And so the rolling absurdity that is modern Britain continues. The British government’s line is that Muslims are “radicalized” by poverty and discrimination, and so therefore showering Muslim communities with money and preferential treatment will take care of the problem in a jiffy. Yet here was a man who was a trusted member of MI5, […] WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
Nightscopes, military assault rifles, grenade launchers and 14-ton Mine-Resistance Ambush-Protected vehicles built for taking down terrorist enclaves are becoming part of the toolbox of local police departments under a federal program that ships such equipment out on request and without charge.
The issue came came to national attention when law-enforcement officers in Ferguson, Missouri, outfitted like an invading army, were deployed against violent protesters outraged by the shooting death of black teen Michael Brown by a white police officer.
WND reported there are some 17,000 police departments nationwide equipped with $4.2 billion worth of equipment ranging from Blackhawk helicopters and battering rams to explosives, body armor and night vision.
It’s all under the federal government’s 1033 program that supplies “surplus” military weapons to local officers, departments and agencies.
But now resistance to such militarization of local police has been enacted with a bill signed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie that bans local law-enforcement agencies from obtaining such equipment without authorization from their local government.
According to the Tenth Amendment Center, which monitors and reports on issues of state and federal authority, it’s “an important first step toward blocking federal programs that militarize local police.”
The bill, S2364, by state Sen. Nia Gill, a Democrat, puts local government officials directly between the federal government and local law enforcers.
“This law interposes the local government in the process, giving the people of New Jersey the power to end it, and at the least, forcing the process into the open,” the report said.
It was approved on votes of 36-0 and 70-0 in the legislative chambers.
“With Christie’s signature, it’s the first state law of its kind directly addressing the endless flow of military equipment to state and local police,” the report said.
The bill “wouldn’t put an end to the militarization of New Jersey law enforcement, but it does create a mechanism for local communities to stop the free-flowing tide of equipment.”
“Citizens now have the power and forum to pressure their elected officials at a city or county level to vote against such acquisitions or face the consequences come the next election. The new law also creates an environment of transparency that didn’t exist before,” the center said.
Center officials told WND at least eight other states are considering similar or related language, including some that have significantly stronger language than New Jersey’s.
Tenth Amendment Center spokesman Michael Boldin told WND: “Our view is that the New Jersey law is significant because it represents the first salvo by states against an unfettered flow of military equipment from Washington, D.C., to state and local law enforcement. Other states are likely to take stronger steps forward in the near future. Good policing is about acting like peace officers, not a command and control military force. With more federal control over local police being a goal of some in the federal government, the New Jersey law giving final say over the receipt of such military equipment to local communities is an important victory.”
WND recently reported the American Civil Liberties Union was critical of the 1033 program.
Cheryl Chumley, author of “Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare is Becoming our Reality,” said the information is “insightful and informative.”
“The ACLU is dead wrong on a number of issues – but on this, on the red flag raised on militarized police, the group is dead on correct,” she said.
She said the Obama administration has had little interest until recently in examining the process of distributing war weapons to police departments.
“He’s likely been quiet because of statements he made in mid-2008 calling for a civilian police force akin to the size and power of the nation’s military – and now he sees the fruits of that desire are not so appetizing after all.”
WND reported at the time that a copy of Obama’s Colorado Springs speech posted online apparently was edited to exclude Obama’s specific references to the new force.
Are members of the American public in danger because of the program?
Some would say yes. The Review-Journal in Las Vegas has reported a lawsuit by members of a family claiming civil rights violations by police.
The report explains police thought a neighbor of Michael and Linda Mitchell, and their adult son Anthony, had barricaded himself and a child in a nearby home.
SWAT team members demanded that the Mitchells leave their home so police could use it for a tactical “advantage” during the crisis. They refused and “police later knocked down Anthony Mitchell’s door with a metal ram and entered his house without either a warrant or his permission,” their claim alleges.
Mitchell was arrested, the report said.
NJ.com last fall documented the weaponization in New Jersey.
The news site reported Jersey City police “have the firepower of an army, with an inventory of 155 surplus M16 military assault rifles, able to spit out hundreds of rounds a minute.”
“And the Bergen County sheriff’s office has a grenade launcher.”
NJ.com said that according to an analysis of Defense Logistics Agency transfers to New Jersey, surplus military items “ranging from office equipment, sleeping bags, computers, digital cameras and clothing to aircraft, vehicles and weapons meant for a battlefield have been shipped to departments across the state.”
Included are 529 military-issue M16 assault rifles “that went to 15 counties; 365 M14s, a rifle still used by Navy SEAL teams, sent to 17 New Jersey counties; night vision goggles and range finders able to find targets in the dark; dozens of Army Humvees and armored trucks; five bomb disposal robots; and a $412,000 mine-resistant, ambush-protected armored vehicle, known as MRAP, meant for war zone patrols.”
At the time, Ari Rosmarin, the public policy director for the ACLU in New Jersey, told the site: “We’re building a culture in our local sheriff police departments of a warrior mentality. The more police officers see themselves as warriors, the more they’ll begin seeing members of the community as the enemy.”
Barnegat resident James D’Arienzo told the site WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
Earlier today Noah made an interesting case for both the timing and location of an anticipated Marco Rubio presidential bid announcement. While the storyline about American rapprochement with Cuba has faded significantly from the news cycle in the face of troubles on the Arabian Peninsula, it’s still an important aspect of US foreign policy and […]
Knox and Sollecito are entitled to millions in compensation after being cleared of all charges in Kercher murder. WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
The mayor of Seattle has banned all city-funded travel to Indiana in response to the recently passed anti-gay Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed by Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R), reports KOMO. Mayor Ed Murray (D) addressed the ban on Saturday saying, “Laws that say you can discriminat… WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
Putin calls for end to Israel Gaza crisis through peaceful means and pledges support for independent Palestine. WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
Via Scott Shackford and Aaron Blake, I’m skeptical but it’s hard to argue with results from Marist that are this consistent across three very different states. Three very important early primary states, too. We’ll start with Iowa. Second look at Rob Portman 2016? The phrasing of the question is odd. Rather than asking whether support […]
Originally posted 2015-02-18 20:01:47.
The Germanwings flight started like any other, the conversation in the cockpit normal, with co-pilot Andreas Lubitz offering no indication of the horror he would allegedly inflict. This is how Flight 4U 9525, which investigators believe Lubitz deliberately steered into a French mountainside, unfolde… WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
Control the flow
I always knew Google was big, but I suppose I wasn’t quite getting exactly how big they have become. It seems like they are now at a level of big which was best described by Douglas Adams in the Hitchhiker’s Guide. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. And […]
(AKRON BEACON JOURNAL) — The residents of Barberton’s Pleasant Pointe assisted living facility made a calendar. And most are showing a lot of skin.
I realize we are in the third month of 2015, but you still have nearly 9½ months remaining this year — and you can always use a good calendar. It makes note of all our national holidays and even some special days for our Canadian neighbors. It tells us when spring begins (not soon enough) and that Turkey Day is on Nov. 26 this year.
For February, Dottie Rutter, 87, is pictured in a bubble bath with a box of chocolates nearby. Miss March is Velda Vogt, 88, who is wearing a green top hat — and little else. And the centerfolds for June are Wilma Purvis, 94, and Norma Elfrink, 91, who appear to be playing poker with oversized, strategically placed cards.
“Our swords will soon, God willing, reach the Nuseiries and their allies like Bashar and his party.” If they do, will Obama congratulate the Islamic State for taking out the despised Assad? “Islamic State Group Beheads 8 Shiites in Syria’s Hama,” Associated Press, March 29, 2015: BEIRUT — A new video released by the Islamic […] WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
Frances Fox Piven
In divining the origins of President Obama’s fiscal policies, some critics have gone so far as to accuse the president of implementing the infamous so-called Cloward-Piven Strategy.
The plan, first proposed in 1966, calls for a flood of Americans to obtain public welfare with the intention of precipitating an economic crisis that hastens the fall of capitalism and replaces it with a national system of “a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty.”
Now for the first time, the co-author and namesake of the strategy, Dr. Frances Fox Piven, spoke in a radio interview Sunday about the contention Obama is motivated by her radical blueprint, claims which were popularized by former Fox News host Glenn Beck.
Piven is professor of political science and sociology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She was interviewed on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990.
Her strategy was co-authored by late Columbia University professor and activist Richard Cloward as an article in “The Nation” on May 2, 1966, entitled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty.”
Klein asked Piven about the societal changes that have taken place under Obama and whether they were a reflection, deliberately or not, of the professor’s socio-political ideology.
“The concept of overloading the U.S. economy,” said Klein. “Do you believe, right now with the debt ceiling reset now at $18 trillion … do you believe that Obama, intentionally or not, is overloading the U.S. economy?”
“In the first place,” Dr. Piven replied, “overloading the U.S. economy is not something I ever wrote about or thought about. This is your language and the construction that you are putting on an article that was very carefully written to say that if people got the benefits to which they were legally entitled, that it would place fiscal strain on state and local government, that the system could only proceed as it was proceeding – denying assistance to very poor people, women and children – it could only proceed as it was proceeding if state and local governments continued to deny benefits to needy people.
“If they gave them these benefits,” she continued, “then there would be budgetary problems, and those budgetary problems should be solved, we argued. Now that’s altogether different than ‘overloading the economy.’ The debt of American government on all levels – federal state, local, school districts, countries – the debt of the American government is the result of concerted efforts to lower taxes on the very rich that has been unfolding as part of the broad effort to redistribute America’s great wealth to the very richest people in the country.”
Klein petitioned Piven to respond to Beck’s repeated contention the Cloward-Piven strategy helped to inspire Obama’s policies.
In one of many broadcasts, on February 18, 2010, Beck said: “You’ve got total destruction of wealth coming … It’s the final phase of the Cloward-Piven strategy, which is collapse the system.”
Speaking to Piven, Klein noted “That [article] actually got quite a bit of attention a few years ago when a ‘certain talk show host who used to have a certain show on Fox News’ started talking endlessly about the Cloward-Piven strategy,” referring to Glenn Beck.
Beck brought Piven’s article into the limelight in 2010 when he claimed Dr. Piven was responsible for a plan “intentionally collapse our economic system.”
“It’s something of a hoax to attribute that change that occurred in this period in American society to an article in the Nation,” said Piven. “The hoax is the work of Glenn Beck, who likes to point to particular people as villains or, from my point of view, as heroes. I don’t deserve to be a hero or a villain in this story. It’s a sort of made-up narrative, tells a simple fairy tale about how change occurs in America. And it doesn’t occur because of a Nation article.”
3-7-14 The political crisis in Ukraine has pushed the economy to the brink of collapse, revealing along the way a history of mismanagement, corruption and kleptocracy. Bailouts will ease the short-term pain, but the bankrupt Ukrainian state faces significant reforms if the country is to prosper once again.
The currency has nosedived. Kiev can barely meet its debt obligations and needs more than $35 billion in fresh capital within 12 months. To bolster the sinking economy, the United States has pledged to Ukraine $1 billion in loan guarantees while the European Union finalizes a $15 billion aid package. Separately, the interim government is negotiating IMF loans.
After Viktor Yanukovych was deposed last month, the true scale of Ukraine’s economic troubles came to light. “The state treasury is empty, the country is at the edge of bankruptcy. The economic catastrophe is unprecedented in the history of independent Ukraine,” declared interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenuk upon assuming office. The interim government estimates more than $37 billion disappeared during the deposed president’s time in office.
“Due to the unbelievable and unlimited corruption in my country we cannot collect revenues in order to execute our social obligations, but despite this we have a clear-cut action plan how to tackle economic problems,” Yatsenuk said.
Ukraine’s debt exceeds $140 billion and its economy needs more than $35 billion by the end of next year to avoid bankruptcy. Its currency has taken a nosedive, plunging 20 percent against the U.S. dollar since Jan. 1. Central bank reserves have evaporated, shrinking from $40 billion in 2011 to approximately $15 billion today.
Ukraine’s interim leadership is engaged in loan negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. The United States has also pledged $1 billion in loan guarantees, and the European Union is finalizing a $15 billion package.
The unfolding crisis in Crimea is adding to Ukraine’s economic woes, creating immense uncertainty about the security of the country’s eastern region from Russian intrusion. Sevastopol is also a crucial port with warm water access to the Black Sea, and it is vital to the health of the Ukrainian economy.
On Thursday, the Crimean parliament announced it will hold a referendum on joining Russia within the next 10 days. Saying the move “violates the Ukrainian constitution and violates international law,” U.S. President Barack Obama issued an executive order calling for tough economic sanctions on Russia. The White House is exploring other punitive actions against Russia while pledging to send economic advisers to help Ukraine’s interim government with economic restructuring.
Among the targets of U.S. sanctions are family members of the deposed president. Yanukovych alone owns an estimated $12 billion worth of assets abroad. Banking authorities in Switzerland and Europe have begun freezing assets. The EU is also considering tougher sanctions, although there is internal debate because of the Continent’s reliance of Russian energy.
In an affront to the Kremlin, the European Commission announced Thursday that it will move forward with certain association agreements with Ukraine. As Orysia Lutsevych of Chatham House told the New York Times, “gas transit and export of electricity from Ukraine is of strategic importance for the European Union.”
The political crisis in Ukraine is also affecting Continue reading
Originally posted 2014-03-07 17:15:58.
This is the 6th Anniversary of my first post on International Liberty.
In honor of this moment (or at least to recognize a modest amount of endurance), let’s review some data on readership.
According to WordPress, there have been more than 8.7 million page views in that six-year period.
I don’t know if that’s good or bad, so let’s look at some data that’s more interesting.
There’s a site called Flag Counter that monitors the location of readers. I didn’t add it until the end of 2010, and it counts daily viewers rather than total page views, but that’s still plenty of data to see the degree to which people in various states and nations are interested (or disinterested) in my writings.
Far and away, the highest share of readers, relative to the population, can be found in Washington, DC.
I guess that’s no surprise with all the Capitol Hill staff, journalists, and policy wonks in town. And I bet, based on where many DC people live, that partially explains why Virginia is in 2nd place and Maryland in 7th place.
So maybe the most appropriate conclusion is that libertarians and small-government conservatives are most likely to be found in Colorado, Washington, New Hampshire, and Alaska, with honorable mention for New Mexico, Arizona, and Vermont (though the good people in the Green Mountain State are heavily out-numbered by moochers).
Now let’s look at states where I’m relatively unpopular. Southern states don’t seem to like me, though I wonder if that’s because of lower-than-average levels of Internet access (that being said, Georgia is in 15th place, perhaps out of Bulldawg loyalty).
Shifting to other parts of the nation, Hawaiians don’t seem to be big fans. Neither are people from the Dakotas, or folks in Rhode Island and Delaware.
What about if we look at viewership by nations?
You might think that I’m most widely read in the United States because that’s where I live and work, and the majority of my columns focus on American public policy.
But it turns out that people in the Cayman Islands and Anguilla are actually the most likely to read International Liberty.
I imagine that’s because folks in those places have a keen interest in some of the tax competition issues that I write about. And that also explains why Bermuda, Monaco, BVI, Jersey, and many other so-called tax havens rank so highly for readership.
I’m not quite sure why the U.S. Virgin Islands rank near the top, and I’m similarly perplexed that there are high levels of readership in Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands. Maybe readers from the military?
The high rankings for Canada and the United Kingdom are understandable, if for no other reason than common language.
If I had to pick nations with relatively high proportions of libertarian-leaning readers, then it’s worth noting that Iceland, Slovenia, the Faroe Islands, and Estonia are in the top 20 even though English is a second language.
Of course, just as there are nations that are likely to read International Liberty, there are also places where people don’t seem overly anxious to read my analysis.
By the way, I’ve been told that the Chinese government blocks my blog, perhaps because of this post.
Sharia blasphemy laws continue their move West. No one in the West cares about the erosion of the freedom of speech. Before too long, no one will even remember what it was. “Saudi Arabia restores ambassador to Sweden following diplomatic dispute,” i24 News, March 28, 2015 (thanks to Jerk Chicken): Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Sweden […] WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
I have been incapacitated for the past 36 hours and am still not able to speak clearly. However, that does not mean that the flow of information regarding Jade Helm 15 has slowed down. With regard to Jade Helm 15, … Continue reading →
The post Death Domes Are the End Game for Jade Helm 15 appeared first on .
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz argued in a recent interview that the United States would be better off — and he would be more liked — if the White House moved to Texas. On Sunday’s edition of State of the Union, CNN host Dana Bash pointed out to Cruz that he was “… WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
“I don’t understand that.”
Former Labor Sec. Robert Reich has joined President Barack Obama in castigating the media for overhyping the threat of terrorism and the national security challenge posed by ISIS. Just a few weeks back, the president told Vox’s Matt Yglesias that he “absolutely” agreed with the premise that “climate change and epidemic diseases” were lamentably overlooked […]
In the continuing litany of insults and affronts to Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the Obama administration, we must add this little nugget, which is getting little coverage in the press.
In case you’ve forgotten already, there was the time Obama complained to then French President Nicolas Sarkozy about having to work with Netanyahu every day (after Sarkozy said he couldn’t stand Bibi), then made him enter the White House through the back door, then potentially used State Department funds to undermine his election, then declined to openly congratulate him on his victory, then said he’d probably no longer stand with Israel in the United Nations, and now this.
Pretty much ignored by the mainstream media is the story as reported by Israel National News that “the Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel’s nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent.”
“But by publishing the declassified document from 1987, the US reportedly breached the silent agreement to keep quiet on Israel’s nuclear powers for the first time ever, detailing the nuclear program in great depth.”
Well isn’t that…coincidental? The timing of the document’s release couldn’t have been “better” as it happened just as the tensions between Obama and Netanyahu were at their highest around the Israeli Prime Minister’s address to Congress.
Plus, while the Pentagon saw fit to publicize Israel’s nuclear program, it blocked out the sections on Italy, France, West Germany and other NATO countries and kept them classified.
Interestingly, Israel National News reports that the process to have the document published was started three years ago, but the timing of its release was carefully chosen.
However, isn’t it also disconcerting that Obama was thinking about this three years ago? This isn’t just some sudden squabble.
Perhaps there’s a small amount of good news in this. The report acknowledged that in some cases, Israeli military technology “is more advanced than in the U.S.”
And that’s a darn good thing, because with every passing day it becomes more and more obvious that not only will Obama not stand by Israel, he will more than likely stand with Iran.
The majority Catholic nation has been under siege by Muslims waging jihad. Bloody terror. President Aquino is saying, terror wins. But if the President thinks the Islamic war will end, Aquino knows nothing of Islamic history. It will never be … Continue reading →
The post Philippine President: Give Muslims their own Islamic State or count body bags appeared first on .