Before you lemming-like sign onto a distributed or cloud based computing panacea, I recommend that you seriously contemplate the risks – incremental as well as immediate – to your privacy and autonomy in such a move. Here’s a good article at Survival Cache.
…As the race to the cloud continues and more of your life will be on the cloud, be aware of your own personal critical infrastructure. Access to money, credit, personal information, electricity, communication, and medical records...
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was “deeply concerned” about research into whether the H5N1 flu virus could be made more transmissible between humans after mutant strains were produced in labs. Two separate research teams — one in the Netherlands and the other in the United States — have found ways to alter the H5N1 avian influenza so it could pass easily between mammals… Scientists fear H5N1 will mutate into a form readily transmissible between humans, with the potential to cause millions of deaths. go here Bird flu | The Raw Story.
President Obama keeps pushing for gun control.
“I just want you to know that we are working on [gun control]. We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar,” President Obama told Sarah Brady, the former president of the Brady Campaign, this past spring.
His push as been quiet but relentless.
Just this past week Obama signaled that he was going to just ignore two new parts of the 2012 Omnibus Spending bill. Although he signed the spending bill into law, he simultaneously issued a so-called “signing statement,” a note that presidents have started attaching to legislation stating how they interpret the law they are signing or whether they believe part of it is unconstitutional.
I am posting this as an example of the myriad and oblique ways that threats to your freedoms and liberties are being eroded or trending in that direction. You may or may not have followed the controversy regarding the sale and purchase of unpasteurized milk over the past year, I have only vaguely so. Yet the trend and tone on the post referenced below is familiar and disturbing. It relates to a lawsuit reportedly filed against FDA by a 501(c)(4) non-profit calling themselvesFarm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF.) Original Heidi Stevenson is here, excerpts follow. Read more…
“The other day, the New York Times published a story with data that demonstrates that gun permit holders in North Carolina are 20x less likely to commit a felony than the average American [not entirely sure the math is right here, but… “via Coyote Blog – Gun Permit Holders Substantially More Law Abiding.
To which one brilliant commenter (one Mr.I Got Bupkis, Don’t Tread On Me) posted this gem regarding the intent of the 2nd amendment: Read more…
“… Stop and consider how the United States has benefited from 9/11. Think of all the subsequent drastic actions that have occurred since the attack. For the relatively small price of only 3,000 souls, the US has aggressively dealt with issues effecting all totalitarian empires: controlling not only the world, but clamping down on its own people…” via The Many Benefits of 9/11 by John Brennan, Lew Rockwell.com.
Came across this 15 page pamphlet reportedly released by Anonymous … worth a read but geared to folks caught or participating in a violent protest, riot, meltdown, British soccer match and the like. Go here and scroll about halfway down the page: Survival Guide for Citizens in a Revolution.
Once again, this weeks installment from Ol’ Remus is a Must Read. It includes this OpEd gem as well as fantastic news and links. GE.
“…Those who saw themselves and their families through the Depression would be astounded anybody could believe them culpable for lifting themselves from penury by their own effort and, not incidentally, rescuing the nation from outright ruin. They found themselves in a train wreck not of their making, lived by the hard rules of deprivation, resisted that which would dishonor them or their family, prevailed against the horrors of a world war and the challenges that followed. Yet ‘White Privilege’ presents the story to their grandchildren as if it were a criminal record.
The perpetrators of White Privilege, to their everlasting dishonor and deep personal disgrace, have embezzled a generation’s heritage.The White Privilege narrative is a transparent fraud using decent people’s innate good will against them. It demands they feel answerable for their success, as if they were undeserving beneficiaries in a zero-sum game, as if they were also responsible for those who mocked opportunities and blamed others for the consequences, as if they must account for themselves to those who sit uninvited at their table. If this weren’t enough, White Privilege says absolution and peace can come only from self-denouncing confession, demeaning acts of submission and fervent proselytizing. This stuff is lifted straight from Stalinist reeducation camps. White Privelege is a Darwinian snare, obvious and self-announced. A stray dog wouldn’t fall for it…”
H.R. 2055—the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012—has been passed by the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and has been sent to the President for his expected signature. This bill contains three NRA-backed provisions that will strengthen our Second Amendment rights and prohibit your federal tax dollars from being used to advance an anti-gun agenda… go here -> Three More Wins for Gun Owners.
From Publishers Weekly. Drawing on interviews, published personal accounts and academic studies, Grossman investigates the psychology of killing in combat. Stressing that human beings have a powerful, innate resistance to the taking of life, he examines the techniques developed by the military to overcome that aversion. His provocative study focuses in particular on the Vietnam war, revealing how the American soldier was “enabled to kill to a far greater degree than any other soldier in history.” Grossman argues that the breakdown of American society, combined with the pervasive violence in the media and interactive video games, is conditioning our children to kill in a manner siimilar to the army’s conditioning of soldiers: “We are reaching that stage of desensitization at which the infliction of pain and suffering has become a source of entertainment: vicarious pleasure rather than revulsion. We are learning to kill, and we are learning to like it.” Grossman, a professor of military science at Arkansas State University, has written a study of relevance to a society of escalating violence
Poster’s Note: Just finished this book, found in very thought provoking and illuminating, albeit somewhat repetative. A must read for any real student of self-defense, human nature, or survivalism (or video games!)
Sen. Charles Schumer‘s brother-in-law was quietly nominated this month to a federal judgeship in New Jersey — a move that has some in the Garden State crying political foul, The New York Post has learned. Kevin McNulty, who is married to Schumer’s sister, Fran, was named to the U.S. District Court by the White House late on Friday, Dec. 16. According to a boilerplate quote, President Obama believes McNulty is a “distinguished individual” who “will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.
“New Jersey’s two US senators, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, followed that up with their own news release heaping praise on the nominee.What no one mentioned is that McNulty, 57, was the last-minute choice of Lautenberg, who had been leaning toward other candidates until surprisingly submitting McNulty’s name to the White House. Lautenberg and his aides have given no public explanation for the decision to go with McNulty even though the latter had never been publicly touted as a contender for the job, which carries life tenure and a $174,000-a-year salary.”No one knows why he did it,” said one person involved in the nomination process. “Everyone thinks it’s all about 2014 and Frank making sure he has Chuck in his corner.”The White House declined to comment, as did McNulty.
Another example of your fine public servants looking out for you…
…The gang in question is the Spokane Police Department, which even now refuses to acknowledge that Thompson – who was a nominee to become Chief at the time he murdered Zehm – ever did anything wrong when he clubbed, tased, and suffocated a terrified, innocent man who did nothing to provoke the attack, and who put up no violent resistance to the assault…
Condemnation of President Obama is intense, and growing, as a result of his announced intent to sign into law the indefinite detention bill embedded in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act NDAA. These denunciations come not only from the nation’s leading civil liberties and human rights groups, but also from the pro-Obama New York Times Editorial Page, which today has a scathing Editorial describing Obama’s stance as “a complete political cave-in, one that reinforces the impression of a fumbling presidency” and lamenting that “the bill has so many other objectionable aspects that we can’t go into them all,” as well as from vocal Obama supporters such as Andrew Sullivan, who wrote yesterday that this episode is “another sign that his campaign pledge to be vigilant about civil liberties in the war on terror was a lie.” In damage control mode, White-House-allied groups are now trying to ride to the rescue with attacks on the ACLU and dismissive belittling of the bill’s dangers…
Click here for the rest ->Three myths about the detention bill – Salon.com.
JURIST Contributing Editor Stephen Halbrook, Counsel for the National Rifle Association in the case of Messerschmidt v. Millender, argues that the police violated clearly established gun ownership rights in seizing the guns of all those present within the searched premises without verifying that the suspect was among those persons…
As a candidate, Barack Obama once endorsed a ban on handguns and favored restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms. So when gun owners heard of Operation Fast and Furious, many feared the worst.
Now, newly revealed emails suggest that if the gun-running operation didn’t start out with that intent, as administration officials insist, the program certainly led to discussions on new gun regulations. There’s a lot of talk that President Obama stated that he is working for gun control with alternative methods,” said Arizona gun dealer Jeff Serdy. “I hope this isn’t one of them.”
“… The US, under George W Bush, decided to privatise the invasion of Iraq by employing private “contractors” like the Blackwater company, now renamed Xe Services. In 2003 Blackwater won a $27m no-bid contract for guarding Paul Bremer, then head of the Coalition Provisional Authority. For protecting officials in conflict zones since 2004, the company has received more than $320m. And this year the Obama government contracted to pay Xe Services a quarter of a billion dollars for security work in Afghanistan. This is just one of many companies making its profits out of warfare.
In 2000 the Project for the New American Century published a report, Rebuilding America’s Defenses, whose declared aim was to up the spending on defence from 3% to 3.5% or 3.8% of American gross domestic product. In fact it is now running at 4.7% of GDP…”
Yesterday, following the advice of Wall Street Insider, I quickly published a brief overview of Leo Gerard – head of the the United Steel Workers Union and Vice President of the AFL-CIO. Those two designations alone mark Gerard as among the most influential figures within the now Progressive-dominated Democratic Party in America. Further investigation though reveals just how deep Leo Gerard’s influence goes – well beyond the borders of the United States, and most certainly within the operational confines of the Obama White House. Gerard is not merely “connected” – he appears to in fact be the direct link between labor unions, globalization, radical environmentalism, and the highest levels of American politics.
From the ” Hey Citizens and Constitution, Screw You” Desk — White House Says No Veto Of Defense Bill | Salon.com
” The White House on Wednesday abandoned its threat that President Barack Obama would veto a defense bill over provisions on how to handle suspected terrorists as Congress raced to finish the legislation.
Press secretary Jay Carney said last-minute changes that Obama and his national security team sought produced legislation that “does not challenge the president’s ability to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the American people.”
Based on the modifications, “the president’s senior advisers will not recommend a veto,” the White House said….
The narrative continues over smartphone privacy issues involving the data logging program Carrier IQ, which was recently found to be installed on about 150 million handsets worldwide, including many popular Android, iOS, Nokia, and Blackberry devices. Controversy over the invasive software stemmed from allegations that Carrier IQ has the ability to record an array of device information, including keystrokes, text messages, web browsing, and user location, all without the user’s knowledge or expressed consent.
…No one at DOJ is known to have been held accountable for this attack on Dodson. Meanwhile, the whistleblowers who blew the top off Fast and Furious are paying the price.
- Agent John Dodson, after nearly a year of harassment, including being given menial assignments and being barred from areas of the ATF building in Phoenix, is in the process of trying to sell his home in Arizona so he can transfer to South Carolina.
- Agent Larry Alt transferred to Florida. He still has unresolved legal claims against the ATF.
- Agent Pete Forcelli was demoted to a desk job after he testified before Congress. He has requested an internal investigation to address retaliation targeting him.
- Agent James Casa took a transfer to Florida.
- Agent Carlos Canino, who was a deputy attache in Mexico City, was moved to Tucson.
Meanwhile the officials who went along with the operation and its subsequent cover up have mostly been rewarded.
- Former Acting ATF Chief Ken Melson, after refusing to be a scapegoat for this operation, became an adviser in the Office of Legal Affairs in Washington, D.C.
- Acting Deputy Director Billy Hoover is now the special agent in charge of the D.C. office.
- Deputy Director for Field Operations William McMahon—he’d received detailed briefings Fast and Furious—is now at the ATF’s Office of Internal Affairs.
- Former Special Agent in Charge of Phoenix William Newell—he oversaw Fast and Furious and lied by saying guns hadn’t been allowed to go south of the border—is now at the Office of Management in Washington, D.C.
- Phoenix Deputy Chief George Gillette is now in to Washington, D.C., as ATF’s liaison to the U.S. Marshal’s Service.
- ATF Group Supervisor David Voth—he managed Fast and Furious out of the Phoenix office—is now in a management position in Washington, D.C.
- Agent Hope McCallister—she had management duties on the team that ran Fast and Furious—was given a “Lifesaving Award” after it came to light she’d ordered agents to stop tailing suspects who the ATF had allowed to buy guns.
“…So, what makes you a terror suspect in America? Here are 10 ridiculous things that make you a terrorist according to “officials” running the U.S. government:
- Tea Party Activists
- Occupy Activists
- Storing 7 Days of Food
- Missing fingers
- Buying flashlights
- Paying cash at hotels
- Texting Privately in a Public Place
- Ron Paul stickers
- Belief in conspiracies (like this one?)
- Owning precious metals and, for the bonus round,
- Owning guns and ammo.“
- go here: 10 Ridiculous Things That Make You a Terror Suspect
Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ATF discussed using their covert operation “Fast and Furious” to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.
In Fast and Furious, ATF secretly encouraged gun dealers to sell to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels to go after the “big fish.” But ATF whistleblowers told CBS News and Congress it was a dangerous practice called “gunwalking,” and it put thousands of weapons on the street. Many were used in violent crimes in Mexico. Two were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
A rising empire rewards people who contribute to its growth and invest in its future. The empire’s decline begins when certain members of society are over-rewarded by means of privileges, and the empire’s money is wasted on outdated endeavors.
via American privilege rots an empire from within – Caixin Online – MarketWatch.
“… this week, CBS News reported that the BATFE “discussed using their covert operation Fast and Furious to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.”
In particular, agency officials wanted guns to fall into Mexican drug cartel hands and be traced back to gun dealers in the U.S. to make a case for requiring dealers to report individuals who buy more than one detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifle over .22 caliber in a five day period.
According to CBS, “emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called Demand Letter 3. That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or ‘long guns.’”CBS singled out a July 14, 2010 email sent by BATFE Field Operations Assistant Director Mark Chait to Bill Newell, the agency’s Special Agent in Charge in Phoenix, from which Fast and Furious was based. In the email, Chaits asked Newell to “see if these guns were all purchased from the same [licensed gun dealer] and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales.”
Pro-Second Amendment U.S. Senator John Cornyn Texas, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee, quickly responded to CBS’s revelation, saying “If these reports are true, even by Washington standards this reaches a new level of arrogance and corruption.” With Attorney General Holder again appearing before Congress to testify about Fast and Furious this week, Sen. Cornyn added, “again, the Attorney General has some explaining to do.”
“… The White House has unveiled a new strategy Strategic Implementation Plan “to fight homegrown terrorism”, named, the “Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States”.“The plan outlines enhanced coordination between ‘local partners’ including schools and community groups, and federal law enforcement, and seeks to empower communities by teaching local officials to recognize violent extremism…”
“… If the Obama administration did arrange for the shipment of arms to Mexican drug gangs, not for any legitimate public purpose but in order to advance a left-wing political agenda, and those guns were used to murder hundreds of Mexicans and at least one American border agent–which they were–then we are looking at a scandal that dwarfs any in modern American history…”
see later post, here, above, Dec. 11, 2011.
There’s plenty of reason to be concerned Big Brother is watching. We’re paranoid not because we have grandiose notions of our self-importance, but because the facts speak for themselves.
Here’s our short list of nine reasons that Wired readers ought to wear tinfoil hats, or at least, fight for their rights and consider ways to protect themselves with encryption and defensive digital technologies.
” … As we observed in June, the way Fast and Furious — the government’s gun-running operation that resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry — was conducted made no sense unless its intent was to facilitate violence with U.S. weapons in the interests of pursuing the administration’s gun-control agenda. “
“… It is true that technology is advancing to track our every move, often without our knowledge. But technology is also advancing to protect privacy in ways that were not available before. There are already many tools that we can use to protect our private information and most of them are free and easy. Tor, Truecrypt, and GnuPG are three great examples…”
via Is Privacy Dead?.
“… Don’t expect anything of value to you from authorities and don’t expect timely information of value to you from the media. Expect government to oppose your escape with threats or force, after all, you’re a paying customer attempting to leave the mall. Others may follow. Their interest is in maintaining order, their order, not in passing out valuable resources for free. You’ll recall “maintaining order” meant instructing people in the twin towers to stay put and await a professionally supervised evacuation. We know this from people who acted on their own judgment and fled.
Also recall during Katrina how police, those who hadn’t joined the looters or decamped to more pleasant venues, forcibly disarmed honest citizens in their own homes with assistance from the National Guard, then cherry-picked the loot for themselves. Assume at the outset your local statists will use a disaster to betray their oath and you…
We’ve come to rely on the media to misrepresent facts they don’t merely withhold. Surely you’ve noticed crime stories suppress full and reliable descriptions when their favored felons are the miscreants of record. It would be comforting to think the press won’t cover up decisive, actionable facts during a major calamity as well, but the truth lies elsewhere. You can expect the mainstream press to lie early and often in such a case. Big news media is pretty much a holding pen for the irretrievably unprincipled, journalists being the deployable euphemism, some even “award-winning”. Say the word ethics to a “journalist” and they’ll assume it’s the name of someone’s yacht, someone they’d really like to know.
Perilous events are Darwinian by nature. Hindsight suggests the casualties often selected themselves, perfect knowledge would probably prove it. The survivors informed themselves of what was actually happening, then extrapolated what may happen, then refined it to what was likely to happen. Survival begins and ends with applied good judgment. Think back in your own life to those little things you did or didn’t do, those seemingly trivial stitches in time that kept you from a bad end. It wasn’t all luck or happenstance. Now that the storm is upon us, now that ever-larger catastrophes are entraining and we’re being pelted with debris, a bug-out bag is evidence of good judgement in itself. Good judgement well applied is the one indispensible survival tool and likely the oldest. Be sure to take yours with you.
Terrorists, conservatives say, hate us for our freedom, so they must be stopped—even if that means sacrificing our freedom in the process.
The Pentagon Is Offering Free Military Hardware To Every Police Department In The US | Business Insider
“… We produce so much military equipment that inventories of military robots, M-16 assault rifles, helicopters, armored vehicles, and grenade launchers eventually start to pile up and it turns out a lot of these weapons are going straight to American police forces to be used against US citizens.
Benjamin Carlson at The Daily reports on a little known endeavor called the “1033 Program” that gave more than $500 million of military gear to U.S. police forces in 2011 alone.
1033 was passed by Congress in 1997 to help law-enforcement fight terrorism and drugs, but despite a 40-year low in violent crime, police are snapping up hardware like never before. While this year’s staggering take topped the charts, next year’s orders are up 400 percent over the same period.
This upswing coincides with an increasingly military-like style of law enforcement most recently seen in the Occupy Wall Street crackdowns….”
The entire United States is now a war zone: S.1867 passes the Senate with massive support | Activist Post
Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer | Activist Post
“This is one of the most tragic events I have written about since establishing End the Lie over eight months ago: the horrendous bill that would turn all of America into a battlefield and subject American citizens to indefinite military detention without charge or trial has passed the Senate.
To make matters even worse, only seven of our so-called representatives voted against the bill, proving once and for all if anyone had any doubt remaining that our government does not work for us in any way, shape, or form.S.1867, or the National Defense Authorization Act NDAA for the fiscal year of 2012, passed with a resounding 93-7 vote....”
[Please thank your Senators for this advance of the police state and loss of your Constitutionally- enshrouded God-given rights] via Activist Post: The entire United States is now a war zone: S.1867 passes the Senate with massive support.
Regular readers know that ever since 2009, well before the confidence destroying flash crash of May 2010, Zero Hedge had been advocating that regular retail investors shun the equity market in its entirety as it is anything but “fair and efficient” in which frontrunning for a select few is legal, in which insider trading is permitted for politicians and is masked as “expert networks” for others, in which the government itself leaks information to a hand-picked elite of the wealthiest investors, in which investment banks send out their “huddle” top picks to “whale” accounts before everyone else gets access, in which hedge funds form “clubs” and collude in moving the market, in which millisecond algorithms make instantaneous decisions which regular investors can never hope to beat, in which daily record volatility triggers sell limits virtually assuring daytrading losses, and where the bid/ask spreads for all but the choicest few make the prospect of breaking even, let alone winning, quite daunting. In short: a rigged casino.