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.