Urban explorers are hobbyists who â you guessed it â explore urban areas to find little-seen or ignored areas of the man-made landscape, some abandoned and some not, often documenting their travels and discoveries andÂ posting imagesÂ or other information online.
While it might seem somewhat absurd that the NCTC would put out a report (embedded below or availableÂ here) telling law enforcement that, âAny suspicious UE activity should be reported to the nearest State and Major Area Fusion Center and to the local FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force,â it really shouldnât be surprising.
Now the government thinks urban explorers are actually aiding terrorists by posting photos,videosÂ and diagrams online.
This is noteworthy because urban exploration has become a surprisingly popular activity. So popular, in fact, that a 2007Â San Francisco ChronicleÂ article noted, âUrban exploration is a worldwide phenomenon with its own fanzines, conventions, culture, ethics, periodicals, books, movies, MTV specials and clubs from Russia to Australia, Canada to Chile. And itâs growing.â
That means all of those people, especially those in the United States, could arguably be seen as âaiding the enemyâ by helping terrorists âremotely identify and surveil potential targets.â
âAdvanced navigation and mapping technologies, including three dimensional modeling and geo-tagging, could aid terrorists in pinpointing locations in dense urban environments,â according to the report, originally released on November 19, 2012 according toÂ Public IntelligenceÂ and marked âFor Official Use Only.â
Interestingly, theÂ ChronicleÂ article paints a completely different picture of how urban explorers work.
âDiscoveries are no longer openly shared online, but handled like carefully guarded secrets among a small network of trusted cronies,â James Nestor wrote for theÂ Chronicle.
âCompany websites often provide information about buildings; social media postings of explorersâ activity often identify access points and security flaws,â the report claims.
Perhaps most interesting of all is that the report tells readers to report suspicious activity to âthe nearest State and Major Area Fusion Center and to the local FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.â
Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The LieÂ and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCY.TV from 7 pm — 10 pm Pacific, which you can findÂ HERE.Â If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him atÂ admin@EndtheLie.com
James Kaleda, who was removed fromÂ a âSenate Law and Public Safety Committeeâ meeting held in Trenton, NJ, posted an unbelievable video to Facebook on Saturday. The video not only shows Kaledaâs removal by New Jersey State Troopers, it also shows an amazing Patriotic moment as members of the audience spontaneously interrupt the proceedings by standing and reciting our Pledge of Allegiance.
The committee meeting was held on April 30th butÂ The ExaminerÂ broke the story nationally on Saturday with their discovery of the video.
Here is some background of the original story fromÂ NJ.com. It seems as though 7 separate gun bills made it through committee that day:
After about four hours of sometimes raucous testimony, the state Senate Law and Public Safety Committee has approved seven new gun control measures.
âItâs a matter of us all working together to ensure the safety and well-being of our families, our neighbors and our co-workers,â said Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester), who sponsored many of the measures.
But opposition was fierce from gun rights advocates, who packed the hearings and sometimes shouted down proponents of gun control.
âIf you pass these laws that make me a criminal by not registering my guns, I will not register them,â said gun owner Glenn Darwell of Forked River. âIf you make me a criminal I will stand once more and fulfill the constitution. If my blood is in the street itâs in your hands.â
If you would like to see the specifics of the bills in question, you can read the full storyÂ here. I feel the real story is not that The New Jersey Senate does not understand the meaning of âshall not be infringed.â Unfortunately we have questionable interpretations of the 2nd Amendment in many state legislatures.
I think the bigger story is that a small group of people decided to stand up for their rights and show the world what it is like to be an American. I loved the comment that was uttered shortly before the 2 minute mark, âYou will hear from us in November. I can promise you that.â
I found this video quite inspiring and I had to pass it on.
NBC News is in the process of appointing a new chief. The purpose? To rearrange what is already false reality, to make it more interesting and dramatic.
The desperate networks are grasping at straws. Their ratings reflect a continuing audience exodus.
I once wrote that, if tomorrow the top news anchors admitted they were drag queens, the whole country would immediately collapse. Thatâs how fragile America actually is.
Iâve updated that comment, because the USA is now so tolerant the top anchors could come out as collies or toasters and everyone would feel compelled to consider the revelation with warm regard.
So here is the new formulation: If tomorrow, television news disappeared completely, the human mind would lose its mirror and chaos would ensue.
The minds of most viewers lack context, are satisfied with cartoons of reality, yearn for authorities, and will accept any version of âbeing informed.â
This is what the news is all about. The superficial mind clings to the news as a representation of what the mind is.
Take away that mirror and millions of people would enter a highly disturbing void, an absence, a vacuum.
It would be quite interesting.
Some people would realize the degree to which they demand to be told what to think, what to see, what to assume. Others would simply spin into a deep confusion.
At bottom, most minds want to know what exists, even if the portrait is a total lie. A lie is better than nothing. âGive me something, anything.â
That morbid desire is in direct proportion to the absence of any ambition to create reality on oneâs own.
Every psyop since the dawn of time is based on, and works because of, the individualâs refusal to create his own reality.
This refusal is, in turn, the cornerstone of highly organized, layered, hierarchical, top-down societies.
These societies generate majestic deceptions, enemies, wars, and huge disparities between the haves and the have-nots. History reveals many elements of progress, but it doesnât show a solution to these chronic injustices.
To put it another way, the solutions will not appear, in the long run, until millions of people do, in fact, create their own realities.
And that capacity to create requires a revolution at the deepest possible level.
Most people donât even understand what it means, and/or wonât admit itâs possible.
They would rather rearrange deck chairs on a sinking ship:
âGive me THESE liars as leaders (creators of mass reality), and if you wonât do that, give me THOSE liars as leadersâŚâ
âLadies and gentlemen, this is the end of the last newscast anywhere. Good night and good luck.â Blackout.
If governmentâs media mouthpiece were gone, people would be forced to make up their own minds about government. And eventually, they would. And it wouldnât be a happy moment, for government.
Unsurprisingly, the first ânewspapers,â in ancient China, Egypt, and Rome, were government-issued bulletins. They were decrees, commands, and announcements.
They were deployed to control citizensâ actions and paint an official picture of reality.
At some point, leaders recognized that, with the expansion of individual freedom, more subtle methods for control and âguided perceptionâ were necessary. Hence, modern media.
For this to work, reporters had to be elevated to privileged status. They were now town criers dressed to kill.
âOwing to excessive propaganda, lies, and style masquerading as substance, all news is canceled.â That would be a kind of forced declaration of independence.
In 1982, when I began writing for LA Weekly, I sat down with the editor, who explained that investigative reporting was a dying function of the news, because it was too expensive. Its outcome was always uncertainâa newspaper could assign a reporter to a story and pay him for a few months, and at the end of it he might or might not come up with something explosive.
There was, of course, another reason for squelching investigative reporting. A reporter might dig too deep and find too much gold. The wrong people (actual high-level criminals) could be indicted and exposed.
For the most part, mainstream news has canceled real investigation. Itâs gone. It exists as limited hangout, meaning itâs constructed to execute partial and ultimately harmless exposure of crimes. The limited hangout pretends to be the last word, and everybody packs up and goes home, thinking the job is done.
Which is exactly the way most minds operate, when it comes to the truth. They poke around a little, come up with a bit of âdeepâ material, and check out. Nothing more to see, move along.
Any reporter who goes too far with a story is stopped by his bosses and reassigned to lighter topics. I know of one such hound, who broke open several heavy scandals and was then pulled off to do other work. Allowed to continue his investigations, he would have torn apart the Dept. of Justice and the CDC.
All of mainstream news is a limited hangout, because it purports to be coverage of reality. Actually, it invents reality by establishing narrow context, selecting which stories are important, and twisting their meaning.
So my original question, what if television news disappeared, is in a way a moot point. Itâs already disappeared. It never was. It was always a simulacrum.
The Matrix can be viewed as the simulacra the mind invents to stand in for reality. This obsession for what psyops specialists used to call stereotypes is the putty-like target for engineers of deception:
âPeople already want false images. We merely make sure they buy our false images.â
Coming out of World War 2, US psychological warfare operators turned their attention to new conditions of âpeace.â They fed the population images and simulacra of distant peoples and places and cultures.
The premise was: there are billions of people Americans will never meet or come to know. We, the princes of psyops, have to give them pictures of who these foreign humans are, to align with US foreign policy (empire building).
Now, the psyop operatorsâ target has expanded to a significant degree. The premise reads: there are billions and trillions of bits of information people will never be able to evaluate or organize. We have to tell them what all this information means. We have to shrink it down and frame it and paint shorthand pictures of it. Our pictures, not theirs.
Hence, the news.
Notice the basic fixation in all this madness. Itâs the fixation on deciding what reality is, rather than what new realities can be created.
That is the threshold most people refuse to cross or understand. Theyâll do anything to avoid it. And when I say most people, I donât mean groups, I mean individuals.
Here is the real news: Peopleâs problems and confusions and anxieties will never be resolved until they invent realities they truly desire with power and imagination.
Iâm talking about inventing social reality and political reality and personal reality and aesthetic reality. This is no cotton-candy prescription. It calls for the deepest conviction and commitment.
When, in the 1960s, various Asian philosophies and spiritual systems were twisted and reduced and re-cooked and distorted, for importation into the West, one of the underlying themes was: enlightenment comes by accepting What Is.
That was a psyop of major proportions, on the level of consciousness and spirit. It was aimed at the closing the door on the oceanic creative impulse.
Accept What Is. Donât try to change it. Surrender. Stop struggling. Then all your problems will disappear.
The ability to accept reality ultimately and paradoxically depends on surpassing it by inventing new realities in profusion. Then, you can look at What Is and accept it as a fact that, like all other facts, can be radically changed.
Peace attained through a struggle to âlet go of everythingâ is a deception. Itâs one piece of a much larger story. That story centers on us and our creative force, the titanic and submerged faculty that always was and always will exist, no matter how many ploys are engaged to reject it.
The news doesnât cover this story
The news is a drug to put this story to sleep.
The news is a voice expressing itself. But what about the far more important voice of the individual? What is it expressing, if consciousness itself is buttoned up?
I can tell you this. 100 percent of individuals have no idea what they would express if they opened up all creative channels. Oh, they might know what their opening shots would be. But beyond that? They donât know. They couldnât know. Because they havenât invented the full range of their voices.
You could sit down and write a thousand pages to âexpress what you really want to say,â and you would only be scratching the surface. You would only be warming up your engine.
The mind is trained for delivering summaries and bytes. After throwing off that colossal inhibition, youâre at the beginning of the road. Just the beginning.
The news and all its allied support systems are a reflection of the mind held in check, the imagination held in check. As such they are really meaningless.
We have no clue about what a civilization would be, if many individuals entered the untapped universes of what amounts to endless expression. We live in a shorthand world. We convince ourselves thatâs all there is.
That isnât all there is. Itâs just one atom of potential experience.
As far as individual creation is concerned, we live in a world thatâs a kindergarten. Itâs a nursery school. When people are asked to invent something, to express something, they look for the short form. The brief statement (like the news).
Write a thousand pages and see where you are. Paint a thousand paintings and see where you are. Reinvent your business a hundred times and see where you are. Reinvent your group that seeks to fulfill a social cause a hundred times and see where you are. Become an endless artist of expression and invention and see where you are.
Now we are getting down to the real crime of the news. It looks for the lead paragraph and the bottom line. It searches for the wrap-up and the stinger. It short-circuits the potential of the individual mind because the mind wants to be short-circuited.
And within this prison, people look for answers. Itâs a joke. There are no answers there.
We are operating at one tiny end of the light spectrum, claiming that the whole remaining arc of possible light is invisible. Yes, itâs invisible because we shut ourselves off from it, because we fail to realize it becomes visible only when we live through and by imagination.
The myth of Prometheus is really an expression of self-limited creative consciousness seeking to break out and invent realities and worlds without end. The fire Prometheus stole from the gods wasnât merely âknowledgeâ or âtechnology.âÂ It was the infinite creative force.
There was no crime. The gods were already bored to death with their own powers. They had abandoned imagination. They had become tyrannical managers of humans. The gods were pathetic paupers living on borrowed time.
And when Prometheus delivered fire to humans, he wasnât punished by the gods. He wasnât chained to a rock and tortured. He was astonished by humansâ refusal to pick up the torch.
The Olympian gods were the News. They were the purveyors of What Is. They demanded allegiance.
The people chose to listen to the news from above. They chose to abdicate the endless road of expression and creation and instead worship an external narration of existence, a tired and bloated and worn-out and stench-ridden song emitted from Broadcast Central.
Imagine this: Scott Pelley, the anchor of the CBS News, appears on screen and says, âTonight I begin to tell you a story. The story of myself. But not the narrow history. Not just where I was born and what happened to me. Yes, there will be some of that. But my story, like yours, is largely unknown, because I havenât launched it yet. It isnât only memory or fact. Itâs a fuller and deeper expression, and itâs also an invention. Every night, for a thousand and one nights, Iâll be here on television unspooling and imagining myself. There will be many starts and stops. There will be moments of confusion, and there will be times when I donât know where to go. But Iâll continue, because I want to, because Iâm the artist of myself. As I talk, youâll see parts of myself disappear and new parts surface. No doubt there will be long periods when I speak impersonally, and then a new intimacy will arise. It will loom up, vanish, and Iâll move into other realms. There is no wrong way to go. This is an Everything, an everything that expands and shrinks and submerges and ends and begins and swells and explodes and starts again from nowhere. This is an adventure. The goal is not a specific thing. The goal is not the truth. The truth is an illusion we concoct to sum up the adventure and give it structure, but this story will be about far more than the truth. It occurs to me that the news is our way of avoiding the ocean of our being, and that ocean contains logic and illogic, myth and also what could never happen but does happen. We perceive certain immovable and credible boundaries that we actually throw up to cover ourselves, to eliminate great cores of energy, to pretend we exist in one centralized space and time. I will tell this story in as many dimensions as I canâŚâ
As improbable as it seems, if such an event took over the news, night after night, for years and years, the so-called vital events of our time, as usually reported by the news, would pale in importance, and something else would take over.
Something we sense but do not express. Something that will revolutionize our lives. We will remember we once knew the endless telling of the endless story, we knew it was the projection of both dream and reality that could and would change, not just the world, but how the world is builtâŚtaking it out into uncharted islands, snapping the chains we forged to keep us in a minor tale, always waiting for a romantic moment of liberation to come, forgetting what we need to do to change the sameness of the music:
Tell the endless story without limits.
Ordinary self, extraordinary self, both fuel for the fire.
Here is a quote from a work-in-progress,Â The Magician Awakes: âThere is a thing called Endless Story. It has no walls, floor or ceiling. It reflects how consciousness actually operates, once the programming is cast aside. Endless Story isnât a cultural artifact. It cuts across all cultural lines. It is pure invention. Nothing that has already happened is sacredâŚImagination finds its energy. All common and inhibiting symmetries are cast into the creative fire. Exploration and discovery are redefined. They no longer depend on what already has been laid down as Pattern. Symbols no longer have conventional meanings. Endless Story is the answer to the old alchemical mystery called Quintessence, or Philosopherâs Stone, which was supposed to be the key to transformation of unresolvable conflicts. Endless story overtakes and overrides âthings as they are.â Beginning, middle, and end, the cherished components of traditional story, fly out the window into a new dawn, a new day, a new nightâŚâ
The author of an explosive collection,Â THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29thÂ District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.
I spoke with Tim Manning, a popular Southern Nationalist and Christian pastor from Greensboro, North Carolina, over the weekend. Mr. Manningâs home was raided late Wednesday evening into early Thursday morning. According to Manning, the raid consisted of at least one police officer form Kernersville Police Department with a Department of Homeland Security vest, along with 6 to 10 or more law enforcement officers in heavy body armor. Mr. Manning says they confiscated â$25-30,000 worth of my handguns, all in absolutely new condition some worth $2,000+ each.â
The reason for the raid was due to charges brought against his son, Christopher, who lives with his father and is a licensed bail bondsman. The charges are that Christopher committed assault by pointing a gun and impersonated a law enforcement officer.
The raid authorized by the North Carolina Department of Insurance, which Manning won a case against just a couple of years ago.
AccordingÂ toÂ documentsÂ Freedom Outpost obtained from the Forsyth County Courthouse, Manning was accused of pointing a gun at two young boys and identifying himself as a law enforcement officer. Freedom Outpost contacted Tyler Troxlerâs father, Jeff, who confirmed the accusations. Tyler is the boy who referred the allegations to his father, who then called authorities.
We also contacted Mr. Manningâs father, Tim, and spoke with him at length. According to Mr. Manning, Christopher and another agent were on private property and the owner of the property had told them that if they saw anyone on the property to run them off. Christopher and his partner saw the two boys on the property playing with airsoft rifles. Manning then drew his weapon and had it in the alert position as he approached the boys. The boys were trespassing on private property. He was also wearing his badge. As soon as he could determine they were airsoft rifles, he holstered his weapons and told the boys they should leave the property, which they politely did. So how did the raid go down? According to Tim Manning, who posted just hours after the incident onÂ Facebook:
They busted-in my front door of this $300,000+ home and busted-in a set of rear French doors. Then they set a diversionary explosive grenade in my entrance hallway. I had gone too (sic) the top of the stairs to see what was happening at my front door. They did not announce themselves. When the explosive went off I got flat on the second floor carpet seeing that there were too many people here to successfully resist. The noise was so close I thought I had been shot. I was only about 10 feet away from the device. It blew pictures off of my walls, broke glass inside of the house and blew my heating and air controls off of the wall in the hall and blew on of the batteries into the kitchen. The house is a wreck.
I am much overweight and they forced me to lie on my stomach on the floor for over 30 minutes. My physician has said to not rest on my stomach since it puts unnecessary (sic) pressure on my heart. I sleep on my back. I was then handcuffed and was not permitted to witness the search or use my cell phone. My knee and my back are now in much pain. I do not have the money for a trip to the ER and will phone my doctor tomorrow and find a chiropractor. My left and right kneeâs (sic) are also injuried (sic) and really hurting. My neck and shoulder are very sore due to being shoved into my carpet by a Deputy. I just took 8 IBP for pain. I am too tired and frustrated to go to the ER tonight. They also took some of my Virginia Heritage Foundation historical articles about the South that I use where I go to speak. They mentioned âManning says bad things about the government.â
Two men were Police from Kernersville, NC and one with a vest that said Homeland Security Investigation. Some were in plain clothes and the rest in Forsyth County Sheriffs gear.
Obviously Manning was upset as he wrote. In fact, even though the incident occurred late Wednesday evening into early Thursday morning, and he told Freedom Outpost via telephone that he had only begun to eat again late Saturday afternoon. He hasÂ updatedÂ over the past week, the events of that night.
If you look at the documentation you will see that only 1 firearm was listed as taken from the residence. However, one of the NC Security Bail AgentsÂ pointedÂ out that ânow on the search warrant, witnesses arrived videotaping the fact they took 6 large bags of things.(sic) and 9 guns, the receipt only lists one gun, and not enough to fill up 6 LARGE STYLE BAGS.â
Christopher Manning also made aÂ statementÂ concerning what went on:
Firstly, THERE ARE VIDEOS and many photos of portions of these events. I was charged with âprohibited practices.â In the court house, I clearly showed everyone my ID, since I was coming into the Forsyth County Court House to arrest a wanted criminal. I pissed off a security guard because I read (quoted) to him our rights of arrest as established by the Supreme Court decisions of âTaylor vs Taintorâ and âNC State vs Mathis.â They refused to allow me enter the Forsyth County Court House to do my job, and I videotaped them, in a public place. I know personally from not only video, but my professional and legal counsel say âitâs far more than clear and never once have said anything about being law enforcement, nor had anything on showing suchâ so everyone can deal with it. They knew well before the raid on my home that I was in Greensboro and came to my Mom and Dad house anyway.
Secondly, they served a Search Warrant on my home, over a misdemeanor!? Yeah right, my ass. The Search Warrant showed that they wanted computers, e-storage devices, anti-gov material, my badge, my handcuffs and all equipment I use for my job. In full body armour they stormed in claiming that your son Christopher Manning had no position in the NCDOI (North Carolina Division of Insurance).Â https://sbs-nc.naic.org/Lion-Web/jsp/sbsreports/LicenseeListExtExtract.jsp, is the link showing i am very much active and currently working. It should be as illegal for a government civil employee or agent or law enforcement officer to lie to a CITIZEN as it is illegal for a citizen to lie to a law enforcement agent or to lie in court before a judge. IF I WERE BREAKING THE LAW, IâD BE SUSPENDED OR GIVEN A âREVOKED STATUS.â So get over what I was supposedly doing period. Iâm sick of hearing the BS over what I did and what they are alleging I did. I know Iâm in the clear, did nothing illegal or immoral and have no problem fighting their false accusation or proving anything I need to prove about my actions.
The DHS (Department of Homeland Security aka â Anal Probing Big Brother) DID NOT take anything of real interest to what the arrest warrants state. They took a bunch of empty boxes, tomato/flower plants in small seeding starting moss pots that my father planted for our front flower beds), my âfathersâ firearms (NOT mine), and my poor kitties (âMosbysâ) towel where she sleeps and sits on the desk writing board by my Dads computer. I mean âreallyâ? They missed all kinda of shit that you would have they would have taken if these two misdemeanor charges made against me were actually about me and anything I have actually done.
So what tookâem three hours to go thru my house and taking and removing only six small bags of largely my Dadâs stuff? My friends arrived as they were doing these things and witnessed everything while I was being laughed-out of the jail (laughed at not in derision or scorn, but in a sympathetic and compassionate manner) by the Guilford County Judge Magistrate (Forsyth Sheriffs crossed the Forsyth County line to arrest me in Guilford County) who stated/asked to the Forsyth County Investigators âAre you guys nuts? Christopher is an officer of the courtsâ looking at Forsyth County Investigator Pardue. Then the Guilford County Judge Magistrate pleasantly and supportively said to me âMr. Manning, get out of my Detention Center, you have signed a written promise, go home and good luck partner!â
So why were/are the feds involved? Why was the Forsyth County scared of me videotaping their Agents? Why did they serve a No-Knock Search Warrant on my home knowing that I was not there and my Dad was? They did injure my father, and damaged our home beyond the capabilities of my income, but i promise you, they will fix it, and I will beat them.
They used EXCESSIVE FORCE for claiming that it was prompted by two misdemeanor (made-up and false) charges against me and then using the raid to torture by father who still has no charges against him and this is four days AFTER the raid. There are NO federal offenses here yet. Why was it so important to get into my house and take empty boxes and and Dads Southern Historical Societies papers and gain copies of his religious, cultural and historical writings? Clearly i was used as a scapegoat to get to my father. Everyone we have asked , (not mentioning my dadâs historical writings as the issue) clearly point-out that it is obvious that they came for him and his works, barely dealing with me and only using me as a âcover.â
Kerri Hall, the director of Public Information for the NC Department of Insurance, said that there were no Homeland Security officers involved.
If you look at the documentation, I provided the link to above, you will see that only 1 firearm was listed as taken from the residence. However, one of the NC Security Bail AgentsÂ pointedÂ out that ânow on the search warrant, witnesses arrived videotaping the fact they took 6 large bags of things.(sic) and 9 guns, the receipt only lists one gun, and not enough to fill up 6 LARGE STYLE BAGS.â
According to this agent and to Tim Manning, Christopher fought the NCDOI for a year for denial of his license and won. In fact, Manning believes the NCDOI, as well as the Forsyth County Sheriffâs Department has a grudge against his son and that this is also orchestrated to shut him up as an outspoken Southern Nationalist.
Camel City DispatchÂ has a different take on things. The claims of Manning pointing a gun in the boyâs face are allegations, not proven. Also note the history of Manning wearing âfake police style tactical gearâ is not against the law and Forsyth County Sheriffs attempted to bar him from entering the courthouse on official business because Manning has a pair of handcuffs and handcuff keys.
Michael Bloomberg stands by his ludicrous statement that polls show 90% of Americans are for stricter background checks. What he does not tell you, however, is thatÂ 100% of New Yorkers like free shotguns.Â I did my own poll.Â If he would focus on his constituents a little more, and the rest of the country a little less, he might have known that. Pay attention Bloomberg.
Kyle Coplen, founder of Armed Citizen Project, wants to give New Yorkers a free $200 shotgun and free weapons training if they can pass a background check. Bloomberg is not going to be pleased.
Forget gun buybacks â now get ready for a gun giveaway.
The man behind an effort to put free shotguns in the hands of homeowners says heâll dole them out in the Big Apple by the end of the year â and the lawmen may not be able to stop him.
âWeâre coming â and weâre going to get shotguns into the hands of responsible citizens,â said Kyle Coplen, who founded the nonprofit the Armed Citizen Project in January.
âWhen criminals fear the citizenry, it deters crime,â the 29-year-old added.
His privately funded group wants to give New Yorkers in high-crime areas a $200 shotgun and free weapons training â assuming applicants pass all the legal background checks.
In New York City a shotgun permit is $140 and there is an additional fingerprinting charge of $91.50. Coplen is planning to ask for donations to help those who need assistance.
The Armed Citizen Project is also giving away an AR-15 on May 10th to one lucky winner. Visit their website atÂ www.armedcitizenproject.org.Â The project was developed to bring responsible gun ownership to high-crime, low-income areas across the country. Here is a quote from their website:
What is the Armed Citizen Project?
The Armed Citizen Project is dedicated to facilitating the arming of law abiding citizens, and analyzing the relationship between increased firearm availability andÂ rates.Â We are choosing mid-high crime neighborhoods in cities across America, and offering defensive weapons to citizens that can pass a background check, and that will take our safety, legal, and tactical training.Â The data that we collect will be used in the completion of a policy study that will measure the deterrent effects of firearms on crime.
The Armed Citizen Project will not be stopping with New York. The Huffington Post reported yesterday that ACP wants to arm homeowners and single women in Chicago.Â The ExaminerÂ is reporting that 15 cities have been chosen to start:
The Armed Citizen Project plans to give out free shotguns in 15 cities.Â CBS NewsÂ reports on May 6 that the project was announced during a National Rifle Association convention. Kyle Coplen, the founder of the organization, states thatÂ background checksÂ will be required for all applicants.
The Armed Citizen Project wants to give away free shotguns and lessons in 15 cities.Â New York CityÂ andÂ ChicagoÂ are on the list. The nonprofit organization claims that this willÂ âdeter crimeâÂ and has already given outÂ gunsÂ in Houston.
Guns.comÂ recently caught up with Armed Citizen Project at the NRA Convention:
Donât forget, on May 10th Armed Citizen Project will be drawing the lucky winner of the AR-15, laser-engraved with their logo. Check out their site to get registered for that and if itâs in the budget please donate to this wonderful project.
This latest protest focused on the annual meeting at the Field Museum of Natural History and was made up of activists from the Anti-War Committee of Chicago, according to theÂ Chicago Tribune.
While the Tribune makes a point of noting that military aircraft âaccounted for 20 percent of [Boeingâs] revenue last year,â they donât point out that Boeing brought in $81.7 billion in revenue in 2012, according to the company overviewÂ presentation.
In other words, Boeingâs militaryÂ aircraft salesÂ in 2012 brought in somewhere around $16,340,000,000 in revenue.
The activists protested both the development of drones and the tax incentives given to Boeing that pushed the company to move its headquarters to Chicago over a decade ago.
âAs a Chicago public school parent, I resent the fact that Boeing reports record profits while the public schools are being defunded and closed,â said Sarah Simmons, a BoeingÂ stockholderÂ and protest organizer, according to the Tribune.
Others, including Lisa Angonese, a mother of two and daughter of a World War II pilot, emphasized the need for peaceful resolution of conflict instead of perpetual war.
âI donât want Chicago to be known as the birthplace of a machine that kills people,â said Kait McIntyre, recent University of Illinois at Chicago graduate and anti-war activist.
Unsurprisingly, a Boeing spokesman declined to comment on the protest to the Tribune.
This protest was much smaller than other recent actions, attracting âabout a dozenâ demonstrators, according to the Tribune.
Around 250 activists recently attended the protest outside Hancock Field Air Force National Guard Base in New York, according toÂ the Post-Standard, leading to the arrest of around 30 people.
The base is home to the 174thÂ Attack Wing of the New York Air National Guard which operates armed drones thousands of miles away.
The youngest of thoseÂ arrestedÂ on charges of misdemeanor obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct was 24-year-old Caithraoine Demott Grady and the oldest was 88-year-old Mary Snyder.
The arrests came after a series of rallies and workshops were held in Syracuse over the weekend, organized by the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars.
Last fall, town judges in DeWitt, where the base is located, issued an order of protection against peace activists who were âshowing up unannounced at the base and blocking its gate,â according to the Post-Standard.
âIt is a flagrant effort to deny us our first amendment rights,â said Elliot Adams, one of the rally organizers, who also called the order of protection âabsurd.â
DeWitt judges also recently sentenced five activists to 15 days in jail for trespassing during a protest. The activists blocked the mainÂ entranceÂ of the base, according toÂ the Post-Standard.
Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The LieÂ and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCY.TV from 7 pm — 10 pm Pacific, which you can findÂ HERE.Â If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him atÂ admin@EndtheLie.com
Barack Obama joked Saturday about his plans for a radical second-term evolution from âstrapping young Muslim Socialistâ to retiree golfer, all with a new hairstyle like first lady Michelleâs. He doesnât deny being Muslim or a Socialist. Understand that now Barack Obama is throwing his real ideology in the face of the American people and sadly we are allowing him to do it via our elected representatives.
Jim Tucker, the ground breaking journalist who chronicled the activities of the secretive Bilderberg Group beginning in the 1990s, has died from complication after a fall. Tucker was 78.
Tucker departed from a Washington, D.C., newspaper in 1978 and worked with The Spotlight until that newspaper was forced out of business in 2001. He subsequently worked with The American Free Press.
In 2005, The American Free Press published Jim TuckerâsÂ Bilderberg Diary, subtitled âOne Reporterâs 25-Year Battle to Shine the Light on the World Shadow Government.â It is described as âa memorable and panoramic journey that will lay bare the realities behind modern-day international power politics.â
Jim appeared in Alex Jonesâs seminal film,Â Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement, released in 2007. The film partially covers the 2006 Bilderberg conference at the Brookstreet Hotel in Ottawa, Canada.
This is an interesting discovery considering Tsarni is at the forefront of the effort to convince the American people that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the alleged and now dead Boston bomber, was âbrainwashedâ by a shadowy Albanian named Misha.
âThis person just took his brain. He just brainwashed him completely,â Uncle Ruslan insisted during a news conference.
âTamerlanâs relationship with Misha could be a clue in understanding the motives behind his religious transformation and, ultimately, the attack itself,â theÂ Associated PressÂ argued earlier this week.
Problem is, nobody can find Misha to verify the claim. âEfforts over several days by the Associated Press to identify and interview Misha have been unsuccessful,â theÂ AP admits.
Considering the large number of patsies set-up by the FBI and then busted with triumphant headlines used to extend and extoll the manufactured war on terrorism, this possibility cannot be discarded.
âThe discovery that Uncle Ruslan Tsarni had spy connections that go far deeper than had been previously known is ironic, especially since the mainstream mediaâs focus yesterday was on a feverish search to find who might have recruited the Tsarnaev brothers,â writes Daniel Hopsicker.
Tsarni also hadÂ connections to USAIDÂ â the outfit involved in overthrowing governments and related skulduggery â and Halliburton.
Of course such pertinent details have yet to make their way into the establishment mediaâs non-stop script reading on the Boston bombings and the orchestrated effort to pin the blame on the Brothers Tsarnaev who are obviously witless patsies.
Unlike many previous attempts to manufacture terrorism for propaganda purposes, this time around there are a large number of inconsistencies and outright falsehoods.
Naturally, all of them are ignored by the corporate media as it hammers out a narrative that will be used to steal more constitutional rights from the American people.
Updated: Photos shows giant mushroom cloud rising hundreds of feet in the air
A massive explosion at a West, Texas fertilizer plant has killed an estimated 5 – 15 people.
Rescuers were conducting another door-to-door search early Thursday for the living and the dead in areas damaged by a massive fertilizer plant explosion in West that left more than 100 injured and may have killed dozens.
As of 4:45, officials say five to fifteen people are believed to be dead.Â Six firefighters and two paramedics are confirmed dead and seven nursing home residents were missing after the blast according to West EMS Director Dr. George Smith, who said earlier Wednesday night as many as 60 or 70 people may have died in the blast.
One police officer was also still reporting missing.
Smith said early Thursday morning he expects more bodies will be found during the search of damaged and destroyed homes.
After the events at the Boston Marathon just two days ago, and with suspects still not identified, Panicked residents in the area thought that the explosion may be another attack. Their worst fears were seemingly confirmed, as a giant mushroom cloud rose hundreds of feet in the air, leading some to speculate that a nuclear attack was underway.
Watch the following video as a witness recorded the fire, which investigators believe started in anÂ anhydrous ammonia tank and quickly engulfed the entire building.
Moments later, an explosion rocked the area.
Residents as far as Fort Hood, Texas, about 80 miles away, reported hearing the blast.
Unbelievable video shows the magnitude of the blast.
FORT WORTH, Texas -Â A would-be robber was shot dead by a person with a concealed handgun license outside a Metro PCS store in the 7400 block of Wichita St. in Ft. Worth on Tuesday afternoon.
Investigators say Desmond Paige, 20, tried to rob a man using Craigslist. The would-be victim brought his gun to the sale just in case.
The man with the CHL was shot in the arm and the hand by the robber, but Paige was shot multiple times in the chest.
Paige died at the scene.
“When I got over to him I saw that he was bleeding out of his mouth and his chest. So I kneeled down next to him just to say you know hey I’m here you know, hold on. The ambulance and police are coming,” said one witness.
Does Pope Francis intend to help the global elite achieve their goal of uniting all of the religions of the world under a single banner?Â Will he be instrumental in establishing a single global religion for the glorious ânew ageâ that the global elite believe is coming?Â After he was elected, the cover of Time Magazine declared Pope Francis to be the âNew World Popeâ, and since his election Pope Francis has made it abundantly clear that he is going to make ecumenical outreach a top priority.Â He has spoken of his âdetermination to continue on the path of ecumenical dialogueâ, and he has already held a number of very high profile ecumenical meetings.Â Not only has he worked hard to reach out to leaders from various Christian traditions, he has also made it a point to try to acknowledge the mutual bonds that he feels with all other religions.Â For example, in oneÂ recent addressÂ he made it a point to say that he believes that Muslims worship and pray to the âone Godâ that he also worships.Â This âall roads lead to the same Godâ philosophy is a hallmark of the one world religion that the global elite have been slowly building toward for decades.Â The global elite know that even with a one world economy and a one world government, humanity will never be truly united until there is a single global religion.Â Unfortunately, this one world religion that they are seeking to establish is diametrically opposed to the Christianity that we find in the Bible.Â By throwing out Biblical truth for the sake of âfriendship between men and women of different religious traditionsâ, is Pope Francis fundamentally betraying the faith that he claims to represent?
If there is going to be a one world religion, there will have to be a bond formed between Roman Catholicism and Islam.Â They are the two largest religious traditions on the planet, and so any truly âglobal religionâ would definitely require the participation of both of them.
I then greet and cordially thank you all, dear friends belonging to other religious traditions; first of all the Muslims, who worship the one God, living and merciful, and call upon Him in prayer, and all of you. I really appreciate your presence: in it I see a tangible sign of the will to grow in mutual esteem and cooperation for the common good of humanity.
The Catholic Church is aware of the importance of promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions â I wish to repeat this: promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions â it also attests the valuable work that the Pontifical Council for interreligious dialogue performs.
But are âAllahâ and the God of the Bible the same thing?
Of course not.Â For example, Christians believe that Jesus Christ is God.Â Muslims deny this vehemently.Â For much more on why âAllahâ and the God of the Bible are not the same, please seeÂ this article.
So either Pope Francis is denying the divinity of Jesus Christ, or he is exhibiting a frightening ignorance of basic Christian theology, or there is some other agenda at work here.
DuringÂ that same ecumenical meeting, Pope Francis also made it a point to state that he feels âcloseâ to those that belong âto any religious traditionââŚ
In this, we feel close even to all those men and women who, whilst not recognizing themselves belonging to any religious tradition, feel themselves nevertheless to be in search of truth, goodness and beauty, this truth, goodness and beauty of God, and who are our precious allies in efforts to defend the dignity of man, in building a peaceful coexistence among peoples and in guarding Creation carefully.
It is one thing to love people and to seek to build friendships with them, but it is another thing entirely to throw out the most basic beliefs of the faith that you supposedly represent in order to promote a specific agenda.
And Pope Francis definitely appears to have an agenda.Â OnÂ another occasion, Pope Francis declared that it was time âto intensify dialogueâ with other religions, and that he was âthinking particularly of dialogue with Islam.â
âHis humility drew my attention,â Sheik Mohsen Ali, an important Islamic leader in Argentina, told the Buenos Aires Herald. He âalways showed himself a friend of the Islamic community.â
And Pope Francis has a reputation for being a cleric that really âknows IslamââŚ
Sumer Noufouri, secretary-general of the Islamic Center of the Republic of Argentina, told the Buenos Aires Herald that the new pope is a ârespectful, pro-dialogue person who knows Islam.â
But of course Pope Francis is not just reaching out to the Islamic world.
He has also been working hard to âintensify dialogueâ with other Christian traditions.
In particular, he seemsÂ quite interestedÂ in improving relations with the Orthodox churches of the eastâŚ
Before his address, the pope had a private meeting withEcumenical Patriarch BartholomewÂ from Istanbul, who attended Francisâs inaugural Mass on Tuesday.
It was the first time the spiritual head of Orthodox Christians had attended a Roman popeâs inaugural Mass since the Great Schism between western and eastern Christianity in 1054.
At Wednesdayâs meeting, Francis called Bartholomew âmy brother Andrew,â a reference to the apostle who was the brother of St. Peter and was the first bishop of the Church of Byzantium.
Francis also held a private session with Metropolitan Hilarion, the foreign minister of the Russian Orthodox Church, the largest in the Orthodox world.
It wonât happen tomorrow, of course, but could Pope Francis be the Pope that brings the Roman Catholics and the Orthodox back together?
And of course a one world religion will not appear overnight either.Â There are far too many differences to overcome right now.
But as the world becomes increasingly unstable, people are going to be looking for answers.Â After the world is ravaged by economic collapse, food shortages, nightmarish pandemics, unprecedented natural disasters and horrifying wars, will it finally be ready for a one world religion that promises âpeace and friendshipâ among all of the religions of the globe?
This is something to watch for in the years ahead.Â The global elite desperately want a single global religion, and they will keep moving things in that direction.
For now, Pope Francis just seems to be laying the groundwork for the one world religion that is coming.Â There is a 900-year-old prophecy that indicates that Pope Francis could beÂ the last Pope.Â If that prophecy is true, then it will be very important to watch the actions of this Pope very carefully.
So what do you think about all of this?
Please feel free to post a comment with your opinion belowâŚ
Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said that Congress may need to step in on behalf of the American people due to âlegitimate concern about insufficient safeguards in place to make sure drones arenât used to spy on American citizens.â
Grassley, who is currently Iowaâs senior senator, has beenÂ quite critical of drone use in the United StatesÂ in the past, saying that the governmentâs use of drones for domestic surveillance âruns contrary to the nation of what it means to live in a free society.â
âThe prospect of drone use inside the United States raises far-reaching issues concerning the extent ofÂ governmentÂ surveillance authority and privacy in the digital age,â theÂ reportÂ from Grassleyâs office stated.
However, according to Adam B. Sullivan ofÂ the Press-Citizen, âGrassley has made clear he doesnât oppose the use of drones outright, saying he supports the technology for certain military and police operations.â
Yet still, Grassley said, âThereâs legitimate concern about insufficient safeguards in place to make sure drones arenât used to spy on American citizens, perhaps unfairly enforceÂ criminal law, and unduly infringe on individual privacy.â
âCongressional action may be needed to reconcile privacy and legitimate domestic drone use,â he added.
âAs this technology develops, theÂ skyÂ is the limit on how drones could be used in our society, so itâs important that Congress be vigilant in addressing the balance of legitimate drone use and drone use that unduly interferes with private lives,â Grassley said.
In the past, Grassley has pointed out that when he asked the Attorney General last June if the Justice Department was using or planned on using drones for law enforcement purposes, he never received an answer.
He didnât receive an answer âeven after another appearance before us earlier this month,â GrassleyÂ saidÂ in March.
âIt is very important that the American people know whether or how the Justice Department is using drones,â Grassley said. âAnd failing to provide answers about the use of this technology is concerning. It may well be a necessary subject for future legislation.â
Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The LieÂ and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCY.TV from 7 pm — 10 pm Pacific, which you can findÂ HERE.Â If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him atÂ admin@EndtheLie.com
In aÂ press releaseÂ yesterday by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) he put forth a report titled âThe Legal Limit: The Obama Administrationâs Attempts to Expand Federal Power.â The Texas Senator analyzed six instances in the last 15 months where the U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the Obama Administrationâs arguments for increased federal power.
âWhen President Obamaâs own Supreme Court nominees join their colleagues in unanimously rejecting his Administrationâs call for broader federal power six times in just over one year, the inescapable conclusion is that the Obama Administrationâs view of federal power knows virtually no bounds,â said Sen. Cruz. âThis is a deeply troubling pattern that we will continue to highlight as long as this Administration continues seeking ways to expand its power in direct violation of Americansâ constitutional rights.â
Cruz highlighted the six cases in which the Supreme Court has unanimously rejected since January of 2012. He points out that had the Obama Justice Department been successful in their attempts, they would have had the power to:
Attach GPSs to a citizenâs vehicle to monitor his movements, without having any cause to believe that a person has committed a crime (United States v. Jones);
Deprive landowners of the right to challenge potential government fines as high as $75,000 per day and take away their ability have a hearing to challenge those fines (Sackett v. EPA);
Interfere with a churchâs selection of its own ministers. (Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC);
Override state law whenever the President desires. (Arizona v. United States);
Dramatically extend statutes of limitations to impose penalties for acts committed decades ago. (Gabelli v. SEC); and
Destroy private property without paying just compensation. (Arkansas Fish & Game Commission v. United States).
Itâs not anything new that we know the Obama administration wants to move more power to the Executive Branch, but at least in these cases their efforts were thwarted. The next report should contain all the power he has gained in his time in office. Cruz has offered the full report for citizens to review. This is the kind of Senator that should represent all American citizens. View the report below.
Tens of thousands of immigrants and activists rallied across the U.S. Wednesday in a coordinated set of protests aimed at pressing Congress to approve immigration measures that would grant 11 million immigrants living here illegally a path toward citizenship.
Organizers said demonstrations were taking place in at least 18 states and in Washington, where a large, festive crowd gathered on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
âWe wonât win immigration reform just coming to Washington. We need to walk the streets all over the country,â said Ben Monterroso, national director of civic participation of the Service Employees International Union, which represents nurses and lower-wage employees including janitors and child care workers.
In Atlanta, more than 1,000 people marched around the Georgia Capitol Wednesday midday, calling for comprehensive changes to immigration policy and an end to deportation.
In San Francisco, several hundred demonstrators marched toward the federal building holding red and orange paper flowers representing the number of people deported daily for immigration violations.
In San Diego, about 50 demonstrators gathered on a sidewalk outside the office of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a sharp contrast to massive protests in 2006 when thousands of demonstrators shut down downtown streets to support looser immigration policies.
Senators writing a sweeping immigration bill have said they hope to finish their work this week, opening what is sure to be a raucous public debate over measures to secure the border, allow tens of thousands of foreign workers into the country and grant eventual citizenship to the millions living illegally in the United States.
A person familiar with proposed bipartisan immigration legislation being written in the Senate said Wednesday the bill would require greatly expanded surveillance of the U.S. border with Mexico and greatly increased detention of border crossers in high risk areas. The person provided the information on condition of anonymity because the deliberations were private.
Groups opposed to illegal immigration say they are not worried that lawmakers or voters will be swayed by emotional messages, and argue that extending legal rights to immigrants living illegally in the U.S. will create financial problems for cash-starved governments and spur more illegal immigration.
âThere ought to be a rally for the 20 million Americans who canât find a full-time job,â Numbers USA President Roy Beck, whose group advocates reductions in immigration levels, said in a statement Wednesday.
The immigrant activism movement gained national attention in 2007 when President George W. Bush and a bipartisan group of lawmakers unsuccessfully tried comprehensive immigration overhaul. Some high school and college students who were brought to the U.S. as young children began living openly and holding rallies.
The movement gained new supporters in 2010, when Congress debated but did not pass the DREAM Act â legislation that would have granted legal status to young immigrants living illegally in the country.
President Barack Obama announced in June his deferred-deportation program allowing young immigrants to apply for work visas. During his State of Union address in February, Obama called on Congress to quickly pass an immigration bill.
The story goes that some mice became very upset about the cat in the house and convened an emergency meeting. They finally came up with the idea of tying a bell around the catâs neck, so the dangerous feline could no longer catch victims unawares. The plan gained a lot of enthusiastic praise, until one mouse piped up with a question that preceded a long silence: âWhoâs going to bell the cat?â
In recent days, the big cat in the White House has provoked denunciations from groups that have rarely crossed him. Theyâre upset about his decision to push for cuts in Social Security benefits. âProgressive outrage has reached a boiling point,â the online juggernaut MoveOn declared a few days ago.
Obamaâs move to cut Social Security is certainly outrageous, and itâs encouraging that a wide range of progressive groups are steamed at Obama as never before. But this kind of outrage should have reached a âboiling pointâ a long time ago. The administrationâs undermining of civil liberties, scant action on climate change, huge escalation of war in Afghanistan, expansion of drone warfare, austerity policies serving Wall Street and shafting Main Street, vast deference to corporate power. . . The list is long and chilling.
So is the evasive record of many groups that are now denouncing Obamaâs plan to cut Social Security. Mostly, their leaders griped in private and made nice with the Obama White House in public.
Yet imagine if those groups had polarized with President Obama in 2009 on even a couple of key issues. Such progressive independence would have shown the public that there is indeed a left in this country â that the left has principles and stands up for them â and that Obama, far from being on the left, is in the center. Such principled clarity would have undermined the right-wing attacks on Obama as a radical, socialist, etc. â and from the beginning could have gotten some victories out of Obama, instead of waiting more than four years to take him on.
Whether or not Obamaâs vicious assault on Social Security is successful, it has already jolted an unprecedented number of longtime supporters. It should be the last straw, suffused with illumination.
That past is prologue. We need to ask: Do such groups now have it in them to stop pretending that each of the Obama administrationâs various awful policies is some kind of anomaly?
From this spring onward, a wide range of progressive groups should be prepared to work together to effectively renounce Obamaâs leadership.
We need to invigorate political options other than accepting the likes of President Obama â or embracing self-marginalization.
For progressives, thereâs not a lot to be gained by venting against Obama without working to implement a plausible strategy for ousting corporate war Democrats from state power. Nor is there a useful path for third parties like the Green Party in races for Congress and other partisan contests; those campaigns rarely end up with more than a tiny percentage of the vote, and the impacts are very small.
This spring, thereâs a lot of work beckoning for progressives who mean business about gaining electoral power for social movements; who have no intention of eliding the grim realities of the Obama presidency; who are more than fed up with false pretenses that Obama is some kind of ally of progressives; who recognize that Obama has served his last major useful purpose for progressives by blocking a Romney-Ryan regime from entering the White House; who are willing to be here now, in this historical moment, to organize against and polarize with the Obama administration in basic terms; and who, looking ahead, grasp the tragic folly of leaving the electoral field to battles between right-wing Republicans and Democrats willing to go along with the kind of destructive mess that President Obama has been serving up.
A vital next step is staring us in the face: get to work now to develop and launch grassroots progressive campaigns for next yearâs primaries that can defeat members of Congress who talk the talk but fail to walk the walk of challenging Obamaâs austerity agenda.
Who are those congressional incumbents who call themselves âprogressiveâ but refuse to take a clear stand against slashing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits? I have a little list. Well, actually itâs not so little.
As of today, after many weeks of progressive lobbying and pleading and petitioning nationwide, 47 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have refused to sign the letter, initiated by Congressmen Alan Grayson and Mark Takano, pledging to âvote against any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits â including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need.â
After all this time, refusal to sign the Grayson-Takano letter is a big tipoff that those 47 House members are keeping their options open. (To see that list of 47, click here.) They want wiggle room for budget votes on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits. Most of them represent a left-leaning district, and some could be toppled by grassroots progressive campaigns.
By itself, lobbying accomplishes little. Right now, itâs time to threaten members of Congress with defeat unless they vote against all efforts to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits. Click here if you want to send that message directly to your representative and senators.
The best way to sway members of Congress is to endanger their seats if they arenât willing to do the right thing. In the real world, politics isnât about playing cat and mouse. Itâs about power.
On Saturday, Freedom Outpostâs Lorri AndersonÂ pointed out who the real terrorists are in our nation, they consist of agencies within the Obama administration. She provided various documentation from the Department of Homeland Security to back up her claims. Among those documents was titled, âExtremism & Extremist Organizations.â In the document, evangelical Christians topped the list ahead of such organizations and false religions as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Nation of Islam.
âMen and women of faith who have served the Army faithfully for centuries shouldnât be likened to those who have regularly threatened the peace and security of the United States,â said Col. (Ret.) Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. âIt is dishonorable for any U.S. military entity to allow this type of wrongheaded characterization. It also appears that some military entities are using definitions of âhateâ and âextremeâ from the lists of anti-Christian political organizations. That violates the apolitical stance appropriate for the military.â
WorldNetDailyâs Jack Minor broke the story andÂ wrote:
The briefing,Â which was given to an Army reserve unit in Pennsylvania, came from a U.S. Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief titled âExtremism and Extremist Organizations.â
Following the briefing, one of the soldiers who attended the presentation and describes himself as an evangelical told the trainer he was offended at the material and asked for a copy of the briefing. After receiving a copy, he forwarded the material to Crews.
The material describes religious extremism as those having beliefs, attitudes, feelings or actions that are âfar removed from the ordinary.â It then elaborates by saying that âevery religion has some followers that believe that their beliefs, customs and traditions are the only âright wayâ and that all others practicing their faith the âwrong way.ââ
Crews said it is astounding that soldiers were taught that a key foundation of the Christian faith is now considered extreme and compared to those who want to implement Shariah law.
âThe idea of salvation being exclusively through Christ is a key doctrine of the Christian faith,â Crews said. âIt is amazing that the trainer felt they had the authority and right to list evangelical Christian, Catholics and orthodox Jews alongside groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.â
âThe number of hate groups, extremists and antiâgovt organizations in the U.S. has continued to grow over the past three years, according to reports by the Southern Poverty Law Center. They increased to 1,018 in 2011, up from 1,002 in 2010 and 602 in 2000,â reads the first page of the slide presentation labeled âExtremism & Extremist Organizations.â
Listed alongside âextremistâ groups and organizations like the Klu Klux Klan and al-Qaida, the U.S. Army slideshow has âEvangelical Christianityâ as the first bullet, followed by the Muslim Brotherhood, Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and farther down on the slide, Catholicism.
According to the training documents, âExtremism is a complex phenomenonâ that is present in every religion due to âsome followers that believe that their beliefs, customs and traditions are the only âright wayâ and that all others are practicing their faith the âwrong way,â seeing and believing that their faith/religion superior to all others.â
âThis is absolutely abhorrent to all those who identify themselves as evangelical Christians in this country,â Crews said. âWe know other commands have used the SPLC list in briefing soldiers about hate crimes and hate groups, but this particular briefing is the most egregious in terms of blatantly identifying evangelical Christianity as the number one extremist group in the United States.â
He also stated that the Army should render an apology for the material and that another class should be given to those soldiers that attended. âWe believe the soldiers who attended this briefing should receive another class with the corrected material and the instructor should present a public apology. Evangelical Christians, Catholics and Orthodox Jews should be given an apology for having their faith called into question as extremists similar to the Muslim Brotherhood.
âWe donât want this briefing to multiply. If it is truly an isolated incident then it should be stopped right now and the instructors should be warned not to teach this material again.â
While I applaud Mr. Crews calls for such, keep in mind that an Army spokesmanÂ saidÂ the briefing was held a year ago. âAfter receiving a single complaint following the presentation, this person deleted the slide, and it was never again shown,â said Army spokesman George Wright, in an email response. âThis person apologized for any offense it may have caused, and we consider the matter closed.â Chances are things will become quiet on this matter and turn up at a later time.
Itâs not that the briefing does not provide evidence of Muslim extremists, it most certainly does. However, for Christianity to top the list, there can be no doubt that the person developing the briefing has a tremendous hatred for Christianity to list it first. Specifically, the document cites examples such as:
Navy petty officer Hassan Abujihad who emailed classified information to jihadists for possible attacks while serving on a destroyer.
Ali Abdul Saoud Mohammed, who was an Army Special Forces instructor at the Special Ops Warfare School at Ft. Bragg while simultaneously being a trainer for al-Qaida and traveling overseas to fight with jihadists.
Sgt Hasan Akbar, who killed two of his soldiers and injured 14 others at a military base in Kuwait when he threw four grenades into three tents where soldiers were sleeping. His reasoning was to prevent the killing of his fellow Muslims.
However, interestingly missing wasÂ Jihadist Major Nidal HasanÂ who is the alleged shooter at Fort Hood, Texas who murdered 13 people and wounded 32 soldiers while shouting âAllahu Akbarâ on November 5, 2009.
I suppose the striking thing about all of this is that in second place is the Muslim Brotherhood. They are considered extremists, according to this briefing provided to members of our military, and yet who is welcome to enter the White House? Thatâs right openly professed members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clintonâs chief aideÂ Huma AbedinÂ has been cited as being at the forefront of a plan to organize U.S. Muslim minorities to transform America into a Saudi-style Islamic state and she has been specifically pointed out asÂ being involved in the Muslim BrotherhoodÂ and its mobilization. Of course, the former State Department SecretaryÂ dismissed such claims. But it didnât stop U.S. representatives who had the courage to stand up and call out theÂ Muslim Brotherhoodâs infiltration into the U.S. government.
Keep in mind that there are six American Islamist activists who work with the Obama administrationÂ who are Muslim BrotherhoodÂ operatives who strongly influence U.S. policy.
Arif Alikhan â Assistant Secretary for Policy Development for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Mohammed Elibiary â Homeland Security Adviser.
Rashad Hussain â Special Envoy to the (OIC) Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Salam al-Marayati â Obama Adviser, founder of Muslim Public Affairs Council and its current executive director.
Imam Mohamed Magid â Obamaâs Sharia Czar, Islamic Society of North America.
Eboo Patel â Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.
It was Frank Gaffney who began outing these men. He did so in a pamphlet titledÂ The Muslim Brotherhood in the Obama Administration,Â which you canÂ download here.
So follow me here. The Department of Homeland Security and now the Army have put forth manuals and briefings labeling Christians as extremists and possible terrorists in the number one slot. Yet members of the group listed in the number two slot are advisors to Barack Hussein Obama and DHS. Coincidence? I donât think so. Islam is most definitely a threat to America. Christianity is not. In fact, it is a documented fact that before the Pilgrims stepped foot onto Plymouth Rock they covenanted together in something few people remember, the Mayflower Compact. Just what did they covenant to do?
In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc.:
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith, and the honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another; covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.
This is what they undertook. So much for the revisionists who claim that the country was not founded upon Christian principles and the Islamists who are attempting to re-write history to say that Islam had a huge impact in the founding of America. Nothing could be further from the truth. So why now has Christianity become the number one enemy of the State? I would submit for your consideration it is because the enemies of Christianity are in power.
UPDATE:Â Apparently this is not just in the military or the Department of Homeland Security. No, no. Colorado Sheriff Ron Bruce pointed me toÂ this little tidbit, an email from Undersheriff Ron Trowbridge of the Prowers County Sherriffâs Officer which talks about the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) teaching the same kind of indoctrination. Hereâs the email:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: CSP Training Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2013 10:30:22 -0600
On April 1, 2013 I attended training in La Junta, Colorado hosted by the Colorado State Patrol (CSP). The training was from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm and covered two topics, Sovereign Citizens, and Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. I was pretty familiar with motorcycle gangs but since we often deal with the so-called sovereign citizen groups I was interested to see what they had to say. The group consisted of police officers, deputies, and CSP troopers. There were about 20 people in attendance.
Trooper Joe Kluczynski taught a 2-hour section on sovereign citizens. Kluczynski spent most of his two hours focusing on how, in his view and apparently the view of Homeland Security, people turn to the sovereign citizen movement. Kluczynski started off by saying there are probably some sovereign citizens in this room and gave a generalized list of those groups that have sovereign citizen views. Among those groups, Kluczynski had listed, were those who believe America was founded on godly principles, Christians who take the Bible literally, and âfundamentalistsâ. Kluczynski did not explain what he meant by âfundamentalistsâ but from the context it was clear he was referring again to those who took the Bible literally or âtoo seriously.â
While Kluczynski emphasized that sovereign citizens have a right to their beliefs, he was clearly teaching that the groups he had listed should be watched by law enforcement and should be treated with caution because of their potential to assault law enforcement. Kluczynski explained why he believed these groups were dangerous saying they were angry over the election of a black president. When someone in the group suggested the failing economy was probably much more to blame, Kluczynski intimated that those who are not going along with the changes in America will need to be controlled by law enforcement. Kluczynski even later questioned some of the troopers present if they were willing and prepared to confiscate âillegalâ weapons if ordered to.
Kluczynskiâs assignment with the CSP was an Analyst for the Colorado Information Analysis Center, (CIAC). CIAC is funded by Homeland Security funds and run by the CSP. Kluczynski said he gets his information from the Department of Homeland Security. Kluczynski said he was leaving the CSP at the end of that week (March 29, 2013) to begin his new career with Homeland Security. I thought he was perfect for the job.
Britain’s first and onlyÂ female prime minister has died Monday, April 8, after suffering a fatal stroke.
Margaret Hilda Roberts Thatcher had suffered several strokes since 2002, when she retired from public life.
Thatcher — born in October 1925 in the small eastern England market town of Grantham — came from a modest background, taking pride in being known as a grocer’s daughter. She studied chemistry at Oxford, but was involved in politics from a young age, giving her first political speech at 20, according to her official biography.
She was elected leader of the Conservative Party in 1975, when the party was in opposition.
She made history four years later, becoming prime minister when the Conservatives won the elections of 1979, the first of three election victories to which she led her party.
As British leader, Thatcher took a firm stance with the European Community — the forerunner of the European Union — demanding a rebate of money London contributed to Brussels.
Her positions on other issues, both domestic and foreign, were just as firm, and in one of her most famous phrases, she declared at a Conservative Party conference that she had no intention of changing her mind.
“To those waiting with bated breath for that favorite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say: ‘You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning,’” she declared, to cheers from party members. (source)
Margaret Thatcher enjoyed Â close friendships with US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Communist reformer Mikhail Gorbachev.
Thatcher made clear before her death that she did not want to lie in state. Her funeral will be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral,with full military honors, followed by a private cremation. Downing Street and Buckingham Palace are flying their flags at half mast today. UKÂ Prime Minister David Cameron called the former Tory leader “a great prime minister, a great leader, a great Briton”.
Almost seven months have passed since the attack on the Benghazi consulate building and nearby CIA annex by al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar al-Sharia, in which four Americans were murdered, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.Â Despite demands for further information into why the Obama administration and the military failed to act to defend and protect the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya even as they had intelligence of increasing Islamic violence, no answers have been given. Â Many Americans rightfully wonder whether or not the truth will ever come out about the murders at the American diplomatic mission in Libya.
The American public, in fact, has been shamefully left before without answers in the face of obvious government failures, as illustrated by the shoot-down 17 years ago by Cuban military jet fighters of two civilian planes and the deaths of four Cuban-Americans rescue pilots.Â Like the Benghazi attacks, no answers were ever given about the murder of four members of the activist group Brothers to the Rescue (BTTR), and the lack of action by U.S. military and government authorities to defend and protect them.
According to an in-depth interview with Jose Basulto, BTTR founder, and the examination of official documents and other sources, here is what occurred in that earlier example, on Feb. 24, 1996, of governmental failure.Â It serves as a reminder that until we demand a full accounting and require action on the part of our government and military, Americans will be left unprotected and vulnerable, even in mortal danger, by government authorities who fail in their duties to protect and defend while, in effect, even engaging in deathly complicity with our own enemies.
Brothers to the Rescue
In 1991, after learning of the death of a 15-year-old Cuban rafter who died following his rescue by the U.S. Coast Guard, Cuban-American Jose Basulto decided that it was time to act.Â That same year, Basulto, well aware of the desperate situation faced by citizens of Castroâs repressive regime and their dangerous journey to freedom on flimsy rafts through the Florida Straits, founded Brothers to the Rescue (BTTR). Â The group, a humanitarian search-and-rescue mission, would directly save over 4,000 lives.
Basultoâs efforts to free his beloved Cuba date back to his return to the island from college in Boston to join pro-democracy groups opposed to Castro. Â Later, as a Cuban exile, he was part of the failed Bay of Pigs 1961 invasion of Cuba.Â Decades later, with the founding of BTTR, Basulto saw another avenue to help his beloved, besieged country of origin.
BTTR volunteer pilots, from 19 different nationalities, patrolled from the skies for desperate Cubans seeking to escape the brutal Communist government and risking their lives in makeshift rafts and boats without adequate food and water, exposed to the elements.Â Later, BTTR dropped leaflets over Cuba, sending messages of hope and information about peaceful resistance.Â Their activities embarrassed the Cuban government, puncturing the myth of a socialist paradise.Â Castro clearly worried about their potential to cause internal problems and, on occasion, threatened to shoot down BTTR planes.
Not surprisingly then, BTTR was infiltrated by a former fighter pilot and member of the La Red Avispa (âWasp Networkâ) Cuban spy network, Juan Pablo Roque, who staged his defection from Cuba in 1992.Â That year, Roque swam to the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) and sought asylum.Â Earlier, fellow La Red Avispa member and BTTR infiltrator Rene Gonzalez had âdefectedâ in Florida by âstealingâ a plane from a Havana airfield.Â At some point after his arrival, Roque became a paid FBI informant, although the Bureau was apparently aware of his membership in the subversive Cuban group, and his actions were suspect, viewed as an attempt to infiltrate the agency.
U.S. Political Situation
Around the same time as BTTR was active, President Clinton was ânormalizingâ the U.S. relationship with China â which included providing 11 million pages of classified data for the Chinese to modernize their missile and nuclear technology â and also trying to engage Castro. Â The president met in Marthaâs Vineyard with author and Castro emissary Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who relayed that the Cuban dictator wanted an end to negative publicity from the balsero crisis â the torrent of Cubans desperately taking to the high seas in barely seaworthy crafts to seek freedom in America. Â BTTR, which had a reputation of goodwill among Cubans, was viewed as a serious threat to Cuban government stability.Â Besides rescue operations, BTTR was introducing principles of strategic nonviolent action and attempting to unite Cuban citizens with Cuban exiles to overthrow the repressive regime and usher in a return to democracy.
Events Leading to Shoot-Down
In 1995, then-Clinton confidant and U.S. Congressman Bill Richardson (D-NM), a frequent envoy for Clintonâs various foreign policy missions, was asked by Castro to visit Cuba. Â Richardson, following a briefing by Richard Nuccio, a member of the House Intelligence Committee and Clintonâs adviser on Cuba, traveled there in January 1996.Â Richardson met Castro and other Cuban officials and, allegedly, negotiated the release of American political prisoners in exchange for a U.S. promise to end BTTR missions to Cuba.
AÂ CNN reportÂ published shortly after the incident stated that Castro issued the order to take action against Brothers to the Rescue after two anti-Castro leaflets drops over Cuba the month before.Â Castro admitted, âWe gave the order to the head of the air force.Â They shot the planes down.Â They are professionals.Â They did what they believe is the right thing.Â These are all people we trust, but I take responsibility for what happened.â Â Cuban MiGs began test firing air-to-air missiles and practicing attack maneuvers against slow-moving aircraft similar to the Cessnas flown by BTTR. Â Although U.S. government officials obtained radar evidence of these practice runs, BTTR was not informed.
In early February 1996, U.S. Navy Admiral (ret.) John Shanahan â who would later advocate reduced U.S. defense spending, including the demise of the F-22 program â hosted a delegation of diplomats and retired Pentagon officials to Cuba.Â The U.S. contingent was directly and shockingly asked by Cuban intelligence and military heads how the United States would respond if Cuba shot down BTTR planes.Â Upon their return here, the delegation discussed this threat with officials from the U.S. State department, the Center for Defense Information and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), but again neglected to inform BTTR.Â Allegedly, no U.S. response to Castro was given, which could have led him to conclude that no significant repercussions would be forthcoming.
The Day of the Shoot-Down
The BTTR flight of Feb. 24, 1996 began like most of their others, as a planned search-and-rescue operation in international airspace following all established protocols. Â On Feb. 23, the day before, double-agent Roque suddenly and suspiciously returned to Cuba.Â Although the state department was aware of his departure, it was never communicated to BTTR.Â Also, that same evening, U.S. radar and monitors had been placed on alert to follow the scheduled BTTR flights the next day.Â Local military had also been alerted to coordinate flight plans and departure times with the watch supervisor and to trace BTTR transponder codes for as long as possible.
On Feb. 24, BTTR flight plans filed for a 10:15 a.m. takeoff were transmitted to Miami and Cuba.Â Circumstances delayed the BTTR flight until the late afternoon, yet a Cuban military commander reported that Cuban MiGs were nonetheless sent out at BTTRâs anticipated arrival time to intercept three unidentified aircraft violating Cuban airspace.Â The U.S. commander in charge ordered a military aircraft response in accordance with standard operating procedures, and the MiGs returned to Cuba.
Inexplicably, however, U.S. reports did not show any unidentified aircraft or Cuban military aircraft activity during that time interval. Â As he flew his Cessna on that day, Basulto reported detecting aircraft north of the 24thÂ parallel, the line which marks the U.S. airspace boundary.Â He also crossed paths with a U.S. Navy Orion aircraft, something he had never seen before during any of his missions.Â Per protocols and well-established procedures followed over the previous five years and 1,800 search-and-rescue missions, Basulto notified Havana of a five-hour stay in the area once he arrived at his airspace destination.
Meanwhile, in California, senior detection systems specialist Jeffrey Houlihan, with the U.S. Customs Service Domestic Air Interdiction Coordination Center, saw something amiss as he read and interpreted information from multiple antennae and Aerostat balloons.Â A seasoned radar and air weapons control expert and former Air Force pilot, Houlihan became alarmed as he observed Cuban interceptors operating without transponders, flying at high speeds, and making rapid maneuvers in and out of radar range.Â Much to his astonishment soon thereafter, he detected Cuban MiGs far out in international airspace flying directly above BTTR.Â Armed with the knowledge that an emergency response could be forthcoming from Tyndall Air Force Base in South Florida, he made a frantic call for help. Â Momentarily satisfied by the information that the Air Force base had been briefed and was handling the situation, Houlihan returned to his watch. Â As he continued to monitor the situation, he was astonished to see that no American interceptor aircraft showed up in the area to protect BTTR from attack, which would have been in accordance with standard operating procedures.
Little did he realize at that time that he was to witness the senseless murder of four dedicated BTTR pilots.Â Houlihan later recounted that the Air Force Base had been on battle stations alert at the time of his â911âł call.Â The alert was inexplicably lifted at some point shortly thereafter.
The shooting down of BTTR planes without warning began with Cuban MiGs reporting visual contact and confirming planes registrations with Havana. Â As documented as part of an investigation conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), no warning passes or redirecting or escorting procedures, required by international law for civilian aircraft, were attempted. Â According to Basultoâs account, later denied by U.S. authorities, after shooting down the two planes of his fellow pilots, the Cuban MiGs chased Basulto for 53 minutes over the 24thÂ parallel within three minutes of U.S. airspace.Â Upon Basultoâs safe landing back in Florida, U.S. Custom officialsâ top priority was to obtain the video and audiotapes made by Basulto of his flight, which they demanded immediately.Â Later investigations revealed that the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Air Force and Navy were all on alert and had monitored the events of that fateful day.
For his humanitarian efforts, Basulto incurred accusations by Castro of âbeing involved in terrorist actsâ and âsubverting the internal order of the island.âÂ In an interview with television journalist Dan Rather, the Cuban dictator admitted to planning and ordering the shoot-down and misled the American public with false statements that BTTR had committed âserious terrorist actionsâ and had been warned on several occasions about flying in Cuban airspace.Â Basulto was punished by the U.S. government, losing his pilotâs license for six months.Â Plus, he was censured, discredited, and misrepresented as an agitator.
Following the BTTR shoot-down, U.S. policy on balseros underwent a dramatic change.Â In the year of the shoot-down, Clintonâs Attorney General Janet Reno warned that rafters discovered in the Florida Straits by the U.S. Coast Guard would risk being stopped and prosecuted by the U.S. government.Â A serious indictment of the Castro regime was that refugees reported preferring their internment at GITMO to the oppressive life in their native land.
By 1995, U.S. policy toward the balseros became more restrictive, and the Clinton administration began sending them back to Cuba if they failed to reach dry land. Â The U.S. resolved to curtail exile demonstrations thought provocative to Castro and sought a reduction of hostile rhetoric between the two countries.
In early 1998, the Pentagon released a report concluding that Cuba âdoes not pose a significant military threat to the U.S. or to other countries in the region.â
Yet, later that year, a mere two years after the shoot-down, The Cuban Five, part of La Red Avispa, were arrested in Miami.Â Their arrests shed light on their activities: the successful infiltration of the U.S. Southern Command (SEADS) and Cuban-American groups.Â Their subversive activities contributed to the BTTR shoot-down, and the five were viewed as national heroes in Cuba.
It is also worth noting that on the day of the BTTR shoot-down, convicted Cuban spy Ana Montes was the senior intelligence expert on the Cuban military at the Pentagon.Â According to Scott Carmichael, a senior security and counterintelligence investigator for the DIA, military officials looked to Montes, as the designated Cuban expert, for answers on the day of the shoot-down.Â Thus, she was in a prime position to provide false information and pass military plans onto the Cuban government (True Believer:Â Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cubaâs Master Spy,Â Scott W. Carmichael, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 2007).
According to a December 24, 2000Â articleÂ byÂ Knight RidderÂ reporter Gail Epstein Nieves, who reported on the spy trials of the five, â[t]he FBI intercepted clandestine communications between Havana and its South Florida intelligence agents that forecast a potentially violent confrontation between Cuba and Brothers to the Rescue more than a week before the planes were shot down[.]â
One of the intercepts instructed the two BTTR Cuba spies, Roque and Gonzalez, to refrain from flying on particular days.Â Former Clinton Cuba advisor Nuccio, although admitting to concerns about a shoot-down by Cuba, said there was no âhard evidenceâ of an impending attack and claimed ignorance on the intercepts.Â Yet Nuccio wrote an e-mail on the day before the shoot-down to Clintonâs national security adviser Sandy Berger warning of a possible incident.
Today and Conclusions
Â The events that took place around the shoot-down of two BTTR rescue planes on February 24, 1996 amounted to a cover-up of major proportions.Â Despite significant prior information and forewarning, the Clinton administrationâs failure to warn BTTR, a civilian search-and-rescue operation and peaceful advocate of democratic change in Cuba, was an unconscionable travesty resulting in the tragic loss of four lives.Â Furthermore, the decision not to initiate a defensive military response â the ordering of a military stand-down â smacks of complicity in this egregious incident.
This was indeed puzzling in light of previous U.S. government assistance to BTTR.Â During the Bush Sr. administration, the Coast Guard provided cover from above for a rescue mission in the water and, on another occasion, called on defense forces to rescue BTTR from a potentially dangerous situation.
Today, Obama has liberalized travel to Cuba and allowed religious, university, and cultural groups to visit the island. Â He has lifted restrictions on remittances to the island.Â In addition, he has failed to challenge efforts by the successors and allies of Castro and Hugo ChĂĄvez, enemies of the free world, to expand their sphere of influence in Latin America.
Despite mainstream media portrayals that herald Cuba under Raul Castro as leading to economic reform and political liberalization, Cuba ranks next to last, just above North Korea, on the Heritage Foundationâs latest index of economic freedom. Â This is âexactly where Cubaâs has been since Raulâs âreformsâ commenced,â said Cuban-American author Humberto Fontova, who agrees with the ranking.
âIn fact, Cuba is currently undergoing a wave of terror, a 20-year high in political beatings and arrests.Â This wave of terror and repression coincides with record tourism to the island,â Fontova says.
The lack of action and the outright dissembling of information so prevalent in the BTTR shoot-down appear to have been at play in Benghazi. Â Although officials at the Pentagon, U.S. State Department, FBI, and other government agencies were almost immediately informed that the jihadist group had perpetrated the attack, the Obama administration initially credited it to a spontaneous eruption of anger against an anti-Muslim film posted on the internet. Â This charade was maintained for several weeks, with the U.S. government going so far as to place $70,000 worth of apology ads on Pakistani TV and for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to extend duplicitous words of comfort to the father of a fallen Navy SEAL with âWeâll make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.â
Following the attack, it was revealed that the late Ambassador Stevens repeatedly pleaded for extra security personnel, citing a âtroubling increase in violence and Islamist influence,â but was denied additional support by the state department.Â Tragically, American drones were overhead at the time but did nothing to stop the attack, in deference to the political expediency of Obamaâs pre-election portrayal of a successful U.S.-led operation toppling the Libyan dictator and furthering the âArab Spring.âÂ Later revelations uncovered that Stevens was aiding Syrian rebels, including al-Qaeda operatives, and supplying them with weapons to fight Bashar al-Assadâs regime as part of a U.S.-sponsored operation.
Curiously, FBI investigators arrived at the attack site almost a month later and spent only three hours collecting evidence. Â At this point, 33 survivors have not yet been heard from, and some speculate that they have been silenced by threats.
The Benghazi attacks may well come to parallel the BTTR shoot-down. Â More than 17 years after that incident, the use of misinformation, the unavailability of potential witnesses, and the omission of vital evidence to perpetuate a cover-up of massive wrongdoing still haunt the survivors of this tragic event.
During a speech at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) fundraiser on Wednesday Barack Obama openly lied, not that most things coming out of his mouth arenât lies, in order to push his political agenda. HeÂ pushed for more gun controlÂ in the same place he made his now infamous âbitter clingersâ speech, and told a major whopper in declaring that the AR-15 alleged to have been used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook shootings was a fully automatic weapon. The reality, of course, is that theÂ AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle and a pair of handguns. Yes, it was clearly a lie, since the speech was written out before hand and viewed on his teleprompter.
âNow, over the next couple of months, weâve got a couple of issues: gun control. (Applause.) I just came from Denver, where the issue of gun violence is something that has haunted families for way too long, and it is possible for us to create common-sense gun safety measures that respect the traditions of gun ownership in this country and hunters and sportsmen, but also make sure that we donât have another 20 children in a classroom gunned down by a semiautomatic weapon âÂ by a fully automatic weapon in that case, sadly.â
Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!
While fully automatic weapons have been heavily regulated since the 1930â˛s, in clear violation of the Second Amendment, one would think that there would be a correction from the administration as though Obama had misspoke. The reality is, he didnât. He knew exactly what he was doing and is clearly out ofÂ Saul Alinskyâs playbookÂ to get a reaction. After all, for Alinsky, the means justify the ends, even if it means lying.
Additionally, Obama is not only constrained by the Constitution, but he is restrained by it. The Constitution attaches iron fetters, as it were, to him and all elected officials. Thus, it gives no authority for them to conduct background checks or tell people what kinds of weapons they can or cannot own.
He also said, ââThe opponents of some of these common sense laws have ginned up fears among responsible gun owners that have nothing to do with whatâs being proposed â nothing to do with the facts â but feeds into this suspicion about government.â
âYou hear some of these quotes: I need a gun to protect myself from the government,â he added. âWe canât do background checks because the governmentâs gonna come take my guns away.â
âThe governmentâs us,â Obama countered. âThese officials are elected by you. They are constrained as I am constrained, by a system that our founders put in place.â
Apparently he missed the part where there is a governing document and that he is bound to it and so are the states since they agreed to it. I donât see him making this kind of argument for say, immigration, do you? No, he happily tip-toes through the tulips on that issue. I donât see him making that argument when it comes to marriage, do you? Though I think the Federal government has no business in marriage, he picks and chooses which laws he wants to follow. Itâs because he is lawless. The Second Amendment doesnât mean what it clearly says and so he mocks the Second Amendment and those who believe in keeping and bearing arms. Well Obama, the Founders did put the system into place and though they clearly wrote out that the keeping and bearing of arms is âI need a gun to protect myself from the governmentâ and that it âshall not be infringed,â you and your thugs continue to try to infringe upon it every chance you get.
Perhaps James Madison would point out Obamaâs error here, if only he and the rest of the Socialists who support him would listen. FromÂ Federalist 46, Madison writes:
The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that theÂ federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition.Â The reasonings contained in these papers must have been employed to little purpose indeed, if it could be necessary now to disprove the reality of this danger. That the people and the States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterupted succession of men ready to betray both; that the traitors should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment; that the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads, must appear to every one more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism.Â Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it.Â Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.Â Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it.
Of course Obama and those who side with him claim they are not after our guns, but they have a history of being anti-gun and anti-Second Amendment with their words and with their actions. However, keep in mind that Alinsky was one that exhorted radicals to patience. Whatever it takes to achieve the goal is permissible as long as you attain the goal and in this case Obama and the anti-gun crowd continue to keep coming back for more. We must not weary of the fight, for the fight for liberty is never finished.
Before anyone gets in a tizzy at the title, this is not about all members of the Tea Party, but there are members of the Tea Party who are succumbing to William Coley, director of Muslims For Liberty and caving in some areas to prohibitions of implementing Sharia (Islamic law).
In December 2010, Will Coley, director of Muslims for Liberty â a group that decries American exceptionalism, accuses the United States of war crimes, and espouses ostensibly anti-Israel ideology â joined the Knoxville Tea Party.Â Coley had been involved with the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliatedÂ Muslim Student AssociationÂ at the University of Central Florida in Valencia, where he converted to Islam. His stated goal in joining the Tea Party was to educate people about Islam and sharia doctrine and counterÂ âmisinformationâ and âIslamophobia.â But his disingenuous statements and faulty interpretations of Islamic doctrine appeared to suggest otherwise.
In Tennessee, Coley expressed concern about proposed legislation to prohibit sharia in the state. According to a Tennessee Tea Party activist,Â Coley stated that he was working with a local Islamic school to eliminate sharia prohibitions from the Tennessee statute.Â He characterized the legislation as a freedom-of-religion issue and claimed that it was indicative of the hatred conservatives feel toward Muslims.
He gave local talks promoting the idea that sharia doctrine is compatible with the U.S. Constitution and went so far as to falsely proclaim that Islamic legal theory influenced American law.Â Coley obfuscated the truth about sharia, a comprehensive Islamic doctrine that controls every aspect of life and must be imposed on Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Sharia mandates gender apartheid, religious apartheid, cruel punishments, the denial of free speech and due process, and many other such incompatibilities with American constitutional law.
âdedicated to providing educational resources about Islam & Sharia (Islamic law), philosophical Libertarianism, and concepts of freedom. Using education and outreach, M4L highlights the striking parallels between Islam and Libertarianism.Â M4L seeks to develop a practical methodology for social, economic and political involvement based upon the overlapping principles of Islam and libertarianism. To put a stop to the division and religious prejudice being marketed to our populace. To reintroduce the Muslim community toÂ the Libertarian principles that not only exist, but originate with Islam.Â It is hoped that this will assist Americans (both Muslim and Non-Muslim) in rediscovering their ideals of liberty and justice.â
âMuslims4LibertyÂ is an organization primarily of American Muslims who are committed to advancing the cause of liberty from an Islamic perspective. M4L combines activism, advocacy, community outreach, charity, voluntaryism and any other avenue that can be used to promote the message of Islam and liberty. M4L also supports the Liberty & Occupy Movements, and those who advocates for peace and justice.â
I ask you, is Sharia compatible with the U.S. Constitution? Is the infiltration of Islam into the Tea Party good for it and good for America? Is it proper for those who speak of liberty to allow one whose stated goal is to educate and implement Sharia? Can the U.S., let alone the Tea Party, âdevelop a practical methodology for social, economic and political involvement based upon the overlapping principles of Islam and libertarianism? Is Islam in a place where it can seriously suggest that it has answers to stopping âdivision and religious prejudice?â I think not. Whatâs amazing is how many are willing to embrace Islam which has nothing but opposition in American history, including the example of Thomas Jefferson sending our ships to attack the Barbary pirates who were Islamists. These same people will reject Christianity and what the Bible says.
In fact, while pushing his âreligiousâ agenda, Coley wrote a piece titled âDear Religious Rightâ in which he slams the âevangelical and conservative Jewish block (sic)â as what is destroying the GOP. No, the problem is not that. The problem in the GOP is that there is rhetoric coming from many of its leaders that is not backed by their actions. That, is what is destroying the GOP.
Coleyâs piece also defined the above âblocâ as âa portion of our country that wants to legislate its own moral views on the rest of us and outlaw or stifle the rights of other religious traditions in the name of âpatriotismâ or ânational security.ââ
The radical left Center for American Progress, or CAP, actually promotes Muslims4Liberty as a small organization of supposed tea-party activists âfighting against the right wingâs Islamophobia,â according to a CAP description.
Think Progress,Â the CAPâs official blog, noted howÂ Illume MagazineÂ documented the efforts of Will Coley, a self-proclaimed Tea Party member and Islam convert who co-founded Muslims4Liberty to confront âanti-Islam activists head on.â
Illume quotes Coley describing how he started going to tea-party events in Florida in 2009 but was concerned about the emergence of âIslamophobiaâ in the movement.
âI was watching the neocon takeover happen,â said Coley. âLiterally overnight I saw groups devoted to economics and constitutional limits turn into something else. Suddenly there were invites to see anti-Islam speakers. This crazy anti-Islam message was taking over.â
After moving to Tennessee, Coley said he began outreach to local tea-party groups to explain how Islam and Shariah Islamic law is compatible with tea-party principles.
Illume reports that after speaking with 14 tea-party chapters about Shariah, 12 agreed to reject so-called anti-Muslim appeals.
The chapters even supported a petition opposing a proposed âShariah banâ in Tennessee.
How can the Tea Party allow for Islamic law in America? Are things like this popping up in your local Tea Party? Are you standing against it or are you embracing it?
I want to be clear that I do not think everything put out by William Coley or Muslims4Liberty is wrong. In fact, there are many good points made on several occasions, but with that said, Islam and its teachings are absolutely incompatible with liberty, Christianity and the U.S. Constitution. This is an infiltration just as there are neo-cons infiltrating the Tea Party as well.
As a final note, consider the flags that were flown over Libya after al-Qaeda toppled Muammar Gadhafi, and thenÂ flags the M4L present on their Facebook pages. First they display a jihadist flag reminiscent of theÂ one waved about in Benghazi. They then presentÂ a flag reminiscent of the Stars and Bars of the Confederate States, only they use black and yellow instead of red.Â This flag on one side has the rattlesnake coiled around what appears to be an AR-15 type rifle with the word âVigilanceâ beneath it and on the other side is the Islamic symbol for âAllah,â not Jehovah, not Yahweh, and not Jesus, on the other side with the word âConscience.â Now friends with this kind of display being propagated do you really think they have the idea of coexisting? If you do, you should really look at the history of Islam. These people are not the friends of liberty.
A man who for years has spent his time robbing others to further his own life style. Nicknamed the ‘Mountain Man’ because he resides in remote forest areas he has been labelled a survivalist.
The word thief is never mentioned. The words robber or bandit are never mentioned. Â Once again the media has manipulated a story and thrust true survivalists into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
Troy James Knapp was on the run for bail violations and has done prison time for burglary in California. His taking to the mountains was an attempt to avoid serving more time in prison and has nothing to do with preparing for a future where living on your wits is the only option.
Representative Jim Boyd asked, âSo, um, it is just really hard for me to even ask you this question because Iâm almost in disbelief. If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?â
âWe believe that any decision thatâs made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician,â Snow answered.
Rep. Daniel Davis then her, âWhat happens in a situation where a baby is alive, breathing on a table, moving. What do your physicians do at that point?â
âI do not have that information,â Snow replied. âI am not a physician, I am not an abortion provider. So I do not have that information.â
Representative Jose Oliva then followed up by asking Snow, âYou stated that a baby born alive on a table as a result of a botched abortion that that decision should be left to the doctor and the family. Is that what youâre saying?â
âThat decision should be between the patient and the health care provider,â she answered.
âI think that at that point the patient would be the child struggling on the table, wouldnât you agree?â asked Oliva.
âThatâs a very good question.Â I really donât know how to answer that,â Snow said. âI would be glad to have some more conversations with you about this.â
Later on another representative asked the Planned Parenthood representative, âWhat objection could you possibly have to obligate a doctor to transport a child born alive to a hospital where it seems to me they would be most likely to be able to survive?â
She explained that Planned Parenthood was concerned about âthose situations where it is in a rural health care setting, the hospital is 45 minutes or an hour away, thatâs the closest trauma center or emergency room. You know thereâs just some logistical issues involved that we have some concerns about.â
Now I have several comments to make. First this demonstrates exactly what happens when a culture thinks it knows better than God. As the apostle Paul said, âProfessing to be wise, they became fools.â Not only should Rep. Boyd be in disbelief over Planned Parenthood and Ms. Snowâs stand on infanticide, he and the rest of America should be outraged over the blatant murder of children! My goodness, why was he not in disbelief that the child he supposedly is concerned about, once born, surviving an attempt on its life, and yet he was not in disbelief that the same people were trying to murder it moments, days or even weeks before? If you want to talk disbelief, Iâm on the verge of it after hearing this.
Additionally, Snow demonstrates that if this is really about being between a doctor and the patient, then why is Planned Parenthood there? Why are they attempting to put themselves in the mix?
On top of that, Rep. Oliva asked if the baby that was actually born and alive and was struggling for its life, would Snow not agree that the baby was the patient. Her response of âI really donât know how to answer that.â Then my question is âWhat in the H-E- double hockey sticks are you doing in the discussion? If your moral compass is so screwed up that you cannot identify who is a patient and who is not; if your ability to understand right and wrong is so distorted that you would seek to murder the most innocent among us; and if your morality is such that you can actually live with yourself and look at an infant that is lying there breathing and living and say, âEh, whether it lives or dies is pretty much a decision made by the doctor and the mother,â then I think you are not only committing grievous sin, but you are seriously mentally unstable.
In fact, I would have to say that the normal human reaction, for anyone standing by and watching a scenario like that play out would be to attack anyone who attempted to take the childâs life and kill them if that is what it took. Call me extreme or whatever, but how someone could see that going on and just stand by and allow a child toÂ have its spine severedÂ or left to die is beyond me.
Furthermore, for someone to argue like this on behalf of child murderers, seems to me to be an accomplice to the crime itself. When are people going to wake up and stand up against these attacks on human life?
Like many third-world countries, Arkansas is a beautiful place inhabited by lovely people who are burdened with an extravagantly corrupt ruling class. This helps explain, but by no means does it justify, the fact that the minuscule town of Sulphur Springs, Arkansas now has a convicted killer as its police chief.
In January 2010, Coleman Brackney, at the time an officer in the department that menaces nearbyÂ Bella Vista, murdered a man named James Ahern following a high-speed chase. After trapping Ahernâs vehicle and then pounding on his window, Brackney shot him six times â the last time in the back. Brackney claimed that Ahern â who had a record of trivial and petty offenses, including the non-crime of âresisting arrestâ â attempted to run him over after the chase had ended. This was a lie, of course:Â The dashcam video documented that Brackney was never in danger.
By any honest definition, this was an act of murder. Yet Brackney was prosecuted for ânegligent homicideâ â a charge that assumes that the officer, who shot Ahern six times at point-blank range, including once in the back, did not intend to kill the victim. He was sentenced to a single month in the Benton County Jail and fined $1,000. The families of the victim were given a $20,000 settlement by the county.
After Brackney was released, his criminal record was expunged. Last April, the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement â a regulatory body that enforces less rigorous professional standards than whatever body sanctions professional wrestling referees âreinstated Brackneyâs âpeace officerâ certification.Â Â All that he needed now was a job opening â and one was soon created in Sulphur Springs.
Between late 2010 and March 25 of this year, residents of Sulphur Springs had known the singular blessing of living in a community devoid of police. It is an abuse of language to refer to Sulphur Springs as a âtownâ; as of the last census, its population was about 500 people, and it had no measurable crime rate. There hasnât been a murder in Sulphur Springs in recent memory. By hiring a murderer as police chief, the people who presume to rule that tiny village managed to handle both the supply and demand side of law enforcement, as it were.
âI told the guys the day I left I would be back,âÂ gloatedÂ Brackney in a local TV news interview, displaying the gift for self-preoccupation that typifies his caste. âYou put the uniform back on and you look at yourself in the mirror, and you think, `Iâm back.ââ Of course, the same cannot be said of Brackneyâs victim, for whom the newly enthroned police chief apparently cannot spare a thought.
Indeed, Brackney displays a sociopathâs inability to recognize that he did anything wrong by murdering a man and then perjuring himself in an attempt to conceal the crime.
Like every other police officer who has committed criminal violence against a member of the public, Brackney takes refuge in the casual elitism that is commonplace among those in his profession: âUntil you have actually rode [sic] with a police officer or have a family member or a friend that [sic] is a police officer, you donât really know what that job entails.â
In other words: Until you have been licensed to perform acts of criminal aggression or unless you have a relative thus invested, you have no moral standing to criticize those who use that spurious sanction to commit criminal homicide.
To paraphrase Albert Nockâs deathless insight, government police forces donât exist to eliminate crime, but rather to enforce a government monopoly on crime. Coleman Brackney embodies that principle with uncanny fidelity. This is to be expected of Arkansas, where there quite literally are no standards governing the qualifications and performance of police officers.
Practically any hominid who can drive a car, pull a trigger, and emit sounds that vaguely resemble the English language can be stuffed into a government-issued costume and exercise âauthorityâ on behalf of the State of Arkansas.
The same state government that exercises such rigorous oversight of people who cut hair or paint nails in the private sector, it imposes no training or licensing standards on police officers. Practically anybody who asks for a job as a police officer in Arkansas can get a stinkinâ badge; itâs theÂ qualificationsÂ that are unnecessary.
“According to Arkansas state law, officers do not have to be certified for up to a year after they’re hired,” reported the Memphis Fox News affiliate in February 2010 â just a few weeks after Officer Brackney murdered James Ahern. “The Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training says they can get an 8 month extension on top of that. So for almost 2 years, an officer can patrol the streets, by his or herself, and enforce the law without having any kind of training.”
And, as we learned last April, that same Commission is eager to reinstate the certification of police officers who have served time behind bars for acts of criminal homicide.
Arkansas is riddled with tiny towns afflicted with police who are not merely corrupt, but demented.
In late 2009, Police Chief Greg Martin of Turrell, Arkansas (populationÂ roughly 900 people) wasÂ charged with aggravated assaultÂ after he broke into the home of City Council member Floyd Holmes andÂ threatenedÂ the Councilman and his wife with a gun.
A similar confrontation a few months earlier in nearby Jericho actually resulted in an attempted homicide.
Until about 1990,Â the flyspeck town of JerichoÂ (populationÂ circa 200 people) was blessedly devoid of police. This changed when the town received a grant to create its own police force â and the community has been suffering ever since.
Over the past two decades, Jericho acquired a richly deserved reputation as oneÂ of the most notorious speed traps in the South. But its police department doesnât just prey on unsuspecting visitors with out-of-state license plates: Persistent harassment by the police and a rising tide of official corruption drove many locals to leave the town.
A few years ago,Â Fire Chief Don PayneÂ challenged a dubious speeding ticket in court. Later that day, he was hit with a second spurious citation as a transparent act of retaliation for challenging the first one. When he protested the second citation, Payne was mobbed in court by seven officers andÂ then shot. This atrocity did have one salutary result: The police department was temporarily disbanded, and all outstanding citations were dismissed, while investigators tried to determineÂ what had happened to the funds that had been mulcted from speed trap victims.
The town ofÂ ParagouldÂ has a population of 25,000, which makes it a major metropolis by Arkansas standards. This might explain the grandiose ambitions of Todd Stovall, theÂ J.W. Pepper-grade living caricatureÂ who presides over the townâs police department.
“The fear is what’s given us the reason to do this,â insistedÂ StovallÂ as he announced that the city would be placed under martial law for the supposed purpose of deterring crime. âOnce I have stats and people are saying they’re scared, we can do this. It allows us to do what we’re fixing to do.”
There is no evidence that people in Paragould are in fear of anyone other than the bullet-headed dimwit who heads their police force, and the costumed adolescents under his command. The âstatsâ referred to by Stovall certainly donât justify the perception that the town is under siege. WhileÂ ParagouldÂ historically has a high burglary rate, its violent crime rate is substantially below the national average: In 2010, the last year for which stats are available, there wasnât a single murder in the town.
Despite these facts, Stovall insists that a âcrisisâ exists that justifies the suspension of constitutional rules and the imposition of a city-wide curfew.
âIâve got statistical reasons that say Iâve got a lot of crime right now, which gives me probable cause to ask what youâre doing out,â grunted Stovall at a town meeting at the West View Baptist Church. He admits that he didnât consult an attorney before reaching that conclusion, and that âI donât even know that thereâs ever been a differenceâ between what heâs proposing and undisguised martial law. To those who might complain about being harassed by Stovallâs minions, the chief offers an unqualified promise: âIf youâre out walking, weâre going to stop you, ask why youâre out walking, check for your IDâŚ.We have a zero-tolerance. We are prepared to throw your hind-end in jail, OK? We are not going to take a lot of flack.â
âWeâre going to do it to everybody,â Stovall explained, anticipating objections. âCriminals donât like being talked to.â
The same is true of citizens, of course. But like most members of his paramilitary tribe, Stovall divides the world between the Mundane population — which is to be intimidated into submission â and enlightened agents of State âauthorityâ such as himself and the murderer who is the newly appointed police chief of Sulphur Springs.
I write about and compare California with other states. Â While I cover many aspects, most have to do with monetary issues âÂ taxes, regulation, litigation, utility costs, education funding, etc.
But we should also look at a broader index that includes not only the issues I highlight, but also compares the personal freedom factors among states. Â For years the Mercatus Center has done exactly that â comparing states on a more fundamental âfreedomâ level. Â They incorporate most of my concerns, while factoring in personal freedoms.
The new rankings are now out. Â Not good for the Golden State.
California continues its dismal freedom ranking of the last decade â second worst only because of totalitarian NY state. Â NJ is nipping at our heels in the 48th spot.
The three MOST free states? Â North Dakota (up from fifth best last year), South Dakota and (perhaps surprisingly) Tennessee in third place.
The Mercatus website has more detail on each state, and the factors considered. Â Itâs worth a visit.
Hereâs the studyâs summation of California â and their recommendations:
California not onlyÂ taxesÂ and regulates its economy more than most other states, but also aggressively interferes in the personal lives of its citizens.
Government consumption (at 11.0 percent of personal income) and employment (at 12.8 percent of private-sector employment) are about average, but debt is high (at 25.8 percent of income). The budgetary categories on which California spends significantly more than the rest of the country include general administration, housing and community development, utilities, and employee retirement. Individual and businessÂ income taxesare well above average. The total tax burden comes to 10.8 percent of income, astandard deviationÂ above the national average.
Government interference in the land market is rife, as Californiaâs zoning laws are among the toughest in the country, and the state is one of just four to authorize rent control, while eminent domain abuse has seen only token reform. Labor laws impose many costs on employers, from the minimum wage and a universal workersâ compensation mandate toÂ short-term disability insuranceÂ and paid family leave.Â Health insuranceÂ mandates add about 49.5 percent to the cost of a premium of a policy without any of the mandated benefits. However, there is no community rating, guaranteed issue, or prior approval of rates in the nongroupÂ health insuranceÂ market. Occupational licensing is rampant, and the nursing professions are tightly regulated. The stateâs liability system is one of the poorest in the nation and has gradually worsened over time. The life and property/casualtyÂ insuranceÂ markets are among the most regulated in the nation. On the plus side, there is no certificate-of-need (CON) law for hospital construction.
Despite a reputation for social liberalism, California scores badly on personal freedoms. It has the strictest gun control laws in the country, prohibiting open carry and making concealed carry almost impossible, banning several types of weapons, imposing waiting periods on all firearms purchases, and onerously regulating dealers and ammunition. After Alaska, it has the most relaxed marijuana laws, but it nevertheless has a high incarceration rate, and its drug enforcement rate is only average. It shares the maximum possible score on marriage freedom with several other states, because it allows civil unions equivalent to marriage. California was the first state to enact a smoking ban inrestaurants and bars, but the ban is slightly less strict than those since adopted in other states. Travel freedom is low due to a primary seat belt law, motorcycle andÂ bicycle helmetÂ laws, a statewide primary-enforcementÂ cell phoneÂ driving ban, an open-container law, and sobriety checkpoints. Little gambling is allowed.
Cut state spending in the categories called out above and enact tight ex post balanced-budget requirements to reduce future debt levels.
Enact tort reforms to make the state more attractive for businessÂ investment. Current property regulations, occupational licensing, and labor laws also deter economic activityÂ investment.
Expand legal gambling. Californiaâs political culture is unlikely to have many qualms about gaming, but legalizing non-tribal casinos would require a constitutional amendment.
âRIDER COMMENT: Â Some might be interested in how CA (and other states) rank JUST on the category ofÂ personalÂ freedoms. Â To see theÂ answer, go to page 75 of the full study for the table ranking on this criteria:Â http://freedominthe50states.org/print
By this criteria, the 3 most free states (in order) are Alaska (by far), Nevada and Maine. Â Sadly, California is still near the bottom, ranked 47th.
On hisÂ excellentÂ Carpe DiemÂ blog (subscribe for free daily email atÂ http://www.aei-ideas.org/channel/carpe-diem/), Professor Mark Perry did an interesting,quick analysis of this just-releasedÂ Mercatus study that ranked the states the degree of freedom found.
There is a HIGH correlation between GOP-controlled states and (relative) freedom â andÂ Dem states and the LACK of such freedom.
SUMMARY: A quick preliminary study reveals an interesting pattern: Eight of the top 10 most economically free states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Idaho, Virginia, Georgia and Utah) are solid red states with a Republican governor and Republican-controlled state legislatures. No. 4 ranked New Hampshire is a mixed state with a Democratic governor and Democratic-controlled state House but a Republican-controlled state Senate; and No. 7 Missouri is also mixed with a Democratic governor and a Republican-controlled state House and Senate.
Of the ten least economically-free states, eight (New York, California, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Illinois, Maryland, Vermont, and West Virginia) are solid blue states with a Democratic governor and Democratic-controlled state legislatures. No. 48, New Jersey, is a mixed state with Republican Governor Chris Christie but Democratic majorities in both the state House and Senate; and No. 41 Mississippi is a solid red/Republican state.
From the Trenches World Report is intent on uncovering more documented facts to bring to light that which the common man or woman is not meant to see. We are in a war for nothing less than our right to individual thought. We will be reporting on that war From the Trenches.
A former American soldier was charged Thursday with fighting alongside a terrorist group that is battling the Syrian government of PresidentÂ Bashar al-Assad, whose ouster the United States has sought for nearly two years.
The soldier, Eric Harroun, 30, of Phoenix, who served in the United States Army from 2000 to 2003, is accused of enteringÂ SyriaÂ in January and participating in attacks on Assad forces led by the Al Nusra Front, which American officials say is part of Al Qaeda in Iraq, a designated terrorist group.
Mr. Harroun, who posted reports about his time in Syria onÂ FacebookÂ andÂ YouTube, was charged in Alexandria, Va., with âconspiring to use a destructive device outside the United States,â a crime that can carry a life sentence. He was arrested Wednesday after arriving at Dulles International Airport and made an initial appearance in Federal District Court on Thursday.
According to an affidavit filed in the case, Mr. Harroun told an F.B.I. agent, Paul Higginbotham, that he was part of an âR.P.G. team,â firing rocket-propelled grenades, which qualify as a âdestructive deviceâ under the law. The charge does not have any connection to terrorism, though more charges could be filed later.
My name is David A Schmecker. If possible Iâd like to get my story known to as many people as possible.
To make this as brief as possible I live in Connecticut and Iâm 50 years old and Iâm an honorably discharged disabled NAVY veteran. I donât have a psychiatric past or a criminal past.
Feb 5th 2013 my veteransÂ hospitalÂ primary careÂ doctorÂ called myÂ homeÂ and heard a message on my answering machine he said sounded peculiar and the VA contacted the local police to perform a wellnessÂ check.
The police came to myÂ homeÂ and without any justification whatsoever, hauled me away for a psychiatric evaluation to a localÂ hospital. I submitted to their forceful insistence under duress and fear of arrest or worse. I wasnât arrested and no crime was committed nor any threats made to myself or others.
They confiscated my guns and pistol permit. I was released two days later from the evaluation on my on recognizance I have since attempted to use the courts and attorneys to fight the revocation of my pistol permit. Then on top of everything else, the bills from theÂ short stayÂ at theÂ hospitalÂ and ems bills they billed me and what I had to pay the attorney adds up to a large amount ofÂ money.
Iâm just a nobody so there is obviously aÂ campaignÂ orchestrated to disarm law abiding citizens andÂ the Veterans AdministrationÂ has found aÂ loophole in theÂ systemÂ to do it. Because Iâm a nobody they feel empowered to be able to do this to me.
I must be the tip of the ice burg of thisÂ campaignÂ and they are testing the waters to see what they can get away with and with whom. They have messedÂ with my life and my rights. If I wasnât hurt I could just walk away from the VA but I utilize their benefit for all of myÂ healthcare needs. I am very concerned about where this country is headed.
Over the past 18 months, a massive $100 million public-school database spearheaded by the $36.4 billion-strong Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been in the making that freely shares student information with private companies.
The system has been in operation for several months and already contains millions of K-12 studentsâ personal identification â ranging from name, address, Social Security number, attendance, test scores, homework completion, career goals, learning disabilities, and even hobbies and attitudes about school.
Claiming that the national database will enhance education, the main funder of the project, the Gates Foundation, entered the joint venture with the Carnegie Corporation of New York and school officials from a number of states. After Rupert Murdochâs Amplify Education (a division of News Corp) spent more than a year developing the systemâs infrastructure, the Gates Foundation delivered it to inBloom â a nonprofit corporation recently established to run the database.
School officials and private companies doing business with districts might have plenty to be happy about with this information-sharing system, butÂ ParentalRights.orgÂ PresidentÂ Michael P. FarrisÂ says parents have plenty to worry about when it comes to inBloomâs national database.
âThe greatest immediate threat to children is the threat to their privacy,â Farris told WND in an exclusive interview. âThe Supreme Court has recognized a sphere of privacy within the family, but this project would take personal information about each child, apart from any considerations of parental consent, and put it into a database being managed and monitored solely by the government agencies and private corporations that use it.â
And with globalists like Bill Gates (the worldâs second richest man with a net worth of $61 billion) and big government joining hands in the project, could childrenâs information be abused for ulterior motives?
âI cannot speak to Mr. Gatesâ personal motivations, [but] the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been connected with human rights organizations that promote the internationalist mindset, and this project clearly fits with that agenda,â Farris explained. âThe Convention on the Rights of the Child committee has repeatedly browbeat nations to create a national database just like this that will allow the government to track children, purportedly to make sure their human rights are being protected â different declared purpose, same kind of system, same invasion of privacy for government purposes.â
When contacted for comment about the benefits and potential dangers of the database, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation did not respond.