Saturday, March 28, 2009

State drops warnings over ‘militia’ members - (HOMELAND INSECURITY Waging A Propaganda War On Patriots)

God bless Chief James Keathley of the Missouri State Patrol for standing up against the Obot infested MIAC. Rather than focussing on the real threat of (1) Islam Terrorism (2) the conspiracy of tyranny and usurpation holding the Country in its grip “homeland insecurity” organisations like MIAC turn against the Constitution and those brave citizens who uphold it and are willing to go the extra mile.

To all Patriots

‘Had that report been reviewed by my office it would never have been released’
By Bob Unruh

The chief of the Missouri highway patrol is blasting a report issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center that linked conservative groups to domestic terrorism, assuring that such reports no longer will be issued.

The report warned law enforcement agencies to watch for suspicious individuals who may have bumper stickers for third-party political candidates such as Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin.

It further warned law enforcement to watch out for individuals with “radical” ideologies based on Christian views, such as opposing illegal immigration, abortion and federal taxes.

Chief James Keathley of the Missouri State Patrol issued a statement that the release of the report, which outraged conservatives nationwide, prompted him to “take a hard look” at the procedures through which the report was released by the MIAC.

“My review of the procedures used by the MIAC in the three years since its inception indicates that the mechanism in place for oversight of reports needs improvement,” he wrote. “Until two weeks ago, the process for release of reports from the MIAC to law enforcement officers around the state required no review by leaders of the Missouri State Highway Patrol or the Department of Public Safety.”

He said the militia report was “created by a MIAC employee, reviewed by the MIAC director, and sent immediately to law enforcement agencies across Missouri. The militia report was never reviewed by me or by the Director of Public Safety, John Britt, at any point prior to its issuance. Had that report been reviewed by either my office or by leaders of the Department of Public Safety, it would never have been released to law enforcement agencies,” wrote Keathley

The report simply “does not meet” the needed standard for “intelligence,” he said.

“For that reason, I have ordered the MIAC to permanently cease distribution of the militia report. Further, I am creating a new process for oversight of reports drafted by the MIAC that will require leaders of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety to review the content of these reports before they are shared with law enforcement. My office will also undertake a review of the origin of the report by MIAC,” he ordered.

The warning earlier prompted Americans for Legal Immigration to issue a “national advisory” against relying on any such reports.

The Missouri document, it said, “attempted to politicize police and cast suspicion on millions of Americans. The ‘Missouri Documents,’ as they came to be called, listed over 32 characteristics police should watch for as signs or links to domestic terrorists, which could threaten police officers, court officials, and infrastructure targets.

“Police were instructed to look for Americans who were concerned about unemployment, taxes, illegal immigration, gangs, border security, abortion, high costs of living, gun restrictions, FEMA, the IRS, The Federal Reserve, and the North American Union/SPP/North American Community. The ‘Missouri Documents’ also said potential domestic terrorists might like gun shows, short wave radios, combat movies, movies with white male heroes, Tom Clancey Novels, and Presidential Candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin!” ALIPAC wrote.

It said the report cited the Southern Poverty Law Center as a resource.

“When many of us read these Missouri Documents we felt that the false connections, pseudo research, and political attacks found in these documents could have been penned by the SPLC and ADL,” said William Gheen of ALIPAC. “We were shocked to see credible law enforcement agencies disseminating the same kind of over the top political propaganda distributed by these groups.”

"Freedom Tower" No More, It's Now "One World Trade Center"

The name "Freedom Tower" has been dropped for the skyscraper under construction in New York to replace the World Trade Center towers destroyed in the September 11 attacks, but some locals are not happy about it.

Designed amid much fanfare to symbolize the city's revival after the attacks in 2001, the tower, which will be New York's tallest building, has been beset by delays and its developer has struggled to attract tenants, due partly to fears it could be targeted for another attack.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is building the 1,776-foot (541-meter) skyscraper, has admitted even its own workers do not want to return to the site where nearly 3,000 people were killed.

On Thursday, it announced it planned to refer to the building by its address -- One World Trade Center -- because that was easiest for people to identify with.

"As we market the building, we will ensure that the building is presented in the best possible way," Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia told reporters on Thursday.

The plan was savaged by local tabloids. "Free Dumb Tower," was the New York Post's reaction, while the Daily News' front-page headline was: "No More Freedom."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Friday he was disappointed.

"I would like to see it stay the Freedom Tower but it's their building and they don't need me dumping on them," Bloomberg said on his radio show.

"If they could rent the whole thing by changing the name, then they should do that," Bloomberg said, adding the most important part of the rebuilding was a planned memorial.

"We're not going to forget what happened down there and in the end the real thing that will tell the story and memorialize and hopefully give us a lesson that this should never happen again is the World Trade Center Memorial," Bloomberg said.

George Pataki, who was New York's governor at the time of the attacks, told the Daily News the name Freedom Tower was "symbolic of our commitment to rise above the attacks of September 11." He added the addresses 1 and 2 World Trade Center should never be used again since they were the names of the twin towers.

The Port Authority announced on Thursday that after on-again off-gain talks, it signed its first commercial tenant, Vantone Industrial Co Ltd, which rented several floors for a new China Center.

T.I. Sentenced To A Year And A Day In Prison

As expected, T.I. was officially sentenced to a year and a day in prison on Friday (March 27) for federal weapons violations, stemming from a 2007 arrest by ATF agents in Atlanta.

The rapper (real name: Clifford Harris) originally faced up to 20 years in prison, but pleaded guilty last year as part of a plea agreement in which he was perform 1,500 hours of community service and a reduced sentence.

Since then, he's been running around the country speaking to schools and youth groups about anti-crime, some of which was documented for MTV's reality show "T.I.'s Road to Redemption."

T.I. could also see his sentence reduced, by as much as 15%, with good behavior.

According to Reuters, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia David Nahmias, said in a statement that T.I.'s community service exceeded prosecutors' expectations and that "there is still more to come when he gets out of prison."

The rapper is expected to turn himself in to begin serving his sentence sometime before, or on May 19th.

T.I. was arrested in October 2007, just hours before he was slated to appear at the second annual BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta. Federal agents set up a sting, through the rapper's bodyguard, to catch him in the act of trying to purchase machine guns and silencers.

His bodyguard claimed the rapper gave him cash to purchase guns in the past, because T.I., as a convicted felon, was not able to legally possess firearms.

After his arrest, he posted $3 million bail.

Obama readies auto aid; GM bondholders get offer

After briefings with President Barack Obama this week, his auto task force met Friday, "winding down the decisions that have to be made" about the U.S. auto industry, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Obama is to unveil the latest government plan for aiding Detroit on Monday.

Meanwhile, General Motors Corp. continues working toward a resolution with its bondholders, making a new offer to restructure its debt earlier in the week, a person familiar with the talks said Friday.

The proposal came after representatives for the bondholders committee negotiating with GM complained Sunday that the company and Obama's task force had not responded to their offer to meet the requirements of the $13.4-billion government loan keeping the automaker afloat.

GM must try to shed two-thirds of its unsecured debt and get the UAW to accept half of the money owed to it for the retiree health care trust in the form of company stock.

While bondholders have been criticized for resisting those efforts, the debt holders have said they want a fair deal.

CNBC reported Friday that bondholders were offered two choices: One that involved 8 cents on the dollar in cash, 16 cents in new unsecured debt and a 90% stake in GM.

The other option is unclear, CNBC said, but includes a 90% equity stake.

The Detroit automaker is also said to have offered the UAW $10 billion in preferred stock and $10 billion in cash for the retiree health care trust. The union is owed $20 billion in cash.

A GM spokeswoman declined comment beyond saying the company continues talks and no agreement has been reached.

Obama Notre Dame invite stirs Catholic debate

In American Catholicism, it doesn't get much bigger than Notre Dame. So when the university known for its golden dome, "Touchdown Jesus" mural and rigorous academics invited President Barack Obama to speak at its commencement and receive an honorary degree in May, it stoked both pride and anger on campus and nationwide.

By giving a platform to a politician whose record on abortion and stem cell research clashes with core church teachings about human life, the private Catholic school on the plains of northern Indiana renewed an impassioned debate about what it means to be Catholic.

The Notre Dame administration knew it was entering a political minefield. But the intensity of the reaction in the week since Obama accepted demonstrates the depths to which Catholics are divided about how Catholic individuals and institutions should engage politics in a pluralistic society.

Adding to the rancor, the Obama invite comes after an election that frustrated the Catholic right and featured prominent Catholic voices making a case for Obama. Early moves by the Obama White House — such as lifting restrictions on overseas family planning groups that perform abortions and on stem cell research that destroys embryos — have prompted some U.S. bishops to challenge the new administration.

"This has sparked something beyond the usual right-left controversy," said David Gibson, a Catholic author of books on Pope Benedict XVI and the U.S. church. "Whether you're for or against the decision to invite him is morphing into kind of an X-ray of where everybody stands in the Catholic church."

On one hand, Notre Dame's overture to Obama is in keeping with the university's record of seeking newly elected presidents from both political parties as commencement speakers. Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have spoken to Notre Dame graduates months after taking office.

Yet with Obama the outcry was swift and fierce. Protests were launched by the Pro-Life Action League and the Cardinal Newman Society, a conservative Catholic group that monitors Catholic universities and colleges for adherence to orthodoxy on abortion, especially. Some Catholics think that view is too narrow.

The Notre Dame president, the Rev. John Jenkins, has said Obama will be honored as an "inspiring leader" facing challenges from the economy, two wars, health care, and immigration and health care reform.

Jenkins also singled out Obama, the first African-American president, as a healer of racial wounds. That is of special significance at Notre Dame because retired university president the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, 91, linked arms with Martin Luther King Jr. and served on the first U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

The Obama invitation, Jenkins has emphasized, does not condone or endorse Obama's positions on stem cells or abortion but the visit is "a basis for further positive engagement."

That argument has been assailed by Catholics for whom abortion is of paramount importance.

"Commencement is not an occasion for debate," said Catholic theologian George Weigel, a Pope John Paul II biographer. "Commencement is not an opportunity to set the foundations for a dialogue. Commencement and the award of an honorary degree is a statement on the part of the university this is a life worth emulating."

Most U.S. bishops have not spoken out on the matter, deferring to Bishop John D'Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who is boycotting the ceremony. Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix made public a letter to Jenkins labeling the invitation to Obama "a public act of disobedience" to U.S. bishops.

Five years ago, bishops adopted a statement that declared: "The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

By inviting Obama, Notre Dame is thumbing its nose at the Catholic church and "forfeited its right to call itself a Catholic university," Ralph McInerny, a professor of medieval studies and philosophy, wrote on the Web site The Catholic Thing.

R. Scott Appleby, a Notre Dame history professor, said the last thing the university wants to do is thumb its nose at any bishop or the church. He said it's important to note that Obama is not a Catholic, and that most bishops have focused on dissenting views of Catholic politicians.

Past Notre Dame invitations have drawn protests as well, said Douglas Kmiec, a Catholic law professor and former Reagan administration lawyer whose endorsement of Obama last year was controversial. Many on campus viewed Reagan as unsympathetic to the church's social justice mission, he said. When Bush spoke in 2001 about the disintegration of the family, many graduates wore white arm bands to protest the selection.

Kmiec, who taught at Notre Dame for 20 years and supports the invitation to Obama, called it a sign of a mature university and further evidence that religion is now firmly part of the public discourse.

"Religion has been invited into the public square," Kmiec said. "Our voice is being heard. But we now will presume to exclude from the religious venue the public voices that have the duty and responsibility to people of many different faiths and no faith at all? That seems to be an ironic way to return a favor."

Other Catholic campuses have been roiled by controversies over commencement speakers. In 2007, President George W. Bush's commencement address at St. Vincent College, a small Catholic school in Latrobe, Pa., triggered protests over the Iraq war, which was opposed by the Vatican and U.S. bishops.

This year's scheduled commencement speaker — U.S. Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa. — canceled last week without explanation. Some Catholic conservatives have criticized Casey, who opposes abortion, for his positions on federal funding of contraception and legalization of same-sex marriages.

On the Notre Dame campus, where crucifixes hang in classrooms and more than 80 Masses are said every week, the Obama invitation is generating a range of responses.

"I don't think you have to cut yourself off from everyone who disagrees with you," said Cathleen Kaveny, a Notre Dame professor of law and theology who served on the Obama campaign's Catholic advisory committee.

"President Obama will see a wonderful graduating class of people who are supportive of his agenda of the common good and supportive of affirming the dignity of every human being, but who also want to say to him 'We want to extend that to another class of people — those who are not born.'"

Most students are excited Obama is coming, and some are embarrassed by "the idea that Notre Dame is a radical place and that everyone is up and arms, when it's not," said Gavin Payne, a senior from Seattle.

"Commencement addresses are supposed to be optimistic: 'Go out in to the world and do good,'" said David Wilbur, a senior accounting major from Washington, who opposes abortion but supports the university's invitation to Obama. "He's not coming here to change us or try to make us be pro-choice."

Even among students staunchly opposed to the Obama invitation, there is angst. Greer Hannan, executive editor of the Irish Rover, an independent Catholic student newspaper, thinks the image of an abortion rights supporter dressed in Notre Dame doctoral robes standing next to the university president will not promote dialogue but rather honor positions in conflict with core Catholic teaching.

At the same time, Hannan worried that third-party groups will use the controversy to promote partisan political agendas and do it "in bad taste," using tactics like graphic posters of aborted fetuses.

"Here at Notre Dame we truly have an integrated understanding of respect for life and social justice — respect for life at all stages," said Greer, a senior from nearby Mishawaka, Ind. "Some of these groups call themselves pro-life but in ways that are exclusive to other marginalized groups in our society."

Ohio to review if Wal-Mart reneged on tax deal

— Economic development officials in Ohio say they will check whether Wal-Mart Stores Inc. violated terms of a tax agreement by closing an optical lab near Columbus.

Ohio gave the world's largest retailer a $1.8 million job-creation tax credit in 2001 on the condition that the company create and maintain jobs there.

Wal-Mart on Friday announced that it will close the lab, cutting 650 jobs. The lab makes eyewear for vision centers in Wal-Mart stores.

Kelly Schlissberg, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Development, says the agency is reviewing its agreement with Wal-Mart to determine if the state can recoup money.

A message seeking comment was left Saturday for a Wal-Mart spokesman.