Rep. Lewis passed over for powerful chairmanship

Republicans passed over  Rep. Jerry Lewis in favor of a veteran Kentucky lawmaker Wednesday to chair the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

The party’s steering committee rejected Lewis’s request to waive term limits that bar him from reclaiming the post he held when Republicans last held the majority.

The decision deprives Lewis of a position that would have given him control over the federal government’s purse strings and a heightened ability to direct millions of dollars to his home district, which includes some of the Pass area.

See also: CREW’s Most Corrupt: Rep. Jerry Lewis

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Startups Backed By The CIA

The spy agency has a venture capital arm that is funding an array of companies developing bleeding-edge technologies.

Tiny cameras. Hearing devices for the teeth. Wi-fi for refrigerators. These are some of the products made by companies that have caught the eye of In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the Central Intelligence Agency.

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US contacts allies about WikiLeaks move

The United States has briefed its key allies, including Britain, France, Germany and Saudi Arabia ahead of the mass release of classified documents by WikiLeaks.

Whistleblower website WikiLeaks plans to release around three million leaked documents, including cables sent to Washington from American embassies throughout the world.

The website had previously posted online secret details of US military operations in war-ravaged Iraq and Afghanistan.

United States Department of State Spokesman Philip Crowley says the United States is “gearing up for the worst-case scenario.”

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Cops & Firemen

Radley Balko on the Militarization of Police

2010 National Drug Control Strategy

President Obama’s 2010 National Drug Control Strategy uses a multifaceted approach to combat drug abuse and drug use in America’s communities.

This Strategy “provides a collaborative and balanced approach that emphasizes community-based prevention, integration of evidence-based treatment into the health care system, innovations in the criminal justice system, and international partnerships to disrupt drug trafficking organizations. Because nearly all Americans are impacted by the consequences of drug use, the Strategy is designed to be relevant at the local level. Whether you are a parent looking for information, a community member interested in treatment resources, a police officer or local elected official searching for new approaches to drug-related crimes, or someone who wants to know more about the Administration’s drug policy, the National Drug Control Strategy will serve as a useful resource.”

TSA worker assaults colleague who made crack at genitalia after walk through machine

Perhaps the new airport body scanners are a bit too revealing.

A Transportation Security Administration worker in Miami was arrested for aggravated battery after police say he attacked a colleague who’d made fun of his small genitalia after he walked through one of the new high-tech security scanners during a recent training session.

Rolando Negrin, 44, was busted for assault after things got ugly at Miami International Airport between Negrin and some of his fellow Transportation Security Administration workers on Tuesday.

Sources say Negrin stepped into the machine during the training session and became embarrassed and angry when a supervisor started cracking jokes about his manhood, made visible by the new machine.

According to the police report, Negron confronted one of his co-workers in an employee parking lot, where he hit him with a police baton on the arm and back.

“[Negron] then told victim to kneel down and say ‘your sorry,’” the report reads. “Victim stated he was in fear and complied with [Negron].”

Negron was arrested the next day when he arrived for work. He told police he had been made fun of by coworkers on a daily basis.

“[Negron] stated he could not take the jokes anymore and lost his mind,” the report reads.

Negrin was arrested and booked into Miami-Dade County Jail. His arrest photo (above) shows him wearing his blue TSA shirt at the time of the arrest.

The attack may be the first piece of proof that the new scanners may be leaving too little to the imagination.

The $170,000 machines, which were introduced last year, took some heat from fliers who weren’t quite ready to show their bod to government employees.

But if this latest incident is any indication, the scanners sound like good news for anti-terrorism and bad news for less-than-average men.

Oklahoma Passes Bill Outlawing Militia Recruitment

Last week the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill that equates recruiting militia members to recruiting gang members.

“Recruiting membership in an unauthorized militia or the Ku Klux Klan would be a crime if legislation approved Thursday by the House of Representatives becomes law. ‘This is making unauthorized militias illegal,’ said Rep. Mike Shelton, the amendment’s author,” News OK reported on Thursday.

Shelton wants to send people to prison who do not ask the state for permission to form a militia. If the bill becomes law, it will likely be challenged as unconstitutional. However, the bill and its passage in the Oklahoma House reveals there is support on the part of lawmakers to deny citizens their rights under the First Amendment (specifically, the right to peaceably assemble).

A news report video on the law can be viewed here.

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New Study: Drug law enforcement contributes to gun violence and high homicide rates and increasingly sophisticated methods of disrupting organizations involved in drug distribution could unintentionally increase violence

See also: Study links drug enforcement to more violence

Today, the newly formed International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP) released their first report: Effect of Drug Law Enforcement on Drug-Related Violence: Evidence from a Scientific Review.

“Given the growing emphasis on evidence-based policy-making and the ongoing severe violence attributable to drug gangs in many countries around the world, a systematic review of the available English language scientific literature was conducted to examine the impacts of drug law enforcement interventions on drug market violence.”

The results of the review found that “an increase in drug law enforcement interventions to disrupt drug markets is unlikely to reduce violence attributable to drug gangs. Instead, from an evidence-based public policy perspective and based on several decades of available data, the existing evidence strongly suggests that drug law enforcement contributes to gun violence and high homicide rates and that increasingly sophisticated methods of disrupting organizations involved in drug distribution could unintentionally increase violence. In this context, and since drug prohibition has not achieved its stated goal of reducing drug supply, alternative models for drug control may need to be considered if drug-related violence is to be meaningfully reduced.”

San Francisco City workers banned from official travel to Arizona

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced today a moratorium on official city travel to Arizona after the state enacted a controversial new immigration law that directs local police to arrest those suspected of being in the country illegally.

The ban on city employee travel to Arizona takes effect immediately, although there are some exceptions, including for law enforcement officials investigating a crime, officials said. It’s unclear how many planned trips by city workers will be curtailed.

The move comes amid a cascade of criticism of Arizona’s law, which has been denounced by civil rights groups, some police officials and President Obama, who said it threatens to “undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.” Legal challenges are being weighed to overturn it.

San Francisco’s move comes as the Board of Supervisors introduced non-binding resolutions calling for comprehensive immigration reform and a boycott of Arizona because of the new law, which requires police to try to determine the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspect of being in the country illegally. There are also online boycott campaigns calling for everything from a boycott of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team to the Grand Canyon.

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Pima County, Arizon, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik objects to new immigration law

An Arizona sheriff says he has “no intention of complying” with the state’s “abominable” new immigration law, which he describes as a “national embarrassment.”

Last week, Arizona Governor Janice Kay “Jan” Brewer signed a controversial bill that authorizes state police to stop people they suspect may be illegal immigrants and demand identification.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik said he would like Brewer to know “what she and the legislature has accomplished is morally wrong and a national embarrassment,” ABC News reported.

The sheriff called the law abominable and said he did not intend to comply with it, because it was “racist.”

Northcom Backs Out of National Level Exercise 2010

Northcom has unexpectedly withdrawn from participation in National Level Exercise (NLE) with FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Defense announced on April 26 it was decoupling its Ardent Sentry exercise from the National Level Exercise.

Ardent Sentry is a Joint Chiefs of Staff directed and Northcom sponsored “homeland defense” exercise. It is one of a number of DoD and Homeland Security exercises that blur the boundaries between the Pentagon, the federal government, and state and local governments under the guise of combating terrorism and responding to natural disasters.

The Pentagon said it decided against the exercise after Las Vegas, the planned site for a post-nuclear-attack response exercise, pulled out in November, fearing a negative impact on its struggling business environment, according to the Washington Times. Officials said a new site could not be found.

“The official also said the Northern Command’s exercise plans for ‘cooping’ — continuity of operations, during which commanders go to off-site locations — also had been scratched,” writes Rowan Scarborough for the newspaper.

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Mexico warns citizens in Arizona

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The Mexican government warned its citizens Tuesday to use extreme caution if visiting Arizona because of a tough new law that requires all immigrants and visitors to carry U.S.-issued documents or risk arrest.

And a government-affiliated agency that supports Mexicans living and working in the United States called for boycotts of Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns until those organizations rebuke the law.

“We are making a strong call to the Arizona government to retract this regressive and racist law that’s impacting not only residents of Arizona, but people in all 50 states and in Mexico as well,” said Raul Murillo, who works with the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, an autonomous agency of Mexico’s Foreign Ministry.

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TSA applesauce “assault” case thrown out

A 58-year-old woman who was arrested, strip-searched, and handcuffed last year for grabbing her cooler (filled with applesauce and yogurt for her 93-year-old mother) from a Burbank airport Transportation Security Administration employee finally had her case thrown out.

Source

Three More Domestic Spying Programs Revealed

The Department of Homeland Security is acknowledging the existence of three more government programs charged with spying on American citizens in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The programs — Pantheon, Pathfinder and Organizational Shared Space — used a variety of software tools to gather and analyze information about Americans, according to documents obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting. The DHS turned over the papers in response to a December 2008 Freedom of Information Act request. The documents shed new light on the proliferation of domestic intelligence and surveillance efforts after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, according to the CIR:

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Deportation’s Harmful Effect on Children

This brief from the International Human Rights Law Clinic University of California, Berkeley School of Law , In the Child’s Best Interest? The Consequences of Losing a Lawful Immigrant Parent to Deportation states “Congress is considering a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws more than a decade after the enactment of strict immigration measures. Lawmakers should take this opportunity to reaffirm the nation’s historic commitment to family unity by addressing the discrete provisions that currently undermine it. Current U.S. immigration laws mandate deportation of lawful permanent resident (LPR) parents of thousands of U.S. citizen children, without providing these parents an opportunity to challenge their forced separations. Through a multi-disciplinary analysis, this policy brief examines the experiences of U.S. citizen children impacted by the forced deportation of their LPR parents and proposes ways to reform U.S. law consistent with domestic and international standards aimed to improve the lives of children.”

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Child rape charge rocks TSA

A Transportation Security Administration worker who pats down members of the flying public was charged with multiple child sex crimes targeting an underage girl yesterday.

The bust outraged privacy and passenger advocates who say it justifies their fears about Logan International Airport’s full-body scanner.

“It’s a huge, huge issue,” said Kate Hinni of FlyersrRights.org. “The TSA needs a complete overhaul . . . If you have a pedophile looking at those naked pictures, they’ve got all your information, it’s a gross violation of their authority. . . . They should make sure none of them is corrupted in any deviant sexual manner.”

Sean Shanahan, 44, of Winthrop was held on $50,000 bail after he was charged with two counts of statutory rape, two counts of enticing a minor and one count of indecent assault and battery. He was arrested yesterday at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he had checked himself in after a suicide threat, prosecutors said.

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CNN poll confirms: Most Americans believe their government is a threat to their welfare

A majority of Americans think the federal government poses a threat to rights of Americans, according to a new national poll.

Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government’s become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Forty-four percent of those polled disagree.

The survey indicates a partisan divide on the question: only 37 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents and nearly 7 in 10 Republicans say the federal government poses a threat to the rights of Americans.

According to CNN poll numbers released Sunday, Americans overwhelmingly think that the U.S. government is broken – though the public overwhelmingly holds out hope that what’s broken can be fixed.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted February 12-15, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall survey.

Major Drug Conference in Mexican Drug War Says Prohibition Has Failed, Calls for New Policy

Coming as Mexico‘s war on drugs turns bloodier by the day, the conference concluded that current prohibitionist policies are a disaster.

Editor’s Note: With 137 people killled last week in the Mexican drug war, a conference on this topic couldn’t come at a more opportune time.

On Monday and Tuesday in Mexico City, political figures, academics, social scientists, security experts, and activists from at least six countries came together for the Winds of Change: Drug Policy in the World conference sponsored by the Mexico City-based Collective for an Integrated Drug Policy (CUPHID). Coming as Mexico’s war on drugs turns bloodier by the day, the conference unsurprisingly concluded that current prohibitionist policies are a disaster.

“The principal conclusion is that we need a more integrated drug policy based on prevention, scientific evidence, and full respect for human rights,” summarized CUPHID president Jorge Hernandez Tinajero. “It remains clear that, yes, there exist alternatives to the current strategy.”

In a press release after the conference, CUPHID emphasized the following points:

  • The so-called war on drugs has failed and, without doubt, we need “winds of change” to advance toward alternative policies to address the problematic of drugs across the globe.
  • The prohibitionist paradigm has been ineffective, and furthermore, for the majority of countries it has implied grave violations of human rights and individual guarantees, discrimination, and social exclusion, as well as an escalation of violence that grows day by day, ever broadening the scope of impunity for organized crime.
  • Drugs are never going to disappear. Thus, a more realistic drug policy should focus on minimizing the harms associated with drug use – overdoses, blood-borne diseases like HIV/AIDS, and violence. This concept is known as “harm reduction,” and must be the backbone of any drug policy.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department buys gear from company targeted by sweatshop investigators

The Safariland website is a virtual big box retailer of tactical equipment, chemical weapons and forensics for police departments, military and private security contractors. The Premium Wallbanger System is used for SWAT team entry operations and can create a shooting port through a wall. It can use an explosive charge to breach metal doors and provides OVC spray coverage. The Protech brand makes a rifle threat plate that can withstand multiple rounds from an AK-47. The DeltaNu Reporter is a handheld illicit drug identification system. The Monadnock Autolock defender baton is expandable and comes with a guard for hand protection.

In the early days Safariland kept it simple. The Ontario-based multinational corporation birthed in a ’60s suburban Los Angeles garage was known for custom holsters. The manufacturer claims that 70 percent of peace officers in North America currently use Safariland duty gear. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department purchases duty gear from the manufacturer.

Decades of growth and a series of mergers and acquisitions has left Safariland the flagship of 19 companies under control of the British defense contractor BAE Systems. The free trade business model of the ’90s put Safariland in a factory in Mexico well before the consolidation with BAE systems took place. The North America Free Trade Agreement fueled the growth of maquiladoras. The border factories import materials into Mexico for assembly and then re-export them to the U.S. to enter the global marketplace.

The treaty made conditions ripe for economic and environmental exploitation. The effect of the duty-free and tax-free provisions of NAFTA that leave little or in most circumstances zero development in the communities the workers live.

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San Bernardino County sheriff says deputies will not ask immigration status on the street

In a department address Thursday, San Bernardino County’s sheriff reaffirmed positions on two hot-button topics, saying deputies would enforce medical marijuana laws though he feels they’re “greatly flawed,” and only broach someone’s immigration status inside jails.

Rod Hoops delivered a wide-ranging state of the department address, his first since being appointed last February, to a roomful of county leaders and sheriff’s staff. A theme was cost-saving measures he has already taken, and ones still in the works.

That’s when he noted the cooperation with U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, which recently resulted in a new three-year agreement to help identify illegal immigrants booked into county jails.

Officials have said the program helps cut the long-term cost of housing such suspects. Jail staff is trained to screen inmates for their immigration status, and if applicable, refer them to ICE for possible deportation.

“We will not target anyone from a specific country, and our department does not enforce immigration laws,” Hoops said, emphasizing that screenings only take place in jails, not in contact deputies have on the street.

A local immigration advocate said later that his longstanding worry with the program still exists: that it often results in the deportation of individuals arrested for relatively minor offenses.

“Continuing the agreement undermines the trust in the community,” Emilio Amaya, executive director of the San Bernardino Community Service Center, said later by phone. “It gives argument to people who say they’re afraid to come forward and report crimes.”

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Manifesto of Joe Stack

If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, “Why did this have to happen?”  The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time.  The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isn’t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken.  Needless to say, this rant could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it.  I find the process of writing it frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless… especially given my gross inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in my head.  Exactly what is therapeutic about that I’m not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

We are all taught as children that without laws there would be no society, only anarchy.  Sadly, starting at early ages we in this country have been brainwashed to believe that, in return for our dedication and service, our government stands for justice for all.  We are further brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should be ready to lay our lives down for the noble principals represented by its founding fathers.  Remember? One of these was “no taxation without representation”.  I have spent the total years of my adulthood unlearning that crap from only a few years of my childhood.  These days anyone who really stands up for that principal is promptly labeled a “crackpot”, traitor and worse.

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Report to Congress about the USA PATRIOT Act

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, released a new report Report to Congress on Implementation of Section 1001 of the USA PATRIOT Act.

This report details “Section 1001 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Patriot Act), Public Law 107-56, directs the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ or Department) to undertake a series of actions related to claims of civil rights or civil liberties violations allegedly committed by DOJ employees. It also requires the OIG to provide semiannual reports to Congress on the implementation of the OIG’s responsibilities under Section 1001.”

DHS Controls Over Firearms

Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General Report, DHS Controls Over Firearms

This report addresses the efficacy of the Department of Homeland Security‘s management and oversight of its components to ensure that personnel are sufficiently safeguarding and controlling firearms. It is based on interviews with employees and officials of relevant agencies and institutions, direct observations, and a review of applicable documents.

Recommendations by the Office of Inspector General to the DHS Undersecretary for Management are:

• Develop department-wide policies and procedures for safeguarding and controlling firearms; and
• Assess firearm security equipment needs for each officer assigned a firearm, issue security equipment as needed, and reaffirm to each officer the requirement to always properly secure firearms.

Former New York Police Commissioner Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

New York, February 20 (RHC)– Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Bailey “Bernie” Kerik has been sentenced to four years in prison. Kerik pleaded guilty in November to lying to the White House when he was nominated to head the Department of Homeland Security.

The former Commish admitted to tax evasion and receiving renovations from a construction firm linked to organized crime. Bernard Kerik will remain under house arrest until he begins his sentence in May.

Phony US Marshal Apprehends, Deports Woman

A Hemet man who passed himself off as a U.S. Marshal was able to enter San Diego International Airport with a “prisoner” after convincing airport security officers he was a federal agent, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.

Suzanne Trevino, spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, said in a telephone interview that an investigation has revealed that someone who presented “falsified law enforcement documents” was able to get past security and eventually make it to a gate with a prisoner. The individual presented himself as a law enforcement officer and followed the proper procedures, including logging in, she said.

The agency learned about the incident after being contacted by “local law enforcement” about the potential breach in security.

“We are working with law enforcement and other departments to make sure this does not happen again,” Trevino said.

Trevino declined to discuss what law enforcement officers are required to do to verify their status, or what policy changes have taken place since the incident.

After the “prisoner” took off in a plane, Trevino said, the individual left the airport.

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Homeland Security Releases Annual FOIA Report

The Department of Homeland Security has released the 2009 Freedom of Information Act Report. The report shows that the Department processed over 160,000 requests in the past year, with 27,182 requests remaining pending. Of the requests processed, 11% were granted in full, 60% were classified as “partial grants/partial denials,” and the remaining 29% were denied in full. The overwhelming majority of backlogged requests and appeals are pending at the Customs and Immigration Service. For denied requests with processed appeals, nearly 30% were fully reversed on appeal, and another 32% were reversed in part. EPIC currently has two FOIA cases pending against the Department relating to its use of Body Scanner machines. For more information, see EPIC v. DHS, EPIC FOIA Litigation Docket.

Arrested TSA worker asked girl to be his ’sex slave’

A Transportation Security Administration employee in Florida is behind bars this weekend after a 15-year-old girl claimed he groped her and asked if she would be his “sex slave,” according to published reports.

Charles Henry Bennett, a 57-year-old TSA worker at Orlando International Airport, is being held without bail after he reportedly confessed to a version of the described events, even acknowledging his shocking request. The girl was allegedly 13 at the time. According to a police report discussed in area media, Bennett allegedly grabbed the girl’s breasts from behind and solicited her.

“It’s unclear exactly where the alleged abuse took place and how Bennett and the girl met, because the arrest report detailing the abuse is heavily redacted,” local news site Florida Today noted.

The arrest was a product of an investigation initiated after the Florida Department of Children and Families was informed of the girl’s allegations, the publication added.

Multiple news agencies cited Bennett’s MySpace page, but none linked readers directly to it. On the page attributed to Bennett, text describes him as “a BDSM Master” with “many years experience in the lifestyle and as a trainer.”

BDSM is an acronym commonly used to refer to sexual fetishes that fall in the bondage, dominance, submission and masochism categories.

“I am very open minded n expect the same from friends. I enjoy meeting new ppl in the lifestyle and those that r curious,” the page adds, concluding that its owner is searching for “Submissive females”.

“Police said the girl was reluctant to provide specific details about the incident and appeared sullen,” NBC affiliate WESH 2 in Orlando reported. “They said she also expressed sorrow at the prospect of Bennett being arrested. While she did not report any other episodes of abuse, she did not deny other acts of sexual assault occurred, the police report said.”

Mexicans Say U.S. Drug Crackdown Feeds Violence

Washington, DC, United States (AHN) – A Mexican law enforcement agency is blaming recent violence along the border in large part to a U.S. crackdown on drug traffickers, prompting skepticism from American government agencies.

Mexico’s Secretariat of Public Security (Secretaría de Seguridad Pública) reported that in the past six months the value of cocaine in Mexico has escalated from $431 million to $811 million because fewer of the illegal shipments are making their way into the United States since Barack Obama assumed the presidency.

Obama administration anti-drug efforts have included sending an additional 400 Department of Homeland Security agents to the border, which included specialists from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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A Message From Transport Canada

Most U.S. Union Members Are Working for the Government, New Data Shows

[ You allow your police to form labor unions, then think you can ever be free from crime?  Or free at all?  Stupid Merikins. ]

For the first time in American history, a majority of union members are government workers rather than private-sector employees, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced on Friday.

In its annual report on union membership, the bureau undercut the longstanding notion that union members are overwhelmingly blue-collar factory workers. It found that membership fell so fast in the private sector in 2009 that the 7.9 million unionized public-sector workers easily outnumbered those in the private sector, where labor’s ranks shrank to 7.4 million, from 8.2 million in 2008.

“There has been steady growth among union members in the public sector, but I’m a little bit shocked to see that the lines have actually crossed,” said Randel K. Johnson, senior vice president for labor at the United States Chamber of Commerce.

According to the labor bureau, 7.2 percent of private-sector workers were union members last year, down from 7.6 percent the previous year. That, labor historians said, was the lowest percentage of private-sector workers in unions since 1900.

Among government workers, union membership grew to 37.4 percent last year, from 36.8 percent in 2008.

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Government posting wealth of data to Internet

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Friday is posting to the Internet a wealth of government data from all Cabinet-level departments, on topics ranging from child car seats to Medicare services.

The mountain of newly available information comes a year and a day after President Barack Obama promised on his first full day on the job an open, transparent government.

Under a Dec. 8 White House directive, each department must post online at least three collections of “high-value” government data that never have been previously disclosed.

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The Universal Soldier

He’s five foot-two, and he’s six feet-four,
He fights with missiles and with spears.
He’s all of thirty-one, and he’s only seventeen,
Been a soldier for a thousand years.

He’a a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain,
A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew.
And he knows he shouldn’t kill,
And he knows he always will,
Kill you for me my friend and me for you.

And he’s fighting for Canada,
He’s fighting for France,
He’s fighting for the USA,
And he’s fighting for the Russians,
And he’s fighting for Japan,
And he thinks we’ll put an end to war this way.

And he’s fighting for Democracy,
He’s fighting for the Reds,
He says it’s for the peace of all.
He’s the one who must decide,
Who’s to live and who’s to die,
And he never sees the writing on the wall.

But without him,
How would Hitler have condemned him at Dachau?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone,
He’s the one who gives his body
As a weapon of the war,
And without him all this killing can’t go on.

He’s the Universal Soldier and he really is to blame,
His orders come from far away no more,
They come from here and there and you and me,
And brothers can’t you see,
This is not the way we put the end to war.

Chords:- F,G7,C,Am Dm,Em

Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio Investigated by Federal Grand Jury

PHOENIX —  Two officials said Thursday night they have been subpoenaed to answer questions next week before a federal grand jury about a high-profile Arizona sheriff who gained attention for aggressively cracking down on illegal immigration.

In statements read by a county spokesman, Maricopa County Manager David Smith and Deputy County Manager Sandi Wilson said they met with a federal prosecutor to discuss the case and will testify Wednesday.

Wilson said the general subject of the inquiry was abuses by Sheriff Joseph M. “Joe” Arpaio‘s office. Neither Wilson nor Smith offered specifics, said county spokesman Richard de Uriarte, who spoke with the two officials Thursday night.

Arpaio is widely known for tough jail policies and pushing the bounds on local immigration efforts. He has led a dozen crime and immigration sweeps, some in heavily Latino areas.

Critics allege that some of Arpaio’s deputies racially profiled people during immigration sweeps. But Arpaio maintains that people pulled over in the sweeps were approached because deputies had probable cause to believe they had committed crimes.

Sheriff’s spokesman Brian Lee said Arpaio was declining to comment on reports of the investigation. “He has stated that we will conduct business as usual,” Lee said.

Sandy Raynor, a spokeswoman for the U.S attorney’s office in Phoenix, said she couldn’t confirm or deny a grand jury investigation.

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Just a reminder to the pig-sucking, brain-dead, flacid, perpetually-Recovering City of Big Bear Lake Council

Paul Chabot would love this commercial:

Teens Too Smart To Buy Anti-Drug Ads

A kid of about 13 wanders through a house party.  He goes outside where there are a quartet of pot smokers who offer him a joint.

He thinks for a moment, then there are all these quick flashes of him with pills, hiding stuff under his bed, getting into fights with his family, falling asleep in class and getting busted at school.

The ad implies that trying pot once will turn you into a full-on drug fiend within days.  This flies in the face of all science on the subject, but since when were facts used in anti-drug ads?

So the kid just shrugs and goes back into the party — ostensibly to eat more junk food and, quaff ‘energy drinks’, and listen to L’il Wayne and Snoop Dogg.

Does anyone really think kids will believe this fear-mongering balderdash?

In the 1980s, when I was a teen, they tried to stuff all this ‘Just Say No’ stuff down our throats and all it did was make us think that adults were morons.  If this new ad campaign is anywhere near as effective as previous government-run, anti-marijuana messages, we should see the number of teen drug users increase 10% within the next few years.


Now, instead of representing their constituents, like the pretty girl above, our mayor and council work for these guys…

Top row:  Rodney (“Baby Rod”) Hoops and Floyd Tidwell.  Bottom row: Gary Penrod and Cindy Beavers

And these guys work by preying on you.

Bob (RIP) and Mayor Liz, by the way, used to run a little back-room operation from their tourist shop.  They would purchase and re-sell meals to the Sheriff’s Department for their inmates.  They could have bought them direct, but were feeding their sheep while primping for the Master’s Work.

Liz, you’re supposed to be a psychologist.  Do you remember that little thing that Erikson called “ego integrity?”  Where will you find yours?  Tell the truth, Doc.

Gerald Celente Interview – Words of wisdom

Gerald Celente in Wikipedia

Trends Research Institute

Trends Journal

National Geographic’s ‘Border Wars’

National Geographic’s Border Wars: Incident Reports

National Geographic’s new series Border Wars premieres this Sunday, January 10. The series follows United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and officers at one of the busiest border crossings in the country, Nogales, Arizona and Heroica Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Cameras follow the CBP agents “as they use every means at their disposal – from high-tech stealth planes to basic wilderness skills – to track, catch and deport illegal immigrants.”

In addition to videos, photos, and behind-the-scenes video diaries, the companion website features Weekly Incident Reports and a Border Agent Simulation Game .

Additionally, the website features a webpage entitled Narco State , which includes video, photos, and facts on the area’s drug war.

EPIC Posts TSA Documents on Body Scanners

The Electronic Privacy Information Center has posted more than 250 pages of documents it obtained in  a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit concerning body scanners. The documents, released by the Department of Homeland Security, reveal that Whole Body Imaging machines can record, store, and transmit digital strip search images of Americans. This contradicts assurances made by the Transportation Security Administration. The documents include TSA Procurement Specifications, TSA Operational Requirements, TSA contract with L3, TSA contract with Rapiscan (1), and TSA contract with Rapiscan (2). The DHS has withheld other documents that EPIC is seeking. For more information, see EPIC: Whole Body Imaging Technology and EPIC: Open Government.

Officials Hid Truth of Immigrant Deaths in Jail

Silence has long shrouded the men and women who die in the nation’s immigration jails. For years, they went uncounted and unnamed in the public record. Even in 2008, when The New York Times obtained and published a federal government list of such deaths, few facts were available about who these people were and how they died.

But behind the scenes, it is now clear, the deaths had already generated thousands of pages of government documents, including scathing investigative reports that were kept under wraps, and a trail of confidential memos and BlackBerry messages that show officials working to stymie outside inquiry.

The documents, obtained over recent months by The Times and the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act, concern most of the 107 deaths in detention counted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement since October 2003, after the agency was created within the Department of Homeland Security.

The Obama administration has vowed to overhaul immigration detention, a haphazard network of privately run jails, federal centers and county cells where the government holds noncitizens while it tries to deport them.

But as the administration moves to increase oversight within the agency, the documents show how officials — some still in key positions — used their role as overseers to cover up evidence of mistreatment, deflect scrutiny by the news media or prepare exculpatory public statements after gathering facts that pointed to substandard care or abuse.

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Mexican Who Tried to Stop Cop from Fondling Woman May Be Deported

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – An undocumented Mexican immigrant is facing possible deportation after he was arrested for trying to defend his girlfriend from a Charlotte police officer accused of sexual assault on three women, two of them Hispanic.

Police in North Carolina’s largest city revealed on Wednesday that a third victim, a 37-year-old Mexican woman who was not identified, filed a complaint against Marcus Jackson, 25, because he had sexually assaulted her.

Jackson has been under arrest since Dec. 30 in the Mecklenburg County jail, with bail set at almost $500,000, for two previous accusations by a Latina and an African-American woman of kidnapping, extortion, assault, sexual abuse and indecent exposure.

The third victim, who is undocumented, said that on Dec. 29, when she was going home at night, Jackson stopped her in the parking lot of the apartment complex where she lives.

She also said that eight weeks earlier the same officer had fondled her breasts.

In the Dec. 29 incident, police say, the boyfriend of the victim tried to stop the abuse by calling 911 but Jackson seized his telephone and arrested him for resisting a police officer.

The Mexican man spent six days in the Charlotte jail and was subjected to the 287g program, which determined that he entered the country without the proper papers.

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White House Review of Christmas Terror Attempt Now Available

Unclassified Summary of December 25, 2009 Terror Plot

The Obama White House has just released this unclassified review of the events leading to the attempted bombing on board a commercial airliner en route from Amsterdam to Detroit on December 25, 2009. This event, widely reported in the domestic and international press, made clear to Americans that the counter-terror system meant to protect them is not perfect, even when information is available to spy agencies. In response, President Obama publicly expressed his anger at these counter-terror agencies for this security lapse and ordered a classified review of the matter.

Executive Memo With Recommendations

See the video with Obama’s comments from today here

See also ODNI‘s Press Statement regarding Obama’s chastisement.

Finally, see the assessment by the Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism

Federal Agencies Need Not Confirm or Deny Electronic Surveillance under FOIA

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed that the National Security Agency and the Department of Justice do not need to confirm or deny the existence of electronic surveillance records under the Freedom of Information Act. The appellate court found that federal agencies are allowed to file “Glomar” responses, which were first judicially recognized in 1976 and grant an agency express refusal to even confirm or deny the existence of any records responsive to a FOIA request in the national security context.

The lawsuit was brought by advocates for former Guantanamo Bay detainees after the agencies invoked FOIA exceptions to information request regarding warrantless electronic surveillance conducted by the Terrorist Surveillance Program.

Get more particulars here.

Here comes “Pinky” for his final disgrace

[ Before making a big mistake, insist that "Pinky" Stout debate Mike Ramos in public and make a recording available on the Internet.  This jerk can hardly tie his shoes.  He was put into office by the military/prison-industrial complex mafia bosses, in an era of secrecy and censorship.  He was chosen for his ignorant obedience.  Let's see how he looks when we can really see him. By the way, MID/PID scum:  You don't run this county any more. ]

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SAN BERNARDINO – Former district attorney Dennis Stout says he’s ‘committed’ to winning back his old job.

Stout is determined to root out government corruption…

“During eight years that I was district attorney, we prosecuted over fifty major corruption cases. By the time I completed my second term, corruption in San Bernardino County was pretty much under control. But, during the last seven years, it has reared its ugly head again.”

Stout did not seek re-election in 2002 and was replaced by Mike Ramos.

Stout expects to make a formal campaign announcement within two weeks. (INT)

Story Date: January 6, 2010

Rival Gangs Doing Business Together in L.A.

LOS ANGELES — Some neighborhoods in Southern California are experiencing a kind of truce between rival gangs that used to fight each other.

The decrease in gang violence in recent years has led some experts to theorize that gangs are now working together.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Los Angeles told La Opinión that although they are not investigating a particular case of collaboration between rival gangs, they are aware of a trend in which gangs of different ethnicities are working together.

“We know Latino gangs are working with African-American gangs to get drugs or arms, and we are already doing intelligence work,” said Robert Clark, special agent with the FBI’s Criminal Division. “It’s a trend we are seeing among different groups. And I think if they see an opportunity to collaborate across these barriers, they’re going to take it,” he added.
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Wife of slain El Monte civic leader didn’t think drug war would touch her family

[ When you live in a democratic society, you are equally responsible for the crimes you allow your "po-po" to commit.  Take back control of your life from him  Stop the drug war. See Law Enforcement Against Prohibtion. ]

Betzy Salcedo cited an old Mexican saying: He who doesn’t owe anything has nothing to fear. She always figured that people who had nothing to do with drug trafficking would not be targets in the country they loved.

The wife of Agustin Roberto “Bobby” Salcedo, the El Monte civic leader abducted and killed in Durango, Mexico, during a vacation with her, talked to The Times’s Mexico City Bureau chief Tracy Wilkinson about what happened.

“We were just going out with a group of friends,” Betzy Salcedo said, speaking slowly and casting her eyes downward. “You are careful, you look around, but you never think this kind of thing can happen … to innocent people. We were having a good time. Then we were in the mouth of the wolf.”

Hours later, Bobby Salcedo was dead, hauled away from the bar with five other men, their bodies dumped in a dried-grass field on the outskirts of town.

Arrangements were being made Saturday to repatriate Salcedo’s body. The 33-year-old, who was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, was an assistant principal and school board member in El Monte.

His slaying underscores the random volatility of the violence in Mexico and the ease with which the pain it causes can seep past the country’s borders.

Read Tracy Wilkinson’s full story here.

Group slams Chertoff on scanner promotion

Since the attempted bombing of a US airliner on Christmas Day, former Department of Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff has given dozens of media interviews touting the need for the federal government to buy more full-body scanners for airports.

What he has made little mention of is that the Chertoff Group, his security consulting agency, includes a client that manufactures the machines. Chertoff disclosed the relationship on a CNN program Wednesday, in response to a question.

An airport passengers’ rights group on Thursday criticized Chertoff’s use of his former government credentials to advocate for a product that benefits his clients.

“Mr. Chertoff should not be allowed to abuse the trust the public has placed in him as a former public servant to privately gain from the sale of full-body scanners under the pretense that the scanners would have detected this particular type of explosive,’’ said Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights.org, which opposes the use of the scanners.

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7,724 Slain in Mexico in 2009

MEXICO CITY – Last year was the deadliest in Mexico in the past decade, with 7,724 people killed in violent incidents attributed to organized crime, Mexico City daily El Universal said on Friday.

That total translates into an average of more than 21 homicides a day.

The newspaper, which has been keeping a daily tally of the number of deaths from Mexico’s drug war, said there have been 16,205 organized crime-related killings in Mexico since President Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa took office in December 2006.

Chihuahua was far and away the most violent state in Mexico last year, with 3,250 murders, followed by Sinaloa (930), Durango (734), Guerrero (672), Baja California (444), Michoacan and Sonora, according to El Universal.

Mexican authorities do not provide homicide figures stemming from the cartels’ battles with each other and the security forces.

The Mexican government has deployed more than 40,000 soldiers and 20,000 federal police nationwide to combat the drug cartels and other organized criminal outfits in the country’s most violence-ridden states.

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Hemet-San Jacinto Valley gang task force targeted by explosives

Members of the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley Gang Task Force were the apparent targets by someone who rigged the group’s building to explode, said Hemet Police Department Lt. Duane Wisehart.

The building is located in the 500 block St. John Place although there are no signs that the group is housed there, Wisehart said.

According to a news release, unknown persons manually rigged the building in an attempt to cause an explosion. Officers arriving for work Thursday discovered the plot and vacated the premises.

“We are lucky they found what they did,” Wisehart said by telephone. “Otherwise someone could have been seriously hurt or killed.”

Wisehart said there is no doubt the task force members were the target. He declined to describe how the building was rigged to explode, but said it was armed to go off by movement within the structure, rather than by a timer.

Emergency crews and the Sheriff’s Hazardous Device Team are in the process of making the building safe, so that the investigation can continue.

Wisehart said the task force includes members of the Hemet Police Department, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside County Probation Department and others.

Old school meth: Mexican cartels go back to basics

Mexican cartels are increasingly going “old school” to keep supplying America with methamphetamine despite an ingredient squeeze.

Some gangs have responded to a Mexican crackdown on their meth chemical of choice — pseudoephedrine — by reviving a production method so old, it was used by U.S. motorcycle gangs and bathtub chemists in the 1970s and ’80s, recent seizures show.

The re-emergence of the “P2P method” demonstrates how frustrating it is to crack down on a synthetic drug that — unlike cocaine, heroin and marijuana — comes from recipes of chemical ingredients, known as “precursors,” instead of a plant.

When police succeed in cutting off the supply of one precursor, traffickers move on to or make another.

“Chemical restrictions are like squeezing mud, the stuff just comes out between your fingers,” said Steve Preisler, who wrote the “Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture” under the nom de plume Uncle Fester and is considered the father of modern meth-making. “They make life difficult for the smurfers (home producers) but for people with connections, well, they find it to be no problem at all.”
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The Nevada gambler, al-Qaida, the CIA and the mother of all cons

The intelligence reports fitted the suspicions of the time: al-Qaida sleeper agents were scattered across the US awaiting orders that were broadcast in secret codes over the al-Jazeera television network.

Flights from Britain and France were cancelled. Officials warned of a looming “spectacular attack” to rival 9/11. In 2003 President George W. Bush‘s homeland security tsar, Thomas Joseph Ridge, spoke of a “credible source” whose information had US military bracing for a new terrorist onslaught.

Then suddenly no more was said.

Six years later, Playboy magazine has revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency fell victim to an elaborate con by a compulsive gambler who claimed to have developed software that discovered al-Jazeera broadcasts were being used to transmit messages to terrorists buried deep in America.

Dennis Montgomery, 56, the co-owner of a software gaming company in Nevada, who has since been arrested for bouncing $1m worth of cheques, claims his program read messages hidden in barcodes listing international flights to the US, their positions and airports to be targeted.

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