Reports: Company Tied to Reid’s Son Wants Land in Bundy Standoff
Sunday, 13 Apr 2014 08:48 PM
The Nevada rancher who forced the federal Bureau of Land Management to back down last week may have been targeted because a Chinese solar company with ties to Sen. Harry Reid’s son wants the land for an energy plant, several websites report.
A report on Godfatherpolitics.com, says Chinese energy giant ENN Energy Group wants to use federal land as part of its effort to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel-building plant in the southern Nevada desert. Rory Reid, the son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is representing ENN in their efforts to locate in Nevada.
Part of the land ENN wants to use was purchased from Clark County at well below appraised value. Rory Reid is the former Clark County Commission chairman, and he persuaded the commission to sell 9,000 acres of county land to ENN on the promise it would provide jobs for the area, Reuters reported in 2012.
In addition to the county acreage, the federal Bureau of Land Management at one time was looking at BLM property under dispute with cattle rancher Cliven Bundy. The BLM is headed by former Harry Reid senior policy adviser Neil Kornz.
According to BizPac Review, BLM documents indicate that the federal property for which Bundy claims grazing rights were under consideration by a solar energy company. Those documents have since been removed from BLM’s website, but BizPac quotes from one of them:
“Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle.”
Federal Land Grab In Nevada To Benefit Chinese Solar Farm
Published on Mar 21, 2014
MICHIGAN — Hundreds of thousands of parents have been flagged as “child abusers” in a huge database maintained in secret by Michigan’s Child Protective Services (CPS) agency. The names are entered into the database without due process, without a judicial hearing, without an opportunity for defense, without a conviction, and without even letting the individuals know they have been targeted.
Secret list: Having your name on this secret Michigan list of 275,000 people could cost you your job
LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) – It’s a secret list that can cost you your family or your job. Once you’re on it, it can be very hard to get off. While some changes are being made to the law, many experts say it doesn’t go far enough.
The state maintains something called the Michigan Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry and the sole power to label you an abuser lies not with a judge or a jury, but with child protective services workers.
And you may be surprised at how the state can define “abuse.”
Anita Belle says she’s never been convicted of a crime. But Belle’s name has been put on the Central Registry as a child abuser.
“Where is the due process,” asked Belle.
The Central Registry is maintained by Child Protective Services workers inside Michigan’s Department of Human Services, or DHS.
Right now, there are about 275,000 people on that secret list and many of them don’t even realize they are on it. You don’t have to be found guilty in court to be put on the registry. All it takes is the word of CPS staffers to label you an abuser, which can prevent you from getting certain jobs or doing volunteer work.
“A sex offender gets to be convicted beyond a reasonable doubt, and then they’re placed on the sex offender registry, but parents and grandparents and teachers — for goodness sake, a child could just make up something,” Belle told 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo.
It was Anita Belle’s granddaughter who accused her and other relatives of spanking. And Belle’s case shows just how inconsistent the rules to get on the list can be: her CPS investigative report recommends Belle NOT be labeled an abuser.
“In your CPS report they say you should not be put on the central registry,” asked Catallo
“That’s correct,” said Belle.
“So how did you get put on the registry,” asked Catallo.
“I don’t know,” said Belle.
As the law stands now, once you’re on the registry — you’re on for life. You can ask for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge to be taken off the list, although that’s not easy to do.
But the law is changing in September. The new law will limit your time on the registry to 10 years, unless you were put on the list for criminal sexual conduct, battery, life threatening injuries, abandonment, or exposing a child to methamphetamine production.
But those labels are not always what they seem: the 7 Investigators have documented many cases of parents being accused of abandonment or neglect when they were simply trying to get help for the children from the state.
“The current reforms don’t go far enough,” said attorney Elizabeth Warner, who is suing the Governor, DHS and other state officials because she says the secret list is unconstitutional.
“You should be given an opportunity before the harm happens, to get a fair hearing,” said Warner.
Warner says CPS has too much power.
“You just get on the registry, by a push of the button. By one worker,” said Warner.
“With no verification that the crime was actually committed,” asked Catallo.
“They believe that their investigation, even if it’s one sided, is all they need to ruin somebody’s life,” said Warner.
“What do you say to the people who say CPS has way too much power,” Catallo asked.
With a looming Dec. 31 deadline, gun owners lined up at the state police headquarters… (John Woike / Hartford Courant )
February 10, 2014
Everyone knew there would be some gun owners flouting the law that legislators hurriedly passed last April, requiring residents to register all military-style rifles with state police by Dec. 31.
But few thought the figures would be this bad.
By the end of 2013, state police had received 47,916 applications for assault weapons certificates, Lt. Paul Vance said. An additional 2,100 that were incomplete could still come in.
That 50,000 figure could be as little as 15 percent of the rifles classified as assault weapons owned by Connecticut residents, according to estimates by people in the industry, including the Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation. No one has anything close to definitive figures, but the most conservative estimates place the number of unregistered assault weapons well above 50,000, and perhaps as high as 350,000.
And that means as of Jan. 1, Connecticut has very likely created tens of thousands of newly minted criminals — perhaps 100,000 people, almost certainly at least 20,000 — who have broken no other laws. By owning unregistered guns defined as assault weapons, all of them are committing Class D felonies.
“I honestly thought from my own standpoint that the vast majority would register,” said Sen. Tony Guglielmo, R-Stafford, the ranking GOP senator on the legislature’s public safety committee. “If you pass laws that people have no respect for and they don’t follow them, then you have a real problem.”
The problem could explode if Connecticut officials decide to compare the list of people who underwent background checks to buy military-style rifles in the past, to the list of those who registered in 2013. Do they still own those guns? The state might want to know.
“A lot of it is just a question to ask, and I think the firearms unit would be looking at it,” said Mike Lawlor, the state’s top official in criminal justice. “They could send them a letter.”
An aggressive hunt isn’t going to happen, Lawlor said, but even the idea of letters is a scary thought considering thousands of people are now in an uncomfortable position. At the least, the legislature should reopen the registration period this year with an outreach campaign designed to boost the numbers.
Published on Feb 9, 2014
JACKSONVILLE, FL — A woman says a SWAT team kicked her out of her home and then helped themselves inside to gain a “tactical advantage” over a neighbor who was under investigation.
Franz left for 6 hours while police blockaded the street. Little did she know that controlling the scene meant taking over the homes not involved with the investigation.
When she returned, she says she “froze” when she opened her door and her belongings had been obviously tampered with. Her television had been moved and her Xbox game console disconnected. Window drapes had been pulled to the floor.
Franz believed she had been victim to a home invasion. Then it dawned on her that the home invaders were working for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The SWAT team had broken into her home to obtain a tactical advantage against the suspect next door. Franz wasn’t even so much as notified of the entry.
FAIR USE / SOURCE:
The seven ways to stop the NSA from gaining intel on you
Posted by James Smith on January 27, 2014
(or at least have to work REALLY hard for the data)
By James Smith
28 Jan 2014
You cannot swing a dead cat without hitting a news story about the National Security Administration (NSA) finding ways to glean information about your personal life. From learning your sexual proclivity to your bank’s PIN, they seem to have an animalistic hunger for your personal details.
The information I am giving you is life changing. It offers freedom where there is captivity. And, believe it or not, actually works!
#1 Get rid of your smart phone.
Your smart phone is the first way the NSA has its claws into you. From your location to your banking info, which any rogue NSA agent can sell (think Edward Snowden with gambling debts), your smart phone is a liability.
Changing to a simple cell phone means you can’t keep up to date with your Facebook buddies, but that’s okay. They don’t like you anyways. And the NSA may be able to track your phone calls and location despite your best efforts. This is one way you can keep the NSA and local law enforcement wondering where you’ve been.
Open the back of the cell phone and locate the GPS chip like these:
And apply a hot soldering iron to the center for a few seconds. Repeat a few times. That will damage the chip to the point of being unreliable or inoperative.
One GPS website, in 2009 stated:
“This type of technology would also make these GPS tracking chips for children too. In fact, it would probably enable a future society to be able to know the exact location of every person in the world at the exact same time! If I wanted to get all 1984-esque, if there was a small microphone on the cell phone component then you would know where everyone in the world was and what they were talking about at any given moment. Now that would be something.”
They had no idea how accurate they were in their prognostication, however, the NSA was in full swing of knowing where people were by the GPS chips in their cell phones.
#2 Delete your Facebook Account
Actually, get rid of all your social media accounts. Facebook is losing more followers than President Obama, and Twitter is REALLY overpriced for the value they hold. If you must use social media – limit it to work issues only, such as current sales and special offers. Private information should stay private. No one, including the NSA, needs to know of problems in your personal life. Save that for #5 and $6.
• Issue dominates Sunday talk shows after Times editorial
• Paul: Snowden ‘would come home for a few years in prison’
- theguardian.com, Sunday 5 January 2014 11.21 EST
The former secretary of homeland security Janet Napolitano on Sunday added her voice to opposition to clemency or a plea deal being offered to Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked thousands of documents on the agency’s surveillance operations to media outlets including the Guardian.
Also on Sunday, the Republican senator Rand Paul, who has advocated a softer line on Snowden than many in his party, said he thought the whistleblower “probably would come home for a few years in prison”.
Earlier this week, the New York Times published an editorial calling for Snowden to be allowed to return to the United States. He is currently in Russia, where he was granted one year’s asylum.
The editorial, entitled “Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower”, called for the offer of “a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home” and said: “Mr Snowden is now … on the run from American charges of espionage and theft, and he faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life looking over his shoulder.”
“From where I sit today, I would not put clemency on the table at all,” said Napolitano, who was homeland security secretary from 2009 to September last year, in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press. She added: “I think Snowden has exacted quite a bit of damage and did it in a way that violated that law. The damage we’ll see now and we’ll see it for years to come.”
By John W. Whitehead
December 30, 2013
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”—George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Vol. 1
In Harold Ramis’ classic 1993 comedy Groundhog Day, TV weatherman Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) is forced to live the same day over and over again until he not only gains some insight into his life but changes his priorities. Similarly, as I illustrate in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, we in the emerging American police state find ourselves reliving the same set of circumstances over and over again—egregious surveillance, strip searches, police shootings of unarmed citizens, government spying, the criminalization of lawful activities, warmongering, etc.—although with far fewer moments of comic hilarity.
What remains to be seen is whether 2014 will bring more of the same or whether “we the people” will wake up from our somnambulant states. Indeed, when it comes to civil liberties and freedom, 2013 was far from a banner year. The following is just a sampling of what we can look forward to repeating if we don’t find some way to push back against the menace of an overreaching, aggressive, invasive, militarized government and restore our freedoms.
Government spying. It’s hard to understand how anyone could be surprised by the news that the National Security Agency has been systematically collecting information on all telephone calls placed in the United States, and yet the news media have treated it as a complete revelation. Nevertheless, such outlandish government spying been going on domestically since the 1970s, when Senator Frank Church (D-Ida.), who served as the chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence that investigated the NSA’s breaches, warned the public against allowing the government to overstep its authority in the name of national security. Church recognized that such surveillance powers “at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.” Recent reports indicate that the NSA, in conjunction with the CIA and FBI, has actually gone so far as to intercept laptop computers ordered online in order to install spyware on them.
Militarized police. With almost 13,000 agencies in all 50 states and four U.S. territories participating in a military “recycling” program, community police forces across the country continue to be transformed into outposts of the military, with police agencies acquiring military-grade hardware—tanks, weaponry, and other equipment designed for the battlefield—in droves. Keep in mind that once acquired, this military equipment, which is beyond the budget and scope of most communities, finds itself put to all manner of uses by local law enforcement agencies under the rationale that “if we have it, we might as well use it”—the same rationale, by the way, used with deadly results to justify assigning SWAT teams to carry out routine law enforcement work such as delivering a warrant.
Police shootings of unarmed citizens. Owing in large part to the militarization of local law enforcement agencies, not a week goes by without more reports of hair-raising incidents by police imbued with a take-no-prisoners attitude and a battlefield approach to the communities in which they serve. Sadly, it is no longer unusual to hear about incidents in which police shoot unarmed individuals first and ask questions later, such as the 16-year-old teenager who skipped school only to be shot by police after they mistook him for a fleeing burglar. Then there was the unarmed black man in Texas “who was pursued and shot in the back of the neck by Austin Police… after failing to properly identify himself and leaving the scene of an unrelated incident.” And who could forget the 19-year-old Seattle woman who was accidentally shot in the leg by police after she refused to show her hands? The lesson to be learned: this is what happens when you take a young man (or woman), raise him on a diet of violence, hype him up on the power of the gun in his holster and the superiority of his uniform, render him woefully ignorant of how to handle a situation without resorting to violence, train him well in military tactics but allow him to be illiterate about the Constitution, and never stress to him that he is to be a peacemaker and a peacekeeper, respectful of and subservient to the taxpayers, who are in fact his masters and employers.
The erosion of private property. If the government can tell you what you can and cannot do within the privacy of your home, whether it relates to what you eat or what you smoke, you no longer have any rights whatsoever within your home. If government officials can fine and arrest you for growing vegetables in your front yard, praying with friends in your living room, installing solar panels on your roof, and raising chickens in your backyard, you’re no longer the owner of your property. If school officials can punish your children for what they do or say while at home or in your care, your children are not your own—they are the property of the state. If government agents can invade your home, break down your doors, kill your dog, damage your furnishings and terrorize your family, your property is no longer private and secure—it belongs to the government. Likewise, if police can forcefully draw your blood, strip search you, and probe you intimately, your body is no longer your own, either. This is what a world without the Fourth Amendment looks like, where the lines between private and public property have been so blurred that private property is reduced to little more than something the government can use to control, manipulate and harass you to suit its own purposes, and you the homeowner and citizen have been reduced to little more than a tenant or serf in bondage to an inflexible landlord.
Strip searches and the loss of bodily integrity. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was intended to protect the citizenry from being subjected to “unreasonable searches and seizures” by government agents. While the literal purpose of the amendment is to protect our property and our bodies from unwarranted government intrusion, the moral intention behind it is to protect our human dignity. Unfortunately, court rulings undermining the Fourth Amendment and justifying invasive strip searches have left us powerless against police empowered to forcefully draw our blood, strip search us, and probe us intimately. For example, during a routine traffic stop, Leila Tarantino was allegedly subjected to two roadside strip searches in plain view of passing traffic, while her two children—ages 1 and 4—waited inside her car. During the second strip search, presumably in an effort to ferret out drugs, a female officer “forcibly removed” a tampon from Tarantino. No contraband or anything illegal was found.
Published on Dec 17, 2013
http://www.democracynow.org – A federal judge ruled Monday the National Security Agency”s bulk collection of American’s phone records “almost certainly” violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon described the NSA’s activities as “almost Orwellian.” He wrote, “I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen.” Judge Leon was appointed to the bench by Republican President George W. Bush in 2002. Leon suspended enforcement of his injunction against the program pending an expected appeal by the government. The lawsuit was brought by conservative attorney Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch and based on information leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. In a statement Monday, Snowden said, “I acted on my belief that the NSA’s mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts. Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans’ rights. It is the first of many.” We are joined by Sascha Meinrath, director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute. He served as an expert witnesses on the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications, which was tasked by President Obama to review NSA’s activities.
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White House task force recommends curbs to NSA surveillance
White House task force recommends major curbs on National Security Agency surveillance operations to dismay of Barack Obama’s national security team
10:59PM GMT 18 Dec 2013
America’s spy chiefs should hand control of the country’s sweeping telephone data record collection to private telecommunications companies, according to a task force set up by President Barack Obama to review the controversial surveillance programme.
The panel of five experts also recommended that future eavesdropping of foreign leaders should only be approved by a president, not intelligence officials, if “rigorous” tests were passed.
The revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) was collecting “metadata” from millions of telephone calls and monitoring the communications of allies such as Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, prompted widespread criticism in the US and abroad.
Mr Obama established the team of intelligence and legal experts to review NSA operations in response to the outcry that followed the leaks from Edward Snowden, a former agency contractor.
Although the panel recommended that the collection of bulk telephone data should continue, the proposed curbs were much more far-ranging than the president and his national security team expected.