Behind The Woodshed Blogcaster – Apr. 03, 2016.

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At the Situationally Aware Action Oriented Intelligence Center

Of Evolutionary Engagement

Open you a canThe Victory Against You in the Silent War is Your Silence

Battlefield Realities

Protect Your Granted Rights

  • Sign The Petition – Please
    From the Jefferson Mining District front page, Click on the petition link. Thank you very much for defending your property and that of future generations, no the real ones, and additionally, for helping Jefferson Mining District help you.

Psy-Op Central

  • U.S. Says It Has Unlocked iPhone Without Apple

    The Justice Department said on Monday that it had found a way to unlock an iPhone without help from Apple, allowing the agency to withdraw its legal effort to compel the tech company to assist in a mass-shooting investigation.

    The decision to drop the case — which involved demanding Apple’s help to open an iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, a gunman in the December shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., that killed 14 people — ends a legal standoff between the government and the world’s most valuable public company. The case had become increasingly contentious as Apple refused to help the authorities, inciting a debate about whether privacy or security was more important.

    Yet law enforcement’s ability to now unlock an iPhone through an alternative method raises new uncertainties, including questions about the strength of security in Apple devices. The development also creates potential for new conflicts between the government and Apple about the method used to open the device and whether that technique will be disclosed. Lawyers for Apple have previously said the company would want to know the procedure used to crack open the smartphone, yet the government might classify the method.


  • FBI resists call to reveal Tor hacking secrets

    The agency was ordered to share details by a Judge presiding over a case involving one alleged user of the site.

    Defence lawyers said they need the information to see if the FBI exceeded its authority when indentifying users.

    But the Department of Justice (DoJ), acting for the FBI, said the details were irrelevant to the case.

    “Knowing how someone unlocked the front door provides no information about what that person did after entering the house,” wrote FBI agent Daniel Alfin in court papers filed by the DoJ which were excerpted on the Vice news site.

    Identity parade

    The Judge ordered the FBI to hand over details during a court hearing in late February.

    The court case revolves around a “sting” the FBI carried out in early 2015 when it seized a Tor-based site called Playpen that traded in images and videos of child sexual abuse. The agency kept the site going for 13 days and used it to grab information about visitors who took part in discussion threads about images of child abuse.

    Tor, aka The Onion Router, aims to hide the identity of people who use it by bouncing traffic through many different routers and encrypting it at each step. As well as letting people browse the web anonymously it has also given rise to hidden sites that sit on the Tor network.

    The defence team is keen to see if the FBI’s use of technical tricks to identify people on Tor exceeded the authorisations it got in a warrant to run the sting. It has argued that the investigative technique used by the FBI amounted to “gross misconduct”.


  • The Other Reason the FBI Doesn’t Want to Reveal Its Hacking Techniques

    It’s no secret that the FBI uses computer exploits and vulnerabilities in its investigations, but the agency has not exactly been forthcoming with detailing its techniques.

    That makes sense—the FBI wants to ensure its techniques continue to work against bad guys—but there is another reason the FBI doesn’t want to reveal its techniques in court that isn’t so obvious: The agency wants to avoid pissing off both its partners who provide the techniques, and other government agencies that might want to use those techniques for themselves.

    The FBI relies on outside parties, such as private contractors, to help it take advantage of software bugs and other vulnerabilities.

    “What’s clear is that the FBI does not have the in-house capability to develop exploits,” Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told Motherboard in an encrypted phone call.


  • Andrés Sepúlveda Comes Clean From a Colombian Jail – This is How You Hack a Presidential Election

    In July 2015, Sepúlveda sat in the small courtyard of the Bunker, poured himself a cup of coffee from a thermos, and took out a pack of Marlboro cigarettes. He says he wants to tell his story because the public doesn’t grasp the power hackers exert over modern elections or the specialized skills needed to stop them. “I worked with presidents, public figures with great power, and did many things with absolutely no regrets because I did it with full conviction and under a clear objective, to end dictatorship and socialist governments in Latin America,” he says. “I have always said that there are two types of politics—what people see and what really makes things happen. I worked in politics that are not seen.”

    Rendón, says Sepúlveda, saw that hackers could be completely integrated into a modern political operation, running attack ads, researching the opposition, and finding ways to suppress a foe’s turnout. As for Sepúlveda, his insight was to understand that voters trusted what they thought were spontaneous expressions of real people on social media more than they did experts on television and in newspapers. He knew that accounts could be faked and social media trends fabricated, all relatively cheaply. He wrote a software program, now called Social Media Predator, to manage and direct a virtual army of fake Twitter accounts. The software let him quickly change names, profile pictures, and biographies to fit any need. Eventually, he discovered, he could manipulate the public debate as easily as moving pieces on a chessboard—or, as he puts it, “When I realized that people believe what the Internet says more than reality, I discovered that I had the power to make people believe almost anything.”

    Sepúlveda says he was offered several political jobs in Spain, which he says he turned down because he was too busy. On the question of whether the U.S. presidential campaign is being tampered with, he is unequivocal. “I’m 100 percent sure it is,” he says.

    – From the excellent Bloomberg article: How to Hack an Election

  • Study shows mass government surveillance silences unpopular opinions

    A new study has found that the knowledge of widespread government surveillance causes people to self-censor dissenting opinions online.

    The study, published in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, studied the effects on the speech of its subjects after they had been reminded of government surveillance.

    Frighteningly, the majority of participants reacted by suppressing opinions that they perceived to be unpopular.

    From the Washington Post:

    The “spiral of silence” is a well-researched phenomenon in which people suppress unpopular opinions to fit in and avoid social isolation. It has been looked at in the context of social media and the echo-chamber effect, in which we tailor our opinions to fit the online activity of our Facebook and Twitter friends. But this study adds a new layer by explicitly examining how government surveillance affects self-censorship.

    Participants in the study were first surveyed about their political beliefs, personality traits and online activity, to create a psychological profile for each person. A random sample group was then subtly reminded of government surveillance, followed by everyone in the study being shown a neutral, fictional headline stating that U.S. airstrikes had targeted the Islamic State in Iraq. Subjects were then asked a series of questions about their attitudes toward the hypothetical news event, such as how they think most Americans would feel about it and whether they would publicly voice their opinion on the topic. The majority of those primed with surveillance information were less likely to speak out about their more nonconformist ideas, including those assessed as less likely to self-censor based on their psychological profile.

    Elizabeth Stoycheff, lead researcher of the study, finds the results very disturbing.

    “So many people I’ve talked with say they don’t care about online surveillance because they don’t break any laws and don’t have anything to hide. And I find these rationales deeply troubling,” she told the Washington Post.

    According to Stoycheff, it is those who hold the “nothing to hide” belief that are most likely to self-censor.

  • World Class Journalist Spills the Beans, Admits Mainstream Media is Completely Fake

    Recently, Dr.Udo Ulfkotte went on public television stating that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, also adding that noncompliance with these orders would result in him losing his job.

    He recently made an appearance on RT news to share these facts:

    I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years, and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public.

    But seeing right now within the last months how the German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia — this is a point of no return and I’m going to stand up and say it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray the people, not only in Germany, all over Europe.

    Dr. Udo Ulfkotte is a top German journalist and editor and has been for more than two decades, so you can bet he knows a thing or two about mainstream media and what really happens behind the scenes.

    It’s important to keep in mind that Dr. Ulfakatte is not the only person making these claims; multiple reporters have done the same and this kind of truthfulness is something the world needs more of.

    One (out of many) great examples of a whistleblowing reporter is investigative journalist and former CBC News reporter Sharyl Attkisson.

    She delivered a hard-hitting TEDx talk showing how fake grassroots movements funded by political, corporate, or other special interests very effectively manipulate and distort media messages.

    Another great example is Amber Lyon, a three-time Emmy award winning journalist at CC, who said that they are routinely paid by the US government and foreign governments to selectively report and even distort information on certain events. She has also indicated that the government has editorial control over content.

    Ever since Operation Mockingbird, a CIA-based initiative to control mainstream media, more and more people are expressing their concern that what we see in the media is nothing short of brainwashing.

Sleight Of Hand

  • Worst Anti-Privacy Bill Since the PATRIOT Act, Passes Hidden in a Budget Bill and Media is SILENT

    On Friday, Congress passed a $1.15 trillion omnibus spending package to continue funding the federal government, which included an already defeated, and extremely controversial cyber security bill, that was inserted into the spending package as a means of assuring it’s passage.

    In spite of this massive revelation and horrific blow to privacy, the mainstream media remains mum. While many outlets are covering the passage of the spending bill, they are completely omitting anything about CISA.

    The New York Times, for example, broke the story Friday morning about congress passing the omnibus measure. However, they conveniently left out any mention of CISA.

    Aside from the tech sites who know about the dangers of this measure, the entire realm of mainstream media is choosing to remain silent.

    The Cyber Information Sharing Act (CISA), quietly pushed back in 2014 before being shut down by civil rights and privacy advocates, was added into the Omnibus Appropriations Bill by House Speaker Paul Ryan as a means circumventing rampant opposition to the anti-privacy legislation.

    The CISA legislation, which Rep. Justin Amash called “the worst anti-privacy legislation since the USA PATRIOT Act,” has now been passed by Congress and will be signed into law by President Obama as part of the government spending package.

Real Intelligence

  • Surviving on the Battlefield in the Information War

    There is undoubtedly an information war raging. There are intentional liars, people who witlessly repeat these lies, poor research, and opinions spun to look as if it is research. To sort the ever increasing amount of information from disinformation, there are a few simple methods people can use.

    But above all, people must personally dedicate themselves to following the truth no matter where it brings them, having the courage to accept a reality that may not necessarily mesh with their current perception. The inability to do this will render moot all other means of determining the veracity of any given report or piece of analysis.

    Find the Original Source

    This is fundamental. When anyone, anywhere makes a claim, whether it is in a historical documentary or book, or regarding current events, one must find the original source. Where did this information come from? Is it a direct quote? If so, can this quote be verified? If the quote is “alleged” or “leaked” or otherwise second-hand information or the sources never revealed, it is impossible to verify and therefore impossible to consider as verified.

    Follow the Money

    All protests, political movements, and armed struggles require immense amounts of resources to start, perpetuate, and most importantly to succeed.  They also require leadership. If one finds themselves reading reports of events that do not mention funding or the names of specific leaders, either those reporting on the events don’t have these facts and should make note that such information is both missing and essential to find, or misdirection and disinformation is at play.

    Look at What People Do, Not at What They Say…

    There are media reports, government press releases, op-eds, analysis, and policy papers of every kind. Many times, these various sources contradict each other. How does one go about determining which is true and which is disinformation? It is quite simple, don’t simply listen to what reporters, analysts, and policymakers say, look at what they and those they have influence over are doing.


Follow The Money

  • The climate alarmists want the public to think they are trying to avoid a burnt world, but what they really want is something altogether different.

    Fraud: While the global warming alarmists have done a good job of spreading fright, they haven’t been so good at hiding their real motivation. Yet another one has slipped up and revealed the catalyst driving the climate scare.

    We have been told now for almost three decades that man has to change his ways or his fossil-fuel emissions will scorch Earth with catastrophic warming. Scientists, politicians and activists have maintained the narrative that their concern is only about caring for our planet and its inhabitants. But this is simply not true. The narrative is a ruse. They are after something entirely different.

    If they were honest, the climate alarmists would admit that they are not working feverishly to hold down global temperatures — they would acknowledge that they are instead consumed with the goal of holding down capitalism and establishing a global welfare state.

    Have doubts? Then listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:  “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

    So what is the goal of environmental policy?

    “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

  • Wikileaks Reveals IMF Plan To “Cause A Credit Event In Greece And Destabilize Europe”

    One of the recurring concerns involving Europe’s seemingly perpetual economic, financial and social crises, is that these have been largely predetermined, “scripted” and deliberate acts.

    This is something the former head of the Bank of England admitted one month ago when Mervyn King said that Europe’s economic depression “is the result of “deliberate” policy choices made by EU elites.  It is also what AIG Banque strategist Bernard Connolly said back in 2008 when laying out “What Europe Wants

    To use global issues as excuses to extend its power:
    • environmental issues: increase control over member countries; advance idea of global governance
    • terrorism: use excuse for greater control over police and judicial issues; increase extent of surveillance
    • global financial crisis: kill two birds (free market; Anglo-Saxon economies) with one stone (Europe-wide regulator; attempts at global financial governance)
    • EMU: create a crisis to force introduction of “European economic government”

    This morning we got another confirmation of how supernational organizations “plan” European crises in advance to further their goals, when Wikileaks published the transcript of a teleconference that took place on March 19, 2016 between the top two IMF officials in charge of managing the Greek debt crisis – Poul Thomsen, the head of the IMF’s European Department, and Delia Velkouleskou, the IMF Mission Chief for Greece.

    In the transcript, the IMF staffers are caught on tape planning to tell Germany the organization would abandon the troika if the IMF and the commission fail to reach an agreement on Greek debt relief.

    More to the point, the IMF officials say that a threat of an imminent financial catastrophe as the Guardian puts it, is needed to force other players into accepting its measures such as cutting Greek pensions and working conditions, or as Bloomberg puts it, “considering a plan to cause a credit event in Greece and destabilize Europe.”

    According to the leaked conversation, the IMF – which has been pushing for a debt haircut for Greece ever since last August’s 3rd Greek bailout – believes a credit event as only thing that could trigger a Greek deal; the “event” is hinted as taking place some time around the June 23 Brexit referendum.

    As noted by Bloomberg, the leak shows officials linking Greek issue with U.K. referendum risking general political destabilization in Europe.

    The leaked transcript reveals how the IMF plans to use Greece as a pawn in its ongoing negotiation with Germany’s chancelleor in order to achieve the desired Greek debt reduction which Germany has been pointedly against: in the leak we learn about the intention of IMF to threaten German Chancellor Angela Merkel to force her to accept the IMF’s demands at a critical point.

    • Pharmaceutical Giant Novartis Facing Lawsuit Over Bribing Doctors to Prescribe Their Drugs

       On March 25, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney filed a motion requesting Novartis AG — a multinational pharmaceutical corporation based in Switzerland — hand over records on roughly 80,000 of what the government claims are “sham” events.

      Novartis AG and the Southern District of New York — which oversees Wall Street — are currently engaged in a whistleblower lawsuit. The U.S. alleges the Swiss pharmaceutical company has been wining and dining doctors at phony speaking events as a form of kickback for over a decade.

      Last year, Novartis settled a separate suit with the U.S. In that case, filed in 2013, the government accused the company of sending patients to “specialty pharmacies” who, in exchange for rebates, would recommend Novartis drugs to customers.

      Then, claimed the government, these specialty pharmacies submitted thousands of what Bloomberg called “fraud-tainted reimbursement claims” to Medicare and Medicaid — to the tune of half a billion dollars.

      “Novartis corrupted the prescription drug dispensing process,” said Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, in a statement back in 2013. “For its investment, Novartis reaped dramatically increased profits on these drugs, and Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs were left holding the bag.”

      Between the individual fines on each “fraud-tainted” claim and the state seeking triple damages, the U.S. originally sought $3.3 billion from Novartis. That case settled in November of 2015, with the corporation agreeing to pay $390 million.

      But with Manhattan now asking for files on 80,000 events, it seems the U.S. is anything but finished with Novartis.


    • HIV Vaccine Researcher Gets 57 Months in Prison for Fraud

      A federal judge last week made Dong Pyou Han, PhD, a former researcher at Iowa State University, an example to anyone tempted to cook data for the sake of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

      Dr Han was sentenced to 57 months in prison for systematically falsifying data for several years to make an experimental HIV vaccine look effective when, in fact, it was not. His attorney argued that his crime did not necessarily warrant time behind bars, but the Department of Justice (DOJ) countered that a prison sentence would warn others that “the manipulation of data to receive grant funds is unacceptable, and if caught, they will be punished.”

      “The agency relies on the honesty of those applying, and trusts that the scientists are presenting accurate data,” DOJ prosecutors said in a court filing. “The defendant violated that trust, damaging the credibility of others in the process.”

      The 58-year-old Dr Han worked at Iowa State University, in the laboratory of Michael Cho, PhD, who began to receive NIH funding for his HIV vaccine research in 2008. Dr Cho was looking to see whether a protein in the shell of HIV called glycoprotein 41 (gp41) could trigger an immune response in rabbits. Gp41 helps bind HIV to helper T cells, allowing the virus to penetrate and replicate, killing the cells in the process.

      As Dr Cho’s long-time laboratory manager, Dr Han injected rabbits with the gp41 vaccine and then drew their blood and tested their sera for HIV antibodies, according to court records. In addition to reporting his findings to Dr Cho, Dr Han sent samples of rabbit sera to a laboratory at Duke University for verification.

      In 2009, Dr Cho thought he had achieved a breakthrough: the vaccinated rabbits apparently were developing antibodies that could neutralize HIV. On the strength of these preliminary results, the NIH awarded Dr Cho more money in December 2009. In all, he received $13 million from the federal agency for the vaccine work. Part of Dr Han’s salary was dependent on the grants, DOJ prosecutors noted.

  • Another Look at Science

    Since the early 1980s, grave concerns have been raised about the process by which scientific evidence gets produced.

    Two months ago, I embarked on a research project that veered off in unexpected directions, metamorphosing into a more time-consuming and labour-intensive exercise than anticipated.

    Along the way, I learned a great deal about how science gets practiced in the real world – as opposed to the idealized “Science” of my imagination. Yes, I’d known full well that climate science was a mess. Rather than inspiring confidence, legions of its practitioners act as though they’re selling something. On the one hand, they’re quick to dismiss alternative perspectives. On the other, they grasp at every half-baked rationale available to advance their own worldview. And yes, I’d already begun to notice parallels to the scientific debate concerning cholesterol, dietary fat, and heart disease.

    But my recent adventure has persuaded me that the scientific enterprise, as it is now conducted in government-funded universities, is far more dubious than I had hitherto appreciated. I’m currently reading a book that was published in 1982, the year I left high school. William Broad and Nicholas Wade, two New York Times journalists, had figured out 34 years ago something with which I am only now coming to terms: the reality of science is so far removed from the ideal that vast swaths of what we think we know may be nonsense.


They Kill & Maim Innocence, Don’t they?

    • “Please Don’t Shoot Me” Body Cam Shows Innocent Unarmed Dad Killed by a Cop Begging for His Life

      Mesa Police Officer Philip Brailsford has been charged with the second-degree murder of Daniel Shaver, an innocent father of two. The shooting was captured on his body cam.

      On January 18, Brailsford, along with several other officers, responded to a call about a suspect with a rifle in a hotel room. The ‘rifle’ was nothing more than a pellet gun that was used in Shaver’s business of pest control. However, Shaver was not in possession of the pellet gun when he was murdered in cold blood by officer Brailsford.

      According to KTAR, Brailsford told investigators that Shaver was ordered to crawl toward officers with his hands on the ground, but the officer believed Shaver’s move forward was an attempt to get “a better firing position on us.”

      The officer said he could no longer see Shaver’s right hand and worried that Shaver could have easily drawn on officers, who were just feet away in a hallway outside his room.

      “So that’s when I assessed the threat. I fired my weapon, uh, five times,” Brailsford said, adding that it was terrifying the first time Shaver reached back.

      Charging an officer with murder in Arizona is an exceptionally rare incident, which speaks to the severity of what must be shown on the body camera. It also means that this coward officer was in no danger when he decided to pull the trigger — 5 times. However, thanks to their secrecy and corruption, the Mesa Police Department and Maricopa County prosecutors are keeping the video a secret.

    • Research: TV is Intellectually and Socially Dumbing Down Young Children

      It is common for parents to feel that their children are spending too much time in front of the television set. According to a Canadian study, children who watch an excessive amount of television exhibit a multitude of negative side effects including poor language and social skills, and increased bullying.

      The 2013 study was set out to determine whether or not viewing television at 29 months (about 2.5 years) was associated with school performance at 65 months (about 5.5 years).

      The study, which was conducted on 991 girls and 1,006 boys with parent and teacher reported data, came to this conclusion:

      “Increases in total time watching television at 29 months were associated with subsequent decreases in vocabulary and math skills, classroom engagement (which is largely determined by attention skills), victimization by classmates, and physical prowess at kindergarten. These prospective associations, independent of key potential co-founders, suggest the need for better parental awareness and compliance with existing viewing recommendations put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).”

      According to this study, every 1.2 hours of television viewing for children at 29 months results in poorer motor, vocabulary, math, and social skills, and even an increase in the likelihood of being bullied, as television inhibits the development of self-confidence.

      The study also notes that many parents seem to be unconcerned about how long their children spend watching TV. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children over age 2 do not watch more than 2 hours per day, and that children below the age of 2 watch no TV at all. Presumes that the content is age appropriate, of course.

      Also interesting is that as the AAP finds educational television to show positive effects on children, while watching non-educational cartoons, fast-paced cartoons, mainly lowers their attention span.

      Viewing time as a child also indirectly affects the child, the study notes. At a time where brain growth and development are heavily dependent on external stimulation, TV viewing takes away from the time that child will spend with more creative or social activities, such as family or imaginative play time.


  • Uganda’s going to start jailing parents who don’t vaccinate their kids

    Parents in Uganda will face up to six months in jail for failing to vaccinate their children, under a new law signed this month by President Yoweri Museveni.

    Children will also be banned from going to school unless they have an up-to-date immunisation card – including all relevant boosters. The somewhat extreme law has been put in place to help stop the spread of deadly diseases such as polio and meningitis in the country. Right now, 70 out of every 1,000 children in Uganda will die before they turn five.

    Importantly, the new legislation will also target the leaders of a growing religious cult named 666, who are spreading anti-vacc ideology throughout the country and telling parents not to vaccinate – even going as far as hiding children in slums to avoid immunisation.

    “It started in a few districts in eastern Uganda,” health minister Sarah Achieng Opendi told the BBC about 666, “but now it has spread and now we are seeing it all over the country.”

    This isn’t the first time legislation has been put in place to encourage parents to vaccinate their children. In Australia, parents lose their childcare and welfare benefits if they refuse to vaccinate their child for anything other than medical reasons, and the state of Victoria has banned un-immunised children from childcare and school altogether.

    The state government of California is also looking to do something similar, prompted by a measles outbreak that was triggered by an unvaccinated child at Disneyland in 2014, which ended up infecting hundreds of children – despite the fact that measles had been eliminated in the US since 2000.


  • Doctors Name Monsatan’s Larvicide As Cause of Brazilian Microcephaly Outbreak

    A report from the Argentine doctors’ organisation, Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, challenges the theory that the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil is the cause of the increase in the birth defect microcephaly among newborns.

    The increase in this birth defect, in which the baby is born with an abnormally small head and often has brain damage, was quickly linked to the Zika virus by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. However, according to the Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, the Ministry failed to recognise that in the area where most sick people live, a chemical larvicide that produces malformations in mosquitoes was introduced into the drinking water supply in 2014. This poison, Pyriproxyfen, is used in a State-controlled programme aimed at eradicating disease-carrying mosquitoes.

    The Physicians added that the Pyriproxyfen is manufactured by Sumitomo Chemical, a Japanese “strategic partner” of Monsanto. Pyriproxyfen is a growth inhibitor of mosquito larvae, which alters the development process from larva to pupa to adult, thus generating malformations in developing mosquitoes and killing or disabling them. It acts as an insect juvenile hormone or juvenoid, and has the effect of inhibiting the development of adult insect characteristics (for example, wings and mature external genitalia) and reproductive development. It is an endocrine disruptor and is teratogenic (causes birth defects), according to the Physicians.


Universal UNcapacity

  • Can a 3-year old represent herself in immigration court? This judge thinks so.

    Jack H. Weil, a longtime immigration judge who is responsible for training other judges, made the assertion in sworn testimony in a deposition in federal court in Seattle. His comments highlighted the plight of thousands of juveniles who are forced to defend themselves each year in immigration court amid a surge of children from Central America who cross the southwestern U.S. border.

    “I’ve taught immigration law literally to 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds,” Weil said. “It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of patience. They get it. It’s not the most efficient, but it can be done.”

    He repeated his claim twice in the deposition, also saying, “I’ve told you I have trained 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds in immigration law,” according to a transcript. “You can do a fair hearing. It’s going to take you a lot of time.”

    Legal and child-psychology experts ridiculed Weil’s assertions, noting that key milestones for 3- and 4-year-olds include cooperating with other children, saying simple sentences and building towers of blocks.

    “I nearly fell off my chair when I read that deposition,” said Laurence Steinberg, a psychology professor at Temple University who is a witness for the plaintiffs in the Seattle case. “Three- and 4-year-olds do not yet have logical reasoning abilities. It’s preposterous, frankly, to think they could be taught enough about immigration law to be able to represent themselves in court.”


Open Plunder

    • The feds have resumed a controversial program that lets cops take stuff and keep it

      U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the Justice Department has resumed a practice where police officers can seize and keep cash and property from people who are never convicted of a crime.

      The Justice Department has announced that it is resuming a controversial practice that allows local police departments to funnel a large portion of assets seized from citizens into their own coffers under federal law.

      The “Equitable Sharing Program” gives police the option of prosecuting some asset forfeiture cases under federal instead of state law, particularly in instances where local law enforcement officers have a relationship with federal authorities as part of a joint task force. Federal forfeiture policies are more permissive than many state policies, allowing police to keep up to 80 percent of assets they seize.

      The Justice Department had suspended payments under this program in December, due to budget cuts included in last year’s spending bill.

      “In the months since we made the difficult decision to defer equitable sharing payments because of the $1.2 billion rescinded from the Asset Forfeiture Fund, the financial solvency of the fund has improved to the point where it is no longer necessary to continue deferring equitable sharing payments,” spokesman Peter J. Carr said in an email Monday.

      While he didn’t specify exactly where the new funding came from, Carr noted that the program is partly funded by the cash and other property seized under the program.


  • SWAT Raids Small Organic Farm, Confiscates Blueberries

    A jury decided last year that the owner of a small organic farm, Shellie Smith, still owes $4000 after a raid by SWAT that destroyed her farm.

    Garden of Eden, a small organic in Arlington, Texas, was the target of a SWAT raid in 10-hour long search with Smith being held at gunpoint at one point.

    Arlington police dept. stated that there were complaints of marijuana being grown on the premises, but none was found on the property. Instead, law enforcement confiscated 17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants, native grasses and sunflowers.

Stop Thief!

  • Florida Limits “Policing for Profit”

    Today, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed SB 1044 into law, which enacts a significant overhaul of the state’s civil forfeiture laws. The bill, which unanimously passed both the Florida Senate and House of Representatives, creates transparency requirements and a long list of new protections for property owners.

    “This is a significant first step towards ending civil forfeiture in Florida,” said Florida Office Managing Attorney Justin Pearson of the Institute for Justice, which is leading the nationwide effort to end civil forfeiture. “Civil forfeiture is one of the most serious assaults on property rights in America and SB 1044 increases protections for innocent property owners in the Sunshine State. The transparency requirements will also provide valuable information that should lead to additional and needed reform in the future.”

    Civil forfeiture laws currently allow law enforcement to seize and keep property even if the owner has never been convicted or charged with a crime. Under existing Florida law, cash, cars and other property can be seized and kept by police if police merely suspect it was used for a crime. The property owner must then either negotiate to get a small portion of their property back or pursue a lengthy and expensive process in court.

    SB 1044 increases protections for Floridians by:

    • Requiring law enforcement to make an arrest before seizing most property, including vehicles.
    • Increasing the evidentiary standard to forfeit property from clear and convincing evidence to beyond a reasonable doubt—the same standard required for criminal convictions.
    • Increasing the filing fee paid by law enforcement at the beginning of forfeiture actions to $1,000.
    • Requiring law enforcement to pay a $1,500 bond at the beginning of forfeiture actions. The bond will automatically be paid to the property owner if the property owner prevails.
    • Creating reporting and transparency requirements. Under current law, law enforcement agencies are not required to report forfeitures.
    • Increasing availability of attorneys’ fees awards to innocent property owners.
    • Increasing oversight by courts during forfeiture proceedings.
    • Increasing administrative oversight.

    “The vast majority of seizures in Florida are for amounts that are far less than the cost of hiring an attorney,” Pearson explained. “As a result, many innocent Floridians are forced to settle for a small fraction of what was seized because it would literally cost more than the amount that was seized to attempt to get it back. By increasing costs on law enforcement to pursue forfeiture actions, this reform limits law enforcement’s profit incentive for these abusive practices regarding low-value forfeitures.”

    This bill is the culmination of a two-year push for reform by state legislators, led by Sen. Jeff Brandes, and a bipartisan coalition of public interest groups, led by the Institute for Justice, the James Madison Institute, the National Federation of Independent Business and the ACLU.

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    • 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.
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      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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