Fed Up With Media Circus, One Reporter Explains Why He Walked Away From Ferguson

Freelance journalist Ryan L. Schlosser went to Ferguson, Missouri to report on the rioting that followed the controversial police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, on August 9.

He came away disgusted with the way the story was being reported, and the callous, self-serving manner in which national and international news outlets insinuated themselves, and their apparent agendas, into the much smaller local narrative – all while demonstrating a fundamental disregard for Ferguson residents while they were guests in their city.

“After what I saw last night, I will not be returning,” wrote Schlosser, who went to Ferguson to report on the riots in collaboration with Al Jazeera America. “The behavior and number of journalists there is so appalling, that I cannot in good conscience continue to be a part of the spectacle.”

Does he give examples? Of course he does:

  • Cameramen yelling at residents in public meetings for standing in way of their cameras
  • Cameramen yelling at community leaders for stepping away from podium microphones to better talk to residents
  • TV crews making small talk and laughing at the spot where Mike Brown was killed, as residents prayed, mourned

IRS Answers Due Today In Lawsuit Over Missing Lerner Emails

The Internal Revenue Service is expected to present sworn testimony today to a federal judge who cracked down on the agency after it offered dismissive responses to a previous discovery order aimed at explaining how Lois Lerner’s infamous “lost” emails went missing.

The new order, issued last week by U.S. District Court Judge Emmett G. Sullivan in a lawsuit brought against the agency by Judicial Watch, left nothing to the imagination after the IRS’s previous attempt at satisfying a broader order by Sullivan went largely unheeded.

Sullivan gave the agency until Aug. 22 to come up with under-oath answers to a host of new demands:

Democrats Fear Obamacare Just Like Everybody Else

There’s some party-line disparity to be found in the results of a new breakdown of U.S. employees’ perceptions of how Obamacare will affect their jobs, but not much. Even Democrats with jobs appear nonplussed by the prospect of their bosses abandoning their group health coverage plans in favor of online Obamacare exchanges — as well as the poorer-quality coverage that would accompany it.

A May report by S&P Capital IQ predicted that Obamacare — contrary to its stated purpose of making healthcare affordable for individuals — would actually save companies listed on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index a ton of money (nearly a trillion dollars’ worth).

How? By driving the cost of employer-sponsored group plans so high that the companies would ultimately just scrap their in-house coverage and pay the (eventually) mandatory penalty. The employees, meanwhile, would fend for themselves on the Obamacare exchanges.

This week, a new round of analyses revealed that employees through the U.S. are beginning to realize what that means for them — and that, in most cases, it isn’t good.

The Hill reported it this way, but the writer buried the lede:

The Long Train Of Abuses: Next Stop, Ferguson

In 1776, what may well have been the largest gathering of human intelligence in history decided to put a lid on what may well have been the most important convention in human history by issuing what may well have been the most important press release in human history. Known forever as the “Declaration of Independence,” the statement crackled with the kind of robust language and no-nonsense honesty that made that august assemblage so much cooler than their legislative progeny. (Seriously, compare and contrast: the Continental Congress versus the Detroit City Council.)

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Police Shoot First And Cover Up The Questions Later

On Aug. 11, Dillon Taylor, a 20-year-old white man, exited a Salt Lake City 7-Eleven with two friends. The three were confronted by a black police officer barking orders. Taylor was almost immediately shot dead.

According to the Salt Lake Police Department, the officer was responding to a report of a man waving a gun in the area of the store and Taylor matched the description of the reported suspect. Taylor’s friends say he (Taylor) was wearing headphones and likely didn’t hear the officer’s commands. Police say the officer thought Taylor was reaching for a gun. Taylor’s friends say he was likely either hitching up his pants or reaching for his phone. Regardless, Taylor — and his friends — were all unarmed, or at least that’s what his friends say. The SLPD won’t say one way or the other.

Two days before Taylor was murdered by a police officer, 18-year-old Michael Brown, a young black man, was shot down by a white police officer. He, too, was unarmed.

Brown’s shooting resulted in protests and riots and recognition — by some people (finally) — that American has morphed into a police state. This is something I have been telling you for some time, and it’s why we created our Power of the State section.

Large Holes Forming Near The New Madrid Fault And A Giant Crack In The Earth In North Mexico

Earthquake MapDid you know that the number of big earthquakes during the first three months of 2014 was more than double the yearly average of what we have experienced since 1979? And did you know that the number of earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S. has quintupled in recent years?  If you do not believe this, just keep reading.  We live at a time when earthquakes are increasing in frequency and severity.  And we are starting to see some very unusual activity in places that have been quiet for a very long time.  For example, large holes are starting to mysteriously appear in Indiana near the New Madrid fault zone.  And a giant crack in the ground nearly a kilometer long has appeared in northern Mexico.  Could these be indications that even greater earthquake activity is on the way?

Most Americans don’t realize that the greatest earthquakes in U.S. history happened along the New Madrid fault zone.  Back during the early part of the 19th century, a series of immensely powerful earthquakes rattled the entire eastern half of the nation.  Documents that we have from that era say that those earthquakes were so powerful that they were felt more than 1,000 miles away.  And there are many that believe that if we had a similar earthquake today that the damage caused would almost be incalculable.

New Bill In Congress Would Ban Private Citizens From Owning Body Armor

Banned - Public DomainA new law that has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives “would prohibit the sale, transfer or possession of military-level body armor by civilians”.  In other words, private citizens all over the entire nation would be permanently banned from owning body armor if this bill gets passed and signed into law. The bill that I am talking about is H.R. 5344 (The Responsible Body Armor Possession Act), and you can view the proposed legislation for yourself right here.  The driving force behind this new law is Democrat Mike Honda from California.  To Honda, it doesn’t matter that large numbers of very responsible Americans have purchased body armor to protect themselves and their families in a society that is rapidly decaying.  Instead, it makes perfect sense to Honda to ban body armor because “access to military-grade body armor emboldens criminals and mass shooters to act.”  And Honda wants to make possession of body armor a criminal offense with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.  This is absolutely crazy, and it is yet another example of the “police state mentality” that is so prevalent among our politicians these days.

Not So Fast And Furious: Judge Orders DOJ To Hand Over List Of Withheld Gunrunning Documents

Attorney General Eric Holder may have gone about his business with a Congressional contempt charge hanging over his head for the past two years, but the gunrunning scandal that got him that way hasn’t disappeared.

On Wednesday, a federal judge ordered Holder’s Department of Justice to hand over to Congressional investigators a list of the documents it has attempted to keep secret since 2012, when Holder citied an innovative interpretation of executive privilege.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson gave the DOJ until October 1 to deliver the list to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The order does not compel DOJ to surrender the documents themselves, but Jackson had indicated during a May hearing that she would force Holder to convince her, one document at a time, that the information should be protected by executive privilege.

The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed more than 1,000 pages of documents relating to the so-called gun-walking scandal in late 2011. Holder resisted, leading to the contempt charge on a 255-67 House vote that included 17 Democratic votes in favor of contempt.

GAO Report: Department Of Defense Violated The Law In Bergdahl-Guantanamo Prisoner Swap

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has found that the Department of Defense violated the law when it carried out the Obama Administration’s arranged swap of five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay for the freedom of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

In a ruling released today, GAO General Counsel Susan A. Poling confirmed that the DoD unlawfully spent nearly $1 million in funds to make the swap, because the appropriations measure that funds the department specifically requires at least 30 days’ notice to relevant Congressional committees before appropriated money can be used to transfer Guantanamo prisoners.

From today’s decision, addressed to Republican members of the Senate Appropriations Committee:

At issue in this opinion is whether DOD violated section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014, for failing to provide at least 30 days of advance notice to specific congressional committees, and if so, whether DOD also violated the Antideficiency Act.

Do We Have A Sociopath In The White House?

Hi. I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. Things aren’t going so well for America. There was major rioting all week in Ferguson, Missouri. There are still no jobs for middle-class Americans. Our southern border is still under siege. Obamacare is a disaster. Our veterans are dying at the hands of the incompetent VA. ISIS threatens to create a radical Muslim empire in the Middle East. And the world (from Israel to Ukraine to Syria to Iraq) is literally on fire.

Where is our President? On vacation… again. 

This time, even the media are whispering. “Where is Obama? Isn’t his indifference to the problems of America and disconnect from reality, strange?” The simple answer is, “No.” This is how he’s been his entire adult life. It all started at Columbia University.

I believe we have a president who is an arrogant, egomaniacal sociopath.

Here is the definition of a “sociopath” from the Urban Dictionary online:

A person with antisocial personality disorder. Probably the most widely recognized personality disorder. A sociopath is often well liked because of their charm and high charisma, but they do not usually care about other people. They think mainly of themselves and often blame others for the things that they do. They have a complete disregard for rules and lie constantly. They seldom feel guilt or learn from punishments.

How Much (Or How Little) Will $100 Buy In Each Of The 50 States?

Everyone knows that location matters in determining the relative cost of equal goods. It’s amazing, though, just how great a disparity exists between the costliest and the cheapest locations in the U.S. when it comes to stretching (or squeezing) the value of a dollar for all it’s worth.

The Tax Foundation is out with a new infographic that compares the relative buying power of $100 in each of the 50 U.S. states, along with some focused commentary suggesting even bigger value discrepancies between localities and metro areas.

The intent of the graphic is to show “the real value of $100 in each state,” according to The Tax Foundation. As a rule (there are exceptions), states that shelter lower wages are typically the same states that afford residents more buying power for their $100. Conversely, goods and services in states that offer higher wages usually also cost more than in their lower-income counterparts.

JPriceParity2012

What that means, in most cases, is that lower income and lower costs in one state — or higher income and higher costs in another — tend to balance out. Residents of lower-income states who manage to command higher wages (through pensions, independent wealth, etc.), though, can enjoy both high income and low costs — a sweet financial proposition for those fortunate enough to earn high and pay low.

Ruby Ridge: The Advent Of The Modern U.S. Police State

On Aug. 21, 1992, agents of the federal government shot down 14-year-old Sammy Weaver and the Weaver family dog, setting off what has become known as the “incident” at Ruby Ridge. It turned into a multiple-day siege in which federal agents, using arrest warrants based on fabricated evidence and a stack of lies from scurrilous government informant sources, revealed the burgeoning police state in America.

Former U.S. Army combat engineer Randy Weaver moved his family to northern Idaho in the 1980s to escape what he saw as a corrupted world. The family built a cabin and began home schooling their children. He appeared on the radar of Federal law enforcement agencies after a neighbor with whom he had a land dispute wrote letters to the Federal government and local law enforcement saying that Weaver had threatened in the mid-1980s to kill the pope and President Ronald Reagan.

For the next several years, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) sought to either entrap him or get him to work as an informant and infiltrate local militia groups. They finally entrapped him — as an Idaho jury found — when they bought shotguns from him, sawed them off below the legal limit and accused Weaver of selling illegal weapons. He was indicted in December 1990.

Stop The Militarization Of Our Police

Capt. Ron Johnson pulled his men away from aggressive protesters in Ferguson on Monday night.

MCT/Capt. Ron Johnson pulled his men away from aggressive protesters in Ferguson on Monday night.

What on Earth is happening with the local police forces in this country? The Washington Post vividly described just how much things have changed:

The events in Ferguson, Missouri … are an uncomfortable reminder of the militarization of America’s small town law enforcement agencies. The photos coming out of the town–of heavily armed officers in full combat gear squaring off against unarmed protesters–look like images we’re used to seeing from places like Gaza, Turkey, or Egypt, not from a midwestern suburb of 21,000 people.

Yes, indeed, things are sure different now. And while the massive amounts of military equipment being given to local police may make the cops feel safer, it’s got to be a pretty scary thing for the innocent civilians in their path — and for all of us who prize liberty more than security.

Is it possible that what we’re seeing in Ferguson, and in hundreds of other small towns and cities across the country, is a deliberate plan to transform local police departments into well-armed agencies of the central government?

A Struggle Within? Harry Reid, Democrats Increasingly Frustrated With Aloof Obama

As his second term matures (or festers, if you prefer), President Obama is leading the executive branch into closer alliances with lobbying interests and partisan donors. But he’s doing so at the expense of traditional political alliances, leaving his would-be Democratic allies in the legislative branch to fend for themselves when it comes to crafting policy and forging both intra-party and bipartisan political alliances.

Reportedly, Democratic Congressional leaders — especially Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) — aren’t happy about it.

From an August 18 story in The New York Times:

The meeting in the Oval Office in late June was called to give President Obama and the four top members of Congress a chance to discuss the unraveling situation in Iraq.

But Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, wanted to press another point.

With Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, sitting a few feet away, Mr. Reid complained that Senate Republicans were spitefully blocking the confirmation of dozens of Mr. Obama’s nominees to serve as ambassadors. He expected that the president would back him up and urge Mr. McConnell to relent.

Mr. Obama quickly dismissed the matter.

Islamic State Has More British Muslim Fighters Than Britain Does; U.S. Claims Only A ‘Handful’ Of Americans Have Joined

Whether true or not, U.S. intelligence officials will only divulge to media that they believe a “small handful” of Americans are currently fighting as soldiers within the Islamic State.

But one British parliamentarian believes that the terrorist “caliphate” now boasts more British Muslim recruits than are currently enlisted to fight in Britain’s own armed forces.

Member of Parliament Khalid Mahmood of Birmingham UK told Newsweek on Wednesday that Sunni extremists have successfully recruited 1,500 or more British Muslims to fight in Iraq and Syria over the last three years – at least.

“If you look across the whole of the country [of Syria], and the various communities involved, 500 going over each year would be a conservative estimate,” Mahmood said, referencing the recruitment of fighters dating from the outset of the conflict in Syria.

Here’s more from Newsweek:

The UK Foreign Office said that they believe over 400 individuals have travelled to Syria since the uprising began, but said that they could not give exact numbers.

However Mahmood described such low estimates as “nonsense” and said that the British government was failing to deal with the problem of home-grown extremists. “We’ve not concentrated on the prevention work, we haven’t invested enough in de-radicalisation. It’s tragic, somebody’s got to wake up to it.”

NYPD Settles With Man Arrested For Photographing Police; Reminds Officers They Cannot Object To Being Filmed

The New York Police Department has awarded a $125,000 settlement to a man who filed a civil rights lawsuit against the department, following a 2012 incident in which he was allegedly arrested and strip searched for filming police officers on duty.

Brooklyn resident Dick George agreed to the settlement, only a few days after the department took new measures to refresh officers’ memories about the public’s right to document their activities.

In June of 2012, George allegedly began taking cell phone pictures after observing NYPD officers conduct a controversial, warrantless stop-and-frisk search of three young men in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. He allegedly told the subjects of the search to get the officers’ badge numbers, which led to a face-to-face encounter in which one of the cops reportedly said this:

Now we’re going to give you what you deserve for meddling in our business and when we finish with you, you can sue the city for $5 million and get rich, we don’t care.

After being charged with disorderly conduct, George was released that same day. But the lawsuit alleged that, “prior to releasing Plaintiff [George] from the defendant’s [NYPD] custody, the defendant officers purposely deleted all photographic, audio and video recordings from Plaintiff’s cellular telephone in order to destroy and cover up evidence of their unlawful activities depicted therein.”

30 stats to show to anyone that does not believe the middle class is being destroyed

Abandoned House - Photo by Flickr User baldeaglebluffThe 30 statistics that you are about to read prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the middle class in America is being systematically destroyed.  Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a staggering pace.  Yes, the stock market has soared to unprecedented heights this year and there are a few isolated areas of the country that are doing rather well for the moment.  But overall, the long-term trends that are eviscerating the middle class just continue to accelerate.  Over the past decade or so, the percentage of Americans that are working has gone way down, the quality of our jobs has plummeted dramatically and the wealth of the typical American household has fallen precipitously.  Meanwhile, we have watched median household income decline for five years in a row, we have watched the rate of homeownership in this country decline for eight years in a row and dependence on the government is at an all-time high.  Being a part of the middle class in the United States at this point can be compared to playing a game of musical chairs.  We can all see chairs being removed from the game, and we are all desperate to continue to have a chair every time the music stops playing.  The next time the music stops, will it be your chair that gets removed?

In Iraq, Obama’s Bombing The Wrong Targets

Mission creep is slowly escalating President Barack Obama’s new war on Iraq, as it always does in these cases.

What ostensibly started out as a “humanitarian” mission to rescue people trapped on an Iraqi mountain is morphing into a search and destroy mission. Much to the delight of the military-industrial complex, American fighter jets and drones are now patrolling the skies and blowing up billions of dollars of what was formerly American weapons and materiel abandoned by the Iraqi army as it fled the ISIS hoard.

But Obama’s bombing the wrong targets. If he wants to stop the ISIS threat with bombs, he needs to bomb the source.

ISIS is/was funded by putative U.S. allies Saudi Arabia (the same country that spawned 15 of the 9/11 hijackers and funded the attacks), Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

The terror group rose from the ashes of Libya following the overthrow — with U.S. assistance and arms — of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi. ISIS grew in the Syrian civil war, again with U.S. arms, assistance and training. It is, by the way, the same group of people that John McCain and his neocon toadies wanted to overtly assist — as opposed to the covert assistance provided by the regime — in its efforts to overthrow the Syrian government.