PT Shamrock Mid December 2011 Newsletter

Mid December 2011 Newsletter

"All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but once the fraud is
exposed they must rely exclusively on force."
- George Orwell

'Nollaig faoi shean is faoi shonas duit.'
- A prosperous and happy Christmas to you.

Thank you for your continued support for another sucessful year.

See you in 2012!

PT Shamrock
December 2011

In this issue:

* Happy Holidays from The Terrocrats!
* Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make - 14 New Ways That
the Government Is Watching You
* Scary Stuff - Trickle-down tyranny - why ordinary people in
positions of local power are adopting tactics of tyrants
* Breaking News! Bush and Blair found guilty of war crimes for Iraq attack
* Did Your Know? - Kidnapping and Ransom Rampant in the US
* Good News - Full-disc encryption is too good, complain CSI teams
* Met police using surveillance system to monitor mobile phones
* Bad News - 17 Quotes About The Coming Global Financial Collapse
That Will Make Your Hair Stand Up
* Credit Suisse to Turn Over Data on Some U.S. Accounts
* Food for thought - Woman Gets Jail For Food-Stamp Fraud; Wall
Street Fraudsters Get Bailouts
* Police State - Is the US Getting Domestic Indefinite Military
Detention for Thanksgiving?
* Horror Stories - 2 Georgia Caregivers Waterboard 89-Year-Old Woman
* The District of Criminals - FBI Sanctioned for Lying About
Existence of Surveillance Records
* Face Recognition Makes the Leap From Sci-Fi
* Hot Tips!
* Advisory - At DC DMV: Driver's license, tag renewal, HIV test
* 10 Things You May Notice About America When Travelling Abroad
* European Court Rejects Call for I.S.P.'s to Curb Illegal File Sharing
* 5-Year-Old Handcuffed, Charged With Battery On Officer
* Dumbing Down - Criminals and cyber bullies to be banned from the web
* Treasury Developing Global Tracking System for All Financial Transactions
* Bug Bites: Research team finds disk encryption foils law enforcement efforts
* More Bugs - Cyborg search-and-rescue insects' power source unveiled
* Red Hot Product!
* Malls track shoppers' cell phones on Black Friday
* Shamrock's Missive!
* A Christmas Tradition
* Quotes
* Tid Bits - National Lawyers Guild Files FOIA Requests Seeking
Evidence of Federal Role in Occupy Crackdown
* More Tid Bits - Expatriation and Gold Prices
* Even More Tid Bits - 10 outlandish things the 'scientific'
controllers have in mind for you in the near future
* Bits n bobs - Introducing the LRAD Sound Cannon
* More Bits N bobs - Facebook tracking is under scrutiny
* Disturbing facts - The Drone Threat to Privacy
* Our Brave New World Of Snitches And Surveillance
* Interesting Read
* Hints & Tips - Best Buy keeps driver license info
* Christmas Special
* Letters To The Editor
* Quote of the year!
* PT Shamrock's Exclusive Member's Site!

*** Happy Holidays from The Terrocrats!

Obama Tax Plan 2012

* Income Tax Rate - Current 35% Obama Proposal 39.%
* Income/Payroll - Current 37.4% Obama Proposal 52.2%
* Capital Gains - Current 15% Obama Proposal 28.%
* Dividends - Current 15% Obama Proposal 39.6%
* Estate Tax (2010) Current 0% Obama Proposal 55%
- Source: Wall Street Journal
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*** Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make - 14 New Ways That
the Government Is Watching You
- End of the American Dream

If you live in the United States today, you need to understand
that your privacy is being constantly eroded. Our world is going
crazy, government paranoia is off the charts and law enforcement
authorities have become absolutely obsessed with watching us,
listening to us, tracking us, recording us, compiling information
on all of us and getting us all to spy on one another. If you doubt
that we are rapidly getting to the point where the government will
monitor every breath you take and every move you make, just read the
rest of this article. The truth is that the government is watching
you more closely than ever, and they are spending billions upon
billions of dollars to enhance their surveillance capabilities
even further. If our society stays on this current path, we will
eventually have zero privacy left. At this point, it is not too
hard to imagine a society where we will not be able to say anything,
buy anything, sell anything, assemble with others or even leave our
homes without government permission. We truly are descending into
a dystopian nightmare and the American people had better wake up.

Sadly, most people living in the United States and in Europe do not
realize what is happening. Most of them think that everything is
just fine. The "Big Brother control grid" that is being constructed
all over the western world squeezes all of us just a little bit
tighter every single day, and most people don't even feel it.

But when you step back and take a look at the big picture, it truly
is horrifying.

The following are 14 new ways that the government is watching you....

#1 In many areas of the United States today, you will be arrested
if you do not produce proper identification for the police. In the
old days, "your papers please" was a phrase that we used to use
to mock the tyranny of Nazi Germany. But now all of us are being
required to be able to produce "our papers" for law enforcement
authorities at any time.

For example, a 21-year-old college student named Samantha Zucker
was recently arrested and put in a New York City jail for 36 hours
just because she could not produce any identification for police.

#2 The federal government has decided that what you and I
share with one another on Facebook and on Twitter could be a
threat to national security. According to a recent Associated
Press article, the Department of Homeland Security will soon be
"gleaning information from sites such as Twitter and Facebook for
law enforcement purposes".

Other law enforcement agencies are getting into the act as well. For
example, the NYPD recently created a special "social media" unit
dedicated to looking for criminals on social media networks such
as Facebook and Twitter.

#3 New high-tech street lights that are being funded by the federal
government and that are being installed all over the nation can also
be used as surveillance cameras, can be used by the DHS to make
"security announcements" and can even be used to record personal
conversations. The following is from a recent article by Paul Joseph
Watson for

Federally-funded high-tech street lights now being installed in
American cities are not only set to aid the DHS in making "security
announcements" and acting as talking surveillance cameras, they are
also capable of "recording conversations," bringing the potential
privacy threat posed by 'Intellistreets' to a whole new level.

#4 More than a million hotel television sets all over America are
now broadcasting propaganda messages from the Department of Homeland
Security promoting the "See Something, Say Something" campaign. In
essence, the federal government wants all of us to become
"informants" and to start spying on one another constantly. The
following comes from an article posted by USA Today....

Starting today, the welcome screens on 1.2 million hotel television
sets in Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn and other hotels
in the USA will show a short public service announcement from
DHS. The 15-second spot encourages viewers to be vigilant and
call law enforcement if they witness something suspicious during
their travels.

#5 The FBI is now admittedly recording Internet talk radio programs
all over the United States. The following comes from a recent
article by Mark Weaver of

If you call a radio talk show and get on the air, you might be
recorded by the FBI.

The FBI has awarded a $524,927 contract to a Virginia company to
record as much radio news and talk programming as it can find on
the Internet.

The FBI says it is not playing big brother by policing the airwaves,
but rather seeking access to what airs as potential evidence.

Potential evidence of what?

This is very creepy. Why is the FBI so interested in what is being
said during Internet talk radio programs?

#6 TSA VIPR teams are now conducting random inspections at bus
stations and on interstate highways all over the United States. For
example, the following comes from a local news report down in

You're probably used to seeing TSA's signature blue uniforms at
the airport, but now agents are hitting the interstates to fight
terrorism with Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR).

"Where is a terrorist more apt to be found? Not these days on an
airplane more likely on the interstate," said Tennessee Department
of Safety & Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons.

Tuesday Tennessee was first to deploy VIPR simultaneously at five
weigh stations and two bus stations across the state.

#7 Thermal imaging face scanners are becoming much more
sophisticated. Law enforcement authorities in the western world are
getting very excited about "pre-crime" tools such as this that will
enable them to "prevent crimes" before they happen. The following
is from a recent BBC News article....

A sophisticated new camera system can detect lies just by watching
our faces as we talk, experts say.

The computerised system uses a simple video camera, a high-resolution
thermal imaging sensor and a suite of algorithms.

Researchers say the system could be a powerful aid to security

But face scanners are not just a tool that will be used in the
future. The truth is that face scanners are being used all over
the United States right now. The following comes from an article
posted on Singularity Hub....

Law enforcement continues to adopt new technologies in an effort to
make their jobs easier and keep us safer. The latest gizmo attaches
to officers' iPhones and turns them into biometric face scanners. The
scanners have already been street tested in Massachusetts. Pretty
soon cops all across the US will be using them to ID suspects.

Before long, technology like this will be all over America. In fact,
the FBI has announced that it will be activating a "nationwide
facial recognition service" in January.

#8 Another "pre-crime" technology currently being tested by the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security is The Future Attribute
Screening Technology (FAST) program. The following description of
this new program comes from an article in the London Telegraph....

Using cameras and sensors the "pre-crime" system measures and tracks
changes in a person's body movements, the pitch of their voice and
the rhythm of their speech.

It also monitors breathing patterns, eye movements, blink rate and
alterations in body heat, which are used to assess an individual's
likelihood to commit a crime.

The Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) programme is already
being tested on a group of government employees who volunteered to
act as guinea pigs.

Do you want government officials to pull you aside and interrogate
you just because you are feeling a little bit nervous one particular

#9 Sadly, "pre-crime" technology is even being used on our
children. The Florida State Department of Juvenile Justice has
announced that it will begin using analysis software to predict
crime by young delinquents and will place "potential offenders"
in specific prevention and education programs.

How soon will it be before this type of things is applied to adults?

#10 Our children are being programmed to accept the fact that
they will be watched and monitored constantly. For example, the
U.S. Department of Agriculture is spending large amounts of money
to install surveillance cameras in the cafeterias of public schools
all across the nation so that government control freaks can closely
monitor what our children are eating.

#11 The U.S. government is also increasingly using "polls" and
"surveys" as tools to gather information about all of us. In previous
articles, I have noted how government authorities seems particularly
interested in our children. According to Mike Adams of Natural News,
the CDC is starting to call parents all over the U.S. to question
them about the vaccination status of their children....

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which has been comprehensively
exposed as a vaccine propaganda organization promoting the interests
of drug companies, is now engaged in a household surveillance program
that involves calling U.S. households and intimidating parents into
producing child immunization records. As part of what it deems a
National Immunization Survey(NIS), the CDC is sending letters to
U.S. households, alerting them that they will be called by "NORC
at the University of Chicago" and that households should "have your
child's immunization records handy when answering our questions."

You can see a copy of the letter that the CDC has been sending out
to selected parents right here.

#12 As I have written about previously, a very disturbing document
that Oath Keepers has obtained shows that the FBI is now instructing
store owners to report many new forms of "suspicious activity" to
them. According to the document, "suspicious activity" now includes
the following....

* paying with cash
* missing a hand or fingers
* strange odors"
* making "extreme religious statements"
* "radical theology"
* purchasing weatherproofed ammunition or match containers
* purchasing meals ready to eat
* purchasing night vision devices, night flashlights or gas masks

Do any of those "signs of suspicious activity" apply to you?

According to a report on WorldNetDaily, this document is part of a
"series of brochures" that will be distributed "to farm supply
stores, gun shops, military surplus stores and even hotels and

#13 In some areas of the country, law enforcement authorities are
pulling data out of cell phones for no reason whatsoever. According
to the ACLU, state police in Michigan are now using "extraction
devices" to download data from the cell phones of motorists that
they pull over. This is taking happening even if the motorists that
are pulled over are not accused of doing anything wrong.

The following is how a recent article on CNET News described the
capabilities of these "extraction devices"....

The devices, sold by a company called Cellebrite, can download text
messages, photos, video, and even GPS data from most brands of cell
phones. The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with
different models and can even bypass security passwords and access
some information.

#14 The government can spy on us and record our conversations
seemingly without any limitation, but in many areas of the country
it has become illegal to watch them or record them in public. For
example, one 21-year-old man down in Florida was recently arrested
for trying to document a confrontation that he was having with
police on his iPhone. But if we can't record them, how can we prove
our side of the story in court?

America is becoming a much different place.

Our privacy is being eroded in thousands of different ways.

National governments and big corporations know far more about you
than you probably ever would imagine.

Yes, there will always be "security threats", but we should not
have to throw away any of our rights in order to be "safe".

America is supposed to be about liberty and freedom.

America is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of
the brave.

If given the choice between living in "1984" and living in "1776",
I know what my choice would be.

I would choose 1776.

I would choose liberty and freedom even if it meant that the world
around me was a little bit less "safe".

What about you?

What would you choose?
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Scary Stuff

Trickle-down tyranny - why ordinary people in positions of local
power are adopting tactics of tyrants
- Mike Adams, NaturalNews

When I read a story yesterday about an 89-year-old woman
being water-boarded by nursing home staff over an argument
about ice cream, I knew something terrible was amiss across
the American landscape. Spontaneous acts of tyranny have
been cropping up lately like cancer tumors: a food tyrant in
Nevada raids a farm picnic and orders everyone to destroy
their food (;
student protesters in California get pepper-sprayed by
thuggish cops who clearly enjoy causing pain and suffering
(; and now nursing home
staffers torture their own resident using techniques borrowed from
Guantanamo Bay (

I watched all this with a sense of sadness and disgrace for the
human race. And then a realization hit me like a sledgehammer...

People are only following by example These random acts of tyranny
aren't really random acts at all. They are the infantile acting-out
of behaviors the childish American public has witnessed being
demonstrated by their "leaders." The TSA sexually molesting air
travelers isn't just a violation of fundamental human rights --
it's also a demonstration to the mindless masses that this is now
"normal" behavior in society, you see.

So as the masses observe Big Government reaching down their own
pants, they now get the message that it's okay to sexually molest
little boys at sports stadiums, or that it's okay to take children
away from parents through C.P.S. and then rape them as part of
child relocation "processing" procedures.

When the American people see George Bush set up secret military
prisons and condone waterboarding torture techniques, they called
for Obama to stop the practice. Obama promised he would, and then
not long after becoming President, he expanded Gitmo and actually
presided over an increase in funding for the military and all its
secret torture facilities.

The message to the American people? If Obama supports it, then
torture must be okay. After all, he won a Nobel Peace Prize, so
"peace" must be something that can be achieved through torture. Thus,
we should not be at all surprised when an 89-year-old woman gets
water-boarded in a nursing home. After all, those staffers are only
doing to her what they've watched the U.S. leaders do to other human
beings, too. (And yet, for some reason, the nursing home staff were
arrested while all the high-level government operatives who engage
in the exact same torture techniques are never even questioned...)

This phenomenon of everyday American people mirroring the behavior
of federal "authorities" who act as tyrants needed a name, and as
I began to ponder this issue, the name came to me in a flash:

I'm calling this phenomenon Trickle-Down Tyranny.

Trickle-Down Tyranny
Just as children mimic the actions of their parents, the childish
minds of the insecure (and fear-pummeled) mainstream masses also
mimic the actions of their parental role models. To many Americans --
and especially those of a more liberal mindset -- government takes
on the role of their parents. The government is supposed to tell
you what to eat, what to buy, what to believe and of course how
to express your patriotism when needed to justify the latest war
launched by a Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning warmonger. Government is the
"authority" and the problem solver in the lives of these people. So
naturally, in their childish mindset they seek to replicate the
behaviors their parental role models are openly exhibiting.

Here's how this looks on the street: Your average city police
officer is a wannabe tyrant who now, by watching the criminality
of the federal government, feels he has permission to engage in
the same tactics of intimidation and arrogance in ruling over the
public (rather than serving to protect them). That's why so many
big-city police officers have recently morphed into paramilitary
jack-booted thugs; dressing in black, unlawfully arresting people
for no justifiable reason, tasering innocent victims in wheelchairs,
and generally acting out what is essentially a childish reflection of
the very same tyranny they witness being demonstrated by high-level
tyrants in Washington D.C.

The FBI, for its part, is busy actually masterminding the very
same "terror plots" that it then magically "prevents" with great
fanfare. As recently exposed in The Guardian (and other newspapers),
the FBI actually develops terror plots, provides the plans, weapons,
funding, motivation and equipment necessary for these "terrorists" to
carry out those plots ( This
is a whole lot like playing a "big-boy" version of Cowboys and
Indians, where all the scenarios are completely fabricated merely
for the purpose of playing games as a source of entertainment.

Trickle-Down Tyranny is also now being seen in local schools,
where "zero-tolerance" rules get children kicked out of the
public education system for merely bringing a butter knife in
their home-packed lunch, for example. Or a child caught with an
aspirin tablet is labeled a "drug abuser" and condemned to special
remediation classes.

The tyrants are everywhere in American society now Think about
the tyrants that have now descended upon you in your own life
-- the tyrant down at the DMV, the tyrant dog license enforcer,
the tyrant building inspector and the tyrant food service worker,
also sometimes known as "soup Nazi."

When you really think about it, there are tyrants everywhere now in
American culture. The fabric of fear and terror is being woven into
that fabric with every "the threat level is now orange" alert put out
by George Bush, or every "spy on your neighbors" message broadcast
by the ogre of offensive tyrants, DHS head Janet Napolitano.

What these people claim to be doing -- "stopping terrorism!" -- pales
in comparison to what they're really doing: setting examples to be
followed by every single person across America who finds himself
or herself in a position of authority. We'll just ALL be tyrants!

Terrorizing innocents is now politically correct behavior Through
its moronic (and completely fabricated) war on terror, the national
leadership in the USA has made it politically correct to terrorize
anyone over whom you exercise power. If you're a librarian, you
can terrorize little children over past-due books (that is, if
children actually read books at all anymore). If you're a septic tank
inspector, you can terrorize people over the layout of their septic
pipes. If you're a doctor, you can terrorize people over flu shots
and chemotherapy, all being aggressively pushed with the very same
fear tactics now used at the highest levels of national government.

Trickle-down tyranny happens because the political leaders
of America have broadcast a message across the nation that
terrorizing innocent people is not merely okay, but downright
patriotic! Anyone who says they're not going along with all
the terror nonsense, the spy-on-your-neighbor paranoia and the
"worship-your-imperialist-government" cultism is immediately
branded an "extremist." It's now "extreme," you see, to not believe
in torture and home-grown terror as a way to keep the sheeple in
line. "Extremism" is now defined as opening your eyes, asking some
commonsense questions, and refusing to follow the hypnotized masses
as they are marched off a high cliff by the globalist population

Merely thinking for yourself, it turns out, is now "extreme." It's
a brave new world after all, I suppose.

Fear and paranoia is being marketed to the public in an attempt to
transform the citizenry into a grand spy ring

The social acceptance of spying on your neighbors and promoting fear
has reached a new fervor across America, very nearly reflecting
that of Nazi Germany in the late 1930's. It's now okay to call
911 on somebody merely because they happen to be writing something
down on a scrap of paper in a public park (that's one of the signs
of possible terrorism, according to ludicrous DHS public service
videos that only breed paranoid thinking). It's now okay to spy on
everyone around you and secretly observe them to see what they're
doing. It's now your duty to watch over every scrap of luggage at
the airport and start screaming about terror threats if some poor
sap walks more than 10 feet away from his bags for a few seconds.

Recently, East Carolina University was thrust into a state of "lock
down" for 3 hours after some spy-on-your-neighbor citizens reported
a man walking around with an "assault rifle." That assault rifle,
of course, turned out to be nothing more than a black umbrella

But this is the level of outrageous hallucinations and total
lunatic paranoia that has been unleashed on the American people
today by a fear-mongering, imperialist government which worships
fear and terror with almost cult-like zealousness. And they call
conspiracy theorists paranoid? Maybe they should look in the mirror
sometime... no well-informed conspiracy investigator would ever
mistake an umbrella for an assault rifle in broad daylight.

The antidote is Trickle-Up Liberty Fortunately, there's a ready
solution to all this. The antidote to Trickle-Down Tyranny is
Trickle-Up Liberty... also known as "grassroots People power." This
is what happens when ordinary, everyday citizens realize that all
government power comes from the People and that government is the
servant of the People, not the other way around.

So they take to the streets and protest. They take their money out
of the accounts of globalist banks. They stop buying GMOs. They
fight against water fluoride in their local towns. They spread the
word about Ron Paul. Trickle-Up Liberty is so powerful that it will
sooner or later overcome Trickle-Down Tyranny... but only if enough
people actually remember what liberty feels like.

That's why, as the editor of NaturalNews, I urge you to practice
liberty in everything you do. Don't settle for tyranny when you can
insist on liberty! After all, the Bill of Rights guarantees you a
number of extremely important rights, many of which are now being
quickly eroded. Stand up for restoring those rights and you will
empower the phenomenon of Trickle-Up Liberty (grassroots liberty),
which is the ultimate solution against Trickle-Down Tyranny.

You can also defend liberty by practicing common courtesy (and common
sense) in your own positions of power. Don't terrorize people just
because you can. Exercise common human decency and compassion for
those who deserve your assistance. When you practice random acts of
kindness, you alter the entire emotional landscape across America,
replacing fear with kindness. Replacing terror with confidence.

If corporate CEOs would practice this, then... well, most
corporations would probably go out of business because they're
mostly in the business of screwing people over for a profit. "There
is no such thing as a victimless billionaire," remember. That level
of wealth accumulation simply doesn't happen without taking from
others in the process.

But remember: In the end, kindness will always win out over
terror. Spread a little around, and you'll see what a world of
difference it can really make. And try to remember not to carry
black umbrellas around any liberal college campuses, or you'll
quickly find out what trickle-down tyranny really looks like.
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*** Breaking News!

Bush and Blair found guilty of war crimes for Iraq attack A tribunal
in Malaysia applies the Nuremberg Principles to brand the two
leaders as war criminals
- Glenn Greenwald

A tribunal in Malaysia, spearheaded by that nation's former Prime
Minister, yesterday found George Bush and Tony Blair guilty
of "crimes against peace" and other war crimes for their 2003
aggressive attack on Iraq, as well as fabricating pretexts used
to justify the attack. The seven-member Kuala Lumpur War Crimes
Tribunal - which featured an American law professor as one of
its chief prosecutors - has no formal enforcement power, but was
modeled after a 1967 tribunal in Sweden and Denmark that found the
U.S. guilty of a war of aggression in Vietnam, and, even more so,
after the U.S.-led Nuremberg Tribunal held after World War II. Just
as the U.S. steadfastly ignored the 1967 tribunal on Vietnam, Bush
and Blair both ignored the summons sent to them and thus were tried
in absentia.

The tribunal ruled that Bush and Blair's name should be entered in
a register of war criminals, urged that they be recognized as such
under the Rome Statute, and will also petition the International
Criminal Court to proceed with binding charges. Such efforts are
likely to be futile, but one Malaysian lawyer explained the motives
of the tribunal to The Associated Press: "For these people who have
been immune from prosecution, we want to put them on trial in this
forum to prove that they committed war crimes." In other words,
because their own nations refuse to hold them accountable and can
use their power to prevent international bodies from doing so, the
tribunal wanted at least formal legal recognition of these war crimes
to be recorded and the evidence of their guilt assembled. That's the
same reason a separate panel of this tribunal will hold hearings
later this year on charges of torture against Dick Cheney, Donald
Rumsfeld and others.

Here's what I find striking about this. Virtually every Serious
political and media elite in America, by definition, would scoff at
this tribunal; few things are considered more fringe or ludicrous
than the notion that George Bush and Tony Blair should be punished
as war criminals just because they aggressively attacked another
nation and caused the deaths of at least 150,000 innocent people
and the displacement of millions more. But the only thing this
Malaysian tribunal is doing is applying the clear principles of
the Nuremberg Tribunal as enunciated by lead prosecutor and former
U.S. Attorney General Robert Jackson in his Opening and Closing
Statements at Nuremberg:

The central crime in this pattern of crimes, the kingpin which holds
them all together, is the plot for aggressive wars. The chief reason
for international cognizance of these crimes lies in this fact. . . .

What makes this inquest significant is that these prisoners represent
sinister influences that will lurk in the world long after their
bodies have returned to dust. . . . . And let me make clear that
while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law
includes, and if it is to serve a useful purpose it must condemn
aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here
now in judgment.

The "kingpin" crime of the German defendants was not genocide or
ethnic cleansing, but rather "the plot for aggressive war," and the
only way that the Nuremberg Tribunal will "serve a useful purpose"
is if it applies equally in the future to "aggression by any other
nations, including those which sit here now in judgment." Who do you
think history will (and should) look more favorably upon? Those in
this Kuala Lumpur tribunal who objected to the heinous war crime that
is the attack on Iraq and attempted to hold the responsible leaders
accountable under the Nuremberg principles, or those in America and
Britain who mocked those efforts (when they weren't ignoring them)
and demanded that they and their leaders be fully exempted from the
principles they imposed and decreed as universal after World War II?

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan, who yesterday expressed angry bafflement
over the fact that many liberals do not swoon for President Obama the
way Jon Chait does, today noted that the U.S. under Obama imposes
even less accountability for abuse of power and war crimes than
does Bahrain:

Bahrain's Sunni government promised "no immunity" for anyone
suspected of abuses and said it would propose creating a permanent
human rights watchdog commission. "All those who have broken the law
or ignored lawful orders and instructions will be held accountable,"
said a government statement, which says the report acknowledges
that the "systematic practice of mistreatment" ended shortly after
martial law was repealed on June 1.

As Andrew put it: "So a Middle East dictatorship has more democratic
accountability for abuse of power, including torture, than the US
under Obama." Beyond things like this and the facts set forth in
the last paragraph here, perhaps Andrew could use today's post of
his to help clear up the towering mystery he raised yesterday of
liberal disenchantment with Obama. That American war criminals are
being aggressively shielded from any and all accountability is not
an ancillary matter but one of enduring historical significance.
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*** Did Your Know?

Kidnapping and Ransom Rampant in the US
- Jeff Berwick
The Dollar Vigilante

The US, by a wide margin, is the world leader in kidnapping and the
kidnappers are becoming more predatory and beginning to demand higher
ransoms as the economic environment in the US continues to decline.

In 2008 alone, 182,422 individuals, were either accosted by armed
criminals and often-times attacked in their own houses, taken
and then put in cages throughout the US. While 16,965 of them may
have deserved to be kidnapped, 165,457 of them, or 90.7%, had done
anything violent to anybody.

A chart shows the total amount kidnapped per country, showing the
US is by far the largest of any country on Earth. The US has 5%
of the population of the world but does 22% of the kidnapping.

The rise in kidnappings in the US has been dramatic and has become
epidemic as can be seen here:

American Apartheid
The kidnappers target ethnic minorities by a wide margin. White males
have been getting kidnapped at a rate of 736 per 100,000. Latinos
at 1,862 per 100,000. And, black males at 4,789 per 100,000.

In South Africa under apartheid, in 1993, black males were kidnapped
at a rate of 851 per 100,000. In the US, black males are kidnapped
at a rate of 4,789 per 100,000. The US apartheid system has more
than a 500% higher kidnapping rate of blacks than the South African

Ransoms Raised
The kidnappers, hard up for money in these tough economic times
have begun to raise their ransoms. Kidnappers in Arizona allow you
to visit the person kidnapped but they demand a fee of $25 per visit.

And now one criminal cartel that controls the area called Riverside
County in California has stated that they will be kidnapping
people and demanding a ransom of $142.42 per day. Cartel boss, Jeff
Stone, released this statement to the media about their increase
in operations:

"I think we're blazing a new trail here. In these very challenging
economic times, I believe this can be a source of revenue ... I
believe this can return 3 to 5 million (dollars) a year during
these very challenging economic times."

Other cartels throughout the US are likely watching this with
great interest.

Kidnapping Conditions In The Us

Often times those kidnapped in the US are placed in very overcrowded
conditions, brutally beaten and sodomized by other hostages. One
particularly brutal cartel boss who operates in the southern Arizona
corridor, with the nickname "Sheriff Joe", has been very active
abducting people from their cars after leaving bars and putting
them in concentration camps in the Arizona desert at temperatures
often above 110F and feeding them spoiled food and dressing them
in pink jumpsuits - a strange fetish of the crime boss.

It has been hard to curtail these kidnappings because in many cases
these cartels are supported by the locals who see them as having
their best interests in mind.Sadly, in the US culture, those who
get kidnapped are often turned into an underclass and shunned after
their release. People who have been kidnapped are often not given
opportunities to work nor to travel after they have been sequestered.

Visitors To The Us Are Advised To Use Great Caution

Those looking to visit the US should look to other locations nearby
like Mexico where the rate of official kidnappings is more than
90% lower at 64 per 100,000 people. Plus, the conditions for those
kidnapped in Mexico can be markedly better in some circumstances. A
recent search of a caged area where hostages are kept in Acapulco
turned up 19 prostitutes, two sacks of marijuana, numerous bottles
of alcohol, 100 fighting cocks and two peacocks.

If safety is your prime concern then it would be wise for travellers
to avoid the US at this time and to look to safer locales such as
China, Russia, or Mexico where your chance of being abducted is
significantly lower and if you are abducted, your chances of having
a really fun time while being held hostage are markedly higher as
hostages held in one Acapulco location can assuredly attest.
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Good News

Full-disc encryption is too good, complain CSI teams

Full-disc encryption is good at keeping your computer secure. So
good, in fact, that it's got digital CSI teams tearing their
hair out.

Computer security engineers, including a member of the US Computer
Emergency Response Team, are complaining in a research paper this
week that crooked bankers, terrorists and child abusers may be
getting away with crimes because it is proving impossible for
digital investigators to unlock their encrypted hard drives. As
New Scientist related in February, full-disc encryption is a major
consumer security leap. It scrambles everything on a drive when
you turn off your computer, time out or log out. But the flipside,
of course, is consternation for some crime fighters.

The authors of the paper say they face four major problems. First,
forensics don't always realise FDE is running on an evidence-carrying
computer and turn it off - so all is lost. Second, when officers
copy a disc for analysis not realising it is FDE-encrypted, teams
waste hours of valuable crime lab time trying to make sense of
gobbledegook. Third, plugging in analysis hardware can trigger a
trusted-hardware-only rule to encrypt everything. Fourth, some
US suspects plead the fifth amendment and refuse to give their
passphrases, while others lie and give the wrong one, claiming the
FDE had failed or that they must have forgotten the passphrase.

To cope with the FDE era, the US CERT-led team want improved
scene-of-crime routines and better preparation of search
warrants. Their conclusion is somewhat hopeless however:

"Research is needed to develop new techniques and technology for
breaking or bypassing full disk encryption."

Which kind of goes against the whole point of encryption, we would

Shamrock's comment: You can obtain FREE whole disk, portable and
other drive encryption at

If you like their products, and I believe you will, don't forget
to make a donation to their worthy cause.
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*** Met police using surveillance system to monitor mobile phones

Civil liberties group raises concerns over Met police purchase of
technology to track public handsets over a targeted area

Britain's largest police force is operating covert surveillance
technology that can masquerade as a mobile phone network,
transmitting a signal that allows authorities to shut off phones
remotely, intercept communications and gather data about thousands
of users in a targeted area.

The surveillance system has been procured by the Metropolitan
police from Leeds-based company Datong plc, which counts the US
Secret Service, the Ministry of Defence and regimes in the Middle
East among its customers. Strictly classified under government
protocol as "Listed X", it can emit a signal over an area of up to
an estimated 10 sq km, forcing hundreds of mobile phones per minute
to release their unique IMSI and IMEI identity codes, which can be
used to track a person's movements in real time.

The disclosure has caused concern among lawyers and privacy
groups that large numbers of innocent people could be unwittingly
implicated in covert intelligence gathering. The Met has refused
to confirm whether the system is used in public order situations,
such as during large protests or demonstrations.

Nick Pickles, director of privacy and civil liberties campaign
group Big Brother Watch, warned the technology could give police
the ability to conduct "blanket and indiscriminate" monitoring:
"It raises a number of serious civil liberties concerns and
clarification is urgently needed on when and where this technology
has been deployed, and what data has been gathered," he said. "Such
invasive surveillance must be tightly regulated, authorised at the
highest level and only used in the most serious of investigations. It
should be absolutely clear that only data directly relating to
targets of investigations is monitored or stored," he said.

Datong's website says its products are designed to provide law
enforcement, military, security agencies and special forces with
the means to "gather early intelligence in order to identify and
anticipate threat and illegal activity before it can be deployed".
The company's systems, showcased at the DSEi arms fair in east
London last month, allow authorities to intercept SMS messages
and phone calls by secretly duping mobile phones within range
into operating on a false network, where they can be subjected to
"intelligent denial of service". This function is designed to cut
off a phone used as a trigger for an explosive device.

A transceiver around the size of a suitcase can be placed in
a vehicle or at another static location and operated remotely
by officers wirelessly. Datong also offers clandestine portable
transceivers with "covered antennae options available". Datong sells
its products to nearly 40 countries around the world, including in
Eastern Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. In
2009 it was refused an export licence to ship technology worth
GBP0.8m to an unnamed Asia Pacific country, after the Department
for Business, Innovation and Skills judged it could be used to
commit human rights abuses.

A document seen by the Guardian shows the Metropolitan police
paid GBP143,455 to Datong for "ICT hardware" in 2008/09. In 2010
the 37-year-old company, which has been publicly listed since
October 2005, reported its pro forma revenue in the UK was GBP3.9m,
and noted that "a good position is being established with new law
enforcement customer groups". In February 2011 it was paid GBP8,373
by Hertfordshire Constabulary according to a transaction report
released under freedom of information.

Between 2004 and 2009 Datong won over $1.6 (GBP1.03m) in contracts
with US government agencies, including the Secret Service,
Special Operations Command and the Bureau of Immigration and
Customs Enforcement. In February 2010 the company won a GBP750,000
order to supply tracking and location technology to the US defence
sector. Official records also show Datong entered into contracts
worth more than GBP500,000 with the Ministry of Defence in 2009.

All covert surveillance is currently regulated under the Regulation
of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa), which states that to intercept
communications a warrant must be personally authorised by the home
secretary and be both necessary and proportionate. The terms of
Ripa allow phone calls and SMS messages to be intercepted in the
interests of national security, to prevent and detect serious crime,
or to safeguard the UK's economic wellbeing.

Latest figures produced by the government-appointed interception
of communications commissioner, Sir Paul Kennedy, show there were
1,682 interception warrants approved by the home secretary in
2010. Public authorities can request other communications data -
such as the date, time and location a phone call was made - without
the authority of the home secretary. In 2010, 552,550 such requests
were made, averaging around 1,500 per day.

Barrister Jonathan Lennon, who specialises in cases involving
covert intelligence and Ripa, said the Met's use of the Datong
surveillance system raised significant legislative questions about
proportionality and intrusion into privacy.

"How can a device which invades any number of people's privacy be
proportionate?" he said. "There needs to be clarification on whether
interception of multiple people's communications - when you can't
even necessarily identify who the people are - is complaint with the
act. It may be another case of the technology racing ahead of the
legislation. Because if this technology now allows multiple tracking
and intercept to take place at the same time, I would have thought
that was not what parliament had in mind when it drafted Ripa."

Former detective superintendent Bob Helm, who had the authority
to sign off Ripa requests for covert surveillance during 31
years of service with Lancashire Constabulary, said: "It's all
very well placed in terms of legislation when you can and
can't do it. It's got to be legal and obviously proportionate and
justified. If you can't do that, and the collateral implications
far outweigh the evidence you're going to get, well then you just
don't contemplate it."

In May the Guardian revealed the Met had purchased software used to
map suspects' digital movements using data gathered from social
networking sites, satnav equipment, mobile phones, financial
transactions and IP network logs. The force said the software was
being tested using "dummy data" to explore how it could be used
to examine "police vehicle movements, crime patterns and telephone

The Met would not comment on its use of Datong technology or give
details of where or when it had been used.

A spokesman said: "The MPS [Metropolitan police service] may employ
surveillance technology as part of our continuing efforts to ensure
the safety of Londoners and detect criminality. It can be a vital
and highly effective investigative tool.

"Although we do not discuss specific technology or tactics, we can
re-assure those who live and work in London that any activity we
undertake is in compliance with legislation and codes of practice."

A spokesman for the Home Office said covert surveillance was kept
under "constant review" by the chief surveillance commissioner,
Sir Christopher Rose, who monitors the conduct of authorities and
ensures they are complying with the appropriate legislation.
He added: "Law enforcement agencies are required to act in accordance
with the law and with the appropriate levels of authorisation for
their activity."

Datong declined to comment.
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Bad News

17 Quotes About The Coming Global Financial Collapse That Will Make
Your Hair Stand Up
- The Economic Collapse

Is the world on the verge of another massive global financial
collapse? Yes. The western world is drowning in an ocean of debt
unlike anything the world has ever seen before, and our financial
markets are gigantic casinos that are dependent on huge mountains of
risk and leverage remaining very stable. In the end, this house of
cards that has been built on a foundation of sand is going to come
crashing down in a horrifying manner. Usually in this column I go
on and on about why things will soon get much worse. But today I am
going to take a bit of a break. Today, I am going to let some of the
top financial professionals in the world tell you why things will
soon get much worse. Many of the quotes that you are about to read
just might make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Most
people out there have no idea what is about to happen. Most people
out there are working hard and are busy preparing for the holidays
and they are hopeful that the economy will turn around soon. But
that is not going to happen. We are heading for another major global
financial collapse, and when it happens the U.S. economy is going
to get even worse.

The epicenter for the coming global financial collapse is almost
certainly going to be in Europe. As you will see below, financial
professionals all over the world are sounding the alarm about
Europe. It is a disaster that everyone can see coming but that
nobody seems to be able to prevent.

Of course the failure of the "supercommittee" in the United States
certainly is not helping matters. There is already talk that we
may soon see another downgrade for U.S. debt. It is hard to even
describe how incompetent the U.S. Congress is.

There is a tremendous lack of leadership both in the United States
and in Europe right now. The financial world is more interconnected
than ever before, and when the financial dominoes start to fall it
is going to take a miracle to keep a complete and total disaster
from unfolding.

So when the time comes, who is going to step forward and provide
that leadership?

That is a really, really good question.

Right now, panic and fear are spreading like wildfire in the
financial world and nobody knows for sure what is going to happen

But one thing is for certain. Pessimism is growing stronger by
the day.

The following are 17 quotes about the coming global financial
collapse that will make your hair stand up....

#1 Credit Suisse's Fixed Income Research unit: "We seem to
have entered the last days of the euro as we currently know
it. That doesn't make a break-up very likely, but it does mean
some extraordinary things will almost certainly need to happen -
probably by mid-January - to prevent the progressive closure of
all the euro zone sovereign bond markets, potentially accompanied
by escalating runs on even the strongest banks."

#2 Willem Buiter, chief economist at Citigroup: "Time is running
out fast. I think we have maybe a few months - it could be weeks, it
could be days - before there is a material risk of a fundamentally
unnecessary default by a country like Spain or Italy which would
be a financial catastrophe dragging the European banking system
and North America with it."

#3 Jim Reid of Deutsche Bank: "If you don't think Merkel's tone
will change then our investment advice is to dig a hole in the
ground and hide."

#4 David Rosenberg, a senior economist at Gluskin Sheff in Toronto:
"Lenders are finding it difficult to finance their day-to-day
operations with short-term funding. This is a lot like 2008 but
with more twists."

#5 Christian Stracke, the head of credit research for Pimco: "This
is just a repeat of what we saw in 2008, when everyone wanted to
see toxic assets off the banks' balance sheets"

#6 Paul Krugman of the New York Times: "At this point I'd guess
soaring rates on Italian debt leading to a gigantic bank run, both
because of solvency fears about Italian banks given a default and
because of fear that Italy will end up leaving the euro. This then
leads to emergency bank closing, and once that happens, a decision
to drop the euro and install the new lira. Next stop, France."

#7 Paul Hickey of Bespoke Investment Group: "More and more, we are
hearing anecdotal comments from individual and professionals that
this is the most difficult environment they have ever experienced
as the market is like a fish flopping around after being taken out
of the water."

#8 Bob Janjuah of Nomura International: "Germany appears to be
adamant that full political and fiscal integration over the next
decade (nothing substantive will happen over the short term, in
my view) is the only option, and ECB monetisation is no longer
possible. I really think it is that clear and simple. And if
I am wrong, and the ECB does a U-turn and agrees to unlimited
monetisation, I will simply wait for the inevitable knee-jerk rally
to fade before reloading my short risk positions. Even if Germany
and the ECB somehow agree to unlimited monetisation I believe it
will do nothing to fix the insolvency and lack of growth in the
eurozone. It will just result in a major destruction of the ECB?s
balance sheet which will force an ECB recap. At that point, I think
Germany and its northern partners would walk away. Markets always
want short, sharp, simple solutions."

#9 Dan Akerson, CEO of General Motors: "The '08 recession, which
was a credit bubble that manifested itself through primarily the
real estate market, that was a serious stress....This is much
more serious."

#10 Francesco Garzarelli of Goldman Sachs: "Pressures on Euro area
sovereign bond markets have progressively intensified and spread
like a wildfire."

#11 Jim Rogers: "In 2002 it was bad, in 2008 it was worse and 2012
or 2013 is going to be worse still - be careful"

#12 Dr. Pippa Malmgren, the President and founder of Principalis
Asset Management who once worked in the White House as an adviser
to President Bush: "Market forces are increasingly determining what
the options are and foreclosing on options policymakers thought they
had. One option which is now under discussion involves permitting
a country to temporarily leave the Euro, return to its native
currency, devalue, commit to returning to the Euro at a better
debt to GDP ratio, a better exchange rate and a better growth
trajectory and yet not sacrifice its EU membership. I would like
to say for the record that this is precisely the thought process
that I expected to evolve,but when I proposed this possibility
back in 2009, and again in September 2010, I had a 100% response
from clients and others that this was "impossible" and many felt
it was "ridiculous".

They may be right but this is the current
state of the discussion. The Handelsblatt in Germany has reported
this conversation, but wrongly assumes that the country that will
exit is Germany. I think that Germany will have to exit if the
Southern European states do not. Germany's preference is to stay
in the Euro and have the others drop out. The problem has been
the Germans could not convince the others to walk away. But, now,
market pressures are forcing someone to leave. Germany is pushing
for that someone to be Italy. They hope that this would be a one
off exception, not to be repeated by any other country. Obviously,
though, if Italy leaves the Euro and reverts to Lira then the
markets will immediately and forcefully attack Spain, Portugal
and even whatever is left of the already savaged Greeks.

These countries will not be able to compete against a devalued
Greece or Italy when it come to tourism or even infrastructure.

But, the principal target will be France. The three largest French
banks have roughly 450 billion Euros of exposure to Italian debt.

So, further sovereign defaults are certainly inevitable, but that is
true under any scenario. Growth and austerity will not do the trick,
as ZeroHedge rightly points out. Ultimately, I will not be at all
surprised to see Europe's banking system shut for days while the
losses and payments issues are worked out. People forget that the
term "bank holiday" was invented in the 1930's when the banks were
shut for exactly the same reason."

#13 Daniel Clifton, a policy strategist with Strategas Research
Partners on the potential for more downgrades of U.S. debt: "We
would expect further downgrades, a first downgrade from Moody's
and Fitch and possibly a second downgrade from S&P."

#14 Warren Buffett on the problems in the eurozone: "The system as
presently designed has revealed a major flaw. And that flaw won't
be corrected just by words. Europe will either have to come closer
together or there will have to be some other rearrangement because
this system is not working"

#15 David Kostin, equity strategist for Goldman Sachs: "The wide
range of possible outcomes on both the super committee process
and the unstable political economy in Europe drives our view that
investors should assume the worst while hoping for the best."

#16 Mark Mobius, the head of the emerging markets desk at Templeton
Asset Management: "There is definitely going to be another financial
crisis around the corner"

#17 Gerald Celente, founder of The Trends Research Institute:
"The whole system is going down. Pull your money out your Fidelity
account, your Scwhab accout, and your ETFs."

Are you starting to get the picture?

When so many top financial professionals are freaking out like this,
perhaps the rest of us should start paying attention.

They are telling us that "time is running out".

They are telling us that "there is definitely going to be another
financial crisis".

They are telling us that this "is going to be worse" than 2008.

They are telling us that "the whole system is going down".

Yes, a devastating financial collapse really is coming. Just like in
2008, it will seem like the "end of the world" while it is happening,
but it won't be. It will severely damage our financial system and
our economy, but it will not finish us off.

Think of it this way. When you build a sand castle at the beach,
it doesn't get totally wiped out by the first wave or the second
wave that hits it. Each wave does significant damage, but the
destruction of your sand castle is a process.

It is the same thing with the U.S. economy. We once had the most
incredible economic machine that the world has ever seen. It is
constantly being guttedand the financial crisis of 2008 hit us
really hard, but we are still doing okay.

After this next financial crisis we will be in even worse shape. But
we will still be breathing.

More "waves" will come after this next financial crisis. If we
continue on the road that we are on, our economy will progressively
get worse and worse.

Not everyone will agree with this analysis, and that is okay. In
the end, time will reveal the truth to all of us.

Right now, we all need to get ready for the next wave that is about
to hit us. A lot of people are going to lose their jobs over the
next few years. Hopefully you are prepared for that.
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*** Credit Suisse to Turn Over Data on Some U.S. Accounts
- David Jolly

A branch of Credit Suisse in Basel, Switzerland. The I.R.S. asked
for help in locating information on American account holders.

Credit Suisse has been ordered by the Swiss government to turn
over account data on some wealthy American clients as part of a
U.S. effort to crack down on tax evasion, the bank said on Tuesday.

The bank, based in Zurich, wrote in an e-mailed statement that the
U.S. Internal Revenue Service had recently asked the Swiss Federal
Tax Administration for help in locating information on American
account holders under a 1996 American-Swiss tax treaty.

Credit Suisse said the Swiss tax administration had responded with
"an order directing Credit Suisse A.G. to submit responsive account
information" to the Swiss authorities.

Alex Biscaro, a Credit Suisse spokesman in Zurich, said the bank
had begun to inform some U.S. clients by letter about the order,
but he declined to comment further on the case. Beat Furrer, a
spokesman for the Swiss tax administration, declined to detail the
nature of the request. Dean Patterson, a spokesman in Washington
for the I.R.S., declined to comment.

The letters that Credit Suisse was sending to clients gave two
options, according to Paul Behling, a partner at Withers Bergman,
an international law firm: Either consent to the account data
being turned over to the I.R.S. or file an appeal with the Swiss

Mr. Behling said he would advise clients who believed they had a
basis to appeal to do so, but that others should consider going to
the I.R.S. and trying to negotiate a lighter penalty. Under U.S. law,
cheating the tax authorities can be punished with up to five years
in prison and civil penalties.

Not all of the bank's U.S. clients are affected by the order. The
I.R.S. provided Swiss authorities with detailed information on the
Credit Suisse clients in question, suggesting they had obtained
information about those individuals independently. The fact that
the request was made under the existing treaty showed that there
has been no global deal on client data.

"U.S. officials are mining the data from the 30,000 people who have
participated in the voluntary disclosure programs," Mr. Behling said,
referring to an I.R.S. initiative to encourage people with hidden
offshore accounts to come clean. Those who entered the program did
so were required to name names about the bankers and other advisers
who helped them to set up accounts and offshore corporations.

"The initial focus of the I.R.S. on Credit Suisse seems to be on
U.S. persons holding offshore accounts through corporations or
trusts," he said. "This is not the end of it."

The United States and several European countries, notably Germany,
Britain and France, have been seeking in recent years to ensure
that their citizens cannot take advantage of Swiss banking secrecy
to hide assets. The Offshore Compliance Initiative, a U.S. Justice
Department effort to track down tax cheats, is conducting criminal
investigations into at least eight banks.

The Justice Department told Credit Suisse in July that it was the
object of an investigation as part of "a broader industry inquiry"
after four private bankers with links to Credit Suisse were indicted
in February by the U.S. authorities on charges that they helped
Americans to avoid taxes.

Credit Suisse said last week that it was setting aside 478 million
Swiss francs, or $535 million, for legal costs related to tax
evasion charges in the United States and Germany. In September, it
reached a deal with the German authorities to end an investigation
over allegations that employees in Düsseldorf had helped German
clients to hide income from tax collectors.

UBS, the biggest Swiss bank, paid $780 million in 2009 in the tax
investigation and later agreed to hand over some client names to
avoid prosecution.

In October, Bank Julius Baer, a private Swiss bank, said two of
its advisers had been charged with conspiring to help clients evade
U.S. taxes on more than $600 million hidden in offshore accounts.
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Food for thought

Woman Gets Jail For Food-Stamp Fraud; Wall Street Fraudsters Get

Had a quick piece of news I wanted to call attention to, in light
of the recent developments at Zuccotti Park. For all of those who
say the protesters have it wrong, and don't really have a cause
worth causing public unrest over, consider this story, sent to me
by a friend on the Hill.

Last week, a federal judge in Mississippi sentenced a mother of two
named Anita McLemore to three years in federal prison for lying on
a government application in order to obtain food stamps.

Apparently in this country you become ineligible to eat if you
have a record of criminal drug offenses. States have the option
of opting out of that federal ban, but Mississippi is not one of
those states. Since McLemore had four drug convictions in her past,
she was ineligible to receive food stamps, so she lied about her
past in order to feed her two children.

The total "cost" of her fraud was $4,367. She has paid the money
back. But paying the money back was not enough for federal Judge
Henry Wingate.

Wingate had the option of sentencing McLemore according to federal
guidelines, which would have left her with a term of two months to
eight months, followed by probation. Not good enough! Wingate was
so outraged by McLemore's fraud that he decided to serve her up
the deluxe vacation, using another federal statute that permitted
him to give her up to five years.

He ultimately gave her three years, saying, "The defendant's criminal
record is simply abominable. She has been the beneficiary of
government generosity in state court."

Compare this court decision to the fraud settlements on Wall
Street. Like McLemore, fraud defendants like Citigroup, Goldman
Sachs, and Deutsche Bank have "been the beneficiary of government
generosity." Goldman got $12.9 billion just through the AIG
bailout. Citigroup got $45 billion, plus hundreds of billions in
government guarantees.

All of these companies have been repeatedly dragged into court for
fraud, and not one individual defendant has ever been forced to
give back anything like a significant portion of his ill-gotten
gains. The closest we've come is in a fraud case involving Citi,
in which a pair of executives, Gary Crittenden and Arthur Tildesley,
were fined the token amounts of $100,000 and $80,000, respectively,
for lying to shareholders about the extent of Citi's debt.

Neither man was forced to admit to intentional fraud. Both got to
keep their jobs.

Anita McLemore, meanwhile, lied to feed her children, gave back
every penny of her "fraud" when she got caught, and is now going
to do three years in prison. Explain that, Eric Holder!

Here's another thing that boggles my mind: You get busted for drugs
in this country, and it turns out you can make yourself ineligible
to receive food stamps.

But you can be a serial fraud offender like Citigroup, which
has repeatedly been dragged into court for the same offenses and
has repeatedly ignored court injunctions to abstain from fraud,
and this does not make you ineligible to receive $45 billion in
bailouts and other forms of federal assistance.

This is the reason why all of these settlements allowing banks
to walk away without "admissions of wrongdoing" are particularly
insidious. A normal person, once he gets a felony conviction,
immediately begins to lose his rights as a citizen.

But white-collar criminals of the type we've seen in recent years
on Wall Street - both the individuals and the corporate "citizens"
- do not suffer these ramifications. They commit crimes without real
consequence, allowing them to retain access to the full smorgasbord
of subsidies and financial welfare programs that, let's face it,
are the source of most of their profits.

Why, I wonder, does a bank that has committed fraud multiple times
get to retain access to the Federal Reserve discount window? Why
should Citigroup and Goldman Sachs get to keep their status as
Primary Dealers of U.S. government debt? Are there not enough banks
without extensive histories of fraud and malfeasance that can be
awarded these de facto subsidies?

Shamrock's Comment: Hypocrisy knows no bounds!
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*** Police State

Is the US Getting Domestic Indefinite Military Detention for Thanksgiving?
- Adam Serwer

A bipartisan group of senators is poised to force through dramatic
changes to how the US government handles suspected terrorists-over
the objections of the White House and Senate Democratic leadership.

Legislative language that emerged from the Senate Armed Services
Committee on Tuesday afternoon would mandate the automatic,
indefinite military detention of noncitizens apprehended in the
United States who are suspected members of Al Qaeda or associated
groups. The wording, which is part of a must-pass bill to fund the
military, also appears to allow the indefinite military detention
of citizens and legal permanent residents. The bill would also
extend restrictions on transfers of detainees from Guantanamo Bay,
though only for one year.

Obama administration officials fear that the mandatory detention
provisions could force the FBI to interrupt ongoing investigations
in order to hand suspected terrorists over to the military. They
also worry that the new rules could interfere with the prosecution
of suspected terrorists in federal courts. At a homeland security
and counterterrorism conference in September, White House
counterterrorism adviser John Brennan warned that "this approach
would impose unprecedented restrictions on the ability of experienced
professionals to combat terrorism." Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid (D-Nev.) held up the defense funding bill in mid-October on
the basis of the those objections. The latest changes to the bill
appear to address some of the administration's concerns by claiming
that designating an individual a terrorist "does not require the
interruption of ongoing surveillance or intelligence gathering
activities." But civil liberties advocates are disappointed.

"The problems with these provisions have not been fixed-they've
been made worse," says Chris Anders, legislative counsel with the
American Civil Liberties Union. "There is absolutely no reason
for Congress to now pass legislation that would put in indefinite
military detention American citizens and other suspects apprehended
far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself. "

Anders also points out that it's entirely possible that the
detention provisions could become more restrictive once other
Senate Republicans start demanding changes to them. Reid, however,
doesn't sound like he's willing to hold the bill up any further. "It
hasn't been worked out to the satisfaction of everyone," Reid said
of the defense bill, "but there comes a time when we have to stop
negotiating and move to the legislation."

A Senate Democratic aide said that Reid was hoping to move the bill
to the floor as early as next week.

"He's made no commitments on final passage until we see what comes
out of the Senate, and then what comes out of the conference,"
the aide said. "He just wants to move the bill to the floor before
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Horror Stories

2 Georgia Caregivers Waterboard 89-Year-Old Woman
- CBS Atlanta

Jonesboro, Georgia - Police charge two caregivers at a Jonesboro
facility with waterboarding an 89-year-old woman.

Clayton County police said Jermeller Steed and Cicely Reed held
down Anna Foley after an argument that started over ice cream.

They're said to have allegedly held down Foley in a locked shower
room, flooding her face with the hand-hold shower nozzle in 2008.

According to WGCL-TV, Foley was undergoing treatment at the facility
for dementia. A co-worker witnessed the event and blew the whistle.

The technique slowly drowns subjects by blocking the air passages
with flowing water while the subject is immobilized.

The Obama administration banned waterboarding suspected terrorists
in January 2009, classifying it as torture.

Neither Steed nor Reed currently work at the elderly care facility.

Shamrock's Comment: They should have been water boarded themselves
and arrested!
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*** The District of Criminals

FBI Sanctioned for Lying About Existence of Surveillance Records
- Jennifer Lynch, EFF

An order from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of
California has revealed the FBI lied to the court about the existence
of records requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA),
taking the position that FOIA allows it to withhold information from
the court whenever it thinks this is in the interest of national
security. Using the strongest possible language, the court disagreed:
"The Government cannot, under any circumstance, affirmatively mislead
the Court." Islamic Shura Council of S. Cal. v. FBI("Shura Council
I"), No. 07-1088, 3 (C.D. Cal. April 27, 2011) (emphasis added).

This case may prove relevant in EFF's ongoing FOIA litigation
against the FBI. As discussed further below, one of the issues in
Shura Council was the FBI's extensive and improper use of "outside
the scope" redactions. The agency has also used these heavily in
at least one of our current cases - in areas where it is highly
unlikely the material blocked out is actually outside the scope of
our FOIA request. (see example to the left from our case seeking
records on the government's push to expand federal surveillance
laws). We'll be writing more about that case in the coming weeks
and posting the documents we received on this site soon.

Shura Council started five years ago in May 2006, after widespread
reporting on the FBI's programs targeting Muslims after September
11, 2001. At that time, several Muslim citizens and organizations in
Southern California, including the Islamic Shura Council of Southern
California and theCouncil on American Islamic Relations(CAIR),
submitted a broad joint FOIA request to the FBI seeking
"[a]ny records relating or referring" to themselves, "including
. . . records that document any collection of information about
monitoring, surveillance, observation, questioning, interrogation,
investigation and/or infiltration[.]" Shura Council I at 4.

In 2008, after the FBI produced only minimal records, the requesters
filed a federal lawsuit. The FBI then searched for and located
additional records for nine of the plaintiffs, but these records
were heavily redacted, with much of the information withheld as
"outside the scope" of the plaintiffs' FOIA request. The FBI
attested, in documents and declarations it submitted under oath to
the court, that these were all the records that existed about the
plaintiffs and that the materials labeled "outside the scope" were
"not responsive" to the plaintiffs' FOIA request.

After court ordered the FBI to submit full versions of the records
in camera, along with a new declaration about the agency's search,
the FBI revealed for the first time that it had materially and
fundamentally mislead the court in its earlier filings. The unaltered
versions of the documents showed that the information the agency
had withheld as "outside the scope" was actually well within the
scope of the plaintiffs' FOIA request. The government also admitted
it had a large number of additional responsive documents that it
hadn't told the plaintiffs or the court about. Id. at 7-8.

If these revelations weren't bad enough, the FBI also argued
FOIA allows it to mislead the court where it believes revealing
information would "compromise national security." Id. at 9. The
FBI also argued, that "its initial representations to the Court
were not technically false" because although the information might
have been "factually" responsive to the plaintiffs' FOIA request,
it was "legally nonresponsive." Id. at 9, n. 4 (emphasis added).

The court noted, this "argument is indefensible," id. at 9-10, and
held, "the FOIA does not permit the government to withhold responsive
information from the court." (Id.)(upheld on appeal in Islamic Shura
Council of S. Cal. v. FBI, __ F.3d __, No. 09-56035, at 4280-81
(9th Cir. Mar. 30, 2011) ("Shura Council II").1 The court stated:

The Government argues that there are times when the interests of
national security require the Government to mislead the Court. The
Court strongly disagrees. The Government's duty of honesty to the
Court can never be excused, no matter what the circumstance. The
Court is charged with the humbling task of defending the Constitution
and ensuring that the Government does not falsely accuse people,
needlessly invade their privacy or wrongfully deprive them of their
liberty. The Court simply cannot perform this important task if
the Government lies to it. Deception perverts justice. Truth always
promotes it.

(Shura Council I at 17) (emphasis added). This is an important
opinion for FOIA requesters because sometimes the only protection
a FOIA requester has from the government's potentially arbitrary
withholding of information is a court's in camera review of the full
versions of documents. If the government were allowed to withhold
information from the court, this protection would be meaningless and
the role of judicial oversight in FOIA cases would be compromised.

Unfortunately for the plaintiffs in Shura Council, this seems to
be a hollow victory. Although the court did not restrain itself
from using the strongest possible language to criticize the
government's actions (calling the FBI's arguments "untenable,"
id. at 3, "indefensible," id. at 10, and "not credible" id. at 17)
it also held that "disclosing the number and nature of the documents
the Government possesses could reasonably be expected to compromise
national security." Id. 18. Therefore it did not order the government
to release the records to the plaintiffs or even to reveal how
many records turned up in the second search. And on appeal, the
Ninth Circuit held that neither the plaintiffs nor their attorneys
had the right to see the original version of the district court's
order (filed under seal) because it contained information the FBI
considered to be "national security and sensitive law enforcement
information." (Shura Council II at 4286).

It seems unlikely that, five years after the plaintiffs filed their
FOIA request, the release of the information the FBI has on these
individuals and organizations would truly threaten national security
or an ongoing criminal investigation. None of the plaintiffs appears
to have been arrested or retained in conjunction with a crime or
foreign terrorist plot, so it seems more likely that this is yet
another example of the government valuing secrecy over transparency.

The district court's April 27, 2011 order after remand is here,
and the Ninth Circuit opinion remanding the case is here.

UPDATE (November 21, 2011): In a later opinion, the district
court sanctioned the government for lying. In issuing monetary
sanctions against the DOJ, the court held, "the Government's
deception of the Court was without any factual or legal basis
and simply wrong." (p. 19). The court noted issuing sanctions
was necessary to "deter the Government from deceiving the Court
again." (p. 2). Unfortunately, it's not clear this practice will
end any time soon. The DOJ has been attempting to change its FOIA
regulations to codify the procedures it used in this case. As the
court noted, even though the proposed changes were withdrawn,
"the deceptive policy and practice of the DOJ with respect to
asserting and applying exclusions under FOIA apparently remains
intact." (p. 19).

Read more at and support the Electronic Frontier Foundation here
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*** Face Recognition Makes the Leap From Sci-Fi

Immersive Labs in Manhattan has developed software for digital
billboards that gauges the characteristics of passers-by in order
to display ads likely to attract them.
- Natasha Singer

Immersive Labs

Smart signs using facial recognition software are scheduled for
introduction in three cities this month.

But of bars in Chicago?

SceneTap, a new app for smart phones, uses cameras with facial
detection software to scout bar scenes. Without identifying specific
bar patrons, it posts information like the average age of a crowd
and the ratio of men to women, helping bar-hoppers decide where to
go. More than 50 bars in Chicago participate.

As SceneTap suggests, techniques like facial detection, which
perceives human faces but does not identify specific individuals,
and facial recognition, which does identify individuals, are
poised to become the next big thing for personalized marketing and
smart phones. That is great news for companies that want to tailor
services to customers, and not so great news for people who cherish
their privacy. The spread of such technology - essentially, the
democratization of surveillance - may herald the end of anonymity.

And this technology is spreading. Immersive Labs, a company in
Manhattan, has developed software for digital billboards using
cameras to gauge the age range, sex and attention level of a
passer-by. The smart signs, scheduled to roll out this month in Los
Angeles, San Francisco and New York, deliver ads based on consumers'
demographics. In other words, the system is smart enough to display,
say, a Gillette ad to a male passer-by rather than an ad for Tampax.

Those endeavors pale next to the photo-tagging suggestion tool
introduced by Facebook this year. When a person uploads photos to
the site, the "Tag Suggestions" feature uses facial recognition
to identify that user's friends in those photos and automatically
suggests name tags for them. It's a neat trick that frees people
from the cumbersome task of repeatedly typing the same friends'
names into their photo albums.

"Millions of people are using it to add hundreds of millions of
tags," says Simon Axten, a Facebook spokesman. Other well-known
programs like Picasa, the photo editing software from Google,
and third-party apps like PhotoTagger, from, work similarly.

But facial recognition is proliferating so quickly that some regulators
in the United States and Europe are playing catch-up. On the one
hand, they say, the technology has great business potential.

On the other, because facial recognition works by analyzing and
storing people's unique facial measurements, it also entails serious
privacy risks.

Using off-the-shelf facial recognition software, researchers at
Carnegie Mellon University were recently able to identify about a
third of college students who had volunteered to be photographed
for a study - just by comparing photos of those anonymous students
to images publicly available on Facebook. By using other public
information, the researchers also identified the interests and
predicted partial Social Security numbers of some students.

"It's a future where anonymity can no longer be taken for granted -
even when we are in a public space surrounded by strangers," says
Alessandro Acquisti, an associate professor of information technology
and public policy at Carnegie Mellon who directed the studies.

If his team could so easily "infer sensitive personal information,"
he says, marketers could someday use more invasive techniques
to identify random people on the street along with, say, their
credit scores.

Today, facial detection software, which can perceive human faces
but not identify specific people, seems benign.

Some video chat sites are using software from, an Israeli
company, to make sure that participants are displaying their faces,
not other body parts, says Gil Hirsch, the chief executive of The software also has retail uses, like virtually trying
out eyeglasses at, and entertainment applications,
like, a site that adds a handle bar mustache to a
face in a photo.

But privacy advocates worry about more intrusive situations.

Now, for example, advertising billboards that use facial detection
might detect a young adult male and show him an ad for, say, Axe
deodorant. Companies that make such software, like Immersive Labs,
say their systems store no images or data about passers-by nor do
they analyze their emotions.

But what if the next generation of mall billboards could analyze
skin quality and then publicly display an ad for acne cream, or
detect sadness and serve up an ad for antidepressants?

"You might think it's cool, or you might think it's creepy, depending
on the context," says Maneesha Mithal, the associate director of
the division of privacy and identity protection for the Bureau
of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission. Whatever
consumers think, she says, they should be able to choose whether
to be subject to such marketing practices. (The F.T.C. is planning
a workshop next month on facial recognition.)

ON Facebook, people who find the photo-tagging suggestion program
creepy may turn off the system that proposes their names to friends
who are uploading photos. If people opt out, Facebook deletes
their facial comparison data, according to the site. Users may also
preapprove or reject being listed by name in a friend's photo before
it is posted on their profiles.

Those options may suffice for many.

But in Germany, where German and European privacy regulations
require private companies to obtain explicit permission from a
person before they store information about that individual, merely
being able to opt out does not go far enough, says Johannes Caspar,
the commissioner of the Hamburg Data Protection Authority. (Although
the United States has federal data protection laws pertaining to
specific industries like credit and video rental, no general law
requires that all companies obtain explicit consent before storing
personal data about an individual.)

Mr. Caspar says many users do not understand that Facebook's tag
suggestion feature involves storing people's biometric data to
re-identify them in later photos. Last summer, he asked Facebook to
give current users in Germany the power to delete their biometric
data and to give new users in Germany the power to refuse to have
their biometric data collected in the first place. In the long term,
he says, such popular uses of facial recognition could moot people's
right to remain anonymous.

Mr. Caspar said last week that he was disappointed with the
negotiations with Facebook and that his office was now preparing
to take legal action over the company's biometric database.

Facebook told a German broadcaster that its tag suggestion feature
complied with European data protection laws.

"There are many risks," Mr. Caspar says. "People should be able to
choose if they want to accept these risks, or not accept them." He
offered a suggestion for Americans, "Users in the United States
have good reason to raise their voices to get the same right."
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*** Advisory

At DC DMV: Driver's license, tag renewal, HIV test
- AP

Washington DC - At one Department of Motor Vehicles' office in
the nation's capital, motorists can get a driver's license, temporary
tags and something wholly unrelated to the road: a free HIV test.

In a city with one of the highest percentages of residents living
with HIV or AIDS, health officials have spent the last year
test-driving the HIV screening program. Since the program began
last October, more than 5,000 people have been tested at the DMV
site and gotten results while they waited.

Now, officials are expanding the program, offering testing for the
first time at an office where Washington residents register for
food stamps, Medicaid and other government assistance. On Monday,
the first day of the program, 60 people got tested, officials
said. As an incentive, they're being offered a $5 gift card to a
local grocery store.

"You have to meet people where they are," explained Sheila
Brockington, who oversees HIV testing at the DMV office in southeast
Washington, the only one of the city's three DMV service centers
where it is offered. "You're waiting anyway. You might as well."

The testing project isn't run by the DMV but by a nonprofit group,
Family and Medical Counseling Service Inc., which uses an office
inside the site. To ensure confidentiality, residents get tested
and receive results in the private office, out of earshot of
those going about their usual DMV business. The nonprofit got a
$250,000 grant to do the testing and secured the support of the
city's Health Department and the DMV. Now a second, similar grant
is funding expansion.

Government statistics released in June show about 1.1 million
Americans were living with the AIDS virus in 2008, and other studies
show that about 10 percent to 20 percent of U.S. adults are tested
annually. But those involved in HIV/AIDS work recognize that more
needs to be done to identify people living with HIV, said Chris
Collins, the vice president and director of public policy for amfAR,
the Foundation for AIDS Research.

"We need to be looking for creative ways to reach people who haven't
tested in the past," said Collins, who hasn't studied Washington's
program but said innovation and creativity by cities is important.

In Washington, not everyone was sold on the idea when it was
proposed by the head of the Family and Medical Counseling Service,
Angela Wood. She came up with the idea after sitting at a DMV
office herself. Initially, some officials doubted many people would
test. Now, however, between 25 and 35 people get tested every day at
the DMV location. Anyone who agrees gets $7 off their DMV services.

For those who test positive, the nonprofit offers a free ride to its
nearby office where they can arrange counseling and an appointment
with a doctor. So far, less than 1 percent of those screened have
tested positive, though some already knew their status. That's
below the city's infection rate of 3 percent.

By now, the four people who run the program at the DMV office have
their pitch for testing down. When people are on line, one of the
testers approaches with the offer: free tests, money off your bill,
and the promise that it won't hurt.

"We don't do blood. We do swabs," tester Karen Johnson tells patrons,
explaining that the test of their saliva takes 20 minutes and that
participants will not lose their place in the DMV line.

For patrons, the offer is generally a surprise, but not an unwelcome

Bus driver Nat Jordan, 35, was at the DMV office one day to get his
car registered. He said he accepted because he gets tested once a
year anyway. Colleen Russell, 28, a newly married nurse who was at
the DMV to change her name on her driver's license, said she knew
she was negative. But she said she got tested because she comes in
contact with patients every day who could be infected.

Not all residents are sure of their status, though. One man who got
tested and spoke on the condition that his name not be used said his
wife is HIV positive. Though he had had a negative HIV test before,
it reassured him to have a second one at the DMV.

Wood, the person who proposed the unconventional testing sites,
said she understands they aren't right for everyone. That's fine,
she said. The message: "It's important for you to take the test,
whether you take it here or at another site."
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*** 10 Things You May Notice About America When Travelling Abroad
- Bohemian Travelers

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness
and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad,
wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired
by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."
- Mark Twain

It is often reported that around 80% of American citizens do not
have a passport. Therefore, the great majority of Americans have
never traveled outside of the country. Consequently, these citizens
have a limited scope of understanding when it comes to life outside
of and, perhaps even, inside America.

Many Americans believe the United States to be the greatest country
on earth, the center of the Universe. A place that all other nations
seek to emulate. Indeed, it is the only global super power with
many endearing qualities. However, as one travels to other nations
and experiences foreign cultures, many preconceived notions about
America seem to dissipate, while others may be enhanced.

Before we get into the things you may notice about America when
travelling extensively abroad, it's important to point out that
everyone's perception may vary. People view their world with
different political or religious lenses, and different levels of
patriotism. But being as objective as possible, you may be surprised
how many preconceived notions of America are shattered when you're
exposed to different perspectives.

Here are 10 things you may realize about America and the world when
travelling abroad:

1. Only Americans live to work: Although many cultures possess a
strong work ethic, America seems to be the only place where the
overwhelming majority of the population "live to work" and not
simply "work to live." In many developing countries, for example,
you'll notice that the average person seems to have far more free
time than the average American. Or, perhaps, they simply enjoy
their free time more than Americans caught in the rat race.
2. Remarkably few countries are engaged in foreign wars: America
is widely considered a military aggressor by most countries. Most
nations appear content to optimize life and commerce within the
confines of their borders and see no benefit to meddling in other
nation's affairs. Even the nations that respect America's role as
a human rights watchdog, view their militarism as a bigger threat
than a force for good.
3. Emphasis on family and neighbors: Americans have become
somewhat detached from their neighbors and, in some cases, from
their own families. Again, most noticeably in developing countries,
it is not uncommon to see middle-class families with three
generations living under the same roof. Love and respect for the
elderly and children seems far greater in foreign lands than in
4. Commerce is much more localized: Even though you can find a
McDonald's in nearly any major city around the world, day-to-day
commerce is clearly more localized in most nations. Yes, large stores
and malls can also be found everywhere, but there's a noticeable
plethora of small shops, food stands, independent taxis and other
micro-vendors in nearly every country except the United States.
5. English is the universal tourism language: Americans have a
great advantage when travelling the world: English is the universal
tourism language. From Latin America to Asia, English is spoken at
nearly all hotels or any attraction or service needed for you to
function. You'll find that Europeans, Russians, and even Chinese
tourists will speak at least some English to function abroad.
6. America does not have exclusivity on freedom: Americans are taught
that they live in the land of the free, yet most populations enjoy
even greater freedom in their day-to-day lives. You will not see
oppressive security at airports or train stations in the majority
of the world. You will not see tax collectors or health department
officials cracking down on small food stands as they do in the
U.S. Most lemonade stands don't risk being raided anywhere but
in America.
7. America is unreasonably expensive: Although most Americans
notice the rising costs of everything from housing, to food and
health care, they may assume that they still possess the highest
standard of living in the world. In general, Americans do enjoy a
high level of comfort compared to the global population. However,
even lower-income Americans will experience a significantly higher
standard of living in almost any other nation in the world.
8. Service with a smile: The American dollar is still respected
and desired by tourist destinations which typically results in
grateful service providers. But when you spend an extended period
of time abroad, you begin to realize that foreigners take great
pride in providing service with a smile, something that seems to
be in decline in America. Americans generally seem more disgruntled
with their jobs than foreign counterparts. However, notably, there
seems to be more immediate recourse if things go wrong with your
service in the United States.
9. Public transportation inferiority: One of the main things
you'll realize about America when travelling abroad is their woeful
inferior public transportation. Granted, Americans love their cars
and the freedom that they bring, along with comparably excellent
road system. However, since other nations were slower to acquire the
individual wealth for private vehicles, they were forced to develop
an excellent variety of public transportation including trains,
buses, taxis, rickshaws etc... Now, most of these countries have
also developed excellent road systems in addition to world class
airports and train stations. America has a long way to go.
10. Everyone wants the same thing as you: No matter what Americans
may think about people in other cultures, they all seem to
overwhelmingly want the same thing; a peaceful, more fruitful,
and better future to raise their children in. Additionally, they
all require and demand the basic freedom to live in basic privacy
and security.
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*** European Court Rejects Call for I.S.P.'s to Curb Illegal File Sharing
- Eric Pfanner

Paris - The highest court in the European Union said on Thursday
that Internet service providers could not be required to monitor
their customers' online activity to filter out the illegal sharing
of music and other copyrighted material.

The ruling, by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, is a
setback for a Belgian group representing music copyright owners,
which had sought tougher measures to crack down on online file
sharing. The organization, Sabam, had sued a Belgian Internet
provider, Scarlet Extended, saying its customers were illegally
sharing music files.

Sabam had won a ruling in a Belgian court, which said Scarlet
should have to install a system to filter out any unauthorized
exchanges of songs on its own, not just in response to complaints
from copyright holders.

The high court in Luxembourg said such a requirement would be
disproportionate, adding that it would violate "the freedom to
conduct business, the right to protection of personal data and the
freedom to receive or impart information."

"E.U. law precludes an injunction made against an Internet service
provider requiring it to install a system for filtering all
electronic communications passing via its services, which applies
indiscriminately to all its customers, as a preventive measure,
exclusively at its expense, and for an unlimited period," the
court wrote.

Lobbying groups for Internet service providers and for consumers
hailed the decision.

"This judgment sends a crystal-clear signal," said Monique Goyens,
director general of B.E.U.C., a Brussels group that lobbies for
consumer rights. "Internet providers cannot be asked to police
consumers' use of the Web."

Malcolm Hutty, president of EuroISPA, a service providers' lobbying
group, added, "This ruling is of fundamental importance for the
future of the Internet and the development of a strong digital
single market."

The music industry shrugged off the implications of the
decision. Other measures to curb illegal file sharing, including
the blocking of Web sites that enable piracy and the cutoff of
persistent file-sharers' Internet connections, will not be affected,
the industry's international lobbying group said.

"In this particular case, the court rejected the content-filtering
measure presented by the Belgian court as too broad," Frances Moore,
chief executive of the International Federation of the Phonographic
Industry, said in a statement.

"However, this does not affect the forms of I.S.P. cooperation
that I.F.P.I. advocates."

Indeed, a recent court ruling in Britain required an Internet
provider, BT, to block access to a Web site called Newzbin2, which
was found to have made pirated content available to customers.
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*** 5-Year-Old Handcuffed, Charged With Battery On Officer
Boy Cuffed With Zip Ties On Hands, Feet

Earlier this year, a Stockton student was handcuffed with zip ties on
his hands and feet, forced to go to the hospital for a psychiatric
evaluation and was charged with battery on a police officer. That
student was 5 years old.

Michael Davis is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder or ADHD. His mother says it has led to fights at
school. But when the school district said it had a plan to change
Michael's behavior, his mother says things went wrong.

"Michael is energetic," Thelma Gray said. "He is one big ball of energy."

Gray calls Michael a comedian. She says his biggest problem is his
ADHD stops him from thinking before he acts or speaks.

"He's very loving," Gray said. "He's a good kid and he's not the
discipline problem that he was made out to be."

Those discipline problems include fights with other students,
even throwing a chair.

Gray says the school, Rio Calaveras Elementary of Stockton, wanted
to change that behavior by having Michael meet with a school
police officer.

"He could come out and talk to Michael and the kids are normally
scared straight," said Gray, describing how she says the school
district proposed the meeting.

But the meeting didn't go as planned.

Gray says Michael was agitated when the officer entered the room,
and the whole meeting ended with Michael arrested and cuffed,
with zip ties on his hands and his feet.

"I was led to believe that Michael saw a police officer and attacked
a police officer on sight," said Gray, adding that that's not
what happened.

She knows because she ultimately obtained a copy of the police

In it, the officer, Lt. Frank Gordo, says he placed his hand on
Michael's and, "the boy pushed my hand away in a batting motion,
pushed papers off the table, and kicked me in the right knee."

When Michael wouldn't calm down, Gordo cuffed Michael's hands
and feet with zip ties and took the boy to the Stockton Kaiser
Psychiatric Hospital in the back of a squad car.

He had not called Michael's mother or father at that point.
Michael was cited for battery on a police officer.

"I didn't know until two or three weeks later that my son was zip
tied," Gray said.

Her ex-husband had picked Michael up from the hospital. When he
arrived, Michael's wrists were still zip tied behind his back.

KCRA 3 asked Rio Calaveras Elementary, the Stockton Unified School
District and the Stockton Unified School District

Police on multiple occasions to comment on what happened during
Michael's meeting with the officer.

Both the police chief and the school district said they could
not comment.

The district said it could not comment because of privacy laws
regarding students and because the San Joaquin County Grand Jury
and the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights
were investigating.

"I have been around young children that when they can't express
themselves and don't feel they're being heard. They really need to
make a loud statement in some way and it's often a very physical
- UC Davis Professor of Education Shannon Cannon

Also, neither the district nor the Stockton School Police would
comment on what procedures were in place to handle children with
behavioral problems.

"Some of that's really abstract," said UC Davis Professor of
Education Shannon Cannon, speaking on how young children react. "We
need to try to make it a little bit more concrete," she said,
adding that young children are often more physical than vocal.

When KCRA 3 interviewed Cannon, her students were learning about
dealing with problem behavior in the classroom. Cannon says she has
seen children as young as 7 years old act out physically and they
can get violent, even dangerous to others around them -- but adds
that it is important to have a behavioral plan in place as soon as
the child is diagnosed.

She says children as young as 5 years old may not be able to tell
an adult what is bothering them.

"I have been around young children that, when they can't express
themselves, and don't feel they're being heard," says Cannon,
adding that "they really need to make a loud statement in some way
and it's often a very physical statement."

KCRA 3 obtained a copy of the U.S. Department of Education's report
on Michael's arrest.

The report states that the Stockton Unified School District "delayed
an evaluation of the student {Michael} which denied the student a
fair and public education."

They added that the school didn't offer behavioral services to
Michael or his mother, because "it would cost the district money."

The report goes on to say that, whether or not funds are available
through state or federal grants, the school district had an
obligation to have Michael evaluated, which it failed to do.

As for Michael's mother, Gray said she doesn't want an apology from
the district, she simply wants the school district to help her get
Michael the education he's entitled.

"I've been asking," Gray said. "I've been begging for any assistance
for Michael to get placed appropriately and this is what they chose
to do."

A juvenile court judge eventually dismissed the battery charges
against Michael.

Shamrock's Comment: It's a sad day for Amerika, when a 5 year old
is handcuffed because the child was touched by a police officer
without cause!
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Dumbing Down

Criminals and cyber bullies to be banned from the web

Criminals who commit offences online and cyber bullies will be
banned from the internet as part of the Government's new cyber
security strategy, announced today.

It calls for police and courts to make more use of existing
"cyber sanctions" to restrict access to the social networks and
instant messaging services in cases of hacking, fraud and online
bullying. Sex offenders and those convicted of harrassment or
anti-social behaviour also face more internet restrictions under
the new strategy.

Similar orders have been imposed on those charged with involvement
in a series of cyber attacks by the Anonymous and LulzSec groups
earlier this year, while they await trial.

Cyber sanctions were also used following the riots this summer. Two
teenagers in Dundee were banned from the web for inciting riots
via Facebook.

Officials are now looking into whether "cyber tag" technology could
be used to monitor offenders and report to authorities if break
their bail or sentence conditions by using the internet.

"The Ministry of Justice and the Home Office will consider and
scope the development of a new way of enforcing these orders,
using 'cyber-tags' which are triggered by the offender breaching
the conditions that have been put on their internet use, and which
will automatically inform the police or probation service," cyber
security strategy said.

It added that if the regime is a success restrictions on internet
use could be imposed on "a wider group of offenders".

Police forces across the country will also follow the example
of the Met's Police Central e-Crime Unit by recruiting "cyber
specials"; internet experts will be encouraged to volunteer as
special constables to help investigate online crime.

The four-year strategy is also designed to address cyber espionage
and attacks from states such as China and Russia and "patriotic"

GCHQ, Britain's eavesdropping agency, is to receive around £385m
of the total £650m budget to develop its ability to detect,
defend and fight back online. The problem of discovering the
true source of a cyber attack will be among the top priorities
for the Cheltenham-based agency's experts, as well as developing
"tactics and techniques" for online conflict in collaboration with
the Ministry of Defence's new cyber unit.

GCHQ will also declassify and commercialise some of its cyber
technology to help the private sector improve its security online,
as part of a broader effort to increase cooperation between
government and industry. Other measures with include a new "hub"
for information sharing to allow the security services to share
information on cyber threats with major infrastructure firms such
as BT, Barclays and utilities companies.

"This strategy not only deals with the threat from terrorists to
our national security, but also with the criminals who threaten
our prosperity as well as blight the lives of many ordinary people
through cyber crime," said David Cameron.

Terrorists are not believed to yet have the ability to launch
damaging cyber attacks against critical infrastructure such as
water and power stations, but they are thought to have discussed
such operations.
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*** Treasury Developing Global Tracking System for All Financial Transactions

Legal Entity Identification for Financial Contracts, a universal
standard for identifying all parties to financial contracts is a
new standard that is being developed by the U.S. Treasury - Office
of Financial Research.

At a speech today at the "The Macroprudential Toolkit: Measurement
and Analysis" Conference held in Washington D.C., and hosted by
the OFR and the Financial Stability Oversight Council, Treasury
Secretary Geithner hinted at the global reach LEI will have:
The OFR will collect and make available, to regulators and to the
public, more and better financial data.

It will seek to better measure and analyze factors affecting
financial stability.

It will report to Congress and to the public on its analyses of
significant market developments, potential threats to financial
stability, and appropriate policy responses.

And it will collaborate with regulators, industry, the academic
community, and foreign policymakers and institutions to establish
global standards for financial data. The Legal Entity Identifier
project, which precisely identifies the parties to financial
transactions, will help regulators, risk managers, and market
participants all better understand risks and exposures across the
financial system. We are pleased that U.S. leadership has helped
give a strong start to the LEI project, whose framework was recently
endorsed by the G-20.

Your goal today is to help set the agenda for the Office of
Financial Research, help us to identify areas where better data
and more research offers the best return.

As the architects of both the Council and the OFR have recognized: we
need to rely extensively on collaboration-among regulators, between
the public and private sectors, internationally, and otherwise.
.Although Geithner couched the LEI as collecting data that is
necessary to track global financial stability, make no mistake, LEI
is a monster global financial tracking system that has a mandate
sufficiently broad in scope that it may result in the tracking of
the mom and pop coffee shop, if some technocrat deems the mortgage
on the coffee shop a trigger "financial contract" that requires
an LEI. It, for sure, will cover gold dealers and perhaps any
transactions with corporations and businesses. Down the road, it
is not difficult to imagine the interpretation of the regulations
will be stretched to include individuals, as "financial parties",
when gold coins are purchased.

As stated in the development notice published in the Federal

The scope of the reference data provided for each LEI issued should
be sufficient to verify that users have correctly identified an
entity and should include at a minimum the following information
for each Identifier:

Location Electronic address Legal status

in addition to the financial transactions conducted.

The first tracking of financial "contracts" will begin on July
15, 2012. It appears the initial LEIs will be required of those
conducting transactions on financial exchanges. Over time, though,
regulatory creep will result in more and more entities (and perhaps
individuals) being caught in the web of those whose required to
have LEIs and have their financial transactions tracked.
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Bug Bites:

Research team finds disk encryption foils law enforcement efforts

A joint U.S./UK research team has found that common encryption
techniques are so good that law enforcement, from local to highly
resourceful federal agencies, are unable to get at data on a computer
hard disk that could be used to prove the guilt of people using the
computer to perpetuate crimes. In looking at the current technology,
the team, as they describe in their paper published in Digital
Investigation, find that if criminals use commonly available hard
drive encryption software, law enforcement very often is unable
find anything that can be used against them.

Contrary to what we all see in the movies and on television,
cracking an encrypted drive is not a simple thing; in fact, it's
so difficult that if someone has encrypted their hard drive, there
is apparently little law enforcement (or anyone else) can do read
the data on the drive. Adding to the frustration, at least on the
part of law enforcement, is the fact that they can't force people
to give up their passwords.

The authors of the report suggest there are some things law
enforcement can do, but they all must happen prior to a drive
being buttoned up by encryption. Specifically, they say that
law enforcement should stop turning computers off to bring them
to another location for study, doing so only causes the need
for a password to be entered to read the encrypted data. Also,
in some cases, doing so causes the data to be automatically
destroyed. Fortunately, there are some tools forensics experts can
use to gather data if it sits untouched, such as copying everything
in memory to a separate disk. The team also suggests that law
enforcement look first to see if the drive has been encrypted before
scanning it with their own software, as doing so will likely result
in a lot of wasted time.

The unfortunate bottom line though, is that the authors openly admit
that once the drive is encrypted, there is little to nothing to be
done, which a lot of criminals are surely going to be really pleased
to hear. The team suggests that the government embark on a research
mission of its own to figure out a way to subvert encrypted drives
or it will find itself with little reason to bother confiscating
computers used by criminals to commit crimes in the future.

Abstract The increasing use of full disk encryption (FDE) can
significantly hamper digital investigations, potentially preventing
access to all digital evidence in a case. The practice of shutting
down an evidential computer is not an acceptable technique when
dealing with FDE or even volume encryption because it may result
in all data on the device being rendered inaccessible for forensic
examination. To address this challenge, there is a pressing need
for more effective on-scene capabilities to detect and preserve
encryption prior to pulling the plug. In addition, to give digital
investigators the best chance of obtaining decrypted data in the
field, prosecutors need to prepare search warrants with FDE in
mind. This paper describes how FDE has hampered past investigations,
and how circumventing FDE has benefited certain cases. This paper
goes on to provide guidance for gathering items at the crime scene
that may be useful for accessing encrypted data, and for performing
on-scene forensic acquisitions of live computer systems. These
measures increase the chances of acquiring digital evidence in an
unencrypted state or capturing an encryption key or passphrase. Some
implications for drafting and executing search warrants to dealing
with FDE are discussed.
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More Bugs

Cyborg search-and-rescue insects' power source unveiled

Efforts to create an army of cyborg insects are being pursued by
a team of US-based engineers.

The group is investigating ways to harvest energy from the creatures
to power sensors and other equipment fastened to their bodies.

The team has created an energy scavenging device that is attached
close to the insects' wings.

It suggested the creatures might one day be used to aid
search-and-rescue operations and surveillance.

The University of Michigan team of engineers published their study
in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.

Power source The report noted that, despite major advances in
micro-air-vehicle technology, no-one had been able to match the
aerodynamic performance and manoeuvring capability of insects.

However, it said that if insects were to be equipped with control
mechanisms and other add-on kit, the equipment would require a
power source.

The team rejected the idea of using miniature solar panels because
they would be dependent on available light. So the group decided
to develop a vibration energy collector.

The resulting device consists of a tiny three-layered spiral

The outer two layers are made up of PZT-5H - a ceramic substance that
produces an electrical charge when mechanical stress is applied. An
inner layer of brass provides reinforcement.

Muscle power The researchers used Green June Beetles to determine
the best place to locate the device.

They identified the wings as the most promising power source.

However, the creatures' wing membranes were not rigid or
strong enough to support the device, and it also made them less
aerodynamic. So the team focused, instead, on the animals' wing

The engineers ultimately decided to attach two of the spiral beams
to each beetle's thorax. The end of each coil extended out to touch
a hardened part of the insect's body close to its wing base where
it could pick up energy.

The two devices weighed less than 0.2 grams and generated 45
microwatts of power during flight.

The researchers suggested that the devices could eventually become
the power source for a race of remote controlled cyborg insects with
neural electrodes implants, communications equipment, microphones
and other sensors.

The team suggested the creatures could wear the equipment in tiny

The animals could then be released into dangerous or hard-to-access
locations after an accident has occurred. The information they
gathered could be beamed back to the emergency services to help
prepare a response.

They said the creatures could usher in "a new era for
search-and-rescue operations, surveillance, monitoring of hazardous
substances, and detection of explosives".

This is not the first time researchers have tried to work out how
to turn animals into remote-controlled automatons.

The report's authors noted experiments to control rats through the
parts of their brains related to their whiskers, an attempt to direct
sharks by stimulating the part of their brain linked to their sense
of smell and research into the locomotion control of cockroaches.

The team also noted that a previous attempt to harvest vibration
energy from moths had failed because the 1.28g weight of the device
involved proved too heavy for the insects to carry.
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*** Red Hot Product!

As a Merry Christmas to all our readers with thanks for another
great year at PT Shamrock, our leprechaun is offering 20% off
all products listed at our web site if ordered and payment received
prior to December 24th, 2011.

Order at

We are happy to offer PayPal as another payment method option
for you.

This offer is for our subscribers only and orders must use the email
address used to subscriber to PTBuzz on our newsletter database
prior to December 14th, 2011. Sorry no exceptions!

In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in
friendship but never in want.
- Irish Christmas Toast

See you in 2012!

PT Shamrock
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*** Malls track shoppers' cell phones on Black Friday
- CNNMoney

Through this signage at Promenade Temecula, the mall is notifying
shoppers that their phones may be tracked as they move throughout
the premises.

Attention holiday shoppers: your cell phone may be tracked this year.

Starting on Black Friday and running through New Year's Day, two
U.S. malls -- Promenade Temecula in southern California and Short
Pump Town Center in Richmond, Va. -- will track guests' movements
by monitoring the signals from their cell phones.

While the data that's collected is anonymous, it can follow shoppers'
paths from store to store.

The goal is for stores to answer questions like: How many Nordstrom
shoppers also stop at Starbucks? How long do most customers linger
in Victoria's Secret? Are there unpopular spots in the mall that
aren't being visited?

While U.S. malls have long tracked how crowds move throughout their
stores, this is the first time they've used cell phones.

But obtaining that information comes with privacy concerns.

The management company of both malls, Forest City Commercial
Management, says personal data is not being tracked.
"We won't be looking at singular shoppers," said Stephanie
Shriver-Engdahl, vice president of digital strategy for Forest
City. "The system monitors patterns of movement. We can see, like
migrating birds, where people are going to."

Still, the company is preemptively notifying customers by hanging
small signs around the shopping centers. Consumers can opt out by
turning off their phones.

The tracking system, called FootPath Technology, works through a
series of antennas positioned throughout the shopping center that
capture the unique identification number assigned to each phone
(similar to a computer's IP address), and tracks its movement
throughout the stores.

The system can't take photos or collect data on what shoppers have
purchased. And it doesn't collect any personal details associated
with the ID, like the user's name or phone number. That information
is fiercely protected by mobile carriers, and often can be legally
obtained only through a court order.

"We don't need to know who it is and we don't need to know anyone's
cell phone number, nor do we want that," Shriver-Engdahl said.

Manufactured by a British company, Path Intelligence, this
technology has already been used in shopping centers in Europe and
Australia. And according to Path Intelligence CEO Sharon Biggar,
hardly any shoppers decide to opt out.

"It's just not invasive of privacy," she said. "There are no risks
to privacy, so I don't see why anyone would opt out."

Now, U.S. retailers including JCPenney (JCP, Fortune 500) and Home
Depot (HD, Fortune 500) are also working with Path Intelligence to
use their technology, Biggar said.

Home Depot has considered implementing the technology but is not
currently using it any stores, a company spokesman said. JCPenney
declined to comment on its relationship with the vendor.

Why Apple and Google need to stalk you Some retail analysts say
the new technology is nothing to be worried about. Malls have been
tracking shoppers for years through people counters, security
cameras, heat maps and even undercover researchers who follow
shoppers around. And some even say websites that track online
shoppers are more invasive, recording not only a user's name and
purchases, but then targeting them with ads even after they've left
a site.

"It's important for shoppers to realize this sort of data is being
collected anyway," Biggar said.

Whereas a website can track a customer who doesn't make a purchase,
physical stores have been struggling to perfect this kind of
research, Biggar said. By combining the data from FootPath with
their own sales figures, stores will have better measurements to
help them improve the shopping experience.

"We can now say, you had 100 people come to this product, but no
one purchased it," Biggar said. "From there, we can help a retailer
narrow down what's going wrong."

But some industry analysts worry about the broader implications of
this kind of technology.

"Most of this information is harmless and nobody ever does anything
nefarious with it," said Sucharita Mulpuru, retail analyst at
Forrester Research. "But the reality is, what happens when you
start having hackers potentially having access to this information
and being able to track your movements?"

Last year, hackers hit AT&T, exposing the unique ID numbers and
e-mail addresses of more than 100,000 iPad 3G owners. To make it
harder for hackers to get at this information, Path Intelligence
scrambles those numbers twice.

"I'm sure as more people get more cell phones, it's probably
inevitable that it will continue as a resource," Mulpuru said. "But
I think the future is going to have to be opt in, not opt out." [To
top of page]
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Shamrock's Missive:

Well dear readers, another year is nearing a close. In spite of the
draconian laws with all their menaces that have eroded privacy this
year, we'd like to end 2011 on a positive note!

More than a hundred PTBuzzer's informed us throughout the year
they've made their move offshore, both financially and physically,
albeit with our humble assistance in some small way.

Congratulations to those who made their exodus. We wish you and
yours well, with long life, health and happiest with your new life
and country.

You can start the New Year off right as well! Be sure to catch our
January 2012 PTBuzz issue. Best-selling author and second passport
expert, Dr. Charles Freeman is in the process of writing a very
special report for the January issue, "What It Was Was Freedom!"

Although he's still writing it, the good doctor emailed us a synopsis.
And boy.... it knocked our socks off! It will yours too.

It's been a while since the good doctor has written a report for
PTBuzz, so we're confident this special report, "What It Was Was
Freedom!" will be as good, if not better than his previous ones.

It's sure to help start your New Year on the right foot!

As our way to thank you for another great year at PT Shamrock, and
wishing all our readers a Merry Christmas, a safe, prosperous and
Happy New Year, our leprechaun is offering 20% off all products
listed at our web site if ordered and payment received prior to
December 24th, 2011.

This 20% off offer is for our subscribers only and must use the
email address used to subscribe to PTBuzz and be on our newsletter
database prior to December 14th, 2011.

In addition to being able to pay for your order by pay by Bank Wire
Transfer, Pecunix, Liberty Reserve, Perfect Money, Moneybookers,
MoneyGram, Global Digital Pay or Western Union, we are happy to
offer PayPal as another payment method option for you.

Order at

We're going to settle down for a long winter's nap from Christmas
eve day until the second week of January 2012..... Sooooo replies
to emails and orders will be made accordingly during the

'Go mbeire muid beo ar an am seo aras.'
- May we be alive at this time next year.

'Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit!'
- A prosperous New Year!

Irish New Year's Toasts

See you next year!


"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."
- Edmund Burke, 1784
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*** A Christmas Tradition!

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not
produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel
the pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her Mother was coming to visit,
which stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them
were about to give birth, and two others had jumped the fence and
were out, Heaven knows where.

Then, when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards
cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground, and all of the toys were

Frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of apple cider and
a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves
had drunk all the cider and had hidden the rum. In his frustration,
he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds
of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get
the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end
of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the
door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great
big Christmas tree.

The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this
a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like
me to stick it?'

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the
Christmas tree.
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"Barack Obama will require you to work. He is goping to demand that
you shed your cynicism... Barack will never allow you to go back
to your lives as usual."
- Michelle Obama, February 2008
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Even More Quotes

"My prediction is that politicians will eventually attempt to resolve
the (fiscal) crisis the way irresponsible governments usually do,
by printing money, both to pay current bills and to pay to public
debt. If this happens, inflation and interest rates will soar."
- Paul Krugman Nobel Prize-winning economist who saw hyper inflation
coming in 2003
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Another Quote

The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the
oppressed." - Steven Biko
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Thought provoking quotes:

"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it
cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less
formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But
the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly
whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of
government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks
in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and
their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the
hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly
and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city,
he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A
murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague."
- Marcus Tullius Cicero (Ancient Roman Lawyer, Writer, Scholar,
Orator and Statesman, 106 BC-43 BC)
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*** Tid Bits

National Lawyers Guild Files FOIA Requests Seeking Evidence of
Federal Role in Occupy Crackdown
- Dave Lindorff , This Can't Be Happening

With Congress no longer performing its sworn role of defending the
US Constitution, the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee
and the Partnership for Civil Justice today filed requests under
the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) asking the Department of
Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the CIA
and the National Parks Service to release "all their information
on the planning of the coordinated law enforcement crackdown on
Occupy protest encampments in multiple cities over the course of
recent days and weeks."

According to a statement by the NLG, each of the FOIA requests
states, "This request specifically encompasses disclosure of any
documents or information pertaining to federal coordination of,
or advice or consultation regarding, the police response to the
Occupy movement, protests or encampments."

National Lawyers Guild leaders, including Executive Director Heidi
Beghosian and NLG Mass Defense Committee co-chair and PCJ Executive
Director Mara Veheyden-Hilliard both told TCBH! earlier this week
that the rapid-fire assaults on occupation encampments in cities from
Oakland to New York and Portland, Seattle and Atlanta, all within
days of each other, the similar approach taken by police, which
included overwhelming force in night-time attacks, mass arrests,
use of such weaponry as pepper spray, sound cannons, tear gas, clubs
and in some cases "non-lethal" projectiles like bean bags and rubber
bullets, the removal and even arrest of reporters and camera-persons,
and the justifications offered by municipal officials, who all cited
"health" and "safety" concerns, all pointed to central direction
and guidance.

As the world rises up against economic injustice, Truthout brings
you the latest news and analysis, free of corporate influence. Help
support this work with a tax-deductible donation today.

As we reported, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan admitted publicly in an
interview on a San Francisco radio program earlier this week that
prior to her first order to police to clear Oscar Grant Plaza of
occupiers on Oct. 25, she had participated in a "conference call"
with 17 other urban mayors to discuss strategy for dealing with the
movement. At the time of that call, her mayor's office legal advisor,
who subsequently resigned over the harsh police tactics used against
demonstrators, says Quan was, significantly, in Washington, DC.

The NLG says the Occupy Movement, which is now in over 170 cities
around the U.S., "has been confronted by a nearly simultaneous
effort by local governments and local police agencies to evict and
break up encampments in cities and towns throughout the country."
Veheyden-Hilliard says, "The severe crackdown on the occupation
movement appears to be part of a national strategy," which she said
is designed to "crush the movement," an action she describes as
"supremely political."

She adds, "The Occupy demonstrations are not criminal activities
and police should not be treating them as such."

The police conducting these coordinated raids look more like Imperial
Storm Troopers than cops in their riot gear get-ups. The attacks
show how the nation's local police are becoming more of a national
paramilitary force, curiously akin to the widely despised and feared
Armed Police or Wu Jing who do the heavy riot-control and repression
duty in China. Equipped with federally-supplied body armor and
military-style weapons like stun grenades, sound canons and of course
assault rifles, domestic US police forces responding to even garden
variety, peaceful protest actions often look more like an occupying
army than police. Meanwhile their actions have even been condemned
by the Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans who are increasingly coming
to and supporting the occupation movement. These vets say the police
are employing tactics that they themselves were not even permitted
to use in dealing with unrest in occupied or war-torn lands.

The Guild and other observers strongly suspect that the 72 so-called
Fusion Centers created by the Homeland Security Department around
the country, and the many Joint Terror Task Forces operated by the
FBI in conjunction with local police in many cities, are serving
as coordination points for the increasingly systematic attacks on
the Occupy Movement.

It will be instructive to see how the Obama administration and the
targeted agencies respond to the Guild's FOIA requests, and even more
interesting to see what kinds of documents--if any--are forthcoming.

"We're calling for expedited processing, because this is an urgent
effort, and if we don't get that, we can go to court over that
issue," says Verheyden-Hilliard. "Government delays in responding
defeat the purpose of an open government law, with people in
the streets and under attack by police now." Normally, she says,
government agencies have 20 days to respond to a FOIA request,
but with an expedited request the agencies should have to respond
even faster.

National Security and privacy are the only grounds for federal
agencies to withhold information sought in a FOIA request, and
clearly there is no national security issue involved in this protest
movement, at least not in a strictly legal sense of the term. The
Occupy Movement is protesting economic inequality, and the political
corruption that allows the wealthiest people who run the nation's
biggest banks and companies to run the country in their own interest
and to run rough-shod over the broader public interest. Of course,
from the perspective of the ruling elite, and from the perspective
of their political lackeys in the White House and Congress, any
protest movement calling for a reordering of the political system
to make it more responsive to the public interest would be seen as
a national security threat.

Meanwhile, the Occupy Movement is continuing to grow.

Ousted from their base in Zuccotti Park, where a New York state
court judge has ruled that they can stay, but cannot sleep or bring
in sleeping gear or protection from the weather, movement activists
are switching to a decentralized strategy. Some 30,000 people rallied
around New York City on Thursday (the two-month anniversary of the
start of the Zuccotti occupation), to protest the police action two
days earlier. Some hardy souls still keep Zuccotti occupied round
the clock, and a General Assembly has been held there several times
despite police efforts to limit access. Rallies in support of and
solidarity with the New York Occupy Movement were held simultaneously
in 30 other cities yesterday.

Kenny Clark, 32, dressed in military fatigues he said dated from
his Army service (he was stationed in Korea) stood in Zuccotti Park
in the pouring rain on Wednesday, more than a day after police had
cleared away the tarps, the 5500-book library, and the free kitchen,
and said, with a determined smile, "We're not going away!" A meat
counter worker at A&P, where he has worked for 20 years, Clark
said he and his co-workers were being asked to take a 20-percent
pay cut by the firm, which is using a bankruptcy filing to try and
break out of its union contracts. "We'll vote down their offer,
and then we'll strike, and then they'll probably fire our asses,"
he laughed, "but with help from all these occupiers, we'll be
marching in front of their stores and organizing a boycott like
they've never seen! Nobody's going to shop there!"

Clark noted that the Occupy Movement is developing plans for a
national occupation of the National Mall, the big park that runs
between the Capitol and the Lincoln Monument that has been the scene
of many historic rallies and occupations in decades past. A national
General Assembly is being planned for April 1, which will focus on "
the failure of the Democrats and Republicans in Congress to represent
the views of the majority of people, the Supreme Court for allowing
the Constitution to be perverted and for ignoring the rule of law
and the Chamber of Commerce and lobbyists on K St for dominating
the political process in favor of the 1% at the expense of the 99%."

This thing ain't over. It's just getting going.
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*** More Tid Bits

Expatriation and Gold Prices
- Mark Nestmann, The Nestmann Group, Ltd.

When the gold price hit $1,800/oz., the first thought I had wasn't
to congratulate myself for buying most of what I own for under
$400/oz. It was wondering how soon my own gold holdings would make
me a "covered expatriate."

If this sounds like Greek to you, let me explain. Under the U.S. Tax
Code a covered expatriate is someone who may have to pay an exit
tax upon giving up U.S. citizenship or long-term residence, among
other unpleasant consequences.

I'm not yet a covered expatriate, but if gold prices go much higher,
I will be. If I subsequently expatriate, I may not only have to pay
an exit tax but also pay tax on the full value of my IRAs. Plus,
as a covered expatriate, I can't make gifts to U.S. persons without
the recipient being required to pay a transfer tax up to 35% if
the value of the gifts exceeds $13,000/year. That rate is slated
to rise to 55% in 2013.

The most common way to become a covered expatriate is to have a
net worth that exceeds $2 million. As global central banks create
more and more money out of thin air, anyone who owns a significant
quantity of gold will soon meet that threshold.

I'm not ready to expatriate, so I must take the risk of becoming
a covered expatriate as gold continues to rise. But if you want to
sever your responsibility to file U.S. tax and information reporting
returns, and eliminate increasingly onerous restrictions on your
ability to live, work, invest, or do business overseas, you must
give up your U.S. citizenship and passport.

How to Expatriate

There are four steps a U.S. citizen or permanent resident must take
to expatriate:

Step 1. Move your assets to safer havens where there is enhanced
protection for wealth. Some of the most popular wealth havens include
Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Austria in Europe; Panama and Uruguay
in Central and South America; and Hong Kong and Singapore in Asia.

Step 2. Find a residence country that offers greater personal
freedom. These are the countries that you may wish to relocate to in
the future. Or buy property there, "just in case." Popular countries
for U.S. expats to live in and/or buy property include: Argentina,
Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and
Uruguay in the Americas; the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, the Dutch
territories and St. Kitts & Nevis in the Caribbean; Belgium, Cyprus,
Malta, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom in Europe; and Australia,
Hong Kong, New Zealand, the Philippines and Singapore in Asia.

Step 3. Get another passport. Since the only way U.S. citizens
can legally terminate their obligations to the U.S. government
is to give up U.S. citizenship and passport, they must obtain a
second passport in order to expatriate. If you don't qualify for a
second passport by naturalization, marriage, or religion, by far the
fastest route to obtain one is to purchase one. The Commonwealth of
Dominica and the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis offer citizenship
and passport through a qualifying contribution or investment. There
are also two EU countries that will award citizenship and passport
to individuals who make outstanding contributions to those countries,
including financial contributions.

Step 4. Expatriate from the USA. You can accomplish Steps 1-3 while
still residing in the United States. At this point, you face a
choice: to expatriate or not? Expatriation is a radical step. There
are many complications, beginning with the possibility of paying an
exit tax for the privilege of permanently severing your national
ties. There's also the possibility that Congress will eventually
make expatriation much more difficult. In another decade, perhaps
less, the price of expatriation may be to present a balance sheet
to the IRS, and give half the number appearing on the bottom line
to Uncle Sam.

When you're ready to expatriate, it's easiest if you're not a
covered expatriate. But even if you are, with proper planning,
you can reduce or eliminate exit taxes and use your $5 million
lifetime gift/estate tax exclusion to make lifetime gifts to your
loved ones remaining in the USA.
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*** Even More Tid Bits

10 outlandish things the 'scientific' controllers have in mind for
you in the near future
- NaturalNews

What corporate-driven "science" has in mind for the future of
humanity is far different from the dreamy utopian landscape that's
been portrayed by the mainstream media. To hear the corporate-run
media tell it, science is always "good" for humanity. Scientific
achievements are always called "advances" and not "setbacks,"
even though many of them have proven to be disastrous for humanity
(atomic bombs, for example, or GMOs).

While pure science is, indeed, a necessary component of any
civilization which seeks to expand its understanding of the universe,
what we see dominating the landscape today isn't pure science but
corporate-driven "science" that only seeks to accelerate corporate
profits, not human understanding. And with that corporate-slanted
science comes a whole new era of truly terrifying technologies that
we may soon see become reality in our world.

Here, I've compiled a list of ten future technologies that might be
used to strip away your freedoms and enslave you to the corporate
globalist masters, all under the label of "science."

#1) Organ harvesting from genetically modified, patented pigs Need a
replacement heart or lung? No worries, mate! Monsanto will grow you
a new one using a genetically modified, trans-species pig (patent
pending) that was raised on GMO animal feed and subjected to organ
harvesting while it was still alive in order to keep the organs

Your government-approved, Medicare-funded transplant will be
handled by one of the top U.S. hospitals, which are, even today,
deeply engaged in black market organ trafficking and illegal

#2) "Behavioral vaccines" that rewire your brain to eliminate
dissent Disobedience is a disease! And the "cure" for disobedience
(or Oppositional Defiance Disorder, as they call it) will be a new
"vaccine" that biologically rewires your brain to make you more
socially acceptable to the controllers.

It will be called a "behavioral vaccine" even though, in reality,
it's just a chemical lobotomy. This technology will be a cornerstone
of the global police state, which will have no tolerance for
independent thinking or critical thought of any kind, especially
against the state.

#3) Centralized, remote monitoring of all your health statistics
and vital signs by the police state

Think your medical records are really private? Think again: Even now,
the U.S. government maintains a secret centralized bank of blood
taken from children at birth. In the near future, citizens will be
implanted with biometric monitoring chips that relay information
back to the government about your pulse, respiration, and the
presence of either illegal drugs or legalized pharmaceuticals
(which are often the very same chemicals as illegal drugs, just
re-branded as a medication).

These chips will be used by the government to enforce people taking
their medications. They will also be used to locate and arrest
those who smoke a little pot or take addictive substances without
a prescription.

But most importantly, these chips will be used to monitor nutritional
levels and make sure no one attains a high level of vitamin D,
for example, which promotes clear thinking and strong cognitive
function ( Under scientific
dictatorship, the sheeple must be kept in a state of chronic
nutritional deficiency in order to be easily controlled. This will
all be sold to the public as a way for the government to monitor
their "safety" because, the government will claim, "Too much vitamin
D can be dangerous!" So they will set the upper safety limits to the
lower threshold of cognitive awakening, making sure that everyone
remains in a mental stupor as they live out their state-run lives.

#4) The total secrecy of all food ingredients, sources and places of
origin As the food industry is increasingly invaded by junk science
(GMOs, anyone?), efforts will increase to hide all the chemical
ingredients in food products and rename dangerous-sounding chemicals
into nice-sounding chemicals.

The Corn Refiners Association is already trying
to rename "High Fructose Corn Syrup" to "corn
sugar." ( Aspartame is now
going to be called "AminoSweet," and MSG has been renamed things like
"yeast extract" or "Torula yeast powder."

But it's going to get far worse as fraudulent science accelerates
food industry deceptions. Expect to see preservatives like "sodium
benzoate" renamed as things like, "Freshiness crystals." Or
"artificial colors" might be described as "Fortified with pretty

Above all, the food industry wants to hide where its foods come
from, how they are made, and what's in them, because all three of
those categories are bad news for your health.

#5) The complete criminalization of home-produced foods and
medicines, forcing total reliance on factory food production Speaking
of food, corrupt "scientists" will soon insist that growing your
own food is extremely dangerous because you might grow e.coli
in your garden! With such absurd justifications, home gardening
will be completely outlawed in many towns, and those who try to
secretly grow tomatoes will be arrested and imprisoned as if they
were heroin smugglers.

The idea of all this is to make the population completely dependent
on centralized factory food production, in the same way the
population is currently dependent on centralized electricity and
centralized fossil fuels. This will all be justified with the help
of "scientists" who claim that factory-produced food is safer for
you because it's all pasteurized, irradiated and fumigated.

#6) The unleashing of a global bioweapon pandemic through seasonal
flu shots Whereas vaccines were once intended to prevent disease,
they are now being increasingly weaponized and engineered to spread
disease, which is why most of the people who get the flu each winter
are the very same people who routinely take flu shots.

In the near future, as the globalists decide the world population
has reached its upper tolerable limit, a live "population control"
virus will be engineered right into the vaccines, followed by an
aggressive vaccine push that even offers to pay people to receive
flu shots. (Get a flu shot, earn $25!)

The whole scheme, of course, is nothing more than a population
control measure designed to eliminate all the lower-IQ people on
the planet who are stupid enough to allow themselves to be injected
with biological weapons packaged and sold as vaccines. Effectively,
it's really a eugenics program that the globalists believe will
save the human race from the rise of stupidity (no matter what the
cost in human suffering).

#7) Total government control over your reproduction and the genetic
code of your "offspring"

Copulating with the person of your choice and producing your own
"random" offspring will no longer be allowed under the scientific
police state. Reproduction must be carefully controlled through
licensing and regulation to make sure that no unexpected results

Before having children, parents will need to apply to the government
for permission to reproduce, at which point they will be genetically
and cognitively profiled, then granted a reproduction classification
status that must be strictly followed to avoid imprisonment.

People who show rebellious tendencies and speak out against the state
will be denied reproduction "privileges." Only the most obedient,
white-skinned, do-gooder mind slaves will be granted reproduction
privileges, and they will gladly copulate and raise yet more babies
to be sacrificed to the state as the next generation of mind slaves.

#8) Wireless brain implants that can be remotely activated by law
enforcement to make entire crowds of people passive The future of
"science" involves all sorts of electronics implanted into the human
body. One of the most convenient ones will be the "pacification
chip" that will be forced upon citizens along with "money chips"
that they use to pay for everything (cash will be outlawed, and
using cash will be seen as a terrorist activity).

The pacification chip can be remotely activated by the government
through cell tower bursts -- or through hand-held units issued to
police and law enforcement commanders -- to instantly pacify large
crowds of protesters or rioters. Are the students protesting about
free speech again? Activate the pacification chip, and they'll all
lay down on the lawn and daydream for a while.

Are revolutionaries marching on the capitol and trying to overthrow
the government? Activate the pacification chip, and your tyrannical
dictatorship is safe!

Such chips may also be used to "excite" the brain at times when it is
also politically useful. For example, when another terrorist attack
is staged on U.S. soil, the "excitation chips" can be activated
across the population to get people riled up and calling for
war! (And that's the whole point of false flag attacks, of course.)

#9) The genetic engineering and breeding of obedient super
soldiers In the far future, battlefield soldiers will actually be
humanoid-shaped robots equipped with firearms and body armor. Think
"Terminator" model T-1000. That's still a ways off, of course,
given the incredible complexity of mobile power, robotic actuation
technologies, vision recognition systems and artificial intelligence.

In the mean time, the most powerful nations of the world will
pour R&D money into growing genetically modified super soldiers
who are secretly birthed, raised and trained to be as robotic as
possible. These super soldiers will be genetically engineered with
peak performance attributes (high blood oxygenation, large body
frames, etc.) combined with small brains that can only process
enough information to follow orders but never question them.

They will also be outfitted with numerous electronic implants, making
them more cyborg than human. They will have vision implants attached
to their retinas, for example, GPS chips wired to their brains,
comm equipment wired into their ears, and built-in pain medication
dispensers that flood their bodies with stimulant chemicals so they
can keep fighting even after an arm gets blown off, for example.

#10) The electromagnetic activation of metals and nano-crystals
injected into you through vaccines Here's a new one most people
haven't thought about: In addition to vaccines being used to spread
infectious disease, they can also be used to inject humans with
nano-crystals that are sized and tuned to resonate at certain
frequencies, much like a radio crystal tunes in to a specific
radio band.

Such nano-crystals may lie dormant in the bodies of the general
public for years or even decades, but at some point the government
can take over the radio towers with an "emergency" national
transmission that broadcasts an activation signal at precisely the
right wavelength to excite the nano-crystals already in peoples'
bodies. The results could be anything from mass insanity to massive
outbreaks of violence (rioting, etc.) or just tens of millions
of people instantly dropping dead. Any of those outcomes could
then be exploited by the government to sell a cover story of a
"terrorist attack" that requires even more government control over
the population.

It could all be done in the name of "science"
Remember, this collection of 10 points is about possible future
technologies that exemplify the abuse of science to empower
tyrannical governments and corrupt industries. Thankfully, these
ten examples have not come true yet, but several are well on their
way to become reality in just the next few years.

Real science has an important role to play in any society, but
I believe that science should serve the interests of the People,
not the self-serving controllers who run globalist corporations and
national governments. When science is used to dominate and enslave
people rather than setting them free, it is a violation of one of
the most fundamental truths throughout the universe: only through
freedom (the freedom of ideas, freedom of questioning, freedom of
discussion) can true understanding of our universe be achieved.

NaturalNews salutes the real scientists out there who pursue the
betterment of human civilization without punching a clock for all
the evil corporations which abuse science for their own nefarious
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*** Bits n bobs

Introducing the LRAD Sound Cannon
- Max Blumentha

Max Blumenthal begins: "Yesterday, the New York Police Department
deployed a strange new weapon against the tens of thousands of
demonstrators who converged downtown for the largest protest in
Occupy Wall Street's two month history: the LRAD sound cannon."

Tested on Palestinians, perfected on OWS protesters: Introducing
the LRAD Sound Cannon.

Recently the New York Police Department deployed a strange new
weapon against the tens of thousands of demonstrators who converged
downtown for the largest protest in Occupy Wall Street's two month
history: the LRAD sound cannon. NYPD officers reportedly blasted
Occupy protesters with rays from the LRAD cannon while they sang
the American national anthem near Lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park
(photos here), establishing an atmosphere of fear and intimidation
that lasted throughout the evening.

Designed and manufactured by the San Diego-based LRAD Corporation,
which was formerly known as the American Technology Corporation, the
Long Range Acoustic Device sound weapon is the latest innovation in
crowd suppression technology. It is portable and powerful, capable
of transmitting a focused ray of 140 decibels of sound at a crowd
of people, generating painful cranial vibrations so profound ear
plugs become useless. According to LRAD promotional material,
the sonic weapon "provides military personnel with a powerful,
penetrating warning tone that can be followed by clear voice
broadcasts in host nation languages to warn and shape the behavior
of potential threats."

In June, LRAD sold $293,000 worth of its 100X and 500X sound canon
systems to the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The contract was part
of Israeli Army Commander Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi's investment in
$35 million in suppression systems in anticipation of widespread
unrest in the occupied West Bank that was to have been prompted by
the Palestinian Authority's statehood bid at the United Nations.

The Israeli Army has refined the use of LRAD systems on the civilian
population of Palestinian villages engaged in the unarmed popular
struggle against Israel's illegal military occupation. Demonstrators
in the village of Beit Ummar have been repeatedly assaulted by
Israeli forces armed with LRAD systems, including on October 7,
when the Israeli army used the LRAD to attack unarmed demonstrators
protesting against the abuse and isolation of Palestinian prisoners
held in Israeli jails.

I first visited the Beit Ummar area in the spring of 2009, joining a
group of international and Israeli activists as they protected the
village's farmers from fanatical Jewish settlers from the colony
of Bat Ayn, who had repeatedly assaulted them as they attempted
to work their fields. As soon as I arrived I witnessed a group of
Jewish children from Bat Ayn charge down a hill while chanting,
"Death to Arabs!" at the farmers.

In January 2011, settlers shot a Beit Ummar resident, 17-year-old
Yousef Fakhri Ikhlayl in the head, leaving him brain dead. The
settlers could not carry out their deadly violence without the
protection of the Israeli Army, which invariably defends them while
crushing unarmed protests in Beit Ummar with disproportionate force.

Beit Ummar has carried on its unarmed popular resistance struggle
against impossible odds. The village has been severed in half by
a settler bypass road, Highway 60, which occupied Palestinians are
forbidden from traveling on. Numerous graves in the village cemetery
were desecrated in order to build the Israelis-only highway. Not
only are village residents surrounded by army pillboxes and preyed on
by extremist settlers, they have been transformed into experimental
gerbils in the global pacification industry's laboratory of doom.

Having been tested on a defenseless, occupied population in
Palestine, the LRAD made its grand debut in New York City yesterday,
where local police forces targeted American citizens peacefully
protesting against economic exploitation. The peculiar weapon
system symbolizes the creeping Israelification of America's local
police forces and the Palestinianization of all who challenge the
predations of a zero tolerant 1 percent master class.

As the blogger Ayesha Kazmi recently wrote to Occupy movement
participants, "So welcome to the War on Terror. Your first lesson,
if your views happen to counter the established narrative, expect
to be dehumanised, then treated like a terrorist."
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More Bits N bobs

Facebook tracking is under scrutiny
- Byron Acohido, USA TODAY

In recent weeks, Facebook has been wrangling with the Federal Trade
Commission over whether the social media website is violating users'
privacy by making public too much of their personal information.

Far more quietly, another debate is brewing over a different side
of online privacy: what Facebook is learning about those who visit
its website.

Facebook officials are now acknowledging that the social media giant
has been able to create a running log of the web pages that each
of its 800 million or so members has visited during the previous
90 days. Facebook also keeps close track of where millions more
non-members of the social network go on the Web, after they visit
a Facebook web page for any reason.

To do this, the company relies on tracking cookie technologies
similar to the controversial systems used by Google, Adobe,
Microsoft, Yahoo and others in the online advertising industry,
says Arturo Bejar, Facebook's engineering director.

Facebook's efforts to track the browsing habits of visitors to its
site have made the company a player in the "Do Not Track" debate,
which focuses on whether consumers should be able to prevent websites
from tracking the consumers' online activity.

For online business and social media sites, such information can be
particularly valuable in helping them tailor online ads to specific
visitors. But privacy advocates worry about how else the information
might be used, and whether it might be sold to third parties.
New guidelines for online privacy are being hashed out in Congress
and by the World Wide Web Consortium, which sets standards for
the Internet.

If privacy advocates get their way, consumers soon could be empowered
to stop or limit tech companies and ad networks from tracking them
wherever they go online. But the online advertising industry has dug
in its heels, trying to retain the current self-regulatory system.

Online tracking involves technologies that tech companies and ad
networks have used for more than a decade to help advertisers deliver
more relevant ads to each viewer. Until now, Facebook, which makes
most of its profits from advertising, has been ambiguous in public
statements about the extent to which it collects tracking data.

It contends that it does not belong in the same camp as
Google, Microsoft and the rest of the online ad industry's major
players. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made this point to interviewer
Charlie Rose on national TV last week.

For the past several weeks, Zuckerberg and other Facebook officials
have sought to distinguish how Facebook and others use tracking
data. Facebook uses such data only to boost security and improve how
"Like" buttons and similar Facebook plug-ins perform, Bejar told USA
TODAY. Plug-ins are the ubiquitous web applications that enable you
to tap into Facebook services from millions of third-party web pages.

Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes says the company has "no plans to
change how we use this data." He also says the company's intentions
"stand in stark contrast to the many ad networks and data brokers
that deliberately and, in many cases, surreptitiously track people
to create profiles of their behavior, sell that content to the
highest bidder, or use that content to target ads."

Conflicting pressures Rather than appease its critics, Facebook's
public explanations of how it tracks and how it uses tracking
data have touched off a barrage of questions from technologists,
privacy advocates, regulators and lawmakers around the world.

"Facebook could be tracking users without knowledge or permission,
which could be an unfair or deceptive business practice," says
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., co-sponsor with Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas,
of a bill aimed at limiting online tracking of children.
The company "should be covered by strong privacy safeguards," Markey
says. "The massive trove of personal information that Facebook
accumulates about its users can have a significant impact on them -
now and into the future."

Noting that "Facebook is the most popular social media website in the
world," Barton adds, "All websites should respect users' privacy."

After Zuckerberg appeared on the Charlie Rose TV show last week,
Markey and Barton sent a letter to the 27-year-old CEO asking him
to explain why Facebook recently applied for a U.S. patent for
technology that includes a method to correlate tracking data with
advertisements. They gave Zuckerberg a Dec. 1 deadline to reply.

"We patent lots of things, and future products should not be inferred
from our patent application," Facebook corporate spokesman Barry
Schnitt says.
Facebook is under intense, conflicting pressures.

It must prove to its global financial backers that it is worthy of
the hundreds of millions of dollars they've poured into the company,
financial and tech industry analysts say. Those investors include
Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, the Russian investment firm Digital
Sky Technologies, Hong Kong financier Sir Ka-shing Li and venture
capitalist Peter Andreas Thiel.

The success of the company's initial public offering of stock,
expected sometime next year, hinges in part on Facebook's ability to
move beyond the bread-and-butter text ads that appear on members'
home pages and emerge as a key player in graphical display ads and
corporate brand marketing campaigns, says Rebecca Lieb, advertising
media analyst at the Altimeter Group.

In advertising, knowing more about consumers' preferences is
key. "More data means better targeting, which means more revenue,"
says Marissa Gluck, managing partner of the media consulting firm
Radar Research.

To meet rising expectations, Facebook must increase its annual
revenue, now estimated at about $4 billion, by double-digit
percentage points for years to come, Gluck says. The company is
striving to keep its options open to do this. In doing so, it is
bumping into pressure from critics who are concerned that leaving
online privacy standards entirely in the hands of corporations
might not be the best idea.

Ground rules needed

Companies are incorporating tracking data into new business models
"without necessarily appreciating the long-term and collective
consequences," says Craig Spiezle, executive director of the
non-profit Online Trust Alliance.

Last week, consumer reporter Ric Romero of station KABC in Los
Angeles showed how insurance companies monitor Facebook and Twitter,
looking for reasons to raise premiums and deny claims. Previously,
ABC News reporter Lyneka Little reported on how employers use
Facebook information as part of the recruitment process.

Meanwhile, researchers at AT&T Labs and Worcester Polytechnic
Institute have documented how tracking data culled from Internet
searches and surfing can be meshed with personal information that
Internet users disclose at websites for shopping, travel, health
or jobs. Personal disclosures made on social networks, along with
preference data gathered by new apps for smartphones and tablet PCs,
are being tossed into this mix, too.

Privacy advocates worry that before long, corporations, government
agencies and political parties could routinely purchase tracking
data from data aggregators.

"Tracking data can be used to figure out your political bent,
religious beliefs, sexuality preferences, health issues or the fact
that you're looking for a new job," says Peter Eckersley, technology
projects director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "There
are all sorts of ways to form wrong judgments about people."

So far, it does not appear that this sort of data correlation is
being done, at least not on a wide scale. But in the absence of
ground rules, technologists, regulators and privacy advocates worry
that companies involved in collecting tracking data could succumb
to the temptation to cash in.

Says Michael Fertik, founder and CEO of "We can
only imagine that an advertising company with a richer trove of
data will sell more and more of that data."

Facebook's trove of data

Facebook for the first time revealed details of how it compiles its
trove of tracking data in a series of phone and e-mail interviews
conducted by USA TODAY with Bejar, Noyes and Schnitt, as well as
engineering manager Gregg Stefancik and corporate spokeswoman Jaime
Schopflin. Here's what they disclosed:

* The company compiles tracking data in different ways for members
who have signed in and are using their accounts, for members who
are logged-off and for non-members. The tracking process begins
when you initially visit a page. If you choose to
sign up for a new account, Facebook inserts two different types of
tracking cookies in your browser, a "session cookie" and a "browser
cookie." If you choose not to become a member, and move on, you
only get the browser cookie.

* From this point on, each time you visit a third-party webpage that
has a Facebook Like button, or other Facebook plug-in, the plug-in
works in conjunction with the cookie to alert Facebook of the date,
time and web address of the webpage you've clicked to. The unique
characteristics of your PC and browser, such as your IP address,
screen resolution, operating system and browser version, are also

* Facebook thus compiles a running log of all your webpage visits
for 90 days, continually deleting entries for the oldest day and
adding the newest to this log.

If you are logged-on to your Facebook account and surfing the
Web, your session cookie conducts this logging. The session cookie
additionally records your name, e-mail address, friends and all data
associated with your profile to Facebook. If you are logged-off, or
if you are a non-member, the browser cookie conducts the logging;
it additionally reports a unique alphanumeric identifier, but no
personal information.

Bejar acknowledged that Facebook could learn where specific members
go on the Web when they are logged off by matching the unique PC
and browser characteristics logged by both the session cookie and
the browser cookie.

He emphasized that Facebook makes it a point not to do this. "
We've said that we don't do it, and we couldn't do it without some
form of consent and disclosure," Bejar says.

Bejar also acknowledged "technical similarities" in the cookie-based
tracking technologies used by Facebook and the wider online
advertising industry. "But we're not like ad networks at all in our
stewardship of the data, in the way we use it, and the way we lay
everything out," Bejar says. "We have a very clear and transparent
approach to how we do advertising that I'm very proud of."

Even so, Facebook's public descriptions of its tracking systems
have not satisfied some critics - particularly European privacy
regulators. Ilse Aigner, Germany's minister of consumer protection,
last month banned Facebook plug-ins from government websites and
advised private companies to do the same.

And Thilo Weichert, data protection commissioner in the German state
of Schleswig-Holstein, expressed alarm at how Facebook's technology
could potentially be used to build extensive profiles of individual
Web users.

"Whoever visits Facebook or uses a plug-in must expect that he or
she will be tracked by the company for two years," Weichert said
in a statement. "Such profiling infringes German and European data
protection law."

Adding fuel to such concerns, Arnold Roosendaal, a doctoral candidate
at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, and Nik Cubrilovic,
an independent Australian researcher, separately documented how
Web pages containing Facebook plug-ins carried out tracking more
extensive than Facebook publicly admitted to.

Noyes says Germany doesn't understand how the company's tracking
technologies work. And he blames "software bugs" for the
indiscriminate tracking discovered by Roosendaal and Cubrilovic.

"When we were made aware that certain cookies were sending more
information to us than we had intended, we fixed our cookie
management system," Noyes says.

However, researcher Roosendaal says Facebook's tracking cookies
retain the capacity to extensively track non-members and logged-off
members alike. "They have been confronted with the same issue now
several times and every time they call it a bug. That's not really
contributing to earning trust."

Some corporate security executives have become concerned about
cybercriminals getting hold of tracking data relayed by Like buttons,
then using that intelligence to steal intellectual property. They've
asked firewall supplier Palo Alto Networks to identify and block
traffic from Facebook tracking cookies, while enabling their
employees to continue using other Facebook services.

"The concern is that Facebook has rich personal information, which
Google doesn't have," says Nir Zuk, founder and chief technology
officer for Palo Alto Networks. "Combining that personal information
with Web browsing patterns could be revelatory."
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*** Disturbing facts

The Drone Threat to Privacy

In a world in which nearly anyone can purchase a device capable of
photographing locations behind walls, gates and fences, will anyone
be able to keep a secret?
- John Villasenor

Technology, as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a
2001 Supreme Court opinion, has the power "to shrink the realm of
guaranteed privacy." Few other technologies have as much power to
do this as drones. Because they can perch hundreds or thousands
of meters in the air, drones literally add a new dimension to
the ability to eavesdrop. They can see into backyards and into
windows that look out onto enclosed spaces not visible from the
street. They can monitor wi-fi signals or masquerade as mobile
phone base stations, intercepting phone calls before passing them
along. Using a network of drones, it would be possible to follow
the movements of every vehicle in a city-a capability that would
be invaluable to a police department tracking the getaway car in
a bank robbery but invasive if used to track a patient driving to
a clinic to get treatment for a confidential medical condition.

The growth in nonmilitary use of drones is too recent to have
generated a significant body of legal precedents specifically
addressing their implications with respect to privacy. But
closely related legal cases and evolving legal and societal
standards regarding privacy make it clear that the issue will be
complex. For example, in 1986 the United States Supreme Court ruled
that law enforcement's use of a private plane to view otherwise
hidden marijuana plants growing in a California backyard did not
constitute a violation of the Fourth Amendment right of freedom from
unreasonable search and seizure. The reason? The police observations
were made from "public navigable airspace." This might be interpreted
to suggest that the owners of drones operated in public airspace
will enjoy broad latitude to use them for surveillance in the U.S.

However, drone-based surveillance that is sustained, extensive
or systematic enough will at some point almost certainly run
afoul of privacy rights, although determining when that point is
reached will not be easy. Privacy rights are a complex and evolving
patchwork. In the U.S., for example, the right to privacy is found
not only through a combination of constitutional amendments, but
also in additional protections in some state constitutions and
laws. In Europe Article Eight of the European Convention on Human
Rights provides an explicit right to "respect for private and family
life." An additional challenge to predicting the impact of drones on
privacy is that the regulations that govern where, by whom, under
what circumstances, and what altitudes drones may be used are in
flux. In the U.S., for example, the Federal Aviation Administration
has been working to develop new policies governing the use of small
UAVs, and is aiming to publish proposed rules in the near future.

Regardless of the details of the eventual regulations adopted by
the FAA and by analogous agencies in other countries, drones are
certain to have a profound impact on privacy for the simple reason
that they make it easy and inexpensive to gather massive amounts of
information from above. Ryan Calo of the Center for Internet and
Society at Stanford Law School has suggested that the widespread
use of drones may in fact benefit privacy law by generating a
backlash that will result in increased privacy protections. Even
if this occurs, however, it is unclear what forms these new privacy
protections might take, and how they would be balanced against the
many beneficial uses of information that drones can acquire.

Editor's note: This is the second of a two-part series on security and
privacy during the age of drone warfare. Part one is available at

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*** Our Brave New World Of Snitches And Surveillance
- Zen Gardner

The tech industry giants continue to dutifully "lead the way" into
a suffocating surveillance state in collusion with the nasty likes
of the NSA, FBI, CIA, TSA and the name a "phew". (Almost
ran out of letters. Notice they're almost always 3?...hmmm. The
Masons wouldn't have anything to do with all this, would they?)
This time a "non-profit group Parking Mobility, created by George
Soros-funded organizations, created the Android, Blackberry and
iPhone parking ticket app which encourages cities to adopt the
program because they can "generate revenue." As if our well-being
was the purpose for this indoctrination into self-policing. I
mean, c'mon.

Deputizing Citizens As Parking Meter Snitches? There's An App
For That

Residents of Austin, Texas may soon have the power to issue parking
tickets by taking a few photographs of someone else's car with their
smartphones. A unanimous council voted on October 20 to explore
the concept of deputizing vigilante meter maids using an iPhone
app. Disabled advocates pushed the program at the council meeting
in the hopes of guaranteeing easier parking. They were joined by
others who were just interested in writing the $511 tickets.

The system requires a person take three photographs of the alleged
violator -- one of the license plate, one of the windshield and
one showing the car and the handicapped parking sign. The software
sends the photos and the GPS location to the city so it can issue
the expensive ticket.

"There's really no better enforcement tool than our citizens policing
themselves," Councilman Mike Martinez said. "I think the merits of
this program deserve our support.

A New Run At An Old Plan and its Nasty Effects

Since a big run at installing a ramped up snitch program last year,
they seem to have since concentrated on spyware technology due to
the blow back they got. But this clever re-introduction via the
"handicapped" in an attempt to get it into every city under the
guise of an income generator is pretty damn devious.

However it is taking its toll on the innocent. If you follow the
news you'll examples continually of people using the

The Snitch Rollout

If you remember, last December we had a major snitch program
roll-out. Walmart started running the DHS "If you see something say
something" campaign which continues to leak into the social fabric,
YouTube installed a Terror Alert Tag, and then Apple of course joined
in as the first to publish this Nazi throwback Patriot App--just as
patriotic as its predecessor, the freedom-extinguishing Patriot Act.

This was all on the heels of the first WikiLeaks uproar. Hmm. Funny
how they had these programs ready to roll out. Wonder what they'll
use for the next crank up? Watch for it.

This Should Be Fun... Not

With these types of self-policing surveillance tools now anyone
and everyone can "become someone" and "make a difference protecting
our nation's security."


As these programs continue to escalate they're eventually going to
trigger a firestorm of fear and confusion, all part of the plan. Just
imagine how much havoc can be wreaked with false information and
random accusations--for which snitchers will be praised for being
"great Americans". With as much TV as most Americans watch, they're
gonna want to be armchair Jack Bauers or CSI agents.

The channel is now wide open. Wanna get back at your boss? Your
ex? Your kids' teachers? Students who don't like their teachers?

Teachers who don't like their students? Wanna get back at Mom
and Dad? How about that long haired protester you keep
seeing at the grocery store? Or let's look around the Internet
for views I don't like or agree with. "It's payback time for you
weirdos! Extremists! Right wing nut job! Left wing wacko! Centrist
compromiser! Social deviant! Dirty Occupier" etc. etc.

However it is taking its toll on the innocent. If you follow the
news you'll examples continually of people using the
" It's all fair game in a self-policing police state."

And they're itching to see the snitching fully in place. Remember
their otto, "Ordo Ab Chao".

Set confusion afoot and you get your dirty work done in the shadows
while they call on you for help to finish it off.

And it's all at the click of a mouse---or should I say....rat....

Snitching For Fun and Profit

The way the laws have been eroded, you're now guilty until proven
innocent and can be held indefinitely under Patriot Acts 1 and 2
and a host of other anti-Constitutional laws, mandates and executive
orders, known and unknown.

On top of that all it takes is an accusation, bona fide or not. How
easy is it for virtual agent provocateurs to stir up a storm over
anyone they want to target. Once accused, job done. As the world's
economies continue to crumble, they won't have to pay much to hire
a horde of snitches.

Nasty Effects Already Felt - Due Process Almost Gone

All this "rat and snitch" empowerment is taking its toll on the
innocent. Besides training people to fear and suspect everyone
around them and to toe the line themselves lest they be reported on,
if you follow the news you'll see examples continually of people
abusing these new self-policing "tools".

False accusations are all it takes and everything gets thrown
into a frenzy. Google "false rape accusations on facebook" or
"FBI investigator informant false statements" and you'll get pages
of incidents.

Our freedoms are being eroded quickly, and all in the name of
"security" and by getting us to police each other.

False Accusations of Sexual Harassment May Soar, SAVE Warns

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Association
of Scholars recently released a position paper condemning an
Education Department[] directive that forces colleges to remove
fundamental due process protections from persons accused of sexual
harassment. The statement describes the Dept. of Education mandate
as "ominous," bordering on the "surreal," and excluding any mention
of free speech. Source Next "Event" Will Trigger Even More

Obama said early on he wants to create an army of brown shirt
type youth to help enforce this tyranny of fear. Wouldn't another
engineered "event" be an opportune time to ramp up such a program
? He may be down in the ratings, but not for long after the next
false flag, you just watch.

Homeland security volunteers in earlier times..."report ANYTHING
suspicious kids, terrorists are everywhere!"

1984 excerpt summary:
Winston opens the door fearfully, assuming that the Thought Police
have arrived to arrest him for writing in the diary. However, it
is only Mrs. Parsons, a neighbor in his apartment building, needing
help with the plumbing while her husband is away. In Mrs. Parsons's
apartment, Winston is tormented by the fervent Parsons children, who,
being Junior Spies, accuse him of thoughtcrime. The Junior Spies
is an organization of children who monitor adults for disloyalty
to the Party, and frequently succeed in catching them-Mrs. Parsons
herself seems afraid of her zealous children.

Cranking Up The Spyware

They haven't been quiet on the surveillance front. The snitch
program may seem to have toned down since the uproar against it,
but it certainly hasn't slowed down on the technological side. Here's
a quick overview of a few ways Big Brother is watching:
12 Ways We're Being Eyeballed, Indexed and Monitored to Oblivion:

1. Credit/Debit and RFID use: Every transaction, ID and passport use
is monitored and tracked. Your buying habits are sold to corporations
and your personal information given to the US Department of Justice
in some form. Rely on it. Your privacy rights have vanished. RFIDs
are soon to be in all forms of ID, used for medical records,
are in your food and products for "tracking" and soon to be under
everyone's skin. Beware. That one's a biggie.
2. Phone and Internet use. Forget it, they know everything. The
NSA is in bed with the servers and providers so kiss internet and
cellular privacy goodbye, subjects. Don't believe that? Go googling
before it disappears.
3. GPS and Drones. "Thanks for the self-bought tracking device,
Philbert." They can pinpoint anyone. GPS, phone, lowjack,
OnStar...those just help. Watch for the policing drones and other
technologies to follow soon. You are not alone...anywhere!
4. Smart Meters. They read all your home's devices, track your
activities and give off more radiation than a cell phone tower! Nice,
eh? Clever bastards.
5. Chemtrails and EMFs. By now we've all inhaled, eaten and drunk
enough barium, and aluminum, to be tracked from space. EMFs from
cell and GWEN towers screw with your nervous system more than ever
and influence your thoughts, as does your TV. Happy yet?
6. The Obvious CCTV cameras...and the Not Obvious ones. In the UK
they're IN the buses as well as outside the buses...never mind in
trees in the countryside! Yes, it's gone that far, and will in the
US soon too. Smile. There's 8 to 12 every intersection...don't you
wonder the hell why?
7. Scans and More Scans. Old news. Airport, transport, mobile
and soon to be everywhere: Metal detectors, feel-downs and ups,
and the latest: backscatter machines that unzip your DNA! Getting
the picture?
8. Fingerprints and Iris scanners. Notice how many want fingerprints
now? And iris scanners are already in place in many airports,
in fact I've heard this is the first thing the NYPD is doing to
anyone arrested at OWS. Beware.
9. Facial recognition technology. "Yay! We'll catch all those
buggers now! But why am I suspect?" Coming "officially" in January
(which means they've been experimenting and using it for some time
already.....) and..
10. Precrime detection! Yes, movies DO come to life! They're working
fervently on detecting your MOOD and will summarily assume at will
you have BAD INTENTIONS with this one! Beware being pissed or on
a bummer in public...YOU could be a terrorist!!
11. Intention To Trespass Outside the Country? Yup. Here's a brand
new doozey. "You gonna circumvent your domesticating home country's
laws on substance regulation, you wild and crazy thing? Damn get back in the house right now!"
12. "Illuminating!" - Intellistreets coming soon! New street
lights that include "Homeland Security" applications including
speaker systems, motion sensors and video surveillance are now
being rolled out with the aid of government funding. Orwell would
be proud. (Go Here)

Fascism On Steroids
Some call this fascist clamp down the fourth Reich, but it might
as well be the third Reich since it never really stopped--it just
changed faces and moved to the US where they could take it to new
levels. And we're still only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

Can that happen here? It already has. We're almost completely
disempowered while the laws are all in place just waiting for the
next excuse to keep ratcheting it up.

By thinking our votes make any kind of a difference and submitting
to a system that tells us we can only go through those channels. By
taking instructions from a compromised media. By waiting for
responsible leaders to come to the fore in a completely corrupt
system. By not believing it could happen here, as was the case in
every country that was ever taken over by despotic powers. By hiding
in our religions and believing we'll only get out of this when the
"cavalry" appears.

Lots of reasons.

All while people still put money in their banks, pay tribute to
them, buy their polluted products and drink in their sewage in the
media. And most pitifully, while sacrificing their kids for further
indoctrination and drugging in a diabolical school system designed
to further degrade the human race. It's pitiful.

Who Let the Dogs Out?

TSA thugs, Homeland Security and their ilk look the same now as
they did not that long ago--but how soon we forget. Or should
I say, how quickly they take true history out of our collective
consciousness--not hard in the world's dumbed-down state.

How'd it happen?

As the line goes,

Question: "What do you think about all this epidemic of ignorance
and apathy?"
Answer: "I don't know and I don't care!"

"Hey, snappy uniforms, good benefits....and I guess this is
patriotic...and WE won't get in trouble, only them. Talk about
great job security in scary times!"

Check their faces--just scared kids being told what to do. With
a little false indoctrination humans are unfortunately capable
of anything.

Empowerment Awaits

When the lights of the world dim and seem to go out, the true light
of awakened humanity shines brighter and brighter. Realizing what
is really going on and detaching from this tyrannical empire in
every way possible and helping others to do the same is the living

They're nothing to fear. They ARE fear itself and living in its
grip with an insecure need to dominate others. Don't be fooled.

Make conscious decisions in the days to come and take control of
your life. If everybody snapped out of it our world would change
in a moment.
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*** Interesting Read

Dominoes Of Destruction offers an interesting hour or so read that
amongst other things writes about; How To Keep The "Gangster Economy"
From Murdering Your Money!

Dominoes Of Destruction can be purchased in downloadable format
for US$19.95 at
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*** Technology: Surveillance by machines, not people

At the Techonomy conference in Tucson this week, Mike Lynch, chief
executive of Autonomy, riveted the audience - not with a tale
of how he recently sold his Cambridge, Britain-based company to
Hewlett-Packard for more than $10 billion, but how a fundamental
advance in technology could destroy privacy.

He wasn't talking about how online software monitors people's Web
surfing habits. He was talking about people's movements in the
real world.

In the past, Lynch said, people could count on a certain level
of secrecy and anonymity even in public spaces monitored by video
cameras "because there was no one to watch them." The cameras were
dumb devices, incapable of recognizing what passed in front of
their lenses.

"We're about to hit a fundamentally different situation," Lynch
said. Thanks to advances in software from companies such as Autonomy,
devices can "start to understand the information" they collect
through their lenses "and put it together." The eventual casualty
will be "your ability to do anything without it being known."

That's hyberbolic, but he offered an example that was both
reasonable-sounding and chilling. You and several of your
local Facebook friends could download an application onto your
smartphones that reads the license plates of the cars that pass your
locations. Voila, "you can track anybody moving around your city."

"There are going to be sensors everywhere," Lynch added, noting the
proliferation of sophisticated smartphones that see, hear and detect
their location. What protected people in the past was the inability
to make sense of all that voluminous data. "Now, there's not going
to be that limitation. It's going to be a very different world."

He went on to offer a demonstration of a far more benign use of an
iPad's video camera, a variation on the typical augmented reality
app. The latter typically relies on barcodes or other visible symbols
as triggers, but Lynch said his app automatically recognizes about
half a million objects - no symbols needed.

When pointed at a poster of a movie, the app replaced the image
with an clickable video advertisement. When trained on the front
page of a newspaper, it inserted a video of an updated story. "A
completely boring non-interactive object becomes an interactive one,"
Lynch declared.

"The thing is continually looking around to see if there's stuff
it can recognize," he added. "As the processing speed goes up,
we can deal with information in completely different ways."

That's cool in the benign context. But it's easy to see how it
could be creepy or, worse, suppressive.

Ah, the relentless march of technology.
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Hints & Tips

Best Buy keeps driver license info
- South Florida Business Journal

Best Buy is named in a recently filed lawsuit over customer privacy

As shoppers prepare for Black Friday and the Christmas season, a Palm
Beach County law firm has filed suit against Best Buy Best Buy Latest
from The Business Journals In-N-Out buys land for Lake Worth site,
plans constructionWieden Super Bowl Coke ad possibleBlack Friday:
Movies, giveaways, laser shows, maybe some shopping Follow this
company, alleging it collects information from drivers' licenses
when customers make returns.

Palm Beach Gardens law firm Leopold-Kuvin filed suit Nov. 22 on
behalf of Palm Beach County resident Steven Siegler, alleging
violations of the federal Drivers' Privacy Protection Act.

The act, or DPPA, is a federal statute that protects the privacy of
personal information assembled by state motor vehicles departments.

The lawsuit alleges Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) has established a business
practice of swiping drivers' licenses and storing the information.

Receipts provided during returns state that "some of the information
from your ID may be stored in a secure, encrypted database of
customer activity that Best Buy and its affiliates use to track
exchanges and returns."

The suit, which seeks class action status on behalf of an unknown
number of customers, alleges that Best Buy's retention of data
is not "use in the normal course of business" as described by the
federal law.

A spokeswoman for Best Buy said the company doesn't comment on

According to attorney Greg Weiss with Leopold-Kuvin, Best Buy's
practice goes beyond what is allowed.

"They are taking all the information, and storing it in a
database. They could just have the cashier look at it. Nothing in
the statute authorizes storing the information," Weiss said.

In addition, Weiss said he is uncertain what Best Buy means by the
word "affiliates" and wonders if that could mean other store chains.

Weiss said Siegler contacted the firm after he made a return at
Best Buy's Boynton Beach store. According to the suit, Siegler was
surprised that the clerk swiped his drivers' license.

Most lawsuits under the DPPA have been directed at merchants who
sell personal information, but Weiss said he's not accusing the
retailer of that.

The suit seeks an injunction barring Best Buy from taking and storing
the information. It also seeks money damages for an unknown number
of customers at $2,500 per violation of the law.
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*** Christmas Special

Personal bank account in Singapore which requires neither notarization
of personal documents, nor certification at oversea branch or embassy.

This is with one of the world's biggest banks in Singapore.

Just US$1,200 if ordered and paid prior to December 24th, 2011.

Email for particulars by placing "Christmas Special" in your
subject heading!

Merry Christmas from The Leprechaun!
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*** Letters to the Editor:

Keep them postcards and letters coming' folks, 'cause we done mailed
the rosebushes!!

Dear Shamrock:

Your newsletter is essential reading for anyone that has the
smallest concern about what is happening to their freedoms in
today's unfriendly world.

You have proven yourself to be honest, reliable and trustworthy over
the many years I have been a loyal customer and faithful subscriber
[to PTBuzz.]

Happy Holidays to you all and the leprechaun.


Dear Shamrock:

I am pleased to read in your "letters to the editor" email's from
persons who are critical of, or are contrary to your views. Kudos
to you.

George M.

Dear Shamrock:

I Live in XXXXX and wanted to talk to one of your Staff regarding
a banking problem I have.

My Contact Tel, No is XXXXXXXXX or Mobile: XXXXXXXXX

Many thanks


Dear E:

Thanks for yours.

We are not your typical walk in off the street, call on the telephone
type of operation.

Due to insecure governments and the nature of our products, reports
and services, we do not receive nor make telephone calls or accept
walk-ins for ordering, information or other purposes. For your
personal privacy and security, as well as ours, please respect
this policy. For secure communications use pgp, secure encrypted
e-mail. You can download various versions of pgp at Our
pgp key is located at:

Alternatively you can set up a FREE pgp email account at and communicate with us via there.

Kindest regards

PT Shamrock

Dear Shamrock:

"Some users might be disturbed, but what would they expect?" Olds
asked. "The info they post online is essentially in the public domain
in most cases and it's easy to understand why the government would
look for any edge they can find vs. terrorists."

The problem is that anyone who disagrees with government or its often
questionable policies is now classified as a potential "terrorist"
9/11 is the greatest boost this proto-fascist government ever had.

Thanks for being there.


Dear Shamrock:

I am very impressed with all the stuff you manage to cover and am
starting to rely more and more on the info you provide.

If possible, please let me have some info regarding safe tax
'friendly' places as I am currently banking in Panama.

Best wishes,


Dear Shamrock:

Thank you very much for your very informative response.

I believe I am more or less clear already what would most likely
be involved with this endeavor.

I agree that the intrinsic value that we will get at the end,
far outweighs any initial expense and effort.

Thank you for being clear and upfront about what you can and can't
offer to assist. I will discuss this with my wife and we will surely
move on with it.


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Quote of the year!

"It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere."
- Voltaire
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*** "PT Shamrock's Exclusive Member's Site!"

Each month we offer exclusive information, free privacy programs,
access to our newsletter archives and other insider information
for members only.

Our member's site is accessed by user name and password only. This
is available to our newsletter subscribers ONLY!

Each month the password will change and you will have to e-mail us
from your subscribers e-mail address to request the NEW password
in order to gain access.

As a subscriber to our newsletter you automatically qualify
for this exclusive service. Just send an e-mail to> and place "Members" in the subject
heading. We will forward to you full details for signing up and
gaining access to our Members Site, reserved for you.

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Dear Friend:

If you like our newsletter please tell your friends and associates
about us. They can subscribe *FREE* by sending an e-mail to:>.

Our pledge!

We never spam our subscribers, never rent or give our subscribers
list to anyone, and unlike other newsletters do not accept paid
advertisements; And of course, our PT Buzz Newsletter is absolutely
free, just packed full of interesting privacy news and information
with a tad of humor thrown in for good measure.

We're probably the oldest privacy newsletter on the Internet!

Thank you for your patronage and help in spreading the word.


"The right to privacy is a part of our basic freedoms. Privacy
is fundamental to close family ties, competitive free enterprise,
the ownership of property, and the exchange of ideas."

PT Shamrock - issue one; 1994
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Don't forget to check out our Special Offers at

See you next issue!

"Mehr sein, als scheinen" (German Proverb)
Be more, seem less!

PT Shamrock
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In and with good faith publishing distribution, this material is
distributed free without profit or payment for non-profit research
and for educational purposes only.