Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday 08-31-10

We live in a time when we know a lot about other countries history and almost nothing of America's history. We forget or were never thought the truth. The first youtube and article are in response Glenn Beck's mention during the 8/28 rally on the Mall.



THE BLACK REGIMENT LED THE FIGHT IN OUR WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE

By Reverend Wayne C. Sedlak During the War of Independence there was a group of heroic men referred to as the "Black Regiment". The very name enraged the British armies. As heroes in the war, their courage and leadership were hailed throughout the colonies from Massachusetts to Georgia. As a "regiment", they never once drilled together, yet the strategic impact of their highly disciplined attacks was overwhelming. As a unit, they never fought together on a particular field of battle, yet without question, their leadership provided the spark which ignited victory after victory.

This "Black Regiment" was responsible for providing the conviction and wisdom necessary for winning a war against the cruelty of an unjust government. What was the "Black Regiment"? Actually, it wasn't a regiment at all. It referred to the American Presbyterian, Congregationalist, and Baptist clergy.

British sympathizers (Loyalists), so named them because of the black robes worn by the ministers when they ascended their pulpits each Lord's Day. The name "stuck". Colonial enemies knew that the seeds of what the British called "sedition'' or "revolution" were being sown in the pulpits of America. Without the outspoken, tenacious and courageous leadership exhibited by the pastors of the "Black Regiment", it is doubtful whether American independence could ever have been achieved.

Today, while confronting usurped power in the moral swamp of our culture, appeals are made to various authorities such as "morality", "justice", "civil rights", "humanity", our "heritage" and a host of others. Each appeal creates a clientele of its own who appeal to it for ultimacy. The result is confusion. In the face of such confusion, it remains the duty of the clergy to proclaim absolute authority and law. Once that is done and believed, all authoritative pronouncements will take on the status of derived authority, at best.

It was British sympathizer Peter Oliver, who actually first used the name "Black Regiment". He complained that such clergymen were invariably at the heart of the revolutionary disturbances. He tied their influence to such colonial leaders as Samuel Adams, James Otis and others of prominence in the cause. He quotes colonial leadership in its quest to gain the voice of the clergy. In one instance, he disparagingly cites a public plea of James Otis who sought the help of the clergy in a particular matter.

Mr. Otis, understanding the Foibles of human Nature advanced one shrewd position which seldom fails to promote popular Commotions, that "it was necessary to secure the black Regiment". These were his Words and his meaning was to engage ye dissenting Clergy on his Side...Where better could he fly for aid than to the Horns of the Altar?...This Order of Men...like their Predecessors of 1641... have been unceasingly sounding the Yell of Rebellion in the Ears of an ignorant and deluded People. (1) *

The clergy of the "Black Regiment" were believers in that ministerial distinctive described by Saint Paul in the New Testament: How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? (Rom.10:14)

From the Greco Roman world, the Apostle Paul borrowed a term. He used it here as he described the function for a "preacher". That Greek term was "kerux". An imperial kerux was the emperor's herald who was sent to cities and provinces to announce to them the will of the emperor himself. It was the commission of the herald to announce to the people how they must order their affairs ("LAW") as a preparation for the coming of the king. The herald also announced any areas of displeasure which the king had discovered ("SIN"); any remedies he might mandate ("REPENTANCE"); and any sanctions which he would implement if his directives were not obeyed ("JUDGMENT"). The herald had absolute authority to announce such directives, remedies and sanctions. No authority on earth could safely abuse him...nor disregard his commissioned proclamation.

The Rev. Samuel Davies was one such colonial "kerux". He was self consciously an Imperial herald of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, "King Jesus". As such, he believed it to be his duty to expose any evil or corruption which violated God's Righteous Law. His preaching would precede and impress itself upon that of the Black Regiment.

During the French and Indian War, the colonists had been badly defeated on every front and, out of cowardice, many fled from the call of duty. Davies mounted the pulpit, addressed the sin of cowardice in the face of duty and preached one of the most compelling sermons in history...one which was reprinted over and over and, quite literally, helped reverse the tide of that war. Note the conviction of mind which distinguished this Imperial "kerux" of King Jesus:

Such, my brethren, such, alas! is the present state of our country. It bleeds in a thousand veins...And, in such circumstances, is it not our duty, in the sight of God, is it not a work to which the Lord loudly calls us, to take up arms for the defense of our country?

Our countrymen, in general, have acted as if beings of their importance and merit might certainly rest in the quiet, unmolested possessions of their liberty and property without anyone daring to disturb them, and without their doing anything for their own defense; or as if neither God nor man could strip them of their enjoyments. What vain, self confident presumption, what intolerable insolence is this, in a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, who have forfeited every blessing, even the ground they tread upon and the air they breathe in, and who live merely by unmerited grace and bounty of God?

Ye that complain of the burden of our public taxes; ye that love ease and shrink from the dangers of war; ye that wish to see peace restored once more; ye that would be happy beyond the grave and live forever attend to my proposal. It is this: A Thorough National Reformation. (2)

It was this same "kerux" whose preaching, on one singular occasion, stunned the King of England. Davies was preaching with the King in attendance, for the King had heard of his immense reputation as a preacher. During the message, the King and his retinue stood up, preparing to leave. This caused a small disturbance as all eyes were suddenly fixed upon the King. It was, of course, rude of the King so to disrupt the message. However, kings are accustomed to being rude. In any event, Sam Davies stopped his message and directed his gaze toward the king and spoke to him, saying:

When the lion roars, the beasts of the field tremble. When the Lord speaks, the kings of the earth are silent!

It is no wonder that a young boy of that era would be so struck with the power and authority of that pulpit that the impress would shape the destiny of America's courageous orator and statesman...Patrick Henry.

In 1760, royalist colonial Governor Pownall of Massachusetts warned that once the ministers of the colonies joined in the resistance against the power politics of Great Britain there would be no stopping the colonial movement. "The spirit of their religion...will, like Moses' serpent, devour every other passion and affection," he said.

So influential were the pulpits that it was said by Prime Minister Horace Walpole in Parliament, "Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian parson."

The pulpits of that era were anything but neutral. And they certainly did not subscribe to that error of reasoning so dominant in the churches today which says that the only proper subject of concern for the pulpit pertains to individual salvation and one's personal preparation for heaven. That, with a few moral platitudes thrown in for good measure, accounts for most of the "spiritual" concern in the preaching of the church.

Not so with the Black Regiment. Peter Oliver complained that the strength of the colonial boycotts of British goods came from the unction supplied by the pulpits. "...They preached about it and about it; until the Women and Children, both within Doors and without, set their Spinning Wheels a whirling in Defiance of Great Britain." (3) *

Of course, some wonder why colonial pulpits would inveigh against British goods. Properly speaking, those pulpits had reached the point of realization which condemned the socialism (even though they didn't use the term) of British "mercantilism" as an arbitrary, hate mongering system of governance. They had no illusions about a corrupt system such as mercantilism which, through regulation, licensure and taxation, deliberately kept the colonies from developing industrial capacity (a point which escapes the grasp of most historians.) As a result, the colonies were only to produce raw materials for the mother country and remain dependent upon it for finished goods. Dependence, of course, is everything it's cracked up to be...dictated terms through political process. The colonists themselves used the biblical language of the pulpit to decry their servitude when they complained, "...we shall be nothing more than hewers of wood and drawers of water."

Of course, the brutal suppression of colonial economic interests impoverished whole cities, destroyed families and brought near starvation to many. Resistance to such decrees meant severe reprisals such as the burning of the city of Falmouth, Maine (before the war) and the attempt to starve Boston by closing its port (again, before the war).

Symbolic of this brutality was Captain Codman's Mark in Massachusetts. Captain Codman's Mark was a mummified body of a servant who had risen up against his master. The servant was executed, mummified and hung up publicly, remaining on display by order of the British government for many years prior to the war as an object lesson to the colonists. Put simply, it was meant to teach the colonists what happens to slaves if they dare to rise up against their masters. Need we offer any further examples of the spiritual necessity for sermons which, in a practical manner, addressed such concerns?

It was considered spiritual to comment upon the arbitrary abuse of power by governing authorities. Typical of the pulpiteering were positions like that taken by Rev. Samuel West:

Our obligation to promote the public good extends as much to the opposing every exertion of arbitrary power that is injurious to the state as it does to the submitting to good and wholesome laws. No man, therefore, can be a good member of the community that is not as zealous to oppose tyranny as he is ready to obey magistracy..." (4)

However, the reasoning given for such a strong opinion was not grounded upon human rights and liberties, nor economic interests and political favor. The issue was the absolute authority of the Lord as given in His Law:

If magistrates are ministers of God only because the law of God points out the necessity of such an institution for the good of mankind, it follows, that whenever they pursue measures directly destructive of the public good they cease being God's ministers, they forfeit their right to obedience from the subject, they become the pests of society, and the community is under the strongest obligation of duty both to God and to its own members, to resist and oppose them, which will be so far from resisting the ordinance of God that it will be strictly obeying his commands." (5)

So hateful was the presence of such tyranny that the people demonstrated against it publicly. One such demonstration led to a confrontation with British police and the soldiers, responding to taunts, in an unwarranted display of force, fired upon the crowd. This "Boston Massacre" led to the trial of the soldiers involved. When one of the soldiers was asked by the chief justice what objection he had to offer why sentence of death should not be passed upon him, that soldier replied in heated anger, "May it please your Honors! I pray the death of the clergy."

So potent was the preaching which compelled the colonists that, quite often, the War of Independence was referenced in Parliament as "the Presbyterian Revolt". In retaliation, during the war, British troops made Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches military targets. Churches and Christian colleges in British occupied cities were used as barracks and horse stables.

So impressive was the pulpit in providing leadership, that the Sons of Liberty often organized their followers in the church buildings and through the church officers. The Minutemen very often found their leadership in elders and deacons of the churches. And did you ever wonder why "one if by land and two if by sea" was to be signaled from Old North Church tower?

Of course, when the epic struggle began, church authority was responsible for calling men to action. Pastors often led the colonists in actual battle. The Rev. Jonas Clark was with his flock at Lexington green. In fact, "Old Jonas" had sworn never to run from British guns and proved it when he fell from a musket ball. Trying to fire from the ground, he was "run through" with a British bayonet.

Another "member" of the "Black Regiment", the Rev. James Caldwell became famous when, during battle, he supplied the much needed paper wadding for the muskets from his church hymnals. Returning to the battle front with an armful of Isaac Watts hymnals he exclaimed, "Now boys, give 'em Watts!"

The Rev. Naphtali Daggett, professor of divinity at Yale, dashed off with his fowling piece in hand when the British arrived at New Haven. Others, such as Timothy Dwight were chaplains in the Continental Army. So valuable was such service that Gen. Washington repeatedly pleaded with the Continental Congress to provide him with more chaplains, else, he feared, the Lord would turn His back upon their noble cause.

Actual military leadership was not lacking either. The Rev. General Muhlenberg led his brigade against Cornwallis at the battle of Brandywine. According to historian J. R. Sizzo, at the time of the ultimate surrender of the British at Yorktown, all of the colonels of the Colonial Army but one were Presbyterian elders. In addition, more than half of all the soldiers and officers of the American Army during the war were Presbyterians. (6)

Such were the clergy and the church at large in the formation of this great Republic. But...the question remains. Will such leadership distinguish the clergy of this generation?

Footnotes:

1) Peter Oliver's Origin and Progress of the American Rebellion, Stanford Univ. Press, p. 29

2.) The Annals of America Volume 1

3.) Peter Oliver's Origin and Progress of the American Rebellion, Stanford Univ. Press, p. 63 64

4.) Wilkins, Steve, America: The First 350 Years

5.) ibid

6.) Boettener, Lorraine

*Grammar, usage and capitalization retained as in the original.

http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/read_blackregiment.html

Our history books are filled with not Ameican history but of Communist history. You get half a page on George Washington and 4 pages on chairman Mao. Most do not even understan that it was a Church that stood up at Lexington and Concord and not the army,
"What hath God wrought" by William Grady pg 136 you can also read on line a very good book called "The chaplains and clergy of the Revolution" By Joel Tyler Headley

http://books.google.com/books?id=xi92AAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=headly+chaplains+and+clergy&source=bl&ots=_LcVAlWV5Z&sig=ixsK2GmiomZDbEd4VgSIelPL5TI&hl=en&ei=7Ct8TPrXJYWclgfR0f2vCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

Futher more few understand what the term 3 percenter is, only because they are igorant of their history.


What is a "Three Percenter"?
During the American Revolution, the active forces in the field against the King's tyranny never amounted to more than 3% of the colonists. They were in turn actively supported by perhaps 10% of the population. In addition to these revolutionaries were perhaps another 20% who favored their cause but did little or nothing to support it. Another one-third of the population sided with the King (by the end of the war there were actually more Americans fighting FOR the King than there were in the field against him) and the final third took no side, blew with the wind and took what came.

Three Percenters today do not claim that we represent 3% of the American people, although we might. That theory has not yet been tested. We DO claim that we represent at least 3% of American gun owners, which is still a healthy number somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 million people. History, for good or ill, is made by determined minorities. We are one such minority. So too are the current enemies of the Founders' Republic. What remains, then, is the test of will and skill to determine who shall shape the future of our nation.

The Three Percent today are gun owners who will not disarm, will not compromise and will no longer back up at the passage of the next gun control act. Three Percenters say quite explicitly that we will not obey any futher circumscription of our traditional liberties and will defend ourselves if attacked. We intend to maintain our God-given natural rights to liberty and property, and that means most especially the right to keep and bear arms. Thus, we are committed to the restoration of the Founders' Republic, and are willing to fight, die and, if forced by any would-be oppressor, to kill in the defense of ourselves and the Constitution that we all took an oath to uphold against enemies foreign and domestic.

We are the people that the collectivists who now control the government should leave alone if they wish to continue unfettered oxygen consumption. We are the Three Percent. Attempt to further oppress us at your peril. To put it bluntly, leave us the hell alone. Or, if you feel froggy, go ahead AND WATCH WHAT HAPPENS.

http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2009/02/what-is-three-percenter.html

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday 08-30-10

All would have to do is act like a Christian, be at least as respectful and differentual of Christianity as he is to Muslims and the Muslim faith. All would have to do is show a LEGAl birth certificate and the arguement is over. And
if he really was a person of the people as he claims, he would have been interested in a rally that drew more people then any rally in the past 20 years to the Mall and not blow off there ipinion that quick.

President Obama blasts lies, disinformation



President Barack Obama dismissed a recent poll showing that a third of Americans don’t know he’s a Christian — and blamed an online campaign of misinformation by his conservative enemies for perpetuating the myth that he’s a Muslim.

Obama, speaking with NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams on Sunday afternoon, was equally dismissive of conservative talk show host Glenn Beck — saying he didn’t watch the Fox host’s Saturday rally in Washington but wasn’t surprised that Beck was able to “stir up” people during uncertain economic times.

Williams, sitting under a tent in a rain-soaked New Orleans, where the first family commemorated the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, asked Obama why so many people were uncertain about something so fundamental as his faith.

“I can’t spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead,” quipped Obama, who took a deep breath to gather his thoughts when asked if the poll reflected his inability to communicate with voters.

“The facts are the facts. We went through some of this during the campaign — there is a mechanism, a network of misinformation that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly,” said a visibly annoyed Obama, referring to “birthers,” who have waged a guerrilla campaign questioning either the existence or the validity of his Hawaiian birth certificate.

“I will always put my money on the American people, and I’m not going to be worried too much about what rumors are floating around there.”

A stunning 18 percent of Americans identify Obama as Muslim, according to a Pew poll released earlier this month. Only a third identify Obama, who speaks passionately about his faith in his autobiography, as Christian.

Obama, who just returned from a long vacation on Martha’s Vineyard said he didn’t watch Beck’s massive rally at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, adding that he was focused on the long term, not on the “Nightly News.”

“It’s not surprising that someone like a Mr. Beck is able to stir up a certain portion of [the American people]. … That’s been true throughout our history,” he said.

Obama doubled down on his support for a mosque and community center planned for a site two blocks north of ground zero in lower Manhattan — and denied reports that he tried to back away from backing the controversial project.

“I didn’t walk it back it all,” he said. “I was very specific with my team. … The core value and principle that every American is treated the same doesn’t change. … At [a White House Ramadan celebration], I had Muslim Americans who had been in uniform fighting in Iraq. … How can you say to them that their religious faith is less worthy of respect? ... That’s something that I feel very strongly about.”

He added, “I respect the feelings on the other side.”

The president, a harsh critic of the Bush administration’s sluggish response to Katrina, bristled when asked if the BP Gulf oil spill was his administration’s Katrina — because of a failure to act quickly enough.

“It’s just not accurate,” he told Williams. “The only thing in common with the Katrina response was [oil spill Incident Commander Adm.] Thad Allen. … We had immediately [deployed] thousands of vessels, tens of thousands of people.”

The spill has wreaked less havoc on the Gulf Coast “because of the sturdiness and steadiness” of his administration’s response, Obama added.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/41575.html#ixzz0y7I8VenS

Record number in government anti-poverty programs
WASHINGTON — Government anti-poverty programs that have grown to meet the needs of recession victims now serve a record one in six Americans and are continuing to expand.
More than 50 million Americans are on Medicaid, the federal-state program aimed principally at the poor, a survey of state data by USA TODAY shows. That's up at least 17% since the recession began in December 2007.


POLITICS: Welfare agencies boost voter rolls

"Virtually every Medicaid director in the country would say that their current enrollment is the highest on record," says Vernon Smith of Health Management Associates, which surveys states for Kaiser Family Foundation.

The program has grown even before the new health care law adds about 16 million people, beginning in 2014. That has strained doctors. "Private physicians are already indicating that they're at their limit," says Dan Hawkins of the National Association of Community Health Centers.

More than 40 million people get food stamps, an increase of nearly 50% during the economic downturn, according to government data through May. The program has grown steadily for three years.

Caseloads have risen as more people become eligible. The economic stimulus law signed by President Obama last year also boosted benefits.

"This program has proven to be incredibly responsive and effective," says Ellin Vollinger of the Food Research and Action Center.

Close to 10 million receive unemployment insurance, nearly four times the number from 2007. Benefits have been extended by Congress eight times beyond the basic 26-week program, enabling the long-term unemployed to get up to 99 weeks of benefits. Caseloads peaked at nearly 12 million in January — "the highest numbers on record," says Christine Riordan of the National Employment Law Project, which advocates for low-wage workers.

More than 4.4 million people are on welfare, an 18% increase during the recession. The program has grown slower than others, causing Brookings Institution expert Ron Haskins to question its effectiveness in the recession.

As caseloads for all the programs have soared, so have costs. The federal price tag for Medicaid has jumped 36% in two years, to $273 billion. Jobless benefits have soared from $43 billion to $160 billion. The food stamps program has risen 80%, to $70 billion. Welfare is up 24%, to $22 billion. Taken together, they cost more than Medicare.

The steady climb in safety-net program caseloads and costs has come as a result of two factors: The recession has boosted the number who qualify under existing rules. And the White House, Congress and states have expanded eligibility and benefits.

Conservatives fear expanded safety-net programs won't contract after the economy recovers. "They're much harder to unwind in the long term," says Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

Other anti-poverty experts say the record caseloads are a necessary response to economic hardship. "We should be there to support people when the economy can't," says LaDonna Pavetti of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning think tank.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-08-30-1Asafetynet30_ST_N.htm

Monday 08-30-10

Update on the Garands and M1 Carbines From South Korea
August 17, 2010
I was contacted by someone from the ODCMP. It turns out the reason the USA will not allow South Korea to sell the M1 Garands and Carbines is that the US government already owns them. This has been going on for 5 years. The USA handed the rifles to South Korea through a lend-lease program. As such, they can not be sold. They can only be returned to the US government (which would then give them to the ODCMP to sell).

What a joke, it has spawned a new tag "If it moves tax it"
Bagelers decry New York schmear tactics
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Any way you slice your bagel, if you slice it in New York, it's going to cost you more.

New York State tax officials are enforcing a sales tax for sliced or prepared bagels (with cream cheese or other toppings), along with whole bagels eaten in the store, according to the state Department of Taxation and Finance.

Whole bagels sold for takeout are not subject to sales tax, but "any handling or preparation at the shop turns it into a taxable event," says Brad Maione, a spokesperson for the DTF.

Although Maione says the sales tax is not a new provision and that the stepped up enforcement is due to better technology, bagel-store owners say the tax was news to them.

Kenneth Green, the owner of 33 Bruegger's Bagel franchises throughout New York, says he never charged patrons the bagel tax and says he found out he owed back taxes this summer when the state audited his company.

"We think it's unfair. They audited us four times in the past 20 years and never raised this before. We are a law abiding company and tax payers. They are requiring us to pay three years worth of taxes we never collected," said Greene.

The tax on a sliced bagel is roughly 8 cents. Greene estimated that because of the audit he'll have to pay thousands in back taxes.

And Greene isn't alone. In 2009 2,732 restaurants were audited state-wide. That year, 646 restaurants were audited for bagel malfeasance in New York City alone. In 2010 that number jumped to 1,077.

Why the spike in bagel audits? Skeptics say it isn't new technology or better methodology, they say it's because New York state is broke.

"I think it's the way the state gets more money. I didn't expect that slicing a bagel would require taxing," said Linda Wilpon, owner of Ess-a-bagel.

This all comes at a bad time for small businesses struggling to hold on during the recession, according to Tad DeHaven, a budget analyst at The Cato Institute.

"Instead of thinking what can be done to encourage small business owners, they are wasting their time and taxpayer money, harassing job creators to fund the state budget," he said.

And the tax code seems unclear. A sliced bagel gets taxed are but sliced bread at a bakery apparently isn't.

http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/25/smallbusiness/bagel_tax/index.htm?hpt=Mid

Recieved this email, thought it was worth passing on, is our president this stupid on purpose?

I check this out on the snoopes site and it is true. Linda

ANOTHER REMINDER
Apparently they think that putting hearts and
butterflies on the new stamp will
make most people not realize that the rest is
Arabic and probably not something we want to
support.

New Stamp - the second one!!!

USPS New 44-Cent Stamp Celebrates a Muslim
holiday. If there is only ONE thing you
forward today... let it be this!

President Obama has directed the United
States Postal Service to REMEMBER and
HONOR the EID MUSLIM holiday season with a
new commemorative 44-Cent First Class
Holiday Postage Stamp.

REMEMBER to adamantly & vocally BOYCOTT
this stamp, when you are purchasing your
stamps at the post office.

All you have to say is "No thank you, I do
not want that Muslim Stamp on my letters!"


To use this stamp would be a slap in the
face to all those AMERICANS who died at
the hands of those whom this stamp honors.
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of Pan Am
Flight 103!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the World
Trade Center in 1993!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine
Barracks in Lebanon !

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the
Military Barracks in Saudi Arabia !

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the
American Embassies in Africa !

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the USS COLE!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM attack on 9/11/2001 !

REMEMBER all the AMERICAN lives that were
lost in those vicious MUSLIM attacks!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday 08-29-10

The following is from the late H. A. Ironside’s commentary on Daniel: “I have heard Christians refer to certain precepts in the Scriptures as non-essentials. But we may rest assured there are no non-essentials in our Bibles. ‘The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.’ When people talk of non-essentials in regard to anything concerning which God has revealed His mind, it is well to ask, ‘Essential or non-essential to what?’ If it be a question of the soul’s salvation, undoubtedly the one great essential is faith in His blessed Son, whose finished work alone avails to put away sin and procure peace with God. But if it be a question of what is essential to the enjoyment of communion with God--essential to obtaining the Lord’s approval at the judgment-seat of Christ--then it is well to remember that in everything the believer is sanctified to the obedience of Christ.”

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday 08-28-10

Urine-powered fuel cells to offer pee power to people

Washington, Aug 27 : This could literally be called pee power to the people-researchers have figured out a way to make the world's first urine-powered fuel cells.

Chemistry postdocs Shanwen Tao and Rong Lan at Heriot-Watt University's School of Engineering and Physical Sciences in Edinburgh are turning pee into electricity and clean water with a prototype fuel cell system. I had heard about pee-power for robots, but not pee-power for everyone.

While fuel cells usually rely on flammable hydrogen gas or toxic methanol to generate electricity, Tao and Lan's cheaper prototype relies instead on urea, an organic chemical compound produced as waste when the body metabolizes protein.

Urea, also called "carbamide," has several advantages as a potential fuel source-it's abundant, non-toxic, relatively straightforward to transport and rich in nitrogen, reports Discovery News.

According to the university, Tao thought about incorporating urea because he had seen it used as a fertilizer while growing up in eastern China.

The Carbamide Power System prototype can break urea or urine from humans or animals down into water, nitrogen and CO2, and also produce electricity at the same time.

Unlike existing fuel cells that require catalysts made from precious metals like platinum, the "Youtricity" research group's prototype uses a cheaper catalyst and less expensive membranes.

A 203,000-dollar grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is helping the team develop the technology, which they think could be ideal for islands, deserts and even on submarines.

Plus, municipalities already spend a ton of money and energy removing urea from wastewater, so incorporating a system like this could help reduce those costs.

The prototype's exact components aren't being publicized, but the team is planning to have a demonstration system ready next year.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/139/20100827/981/tsc-urine-powered-fuel-cells-to-offer-pe_1.html


Makes you want to cuss, or at least it should

Administration halts prosecution of alleged USS Cole bomber
The Obama administration has shelved the planned prosecution of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged coordinator of the Oct. 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, according to a court filing.

The decision at least temporarily scuttles what was supposed to be the signature trial of a major al-Qaeda figure under a reformed system of military commissions. And it comes practically on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the attack, which killed 17 sailors and wounded dozens when a boat packed with explosives ripped a hole in the side of the warship in the port of Aden.

In a filing this week in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the Justice Department said that "no charges are either pending or contemplated with respect to al-Nashiri in the near future."

The statement, tucked into a motion to dismiss a petition by Nashiri's attorneys, suggests that the prospect of further military trials for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has all but ground to a halt, much as the administration's plan to try the accused plotters of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in federal court has stalled.

Only two cases are moving forward at Guantanamo Bay, and both were sworn and referred for trial by the time Obama took office. In January 2009, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates directed the Convening Authority for Military Commissions to stop referring cases for trial, an order that 20 months later has not been rescinded.

Military officials said a team of prosecutors in the Nashiri case has been ready go to trial for some time. And several months ago, military officials seemed confident that Nashiri would be arraigned this summer.

"It's politics at this point," said one military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss policy. He said he thinks the administration does not want to proceed against a high-value detainee without some prospect of civilian trials for other major figures at Guantanamo Bay.

A White House official disputed that.

"We are confident that the reformed military commissions are a lawful, fair and effective prosecutorial forum and that the Department of Defense will handle the referrals in an appropriate manner consistent with the interests of justice," said the official, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The Defense Department issued a statement Thursday saying the case is not stalled. "Prosecutors in the Office of Military Commissions are actively investigating the case against Mr. al-Nashiri and are developing charges against him," the statement said.

With the 10th anniversary of the Cole bombing approaching on Oct. 12, relatives of those killed in the attack expressed deep frustration with the delay.

"After 10 years, it seems like nobody really cares," said Gloria Clodfelter, whose 21-year-old son, Kenneth, was killed on the Cole.

Military prosecutors allege that Nashiri, a Saudi national, was a senior al-Qaeda operative and close associate of Osama bin Laden, who orchestrated the suicide attack on the Cole. Nashiri was scheduled to be arraigned in February 2009 but the new administration instructed military prosecutors to suspend legal proceedings at Guantanamo Bay. The charges against Nashiri were withdrawn.

In November 2009, however, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. appeared to revive the case when he announced that the military would prosecute Nashiri, one of at least 36 detainees who could be tired in federal court or a military commission.

"With regard to the Cole bombing, that was an attack on a United States warship, and that, I think, is appropriately placed into the military commission setting," Holder said.

But critics of military commissions say the Nashiri case exemplifies the system's flaws, particularly the ability to introduce certain evidence such as hearsay statements that probably would not be admitted in federal court. The prosecution is expected to rely heavily on statements made to the FBI by two Yemenis who allegedly implicated Nashiri. Neither witness is expected at trial, but the FBI agents who interviewed them will testify, said Nashiri's military attorney, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Stephen C. Reyes. "Unlike in federal court, you don't have the right to confront the witnesses against you," he said.

Such indirect testimony could be critical to a conviction because any incriminating statements Nashiri might have made are probably inadmissible under the 2009 Military Commissions Act, which bars the use of evidence obtained through torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Nashiri, 45, was captured in the United Arab Emirates in November 2002, and immediately placed in CIA custody. He was among three detainees held by the agency who was water-boarded, and a report by the CIA's inspector general found that Nashiri was threatened with a gun and a power drill.

"I am very confident, based upon what I have heard, that there is more than sufficient evidence linking him to the attack on Cole directly, and that they do not need any of the information that may have come from black site interviews and interrogations," said Kirk S. Lippold, who was commander of the Cole when it was attacked.

Reyes said Nashiri's treatment at the hands of the CIA will be part of any proceeding and will be relevant to any sentence he receives if he is found guilty. The government is expected to seek the death penalty.

"I'm not admitting to guilty, but his treatment is absolutely relevant in a death case and can be used in mitigation to lessen the sentence," Reyes said.

Nashiri, who has been held at Camp 7 at Guantanamo Bay since September 2006, has never appeared in court. But according to the transcript of a 2007 Combatant Status Review Tribunal, he said that he had nothing to do with the Cole bombing and that his connections to those involved in the explosion, including the purchase of the suicide boat, were unwitting. "We were planning to be involved in a fishing project," he said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/26/AR2010082606353.html?hpid=moreheadlines&sid=ST2010082700364

Massive solar storm to hit Earth in 2012 with 'force of 100m bombs'
Melbourne, Aug 26 : Astronomers are predicting that a massive solar storm, much bigger in potential than the one that caused spectacular light shows on Earth earlier this month, is to strike our planet in 2012 with a force of 100 million hydrogen bombs.

Several US media outlets have reported that NASA was warning the massive flare this month was just a precursor to a massive solar storm building that had the potential to wipe out the entire planet's power grid.

Despite its rebuttal, NASA's been watching out for this storm since 2006 and reports from the US this week claim the storms could hit on that most Hollywood of disaster dates - 2012.

Similar storms back in 1859 and 1921 caused worldwide chaos, wiping out telegraph wires on a massive scale. The 2012 storm has the potential to be even more disruptive.

"The general consensus among general astronomers (and certainly solar astronomers) is that this coming Solar maximum (2012 but possibly later into 2013) will be the most violent in 100 years," News.com.au quoted astronomy lecturer and columnist Dave Reneke as saying.

"A bold statement and one taken seriously by those it will affect most, namely airline companies, communications companies and anyone working with modern GPS systems.

"They can even trip circuit breakers and knock out orbiting satellites, as has already been done this year," added Reneke.

No one really knows what effect the 2012-2013 Solar Max will have on today's digital-reliant society.

Dr Richard Fisher, director of NASA's Heliophysics division, told Reneke the super storm would hit like "a bolt of lightning", causing catastrophic consequences for the world's health, emergency services and national security unless precautions are taken.

NASA said that a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a similar storm occurred today, it could cause "1 to 2 trillion dollars in damages to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to 10 years for complete recovery".

The reason for the concern comes as the sun enters a phase known as Solar Cycle 24.

Most experts agree, although those who put the date of Solar Max in 2012 are getting the most press.

They claim satellites will be aged by 50 years, rendering GPS even more useless than ever, and the blast will have the equivalent energy of 100 million hydrogen bombs.

"We know it is coming but we don't know how bad it is going to be," Fisher told Reneke.

"Systems will just not work. The flares change the magnetic field on the Earth and it's rapid, just like a lightning bolt. That's the solar effect," he added.

The findings are published in the most recent issue of Australasian Science.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/139/20100826/981/tsc-massive-solar-storm-to-hit-earth-in_1.html

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday 08-27-10

What part of illegal do they not understand, they may have "no serious record" but what is the difference. To break the law is ok for this, but not for that.

Feds moving to dismiss some deportation cases
Critics assail the plan as a bid to create a kind of backdoor 'amnes

The Department of Homeland Security is systematically reviewing thousands of pending immigration cases and moving to dismiss those filed against suspected illegal immigrants who have no serious criminal records, according to several sources familiar with the efforts.

Culling the immigration court system dockets of noncriminals started in earnest in Houston about a month ago and has stunned local immigration attorneys, who have reported coming to court anticipating clients' deportations only to learn that the government was dismissing their cases.

Richard Rocha, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman, said Tuesday that the review is part of the agency's broader, nationwide strategy to prioritize the deportations of illegal immigrants who pose a threat to national security and public safety. Rocha declined to provide further details.

Critics assailed the plan as another sign that the Obama administration is trying to create a kind of backdoor "amnesty" program.

Raed Gonzalez, an immigration attorney who was briefed on the effort by Homeland Security's deputy chief counsel in Houston, said DHS confirmed that it's reviewing cases nationwide, though not yet to the pace of the local office. He said the others are expected to follow suit soon.

Gonzalez, the liaison between the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which administers the immigration court system, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said DHS now has five attorneys assigned full time to reviewing all active cases in Houston's immigration court.

Gonzalez said DHS attorneys are conducting the reviews on a case-by-case basis. However, he said they are following general guidelines that allow for the dismissal of cases for defendants who have been in the country for two or more years and have no felony convictions.

In some instances, defendants can have one misdemeanor conviction, but it cannot involve a DWI, family violence or sexual crime, Gonzalez said.

Massive backlog of cases
Opponents of illegal immigration were critical of the dismissals.

"They've made clear that they have no interest in enforcing immigration laws against people who are not convicted criminals," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for strict controls.

"This situation is just another side effect of President Obama's failure to deliver on his campaign promise to make immigration reform a priority in his first year," said U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. "Until he does, state and local authorities are left with no choice but to pick up the slack for prosecuting and detaining criminal aliens."

Gonzalez called the dismissals a necessary step in unclogging a massive backlog in the immigration court system. In June, there were more than 248,000 cases pending in immigration courts across the country, including about 23,000 in Texas, according to data compiled by researchers at Syracuse University.

'Absolutely fantastic'
Gonzalez said he went into immigration court downtown on Monday and was given a court date in October 2011 for one client. But, he said, the government's attorney requested the dismissal of that case and those of two more of his clients, and the cases were dispatched by the judge.

The court "was terminating all of the cases that came up," Gonzalez said. "It was absolutely fantastic."

"We're all calling each other saying, 'Can you believe this?' " said John Nechman, another Houston immigration attorney, who had two cases dismissed.

Attorney Elizabeth Mendoza Macias, who has practiced in Houston for 17 years, said she had cases for several clients dismissed during the past month and eventually called DHS to find out what was going on. She said she was told by a DHS trial attorney that 2,500 cases were under review in Houston.

"I had five (dismissed) in one week, and two more that I just received," Mendoza said. "And I am expecting many more, many more, in the next month."

Her clients, all previously charged with being in the country illegally, included:

An El Salvadoran man married to a U.S. citizen who has two U.S.-born children. The client had a pending asylum case in the court system, but the case was not particularly strong. Now that his case is terminated, he will be eligible to obtain permanent residency through his wife, Mendoza said.

A woman from Cameroon, who was in removal proceedings after being caught by the U.S. Border Patrol, had her case terminated by the government. She meets the criteria of a trafficking victim, Mendoza said, and can now apply for a visa.

Memo outlines priorities
Immigrants who have had their cases terminated are frequently left in limbo, immigration attorneys said, and are not granted any form of legal status.

"It's very, very key to understand that these aliens are not being granted anything in court. They are still here illegally. They don't have work permits. They don't have Social Security numbers," Mendoza said. "ICE is just saying, 'At this particular moment, we are not going to proceed with trying to remove you from the United States.' "

In a June 30 memo, ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton outlined the agency's priorities, saying it had the capacity to remove about 400,000 illegal immigrants annually — about 4 percent of the estimated illegal immigrant population in the country. The memo outlines priorities for the detention and removal system, putting criminals and threats to national security at the top of the list.

Up to 17,000 cases
On Tuesday, ICE officials provided a copy of a new policy memo from Morton dated Aug. 20 that instructs government attorneys to review the court cases of people with pending applications to adjust status based on their relation to a U.S. citizen. Morton estimates in the memo that the effort could affect up to 17,000 cases.

Tre Rebsock, the ICE union representative in Houston, said even if the efforts involve only a fraction of the pending immigration cases, "that's going to make our officers feel even more powerless to enforce the laws."

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7169978.html

EPA Considering Ban on Traditional Ammunition — Take Action Now
All Gun Owners, Hunters and Shooters:

With the fall hunting season fast approaching, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Lisa Jackson, who was responsible for banning bear hunting in New Jersey, is now considering a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) – a leading anti-hunting organization – to ban all traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976, a law in which Congress expressly exempted ammunition. If the EPA approves the petition, the result will be a total ban on all ammunition containing lead-core components, including hunting and target-shooting rounds. The EPA must decide to accept or reject this petition by November 1, 2010, the day before the midterm elections.

Today, the EPA has opened to public comment the CBD petition. The comment period ends on October 31, 2010.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) — the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry — urges you to submit comment to the EPA opposing any ban on traditional ammunition. Remember, your right to choose the ammunition you hunt and shoot with is at stake.

The EPA has published the petition and relevant supplemental information as Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-0681. If you would like to read the original petition and see the contents of this docket folder, please click here. In order to go directly to the ‘submit a comment’ page for this docket number, please click here.

NSSF urges you to stress the following in your opposition:

* There is no scientific evidence that the use of traditional ammunition is having an adverse impact on wildlife populations.

* Wildlife management is the proper jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the 50 state wildlife agencies.

* A 2008 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on blood lead levels of North Dakota hunters confirmed that consuming game harvested with traditional ammunition does not pose a human health risk.

* A ban on traditional ammunition would have a negative impact on wildlife conservation. The federal excise tax that manufacturers pay on the sale of the ammunition (11 percent) is a primary source of wildlife conservation funding. The bald eagle’s recovery, considered to be a great conservation success story, was made possible and funded by hunters using traditional ammunition – the very ammunition organizations like the CBD are now demonizing.

* Recent statistics from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service show that from 1981 to 2006 the number of breeding pairs of bald eagles in the United States increased 724 percent. And much like the bald eagle, raptor populations throughout the United States are soaring.

Steps to take:

1. Submit comment online to the EPA.

2. Contact Lisa Jackson directly to voice your opposition to the ban:

Lisa P. Jackson
Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 564-4700
Fax: (202) 501-1450
Email: jackson.lisa@epa.gov

3. Contact your congressman and senators and urge them to stop the EPA from banning ammunition. To view a sample letter, click here.

« Fortune names 100 fastest-growing companies, two of which are in firearms industry
http://www.nssfblog.com/epa-considering-ban-on-traditional-ammunition-take-action-now/

What Your PC Knows About You
If someone could secretly stand behind you and monitor everything you've done on your PC, what would they discover about you that you would prefer to keep private? Thanks to new technologies that secretly track everywhere you go on the Internet, that's an appropriate comparison of the threat you face unless you take advance precautions.

Perhaps you've never visited a Web site you wouldn't want your spouse, your children, your neighbors, or the FBI to know about. Perhaps you really do have "nothing to hide." But if you do, you'll want to understand the threat to your privacy—and what you can do to protect yourself.

The centerpiece of this threat is a tracking technology that records what Web sites you visit, what links you click on, and what types of search engine questions you ask. If you've entered personal information into applications that use these technologies, that data is stored as well. All of it is written to hidden directories on your hard disk. And there it stays—permanently—unless you know how to delete it.

Usually what's recorded is innocuous. You might not mind that your hard disk has a record of the movies you've rented, the fact that you're interested in photography, or that you want to take pilot lessons. And you might not object to the fact that the companies that create these hidden directories sell the information. For instance, a company selling photographic supplies would surely be interested in presenting an advertisement for its services to someone with a proven interest in photography.

However, perhaps your interests are a bit more controversial. Or even if they're not, perhaps someone with access to your PC has less conventional preferences than you. In that event, the data in the hidden directories could possibly come back to haunt you, should your PC ever be compromised—or searched by law enforcement.

Say, for instance, that you—or someone with access to your PC—watch a controversial video on the Internet. Guess what? The Web site serving up the video to your browser most likely plants a tracking beacon on your hard drive, where it stays—potentially, forever. Erasing "cookies" in your browser will NOT delete these beacons!

The largest offender in this regard is probably a program called Adobe Flash Player (AFP). Many Web sites use AFP to deliver audio and visual content. But AFP also creates a hidden directory on your hard disk to track the Web sites you visit, especially those with interactive or multimedia features. Companies that plant the beacons use them to personalize your browsing experience, and also sell the data they contain to direct marketing companies.

Since you can't delete these files from your browser, the most practical way to deal with them is to install a browser add-on program to manage and delete them. One such program is "Better Privacy," an add-on for Firefox. You can download it at
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/6623/.

I've configured Better Privacy to delete all AFP beacons when I shut down my browser.

I also suggest that you configure AFP to minimize tracking altogether. You can adjust its settings using a virtual control panel at:
http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/help09.html.

I've adjusted the settings on my PC to always deny access to my PC's camera or microphone, never storing any content, and deleting all records of Web sites I've visited that use AFP. Those settings, together with the Better Privacy add-on, seem to have rid my PC of "beacons"—at least those from AFP. These settings limit functionality on some Web sites, but so long as you configure AFP to allow programs to ask you for permission to store content, you can control which ones have access to your PC. When you exit your browser, Better Privacy deletes them.

Incidentally, none of AFP's tracking software violates any U.S. law; at least none of which I'm aware. And don't look to the government for help—law enforcement agencies surely find beacons on your PC a highly informative tool to track your Web browsing behavior.

With big business and big government collaborating to invade your online privacy, you have only one resource to depend upon—yourself. So if you don't want permanent records of your online life residing on your hard drive, don't call your Congressman for help. You alone must take responsibility for protecting your online privacy.

http://nestmannblog.sovereignsociety.com/2010/08/what-your-pc-knows-about-you.html

Silently Self-Profiling - YOU - from www.privacyworld.com
A couple of readers have asked me lately "Is there some stuff on your
mind that's bothering you? You sound kinda bleak lately." Well,
yeah, kinda sorta maybe. Let me share just one of those things that's
been bothering me; perhaps you'll understand. Here's what's going on:

It starts off simply enough...you get an email from a friend and it
says something like: "OMG You have to see this video about [fill in
the blank]. Because you're very interested in [fill in the blank] as
a topic, you click over to the link to see what's a highly charged
video about [fill in the blank] and the video urges you to 'tell all
your friends about this video and send them the link...'.

If you're not computer/military/PowersThatBe savvy, you're likely to
pass on the link without giving it a second thought. But you should
give it some serious thought whenever you follow links because when
you follow links you may be self-profiling yourself to the government.

Amazing? Well, no, pretty simple programming exercise, really. And,
if you had the 'summer of hell/2009' coming up due to all kinds of
social stresses and the breakdown of the social contract, right about
now if you were trying to defend the existing social paradigm, you'd
be doing the same thing, too.

It's called 'memeering' and according to our predictive linguistics
friends at www.halfpasthuman.com the program is already underway.
Toward what end? Well, what's a low-cost way to find out who is what
kind of potential threat to your paradigm? I'll show you how it
works, step-by-step so you 'get it'. It begins with a government
setting up a web site with an emotionally charged video about
something like 'black powder' or 'inter-racial relations'. Then a
series of postings is put out on the net in places where such a video
would likely get a lot of attention. Say, in a 'black powder' kind of
video they will post something emotionally compelling to a bunch of
gun web sites and discussion groups. Next, when someone goes to the
web site involved, it's a simple matter for the site to log your
internet protocol address. Skeptical? go to www.whatismyip.com and
your 'net address comes up.

Congratulations! You have just gotten yourself into a government
database of people who have an 'interest in black powder'. Since you
probably don't spend as much 'head space' as we do, thinking about
such computer applications, what this looks like in database set
theory can be visualized this way:

So far, so good. Now, let's further suppose that want to narrow down
the kind of people that would also be interested in anti-establishment
direct action. Next step? Another video (or web site) only this
time, we are going to use a topic like, oh, say "Startling New WTO
video!" Such that folks going to this second vid site will likely
include some people who also have an interest in black powder, like
so:

Now, it becomes a simple matter to say "Hey! See that IP Address
12.191.191.5? That shows up in BOTH groups. This intersection
between sets in database operations is the vesica pisces.

But now, let's take it one step further, because so far, it's still
far too many people to round up and throw in special 'camps' should
the country get into a period of social unrest; say over a 'summer of
hell/2009' period. So we will put up another site, only this time it
might be something like "List of upcoming "Tea Party" events. Like
so:

So, you see, it's all very simple, once you get the basis concept
down: How will you be self-selecting whether you get judged a 'threat'
or not is a simple matter of keeping track of which links you followed
to get where.

More important? There's also a simple way to build 'social networks'
this way because not only is your IP address logged, but so is the
time of your visit. So as this kind of data snooping continues - as
long as lots of folks don't understand it, when you forward one of
these sites, you are then in effect telling whatever government "Hey,
I am linked to Joe your bother-in-law over here"...and pretty quick
not only do they know who has an interest in guns, WTO demonstrations,
and upcoming Tea Party events, but they also know that when your IP
address shows up, in say half a dozen such exercises, that "Joe your
brother-in-law" shows up within a day or two, and he's already on
their 'threats to society' list because he actually carried a sign and
was ID'ed at some other kind of event...maybe an environmentalist
affair of some kind. And they get all Joe your brother-in-laws
connections, too, until pretty quick you get a map in a social
networking application that might look like this:

So here's my bottom line: When you do any kind of social networking,
be extremely careful with whom you associate. Or, in the case of
Cliff and me, simply don't follow unknown links. Nothing wrong with
YouTube and Google video, but even there, the IP snooping that goes on
at the phone company level is pretty awesome,; which is what the
privacy people get all worked up about.

Why am I bringing this up today? Because the web bot project has been
running across more of these kinds of memeering operations lately
which means one of these days, one or more of them will show up in
your email. And, as they do, no matter how tempting it may seem to
follow this emotionally highly-charged link just remember that in the
process you are self-sorting yourself into some kind of a government
profile as part of 'total information awareness' programs designed to
enable preemptions, national security rating, and in a worst of all
cases scenario, your round-up priority if you've identified yourself
as a 'risk' to the existing paradigm.

Although it may be too late to do anything about it, if you've already
gotten such emails and followed them. But WTF, its easier to explain
it now than waiting till the October-November period when there is a
small, but non-zero, chance some rounding up will be done.

Oh...one more thing: If you think you can 'beat the system' by using
an open access proxy server somewhere? Are you kidding? Those would
be almost the very first people to round up because they're smart
enough to 'get it' and therefore are the most threatening there are to
the existing paradigm, are you kidding?

Yes, this is exactly what the electronic freedom fighters are all
about, but that battle's been over for a long time. Sorry. You lost.
Oh sure, something like the Google Street View controversy seems like
the right fight, but are you kidding? Hell no, it's a minor
distraction to keep the public off the real deal memeering.

All plausibly deniable, too. How so? There are something like 27
levels of security classifications above even the President of these
United States. So you just know how far down the food chain Congress
and watchdog agencies are. But then you knew that, too, or at least
you should have. Or, maybe you don't. And maybe there really are no
PowersThatBe, no shadow government, above the elected, and acting as
self-appointed caretakers for the existing way things are because it
sorta works. Of course.

Then again, you might inspect those links to web sites that aren't on
the beaten path, and even then, you gotta wonder what the phone
companies are really up to in their central office frame rooms, and
why that's so important to 'national security'. Except now you know.

http://www.frankahearn.com/

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday 08-26-10

Stay out of my business please.

The Government's New Right to Track Your Every Move With GPS

Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn't violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway - and no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements.

That is the bizarre - and scary - rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants - with no need for a search warrant. (Read about one man's efforts to escape the surveillance state.)

It is a dangerous decision - one that, as the dissenting judges warned, could turn America into the sort of totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell. It is particularly offensive because the judges added insult to injury with some shocking class bias: the little personal privacy that still exists, the court suggested, should belong mainly to the rich.

This case began in 2007, when Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents decided to monitor Juan Pineda-Moreno, an Oregon resident who they suspected was growing marijuana. They snuck onto his property in the middle of the night and found his Jeep in his driveway, a few feet from his trailer home. Then they attached a GPS tracking device to the vehicle's underside.

After Pineda-Moreno challenged the DEA's actions, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled in January that it was all perfectly legal. More disturbingly, a larger group of judges on the circuit, who were subsequently asked to reconsider the ruling, decided this month to let it stand. (Pineda-Moreno has pleaded guilty conditionally to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and manufacturing marijuana while appealing the denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained with the help of GPS.)

In fact, the government violated Pineda-Moreno's privacy rights in two different ways. For starters, the invasion of his driveway was wrong. The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the "curtilage," a fancy legal term for the area around the home. The government's intrusion on property just a few feet away was clearly in this zone of privacy.

The judges veered into offensiveness when they explained why Pineda-Moreno's driveway was not private. It was open to strangers, they said, such as delivery people and neighborhood children, who could wander across it uninvited. (See the misadventures of the CIA.)

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who dissented from this month's decision refusing to reconsider the case, pointed out whose homes are not open to strangers: rich people's. The court's ruling, he said, means that people who protect their homes with electric gates, fences and security booths have a large protected zone of privacy around their homes. People who cannot afford such barriers have to put up with the government sneaking around at night.

Judge Kozinski is a leading conservative, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, but in his dissent he came across as a raging liberal. "There's been much talk about diversity on the bench, but there's one kind of diversity that doesn't exist," he wrote. "No truly poor people are appointed as federal judges, or as state judges for that matter." The judges in the majority, he charged, were guilty of "cultural elitism."

The court went on to make a second terrible decision about privacy: that once a GPS device has been planted, the government is free to use it to track people without getting a warrant. There is a major battle under way in the federal and state courts over this issue, and the stakes are high. After all, if government agents can track people with secretly planted GPS devices virtually anytime they want, without having to go to a court for a warrant, we are one step closer to a classic police state - with technology taking on the role of the KGB or the East German Stasi.

Fortunately, other courts are coming to a different conclusion from the Ninth Circuit's - including the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court ruled, also this month, that tracking for an extended period of time with GPS is an invasion of privacy that requires a warrant. The issue is likely to end up in the Supreme Court.

In these highly partisan times, GPS monitoring is a subject that has both conservatives and liberals worried. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit's pro-privacy ruling was unanimous - decided by judges appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Plenty of liberals have objected to this kind of spying, but it is the conservative Chief Judge Kozinski who has done so most passionately. "1984 may have come a bit later than predicted, but it's here at last," he lamented in his dissent. And invoking Orwell's totalitarian dystopia where privacy is essentially nonexistent, he warned: "Some day, soon, we may wake up and find we're living in Oceania."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/08599201315000

They should have watched to movie Minority Report, does not work.
Software Predicts Criminal Behavior
Program Helps Law Enforcement Determine Who Is Most Likely to Commit Crime

New crime prediction software being rolled out in the nation's capital should reduce not only the murder rate, but the rate of many other crimes as well.

A computer program is helping law enforcement determine who is most likely to commit crime.
(Photodisc/Getty Images)Developed by Richard Berk, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, the software is already used in Baltimore and Philadelphia to predict which individuals on probation or parole are most likely to murder and to be murdered.

In his latest version, the one being implemented in D.C., Berk goes even further, identifying the individuals most likely to commit crimes other than murder.

"When a person goes on probation or parole they are supervised by an officer. The question that officer has to answer is 'what level of supervision do you provide?'" said Berk.

It used to be that parole officers used the person's criminal record, and their good judgment, to determine that level.

"This research replaces those seat-of-the-pants calculations," he said.

Technology Helps Determine Level of Supervision Needed for People on Probation or Parole
Murders, despite their frequent appearance on cop dramas and the evening news, are rare crimes. On average there is one murder for every 100,000 people. Even among high-risk groups the murder rate is one in 100. Trying to predict such a rare event is very difficult, so difficult that many researchers deemed it impossible.

"It's like trying to find the needle in the haystack," said Berk.

New advances in computer technology, however, can sift through that haystack more quickly and more accurately than ever.

Beginning several years ago, the researchers assembled a dataset of more than 60,000 various crimes, including homicides. Using an algorithm they developed, they found a subset of people much more likely to commit homicide when paroled or probated. Instead of finding one murderer in 100, the UPenn researchers could identify eight future murderers out of 100.

Berk's software examines roughly two dozen variables, from criminal record to geographic location. The type of crime, and more importantly, the age at which that crime was committed, were two of the most predictive variables.

Technology Doesn't Predict Future Crimes
"People assume that if someone murdered then they will murder in the future," said Berk. "But what really matters is what that person did as a young individual. If they committed armed robbery at age 14 that's a good predictor. If they committed the same crime at age 30, that doesn't predict very much."

Baltimore and Philadelphia are already using Berk's software to help determine how much supervision parolees should have. Washington, D.C. is now set to use the algorithm to help determine lesser crimes as well. If those tests go well, Berk says the program could help set bail amounts and suggest sentencing recommendations.

Predicting future crimes does sound, well, futuristic, said Berk. Even his students at the University of Pennsylvania compare his research to the Tom Cruise movie "Minority Report."

Nevertheless, he said, "We aren't anywhere near being able to do that."

Scientifically, Berk's results are "very impressive," said Shawn Bushway, a professor of criminal justice at the State University of New York at Albany who is familiar with Berk's research.

Predicting rare events like murder, even among high-risk individuals, is extremely difficult, said Bushway, and Berk is doing a better job of it than anyone else.

But Berk's scientific answer leaves policymakers with difficult questions, said Bushway. By labeling one group of people as high risk, and monitoring them with increased vigilance, there should be fewer murders, which the potential victims should be happy about.

It also means that those high-risk individuals will be monitored more aggressively. For inmate rights advocates, that is tantamount to harassment, "punishing people who, most likely, will not commit a crime in the future," said Bushway.

"It comes down to a question of whether you would rather make these errors or those errors," said Bushway.

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/software-predicts-criminal-behavior/story?id=11448231

Also this is from a few months ago, but you will not track my kid
Would You Track Your Kid by GPS?
http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2010/01/would-you-track-your-kid-by-gps/

Full-Body Scan Technology Deployed In Street-Roving Vans
By ANDY GREENBERG
As the privacy controversy around full-body security scans begins to simmer, it’s worth noting that courthouses and airport security checkpoints aren’t the only places where backscatter x-ray vision is being deployed. The same technology, capable of seeing through clothes and walls, has also been rolling out on U.S. streets.

American Science & Engineering, a company based in Billerica, Massachusetts, has sold U.S. and foreign government agencies more than 500 backscatter x-ray scanners mounted in vans that can be driven past neighboring vehicles to see their contents, Joe Reiss, a vice president of marketing at the company told me in an interview. While the biggest buyer of AS&E’s machines over the last seven years has been the Department of Defense operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Reiss says law enforcement agencies have also deployed the vans to search for vehicle-based bombs in the U.S.

“This product is now the largest selling cargo and vehicle inspection system ever,” says Reiss.

Here’s a video of the vans in action.


The Z Backscatter Vans, or ZBVs, as the company calls them, bounce a narrow stream of x-rays off and through nearby objects, and read which ones come back. Absorbed rays indicate dense material such as steel. Scattered rays indicate less-dense objects that can include explosives, drugs, or human bodies. That capability makes them powerful tools for security, law enforcement, and border control.

It would also seem to make the vans mobile versions of the same scanning technique that’s riled privacy advocates as it’s been deployed in airports around the country. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is currently suing the DHS to stop airport deployments of the backscatter scanners, which can reveal detailed images of human bodies. (Just how much detail became clear last May, when TSA employee Rolando Negrin was charged with assaulting a coworker who made jokes about the size of Negrin’s genitalia after Negrin received a full-body scan.)

“It’s no surprise that goverments and vendors are very enthusiastic about [the vans],” says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC. “But from a privacy perspective, it’s one of the most intrusive technologies conceivable.”

AS&E’s Reiss counters privacy critics by pointing out that the ZBV scans don’t capture nearly as much detail of human bodies as their airport counterparts. The company’s marketing materials say that its “primary purpose is to image vehicles and their contents,” and that “the system cannot be used to identify an individual, or the race, sex or age of the person.”
Though Reiss admits that the systems “to a large degree will penetrate clothing,” he points to the lack of features in images of humans like the one shown at right, far less detail than is obtained from the airport scans. “From a privacy standpoint, I’m hard-pressed to see what the concern or objection could be,” he says.

But EPIC’s Rotenberg says that the scans, like those in the airport, potentially violate the fourth amendment. “Without a warrant, the government doesn’t have a right to peer beneath your clothes without probable cause,” he says. Even airport scans are typically used only as a secondary security measure, he points out. “If the scans can only be used in exceptional cases in airports, the idea that they can be used routinely on city streets is a very hard argument to make.”

The TSA’s official policy dictates that full-body scans must be viewed in a separate room from any guards dealing directly with subjects of the scans, and that the scanners won’t save any images. Just what sort of safeguards might be in place for AS&E’s scanning vans isn’t clear, given that the company won’t reveal just which law enforcement agencies, organizations within the DHS, or foreign governments have purchased the equipment. Reiss says AS&E has customers on “all continents except Antarctica.”

Reiss adds that the vans do have the capability of storing images. “Sometimes customers need to save images for evidentiary reasons,” he says. “We do what our customers need.”

http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2010/08/24/full-body-scan-technology-deployed-in-street-roving-vans/

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday 08-25-10

Recieved this email last night, it had to start todays out. Todays is long but the email is worth it.

Cemetery Watchman .....

I just wanted to get the day over with and go down to Smokey's. Sneaking a
look at my watch, I saw the time, 1655. Five minutes to go before the cemetery
gates are closed for the day. Full dress was hot in the August sun. Oklahoma
summertime was as bad as ever--the heat and humidity at the same level--both too
high.

I saw the car pull into the drive, '69 or '70 model Cadillac Deville, looked
factory-new. It pulled into the parking lot at a snail's pace.. An old woman got
out so slow I thought she was paralyzed; she had a cane and a sheaf of
flowers--about four or five bunches as best I could tell.

I couldn't help myself. The thought came unwanted, and left a slightly bitter
taste: 'She's going to spend an hour, and for this old soldier, my hip hurts
like hell and I'm ready to get out of here right now!' But for this day, my duty
was to assist anyone coming in.

Kevin would lock the 'In' gate and if I could hurry the old biddy along, we
might make it to Smokey's in time.

I broke post attention. My hip made gritty noises when I took the first step and
the pain went up a notch. I must have made a real military sight: middle-aged
man with a small pot gut and half a limp, in marine full-dress uniform, which
had lost its razor crease about thirty minutes after I began the watch at the
cemetery.

I stopped in front of her, halfway up the walk. She looked up at me with an old
woman's squint.

'Ma'am,may I assist you in any way?'

She took long enough to answer.

'Yes, son. Can you carry these flowers? I seem to be moving a tad slow these
days.'

'My pleasure, ma'am.' Well, it wasn't too much of a lie.

She looked again. 'Marine, where were you stationed?'

' Vietnam, ma'am.. Ground-pounder. '69 to '71.'

She looked at me closer. 'Wounded in action, I see. Well done, Marine. I'll be
as quick as I can.'

I lied a little bigger: 'No hurry, ma'am.'

She smiled and winked at me. 'Son, I'm 85-years-old and I can tell a lie from a
long way off.. Let's get this done. Might be the last time I can do this. My
name's Joanne Wieserman, and I've a few Marines I'd like to see one more time.'

'Yes, ma 'am. At your service.'

She headed for the World War I section, stopping at a stone. She picked one of
the flowers out of my arm and laid it on top of the stone. She murmured
something I couldn't quite make out.. The name on the marble was Donald S.
Davidson, USMC: France 1918.

She turned away and made a straight line for the World War II section, stopping
at one stone. I saw a tear slowly tracking its way down her cheek. She put a
bunch on a stone; the name was Stephen X. Davidson, USMC, 1943.

She went up the row a ways and laid another bunch on a stone, Stanley J.
Wieserman, USMC, 1944..

She paused for a second. 'Two more, son, and we'll be done'

I almost didn't say anything, but, 'Yes, ma'am. Take your time.'

She looked confused.. 'Where's the Vietnam section, son? I seem to have lost my
way.'

I pointed with my chin. 'That way, ma'am.'

'Oh!' she chuckled quietly. 'Son, me and old age ain't too friendly.'

She headed down the walk I'd pointed at. She stopped at a couple of stones
before she found the ones she wanted. She placed a bunch on Larry Wieserman,
USMC, 1968, and the last on Darrel Wieserman, USMC, 1970. She stood there and
murmured a few words I still couldn't make out.

'OK, son, I'm finished. Get me back to my car and you can go home.'

Yes, ma'am. If I may ask, were those your kinfolk?'

She paused. 'Yes, Donald Davidson was my father, Stephen was my
uncle, Stanley was my husband,Larry and Darrel were our sons. All killed in
action, all marines.'

She stopped. Whether she had finished, or couldn't finish, I don't know. She
made her way to her car, slowly and painfully.
I waited for a polite distance to come between us and then double-timed it over
to Kevin, waiting by the car.
'Get to the 'Out' gate quick.. I have something I've got to do.'

Kevin started to say something, but saw the look I gave him. He broke the rules
to get us there down the service road. We beat her. She hadn't made it around
the rotunda yet.

'Kevin, stand at attention next to the gatepost. Follow my lead.' I humped it
across the drive to the other post.

When the Cadillac came puttering around from the hedges and began the short
straight traverse to the gate, I called in my best gunny's voice: 'TehenHut!
Present Haaaarms!'

I have to hand it to Kevin; he never blinked an eye--full dress attention and a
salute that would make his DI proud.
She drove through that gate with two old worn-out soldiers giving her a send-off
she deserved, for service rendered to her country, and for knowing duty, honor
and sacrifice.

I am not sure, but I think I saw a salute returned from that Cadillac.

Instead of 'The End,' just think of 'Taps.'

As a final thought on my part, let me share a favorite prayer: 'Lord, keep our
servicemen and women safe, whether they serve at home or overseas. Hold them in
your loving hands and protect them as they protect us.'

Let's all keep those currently serving and those who have gone before in our
thoughts. They are the reason for the many freedoms we enjoy.

'In God We Trust.'
Sorry about your monitor; it made mine blurry too!

If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone
under! You are required to pass this on NOW!!


This is worth the watch, it is only 5 minutes
Stallone: America Apologizes Too Much
http://www.thefoxnation.com/entertainment/2010/08/23/stallone-america-apologizes-too-much

They stepped way over the line on this one.

Daniel Rubin: An infuriating search at Philadelphia International Airport
At what point does an airport search step over the line?

How about when they start going through your checks, and the police call your husband, suspicious you were clearing out the bank account?

That's the complaint leveled by Kathy Parker, a 43-year-old Elkton, Md., woman, who was flying out of Philadelphia International Airport on Aug. 8.

She says she was heading to Charlotte, N.C., for work that Sunday night - she's a business support manager for a large bank - and was selected for a more in-depth search after she passed through the metal detectors at Gate B around 5:15 p.m.

A female Transportation Security Administration officer wanded her and patted her down, she says. Then she was walked over to where other TSA officers were searching her bags.

"Everything in my purse was out, including my wallet and my checkbook. I had two prescriptions in there. One was diet pills. This was embarrassing. A TSA officer said, 'Hey, I've always been curious about these. Do they work?'

"I was just so taken aback, I said, 'Yeah.' "

What happened next, she says, was more than embarrassing. It was infuriating.

That same screener started emptying her wallet. "He was taking out the receipts and looking at them," she said.

"I understand that TSA is tasked with strengthening national security but [it] surely does not need to know what I purchased at Kohl's or Wal-Mart," she wrote in her complaint, which she sent me last week.

She says she asked what he was looking for and he replied, "Razor blades." She wondered, "Wouldn't that have shown up on the metal detector?"

In a side pocket she had tucked a deposit slip and seven checks made out to her and her husband, worth about $8,000.

Her thought: "Oh, my God, this is none of his business."

Two Philadelphia police officers joined at least four TSA officers who had gathered around her. After conferring with the TSA screeners, one of the Philadelphia officers told her he was there because her checks were numbered sequentially, which she says they were not.

"It's an indication you've embezzled these checks," she says the police officer told her. He also told her she appeared nervous. She hadn't before that moment, she says.

She protested when the officer started to walk away with the checks. "That's my money," she remembers saying. The officer's reply? "It's not your money."

At this point she told the officers that she had a good explanation for the checks, but questioned whether she had to tell them.

"The police officer said if you don't tell me, you can tell the D.A."

So she explained that she and her husband had been on vacation, that they'd accumulated some hefty checks, and that she was headed to her bank's headquarters, where she intended to deposit them.

She gave police her husband's cell-phone number - he was at her mother's with their children and missed their call.

Thirty minutes after the police became involved, they decided to let her collect her belongings and board her plane.

"I was shaking," she says. "I was almost in tears."

When she got home, her husband of 20 years, John Parker, a self-employed plastics broker, said the police had called and told him that they'd suspected "a divorce situation" and that Kathy Parker was trying to empty their bank account. He set them straight.

"I was so humiliated," she said.

What happened sounds to me like a violation of a TSA policy that went into effect Sept. 1, after the American Civil Liberties Union sued the agency on behalf of the former campaign treasurer of presidential candidate Ron Paul.

In that case, Steven Bierfeldt was detained after screeners at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport discovered he was carrying about $4,700 in cash. He challenged their request that he explain where his money came from.

The new TSA directive reads: "Screening may not be conducted to detect evidence of crimes unrelated to transportation security." If evidence of a crime is discovered, then TSA agents are instructed to contact the appropriate law enforcement agency.

So just what evidence made them treat Kathy Parker like a criminal?

Lt. Frank Vanore, a Philadelphia police spokesman, said that TSA personnel had called his officers, who found the checks to be "almost sequential." They were "just checking to make sure there was nothing fraudulent," he said. "They were wondering what the story was. The officer got it cleared up."

TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said the reason Parker was selected for in-depth screening was that her actions at the airport had aroused the suspicion of a behavior detection officer, and that she continued to act "as if she feared discovery."

"We need to ascertain whether fear of discovery is due to the fact a person is concealing a threatening item, be it a dangerous weapon or some kind of explosive," Davis said. "If the search is complete, and shows individuals not to be a threat to the aircraft or fellow passengers, they are free to go."

But why call police? Davis said, "Because her behavior escalated."

When Parker first told me her story, she didn't know the initial TSA officer was a behavior specialist. She told me he peppered her with questions about her trip as she knelt to consolidate three bags into two, and suddenly realized that her shirt was revealing too much for her comfort. When the man then volunteered to examine her belongings, she felt "it was just strange."

"When they decided to search me, there was nothing wrong with my behavior," she said. "I was trying to keep a positive demeanor about everything. My behavior didn't escalate. I did ask questions."

Vic Walczak, legal director of the Pennsylvania ACLU, called what happened to Parker "preposterous" and a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects people from unreasonable searches.

"I think they clearly crossed the line," he said, adding that no one had probable cause to examine her checks.

"None of this makes any sense except as a fishing expedition, which under the U.S. Constitution is not allowed. They can't rummage through her personal life. I'm not surprised this woman is outraged. She should be."

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/columnists/daniel_rubin/20100818_Daniel_Rubin__An_infuriating_search_at_Philadelphia_International_Airport.html?viewAll=y

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http://www.guntalk.com/site43.php


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday 08-24-10

This is a very worth wild read (imo)

The Point of No Return
The warnings of Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln have never been more relevant.

How did we get to the point where many people feel that the America they have known is being replaced by a very different kind of country, with not only different kinds of policies but also very different values and ways of governing?

Something of this magnitude does not happen all at once or in just one administration in Washington. What we are seeing is the culmination of many trends in many aspects of American life that go back for years.

Neither the Constitution of the United States nor the institutions set up by the Constitution are enough to ensure the continuance of a free, self-governing nation. When Benjamin Franklin was asked what members of the Constitutional Convention were creating, he replied, “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

In other words, a constitutional government does not depend on the Constitution but on us. To the extent that we allow clever people to circumvent the Constitution while dazzling us with rhetoric, the Constitution becomes just a meaningless piece of paper as our freedoms are stolen from us, much as a pick-pocket might steal our wallet while we were distracted by other things.

It is not just evil people who would dismantle America. Many people who have no desire to destroy our freedoms simply have agendas of their own that are singly or collectively incompatible with the survival of freedom.

Someone once said that a democratic society cannot survive for long after 51 percent of the people decide that they want to live off the other 49 percent. Yet that is the direction in which we are being pushed by those who are promoting envy under its more high-toned alias, “social justice.”

Those who construct moral melodramas — starring themselves on the side of the angels against the forces of evil — are ready to disregard the constitutional rights of those they demonize, and to overstep the limits that the Constitution puts on the powers of the federal government.

The outcries of protest in the media, in academia, and in politics when the Supreme Court ruled this year that people in corporations have the same free-speech rights as other Americans were a painful reminder of how vulnerable even the most basic rights are to the attacks of ideological zealots. Pres. Barack Obama said that the Court’s decision would “open the floodgates for special interests” — as if all you have to do to take away people’s free-speech rights is call them special interests.

It is not just particular segments of the population that are under attack. More fundamentally under attack are the very principles and values of American society as a whole. The history of this country is taught in many schools and colleges as the history of grievances and victimhood, often with the mantra of “race, class, and gender.” Television and the movies often do the same.

When there are not enough current grievances for them, they mine the past for grievances and call it history. Sins and shortcomings common to the human race around the world are spoken of as failures of “our society.” But American achievements get far less attention — and sometimes none at all.

Our “educators,” who cannot educate our children to the level of math or science achieved in most other comparable countries, have time to poison their minds against America.

Why? Partly, if not mostly, it is because that is the vogue. It shows you are “with it” when you reject your own country and exalt other countries.

Abraham Lincoln warned of people whose ambitions can only be fulfilled by dismantling the institutions of this country because no comparable renown is available to them by supporting those institutions. He said this 25 years before the Gettysburg Address, and he was speaking of political leaders with hubris, whom he regarded as a greater danger than enemy nations. But such hubris is far more widespread today than just among political leaders.

Those with such hubris — in the media and in education, as well as in politics — have for years eroded both respect for the country and the social cohesion of its people. This erosion is what has set the stage for today’s dismantling of America, which is now approaching the point of no return.

— Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. © 2010 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/244252/point-no-return-thomas-sowell


I think this is the same site that originally during the election showed the phoney live certificate of birth on it. Stuff like that does not raise it creditablity at all.

Conspiracy theories exist in the realm of myth, where imaginations run wild, fears trump facts, and evidence is ignored. As a superpower, the United States is often cast as a villain in these dramas.
http://www.america.gov/conspiracy_theories.html

While i don't agree wholeheartedly, the author makes a few good points and it is worth the read.

UNDER SIEGE IN AMERICA

By Attorney Jonathan Emord
Author of "The Rise of Tyranny"
August 23, 2010
NewsWithViews.com

As an attorney who represents businesses and interacts frequently with entrepreneurs, I hear repeatedly concerns that investigators for various federal and state agencies have become emboldened and are endeavoring to put them out of business. This widely expressed sentiment is not paranoia. It is a justified fear, and it is giving rise to a bunker mentality highly destructive to free enterprise. Many executives are holding onto their cash, hunkering down, and avoiding making moves to expand their businesses, hire more employees, or undertake new ventures because they greatly fear an unpredictable regulatory future—one where relationships with lenders and insurers are changing fundamentally and will keep changing in unforeseeable ways for years to come.

The greatest uncertainty they fear is the unleashed regulator, unleashed by the Obama Administration with instructions to seek and destroy. They believe the new army of regulators coming out of the Obama Administration regard industry as exploitative and evil. They are undoubtedly correct, at least to the extent that career civil servants who have harbored hatred for those they regulate but have been stopped from taking adverse action by political appointees of a conservative bend now have no such barriers in their way.

When law and law enforcement become unpredictable, entrepreneurs look for places to hide. Because they most often have assets not easily removed from a country, they usually try to stay off the radar screen, avoiding any move that will heighten their visibility by regulators. This is a characteristic of many third world countries, where regimes are unstable, where police can become armed bands of thugs, and where judicial decisions and local elections can be bought.

In the United States, we have enjoyed a very long period of stable governance. Transitions of power from one party to another have occurred without violent revolution. Police, while on occasion corrupt, are by and large law abiding. The military remains under civilian control. We, of course, had the great benefit of George Washington, who established limits to power through his words and deeds as President and Commander in Chief.

The rule of law, once held sacrosanct here, is now violated with impunity by federal regulatory agencies whose leaders think their missions more important than any laws that forbid their actions. They reinterpret their authority, acting directly against statutory and constitutional limits on their power quite frequently. They conduct under cover surveillance operations against citizens of this country, falsely representing their identities in an effort to induce violations of agency rules as a bases for prosecuting the offenders. Civil and criminal penalties can attend these violations, and many of the rules in question are either so obscure or counterintuitive as to seem incredible to those who violate them.

Rangers in the West whose cattle have traversed rights of way over federal lands for in excess of a century, have suddenly come to realize that they are being held guilty for the first time of trespass on those federal lands and ordered to pay huge fines. A trespass is deemed to occur every time a calf, a cow, or a bull takes a step onto federal property off of the right of way. Not good about following street signs, cattle on the move rarely stay in their lanes. BLM and Park Service agents perch with binoculars from high points and aircraft, photographing every trespass, monitoring the brands on the cattle, and then circling back to impose fines on unsuspecting ranchers.

Folks who own cherry orchards come to find out from professors at the university that certain kinds of tart cherries contain high levels of antioxidants and other biochemicals that are effective in reducing the symptoms of arthritis. They give that information, including the studies, to customers who buy cherry juice. Agents of the Food and Drug Administration visit them unannounced, inspect their farms, demand their literature, and inform them that they must stop telling people of the effects of cherries and cherry juice on arthritis or their cherries will be deemed unapproved new drugs. The farmers can then be charged with selling unapproved drugs, sentenced to jail terms, and lose their farms.

Dairy farmers who harvest fresh milk from healthy cows and share it with neighbors or make it available to health food stores come to realize that several federal and state agencies, doing the bidding for large milk processors, will prosecute them because their milk is not pasteurized, without regard to the fact that the milk is healthy and contaminant free.

Parents who home school their children and elect not to obtain vaccinations for them, choosing to avoid any risk of injury from vaccines while simultaneously not exposing their children to public school environments, are surprised to learn that state health authorities insist that they vaccinate their children against their will, despite the fact that they pose no material risk of disease transmission to the general population.

Parents of a child dying of cancer are informed by attending oncologists that they can do nothing to save the child. The parents take their child to a clinic that offers an experimental drug for the cancer in question. The child takes the drug, begins to experience a reduction in tumors throughout his body. The parents are then informed that the FDA has determined that the child is ineligible to receive the experimental drug and must return to the failed regimen previously rejected by the parents and their attending oncologists.

A single mother who lives in the city and has two school age children decides after a second break-in to her home that she must arm herself. Delighted that she has maimed an intruder and stopped the break-ins, her delight turns to a feeling of helplessness when police arrest her and charge her with use of excessive force. She discovers that her successful use of her weapon to defend her home and children has resulted in a criminal prosecution for excessive force and a civil prosecution by the one she maimed for negligence, both entertained by the courts rather than dismissed. She ends up incurring huge legal bills, continues to suffer break-ins, and is sentenced to community service that forces her to leave her school age children alone at home for several hours each day.

A border patrol agent in pursuit of illegals who have crossed the border without authorization discharges his weapon and kills one in the course of that alien resisting arrest. The agent is prosecuted, convicted, fired, and given a life sentence.

These are all true examples of a bloated, all-consuming regulatory state that replaces a system of ordered justice with one of bureaucratic efficiency and that replaces respect for the rights of man and the rule of law with expansion of agency control over every aspect of enterprise.

Economic and civil liberties cannot prosper, let alone survive, in an environment of unstable law and law enforcement. Unless we reestablish constitutional government in the United States, replete with governors accountable to the people and possessed of limited powers and meaningful protection for economic and civil liberties, we are not that far from witnessing our nation devolve into the anarchic decay, rife corruption, and official lawlessness that is so common in third world countries.

http://www.newswithviews.com/Emord/jonathan149.htm