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Posts Tagged ‘Privacy Laws’

Body Scanners

The Dutch government says it will immediately begin using full body scanners on flights to the United States to prevent future terrorist attacks like the Christmas Day attempt by a young Nigerian. http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20091230/NEWS01/312300004/1001/NEWS

So what’s been the hold up in America?  There is no head of the TSA, they are more worried about the Union than security, and the ACLU and other civil liberties groups are having a hissy fit.  For one of the first times I can ever recall, I am all for more government regulating who gets to fly and am willing to give up some privacy to ensure the safety of air travel.  OMG, is it the year end holiday brain mush that just wrote more government??

 

From 2004.  “The Bush administration has decided to scale back and delay the debut of a vast airline passenger screening program until after the presidential election, federal officials said yesterday. The decision comes after months of meetings with airline officials and lawmakers who pressed the administration to drop more controversial elements of the program, known as Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening Program, or CAPPS II. ” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A53320-2004Jul15.html

For 6 years this technology has been out there, ready for use and could have prevented the uni-bomber and the underwear bomber from trying to blow up airplanes! 

On October 1, 2009 – “The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has revealed plans to install 150 body scanning machines for primary security screenings at airports across the country. The American Civil Liberties Union strongly opposes the expanded use of this invasive technology, which amounts to a virtual strip search and reveals strikingly graphic images of passengers’ bodies, including intimate medical details like colostomy bags or evidence of mastectomy. ….  By expanding the use of body scanning technology, the TSA is backing away from numerous assertions that it would use these machines only for secondary screenings. There are no laws or regulations limiting how the TSA uses these virtual strip searches, only policies they choose to adopt, and nothing to prevent the TSA from making it mandatory for all passengers to submit to these invasive and embarrassing searches, having their privacy stripped away in order to board a plane.

 The following can be attributed to Christopher Calabrese, ACLU Legislative Counsel for technology and privacy.

 “This new body scanning technology is a frontal assault on personal privacy, with virtual strip searches revealing private body parts and intimate medical details. This degree of examination amounts to a significant – and for some people humiliating – attack on the essential dignity of passengers that citizens in a free nation should not have to tolerate. Passengers expect privacy underneath their clothing and should not be required to display highly personal details of their bodies in order to fly.
via http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2009/10/01-16

Having a scan seems more friendly than a body cavity search.  If you find it humiliating to have a body scan simply don’t get on a plane.  Drive or stay home, one more seat for someone else on these over booked flights.  Take all the pictures you want of me when I fly.  So what if I got a glass eye, a pacemaker, a big penis with piercings, man boobs, a fat ass, a bag to pee in or all of the preceding on my body, whatever.  Get over yourself, you are a human and only God is perfect.  All of us have some kind of weird thing about ourselves, none of us should have the capacity to blow up a plane over the non use of technology that can stop this from happening.  Mandatory or selective, this is one case where I could care less- so long as it prevents the plane my family is getting on from falling from the sky.

The Associated Press says that “At least 19 U.S. airports have the scanners,” at http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/1963465,ohare-airport-full-body-scanners-security-122909.article noting that Chicago’s O’Hare will be getting them mid-year. 

I would prefer not to have my fat, x-ray-ed ass posted on the Internet though.  Some sort of deterrent for illicitly copying and distributing the photos should probably be in order, with penalties severe enough to serve as a deterrent.  I wonder who stores the scan at the end of the day, is it now a permanent record, would an agency need a search warrant to use it in a court of law, etc., still some questions linger.  

I do see how the Pre-screening programs could be opportunities to find criminals.  Um, if that is a by product of better technology- so what?  Behind thousands on your child payments? A bad guy out on parole an not reporting?  Wanted on a felony?  Too frickin’ bad, don’t get anywhere near an airport unless you are a law abiding citizen.  Flying is a privilege not a right.   We’re not talking about an overdue library card or a bunch of parking tickets.  Look, finding criminals is not the intention behind scanning some one’s behind for problematic devices, but if it gets them away from being another potential public threat- then so be it. 

Take the extra billions in stimulus and stimulate the economy by making it safer.

Smile, someone takes your picture every time you walk into Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl’s, etc.  Got a Sam’s Club Card- your picture is on that.  Our local grocery store, in order to cash a payroll check, now requires not only a photograph but a fingerprint of two fingers, on two hands.  Every parent/grandparent/guardian/teacher and janitor at our local school is required to undergo a background check and be fingerprinted before walking in the door.  

If the private sector can match up your face to what you buy, to how often you visit, then the government ought to take every preventable measure to stop terrorism in it’s tracks  NOW, or hire the programmers at Wal-Mart to do it for them.

UPDATED August 5, 2010.  Now we know who stores the scan at the end of the day, the TSA!  The U.S. Marshals Service too. 

The TSA apparently requires all airport body scanners it purchases to be able to store and transmit images for “testing, training, and evaluation purposes.” (PDF)

A 70-page document (PDF) showing the TSA’s procurement specifications, classified as “sensitive security information,” says that in some modes the scanner must “allow exporting of image data in real time” and provide a mechanism for “high-speed transfer of image data” over the network.

The TSA maintains that body scanning is perfectly constitutional: “The program is designed to respect individual sensibilities regarding privacy, modesty and personal autonomy to the maximum extent possible, while still performing its crucial function of protecting all members of the public from potentially catastrophic events.”

HT- http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20012583-281.html

Related- https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/body-searches-ordered-by-tsa-dhs-after-airline-attack/

https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/al-qaeda-plane-intel/ neglegence?

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internet

The SEC and Department of Homeland Security are saying we need a web backup plan in the event the H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic forces people to stay in their homes to use computers even more than usual for work or play.

Homeland Security Department accused the GAO of having unrealistic expectations of how the Internet could be managed if millions began to telework from home at the same time as bored or sick schoolchildren were playing online, sucking up valuable bandwidth….Private Internet providers might need government authorization to block popular websites, it said, or to reduce residential transmission speeds to make way for commerce.  http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN2620750120091026?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0

Are politician looking craft new ways to get more control on the last free media frontier we have? We believe it is essential that the Internet remain unrestricted with an open platform. 365 days a year, 24/7.  President Obama on the other hand has not been quiet about pushing for Internet legislation.

The government wants to make sure everyone has access to the Internet and have set aside $7.2 billion in stimulus dollars for construction.http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner~y2009m10d21-Net-Neutrality-enforcement-may-reach-into-your-computer Again with the stimulus dollars.  Private investment and the private sector is what has spurned it’s growth.  As we have been witness to banks and car companies who accept bailout funds, they also accept government control and regulations. 

Last week the FCC begin consideration of the rules that would protect and promote open broadband pipes to the Internet. Over the next several months, an official rule making proceeding will take place, along with public workshops and technical advisory discussions, allowing everyone to provide feedback before the Commission adopts a final set of rules.  The proposed rules can be found here as a pdf http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-09-93A1.pdf  We found it interesting that on p. 97  the document quotes Thomas Jefferson, “The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases.”

Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam showed in a joint blog post that stakeholders can work together with mutual respect to find common ground, even as we acknowledge and defend important policy differences.  http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/10/finding-common-ground-on-open-internet.html

One significant issue, is that the government apparently uses the same Internet protocols and the same operating systems as the private sector, making cyber security a universal problem as opposed to a governmental problem.  Hackers may find a greater payload in targeting critical infrastructure such as power grids, financial or communication networks or air traffic control systems than in attacking the CIA or the Pentagon.  An attack by an adversary nation, much less a cyber extortionist or terrorist, is not so far-fetched. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-zirin14-2009oct14,0,603775.story 

 internet2usamap2

The federally funded Next Generation Internet (NGI) project (http://www.ngi.gov/) exists parallel to and complementary with Internet2, http://www.internet2.edu/ We have trouble believing that America’s nuclear weapons arsenal operate on the standard net. Internet2 is not available to the general public, even though our taxpayer dollars support it.  More about that here https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2009/07/15/internet-censorship-shocking-treatment-of-taxpayer/ The speed of information-sharing network on Internet2 is now 100 Gbit!

Thomas has the draft of the Rockefeller Cybersecurity Act S 773 here,  http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.773.  It  gives the president powers to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” and shut down or limit Internet traffic in any “critical” information network “in the interest of national security.”  More of our previous thoughts here https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2009/08/29/obama-internet-controcybersecurity/

The proposed rules claim that Cisco’s built Internet routers have over 28.1 million lines of code- does anyone realistically foresee the government being able to regulated something so large?  Are attacks of the Swine Flu more common than cyber security breaches?  We we do know that the nation has done a pretty miserable job coordinating it’s response to past emergencies as evidenced by Hurricane Katrina, the financial bailouts, and now the H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic.  If big brother takes over the Internet, the last bastion of freedom of speech in what is left of our democracy, could be gone.

photo props to Bikes Over Baghdad http://bkachinsky.transworld.net/,

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Open wide, say ahhh and check out these posts on the A/H1N1 Swine Flu from Ahrcanum, where the conspiracy spreads as fast as the virus itself.  https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/swine-flu-report/

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With more change you can believe in; President Obama and his administration has taken over banks, insurance companies, portions of the automobile industry and continues to set his eyes on controlling the private sector of the Internet. 

Back in April 09,”Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) today announced the introduction of comprehensive cybersecurity legislation to address our nation’s vulnerability to cyber crime, global cyber espionage, and cyber attacks that could potentially cripple the United States’ critical infrastructure.http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=bb7223ef-1d78-4de4-b1d5-4cf54fc38662

The first draft, pdf http://cdt.org/security/CYBERSEC4.pdf has apparently gone through some revisions, but continues to give the president powers to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” and shut down or limit Internet traffic in any “critical” information network “in the interest of national security.”  The new working draft of the Rockefeller/Cybersecurity Act / S.773  can be found here http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:s.00773:

I wonder what the definition of a critical information network or a cybersecurity emergency is?  Would Obama decide that too many blogs or news stories that are in disagreement with his policies requires a shut down?

The bill does not define a critical information network or a cybersecurity emergency. That definition would be left to the president.

The bill also gives the Secretary of Commerce “access to all relevant data concerning [critical] networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access.”  Translated, this the government can monitor or access any data on private or public networks without regard to privacy laws.  How special that our Constitutional Harvard Law Graduate of a President continues to erode our Constitution and freedom of speech.  What about Constitutional protection against searches without cause?

Granted, cybersecurity threats are real and we need to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure.  A little law from the 1980’s- The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)  requires law enforcement seek a warrant before tapping in to data transmissions between computers.  To whom does Obama answer? The Internet Security Czar?  ROLF. 

In conspiracy land, Obama could make use of Rep. Linda T. Sanchez bill http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.1966 pending that says, “`Sec. 881. Cyberbullying. (a) Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned” ……. I am having emotional distress at the possibility of government restricting information!  Is the White House distressed because people disagree with the Health Insurance reform bill? 

With the coming of Internet 2, 3, 4, 5 etc we are already restricted. The federally funded Next Generation Internet (NGI) project (http://www.ngi.gov/) exists parallel to and complementary with Internet2 that is filled with bits of information that the common Internet user does not have access to even though our tax dollars fund it. I’m no expert, but wouldn’t it make sense to take critical networks to another level?

Melissa Hathaway, the White House’s last acting cybersecurity czar jumped ship after her recommendations were made. She, ” figured out that what the government can do to secure cyberspace is … nothing. Neither the computer networks nor human organizations cited in the official definition of cyberspace in Hathaway’s report were designed for top-down regulation. Federal oversight works for airports, but not for the Internet. In cyberspace, the best thing the government can do is what Hathaway just did: get out of the way.  http://venturebeat.com/2009/08/04/cybersecurity-czar-has-the-right-idea-give-up-on-centralized-security/

From the White House earlier this month,”we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov. sourced at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things/.  The Privacy Act of 1974 courtesy of  Nixon’s Watergate scandal prohibits any federal agency from maintaining records on individuals exercising their right to free speech but there is also a statute that requires the White House to retain all communications that it receives. More on this at https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2009/08/08/white-house-fishy-information-legal-in-cyberwar/

The conundrum boils down to one more thing the government seeks to control.  At least the premise of the Fairness Doctrine for the time being is on the shelf. 

 From the folks at CBS NEWS http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/08/28/taking_liberties/entry5270834.shtml who talked to Jena Longo, deputy communications director for the Senate Commerce committee, on the phone. She sent me e-mail with this statement:

The President of the United States has always had the Constitutional authority, and duty, to protect the American people and direct the national response to any emergency that threatens the security and safety of the United States. The Rockefeller-Snowe Cybersecurity bill makes it clear that the President’s authority includes securing our national cyber infrastructure from attack. The section of the bill that addresses this issue, applies specifically to the national response to a severe attack or natural disaster. This particular legislative language is based on longstanding statutory authorities for wartime use of communications networks. To be very clear, the Rockefeller-Snowe bill will not empower a “government shut down or takeover of the internet” and any suggestion otherwise is misleading and false. The purpose of this language is to clarify how the President directs the public-private response (emphasis mine) to a crisis, secure our economy and safeguard our financial networks, protect the American people, their privacy and civil liberties, and coordinate the government’s response.

“Free speech goes right to the very heart of what it is I talk about all the time – blogging. I believe that bloggers form an army of citizen reporters. Not all bloggers get it right. Some of them are downright nuts. But, in a country with free speech, that is par for the course.” says http://www.davidrisley.com/2009/08/28/free-speech-infringement/ and I agree wholeheartedly.

I said it before,” What’s a good defense, if you don’t have a good offense like Big Brother collecting personal data?” Now having the potential to just shut it all down as the President deems, dooms us to another step up the socialism ladder.   Pulling the plug on grandpa and the Internet in the same presidency redefines liberty and tyranny.

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keyboard

Never mind protecting our electric grids, air traffic control systems, water supply systems from cyber attack.  Big Brother, President Obama and the White House blog  is concentrating on monitoring the right to free speech in the blogosphere…

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care.  These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation.  Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov. sourced at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things/

So is it legal?  The Privacy Act of 1974 courtesy of  Nixon’s Watergate scandal prohibits any federal agency from maintaining records on individuals exercising their right to free speech.

“The White House is in bit of a conundrum because of this privacy statute that prohibits the White House from collecting data and storing it on people who disagree with it,” Judge Andrew Napolitano, a FOX News analyst, said Friday.  “There’s also a statute that requires the White House to retain all communications that it receives. It can’t try to rewrite history by pretending it didn’t receive anything,” he said.

Ah, lest we not forget that America is under a Public Health Emergency thanks to H1N1 Swine Flu, which opens another can of worms that could erode private citizens rights. 

The threat and potential for mandatory mass inoculations and martial law would certainly give the Administration latitude to collect whatever information it deems necessary in the interest of national security. 

The advent of Internet attacks — especially those suspected of being directed by nations, not hackers — has given rise to a new term inside the Pentagon and the National Security Agency: “hybrid warfare.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/us/28cyber.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&ref=technology

Is cyberwar and hybrid warfare covered by the War Powers Act? 

Believe you me it is not just the government who wants to know if you are in disagreement or have something of value stored on your computer, “The experts are sure of only one thing: whenever information is vulnerable and has significant monetary or intelligence value, it is only a matter of time until someone tries to steal it.” http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=hackers-can-steal-from-reflections

“In the 1960s American military scientists began studying the radio waves given off by computer monitors and launched a program, code-named “Tempest,” to develop shielding techniques that are used to this day in sensitive government and banking computer systems…..Similarly, commonplace radio surveillance equipment can pick up keystrokes as they are typed on a keyboard in a different room”

What’s a good defense, if you don’t have a good offense like Big Brother collecting personal data? 

When you die, and having duly paid your death tax, your personal data will live in infamy- whether you like it or not and whether it is legal or not. 

related post https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2009/08/05/white-house-informant-report-fishy-things-on-health-care/

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leaving america

For counter-terrorism and other purposes such as border security and fraud prevention, U.S. Citizens are required to have Passports.  Summer vacation travel is just ahead, and no doubt Immigration and Customs Enforcement will keep track of your comings and goings, primarily swiping the bar code.  On my last visit to Canada, no one bothered to place a governmental stamp on our Passports; much to my children’s chagrin, who wanted proof that they were there.

According to a Fox report today, in June RFID -Radio Frequency Identifications will be in use at the Canadian border for frequently border crossings under a program called eGo starting June 1st.  RFID windscreen sticker tags and driver identification cards, as well as installing inspection booth reader equipment have been in the works since 2003 for  99 FAST( Free and Secure Trade) lanes across 22 border crossings.  http://www.usingrfid.com/news/read.asp?lc=m12627kx53zz

Customs Border Patrol agents must be heaving a sigh of relief  as The FAST system forms an intelligent border crossing system that enhances trade flow and security along the borders. 

In a separate computer system, The State Department maintains a huge data base of  Passport Records including documents, photographs and information attached to passport applications and renewals.  Records like your “application for a passport and copies of any supporting documents like birth or marriage certificates. That application has your address, Social Security number, phone number, the name and number of your emergency contact and your photograph…. A search by name or passport number can also dredge up other items that have been attached to the file, such as court orders, arrest warrants, financial reports and even medical reports, according to the public State Department records.” http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1724759,00.html

No big deal until one realizes that the huge separate database ran by the Bureau of Consular Affairs also allows the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Counter-Terrorism Center, “foreign governments, and entities such as Interpol” to link into the same system. I do not believe The Privacy Act extends beyond our borders.   Passport identification and authentication systems should be held securely by the government which issues the documentation.  What happened to the Bill of Rights? 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Without warrant, your data is available for the world and all its hackers and identity thieves.  It would appear that no U.S. Government Agency or foreign need to seek permission to access or distribute your personal information. The more the access, the more risk to vulnerability. Civil society would dictate you own your own data and that you take reasonable steps to keep things like your social security number private.  While many citizens think securities necessary, do the provisions of The Bill of Rights and The Constitution still apply?  Are Americans are becoming far too accustomed to having their privacy violated?  Are are borders really Constitution Free Zones as suggested by the ACLU?  Does your name appear on the 1.2 million person Terrorist Watch List along with Nelson Mandella, or U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy? http://www.aclu.org/privacy/spying/watchlistcounter.html   

Too bad all this databasing wasn’t available when Obama travelled to Jakarta and Karachi. A British Passport?  An Indonesian Passport?  An American Passport? His official birth certificate by all accounts should still be on file if he was issued a U.S. Passport.

In the UK Biometrics identification and national I.D. cards will be potentially operated by the Post Office and drug stores. The program allows people to scan fingerprints and facial photographs for storage on the cards and in a central database. http://news.zdnet.co.uk/security/0,1000000189,39649181,00.htm

In The U.S., Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, as governor of Arizona, opposed REAL ID, even as a draft bill known as the PASS ID Act is floating around Congress. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/jamescarafano/A-REAL-homeland-security-test-44704387.html

“On your journeys- May passion be your wind, that leads you through the days, and may conviction keep you strong, Guide you on your way,  May there be moments that make your life so sweet, Oh- but more than memories. “http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/m/mark_harris/find_your_wings.html

Looking for places to visit? The official site of 1000 places to see before you die is full of great ideas. http://www.1000beforeyoudie.com/SearchMap.aspx

photo props to http://www.flickr.com/photos/carnivillain/2830583713/

 related post at- https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2008/11/16/defending-borders-and-privacy-laws-under-obama/

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newworld

Here comes more coordination of New World Order.  This time the discussion of globalization is being held on U.S. Soil in Washington, D.C. today- April 25.  Hosted by our tax evading Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers will meet and following that, a gathering up with the Group of 20 (G-20). 

Reuters, “The G7 comprises the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan has been the long-standing forum within which the larger economies discuss their economic concerns and try to coordinate policy.”  Seems China and its burgeoning economy might want a seat at the big kids table, no?

The last time the G20 met they agreed on a $1.1 trillion deal.  How much of that is forecast to come from the U.S. taxpayer?  Can you hear those printing presses running now?

At The G20 in the UK, Obama said, ” The only way out of a recession that is global in scope is with a response that is global in coordination,” he said pointing toward “our pursuit of a global economic recovery.”  Global Coordination? Global Economic Recovery?

Putting aside the bad manners of touching queens and bowing to Kings, I find it more than rude to ask America yet again to stand up for Global Coordination when Geithner tap dances around the idea of a new currency for the IMF.  With little intestinal fortitude, Geithner first thought it would be a great idea to change world’s reliance on the dollar and then rescinded his comments after the world markets tanked. 

Throw in the idea of negative interest rates and even a flea on a camel’s ass knows it ain’t going to get paid for sucking off of a hind tit. 

The US in is a recession/depression, the banking system in dire need of attention, and consumers aren’t spending.   “In economic data, core durable goods orders for March are expected to return to negative territory and fall 1.3%, against a 3.7% increase the month before. Prior to February, orders had posted negative results for six months straight.”  http://www.economicnews.ca/cepnews/wire/article/293000 

Just when consumers may be relying on credit cards to purchase basic essentials like food, Obama is saying we need more government, you know, “We need more accountability in the system. That means more effective oversight and more effective enforcement so that people who are issuing credit cards and are violating the law will feel the full weight of the law,” he said.  http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE53M10720090423

Now that the American people own the banks, resulting in government nationalization, it wants more rules?  Ain’t that a convenient kick in the pants?  There are rules but no one played by the rules. Whether or not you believe in the abolishment of the Fed, our elected leaders have failed to enforce both US and international regulations for years.  Where are the rules of the Basel Accord or Basel II?

“All the experience we have of past banking crises — and we have a lot of experience with those banking crises in this institution — is that you never recover before you complete the cleaning up of the balance sheet of the financial sector,”  said IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and that the credit “problem must be solved before global growth can resume.”  http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE53M52K20090424 Well I am just ecstatic to know the IMF has such a high degree of experience with bank failures, too bad the experience wasn’t in preventing bank failures in the first place.

Geithner is expected to reveal the methodology for the stress tests of 19 banks in the U.S., while Credit Suisse Group, the biggest Swiss bank, posted a US$1.7 billion first-quarter profit. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU0904/S00459.htm Most likely due to it’s strict privacy laws and tax evasion potential. 

The 300 or so members of Trilateral Commission, the Rockefeller’s, Council on Foreign Relations, Skull and Bones, The Bilderberg Club, The Illuminati, Rand Corp., Ford Foundation,The Bank for International Settlements, BIS, etc.,  must all be overwhelmingly enthusiastic at the oligarchical partnerships that are molding a world government and instilling a controlled chaos.  Check out where some of the pieces of the puzzle come together.  http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13311

Eenie Meanie miney moe catch a tiger by the toe, If it hollers let it go-

Eenie meanie miney mo, if I were a bad guy where would my money go?  Into T-bills no, but to the Swiss of course! 

If he hollers- too bad, count on the radical change and the New World Order as promised by Obama. 

You might enjoy this related post at https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2009/03/27/obamas-illuminati-ponzi-of-the-dollar/

photo props to http://www.reason.com/blog/show/132163.html

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constfree

The U.S. Constitution has apparently been suspended in parts of America in an effort to protect its borders from everything from illegal immigration to terrorists.  Rightful to protect its border, except that the border has been seemingly redefined to include a 100 mile wide strip that goes around the entire “external boundary” of the entire United States.

“The extraordinary authority that the U.S. government possesses at its borders is spilling into regular American streets, affecting large populations of its citizens. Nearly two-thirds of the entire population of the country now lives within 100 miles of the U.S. land and coastal borders, an area that has been designated by the government as a “Constitution Free Zone”.  http://www.naturalnews.com/024734.html  and posted similarly at  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/22/163652/37/734/638977

Could all liberties are put aside if you are rightly or wrongly id’s as having done something wrong?  Would there will be no guarantee of The Bill of Rights protection, no referring to case law and no lawyers to argue on your behalf? 

The ACLU lays claim that “Border Patrol agents are not remaining confined to a border security purpose.”  http://www.aclu.org/privacy/37293res20081022.html and it’s blog http://blog.aclu.org/?s=constitution+free+zone says that “U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is allowed to exercise extraordinary authority that would not normally be permitted under the Constitution.

(ATS) traveler risk assessment program, identity and tracking systems such as electronic (RFID) passports, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI),  Secure Border Initiative Network (SBINet) or “virtual border fence” and unmanned aerial vehicles (aka “drone aircraft”) all monitor movement.   

The Department of Homeland Security is in itself, necessary.  Agents of the FBI, CIA, NSA must cooperate to protect the homeland, but using the word ‘homeland’ outside of a historical discussion of Germany has allowed law enforcement authorities access to broad powers and is just a creepy reminder of Gestapo tactics.  To assume an abuse of power is fear mongering, but fair minded caution must be exercised.  The Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, and FISA-Protect America Act were enacted post 9-11 for good reason and have been tweaked numerous times to keep America Safe with as little intrusion as possible.

It becomes paramount that we question how secure the technology is in foreign countries and in our own country.  http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9930.shtml  The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America author James Bamford writes about how spying on American citizens has been outsourced to companies closely linked to Israel’s intelligence services. “With unrivaled access to sources and documents, Bamford details how the agency has conducted domestic surveillance without court approval, and he frames it in the context of the NSA’s ongoing hunt for information about today’s elusive enemies. http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Factory-Ultra-Secret-Eavesdropping-America/dp/0385521324

The Department of Homeland Security “claims that data gathered for law enforcement purposes will be “in compliance with privacy and civil liberties laws and policies of the United States,” the GAO found that “by broadly sharing information with non-federal users, who are not bound by the Privacy Act, personal information could be at risk of being used in ways not specified when it was originally collected.” Considering that some 70% of U.S. intelligence assets are employees of private security and defense contractors, NAO is a civil liberties disaster waiting to happen.” http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=BUR20081109&articleId=10864

The far side would have us believe that we have a ruling oligarchy that professes an agenda of militarism, corporatism, and socialism that encroaches itself upon citizens at the expense of the general population with more domestic control and intimidation.  Maybe the far isn’t so far off? Obama has proposed a mandatory civilian force http://www.rightpundits.com/?p=2318 with equal funding to the military which is already on active duty on our soil http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/army_homeland_090708w/, Charles Rangle has a Draft Bill just lying in wait http://www.talkleft.com/story/2006/11/19/152217/04  , “The Bailout” has the government owning banks and Obama’s policies in waiting have been compared to Marxism. http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/are-bailouts-marxist/

For now, we will wait to see what decisions Obama makes to shield our country from danger and protect her citizens.  “Let’s be clear here and shed whatever illusions one may have about the outcome of last Tuesday’s election. Despite the overwhelming rejection of the Bush administration and their surrogates by the American people, the incoming Obama administration will pay lip-service to civil liberties and the rule of law. This however, will amount to no more than a better public relations campaign, image management and product roll-out. America rebranded.” wrote Tom Burghardt  http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=BUR20081109&articleId=10864  His blog can be found at http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/

For now though our Bill of Rights are safe.  In an all too plausible court case, The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision narrowly “ruled to uphold the Bill of Rights, the very tenets upon which American society is based. “After carefully considering the relevance of the 10 inviolable rights that comprise the ideological foundation on which our nation is built, the court finds that these basic freedoms remain important for the time being, and should not be overturned,” read the majority opinion authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who cast the tie-breaking vote. “Until such time as it can be definitively proven that citizens no longer require the protections provided by the Bill of Rights, it shall remain the principal legal guidance for the United States of America.” The Supreme Court’s latest decision comes on the heels of last month’s 6-3 ruling to abolish the pursuit of happiness from the three inalienable rights guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence. http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/supreme_court_upholds_bill?utm_source=onion_rss_daily   Kudos to Justice Anthony Kennedy for saving The Bill of Rights and shame, shame, shame on those Justices who sought not to protect the Bill of Rights and who did solemnly swear to uphold those rights. From Wiki-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of_office#Federal_judicial_oaths

For readers are not familiar with The Onion, the Supreme Court Ruling is a satire and did not occur.  No Court has had issue with the Constitution Free Zone, yet.  When standing behind, beside or in front of the ACLU, keep in mind it may not stand up to protect all of The Bill of Rights either, “ACLU doesn’t mean all of the original 10 amendments because its policy No. 47 says, “Except for lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected,” thereby ignoring the Second Amendment.”  http://www.stoptheaclu.com/archives/2008/09/06/aclu-very-selective-in-upholding-bill-of-rights/

Defending our borders, The U.S. Constitution and our privacy laws is a balancing act that will require Obama’s political vision be clear and forthright through out his entire Presidency.   Good luck with that theory of  a President being forthright though. Obama himself has barred the public from seeing his birth certificate, college transcripts, medical background, etc., so I’d say Obama’s privacy has been protected pretty dang well here in America.

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