Behind The Woodshed Blogcaster – January 25, 2015.

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  • Barrett Brown Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison in Connection to Stratfor Hack 

    Barrett Brown, who became a cause célèbre after he was charged with crimes related to the 2011 Stratfor hack, will not go free as his supporters hoped. He was sentenced today in Texas to five years and three months in prison.

    Brown was facing a possible eight-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty earlier this year to two charges related to aiding-and-abetting and obstruction of justice and a separate charge involving threats he made to an FBI agent. His attorneys sought a sentence of 30 months with consideration for time served and other mitigating factors, which would have left him with just two months remaining in jail. Brown has been in custody without bail since he was arrested in September 2012 while in the middle of an online chat. The sentence today—of 63 months—means that minus the 28 months already served, he could spend up to an additional three years in prison, though he will reportedly be eligible for supervised release after one year. He was also ordered to pay $890,000 in restitution.

  • How the sentencing guidelines were applied  

    Barrett pled guilty to three counts — internet threats, accessory after the fact to the unauthorized access to a protected computer and obstruction of a search warrant. The accessory after the fact conduct to which Barrett pled included offering to communicate with Stratfor for the purpose of redacting certain emails in order to conceal Hammond’s identity. There were a number of counts charging trafficking in stolen credit cards and possession of stolen credit cards with which he was originally charged, as you know. Those eleven counts were dismissed last year by the government after the defense filed a motion to dismiss saying that those counts failed to state an offense.

    The reason we couldn’t just say “those charges were dropped” yesterday is because under federal law, a judge is technically allowed to sentence a defendant based on conduct that was uncharged, charged and dismissed or even charged and acquitted! That’s because the standard of proof at trial is beyond a reasonable doubt while the standard of proof at sentencing is by a preponderance, i.e. more likely than not. Thus, a jury could find you not guilty of certain conduct because the government didn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you actually did what was charged, even if the jury believed that you probably did it. It’s the same with dismissed conduct. The government can dismiss charges if it wishes, but if the court thinks you probably did it, you can still be sentenced based on those charges. That is a hard concept for non-lawyers to understand because it seems patently unfair. Essentially, the government loses but then gets to punish you anyway. That’s what happened here, essentially. The government dismissed the trafficking charges and then successfully argued to the court that Barrett’s sentence should be enhanced for trafficking for having linked to the Stratfor data.

    So procedurally, here’s how it worked yesterday: {link above to read more}

  • David Hicks: US government agrees former Guantanamo Bay detainee is innocent, lawyer says  

    The United States has agreed that former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Australian David Hicks, is innocent, his lawyer has said.

    Mr Hicks pleaded guilty in 2007 to providing “material support for terrorism” but his legal team claimed that he did so under duress and filed an appeal last year.

    Mr Hicks’s lawyer was confident his name was set to be cleared after the change of position by the US government.

    Mr Hicks had appealed against his 2007 conviction for providing material support for terrorism.

    Lawyer Stephen Kenny said they had been told the government did not dispute his innocence and also admitted that his conviction was not correct.

    He expected to hear within a month whether the Military Commission would quash his conviction.

  • Cops Brutally Murder Homeless Man on Video, Found Not Guilty  {Not even the least among us are safe. }

    UPDATE (1/13/14): Officers Found “Not Guilty” Despite Footage of Them Beating Kelly Thomas to Death

    Unbelievably — but not surprisingly — the officers have been found “not guilty,” according to reports.

    A jury has found them not guilty on all charges, despite the overwhelming video evidence.

    A third officer, Joseph Wolfe, was also accused of involuntary manslaughter, but the DA has now dropped the charges in light of the not guilty verdict.

    The verdict has sparked outrage across the nation.

    As one commenter puts it, “I’m ashamed that this is what our country has belittled itself to.”

  • 70-year-old Joseph Sledge freed after decades in prison  

    Joseph Sledge has maintained his innocence for the nearly 40 years he’s been locked up.

    For the same number of years, the physical evidence key to his exoneration remained locked up in what’s known as Vault #1–the place in the Columbus County, N.C. Clerk of Courts office that holds evidence for old cases.

    Still, Sledge carries no bitterness.

    “When you’re conscious of something you didn’t do, you can live with yourself,” Sledge told reporters in the minutes after walking away from the county jail. “It’s between you and your maker. That’s the reality of the matter.”

  • 74 -Year-Old Woman Released After 32 Years in Prison  A 74-year-old woman was released from prison late Monday night after her conviction in a 1981 murder was set aside and her sentence was reduced.

    Family and friends greeted Mary Virginia Jones with hugs and flowers as she walked out of Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood shortly before midnight.

    “Words cannot express my gratitude to God and to my fellow man,” Jones said after being released.

    A granddaughter said she was just happy to have her grandmother back.

    “Finally our family is connected at home, and I’m glad I finally get to have a grandmother in my life, and I missed that,” she said.

    Jones was freed from prison hours after a judge in a Los Angeles courtroom reduced her sentence.

  • Woman Behind Bars 17 Years Walks Free After Judge Rules She’s Innocent   A woman convicted of murder and imprisoned for 17 years walked out of a Torrance courthouse Friday after a judge called her life sentence “a failure of the criminal justice system” and ordered her release

    Susan Mellen, 59, was embraced by her three children who had waited more than eight hours after the morning hearing for the prison detainer to be lifted.

    “We’re going to have a new beginning,” she told reporters at a news conference where she was flanked by her children and other supporters.

    Mellen credited her religious faith with helping her as she served a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. She said she inked the bottom of her prison-issued sneakers with the word “Freedom” but did not feel anger about her ordeal.

Digital Communication Protection Alternative? {send feedback}

  • A New Kind of Instant Messaging
    About Tox
    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.

Cult Insanity: Davos

  • 1,700 Private Jets Fly to Davos to Discuss Global Warming  

    A squadron of 1,700 private jets are rumbling into Davos, Switzerland, this week to discuss global warming and other issues as the annual World Economic Forum gets underway.

    The influx of private jets is so great, the Swiss Armed Forces has been forced to open up a military air base for the first time ever to absorb all the super rich flying their private jets into the event, reports Newsweek.

    “Decision-makers meeting in Davos must focus on ways to reduce climate risk while building more efficient, cleaner, and lower-carbon economies,” former Mexican president Felipe Calderon told USA Today.

    Davos, which has become a playground of sorts for the global elite, is expected to feature at least 40 heads of state and 2,500 top business executives. Former Vice President-turned-carbon billionaire Al Gore and rapper Pharrell Williams will be there as well; each plans to discuss global warming and recycling respectively.

  • By 98 to 1, U.S. Senate passes amendment saying climate change is real, not a hoax  {It’s not a hoax. It’s a Religion}

    The U.S. Senate has voted overwhelmingly, 98 to 1, to approve an amendment affirming that climate change is real and “not a hoax.”

    The vote came on an amendment to legislation that aims to force approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from the Canadian oil sands to the United States.

    Senators opposed to the pipeline, who say it would help accelerate climate change by encouraging mining of oil sands, are using votes on the bill as an opportunity to force Republican senators to take a stand on whether climate change is real. Some Republican lawmakers have dodged the issue, saying they lack the scientific credentials to evaluate the evidence for climate change. One lawmaker, Senator James Inhofe (R–OK), has even called climate change a “hoax.”

Winds Of Global Financial Change

The Right to Bear Arms {No. How it is supposed to work.}

  • Armed Women and Mothers Drive Back Boko Haram Attack

    These villagers refused to be the next victims of religious genocide – they fought back and won – unlike the recent village where 2,500 were killed.

    AFRICA – Several Nigerian media outlets have been reporting on local women in the villages of Attagara and Kawuri in Borno State who recently disarmed nearly a dozen Boko Haram terrorists. The notorious pseudo-Islamic terror groups tried to attack the Attagara and Kawuri communities over the weekend but the insurgents were instantly repelled by a group of armed women.

    The Attagara and Kawuri villages in Gwoza and Bama Local Government Areas of Borno State resisted the attack using an array of local talismans and, of course, their assault weapons came in handy as well.

    Almost immediately, the community rallied round to apprehend the insurgents. At least three of the terrorists managed to flee, but community members say that seven were arrested and executed.

    Local residents said that the initial attack happened when the terrorists that the villagers described as Boko Haram came into town on motorcycles. Stories are already building up in the aftermath of the victory, as some locals claim that the men were paralyzed by local talismans protecting the initial women who the men encountered.

    The initial women were said to have then gone to their local militia which included a number of armed women, who promptly raced to the scene, repelled and executed the attackers. (read more)

Life and Death Decisions

  • Tyler’s Story, A Dad Talks About The School Mandated Drugs That Killed His Son

    Grumpy Note: In  the fall of 2010, I was part of a small group of conservative bloggers who used to meet about once a month.  There were about a dozen of us, we’d met blogging and commenting on the local very liberal newspaper.  Two of us, Jim Manley and myself had just set up our own websites a few months before.  “Madpole”, was part of the group and one of Grumpy’s first contributors..

    Two days after Christmas I got word that Madpole’s eight year old grandson Tyler had passed away around midnight Christmas Night. The first obituary I ever published on Grumpy was for an eight year old boy, the grandson of a friend.

    The cause of death was a bad reaction to a routinely prescribed ADHD medication that school officials had insisted the boy take.  They’d strongly suggested Tyler’s father would face legal consequences and lose custody of his son if he didn’t medicate Tyler.

    According to a report by Healthline: ADHD by the Numbers: Facts, Statistics, and You, 6.4 Million American Children are now taking these drugs, a number that’s increased 42% in just the last eight years.  Unbelievably according to Natural News: Every mass shooting over last 20 years has one thing in common… and it’s not guns  It’s anti depressants.

  • Flu vaccine paradox adds to public health debate 

    ‘Canadian problem’ an example of odd effects of prior vaccination

    People who receive flu vaccines year after year can sometimes show reduced protection, an effect that Canadian infectious disease specialists say muddies public health messages for annual flu vaccine campaigns.

    During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, researchers at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control originally thought seasonal flu shots from 2008 might offer extra protection against the new pandemic strain. They were puzzled to find instead, seasonal flu vaccination almost doubled the risk of infection with pandemic flu.

    Dr. Danuta Skowronski and her colleagues went on to do five more studies during the summer that showed the same effect in people and in ferrets, which are considered the best animal model of flu.

    “This was a unique finding in a unique context of dramatically mismatched vaccine to novel pandemic influenza virus,” she said.

You Think?

  • Breaking: Ninth Circuit Panel Suggests Perjury Prosecution For Lying Prosecutors  

    What will it take to produce honest and ethical conduct from our state and federal prosecutors? The Ninth Circuit has a suggestion. Perhaps a perjury prosecution will do it. In fact, that is exactly what should happen when prosecutors affirmatively lie.

    This case, Baca v. Adams, involves a clear violation of the Supreme Court’s decision in Napue, which holds that prosecutors cannot put on perjured testimony, much less lie themselves. Unfortunately, as I’ve documented elsewhere, it happens far too often, when it should never happen at all.

    In this case, the prosecution infected the case with false testimony–including by a prosecutor himself–over benefits given to a “cooperator” or a jailhouse “snitch.”

    The entire program of “cooperation” is rife with problems. Prosecutors often put extraordinary pressure on the worst criminals, threatening not only them but their families. After completely terrifying the person who knows he will go to prison no matter what (because he really is guilty), the prosecutor then offers life-saving benefits, often secretly, in exchange for testimony against many less culpable “targets” of the government’s investigation.

Some Accountability

  • GM Corn Ruined Sales to China, Classes Claim   Seed giant Syngenta faces billion-dollar class actions in three states, claiming China is rejecting U.S. corn shipments because Syngenta released a genetically altered variety before the crop was approved for export to China.
     Syngenta “destroyed the export of U.S. corn to China and caused depressed prices for all domestic corn,” Omaha-based Volnek Farms claims as lead plaintiff in a $1 billion claim in Omaha Federal Court.
     In Sioux City, Iowa, lead plaintiffs Cronin Inc. and Jim Ruba Jr. claim that they do not even use GM corn, but they have been hurt because of “(1) Syngenta’s release of Viptera corn into the U.S. corn and corn seed supply, which has destroyed the export of U.S. corn to China and caused depressed prices for all domestic corn; (2) Syngenta’s materially misleading statements relating to the approval status of MIR162 in China and the impact the lack of approval would have on the market; and (3) Syngenta’s widespread contamination of the U.S. corn and corn seed supply with MIR162, which will continue to foreclose the U.S. export market to China in future years and will continue to lead to lower corn prices per bushel in the U.S. market, as a result.”
     A third, similar class action was filed Friday in Springfield, Ill. Federal Court.
     Syngenta’s MIR162 genetically modified corn also is known as Agrisure Viptera.
     All three class actions were filed Friday.
  • FBI agents invented defendant to catch judge

    To catch a Philadelphia municipal judge they suspected of corruption, FBI agents invented a defendant — complete with a staged arrest and court appearances.

    Court documents from Judge Joseph Waters Jr.’s guilty plea Wednesday to federal mail and wire fraud charges include details of the bogus arrest of a man named David Khoury for illegally carrying an unloaded Glock .40-caliber pistol during a 2012 traffic stop, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

    According to the documents, an unnamed campaign donor asked Waters to help Khoury, describing him as a cousin of a business associate.

    Waters then called a fellow judge who was scheduled to hear the case. According to Waters’ plea document, he identified Khoury as a friend and asked the judge hearing the case to help him.

    Prosecutors and defense lawyers who worked briefly on Khoury’s case barely remembered the man, and were not in on the FBI’s secret.

    “As I understand it, none of it was real. This whole sting was orchestrated,” Waters’ attorney, Michael Engle, said.


  • Here’s Why Steve Jobs Didn’t Let His Kids Use iPads And Why You Shouldn’t EitherIn a Sunday article, New York Times reporter Nick Bilton said he once assumingly asked Jobs, “So your kids must love the iPad?”

    Jobs responded: “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”

    Especially in Silicon Valley, there is actually a trend of tech execs and engineers who shield their kids from technology. They even send their kids to non-tech schools like the Waldorf School in Los Altos, where computers aren’t found anywhere because they only focus on hands-on learning.

    There is a quote that was highlighted in The Times by Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics and a father of five. He explains what drives those who work in tech to keep it from their kids.

    “My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly concerned about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules… That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.”


  • SWAT Team attacks homeschoolers with Tasers, pepper spray in warrantless raid 

    A report published last night on World Net Daily outlines the shocking details of a warrantless raid on a Missouri homeschooling family by a SWAT Team that forced its way into the family’s home, Tasered the father, pepper-sprayed the mother and put their children in the custody of social service workers.

    Jason and Laura Hagan, of New Hampton. have filed a lawsuit against Capt. David Glidden of Nodaway County, Missouri as a result of the raid. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages, punitive damages, as well as attorneys costs and fees, and was brought on behalf of the couple by the Home School Legal Defense Association. A court has already ruled the raid was a violation of the family’s constitutional rights.

    According to the report, attorney James Mason, senior counsel for HSLDA, told World Net Daily the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure were added to the Constitution for a reason.

    “We need to be vigilant,” Mason said. “We need to be willing to stand up for our rights.”

    He said authorities sometimes need to be reminded that “rules apply to them, too.”

  • SWAT team collapses house with explosives during standoff  A police standoff reached a dramatic conclusion when over thirty homes were evacuated and a SWAT team used explosives to blow through the structure of the home they were surrounding, inadvertently causing the floor to collapse.

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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