CPS Grabs Newborn Baby From A Disabled Christian Mother After The Parents Expressed A Desire Not To Vaccinate

Sometimes a story comes along that makes your blood boil, and this is one of them.  All over the nation CPS is stealing children from Christian families that express concerns about the safety of vaccines, but I never expected it to happen in north Idaho.  Actually, a large number of families from all over the country have moved to Idaho in recent years specifically because of the vaccine issue.  In Idaho, there is no legal requirement to vaccinate your children, and so no child should ever be taken away because parents do not intend to vaccinate.  Unfortunately, that appears to be what happened in this case.

Earlier today I spoke with Simona Mona of Health Freedom Idaho on the telephone.  She said that she would send me a basic account of the facts in this case, and I told her that I would share those facts with my audience.  Simona is hoping to get as many people as possible out to a court hearing that is being held on Monday morning…

Friends we have an incredibly important battle on our hands. Something unconscionable has happened in North Idaho this last week. We were notified by the daugther of a local pastor here in Kootenai County regarding a woman of his congregation, Diamond Mehlhoff, who gave birth in Kootenai County @ KMC on Monday November 20th via C section. On Wednesday November 22nd, after the parents refused vaccination for the baby, the state became involved and took this beautiful baby, Elijah, from his loving parents, claiming the mother to be unfit due to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy (a non progressive movement disorder). They have stated the mother to be bedbound, which is not at all the accurate, she also lives with her husband Ari and the grandfather of the baby. This is an unbelievable, unheard of, egregious case of disability discrimination. Their court hearing is tomorrow Monday 27th at 8am @ 205 N 4th Street Coeur D Alene ID 83814 in the Juvenile Justice Center. They are asking anyone available to please come support them.

It is very important to note that the state did not take any action until the parents expressed a desire not to vaccinate the child.  This is a common theme that comes up again and again in cases such as this around the country.  If you do not intend to vaccinate, it is probably best not to give birth at a hospital if you have that option.

From what I am being told, the authorities hope to institutionalize Diamond, declare the father to be unfit, and permanently keep the baby away from the parents.  This makes me so angry that I don’t know if I have the words to express what I am feeling right now.  As you can see from the photo at the top of this article, obviously Diamond is not “bedbound”.  She is just fine and definitely does not need to be institutionalized.  And the authorities have never even been to the husband’s home, and so they have absolutely no grounds for declaring him to be “unfit”.

If CPS wins in this case, what is going to happen the next time a disabled woman has a child here in Idaho?

Are all disabled women going to have their babies ripped from them once they give birth from now on?

Simona is 100% correct when she says that this is an “egregious case of disability discrimination”.  Those that are attempting to take this child away from Diamond should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.

If you would like to do something to get involved in this case, you can learn more on Health Freedom Idaho’s official Facebook page.  I personally know the leaders of Health Freedom Idaho, and they are relentless fighters for the things that we believe in.

Please share this article and the material about this case on Health Freedom Idaho’s Facebook page as widely as you can.  We want to make as much noise about this case as possible, because we want the authorities to back down and leave this Christian family alone.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

Copyright Information: This article was reprinted with permission from Endoftheamericandream.com. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

COLD WORLD: 85-year-old dementia patient fined for resting at bus stop

An 85-year-old man has reportedly been fined for sitting at a Dusseldorf bus stop without catching the bus. Social media complaints prompted Dusseldorf to investigate the circumstances of the reported fine.

Authorities in Dusseldorf handed a €35 ($42) fine to an 85-year-old pensioner with dementia for resting at a bus stop bench, according to a letter circulating on social media networks on Monday.

The man’s friend who first published the letter told tabloid Bild that the alleged offender regularly walks his 15-year-old dog in the area, often pausing at the bus stop to rest. On this occasion he was reportedly issued with the fine after sitting for eight minutes.

“They did not use the public transport system at the aforementioned location in accordance with its purpose and used it as a rest area,” the letter said, meaning he wasn’t going to catch the bus and therefore shouldn’t have been sitting there. Dusseldorf’s city regulations specify exactly when people can sit at a bus stop.

A Baltimore Detective Set to Testify Against His Own Department Was Gunned Down. So Police Barricaded the Community

LAST WEDNESDAY, DETECTIVE SEAN Suiter, along with an as-yet-unnamed partner, were in the West Baltimore neighborhood of Harlem Park. Suiter’s usual partner in the homicide unit, Detective Jonathan Jones, was off that day.

The police version of what happened, as relayed to the Baltimore Sun, goes like this: The detectives were looking for a witness to an unsolved triple homicide case that is nearly a year old when they spotted “suspicious activity” nearby. Suiter and his backup partner split up to cover different exits of the block. Suiter then confronted a man, who shot him in the head after the detective tried to speak. Suiter, an 18-year veteran of Baltimore’s police force, and a 43-year-old married father of five, was pronounced dead a day later, becoming the city’s 309th murder victim of 2017.

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis condemned the killing as “ridiculous, absurd, unnecessary loss of life,” and the killer as “heartless, ruthless, soulless.” On the night of the murder, the police department offered a vague description of the suspect: a black man who may be injured, wearing a black jacket with a white stripe.

The neighborhood was promptly put on lockdown. Over the course of the week, the reward fund to find Suiter’s killer climbed to $215,000 – a figure experts think might be a state record. The Harlem Park neighborhood lockdown was justified as a way for cops to preserve the crime scene and collect evidence.

Davis defended the measures, emphasizing the unique role police play in society. “In America, in this free society, our democracy, police – and I don’t mean to sound like I’m teaching a civics class here, but policing in America is special,” said Davis on Monday in a press conference. “It’s difficult, it’s special though … any loss of life is unacceptable, but society says in particular a murder of a police officer is unacceptable.”

As police cars lined the perimeter of Harlem Park for days, residents were unable to enter their neighborhoods without showing IDs. Some complained about helicopters flying above their homes, flashing lights from police cars, and being subject to harassment and pat-down searches. Non-residents were barred from entering. On social media, many called to #FreeWestBaltimore.

On Sunday, while the cordon was still in effect, David Rocah, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, released a statementraising constitutional concerns regarding the police department’s actions. “While the search for a killer is, of course, a high priority for the police, the limits on lawful police behavior do not disappear even when engaged in that pursuit,” said Rocah. “The residents of Baltimore, and, in particular, the residents of the affected community, deserve a clear explanation from the City as to why this unprecedented action has been taken, what rules are being enforced, and why it is lawful.  The need to secure a crime scene from contamination to preserve evidence does not, on its face, explain the wide area to which access has been restricted for days after the incident.”

French bank closes far-right accounts…

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen accused two banks on Wednesday of launching a “banking fatwa” to silence her National Front party by closing bank accounts of hers and her party’s.

The banks said they had acted within regulatory requirements but declined to offer fuller explanations.

Le Pen is smarting from defeat in this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections, during which she accused French banks of being politically biased for not lending to her campaigns.

“This is an attempt to suffocate an opposition party, and no democrat should accept that,” Le Pen told a news conference, calling on President Emmanuel Macron and other political parties to back her National Front (FN).

Le Pen said the FN would file a complaint against Societe Generale and its subsidiary, Credit du Nord. She also plans a complaint against HSBC for closing a personal account of hers.

The FN says Societe Generale closed its accounts earlier this month, and when the central bank ordered a subsidiary, Credit du Nord, to manage an account for the party, the bank refused to process cheque and credit card payments.

Societe Generale rejected the accusations. “Decisions to open or close a bank account depend purely on banking reasons … without taking into account any political consideration,” it said in a statement.

It added that Credit du Nord offered an FN representative banking services required by law but gave no more details.

HSBC said it complied with all necessary regulations and could not publicly discuss client relationships.

‘THANK YOU AND GOODBYE’

In France, banks are allowed to close accounts with advance notice and do not have to say why.

NOT BY ACCIDENT: New TSA Screening Rolled Out On Busiest Days Of Year…

The Transportation Security Administration has bad news for tens of millions of Thanksgiving holiday travelers: Lines at airports may be even longer than usual as the agency tries once again to plug security holes in its baggage screening.

TSA is scrambling to respond to yet another damning investigation of its screening effectiveness, for the second time in little more than two years. And the agency is already phasing in revised security procedures — including those for passengers’ electronic devices — that could cause “a slight increase in wait times,” new TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in an interview.

“The procedure is new,” Pekoske said. “It’s new to passengers. It’s somewhat new to our screeners.”

The additional delays may not be as horrendous as the hourslong queuesthat left many passengers stranded at airports in the summer of 2016, a year after TSA leaders launched a crash course in security improvements in response to a previous failing grade from its inspector general.

But Pekoske said travelers could experience some of the longest wait times of the year on Sunday when many return home from the holiday. TSA has projected that more than 2.6 million passengers and airline crew members will be screened on Sunday alone, potentially making it one of the agency’s top five busiest days ever.

The squeeze is the latest example of a predicament TSA has faced since its creation in 2001: trying to balance effective security with the need to move travelers efficiently through checkpoints. Obama-era TSA chief Peter Neffenger said the agency has spent almost all of its short lifespan fighting for the resources it needs — but when he reviewed what caused the poor performance in the 2015 audit, he found a “disproportionate emphasis on efficiency over effectiveness.”

“There was a lot of pressure, we thought, on the checkpoint agents to keep people moving,” he said. “We also found that we didn’t have as consistent and coordinated of a training system as I would have liked to have seen.”

Neffenger added that he had hoped that TSA’s performance would have improved by now.

Most details of the latest IG audit, released Sept. 27, are classified, but media reports indicate that TSA failed somewhere between 70 percent and 80 percent of covert tests, allowing fake explosives, firearms and other prohibited items to slip through undetected. That’s only slightly better than the 95 percent failure rate that TSA suffered in its 2015 audit by the IG.

Mom Arrested, Charged with Felony for Putting Recorder in 9yo’s Backpack to Catch Her Bully

PHOTO CREDIT: PIXABAY

For weeks, Sarah Sims said she called and emailed school officials repeatedly to tell them her child was being bullied at school and was never given a response. So, she took matters into her own hands and now she is facing felony charges.

Sims discovered her daughter was being bullied in late September. So, like any parent would do, she reached out to school officials for help. But she received nothing.

“The thing that bothers me the most is that I am yet to get a response from anyone in the administration,” Sims added.

After being shrugged off by the school, Sims decided that she would take matters into her own hands and catch her 9-year-old daughter’s bully.

“I tried to be fair, but it’s not fair,” said Sims. “There is nothing fair about this.”

She wanted to obtain proof that nothing was being done to help her 4th-grader, so she put a digital recorder in her backpack to capture audio from inside the classroom.

“If I’m not getting an answer from you, what am I left to do?” she asked.

Shortly after placing the recorder in her daughter’s backpack, it was found by the school who has a no electronic device policy. Her daughter was then moved to a new class and police came after Sims.

“I was mortified,” Sims said. “The next thing I know, I’m a felon. Felony charges and a misdemeanor when I’m trying to look out for my kid. What do you do?”

Local news outlet WAVY contacted the Norfolk School system for a comment and they were told because it is a pending investigation no one could comment on what happened. We were told that in elementary schools, no electronic devices are allowed.

“They aren’t making this about that classroom,” said Sims’ attorney Kristin Paulding. “[These] are charges that carry jail time.”

According to WAVY, Sims was charged with felony use of device to intercept oral communication and misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The felony charge could carry five years in prison.

“Instead of comforting her she’s going to a magistrate and being handcuffed,” Paulding added.

For simply listening to what her own child went through during the day via a recording device, this mother is facing a felony charge that can land her in jail. Hopefully, as her attorney notes, these charges won’t hold up in court.

“We are at the very early stages of this, but even at the early stages I think the community needs to know that this is happening because any parent out there that is sending their child to school now could be at risk for something that happened to Sarah,” Paulding said.

Sadly, TFTP has reported on mothers putting recording devices in their child’s backpack to catch bullies after the school failed to act. Megan Dowdy was one of those mothers.

Dowdy said her son had been having night terrors. She suspected something wrong was happening at school, so she placed a recording device in her son’s pocket. Her child, who’s 13-years-old and autistic, has the cognitive skills of a first-grader and the communication capacity of a kindergartener, according to Dowdy. She said his behavior at night led her to believe something terrible was happening at school. She said, “He kept getting up during the night having night terrors, screaming, having meltdowns for no reason.”

What Dowdy found with her recorder was horrifying. Her autistic son’s bully was a cop.

A Pinellas County school resource officer, serving in Osceola Middle School, was caught on audio recordings abusing the autistic child. Ironically, the officer, Ural Darling, had been celebrated as one of Florida’s top school resource officers for his work in preventing bullying. All that has since changed now that Darling has been found to be the bully, caught by the student’s mother verbally torturing the child.

He was fired in August but unlike Sarah Sims in the story above—who merely tried to catch her daughter’s bully—the officer was not charged.

Copyright Information: This article was reprinted with permission from Thefreethoughtsproject.com. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Courts Have Allowed Police To Murder The Constitution

We have entered a new regime and it’s called the American police state.

As the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in County of Los Angeles vs. Mendez makes clear, Americans can no longer rely on the courts to mete out justice.

Continuing its disturbing trend of siding with police in cases of excessive use of force, a unanimous Court declared that police should not be held liable for recklessly firing 15 times into a shack where a homeless couple—Angel and Jennifer Mendez—was sleeping.

Understandably, the Mendezes were startled by the intruders, so much so that Angel was holding his BB gun, which he used to shoot rats, in defense. Despite the fact that police barged into the Mendez’s backyard shack without a search warrant and without announcing their presence and fired 15 shots at the couple, who suffered significant injuries (Angel Mendez suffered numerous gunshot wounds, one of which required the amputation of his right leg below the knee, and his wife Jennifer was shot in the back), the Court once again gave the police a “get out of jail free” card.

Unfortunately, we’ve been traveling this dangerous road for a long time now.

In the police state being erected around us, the police and other government agents can probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts.

Whether it’s police officers breaking through people’s front doors and shooting them dead in their homes or strip searching motorists on the side of the road, these instances of abuse are continually validated by a judicial system that kowtows to virtually every police demand, no matter how unjust, no matter how in opposition to the Constitution.

These are the hallmarks of the emerging American police state: where police officers, no longer mere servants of the people entrusted with keeping the peace, are part of an elite ruling class dependent on keeping the masses corralled, under control, and treated like suspects and enemies rather than citizens.

While the First Amendment—which gives us a voice—is being muzzled, the Fourth Amendment—which protects us from being bullied, badgered, beaten, broken and spied on by government agents—is being disemboweled.

A review of critical court rulings over the past decade or so, including some ominous ones by the U.S. Supreme Court, reveals a startling and steady trend towards pro-police state rulings by an institution concerned more with establishing order and protecting the ruling class and government agents than with upholding the rights enshrined in the Constitution.

Police can stop, arrest and search citizens without reasonable suspicion or probable cause.

In a 5-3 ruling in Utah v. Strieff, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively gave police a green light to embark on a fishing expedition of one’s person and property, rendering Americans completely vulnerable to the whims of any cop on the beat.

Minnesota Hospital fires 50 employees who refused to get flu shots

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Essentia Health has fired about 50 employees because they refused to get flu shots.

The health care provider set a Monday deadline for employees to get flu shots or receive an exemption for medical or religious reasons.

Chief of patient quality and safety, Dr. Rajesh Prabhu said Essentia’s mandatory approach came down to two things, a desire to increase patient safety and an understanding that Essentia’s 82 percent flu vaccination rate from 2016 wasn’t going to change voluntarily.

“Purely voluntary or more education doesn’t get you those high levels of immunization compliance and as you know other states, other health care organizations have done the same thing we have,” he said.

Since September, Essentia has told employees, volunteers, students and vendors they have three options: get the flu shot, get an approved religious or medical exemption, or leave Essentia.

As of Tuesday, Dr. Prabhu said 99.5 percent of employees have chosen the first two options, but fifty so far have been terminated with more left waiting to hear back on their exemptions.

Minnesota Nurses Association Duluth chair Steve Strand said with so many employees in that limbo, his union doesn’t know how many members may have lost their jobs just yet.

“We believe that they will be denying some of those, and then those individuals may end up terminated also,” he said.

But Strand said the MNA does intend to fight any terminations for a policy they say is unnecessarily intrusive and may not even be effective. He said if Essentia had negotiated with his nurses before implementing the policy they would have suggested a mulch-tiered approach that included a voluntary policy and stricter hygiene practices. He cited CDC research showing this year’s vaccine is expected to be 60 percent effective against the flu.

The medical police state is out of control: Home gardening, health coaching and child protection all CRIMINALIZED in the name of “public safety”

The late Ronald Reagan once argued that as government expands, liberty contracts. This idea is perhaps more relevant today than it ever has been, considering the fact that on virtually every level of American society, the peoples’ individual freedoms are being crushed by an army of politicized judges, power hungry lawmakers and unelected bureaucrats. Incredibly, it is now more difficult to identify institutions that the federal government doesn’t have its dirty hands on than it is to identify institutions that are truly free. From the Internet to college campuses, gun manufacturers to the automobile industry and even the food that we eat, the government really is everywhere.

One person who has experienced the crushing weight of the federal government first hand is a woman by the name of Heather Kokesch Del Castillo, who in 2014 founded a one-on-one health coaching business called Constitution Nutrition. For almost four years, Heather successfully ran Constitution Nutrition, starting in California and eventually moving her company to the state of Florida. However, in May 2017, Heather was forced to shut down her business completely after a complaint was filed with the Florida Department of Health accusing Heather of being unlicensed while engaging in the practice of nutrition and dietetics.

Even though Heather never claimed to be a licensed nutritionist, the Florida Department of Health demanded that she stop providing her services to clients and slapped her with over $750 in fines and costs. After coming to the realization that her only other alternative would be to spend years of her life and thousands of dollars working towards a degree to become a licensed dietitian, Heather followed the orders of her state and shut her business down.

Yet another story out of Florida further demonstrates just how big and intrusive the government has become. Earlier this month, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal upheld the Village of Miami Shores’ ban on front yard vegetable gardens, dealing a major blow to private property rights and individual liberty. For homeowners like Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll, this means that even if they wish to grow a vegetable garden in their front yards to feed themselves (as opposed to selling their vegetables to others), the law prevents them from doing so.

Ari Bargil, an attorney for the Institute for Justice, argued in court on behalf of Hermine and Tom. “Today’s decision gives local government the power to flatly ban homeowners from growing plants in their front yards simply because they intend to eat them,” he explained. “The decision authorizes government to criminalize something people have freely done for centuries – grow food to feed themselves.”

Unfortunately, the ban on front yard vegetable gardens was upheld by the court, which concluded that it is okay for the government to ban “the cultivation of plants to be eaten as part of a meal, as opposed to the cultivation of plants for ornamental reasons.”

But when it comes to big, bloated government, it’s not only matters related to food and nutrition that are affected. The state of California recently passed a law that requires trade schools to deny admission to students that have not completed high school or a state-approved equivalent, ultimately placing the power of determining what young people learn and what they don’t learn in the hands of the government. (Related: To resist tyranny and oppression is to redeem your soul in the eyes of the universe.)

Bob Smith, who owns Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School (PCHS), filed a federal lawsuit against the state of California, arguing that the law violates his First Amendment rights and that he has the right to educate anyone he wants to, regardless of whether or not they have completed the required amount of schooling. Esteban Narez, another resident of California who wants to attend PCHS but can’t because of the fact that he never graduated from high school, is joining Bob in the lawsuit.

“Just like publishing a how-to book or uploading an instructional video to YouTube is protected by the First Amendment, so is teaching,” argued Keith Diggs, an Institute for Justice attorney who is representing Bob and Esteban. “By limiting who Bob is allowed to teach and what Esteban is allowed to learn, California has not only harmed the students most in need of an education, but also violated their First Amendment rights.”

And of course, what would a massive, out of control government be if it didn’t have its long tentacles wrapped tightly around the medical industry? Just days ago, a young mother in California was walking her kids to the bus stop when she was approached by a police officer and an official from the Claremont school district. The two immediately began asking the mother whether or not she had vaccinated her children in a rather intimidating fashion. After she refused to answer and started to record the conversation, the police officer and the school official walked away. Later, the mother called the police department and explained to them what had happened to her, only to be told that she could be arrested for refusing to vaccinate her kids.

These are just four examples out of hundreds – or possibly even thousands – of how the federal government is expanding while liberty is contracting. It’s easy to forget at times that America was originally founded on the principles of self-governance and individualism, both of which are being crushed day in and day out by government officials and bureaucrats who think they know what is best for you and your family. They don’t, of course, but they continue to insist otherwise.

Copyright Information: This article was reprinted with permission from Newstarget.com. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Entire Baltimore Neighborhood Under Lockdown: “Police Declared Martial Law”

Five days ago, Det. Sean Suiter, a married father of five and an 18-year veteran with the Baltimore Police, was patrolling the streets of West Baltimore around 5pm last Wednesday when he saw suspicious activity. Suiter approached a man and was shot point blank in the head, in a summary execution. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition where he later died of his injuries.

In response, Baltimore Police reacted with ‘fire and fury’ turning the neighborhood where Suiter was shot into an “open-air prison”, shutting down city streets and enabling checkpoints for citizens while officers in tactical gear went door to door, according to Baltimore Brew. Residents were prohibited from entering their own neighborhood unless they showed proper identification, these extreme measures have been in place for 4-5 days.

“They’ve been to my house three times asking, ‘Did you hear anything? Do you know anything,’” said Edward Stanley, a local resident, who had to show a yellow slip before entering the neighborhood.

In response, Baltimore Police reacted with ‘fire and fury’ turning the neighborhood where Suiter was shot into an “open-air prison”, shutting down city streets and enabling checkpoints for citizens while officers in tactical gear went door to door, according to Baltimore Brew. Residents were prohibited from entering their own neighborhood unless they showed proper identification, these extreme measures have been in place for 4-5 days.

“They’ve been to my house three times asking, ‘Did you hear anything? Do you know anything,’” said Edward Stanley, a local resident, who had to show a yellow slip before entering the neighborhood.

Baltimore Brew said, the neighborhood was tuned into “open-air prison”, as the complete lockdown was in attempt to collect evidence and search for the shooter.

Police initially said they needed to cordon off the area to try to capture the shooter. Police have said Suiter was in the 900 block of Bennett Place, investigating a previous homicide, when he was shot on Wednesday. So far, no arrests have been announced in the case. This morning, homicide detective Mike Newton told The Brew that the lockdown was necessary to collect evidence.

One community group took pictures of a checkpoint in West Baltimore.

Arrests for offensive Facebook and Twitter posts soar in London

social media

The number of people being arrested for “online crimes of speech” have increased dramatically in London.

While arrests for aggressive, threatening or hateful speech on social media declined between 2010 and 2013, the numbers rose last year.

According to the Register, a total of 2,500 Londoners have been arrested over the past five years for allegedly sending “offensive” messages via social media. In 2015, 857 people were detained, up 37 per cent increase since 2010.

The Communications Act 2003 defines illegal communication as “using public electronic communications network in order to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety”. Breaking the law carries a six-month prison term or fine of up to £5,000.

The figures, obtained from the Metropolitan police via a Freedom of Information request, only apply to the London area.

Library cancels Journalist Matt Taibbi appearance over past misogynistic writings

PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTUBE SCREEN GRAB

The Akron-Summit County Public Library announced on Tuesday it had canceled a program by author, journalist and frequent Rolling Stone contributing writer Matt Taibbi.

The Nov. 9 program was on Taibbi’s new book, “I Can’t Breathe,” about 43-year-old Eric Garner, a black man who died in 2014 after being placed in a chokehold by members of  the New York City Police Department.

The Akron Main Library’s cancellation, however, was in response to content published in 2000, in a book titled “The Exile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia.” Taibbi co-wrote the book with another Rolling Stone contributor, Mark Ames. “The Exile” is about their time living as ex-patriots, editing an English-language newspaper in Russia.

“The Exile,” which was billed as a non-fiction book, includes misogynistic — and occasionally sexually charged — passages in which Taibbi and Ames demean women and brag about behavior that could be described as sexual assault.

Taibbi now says the book was actually satire and a work of fiction, and has issued a nearly 3,000-word apology on Facebook. He denied assaulting or harassing women, but admitted that the newspaper and his book featured “gratuitous viciousness” and ” often demeaning and misogynistic” content.

Federal Agents Seized A Man’s Truck Over Five Forgotten Bullets

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency has seized and kept Gerardo Serrano’s truck for the past two years because he forgot he’d left five bullets in his center console. Welcome to the upside-down world of civil forfeiture, where law enforcement can seize your stuff without ever charging you with a crime. Five forgotten bullets are all it takes for the government to argue that someone is an international arms smuggler and rob them of their constitutional rights.

It all started two years ago when Gerardo was crossing the border into Mexico at Eagle Pass, Texas, in his nearly-new Ford F-250 pickup truck. While he waited to cross, he snapped photos to share with his relatives on Facebook. Two CBP agents stopped him at the side of the road. Gerardo, the agents said, was being detained because he’d taken photos.

While detained, Gerardo watched agents search his truck. Finally, one officer gleefully said “we got him” and held up five low-caliber bullets Gerardo had forgotten were in his center console. The agents told him he was free to go, but they were keeping his truck. According to CBP, the truck was subject to civil forfeiture because it was used to transport “munitions of war.“ To get home to Kentucky, Gerardo had to rent a car.

For almost two years, the agency held Gerardo’s truck without ever taking its case before a judge. Gerardo had to pay 10% of the value of the truck—around $3,800—just to contest the seizure. No court has ever approved the seizure of Gerardo’s truck, and Gerardo has never had an opportunity to argue that he should get the truck back. The truck presumably continues to sit in a government impound lot while he continues to make monthly payments.

Gerardo was never convicted of a crime, let alone charged with one. Indeed, forgetting a few bullets in your car is not a crime. For taking pictures, Gerardo’s truck was seized under a law designed to punish international arms smugglers, not innocent Americans visiting family in Mexico.

JAIL THE POOR: Woman spent 27 days in jail because she couldn’t pay $55 fee

A Colorado Springs woman who has a newborn child was jailed for 27 days because she couldn’t pay an unrelated pretrial court processing fee of $55 despite a judge’s order that she be released on her own recognizance, a civil lawsuit says.

In its attempt to recoup the $55 cost of pretrial services, El Paso County spent about $2,400 holding Jasmine Still, according to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Denver by American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado attorneys Rebecca Wallace and Mark Silverstein.

Still, arrested Jan. 11 on a felony narcotics possession charge when she was caught with 0.3 of a gram of methamphetamine, is now seeking compensatory and consequential damages, and attorneys’ fees.

A judge determined that she should be released on her own recognizance because she was not a flight risk and posed no threat of harm to others, the lawsuit says.

“Every day I was in jail, I thought there had to have been some kind of mistake. I didn’t think you could jail someone just because they were poor,” Still said in a news release. “I am fighting back not just for me, but for all of the other people who El Paso County has kept in jail because they couldn’t scrape together $55.”

Still was held because El Paso County has a policy of charging crime suspects a $55 pretrial fee. That fee has kept people who should have been released on their own recognizance in jail for up to 119 days solely because of personal poverty, the lawsuit says.

“Jailing someone because of their poverty is not only cruel, it is unconstitutional,” Silverstein said in a news release.

In 2016, Colorado passed a law that closed a loophole critics contended gutted efforts to prevent the jailing of poor people who can’t pay fines for low-level offenses. The law specified that jailings could occur only after a court hearing determined the fines were not an undue hardship.

As recently as Friday, the El Paso County jail was holding six pretrial suspects released on their own recognizance who couldn’t pay the fee, the lawsuit says. The defendants should have been released after signing an agreement that promises they will return to court for future proceedings.

State Threatens to Kidnap Little Girl Because Parents Cure Her Seizures with CBD in a LEGAL State

PHOTO CREDIT: FREE THOUGHT PROJECT

“I would look outside my window just scared to death I would see a police officer and CPS here to take my kid.”

It’s a nightmare made entirely by the State. A little girl would be snatched away from caring parents for doing nothing more than healing their daughter’s debilitating condition with a plant extract.

Even though medical cannabidiol (CBD) is now legal in Indiana, Child Protective Services (CPS) was going to take 20-month-old Jaelah Jerger—because her parents chose to use legal CBD oil instead of a harmful pharma drug. Fortunately, and ironically, this assault was stopped in the nick of time by an Indiana state legislator.

Jaelah suffered about 40 epileptic seizures a day, and was being seen by doctors at Riley Hospital for Children. They recommended the drug Keppra, with known side-effects of “drowsiness, dizziness, unusual tiredness or weakness.”

Instead of immediately turning to pharmaceutical drugs—as the U.S. medical-pharma industry typically does—Leiah Jerger, Jaelah’s mother, and her husband wanted to find out more about this drug and consider alternatives. CBD oil, a cannabis extract, is well-known to stop seizures in their tracks and allow children suffering from multiple seizures a day to become virtually seizure-free.

CBD, the other major ingredient in cannabis alongside THC, does not produce a high and can be extracted from industrial hemp plants. Due to its amazing healing power, especially for childhood seizures, CBD extract has been legalized in most states—even staunchly prohibitionist holdouts.

In April of this year, Indiana legalized the use of CBD oil for those with treatment-resistant epilepsy. After speaking with other parents successfully using CBD, Jaelah’s parents decided they would try it for their own daughter. Why risk the harmful side-effects of Keppra if there is a safer, effective option?

Apparently, at least one “expert” at Riley hospital believes this is such an offense that government must ruin the lives of children and parents who want to end their child’s suffering.

“Lelah Jerger, the child’s mother, said personnel at Riley Hospital for Children reported her to Indiana’s Child Protective Services after she and her husband decided to use cannabidiol oil, or CBD, to treat their daughter Jaelah, rather than use the medication prescribed by a Riley doctor.”

Even though the parents had a prescription for medical CBD from a chiropractic neurologist, and even though Jaelah “went from at least 40 noticeable seizures per day down to almost none,”Riley medical personnel reported the parents for “not treating” their daughter.

Unless you conform to the U.S. medical establishment—driven by Big Pharma and blinded by the drug war—you are in danger of losing the most precious thing in your life. Jaelah was virtually healed of her seizures through a completely legal process, but doctors and the State were somehow compelled to treat these parents as criminals.

“CPS arrived at the Jergers house in Huntingburg on Sept. 20, formally asking the parents to agree to keep Jaelah on Keppra, to take her for weekly blood tests to confirm she was taking Keppra and to only see a specified physician, Lelah said.

Just days before CPS arrived, the Jergers said they had already decided to add Keppra to their CBD oil treatment after consulting with another neurologist.

Jerger said CPS said it would get a court order to remove Jaelah from their home if they did not comply.

CPS contacted that family again on Sept. 26, Jerger said, telling the family to admit the girl to a specific hospital for symptoms from the Keppra medication.”

Rep. Mark Messmer was not going to let this injustice happen. He called the office of Gov. Eric Holcomb the director of the Department of Child Services (DCS). Soon after, DCS dropped the case.

“They had overreacted based on a complaint from the nurse practitioner in this case and should have approached it more cautiously than they did,” Messmer said. “I saw it as extremely heavy handed and over reach on the part of DCS.”

Incredibly, Gov. Holcomb believes that his agency acted appropriately by threatening to steal a child from caring parents for the act of healing their own child through legal means. In his mind, “ensuring the child’s safety” means ripping her from her family and taking away the cure for her seizures.

READ MORE:  Russian Millionaire & Founder of RT Discovered Dead In Washington DC Hotel Room

Leiah Jerger expressed the trauma she experienced.

Our daughter was never taken away from us, but the fear was horrible to live with,” said Jerger. “I would look outside my window just scared to death I would see a police officer and CPS here to take my kid.

And she is not taking this lying down.

“Jerger wants CPS to be held accountable for what she sees as wrongdoing by the agency. She has started Facebook pages called “Justice for Lelah” and “Parents for DCS Reform” to bring attention to the situation.

“Our hope in this whole mess is that no other family will ever have to go through this,” she posted on the page. “If a product is legal and works, then something needs to be done to prevent CPS or hospitals from reporting it.”

The actions of Rep. Messmer and other noble lawmakers, such as Rep. Allen Peake of Georgia who skirts the law to bring medical cannabis to sick kids, suggest the tide has turned. With awareness, communication and civil disobedience, resistance to prohibition is growing.

Copyright Information: This article was reprinted with permission from Thefreethoughtsproject.com. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Michigan to begin roadside drug testing pilot program next week

The Michigan State Police has announced five counties where a roadside drug testing pilot program will begin on Nov. 8.

Counties selected for roadside drug testing through a saliva test are Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair and Washtenaw, MSP said in a Nov. 2 statement.

The one-year pilot program was established by the Michigan Legislature, under Public Acts 242 and 243 of 2016.

The pilot program will establish policies for the administration of roadside drug testing to determine whether an individual is operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance in violation of Michigan law.

Over the last several years, Michigan has seen a steady increase in fatal crashes involving drivers impaired by drugs. In 2016, there were 236 drug-involved traffic fatalities, which is an increase of 32 percent from 179 drug-involved traffic fatalities in 2015, according to the MSP.

“Motorists under the influence of drugs pose a risk to themselves and others on the road,” Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP, said. “With drugged driving on the rise, law enforcement officers need an effective tool to assist in making these determinations during a traffic stop.”

Court: Student can be expelled for calling gay ‘marriage’ a sin on Facebook

A Christian student who was expelled from university after posting on Facebook in support of Biblical teaching on marriage and sexual ethics has lost his case in a judicial review of the university’s decision.

Felix Ngole was studying for an MA in Social Work at Sheffield University. In 2015 he made comments using his personal Facebook account on the story of the American registrar Kim Davis who was imprisoned after conscientiously refusing to register same-sex marriages. Felix expressed his Ch

A Christian student who was expelled from university after posting on Facebook in support of Biblical teaching on marriage and sexual ethics has lost his case in a judicial review of the university’s decision.

Felix Ngole was studying for an MA in Social Work at Sheffield University. In 2015 he made comments using his personal Facebook account on the story of the American registrar Kim Davis who was imprisoned after conscientiously refusing to register same-sex marriages. Felix expressed his Christian beliefs on the issue and argued that: “same sex marriage is a sin whether we like it or not. It is God’s words and man’s sentiments would not change His words”. He was asked where in the Bible it says that same-sex marriage is wrong, and he quoted various passages to demonstrate this.

Nearly two months later, Felix received an email from a university official informing him that his Facebook comments were being investigated. He was later interviewed by an investigatory team, and subsequently removed from his course by a panel chaired by Professor Marsh, an LGBT rights campaigner.

Felix, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, sought to challenge the university’s decision in a judicial review which was heard in the High Court over two days. The court ruled that the university acted lawfully in removing Felix from his course.

‘May have caused offence’

The court heard that the university “investigatory team accepted that Felix was fully entitled to his religious beliefs, and had acted with honesty and integrity”. The university held that it was not Felix’s views that were at issue, but his public posting of these views. They held that this expression of his views “may have caused offence to some individuals”.

The university argued that they were right to sanction Felix and bar him from his chosen profession in spite of the fact that Felix had lawfully expressed his Christian views as a practicing Christian, outside of his professional studies, in a context in which he was not identified as a social work student, and despite this expression having no impact on his work and professional abilities.

‘Freedom of speech impaired’

The university and the court agreed that Felix’s freedom of speech had been impaired. The judge accepted that his posts “were undoubtedly intended by him to convey a religious perspective.” Nevertheless, the court ruled that “Felix had no religious imperative to comment on an American news website about Kim Davis”.

The judgment stated: “Freedom of expression is an important right. Exercising that right to express the content of deeply held religious views deserves respect in a democratic and plural society, nowhere more so than in a university. Freedom of religious discourse is a public good of great importance and seriousness.”

China Now Arresting Families for Praying at Home

In the most recent case of religious persecution in China, a house church pastor, Xu Shizhen, her daughter and her 3-year-old grandson were arrested by authorities. The family was reportedly taken into custody after a month of being found singing and dancing in praise and worship, and preaching the gospel in a public park.

It is currently unknown where the family was taken after their arrest, but according to non-profit Christian human rights organization, China Aid, the two women, and the grandson have been separated.

This is not the first time Xu Shizhen has got into trouble with Chinese authorities, who impose strict laws regarding practicing of religion other than those recognized by the state. Five years ago, this particular pastor had a run-in with officials when her then house church was seized and handed over to the control of Three-Self Patriotic Movement Church, a church which is run by the state. It was after this incident she founded her current home church, called Zion Church.

Many believe that this is a move by the Chinese government to show the state and the world just how serious it is about its new rules regarding regulating religion in order to enhance national security, dismantling and preventing extremism, and curbing the practice of faith by organizations which are not approved by the state. Keeping in mind that the arrest of the family happened just two weeks after the state’s new religion regulations came into effect, it is a high possibility.

U.S. widens surveillance to include ‘homegrown violent extremists’ – documents

The U.S. government has broadened an interpretation of which citizens can be subject to physical or digital surveillance to include “homegrown violent extremists,” according to official documents seen by Reuters.

The change last year to a Department of Defense manual on procedures governing its intelligence activities was made possible by a decades-old presidential executive order, bypassing congressional and court review.

The new manual, released in August 2016, now permits the collection of information about Americans for counterintelligence purposes “when no specific connection to foreign terrorist(s) has been established,” according to training slides created last year by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI).

The slides were obtained by Human Rights Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request about the use of federal surveillance laws for counter-drug or immigration purposes and shared exclusively with Reuters.

The Air Force and the Department of Defense told Reuters that the documents are authentic.

The slides list the shooting attacks in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015 and Orlando, Florida, in June 2016 as examples that would fall under the “homegrown violent extremist” category. The shooters had declared fealty to Islamic State shortly before or during the attacks, but investigators found no actual links to the organization that has carried out shootings and bombings of civilians worldwide.

When Prisons Become Nursing Homes: New at Reason

When Americans think of federal prisons, they probably don’t picture nursing homes. But maybe they should. Thanks to the long mandatory sentences that come with many drug offenses, elderly inmates have emerged as the fastest-growing sector of the federal prison population.

As of June 2017, there were nearly 35,000 federal inmates over the age of 51; 10,000 were over the age of 60. Many of these prisoners suffer the same illnesses afflicting the elderly population in free America, from heart disease to Type 2 diabetes to cancer. The difference is that elderly prisoners receive care while shackled to a bed.

Many aging and sick federal prisoners die under horrid conditions—but they needn’t. In 1984, Congress empowered the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to petition for the early release of inmates in “extraordinary and compelling” circumstances. This power is formally called “compassionate release.” It’s perfectly legal and reasonably safe: Older prisoners seldom resume their criminal behavior upon release, and terminally ill prisoners almost never do.

Yet the BOP uses compassionate release sparingly. After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer—which is often fatal when treated by even the country’s finest physicians—Michael Hodge, who received a 20-year sentence for marijuana trafficking, asked to be allowed to die at home with his wife. He was denied without explanation.

Young Man Arrested for Underage Sex Was Re-Arrested for Sharing a Pizza with a 17-Year-Old

Zach Anderson, the young man from Elkhart, Indiana, whose harsh punishment for consensual sex with an underage teenager he wrongly believed was 17 made headlines around the country in 2015, has been arrested for violating his probation.

What, exactly, did he do? He stopped by for dinner at his parents’ home. His younger brother was present, and incidentally, so was the brother’s friend. The brother thought this friend was 19 years old, but he turned out to be just 17. Anderson, unfortunately, is not allowed to have contact with anybody under the age of 18, except his own siblings.

There was one other thing. Anderson works on the tech team at his local church. Recently, a 17-year-old girl joined the church staff as an intern. While Anderson has never met or spoken with her, the fact that they volunteer on separate teams at the church is a violation of his probation, according to officials who issued a warrant for his arrest last week.

For these charges, Anderson, now 22 years old, is heading back to court in Michigan next week. (Anderson lives in Indiana, but the “crime” was over the border, in Michigan.) Possible outcomes range from dismissing the charges to extending probation, putting Anderson on the sex offender registry, sending him to prison, or any combination thereof.

There is no credible reason to believe Anderson is a danger to anyone, let alone a young woman he has never even met or interacted with—which is why the 17-year-old submitted a letter affirming that Anderson has never approach her, and that she doesn’t even know what he looks like. The church director offered a letter of support as well, noting that Anderson has constantly gone out of his way to avoid violating the terms of his probation, even though the terms are arbitrary are pointless. Anderson is so faithful to them, in fact, that he willingly confessed to the pizza incident during a mandatory polygraph examination.

It’s worth recalling the absurdity of the original crime that landed Anderson in this situation. More than two years ago, when Anderson was 19 years old, he was sentenced to 25 years on the sex offender registry for hooking up with a girl he met online. The girl said she was 17 but turned out to be only 14.

You may recall that both the girl and her mother begged the judge to throw the case out, since there was no way Anderson could have known the girl’s real age. Unmoved, Berrien County District Court Judge Dennis Wiley told Anderson: “You went online, to use a fisherman’s expression, trolling for women to meet and have sex with. That seems to be part of our culture now: meet, hook up, have sex, sayonara. Totally inappropriate behavior. There is no excuse for this whatsoever.”

The case made it to the front page of The New York Times and Anderson was granted new sentencing. At that point he was deemed eligible for a youth leniency program and given a sentence of two years’ probation, which was finally coming to an end next week.

Amazon & Walmart’s in-home and car delivery service will let police conduct warrantless searches

Recently, Walmart shocked privacy conscious Americans by announcing they wanted customers to let Walmart employees inside their homes.

Walmart thinks, Americans will be happy to let strange Uber and Lyft drivers inside their homes.

“First, users will place an order on Walmart’s website for their groceries, which will dispatch a driver from Deliv, a Walmart-owned company that uses drivers on services like Uber and Lyft for last mile deliveries, to bring it to your smarthome.”

Homeowners will receive a notification that someone is in their home…

“You’ll receive a phone notification that it’s happening,and if you want, can watch the delivery in real time with your smarthome’s security camera system via the August app, you’ll be “in control of the experience the entire time” VP of eCommerce Strategy and Business Operations Sloan Eddleston said.

Will you be allowed to watch them while you’re working, driving, what if your phone dies? The reasons why this is a bad idea are too long to list here.

Three days ago, Amazon shocked privacy conscious Americans by announcing that they also want to deliver packages inside peoples homes and cars.

Who wouldn’t want to let two of the largest corporations in the world have access to your car and home, what could possibly go wrong?

If you want to find out what could go wrong, read Computerworld’s article that describes how letting corporations inside your home and car is one of the worst ideas ever.

Among the things that could go wrong are the obvious like letting thieves delivery drivers case your home and car.

Delivery drivers could easily plant drugs or weapons

Once a Walmart/Amazon employee has been granted access to your home or car, all bets are off.

How long will it be before a delivery driver, plants drugs or weapons inside them?

And how long will it be before someone’s car or home is searched because a Walmart or Amazon employee saw something suspicious?

Once law enforcement receives a call about something suspicious, a customers car or home can and will be searched.

If you think customer service sucks now just wait, it’s about to get a whole lot worse.

Computerworld’s article also mentions that hackers could intercept the code that lets delivery drivers gain access to your home or vehicle. Once they have the code a hacker or thief would have unfettered access to them.

Who wouldn’t feel safe, knowing a hacker could intercept the code because it is sent over a non-secure wireless network.

Can anyone say internet cafe or wireless hotspot?

Police could enter a customers home or vehicle without a warrant

Here’s a scenario, Amazon and Walmart does not want to talk about.

A delivery driver decides to use your bathroom or steal something because you granted them access. You call the police because you’re worried the delivery person is ransacking your property. But once the police arrive, they now have probable cause to search your car or home without a warrant.

How’s that for customer service?

But criminals aren’t the only thing customers should worry about. What Americans really need to worry about is law enforcement.

For years, police departments have been using Stingrays and other devices to mimic and capture cell phone conversations, texts and pictures.

“The StingrayII can impersonate four cellular communications towers at once, monitoring up to four cellular provider networks simultaneously.”

Imagine, police intercepting Amazon or Walmart’s code and using it to gain access to a home or car without a warrant. Imagine law enforcement using a Wi-Fi jammer to block a webcam from recording them as they enter a customers home.

So who should you worry about more? Hackers or thieves gaining access to your property or law enforcement?

Amazon and Walmart use smart lock companies to spy on customers

Amazon and Walmart are working with smart lock companies PhrameAugust, and Garageio to spy on customers.

Phrame uses a smart license frame to track customers vehicles 24/7.

“No matter what type of car you drive, Phrame will report real-time security alerts straight to your phone. You’ll be notified about unauthorized movements, break-ins, crashes, towing activity and any attempts of theft.” 

August uses smart locks to spy on customers homes 24/7.

“With our proprietary DoorSense and Auto-Lock technologies, you’ll know your door is both closed and locked. Track activity at your door with a 24/7 activity feed…”

Garageio uses smart locks to spy on customers homes 24/7.

“Garageio will alert you if your garage door has been left open, allowing you to close it immediately with a single swipe.”

All of these companies use smart technology to spy on people 24/7 and some of them use Alexa and Amazon Echo.

Two more concerns about smart lock companies…

How long are these companies storing customer data for and how easy is it for law enforcement to gain access to that data?

To say, that giving corporations access to your car and home is a bad idea would be an understatement. But paying corporations to spy on your home or car 24/7 is asinine.

Copyright Information: This article was reprinted with permission from massprivatei.blogspot.com. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Mother who refused to vaccinate her son loses primary custody

The Michigan mother sent to jail after refusing to comply with a court order to vaccinate her 9-year old son has more legal woes. Rebecca Bredow lost primary custody of the boy Wednesday. She will now split custody 50/50 with the child’s father James Horne.

Before Bredow went to jail, she had primary custody. She was released from the Oakland County jail early Monday. She thought she would be reunited with her son, but he remained with his father. While she was in jail, Horne was granted temporary custody of their son, and the boy received four immunizations Monday.

A referee assigned to the custody case decided the boy’s father should have joint custody. Judge Karen McDonald who sent Bredow to jail for not complying with her order, agreed, and approved the referee’s recommendation.

The mother left mediation Wednesday devastated. “Today was supposed to be a review on vaccinations,” Bredow said. “I wasn’t expecting to lose primary custody today of my son. I feel a bit spun around and in shock expecting him to come home today and I’m a little upset.”

YouTube moves to shut down all independent media coverage of Las Vegas shooting in desperate maneuver to protect the “official” narrative

If you’ve been wondering whether the official story of how events transpired in the Las Vegas shooting was actually based in truth, wonder no more: YouTube has taken a bold move to shut down all independent media video coverage of the Mandalay Bay Massacre in a last ditch, desperate attempt to control the narrative.

According to the Wall Street Journal, YouTube search results were causing “debunked claims” about the Las Vegas massacre to rise to the top of some search results, and this annoyed Google to the point of taking swift action to censor those sources. According to the WSJ:

For example, the fifth result when searching “Las Vegas shooting” on YouTube late Tuesday yielded a video titled “Proof Las Vegas Shooting Was a FALSE FLAG attack—Shooter on 4th Floor.” The video said there were multiple shooters in Sunday’s mass shooting, a claim dismissed by law enforcement. Posted by a channel called the End Times News Report, it amassed more than 1.1 million views in about 27 hours.

The WSJ, not surprisingly, calls all real journalism an exercise in “conspiracy theories,” utterly clueless to the fact that if more than one person was involved in this Vegas shooting, it was a conspiracy by definition. The federal government charges thousands of people each year with conspiracy crimes, of course, and the entire left-wing media has been claiming for the last year that the U.S. government was taken over by a “conspiracy” involving President Donald Trump and the Russians. Isn’t it interesting how the media refuses to let go of all their favorite agenda-promoting conspiracy theories, even when they’ve been thoroughly debunked by the evidence? To the media, a “conspiracy theory” simply means something they don’t want people to read, see or discuss. The institution that has actually been debunked in the last year is the media itself.

YouTube couldn’t allow the “End Times News Report” to appear in search results any longer

As reported by the WSJ, this effort to censor all “non-official” news video sources was undertaken by YouTube after a video that questioned the official narrative became wildly popular. That video, titled, “Proof Las Vegas Shooting Was a FALSE FLAG attack—Shooter on 4th Floor,” was posted by the End Times News Report, a popular YouTube channel for people who explore alternative ideas (which has apparently become nearly a crime in America these days).

For the record, that video is probably mistaken about the supposed shooter on the 4th floor, but that’s not the point. Regardless of whether you agree with the End Times News Report’s coverage of the Las Vegas shooting, YouTube has decided that you won’t get the chance to even see it. This is all part of YouTube / Google’s effort to silence all “non-official sources” across the internet, including websites, videos and even emails. This effort is predicated on the assumption that YouTube is better positioned than you are to decide what you get to see.

The problem with all this, of course, is found in the question: Who gets to decide which sources are “authoritative?” Because as we’ve all learned in the last couple of years, most “official sources” are full of bunk nearly all the time. CNN really is fake news, as America has finally discovered.

“Authoritative” sources are all globalist-controlled fake news outlets spewing obvious lies about the Las Vegas Shooting

As more and more people are coming to realize, nearly all sources deemed “authoritative” by Google, YouTube and Facebook are blatant fake news outlets run by globalist corporations pursuing globalist agendas. Here are just a few of the ridiculous, absurd lies these “authoritative” sources are now broadcasting about the Las Vegas shooting:

  • There’s no need to ask any more questions about the motivations of the shooter, Stephen Paddock. He’s labeled a “white man” and that’s all the mainstream media wants to know. How did he get radicalized? They aren’t interested. No questions are allowed. Case closed.
  • Any ties to ISIS or international terrorism groups were almost instantly dismissed by the fake news media, all in a ridiculous display of the utter abandonment of real journalism that now passes for “news” in America. If journalism existed at all in the mainstream media, they would be demanding detailed investigations into Paddock’s possible ties with extremist or terrorist groups such as ISIS or Antifa.
  • The “lone gunman” narrative has been relentlessly pushed by the mainstream media since day one, even though an eyewitness was captured on video detailing the existence of another couple who ran into the crowd 45 minutes before the shooting began, warning everything that “you are all going to die!” Obviously, if this couple had advanced knowledge of the shooting, it couldn’t have been a single gunman operating alone, without the knowledge of anyone else.
  • “Authoritative” sources repeat the so-called “fact” that Stephen Paddock shot himself before police breached his hotel door, yet the audio recordings that were released of the breach just happen to end with the command, “Breach! Breach! Breach!” Then it’s all silence. Why is there no audio after the breach itself? Possibly because the police shot Stephen Paddock and killed him there (or at least that’s one of the working theories).
  • The missing expended brass mystery has been completely covered up by the mainstream media, which consists almost entirely of reporters who are so illiterate about firearms that most of them don’t even know every round fired in a semi-auto rifle expends a piece of brass at the same time. If Paddock fired off 3,000 rounds, there should be 3,000 pieces of brass on the floor. Yet photos released to the media only show “dozens” of pieces of brass that, frankly, look like they were thrown on the floor as part of the staging of a photo op.

“Authoritative” sources are just echo chambers for official lies that could only be believed by incredibly stupid people

The bottom line here is that “authoritative” sources are usually just echo chambers for official lies. By censoring the independent media — even if some reporting consists of incorrect conclusions or theories about what went down — internet gatekeepers like YouTube and Facebook are turning the internet into an echo chamber for dumbed-down morons. (Otherwise known as Jimmy Kimmel fans.)

As much as the political Left in America today runs around screaming about “diversity” for everything, when it comes to thoughts, they actually demand conformity and obedience. Diversity of thought is never allowed. There’s zero tolerance for non-conforming analysis or inconvenient facts.

And that’s why millions of internet users are turning away from Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Instead, they’re seeking out independent, diverse news sources such as Natural News or PJ Media, where journalism reflects a diversity of views, analyses and conclusions.

Remember: When all five mainstream news channels are reporting exactly the same thing, that’s usually because they’re all lying in unison. It’s all the same news because they all got the same memo that morning. In contrast, real journalists don’t achieve 100% conformity in their analyses. (Only fake news is homogenized for your mindless consumption.) But YouTube and Google want to make sure you never see any diverse news because someone might contradict the official lies being spewed that day.

To bypass Google / YouTube censorship, bookmark Censored.news for real-time news updates from all the top censored news sources on the internet, and use GoodGopher.com to search the independent media.

Copyright Information: This article was reprinted with permission from Naturalnews.com. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

A Michigan Woman Is Sent To Prison For Refusing To Vaccinate Her Son

Should parents that don’t vaccinate their children be locked away in prison?  That is a very chilling question, because there are literally millions of parents all across the country that don’t vaccinate their children for various reasons.  Personally, I have been writing about vaccine safety concerns for the last seven years, and as a member of Congress I will fight extremely hard to make sure that parents always have the right to make health decisions for their own children.  Over the years I have read so many vaccine horror stories from distraught parents, and nobody should ever be forced to vaccinate their children against their will.  Unfortunately, that is something that just happened in Michigan

Rebecca Bredow, of the Detroit area, has has been sentenced to seven days in jail for refusing to bring her child’s vaccinations up to date.

Bredow appeared at a hearing on Wednesday morning at the Oakland County Circuit Court where Judge Karen McDonald sentenced her for contempt of court after Bredow refused to comply with court orders for her to allow her son to receive all his missing vaccinations within one week.

Michigan does have a law that allows parents to opt-out of vaccinations, but in this particular case a custody dispute was involved.  The court had sided with the father and was insisting that the boy’s vaccinations be brought up to date, and the mother was greatly troubled that so many shots would have to be administered all at once

The court order stems from an earlier custody hearing where the boy’s father said he wanted the vaccinations for the child. Breedow told WWJ that she objected to grouping the shots together. [Get more details about the case].

This is just another example of the medical tyranny that we have been witnessing all over the country.  Just today, I came across another article about an 8-year-old boy that was “carted off in a police car to a hospital and being forcibly injected with drugs” on his first day of school this year.  If we don’t stand up and fight, these types of incidents will continue to become even more frequent.

The root of the problem is the major pharmaceutical companies.  We are the most drugged up society in the history of the planet, and they are making billions upon billions of dollars off of our pain and suffering.

And the mainstream media carefully avoids talking about the nightmarish effects of many of these drugs, because the drug companies spend enormous amounts of money on advertising.  For years, the alternative media has been documenting the connection between antidepressants and mass shootings, and I just published an article asking if Stephen Paddock had been on any of those types of drugs.

Well, it turns out that he was

Stephen Paddock, who killed at least 58 people and wounded hundreds more in Las Vegas on Sunday with high-powered rifles, was prescribed an anti-anxiety drug in June that can lead to aggressive behavior, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has learned.

Records from the Nevada Prescription Monitoring Program obtained Tuesday show Paddock was prescribed 50 10-milligram diazepam tablets by Henderson physician Dr. Steven Winkler on June 21.

The more common name for that drug is Valium, and studies have discovered that it can “trigger aggressive behavior”

Diazepam is a sedative-hypnotic drug in the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, which studies have shown can trigger aggressive behavior. Chronic use or abuse of sedatives such as diazepam can also trigger psychotic experiences, according to drugabuse.com.

But you won’t hear a peep about this from the mainstream media because they might start to lose advertising revenue.

Sadly, the truth is that almost every mass killer over the past several decades was on some sort of pharmaceutical drug at the time of the attack.  The following comes from Paul Joseph Watson

As we previously highlighted, virtually every major mass shooter was taking some form of SSRI or other pharmaceutical drug at the time of their attack, including Columbine killer Eric Harris, ‘Batman’ shooter James Holmes and Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza.

As the website SSRI Stories profusely documents, there are literally hundreds of examples of mass shootings, murders and other violent episodes that have been committed by individuals on psychiatric drugs over the past three decades.

And for much more on this, please see this list compiled by WND.

In the aftermath of what happened in Las Vegas, countless politicians, celebrities and journalists are calling for guns to be banned.

But why aren’t any of them calling for these types of drugs to be banned?

The truth is that these unstable individuals are being turned into mass killers by these drugs, and until we are willing to admit that fact we are never going to get to the root of the issue.

Of course nobody in our society wants to take on the big pharmaceutical companies.  They donate countless millions of dollars to political campaigns and they spend countless millions of dollars on advertising with the mainstream media.

So they are going to continue to do whatever they want, and there won’t be any consequences until we get a new generations of leaders that are willing to stand up to them.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

Copyright Information: This article was reprinted with permission from Endoftheamericandream.com. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Public schools now pharmaceutical PRISONS…

The first day of school can be a nerve-wracking time for many kids and their parents, but normally the day goes off without a hitch. Some unlucky kids might be seated next to a classmate they don’t like or get lost going to the bathroom, but most kids find that all those jitters were ultimately unwarranted. That was not the case for a Toronto-area boy, however, as his first day of school this year ended with him being carted off in a police car to a hospital and being forcibly injected with drugs.

Debbie Kiroff told CBC Toronto that her eight-year-old son is a normal boy in many ways; he enjoys playing with Legos, cooking and swimming. However, he also has some behavioral issues and a serious learning disability. She wasn’t terribly surprised when the principal of Holland Landing Public School called her on the first day of school on September 5 to report that his behavior was “escalating.” He likes to run to release energy, she says, and he’s fond of escaping to a frog pond on the school grounds.

However, she was shocked by what happened next. Following an argument with another student over who could use a computer, the principal said he ran around and began climbing unspecified structures while holding a ruler. The principal asked her to come pick her son up, but Kiroff couldn’t leave work immediately and sent her adult daughter to pick him up instead.

By the time her daughter arrived, the boy was in the back of a police car. He was brought to Southlake Regional Health Centre, where Kiroff was forced to wait for 15 to 20 minutes before she could even go inside and see her son.

Before being allowed to enter, she says that a woman working at the hospital came to tell her that her son was out of control and that they had to restrain him and inject him with a sedative.

Kiroff said that she tried to remain calm despite seething inside and asked if they needed her consent for that. She was told that parental consent was not needed if the hospital felt there was an extreme safety concern. She asked what he was doing that prompted them to take such an extreme measure and was told that he was “kicking, screaming and yelling.” While these behaviors certainly have all the markings of a temper tantrum and are not pleasant to witness, it’s hardly an emergency situation worthy of needles and pharmaceuticals.

Her son later told her that hospital workers said they’d take his restraints off of him one at a time if he calmed down, but they ended up injecting him instead. He was kept for around an hour and a half in restraints before being released, and he stumbled back to the car. He was not allowed to go back to school until after his mother could meet with the principal on September 15. Kiroff said the incident has left her son emotionally scarred.

Could this happen to your child?

It’s hard to believe that a school or a hospital would allow such a young boy to be forcibly injected with a powerful sedative, particularly when his behavior does not seem much worse than an extreme temper tantrum. The fact that it was done without parental consent only makes the situation even more infuriating.

A statement by the hospital said: “No one wants to use restraints; it is a last measure and is done only in dire situations deemed an ’emergency.’ In an ’emergency’ situation, our concern for our patient determines how long a restraint is used.”

It’s too bad their concern for the patient didn’t extend to his long-term emotional well-being. For an eight-year-old-boy, being removed from school by police, brought to the hospital, strapped to a gurney and injected with drugs is pretty much the worst possible first day imaginable and something he is unlikely to ever forget. The experience could well affect him for the rest of his life and cause him to act out even more in the future. It’s hard to imagine how any of the adults involved believed this was the best way to handle the situation, and all parents who send their children to public schools need to be aware that this could happen to their child without their consent.

Copyright Information: This article was reprinted with permission from Naturalnews.com. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Cowardly Cop Fears for His Life, Tasers 81-Year-Old Grandma with Dementia

PHOTO CREDIT: PIXABAY

Greene County Sheriff Pat Hankins is standing up for his deputy this week—noting that he supports his deputy’s decision to deploy his taser on an 81-year-old woman on Sunday. Apparently, 81-year-old women with dementia holding gardening tools are now cause for cops to fear for their lives.

The family of Beunos Erwin has now hired an attorney after police showed up to their home responding to a 911 call for help and ended up tasering the very old woman in the street.

The sheriff said he supports his deputy’s decision because the officer was forced to think fast and only had 14 seconds to decide what to do. According to Hankins, the deputy’s only options were to kill the woman or take a chance risking his life. Naturally, bravery was out of the question—apparently, so was walking backward.

As WJHL reports:

Some Sheriff’s Office reports we obtained claim she suffers from dementia and often sees things that aren’t there.

On Sunday, September 24, Greene County deputies responded to a home on Wilkerson Road in Mosheim.

Erwin’s son called 9-1-1 telling dispatchers his mother was being combative.

According to an incident report, Erwin was using a broom to beat on cars and was yelling.

That report, says she has dementia and says she often sees things that aren’t there.

According to reports, there have been more than 40 calls for help from Erwin’s home in just the last year. By all measures, police were familiar with the elderly woman. However, the deputy who responded was apparently unfamiliar with showing any type of courage in the face of the very tiny amount of danger—if it can even be referred to as such—presented by an 81-year-old woman holding a rake.

READ MORE:  This Cop was Cleared of Any Wrong Doing After Preying on this Innocent 59-year-old Man

Many of the calls to 911 from Erwin’s home were actually made by her. Her dementia often caused her to see people on her property who were not actually there. However, when the deputy came this time, she could see him and so she demanded he leave her property.

According to the report:

This past Sunday, deputies left the scene but were called back about 40 minutes later.

The report says when they arrived back on scene they saw Erwin had a garden rake in her hands.

Sheriff Hankins said Erwin had already knocked out several windows with the rake when they arrived.

According to the deputy, Erwin started walking toward him saying “get off my land.” However, the deputy claims he was 50 feet from her, in the road, not on her land.

Clearly in a mentally diminished state, however, Erwin began walking toward the deputy holding the rake. To justify deploying the taser—which could’ve easily killed the 81-year-old—the deputy said she was holding the rake in a “threatening manner.”

Instead of backing up, walking away, grabbing the rake, or doing anything that required even the smallest amount of bravery, the cop made sure he wouldn’t have to risk a single little hair on his body and deployed his taser.

Erwin was 10-12 feet away when this deputy felt the need to take her out—because he thought an attack was imminent—from an 81-year-old grandma with a garden tool.

When the taser hit her, she fell to the ground. Only then did the officer move in to place her in handcuffs.

READ MORE:  Sheriff Arrested for Taking Mentally Impaired Inmate with a ‘Kid’s Brain’ to His House to Rape Her

According to WJHL, EMS took her to the hospital for evaluation. The report indicates charges are pending.

Every day, in assisted living facilities across the country, elderly men and women with dementia lash out at what they perceive as a threat. And, every day, unarmed health care workers calm them down without having to taser them.

A police officer deploying a taser on a harmless 81-year-old woman illustrates the ominous training of police departments today. Do not be brave, do not risk injury, swiftly and immediately escalate force to avoid having to employ any heroic action to help an 81-year-old woman with dementia—god forbid you take a tiny risk to remove a rake from an elderly woman.

After all, when your only tool is a hammer—everything starts looking like a nail.

Copyright Information: This article was reprinted with permission from Thefreethoughtproject.com. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Israel is censoring Palestinians, and the social media giants are complicit

MEMO–There is a relatively-new “Cyber Unit” within the Israeli government which is censoring Palestinians on social media. Its existence was publicised earlier this month by Adalah, the legal centre for Arab minority rights in Israel.

The unit is part of the Attorney General’s office and is putting pressure on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets to purge their platforms of content critical of Israel, especially that which is posted by Palestinians. According to the unit’s own figures, 69 per cent of its requests to remove content were agreed to by the social media giants in question. The Attorney General’s office claims that 1,554 cases of “incitement” were removed as a result of the unit’s operations, out of 2,241 such requests.

Israel habitually smears all credible criticism, activism or even journalism by Palestinians as “incitement”. Palestinian human rights activist Issa Amro was interned without trial by Israel recently and then faced a similar travesty at the hands of Israel’s puppet enforcer, the Palestinian Authority. During that process, Amro was accused of “incitement” against the PA and Israel. One of his “crimes” was to speak out in support of journalists in the city of Hebron who had been critical of the PA and its collaboration with the Israeli occupation entity. This is the kind of thing that Israel (and the PA) smears as “incitement”.

So one can only imagine what this Israeli “Cyber Unit” is up to behind the scenes, working with Facebook and Twitter to censor legitimate free speech and criticism of the Zionist state’s crimes. In doing this, says Adalah, the Attorney General is even acting in violation of Israeli law.

According to Fady Khoury, one of the civil rights group’s lawyers, Cyber Unit operations are a clear violation of free speech: “In this context, a determination by the state’s attorney’s office, through the Cyber Unit, that a certain expression posted on social media websites amounts to a criminal offence is tantamount to an unproven suspicion.” The unit, he points out, cannot impose sanctions based solely on this suspicion, let alone severe sanctions in the form of censorship. “The authorities are not allowed to demand the removal of speech that has not yet been proven to be criminal, even if it is unpleasant to their ears. All speech should enjoy a ‘presumption of legality’ (akin to the presumption of innocence) until a court of law declares it illegal.”

The Adalah lawyer clarified the issue further: “When the Cyber Unit appeals to a service provider with a request to censor content based on its suspicion that the concerned content is expression forbidden by law and without a final [judicial] ruling in the matter, this constitutes an unconstitutional violation of freedom of speech.”

Israel, despite its pretence to the contrary, has never been a fan of the rule of law. It is more open to the rule of the jungle. In fact, the Israeli apartheid entity currently usurping Palestine has only one real rule: it must get away with as much as is realistically achievable. Anything, in fact, to enable it to have as much Palestinian land as possible with the minimum number of Arabs thereon as possible.

This seems to be a particularly blatant violation of the rule of law, something which should not be countenanced by social media platforms. If there is no evidence presented of posts being illegal, then Facebook, Twitter and the rest should not be removing them. Even if some “evidence” was presented, there is no reason for social media platforms based outside of Israeli jurisdiction to comply with illegitimate Israeli institutions, such as the military censor’s office and the military courts of the occupation authorities. However, all too often these corporations have an unprecedented veto on who can and cannot have full freedom of expression, and appear far too ready to collaborate with Israel.

Facebook has an agreement with the Israeli government to act and thus censor Palestinian accounts, and last year temporarily disabled the accounts of journalists who administer the pages of two of the most widely read Palestinian publications on the Internet. The social media giant has also faced lawsuits from Shurat HaDin, a front for the Mossad spy agency, and other Israeli government bodies.

This is a symptom of the increasingly privatised times we live in. New technology has brought new ways of communication, often heralded in advance to be emancipatory. Unlike email, for example, which is an open, decentralised, system with transparent protocols which can be operated independently, privatised internet communications spaces like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the rest carry grave dangers for freedom of speech. As Adalah has written, Israel is by no means the only oppressive regime which these corporations have helped to spy on and censor its critics.

The social media giants should be broken up and democratised in the long run. In the meantime, they should not assist Israel in censoring Palestinians and other blatant violations of free speech and the rule of law.

Homeland to Monitor All Immigrants’ Social Media, Search Histories

SPUTNIK–From October, the US Department of Homeland Security will be able to monitor the social media activity and search histories of all immigrants – including permanent residents and naturalized citizens – and anyone they interact with.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced it is expanding the kinds of information it collects on immigrants to include social media activity and search histories. The new policy will take effect October 18.

The new announcement explicitly speaks of tracking immigrants’ Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts — although specific search engines aren’t mentioned (the phrase “search results” is used three times), leaving it unclear which search engines the DHS will target, and how it intends to obtain the results.

In all, the new policy expands DHS powers of collection in 12 areas, but the sections dealing with the digital surge are likely to be the most alarming for privacy campaigners, given it grants the DHS blanket license to delve into the digital lives of immigrants in the US — and anyone who interacts with them.

Massive Expansion

“[The DHS is] expanding the categories of records to include; country of nationality; country of residence; the USCIS Online Account Number; social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results; and Department of Justice (DOJ), Executive Office for Immigration Review and Board of Immigration Appeals proceedings information,” the policy stated.

Moreover, the DHS will update record source categories to include publicly available information obtained from the internet, public records, public institutions, interviewees, commercial data providers, and information obtained and disclosed “pursuant to information sharing agreements.”

“Information sharing agreements” aren’t defined in the statement, but it could conceivably cover the types of surveillance agreements the US has with countries (such as “Five Eyes” agreement with the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand), as well as the agreements the DHS has with companies such as Google, and internet service providers.

Collecting this kind of information would by definition have a significant impact on any individual that interacts with immigrants to the US, making all their conversations on social media subject to official surveillance.

Moreover, the sweeping powers seem disproportionate given that the monitoring of social media for national security purposes was seriously questioned by a February Office of Inspector General report, which found that DHS pilot programs that used social media to screen applicants for immigration benefits were ineffective.

During the trial, three separate programs screened refugees’ social media accounts — each one concluded that the information that could be gleaned via accounts was not suitable for detecting potential national security threats, even for applicants who were found to pose a national security threat.

In essence, the report concluded it was difficult to use social media posts to determine what people intend to do in future, especially as methods of communication can vary from platform to platform — and it’s possible a user’s account could be taken over in jest by a friend, or hacked from the outside, and content posted without that user’s consent.

However, the report acknowledged that monitoring social media was effective at determining individuals’ ideological persuasion — opening up the prospect of would-be immigrants being “ideologically vetted” and applicants being accepted or turned down partially or wholly based on their political views.

Global Phenomenon

The announcement comes mere days after it was revealed that the UK government was continuing its “hostile environment” policytoward undocumented migrants, including those from the European Union, by conducting regular checks on all current accounts to identify any individuals residing in the country illegally.

In response to the news, a spokesperson for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants called the move​ “quite scary,” and said it amounted to “government intrusion into private affairs on a massive scale.”

“The government are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. They’ve got access to 70 million accounts to locate 6,000 people, who they should be able to find in any event,” the spokesperson previously told Sputnik.

Because Police Broke the Law, a 77yo Man Will Likely Die in Prison for Growing Pot Plants

CBD

CBD

JAY SYRMOPOULOS–In a case that clearly highlights the manner in which police break the law to target, arrest and convict citizens with impunity, 77-year-old Charles Frederick White has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for cultivating marijuana.

The sheriff’s office claims they happened upon the growing operation by mistake, while ostensibly claiming to follow up on a call from a woman outside the Baltimore area who said her identity had been stolen and that new credit cards taken out in her name were being sent to a Polk County address.

Curiously, the officers took four months from the time she called to allegedly investigate.

“It was just really hard to get in touch with them,” Rianhard said of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. “They just really didn’t do a whole lot.”

Rianhard said she doesn’t know why it took four months after calling in December for sheriff’s detectives to go out to the address of the supposed thief.

She said she never knew that her identify-theft case had accidentally spawned a major marijuana bust.

“It’s bizarre how that happened,” Rianhard said.

Bizarre is likely a vast understatement, with the truth likely being much closer to White being targeted by federal, state, and local law enforcement, which used an absurd excuse to gain access to his property.

The detectives claim that they were unable to find the home they were looking for in the rural area 45 miles north of Springfield, so they decided to stop at the nearest home – that of Charles Frederick White, who at the time was 71.

From the outset, law enforcement began violating White’s rights, as they drove up a long driveway to his home and parked. The detectives immediately noticed the pungent skunk-like smell of unharvested cannabis.

From that point forward, all investigation into the identity theft was abandoned.

White approached the detectives, who spoke to him for a few minutes before leaving. A search warrant was then obtained, and White was eventually charged with growing more than 1,700 marijuana plants.

The problem with this initial contact by the detectives is that White had a closed gate on his driveway — with a posted “No Trespassing” sign.

Of course, the detectives claim that the gate was open and they never saw the sign – although two neighbors testified in court, saying they had lived next to White for years, and he NEVER left the gate open.

One of the neighbors even testified that he saw officers approach the gate that day, get out of their car, undo the chain and open the gate.

According to a report by Springfield News-Leader:

White’s attorneys have long argued that the case should have never reached a sentencing, saying White has been unfairly targeted by local, state and federal authorities.

Authorities already had their eye on White long before March 2012, his attorneys say, when overzealous detectives illegally stepped on his property — and trampled his constitutional rights.

According to a motion filed by White’s attorneys, this case didn’t begin with a Maryland woman’s identity being stolen — it began in a Kansas City parking lot in 2010.

Court records show that a Missouri State Highway Patrol sergeant observed White and another man leaving a hydroponics store and filling a pickup truck with plant-growing equipment.

According to court filings, White was the focus of a brief investigation.

Details of that investigation were never passed onto the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the federal prosecutor said.

The discovery of more than 1,700 marijuana plants on White’s property, authorities said, was just luck.

The detectives, of course, testified in court that they had never heard of, nor met, White before trespassing on his property in March 2012, and unsurprisingly, also claimed to have not noticed the “No Trespassing,” as they trespassed onto his property.

Court records revealed that police twice went onto White’s property prior to obtaining a search warrant.

Despite the neighbor’s testimony — that they saw the detectives undo the chain and open the gate — the federal judge in the case, Douglas Harpool, refused to suppress the evidence obtained from the clear violation of White’s Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

Finally, after years of legal wrangling, this week, White, now a 77-year-old man with failing eyesight, walked into the federal courtroom for sentencing with a cane in his hand and shackles around his ankles after accepting a plea deal in February of 2017.

Harpool said he didn’t feel good about handing down a 10-year prison sentence an elderly man over growing a plant that is legal in many states. The judge claimed to have researched ways to give White a downward departure from the 10-year-minimum federal prison sentence – but was unable to find any legal rationale to justify it.

“This is not a sentence I feel particularly good about,” Harpool said.

Showing the clear insanity of federal law, a pre-sentence report pegged the time White should serve in prison for his offense at 24 years in prison due to his past convictions for growing cannabis. White was previously convicted in 1990 of growing more than 600 marijuana plants, and in 2004 of cultivating more than 100 marijuana plants.

Under the terms of White’s plea deal, the federal prosecutor recommended the minimum sentence under U.S. law: 10 years in federal prison.

Friends and family who attended the sentencing hearing were dismayed that the case was never thrown out of court due to the clear violations of White’s constitutional rights (ie trespassing onto his personal property) during the investigation.

“He’s a good man. He’s always been happy and cheerful,” White’s stepdaughter, Valerie Patterson, said. “He’s never had a history of violence.”

Robert Murphy, a friend, said officers entered White’s property unlawfully.

“He’s a farmer. He’s always been a farmer,” Murphy said. “When he was busted, he was busted illegally.”

White’s attorney suggested home confinement, but the judge said that was not applicable in this case.

Judge Harpool eventually sentenced White to 10 years in prison and said that he would recommend that the Bureau of Prisons consider a “compassionate release” for White.

The fact that this man elderly man, who has no history of violence, is going to prison for 10 years over growing a plant shows the sheer insanity of federal cannabis law.

Sadly, it’s likely that White will die in prison over simply farming a plant the US federal government bans – but that over half of the US states have legalized medically – with a growing number having legalized recreationally.

Please share this story to awaken others to how the insane war on marijuana destroys the lives of good people!

Secret Document Reveals Former CIA Director’s Plan to Make Reading WikiLeaks a Crime

SECRET declassified report by then-CIA Director William Casey, titled, “Unauthorized Disclosures to the Media” proposed creating legislation that would make possession of classified information a criminal offense.

At the time that would make anyone reading a New York Times article with classified information, or WikiLeaks in the modern-era, criminally liable and able to be prosecuted by the state.

.

Although Casey was in favor of creating new legislation to specifically target media leaks, as well as those who come to possess those leaks (journalists or readers), he argued against utilization of the Espionage Act to prosecute leakers.

The former CIA Director reasoned that using the Espionage Act to target leakers was extreme, excessive and was akin to “driving tacks with a sledgehammer.”

While Casey acknowledged that the media was conflicted in their obligations, he conceded that it’s the job of the media to inform the public.

Ironically, despite his admission that the job of a journalist is to inform the public, he goes on to espouse a desire to see the media prosecuted for their role in publishing leaks and held in contempt if they failed to name their sources.

Ironically, as Muckrock points out, far from minimizing the potential harm of national security leaks, Casey emphasized the damage that they could do. However, none of the five examples provided by Casey in his report resulted in any actual harm. Two examples “could have” resulted in adversary adjusting their techniques, though the language implies that hadn’t happened.

A third and fourth example resulted in potential damage which forced the Agency to cut off contact with a human source lest that danger be amplified. While endangering human sources is never a good thing and disrupting HUMINT operations was unlikely to have been the intention, the report again indicates that no actual harm came to anyone. A fifth example placed someone in danger of being discovered, again a possibility which hadn’t come to pass, though it “could possibly have an adverse effect on U.S. relations” with an unknown group.

Ideally, as Muckrock notes, Casey felt that the new law should not require they demonstrate that a leak caused any actual damage to the United States. Instead, the question should be whether or not the information was passed to someone not authorized to receive it.

Although he expressed that the Espionage Act was the wrong way to go about doing so in the report, only a few months later the government successfully prosecuted Samuel Morison – setting a new precedent for decades to come.

Since then, the draconian Espionage Act has been used to target whistleblowers and leakers alike — with Obama using it to prosecute and imprison a record number of journalists’ sources — and even threaten media publishers.

The declassified report gives a clear insight into the mind of a high-level government official, in terms of how free of a press they really would really like to see in the United States.

While it was admirable that then-CIA Director Casey made clear that the Espionage Act was overkill for leakers, the idea that he wanted to create legislation for the government to have the ability to prosecute journalists for informing the American public about the extrajudicial actions of their own government – and which could likely also be used to criminalize the public – seems extremely antithetical to the First Amendment and the entire notion of a free press.

For those that don’t remember, CNN also said the same thing—that reading WikiLeaks is illegaland this was just last year.

View full document on Scribd HERE.

Jay Syrmopoulos is a geopolitical analyst, freethinker, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs and holds a BA in International Relations. Jay’s writing has been featured on both mainstream and independent media – and has been viewed tens of millions of times. You can follow him on Twitter @SirMetropolis and on Facebook at SirMetropolis. This article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.

Police Declare Childhood Autism as ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ for Detainment, Assault

JACK BURNS–Following a national outcry surrounding the violent takedown of an autistic boy by Officer David Grossman, the Buckeye Police Department is in damage control mode. In a press conference, BPD spokesperson Tamela Skaggs addressed reporters in an effort to explain to the public why Grossman confronted Connor Leibel, a 14-year-old autistic boy.

Skaggs described Grossman as a “drug recognition expert” with the department’s patrol division. As The Free Thought Project has reported, officers can attend a weekend training seminar where they learn how to escalate traffic stops under suspicion of drug use and charge more motorists with “driving under the influence of drugs,” even though many who are charged had no drugs in their system at all.

Reporters immediately questioned how a so-called “drug recognition expert” could not immediately recognize that Leibel was first, a juvenile, and second, a person with special needs—instead of someone who was high on drugs as Grossman admitted he believed Leibel to be. Skaggs said she could not begin to speculate or “get into his [Grossman’s] mind,” but said Leibel’s behavior was suspicious enough to make contact with him, apprehend him when he pulled away, and detain him.

However, Skaggs stopped short of saying Grossman took Leibel violently to the ground. Instead, she said the two both fell to the ground together. Leibel’s family maintains their son was injured in the process — having the photos to prove it — and they are demanding an apology from Grossman, for the officer to undergo community service within the Autism community, and additional training for the entire department.

When asked what are some of the things the Buckeye Police Department can and has learned from this, Skaggs said her officers may now be able to recognize stimming activity is a sign of autism and not drug use.

Another reporter brought up the hypothetical situation that could have played out if Leibel had put his hands in his pockets and refused to remove them. What would have happened in that case? Would he have been mistaken as having been in possession of a deadly weapon, and would he have been shot by the officer? Those questions and more were asked of Skaggs, but she said she would not be able to comment on the hypotheticals. She insisted that she wanted to focus on what did happen to the young autistic boy.

As TFTP reported on Tuesday:

Grossman approached Leibel and asked him what he was doing. The autistic boy responded with “good” and that he was “stimming” — short for self-stimulation — the often repetitive actions, movements, and sounds many if not most autistic individuals make to calm and stimulate themselves.

“I’m okay. I’m okay,” Connor screamed as the man he was likely always was told by his family was there as a protector, in that moment, became his tormentor.

Anyone who knows anything about working with autistic individuals knows how to spot someone who is likely autistic. There are the tell-tale signs of repetitive behaviors, rocking motions, awkward social interactions, and inappropriate speech responses in some. And one thing experts also know is autistic individuals get extremely agitated, anxious, and sometimes combative when they’re touched.

Grossman grabbed Connor as the young teenager attempted to walk away from the officer, an action which was well within his civil rights since he was not a suspect in any crime. But Grossman quickly told him not to walk away and attempted to place the boy in handcuffs after grabbing him by the arm.

When Connor attempted to pull away, Grossman took him to the ground and held him there until backup arrived, all the while Connor was screaming in agony and trying to mentally make sense of everything happening to him.

“Don’t move…Stop moving…Don’t you move, you understand?” Grossman told the boy as a dangerous situation could have quickly gotten out of hand. If the boy had reached back and grabbed Grossman’s gun, what would have happened then?

“Why are you acting like this Connor,” he asked. “Cause I’m okay,” the boy replied.

The young boy’s aunt, Diane, heard all the child’s screams and approached the scene. She told Grossman she was sorry if her nephew had done anything wrong but stated he had autism. “He’s fighting with me,” the officer said being completely untruthful with the boy’s guardian.

At that moment, the officer should have removed his hands from the boy and allowed him to get to his feet. Instead, he held him down (a no, no with autistic individuals) for what must have been agonizing minutes until his backup arrived.

“He’s doing something with his hands…I don’t know what that is,” the officer stated. “You don’t have anything (drugs) on you do you,” he ignorantly asked again.

Predictably, the Buckeye Police Department investigated the incident with Grossman and concluded “no use of force” occurred in dealing with the teen. But his body and the pictures of the damage to his body, tell a different tale. There are bruises, scrapes, and cuts on the autistic boy’s torso that were inflicted as a result of the fact that a poorly trained “drug recognition expert” could arguably not tell the difference between someone who is on drugs and someone who is autistic.

Following the incident, which took place on June 19, the Buckeye Police Department conducted their own internal investigation and concluded Leibel’s autism led to “suspicious behavior” which gave officer Grossman “reasonable suspicion” to believe Leibel was under the influence of drugs.

Just like that, a young man’s autism was declared to be a justified reason for his detainment and physical assault — in the land of the free.

They cleared the officer of all wrongdoing but added he may need to get additional training in being able to detect the difference between drug use and behavioral issues.

Watch the Body Cam footage below:

City of Chicago to Build Massive $95 Million ‘State-of-the-Art’ Police Compound by 2020

KEVIN GOSZTOLA–The city of Chicago plans to build a massive multi-million dollar training center for police and firefighters in the West Garfield Park neighborhood. But a coalition of community organizations contend the center will compound President Donald Trump’s “multi-pronged attack” on communities of color and expand the Chicago Police Department’s “capacity for violence.”

Last week, the city’s Community Development Commission approved a 30.4-acre land acquisition in a northwest industrial corridor tax-increment-financing (TIF) district in Chicago. A $95 million “state-of-the-art” compound will be built by 2020 for police, firefighters, and emergency medical services teams to train together.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel hailed the facility as a destination, where out-of-state police agencies can send officers for training. It will spur “real economic development” with people from the suburbs and down state traveling to the center.

Similarly, Alderman Emma Mitts, whose ward includes West Garfield Park, asserted the community is “excited” about having “a lot more police” in the area. She also claimed there will be new economic opportunities.

“I’ve lived there over 35 years, and it’s been vacant since I’ve been there,” Mitts said. “The community has been complaining about no retail there. So, I changed the zoning not knowing they were going to put the police and fire academy across the street. Hopefully, we can attract the retail they were talking about like grocery stores. They have to go outside of the neighborhood; nothing in walking distance, where you can get good produce.”

However, Page May of Assata’s Daughters, who is part of the coalition, contended the compound is “an investment in policing. It is an investment in the Chicago Police Department. This is not an investment in the west side of Chicago.”

Debbie Southorn, a part of the People’s Response Team, which is also a part of the coalition against the compound, said it is a “little bizarre” to believe a police presence will make the area suddenly appealing to retail.

“If you actually look at where they’re talking about building this, it’s in a industrial corridor. It’s actually part of a TIF district. It’s the northwest industrial corridor so it’s flanked by a super busy intersection and then a factory and a [Chicago Transit Authority] fleet area,” Southorn added. “The idea that there is going to be cops walking around crossing north of Chicago into the neighborhood to go shopping is pretty bizarre and doesn’t accurately reflect this will be a self-contained compound that will most likely have the things that the people going there need.”

It is also “pretty problematic” to speak of “cops as consumers rather than armed officers with a lot of power and historical racialized relationships with the community.”

There is a notion from Emanuel and the city of Chicago that this may allow the police to reset. The city government covered up a video of Laquan McDonald, when he was shot and killed by Officer Jason Van Dyke, who was charged with first-degree murder. The Justice Department conducted an investigation that found Chicago police frequently use violence, lie about it, and suffer from systemic racism. Community residents are to believe this compound will solve the corruption.

Yet, from the images released of the planned compound, it will be several buildings and closed to the community. There will be a track, a swimming pool, a shooting range, and space for simulations of “active scenarios.” Members of the coalition believe it could be similar to the Green Zone compound in Iraq.

May said it will be a “little fortress.” There will be many more “off-duty police, people arriving from work” and “taking their break” in the area. That does not mean community residents will not be more susceptible to police brutality. It was Dante Servin, an off-duty police officer, who killed Rekia Boyd.

The Justice Department issued 99 recommendations to the city of Chicago for police reform. According to the Chicago Reporter, only six were adopted so far. Twenty-three reforms are essentially in the planning phase. More than half may or may not be implemented ever.

“To immediately jump to we’re going to invest another $95 million on top of the $200 million overtime that we’re on track to spend this year, the $600 million we’ve spent on misconduct cases in the last six years, the $4 million per day that we spend just on the regular budget,” Southorn said, “to pour more money into police without prioritizing actual accountability and sort of commitments to respond to concerns of people, who experience the most violence, really shows the priorities of the mayor. This is about using the DOJ’s report to say, ‘Oh, sweet, we can build this new project.’”

The city will benefit from selling the property, where the current police academy is located. In fact, that is how they plan to pay for the training compound.

“Anything that trickles down comes at a huge cost,” May stated. “This is already in a neighborhood, where we’re seeing people are being gunned down by police and people are being hyper-criminalized by the police.”

If Emanuel is seriously interested in community investment and stabilizing communities, May said he would propose a youth jobs training center. A facility for ensuring 16-18 year-olds get jobs will do far more to reduce crime. She also recommended investments in mental health care centers, schools, grocery stores, and child care centers.

Simply having police more present in a community is not going to create safety and reduce crime any more than having books on a shelf in a home makes a person literate. In fact, it may even exacerbate tensions between communities of color and police even more, leading to an uptick in police brutality.

“We spend 300% [more] on the CPD as a city than we do on the departments of public health, family and support services, transportation, and planning and development (which handles affordable housing). This plan is being praised as a development opportunity to help local residents around the proposed site, but when Rahm closed 50 schools in 2013, six were in this neighborhood. The message is clear: Rahm supports schools and resources for cops, not for Black and Brown kids,” the coalition stated on their website.

The coalition plans to spend the rest of 2017 canvassing communities and asking them what they would rather build with $95 million. There will also be demonstrations outside the mayor’s office.

“We’re trying to make noise to show Rahm we have not forgotten,” Southorn declared. “We didn’t forget Laquan. We didn’t forget Rekia. We’re still watching him. We see that he’s trying to pour more money without committing to meaningful reform, and we’re not going to go away soon.”

Cops Kidnap 8yo Boy for Acting Out in School, Put Him in Restraints, Force Inject Him with Sedatives

MATT AGORIST–In a police state, innocent 8-year-old boys with severe learning disabilities and diagnosed behavioral issues are not safe from the violent hand of the state’s enforcers. A mother has learned the hard way just how unsafe a child can be when the state gets involved after her 8-year-old son was kidnapped by police, put in restraints, and forcefully injected with a sedative after acting out on his first day of school.

Debbie Kiroff is now looking for answers after her son endured horrific abuse at the hands of those who claim to protect.

“They know he’s a runner,” she told CBC Toronto. “When I first brought him to the school, I said to them, ‘He likes to run. That’s his release.’”

Earlier this month, the principal at Holland Landing Public School called her to let her know her son’s behavior was “escalating.” However, she never expected what came next.

“He usually runs to the same spot near the little forest that they go to for day trips,” Kiroff said of the place her son runs to find his peace. This time, however, after he ran off, the police were called in.

According to Kiroff, she says it all began over an argument with another boy about who should be able to use a computer.

“He’s running around right now, he’s got a ruler, he’s climbing this, climbing that,” Kiroff says the principal told her, asking her to come pick her son up.

Kiroff, who works for the Canada Post, couldn’t leave work, so she sent her daughter to pick him up.

By the time she got to the school, however, it was too late. Cops had snatched him up after he allegedly tried to run off school property.

“Mom, they’ve already got him in the police car. They’re taking him to the hospital because he’s too angry,” she says her daughter told her on the phone.

When they got to the hospital, they saw a nightmare unfold.

“Then the lady comes out and says, ‘I just want to talk to you before we go in … Did you hear your son screaming? He was out of control. The whole hospital could hear him.

“‘I just wanted to let you know that we had to restrain him … and also inject him with a sedative,’” Kiroff says a staff member told her.

Kiroff says she was seething inside but simply asked, “Oh, you don’t need my consent for that?”

“As soon as I saw him, I could tell by his eyes that he’d been through a big ordeal. I’ve never seen that look in his eyes before.”

“‘I don’t feel that good; I feel a little weird,’” her son told her.

“The restraints were pretty tight. He was telling me, “‘Please, mommy. Get them off. They’re too tight.’”

According to the report by CBC:

She says she was told the hospital didn’t need parental consent, as long as there was an extreme concern for safety.

Hospital staff confirmed to CBC Toronto that restraints are used in “extreme situations” as a short-term intervention to protect a patient.

“No one wants to use restraints; it is a last measure and is done only in dire situations deemed an ’emergency.’ In an ’emergency’ situation, our concern for our patient determines how long a restraint is used,” the hospital said in a statement.

When Kiroff asked what her son did to warrant the restraints, she says she was told he was kicking, screaming and yelling — something she considers a tantrum, but hardly an emergency.

After her son had been kidnapped and force medicated, he was finally released from his torturous condition after spending more than 90 minutes strapped to a hospital bed.

As CBC reports:

The eight-year-old says he was told that if he calmed down, they would take the restraints off one at a time, but that they didn’t and ended up injecting him instead.

Kiroff says her son was in restraints for about an hour and a half before the doctor finally released him — he stumbled back to her car — and that he wasn’t allowed to return to school for about two weeks afterward.

The York Region District School Board said they would not discuss the case, claiming it was due to the student’s privacy. However, they did release a statement noting that the board’s primary focus is “always student safety.”

“In any situation where a child’s safety may be at risk, we have a duty to report and immediately contact the police. We undertake every effort to ensure that our students are in an environment that is safe and welcoming for all.

“When required, Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Safety Plans to support a child’s achievement and well-being are developed in collaboration with the child’s family,” spokesperson Licinio Miguelo said.

According to CBC, Kiroff says her son is on a waiting list at Blue Hills Child and Family Centre, Kinark Child and Family Services and The York Centre, but that wait will likely be a year long. In the meantime, she says, she has contacted her MPP and hopes that by sharing her son’s story, more will be done to help children struggling with behavioral and mental illness.

“We need less wait-lists, because an eight-year-old needs the help now. A year from now, there’s so much more damage that could be done … Are we going to be looking at more incidents like this? Or on the worst extreme, him actually hurting himself?” she said.

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Although her son was allowed to return to school, she says he is permanently affected by the experience — as would be any eight-year-old who was kidnapped by cops, strapped to a bed and forcefully injected with mind-altering drugs.

“He’s hesitant … he never wants to be back at the hospital,” she said, questioning how her son’s first day of school turned into a living nightmare.

“How do you do that to my eight-year-old son? To me, he’s an injured child,” she said.

Implanted Microchip to Replace Credit Cards, Car Keys…Swedes already using biometric chip instead of train tickets

[9/16/17/PAUL JOSEPH WATSON]  A microchip embedded under the skin will replace credit cards and keys according to Stephen Ray, who has already overseen a program for Sweden’s largest state owned train operator that allows customers to scan their chips instead of using tickets.

BBC News showcased the system in which Swedes are able to have their embedded chip scanned by a conductor who uses an app to match up their chip membership number with a purchased ticket.

Around 3,000 people in Sweden have already had a chip embedded in their hand in order to access secure areas of buildings.

SJ – the first travel company in the world to implement the system is north Europe’s largest train operator. The company initially expects around 200 people to join the program.

Despite Ray dismissing concerns about privacy, when the program was launched some customers complained that their LinkedIn profiles were appearing instead of their train tickets when conductors scanned their biometric chip.

“You could use the microchip implant to replace a lot of stuff, your credit cards, they keys to your house, the keys to your car,” Ray told the BBC.

His sentiments echo the tone of an NBC News report last year which asserted the microchipping of children will happen “sooner rather than later” and that Americans will eventually accept the process as something just as normal as the barcode.

“It’s not a matter of if it will happen, but when,” electronics expert Stuart Lipoff told the network.

Concerns about the embedded microchip representing the “mark of the beast” mentioned in the bible have been expressed by many on the Christian right for over two decades.

Revelations 13:16-17 talks about every man receiving “a mark in their right hand, or in their forehead,” without which they are not able to “buy or sell”.

Apple’s New “FaceID” Could Be A Powerful Mass Spying Tool

[9/15/17/ MAC SLAVO]  On Tuesday, Apple revealed their newest phone. The new line was anticipated by Apple users and is another cult favorite.  But many are rightly skeptical of the “FaceID” feature.

FaceID, is a tool that would use facial recognition to identify individuals and unlock their phones for use. Unsurprisingly, this has generated some major anxiety about mass spying and privacy concerns. Retailers already have a desire for facial recognition technology. They want to monitor consumers, and without legally binding terms and Apple could use FaceID to track consumer patterns at its stores or develop and sell data to others.

That seems minor on the surface, but the ramifications could be enormous. It’s also highly possible that police would be able to more easily unlock phones without consent by simply holding an individual’s phone up to his or her face, violating the rights of the person to privacy.

But FaceID should create fear about another form of government surveillance too. And this one is a rights violation of every person on earth: mass scans to identify individuals based on face profiles. Law enforcement is rapidly increasing their use of facial recognition; one in two American adults are already enrolled in a law enforcement facial recognition network, and at least one in four police departments has the capability to run face recognition searches. This could make Apple the target for a new mass surveillance order.

While Facebook has a powerful facial recognition system, it doesn’t maintain the operating systems that control the cameras on phones, tablets, and laptops that stare at us every day. Apple’s new system completely changes that. For the first time, a company will have a facial recognition system with millions of profiles, and the hardware to scan and identify faces throughout the world.

According to Wired, this is a system already ripe for government abuse. The government could issue an order to Apple with a set of targets and instructions to scan iPhones, iPads, and Macs to search for specific targets based on FaceID, and then Apple would provide the government with those targets’ location based on the GPS data of devices’ that receive a match. Apple has a good record of fighting for user privacy, but there’s only so much the company could do if its objections to an order are turned down by the courts. And the government is already looking into how this could benefit them, but are hiding behind the guise of “privacy.” On Wednesday Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) released a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, asking how the company will handle the technology’s security and privacy implications.

But this type of sleazy “Big Brother” activity by the government is not new.

Over the last decade the government has increasingly embraced this type of mass scan method. Edward Snowden’s disclosures revealed the existence of Upstream, a program under FISA Section 702 (set to expire in just a few months). With Upstream, the NSA scans all internet communications going into and out of the United States for surveillance targets’ emails, as well as IP addresses and what the agency has called cybersignatures. And last year Reuters revealed that Yahoo, in compliance with a government order, built custom software to scan hundreds of millions of email accounts for content that contained a digital signature used by surveillance targets. –Wired

Mass facial recognition scans are unconstitutional and a gross violation of human privacy rights. But that has yet to stop the overreaching government from its pursuit of an even more effective method of their goal of dystopian mass surveillance.

Welcome To 1984: Big Brother Google Now Watching Your Every Political Move

[9/11/17]  Google has taken the unprecedented step of burying material, mostly from websites on the political right, that it has deemed to be inappropriate. The problem, however, is that the world’s largest search engine is a left-leaning company with an ax to grind.

Let’s face it, deep down in our heart of hearts we knew the honeymoon wouldn’t last forever. Our willingness to place eternal faith in an earth-straddling company that oversees the largest collection of information ever assembled was doomed to end in a bitter divorce from the start. After all, each corporation, just like humans, has their own political proclivities, and Google is certainly no exception. But we aren’t talking about your average car company here.

The first sign Google would eventually become more of a political liability than a public utility was revealed in 2005 when CEO Eric Schmidt (who is now executive chairman of Alphabet, Inc, Google’s parent company) sat down with interviewer Charlie Rose, who asked Schmidt to explain “where the future of search is going.”

Schmidt’s response should have triggered alarm bells across the free world.

“Well, when you use Google, do you get more than one answer,” Schmidt asked rhetorically, before answering deceptively.

“Of course you do. Well, that’s a bug. We have more bugs per second in the world. We should be able to give you the right answer just once… and we should never be wrong.”

Really?

Think about that for a moment. Schmidt believes, counter-intuitively, that getting multiple possible choices for any one Google query is not the desirable prospect it should be (aren’t consumers always in search of more variety?), but rather a “bug” that should be duly squashed underfoot. Silly mortal, you should not expect more than one answer for every question because the almighty Google, our modern-day Oz, “should never be wrong!” This is the epitome of corporate hubris. And it doesn’t require much imagination to see that such a master plan will only lead to a colossal whitewashing of the historic record.

For example, if a Google user performs a search request for – oh, I don’t know – ‘what caused the Iraq War 2003,’ he or she would be given, according to Schmidt’s algorithmic wet dream, exactly one canned answer. Any guesses on what that answer would be? I think it’s safe to say the only acceptable answer would be the state-sanctioned conspiracy theory that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction, an oft-repeated claim we now know to be patently false. The list of other such complicated events that also demand more than one answer – from the Kennedy assassination to the Gulf of Tonkin incident – could be continued for many pages.

Schmidt’s grandiose vision, where there is just “one answer to every question,” sounds like a chapter borrowed from Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where omnipresent Big Brother had an ironclad grip on history, news, information, everything. In such a intensely controlled, nightmarish world, individuals – as well as entire historical events – can be ‘disappeared’ down the memory hole without a trace. Though we’ve not quite reached that bad land yet, we’re plodding along in that direction.

That much became disturbingly clear ever since Donald Trump routed Hillary Clinton for the presidency. This surprise event became the bugle call for Google to wage war on ‘fake news’ outlets, predominantly on the political right.

‘Like being gay in the 1950s’

Just before Americans headed to the polls in last year’s presidential election, WikiLeaks delivered a well-timed steaming dump, revealing that Eric Schmidt had been working with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as early as April 2014. This news came courtesy of a leaked email from John Podesta, former chairman of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, who wrote:

“I met with Eric Schmidt tonight. As David reported, he’s ready to fund, advise recruit talent, etc. He was more deferential on structure than I expected. Wasn’t pushing to run through one of his existing firms. Clearly wants to be head outside advisor, but didn’t seem like he wanted to push others out. Clearly wants to get going…”

Entire Student Section Detained, Forced to Have Blood/Urine Tests After Beer Can Found at Football Game

[9/11/17/ MATT AGORIST]  Parents of high school teenagers were outraged this weekend after dozens of their children were ordered to undergo forced blood and alcohol tests because officials found a beer can under the stadium during a football game. As parents tried to refuse the tests, they were told their children would be suspended for noncompliance.

Naturally, school officials are claiming that the forced blood and urine samples, taken under the threat of suspension, were done in the name of child safety.

According to a letter from Randolph Superintendent Jennifer Fano, the school is charged with enforcing the policy of mass drug tests for suspicion of drug or alcohol use among students.

The law requires that we send students out to be tested when it appears that they may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Given the events in question, the students in this area of the stadium were brought in to the school, separated into classrooms, and parents were contacted to pick their child up and have them screened. District policy and regulation states that failure to comply with a screening is deemed a positive test result and will result in a suspension from school.

After the can of beer was found, roughly 75 students were taken from the game and detained in classrooms where their parents were called and told they must comply with the tests. Noncompliance meant that the student would be automatically assumed guilty and face the consequences of a crime that they may or may not have actually committed.

According to a public Facebook post by Randolph High School student and Class of 2018 President Nate Pangaro, “Before the game could begin, an administrator went to the front and told everyone to be quiet. He announced that he found an opened beer can on the ground that rolled to him, and that someone should confess to (whose) it was before everyone was taken in for a breathalyzer test. No one confessed, so people went into the school each row at a time to be tested.”

Some parents were outraged by the incident, according to DailyRecord.com.

“Everybody was just so confused, miscommunication,” said parent Stephanie Pangaro. “As a parent, you’re going to defend your child to the fullest when you know they’re innocent.”

The sheer number of students having to go out and get blood and urine tests overwhelmed the medical systems in town.

“Students then proceeded to emergency rooms in Dover, Denville, Morristown and Livingston,” Christopher C. Treston, a school board candidate, posted on his campaign Facebook page. “The emergency departments at Dover and at Morristown were not given any warning of what was coming, and were overwhelmed.”

As the Daily Record reports, Sheryll Lynne Penney, a former Randolph PTO president and mother of a 2017 Randolph High graduate, spoke exclusively in that capacity with the Daily Record. Penney said she had been contacted by several parents who expressed similar confusion and anger. Those parents said they believed their constitutional rights, as well as the rights of their children, had been violated.

“The students sign a code of conduct and they need to be held accountable, but so does the administration for handling the situation professionally,” Penney said.

In spite of forcing all 75 students to submit to unconstitutional blood and urine tests, only five students were found to have had alcohol in their bloodstream.

“Let me be very clear: teenage drinking is a serious problem, and it did in fact occur at our school on Friday night,”  Treston wrote. “Our process of preventing backpacks, bottles and cans from entering the stadium broke down. In addition, some number of students arrived intoxicated. We owe it to the community to identify such students, and to protect them and the community. But, we also need to do it in a way that protects the rights and dignity of the student body. When the accused-but-innocent outnumber the guilty 16 to one, we probably did it wrong.”

What this policy does is condition students to think that it’s okay to violate the rights of the innocent in order to catch a few people who may be breaking the rules—a dangerous path—and one the U.S. has been traveling down for far too long.

NYT: The A.C.L.U. Needs to Rethink Free Speech

[8/18/17]  The American Civil Liberties Union has a long history of defending the First Amendment rights of groups on both the far left and the far right. This commitment led the organization to successfully sue the city of Charlottesville, Va., last week on behalf of a white supremacist rally organizer. The rally ended with a Nazi sympathizer plowing his car into a crowd, killing a counterprotester and injuring many.

After the A.C.L.U. was excoriated for its stance, it responded that “preventing the government from controlling speech is absolutely necessary to the promotion of equality.” Of course that’s true. The hope is that by successfully defending hate groups, its legal victories will fortify free-speech rights across the board: A rising tide lifts all boats, as it goes.

While admirable in theory, this approach implies that the country is on a level playing field, that at some point it overcame its history of racial discrimination to achieve a real democracy, the cornerstone of which is freedom of expression.

I volunteered with the A.C.L.U. as a law student in 2011, and I respect much of its work. But it should rethink how it understands free speech. By insisting on a narrow reading of the First Amendment, the organization provides free legal support to hate-based causes. More troubling, the legal gains on which the A.C.L.U. rests its colorblind logic have never secured real freedom or even safety for all.

For marginalized communities, the power of expression is impoverished for reasons that have little to do with the First Amendment. Numerous other factors in the public sphere chill their voices but amplify others.

Most obviously, the power of speech remains proportional to wealth in this country, despite the growth of social media. When the Supreme Court did consider the impact of money on speech in Citizens United, it enabled corporations to translate wealth into direct political power. The A.C.L.U. wrongly supported this devastating ruling on First Amendment grounds.

Conservative social network Gab booted from Google Play Store for hate speech

[8/18/17]  Gab, the conservative social network that has acted as a haven for people banned from the usual platforms, has been removed from the Google Play Store for violating the company’s hate speech policy, the company announced on Twitter. Apple rejected it from the App Store in June for similar reasons.

That policy is pretty straightforward: “We don’t allow apps that advocate against groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”

It’s not clear what specifically Gab did that warranted its being kicked off the store, but presumably it would have to be at the level of the app itself, not just someone idly venting hatred on the service. After all, there’s plenty of hate speech on Twitter and YouTube, but those apps are still available despite a crackdown this week following the events in Charlottesville. Perhaps it’s a question of volume. I’ve asked both Google and Gab for more details.

This doesn’t mean Google has blocked the app entirely — it can’t do that. You just can’t download it from the Play Store any more. It should still function fine and users will be able to sideload it if they like, and Gab’s Twitter account indicates they’re working on making that easy.

UNREAL: Texas Cops Spent 11 Minutes Searching a Woman’s Vagina, Found No Drugs

[8/15/17]  Charnesia Corley was a 21-year-old college student with no criminal record when two cops from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office stopped her in June 2015 for running a red light.

After searching her car, police claimed to have found .02 ounces of marijuana. That was enough, they apparently felt, to justify a full-body cavity search. When Corley refused to remove her clothes in the dimly lit parking lot where she was being detained, one of the officers threw her to the ground, pushed her partially underneath her own car, and yanked Corley’s pants down to her ankles. For the next 11 minutes, dash cam video of the incident shows, she was held down by two officers while being searched. Corley claims that fingers repeatedly probed her vagina and that the officers ignored her protests. A third officer stood nearby holding a flashlight. No drugs were found on Corley person.

Sam Cammack, an attorney representing Corley in a multi-million-dollar civil rights lawsuit against the county, calls the search “rape by cop.”

“It is undoubted that they sexually assaulted her,” Cammack says. “They put their fingers inside her vagina. You can’t pull someone over, think you might find something, and do that to them.”

The full dash-cam video was released to the Houston Chronicle and can be viewed here. It appears to confirm Corley’s side of the story, showing officers putting her in handcuffs, tossing her to the ground, removing her pants, and spending several long minutes searching her body.

Two of the officers who conducted the search, William Strong and Ronaldine Pierre, were indicted in June 2016 by a Harris County grand jury on charges of official oppression, but those charges were dropped last week.

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“These officers did commit a crime, and now it appears they are not being held accountable for their actions,” says Cammack, who wants an independent prosecutor assigned to the case. He says he plans to release dash-cam video of the traffic stop to the media in the hopes of generating enough public outcry to force the county to reopen the case with a new prosecutor.

Corley and Cammack appeared on CNN last night to tell their side of the story to host Don Lemon.

Police Brag About Taking Money from a Homeless Man, Facebook Proceeds to Own Them

MATT AGORIST–A heartening trend is growing on social media showing that people are waking up to the state persecuting individuals over victimless crimes. The latest example of this trend comes from the Cheyenne Police Department who posted a photo of money they seized from a homeless man and then attempted to justify and brag about it. When people read the department’s post, they lashed out — peacefully — to let them know what they were doing is wrong.

The department’s post has since gone viral, prompting both praise and scorn for their ridiculous image bragging about stealing money from a homeless man because he was drunk.

The image was posted with the following statement:

Yesterday, July 22, we arrested a transient for public intoxication. This is a person we frequently deal with, but we want to illustrate that there are better ways to help the transient population than to give them money for panhandling. This person collected $234.94 in just a few hours of asking for money. Rather than feeding someone’s alcohol addiction, you can donate directly to local charities such as the Comea Shelter where your money will assist the homeless in a much more effective way.



Aside from the sheer lack of humanity of this post, the police department’s choice to lay out the money and the sign they took from this homeless man highlights a much deeper problem among police and the homeless.

One person in the comments explained it succinctly.

Who did this person harm? What damage did he cause? Is there a victim? If the answer to these questions is no, you had no authority to touch this person.

Beat downs and arrests by police are, unfortunately, becoming a larger and larger part of the homeless culture.

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Whether the dehumanization is to make way for the up and coming comic book festival or just a run of the mill sadistic police gang murder, homeless folks in the US are finding themselves in an increasingly hostile police state.

Cops in Saginaw, Michigan, who shot and killed homeless Saginaw resident Milton Hall, in firing squad fashion, during a confrontation in a shopping plaza parking lot were told that they won’t be facing any charges. Who cares about one dead homeless guy, right?

Not only are police attacking the homeless, but they are also attacking people for helping the homeless.

In a disgusting display of totalitarianism, Daytona Police descended upon a group of Good Samaritans who were feeding homeless people in a public park. They were told that if they tried to come back in the park, they would be arrested.

In this post, they also tell people not to help the homeless. Who gets to decide how much money a homeless man can have? Is $234.94 too much? If he had $100, would they have laid it out and made a Facebook post about it? If he wasn’t homeless, would they have made a Facebook post at all?

Another Facebook user pointed this out too.

So if I get arrested for public intoxication you’re gonna count how much money I have in my wallet?

When apologists attempted to answer this person’s question by claiming that police inventory everything a person gets arrested with, he weighed back in again and made the point entirely clear.

You’re missing the point of the post. No, they wouldn’t count, and post the amount of money in my wallet. They are only pushing the stigma that homeless people are drunks and are undeserving of money that people choose to give to them.

With an increase in unemployment and skyrocketing foreclosures stoking homelessness in the US, the government is making it harder than ever to be homeless. It is becoming a crime.

Legislative measures that criminalize the terrible situation of being down on your luck are steadily increasing in the US and this Facebook post illustrates it perfectly. As one Facebook user pointed out:

Arresting someone strictly for intoxication undermines American freedom so much. That’s letting the state dictate what people choose to do with their own bodies and lives. Once again, mainly so he state can further extort money from said person after their rights are violated. Don’t pretend you care about addicts. The state has shown time and time again it isn’t compassionate for drug addicts.

As the laws to make homelessness illegal are increasing, the government facilities to help the homeless have been decreasing. However, that didn’t stop the Cheyenne police from telling people to stop voluntarily giving spare change to beggars. Fortunately, however, people saw through it.

Just when I think this place can’t get any more backward. I will give MY money to whoever I please. You’re seriously telling us, like we’re children, how we should treat people? If someone stands on a corner and collects what we consider to be “too much” money, more power to them. It’s OUR money to give or keep as we please. Because of this post, I’m going, right now, to each exit, where they usually hang out, and each one is getting $20.

Thank you, Cheyenne Police Department for making this post and allowing people to call you out for it. Every one of the comments in opposition to arresting a man for a victimless crime and bragging about it on Facebook give us that much more faith in humanity.

Parents Have Children Stolen from Them by the State for Low IQ Scores

[7/25/17/ MATT AGORIST]  Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler are loving parents who had their children taken from them because the state thinks that their low standardized test scores make them bad parents.

Both Fabbrini and Ziegler are high school graduates who are self-sustainable living in a 1,200 square foot home provided to them by Ziegler’s parents. They have no criminal record, no record of abuse, yet the state of Oregon deemed it justified to steal their children and give them to someone else.

According to the Oregonian, Fabbrini formerly worked as a grocery clerk. Ziegler worked as a carpet layer, he said, but now receives Social Security benefits for his mental disability.

“I have a learning disability, but it’s very, very mild,” Ziegler said. He understands that he learns more slowly than some, but says “everybody learns at their pace.”

As the Oregonian reports, Ziegler has a driver’s license. Both have standard high school diplomas. And seven years ago, after a divorce, Fabbrini was granted shared custody of twin boys she had with her ex-husband.

“I love kids, I was raised around kids, my mom was a preschool teacher for 20-plus years, and so I’ve always been around kids,” Fabbrini said. “That’s my passion. I love to do things with kids, and that’s what I want to do in the future, something that has to do with kids.”

By all measures, Ziegler and Fabbrini seem like fine parents. However, the state disagrees.

According to a court appeal describing the case, the state kidnapped their first son Christopher because both parents had “limited cognitive abilities that interfere with (their) ability to safely parent the child.”

Their second son, Hunter, was also kidnapped from them, this time, directly at the hospital. Both children are now in state run foster care and there is absolutely no reason for it.

“They are saying they are intellectually incapable without any guidelines to go by,” said Sherrene Hagenbach, a former volunteer with the Oregon agency who oversaw visits with the couple and Christopher from last June through August, reports Oregon Live.

“They’re saying that this foster care provider is better for the child because she can provide more financially, provide better education, things like that,” Hagenbach said. “If we’re going to get on that train, Bill Gates should take my children. There’s always somebody better than us, so it’s a very dangerous position to be in.”

Hagenbach is a professional mediator and board member of Healthy Families of the High Desert. In an ominous move, after she told state caseworkers that the couple was fit to raise their own children, she was told that her services were no longer needed.

According to the court, Fabbrini’s IQ at about 72, placing her in the “extremely low to borderline range of intelligence,” and Ziegler’s about 66, placing him in the “mild range of intellectual disability.”

While both of these scores are below average, the implications for the state taking children from parents, especially ones who are kind and loving like Fabbrini and Ziegler, are grave indeed.

The couple has repeatedly jumped through all the hoops the state has asked them to and yet nothing happens.

At the direction of child welfare workers, reports the Oregonian, the couple said they’ve taken classes on parenting, first aid, CPR and nutrition through the Women, Infants and Children agency, the nonprofit MountainStarHealthy Families of the High Desert and more.

To no avail, however, as the parents are still limited to supervised visits only.

“We’ve just done everything and more than what they’ve asked us to,” Fabbrini said.

“It doesn’t seem like it’s good enough for them,” Ziegler added. “They’re saying, ‘Who would parent Christopher better, the foster parents or the parents?’ is basically what they’re going on.”

According to the Oregonian, across the country, a national study estimates that somewhere between 40 percent and 80 percent of parents with intellectual disabilities lose their parental rights.

This practice sounds dangerously close to a dark time in the early part of the 20th century across America.

Eugenics, the ‘science’ of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics, is a dark stain on humanity’s past as it was carried out with the support of the majority and the use of government force.

While most people associate it with Adolf Hitler and his movement to create a supreme race in Nazi Germany, the fact is that eugenics sciences began in the 1860s. By Hitler’s time, it was a consensus among many that the human population could be improved through selective breeding and the horrific treatment of people deemed ‘inferior’ by science — including forced sterilization.

Many states in the U.S. had sterilization programs enacted that would target low I.Q. test scores as the reason to prevent adults from becoming parents. Fabbrini and Ziegler are now experiencing a similar fate.

However, their fate is much worse as their children were born and then stolen from them — for their low I.Q. scores — by the state which thinks it can do a better job at raising them.

As the Free Thought Project has pointed out on multiple occasions, many foster environments are rife with sexual and physical abuse. Over the years, we’ve covered cases of children being taken from loving parents only to end up abused, heavily drugged, raped, and even murdered. 

Let’s hope, for the sake of Fabbrini and Ziegler, that their children do not suffer a similar fate.

Spy at Home? Vacuuming Robot Could Be Major Threat to Consumer Privacy

SPUTNIK–The creators behind the vacuuming robot Roomba have unveiled new plans for their helpful gadget, but it’s not something everyone is going to be thrilled about. *insert Vincent Price’s menacing laugh*

iRobot, the American company established by three Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates, essentially wants to start selling the floor plans of its customers’ homes to big tech companies like Amazon, Apple or maybe even Google.

Their end goal is for the plan to help other smart home devices to operate more efficiently using the Roomba’s ability to track movement data, according to Colin Angle, the company’s CEO.

“There’s an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared,” Angle told Reuters.

But exactly how specific would the details be?

According to the company, the data sharing would include everything from the location of your bed to home security cameras and thermostats.

Considered a “major breakthrough” for the advancement of smart homes, Guy Hoffman, a robotics professor at Cornell University, told Global News that regularly updating its spatial data maps would allow sound systems, for instance, to adjust to a home’s acoustics as well as even tweaking the lighting in a room.

While the benefits of having to manually control fewer gadgets does sound enticing, the one clear issue at hand is the risk to consumer privacy.

​While it may be years before the deal is finalized, users do have a way to limit the data sharing of their beloved cleaner; unfortunately, it’ll leave users unable to control the bot via Wifi or Bluetooth capabilities.

In the meantime, the company is already doing damage control.”“We will always ask your permission to even store map data,” it insisted to CNET. “Right now, iRobot is building maps to enable the Roomba to efficiently and effectively clean your home.”

So just remember folks, big brother is watching — even if he does just want to know how often you watch TV or maybe how often you clean your home. Say hello to targeted ads!

Jeff Sessions Announces Plan for Cops to Steal More Property by Increasing Civil Asset Forfeiture

[7/20/17  JACK BURNS]  The U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has just promised to increase the federal government’s civil asset forfeiture programs. In an address at the National District Attorney’s Association conference in Minneapolis, MN this week, Sessions laid out his prosecutorial plans for the nation.

The gathering of district attorneys from all across the nation to meet with America’s top law enforcement official was revealing, to say the least. Sessions addressed many legitimate and pressing issues facing the nation; opioid epidemic, increasing murder rate, and human trafficking. But Sessions’ comments on planned confiscation of possessions of private citizens has many taking notice.

Sessions said:

In addition, we hope to issue this week a new directive on asset forfeiture—especially for drug traffickers. With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime. Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners.

Sessions has long-since considered marijuana a drug and not a plant, and his comment specifying “drug traffickers” as his primary target, has many in the medical marijuana (MMJ) industry more than a bit nervous. The DEA still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic even though 29 U.S. states have defied the DEA’s definition as well as federal law and enacted MMJ laws allowing for cannabis to be used as medicine and in a few states, recreationally.

Now, it seems, Sessions wants to not only increase seizures of property by federal agents belonging to citizens of subordinate states but he may be able to legally transpose the broad definition of “criminal” to include dispensary owners, growers, and distributors alike in states where weed is already legal. After all, each actor involved is breaking federal law with every plant cultivated or sold.

In June, 62 people were arrested for trafficking marijuana in Colorado, a state where not only is marijuana offered through the state’s medical marijuana board, but is also available for recreational uses. Several of those arrested were licensed members of the state’s program.

One operation, known as “Toker Poker,” targeted unlicensed marijuana growers and distributors who allegedly sold weed across state lines into surrounding states. According to the Denver Post:

The indictment, filed June 9, resulted in the seizure of nearly 2,500 illegally cultivated marijuana plants and 4,000 pounds of marijuana.

But what started out as a targeted investigation of growers and distributors quickly morphed into in related businesses, including at least one supply store.

A dozen businesses operated by the ring, including a marijuana grow supply store and purported property management companies, are also named in the indictment.

Members did not get licensing needed to grow and sell legally in Colorado, and then they sold the marijuana in states where pot is illegal, including Texas, Kansas, Nebraska and Ohio, the indictment said.

With the Attorney General’s new directive to increase civil asset forfeiture operations at the federal level, some states are prepared to push back.

In Colorado, HB17-1313 recently became the newest law concerning civil asset forfeitures. Amid a torrent of protest by sheriffs all across the state, lawmakers wrote into law new legislation requiring all state-level law enforcement agencies to forego receipt of federally seized liquid assets unless the amount of money seized exceeded $50,000.

Presumably, the law was meant to prevent police from seizing assets from those who could least afford to have their belongings confiscated. As TFTP has often reported, law enforcement agencies all across the U.S. are actively engaging in taking things that belong to the citizens to fund their policing activities. In other words, LEAs could become compromised into seizing more assets to fund themselves.

Here’s how it works according to Reason:

The Justice Department plays a huge role in asset forfeiture through its Equitable Sharing Program, which allows state and local police to have their forfeiture cases “adopted” by the federal government. The feds take over the case, and the seized money is put into the equitable sharing pool. In return, the department gets up to 80 percent of those funds back. The equitable sharing program distributes hundreds of millions of dollars a year to police departments around the country.

Seizures of property and goods, including cash, happen so frequently that LEAs’ civil asset forfeiture programs are becoming highly controversial.

For example, in Cook County, Illinois, for the past several years, police have seized property and cash an average of 5,000 times per year. That’s a total of over 25,000 seizures in the past five ears alone.

Many, if not all of the people who lost their property were not yet proven guilty in a court of law, and just as many never went to court before the assets were taken. In other words, police are taking innocent people’s property at will, requiring defendants to expend additional resources (money) to recover their goods.

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Many believe civil asset forfeitures programs and operations are a form of legal theft. Now, it seems, even Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions wants in on the game and is putting all his drug war chips on the table.

US Awards $27Mln to Support Surveillance Air Control Tracking System

[7/12/17  SPUTNIK]  A US technology firm won more than $27 million contract for technical and engineering services to install equipment for the Fleet Area Air Control Tracking System, the Department of Defense said in a press release.

Work on the project will last just over five years and is expected to be completed in August 2022, the Defense Department added.

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“KBRwyle Technology Solutions, Columbia, Maryland, is being awarded a not-to-exceed $27,156,181… for technical, engineering products, hardware and services in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s Air Traffic Control and Landing Systems Branch,” the release said on Tuesday.

More than 370 Journalists Have Been Attacked During Coverage of Venezuela’s Protests

jornalists

Journalists

[6/27/17/ SABRINA MARTIN]  At least 376 journalists have been attacked by Venezuela’s dictatorial regime during the coverage of ongoing demonstrations held by the country’s opposition.

On Sunday, the National Union of Press Workers reported that journalists for print, radio and TV have suffered significant injury during the heightened demonstrations, which have lasted three continuous months.

The country’s Public Prosecutor’s Office requested that the courts grant special protection to journalists, but there have been consistent reports of abuse against the press nonetheless. The police, army and independent groups in support of the dictatorship have all demonstrated hostility to the presence of the media.

Most of the attacks have reportedly been carried out by military and police officers, who not only repress the crowd, but also persecute reporters.

Between March 31 and June 24, 376 press workers were assaulted in 238 documented cases, the union said. Security forces are responsible for 170 of those cases.

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The National Union of Press Workers’s also reported 33 case of illegal detentions of its members.

The Bolivarian National Guard is reportedly responsible for 60.5-percent of cases of assault in which “state security agencies are the perpetrators.”

More than 75 deaths in general have resulted from demonstrations against Maduro’s dictatorship. There have been thousands of reported injuries, according to a report by the Attorney General’s Office.

These Teens Handcuffed for Selling Bottled Water Is Everything Wrong With Government

water

water

[6/25/17/Claire Bernish]  Lemonade stands, paper routes, and bake sales seem yet destined for the dustbin of history, thanks to an imperious State, which — to its sanctimonious detriment — manages to pull off seemingly impossible PR predicaments of its own making, like the handcuffing of teenagers for selling bottled water on the National Mall without a permit Thursday evening. Yes. Seriously. Perched atop chains interlinking fence posts lining the walk near Smithsonian Castle, three justifiably perplexed Black youth, wrists in handcuffs behind their backs can be seen speaking with U.S. Park Police — bottles of water resting in an evidence bin, nearby. Tweeted by tour guide, Tim Krepp, as he passed the scene, photos of the three, aged 16 and 17, would appear to any casual observer without context to be a possible apprehension of at least petty criminals — not the three kids hawking bottled water for a few extra dollars to willing Washington, D.C., tourists on a hot day, that the incident actually was.

U.S. News reports, “A spokeswoman for the U.S. Park Police, Sgt. Anna Rose, confirms three teenagers were detained for vending without a license, but says she feels ‘this has gotten blown out of proportion.’

“The three teens, ages 16 and 17, were detained for ‘illegally selling water’ but were not charged, Rose says. They were held until their parents arrived. A fourth individual was immediately released after officers determined he was uninvolved, she says.”

For good measure — rather, to deflect the flying conflagration of a rightfully livid backlash hurled in her department’s direction — Rose added, “this was not some hours-long ordeal.”

That’s not the point.

None of that is the point — even though the unnamed, plain clothes officers did not charge the adults-in-making with the crime of not possessing the State’s permission slip to vend water on the apparently sacrosanct National Mall.

Of course this incident whipped the Internet into a fury — these are kids. Selling sealed bottles of water. In the summer. To willing customers. Voluntarily.

There should be anger — as well as indignation, sadness, frustration, vitriol, and action.

In fact, perhaps the sole positive development in this affair is that the collective American rage against this absurdity categorically hemorrhaged at the modern portrait of the childhood lemonade stand, its young vendors in the shackles of a police state, nanny state, and an infinitesimally legislated one — all together, summoning bloody echoes from two centuries of injustice — the spectacle sardonically unfolding in the taxpayer-bloated belly of the beast that is the nation’s capital.

Of course — capping off a week of news mangling every sense of justice, logic, peace, and cooperation only a few of us harbored anyway — of course this scene lit fires under the seats of the otherwise preoccupied.

Placing handcuffs around the wrists of teenagers whose only conceivable guilt lies in the breaking of a code enacted inarguably solely for profit by the District, handily cements several theories on the surreptitious arrival of fascism in America.

To paraphrase a recently viral meme, “If you think you’re free in this country, ask yourself what you can do that isn’t taxed, regulated, or licensed?”

Clearly, selling bottled water on Washington’s stately, pun intended, National Mall isn’t an option — nor is selling lemonade.

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Of course, both of those lowly pursuits would also be verboten in most places in the nation — California shut down a little girl’s lemonade stand when authorities found the puny perpetrator remiss in securing a $200 permit … and in need of around $3,500 to bring the stand into compliance with government mandates for continued operation.

But don’t think the issue here pertains only to wares sold without the State dipping its hand in the offenders’ pockets for tax — no, giving away water or lemonade won’t necessarily work either.

Florida harbors a sizable homeless population, given its warmer clime and voluminous beaches, but an epidemic threatens everyone without a house — the stomping out of charitable work, in numerous arrests of people providing them with food.

Feed the homeless, pay a fine — and it’s the same from a lengthening list of state legislatures, which should not only be ashamed, but fired.

History’s legendary human rights advocates tell us to disobey unjust, unethical, and immoral laws for a sound reason far beyond just that it’s the right thing to do — unjust laws beget the same, and more so, ad infinitum.

Giving an inch — allowing ineffectual, misbegotten codes, laws, and regulations to accumulate, unaddressed — results only in the taking of miles by the State. We did this — all of us — we’re responsible for the spectacle of three Black youth detained in cuffs for selling water. Water.

It’s time to stop pretending such a scenario facsimilizes anything even approaching acceptable.

Overcriminalization of everyday life has so invaded mundanity this nation has forgotten its free-spirited and freedom-cherishing soul — for the worst.

It would be unfortunately optimistic to hope images of the three teen water-sellers in cuffs would be a watershed moment — the instant Americans knew that, for security and ease, liberty has been tossed overboard — but that won’t happen.

Tragically, outrage has a short fuse — but apathy and complacency are the bedrock of a totalitarian State.

Encapsulating everything humorous and not so much, Rose explained,

“Vending on the National Mall is illegal without a permit. The National Park Service has a whole office dedicated to permitting.”

Sweden May Use Police to Force HOMESCHOOLERS into Public School

[6/24/17/ HSLDA]  National education authorities in Sweden are telling local officials to use force if necessary to get the Sandberg family’s homeschooled children into a traditional school.

I wrote recently about the Sandbergs, who I’m told are likely the last homeschooling family in their home country. The parents have been fined thousands of dollars for not sending their children to public school, and now the national authorities are threatening to have the police bus the children to school!

Jonas Himmelstrand, the president of the national Swedish homeschool association, told me that despite numerous positive reports from child protection authorities and overwhelming evidence that the Sandberg children are being well educated, the national education authorities in Sweden want to stamp out this last remnant of homeschooling.

The Himmelstrands are one of several homeschooling families who live in exile in the Åland Islands of neighboring Finland, where Swedish is primarily spoken.

“The national authorities are pressuring the municipality to consider even stronger options to get the children to school. The municipality has mentioned the use of force, including sending the police to pick up the children and take them to school, as a possibility,” Himmelstrand said. “It is not clear whether Swedish law would allow for this possibility, but the threat is a stark reminder of the hostility that the Swedish government has towards anyone who would dare homeschool.”

Himmelstrand hopes that the local authorities use their power to alleviate the Sandbergs’ situation.

“[The municipal authorities] have the power to exempt these children and to resolve this crisis,” he said. “Whether they will or not remains to be seen.”

Not Exactly a Utopia

This latest threat to freedom has reminded me that Sweden, a country often touted as a model social democracy, is turning into a dystopia for anyone who does not conform to rigid patterns of accepted behavior.

Swedish law does explicitly allow for homeschooling under “exceptional circumstances,” but as a practical matter the right to homeschool is denied by municipal authorities, who are granted the power to approve exceptions.

The Swedish national government, meanwhile, puts pressure on the family as a social institution in a variety of ways. Early childhood education is mandatory, and government-funded day care starts for children as early as age 1. It is the rare exception for a mother to stay home with her young children after the age of 2, and there is tremendous social pressure for women to re-enter the workforce as soon as possible after giving birth.

We’re in This Together

HSLDA is supporting the Sandberg family as a last hope to make some impact on the repressive attitude of Swedish authorities and to push back against the anti-homeschooling policy of a country that is looked to by many developing nations as an example of a European socialist success.

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Home education is a growing global movement, and in countries like Sweden where there is strong social pressure against it, the few families with the courage and conviction to try teaching their children at home need our help. No one should be treated as a criminal for homeschooling.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights makes it crystal clear in Article e26.3 that parents have the prior right to choose the kind of education their children will receive. Sweden is a party to this treaty and numerous others that demand the protection of this right and ensure that children can receive education that conforms to the religious, philosophical, and pedagogical convictions of their parents. Click here for a comprehensive defense of the human right of home education.

Swedish authorities’ unwillingness to permit diversity, tolerance, and pluralism in education reveals the dark and totalitarian nature of their intentions to use the education system to indoctrinate children in state-approved ideology. Free governments must reject the use of compulsory education as a form of state-sponsored indoctrination or forfeit their claim to be called a free and democratic society.

The global homeschooling community has a stake in this fight for freedom. Educational statism is a force that is used by left and right-leaning governments alike and must be fought wherever it is found. As HSLDA’s chairman and founder Michael Farris has famously said, “If we don’t fight for these rights everywhere, there won’t be rights anywhere.”

If you publish Georgia’s state laws, you’ll get sued for copyright and lose

[6/19/17]  If you want to read the official laws of the state of Georgia, it will cost you more than $1,000.

Open-records activist Carl Malamud bought a hard copy, and it cost him $1,207.02 after shipping and taxes. A copy on CD was $1,259.41. The “good” news for Georgia residents is that they’ll only have to pay $385.94 to buy a printed set from LexisNexis.

Malamud thinks reading the law shouldn’t cost anything. So a few years back, he scanned a copy of the state of Georgia’s official laws, known as the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, or OCGA. Malamud made USB drives with two copies on them, one scanned copy and another encoded in XML format. On May 30, 2013, Malamud sent the USB drives to the Georgia speaker of the House, David Ralson, and the state’s legislative counsel, as well as other prominent Georgia lawyers and policymakers.

“Access to the law is a fundamental aspect of our system of democracy, an essential element of due process, equal protection, and access to justice,” said Malamud in the enclosed letter. The law, he reminded them, isn’t copyrighted.

The envelopes themselves announced Malamud’s belief in the strength of his argument. “UNIMPEACHABLE!” read the fruit-adorned stickers, surrounded by American flags. “Code is law,” they continued, that phrase being the first words that appear in a well-known book by Harvard Law Prof. Lawrence Lessig.

Georgia lawmakers’ response to Malamud’s gifts was anything but peachy. “Your unlawful copying… Infringes on the exclusive copyright of the state of Georgia,” read the response letter, written by the chairman of Georgia’s Code Revision Commission, Josh McKoon. “Accordingly, you are hereby notified to CEASE AND DESIST ALL COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.”

McKoon told Malamud to stop copying, destroy his files, and remove the laws from his website. If he didn’t comply within 10 days, they would file a lawsuit to force his hand and promised to seek damages for “willful infringement.” There was an unannotated copy of state law available for free on the state’s website, McKoon reminded him, and that would have to suffice. (More on that “free” copy later.)

Children Now Face Fines & Arrest If They Don’t Get a Permit to Mow Grass for Money

[6/1/17/JAY SYRMOPOULOS]  A regular summer right of passage for motivated teenagers across the United States in search of some extra spending money has always been cutting the neighbors grass. However, teens in Gardendale, Alabama, and many other cities across the United States, are about to get a rude lesson in how government overregulation stifles personal and financial growth.

Local officials and area law services have reportedly warned area teens that without a business license issued by the city, which costs $110, they are in violation of a city ordinance, thus violating the law, if they attempt to cut grass without a license.

It’s patently absurd that local teenagers can’t make a private agreement with a neighbor to mow a lawn without the government sanctioning the transaction by inserting themselves as the arbiter of who is allowed to legitimately cut grass.

Mowing grass in the summer is often one of the first jobs a motivated teenager will engage in during their summer break from school. But, with a business license costing $110 for a job that will likely be ongoing for a few short months in the summer, the cost will likely drive many ambitious entrepreneurial teens away from what would likely be a rewarding experience.

“I have never heard of a child cutting grass having to have a business license,” Elton Campbell, whose granddaughter, Alainna Parris, mows a few lawns around the neighborhood, told ABC-33/40.

“She charges one lady $20, and another lady $30, and another girl $40 besides what we pay her,” said Campbell.

The teen is disappointed as she felt like this was the perfect way for her to make some extra money during the summer.

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“Just helping out and raising money for admissions and trips,” said Alainna Parris.

According to Campbell, Parris is allegedly being targeted by someone upset by the competition from the teen. That person is using the power of the state to eliminate his competition.

“One of the men that cuts several yards made a remark to one of our neighbors, ‘that if he saw her cutting grass again that he was going to call Gardendale because she didn’t have a business license,’” said Campbell.

Campbell called out the irony of trying to prevent a child from taking on a summer job, when they show an internal drive and take the initiative, as so many teenagers are not engaging in enterprising behavior, or taking on additional responsibilities, during their summer break.

“He’s coming after a kid when a kid is at least trying to do work. There’s kids at home on iPads and electronics and not wanting to go outside,” said Parris.

Mayor Stan Hogeland weighed in on the controversy, noting that when operating a business for pay within the city limits, you must have a business license. But, he also said that sending law enforcement after a child trying to earn extra money in the summer is not a priority. Unfortunately, however, if children do resist this tax on their entrepreneurial spirit — police force will most assuredly come. These children would most assuredly face at the very least, a fine, and possibly even arrest.

Hogeland stated he’s committed to finding a way to resolve this issue. But, of course, the government still wants its cut, so he will explore the possibility of a temporary license for summer months that targets entrepreneurial youth.

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“I would love to have something on our books that gave a more favorable response to that student out there cutting grass. And see if there’s maybe a temporary license during the summer months that targets teenagers,” said Mayor Hogeland.

While it is heartening to hear Mayor Hogel recognize that it’s unfortunate there are young people are complaining about the permits for cutting their neighbors grass for a few bucks and saying that he doesn’t want this to discourage kids from trying to earn money, the fact that he still believes that these kids should be licensed, speaks to the true insanity of government over regulation.

There is clear cognitive dissonance seen in Hogel’s ablity to recognize the foolish and petty nature of calling city authorities on these teenagers for trying to do something adults should be congratulating and supporting while at the same time failing to acknowledge that there is no legitimate reason for these kids to be licensed.

The formality of requiring teens to be licensed to cut grass is a simple revenue generation scheme, plain and simple. This type of regulation does nothing to keep anyone safe – and only serves to enrich the government coffers.

Once again the free market is being squeezed by unnecessary regulation, for the sake of revenue generation, which only serves to stifle competition and keep consumer prices higher.

The government is spying on journalists to find leakers

[6/1/17]  There was a big ruckus four years ago when the Associated Press announced that telephone records for 20 of its reporters had been subpoenaed by the Justice Department.

The government was apparently looking for CIA leaks about an operation in Yemen.

Well, a Washington source of mine tells me it’s happening again. The Justice Department has gotten a warrant from the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — also known as the FISA court — to conduct electronic surveillance on a group of journalists who’ve been the recipient of leaked information, the source said.

The journalists are not the target, according to my source — and I say, thank goodness for that. Instead, the Trump administration is looking for the leaker. Who could it be?

Some in the administration are focusing on a retired, high-ranking military officer who held important posts in the intelligence service, according to the source.

JetBlue and Delta Test Biometric Scanning to Replace Boarding Passes

[5/1/17]  JetBlue Airways Corp. and Delta Air Lines Inc. will test facial- and fingerprint-recognition technology at two U.S. airports to replace boarding passes, building on industry efforts to increase security and ease passage through airports.

The JetBlue program will start next month on flights from Boston to Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport, the airline said in a statementWednesday. It will match passenger photos to their passport or visa photos. Delta has been trying fingerprint identification in Washington that may eventually replace boarding passes.

The testing highlights efforts by carriers to speed customers through congested airports while increasing security. Europe’s KLM airline in February began using face-scanning technology for boarding at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Delta this month said it would attempt a self-serve process for checking bags at one airport using facial recognition.

“We hope to learn how we can further reduce friction points in the airport experience, with the boarding process being one of the hardest to solve,” Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s executive vice president for customer experience, said in the statement.

JetBlue passengers will be able to participate without enrolling or registering in advance.

A custom-designed camera will take a photo and transmit it to U.S. authorities to compare against databases of passport, visa and immigration images. A display above the camera will notify travelers when they can board. New York-based JetBlue is working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and SITA, an information-technology provider for airlines.

He didn’t give police his iPhone pass code, so he got 180 days in jail

[5/31/17]  A Hollywood man must serve 180 days in jail for refusing to give up his iPhone password to police, a Broward judge ruled Tuesday — the latest salvo in intensifying legal battles over law-enforcement access to smart phones.

Christopher Wheeler, 41, was taken into custody in a Broward Circuit Court, insisting he had already provided the pass code to police investigating him for child abuse, although the number did not work.

“I swear, under oath, I’ve given them the password,” a distraught Wheeler, his hands handcuffed behind his back, told Circuit Judge Michael Rothschild, who earlier in May found the man guilty of contempt of court.

As Wheeler was jailed Tuesday, the same issue was unfolding in Miami-Dade for a man accused of extorting a social-media celebrity over stolen sex videos.

That man, Wesley Victor, and his girlfriend had been ordered by a judge to produce a pass code to phones suspected of containing text messages showing their collusion in the extortion plot.

Victor claimed he didn’t remember the number. He prevailed.

On Tuesday, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Charles Johnson ruled that there was no way to prove that Victor actually remembered his pass code, more than 10 months after his initial arrest. Johnson declined to hold the man in contempt of court.

“The judge made the right call,” said his lawyer, Zeljka Bozanic. “My client testified he did not remember. It’s been almost a year. Many people, including myself, can’t remember passwords from a year ago.”

Victor and his girlfriend, reality TV star Hencha Voigt, are accused of threatening to release sex videos stolen from Miami social-media celebrity YesJulz in exchange for $18,000. Voigt is also facing a contempt of court charge — she provided her pass code, but it did not work.

HE WAS SELLING VEGETABLES IN PUBLIC…. SO THEY ARRESTED HIM

[5/24/17]  The sheriff’s department in one California county is being criticized for handcuffing and arresting a street vendor who was selling vegetables.

The incident was captured by a passerby in a picture, which shows a member of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office looking through the man’s belongings, which included more than a dozen boxes and bags of colorful vegetables. Meanwhile, the man sits in handcuffs.

The photo quickly went viral, and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office took to Facebook to try and explain the situation. The vendor did not have a license to sell vegetables, the sheriff’s office said.

“Selling food on street corners violates county ordinances and public health codes,” the post read. “Persistent street vending harms local businesses, especially small, start-up food vendors and poses certain health risks such as E. coli and other food borne illnesses. … In addition, illegal vending causes traffic safety issues and vendors are sometimes the target of street robberies.”

When the deputy approached the man and asked for his identification, he fled.

“The man is on federal probation and is expected to follow all laws. This is likely the reason he tried to flee,” the Facebook post read.

Contrary to what some people suspected, the man’s immigration status was not an issue, because the department doesn’t turn people over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the department said.

Still, the explanation didn’t appease everyone on Facebook. More than 3,200 people commented.

“It’s a victimless crime,” one person wrote under the department’s post. “So much for the land of the free. Can’t even sell the fruits of your labor. Shame.”

Matt Powers, communications coordinator with the Institute for Justice, wrote that the sheriff’s department’s justifications “have no merit.”

JUDGE: IT’S OK IF BEST BUY’S GEEK SQUAD NERDS SEARCH YOUR PC FOR ILLEGAL CONTENT

[5/23/17]  A judge presiding over a child pornography case that was set in motion in 2012 has ruled that users have no legal expectation of privacy when they hand over their computers to Best Buy’s Geek Squad IT technicians.

This was the most recent development in a case that started in 2012 when a California doctor named Mark Rettenmaier was arrested after Best Buy computer technicians found child abuse images on his hard drive.

Short history of the Rettenmaier case

According to court documents, everything started in November 2011 when Rettenmaier discovered that his computer wouldn’t boot anymore.

The doctor, a gynecologist from Mission Viejo, California, took his PC to the local Best Buy store, where technicians discovered the computer had a bad hard drive.

Rettenmaier, wishing to regain access to his old files, agreed to purchase data recovery services from Best Buy’s Geek Squad. This service meant that his local Best Buy technician sent the hard drive to a Geek Squad branch in Brooks, Kentucky, where other specialized employees would carry out this complex operation.

At the Brooks branch, while recovering files from Rettenmaier’s hard drive, a Geek Squad employee found a small thumbnail image “of a fully nude, white prepubescent female on her hands and knees on a bed, with a brown choker-type collar around her neck.”

The Geek Squad employee followed protocol and reported the image to the FBI, who arrested Rettenmaier in early 2012.

Things get murky as more details come to light

Nothing weird and out of the ordinary up until this point, as in most US states, computer technicians are required by law to report these type of content to authorities. Things started unraveling as years went by and the defendant’s lawyers began to take the prosecution’s evidence apart.

Everything culminated in early 2017 when Rettenmaier’s lawyers discovered that the FBI had specifically recruited and trained Geek Squad technicians to search for illegal files on users’ computers using custom-built software.

Defense lawyers argued that the FBI was using Geek Squad technicians as a way to skirt privacy laws and search for data for which they would usually have need probable cause and a warrant.

Furthermore, lawyers found that the FBI was paying these Geek Squad employees between $500 and $1,000 per each report they filed.

This immediately cast a shadow of doubt over the prosecution’s findings, as financial motivations now drove Geek Squad employees to find as many “suspects” as possible.

For its part, Best Buy denied having any knowledge of the FBI’s arrangement with its Geek Squad division.

Geek Squad technicians allowed to search any data they want

Last week, the judge presiding over this case answered some motions filed by Rettenmaier’s lawyers in the past months.

YOUR CHILD ‘BELONGS TO THE STATE’: LAWMAKERS CLAIM THE STATE OWNS YOUR CHILDREN

[5/22/17/ ANNABELLE BAMFORTH]  Legislators in Texas have been working toward passing a host of laws to reform the state’s Child Protective Services agency. New legislation has been crafted to improve the agency which has seen multiple dilemmas resulting in detrimental safety problems for children in the state. There have been several bills introduced this year aimed at improving the agency. One bill, in particular, House Bill 39, seeks in part to require medical exams to be performed more quickly on children who have been newly placed into the foster care system.

HB 39, introduced by Rep. Gene Wu (D-Houston), would mandate that the state’s Department of Family Protective Services schedule a medical examination for children who have been in temporary state custody for longer than three business days. Children in rural locations would be required to receive a medical exam within seven business days.

While the bill was originally centered around hastening medical exams for new foster children, questions arose regarding whether vaccines would be included as part of these medical exams. Rep. Bill Zedler (R-Arlington), the vice chairman of the Texas Freedom Caucus, introduced an amendment to HB 39 to make vaccinations exempt from the required medical treatments. The bill saw a turbulent debate upon Zedler’s amendment as the discussion turned to childhood vaccines and who should be responsible for crucial medical decisions when custody is obscured.

“You get that child back five, eight, 10 days later, and they’ve now had that surgery or they’ve had these vaccinations,” Zedler said according to Dallas Morning News. “That’s an issue of liberty.”

Wu was vocal about his belief that the law allows the state to assume authority in such situations. “Let me make very clear: the moment a child is removed from their home- the moment the child is removed- by law, the child is now a child of the state of Texas,” said Wu. “We have the responsibility to make sure that child is safe and is given proper medical care. That is the law.”

“When we put into the law that we are limiting the ability of our agency that is tasked with taking care of a child that is in their custody and they are legally responsible for, we are setting a dangerous precedent,” Wu continued. “This is the same thing I told you when we argued over my bills and this is the same thing I will tell you again when we argue over this bill.”

Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) questioned Wu’s choice of wording: “Mr. Wu, you used the word ‘belongs to the state of Texas.’ Do you want to rethink that wording?” he asked. Strickland then interrupted Wu’s response and went on to ask “True or false: that CPS has taken children and found that they were wrong in doing so? And returned the child? Has that happened, Representative Wu?”  Wu acknowledged that it has occurred “on rare occasions.”

Stickland challenged not only Wu but also Rep. Sarah Davis (R-West University Place), who sought to add an additional amendment in response to the amendment of Zedler’s, which would allow “cancer-preventing” vaccines to be administered, particularly the HPV vaccine.

Davis noted statistics related to cervical cancer deaths and low HPV vaccination rates in Texas and said that “the HPV vaccine will eliminate cervical cancer.” Stickland asked Davis if she believed that parents had the right to choose medical procedures for their children. Davis responded that she believed “children that have been taken from their parents and are in protective custody undergoing a medical examination should be given a vaccine that prevents them from developing cancer.”

Stickland asked Davis if she understood that they were discussing the issue of children in temporary custody with no parental rights terminated during the medical exams. “Agreed, but cancer is not temporary,” Davis answered.

Strickland repeated his question of whether she thinks parents have the right to choose medical procedures for their children, and Davis said that “we have to find a balance because there is absolutely in my opinion zero science behind the fact that any vaccines are systematically harming children.”

Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) also challenged Davis’ amendment and said that it appeared that her amendment would transfer decision-making authority from families to a physician. Leach asked Davis if her amendment “goes against the wishes” of a child or the parents.

Leach added that he was not interested in deciding which vaccines are “good or bad” or who needs to be vaccinated, but was focusing on the question of who would have the authority to make vaccination decisions under her amendment. “Who at the core at the very basic level, who should make this decision?” Leach asked Davis.

Davis’s amendment was tabled in a 74-64 vote; Zedler’s amendment to prohibit vaccines during medical exams was passed in a 74-58 vote, with another amendment attached by Wu to allow for tetanus shots to be administered in emergencies.

Zedler later said to The Texas Tribune that the majority of parents that he’s communicated with are not overall opposed to vaccines but are troubled by the scheduling. He also said that  “the only one that might possibly be [an emergency] is a tetanus shot.” 

In the video below, Wu makes the ominous claim that parents — who’ve not been found guilty of any wrongdoing — no longer have care over their children and that those children now belong to the state. When the state begins to claim they own our children, something is very wrong.

UK POLICE WILL START USING AI TO DECIDE WHETHER SUSPECTS SHOULD BE KEPT IN CUSTODY

[5/21/17]  UK police in the city of Durham, England, are prepared to go live with a predictive artificial intelligence system that will determine whether a suspect should be kept in custody, according to the BBC. Called Hart, which stands for Harm Assessment Risk Tool, the system is designed to classify individuals based on a low, medium, or high risk of committing a future offense. Police plan to put it live in the next few months to test its effectiveness against cases in which custody specialists do not rely on the system’s judgement.

The AI assessment could be used for a number of different determinations, like whether a suspect should be kept for a longer length of time and whether bail should be set before or after a charge is issued. According to the BBC, Hart’s decision-making is based on Durham police data gathered between 2008 and 2013, and it accounts for factors like criminal history, severity of the current crime, and whether a suspect is a flight risk. In initial tests in 2013, in which suspects’ behavior were tracked for two years after an initial offense, Hart’s low-risk forecasts were accurate 98 percent of the time and its high-risk forecasts were accurate 88 percent of the time.

Hart is just one of many algorithmic and predictive software tools being used by law enforcement officials and court and prison systems around the globe. And although they may improve efficiency in police departments, the Orwellian undercurrents of a algorithmic criminal justice system have been backed up by troubling hard data.

In a thorough investigation from ProPublica published last year, these risk-assessment tools were found to be deeply flawed, with inherent human bias built in that made them twice as likely to flag black defendants as future criminals and far more likely to treat white defendants as low-risk, standalone offenders. Many algorithmic systems today, including those employed by Facebook, Google, and other tech companies, are similarly at risk of injecting bias into a system, as the judgement of human beings was used to craft the software in the first place.

MAYOR: ANYTHING NOT PERMITTED UNDER LAW IS NOW BANNED (AND THAT INCLUDES GARDENS)

[5/21/17]  Columbiana, Ohio, is the latest city to debate the legality of gardens, even if the two sides can’t agree on what is up for discussion.

Resident Tony Dolan claims that the right to garden on a homeowner’s property is at stake. The Columbiana city council at one point considered a proposal that would have restricted gardens to back yards, although that language was struck.

“It has been frighteningly apparent that we in this city have given our freedoms up in ways that we never really saw coming,” Dolan wrote at the Columbiana for/against Chickens Facebook page.

Mayor Bryan Blakeman claims the gardening ordinance is being considered because, technically, gardening currently is banned.

“Right now, if there is not something expressly in this code that says that you can have one, you technically can’t,” Blakeman told the Salem News.

The newspaper likewise reported that “if something is not permitted it is prohibited.”

But at least one councilmember is siding with the gardeners.

“People have been growing gardens for as long as I can remember in Columbiana, and have never had a problem,” Councilman Dick McBane said.

McBane also expressed concern about the argument that if something isn’t permitted, it’s prohibited, the newspaper reported.

ITALY MAKES VACCINATION MANDATORY FOR CHILDREN

Vaccine

[5/20/17]  The new legislation makes vaccines mandatory for 12 preventable diseases, including measles, chicken pox, polio, hepatitis B, and tetanus. Only children with immunizations would be eligible for nursery school, according to the Friday law.

Parents would face large fines for sending non-vaccinated children to state childcare facilities or schools.

“The lack of appropriate measures over the years and the spread of anti-scientific theories, especially in recent months, has brought about a reduction in protection,” Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni told a news conference in Rome.

Italy has noted a sudden spread of measles in recent years, with the number of infections rising from 250 in 2015 to 840 last year. Medical authorities have already detected over 2,395 cases since the beginning of 2017, and the US warned visitors to Italy to guard against the disease.

5-Star riding on ‘disinformation’

Experts believe that the epidemic is due to people refusing to vaccinate their children. The world-wide anti-vaccination movement has been gaining traction in recent years, despite its theories being discredited by the scientific community. The public in Italy has been highly receptive to the debunked link about vaccines causing autism.

FEDERAL AGENCIES CAN SPY ON PHONES WITH 400 CELL-SITE SIMULATORS

[5/20/17]  The Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department have spent collectively more than $95 million on secret cellphone tracking technology and own more than 400 cell-site simulators that can be used to zero in covertly on the locations of cellphones, according to a congressional report.

A report released Monday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee reveals a tally of how many cell-site simulators federal agencies own and recommends that lawmakers adopt a national standard to govern use of the devices by local and federal law enforcement agencies.

With 194 cell-site simulators, the FBI has the most of any of the agencies identified as owning the devices, which often are referred to by brand names including Stingray or Hailstorm.

The U.S. Marshals Service has 70; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has 59; U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Drug Enforcement Administration each has 33; U.S. Secret Service has 32; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has 13; the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations division has two; and the Treasury inspector general has one.

The report does not indicate the specific types of devices the agencies have but lists the costs of the individual devices purchased as $41,000 to $500,000.

BBC THREATENS TO CONTACT YOUR BOSS IF AN ONLINE COMMENTS IS PERCEIVED AS ILLEGAL

[5/20/17]  The BBC has revealed it will use people’s “personal information” to “stop” them being “disruptive” or “offensive” online, as well as threatening to inform users employer if they are perceived to have broken the law.

The national broadcaster revealed the threat in a new 28-page ‘Privacy and Cookies Policy’ document, which contained a section on “offensive or inappropriate content”.

“If you post or send offensive, inappropriate or objectionable content anywhere on or to BBC websites or otherwise engage in any disruptive behaviour on any BBC service, the BBC may use your personal information to stop such behaviour”, the section claimed.

It is unclear how the BBC would deploy user’s personal information to alter their behaviour online, and there are not detail given as to what actions they would include within the broad and subjective bracket of “offensive, inappropriate or objectionable”.

The threat to contract third parties such as “your employer, school email/internet provider or law enforcement agencies” about “content and your behaviour” is limited to “where the BBC reasonably believes that you are or may be in breach of any applicable laws”.

CITY FORCES HOMEOWNER TO RIP UP HIS OWN YARD AND PAY FOR $8,500 SIDEWALK

[5/19/17]  Homeowners apparently will be forced to pay the city to rip up their front yards and install sidewalks under a proposal in Grand Forks, N.D.

“Sidewalks aren’t protestable,” City Council President Dana Sande told The Grand Forks Herald. “So once the city determines that the sidewalks should go into your neighborhood, you have one of three options: you can either put the sidewalk in yourself, you can hire a contractor to put it in, or you can have the city hire a contractor to put them in and be special assessed the fee. There are no other options.”

The council is requiring all homeowners to put in sidewalks in a plan to make Grand Forks “more connected,” The Herald reported. The sidewalk requirement has been on the books for many years but a previous council granted some homeowners a 10-year exemption. The present council has decided not to honor that provision.

“They’re just automatically going to do it and automatically put it on our specials and we’re just going to have to pay for it, so we don’t have a say,” homeowner Jared Johnson told WDAZ-TV.

Johnson estimates the sidewalk he does not want would cost $8,500. That would add about $100 a month to his property tax bill.

7-YEAR-OLD BOY WITH SPECIAL NEEDS PLACED IN HANDCUFFS AT SCHOOL…

[5/17/17]  The family of a 7-year-old boy with special needs wants answers about why their child was handcuffed at school.

A photo of the child in handcuffs went viral. Dallas ISD responded that the restraints were used to prevent the child from hurting himself. But the family says that doesn’t explain everything.

The 7-year-old boy is once again in the custody of his family. His mother, grandmother and their attorney got the news of his release Monday afternoon.

The family says now comes the task of demanding answers about what happened on May 9 at Gabe B. Allen Charter School to warrant handcuff on their little boy.

The photo has circulated and drawn tons of attention on social media of the 7-year old student in handcuffs standing between two DISD police officers.

His mother says she was called to go pick up her son from his school last Tuesday. She says it had become a familiar routine as her son is a special needs student and often has episodes causing him to act out. But last week, she says administrators told her he’d been taken to a mental facility to prevent harm to himself and to others.

DISD says it cannot discuss specifics due to student privacy laws, but the district sent a communication to parents in wake of the viral photo on social media.

DELTA AIR LINES PLANS TO USE FACIAL RECOGNITION TO CONFIRM IDENTITY OF PASSENGERS

[5/16/17]  In an effort to speed up bag drops for priority customers, Delta Air Lines will be testing facial recognition technology at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport starting this summer. Customers will be required to scan their passports at specially equipped kiosks, where a camera will scan their face to confirm their identity.

Four new self-service bag drop kiosks are being installed in Minneapolis, but only one will include the facial recognition software. Delta will be collecting customer feedback during the process to gauge how it will expand the service to other airports in the future, a spokesperson said. Delta is spending $600,000 on the new machines.

The announcement comes as the US government has been reshaping its security processes around the use of more facial recognition. Customs and Border Protection is registering visitors leaving the US using facial recognition, and it’s mulling over making facial scans necessary for US citizens as well.

CBP began testing facial recognition systems at Dulles Airport in 2015, then expanded the tests to New York’s JFK Airport last year. Face-reading check-in kiosks will be appearing at Ottawa International Airport this spring, and British Airways is rolling out a similar system at London’s Heathrow Airport, comparing faces captured at security screenings with a separate capture at the boarding gate.

But while those face-scanning initiatives are being used for security purposes, airlines like Delta also see a customer service opportunity as well. And as more people become more comfortable (or at least tolerant) with the idea that privacy doesn’t carry much weight at US airports, the use of these types of scanning processes is likely to grow more frequent.

TOP NSA WHISTLEBLOWER: RANSOMWARE HACK DUE TO “SWINDLE OF THE TAXPAYERS” BY INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES

[5/13/17/ WASHINGTONS BLOG]  What should we make of the global ransomware attacks which happened today?

We’ve documented that the intelligence services intentionally create digital vulnerabilities, then intentionally leave them open … leaving us exposed and insecure.

Washington’s Blog asked the highest level NSA whistleblower ever* – Bill Binney – what he thinks of the attacks.

Binney told us:

This is what I called short sighted finite thinking on the part of the Intelligence Community managers.

This is also what I called (for some years now) a swindle of the tax payers. First, they find or create weaknesses then they don’t fix these weaknesses so we are all vulnerable to attack.

Then, when attacks occur, they say they need more money for cyber security — a total swindle!!! [Indeed.]

This is only the second swindle of the public. The first was terror efforts by saying we need to collect everything to stop terror — another lie. They said that because to collect everything takes lots and lots of money.

Then, when the terror attack occurs, they say they need more money, people and data to stop terror. Another swindle from the start. [The war on terror is a “self-licking ice cream cone”, because it creates many more terrorists than it stops.]

And, finally, the latest swindle “THE RUSSIANS DID IT.” This is an effort to start a new cold war which means another bigger swindle of US tax payers.

For cyber security, I would suggest the president order NSA, CIA and any others to fix the cyber problems they know about; then, maybe we will start to have some cyber security.

The bottom line is that our intelligence services should start concentrating on actually defending us, rather than focusing their resources on offensive mischief.

* Binney is the NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, who served as the senior technical director within the agency, who managed six thousand NSA employees, the 36-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency and the NSA’s best-ever analyst and code-breaker, who mapped out the Soviet command-and-control structure before anyone else knew how, and so predicted Soviet invasions before they happened (“in the 1970s, he decrypted the Soviet Union’s command system, which provided the US and its allies with real-time surveillance of all Soviet troop movements and Russian atomic weapons”).

Binney is the real McCoy. As we noted in 2013, Binney has been interviewed by virtually all of the mainstream media, including CBS, ABC, CNN, New York Times, USA Today, Fox News, PBS and many others.