Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The New FBI Powers: Cointelpro on Steroids

The New FBI Powers: Cointelpro on Steroids
News Link  •  Big Brother

06-20-2011  •  LewRockwell.com 
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What we are witnessing is a coup d’etat that is aimed at overthrowing our representative government and replacing it with one that outwardly may appear to embrace democratic ideals but inwardly is nothing more than an authoritarian regime. And the Establishment is counting on the fact that Americans will gullibly continue to trust the government and turn a blind eye to its power grabs and abuses. The relationship between the American people and their government was once defined by a social contract (the U.S. Constitution) that was predicated on a mutual respect for the rule of law and a clear understanding that government exists to serve the people and not the other way around. That is no longer the case. Having ceded to the government all manner of control over our lives, renouncing our claims to such things as privacy in exchange for the phantom promise of security, we now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being trapped in a prison of our own making. It is a phenomenon that Abraham Kaplan referred to as the law of the instrument: "Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding." Or to put it another way: to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Unfortunately, in the scenario that has been playing out in recent years, we have become the nails to the government’s hammer. After all, having equipped government agents with an arsenal of tools, weapons and powers with which to vanquish the so-called forces of terror, it was inevitable that that same arsenal would eventually be turned on us. As Michael German, a former FBI agent, recently observed, "You have a bunch of guys and women all over the country sent out to find terrorism. Fortunately, there isn’t a lot of terrorism in many communities. So they end up pursuing people who are critical of the government."

School Choice Answer to American Competitiveness Woes

By Rebekah Rast
Siemens, the German engineering group, is having difficulty filling job openings in the U.S.
With an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, how is that possible?

Eric Spiegel, chief executive in the U.S. for Siemens, said in an interview with Financial Times that, “There’s a mismatch between the jobs that are available, at least in our portfolio, and the people that we see out there. There is a shortage (of workers with the right skills.)”
For contrast, the article goes on to say that a Volkswagen plant had 85,000 applicants for 2,000 jobs at its new plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

America spends far more on education than most other nations, so why is its workforce lagging behind? There are jobs to be had, but the industries hiring say the knowledge, education and performance levels needed for these jobs aren’t being found in the U.S.

While the Obama Administration and Department of Labor tout that more job training and government intervention would solve this problem, why not fix the problem at its roots — America’s current education system.

One simple and cost effective way to do so is to allow students and parents to choose what school they attend and what kind of education they want to receive. And that is exactly what many states are doing during this time of budget cuts and fiscal restraint. In fact, over the past five years, the number of states that have enacted school choice programs has doubled.

One particular school choice program that is gaining in popularity is the tax credit program, now adopted by nine states.

Get full story here.

Way More Golf

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Exclusive interview with House Workforce Chairman Kline On "The Week Ahead"

Video by Frank McCaffrey
Permalink here.

Rothschild’s Prophecy

By Robert Romano

Since Rule 22 was adopted in 1917 as a way to bring an end to debate by way of a cloture vote (and modified in 1975 lowering the requirement to a three-fifths majority from two-thirds), Republicans have never had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Never.

Yet, in order to cut spending significantly in Washington, D.C., if we are to believe the establishment class, Republicans need to win more elections.

They need to reclaim the White House, win the Senate, and hold the House, we’re told. Moreover, we are led to believe that proposals to reform Medicare — ala House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan — or to use the debt ceiling as leverage to extract spending cuts are nothing more than foils to the GOP’s ascendant electoral aspirations.

But, unless Republicans wind up with a Senate majority larger than, say, 60, does anyone really expect that they could ever achieve the reforms needed to restore order to the nation’s fiscal house?

By design, the bicameral legislative system is supposed to be slow. It’s supposed to be hard to move legislation. And for about 125 years, it was a constraint on the growth of the state. But starting with Woodrow Wilson and then Franklin Roosevelt, the U.S. has, slowly at first and then at lightning speed, expanded federal power to near-absolute levels.

Long gone is the bicameral system and the cooling saucer of the Senate being the way to slow down government’s expansion. Now, it is the means of halting any meaningful reform that might rein in this growing Leviathan. Meanwhile, the voice of the people in the equation is increasingly silenced.

Representative government has been replaced — by the rule of an intellectual elite. Now, unelected, faceless bureaucrats, academics, experts and, importantly, financial institutions have the most prominent role of all in the policy-making process.
Get full story here.

Paul Craig Roberts: Conspiracy Theory

Paul Craig Roberts: Conspiracy Theory
News Link  •  Conspiracies

06-20-2011  •  InformationClearingHouse.info 
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While we were not watching, conspiracy theory has undergone Orwellian redefinition. A “conspiracy theory” no longer means an event explained by a conspiracy. Instead, it now means any explanation, or even a fact, that is out of step with the government’s explanation and that of its media pimps. For example, online news broadcasts of RT have been equated with conspiracy theories by the New York Times simply because RT reports news and opinions that the New York Times does not report and the US government does not endorse. In other words, as truth becomes uncomfortable for government and its Ministry of Propaganda, truth is redefined as conspiracy theory, by which is meant an absurd and laughable explanation that we should ignore. When piles of carefully researched books, released government documents, and testimony of eye witnesses made it clear that Oswald was not President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, the voluminous research, government documents, and verified testimony was dismissed as “conspiracy theory.” In other words, the truth of the event was unacceptable to the authorities and to the Ministry of Propaganda that represents the interests of authorities. The purest example of how Americans are shielded from truth is the media’s (including many Internet sites’) response to the large number of professionals who find the official explanation of September 11, 2001, inconsistent with everything they, as experts, know about physics, chemistry, structural engineering, architecture, fires, structural damage, the piloting of airplanes, the security procedures of the United States, NORAD’s capabilities, air traffic control, airport security, and other matters. These experts, numbering in the thousands, have been shouted down by know-nothings in the media who brand the experts as “conspiracy theorists.” This despite the fact that the official explanation endorsed by the official media is the most extravagant conspiracy theory in human history.

Quadriplegic Passenger Forced Off Frontier Flight

Quadriplegic Passenger Forced Off Frontier Flight
News Link  •  Transportation: Air Travel

06-20-2011  •  ABC News 
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A quadriplegic man from Fort Collins was forced off a Frontier Airlines plane because a pilot said it wasn't safe for him to fly.His mother, Kathleen Morris, said there was no problem two days earlier when her son flew Frontier from Denver International Airport to Dallas to attend a family wedding.But Sunday afternoon, when he boarded in Dallas to come home, John Morris and his family said they were humiliated.

US Senate to review allegations CIA tried to smear professor

Juan Cole
Juan Cole

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |

The Intelligence Committee of the United States Senate will review allegations, made on Friday by a former CIA officer, that the spy agency tried to gather derogatory information about an American university professor who is critical of the ‘war on terrorism’. According to its chairwoman, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Committee may “take further action”, depending on its preliminary findings. The allegations surfaced last Friday in an article by New York Times reporter James Risen. Acting on a tip by an unnamed source, Risen spoke to former CIA officer Glenn L. Carle, who confirmed that the Agency “at least twice” displayed an interest in gathering discrediting information about University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole. Dr Cole, who specializes in Middle Eastern history and speaks fluent Arabic, Persian, and Urdu, has been consistently critical of US foreign policy in the Middle East through his writings on his influential blog, Informed Comment. Carle, who made the allegations to The New York Times, retired from the CIA in 2007, after a career that spanned two decades in the Agency’s National Clandestine Service. In the last few years of his public service, Carle was a senior counterterrorism official at the US National Intelligence Council, which operates under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Continue reading

Pentagon Sharing Intelligence With Defense Contractors On Cyberthreats

The U.S. Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command The U.S. military and intelligence arms are already defending the nation from cyber attacks. DARPA hopes to give them another tool. Popular Science

Pentagon Sharing Intelligence On Cyberthreats -- Washington Times

Helps contractors recognize activity.

The Pentagon has begun sharing intelligence with defense contractors on growing threats posed by cyber-attacks after a recent strike against networks of Lockheed Martin.

The new program is called the Defense Industrial Base Cyber Pilot and was disclosed by Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III during a speech in Paris last week.

Read more ....

My Comment: I am surprised that it is only now that this "sharing" is occurring. I guess the escalation in cyber attacks have reached a level that the U.S. Department of Defense and defense contractors cannot avoid or understate anymore.

SAS Pulling Out Of Afghanistan To Prepare For London's Olympic Games

Security: The Olympic Stadium will be one of the many venues under surveillance by special forces

SAS 'Pulling Out Of Afghanistan To Prepare For Terror Threat To 2012 Olympic Games' -- The Daily Mail

The SAS will wrap up their mission in Afghanistan in six months’ time to prepare for anti-terror duty at next year’s Olympic Games in London, according to reports.

It is thought that the Royal Navy's Special Boat Service will continue to carry out missions there.

The SAS, some of whom took part in a recent live-round anti-terror training exercise with police at the Olympic village, will come home and make security at the Games their priority.

Read more ....

My Comment: If I was a betting man, I would bet that after the Olympics the SAS will not be going back to Afghanistan in the same numbers that are there now.

Bachmann Blasts Obama: "Failed the African-American Community"

Rep. Michele Bachmann
, a white woman from Minnesota, called out President Barack Obama for "failing" the Black and Hispanic communities by not boosting abysmally high unemployment rates among these groups.

Bachmann cited double-digit unemployment rates among them as proof that Obama's "status quo is not working for Americans."

"This president has failed the Hispanic community. He has failed the African-American community," Bachmann said while delivering a speech at The Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans last week. "He has failed us all when it comes to jobs."

Bachmann, who hopes to snag the Republican presidential nomination for 2012, said, "The status quo certainly isn't working for the African-American community, with 16 percent unemployment, or the Hispanic community, with nearly 12 percent unemployment."

"It's even worse for the youth: For Hispanic youth right now, 26 percent unemployment; for African-American youth, 40 percent unemployment," she continued.

Indeed, Bachmann's assessment of the unemployment mess in the black and Hispanic communities is dire, as cited in a Huffington Post article in April that suggested Black unemployment is at Depression level highs in some cities.

It is the second time in less than a week that talk of race and President Obama has taken center stage at The Republican Leadership Conference. Reggie Brown, a comedian and Obama impersonator made off-color jokes hinting at the president's mixed race.

"Black Leadership Month," Brown said, "Michelle, she celebrates the full month and you know, I celebrate half."

At another point Brown showed a photo from the show 'Sanford and Son' and made comparisons to the Redd Foxx character to show what Obama might look like when he's older.

Brown was later hauled off stage after he turned the jokes on Republican stars Tim Pawlenty and Bachmann.

Organizers pulled Brown because at that point "the performance had gone too far and was getting inappropriate," according to CNN.
By Trymaine Lee

Former Obama Advisor, Van Jones, Challenges Glenn Beck to Debate (Video)

From The Huffington Post: As he was being badgered by Glenn Beck over his past political associations, former White House adviser Van Jones remained a relatively silent figure, choosing minimal push back against the charges and ultimately resigning.

Even in his post administration career, the former "green jobs" czar, accused of being a subversive communist and 9/11 conspiracy theorist, has preferred cordiality to indignation. His first public speech was noteworthy for the fact that he referred to Beck as his "fellow countryman."

Looks like he was finally pushed too far.

Read the full story at: The Huffington Post

Sharpton, West to Debate on Obama, Black Agenda

Rev. Al Sharpton (left) and scholar Cornel West will engage in a debate at 12:30 p.m. Friday at the NNPA convention.
 The debate over President Barack Obama’s performance on the black agenda deepens this weekend, when community activist Rev. Al Sharpton and scholar Cornel West engage in a debate at 12:30 p.m. central time Friday afternoon at the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s annual conference in Chicago.

The pair had a heated discussion about Obama in April on the MSNBC special "The Black Agenda," hosted by Ed Schultz.

West leveled blistering criticism of Obama, arguing not only that the president has failed to do enough to reduce black unemployment, but suggesting Obama was no more than a “black mascot” for the rich.

Sharpton, in response, said many black leaders have gotten behind the president to help him press a more progressive agenda and put pressure on a Congress that has largely been resistant to the measures that would best serve the black community.

“Too many of us are putting it all on the president,” Sharpton said on MSNBC in April. “If I see a [Rep. Paul] Ryan in Congress, where is the counterpoint to Ryan? That’s not President Obama’s job ... He shouldn’t lead the civil rights marches against himself. Everybody’s sitting around acting like we can’t do anything; Obama’s going to do it. That’s hogwash.”

Critics say Ryan (R-Wis.) has come up with a counter to the health care legislation Obama signed into law last March, as well as other budget initiatives which would disenfranchise millions of poor and underserved Americans.

West maintains that black congressional leaders were hesitant to lead on issues themselves and to challenge Obama.

“They have a black constituency, and there’s a context in the nation that a criticism of President Obama is an attempt to support the right-wing vicious attacks of Fox News and others,” West said.

After Friday’s debate at NNPA, there will be a national leaders forum moderated by Harvard Law School Prof. Charles Ogletree, featuring Chuck Morrison of Ford Motor Co., Benjamin Chavis of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, Georgetown University Prof. Michael Eric Dyson, Rainbow PUSH founder Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous; Maulana Karenga, PhD., founder of US, and Sharpton.

The conference will focus primarily on the challenges and opportunities facing black newspapers.

Full information on the conference, including programming and registration details, is available at http://www.nnpa.org/.