Posts Tagged civil liberties
by: Heather Callaghan
Sunday, August 5, 2012
You can only retain freedoms if you act to preserve them. – Karl Tricamo
Stay-at-home dad Karl Tricamo was another unsuspecting gardener just going about his favorite hobby and following the rules. He loves to garden with his 55 heirlooms and dislikes GMOs and pesticides.
But, like so many others now, he was pushed around and literally stalked by “Code Enforcers” out to aggressively eradicate any “nuisance” that doesn’t match the rest of their desired Stepford neighborhood. This is after he, also like many targeted for garden deconstruction, painstakingly followed the rules.
“I just thought it would be an excellent way to help provide for my family,” he said. “People have been gardening since the beginning of human civilization, and the First Lady has even been setting an example by gardening at the White House! I never expected it to be so controversial.”
City officials in Ferguson, Missouri do not care if someone is trying to feed his family on his turf; so they literally cited Tricamo’s landlord with ‘Failure to meet the minimum standards of the City of Ferguson exterior appearance code.’
Now, doesn’t that sound like a highly subjective code? It would, had it been an actual code instead of an intimidation tactic.
Karl’s neighbors seemed to be in accordance with his fruitful yard plan. One of them even allowed Tricamo to plant tomatoes in her garden as a “show of solidarity.”
by: James Smith
August 5, 2012
With the odd purchases of ammunition by the Department of Homeland Security I decided to see what else they have purchased. To my surprise a solicitation for a flexible explosive was posted. This explosive is known as Prima Sheet. Prima sheet comes in two styles:
Prima Sheet 1000 is PETN based, and Prima Sheet 2000 is RDX based. Both are water resistant high explosives and this material is available to the US military.
And, according to the manufacturer, Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense Company the materials uses are:
- Military demolition
- Ordnance disposal
- Metal hardening
- Metal forming and welding
- Skin severance charge
With regards to breaching, the information sheets state:
Demolition/Breaching – PRIMASHEET® 1000 is an excellent tool for general demolition applications. It can be easily cut to any desired shape and applied with adhesive or incorporated into a charge holder. The flexible sheet can be applied as strips directly on a the target or used to improvise linear shape charges.
Demolition/Breaching—PRIMASHEET® 2000 has a higher density than C-4, is unaffected by charge manipulation, and therefore offers a more consistent performance in all standard applications. It can be easily cut to a desired shape and applied with adhesive or incorporated into a charger holder.
by: Gaye Levy
August 2, 2012
According to an Army field manual “In these modern times, demonstrations, civil unrest, public disorder, and riots happen for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons are economic hardships, social injustices, ethnic differences (leading to oppression), objections to world organizations or certain governments, political grievances, and terrorist acts. An event can be triggered by a single cause or a combination of causes.”
The manual (FM 3-19.15) further states that “gatherings in protest are recognized rights of any person or group, regardless of where US forces may be operating. This fundamental right is protected under the Constitution of the US.”
These are interesting if not downright frightening times. To all but the most ignorant, government and elected officials have sold out to corporations with deep pockets and hidden agendas. The tenets of freedom from tyranny are being challenged on a daily basis. In addition, not a day goes by that a new financial or consumer scam comes in to the public eye, further eroding our trust in a system that was at one time steeped in honor and trust.
In addition to the challenge of a corrupt system of governance, we have massive unemployment and underemployment in all age groups. Cities, counties and even countries are bankrupt or close to it. Health care costs are out of control as are prescription drug costs. The food supply is being manipulated for the profit of greedy corporations.
The Perfect Storm is Brewing
Monday, July 30, 2012
Water, water, everywhere – Nor any drop to drink.*
A case of the government seeking money and bondage from rural residents by purposely misconstruing an old law & bending definitions.
Gary Harrington had no idea that he was a water criminal under an obscure 1925 law until 2002 when state bureaucrats told him that his three reservoirs were illegal collection devices that were a crime against his community.
At first, Harrington complied and legally filed for three permits to keep the rainwater run-off within his 170-acre property, including one that had been on the property for 37 years. However, it appears that the Oregon government is adamantly against its citizens storing and using their own source of water. Although his permits were approved in 2003, the state court arbitrarily reversed their decision and was subsequently backed up by a county Circuit Court judge who ruled that he had illegally “withdrawn the water at issue from appropriation other than for the City of Medford.” (Source)
Even if the city of Medford did legitimately own all the water, Harrington has good standing when he points out that the law mentions only streams and tributaries, not water run-off formulated from the clouds.
by: Rebecca Bowe
Friday, July 27, 2012
At the Black Hat Security Conference in Las Vegas this week, Javier Galbally revealed that it’s possible to spoof a biometric iris scanning system using synthetic images derived from real irises. The Madrid-based security researcher’s talk is timely, coming on the heels of a July 23 Israeli Supreme Court hearing where the potential vulnerabilities of a proposed governmental biometric database drove the debate. Consider the week’s events a reminder that if the adoption of biometric identification systems continues apace without serious contemplation of the pitfalls, we’re headed for trouble.
When it comes to the collection and storage of individuals’ digital fingerprints, iris scans, or facial photographs, system vulnerability is a chief concern. A social security number can always be cancelled and reissued if it’s compromised, but it’s impossible for someone to get a new eyeball if an attacker succeeds in seizing control of his or her digital biometric information.
Among all the various biometric traits that can be measured for machine identification — such as fingerprints, face, voice, or keystroke dynamics — the iris is generally regarded as being the most reliable. Yet Galbally’s team of researchers has shown that even the method traditionally presumed to be foolproof is actually quite susceptible to being hacked.
The project, unveiled for the first time at the security researchers’ conference, made use of synthetic images that match digital iris codes linked to real irises. The codes, which are derived from the unique measurements of an individuals’ iris and contain about 5,000 pieces of information, are stored in biometric databases and used to positively identify people when they position their eyes in front of the scanners. By printing out the replica images on commercial printers, the researchers found they could trick the iris-scanning systems into confirming a match.
by: Madison Ruppert
July 27, 2012
The Federal Protective Service a child agency of the behemoth Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is tasked with protecting property owned, occupied or secured by the federal government, seems to be getting ready for a riot or riots in the very near future.
This is the same Federal Protective Service which reportedly “drafted plans to send armed agents into downtown Chicago to patrol the city and prepare for protests” during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit earlier this year.
This quite sizeable procurement of 150 sets of riot gear is especially noteworthy since it is being filled on a highly accelerated timetable.
The solicitation was posted on July 25, 2012 with a response date of July 26, 2012 and delivery a mere 15 days later.
The items required are: 147 “Upper Body and Shoulder Protection” which are brand name or equal to “Centurion Soft Shell Riot Control System (CPX2500),” along with 152 “Thigh-Groin Protector” brand name or equivalent to “Centurion TPX200,” 156 “Forearm Protectors” brand name or equivalent to “Centurion (FP100),” and 147 units of “Hard Shell Shin Guards” brand name or equivalent to “Centurion (TS70),” 147 carry bags brand name or equivalent to Exotech (E4), 147 tactical gloves brand name or equivalent to “Damascus (DMZ333),” and 147 riot helmets brand name or equivalent to “MaxPro (TR1000).”
This considerable procurement is for “the 2012 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the 2012 Presidential Inauguration and other future similar activities,” according to the solicitation.
by: Steve Nolan
Monday, July 23, 2012
The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference. They deserve a place of honor with all that is good. When firearms go, all goes. We need them every hour. — George Washington, Founding Father in his address to the 2nd session of united States Congress.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and survivors of the Aurora, Colorado shooting as well as to their families and the brave first-responders.
Such a senseless tragedy leaves us all saddened and speechless for a brief moment . . . but then inevitably we find ourselves being drawn into the national debate over gun control. The timing of the shootings combined with the rabid media attention has seemingly diverted national attention from President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder’s Fast and Furious debacle, as well as the upcoming United Nations Gun Treaty vote in two weeks — both of which are blatant attempts to restrict our God-given rights to bear arms.
Thomas Jefferson, himself a liberal in the truest sense of the definition, stated,”The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
Now contrast that to what New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has made a career calling for stricter national gun laws, stated . . .
Already we are seeing anti-gun advocates and liberal Hollywood icons attacking the Second Amendment from every corner, each calling for greater gun control. It’s deeply unfortunate that none of the moviegoers attending that premier of The Dark Knight Rising were packing a legally permitted concealed weapon. God only knows how many lives one armed law-abiding citizen may have saved.
It is truly sad that we only hear in the media about tragic incidents like Aurora and never hear of the cases where firearms are legally used in the defense of life and liberty. In February of this year, the libertarian think tank, Cato Institute, published a report entitled “Tough Targets, When Criminals Face Armed Resistance From Citizens.” The report cites approximately 5,000 news reports from October 2003 to November 2011 involving defensive gun usage. According to the authors, “tens of thousands of crimes are prevented each year by ordinary citizens with guns.’ Both authors, Clayton Cramer and David Burnett, openly admit the actual number of cases is much higher because many of the instances are simply not covered by the media. “Many defensive gun uses never make the news,” the report said. “After all, ‘Man Scares Away Burglar, No Shots Fired,’ is not particularly newsworthy.”
The purpose of this study was to investigate “When ordinary Americans are forced to use guns in self-defensive situations, what is the nature of that situation and how frequently do these events occur and what are the consequences?” Of the 5,000 incidents reported between October 2003 and November 2011, 488 home burglaries and there were 1,227 incidents where intruders fled when confronted by armed inhabitants. There were 34 incidents where pizza delivery drivers defended themselves, and 172 incidents involving animal attacks.
Despite what the anti-Second Amendment pundits claim about gun violence, between May 2007 and March 24, 2010, at least 9 law enforcement officers and 142 private citizens were murdered nationally by concealed handgun permit holders (approximately 0.003% of all murders in that time period).
The basic reality is that today, the government cannot guarantee the safety of its citizens, and is in fact not legally responsible for doing so. Having the ability and the capability to protect yourself, your family and/or other members of the general public from armed attackers should be seen as a personal responsibility and the government has no right to deny responsible adults the ability to do so legally. The criminal elements of our society carry concealed weapons despite laws designed to prevent that. If our laws do not deter illegal use of firearms in the commission of a crime, they certainly should not prevent or deter the lawful use of firearms to prevent such crimes!
Another factoid lost in the mainstream news is that armed citizens kill more crooks than do the police. Citizens shoot and kill at least twice as many criminals as police do every year (1,527 to 606). And readers of Newsweek learned that “only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The ‘error rate’ for the police, however, was 11 percent, more than five times as high.” As a matter of fact, nationwide every year, as many as one-half million citizens defend themselves with a firearm away from home.
Those who swallow every misconception shoveled by the mainstream media regarding guns and crime should consider an experiment that took place in 1982 in Kennesaw, Georgia. This suburb of Atlanta passed a law requiring heads of households to keep at least one firearm in their home. The residential burglary rate subsequently dropped 89% in Kennesaw, compared to the modest drop of 10.4% in Georgia as a whole. Ten years later (1991), the residential burglary rate in Kennesaw was still 72% lower than it had been in 1981, before the law was passed.
This effort in Kennesaw clearly supports the fact that 3/5 of felons polled agreed that “a criminal is not going to mess around with a victim he knows is armed with a gun.”As a matter of fact, according to U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice’s report entitled “The Armed Criminal in America, A Survey of Incarcerated Felons,” 74% of felons polled agreed that “one reason burglars avoid houses when people are at home is that they fear being shot during the crime.” And if that wasn’t compelling enough, 57% of felons polled agreed that “criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police.”
Thomas Jefferson once quoted Cesare Beccaria, an Italian philosopher and politician best known for his treatise On Crimes and Punishments:
In the spirit of that quote, let’s look at twenty-five examples from just this year of why we need to preserve our Second Amendment:
Reason #1: Gun Carrying Attorney Shoots and Kills Assailant: An article published by MSNBC told the tale of a nervous armed gunman attempting to rob some citizens in Columbia, South Carolina who confronted attorney Jim Corley demanding he give him his wallet. Corley agreed to comply and reached around to his back pocket and pulled a small Kel-Tec .32 pistol hidden in a wallet holster loaded with six hollow-point rounds. Unfortunately for Kayson Helms, 18, of Edison New Jersey, Corley gave him more than he bargained for. The attorney fired once into the robber’s stomach. The young would-be robber turned and ran. Corley fired twice more, hitting him the neck and torso. Bleeding profusely, Helms ran into the night and later collapsed and died on a railroad embankment 100 feet away.
Reason #2: Female Marine Kills Attacker in Self-Defense: Marine Cpl. Rayna Ross bought a gun (in a non-waiting period state) and used it to kill an attacker in self-defense two days later. Had a 5-day waiting period been in effect, Ms. Ross would have been defenseless against the man who had been stalking her.
Reason #3: A Pastor Shot and Wounded a Man Who Broke onto his Detroit Church: Lawrence Adams went to Westside Bible Church on Sunday evening and found the intruder inside the building, said Detroit police Sgt. Eren Stephens. The man began swinging an object at the retired police lieutenant, who pulled out a handgun and shot him in the abdomen, he said.
Reason #4: Minneapolis Good Neighbor Apprehends Robbery Suspect: Seeing an armed criminal rob a woman of her purse at gunpoint and pistol-whip her, a Minneapolis CCW holder pursued the robber in an attempt to capture him, which resulted in a confrontation in which the citizen had to shoot the robber, who later died of his wounds.
Reason #5: North Dakota Senior Citizen Stops Burglary With Gun: Hearing a loud noise and seeing an intruder in the house at 4:00am, a woman alerted her sleeping husband, who armed himself with a pistol and went to investigate. The 82-year old husband found the 26-year old burglar in the home, and held him at gunpoint until the police arrived. Both the burglar and would-be victims were unharmed and the criminal faces felony charges.
Reason #6: Temple University Student Fights Off Armed Robbers: A 21-year old Temple student and friend were accosted by a 15-year old armed robber and two accomplices about 2:00am near the university. When the armed assailant fired on the student in the course of the robbery, the student drew his legally-carried pistol and returned fire. The student sustained gunshot wounds to the stomach, and the robber was shot in the chest and leg. Philadelphia Police will place felony charges against the 15-year old assailant upon his release from the hospital.
Reason #7: Ohio Woman Shoots Ex-Boyfriend That Restraining Order Failed to Stop: An Ohio woman who feared that her ex-boyfriend and father of their two children was not going to be deterred by the restraining order requiring him to stay away armed herself with a pistol and was glad she did when the ex-boyfriend broke into her home and assaulted her with a crowbar. Fearing for her life, she shot and killed the intruder. Under Ohio’s newly-adopted Castle Doctrine, there is a presumption of self-defense in circumstances such as these.
Reason #8: Armed Naples Florida Clerk Foils Robbery and Kidnap Attempt: A 22 year-old clerk was changing shifts at a family-owned convenience store when an armed man entered and demanded money. He also grabbed a stroller holding one of the clerk’s two babies and tried to flee with the year-old child. That cost him his life, as the clerk pulled a gun kept behind the counter for protection and shot the would-be robber and kidnapper, wounding him and causing him to flee the store empty-handed. Tackled outside the store by an arriving employee who saw what had happened, the robber was held for police and later died of his injuries.
Reason #9: Released Inmate Shot Dead During Redding, CA Home Invasion: 37-year-old Jesse Theis was released early Thursday morning from the Shasta County Jail and before sun-up Friday, he invaded a Redding, CA home. The 66-year-old female homeowner fired warning shots when she heard someone trying to force entry into her home. When the invader tried a short time later to climb into her window, she shot him dead. Theis had been released due to a county prison policy designed to ease over-crowding by requiring the daily release of those inmates prison officials deemed “low-risk.”
Reason #10: Beaumont, TX Homeowner Fights Off Two Young Home Invaders: Two Texas youths picked the wrong house to try to invade. Both armed, the two forced their way into a Beaumont home about 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning and demanded money of the owner. While tussling with the armed intruders, the homeowner was able to get to his own gun, and fatally shot one of his attackers and drove off the second one. The dead robber was found in an adjacent field by responding police. No charges have been filed against the homeowner, who was acting in self-defense.
Reason #11: Armed Houston Dad Foils Attack on 14-Year-Old Daughter: Hearing a commotion shortly after his daughter had left for school early one morning, Richard Goodie left his house to see two men, one of them armed, accosting his daughter. Goodie’s warning shot failed to frighten off the assailants, one of whom put the daughter in a choke hold and a pistol to her head while threatening to kill the girl if her father did not back off. While the assailant was dragging the daughter away, some space opened up between the daughter and the bad guy, allowing the father to shoot the suspect in the stomach, ending the encounter and putting the second suspect to flight. No charges are expected against the father, who says he did what he had to do to save his daughter.
Reason #12: NC Woman Defends Family Members: A North Carolina family was returning to their vehicle at 1 a.m. after some Black Friday shopping at a Myrtle Beach, SC Walmart when they were set upon by armed robbers. One of the robbers shot a woman in the foot, even though she had surrendered her purse on their demand. The woman’s son attempted to protect his mother, and was shot at and pistol-whipped for his efforts. The woman’s sister, hearing shots fired as she entered her vehicle, picked up her own loaded pistol from the vehicle’s console and confronted the robbers. Not wanting to shoot directly at the robbers for fear of hitting her family or bystanders, she fired two shots over the heads of each robber, scaring them off. Her family credits the legally-armed woman with saving the lives of her sister and nephew.
by: Stephen Lendman
Monday, July 23, 2012
America’s “war on terror” never ends. Neither does Britain’s. After London was named host for this year’s summer games, terrorist fears were stoked.
Former Australian/UK British civil servant Peter Ryan performs security consulting services. He’s advising the International Olympic Committee on London preparations. His consultancy thrives on hyped threats, real or otherwise.
After the city was named host in 2005, he told organizers to “think the unthinkable.” Besides other advice, he said:
You are not just thinking about football hooligans, getting drunk in a pub and causing trouble.
You are dealing with a different animal, completely new threats – suicide bombers and protecting the critical infrastructure. You cannot have a power station going down and all the lights going out.
He said athletes’ food and water supplies must be protected. Check for poisons, he advised. “Specialist teams” have to “supervise bomb management, hazardous materials, athlete and VIP protection, and aviation security.” Public spaces around venues are most vulnerable, he added. Ryan’s well paid for making London sound more like a war zone than host for Olympic sporting events.
British MI5 head of domestic security Jonathan Evans gave a rare June public address. He called the Games no easy target. Nothing is guaranteed, he said. At the same time, he downplayed possible terrorist attacks.