April 30, 2010

Obama Takes Immigration Reform Off Agenda

Obama Takes Immigration Reform Off Agenda

April 29, 2010

Associated Press - Immigration reform has become the first of President Barack Obama's major priorities dropped from the agenda of an election-year Congress facing voter disillusionment. Sounding the death knell was Obama himself.

The president noted that lawmakers may lack the "appetite" to take on immigration while many of them are up for re-election and while another big legislative issue - climate change - is already on their plate ...

The Democrats' draft proposal, obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday, called for, among other things, meeting border security benchmarks before anyone in the country illegally can become a legal permanent U.S. resident.

Obama praised the outline and said the next step is ironing out a bill. He said his administration will "play an active role" trying to get bipartisan supporters.

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Republican Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who had been working with Democrats on immigration reform, criticized the proposal as "nothing more than an attempt to score political points" [for more on Graham, see Politicians March to the Tune of the Controlling Elite].

By Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered little hope that the issue was still alive on Capitol Hill.
"If there is going to be any movement in this regard, it will require presidential leadership, as well as an appetite, is that the word? ... as well as a willingness to move forward in the Congress," she said.
House Republican leader John Boehner was more blunt.
"There is not a chance that immigration is going to move through the Congress," he said Tuesday.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, the Democrats' leading advocate for immigration reform, has said he voted for health care reform on the understanding that Obama and congressional Democrats would move a major immigration bill.

Even though he would like to see Latinos turn out to vote for Democrats in 2010, Gutierrez said "many will probably decide to stay home." However, he added, a strict, new immigration law in Arizona may change that dynamic. The law requires law enforcement officers to question anyone they suspect is in the country illegally.
"On one hand you are not going to vote because you don't believe people you voted for are doing a good enough job," Gutierrez said. "Then you say, 'I got to vote, because the enemy is so mean and vindictive, I got to get out there.'"
The Hispanic vote is growing, largely because of Latinos' increasing population. The 9.7 million Latinos who cast ballots in 2008 made up about 7.4 percent of the electorate, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center study.

Hispanic voters helped flip the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico from Republican to Democratic in the 2008 presidential election.

But even though Latinos' numbers have been increasing, in some parts of the country their portions of voting populations are not large enough to affect election outcomes.

Democrats hold a 254-177 majority in the House, with four vacancies. But 48 are in districts where Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain did better than Obama in the 2008 elections.

Matt Angle, a Democratic political strategist focused on Texas, said it would be worse for Democrats to propose a bill that has no hope of passing or getting Republican support. Doing so would allow Republicans to cherry-pick parts of the bill to use against Democratic candidates, he said.

The Senate also has a number of competitive races, some in states with significant numbers of Hispanic voters, such as in Nevada, Reid's home state. Latinos are about 12-15 percent of likely voters there.
"For Democrats it is critical they can deliver if they want to continue nurturing the support they want from this community," said Clarissa Martinez De Castro, National Council of La Raza immigration and national campaigns director.
Biometric National ID Card Included In Democratic Immigration Bill

PositiveID's Implantable Microchip & Electronic Health Records

Australia's e-Health Bill Paves the Way for PositiveID Human Implantable RFID Microchips

April 13, 2010

OpEdNews - For many this would seem to be the perfect solution to holiday accidents and prevent any unnecessary delays when facing treatment from an uncommon doctor who would require any past medical records. If a doctor in a different state previously treated you, they would need to determine if any further treatments/medications could cause adverse reactions to a prescription you or your family might currently be on. Having access to your usual doctors detailed medical reports, anywhere in the country, might just be a life saver. But is there more to it than meets the eye?

There is indeed a surreptitious plan to set up the ground work for this system to progress seamlessly to implantable RFID microchips. All that would be required is a simple distribution of the PositiveID microchip and the necessary RFID scanners into the medical infrastructure the software side would already be functioning at full steam.

“The Australian healthcare sector is a complex of public and private interests, hospital and community facilities, GP’s, laboratories, health funds, professional associations, special interest groups and individual consumers.”
The introduction of this system would aim to revolutionize the way medical records are accessed and updated, ensuring every time it is accessed by a medical professional, the information is up to date and accurate. Privacy advocates have lambasted the proposed bill quoting medical record privacy breaches, in 2007-2008 there were 234 serious accounts of this occurring yet 160 of these resulted in an emailed warning or counseling. If the unique patient identification number was to go ahead, Australian Privacy Foundation chair Roger Clarke said
“The situation will be many hundreds of times worse, as the HI database will ultimately be accessed by more than 600,000 medical providers and organizations.”
Knowing of the obvious security flaws that are inherent with a system of this scale, why does the Rudd government choose to bulldoze it into legislation? Could this in fact be the Hegelian dialectic at work? It could very well be a future road map that would lead to the more ’secure’ method of accessing medical records via RFID implants as scores of complaints flood the media regarding security breaches and invasions of ‘privacy’. Scott R. Silverman, chairman and CEO of PositiveID claims
“In addition to helping consumers protect themselves from identity theft as it pertains to credit fraud, we are also focused on combating the growing problem of medical identity theft, which affects 7 percent of identity theft victims.”
How noble of Scott.

Lets move to the hardware side of things, as we already have established that Medicare is providing the 16 digit number. Why 16-digits? Introducing the PositiveID implantable RFID microchip. The microchip itself contains only a 16-digit number that when scanned with a hand held reader, connects to a secure online database. The database houses the patient’s identification information and personal health record data. The Council of Australian Governments even state themselves that:
“The identifiers are an important building block for the future introduction of a patient-controlled Individual Electronic Health Record.” Scott R. Silverman states, on behalf of PositiveID, “we put consumers in charge of their own health information through a robust, patient-controlled interface.”
Interesting indeed. It has been established already that IBM has seed-funded PositiveID since inception, would it come as any surprise to you that Medicare relies on IBM for its technology infrastructure and has just paid $189 million for a one-year extension on a services contract? Of course not. This is the most disturbing element, the very people designing and maintaining the system currently in use in Australia, are also the ones behind the PositiveID RFID microchip for humans.

Currently Microsoft and Google both have an e-health record management service. Microsoft’s product is ‘MS HealthVault’, Google’s is simply ‘Google Health’. Both of these services are fully interoperable with PositiveID’s RFID microchip. Microsoft has already made a submission to the national health and hospitals reform commission (NHHRC) and proposed an electronic health record system for the improvement of Australia’s healthcare. Google isn’t far behind in the race either, with CEO Eric Schmidt stating that he “hopes to deliver Google Health to Australia by the end of the year.”

Staying true to the science of gradualism, we are having an information cage slowly erected around us, and we won’t know until it is too late to do anything about it. Maybe the implantable RFID microchips are coming sooner rather than later, we do know that they will be introduced for the purpose of cost efficiency and ‘reliability’ of patient identification, perhaps a failed e-health system could provide the perfect chaos to accommodate an implantable RFID solution. What we won't be told is that it will simply be a ‘plug in’ upgrade to our existing infrastructure; meaning a rapid deployment nation wide. To some money minded bureaucratic sell outs, this is an extremely easy system to sell to an uneducated public.

Australians have already researched the ‘benefits’ of implantable microchips in a published article titled “Lend me your arms: the use and implications of humancentric RFID.” The article suggests that social and ethical concerns “plague the technology,” yet goes on to imply that “Initial adoption of the invasive technology has met with some success but any real assessment of the industry is prejudiced by the commercial monopoly of the VeriChip Corporation [now known as PositiveID]“. “Security and convenience are generic wants” and “Care-related humancentric RFID devices provide unparalleled portability for medical records.” To all the disbelievers that think the human microchipping agenda is light years away, think again; this article was published in 2006.

I’m going to be keeping my eye on the Rudd governments new health plan, in particular the $436 million dollars that has been proposed to deal with the rising number of diabetics just how much of this money is going to be used for a feasibility analysis of PositiveID’s iGlucose system?

“The iGlucose system is a standalone, self-contained unit that will automatically query a diabetic’s data-capable glucometer for blood glucose data and send that data via encrypted SMS text messaging to an online database.”
The machine is well oiled and vigilance is needed, we are dealing with a company that has no qualms when it comes to microchipping Alzheimer patients with cancer causing RFID microchips. There is going to be a huge, vulnerable market in the form of diabetic patients and with the US government and now the Australian government both trying to tackle the expanding financial burden that this disease places on both respective economies. You don’t have to look too far for an ‘easy’ and ‘cost effective’ solution, especially with PositiveID ready to jump at any opportunity it can to ‘help.’

NOTE: Legislation has been presented to Senators within Australia to prevent the mandatory implantation of humans, and it is sitting on their desks currently awaiting further action. Please contact your representatives and encourage them to introduce this into the senate and have it passed into law. For more information on the legislation itself there is a website found at http://www.wethepeoplewillnotbechipped.com/action/ that explains the process you will need to follow including a letter template and fact sheet.

Your Medical Records: Soon to be Held for Ransom by a Chip-Implant Maker

April 13, 2010

BNET - PositiveID (PSID), the microchip implant company formerly known as VeriChip, has added a new wrinkle to its business model that is bound to be controversial: Its Health Link electronic medical record service* is being sold “on a paid subscription basis” in a pilot scheme targeted at ship, dock and maritime workers.

Health Link provides access to a patient’s online medical records. It can be used with an implanted microchip and linked to Microsoft (MSFT)’s HealthVault and Google (GOOG) Health.

The company’s press release is slim on details, but it suggests that either ship workers’ employers or the employees themselves will be charged a monthly fee to keep the service activated. In effect, PositiveID will hold workers’ online health records to ransom: One assumes that if the monthly fee is not paid, access will not be granted. (Why else would anyone feel obligated to pay?) The company said:

Upon successful completion and review of the pilot program, PositiveID will offer its Health Link PHR to millions of seafarers and port workers per year, on a paid subscription basis.

Shipworkers are being targeted because they frequently travel far from their regular doctors:

When sailors become ill, they will visit a doctor at their next port of call. The doctor, typically, does not have access to the sailors’ [pre-employment medical examinations], nor does the doctor know the patient’s medical history, and will therefore conduct a thorough, costly examination prior to prescribing treatment. This expensive and burdensome repetition of medical procedures can be eliminated by using Health Link, which stores the sailors initial PEME and subsequent medical procedures.

You can easily imagine how some companies, eager to save money on healthcare, will insist on Health Link-linked chips for all their employees. If those savings became significant, other companies outside the shipping sector could follow suit… and you can fill in your own Orwellian nightmare from this point. Needless to say, most people will not want to be charged a monthly fee for occasional access to their own records, even if they could be persuaded to walk around with a microchip under their skin.

And there’s a gaping hole in PositiveID’s plan. It would make a lot more sense for shipping companies to upload their workers’ pre-employment medical examinations to their own Web sites. Doctors anywhere in the world could access them with a password, perhaps the employees’ unique coverage plan number. That would achieve the identical savings proposed by PositiveID but without the added cost of monthly subscriptions.

* This item has been corrected to make it clear that PositiveID denies its Health Link service includes microchipping employees. While the two products were once offered together, the company no longer markets them that way, PositiveID says.

Government Takeover of Banks and Businesses

Republicans Relent, Clear Financial Reform Bill for Debate

After three days of blocking tactics, Republicans allowed the financial reform bill to proceed. What's next? Weeks of amendments as Republicans – and Democrats – try to change the bill.

April 28, 2010

Christian Science Monitor - After three failed procedural votes this week, Senate Republicans Wednesday allowed Democrats to move financial reform legislation to the floor by unanimous consent.

Republicans say they won important concessions during the three days of delay, including assurances that Democrats would drop a $50 billion fund to be used in major bankruptcies. They claim that the money, which would have been collected from banks, would act as a permanent bailout fund.

But hopes among Republicans faded that they could address their other major concerns – including the powers of a new consumer-protection agency and the regulation of derivatives – though back-room negotiations ...

Once the 1,400-page bill hits the floor, debate and votes on amendments could go on for weeks.

“We’re going to have a very busy couple of weeks coming up now,” said Sen. Christopher Dodd, who as the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee will be managing the bill on the floor. “There are lots of members who have very strong feelings about this bill.”
For one, Republicans hope to curb the proposed independent consumer protection agency – an agency that they say could harm small businesses that extend credit, including dentists, car dealers, and small manufacturers.
“This massive new bureaucracy would have unchecked authority to regulate whatever it wants, whenever it wants, however it wants," said Sen. Richard Shelby (R) of Alabama, the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee. "I am aware of no other arm of the federal government this powerful, yet so unaccountable,” he said, adding that he could not support the bill in its current form.
Republicans will also seek to ease how the bill regulates derivatives. Speculation on derivatives was seen as major contributing factor to the financial meltdown.
“A lot of people do derivatives, and they’re not just speculating,” says R. Bruce Josten, a lobbyist for the US Chamber of Commerce, which is opposing the bill. “If they force all the end-users to go through an exchange, all of this will be done in Singapore or Hong Kong. We will continue to run ads to oppose the draft bill.”
Meanwhile, liberal Democrats hope to use floor debate to strengthen regulation on a range of issues.

Foremost, perhaps, is an attempt to break up banks deemed "too big to fail."
“If you have institutions too big to fail, then we have institutions too big to exist. We’re going to break them up,” said Sen. Bernard Sanders (D) of Vermont.
But he also has his eye on new transparency requirements for the Federal Reserve.
“During the bailout, the Fed lent trillions of dollars at zero or near-zero interest rates to large financial institutions," says Sen. Sanders. "During the Budget Committee hearing, I asked Chairman Bernanke who received that money, he refused to tell us."

“The bottom line is that trillions of taxpayer dollars were lent out and voters have a right to know who received it,” he added.
In the end, say Republicans, it was time to start debating the bill.
“Since the two senators [Dodd and Shelby] were unable to reach agreement, at this point it makes sense to proceed to floor debate,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R) of Maine, adding that she expects Senate majority leader Harry Reid to keep his “commitment to a free and open debate.”

Climate Bills and a Green Economy

The $10 Trillion Climate Fraud

April 28, 2010

Investors Business Daily - While senators froth over Goldman Sachs and derivatives, a climate trading scheme being run out of the Chicago Climate Exchange would make Bernie Madoff blush. Its trail leads to the White House.

Lost in the recent headlines was Al Gore's appearance Monday in Denver at the annual meeting of the Council of Foundations, an association of the nation's philanthropic leaders.

"Time's running out (on climate change)," Gore told them. "We have to get our act together. You have a unique role in getting our act together."
Gore was right that foundations will play a key role in keeping the climate scam alive as evidence of outright climate fraud grows, just as they were critical in the beginning when the Joyce Foundation in 2000 and 2001 provided the seed money to start the Chicago Climate Exchange. It started trading in 2003, and what it trades is, essentially, air. More specifically perhaps, hot air.

The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) advertises itself as "North America's only cap-and-trade system for all six greenhouse gases, with global affiliates and projects worldwide." Barack Obama served on the board of the Joyce Foundation from 1994 to 2002 when the CCX startup grants were issued. As president, pushing cap-and-trade is one of his highest priorities. Now isn't that special?

Few Americans have heard of either entity. The Joyce Foundation was originally the financial nest egg of a widow whose family had made millions in the now out-of-favor lumber industry. After her death, the foundation was run by philanthropists who increasingly dedicated their giving to liberal causes, including gun control, environmentalism and school changes.

Currently, CCX members agree to a voluntary but legally binding agreement to regulate greenhouse gases.

The CCX provides the mechanism in trading the very pollution permits and carbon offsets the administration's cap-and-trade proposals would impose by government mandate.

Thanks to Fox News' Glenn Beck, we have learned a lot about CCX, not the least of which is that its founder, Richard Sandor, says he knew Obama well back in the day when the Joyce Foundation awarded money to the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, where Sandor was a research professor.

Sandor estimates that climate trading could be "a $10 trillion dollar market." It could very well be, if cap-and-trade measures like Waxman-Markey and Kerry-Boxer are signed into law, making energy prices skyrocket, and as companies buy and sell permits to emit those six "greenhouse" gases.

Greek Debt is the 'Tip of Iceberg' for Inflation and Government Defaults

Roubini Calls Greek Debt 'Tip of Iceberg' for Inflation, Defaults

April 28, 2010

Bloomberg - Nouriel Roubini, the New York University professor who predicted the U.S. recession more than a year before its start in December 2007, said rising sovereign debt from the U.S. to Japan and Greece will ultimately lead to higher inflation or government defaults.
“While today markets are worried about Greece, Greece is just the tip of the iceberg, or the canary in the coal mine for a much broader range of fiscal problems,” Roubini, 52, said today during a discussion on financial markets at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California. Increasing tax revenue won’t be enough “to save the day.”
Roubini’s remarks underscore statements by officials such as Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, that the global economy still faces risks. Credit-rating cuts on Greece, Portugal and Spain in the past two days are spurring investors’ concern that the European deficit crisis is spreading and intensifying pressure on policy makers to widen a bailout package.
“The thing I worry about is the buildup of sovereign debt,” Roubini, who teaches at NYU’s Stern School of Business, told attendees at the Beverly Hilton hotel. If the issue isn’t addressed, nations will either fail to meet obligations or experience higher inflation as officials “monetize” their debts, or print money to tackle the shortfalls.
Michael Milken, founder of the Milken Institute, said the U.S. has the ability to continue selling private and public debt because its markets remain liquid.
“I would say it is individual leadership’s fault if they are not taking advantage of today’s markets,” Milken, the junk-bond billionaire turned philanthropist, said on the panel moderated by Matt Winkler, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News.
Debt Crisis

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.3 percent to 258.24, a six-week low, after Standard & Poor’s downgraded Spain’s debt by one step to AA. The euro traded at $1.3205 at 4:02 p.m. in New York, compared with $1.3175 yesterday, after touching $1.3115, the lowest since April 28, 2009.

Almost $1 trillion of worldwide equity value was erased yesterday on concern that rising public debt will spur defaults, derailing the global economy, data compiled by Bloomberg show. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the IMF pledged to step up efforts to overcome the Greek fiscal crisis, after bonds and stocks plunged across Europe in the past week.
“The bond vigilantes are walking out in Greece, Spain, Portugal, the U.K. and Iceland,” said Roubini, a former senior economist for the White House Council of Economic Advisers, adviser to the U.S. Treasury Department and IMF consultant.
‘No Willingness’
“Eventually, the fiscal problems of the U.S. will also come to the fore,” he said. “The risk of something serious happening in the U.S. in the next two or three years is going to be significant” because there’s “no willingness in Washington to do anything” unless forced by the bond markets.
Roubini, chairman and co-founder of Roubini Global Economics LLC in New York, said the U.S. probably will need a combination of increased tax revenue and lower government spending, while Europe needs to curb spending.

Both Roubini and Milken supported a carbon tax on gasoline, saying it would reduce American dependence on oil from overseas, shrink the trade deficit and carbon emissions, and help pay down the U.S. budget deficit.

Roubini predicted a bubble in U.S. housing prices during an interview with Bloomberg News in October 2005, months before the market peaked, and said in August 2006 that he expected a “painful” recession.

Education Better Investment

Today, he said the U.S. invested too heavily in housing during the past 20 to 30 years, and that spending on education and technology would be better in the long run.

Milken, 63, is the former high-yield bond chief from Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. who was indicted on 98 counts of racketeering and securities fraud in 1989, ultimately serving about two years after a plea bargain and sentence reduction. For the past decade, he has focused on philanthropy and running the research institute, which seeks ways to generate capital for people around the world.

Cell Phones and a Cashless Society

Smartphone Shipments Surge

April 30, 2010

Reuters - Smartphone shipments surged 50 percent in January through March versus a year ago, notching up the strongest growth in the last three years with Apple Inc and Nokia Oyj taking market share, a survey showed.

Strategy Analytics said on Friday some 54 million smartphones -- handsets with computer-like functionality -- were shipped in the quarter, comprising 18 percent of the total handset market.
"This was the strongest period of growth for almost three years and the high-value smartphone market is leading the handset industry out of recession," SA said in a statement.

"Sales are being driven by healthy operator subsidies, vigorous competition between vendors and a growing tide of lower-cost models using operating software like Symbian and Android," it said.
SA said iPhone maker Apple's market share leapt to 16.4 percent from 10.6 percent a year ago, while market leader Nokia raised its share to 40 percent from 38.2 percent. Blackberry maker RIM slipped to 19.7 percent from 20.3 percent.

Nokia's growth, however, has come at the expense of margins, with the firm saying last week that the average selling price of its smartphones skidded 17 percent from the previous quarter to just 155 euros. That compares to more than $600 for the iPhone.

Paramilitary Police State & Private Prisons

James Madison, the author of our Constitution, warned in 1792, “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one.” In today’s institutionalized collectivist society, Americans couldn’t survive without legal plunder, state compulsion, unrestrained spending, subsidies, bailouts, and living off their fellow citizens, which our “indefinite” government now provides for. - Kevin Eggers, Collectivism and the Fall of American Principles, January 27, 2010

S.3081: Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010

March 17, 2010

New American - As America travels the well-worn and brutal path earlier empires paved, it increasingly disdains the pretense of ruling “of, by and for the people.” And so the führer in the White House threatens to ram his impractical and deeply offensive plans for nationalizing medical insurance down our throats, regardless of how loudly we shriek “No!”

Meanwhile, Congress prepares to imprison indefinitely any “enemy belligerents” who object to the government’s whims. You might suppose that dictators controlling almost 309,000,000 subjects would be too busy to fuss with legal niceties. But no. A preoccupation with legislative permission characterizes tyrannies, perhaps because it protects those responsible from prosecution should justice resurrect one day. The Nazis are notorious for legalizing their plunder, kidnapping en masse, and murder.

No wonder, then, that Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and nine co-sponsors have introduced legislation they might have cribbed from the Third Reich. S.3081: Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010” supposedly “provide[s] for the interrogation and detention of enemy belligerents who commit hostile acts against the United States” — and, as the bill’s text repeatedly adds, its “coalition partners.”

Note that a new and ungrammatical cluster of nouns, “enemy belligerents,” has not only replaced but enlarged the numbers of the old, equally ungrammatical “enemy combatants” — and yes, combining this with the Feds’ penchant for smearing even their mildest critics as terrorists means they have us firmly in their sights. Note further that the bill’s “persons” and “individuals” now specifically includes citizens of the US [Sec. 5], and that the US military, known to have tortured Iraqis, Afghanis, and others, may “detain” and “interrogate” these victims indefinitely.

Hard to say which is more monstrous: McCain’s stupidity or his evil. He’s so proud of this abomination that he’s posted his “Statement” introducing it to the Senate on his website:

“This legislation seeks to ensure that the mistakes made during the apprehension of the Christmas Day bomber, such as reading him a Miranda warning, will never happen again and put Americans’ security at risk,” he says, apparently oblivious to the irony that empowering governments to destroy God-given, inalienable rights is precisely what puts Americans’ security at greatest risk.
No doubt unwittingly, McCain reveals the specious logic with which his legislation overturns the Constitution:
“This bill would require unprivileged enemy belligerents suspected of engaging in hostilities against the U.S. to be held in military custody and interrogated for their intelligence value by a ‘high value detainee’ interagency team established by the President.”
With a succinct 38 words, in which no less than 5 nouns are once again contorted into adjectives, McCain eviscerates the ancient right of habeas corpus, the presumption of innocence, and the right to an open trial. In place of the last, he substitutes judgment at the hands of appointed and very biased bureaucrats.

If “experts” determine that you are “an unprivileged enemy belligerent” and if “the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General after consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency” agree, well, you are clearly and indeed a very bad guy. Of course, no one has ever accused bureaucrats of devotion to either the truth or accuracy. Nor are they known for thinking outside the box and challenging their fellows, especially when everyone else’s head is already nodding.

The mere notion of “unprivileged suspects” stinks as much as the Bushy cesspool from which it originated. This claptrap, which has “been frequently used at least since the beginning of the last century in legal literature, military manuals and case law,” creates pariahs who allegedly lie outside the Constitution’s protection. But that document’s whole purpose was to bind down rulers from mischief, as Jefferson put it. Ergo, its strictures hamstring them without reference to their victims; the identity, nationality, or standing of those people on whom the government preys is irrelevant.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” regardless of location: it may establish no religion either here or in Timbuktu. Nor may it abridge the freedom of the press, any press, whether America’s, Malaysia’s, or Zimbabwe’s. There are no “unprivileged” folks anywhere because the Federal government may not, period. It may not act except in a few instances and as the Constitution allows it, regardless of the recipients of those actions. The neoconservative nonsense that the Constitution in general and the Bill of Rights in particular apply only to U.S. citizens is as silly as it is pernicious.

McCain’s brainchild may be heinous, but it isn’t surprising. Anyone who reads history and understands government could have predicted it as the next step in our rulers’ war on the Constitution, a.k.a., the War on Terror. As usual, said Warriors began by demonizing their victims, in this case “terrorists”; once Americans feared and hated the demons, the Warriors chipped away at the “terrorists’” Constitutional rights. Serfs cheered and thanked Leviathan for saving them. Like children distracted by the lollypop the doctor offers, they never expected the needle aimed at terrorists to stab them.

But governments seldom care about tyrannizing the few foreigners who fall into their hands; rather, it’s their own citizens they lust to command. The “Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010” furthers that plot, stripping rights from Americans whom bureaucrats accuse of terrorism. When fools cheer this as well, when they docilely watch as the FBI indefinitely detains their neighbors for the CIA to torture, rulers will smile and nod. Their next bill won’t bother mentioning “terrorists,” even as a pretext. Citizens, especially but not only those who dissent, will be its sole target. And there will be far more things from which to dissent — forced relocation and labor, perhaps even medical experimentation to rival Dr. Mengele’s, if Obamacare passes.

“I will continue to work on a bipartisan basis to improve this process to obtain better, more uniform results,” McCain threatens. “…[M]y efforts will not stop until we have addressed all the detainee issues in a comprehensive fashion.”
For once, I believe him.

Sovereignty & Serfdom

April 15, 2010

ROFASix - In the previous post I pondered whether those in power in government really understand that those who don't agree with them are not automatically terrorists. It seems like a silly issue, that is until you read that FBI message which talks about those who deny federal sovereignty as domestic terrorists.

Many deny Congress has the right to order states to do certain actions via through unfunded mandates or by claiming the "Interstate Commerce Clause" of the US Constitution demands it. In a recent instance, up to 38 states may challenge the federal governments new health care law that trashes state and individual sovereignty. Denial that the federal government has sovereignty over the state and the individual is not a new concept. You see, some actually believe that the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution is still in effect!

It is a uniquely American idea that no government of the people, for the people has sovereignty over citizens except that granted by those citizens they govern. Today, we see a classic battle between progressive socialists who believe the individual is but a serf who serves the state and old time constitutionalists who think otherwise.

It is clear Congress doesn't understand the difference. That was evident when long time statist Senator John McCain introduced Senate Bill S. 3081. I wrote about it last month and no one but a couple of bloggers seemed as horrified by what it said as I was.

If legislation such as S.3081 became law, you become a terrorist based upon the whim of those in power and without due process. It was never supposed to happen in America like that ... but it has. Did the terrorists win after 9/11 when we accepted less individual freedom without protest and accepted more government intrusion in the hope it would make us safer somehow? Of the many lessons in history, one is that is clear is that when you give up your rights, you will never get them back from your government.

The FBI described what it called a "sovereign citizen" extremist movement thusly:

"[. . .] anti-government extremists who believe that even though they physically reside in this country, they are separate or “sovereign” from the United States. As a result, they believe they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments, or law enforcement."
Statists like McCain believe in the overarching power and unlimited sovereignty of the federal government. Progressive Socialists realize that the two are key elements to reshaping America to change into what it envisions -- a kinder gentler state made up of three classes: looters, moochers and producers. Both accept the idea that the federal government has unlimited and total sovereignty over the states and the individual.

Both will tell you that the individual has one choice when facing the overwhelming power and sovereignty of the central government. The individual can submit or be "dealt with" using the full and unlimited power of the state.

If one believes in state and individual sovereignty instead of federal sovereignty, does that make them an “anti-government extremists?” While the FBI doesn't say so yet, they appear to consider it an "indicator" of criminality.

Were S. 3081 law, the President can designate you a terrorist and off you go to "SuperMax" or perhaps a FEMA camp in some nice arid region of the Southwest US. Don't bother claiming you have rights as a citizen, or that your "due process rights were denied. It won't fly if S. 3081 becomes law.

It is but one more of those horrific bills sitting in committees in Congress right now that make the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 look positively constitutional instead of what they are. They represent one more reason why it is so important to clear out the old time professional statists and socialists in Congress who are now but clueless professional politicians who have no idea of the foundation on which this country was founded or the economic system that made it once the most powerful economy on Earth.

When one advocates the overthrow of the existing government or practice behavior that takes another’s property by deceit or force, they are criminals. When citizens demand a government that works within the boundaries of law and the US Constitution they are not, at least until there is legislation like Senator McCain's on the books.

Top Contributors: Presidential Candidate Barack Obama

April 20, 2010

OpenSecrets - This table lists the top donors to Barack Obama in the 2008 election cycle. The organizations themselves did not donate , rather the money came from the organization’s PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.

Because of contribution limits, organizations that bundle together many individual contributions are often among the top donors to presidential candidates. These contributions can come from the organization’s members or employees (and their families). The organization may support one candidate, or hedge its bets by supporting multiple candidates. Groups with national networks of donors – like EMILY’s List and Club for Growth – make for particularly big bundlers.

University of California $1,591,395
Goldman Sachs $994,795
Harvard University $854,747
Microsoft Corp $833,617
Google Inc $803,436
Citigroup Inc $701,290
JPMorgan Chase & Co $695,132
Time Warner $590,084
Sidley Austin LLP $588,598
Stanford University $586,557
National Amusements Inc $551,683
UBS AG $543,219
Wilmerhale Llp $542,618
Skadden, Arps et al $530,839
IBM Corp $528,822
Columbia University $528,302
Morgan Stanley $514,881
General Electric $499,130
US Government $494,820
Latham & Watkins $493,835

Personal OnStar-like Security Device with Microphone and Camera That Your Wear 24 Hours a Day

It's Time For Personal 'OnStar'-Like Security

March 12, 2010

Dark Reading - I recently saw a story about a young child who, upon being confronted by armed robbers in his home, had the presence of mind to lock himself in a bathroom with his younger sister and call 911. Doing so likely saved the lives of everyone in the house. Because this outcome is unusual, I think it's time we looked at personal security more closely.

With GPS capabilities built into phones that can be made ever smaller, and the ability for these phones to transmit both sound and audio, isn't it time to think about a wearable device that could be used to call for help and accurately report what was happening? That would limit hoaxes and dispatchers who didn't take real crimes seriously. If properly designed, such a device could help prepare first responders for the actual emergency -- be it a heart attack or home invasion robbery. (If I had a home invasion robbery, I'd likely have a heart attack.)

Cell phone technology doesn't have to be in a phone, and it is actually very inexpensive. The Kindle, for example, has prepaid-for-life WAN service. It sells for around $250, which is pretty reasonable when you realize that a data plan over a WAN service is generally thought to be prohibitively expensive. This is because the device doesn't use much bandwidth, and when it does, the cost of use is buried in the purchase price of the book or the file transferred.

In effect, the Kindle is a smartphone with limited data features, and the result is something very different. The iPad will be different in that even though it will require a data plan, that plan is relatively inexpensive.

The need for personal security remains very high. Already this year we have had a number of women killed, children killed or kidnapped, and armed robberies including home invasions. On top of that, there are ongoing heart attacks, drug overdoses, and accidents (as detailed by the OnStar ads) that highlight a need for a device and service that could be with you wherever you are and get you help when you needed it much more quickly and effectively than a traditional cell phone.

Much like you have security services to protect your home and business, I think there has always been a need for personal protection that falls below those who can afford bodyguards. Such a solution would likely have two parts: a hardware component with sensors you would wear, and a service that would connect to it that, like the security service for your home, would know who to call for help based on the alert and know where you were so it could direct first responders.

The device could contain cameras and microphones that activate if the device was triggered to create evidence that could locate an attacker and cause them to flee, an alarm sound that could help locate the victim and also help scare off an attacker, and a set of sensors that could detect everything from sudden deceleration to an irregular heartbeat or compromised breathing.

Indeed, privacy concerns need to be addressed so that stalkers and predators couldn't compromise the device. The service could have emergency medical and security technicians on staff to help talk the victim or anyone near him through the crisis while professionals were en route, and possibly even negotiate or scare attackers into ceasing their activities.

You'd wear the device 24 hours a day if you were concerned about medical problems that could happen at night. It would require an easy battery replacement and out-of-device charging solution or broadcast power charging, and it would need to be both subtle and attractive or folks wouldn't wear it.

I think events of this year suggest we have both the need and the technology for a personal OnStar-like personal security device and service. I think a lot of folks would pay for it for their children or aging parents if it cost less $300 for the device and $30 a month for the service -- and as long as it was dependable.

This last requirement is far from trivial. However the technology exists, we are just waiting for the vendor to build a solution that will make the best use of it.

April 29, 2010

House Bill Requires Autos to Have Black Boxes

House Bill Requires Autos to Have Black Boxes

Responding to Toyota’s sudden acceleration crisis, a House committee is preparing legislation that would reshape auto safety regulations and boost potential fines for violations.

April 30, 2010

Los Angeles Times - Responding to Toyota Motor Corp.'s sudden acceleration crisis, a key House committee is preparing sweeping legislation that would reshape auto safety regulations and significantly boost potential fines against automakers for violating safety laws.

The legislation, drafted by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), would create at least half a dozen new safety standards and rules — including a requirement that all new motor vehicles have so-called black boxes, or event data recorders, and brake override systems.
"This gives the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the ability to protect the public and to deal with concerns that have been raised by Toyota and other manufacturers," Waxman said in an interview.
The legislation, titled the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010, would represent one of the biggest overhauls of federal motor vehicle safety regulation in a generation. The most recent comparable action came a decade ago, when Congress passed new safety rules in the aftermath of the rollover problem involving Ford Explorers equipped with Firestone tires.

The bill is likely to face opposition from automakers, in particular over a provision that would remove the existing $16.4-million cap on civil penalties against vehicle manufacturers for violations of safety laws and boost the fine for each violation to $25,000, from the current $6,000.

The change would create the potential for fines in the range of tens of billions of dollars, because federal fines are typically assessed on each vehicle produced by a manufacturer that is involved in a violation of the rules.

NHTSA's recent record $16.4-million fine against Toyota for violations of U.S. law could have been as high as $57.5 billion if the proposed Waxman law had been in effect at the time.
"NHTSA ought to have the ability to decide what is an appropriate fine," Waxman said.
The proposed law will be considered in a hearing on May 6 by the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on commerce, trade and consumer protection.

The measure has several other provisions that may draw protests from the auto industry. It would create a new tax of $9 per new vehicle after three years, payable by the manufacturer, to help fund NHTSA and some of the new requirements of the law. The tax could raise more than $100 million a year based on current sales figures.

Auto executives who knowingly provide false information to federal regulators would be liable for fines of up to $250 million under the bill.

Beyond fines and taxes, the bill would dramatically overhaul the federal government's ability to oversee rapidly advancing electronics technology that is at the heart of new vehicles. It would create a center for vehicle electronics and emerging technologies.

It also would create a series of requirements that appear aimed at a number of specific shortcomings that were identified in Toyota vehicles that failed to prevent sudden acceleration.

The measure would require automakers to adopt so-called brake overrides, which cut engine power back to idle when the brake pedal is depressed. It would also set separate new standards on the placement of foot pedals, keyless ignition systems and transmission shift controls.

In addition to requiring event data recorders, the bill ensures public access to currently confidential early warning data reported by automakers and creates a new hotline for mechanics and others to confidentially report safety defects.

Climate Bills and a Green Economy

When the Heritage Foundation did its analysis of Waxman-Markey, it broadly compared the economy with and without the carbon tax. Under this more comprehensive scenario, it found Waxman-Markey would cost the economy $161 billion in 2020, which is $1,870 for a family of four. As the bill's restrictions kick in, that number rises to $6,800 for a family of four by 2035. - The Cap and Tax Fiction, Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2009

On the cost of energy, The Wall Street Journal writes: "The whole point of cap and trade is to hike the price of electricity and gas so that Americans will use less. These higher prices will show up not just in electricity bills or at the gas station but in every manufactured good, from food to cars. Consumers will cut back on spending, which in turn will cut back on production, which results in fewer jobs created, or higher unemployment." Even billionaire Democrat donor Warren Buffet acknowledged that cap and tax is a 'huge tax ... and a fairly regressive tax.' And the Journal concludes: "Americans should know that those Members who vote for this climate bill are voting for what is likely to be the biggest tax in American history. Even Democrats can't repeal that reality." - More on the Cap & Trade Tax, A Red Voice in a Blue State, July 5, 2009

How Will Cap-and-Trade Affect You? It Will Spread the Wealth Around

September 29, 2009

Moonbattery - Obama famously told Joe the Plumber he wanted to "spread the wealth around." Now, we know what he meant by that.

According to the Institute for Energy Research, the Cap and Trade bill currently before the Senate would redistribute $14 Billion from the bottom 80% of income earners to the top 20% of income earners.

The Waxman-Markey bill distributes roughly $778 billion in free emission allowances to various politically-favored industries and others between 2012 and 2020, at the direct expense of non-favored industries and U.S. consumers. The ultimate impact of this giveaway of emission allowances is to transform the already regressive gross burden of a cap-and-trade system into a highly regressive federal climate policy that effectively redistributes tens of billions of dollars per year from low- and middle-income households to high-income shareholders.

Translation: the bill is set up to increase taxes on the middle-class and transfer those taxes to politically-connected industries.

Also, we recently learned that under Obama, all income levels are declining, but the middle-class is hardest hit. And Obama proposes to transfer even more middle-class wealth to the upper quintile under Cap and Trade.

By the way, in the Least Believable Lie of the Week, John Kerry claims he has no idea what the expression "Cap and Trade" means. He claims the phrase confuses Americans, so he wants his Cap and Trade bill renamed a "Pollution Reduction" bill. The Democrats used a similar line when they voted against posting the contents of the Health Care Bill online so Americans could read it before they voted on it. They said it would "confuse" people.

In both cases, what they actually meant was... people were figuring out what they were up to and didn't like it.

Cap and Trade: Who Wins, Who Loses

May 10, 2009

New Geography - ... Cap and Trade is not a solution – it is another money-making scheme cooked up by the “dangerous dreamers” of Wall Street. In the EU they at least have the good grace to call it a “Trading Scheme.”

A global carbon trading market already exists. “Pollution rights” have been traded since the 1990s when the Environmental Protection Agency held the first auction of air emission allowances, or pollution rights, at the Chicago Board of Trade. Starting with sulfur dioxide allowances, other pollutants were added in the next ten years to eventually create a complete trading market on the Chicago Climate Exchange.

“The right to use water or air is more valuable than food, and we can use the price system to allocate that right,” said Richard Sandor at the 2005 Milken Institute Global Conference (yes, that Milken).
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange are now prepared to expand the environmental markets for industrial pollution, also known as the carbon markets, into “futures and options on more than 40 U.S. and international indexes [for pollution rights].”

But, really, do we want the same bunch of guys that gave us junk bonds, mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps allocating air and water? Globally? Into the future?

Like sending subprime mortgages throughout the global economy, this scheme will allow pollution rights to be bought and sold by anyone. So, it isn’t just the factory next door to the power generator in Detroit that will be emitting the extra tons of carbon – factories in other countries will be able to sell their carbon emitting rights to power companies in Detroit. It’s a great money-making scheme for a solar-powered producer in Costa Rica – but a very bad deal for those breathing the air and paying for power in Detroit.

The Cap and Trade scheme is being supported by President Obama’s main economic advisor, Larry Summers – who once said we should export pollution to Africa because their per capita figures are too low.
“I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.”
Cap and Trade gets the polluters mixed up with the victims of pollution. Shouldn’t the money generated from the sale of pollution rights accumulate to the persons harmed by the pollution? The idea that you can structure economic incentives to produce socially beneficial results really ends up being about creating paper profits for the money-traders at the expense of the people living with the pollution. This does not seem like a fair trade to me.

The Waxman-Markey Global Warming Bill is an "Energy Tax in Disguise"

July 5, 2009

David Limbaugh - The Heritage Foundation's senior policy analyst for energy and environment, Ben Lieberman, has produced a stellar paper on [the cap and trade bill]... Based on available evidence and analysis, Lieberman concludes 'that both the seriousness and imminence of anthropogenic global warming has been overstated.' But even if we assume the problem is as bad as the hysterics claim, the proposed bill 'would have a trivial impact on future concentrations of greenhouse gases... [It] would reduce the earth's future temperature by 0.1 to 0.2 degree C by 2100, an amount too small to even notice.'

The bill would bind only the U.S., not other nations, many of which, like China, are 'polluting' at a record pace. Also note that many European nations that have already imposed similar emissions restrictions have seen their emissions rise.

But what would the costs be for this quixotic legislative paean to earth goddess Gaia? Contrary to the flawed analyses being advanced by the bill's proponents, Heritage estimates that the direct costs would be an average of $829 per year for a household of four, totaling $20,000 between 2012 and 2035. But when considering the total cost as reflected in the cost of allocations and offsets, the average cost to that family unit would be $2,979 annually from 2012 to 2035.

Adding insult and hypocrisy to injury, the bill would hurt the poor the worst because they would bear a disproportionate burden of the higher energy costs the bill would trigger.

Now here's the kicker. The bill is also projected to harm the manufacturing sector and cause estimated 'net' job losses, averaging about 1.15 million between 2012 and 2030. The overall gross domestic product losses would average $393 billion per year from 2012 to 2035, and the cumulative loss in gross domestic product would be $9.4 trillion by 2035. The national debt for a family of four would increase to $115,000 by 2035.

More on the Cap & Trade Tax

July 5, 2009

A Red Voice in a Blue State - Heritage experts have been working round the clock to inform the public of the true costs of cap-and-tax legislation.

According to recent Heritage economic analyses, the costs of the proposed global warming bill will kick in when it takes effect in 2012. By 2035, a family of four's energy costs will increase dramatically:

· 90 percent increase in electricity costs

· 58 percent increase in gasoline costs

· 55 percent increase in natural gas costs

Lieberman points out that these are only "low-ball estimates" and that the burden of these increased costs will disproportionately affect the poor.

In addition, there is no concrete evidence that such carbon regulations will have a noticeable impact on the earth's temperature. As Heritage experts David Kreutzer, Karen Campbell and Nicolas Loris point out, cap-and-tax legislation will only bring "higher taxes and economic devastation in return for ... nothing."

Paramilitary Police State & Private Prisons

Lawmakers: Use Military to Fight Chicago Violence

Legislators Say Chicago Would Welcome The Aid, But City's Top Cop Does Not Embrace

Apr 26, 2010

CBS 11 News, Chicago - Those living in violence-plagued neighborhoods say their streets have turned into a war zone. Now two Chicago lawmakers say it's time to treat those areas as if a battle was really being waged there, especially when it comes to giving the police the help they need: the National Guard.

Twenty-month-old Cynia Cole was shot to death in the back seat of a car, the victim of a bullet intended for her father.
"This is a child! How can you live with yourself after you've done this?" asked her grandmother Cynthia Lyons, a day after the killing.
Cynia is among the 113 Chicagoans killed by violence so far this year, in a city where police officers are admittedly stretched to their limits.

It's the same number of deaths registered by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for the same time period. Some state lawmakers say the violence at home now requires similar military back-up.
"Just because something is unprecedented doesn't mean it's unwarranted," state Rep. John Fritchey, D-Chicago, said.
Along with Rep. LaShawn Ford, Fritchey is calling on Gov. Pat Quin and Mayor Richard Daley to deploy the National Guard to help the city's police department combat the shootings, killings and crime sprees plaguing some Chicago neighborhoods.
"When you have a police department that is offered help, I'd be hard pressed to understand why they wouldn't accept that help," Fritchey said.
But the city's top cop, Police Superintendent Jody Weis, reacted cautiously to the idea.
"As much as I'd like to have as much help as possible, I am not sure mixing the National Guard with local law enforcement is the solution," he said.
Weis says the missions of the National Guard and the Police Department differ in principle. Police officers are trained in how to legally execute search warrants, and preserve evidence for prosecution. The guard's mission statement in the theater of war doesn't necessarily take that into account.
"The military doesn't work under the same U.S. Constitutional amendments that law enforcement does," Weis said.
But for those floating the idea, drastic violent times require drastic measures.
"When kids from the South Side and West Side have to worry about getting to and from school alive, there is something wrong with that," Fritchey said.
Weis says support in Springfield for stricter gun laws would go farther in helping police fight crimes. For now, Quinn isn't commenting on the proposal.

The Second City Cop Chicago Police officers' blog also expressed doubt about idea. "Again with the guard," a blog entry on the subject was headed.
"Why not just hire more police instead of trying to do things on the cheap?" Second City Cop said.
Residents of Englewood – the scene of recent gun violence - were also skeptical about idea of having troops come into troubled neighborhoods.
"Bring in troops for what? What are they going to do? What, are they going to have martial law or something? Come on now, we're not over in Iraq," Jacqueline Hamilton said.
Programs, not soldiers, are the answer, she said.
"What they need is to bring in more programs for people to learn how to do things to get jobs," she said. "Open up more jobs for ex-felons. It's hard for ex-felons to get a job out there."
Earlier this month, the police brass reported a 9.5 total decline in crime for March of this year, for the fifteenth consecutive month of lower overall crime in the city. But murders increased through the end of March compared with last year, by 4.3 percent, or three more homicide victims.

Last year, the city's murder rate fell 11 percent. The murder rate went up the year before that, but city is far from setting any homicide records recently. The worst year for homicides in Chicago history was 1974, when there were 970 murders, followed by 1992, when there were 943.

Two Chicago State Reps: Bring in the National Guard

April 25, 2010

Chicago Breaking News Center - Two state representatives called on Gov. Pat Quinn Sunday to deploy the Illinois National Guard to safeguard Chicago's streets.

Chicago Democrats John Fritchey and LaShawn Ford said they want Quinn, Mayor Richard Daley and Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis to allow guardsmen to patrol streets and help quell violence. Weis said he did not support the idea because the military and police operate under different rules.
"Is this a drastic call to action? Of course it is," Fritchey said. "Is it warranted when we are losing residents to gun violence at such an alarming rate? Without question. We are not talking about rolling tanks down the street or having armed guards on each corner."
What he envisions, Fritchey said, is a "heightened presence on the streets," particularly on the roughly 9 percent of city blocks where most of the city's violent crimes occur.

Weis previously identified those "hot spots" and said he plans to create a 100-person team made up of selected and volunteer police personnel to respond to crime there. If guardsmen were to assist police, they could comprise or contribute to that force, Fritchey said.

So far this year, 113 people have been killed across Chicago, the same number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined in the same period, Fritchey said.
"As we speak, National Guard members are working side-by-side with our troops to fight a war halfway around the world," Fritchey said. "The unfortunate reality is that we have another war that is just as deadly taking place right in our backyard."
While the National Guard has been deployed in other states to prevent violence related to specific events and protests, the Chicago legislators said they are unaware of guardsmen being deployed to assist with general urban unrest.

Weis countered that the only scenario in which the National Guard would be helpful is in the situation of a tornado, earthquake or flood. If the military were brought in to help with city violence, they wouldn't answer to police command -- creating a "major disconnect" in mission and strategy.

Alluding to the 1970 Kent State University incident where the National Guard was called in and protestors and students were shot, Weis said having guardsmen handle crime could be "disastrous." But he said if the Daley suggested it, he would consider the option.
"I'm open to anything that reduces violence. But I have concerns when you mix law enforcement and the military," Weis said.
But Fritchey and Ford said prompt action is needed because summer is right around the corner and with the warm weather comes an increase in violence.

Fritchey and Ford serve two different constituencies, representing the North Side and the West Side respectively.
"One half of this city views this as a part of daily life," Fritchey said. "Another part of the city doesn't care because it doesn't affect them."
Yet the lawmakers said they are coming together because gun violence should be a priority to all Chicagoans.
"No help is too much help" Ford said. "This is not just about the murders. It's about the crime. It's about people being stabbed, robbed and in the hospital on life support."
Fritchey said he spoke to representatives from Quinn's office about deploying guardsmen and they "seemed open to the idea." The lawmakers had yet to speak to Weis or the mayor's office.
"I don't anticipate the governor implementing it over the objection of the mayor," Fritchey said.

"I hope this doesn't become a territorial issue. I hope this doesn't become an ego issue. This isn't about public relations or politics. This is about reclaiming our communities."

Chicago Minister Calls for National Guard to Patrol Streets

April 19, 2010

Fox News Chicago - Over the weekend, the violence in Chicago dropped dramatically. But that's not good enough for a South Side minister who wants the National Guard to help patrol Chicago's streets.

Marble Rock Baptist Church Minister Gregory Daniels and his supporters marched outside Chicago police headquarters on Monday.
"I have seen Chicago police go to a scene and get shot at," Rev. Daniels said. "They need some policing here other than Chicago police."
Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis disagrees. He points out that the number of people shot and killed dropped over the weekend after a bloody 24 hours spanning Thursday and Friday. And he noted that he had 36 officers at one recent shooting scene, and someone decided to start shooting again anyways.
"We have had two instances in the past 3 weeks where we have had officers on the scene and people have fired at them," he said. "So I don't know how you could have officers there any quicker."
Weis will detail his summer crime fighting strategy later this week. It will include a plan for faster intelligence and a different, more tactical deployment of Chicago police officers. Weis says other major cities like New York and Los Angeles are also seeing an uptick in violence, but that Chicago has more gangs and more guns than any other major city.
"I think we may have gotten a little bit lulled into complacency [by] not seeing so many shootings on TV," he said. "If you project it out we are still on pace to have a very, very good year."

April 28, 2010

Kane County, Illinois, Pushes for DUI Enforcement with Blood Tests

Kane County, Illinois, Plans Push for DUI Enforcement with Blood Tests

‘No refusal’ weekend puts prosecutors, judge on call for search warrants, amid uncertain legal footing

April 21, 2010

Chicago Tribune - Kane County is planning another "no-refusal" weekend despite some legal and legislative uncertainties surrounding the program aimed at compelling suspected drunken drivers to surrender a blood sample.

"We've got one in the works," State's Attorney John Barsanti said earlier this month.
He declined to say when and where the enforcement action would take place. Past efforts have coincided with holidays, when greater numbers of revelers — and drunken drivers — take to the streets.

During a no-refusal weekend, prosecutors and a judge are on call to draft search warrants for suspected drunken drivers who refuse to provide blood or breath evidence. A phlebotomist is also on hand to draw blood.

The program is aimed at repeat offenders who don't want to provide incriminating evidence in the form of a sample, often the critical piece of evidence in a DUI prosecution. Refusing the test is illegal, but refusal can be to a repeat offender's advantage: A second DUI conviction comes with a five-year revocation of driving privileges, instead of the three-year suspension for refusing.

During previous no-refusal weekends, most drivers served with warrants complied. But two cases where drivers refused even in the face of a warrant have threatened to take some of the teeth out of the law. In the first, a driver who refused was cited with contempt of court for disobeying the search warrant. However, a county judge later dismissed the contempt citation, saying it was a poor fit legally.

So Barsanti's office tried a new tactic and charged a driver suspected or DUI with obstruction of justice. That case is still working its way through the system.

Illinois law does not explicitly allow a blood sample to be taken by force. For that and safety and liability reasons, no one stopped during a no-refusal crackdown has been physically forced to provide a sample.

Barsanti acknowledged that an argument could be made that there is implied authority to use force. Police executing a search warrant, for example, can batter down the doors of a house where suspected illegal activity is taking place. But Barsanti said he's not willing to use force without legislative authorization.
"There could be a lot of consequences if we're not right," he said.
State Rep. Keith Farnham of Elgin has sponsored a bill that would grant police the authority to forcibly draw a blood sample if authorized by a warrant. A similar measure proposed last year did not pass the General Assembly.

Bankers' Trillion-Dollar Crime Scene

An Illegal Bank is the Second-largest Holder of U.S. Treasury Securities

April 27, 2010

fauxcapitalist - From the U.S. Treasury Department’s latest numbers of major foreign holders of treasury securities, we see that China owned $877.5 billion and Japan owned $768.50 billion in February 2010.

From their historical data, we see that China overtook Japan as the largest foreign holder of treasury securities as recently as September 2008, the month that the world’s economic system was thrown into turmoil by the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the stock and real estate market.

However, Japan isn’t the second-largest holder of U.S. treasury securities — the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank of New York is. That is, one of the 12 member banks of the illegal privately owned Federal Reserve System of the United States.

From their official numbers on April 21, 2010, they owned $771.57 billion in U.S. treasury securities — $3 billion more than Japan did in February.

Their parent organization, the Federal Reserve, lies about interest-free United States Notes, the currency that Congress issued to fund the Civil War, when the bankers were demanding 20-30% interest.

While United States Notes didn’t benefit the bankers, they clearly benefitted the American people by not having to pay any interest during their entire lifetime, including to this very day. On the other hand, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is receiving interest from their $771 billion in treasury securities, and as a member bank of the Federal Reserve, it receives a 6% annual dividend on its stock in the Federal Reserve System, with the proceeds going to private interests.

Even calculating with the current all-time low Federal Funds Rate of 0.25% on all the bank’s $771 billion in treasury securities, that’s nearly $2 billion a year in interest that could be saved by this and future generations, which will be compounded every year, and will reach $15-50 billion when annual interest rates reach a more historically recent level of between 2-6%.

RFID, GPS Technology and Electronic Surveillance

University Team Sees Ingestible RFID Tag as a Boon to Clinical Trials

The tag, attached to a small capsule, would enable drug developers to track when individuals take their medication.

April 27, 2010

RFID Journal - In 2005, Rizwan Bashirullah, an assistant professor at the University of Florida's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, faced an unusual challenge: to develop a technology for tracking when medications were taken, thereby ensuring patients or clinical trial participants stay on their drug regimen. Jose Principe, a University of Florida professor of electrical and computer engineering, had asked Bashirullah to develop transmission technology as part of a team he was organizing to create a system to aid in the detection of medication regimen compliance ...

Bashirullah tried to conceive an RFID-based solution to the problem.
"Initially, I thought it couldn't be done," he says. For one thing, although RFID could transmit information that would confirm the swallowing of a pill, he was uncertain if it was possible for a tag to transmit a passive RF signal through the human body from the digestive tract.
After several years' worth of research, however, Bashirullah and his colleagues and students have developed a tiny RFID tag—adhered to a pill capsule—that could transmit sensor data indicating the pill was in an individual's digestive system.

The system, including a microchip, a digestible antenna and software, was designed by a team of researchers from Florida University, as well as Florida biomedical research and engineering firm Convergent Engineering. In October 2009, Bashirullah and several of the researchers launched a company known as eTect, to develop and market the solution, which they dubbed an ID-Cap.

The system employs low-frequency (LF) signals and the human body's natural electrical conductivity to carry the signals from an RFID interrogator to the tag, and from the tag back to the reader. To date, the system has been tested only on devices that mimic the human body, as well as on cadavers.

The passive LF silicon microchip, approximately the size of a grain of sand, is encoded with a unique ID number. The chip is joined to a digestible antenna that dissolves in the stomach, and is made with conductive ink composed of silver nanoparticles. The tag remains operational within the digestive tract until it dissolves. Because the human body can conduct electricity, Bashirullah says, the researchers were able to use a relatively small tag antenna—covering slightly more than half of a capsule that measures 20 millimeters (0.8 inch) in length and 10 millimeters (0.4 inch) in width.

The system works like this:
A patient wears a battery-powered RFID interrogator, which could be embedded in a patch worn on an arm or against the abdomen, so that the reader's input and output terminals make electrical contact with the skin. "In this way," Bashirullah states, "we can use the body as a communication medium."

Once a person swallows the capsule, the interrogator emits an LF signal that travels through the body to the stomach, powering up the tag, says Eric Buffkin, eTect's president. The tag then transmits its unique ID number through the body so that it can be received by the reader, which then forwards that information to a mobile device, such as an iPhone or other handheld unit, via a Bluetooth connection. The handheld could then, in turn, send the data to a facility's back-end system via a SIM or cellular connection.
Users of the system could receive a reminder on their mobile device when they need to take a pill, either as an automated reminder programmed into the phone's software, or via a text message from the pharmaceutical trial manager. The phone would send a Bluetooth message to the interrogator to read the tag affixed to the pill, which would then respond with its own unique ID number and verify that the pill has been swallowed. According to Buffkin, the researchers developed a proprietary sensor, built into the tag's chip, that can detect if the pill is in the stomach.

The next step for researchers, Buffkin says, is to gain approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin laboratory trials of the pill on animals and humans, though the group has not yet submitted such a request to the FDA. ETect has already been in dialogue with drug manufacturers, however.
"They are keenly interested in this product," says Buffkin, who envisions the system being sold as a package, including readers, tags or tagged capsules, and software to store data and transmission instructions.
Several years ago, Eastman Kodak Co. filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a "system to monitor the ingestion of medicines," featuring a digestible RFID tag (see Kodak's RFID Moment). That patent application was later resubmitted by Carestream Health, which was formed in May 2007 when private equity firm Onex Corp. purchased Eastman Kodak's health group. To date, no commercial product has yet been introduced by either Kodak or Carestream Health based on that patent.

NIA Provides Answers About Inflation, Gold, Silver and Real Estate

NIA Provides Answers About Inflation, Gold, Silver and Real Estate

April 17, 2010

National Inflation Association - The National Inflation Association today announced the top 10 most interesting new NIAnswers recently added to its database.
  1. How much over spot is a good price for silver and gold?

    A good price for a 1 oz silver coin like an American Eagle or Canadian Maple Leaf is 12% over spot, and a good price for a 1 oz silver bar is 6% over spot.

    For gold, a good price for a 1 oz gold coin like an American Eagle or Canadian Maple Leaf is 4% over spot, and a good price for a 1 oz gold bar is 2% over spot.

    The larger premium for silver compared to gold indicates a shortage in the physical silver market.

  2. Now that GATA has blown the doors off the LBMA ponzi scheme, and we know there is only 1 oz of silver for every 100 oz represented on paper, why hasn't there been a panic to dump paper and go into physical? What will it take to trigger a short squeeze?

    We don't believe there is only 1 oz of physical silver for every 100 oz represented on paper. Most likely, there is 1 to 3 times more paper silver than physical silver. This is still a major problem that will ultimately result in a major silver shortage and short squeeze, once a large number of COMEX holders begin to demand physical delivery of silver. This is a topic that we will be covering extensively in our new documentary coming out next month.

  3. If the silver market is controlled by JP Morgan and others, how does the little guy stand a chance of making money?

    The manipulation by JP Morgan through naked short selling is providing an opportunity for normal everyday investors to purchase silver at dirt-cheap prices. Without JP Morgan's naked short selling, it's possible silver would already be well above $30 per ounce right now.

    Remember, JP Morgan is not manipulating silver up, they are manipulating it down and the manipulation can't last forever. When investors around the globe call for physical delivery of their silver, there will be a shortage of physical silver and JP Morgan will be forced to cover their naked short position, causing silver prices to explode to the upside.

    NIA believes silver will eventually see the biggest short squeeze in the history of all commodities.

  4. What is the best way to respond to the overused and baseless argument that we needed the stimulus package or else the U.S. economy would've crashed and we would've had another Great Depression?

    The stimulus package didn't stimulate the economy but it actually stifled it because we needed to go deeper into debt and borrow the money that was used on projects that added no production to our economy. The jobs that were created were temporary but we still owe the debt. We will need to print the money to pay the debt back, which will ultimately lead to hyperinflation.

    Our country does not have access to unlimited financial resources. The money that we borrowed for the stimulus package took away from the money that could've been borrowed by a small business, which could've invested the money into building a factory that would've produced goods and generated real wealth for decades to come.

    Our economy needed to enter a recession in order to clean out the toxic assets and imbalances. Today, all of the toxic assets still exist on the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve and the economic imbalances that caused the last crisis have grown larger than ever before.

    Instead of going through a steep recession, we will now be forced to eventually endure a hyperinflationary Great Depression. Remember, when there is a boom created by cheap credit, there must eventually be a bust. There is no way around it. All the government has done is push the real collapse down the road while making the eventual outcome a lot more devastating.

  5. Why do you not like investing into Real Estate? Isn't it smart to buy Real Estate that is cash-flow positive and then use that cash-flow to purchase precious metals?

    Real Estate that is cash-flow positive today, might not be so in the future. In our opinion, it will be impossible for landlords to increase their rents at the same rate as inflation. If you are a landlord, your real cash-flow will diminish over time.

    During periods of high inflation, preserving ones purchasing power becomes a lot more important than generating cash-flow. We believe Real Estate will continue to decrease in real value because Real Estate is not very liquid and prices are still at artificially propped up levels. Those who own Real Estate will do poorly compared to those who own precious metals.

  6. Do you believe the discovery of many large oil shale deposits in the U.S. will drive down oil prices?

    There are several major shale deposits in the U.S. that contain large amounts of oil and natural gas. The cost of extracting oil from these formations is very high and we doubt it will have much of a damper on oil prices. Although it is cheaper and easier to extract natural gas from these formations, we believe the existence of these shale deposits is already factored into our current low natural gas prices. We expect to see many vehicles convert to run off of natural gas in the future, which could lessen the demand for oil, but it will take many years for these conversions to take place. We believe $100+ oil is inevitable due to increasing demand from China and India, and the Federal Reserve's monetary inflation.

  7. Do you believe Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) being issued by the IMF will accelerate the U.S. into hyperinflation? Are SDRs being setup to become the new world reserve currency?

    From 1970 to 1981 the IMF issued $30 billion worth of SDRs, and gold and silver prices soared to record real highs. The IMF recently issued approximately $300 billion worth of new SDRs. Certainly, this shows that inflation is a major problem around the world and now is the time to own gold and silver.

    We don't believe SDRs are being setup to become a new world reserve currency. It would be much more beneficial to China for them to allow their own currency to become the reserve currency.

  8. I am considering a career in the military. With the coming collapse, will the military offer me and my family any type of security or will the hyperinflation affect the military as well?

    We don't think the U.S. government will be able to afford the military it has today for much longer. Our military needs to be scaled back immediately if we want to prevent hyperinflation. During hyperinflation, the army will most likely be used mainly to protect government officials. Those who are left in the military will demand to be paid in gold, until our gold reserves are completely depleted.

  9. I work at Disney Orlando as a server. I make about $300 a day on average. My seniority is rather high. What will happen to my job when the economy collapses?

    We can't picture Disney World in Orlando ever closing its doors and going out of business. Certainly, your wages will decline in purchasing power and workers will demand higher nominal wages. Disney will have to increase admission fees and if visitors can't afford them, Disney will layoff employees. Hopefully your level of seniority will ensure your job safety.

    The good thing about Disney World is many Asian visitors and foreign tourists come each year. We might see the percentage of foreign visitors increase in the years to come and make up a larger percentage of Disney World's theme park revenues.

  10. If the government imposes a value added tax, how will that affect inflation?

    We believe Americans are already taxed to the hilt and any additional taxes will have the effect of reducing tax revenues. We need to move the discussion in America away from taxes and towards inflation. It is impossible to fund our current level of government spending and pay back our national debt through taxation. It will all be paid through massive monetary inflation.
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