watch what you say, or we might consider it a BIG mistake…
and your freedom, perhaps your life even…take!
The FBI, The CIA, Homeland Security, The Federal Reserve And Potential
Employers Are All Monitoring You On Facebook And Twitter
08 Mar 2012
Reprinted from The American Dream
Why is there such a sudden obsession with monitoring what average Americans are saying on Facebook and Twitter? To be honest, the vast majority of what is being said on Facebook and Twitter is simply not worth reading even if you could understand it. But for the FBI, the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Reserve, Facebook and Twitter represent a treasure trove of intelligence information. Tens of millions of us have compiled incredibly detailed dossiers on ourselves and have put them out there for the entire world to see. Since the information is public, the various alphabet agencies of the federal government see no problem with scooping up all of that information and using it for their own purposes. Many potential employers have also discovered that Facebook and Twitter can tell them an awful lot about potential employees. Social media creates a permanent record that reflects who you are and what you believe, and many Americans are finding out that all of this information can come back and haunt them in a big way. In the world in which we now live, privacy is becoming a thing of the past, and we all need to be mindful of the things that we are exposing to the public.
Sadly, most Americans have absolutely no idea who is monitoring them on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites these days. The following are just a few examples….
If you apply for a job at a big company, there is a very high probability that the company will want to check out what you have been doing on Facebook and Twitter.
According to one recent survey, approximately 90 percent of all human resources professionals check out the social media accounts of potential employees.
If you are applying for a job at a small business, there is probably much less of a chance that your social media accounts will be checked, but the reality is that all of us need to understand how the world is changing.
Some employers, colleges and government agencies are even taking things a step further. Now some of them are actually demanding to be allowed in to the Facebook accounts of applicants. The following is from a recent Daily Mail article….
Rather than trying to get around the pesky password protections of Facebook and email accounts, certain government agencies and colleges are cutting straight to the source.
Some extremely inquisitive employers are asking candidates to hand over them their email and Facebook login information when they apply for a job.
Others strongly request that the candidate opens their pages in front of them and allow their would-be bosses to scroll through their private information during the interview.
How would you feel if someone forced you to hand over the passwords to your social media accounts? At some U.S. colleges, this is actually happening. As MSNBC recently described, some college sports teams are actually requiring coaches to continually monitor, and have access to, all social media accounts of team members….
A recent revision in the handbook at the University of North Carolina is typical:
“Each team must identify at least one coach or administrator who is responsible for having access to and regularly monitoring the content of team members’ social networking sites and postings,” it reads. “The athletics department also reserves the right to have other staff members monitor athletes’ posts.”
This is beyond creepy, but this is the world in which we live.
The FBI has also decided that it needs to continuously monitor Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites. The following is from an article posted on zdnet.com….
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking to develop a Web app that can continuously monitor social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace, as well as various news feeds. The organization’s goal is to improve its real-time intelligence when it comes to current and emerging security threats.
The CIA is a long way ahead of the FBI in monitoring social media. If you are an “activist” on the Internet, the CIA probably knows you very well. The following is from a recent USA Today article….
In an anonymous industrial park in Virginia, in an unassuming brick building, the CIA is following tweets — up to 5 million a day.
At the agency’s Open Source Center, a team known affectionately as the “vengeful librarians” also pores over Facebook, newspapers, TV news channels, local radio stations, Internet chat rooms — anything overseas that anyone can access and contribute to openly.
The Department Of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary Caryn Wagner made headlines all over the world a while back when she announced that the Department of Homeland Security would be “gleaning information from sites such as Twitter and Facebook for law enforcement purposes.”
So exactly what does that mean?
Well, apparently the Department of Homeland Security is actually setting up fake accounts and using them to monitor social media networks for information. The following is from a recent Daily Mail article….
The Department of Homeland Security makes fake Twitter and Facebook profiles for the specific purpose of scanning the networks for ‘sensitive’ words – and tracking people who use them.
That same article detailed what some of those “sensitive words” are a few paragraphs later….
The DHS outlined plans to scans blogs, Twitter and Facebook for words such as ‘illegal immigrant’, ‘outbreak’, ‘drill’, ‘strain’, ‘virus’, ‘recovery’, ‘deaths’, ‘collapse’, ‘human to animal’ and ‘trojan’, according to an ‘impact asssessment’ document filed by the agency.
It is interesting that the Department of Homeland Security considers “collapse” to be such an important keyword.
Does that mean that every time “The Economic Collapse Blog” is mentioned on Facebook or Twitter the Department of Homeland Security is alerted?
That is a sobering thought.
The U.S. Air Force
It turns out that the U.S. Air Force also wants to do more to monitor social media. The following is from a recent article by Madison Ruppert….
Dr. Mark Maybury, the United States Air Force Chief Scientist, is stepping outside of the typical areas in which an Air Force Chief Scientist operates and into the digital realm.
Maybury seeks to develop something he has dubbed “Social Radar” which would monitor information coming from just about every source imaginable: television, all Internet communications, radio, official reports, and more, in order to look into the hearts and minds of target populations and perhaps even predict future events.
The Federal Reserve
According to CNBC, the Federal Reserve “is planning on monitoring what you say about it on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook”.
Aren’t they supposed to be “above politics”?
So why is the Fed so concerned about what we are all saying about it?
Why is there a need to perform “sentiment analysis” on what is being said about the Federal Reserve on “Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums and YouTube“?
Are they going to change their policies based on public opinion.
That seems highly unlikely.
Considering the fact that the Fed is setting up a system that would identify “key bloggers” and monitor “billions of conversations” on the Internet, it seems more likely that they are primarily interested in identifying critics of the Federal Reserve.
So once they have that information, what do they plan to do with it?
In the end, a lot of people are going to be scared away from Facebook and Twitter by all of this.
But the truth is that Facebook and Twitter can also be incredibly powerful tools for spreading the truth.
In the old days, it was nearly impossible for an average American to communicate to a mass audience.
Today, someone sitting alone in their own home can put something on the Internet that could potentially be seen by tens of millions of people.
The Internet has empowered average Americans unlike almost anything else that we have seen.
That is why the establishment feels so threatened by it.
We now have the power to directly talk with one another instead of going through establishment-controlled channels.
So let them see what we are talking about if they want to.
Perhaps some of them will wake up too.
If they want to find my Twitter account, they can find it right here.
When you have the truth on your side, you don’t need to be ashamed. I am going to keep waking people up no matter how many people want to watch me.
America has become a crazy control freak nation where the control freaks that run things are obsessed with monitoring almost everything that the rest of us are doing.
But hopefully if enough of us stand up and speak loudly enough, a cultural shift back toward liberty and freedom will happen.
America is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Muslim Brotherhood Makes Its Move in Egypt
Posted by Rick Moran
March 13th, 2012
The majority Islamist Egyptian parliament moved on several fronts in the past two days to flex its muscles and challenge the authority of the military-appointed government. The Muslim Brothers, represented by the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), and their Salfis allies, who make up 70% of the members in parliament, have decided to engineer a “no confidence” vote in the government of Prime Minister Kamal Al Ganzouri, force the withdrawal of the Israeli ambassador from Cairo, and will vote to refuse $1 billion in aid from the US government. These actions, which took place on the eve of the first day of candidate registration for the presidential elections, threaten to instigate a political crisis in the country — as well as with the United States and Israel.
The Islamists are making a move to challenge the military because of two recent incidents that have angered the Egyptian people and made the government even more unpopular than it was previously.
The first incident occurred on February 1 when a huge riot broke out following a soccer game in Port Said. Authorities said that 79 people died and hundreds were injured when fans of the home team swarmed the field after a rare win, attacking opposing fans and players, and overwhelming the small number of riot police who were deployed for the game. The next day, riots broke out in Cairo and elsewhere that killed two and injured more than 900. The people blame the military for the pitifully inadequate security at the stadium. Most of the dead died of asphyxiation when people trying to exit the melee were blocked by a locked gate. There were also questions about how fans had been able to bring knives and other weapons into the stadium.
The Brotherhood seems to be in tune with the people on these issues, and has apparently decided to press its advantage. The lifting of the travel ban especially seems to have outraged the citizens of Egypt due to interference in the judicial process by the military, as the original judge in the case has alleged. This initiated an intense questioning of ministers in parliament, as lawmaker after lawmaker called for a vote of no confidence. “I wish members of the U.S. Congress could listen to you now to realize that this is the parliament of the revolution, which does not allow a breach of the nation’s sovereignty or interference in its affairs,” said the parliament’s speaker, FJP member Saad el-Katatni.
The military says only it has the authority to dismiss the government. To make that point, ministers who were scheduled to answer questions from lawmakers on the NGO issue failed to show up for the afternoon session of parliament. “It seems that the government is pushing for a crisis with parliament,” el-Katatni said.
The no confidence vote is a process that should take about two weeks, as each minister in turn needs to be questioned by lawmakers. But it is unclear that, even if the parliament is successful, there will be any changes to the government. The military has sole authority to name the prime minister and his cabinet, which means that even if they are voted out, the military could appoint the same people.
One observer of Egyptian politics, Mazen Hassan, a political science professor at Cairo University, said, “It has the perfect bits and pieces by which [parliament] can gain popularity.” Indeed, the parliament voted two other measures that promised to be very popular among the nationalist-minded Egyptian populace.
Both measures are largely symbolic, but represent an ominous sign of things to come. First, the parliament, by a show of hands, accepted a report by the Arab Committee that called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador, the recall of the Egyptian ambassador from Israel, and a halt to the sales of natural gas to the Jewish state. The Islamists also introduced a measure that would cut the $1.3 billion in aid from the US to Egypt. Both issues are a challenge to the military government, which has reserved the power to make such decisions. But the popular sentiment expressed in both resolutions will strengthen the hand of the Brotherhood going into the presidential elections. It may also get the military to compromise on the make-up of the government, putting some Islamist ministers in power if the no confidence vote is successful.
The report from the Arab Committee is an interesting document for those who still believe that the Muslim Brotherhood can be trusted. One of those trusting souls is Jimmy Carter who responded to a question from a talk show host asking if he saw Egypt “moving away” from the peace treaty with Israel. Said Carter:
They assured me personally and they have made public statements accordingly that they will honor the peace treaty that I helped negotiate in 1979. They know its very important to Egypt to maintain peace with Israel and I don’t have any doubt that they will carry out their promise to me.
On Monday, Egypt’s parliament asked the military to “review all relations and agreements” with Israel, which it described as Egypt and the Arab world’s “number one enemy.”
“Revolutionary Egypt will never be a friend, partner or ally of the Zionist entity (Israel), which we consider to be the number one enemy of Egypt and the Arab nation,” said the report. That seems clear enough for anyone — even someone as oblivious as the former president. The report also endorsed the Palestinian resistance “in all its kinds and forms” against Israel’s “aggressive policies.” Presumably, this means supporting the blowing up of civilians in terrorist attacks and launching rocket barrages into towns and cities.
While the acceptance of the committee report will not immediately affect relations with the Jewish state, Israel has to be alarmed at the rank hatred expressed in such a document and the determination of the Islamists to sever ties — even though it would risk war.
As with the vote on Israel, the measure introduced to refuse US aid is not really in the purview of parliament to consider — at this point in time. Once a president is elected, parliament will write a new constitution where it is expected that the power of the president (and the military council that backs him) will be reduced and the power of the legislature increased. The Brotherhood may very well take such decisions about Israel and the US out of the hands of the president and write them into parliament’s powers. Obviously, regional stability will ride on the outcome of that tug-of-war. But the military is not expected to cede power easily, and there may be other issues the Islamists feel would be worth fighting for that might take precedence over a foreign policy portfolio for parliament. But when it comes to the Brotherhood’s hatred of Israel, any outcome is possible.
These moves by the Islamists in parliament are the opening gambit in what promises to be a tense jockeying for power and influence in the Egyptian government over the next several months. Even the presidential elections won’t settle the power sharing arrangement between civilians and the military. Much will depend on how the military sees the future of Egypt and whether it would be amendable to giving up some of its influence in order to achieve a peaceful, stable society.
No one is betting on that outcome. Nor is anyone wagering that the Muslim Brotherhood will moderate its views toward Israel or the US.
Game Changer: Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense System
Posted by Rick Moran
March 12th, 2012
Palestinian terrorists fired more than 160 rockets at dozens of civilian targets from Friday through Sunday, injuring three Israeli citizens and causing extensive damage. The escalated rocket attacks were in apparent retaliation for an Israeli strike against one of the major commanders of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), which was planning terrorist attacks by infiltrating through the Sinai. The commander, Zuhair al-Qaissi, also planned and carried out attacks through the Sinai last August that killed eight Israelis. Three other terrorists were killed in the strike which precipitated a blizzard of rocket fire from the PRC that struck several towns in southern Israel. The IDF responded with airstrikes against rocket launching sites and terrorist camps.
It could have been worse for the Israelis, except their missile defense system, known as “Iron Dome,” intercepted 90% of the rockets that were targeted. Israeli-designed and built in Israel by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Iron Dome promises to be a “game changer” according to some analysts, once it is fully deployed across the southern border.
Late Sunday, it was reported that Israel had informed Egypt that it would halt air strikes at midnight. Hamas has also agreed to a cease fire, although the PRC has not indicated its agreement to halt the barrage. It hardly matters. Although the barrage was carried out by the Popular Resistance Committees and another terror group, the Palestinian branch of Islamic Jihad, the Israelis believe that Hamas enables the attacks, or at best, refuses to prevent them.
It is a marvel of technology and can actually determine if a rocket is a threat to a population center, or whether it will land harmlessly in an open field. CNN describes the system:
First deployed in April 2011, the Iron Dome system targets incoming rockets it identifies as possible threats to city centers and fires an interceptor missile to destroy them in mid-air. Each battery is equipped with an interception management center to calculate the expected location of impact, and to prioritize targets according to pre-defined targets. The battery also has firing-control radar used to identify targets, and a portable missile launcher.
This was the first serious battlefield test of Iron Dome and it passed with flying colors. The Jerusalem Post reports that Iron Dome intercepted a total of 27 rockets for a 90% success rate. It is currently deployed around three of the larger cities in the south: Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheba. The system is entirely mobile and it is expected that once all batteries are deployed, Israel will potentially be able to intercept any missile fired from Gaza.
“The most important question is how would the Iron Dome affect the decisions of Hamas leaders and their Iranian supporters,” said Dore Gold, Israeli Ambassador to the United States. “While Hamas rockets are aimed primarily to target civilians and terrorize the Israeli home front, a secondary and just important aim is to hit strategic sites in the future,” he added. Gold also pointed out that by eliminating the terrorists’ ability to hit strategic targets, it will force them to re-think what kinds of rockets they will have to purchase in the future.
The most common rocket in the terrorists’ arsenal is the Qassam – a small, inaccurate projectile whose major benefit appears to be its easy portability. There are several variants of the weapon and its range is limited to between 5 and 15 miles. Hamas also has a Russian-designed Grad rocket system that is truck mounted, which it purchased from Iran. Iron Dome can intercept all of these rockets.
A fourth Iron Dome battery is expected to be added later this year with 5 additional batteries to be manufactured by 2013. An Israeli defense official told CNN that it would take 13 batteries to cover the border with Gaza. The system was partially funded by the US government, which gave Israel $205 million to develop and test the system. Another $200 million has been authorized by Congress for additional batteries.
Israel needed Iron Dome to perform above expectations the past few days because the PRC and its Islamic Jihad allies felt it necessary to respond to the pinpoint strike that took out al-Qassi. That strike reveals a slight change in Israeli defense doctrine, according to YNet News. While Israel has always reserved the right to take preemptive action against the terrorists, this sort of targeted assassination is the result of the terrorist attack last August that killed eight Israelis. the Israelis apparently had an opportunity to kill al-Qassi at that time, but decided against it because they knew there would be a retaliatory rocket strike by the terrorists on civilians. Once Israel’s intelligence services got wind of the plot, it was decided to take out al-Qassi despite the almost certain retaliation with rockets on Israeli civilian centers.
The Nazi Resurgence in Europe: The Waffen-SS Marches Again
Nazis are marching through Europe again. Real Nazis. Old ones, young ones, brazenly sporting the infamous uniforms and flags of a growing and genuinely dangerous movement.
To American ears, this has the sound of hysteria and impossibility. Nazism was defeated and repudiated, it is the unforgivable insult not just because it’s so extreme but because it’s incredible. The American post-war experience of Nazis ranged from the nuttiness of the American Nazi Party and its crazed head, George Lincoln Rockwell, to some of the militia groups, skinheads, Holocaust deniers and Aryan Nation types that pop up occasionally. They’re annoying and angering, but they’re clearly on the fringes of American society, a cost of our commitment to free expression.
That is not the case in many Eastern European nations. Numerous political parties and social movements have sprung up that support former and current Nazis and Nazi causes. This March 16 will see the emergence of the worst of this onto the world stage. Since the mid-’90s, in Latvia, there have been organized and growing demonstrations celebrating the Latvians who served in German Waffen-SS legions. Their activities included opposing the advancing Red Army, last-ditch fighting in Berlin, and for some of them liquidating ghettos and murdering Jews across Eastern Europe.
For about a decade a variety of Latvian right-wing parties have been seeking to provide government pensions to the Latvians who served Hitler. The explanations range from the apologist to revisionist to ideological. The central thesis is that most of the Waffen-SS soldiers were drafted, not volunteers and that they were fighting against Russian invaders, “Freedom Fighters” as a proposed Parliamentary resolution calls them. On March 16, In Riga, there will be another set of demonstrations and marches by SS veterans, with supporters from Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania and elsewhere.
What to make of all this? There will always be elements in society that actually want to resurrect Hitler, and others that use it for their own ends. But until recently there’s been almost unanimity from governments and “responsible” political leaders that denied them any legitimacy or place of honor. Indeed, the German and French ambassadors were early and outspoken in their concern and opposition. March 16 has meaning beyond the event. It is the breaking of a taboo that has lasted since the War. If Europe agreed on nothing else, it agreed that Nazism was so repellant that any manifestation would be condemned and smashed before it could flourish. That United States is eroding. The lack of public concern from Western governments is upsetting and very short-sighted. It remains to be seen what, if anything, they will do as the SS assembles and marches again next week.
There are some that suggest we ignore these feral stirrings of hate and violence. In America, there are few who take this as a serious development. That’s not good enough. One doesn’t have to be Winston Churchill to remember how Nazism took hold the first time around. It may be that these are fringe developments. But we are better off, much better off, overreacting now and recreating the moral and political unity that defeated Hitler than we would be by yawning and hoping it all goes away. The U.S. State Department ought to lead this effort.
British Government Says Christians Don’t Have Right To Wear Cross Or
Crucifix At Work
( A Crooked Path printed one of the earliest accounts of this taking place in the British Isles late last year. Interested readers can find that article by looking through the “Last Days News” category)
Two British women are headed to court to argue for the right to wear Christian crosses at their workplaces, but a group of Christian ministers is reportedly set to back employers’ rights to ban the regalia.
At the heart of the issue is whether or not the crosses are a “requirement” of the Christian faith.
According to a document leaked to the Telegraph that allegedly contains their arguments, the ministers are set to tell the court that crosses are not required by religious doctrine, thus supporting the government’s case that employers cannot be forced to allow such symbols.
Nadia Eweida and Shirley Chaplin were both told by their employers to cover or remove the Christian symbol hanging around their necks. When they refused, they each faced consequences.
Eweida, a British Airways employee, was placed on unpaid leave in 2006 when she refused to remove the symbol, according to CNS News. She argued that coworkers of other affiliations were allowed to showcase symbols of their faiths. Eweida took the airline before a British employment tribunal alleging religious discrimination but lost the case.
The company eventually changed its uniform policy and rehired Eweida, but did not compensate her for the suspension period.
In Chaplin’s case, the longtime nurse was reprimanded for refusing to cover up a cross around her neck, RT reports. She was subsequently assigned to desk work instead of her usual rounds.
Now, it will be up to the European Court of Human Rights to decide if wearing a cross or crucifix is a right under Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Article 9, “Freedom of thought, conscience and religion,” states the following:
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance. 2. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Lawyers for the women allegedly plan to argue that right to wear a cross is covered under Article 9 as a “manifestation” of religious expression, CNS News reports.
But the British Foreign Office has already prepared the following statement, which was published in the Telegraph:
In neither case is there any suggestion that the wearing of a visible cross or crucifix was a generally [recognized] form of [practicing] the Christian faith, still less one that is regarded (including by the applicants themselves) as a requirement of the faith.
The case has been criticized by Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, who was unhappy officials were “meddling” in the matter.
Sentamu expressed his feelings on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, the Telegraph reports.
“My view is that this is not the business of government, actually,” he said. “I think that is a matter really for people and that we should allow it.The government should not raise the bar so high that in the end they are now being unjust.”
Andrew Brown, a blogger for the Guardian, questions what exactly qualifies as a “requirement” of the faith:
Does Christianity demand that its adherents wear a cross? The courts here have decided that it doesn’t, but I’m not sure the question is well framed. You might as well ask “does Christianity demand that you go to church on Sundays?” or “does it demand pacifism?” There are just too many Christianities for such a question to make sense.
Netanyahu Hints Iran Attack Just Months Away
by Gil Ronen
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu set a general timetable for a possible strike on Iran Thursday evening, for the first time.
Netanyahu said that Israel has not yet made a decision on whether to attack the Iranian nuclear sites. He added that the timing of such a strike “is not a matter of days or weeks,” but on the other hand, “it is not a matter of years.”
“I am not standing with a stopwatch in my hand,” he told Channels 2 and 10 in a joint interview, upon his return from a five day visit to Canada and the United States.
Israel will be “glad” if Iran halts its nuclear program on its own. “I, too, will be happy,” he said. “I will be happy if the sanctions work – all the better. But we cannot know, and we will not accept a situation in which Iran has nuclear weapons.”
He warned that Israel faces “an existential danger,” and added: “If I do not make the right decision, there may be no one left to explain to [why I made the wrong choice].”
Constitutional analyst: Detention now legal
Controversial federal provision gives president undefined authority
by Bob Unruh
Map of FEMA camps in the United States
A retired attorney who has taught constitutional law and now is an author and radio host says America is duplicating with the new National Defense Authorization Act mistakes that landed hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans in Wyoming and Colorado internment camps during World War II.
The issue has been making headlines for several weeks because of the interpretation held by many critics that the law allows Barack Obama as the president to determine when someone, even an American citizen, would be taken into custody and held under the law of war – that is, without trial, hearing, charges or due process.
“The problem is that when the language is carefully read, it becomes clear that this does not exempt U.S. citizens from being detained without due process, but only says that it is not required,” Connelly notes. “The decision of whether an American citizen can be detained indefinitely, without being formally charged, or tried, is, therefore, left in the hands of one person, the president of the United States.
“Giving the president of the United States, or anyone else, this kind of authority over American citizens was something that the framers of the U. S. Constitution, and, specifically, the Bill of Rights, were trying to prohibit. Yet it appears that this law is doing what the founders of our country feared,” he continued.
“One of the problems is that it has been done before. U.S. citizens of Japanese descent were interred by the U.S. government after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The detention was the result of executive orders issued by then President Franklin D. Roosevelt.”
The point raised by Connelly was one that the Virginia lawmakers considered when deliberating the issue of the NDAA for 2012, which was signed by Obama Dec. 31, 2011.
Among its sections is 1021, “which purports to authorize the president of the United States to use the armed forces of the United States to detain American citizens who the president suspects are or have been substantial supports of al-Qaida, the Taliban, or associated forces, and to hold such citizens indefinitely,” according to an analysis of the federal law.
“In short, Section 1021 authorizes the president to dispose of American citizens suspected of supporting ‘terrorism’ according to the laws of war, as if the United States soil was a battlefield and her citizens enemy combatants, not entitled to the protections of the Bill of Rights, including the rights to trial by jury, representation by counsel, confrontation of witnesses, and due process of law administered by impartial judges,” the analysis said.
The state law specifically aims to prevent “any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a United States citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”
The bill advanced after a large contingent of Japanese-Americans weighed in. Critics say the plan allows the president to detain American citizens without charges or court hearings.
Floyd Mori, chief of the Japanese American Citizens League, sent a letter to legislators.
“As many of you know, during World War II the Japanese American community was targeted as ‘suspected enemy aliens’ and by authority of Presidential Executive Order 9066, over 110,000 people were rounded up and put into concentration camps at 10 desolate locations under the notion that they could be suspect,” he told the lawmakers in Virginia.
“This period of indefinite detention lasted until the war ended, and there was no due process as guaranteed by the Constitution. A congressional commission later, through a number of public hearings, found that this was an unjustified act of the government due to war hysteria, racism, and poor government leadership at the time. The government was ordered by an act of Congress to apologize and provide redress in order to learn a lesson that this should never again happen. If there were more who stood up to this injustice, much heartache and economic loss could have been avoided and this apology would not have been needed,” he said.
“Today we face a similar situation. The so-called ‘War on Terror’ has led to the same kind of hysteria and racist actions by government. I can also say that we have lacked the political leadership to identify that this kind of forced indefinite detention is a repeat of what happened during WWII,” he said.
“The state of Virginia has the opportunity to stand up to an unjust application of congressional authority. The American people need somebody to stand up against this injustice. HB 1160 is a tool that does just that; it stands up for the American people by respecting the basic principles of the Constitution.”
Connelly, a U.S. Army veteran who has authored “Riders in the Sky: The Ghosts and Legends of Philmont Scout Ranch”, “The Mortarmen,” “Amayehli: A Story of America” and the newly released “America’s Livliest Ghosts,” also is founder of the Constitutional Law Alliance.
Not only does the new law appear to contradict court opinions over the years that the detention of Japanese-Americans was not constitutional, “the new law also appears to repeal, or at least modify, the Posse Comitatus Act, that was passed in 1878 at the end of post Civil War reconstruction. That law is designated as 18 USC 1385, and it prohibits the states of the union, and local governments, from using members of the U.S. Army for law enforcement purposes. It was later amended to include the Air Force, and the Marines, and the Navy are under the same prohibitions, by order of the U. S. Department of Defense,” Connelly said..
“If the critics of NDAA are correct, and members of the United States military can make arrests of U.S. citizens in the United States, then it appears that the intent of the Posse Comitatus law is negated.”
He said, “The language in the bill appears to be deliberately vague and confusing, and many members of Congress seem to be unaware of what they were actually voting for. However, that does not lessen the impact of a law that gives the president extraordinary powers to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens.”
Another analysis of the issue, by Michael Hammond for the Gun Owners of America, said the impact on Americans is evident.
“Let’s assume you’re a member of the Michigan Militia. That’s all it would take,” Hammond wrote. “Because you once hobnobbed with Timothy McVeigh, an argument could be made that you could be arrested and held indefinitely, without due process, an attorney, or constitutional rights.”
He notes anyone who “knowingly or unknowingly aided or harbored a 9/11 culprit in any way” could be targeted.
He raised some awkward questions, including, “Is blowing up a federal building a ‘belligerent act’? If so, are militia members who associated with Timothy McVeigh all ‘covered persons’ – even if they didn’t understand his intentions? What about a gun dealer who sold him a gun?”
Another question, he wrote, would be, “Is Barack Obama ‘substantially support[ing] … the Taliban’ if he releases prisoners from Guantanamo in order to get them to the negotiating table?”
Virginia’s plan has been forwarded to the governor but already has been given a veto-proof support from lawmakers.
The Tenth Amendment Center, which is monitoring developments on the issue, reported, “Even President Obama had questions about the bill, when he promised the American people that he would not use the unrestrained powers it granted him – but why should we trust any president with such powers?”
Outside opinions on exactly what the law allows vary widely.
Commentator Chuck Baldwin, who himself has been the target of smears by the Department of Homeland Security-related apparatus, explained the law, “for all intents and purposes, completely nullifies a good portion of the Bill of Rights, turns the United States into a war zone, and places U.S. citizens under military rule.”
“When signing the NDAA into law, Obama issued a signing statement that in essence said, ‘I have the power to detain Americans … but I won’t,” Baldwin wrote.
Baldwin was vilified by an anti-terror campaign in Missouri several years ago when authorities there described suspicious characters as those who might have supported him or other third-party candidates during a presidential election.
A state agency, and later the Department of Homeland Security, offered warnings that returning veterans, those who oppose abortion and others who advocate conservative issues could pose a danger to the nation.
Others have pooh-poohed the concerns about the apprehension of Americans. Wayne Bowen, a professor at Southeast Missouri State University not far from where state officials had issued that warning about Baldwin, said, “The NDAA not only does not empower the U.S. military to detain American citizens indefinitely, it specifically prohibits this.
“The NDAA confirms as U.S. law the practice that foreign terrorists … will be held indefinitely by the U.S. military. Indeed, this is a far more generous policy than allowed under international law,” he wrote.
The Bill of Rights Defense Committee noted that during the first few weeks of 2012, at least six jurisdictions have enacted local resolutions opposing the military detention provisions of the NDAA.
Among the states that have begun addressing the issue, along with Virginia, are Arizona, Rhode Island, Maryland, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Washington.
Local jurisdictions include Macomb, N.Y.; Fairfax, Calif.; New Shoreham, R.I.; and several locations in Colorado.
November 15, 2009
What is personhood?
Corruption of the science establishment: causes and cures
I have read half a dozen accounts of the Climategate scandal in newspapers and in conservative magazines. Therefore, I do not wish to probe too deeply into the sordid details, but to focus instead upon what went wrong with the science establishment.
The most remarkable part of this strange story is there never was a consensus in the scientific establishment in the first place. Among leading scientists who fervently support global warming, there long have been and are now bitter battles going on concerning the data and the interpretation of the data.
In spite of this fact, the myth of consensus regarding global warming has been insistently perpetuated within the science establishment and in the propaganda issued to the public. Why? Why are the scientists lying about having a consensus?
The central thesis of this essay is that when a scientist pursues consensus instead of seeking truth, decay settles into his professional ethics and his intellectual prowess. Interestingly, the same is true of philosophers, theologians, politicians, and those seeking to be good Christians and good citizens. Seeking truth keeps us virtuous and mentally sharp and alert. Truth seekers rarely cheat. Consensus seekers can be tempted to cheat. This is especially true of a science establishment that puts pressure on its members to conform to the prevailing paradigm — which is the position on which they claim to have consensus. The penalties of being a dissenter from the prevailing paradigm might be stiffer than the penalty of being caught cheating.
Completely lacking in the zeal for truth, he suddenly had a lot of zeal for finding a religious label to assign to me. Why? I was dissenting from the consensus of the establishment. Due to his dulled intellectual capacities, he could find no way to protect the establishment consensus against my attacks except to write me off as a dissenter driven by religious faith. That saved him the trouble of thinking — and from bothering about my arguments. Scientists who never have to answer criticism soon become intellectually sloppy, and in time their reasoning skills turn to mush — as happened to this poor professor who was loaded with academic credentials.
The religion dodge is one version of discrediting opponents. Global warming skeptics have been routinely accused of being “against science.” This very day, I heard a TV commentator saying that another commentator who was a global warming skeptic was like those who believed in a flat earth and like those who persecuted Galileo. This insult is mindless and effortless. Making intelligent answers is hard work.
A consensus-seeking organization views a dissenter as an enemy because he disagrees with and challenges the consensus. The loyal members of such organizations work together to suppress dissent.
Every truth seeker remembers with gratitude times he was challenged and set right, and thereby brought closer to the truth.
Dissent, debate, and refutation of error are part of the pursuit of the truth. Debate and answering criticism sharpen one’s mind and lead to intellectual growth. The lack of debate and criticism leads to intellectual decay.
The founders of the scientific method were seekers of truth, and they designed “peer review journals” for scientific papers in order that the papers could be published and subjected to public review and criticism. As a result, a public debate about disputed facts, theories, and mathematics could be had. Scientists got very smart and very careful because every time they published a paper, they prepared to publicly defend it against intelligent and knowledgeable critics, and to devote considerable intellectual energy to the ensuing debate.
The Climategate scandal revealed that the global warming establishment subverted the peer review process by blackballing those peer review journals that publish papers that dissented from global warming. In some fields of research, all the peer review journals are controlled by consensus seekers, and these journals refuse to publish dissenters. Their next trick is to turn right around and say that the dissenters are not real scientists because they are not published in the journals — i.e., we won’t let you publish, and therefore you are not a real scientist, because you have not published. That is why we don’t have to listen to your criticisms.
After writing essays critical of Einstein, I was challenged by a physicist from M.I.T. who is a self-appointed defender of Einstein. Einstein is virtually worshipped by the science establishment. Therefore, many scientists will go to any end to support him — by fishy means or foul. In my paper, titled “Einstein’s Potemkin Villages,” I explained how Einstein’s gravity is much too weak to explain the movement of galaxies. It is downright feeble. Twenty-five times more matter than what seems to be out there must exist to make Einstein’s math work for the movement of galaxies.
A seeker of truth in this situation would say, “Throw out Einstein, because the facts are against him!” In contrast, Einstein worshipers invent facts to make Einstein’s math work! They’ve invented enough “dark matter” — an imaginary substance — in the amounts needed to make the math work. Einstein’s math works just fine if you cheat with plug figures and invent imaginary entities.
“String theory” involves the invention of imaginary alternate dimensions and alternate worlds to vindicate Einstein’s claim that the microscopic realm is harmoniously interconnected with matter that is great enough in mass so you can measure its weight and velocity.
Fantasy science can only occur when there is a lot of mind rot. The M.I.T. professor I debated had a serious case of it. He did not understand the core principles of Einstein’s theories. Einstein said that every scientific theory should be reducible to a simple concept that a child can understand. I understood these childlike principles. My challenger from M.I.T. did not. I repeatedly said to him, “Your argument contradicts Einstein’s principles — and I had to explain the principle as to a child. Such was his intellectual laziness, he did not bother to understand the core principles of his own field. He worships Einstein without understanding Einstein. Such is the kind of mind rot that will tolerate the creation of imaginary matter and imaginary worlds and dimensions in order to celebrate a god of science like Einstein.
Some conservatives claim that climate science has been politicized to serve left-wing causes.
My thesis is that the obsession by an organization to find consensus must become internally politicized. Some readers might remember the feminist management fad called “consensus management.” The fad didn’t last because consensus managers could not make a decision. Even the feminists got tired of it.
Some years ago, I was offered a job as the leader of a team to evaluate state agencies. The sticking point was I was required to use consensus management with my team. I was well qualified and prepared for this task. However, some of my teammates were not — but each of their voices was to have equal weight with mine, even though I was supposed to be the “leader.” The leader of such a team must use most of his time negotiating for consensus instead of concentrating upon the job. In other words, the job was completely politicized. I was a good evaluator and analyst, but I realized that I am no politician. The agency director was eager to hire me. She was dumbfounded when I refused the job, solely based upon my objection to consensus management. Almost my exact words to her were, “If I am a pilot and am offered a plane to fly, I must decline the honor of flying the plane if I’m certain the plane will crash.”
When the establishment turns the scientific process into a search for consensus, science becomes politicized in a way similar to the way the team I was asked to lead would have become internally politicized. When the science establishment becomes internally politicized, it becomes naturally compatible with the politicized world of government bureaucrats, journalists, and politicians.
For the Christian, the best way to avoid delusion and heresy is to read the Bible and seek the truth. “Because they received not the love of the truth…God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie” (Thessalonians 7:10). The so-called emerging church does not seek truth in determining what to believe. They seek consensus and determine what to believe through consensus. This consensus-seeking is done on a church-by-church basis. Truth seekers who dissent from the consensus of the local church are usually thrown out. This is why the emerging church has become infamous as propagators of heresy, as well as of extremely peculiar ideas and practices.
Priest who denied communion to lesbian stripped of priestly faculties
|Christine Dhanagom||Mon Mar 12 17:00 EST||Faith|
GAITHERSBURG, March 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Maryland priest who denied communion to a lesbian at her mother’s funeral is being stripped of his priestly faculties and “placed on administrative leave,” according to a letter from the Archdiocese signed by auxiliary Bishop Barry Knestout.
Fr. Marcel Guarnizo was previously censured by the Archdiocese after denying communion to Barbara Johnson, who had reportedly introduced her lesbian “lover” to the priest in the sacristy right before her mother’s funeral Mass.
According to a source close to the incident who spoke with LifeSiteNews, Johnson’s lesbian lover physically blocked Fr. Guarnizo from speaking further with Johnson when she abruptly left the sacristy following this introduction. When Johnson presented herself for Communion, the priest refused to give it to her, although she ended up receiving from an extraordinary minister. It was later revealed that Johnson is also a Buddhist.
The Archdiocese issued an apology to Johnson and said that Fr. Guarnizo’s actions were “against policy” and that an investigation was underway.
Click “like” if you want to defend true marriage.
This past weekend’s letter from Bishop Knestout suspending Fr. Guarnizo was read at all Sunday Masses at St. John Neumann parish in Gaithersburg, where Fr. Guarnizo has been serving since last March, and where the incident occurred.
Bishop Knestout alleges in the letter that he has “received credible allegations that Father Guarnizo has engaged in intimidating behavior toward parish staff and others that is incompatible with proper priestly ministry.”
The letter adds: “Given the grave nature of these allegations, and in light of the confusion in the parish and the concerns expressed by parishioners, Father Guarnizo is prohibited from exercising any priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of Washington until all matters can be appropriately resolved with the hope that he might return to priestly ministry.”
According to a report in the Washington Post, the letter was read out loud by the church’s pastor, Fr. Thomas LaHood, who also elaborated further on the situation.
Fr. LaHood claimed that the removal was not due to the incident with Johnson, but rather that it “pertains to actions over the past week or two.”
“I realize this letter is hard to hear. Please keep mind that this is a first [sic] personnel issue, dealing with issues of ministry in the church. Father Guarnizo will have every opportunity to present his position,” he added, according to the Post.