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Could Illinois be the first state to file for bankruptcy?

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H/T CBS News.

This is what happens when DemocRats and unions control dominates a state.

Illinois residents may feel some solidarity with the likes of Puerto Rico and Detroit.

A financial crunch is spiraling into a serious problem for Illinois lawmakers, prompting some observers to wonder if the state might make history by becoming the first to go bankrupt. At the moment, it’s impossible for a state to file for bankruptcy protection, which is only afforded to counties and municipalities like Detroit.

Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection could be extended to states if Congress took up the issue, although Stanford Law School professor Michael McConnell noted in an article last year that he believed the precedents are iffy for extending the option to states. Nevertheless, Illinois is in a serious financial pickle, which is why radical options such as bankruptcy are being floated as potential solutions.

Ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service earlier this month downgraded Illinois’ general obligation bonds to its lowest investment grade rating, citing the state’s growing pile of unpaid bills and its mounting pension deficit. Illinois, by the way, has the lowest credit rating of any state. Lower ratings mean higher borrowing costs, since lenders view such borrowers as riskier bets.

“Legislative gridlock has sidetracked efforts not only to address pension needs but also to achieve fiscal balance, allowing a backlog of bills to approach $15 billion, or about 40 percent of the state’s operating budget,” the agency noted.

As noted by the Fiscal Times, Illinois is the only state that’s been operating without a balanced and complete budget for almost two years.

“We’re like a banana republic. We can’t manage our money,” Gov. Bruce Rauner said after the Illinois Legislature failed to produce a full 2017 budget earlier this month.

The situation has prompted comparisons with Puerto Rico, which earlier this year announced a historic restructuring of some of its $70 billion in debt through courts after negotiations with bondholders failed.

Like Puerto Rico, Illinois has a massive pension crisis. Its unfunded pension liability for the state’s five major plans grew 25 percent alone in one year, reaching $251 billion, according to Moody’s. On a per-household basis, the state’s pension debt burden stands at $27,000, according to the conservative-leaning Illinois Policy Institute.

So how did the state’s pensions balloon into such a crisis? First, the pension problem has been a long time in the making. The state has more than 660 government pension funds, which are sometimes called defined benefit plans because they promise workers will receive a specific pension when they retire.

But critics say some of those pensions carried overly optimistic assumptions, especially given periods of market turmoil like the global financial crisis, which ate into investment returns. The state’s general assembly wasn’t required to fully fund pensions, which meant tax money was spent on other priorities such as schools or infrastructure.

The result? Growing unfunded liabilities, or money promised to workers in their pensions when they retire that the state doesn’t have. Other contributing factors include inadequate employer contributions and benefit increases, according to the Civic Federation.

Adding to the state’s financial pain is a shrinking tax base. For the last three consecutive years, Illinois has lost residents. Its population is now at its lowest in a decade. Tepid wage growth on top of fewer residents puts a strain on the state’s ability to grow its tax revenue.

It’s not unprecedented for a state to default on its debt. Arkansas defaulted in 1933 as it struggled to repay debt during the the Great Depression. Spending on an ambitious road-building project and a series of natural disasters heightened the Southern state’s problems.

Bankruptcy is often seen as a last-ditch effort, but it also can help struggling cities or companies reinvent themselves on a stronger financial footing. Detroit serves an example of how a reorganization can help, at least in the near-term. The city is now paying its bills and is keeping up with maintenance, although it still has a looming pension payment that could spell trouble in just a few years, according to the Detroit Free-Press.

As Michigan Treasurer Nick Khouri told the publication, “We certainly know many people were hurt during the bankruptcy, but what would have been the alternative and how would they have been hurt under the alternative?”

As for Illinois, Rauner on Thursday called state legislators to a 10-day special session starting next week to hammer out a budget deal and end an unprecedented impasse that could soon enter a third year.

The Republican announced the news in a Facebook video and statement, accusing majority Democrats of “ignoring” his recommendations.

“We have tough, urgent choices to make, and the Legislature must be present to make them,” he said.

Lawmakers adjourned last month without a deal before a critical May 31 deadline, triggering the need for a three-fifths majority vote instead of a majority on a budget agreement. The new fiscal year begins July 1. Rauner has called for a special session running from June 21 to July 30.

Doctors warn Minnesota measles outbreak still “early” as cases increase

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H/T CBS News.

Open borders are allowing in diseased immigrants that are bringing back diseases that have been eradicated in America.

MINNEAPOLIS — New numbers from the Minnesota Department of Health show the measles outbreak in the state is growing, CBS Minnesota reports.

There are now 44 cases reported in Minnesota, which is up from 41 on Thursday. The outbreak is primarily in the state’s large Somali-American community, where many parents avoid the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine because of unfounded fears that it causes autism.

All but two of the cases involve unvaccinated patients.

Health officials are now offering new guidelines for the measles vaccination as new cases become a daily occurrence.

“We’re very early in the outbreak,” said Dr. Shane McAllister, assistant professor in pediatric infectious disease and immunology at the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Children’s Hospital. “We’re going to be seeing this for a while.”

Preventing the outbreak’s spread is a priority at Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. Signs stand near every entrance warning of the measles outbreak.

“There’s a lot of interest in measles right now, so we’re fielding a lot of questions from concerned families,” McAllister said. “We have a large population of potentially-infectable children who are not vaccinated, and we have a disease agent that is extremely contagious.”

Normally, the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, or MMR, is administered at age 1 with a second dose between ages 4-6. But MDH accelerated its measles vaccination guidelines this week in three specific counties.

The new guidelines call for children in Ramsey, Crow Wing and Hennepin counties get the second vaccination just 28 days after the first dose.

“That provides additional protection for children who might not have responded to the first dose,” McAllister said.

Unvaccinated children are most at risk outbreak, but certain adults could also become infected.

Measles vaccination guidelines changed from a single dose to a double dose in 1989.

“Adults who were born prior to the late 80s should consider speaking with their physician about getting a second dose of the MMR,” McAllister said.

He points out the guidelines are not calling for an additional dose of the measles vaccine — it is just an earlier dose.

75 years later, Pearl Harbor survivor recalls horrors of “burning alive”

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H/T CBS News.

I can not imagine the horrors that Donald Stratton went through and witnessed.

If I was in his shoes I doubt if I would be willing to forgive the Japanese for the things he suffered that horrible day. 

Next week marks 75 years since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Now comes the first memoir of that day from the perspective of a survivor who was aboard the USS Arizona, reports CBS News correspondent John Blackstone.

A painting of the battleship Arizona graces the back of Donald Stratton’s classic truck. Now at 94, he points out the anti-aircraft gun, where as a 19-year-old he fought the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.

The USS Arizona graces the back of Donald Stratton’s truck  CBS NEWS

The USS Arizona graces the back of Donald Stratton’s truck CBS NEWS

“Some of the pilots waved at us and smiled,” Stratton recalled.

“They were waving at you while they were shooting at you?” Blackstone asked.

“That’s right. And we were firing at them but we could see our bursts in the sky and they were way short,” Stratton said.

The Arizona was one of eight battleships under unrelenting Japanese air strikes, as seen on the Smithsonian channel series, “The Lost Tapes.”

“Just a fireball about six or 800 feet in the air and that just engulfed us where we’re at,” Stratton said. “I got burned over about 60 percent of my body. We were just actually burning alive.”

“Some of his scars you can see, some you can’t,” Blackstone said, speaking to Don’s son, Randy Stratton.

Some he’ll never get over his whole life,” Randy said. “Any noise even to this day, the phone goes off, he jumps through the ceiling because of that bomb going off.”

For nearly 75 years, Stratton said little about how he survived as more than 1,100 others on the Arizona perished. But he has finally written a memoir called, “All the Gallant Men,” revealing things he never even shared with Velma, his wife of almost 67 years.

“When I read the book, I cried,” Velma said. “He really never talked about it. He never told me his story about anything, about what happened.”

Of the explosion, Stratton writes: “The flames found us… burning off our clothes, our hair, our skin… Men stumbled around on the deck like human torches, each collapsing into a flaming pile of flesh.”

A makeup artist’s recreation of his injuries is hard to look at.

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Some he’ll never get over his whole life,” Randy said. “Any noise even to this day, the phone goes off, he jumps through the ceiling because of that bomb going off.”

For nearly 75 years, Stratton said little about how he survived as more than 1,100 others on the Arizona perished. But he has finally written a memoir called, “All the Gallant Men,” revealing things he never even shared with Velma, his wife of almost 67 years.

“When I read the book, I cried,” Velma said. “He really never talked about it. He never told me his story about anything, about what happened.”

Of the explosion, Stratton writes: “The flames found us… burning off our clothes, our hair, our skin… Men stumbled around on the deck like human torches, each collapsing into a flaming pile of flesh.”

A makeup artist’s recreation of his injuries is hard to look at.

A makeup artist’s recreation of Pearl Harbor survivor Donald Stratton’s injuries CBS NEWS

A makeup artist’s recreation of Pearl Harbor survivor Donald Stratton’s injuries CBS NEWS

“How do you go on fighting or trying to survive with that amount of pain?” Blackstone asked.

“Well, it’s self-preservation,” Stratton said. “I just pulled the skin off my arms and threw it down because it was in the way.”

“You pulled the skin off your arms,” Blackstone said, startled.

“Well, I was burned — it just hanging down there,” Stratton said.

With flames below him and using badly burned hands, he somehow pulled himself along a rope about 80 feet to safety on another ship.

“When you were coming across that rope, the Japanese are still strafing?” Blackstone asked.

“Oh yeah, they were still bombing and strafing, everything, yeah,” Stratton said.

Recovery meant months of searing pain and surgeries. When doctors wanted to amputate his limbs, Stratton refused.

“Did you think you were going to make it?” Blackstone asked.

 

“I don’t think it ever entered my mind that I wouldn’t,” Stratton said.

And he wouldn’t be kept away from the fight. A little more than a year after Pearl Harbor, he reenlisted and fought in the Pacific.

“Did you think you had a score to settle?

“Thought about a little revenge, but we had a job to do,” Stratton said.

Over the years, he has returned again and again to the Arizona Memorial.

“It’s very sad. That’s a very sacred place,” Stratton said. “I lost so many shipmates that day. It’s like going back and losing them all over again.”

On the 60th anniversary, Japanese pilots who attacked Pearl Harbor came in peace and were greeted with friendship by some — but not all — of the American veterans.

“Have you managed to forgive Japan?” Blackstone asked.

“Let’s put it this way: eleven-hundred-and-sixty-seven men out there on that Arizona sure as hell wouldn’t shake hands with them, so I’m not going to do it,” Stratton said.

Next week on the 75th anniversary, he’ll return with his whole family, including great-grandchildren.

“Knowing that probably it will be last time,” Velma said, with tears in her eyes. “And that’s hard.”

But the Stratton family vows never to forget, like granddaughter Nikki. Each wears a locket holding a fragment of the USS Arizona.

“To constantly remind us where my grandfather came from. The Arizona is in our blood, quite literally in our blood,” Nikki said.

For most who visit the Arizona Memorial now, this sacred place is part of distant history. But it’s not distant at all for Donald Stratton, as he writes in “All the Gallant Men”: “…I had lost a part of myself in the ruins of that ship, and a big part of my family in the men who died there… A part of myself that now would be forever entombed with them.”

 

Oscar-winner George Kennedy dies at 91

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This is from CBS News.

I have always liked George Kennedy.

One movie I really liked him in was Brass Target about a plot to assassinate Gen. Patton.

“Naked Gun” and “Cool Hand Luke” star George Kennedy passed away Sunday at his home in Boise, Idaho, his son Cory Schenkel confirmed. Kennedy was 91.

Best remembered as a tough-guy character actor in westerns and disaster films, Kennedy won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his work in “Cool Hand Luke” opposite Paul Newman in 1968.

coolhandlukegeorgekennedy.jpg
George Kennedy in a still from the 1967 film “Cool Hand Luke,” distributed by Warner Bros.
WARNER BROS.

Other notable film appearances included “Charade,” “Thunderbolt & Lightfoot,” “the Eiger Sanction,” “Airport 1975,” “Earthquake” and the comic “Naked Gun” films alongside Leslie Nielsen. His final film role was opposite Mark Wahlberg in 2014’s “The Gambler.”

“Movies have been my favorite entertainment,” Kennedy said in a 2013 interviewwith CBS affiliate KBOI. “And for me to have ended up in that business is perhaps the most fortunate thing to ever happen to me.”

Though he came from a show-bizzy family, thanks to a mom who performed as a ballerina in vaudeville-style productions, and a father who was an orchestra leader, Kennedy’s path to Hollywood wasn’t assured, KBOI wrote.

Kennedy spent 16 years in the Army and left as a captain.

In fact, that he got into acting at all was more by accident than design.

He started out after high school like so many his age by joining the Army. Afterward, with no job prospects, Kennedy re-enlisted as a staff sergeant and found himself in Officer Candidate School. And in turn that led to a stint in Armed Forces Radio.

It was there he was involved in setting up the first Army Information Office, providing technical assistance to movies and television shows. It was in that capacity that he worked on the early sitcom, “Sergeant Bilko.” Small speaking roles soon came his way.

KBOI wrote that Kennedy slowly built a resume that earned him callbacks from casting directors eager to take advantage of his athletic frame and booming voice.

Kennedy was born in New York in 1925. He started acting at the age of 2 when he joined a touring company production of “Bringing up Father.”

After his Army stint, Kennedy made his television debut in “The Phil Silvers Show” in 1955 and had a variety of guest appearances in the Westerns “Have Gun, Will Travel,” ”Cheyenne” and “Gunsmoke.”

His film career began to take flight in the early 1960s. He starred in 1963’s “Charade,” a whodunit that features Kennedy, Cary Grant, James Coburn and Walter Matthau seeking out the $250,000 they suspect was left behind by Audrey Hepburn’s dead husband.

His other acting credits in the 1960s included “The Dirty Dozen” and “Guns of the Magnificent Seven.”

Kennedy once called “Charade” the favorite movie in which he appeared.

“It had Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, music by Henry Mancini; it was shot entirely in Paris,” he said in 1995. “I have nothing but wonderful memories.”

Kennedy, an avid reader, also dabbled in writing and published a couple of murder mysteries.

Schenkel remembered sitting in on an autograph session in London with his grandfather.

“I sat behind him for hours that day watching the hundreds of fans in line waiting to meet my grandpa,” Schenkel recalled. “At the end of the day we sat in our hotel room eating room service and he said to me, ‘Seeing all those people I was able to bring a little enjoyment and happiness into their life — That is why I did it.'”

In later years, Kennedy became an advocate for adopted children. He had four adopted children, including his granddaughter Taylor, whose mother, also adopted by Kennedy, had become addicted to drugs and alcohol.

“Don’t let the fact that you’re 77 or 70 get in your way. Don’t let the fact that you’re a single parent and you want to adopt get in your way,” Kennedy said in a Fox interview in 2002. “That kid, some place right now, cold and wet, needs somebody to say, “I love you, kid, good night.'”

News of his passing was first reported by TMZ.

CIA Director John Brennan: ISIS Islamic Jihadists Aren’t Muslims, They Are “Psychopathic Thugs”

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This is from Freedom OutPost.

I need to correct CIA Director John Brennan’s statement they are psychopathic murdering Muslim thugs.    

Call them psychopathic thugs or murderers, but don’t call the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) ‘Muslims.’ CIA Director John Brennan, reportedly a convert to Islam himself, at an event Friday warned against ascribing ‘Islamic legitimacy’ to the overseas terrorist group, saying that allowing them to identify themselves with Islam does a disservice to Muslims around the world.

Tell that to the leader of ISIS who has a Masters degree and PhD in Islamic studies.

CBS News  “They are terrorists, they’re criminals,” Brennan asserted during the audience Q&A portion of an interview at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Most–many–of them are psychopathic thugs, murderers who use a religious concept and masquerade and mask themselves in that religious construct.”

“Let’s make it very clear that the people who carry out acts of terrorism – whether it be al-Qaeda or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – are doing it because they believe it is consistent with what their view of Islam is,” the intelligence agency director continued. “It is totally inconsistent with what the overwhelming majority of Muslims throughout the world.”

Brennan, who gave a speech earlier at the event on the structural changes facing the CIA, also slammed a popular conservative talking point about the White House’s reluctance to describe ISIS as Islamists.

“Quite frankly, I’m amused about the debate that goes on about, you know, unless you call it by what it is, you don’t know what you’re fighting,” Brennan said. “I think we have to be very careful also in the characterization because the words that we use can have resonance.”

President Obama has spoken extensively about the administration’s decision to deny ISIS a religious name.

The notion that the West is at war with Islam is an ugly lie,” the president said last month at a White House summit on countering terrorism. “And all of us, regardless of our faith, have a responsibility to reject it.”

Like the president, Brennan cautioned against the unilateral lumping of terrorists with a religion that has over a billion followers worldwide.

Source
Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/03/cia-director-john-brennan-says-isis-islamic-jihadists-arent-muslims-they-are-psychopathic-thugs/#6rDLRBIJKpoyOVAP.99

 

7 Other Times President Obama Said He Found Out About World Events By Watching the News

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This is from Independent Journal Review.

Does anyone believe this crap other than the Obamabots?

 

In an interview with CBS News, President Barack Obama claimed not to know that his former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, was using a personal email address to conduct government business while in office.

On Friday, Obama told CBS News’ Bill Plante that he learned about Clinton’s email address:

“…The same time that everybody else learned it, through news reports,” the president told CBS News’ Bill Plante Friday about when he learned about Clinton’s email address.

Obama’s statement seems to contradict White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s announcement that the President did, in fact, know about her email address, since he emailed her directly on several occasions.

This isn’t the first time the commander-in-chief has claimed not to know about a controversial issue. In a Facebook post on Monday, congressional candidate Dan Bongino wrote:

Daniel Bongino

Public Figure · 79,765 Likes

· Yesterday at 10:06am· Edited ·

Is anyone else bothered by the fact that our President rarely knows what’s going on in his own administration? He cavalierly admits this over and over and yet few on the Left, or in the media, want to acknowledge just how embarrassing this is.

Here’s the short list of scandals occurring under this President which he claims he learned about from the media:

-The Hillary Clinton email scandal
-The Fast & Furious gun running scandal
-The NSA spying on foreign leaders scandal
-The Petraeus scandal
-The IRS targeting of conservative groups
-The Department of Justice’s wiretapping of reporters at The Associated Press
-The Department of Justice’s wiretapping of Fox News’ James Rosen
-The VA healthcare “waiting list” scandal

Isn’t the President’s feigned ignorance of what’s going on under his nose, and on his watch, the biggest scandal of them all? How does the President of the United States not know that the government he presides over as its Chief Executive is failing in its most basic duties?

Doesn’t the fact that the President (a passionate advocate for big government as a positive force for change) claims he doesn’t know what’s going on in his own administration, make the case that big government is a bankrupt, failed approach?

Here’s a quick look back at some other times the President has claimed innocence, as pointed out by both Bongino and former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson:

  1. Fast and Furious: When asked about the gun-running scandal that resulted in the death of border agent Brian Terry in 2010, President Obama told reporters on Oct. 11, 2011, “I heard on the news about this story, that, uh, Fast and Furious.”
  2. NSA spying on foreign leaders: President Obama said he didn’t know his administration was spying on foreign leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He told the press on Oct. 28, 2013 that, “I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before the IG report had been leaked through the press.”
  3. The General David Petraeus sex scandal: Petraeus, then the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was forced to resign in Nov. 2012 after news surfaced that he was having an affair with his biographer. The White House repeatedly refused to answer questions about when the President was finally briefed about Petraeus’ situation.
  4. The IRS’s targeting of conservative groups: President Obama told the media in May 2013 that he first learned about the IRS’s improper targeting “from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this. I think it was on Friday.”
  5. The Justice Department’s wiretapping of AP and Fox News reporters: When asked about the secret seizure of reporters’ phone records, Obama spokesperson Jay Carney told the media that the president “found out about the news reports, uh, yesterday on the road.”
  6. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs healthcare ‘waiting list’ scandal: The White House appeared to be in the dark about the waiting list scandal and cover-up related to medical care for the country’s military vets. Then-Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that, “We learned about them through the reports. I will double check if that is not the case. But that is when we learned about them.”
  7. The Unauthorized Air Force One photo-op: New York City residents were panicked when, in April 2009, Air Force One — sans President Obama — flew over the Statue of Liberty for a pre-scheduled photo-op. Obama’s response: “It was something that, uh, we found out about, uh, along with all of you.”

Teen Is Sitting as Officer Booking Him Collapses With a Heart Attack. What the Young Man Did While Handcuffed Has Earned Him High Praise.

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This is from The Blaze.

In spite of his criminal past Jamal Rutledge did the right thing and got help for the stricken officer.

To Jamal Rutledge I say Bravo for saving the life of Officer Franklin Foulks.

 

As Florida teenager Jamal Rutledge sat handcuffed and getting booked for burglary, criminal mischief and violating probation, the officer processing him suddenly fell to the ground.

Image source: CBS News

Fort Lauderdale Officer Franklin Foulks was having a heart attack — and Rutledge’s actions last September are being credited with saving the officer’s life.

Surveillance video showed Rutledge leaving his chair and kicking the security fence to alert police of the officer’s condition.

Image source: CBS News

Police said Sgt. Todd Bunin heard Rutledge yelling and kicking the fence, saw Foulks grabbing his chest, and had dispatch send help, WTVJ-TV reported.

Here’s the surveillance clip:

After Officers Robert Norvis and Raymond Ketchmark heard Bunin’s radio transmissions, Norvis took off Foulks’ gear and cut off his shirt while Ketchmark activated a nearby defibrillator and communicated with rescuing units regarding Foulks’ condition.

Image source: CBS News

Foulks was taken to a hospital; medical personnel said the actions by Rutledge and the other officers saved Foulks’ life.

Image source:

Rutledge, Bunin, Ketchmark and Norvis will be honored at the Fort Lauderdale Commission meeting next Wednesday.

 

The ‘Incredible’ Thing an 8-Year-Old Boy Did for a Soldier Will Be Remembered For a ‘Lifetime’

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This is from The Blaze.

If you do not get a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye

Please check your pulse.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FCxuVSkT7k

Like most 8-year-olds, Myles Eckert was already dreaming up ways he could spend a $20 bill he had just discovered laying in a Cracker Barrel parking lot earlier this month.

“I kind of wanted to get a video game, but then I decided not to,” the child recounted to CBS News.

That’s because Eckert saw Lt. Col. Frank Dailey enter the restaurant. The man in uniform changed his mind.

Why?

“Because he was a soldier, and soldiers remind me of my dad,” Eckert explained to CBS.

Lt. Col. Frank Dailey enters a Cracker Barrel Feb. 7. (Image source: Screen grab via CBS News)

         Lt. Col. Frank Dailey enters a Cracker Barrel Feb. 7. (Image source: Screen grab via CBS News)

So, instead of purchasing something for himself, Eckert did something very different on Feb. 7. Something Dailey says he will remember for “a lifetime.”

The 8-year-old boy wrapped the $20 bill in a note he had authored to the solider.

“Dear Soldier — my dad was a soldier. He’s in heaven now.”

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“Dear Soldier — my dad was a soldier. He’s in heaven now,” the note said. “I found this 20 dollars in the parking lot when we got here. We like to pay it forward in my family. It’s your lucky day! Thank you for your service. Myles Eckert, a gold star kid.”

Lt. Col. Frank Dailey received a touching note from 8-year-old Myles Eckert earlier this month. (Image source: Screen grab via CBS News)

Lt. Col. Frank Dailey received a touching note from 8-year-old Myles Eckert earlier this month. (Image source: Screen grab via CBS News)

Eckert’s father, Army Sgt. Andy Eckert, had been killed in Iraq when he was only a few weeks old. The 8-year-old can only think of what he was like.

“I imagine him as a really nice person and somebody that would be really fun,” he told CBS News.

That February day, Eckert even asked his mother to go visit his father.

“He wanted to go see his dad,” said his mother Tiffany. “And he wanted to go by himself that day.”

She took a photograph of her son visiting his father’s grave.

8-year-old Myles Eckert visits his father. (Image source: Screen grab via CBS News)

8-year-old Myles Eckert visits his father. (Image source: Screen grab via CBS News)

Dailey, touched by the Eckert’s gesture, said he looks at the note he received each day.

“It’s incredible being recognized in such a manner,” he said, adding that the child’s simple gift has provided him “a lifetime of direction.”

DOJ Uses Media Matters To Spin Fast & Furious

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This is from Freedom Outpost.

Eric Holder has his own Joseph Goebbels it’s Media Matters.

Actually Media Matters would make Goebbels turn green with envy.

While you may have found a grain or two of truth in Goebbels propaganda.

There is not even the slightest grain of truth in Media Matters propaganda.

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Internal Justice Department emails are now providing evidence that the Obama DOJ collaborated with the left-wing advocacy group Media Matters for America (MMFA) in an attempt to squash stories of the scandals that have been plaguing Attorney General Eric Holder.

Apparently the DOJ was using Media Matters in an attempt to provide spin for the stories. They were, for all intents and purposes, the DOJ’s personal publicist, disseminating false information. Of course much of the funding of the tax exempt organization comes from none other than George Soros.

The Daily Caller’s Matthew Boyle reported,

Dozens of pages of emails between DOJ Office of Public Affairs Director Tracy Schmaler and Media Matters staffers show Schmaler, Holder’s top press defender, working with Media Matters to attack reporters covering DOJ scandals. TheDC obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act request.

While the DC runs down several snipets of the email exchanges, Mary Chastain at Breitbart.com, gives us the Cliff Notes’ version:

Among those named in the emails are Mr. Boyle, Katie Pavlich at Townhall, Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News, NRA News, Mike Vanderboegh (one of the original bloggers who broke the story), FOX News and Breitbart News.

In one of the more shocking emails, Ms. Schmaler emailed Matt Gertz at MMfA and suggested an attack piece on Tea Party Nation Founder Judson Phillips. She tells Mr. Gertz what Mr. Phillips said was completely false, because President Bush’s operations Wide Receiver and Hernandez “put this to a lie.” There’s only one problem with that statement. Mr. Phillips was only talking about Fast and Furious. There was nothing false in his appearance on FOX News. He simply said it must be investigated and it was a partisan program.

Later that day Chris Brown wrote a piece calling Mr. Phillips a “right-wing extremist.” He tried to prove Mr. Phillips wrong that Fast & Furious had anything to do with gun control, which Ms. Attkisson proved to be correct on December 7, 2011. That was the only part of Mr. Brown’s piece that had anything to do with Mr. Phillips’ appearance. The rest of it was a smear job on him, pointing out past statements.

Since Media Matters for America is a tax exempt organization, one wonders how their tax exempt status will survive despite being involved in this type of political propaganda. This looks like a bigger version of the ACORN nut cracking. It also tells us that whatever the DOJ has been stonewalling about concerning Operation Fast and Furious must be some serious criminal activity if they have gone to these measures to not only cover up the scandal, but put out disinformation on it.

Was Colorado Shooting Staged By The Government?

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This is from Expose Obama.

I am not big on conspiracy theories.

But after reading this it made me say”Damn what if?

(NaturalNews) James Holmes,the Aurora,Colorado shooter who reportedly opened fire at a Batman movie premiere,was a medical student at the University of Colorado,pursuing a PhD in neuroscience,reports ABC News. (http://abcnews.go.com/US/mass-shooting-colorado-movie-theater-14-peop…)

As part of the attack,Holmes painted his hair red and referred to himself as “The Joker,”one of the arch enemies in the DC Comics-inspired Batman movie series. (http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/07/20/police-14-dead-in-colorado-the…)

According to news reports,this sudden violent rampage was completely out of character for James Holmes,who was described as “shy.”

The New York Times is now reporting:

Billy Kromka,a pre-med student at the University of Colorado,Boulder,worked with Mr. Holmes for three months last summer as a research assistant in a lab of at the Anschutz Medical Campus. Mr. Kromka said he was surprised to learn Mr. Holmes was the shooting suspect. “It was just shocking,because there was no way I thought he could have the capacity to do commit an atrocity like this,”he said. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/21/us/colorado-mall-shooting.html?page…)

“He spent much of his time immersed in the computer,often participating in role-playing online games…”

There is already conjecture that James Holmes may have been involved in mind-altering neuroscience research and ended up becoming involved at a depth he never anticipated. His actions clearly show a strange detachment from reality,indicating he was not in his right mind. That can only typically be accomplished through drugs,hypnosis,or trauma (and sometimes all three).

His behavior doesn’t add up

His behavior already reveals stark inconsistencies that question the mainstream explanation of events. For example,he opened fire on innocent people but then calmly surrendered to police without resistance. This is not consistent with the idea of “killing everyone.”

Furthermore,he then admitted to police that his apartment was booby-trapped with explosives. If you were really an evil-minded Joker trying to kill people (including cops),why would you warn them about the booby trap in advance? It doesn’t add up.

“Holmes was taken into custody shortly after the shooting,police said,adding he didn’t resist when he was arrested,”reports a local CBS news affiliate (http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/07/20/police-14-dead-in-colorado-the…).

“After his arrest,Holmes told police about ‘possible explosives in his residence,’Oates said. When police searched his apartment,they discovered it was booby-trapped and evacuated surrounding buildings,police said. Oates said bomb technicians are determining how to disarm flammable or explosive material in the third-floor apartment. He said police could be there some time.”

None of this checks out. If you’re a killer bent on causing mayhem,why tell the police about your surprise bomb waiting for them back at your apartment?

Holmes was clearly provided with exotic gear

Continuing from CBS:

“He said pictures from inside the apartment are fairly disturbing and the devices look to be sophisticated,adding the booby-traps were ‘something I’ve never seen.’One rifle,two handguns,a knife,a bullet proof vest,a ballistic helmet,a gas device,a gas mask,military SWAT clothing and unidentified explosives were also found in Holmes’car,a law enforcement source told CBS News. Oates said Holmes wore a gas mask,a ballistic helmet and vest as well as leg,groin and throat protectors during the shooting.”

In other words, this guy was equipped with exotic gear by someone with connections to military equipment. SWAT clothing,explosives,complex booby-traps…c’mon,this isn’t a “lone gunman.”This is somebody who was selected for a mission,given equipment to carry it out,and then somehow brainwashed into getting it done.

“Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said Holmes’apartment is booby-trapped with a ‘sophisticated’maze of flammable devices. It could take hours or days for authorities to disarm it,”reports Yahoo News (http://sg.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/suspect-neuroscience-phd-stu…).

This is not your run-of-the-mill crime of passion. It was a carefully planned, heavily funded and technically advanced attack. Who might be behind all this? The FBI,of course,which has a long history of setting up and staging similar attacks,then stopping them right before they happen. See four documented stories on these facts:

http://www.naturalnews.com/035849_domestic_terror_plots_FBI.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/034325_FBI_entrapment_terror_plots.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/033751_FBI_terrorism.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/035757_FBI_terror_plots_false_flag.html

As you soak all this in,remember that the FBI had admitted to setting up terror plots,providing the weapons and gear,staging the location of the bombings,and even driving the vehicles to pull it off! This is not a conspiracy theory;it’s been admitted by the FBI right out in the open. Even the New York Times openly reports all this in stories like this one:

NYT:Terrorist Plots,Hatched by the F.B.I. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/terrorist-plots-help…)

THE United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years —or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol;a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh,N.Y.;and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts. But all these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I.,whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile,fake C-4 explosives,a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. …the F.B.I. provided a van loaded with six 55-gallon drums of “inert material,” harmless blasting caps,a detonator cord and a gallon of diesel fuel to make the van smell flammable. An undercover F.B.I. agent even did the driving…

Mystery man Holmes has no background

On top of all this,Holmes apparently has no background. “He’s not on anybody’s radar screen —nothing,”said a peace officer in a NYT article. “This guy is somewhat of an enigma. Nobody knows anything about him.”(http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/21/us/colorado-mall-shooting.html)

Mr. Holmes’s only criminal history is a traffic summons,the authorities said. He earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in neuroscience in 2010 from the University of California,Riverside,and was a graduate student in neurosciences at the University of Colorado at Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus…He was currently collecting unemployment…

Question:How does an unemployed medical student afford $20,000 in weapons gear?

If you start to look at the really big picture here,the obvious question arises:How does an unemployed medical student afford all the complex weapons gear,bomb-making gear,“flammable”booby trap devices,ammunition,multiple magazines,bullet-proof vest,groin protection,ballistic helmet,SWAT uniform,and all the rest of it?

A decent AR-15 rifle costs $1,000 or more all by itself. The shotgun and handgun might run another $800 total. Spare mags,sights,slings,and so on will run you at least another $1,000 across three firearms. The bullet-proof vest is easily another $800,and the cost of the bomb-making gear is anybody’s guess. With all the specialty body gear,ammunition,booby-trap devices,and more,I’m guessing this is at least $20,000 in weapons and tactical gear,much of which is very difficult for civilians to get in the first place.

The mere manufacture of an explosive booby-trap device is,all by itself,a felony crime by the way. And remember:“Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said Holmes’apartment is booby-trapped with a ‘sophisticated’maze of flammable devices. It could take hours or days for authorities to disarm it,”reported Yahoo News (http://sg.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/suspect-neuroscience-phd-stu…).

Question:Where does an unemployed,introverted medical school student get the training to deploy sophisticated booby traps,tactical body armor,weapons systems,and more? Certainly not in graduate school!

All this leads to an obvious third party influence over all this. Someone else taught this guy these skills and funded the acquisition of the equipment.

Note:Some readers have questioned the $20,000 figure estimated here,saying this gear could have been acquired for only $10,000 or so. I doubt that,as all the extras that you need to effectively run these guns cost a lot of money:training courses,spare magazines,etc. Just a decent AR-15 battle sight (a holographic red dot sight) can run $1,000 –$2,000. Search “ACOG”if you don’t believe me. It is also reported that Holmes bought 6,000 rounds of ammo,which definitely isn’t cheap either. It’s clear this guy was spending big bucks. Whether it’s $10k or $20k isn’t really that much of a point.

Staged just in time for a vote on the UN small arms treaty?

More and more,this shooting is looking like a deliberate plot staged by the government itself much like Operation Fast and Furious pulled off by the ATF (http://www.naturalnews.com/032934_ATF_illegal_firearms.html) which helped smuggle tens of thousands of guns into Mexico for the purpose of causing “gun violence”in the USA,then blaming the Second Amendment for it.

All this looks like James Holmes completed a “mission”and then calmly ended that mission by surrendering to police and admitting everything. The mission,as we are now learning,was to cause as much terror and mayhem as possible,then to have that multiplied by the national media at exactly the right time leading up the UN vote next week on a global small arms treaty that could result in gun confiscation across America. (http://lewrockwell.com/eddlem/eddlem61.1.html)

Even Forbes.com wrote about this quite extensively,warning readers about the coming gun confiscation effort related to the UN treaty. The story was authored by Larry Bell (http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2011/06/07/u-n-agreement-should…) and says the UN treaty could “override our national sovereignty,and in the process,provide license for the federal government to assert preemptive powers over state regulatory powers guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment in addition to our Second Amendment rights.”

In other words,this has all the signs of Fast &Furious,Episode II. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover someone in Washington was behind it all. After all,there’s no quicker way to disarm a nation and take total control over the population than to stage violence,blame it on firearms,then call for leaders to “do something!”Such calls inevitably end up resulting in gun confiscation,and it’s never too long after that before government genocide really kicks in like we saw with Hitler,Stalin,Pol Pot,Mao and other tyrants.

Governments routinely murder millions

Here’s a short list of government mass murder carried out throughout history,almost always immediately following the disarmament of the public (and usually involving staged false flag events to justify the disarmament):

50+ million dead:Mao Ze-Dong (China,1958-61 and 1966-69,Tibet 1949-50)
12+ million dead:Adolf Hitler (Germany,1939-1945) –concentration camps,civilian deaths and dead Russian POWs
8+ million dead:Leopold II of Belgium (Congo,1886-1908)
6+ million dead:Jozef Stalin (USSR,1932-39)
5+ million dead:Hideki Tojo (Japan,1941-44)
2+ million dead:Ismail Enver (Turkey,1915-22)
1.7 million dead:Pol Pot (Cambodia,1975-79)
1.6 million dead:Kim Il Sung (North Korea,1948-94)
1.5 million dead:Menghistu (Ethiopia,1975-78)
1 million dead:Yakubu Gowon (Biafra,1967-1970)
900,000 dead:Leonid Brezhnev (Afghanistan,1979-1982)
800,000 dead:Jean Kambanda (Rwanda,1994)
See more at:
http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/dictat.html

Death by government:
http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/DBG.CHAP1.HTM
http://www.infowars.com/democide-government-killed-over-260-million-i…

A “monopoly of force”in government is far more dangerous than a crazed lone shooter

So yes,James Holmes and other crazed shooters kill a number of people each year in random acts of violence. It’s horrifying and wrong,but it’s nothing compared to the millions of lives that governments tend to destroy when they gain total power over the populace.

The most dangerous thing in the world,it turns out,is not a crazy person with a rifle;it’s a government with a “monopoly of force”over the entire population. And that’s exactly what the UN spells out as its goal for the world:stripping all power from individual citizens and handing “monopolies of force”to the governments of the world,shoring up their positions as the only “legitimate”power on the planet.

See this document entitled,“Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)”policy paper No. 24:
http://www.naturalnews.com/files/Revisiting-the-State-Monopoly-on-the…

As this document reveals,a table entitled “Governance solutions for reasserting the state monopoly on the use of force”lists the options available to governments to re-establish “monopolies of force”against their own people:

• (Re-)establish state monopoly
– Ownership of WMDs
– Safety Inspectorates

• Prohibit business activity
– Justice and Execution
– Deadly Force?

• Regulate/limit activities
– Private defense/security services
– Control of financial transfers
– Export controls
– Transport and infrastructure safety
– Environmental impact

Interestingly,that document also describes “terrorism”in a way that perfectly matches the Aurora,Colorado “Batman”movie theater shooter:

Terrorists aim to spread panic and fear in societies in order to achieve political goals,be they based on left- or right-wing,social-revolutionary,nationalistic,or religious ideologies. They are organized in a clandestine way,most often in small groups and cells…Typical tactical means include kidnapping,hostage-taking,sabotage,murder,suicide attacks,vehicle bombs and improvised explosive devices.

A global monopoly of force

This document is a goldmine of information about the globalist agenda to disarm and enslave the population. Check out page 28,which reads:

The legitimate monopoly of force should not be limited to the nation-state but should be based on the local,national,regional and the global levels.

Global Security Governance and the Monopoly of Force

At the global level no monopoly of violence exists. The UN Security Council already has a monopoly power to authorize the use of force at the global level,although the UN was never given the necessary means to exercise this authority,such as the capacity to implement sanctions,a police force and armed forces…

This deficiency in global governance acts as a bottleneck and a barrier to the creation of the democratically legitimized monopoly of violence that is globally required.

This story gets deep,doesn’t it? Watch for more analysis here at NaturalNews.com,where we still fight for liberty and justice in a world that’s increasingly becoming enslaved.

This article originally appeared at www.naturalnews.com. 

 

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