Panel Robert Scoble and Andrew Keen on Google Glass and privacy issues at TNW Conference Europe 2013
Amazing Google Glasses Demonstration at Google I/O 2012
Facebook Using Face Recognition Software
Facebook’s New Facial-Recognition Technology
Facial Recognition Systems Going Mainstream
Chic – Le Freak
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Have you heard about the new dance craze?
Listen to us, I’m sure you’ll be amazed
Big fun to be had by everyone
It’s up to you, it surely can be done
Young and old are doing it, I’m told
Just one try and you too will be sold
It’s called Le Freak! They’re doing it night and day
Allow us, we’ll show you the way
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
All that pressure got you down
Has your head spinning all around
Feel the rhythm, check the rhyme
Come on along and have a real good time
Like the days of stomping at the Savoy
Now we freak, oh what a joy!
Just come on down to 54
Find a spot out on the floor
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
I said freak!
All that pressure got you down
Has your head spinning all around
Feel the rhythm, check the ride
Come on along and have a real good time
Like the days of stomping at the Savoy
Now we freak, oh what a joy!
Just come on down 54
Find a spot out on the floor
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Just When You Thought Google Glass Couldn’t Get Creepier: New App Allows Strangers to ID You Just by Looking at You
ave you ever seen someone wearing Google Glass out at the bar? Like a real person at a real bar actually wearing Google Glass? If so, you know how absolutely ridiculous they look. Which may be the only factor we have that will stop this:
A new app will allow total strangers to ID you and pull up all your information, just by looking at you and scanning your face with their Google Glass. The app is called NameTag and it sounds CREEPY.
The “real-time facial recognition” software “can detect a face using the Google Glass camera, send it wirelessly to a server, compare it to millions of records, and in seconds return a match complete with a name, additional photos and social media profiles.”
The information listed could include your name, occupation, any social media profiles you have set up and whether or not you have a criminal record (“CRIMINAL HISTORY FOUND” pops up in bright red letters according to the demo).
And NameTag may have already added you to their database.
Two million entries have already been uploaded to FacialNetwork.com. Once the app officially goes live, you can sign up for NameTag and opt-out, instead of the alternative: Having to opt-in to allow them to show your information.
“It’s not about invading anyone’s privacy,” one NameTag’s creators claimed (viaIndependent). “It’s about connecting people that want to be connected. We will even allow users to have one profile that is seen during business hours and another that is seen in social situations. NameTag can make the big, anonymous world we live in as friendly as a small town.”
It may not be about invading anyone’s privacy, but that sounds like what it does. And forcing people to opt-out if they want to maintain their privacy is wrong (we would go so far as to say it should be illegal). But the purported benefits of the app are almost even worse:
They continue, “It’s much easier to meet interesting new people when we can simply look at someone, see their Facebook, review their LinkedIn page or maybe even see their dating site profile. Often we were interacting with people blindly or not interacting at all. NameTag on Google Glass can change all that.”
It’s enough to make you root for that app that lets you film Google Glass porn. If you had to pick one. Luckily, Google has banned facial-recognition software from the Glass—for now.
Bay Area Researcher Developing Facial Recognition Glasses To Help Stop Crime
y now, you have probably heard about the Google Glass wearable computer. Soon, a Mountain View startup will begin selling 3-D eyewear with technology so sophisticated, it could help crime fighters stop crime before it happens.
It’s not a new concept. The 2002 Hollywood film “Minority Report” gave us a look into the future when actor Tom Cruise catches and arrests a criminal before he commits the crime.
y now, you have probably heard about the Google Glass wearable computer. Soon, a Mountain View startup will begin selling 3-D eyewear with technology so sophisticated, it could help crime fighters stop crime before it happens.
It’s not a new concept. The 2002 Hollywood film “Minority Report” gave us a look into the future when actor Tom Cruise catches and arrests a criminal before he commits the crime.
Allen Yang is a University of California at Berkeley researcher and founder of Atheer, the startup developing the glasses.
The 3-D glasses are a wearable computer where users are wirelessly immersed in their own computer through virtual images.
“…And it’s streaming live from the internet to your glasses,” said Theo Goguely, senior product manager at Atheer.
The glasses will ultimately be used by business for work or for regular users for entertainment.
One could put on their glasses and instantly see a 3-D screen with a daytime calendar with a list of things to do. The smart glasses can assist users looking at their kitchen cupboard and they will help visualize nutritional needs.
One of its goals is for use by law enforcement. For example, police wearing the glasses could scan a crowd and possibly locate a suspect or a lost child.
This technology could have helped police find the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing sooner. Although police had images of the suspects, it took investigators days to identify them. Current facial recognition programs were limited in identifying the low resolution images of the suspects from surveillance cameras.
But Yang said Atheer has developed a better mousetrap. Even if 60 percent of the image is corrupted, Yang said his company’s technology can convert it to an identifiable image.
Yang said the program will be available within two or three years and could help police identify known suspects before they commit another crime.
“In the optimal scenario, they can actually get an alert when they’re patrolling on the streets and they can prevent something from happening before even the event happens,” said Yang.
In addition, the program can be used on surveillance cameras on bridges, roads or buildings to help find missing or kidnapped people.
The 3-D glasses will available next month. The cost: $350 for a model that connects to smart phones and $850 for the standalone version.
All of the programs are still in the early stages of development.
Story 1: Got Google Glass — Explorer 2.0 With New Form Factor — Department of Homeland Security Questions You! — Videos
I used Google Glass
Google Glasses (how it works)
How Guys Will Use Google Glass
Google Glass Review
Google Glass Cracked
CNET Top 5 : Best uses for Google Glass
Introduction to Google Glass
Google Glass Hacked?
Google Glass Explorer Edition: Explained!
Explorer Story: Patrick Jackson [through Google Glass]
Google Glass Explorer Edition 2.0 Unboxing and First Impressions
Amazing Google Glasses Demonstration at Google I/O 2012
GOOGLE GLASS FOR KIDS!
GOOGLE GLASS SUCKS!
Introducing Google Nose
Google Glasses Project
Motion Picture Association of America
“TITS and GLASS”: Porn Blocked from Google Glass
WTF- Porn App Coming Soon On Google Glass
Google Glass Bans PORN
Police Wearing Google Glass-type System to Record Encounters
Story 1: Got Google Glass — Explore 2.0 With New Form Factor — Department of Homeland Security Questions You! — Videos
AMC movie theater calls “federal agents” to arrest a Google Glass user
By: Julie Strietelmeier
A long time Gadgeteer reader contacted me today through Google Hangouts to tell me that he had a story that he thought I’d be interested in reading. He then forwarded me a long email with a story from a very good friend of his. It was such a surprising story that I asked if I could have permission to post it here on The Gadgeteer. I ended up communicating with the author of the story and have posted it here for everyone to read…
I have been using Google Glass for about 2 months now, and about 2 weeks ago I got prescription lenses for the glasses. So in the past two weeks I was wearing Google Glass all the time. There were no stories to write about, until yesterday (1/18/2014).
I went to AMC (Easton Mall, Columbus, OH) to watch a movie with my wife (non- Google Glass user). It is the theater we go to every week, so it has probably been the third time I’ve been there wearing Google Glass, and the AMC employees (guy tearing tickets at the entrance, girl at the concession stand) have asked me about Glass in the past and I have told them how awesome Glass is with every occasion.
Because I don’t want Glass to distract me during the movie, I turn them off (but since my prescription lenses are on the frame, I still wear them). About an hour into the movie (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit), a guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says “follow me outside immediately”. It was quite embarrassing and outside of the theater there were about 5-10 cops and mall cops. Since I didn’t catch his name in the dark of the theater, I asked to see his badge again and I asked what was the problem and I asked for my Glass back. The response was “you see all these cops you know we are legit, we are with the ‘federal service’ and you have been caught illegally taping the movie”.
I was surprised by this and as I was obviously just having a nice Saturday evening night out with my wife and not taping anything whether legally or illegally, I tried to explain that this is a misunderstanding. I tried to explain that he’s holding rather expensive hardware that costed me $1500 for Google Glass and over $600 for the prescription glasses. The response was that I was searched and more stuff was taken away from me (specifically my personal phone, my work phone – both of which were turned off, and my wallet). After an embarrassing 20-30 minutes outside the movie theater, me and my wife were conducted into two separate rooms in the “management” office of Easton Mall, where the guy with the badge introduced himself again and showed me a different ID. His partner introduced herself too and showed me a similar looking badge. I was by that time, too flustered to remember their names (as a matter of fact, now, over 30 hours later I am still shaking when recounting the facts).
What followed was over an hour of the “feds” telling me I am not under arrest, and that this is a “voluntary interview”, but if I choose not to cooperate bad things may happen to me (is it legal for authorities to threaten people like that?). I kept telling them that Glass has a USB port and not only did I allow them, I actually insist they connect to it and see that there was nothing but personal photos with my wife and my dog on it. I also insisted they look at my phone too and clear things out, but they wanted to talk first. They wanted to know who I am, where I live, where I work, how much I’m making, how many computers I have at home, why am I recording the movie, who am I going to give the recording to, why don’t I just give up the guy up the chain, ’cause they are not interested in me. Over and over and over again.
I kept telling them that I wasn’t recording anything – my Glass was off, they insisted they saw it on. I told them there would be a light coming out the little screen if Glass was on, and I could show them that, but they insisted that I cannot touch my Glass for the fear “I will erase the evidence against me that was on Glass”. I didn’t have the intuition to tell them that Glass gets really warm if it records for more than a few minutes and my glasses were not warm. They wanted to know where I got Glass and how did I came by having it. I told them I applied about 1000 times to get in the explorer program, and eventually I was selected, and I got the Glass from Google. I offered to show them receipt and Google Glass website if they would allow me to access any computer with internet. Of course, that was not an option. Then they wanted to know what does Google ask of me in exchange for Glass, how much is Google paying me, who is my boss and why am I recording the movie.
Eventually, after a long time somebody came with a laptop and an USB cable at which point he told me it was my last chance to come clean. I repeated for the hundredth time there is nothing to come clean about and this is a big misunderstanding so the FBI guy finally connected my Glass to the computer, downloaded all my personal photos and started going though them one by one (although they are dated and it was obvious there was nothing on my Glass that was from the time period they accused me of recording). Then they went through my phone, and 5 minutes later they concluded I had done nothing wrong.
I asked why didn’t they just take those five minutes at the beginning of the interrogation and they just left the room. A guy who claimed his name is Bob Hope (he gave me his business card) came in the room, and said he was with the Movie Association and they have problems with piracy at that specific theater and that specific movie. He gave me two free movie passes “so I can see the movie again”. I asked if they thought my Google Glass was such a big piracy machine, why didn’t they ask me not to wear them in the theater? I would have probably sat five or six rows closer to the screen (as I didn’t have any other pair of prescription glasses with me) and none of this would have happened. All he said was AMC called him, and he called the FBI and “here are two more passes for my troubles”. I would have been fine with “I’m sorry this happened, please accept our apologies”. Four free passes just infuriated me.
Considering it was 11:27pm when this happened, and the movie started at 7.45, I guess 3 and a half hours of my time and the scare my wife went through (who didn’t know what was going on as nobody bothered to tell her) is worth about 30 bucks in the eyes of the Movie Association and the federal militia (sorry, I cannot think of other derogatory words). I think I should sue them for this, but I don’t have the time or the energy to deal with “who is my boss – they don’t want me, they want the big guy” again, so I just spilled the beans on this forum, for other to learn from my experience.
I guess until people get more familiar with Google Glass and understand what they are, one should not wear them to the movies. I wish they would have said something before I went to the movies, but it may be my mistake for assuming that if I went and watched movies two times wearing Glass with no incident the third time there won’t be any incident either. As for the federal agents and their level of comprehension… I guess if they deal with petty criminals every day, everybody starts looking like a petty criminal. Again, I wish they would have listened when I told them how to verify I did nothing illegal, or at least apologize afterwards, but hey… this is the free country everybody praises. Somewhere else might be even worse.
Crazy huh? His story read like something out of the Jack Ryan movie that he and his wife had gone to see. Are there any other Google Glass users out there that have been treated badly just for your wearable tech? If not, are you reconsidering wearing a pair to the next movie you attend?
Wow, this article has completely blown up our web server due to the traffic. I just wanted to follow up with a few comments and info. First of all, I’m not a journalist, I’m a tech geek writer. Posting this article has given me a good learning lesson though, which I’ll use if I ever post a similar article in the future.
I have been criticized for not citing my sources and following up with the theater to verify that the story was true. I didn’t feel the need at the time because the person who gave me the story is a long time Gadgeteer reader and works in law enforcement. I felt 100% confident the story was not a hoax. I did however call the theater in question and tried to get in touch with someone there for a comment. My calls went unanswered.
After the article was posted. Rob Jackson of Phandroid posted his take on the article and asked me for the author’s contact info. With the author’s permission, I forwarded that info and Rob followed up with some questions and answers that he posted on his site. Take a look for more info on this story:
I just received info from the author with regards to the agents that questioned him:
For the sake of having all the facts right.
I have been trying to find out who the agents that “interviewed” me at
AMC were, so I asked help from a guy I know at FBI. I worked with this
guy in the past when I was employed at a webhosting company. He did
some digging, and he tells me the “federal agents”
talking to me were DHS.
The title of the article has been changed to reflect the recent update from the author that it was actually the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) who detained him and not the FBI as he originally thought.
The story has been confirmed. I just received this email from the author:
I spoke with a reporter from Columbus Dispatch, who obtained a
statement from DHS and forwarded it to me. Here it is:
On Jan. 18, special agents with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations
and local authorities briefly interviewed a man suspected of using an
electronic recording device to record a film at an AMC theater in
Columbus. The man, who voluntarily answered questions, confirmed to
authorities that the suspected recording device was also a pair of
prescription eye glasses in which the recording function had been
inactive. No further action was taken.
Khaalid Walls, ICE spokesman
Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Google Glass at the movies gets man interrogated
A man wearing Google Glass in an Ohio movie theater says the FBI pulled him out and accused him of recording the movie with his device.
There are enemies of the state, and then there are enemies of Jack Ryan.
A Google Glass wearer has told an extraordinary story of going to his local movie theater in Ohio and allegedly being accosted by the FBI for wearing his device.
Google Glass wearers, beware.(Credit: Federal Bureau of Investigations)
He was, he said, wearing Google Glass. His wife accompanied him, Glass-less.
What allegedly transpired was macabre. He wrote that it was not the first time he’d worn Glass to that theater.
However, an hour into the movie: “A guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says ‘follow me outside immediately.'”
Outside, he said, was a group of policemen. T.U. says that the man who dragged him out explained he was from the “federal service.”
What was the Glass-wearer’s alleged crime? He was, he said, being accused of recording the movie on his device.
I tried to explain that he’s holding rather expensive hardware that costed me $1500 for Google Glass and over $600 for the prescription glasses. The response was that I was searched and more stuff was taken away from me (specifically my personal phone, my work phone – both of which were turned off, and my wallet).
T.U. insisted that he wasn’t recording anything. The Glass was off. He wasn’t believed.
I kept telling them that I wasn’t recording anything — my Glass was off, they insisted they saw it on. I told them there would be a light coming out the little screen if Glass was on, and I could show them that, but they insisted that I cannot touch my Glass for the fear ‘I will erase the evidence against me that was on Glass’
T.U. said that he was happy for his Google Glass to be hooked up to a laptop to prove there was nothing recorded on it.
The FBI guy finally connected my Glass to the computer, downloaded all my personal photos and started going though them one by one (although they are dated and it was obvious there was nothing on my Glass that was from the time period they accused me of recording). Then they went through my phone, and 5 minutes later they concluded I had done nothing wrong.
Finally, T.U. said that the FBI left and a man from the “Movie Association” entered and told him that they’d had trouble with people recording at that theater. He says he was offered free movie passes to see the Jack Ryan movie again.
In the comments section of her piece, the Gadgeteer’s Julie Strietelmeier insisted: “I talked to the author and know his friend who has frequented The Gadgeteer for years. I believe them and the story.”
I have contacted AMC in an attempt to confirm that the substance of this story is true and will update, should I hear. It will be interesting to see if an anti-Google Glass stance is, indeed, AMC policy.
This is merely the latest incident in which Google Glass has caused consternation. Some bars and restaurants have banned wearers. Only last week, software developer Cecilia Abadie won her case against a ticket for driving while Glassing. Just as T.U. claimed, she said hers was turned off.
T.U. seemed merely relieved that the ordeal — which he said lasted more than three hours — was over. Still, he said he wished someone had told him that wearing Glass at the movie theater wasn’t allowed.
As for the “federal service,” he wasn’t impressed with their alleged lack of understanding about Google Glass. He wrote: “I guess if they deal with petty criminals every day, everybody starts looking like a petty criminal.”
Google Glass is becoming anything but petty.
Google Glass moviegoer detained for hours on suspicion of piracy
A man attending a movie on Saturday at an AMC theater in Columbus, Ohio was pulled from a theater, detained, and questioned for over two hours by US Dept. of Homeland Security special agents tasked with fighting piracy – all for wearing Google Glass.
The man, who asked to remain anonymous, said that about an hour into a 19:45 EST showing of ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,’ a man who flashed an official-looking badge “yank[ed] the Google Glass” off his face, asking him to exit the theater. The man was attending the film with his wife at the AMC theater at Easton Town Center.
Two officers then ordered him to hand over his wallet and both his work and personal cell phones, according to tech site The Gadgeteer. The man said he was questioned for 20 or 30 minutes on why he was attempting to record the film. Because he had recently added prescription lenses to his Google Glass, the 35-year-old man wore them into the movie. The device has a voice-activated computer and does have an attached camera.
“I said, ‘Want me to prove I’m not recording the movie? It’s very easy,’” the man told the Columbus Dispatch on Tuesday. He said he indicated to the agents that Google Glass has a USB port where the device can be reviewed. “There’s nothing but pictures of my wife and my dog on it,” he told the agents.
The agents declined, electing to detain and question the man in a downstairs “management” office for around two hours, repeatedly asking the same questions again and again. The man says he was asked who he was working for, how many computers he had at home, why he had attempted to record the film, and “why don’t I just give up the guy up the chain.” The agents, of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), finally reviewed the device to see there was no material of interest. He was allowed to leave just after 23:00 EST, with two free movie passes.
The Columbus Dispatch learned the agents were from ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit, which is tasked with combating piracy and counterfeit goods.
ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls said the unit and local authorities “briefly interviewed a man suspected of using an electronic recording device to record a film.”
“The man, who voluntarily answered questions, confirmed to authorities that the suspected recording device was also a pair of prescription eye glasses in which the recording function had been inactive. No further action was taken,” Walls said in a statement.
An AMC spokesman said the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) was at the same theater last weekend when the man wearing Google Glass was pointed out. An MPAA representative flagged the man thought to be recording the film for the Department of Homeland Security.
“While we’re huge fans of technology and innovation, wearing a device that has the capability to record video is not appropriate at the movie theater,” AMC’s Ryan Noonan said.
The MPAA said in a statement that it has not seen any reason to believe that Google Glass poses a threat that could lead to film piracy.
The man said he acquired Google Glass in November during Google’s exclusive offer, known as the Explorer program. He and around 30,000 others have paid US$1,500 to test-run the device before it is released to the public later this year. In addition, the prescription lenses cost him $600.
He said he regrets wearing Glass to a movie, despite having done so in the recent past at the same theater without issue.
“I realize it’s stupid to have a device with a camera pointed at the screen,” he said. “But I didn’t even think of it, because I don’t use Google Glass to record other people.”
oogle promises that Glass, its new augmented reality eyepiece, will open up a new world of hands-free computing — a way to search, translate, record video, and take photographs without having to press buttons or rummage through pockets to retrieve a smartphone or tablet.
There are lots of potential applications. To start things off, Google lists cooking, cycling, skiing, golf, and firefighting — physical activities where holding a device is impractical if not impossible. But really, it was only a matter of time before people began using it for sex.
The first attempt, an app called Tits and Glass, allowed Glass users to stream pornographic images to their headset. The app was promptly banned from Google’s app store, but was recently reinstated.
Now a new app for Glass developed by Lebanese product design student Sherif Maktabi and called Sex with Google Glass lets couples use the wearable technology to record their intimate activities, and — if both partners are wearing a headset — even see sex through their partner’s eyes by streaming the view from their respective devices.
The app is controlled through groan-worthy voice commands. For example, saying “Ok Glass, it’s time” begins the recording process. Once sex is over, recording is ended by the voice command “Ok Glass, pull out.” Video can be replayed for up to five hours before being automatically deleted from the app.
Frankly, I think the idea of having sex while watching a stream from the perspective of your partner sounds narcissistic at best, and mildly disturbing at worst, so I highly doubt that this feature will become immensely popular. And putting a barrier of technology between partners may prove a turnoff and intimacy killer for many.
But Glass as a tool to easily record or stream homemade porn? There is probably a big market for this kind of thing.
Concerns about morals or privacy aside, it’s important to remember that porn is a big driver of technology adoption. The adult film industry has been at the forefront of technology for years, at least since it picked VHS over Betamax. Technological innovations pioneered by the porn industryinclude online payment systems, streaming video and video chat, DVD, and HD video formats.
It’s hard to say at this point if augmented reality computing will usurp smartphones, tablets, and laptops, or if it will remain a niche activity. But if augmented reality computing like Google Glass is really going to take off and become a market leader, it should be expected that sex and porn will be a key driver of adoption. The fact that some people are already using Google Glass for sex paints a rosy picture for the technology in the longer term.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
~United States Constitution, Amendment IV
“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know what no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”
“Big Brother is Watching You.”
~George Orwell’s 1984
POWER IS NOT A MEANS, IT IS AN END
Maxine Waters Confirms Big Brother Database 2013 Foretells NSA Phone & Internet Spying
Glenn Beck:Govt Storing Citizen Cellphone& Internet Activity
Digital Blackwater: How the NSA Gives Private Contractors Control of the Surveillance State
Glenn Greenwald on How NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Helped Expose a “Massive Surveillance Apparatus”
What You Should Know About The New NSA Utah Data Center
Is Edward Snowden a Hero? A Debate With Journalist Chris Hedges & Law Scholar Geoffrey Stone
Spying On Americans By NSA Prism Collection Details – Rand Paul On Hannity
NSA is Spying on EVERYTHING you do. Phone calls and internet activity is being stored and monitored.
PRISM: Why the NSA is Mining Internet Data
Total Surveillance : N.S.A. data mining all computers, phone calls, internet, emails
CNET Update – Uproar over PRISM government surveillance
NSA Caught Spying on Americans’ Internet Use
Columnist exposes Obama surveillance
Meet Edward Snowden: NSA PRISM Whistleblower
Sky News interview w/ Julian Assange and JP Barlow RE: Prism and Edward Snowden
Complete News – Snowden leaks show NSA ‘routinely lies’ to Congress
Judge Napolitano On NSA Spying: Most Extraordinarily Broad Search Warrant Ever Issued In US History
Rand Paul Discusses The NSA’s Violation Of The Bill Of Rights On Yahoo News (6-6-13)
Rand Paul On NSA Spying: ‘I’m Going To Challenge This At The Supreme Court’ -
Ron Paul: NSA Seizing Phone Records Symptom of Failure of The State
NSA Constitutional Violations? – Judge Andrew Napolitano – Geraldo
Clever Denials Surrounding the NSA PRISM Piracy Scandal
Peter Eckersley from the Electronic Frontier Foundation stopped by to explain why Silicon Vally’s top tech companies are dancing around PRISM allegations. Interview recorded Friday June 7, 2013
NSA Surveillance – Does Obama Have ANY Credibility Left?
“In his remarks today defending the NSA programs gathering telephone records and mining Internet companies, Obama sounded a familiar refrain, saying he welcomes the “debate” over the proper balance between civil liberties and national security.”*
Obama gave a speech in defense of recently uncovered secret programs to wiretap and data-mine U.S. citizens almost indiscriminately, and Congress agrees. Do you believe his remarks that we NEED these programs? Would Obama agree with himself campaigning about his stance on civil rights? Cenk Uygur, Ben Mankiewicz, and John Iadarola discuss.
How PRISM Easily Gives Your Private Data Over to Big Brother
The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.
The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called Prism, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.”*
We’ve been assured by the president that the NSA’s PRISM program won’t affect “ordinary” U.S. citizens, but what is the criteria for deciding who gets their data mined and monitored? Cenk Uygur, Ben Mankiewicz, and John Iadarola (Host, TYT University) discuss the egregious reach of the Obama administration’s secret mass surveillance program.
The federal government is launching an expansive program dubbed “Perfect Citizen” to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants, according to people familiar with the program.The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government’s chief eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack, though it wouldn’t persistently monitor the whole system, these people said.
Defense contractor Raytheon Corp. recently won a classified contract for the initial phase of the surveillance effort valued at up to $100 million, said a person familiar with the project.
An NSA spokeswoman said the agency had no information to provide on the program. A Raytheon spokesman declined to comment.
Some industry and government officials familiar with the program see Perfect Citizen as an intrusion by the NSA into domestic affairs, while others say it is an important program to combat an emerging security threat that only the NSA is equipped to provide.
“The overall purpose of the [program] is our Government…feel[s] that they need to insure the Public Sector is doing all they can to secure Infrastructure critical to our National Security,” said one internal Raytheon email, the text of which was seen by The Wall Street Journal. “Perfect Citizen is Big Brother.”
Glenn Becks “SURVEILLANCE STATE” (Must Viewing)
NSA spying on All Americans Part 1
NSA spying on All Americans Part 2
How to Protect Yourself from The NSA
NSA Whistleblower Seeks Asylum in Iceland
Former CIA Officer: Officials Considering NSA Whistleblower’s Case Potential Chinese Espionage
Judge Jeanine Slams IRS, NSA and Obama for Expanding Surveillance Program – Opening Statement
James Bamford: Inside the NSA’s Largest and Most Expansive Secret Domestic Spy Center 1 of 2
James Bamford: Inside the NSA’s Largest and Most Expansive Secret Domestic Spy Center 2 of 2
NSA Whistleblower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post
“The NSA Is Lying”: U.S. Government Has Copies of Most of Your Emails Says NSA Whistleblower
NSA whistleblower William Binney Keynote at HOPE Number Nine
U.S. v. Whistleblower Tom Drake
Tom Drake, a former NSA senior executive indicted last year for espionage after leaking to the media allegations that the nation’s largest intelligence organization had committed fraud, waste and abuse will appear in his first television interview. Scott Pelley reports.
Whistle Blower Threatened with 35 Years in Prison, Warns of Developing Tyranny
NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake Prevails in Unprecedented Obama Admin Crackdown
NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake speaks at National Press Club – March 15, 2013
Part 2: Former NSA Employee Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack on Whistleblower Crackdown
The Police – Every Breath You Take
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. …”
Domestic Spying, Mainstream Source – NSA, Internet Spying, AT&T
Domestic Spying, Mainstream Source – NSA Copying Entire Internet
Glenn Becks “SURVEILLANCE STATE”
Barack Obama’s Surveillance Society
GLENN BECK ‘They Are Liars’
Glenn Greenwald: Challenging the US Surveillance State
2012.05.01 – GBTV – The Glenn Beck Radio Program – NSA Warning
Project Vigilant: Shadowy Spy Group Building Dossiers On Internet Users For Feds – Alex Jones Tv 3/3
Total Information Awareness – Social Networking Sites (mirror)
The Information Awareness Office (IAO) was established by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in January 2002 to bring together several DARPA projects focused on applying surveillance and information technology to track and monitor terrorists and other asymmetric threats to national security, by achieving Total Information Awareness (TIA). This would be achieved by creating enormous computer databases to gather and store the personal information of everyone in the United States, including personal e-mails, social networks, credit card records, phone calls, medical records, and numerous other sources including, without any requirement for a search warrant. This information would then be analyzed to look for suspicious activities, connections between individuals, and “threats”. Additionally, the program included funding for biometric surveillance technologies that could identify and track individuals using surveillance cameras, and other methods.
Following public criticism that the development and deployment of these technologies could potentially lead to a mass surveillance system, the IAO was defunded by Congress in 2003. However, several IAO projects continued to be funded, and merely run under different names.
ThinThread is the name of a project that the United StatesNational Security Agency (NSA) pursued during the 1990s, according to a May 17, 2006 article in The Baltimore Sun. The program involved wiretapping and sophisticated analysis of the resulting data, but according to the article, the program was discontinued after the September 11, 2001 attacks due to the changes in priorities and the consolidation of U.S. intelligence authority. The “change in priority” consisted of the decision made by the director of NSA General Michael V. Hayden to go with a concept called Trailblazer, despite the fact that ThinThread was a working prototype that protected the privacy of U.S. citizens.
Redacted version of the DoD Inspector General audit, obtained through FOIA
A group of former NSA workers — Kirk Wiebe, William Binney, Ed Loomis, and Thomas A. Drake, along with House Intelligence Committee staffer Diane Roark (an expert on the NSA budget) — believed the operational prototype system called ThinThread was a better solution than Trailblazer, which was just a concept on paper at the time. They complained to the DoD Inspector General office in 2002 about mismanagement and the waste of taxpayer money at the NSA surrounding the Trailblazer program. In 2007 the FBI raided the homes of these people, an evolution of President Bush’s crackdown on whistleblowers and “leaks” after the New York Times disclosed a separate program (see NSA warrantless surveillance controversy). In 2010, one of the people who had helped the IG in the ensuing investigation, NSA official Thomas Andrews Drake, was charged with espionage, part of the Obama administration’s crackdown on whistleblowers and “leaks”. The original charges against him were later dropped and he pled to a misdemeanor.
The result of the DoD IG complaint was a 2004 audit report that was released under FOIA in 2011. Although highly redacted, the report contained significant criticisms of Trailblazer, and included some relatively minor criticisms of ThinThread, for example, citing a low “quality of service and support” from the ThinThread program team, a lack of documentation, a lack of a configuration management system, and a lack of a trouble ticket system. However, “The findings that led to the recommendations would not have prevented the successful deployment of THINTHREAD … the recommendations were made to improve the operational efficiency of THINTHREAD after it was deployed …”
The program would have used a technique of encrypting sensitive privacy information in order to comply with legal concerns, and would have automatically identified potential threats. The sources of the data for this program would have included “massive phone and e-mail data,” but the extent of this information is not clear. Only once a threat was discovered, would the data be decrypted for analysis by agents.
ThinThread would have bundled together four cutting-edge surveillance tools.:
Used more sophisticated methods of sorting through massive phone and e-mail data to identify suspect communications.
Identified U.S. phone numbers and other communications data and encrypted them to ensure caller privacy.
Employed an automated auditing system to monitor how analysts handled the information, in order to prevent misuse and improve efficiency.
Analyzed the data to identify relationships between callers and chronicle their contacts. Only when evidence of a potential threat had been developed would analysts be able to request decryption of the records.
Intelligence experts describe as rigorous testing of ThinThread in 1998, the project succeeded at each task with high marks. For example, its ability to sort through massive amounts of data to find threat-related communications far surpassed the existing system. It also was able to rapidly separate and encrypt U.S.-related communications to ensure privacy.
The Pentagon report concluded that ThinThread’s ability to sort through data in 2001 was far superior to that of another NSA system in place in 2004, and that the program should be launched and enhanced. ThinThread was designed to address two key challenges: One, the NSA had more information than it could digest, and, two, increasingly its targets were in contact with people in the United States whose calls the agency was prohibited from monitoring.
Trailblazer Project had more political support internally because it was initiated by Michael Hayden when he first arrived at the NSA.
NSA’s existing system for data-sorting has produced a database clogged with corrupted and useless information. The mass collection of relatively unsorted data, combined with system flaws erroneously flag people as suspect, has produced numerous false leads, draining analyst resources. NSA leads have resulted in numerous dead ends.
NSA dropped the component that monitored for abuse of records. It not only tracked the use of the database, but hunted for the most effective analysis techniques, and some analysts thought it would be used to judge their performance. Within the NSA, the primary advocate for the ThinThread program was Richard Taylor. Taylor has retired from the NSA. The strength of ThinThread’s approach is that by encrypting information on Americans, it is legal regardless of whether the country is at war.
ThinThread “was designed very carefully from a legal point of view, so that even in non-wartime, you could have done it legitimately.”
End of the project
The project was ended after successful testing by General Michael Hayden, and while the privacy elements were not retained, the analysis technology is reported to be the underlying basis of current NSA analysis techniques.
“They basically just disabled the [privacy] safeguards.” [That quote does not appear in the link]
Some anonymous NSA officials told Hosenball of Newsweek that the ThinThread program, like Trailblazer, was a “wasteful failure”.
Drake was interviewed on The Daily Show on August 6, 2012 about his charges and the program with his lawyer.
Trailblazer was a United States National Security Agency (NSA) program intended to develop a capability to analyze data carried on communications networks like the Internet. It was intended to track entities using communication methods such as cell phones and e-mail. It ran over budget, failed to accomplish critical goals, and was cancelled.
NSA whistleblowers J. Kirk Wiebe, William Binney, Ed Loomis, and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffer Diane Roark complained to the Department of Defense’s Inspector General (IG) about waste, fraud, and abuse in the program, and the fact that a successful operating prototype existed, but was ignored when the Trailblazer program was launched. The complaint was accepted by the IG and an investigation began that lasted until mid-2005 when the final results were issued. The results were largely hidden, as the report given to the public was heavily (90%) redacted, while the original report was heavily classified, thus restricting the ability of most people to see it.
The NSA Inspector General issued a report on Trailblazer that “discussed improperly based contract cost increases, non-conformance in the management of the Statement of Work, and excessive labor rates for contractor personnel.” 
In 2004 the DoD IG report criticized the program (see the Whistleblowing section below). It said that the “NSA ‘disregarded solutions to urgent national security needs'” and “that TRAILBLAZER was poorly executed and overly expensive …” Several contractors for the project were worried about cooperating with DoD’s audit for fear of “management reprisal.” The Director of NSA “nonconcurred” with several statements in the IG audit, and the report contains a discussion of those disagreements.
In 2005, NSA director Michael Hayden told a Senate hearing that the Trailblazer program was several hundred million dollars over budget and years behind schedule. In 2006 the program was shut down, after having cost billions of US Dollars. Several anonymous NSA sources told Hosenball of Newsweek later on that the project was a “wasteful failure”.
According to a 2011 New Yorker article, in the early days of the project several NSA employees met with Diane S Roark, an NSA budget expert on the House Intelligence Committee. They aired their grievances about Trailblazer. In response, NSA director Michael Hayden sent out a memo saying that “individuals, in a session with our congressional overseers, took a position in direct opposition to one that we had corporately decided to follow … Actions contrary to our decisions will have a serious adverse effect on our efforts to transform N.S.A., and I cannot tolerate them.”
In September 2002, several people filed a complaint with the Department of Defense IG’s office regarding problems with Trailblazer: they included Roark (aforementioned), ex-NSA senior analysts Bill Binney, Kirk Wiebe, and Senior Computer Systems Analyst Ed Loomis, who had quit the agency over concerns about its mismanagement of acquisition and allegedly illegal domestic spying. A major source for the report was NSA senior officer Thomas Andrews Drake. Drake had been complaining to his superiors for some time about problems at the agency, and about the superiority of ThinThread over Trailblazer, for example, at protecting privacy. Drake gave info to DoD during its investigation of the matter. Roark also went to her boss at the House committee, Porter Goss, about problems, but was rebuffed. She also attempted to contact William Renquist, the Supreme Court Chief Justice at the time.
Drake’s own boss, Maureen Baginski, the third-highest officer at NSA, quit partly over concerns about the legality of its behavior.
In 2005, the DoD IG produced a report on the result of its investigation of the complaint of Roark and the others in 2002. This report was not released to the public, but it has been described as very negative. Mayer writes that it hastened the closure of Trailblazer, which was at the time in trouble from congress for being over budget.
In November 2005, Drake contacted Siobhan Gorman, a reporter of The Baltimore Sun. Gorman wrote several articles about problems at the NSA, including articles on Trailblazer. This series got her an award from the Society of Professional Journalists.
In 2005, President George W. Bush ordered the FBI to find whoever had disclosed information about the NSA electronic surveillance program and its disclosure in the New York Times. Eventually, this investigation led to the people who had filed the 2002 DoD IG request, even though they had nothing to do with the New York Times disclosure. In 2007, the houses of Roark, Binney, and Wiebe were raided by armed FBI agents. According to Mayer, Binney claims the FBI pointed guns at his head and that of his wife. Wiebe said it reminded him of the Soviet Union. None of these people were ever charged with any crime. Four months later, Drake was raided in November 2007 and his computers and documents were confiscated.
In 2010 Drake was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges of obstructing justice, providing false information, and violating the Espionage Act of 1917, part of President Barack Obama‘s crackdown on whistleblowers and “leakers”. The government tried to get Roark to testify to a conspiracy, and made similar requests to Drake, offering him a plea bargain. They both refused.
In June 2011, the ten original charges against Drake were dropped, instead he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.
ECHELON, according to information in the European Parliament document, “On the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system)” was created to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War in the early 1960s.
The system has been reported in a number of public sources. Its capabilities and political implications were investigated by a committee of the European Parliament during 2000 and 2001 with a report published in 2001, and by author James Bamford in his books on the National Security Agency of the United States. The European Parliament stated in its report that the term ECHELON is used in a number of contexts, but that the evidence presented indicates that it was the name for a signals intelligence collection system. The report concludes that, on the basis of information presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks (which once carried most Internet traffic) and microwave links.
Bamford describes the system as the software controlling the collection and distribution of civilian telecommunications traffic conveyed using communication satellites, with the collection being undertaken by ground stations located in the footprint of the downlink leg.
The EP report concluded that it seemed likely that ECHELON is a method of sorting captured signal traffic, rather than a comprehensive analysis tool.
The ability to intercept communications depends on the medium used, be it radio, satellite, microwave, cellular or fiber-optic. During World War II and through the 1950s, high frequency (“short wave”) radio was widely used for military and diplomatic communication, and could be intercepted at great distances. The rise of geostationary communications satellites in the 1960s presented new possibilities for intercepting international communications. The report to the European Parliament of 2001 states: “If UKUSA states operate listening stations in the relevant regions of the earth, in principle they can intercept all telephone, fax and data traffic transmitted via such satellites.”
The role of satellites in point-to-point voice and data communications has largely been supplanted by fiber optics; in 2006, 99% of the world’s long-distance voice and data traffic was carried over optical-fiber. The proportion of international communications accounted for by satellite links is said to have decreased substantially over the past few years[when?] in Central Europe to an amount between 0.4% and 5%. Even in less-developed parts of the world, communications satellites are used largely for point-to-multipoint applications, such as video. Thus, the majority of communications can no longer be intercepted by earth stations; they can only be collected by tapping cables and intercepting line-of-sight microwave signals, which is possible only to a limited extent.
One method of interception is to place equipment at locations where fiber optic communications are switched. For the Internet, much of the switching occurs at relatively few sites. There have been reports of one such intercept site, Room 641A, in the United States. In the past[when?] much Internet traffic was routed through the U.S. and the UK, but this has changed; for example, in 2000, 95% of intra-German Internet communications was routed via the DE-CIXInternet exchange point in Frankfurt. A comprehensive worldwide surveillance network is possible only if clandestine intercept sites are installed in the territory of friendly nations, and/or if local authorities cooperate. The report to the European Parliament points out that interception of private communications by foreign intelligence services is not necessarily limited to the U.S. or British foreign intelligence services.
Most reports on ECHELON focus on satellite interception; testimony before the European Parliament indicated that separate but similar UK-US systems are in place to monitor communication through undersea cables, microwave transmissions and other lines.
Intelligence monitoring of citizens, and their communications, in the area covered by the AUSCANNZUKUS security agreement has caused concern. British journalist Duncan Campbell and New Zealand journalist Nicky Hager asserted in the 1990s that the United States was exploiting ECHELON traffic for industrial espionage, rather than military and diplomatic purposes. Examples alleged by the journalists include the gear-less wind turbine technology designed by the German firm Enercon and the speech technology developed by the Belgian firm Lernout & Hauspie. An article in the US newspaper Baltimore Sun reported in 1995 that European aerospace company Airbus lost a $6 billion contract with Saudi Arabia in 1994 after the US National Security Agency reported that Airbus officials had been bribing Saudi officials to secure the contract.
In 2001, the Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System recommended to the European Parliament that citizens of member states routinely use cryptography in their communications to protect their privacy, because economic espionage with ECHELON has been conducted by the US intelligence agencies.
Bamford provides an alternative view, highlighting that legislation prohibits the use of intercepted communications for commercial purposes, although he does not elaborate on how intercepted communications are used as part of an all-source intelligence process.
According to its website, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is “a high technology organization … on the frontiers of communications and data processing”. In 1999 the Australian Senate Joint Standing Committee on Treaties was told by Professor Desmond Ball that the Pine Gap facility was used as a ground station for a satellite-based interception network. The satellites were said to be large radio dishes between 20 and 100 meters in diameter in geostationary orbits. The original purpose of the network was to monitor the telemetry from 1970s Soviet weapons, air defence radar, communications satellites and ground based microwave communications.
The European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System stated: “It seems likely, in view of the evidence and the consistent pattern of statements from a very wide range of individuals and organisations, including American sources, that its name is in fact ECHELON, although this is a relatively minor detail.” The U.S. intelligence community uses many code names (see, for example, CIA cryptonym).
Former NSA employee Margaret Newsham claims that she worked on the configuration and installation of software that makes up the ECHELON system while employed at Lockheed Martin, for whom she worked from 1974 to 1984 in Sunnyvale, California, US, and in Menwith Hill, England, UK. At that time, according to Newsham, the code name ECHELON was NSA’s term for the computer network itself. Lockheed called it P415. The software programs were called SILKWORTH and SIRE. A satellite named VORTEX intercepted communications. An image available on the internet of a fragment apparently torn from a job description shows Echelon listed along with several other code names.
The 2001 European Parliamentary (EP) report lists several ground stations as possibly belonging to, or participating in, the ECHELON network. These include:
Likely satellite intercept stations
The following stations are listed in the EP report (p. 54 ff) as likely to have, or to have had, a role in intercepting transmissions from telecommunications satellites:
Martin Richard, 8-year-old killed in bombing, one of three
Martin Richard, right, killed, his mother, Denise, injured required brain surgery, sister Jane, lost leg, father, Bill ran in marathon
My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries.
‘We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin. We also ask for your patience and for privacy as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover. Thank you.’
‘My daughter was the most lovable girl,’ her father, William Campbell Jr. said. ‘She helped everybody, and I’m just so shocked right now. We’re just devastated. She was a wonderful, wonderful girl. Always willing to lend a hand.’
Another, unnamed victim was also killed in the blasts.
Two bombs exploded near the crowded finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing two people and injuring more than 50 others in a terrifying scene of broken glass, smoke and severed limbs, authorities said.
A third blast rocked the John F. Kennedy Library a few miles away and more than an hour later, but no injuries were reported, the police commissioner said. A senior U.S. intelligence official said two other explosive devices were found near the marathon finish line.
There was no word on the motive or who may have launched the attack, and authorities in Washington said there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The twin blasts at the race took place almost simultaneously and about 100 yards apart, tearing limbs off numerous people, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending smoke rising over the street.
As people wailed in agony, bloody spectators were carried to a medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners.
“They just started bringing people in in with no limbs,” said Tim Davey, of Richmond, Va. He said he and his wife, Lisa, tried to keep their children’s eyes shielded from the gruesome scene.
“They just kept filling up with more and more casualties,” Lisa Davey said. “Most everybody was conscious. They were very dazed.”
Some 27,000 runners took part in the 26.2-mile race, one of the world’s premier marathons and one of Boston’s biggest annual events.
After the explosions, cellphone service was shut down in the area to prevent any possible remote explosive detonations, a law enforcement official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis asked people to stay indoors or go back to their hotel rooms and avoid crowds as bomb squads checked parcels and bags left along the race route.
The Federal Aviation Administration barred low-flying aircraft from within 3.5 miles of the site.
President Barack Obama was briefed on the explosions by Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco. Obama also told Mayor Tom Menino and Gov. Deval Patrick that his administration would provide whatever support was needed, the White House said.
“There are people who are really, really bloody,” said Laura McLean, a runner from Toronto, who was in the medical tent being treated for dehydration when she was pulled out to make room for victims.
About two hours after the winners crossed the line, there was a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line. Another explosion could be heard a few seconds later.
The Boston Police Department said two people were killed. Hospitals reported at least 57 injured, at least eight of them critically.
A senior U.S. intelligence official said the two other explosive devices found nearby were being dismantled. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the findings publicly.
Competitors and race volunteers were crying as they fled the chaos. Authorities went onto the course to carry away the injured while race stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site.
Roupen Bastajian, a 35-year-old state trooper from Smithfield, R.I., had just finished the race when they put the heat blanket wrap on him and he heard the blasts.
“I started running toward the blast. And there were people all over the floor,” he said. “We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated. … At least 25 to 30 people have at least one leg missing, or an ankle missing, or two legs missing.”
Smoke rose from the blasts, fluttering through the national flags lining the route of the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathon. TV helicopter footage showed blood staining the pavement in the popular shopping and tourist area known as the Back Bay.
Cherie Falgoust was waiting for her husband, who was running the race.
“I was expecting my husband any minute,” she said. “I don’t know what this building is … it just blew. Just a big bomb, a loud boom, and then glass everywhere. Something hit my head. I don’t know what it was. I just ducked.”
Runners who had not finished the race were diverted straight down Commonwealth Avenue and into a family meeting area, according to an emergency plan that had been in place.
The Boston Marathon honored the victims of the Newtown, Conn., shooting with a special mile marker in Monday’s race.
Boston Athletic Association president Joanne Flaminio previously said there was “special significance” to the fact that the race is 26.2 miles long and 26 people died at Sandy Hook Elementary school.
Associated Press writers Jay Lindsay, Steve LeBlanc and Meghan Barr in Boston and Lara Jakes and Eileen Sullivan in Washington contributed to this report.
Two bombs rock Boston Marathon, at least two killed, dozens hurt
By Scott Malone and Svea Herbst-Bayliss
Two bombs ripped through the crowd at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing two people and injuring dozens in what a White House official said would be handled as an “act of terror.”
President Barack Obama promised to hunt down whoever was responsible for the attack on a day when tens of thousands of spectators pack the streets to watch the world-famous race.
Many runners were heading for the finish when a fireball and smoke rose from behind cheering spectators and a row of flags representing the countries of participants, video from the scene showed.
The cheers turned to screams and panic.
“It sounded like a sonic boom. I haven’t stopped shaking yet,” said Melissa Stanley, who watched her daughter cross the finish line four minutes before the explosions.
Ambulances, fire trucks and dozens of police vehicles converged at the scene, and spectators could be seen crying and consoling each other.
The dead included an 8-year-old boy, the Globe reported, citing two law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation.
“I saw people who looked like they had their legs blown off. There was a lot of blood over their legs. Then people were being pushed in wheelchairs,” said Joe Anderson, 33, a fisherman from Pembroke, Massachusetts, who had just run the race holding a large U.S. flag.
The blasts put police on alert in major cities across the United States, including in Washington, D.C. and New York City, sites of the September 11, 2001 hijacked plane attacks.
Four Boston area-hospitals contacted by Reuters reported a total of at least 67 hurt. Some of those may have been hospitalized for treatment from running the marathon. The Boston Globe newspaper reported that more than 100 people were hurt.
Two high-level U.S. law enforcement officials, who declined to be identified, said one or more bombs caused the explosions at the scene of the marathon, which is run annually on the state holiday Patriots’ Day.
“These were powerful devices that resulted in serious injury,” Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told reporters.
About an hour after the 2:50 p.m. EDT (1850 GMT) blasts in Boston’s Copley Square marred the usually joyous end to the marathon, a fire erupted at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library three miles away, but no one was injured, police said. Authorities were uncertain whether the fire was related, Davis said.
In Washington, Obama told reporters, “Make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this and we will find out who did this.”
He said “any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.”
No suspect was in custody. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Justice Department, Homeland Security Department and other agencies were all investigating, authorities said.
“EVIL, EVIL, EVIL”
Runners from the marathon and others went to the Massachusetts General Hospital offering to donate blood.
“This was evil, evil, evil,” said Kevin Garboit, 46, from the hospital lobby, asking staff if he could donate blood. He was told to come back Tuesday morning.
Without knowing who perpetrated the attack, the White House said it was handling the incident as “an act of terror.”
“Any event with multiple explosive devices – as this appears to be – is clearly an act of terror, and will be approached as an act of terror,” a White House official said.
The two explosions were about 50 to 100 yards (meters) apart as runners crossed the finish line with a timer showing 4 hours and 9 minutes, some 9 minutes faster than the average finish time, as reported by Runner’s World magazine.
Of the 23,326 runners who started the race on Monday, 17,584 finished before the blast, marathon officials said. Runners were diverted before officials brought the marathon to a halt.
Spectators typically line the 26.2 mile race course, with the heaviest crowds near the finish line.
Mike Mitchell of Vancouver, Canada, a runner who had finished the race, said he was looking back at the finish line and saw a “massive explosion.”
Smoke rose 50 feet in the air, Mitchell said. People began running and screaming after hearing the noise, Mitchell said.
“Everybody freaked out,” Mitchell said.
The Boston Marathon has been held on Patriots’ Day, the third Monday of April, since 1897. The event, which starts in Hopkinton, Massachusetts and ends in Boston’s Copley Square, attracts an estimated half-million spectators and some 20,000 participants every year.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra cancelled Monday night’s concert and the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins canceled their home game against the Ottawa Senators. The Boston Red Sox had completed their Major League Baseball game at Fenway Park before the explosions.
Earlier on Monday, Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa and Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo won the men’s and women’s events, continuing African runners’ dominance in the sport.
2 killed, dozens injured in blasts near Boston Marathon finish line
Emergency crews responding to Boylston Street incident
Two people were killed and more than 100 people were injured Monday when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
We’ve had a horrific attack here in Boston this afternoon,” Gov. Deval Patrick said.
The blasts happened about 15 seconds apart at 2:50 p.m. near the intersection of Boylston and Exeter streets. Officials described the bombs as “small, portable devices.”
Dozens of people were injured, including a 2-year-old boy, who was being treated at Boston Children’s Hosptial for a head injury.
AFT agents with automatic weapons were seen entering Brigham and Women’s Hospital several hours after the blasts.
ABC News reported officials were questioning a person at the hospital in connection with the bombs, however Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said there were no suspects in custody.
“All Americans stand with the people of Boston,” President Barack Obama said. “We still do not know who did this or why. Make no mistake — we will get to the bottom of this. We will find out who did this. We will find out why they did this.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairman of Intelligence Committee, told ABC News “It is a terrorist incident.”
“It could be foreign, it could be home grown,” Feinstein said. She said the incident has all the “hallmarks” of a terrorist attack.
TERROR BOMBING at Boston Marathon — 2 Dead, 60-Plus Wounded
UPDATE 6:54 p.m. — The Red Cross has announced it does not need more blood donations.
UPDATE 6:50 p.m. — The JFK Library fire is extinguished.
UPDATE 6:35 p.m. — AP is reporting two dead, 80 wounded.
UPDATE 6:34 p.m. — One of the deceased is an 8-year-old boy.
UPDATE 6:17 p.m. — Speaking live on Fox news: House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul says he’s hearing ball bearings were used in the two explosive devices that detonated almost simultaneously at the Boston Marathon finish line.
UPDATE 6:13 p.m. — Obama is addressing the nation. “We still do not know who did this or why; but make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this.” …. “We will find out who did this, and we will hold them accountable.”
UPDATE 5:59 p.m. — Via Boston and Massachusetts officials speaking in live press conference on WBZ: Ed Davis, Boston police commissioner, says it’s unclear whether the incident at Umass’ JFK Library was just a fire or was an incendiary device. It’s unknown if it’s tied to the two explosions at the marathon finish line. There is “no suspect” in the bombings.
UPDATE 5:50 p.m. — President Obama is scheduled to address the nation at 6:10 p.m. EST.
UPDATE 5:31 p.m. — Via Talking Points Memo: Boston PD says NY Post is wrong about the death toll and the Saudi “suspect” in the hospital. No suspects in custody.
UPDATE 5:21 p.m. — Via scanner: Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital on Francis Street reports a military-style duffle bag in the ER. The National Guard bomb squad is on the way.
UPDATE 5:02 p.m. — Via NY Times: All cell phone in Boston will be disabled to prevent remote detonations.
UPDATE 5:01 p.m. — Via scanner: A black male in a black hoodie with a backpack was spotted trying to enter a gated area. He was turned away and was operating an iPad. This was 5 minutes before the bombing.
UPDATE 4:51 p.m. New York Post reports suspect is a Saudi national.
UPDATE 4:49 p.m. — Via scanner: FBI is searching for a yellow Penske truck.
Terrorist Attacks in the U.S. or Against Americans
The following timeline lists terrorist attacks against the United States and Americans living either in the U.S. or abroad.
Sept. 16, New York City: TNT bomb planted in unattended horse-drawn wagon exploded on Wall Street opposite House of
Morgan, killing 35 people and injuring hundreds more. Bolshevist or anarchist terrorists believed responsible, but crime never solved.
Jan. 24, New York City: bomb set off in historic Fraunces Tavern killed 4 and injured more than 50 people. Puerto Rican nationalist group (FALN) claimed responsibility, and police tied 13 other bombings to the group.
Nov. 4, Tehran, Iran: Iranian radical students seized the U.S. embassy, taking 66 hostages. 14 were later released. The remaining 52 were freed after 444 days on the day of President Reagan’s inauguration.
Lebanon: Thirty US and other Western hostages kidnapped in Lebanon by Hezbollah. Some were killed, some died in captivity, and some were eventually released. Terry Anderson was held for 2,454 days.
April 18, Beirut, Lebanon: U.S. embassy destroyed in suicide car-bomb attack; 63 dead, including 17 Americans. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.
Oct. 23, Beirut, Lebanon: Shiite suicide bombers exploded truck near U.S. military barracks at Beirut airport, killing 241 marines. Minutes later a second bomb killed 58 French paratroopers in their barracks in West Beirut.
Dec. 12, Kuwait City, Kuwait: Shiite truck bombers attacked the U.S. embassy and other targets, killing 5 and injuring 80.
Sept. 20, east Beirut, Lebanon: truck bomb exploded outside the U.S. embassy annex, killing 24, including 2 U.S. military.
Dec. 3, Beirut, Lebanon: Kuwait Airways Flight 221, from Kuwait to Pakistan, hijacked and diverted to Tehran. 2 Americans killed.
April 12, Madrid, Spain: Bombing at restaurant frequented by U.S. soldiers, killed 18 Spaniards and injured 82.
June 14, Beirut, Lebanon: TWA Flight 847 en route from Athens to Rome hijacked to Beirut by Hezbollah terrorists and held for 17 days. A U.S. Navy diver executed.
Oct. 7, Mediterranean Sea: gunmen attack Italian cruise ship, Achille Lauro. One U.S. tourist killed. Hijacking linked to Libya.
Dec. 18, Rome, Italy, and Vienna, Austria: airports in Rome and Vienna were bombed, killing 20 people, 5 of whom were Americans. Bombing linked to Libya.
April 2, Athens, Greece:A bomb exploded aboard TWA flight 840 en route from Rome to Athens, killing 4 Americans and injuring 9.
April 5, West Berlin, Germany: Libyans bombed a disco frequented by U.S. servicemen, killing 2 and injuring hundreds.
Dec. 21, Lockerbie, Scotland: N.Y.-bound Pan-Am Boeing 747 exploded in flight from a terrorist bomb and crashed into Scottish village, killing all 259 aboard and 11 on the ground. Passengers included 35 Syracuse University students and many U.S. military personnel. Libya formally admitted responsibility 15 years later (Aug. 2003) and offered $2.7 billion compensation to victims’ families.
Feb. 26, New York City: bomb exploded in basement garage of World Trade Center, killing 6 and injuring at least 1,040 others. In 1995, militant Islamist Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and 9 others were convicted of conspiracy charges, and in 1998, Ramzi Yousef, believed to have been the mastermind, was convicted of the bombing. Al-Qaeda involvement is suspected.
April 19, Oklahoma City: car bomb exploded outside federal office building, collapsing wall and floors. 168 people were killed, including 19 children and 1 person who died in rescue effort. Over 220 buildings sustained damage. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols later convicted in the antigovernment plot to avenge the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Tex., exactly 2 years earlier. (See Miscellaneous Disasters.)
Nov. 13, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: car bomb exploded at U.S. military headquarters, killing 5 U.S. military servicemen.
June 25, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia: truck bomb exploded outside Khobar Towers military complex, killing 19 American servicemen and injuring hundreds of others. 13 Saudis and a Lebanese, all alleged members of Islamic militant group Hezbollah, were indicted on charges relating to the attack in June 2001.
Aug. 7, Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: truck bombs exploded almost simultaneously near 2 U.S. embassies, killing 224 (213 in Kenya and 11 in Tanzania) and injuring about 4,500. 4 men connected with al-Qaeda 2 of whom had received training at al-Qaeda camps inside Afghanistan, were convicted of the killings in May 2001 and later sentenced to life in prison. A federal grand jury had indicted 22 men in connection with the attacks, including Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, who remained at large.
Oct. 12, Aden, Yemen: U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole heavily damaged when a small boat loaded with explosives blew up alongside it. 17 sailors killed. Linked to Osama bin Laden, or members of al-Qaeda terrorist network.
June 14, Karachi, Pakistan: bomb explodes outside American consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 12. Linked to al-Qaeda.
May 12, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: suicide bombers kill 34, including 8 Americans, at housing compounds for Westerners. Al-Qaeda suspected.
May 29–31, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: terrorists attack the offices of a Saudi oil company in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, take foreign oil workers hostage in a nearby residential compound, leaving 22 people dead including one American.
June 11–19, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: terrorists kidnap and execute Paul Johnson Jr., an American, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 2 other Americans and BBC cameraman killed by gun attacks.
Dec. 6, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: terrorists storm the U.S. consulate, killing 5 consulate employees. 4 terrorists were killed by Saudi security.
Nov. 9, Amman, Jordan: suicide bombers hit 3 American hotels, Radisson, Grand Hyatt, and Days Inn, in Amman, Jordan, killing 57. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility.
Sept. 13, Damascus, Syria: an attack by four gunman on the American embassy is foiled.
Jan. 12, Athens, Greece: the U.S. embassy is fired on by an anti-tank missile causing damage but no injuries.
Dec. 11, Algeria: more than 60 people are killed, including 11 United Nations staff members, when Al Qaeda terrorists detonate two car bombs near Algeria’s Constitutional Council and the United Nations offices.
May 26, Iraq: a suicide bomber on a motorcycle kills six U.S. soldiers and wounds 18 others in Tarmiya.
June 24, Iraq: a suicide bomber kills at least 20 people, including three U.S. Marines, at a meeting between sheiks and Americans in Karmah, a town west of Baghdad.
June 12, Afghanistan: four American servicemen are killed when a roadside bomb explodes near a U.S. military vehicle in Farah Province.
July 13, Afghanistan: nine U.S.soldiers and at least 15 NATO troops die when Taliban militants boldly attack an American base in Kunar Province, which borders Pakistan. It’s the most deadly against U.S. troops in three years.
Aug. 18 and 19, Afghanistan: as many as 15 suicide bombers backed by about 30 militants attack a U.S. military base, Camp Salerno, in Bamiyan. Fighting between U.S. troops and members of the Taliban rages overnight. No U.S. troops are killed.
Sept. 16, Yemen: a car bomb and a rocket strike the U.S. embassy in Yemen as staff arrived to work, killing 16 people, including 4 civilians. At least 25 suspected al-Qaeda militants are arrested for the attack.
Nov. 26, India: in a series of attacks on several of Mumbai’s landmarks and commercial hubs that are popular with Americans and other foreign tourists, including at least two five-star hotels, a hospital, a train station, and a cinema. About 300 people are wounded and nearly 190 people die, including at least 5 Americans.
Feb. 9, Iraq: a suicide bomber kills four American soldiers and their Iraqi translator near a police checkpoint.
April 10, Iraq: a suicide attack kills five American soldiers and two Iraqi policemen.
June 1, Little Rock, Arkansas: Abdulhakim Muhammed, a Muslim convert from Memphis, Tennessee, is charged with shooting two soldiers outside a military recruiting center. One is killed and the other is wounded. In a January 2010 letter to the judge hearing his case, Muhammed asked to change his plea from not guilty to guilty, claimed ties to al-Qaeda, and called the shooting a jihadi attack “to fight those who wage war on Islam and Muslims.”
Dec. 25: A Nigerian man on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit attempted to ignite an explosive device hidden in his underwear. The explosive device that failed to detonate was a mixture of powder and liquid that did not alert security personnel in the airport. The alleged bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, told officials later that he was directed by the terrorist group Al Qaeda. The suspect was already on the government’s watch list when he attempted the bombing; his father, a respected Nigerian banker, had told the U.S. government that he was worried about his son’s increased extremism.
Dec. 30, Iraq: a suicide bomber kills eight Americans civilians, seven of them CIA agents, at a base in Afghanistan. It’s the deadliest attack on the agency since 9/11. The attacker is reportedly a double agent from Jordan who was acting on behalf of al-Qaeda.
May 1, New York City: a car bomb is discovered in Times Square, New York City after smoke is seen coming from a vehicle. The bomb was ignited, but failed to detonate and was disarmed before it could cause any harm. Times Square was evacuated as a safety precaution. Faisal Shahzad pleads guilty to placing the bomb as well as 10 terrorism and weapons charges.
May 10, Jacksonville, Florida: a pipe bomb explodes while approximately 60 Muslims are praying in the mosque. The attack causes no injuries.
Oct. 29: two packages are found on separate cargo planes. Each package contains a bomb consisting of 300 to 400 grams (11-14 oz) of plastic explosives and a detonating mechanism. The bombs are discovered as a result of intelligence received from Saudi Arabia’s security chief. The packages, bound from Yemen to the United States, are discovered at en route stop-overs, one in England and one in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Jan. 17, Spokane, Washington: a pipe bomb is discovered along the route of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial march. The bomb, a “viable device” set up to spray marchers with shrapnel and to cause multiple casualties, is defused without any injuries.
2012Sept. 11, Benghazi, Libya: militants armed with antiaircraft weapons and rocket-propelled grenades fire upon the American consulate, killing U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other embassy officials. U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton said the U.S. believed that Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a group closely linked to Al Qaeda, orchestrated the attack.2013Feb. 1, Ankara, Turkey: Ecevit Sanli detonates a bomb near a gate at the U.S. Embassy. Sanli dies after detonating the bomb. One Turkish guard is also killed. Didem Tuncay, a respected television journalist, is injured in the blast. Unlike the bombing at the embassy in Benghazi last September, the U.S. government immediately calls the bombing a terrorist attack. According to Turkish officials, the attack is from the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party, which has been labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. and other nations.
1. On Oct. 29, 2003, New York officials reduced the number of people killed at the World Trade Center in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States by 40 names. The list of casualties dropped to 2,752 from 2,792 for a variety of reasons: some people initially reported missing have been found, there were duplicate names, there was no proof that a person was at the World Trade Center that day, and because of fraud. On January 2004, the number was reduced by 3 more to 2,749.
Department Of Homeland Security Set To Purchase 1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammunition
Is Obama Looking to Create a Civilian National Security Force?
Militarization of Police: Peace Officers to Storm Troopers | Big Brother Watch
Pentagon provides military grade weapons to local police
‘A militarization of US police’
DHS Doles Out Fed Cash to Deploy Military LRADs in U.S. Cities
DHS Gets Mine Resistant Tanks to Go with Billions of Bullets
DHS-HSI Homeland Security Investigations El Paso SRT MRAP Armored Vehicle
SRT (Special Response Team) on WGN TV
BREAKING: DHS 2013 Buys Armored Vehicles & Tanks ..2700 of them
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY buys 2700 armored vehicles? Some say it’s a USMC contract. DHS buys BILLIONS of rounds of ammunition in the last 8yrs?. D.H.S. buying U.S. Military vehicles and equipment for use on Americans; there is no other excuse. D.H.S. is not for defense of America, we the people, and/or Constitution ..that is what the Armed Forces are supposed to be for. Billions of rounds of ammunition and all that military equipment is staged across America in about every neighborhood. NORTHCOM has stated that part of it’s mission is to prepare for “Martial Law” ..and has staged equipment from tanks to riot gear throughout America; according to the Commander of NORTHCOM that is being replaced shortly.
America : DHS purchasing Drones, Tanks, Rifles and Ammo for War inside the U.S.
2700 Armored Vehicles Purchased for Police Departments by DHS
Michael Savage – Obama DHS Purchases 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks
Forbes: Time For A National Conversation On DHS Massive Ammo Buy
Fox News Confirms Alex Jones DHS Ammo Purchases Story
NJ Congressman: DHS must explain ammunition and armored vehicle purchases
Homeland Security Buys 1.6 BILLION Rounds of Ammunition…
DHS Refuses to Answer Congress on 1.6 Billion Bullet Purchase
Levin Wants Answers On DHS Ammo Purchase But Not Obama Identity Document Fraud
War on US Citizens Planned – Part 1 of 2
War on US Citizens Planned – Part 2 of 2
Homeland Security buys 450 Million Rounds of Ammo
Breaking News USA police department Surveillance Drones Spying on civilians end times news 3-24-13
DHS Preparing For Civil War In The US?
Background Articles and Videos
Once again DHS orders hundreds of millions of rounds of ammo
Joint Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle Program (Part 1 of 2)
Joint Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle Program (Part 2 of 2)
DHS Won’t Answer Congress On Billion Bullet Purchase
Bullet Buys: Fifteen members of Congress have written a letter to the Department of Homeland Security demanding to know why the federal agency is buying so many rounds of ammunition. We’d like to know too.
Freshman California Republican Doug LaMalfa and 14 of his House colleagues, who signed on to his March 5 letter, are asking the Department of Homeland Security to explain why it is buying 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition of various calibers. They aren’t happy with explanations provided so far in the press by lower-level officials, answers meant to debunk “unfounded” concerns.
Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga., told the Associated Press that the training center and others like it run by the Homeland Security Department use as many as 15 million rounds every year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.
The massive purchases are said to be spread out over five years and due simply to the best practice of saving money by buying in bulk what comes down to five rounds of ammo for every man, woman and child on the U.S. That’s a lot of practice and training.
A good portion of the 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition are being purchased by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal government’s second-largest criminal investigative agency. Yes that’s the same ICE that is releasing detained criminal illegal aliens onto our streets because of sequestration cuts.
Jonathan Lasher, the Social Security Administration’s assistant inspector general for external relations, explained the purchase of 174,000 hollow-point bullets by saying they were for the Social Security inspector general’s office, which has about 295 agents who investigate Social Security fraud and other crimes.
When they say they’re cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse, they apparently mean it.
However, as former Marine Richard Mason told reporters with WHPTV News in Pennsylvania recently, hollow-point bullets (which make up the majority of the DHS purchases) are not used for training because they are more expensive than standard firing range rounds .
“We never trained with hollow points, we didn’t even see hollow points my entire 4-1/2 years in the Marine Corps,” Mason said.
LaMalfa offers one theory that’s less sinister than some: The federal government is simply trying to corner the market on ammo and restrict what’s available to the American people as part of its gun control efforts.
1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security? It’s Time For A National Conversation
Ralph Benko, Contributor
The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, so far to little notice. It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. As reported elsewhere, some of this purchase order is for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month. Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years. In America.
Add to this perplexing outré purchase of ammo, DHS now is showing off its acquisition of heavily armored personnel carriers, repatriated from the Iraqi and Afghani theaters of operation. As observed by “paramilblogger” Ken Jorgustin last September:
[T]he Department of Homeland Security is apparently taking delivery (apparently through the Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico VA, via the manufacturer – Navistar Defense LLC) of an undetermined number of the recently retrofitted 2,717 ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ MaxxPro MRAP vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.”
These MRAP’s ARE BEING SEEN ON U.S. STREETS all across America by verified observers with photos, videos, and descriptions.”
Regardless of the exact number of MRAP’s being delivered to DHS (and evidently some to POLICE via DHS, as has been observed), why would they need such over-the-top vehicles on U.S. streets to withstand IEDs, mine blasts, and 50 caliber hits to bullet-proof glass? In a war zone… yes, definitely. Let’s protect our men and women. On the streets of America… ?”
“They all have gun ports… Gun Ports? In the theater of war, yes. On the streets of America…?
Seriously, why would DHS need such a vehicle on our streets?”
Why indeed? It is utterly inconceivable that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is planning a coup d’etat against President Obama, and the Congress, to install herself as Supreme Ruler of the United States of America. There, however, are real signs that the Department bureaucrats are running amok. About 20 years ago this columnist worked, for two years, in the U.S. Department of Energy’s general counsel’s office in its procurement and finance division. And is wise to the ways. The answer to “why would DHS need such a vehicle?” almost certainly is this: it’s a cool toy and these (reportedly) million dollar toys are being recycled, without much of a impact on the DHS budget. So… why not?
Why, indeed, should the federal government not be deploying armored personnel carriers and stockpiling enough ammo for a 20-year war in the homeland? Because it’s wrong in every way. President Obama has an opportunity, now, to live up to some of his rhetoric by helping the federal government set a noble example in a matter very close to his heart (and that of his Progressive base), one not inimical to the Bill of Rights: gun control. The federal government can (for a nice change) begin practicing what it preaches by controlling itself.
Remember the Sequester? The president is claiming its budget cuts will inconvenience travelers by squeezing essential services provided by the (opulently armed and stylishly uniformed) DHS. Quality ammunition is not cheap. (Of course, news reports that DHS is about to spend $50 million on new uniforms suggests a certain cavalier attitude toward government frugality.)
Spending money this way is beyond absurd well into perverse. According to the AP story a DHS spokesperson justifies this acquisition to “help the government get a low price for a big purchase.” Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center: “The training center and others like it run by the Homeland Security Department use as many as 15 million rounds every year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.”
At 15 million rounds (which, in itself, is pretty extraordinary and sounds more like fun target-shooting-at-taxpayer-expense than a sensible training exercise) … that’s a stockpile that would last DHS over a century. To claim that it’s to “get a low price” for a ridiculously wasteful amount is an argument that could only fool a career civil servant.
Meanwhile, Senator Diane Feinstein, with the support of President Obama, is attempting to ban 100 capacity magazine clips. Doing a little apples-to-oranges comparison, here, 1.6 billion rounds is … 16 million times more objectionable.
Mr. Obama has a long history of disdain toward gun ownership. According to Prof. John Lott, in Debacle, a book he co-authored with iconic conservative strategist Grover Norquist,
“When I was first introduced to Obama (when both worked at the University of Chicago Law School, where Lott was famous for his analysis of firearms possession), he said, ‘Oh, you’re the gun guy.’
I responded: ‘Yes, I guess so.’
’I don’t believe that people should own guns,’ Obama replied.
I then replied that it might be fun to have lunch and talk about that statement some time.
He simply grimaced and turned away. …
Unlike other liberal academics who usually enjoyed discussing opposing ideas, Obama showed disdain.”
Mr. Obama? Where’s the disdain now? Cancelling, or at minimum, drastically scaling back — by 90% or even 99%, the DHS order for ammo, and its receipt and deployment of armored personnel carriers, would be a “fourfer.”
The federal government would set an example of restraint in the matter of weaponry.
It would reduce the deficit without squeezing essential services.
It would do both in a way that was palatable to liberals and conservatives, slightly depolarizing America.
It would somewhat defuse, by the government making itself less armed-to-the-teeth, the anxiety of those who mistrust the benevolence of the federales.
If Obama doesn’t show any leadership on this matter it’s an opportunity for Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, to summon Secretary Napolitano over for a little national conversation. Madame Secretary? Buying 1.6 billion rounds of ammo and deploying armored personnel carriers runs contrary, in every way, to what “homeland security” really means. Discuss.
“DHS routinely establishes strategic sourcing contracts that combine the requirements of all its Components for commonly purchased goods and services such as ammunition, computer equipment and information technology services. These strategic sourcing contracts help leverage the purchasing power of DHS to efficiently procure equipment and supplies at significantly lower costs.”
While it has been previously reported that DHS has solicited the purchase of 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition over the next four to five years, the government agency shows only 263,733,362 rounds in its current inventory.
But, DHS estimates it will spend $37,263,698 on ammunition in FY 2013.
Last year, DHS spent $36,535,910, a decrease from 2011’s ammunition expense of $38,237,305.
Also, over the last three years the number of rounds purchased by DHS has declined.
In 2010, the agency purchased 148,314,825 rounds. In 2011, 108,664,054 rounds were purchased; and in 2012, 103,178,200 rounds.
In response to how the ammunition will be used by DHS, the various component agencies answered specific to their usage:
CBP (Customs & Border Protection) said that “70 percent of CBP ammunition is used for quarterly qualifications.”
ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) says it “allocates 1,000 rounds of ammunition per firearm per year for quarterly qualifications and training.”
TSA (Transportation Security Administration) says “35 percent of TSA ammunition is allocated for operational use (qualifications and duty carry).”
ULTIMATE PROOF_ SWAT Team Purposely Set Fire To Dorner’s Cabin Waco Style Fire
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Chris Dorner Triggers An Avalanche Of Support On The Internet Some Hailing Him A Truth Teller
CNN: Chris Dorner Is ‘Like Watching Django [Unchained] Getting Revenge’
On Wednesday, a CNN panel explored the phenomenon of people on social media expressing sympathy and support for Chris Dorner, whose rampage ended yesterday as law enforcement cornered him in a remote cabin in Big Bear, California. Two of CNN’s panel guests said that Dorner’s murder spree exposed the issue of “police brutality.” One contributor said that Dorner’s escapades reminded him of watching “Django Unchained in real life.”
The Daily Beast contributor Lauren Ashburn said she was offended by those who found Dorner’s murderous actions laudable. She said that his attacks on innocent people were a tragedy, and hours of airtime were “wasted” covering the killer’s motivations.
Official Christopher Rambo Dorner Story
Whistle Blower Cop killing Corrupt Cops until they come clean !!!
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Chris Dorner Torched Waco Style?
Media Complicit in Cover Up of Dorner Execution
Did Police Scanners Reveal Police Plan to Torch Fugitive Chris Dorner’s Hideout?
After a massive weeklong manhunt, police cornered fugitive ex-LAPD cop Christopher Dorner in a cabin near Big Bear Lake.
It has since been learned that Dorner had been hiding in a nearby cabin for the past several days holding a couple captive since police found his burned out truck nearby several days earlier.
Early Tuesday Dorner initially fled in a stolen purple Nissan but crashed that vehicle and fled into the forest only to emerge nearby and carjack local resident, Richard Helterbrake on a nearby rural road. After allowing Helterbrake to retrieve his dog from his vehicle, Dorner then escaped in his white extended cab pickup.
The vehicle was spotted by Forest Service personnel and Dorner is reported to have fled into the forest and taken refuge in a rural cabin in the Big Bear area after a shoot out with two San Bernadino County Sheriff’s Deputies which left both wounded. One deputy, Jeremiah McKay was airlifted in critical condition and was confirmed dead.
Numerous police quickly converged on the area and after a fierce gun battle the cabin was engulfed in flames. A single set of remains was recovered from the cabin on Wednesday but has not yet been confirmed as belonging to Dorner. The charred state of the remains means DNA testing will be required and that is expected to take several days. In the interim, the LAPD has announced that they will continue their protective details on the 40 people named as possible targets in Dorner’s rambling 6,000 word manifesto.
Recordings of the police communications picked up on a police scanner appear to show the police discussing plans to burn the cabin. To hear the recordings click on the accompanying video link.
This latest revelation brings additional scrutiny and criticism on police methods in the wake of Chris Dorner‘s rampage which he argued was necessary to bring to light the corrupt practices of the LAPD and their institutional use of excessive force.
Judges and juries both across the United States and in other countries who decide that a crime is “depraved,” “heinous,” or “horrible” can assign more severe sentences. Yet there is no standardized definition for such dramatic words that courts already use. And while we may all recognize that some crimes truly separate themselves from others, there is no standard, fair way to distinguish crimes that are the worst of the worst, or “evil.”
To minimize the arbitrariness of how courts determine the worst of crimes, and to eliminate bias in sentencing, the Depravity Scale research aims to establish societal standards of what makes a crime depraved, and to develop a standardized instrument based on specific characteristics of a crime that must be proven in order to merit more severe sentences.
This research will refine into the Depravity Standard, an objective measure based on forensic evidence. This instrument distinguishes not who is depraved but rather, what aspects of a given crime are depraved and the degree of a specific crime’s depravity. The research will enhance fairness in sentencing, given that it is race, gender and socio-economic blind.
The research has already been guided by legal and scientific study. Now, a two-part survey has been developed to involve the general public in establishing societal standards of what makes a crime depraved. The first part enables the general public to shape the specific intents, actions, and attitudes that should be included as items of the Depravity Standard instrument, and the second involves the general public in refining the relative weight of these items. In both surveys, all members of the general public are urged to participate. This is the first project ever developed that invites citizens’ direct input to forensic science research, and the first project ever developed in which citizens shape future criminal sentencing standards.
Your perspectives on depraved crime should be included in the Depravity Standard. Therefore, we ask that you participate in this landmark project. Thank you for your interest. Want to learn more?
Nobody loves cop killers more than left-wingers do.
The grotesque outpouring of love for cop killer Chris Dorner, an ex-cop now presumed dead in a fiery shootout at Big Bear Lake, California, should make all sane Americans fear for the future of their country.
Dorner is suspected of killing at least one police officer and two others. He allegedly gunned down 28-year-old Monica Quan and her husband-to-be 27-year-old Keith Lawrence outside their home. Quan’s father Randy, a former Los Angeles Police Department officer turned lawyer, represented Dorner in disciplinary hearings that resulted in Dorner’s dismissal. Dorner reportedly called Mr. Quan days after the murder to taunt him.
Dorner’s cross-country rampage has been met in recent days with Facebook fan pages, sympathetic statements on Twitter, and grassroots-level enthusiasm for this brutal sociopath.
But making vicious killers into folk heroes is nothing new for the Left. American history in recent decades is bursting with cop killers romanticized by the Left.
Among those who have stuck it to The Man by killing “pigs” are: Troy Davis, executed in 2011 for murdering police officer Mark MacPhail as he came to the aid of an assault victim; Lovelle Mixon, killed in a gunfight with police in 2009; Mumia abu-Jamal, imprisoned for life for the 1981 murder of a police officer; Leonard Peltier, convicted in 1977 for gunning down FBI agents; Assata Shakur, escaped from prison in 1979, a member of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and Black Liberation Army (BLA), having been granted “asylum” in Cuba; and 1960s radicals like Marilyn Buck.
In a rambling self-incriminating manifesto that Dorner posted online, the ex-Los Angeles police officer says “No one grows up and wants to be a cop killer … but, as a young police officer I found that the violent suspects on the streets are not the only people you have to watch.”
Dorner argues that he is sacrificing himself for the greater good by going on his murder spree, which he refers to as “a necessary evil” aimed at effecting change in the Los Angeles Police Department. “The only thing that changes policy and garners attention is death.”
In one of several chilling passages, Dorner waxes philosophical: “Let the balance of loss of life take place. Sometimes a reset needs to occur.”
In his online screed, Dorner praises an assortment of left-wingers. He lauds President Obama for doing what he considers a good job under difficult circumstances. For their anti-Second Amendment efforts, Dorner hails TV host Piers Morgan, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Vice President Joe Biden. He also gives shout-outs to a galaxy of celebrities and public figures. Complimenting the First Lady on her hairstyle, he interjects, “Off the record, I love your new bangs, Mrs. Obama.”
There are also those slippery souls who stop short of endorsing Dorner’s killing spree, but who ponder aloud whether society drove him to murder. Their musings bear a creepy similarity to the Left’s post-9/11 hand-wringing about the true “root causes” of the attacks on America.
MSNBC ranter Chris Matthews and death row groupie Marc Lamont Hill suggest that Dorner’s online essay is a kind of petition for redress of grievances that needs to be taken seriously.
Matthews suggested Americans shouldn’t be so quick to judge Dorner because he may have had a legitimate beef against the LAPD. He asked reporter Andrew Blankstein, “How do you write a story like this that’s objective for the big metropolitan paper, the Los Angeles Times?”
Matthews added, “Are there people in your newsroom, editors who are saying, ‘We have to be careful here. It’s not simple. This man may have a complaint.’”
Matthews, of course, has never been concerned about fairness for non-leftists. He prefers to lump nonviolent Tea Party supporters in with the Taliban and the Third Reich.
Hill, host of HuffPost Live and a professor at Columbia University, said the Dorner saga is a needed civics lesson for the public about racism and the excessive use of force. “This has been an important conversation that we’ve had about police brutality, about police corruption, about state violence.”
“As far as Dorner himself goes, he’s been like a real life superhero to many people,” Hill said. Adding an obligatory disclaimer, Hill said, “What he did was awful, killing innocent people was bad, but when you read his manifesto, when you read the message that he left, he wasn’t entirely crazy.”
Those cheering on Dorner were happy to see him exact vengeance against a corrupt system, Hill said. “It’s almost like watching Django Unchained in real life … It’s kind of exciting.”
Hill has a soft spot for those who murder police officers. He co-authored The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black Life in America (Third World Press, 2012) with Mumia abu-Jamal. Mumia, as left-wingers affectionately call him, is celebrated as a political prisoner even though in court he has never denied shooting Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner execution-style.
The book is essentially a transcript of a mutual admiration society, as the two radicals trade compliments and insights about how rotten America is. Hill tells Mumia that “you’re in prison but somehow still free, while I’m out here feeling profoundly un-free.”
Even this highly successful black man with his Ivy League Ph.D. who is sometimes called a “celebrity intellectual,” feels oppressed by American society.
“But to some degree, I feel un-free because I’m still encumbered by the very things that I’m critiquing in my work: consumerism, patriarchy even White supremacy … I’m trying to heal, man.”
Not surprisingly, in 2009 Fox News fired Hill as a paid on-air contributor after he acquired a reputation for defending cop killers and racists. But somehow he keeps finding his way back onto TV screens.
Meanwhile, the ever-resourceful self-described “communist” Van Jones is urging Americans not to concern themselves with Dorner’s decidedly left-of-center views.
“In the wake of a tragedy, it is understandable to ask why this happened,” says Jones. “It is appropriate to discuss ways to keep it from happening again. But we should draw the line at suddenly giving an exalted place in our national discourse to the political rantings of a murderer.”
How convenient, especially since Dorner’s views on cops seem to differ little from his own. Forced out as President Obama’s green jobs czar in 2009 for signing a 9/11 “truther” petition, Jones is a longtime supporter of convicted cop killer Mumia abu-Jamal. Jones founded Oakland’s Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in order to combat perceived police brutality.
But with Barack Obama in power, it is more difficult to be shocked by sympathetic reactions to Dorner.
The people doing the cheering are the Democratic Party’s electoral base.
Obama himself invites rappers who praise cop killers to perform at the White House.
One such entertainer, Common, is known for performing, “A Song For Assata,” which is a tribute to fugitive black militant Assata Shakur. Here’s one verse from the tune:
“In the spirit of God.
In the spirit of the ancestors.
In the spirit of the Black Panthers.
In the spirit of Assata Shakur.
We make this movement towards freedom
For all those who have been oppressed, and all those in the struggle.
Yeah. yo, check it-
I wonder what would happen if that woulda been me?
All this shit so we could be free, so dig it, y’all.”
Common believes Shakur is a martyr. That’s one of the reasons he was invited to the White House. Obama and those who sympathize with cop killers are on the same wavelength.
If someone writes a song about Dorner, don’t be surprised if the person shows up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”
~ Frederic Bastiat, The Law
President-Elect of United States of America Obama
Power of the Market – How to Cure Inflation 1
Power of the Market – How to Cure Inflation 2
Power of the Market – How to Cure Inflation 3
Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.
No more bailouts.
Ban them all.
Enough is enough.
In a free enterprise economic system businesses go out of business every day.
New businesses are also started everday.
The management of the auto companies gave into union demands for higher wages, pensions and health care over many years resulting in cars that are no longer price competitive with auto companies that do not have unions.
On the Skids: Are U.S. Automakers Running Out of Time?
If the auto industry accepts a government bailout, I will never buy another American car again.
Either compete in the marketplace or go out of business–no bailouts.
Only if you are huge can you go to the Federal government hat in hand and ask for billions of dollars.
Your company may or may not get any money.
If you are a small to even large business, you will not get a dime and you will be lucky to even get a hearing.
Those companies that contribute to political campaigns whether Republican or Democrat due receive special consideration but no guaranntee of a bailout.
Now you know why Obama was getting all those bundled campaign contributions from Wall Street and the auto industry.
If you have a workforce with large unions, you will also get special consideration from the Democratic Party.
Looks like the economy is going into a period of stagflation or a repeat of the Carter years.
No more bailout government intervention in the economy.
Hyperinflation is the final result of bailout after bailout.
A printing press inflation a la the German Weimar Republic inflation in 1922-1923 is now in the making.
When President Barack Obama calls for wage and price controls like Nixion and Carter you will know for sure that inflation has arrived and they are in panic mode.
The fact that wage and price controls always lead to higher inflation will not matter.
First, they institute the “Fairness Doctrine” to stop free speech on talk radio–to shut you up.
Second, they take your guns–to disarm you.
Third, they take your property–to make you poor and dependent on government.
Fourth, they call out their new national civilian police force if you protest or resist.
Fifth, they will force you to “serve” in one of their corps:
“When you choose to serve — whether it’s your nation, your community or simply your neighborhood — you are connected to that fundamental American ideal that we want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness not just for ourselves, but for all Americans. That’s why it’s called the American dream.”
The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.
Seems like the revivial of the Hitler Youth corps in America together with the Sturmabteilung (the SA) or “brownshirts” as a new National Civilian Police force.
The similiarities are “creepy” as in the “creepy cult of personality.”
Obama’s Cult of Personality
This is the road to socialism and serfdom.
Sounds like Nazis Germany in 1933.
This was one of the results of the fall of the Weimar Republic.
Chancellor Hitler was also an excellent speaker and very popular with the German people from 1933 to 1942.
Start connecting the dots people.
Obama is a radical socialist and is modeling his socialist movement and related organizations after Hitler’s National Socialism.
He is using the financial crisis as a cover for instituting radical change in America’s institutions.
The American elites are betraying the American people and believe they can control Obama.
Do not bet your life on it.
Many in Germany did and lost their lives.
Where is the adult supervision?
The inmates in Congress, the Whitehouse, and in the courts are running the asylum.
Lawrence G. Hrebiniak: The Mismanagement of America, Inc.
Inflation is another tax on the American people’s savings and investments.
All the Federal government needs to do is keep bailing out their political allies and have the Federal Reserve follow a low interest expansionary monetary policy.
Sooner rather latter inflation results.
The Rise of National Socialism in the United States of America?
Time for more SIN buttons–Stop Inflation Now.
‘Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.’
Martial Law & Economic Disorder with Glenn Beck
Obama’s Homeland Security Police State
Obama’s Homeland Security Police State
Auto Industry Won’t Go Down
Wall Street “Socialism”, the new moral hazard
Ron Paul to Bernanke – Moral hazard of currency devaluation
THE NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER | Paul Solman’s Moral Hazard Pt. 1 | PBS
THE NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER | Paul Solman’s Moral Hazard Pt. 2 | PBS
Bird and Fortune – Financial Adviser
No More Bailouts!!!
“…A bailout might avoid any near-term bankruptcy filing, but it won’t address Detroit’s fundamental problems of making cars that Americans won’t buy and labor contracts that are too rich and inflexible to make them competitive. As Paul Ingrassia notes nearby, Detroit’s costs are far too high for their market share. While GM has spent billions of dollars on labor buyouts in recent years, they are still forced by federal mileage standards to churn out small cars that make little or no profit at plants organized by the United Auto Workers.
Rest assured that the politicians don’t want to do a thing about those labor contracts or mileage standards. In their letter, Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid recommend such “taxpayer protections” as “limits on executive compensation and equity stakes” that would dilute shareholders. But they never mention the UAW contracts that have done so much to put Detroit on the road to ruin. In fact, the main point of any taxpayer rescue seems to be to postpone a day of reckoning on those contracts. That includes even the notorious UAW Jobs Bank that continues to pay workers not to work.
A Detroit bailout would also be unfair to other companies that make cars in the U.S. Yes, those are “foreign” companies in the narrow sense that they are headquartered overseas. But then so was Chrysler before Daimler sold most of the car maker to Cerberus, the private equity fund. Honda, Toyota and the rest employ about 113,000 American auto workers who make nearly four million cars a year in states like Alabama and Tennessee. Unlike Michigan, these states didn’t vote for Mr. Obama.
But the very success of this U.S. auto industry indicates that highly skilled American workers can profitably churn out cars without being organized by the UAW. A bailout for Chrysler would in essence be assisting rich Cerberus investors at the expense of middle-class nonunion auto workers. Is this the new “progressive” era we keep reading so much about?
The car makers say that bankruptcy is unthinkable and “not an option.” And bankruptcy would certainly be expensive, not least for Washington itself, which could be responsible for 600,000 or so retiree pensions through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. In that sense, the bailout is intended to rescue the politicians from having to honor that earlier irresponsible guarantee. But at least that guarantee would be finite. If Uncle Sam buys into Detroit, $50 billion would only be the start of the outlays as taxpayers were obliged to protect their earlier investment in uncompetitive companies. …”
“…Capitalism is a system of profit and loss. It works because each person and each company, in seeking its own interest, is led “as if by an invisible hand” to supply goods and services that others want. Companies that satisfy consumers prosper. Companies that can’t produce goods that consumers want–like Chrysler, repeatedly–suffer and sometimes go out of business. The failures are often painful. But as Dwight Lee and Richard McKenzie wrote in their book Failure and Progress (or at least in this column based on the book), “Economic failure is to the economy what physical pain is to the body. No one enjoys pain, but without it the body would lack the information needed to maintain its health.” Government subsidies to prevent business failure simply keep pouring money into businesses that are relatively unsuccessful at satisfying consumer desires. They are, among other things, censorship of vitally needed information. Employees, entrepreneurs, and investors need to know where their money and talent are most valuable. Profits and losses are key indicators of that.
When businesses make bad decisions, they should suffer economic losses. That’s how we keep the system honest and productive. Caroline Baum of Bloomberg points out that the bailout for subprime borrowers involved helping people to stay in homes that they couldn’t afford, in many cases because they misled lenders or connived with lenders who knew they could package and resell bad mortgages. When governments make bad decisions, they should not pour good money after bad. Instead, they should try to repeal burdensome regulations, privatize functions that ought to be private, and be willing to sell purchases they shouldn’t have made, even at a loss.
Plenty of people had warned about the problems of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As Arnold Kling notes in a new Cato Briefing Paper, the current crisis ” may have been the most avoidable financial crisis in history.” Treasury Secretary Larry Summers was one of those Cassandras back in 1999. So was Lawrence J. White in a 2004 Cato Policy Analysis calling for privatization, or failing that, a clear removal of the federal guarantee for the two companies. Instead, Congress and successive administrations continued to push Fannie and Freddie to get bigger and to buy mortgages that were in clear jeopardy of default. And now, having created this crisis, the federal government proposes not to wind down the overextended companies but to take them over so they can get all the benefits of crack federal financial management. Kling proposes a better exit strategy. …”
“Moral hazard is the prospect that a party insulated from risk may behave differently from the way it would behave if it were fully exposed to the risk. Moral hazard arises because an individual or institution does not bear the full consequences of its actions, and therefore has a tendency to act less carefully than it otherwise would, leaving another party to bear some responsibility for the consequences of those actions. For example, an individual with insurance against automobile theft may be less vigilant about locking his or her car, because the negative consequences of automobile theft are (partially) borne by the insurance company.
Moral hazard is related to information asymmetry, a situation in which one party in a transaction has more information than another. The party that is insulated from risk generally has more information about its actions and intentions than the party paying for the negative consequences of the risk. More broadly, moral hazard occurs when the party with more information about its actions or intentions has a tendency or incentive to behave inappropriately from the perspective of the party with less information.
A special case of moral hazard is called a principal-agent problem, where one party, called an agent, acts on behalf of another party, called the principal. The agent usually has more information about his or her actions or intentions than the principal does, because the principal usually cannot perfectly monitor the agent. The agent may have an incentive to act inappropriately (from the viewpoint of the principal) if the interests of the agent and the principal are not aligned.
“In economics, hyperinflation is inflation that is “out of control”, a condition in which prices increase rapidly as a currency loses its value. Formal definitions vary from a cumulative inflation rate over three years approaching 100% to “inflation exceeding 50% a month.” In informal usage the term is often applied to much lower rates. As a rule of thumb, normal inflation is reported per year, but hyperinflation is often reported for much shorter intervals, often per month.
The definition used by most economists is “an inflationary cycle without any tendency toward equilibrium.” A vicious circle is created in which more and more inflation is created with each iteration of the cycle. Although there is a great deal of debate about the root causes of hyperinflation, it becomes visible when there is an unchecked increase in the money supply or drastic debasement of coinage, and is often associated with wars (or their aftermath), economic depressions, and political or social upheavals. …”
“…Although the inflation decreased with the introduction of the Rentenmark and the Weimar Republic continued for a decade afterwards, hyperinflation is widely believed to have contributed to the Nazi takeover of Germany. Adolf Hitler himself in his book, Mein Kampf, makes many references to the German debt and the negative consequences that brought about the “necessity” of National Socialism. The inflation also raised doubts about the competence of liberal institutions, especially amongst a middle class who had held cash savings and bonds. It also produced resentment of Germany’s bankers and speculators, many of them Jewish, whom the government and press blamed for the inflation. …”
“…The German inflation of 1914–1923 had an inconspicuous beginning, a creeping rate of one to two percent. On the first day of the war, the German Reichsbank, like the other central banks of the belligerent powers, suspended redeemability of its notes in order to prevent a run on its gold reserves.
Like all the other banks, it offered assistance to the central government in financing the war effort. Since taxes are always unpopular, the German government preferred to borrow the needed amounts of money rather than raise its taxes substantially. To this end it was readily assisted by the Reichsbank, which discounted most treasury obligations.
A growing percentage of government debt thus found its way into the vaults of the central bank and an equivalent amount of printing press money into people’s cash holdings. In short, the central bank was monetizing the growing government debt.
By the end of the war the amount of money in circulation had risen fourfold and prices some 140 percent. Yet the German mark had suffered no more than the British pound, was somewhat weaker than the American dollar but stronger than the French franc. Five years later, in December 1923, the Reichsbank had issued 496.5 quintillion marks, each of which had fallen to one-trillionth of its 1914 gold value. …”
“Adolf Hitler (20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was an Austrian-born politician who was elected to lead the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei NSDAP), the Nazi Party. He was Chancellor of Germany (1933–1945) and Führer und Reichskanzler of Germany (1934–1945).
Hitler was a decorated veteran of World War I who led the Nazi Party in Weimar Germany. Following his imprisonment after a 1923 failed coup, he gained support by promoting nationalism, antisemitism and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and propaganda. The Nazis executed or assassinated many of their opponents, restructured the state economy, rearmed the armed forces and established a totalitarian and fascist dictatorship. Hitler pursued a foreign policy with the declared goal of seizing Lebensraum (“living space”). The German invasion of Poland in 1939 caused the British and French Empires to declare war on Germany, leading to the outbreak of World War II in Europe.
The Axis powers occupied most of continental Europe and parts of Asia and Africa until defeated by the Allies. By 1945, Germany was in ruins. Hitler’s bid for territorial conquest and racial subjugation caused the deaths of 43 million people, including the systematic genocide of an estimated six million Jews as well as various additional “undesirable” populations in what is known as the Holocaust.
During the final days of the war in 1945, as Berlin was being invaded by the Red Army, Hitler married Eva Braun. Less than 24 hours later, the two committed suicide in the Führerbunker. …”
With this combination of legislative and executive power, Hitler’s government further suppressed the remaining political opposition. The Communist Party of Germany and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) were banned, while all other political parties were forced to dissolve themselves. Finally, on 14 July, the Nazi Party was declared the only legal party in Germany. Labour unions were merged with employers’ federations into an organisation under Nazi control, and the traditional autonomy of German state governments was abolished.
Hitler also used the SA paramilitary to push Hugenberg into resigning, and proceeded to politically isolate Vice-Chancellor Papen. Because the SA’s demands for political and military power caused much anxiety among military leaders, Hitler used allegations of a plot by the SA leader Ernst Röhm to purge the SA’s leadership during the Night of the Long Knives. Opponents unconnected with the SA were also murdered, notably Gregor Strasser and former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher.
President Paul von Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934. Rather than holding new presidential elections, Hitler’s cabinet passed a law proclaiming the presidency dormant and transferred the role and powers of the head of state to Hitler as Führer und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor). Thereby Hitler also became supreme commander of the military, whose officers then swore an oath not to the state or the constitution but to Hitler personally. In a mid-August plebiscite, these acts found the approval of 84.6% of the electorate. This action technically violated both the constitution and the Enabling Act. The constitution had been amended in 1932 to make the president of the High Court of Justice, not the chancellor, acting president until new elections could be held. The Enabling Act specifically barred Hitler from taking any action that tampered with the presidency. However, no one dared object. With this action, Hitler effectively removed the last remedy by which he could be dismissed from office—and with it, all checks and balances on his power.
In 1938, Hitler forced the resignation of his War Minister (formerly Defense Minister), Werner von Blomberg, after evidence surfaced that Blomberg’s new wife had a criminal past. Hitler replaced the Ministry of War with the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (High Command of the Armed Forces, or OKW), headed by General Wilhelm Keitel. More importantly, Hitler announced he was assuming personal command of the armed forces. He took over Blomberg’s other old post, that of Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, for himself. He was already Supreme Commander by virtue of holding the powers of the president. The next day, the newspapers announced, “Strongest concentration of powers in Führer’s hands!” Many experts believe that it was at this point that Hitler became absolute dictator of Germany. It can, however, be argued that he became absolute dictator four years earlier with his assumption of the president’s powers. …”
“…The Hitler Youth (German: Hitler-Jugend(help·info) , abbreviated HJ) was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party. It existed from 1922 to 1945. The HJ was the second oldest paramilitary Nazi group, founded one year after its adult counterpart, the Sturmabteilung (the SA). …”
“…The HJ was organized into corps under adult leaders, and the general membership comprised boys aged fourteen to eighteen. From 1936, membership of the HJ was compulsory for all young German men. The HJ was also seen as an important stepping stone to future membership of the elite Schutzstaffel (the SS). Members of the HJ were particularly proud to be bestowed with the single Sig Rune (victory symbol) by the SS. The SS utilized two Sig Runes as their mark, and this gesture served to symbolically link the two groups.
The HJ was organized into local cells on a community level. Such cells had weekly meetings at which various Nazi doctrines were taught by adult HJ leaders. Regional leaders typically organized rallies and field exercises in which several dozen Hitler Youth cells would participate. The largest HJ gathering usually took place annually, at Nuremberg, where members from all over Germany would converge for the annual Nazi Party rally.
The HJ maintained training academies comparable to preparatory schools. They were designed to nurture future Nazi Party leaders, and only the most radical and devoted HJ members could expect to attend.
The HJ also maintained several corps designed to develop future officers for the Wehrmacht. The corps offered specialist pre-training for each of the specific arms for which the HJ member was ultimately destined. The Marine Hitler Youth, for example, was the largest such corps and served as a water rescue auxiliary to the Kriegsmarine[citations needed].
Another branch of the HJ was the Deutsche Arbeiter Jugend – HJ (German Worker Youth – HY). This organization within the Hitler Youth was a training ground for future labor leaders and technicians. Its symbol was a rising sun with a swastika.
The Hitler Youth regularly issued the Wille und Macht (Will and Power) monthly magazine. This publication was also its official organ and its editor was Baldur von Schirach. Other publications included Die Kameradshaft (Comradeship), which had a girl’s version for the BDM called Mädelschaft, and a yearbook called Jungen eure Welt (Youth your World). …”
CHANGING OF THE GUARD
Web faux pas: Plan leaked for ‘civilian security force’?
Before blogs caught it, Obama site told of requiring students to serve
“…The official website of President-Elect Barack Obama, Change.gov, originally announced that Obama would “require” all middle school through college students to participate in community service programs; but after a flurry of blogs protested children being drafted into Obama’s proposed youth corps, the website’s wording was softened.
Originally, under the tab “America Serves” Change.gov read, “President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in under served schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps.
“Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year,” the site announced.
AIG uses my money to tell me how taking more of my money is good for me
By Michelle Malkin
“…In the dark of night last night, the Bush administration and AIG hammered out a plan to confiscate more of my money and yours For The Good Of The Economy. The first $85 billion didn’t work. The next $38 billion work. So let’s throw more bad money after bad! Who needs Obama? Like I’ve said repeatedly over the last year, statism and socialism are here and now. Via WSJ:
Bailout Politics The Congressional Dems who enabled this crisis are now being trusted to fix it?By Thomas Sowell
“…Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not deserve to be bailed out, but neither do workers, families and businesses deserve to be put through the economic wringer by a collapse of credit markets, such as occurred during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Neither do the voters deserve to be deceived on the eve of an election by the notion that this is a failure of free markets that should be replaced by political micro-managing.
If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were free market institutions they could not have gotten away with their risky financial practices because no one would have bought their securities without the implicit assumption that the politicians would bail them out.
It would be better if no such government-supported enterprises had been created in the first place and mortgages were in fact left to the free market. This bailout creates the expectation of future bailouts.
Phasing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would make much more sense than letting politicians play politics with them again, with the risk and expense being again loaded onto the taxpayers. …”
Did the Obama Campaign Promise Media Companies Bailout Money For Positive Press?
“…The NYT’s debt has been downgraded to junk bond status.The Tribune Company has debt financing troubles. If banks,insurance companies,and car companies can loot the taxpayers because they’d paid off the right politicians: why shouldn’t we expect the media companies to do the same? The overt bias of the media,this campaign cycle,seems much more than liberal reporters air brushing Obama’s past.Has the Obama campaign promised the media companies taxpayer dollars for good coverage? Just in case you think what I written here is crackpot musings,GE the parent company of NBC,MSNBC,and CNBC is getting bailout money.A free press is only possible with the free market in goods and services which implies a healthy respect for property rights.Companies that take bailout money aren’t concerned with free speech or property rights.Something to think about as freedom gets extinguished.Just how independent can a news organization be when they are on the pad of the federal government? …”
“…When President Ford began sporting his lapel button proclaiming WIN (for Whip Inflation Now), a Miami entrepreneur named Marvin D. Baida was quick to see the possibilities. But when he tried to peddle WIN pins for a quarter each, there were few takers. Then Baida had an inspiration: he started selling a 25¢ button that declared SIN (for Stop Inflation Now). The public took to SIN instantly: 60,000 pins have been ordered, and Baida has branched out into T shirts and bumper stickers (HONK IF YOU WANT TO SIN). …”
“…The Federal Reserve describes itself as a system that is “independent within the government.” This means it must work within the overall objectives established by Congress, but its decisions do not have to be ratified by the president or anyone else in the executive branch. This level of independence is justified as both a check on executive power and as a way to manage the risk that decisions directly affecting the operation of the marketplace might become dangerously politicized. The case for a similar approach to homeland security is compelling. In both instances, the goal is to better align commercial interests with public interests.
The overall thrust of this proposed FSRS is to create a participatory system that does not unrealistically rely on the activities of federal agencies. By using the Federal Reserve as a template for enlisting expertise beyond Washington, the United States can achieve a middle ground between placing the fate of critical networks entirely in the hands of overworked federal authorities and relying on a laissez-faire approach that provides no protection.
This, admittedly, is an ambitious proposal. But now is not a time for timidity. Nor is it a time for persisting with an outmoded national security framework, designed for a different enemy in a century gone by. Americans must demand that their government put in place the kind of structure that widens the breadth and quality of civic participation in making the United States safe. And the entire nation, not just the national security establishment, must be organized for the long, deadly struggle against terrorism.”
Flynn is a retired U.S. Coast Guard commander and foremost expert on homeland security and border control, director of the Council’s Hart-Rudman Task Force on Homeland Security. Flynn’s expertise is in homeland security, transportation security, border control; international crime and the drug trade.