What is our society going to look like when our faces are being tracked literally everywhere that we go? As part of the FBI’s new Next Generation Identification System, a facial recognition database known as the Interstate Photo System will have collected 52 million of our faces by the end of 2015. But that is only a small part of the story. According to Edward Snowden, the NSA has been using advanced facial recognition technology for years. In addition, as you will see below, advertising companies are starting to use Minority Report-style face scanners in their billboards and many large corporations see facial recognition technology as a tool that they can use to serve their customers better. Someday soon it may become virtually impossible to go out in public in a major U.S. city without having your face recorded. Is that the kind of society that we want?
To the FBI, this technology does not represent an invasion of privacy. Rather, they are very proud of the fact that they are not going to be so dependent on fingerprinting any longer. The FBI has been developing the Next Generation Identification System for years, and this month it was announced that it is finally fully operational…
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Ron Paul tried this in 2012. Now the House of Representatives is trying again, with some Senate support from Paul’s son Rand: passing a law requiring the comptroller general of the Government Accountability Office to audit the Federal Reserve.
The House voted 333-92 today in favor of a bill, sponsored by Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), that would expose the Federal Reserve to an audit that delves further into the Fed’s monetary policymaking process and market operations than the current annual audit built into the board’s oversight. Only one Republican Congressman voted against the bill; 106 Democrats voted in favor of it also.
As he did in 2012 to advance his father’s efforts, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
Rand Paul justified the need for additional scrutiny and accountability in a lengthy January rant:
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It’s a felony to lie when you fill out ATF Form 4473, the info sheet the federal government requires prospective gun buyers to use when attempting a purchase from any federally licensed reseller. Form 4473 is required before a federal background check can commence via the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), and it asks people things about themselves that the government – if it were to magically begin abiding by the Second Amendment – would not ask.
But the Obama Administration has modified the form in order to glean even more information about gun buyers – and it made the change in relative silence. Perhaps that’s why stories about outraged gun owners are just now making the rounds, even though the form was amended back in 2012.
It’s a subtle change, and one many people may not have noticed, if they’ve ever had to fill out the form more than once. Before 2012, Form 4473 asked “applicants” (an absurd term for an American citizen intending to buy a gun) to identify their race. Since 2012, the form asks for both racial and ethnic background information.
From The Washington Times, which first reported on the fresh backlash Tuesday:
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Government conservation efforts that attempt to protect the wildlife and the environment often include business and individual regulations that create a negative economic impact. In the case of endangered species, outright bans on goods such as ivory create confusion and do little to stop poaching in the countries where a buck can still be made trading the material.
A recent Vice Media interview with New Zealand wildlife conservationist Roger Beattie offers a lesson in capitalism 101: When people have an economic incentive to protect one of Mother Nature’s gifts, they usually will.
Vice’s Soong Phoon writes:
Roger Beattie is a New Zealand wildlife magnate. He runs several enterprises: a kelp farm, an organic sheep farm, and a reserve for weka, or Maori hen. Considering his environmental pedigree after spending 14 years working in conservation, he’s the last person you’d expect to be encouraging people to eat New Zealand’s famous, beloved, and endangered native birds.
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After being stopped by police because the car he was driving matched an outstanding warrant for a woman, a 17-year-old boy ended up stunned with a Taser, on the ground and in the hospital, where medical staff had to induce a coma to stabilize the injuries he allegedly suffered at the hands of the Independence, Missouri, police.
The Kansas City Star reported that the FBI has launched an investigation into the incident and that “Independence police said that they would cooperate ‘hand-in-hand’ with the federal investigation and the officer had been placed on administrative leave.”
The boy, Bryce Masters, is the son of a police officer in nearby Kansas City. He was allegedly driving alone Sunday afternoon in a vehicle whose license plate matched that of a woman whom the police had been hunting.
She wasn’t in the car, and Masters reportedly couldn’t get his window to roll down when ordered to do so by Independence officer Tim Runnels. The Star cites witnesses who indicate Runnels appeared frustrated that Masters wasn’t rolling down his window, and that Runnels’ subsequent alleged actions appeared to show him taking that frustration out on the boy:
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The Obama administration has repeatedly insisted that its plan to respond the Islamic State terror threat in Iraq and Syria will not involve ground troops. But top Pentagon officials told lawmakers Tuesday that they plan to recommend U.S. boots on the ground.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told a Senate panel that, if necessary, U.S. troops would “accompany” Iraqi soldiers on the ground in an advisory role. He also discussed the possibility of U.S. troops in Iraq taking active combat roles by calling in airstrikes from the ground.
“To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific [ISIS] targets, I will recommend that to the president,” Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
President Barack Obama said during a speech last week that his administration wasn’t even considering the possibility of U.S. boots on the ground in the battle against ISIS. But Dempsey suggested that Obama’s position on the matter is less black and white than the administration has suggested.
“At this point, his stated policy is we will not have U.S. ground forces in direct combat,” Dempsey said. “But he has told me as well to come back to him on a case-by-case basis.”
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Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty.” It’s a war that will never be “won” because it is not and was not meant to be.
It’s a $22 trillion boondoggle that currently enslaves 100 million Americans (and over its life enslaved many more), making them essentially wards of the state. It’s destroyed families by undermining self-sufficiency, reducing the work ethic and encouraging out-of-wedlock births while creating an ongoing cycle of dependency. Enslaving Americans was the goal of the statists in the beginning, and it continues unabated.
Why do I say this? Because the statists know that the more dependent we are, the easier we are controlled. Dependency is a natural proclivity of human nature.
The $22 trillion spent on this “war” came from money transferred from producers to create a whole new class of nonproducers, as well as from money printed out of thin air.
The money creators impoverish the people by transferring their wealth to government. When the “money supply” is increased, there is no increase in actual wealth. Just the opposite, new money is negative wealth. It destroys the wealth of the people and/or transfers it to the money creators.
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The U.S. has spent billions of taxpayer dollars to fund military invasions and government manipulation in a decadeslong effort to “spread democracy” in the region. Meanwhile, American citizens have suffered widespread economic uncertainty, been terrorized by corporate greed run amok and have witnessed the federal government’s inability, or unwillingness, to protect the country’s borders.
The U.S. has failed in its effort to export democracy — take a look at Iraq. But America does seem to have taught the Afghan government a thing or two about reckless economic stupidity.
Afghan officials said Tuesday that the nation is broke and in need of an immediate $537 million bailout to keep its government open.
The Afghan government hopes to get the money from the U.S. and other international donors within the next week, according to a report in The Washington Post.
“We hope they will pay for us, and we are asking at once,” Afghan treasury director Alhaj M. Aqa said. “They are asking me when I need it, and I told them this week or we will have a problem.”
The budget shortfall could affect as many as 500,000 government employees in the country, including 350,000 Afghan soldiers and police.
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“[T]he White House’s default position is to double down on the status quo… looking the other way while the regime terrorizes Saudi Arabian citizens, backs reactionary forces in Egypt and Bahrain, and abets violence in Syria. And, of course, avaricious arms merchants, with support from the Pentagon, continue to sell Riyadh billions of dollars in weapons.” — Middle East Research and Information Project, March 27
It rarely makes the news when Saudi Arabia, one of America’s closest allies, beheads nonviolent criminals. Yet in a recent PBS interview, Bill Maher quoted a New York Times story, saying 19 beheadings have occurred in the kingdom since the news broke that the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL) had begun beheading Westerners.
Only when ISIS acts brutally do we notice that centuries-old Islamic laws are barbaric and inhuman, condoning acts so vile that Vice President Joe Biden said the U.S. would pursue ISIS “to the gates of Hell.”
On Sept. 2, Al-Jazeera reported that there has been a spike in the number of people losing their heads in Saudi Arabia:
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When there is a major problem somewhere in the world, Barack Obama loves to show that he is “doing something” by sending a contingent of U.S. troops to the affected area. But is it really wise for Obama to send thousands of young American men and women into the Ebola death zone? What are our troops going to do – shoot the virus? Of course not. The UN already has 6,000 uniformed peacekeepers in the region, and they are not doing much good. The truth is that this is a medical crisis that requires medical personnel. By sending thousands of troops into the heart of the Ebola pandemic, we make it much more likely that Ebola will be brought back to the United States. Obama should keep in mind that hundreds of health workers have become infected even though they wear protective gear and are trained to deal with Ebola patients. Our troops have not been trained to deal with Ebola patients and they probably will not be wearing full protective gear when dealing with the general population. But there are sick people among the general population that could pass Ebola to them.
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“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children”
Progressive efforts to take firearms from the hands of law-abiding citizens may be rounding a corner in the arms race of government overreach. A new report from ProPublica and The New York Times suggests gun control advocates may be turning their attention away from the failed narrative against intimidating-looking assault weapons, raising the specter of a new menace to take their place: handguns.
Using data that’s been available anytime they cared to look, the reporters stumbled across this well-known fact:
“It turns out that big, scary military rifles don’t kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do.”
Read far enough, and the article gets around to acknowledging the inconvenient truth that homicides in which guns were used have declined steadily and dramatically over the past 20 years. But the authors don’t pair that information with another significant fact: Americans – already ahead of other developed nations in per-capita gun ownership – are buying more and more guns, even as the so-called “gun murder” rate has declined.
The article’s one observation that merits much more attention from the left is this:
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The number of volcanoes that are erupting continues to rise, and scientists cannot seem to explain why this is happening. In 2013, we witnessed the most volcanic eruptions worldwide that we have ever seen in a single year, and this increased activity has carried over into 2014. In recent months, we have seen major volcanoes roar to life in Russia, Peru, Hawaii, Reunion Island, Indonesia, and all over Alaska. It is highly unusual for so many volcanoes to all be erupting at the same time. According to Volcano Discovery, a whopping 34 volcanoes are erupting around the globe right now. This is sending a massive amount of dust and ash into the upper atmosphere, and it may explain why many parts of the planet are experiencing strangely cold weather at the moment. If this trend continues, we could potentially be facing years of crop failures and widespread famines all over the world.
And what we have witnessed already may just be the beginning. There are several more very large volcanoes around the globe that scientists are extremely concerned about right now.
For example, just check out what is going on in the Philippines…
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House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) criticized Republicans who disagree with his positions on Tuesday, telling members of the International Franchise Association, “I have a few knuckleheads in my conference.”
The jibe came in the midst of remarks on the dangers of a politicized National Labor Relations Board with the power to exercise the will of whichever party controls the Oval Office at a given time.
Reforming President Barack Obama’s NLRB has been a top Republican priority for some time.
From the Senate floor Tuesday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that a Republican-controlled Senate could make that goal a reality.
“Everybody’s familiar with the president’s unconstitutional effort to pack the National Labor Relations Board with liberal partisans in early 2012,” McConnell said. “It’s time to restore balance to the National Labor Relations Board. Let’s take the politics out of it.”
McConnell’s remarks were made in support of the NLRB Reform Act proposed by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).
“It would restore the NLRB to its proper role as an umpire, instead of an advocate for the Right or the Left,” McConnell said. “It’s the kind of thing our constituents want to see us doing: standing up for reform and against entrenched political interests.”
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This is too easy. There’s a new study out that asserts conservatives and liberals don’t smell the same. Not only that – the study claims that sensitive noses can pick up on the smell of politically like-minded people, and differentiate that smell from that of people who hold political views with which they don’t agree.
The American Journal of Political Science has published the findings of an academic study called “Assortative Mating on Ideology Could Operate Through Olfactory Cues,” which claims that “[a] growing body of evidence reveals that the mechanisms that account for differences in ideological attitudes are genetically and biologically influenced and conscript olfactory processes.”
In other words, people use their sense of smell, whether they realize it or not, to detect when they’re in the company of someone who thinks as they do.
Implicit in the findings are that people unsurprisingly prefer to hang out with others who share their views – in part because they find their scent more agreeable than those whose views differ from their own.
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The Daily Signal’s Robert Rector in a Tuesday commentary tells us what the federal government has been able to accomplish after 50 years and $22 trillion taxpayer dollars spent waging President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.
Over 100 million people, about one third of the U.S. population, received aid from at least one welfare program at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient in 2013. If converted into cash, current means-tested spending is five times the amount needed to eliminate all poverty in the U.S.
But today the Census will almost certainly proclaim that around 14 percent of Americans are still poor. The present poverty rate is almost exactly the same as it was in 1967 a few years after the War on Poverty started. Census data actually shows that poverty has gotten worse over the last 40 years.
How is this possible? How can the taxpayers spend $22 trillion on welfare while poverty gets worse?
The answer is it isn’t possible. Census counts a family as poor if its income falls below specified thresholds. But in counting family “income,” Census ignores nearly the entire $943 billion welfare state.
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Schools across the country continue to deal one way or the other with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Smart Snack” rules — the latest portion of the Michelle Obama-backed Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
Some are dealing with it by ditching the plan altogether — and forgoing federal dollars in the process — and going back to serving old and more popular menu items. Others are attempting to comply. But the rules are ridiculous and arbitrary and are doing little to help make kids “healthy.”
One such rule requires schools to ditch bottled teas and replace them Gatorade G2 (GG2). And while ditching bottled teas containing sugar or sugar substitutes and other additives is laudable, replacing tea with GG2 indicates there is something afoot besides kids’ health.
GG2 is the last drink children — or anyone else, for that matter — should be drinking. First, GG2 contains Splenda. Splenda is a synthetic sweetener containing sucralose and is found in thousands of processed food products. Splenda is made by combining three chlorine molecules with one sucrose molecule in a covalent bond. The human body has no enzymes to break down the covalently bound chloride. Consumer complaints about Splenda consumption include gastrointestinal problems, seizures and dizziness, blurred vision, allergic reactions, blood sugar increases, and weight gain.
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Ahead of a general election that could flip control of the New York State Senate to the Democratic Party, right-leaning media outlets are beginning to take note of an already-active bill that seeks to immensely expand the state’s legal accommodation for illegal immigrants — up to and including the right to run for public office — simply by recognizing them as “New York State Citizens.”
Sounds like a case for the Department of Justice.
Done laughing? The “New York is Home” bill, introduced in June by Democratic New York Sen. Gustavo Rivera, would bestow a bounty of citizens’ rights on illegals who’ve made New York their home. The law “would bar police from releasing any information about them to the feds, unless it involves a criminal warrant unrelated to their immigration status,” the New York Post wrote Monday. “Under the proposed legislation, undocumented immigrants could also apply for professional licenses and serve on juries.”
It would also grant them the right to vote (but not in Federal elections) and even to run for office, according to Bloomberg.
That all sounds ambitious and far-flung until you read the bill, which begins by flatly stating its purpose: “To establish New York State citizenship, regardless of immigration status, and providing certain rights and benefits to persons with such citizenship.”
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This is the second of a two-part series. Read Part 1, “The Resurrection Of The Neoconservative Lie.”
The so-called “moderate” Free Syrian Army, a group entirely created by Western covert intelligence agencies, has been for some time interweaving with the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL), which was also created by covert intelligence agencies. Meanwhile, neocons like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) argue that FSA members are the “good guys.”
Once again, I have to go back to the neoconservative ideology, which holds that unification requires the creation of enemies in order to galvanize peoples and nations around a centralized leadership. We have seen mounting evidence that ISIS is a fully fabricated monstrosity. We see fake Republicans like McCain involved from the very beginning of the process, admonishing President Obama for his participation while helping Obama with his mission. And now we see these same instigators coming to the American people with promises of utter terror if we do not rally around their governance.
But the charade doesn’t stop there.
The liberty movement also has infiltrators who, in my view, are seeking to co-opt our momentum and divert the efforts of constitutional proponents away from the true enemies of our republic (namely, internationalist financiers calling for total globalization) using the looming threat of an extremist Islamic caliphate.
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This Saturday, a U.S. militia group will attempt to block the flow of traffic along one or more bridges connecting Mexico and the United States. At least, that’s the message the group allegedly has been sending since last week. What isn’t known is whether such an effort will actually materialize and, if it does, how it will play out as local and federal law enforcement look on.
And despite their limitations on enforcing portions of U.S. immigration law as elected official play fast and loose politics with the sworn duties of officers in the field, there is indeed a heavy law enforcement presence near designated international crossings.
“The region is currently jammed packed [sic] with law enforcement,” Breitbart News wrote in a Sunday piece anticipating the potential standoff.
“In addition to the normal compliment [sic] of local, state, and federal police, there are currently surge operations in place that have brought in over 2,000 people to protect the region; Ranging from additional border patrol officers, to the surge of Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, to the recent deployment of 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard.”
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