Officials: NSA mistakenly intercepted emails, phone calls of innocent Americans

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This is from Open Channel On NBC News.

Does anyone believe this spy job was accidental?

Considering every thing the administration has pulled

I do not believe it was an accident.

Sadly I think it will only get worse.

I can see 1776 from my house.


The National Security Agency has at times mistakenly intercepted the private email messages and phone calls of Americans who had no link to terrorism, requiring Justice Department officials to report the errors to a secret national security court and destroy the data, according to two former U.S. intelligence officials.

At least some of the phone calls and emails were pulled from among the hundreds of millions stored by telecommunications companies as part of an NSA surveillance program. James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, Thursday night publicly acknowledged what he called “a sensitive intelligence collection program” after its existence was disclosed by the Guardian newspaper.

Ret. Adm. Dennis Blair, who served as President Obama’s DNI in 2009 and 2010, told NBC News that, in one instance in 2009, analysts entered a phone number into agency computers and “put one digit wrong,” and mined a large volume of information about Americans with no connection to terror. The matter was reported to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose judges required that all the data be destroyed, he said.

Another former senior official, who asked not to be identified, confirmed Blair’s recollection and said the incident created serious problems for the Justice Department, which represents the NSA before the federal judges on the secret court.

The judges “were really upset about this,” said the former official. As a result, Attorney General Eric Holder pledged to the judges that the intelligence agencies would take steps to correct the problem as a condition of renewing the NSA’s surveillance program.

The Justice Department publicly confirmed to the New York Times in April 2009 that Holder had taken “comprehensive steps” to correct a problem in NSA collection after it “detected issues that raised concerns.” But department officials declined to discuss details about what was described at the time as the “over-collection” of information.

In another instance that was made public in July 2012, a U.S. intelligence official acknowledged in a letter to Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon that “on at least one occasion” the national security court found that “some collection” by the intellligence community “was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution. The official also wrote that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence believed that the government’s collection of information “has sometimes circumvented the spirit of the law” and that “on at least one occasion” the national security court had “reached this same conclusion.”

Blair declined to say how many times the NSA had had to report the improper collection of information to the court, but indicated  it had happened more than once. A spokesman for current DNI Clapper declined comment.

The 2009 incident that Blair described may shed light on an exchange between Clapper and Sen. Ron Wyden, D.-Ore., at a March hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Asked by Wyden, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper replied, “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could, inadvertently perhaps collect-but not wittingly.”

Related story

Obama: ‘Nobody is listening to your telephone calls’

Blair drew a distinction between the “collection” or mining of data on specific U.S. citizens by NSA and the massive trove of phone call information that was turned over to the NSA under a negotiated agreement among intelligence officials, the telecommunications companies and the FISA judges. The purpose of the FISA order was to store information in the event that U.S. intelligence agencies need to access it after getting specific intelligence that somebody in the U.S. might be tied to terrorism.  It is only at that point, he explained, that the NSA goes back to the court to get permission to mine or “collect” the data.

But the intelligence community’s distinction between “storing” and “collecting” data does not satisfy privacy and civil liberties advocates. “They are playing games,” said Cindy Cohn, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is suing U.S. phone companies over their cooperation with the NSA. Of the improper collection acknowledged by Blair, she said, “Who knows how many times this has happened?”

Meanwhile, a newly empowered federal civil liberties board is asking for a classified briefing “as soon as possible’ on U.S. intelligence surveillance programs that have collected hundreds of millions of  phone records as well as emails and other content from Internet service providers.

David Medine, chairman of the new Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, asked for the briefing in a letter Friday to Clapper, the director of national intelligence.

“We want to look into this and find out directly from the source what this is all about and then draw our own conclusions,” Medine told NBC News.

The five-member board was  authorized by Congress in 2007 to monitor privacy and civil liberties throughout the U.S. government. But after lengthy delays by President Obama in nominating members — and disputes over its membership — the panel only officially came into existence last week when Medine was sworn in. It has no website, has yet to move into its office in downtown Washington and has a staff of only two members assigned from other agencies, Medine said.

But Medine noted that the board does have subpoena power over the private sector and the authority to direct U.S. government agency chiefs to provide it with the information it wants.

In his letter to Clapper, Medine noted that his security clearance was still “in process” but asked the intelligence director to give him a “provisional clearance .. in order for me to have authorized access to any classified information conveyed during the briefing.”


Holder OK’d search warrant for Fox News reporter’s private emails, official says

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This is from Clear Channel on N.B.C.News.

Let me say this up front we will never see the first black

President and Attorney General impeached.

The DemocRats will circle the wagons to save them.

That being said Obama may ask Holder to resign.


Attorney General Eric Holder agreed to a review of Justice Department guidelines for investigations involving journalists, President Barack Obama said Thursday.

By Michael Isikoff
National Investigative Correspondent, NBC News

Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on a controversial search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a “possible co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails, a law enforcement official told NBC News on Thursday.

The disclosure of the attorney general’s role came as President Barack Obama, in a major speech on his counterterrorism policy, said Holder had agreed to review Justice Department guidelines governing investigations that involve journalists.

“I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable,” Obama said. “Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs.”

Rosen, who has not been charged in the case, was nonetheless the target of a search warrant that enabled Justice Department investigators to secretly seize his private emails after an FBI agent said he had “asked, solicited and encouraged … (a source) to disclose sensitive United States internal documents and intelligence information.”

Obama’s comments follow a firestorm of criticism that has erupted over disclosures that in separate investigations of leaks of classified information, the Justice Department had obtained private emails that Rosen exchanged with a source and the phone records of Associated Press reporters.


Ethiopian girl reportedly guarded by lions

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This is from NBC News.

One more example of why Islam must be destroyed.

Forced marriages to children,honor killings etc.

My Two Cents is this was a miracle preformed by God.

Authorities: Cats chased off men trying to force her to marry.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia  — A 12-year-old girl who was abducted and beaten by men trying to force her into a marriage was found being guarded by three lions who apparently had chased off her captors, a policeman said Tuesday.

The girl, missing for a week, had been taken by seven men who wanted to force her to marry one of them, said Sgt. Wondimu Wedajo, speaking by telephone from the provincial capital of Bita Genet, about 350 miles southwest of Addis Ababa.

She was beaten repeatedly before she was found June 9 by police and relatives on the outskirts of Bita Genet, Wondimu said. She had been guarded by the lions for about half a day, he said.

“They stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest,” Wondimu said.

“If the lions had not come to her rescue, then it could have been much worse. Often these young girls are raped and severely beaten to force them to accept the marriage,” he said.

‘Some kind of miracle’
Tilahun Kassa, a local government official who corroborated Wondimu’s version of the events, said one of the men had wanted to marry the girl against her wishes.

“Everyone thinks this is some kind of miracle, because normally the lions would attack people,” Wondimu said.

Stuart Williams, a wildlife expert with the rural development ministry, said the girl may have survived because she was crying from the trauma of her attack.

“A young girl whimpering could be mistaken for the mewing sound from a lion cub, which in turn could explain why they didn’t eat her,” Williams said.

Ethiopia’s lions, famous for their large black manes, are the country’s national symbol and adorn statues and the local currency. Despite a recent crackdown, hunters kill the animals for their skins, which can fetch $1,000. Williams estimates that only 1,000 Ethiopian lions remain in the wild.

The girl, the youngest of four siblings, was “shocked and terrified” after her abduction and had to be treated for the cuts from her beatings, Wondimu said.

He said police had caught four of the abductors and three were still at large.

Kidnapping young girls has long been part of the marriage custom in Ethiopia. The United Nations estimates that more than 70 percent of marriages in Ethiopia are by abduction, practiced in rural areas where most of the country’s 71 million people live.


News from the Education Front

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This is from Rush

Touchy Feely political Correctness is ruining our schools.

These are more reasons to home school.



RUSH: Hi. From NBC News: “A county in Maryland is putting limits on some of the trappings of elementary school…” I’m not making this up. A school district in Maryland has now banned hugs of children from grown-ups who are not their parents. An adult cannot hug a child in school if it’s not his or her child. Birthday party invitations have been banned because not everybody is invited to every birthday party. There will be no more bringing cupcakes to school for the whole class.

“Parents who visit the 17 elementary schools in St. Mary’s County are still allowed to hug their own children, just not other kids. Only parents registered as volunteers are allowed on the playground, and even then they can’t push other people’s kids on the swings.” Kids, in school, get on the swing, right? If you’re not a kid’s parent, you can’t push them and help them gain speed on the swing. You can’t touch ’em.

You know why?

‘Cause you touch their derriere in a lot of cases when you push them. Can’t do it. Now, who is it doing this? This not a bunch of conservatives getting in the way here and limiting people’s freedom, is it? This a bunch of liberals. This is a bunch of liberals putting limits on the fun people have. This is a bunch of liberals putting limits on the kind of comforting affection than adult can provide a child. No birthday party invites anymore in 17 elementary schools, Saint Mary’s County, Maryland.

No more, because not everybody gets invited to every party. Nobody can send out birthday invitations. No more cupcakes brought to school. Even if you bring enough for the whole school, no more cupcakes. Sugar! Fattening! Obesity! No more bringing cupcakes for the whole class. That can lead to obesity and then lesbianism, apparently. I told you I sensed that school was jail back when I was in it, and once again proving what ahead of my times I was.

Anyway, this is not a bunch of conservatives doing this. This is not a bunch of conservatives putting limits on normal human action. It’s a bunch of libs doing this, folks. It’s not conservatives who want to deny all of this childhood fun and all of this childhood joy. It’s the liberals doing this. Here are “the new rules: It’s fine to send a homemade cupcake to school for your own child, but not for the rest of the class. District officials are concerned about food allergies and want parents to send only store-bought treats that have the ingredients listed.”

Processed food, exactly right!

Don’t bake your own cupcake for your own child. “As for party invitations, the district suggests that PTA groups develop phone and email lists for parents. ‘If there are 20 individuals in the class and someone brings in seven birthday invitations, it was creating an academic disruption,’ Kelly Hall, the district’s executive director of elementary schools said. ‘People were getting their feelings hurt.’ Not everyone is happy with the restrictions. One member of the school board, Cathy Allen, told NBC Washington that they’re horrible,” but she’s in the minority.

Most everybody else thinks this is hunky-dory. So I’ll run through this list again: Parents are only allowed to hug their own children when they visit school. Nobody else’s kids. Only parents registered with the school as volunteers are allowed on the playground, and even those registered volunteers cannot push other people’s kids on the swings. You can send a homemade cupcake to school for your own child, but not for the rest of the class, and district officials don’t want you to send a homemade cupcake because they’re concerned about food allergies.

So they want parents to send only “store-bought treats,” processed, that have all the ingredients on there — and no more birthday party invitations. You think that’s bad? Try this from the UK. This is from the Sun newspaper. Maybe you want to take this with a grain of salt, but I’m not doubting this, actually. The schools in the UK, certain schools are banning children making best friends. “Teachers are banning schoolkids from having best pals — so they don’t get upset by fall-outs.”

You cannot make a best friend in the UK school anymore because the friendship may not last, and when the friendship falls out, or when you break up with your good friend, the emotional pain may be such that you can’t deal with it. So to eliminate the potential pain of a busted friendship, students will not be allowed to make best friends “Educational psychologist Gaynor Sbuttoni said the policy has been used at schools in Kingston, South West London, and Surrey. She added: ‘I have noticed that teachers tell children they shouldn’t have a best friend and that everyone should play together,'” and that is working out very well.

It doesn’t matter where the left is.

This is how they screw up.


RUSH: I want to just go through this again.  The 17 schools, the elementary schools in Saint Mary’s County, Maryland.  No hugs of anybody’s kids but your own.  You have to be a registered volunteer to go out on the playground during recess, but even if you qualify, you are not allowed to touch the children, including helping them gain momentum on the swing set.

Cupcakes.  You have to bring store bought cupcakes and only one for your child.  You cannot bring cupcakes in for everybody.  There will be no more birthday party invitations.  The reason for that is not everybody gets invited, and so they’re trying to spare hurt feelings.  In the UK, a spreading phenomenon of schools banning children making best friends.  They want to protect the children from the emotional stress and pain of a friendship breaking up.  They want to reserve all of the emotional attachments for the school, for the state.  The student is supposed to have all emotional attachments to the school, to the teacher, to the government. No best friends, not being permitted.

Some might say it’s related; I don’t know.  Kevin Clash, the ex-Elmo puppeteer on Sesame Street and The Children’s Workshop, the Elmo puppeteer, Kevin Clash, who previously faced allegations of sex abuse, is once again at the center of another lawsuit.  The man behind the Sesame Street character Elmo is named in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed by Sheldon Stephens, who was the first individual to accuse Clash of abuse in 2012.  It’s not a conservative that is engaging in this predatory behavior.  This is a liberal, a good liberal.  Ex-Elmo puppeteer with yet another allegation.  This story is not widespread.  It’s a good thing Kevin Clash is not a religious person or a conservative, otherwise this story be all over the news, nonstop.  As such, it’s being hidden.

In more education news from a website called Campus Reform.  There’s an upcoming workshop at Brown University.  “A group of Brown University students appear to be preparing an on-campus workshop in which ‘queer’ participants will separate by race to work past their sexual attraction to Caucasians.  We ‘find ourselves falling always for the white queers… wishing we could have more agency in the process, be more intentional about who we desire and how,’ reads the official Facebook description of the event.”

How many of you have kids going to Brown University and do you know that this kind of stuff is going on?  “We are invested in generating a politics of sexuality that compels us to interrogate beauty as privilege and constructed by systems of white supremacy, ableism, capitalism, and heteronormativity.”  Heteronormativity.  “The workshop called ‘Protect me from what I want: a workshop on privilege, power, and desire’ is sponsored by an organization called the …”  Comprehensive Allyship Network, according to the Facebook event page.” What is the name of the organization?  I didn’t print the second page.  I only print one page of anything I look at ’cause I got too many pieces of paper anyway.

Anyway, it is Brown University helping queer minorities overcome their desire.  And it’s their usage of the word “queer.”  I’m just quoting them.  It’s an on-campus workshop in which queer participants separate by race to work past their sexual attraction to Caucasians.  There is a problem, in other words, in being attracted to Caucasians.  This is a workshop to help people deal with that.  Here’s the headline from the Brown University piece itself:  “Upcoming workshop at Brown Univ. set to help queer minorities overcome attraction to queer whites.” Brown University.  Ivy League.  Brown University.  Ivy League.

“What is Rush doing?”  I sit here every day, and we have to listen to all this cockamamie BS about how we conservatives are stifling and no fun and old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy and we’re denying people a good time and so forth.  I’m trying to sit here and illustrate, these are the people that have come to define freedom as peer hedonism, the pursuit of pure sybaritic delights, no boundaries, no limits on it whatsoever.  The country can’t survive that way.  Freedom defined that way is gonna lead to the total moral collapse of the society at some point.

So these are three little stories, and individually you laugh at ’em, no big deal. But the Maryland school thing, that’s absurd.  All of that’s ridiculous, totally absurd.  No best friends in the UK. It’s a bunch of liberals doing that.  So, once again, what we’re engaged in here, folks, is simply an attempt to inform and educate people about who liberals are, what they do, how they think, what the world would look like, what the country would look like if there were no checks and balances on these people.  In this country you can go to any city that has been run by elected liberal Democrats without any opposition for years and years and you can see the results.  They’re bulldozing these cities.  These cities are absolute disasters, precisely because there are no limits on anything.

Freedom is designed as whatever you want to do with other people’s money.  And there’s no limit on how much of other people’s money you are entitled to.  Now, Bernie Marcus, cofounder of the Home Depot, talking to fellow businesspeople, employees are blaming the employer for their paychecks being smaller in January when the payroll tax holiday ended.  So there was basically a federal government tax increase that most employees are blaming the employer for, which is not possible.  And we sit here and we just marvel at it.



Ron Paul: Attacking Tea Party Is Not A Good Plan For GOP

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This is from The Last Resistance.

I guess Ron Paul is smarter than I thought.

We need to toss Boehner and company out on their heads.

We need to put adults back in charge in the Senate.

Boehner has moved to attack at least four “Tea PartyCongressmen and marginalize them by kicking them off committees. An unnamed sourceclaimed that the Congressmen deserved it:

“a GOP leadership aide told NBC News that the four members — Michigan’s Justin Amash, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, Walter Jones  of North Carolina and Arizona’s David Schweikert — were ‘clearly not team players.’”

Right. Because Team GOP has been such a wonderful gift to loyal Republicans, obviously anyone who won’t “play ball” with them must be given bench time. Unless, of course, the entire starting group are a bunch of losers and we need a replacement team. Perhaps Amash, Huelskamp, Jones, and Schweikert are hoping that voters will select others like them and kick Boehner and his ilk off the team.

Ron Paul has recently stated the obvious. He said,

“They’re going to punish freshmen legislators? If you’re looking for dissension, then you’re going to get it… These congressmen will never cave. They’re going to get the support of the people … They will become heroes.”

How can anyone argue with this?

But I think the most telling remark Paul made was his characterization of why some people get persecuted by their fellow Republican Congressmen: “You get punched for having sincere beliefs.”

What I don’t understand is how Boehner and his fellows cannot understand that they are burning down their own house. Whether candidates are sincere or lying, the voters want to believe they are choosing a candidate who has principles other than simply staying in office for personal gain. To publicly advertise that anyone who believes in a balance budget and an unencumbered economy is simply going to be excluded from “the club” is to invite being kicked out of office. Boehner has got to realize that he can’t just pretend to care about the looming debt crisis and continue to not do anything about it.

As it stands now, Boehner has pretty much publicly demonstrated who in Congress belongs to the future of the Republican Party, assuming the GOP has any future at all.

As far as I can guess, Boehner hopes to see Democrats keep the White House and plans that Republicans will be forced to vote for, and lose with, the kind of candidates we have had to put up with for the last two election cycles. His value to the ruling class will be in diverting Conservative energy into supporting non-Conservative Republican candidates.

But I don’t think Boehner is going to get his way. The more desperate the American economy gets, the more Boehner will have to openly work to put down Conservatives in Congress. And the more Boehner’s evil work becomes visible to all, the more he is going to enrage conservative voters.

My hope and prayer is that 2014 give us a new GOP in Congress.

Petraeus, Benghazi, and the Naked Cover-Up

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This is from Godfather Politics.

What did Petraeus know about Benghazi and when did he know it?

Why not force Petraeus to testify?

What did Obama know about the affair and when?

David Petraeus was scheduled to testify today about the Benghazi massacre and Administration cover-up. But now he is not going to. Allegedly he got naked with someone other than his wife. He confessed to this affair in a letter of resignation he submitted to President Obama on Thursday (the same day Fox News reported Congress would call on him to testify), asking to resign “for personal reasons.” Yesterday, President Obama accepted his resignation. He is suddenly no longer director of the CIA.

But if he was the director at the time of the Benghazi incident, and if he has been briefed up until now, why shouldn’t he be the one to testify? Does Congress’ summons not apply to him if his job title changes?

An added factor is that, at this stage in the reporting, we are told that Petraeus volunteered the information about his affair, but we are also told that it was uncovered by others:

“CIA Director David Petraeus resigned Friday after admitting to an extramarital affair — an affair with his biographer that was revealed over the course of an FBI investigation, Fox News has learned. The FBI had been investigating an unrelated and much broader case before stumbling on the affair. Fox News has learned that during the course of this investigation, the name of biographer Paula Broadwell came up. The FBI followed that lead and in doing so, uncovered his affair with her. The FBI for some time was concerned that perhaps Petraeus was some sort of victim, but there has been no evidence discovered to back up such concerns.”

On its face, this is a naked cover-up. Why would the FBI expose Petraeus? I realize that there are good security reasons (as well as moral ones) to forbid people involved in national security to have affairs. But does anyone think those rules are actually applied to people with real power? I have a hard time believing that.

And would Obama think this was a reason Petraeus would have to resign? Supposedly, Petraeus has a deep sense of honor that makes him do this. But if that sense of honor didn’t keep him from the affair, why would it make him resign afterward?

The timing of this is just too perfect. Nothing is discovered until after the election but before testimony is given to Congress. One theory is that the Obama Administration is behind the revelation that Petraeus was having an extra-marital affair because they were angered that he said things about Benghazi that cast doubt on their story. But if that is the case, why wouldn’t Congress still want to hear Petraeus’ testimony? What is to keep them from calling him to testify even if he is no longer the Director of Central Intelligence?

I have to wonder if the Obama Administration is telling Petraeus that he had better keep his story in line with theirs or else his lover is going to be charged with espionage.  Thus:

“Meanwhile, law enforcement sources told NBC News that the FBI is currently investigating Petraeus’ biographer, who had extensive access to the general, for improperly trying to access his email and possibly gaining access to classified information. The sources emphasized that Petraeus was not under investigation and added that they did not believe the investigation into author Paula Broadwell would result in criminal charges.”

Of course, the other possibility is that Petraeus doesn’t really want to testify. Maybe he has some involvement he doesn’t want to come to light.

There is no way of knowing yet what is true, but all this strongly indicates that what happened in Benghazi is extremely important and that the White House is vulnerable. It is very hard to believe this resignation is a naked coincidence.

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Obama Supporters Want to Murder Romney Over Food Stamps

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This is from Godfather Politics.

The media goes nuts over and the Secret Service investigates chairs in trees.

They the people hanging chairs in tree are racists wanting to lynch Obama.

Yet Obama supporters say they want to murder Mitt Romney its is free speech.

Saying  publicly you want to murder someone should be checked out.

Before, during, and after the debate, Twitter exploded with comments calling for Romney’s assassination. Most of the comments contained some level of profanity. Some of the more benign comments were “I’m gonna murder Romney right now,” and (misspellings included) “Somebody needs to asassinate This mofo Romney.”

We’ve been reassured by a group called Think Progress, more or less a front group for the Obama campaign and closely aligned with Media Matters, that no one should be concerned, and only those that draw attention to the comments are to blame.

Think Progress had an article accusing the Drudge Report of “stirring up another race-baiting conspiracy theory” for simply linking to articles that show Obama supporters on Twitter commenting about how they want to murder Romney. These were legitimate tweets by legitimate Twitter users. This isn’t a “conspiracy theory.” People were calling for Romney’s assassination if he wins.

Many of the commenters calling for Romney’s death were angry because they thought Romney would take away their food stamps if he won. (Sounds like a conspiracy theory.) The very thought of being removed from their host makes them want to murder whoever tries to get in the way of their parasitic relationship. They’re acting like radical Muslims overseas who hold up signs that read, “Behead those who insult the Prophet Muhammad!” The Twitter comments might as well read, “Behead those who insult the Prophet Obama!” Yet, after all this, Think Progress is telling us, “There’s nothing to see here. Move along.”

NBC News carried a story detailing all 2 incidents where white Republicans had taken empty chairs and hung them in their trees (or “hanged” them, depending on whether or not you think the chairs were actually being punished). The media were calling these incidents “empty chair lynchings,” making the connection to Clint Eastwood’s “empty chair” speech, where the empty chair represented Obama. Since Obama is half-black, and since white people have lynched black people in the past, there must be some dark, racial connection, and these people (all 2) may have been making death threats against the president. The Secret Service is now “investigating” these incidents.

These 2 “empty chair lynchings” were newsworthy, but everybody should just ignore all the actual and detailed death threats against Romney. Just bringing it up is a “conspiracy theory.”

We all know that local, state and federal law enforcement monitor social networking sites. They scan for any “anti-government” rhetoric that they think might lead to a terrorist attack. People have been investigated, arrested and detained for Facebook and Twitter posts that are nothingcompared to the Obama supporters blatantly calling out for the murder of Romney. Will the Secret Service or FBI be investigating all those tweets? Don’t count on it.

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70 Facts About Our Economy Obama Probably Doesn’t Want You To See



This is from The Blaze.

This will make you want to grab a pitch fork and a torch.

With crap like this we will never have a balanced budget.

The link at the bottom will give you 98 pages of waste.

A stunning collection of 70 facts about the U.S. economy just posted on the web is probably not going to make it into the next campaign ad from the folks at Obama for America. However, you might want to read it.

TheBlaze has culled 10 from the list of 70 here:

  • A stunning amount spent on stupid studies like Why do chimps throw their poop? – Almost $600,000 of your tax dollars was sent to the folks who studied chimpanzee poop tossing, plus $198,195 paid to find out if “tweeting” makes people happy… It’s all HERE.

The full list, complete with links to the supporting stories, can be found here.

h/t Brian Wilson (not the Beach Boy)


News Versus Propaganda

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This is by Thomas Sowell in Town Hall.

In all of my 58 years the news has been leftist propaganda.

Since so many in the media cannot resist turning every tragedy into a political talking point, it was perhaps inevitable that (1) someone would try to link the shooting rampage at the Batman movie in Colorado to the Tea Party, and that (2) some would try to make it a reason to impose more gun control laws.

Too many people in the media cannot seem to tell the difference between reporting the news and creating propaganda.

NBC News apparently could not resist doctoring the transcript of the conversation between George Zimmerman and the police after the Trayvon Martin shooting. Now ABC News took the fact that the man arrested for the shooting in Colorado was named James Holmes to broadcast to the world the fact that there is a James Holmes who is a member of the Tea Party in Colorado.

The fact has since come out that these are two different men, one in his 20s and the other in his 50s. But corrections never catch up with irresponsible news broadcasts. The James Holmes who belongs to the Tea Party has been deluged with phone calls. I hope he sues ABC News for every dime they have.

This is not the first time that the mainstream media have tried to create a link between conservatives and violence. Years ago, the Oklahoma City bombing was blamed on Rush Limbaugh, despite the absence of any evidence that the bomber was inspired by Rush Limbaugh.

Similar things have happened repeatedly, going all the way back to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which was blamed on a hostile right-wing atmosphere in Dallas, even though the assassin had a long history of being on the far left fringe.

But, where the shoe is on the other foot — as when the Unabomber had a much marked-up copy of an environmentalist book by Al Gore — the media heard no evil, saw no evil and spoke no evil. If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly.

As for gun control advocates, I have no hope whatever that any facts whatever will make the slightest dent in their thinking — or lack of thinking. New York’s Mayor Bloomberg and CNN’s Piers Morgan were on the air within hours of the shooting, pushing the case for gun control laws.

You might never know, from what they and other gun control advocates have said, that there is a mountain of evidence that gun control laws not only fail to control guns but are often counterproductive. However, for those other people who still think facts matter, it is worth presenting some of those facts.

Do countries with strong gun control laws have lower murder rates? Only if you cherry-pick the data.

Britain is a country with stronger gun control laws than the United States, and lower murder rates. But Mexico, Russia and Brazil are also countries with stronger gun control laws than the United States — and their murder rates are much higher than ours. Israel and Switzerland have even higher rates of gun ownership than the United States, and much lower murder rates than ours.

Even the British example does not stand up very well under scrutiny. The murder rate in New York has been several times that in London for more than two centuries — and, for most of that time, neither place had strong gun control laws. New York had strong gun control laws years before London did, but New York still had several times the murder rate of London.

It was in the later decades of the 20th century that the British government clamped down with severe gun control laws, disarming virtually the entire law-abiding citizenry. Gun crimes, including murder, rose as the public was disarmed.

Meanwhile, murder rates in the United States declined during the same years when murder rates in Britain were rising, which were also years when Americans were buying millions more guns per year.

The real problem, both in discussions of mass shootings and in discussions of gun control, is that too many people are too committed to a vision to allow mere facts to interfere with their beliefs, and the sense of superiority that those beliefs give them.

Any discussion of facts is futile when directed at such people. All anyone can do is warn others about the propaganda.


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