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Thursday, January 30, 2014

DoJ: Boston Bomber WILL face death penalty

From Homeland Security News Wire:

30 January 2014

The U.S. Justice Department announced that the United States will seek the death penalty against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 20-year-old accused of detonating two bombs the Boston Marathon last April, killing three people and injuring more than 200 others. The younger Tsarnaev faces thirty counts in the bombing, including use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and the bombing of a public place. Since 1964, the federal government has only executed three people, including Timothy Mc­Veigh who was convicted in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement that “After consideration of the relevant facts, the applicable regulations and the submissions made by the defendant’s counsel, I have determined that the United States will seek the death penalty in this matter. The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision.”


The younger Tsarnaev faces thirty counts in the bombing, including use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and the bombing of a public place....

Much more here.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A System Rotten to its Common Core

Since its inception in 2010, the Common Core standards have been shown to be failing America’s children. The sentiment behind the policy was admirable; a standardized curriculum to be rolled out nationwide. Whether you lived in the most affluent part of Maryland or the poorest section of Mississippi, your child would receive the same education; an education that would prepare him or her for the rigors of college. However, as complaints came in about wholly inappropriate homework, and slipping standards, even those who first championed Common Core began to question the wisdom of the policy. In part, it has been an accident of timing.  Originally a response to the “teach to the test” culture that arose from the No Child Left Behind policy, Common Core was going to ensure that schools could not cheat their way to top test scores. Then came the banking crisis.
Back when $5 billion was a lot of money
Partly as a response to this, Obama launched the “Race to the Top” program, dangling a $5 billion carrot in front of the state legislators. Anyone wanting a bite out of the carrot had to agree to certain criteria, including adopting the Common Core. They also had to agree to evaluate their teaching staff by the results the students achieved. Poor grades were deemed to be the fault of poor teaching, so staff had to do their best with a new curriculum, yet more new standards, and with the threat of being fired hanging perilously over their heads. Even if the Common Core had been perfect in every other detail, the effect on staff morale would still have been catastrophic, and it is far, far removed from perfect. No wonder previously loyal, experienced teachers walked out of the profession in disgust, to be replaced by newly qualified teachers who were thrown in at the deep end to take the place of their erstwhile colleagues.
Kids set up to fail
If the Common Core had been about raising standards, the government might have spent a little more effort in setting them by asking those in the education sector for advice and help. They did not. Instead, they concentrated their efforts on evaluating the tests. Deciding that a high bar would encourage everyone to jump, the standards were set so that a staggering 70% of children were expected to fail. Children were being branded as failures from an early age, while their furious parents were dismissed as being overly neurotic. We are a nation in crisis. A recent government report found that over 8% of American had used illegal drugs in the past month, which a shocking enough fact. Schools are meant to be protecting our children against the effect of illegal substances and anti-social behavior, yet failure so early on in life can lead to a life of drug abuse and the total rejection of normal social interaction. It is precisely the opposite of what is needed. Reports came in of children becoming traumatized by the testing experience. There was no point in government saying that children should not be put under undue pressure – if the results determine whether your teacher has a job next year or not, you can be sure that teacher is going to throw everything in their arsenal at those kids to make them pass.
Unfit for purpose
Even if all this was acceptable, and the Common Core was a universal, standardized curriculum that actually worked as promised, it would still be a failure. It was sold to the American public as a leveler, something that would ensure that, no matter where you live, no matter how great or how measly your pay check, your child would get the same education as everyone else. There would be no barrier to a college education, because all children across the nation would be on the same page. Except, that is not the case. As early as 2010, Jason Zimba, one of the math standards writers, admitted that the math content was insufficient preparation for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) college courses. Now what has happened has been that those schools who traditionally do well – those with the more affluent students and the academically gifted – recognize the shortfall and take action to correct it with extra-curricular classes, supported by the anxious parents. Those schools that have traditionally struggled – in disadvantaged areas, often with a high percentage of language challenges – have more than enough to do delivering the Common Core content and cannot do any more. The result is actually a worsening of the very problem the Common Core was meant to deliver us from; educational division between rich and poor. Even those 30% of children who manage to pass the tests will find the gates to a college STEM education locked against them, due to the inadequacies of the curriculum.
Last November saw a protest, “Don’t Send Your Child To School” day, against the Common Core policy. Expect more of the same to follow.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Matt Drudge: 'Have An Exit Plan'

By Susan Duclos

The economic indicators are bad, markets, the weakening dollar, banks preventing large withdrawals, news of China banks halting all cash transfers, in fact, economies across the globe are failing,  and much more has led to a simply, four word Tweet from  American political commentator and the creator and editor of the Drudge Report, Matt Drudge, that chillingly states "Have an exit plan."

Consider what happened in Venezuela as shown in the articles within the video below, after the government devalued their currency, the Bolivar, for flights abroad, and airlines halted ticket sales for hours which prevented people from leaving.

Drudge's words should be a warning to everyone, it is coming, it is almost here and "have an exit plan" ready.

Cross posted at Before It's News

Monday, January 27, 2014

Obama Lambasted By Judge Jeanine & Ben Carson (Video)

By Susan Duclos

From the recent SCOTUS ruling and injunction in favor of the nuns from Little Sisters of the Poor against Obamacare to Obama's blaming racism for his dismal poll numbers, Judge Jeanine Pirro and Dr. Ben Carson discuss how America has become even more divided than ever since Barack Obama became president.

Dr. Carson makes a point of calling Obama's claim of racism being the cause of his poor poll numbers "ridiculous," and says that those who make excuses like that are those that do not accomplish a whole lot and the "excuse mentality" is one seen throughout this administration, rather than acknowledging the scandals that have rocked Obama's term so far, like Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, the NSA scandal and the chaotic, incompetent roll out of Obamacare, are the real reason Obama's poll numbers continue on the downward spiral.

Cross posted at Before it's News

Second Major Banking Crash Imminent : HSBC Bank

By Susan Duclos

Recent HSBC Bank actions are fueling concerns about a second imminent bank crash after they started restricting cash withdrawals from customers' own bank accounts by informing them they had to provide proof of what they intended to use their own money for.

According a report by the BBC’s MoneyBox Programme, HSBC customers have gone to withdraw cash from their accounts, only to find HSBC would not release the funds. Customers were told to make a bank transfer instead, unless they provided documentation proving the intended use of the money. Stephen Cotton attempted a withdrawal and told the programme:
“When we presented them with the withdrawal slip, they declined to give us the money because we could not provide them with a satisfactory explanation for what the money was for. They wanted a letter from the person involved.” 
Mr Cotton says the staff refused to tell him how much he could have: “So I wrote out a few slips. I said, ‘Can I have £5,000?’ They said no. I said, ‘Can I have £4,000?’ They said no. And then I wrote one out for £3,000 and they said, ‘OK, we’ll give you that.’ “

According to the article over at IACKNOWLEDGE, the major banks and states are preparing for a major crash as they buy up as much gold reserve as they can, indicating currency is at an all-time low.

Read there rest HERE.

Cross posted at Before It's News

Is America Doomed? V The Guerrilla Economist and Ken Schortgen

By Susan Duclos

This segment of The Weekend Vigilante show features a dynamic & powerful melding of the economic minds.  V, The Guerrilla Economist and renowned economist Ken Schortgen.

Readers may know V as the economist who has worked for some of the top commodity trading firms and investment banks; contributing to private think tanks shaping investment policy. His track record & predictions are uncannily accurate and well documented on his appearances with Steve Quayle.

Ken Schortgen, prominent and well respected economist with a remarkable thumb on the pulse of the global and U.S. economy; giving us their hard hitting take on what's really going on, what's really coming this year and why it's so imperative that people understand this.

According to Sheila Zilinsky, the host of The Weekend Vigilante, this show is "probably the most powerful show yet on what's coming like a speeding freight train."

Cross posted at Before It's News

Gerald Celente: 'It's Going Down!!!'

By Susan Duclos 

The Next News Network, WHDT, interviews futurist Gerald Celente about what is coming in 2014. 

As is explained at the beginning of the video below of that interview, Celente, from Trends Journal and founder of Trends Research, has remained relevant in the future trends forecasting business because of his accuracy of his prediction on what is coming.

 Celente provides a way out from under the imminent economic collapse, one that could very well change the destructive path the US is on, but it isn't something that will realistically happen without the citizens waking up and making it happen.

When asked at approximately the 11 minute mark, what people can expect for their quality of life in 2014.... his answer is "It's going down!!!"

Between that and the talk of the global collapse and the next war, the whole interview is a must see for anyone that is worried about the US economy and wishes to be prepared for what is coming at them like a freight train.

Cross posted at Before It's News

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

*cross-posted from Assoluta Tranquillita*

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

More than a million people died in Auschwitz

By Rob Broomby BBC News 

That picture is from a column I did in 2010, and it is a stark reminder to us all of the terrible price paid by millions of children during the Holocaust of WW2.   Go refresh your memory here 

Today, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu released this statement(on his FB page):


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Remarks on the Occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day and Day Marking the Struggle against Anti-Semitism:

"Even today, when there is broad agreement that the Holocaust should have been prevented, the world is not crying out in the face of a regime that calls for our destruction and even receives with open arms the man who represents it.

In the face of a state that openly calls for the destruction of the state of the Jews, everyone clears their throat in the face of the smiles. The attitude toward the State of Israel is not proportionate to the issues that are on the agenda. It also shows us that in the harassment of Jews there is thousands of years of continuity to the phenomenon of anti-Semitism.

Last week the Knesset witnessed one of the most important speeches that have ever been made within its walls. In this speech, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that the singling out of the State of Israel is extreme and disproportionate by any reasonable standard, that it also undermines the foundations of Western civilization which is supposed to fight for both our rights and those of others.

Against the attempt to deny the legitimacy of the state of the Jews, we must fight for and demand our rights."

I have written many times about the Holocaust, and you can find previous columns by putting "Holocaust" in the search engine on Assoluta Tranquillita.. 
Another great resource is the United States Holocaust Remembrance Museum:
 International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The UN has designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as an annual day of Holocaust remembrance. The Museum offers several ways to participate in this year’s commemoration.

 For more background, go to Holocaust Remembrance Day.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is commemorated worldwide on 27 January in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.  

On 27 January 1945, the advancing Red Army entered the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp complex, liberating more than 7,000 remaining prisoners, who were for the most part ill or dying. Days earlier, the SS had forced nearly 60,000 prisoners to evacuate the camp and embark on the infamous 'Death Marches,' in which many thousands lost their lives.

The United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005 to designate 27 January as the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the day upon which every year the world would mark and remember the Holocaust and its victims. 67 years on from the liberation of Auschwitz, it is more important than ever to remind ourselves of the universal lessons of the Holocaust and to foster a shared culture of remembrance.

In 2014, the International Day of Commemoration will be marked by a number of national and international events.  The following overview of commemoration events is based on information and links provided by IHRA member countries, observer countries, and permanent observer organizations, as well as information compiled by the Permanent Office....

Go read about all the member countries here. 

From the Beeb:  Cellist Remembers Auschwitz

.We all need to educate ourselves, remain vigilant,  and actually live the words:  NEVER AGAIN.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

UK gun laws need changing

*cross posted from Assoluta Tranquillita*

No, that is not just me mouthing off!  From Press TV:

UKIP leader calls for UK gun laws to be relaxed

The leader of Britain’s Eurosceptic right-wing political party, the UK Independence Party (UKIP), says the UK government should lift a ban on handguns that has been in place for almost two decades, calling the current ban on handguns “ludicrous.”
“I think proper gun licensing is something we've done in this country responsibly and well for a long time, and I think the kneejerk legislation that Blair brought in that meant that the British Olympic pistol team have to go to France to even practice was just crackers,” Nigel Farage said during a radio interview on Friday.

He added, "If you criminalize handguns then only the criminals carry the guns. It's really interesting that since Blair brought that piece of law in, gun crime doubled in the next five years in this country."

"I think that we need a proper gun licensing system, which to a large extent I think we already have, and I think the ban on handguns is ludicrous," Farage commented....

Yes, there is more, including from detractors, HERE.

Christians under attack - in NJ

*cross posted from Assoluta Tranquillita*

I have written many times of Christians being slaughtered around the world. I have also noted attacks against Christians taking place regularly within the US.  These attacks, and murders, are happening today, not in some far distant past.

Here's another, from CBS:

Religious Statues Vandalized At 2 Churches In Vineland

VINELAND, NJ (CBS) — Police in Vineland are searching for the suspects who vandalized statues outside two churches overnight.

According to the Vineland Police Department, officers were dispatched to the Sacred Heart Church at 922 E Landis Avenue for reported criminal mischief. An investigation revealed that sometime during the night, the suspects had vandalized several religious statues on church property.

The vandals hacked off the head of a statue of the Virgin Mary. In addition, the vandals also chopped a statue of Joseph in half.

A few hours later, officers were dispatched to St. Francis of Assisi Church at 23 W Chestnut Avenue for the same incident. A subsequent investigation revealed statues at this church had been damaged in the same manner as the ones at Sacred Heart.

At the St. Francis of Assisi Church, the vandals hammered in the faces of Jesus, Mary and Joseph on a statue.

“They are not just statues, but pictures and images of people that should be remembered,” parishioner Jose Rodriguez said.

For the faithful, it is an emotional attack.

“I cannot imagine what is going through the mind of a person that would deliberately go deface statues that are dedicated to our savior,” Deacon Richard Sampson of Christ the Good Shepherd said....

There are pictures, and a video of this disgusting desecration HERE.

Apparently not everybody in America respects 'freedom of religion.' Are YOU paying attention?

Gold Star PSA for Super Bowl

*cross-posted from Assoluta Tranquillita*

I am always surprised when I encounter people who have no idea what the Gold Star symbolises.  Go here for an article from 2011 that explains the Gold Stars: A symbol of Sacrifice.

Now it is announced that during the upcoming Super Bowl, there will be a PSA ad.

From PR NewsWire:

Aperture Films Public Service Announcement About U.S. Army Gold Star Pin Program & Survivor Outreach Services To Debut At NFL Super Bowl 2014

 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- During the 2014 Super Bowl on Feb. 2, 2014, Orange-County based production company, Aperture Films, will debut their first Public Service Announcement (PSA) advertisement to build awareness about the Army's Gold Star Pin Program & Survivor Outreach Services. Aperture Films produced three spots, which include over 40 Army survivors from across the country that came to Southern California to participate in the PSA film shoot.

Although established by an Act of Congress in 1967, the Gold Star Pins are still widely unrecognized. The Gold Star Pin is composed of a gold star on a purple background and is issued to immediate family members of service members killed in combat. The Next of Kin pin is composed of a gold star on a gold background and signifies a service-related death or suicide during active duty other than combat.

The filming took place at multiple locations in Orange County, as well as at the National Cemetery in Los Angeles. The three spots consist of a combination of documentary-style interviews and narrative stories featuring real survivors.

"Many people just don't know what Gold Star Pins are even though their history dates to World War I. We've been working for almost year to bring these extraordinary real stories of sacrifice to the American public," said Joshua Colover, Director and CEO at Aperture Films.

Aperture Films is honored to help tell the important story of the Gold Star Pins and the family members who wear them.


About Survivor Outreach Services
Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) is an Army-wide program that provides dedicated and comprehensive support services to survivors of deceased Soldiers. Established in October, 2008 its mission is to build a unified support program that embraces and reassures survivors that they are linked to the Army family for as long as they desire.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Thank you for your Service: Now go find a job

As our Troops are welcomed home, the Military in at least three of our countries continues to  ruthlessly slash Defence (and Defense) budgets.  Men and women who have served us honorably are now being told:  "Thanks, now go away."

Found this on the British Army site (and if you think this is "only in Britain" you are NOT paying attention. Read on:

Final tranche of Army redundancies

23 January 2014

Details of the fourth and final set of armed forces redundancies have been announced by the Defence Secretary.

The restructuring of the armed forces is a step closer today, with the size and scope of the fourth and final set of armed forces redundancies having been set out by the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.

These redundancies are not new and are the last tranche of the armed forces redundancy programme that was announced in the strategic defence and security review in October 2010.

They also mark the end of the uncertainty our personnel have faced over the past few years.

All three services have worked hard to limit the numbers of personnel involved throughout the armed forces redundancy programme which has meant that this final tranche will only consist of up to 1,505 personnel.

'Support they need'

This will include a maximum of 1,425 soldiers, 10 medical officers from the Royal Navy and 70 medical personnel from the RAF.

MOD has also ensured that there is a robust resettlement process and a generous tax-free payment in place for all those who are selected for redundancy to help make their transition to civilian life as smooth as possible.

This package has been further enhanced this year and personnel selected for redundancy this June will be able to get a loan as an advance of their redundancy payment to help them buy their own home.

Mr Hammond said:

"Tough decisions had to be made to balance the defence budget and this included restructuring the armed forces to create a more sustainable military....

You KNOW there is more, HERE.


Florida teen faces bioterrorism charges

Do you know what your teenager is doing?

From Homeland Security News Wire:

Florida teenager faces bioterrorism charges

24 January 2014

Jesse Korff, 19, of Labelle, Florida is facing federal charges in New Jersey for selling poison through a black marketplace on the underground Internet. Law enforcement says from November 2013 through 15 January this year, Korff produced, stockpiled, and sold abrin for use as a weapon. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers abrin, which is extracted from the seeds of the rosary pea plant, a subset of biological agents and toxins posing a threat to public health and safety. Small doses of abrin are potentially lethal to humans if ingested, inhaled, or injected.

“The criminal complaint alleges Jesse Korff was willing to sell a potentially deadly toxin to a stranger over the Internet,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement. “He allegedly peddled the poison on a virtual black market of illegal and dangerous goods, hidden in the shadow of a secretive computer network favored by cybercriminals.”

“We’re talking basically a biohazard type situation,” Special Agent Dave Couvertier, with the FBI’s Tampa office, said. “Potentially a weapon of mass destruction, depending on how you utilize it.”...

There is more here.


Senator Tom Coburn leaving politics - who will watch the waste now?

Tom Coburn Leaves a Lonely Place Lonelier

Jan 17, 2014

A good man is leaving the Senate. Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/Bloomberg 

You knew what might be coming when Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma announced in November that he had a recurrence of cancer. He managed for a long time with a triple threat -- colon and prostate cancer and a benign brain tumor. He announced yesterday that he will leave at the end of this congressional session to spend the time he has left with his three children and seven grandchildren. It may be one of the only times when a politician says he wants to spend more time with his family and we know it is utterly the truth.

 "Coburn has always had a gift for honesty. He didn't need consultants to tell him how to be a senator. He had the white hair, all-American accent and a doctor's wisdom of life and death, his vocation before politics. He talked to the president frequently but didn’t brag about it. His colleagues -- fellow Republicans and Democrats -- liked to have him around, even though he could be a thorn in both sides. He was often the first to be asked to join the various bipartisan "Gangs of."... 

GO read the rest here. 
The Guardian (London) had this to say about Senator Coburn: 

... this decision isn't about my health, my prognosis or even my hopes and desires.
"As a citizen, I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere. In the meantime, I look forward to finishing this year strong."

Coburn, nicknamed "Dr No" for his voting record in the Senate, was supposed to serve through 2016. Instead, he'll step down in January 2015. He had already vowed not to seek a third term.
Senate republican leader Mitch McConnell released a statement Thursday describing Coburn as "one of the most intelligent, principled and decent men in modern Senate history".
"When it comes to the transcendent debate over the size and cost of government, Tom Coburn is simply without peer," McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said. "No one has done more to awaken Americans to the threat posed by a government that chronically spends more than it takes in, and no one has worked harder at finding a solution."
Known as a conservative maverick during his three terms in the US House in the 1990s, Coburn continued that role after being elected to the Senate in 2004. A fierce critic of what he described as excessive government spending, Coburn was most vocal about opposing the earmarking of special projects.
His office routinely produced reports on wasteful spending, such as a 37-page report in 2011 dubbed Subsidies of the Rich and Famous that detailed nearly $30bn spent annually on government tax breaks and federal grant programs for millionaires....

There is more, and it IS an interesting read, here.

I first became aware of Senator Coburn because of his annual Waste Book, where he detailed the mind-boggling waste that could be painlessly cut from the American budget.  Follow that link and see the 2013 edition.  (For previous posts on Coburn here,  just put his name in the search thing at top left.)

In December, upon release of the latest version of the chronicle of absurdities paid for by American tax dollars, there was this:

Coburn Releases Annual Wastebook Highlighting Most Egregious Spending of 2013
 Dec 17 2013

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, today released his annual oversight report “Wastebook 2013” highlighting 100 examples of wasteful and low-priority spending totaling nearly $30 billion.

“While politicians in Washington spent much of 2013 complaining about sequestration’s impact on domestic programs and our national defense, we still managed to provide benefits to the Fort Hood shooter, study romance novels, help the State Department buy Facebook fans and even help NASA study Congress,” said Dr. Coburn.

“Had Congress, in particular, been focused on doing its job of setting priorities and cutting the kind of wasteful spending outlined in this report, we could have avoided both a government shutdown and a flawed budget deal that was designed to avert a shutdown.  The nearly $30 billion in questionable and lower-priority spending in Wastebook 2013 is a small fraction of the more than $200 billion we throw away every year through fraud, waste, duplication and mismanagement.   There is more than enough stupidity and incompetence in government to allow us to live well below the budget caps.  What’s lacking is the common sense and courage in Washington to make those choices – and passage of fiscally-responsible spending bills – possible,” said Dr. Coburn.

“This report speaks volumes about why confidence in government is at an all-time low.  The hard truth is we’d much rather borrow than cut.  The American people are right to expect more,” said Dr. Coburn.

Examples of wasteful spending highlighted in “Wastebook 2013” include:

    Uncle Sam Looking for Romance on the Web – (NEH) $914,000 
     To read the details of just this first entry - and many, many more go over here.
     It should be obvious to anybody, that the current administration has NO idea how to manage Americans' money (hard-earned dollars collected by the IRS by the way.)  Now that Senator Coburn has announced his intention to leave, we need other voices raised to keep  attention on the pigs at the trough. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Canada Stands with Israel

In case you missed it, the Canadian Prime Minister is on a state visit to Israel.

From Jerusalem Post:

Harper: Through fire and water, Canada will stand with you


Canadian PM met with many standing ovations, but in the end, was treated like family and interrupted by Arab MKs who relegated him to the Likud's benches.

 Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper received a very warm welcome in the Knesset Monday.

The first speech in the Knesset by a Canadian prime minister was peppered with standing ovations, the enthusiastic likes of which may not have been seen since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the US Congress in 2011.
Statements like “through fire and water, Canada will stand with you” were met with rousing rounds of applause, and though clapping is against Knesset protocol, even Speaker Yuli Edelstein joined in.
The Canadian premier said he believes “it is right to support Israel because, after generations of persecution, the Jewish people deserve their own homeland and deserve to live safely and peacefully in that homeland.

“Let me repeat that: Canada supports Israel because it is right to do so,” he emphasized. “It is... a Canadian tradition to stand for what is principled and just, regardless of whether it is convenient or popular.”

“The friendship between [Israel and Canada] is rooted in history, nourished by shared values, and it is intentionally reinforced at the highest levels of commerce and government as an outward expression of strongly held inner convictions,” Harper said in French and English....

Much more here. 

Sochi on terrorist alert - Obama stays home

As the hunt is on for the 'Black Widow' - and gold medals - Russia is having to go it alone as MIC (the self-proclaimed bin Laden slayer) stays home as a protest against Russia's policy on gays.  Or something like that!

From National Terror Alert Center:

Sochi Olympic Games: Urgent Search for ‘Black Widow’ Suicide Bomber, May Be Already in Sochi
 20 Jan 2014 12:05 PM PST

Police in Sochi have launched an urgent search for a possible female suicide bomber who may have already made it past the ring of security set up for the Olympic Games. Hotel employees in Sochi told ABC News that posters with pictures and descriptions of a 22-year-old woman from nearby Dagestan were distributed over the [...]

 They then link to the abc network's story here.

[...] As is always the case, we are working with the U.S. Department of State, the local organizers and the relevant law enforcement agencies in an effort to ensure that our delegation and other Americans traveling to Sochi are safe," spokesperson Patrick Sandusky said. 
The woman featured on the wanted posters is identified as Ruzanna Ibragimova, using the nickname Salima, the widow of a militant reportedly killed in a shoot-out with police last year in Dagestan. 

She is described as being affiliated with the Caucasus Emirate, the terror group led by Doku Umarov that has threatened attacks against the Winter Games in Sochi. 

Ibragimova is described as having a 10 centimeter scar across the left cheek, a pronounced limp, and a stiff left arm that doesn't bend at the elbow...

Read the rest here.

Old Guard at Arlington - Definition of DUTY

[H/T Soldiers Angels Germany]

For the epitome of devotion to DUTY, go here and see the rest of the photo album.

Thank you ALL for your service.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

IRS robbers and thugs: A Cautionary Tale

Remember last year as evidence of IRS targeting certain groups for special 'review' came to public attention?  Uproar ensued, and rightfully so. On May 23, 2013, Obama went in front of the cameras to do damage control - to show he is in charge! - and declared that the "...IRS has to operate with absolute integrity. The government has to conduct itself  in a way that is true to the public trust.  That's especially true for the IRS"...????  Refresh your memory here if you have forgotten.

Really,  really? Apparently Lois Lerner didn't get that memo.  Lerner, then an IRS Director,  was allowed to assert her innocence of any wrong-doing before a Hearing.  Claiming the 5th Amendment, she said that she is "proud" of the work she has done with the IRS:  " [...]I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations...[...]

 Elsewhere in that testimony here, she says she is invoking the right of innocent individuals to protect themselves.

Apparently, that right to innocence, due process under the law, and an American citizen's right to be treated with 'absolute integrity,' only applies if you work for the IRS, not for the tax-payers - who pay the IRS employees' salaries and bonuses.   'Bonuses'?  Why, certainly.  Take a look at this video from December 2013.This is about those who 'can't wait to intimidate you...and who Americans are more afraid of than al-Qaeda.' 

As we have seen in the last few months, when the IRS wields their sledge-hammer, they do so with apparent impunity.  

The following chain of events is from a friend - and it IS a true cautionary tale.  Read on: 

 A few months ago,   the ATM told "WK" the money they had in their bank account was "not available."  At first, WK thought it was just a slow processing of funds.  A few days later, with  money still 'unavailable' from an ATM, WK called the bank, only to be told that the IRS claimed they were owed $87,491.00 in taxes, so WK's bank account had been frozen, on IRS instruction.   When asked if  the IRS had sent notices of their intentions, WK said that if they had, those notices were not received. 

I had not filed for a refund in years.  I was scolded for that by agents of the IRS, and that was their excuse for making up numbers - that they knew were incorrect - and "filing on my behalf." An agent told me that they levied the account "to get my attention." [ Emphasis mine] I explained to them then,  again, that I did not owe them any money, and that pushing the issue would result in them owing me money.

They do.   $5,432.50,  but the onus was on me to prove my innocence. 

Now, I don't know about YOU, but from where I sit, a question immediately comes to mind:  Can the IRS really do this?   Short answer?  Yes,  they think they can, and of course, in this case they did.   This should be of concern to every tax-paying American.

In my extensive research on taxation and the Constitution, I found this:

 In 1909, Congress took steps to amend the Constitution by proposing the Sixteenth Amendment in the following form: 


 Sixteenth Amendment:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration. 

This Amendment was certified as ratified in 1913, and Congress passed an income tax act...

This excerpt is from Judicial Tyranny and your Income Tax written by attorney Jeffrey A. Dickstein. That link is to the pdf document, which is almost 400 pages long. I am working my way through it, and it is enlightening, to say the least.  You can also buy these insights in ebook form on Amazon where their synopsis of the contents and the author says: 

[...]an experienced tax lawyer, reviews the principle court decisions regarding the federal income tax, and explains how persons may be be subjected to improper tax claims if they do not know what is explained in this book. A must read for tax lawyers, accountants, and anyone who has dealings with the IRS.

'Dealings with the IRS'. You may think that WK's story shared above is a rare occurrence.  You would be wrong. Over the last few weeks, I have heard of other incidents of American citizens falling prey to the IRS heavy-booted (and seemingly sanctioned) tactics.  Fact is,  that every day of the week, employees of the IRS have access to every American's private financial information. Even sadder is that most Americans have no idea just WHO is making decisions/judgements about their private financial matters.  From what I am hearing,  the IRS employees consider it their duty to intimidate and browbeat American citizens, and the banks have no choice but to be accomplices - willing or not. 

I have long believed that in any organization, it is the leaders at the top who set the tone of all the lower echelon employees within that organization.  We saw during the hearings on the IRS the sneering contempt,  the belief that no bureaucrat is to be held accountable for the obvious mistreatment of targeted groups..  It seems the monolithic monster that is the IRS can act with impunity. Don't take my word for it.  Research the videos of other employees called before the Hearings:  "I don't know" or "I don't have that information" were the most commonly offered refrains as answers were sought to explain the inner working, the process, that is used to determine who gets targeted by the IRS.

Imagine this scenario:  a nameless, anonymous thug accosts you on a the street demanding you hand over your money and belongings, or else.  When that happens, usually there are consequences. Within the US Justice system of checks and balances, oftentimes criminal charges are laid.  Not so for the IRS.  As we saw just this past week, but little reported in the msm, after an almost non-existent 'investigation' of the IRS, the FBI Claims “No Evidence” of Wrongdoing in IRS Targeting Scandal 

 That should be reassuring to tax-paying Americans, including all those conservative group representatives who detailed harassment at the hands of IRS employees.  NOT!  Move along, nothing to see here.  Yet again, as with so many levels of bureaucracies within this administration, nobody takes responsibility, nobody knows anything,  and the POTUS  falls back on his "wasn't ME, but I'll get to the bottom of this!" nonsense.

The majority of the signers of the US Constitution were lawyers, and their names are enshrined publicly forever.  But anonymous IRS employees continue to do a disservice to the Americans who pay their salaries.  I suspect that the original framers of the freedoms America was based on are rolling in their graves at the tyranny that now runs rampant in America.

I tried to find someone within the IRS who could explain to me the process behind such arbitrary actions as freezing a citizen's bank account.  Simple logic demands that there must be a policy manual, procedures clearly laid out that employees must follow before some anonymous person - on the government payroll - seizes a fellow American's earnings.  Surely, in this most transparent government ever, Americans are entitled to know the guidelines within which IRS employees operate? Not so fast.  I spent many hours both on the internet, and then on the phone,  trying to find  the specific section of an IRS manual that gives carte blanche to government employees to commit such flagrant robbery.  I was unsuccessful in my efforts.

Even so, from WK's experiences, and others that I have heard,  it appears as if nameless employees (aka government agents/robbers) are allowed to cavalierly take citizens' money without due process. In all my reading on the history and genesis of taxation in America, nowhere, could I find any  suggestion that these actions are what the Founding Fathers intended for this country.

From WK:

         I am reminded of the old cliche:   You cannot fight the government.  They always win,        and  you will lose.

I do not believe my battle is over.  I am allowed by the government to use the money I have earned., for now.  For the next few years, I will live with the threat that the IRS will decide to take every single thing I own, and leave me with a debt that I will never be able to pay.  
Should they make that decision, I will use my last dollar to fight them. They will not get one more penny out of me.

 So far, they have admitted that they owe WK more than a  few pennies,  ($5,432.50) which they are refusing to pay.  In an apparent internal dispute,  two regional  IRS offices  can't seem to agree on who owes how much to who.  One  says WK owes the IRS $53,761.00,  while the other office has agreed with WK that it is the IRS who owes money, not this tax-payer.. 

This American has been a tax-paying,  law-abiding member of US society for decades.  WK has more than contributed to many years of tax revenues, including directly via payroll deduction/taxes.  No matter.  The IRS beast can arbitrarily rob any citizen as they decide.   

If you don't think this could happen to you, think again.  It can. You may believe that in America you are still innocent of anything until proven guilty.  Today, however, it seems IRS agents/robbers can treat you like a criminal, and the only one facing consequences is you. 

As Obama said in the link above:  "This is outrageous, and unacceptable..." Cut the fake outrage, please.  Evidence over the last few months shows that any action is perfectly acceptable when it comes to fleecing the citizens. 

For those who would insist that this is an isolated situation that could never happen to them, couldn't possibly affect them, may I remind you about ObamaCare?  As has been reported, apparently the Commissioner in charge of the tax exempt section within the IRS -  you know, the section that  oversaw the targeting of conservative groups? - was transferred to a new position.  Sarah Hall Ingram is now in charge of running the IRS office responsible for the ObamaCare legislation.   What could possibly go wrong?  Never mind all the other almost unbelievable snafus relating to ObamaCare since before the 'law' was passed by those who hadn't even read it.  That woman's new appointment, which hands her yet another powerful sledge hammer, should alert EVERY American that for Obama and the IRS it will be business as usual: No employee is ever answerable/accountable to their employer -YOU, the American tax-payer! From the municipal-level official, right on through to the POTUS, these people work for us. Just as we are expected to follow principles set out in the Constitution, so should they be also. 

The only weapon every American citizen has against such tyranny is to pay attention, know your rights as set out in the US Constitution, and fight for them. 

Arm yourself.  


***A related link from an earlier column here about Lois "I have done nothing wrong" Lerner.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Political Mythbusters

  Me again. As usual, my post will be short and seasoned with a dash of "snark".

 I'm very dismayed by the constant barrage of blatantly false items posted on social sites concerning our Socialist Leader Barack Hussein Obama. The least people can do is a simple 30 second websearch. Here is the item in question:

 Look closely and see if you can find the most critical mistake of this picture claiming Obama as a foreign student.  (jeopardy time clock tune)
 Times up! Too slow!

The answer is: "What electronic device used to make life simpler for retailers was introduced in 1991?"

 Question is "What is a barcode Alex?"

 There are so many things we can do to kneecap this man with, without resorting to falsehoods. It makes us look silly and cracks the credibility of the truth.

"Bars & Stripes first introduced
Bars & Stripes was first introduced to the market in 1991 by Tippecanoe Systems, Inc.  Since then, Bars & Stripes has gone on to be one of the industry's most popular barcode software applications enabling small businesses to adopt bar coding with minimal expense."

 Bubble burst sweetheart......card is dated 1981. 

"Wow Mr. Obvious! Huh...I didn't make the connection!"

 In Liberty,


Friday, January 17, 2014

Do Americans Trust Obama Policies?


Two major takeaways from Obama-era politics are a heightened sense of polarity between party members; both at-large and in office, and a mutual distrust across party lines.  Whether or not you believe the systemic dysfunction falls squarely on Barack Obama's shoulders, it is hard to ignore the divisive results of his policy initiatives.
Campaigning on bipartisanship, Obama pledged to cross the isle at every opportunity, crafting policy endorsed by Democrats and Republicans alike.  In practice, the Commander In Chief has not lived up to many of the promises he made up-front, including his assurances that he would be a President of unity, rather than the polarizing figure he has become.
While spin plays a role in Presidential politics, no matter who's in office, Obama's administration has taken accountability levels to all-time lows.  As a result, Americans do not trust Obama policies.


Missteps Erode Public Trust

More than any past President, Barack Obama mobilized populist support using charisma and lofty pledges of government transparency.  In doing so, he made believers out of supporters expecting decisive action from his administration.  Unfortunately, Obama's track record includes a laundry list of failures, disappointing even his most devoted supporters.

Benghazi - We don't know exactly what took place in Benghazi, in part because the Obama administration has put forth inconsistent information about the fatal attack on Ambassador Chris Stevens and others.  Worse yet are clear attempts by the Obama administration to spin its own involvement and response to the attack, including Hillary Clinton's now famous outburst before Congress: "What does it matter".
The problem for Americans is misinformation leaked immediately after the attack, crediting a protest in the area for spurring the killings.  The administration toed the line, sending its representatives to press pools with a carefully crafted explanation, but their assertions about a protest have been fully debunked. A timely Senate report, issued in 2014 shows that attackers were linked to Al Qaeda groups and that the Obama administration failed to respond to ample warnings pointing to increased terrorist activities in the region.  One such alert, issued by Ambassador Stevens himself, came less than one month before he was killed in the attack.
The amount of credibility lost by the Obama administration over Benghazi alone is enough to make most Americans distrustful of the President.

IRS Scandal - Further undermining Obama's pledge for bipartisanship and populist policies; reports show the country's most powerful bureaucracy used as a political device.  The IRS apparently used its heavyweight status to knock down administration opponents, targeting conservative groups for harassment and undue scrutiny.  True to form, administration response involved distancing the President from the wrongdoing, despite it unfolding under his own watch.  The President's failure to keep powerful Government agencies in-line is another example of loose leadership, prompting mistrust among Americans.

Obamacare - The Obama administration's sweeping health reform, promising increased coverage for Americans; without sacrifices, has been another lesson in deception for informed citizens.  One by one, as the plan rolled out in late 2013, Obama's promises were broken.  For example, Obama made ironclad assurances when he was selling the legislation to Americans, promising they would always be able to keep the plans and doctors of their choosing. However, immediately following the launch of the unsustainable government program, millions of Americans were forced out of their existing insurance plans.
Perhaps more than any single inconsistency offered by Obama, this high-profile fib cements Americans' mistrust of his administration's policies.

Author Bio:
This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @