A List of Obama’s Constitutional Violations

“I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution.” Barrack Hussein Obama. Continue reading

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150 People Arrested In NAACP Protest Against NC Republicans

File photo of a NAACP rally. (credit: Richard Ellis/Getty Images)

File photo of a NAACP rally. (credit: Richard Ellis/Getty Images

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — More than 100 people were arrested Monday at the largest demonstration yet of the North Carolina NAACP’s weeks-long protest of the conservative policies of the Republican-led General Assembly.

Police estimated that roughly 1,000 people attended a rally late Monday afternoon behind the Legislative Building on Halifax Mall. Hundreds then entered the building. Upwards of 150 people were arrested outside the doors to the state Senate chambers, where demonstrators chanted, sang and delivered speeches decrying what they called a regressive agenda that neglects the poor.

Activist groups estimated the crowd at about 1,600.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has been holding weekly protests in Raleigh since mid-April, and what started with 17 arrests and tens of supporters back then has grown every week, bringing the total number of arrests to nearly 300 after five weeks of protests.

Groups ranging from abortion-rights supporters to environmentalists and public educators have joined the rallies, which have attracted people from Greensboro to Rocky Mount.

Protesters have been seeking to call attention to the rightward shift of the state legislature, which was dominated for decades by moderate Democrats.

In the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans captured both chambers of the legislature for the first time in more than 100 years. They’ve since built veto-proof majorities and taken control of the governor’s mansion while lawmakers have pushed a conservative agenda on social programs, criminal justice, taxes, education, voting rights and other areas.

Demonstrators complain that Republicans have overstepped their mandate from voters, hurtling the state back to another era.

Darren Hunicutt, 33, an accountant from Chapel Hill, said he brought his wife and 8-year-old twin boys to the demonstrations because he believes decisions to block a Medicaid expansion, cut the number of teacher assistants, limit eligibility for pre-kindergarten and expand sales taxes go too far.

“The Republicans have taken a progressive state that prioritizes education for young people, prioritizes economic justice, prioritizes access to health care and basically in the last six to 12 months done a complete 180,” he said.

Among those who stood outside the state Senate’s door awaiting arrest was George Gresham, president of the Service Employees International Union’s United Healthcare Workers East, which represents nearly 400,000 members from Florida to Massachusetts. He said the state’s policies go against the working poor, and the growing momentum of the NAACP’s demonstrations will catch fire elsewhere.

“We need this fight in the whole country, and if we’re going to begin in North Carolina, so be it,” Gresham said.

 

 

http://12160.info/forum/topics/150-people-arrested-in-naacp-protest-against-nc-republicans?xg_source=msg_forum_disc

Gun control advocates now admit: IRS intimidation scandal proves Second Amendment needed to stop government tyranny

governmentIn the face of the outrageous IRS intimidation scandal now sweeping across America, gun control advocates are changing their tune. All of a sudden, the idea that the federal government could engage in tyranny against the People of America is no longer a “conspiracy theory.” It’s historical fact right in your face thanks to all the recent scandals now bursting onto the scene: IRS intimidation, secret targeting of non-profit groups for possible “thought crimes,” the Department of Justice seizing AP phone records and so on.

Just which liberals are changing their minds on all this? Piers Morgan, for starters. The man who once called Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America a “very stupid man” on live national television is suddenly reversing course. Here’s what Morgan now says in the wake of the IRS intimidation scandal:

“I’ve had some of the pro-gun lobbyists on here saying to me, well the reason we need to be armed is because of tyranny from our own government, and I’ve always laughed at them. I’ve always said don’t be so ridiculous. Your government won’t turn itself on you. But actually when you look at this [IRS scandal]… actually this is vaguely tyrannical behavior by the American government. I think what the IRS did is bordering on tyrannical behavior, I think what the Department of Justice has done to the Associated Press is bordering on tyrannical behavior.”

Here’s the video: (until YouTube bans it)

InfoWars.com, by the way, is now publicly challenging Piers Morgan to admit the U.S. government has become “fully tyrannical,” not just “bordering on tyrannical.” It begs the question: If using the IRS as a political weapon to intimidate people over thought crimes, books, Facebook posts and prayers isn’t full-on tyranny, what exactly will it take for Morgan to admit a full tyranny is now upon us? The government knocking on his door?

Joe Scarborough also admits gun owners were right all along

Going even further than Piers Morgan, “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough also admits gun owners were right all along, saying:

“I have been saying for months now… that I believe in background checks. After Newton, after Chicago, we need background checks. And my argument has been, don’t worry,background checks aren’t going to lead to a national registry. The government’s never going to create a national registry, right? … I don’t have to even complete my sentence, do I? My argument is less persuasive today because of these scandals. Because people say hey, if they do that with the IRS, asking people what books you read, then how can I trust them with information about my Second Amendment rights? This is DEVASTATING! This IRS scandal is devastating all across the board…”

Well yeah, Joe. This is what we’ve been warning you about all along, you see?

See the video here:

The core philosophy of liberals has just been shattered… government is not trustworthy and compassionate

To be a progressive / liberal person, you have to hold to the belief (i.e. have “faith”) that governments can never go rogue. Governments can never become tyrannies. Governments are always and forever trustworthy and compassionate.

Every progressive government policy logically follows from those core beliefs: government should regulate what people eat, control how businesses run themselves, monopolize national health care, grant amnesty to undocumented illegal immigrants, take all the guns away from the citizens and concentrate power into its own hands. This is all justified because you can trust the government, right? … RIGHT?

Enter exhibit A: The IRS intimidation scandal. The targeting of political enemies. Thought crimes. The IRS demands to know all your Facebook posts, the titles of the books you’ve recently read and even the contents of your PRAYER! The IRS then uses this information to selectively delay only the applications of non-profits that teach the Constitution, or patriotism, or are opposed to Obama. Can you say criminal corruption and total abuse of power? This is anti-American and traitorous!

Enter exhibit B: The Department of Justice, run by the nation’s top criminal Eric Holder,runs a vicious surveillance and secret police campaign against none other than theAssociated Press. When the outrageous behavior of the DoJ comes to light, Eric Holder claims, “I know nothing! Nothing!” (Same story for Obama… they knew nothing!)

Exhibit C: The Benghazi narrative pushed by the White House is now obviously a total lie, and this lie strongly influenced the presidential debates and 2012 election. The Benghazi attack was actually a terrorist attack — and the White House knew it! But they covered it up, lied to the public, and even stood down U.S. forces to make sure the ambassador was killed so that he couldn’t spill the beans on the U.S. weapons transfers being made to terror groups in Syria.

What do exhibits A, B and C prove? That you can’t trust the government!

The illusion of trustworthy government has been destroyed

Now the illusion of trustworthy government has been completely shattered. If the IRS would selectively intimidate and threaten Constitutional groups it didn’t like, what else is the government capable of?

All of a sudden those of us who warned everybody about gun confiscation, FEMA camps and false flags don’t seem so outlandish anymore. Now almost everyone realizes the government is capable of ANYTHING. Especially the Obama administration, which respects no laws and no limits to its power. (Drone strikes, secret kill lists, the continuedrunning of secret military prisons, bypassing Congress with executive orders, and so on.)

Now the Second Amendment makes total sense. Why do we even have a Second Amendment? The honest, blatant answer is so that as a last-ditch firewall against a tyrannical takeover, the American people can march on Washington with rifles in hand and shoot all the criminals dead. That is the essence of the Second Amendment — a last-ditch failsafe for liberty. The only real way to keep government in line, after all, is to make sure those who hold office know that if they become outright traitors to America and refuse to abide by the limits of government described in the Constitution, they might be shot dead by citizens who take their country back by force. (I’m not calling for such an action, by the way. I’m only explaining the historical context of the Second Amendment and what it really means.)

When citizens are well armed and have the power to do such a thing, that power should never actually be needed because the government fears the people and thus stays within the limits of power. But when the people are disarmed, the government fears nothing and so expands out of control, functioning as a rogue, tyrannical cabal of mobsters and criminals. Read your history books if you don’t believe me. This is the repeated story of government’s rise and fall throughout history.

Ultimately, this is why the Obama administration wants to take your guns away: Not to make the children safer but to make the citizens defenseless against government tyranny. And yes, that tyranny exists right now. The debate is over. The gun grabbers lost and the Second Amendment won.

Now, the Obama administration is permanently discredited, and the strength of the Second Amendment movement is stronger than ever. Just as it should be.

So I want to thank Piers Morgan, Joe Scarborough and all the other gun control advocates who are now rethinking the logic of their positions and concluding the government can’t be trusted after all. And if the government can’t be trusted, then it only follows that the citizens are the final defense against government tyranny. Furthermore, that role of citizen defense is only viable if the citizens are well-armed with rifles and hi-capacity magazines.

The more the government knows there are millions of law-abiding citizens who are armed and trained in rifle skills, the less that government is likely to overstep its limited powers and try to concentrate power in its own hands.

 

 

http://www.naturalnews.com/040398_gun_control_trust_in_government_tyranny.html#ixzz2TjwqKO00

NJ Senators Caught Scheming To Confiscate, Confiscate, Confiscate Guns

Several NJ Senators were unknowingly recorded on a hot microphone mocking gun owners and scheming for “a bill to… confiscate, confiscate, confiscate”

 

 

 

It seems that our State Senators in New Jersey look at the Second Amendment as a joke, and mock gun owners who took the time to testify at their committee meeting. Remember New Jersey may have the second most strict gun laws now!
The following link is to a You Tube video:

Video Description:

Audio captured and brought to attention by NJ2AS members

Loretta Weinberg (D-37), Sandra Cunningham (D-31), and Linda Greenstein (D-14), Nellie Pou (D-35)

What’s that you say?! They aren’t coming for our guns you say?!

This is INCREDIBLE!

We’ve narrowed down to who we believe was speaking in this video.

From waypasthadenough

The Second Amendment, as the rest of the Bill of Rights, is an acknowledgement of our natural-born rights, not a granting. The entire Bill of Rights is about keeping the governments in their place. The Second Amendment is about the common person’s right to own weapons of war so that we can keep the governments in their place by keeping the ‘monopoly on force’ in the hands of the people where it belongs, as in ‘We the people.’ Remember that? It will not be infringed any further and the ‘gun laws’ in existence will be repealed. End of discussion.

Guns don’t kill, governments do. Gun free zones are the problem, they allow armed criminals to kill. Arm the teachers, the administrators and the parents. Don’t allow the “Liberal”(commie) trash who control the so-called educational system to teach mindless pacifism that is ensconced in their arrogance of false civility.

If we have violent criminals in prison who have been convicted of a crime and can’t be trusted with weapons why is the govt. turning them back out on the street? So they can point at them and say “See, the sheeple can’t be trusted with guns.” The ‘crime’ argument is a red herring.

Time to repeal all of the ‘gun laws’ including GCA ’68 and the NFA; Shut down the evil BATF Nazis and try them for treason, and murder where appropriate and distribute their retirement funds among their victims; Then enforce the Bill of Rights on places such as Commiefornia and New Yawk and Chigawgo and if necessary bring the troops home and have them restore Liberty here and remove Amerika’s natural born traitors in the process.

Millions will dig the ditch they are told to dig then wet their pants when the machine gun bolts slam home and die stupidly wondering “How did this happen to me?” The tiny minority will have to do what will be required.
It’s time to stop arguing over the culture war. It’s time to stop hunkering down for the apocalypse. It’s time to stop waiting to get beamed up. It’s time to start thinking Normandy.
If you sit home waiting your turn you deserve to have your gun taken from your cold dead hands.
The Founders didn’t wait for the Brits to knock down their doors. They gathered at the green and stood up like men and they killed government employees all the way back to Boston.
What will you do when it’s time to hunt NWO hacks, republicrats and commies(“Liberals” and ‘progressives’)?
Don’t understand? Go to willowtowndotcom and read the quotes page first. Then read my column “Prepping for Slavery.”

More from IntelliHub:

NJ State Senator’s Hot Mic On Guns: “Confiscate, Confiscate, Confiscate”

by Dean Garrison
Freedom Outpost
May 12, 2013

A few air-headed New Jersey State Senators proved that claim on Thursday when they had their own unknown “open-mic” moment. Though this may never compare to King Obama’s intimate moment with Medvedev, it has to rank as one of the top ten open-mic moments in the history of communist America.

The Examiner Reports:

A microphone left on after the gavel fell at a New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing Thursday shows the “true view” of some of the senators toward gun owners, and provides proof that gun confiscation is a goal on which they agree, the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs revealed in an email to members and supporters today. The group is the official NRA state association.

“The discussion that was caught, apparently among several senators and staff, is outrageous, and reveals legislators’ true view of gun owners,” ANJRPC reports.

“The discussion appears to be among Senator Loretta Weinberg (D37), Senator Sandra Cunningham (D31), Senator Linda Greenstein (D14), and at least one member of Senate Democratic staff,” the gun group’s email explains.

Interesting lines allegedly coming from Weinberg, Cunningham, Greenstein and company include the following:

“We needed a bill that was going to confiscate, confiscate, confiscate.”

“They want to keep the guns out of the hands of the bad guys, but they don’t have any regulations to do it.”

“They don’t care about the bad guys.  All they want to do is have their little guns and do whatever they want with them.”

“That’s the line they’ve developed.”

I personally don’t care about personal attacks toward gun owners and pro-2nd amendment Senators. Sticks and stones, as they say…

What should concern the people of the great State of New Jersey and Americans all across the land is this “confiscate, confiscate, confiscate” garbage.

It is unclear which of the Senators uttered these remarks but I have a message for her and all of her sexually retarded, emotionally immature friends.

MOLON LABE! Yeah I’m talking to you princess…

“A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.” -Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. (1920)

Come on. You didn’t think I would throw those insults without a solid psychological basis for doing so. Did you? I’m no Sigmund Freud but when she repeats the word three times I feel like she must be triply-troubled. We had better get her on that confiscation list for the mentally unstable as soon as possible. She might be a left-wing terrorist in the making. Just saying.

 

 

http://beforeitsnews.com/scandals/2013/05/nj-senators-caught-scheming-to-confiscate-confiscate-confiscate-guns-2431296.html?utm_campaign=&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=http%3A%2F%2Fwhatreallyhappened.com%2F&utm_content=awesm-publisher&utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Fb4in.info%2Fg4X6

Lauryn Hill Jailed Over Taxes, References Slavery in Court Statement

Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill was kidnapped by agents of the state and placed in a cage for failing to hand over a significant amount of her income to the government.

Intellihub.com
May 7, 2013

Musician Lauryn hill has been sent to jail for failing to pay her taxes on time, and was very vocal about the injustice of her situation in the court room, rightfully identifying her situation as an example of modern slavery.

USA Today Reported that:

Grammy award-winning singer Lauryn Hill was sentenced Monday to three months in federal prison for failing to pay taxes on more than $2 million in earnings during a five-year period.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark, N.J. federal court also sentenced the famed rapper and actress to three months of home confinement with electronic monitoring after the prison term. Hill must also serve a year of supervised release and pay a $60,000 fine in addition to paying her tax debt to the IRS.

Very articulately she told the judge:

“I am a child of former slaves who had a system imposed on them. I had an economic system imposed on me.”

“Someone did the math, and it came to around $600 million,” she said. “And I sit here before you trying to figure out how to pay a tax debt? If that’s not like enough to slavery, I don’t know.”

“This wasn’t a life of jet-setting glamour,” she said. “This was a life of sacrifice with very little time for myself and my children.”

“I didn’t make music for celebrity status,” she told the court. “I made music for artistic and existential catharsis, which was not just necessary for myself but it was also necessary for the generations of oppressed people who hadn’t had their voices expressed like I was able to do it. Music is not something I do from 9 to 5. It’s a state of being, and like a doctor who delivers babies, I’m on call all the time because that’s the kind of work this is.”

Hill revealed in a message posted to her Tumblr account last month that she’s been working on new music.

“It has been reported that I signed a new record deal, and that I did this to pay taxes. Yes, I have recently entered into an agreement with Sony Worldwide Entertainment, to launch a new label, on which my new music will be released,” Hill wrote. “And yes, I am working on new music.  I have been working towards this for a long time, not just because of my current legal situation, but because I am an artist, I love to create, and I need the proper platform to do so.”

Some people would point out that Lauryn Hill had plenty of money, and that she could have easily handed over her extortion fee and still be able to eat.  However, if a wealthy woman was walking down the street and was attacked by a mugger, would people still carry that same perception?  Would everyone condemn this person for attempting to stand up against her mugger or hide some money in her sock?  Because Lauryn Hill, and every other person who is forced to fill out a tax form, is by principle a victim of theft.

Thanks to a lifetime of propaganda, people will argue relentlessly that taxation is not an act of violence, they will deny that it perpetuates a complicated form of slavery, and many times get deeply offended when you point out the fact that it is theft.

Yet, peaceful people are taken against their will and thrown in cages every day for not paying taxes. If this action was not carried by the state, everyone would recognize it as a violent kidnapping.  Whats worse is the fact that if any of these people made any attempts to defend themselves on their own property as they would against any other intruder, they would have been killed and treated as if they were the aggressor.

Just months ago we reported that Wesley Snipes was finally released after spending over 3 years in jail for the same reason.

Gun crime has plunged, but Americans think it’s up

US-POLITICS-GUN-PROTEST

 

Source: Los Angeles Times

Gun crime has plunged in the United States since its peak in the middle of the 1990s, including gun killings, assaults, robberies and other crimes, two new studies of government data show.

Yet few Americans are aware of the dramatic drop, and more than half believe gun crime has risen, according to a newly released survey by the Pew Research Center.

In less than two decades, the gun murder rate has been nearly cut in half. Other gun crimes fell even more sharply, paralleling a broader drop in violent crimes committed with or without guns. Violent crime dropped steeply during the 1990s and has fallen less dramatically since the turn of the millennium.

The number of gun killings dropped 39% between 1993 and 2011, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in a separate report released Tuesday. Gun crimes that weren’t fatal fell by 69%. However, guns still remain the most common murder weapon in the United States, the report noted. Between 1993 and 2011, more than two out of three murders in the U.S. were carried out with guns, the Bureau of Justice Statistics found.

The bureau also looked into non-fatal violent crimes. Few victims of such crimes — less than 1% — reported using a firearm to defend themselves.

Despite the remarkable drop in gun crime, only 12% of Americans surveyed said gun crime had declined compared with two decades ago, according to Pew, which surveyed  more than 900 adults this spring. Twenty-six percent said it had stayed the same, and 56% thought it had increased.

It’s unclear whether media coverage is driving the misconception that such violence is up. The mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., were among the news stories most closely watched by Americans last year, Pew found. Crime has also been a growing focus for national newscasts and morning network shows in the past five years but has become less common on local television news.

“It’s hard to know what’s going on there,” said D’Vera Cohn, senior writer at the Pew Research Center. Women, people of color and the elderly were more likely to believe that gun crime was up than men, younger adults or white people. The center plans to examine crime issues more closely later this year.

Though violence has dropped, the United States still has a higher murder rate than most other developed countries, though not the highest in the world, the Pew study noted. A Swiss research group, the Small Arms Survey, says that the U.S. has more guns per capita than any other country.

Experts debate why overall crime has fallen, attributing the drop to all manner of causes, such as the withering of the crack cocaine market and surging incarceration rates.

Some researchers have even linked dropping crime to reduced lead in gasoline, pointing out that lead can cause increased aggression and impulsive behavior in exposed children.

The victims of gun killings are overwhelmingly male and disproportionately black, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Compared with other parts of the country, the South had the highest rates of gun violence, including both murders and other violent gun crimes.

The U.S. Government Is Monitoring All Phone Calls, All Emails And All Internet Activity

The U.S. Government Is Monitoring All Phone Calls, All Emails And All Internet Activity - Photo by Jo Amelia Finlay

Big Brother is watching everything that you do on the Internet and listening to everything that you say on your phone.  Every single day in America, the U.S. government intercepts and stores nearly 2 billion emails, phone calls and other forms of electronic communication.  Former NSA employees have come forward and have described exactly what is taking place, and this surveillance activity has been reported on by prominent news organizations such as the Washington Post, Fox News and CNN, but nobody really seems to get too upset about it.  Either most Americans are not aware of what is really going on or they have just accepted it as part of modern life.  But where will this end?  Do we really want to live in a dystopian “Big Brother society” where the government literally reads every single thing that we write and listens to every single thing that we say?  Is that what the future of America is going to look like?  If so, what do you think our founding fathers would have said about that?

Many Americans may not realize this, but nothing that you do on your cell phone or on the Internet will ever be private again.  According to the Washington Post, the NSA intercepts and stores an astounding amount of information every single day…

Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications. The NSA sorts a fraction of those into 70 separate databases.

But even the Washington Post may not have been aware of the full scope of the surveillance.  In fact, National Security Agency whistleblower William Binney claims that the NSA has collected “20 trillion transactions” involving U.S. citizens…

In fact, I would suggest that they’ve assembled on the order of 20 trillion transactions about U.S. citizens with other U.S. citizens.

And NSA whistleblowers have also told us that the agency “has the capability to do individualized searches, similar to Google, for particular electronic communications in real time through such criteria as target addresses, locations, countries and phone numbers, as well as watch-listed names, keywords, and phrases in email.”

So the NSA must have tremendous data storage needs.  That must be why they are building such a mammoth data storage center out in Utah.  According to Fox News, it will have the capability of storing 5 zettabytes of data…

The NSA says the Utah Data Center is a facility for the intelligence community that will have a major focus on cyber security. The agency will neither confirm nor deny specifics. Some published reports suggest it could hold 5 zettabytes of data. (Just one zettabyte is the equivalent of about 62 billion stacked iPhones 5?s– that stretches past the moon.

Are you outraged by all of this?

You should be.

The U.S. government is spying on the American people and yet they continue to publicly deny that they are actually doing it.

Last week, this government spying program was once again confirmed by another insider.  What former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente told Erin Burnett of CNN is absolutely astounding

BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It’s not a voice mail. It’s just a conversation. There’s no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?

CLEMENTE: “No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It’s not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

BURNETT: “So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.

CLEMENTE: “No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not.”

Yes, “all of that stuff” is most definitely being “captured” and it is time for the Obama administration to be honest with the American people about what is actually going on.

Meanwhile, the recent bombing in Boston has many of our politicians calling for even tighter surveillance.

For example, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently said that our interpretation of the U.S. Constitution will “have to change” to deal with the new threats that we are facing.  More “smart cameras” are going up in New York, and Bloomberg says that we are “never going to know where all of our cameras are”.  The following is from a recent RT article

New York City police officials intend to expand the already extensive use of surveillance cameras throughout town. The plan, unveiled Thursday, comes as part of a drive for increased security around the US following the Boston Marathon attack.

New York City Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly announced the plan during a press conference with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in which the two announced that the suspected Boston Marathon bombers were planning to attack New York next. The pair said they hope to discourage criminals by using so-called “smart cameras” that will aggregate data from 911 alerts, arrest records, mapped crime patterns, surveillance cameras and radiation detectors, among other tools, according to The Verge.

You’re never going to know where all of our cameras are,” Bloomberg told reporters gathered outside City Hall. “And that’s one of the ways you deter people; they just don’t know whether the person sitting next to you is somebody sitting there or a detective watching.”

Will you feel safer if the government is watching you 100% of the time?

Do you want them to see what you are doing 100% of the time?

You might want to think about that, because that is where all of this is headed.

In fact, the truth is that spy cameras are not just going up all over New York City.  Most Americans may not realize this, but a network of spy cameras is now going up all over the nation.  The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles

“You are being watched.  The government has a secret system – a machine – that spies on you every hour of every day.”  That is how each episode of “Person of Interest” on CBS begins.  Most Americans that have watched the show just assume that such a surveillance network is completely fictional and that the government would never watch us like that.  Sadly, most Americans are wrong.  Shocking new details have emerged this week which prove that a creepy nationwide network of spy cameras is being rolled out across the United States.  Reportedly, these new spy cameras are “more accurate than modern facial recognition technology”, and every few seconds they send back data from cities and major landmarks all over the United States to a centralized processing center where it is analyzed.  The authorities believe that the world has become such a dangerous place that the only way to keep us all safe is to watch what everyone does all the time.  But the truth is that instead of “saving America”, all of these repressive surveillance technologies are slowly killing our liberties and our freedoms.  America is being transformed into an Orwellian prison camp right in front of our eyes, and very few people are even objecting to it.

For many more examples of how the emerging Big Brother surveillance grid is tightening all around us, please see my previous article entitled “19 Signs That America Is Being Systematically Transformed Into A Giant Surveillance Grid“.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama is telling us to reject those that are warning us about government tyranny.  The following is what he told the graduating class of The Ohio State University on May 5th, 2013

Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.

So what do you think?

Should we just ignore all of the violations of our privacy that are happening?

Should we just ignore what the U.S. Constitution says about privacy and let the government monitor us however it wants to?
Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/the-u-s-government-is-monitoring-all-phone-calls-all-emails-and-all-internet-activity/#vLT5zSVSEKcqHuIQ.99

Obama Signs Firearm And Ammo Killswitch

 

President Obama has side-stepped Congress by implementing portions of the UN Small Arms Trade Treaty through an executive order which can be used to ban the import of all firearms, ammunition and related supplies and accessories.

While patriots across the nation rejoiced when the US congress rejected flat on its face an attempt to force the United States into the UN Small Arms Treaty just weeks later a more sinister ulterior motive has been revealed.

Today, President Obama by passed congress and signed an executive which gives the federal government a power to completely ban the importation of guns, ammunition and even parts and accessories related to firearms.

While the UN Small Arms Treaty would have prevented the United States from both importing and exporting weapons, Obama has effectively signed on to the treaty with his new executive order while allowing the United States to export weapons of deaths to covertly funded clandestine operations in overseas nations where it seeks to further its imperialistic agenda.

At the same time, with nearly every other nation in the world signing on to the UN Small Arms treaty, other nations are now banned from doing the same which further leverages the United State’s power of shotgun diplomacy in nations that refuse to be puppets for the globalist elites that control America.

Back in the homeland Americans now face a dire situation.

With the United States government already having complete control over domestic corporations the power to ban all international imports effectively create what is nothing short of a firearm and ammunition killswitch.

At the same time, despite our elected representatives rejecting such legislation flat on its face, dictatorial executive orders continue to be enacted.

Not only are we being subject to international rules and regulations mandated by the UN, without any representation in the process, we also not longer are being represented in major political decisions being made at home.

This comes as the media has spent the last several days repeatedly selling the public on the notion that it is okay for the government to suspend the constitutional rights of a citizen at anytime and haul them off to a CIA blacksite to be tortured in the wake of the Boston Bombings.

In this video BeforeItsNews.com staff writer Alexander Higgins joins Arch Angel to discuss the newly signed executive order and how it has effectively set the stage for the government to completely suspend the constitution.

This hard hitting piece from Mac Slavo at ShtfPlan.com explains the order in detail.

Obama To Ban Importation of Ammo, Magazines and Accessories Without Congressional Approval

Over the course of the last month, while Americans were distracted with the threat of nuclear war on the Korean peninsula and the devastation wrought by the Boston bombings, President Obama was quietly working behind the scenes to craft laws and regulations that will further erode the Second Amendment.

Congress, and thus We the People, may have unequivocally rejected federal legislation in March which aimed to outlaw most semi-automatic rifles, restrict magazine capacity, and force national registration, but that didn’t stop the President from ceding regulatory control over firearms importation to the United Nations just two weeks later. What the UN Arms Trade Treaty, passed without media fanfare by 154 counties, would do is to restrict the global trade of, among other things, small arms and light weapons. Opponents of the treaty argue that loopholes within the new international framework for global gun control may make it illegal for Americans to purchase and import firearms manufactured outside of the United States.

To further his gun-grabbing agenda, however, President Obama and his administration didn’t stop there.

Now they’re taking another significant step against Americans’ right to bear arms – and they’re doing it through Presidential Executive Action, a strategy that, once again, bypasses Congressional oversight and the legislative process.

…it appears that the BHO Administration is taking executive action on firearms importation. Take a few minutes to read this: After Senate setback, Obama quietly moving forward with gun regulation. Here is the key portion of the article:

“The Importation of Defense Articles and Defense Services — U.S. Munitions Import List references executive orders, amends ATF regulations and clarifies Attorney General authority “to designate defense articles and defense services as part of the statutory USML for purposes of permanent import controls,” among other clauses specified in heavy legalese requiring commensurate analysis to identify just what the administration’s intentions are. Among the speculations of what this could enable are concerns that importing and International Traffic in Arms Regulations [ITAR] may go forward to reflect key elements within the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.”[Emphasis added.]

Depending on how it is implemented, the implications of this change could be huge. With the stroke a of a pen and without the consent of Congress, ATF bureaucrats could make ANY gun part or accessory (including magazines) or ammunition that were originally manufactured or perhaps even those designed for military use no longer legal for importation for civilian use. That might mean no more milsurp parts sets. No more milsurp magazines. No more milsurp ammo. No more milsurp optics. Perhaps not even spare firing pins. This could be ugly.

I strongly recommend that you stock up on magazines, ammunition and spare parts for any of your imported military pattern guns, as soon as possible! Once an import ban is implemented, prices will skyrocket.

Source: James Rawles’ Survival Blog via The Prepper Website

Just five days ago the President vowed to push forward on gun control without Congress and Nancy Pelosi argued that no matter what Congress says, gun control is inevitable.

This latest round of Executive Actions is what they meant.

A direct on attack on the Second Amendment is difficult if not impossible, so they are trying to slither their way in through the backdoor by restricting international trade so we can’t import new firearms, by restricting access to accessories and gun parts, by heavilytaxing ammunition and gun purchases, by mandating policies like forcing gun owners to have liability insurance, and of course, by identifying potentially dangerous gun owners and simply taking their firearms because of public safety concerns.

The President recently suggested that the American people have spoken, and that they want guns to be restricted, banned and heavily regulated.

If that’s so, then how is that a bipartisan Congress overwhelmingly rejected the President’s bid to restrict and outlaw private ownership of millions of weapons and gun accessories?

Going through the United Nations and now implementing Executive Actions to bypass America’s Constitutionally mandated system of checks and balances is an act of desperation.

Those who would take our rights have been left with no choice but to try and force their agenda upon us through dictatorial means.

New Law Protects 2nd Amendment from Feds

GunBarrel

 

WND – by Garth Kant

It was called the strongest pro-gun bill in the country, and now it’s the law in Kansas.

The law is designed to counter the push by liberal federal lawmakers for increased restrictions on gun rights. It nullifies any new limits on firearms, magazines and ammunition – whether enacted by Congress, presidential executive order or any agency.

If Congress would have passed the Senate amendment expanding federal background checks, for example, the Kansas law would nullify it in the state.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, signed Senate Bill 102 into law yesterday, which exempts Kansas from any laws the federal government might pass that would infringe on Second Amendment rights.

Specifically, the Kansas law prevents federal law enforcement officials from enforcing any laws restricting Second Amendment rights.

To ease concerns by some lawmakers over showdowns, federal officers would not be handcuffed or jailed, but they would be prosecuted.

The law is significant not just because of its intent, but because of who signed it. Brownback is a major political figure in the Republican Party who served as a congressman and a senator for the state until election as governor in 2010. Throwing his weight behind a “nullification” law lends credibility to a growing trend.

An impressive 32 state legislatures have now introduced pro-Second Amendment “nullification” bills. The progress of the bills can be tracked at the Tenth Amendment Center’s website.

Montana began the trend with its Firearms Freedom Act. The law is currently tied up in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard arguments last month. The Cato and Goldwater Institutes have filed a friend-of-the-court brief, “arguing that federal law doesn’t preempt Montana’s ability to exercise its sovereign police powers to facilitate the exercise of individual rights protected by the Second and Ninth Amendments.”

As WND reported, several more states have now passed laws modeled after Montana’s Firearms Freedom Act. Earlier this month, Arizona joined Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, Tennessee and Montana.

The laws are generally justified by references to the Second, Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to firearms. The Ninth Amendment makes it clear that citizens have rights not specifically listed in the Constitution. And the Tenth Amendment says states have powers not specifically given to the federal government or specifically denied to states.

Supporters of states’ rights have said the Tenth Amendment can nullify federal laws that are unconstitutional or beyond the federal government’s powers.

“Nullification” has been used as a legal argument to try to overturn everything from pro-slavery laws to Obamacare, always unsuccessfully. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, federal law is superior to state law and that federal courts have the final say on interpreting the Constitution.

But with the momentum of 32 states having introduced pro-Second Amendment nullification bills, that may change.

Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, said there are many ways to nullify a law.

“The courts can strike a law down. The executive branch could refuse to enforce it. People in large numbers might refuse to comply. A number of states could pass a law making its enforcement illegal. Or a number a states could refuse to cooperate in any way with its enforcement.”

Before it became law, Boldin called the Kansas measure the strongest nullification bill in modern American history.

A key provision of the Kansas’ Second Amendment Protection Act reads:

(a) Any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States which violates the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas.

Boldin wrote yesterday that another key part of the law is that Kansas “would not be allowed to participate in any federal gun control measures that restrict the individual right to keep and bear arms as understood in 1861.”

That’s because any federal laws undermining the Second Amendment would not be part of what Kansas agreed to when it joined the U.S.

According to Boldin, there is another key factor that may swing power in the favor of states seeking to enforce nullification laws.

He wrote, “The federal government does not have the manpower to enforce all its laws. State and local law enforcement often times carry the water during investigations and actual arrests.

“If states pass laws banning both state and local participation – in any way – with the enforcement of a federal law – that federal law would never be enforced.”

As WND reported earlier this month, a key supporter of Montana’s Firearms Freedom Act says nullification laws are needed to break a near-monopoly on guns by the federal government.

According to Gary Marbut of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, the “current federal scheme of regulating the supply system for new firearms in the U.S. is so complete it might actually constitute a government monopoly on the supply of firearms.”

“Under current federal regulation, no firearm may be made and sold to another person without federal government permission – not one firearm,” he said.

To submit to a government gun monopoly, he said, would be to believe “that the Constitution is an old, dead, obsolete and meaningless piece of paper, the Ninth Amendment is as worthless as the rest, and has no relevance to the [Montana Firearms Freedom Act].”

Derek Sheriff reported at the Arizona Tenth Amendment Center that Arizona’s bill asserts the state’s “sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment and the people’s unenumerated rights under the Ninth Amendment.”

“They also emphasize the fact that when Arizona entered the union in 1912, its people did so as part of a contract between the state and the people of Arizona and the United States,” he said.

Kurt Hofmann of the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner said the surging movement across the states is “a challenge to the federal government’s grotesquely expansive use of the interstate commerce to regulate – well … everything, whether it has anything to do with interstate commerce or not.”

“Liberty doesn’t just happen – it needs to be worked for,” he said. “Getting that work done can make the difference between having to work for liberty, and having to fight for it.”

Marbut, who has described himself as the godfather of the Firearms Freedom Act movement, has reported previously that while the Constitution’s Commerce Clause can be viewed as regulating interstate commerce, it also can be viewed as having been modified when the later Second Amendment assuring citizens of the right to own weapons was adopted.

No less significant, he suggests, is the Ninth Amendment, which states, “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Boldin said Washington likely is looking for a way out of the dispute.

“I think they’re going to let it ride, hoping some judge throws out the case,” he told WND. “When they really start paying attention is when people actually start following the [state] firearms laws.”

WND reported that when Wyoming joined the states with self-declared exemptions from federal gun regulation, officials there took the unusual step of including penalties for any agent of the U.S. who “enforces or attempts to enforce” federal gun rules on a “personal firearm.”

The penalties could be up to two years in prison and $2,000 in fines for an offender.

But the bellwether likely is to be the lawsuit agaisnt the Montana law, which was the first to go into effect.

As WND reported, the action was filed by the Second Amendment Foundation and the Montana Shooting Sports Association in U.S. District Court in Missoula, Mont., to validate the principles and terms of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, which took effect Oct. 3, 2009.

Marbut argues that the federal government was created by the states to serve the states and the people, and it is time for the states to begin drawing boundaries for the federal government and its agencies.

 

 

 

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/new-law-protects-2nd-amendment-from-feds/#vemd78M1tKKbBb4f.99

Nancy Pelosi: No Matter What Congress Says, Gun Control Is “Inevitable”

 

After President Obama’s aggressive push for gun control went down in flames on Wednesday, Pelosi immediately promised the American people that she would continue to ignore her oath of office and, instead, attack the Constitution.

 

Nancy Pelosi has been sworn into Congress eleven times. Each time, she has taken the same oath to defend the American Constitution. This oath states, in relevant part, that “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same….”

Proving that both her listening and critical thinking skills are a bit sub par, Pelosi believes she’s taken a different oath, one that obligates her and her fellow Congressmen to “protect and defend the constitution and the American people.” In other words, based on an imaginary oath to protect and defend the American people, she is violating her real oath to protect and defend the American Constitution.

After President Obama’s aggressive push for gun control went down in flames on Wednesday, Pelosi immediately promised the American people that she would continue to ignore her oath of office and, instead, attack the Constitution. During a press conference, she announced that gun control is “inevitable.” Said Pelosi, “It’s a matter of time. It might be inconceivable to the NRA that this might happen; it’s inevitable to us.”

Ignoring that recent polls show that only 4% of the American people give the gun control issue priority in their lives, Pelosi blithely announced that “Something must be done, because that’s what the American people expect and what they deserve. We’re just not taking no for an answer.”

Using the usual illogical thinking we’ve come to expect from Democrats, she attacked those Democrats who voted against gun control of turning their back on public safety – even though there’s no evidence that any of the proposed legislation would keep guns out of the hands of criminals and crazy people. Buoyed by magical thinking, Pelosi tried to shame those Democrats who placed their careers and the Second Amendment ahead of the Progressives’ gun grab, people control agenda:

 

It always makes me wonder at a time like this how important we each think we are, that any one of us thinks our survival politically is more important than the safety of our children, that we can’t have the courage to take a vote. You’re afraid of the gun lobby? How about the fear of the children who had to face that violence in the classroom?

Now that you’ve had a moment to laugh at Pelosi’s ignorance and irrational thinking, remember that this is not the time for those who genuinely support the Constitution to relax.  The Left, in its overwhelming arrogance, will never stop its quest to disarm American citizens. Because we know human nature, and because we know evil exists, we also know that there will be other Sandy Hooks, and that the Progressives will again try not to let a crisis go to waste.

Even though the gun bills died in the Senate, they didn’t in Connecticut, or New York, or Colorado, or Maryland.  It’s up to us to remind other Americans that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. If we give up on this message, then the next time something bad happens, or the time after that, or even the time after that, Nancy Pelosi will win.

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

We don’t intend to build nukes, Israel told US in 1975

Prime minister Yitzhak Rabin accompanied by Henry Kissinger on their way to a meeting with president Ford at the White House, June 1975. (photo credit: Yaakov Saar/GPO)

Newly published documents also shed light on Rabin, Peres visits to Tehran in 1976 and Dayan plan to give citizenship to Palestinians in Ramallah and Bethlehem

(Times of Israel) Israel’s leaders, in private exchanges with senior US officials in 1975, flatly denied that Israel possessed nuclear weapons, and foreign minister Yigal Allon also claimed Israel had no intention to build such weapons, according to diplomatic cables published this week by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.

This despite the fact that, according to foreign reports, Israel is now believed to have begun full-scale production of nuclear weapons soon after the 1967 war, and to have stockpiled a number of nuclear weapons by the early 1970s.

The cables are part of a trove of more than 1.7 million US diplomatic cables sent between 1973 and 1976. Among the 5,000-plus documents that deal with Israel are messages that shine light on the development of Israel’s nuclear program, as well as on Israel’s relationship with pre-revolutionary Iran and a 1973 plan by then-defense minister Moshe Dayan to extend Israeli citizenship to Palestinian residents of Ramallah and Bethlehem.

In May 1975, senator Howard Baker asked prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and defense minister (today President) Shimon Peres about speculation that Israel had acquired nuclear weapons.

“Rabin told senator Baker that GOI [the government of Israel] had made a commitment not to be the first state to introduce nuclear weapons into the area. Israel had kept its word,” states the document, which was quietly declassified in 2006 but only published now by WikiLeaks.

In the document, which the US Embassy in Tel Aviv sent to the embassy in Turkey, Peres is quoted as saying that Israel’s introduction of nuclear weapons into the Middle East would lead to a conflict with Washington and would encourage the Soviet Union to give similar devices to the Arab nations in the region, which “would bring [the] Middle East to [the] point of no return.

“Peres, in reply to [a] direct question, states that Israel has not constructed a military nuclear device,” the document continued. Baker asked whether that meant Jerusalem had not constructed an explosive device, and Peres answered affirmatively.

Israel has always pursued a policy of nuclear ambiguity, neither denying nor confirming the possession of atomic weapons. Yet the existence of an Israeli nuclear-weapons program has been widely reported in the foreign media, and it is widely believed that Jerusalem has had such devices since at least 1973.

Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin (photo credit: courtesy GPO)

In one of the cables from the summer of 1975, Rabin said that Israel has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty “because it regarded this as part of [an] arms race issue in [the] area and of an eventual overall political settlement” of the Middle East conflict.

The Israeli prime minister also commented on repeated American requests to inspect the nuclear facilities in Dimona, telling Baker that Jerusalem and Washington had in 1969 — “and rightly so” — agreed that such visits had been “terminated.”

“The Dimona facility was not open for inspection,” the document states.

A few months earlier, in January 1975, a cable that the US Embassy in Tel Aviv sent to Washington quotes US senator Charles Mathias asking foreign minister Yigal Allon about Israel’s nuclear capabilities.

“Allon replied that Israel had the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons. However, he said that [the government of Israel] did not currently possess nuclear weapons, nor did it intend to manufacture them.”

The senator then remarked that the secrecy surrounding the Dimona reactor and Jerusalem’s refusal to allow inspection “were a public relations problem for Israel in the US.” Allon agreed in principle, but offered no immediate remedies.

In November 1976, a dozen American senators visited Israel, with “one of their principal interests” being an inspection of the Dimona nuclear reactor, according to another US Embassy cable. Jerusalem denied the senators’ requests. “When asked regarding the reason for this decision,” the document states, “we were simply told that adequate attention would be given to Israel’s energy situation in briefings and a visit to Dimona would not be considered useful.”

The US Government suspected Israel of having nuclear weapons since 1970 and, according to foreign media reports, Israel assembled more than a dozen nuclear warheads during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In 1986, former Dimona nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu gave detailed information about the country’s “secret nuclear arsenal” to the London Sunday Times. In 2008, former US president Jimmy Carter saidthat Israel had at least 150 nuclear weapons.

The diplomatic documents, which WikiLeaks dubbed the “Kissinger Cables,” also reveal that, in the 1970s, military legend Dayan — serving as defense minister — planned to grant Israeli citizenship to Palestinian residents of Bethlehem and Ramallah, while retaining full control over the West Bank.

cable from May 1973 quotes former minister Gad Yaacobi, who was a close ally of Dayan, saying that Dayan was preparing to expand the degree of autonomy for Arab municipalities in the West Bank, which Israel had captured in the Six-Day War.

Yaacobi said Dayan encouraged Israeli settlements everywhere in the West Bank except in “Arab metropolitan areas.” The two exceptions to that rule were Ramallah and Bethlehem, which Dayan considered parts of the “greater Jerusalem area.”

“As for Dayan’s thinking on [an] ultimate peace settlement with Jordan, Yaacobi said Dayan would only return one or two small enclaves of the West Bank,” the cable states. “But Dayan, according to Yaacobi, envisages [the] rest of [the] West Bank population though living under Israeli sovereignty as being full-fledged Jordanian citizens, with [the] exception [of] inhabitants of Ramallah and Bethlehem, who would become Israeli citizens.”

‘What the Iranians and Israelis are specifically cooking up in the arms field remains to be ascertained, but the Shah has a complex game going’

The Kissinger Cables, named after former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, also shed light on Israel’s close military ties with Iran prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which turned the two countries into bitter enemies.

In 1976, several top Israeli government officials, including Rabin, Peres and Allon, secretly visited the Shah in Tehran, writes then-US ambassador to Iran and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency Richard Helms in acable.

Rabin’s visit, in July of that year, was clouded in particular secrecy, Helms writes. It was followed by a trip to Israel by Iranian vice minister of war Hassan Toufanian, ostensibly to discuss several joint military projects, such as the 1977 Project Flower.

“What the Iranians and Israelis are specifically cooking up in the arms field remains to be ascertained, but the Shah has a complex game going with both the Israelis and the Egyptians, the obvious purpose of which is to exchange or at least have available certain kinds of ammunition and weapons which are not subject to US Congressional control or veto,” Helms writes.

In a separate cable, Helms reports to the State Department in Washington that the Shah complained to Peres during a visit to Tehran about Jerusalem’s efforts to dissuade the US from selling arms to Iran.

In a third cable, Helms says that Toufanian told him that his trip to Israel and Peres’s visit to Tehran “were basically get-acquainted sessions.” The Iranian official said that “ways will be explored to expand military cooperation between the two countries, but that it is important [for] the prime personalities to get to know each other first and to come to understand each other’s particular problems.”

MD Residents to Pay New “Rain Tax” For Rain That Falls on Their Property

RainYesterday we reported that Wesley Snipes was finally released from prisonafter serving a 3 year sentence for refusing to pay the government extortion racket known as “taxation”.  If you had a difficult time seeing through the scam of taxation with that story, hopefully this one can show you how taxation is blatant theft and thuggery.

10 Maryland countiesincluding the one that I live in will now be taxing people for how much rain falls on their property.  How much area is paved on their property, and how big their deck is will be primary factors in this new taxation scheme.

According to a local newspaper:

In 2010 the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency ordered Maryland to reduce stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay so that nitrogen levels fall 22 percent and phosphorus falls 15 percent from current amounts. The price tag: $14.8 billion.

And where do we get the $14.8 billion? By taxing so-called “impervious surfaces,” anything that prevents rain water from seeping into the earth (roofs, driveways, patios, sidewalks, etc.) thereby causing stormwater run off. In other words, a rain tax.And who levies this new rain tax? Witness how taxation, like rain, trickles down through the various pervious levels of government until it reaches the impervious level — me and you.

The EPA ordered Maryland to raise the money (an unfunded mandate), Maryland ordered its 10 largest counties to raise the money (another unfunded mandate) and, now, each of those counties is putting a local rain tax in place by July 1. So, if you live in Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford, Charles, Frederick, Baltimore counties or Baltimore city, you’ll be paying a rain tax on your next property tax bill.

The article goes on to explain the government will survey peoples property using drones and satellite imagery.

Daily Finance Explained that:

Homeowners will bear the brunt of the rain tax: of the $14.8 billion to be raised — $482 million each year until 2025 — about three-quarters will come from residential property owners. The rate is expected to start at $100 a year for most homeowners, although that could rise. The only rain tax shelter: credits and exemptions for property owners who follow stormwater “best practices.”  How the money will be spent is another murky situation.

As i reported last week, while the government uses the EPA to tax drivers and regulate how people are landscaping in their back yards, that same government has uncontrollable biological weapons sitting all over the country like toxic time bombs.

Most specifically, the area in question, the Chesapeake bay is terribly polluted with toxic chemical, biological and radioactive waste that was released from the Lockheed Martin facility in Middle River MD, and the Aberdeen Proving Grounds military base in Aberdeen MD, since around the time of World War 2.  Both of these facilities have unleashed a stew of toxic waste into rivers that lead directly into the bay, even going as far as storing radio active waste under the seabed for decades.  I will be doing a full series of reports on these toxic waste sites in the coming weeks and months, stay tuned to intellihub.com for more information.

 

Intellihub.com

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

Mandatory Gun Insurance

It took “conservative” Republicans to trot out mandatory and market-based health insurance in the same mouthful. insurance 1Don’t ever forget to thank them for this.

Well, it’s time for the next step: Mandatory guninsurance –  also “market based” and “incentivized,” of course.

Here it comes, directly from one of the insurance Mafia’s chief consiglieries, Robert Hartwig. He is president of something called the Insurance Information Institute – which is an outfit funded by the insurance Mafia for the purpose of spewing propaganda favorable to the insurance Mafia and to wheedle for more laws that extort fresh “customers” for the insurance Mafia:

Mandatory gun insurance, he says, would “. . . (cover) individuals whose person or property was in some way injured or damaged as a result of the use of a firearm.”

What Hartwig avoids mentioning is the guns that will be pointed at gun owners who decline to be “covered.”

But why would anyone decline such a valuable “service”?insurance shyster

Perhaps so that they can afford to keep the gun. Or even buy one in the first place.

And here we come to the true object of this enterprise: To make the legal ownership of guns progressively more expensive, so that within a period of years, very few people except the affluent elites (and eventually, perhaps not even they) will be able to legally own guns. No registration – or confiscation (as such) will be needed. The public – most of it – will be disarmed via being priced out of the “market” using “incentives” provided by the insurance Mafia.insurance 3

Or they will be criminalized – by the government – for not having bought the required insurance. Exactly as has been done already to car owners who fail to purchase the required insurance. And will soon be done to people who fail to purchase the required health insurance.

It’s quite brilliant, really.

The Mafia would “reward” gun owners who own fewer guns – and levy surcharges upon those who own “too many” guns – or guns deemed “too powerful” or “excessive,” such as those of a certain caliber, or which have magazines that hold “too many” bullets. Conceal carry? Higher risk – you pay more.

It will work in exactly in the same way that the insurance Mafia has made owning powerful cars and motorcycles – especially more than one – financially untenable for most average people. Gun owners who do not keep their guns stored unloaded and /or locked up – and therefore, largely useless for home defense –  will be surcharged into penury. And just as the insurance Mafia is already pushing hard for in-car monitors for drivers, so also will the insurance Mafia push for random checks or in-home monitoring for gun owners – to “make sure” the guns are “kept safe.” Either accept these terms and conditions – or give up your guns.

Or, become an outlaw – subject to potentially years in prison if they ever find out you failed to comply.

Every gun owner will be strongly “incentivized” to become a good little Clover – to do as he is told.

And most will.

Bet your bippie that Obamacare – brought to you by these same “conservative” Republicans – never forget that – will tie into this. Already, doctors are asking probing questions of their patients: Do you own a gun? The patient is Catch-22′d either way. If he says yes, the doctor – now in cahoots with the government and the insurance Mafia – will jot that information down on the patient’s files – files that are no longer private. Files that are going to be read with great interest by the government – and the insurance Mafia (which amounts to the same thing) because your “health care” is now a matter of public concern – and must be “incentivized” with “market-based” nudges – you know, orders enforced at gunpoint (the guns owned by not-you, of course).

Or, the patient lies and says no.insurance 4

Now he’s probably committed some sort of actionable offense – one must always tell the truth to the government – even though the government rarely retruns the favor and is never obliged to. The patient who fibs to Uncle – his eternal in loco parentis – must live in perpetual fear of Uncle  discovering his fibbing.

Much worse – for the patient – he tells the doctor to piss off and mind his own goddamn business. Patient is belligerent and paranoid; potentially dangerous. Immediate e-mail to Homeland Security. Cue the thug scrum. (This is no exaggeration, by the way. It has already happened to several people. Their doctors narced them out to the insurance Mafia’s enforcers – you know, the police – and “for their safety,” these people’s guns were physically taken away despite their having done nothing to anyone – much less committed any crime. See here and here and here, for openers.)

Don’t just bet your bippie. Bet your ass this is coming.

Efforts are currently under way to get mandatory gun insurance laws passed in the following states: California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland. But the real push will come from Washington – from deep within the reticulated colon of tyranny, soon to issue forth its predictable product.

This is their strategy – and I expect it’s going to work. Because for it not to work, there would have to be a successful challenge of the idea of forcing people to buy insurance, period. Put another way, if it is wrong – or even merely unconstitutional – to force people to buy insurance in order to legally own a gun (even in their own homes) then it must also be wrong to force people to buy health insurance to “cover” their ownselves. Or their cars, for that matter. To be compelled to buy any insurance at all – except in cases of property not yet fully paid for, in which case one has the free choice to not buy the property – or to wait until one has the means to do so outright, without taking a loan.insurance 5 The very idea of mandatory insuranceitself must be thrown in the woods.

Do you expect that to happen? The system hasalready decreed it’s just fine – ethically peachy and legal – to literally threaten to cage people at gunpoint for failing to purchase a health insurance policy. And a car policy. What makes you think they will stop at that?

I don’t think they will stop.

The basic idea behind mandatory car and health insurance has been accepted by most people – to say nothing of the courts. And that is the real problem. If you have to buy car insurance because you might cause damage to someone else’s property (even if you never actually do) then surely you should also be required to cough up for a gun insurance policy. If you have an obligation – enforceable at gunpoint – to hand over money to the health insurance Mafia for “coverage” because you might get sick and might impose “costs on society” – then surely you have the same obligation when it comes to owning a gun.

Right?

Who will argue the principled opposite? That it is better to accept that when it comes to any given thing,some people may (indeed will) occasionally behave irresponsibly – and accept the consequences of this (and hold only them responsible for their actions) as the price of living in a free society – than it is to chase the unicorn of a risk-free society and along the way, treat everyone as presumptively irresponsible? To put a finer point on it: To punish the responsible  – the innocent – based upon the actions of the irresponsible and the guilty – in an ever-speeding-up vortex of dumbing-down and its inevitable corollary, the clamping down on whatever freedom of action remains.  A world in which nothingyou do or might do isn’t someone else’s business. And theirs, yours. Everyone a prisoner of everyone else – and hating one another for it.

Hell on earth, realized.insurance 6

We are well on our way there.

Jefferson characterized the either-or this way:Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem. That is: Better freedom with danger than slavery with safety. And even the sage of Monticello  made the error of accepting the premise that slavery can buy safety; it can’t – it never has. Ask the Soviet-era Ukrainian kulaks how “safe” they were under Stalin’s “protection.” Or on a smaller scale,  the 77 victims of  Anders Behring Breivik, all of them living in a legally disarmed, “safe” society that proved to be anything but “safe” for them.

So, here’s our choice.

Either people take a principled stand – and forget the utilitarian arguments – or they will accept what’s coming. They must reject not just the idea of being compelled to purchase gun insurance in order to be “allowed” to own a gun, they must question the whole filthy juggernaut that’s steaming along behind it. The very idea of mandatory any insurance.

It’s as simple – and as complicated – as that.

Government, if it has any ethical justification at all, exists solely to protect the rights of the individual. It is an assault on the rights of the individual to deprive him of his rights before he has done something to justify it. That he – that “someone” – might behave irresponsibly is thin gruel, inadequate to override the fact that he hasn’t yet. Any government that abuses any person’s rights – that punishes any person pre-emptively for things he hasn’t done but which someone “might” – is itself abusive and no longer legitimate.

Our rights are sacred – but we’ve forgotten. Most of all, we have forgotten that there has to be a damn good reason to forcibly deprive any human being of any of them.

Doing so because some other person did something –  or might do something (and thus, “you might, too”) – is an absolute outrage.

And to accept it, a degradation.

Will you accept it?

Throw it in the Woods? 

 

More @ http://ericpetersautos.com/category/politics/

Using secret travel ban, Israel prepares to deport activist Adam Shapiro preventing him from being at the birth of his first child

Huwaida Adam(mondoweiss.net) Israel’s deportation policy entered a new phase on Monday when Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro, co-founders of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), arrived at Ben Gurion airport and discovered an entry ban on Shapiro, despite inquires made in advance by a lawyer for the couple. Arraf and Shapiro, now expecting their first child, are perhaps the most recognizable pair in the Palestine solidarity movement, and architects for building an international activist presence on the ground since the beginning of the second Intifada.

At the airport on Monday afternoon Israeli authorities informed Shapiro that in 2009, unknown to him, the Israeli Ministry of Interior issued a 10-year entry ban for him. Initially the border police “weren’t making much sense,” Arraf told Mondoweiss, but then Shapiro was taken to jail where he remained for two days until he and Arraf were briefly reunited at a court hearing Tuesday.

After Shapiro’s Monday arrest, Arraf sent a letter to friends and supporters on her husband’s arrest:

Adam and I are expecting our first child, a boy in about 5 weeks. As joyful as this blessing is, we’ve had / we have to make some difficult decisions (besides what to name our son that is!) I am an Israeli citizen (in addition to a US citizen). This fact has made it possible for me to continue accessing my homeland all these years in spite of some attempts by Israel to kick me out. Israel did however deport Adam in 2002 because of our human rights work and banned him from re-entering the country (including the occupied Palestinian territory) since, which is why we’ve had to spend so much of our married life apart. In order for us to ensure that in the future, if Israel remains the racist, apartheid state that it is, it won’t deny our son the right to visit his homeland and all his family in Palestine, we’ve had to think about getting Israeli citizenship for our son. However, because I’m Palestinian, and not a Jewish citizen of Israel, our child will not have the automatic right to visit the country or to claim citizenship. The only way for me to pass down my citizenship to our son is to have him in Israel.

Arraf explained that in Tuesday’s court hearing the state claimed that Shapiro was presented “a document all in Hebrew” that stipulated a 10-year entry ban when he was detained by Israeli authorities in 2009 and “they said that Adam refused to sign.” But Arraf says Shapiro was never given such a document, “this is the first time he’s been told he has a 10-year ban.” Yet at the trial, Arraf says the state’s attorney produced a copy of the letter, “it’s the state’s word against Adam’s.”

“When the judge ruled, it was basically a technical ruling,” explained Arraf. He “wouldn’t listen to evidence on the ban itself, whether it is legal,” and Arraf summarizes it was clear “they did not want Adam to enter the country.”

Arraf is Palestinian with U.S. and Israeli citizenship, and Shapiro is a U.S. citizen—facts that dictate the couple’s ability to live together, travel together, and now will impose a separation during the birth of their first child after 11 years of marriage. Because of Arraf’s Palestinian national identity, she traveled to Israel late in her pregnancy so she could give birth to her son in country, ensuring she could bequeath her Israeli citizenship. Although it is technically possible for Arraf to transfer citizenship abroad, for Palestinians it is an arduous task. By contrast, children of Israeli-Jews born outside of the country can be issued Israeli identification numbers, even in instances where the child is not registered by the parents. This past year an American activist born to an Israeli father toldMondoweiss that despite never applying for citizenship, the Israeli Ministry of Interior told her she was already registered in the system. They said it was illegal for her to enter on a U.S. passport as the state already considered her an Israeli citizen.

Last month a lawyer for Arraf and Shapiro twice inquired with the Israeli government on Shapiro’s ability to enter Israel. Both times Arraf said Shapiro “was never given any written notice that he has a 10-year ban.” In addition, in 2008 Arraf wrote a letter to the Ministry of Interior to inquire into Shapiro’s travel status. At the airport on Monday, border officials produced a copy of the letter and told Arraf that she should have waited for a response before entering. “Well it’s been five years, you want us to wait longer for a response?” said Arraf.

Arraf and Shapiro’s current predicament dates back to 2002 when Shapiro was working in the West Bank as a human rights activist. After an arrest that led to deportation Shapiro discovered he was persona non grata, when attempting to re-enter through an Israeli controlled border. Over the next ten years he tried to enter the country three times. The pair was advised that Shapiro had been issued one of the notoriously vague 10-year entry bans, typically given to activists without notice, or formal explanation. Indeed Shapiro was never officially told he had a 10-year ban, but it was a logical deduction.

Later in 2009 while aboard the flotilla to breach the Israeli sea blockade of the Gaza Strip, Shapiro was taken into Israel by Israeli forces against his will and was again deported. According to Arraf, at the time the judge in that case acknowledged that Shapiro did not intend to enter Israel and was taken into the country while under custody of Israeli authorities. Now the state is alleging a new entry ban was issued at that time.

Because Arraf and Shapiro have been in communication with Israeli officials about their travel plans, Shapiro’s secret 10-year entry ban is especially alarming. The couple seems to have taken every measure to ensure Shapiro could be present for the birth of their son. But with Shapiro’s looming deportation anticipated to take place this evening, their case demonstrates that Israel not only issues entry bans, but also conceals them until the time of arrival.

“A couple of years ago,” said Arraf, “a lawyer once told me that [the 10-year entry ban] is not in any official Israeli law.” Yet, the threat of a 10-year ban is considered a final banishment doled out to the most high profile activists. It is viewed as a punitive measure for internationals who are known supporters of Palestinian rights, a fact that is underscored by the fact that only Palestine solidarity activists have received it.

Because of an Israeli policy that allows for anyone who is a perceived “security threat,” to be denied entry on spot, Arraf was aware her husband could face complications upon arrival. It is not uncommon for activists working in the West Bank to be deported from Israel, even without ever exiting the airport. This policy was employed en masse in 2012 and in 2011 when dozens of internationals were denied entry when traveling for a “fly-in,” a protest against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

“I’m usually very optimistic” said Arraf in regards to Shapiro’s ability to be present for the birth of their son. But with “all of his human rights work and his activism the state doesn’t like him.”

Arraf has a reputation for hopefulness and resilience, and it is not surprising that despite this situation she is still committed to working for the rights of Palestinians. I interviewed her after she was arrested on the 2010 flotilla, and Arraf told me that the Israeli police beat her until she was concussed, ultimately dumping her from their car. She regained consciousness while medics put her on a stretcher after seemingly being left for dead in the middle of the desert. Arraf was then taken to a hospital. After treatment she left on her own and walked until she found a phone to call her family. She didn’t know where she was, or how much time had passed.

But a few days later Arraf was back on the ground, demonstrating and fighting for her cause. Now, just as in 2010, she moves forward even though her husband’s case will likely become a benchmark for secret travel bans.

“We continue our work on the larger picture,” wrote Arraf in her latest update to friends. “If our situation can be used to help shed more light on the racism and inhumanity rampant here (as well as Israel’s contempt for human rights defenders), with the goal of changing the system someday for the future of all the children of this region, that would be one of the best things that we could hope for.”

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.

 

Lying Dianne Feinstein: All The Police Support My Gun Ban

Cuomo: Gun Control Would Have Never Happened If Public Was Allowed To Review It

(CNSNews) -Yesterday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) appeared on MSNBC pushing for an assault weapons ban and said that Americans need to make a decision “If personal pleasure is more important that general welfare.” She also said that “all the police” support her bill.

Sen. Feinstein claimed to have garnered rampant support for the weapons ban:

“Our support is very broad. The White House has been very good. They’ve been very clear. I think we’ve got all the police, we have all the mayors virtually. The Conference of mayors, Mayors Against Guns; we have medical experts. We have virtually dozens of religious organizations of every creed supporting us. We have just lists and lists. I’ve put together a little booklet that contains the basics on the bill, as well as a list of the endorsers.

However, CNSNews.com recently reported that a growing number of the nation’s sheriffs are standing up against gun control measures proposed by the Obama Administration and Sen. Feinstein. Many of these law enforcement officials have written letters to both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden voicing their concerns over what they consider to be an infringement upon the Second Amendment.

Feinstein also responded to comments made by the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre over the weekend about the senator’s “assault” on the Second Amendment.

“I don’t really expect to agree with much Mr. LaPierre says. Of course, he has the right to say it and I have the right to do this. I’ve tried to do it carefully. We have 22 co-sponsors, I recognize it’s an uphill battle. I also know these events are going to continue – America has to step up. The mothers, the women, the men of America have to make a decision as to whether their personal pleasure is more important than the general welfare.

“Grievance killers look for these weapons. These weapons are easy to obtain. There are no background checks, you can buy them out of a back of a car at a gun show. America’s laws are virtually non-existent and therefore I think this is a good bill. I intend to fight; I did it once before. If it doesn’t get done right now, be assured I will continue to press the case.”

She also called the NRA a “volatile” organization that assaults people who go against them: “So, we will be making our argument. It’s very difficult to go against the NRA, because they are volatile, they assault one. We are making our arguments and I hope America will stand up and say ‘enough is enough.’”

 

Criticize a Judge (or Anyone Else), Go to Jail?

Daniel Brewington

(Examiner) -Daniel Brewington was not happy with the way that Dearborn County, Indiana, Judge James D. Humphrey handled his divorce case, during which he lost custody of his children, and he explained why at length in various strongly worded online commentaries. Largely as a result of those posts, Brewington is serving a two-year sentence at the Putnamville Correctional Facility for intimidation, attempted obstruction of justice, and perjury. The punishment Brewington received for condemning Humphrey’s actions has attracted criticism from a wide range of First Amendment advocates, including UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, conservative lawyer James Bopp, a former executive director of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, the Indiana Association of Scholars, The Indianapolis Star, and the James Madison Center for Free Speech. In an amicus brief filed the week before last, they urge the Indiana Supreme Court to overturn Brewington’s conviction for intimidating Humphrey, arguing that the provision under which he was convicted, as interpreted by a state appeals court, threatens constitutionally protected speech about the official acts of public officials.

Dearborn County Sheriff's DepartmentDearborn County Sheriff’s DepartmentThe intimidation charge related to Brewington’s comments about Humphrey, which was treated as a felony because it involved a judicial officer, was based on the allegation that he “communicated to another person a threat with the intent that the other person be placed in fear of retaliation for a prior lawful act.” The threat in this case was that Brewington would “expose the person threatened to hatred, contempt, disgrace, or ridicule.” Upholding Brewington’s conviction on this count, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled last month that “the truthfulness of the threatened disclosure is not necessarily relevant to prosecution because the harm, placing a victim in fear, occurs whether the publicized conduct is true or false.” It added that some of Brewington’s statements about Humphrey were demonstrably false. “Over the course of at least a year,” the court said, “Brewington repeatedly called Judge Humphrey a ‘child abuser.’…Brewington also called Judge Humphrey ‘corrupt’…and accused him of engaging in ‘unethical/illegal behavior.'”

It is not clear to me that, as the appeals court claimed, Brewington’s comments “went well beyond hyperbole and were capable of being proven true or false.” As Brewington explained, he believed Humphrey’s custody decision, which was coupled with restrictions on Brewington’s visitation rights, was tantamount to child abuse. That claim and the accusations of “corrupt” or “unethical” behavior seem like expressions of opinion to me. In any case, the appeals court made it clear that for purposes of the intimidation charge it did not matter whether what Brewington said was true. It rejected Brewington’s argument that his speech was protected by the First Amendment, saying “the conduct that is criminalized here, communicating a threat to a victim to place the victim in fear of retaliation for a prior lawful act, necessarily falls outside the realm of protected criticism of government decisions due to the requirement of criminal intent”—i.e., an intent to “place the victim in fear.” As Volokh points out in the amicus brief, this reading of the law suggests that prosecution would be appropriate in situations like these:

1. a columnist’s writing, “Legislator A’s vote on issue B is ridiculous, and I intend to ridicule him until his constituents view him with contempt”;

2. an advocacy group’s picketing a store with signs saying, “The store owner’s decision to stock product C is disgraceful, and we hope our speech will expose the owner to disgrace and ostracism”;

3. a politician’s saying, “The incumbent’s decision D is so foolish that, once I publicize it, the incumbent will be the laughingstock of the state.”

Under the appeals court’s interpretation of the statute, all that’s necessary for a conviction is an explicit or implied threat of speech aimed at portraying the “victim” in a negative light. It is not hard to see why Volokh concludes that the appeals court’s decision “endangers the free speech rights of journalists, policy advocates, politicians, and ordinary citizens.”

DHS Use Police Depts to Gather Intel on Citizens & Label Them Extremist Threats

(From the Trenches) According to the White House Blog website, the Obama administration is working to “counter online radicalization” by “violent extremist groups” such as “al-Qaeda and its affiliates and adherents, violent supremacist groups, and violent ‘sovereign citizens’.”

The White House claims that “these groups use the Internet to disseminate propaganda, identify and groom potential recruits, and supplement their real-world recruitment” with “resources to propagate messages of violence and division.” Through the exploitation of “popular media, music videos and online video games”, allegedly there are “countless opportunities “to draw targets into private exchanges” and provide “violent extremists with access to new audiences and instruments for radicalization.”

The US government stated they will combat these extremist groups by “raising awareness about the threat and providing communities with practical information and tools for staying safe online.” They are solidifying their relationships with private sector corporations involved in technology to implement “policies, technologies, and tools that can help counter violent extremism online.”

The 2011 document entitled “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States” outlines how a “comprehensive strategy” to counter the influence of al-Qaeda is being championed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with digital information sharing and coordinating intelligence with local law enforcement to thwart terrorist plots and “save many American lives”.

Using propaganda, under the guise of “local partners in their grassroots efforts to prevent violent extremism” the federal government is building a network with local law enforcement against the threat of radicalization online and in the real-world.

The document names plots devised by neo-Nazis, anti-Semitic hate groups, racial supremacists, international and domestic terrorists inspired by al-Qaeda as a threat to the US. The federal government is utilizing local police departments to build a “local level . . . resilience against violent extremism.”

DHS trains local police officers at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides funding to local police departments to send their officers to FLETC to receive militarized education in tactical operations.

FLETC has locations in Georgia, New Mexico, South Carolina, andWashington DC. This federal militarization of local police extends tointernational policing agencies which “develops, coordinates, manages, and delivers international training and technical assistance that promotes the rule of law and supports U.S. foreign policy.”

Another report the White House is using to justify the demonization of US citizens as radical extremists is entitled “Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States”. This report, published in December of 2011, further reinforces the role of local police departments to ‘address community needs and concerns, including protecting rights and public safety.”

The federal government acquires platforms to infiltrate communities they have identified as potentially under threat of violent extremist groups. Across the nation, senior officials are deployed with the assistance of fake grassroots propaganda to partner with “Governor-appointed Homeland Security Advisors, Major Cities Chiefs, Mayors’ Offices, and local partners.”

Training of local police department officers to paramilitarize and integrate them into military tactical operations is the key to combating localized extremism.
Over the last few years the DHS have been indoctrinating local police departments into “non-Federal law enforcement agencies” as outlined in the DHS directive from the Office for State and Local Law Enforcement (SLLE).

DHS is successful in their relationship with local police departments all across the nation because they are contracted private security firms (or hired armed guards) that are placed in a city or town to secure the population and generate revenue for the local government.

In early 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a reportentitled “Homeland Security and Intelligence: Next Steps in Evolving the Mission” which outlined in part on how to redirect efforts of the federal government from international terrorism toward home-grown terrorists and build a DHS-controlled police force agency that would control all cities and towns through the use of local police departments.

DHS maintains that “the threat grows more localized” which necessitates the militarization of local police in major cities in the US and the training of staff from local agencies to make sure that oversight is restricted to the federal government.

Countering online extremism is a task allocated to the DHS who have identified “behaviors, tactics, and other indicators that could point to potential terrorist activity.” DHS will host conferences for local police departments and federal partners to attend that will provide education on countering extremism.

Other “training initiatives” include “hundreds of thousands of front line officers” who are the ground-force infantry needed by DHS to “prevent” extremist activities.

The “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign is specifically designed to target local communities to turn ordinary citizens into a Stasi for the federal government with the local police department allocated as their first line of intelligence gathering.

Intelligence on citizens who are supposed to be extremists is gathered from multiple avenues such as:

• Local government
• Local law enforcement
• Parent/Teacher Associations
• School district officials
• Influential members of local communities
• Religious leaders

These collaborations provide “critical information” and real-time “assessments of [any] threat” to local communities and incorporate this information into training programs and federal initiatives.

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.”

Obama’s Guantanamo Is Never Going To Close, So Everyone Might As Well Get Comfortable

(Huffington Post) In late January, shortly after President Barack Obama began his second term, Navy Cmdr. Walter Ruiz stood inside an old airplane hangar on the southernmost tip of the island and reflected on a central but unfulfilled promise of Obama’s 2008 campaign.

“We’re still here,” Ruiz said, as reporters milled around the aging hangar, which has been repurposed as a work space for the journalists and human rights observers who have been flying in and out of Guantanamo since the first suspected terrorists were brought here 11 years ago. Instead of planes, the hangar is now home to several trailer-size sheds with slanted roofs. More offices line the hangar’s perimeter, and a giant map of the base is painted on the floor. Screeching bats fly in and out of the hangar at night.

“We’re still in military commissions. We’re still arguing about the basic protections the system affords us. We’re still talking about indefinite detention,” Ruiz continued. “We’re still talking about not closing the facility.”

After years of legal wrangling, the trials of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and four other men allegedly responsible for the 9/11 attacks have barely gotten off the ground. Ruiz, an attorney for alleged 9/11 organizer and financier Mustafa Ahmed Hawsawi, estimates he has traveled to Guantanamo 50 to 100 times for client meetings and pre-trial hearings on legal minutiae since he joined the military’s defense counsel office in September 2008.

“I’m here trying this case, people were here trying this case in 2008, arguing many of the same motions we’re arguing now,” Ruiz said. “And I think folks that have been around here for a while would tell you not much has changed at all.”

During his first campaign for the White House, Obama pledged to end an ugly chapter in American history and prove to the world that the United States could safeguard the country from terrorism without sacrificing its commitment to freedom and liberty.

“In the dark halls of Abu Ghraib and the detention cells of Guantanamo, we have compromised our most precious values,” Obama declared in a speech on Aug. 1, 2007. In one of his first acts upon taking office in January 2009, the president, flanked by admirals and generals, directed the military to close the prison camp here within a year.

Today, however, the detention center at Guantanamo appears less likely than ever to close. There are 166 people currently imprisoned, down from a high of 684 in 2003. But those who remain are likely to do so indefinitely. Effectively banned from the continental U.S. by Congress, disowned by their home countries and unwelcome pretty much everywhere else, they have no place to go.

In addition to the seven Guantanamo detainees currently facing charges — including the five charged in relation to the 9/11 attacks — 24 may face charges in the future. Three current detainees have already been convicted in military tribunals: one was sentenced to life in prison, one is scheduled to be released pending testimony in another case and one has had his sentencing delayed for four years.

Of the rest, however, the U.S. has designated 86 detainees for release but can’t actually set them free. Thirty are from Yemen, and the U.S. won’t send them back there while it remains a hotbed of terrorism. No country is willing to accept the others. And it’s a political nonstarter to release them into the U.S.

In 2010, Obama’s Guantanamo Task Force determined that another 46 were “too dangerous to transfer but not feasible for prosecution.” And so they remain stuck here, in limbo.

Obama has periodically reiterated his intention to close the detention center, most recently during an appearance on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart in October. But the public pressure on him to do so has largely died down, as tales of detainee abuse at the hands of CIA interrogators fade into the past and the media turns its attention to new fronts in the war on terrorism, such as the administration’s drone program.

The truth is that nobody is really in a hurry to close Guantanamo. Defense attorneys, whose ultimate goal is to keep their clients alive, certainly aren’t in a rush, and have adopted a strategy of throwing up procedural objections that often slow the court’s already glacial pace. Prosecutors, anxious to avoid any possible legal challenges that could come up on appeal, are moving deliberately to make sure they’re dotting every “i” and crossing every “t.” Last month, the Obama administration shuttered the State Department office tasked with planning Guantanamo’s closure.

As a result, the vague idea of indefinite detention is looking more specifically like life in prison, at least for those detainees who are not sentenced to death by the military commissions. And with the youngest detainee still in his 20s, Guantanamo could conceivably remain open for decades to come.

‘HAVE A GOOD TIME’

It’s no surprise, then, that as Obama’s second term begins, Guantanamo seems to be putting down roots. Indeed, parts of the naval base have taken on the appearance of a new beachside housing development. Hundreds of homes are currently under construction in neighborhoods with names like Iguana Terrace and Marina Point, to house the growing population of military personnel, civilian contractors and their families, which currently stands at approximately 5,000.

The base features a Starbucks, a Subway, a McDonald’s, a KFC/Taco Bell, a supermarket, a golf course, a restaurant serving Jamaican jerk chicken and an Irish pub. A gift shop sells stuffed iguanas and T-shirts emblazoned with Guantanamo Bay slogans like “Close, But No Cigar.”

Fidel Castro bobbleheads are one of the most popular items for sale at the base’s radio station, Radio GTMO, which broadcasts popular tunes like PSY’s “Gangnam Style”. Cuban music bleeds over from stations on the other side of the island.

Improvements have also been made to the areas of the base that house the detainees. The Bush administration quickly replaced the temporary Camp X-Ray with more permanent facilities in 2002, after photos emerged of detainees in orange jumpsuits sitting in chain-link holding pens, causing an outcry from human rights groups and criticism from around the world. In 2011, the Obama administration added a new soccer field for some of the cooperative detainees, along with covered walkways that allow them to move between cellblocks unescorted.

The joke around Gitmo is that the detainees enjoy nicer facilities than the guards, who live in temporary metal trailers scattered all over the base. But the guards, too, may soon get an upgrade. The commander of the base, Capt. John Nettleton, recently told Reuters that he wants to build a new cafeteria for the camp’s personnel, along with a permanent barracks.

Some of the most significant changes have taken place at Camp Justice, the section of the base that houses the court facilities and the tent city for visiting lawyers, human rights observers, journalists and court officials. The Bush administration had proposed a major $125 million expansion, including a new courthouse and a hotel to replace the tent city. Congress balked at the project, however, and then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates quickly condemned it. The $12 million substitute, technically a temporary facility, was completed in 2008.

The windowless, barn-like structure looks like something that might hold a high-school basketball court, and is surrounded by layers of barbed-wire fences. Inside, however, it is state of the art, featuring a soundproof spectator gallery, digital document displays for lawyers and audio speakers under the table that broadcast Arabic translations of the proceedings for defendants who refuse to wear headphones. Whereas the old courthouse held a single, cramped courtroom, the new facility has space to try up to five defendants at once.

Visiting defense attorneys now stay in new townhouse condos, but journalists and observers remain relegated to Camp Justice’s tent city. In the airplane hangar, there is an “internet cafe” where human rights observers have set up an office. “We now have a printer this time, which we’ve been asking for for a while,” said Laura Pitter, a counterterrorism adviser with Human Rights Watch. “We have a working phone in there now. We didn’t have a working phone last time.”

In addition to his official portrait, visible in a few locations around the base, there are other subtle reminders that Obama is now in charge. The tents at Camp Justice are outfitted with energy-efficient light bulbs. The cover of “The Wire” — the newsletter of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, the entity which runs GTMO’s prisons — features a photo of Obama’s ceremonial swearing in at his second inauguration. A military spokesman who travels with reporters to Guantanamo is married to another man.

There have been victories for members of the media. New divider walls give journalists a bit more privacy in their heavily air-conditioned six-person tents. Reporters are now allowed to roam around parts of the base without an escort and no longer have a curfew — privileges that journalists embedded with the military in Iraq and Afghanistan have enjoyed for years but were absent at Guantanamo until last month. In January, visiting journalists were given a tour of one of the holding cells located next to the courtroom facility for the first time in years.

“Have a good time,” a young guard told the reporters about to tour the cell, after scanning them for metal or electronic devices.

Unlike the Bush administration, the Obama administration has been relatively hands off when it comes to media restrictions at Guantanamo, letting officials on the ground set the rules.

Still, it was under Obama that four reporters, including Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg, widely considered the dean of the Guantanamo press corps, were banned from Guantanamo for life in May 2010 for disclosing the name of a witness whose identity is under a protective order, despite the fact that his name was already public. The reporters fought the ban, and the Pentagon overturned it that July.

The new courthouse, in many ways, is the end result of a long debate about how to try the detainees. The Bush administration — which housed the suspected terrorists at Guantanamo in order to avoid the due process required under the U.S. criminal justice system, as well as the Geneva conventions’ prohibitions on torture — adamantly opposed the idea of trying them in U.S. courts. The Supreme Court has ruled, however, that foreign terrorism suspects do have the right to challenge their detention in U.S. courts.

Obama shut down the military tribunals as soon as he took office and began exploring ways to transfer the suspected terrorists to American soil — possibly to a prison in Illinois — and try them in federal courts. Throughout the long, hot summer of 2009, however, as the Tea Party movement blossomed, Republicans charged that closing Guantanamo would put Americans in danger, potentially even leading to terrorist prison breaks. Senate Democrats, lead by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), also opposed transfering the detainees and cut off $80 million Obama had requested to do so, claiming the administration had done too little to outline its plans.

Andy Worthington, a journalist and activist who has been writing about the camp for seven years, said that Congress, which has repeatedly prevented Obama from using federal money to transfer any detainees out of Guantanamo, shares some of the blame for the camp’s continued existence. Reid, who recently claimed it was “nobody’s fault” that Guantanamo had not been closed, is “part of the absolute failure,” Worthington said.

Reid did not respond to a request for comment.

At Guantanamo, some members of the military are quick to point out that the Pentagon didn’t seek out the duty of trying terrorists in the tribunal system, but that it was rather a burden imposed on the military by Congress. “They should really call them congressional commissions instead of military commissions,” one officer joked.

But ultimately, Worthington said, Obama will have his name attached to the camp, just as Bush’s was.

“He will go down in history fairly clearly as the man who failed to close this abomination,” Worthington said. “They will judge that President Obama failed to close it pretty much because he ran up against political difficulties.”

“I think that Obama did not want to invest the political capital in it to take the steps necessary to make it happen,” Pitter said.

THE ‘RE-BRANDER’

Unable to close Guantanamo, Obama restarted the military commissions in March 2011. He did succeed, however, in reforming them to a certain extent, increasing transparency and bringing their policies and handling of evidence closer in line with U.S. courts. But the legality of the commissions is still being debated, and the detainees may appeal any verdicts in federal court, setting up a prolonged battle that will likely wind its way back to the Supreme Court.

For now, Brig. Gen. Mark S. Martins is the man with the difficult task of selling the world on the legitimacy of the proceedings. Martins took the job of chief prosecutor in October 2011, and he is a staunch defender of trying the detainees in military commissions as opposed to federal courts.

“There are narrow but important differences, and this often gets lost when I talk about federal courts, because someone will say, ‘Hey, he should try to just mimic federal courts, why do you need [military commissions]?'” Martins said, sitting in a bare-bones office in the old court building at the top of the hill overlooking the new courthouse. “This just fuels the argument about how, why are they necessary? The differences are important.”

Miranda rights don’t apply in military commissions — statements just need to be determined to be voluntary in order to be included as evidence. There are also looser rules on hearsay statements. Martins said the distinctions between U.S. courts and the military commissions could be “decisive in certain cases.”

The reformed military commissions are designed to address some of the concerns of both the U.S. government and human rights advocates. Any statements obtained as a result of torture or cruel or degrading treatment are prohibited. Detainees have greater access to classified information that might be relevant to building their defense cases. Journalists have increased standing before the court.

“Anyone who was familiar with the process before and looks at it now, I think, is looking fairly at it, would say there’s a significant proportion more of this proceeding that we can look at, understand, analyze,” Martins said.

Demonstrating that transparency has proven difficult at times, however. Last month, in the first day of hearings in the 9/11 case, an anonymous censor cut off the closed-circuit TV feed of the proceedings that members of the media were watching. Normally, the judge and the court security officer could censor information they feel should remain classified. But neither had moved to censor the information in this instance, leaving journalists and defense lawyers to infer that the CIA was secretly pulling the strings behind the scenes and undermining the commission’s established rules.

The judge ordered the outside censor button removed, but the controversy ate up most of the week’s proceedings, even bleeding into a separate hearing involving a defendant charged in connection with the attack on the USS Cole in October 2000, as defense attorneys questioned whether they could ethically continue if they believed their communications were being monitored. Two weeks later, when the hearings reconvened, lawyers were still debating issues involving the monitoring of communications that the incident raised.

Similarly, Martins has sought to dismiss charges against a number of detainees that he feels are not sustainable under international law, only to be overruled by the more senior Pentagon officials who oversee the military commissions.

Martins told HuffPost that, to him, the dispute over the charges is about “principled disagreements” between government officials carrying out their duties “honorably and faithfully under the law.” Critics, however, say it shows that the reforms to the commissions system are just cosmetic changes to a fundamentally flawed tribunal process.

“Some people call him the ‘re-brander.’ He was going to come in here, he was going to lend his name, his rank, his stature, and legitimize this process,” Ruiz said of Martins. “Now you have that person talking to another official and telling him, ‘I think this is a bad idea. I think we need to remove these charges because it will remove the legal uncertainty moving forward.’ And you have this non-entity — which is not a party, not a prosecutor, not a defense counsel, he’s not a judge — who says, ‘No, I’m not going to do it.'”

“That alone is remarkable,” said Ruiz.

“What happens when he’s not here?” asked Human Rights Watch’s Pitter, who similarly praised Martins for bringing the military commission procedures closer in line with those of federal courts. “What happens when there’s a prosecutor who is going to use all the rules at his disposal for a commission like this?”

Martins, who is 52 and has deferred promotion and retirement to continue in his role as chief prosecutor at Guantanamo, said he’s in it for the long haul. “We’re making progress,” he insisted.

“I’m here as long as it takes,” Martins said. “This is my last job in the military. I’ve gotten word that although my retirement date would have been November of 2014, it can actually be years, well after that. I’m committed to this.”

Obama reaches out to a repressive Putin

(Washington Post) PRESIDENT OBAMA is preparing to reach out once again to Russian ruler Vladi­mir Putinin the hope of striking a new agreement to reduce nuclear arms. The president mentioned the initiative in his State of the Union address; according to a senior Russian legislator, national security adviser Thomas Donilon will soon travel to Moscow with a letter outlining Mr. Obama’s ideas. The reduction of nuclear stockpiles is a top priority of this president and a worthy one. But what’s striking about Mr. Obama’s strategy is its seeming detachment from the reality of how Mr. Putin has governed Russia since his return to the presidency last year.

Mr. Obama’s first nuclear-arms agreement with Mr. Putin, in 2010, came about in the context of a warming of U.S.-Russian relations. The new proposal will hit Moscow in the middle of a Putin-directed campaign against both his domestic political opposition and the United States, which in his mind are linked. In recent months Mr. Putin has expelled the U.S. Agency for International Development, placed new restrictions on local nonprofit organizations receiving foreign funds, bumped U.S.-funded Radio Liberty from domestic airwaves and overseen a propaganda campaign that accuses the United States of orchestrating anti-government demonstrations.

Editorials represent the views of The Washington Post as an institution, as determined through debate among members of the editorial board. News reporters and editors never contribute to editorial board discussions, and editorial board members don’t have any role in news coverage.

The regime, meanwhile, has steadily escalated a campaign against the leaders of the peaceful, pro-democracy demonstrations that erupted in Russia in late 2011. For Russians, the cynical tactics are bone-wearyingly familiar: Transparently trumped-up criminal cases are being brought against the activists, with the promise of lengthy prison terms. Alexei Navalny, the founder of an anti-corruption organization, has himself been charged with corruption. Last week leftist firebrand Sergei Udaltsov was placed under house arrest ahead of his upcoming trial on charges of organizing an anti-Putin rally in May.
Some Russian analysts believe that the regime is well on its way to crushing the opposition movement, which attracted the support of much of the urban middle class. Others regard the repression as the death spasms of an exhausted autocracy. “There are classical criteria of a dying regime and its key signs are evident in Russia,” Lilia Shevtsova of the Carnegie Endowment’s Moscow office wrote recently, citing “the Kremlin’s inability either to preserve the status quo or begin changes.” Either side might be right, though our bet is with Ms. Shevtsova.

What’s strange is that the Obama administration would seek to undertake a major new piece of business with Mr. Putin without regard for this ugly climate. New U.S.-Russian nuclear warhead reductions, while welcome, are hardly urgent: The big challenges of nuclear weapons lie elsewhere in the world. At the same time, the survival of a pro-democracy movement in Russia is an important and pressing U.S. interest, just as Mr. Putin’s growing hostility to the United States threatens U.S. initiatives in the Middle East and elsewhere. Maybe offering Mr. Putin a new nuclear weapons deal is the best way to counter his noxious policies — but it is hard to see how.

Obama – Executive order on Cyber “Security” due to hacks. Yet, No proof of hacks. There goes our 1st amendment!

(www.sherriequestioningall.blogspot.com) Well is it any wonder they want to wipe out every single Bill of Rights we have?  We have had only 2 left, the 2nd amendment (they are working on) and the 1st amendment (up to a point).

Obama is set to sign an Executive order on Wednesday for Cyber Security, due to all the hackings going on.

I have a question for everyone?  Have you ever seen any of the “top secret” documents from hackings?  We heard about the Pentagon hacking last week.  Yet I never saw anything from it.  We heard about the Bush email hacks the other day.  The only thing released was a portrait that Bush Jr. painted of himself.  So, in other words…. we are suppose to just take their word for it all.  Just like all the other events.  If they say it “it must be true.”  Jeez… have they ever lied to us before?  The government and media wouldn’t do that now…. would they?

Oh.. how convenient for the government that Aaron Swartz committed suicide a couple of weeks ago, considering he is the one who was instrumental in stopping any other cyber security (control) of the internet.

With the “control” of the internet, we will not actually have our 1st amendment left.  They will begin taking down the sites they do not want.   They will stop the flow of information of truth and questioning their actions.

Don’t think that won’t happen?  When the government takes control of anything…. has any good ever come from it?

We don’t know what is going to be in that Executive order, but I guess we will find out after it is signed.  OH… who was that person in 2008 who spoke about transparency and all bills/orders being on the net 2 days before being voted or signed off on?   Oh… yeah that Nobel Peace Prize winner who has murdered more innocent people with drones and begun more wars than any other President before him.

Portion from article:

The White House is poised to release a cybersecurity executive order on Wednesday, two people familiar with the matter told The Hill.
The highly anticipated directive from President Obama is expected to be released at a briefing Wednesday morning at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where senior administration officials will provide an update about cybersecurity policy.
The White House began crafting the executive order after Congress failed to pass cybersecurity legislation last year. Officials said the threat facing the United States was too great for the administration to ignore.

 

9/11 Conspiracy Author Phillip Marshall & His 2 Kids Found Dead in CA

marshall-murder-suicide

(dcxposed.com) Phillip Marshall, a former airplane pilot and author whose works included the 2003 novel “Lakefront Airport,”  – “False Flag 911: How Bush, Cheney and the Saudis Created the Post-911 World (08)” and “The Big Bamboozle: 9/11 and the War on Terror,” a 2012 publication in which he theorized it wasn’t al-Qaida but U.S. and Saudi government officials who orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States, was found dead along with his two children in their Murphrys-area home in California. Reports indicate all 3 died of gunshot wounds.

Friends of Marshall’s kids, Alex 17 and Macaila 14, discovered the gruesome scene after showing up to check on them on Saturday after not having heard from them for numerous days.

The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office reported that both children as well as the family dog were shot once in the head with a handgun.

Marshall’s estranged wife and mother of the 2 kids was traveling abroad at the time of the shootings.

A possible motive for the shootings has not been determined but police reports indicated evidence that it was a murder suicide.

According to his Amazon author bio:

Philip Marshall, a veteran airline captain and former government “special activities” contract pilot, has authored three books on Top Secret America, a group presently conducting business as the United States Intelligence Community. Beginning with his role in the 1980s as a Learjet captain first as part of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sting on Pablo Escobar, and later in the covert arming of the Nicaraguan Contras, Marshall has studied and written 30-years worth of covert government special activities and the revolving door of Wall Street tricksters, media moguls, and their well funded politicians. Marshall is the leading aviation expert on theSeptember 11th attack, as well as a masterful storyteller.The Big Bamboozle(2012) is his second work to focus on the flight training and preparation of 9/11 hijackers’ after False Flag 911 was published in 2008. His first book, Lakefront Airport (2003) was a novel based on his experience as a government contract pilot during the Iran-Contra operation. Philip Marshall began his 20-year career as an airline pilot in 1985, flying first with Eastern Airlines and then with United. He holds captain ratings on the Boeing 727, 737, 747, 757 and 767. Born and raised in New Orleans, Marshall currently resides in California.

I’ve included links to Phillip’s 3 works, which are available on Amazon, so that perhaps readers could familiarize themselves with the work he left behind:

 

 

(editors note 2.9.13: I’ve edited the title of this article and with good reason – there appears to be an enormous amount of speculation over whether Marshall committed this act or if it was someone else that did, and the only 3 people who know for sure are dead, including Marshall who can’t speak to defend himself. Since the state of California CANNOT charge and convict Marshall, this website nor this articles author can either based completely on what’s in a —what seems to be —-very quickly published police report, which seems to be a little “too solid” a little “too soon,” without perhaps, enough investigating on the part of the authorities, especially considering the message of Marshall’s books.)

 

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 Purchases 21.6 Million More Rounds Of Ammunition

Cuomo: Gun Control Would Have Never Happened If Public Was Allowed To Review It

(Infowars) -The Department of Homeland Security is set to purchase a further 21.6 million rounds of ammunition to add to the 1.6 billion bullets it has already obtained over the course of the last 10 months alone, figures which have stoked concerns that the federal agency is preparing for civil unrest.

A solicitation posted yesterday on the Fed Bid website details how the bullets are required for the DHS Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, New Mexico.

The solicitation asks for 10 million pistol cartridge .40 caliber 165 Grain, jacketed Hollow point bullets (100 quantities of 100,000 rounds) and 10 million 9mm 115 grain jacketed hollow point bullets (100 quantities of 100,000 rounds).

The document also lists a requirement for 1.6 million pistol cartridge 9mm ball bullets (40 quantities of 40,000 rounds).

An approximation of how many rounds of ammunition the DHS has now secured over the last 10 months stands at around 1.625 billion.

To put that in perspective, during the height of active battle operations in Iraq, US soldiers used 5.5 million rounds of ammunition a month. Extrapolating the figures, the DHS has purchased enough bullets over the last 10 months to wage a full scale war for almost 30 years.

Such massive quantities of ammo purchases have stoked fears that the agency is preparing for some kind of domestic unrest. In 2011, Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano directed Immigration and Customs Enforcement to prepare for a mass influx of immigrants into the United States, calling for the plan to deal with the “shelter” and “processing” of large numbers of people.

The federal agency’s primary concern is now centered around thwarting “homegrown terrorism,” but information produced and used by the DHS to train its personnel routinely equates conservative political ideology with domestic extremism.

A study funded by the Department of Homeland Security that was leaked last year characterizes Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.

In August 2012, the DHS censored information relating to the amount of bullets purchased by the federal agency on behalf of Immigration & Customs Enforcement, citing an “unusual and compelling urgency” to acquire the bullets, noting that there is a shortage of bullets which is threatening a situation that could cause “substantial safety issues for the government” should law enforcement officials not be adequately armed.

As we highlighted last month, the DHS’ previous ammunition solicitation was awarded to Evian Group, an organization that was formed just five days before the announcement of the solicitation and appeared to be little more than a front organization since it didn’t have a genuine physical address, a website, or even a phone number.

While Americans are being browbeaten with rhetoric about the necessity to give up semi-automatic firearms in the name of preventing school shootings, the federal government is arming itself to the teeth with both ammunition and guns. Last September, the DHS purchased no less than 7,000 fully automatic assault rifles, labeling them “Personal Defense Weapons.”

Department of Homeland Security Raids Gun Collector Who Didn’t Violate the Law

 

 

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(IntelHub) -New Mexico – The Department of Homeland Security has raided the home of a noted gun collector, confiscating hundreds of firearms for what they claim was possible violations of the law.

That’s right, the man didn’t actually violate any laws but that didn’t stop homeland security from raiding him and openly stealing his firearms.

Federal Homeland Security Investigation agents raided the home of Robert Adams, seizing 317 rifles and 548 handguns.

A report by local mainstream news outlet KRQE revealed the details of the raid:

Last week rifles lined the lawn of a northeast Albuquerque home that belonged to Robert Adams. Homeland Security Investigations was also busy loading hundreds of handguns into boxes.

It took federal agents days to log every weapon seized into evidence.

Four search warrants filed Thursday show the HSI investigators seized nearly 900 firearms from Adams’ home. There were 548 handguns and 317 rifles listed in the warrant return inventory.

They also searched his office that day taking 599 pistols and revolvers.

Adams has not been charged with any crimes although Homeland Security said the investigation is not over yet.

Neighbors described Adams as a gun collector and a possible licensed firearms dealer. For their part, Homeland Security admitted he had not broken any laws but that he is still being investigated for gun smuggling and tax evasion.

Cuomo: Gun Control Would Have Never Happened If Public Was Allowed To Review It

(menrec.com) In order to pass the New York SAFE Act, which substantially erodes a citizens Constitutionally granted Second Amendment right to bear arms, Governor Cuomo had to circumvent his own state Constitution.  That document has an amendment requiring a three-day public review of all laws.  By issuing a “Message of Necessity”, Cuomo was able to pass the law without public scrutiny, with the Senate actually voting on the bill a mere 30 minutes after receiving it.

The process led to State Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin to say that, “Moscow would be proud of our state Legislature and Executive Chamber, but every New Yorker should be outraged.”

Now Cuomo is admitting that allowing a three-day public review would have killed the momentum behind his gun control bill.

“Nothing like that will ever happen without a message of necessity,” he said.

Via the Times Union:

“I think we did a great thing,” Cuomo told the Times Union Editorial Board on Monday. “Nothing like that will ever happen without a message of necessity.”

It’s not a revelation that Cumo is a results-over-process guy. But he seems clearly ruffled by criticisms that he’s heavy-handed, like the Times Union’s editorial knocking his use of a message of necessity, to have the bill immediately enacted.

Cuomo began by noting the gun bill was a special circumstance, because now-banned assault weapons would fly off the shelves in any waiting period. Then he began to share blame with legislative leaders who, he said, could have taken his message and still waited to act.

But then he moved into a direct defense of the message of necessity:

“Any pressing piece of legislation, whether it’s the fiscal cliff, any big deal in Washington — it is an evolving situation and you take the vote when you have the vote. It never gets static for three days. That’s not the nature of the beast, because it’s constantly changing,” he said. “Unless you call the vote when you actually have the vote, it’s shifting sands … It will never happen if you put it on the desk for three days. Well, from a process standpoint, wouldn’t it be better if you could do it and put it on the desk for three days? Yes! Yes, I believe that, and that’s why I’ve done fewer than anyone. But if say we’re going to be salve to a process requirement and not get really big things done, then I disagree with you.”

Indeed, Moscow would have been proud.  Perhaps more importantly, bypassing the three day waiting period allowed the bill to be passed without a now publicized Democrat wish list of gun control measures to ever be discussed; a wish list that includes confiscation of guns and ammo, and practically eliminates all semi-automatic weapons on top of so-called “assault weapons”.

Moscow would be proud of Governor Cuomo, indeed.

Italian Prosecutor Implicates Bilderberg Group and CIA for Massacres in Italy During the Seventies and Eighties

(Activist Post) The Bilderberg Group has now been directly implicated for the murder of Italian activists during the seventies and eighties.

According to Ferdinando Imposimato, a former prosecutor that investigated the Italian Mafia who is also an honorary president of the Italian Supreme Court, during a speech he delivered at a book launch revealed for the first time that the Bilderberg Group were responsible for massacres of political activists during the seventies and eighties in Italy.

Ferdinando Imposimato not only implicates the Bilderberg Group, he also reveals that the CIA and Bilderberg Group were working in partnership to destabilize the Italian political framework during the seventies and eighties.

While discussing how the Bilderberg Group and CIA tried to infiltrate Italy, Mr. Imposimato was quoted as saying:

The strategy (used by the CIA) was used to shift the political balance from right to center-left and then to left. This was orchestrated by the CIA.

Unknown to many, the Bilderberg Group has a long history of manipulating political frameworks around the world.
Within the last 12 months, prominent members of the Bilderberg Group have been appointed to the upper echelons of the United States and United Kingdom governments.

Interestingly, Italy has been represented at many Bilderberg Group meetings. In fact, at the last three Bilderberg Group meetings, 17 participants were Italian. On average, Italians make up 5% of the participants list at all Bilderberg Group meetings.

The following is a list of Italian Bilderberg Group participants:

Franco Bernabe, John Elkann, Mario Monti, Tommaso Padoa Schioppa, Paolo Scaroni, Giulio Tremonti, Gianni Agnelli, Umberto Agnelli, Alfredo Ambrosetti, Emma Bonino, Giampiero Cantoni, Lucio Caracciolo, Louis G. Cavalchini, Adriana Ceretelli, Innocent Cipolletta, Gian C. Citizens Cesi, Rodolfo De Benedetti, Ferruccio De Bortoli, Paolo Zannoni, Antonio Vittorino, Ignazio Visco, Walter Veltroni, Marco Tronchetti Provera, Ugo Stille, Barbara Spinelli, Domenico Siniscalco, Stefano Silvestri, Renato Ruggiero, Carlo Rossella, Virginio Rognoni, Sergio Romano Gianni Riotta, Alessandro Profumo, Romano Prodi, Corrado Passera, Cesare Merlini, S. Rainer Masera, Claudio Martelli, Giorgio La Malfa, Francesco Giavazzi, Gabriele Galateri, Paolo Fresco, John Elkann, Mario Draghi, Gianni De Michelis.

To learn more about the Bilderberg Group, click here.

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.”

Must read and share: Prescription sleeping pills lead to a 4x increase in premature death

pillssleeping 265x165 Prescription Sleeping Pills Lead to 4x Increase in Premature Death Risk

(Natural Society) -As a nation, our dependence on prescription drugs continues to climb. Even kids are heavily medicated, with over 25% of children being on some type of prescription drug, wheather it be antidepressants, antipsychotics, or ADHD pills. Prescription sleep aids, called hypnotics, are also being tossed back at an alarming rate and with little thought to their negative effects. One recent study revealed that these pills may do more than help you get some zzz’s; they may kill you.

Increasing Risk of Premature Death

According to the Alliance for Natural Health, 60 million prescriptions for sleeping pills were filled in 2011, that’s compared with 47 million in 2006. That’s due, in part, to the millions of people who have trouble sleeping. An estimated 70 million Americans struggle with insomnia and other sleep disorders. So, like every other modern ailment, the modern American visits their doctor for a “fix”.

In this case, the “fix” is a class of drugs known as hypnotics. They help you sleep, but can also lead to nausea, dizziness, headaches, and addiction. But what many people don’t realize, is that they can also lead to premature death.

According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, if you take a prescription sleep aid, even as little as 18 pills throughout the year, you increase your risk of premature death by four times. And if that isn’t bad enough—you increase your risk of cancer by 35%.

It’s worth noting that the study didn’t find a cause and effect relationship here. In other words, scientists aren’t 100% sure that the pills lead to the problems. It could be that people who are more likely to take these prescription drugs are more likely to have other health problems overall. And that wouldn’t be a surprise. After all, sleep disorders like insomnia are directly tied to obesity, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions.

But, the link cannot be ignored. If you turn to prescription sleep drugs, this should serve as a wake-up call.

You can’t run to a prescription when your body shows symptoms of discord. Insomnia could be a symptom of stress, depression, or brought on by obesity. Determining the cause of the insomnia will help you better treat it without adding all of the risks that go with a hypnotic-drug regimen.

In the mean time, try turning to herbal sleep remedies or natural sleep apnea treatments if you suffer from sleep apnea.