By 2012, congressional investigators agreed, finding that fusion center personnel produced “‘intelligence’ of uneven quality – oftentimes shoddy, rarely timely, sometimes endangering citizens’ civil liberties and Privacy Act protections, occasionally taken from already-published public sources, and more often than not unrelated to terrorism.
“This strain of libertarianism that’s going through both parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought,” the New Jersey GOP governor said on Thursday at a Republican governors forum in Aspen, Colo…
“These esoteric, intellectual debates — I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans (9/11 family members) and have that conversation. And they won’t, because that’s a much tougher conversation to have,” Christie said.
The FBI last week apparently recovered 105 “sex trafficking victims” in a nationwide sting called “Operation Cross Country” which busted 150 pimps who were using girls as young as 9 for child prostitution.
Unfortunately, with these raids (and others like them) being connected to adult escort sites such as CraigsList or Backpage, it’s not long before the Fusion Centers start sharing info with each other about men who are simply seeking a prostitute not-underage, as well. An attempted prostitution charge on a married male who has children at home will turn that Regular Joe into an informant for the FBI or ICE.
Task force operations usually begin as local enforcement actions that target truck stops, casinos, street “tracks,” and websites that advertise dating or escort services, based on intelligence gathered by officers working in their respective jurisdictions. Initial arrests are often violations of local and state laws relating to prostitution or solicitation. Information gleaned from those arrested frequently uncovers organized efforts to prostitute women and children across many states. FBI agents further develop this evidence in partnership with U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section so that prosecutors can help bring federal charges in those cities where child prostitution occurs.
The pimps preyed in particular on troubled children, authorities said. In some of the cases, they used a popular online classified site, Backpage, to sell the children for sex, authorities said.
“From a parent’s point of view, from a law enforcement professional’s point of view, it would be enough to look through the eyes of these children and think or say, ‘Nobody cares about me,’” Hosko said.
What makes Backpage.com unusual is its adult services, including escort and body-rub advertising, which represented $2.1 million in revenue in November alone, according to AimGroup.com. For a struggling newspaper business that gives away many of its products for free, that’s significant.
But the service is also onto its second controversy of late 2011. First, there was criticism over concerns of underage prostitution being facilitated by the site, which ended up with VVM snared in a weird quarrel with Ashton Kutcher. (VVM said only 14% of the site’s advertising is adult-related.)
Now, the site is being investigated in connection to the deaths of four women in Detroit last weekend. Three of them had escort profiles on Backpage.com.
“Now we have a compromise with President Obama’s proposal to lower corporate tax rates in exchange for a badly needed investment in our infrastructure,” Mr. Israel said before the meeting with the president. “Republicans get their priority: tax cuts for corporations. We get our priority: more jobs for the middle class.”
And it appears to be translating into real interest; Caroline Chen, a real estate broker in Troy, Michigan, says she’s received “tons of calls” from people in mainland China.
“I have people calling and saying, ‘I’m serious—I wanna buy 100, 200 properties,’” she tells Quartz, noting that one of her colleagues recently sold 30 properties to a Chinese buyer. “They say ‘We don’t need to see them. Just pick the good ones.’”
Dozens of companies from China are putting down roots in Detroit, part of the country’s steady push into the American auto industry.
Chinese-owned companies are investing in American businesses and new vehicle technology, selling everything from seat belts to shock absorbers in retail stores, and hiring experienced engineers and designers in an effort to soak up the talent and expertise of domestic automakers and their suppliers.
While starting with batteries and auto parts, the spread of Chinese business is expected to result eventually in the sale of Chinese cars in the United States.
Of course this is not just happening in Detroit. The truth is that the Chinese are buying up real estate, businesses and natural resources all over the country.
They lied, cheated, stole and deceived thousands of people into believing that their pensions would be safe and waiting for them when they needed them, and now the people who voted for them and trusted them have drastically reduced pensions and no recourse.
The fact of the matter is that you simply can’t spend more than you take in and keep borrowing to make up the difference and when the treasury is empty and nobody will loan you any more money, you finally have to face the fact that the party is over and profligate fiscal policies have claimed another victim.
Socialistic entitlement policies make for great politics and have continued to get their proponents elected in local and national elections – but, now the tipping point has been reached and the dominos are starting to fall, Detroit being just the first in line of major cities and entire states that succumbed to the siren call of “we can please everybody” politics.
The quality of life in Detroit has declined until just about everybody who can afford to has fled the city with just over seven hundred thousand people living in the town that was, just a few short decades ago, held up as the model of American industrial might.
There’s an organization called NeighborhoodScout. Using 2011 population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 crime statistics from the FBI and information from 17,000 local law enforcement agencies in the country, it came up with a report titled “Top 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in America.” (http://tinyurl.com/cdqrev4) They include neighborhoods in Detroit, Chicago, Houston, St. Louis and other major cities. What’s common to all 25 neighborhoods is that their makeup is described as “Black” or “Mostly Black.” The high crime rates have several outcomes that are not in the best interests of the overwhelmingly law-abiding people in these neighborhoods. There can’t be much economic development. Property has a lower value, but worst of all, people can’t live with the kind of personal security that most Americans enjoy.
Oakland moves forward with citywide surveillance center despite data collection, privacy controversy
New Hampshire’s Union Leader newspaper also reported:
In its grant application to DHS, the police department said New Hampshire’s experience with terrorism “slants primarily towards the domestic type,” and said “the threat is real and here.”
“Groups such as the Sovereign Citizens, Free Staters and Occupy New Hampshire are active and present daily challenges,” the application stated. In addition to organized groups, it cited “several homegrown clusters that are anti-government and pose problems for law enforcement agencies.”
A large fight broke out between some people in a crowd after the contest ended. When officers tried to break it up, the mob surged downtown, police Lt. John Domingo told KNX-AM on Monday.
The crowd pulled down a stop sign, and a man used it to smash the front window of a bicycle shop, which was then looted. Other people brawled, threw bottles, toppled portable toilets, rocked a city truck and threw a chair into a fountain.
“A comprehensive immigration reform proposal must include three essential elements; it must secure our borders and provide for effective enforcement of our immigration laws, it must contribute to the economic growth of our country, and it must be compassionate in keeping families together,” Coffman said….
“We have people on the right who say, ‘I’m not going to support anything,’ and there are people on the left who say, ‘unless it has everything, I’m not going to support it,’ ” Coffman said.
“There may be something in the middle just to get something done to improve what is really a broken system,” Coffman said.
FOID cards are meant to protect the public from gun owners who suffer from mental illness; felonies and protection orders also are grounds for the state to revoke the holders’ FOID cards. It’s illegal to buy guns or ammunition without one, the Sun-Times reports.
In one case, the team recovered more than 35 firearms, including four AR-15 assault rifles, from a suicidal man whose card was revoked. Many times, the team gets the FOID card, but not the gun.
Around the first of the year, Facebook suspended the accounts of activists Michael Rivero and Jon Rappoport presumably because they did not follow some obscure Facebook editorial policy. And if that was not bad enough, now the DOJ wants to go after Facebook users who break Facebook rules and they want to prosecute violations of Facebook policy as a felony, especially if one uses a name other than their real name. The intent is obvious. The dossier being prepared and updated daily by the NSA on your personal threat matrix score will not be as accurate as they desire if you use aliases in the social media arena. Big Brother has to know where you are at all times and what you are up to or the police state surveillance grid will be compromised if you are allowed to use an alias….
If you submitted a slightly embellished resume to a prospective employer, via the Internet, you could soon go to jail as a felon under the new proposed DOJ rules.
Technically, under this proposal, if a male lied to a female about loving her in an email, solely for the accused purpose of having sexual relations, the male could soon be guilty of a felony.
Under this new proposal, anyone lying on any website could go to jail no matter how innocent the “white” lie….
Assume you were a dissenter and becoming an annoyance to the administration. To get you out of the way, all they would need to do is to assign a small team of Internet forensics investigators who would investigate your behavior for every site you have ever visited. And one day, voila, they discover that you used a copyright protected downloaded Google image for an article you wrote and you are busted. This is the very bad news.
Subsequently, the selective prosecution team of the DOJ knocks down your door in a SWAT team raid, seizes all of your computers and takes you to prison after running you through a kangaroo trial. Federal trials end up in over 90% conviction rates. During the time you are railroaded through the legal process, additional charges of domestic terrorism are added for what you have written on the Internet, thus increasing your prison time served. This is the very, very bad news and it will have a chilling effect on all citizen journalism on the Internet.
How pervasive could this DOJ approach to selectively persecuting journalists be? Just ask yourself how many times you have read an article by a popular journalist regarding government corruption, and their YouTube video has subsequently been taken down for a violation of copyright or for some other specified reason that is listed as a dead link within the article? Under this new approach, that event just made a felon out of the journalist. And if you as a website operator, who routinely runs articles related to government corruption, publishes an article from a contributor who knowingly, or unknowingly, has violated some service agreement somewhere along the line, you have become an accomplice to a felony and you would be charged with facilitating a felony . . . you would be facing up to five years in a federal prison. These are the goals of the DOJ.
Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s transition office chief and the wife of embattled New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, is expected to take extended vacation time from her job with the former first lady in the coming days, sources told POLITICO.
• Recruit insiders (subversion)
• Commit acts of sabotage (stop Army missions; crash networks, electric power, water facilities)
• Harm Army personnel, families, units, and operations
• Commit criminal actions against Army installations, facilities, units, personnel, and/or family members
• Enable conventional threat capabilities
• Identify U.S. vulnerabilities in weapons systems, facilities, and tactics, techniques, and procedures
Means: To do this, adversaries tactics include:
• Exploiting people’s trust through Phishing attacks
• Infiltrating Malware to perform unauthorized and often surreptitious actions on computers
• Exploiting Social Media through false personas
• Gathering open source information from online postings
• Using infected thumb drives, CDs, DVDs, or other computer memory products to transfer attack mechanisms
• Tampering with cell phones and laptops (both personal and official) especially while personnel are traveling overseas
• Exfiltrating information that enables sabotage and other harmful actions
We’ve already seen a surprisingly successful, but ultimately failed, attempt to limit NSA surveillance in the House.
Furthermore, a recent Pew poll shows that 56 percent of Americans believe that federal courts do not provide adequate limits on the telephone and internet data collected by government.
A whopping 63 percent believe that the government is also collecting what is being said in phone calls and emails, with only 18 percent believing the Obama administration’s claims that they’re only collecting metadata.
Perhaps most shocking of all, 27 percent of Americans believe that the government has either listened to or read their emails.
Still, 50 percent of Americans have a positive view of the program overall, though views on the government’s anti-terror policies in general have changed significantly over time.
Noting the worldwide excitement surrounding Kate Middleton’s pregnancy, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry compared the hoopla surrounding the British royal birth to Texas abortion politics, and then offered her own definition of viability:
“When does life begin? I submit the answer depends an awful lot on the feeling of the parents. A powerful feeling – but not science,” Harris-Perry said on her show Sunday.
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