Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Expansion of the terrorist watchlist requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence”

Well, well, well, back in 2004 my husband had about 100 books laying open on his desk and his auxiliary desk (the kitchen table), each one completely filled wit

h sticky tabs, bookmarks, torn strips of paper and thousands of little notes.

His paper, Solving the Puzzle of Enemy Combatant Status, was the product of those endless nights of note scribbling and is a brilliant fucking masterpiece (and like most masterpieces also really fucking depressing).

It basically lays out predictions of how looking for Taliban terrorists back in 2001 would eventually devolve into rounding up anyone who supports individual freedom as a terrorist and what it would look like. Spoiler Alert; it looks a lot like this shit right here.

We should turn this into a drinking game. Take a drink every time you're declared an extremist, a shot when you make a watchlist, drain the bottle when supporting the constitution gets a terrorist label slapped on your forehead.


The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.

The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place “entire categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.

Over the years, the Obama and Bush Administrations have fiercely resisted disclosing the criteria for placing names on the databases—though the guidelines are officially labeled as unclassified. In May, Attorney General Eric Holder even invoked the state secrets privilege to prevent watchlisting guidelines from being disclosed in litigation launched by an American who was on the no fly list. In an affidavit, Holder called them a “clear roadmap” to the government’s terrorist-tracking apparatus, adding: “The Watchlisting Guidance, although unclassified, contains national security information that, if disclosed … could cause significant harm to national security.” Continue here

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Border Patrol Agent Draws Gun on Boy Scout

This makes me so furious, my heart is thumping in my throat.

Boy Scouts walk to different events at the 200...
Boy Scouts walk to different events at the 2005 National Scout Jamboree. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You know, we hold nurse ins when some rouge cop tries to bully or shame a nursing mom into feeding her baby in a toilet stall (nothing like a little human E coli with lunch).

I really think these feds need a lesson in the law. It is not fucking illegal to take pictures- you fucking cock suckers (cock sucker, of course, being a term of endearment). 

I think an organized protest of iphones snapping away at the border is a good idea.

English: A CBP Border Patrol agent monitors th...

I understand the temptation. But just because you wear a badge doesn't mean you get to make up the law to suit your druthers.

I can't just threaten arrest to people for wearing crocs or to Peter Jackson for chopping up the Hobbit.

It's because of this type of thing that I don't like to let my kids go on scouting trips that cross the border into Canada.  

I feel bad sometimes because they do a lot of awesome events out in the Canadian Rockies and we're only a few miles down from the northern border (they also do a lot of stupid shit too-like hiking grizzly territory without firearms). 

From Gondola, Banff, Alberta, Canada.
From Gondola, Banff, Alberta, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
But I constantly worry that my kids, in particular, will be singled out because of who their dad is. 

Anyway, article below.


Here is the blurb on this from Reason
A group of Boy Scouts from Central Iowa received a lesson they won't forget in federal manners at a border crossing from Canada into Alaska. According to the scoutmaster, a casual snapshot of a Border Patrol agent got the group of about two dozen scouts and volunteers detained, searched—and one of them ultimately held at gunpoint  .  .    .
Continue here

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rand Paul; At least he sold out for a high price

I forgive him for his sins; most notably endorsing Romney, because, lets face it, selling out for a presidency shot is pretty fucking understandable. Most people sell out their convictions for the sake of a more comfortable conversation over drinks.

Romney Ryan 2012 

So this Washington Post article sort of ripped on Zogby's latest poll . I'm not so sure that he would even be given a fair election but I'm looking forward to the fun. 

I miss the old Ron Paul gang. 

Late night sign painting party circa 2007
 My three oldest kids when they were still little

 Stewart Rhodes of Oath Keepers starting trouble even before he started Oath Keepers

I loved those Warhol style signs


NSA still withholding Documents on Death of UN Secretary-General over 50 Years Later

Apparently, someone involved has lived too long. Just once I would love to see some honesty, just for the novelty of it. 

This response to your request was dragged on as long as possible but was, unfortunately, not long enough.
Despite all our best efforts, some of the people involved in the aforementioned request are simply not dead yet.  Previously released SIGINT documents all involved dead people.

The classified documents will continue to remain so until anyone who could possibly be implicated is wearing a toe tag.

Also, for fun a pic from the NSA beauty pageant



July 16, 2014
The NSAs response to our FOIA appeal.
The NSA’s response to our FOIA appeal.
The National Security Agency continues to withhold all portions of two documents about the 1961 death of Secretary-General of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjold in Ndola, Northern Rhodesia – now Zambia.  The Agency continues to withhold this historically significant material despite a FOIA appeal from the National Security Archive that provides specific examples of previously released SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) documents from the 1950s and 1960s and explains why the Agency should not treat fifty-year-old documents as though they were created today. The Agency’s response to the Archive’s appeal merely reiterated the same exemptions and statutes listed in its original August 2013 denial letter.  Its response makes no reference to the evidence provided to the Agency.  The Agency also refused to consider the wide public interest in the United States, the international community, and the United Nations for information about Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold’s mysterious and tragic death while flying to Ndola to resolve a conflict in the Congo. The Agency has refused to help clarify the historical record. The rest here

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Is that rhetorical?

Is The TSA The Most Monstrously Incompetent Agency In History?

Back in the 1960s my uncle took a small suitcase down from his closet. He packed it for a business trip and headed to the airport. 

While passing through security the  guard discovered a handgun. My uncle explained he hadn't realized it was in there. The guard then asked for my uncle's phone number so he could call his wife to pick it up. He unloaded it and made the call. 

My uncle made his flight and likely slapped the stewardess on the ass. My aunt picked up the gun. The end. 


No one was shot. No one was arrested. No one was probed.


Is The TSA The Most Monstrously Incompetent Agency In History?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has identified a massive new threat to domestic airline security. No, it’s not ISIS, Al Qaeda, or the Taliban.
It’s the dead battery on your smartphone.
Last week, TSA announced what it called “enhanced security measures” in which passengers will be required to power up their cell phones before boarding their flight. According to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, TSA has “assesse[d] the global threat environment and reevaluate[d] the measures we take to promote aviation security.”
Your cell phone is evidently part of a “global threat environment,” and so it must be turned on in order to prove that it’s a legitimate mobile device.
“Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft,” the TSA now threatens. “The traveler [with a powerless device] may also undergo additional screening.” It seems the only truly powerless device in this situation is the traveler, who must yet again submit to the whims of an incompetent and unthinking bureaucracy.
“Powerless devices will not be permitted on board the aircraft.” Presumably, that means you’ll either have to miss your flight or throw your phone away. A few questions spring to mind as a result of this new announcement: is the TSA incapable of simply having a phone charger on hand with which to test a “powerless device?” And is the agency so criminally inept that it has no way to determine whether a “powerless device” is, in fact, an explosive device?
Read the rest here

Rehashing Michigan's lost "Right to Farm"

This is an older article (from May) but it caught my eye all over again as it was being passed around on the homesteading sub-Reddit. 

It's always about control, isn't it?

There is no other skill that is half so intimating to a control freak than the ability to feed oneself.

Three hens being let out of their Eglu.
Barbaric governments use food control, just ask Mike Tyson's tattoo. Your mother-in-law probably does too. You know the thing where she offers to loan you money right when you're at your lowest. And you accept and suddenly she's telling you how to discipline your kids and now you feel all powerless to tell her to fuck off because you're still late on paying her? 

Ya, that thing.

I'm just speaking in general terms here, of course.

And the crappier the location (made so by other outrageous laws) the more likely this is to go on and Michigan is the crème de la crème of crappy locations due to bullshit laws. 

I really think everyone should grow a mother fucking corn field on their front lawn. It would cost almost nothing and if they really wanted to protest, let a few chickens go and have their merry chicken way with it all.


Michigan residents lost their “right to farm” this week thanks to a new ruling by the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development. Gail Philburn of the Michigan Sierra Club told Michigan Live, the new changes “effectively remove Right to Farm Act protection for many urban and suburban backyard farmers raising small numbers of animals.” Backyard and urban farming were previously protected by Michigan’s Right to Farm Act. The Commission ruled that the Right to Farm Act protections no longer apply to many homeowners who keep small numbers of livestock.
Kim White, who raises chickens and rabbits, said, “They don’t want us little guys feeding ourselves. They want us to go all to the big farms. They want to do away with small farms and I believe that is what’s motivating it.” The ruling will allow local governments to arbitrarily ban goats, chickens and beehives on any property where there are 13 homes within one eighth mile or a residence within 250 feet of the property, according to Michigan Public Radio. The Right to Farm Act was created in 1981 to protect farmers from the complaints of people from the city who moved to the country and then attempted to make it more urban with anti-farming ordinances. The new changes affect residents of rural Michigan too. It is not simply an urban or suburban concern.
English: Chickens at Daubies Farm
English: Chickens at Daubies Farm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Shady Grove Farm in Gwinn, Michigan is the six and a half acre home to 150 egg-laying hens that provide eggs to a local co-op and a local restaurant. The small Michigan farm also homes sheep for wool and a few turkeys and meat chickens to provide fresh healthy, local poultry. “We produce food with integrity,” Randy Buchler told The Blaze