All over the globe, people are recording extremely loud sounds coming from the sky. In many instances, these ominous noises sound like someone is blowing a trumpet. So what are we supposed to make of these “apocalyptic” sounds? Should we be concerned? Well, what we do know is that this is truly a global phenomenon. In addition to being heard at locations all over the United States and Canada, these sounds have also been recorded in Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, England, Costa Rica, Ukraine and France. If you go to YouTube and type in “strange sounds”, you will literally get hundreds of results from all over the planet. Of course there are many scientists that insist that there must be a “rational explanation” for these strange sounds. Some theories have suggested fracking, “rock bursts”, venting of high-pressure gas, atmospheric pressure or the natural “background noise” of our planet as the causes of these sounds, but so far none of those theories have been proven. But two things seem certain – these noises sure are creepy, and they just keep on happening.
Did you know that if you took every single penny away from everyone in the United States that it still would not be enough to pay off the national debt? Today, the debt of the federal government exceeds $145,000 per household, and it is getting worse with each passing year. Many believe that if we paid it off a little bit at a time that we could eventually pay it all off, but as you will see below that isn’t going to work either. It has been projected that “mandatory” federal spending on programs such as Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare plus interest on the national debt will exceed total federal revenue by the year 2025. That is before a single dollar is spent on the U.S. military, homeland security, paying federal workers or building any roads and bridges. So no, we aren’t going to be “paying down” our debt any time in the foreseeable future. And of course it isn’t just our 18 trillion dollar national debt that we need to be concerned about. Overall, Americans are a total of 58 trillion dollars in debt. 35 years ago, that number was sitting at just 4.3 trillion dollars. There is no way in the world that all of that debt can ever be repaid. The only thing that we can hope for now is for this debt bubble to last for as long as possible before it finally explodes.
National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden said Thursday that 2016 presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) 10-hour anti-surveillance filibuster represents a “sea change” in the nation’s feelings about government spying.
Snowden made the remarks during an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit.
The whistle-blower said of Paul’s filibuster:
It represents a sea change from a few years ago, when intrusive new surveillance laws were passed without any kind of meaningful opposition or debate. Whatever you think about Rand Paul or his politics, it’s important to remember that when he took the floor to say “No” to any length of reauthorization of the Patriot Act, he was speaking for the majority of Americans — more than 60% of whom want to see this kind of mass surveillance reformed or ended.
A watchdog report out Thursday found that the FBI took seven years to fulfill a legal obligation to adopt additional privacy protections for searches authorized by the controversial Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
According to the report, Congress demanded that the agency adopt “minimization procedures” to ensure that it didn’t collect information outside the scope of the FISC authorization and implement a plan for handling such material.
According to the Justice Department’s inspector general, it took the agency seven years to create the “minimization procedures” for digital data and five years to implement similar policies designed to protect business records.
“The [Justice] Department and FBI ultimately produced final minimization procedures specifically designed for Section 215 materials in 2013,” the report says.
Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin — the same Mark Halperin who treated Ted Cruz like a billboard for Hispanic stereotypes earlier this month — recently sat down with a group of Hillary Clinton supporters in Iowa to gently question them on why they’re so enthusiastic about putting her in the White House in 2016.
Halperin wasn’t as aggressive in his questioning of Clinton’s small group of everyman fans as he’d been in questioning Cruz. Maybe that’s appropriate: Cruz is a candidate for president; these folks are just, well, folks.
Either way, Clinton’s supporters shared plenty of enthusiasm for their favorite candidate — but they didn’t share much knowledge. In fact, their appreciation for Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state under President Obama was downright vacuous.
One of the panelists among the group of 10 Iowa Democrats (Halperin referred to him as “Bill”) set Halperin up to ask about Hillary’s accomplishments by referencing her work as secretary in some of his general comments.
Following the unspeakable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, gun control advocates have routinely attempted to promote anti-2nd Amendment legislation as necessary to protect children in the U.S. A new bill making its way through the Louisiana Legislature represents one of the few genuine efforts to do just that.
The GOP legislation, H.B. 446, would allow for public schools in the state to set aside time and resources to teach students gun safety lessons modeled on the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe program.
“The goal is to save children’s lives and protect our youth,” said Louisiana Rep. Blake Miguez (R-Erath), the legislation’s sponsor.
Miguez, who was elected to the state legislature during a special election in February, is a firearm enthusiast who was once a contestant on the History Channel shooting competition “Top Shot.”
Nearly 50 percent of Americans who are in the labor force, but remain unemployed, have abandoned all attempts at finding a job.
That’s the conclusion of a new Harris poll of 1,500 unemployed Americans, which found that 47 percent have, according to the poll summary, “completely given up” looking for work.
“The economy is giving the unemployed reasons to quit looking for work,” it continues:
- 47 percent agree with the statement, “I’ve completely given up on looking for a job.” (7 percent said they “agree completely,” 7 percent “agree a lot,” 15 percent “agree somewhat,” and 18 percent “agree a little.”
- 60 percent say looking for work has been harder than expected. 10 percent say it’s been easier than expected.
- Nevertheless, 91 percent agree with the statement, “I’m hopeful that I will find a job I really want in the next six months.”
WASHINGTON (TNS) — Fox News and CNN plan to use an average of recent polls to pick the candidates for the first two Republican presidential debates, with the top 10 making the cut for the main event.
TV producers and Republican Party officials agree that having a dozen or more candidates crowded onto a debate stage would make for bad television and a fairly unenlightening discussion. Candidates would get only a few minutes each to respond to one or two questions.
Republican officials have shied away from setting criteria about which candidates to invite. So the networks hosting the debates apparently will take on the unpopular task of telling some number of ambitious politicians that they can’t reap the benefit of exposure on the national debate stage.
Fox is the first up. The network is scheduled to host a debate from Cleveland in mid-August.
Hi. I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. I’m not endorsing anyone for president (yet). But I am on the record as saying Scott Walker has the perfect record: as a governor with a proven record of success; as the man who stood up to the money and manpower of every union in America three times in four years; as the tough guy who stood up to riots at the capital, protests at his home and death threats against his wife and children and held firm and reformed government employee pensions; as the taxpayer hero who turned a $3 billion deficit into a $1 billion surplus and gave the money back to taxpayers.
On May 21, 1881, humanitarians Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons founded the American National Red Cross, now known as the American Red Cross.
Barton, who had worked with the sick and wounded during the war to prevent secession (aka American Civil War), later went on to work for the International Red Cross by helping wounded Germans during the Franco-Prussian War in the 1870s. After she returned to the U.S., she organized an American branch of the International Red Cross in 1879, and it became the American National Red Cross two years later.
In 1900, the American Red Cross (ARC) received its first U.S. federal charter; and Barton headed the organization into her 80s. She died in 1912.
While he hasn’t yet made an official announcement, it’s pretty clear to everyone that Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, is running for president. So you would think he’d be prepared to answer reporters’ questions — especially ones about his brother’s policies in Iraq.
And yet, when Fox News personality Megyn Kelly tossed one to him, Bush stumbled badly in his response. In a pre-recorded segment aired a week ago Monday, Kelly asked: “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?”
Bush replied, “I would have,” and pointed out that Hillary Clinton, who was then in the Senate, had voted to authorize the invasion. His reply stirred up a hornet’s nest of response. The next day, he said he had misunderstood the question. On Wednesday, he tried to defuse the growing controversy by saying it would be a disservice to people who lost love ones in the conflict to consider such hypothetical questions.
Have you noticed that severe drought seems to be gripping much of the planet right now? You probably have. But why is this happening? Could it be possible that we are doing this to ourselves? Many want to try to link the rise and fall of precipitation levels to temperature variations, but there is something much more obvious that they are overlooking. Trees play an absolutely critical role in our water cycle, and every single minute the amount of land that is deforested around the globe is equivalent to 36 football fields. By extracting water from the soil and releasing it into the atmosphere, trees provide a critical link in the hydrologic cycle that we all depend upon. If there were no more trees, life on this planet would become exceedingly difficult for humanity. So the fact that we are literally ripping the lungs out of the planet is a very big deal.
The Greek government says that a “moment of truth” is coming on June 5th. Either their lenders agree to give them more money by that date, or Greece will default on a 300 million euro loan payment to the IMF. Of course it won’t technically be a “default” according to IMF rules for another 30 days after that, but without a doubt news that Greece cannot pay will send shockwaves throughout the financial world. At that point, those holding Greek bonds will start to panic as they realize that they might not get paid as well. All over Europe, there are major banks that are holding large amounts of Greek debt and derivatives that are related to the performance of Greek debt. If something is not done to avert disaster at the last moment, a default by Greece could be the spark that sets off a major European financial crisis this summer.
A new report from the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Agriculture questions whether a $4 billion program that’s lasted through three decades has accomplished anything — anything at all.
The report focuses on the USDA’s “Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Programs,” a series of assistance measures provided through various sub-agencies of the USDA. Its findings are inconclusive, to say the least.
While the IG audit did acknowledge that the government had paid out billions of dollars to farmers, it concluded that there was no way to know whether the money had accomplished the program’s goals — largely because the program never established any goals beyond the one implied by its name. It’s a problem that dates all the way back to 1982, when an earlier Government Accountability Office report advised the USDA to come up with some way to measure the program’s effectiveness.
From the audit:
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should be dissolved and have its mission, agents and investigators merged into the FBI, the Center for American Progress concluded in a new report following a two-year investigation of the agency.
“Every day, thousands of dedicated agents and civilians working at ATF fight to keep guns out of the hands of criminals — many risk their lives,” said Arkadi Gerney, CAP senior vice president. “But too often, the leadership, management, and resources lag behind the dedication of the agents.”
After interviewing more dozens of current and former ATF agents and other members of law enforcement, CAP concluded that the ATF suffers from serious management, funding and coordination problems.
The center notes:
A kid in New Jersey was suspended from school earlier this month after it was discovered he had a foam “bullet” — the kind you shoot out of a Nerf gun — in his pocket.
Aarin Moody, a fifth-grader at the Uptown School Complex — a campus of the Atlantic City School District — earned a week-long suspension after he reached into his pocket to fish for a late note from his mother, and the Nerf bullet fell out.
“I pulled out my late slip, and that’s when the item fell out of my pocket and a teacher had seen it,” Aarin told Fox News.
Compounding Aarin’s grave offense was the reported fact that his foam bullet had a toothpick pressed into it — an aggravating circumstance that transformed the device, in school administrators’ eyes, into a “self-constructed weapon.”
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.C.) wants to slow the trillions of dollars in damage unelected bureaucrats do to the economy each year with a new resolution that would increase congressional scrutiny of regulations.
Rounds’ Regulation Sensibility Through Oversight Restoration (RESTORE) Resolution would create a Joint Select Committee tasked with reviewing existing regulations and new regulatory proposals with an eye toward reducing costs and overreach.
“The cost of federal overregulation affects every single American,” Rounds said of the proposal. “It is a hidden tax that for too long has been dictated by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in Washington rather than elected representatives who our founders intended to be the voice of the people. The regulators have essentially become a fourth branch of government and de facto legislative body. It’s regulation without representation, and it’s wrong.”
The bill would also require lawmakers to explore the possibility of establishing a permanent committee to review any future regulatory proposal with an estimated economic impact of $50 million or more.
“We’re on a mission from God,” declared Elwood Blues in the 1980 cult classic “The Blues Brothers.” It’s the story of off-kilter brothers who are convinced the Lord had spoken to them. The audience knows that because God doesn’t talk to musicians. But what if American presidents say they have had personal conversations with the Almighty? Who can say?
It’s just a theory, but it could be the crux of Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush’s problem when he is repeatedly asked if he would have invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003. Perhaps he wonders: “What if God told me I had to do it, just the way he told George?”
A federal judge has barred the District of Columbia from going forward with a concealed carry permitting ordinance intended to replace an earlier ordinance that had been declared unconstitutional as well.
Judge Frederick J. Scullin’s Monday order found the city’s new law unconstitutional on the grounds that it places too heavy a burden on would-be concealed carry holders to demonstrate to local police that they have a “good reason” for owning a handgun.
Scullin had found the city’s older ordinance unconstitutional because it banned residents from any means of obtaining concealed carry permits.
A handful of applicants under the new ordinance filed a lawsuit against the city after discovering how onerous — to the point of exclusion — the new burden of proof, under the new ordinance, actually is. Not long after that suit had been filed, the city dropped its appeal of the earlier ruling — an appeal to reinstitute the old ordinance’s outright ban on handguns.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a long-shot candidate in the 2016 presidential race, unveiled legislation Tuesday that would require the nation’s federal and state governments to foot the bill for citizens’ college educations.
Sanders said the current cost of college in the U.S. is a “national disgrace.”
“We live in a highly competitive global economy and, if our economy is to be strong, we need the best-educated work force in the world. That will not happen if, every year, hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and if millions more leave school deeply in debt,” the lawmaker said in a statement.
Sanders’ proposal, modeled after how higher education is handled in many European countries, would allow U.S. students to obtain a four-year degree for free. But the program would cost taxpayers an estimated $750 billion over the next decade.