers in North Korea were used to access South Korean servers using more than 1,000 IP addresses overseas.

The accusation comes as tensions run high on the Korean Peninsula, with North Korea delivering increasingly belligerent rhetoric in anger over UN sanctions and US-South Korean military drills.

On Tuesday, the North said a nuclear war is imminent and recommended that foreigners in South Korea evacuate to safe places.

Pyongyang advised foreign embassies to consider evacuating their citizens by Wednesday, and warned tourists in South Korea to leave Seoul in case of an outbreak of war.

However, most diplomats and foreign residents appeared to be staying put.

In Seoul, the defense ministry official said the North appeared prepared to carry out a missile launch at any time. He spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.

He said Pyongyang’s military is capable of conducting multiple missile launches involving Scud and medium-range Rodong missiles, as well as a missile transported to the east coast recently. He refused to say how Seoul obtained the information.

Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington yesterday that he concurred with an assessment by Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., calling the tension between North Korea and the West the worst since the end of the Korean War.

‘The continued advancement of the North’s nuclear and missile programs, its conventional force posture, and its willingness to resort to asymmetric actions as a tool of coercive diplomacy creates an environment marked by the potential for miscalculation,’ Locklear told the panel.

He said the U.S. military and its allies would be ready if North Korea tries to strike.

Despite such tidings of war, the people of Pyongyang went about their daily lives.

Associated Press journalists in the North Korean capital saw soldiers wearing hard hats rumbling past in the back of a truck as they prepared for another day’s work doing construction.

In recent years, military personnel have been pressed into helping build the many urban renewal projects that have been prioritised since Kim Jong-un came to power in December 2011.

Thousands of North Koreans dance in Pyongyang in celebration of their former leader Kim Jong-Il Thousands of North Koreans dance in Pyongyang in celebration of their former leader Kim Jong-Il

 

The event came as Pyongyang warned foreigners to leave the South, saying the two Koreas are on the verge of civil warEvent came as Pyongyang warned foreigners to leave the South, saying two Koreas are on verge of civil war

 

In a sign they have been diverted away from preparing for conventional warfare, they are commonly referred to as ‘soldier-builders’ and are also called upon to help plant and harvest rice and other crops in a nation that suffers chronically from food shortages.

North Korea sporadically holds civil air raid drills during which citizens practice blacking out their windows and seeking shelter. But no such drills have been held in recent months, local residents said.

‘I’m not at all worried. We have confidence in our young marshal’ Kim Jong-un, a cleaning lady at the Koryo Hotel said as she made up a guest’s bed. ‘The rest of the world can just squawk all they want but we have confidence in his leadership.

‘We are resolved to stay and defend him until the end,’ she said. ‘It may be hard for the rest of the world to understand, and those who are worried are welcome to leave,’ she said in the typical nationalistic style that North Koreans use while talking to foreigners.

But there was no sign of an exodus of foreigners from Seoul or Pyongyang.

Britain and other governments with embassies in Pyongyang said they had no immediate plans to withdraw but would continue assessing the situation.

North Korea has been escalating tensions with the U.S. and South Korea, its wartime foes, for months.

 

 

North Korea has warned all foreigners to leave South Korea as Kim Jong-un's government continues to increase tensions on the Korean Peninsula
North Korea has warned all foreigners to leave South Korea as Kim Jong-un’s government continues to increase tensions on the Korean Peninsula

North Korean children carrying brooms help tidy up the area around bronze statues of the late leadersNorth Korean children carrying brooms help tidy up the area around bronze statues of the late leaders

Bizarre dance display in North Korea as nuclear crisis deepens

The tightened U.N. sanctions that followed the nuclear test drew the ire of North Korea, which accused Washington and Seoul of leading the campaign against it.

 

Annual U.S.-South Korean military drills south of the border have further incensed Pyongyang, which sees them as practice for an invasion.

Last week, Kim Jong-un enshrined the pursuit of nuclear weapons – which the North characterizes as a defense against the U.S. – as a national goal, along with improving the economy. North Korea also declared it would restart a mothballed nuclear complex.

NORTH KOREA’S MISSILE THREAT

The Musudan, also known as the Nodong-B or the Taepodong-X, is an intermediate-range ballistic missile. It has a range of 3,000 kilometres (1,800 miles) – that would make Japan and South Korea potential targets, but little is known about the missile’s accuracy.

The KN-08 is an 18-metre long missile that North Korea claims has a range of 10,000 miles, putting the U.S. in range, but military experts believe 6,000 miles is more realistic.

It is a concern as it is road-mobile and easy to hide.

North Korea isn’t thought to have nuclear-armed missiles that can hit the United States and, despite threats, is extremely unlikely to launch a direct attack on Seoul or its U.S. ally, knowing that military retaliation would threaten the leadership’s survival.

This week the Pentagon deployed two Aegis-equipped missile defense ships to operate off the Korean peninsula.

Citing the tensions with Seoul, North Korea on Monday pulled more than 50,000 workers from the Kaesong industrial park, which combines South Korean technology and know-how with cheap North Korean labor.

It was the first time that production was stopped at the decade-old factory park, the only remaining symbol of economic co-operation between the Koreas.

Pyongyang also has moved to its eastern seaboard what is believed by U.S. and South Korean intelligence to be a mid-range missile capable of hitting targets in Japan, such as the U.S. military installations on that country’s main island.

Another possibility is that Pyongyang would launch such a missile into the sea as a display of its military prowess.

The United States and South Korea have raised their defense postures, as has Japan, which deployed PAC-3 missile interceptors in key locations around Tokyo. And Locklear said the U.S. military would be ready to strike back if provoked.

One historian, James Person, noted that it isn’t the first time North Korea has warned foreign embassies to prepare for a U.S. attack.

He said that in 1968, following North Korea’s seizure of an American ship, the USS Pueblo, Pyongyang persistently advised foreign diplomats to prepare for a U.S. counterattack.

Cables from the Romanian mission in Pyongyang showed embassies were instructed to build anti-air bunkers ‘to protect foreigners against air attacks,’ he said.

The cables were obtained and posted online by the Wilson Center’s North Korea International Documentation Project.

Young North Korean workers and students climb stairs to the base of bronze statues of the late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il during an event to pledge loyalty to the country in PyongyangYoung North Korean workers and students climb stairs to the base of bronze statues of the late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il during an event to pledge loyalty to the country in Pyongyang

Person called it one of North Korea’s first forays into what he dubs ‘military adventurism.’

‘In 1968, there was some concern there would be an attack, but (the North Koreans) certainly were building it up to be more than it was in hopes of getting more assistance from their allies at the time,’ Person said by phone from Alexandria, Virginia.

‘I think much of it was hot air then. Today, I think again it’s more hot air,’ he said. ‘The idea is to scare people into pressuring the United States to return to negotiations with North Korea. That’s the bottom line.’

South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who has sought to re-engage North Korea with dialogue and humanitarian aid since taking office in February, expressed exasperation yesterday with what she called the ‘endless vicious cycle’ of Seoul answering Pyongyang’s hostile behavior with compromise, only to get more hostility.

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Leak Shows US Hid The Truth About Drone Strikes

 

Activist Post

New evidence has emerged that proves the US intentionally lied about the true nature of its controversial drone strike operations.

The leaked intelligence documents reveal that the US has been targeting individuals who pose no immediate threat, with half of the slaughtered people being labeled simply as “unknown extremists.”

While the files obtained by the McClatchy news agency show half of the deceased as innocent, other calculations show that a more accurate percentage of innocents killed in Pakistan is as high as 80%.

The files also show that Pakistan’s intelligence agency was working with the US while its government was condemning the use of drone strikes.

The mainstream media likes to downplay the use of drone strikes, frequently reporting that the global death toll attributed to drone strikes is around 2,500, while the true figure could be almost double that according to Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham.

Whatever the true number of innocents killed, many of whom are children, the US has received constant international criticism for the use of these killer drones.

Jennifer Gibson, a lawyer working with the British human rights charity Reprieve, has also accused the US of hiding the truth: “There is now mounting evidence that the Obama administration is misleading the American public – and the world at large – about the drone war it is waging in Pakistan,” she said.

The reports show a significant number of the strikes have nothing to do with al-Qa’ida. Instead, they may have been a quid pro quo exchange between two countries’ spy agencies. The result is that the US often doesn’t know who it is killing.

The Obama administration, like the Bush Administration before it, has always claimed that use of drones are only to target those involved with the 9/11 terrorist attacks, senior members of al-Qa’ida and those plotting to attack the US.

In a 2012 interview with CNN, Obama said:

It has to be a threat that is serious and not speculative. It has to be a situation in which we can’t capture the individual before they move forward on some sort of operational plot against the United States.

However, McClatchy has found that:

– At least 265 of up to 482 people who the U.S. intelligence reports estimated the CIA killed during a 12-month period ending in September 2011 were not senior al Qaida leaders but instead were “assessed” as Afghan, Pakistani and unknown extremists. Drones killed only six top al Qaida leaders in those months, according to news media accounts.

Forty-three of 95 drone strikes reviewed for that period hit groups other than al Qaida, including the Haqqani network, several Pakistani Taliban factions and the unidentified individuals described only as “foreign fighters” and “other militants.”

During the same period, the reports estimated there was a single civilian casualty, an individual killed in an April 22, 2011, strike in North Waziristan, the main sanctuary for militant groups in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

– At other times, the CIA killed people who only were suspected, associated with, or who probably belonged to militant groups.

To date, the Obama administration has not disclosed the secret legal opinions and the detailed procedures buttressing drone killings, and it has never acknowledged the use of so-called “signature strikes,” in which unidentified individuals are killed after surveillance shows behavior the U.S. government associates with terrorists, such as visiting compounds linked to al Qaida leaders or carrying weapons. Nor has it disclosed an explicit list of al Qaida’s “associated forces” beyond the Afghan Taliba

Amazon Secretly Deletes “1984″ From the Kindle

 

(Silver Underground) -Imagine this. You’re reading George Orwell’s “1984,” a distopian novel about a tyrannical media state that controls the minds of the people by constantly altering the available language and information. Then, when you’re about a third through the book, and it’s just getting good, it disappears down the memory hole without explanation.

Unbeknownst to many, apparently Amazon has the ability to remotely edit or remove content from people’s Kindle e-book readers. What an ironic choice for the debut of this power.

Justin Gawronski, 17, is suing Amazon after his purchased copy of 1984 was surreptitiously removed from his reader without warning. Frankly, I was amazed to read this high school still assigned 1984. I thought it was removed from the standard curriculum a few years ago, but Gawronski is reportedly in an advanced placement course, so maybe that’s why.

This has resulted in a class action lawsuit against Amazon seeking damages for everyone who had their e-books deleted, but more importantly it seeks a ban on future deletions. Both Orwell’s distopian classics, “1984″ and “Animal Farm” were removed from the Kindle Store, and retroactively from customers’ devices, allegedly over an intellectual property dispute.

Gawronki wrote “I thought that once purchased, the books were mine,” and Jay Edelson, the Chicago lawyer who filed the lawsuit, “Amazon.com had no more right to hack into people’s Kindles than its customers have the right to hack into Amazon’s bank account to recover a mistaken over-payment.” That certainly makes sense to me, but in my experience the state never misses an opportunity to treat 1984 like an instruction manual instead of a cautionary tale.

Amazon’s actions could have far-reaching consequences for state intervention in private media consumption. Is it that hard to imagine? The state long ago decided that library records were a matter of National Security, and most Internet and cellphone service providers hand over your records if the state asks for them. Is it that far fetched to imagine the state would take similar interest in our digital libraries? And if certain books are deemed a matter of National Security, doesn’t it just make sense that they might delete them? For security of course.

Edelson added, “Technology companies increasingly feel that because they have the ability to access people’s personal property, they have the right to do so.” But doesn’t that exactly describe the government?

It’s potentially spookier than just secret delicious. Periodically the state issues so-called “National Security Letters” which are both a demand to cooperate in an investigation by turning over private records and personal data, and a gag order, preventing the recipient from disclosing the content of the letter.

How long before we boot up our Kindle and discover that the state has ordered Amazon to replace segments of library with National Security Letters? For security of course.
Knowing something about e-publishing, I know that it’s possible for authors to make changes to their e-book and correct errors in the updated version. This is really handy because it means missing a typo in the editorial process doesn’t mean you have 10,000 misprints of a book. You can fix it. But doesn’t it also mean that it’s possible for Amazon or the state to make subtle changes to e-books that you may never even notice?

These practices may not be legal yet, but since when has law prevented the state from grabbing power? The point is the technology exists, so it’s just a matter of time, just one national crisis away.

This all has startling implications about literature in general. If we can’t control the literature we supposedly own, e-books represent a dramatic potential destruction of knowledge. In the past, when totalitarian ideologies came to power they burned books, and rebels preserved manuscripts in secret, even when the sentence was death. The next totalitarian regime will have a kill switch on every book… So perk up rebels. If you’ve got books that you want to survive the coming collapse, start backing up your files someplace safe.

Find out where you can see Silver Circle by checking our theater and special screening schedule on our event page.

Obama: ‘Prohibit’ Americans from Saving More Than $3M in Retirement Accounts

President Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama on the Great Wall of China. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama’s proposed budget would simultaneously compel Americans to enroll in a tax-deferred retirement account and “prohibit” them from saving more than $3 million in such accounts.

That sum, Obama’s budget argues, is all that is “needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving.”

Under current law, American who save money in tax-deferred retirement accounts are taxed on the money in such accounts when they withdraw it–and are charged an additional tax penalty if they withdraw it before retirement age.

Obama’s plan to simultaneously compel enrollment in a retirement account and prohibit Americans from saving more than what he believes is a “reasonable” amount in such an account is published in part of his budget that deals with what the president calls “rebalancing the tax code.”

Although the budget would “automatically” enroll Americans in a retirement account—even if they did not want to enroll—it would allow them to “opt out” of actually making contributions to that account.

“About half of American workers have no workplace retirement plan,” says Obama’s budget. “Yet fewer than 1 out of 10 workers who are eligible to make tax-favored contributions to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) actually do so, while nearly 9 out of 10 workers automatically enrolled in a 401(k) plan continue to make contributions. The Budget would automatically enroll workers without employer-based retirement plans in IRAs through payroll deposit contributions at their workplace. The contributions would be voluntary—employees would be free to opt out—and matched by the Saver’s Tax Credit for eligible families.”

However, President Obama would not allow Americans to opt out of his prohibition on retirement-account savings that exceed the “reasonable level” of $3 million.

The second bullet point in Obama’s plan to “rebalance the tax code” is entitled: “Prohibit Individuals from Accumulating Over $3 Million in Tax-Preferred Retirement Accounts.”

“Individual Retirement Accounts and other tax-preferred savings vehicles are intended to help middle class families save for retirement,” says the Obama’s budget—which does not define exactly what a “middle class family” is, nor explain why someone who does not have a family is not intended to be helped by these type of accounts.

“But under current rules, some wealthy individuals are able to accumulate many millions of dollars in these accounts, substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving,” the budget continues, without explaining who exactly a “wealthy individual” would be, or how a “wealthy individual” would differs from a “wealthy family.”

“The Budget would limit an individual’s total balance across tax-preferred accounts to an amount sufficient to finance an annuity of not more than $205,000 per year in retirement, or about $3 million for someone retiring in 2013,” says the budget.

The budget says that if this part of Obama’s plan is enacted, the Treasury will tax away about $9 billion from American savers over the next ten years.

Man angry about regulations threatens to bomb White House

(The Hill) -A Pennsylvania man arrested on Wednesday morning for making bomb threats near the White House was angry about regulations, according to authorities.

Shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, Krzystzof Wasik, 44, approached a guard office near the White House and claimed to have a bomb in his nearby truck.

 

According to an affidavit submitted to the court, the bomb threat was a way for the man to complain about regulations on semi-trailer trucks. He hoped the threat would allow him to speak with President Obama.

The Secret Service officer he spoke with told the court in a statement, “He was upset about the rules and regulations concerning semi-trucks and was angry about fines that he had to pay.”

Wasik demanded to speak with the president twice, according to the court’s document. At first, the officer told Wasik to send his complaint to the relevant government agency and he walked off.

He returned shortly afterwards and threatened to explode a bomb unless he could speak with the president. “I know what it takes to get things done around here,” he told the Secret Service agent. “I have a bomb in my truck parked 500 feet from here.”

“I don’t care if children or veterans are harmed by the bomb,” he said. “I only care about speaking to the President.”


More from The Hill
• House Judiciary threatens subpoena over DOJ kill memos
• Manchin, Toomey reach gun deal including background checks
• White House to begin furloughs in May


 

Wasik was then arrested.

The man’s vehicle, a semi-cab tractor with Pennsylvania plates, was found nearby in front of the Veterans Affairs building. The Secret Service and police closed down nearby streets for two hours, investigated the truck and found no cause for concern. Police arrested Wasik on charges of making false threats.

Wasik is due in court on Friday.

Wasik’s complaint about regulations was first reported by the Washington City Paper.

FBI sued over secretive mass surveillance program

 

Reuters / Chor Sokunthea

(RT) -A privacy watchdog group is suing the FBI over the agency’s failure to fulfill Freedom of Information Act requests for documents involving a secretive and expansive database that could be used to track down anyone, anywhere and at any time.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed the complaint [PDF] in United States District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday, suing the Federal Bureau of Investigation for failing to comply with a pair of FOIA request placed more than six months ago.

Last September, EPIC asked the FBI to explain their “Next Generation Identification,” or “NGI” program, a system that’s been building a database of biometric data such as DNA profiles, mug shots and iris scans in order to give law enforcement the ability to track down suspects without relying on more archaic methods. In 2012 the FBI said NGI is already more than 60 percent complete, and Assistant Director Tom Bush of the agency’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division said it will be “bigger, faster, and better” than the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) currently in place.

“Bigger,” the FBI wrote on their website in 2009, “because it will increase the capacity of our fingerprint storage plus house multimodal biometrics records like palm prints and iris scans,” all the while leaving room to accommodate for tracking methods that have yet to be perfected, such as voice analysis. Once the program is fully rolled out, the FBI says they should be able to narrow in on suspects in a matter of only 10 minutes.

The FBI doesn’t want NGI to pull data from just criminal databases, though. Because the agency wants NGI to work with public and private surveillance cameras around the country — of which EPIC estimates there are around 30 million in use at this time — the targets of investigation might not necessarily be the bad guys.

“The Department of Homeland Security has expended hundreds of millions of dollars to establish state and local surveillance systems, including CCTV [closed-circuit television] cameras that record the routine activities of millions of individuals,” EPIC writes. “The NGI system could be integrated with other surveillance technology, such as Trapwire, that would enable real-time image-matching of live feeds from CCTV surveillance cameras.”

Trapwire, a spy system uncovered by RT last year while analyzing emails hacked emails obtained from the Stratfor private intelligence firm, has already been sold to cities across the US including Washington, DC and New York, and lets customers scan the faces of people caught on surveillance cameras in only seconds. “TrapWire is a technology solution predicated upon behavior patterns in red zones to identify surveillance. It helps you connect the dots over time and distance,” the company said.

And although the FBI publically disclosed their NGI program for the first time nearly a decade ago, the agency has been unwilling this far to honor EPIC’s request for information. The NGI system will include facial recognition capabilities and will include photographs and biometric identified of millions of individuals who are neither criminals nor suspects, EPIC says, and the FBI has already been attempting to import human statistics pulled from the driver’s license profiles of residents in a number of states.

“The NGI database will include photographic images of millions of individuals who are neither criminals nor suspects,” write the attorneys for EPIC.

When EPIC attorney Ginger McCall sat down with Thom Hartmann in 2011 to discuss the NGI program on RT’s The Big Picture, she warned of what could happen when the FBI accumulates vast troves of data on people who, in some cases, aren’t even considered suspects in crimes.

 

“The way that this new database will be set up, it will allow for information to be input from state and local law enforcement,” McCall said. “That information could be brought in from commercial services; it could be brought in from covert surveillance.”

“In the past,” added McCall, “the FBI has had a bit of a problem. They’ve been putting in peaceful protesters and classifying them — misclassifying them — as terrorists. So there’s a lot of problems with these sorts of databases.”

Now half a year since EPIC first filed FOIA requests for records relating to NFI as well as any contracts with commercial entities and technical specifications, they are suing the FBI in order to force them to follow through.

“Defendant has failed to comply with statutory deadlines, has failed to grant expedited review of EPIC’s FOIA Requests, and has failed to disclose a single record. EPIC asks the Court to order immediate disclosure of all responsive records and to provide other appropriate relief as it may determine,” EPIC attorneys McCall, Marc Rotenberg and David Brody write in the complaint, dated April 8, 2013.

“It’s very problematic from a privacy standpoint and a freedom of expression standpoint,” McCall told Hartmann in 2011. “There’s a real chilling effect on freedom of expression when you feel that you’re constantly being surveilled by the government.”

Obama Expands His Power to Kill While Reducing Our Capacity to Defend Ourselves

(Reason-Andrew Napolitano) -Does the government work for us, or do we work for the government? How can the president claim the lawful power to kill whomever he wishes and at the same time ask Congress to incapacitate our ability to defend ourselves against those who might seek to kill us?

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul struck a raw nerve in the weak underbelly of the Obama administration last month with his 13-hour filibuster. Paul was furious—as every American should be—that the president refused to admit that he does not possess the lawful authority to kill Americans with drones. The senator used the confirmation hearings of now CIA Director John Brennan as a forum in which to articulate the principled constitutional argument that whenever the government wants the life, liberty or property of anyone, it can only obtain that via due process.

Due process is the command of the Fifth Amendment. “Due process” is the jurisprudential phrase for a fair jury trial and the accompanying constitutional protections. The reasons we have these protections are the wish of the Framers that our natural rights—here, the rights to life, liberty and property and to fairness from the government—be guaranteed and their fear that they not suffer under another Star Chamber. Star Chamber was a secret gaggle of advisers to British kings that decided who among the king’s adversaries would lose his life, liberty or property without due process. Once that decision was made, it was carried out.

Paul articulated all of this during his filibuster. He did not read gibberish, as those who have filibustered in the past sometimes have done. He made principled moral and legal arguments for 13 hours. His arguments read like a passionate college lecture on personal liberty in a free society.

The next day, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a terse letter to Paul that reads in its entirety as follows: “It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.” This is an unremarkable statement, but one that only came about after the senatorial equivalent of pulling teeth.

Paul’s filibuster was prompted by the administration’s repeated refusal to answer that question. Those refusals came from the testimony of Holder, FBI Director Robert Mueller and then CIA Director-nominee Brennan. They all declined to answer the question of whether the president has the power to use drones to kill Americans in America, and they all referred the questioners to their boss in the White House.

Their boss in the White House has never publicly answered that question, but he has exercised that horrific power without publicly defending or legally justifying it. When lawyers for potential victims of presidential killings (how terrifying does that sound?) sought to ascertain the source of that power, the president dispatched Justice Department lawyers into court to persuade judges that the legal argument supporting killings is classified. That’s because, those Justice Department lawyers argued, the decisions to kill—just like Star Chamber’s decisions to kill—are made in secret; hence, the legal support for the killings must be kept secret.

How could a legal argument be classified? How could a judge accept that sophistry? How could a president sworn to uphold the Constitution claim the power to kill people on his own?

As if to antagonize further those who believe the Constitution means what it says, the same president who says he can’t reveal the legal basis for his killing wants to take away your right to self-defense against a killer, and he wants to prevent you from having the means with which to shoot at a tyrant should such a monster take over the government.

The reason we are a free and independent people today is our secession from Great Britain, and that secession only came about because we had the means with which to repel the soldiers of the British king. Without weaponry in the hands of ordinary folks and unknown to the government (so it doesn’t know from whom to seize weapons), we will lack the ability to repel a modern-day George III.

So, today we have a president who has sworn to uphold the Constitution but seems hell-bent on violating it. He wants to use the force of legislation to weaken your right to self-defense, and he is already using powers never granted to him to kill uncharged, unindicted Americans whom his advisers in secret have decided must go.

The government derives its powers from the consent of the governed. Do you know anyone who consented to this? If you do, they consented for themselves. The rest of us will keep our lives, liberty and property and defy any government efforts to take them.

DHS Tests Gun-Sensing Drones In Oklahoma

 

(HSToday) -The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is testing a wide variety of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) sensor platforms, including one that can determine whether individuals are armed or unarmed, for use by first responders and frontline homeland security professionals.

 

The testing is taking place at the Oklahoma Training Center for Unmanned Systems (OTC-UC), a unit of University Multispectral Laboratories (UML), a not-for-profit scientific institution operated for Oklahoma State University (OSU) by Anchor Dynamics, Inc. UML is a “Trusted Agent” for the federal government, technology developers and operators.

 

DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) Borders and Maritime Security Division’s Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS) testing program is evaluating numerous SUA and sensor systems to identify possible applications for first responders, including search-and-rescue scenarios, response to radiological and chemical incidents and fire response and mapping. In addition, the testing will help to determine whether SUAs are suitable for use by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and US Coast Guard to provide lower altitude, quick response situational awareness in tactical situations.

 

SUAS sensor platforms are being tested for use by “first responder and homeland security operational communities” that “can distinguish between unarmed and armed (exposed) personnel,” as well as conducting detection, surveillance, tracking and laser designation of targets of interest at stand-off ranges, according to the RAPS Test Plan obtained by Homeland Security Today.

 

There’s also a requirement to test SUAS sensors for how well they can capture crime and accident “scene data with still-frame, high definition photos.”

 

But there’s nothing nefarious about having these sensor capabilities on SUAs for the needs of law enforcement and other first responders, said a RAPS program official, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the program publicly. DHS’s chief privacy official concluded that the testing program posed no privacy issues in the Nov. 16 Privacy Impact Assessment for the RAPS Project.

 

The RAPS Test Plan also involves testing sensor suites to “enhance the search and rescue capabilities of first responders by increasing [their] situational awareness.” And to that end, SUA sensors are being tested for their ability to “locate and provide the position of targets of interest satisfactorily for search and rescue personnel in a variety of terrain and day conditions.”

 

To enhance fire and disaster response capabilities of first responders by increasing their situational awareness, SUA sensors are being tested for their ability to locate and provide the position of fire or hot spots despite the presence of objects that obscure their line-of-site; locate and provide the position and concentration of chemical agents; and locate and provide the position and concentration of radiological agents.

 

The RAPS Test Plan explained that “Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems may soon become valuable tools for first and emergency responders and for those responsible for US border security.” It emphasized that “SUAS can provide tactical, rapid-response capabilities and much better situational awareness before field officers and agents respond to and engage in potentially dangerous operations.”

 

The test plan explained that “Within the United States, almost 50,000 police and fire departments exist but only about 300 (less than 1 percent) have aviation departments, owing primarily to the significant cost of acquiring, operating and maintaining manned fixed-wing and rotary-wing platforms. The estimated cost per flight hour for these assets is 300 times more expensive than commercially available SUAS which can be operated at costs lower than those of a typical police cruiser. But for state, county or city entities to become potential users of SUAS, their adoption must be justifiable and affordable. Improved sensor and platform capabilities, and economies of scale, now bring SUAS within reach of the budgets of many small first responder organizations.”

 

“Considering the size and diversity of the user communities targeted by this program,” the RAPS Test Plan said, “our approach concerning SUAS requirements is to focus primarily on advancing the near-term transition of good, affordable SUAS capabilities using relatively mature solutions. Working closely with senior law enforcement and fire operators in the field, we derived high-level SUAS needs tied to notional, top-priority scenarios for SUAS that, if realized, may or would provide good value to users — depending partly on the results of testing as envisioned” in the RAPS testing plan.

 

Consequently, the test plan explained that “The purpose of [the RAPS] project is to assess the extent to which SUAS can enhance situational awareness in support of first responder and border security events,” the test plan says, noting that “such events include, but are not limited to, law enforcement response, fire response, search and rescue, response to hazardous material (HAZMAT) spills or incidents and response to intrusions at US international borders.” In addition, “Where feasible and applicable, our testing will verify SUAS performance characteristics that may impact their eventual integration into the National Air Space System.”

 

“As one of many first responder support initiatives within DHS S&T, the primary outcome of RAPS will be a knowledge and database resource consisting of test reports, user testimonials and guidelines for adoption by the operational community,” the RAPS Test Plan pointed out. “The RAPS team will study fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft having gross takeoff weights of 25 lbs. or less, typically, using key performance measures in a variety of simulated but realistic, real-world operational scenarios that focus on the use of SUAS technology in response to situations where human lives are in imminent danger.”

 

The RAPS testing is being carried out at the Ft. Sill Army Post near Lawton, Okla. because DHS found the Army base “to be the optimal site to conduct RAPS test operations,” the test plan said. “The ready availability of restricted airspace at Ft. Sill and its central location within the continental US make it logistically accessible and convenient to participating vendors.” In addition, the test plan said “the Ft. Sill test sites offer good flying conditions year-round and provide a variety of terrain features needed for conducting search-and-rescue and other test scenarios.”

 

Oklahoma has emerged as a leader in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). DHS is working closely with the state on the RAPS program through Gov. Mary Fallin’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Council, as the federal initiative is being conducted through OSU’s University Multispectral Laboratories’ advanced testing facility that’s uniquely positioned within Ft. Sill’s 200 square miles of restricted airspace.

 

“The strong support of the State of Oklahoma first responder community underscored the benefits of the Ft. Sill test site,” DHS said.

 

“Aerospace represents a significant portion of our state economy and UAS is expected to be the most dynamic growth sector within the aerospace industry in the next decade,” said Unmanned Systems Alliance of Oklahoma (USA-OK) President, James L. Grimsley. “This is an important time for the unmanned aerial systems industry and for Oklahoma.”

 

“Successful SUAS test operations at Ft. Sill may lead, later, to more complex SUAS operational testing at two other Oklahoma sites,” the RAPS Test Plan said. These sites are the Oklahoma National Guard’s Camp Gruber and the University Multispectral Laboratory’s test site at Chilocco, Okla., “both of which have varied and realistic urban complex facilities.”

 

The RAPS program began with DHS’s Request for Information (RFI) issued on Sept. 24, 2012 seeking white papers from SUAS vendors interested in participating in the testing project. The deadline for the papers was Oct. 31, 2012.

 

However, the testing program “is not linked to any intended procurement action, nor does it imply intent to initiate such action,” DHS explained.

 

Public and congressional concerns over the expanding use of UAVs of all kinds by federal, state and local law enforcement were exacerbated recently following a report by CNET.com that DHS has “customized its Predator drones” to be able to “identify civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones.”

 

CNET.com reported that DHS’s “specifications for its drones … ‘shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not,’” and that “They also specify ‘signals interception’ technology that can capture communications in the frequency ranges used by mobile phones and ‘direction finding’ technology that can identify the locations of mobile devices or two-way radios.”

 

The disclosure was based on an apparent “unredacted copy” of the May 26, 2005, CBP Office of Air and Marine (OAM) Performance Specification for the DHS/Customs and Border Protection Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System document that DHS released in redacted form to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

 

An updated March 10, 2010 CBP OAM performance specifications document for CBP’s Predator B UAV also was obtained by EPIC under the FOIA, and portions of it also were redacted.

 

Most of the redactions, though, were made pursuant to legitimate FOIA exemptions authorizing the withholding of records compiled for law enforcement purposes or that would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations.

 

Much of the redacted information deals with sensitive operational and performance capabilities of CBP’s fleet of Predators, as well sensitive technical data on the UAVs’ sensor packages and specifications.

 

A CBP spokesman told CNET.com the agency “is not deploying signals interception capabilities on its UAS fleet. Any potential deployment of such technology in the future would be implemented in full consideration of civil rights, civil liberties and privacy interests and in a manner consistent with the law and long-standing law enforcement practices.”

 

DHS’s RAPS Program Manager, Dr. John Appleby, told Homeland Security Today the department “is very sensitive to the privacy and civil rights issues that are involved with our [UAV] systems and testing.”

 

But privacy rights advocates don’t see it that way. EPIC’s Ginger McCall, director of the group’s Open Government Project, has said CBP’s UAS requirements documents “clearly evidence that the Department of Homeland Security is developing drones with signals interception technology and the capability to identify people on the ground,” and that “This allows for invasive surveillance, including potential communications surveillance, that could run afoul of federal privacy laws.”

 

A DHS official who spoke to Homeland Security Today on background about the issue explained that CBP needed to have “a whole host of requirements for its [Predators] for all possible needs to support border security operations, but that doesn’t mean they’re all being used … people jump to all sorts of conclusions based on what they think they know or understand.”

 

The official said the Predators are capable of distinguishing whether objects detected on the ground are people, animals, vehicles or something else, and emphasized that this capability is needed when, for example, the UAVs are being used to support Border Patrol agents on the ground who are trying to apprehend human- or narco-traffickers in difficult terrain or circumstances, or when conducting border surveillance missions for potential illegal cross-border activity.

 

But this capability isn’t any different from ground-based radar that can distinguish between a human and a truck CBP has tested that may be incorporated into its Integrated Fixed Tower program Homeland Security Today examined in detail last Oct.

 

As for the deployment of communications interception technology on CBP’s Predators, officials adamantly said there are numerous legal issues involved “that would have to be worked out” before this capability can routinely be used.

California Bill Could Shut Down Small Restaurants

(Breitbart) -The State of California has one of the worst proposals of any legislature in the country this year with a new bill that would force every restaurant and food service business in the state to commission an expensive “risk assessment” test for every menu item.

Such a test could cost thousands of dollars for every food item sold. This outrageous and cost prohibitive testing would certainly cause all but the biggest chain restaurants to go out of business almost instantly.

In another exercise in nanny-statism, California’s State Senate Democrats want this “risk assessment” conducted to determine whether food being sold “contributes significantly to a significant public health epidemic.”

The bill, Senate Bill 747, is an addition to the current health and safety codes and is currently set for a hearing on April 17. It was written and introduced by Sen. Mark DeSauliner (D, Concord).

The introduction of the bill clearly says that the law would require the food service companies to pay the state for the testing in order to fill state coffers. It notes that without the assessment, the state would have the right to shut an offending restaurant down.

This bill, known as the Public Health Epidemic Protection Act of 2013, would require the department, for every product intended for consumer consumption for which it has credible evidence that the product significantly contributes to a significant public epidemic, to conduct a risk assessment evaluation to determine whether the product contributes significantly to a significant public health epidemic, as defined, and whether the adverse public health risk would have a fiscal impact on the state of $50,000,000 or more. The bill would authorize the department to charge the manufacturer of the product for the reasonable costs of producing the risk assessment and would create the Public Health Fund, to be used by the department, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to fund the program. If the department determines that the criteria are met, the bill would require the manufacturer to create, for approval of the department, a public health impact report (PHIR) containing specified information, including a list of adverse public health impacts and a mitigation plan for those impacts. The bill would authorize the department to enforce the PHIR and would authorize the department to restrict or suspend sales of the product in the state if the PHIR is insufficient or if the manufacturer is not complying with the terms of the PHIR.

As California politics watchdog Stephen Frank points out, “Pass this and hundreds of thousands of Californians are out of work on Day One–and tens of thousands of Californians have lost their investments and businesses.”

But there are other, perhaps unintended, consequences in the offing here. This law would benefit large, multi-million dollar national chain restaurants in as much as it would eliminate their competition at a local level. Mom and Pop restaurants, small local chains, and one-location restaurants could never afford to have expensive tests done for every food item they sell. The big chains, however, have a whole country of locations and customers upon which to spread the costs of this “risk assessment.”

The big chains could afford the cost of these tests, but small restaurants would just have to close their doors before the state’s inspectors do it for them.

Further, this requirement would tend to limit menu options at restaurants, as those that could not afford the tests would cut menu choices down in order to keep testing costs lower. Additionally, menus wouldn’t change very often to avoid constant costly state testing requirements. This would prevent restaurants from trying new menu items to appeal to the changing tastes of customers.

And this is not to even mention that the expense of eating out would go up as restaurants pass on the costs of these expensive tests to customers.

Interestingly, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. DeSauliner, is a party jumper; until the year 2000, he was a Republican. DeSauliner is also a big opponent of the Second Amendment and is supported by the anti-gun advocacy group the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

IRS claims they can read your e-mail and other electronic communications without a warrant

 

(Image credit: Martin Haesemeyer/Flickr)

 

(End The Lie) -According to documents recently obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) believes they have the authority to read the private e-mail messages, Facebook chats and other online communications of Americans without obtaining a warrant.

For readers of End the Lie, this probably isn’t surprising given the blatant nature of the government’s illegal spying at this point and the complete flouting of judicial scrutiny when it comes to government surveillance.

According to IRS lawyers, the American people have “generally no privacy” in online communications which means no Fourth Amendment standards apply and no search warrant is needed to read our private communications.

The 2009 IRS Search Warrant Handbook obtained by the ACLU through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request claims that “mails and other transmissions generally lose their reasonable expectation of privacy and thus their Fourth Amendment protection once they have been sent from an individual’s computer.”

Considering the fact that this so-called handbook was prepared by none other than the Office of Chief Counsel for the Criminal Tax Division, this is quite troubling.

While the ACLU’s intent was to obtain records simply stating if the IRS gets a warrant before reading email, text messages and other private electronic communications, the documents obtained don’t give a point blank answer.

While the IRS might not come right out and say it for obvious reasons, the ACLU notes that the 247 pages of records they obtained indeed suggest that the IRS reads private communications without getting a warrant first.

Saying “suggest” is a quite conservative choice of words indeed given some of the material. Part of the 2009 handbook actually claims that “the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications.”

A 2010 presentation by the IRS Office of Chief Counsel claims that “4th Amendment Does Not Protect Emails Stored on Server” and that there is “No Privacy Expectation” when it comes to those emails.

However, United States v. Warshak, a 2010 case in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, determined that the government must indeed obtain a probable cause warrant before forcing an email provider to release messages.

“However, the IRS hasn’t told the public whether it is following Warshak everywhere in the country, or only within the Sixth Circuit,” according to Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney for the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy & Technology Project.

That said, it could not be clearer that the IRS policy before Warshak was to read electronic communications without ever obtaining a warrant.

The IRS apparently only follows the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) a 1980s-era law that is far behind the times as CNET points out in writing that it was “adopted in the era of telephone modems, BBSs, and UUCP links, long before gigabytes of e-mail stored in the cloud was ever envisioned.”

In a March 2011 revision of the Internal Revenue Manual, it is stated that under the ECPA, “Investigators can obtain everything in an account except for unopened e-mail or voice mail stored with a provider for 180 days or less using a [relevant-and-material-standard] court order” instead of an actual warrant.

As Wessler points out, “Again, no suggestion that the Fourth Amendment might require more,” meaning that their policy apparently did not change one bit after Warshak. This apparently has not changed one bit in the current tax season’s Internal Revenue Manual.

An IRS Chief Counsel Advice memorandum from October 2011 similarly “misses another chance to declare that agents should obtain a warrant for emails because the Fourth Amendment requires it. Instead, the memo’s advice (which may not be used as precedent and is not binding in other IRS criminal investigations) is limited to situations in the Ninth Circuit where an ISP intends to challenge warrantless requests for emails,” according to Wessler.

The ACLU is also now waiting on documents from the FBI and other Department of Justice Agencies on similar matters.

“Let’s hope you never end up on the wrong end of an IRS criminal tax investigation,” Wessler writes. “But if you do, you should be able to trust that the IRS will obey the Fourth Amendment when it seeks the contents of your private emails. Until now, that hasn’t been the case.”

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.

Denver Airport Whistleblower: ‘Underground Tunnels, Structures and Buried Runways Exist’

Rendition by Stu Webb

Rendition by Stu Webb, former construction worker at DIA – 1995

Special Report

by Shepard Ambellas
Intellihub.com

April 10, 2013

DENVER — Underground tunnels do exist around the world as the longest documented publicly known tunnel is located in New york and is 85.1 miles in length. It was drilled through solid rock in 1945 and is used as a waterway. The “Delaware Aqueduct is the newest of the New York City aqueducts. It takes water from the Rondout Reservoir through the Chelsea Pump Station, the West Branch Reservoir, and the Kensico Reservoir, ending at the Hillview Reservoir in Yonkers, New York.

The aqueduct was constructed between 1939 and 1945, and carries approximately half of the New York City water supply of 1.3 billion US gallons (4,900,000 m3) per day. The Delaware Aqueduct leaks up to 36 million US gallons (140,000 m3) per day. A $1 billion project to repair the leaking is scheduled to begin in January 2013″, according to Wikipedia.

There are many types of tunnels obviously, as some are used for water and some are used for other purposes.

According to Phil Schneider, there are over 132 D.U.M.B.’s that existed around the 1990 era. Most of these bases according to Scheider are linked together via massive dry underground tunnels.  Schneider was an alleged geologist employed by the US Navy’s black Ops sector to help plan and aid in the construction of Deep Underground Military Bases (D.U.M.B.’s) for the government who was later found dead in his apartment after announcing the secret governments plans.

 


Underground Tunnels at DIA


Graphic & Audio Presentation of DIA Underground

Some now speculate that DIA houses an underground base facility or some type of underground complex, although an airport would be an unusual place to have dry tunnels, some have reported just that. This could also explain why the airport went over $2 billion over budget during construction.

According to Stu Webb, a construction worker employed by a private contractor in the 90′s to work on an underground section of the airport, the construction company told him and other workers at the time that the massive tunnel system they were constructing leading to at least 5 other underground structures on the airport property were for waste water and sewage. However, according to Webb, he quickly caught on that the massive 12′ x 16′ tunnels were for something other than waste water and sewage saying in a later interview that “you could fit specially designed busses in the tunnels, they were that big”.

Webb maintains that five other buildings he’s aware of were constructed under ground at depths ranging from 60-120 feet. These buildings according to a diagram drawn by Webb (shown in the video interview) appear to be to the Northeast of the airports main canvassed terminal section approximately 2.5-3 miles. Webb also notes other important discoveries he made during and after his employment on the airports massive 52 square mile complex.

Webb went on to explain that the tunnels were divided up into many sections. These sections were all contracted to separate contractors to avoid employee suspicion of what the tunnels and underground strictures were actually for.

Webb also stated that there were secret runways that were buried during construction of the airport. These runways were hidden, covered by 4 inches of soil and sit approximately a half of a mile away from the 5 buried buildings or underground structures which then connect to the main section of the airport by way of those secret tunnels Webb worked on. When Webb questioned what the runways were for and why they were being buried he was told that they poured them in the wrong spot and it was a mistake. However, the expense of such an error would be great.  And why would they pour a runway 2.5-3 miles off by mistake?

Webb speculates that the runway will serve as outbound runways in a time of civil unrest as he stated, “there are too many patriots here with guns”, referring to the United States.

According to Webb, there is also an area to the south of the buried buildings about 2.5-3 miles away from the comercial terminal as well where major construction was going on underground for about a 2 year duration. He explained that massive amounts of dirt were kicked up in that area, noting that some type of underground activity was going on durring construction. Webb also notes that the desert has now been restored to its original look as sage brush and other plant and animal life has been restored.

And if all of this seems wild to you it is known that tunnel boring technology exists. In fact, publicly announced technologies can bore up to 19.5 meter wide holes. Wikipedia explains a, “tunnel boring machine (TBM) also known as a “mole”, is a machine used to excavate tunnels with a circular cross section through a variety of soil and rock strata. They can borethrough anything from hard rock to sand. Tunnel diameters can range from a metre (done with micro-TBMs) to 19.25 m to date. Tunnels of less than a metre or so in diameter are typically done using trenchless construction methods or horizontal directional drilling rather than TBMs.”

In fact, there is even a Tunnels and Underground Structures Committee known as TRB AFF60. Their official website states, “The AFF60 Tunneling committee is formed by a group of professionals from tunneling and underground construction industry who have been active in the transportation sector.  Tunneling experts from the owner, designer/engineer, contractors, and academia are members of this committee and in addition to their committee meeting, hold technical sessions and workshops to offer a forum for exchange of ideas and to educate and interface with the experts in the transportation industry.”

Other airports such as Washington’s Dulles International might be experiencing some new modifications along these lines as well. It looks like in most cases private contractors are hired for these projects as they are likely sworn to secrecy and or get hand outs via no bid contracts. A Washington Post writer, Bill Turque pointed out in 2007 that, “Secrecy is not the only issue surrounding the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995. The law was designed to jump-start expensive road and transit projects by attracting private-sector investment and corporate efficiency to the process. It allows the state to dispense with traditional competitive bidding and select a single private partner to design and build a project for a fixed price and profit.

It hasn’t quite worked that way. The private contractor, Dulles Transit Partners — a construction consortium of Bechtel Inc. and Washington Group International — has put no money into construction of the extension’s first phase, which would run from just east of the West Falls Church Metro station to Wiehle Avenue in Reston by 2012. The consortium will be reimbursed for the $15 million it has spent on preliminary engineering work if it reaches an agreement with the state.

Other public-private projects completed or underway, including Route 28 interchanges in Fairfax County and a portion of Route 288 in Powhatan and Goochland counties, also involve little or no private money. The Dulles extension, the first rail project proposed under the public-private law, would be funded entirely with federal, state and local dollars, including more than $1 billion from Fairfax landowners, businesses along the Dulles Toll Road and motorists who use the road.

“There are some real significant issues of secrecy, accountability, conflict of interest and failure to protect the public trust,” said Stewart Schwartz, executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, which advocates clustered development around transit stations.”

Turque demonstrates essentially how private contractors are utilized.

However, let’s get back to the Denver International Airport in Colorado. One thing is for sure, there is a massive pile of dirt on DIA’s property, and this isn’t the only airport with a pyramid on it, but that’s for another article. Google earth shows this massive pile of dirt that according to Avalon (an Intellihub.com writer/researcher) measures by the following dimensions:

 

  • Pyramid Base: Nearly 2500′ x 2500′
  • Height: Approximately 500 feet
  • Approximately 0.00283³ miles of earth

 

Other unconfirmed reports say there is possible a 4.5 cubic mile base and or underground city that exists directly under the airport.

It makes you wonder. This massive pile of dirt definitely came from somewhere.

There are also ventilation shafts that are large enough to fit a jumbo jet in on the property and a heavy amount of electromagnetic energy is reported to be present. Some speculate these are reactor ventilation shafts.

There have also been unconfirmed reports of acres of chain link fenced in cages toped with barb-wire pointing inward somewhere under the facility. The cages are arranged in a concentration camp/FEMA camp style fashion according to the reports.

Other unconfirmed reports indicate that there is a section of tunnel under the airport that is forbidden to go is as a mysterious infectious mold exists and could be a potential threat to human life.

Arizona passes law making gold and silver legal tender

 

(DailyMail) -States are now rushing to push bills through allowing for gold and silver to be recognized as legal tender as politicians fear that the U.S. economy is going to collapse.

The push from states like Arizona, which passed through their House of Representatives on Monday allowing gold and silver to be considered legal tender, comes as conservatives fear that the Federal Reserve is running the country’s economy into a deep hole.

Lawmakers say the global economy is on the precipice of financial ruin and the U.S. dollar could soon be worth less than the paper used to make it.

New money: More than a dozen states have pushed laws through so that gold and silver can be used as legal tenderNew money: More than a dozen states have pushed laws through so that gold and silver can be used as legal tender

These doomsayers are pushing forward legislation that would declare privately minted gold and silver coins legal tender, no different under state law than the U.S. dollar printed by the federal Department of Treasury.

Arizona is one of more than a dozen states to incorporate similar laws into their roster, as many conservatives are harboring a growing distrust in government-backed money.

‘This is the type of currency we have had over the history of mankind,’ Republican state Representative Steve Smith said of the Arizona law.

In 2011, Utah became the first state in the country to legalize gold and silver coins as currency.

Lawmakers in Minnesota, North Carolina, Idaho, South Carolina, Colorado and other states have debated similar laws in recent years.

Many investors have invested their money in precious metals in recent years as a hedge against the declining value of the dollar.

Loss of faith: Conservative politicians are concerned about the economic policies put into place by Ben Bernanke during his time as the chairman of the federal reserveLoss of faith: Conservative politicians are concerned about the economic policies put into place by Ben Bernanke during his time as the chairman of the federal reserve

When the value of the dollar declines, gold prices rise.

Gold rose $12, nearly 1 per cent, to $1,604.60 per ounce on Monday with news of Europe’s bailout plan for cash-strapped Cyprus. Silver inched slightly higher, up 2.3 cents to $28.874 per ounce.

The dollar was up against the euro, the currency used by 17 European countries, as well as the Japanese yen and the Canadian dollar in February.

The Arizona bill, which advanced in a 4-2 vote by a House committee Monday, states that gold and silver should be legal currency not subject to tax or regulation as property.

The Republican-led Senate gave the bill its blessing in February in a 17-11 partisan vote.

Angry Arizonans: The Arizona House of Representatives passed the law through and now it continues through the process before it goes ahead an is enacted in the stateAngry Arizonans: The Arizona House of Representatives passed the law through and now it continues through the process before it goes ahead an is enacted in the state

Proponents of the switch to gold and silver argue paper money is too vulnerable to government manipulations.

When central banks boost the amount of currency in circulation to drive down interest rates, the value of that currency relative to others can decline.

Gold-backed money fell out of favor during World War I because the U.S. and many other countries needed to print more cash to pay for the war.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon formally abandoned the gold standard. Now Republicans are pushing for it to come back as they do not trust President Obama and the economic policies put into place by Ben Bernanke during his time as the chairman of the federal reserve.

Gun Manufacturer Leaves Connecticut Over New Laws And Warns That More Will Follow

gun owners of america

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A Connecticut gun manufacturer announced on Wednesday that it would leave the “former Constitution State,” one week after the state’s governor signed into law sweeping new gun legislation.In a statement blasting the new gun laws, semi-automatic rifle manufacturer PTR Industries said it has decided to move to another state.

“The safety of its children is at best questionably improved from the day of the tragedy that triggered the events that lead (sic) us here,” the company said in the statement.

“Finally, due to an improperly drafted bill, manufacturing of modern sporting rifles in the State of CT has been effectively outlawed. With a heavy heart but a clear mind, we have been forced to decide that our business can no longer survive in Connecticut – the former Constitution state.”

PTR encouraged other firearms manufacturers to follow suit:

“We feel that our industry as a whole will continue to be threatened so long as it remains in a state where its elected leaders have no regard for the rights of those who produce and manufacture its wealth.

We are making a call to all involved in our industry to leave this state, close your doors and show our politicians the true consequences of their hasty and uninformed actions. We encourage those in our industry to abandon this state as its leaders have abandoned the proud heritage that forged our freedom.”

The state’s new laws were hailed by Gov. Dannel Malloy as the toughest in the nation, and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said they should be a “model for the nation.”

Larry Keane, the senior vice president of the National Sports Shooting Foundation, the powerful gun lobby located in Newtown, Conn., warned that the new laws could entice additional gun manufacturers to move out of the state. He also hinted that there could be a legal challenge to the laws.

Connecticut is home to a large number of gun and ammunition companies, including the iconic Colt Manufacturing Co.

Keane told Business Insider that the CEO of at least one other gun company besides PTR had expressed a desire to move. He thinks that more manufacturers are looking to get out of what many perceive as an increasingly hostile environment to gun owners, noting comments made by Malloy last weekend comparing NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre to “one of the clowns at the circus.”

“We’re upset with the governor’s comments,” Keane said, adding that they were “offensive” and “slanderous” to gun manufacturers.

Keane pointed to a letter Malloy sent gun manufacturers last month, in which the governor wrote that he hoped “you continue to stay in our state.”

In an interview last week, Blumenthal dismissed concerns that manufacturers would leave the state.

“Gun manufacturers are like other businesses in looking for the highest quality workforce, the best business environment in terms of transportation and taxes and other features unrelated to any regulatory action,” Blumenthal said.

“Their markets are national. What happens in Connecticut affects only purchases here.”

CT Gov: Gun Companies Don’t Care, Will Sell to Criminals & Mentally Ill

Connecticut Governor Malloy

s

Washington DC – -(Ammoland.com)- During an April 7 2013 appearance on CNN, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said gun companies “don’t care” who buys their guns. He claimed these companies would sell to the “deranged, even if they are mentally ill, even if they have a criminal background.”

According to Malloy, the bottom line for gun companies is simply that they “sell guns,” period.

These come across as “in your face” comments  to gun companies who watched Malloy sign 139 pages of new gun controls into law on April 4. These were laws that gun companies had warned they wouldn’t tolerate–laws that they couldn’t tolerate economically because they ban the in-state sale some of the very products Conn. companies like Colt, Ruger, Stag Arms, and Mossberg make.

In the wake of the new gun bans, “assault weapons” manufacturer PTR has announced it is leaving the state and taking its jobs and revenue with it. The company says Malloy’s new gun requirements are so stringent that every rifle PTR makes would be banned in the state, and every magazine the company makes would require a serial number and registration.

But in Gov. Malloy’s opinion, gun companies are just ruthless outfits that sell guns to anyone at anytime–“they don’t care.”

Maybe the citizens of Conn. will care if PTR is followed out of state by another gun company, and then another, and then another. And soon, the already extant economic downturn, the largest taxe hike in history–signed by Malloy in 2011–and the loss of 3,000 jobs in the gun industry may wake some people up.

About:
AWR Hawkins writes for all the BIG sites, for Pajamas Media, for RedCounty.com, for Townhall.com and now AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

His southern drawl is frequently heard discussing his take on current events on radio shows like America’s Morning News, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, the Ken Pittman Show, and the NRA’s Cam & Company, among others. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal (summer 2010), and he holds a PhD in military history from Texas Tech University.

R

School: Americans Don’t Have Right to Bear Arms

 

(Todd Starnes) – The father of a Connecticut child is furious after discovering that his son’s school is teaching students that Americans don’t have a Second Amendment right to bear arms.

“I am appalled,” said Steven Boibeaux, of Bristol. “It sounds to me like they are trying to indoctrinate our kids.”

Boibeaux’s son is an eighth grader at Northeast Middle School. On Monday his social studies teacher gave students a worksheet titled, ‘The Second Amendment Today.’

“The courts have consistently determined that the Second Amendment does not ensure each individual the right to bear arms,” the worksheet states. “The courts have never found a law regulating the private ownership of weapons unconstitutional.amendment

The worksheet, published by Instructional Fair, goes on to say that the Second Amendment is not incorporated against the states.

“This means that the rights of this amendment are not extended to the individual citizens of the states,” the worksheet reads. “So a person has no right to complain about a Second Amendment violation by state laws.”

According to the document, the Second Amendment “only provides the right of a state to keep an armed National Guard.”

Boibeaux said he discovered the worksheet as he was going over his son’s homework assignments.

“I’m more than a little upset about this,” he told Fox News. “It’s not up to the teacher to determine what the Constitution means.”

Mat Staver, the founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel, called the lesson propaganda – that is “absolutely false.”

“In fact, the US Supreme Court has affirmed that the Second Amendment ensures the individual the right to bear arms,” Staver told Fox News. “The progressive interpretation of the Second Amendment is that it doesn’t give you the right to bear arms – that it’s a corporate right of the government – but that has been rejected by the Courts.”

Boibeaux’s son’s teacher also told the students that the Constitution is a “living document.”

As noted in the worksheet provided to students – that means “the interpretation changes to meet the needs of the times.”

“The judges and courts of each generation provide the interpretation of the document,” the worksheet states.

Boibeaux called that concept mind-boggling.

It’s not up to the teacher to determine what the Constitution means,” he said. “If you want to learn about the Constitution, recite it word for word.”

Staver said the idea that the Constitution is a living document is another progressive tactic.

“This idea that this school is propagating that the Constitution can simply be changed at the whim of someone – or that the Second Amendment does not protect the individual right to bear arms is absolute propaganda and absolutely false,” Staver said.

Boibeaux said he’s demanding meetings with the principal as well as the board of education.

“I just don’t appreciate this as a parent,” he said. “I expect teachers to teach my kids and tell the truth – not what they think their point of view is.”

Ellen Solek, the superintendent of the school district, told Fox News they have now decided to pull the assignment from the classroom.

“It is no longer an assignment in that particular school,” she said, noting that it was an “administration decision in the best interest of the district.”

She refused to answer any questions about the content of the lesson, how it became a part of the curriculum or how many students were assigned the lesson. She also refused to acknowledge whether the school will apologize to students and parents.

“No comment, thank you,” she said.

Man Faces Charges After Defending Himself from a Bear in His Own Yard

Anthony Hopkins in The Edge

(Reason) -Richard Ahlstrand, of Auburn, Massachusetts, faces criminal charges after encountering a bear in his back yard and shooting the damned thing to avoid being mauled or eaten. Specifically, as noted at Reason 24/7, he’s charged with “illegally killing a bear, illegally baiting a bear, illegal possession of a firearm and failure to secure a firearm.” All of these charges, once translated from Massachusetts to American, seem to stack up to outrage that Ahlstrand didn’t make his yard completely inhospitable to animals that are rarely seen in the area, and then investigated a suspicious noise with a weapon in hand rather than cower under the bed. Worst of all, he actually defended himself when he encountered danger.

According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Ahlstrand had a 50-gallon drum of birdseed in his backyard, and this appears to be the basis of the “baiting”charge against him. Leaving the birdseed outside might be considered a foolish idea in an area where bears are known to congregate, but the same article quotes the police chief claiming that “bear are not common in Auburn” with the last such sighting about a year ago. So Ahlstrand shouldn’t have had birdseed because … ?

When confronted by the bear, Ahlstrand had a shotgun with him — in his own backyard, remember — because he’d heard a noise and thought he’d seen a bear the day before.

From CBS Boston:

Richard Ahlstrand told WBZ-TV he was stocking his bird feeder Friday night when a bear about seven feet tall and 300-to-400 pounds started chasing him.

That’s when he turned his shotgun on the bear.

“I didn’t have time to aim through the sights, but I aimed in the direction of the head on this thing and I pulled the trigger before it got to me.  It just dropped,” he said.

Ahlstrand said he was carrying the shotgun Friday night because he thought he saw the bear in his yard Thursday.

The police version from the Telegram:

Chief Sluckis said the bear is believed to have been attracted to a 50-gallon drum of birdseed Mr. Ahlstrand had in his backyard. He said Mr. Ahlstrand told police he heard a noise outside and felt in fear of his life.

“He went back inside, retrieved a shotgun and decided to shoot the bear,” Chief Sluckis said. “Obviously we believe if Mr. Ahlstrand was truly in fear for his life he would have stayed secured in his home and would have called the police.”

I’ve lived in Boston and Worcester both, sad to say, and so I’m fairly certain that official Massachusetts policy is that people should dial 911 and then curl into a fetal position whenever they hear a curious noise. But living in the wide open spaces of Arizona, as I do, I’m called upon to investigate suspicious noises fairly frequently. Which is to say, my wife slaps me in the head to rouse me from a sound sleep, says “I heard something,” and then the dogs and I go scare the hell out of a javelina or a coyote. We don’t call the police because who the hell calls the police over every creak and rustle? But I always carry a gun because meaner, hungrier creatures than me roam the landscape. Should I come across one on my property, I’m going to shoot it. My attitude is much the same as what Ahlstrand told CBS:

“They got me set up now like I’m some kind of murderer.  And then the environmental guy told me ‘You should have called me instead of shooting it.’  What was I going to do, say ‘Mister Bear would excuse me please while I go make a phone call?’”

In both the Telegram and CBS articles, “authorities” are quoted as saying they don’t think the bear was a threat to people. I suppose it’s possible that the black bears in Massachusetts are a kinder, gentler breed than the one that mauled a man near Payson, Arizona, last June. Or the one that tore up a woman in the same area in May. And then there was the bear that did a job on a woman near Pinetop …

This isn’t to say that bears are usually dangerous or should always be shot — not by any means. And the fact that something wild like that still roams free in so many places makes the great outdoors that much more interesting, so far as I’m concerned. But anybody who finds himself being chased across his yard by a big, toothy bear has good reason to feel a bit of concern and to take some action.

As for Auburn Police Chief Andrew J. Sluckis Jr. … He should be sent out at night, unarmed of course, to make friends with some of those big, fuzzy creatures that are “not a threat to people.”

Police Poll: Armed Citizens, NOT Gun Control, Will Lower Violent Crime

Gun Shop Wall

Washington DC – -(Ammoland.com)- In a poll conducted by PoliceOne, a majority of law enforcement personnel said universal background checks, “assault weapons” bans, and “high capacity” magazine bans do not make police safer and will not lower violent crime. Armed citizens, on the other hand, do make a positive difference.

In the poll of 15,000 law enforcement professionals, 71% of respondents said an “assault weapons” ban would have zero impact on violent crime. Of those surveyed, 95.7% said the same of a “high capacity” magazine ban, and 79.7% said the same in response to a question on universal background checks.

Over 90% of these law enforcement professionals said “mandatory sentences with no plea bargains” for those who use a gun in perpetrating a crime would reduce violent crime.

When asked if they supported concealed carry laws for citizens without a felony in their past, 91.3% of respondents answered “yes” on “without question and without further restrictions.”

Additionally, 80% of these law enforcement professionals also agreed that casualties at Sandy Hook Elementary would “have likely been reduced” if “legally-armed citizens” had been in the school.

Obama to propose $580 billion in new taxes

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks on measures to reduce gun violence, at the University of Hartford in Connecticut April 8, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

 

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday will issue a greatest hits list of ideas to raise $580 billion in new tax revenues over a decade, including a minimum tax on the wealthy and putting an end to some corporate tax breaks, administration officials said.

The president’s 2014 budget proposal, expected to be released in full later on Wednesday, has no chance of moving forward in the divided U.S. Congress. But as lawmakers consider a revamp of the tax code and face a deadline on the government’s debt limit this summer, some Obama measures could play a role.

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The bid will revive Obama’s offer last year to Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner during the negotiations to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of looming tax hikes and spending cuts.

Senior administration official previewed the budget on condition of anonymity to reporters ahead of the release.

Obama will officially propose a new “Buffett tax” named for investor Warren Buffett that phases in a minimum 30 percent tax rate on household income above $1 million, the advisors said.

He had earlier backed the idea but not included it in his budget proposals.

The White House also will bring back a long-running proposal to cap itemized deductions and exemptions among wealthier taxpayers – starting at household income of roughly $250,000.

The cap would apply to the same list of deductions in years past, officials said. That includes the charitable tax break and the exemption for municipal bond interest.

Obama is not seeking to raise individual tax rates as he has in prior budgets, according to a White House document. For years, he sought to raise rates on household income above $250,000.

The fiscal cliff deal raised rates for households earning more than $450,000 a year, from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.

Also in the budget is ending the tax break for “carried interest” profits earned by fund managers like those who run private equity and other investment firms, officials said.

Administration officials also said to expect the White House to pitch familiar ideas to limit energy tax breaks, curb tax shifting to low-tax countries like the Cayman Islands, and a bid to end a tax break for corporate jets.

Obama proposes cutting the top U.S. corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 35 percent, now the highest in the industrialized world.

Obama has said that he backs a full-scale revamp of the entire tax code, both individual and corporate, and a White House summary called the budget proposals a “down payment.”

Top tax-writers in Congress also back a tax rewrite, but the process is fraught with disagreement over how to streamline the code and whether to raise new revenue in the process.

Reid’s Gun Control Bill Makes a Missing Firearm a Ticket to Five Years in Prison

 

(The Foundry) – Under Senator Harry Reid’s (D-NV) gun control bill (S. 649), if somebody steals your firearm or you lose it, you can go to prison for up to five years if you have not reported the theft or loss to local police and to Attorney General Eric Holder within 24 hours.

The provision merits ridicule for treating as a felon someone who misplaces a firearm and does not report it to the police and the federal government fast enough.

Section 123 of the Reid bill adds a new provision to section 922 of title 18 of the U.S. Code:

It shall be unlawful for any person who lawfully possesses or owns a firearm that has been shipped or transported in, or has been possessed in or affecting, interstate or foreign commerce, to fail to report the theft or loss of the firearm, within 24 hours after the person discovers the theft or loss, to the Attorney General and to the appropriate local authorities.

It also amends section 924 of title 18 so that a violation of the 24-hour reporting requirement committed “knowingly” is punishable by up to five years in prison or a criminal fine, or both. To punish someone who “knowingly” violates the 24-hour rule might sound reasonable to some people—until you know what a lawyer means by the word “knowingly” when it comes to a criminal statute.

The Supreme Court said in Bryan v. U.S. in 1994 that when a federal statute punishes someone for a crime committed “willfully,” the federal government must prove at trial that the individual knew that his conduct was unlawful. However, the Court also said that, when the statute provides that the government must prove merely that the crime was committed “knowingly,” the government does not have to prove that the individual knew that his or her conduct was unlawful. Thus, an individual who knew his or her gun was missing and did not report it to local authorities and the Attorney General in 24 hours would potentially face five years in prison.

It is not reasonable to send an individual to prison for up to five years for failing to tell local authorities and the federal government, within 24 hours, that his or her firearm is lost or was stolen, given that a reasonable person would never know that failure to make such a report, let alone within 24 hours, is a crime. Even someone who has the presence of mind to report promptly to local police or the sheriff’s office that a firearm is missing would be highly unlikely to know that such a report to local authorities was not good enough and that he or she must tell the Attorney General of the United States, too.

It is one thing to assign a legal duty to a firearms owner to report missing firearms, but it is quite another thing to exercise the draconian power of the federal government to make failing in that duty a federal crime. It is doubly inappropriate to give someone prison time for failing to tell the Attorney General that his or her gun was missing, when no reasonable person would know that failing to make such a report within 24 hours was a federal crime.

Also, the drafters of the legislation failed to take sufficiently into account the nature of rural life and hunting in the United States. Some people who own firearms within the United States do not have the ability to communicate with anybody (let alone the Attorney General of the United States) within 24 hours—think, for example, of a hunter deep in the wilds of Alaska who loses a firearm in a river.

Under no circumstances should Congress make it a federal crime to fail to report a missing firearm within 24 hours to local authorities and the Attorney General. It is an unreasonable use of power to define as a federal crime conduct that no reasonable person would know was a federal crime.

Chinese colonel says latest bird flu virus is U.S. biological weapon

AP

 

(Free Beacon) -A Chinese Air Force officer on Saturday accused the U.S. government of creating the new strain of bird flu now afflicting parts of China as a biological warfare attack.

People’s Liberation Army Sr. Col. Dai Xu said the United States released the H7N9 bird flu virus into China in an act of biological warfare, according to a posting on his blog on Saturday.

The charge was first reported in the state-run Guangzhou newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily and then picked up by several news outlets in Asia.

State Department spokesman Jason Rebholz dismissed the claim. “There is absolutely no truth to these allegations,” he told the Washington Free Beacon.

Seven deaths from the bird flu outbreak were reported as of Tuesday in state-run Chinese media. As many as 24 people reportedly were infected by the disease in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui.

Chinese authorities are trying to calm public fears of a major epidemic, claiming there is no evidence the virus can be transmitted between humans.

The government also is claiming that the outbreak is not related to the recent discovery of thousands of dead pigs floating in a river in China.

The accusation of U.S. biological warfare against China comes as the Pentagon is seeking closer military relations with China. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is set to travel to China for talks with Chinese military leaders later this month.

Dai is a military strategist who in the past has been outspoken in seeking to foment conflict between China and the United States. He told the Global Times in August that China should go to war over U.S. support for Japan’s claims to the disputed Senkaku Islands.

Writing on Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site akin to Twitter, Dai stated that the new bird flu strain was designed as a biological weapon similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which he also claimed was developed as a U.S. bio-weapon, that affected the country in 2003.

According to Dai’s posting, the new flu outbreak should not be a cause for concern. “The national leadership should not pay too much attention to it,” the PLA lecturer at the National Defense University wrote. “Or else, it’ll be like in 2003 with SARS!”

“At that time, America was fighting in Iraq and feared that China would take advantage of the opportunity to take other actions,” he said. “This is why they used bio-psychological weapons against China. All of China fell into turmoil and that was exactly what the United States wanted. Now, the United States is using the same old trick. China should have learned its lesson and should calmly deal with the problem.”

Dai said that even if “a few may die” from the flu outbreak, it will not equal one-thousandth of the deaths caused by vehicle accidents in China.

Dai in the past has called for China to punish the United States for U.S. arms sales to rival Taiwan, by selling arms to U.S. enemies. “China recognizes that a few perfunctory protests will not have any effect,” Dai said in 2010. “China can’t directly sanction American arms companies since they did not do business with China … but China can sanction companies that are doing business with China directly, like Boeing or General Electric.”

Dai also has said the United States has used crises with North Korea and offers of cooperation on the issue as a plot to drive a wedge between Beijing and its fraternal communist ally.

Dai also has said U.S. efforts to counter Chinese espionage and intelligence-gathering were part of a U.S. “plot theory” of “western countries threatening others by [releasing] information gained through spying in order to damage the reputations of other countries.”

A State Department official said China notified the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 31 about its first detected human cases of H7N9 infection. Fourteen cases were confirmed by the WHO by April 5, of which six were fatal. The organization said there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

“U.S. Embassy Beijing and U.S. Consulate Shanghai are monitoring the situation, working closely with counterparts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and the Beijing and Shanghai municipal governments,” the official said.

The colonel’s accusation provoked a widespread response on Chinese websites. One post in reaction joked that Dai’s comment about auto deaths must mean that the United States and Germany are responsible for a conspiracy to produce cars, according to a report in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post.

Luo Changping, deputy editor of Caijing, said most PLA soldiers would not support Dai’s comments and he urged the colonel to resign and apologize to those who have died from the current bird flu outbreak.

A defiant Dai then said in a new posting Sunday that “it is common knowledge that a group of people in China have been injected with mental toxin by the United States.”

“Now, a group of fake American devils are attacking me,” he wrote in another post. “I will not retreat even half a step.”

Analysts say the colonel’s remarks are a reflection of the growing xenophobic atmosphere within the Chinese military that views the United States as its main enemy.

Former State Department intelligence analyst John Tkacik said China’s military was largely to blame for mishandling the 2003 outbreak of SARS. Tkacik said there was speculation when the epidemic began that “the PLA suspects SARS had emanated from its own biological laboratories and was all the more eager to keep it secret.” China is known to have a covert biological arms program.

“Col. Dai Xu is a shameless liar when he accuses the United States of using bio weapons,” Tkacik told the Free Beacon. “He’s probably motivated by a desire to exculpate the PLA for their mishandling of the epidemic—no doubt most Chinese have happily forgotten the episode—as much as by a cynical xenophobia. But, that’s what passes for deep strategic thought at China’s National Defense University these days.”

The Pentagon has been trying with varying success to develop closer ties to the Chinese military as part of a strategy aimed at building trust. However, China’s military leaders believe the U.S. offers of closer ties are a ruse designed to contain China’s growing military buildup.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by phone with China’s Defense Minister Gen. Chang Wanquan on April 2. Chang is the No. 4 defense official after Chinese President Xi Jinping and two other generals who run the Central Military Commission, the Communist Party’s ultimate power organ.

“The leaders both expressed their intention to work together to continue to build a military-to-military relationship that serves the vision of both President Obama and President Xi,” Pentagon press secretary George Little said in a statement after the call.

“The secretary discussed the importance of focusing on areas of sustained dialogue, practical areas of cooperation, and risk reducing measures,” he said.

U.S. ties with China are strained due to China’s reluctance to rein in neighboring North Korea.

China provides North Korea with large amounts of fuel oil and other goods. However, Beijing has not taken steps to pressure Pyongyang using its economic leverage during the ongoing crisis.

The flu has lit up China’s thriving Internet, according to analysts. Over 945,600 microblog postings addressed the flu between April 8 and 9. Since the outbreak began some seven days ago, between 1.3 million and 3 million postings were put online on outlets including Sina Weibo and QQ Weibo.

Tens of thousands of users expressed doubts about the official Shanghai municipal government’s denial of any link between the dead pigs found floating last month in the region’s Huangpu River.

The proximity to the initial outbreak in Shanghai and the river has led to speculation that the pig deaths may have been linked to the flu virus jumping from animals to humans.

That speculation was fueled by reports that one of the victims of the flu was a pig butcher.

The avian flu strain is similar to an earlier outbreak with a significant difference: The current strain does not kill the birds it infects, making it more difficult to identify infected poultry.

The Shanghai government waited 20 days before announcing the first H7N9 infection on March 31.

(Morning Humor) Dog Eats Man’s Cash, Owner wants the Feds to swap the money out

(CAV News) Did you ever use the gag and told your teacher that ‘my dog at the homework.’ Well this is taking it to another extreme, but seriously after reading this excerpt, I think we should give a standing ovation for this gentleman’s effort in trying to retrieve $500 dollars out of the stools of his 12-year-old retriever.

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FROM AP:

A Montana man whose 12-year-old golden retriever ate five $100 bills hopes to be reimbursed by the federal government.

Wayne Klinkel tells the Independent Record that his dog Sundance ate the bills while he and his wife were on a road trip to visit their daughter.

Klinkel says he carefully picked through the dog’s droppings, and his daughter recovered more when snow melted.

He says he washed the remnants of the bills and taped them together and sent them to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing with an explanation of what happened.

The bureau’s website says an “experienced mutilated currency examiner” will determine if at least 51 percent of a bill is present and eligible for reimbursement. The process can take up to two years.

 

 

Exxon’s terrible two weeks.

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(CAV News) – First we shared the story that it appeared Exxon ,thanks to a technicality ,would be getting out paying for a spill that wasn’t technically considered “oil.”

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FROM RT: 

The central Arkansas spill caused by Exxon’s aging Pegasus pipeline has reportedly unleashed 10,000 barrels of Canadian heavy crude – but a technicality says it’s not oil, letting the energy giant off the hook from paying into a national cleanup fund.

Legally speaking, diluted bitumen like the heavy crude that’s overrun Mayflower, Arkansas, is not classified as ‘oil’. And it’s that very distinction that exempts Exxon from contributing to the government’s oil spillage cleanup fund.

22 people were evacuated forced into hotels, with thousands of “oily like” barrels swarming the streets in an Arkansas town. This left many outraged as many didn’t even know the town of Mayflower had a pipeline.

Here’s what a resident told RT:

RT: Have there been any local protests against ExxonMobil regarding the spill? How are Mayflower residents reacting?

CH: There is some anger. There was some shock in the community. A lot of people weren’t even aware that the pipeline ran through the area. There was a community meeting on Saturday afternoon with some Exxon officials present, and there was a lot of frustration shown at the meeting. Very few answers were given, and the people in attendance were quite angry.

However, Exxon has come out to say they will pay for the clean up costs that flooded the Mayflower streets, killing four ducks and forcing over 20 evacuations. They also denied any claim that they were never going to clean up the spill.

Then today, according to AP, jurors in New Hampshire hit the Texas-based company, Exxon, with a $236 million in damages to fix groundwater contamination.  This is by far the states largest verdict.

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Even though it appears that Exxon will be paying out of their ass with clean up costs, according to the article it only represents two days profit for the company.

FROM AP:

 

Fadel Gheit, managing director of oil and gas research and a senior analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., said the verdict won’t put a dent in Exxon Mobil’s bottom line.

“Exxon will probably make close to a $40 billion profit this year,” Gheit said. “That’s two days’ work.”

He said it’s no surprise that Exxon Mobil would take the state’s 10-year-old contamination lawsuit to trial, saying the company “will make you sweat for every dollar you think you’re going to get.” Company leaders view it as a matter of principle, he said.

Jurors found that Exxon Mobil was negligent in adding MTBE to its gasoline and that MTBE was a defective product. They also found Exxon Mobil liable for failing to warn distributors and consumers about its contaminating characteristics.

 

Sources: ABC News, RT, Associated Press

 

 

38 Montana Republicans vote to keep gay sex a felony

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(Digital Journal) -Helena – More than three dozen Republican state lawmakers in Montana voted against advancing a bill that would decriminalize gay sex in the state.
Homosexual sex is technically a felony in Montana. Gay sex is classed as “deviate sexual conduct” under a 1973 statute that is unenforceable due to a 1997 state Supreme Court decision and similar US Supreme Court rulings. On Monday, the Montana House of Representatives advanced a bill that would repeal the 1973 law. The House voted 60-38 to take Senate Bill 107 out of the Judiciary Committee and place it on the agenda for a full House vote. Twenty-one Republicans joined the minority Democrats in voting to proceed with the measure, citing the privacy rights of all Montanans. But 38 Republican lawmakers voted against the measure, effectively seeking to keep gay sex a felony offense.
Rep. Krayton Kerns of Laurel was one of the Republicans who voted against advancing SB 107.
“There is an enormous biblical principle here,” Kerns explained last week. “There is a truth. I know that public opinion may be swaying with the time but the truth does not sway and so it was default to scripture.
” The “biblical truth” to which Kerns referred can be summarized by the following Bible passages: -Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination. (Leviticus 18:22) -If a man also lie with mankind, as he lie with woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)
Kerns said it was the height of hypocrisy for the House to open each legislative session with a prayer and then ignore the Bible’s prohibition of homosexuality.
“If we abandon our moral compass, we will lose our country,” Kerns warned. “It’s a simple as that.” Kerns implied that LGBT Montanans lacked “moral character.”
Kerns’ stance, and the fact that 38 Republicans effectively voted to keep gay sex a felony, incensed Rep. Amanda Curtis (D-Butte)
 “It was so hard to sit through that and not walk across the floor and punch him,” Curtis said of Kerns in a video uploaded on YouTube. “That’s so offensive. Talk about starting a fight.” “
…To say that our friends and our neighbors and our brothers and sisters and our cousins, aunts and uncles should be felons, and we support this because the Bible says so?… It’s wrong,”
Curtis railed, accusing two of the Republican lawmakers who oppose the bill of “promoting hate.” Curtis praised Republican lawmaker Steve Gibson of East Helena for doing a “beautiful job” of condemning his homophobic colleagues
. Rep. Bryce Bennet (D-Missoula), who made the motion to advance SB 107 to a full house vote, spoke in favor of ending what he believes is the discriminatory criminalization of gay sex. “Under this law, I am considered a felon,” Bennet said.
“I am not your equal.” In Virginia, state attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli made headlines last week after he filed a petition in a federal court asking it to reconsider its decision to overturn that state’s unconstitutional anti-sodomy law, which bans oral and anal sex between consenting adults, both gay and straight.

 

Hey everyone look at where $3million of your taxdollars went to:Now Your iPhone Can Read Fingerprints, Scan Irises and ID Your Face

(Wired) -AOptix has built a biometrics tool that turns your iPhone 4 & 4S into a device that reads a person’s most unique physical features. Photo: AOptix

Cops and soldiers may soon be able to pull out their iPhones to track the eyes, facial features, voice and fingerprints of suspected criminals and combatants.

The California-based company AOptix rolled out a new hardware and app package that transforms an iPhone into a mobile biometric reader. As first reported by Danger Room in February, AOptix is the recipient of a $3 million research contract from the Pentagon for its on-the-go biometrics technology.

Opting for what it considers ease of use, the company decided to build its latest biometrics package, which it calls Stratus, atop an iPhone. A peripheral covering wraps around the phone — it’s an inch and a half thick, three inches wide and six inches tall — while the AOptix Stratus app presents a user interface familiar to any iOS user. Except you’re not going to be recording Vine videos, you’re going to be recording the most unique physical features of another human being.

“From an end-user perspective, it’s much, much smaller, lighter and easier to use an app-based capability” than the bulky biometrics tools currently in military use, Joey Pritikin, an AOptix vice president, tells Danger Room. “Anyone who’s used an iPhone before can pick this up and use it.”

 

Here’s a look at the user interface on the AOptix Stratus iPhone app for when you’re trying to scan someone’s face. Image: AOptix.

The Stratus system is designed to be a “single-handed” device, Pritikin explains. Load the app and tap for iris scanning or facial recognition. The imaging display, readable from about 11 inches distant and using nothing more than the iPhone’s camera, will automatically focus and snap the shot. The phone’s ambient microphone handles voice recording, but fingerprint scanning comes from the back of the Stratus peripheral wraparound, not the iPhone’s touchscreen. Unlike a similar product from Tactivo, there’s no smartcard reader, but it scans more biometric data than someone’s fingerprint.

Anyone who’s ever used an iPhone will also be familiar with the Stratus app’s user experience for typing in annotations to the biometrics collected: small fields that look like any other iOS text feature allow quick notations. Standard iPhone geo-tagging is easy to enable, as a demo walkthrough AOptix showed Danger Room demonstrated. SMTP email functions transmit the biometric information back to a customer’s database. And an open architecture allows Stratus customers to develop their own add-ons.

But Stratus “is not a 99-cent application,” clarifies Amanda North, AOptix’s marketing vice president. The app sells for $199, and the company isn’t disclosing how much its peripheral costs. While conceivably any individual who wants to drop that much money can rig his or her iPhone for biometric collection can, “it’s not a consumer application,” North says.

It’s also not designed for every iPhone: AOptix built Stratus for the iPhone 4 and 4S, citing what it says was customer request. It doesn’t work with the iPhone 5, and the company isn’t saying what its plans are for future iPhone upgrades.

AOptix doesn’t specify its customers, but they’re from the U.S. government: Pritikin says the company has “substantial interest across a wide variety of agencies, not just DOD [the Department of Defense].” At a time of government austerity, it’s a bit curious that the company would have picked high-end Apple devices for its mobile biometrics platform: the Army, for instance, likes cheaper Android phones. Pritikin says AOptix chose iOS because it’s “a much more secure platform.”

The company may not intend Stratus to be a standard consumer product. And its expensive app and hardware may dissuade the average iPhone user from operating a biometrics collection suite from his or her pocket. But the Stratus is just the latest example of how sensitive biometrics data is increasingly collectable through readily available commercial devices.

U.S. Commandos in 75 Countries Are Teaching Militaries to Torture, Kill, and Abuse Civilians

u.s., commandos, in, 75, countries, are, teaching, militaries, to, torture,, kill,, and, abuse, civilians, US Commandos in 75 Countries Are Teaching Militaries to Torture Kill and Abuse Civilians

(PolicyMIC) -While aggressive war, drone strikes, and a global network of military bases are the most visible aspects of American hegemonic power, what is often overlooked is the U.S. policy of training, assisting, and subsidizing foreign militaries. Although these actions are largely covert and discreet, they serve the same purpose of hegemonic control, diminish peace and national security, and help contribute to the subjugation of foreign citizens.

The training of foreign militaries to serve the interests of the American state goes all the way back to at least the Cold War. The U.S. used taxpayer money and weapons to subsidize foreign governments and militaries that were “anti-communist” even if the regimes were incredibly brutal and ruthless. All an authoritarian had to do was refer to his political opponents as “communists” and the Americans came rushing in.

In nearly every continent, the U.S. taught extremely fascistic, right-wing governments the art of cracking down on domestic dissent, jailing and torturing political opponents, centralizing power, making deals beneficial to American corporations, and employing death squads. Cheaper and less visible than directly invading and overthrowing governments the U.S. didn’t like, sock puppet dictators were the preferred means of implementing policy.

The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 left very little justification for an American imperial position throughout the globe, yet those same Cold War policies were not only not discarded, but expanded upon. Back in 2010, President Obama and the Pentagon began implementing a strategy with a larger emphasis on “combat operations” and military-to-military coordination. U.S. Special Forces are now operating in (at least) 75 countries, teaching their governments more efficient means of subjugating their populations, creating chaos, and serving the interests of the American empire.

Syria is the most recent example of this policy. While publicly claiming that the U.S. is helping build schools and hospitals in Syria, the Associated Press and New York Times reports document that the U.S. is training and arming Syrian “rebels” opposing the Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad. With the help of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, most of the weapons are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, many of whom belonging to groups that just a few years ago were killing U.S. Marines in Iraq.

President Obama, secretly and without the consent of Congress, sent more than 150 Special Forces to Jordan to train the anti-Assad fighters on the use of sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons.

What is even more disturbing is that the Syrian “rebels” have most likely already used chemical weapons, have a reputation for beheading prisoners, and that U.S. support is prolonging the conflict in the region. The reasons for U.S. intervention are of course complicated and multifaceted, but it most likely has to do with attempts to destabilize Iran’s strongest ally and what the Romans called divide et impera.

Syria may be the most dangerous example of the Obama administration’s enhanced policy of covert military training and assistance, but unfortunately it is nowhere near the only one. In Mali, along with building a brand new drone base, U.S. AFRICOM chief General Carter Ham admitted that while training Mali’s military, they “skipped ethics.” Targeting dissidents based on ethnicity and executing them is a staple of the U.S.-trained Mali government.

In Indonesia, the Obama administration resumed training and assisting an elite Indonesian military unit whose members have been convicted of massive human rights abuses in East Timor. U.S.-trained forces in Guatemala have incredibly close ties to some of the region’s most violent drug cartels and are notorious for their brutal treatment of civilians during the Guatemalan civil war.

A report from the Washington Office on Latin America details a U.S. policy called “the Merida Initiative” designed to “help the region’s militaries take on internal security roles” and use American police to train local police. Although President Obama publicly denounced the 2009 military coup in Honduras, Wikileaks cables later revealed that the Obama administration had members of the State Department meet with the illegitimate new Honduran “president” to help coordinate the implementation of the Merida Initiative.

The policy of militarizing, arming, and subsidizing foreign governments, especially those with well-known and documented human rights abuses and commissions of war crimes, appears to be a staple of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. But these policies help contribute to the spread of dictatorships, humanitarian crises, and instability while making the possibility of resentment and blowback much more likely.

It is becoming more and more clear that the bipartisan consensus policy of military interventionism is a threat to peace and security. Neutrality and non-intervention, as the Founders recommended, is a far more practical alternative and is still the best way to spread the American values our politicians are so fond of endorsing.

IRS High-Tech Tools Track Your Digital Footprints The IRS has quietly upgraded its technology so tax collectors can track virtually everything people do online

(USNews)- The Internal Revenue Service is collecting a lot more than taxes this year—it’s also acquiring a huge volume of personal information on taxpayers’ digital activities, from eBay auctions to Facebook posts and, for the first time ever, credit card and e-payment transaction records, as it expands its search for tax cheats to places it’s never gone before.

The IRS, under heavy pressure to help Washington out of its budget quagmire by chasing down an estimated $300 billion in revenue lost to evasions and errors each year, will start using “robo-audits” of tax forms and third-party data the IRS hopes will help close this so-called “tax gap.” But the agency reveals little about how it will employ its vast, new network scanning powers.

Tax lawyers and watchdogs are concerned about the sweeping changes being implemented with little public discussion or clear guidelines, and Congressional staff sources say the IRS use of “big data” will be a key issue when the next IRS chief comes to the Senate for approval. Acting commissioner Steven T. Miller replaced Douglas Shulman last November.

[Read: Are You Taking the Right Tax Deductions?]

“It’s well-known in the tax community, but not many people outside of it are aware of this big expansion of data and computer use,” says Edward Zelinsky, a tax law expert and professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and Yale Law School. “I am sure people will be concerned about the use of personal information on databases in government, and those concerns are well-taken. It’s appropriate to watch it carefully. There should be safeguards.” He adds that taxpayers should know that whatever people do and say electronically can and will be used against them in IRS enforcement.

IRS’s big data tracking. Consumers are already familiar with Internet “cookies” that track their movements and send them targeted ads that follow them to different websites. The IRS has brought in private industry experts to employ similar digital tracking—but with the added advantage of access to Social Security numbers, health records, credit card transactions and many other privileged forms of information that marketers don’t see.

“Private industry would be envious if they knew what our models are,” boasted Dean Silverman, the agency’s high-tech top gun who heads a group recruited from the private sector to update the IRS, in a comment reported in trade publications. The IRS did not respond to a request for an interview.

In trade presentations and public documents, the agency has said it will use a massively parallel computer system that can analyze data from different networks to find irregularities and suspicious activities.

Much of the work already has been automated to process and analyze electronic tax returns in current “robo-audits” that flag unusual behavior patterns. With IRS audit staff reduced by budget cuts this year, the agency will be forced to rely on computer-generated audits more than ever.

The agency declined to comment on how it will use its new technology. But agency officials have been outlining plans at industry conferences, working with IBM, EMC and other private-sector specialists. In presentations, officials have said they may use the big data for:

• Charting and analyzing social media such as Facebook

• Targeting audits by matching tax filings to social media or electronic payments

• Tracking individual Internet addresses and emailing patterns

• Sorting data in 32,000 categories of metadata and 1 million unique “attributes”

• Machine learning across “neural” networks

• Statistical and agent-based modeling

• Relationship analysis based on Social Security numbers and other personal identifiers

Officials have said much of the data will be used only for research. The agency’s economic forecasts and data are a key part of Washington’s budget infrastructure. Former commissioner Douglas Shulman said in an IRS statement that the technology will employ “billions of pieces of data” to target enforcement and to “detect and combat noncompliance.”

[Read: The Big Tax Shelter Many Financial Planners Overlook.]

U.S. Tax Court records show that information gathered from Facebook and eBay postings have been used by the IRS in defending tax challenges. Under a Freedom of Information Act disclosure obtained by privacy advocates at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the group published the IRS’s 38-page manual used to train auditors to search Internet addresses, Facebook postings and other social media to back audit enforcements.

In practice, the third-party data has been used only if the irregular returns merit more attention. In one much-cited example, IRS officials talk about prisoners who were filing false claims for energy tax credits for window replacements.

The agency, wary of public opinion about invasive audit practices, has pulled back from using so-called “social audits,” which, for example, might single out horse-racing enthusiasts or sailboaters for special attention. But by screening existing data for one million unique attributes, the agency can quietly create a DNA-like code to understand the economic behavior of any individual.

The IRS last year used a profiling test model to study 1,500 tax preparers with histories of reporting deficiencies and managed to recover $200 million. It cited the experience as proof that its data analysis works. Early this year, however, a new set of rules it developed for tax preparers was thrown out by a federal court who said the agency had overstepped its mandate. The IRS would not comment on whether the rules were based on its new screening tools.

Lots of computing power, for what? The agency’s computers can now load all U.S. tax returns in just 10 hours, compared with the four months it took just eight years ago, Jeff Butler, IRS director of research databases told the IBM TechAmerica conference last November. That leaves a lot of time for other uses. The IRS says it expects 80 percent of its tax returns to be filed electronically this year. That makes a total of 250 million returns filed, with $2 trillion in revenue.

But processing those returns uses only a fraction of the agency’s computing power. An entire year of tax returns amounts to 15 terabytes, or just 1.5 percent of the IRS storage of 1.2 petabytes (one quadrillion bits of information), based on public data from IRS presentations. The agency has expanded its data capacity by 1,000 percent in the past six years.

It also recently assembled $350 million in high-tech tools to do a lot of auditing, tracking and analyzing what people do on the Internet. The agency has used social media and other third-party sources in the past, but it has now increased its capability to so from its own growing database of networks.

Congressional staffers on the House Ways and Means Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation, both of which oversee the IRS, say they have been occupied by more pressing issues related to the budget crisis, and Congress gave the tax officials leeway to use technology to solve the growing problem of identity theft. But they said they will look at the possibility of errors in robo-audits as well as the storage of data on millions of taxpayers.

The IRS is guarded about how its audits are triggered, tax experts say, because too much information on what they do might help tax cheats. Major accounting firms have been given little information on the changes and were reluctant to comment, although some said privately that they are aware of the new IRS tools but it is too early to tell how they will be used. Taxpayer advocacy groups also say they are waiting to see how the IRS manages its technology upgrade, and are holding out hope that it will make taxes more fair and efficient and force tax evaders to pay their share of the overall burden.

[See Tax Tips: The Good, Bad and Ugly (But Legal)]

While many applaud the effort to update government technology with private-sector tools, they say the agency needs to conform to higher standards.

“I don’t really see strong legal regulation in place to manage something of this magnitude,” says Paul Schwartz, University of California law professor and co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology. The IRS is working with the same kind of oversight and rules that were developed in the paper tax-return era, says Schwartz. But with the technology it now has, the agency can “see into people’s lives” as never before.

Tax returns are like narratives of how people spent their money, and tax audits have been guided by “reasonable” interpretations of allowable credits and deductions by the IRS agents who manage audits. “Social media can make people testify against themselves,” Schwartz says. “They provide a counter-narrative.” He cites as an example a businessperson going to Florida for five meetings over a week who also visits family in Miami. A casual Google+ posting to friends online about “visiting my mother in Florida” could paint a different picture than the deduction taken on the tax form.

“It will be interesting to see what the IRS does with all of their new tools. They will have to be very careful,” says Schwartz. So, too, will taxpayers.

NY Gun Confiscation Underway – Citizens Told to Turn in Pistol Owner ID & Firearms

Gun Confiscation

 

Manasquan, NJ –-(Ammoland.com)- Remember all those who denied that firearms confiscation as a result of New York’s new gun laws was too “insane” to even consider?

That it was strictly in the realm of paranoid conspiracy theorists and the “it cant happen here crowd”?

Those were and remain some of the standard replies to anyone who even thought about the possibility, let alone gave voice to it, despite the fact that Gov Cuomo and numerous other officials made public comments about such a plan, as I discussed in my article “Feinstein & Cuomo Admit Planning Australian Style Government Gun Buy Back” .

Elected Officials, the media, various Gun Control Groups and their zealous forced disarmament supporters, even some firearms owners themselves all insisted it was to crazy to even consider.

There’s just one huge problem it is happening now in New York State!
It seems those that tried desperately to warn of such an insidious plot had hit the bullseye with their warnings after all. News came from multiple NY State based firearms enthusiast websites late Friday that confiscations of Pistol Owner ID Cards, as well as firearms and accessories has commenced in NY under the provisions of the horribly flawed, draconian and blatantly unconstitutional NY SAFE Act.

Those folks having their weapons and FID cards confiscated  have been discovered to have been prescribed multiple different types of psychotropic drugs, such as those for Depression or Anxiety. These are known as SSRI ( Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) class drugs and have the potential to cause serious and adverse side effects, something I wrote about extensively last week in an article that went viral in days and caused multiple Anti Gun and Progressive News Groups to initiate a concentrated denial of service hacker attack against Ammoland Shooting Sports News (see Daily KOS ” Keeping Track Of The RKBA Crowd” http://tiny.cc/ug67uw),  in an effort to keep the information from the public.

From NY http://tiny.cc/nyfirearms

“John Doe, an upstanding professional with no outstanding criminal convictions and no history of violent action received a letter from the Pistol Permit Department informing him that his license was immediately revoked upon information that he was seeing a therapist for anxiety and had been prescribed an anxiety drug. He was never suicidal, never violent, and has no criminal history. The New York State Department of Health is apparently conducting a search of medical records to determine who is being treated for anxiety drugs and using this as a basis for handgun license revocation.

Those are the facts. Nothing more, nothing less.”

2A Flashmob

Get your FREE 2A Flashmob Patch – See if your eligible here!

Now, before anyone trots out the old saw about how this is nothing more then a paranoid, unsubstantiated rumor on a “gun nuts” internet forum. I spoke to the Attorney of Record in this matter on the phone this morning and he confirmed that the above snippet is accurate and these cases are happening!

James Tresmond Esq confirmed in our conversation that the above mentioned case is occurring in Erie County NY, it is his client that has been effected, and as yet unknown sources have seen fit to take it upon themselves to share confidential medical records with NY State Officials without authorization, a massive HIPPA violation.

It seems these supposedly confidential records are then compared against a list of known NY pistol license holders and letters are sent out demanding their Pistol Owner ID Cards be surrendered, as well as any firearms and accessories.

This is an unprecedented violation of a Citizens 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendment RIGHTS, brought to fruition by power and control hungry tyrants holding elected office who swore an Oath to uphold and defend the very rights they are now actively stripping from their constituents.

Moreover, the confiscation efforts underway in NY State have had another, albeit unintended effect. By undertaking this course of action, those in power have inadvertently pulled back the curtain on something they have suppressed from the Citizens for far to long, leaving them with precious little wiggle room to explain away their actions.

  • Either they are acknowledging that there is in fact some sort of little reported link between the prescribing of psychotropic drugs and violent behavior, thus they are somehow, at least in their own minds “justified” in their actions to preempt someone from violence.
  • Or, this is nothing more then a backdoor confiscation effort and massive abuse of governmental power unleashed on innocent Citizens.

Those are the only two possible explanations.

If anyone still feels some level of doubt regarding the veracity of this story, Attorney Tresmond welcomes anyone to visit his website tresmondlaw.com, Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/james.tresmond.7 ), or send an email to TresmondLaw@gmail.com.

Mr Tresmond asks that those making inquiries be mindful and respectful of the fact that they have been deluged with inquiries in recent days and therefore a personal reply may be delayed or impossible due to the volume.

A Colorado Sheriff recently went public standing up for the American people as their rights are being trampled.

DENVER, CO - U.S. President Barack Obama addresses gun control issues during a speech at the Denver Police Academy on April 3, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. Obama commended Colorado's newly passed gun control laws. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

DENVER, CO – U.S. President Barack Obama addresses gun control issues during a speech at the Denver Police Academy on April 3, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. Obama commended Colorado’s newly passed gun control laws. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

by Shepard Ambellas
Intellihub.com

April 6, 2013

OpEd

ELBERT COUNTY, COLORADO — President Obama announced Wednesday in Colorado, that he plans to press the Congress to pass at least one assault weapons ban and stringent universal background checks for the purchase of firearms. This comes after the recent wave of mass shootings that have seemed to plague the United States.

One thing is clear, the establishment has used these “domestic terror” events to their advantage, further stripping US citizens of their rights. The New York SAFE Act is an example, signed into law 1 hour after it passed the senate by Gov. Cuomo in January of 2013. The Act limits the amount of rounds firearm magazines can hold.

 


Sheriff Speaks Out on Obama’s Gun Control Legislation

Although it is widely publicized that the presidents visit to Colorado is indeed propaganda as we see in a Huffington Post piece which reads, “The trip is heavy with political symbolism. Colorado expanded background checks and placed restrictions on magazines despite being a state with a deep-rooted hunting tradition, where gun ownership is a cherished right. Moreover, Obama will meet with law enforcement officials and community leaders at the Denver Police Academy, not far from the Aurora suburb where a gunman last summer killed 12 people in a movie theater. The president’s trip is occurring in the same week that prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty for James Holmes, accused of carrying out the Aurora rampage.”

You can clearly see how the establishment has seized on the opportunity.

Recently Elbert County Colorado Sheriff Shayne Heap responded to president Obama’s visit to Colorado in a video message. In the video Heap states, “To enact laws that are both constitutionally questionable and punitive to law abiding citizens who have done nothing wrong, borders on legislative abuse.”

The Sheriff points out how Obama flew in from Washington DC which has an extremely high murder rate and tell Colorado what to do.

Obama launches project to map the human brain

 +
fakeobama
(Digital Journal) -Starting in 2014, the federally funded initiative, announced on April 2, will seek to develop new technologies capable of mapping the activity in the human brain.
According to BBC News, President Barack Obama has officially announced plans for a large-scale, government-backed research project to map the human brain. The project will be called Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN). The main aim, the Daily News reports, will be to advance understanding of various brain diseases. President Obama has expressed his hope that the research will “unlock the answers to Alzheimer’s”. The research has divided scientific opinion, according to the New York Times. Speaking in favor, Michael Roukes, a physicist at the California Institute of Technology said: “It makes sense to have a brain activity map now because the maturation of an array of nanotechnologies can be brought to bear on the problem. However, striking a cord of less enthusiasm, David Stein, a neuroscientist at Emory University in Atlanta, said: “I think the monies could be better spent by first figuring out what needs to be measured and then figuring out the most appropriate means to measure them. In my mind, the technology ought to follow the concepts rather than the other way around.” The project will begin with a fund of $100 million and the first step will be with developing the technologies to enable the investigation to begin. The project will involve three U.S. government agencies: the National Institutes of Health (NIH), The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Some private institutions will also contribute.

 

Some 15% of U.S. Receives Food Stamps

Food-stamp use rose 1.8% in the U.S. in January from a year earlier, with 15% of the U.S. population receiving benefits. (See an interactive map with data on use since 1990.)

One of the federal government’s biggest social welfare programs, which expanded when the economy convulsed, isn’t shrinking back alongside the recovery, the Journal reported last month.

Food stamp rolls increased on a year-over-year basis, but were 1.1% lower from the prior month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported. Though annual growth continues, the pace has slowed since the depths of the recession.

The number of recipients in the food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), reached 47.3 million, or nearly one in seven Americans.

Illinois was the only state to see a double-digit year-over-year jumps in use, while Oregon, Maine, Missouri, Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Idaho, North Dakota, Utah and North Carolina all posted annual drops.

Mississippi was the state with the largest share of its population relying on food stamps — 22% — though Washington, DC was a bit higher overall at 23%. One in five residents in Louisiana, Tennessee and George also were food-stamp recipients. Wyoming had the smallest share of its population on food stamps — 7%.

Now Obama Targets Your FedEx, UPS Packages

fedexups

(WND) -The Obama administration is demanding the nation’s two biggest shipping companies police the contents of Americans’ sealed packages, and a FedEx spokesman is warning that the move “has the potential to threaten the privacy of all customers that send or receive packages.”

FedEx and UPS are in the Justice Department’s cross-hairs for not flagging shipments of illegally prescribed drugs the companies say they had no way of knowing were in their possession.

Criminal charges could be coming against the carriers, even though the government has not alleged any deliberate wrongdoing by the companies.

FedEx spokesman Patrick Fitzgerald said his company has a 40-year history of actively assisting the government crackdown on any criminal conduct, but he told WND this probe was very different from the start.

“What is unusual and really disturbing is it became clear to us along the way that FedEx was being targeted for some level criminal activity as it relates to these medicines that are being shipped from pharmacies, and we find it to be completely absurd because it’s really not our role,” Fitzgerald said. “We have no way of knowing what is legal and not within the packages that we’re picking up and delivering in this situation.”

“At the heart of the investigation are sealed packages that are being sent by, as far as we can tell, licensed pharmacies. These are medicines with legal prescriptions written by licensed physicians. So it’s difficult for us to understand where we would have some role in this. We are a transportation company that picks up and delivers close to 10 million packages every day. They are sealed packages, so we have no way of knowing specifically what’s inside and we have no interest in violating the privacy rights of our customers,” Fitzgerald said.

In addition to the unrealistic expectation that the federal government seems to have for the companies to know what’s in every package, Fitzgerald said protecting the rights of customers is paramount and the issues go hand-in-hand.

“They clearly are attempting to put some responsibility for the legality of the contents of these packages. That’s why for us it goes far beyond even just the online pharmacy situation. This really has a chilling effect. It has the potential to threaten the privacy of all customers that send or receive packages via FedEx because the government is assigning a role on us as law enforcement or taking on their role in a way that is not appropriate,” Fitzgerald said.

FedEx sought to diffuse the standoff by offering to stop doing business with any pharmacies that the government suspected to be involved in illegal activities. The Justice Department declined, citing the potential for the pharmacies to sue over a lack of due process.

“If the government were to come to us and give us the name of a customer that’s engaged in some level of illegal activity, we can immediately stop shipping for that customer. We will not tolerate any illegal activity within our networks,” Fitzgerald said. “What we want here is a solution that will apply for the entire industry and serve the public’s interest. That’s why we find it completely absurd and, to a large degree, stunning that the government is not working with us on that solution as they have with other problems in the past. As long as they’re not doing that, there’s really no solution even if they were to pursue an investigation or criminal charges against a specific company. There needs to be an industry-wide solution that will put a stop to this problem.”

That leaves FedEx and UPS with the task of stopping illegal shipments from sources the government will not divulge.

“The comparison that we’ve made is a no-fly list. It’s as if the government were to go to major commercial airlines and accuse them of some level of criminal activity if they were to allow somebody on the no-fly list onto one of their planes without providing them a no-fly list,” Fitzgerald said. “What we want here is the no-fly list for online pharmacies. If they are aware of some level of illegal activity by some number of pharmacies, simply provide us that list and we will stop providing service. It’s a very simple solution.”

Fitzgerald said no other private carriers are being targeted by the Justice Department, and he has no evidence to suggest this probe is designed to boost the financially strapped U.S. Postal Service at the expense of private competitors.

UPS is currently negotiating a settlement with the government, but FedEx is fighting this all the way.

“Settlement is not an option for us when there’s no illegal activity on our part,” Fitzgerald said.

Look what’s posted on Piers Morgan’s lawn

PiersMorganSign

(WND) -Piers Morgan, the resident gun control advocate on CNN, protects his own personal property with signs warning that it is guarded by “Armed Response Security Systems,” according to a new investigation by self-described “guerrilla journalist” James O’Keefe.

O’Keefe, founder of  Project Veritas, is known for his undercover video and sting operations.

He recently exposed how journalists with the newspaper that revealed the addresses of gun-permit holders in the New York City area were unwilling to take a dose of their own medicine and declare their homes “gun-free zones.”

Now O’Keefe has produced a video to expose the double standards of Hollywood celebrities and filmmakers who support President Obama’s gun control agenda.

Among those confronted with a request to sign onto an effort to remove all guns from movies was Morgan, who made a brief foray into the top-tier rankings at CNN by badgering guests over their support of gun rights.

O’Keefe’s undercover agents approached one of Morgan’s Hollywood properties and discovered a sign that said “Protected by Armed Response Security Systems.”

The agents also reached out to Morgan on a public street, asking if he would sign an “Act Against Arms” pledge to have guns edited out of past and future movies.

Morgan was willing to accept information about the campaign but would not sign on.

The gun control issue, Project Veritas said, “is being driven by a hypocritical media on the back of a national tragedy.”

O’Keefe quoted Obama’s statement that if anything that can be done to prevent the loss of even one life, the nation has an obligation to try.

O’Keefe also approached other companies, such as Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Films, and got a few signatures but mostly was rejected.

One filmmaker got irate with O’Keefe, saying, “You’re not realistically going to remove all the guns from every movie every made. … Think about what’s logically, realistically possible.”

Another responded, “All of the ‘yes we can’ and all of that s*** doesn’t mean anything, man.”

Breaking: Patriot Missiles Seized, Sold To China by Israel (Updates)

Finland says cargo ship can sail again, but without its 69 missiles, explosives or it’s Ukrainian captain

 

HELSINKI — “A British-registered ship (editor’s correction, ship is not “British-registered”) that was held in a Finnish port after authorities discovered 69 surface-to-air [Anti-ballistic] missiles and 160 tons of explosives onboard has permission to travel again, but without those materials or its captain, a port official said Monday.

The M/S Thor Liberty was headed to China and had docked in the southern Finnish port of Kotka to pick up anchor chains when police last week discovered and seized the missiles and explosive piric acid on board.”

Finnish authorities have confirmed the seizure of 69 Patriot missiles manufactured by Raytheon Corporation today.

(A popular graphic going viral on the internet, edited to eliminate an inappropriate ethnic reference)

During a routine search of the MS Thor Liberty, a ship flagged by the Isle of Man, at the Finnish port of Kotka, authorities found 69 Patriot missiles of a type capable of intercepting ICBMs, the most modern available and America’s most sensitive military technology.

Update:  The official publication of the shipping industry, The Maritime Executive states:

“Finnish police launched a probe on a ship bound for Shanghai, China, after they discovered 69 surface-to-air Patriot missiles, explosive materials, and propelling charges illegally aboard. “  Note, what had been called by some “chemicals” are now “propelling charges.”  What they propel, of course, are guided missiles from nuclear submarines and plutonium and uranium components into contact to inititate nuclear explosions.

Germany officials have offered to take responsibility for the shipment to China though there is no record of Germany ever having received the missiles in the first place.  There had been a shipment of PAC 2 missiles, 64, several months ago, which had been completed.  No further shipment had been scheduled. 

Germany is responding to a request from Netanyahu to Merkel to save Israel from a potential spy scandal.Similarly, a South Korean paper has published a story about the missiles but at no time has the South Korean embassy in Helsinki, made a statement or made contact with authorities as would be expected.  This one gets more interesting every day.

Germany has a long history of working with Israel, call it “war guilt” or profiteering.  The centrifuges used to develop nuclear weapons that were distributed by Israel, first to South Africa then by Israeli Johann Meyer to Libya were of Germany origin.  Saddam Hussein received his biological and chemical warfare equipment from Germany, but through Bush family sources, not Israel. 

We are told the missiles heading to China were to be “cloned” for sale along with radar and launch units, already there.  They would be sold worldwide under Israeli branding in competition with the US.  Israel is free to sell to clients the US would be likely to refuse. 

The JA 20 Stealth fighter, built from plans stolen by Bush era White House Israeli “dual-citizens” is only one of dozens of defense projects stolen by Israeli spies and sent to China.  China has every current nuclear weapons design and plans to upgrade its submarine fleet and will be building aircraft carriers eventually.  All will be done with American technology.

Here is the photo of the ship’s ‘very special’ explosives in shrink wrapped cardboard boxes. Do you really think this is how western Allied/NATO countries transport munitions, or would allow hugely expensive anti-ballistic missiles to be put on a ship like this? If there was a detonation device in one of these boxes that could set it off (like with a satellite phone call), it would go up like an A-bomb. No one would have been looking for the 69 Patriot ABM’s listed as rockets or firecrackers. There is one rouge country’s Intelligence service, an American ally, that could do this in it’s sleep because it had extensive practice while building it’s WMD programs, the details of which our America government still holds secret from Americans.

Attempts to represent this as a sale of “second hand” PAC 2 missiles, stories filling the blogosphere, fail to address that these are PAC 3 advanced missiles and labeled for shipment to China, not Korea.

Patriot ICBM Interceptor – PAC3

The next stop for this cargo, valued at over $4 billion even without the associated radar, which may well have been shipped via some other method, was Shanghai, China.

Yet the Chinese government has given an official denial of any knowledge of this transaction.They went even further, they claimed the missiles were heading to South Korea.

However, were China to have given the issue a second’s thought, it would have been advisable to have failed to acknowledge any familiarity with the issue whatsoever.

China walked into a trap, one that uncovered their espionage cooperation agreements that involved, not the receipt of advanced Patriot missile systems but the full plans for the F22 stealth fighter.

Initial stories from 2009 indicating China has received plans for the F35 though espionage with Israel were false.

The F22 is a far more advanced aircraft.

 

On April 21, 2009, the Department of Defense announced the theft of 1.5 terabytes of data on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the platform meant give the United States and her allies air superiority for the next 40 years.

In a flash, all that was gone, $300 billion dollars of funding down the drain, every system, defense, offense, stealth, everything needed to build one or shoot it down, all gone. Day one, China was accused but it wasn’t China, it wasn’t Iran, it wasn’t Pakistan.

The theft left a clear signature, one identical to the data Wikileaks has been receiving, sources inside the Pentagon repeating the actions of Israeli-Soviet spy, Jonathan Pollard.  As vital as the F-35 is to America’s defense, Pollard’s triumph on behalf of Soviet Russia and Israel dwarfs the current espionage coup.

Since the 2009 announcement, there has been nothing but silence.

Now we learn the Pentagon story was “cover” and it was the F22 Raptor, not the F35, an “export plane,” that was compromised:

F-22A Raptors – America Top Fighter

The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation super maneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology.

It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles.[6]

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems and final assembly of the F-22.

Program partnerBoeing Defense, Space & Security provides the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.The aircraft was variously designated F-22 and F/A-22 during the years prior to formally entering USAF service in December 2005 as the F-22A.

Despite a protracted and costly development period, the United States Air Force considers the F-22 a critical component of US tactical air power, and claims that the aircraft is unmatched by any known or projected fighter.[7]

While Lockheed Martin claims that the Raptor’s combination of stealth, speed, agility, precision and situational awareness, combined with air-to-air and air-to-ground combat capabilities, makes it the best overall fighter in the world today.[8]

Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, former Chief of the Australian Defence Force, said in 2004 that the “F-22 will be the most outstanding fighter plane ever built.”[9]

Raptor Formation

The high cost of the aircraft, a lack of clear air-to-air combat missions because of delays in the Russian and Chinese fifth-generation fighter programs, a US ban on Raptor exports, and the ongoing development of the planned cheaper and more versatile F-35 resulted in calls to end F-22 production.[N 1]

In April 2009 the US Department of Defense proposed to cease placing new orders, subject to Congressional approval, for a final procurement tally of 187 Raptors.[11] The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 lacked funding for further F-22 production.

The final F-22 Raptor fighter jet rolled off the assembly line on 13 December 2011 during a ceremony at the Lockheed Martin aircraft plant at Dobbins Air Reserve Base.[2]

China is testing a 5th generation fighter, 20 years earlier than estimated, the JA 20.  It is based on systems from the Raptor and is considered a far superior plane to the F 35.From a January, 2011 Guardianstory suppressed in the United States:

Chinese F22 Raptor Clone, 20 Years Early

 

A photograph of what is reported to be a new Chinese stealth fighter and “carrier-killer” missile has prompted concerns that a tilt in the balance of military power in the western Pacific towards China may come sooner than expected.

The emergence of the hi-tech weaponry – which would make it more difficult for the US navy and air force to project power close to Taiwan and elsewhere on China’s coastline – comes at a politically sensitive time.

Later this month, President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, will hold a summit in Washington aimed at patching up their differences after a niggling year in bilateral relations.

he photograph, of what appears to be a prototype J-20 jet undergoing initial tests, has been circulating on the internet since last week, fueling speculation that China’s fifth-generation fighter may fly ahead of forecast.(Attempts have been made to alter photos of the plane and misrepresent its “lineage.” The only alterations from the F22 seem to be the rear control surfaces.  What has been most telling is the attempt to misconstrue the JA 20 as a “large bodied” interceptor with a weapons bay for anti-ship missiles instead of the air superiority fighter it actually is. )

The defence ministry has yet to comment on the image, which seems to have been shot from long-distance near the Chengdu aircraft design institute. The photographer is also unknown, which has added to the mystery about its origins and authenticity as well as the motive of the distributor.

But defence analysts believe this is the first glimpse of the twin-engined, chiseled-nosed plane that mixes Russian engine technology with a fuselage design similar to that of the US air force’s F-22 “stealth” fighter, which can avoid detection by radar.

If confirmed, it would be an impressive step forward for the Chinese air force, which until now has largely depended on foreign-made or designed planes. “I’d say these are, indeed, genuine photos of a prototype that will make its maiden flight very soon,” said Peter Felstead, the editor of Jane’s Defence Weekly.

The J20 is likely to be many years from deployment, but the US defence secretary, Robert Gates – who visits Beijing next week – may have to revise an earlier prediction that China will not have a fifth generation aircraft by 2020.

It is not the only challenge to US superiority in the region. China has refurbished a Ukrainian aircraft carrier and wants to build its own by 2020.

Photo corrected from “stretch” version issued to mislead public

The US and Israel had scheduled an air defense exercise this week but no Patriot missiles were to be shipped to Israel as part of their mission, DOD sources indicate.

This week’s exercise was to use Patriot missiles deployed from American ships in the eastern Mediterranean to test Israeli missile defenses.  Reports indicate that all missiles for this exercise have been accounted for.

” Patriots Away ”

These units, the most advanced Patriot system had only been supplied to one nation, Israel.

The 69 Patriot ICBM interceptors are believed to be a highly secret consignment demanded by Israel as protection from any retaliatory strike by Iran were war to break out in the region.

Instead of deploying them, the missiles were apparently  sold to China labeled as “fireworks” according to Interior Minister Paivi Rasanen.

Though the missiles themselves were worth only $4 billion, the technology transfer itself would be worth over $125 billion, and represent a significant loss of defense capability for the United States.

Sources termed it, “An absolute disaster, even if they only received the radar systems alone, much less the missiles.That this would go unreported though the story was broken in Europe 48 hours ago is astounding.

Nobody in Washington has this although even the BBC report contains more than enough information to bring Washington to a halt.

DOD sources indicate that it would be unusual for these missiles to be moved without radar and launch facilities to have been moved in advance.   It was also indicated that the Department of Defense denies shipping any such missiles to Germany or anywhere else in Europe, labeled as “fireworks” or anything else.

The owner of the ship of record is Thorco Shipping.  Their representative, Thomas Mikkelsen said he was unaware any such cargo was on board his vessel.

Patriot Command Control Center

Claims were made that the missiles were destined for South Korea but an examination of documentation indicated that there were no South Korean ports scheduled.

Additionally, the likelihood that the US government would ship its most valuable and secret missile technology through Germany mislabeled as “fireworks” rather than on a C 17 under military security supports the Finnish claim.

Finnish police say they opened all 69 units, are recording serial numbers and have been unable to find any documentation indicating the real ownership of the  seized cargo.

And they certainly have found nothing involving the any of the claimed “cover stories” involving Germany or Korea, otherwise, of course, the cargo would never have been seized nor would there have been arrests made.

Detective Superintendent Timo Virtanen of the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation is in charge of the case.  He has stated:

 ”Actually, in our investigation at the moment, we have got the information that we found 69 Patriot missiles on the ship and around 160 tonnes of explosives.”

The explosives are identified as nitroguandine, a low sensitivity explosive with a very high detonation speed.   These explosives have several uses, among them launching shipboard or submarine launched missiles or in the development and testing of nuclear weapons design.

Finnish authorities indicate the explosives were packed in an “informal” and highly dangerous manner and that the Thor Liberty’s captain and chief officer are under arrest on suspicion of arms trafficking.  Both are citizens of the Ukraine.The government of China has denied all knowledge of the incident although the cargo was destined for their ports.

The head of Finnish Customs CID, Petri Louatmaa said this was not the first such incident but by far the most serious he has ever heard of.Finland has requested “information” from several countries.

The US Department of Defense has assured all involved that these missiles were not being sent to South Korea and that their presence on a civilian ship either being loaded in Germany or in port in Finland was in now way a part of any exercise nor any accepted methodology for the handling of this type of ultra-high technology weaponry.

American sources further indicated confusion at the odd number of missiles:

“There are two missiles per launch container.  The containers can’t be easily opened and the missiles can’t be removed for examination without damage to the launch mechanism.They are delivered for mounting to ships or land based mobile launchers.  Thus, the packaging indicated either demonstrates confusion or serious unprofessional tampering.”

Israeli officials have failed to respond to questions about the consignment.Air Force transport command personnel indicate that high tech transfers to Israel are routinely offloaded at Schipol Airport in the Netherlands where Israel maintains secure facilities.

Editing:  Jim W. Dean

Patriot PAC3s Are Shipped in Pairs – Ground to Air Patriots are Shipped With Lauchers

 

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43 Comments for “Breaking: Patriot Missiles Seized, Sold To China by Israel (Updates)”

  1. The numbers don’t add up , I was thinking that ONE was missing . It is more than that , this launcher carries 16 missiles . To reload it 4 times requires 64 missiles , but we have 69 so it must have been at least enough to reload 5 times which takes 80 missiles . I think at least 11 are missing !

  2. The F22 was a dud and none of America’s allies wanted to buy it. The US military is the only military using the aircraft.

    The F35 is another over priced dud that is not competitive in the marketplace. Apparently the Japanese have brought about 40 of them so that the US has a good news story to put out in the worlds media – probably because all of America other allies have already said they do not want to buy them. Canada’s media has had an open discussion about the F35 saying how the Canadan Government should not have to buy a piece of rubbish that no other US allies want to buy. No doubt the Japanese were either given the F35 or somehow made to buy it.

    • Really? Britain is buying the F-35. The Netherlands are buying the F-35. Italy is buying the F-35, and will be the site of the major overhaul facility in Europe. Denmark is buying the F-35. Norway is buying the F-35. Israel is buying the F-35.

      Yes, the cost is higher than it should be, but a lot of that is because of the union that controls Lockheed. While the company is desperately trying to cut costs, the union is telling the workers that they have to strike this spring and they cannot accept any contract that doesn’t include a lot more benefits and more money. Another cost problem is that the Obama Administration and the Harry Reid Senate have cut back on the production schedule. That again causes the cost per aircraft to rise.

      It will be a fantastic aircraft once all of the early bugs get worked out, and there are ALWAYS bugs in early production models of military aircraft. Is it going to be perfect? No, but it is definitely needed to replace our aging Hornets, Harriers, and Falcons.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27qdB1D0s9M&feature=related

        This is a bit of a slanted video but calling the F 35 a useless flying garbage truck is generous.

        The Pakisistani J10 for 95% less performs slightly better in most roles.

        The Russian planes….ouch.

      • I have worked in the area of product development and yes you always launch a product when it gets close to 95% and iron the bugs out afterwards after freeback, but the Japanese are the only US ally currently buying the F35 – no one else wants to pay the $200 million US dollar a plane price tag. The F35 is no where near an acceptable standard.

  3. from a reader:

    In October 1992 I moved into the home of Raytheon employee Hank Turner and his art-historian wife Carolyn in Acton, MA. This was just prior to the 1992 Presidential election. Carolyn informed me that Hank was away, “teaching the Chinese how to build the Patriot Missile”. When Hank came home around the beginning of November 1992, he confirmed he’d been in China, “teaching the Chinese how to build the Patriot Missile”. Hank brought some gifts home from China to his family, and gave me one, too – one I still have.

    Some months later the news magazines screamed with hysteria, “President Clinton sold the Patriot Missile to China!”. It was clear what had really happened: Bush-Cheney had set that up to go off during Clinton’s term in office.

    The US powers-that-be have been selling, giving and throwing away state secrets to both China and Israel for decades.

  4. Every intelligence operation like this has to have a “cover and deception” plan. Putting these on the worse form of transportation possible and loading around them enough explosives to vaporize an entire harbour is a good way of CYA.

    The chance of patriot missiles being shipped outside their launching containers or off their mobile launchers is low. Each missile cost more than a mobile launcher itself.

    These things are designed to be loaded on and off c5 and c17 planes and i suspect may sit on a c 130 as well.

    g

  5. The other possibility is that Israel (with or without official U.S. complicity) simply ripped somebody (China?) off.

    They agree to sell the missiles, they accept payment (full or even partial), and then they make sure the missiles are poorly packaged (or whatever they have to do including an anonymous tipster making some phone calls) and have some third party make the discovery.

    Then the missiles get sent back to the U.S. (or wherever) the Jews already have their money, and the injured party that was supposed to receive the missiles is up a creek without a paddle, apparently all because of some fake “incompetence” somewhere in the process.

  6. I’d love to see this brought up in an upcoming candidate debate….

    Good job Gordon

  7. Merry Christmas Gordon & ALL Veterans Today staff. Thanks for all your wonderful work. All the best for the new year.

  8. I wonder where number 70 is and who is reverse engineering it ?

  9. The general strategic context, fueled by a systemic financial breakdown crisis, is that we are in the initial stages of WWIII with Israel and the US at the center of instigation. It makes perfect sense, given Israel’s documented penchant for stabbing its benefactor in the back, for Israel to have arranged this subrosa sale of Partiot missiles to China– perhaps as a hedge in case China emerges in better shape than the US in the aftermath of a conflict.

  10. As soon as I post this I will be preparing an email to President Obama,Senator patty Murray,Senator maria Cantwell and Congressman Norm Dicks.I might even throw one in to Joe Liberman as well.I suggest that every reader send this on to all of their contacts.I would say to their newspaper but we all know that such information is seldom published and if it is,a two inch column on page 13 is all it receives.But we all need to start making noise until we are heard.Maybe that will be never but let’s not go down without fighting to spread the message.

    • I’d skip Lieberman Lawrence….I’m pretty sure he’s partly responsible, directly or indirectly. He’s Sayanim, and I’m sure he wants you in a camp with me next door.

    • Larry

      This is one for u to spend some time on.

      Never has anything been so obvious and it to the Finnish government to show some backbone.

      g

  11. I have to admit that I lost those missiles. Please arm them and send (launch) them back to me. My address is `1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, D.C.

  12. Two things not cleared up in american history. The first is, McCarthy was right, there were thousands more soviet spies and conspirators in the US and Britain. And the situation was perhaps 100 times worse than he knew at the time. He was silenced. Second, Jews are the communists and Soviets. They just had to buy up all the media in the world to silence that, and they did.

    If there’s a buck to be made, Israel (Nazi’s, communists, Rockefeller, 8 families) control it.

    I have to hand it to them, how brilliant is communism? To convince 1.5 billion people it’s all about equality, when it was the greatest theft of property and wealth in the history of mankind, consolidated into the hands of maybe 100 people. Can’t do that without media. Of course, you have to kill off most of the whites first. When David Rockefeller said “Our experiment in China is working nicely” he was misunderestimating.

    Now they’ve convinced people that because the 8 families didn’t feel like lending to each other (which they were), they need to take our wealth to make sure loans between the 8 families continue. Magnificent, that’s almost beyond belief. Robbing Peter to pay Paul, and they bought it again. When your family prints money, you don’t need to lend it to your brother, he’s printing his own, trust me.

    Yeah, I’m having a hard time believing Gordon here. They would never do such a thing! Just like with the Manhattan Project, that was all the same spies working for the same people. Is it because bankers aren’t elected that people can’t see they control world policy? It’s not Israel stealing 5th generation aircraft, latest generation missiles, and everything else we make. It’s bankers hiring Israel to do this. It was bankers who payed people to kill off 75 million white Russians. It was bankers who were directly responsible for Napoleon. For Lenin, Stalin, Mao. Do we need to go all the back to Babylon?

    Here’s an article that will help some people see why the Murrah building was blown up, why 9-11 had to happen, and what it is that bankers really do in this world. I’ve been following this story for a long, long time. It’s the minions running around doing what they do, and in the end, a banker swoops in and finishes off the survivors. Just like Gordons story, except G’s story indirectly points out that they want the survivors to have this technology after the fires of WWIII are out. They don’t have sides you see, they created the whole production. Merry Christmas.

    http://theintelhub.com/2011/12/22/enron-taliban-warburg-the-untold-story/

  13. Where I was duped was by Bob Gates, back in 09, when he passed off the theft of data as being F35. This was a “press release” and I took it like everyone else.

    Will not make that mistake again…I hope.
    g

  14. It’s odd that 69 missiles were found. 69 is the well known sexual position, perhaps just a coincidence but the Mossad is infatuated with numbers. Perhaps the Mossad is showcasing it’s warped humor. They waited exactly 911 days from their 911 false flag to do the Madrid bombing.

    • Brian,

      What I was yelled at about was the number. “How the hell could there be 69 missiles. Taking one out would be a huge mess, nobody is that stupid.”

      To which I answered, the Finns are doing this, not me. This is their count.

      g

  15. It might be wise for any military guys involved in the care and feeding of these missile systems to consider any irregularities they may be privy to in the ensuing time since this Israeli deal was struck. The dual passport pirates in congress, the white house, the Pentagon and their minions will stop at nothing to make this one go away. This kinda reminds me of the missing nukes out of Minot AFB and the troopers that had fatal accidents during the investigative period following.
    Merry Christmas and remember the USS Liberty.

  16. STOP godvernment TREASONS

    to: Gordon Duff
    from: STOP godvernment Treasons

    Please excuse me, but I’m a new kid on the block. I want to be sure I clearly understand — with your help. Is it only my wild imagination, or does this whole chain of events seem set up with chance after chance to fumble? Stupid handoff after stupid handoff.

    C 17 to Schipol, to Germany, to Finland, to (maybe S Korea, then, to) China? Hopscotch??? And who knows where else between Finland and China. Murmansk? Northern Canada? With such a circuituous route, why not Africa or South America?

    Wouldn’t it be smarter to re-fuel and ship all the way to israhell via C 17?
    Why not go to, for example, Lajes, or to Rota, Spain and ship them across the Med?
    Why entrust the cargo to a ship captained by Ukrainians? I’ve lived there for years. They’re treacherous. Especially the higher you go up the chain-of-command. It’s genetic.

    Isn’t there a better sea route to China than via Finland? This doesn’t add up.

    What does add up is culpability by israhelli zion nazis and even some USSSSSA lapdog(s) in the DoD.

    —————————–
    USSSSSA = un-free soviet socialist satanic slave states of amerikka (overrun, ruined and run by demonic zion nazis that micro-manage power-crazed, megalomaniac neo-comms that are anti-US & traitors. neo-comms & zionists are Pure Evil and inhumans. Their actions have been and shall continue proving it.)
    —————————–
    But even this premise is flawed. Why wouldn’t USSSSSA neo-comms simply ship them across the Pacific?

    Daily they commit multiple TREASONS. They fear no Justice, reprisals or comeuppance meted out by mindless masses of severely dumbed-down, amerikkan idolators that are too busy worshipping “American Idol” and “Dancing with Joe Blow”. Any TRAITORS caught shipping directly would ignore facts and have mainstream propaganda networks remain silent or -what the talking heads are experts at- be LIARS. And the TRAITORS would continue doing business-as-usual TREASONS. That’s their job. It’s what they do best. It’s why zion nazis installed them.

    Gordon, I’m surely not alone here trying to make sense of this. There’s something you know in this report that at least some of the rest of us didn’t quite catch. Help us out. Thanks. And, Merry Christmas.

    • The Israeli arms depot at Schipol is there because Israel is the 4th largest arms trader in the world and it is impossible to move certain items in and out of Israel. Ask them, not me.

      • Glad you mention that. If you account for the international and U.N. loopholes, Israel is actually #1 in the world. Because they change m-16′s, and hundreds of other weapons from the US into another designation, they are by proxy USA, the largest dealer in the world. Wayne Madsen, and Philip Dick proved it back in 05′-06′ ‘ish.

  17. Gee, kids, isn’t this going to be the BEST Christmas EVER?

    • With the non-stop and ever increasing open absurdity of the “traitors in our midst”, I’m thinking out loud that “the LAST Christmas EVER” has a growing base of supporting evidence. Enjoy this one, and hope-like-hell I am “way out in left field” on this “observation/interpretation.

      • My sarcasm aside, I think you may be right. Enjoy this Christmas and every minute of every day. But remember, too, our obligation to fight the traitors in our midst, as you put it.

        Just like Christ did.

  18. Oh, what a tangled web we weave!

  19. Seems pretty clear to me why the title is such . Israel is the only nation to have been supplied with these 69 missiles . Israel demanded them to use against Iran’s missiles , but here they are on a ship heading to China . They were supposed to be deployed but weren’t , either they were stolen or Israel SOLD them !

  20. “or is this speculation?” Trudy I don’t think Gordon deals in speculation.

  21. Like the missing trillions they refuse to investigate or 911 because they know all roads would lead to Zionistan. Sort yourselves out America. Have you not been played enough by this criminal terrorist entity that squats on stolen land?

  22. So, if Israel is the only country that can get these “Latest Versions” of the Patriots, and they are made in the US for the military in the US, how do they wind up in a non-official shipping configuration, being shipped on an unprotected ship, with the next stop the Far East?

    Either some “Traitors” here or Israel, or something more we don’t know. They couldn’t have a valid export license from the country of origin, because we would NOT give one, and there is no docs.

  23. I will be the first one to believe that Israel sold these missiles to China, knowing their history. However, in the interest of journalism, is there some evidence of this that you have not revealed or is this speculation?

    • Did you read that the ship was impounded and the captain and first officer under arrest?

      You read the statements, DOD and Finland.

      The “connected dots” are quite minimal.

      As for shipment and storage, that source is credited to the US Air Force transport command in Charleston, South Carolina.

      thanks guys!!

      g

  24. Dear Gordon,

    At the end of 2011, the headline “69 Newest Patriot Missiles Bound For Reds”
    .
    I would have thought that “Reds” was a bit passe these days. Based on the current bill restricting, YET AGAIN, the freedoms and rights of the people of the US, one could almost call such a move as one that was standard practice in the days of the Nazis, but we don’t call the government of the US, Nazis.

    So Reds? Your comment really surprises me.

  25. given the facts put forth in this article.. Where exactly does the articles author come to the conclusion that “israel Sold the weapons to China”? as the article States ” Finnish police say they opened all 69 units, are recording serial numbers and have been unable to find any documentation indicating the real ownership of the seized cargo. ” so that Begs the question.. if they ahve NO Documentation to show who Owns them, or Where they came from.. then on What basis does the articles author Claim to be able to Deduce that “israel sold China the missles”? sorry, but that’s a Valid Key point. This is an example of Very Shoddy reporting, and maybe even Wishfull Grasping at straws to make a “Big Splash” with the articles headline. Such a Shame.

    • You have point there.

      Just because the U.S. sold/gifted these missiles only to the state of Israel, and the same number of missiles were found, earmarked as “fireworks,” on a ship destined for China, does not mean Israel re-sold the missiles or they were sold to China for a quick profit.

      It’s like paying your taxes. Just because you send your taxes to the Treasury, the checks actually go to the privately owned The Federal Reserve.

      The moral integrity of Israel is without question. All one has to do is look at the Treaty of Alliance America has with Israel to know what I am talking about.

  26. Well the last time Israel sold secrets to China, it was the nukes. So I think the patriot missile, qualifies as fireworks. Talk about playing both sides of the fence. But do not worry, if you need a heart, they will kill someone, if you have the money. I would not doubt it if they sold the codes to Iran on the drones. Gordon, I have a prediction for 2012. Ron Paul is winning the Rep. primary, one or two false flags happen, and Obama calls for marshal law. After that, anyone on the list (which they compiled by spying), will be taken away. Obama will suspend the election (claiming executive powers), and will declare, turn in your guns, or you are on the terror list. I know you have a better grip, then I do. Gordon, I know you do not have a crystal ball. But what do think will happen in 2012?

Comments are closed

ACLU accuses Ohio courts of enacting ‘debtors’ prisons’

shutterstock_femalejudge

(RawStory) -A report by the American Civil Liberties Union has accused courts in Ohio of jailing indigent defendants for not being able to pay court fines, an apparent revival of the 19th century practice of “debtors’ prisons.”

According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the organization named seven courts in the state in its report (PDF), compiled over the course of 2012.

“Today across Ohio, municipalities routinely imprison those who are unable to pay fines and court costs despite a 1983 United States Supreme Court decision declaring this practice to be a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution,” the ACLU’s report said.

Courts in Cuyahoga, Erie and Huron counties were singled out in the report as the “worst offenders.” The ACLU said a survey of booking statistics for Huron County Jail revealed that 22 percent of the 1,171 people booked between May and October 2012 were incarcerated for not being able to pay their fines. And municipal courts in Parma and Sandusky counties jailed 45 and 75 people, respectively, between July 15 and August 31, 2012.

“Based on the ACLU of Ohio’s investigation, there is no evidence that any of these people were given hearings to determine whether or not they were financially able to pay their fines, as required by the law,” the report said.

Parma County Municipal Court Judge Deanna O’Donnell said the court had received a letter from the ACLU detailing its findings and that she was contacting the group for more information. She also said the court is treating the letter as “advisory” and not a complaint.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Maureen O’Connor has also promised to meet with the ACLU to discuss the report.

The great recycling con trick: How 12million tons of your carefully sorted waste is being dumped in foreign landfill sites

(DailyMail) – Millions of tons of household rubbish painstakingly sorted by families for recycling is being dumped abroad.

Whitehall has admitted that waste from recycling bins is being shipped to countries including China, India and Indonesia, where much of it ends up in landfill.

In papers published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, ministers concede that what happens to the 12million tons of ‘green’ waste shipped abroad every year is largely beyond their control.

Household rubbish that has been sorted by families for recycling is being dumped in landfill sites across the worldHousehold rubbish that has been sorted by families for recycling is being dumped in landfill sites across the world

The trade in sending rubbish abroad – mainly to Asia – has doubled over the past decade, as councils have increasingly turned to contractors to deal with mountains of waste generated by compulsory recycling schemes.

The law states that this rubbish should be recycled once it is sent abroad – but Defra now admits that in some countries it is simply dumped.

The department, headed by Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, said it plans to tighten inspections at ports to curb the illegal trade in green waste.

Environment secretary Owen Paterson said that Defra plans to tighten inspections at ports to curb the illegal trade of green wasteEnvironment secretary Owen Paterson said that Defra plans to tighten inspections at ports to curb the illegal trade of green waste

The Government has always insisted that household rubbish is carefully recycled – but the Daily Mail revealed earlier this year that large amounts are deemed unusable by recycling plants, and instead sent to landfill. Now the Environment Agency has confirmed that material sent to China, Indonesia and India is also buried, rather than recycled.

As well as household rubbish, Defra admitted that other waste dumped abroad includes used tyres, sent to China, and discarded televisions and computers, which end up in West Africa.

Doretta Cocks, of the Campaign for Weekly Waste Collections, said: ‘People will be very shocked by this development.

‘Most people believe their rubbish is recycled in this country. Now it turns out there are container ships coming here from China filled with televisions and computers … and going home stacked with containers filled with our recycled rubbish. That is shameful.’

The revelation comes after Defra launched a consultation with the waste industry about new recycling rules. Consultation documents concede that waste is being dumped abroad, although ‘the exact extent of illegal shipping is unknown’.

If stricter checks were introduced, the department says ‘our expectations are that the amount of waste exported illegally and then dumped in developing countries would reduce’.

The Environment Agency has asked councils to improve the quality of the recycling they collect, and to check what their contractors are doing with it.

It has told local authorities: ‘In the UK and the EU, increasing amounts of waste collected for recycling are sent overseas for reprocessing. Much of the waste collected from households … will ultimately be exported.

‘The majority of illegal waste exports we have intercepted include waste originally collected by or on behalf of local authorities via household recycling collection services.

‘We are particularly concerned about illegal exports of mixed household waste mis-described as paper or plastic. These typically derive from poorly-performing household collection and sorting systems.’

Among the rubbish that is dumped abroad used tyres are sent to China and discarded TVs and computers go to West ChinaAmong the rubbish that is dumped abroad used tyres are sent to China and discarded TVs and computers go to West China

The news that household recycling is being dumped in developing countries follows the admission by Defra in February that recycling claims are exaggerated.

Official figures say 43 per cent of all the household rubbish collected is recycled – but the ministry said that, in reality, processors reject most recyclable material, which then often ends up in landfill sites.

Defra has also acknowledged that the main reason for compulsory recycling schemes is not lack of landfill space or the need to combat climate change, but instead the demands of the EU’s Waste Framework Directive, the latest version of which came into force last year.

Household recycling became the norm after Tony Blair’s Labour government encouraged councils to pick up non-recyclable refuse every two weeks.

Mrs Cocks said: ‘There has always been a big question mark over the recycling movement of the past decade. I fear we are now going to come under greater pressure to produce purer materials for recycling.

‘We have not had proper rubbish collections for a decade, but I think soon we will get monthly collections.’

Nine bins

Defra is due to produce new plans for household ‘waste prevention’ by the end of the year.

A spokesman for the department said: ‘Trade in recyclable materials is a global market and we want to see UK businesses make money from it to help boost our economy. We would like to see our own recycling industry grow so that we can grasp this opportunity with both hands.’

■ England is set to become the only part of the UK where plastic bags are given away free of charge.

Northern Ireland will introduce a 5p plastic bag tax next week. A similar levy was imposed in Wales in October 2011, resulting in supermarkets giving away 96 per cent fewer bags.

Scotland is also pressing ahead with plans to charge for plastic bags, leaving England as the last country with no firm proposals to tackle the problem.

Last month Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons backed the Daily Mail’s Banish the Bags campaign, which calls on companies and politicians to reduce the number of plastic bags blighting our countryside and rivers

 

Poll: 47 Million Believe Big Pharma Creates Disease

(Natural Society) -A new major poll from the organization Public Policy Polling over what United States citizens believe to be true about their government and beyond has revealed that a whopping 47 million citizens are privy to the fact that the Big Pharma pharmaceutical industry and the current medical health paradigm are actually generating further sickness within the nation. And that’s just within the United States.

The poll, which asked questions about everything from the use of sodium fluoride in the water to the assassination of JFK, has been popping up in the media where reporters are lumping together concerns about Big Pharma with the belief in Bigfoot. The issue with the poll, however, is that there is really some strange wording within the questions that I think altered the actual response of the individuals who were surveyed due to the oftentimes confusing or more ‘sinister’ wording utilized by the Public Policy Polling agency.

For example, the question regarding the medical establishment working together with Big Pharma reads as follows:

“Do you believe that the pharmaceutical industry is in league with the medical industry to “invent” new diseases in order to make money, or not?”

And 47 million people, based on the poll stats, agree that this is the case. But if the wording were to be changed even slightly, I think that we’d see even more widespread acceptance within the public — of which 15% of the entire United States population would agree according to this poll. For example, the wording here could be confusing with the usage of the word invent with quotations, as it could imply that these industries are creating new diseases that are previously unheard of instead of just generating sickness within the population.

If the polling company had asked “Do you believe that the pharmaceutical industry and the medical establishment are working together to keep the population sick?” I believe a much greater ‘yes’ response would be seen. Also, the profit portion alienates at least a few percentage points as many individuals believe that the motivation is not profit at all.

But this can be seen to a much greater extent with the question regarding the ill effects of fluoride, which reads:

“Do you believe the government adds fluoride to our water supply, not for dental health reasons, but for other, more sinister reasons, or not?”

This time, we see that the question involves the addition of ‘sinister reasons’ to the list. The media then takes it and says 74% of people think water fluoridation is healthy. Instead, the poll should have asked if fluoride is dangerous to the human body or lowers IQ. What would be amazing in such a scenario is that we’d see, still, a large percentage of people say that fluorides does not lower IQ when even Harvard research and 25 plus other studies have confirmed that it does. That is in addition to damaging developing brains.

NYPD officer charged with using badge, cruiser to help rob drug dealers

 

Spencer Platt / Getty Images / AFP

(RT) -A 17-year veteran of the New York City Police Department pled not guilty Thursday to charges that he supplied police paraphernalia and weapons to a stickup crew, which then used the equipment to rob drug dealers.

Officer Jose Tejada is accused of involvement in a string of 2006 and 2007 robberies in which he is alleged to have provided NYPD badges, uniforms and even police vehicles to a group of thieves. Tejada, 45, who had been assigned to police Harlem, was in uniform and on duty at the time of at least one of his alleged crimes.

He’s been connected to three of the more than one hundred robberies the crew is supposedly behind, with some dating back to 2001. Tejada is charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to distribute drugs including heroin, cocaine, MDMA, and marijuana, as well as an unlawful use of a firearm charge, according to local NY1 news.

Prosecutors say Tejada was caught in an “ongoing Internal Affairs Bureau investigation” and has been suspended from the department after holding a family of three at gunpoint while his colleagues searched their home.

He also is accused of checking the legal status of other robbers in the gang and letting them know when it was safe to flee then reenter the United States.

Obviously it is sad and disappointing anytime a police officer is arrested,” said NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly.

Tejada is the second officer to be charged as part of the robbery crew, which began in 2001 and has “netted more than 250 kilograms of cocaine and $1 million in narcotics proceeds,” prosecutors told the Times.

Emmanuel Tavarez, an eight-year veteran of the force, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in May 2012 after being convicted of similar crimes. Twenty other members have been implicated in the years-long investigation.

Bitcoin wallet service Coinbase faces phishing attacks after data leak

(Arstechnica) -Bitcoin wallet service Coinbase has publicly, and presumably accidentally, exposed information about its users’ names, e-mail addresses, and details of their transactions on the Coinbase website. The exposed e-mail addresses have become the target of phishing attacks.

Coinbase, a Y Combinator-backed startup, is a popular service for holding users’ bitcoins. At the time of this writing, the leaked information was still showing up in Google searches of the Coinbase site:

The URLs of the pages label them “checkouts,” and they appear to be transaction receipts. One was a 0.05 BTC ($6.85) transaction labeled as a donation. Another was a $980 transaction for “8 managed VPS hosts” from a company called cachedd. A third was a 229.99 BTC ($31,508) trasnsaction for “AVALANCHE SPA POWDER.”

In a Thursday blog post, Coinbase warned users to “beware of a phishing attack.” Someone has been sending e-mails to Coinbase users claiming that they need to log in to confirm recent transactions but directing them to a website not controlled by Coinbase. Late Friday morning, the leaked information was still publicly available on the Coinbase website.

There’s no evidence of a security problem with the Coinbase site. Provided users don’t fall for the phishing scheme, their funds should be safe. But publicly exposing users’ contact information and transaction details is a pretty big screwup.

We’ve emailed Coinbase seeking comment and will update if they respond.

Biotech food giant Monsanto announces massive profit increases

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(Digital Journal) -The biotech food giant, Monsanto, a company that has battled Americans and the world over GMOs in the food they create, announced increased profits on Wednesday. Their profit, the company said, rose 22 percent over the three-month period ending Feb. 13.
The numbers saw the St. Louis company that markets its products worldwide, make $1.48 billion in net profit during that 3-month time period, a climb of $2.74 per share. This comes in the wake of the controversial ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ (a title coined by its opponents), a piece of legislation in the U.S. that allows for Monsanto to be protected from litigation connected to health problems that may arise from its genetically modified organisms (GMO) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds and crops. Monsanto: dominates seed market with GMOs, GEs Monsanto has been dominating the seed market for over a decade and are increasing sales in emerging markets in South America, such as Argentina and Brazil, and in Latin America. The company’s genetically engineered corn, cotton and soybean seeds have dramatically increased sales in the last quarter; sales of their crop chemicals, like the herbicide Roundup, which kills weeds, are also on the rise. Food safety advocacy groups like ‘Food Democracy Now’ have gathered a petition of more than 250,000 names in protest of the legislation from President Obama and the U.S. government. They say that GMOs and GEs have not been scientifically shown to be safe and the legislation will allow Monsanto and other companies to create and market foodstuffs without taking into account potential health risks to consumers. Monsanto said its revenue total jumped 15 percent to $5.47 billio

U.S. economy chokes; only 88,000 jobs in March

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Washington – The entire U.S. economy only managed to create a sharply disappointing 88,000 jobs last month, not even half the number economic analysts had expected.
The economic downturn marks the third spring season to post a decline in hiring, leading economists to dub the developing sour economic phenomenon, “spring swoon.” Putting his best spin on a jobless spring, Steve Blitz, director and chief economist at ITG said: “The general tenor of the report underscores what our overall data have been indicating – a growing but not accelerating economy,” said Steve Blitz, director and chief economist at ITG Investment Research. While the economy sputters, the U.S. Labor Department reports unemployment edged down to 7.6 percent from 7.7. Lower unemployment reports likely indicate more Americans have dropped out of the labor force as opposed to finding jobs. “The drop in the participation rate has been centered on younger workers,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief economist at MFR Inc., “many of whom have given up hope of finding a decent job and are instead continuing in school and racking up enormous amounts of student debt, which has contributed to the recent surge in consumer credit outstanding.” The bad economic news took the market down by triple digits as trading began on Friday. Equally troubling is that 7.6 million workers who want full-time work still can find only part-time work, and their missing work hours do not count toward the official unemployment rate. Involuntary unemployment remains about the same as a year ago