FBI Conducting 32 Gun Purchase Background Checks Per Minute Under Obama

CNS News – by Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr.

During Barack Obama’s presidency there have been 32 background checks for gun purchases every minute.

Since February of 2009, the first full month of Obama’s presidency, there have been 70,291,049 background checks for gun purchases, according to data released by the FBI.

Using February 1, 2009 as our starting date, and March 31, 2013 as our end date, (the latest data from the FBI) Obama has been president for 1,520 days.

That equates to 36,480 hours, or 2,188,800 minutes.

Divide the 70,291,049 background checks by 2,188,800 minutes and you get approximately 32 checks for gun purchases every minute!

 

 

http://cnsnews.com/blog/gregory-gwyn-williams-jr/fbi-conducting-32-gun-purchase-background-checks-minute-under-obama

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Who wants a smart meter to track’n’tax your car? Hello, Israel

(theregister.co.uk) Israel is drafting a tender for smart meters to be mandated in every vehicle in the country, tracking drivers to allow for differential taxation, but only once the privacy issues have been resolved.

The plan is to vary vehicle tax based on usage, so drivers who don’t drive during peak times, or stay out of city centres, get discounted road tax, but the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport are adamant that any solution will have to protect the privacy of drivers who might not want every journey recorded and logged forever.

“Without a full solution to the privacy problem, we cannot even think about implementing the new tax method,” a source in the transportation department told local business site Globes. “We want a system which will not notify Big Brother about where a vehicle is located, but in which the device will make the calculations, and allow the car owner to delete data after use.”

It’s an alarmingly enlightened viewpoint, and not one that our Big-Data-Cloud-Analysis corporations would approve, but the rational approach doesn’t stop there – the idea isn’t just to tax users by the mile, as most systems would, but to reward them for reducing their existing mileage as demonstrated by the trial scheme which launched last month.

That scheme, called Going Green, will monitor 1,200 drivers over two years, and pay them up to 25 shekels (about a fiver) for every journey they don’t take. The first six months are used to work out “normal” driving, after which the volunteer can receive to a maximum of around a £1,000 over 18 months, calculated on the journeys they didn’t take, where they didn’t go, and the time at which they didn’t go there.

The formula is necessarily complicated, but laid out in full (in Hebrew) on the sign-up site. Globes reckons several hundred volunteers have already put their names down despite the privacy issues not yet being addressed, but the forthcoming tender will require a privacy-securing solution.

The UK system of recording every numberplate which enters the city centre is much easier and has the added benefit of feeding an enormous database of our movements, and as long as you’ve nothing to hide then presumably you have nothing to fear. We’re told this is the way a congestion charge is run, so it will be interesting to see if the Israelis can come up with a better solution, and if such a thing would ever be acceptable to our own government.

Rabidly Anti Gun Doctor Manages To Insult Millions Of Americans In One Interview

(Ammoland.com)- Vociferous Pro-Victimhood Advocate David Hemenway, PhD, Director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center managed to insult 10′s of millions of Americans in a recent interview by declaring that anyone who chooses to defend their lives or the lives of their loved ones is a “wuss“. ( http://tiny.cc/o1b8uw )

“The gun is a great equalizer because it makes wimps as dangerous as people who really have skill and bravery and so I’d like to have this notion that anyone using a gun is a wuss. They aren’t anybody to be looked up to. They’re somebody to look down at because they couldn’t defend themselves or couldn’t protect others without using a gun.”

So the good doctor deigns to look down from his ivory perch and hurl invective at anyone that is handicapped, injured, weak (or weaker, such as women vs man, elderly vs criminal), outnumbered or simply not a martial arts expert as “wusses“.

David Hemenway, PhDDr Hemenway has a long and “illustrious” history of doing anything necessary to advance the Citizen Disarmament agenda of the elites. He also admits his desire, parroting that of Eric Holder and Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Control and Prevention (NCIPC) who in 1994 told The Washington Post:

“We need to revolutionize the way we look at guns, like what we did with cigarettes. Now it [sic] is dirty, deadly, and banned. That it is imperative to “change the social norms”

“This is not acceptable behavior anymore. Another area we talk about where social norms have changed is smoking. What a magnificent change we’ve had in smoking in the United States. We need to see a social norm change on gun violence. “

According to Hemenway, and far to many others, we are supposed to simply accept the notion that only a “wuss” would insist on armed self defense, that a 110lb woman must be able to defeat her potential attacker(s) or submit to rape or anything else that happens to her, or she is not worthy of respect. That a senior citizen (such asMary Sheppard, who was savagely beaten by a recently released violent felon) , that can not cold cock their significantly younger and stronger attacker should be viewed with contempt, or that even a mixed martial arts expert that cannot win out when set upon by multiple attackers such as those found in repeated cases of rampaging flash mobs around the Country is some kind of “lessor” being.

Of course this is also presuming that the potential attackers are all also unarmed, which is never the case.

Give the Dr this much, he’s at least open and public with his contempt, disdain and bigoted views, something that many Anti Gun advocates try desperately to hide from public view. The thing is, his public remarks are a huge, arrogant mistake.

Generally speaking its considered a good idea to not insult millions of people you are trying to persuade to come around to your view point.

Then again, Anti’s like the Dr make these same arrogant mistakes all the time, and as a rather famous General and Political Leader once said ” Never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake” – Napolean Bonaparte.

In that light, I would strongly encourage the good doctor to keep opening his mouth at every opportunity.

Connecticut: State passes sweeping gun laws! More than 100 weapon types banned. You now have to register and have a state issued certificate to buy guns, ammo…

(investmentwatchblog.com) Newtown parents, including Mark Barden, spoke at the state capitol building on Monday to call for a complete ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines

Lawmakers in the US state of Connecticut have agreed to a sweeping set of gun restrictions, including a ban on new high-capacity magazines.

The proposal requires background checks on all gun sales and expands the state’s assault weapons ban.

It comes as new federal gun measures appear to have stalled in Congress.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21997806

 

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Connecticut state lawmakers came to an agreement Monday on what they said will become some of the nation’s toughest gun control laws.

As CBS 2?s Lou Young reported, the deal included a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines, such as the one that was used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre in Newtown. The deal also calls for a new registry for existing high-capacity magazines, and background checks that would apply to private gun sales.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/04/01/connecticut-lawmakers-reach-deal-on-gun-control-laws/

Connecticut lawmakers announced a deal Monday on what they called some of the toughest gun laws in the country that were proposed after the December mass shooting at a school in Newtown. Some highlights from the proposal:

GUN LAWS

—Ban sales of high-capacity ammunition magazines;

—Background checks for private gun sales;

http://www.boston.com/news/education/2013/04/01/conn-proposals-guns-other-items-after-newtown/0Qn1nJQI3223inrmQWfMFI/story.html

Connecticut Lawmakers Agree to Gun Control Bill – Bans Magazines over 10 rounds, Requires a State Issued Permit to Buy Ammo, & Mental Checks!

Connecticut Lawmakers Agree to Gun Control Bill
Bans Magazines over 10 rounds
Requires a State Issued Permit to Buy Ammo
Must submit to universal background and Mental Checks
Bans any weapon with any “assault weapon” characteristics (pistol grips or anything that “looks scary”)

http://offgridsurvival.com/connecticutgunban/

Conn. lawmakers unveil bipartisan gun control plan

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20130402/DA5D80EG2.html

Communists Stand in Defiance of Bill of Rights

(fromthetrenchesworldreport.com) The communist insurgents within the United States continue their push to disarm we American nationals, even to the point of presenting poll numbers which have been proven to be false via their own previous admissions.  Captain Mark Kelly, the husband of ex-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was making the rounds over the weekend, spouting his sedition while trying to present himself as some kind of American hero.

Let’s look at this logically and ask the question. Does the government grant the people their rights?  Was the Bill of Rights written by the government to outline the privileges they were to bestow upon us, said privileges of course to be revoked, altered, or regulated at the government’s whim?

This is the position the government would like to establish.  It is however absolutely a fiction.  This government did not grant us our rights, as all power within this nation resides in the people.  We granted the government limited power, which they have distorted.  Our rights are inalienable, they cannot be removed as we are born with them and they stay with us until our deaths.

The 2nd Article to the Bill of Rights states in part: “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  This is an absolute statement and there is no way it can be misconstrued.

Infringe is defined as: “Act so as to limit or undermine; encroach on”, therefore any government action that alters, in the smallest degree, any American nationals right to arm, as he or she sees fit, is by definition an infringement and is not law, but rather an act of sedition.

The infringements that have been levied upon our Bill of Rights are too numerous to count.  These infringements have in fact brought us to the precipice of slavery.  The only thing standing in the way of a complete takeover of the people by the government is our possession of our firearms which have not yet been made a part of the infringements.

This is not just about our 2nd Article right.  This is about our freedom and liberty, et.al.  A person who is governed by another person is not free.  This is why our Republic emphasizes self governess of, by, and for the individual.

Mark Kelly spouted the lie that 92% of the American people support universalbackground checks, which can only be accomplished through universal registration.  Again, this is a lie, but even if it were not, it would not matter.  If 99.999% supported it, no one of us can alter the rights of another.

Our employees in the government are forbidden by law to advocate in any way to alter our Bill of Rights. The 1934 Gun Control Act was and is an infringement, and tell me how bold would these actors within this police state be in attacking our homes, if we still had our machine guns and hand grenades?  The 1968 Gun Control Act was and is an infringement, as the 2nd Article to the Bill of Rights does not say “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed except for those who are felons. “

These communists are parasites of the lowest degree and have sleazed their way into our lives in taking our kindness for weakness, said kindness fostered in reality via stupidity as the most feared threat to our safety is an armed government wielding tyranny over an unarmed population.

These present infringements have been put forth for no other reason than to segment another portion of our population to be without their inalienable rights.  And with the new mental health aspect, hell you do not even have to be accused of harming anyone.  Now, instead of being dispossessed of our rights via conviction, which again is unconstitutional, we are to be disarmed for what could happen: an ‘if’ or a ‘maybe’.

We must stand firm in our defiance of universal background check registration and let these communists know that not only are they going to cease and desist in their attempt at further infringement, but we demand that all past infringements be removed as a precursor to their trials for sedition.

God bless the Republic, death to the international corporate mafia, we shall prevail.

The Anger Phase Of Humanity Is Coming

Majority of U.S. Senators back President Obama’s ability to Kill American Citizens.

McCain(offgridsurvival.com) In case you missed what happened yesterday, because it was not covered by the Mainstream Media, Senator Rand Paul led a 12 hour filibuster of CIA Nominee John Brennan, after the White House refused to say they don’t have the authority to kill American Citizens on American Soil.

In what should have had 100% support by every member of the Senate, only managed to garner the support of a handful of senators. In fact this morning, the Senate, led by Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, took to the Senate floor to denounce Rand Paul’s demands. Senator McCain said he was doing a “disservice” to the country.

A disservice to the country?

Since when is standing up for our right to live a disservice to the country? Every last one of these people needs to be voted the hell out of office. The fact that we couldn’t even get a majority of the U.S. Senate to agree that the President does not have the authority to Kill American Citizens on American Soil (without a trial), is an absolute travesty of justice. What a sad day it is for America when it’s even up for debate.

What the hell happened to America? The sad reality of what happened yesterday, on the Floor of the Senate, should send chills through the spines of every red blooded American. Can you believe we have come to a place where it’s now being debated whether or not the federal government can ignore the Constitution and kill Americans without a trail?

For the last couple of years we’ve highlighted the drone programs, the effort to disarm America, and how the Department of Homeland Security is stockpiling massive amounts of Ammunition. What some called wild conspiracy theories, don’t seem so wild anymore do they?

Senate Refuses to Pass Non-Binding Bill Saying President doesn’t have the right to Kill Americans

To bring the Filibuster to a close, Senator Rand Paul offered a non-binding resolution opposing the President’s ability to kill Americans in drone strikes on US soil. Something that should have received 100% support in the Senate, couldn’t even get enough votes to pass. We are living in a country where only a handful of our elected representatives seem to have a problem with our government conducting the targeted killing of American Citizens.

Democrat Senator Dick Durbin, speaking for the majority, was designated to say he objects to Paul’s non-binding resolution. The fact that a majority of the U.S. Senate could not even stand together in opposition to something as simple as opposing (in a non-binding resolution) the President’s ability to assassinate citizens in drone attacks on US soil is simply inexcusable.

This is not a Partisan Issue: Both Sides are to Blame

For those that want to claim this as a partisan issue, I want to remind people that both political parties, Democrats and Republicans, overwhelmingly supported President Obama’s ability to kill American Citizens without a trial. In fact, at the same time Rand Paul made his stand to say that, “No President has the right to say that he is judge, jury, and executioner”,  a huge number of Republican Senators decided to ignore what was going on in the Senate, and instead attended a swanky dinner with President Obama.

The Following Republicans decided it was more important to be seen eating dinner with the President than it was to Stand with Rand Paul and Support the Constitution and your right to live.

senatorsobamadinner

When asked this morning whether the president has the power to kill Americans here at home, Senator Lindsey Graham said “I find the question offensive, I do not believe that question deserves an answer.” Senator John McCain then went to the Senate floor and defended President Obama’s ability to kill American Citizens on American Soil, by arguing that America is part of the worldwide battlefield. He publicly stated that the President has the right to kill Americans (without a trial) who are deemed to be “enemies” of the country.

More cities get military tanks they don’t need

 

 

(Image credit: The Brain Toad/Flickr)

 

(EndTheLie) -Last month I reported on how Georgia law enforcement agencies have acquired a massive arsenal of military-grade vehicles and weapons through  the Department of Defense. Unfortunately, it’s far from isolated.

Many law enforcement agencies acquire military equipment through the Pentagon’s 1033 program. Police have also acquired military robots through the DoD but they have other  ways to get their hands on armored surveillance vehicles and armored personnel carriers as well.

Indeed, the Department of Homeland Security gave the city of Keene, New  Hampshire, with a population of less than 25,000, $285,933 to buy an armored  counter-attack vehicle called a BearCat, according to Radley Balko.

Keene has had a whopping three murders since 1999 according to City Data and according to the American Civil Liberties  Union (ACLU), the city lied about the need for the tank-like vehicle built by Lenco Industries, Inc.

The ACLU points out that a Keene City Councilmember actually admitted that  the city lied about their need for the BearCat to DHS.

“Our application talked about the danger of domestic terrorism, but that’s  just something you put in the grant application to get the money,” the  councilmember said, according to the ACLU. “What red-blooded American cop isn’t  going to be excited about getting a toy like this? That’s what it comes down  to.”

Another example of this type of completely unnecessary equipment being  acquired by a law enforcement agency can be seen in Richland County, South  Carolina.

With a violent crime rate down 3.7% and property crime down 3.9% compared to last year, Richland doesn’t seem to have a  massive crime problem. Furthermore, many of the crimes there are related to drug  use or gambling, according to the ACLU.

Yet Richland’s Sheriff’s Department for some reason has an armored personnel  carrier they call “The Peacemaker.”

As was reported by Reason in 2008, the armored personnel carrier has a belt-fed  .50-caliber turreted machine gun which even the US military is reluctant to use  on humans.

(Image credit: mpeake/Flickr)

(Image credit: mpeake/Flickr)

How exactly a weapon usually reserved for use against armored vehicles will “save lives” is anyone’s guess.

These, like the examples in Georgia are far from isolated.

“Law enforcement agencies throughout the country have sweeping access to military equipment and to billions of  dollars in federal grant money to purchase heavy weaponry designed for overseas  combat missions, as well as access to anti-terrorism tactical training,” the  ACLU reports.

The ACLU recently launched a new project on the militarization of policing in America in response to  this growing trend.

While some may claim this type of equipment is necessary to assure the safety  of officers when facing massive shootouts or similar encounters, in reality, the  use is much more mundane in most cases.

“And in Maryland, the transparency law has shown that police departments in  the state are using SWAT tactics in precisely the ways critics have claimed: to  break into homes to serve warrants on people suspected of low-level drug  crimes,” according to a March 6 article by Radley Balko. “Many times, they’re not  even finding enough contraband to make an arrest. Yet there haven’t been any  calls in the state to reform the way SWAT teams are used.”

The disturbing results of the militarization of police are many. In 2010 a nine-year-old girl was shot in the neck and killed by a  SWAT team.

(Image credit: verifex/Flickr)

(Image credit: verifex/Flickr)

Shortly before she was killed, the SWAT team threw a flashbang grenade through the window of her home in Detroit,  Michigan, immediately setting her blanket on fire.

In another incident, Iraq war veteran Jose Guerena was shot 60 times by a  SWAT team when serving a search warrant as part of a multi-house drug  crackdown.

Guerena he picked up his own gun (but didn’t fire it) in an attempt to defend  his family after his wife saw a shadowy figure in their front yard holding a  gun. Police later defended their actions after retracting their claim  that Guerena shot first and declining to say if they found any drugs in his  house.

According to the ACLU, their affiliates in 23 states filed over 255 public  records requests on March 6 with law enforcement agencies and National Guard  offices to “determine the extent to which federal funding and support has fueled  the militarization of state and local police departments.”

More on the ACLU’s new project can be seen here.

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.

 

Ohio man charged with shooting police robot that entered his bedroom

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(NaturalNews) It’s not a zombie apocalypse but it could be the next best  – or worst – thing, depending on your point of view, but one thing is for  certain: The robots are coming, and with them new laws that will undoubtedly be  utilized to protect them.

According to the Chillicothe Gazette, a  Gannett-owned Ohio newspaper, a 62-year-old man, Michael Blevins, who was  heavily inebriated was recently arrested for shooting (but not killing) a police robot following a six-hour stand-off.

The report said that  officers in the town of Waverly initially responded to a complaint that shots  had been fired inside a bedroom at a home, and that the homeowner had a number  of guns and was threatening neighbors.

Police knocked on the front door  of the home, called on the telephone and even brought in a trained negotiator in  an effort to make contact with Blevins, but he refused to speak to anyone for  hours. At that, officers decided to contact the Pike County Sheriff’s Department  as well as the state Highway Patrol’s Strategic Response Team for help. They got  a pair of search robots instead.

Attack of the drones?

The  first robot to enter the Blevins’ home was camera-equipped. Its mission was to  locate the man and his guns. A second, larger robot was then sent inside, but  when Blevins spotted that machine, he opened fire on it with a small caliber  pistol, damaging it.

After all that, police finally entered his home and  used a simple stun gun to subdue and arrest him.

Later, after obtaining a  search warrant, cops found several firearms in Blevins’, including a pair of  AK-47-style, semi-automatic rifles and a 75-round ammunition magazine, an item  that is illegal to own in Ohio.

Following an  evaluation by medical doctors and mental health professionals, Blevins was  charged with two felony counts of unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance  and vandalism of government property, among other charges, the local paper  reported.

The use of robots by the military has grown exponentially over  the past decade. They are utilized as bomb-sniffing devices and for other  counter-IED missions in Afghanistan and were used is similar capacities in Iraq  before U.S. troops pulled out.

And just as the military has replaced a  lot of missions that can be harmful to soldiers with robots, civilian  authorities are doing the same for certain dangerous situations, to protect  officers. Other technologies being used by police  are alarming, however: They include automated license plate readers; taser  cameras; face ID scanners; facial recognition software; and drones. Robots are  only the latest high-tech device employed by police.

In fact, reports  David J. Hill at SingularityHub.com, another Ohio police department last  fall was showing off a recently acquired $11,000 AVATAR surveillance robot  from a firm called RoboteX; its mission is assisting the department’s SWAT  team.

Writes Hill:

Robots like these are increasingly being  used in standoffs in which armed people are not cooperating with police. For  example, a related event occurred last year in Utah when two cousins  who were roommates got into an argument and shots were fired. When SWAT arrived,  one cousin surrendered but the other refused to come out. He did, however,  surrender his shotgun when the police sent a robot in.

Increased  technology impinges on the Constitution

Departments are increasingly  looking to high-tech, high-end systems that make it easier to catch lawbreakers  while protecting the lives of officers, but as technology often does, with the  advances come additional new concerns about constitutional issues such as  privacy and other individual rights, Hill notes. “After all, the consequence of  the intoxicated Ohio man’s actions is to be charged with damage to police  equipment rather than, at the least, attempted murder charges if he had fired on  police.”

But would he have fired on police? These implications of  increased robot use are only now coming into focus. Notes  Hill:

Incidents between citizens and police  robots will be on the rise as more bots are brought into service. Hopefully,  we can remember that a potentially deadly armed standoff resulted in no one  being hurt, thanks to technology and those who use it  responsibly.

The key word, of course, is responsibly.

Wash. state bill allows police to search students without parental consent

 

Bill would allow police to search children without probable cause or parental consent

(Examiner) -A Washington state bill, S.B. 5618, that would allow police officers, or “school resource officers,” to search students without probable cause or parental consent, passed the State Senate Monday, 30-19.

The legislation would allow police to search a student’s person, locker and possessions if they are believed to be violating the law or any school rule. Searches are already mandatory under state law if a student is suspected of possessing a firearm.

Currently under Washington state law, if a school employee has a reasonable suspicion to search a student, they have the right, but a police officer serving as a school resource officer cannot search a student without probable cause.

Reasonable suspicion is a term that means a person has been or will be involved in a crime based on specific circumstances and facts. Reasonable suspicion is more than a hunch that a crime has been committed but does not require as much evidence as probable cause.

The bill opens by reading:

“The legislature recognizes that both the federal and state constitutions contain certain sacred protections against warrantless searches by law enforcement. Federal and state courts have recognized certain reasonable exceptions to the warrant requirement consistent with common sense and public safety.”

In a recent opinion, the Washington State Supreme Court overruled previous case law and determined that a school resource officer could not conduct searches of students. If enacted, this new law would allow police to search students much more easily.

Some believe if enacted, the law will help make schools a safer environment. Others parents feel it undermines their parental rights and worry about the possible consequences.

Washington state parents like Doug Weller, who homeschools his children, sees this as yet another example of the way public schools are becoming.

“This is indicative of the attitude of the federal government: security trumps freedom. This, of course, is a patently false and dangerous mindset, to sacrifice freedom for a sense of security only available through the government. This bill fails to even acknowledge parental rights,” said Weller.

In fact, according to the National Household Education Survey Program, 1.5 million students were homeschooled in 2007, a 36% increase since the last study conducted in 2003.

“I believe the states accepting so much federal money for public education strips schools from their ability to determine education free of the social engineering that is taking place in our schools today.

“The state has been allowed to believe that they hold deed to your children. Apathy in the home and voting booth have made this possible as parents cede more and more authority and responsibility over to the state in general and the public schools in particular,” continued Weller.

Recent incidents at public schools have caused concern from many regarding police interaction and lack of parental oversight.

A 6-year-old girl at a Florida elementary school was handcuffed and put in a mental facility after throwing a temper tantrum in 2010.

In 2011, at a school in Connecticut, A 17-year-old boy in Connecticut was thrown to the ground and tasered five times because he was yelling at a cafeteria worker who had yelled at him.

Last year, a student in Stockton, California was handcuffed with zip ties on his hands and feet, forced to go to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and was charged with battery on a police officer. The student was 5 years old.

The bill will now be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Study Shows Black Men Receive 20% Longer Prison Terms Than White Men For Committing The Same Crime

(Refreshing News) Prison sentences of black men were nearly 20% longer than those of white men for similar crimes in recent years, an analysis by the U.S. Sentencing Commission found.

That racial gap has widened since the Supreme Court restored judicial discretion in sentencing in 2005, according to the Sentencing Commission’s findings, which were submitted to Congress last month and released publicly this week.

In its report, the commission recommended that federal judges give sentencing guidelines more weight, and that appeals courts more closely scrutinize sentences that fall beyond them.

The commission, which is part of the judicial branch, was careful to avoid the implication of racism among federal judges, acknowledging that they “make sentencing decisions based on many legitimate considerations that are not or cannot be measured.”

Still, the findings drew criticism from advocacy groups and researchers, who said the commission’s focus on the very end of the criminal-justice process ignored possible bias at earlier stages, such as when a person is arrested and charged, or enters into a plea deal with prosecutors.

“They’ve only got data on this final slice of the process, but they are still missing crucial parts of the criminal-justice process,” said Sonja Starr, a law professor at the University of Michigan, who has analyzed sentencing and arrest data and found no marked increase in racial disparity since 2005.

Douglas A. Berman, a law professor at the Ohio State University who studies sentencing, said, “It’s not surprising that the commission that’s in charge of both monitoring and amending the guidelines has a general affinity for the guidelines.”

The Sentencing Commission didn’t return requests for comment.

The Supreme Court, in the 2005 case U.S. v. Booker, struck down a 1984 law that required federal district judges to impose a sentence within the range of the federal sentencing guidelines, which are set by the commission.

The law was meant to alleviate the disparity in federal sentences, but critics say placing restrictions on judges can exacerbate the problem by rendering them powerless to deviate from guidelines and laws that are inherently biased. An often-cited example is a federal law that created steeper penalties for crack-cocaine offenses, which are committed by blacks more frequently than whites, than for powder-cocaine offenses.

Congress reduced the disparity in 2010.

In the two years after the Booker ruling, sentences of blacks were on average 15.2% longer than the sentences of similarly situated whites, according to the Sentencing Commission report. Between December 2007 and September 2011, the most recent period covered in the report, sentences of black males were 19.5% longer than those for whites. The analysis also found that black males were 25% less likely than whites in the same period to receive a sentence below the guidelines’ range.

The Sentencing Commission released a similar report in 2010. Researchers criticized its analysis for including sentences of probation, which they argued amplified the demographic differences.

In the new study, the Sentencing Commission conducted a separate analysis that excluded sentences of probation. It yielded the same pattern, but the racial disparity was less pronounced. Sentences of black males were 14.5% longer than whites, rather than nearly 20%.

Jeff Ulmer, a sociology professor at Pennsylvania State University, described the commission’s latest report as an improvement but said it was “a long way from proving that [judicial discretion] has caused greater black-white federal sentencing disparity.”

Pentagon Inks Deal for Smartphone Tool That Scans Your Face, Eyes, Thumbs

 

 

(Wired) -In a few years, the soldier, marine or special operator out on patrol might be able to record the facial features or iris signature of a suspicious person all from his or her smartphone — and at a distance, too.

The Defense Department has awarded a $3 million research contract to California-based AOptix to examine its “Smart Mobile Identity” biometrics identification package, Danger Room has learned. At the end of two years of research to validate the concepts of what the company built, AOptix will provide the Defense Department with a hardware peripheral and software suite that turns a commercially available smartphone into a device that scans and transmits data from someone’s eyes, face, thumbs and voice.

“They’ve asked us, based on what they’ve seen of our product, to work on some more specific needs and requirements for DoD,” Chuck Yort, AOptix’s vice president for identity solutions, tells Danger Room. Data security for the system will be provided by partner CACI International, which shares in the $3 million contract, which will be officially announced Wednesday morning.

Currently, U.S. troops rely on a single-use device, known as the Handheld Interagency Identity Detection System (HIIDE), to scan, upload and transmit data from someone’s facial, eye or thumb features to its wartime biometrics databases. The HIIDE, shown below, looks a bit like the camera Hipstamatic uses for its logo, and troops who want to operate it need to bring it close to the faces and thumbs of the people they scan.

 

The hardware AOptix has developed isn’t itself a phone. It’s a peripheral that wraps around a phone to enable the additional sensing capabilities necessary to acquire the biometric data. AOptix was hesitant to describe the peripheral, but supposedly it won’t impact the phone’s form factor, and the company swears a smartphone bulked up with its sensing dongle will weigh under a pound. Unlike HIIDE, it’ll only take one hand to operate.

Outside of the add-on, the computational power of the smartphone is supposed to enable the software package that AOptix built — and displayed at a September conference in Tampa partially sponsored by the National Security Agency. The company won’t say what operating system Smart Mobile Identity it’s configured to run on, but the Defense Department tends to like the relative cheapness and open architecture of Android devices. Yort promises the software will have a “very intuitive interface that leverages smartphone conventions.”

Smart Mobile Identity has limited ability to record biometric data at a distance, but its specs outperform the HIIDE camera. It scans faces at up to two meters away, irises from one meter, and voice from within the typical distance from a phone. Thumbprints will still require a finger against the reinforced glass face of the phone. Joey Pritikin, another AOptix executive, says that an additional advantage of the system is its ability to capture an iris in bright sunlight, which is a challenge for HIIDE and other biometrics device. Apparently the system will also be able to snap an image of someone’s face or eye once the phone running the software focuses on it, without a specific click, swipe or press.

AOptix is also cagey about which part of the Defense Department inked the deal with the company. (Pentagon officials didn’t respond to requests for additional information.) But since AOptix and CACI are supposed to deliver Smart Mobile Identity after 24 months of research, its most likely application would be for special operations forces, who after the 2014 completion of the troop drawdown from Afghanistan will be doing the majority of patrolling in places where biometric ID collection on a mobile device will be relevant.

It’s worth noting that even though the military is backing away from foot patrols in warzones, it’s not backing away from biometric data acquisition — far from it. The U.S. Central Command has held on to the biometric database of three million people it compiled during the Iraq war. And Darpa-funded projects are already working on biometric identifier devices that can scan irises and even fingerprints from further distances than Smart Mobile Identity — to say nothing of next-gen biometrics projects that can scan thearea around your eye, your odor, and even the way you walk.

It’ll be a very long time before any of those detection systems can run on a phone, however. And even with the Defense Department’s budget crunch, the Army and now the Navy are showing interest in equipping their troops with smartphone and smartphone-like devices. Enabling them to scan someone’s physical features with the same device may not be a step too far.

Feds Set To Mandate “Black Box” Data Recorders In Every Car And Truck

 

Accident investigators will soon have black-box data from all crashes, because of a new rule set to be finalized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

WASHINGTON – Many motorists don’t know it, but it’s likely that every time they get behind the wheel, there’s a snitch along for the ride.
This week ended the public comment period on a proposed law that would put so-called black boxes in every new car sold by September 1, 2014. The thing is, most cars already have them unbeknownst to many drivers.
Automakers have been quietly tucking the devices, which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop, into most new cars for years.
When a car is involved in a crash or when its airbags deploy, inputs from the vehicle’s sensors during the 5 to 10 seconds before impact are automatically preserved. That’s usually enough to record things like how fast the car was traveling and whether the driver applied the brake, was steering erratically or had a seat belt on. This data has been used recently, for example, to determine what was happening in cars before accidents when some Toyota owners were claiming their cars were accelerating out of control as they were driving.
The idea behind mandating black box data recorders is to gather information that can help investigators determine the causes of accidents and lead to safer vehicles. But privacy advocates say government regulators and automakers are spreading an intrusive technology without first putting in place policies to prevent misuse of the information collected.
Data collected by the recorders is increasingly showing up in lawsuits, criminal cases and high-profile accidents. Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray initially said that he wasn’t speeding and that he was wearing his seat belt when he crashed a government-owned car last year. But the Ford Crown Victoria’s data recorder told a different story: It showed the car was traveling more than 100 mph and Murray wasn’t belted in.
In 2007, then-New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was seriously injured in the crash of an SUV driven by a state trooper. Corzine was a passenger. The SUV’s recorder showed the vehicle was traveling 91 mph on a parkway where the speed limit was 65 mph, and Corzine didn’t have his seat belt on.
In this way, the black boxes can nail liars trying to blame their cars for bad driving.
There’s no opt-out. It’s extremely difficult for car owners to disable the recorders. Although some vehicle models have had recorders since the early 1990s, a federal requirement that automakers disclose their existence in owner’s manuals didn’t go into effect until three months ago. Automakers that voluntarily put recorders in vehicles are also now required to gather a minimum of 15 types of data.
Besides the upcoming proposal to put recorders in all new vehicles, the traffic safety administration is also considering expanding the data requirement to include as many as 30 additional types of data such as whether the vehicle’s electronic stability control was engaged, the driver’s seat position or whether the front-seat passenger was belted in. Some manufacturers already are collecting the information. Engineers have identified more than 80 data points that might be useful.
Privacy complaints have gone unheeded so far. The traffic safety administration says it doesn’t have the authority to impose limits on how the information can be used and other privacy protections. About a dozen states have some law regarding data recorders, but the rest do not.
“Right now we’re in an environment where there are no rules, there are no limits, there are no consequences and there is no transparency,” said Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy advocacy group. “Most people who are operating a motor vehicle have no idea this technology is integrated into their vehicle.”
Part of the concern is that the increasing computerization of cars and the growing communications to and from vehicles like GPS navigation and General Motors‘ OnStar system could lead to unintended uses of recorder data.
“Basically your car is a computer now, so it can record all kinds of information,” said Gloria Bergquist, vice president of the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers. “It’s a lot of the same issues you have about your computer or your smartphone and whether Google or someone else has access to the data.”
The alliance opposes the government requiring recorders in all vehicles.
Data recorders “help our engineers understand how cars perform in the real world, and we already have put them on over 90 percent of (new) vehicles without any mandate being necessary,” Bergquist said.
The National Transportation Safety Board has been pushing for recorders in all passenger vehicles since the board’s investigation of a 2003 accident in which an elderly driver plowed through an open-air market in Santa Monica, Calif. Ten people were killed and 63 were injured. The driver refused to be interviewed and his 1992 Buick LeSabre didn’t have a recorder. After ruling out other possibilities, investigators ultimately guessed that he had either mistakenly stepped on the gas pedal or had stepped on the gas and the brake pedals at the same time.
Some automakers began installing the recorders at a time when there were complaints that air bags might be causing deaths and injuries, partly to protect themselves against liability and partly to improve air bag technology. Most recorders are black boxes about the size of a deck of cards with circuit boards inside. After an accident, information is downloaded to a laptop computer using a tool unique to the vehicle’s manufacturer. As electronics in cars have increased, the kinds of data that can be recorded have grown as well. Some more recent recorders are part of the vehicle’s computers rather than a separate device.

In a Major Privacy Victory, Seattle Mayor Orders Police to Dismantle Its Drone Program After Protests

 

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(EFF) -In an amazing victory for privacy advocates and drone activists, yesterday, Seattle’s mayor ordered the city’s police agency to cease trying use surveillance drones and dismantle its drone program. The police will return the two drones they previously purchased with a Department of Homeland Security grant to the manufacturer.

EFF has been warning of the privacy dangers surveillance drones pose to US citizens for more than a year now. In May of last year, we urged concerned citizens to take their complaints to their local governments, given Congress has been slow to act on any privacy legislation. The events of Seattle proves this strategy can work and should serve as a blueprint for local activism across the country.

Back in early 2012, the Seattle city council was told that the Seattle police agency had obtained an authorization to fly drones from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). But they did not find out from the police; they found out from a reporter who called after the council after he saw Seattle’s name on the list obtained by EFF as part of our lawsuit against the FAA.

City council was understandably not happy, and the police agency was forced to appear before the council and apologize. It then vowed to work with the ACLU of Washington and the FAA to develop guidelines to make sure drones wouldn’t violate Seattle citizens’ privacy. But as long as the guidelines weren’t passed in a binding city ordinance, there’d be no way to enforce them.

After a townhall meeting held by police, in which citizens showed up in droves and angrily denounced the city’s plans, some reporters insinuated that city counsel members’ jobs could be on the line if they did not pass strict drone legislation protecting its citizens privacy.

Documents obtained by MuckRock and EFF in October as part of our 2012 drone census showed that the Seattle police were trying to buy two more drones despite the controversy. But that ended yesterday as the Mayor put a stop to the program completely.

Critics of the privacy protests said the participants were exaggerating the capabilities of the Seattle drones, given they would only fly for less than an hour at a time and are much smaller than the Predator drones the military flies overseas and Department of Homeland Security flies at home.

But while Seattle’s potential drones may not have been able to stay in the air for long, similar drones have already been developed and advertised by drone manufacturers with the capability to stay in the air for hours or days at a time. In fact, Lockheed Martin has been bragging about a drone that weights 13.2 pounds (well within the FAA’s weight limits) that can be recharged by a laser on the ground and stay in the air indefinitely.

Since the Seattle protests have heated up, similar complaints have been heard at local city counsels and state legislatures across the country. At least thirteen states are now considering legislation to restrict drone use to protect privacy, and there are also members of Congress on both sides of the aisle pushing the same thing.

Here in the Bay Area, we’ve experienced a similar situation. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office tried to sneak through drone funding without a public hearing and told the county board of supervisors it only wanted to use the drone for emergency purposes. Yet in internal documents obtained by EFF and MuckRock as part of our 2012 drone census, the Sheriff’s Office said it wanted to use the drone for “suspicious persons” and “large crowd control disurbances.”

When EFF and ACLU held a press conference pointing out this discrepancy, the county backtracked and is now attempting to write privacy guidelines that could potentially be turned into binding law. We will keep you updated on further developments.

But regardless, it’s important that privacy advocates take the lesson from Seattle and apply it all over the country. This is an important privacy victory, and like we said back in May, local governments will listen to our concerns, so let’s make our voice heard.

DHS Watchdog OKs ‘Suspicionless’ Seizure of Electronic Devices Along Border

 

 

(Wired) -The Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights watchdog has concluded that travelers along the nation’s borders may have their electronics seized and the contents of those devices examined for any reason whatsoever — all in the name of national security.

The DHS, which secures the nation’s border, in 2009 announced that it would conduct a “Civil Liberties Impact Assessment” of its suspicionless search-and-seizure policy pertaining to electronic devices “within 120 days.” More than three years later, the DHS office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties published a two-page executive summary of its findings.

“We also conclude that imposing a requirement that officers have reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a border search of an electronic device would be operationally harmful without concomitant civil rights/civil liberties benefits,” the executive summary said.

The memo highlights the friction between today’s reality that electronic devices have become virtual extensions of ourselves housing everything from e-mail to instant-message chats to photos and our papers and effects — juxtaposed against the government’s stated quest for national security.

The President George W. Bush administration first announced the suspicionless, electronics search rules in 2008. The President Barack Obama administration followed up with virtually the same rules a year later. Between 2008 and 2010, 6,500 persons had their electronic devices searched along the U.S. border, according to DHS data.

According to legal precedent, the Fourth Amendment — the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures — does not apply along the border. By the way, the government contends the Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone stretches 100 miles inland from the nation’s actual border.

Civil rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union suggest that “reasonable suspicion” should be the rule, at a minimum, despite that being a lower standard than required by the Fourth Amendment.

“There should be a reasonable, articulate reason why the search of our electronic devices could lead to evidence of a crime,” Catherine Crump, an ACLU staff attorney, said in a telephone interview. “That’s a low threshold.”

The DHS watchdog’s conclusion isn’t surprising, as the DHS is taking that position in litigation in which the ACLU is challenging the suspicionless, electronic-device searches and seizures along the nation’s borders. But that conclusion nevertheless is alarming considering it came from the DHS civil rights watchdog, which maintains its mission is “promoting respect for civil rights and civil liberties.”

“This is a civil liberties watchdog office. If it is doing its job property, it is supposed to objectively evaluate. It has the power to recommend safeguards to safeguard Americans’ rights,” Crump said. “The office has not done that and the public has the right to know why.”

Toward that goal, the ACLU on Friday filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding to see the full report that the executive summary discusses.

Meantime, a lawsuit the ACLU brought on the issue concerns a New York man whose laptop was seized along the Canadian border in 2010 and returned 11 days later after his attorney complained.

At an Amtrak inspection point, Pascal Abidor showed his U.S. passport to a federal agent. He was ordered to move to the cafe car, where they removed his laptop from his luggage and “ordered Mr. Abidor to enter his password,” according to the lawsuit.

Agents asked him about pictures they found on his laptop, which included Hamas and Hezbollah rallies. He explained that he was earning a doctoral degree at a Canadian university on the topic of the modern history of Shiites in Lebanon.

He was handcuffed and then jailed for three hours while the authorities looked through his computer while numerous agents questioned him, according to the suit, which is pending in New York federal court.

Police State: Unconstitutional “Vehicle Inspection” Checkpoints To Terrorize Florida Residence

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TAMPA BAY – The Florida Highway Patrol Troop C (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk,  Pasco, Hernando, Sumter and Citrus counties) has announced the roads it plans to  target with driver license and/or vehicle inspection checkpoints in February.  FHP says the checkpoints will be conducted during daytime hours, and generally  cause delays of five minutes or less. Scroll down for a list of all affected  roads.

Here are your questions (submitted via Facebook and Twitter  @TampaBayTraffic  ) about the checkpoints:

Q: Is this legal?

A: There is a policy established by the Florida Highway Patrol that specifies  the legal guidelines that must be undertaken by the agency to conduct driver  license and vehicle safety inspection checkpoints. The information provided  below comes directly from that policy, which was provided by FHP.

Q: How will this impact my drive?  Won’t these checkpoints  cause big traffic jams?

A: Initially, every third vehicle will be stopped, however the Checkpoint  Supervisor will monitor traffic to ensure a backup doesn’t occur. If delays of  more than three to five minutes occur, the Checkpoint Supervisor may order an  alternate vehicle count (i.e. every fifth vehicle). If the traffic conditions  cause a back up that cannot be easily alleviated by the alternate vehicle count,  the Checkpoint Supervisor may temporarily suspend the checkpoint until the  back-up has been cleared. Once cleared, the checkpoint can be reactivated using  the last vehicle count method that was in place. Per the policy, the degree of  intrusion to motorists and the length of detention to each driver should be kept  to a minimum.

Q: Do these checkpoints affect trucks and buses too?

A: All vehicles and drivers, including commercial vehicles, buses and large  trucks, that enter the checkpoint are subject to screening. The only exception  is emergency vehicles.

Q: Isn’t this profiling?

A: The FHP police states “vehicles and drivers shall not be stopped on a  discretionary basis (i.e., due to the ‘looks’ of the vehicle or it  occupant(s).”

Q: What’s a “driver license checkpoint”?

A: Troopers will request the driver license and vehicle registration from  each driver detained. If a driver is also the owner or registrant of the  vehicle, the Trooper also may request proof of personal injury protection (PIP)  insurance. FHP says violations will be enforced pursuant to Florida law and  Division policy.

Q: What are” vehicle inspection checkpoints”? Troopers aren’t  mechanics, so why are they checking my car?

A: Per FHP, defective vehicle equipment, such as bad brakes, worn tires and  defective lighting equipment, poses dangers to the public.

Q: What will officers inspect on my vehicle if I’m  stopped?

A: Troopers may inspect the following equipment on vehicles:

  • Horn
  • Windshield wipers
  • Brakes
  • Tail lamps
  • Directional signals (required on all vehicles manufactured after January 1,  1972)
  • Stop lamps
  • License plate lamp
  • Headlamps
  • Steering mechanism
  • Tires
  • Exhaust system
  • Other readily visible equipment (windshield, bumpers, etc.)

Q: Am I going to get a ticket? How much do they cost?

A: During the vehicle inspection checkpoints, Troopers may issue a Faulty  Equipment Violations, which are non-moving violations and do not carry points  for the driver’s record. Fees for non-moving violations vary by county. In  Hillsborough County, a non-moving violation fee is $103, however if a citation  is issued, drivers may have the faulty equipment replaced or repaired, provide  proof of those repairs, and have the fine reduced to $83. The non-moving  violation fees for other counties included in the checkpoints are: Citrus $116;  Hernando $114; Pasco $114; Polk $114; Sumter $11

During the driver license or vehicle inspection checkpoints, citations may be  issued for seat belt violations ($103-$116 fine). Drivers that appear to be  impaired may be arrested, and their vehicles may be towed.

Q: What times will the checkpoints occur?
A: Any time between sunrise and sunset, according to FHP.
Q: Are these actually DUI checkpoints?
A: No. However if an officer suspects a driver is impaired, the vehicle  will be moved off of the roadway and standard procedure for DUI investigation  will be conducted. When probable cause exists to believe that the driver has  committed DUI, the driver will be held/processed per Florida law and local  procedures for DUI offenders. If there’s probable cause to believe that the  driver or any passenger in the vehicle has committed an offense involving the  possession or use of any contraband drug, the driver or passenger will be  secured and processed in accordance with Florida law and local procedures for  contraband drug offenders. Additionally, when reasonable suspicion exists to  believe that the driver or any passenger in the vehicle has committed an offense  involving the possession or use of any contraband drug, a K-9 officer may be  requested to conduct a K-9 sniff of the vehicle in order to detect and locate  contraband drugs.
Here are
the roads impacted by the checkpoints, as determined by local  supervisors.
Pinellas County
No Pinellas County checkpoint locations have been scheduled at this  time.

Hillsborough County

US Highways: US-92, US-41, Bus 41, US-301

State Roads: 60/Adamo/Brandon Blvd; 582, 597, 678, 580, 45, 600, 573, 599,  676, Alt 676, 39, 674, 43, 601, 583, and 685

County Roads: 587, 576, 579, 581, 672, 640, 574, 574A, 39B, 582A, and 584

Local Roads:

  • South Mobley Highway
  • Lutz Lake Fern Road
  • Wilsky Avenue
  • Linebaugh Avenue
  • Van Dyke Road
  • Barry Road
  • Livingston Avenue
  • Crenshaw Lake Road
  • 127    th Avenue
  • Skipper Road
  • County Line Road
  • Davis Road
  • Trapnell Road
  • Jap Tucker Road
  • Lithia Pinecrest Road
  • Williams Road
  • Harney Road
  • Symmes Road
  • Balm Road
  • Magnolia Lane
  • North Taylor Road
  • Pruett Road
  • Rhodine Road
  • McIntosh Road
  • Turkey Creek Road
  • Balm Riverview Road

Pasco County

US Highways:  US-41, US-301

State Roads: 54, 52

County Roads: 1, 41, 52A, 77, 518, 575 577, 578, 579, 579A, 587, 587A,  595

Local Roads:

  • Key Lime Drive
  • Hudson Avenue
  • Shady Hills Road
  • County Line Road (Pasco/Hernando)
  • County Line Road (Hillsborough/Pasco)
  • Thys Road
  • Hays Road
  • Hicks Road
  • Lock Street
  • Moog Road
  • Mile Stretch Drive
  • Jasmine Boulevard
  • Madison Street
  • Old Dixie Highway
  • Moon Lake Road
  • Denton Avenue
  • Old Pasco Road
  • Foam Flower Boulevard
  • Dayflower Boulevard
  • Quail Hollow Boulevard
  • Boyette Road
  • Monteverde Drive.

Hernando County

County Roads:  476, 480, 481, 484, 491, 493, 495, 541, 580, 572, 576,  581, and 597

Local Roads:

  • LaRose Road
  • WPA Road
  • Yontz Road
  • Kettering Road
  • Reynolds Road
  • Daly Road
  • Ridge Manor Boulevard
  • Grove Road
  • Horse Lake Road
  • Osowaw Road
  • Barrett Road

Polk County

State Roads:  600, 700

County Roads:  35A, 540, 542, 546 557, 17A, 659, 655, 54, 542A, 580

Local Roads:

  • Pine Chase Avenue
  • Wabash Avenue
  • Thompson Nursery Road

Citrus County

County Roads:  39, 470, 480, 486, 488, 490, 490A, 491, 494

Local Roads:

  • Highlands Street
  • West Cardinal Street
  • Century Boulevard
  • Elkcam Boulevard
  • West Pine Ridge Boulevard
  • Dunkenfield Road
  • Rock Crusher Road
  • North Croft Avenue
  • West Seven Rivers Drive
  • West Venable Street
  • Pleasant Grove Road
  • Green Acres Boulevard
  • Fort Island Trail
  • West Riverbend Road
  • Fishbowl Drive
  • Miss Maggie Drive
  • Gobbler Drive
  • North Citrus Avenue
  • Turkey Oak Drive
  • Dunklin Avenue
  • Yulee Drive West
  • North Citrus Springs Boulevard
  • Grover Cleveland
  • Turner Camp Road
  • Istachatta Road
  • West Highland Street
  • Halls River Road
  • Old Floral City Highway

Sumter County

State Roads:  35 and 471

County Roads:  44A, 48, 209, 229, 400, 412, 416, 437, 462, 466, 466A,  468, 469, 470, 471, 472, 475, 476A, 476B, 478, 478A, 501, 575, 647, 673, 696,  721, 723, and 747

Local Roads:

  • Buena Vista Blvd
  • Morse Blvd

Manatee, Sarasota counties

These counties operate outside of Troop C. Information about checkpoints in  those areas has not been announced at this time.

 

Rev. Jesse Jackson Says Gun Supporters Are Domestic Terrorists

(Infowars) During an interview with the Wall Street Journal posted on January 30, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said “anti-government people” espousing what amounts to a “Confederate ideology” will engage in terrorist activities unless the government enacts draconian laws restricting the possession of firearms.

Jackson said the Second Amendment provides these domestic terrorists with the ability to “do something about how they feel” in their effort to “fight the government.”

The phrase “Confederate ideology” is shorthand for a political philosophy that stresses states’ rights (including nullification) and adherence to the Constitution.

New York Rep. Charlie Rangel said in January that Southern culture – a specific reference to gun culture prevalent in the South – is something that Democrats must work to overcome. “New York is a little different and more progressive in a lot of areas than some other states and some of the southern areas have cultures that we have to overcome,” Rangel told MSNBC.

Jackson, a former Democrat presidential contender and the founder of the Rainbow Coalition, said in August that the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle is the preferred weapon “for domestic, homegrown terrorism.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center has also linked Second Amendment activists to terrorists. The organization argues the “radical right” is exploiting the gun rights issue to push a white supremacist political ideology.

The SPLC has worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security. In 2009, aleaked DHS document revealed the agency’s obsession with “Rightwing Extremists.”

In early December, sports columnist Jason Whitlock likened the NRA to the Ku Klux Klan, the racist organization established during Reconstruction by former Confederate soldiers.

“You know, I did not go as far as I’d like to go because my thoughts on the NRA and America’s gun culture — I believe the NRA is the new KKK,” Whitlock told CNN’s Roland Martin.

Whitlock’s comments inspired a widely-covered Bob Costas’ anti-Second Amendment halftime screed during a Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles game broadcast live on NBC television.

Jackson’s comments underscore an ongoing effort by Democrats and other so-called progressives to characterize Second Amendment activists as domestic terrorists.

Jackson Calls for DHS on Streets of Chicago

Jackson has also called for the federal government to put the Department of Homeland Security on the streets on Chicago, according to Reuters.

He made the comment prior to a march on the city’s violence-wracked South Side. Jackson said Chicago mayor Rahmn Emanuel and city police are unable to address the problem and the federal government needs to intervene.

Chicago had 500 homicides in 2012 and more than 40 so far this year. The Obama administration and the establishment media exploited the murder of Hadiya Pendleton in Chicago after the 15-year-old girl performed at an event celebrating the inauguration of Obama last month.

“The details of her death shook Chicago and gave fuel to gun-control advocates in the running debate over firearms,” the New York Times reported last week. Jay Carney, Obama’s press secretary, said the tragedy is “another example of the problem that we need to deal with.”

Jackson did not elaborate on his comment demanding the Department of Homeland Security patrol the streets of Chicago.

“Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and Rainbow PUSH Coalition call for immediate Federal Intervention and Homeland Security in Chicago as January homicide totals exceeded 45,” a press release issued on Friday by Rainbow PUSH states. “Reverend Jesse Jackson reaffirms that gun control reform is critical and the ban on assault weapons paramount.”

The Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet-level department of the federal government. It was allegedly established in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks and describes its mission as protecting the United States from terrorist attacks, man-made accidents, and natural disasters. It was not originally mandated to work with local police.

The 2005 USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act passed by Congress, however, established a “permanent police force” subject to the “supervision of the Secretary of Homeland Security.”

According to the legislation, this new federal police force is empowered to “make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence, or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony.”

“The language conveys enormous discretionary and arbitrary powers,” former Reagan Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Paul Craig Roberts, wrote in 2006. “Like every law in the US, this law also will be expansively interpreted and abused… Who is going to hold accountable a federal police protected by Homeland Security and the president?”

The Obama administration has yet to respond to Jackson’s demand. However, as gang-related violence in Obama’s hometown and elsewhere continues to claim lives and dominate headlines, it is entirely possible the federal government may directly intervene in Chicago as part of its effort to attack the Second Amendment and further meddle in local law enforcement duties under the hysterical cover of putting an end to “gun violence.”

School Board To Add Armed Guards In Newtown Elementary Schools

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(CAV News) – The board of education in Newtown Connecticut has voted to request additional funding to add armed resource officers to their four elementary schools, according to reports.

Responding to the requests of parents in the community, the school board will meet with state and local officials today to secure funding for full-time resource officers to the school.

                          (WVIT)

“Our parents are demanding of us that things are made safe and secure and certain measures are put in place,” said Chairwoman Debbie Leidlein. “So we’re being very thoughtful.”

Sandy Hook elementary has staffed the school with Newtown police officers since the shooting on December 14, 2012. If officials approve the budget, the officers, who would be stationed at the schools, would be Newtown police officers.

After the massacre, the NRA advocated for schools to hire armed police officers or guards.

“After what happened in our community, I just think we should go over and above and provide a shining example for the rest of the world and protect our kids,” said resident Donna Lorenz.

By: Derek Wood

Sources: NECN, WVIT, Hartford Courant, The Hill.

U.N. Drone Investigator: If Facts Lead to U.S. War Crimes, So Be It

 Ben Emmerson wants to be clear: He’s not out to ban flying killer robots used by the CIA or the U.S. military. But the 49-year-old British lawyer is about to become the bane of the drones’ existence, thanks to the United Nations inquiry he launched last week into their deadly operations.

(Wired.com) Emerson, the United Nations’ special rapporteur for human rights and counterterrorism, will spend the next five months doing something the Obama administration has thoroughly resisted: unearthing the dirty secrets of a global counterterrorism campaign that largely relies on rapidly proliferating drone technology. Announced on Thursday in London, it’s the first international inquiry into the drone program, and one that carries the imprimatur of the world body. By the next session of the United Nations in the fall, Emmerson hopes to provide the General Assembly with an report on 25 drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Palestine where civilian deaths are credibly alleged.

That carries the possibility of a reckoning with the human damage left by drones, the first such witnessing by the international community. Accountability, Emmerson tells Danger Room in a Monday phone interview, “is the central purpose of the report.” He’s not shying away from the possibility of digging up evidence of “war crimes,” should the facts point in that direction. But despite the Obama administration’s secrecy about the drone strikes to date, he’s optimistic that the world’s foremost users of lethal drone tech will cooperate with him.

In conversation, Emmerson, who’s served as special rapporteur since 2011, doesn’t sound like a drone opponent or a drone skeptic. He sounds more like a drone realist. “Let’s face it, they’re here to stay,” he says, shortly after pausing to charge his cellphone during a trip to New York to prep for his inquiry. “This technology, as I say, is a reality. It is cheap, both in economic terms and in the risk to the lives of the service personnel who are from the sending state.

“And for that reason there are real concerns that because it is so cheap, it can be used with a degree of frequency that other, more risk-based forms of engagement like fixed-wing manned aircraft or helicopters are not,” Emmerson says. “And the result is there’s a perception of the frequency and intensity with which this technology is used is exponentially different, and as a result, there is necessarily a correspondingly greater risk of civilian casualties.”

Woman gets $250,000 settlement after being thrown to the ground, hogtied by police while pregnant

 

(Image credit: screenshot of YouTube video originally captured by attorney Howard Price)

(Image credit: screenshot of YouTube  video originally captured by attorney Howard Price)

(End The Lie)- Tamara Gaglione was recently paid $250,000 in damages for being pulled over  for talking on her cellphone, after which she was thrown to the ground and  hogtied by California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers on the shoulder of a busy  freeway.

This type of behavior, while indeed disgusting, is far from surprising given  that police hogtying women isn’t all that rare and a woman died of suffocation last year in the back of a Los  Angeles Police Department patrol car after being kicked in the genitals and  forced into the vehicle.

In this case, it seems that the dashboard camera is what ultimately held the  officers accountable, just as a similar camera did in the case of a 66-year-old man who was beaten for no apparent  reason.

The incident occurred in August of 2011 and resulted in charges of evading  and resisting arrest and driving with a suspended license, all of which were  dropped after a judge saw video footage  of the incident captured from a dashboard camera of a CHP cruiser.

30-year-old Gaglione, 2 months pregnant at the time, was pushed face-first  into the asphalt after an officer swept her legs with a kick. Another officer  used his knee to pin her to the ground, all while she was pregnant.

Howard Price, Gaglione’s attorney, told the Huffington Post that Gaglione could hear officers  talking about the video of the encounter on the way to the station.

Yet when Price requested the video in order to present it as evidence in  Gaglione’s criminal trial, he was told no footage of the incident existed.

“I went back to them, and I said, ‘Look, am I stupid? This involved a chase.  There must be a videotape,’” Price said.

Eventually, the prosecutor finally handed over the footage from the dashboard  camera of a backup officer, although that footage showed nothing.

Once Price was told the footage did, in fact, exist, he was told that no one  could transfer the video to another medium.

Price was then forced to go to the CHP station himself in order to record the  footage for posterity.

The video Price took of the original CHP footage being played was then  uploaded to YouTube and can be seen below.

“The conduct here is outrageous. What these officers did here was bewildering  to me. They knew she was pregnant,” Price told the Los Angeles Times. “She never resisted arrest.”

“After first stopping on the right shoulder, she was ordered to not stop  there, to go forward and get off freeway [sic],” Price explains on his website. “Because of rush hour traffic noise, she did not  hear clearly what she was directed to do.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, the officers ordered her to toss her car keys out of her window, exit her  vehicle and put her hands on the car.

Instead, Gaglione simply stands outside of her vehicle staring at the CHP  officers, “appearing confused,” as the Los Angeles Times puts it.

When the officers are yelling, “Turn around,” it appears that Gaglione says  something, although it is inaudible.

In the official report, the CHP officers claimed that she appeared to raise  her arms in a menacing manner, although it is quite hard to detect if there are  any menacing arm movements from the footage.

The officers then approach Gaglione with their guns drawn, sweep her legs  with a kick and push her face-first into the ground.

Another officer pins Gaglione to the ground with a knee in her back, although  Price contends that it was actually placed on her neck.

“At another point, it appears the woman is kicked in her left ribs,” the Los  Angeles Times notes. “Eventually she is hogtied and placed in a squad car.”

“I’d never seen a gun for real before,” Gaglione said. “I just froze. I was  scared they’d shoot me.”

While Gaglione maintains that she told the officers she was pregnant when  they first approached her, one of the officers, Officer Daniel Hernandez, said  that she did not mention that she was pregnant until she was on the ground.

In Hernandez’s report, he said that he kneed Gaglione in an effort to  distract her so that Officer Roberto Martinez, his partner, could handcuff  her.

The officers wrote in their report that the incident escalated because  Gaglione ignored their orders and “appeared to raise her arms in an aggressive  manner after hopping out of the van,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Gaglione later sued both the CHP, the sergeant and five officers involved in  the incident, “alleging that her civil rights had been violated and that she had  been subjected to excessive force and malicious prosecution,” according to the  Los Angeles Times.

While CHP officials would not discuss the incident itself, they said that  both sides concluded that the $250,000 settlement was in everyone’s best interest.

“The CHP conducted a review of the tactics and, as necessary, took  appropriate action,” stated Fran Clader, department spokeswoman.

Both of the officers involved in the incident with Gaglione remain CHP  officers.

After the misdemeanor charges were dropped, Gaglione pleaded no contest to  the infraction for using a cellphone while driving.

Gaglione is now the mother of a 9-month old son and moved to Pennsylvania  from Los Angeles after the 2011 encounter, according to Price, who added that  her son was not apparently affected by the incident.

“I will always be scared of police officers because of these knuckleheads,” Gaglione said.

 

Gunships Over Miami: “Machine Gun Fire, Strafing Runs, Troops Rappelling From Choppers, and Road Blockades”

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(SHTFPlan) -Gun control advocates say deadly assault weapons have no business being on the streets of America.

But, apparently, those same people who would restrict you of your ability to defend yourself have no objections to fully loaded military gunships flying over American population centers.

That’s exactly what happened in Miami, Florida recently when the U.S. military, in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies, staged an “urban training exercise,” justifying the action as as preparation of our troops for deployment overseas.

If we’re supposedly pulling our military out of Afghanistan and Iraq, which urban environment is it that the military and local police are training for?

Military “exercises” in populated urban environments are now so routine, so commonplace, they are no longer reported by the national media and are left as “human interest” stories for local news stations.

 

For instance, in Miami last Thursday, units of the military industrial complex staged yet another training exercise.

“Diving Blackhawks, blank rounds of machine gun fire, strafing runs, troops rappelling from choppers, and road blockades,” writes Karen De Coster. “All over the skies of Miami at night, just a few days ago. According to this local TV clown in the video, this event was for the purposes of ‘meeting requirements,’ preparing for overseas military drills, and making sure the equipment is in check.”

In the above video, we hear the staccato of door guns pounding away as “military-style choppers” swooped a couple hundred feet above traffic on I-395 in downtown Miami.

From the local CBS disinfo ministry:

The training is designed to ensure that military personnel are able to operate in urban areas and to focus on preparations for overseas deployment. It also serves as a mandatory training certification requirement.

Source: Kurt Nimmo at Infowars.com

The U.S. military has remote training installations all over the world. Why, then, would it be necessary for them to be engaging in exercises over a major U.S. city?

We are being systematically desensitized to a domestic police state. From being violated by security agents at our nation’s airports, to heavily armed hybrid security teams being deployed in martial red zones around the country, the government is reshaping our perceptions of what  ”normal” means.

In this context it’s important to note that Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano recently said that we no longer need to worry about Al Queda as a threat to America. Rather, DHS security and intelligence resources are shifting to the domestic front:

“There’s been a lot of evolution over the past three years,” she said. “The thing that’s most noticeable to me is the growth of the lone wolf,” the single attacker who lives in the United States or elsewhere who is not part of a larger global conspiracy or network, she said.

She named no examples, but it’s a phenomenon that is increasingly the focus of international anti-terror operations.

As has been previously noted, the US military, including the National Guard, have been training for domestic policing actions for many years, and have been actively war gaming large scale economic collapse and civil unrest scenarios.

Make no mistake. The goal of this live environment exercise is not to stop a terrorist threat from Al Queda or some other rogue foreign element.

It’s to stop you.

(Update) -Massachusetts Attorney General and Other law officials push to expand wiretapping to reduce gun violence

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(CAV News) – Martha Coakley, the Attorney General of Massachusetts, and a group of law enforcement officials, met today at a press conference about the need to update wiretapping laws, so the police can compete with what the “criminals are using.”

 The group claims that organized crime networks, simple street thugs, human trafficking networks, have the upper hand over law enforcement.

The wiretapping laws in Massachusetts haven’t been updated since 1968, which some think is a beautiful thing, considering big brother and the federal government holding company, have been expanding surveillance among Americans, and destroying the once great idea of… privacy!

“Inevitably, once you wiretap more and more phones you start to listen in on the phone consversations of good, law-abiding citizens,” said Peter Elikann, a former chair of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s criminal justice committee.

Which is true where does it begin and where does it stop? 

Martha Coakley claims that police are riding on horses while criminals get away in automobiles.

“It’s really like saying, `We’re going to ask our local police to still ride on horses while criminals have taken over automobiles,”‘ Coakley said at a briefing on the legislation.

 So wait, it’s okay for the criminals to have the upper hand over law-abiding citizens in Massachusetts when it comes to owning guns, but not okay for the same criminals to have the upper hand on the police?

Here’s why we need less laws, allow Americans their basic rights, so you don’t have laws that provoke spying, and this: “New Proposal Will Force Gun Owners to Store Assault Weapons At Government Authorized Storage Depots.”

The good news is… there must be a reason these updates haven’t been made, because people in the state of Massachusetts refuse to buy into police state or political salesmanship.

“We’ve always had greater rights in this state,” says Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Martin Weinberg.

“There’s never been a reduction of the powers to surveillance, only attempts to expand. And even if in an isolated case or two, there may be advantages to additional electronic surveillance, what about the deep and profound harm to the public by having a universal diminishing of everybody’s right to privacy.” Martin said.

The bad news of course is that the Daivd Linsky’s, Feinsteins, Coakley’s, Bloombergs, are out there and  still trying to impose their agenda and will on law-abiding Americans.

By: Derek Wood

Sources: Intellectual Oddities, NECN, WBUR. org

Maine Lawmakers And ACLU take on police state and surveilance

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(CAV News) – The ACLU and lawmakers in Maine are proposing privacy protection measures as a priority this week.

State Senator John Patrick (D)  is proposing a bill that would require the police to obtain a warrant before using domestic UAV’s or drones to spy on people.

Assistant Senate Republican Leader, Roger Katz, is proposing two bills. 1: Police will have to get probable cause warrants before accessing text messaging content 2. A warrant would be required before police can use geo-tracking to find people through their cellphones.

A more detailed proposal and drafts will be presented this Thursday at a news conference.

                        From the Kennebec Journal:

“The people of Maine care deeply about their privacy, but outdated laws and a lack of protections make us all vulnerable to intrusion into our most sensitive information,” said Shenna Bellows, the Maine group’s executive director. “Maine needs stronger privacy laws that shield us from overreaching surveillance by the government and corporations, and ensure that the most personal details of our private lives stay private.” The ACLU stated.

As the federal government pushes more programs infringing on individual privacy rights and grants to local police departments to try out domestic drones, these measures should be welcomed by civil libertarians.

                        More from Kennebec Journal:

“I wanted to get ahead of the curve as far as the use of drones,” said Patrick. “Realistically, I think drones should be prohibited from indiscriminate mass surveillance. I don’t think drones should replace police officers on the ground.”

By: Derek Wood

Source: Kennebec Journal

Massachusetts to propose wiretapping bill to “reduce gun violence.”

 

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(CAV News) – According to NECN, Massachusetts attorney general, Martha Coakley, and several other lawmakers will propose a bill tomorrow to combat gun violence with a wiretapping bill.

The details will be laid out tomorrow according to NECN, in which lawmakers hope to curb gun violence.

What they are hoping for is to modernize and update the current laws on the book to target street, gun, and gang violence.

Here’s the official story from NECN: http://www.necn.com/01/27/13/Mass-lawmakers-to-propose-wiretapping-bi/landing.html?blockID=827329&feedID=11106

Of course anybody who doubts what government has been doing with their expansion in surveillance can only see, that this as a way to spy on citizens, infringe on rights, generate more power, exploit and waste taxpayer dollars, and help friends in certain industries. This will do nothing but make more law-abiding citizens “perceived criminals.”

 

Be a Proud Conspiracy Theorist, You’re in the Majority

(Activist Post) It seems that the establishment media has intensified their attack on “conspiracy theorists”.  It’s long been their feeble attempt to discredit anyone who dares question the “official” narrative of events.  But why the sudden deluge of attacks?

First, what does conspiracy theory even mean?

con·spir·a·cy – An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act.

the·o·ry – A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena.

con·spir·a·cy the·o·ry – The belief that the government or a covert organization is responsible for an event that is unusual or unexplained. In short, a conspiracy theorist seeks the full facts about covert subversive acts, and unusual or unexplained events. Put another way, when the story of an event doesn’t add up, theories arise to explain what really happened.

Given the abominable track record of the establishment media, it’s become more common to question everything we hear rather than blindly swallowing their script.

As the initial reporting of the Sandy Hook school massacre was so scattered, and policymakers immediately seized the crisis to promote a long desired agenda of strict gun control, it’s no wonder that some have questioned the authenticity of the “official” version of events.

What is the official version, anyway?  It’s changed a thousand times. They want us to believe a lone-wolf psycho used an assault rifle to kill 26 innocent children and teachers.

Never mind that it has come out that a “rifle” never entered the school and what they found in the trunk of Lanza’s car was actually a shotgun. Never mind how he got through the new $300,000 surveillance/security system while wearing a mask and armed to the teeth. Never mind the reports of multiple shooters and camouflage-clad strangers arrested in the woods. Don’t worry about the Emergency Response Team (ERT) that was simulating this exact same school shooter scenario on the same day in a nearby town. And, don’t ask why there’s a strange lack of injured survivors, credible witnesses, or anyone who even knew Adam Lanza. And, finally, how would gun control have prevented this event?

I must be an evil, heartless conspiracy theorist who pisses on the graves of those killed that day because I’d like answers to these questions. At least that’s what the establishment media wants you to believe about me and others who desire better explanations than what we’ve been given.

Media figures, particularly CIA intern Anderson Cooper of CNN, is using his bully pulpit to demonize anyone who questions the Sandy Hook event and lump them all into the most radical theory that says no one was murdered that day. The fact that he dedicated nearly an entire show to disputing a conspiracy theory, in and of itself is telling.

Meanwhile, AC was caught pulling a 360 on viewers by showing “active-shooter drill footage” from another school as if it was the breaking news feed of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

But,  as Cooper struggles to attract 200K viewers per night to his pulpit, an amateur video questioning the anomalies of Sandy Hook received an astonishing 10 million views in one week.

Therein lies the primary reason the establishment can no longer ignore conspiracy theorists, because they’re now the majority. According to a recent Fairleigh Dickinson University poll a majority of Americans (63%) believe at least one political conspiracy theory.

Dan Cassino, a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University who helped conduct the poll said “People tend to believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire – so the more smoke they see, the more likely they are to believe that something is going on.”

Regarding 9/11, Cassino says; “It’s easy to discount conspiracy theories about 9/11, but this isn’t some fringe belief. Trutherism is alive and well in America, and is only going to get stronger as memories of the actual event fade.”

Another likely motivation for the recent attacks on conspiracy theorists is because a staggering majority no longer trusts the corporate media or the government. Recent polling showed record level (60%) of distrust for the media, and Congress is less popular than cockroaches with a dismal 9% favorable rating.

It’s clear that the dying corporate media wants their viewers to despise anyone who questions the official narrative of any “event that is unusual or unexplained” in a desperate attempt to keep viewers locked to their “trusted” news channel.

I, for one, am proud to question everything I hear in the so-called news. And the bigger they hype a story, the more I question it. As professor Cassino said, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

Usually someone, or a group of someones, clearly benefits from a certain subversive act. As such, they seem to have much more of a motivation than some lone wolf who kills himself after committing unexplainable atrocities or some cave dweller claiming to hate our freedom.

Is this always the case? Of course not. But the more hype the establishment puts behind a questionable event, the more reason there is to find out cui bono — who benefits?

Below is a great video dissertation by James Corbett about conspiracies and the media response to them:

Illinois Town: We can violate you but you can’t violate back: 2 meter opponents arrested in Naperville: ‘A society of violating one another’

(Chicago Tribune) -Two vocal opponents of Naperville’s initiative to install wireless electric meters on homes were arrested after interfering with the installation process, according to city officials.

Police are accompanying crews this week as they install smart meters at homes that previously sent away installers.

“The previous installation attempts were met with some resistance and we wanted to ensure our employees’ safety,” City Manager Doug Krieger said.

  • Jennifer Stahl and Malia "Kim" Bendis
  • Smart meter arrests
  • Meter opponents raise safety concerns
 

Naperville has installed smart meters on 57,000 homes and is about 99 percent through with the process. Officials have said the project will make the electric system more reliable and efficient and reduce costs.

However, the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group has expressed concerns over whether the wireless meters will affect health, security and privacy. The group has a federal lawsuit pending against the city.

The two women arrested Wednesday are leaders of the group.

Malia “Kim” Bendis of the 2200 block of Mercer Court was charged with two misdemeanors — attempted eavesdropping and resisting a peace officer.

Jennifer Stahl of the 1400 block of Westglen Drive, received two ordinance violation citations — interfering with a police officer and preventing access to customer premises.

Stahl, who was released from custody about 4:30 p.m., said when she refused the smart meter, installers accompanied by police cut the bicycle lock she had placed on her fence and entered her backyard. She then stood in front of her electric meter and refused to move.

“It was forced on my house today,” she said. “It was really a violation. I violated something, but I’ve been violated too so I guess we’re now in a society of violating one another.”

The city, which has repeatedly declared the wireless meters to be safe, offers a non-wireless alternative meter to residents with concerns. There is a $68.35 initial fee for a non-wireless meter plus a $24.75 monthly fee for manually reading it. Stahl said residents who want a non-wireless meter should not have to pay for it, and said she represents other homeowners who were not able to continue to refuse the wireless meter installation.

“I have not done the work of attempting to educate the community and advocating for the right of anybody in Naperville to refuse the smart meter just to stand off to the side,” she said.

Bendis exited the Naperville Police Department about an hour later to handful of smart meter opponents who cheered for her release. She declined comment, citing the advice of her attorney.

Krieger defended the city moving forward with installation of the meters despite the objections from some homeowners.

“The city has always had and maintains the right to access our equipment, and today we were simply exercising that right,” he said.

Update:After refusing any ID (even without RFID), Texas student kicked out of school

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(ArsTechnica) -The family of the Texas girl who sued her school district as a result of her refusal to wear an RFID-disabled ID badge at her magnet school, John Jay Science & Engineering Academy, was informed Friday that she can no longer attend the school.

The RFID-disabled badge, rather than an RFID-enabled one, was an accommodation that the school had provided to her. The Northside Independent School District in San Antonio said she could take that or be placed in her normally assigned school, Taft High School.

When she declined to accept this accommodation, her attorneys appealed the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which on Thursday denied the request to prohibit the district from removing her from the school for not wearing any ID at all. Now, she must report to Taft when the new semester begins next week.

This accommodation was sanctioned by a federal district judge who ruled against Hernandez. She initially had famously refused to wear an RFID-enabled ID badge on the grounds that it violated her freedom of expression, her freedom of religion, and that she was being denied equal protection.

“There has been no harm to Plaintiff, and there is no foreseeable harm to Plaintiff in the future,” Judge Orlando Garcia wrote. “On the other hand, tying the District’s hands and preventing its administrators to exercise their discretion always raises a concern. The scales tip in the District’s favor.” Judge Garcia added earlier this month that Hernandez and her family must inform the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio before the beginning of the new semester (January 22, 2013) whether she would accept this offer.

At this stage, Hernandez and her attorneys have no other court to turn to besides the United States Supreme Court, which is unlikely to take the case—seemingly bringing this saga to its end

Alderman Suggests Requiring GPS Devices On All Guns

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A South Side alderman is asking for City Council hearings on an unorthodox gun control measure that would allow for GPS tracking of firearms.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Ald. Willie Cochran (20th), a former police officer, has suggested that global positioning system chips be embedded in new guns, and retrofitted on existing firearms, so they could be located if they go missing.

“Just like if your car gets stolen, OnStar can tell you where your car is. If your gun gets stolen, and you report it, we should be able to find that gun,” he said.

Cochran has introduced a resolution asking the Committee on Public Safety to hold hearings to receive testimony on the matter. A Massachusetts state senator from Boston has been pushing a similar measure in that state.

Cochran acknowledged it might be expensive to install GPS chips on current and future firearms, but not as expensive as the cost of gun violence to society.

“Let’s measure what it costs in hospital costs, lost wages, deaths,” he said.

As for the privacy of gun owners who could be tracked with the GPS chips in their guns, Cochran said, “safety is … a much more important issue than is privacy.”

“It is extremely important that we look past this privacy issue, at this point, and understand how important it is for us to address the issue of safety,” he added.

The mayor wasn’t commenting on Cochran’s proposal.

5 chilling new ways police violate your rights

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(Salon) -One of the most disturbing trends in law enforcement in recent years is the hyper-paramilitarization of local police forces. Much of the funding for tanks for Fargo’s hometown cop shop comes from the Department of Homeland Security. The feds have a lot of money to throw around in the name of preventing terrorism, and municipalities want to get that money. As anyone who has done budgeting knows, the best way to ensure your funding stays high is to request a lot of money and spend it all.

As a result, every year the police get more tools, gadgets, weapons, and surveillance technologies that, whatever their stated purpose, serve to give cops greater capabilities to curtail the rights of anyone unlucky enough to be standing in their path.

We were going to list these in order from least to most creepy, but that proved far too challenging. So here are some cop tools you may not be familiar with, in no particular order.

1. Shock-cuffs.These made a splash in late 2012 when it was reported that Scottsdale Inventions had submitted a patent for metal handcuffs capable of delivering “high-voltage, low amperage shocks to disrupt a person’s voluntary nervous system,” much like Tasers. Depending on the model used, the handcuffs could shock a detainee at the will of his captor, or if the detainee wanders past a certain border – like an invisible fence for dogs.

Even more disturbing is the potential to arm the handcuffs with needles capable of injecting medications, sedatives or any number of liquid or gas substances into the detainee. But don’t worry – some models may include a flashing light or sound-alert to warn the person that a shock is about to happen.

2. Rapid DNA analysis. One of the main stories of the future of policing will be cops’ ability to collect biometric data in the field, instead of at the downtown precinct. EFF reported earlier this month on a potentially troubling technology called Rapid DNA analysis, being developed by contractors with the federal government. The machine, which is about the size of a laser printer, has the ability to collect, analyze and catalog your DNA onsite in about 90 minutes.

The stated purpose of the technology is to help identify family relationships between refugees, which could be beneficial if used in limited ways. According to EFF, however, the US Citizenship and Immigration agency suggests “that DNA should be collected from all immigration applicants—possibly even infants—and then stored in the FBI’s criminal DNA database.” As with all data collection in the US, the wrench only goes one way, and once local police forces obtain this technology the potential for abuse is huge.

3. Mobile fingerprinting. Police forces across the country have become enamored of smart phone-sized fingerprint scanners. The police use the devices to scan two fingers of the suspect and transmit the data via Bluetooth to the officer’s laptop in his cruiser. The laptop then checks the image against criminal databases for a match.

The ACLU of Washington is concerned that the devices could be used to collect fingerprints, not simply scan them, though Seattle police insist they don’t keep the scanned fingerprints.

4. Iris scans.When I was arrested covering Occupy in December 2011, a livestreamer who was an old hat at political arrests warned me about the iris scan. Beginning in 2010, the NYPD started scanning arrestees’ irises on intake and immediately prior to arraignment. The stated purpose of these scans is to ensure that the person brought before the judge is the right one (there were some instances of mistaken identity), but in practice the scope of the iris scan is much broader. It’s plainly an example of collecting biometric data of people who haven’t been convicted of a crime, as well as a mechanism to punish those who refuse the scan.

The scan isn’t mandatory, but as I wrote about my own experience, “if you don’t submit to it, you will be punished.” In my case, I refused the scan on intake, but was told I would be held in jail for an extra night if I didn’t allow my eyes to be scanned before I saw the arraignment judge, despite the fact that there was no initial scan to compare it with.

This technology, like DNA analysis and fingerprinting, can now be used in the field. BI2 Technologies has developed a device that slides over an iPhone and allows officers to scan a suspect’s face and eyes, and then check that scan against a criminal database. Critics say the tool is problematic because it can scan a person’s face from up to four feet away, possibly without their awareness. Beyond that, there is a disturbing partnership emerging between BI2 Technologies, the FBI and local police forces, with reports that the FBI plans to launch an iris national database in 2014.

5. License plate recognition.It’s not just your eyeballs and fingertips that law enforcement wants to scan. Relatively new technology called license plate recognition allows police to run thousands of tags a day, all while just driving around. Cameras mounted on cop cars constantly scan the area and check plates against databases, and alert the officer if there’s a match.

A Long Beach police officer describes the scope of LPR this way:

In our case we are running multiple databases — we have “wanted felony vehicles,” “be on the lookout,” “24 hour hotsheet,” “wanted by detectives,” “LA County warrants,” and our gang unit. In addition to this we have “stolen vehicles,” which are available to everybody in the state. Currently in our database we have 24,000,000 plus reads.

Just like the other surveillance tools, police departments expect use of LPR to increase in the coming years. According to a Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) survey, “71 percent of responding agencies already have LPRs,” though often just on a handful of cruisers. Tellingly, “almost every police agency expects to acquire or increase their use of LPRs in coming years, and that five years from now, on average they expect to have 25 percent of their cars equipped with LPRs.”

As Kevin Goztola notes, this kind of technology isn’t inherently inappropriate, but without strict regulation many innocent people could be surveilled unconstitutionally. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a US person who discovered through requests for public records that his daily routine had been monitored automatically. The WSJ concludes, “The rise of license-plate tracking is a case study in how storing and studying people’s everyday activities, even the seemingly mundane, has become the default rather than the exception.”

When it comes to drones, the future is wide open. From proposed surveillance in Seattle to assisting arrests in North Dakota, police drones are here and they aren’t going anywhere. NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly recently told a crowd that his department was “looking into” using drones to surveil political protests, though “a drones program is not being actively pursued at this time.” Recently obtained FOIA documents, however, show that the NYPD counter-terrorism unit may be in the early stages of developing the use of drones.

As drones get smaller, more versatile and increasingly capable of behaving “autonomously,” it’s not difficult to imagine a time in the future when drone surveillance is integrated with LPR technology, all in the name of increased security.

DARPA plans to hide drones in the bottom of the ocean

(TGDaily) – DARPA is planning to build drones that would hibernate in deep-sea capsules for years before waking up when commanded and releasing their payloads into the sky.

The Upward Falling Payloads program envisages the use of deployable, unmanned, distributed systems that lie on the deep-ocean floor at strategic locations before releasing, say, small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for reconnaissance.

“The goal is to support the Navy with distributed technologies anywhere, anytime over large maritime areas. If we can do this rapidly, we can get close to the areas we need to affect, or become widely distributed without delay,” says DARPA program manager Andy Coon.

“To make this work, we need to address technical challenges like extended survival of nodes under extreme ocean pressure, communications to wake up the nodes after years of sleep, and efficient launch of payloads to the surface.”

DARPA’s looking for proposals in communications and deep ocean ‘risers’ to contain the payloads, as well as the actual payloads themselves. It’s hoping for submissions from organizations that conduct deep-ocean engineering: the telecom and oil-exploration industries, for example, or the scientific community, with insights into signal propagation in the water and on the seafloor.

Almost half of the world’s oceans are more than four kilometers deep which, says DARPA, provides ‘considerable opportunity for cheap stealth’. But this isn’t, stresses DARPA, a weapons program.

Instead, applications would include situational awareness, disruption, deception, networking, rescue, or any other mission that benefits from being pre-distributed and hidden.

“We are simply offering an alternative path to realize these missions without requiring legacy ships and aircraft to launch the technology, and without growing the reach and complexity of unmanned platforms,” says Coon.

German activists start campaign to destroy surveillance cameras

cameras

 

(Raw Story) -German activists are attempting to destroy security cameras in anticipation of the European Police Congress in Berlin in February, according to Michael Ebeling, an opponent of public surveillance writing for France 24′s The Observers.

The group organizing the actions, CAMOVER, believe such cameras lead police to discriminate and use stereotypes in search of criminals and criminal activity. They are encouraging people to participate in the “game” until Feb. 19, when the congress convenes.

A debate over surveillance cameras was ignited in late 2012 after an attempted bomb attack in a Bonn train station, when cameras did not store recordings of the station and so police had no images of potential suspects or of the bomb being planted.

The country’s Interior Ministry claims the cameras have been shown to reduce crime by almost 20 percent.

Orlando Florida Patrolled By Surveillance Drones As Early As This Summer

 

Law Enforcement Drone

 

(Business Insider) -When Congress passed a bill last February allowing unmanned  drones to fly American skies it became only a matter of time before UAVs  patrolled U.S. cities for local law enforcement.

 

While most drones in the U.S. are flown along the Mexican border, the Orange County  Sheriff’s Office wants to put them over metro Orlando within the next few  months. The Greater Orlando metropolitan area is home to more than  2 million residents and is Florida’s third largest city.

Dan  Tracy at the Orlando Sentinel reports the local sheriff wants a pair of  unarmed UAVs able to record the activities of everyday citizens and criminals  alike.

From the Sentinel:

Sheriff’s spokesman Jeff Williamson  … would not say exactly how the drones would be used, he wrote in an  email that they might be deployed when looking for explosives, barricaded  suspects and to inspect “hostile/inaccessible terrain” or at train  accidents.

As for civil-rights concerns, Williamson wrote,  “The OCSO has the privacy of its citizenry as a foremost concern. The device  will only be put into operations on the command of the high risk incident  commander.”

UAV FLIR House

YouTube

Thermal drone image of a house showing rafters in the roof  and the heat lamps in the bathroom (click to expand)

The sheriff still  needs the County Commission to sign off on the request before it goes to the FAA  for approval. The federal agency should have no problem accommodating as it  was ordered by Congress to get as many drones as possible into the air by  November, and be able to handle 30,000  UAVs by 2020.

 

Though Orange County refused to specify which type of drone it would be  flying, the Los Angeles  County Sheriff’s Department fought to fly Octatron’s  SkySeer surveillance drone over its jurisdiction in 2006 after a long battle  with the city. The manufacturer has since been working  closely with law enforcement agencies to coordinate networks and platforms,  making it a reasonable choice for the Orlando Sheriff.

Octatron’s SkySeer  description:

SkySeer™ is a lightweight, portable,  autonomous-flight UAV designed for single-person operation. It weighs less than  five pounds, flies quietly, can be assembled in minutes, and is hand-launched.  It has a flight time of 70 minutes and is recoverable through a normal landing  or parachute-based vertical landing (optional). GPS coordinates  (latitude/longitude) can be programmed into the Ground Control Station so the  SkySeer™ can fly to a specific point of interest. The flight path can also be  set by pointing and clicking GPS waypoints on the ground controller, giving the  operator full control over the UAV’s air-borne activities as well as the  operation of its equipment, such as cameras. The video can be recorded to a DVD  or Flash media at the  ground station. The night version SkySeer™ includes a thermal camera that allows  filming in total darkness. A stealth surveillance mission at night at 250’ has  been demonstrated. The two-mile range of coverage can be extended using  NetWeaver™. Training is required to fly a SkySeer™

Octatron now offers the SkySeer to any law enforcement office  with the proper FAA paperwork. If Orlando does go with that model it should be  convenient, as the  company’s sales office is listed down the road in St. Petersburg,  Florida.

 

U.S. Drone Pilot: ‘Did We Just Kill A Kid?’

(PekinTimes)

After Barack Obama joined the rest of us in mourning the slaughter of innocent children in Newtown, Conn., Sanford Berman, a Minnesota civil liberties activist, wrote me: “Obama’s tears for the dead Connecticut kids made me sick. What about weeping over the 400 or more children he killed with drone strikes?”

Indeed, our president has shown no palpable concern over those deaths, but a number of U.S. personnel — not only the CIA agents engaged in drone killings — are deeply troubled.

Peggy Noonan reports that David E. Sanger, in his book “Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power,” discovered that “some of those who operate the unmanned bombers are getting upset. They track victims for days. They watch them play with their children.” Then what happens: “‘It freaks you out’” (“Who Benefits From the ‘Avalanche of Leaks’?” Wall Street Journal, June 15).

For another example, I introduce you to Conor Friedersdorf and his account of “The Guilty Conscience of a Drone Pilot Who Killed a Child” (theatlantic.com, Dec. 19).

The subtitle: “May his story remind us that U.S. strikes have reportedly killed many times more kids than died in Newtown — and that we can do better.”

The story Friedersdorf highlights in the Atlantic first appeared in Germany’s Der Spiegel about an Air Force officer (not CIA) who “lamented the fact that he sometimes had to kill ‘good daddies’” … (and) “even attended their funerals” from far away.

And dig this, President Obama: “as a consequence of the job, he collapsed with stress-induced exhaustion and developed PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).” Yet these drones, “Hellfire missiles,” are President Obama’s favorite extra-judicial weapons against suspected terrorists.

Getting back to the Air Force officer, Brandon Bryant, with the guilty conscience. Friedersdorf’s story quotes extensively from Der Spiegel’s article, which recalls that, when Bryant got the order to fire, “he pressed a button with his left hand and marked the roof (of a shed) with a laser. The pilot sitting next to him pressed the trigger on a joystick, causing the drone to launch a Hellfire missile. There were 16 seconds left until impact …

“With seven seconds left to go, there was no one to be seen on the ground. Bryant could still have diverted the missile at that point. Then it was down to three seconds …

“Suddenly a child walked around the corner, he says. Second zero was the moment in which Bryant’s digital world collided with the real one in a village between Baghlan and Mazar-e-Sharif. Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared.

“Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach.

“‘Did we just kill a kid?’ he asked the man sitting next to him.

“‘Yeah. I guess that was a kid,’ the pilot replied.

“‘Was that a kid?’ they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.

“Then someone they didn’t know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. ‘No. That was a dog,’ the person wrote.

“They reviewed the scene on video. A dog on two legs?”

Friedersdorf adds: “The United States kills a lot of ‘dogs on two legs.’ The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported last August that in Pakistan’s tribal areas alone, there are at least 168 credible reports of children being killed in drone strikes.” As for those in other countries, he adds, that’s “officially secret.”

He writes: “Presidents Bush and Obama have actively prevented human-rights observers from accessing full casualty data from programs that remain officially secret, so there is no way to know the total number of children American strikes have killed in the numerous countries in which they’ve been conducted, but if we arbitrarily presume that ‘just’ 84 children have died — half the bureau’s estimate from one country — the death toll would still be more than quadruple the number of children killed in Newtown, Conn.”

Are you proud, as an American, to know this?

After reading about Obama’s silence in “The Guilty Conscience of a Drone Pilot Who Killed a Child,” does the conscience of those of us who re-elected Obama ache?

As Friedersdorf writes, Obama has never spoken of these deaths as he did about the ones in Newtown, when he said: “If there’s even one step we can take to save another child or another parent … then surely we have an obligation to try. … Are we really prepared to say that dead children are the price of our freedom?”

Do you mean, Mr. President, only the dead children of Newtown?

These targeted killings continue in our name, under the ultimate authority of our president — as the huge majority of We The People stays mute.

Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. He is a member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the Cato Institute, where he is a senior fellow.

Illusion of Choice By George Carlin, Ron Paul, and Judge Napolitano

Sweeping new gun laws proposed by influential liberal think tank

Washington Post – by Philip Rucker

With President Obama readying an overhaul of the nation’s gun laws, a liberal think tank with singular influence throughout his administration is pushing for a sweeping agenda of strict new restrictions on and federal oversight of gun and ammunition sales.The Center for American Progress is recommending 13 new gun policies to the White House — some of them executive actions that would not require the approval of Congress — in what amounts to the progressive community’s wish list.

CAP’s proposals — which include requiring universal background checks, banning military-grade assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, and modernizing data systems to track gun sales and enforce existing laws — are all but certain to face stiff opposition from the National Rifle Association and its many allies in Congress.Obama, as well as Vice President Biden, who is leading the administration’s gun violence task force, has voiced support for many of these measures. Yet it is unclear which policies he ultimately will propose to Congress. Biden is planning to present his group’s recommendations to Obama on Tuesday.CAP’s recommendations, presented Friday to White House officials and detailed in an 11-page report obtained by The Washington Post, establish a benchmark for what many in Obama’s liberal base are urging him to doafter last month’s massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

“There’s nothing here that interferes with the rights of people to have a gun to protect themselves,” CAP President Neera Tanden said. But, she added, “We have daily episodes where it seems that guns are in the wrong hands, and that’s why we think it’s important that the president acts.”

On Monday, Tanden will moderate a public discussion with three Democrats who have played leading roles in the gun debate: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who during the Clinton administration helped get the 1994 assault-weapons ban passed; Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), who helped write that bill as a House member; and Rep. Mike Thompson (Calif.), who chairs the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.

One of CAP’s suggestions to toughen federal regulation of gun sales is to make the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is currently an agency within the Department of Justice, a unit of the FBI. CAP says absorbing the ATF into the FBI would better empower the ATF to combat gun crime and illegal trafficking.

“It is a beleaguered agency lacking leadership and resources,” said Winnie Stachelberg, senior vice president of CAP. “It needs to be a well-functioning federal law enforcement agency, and we need to figure out ways to ensure that happens.”

CAP’s top recommendation is to require criminal background checks for all gun sales, closing loopholes that currently enable an estimated 40 percent of sales to occur without any questions asked. The organization also wants to add convicted stalkers and suspected terrorists to the list of those barred from purchasing firearms.

CAP is urging the Obama administration to back Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s proposal to ban assault weapons. The California Democrat wants to prohibit the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of military-style assault weapons and ammunition magazines that carry more than 10 bullets.

The group also suggests requiring firearms dealers to report to the federal government individuals who purchase multiple semiautomatic assault rifles within a five-day period. Current law requires reporting multiple purchases of handguns, but not semiautomatic assault rifles.

CAP also wants the administration to free public health research agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to study the impact of gun violence on injuries and deaths. For years, lawmakers, urged by the NRA, have placed riders on spending bills that restrict these and other agencies from conducting such research.

ENOUGH! (Guns, Active Shooters And Pharma)

The Market Ticker

I’m done being nice.

And I’m doubly-done with the damned leftists in this country performing the moral equivalent ofritual human sacrifice of children to advance their gun-control agenda.

That’s what I charge they’re doing.

And I’m going to back it up with mathematics, using just one of the common psychotropic medications used commonly today — Paxil.

This is from the prescribing information for Paxil:

Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk:

Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications, and this risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Suicide is a known risk of depression and certain other psychiatricdisorders, and these disorders themselves are the strongest predictors of suicide. There has been a long-standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depressionand the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment. Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlledtrials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18-24) with majordepressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older.

That’s a problem.  What’s worse is this:

The following symptoms, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for majordepressive disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric. Although a causal link between the emergence of such symptoms and either the worsening of depression and/or the emergence of suicidal impulses has not been established, there is concern that such symptoms may represent precursors to emerging suicidality.

And it doesn’t end there:

Screening Patients for Bipolar Disorder

A major depressive episode may be the initial presentation of bipolar disorder. It is generally believed (though not established in controlledtrials) that treating such an episode with an antidepressant alone may increase the likelihood of precipitation of a mixed/manic episode in patients at risk for bipolar disorder.

Now let’s be frank: Mixed manic states are mental states during which all sorts of really ugly things happen, including panic attacks, agitation, impulsiveness, paranoia and rage — all at extreme levels.

In other words, if you miss someone being bipolar and give them this drug you may precipitate a full-on Hulk-style “rage monster” sort of attack!

How often does something like this happen?

Activation of Mania/Hypomania:

During premarketing testing, hypomania or mania occurred in approximately 1.0% of unipolar patients treated with PAXIL compared to 1.1% of active-control and 0.3% of placebo-treated unipolar patients. In a subset of patients classified as bipolar, the rate of manic episodes was 2.2% for PAXIL and 11.6% for the combined active-control groups. As with all drugs effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder, PAXIL should be used cautiously in patients with a history of mania.

So if you miss a bi-polar person in your “analysis” before prescribing, it’s more than doubly-likely that they will have a “rage-monster” episode than if not.

So let’s assume we’re not talking about bi-polar people — that is, let’s make the assumption that we properly screen for each person and perfectly identify all bi-polar people before we prescribe.

What is the expected number of people who will undergo some sort of manic episode, which includes the subset that will turn into rage-monsters and shoot up schools, movie theaters and other public places?

Answer: About 0.7% more that can be charged to the drug (the risk if you do nothing is 0.3%.)

Other similar drugs have similar risk profiles; Paxil is not particularly-remarkable in this regard.

I note, and you should note, that 0.7% is a pretty low risk!  That is, 993 people out of 1000 can get a perfectly good outcome from the drug (or at least no harm) but that other 7 in 1000 have an outcome ranging from bad to catastrophically-bad.

Now let’s assume for the sake of argument that we are 99% effective in physician monitoring of these patients.  That is, we’re able to somehow confirm that they take the drug exactly as prescribed (no more or less), and we have enough time and physician resources to evaluate them on a regular and continuing basis.  This, incidentally, is a fantasy-land level of performance; no profession could possibly meet that standard of care, but we’ll use it to make the point.

But this level of performance, which we can never meet, would provide that of the rage monsters we potentially create with these drugs we catch 99% of them before the episode escalates into something “bad.”

That’s 1% of 0.7%, incidentally, or 0.007% of the total users who (1) have the bad reaction and then (2) we fail to detect via monitoring.  In other words, those are the people who shoot up the schools, movie theaters and US Representatives.

The last figures I have are that in 2005 27 million people in the United States, or close to 1 in 10 of all persons, are on some sort of antidepressant carrying these risks.

So if 0.7% of 27 million people have a manic episode caused by these drugs – that is, under perfect conditions where we catch every single bipolar individual first and never prescribe to any of them we will have 189,000 persons in a year who have a manic reaction to these drugs.

That’s horrifying.

But what’s worse is that if we assume 99% effective surveillance by the medicalprofession — that is, 99% of the time the doctor intercepts the person with themanic episode and modifies or terminates their use of the drug before something bad happens….

WE CREATE AND THEN FAIL TO DETECT, WITH NEARLY PERFECT PERFORMANCE (that we will never achieve) 1,890 RAGE MONSTERS EVERY YEAR WHO ARE MENTALLY CAPABLE OF COMMITTING A MASS HOMICIDE.

We’re surprised that there are a few of these a year, when we create more than 5 of them each and every day with near-perfect performance — and likely several times that many given the real-world monitoring that can actually be achieved?

We create these Zombies.

We prescribe the drugs to them.

We do this knowing that the risk exists and that at least one subset of that risk is materially higher for those under the age of 25 who are consuming these drugs. 

In point of fact, most of the rage monsters who have committed these crimes are under the age of 25 and either using or having recently terminated the use of these drugs.

Again I reproduce the information directly from the maker of Paxil:

There has been a long-standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depressionand the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment. Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlledtrials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18-24) with majordepressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did notshow an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24;

Something changes around the age of 24 with these drugs and their interaction with the human mind.  We don’t know exactly what it is, but we know that it happens.  We also know that these substances have a low but present risk of inducing mania, including rage.

Utterly nobody is bringing this element to the table in debate, but we must, as the rise of these incidents isdirectly correlated to the gross increase in the number of people, including most-especially young people, taking these drugs.  The number of users doubled from 1996 – 2005.

If you want to address a problem you must look at the data and follow it where it leads.

Where it leads is into a horrifying mess of prescription psychotropic drug use among our youth and the rare but catastrophic side effects they sometimes produce.

I have friends who have versions of the problem in their families among older individuals; members of the family who doctor-shop for prescription on top of prescription and are mentally questionable to start with.  We’re supposed to have some sort of reasonable check and balance on this and indeed Florida claims to have clamped down on the “pill mills” but I can tell you right now that this is utter and complete crap.  There is nothing preventing people from going to 10 different doctors until they find three or four that will write scripts and then abusing the drugs — and when they run out “early” calling up for a refill — and getting it.  It happens every damned day and if other family members try to intervene, including getting the physicians or the law involved (prescription fraud is supposed to be illegal!) they’re blown off!

It’s true that most of the crazy people in the world aren’t violent, and that being crazy, standing alone, is perfectly legal.  It’s also true that nearly all of the people who take these drugs won’t become violent — that’s a side effect that only bites a small percentage of the people who take the drug.

But the risk of turning people into rage monsters and suicidal maniacs appears to be mostly confined to those under the age of 24 according to the drug companies own information and this information is strongly correlated with the actual real-world data on these incidents.

We must have a discussion about this as a society.  We might decide that out of the 27 million or more Americans taking these drugs that enough get benefit that we are willing to accept the occasional school or movie theater shooting gallery as the price of prescribing these drugs to those under the age of 24.

If so then we need to be honest about the trade-off we have made as a society and shut the hell up instead of dancing in the blood of dead children to score political points and destroy The Constitution.

But if not, and you can count my vote among the “No” votes in this regard, then we must ban these substances from those under the age of 24 until we understand what’s different among that age group that alters the risk unless and except those persons are under continual professional supervision such as inpatient hospitalization.

Yeah, I understand this will cut into the profits of the big drug companies and thus is “unacceptable” to many political folks, not to mention that the media won’t even talk about the subject due to the advertising they run on their networks on a daily basis for this drug or that.

But unless we want to keep burying kids we had damned well better have that debate.

Mr. Biden, Mr. Obama and the rest on both the left and right who are refusing to go where the data leads are all practicing the moral equivalent of ritual child sacrifice, fueling the pyre under the bodies of our kids with the Bill of Rights.

Stand up America and say in a loud voice: ENOUGH!

Glenn Beck Rips Apart ‘Madman’ Alex Jones For ‘Crazy’ Piers Morgan Rant

Glenn Beck spent the first fifteen minutes of his radio show today discrediting rival conservative host Alex Jones after his epic showdown last night with Piers Morgan.

Beck explains, “Piers Morgan is trying to have gun control. He is trying to make everybody who has guns and who believes in the Second Amendment to be a deterrent to an out of control government look like a madman. So now he immediately books the madman and makes him look like a conservative. He’s not a conservative.”

Of course, Beck didn’t save all of his animosity for Jones, happily dishing it out to Morgan as well. After calling them “two of the most dishonest ‘journalists’ of our age,” he went on to explain why his listeners shouldn’t trust either one of them.

“CNN and Piers Morgan is not stating your best interest. They do not — he does not understand nor does he condone the Second Amendment. He doesn’t understand the founding of our country. He is not for man ruling himself. The other guy (Jones) is not for the Constitution. Even though he might say he is, believe me, believe me, you cannot respect the founders and build a mountain of deceit that you stand on to declare the Constitution to be supreme and be a decent human being. You cannot say ‘I’m for the constitution’ and declare it standing on a mountain of deceit. You cannot do it.”

Watch video, via GlennBeck.com

Rapid DNA analyzers coming to every police station and TSA checkpoint in America

brainwashing-brainwashing-media-government-hold-prisoner-politics-1336104757

(NaturalNews) If you’re not doing anything wrong, then you’ve got nothing to
worry about, right?

That seems to be the pervasive logic of an increasing
number of government officials and agencies that have forgotten the uniquely
American legal principle of being presumed innocent until proven guilty.
How else to explain the acceptance and widespread employment of technology that
gathers potential evidence on everyone indiscriminately, whether they’ve
been suspected of creating a crime or not?

According to the Electronic
Freedom Frontier
, a group that advocates for privacy rights in the digital
age, “In the amount of time it takes to get lunch, the government can now
collect your DNA and extract a profile that identifies you and your family
members” using a device called a Rapid DNA Analyzer, which can “process DNA in
90 minutes or less.”

Guilty until proven…innocent?

The
EFF says these machines are not the imagination of science fiction writers.
Rather, the group says they are “an operational reality” and are currently being
marketed to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies all around the
nation.

The device, according to GE Life Sciences, in conjunction
with NetBio, Inc., “is a self-contained unit with all the
accessories you need to conduct a full DNA analysis.” Designed for field use by
non-scientific personnel, the laser printer-sized machines will soon
“revolutionize the use of DNA
by making it a routine identification and investigational tool.”

“Major
applications include criminal forensics, military human identification,
biothreat detection, and clinical diagnostics. NetBio believes that widespread
use of RDA, particularly in the field and at the point of care, will improve
both the safety, and health of society,” says a description of its machine by
NetBio [http://netbio.com/].

Well, what’s the big deal? After
you, you haven’t done anything wrong – have you? What’s a little DNA
between a citizen and their government?

The fact is, the potential for
abuse with a machine like this is endless. Such technology merely feeds into the
tyrant’s mentality that, “in the name of public safety,” you are, by definition,
a rebel and a threat if you don’t automatically comply, hence the mindset, “You
must be hiding something.”

It’s as if the Fourth Amendment’s privacy
protections have never existed.

EFF lays out additional
concerns:

DNA samples contain such sensitive, private and personal
information that their indefinite storage and unlimited sharing create privacy
risks far worse than other types of data. The United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) stated in a 2008 Note titled DNA Testing to Establish
Family Relationships in the Refugee Context that DNA testing “can have serious
implications for the right to privacy and family unity” and should be used only
as a “last resort.” The UNHCR also stated that, if DNA is collected, it “should
not be used for any other purpose (for instance medical tests or criminal
investigations) than the verification of family relationships” and that DNA
associated with the test “should normally be destroyed once a decision has been
made.”

Who would verify that such samples, in fact, are
destroyed
once the “suspect” from whom it was taken was cleared by
authorities (for doing…nothing)? The agencies themselves? Given our
government’s history of privacy abuses, why should any of us trust
them?

What’s more the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, as well
as the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, has
earmarked substantial funds to develop a Rapid DNA capability, and for
more “much broader purposes than just verifying refugee applications,” as the
agencies have stated, according to EFF.

Devices already being
tested

“The agency notes that DNA should be collected from all
immigration applicants – possibly even infants – and then stored in the FBI’s
criminal DNA database,” EFF says. “The agency also supports sharing immigrant
DNA with ‘local, state, tribal, international, and other federal partners’
including the Department of Defense and Interpol on the off-chance the refugee
or asylum seeker could be a criminal or terrorist or could commit a crime or act
of terrorism in the future.”

All on the off-chance that someone,
sometime, somewhere, may commit a crime.

The Transportation
Security Administration falls under the purview of DHS; we could see the
deployment of some sort of Rapid DNA Analyzer at airports as part of a new
regulatory requirement
in order to board an airplane. Then, of course, the
government would have your DNA sample forever.

DHS began testing the
devices in the summer of 2011, according to NextGov.com.

This “guilty until proven innocent” law
enforcement mentality is not the kind of justice system our founding
fathers envisioned.

Now The FBI Has A Corporate Anti-Fraud Program That Scans Emails For 3,000 Suspicious Phrases

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

fbi agents puerto rico

 

(Business Insider) -Given how notorious Wall Streeters are for writing embarrassing e-mails that are later used against them in court (see: Libor scandal), they should really take note of this news. 

The FBI has developed new software that scans e-mails for buzz words and phrases that indicate the sender (and receiver) or said mail are up to no good, the FT reports. There are over 3,000 words and phrases that would raise a red flag in the program.

Accounting firm Ernst and Young found out about this program after looking through evidence from corporate investigations in conjunction with the FBI.

From the FT:

“The language, which is a mix of accounting phrases, personal motivations and attempts to conceal, are very revealing,” said Rashmi Joshi, Ernst & Young’s director of fraud investigation and disputes services.

He said that the monitoring of email traffic played almost no role in the compliance efforts of companies looking for possible problems. “While most organisations only focus on the numbers when investigating discrepancies, what we are seeing are ways of analyzing words – emails, SMS or instant messaging – to identify and isolate wrongdoing.”

Linguistic analysis software, which initially protects employee anonymity, can flag uncharacteristic changes in tone and language in electronic conversations and can also be tailored for particular types of employees, especially traders.

So phrases like, “nobody will find out,” “call my mobile“,” and “don’t leave a trail” could now get you noticed.

You’ve been warned.

Activist Podcaster Traces Troll’s IP Address Back to The House Of Representatives

Internet

 

(IntelHub) -On their podcast “Freedom Feens” Michael Dean and Neema Vedadi often joke about how the government is probably trolling and monitoring their website.

While this is probably true for anyone who is speaking out these days, it seems that Michael Dean was actually able to notice something very interesting on his network, after a troll posing as John Boener made a derogatory comment on their website.

At first he thought it was listener going along with one of the gags on the show, until he traced the IP address back to a government office, the house of representatives in fact.

The following post was made to the Freedom Feens blog, complete with pictures:

Today while going through the litany of e-mails, tweets, etc. that had arrived while I slept off the last bit of my flu, I saw an odd comment waiting for approval on the Freedom Feens Podcast site, on the latest episode, “The Flu Has a Higher Approval Rating Than Congress.” The comment claimed to be from “J. Boehner” with the e-mail: nobody@congress.gov.

The comment was “Our approval rating is because of shows like yours that poison the mind of the people.”

I approved it.

I was (and am) sure it wasn’t actually from House Speaker John Boehner, figured it was just one of the Feens fans playing off our ongoing “Central Scrutinizer” joke theme. Then I noticed the i.p. block was listed as (IP: 143.231.249.137 , housegate12.house.gov):

reps

I did a quick i.p. search and determined that it did in fact come from an actual i.p. address allocated exclusively to the US House of Representatives and their staff:

ipLocation

I did a Google search on the i.p. address and it lead to this talk page on Wikipedia. It’s the talk page for an article called “Congressional computers continue to be used to vandalize Wikipedia.” Here’s an excerpt:

“Wikinews contributors have discovered that members of the United States Congress or members of their staff have recently been making questionable edits to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia anyone can edit. This continues the trend identified by four exclusive Wikinews reports over a four-year period exposing questionable and fraudulent edits made beginning in 2005 by Congress members or staff.

Beginning in 2006, Wikinews reported that members of Congress or their staff were vandalizing Wikipedia by removing critical information in various articles, or adding false or offensive information. These edits were and continue to be done using computers owned or operated by the United States government….”

I like the fact that someone working in the US House of Representatives actually found The Feens and complained. Maybe they listened. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall for that.

I find it interesting that they don’t use a proxy to do this, it’s as if they WANT people to know they’re being Internet trolls. I do know that in the private sector you’d get fired for pretending to be your boss’ boss’ boss’ boss and posting crap in his name on the Internet. But I guess this is “good enough for government work.” Nice to see my tax dollars being spent so well. No wonder Congress is seriously considering the Simpsons solution ofprinting a trillion-dollar coin to “help the debt.”

IN SOVIET AMERIKA, REPRESENTATIVES CONTACT YOU!

I actually used to write to my representatives in Congress. Never got anything more than a form letter back. I’m glad that Neema and I have progressed to the point with our media creation that someone in Congress’ staff now takes time out of his busy day to personally insult us and try to “defend their brand” on the Feens podcast blog.

Mission Accomplished.

–Michael W. Dean, Freedom Feen.

The Feens have a good sense of humor and were able make light of this situation, but this encounter reveals a deeper trend where the political class is attacking the alternative media because it loosens their grip on the minds of the slaves.

You can check out the Freedom Feens site here, and check out their movie “Guns and Weed” an entertaining documentary which shows, in no uncertain terms, why Freedom of Ingestion and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms are equally indisputable civil rights, and why the War on Drugs and the War on Guns are both entirely immoral.