Behind The Woodshed Blogcaster – January 18, 2015.

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Wag The Cricket

  • France sends Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier for anti-ISIS op in Iraq 

    French President Francois Hollande has announced that the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier is ready for use in military operations against Islamic State in Iraq. The warship is to work in cooperation with coalition forces combatting the militants.
    In a speech onboard the aircraft carrier on Wednesday, Hollande told military personnel that that the Charlie Hebdo massacre carried out by Islamic extremists last week “justifies the presence of our aircraft carrier.”

  • French Parliament votes nearly unanimously to continue anti-ISIS strikes in Iraq

    France’s lower house of Parliament on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved extending French airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq.

    The vote came after France’s worst terrorist attacks in decades. Last week in Paris, a man claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group killed four people in a kosher grocery and a policewoman, while two brothers that he knew for years claimed ties to al-Qaida in Yemen as they killed 12 people at a newspaper office.

    “France is at war with terrorism, jihadism and radical Islamism,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls told the National Assembly to thundering applause ahead of the vote. “France is not at war with a religion. France is not at war with Islam and Muslims.”

    The vote was 488 to 1. One lawmaker argued not to extend the campaign, saying the situation on the ground was improving and warning that more bombing could invite more extremist violence but the government and other lawmakers vigorously defended the campaign.

  • Obama, Cameron Promise To Cooperate On Cybersecurity  

    (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

    PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON: We’re not asking for back doors. We have – we believe in very clear front doors through legal processes that should help to keep our country safe. And my only argument is that as technology develops, as the world moves on, we should try to avoid the safe havens that could otherwise be created for terrorists to talk to each other.

    HORSLEY: The threat of terrorism was a dominant topic for the two leaders, meeting in the shadow of last week’s deadly attacks in Paris.

  • Al-Qaeda ‘underpants’ bomber was working for CIA  

    The al-Qaeda operative tasked with carrying a high-tech new “underpants” bomb onto a US-bound jet was in fact an agent working for the CIA and Arab intelligence agencies, it emerged last night.

Resist Inoculation Doctors Do

  • You Won’t Believe Which Big-Name Groups are Opposed to Flu Vaccine Mandates 
    Labor unions representing professionals and skilled workers from many fields have publicly opposed mandatory vaccination in written statements to a government organization. Doctors, nurses, surgeons, skilled laborers, teachers, flight attendants, manufacturing employees, energy workers, and members of many more professions have spoken out against mandatory vaccines to the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC).

    This news is not new, but you probably didn’t know that so many labor unions and trade groups are collectively against mandatory vaccination. These groups, representing millions of workers, include names that may surprise you.

  • U.S. Media Blackout: Italian Courts Rule Vaccines Cause Autism  

    On September 23, 2014, an Italian court in Milan award compensation to a boy for vaccine-induced autism. (See the Italian document here.) A childhood vaccine against six childhood diseases caused the boy’s permanent autism and brain damage.

    While the Italian press has devoted considerable attention to this decision and its public health implications, the U.S. press has been silent.

    Italy’s National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

    Like the U.S., Italy has a national vaccine injury compensation program to give some financial support to those people who are injured by compulsory and recommended vaccinations. The Italian infant plaintiff received three doses of GlaxoSmithKline’s Infanrix Hexa, a hexavalent vaccine administered in the first year of life. These doses occurred from March to October 2006. The vaccine is to protect children from polio, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, pertussis and Haemophilus influenza type B. In addition to these antigens, however, the vaccine then contained thimerosal, the mercury-containing preservative, aluminum, an adjuvant, as well as other toxic ingredients. The child regressed into autism shortly after receiving the three doses.

  • Virginia school board forces home schoolers to ‘justify religious beliefs’ in public hearing  

    Virginia school board has passed a policy allowing the government education system to demand prospective home schoolers to appear before the board to explain their religious beliefs.

    A policy of the Goochland County “requires children ages 14 and up who want to be home schooled to provide a statement about their religious beliefs to the school system,” 

    UPDATE: Home school parents win as VA district drops policy requiring ‘statement about religious beliefs’

To Protect and Serve Who?

  • Off-Duty Cop Acquitted for Drunkenly Pulling Over an Innocent Man and Shooting Him   “How can a drunk…off duty police officer shoot someone that is unarmed and get away with it?”
    The jury reached their verdict on Thursday evening in the case of former Louisville officer Chauncey Carthan, who pulled over and shot a man while under the influence and off duty.
    The former detective was acquitted on the charges of wanton endangerment and official misconduct, the charges relating to the actual shooting of Ishmael Gough, but was found guilty of driving under the influence.
    Carthan now only has to pay a $500 fine.
    “We the jury find the defendant, Chauncey Carthan, not guilty. Will pay only a fine, avoiding jail time.”
    The shocking verdict came after only three hours of deliberations.

Government Obligations Still Rule

  • San Joaquin Valley farmers reach secret deal in water dispute   

    A staggering economic and environmental problem festering for three decades in the southern San Joaquin Valley would be addressed by a secret deal reached between the Obama administration and farmers — one that is sounding alarms for Bay Area lawmakers.

    The deal would retire 100,000 acres of farmland damaged by salt and selenium in the Westlands Water District, an arid, 600,000-acre patch of farms running along Interstate 5 from Mendota in Fresno County to the Kings County town of Kettleman City. About 600 farms there produce $1 billion in food each year.

    Congress agreed in 1960 to bring water to the area with the promise that the government would build a drain for the toxic brew that leaches from the mineral-rich soil. The drain was only partly built, due to opposition from the East Bay communities where the water was to be dumped.

    The courts have agreed that the government has an obligation to fix the problem, and the Obama administration and Westlands have now agreed on a plan.

    Congressional approval

    Details of the deal between Westlands and the federal Bureau of Reclamation have not been revealed to members of Congress, who would have to approve it.

Pissing Off The Natives

  • U.S. Department of Justice Shuts Down Major Aspect of its Civil Forfeiture Program  

    Marking an important shift in federal law enforcement policy, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the U.S. Department of Justice’s adoption program—which permits state law enforcement agencies to turn seized properties over to the federal government for forfeiture—will be suspended. 
     
    But the Justice Department policy does nothing to limit the widely used and sweeping power of the federal government, or joint federal and state task forces, to seize Americans’ property based on nothing but suspicion.
     
    Holder’s order
     
    Department of Justice release
     
    Washington Post story that broke the news
     
    Washington Post sidebar 

    “This important change in policy will strengthen protections for property owners who stand to lose their cash, cars, and other property without being convicted of or even charged with a crime” said Scott Bullock, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, the nation’s leading legal advocate against civil forfeiture. “But it is essential that greater protections for property owners must follow at the federal level and in the states to ensure that Americans are no longer victimized by civil forfeiture.” 

  • New Level: Monsanto Tries Patenting Natural Tomatoes Stealing a tomato with no biotech traits
    Many individuals are aware that biotech has developed a seed monopoly largely by patenting genetically modified organisms, but not everyone realizes that Monsanto tried to patent a tomato that had no biotech traits. Now, the European Patent Office (EPO), with help from an international coalition, No Patents on Seeds!, has revoked Monsanto’s fraudulent patent and claim to tomatoes that are naturally resistant to a fungal disease called botrytis.
    These natural, non-GMO tomatoes, like many healthy plants, have a natural resistance to certain pests. In this case, a fungal disease, but this is not a novel phenomenon. Why Monsanto would try to claim they created it is about as believable as Syngenta or Dow saying they invented the sun.
  • Surveillance State Wins – Senate Votes To Allow NSA Bulk Data Collection To Continue  Senate leaders failed to get the 60 votes needed to advance The USA Freedom Act – which would have limited the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records – and as Bloomberg reports, it’s unlikely a new version can be drafted for another vote before the congressional term expires this year. The 58-42 vote to move the measure forward came mostly along party lines as Senator Saxby Chambliss – the top Republican on the intelligence committee – rambling that the bill “eliminates tools critical to the intelligence community’s ability to prevent terrorist attacks, and its adoption would greatly degrade our ability to fight domestic terrorism in particular.” In other words – it’s for own good, now shut up!
  • Judge: Give NSA unlimited access to digital data   The U.S. National Security Agency should have an unlimited ability to collect digital information in the name of protecting the country against terrorism and other threats, an influential federal judge said during a debate on privacy.
    “I think privacy is actually overvalued,” Judge Richard Posner, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, said during a conference about privacy and cybercrime in Washington, D.C., Thursday.
    “Much of what passes for the name of privacy is really just trying to conceal the disreputable parts of your conduct,” Posner added. “Privacy is mainly about trying to improve your social and business opportunities by concealing the sorts of bad activities that would cause other people not to want to deal with you.”
  • Regin Spyware Likely Made by NSA, UK   Possible cricket terms were found in Regin’s code.  

    Britain’s GCHQ and the United States’ National Security Agency are probably behind the newly discovered Regin super-spyware, evidence gathered by four different security firms indicates.

    The clues include the countries and industries targeted (and those not targeted), internal file names and the working hours kept by Regin’s developers. Regin is linked to a GCHQ operation described in NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, and it bears similarities to both the Stuxnet worm, used against Iran in 2010, and the Flame spyware, which mapped out the Iranian networks Stuxnet attacked.

    “We’re convinced that this is the product of the U.S. or U.K.,” Erik de Jong, of Dutch cybersecurity firm Fox-IT, told SC Magazine in a piece posted today. “In our mind, there’s no doubt at all.”

Protect Against Systemic Plunder

  • Privacy advocates release free ‘Detekt’ tool that finds surveillance malware   

    A free tool released Thursday allows users to scan their computers for surveillance malware that has been used in attacks against journalists, human rights defenders and political activists around the world.

    The open-source tool, dubbed Detekt, was developed by security researcher Claudio Guarnieri. It was released in partnership with Amnesty International, Digitale Gesellschaft, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Privacy International.

    Detekt scans computers for infection patterns associated with several families of remote access Trojans (RATs): DarkComet RAT, XtremeRAT, BlackShades RAT, njRAT, FinFisher FinSpy, HackingTeam RCS, ShadowTech RAT and Gh0st RAT.

    Some of these malware programs have been used in attacks by cybercriminals, but also in cyberespionage campaigns against non-governmental organizations, human rights activists, journalists and religious or ethnic minority groups.

  • After Crushing Defeat In NY, Residents Are Planning Something HUGE  

    New Yorkers are pissed and with good reason. After the 2014 midterm elections, it’s become astoundingly clear how much of an adverse effect New York City has on the rest of the state, and many are ready to do away with the big apple for good via secession.

    Despite the deafening cry of upstate New Yorkers desiring change – both in regards to Common Core as well as the NY SAFE Act – their attempts were drowned out by the money grubbing freeloaders in NYC. It seemed like an uphill battle, if not an entirely impossible one, until now that is.

  • Stunning federal corruption case moving forward with almost no media attention  Corrupt federal prosecutors presenting false evidence in order to shake down a blameless corporation and bring in tens of millions of dollars seems like a pretty dramatic story. Especially when former prosecutors support the charge and a chief judge acts on the allegations and takes dramatic action. Yet the media silence is deafening.
    Eric Holder’s Justice Department is implicated in a dramatic and shocking case of alleged corruption that is so bad that the Chief Judge of the Eastern District of California has taken what can rightly be called the “nuclear option” and recused all the judges in the district from the case because they may have been defrauded by the DoJ prosecutors. 
  • Fed Up With Govt Misconduct, Federal Judge Takes Nuclear Option  Federal Prosecutor Alleges Boss Pressured Him To Engage in ‘Unethical Conduct’; Judge Calls Abuses ‘Egregious,’ ‘Pervasive,’ and ‘Reprehensible’ 

    In perhaps the most stunning documentation yet of abuses by Eric Holder’s Justice Department, two former Assistant United States Attorneys spoke to defense attorneys and revealed appalling deceit and corruption of justice. This latest litigation time bomb has exploded from multi-million dollar litigation originally brought by the Department of Justice against Sierra Pacific based on allegations that the lumber company and related defendants were responsible for a wildfire that destroyed 65,000 acres in California.

    In what was dubbed the “Moonlight Fire” case, the tables are now turned. The defendants have discovered new evidence and filed a stunning motion. The new evidence and disclosures are being taken seriously by the Chief Judge of the Eastern District of California—as they should be. In a shocking action, Judge Morrison C. England Jr. ordered the recusal of every federal judge in the Eastern District of California.

    Sierra Pacific Industries and other defendants were compelled to pay $55 million to the United States over a period of five years and transfer 22,500 acres of land to settle massive litigation brought against them by the United States alleging that they caused a 2007 fire that destroyed 65,000 acres in California. Sierra Pacific has always maintained that the fire started elsewhere and that the state and federal investigators and Department attorneys lied. Now that settlement may go up in smoke because of the new evidence of outrageous misconduct by the federal prosecutors and the investigators from state and federal offices, as well as findings earlier this year by a state judge.

  • Judge Benson strikes down feds’ Utah prairie dog regulations  Ruling in favor of a lawsuit by Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), Federal Judge Dee Benson struck down the federal government’s regulations for the Utah prairie dog as unconstitutional because the prairie dog does not substantially affect “interstate commerce.”  PLF sued on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners (PETPO) in Cedar City, Utah, whose members — property owners and the local government — have been restricted from using their land, including building homes and businesses, maintaining parks and the cemetery, and protecting the airport runway from prairie-dog potholes.

    “This ruling frees the people of Cedar City from unconstitutional regulations that made it impossible for them to build their dream homes, defend their airport, and protect the sanctity of their loved ones’ final resting places,” said PLF staff attorney Jonathan Wood, who successfully argued the case before Judge Benson on September 11, 2014.  “Now, these property owners, and the local government, needn’t fear the heavy hand of the federal government when they use and maintain their property, and do what most of us take for granted.”

    “The federal government may take whatever measures it likes on its own property, in order to protect the prairie dog,” Wood continued.  “But it can’t violate the U.S. Constitution by taking away the property rights of private citizens or local governments.”   

  • California County Tried to Seize Marijuana Plants without Warrant because Growing them Wasted Water  

    A federal judge has ruled (pdf) against a California county that seized marijuana plants on private property without first obtaining a warrant, all in the name of preserving water.

    Lake County, which like the rest of the state is experiencing the impact of the ongoing drought, was sued by a group of medical marijuana patients who had their plants confiscated and/or destroyed during warrantless raids by law enforcement.

    Officials insisted the plants had to go in order to help preserve water supplies for other purposes, and that the situation was so dire police need not obtain a court order first.

    The county adopted an ordinance in July that banned “medical marijuana from being grown on vacant parcels of land, and using more than 100 square feet to grow marijuana indoors, among other things,” Courthouse News Service reported.

    But the federal judge overseeing the case disagreed with Lake County.

    In granting the plaintiffs preliminary injunction calling a halt to the raids and seizures, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson wrote: “The need to reduce water use, even during a drought, falls below the level of urgency associated with emergencies justifying a warrantless search in existing case law.”

    He added: “The county’s inexperience in obtaining warrants before conducting a search and seizure does not excuse the requirements of the United States Constitution. Moreover, defendants explained that, even with their lack of institutional capacity, it would take only about a day to obtain a warrant. Defendants give no reason for why they cannot wait one day to search the premises in these cases.”

  • 2 IL Veterans Force 102 Corrupt Officials to Resign, Place Entire Local Board Under Citizen’s Arrest Illinois residents John Kraft and Kirk Allen, who run an anti-corruption non-profit called the Edgar County Watchdogs, have waged a campaign against crooked public officials over the past two years, forcing resignations from 102 bureaucrats and politicians and at one point placing an entire park district board under citizen’s arrest.
  • Judge rules he won’t dismiss Rick Perry case over paperwork technicality  

    A state district judge in Texas has denied a defense motion to have two felony charges dismissed against outgoing Gov. Rick Perry.

    Perry’s defense argued the indictment should have been voided over questions regarding the validity of the oath of office taken by the special prosecutor in the case, Michael McCrum, as well as other paperwork technicalities.

    The governor’s legal team argued that McCrum incorrectly took the oath of office when McCrum was sworn in as special prosecutor in August 2013, and thus, McCrum’s work over the past 15 months should be considered invalid.

    The district judge disagreed.

    “This court concludes that Mr. McCrum’s authority was not voided by the procedural irregularities in how and when the oath of office and statement of officer were administered and filed,” Judge Bert Richardson said in his ruling.

    Richardson concluded that because the two parties didn’t dispute that McCrum did in fact take the oath of office, McCrum’s lack of a signature on the paperwork doesn’t invalidate his pledge.

    “It is the act of swearing, not the signature itself, that is essential,” the ruling reads.

Law In Our Hands

Secure Private Alternative To Skype

  • What Is Tox? Hackers Develop Secure, Private Skype Alternative  

    Since Edward Snowden revealed the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs last summer, developers and tech companies like Google have been rushing to create tools that restore some semblance of security and privacy for Internet users. Tox, a Skype alternative that features instant messaging, call and video features, is the latest entry in that field.

    Tox, developed by a group of 4chan members, is very much in its infancy and not without its problems, notes Wired. To ensure privacy, Tox adds encryption to its instant messaging capabilities and will connect users directly, much like a BitTorrent protocol. The peer-to-peer connection will eliminate the need for servers hosted by the Tox team, which means there is no user data stored for the NSA, or any government agency, to find.

    “Nowadays, every government seems to be interested in what we’re saying online. Tox is built on a ‘privacy goes first’ agenda, and we make no compromises. Your safety is our top priority, and there isn’t anything in the world that will change that,” states the Tox website. The team will also hire a security firm to test the encryption to ensure it is secure, notes Wired.

    • Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars
    • The people know that they have created this farce and financed it with their own taxes (consent), but they would rather knuckle under than be the hypocrite.

      Factor VI – Cattle
      Those who will not use their brains are no better off than those who have no brains, and so this mindless school of jelly-fish, father, mother, son, and daughter, become useful beasts of burden or trainers of the same.

    • Mr. Rothschild’s Energy Discovery
      What Mr. Rothschild [2] had discovered was the basic principle of power, influence, and control over people as applied to economics. That principle is “when you assume the appearance of power, people soon give it to you.”

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