By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, January 14, 2013 12:20 EST
Police in Stoughton, Massachusetts, in the Boston area, said they were completely surrounded by an angry, bottle-throwing crowd amid the scene that erupted following a bar-side brawl at a baby shower on Sunday.
The 200-person scuffle at one point saw people throwing chairs at police, causing officers to deploy their Tasers, according to NBC affiliate WHDH-TV.
Once furor of the brawl finally settles, four people were in handcuffs: three men and one teenager, all on charges relating to assaulting police officers.
“It’s never our intention to have anything like this happen but things do happen,” a spokesperson for the bar’s owner told WHDH-TV.
This video is from WHDH-TV, aired Sunday, January 13, 2013.
Timothy O’Connor and Meghan E. Murphy
January 14, 2013
A White Plains residence pinpointed on a controversial handgun permit database was burglarized Saturday, and the burglars’ target was the homeowner’s gun safe.
At least two burglars broke into a home on Davis Avenue at 9:30 p.m. Saturday but were unsuccessful in an attempt to open the safe, which contained legally owned weapons, according to a law enforcement source. One suspect was taken into custody, the source said.
The gun owner was not home when the burglary occurred, the source said. The victim, who is in his 70s, told Newsday on Sunday that he did not want to comment while the police investigation continues.
January 14, 2013
During the coming weeks the controversial “six-strikes” anti-piracy system will kick off in the U.S.
While none of the participating ISPs have officially announced how they will handle repeat infringers, TorrentFreak has obtained a copy of Verizon’s full policy.
Among other things, offenders will have to watch a video about the consequences of online piracy, before their speeds are reduced to 256kbps. Also worth mentioning is that the copyright alert system will also apply to business customers.
In 2011 the MPAA and RIAA teamed up with five major Internet providers in the United States to launch the Center for Copyright Information (CCI).
The parties agreed to implement a system through which subscribers are warned that their copyright infringements have been monitored by rightsholders. After several warnings ISPs may then take a variety of repressive measures against alleged infringers.
After more than a year of delays the plan will officially roll out in the first weeks of this year.
One of the ISPs taking part is Verizon. Previously, the ISP made some remarks about the various punishments it would hand out to subscribers but in common with other participating providers the company has not yet announced the full details.
Today, we can do this for them.
TorrentFreak has obtained a complete overview of how Verizon’s alert scheme will work and details of the mitigation measures they intend to put in place. The document is stored on Verizon’s web server but due to its placement is currently unfindable using Google.
These inform the customer about the alleged copyright infringements and also explain how file-sharing software can be removed from their computer.
Alert 1 and 2
“Are delivered by email and automatic voicemail to the telephone number we have on file for you. Notify you that one or more copyright owners have reported that they believe your account has been involved in possible copyright infringement activity.”
“Provide a link to information on how to check to see if file sharing software is operating on your computer (and how to remove it) and tell you where to find information on obtaining content legally.”
If more infringements are found after the first two alerts then the account holder is moved on to the acknowledgment phase where “popups” appear on-screen. Customers will have to acknowledge that they received the new alert and will be instructed to watch a video about the consequences of online piracy.
Alert 3 and 4
“Redirect your browser to a special web page where you can review and acknowledge receiving the alerts. Provide a short video about copyright law and the consequences of copyright infringement.”
“Require you to click on an “acknowledgement” button before you will be able to freely browse the Internet. Clicking the acknowledgement button does not require you to admit that you or anyone else actually engaged in any infringing activity, only that you have received the alert.”
If the infringements continue after the fourth alert the subscriber will move on to the mitigation phase. Here, the customer can either ask for a review by the American Arbitration Association or undergo a temporary speed reduction to 256kbps.
Alert 5 and 6
“Redirect your browser to a special web page where you will be given several options. You can: Agree to an immediate temporary (2 or 3 day) reduction in the speed of your Internet access service to 256kbps (a little faster than typical dial-up speed); Agree to the same temporary (2 or 3 day) speed reduction but delay it for a period of 14 days; or Ask for a review of the validity of your alerts by the American Arbitration Association.”
If more infringements are found after the sixth alert “nothing” will happen. The user will receive no more alerts and can continue using his or her Internet connection at full speed.
However – and this is not mentioned by Verizon – the MPAA and RIAA may obtain the IP-addresses of such repeat infringers in order to take legal action against them. While the ISPs will not voluntarily share the name and address linked to the IP-address, they can obtain a subpoena to demand this information from the provider.
The potential for copyright holders to use the alert system as solid evidence gathering for lawsuits remains one of the most problematic aspects of the six-strikes scheme.
Finally, TorrentFreak also confirmed that the alerts outlined above will also apply to business customers. This means that coffee shops and other small businesses will have to be very careful over who they allow on their company networks. It could mean the end of free WiFi in many places.
Aside from Verizon we previously received some details on the measures AT&T and Time Warner Cable will take.
Leaked AT&T documents showed that they will block users’ access to some of the most frequently-visited websites on the Internet, until they complete a copyright course. Time Warner Cable will temporarily interrupt people’s ability to browse the Internet.
It’s expected that the two remaining providers, Cablevison and Comcast, will take similar measures. None of the ISPs will permanently disconnect repeat infringers as part of the plan.
This article originally appeared at Torrent Freak
January 13, 2013
Considering the fact cops never stop “active shooters,” one has to ask what the point is in closing a mall in Missouri and conducting a training exercise.
From the ConnectMidMissouri website:
The Columbia Mall will be swarming with police and their vehicles Monday night for scheduled training.
The mall asked the SWAT team to perform an active shooter training on location at 2300 Bernadette Drive. The training will occur inside the mall, and no one will be allowed inside once the mall is closed.
Vehicles, officers and volunteers will be on location starting at 6 p.m., although the actual training exercise will not begin until the mall closes at 9 p.m.
Training is scheduled to be completed at midnight.
Enterprising journalists in Missouri might travel to the mall and ask business owners and shopkeepers what they think of surrendering their income so the state can stage this fiasco.
Cops don’t stop “active shooters” or very rarely any other kind of shooters – armed citizens do.
Dedicated to Lauren Taylor Ellis, who is a fellow advocate for freedom, and friend, and has sacrificed her time to help with the various projects I have embarked on.
Alec Scheer, Contributor
Throughout our nation’s history, Americans have forever held onto the belief that our government – along with the people’s willingness to accept drastic measures – would never attempt to propel the nation it is deemed to have authority over, into despotism.
Americans have long held the belief that history repeats itself, which is entirely accurate. However, when it comes to the world history of authoritarianism repeating itself, Americans dispel such a notion as a conspiracy theory.
From as far back as the Roman Empire, we have seen nations experience great growth under capitalism, which was followed by heightened government intervention in such things as the economy. Moreover, the increasing regulations were followed by a gradual slide into despotism.
As seen from history, once tyranny swallows a nation, two actions usually precede within: A collapse, or a revolution.
We have been taught that the atrocities experienced by the people under the regimes of Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler and Stalin would never come to fruition in the United States – for we are the nation swelling with freedom.
Of course, a moment’s investigation into the absurd claim that we are a free nation would refute its fallacy. All the more likely, this claim could be fashioned into the compelling libertarian argument that while there is government, there is no divine freedom, for the government’s very nature withholds a monopoly on force (taxation, military) and thus violates the crux of libertarianism: The non-aggression axiom.
Nonetheless, I am afraid that I have an obligation, having learned from history, to announce to you that we are, in fact, repeating history at this very moment. The repetition commenced 100 years ago with the establishment of the Federal Reserve.
Before proceeding, it would be rude of me not to tell you, in a short manner, why the Fed was the commencement point at which the United States took the path of authoritarianism.
As G. Edward Griffin pointed out in his staggeringly well-documented book The Creature from Jekyll Island: A second look at the Federal Reserve, the Fed is a private bank founded by a group of prominent men, who, at the time, filled the executive roles of primarily the oil, railroad, and banking industry during the early 1900s.
In addition, the Fed is a central bank. Its job, being a central bank, is to inflate the supply of fiat paper currency. The Fed’s job is to also print or issue the currency of the government they have an agreement with, which is a power generally granted to central banks by the government.
Typically, the process of monetizing government debt securities (bonds) results in inflationary effects due to the mass printing of worthless, non-commodity backed dollars.
In their entirety, central banks, such as the Fed, are polar opposites of the free market because they would not be able to inflate the currency, which is what occurs when a gold currency is in use because it is subjected to the forces of the free market such as competition and demand.
We are now so far down the path of repeating history that we have reached the pinnacle of a nation’s preliminary authoritarian changes. The pinnacle I refer to is more of a stage within a subtle, but rapidly deteriorating, authoritarian society: The choice between full-on despotism or taking action against the despots, and not repeating the history of tyranny.
Sadly, a plethora of nations, throughout the world, have chosen not to do the latter. Instead, they chose brutal despotism.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, this slide point from preliminary authoritarianism to full-on destitution has become readily apparent. Now, calls for disarmament of the nation have become widespread. In attempting to remedy the hysteria caused by the massacre, the legislation put forth and called for by lawmakers in legislatures of both state and national levels is centered around banning guns themselves.
On top of that, President Obama has granted himself the authority to indefinitely detain any American citizen on the pretense of suspected terrorism with the passage of the 2012 NDAA, and reauthorized that power in 2013.
The list of legislation and executive actions that are along the lines of despotism is far out of the scope of this article. They range in the thousands (regulations included), and could fill volumes of books explaining how they are unneeded or are not the direction a free society wants to go in.
To keep this pronouncement short, I have left to only say that when the government starts to consistently push for the disarmament of “its” people, you can rest assured that drastic tyranny perpetuated by the government will come into fruition after such a thing is signed into law.
We have long traveled the road of authoritarianism . . . however; I believe we are reaching the end of our travels.
The stage at which we choose full blown despotism or freedom is now upon us.
Thomas Jefferson once said:
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms, is as a last resort, to protect themselves again tyranny in government.
The time to protect ourselves against tyranny in government is right around the corner; that is, if we do not attempt to make a few more peaceful charges against the ever-increasing despotism.
Despotism, or freedom. Which do YOU choose?
William N. Grigg
January 11, 2013
Auburn, Washington resident Dustin Theoharis was asleep in his bed on February 11, 2012 when two armed strangers entered his room and started to give him orders. Understandably startled, Theoharis reached for a flashlight. This prompted the two intruders to open fire. Theoharis – who was still in bed — was shot sixteen times, but survived.
The assailants who shot Theoharis were Detective Aaron Thompson of the King County Sheriff’s Office and Corrections Officer Kris Rongen. They had arrested Theoharis’s roommate, Nicholas Harrison, an ex-convict who had failed to report for community supervision. The officers were searching his bedroom to find if Theoharis had a gun, which would have allowed them to charge Harrison with a parole violation. They had no warrant or probable cause, and no gun was found. Since Harrison was already in custody at the time of the incident, there was no need to conduct a “safety sweep” of the residence.
Immediately after the shots were fired, Detective Benjamin Wheeler – one of four other officers on the scene – went to the downstairs bedroom, where he found Theoharis lying in a pool of blood and the two officers who had shot him in what appeared to be a “state of shock.”
When Wheeler asked what happened, Thompson told him that the victim “told us he had four guns, and then he started reaching for one.” This was a lie. No gun was found in the bedroom. A rifle was found in a locked gun case in the room next door. Theoharis was asleep when the officers went into his darkened bedroom and began barking orders at him, and within ten seconds he had been perforated with sixteen shots.
By any reasonable definition, Detective Thompson and Officer Rongen committed the crime of attempted homicide. An internal review of the incident by the Sheriff’s Office found that neither Thompson nor Rongen had asked “anything about the occupant of the room, if there were weapons present or if the person permanently lived at the residence.” The officers were faulted for not taking the time to “determine a safe course of action” with four other detectives who were present.”
For its part, the Department of Corrections simply ruled that Rongen’s actions had followed department policies. Rongen, invoking the Fifth Amendment, had refused to cooperate with the investigation.
The King County Prosecutor decline to file criminal charges against either assailant, insisting that the shooting was justified because of a “perceived risk” to officer safety.
All police are taught to perceive all citizens as potential risks, and to put “officer safety” ahead of all other considerations. Does this mean they can shoot any of us at any time?
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