Archive for the ‘Martial law’ Category

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Things I read Jan 30, 09 – Boiling frogs and dollars

January 30, 2009

Unemployment rate soars
“There are literally millions of workers unemployed with no hope of finding a new job,” she said. “The queue is just too long.”…A new survey by the Society for Human Resource Management also found that nearly 75 percent of human resource professionals from U.S. companies were expecting deeper job cuts in the U.S. labor force in the next few months.

Special Forces Unconventional Warfare Operations
Yes the past and future from the horses mouth…I have blogged on this before here. Search ‘irregular warfare’.

Russian, Chinese PMs seek to seize control of the dollar
Whether or not Americans realise it, this is the worst possible news for them. By far the story they should be most afraid of. This is the beginning of the end for the dollar, Act IV of the tragedy.

“…the Putin and Wen call to regulate the dollar is a clear power play that would threaten the basic sovereignty of the U.S. government. It also reflects a new upsurge in Sino-Russian cooperation against the United States…”

Global Consciousness Project -Trans-Humanity Awakening To Reality
Do you think it’s possible to think our way out of this mess??

Military And New Orleans Police Conducting Nite Time Helicopter Drills In City
Yeah no worries folks. If you put a frog in a pot of cold water and bring it slowly to a boil, the frog won’t even realize that you are in the process of boiling it.

Congress Seeks To Authorize & Legalize FEMA Camp Facilities
Froggies…CODE RED CODE RED!

Pew: Almost half of Americans want to live somewhere else

Officials: Army suicides at 3-decade high
WARNING – Taking the blossom of youth and training them to bomb, mutilate and torture other humans could be damaging to their health.

Iraq soldier crying
So many tears from so many people in so many countries. When will we learn that when we kill someone else, we kill ourselves too?

More Orwellian horror for English people.

Why Americans get a distorted View of the Conflict between Israel and Palestinians
The construction of delusion is in the details From Rainbow Warriors blog.

Up Yours
English froggies jumping out of the pot….. GO FROGGIES GO!

Obama’s First Acts Of War

Names and Photos of Israeli War Criminals in Gaza
Many of these people may be charged by the Hague. Put nicely in context in Smoking Mirrors blog here. Don’t wait long to look…these pictures have a way of disappearing.

I don’t like to leave the bad news of the day without a little something…a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…so they say. Here is a picture of the ‘glass frog’.

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Things I read – Jan 18, 09 – Forgive, Forget & Shhhh

January 18, 2009

The Flight of Reason
An exceptionally well written examination of the ‘big picture’. Long but very worthwhile…nice flowing style.

Amy Goodman: Nothing to fear except no health care

Forgive Bush, Forget Gaza?

The Moral Dead Zone

Forgive and Forget?
Establishment Washington unifies against prosecutions

2010 is 1984?

NSA’s Wiretapping of Americans being outsourced to Israeli Companies?!?!

Don’t sleepwalk into Big Brother surveillance, schools warned
Let’s get the children used to a surveillance society early.

Maryland police and their weird war on ‘terror’

There are more and more of these stories cropping up.
Taken with the article above, we are going back to the future: 1984

The troopers zeroed in on Roman Catholic nuns,
human rights activists and church groups.
They monitored animal rights advocates and cyclists
pushing for more bicycle lanes. They opened a dossier on Amnesty International. (That group’s crime was listed as “human rights.”)
The troopers created files with titles like:
“Terrorism: Anti-War Protesters,” and
“Terrorism: Anti-Govern,” and
“Terrorism: Environmental Extremists,” and
“Terrorism: Pro-Life.”
To Maryland’s finest, even Quakers, the ultimate pacifists,
constituted a “security
threat group.”

For a real life forum case of surveillance click here

No smoking in most of Belmont California, not even at home
Not a joke. In Great Britain and Ireland, they were entertaining a law to prohibit smoking in a car, alone or not.

Deal to lease African farmland to rich countries collapses after backlash against ‘colonialism’

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Calif cancels welfare and tax refunds

January 17, 2009

John Chiang announces that his office will suspend $3.7 billion in payments owed to Californians starting Feb. 1,because with no budget in place the state lacks sufficient cash to pay its bills.

Americans are ‘shocked and awed’ that they might actually experience third world conditions.
‘It can’t happen here!’ … famous last words. Read and weep.

California controller to
suspend tax refunds,
welfare checks, student grants

January 17, 2009
Source

By Evan Halper and Patrick McGreevy
Reporting from Sacramento — The state will suspend tax refunds, welfare checks, student grants and other payments owed to Californians starting Feb. 1, Controller John Chiang announced Friday.

Chiang said he had no choice but to stop making some $3.7 billion in payments in the absence of action by the governor and lawmakers to close the state’s nearly $42-billion budget deficit. More than half of those payments are tax refunds.

The controller said the suspended payments could be rolled into IOUs if California still lacks sufficient cash to pay its bills come March or April.

“It pains me to pull this trigger,” Chiang said at a news conference in his office. “But it is an action that is critically necessary.”

The payments to be frozen include nearly $2 billion in tax refunds; $300 million in cash grants for needy families and the elderly, blind and disabled; and $13 million in grants for college students.

Even if a budget agreement is reached by the end of this month, tax refunds and other payments could remain temporarily frozen. Chiang said a budget deal may not generate cash quickly enough to resume them immediately.

Not all payments will stop Feb. 1. Most school and healthcare programs will be paid, as required by state and federal law. The state will continue to pay more than $6.6 billion in such bills.

And Los Angeles County officials said they would cover welfare payments to more than 500,000 local recipients — for now.

But California is projected to be $346 million short of the funds it needs to pay all its bills in February. By March, the state would be so far in the red that even continuing to suspend payments would not cover the shortfall. California would be insolvent, making the issuance of IOUs likely.

State officials have already designed an IOU template, Chiang said, and have been negotiating with banks over whether taxpayers could cash or deposit them if they are issued. The state could be forced to pay as much as 5% interest on delayed tax refunds if they are not paid by the end of May, Chiang said.

The last time the state issued such IOUs — the only time since the Great Depression — was in 1992.

The suspension of payments is the latest radical move by officials to help keep the state from running out of cash as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature battle over how to avoid insolvency.

Schwarzenegger, who hopes to speed up public-works projects to stimulate the economy, wants tax increases, spending cuts and legislation to relax some environmental rules and allow private companies to do some government construction.

Democrats are seeking tax increases as well, but fewer spending cuts. Republican lawmakers would only pare spending and have been blocking any tax hikes.

Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger has ordered that most state workers take two days off per month without pay — equivalent to about a 10% pay cut. The governor also ordered most state offices — including all DMV field offices — to close on those two days. The order is being challenged in court by labor unions.

The state has also halted payments of bond money for more than 5,300 public-works projects.

On Friday, the state Department of Finance temporarily exempted 276 of the projects from the freeze, reasoning that because they are nearly complete, it could cost the state more to shut them down than to finish them.

The exemption, through Feb. 1, will allow the continuation of school construction by the Inglewood Unified School District and the construction of a new Court of Appeal facility in Santa Ana. Work on new rail tracks at L.A.’s Union Station and road projects involving Irwindale Avenue, Martin Luther King Boulevard and Imperial Highway in Los Angeles County will also be able to continue.

Some projects were exempted because the state is under court order to do the jobs. Others would threaten public safety if left uncompleted, according to Mike Genest, Schwarzenegger’s finance director.

“We’re going to take the risk of allowing them to continue a little longer because we are very hopeful will have a budget by Feb. 1,” Genest said.

Contractors lined up at a meeting of state finance officials to warn of the consequences of stopping the bulk of the public-works money. They said shutting down projects already underway would ultimately cost the state significantly. According to Caltrans Director Will Kempton, the state would have to pay $350 million in legal costs, claims for contract breaches and expenses for securing sites that go dormant.

“The bulk of those dollars are lost . . . to the taxpayers,” Kempton said. “You can’t just walk away from a construction project. You have to make sure it is buttoned up.”

It is not just the state that would take a hit. Some school districts relying on state funds do not have the reserves in place to cover the payments they will owe builders if work stops.

Counties are also feeling the pinch. They process the welfare payments scheduled to be halted by the controller’s office Feb. 1. The state is freezing those payments, along with millions of dollars in salaries to county workers who run the programs.

Some county officials say they don’t have reserves in place to cover the state until the budget crisis is resolved.

“We simply don’t have the cash,” said Pat Leary, assistant administrator for Yolo County. “We are in critically bad times.”

About a third of all state welfare payments go to Los Angeles County, where officials said they can shift money around to keep the payments flowing in the short term.

“The million-dollar question is how long this will last,” said L.A. County Chief Executive William T Fujioka. “We cannot sustain a huge and very long hit.”

evan.halper@latimes.com patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com Times staff writer Molly Hennessy-Fiske contributed to this report from Los Angeles.

Related

Next wave of homeless vets emerges
LA’s Homeless Blog

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Things I read – Jan 12, 2009 Oh Big Brother, Where are thou?

January 12, 2009

The integration of new technology and traditional society proceeds at a mind numbing rate. The march to a One World Database, population control and genetic engineering is unstoppable bar a catastrophic natural disaster. Other references to this phenomenon can be found
here.

UK Approves Police Hacking Home Computers
Oops, there goes another civil right.
America’s demonization next step in New World Order?
An unusual twist on NWO. One wonders the cost in human lives and suffering as a means to such an end. Population control?

Anticipatory Conformity: Will the Growing Surveillance Panopticon Cause us to Self-censor?
How will our behaviour and culture change as a result of constantly being watched?

The Global Elite Speak
…Of a New World Order
Videos and Transcript. No you are not paranoid; they really are out to get you.


DNA Database Information Archive
The pace of technological innovation fare outstrips the ability of societies to put proper protections in place to retain civil rights. Part of the problem is that in the information age, few have time to keep up with the ‘new’ information available that affects the quality of life for our children. Here in one place, is a collection of articles on what we can expect from DNA mapping in government hands. Quite a shocking read. For the movie version, take a look at Gattaca.

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Net surveillance and Cyber cops – I C U

January 11, 2009


Here are two more articles the” I C U” progression on limiting internet freedom, increasing surveillance of people in general and ‘protecting us from those nasty terrorists’. In the second article, the arrest of a cyber user seems a bit dodgy but one might justify it.

My contention is that there will be little difference in the future between arrests for explicit threats on the net and those which merely express opinions contrary to the established government propaganda. And arrests could well be international with extradiction legislation now in place between the USA, the EU and other countries. I think there is real danger here for freedom of speech on the net. See HR 1955 bill passed by Congress for the amorphous definition of ‘domestic terrorist’. Are YOU a terrorist?

I have added a sexy bonus tidbit at the end….sort of a treat after all this bad news. Hope you like it.

Eagle Eye Adviser Watches Over Tech Privacy

John Scott Lewinski
January 10, 2009
Source

Eagleeye01lgWhile the paranoia-driven thrills in Eagle Eye were exaggerated for the benefit of popcorn-selling fiction, the adviser brought on to comment on the movie’s use of surveillance technology warns the world that the premise is hardly far-fetched.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, appears prominently in the featurettes packaged onto the Eagle Eye special edition DVD, which was released last month. A professor of privacy law at Georgetown University, Rotenberg insists that efforts by any government to consolidate surveillance also consolidate power.

“Camera networks are growing in most major cities,” said Rotenberg, a graduate of Harvard and Stanford Law School. “Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. While those networks are supposedly built to provide security, most of what the cameras see are people living, working, visiting. Those people aren’t criminals or terrorists.”

Eagle Eye examines the “what ifs” of such surveillance networks run amok as a mysterious villain omnisciently pushes Shia LaBeouf into criminal acts in and around our nation’s capital. The DVD’s producers invited Rotenberg to speak on the real world’s ability to monitor you via cameras, cellphone monitoring and internet taps.

“In Washington, one camera operator can have access to 5,000 cameras at any given time,” Rotenberg said. “That approaches omniscience. We need to ask, ‘Should those cameras be used? Should they be put in residential neighborhoods?’ It’s not too difficult to peer into someone’s private home in that case.”

While such antiterrorism tactics became a hot political issue in the post 9/11 era, Rotenberg made it clear that surveillance issues go beyond how you might feel about Vice President Dick Cheney. The cameras are tools, and how they’re used is key.

For example, Rotenberg explained that law enforcement agencies could well have the public’s best interest at heart when installing such cameras, but “many of the networks can be accessed in different ways. So, are they really secure? Someone inside the agency or inside the company providing the cameras might not be so ethical.”

Eagle Eye’s shadow baddie is a hell’s toss from ethical, and Rotenberg applauded the writers and filmmakers’ efforts to consider just how far the proliferation of surveillance could go.

Monitoring and debating the ethics of the growing surveillance world is the primary motivation of Rotenberg and the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

“We’re probably the leading privacy organization in the country right now,” he said. “We testified before the 9/11 Commission — the relationship between privacy and security. While defending against terrorism, surveillance could be used to limit freedom.”

To document the growing surveillance web around D.C., EPIC started Observing Surveillance, a collection of photos and other resources.

“I don’t think the public is as aware as it should be or needs to be,” Rotenberg said. “I’m afraid people think all of this is going to happen no matter what.

“I would compare the construction of surveillance networks to the creation of Frankenstein’s monster. While the original technological quest seemed justified in the beginning, the 21st century may have created our biggest threat to privacy.”

Online Threat to Kill Obama Leads to Arrest

Kevin Poulsen
January 09, 2009

Wired Online

Obama_mail_500px A Southern California man was charged Thursday with threatening a presidential candidate, for posting a racist note to a Yahoo message board in October expressing displeasure over Barack Obama’s candidacy, and predicting “he will have a 50 cal in the head soon.”

Walter Edward Bagdasarian, 47, was found with an arsenal of six weapons when Secret Service agents raided his La Mesa home in November, according to court records (.pdf). He had three handguns and three rifles, including a 30.06 with a telescopic sight and a Remington .50 caliber muzzle-loading rifle.

Bagdasarian is not accused of actually plotting against Obama, and he was released last month on a $100,000 real estate bond. Bagdasarian’s attorney did not return a phone call Friday.

The post in question showed up on a Yahoo Finance board on Oct. 22, about two weeks before the election, under the handle “californiaradial.” The message was titled “Shoot the nig.”

“County fkd for another 4+ years, what nig has done ANYTHING right???? Long term???? Never in history, except sambos.”

“Fk the niggar, he will have a 50 cal in the head soon,” the message concludes.

The message thread has been deleted by Yahoo, but traces in Google’s cache show that several other users announced that they were reporting californiaradial’s comments. In subsequent posts, the author calls one critic a “crybaby,” but does offer an explanation for the apparent threat. “I was drunk.”

U.S. Secret Service agents in Los Angeles traced the post to Bagdasarian through the IP address. When they interviewed him, Bagdasarian reportedly admitted authoring the message.

Here is a bonus article for anyone who likes sex.
What do you think?

‘Sex chip’ being developed by scientists

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News you WANT to read – States v Feds

January 5, 2009

It’s lovely to see the States of the United States fighting some of the Big Brother federal laws, instead of begging for money. If enough States unite, the United States may take back the power of the people. I hope they do.

Real ID mandate resisted in Virginia
Bills introduced declaring intention to oppose enforcement

Jan 3, 2009
By Dena Potter
ASSOCIATED PRESS
RICHMOND
Some legislators want Virginia to join the growing chorus of states that have defied the federal government by refusing to participate in a national identification program billed as a way to fight terrorism and identity theft.

Two pieces of legislation for consideration when lawmakers return to Richmond on Jan. 14 call for Virginia to ignore the federal mandate to come into compliance with the Real ID Act by the end of 2009.

Similar bills went nowhere last year, but supporters say the looming deadline gives the issue new urgency.

“Basically, this statute that I put in is one to let the feds know that, one, the way you’re going about this we have problems with, and two, if you intend to enforce this, we intend to challenge it,” said Delegate Robert G. Marshall, Prince William Republican and one of the sponsors.

Since the law’s enactment in 2005, at least 42 states have considered anti-Real ID legislation, and more than half have passed measures either forbidding their states from participating or urging Congress to amend or repeal the law.

At least five states have gone in the other direction, passing bills bringing their programs into compliance.

Critics say they expect other states to join Virginia this year to fight against Real ID.

The program was born out of the commission that looked into the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It recommended that the U.S. improve its system of issuing identification documents because the hijackers had numerous licenses and state IDs. Congress approved legislation requiring states to issue licenses and ID cards that meet certain security standards.

The new IDs will be required for federal purposes, such as boarding an airplane or entering a federal building. Other federal identification, including passports and military IDs, also will be accepted.

“The bottom line is that citizens of states who do not move forward with the Real ID mandate from Congress will see real consequences,” said Laura Keehner, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, which is in charge of the program.

States had until May 2008 to implement Real ID, but the department extended that until Dec. 31, 2009. If they need more time and have met certain benchmarks, states can request an extension until May 11, 2011.

“The fact that Congress passed this and could not figure out the prudential question of when the states could actually do this tells me that it wasn’t thoroughly vetted,” Mr. Marshall said.

The opposition has centered around cost and privacy concerns.

Homeland Security originally estimated it would cost states $14 billion to implement the program, but in January it loosened the restrictions and said the added flexibility would bring the cost to under $4 billion.

Homeland Security and other agencies have given out about $500 million in grants, but state officials say that’s not enough.

Critics also claim that Real ID diminishes privacy, and they object to a national ID that would have to be shown for everyday identification purposes.

“Certainly people should be identified by high standards when that’s called for, but it’s not called for when you’re going to buy beer,” said Jim Harper, director of information policy studies for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

“If we’re going to have our identity recorded every time we buy beer or use a credit card or buy gas, that turns into one big surveillance system,” he said.

But Ms. Keehner said the identification cards will increase, not decrease privacy by preventing identity theft.

She said claims that the program creates a national database are incorrect. There is a hub where each state Department of Motor Vehicles will check to ensure that an individual has only one ID, but states will not have access to other states’ data

Related

REAL ID May Be Required For Purchasing Medicine
What Is ‘Real ID’?

The Facts – left and right