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Friday, October 24, 2014

On a vacation...

 
As some may have noticed, I have not been posting much at all lately. I've simply been busy and unwilling to devote any little energy I do have to the typical absurdities in the world; this is largely due to my own lack of self-discipline regarding other responsibilities I have. I do plan to review the news and what-not and post some things relatively soon... but any sort of continuity will not be possible until we are into December.

I do have one question though; WHY do we allow the government to do nothing - to take zero steps, dictated simply by common sense, in protecting the United States from incoming individuals from W. Africa. Why people can hit the streets for iPhones and not this is telling. In the meantime, I'll pull up a chair and watch the circus ensue.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Obama is Obola

Aiding ISIS/alQaeda and wide-open borders wasn't enough...

Bryan Douebleu
Clinical Cynic
October 9, 2014

I've been pretty busy trying to keep my head above water in school and with work these last few weeks... but I've been watching this Ebola absurdity take place within this country (the United States). I cannot believe the [lack of] measures taken by this government and the manner in which the media has placated the public. I am writing this off-the-cuff so bear with me...

For one, when asked by reporters why flights are still allowed to outbreak nations they often receive a response that ceasing flights would exacerbate the issue. Let's see, African dictators are countering the Ebola threat better than U.S. "authorities"? How would stopping flights to and from nations like Sierra Leone make the Ebola problem worse?

The Transportation Security Administration has been tasked with checking passengers for Ebola at U.S. airports. Folks, this is the same agency that has largely been incompetent throughout the years while repeatedly using poor judgment. What's more, a typical TSA employee has no medical background - the TSA is essentially branching off to be the CDC's foot soldiers at airports. Here is the real problem - Ebola may incubate within a host randomly between two and twenty-one (21) days; how is checking for temperatures and other symptoms at U.S. airports a feasible solution? It's not. Passengers can take OTC medications to reduce fever or the onset of symptoms... or they may have NONE. Further, if you have a sick individual identified at a U.S. airport it's too late anyways - they are already here. If our "leaders" were competent they would be handling this issue prior to arrival within the U.S., via such logical approaches as checking passports for any recent travel to west Africa (and by recent I mean any time within the last four to five weeks). Every single airline should be doing this!

For those that like to tout the American medical system as capable of isolating patients think again. U.S. hospitals cannot even contain infections such as Clostridium difficile. Regardless, even if we pretended hospitals had the capability to contain Ebola it is not a solution.

Obama... oops, sorry, Obola, has now arranged for 3,000 U.S. troops to travel to Liberia to "fight" Ebola. I guess there is a new war now - a "war on Ebola". All the other ones worked [the war on drugs, the war on ter'r] so why not right? The U.S. military isn't designed to respond to epidemics, it is designed to wage war. There is likely another reason for these troops being sent... and that is beyond the scope of this post. My point here is that the military is not a 'fit' for deploying to assist in an epidemic... and if anything, if taken at face value, these troops are being put into a precarious situation for what? Why wouldn't the WHO be taking charge here instead of taking actions such as restricting the shipment of supplements to W. Africa?

Take a look at the fiasco surrounding patient zero in Dallas; he was sent home with antibiotics, it took days to clean his apartment, an ill-equipped hazmat crew cleans up vomit (one individual pointed out they used what appeared to be painters tape on their gloves), it took roughly two days to properly sanitize the ambulance, and on and on...

The point here is that either Obola and Co. are utterly inept or they are deliberately choosing their tactics (or lack of). To write them off, Obola and the rest of the U.S. government, as just plain stupid is a disservice to yourself, everyone else, and the U.S. - they are not stupid.

So then, is the fiasco currently taking place deliberate??? If so, why? We should all be asking these questions.

What will it take for this nation to impeach a president? Does Obola need to get a blow job by Kerry or some intern first for the public to even get a little heated up? Seriously, I want to understand. The entire administration needs to be impeached... and the Ebola issue is simply the latest in a list that is far to long to even attempt at this time.

"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance."

*****

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

DHS Fines American – But Not Illegals – $5,000 For Crossing Border

Image Credits: Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Public domain)











Kit Daniels
Infowars.com
September 11, 2014

The Department of Homeland Security has fined an American and a Canadian $5,000 each for crossing the U.S./Canada border, fines which are never assessed on thousands of illegal aliens who are detained by Border Patrol daily. The two men, a 40-year-old American and a 44-year-old Canadian, were walking down a dirt road with mountain bikes near the border when they were approached by a Border Patrol agent.


Illegals are instead given free food and transportation to anywhere in America

“Questioning by the agent revealed that the two suspects illegally entered the U.S. from Canada,” stated a Customs and Border Patrol press release. “Subsequently, both males were arrested for violation of U.S. law and transported to the Rangeley Station for further processing.”

“Following database verifications, Border Patrol agents turned over both subjects to CBP officers at the Coburn Gore port of entry for assessment of fines and penalties.”

Both men were “assessed a $5,000 civil penalty under 19 USC 1459 for Failure to Report” to border officials and it’s unlikely that either of them crossed the border in pursuit of Obama’s de facto amnesty for illegal aliens.

“Since this is an administrative fine, the individuals do not have to go through a judicial process and will have approximately 30 days to pay the fine,” the press release added. 


Of course, when it comes to illegals entering America who are eight times more likely to vote for Democrats than Republicans, they’re not fined but rather pampered with free food, shelter, medical care, and bus tickets to anywhere in the nation.

Government officials claim the illegals are given “notices to appear” for immigration court before they are handed bus tickets to their destination of choice, but the courts are scheduling their court dates four years from now.

“They know they are going to be processed and released and they are free to go wherever they want to go in the United States and the likelihood of them ever showing up for their court date is slim to none,” Stu Harris of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1929 told Infowars.

This selective enforcement of immigration laws, in which an American is fined for crossing the border while thousands of illegal aliens are encouraged to do so, exemplifies how the Obama administration is directing federal agencies to target peaceful Americans but not illegal immigrants the White House is exploiting for political gain.

Back in July, for example, federal agents detained a Boy Scout Troop for taking photos near a border checkpoint, with one agent even aiming his gun at a boy scout’s head.

“He hears a snap of a holster, turns around, and here’s this agent, both hands on a loaded pistol, pointing at the young man’s head,” Troop 111 leader Jim Fox told KCCI, who also said the agent claimed it was illegal to take photos of officials.

*****

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U.S. threatened massive fine to force Yahoo to release data

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
 

The U.S. government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day in 2008 if it failed to comply with a broad demand for user data that the company believed was unconstitutional, according to court documents unsealed Thursday.


Craig Timberg
The Washington Post
September 11, 2014

The U.S. government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day in 2008 if it failed to comply with a broad demand to hand over user data that the company believed was unconstitutional, according to court documents unsealed Thursday that illuminate how federal officials forced American tech companies to participate in the NSA’s controversial PRISM program.

The documents, roughly 1,500 pages worth, outline a secret and ultimately unsuccessful legal battle by Yahoo to resist the government’s demands. The company’s loss required Yahoo to become one of the first to begin providing information to PRISM, a program that gave the National Security Agency extensive access to records of online communications by users of Yahoo and other U.S.-based technology firms.

The ruling by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review became a key — but almost entirely secret — moment in the development of PRISM, helping government officials to convince other Silicon Valley companies that unprecedented data demands had been tested in the courts and found constitutionally sound. Eventually most major American tech companies complied, including Google, Facebook, Apple and AOL. Microsoft had joined earlier, before the ruling, NSA documents have shown.

A version of the court ruling had come out previously, in 2008, but was so heavily redacted that observers were unable to discern what company was involved, what the stakes were and how the court had wrestled with many of the issues involved.

“We already knew that this was a very, very important decision by the FISA Court of Review, but we could only guess at why,” said Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at American University.

PRISM was first revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year, prompting intense backlash and a wrenching national debate over allegations of overreach in government surveillance.

U.S. tech companies have struggled to defend themselves against accusations that they were willing participants in government surveillance programs — an allegation that has been particularly damaging to the reputations of these companies overseas, including in lucrative markets in Europe.

Yahoo, which endured heavy criticism after The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper used Snowden’s documents to reveal the existence of Prism last year, was legally bound from revealing its efforts in attempting to resist government pressure. The New York Times first reported Yahoo’s role in the case in June 2013, a week after the initial PRISM revelations.

Both the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the Foreign Intelligence Court of Review, an appellate court, ordered declassification of the case last year, amid a broad effort to make public the legal reasoning behind NSA programs that had stirred national and international anger. Judge William C. Bryson, presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, ordered the documents from the legal battle unsealed on Thursday. Documents from the case in the lower court have not yet been released.

Yahoo hailed the decision in a Tumblr post Thursday afternoon. “The released documents underscore how we had to fight every step of the way to challenge the U.S. Government’s surveillance efforts,” said company General Counsel Ron Bell in the post.

The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

At issue in the original court case was a recently passed law, the Protect America Act of 2007, which allowed the government to collect data on people it “reasonably believed” to be outside of the United States at the time without getting an individual search warrant for each target. That law has since lapsed but became the foundation for the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which created the legal authority for many of the NSA programs later revealed by Snowden.

The order requiring data from Yahoo came in 2007, soon after the Protect America Act passed. It set off alarms at the company because it side-stepped the traditional requirement that each target be subject to court review before surveillance could begin. The order also went beyond so-called “metadata” — meaning records of communications but not their actual content — to include the actual content of e-mails.

A government filing from February 2008 describe the order to Yahoo as including “certain types of communications while those communications are in transmission.” It also made clear that while this was intended to target people outside the United States, there inevitably would be “incidental collection” of the records of Americans. The government promised “stringent minimization procedures to protect the privacy interests of United States persons.”

Rather than immediately comply with the sweeping order, Yahoo sued.

Central to the case was whether the Protect America Act overstepped constitutional bounds, particularly the Fourth Amendment prohibition on searches and seizures without a warrant. An early Yahoo filing said the case was “of tremendous national importance. The issues at stake in this litigation are the most serious issues that this Nation faces today-to what extent must the privacy rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution yield to protect our national security.”

The appeals court, however, ruled that the government had put in place adequate safeguards to avoid constitutional violations.

“We caution that our decision does not constitute an endorsement of broad-based, indiscriminate executive power,” the court wrote on Aug. 22, 2008. “Rather, our decision recognizes that where the government has instituted several layers of serviceable safeguards to protect individuals against unwarranted harms and to minimize incidental intrusions, its efforts to protect national security should not be frustrated by the courts. This is such a case.”

The government threatened Yahoo with the $250,000 a day fine after the company had lost an initial round before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court but was still pursuing an appeal. Faced with the fine, Yahoo began complying with the legal order as it continued with the appeal, which it ultimately lost several months later.

Efforts to reach the Justice Department for comment Thursday afternoon were not successful.

Stewart Baker, a former NSA general counsel and Bush administration Homeland Security official, said it’s not unusual for courts to order compliance with rulings while appeals continue before higher courts.

“I’m always amazed how people are willing to abstract these decisions from the actual stakes,” Baker said. “We’re talking about trying to gather information about people who are trying to kill us and who will succeed if we don’t have robust information about their activities.”

The ACLU applauded Thursday’s move to release the documents but said it was long overdue.

“The public can’t understand what a law means if it doesn’t know how the courts are interpreting that law,” said Patrick Toomey, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s national Security Project.

Carol Leonnig and Julie Tate contributed to this report. 

*****

Should we be proud? This a short step away from Soviet-style tactics. Has "land of the free and home of the brave" really become "land of the sheep and lair of big brother"? And, shockingly, we just simply let them continue. They are supposed to work for us!!!

*****
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