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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

NEWS FOR Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 (11-4-2015)

U.S. ECONOMY_______________

Debt ceiling lifted, and the same day, debt jumps $339B

Trump accuses Fed of keeping rates low to help Obama

21 Facts About The Explosive Growth Of Poverty In America That Will Blow Your Mind

How Beijing and the West Manipulate the Global Currency War

Bitcoin Suddenly Plunges

Win! Industrial Hemp Now Legal in North Carolina

U.S. POLITICS____________________

The Obama Administration Conducts More Closed-Door Meetings Than Ever Before

Jeb Getting an Image Makeover

Clinton faces challenge in winning over young women

When the Clinton Scandals Boil Away: Trust is a bitter residue for the Democratic front-runner, even as voters turn away from Benghazi and emails.

Daily Beast: Obama, Hillary Toying With ‘Civil War’ Over Gun Confiscation

Feds Gave Bonuses to Employees Caught Sleeping and Drinking on the Job: The agency paid out $145,000 in bonuses in 2013 to employees who were written up or suspended for misconduct

VIDEO: University Administrators Literally Shred Constitution after Reporter Calls it ‘oppressive’ and ‘triggering’


America’s Ground War “Against” or “In Support” of The Islamic State? ISIS Supplied Via Turkey, a US Excuse to Seize Syria

Europe, Still Angry at U.S. Spying, Prepares to Increase Its Own

'Thousands' of Polish soldiers receive mysterious call from Russian number

Russian plane crash: state of bodies suggests mid-air explosion - Cockpit recordings reveal "uncharacteristic sounds" in final moments of disaster in Sinai which killed 224 people

in the latest sign of growing tensions between the US and Russia in Syria, the US is sending planes equipped only with air-to-air weaponry to the region....Russia’s the only potential US adversary in Syria with its own combat aircraft.

Chinese Submarine Stalked U.S. Aircraft Carrier

Vatican scandal heats up with revelations of greed, intrigue

Exclusive: Vatican inspectors suspect key office was used for money laundering

Germany’s Merkel announces plan to distribute refugees throughout EU

They're here! First of 750 migrants arrive in tiny German village with a population of just 102 (including a neo-Nazi councillor) bracing itself for 700 PER CENT population hike

Libya Threatens to Send Hundreds of Thousands of Additional Illegal Migrants to Europe: ISIS earlier threatened to flood Europe with jihadists from Libya


Princeton Study: White Middle-aged People in US Dying Quicker than in any Other Developed Nation

More Americans Than Ever Use Prescription Drugs

Number of Americans using 5 or more drugs nearly doubles

Ohioans reject legalizing marijuana


Facing Growing Encryption, Law Enforcement Recommends More Informants

Facebook wants to tap robot brains to do your bidding

Verizon Begins Scanning and Censoring Customer Emails

Apple Pay Users Warned Not To Store Partners’ Fingerprints On iPhone

Why the NSA may not need backdoors - "this computing breakthrough was going to give them the ability to crack current public encryption.”

U.S. CULTURE____________________

In the third quarter, market researcher GlobalWebIndex said 34% of Facebook users updated their status, and 37% shared their own photos, down from 50% and 59%, respectively, in the same period a year earlier.

SURVEY: Teens spend more time on media -- than sleeping!

SHOCK VIDEO=> Black Gang Beats White Men Unconscious for Little Rebel Flag Sticker in Truck

Mississippi man 'bombed a Walmart store after the chain stopped selling the Confederate flag'

Lightsabers Banned At Star Wars Movie Screenings Because They Are ‘Simulated Weapons’

School Suspends Six-year-old for Playing with Imaginary Bow and Arrow

Florida Eighth-Grader Gets Detention For Hugging

Father, Adopted Son Seek Right To Marry Each Other

Man killed for grabbing last piece of chicken, cops say

Immigrant students today, Texas' future tomorrow | Part 1: Educating the new workforce

Cops Gun Down Rancher After Bull Escapes Pasture: Rancher's wife suffers heart attack, in critical condition after learning of husband's death

Amazon Releases First Trailer for Spike Lee’s ‘Chiraq’

Sorry, Social Justice Warriors: Political Correctness Has Peaked

Beware The ISIS Hunter!


There's a Hole in the Sun That's Going to Make the Skies Dazzle

Study may have found evidence of alternate, parallel universes

NASA REPORT: Antarctic Ice Sheet is Actually… Growing By Billions of Tons?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

NEWS FOR 3/2/2015 Monday March 2nd 2015



(I originally said it was march 3rd, like an idiot lol. i have corrected it)

THE ELITE 1%_______________________

Record 290 newcomers join Forbes Billionaires list, total wealth of $7 trillion
With the global economy stuck in recession and falling oil prices eating into growth, there has been a record 290 newcomers added to the ranks of the world’s billionaires, mostly from China. Their total wealth is an unprecedented $7 trillion.

The total wealth of the world’s billionaires grew from $6.4 trillion in 2014, to $7 trillion according to the 2015 Forbes Billionaires List published Monday.

(Russia Today, march 2nd)

How Billionaires in London Use Secret Luxury Homes to Hide Assets

On London’s Billionaires Row in Hampstead, the seven-bedroom Carlton House with its 50-foot ballroom, underground swimming pool and 10-person Turkish bath is for sale for 14 million pounds ($21.5 million).

It’s being sold to repay BTA Bank after British courts seized assets from the Kazakh lender’s one-time chairman, billionaire Mukhtar Ablyazov. The lender accused him of embezzling about $6 billion from the bank, claims he says are false and politically motivated.

It took the U.K. High Court to establish that the home, with its marble bathrooms, crystal chandeliers and cherry-wood elevator, belongs to the 51-year-old, because the property was bought through a network of offshore companies that hid his identity. He argued it was his brother-in-law’s and he just rented it after his family moved to England in 2009.

Buying upscale homes in the U.K. through trust funds and overseas-based companies is popular among the rich as a way to minimize taxes and protect privacy. The practice also makes it difficult for law enforcement and the courts to establish whether their owners bought them legitimately. Hundreds of billions of pounds classified as the proceeds of crime are laundered here every year and London’s surging property market is one of the more attractive ways to do it, according to the U.K. National Crime Agency.

(Bloomberg, march 2nd)

Swiss Billionaire Warns Of Total Collapse End Game Scenario: ‘The Fed Has No Way Out… Your Money Will Be Worthless’

With currencies being rapidly devalued by their respective governments, the global economy in a slow-down, and tensions over resources heating up around the world, it’s time to start considering the endgame.

According to billionaire resource investor Carlo Civelli there is likely no way out for central banks which have spent the last several years printing money hand over fist. Over his decades’ long career Civelli has either managed or financed over 20 companies, many of which now have market capitalizations in the billions of dollars, so he knows a thing or two about investing during boom times, as well as busts.

In his most recent interview with Future Money Trends he warns of  an endgame scenario that is nothing short of a total collapse. And here’s the scary part: Civelli says that even gold may not be a safe haven should the worst case scenario play out:

    "If we all talk about the end game and a scenario of total collapse, I can see the governments telling everybody that your money is now worthless and the bonds you own are now worthless. You all have to take a haircut. But would they let the people that own gold get away with it? I don’t think so.

(SHTFplan, march 2nd)

“World-Leading Economist” And Advisor To Chancellor Osborne Busted For Smoking Crack

Chancellor's senior adviser on economic policy captured on video smoking crack cocaine in a drugs den

All those times when the general population asks if panglossian, clueless economists are smoking crack… apparently there was a reason for that.

When the UK and the rest of Europe proposed and implemented a change to the way GDP is calculated last year (a change which single-handedly pushed Britain above France as the world’s 5th largest economy) one which “estimated” the contribution of prostitution and illegal drugs to national economic output, little did we know that such “estimates” would be based on personal experience (also see “How Britain Calculates Its Hooker “GDP Boost”: 60,879 Prostitutes x 25 Clients Per Week x £67.16 Per Visit“).

Enter professor Douglas McWilliams, 63, head of the well-known Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) think tank and one of the most prominent modern economists, in fact in his own words “one of the world’s leading economists…best known for his work in forecasting” as well as advisor (and cheerleader) to none other than UK Chancellor George Osborne.

(zero hedge, march 2nd)

Jeb Bush distances himself from family

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush distanced himself from his family on Monday as he courted senior citizens in Nevada, the first stop in a national tour aimed at key states on the presidential primary calendar.

Taking questions in an early voting state for the first time this year, the leading Republican White House prospect declared that each of his family members is different and challenged a questioner who suggested otherwise. Bush is the son and brother of former presidents who were unpopular when they left office.

(AP, march 2nd)

Hillary Clinton Seen Launching Presidential Bid in April

Move would ease uncertainties in the Democratic Party and rev up front-runner’s fundraising

(WSJ, march 2nd)

Big Media Blacks Out the Clinton Foundation Foreign-Money Story

Among the many, many reasons why Americans hate and distrust the mainstream media, we’ve got the amazing spectacle of a major story directly impacting a likely presidential candidate — Hillary Clinton — completely blacked out in favor of obsessive coverage for llamas on the loose.

To mix animal metaphors, many liberal-media critics smell a rat every time the airwaves are filled with obsession over a frivolous story.  NewsBusters clocked six minutes on the story of llamas running loose in Arizona, but only 32 seconds of coverage on one of the major networks (CBS) for the incredible tale of Hillary Clinton’s foundation raking in foreign and corporate cash both during and after her tenure as Secretary of State.

This is the same media that squeezed a solid week of shrieking, hysterical news coverage out of Rudy Giuliani, who isn’t even running for anything, expressing doubts about the depth of Barack Obama’s love for America.  Even the casual news consumer realized the intensity of this coverage had little to do with its news-worthiness.  It was, in part, a cynical attempt to use Giuliani’s remarks as a hydraulic piston to hammer the Republicans who probably are running for president, beginning with — but by no means limited to — Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, but mostly it was a sustained wail of anguish and outrage from media elites, who identify so strongly with their beloved Barack Obama that they took Giuliani’s s remarks as a personal slight against them.

There’s no question about the depth of Hillary Clinton’s love for money.  As the Clinton Foundation story gets deeper, it’s increasingly difficult for the mainstream press to justify ignoring it.  They’ll be even more reluctant to ask her about it, the way hordes of them followed Walker around and interrogated him about what he thinks Barack Obama is thinking.  Hillary Clinton doesn’t get asked about anything.  The media allows her to remain invisible for as long as she likes, and since her public appearances tend to become gaffe avalanches, she stays invisible quite a bit.  It would be a certain sign that the media favoritism her nascent candidacy depends on was evaporating if they actually asked her about the Clinton Foundation stories.

The story we’ve been hearing so little about from the press came in two stages.  First, the Wall Street Journal dished on the Clinton Foundation quietly dropping its “self-imposed ban on collecting funds from foreign governments” and collecting a rapidly increasing amount of foreign money.  Second, the Washington Post discovered that “self-imposed ban” wasn’t exactly imposed with rigorous discipline to begin with:

The Clinton machine apparently thinks it can blow this off by insisting the Foundation is a charity.  The American people are growing very sick of the aristocracy claiming that ethical standards, and even laws, shouldn’t apply to them because their intentions are so pure, even as the rest of us are strangled by the rapidly spreading weeds of bureaucracy without much thought given to our intentions when we trip across some technicality.  There’s nothing confusing about the need to prevent something like the Clinton Foundation from becoming a covert political-access superstore for those who can’t find an above-board way to buy Hillary’s time.  The public’s not likely to view this “grandfather clause” excuse about letting existing foreign donors continue to stuff money into the foundation after Hillary became Secretary of State with kindness, either.

(breitbart, feb 28th)

17 TOP NEWS STORIES OF THE DAY, including everything from corruption to global conflicts

Is the Media Trying to “Disappear” Rand Paul As Was Done to His Father?

The man who would go on to win the CPAC straw poll, Rand Paul, isn’t anywhere to be seen.

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal ran a cover photo of the Republican hopefuls set to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland. The caption at the bottom of the picture read: At a meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference, an attendee holds photos of possible presidential candidates.

Notice anything bizarre about this photograph?
Let’s see. There’s Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and Rick Perry. Basically every insane hack and oligarch puppet imaginable is prominently featured. Yet, the man who would go on to win the CPAC straw poll, Rand Paul, isn’t anywhere to be seen.

Actually, upon further inspection, his curly locks appear to be protruding from behind Chris Christie’s gigantic skull, while his ear is softly caressing Rick Santorum’s right eyeball. The only other face that is entirely covered up seems to be the biggest laughing stock of them all, Donald Trump, who may actually be a good candidate considering his unique ability to repeatedly emerge from bankruptcy unscathed (yes, I’m joking).

While this is just one picture, and could indeed be a regrettable oversight, the reason I brought it up, is because the media shamelessly went out of its way to pretend his father, Ron Paul, didn’t exist back in 2012. It was so bad, that Jon Stewart made a classic clip exposing the entire spectacle. Watch below: (video in article)

(Liberty Blitzkrieg, march 1st)

Report: Iraqi Forces AGAIN Claim US is Supplying ISIS with Weapon Drops

Iraqi forces have once again sensationally charged that the US military is purposefully dropping weapons to terrorist militants in the western parts of the country, according to a report.

The Iranian Fars News Agency reports “A group of Iraqi popular forces known as Al-Hashad Al-Shabi shot down a US Army helicopter that was carrying weapons for the ISIL in the western parts of Al-Baqdadi region in Al-Anbar province” last week.

The report claims that the fighters posted a picture (see above) online of the downed chopper and the weapons that were recovered.

The claims comes on the heels of reports last week that the Iraq Army shot down two British planes also delivering weapons to the Islamic State.

“The Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL,” Head of the committee Hakem al-Zameli said, according to the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.

Hakem al-Zameli, a senior Iraqi legislator, added that the current government in Baghdad is receiving daily reports from security forces in al-Anbar province about flights airdropping weapons to ISIS.

The reason for the drops, according to the legislator, is to prolong a chaotic situation in Anbar Province.

Last week, video was also released claiming to show a US Chinook helicopter dropping two boxes full of weapons for ISIS by flying at a low altitude in an extremist controlled area south of Fallujah. The footage is said to have been filmed by the Iraq-based Hezbollah Brigades.

(Infowars, march 2nd)

Tikrit Battle Against ISIS: 30,000 Fighters Mount Anti-Islamic State Offensive In Iraq

Around 30,000 members of Iraq’s military and militias are participating in the offensive against Islamic State fighters in the militant group’s stronghold of Tikrit, Agence France-Presse reported. The force targeted jihadist positions in and around the Iraqi city Monday after launching the large-scale offensive to reclaim northern and western Iraq from the militant group.

“Security forces are advancing on three main fronts towards Tikrit, Ad-Dawr (to the south) and Al-Alam (to the north),” a senior army officer involved in the operation told AFP. “The attack is being carried out using fighter jets, helicopters and artillery targeting Tikrit to secure the advance and cut supply routes.”

The offensive was announced by Iraqi state television a day after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited troops stationed on Tikrit’s outskirts and made a speech in which he declared that the “zero hour” for Tikrit’s liberation was near, the New York Times reported. The prime minister also promised amnesty to local residents who had been forced to join the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, but said that they had a “last chance” to lay down their weapons and assist the government’s effort to stamp out the militant group from the area.

(IB times, march 2nd)

Tsarnaev attorney: Video of accused placing bomb down “does not exist”

After claiming video was "chilling," Governor Patrick disclosed that he had not seen the video

Defense attorney David Bruck today told a federal court that what authorities have described as a central piece of the prosecution’s evidence against his client “does not exist.”

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, public officials including the former Special Agent in Charge of the Boston FBI office Richard DesLauriers and the former governor of the state of Massachusetts told the public about a “chilling” video that all but proved the young Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s guilt. Speaking on NBC’s Face the Nation, Governor Deval Patrick said the video shows Tsarnaev placing a backpack down and walking away, just before it explodes.

“It does seem to be pretty clear that this suspect took the backpack off, put it down, did not react when the first explosion went off, and then moved away from the backpack in time for the second explosion,” the two-term Massachusetts governor said. “It’s pretty clear about his involvement and pretty chilling, frankly.”

Later Governor Patrick disclosed that he had not seen the video.

During jury selection in the Tsarnaev case, a potential juror told Judge O’Toole that she thought she could be fair and impartial, even though she couldn’t get the image of Tsarnaev putting the bomb down out of her head. “The image of him putting the backpack behind that little boy…I do have this image in my mind that I can’t deny, to be perfectly honest,” she told the court, describing what authorities have said is a video showing Tsarnaev leaving the backpack at the scene.

In a February federal appeals court hearing on a defense motion to move the trial out of Boston, both a federal judge and a DOJ prosecutor referenced the public airing of the video showing Tsarnaev placing the backpack on the ground.

The video has never been aired publicly.

Now Tsarnaev’s defense team has said in open court that it doesn’t exist.

(, march 2nd)

Family of Tsarnaev associate killed by FBI to sue for $30 million

The family of Ibragim Todashev, an associate of Tamerlan Tsarnaev who was killed during an FBI interrogation, plans to sue the agency.

Todashev’s parents filed a “notice of claim” Monday, saying they plan to seek $30 million in a wrongful death lawsuit.

The claim argues the FBI has given “no viable justification” to account for shooting and killing Todashev during a 2013 interrogation in Todashev’s apartment in Orlando, Florida.

The interrogation occurred about a month after the Boston Marathon bombings and centered around another crime linked to bombing suspect Tsarnaev: a 2011 triple homicide in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Editor’s note: The widow of Ibragim Todashev, Reni Todashev, told Alex Jones on Sept. 12, 2013 that the FBI and the U.S. government have stonewalled attempts to find out what happened to her husband on May 22 of this year.

(Infowars and CNN, march 2nd)

Saudi Arabia gives top prize to cleric who says 9/11 was "inside job"

An Indian television preacher who has called the 9/11 attacks an “inside job” received one of Saudi Arabia’s most prestigious prizes on Sunday, for “service to Islam”.

Zakir Naik, president of the Islamic Research Foundation in India, was one of five recipients of the King Faisal international prize from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman during a ceremony at a luxury Riyadh hotel.

The annual prizes are a project of the King Faisal Foundation, established in 1976 by the children of King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz who died in 1975.

Naik was honoured for being one of the most renowned non-Arabic speaking promoters of Islam. He founded the Peace TV channel, billed as the world’s only channel specialising in comparative religion.

(AFP, march 2nd)

US to Deploy Six National Guard Companies to Ukraine This Week

The United States will deploy personnel by the end of this week to train the Ukrainian national guard, US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Colonel Michael Foster said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on Monday.

“Before this week is up, we’ll be deploying a battalion minus… to the Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces for the fight that’s taking place,” Foster stated. “What we’ve got laid out is six United States companies that will be training six Ukrainian companies throughout the summer.”

(sputnik, march 2nd)

White House Claims Banning AR-15 Ammo Will “Save” Cops, But Rifle Murder Rate Only 2.3%

The White House is claiming the ATF’s AR-15 ammo ban will greatly save cops’ lives, despite AR-15s only accounting for less than 2.3% of recorded murders per the FBI.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday the ATF’s ban of M855 AR-15 ammunition is a “common-sense step.”

“We are looking at additional ways to protect our brave men and women in law enforcement, and believe that this process is valuable for that reason alone,” he said.

But of the 12,253 murders reported by the FBI in 2013 (the most recent data available,) only 285, or 2.3%, were committed using rifles, including long arms such as bolt-action and single-shot rifles, meaning that semi-automatic AR-15s would account for less than 2.3% of all murders.

In fact, shotguns, which Vice President Joe Biden famously suggested women should use instead of AR-15s, were used more often in murders than AR-15s.

Overall, the use of rifles in murders decreased since 2012, when long arms accounted for a still minuscule 2.5%.

The number of murders involving guns in general plunged from 8,855 in 2012 to 8,454 in 2013, following a steep decline in gun-related violent crimes since the mid-1990s.

Last week we reported the ATF was trying to ban M855 AR-15 ammunition popular with sport shooters by declaring it “armor piercing,” despite the ammo containing lead which exempts it from the classification according to law.

To be considered “armor piercing” under 18 U.S.C. 921 (a)(17)(B), a bullet must have an entirely metal core or have a jacket weighing more than 25% of its weight, which wouldn’t include M855 rounds because their bullets are partly lead.

“While M855 has carried the exemption from a 1986 prohibition on manufacture, importation and sale, (but not possession) of ‘armor piercing’ rounds, it’s clear from the definition that it should have never needed to be ‘exempted,’” Bryan Black of wrote.

(infowars, march 2nd)

IRS defends paying refunds to illegals who never filed taxes

The IRS is defending its decision to let illegal immigrants claim up to three years’ refunds on income even if they never paid income taxes, telling Congress in a new letter last week that agency lawyers have concluded getting a Social Security number triggers the ability to go back and ask for previous refunds.

(washington times, march 2nd)

Obama hit for filling embassies with political allies, highest in 27 years
Career diplomats are finding that they can’t advance to top State Department posts such as ambassadorships because President Obama has stuffed political appointees into those jobs, the most ever in his second term.

“Yes, it’s a problem,” said Robert Silverman, president of the American Foreign Service Association. “This is an ongoing struggle. We need to maintain the ability for our top people to go straight to the top,” he said.

The issue is a big one: While the State Department has a good record for hiring a diverse workforce of diplomats and experts who often take hardship posts to move up the ladder, the Obama White House is keeping way too many of the best jobs for its political allies.

Just look at the Silverman’s group said that 40.6 percent of Obama’s second term ambassadorial positions, the top jobs, have gone to political hacks, with 59.4 to career foreign service careerists.

(washington examiner, march 2nd)

Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Breaking Rules

Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.

Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.

“It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,” said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.

(NYT, march 2nd)

Red tape keeps some bad gov't workers from being fired

A CBS News investigation looks at how hard it is for the U.S. government to discipline or fire employees who behave badly. With examples ranging from extravagant to explicit, civil service rules meant to protect public workers from political pressure may be backfiring, and costing you big, reports CBS News correspondent Don Dahler.

At the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), red tape is preventing the removal of a top level employee accused of viewing porn two to six hours a day while at work, since 2010. Even though investigators found 7,000 pornographic files on his computer and even caught him watching porn, he remains on the payroll.

At a Congressional hearing, EPA administrator Gina McCarthy was asked why she hadn't fired the employee and said, "I actually have to work through the administrative process, as you know."

The administrative process meant to prevent against politically motivated firings is the civil servant protection system. The rules give employees the right to appeal a termination, a process that can take up two years.

"There is a big difference between trying to protect against that and what we have today," Partnership for Public Service president and CEO Max Stier said.

He said those rules make it nearly impossible to fire poor performers or problematic employees, even when they've committed egregious violations.

(CBS, march 2nd)

Two men arrested in separate White House breaches...just hours after new Secret Service director vowed to improve 'failing' security
(daily mail, march 2nd)

Electricity Price Index Hit Record—Again--in January

In contrast to the steep decline in the gasoline price index over the past year (which led to a decline in the overall Consumer Price Index), the seasonally adjusted electricity price index hit an all-time high in January, according to data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In January, the seasonally adjusted price index for electricity was 212.290. That was up from 210.489 in December, which was the record up until then. Before that, the high had been the 209.341 recorded in March of last year.

The annual electricity price index set a record in 2014 of 208.020 up from 200.750 in 2013.

(CNS news, march 2nd)

U.S. millennials post ‘abysmal’ scores in tech skills test, lag behind foreign peers

There was this test. And it was daunting. It was like the SAT or ACT -- which many American millennials are no doubt familiar with, as they are on track to be the best educated generation in history -- except this test was not about getting into college. This exam, given in 23 countries, assessed the thinking abilities and workplace skills of adults. It focused on literacy, math and technological problem-solving. The goal was to figure out how prepared people are to work in a complex, modern society.

And U.S. millennials performed horribly.

That might even be an understatement, given the extent of the American shortcomings. No matter how you sliced the data – by class, by race, by education – young Americans were laggards compared to their international peers. In every subject, U.S. millennials ranked at the bottom or very close to it, according to a new study by testing company ETS.

“We were taken aback,” said ETS researcher Anita Sands. “We tend to think millennials are really savvy in this area. But that’s not what we are seeing.”

The test is called the PIAAC test. It was developed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, better known as the OECD. The test was meant to assess adult skill levels. It was administered worldwide to people ages 16 to 65. The results came out two years ago and barely caused a ripple. But recently ETS went back and delved into the data to look at how  millennials did as a group. After all, they’re the future – and, in America, they're poised to claim the title of largest generation from the baby boomers.

(washington post, march 2nd)

School Textbook: “There’s No Such Thing as Reverse Racism”

The passage, which appears to be taken from a “multicultural education series” book entitled Is Everyone Equal, states, “STOP: There is no such thing as reverse racism or reverse sexism (or the reverse of any form of oppression). While women can be just as prejudiced as men, women cannot be “just as sexist as men” because they do not hold political, economic and institutional power.”

In a sense, the text is correct, there is no such thing as reverse racism. Racism is racism, whether the target is white, black or brown.

However, that’s not the message being communicated. The book is teaching students that only white people can be racist and that only men can be sexist because….patriarchy!

(Infowars, march 2nd)

Facebook yanks account of boy who ripped Obama

On Friday, C.J. Pearson, a 12-year-old conservative from Georgia who posted a viral video supporting Rudy Giuliani, discovered that his personal Facebook page was locked. In an exclusive interview with on Saturday, Pearson said he received a message from someone about 6 a.m. Friday. That’s when he learned his account and page had been locked for “suspicious activity.”

He jumped through all of Facebook’s hoops, but wasn’t able to recover his account. So he created a new profile to take its place. His public page was not affected, he said, however, he can no longer administer the page. Fortunately, he said, a friend is helping post links to that page.

As is so often the case in these situations, Facebook did not respond to his requests for help. Nor would they tell him what the alleged suspicious activity was. We reached out to Facebook, but the social media giant has so far refused to respond to our request for comments.

(Examiner, march 2nd)

IRAN, ISRAEL & U.S.____________________

Netanyahu: Iran nuclear deal threatens Israel's security

(AP, march 2nd)

Bibi Lists Times Israel Defied U.S. to Act in Self Defense

Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a portion of his AIPAC speech today to list the times when Israel has defied U.S. warnings to act in its self defense.

(weekly standard, march 2nd)

Exclusive: Obama says Iran must halt key nuclear work for at least a decade

(Reuters, march 2nd)

Kerry cautions Israel not to undercut Iran diplomacy as talks resume

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry quietly cautioned Israel not to undercut nuclear negotiations with Iran that resumed on Monday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepared to make the case in Washington against the diplomacy.

Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met for about 90 minutes on the first of what could be three days of talks in the Swiss lakeside town of Montreux on curbing Iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

The two men, along with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Iranian atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi, shook hands and then met for about 50 minutes on Monday afternoon, followed by a second session of about 40 minutes.

Both sides postured in advance and suggested the other would be to blame if the talks fail to meet an end-March deadline for a framework accord. Kerry said Iran must be prepared to compromise and Zarif called for the total lifting of sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic as part of any final deal.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva before the meeting, Kerry struck a balance between defending Israel before the U.N. Human Rights Council, which Washington has long accused of anti-Israel bias, and also suggesting the Israelis not undermine the talks.

"We are concerned by reports that suggest selective details of the ongoing negotiations will be discussed publicly in the coming days," he said, apparently alluding to Netanyahu's planned speech on Tuesday before the U.S. Congress.

"Doing so would make it more difficult to reach the goal that Israel and others say they share in order to get to a good deal," Kerry said. "Israel's security is absolutely at the forefront of all of our minds, but frankly so is the security of all of the other countries in the region. So is our security."

(Reuters, march 2nd)

Dozens of House Democrats are planning to skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress on March 3, and they’re hoping their absence will send a strong signal.

One of those Democrats is Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky.

Yarmuth, who is Jewish, told CQ Roll Call he was disturbed by the GOP leadership’s decision to invite the foreign leader to speak two weeks before the Israeli elections and in the midst of tense negotiations to disarm Iran, without consulting their Democratic counterparts — or the White House.

“I think, early on, none of us wanted to make a big deal out of it. Just, you know, if we didn’t go, we didn’t go. It wasn’t like we were going to organize a boycott,” Yarmuth said.”But it became clear that attendance would be taken, and you were either gonna be noticed or not by your absence. So I thought I’d get out in front of it.”

Watch a live stream of the speech Tuesday at

Yarmuth’s constituents will be aware of his decision, along with Jewish donors and pro-Israel advocates closely watching how staunch supporters of Israel reconcile their allegiance to the nation with their protest of the politics surrounding the invitation.

In fact, he said he has a meeting with delegates from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee scheduled for the same time as Netanyahu’s address, and Yarmuth said he figured he’d watch the address with those delegates in his Capitol Hill office.

But when the cameras cut away from Netanyahu at the dais and pan across the House floor, they aren’t likely to catch many empty seats, which would have been the starkest symbol of discontent.

It is a longstanding practice for congressional aides — even pages — to sit on the floor alongside lawmakers during any potentially ill-attended joint sessions of Congress to “make it look good for whoever’s speaking,” according to Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., another Jewish representative who said he would not “be a potted plant” for Netanyahu’s address.

“There are more Republican staffers than there are Democrats,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., a co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who won’t attend the address next week. “I’m sure they’ll fill the seats.”

There are also the guests of members of Congress who populate the visitors’ galleries that hover above the House floor. Yarmuth recalled traveling to Israel in 2011, shortly after the last Netanyahu address on Capitol Hill, where Israeli men and women he encountered were thoroughly bewildered by the wild applause for their relatively unpopular prime minister.

“I said, ‘Well, all the AIPAC people were all in the gallery,’ Yarmuth chuckled. “That’s the kind of circus that surrounds all this.”

(rollcall, feb 26th)

POLICE STATE__________________

MUST WATCH 8 MIN VIDEO: Horrified! Locals Unaware of Chicago Torture Site

Infowars reporter Joe Biggs takes to the streets of Chicago and is shocked to find out that the majority of Chicagoans are completely unaware of the horrific torture site located right in their back yard. Chicago locals also sound off on the upcoming run off of the mayoral election and how Rahm Emanuel should not be re-elected if he had knowledge of this black site.

(Infowars, march 2nd)

Chicago Black Site Attorney Threatened into Silence?

Infowars reporter Joe Biggs is in Chicago at the black site where civilians have been detained, beaten, and even killed. At the last minute an attorney whose clients had been held at the black site cancelled a scheduled interview with Infowars because of a sudden illness.

(Infowars, march 2nd)

4 More Victims Come Forward From Chicago Secret Prison, Man Tortured Over Weed

Four more victims of incarceration at Chicago’s Guantanamo Bay style secret detention/torture center, known as Homan Square, have come out and spoken to The Guardian about their experience being essentially treated like cattle.

(antimedia, feb 28th)

StingRay Phone Tracker Knocks Out Cell Networks, FBI Reveals

StingRay is capable of disrupting cellular service for every phone within a given vicinity, according to a new court document obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union. The disclosure, the first that could explain the secrecy around the controversial police surveillance technology, comes as privacy advocates and the U.S. Department of Justice have continued to dispute StingRay’s legality.

A StingRay is a mobile, suitcase-sized piece of equipment that, by replicating a cell tower signal, makes it possible for law enforcement agencies across the country to vacuum up details of all kinds about cell phones in the area — everything from call metadata to text details and snippets of conversations. Metadata includes background information, such as call records and user location, that is stored on a device or in the cloud.

They’ve been in use for more than a decade, but anxious civil liberties advocates still have little understanding of exactly how StingRays are used because of a non-disclosure agreement police agencies must sign with the StingRay’s manufacturer, Florida-based Harris Corp., in order to obtain one.

(IB times, march 2nd)

Video Exonerates Man Set Up By Louisiana Cops And Prosecutors [VIDEO]

If not for cell phone video, 47-year-old disabled veteran Douglas Dendinger could be going to prison — because of an apparent coordinated effort by Washington Parish, La. cops and prosecutors who falsely accused him of battery and witness intimidation.

As New Orleans’ WWL reports, Dendinger’s two-year nightmare began on Aug. 20, 2012, when he was paid $50 to serve a court summons on behalf of his nephew against Bogalusa police officer Chad Cassard in a police brutality lawsuit.

Dendinger handed Cassard a white envelope containing the documents and says he went on his way. But 20 minutes later, police showed up to Dendinger’s house and arrested him. He was put in jail on charges of simple battery, obstruction of justice and intimidating a witness.

Two of those charges are felonies, and a prior cocaine conviction on Dendinger’s record threatened to land him in jail for a long time as a repeat offender.

(daily caller, march 1st)

Fresno Police Sued After Reportedly Stealing $101,000 in Coins

Fresno police stole more than $100,000 from two businessmen while serving a search warrant to investigate an alleged illegal gambling ring, the businessmen claim in court.
Micah Jessop and Brittan Ashjian, who own numerous ATMs in California’s Central Valley, sued the city of Fresno and 10 officers, including Derik Kumagai, a former detective who pleaded guilty last week to extorting money from a drug dealer.

Jessop and Ashjian say Fresno police had been conducting surveillance on them for six months and knew that they kept large sums of cash at their business and homes, to restock their ATMs.

On Sept. 10, 2013, the officers, led by Kumagai, raided the men’s homes and business with a search warrant alleging that Jessop and Ashjian were selling illegal coin-operated gambling devices, according to the complaint.

(courthouse news, march 2nd)


A petition calling for the prohibition of laws requiring mandatory vaccines was throttled by the White House, buried from public view and finally frozen for more than 36 hours to prevent it from achieving 100,000 signatures, according to, which recently broke the story.

Forced and mandatory vaccinations have been a topic of hot debate in the last few months. The petition, titled “Prohibit any laws mandating the force and requirement of vaccinations of any kind,” was posted Feb. 4. It was rapidly heading toward the minimum 100,000 required signatures needed to trigger a response from the White House. But on Feb. 27, it was frozen at 56,791 signatures, where it remained for more than 36 hours.

“The petition still allows people to sign it,” writes Natural News. “[I]t still sends a confirmation email that claims your signature counts. But the numbers on the petition website never change, no matter how many people sign it.” [Emphasis in original]

“In reality, your signature doesn’t count at all,” said Mike Adams of Natural News.

(WND, march 2nd)

The other night Jimmy Kimmel decided to blast parents who don’t vaccinate their children.

He emphasized the difference between what these parents know and what, ahem, doctors know.

In between wisecracks, Kimmel made it clear that (pro-vaccine) doctors are very smart and knowledgeable people—as if this obvious fact had escaped the dissident parents.

Kimmel then presented several doctors doing a comic rendition of a public service announcement for vaccination. How quaint.

First of all, Kimmel (and TV news anchors) personally know as much about vaccine science as an ant knows about spaceship navigation. Let’s get that straight.

Second, the doctors Kimmel presented, all of whom fervently believe vaccines are remarkably safe, don’t have a clue about the fact that the US system for reporting severe and dangerous vaccine adverse effects (VAERS) is broken. Irretrievably broken.

Why? Two reasons. Doctors who vaccinate patients aren’t required by law to report adverse reactions. And many parents don’t even know there is a system for reporting.

Therefore, in the real world, there is no way these doctors can say vaccines are safe. Of course they do say that. Therefore, they’re accidentally or intentionally clueless, and no intelligent person should buy what they’re peddling.

Here is one reasonable attempt to assess vaccine damage in America. It was done by Barbara Loe Fisher, who heads up the private National Vaccine Information Center.

The reference is “In the Wake of Vaccines,” published in the Sept./Oct. 2004 issue of Mothering Magazine.


“But how many children have [adverse] vaccine reactions every year? Is it really only one in 110,000 or one in a million who are left permanently disabled after vaccination? Former FDA Commissioner David Kessler observed in 1993 that less than 1 percent of doctors report adverse events following prescription drug use. [See DA Kessler, ‘Introducing MEDWatch,’ JAMA, June 2, 1993: 2765-2768]

“…The 1986 Vaccine Injury Act contained no legal sanctions for not reporting [via VAERS]; doctors can refuse to report and suffer no consequences.

“Even so, each year about 12,000 reports are made to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System [VAERS]; parents as well as doctors can make those reports. [See RT Chen, B. Hibbs, ‘Vaccine safety,’ Pediatric Annals, July 1998: 445-458]

“However, if that number represents only 10 percent of what is actually occurring, then the actual number may be 120,000 vaccine-adverse events. If doctors report vaccine reactions as infrequently as Dr. Kessler said they report prescription-drug reactions, and the number 12,000 is only 1 percent of the actual total, then the real number may be 1.2 million vaccine-adverse events annually.”

(jon rappoport, march 1st)

Pakistan arrests parents for refusing polio vaccine

Pakistani authorities have conducted their first-ever mass arrest of parents for refusing to allow their children to be vaccinated against polio.

Authorities in Peshawar, in the north-west of the country, detained 471 people and charged them with “endangering public security”.

The local government says they will only be freed once they have pledged in writing to vaccinate their children.

(BBC, march 2nd)

Dangerous Bacteria Mysteriously Escapes From Louisiana Monkey Lab

 How a potentially deadly strain of bacteria escaped from a primate research lab infecting four monkeys is a mystery, government officials said, but they added the incident poses no threat to the public.

The bacterium in question, burkholderia pseudomallei, is widespread throughout Southeast Asia and northern Australia, infecting humans and animals via contaminated soil and water entering the blood stream through cuts in the skin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The high-security laboratory at the Tulane National Primate Research Center in Louisiana, which is studying the bacteria, reported that at least five rhesus macaques not used in studies were infected with the bug, possibly as early as November of last year, according to spokesman Michael Strecker.

How the bacteria made its way from the lab to animals not used in experiments is still an open question despite weeks of investigation by multiple federal and state agencies, including the CDC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“The only connection among these four animals was their presence in the veterinary hospital during the same period of time,” Dr. Andrew A. Lackner, the director of the center, said in a statement last week, adding that more than 50 soil and water samples from the 500-acre compound have tested negative for the bacteria.

A federal investigator also tested positive for burkholderia, after visiting the center, Jason McDonald, a CDC spokesman, told ABC News. It isn't clear whether he was exposed to the bacteria at the primate center or during travel to an infected region, McDonald said.

However, Strecker said he did not believe the investigator came into contact with the germ at the center.

(ABC news, march 2nd)

Maybe the Food Network should change their name to the Poison Café  – after all, they are helping Monsanto with their PR campaign by airing commercials with the same message as their Prop 37 No to GMO Labeling Campaign. The same Monsanto ads appear in their magazine. Its time to unsubscribe from a Network that tries to sell GE seed and glyphosate through slick ads from one of the most hated companies in the world.

Similar to the advertisement that Oprah published in her magazine for Monsanto, the Food Network is running an ad showing a happy family gathered around a table passing food with happy smiles, as well as other propaganda trying to dismiss their Round Up Ready chemicals. The TV campaign is called “Food is Love.”

Say it with me – Monsanto doesn’t make food! They make chemicals like Round Up and Bt toxins, but certainly not food. Monsanto has created chemicals like Round Up (an herbicide), Agent Orange (used as a part of the United States’ ‘herbicidal warfare program), DDT (banned in 1972, DDT has been linked to damaging the liver), Dioxin (more very toxic chemicals), and much more. All of these things are the antitheses of healthful, healing food.

If you’d like to express your displeasure with the Food Network, you can do it in several ways. You can post a message at their Facebook page, leave them a voicemail at 865.560.3663, write a review for their corporate office, or simply unsubscribe to the Food Network Magazine. Polls show that Americans rank GMOs as a top health issue in 2015, so don’t think that voicing your opinion to this issue is abnormal.

(Infowars, march 2nd)

Fishermen Slam TEPCO for Silence on Cesium-Water Dumped in Pacific

Tokyo Electric Power Co has already been seriously negligent, if not criminal, in reporting on the true severity of the Daiichi disaster. Now, fishermen from the Fukushima prefecture in Japan are shocked to find out that water containing cesium and other radioactive isotopes has been draining into the Pacific, while TEPCO sat silent and did nothing.

TEPCO apparently knew about the leak last since May. Fisheries are absolutely shocked. Masakazu Yabuki, chief of the Iwaki fisheries cooperative, said at a meeting with Tepco officials:

     “I don’t understand why (Tepco) kept silent even though they knew about it.”

TEPCO had previously sought the approval of local fishermen to dump groundwater into the ocean before it became tainted as a means of reducing the volume of water stored in the tanks at the reactor site. But due to this latest development, TEPCO fears a second round of approvals will be hampered, and they will not be able to dump more water.

TEPCO admitted this past week that they did not disclose rainwater leaks containing radioactive substances that were found in a drainage ditch, thought to be contaminated after last Spring’s rains. They knew that the water likely contained high radiation levels (with radioactive particles like cesium), even before it was dumped. The ditch is in direct alignment with runoff from the roof of the reactor 2 building.

TEPCO admits it recorded 29,400 becquerels of radioactive cesium per liter in water pooled on the rooftop.

The same water also contained 52,000 becquerels of beta-ray-emitting radioactive substances such as strontium-90. 1,050 becquerels of radioactive cesium. What’s more, 1,500 becquerels of beta ray-emitting radioactive materials per liter were detected, but purposefully drained through an outlet leading to the sea.

(Infowars, march 2nd)

Can Fracking Pollute Drinking Water? Don't Ask the EPA

The EPA has been unable to collect the data it needs from the multibillion dollar oil and gas sector, which has stymied a five-year federal study.

The Environmental Protection Agency embarked in 2010 on what was intended to be a definitive study to find out. The answer could prove critical to future U.S. regulation of the multibillion-dollar fossil fuel sector and to ensuring water safety for millions of Americans.

But after five years of fighting with the oil and gas industry, the agency may still be unable to provide a clear answer when a draft of the study is published this spring, based on internal EPA documents and interviews with people who have knowledge of the study.

"We won’t know anything more in terms of real data than we did five years ago," said Geoffrey Thyne, a geochemist and a member of the EPA's 2011 Science Advisory Board, a group of independent scientists who reviewed the draft plan of the study.  "This was supposed to be the gold standard. But they went through a long bureaucratic process of trying to develop a study that is not going to produce a meaningful result."

More than a half-dozen former high-ranking EPA, administration and congressional staff members echoed Thyne's opinion, as did scientists and environmentalists. Nearly all the former government employees asked not to be identified because of ongoing dealings with government and industry. Two hundred pages of EPA emails and other documents about the study point to the same conclusions. The documents were acquired by Greenpeace under the Freedom of Information Act and shared with InsideClimate News.

(insideclimatenews, march 2nd)

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS________________________

Salon: GOP Gun Advocates Pushing ‘Bizarre, Lethal’ Response to Rape

On February 28, Salon focused on the growing GOP push for campus carry, calling it a “bizarre” attempt to impose a “lethal solution to the campus rape crisis.”

The good news: Salon admits there is a campus rape crisis on gun-free campuses across the country.

The bad news: Salon still fights against arming women to reduce this crisis.

According to Salon, GOP gun nuts fail to understand that “people aren’t raped because they aren’t carrying firearms. [Rather,] they are raped because someone rapes them.”

But the elephant in the room is gun control, and Salon fails to understand that the women being raped are unarmed, and therefore, largely defenseless. And just as gun-free zones have turned into a breeding ground for those intent on taking innocent life–the Aurora theater, Sandy Hook Elementary, the DC Navy Yard, Fort Hood, etc.–so too, gun-free campuses have emerged as a breeding ground for the “campus rape crisis.”

Salon ultimately claims opening campuses to concealed carry will actually make things more dangerous for women.

(breitbart, feb 28th)

Confirmed: Google plans its own U.S. mobile service

Google has confirmed for the first time that it plans to offer connectivity directly to mobile users in the U.S., but a senior executive downplayed the competition it would be to major U.S. cellular carriers.

Several reports have said the company is preparing a service that would be offered across an existing cellular network under a Google brand -- a so-called "mobile virtual network operator" or MVNO. But the reports hadn't been confirmed until Sundar Pichai, the company's senior vice president, spoke at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday.

"You'll see us announce it in the coming months," said Pichai.

Pichai said it won't be a full-service mobile network in competition with existing carriers.

Instead, he said, it will give Google a platform through which it can experiment with new services for Android smartphones.

He likened it to the work Google does today in hardware, where it works with existing partners on its Nexus line of devices. The phones give Google experience in hardware and a platform to try out various services, but are not meant to be a major challenge to companies like Samsung and HTC.

"We've always tried to push the boundary of what's next in hardware and software, and we do that with the Nexus devices today," he said. "We want to be able to experiment along those lines."

Pichai said that he hopes cellular carriers will pick up some of the ideas and innovations it tries should they prove successful with users.

He didn't provide any details about what those may be.

(PC world, march 2nd)

China Monthly Box Office Tops U.S. for First Time Ever, Hollywood struggles to keep Americans entertained

Chinese box-office revenue edged ahead of the United States in February for the first time ever as a record Lunar New Year bonanza brought in $650 million in the second-largest movie market, according to data from research firm Entgroup.

The North American box office for February came in at $710 million, but once Canada was stripped out, the figure was $640 million, making China the biggest box-office market in the world for the month, the firm said.

The top movie in China for the month was Chow Yun-Fat starrer The Man From Macau II, which brought in $104 million, followed by historical action movie Dragon Blade, starring Jackie Chan, John Cusack and Adrien Brody, which accumulated $95 million during the month.

(Hollywood reporter, march 2nd)

Colorado pot sales hit $700M in first year of full legalization

Consumers in Colorado bought more than 17 tons of recreational marijuana during the first year of the state’s new retail market, but sales of medicinal pot still outstripped that at almost 50 tons, officials said on Friday.

In a national first, voters in Colorado and Washington state opted to legalize recreational marijuana use by adults in landmark twin ballots in 2012. The first retail stores opened in Colorado on Jan 1, 2014.

States such as Oregon and Alaska also have voted to legalize recreational pot, and others where lawmakers face proposals to do so, are watching the Colorado results closely.

State tax officials say sales hit nearly $700 million last year, with medical marijuana accounting for $386 million and recreational pot bringing in $313 million.

(dispatch, feb 28th)

RON PAUL: Department of Homeland Security, What is it Good For?

Despite the heated rhetoric from both sides, no one seriously believes that Congress will allow Homeland Security funding to lapse. Most in Congress believe that, without the Department of Homeland Security, Americans would be left unprotected from terrorists and natural disasters. As with most areas of bipartisan agreement, the truth is the exact opposite of the DC consensus. The American people would be much better off if Congress transferred the few constitutional functions performed by Homeland Security to other parts of the government and then shut down the rest of the department.

Many Americans associate Homeland Security with the color–coded terrorist warning system and the “if you see something, say something” public relations campaign. These programs were designed to inspire public confidence in the department, but instead they inspired public ridicule.

Ironically, the best case for shutting down this department is its most well-known component — the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). More terrorist attacks have been thwarted by airline passengers than by the TSA! The TSA may be ineffective at stopping terrorists, but it is very effective at harassing innocent Americans like Lucy Forck. Three-year-old Lucy, who uses a wheelchair, not only had to endure an intrusive screening from TSA agents, but the agents also took away her beloved stuffed animal.

Another agency within Homeland Security that the American people could do without is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Having spent fifteen years in Congress representing a coastal area subject to hurricanes and floods, I have seen first-hand how FEMA places adherence to bureaucratic rules ahead of aiding victims of a natural disaster. As a result, it is not uncommon for disaster victims to wait months or even years for assistance.

FEMA not only fails to provide effective relief to disaster victims, it also impedes private disaster relief efforts. FEMA even hinders disaster victims’ efforts to help themselves. While in Congress, I heard stories of individuals being threatened with fines or even jail time if they returned to their property without FEMA’s permission. One individual in my district was threatened with arrest if he removed a tarp that FEMA put on his house — even though FEMA was supposed to have put it on his neighbor’s house!

Ten years after the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, it is clear that this department has failed to protect our security, but has infringed on liberty. If Congress really wanted to enhance our security and our liberty it would shut down this unnecessary, unconstitutional department.

(Ron Paul, infowars, march 2nd)

Isis threatens Twitter employees over blocked accounts

Terror group supporters threaten social network, as well as co-founder Jack Dorsey specifically

Isis supporters have threatened Twitter employees, including co-founder Jack Dorsey specifically, with death over the social network’s practice of blocking accounts associated with the group.

In an Arabic post uploaded to the image-sharing site, the group told Twitter that “your virtual war on us will cause a real war on you”. It warned that Jack Dorsey and Twitter employees have “become a target for the soldiers of the Caliphate and supporters scattered among your midst!”

“You started this failed war … We told you from the beginning it’s not your war, but you didn’t get it and kept closing our accounts on Twitter, but we always come back. But when our lions come and take your breath, you will never come back to life.”

Twitter’s terms of service explicitly ban “direct, specific threats of violence against others”, and the company has followed YouTube in proactively shutting down Isis-related Twitter accounts, with the aid of the UK’s counter-terrorism internet referral unit.

(guardian, march 2nd)

Democrats Apologize After Fundraising Off of Fake DHS Shutdown

Democrats were so convinced that there would be a Department of Homeland Security shutdown last night that they jumped the gun on their plans to raise money because of it.

An email sent by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee alerted donors that Republicans had shut down the Department of Homeland Security – even though Congress actually avoided doing so.

“Here’s the bad news: Republicans forced a shutdown of Homeland Security,” the email blared. “It started at MIDNIGHT last night. Now more than ever, we need to raise $200,000 to launch an effective Rapid Response campaign against obstructionist Republicans.”

The next morning, the DCCC emailed donors to apologize.

“We screwed up,” the email read. “According to our records, we sent you an email this morning that you weren’t supposed to receive. Homeland Security did NOT shut down last night. We’re sorry for the mistake (we hate when this happens).”

Undeterred by their mistake, however, they still take the opportunity to plead for more money.

“Republicans are STILL trying to use our first responders as a bargaining chip against President Obama,” the email read. “These next hours are critical. Please — can you chip in to our Republican Accountability Fund before tonight’s federal fundraising deadline?”

(breitbart, feb 28th)

The Internet Of Things: A Dystopian Nightmare Where Everyone And Everything Will Be Monitored On The Internet

Can you imagine a world where your home, your vehicles, your appliances and every single electronic device that you own is constantly connected to the Internet?  This is not some grand vision that is being planned for some day in the future.  This is something that is being systematically implemented right now.  In 2015, we already have “smart homes”, vehicles that talk to one another, refrigeratorsthat are connected to the Internet, and televisions that spy on us.  Our world is becoming increasingly interconnected, and that opens up some wonderful possibilities. 

But there is also a downside.  What if we rapidly reach a point where one must be connected to the Internet in order to function in society?  Will there come a day when we can’t even do basic things such as buy, sell, get a job or open a bank account without it?  And what about the potential for government abuse?  Could an “Internet of Things” create a dystopian nightmare where everyone and everything will be constantly monitored and tracked by the government?  That is something to think about.

Today, the Internet has become such an integral part of our lives that it is hard to remember how we ever survived without it.  And with each passing year, the number of devices connected to the Internet continues to grow at an exponential rate.

(Econimic collapse, march 2nd)

These 'privacy glasses' make you invisible to facial recognition

You're going out with friends mid-week, and you don't want the boss/significant other/parole officer to find out. But it's a birthday celebration, and Facebook's auto-tagging the pictures your buddies upload like a dirty snitch. The first piece of advice: never "friend" your parole officer. The second? Maybe grab a pair of these "privacy" glasses from software security firm AVG. You, of course, can see my visage above, but AVG claims the technology in the specs means facial recognition software (like that of Facebook) will not.

How does it work? There are a couple of things going on here, but essentially AVG is using infrared LEDs to mess with the filter most cameras use when taking pictures. By futzing the light around your eyes and nose, there's enough damage to the image to prevent facial recognition from figuring out who you are. There's a reflective covering, too, that lights up when a flash is used for similar results.

This is very much a prototype, and our test shots with an iPhone, Nexus and a DSLR all yielded different results -- as you can see in the images above and below. AVG told us it's only experimenting with the idea right now. Dare I say it, they are having a bit of thought-provoking fun? This is all to say it probably won't become a product any time soon, so if you really are on parole, you're not out of luck. You just need to consider your options.

(EN gadget, march 1st)

TTIP : Transatlantic trade deal text leaked to BBC

A leaked draft of what the European Union wants excluded from a new trade deal with the United States has been obtained by the BBC.

The document describes itself as the EU’s "initial offer" in negotiations over the transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP).

It includes the wording that UK ministers have said will protect the NHS from privatisation.

Anti-TTIP campaigners say a specific exemption for the NHS is still needed.

The 103-page document is headed "trade in services and investment : schedule of specific commitments and reservations".

(bilaterals, feb 26th) (sorry for being so late)

First came the frackers, then came the earthquakes

Oil boom means anti-extraction campaigners struggle for toe hold in small-town Oklahoma despite tremors and cracked concrete floors

 Sometimes the dogs begin to bark a moment before the earthquake hits, sensing something that their owners cannot. Sometimes you can feel a change in air pressure on your face just as the shaking is about to begin.

But usually the earthquakes in Oklahoma - as many as three a day - arrive without warning.

"You never know when it's going to happen," said Ilke Crismon, a 75-year-old who grew up in Nuremberg under Allied bombing during the Second World War and now lives on a ranch outside the town of Glencoe. "We always had alarms before the bombers came. Here you just stand here and get it."

Chad Devereaux examines bricks that fell from three sides of his in-laws home in Sparks, Oklahoma, after two earthquakes hit the area in less than 24 hours (AP)

It wasn't always like this. Between 1978 and 2008, Oklahoma averaged fewer than two significant earthquakes per year. In 2014, that number had spiked to 585, including 19 that measured a powerful 4.0 magnitude or stronger.

As of February 20 of this year, 126 earthquakes had already been recorded by the US Geological Survey. Oklahoma, once a sedate seismic patch of the American heartland, now has more than twice as many sizeable earthquakes as California.

(telegraph, march 2nd)

Astronomers Find a Dusty Galaxy That Shouldn't Exist

Astronomers have spotted a surprisingly dusty little galaxy within the cluster Abell 1689, shown here in an image by the Hubble telescope.

The problem, the scientists report Monday in Nature, is that while the tiny galaxy dates from just 700 million years or so after the big bang, it's far more dusty than something this young and small has any right to be.

It's surprising, says Daniel Marrone, a University of Arizona expert on galaxy formation who wasn't involved in the research, because although dust is essential for the formation of planets and other solid material, the cosmos started out with no dust at all. In the aftermath of the big bang, the universe consisted only of hydrogen and helium gas (along with dark matter, but that's invisible).

The dusty galaxy is just one of the recent surprises astronomers have found. "Last week," says Marrone, "we learned of an incredibly massive black hole in the early universe. Now we have this average galaxy with significant amounts of dust. We've had this cartoon picture of the early universe, but it's clear that we really don't know what's going on."

(nat geo, march 2nd)

Spiritual leader 'manipulated 400 men into removing testicles so they could be closer to God'

(Indepdent, march 2nd)

Artist Claims He Included Lewinsky’s Blue Dress In Clinton Portrait

The artist who painted Bill Clinton’s portrait for the National Portrait Gallery claims that he slipped in a Monica Lewinsky reference into the painting.

Nelson Shanks told the Philadelphia Daily News that he “subtly” incorporated Lewinsky’s infamous blue dress into the 2006 portrait.

“The reality is he’s probably the most famous liar of all time. He and his administration did some very good things, of course, but I could never get this Monica thing completely out of my mind and it is subtly incorporated in the painting,” Shanks said.

He explained that he put a shadow of the blue dress into the painting.

“If you look at the left-hand side of it there’s a mantle in the Oval Office and I put a shadow coming into the painting and it does two things,” Shanks told the Daily News. “It actually literally represents a shadow from a blue dress that I had on a mannequin, that I had there while I was painting it, but not when he was there. It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him.”

Shanks claims that that Clintons want the portrait removed from the gallery.

“And so the Clintons hate the portrait. They want it removed from the National Portrait gallery,” he told the Daily News. “They’re putting a lot of pressure on them.”

(CBS DC, march 2nd)

What the hail? Everything from rain to bright sun to possible water funnels hit O.C.

A cold snap early Monday led to hail pelting the city’s downtown, shocking locals and visitors alike and briefly making the beach look like a ski resort.

And that was just one version of the weather Monday in Orange County.

Lightning flashed too. So did rain. And sun. And, later in the day, more rain. There was even talk of water spouts along the coasts.

But the big talker was the hail, which started 10:15 am. in Huntington Beach and ended about 20 minutes later.

“Everyone is freaking out,” said Sumo Sato, a surfer who was in Huntington Surf and Sport and barefoot when the hail started to fall.

“Main and PCH are packed with snow.”

But the air was cold enough - about 40 degrees -- that the hail didn’t melt immediately. Within minutes, Huntington Beach Pier was covered in piles of hail, and cars and people downtown were slipping around in the streets.

“It’s just freaky,” Sato said.

The Internet soon was abuzz with photos and videos of the hail, and “snow in Huntington Beach” spent part of the day as a top trending phrase on Twitter.

That phrase was slightly off. Mike Watkins, a forecaster with the National Weather Service, said the pea-sized pellets that fell were actually hail, not snow. In all, he said, about a half-inch of hail fell, much of it sticking on the streets and beach for long enough for people to make ankle-high snowpeople.

Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Mike Beuerlein could recall only three other times he’d seen the sand turn white in his 34 years of working in the department.

(OC register, march 2nd)

New round of snow could push Boston to season record

After cold and snow that set February records, southern New England is entering March with another round that could push Boston over its 20-year-old snowfall record.

With 102 inches, Boston needs 5.7 more to break the 1995-1996 record of 107.6.

Snowfall of 4 to 6 inches was expected by early Monday across the area, with up to 8 inches in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Less is expected in northern Massachusetts and New York state, and on Cape Cod.

"We have come this far, we might as well break the record," said William Babcock, National Weather Service meteorologist in the Taunton, Massachusetts office. "We have a couple of storms to push us over the record. Once that is done we won't complain if we don't get any more snow."

(AP, march 2nd)

Frigid February closes coldest since 1979 in Washington, D.C.

(washington post, march 2nd)