Thursday, September 30, 2010

Feds order New York City to change lettering on every single street sign

(NY Daily News) - The city will change the lettering on every single street sign - at an estimated cost of about $27.5 million - because the feds don't like the font.

Street names will change from all capital letters to a combination of upper and lower case on roads across the country thanks to the pricey federal regulation, officials said Wednesday.

(Full story)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Body scanners used as porn by airport security

(Gadling.com) - It had to happen sooner or later.

The Nigerian newspaper This Day has reported that security officials at Lagos airport are getting their jollies by watching female passengers go through a full-body scanner.

(Full story)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Theft of gold necklaces a sign of the dollar's decline?

Not too long ago, we were reading about people stealing copper tubing and copper wiring from homes and businesses. Now, police in St. Paul, Minnesota, are warning of a rash of gold necklace thefts. There have been at least 11 instances in the past three months in which thieves snatched necklaces right off the victims' necks.

You see, even criminals are realizing just how dismal the dollar's future is. Thank you, Federal Reserve!

Monday, September 27, 2010

10,000 TSA employees get secret clearances

(AP) - The new head of the Transportation Security Administration say he's giving 10,000 of the agency's employees access to secret intelligence information to better enable them to detect threats and stop terrorists.

(Full story)

Wiretapped phones, now Internet?

(NY Times) - Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations of the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is "going dark" as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.

Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications -- including encrypted e-mail transmitters such as BlackBerry, social networking websites such as Facebook and software that allows direct "peer-to-peer" messaging such as Skype -- to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.

(Full story)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Pretender


Saturday, September 25, 2010

White House invokes state secrets privilege to block targeted killings suit

(AP) - The Obama administration on Saturday invoked the state secrets privilege which would kill a lawsuit on behalf of U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, an alleged terrorist said to be targeted for death or capture under a U.S. government program.

Believed to be hiding in Yemen, al-Awlaki has become the most notorious English-speaking advocate of terrorism directed at the United States.

(Full story)

Pentagon destroys thousands of copies of Army officer's memoir

Washington (CNN) - The Department of Defense recently purchased and destroyed thousands of copies of an Army Reserve officer's memoir in an effort to safeguard state secrets, a spokeswoman said Saturday.

"DoD decided to purchase copies of the first printing because they contained information which could cause damage to national security," Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. April Cunningham said.

(Full story)

Credit unions bailed out

(Wall Street Journal) - Two years after the peak of the financial crisis, the federal government swooped in to stabilize a crucial part of the credit-union sector battered by losses on subprime mortgages.

Regulators announced Friday a rescue and revamping of the nation's wholesale credit union system, underpinned by a federal guarantee valued at $30 billion or more. Wholesale credit unions don't deal with the general public but provide essential back-office services to thousands of other credit unions across the U.S. The majority of retail credit unions are sound, but they will have to shoulder the losses through special assessments over the next decade.

(Full story)

Socialism Is as Socialism Does

The reason liberals cringe at the socialist moniker is because they recognize the negative connotations associated with it. But just about everything they (and their Beltway "conservative" counterparts) support is socialist.

Take a look at the following list provided by Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation and tell me which of these the U.S. has in common with other socialist nations:
  1. Government provided retirement pay to senior citizens (i.e., Social Security).
  2. Government provided health care (i.e., Medicare and Medicaid).
  3. Government-provided, mandatory education to people's children (i.e., public schooling).
  4. Government-provided unemployment compensation.
  5. Government-provided welfare payments.
  6. Government central planning of monetary affairs (i.e., a Federal Reserve).
  7. Government management of the economy.
  8. Government-issued licenses for occupations and professions.
  9. Government central planning over immigration affairs.
  10. Government control over trade.
  11. Government equalization of wealth among the citizenry.
  12. Government-mandated wage rates.
  13. Government control over prices.
  14. Government-provided subsidies.
If you answered "all of the above," then you know more about American politics than American politicians.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

U.K. proposes all paychecks go to the state first

(CNBC) - The UK's tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.

The proposal by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.

(Full story)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Real free market entrepreneurs are criminals

NPR recently reported on an elusive criminal operating in New York's black market:
For years, if you wanted illegal drugs in New York City, you'd get the number of an anonymous dealer who would show up at your location with the goods. Now an entrepreneur who goes by the name of "Ronnie" is trying this technique with...grilled cheese sandwiches. Hungry customers get Ronnie's number from a friend, or a friend-of-a-friend, and they text their order, and in 15 minutes or less they get a hot, grilled cheese anywhere in the Lower East Side.

Read the full story here.

While NPR didn't go into any detail on this particular aspect, it's clear from the story that "Ronnie," a real free market entrepreneur, is a criminal. He's one of those awful, evil villains who don't first obtain permission from the government or pay the required extortion fees in order to make their businesses "legitimate."

Imagine wanting to open a sandwich shop in your neighborhood. A local mob boss pays you a visit and informs you that in order to operate a business in his territory you must pay him "protection" money. If you don't...well, something unpleasant might happen. That's exactly what goes on in every neighborhood in America, only the local mob bosses are actually government officials, the "protection" fees are called licenses, and the thugs hired to enforce this arrangement wear badges and have a lot more high-tech weaponry at their disposal.

All "Ronnie" is doing is making and selling grilled cheese sandwiches. He offers a perfectly safe product, and people are willing to pay him for it. Someone please tell me how this hurts anyone. There is no threat to life, liberty, or property -- and isn't the protection of life, liberty, and property the only reason we have laws in the first place?


Monday, September 20, 2010

The problem with the FDA

The Washington Post is reporting that the Food and Drug Administration won't require labeling of genetically modified salmon. Now, I certainly don't think any government agency has the right to force anyone to label anything, but what about the producers of conventional foods who want to label their products as non-genetically altered? Well...:
The labeling matter is further complicated because the FDA has maintained a tough stance for food makers who don't use genetically engineered ingredients and want to promote their products as an alternative. The agency allows manufacturers to label their products as not genetically engineered as long as those labels are accurate and do not imply that the products are therefore more healthful.

The agency warned the dairy industry in 1994 that it could not use "Hormone Free" labeling on milk from cows that are not given engineered hormones, because all milk contains some hormones.

It has sent a flurry of enforcement letters to food makers, including B&G Foods, which was told it could not use the phrase "GMO-free" on its Polaner All Fruit strawberry spread label because GMO refers to genetically modified organisms and strawberries are produce, not organisms.

It told the maker of Spectrum Canola Oil that it could not use a label that included a red circle with a line through it and the words "GMO," saying the symbol suggested that there was something wrong with genetically engineered food.

"This to me raises questions about whose interest the FDA is protecting," said Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), who has introduced legislation that would require labeling for genetically engineered food. "They are clearly protecting industry and not the public."

The problem with the FDA (aside from the fact that it is an unaccountable and unconstitutional law-making agency) is that it only serves to perpetuate the corporatist system. So much for the free market.


City may curb sales of sugary beverages

(Boston Globe) - First, it was smoking in restaurants and bars. Then, artery-clogging trans fat in fast food joints and bakeries. Now, Boston health regulators have their crosshairs fixed on soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages sold in city buildings.

Concerned about the girth of employees and visitors to government agencies, Boston officials are weighing — gingerly — whether to restrict or even prohibit the sale of calorie-laden refreshments on city-owned property.

(Full story)

FBI gave inaccurate statements in claiming terror link to anti-war rally

WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI gave inaccurate information to Congress and the public when it claimed a possible terrorism link to justify surveilling an anti-war rally in Pittsburgh, the Justice Department's inspector general said Monday in a report on the bureau's scrutiny of domestic activist groups.

Inspector General Glenn Fine said the FBI had no reason to expect that anyone of interest in a terrorism investigation would be present at the 2002 event sponsored by the Thomas Merton Center, a nonviolent anti-war and anti-discrimination group.

(Full story)

Confrontation with Orlando cop leaves 84-year-old vet with broken neck

(Orlando Sentinel) - An Orlando senior is in the hospital with life-threatening injuries after a confrontation with an Orlando police officer Saturday night on North Orange Avenue.

Police say Daniel J. Daley, 84, of Orlando was transported to Florida Hospital Orlando after he "struck" an officer and the officer subdued him outside the Ivanhoe Grocery at 1820 North Orange Avenue about 11 p.m.

(Full story)

12 medical myths even most doctors believe

(by Dr. Joseph Mercola) - With all the medical misinformation we're currently exposed to on a daily basis, it's disappointing to see CNN waste time and space on yet another entertainment-style fluff piece, discussing "health myths" that have no real bearing on your health whatsoever.

Because, believe me, there is no shortage of real health myths that can, and do, have a massive impact on tens of thousands if not millions of people.

Here is my list of the top 12 health myths, none of which CNN bothered to mention...

(Full story)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Untangling the bizarre CIA links to the Ground Zero mosque

(NY Observer) - So far, the debate over the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero has unfolded along predictable lines, with the man at the center of the project, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, drawing attacks from the right painting him as a terrorist sympathizer with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

But meanwhile, links between the group behind the controversial mosque, the CIA and U.S. military establishment have gone unacknowledged.

(Full story)

None dare call it murder

The recent report of U.S. soldiers killing Afghan civilians for sport should come as no surprise. When you spend billions of dollars to train impressionable young boys to kill, this is what happens.

As usual, a few low-level soldiers will get busted and sent to prison, but no one will dare challenge the system that created such monsters in the first place. No one will dare call for the arrest of those responsible for sending cold-blooded murders to a foreign nation to kill men, women, and children in an undeclared war.

I guess the lesson to be learned in all of this is that gunning down civilians individually is bad. However, invading a sovereign nation without provocation and killing civilians indiscriminately by the thousands with cruise missiles and cluster bombs is called defending your country. Why not just call it what it is?

White House: Global warming out, 'global climate disruption' in

(Fox News) - From the administration that brought you "man-caused disaster" and "overseas contingency operation," another terminology change is in the pipeline.

The White House wants the public to start using the term "global climate disruption" in place of "global warming" -- fearing the latter term oversimplifies the problem and makes it sound less dangerous than it really is.

(Full story)

States working harder to collect online sales taxes

(MSNBC) - It's too early to know exactly how much the Nebraska chapter of the March of Dimes raised this week at its annual Signature Chefs Auction in Omaha, but odds are that more than 10 percent of the charity's proceeds are going straight to the tax man.

That's because the March of Dimes went online when it bought about 4,000 T-shirts from a Florida vendor to give to donors during its March for Babies Walk last April. The charity often buys supplies and other materials online, and it also raises money online by selling items at auction — racking up a big tax bill in each case.

(Full story)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bomb-plot informant testifies FBI sent him to terrorist camp in Pakistan

(Bloomberg) - The confidential informant at the center of the case against four men accused of plotting to bomb New York City synagogues testified that the Federal Bureau of Investigation sent him to Pakistan in 2008 to attend a terrorist training camp.

The informant, Shahed Hussain, told a jury in New York today he went to his native country in December of that year to meet someone at the camp. He didn’t identify the organization running the camp or discuss the result of the investigation.

(Full story)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bountiful crop lands farmer in legal trouble

CLARKSTON, Ga. (CNN) - A Georgia man is headed to court over how many vegetables he can grow on his land. Code enforcement says until recently, the farmer had too many vegetable plants for his property in Clarkston, just outside Atlanta.

Steve Miller's profession is landscaping, but his passion is growing organic vegetables. That passion landed the Clarkston man in court. Before he rezoned the land two months ago, DeKalb County Code Enforcement cited him for illegal growing crops and using unpermitted workers.

(Full story)

Cop handed out 555 tickets to drivers in June

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. (WFTV News) - An Altamonte Springs police officer handed out so many tickets in June that he broke department records, WFTV was told Monday. Officer Bernardo Rodriguez wrote more than 500 citations in one month, so WFTV asked his supervisor how one officer could catch so many traffic violators.

Rodriguez’s supervisor said he simply targeted hot spot areas where police have had complaints and areas where crashes happen most often, but drivers WFTV talked to said a jump in citations that dramatic must be intentional.

(Full story)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Drive-through tax proposed for road money

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The time you save using the drive-through could end up costing you more.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation is floating the idea of charging an additional tax on food purchased at drive-throughs. The idea was discussed Monday at a meeting of state legislators.

(Full story)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Disaster on primary day as machine glitches cause chaos

NEW YORK (CBS 2 / WCBS 880/1010 WINS) - There were major problems at the polls on primary day in New York and it's all connected to the debut of the state's new electronic voting machines.

New York City spent $160 million on new voting machines, but the roll out was embarrassing.

Some polling places opened as much as four hours late and thousands may have been unable to cast ballots, reports CBS 2's Marcia Kramer.

"That is a royal screw-up and it's completely unacceptable," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

(Full story)

Monday, September 13, 2010

U.K. teenager banned from America for life over obscene Obama email

(Fox News) - A British teenager who sent an email to the White House calling President Obama an obscenity was banned from America for life, The Sun reported Monday.

The FBI asked local cops to tell college student Luke Angel, 17, his drunken insult was "unacceptable."

Angel said he fired off a single email criticizing the U.S. government after seeing a TV program about the 9/11 attacks.

(Full story)

'Unpaid pay czar' got 6-figure salary

(WorldNetDaily) - Contrary to press reports that he would not be compensated, uncovered Treasury Department documents reveal President Obama's pay czar, Kenneth Feinberg, received a $120,830 annual salary.

The documents were obtained by the public interest group Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act request filed July 20.

(Full story)

The food police strike again

Incidents like this are becoming more commonplace in the "Land of the Free."


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sheriffs want lists of patients using painkillers

(NewsObserver.com) - Sheriffs in North Carolina want access to state computer records identifying anyone with prescriptions for powerful painkillers and other controlled substances.

The state sheriff's association pushed the idea Tuesday, saying the move would help them make drug arrests and curb a growing problem of prescription drug abuse. But patient advocates say opening up people's medicine cabinets to law enforcement would deal a devastating blow to privacy rights.

(Full story)

Iraqi official foresees a U.S. military presence until 2016

(LA Times) - Some form of U.S. military presence will be needed in Iraq at least until 2016 to provide training, support and maintenance for the vast quantity of military equipment and weaponry that Iraq is buying from America, Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul Qader Obeidi said.

In addition, Iraq will continue to need help with intelligence gathering after 2011, and the fledgling Iraqi air force will require U.S. assistance at least until 2020, the date by which Iraq aims to achieve the capability to defend its airspace, Obeidi said.

(Full story)

Whistleblower claims many U.S. interpreters can't speak Afghan languages

(ABC) - More than one quarter of the translators working alongside American soldiers in Afghanistan failed language proficiency exams but were sent onto the battlefield anyway, according to a former employee of the company that holds contracts worth up to $1.4 billion to supply interpreters to the U.S. Army.

"I determined that someone -- and I didn't know [who] at that time -- was changing the grades from blanks or zeros to passing grades," said Paul Funk, who used to oversee the screening of Afghan linguists for the Columbus, Ohio-based contractor, Mission Essential Personnel. "Many who failed were marked as being passed."

(Full story)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Defend your family, go to jail

Long Island resident George Grier feared for the safety of his family when a street gang gathered in his driveway and began yelling threats. In an effort to scare off the intruders he fired his rifle into the ground. (Full story)

Grier knew that the local police department used "ShotSpotter" technology and that the shooting would summon those who are supposed to protect and serve innocent civilians. So, naturally, Grier was later arrested and charged with reckless endangerment in the first degree, a class D felony. According to New York law, "A person is guilty of reckless endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person."

Cops continually get away with reckless endangerment, assault, and even murder, and when they do happen to get in trouble for their actions they have every resource of the state running to their defense. Mundane civilians, on the other hand, are left to fend for themselves -- and even when they try to exercise their right of self-defense they invariably get punished.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Environmentalism taken to it's logical conclusion

James Lee, the now-deceased gunman who took hostages at the Discovery Channel headquarters earlier today, could rightly be called an environmentalist wacko. On his web page he called for the cable channel to save the planet and "stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants."

In Lee's twisted mind the problem was overpopulation. Too many humans equals global warming and, well, every other environmental disaster. The solution, therefore, is to eliminate the cause. That is radical environmentalism taken to it's logical conclusion, which explains why most environmentalists are pro-abortion.

FDA takes aim at cough suppressants

The feds have already limited our access to Sudafed, moving it behind the pharmacy counter and telling us how much of it we can purchase. Now the drug war may involve similar limits on Robitussin, NyQuil, and other cough suppressants.

(Full story)

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