On Oct. 26, President Obama signed a new Executive Order which expands the role and scope of Homeland Security in states and areas across the country. This order, which establishes a new Security Partnership Council, will have far reaching effects in the overall mission of Homeland Security, and for state and local areas that interact with the Federal agency.
BOSTON (CBS) – Terri Ivester was on her way to a family christening in Chicago when she ran into a snag at the security checkpoint at Logan Airport. Terri Ivester says, “The TSA agent holds my backpack up, and um, says there’s a water bottle in this backpack, I’m going to have to take that.”
Electronically, this election is over. Mitt Romney has won. The big loser is not Barack Obama, or the corporate Democratic Party. It is democracy itself. Unless YOU act now, and are prepared to fight this out for years to come, whatever remains of American democracy is done. Finished. Over. No nation that suffers the theft of three out of four consecutive national elections can harbor the illusion that it is run by the will of its people.
Depending on the outcome of initiatives in three states, a confrontation awaits between the U.S. Department of Justice and advocates for legalizing marijuana. On November 6, voters in Colorado, Washington and Oregon will decide whether to legalize and tax marijuana sales. If one or more of the measures passes, and President Barack Obama is reelected, expect the Justice Department to take action to stop any state from decriminalizing the popular herb.
The Washington Post has just laid out, in horrifying, soul-slaughtering detail, the Obama Administration's ongoing effort to expand, entrench and "codify" the practice of murder and terrorism by the United States government. The avowed, deliberate intent of these sinister machinations is to embed the use of death squads and drone terror attacks into the policy apparatus of future administrations, so that the killing of human beings outside all pretense of legal process will go on, year after year after year, even when the Nobel Peace Laureate has left office.
Today the ACLU filed Freedom of Information Act requests seeking records related to the federal government’s domestic use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) – better known as drones – as well as plans for the future rollout of drones in the United States. Drone technology is largely a product of our war efforts abroad, but the federal government is repurposing these machines for surveillance purposes at home.
Russia accused the United States on Monday of double standards on human rights, criticizing its failure to close Guantanamo Bay prison and its use of the death penalty while the U.S. Congress considers a law which could punish Moscow for alleged abuses.
In the final debate of the US presidential election, to be held Monday night in Boca Raton, Florida, President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney can be expected to tout their contrasting “visions” on US foreign policy. However, on the fundamental issues of concern to the American corporate and financial elite, the two candidates are entirely united. They will both declare themselves defenders of “democracy” and “freedom,” even as American money and weapons prop up dictatorships like the Saudi monarchy, the kleptocratic rulers of Congo and other resource-rich African states, and military-backed regimes from Honduras to Egypt. They accept unquestioningly the necessity to use military force and political subversion to safeguard the economic and strategic interests of the American financial aristocracy anywhere in world.
Monitors from the United Nations-affiliated group Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will be monitoring the activities of conservative groups at polling places in the United States this November, The Hill reported Saturday. Alexander Bolton wrote that the monitors will be "looking for voter suppression activities by conservative groups, a concern raised by civil rights groups during a meeting this week."
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP and the ACLU, among other groups, warned this month in a letter to Daan Everts, a senior official with OSCE, of “a coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans — particularly traditionally disenfranchised groups like minorities.” The request for foreign monitoring of election sites drew a strong rebuke from Catherine Engelbrecht, founder and president of True the Vote, a conservative-leaning group...
Many well-meaning people now scorn core American values. These are individuals who have been indoctrinated into accepting the perceived social 'norms.' They have been so psychologically programmed into the corporate fascist society they have never really considered deeper moral questions of why they stand for what they do; or how their positions and beliefs measure up historically.
The New York City Police Department 's stop-and-frisk policy is “an American apartheid system” which is used to intimidate country’s minorities, says a member of the Dignity, Human Rights and Peace organization... “Stop-and-frisk has nothing to do with preventing violence. Stop-and-frisk is in reality a way of gentrifying an area or making an area all white. It is very similar to South African system of Apartheid where the blacks and others had to have passes to walk around,” he went on to explain.
At a future point, it may be impossible to get one. Early last year, the State Department proposed a new “Biographical Questionnaire” for passport applicants, which would have required anyone selected to receive the new long-form DS-5513 to answer bizarre and intrusive personal trivia questions about everything from whether you were circumcised (and if so, with what accompanying religious rituals) to the dates of all of your mother’s pre- and post-natal medical appointments, your parents’ addresses one year before you were born, every address at which you have ever resided, and your lifetime employment history including the names and phone numbers of each of your supervisors at every job you have ever held. Most people would be unable to complete the proposed new form no matter how much time and money they invested in research. Requiring someone to complete Form DS-5513 would amount to de facto denial of their application for a passport — which, as we told the State Department, appeared to be the point of the form.
During the second half of the 20th century the United States was an opportunity society. The ladders of upward mobility were plentiful, and the middle class expanded. Incomes rose, and ordinary people were able to achieve old-age security. In the 21st century the opportunity society has disappeared. Middle class jobs are scarce. Indeed, jobs of any kind are scarce. To stay even with population growth from 2002 through 2011, the economy needed about 14 million new jobs. However, at the end of 2011 there were only 1 million more jobs than in 2002. http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cesbtab1.htm
Despite the murder of its citizen, Washington immediately took the side of the crazed Israeli government. The Turks had a different response. The prime minister of Turkey, Erdogan, said that the next aid ships would be protected by the Turkish navy. But Washington got hold of its puppet and paid him to shut up. Once upon a time, the Turks were a fierce people. Today they are Washington’s puppets.
"We are heading for crisis..."
Graham Peebles argues that, rather than enhance personal security, gun ownership creates physiological and psychological fear and is responsible for at least 12,000 murders annually in the USA. He calls for a ban on gun sales and for all non-sporting weapons to be removed from circulation.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, it seems, has finally lost its mind. Motivated by what I consider pure maliciousness, the SEC initiated a “cease and desist” administrative proceeding it deemed “necessary for the protection of investors and in the public interest” against Egan-Jones Ratings Co., a privately owned, 20-person firm based in Haverford, Pennsylvania, and against its principal owner, Sean Egan.
"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." - James Baldwin Four decades of neoliberal policies have given way to an economic Darwinism that promotes a politics of cruelty. And its much vaunted ideology is taking over the United States. As a theater of cruelty and mode of public pedagogy, economic Darwinism undermines all forms of solidarity capable of challenging market-driven values and social relations.
TSA is introducing the new full body scanner system to the American airports. The scanners will be capable of detecting every tiny trace of any substance of your body to find gunpowder or any bomb making materials. However the devices can also trace the level of adrenaline in the body. RT's Kristine Frazao has more on the subject.
As Americans fixate on the presidential campaign, they also should note the status of President Obama and Governor Romney. Yes, both are presidential candidates, but both are also men who — with their predecessors and the Congress — have willingly surrendered American sovereignty and independence to Israel and its U.S.-citizen advocates (Jewish and Evangelical), their organizations, and much of the media.
“The competitiveness is they control the system and the people in these nations they fight over the scraps. It’s ridiculous,” said Chris Dorsey, an economist and banking analyst, in a Monday interview with Press TV. “I would say that that’s a ridiculous statement because we need to have some sort of control over the system that decides what we eat, where we live and everything else in our society and that’s the monitoring system.”
In a rare interview with USA Today, Ross Perot, the 82-year-old former third-party presidential candidate, called for long-term solutions to the nation's ongoing economic woes - and warned that, barring substantive fixes, the U.S. could lose its sovereignty.
In a doctrinal way, the cop is exactly like the people who were – rightly – strung up at Nuremburg after WWII, who stated – truthfully – that they were just following the orders issued by the lawfully constituted authority. They were not merely thugs. They were duly appointed thugs. They did not do the awful things they did at random, on their own nickle – so to speak. They were told to do it – agreed to do it – and went ahead and did it. Any questions they may personally have had about the rightness or wrongness of what they were doing were put aside.
While Government Pretends America Values Freedom of the Press, Real Journalists Are Treated As Terrorists We’ve previously noted that American journalists are an endangered species (click on the links for stunning details): If they criticize those in power, they may be smeared by the government and targeted for arrest.
The Times article, by the great Charlie Savage, also notes that Romney last December said he didn’t think waterboarding was torture and that he would use techniques—isn’t that a creepy word—that Obama refuses to use and that are not allowed by the Army manual. This puts Romney squarely back in the sadistic Bush-Cheney camp. And little wonder: Because many of the people on his national security team actually served in the Bush-Cheney administration and backed waterboarding and other kinds of brutalities.
A revealing and damning report titled Living Under Drones covering the use of UAV drones in Pakistan has been published by the Stanford International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic. In the report evidence is gathered from over 130 detailed interviews from victims and witnesses of drone attacks, Pakistani government officials, subject matter experts, lawyers, medical professionals, development and humanitarian workers, members of civil society, academics, and journalists. The report seeks to address the gap in understanding about the use of drones and the socio-economic impacts of drone strikes on civilians.
The US air force has released documents under a Freedom of Information Act revealing they investigated one of their own analysts to determine whether she had also released documents to Wikileaks. One might not be surprised by the investigation, or the suspicion, the analyst was reported to have shown sympathy for Bradley Manning, and had expressed she wanted to leave the air force. The report is detailed and a lot of information on the “subject” were correlated, interviews were held and eventually the air force dropped the case without charge.
A new Texas school district policy allows paddling of students by opposite-gender staff. In a seemingly counterintuitive move, a Texas school district has changed its policies to allow opposite-gender faculty to paddle students after a controversy regarding two high-school girls being paddled by a male vice principal.
From people being harassed for paying by cash or having a food garden, to Americans being arrested for letting their children play outside - innumerable examples over the past few months alone illustrate that the United States is no longer a free country. The nanny state is no longer just on steroids, it has turned into the Incredible Hulk as collectivism, pernicious bureaucracy, regulation, mass surveillance and outright tyranny runs wild across the country.
The ease with which self-described democratic states embroil themselves in torture continues to be illustrated by the manner in which agencies of the Canadian state, from spies to judges, have wedged open a door to legitimize complicity in a practice that both domestic and international law ban outright.
Are you constantly tired and do you feel incredibly stressed almost all the time? Well, that means that there is a really good chance that you are a typical American worker. Even though our incomes are going down, Americans are spending more time at work than ever before.
As our Constitutional Republic descends into a total Fascist Dictatorship, there is a clear emergence of a police state to facilitate the instillation of this incredible takeover. Americans are monitored at every point of their existence; surfing the internet, speaking on the phone, text messages, emails, social media routines, CCTV cameras on every street corner, TSA internal checkpoints, Stasi networks through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) See Something, Say Something campaign. And the list goes on and on . . . Coinciding with the severe restriction on our freedoms afforded us by our Constitution; the US government is amassing unmistakable amounts of armory designed for protection against an unknown threat. The DHS have acquired an estimated 2,500 heavily armored vehicles under the cover of Police Rescue. More ammunition has been solicited by the DHS. Within the next 4 years, they expect to acquire 200,000 million rounds of .223 rifle bullets. For training snipers, DHs have ordered two types of .308 caliber rounds – blanks and 168 grain hollow point boat tail ammunition. This new purchase adds to the 1.8 billion rounds of ammunition they have solicited for months in preparation for – something. The amount of ammunition purchased by the federal government is estimated at more than 1 billion rounds in 2012 as well as riot gear, bulletproof checkpoint outposts equipped with red and green stoplights, human shaped paper targets for practice – not to mention the LRADs and other crowd control and containment equipment.
Investigators are searching not only for lenders who have sold materially deficient loans to Fannie and Freddie, but also individuals, including those who reneged on their promises to repay their mortgages. So if you are a "strategic defaulter" who decided it was better to walk away from your obligation than to keep paying for a house that was worth substantially less than you owed, it's time to start looking over your shoulder... if you walked away from one property and bought another, chances are fairly good that the OIG is going to find you. If there is any indication that you falsified information on your new loan application, the OIG is "absolutely" going to refer you for criminal prosecution, Wolfe said. "We're not just going to demand repayment," he said. "We're going to lock people up."
Italy's highest criminal court on Wednesday upheld the convictions of 23 Americans found guilty of kidnapping a Muslim cleric from a Milanese street and transferring him to a country where torture was permitted. The court of cassation's ruling is the final appeal in the world's first judicial review of the CIA practice of abducting terror suspects and transferring them to third countries, a practice also known as extraordinary rendition.
The Obama administration had some harsh words Friday after a federal judge appointed by Obama said the government doesn’t have a right to indefinitely detain anyone even remotely associated with terrorist groups.
Jefferson Parish, Louisiana Sheriff Deputies turned on Sean Warren last week simply for recording the questionable treatment meted out to his brother, Casey Warren. The police beat him, tased him, handcuffed him and smashed his cell phone after treating his brother in a nearly identical manner. Unfortunately this is far from an isolated incident given that police across the country have been guilty of similar attempts to destroy evidence.
“Do you really want to live in a country where one party is so desperate to win the White House that they go around trying to make it harder for people to vote if they’re people of color, poor people or first generation immigrants?” – Bill Clinton on Republican voter-ID laws. Some friends look nostalgically at U.S. history as if our current situation means that a once-great and deeply principled America has eroded and collapsed.
Nothing tests one's intellectual honesty and ability to apply principles consistently more than free speech controversies. It is exceedingly easy to invoke free speech values in defense of political views you like. It is exceedingly difficult to invoke them in defense of views you loathe. But the true test for determining the authenticity of one's belief in free speech is whether one does the latter, not the former.
This morning, faced with the threat of criminal and civil contempt, Twitter turned over information about Occupy Wall Street protester Malcolm Harris to a New York criminal court judge. This development follows Twitter’s months-long effort to challenge the Manhattan District Attorney Office’s subpoena for Harris’s information, which was issued as part of the D.A.’s disorderly conduct prosecution of Harris stemming from his participation at an Occupy event last fall.
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