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Obama: "If people can't trust government, we're going to have some problems here."
Most citizens - the one's who are aware - do not trust Obama, because he has lied to them so often.
During his speech in San Jose, California on Friday, President Obama took one question from the press on national security monitoring of Americans.
Without any sense of irony or shame whatsoever, regarding the flood of other Obama conspiracies and scandals...
• 'Fast & Furious' scheme supplying guns to Mexico's drug gangs,
• in the aftermath of the IRS’ targeting of conservatives,
• the administration’s stonewalling on Benghazi 9/11 attack,
• the Department of Justice’s targeting of reporters,
• the Department of Health and Human Services’ leveraging of private organizations for Obamacare public relations cash,
• the Environmental Protection Agency’s secret email addresses,
• the EPA release of info on 80,000 farmers, to radical liberal environmental groups and nut-jobs.
Obama unloaded this clueless line:
"If people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress, and don’t trust federal judges, to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here."
Of course, that trust has been carelessly eroded and intentionally destroyed - by the least transparent administration in American history.
But Obama added, “You can shout Big Brother or program run amok, but if you actually look at the details, I think we’ve struck the right balance.”
Take notice: Obama always uses a variation of the propaganda phrase "fair and/or balanced" all the time? Turns out, every time he uses those two words, someone is getting screwed by Obama.
- If perusing phone numbers and the internet is so innocuous as the government claims, why must it be so classified? They are behaving as though there is something much bigger they are trying to hide.
- Think about this ... the Washington Post, which helped break Watergate in 1972, needed to ask the corrupt Obama government's permission about running Snowden's valid story.
- "The wall of secrecy behind which they operate" aimed at invading the private lives of honest hard working Americans and track their every move.
It is being done by these pathetic, dishonest and unscrupulous Obama clones in Washington... who are intentionally destroying the American traditional values with their socialistic strategies.
In Obama's America... you are either with them, or you are an enemy of the liberal state
• The Obama run EPA released the private information on 80,000 farmers to liberal environmental groups
• Obama has very close ties with Google's Chairman Eric Schmidt. In fact, they formed a company called CIVIS to do political data-mining, which is highly credited with Obama's re-election.
• The Obama run IRS targets non-liberals and Obama opponents during the 2012 presidential. They also released confidential personal information to liberal attack groups.
• Eric Holder secretly wire taps 100 phones lines of the AP.
• The Obama Administration fought to keep a search warrant for FOX News James Rosen’s private e-mail account secret, arguing to a federal judge that the government might need to monitor the account for a lengthy period of time.
They suggested he was a criminal and a flight risk to keep the search warrant secret. Eric Holder had to go the three judges, before he got approval. The judge who finally signed off on the warrant - has since apologized for abuse of Rosen civil rights.
• Eric Holder testified before Congress in May, stating there was no illegal monitoring of targeting of media or reporters. He lied under oath.
• The Obama run NSA has been exposed by an insider, for monitoring all American's phone and internet activity, for data mining purposes.
• James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, testified before Congress in April, stating there was no monitoring of targeting of Americans citizens. He lied under oath.
The Obama administration tells us to trust him with this latest NSA exposure... claiming it is for our safety and the information will not be abused. But we assumed the IRS was not part of the Obama political scheme - and it is.
The Obama administration tells us to trust him with this latest NSA exposure... claiming it is for our safety and the information can't be abused, because a judge has to sign off on targeted monitoring of Americans.
But the Obama administration Justice Dept. has been caught red-handed fabricating details of their media targeting, to get a judge to sign off based on false information.
• Remember back to the 2008 presidential election... when an Obama support group called ACORN, were caught fabricating and falsifying voter registration sign-ups - for Obama.
Your president has deceived you with false words and promises for more than four years...
So now we know what the White House's "secret interpretation" of the Patriot Act is all about.
"When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act," said Sen. Mark Wyden (D-Ore.) two years ago, "they will be stunned and they will be angry."
As a member of the Intelligence Committee, Wyden would say no more than that. So it was up to an anonymous whistle-blower to spill the beans instead.
As you likely know by now, the National Security Agency is vacuuming up the phone call records of every Verizon customer in the United States... and has been since April 25, under a ruling from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court.
At least. For all we know, additional rulings preceded this one and cover other phone companies.
"The unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is extremely unusual," reports the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald. (Go figure, it took an American living in Brazil and blogging for a British newspaper to get the scoop.)
"FISA court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific named target who is suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets."
And with that, we're back to the general warrants that launched the American Revolution.
No sooner had George III become king in 1760 when his tax officials in Massachusetts began aggressively searching ships, businesses and homes for smuggled goods.
No probable cause or even reasonable suspicion was required before the government obtained these "writs of assistance" from compliant judges. No one was safe.
Massachusetts merchants challenged the writs in court -- and lost. But their attorney James Otis made a compelling case as he spoke nonstop for five hours.
"It appears to me the worst instrument of arbitrary power, the most destructive of English liberty and the fundamental principles of law, that ever was found in an English law-book."
"Every man of an immense crowded audience appeared to me to go away as I did," John Adams recalled years later, "ready to take arms against writs of assistance.
"Then and there was the first scene of the first act of opposition to the arbitrary claims of Great Britain. Then and there, the child Independence was born."
We're not holding our breath for a modern-day James Otis to step forward. We figure things are too far gone already...
No, we can't vouch for 100% accuracy of this meme that's bounced around the Internet for the last month or so. We can only invoke the Native American storyteller who said, "All the facts might not be right, but the tale is true."
As the modern-day empire of debt... moves with ever greater speed to curb the scope of its subjects' freedoms, we turn our attention toward matters that remain within your control...
In case you haven't heard, or you are oblivious to the news of the day... America's 'Debt Limit' is now again the latest fabricated crisis in Washington.
Today is June 14th... and your taxes are still going up... and our country is virtually bankrupt... and going $4 billion dollars deeper in the hole - each and every day. Yet Obama pretends all is well. Here's Obama's latest propaganda...
Here's Obama's "bull crap" for the week... 06/14/2013...
Nixon wiretaps one office... Obama wiretaps the whole country
Richard Nixon resigned prior to being impeached for wire tapping a hotel room.
Today, Emperor Obama has wiretapped the entire country and no one seems to notice, no one seems to care.
The Washington Post and the Guardian released stories yesterday claiming that an anonymous NSA official released information to them about a secret wiretapping system called the PRISM / US-984XN.
This system ties into virtually every major email and social media provider, allowing NSA officials to view every electronic transaction a user engages in through those social media systems.
The list of providers working with the NSA include, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, YouTube, Skype and AOL. This system is always up, and does not limit the NSA’s access based on warrants issued by a judge.
Listen to William Binney describe how the systems he created are now used to monitor and record everything Americans do today.
Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=590cy1biewc
East Germany and the Soviet KGB only wished it had it this good.
Meanwhile, as I write, another school shooting is happening in Santa Monica. Whether actually done by the government itself (always a definite possibility) or just done by someone who can't stand being a slave in the US anymore is up for grabs.
And, just yesterday, a man in the crowd of the Today Show tried to commit suicide, claiming the IRS had destroyed him.
The wheels are coming off this wagon very quickly! Even Jay Leno has been attacking the IRS and Bill Maher.
Bill Maher, a liberal (who calls himself a libertarian... clearly having confused the words) has even complained about taxes - now that he makes enough to realize how bad it is. He stated in March, "ln California, I just want to say: Liberals -- you could actually lose me."
Maher supports an overarching, authoritarian socialist state and likes to be a slave... but not that much of a slave! He pays more than 50% of his productive income to leviathan in California and even he thinks that is too much.
In his movie, 'Religulous', he forgot to include the largest religion on Earth, the state.
I commented in one interview that has now gone viral and has nearly a million views across all channels, "Get Far Away From the US, Its Collapse Will Be Messy" to just get out. It's a mess and going to get far worse.
Get your kids out of public (and even private) schools in the Western world... They are just being indoctrinated to be worker drones and government supporters.
And, now in the US, they have begun iris scanning some of them and every day at least a few children are actually arrested and handcuffed for using nerf guns or even saying the word "gun"...
Indoctrinated furthermore to think that self-defense devices are only good and safe in the hands of their oppressors and never in the hands of the oppressed.
If you are paying attention, things in the US are not going in the right direction at an incredible pace. And, I can't imagine any scenario where it gets better before it gets much, much worse.
Some people say we need big, inefficient government for things such as police and roads... no we don't.
Without inefficient government services, life would be like Disneyland... extremely efficient... friendly... and cost-effective also.
Inside Disneyland, where everything is privatized, everything is perfect.
Outside, on the streets of Anaheim, where services aren't privatized, not so much.
Christian Moullec & his gaggle of geese get a bird's-eye view as thousands of animals are led through the port city of Marseille, France, on the last leg of 'TransHumance,' an event based on the migration of livestock & people created by equestrian troupe Centaur Theatre as part of this year's European Capital of Culture events.
Riders on traditional Penny Farthing bicycles compete at the Smithfield Nocturne cycle festival in Smithfield Market in London on June 8. The annual event includes folding-bike & Penny Farthing races alongside standard road cycling competitions around a closed inner-city circuit.
A woman walks under an array of colorful parasols adorning Eastwood Park in Quezon City, Philippines.
A man stands near lava pushing through to the surface of the Earth in Kalapana, Hawaii, on May 8. The fiery lava glows spectacularly against the night sky –
Forming hundreds of unique shapes as it flows across the landscape. The extraordinary image was captured by photographer Daniel Fox, 39, who could snap only a single shot at each spot because of the intense heat.
A traditional Mexican indigenous dancer waits for the arrival of China's President Xi Jinping, & his wife near the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, southern Mexico on June 6.
The Chinese first couple toured the Mayan ruins on the final day of their three-day visit with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto & his wife.
A man walks past a bush shaped like a sleeping chick in a park in Nantes, France, on June 3. Different parts of the park have been redone to honor the works of French children's author Claude Ponti for the 2nd Annual 'Voyage a Nantes.'
A woman peeks inside the Little Free Library in New York City on June 5. The funky structure is one of 10 mini-libraries that popped up around the city recently. Visitors can duck under the inverted plastic tank & browse the 40-book collection.
Borrowing is on an honor system: You take a book, you return a book. The project was inspired by the Little Free Library movement, which aims to promote literacy & a love of books.
Young blackbirds wait for food in their nest in Peebles, Scotland.
So many Obama lies, so little time.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil... is that good men do nothing." -- Edmund Burke
It's funny how you go through the year day by day but nothing changes, then when you look back, everything's different.
Woman Law: My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.
Dad, I'll always appreciate you sticking around after mom got fat...
Questions and answers...
Q: What's the use or purpose of having all this NSA snooping and also having TSA at airports, and all these security excuses... But yet leaving our borders unsecured - allowing thousands upon thousands of illegals every year from all walks of life to sneak into America. This Obama political game is what's taking down this nation.
A: The Obama regime is playing a devious game with the American citizens. His primary goal is to centralize and expand his power and control, while pretending to protect our borders.
Q: How did Obama win the election?
A: Because he lied and used the IRS, NSA ,FBI, HLS, FDA, EPA, Google and Facebook databases and algorithms for data-mining the American citizens, the compliant liberal media... and every other government agency - to suppress votes and mislead the naive citizens.
The Perfect Day
Strange similarity between Edward Snowden's recent exposure of criminal behavior within government and Ira Levine's book 'This Perfect Day'.
Considered one of the great dystopian novels - alongside Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World...
Ira Levin's frightening glimpse into the future continues to fascinate readers, even forty years after publication.
Could it be Obama is forcing this same scheme on America today?
The story is set in a seemingly perfect global society. Uniformity is the defining feature; there is only one language and all ethnic groups have been eugenically merged into one race called “The Family.“
The world is ruled by a central computer called UniComp that has been programmed to keep every single human on the surface of the earth in check.
People are continually drugged by means of regular injections - so that they can never realize their potential as human beings, but will remain satisfied and cooperative.
Government can threaten employees with arrest, prison terms, and even capital punishment, when they expose the corruption within the regime...
But in all dictatorships, there have always been a few very brave and heroic people who expose the government... knowing full well they may pay with their life and freedom.
Whack-job interlopers hard at work... manipulating your life with endless rules and regulations
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, forty eight million people watch birds. We have discovered that certain demographics of Bird Watchers are more sexually active than others?
One of the stupid government funded studies, wasting our money, no doubt.
The elderly find that bird watching is not strenuous. And this erotic experience can be enjoyed privately through binoculars. Most disturbing are the groups of bird watchers seeking vicarious sexual gratification in the woods?
A psychologist who studies bird watching says: “Adults, disguised as bird watchers mask their debauchery by taking trips in groups. They can then achieve climax in the safety of the woods.
Particularly disturbing is the high number of senior citizens using binoculars and telescopes to observe birds mating.
“These horny Peeping Toms satisfy their craving for sex, by focusing their debasement on birds. This perversion must be halted, otherwise the entire moral fibre of our nation is going to hell.”
A former bird-watcher, who recently resigned from his club in Meritt Island, FL, said: “I am sad about the reprehensible behavior of these bird watchers who need to satisfy their pornographic pleasures. Shame on them!”
A member of Congress, who requested anonymity, is quietly drafting legislature that would levy stiff fines against people caught with bird porn in their possession, either photos or internet images.
This story has got to be an April Fool's joke... right?
Enjoy a summer filled with angry, mutant mosquitoes, Florida
Florida: Come for the overpriced theme parks, stay for the freakishly large mosquitoes! A species of oversized mosquitoes called gallinippers (and that totally sounds like a word your grandpa made up) have been spotted so far in Seminole County, and it sounds like they're hard to miss.
The "notoriously aggressive" insects are 20 times larger than the regularly scheduled mosquitoes, which means they have a more painful bite, too. The massive insects were first detected after Tropical Storm Debby drenched the state in June 2012.
Biologists say the best way to prevent a gallinipper bite is to use bug spray or maybe just to move to one of the other 49 states. They're all lovely this time of year.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin
Never swap horses crossing a stream -- American proverb
It's alright, just wait and see, your string of lights is still bright to me. -- Taylor Swift
I love running cross country... On a track, I feel like a hamster. -- Robin Williams
If you're in a bad situation, don't worry, it'll change. If you're in a good situation, don't worry, it'll change. -- John A Simone, Sr.
'It's funny' poem
It's funny how a hello is always accompanied with a goodbye.
It's funny how good memories can make you cry,
It's funny how forever never seems to last,
It's funny how much you would lose if you forgot about your past.
It's funny how friends can just leave when you're down,
It's funny how when you need someone they never are around,
It's funny how people change and think they're so much better,
It's funny how so many lies are packed into one love letter.
It's funny how one night can hold so much regret,
It's funny how you can forgive but not forget,
It's funny how ironic life turns out to be,
But the funniest part of all, is that none of that is funny to me.
Another wonderful poetry anthology from Garrison Keillor-rooted in the American landscape
Greatness comes in many forms, and as Garrison Keillor demonstrates daily on The Writer's Almanac, the most affecting poems in the canon are in plain English.
Third in Keillor's series of anthologies, Good Poems, American Places brings together poems that celebrate the geography and culture that bind us together as a nation.
Think of these poems as postcards from the road, by poets who've gotten carried away by a particular place-a town in Kansas, a kitchen window in Nantucket, a Manhattan street, a farm in western Minnesota.
Featuring famous poets and brash unknowns alike, the verses in this exhilarating collection prove that the heart can be exalted anywhere in America.
When I first saw this anthology in a book store I was prepared to like it less than Keillor's two previous anthologies, "Good Poems" and "Good Poems for Hard Times."
I didn't believe that this new collection with it's poems describing different American locations would be as appealing.
I was totally wrong. Keillor is a wonderful anthologist with an unerring eye for poems which cover a broad range of moods from pathos to wry comedy. This collection is eclectic, funny and humane.
At a time when so much about America can seem troubling or confused, this collection reminds us what a motley, messy and yet lovable collection of malcontents we Americans can be.
Billboard provides temporary housing for advertising design artist
Last year, we saw an interesting concept for the OdMEx, an enormous mobile home with a billboard on the side, on which occupants could sell advertising space for some extra income.
Mexican paper company Scribe recently funded a similarly-styled house, but with a much different goal.
The Billboard House is a simple home built onto the back of a billboard in Mexico City to temporarily house an artist while she works on a new hand-painted advertisement.
To create the new billboard home, Scribe contracted architect Julio Gomez Trevilla to design a small structure that could meet a person's needs for a short period of time.
After a suitable spot was chosen, the trick then was to construct a space that was lightweight enough to attach to the back of a typical billboard, while still having all the amenities a person would need to live there.
Trevilla eventually settled on a plan that was less like a house built onto a billboard and more like a billboard built onto an elevated house.
The walls of the main living area are made from sheets of wooden chipboard and lined with plastic to protect them from the elements, while a steel frame keeps the whole structure raised and visible.
People can only enter and exit through a door concealed on the front of the billboard, though a small balcony does protrude from the back. A tower is also situated at the top to provide plumbing services.
The interior has been designed to save space while also suiting the resident artist's needs as much as possible.
To that end, most of the furniture is on wheels to cater for easy rearrangement, and the bed folds up flat against the wall when not needed.
Altogether, the main living area only covers 16 square meters (about 172 square feet) and includes room for a kitchen, dressing room, closet, bathroom, shower, and work desk.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 (NKJV)
Consistency breeds security. If you're an employer, you take comfort in knowing that you have consistent employees working for you. If your car needs to be fixed, you're going to take it to a mechanic who has consistently performed well.
And if you're a coach, you'll probably draw up a play at the end of a tight game that puts the ball in the hands of your best and most consistent player.
We like consistency. We like to know we can rely on someone or something to be the same day-in and day-out.
Conversely, we don't respond well to uncertainty. We are frustrated by people who don't make good on their promises or whose performance is always up and down.
Solomon compared an inconsistent person to a bad tooth or a foot out of joint (Proverbs 25:19). Those who've been let down in the clutch by someone can certainly relate.
What about God? Can He be relied upon? Is He consistent? James wrote that in Him there is no variation or shadow of turning. In other words, He isn't "on" one day and "off" another. He doesn't change and is the epitome of consistency:
"For I am the Lord, I do not change...." Malachi 3:6 (NKJV)
This creates security in our relationship with God as our Father. We never need to guess how He'll react or respond to us. It's always with the same grace, mercy, forgiveness, acceptance, and love.
This is welcome news for those who have a father whose character seems to change with the weather. But with our heavenly Father, we can always count on His consistent and compassionate character.
The hotdog experience
Two Irish nuns, who have just arrived in the US, are hungry and one says to the other, "I have heard that the Americans actually eat dogs."
"That's strange," the other nun replied, "but if we are to live here, might as well do as the Americans do." Agreeing to this, the first nun notices a hot dog vendor and they both decide to have hot dogs.
They ordered for two hot-dogs and as soon as the vendor gave it to them, they hurriedly found a bench to savor the American food. The first nun took out her hot-dog from the foil, stared at it for a while and whispered to the other nun, "Which part did you get?"
A former technical assistant for the CIA named Edward Snowden leaked the story that the federal government was collecting phone records from Verizon customers. Snowden said, “You’re being watched.” To which NBC executives said, “Finally! We would love to be watched." -- Jay Leno
People are asking how this Snowden guy could download all this classified information and give it to a British newspaper without the NSA knowing about it. I think I know the answer. If you don't want the NSA spying on you, get a job working at the NSA. That's how it works. -- Jay Leno
The NSA has been listening in on phone calls. It's people with cellphones — you hear these people walking down the street screaming into their cellphones. They're the ones who are upset about people listening to their phone calls. -- David Letterman
You know your phone is being tapped when you're having a conversation and you hear the attorney general breathing. -- David Letterman
McDonald's has started introducing breakfast items at night for what it calls an after-midnight menu. It's all part of McDonald's' new slogan, "Welcome alcoholics." -- Conan O'Brien
It's come out that the government has been secretly collecting telephone records of millions of Verizon customers. Yeah, or as Verizon is calling it, "The friends and family and Obama plan." -- Conan O'Brien
This weekend, President Obama held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. It went well, although it got awkward when Obama asked China to stop spying on America and Jinping said, “You first.” -- Jimmy Fallon
Last week it was revealed that the National Security Agency has spied on Americans’ phone records and Internet history for years. Yesterday, the source of the leak said he’s hiding out in Hong Kong, marking the first time anyone has ever said, "I don't want to be punished by the government — so I guess I'll go to China." -- Jimmy Fallon
He went to China to avoid government persecution. That’s like going to Ireland to avoid getting drunk. -- Jimmy Fallon
Over the weekend, a woman interrupted the finale of “Britain's Got Talent” and actually started throwing eggs at Simon Cowell — at which point she won “Britain's Got Talent.” -- Jimmy Fallon
The government has been secretly gathering data from your mobile phone. It's a huge scandal and it comes on the heels of President Obama's IRS scandal and Benghazi scandal. Even the crack-head mayor of Toronto is saying, "rough week, huh?" -- Craig Ferguson
The nation's new billion-dollar epicenter for fighting global cyber-threats... and monitoring and tracking America's citizens... sits just south of Salt Lake City, tucked away on a National Guard base at the foot of snow-capped mountains.
The long, squat buildings span 1.5 million square feet, and are filled with super-powered computers designed to store massive amounts of information gathered secretly from phone calls and emails.
Unprecedented abuse of power... Obama claims we're not targeted - just monitored?
The most important part of all of this - is that you can not believe anything the Obama regime says... there are Obama scandals and deceit exposed almost daily now.
After 9/11, American citizens accepted the Patriot Act, with the promise of supposedly greater security - in trade for a little less freedom.
We accepted the trade-off, based on a trust in our government leaders to do the right things and not abuse their power.
The Obama regime's abuse of power - is unprecedented!
• Look how Jay Carney, Obama's Press Secretary, has lied to us and the media.
• Look how Susan Rice, U.N Ambassador, has lied to us.
• Look how James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, has lied to Congress.
• Look how Eric Holder, the Attorney General, has lied to Congress.
• Look how Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, has lied to us.
• Look how Obama has lied to us for for more than years, every time he speaks.
They lie without remorse. We are to believe them when they say, trust us now? ... No way!
Yes, this was the week that America's intelligence secrets spilled out: Classified court orders. Top secret Power Point slides. Something called PRISM.
It's pretty important stuff, if you can make sense of it. Here's what you need to know.
Q: The past two days have been packed with coverage about domestic surveillance. I have no idea what I'm hearing.
A: That's not a question. So let's start from the beginning, which in the national security world these days means going back to 9/11.
Shortly after the attacks, Congress hastily approved the USA Patriot Act. That gave the government wide new powers to collect information on Americans.
In the first few years, news coverage focused on how the FBI would use these new powers to seize phone, bank, library records and more.
Separate from the Patriot Act, though, President George W. Bush authorized the National Security Agency to conduct a highly classified wiretapping program.
Normally, the government needs a warrant to spy on Americans, but Bush allowed the NSA to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens, read their emails and collect their phone records — all without warrants.
In 2005, The New York Times revealed the existence of that program. Amid the furor, the rules changed. The wiretapping operation and the collection of phone records could continue, but a judge had to sign off on them.
The scope of those programs was never fully known. But the government assured people that the spying was narrow and kept them safe. Congress voted to keep the authority
Then this week arrived.
The Guardian newspaper published a classified court document from April... authorizing the government to seize all of Verizon's phone records on a daily basis — a trove of millions of numbers.
The government didn't eavesdrop on anyone (under this court order, at least) but it received all outgoing and incoming numbers for every call, plus the unique electronic fingerprints that identify cellphones.
The court document showed that, now that warrantless surveillance was off the table, the government was using its Patriot Act authority to seize the phone records of American citizens.
A program that the government said was narrow - was suddenly revealed as vast. Under Bush and then President Barack Obama, the National Security Agency has built a colossal database of American phone calls.
Q: That's a lot to digest. Is that it?
A: Nope. A day after the court document surfaced, the Guardian and Washington Post published stories and secret Power Point slides revealing another classified spying program.
Unlike the effort to collect phone records, this one hadn't even been hinted about publicly beforehand.
This program, code-named PRISM, allowed the NSA and FBI to tap directly into the servers of major U.S. Internet companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and AOL.
Like the phone-records program, PRISM was approved by a judge in a secret court order. Unlike that program, however, PRISM allowed the government to seize actual conversations: emails, video chats, instant messages and more.
Q: How does that work?
A: You're going to hear a lot about PRISM and, when you do, it's important to remember two things:
First, it's no less than astonishing that reporters obtained such highly classified, detailed documents about an ongoing intelligence-gathering program.
Second, for all the incredible details, we still know relatively little about the program.
The Power Point slides appear to be from an internal NSA presentation explaining the value of PRISM to analysts. So they don't get very technical and they leave a lot unanswered.
Imagine someone trying to understand the way a company works... using only the Power Point slides from the most recent staff meeting. That's what this is.
From the documents, it's clear that the NSA receives data directly from the Internet companies. The information varies by company but includes emails, your social networking activity, the files you receive, even family photos.
Q: What do they do with that stuff?
A: It's not clear from the documents but, like with phone records, the NSA appears to be building a database of much of the Internet traffic.
The companies participating in PRISM produce enormous amounts of data every day so storing it would require computing power the likes of which the public has never seen.
People who study technology and security, believe that's why the NSA has been building a 1-million square-foot data center near Salt Lake City.
The datacenter will reportedly cost about $2 billion to construct and another $40 million a year to power such a wide swath of supercomputers.
Forget megabytes, gigabytes and terabytes.
According to a report last year by Wired magazine, the Utah facility will be able to handle so much information... that its storage capacity is measured in what are known as yottabytes.
A yottabyte is so big as to be nearly inconceivable by casual computer users: It's enough information to fill 200 trillion DVDs.
It's more information than moves through the entire Internet in a single year.
Computer scientists don't have a name for whatever is bigger than a yottabyte. It's so big, they don't need one yet.
Q: Does this government monitoring apply to Americans?
A: Yes, definitely.
Q: But Obama said Friday... that Americans are not targeted by this program.
A: That's also true... sort of... it's government double-speak propaganda. It all comes down to the word "targeted." Here's why.
The agency supposedly can't target Americans. But targeting is different from collecting. PRISM dumps massive amounts of data into the NSA's computers and much of that comes from the accounts of American citizens.
All this information lives on NSA computer servers. At this point, the government has your information - but can still say it hasn't targeted you.
The NSA hasn't targeting someone - until it reaches into its database and pulls records on someone. Basically, PRISM might have all your emails but, until someone reads them, you haven't been targeted.
NSA analysts are only supposed to focus on non-U.S. citizens outside the United States. According to the Post, though, "incidental" collection of American data is common, even at the targeting stage.
Let's say analysts are looking at a suspected terrorist. They pull his emails and all his Facebook friends. Then they take all those people and pull their data, too.
According to NSA training materials obtained by the Post, analysts are required to report to their superiors whenever this results in collection of U.S. content but, "it's nothing to worry about, they tell us?"
Q: How is this legal?
A: Again, the PRISM documents don't spell out the whole program. James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said late Thursday that the program was approved by a judge and is done in accordance with U.S. law.
Because the authorization came from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, all the legal justification is classified. But how can we trust the Surveillance Court to do the right thing? ... We can't!
The court was created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and is known in intelligence circles as the FISA court. Cases are heard inside vaults in a Washington federal courthouse. And court rulings are almost never made public.
It's not clear whether the companies agreed to be part of PRISM voluntarily or were under court order but, either way, the companies almost certainly signed legal agreements with the government spelling out their cooperation.
The Post reported that the government has the authority to force companies to participate.
Q: But the companies are denying all this, right?
A: Sort of.
Apple, for instance, issued a statement saying it had "never heard of PRISM."
That's not surprising. PRISM is a government codename for a collection effort known officially as US-984XN. There would be no reason for the NSA to share the code name with the companies.
Apple's statement continued, "We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order."
From what we know about PRISM, there apparently was a FISA court order authorizing this effort. And PRISM does not require direct access to company servers.
More likely, in fact, the NSA or the companies would set up a designated route to transfer data to the government. That's easier for the company and less legally problematic for the NSA.
Other companies issued similar statements - that don't necessarily preclude their involvement in PRISM.
But certainly they raise more questions about what, exactly, was going on. And the company's statements are another reminder that we still don't know much about how PRISM worked.
Q: Just last week we were talking about how the administration seized the phone records from the AP and Fox News. Was that part of this program?
A: No. Surveillance authorized by the FISA court can only be used to gather intelligence. It isn't supposed to be used for law enforcement.
In these cases, the Justice Department is investigating who provided the news organizations with classified information.
It's part of Obama's unprecedented crackdown on officials who speak to journalists without the government's blessing... unless it benefits Obama... like the bin Laden raid.
Since the goal is to bring criminal charges against someone, the Justice Department seized records using run-of-the-mill court orders.
Remember how the Obama regime was itself leaking classified information about the bin Laden raid. Obama even gave a movie producer a guided tour of the situation room and provided classified documents and interviews with top government officials.
No one was investigated... because this was Obama propaganda - to benefit Obama.
Q: Is this keeping America safe?
A: The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, says yes. But because both the phone data program and PRISM remain classified, it's impossible to thoroughly verify these claims.
The president can choose what he wants to declassify, which gives him an advantage in the debate for public opinion. And the politics of national security are stark:
Terrorist threats tend to raise demand for new, more aggressive surveillance tactics; the absence of attacks helps justify the surveillance.
The documents obtained by the Post and Guardian show that PRISM has been a major source of intelligence, one that provides more information than to the president's morning briefing book than any other program.
Obama said Friday that Congress was well aware of these programs and a FISA judge approved them.
However, we know Congress is not very interested in monitoring anything, after the fact. Members of Congress have recently stated, the so-called briefings were long on generalities and short on facts.
And regarding supposed FISA judge over-sight and approval... as we saw with the Justice Dept.'s trolling for a judge to approve spying on the media... judges can be corrupted by politics also.
Q: Endless Obama conspiracies and scandals?
A: This week, Americans have gotten a glimpse at a government surveillance machine that has been churning for years, gathering information on its own citizens.
These stories are important because they show rogue, illegal government spying.
They matter because they reveal, in such stark fashion, what the government has made legal over the past decade and where that has taken the country. When will the citizens rise up and engage the problems and abuse?
3 Liquids That Help Halt Hunger
Keep that hefty appetite firmly under control by making these three liquids part of each day: skim milk, H2O, and olive oil.
That's right. Studies suggest that these three fab fluids may keep hunger at bay, reduce calorie intake, and keep the pounds from creeping on.
Skim milk: In a study, the people who drank about 20 ounces of skim milk at breakfast... ate way less at lunch compared with the people who had fruit juice with their morning meals.
The researchers think the proteins in skim milk -- whey and casein -- may help make skim milk quite the filler-upper.
Olive oil: This Mediterranean staple is loaded with a hunger-curbing compound called oleic acid. This monounsaturated fat stimulates the small intestine to make another fatlike substance that sends "full" signals from the stomach to the brain.
Other foods high in oleic acid include sunflower seeds, canola oil, safflower oil, almonds, and avocados.
Water: Numerous studies suggest that folks who drink ample water feel fuller and eat far fewer calories throughout the day compared with people who don't drink enough agua.
Water drinkers are also less likely to indulge in sweetened drinks like soda, calorie-laden coffee drinks, and sugary sports drinks.
And in yet another study, drinking 16 ounces of water before each meal helped dieters lose more weight -- and lose it faster -- than dieters who didn't drink water before meals.
Police free deer's head from malicious bag of Doritos
A bullying bag of Doritos almost claimed another victim over the weekend. While out on patrol in the Florida Keys late Saturday night, a Monroe County sheriff's deputy discovered a deer with its entire head stuck in a Doritos bag.
The Sheriff's spokeswoman, Becky Herrin, said the grateful deer didn't struggle when the deputy removed the bag. She also reminded Florida Keys visitors to properly dispose of their trash. No word on how the deer got in the bag in the first place — maybe it just really likes chips.
A little girl gets the whole world dancing
Believe it or not, your influence may be bigger than you think. In this adorably clever commercial, one little girl starts a dance... that eventually has a huge impact on the world around her.
Looks like some of those dance moves you practiced as a child, eventually DO catch on.
Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6oBeJJF1fI
7 Day Free Trial @ Chemistry.com.
Thought for the day...
Common problem no one talks about
Are you constipated? It’s very common but often ignored.
The problem is usually not in your stomach, like most people think. It’s usually with another of your body’s most important organs – the colon.
This part of your gastrointestinal tract does a lot of important work for you. It separates and breaks down water and waste matter. It helps you absorb nutrients and remove harmful substances from the foods you’ve eaten and keeps you “regular.”
Without proper care, harmful toxins can build up in the colon.
Unfortunately, the typical American diet couldn’t be worse for colon health. If you’re a regular reader about healthy eating, you already know that refined sugars, starches, and low-fiber foods are terrible for you.
Since the colon is where a lot of dietary toxins build up, it’s critical to eat foods that clear it out regularly.
Most Americans don’t do this, which may be why an estimated 100,000 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer this year.
A diet high in fiber is the best way to insure optimal colon health. Many clinical trials link eating more fiber with a reduced risk of colon cancer.
The prestigious British journal Lancet published a very large study that used data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, then followed up on almost 200,000 participants.
They found that if people with low-fiber diets doubled their fiber intake, their risk of colorectal cancer dropped by 40 percent.
A brand-new review of 21 other studies finds that every extra 10 grams of fiber you eat daily reduces your risk of colorectal cancers by another 17%.
And for men, another study showed that those with the highest fiber intake reduced their colon cancer risk by 48%.
Yet not all dietary fibers are the same. The mainstream medical approach on this is misguided.
You shouldn’t be eating a lot of cereal or taking grain-based laxative products (which we’re told over and over is the best way to care for the digestive tract).
Grains made their way into our diet relatively recently in evolutionary terms. Our bodies can’t digest them properly, and the high glycemic index of breads, pastas, and cereals lead to blood sugar spikes and even diabetes.
Instead, go for foods that provide real “native roughage.” Nuts and seeds are loaded with native fiber. They really clean out your gut.
Five foods that naturally cleanse your colon:
• Dates - The insoluble and soluble fiber found in dates help to clean out the gastrointestinal system, allowing the colon to work at greater levels of efficiency.
• Apple cider vinegar, apples - Apples are not only rich in fiber, which we know promotes digestive health, they also contain pectin
• Green fruit and vegetable rich in chlorophyll - Green fruits and vegetables rich in chlorophyll, such as Brussels sprouts, collard greens, Swiss chard, and celery are great for promoting digestive health and helping to detoxify your body overall.
• Avocados - Like dates, avocados are full of digestive health-promoting fiber. Further, the fruit contains both soluble and insoluble fiber in a unique ratio of about 1 to 3.
While the soluble fiber helps to normalize blood sugar and reduce cholesterol, the insoluble fiber is working to “clean you out” and prevent constipation. Both types are important for boosting overall digestive health.
A couple more example of natural foods that are beneficial:
• Flax seed – rich in alpha linolenic acid – the plant-based form of omega-3 – flax reduces gastrointestinal inflammation and, as a source of fiber and lignans, promotes overall intestinal health.
• Rhubarb – this humble, everyday vegetable has the power to tone and tighten the muscles of the intestinal wall, adding strength and improving your gut’s function. As an astringent, it also neutralizes the effects of toxic build-up in your gut.
The cellulose that makes up the skin and flesh of fruits and vegetables is also healthy fiber. It also slow releases natural sugars and nutrients for optimal digestion. Beans are also (famously) good at cleansing the colon.
There is also a class of natural ingredients missing entirely from most diets that specifically targets the colon and promotes maximum digestive tract function and health.
Against Leviathan... government and politicians can never be trusted!
It's second-term scandal season in Washington, D.C. The folks at Fox are eating it up. But over at MSNBC, not so much.
First it was Hillary Clinton's role in Benghazi; then the AP wiretapping; and of course, the IRS looks more evil, stupid, and wasteful with each passing day.
More scandals than usual? Hardly. Remember Monica and "Scooter" and Oliver and -- well, the list is endless.
The real scandal is bigger, longer, and more imposing. It is government itself, in all its sheer immensity:
A gangly, clumsy octopus with legs flailing about, neither in sync nor having a clue what the others are doing. It would be hilarious if it were not so tragic.
One wonders how we got here. A nation created with libertarian principles - has morphed into a scandal-ridden banana republic.
Robert Higgs slices open the beast's belly and gives us an unvarnished look at what we're up against in his book Against Leviathan: Government Power and a Free Society.
Higgs is not only a first-rate historian, but also a high-caliber economist who can make sense of the machinations of government and its implications.
Your blood may be boiling because the IRS spent $50 million of taxpayer money on conferences, happiness experts, and art sessions for its employees, but the real outrage is that our money is being redistributed at all.
The fact that tax collectors are attending extravagant boondoggles just adds insult to injury. In one chapter, Higgs lists 19 neglected consequences of income distribution.
Taxes take away income, capital, incentives, goods, services, and wealth. Heck, taxes even take their toll on your own health (although Higgs doesn't say that).
The expectation of less income in the present and future means people will "exert less effort to earn income."
Those on the receiving end of redistribution lose their self-reliance and become dependent upon government.
Taxation breeds resentment between rich and poor, young and old. In between lies a vast, expensive bureaucracy that receives the transfers and doles out the proceeds.
When government is set up to redistribute, it "will become more powerful and invasive in other ways," writes Higgs, who goes on to quote James Madison:
"One legislative interference is but the first link of a long chain of repetitions, every subsequent interference being naturally produced by the effects of the proceeding."
For example, the government's creation of Medicare and Medicaid was the start of what would eventually turn into the current crisis of escalating costs in medical care.
We read plenty about the "great presidents," and combining many polls taken over the years puts Lincoln at the top, followed by FDR, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson. These six killed many while taxing and regulating the rest.
Higgs has a different list. "I hold no brief for John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, or Chester Arthur; but I think we ought to give them their due: At least they did not spill the blood of their fellow citizens," he writes.
Grover Cleveland, Higgs thinks, "may have been the best of them all," for respecting the Constitution, keeping the country at peace, and preserving the gold standard.
Higgs turns to economics about a third of the way through the book, beginning with an enlightening chapter on government statistics that the author wishes were never created.
Why? "Because many official economic statistics are ill-defined conceptually, they fail to capture what they purport to measure," Higgs writes. The author is like most of us who write about economics.
We cite the government's numbers knowing they, at best, only somewhat resemble the truth.
Many of these stats just can't be tabulated in an accurate fashion. Higgs wonders how all of the official poor afford big-screen TVs and shiny cars.
Just how much of the economy has gone underground, undetected and uncounted by the government's bean counters? Thank goodness for what has.
Higgs cites the godfather of government statistics skeptics, Oskar Morgenstern, who warned, "We must carefully distinguish between what we think we know and what we really do and can know."
The bigger issue that Higgs puts his finger on is that a government of the proper size and scope wouldn't have use for the reams of statistics generated by thousands of mathematicians in the government's employ.
"None of these statistics can assist in the defense of the citizens' just rights."
Higgs gives us plenty to shake our heads in disgust about. He provides no promise that change is eminent.
In fact, Higgs writes about Americans, "That such people stand on the verge of a libertarian ideological conversion is a prospect too preposterous to take seriously."
Why in this land of the free and home of the brave do we have a government that grows like topsy? Mencken put his finger on it.
"The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice, and truth."
This Week's Government Goofs & Goofballs
An Independent & unbiased accounting of our government & political mischief
Lawmakers criticize 'shocking abuse of authority' in GSA contracting
Lawmakers are calling on the General Services Administration to strengthen its contracting oversight and take action against officials who pressured subordinates - to accept contracts with higher-than-necessary prices and unfavorable terms.
The contracting issue came to light Tuesday in an inspector general’s report that detailed how directors for the agency’s technology-acquisition division - improperly intervened when contracting personnel determined that certain proposals were not in taxpayers’ best interests.
“This report details a shocking abuse of authority by a senior government official — at a potentially significant cost to taxpayers,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), chairman of the subcommittee on contracting oversight.
“The General Services Administration must ensure that anyone found to have aided in these abuses is held fully accountable.”
Sen. Tom Coburn, ranking member of the Senate committee that oversees GSA, said the agency should be doing “everything possible – with every contract...
To ensure that the award process is free from interference, particularly when the interference is designed to benefit contractors at the expense of taxpayers.”
The deals in question involved GSA’s top three technology contracts, worth $900 million for three firms.
The GSA has said it placed the individual responsible for the contracting interference on administrative leave, and it has promised to implement the inspector general’s recommendations.
Have you noticed a disturbing pattern with government worker corruption, wrong-doing and crimes... no one gets fired or goes to prison for their theft from taxpayers...
They only get counseling, they get transferred, or they get temporary administrative leave... until things blow over.
The problem with this "scandal" is Congress. Ask any person implicated in this report what a "congressional" is.
Essentially, if a vendor doesn't agree with a Contracting Officer's sound independent judgment they just complain to their elected congressperson. From the Hill all pressure flowed down, and let's just leave it at that.
Hence some personnel found it in their best interest to not hear from the Hill hounds on a continued basis. How the heck is a 15% annual hike on a labor category in the government's best interest?
It really is too bad this report never actually attempted to expose the REAL reason these personnel were "encouraged" to act in the manner they were forced to.
Swift justice in Bolivia... attacker buried alive by villagers
The suspect in a woman's rape and murder was buried alive by Bolivian villagers Wednesday night, inside the grave of the woman who was believed to be his victim.
Police had identified Santos Ramos, 17, as the possible culprit in the attack on 35-year-old Leandra Arias Janco Sunday in a Quechua community near the municipality of Colquechaca, said Jose Luis Barrios, the chief prosecutor in Potosi province where the community is located, the Associated Press reported.
Enraged, more than 200 community members seized Ramos and buried him alive alongside his alleged victim Wednesday night, according to Barrios.
He said residents on Thursday blocked the road to the community, preventing police and prosecutors from reaching it.
A local reporter for an indigenous radio station, who would only speak on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, told The AP that Ramos was tied up at the woman's funeral.
Mourners threw him into the open grave, placed the woman's coffin in it and filled the grave with earth.
Colquechaca is a town of 5,000 inhabitants located 207 miles (333 kilometers) southeast of Bolivia's capital, La Paz.
Also in Potosi, residents of the Quechua indigenous community of Tres Cruces on Wednesday stoned to death a suspected thief and burned his accomplice alive, Barrios said. The official said the two had earlier robbed a car and killed its driver.
Lynchings sometimes occur in rural and poor parts of Bolivia where police and other authorities are scarce.
Late last year, in the Bolivian city of El Alto, convicted rapists and thieves faced a new law that allowed for castration and hand amputation, respectively, if found guilty by the nation’s indigenous population.
Bolivia’s "community justice law" allows indigenous peoples to enact their own penalties in addition to the nation’s legal system.
According to the new law, convicted rapists will be chemically castrated by medical professionals.
If physicians should refuse to perform the procedure, indigenous doctors with less training will be brought in from rural provinces to carry out the task.
Chemical castration involves the administration of medication that reduces a person’s libido and sexual activity.
Also, thieves who are found guilty at least three times... will have one of their hands cut-off according to the new law.