• Anti Federalist

    by Published on 03-28-2014 10:15 AM

    From the UK, which is about five years down the road to hell from where we are.

    Get ready to have your biometrics tracked 24/7
    It's already too late to stop the ubiquitous tracking and monitoring of the public through biometrics, says Peter Waggett, Programme Leader at IBM's Emerging Technology Group. We need to stop worrying about prevention, and start working out how to make the most of data garnered from that kind of surveillance.

    "We're fighting the wrong battle when we ask should we stop people being observed. That is not going to be feasible. We need to understand how to use that data better," urged Waggett, who was speaking as part of a Nesta panel debate on what biometrics mean for the future of privacy.

    "I've been working in biometrics for 20 years, and it's reaching a tipping point where it's going to be impossible not to understand where people are and what they are doing. Everything will be monitored. It's part of the reason why when we put together the definition of biometrics it included biological and behavioural characteristics -- it can be anything."

    Full piece:
    by Published on 03-20-2014 11:42 PM

    When you start getting the straight laced, "law and order" establishment Economist types realizing you have a problem, well, you have a problem.


    FROM the way police entered the house—helmeted and masked, guns drawn and shields in front, knocking down the door with a battering ram and rushing inside—you might think they were raiding a den of armed criminals. In fact they were looking for $1,000-worth of clothes and electronics allegedly bought with a stolen credit card. They found none of these things, but arrested two people in the house on unrelated charges.

    They narrowly avoided tragedy. On hearing intruders break in, the homeowner’s son, a disabled ex-serviceman, reached for his (legal) gun. Luckily, he heard the police announce themselves and holstered it; otherwise, “they probably would have shot me,” he says. His mother, Sally Prince, says she is now traumatised.

    by Published on 03-11-2014 06:14 PM

    By Radley Balko - March 11

    I’ve been covering the militarization of America’s police departments for about eight years now. Over the past 35 years, Congress has generally been interested only in accelerating it. But the tide may be turning. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) has just introduced what may be the first bill aimed at actually reining in the trend.

    He explains in an op-ed for USA Today co-written with activist Michael Shank:

    Something potentially sinister is happening across America, and we should stop and take notice before it changes the character of our country forever. County, city and small-town police departments across the country are now acquiring free military-grade weapons that could possibly be used against the very citizens and taxpayers that not only fund their departments but who the police are charged with protecting . . .

    In fact, in the last several months, the following towns around the country, many of them small, have acquired free MRAPs from U.S. war zones: Texas’s McLennan and Dallas Counties; Idaho’s Boise and Nampa; Indiana’s West Lafayette, Merrillville, and Madison; Minnesota’s St. Cloud and Dakota County; New York’s Warren and Jefferson Counties; South Carolina’s North Augusta and Columbia; Tennessee’s Murfreesboro; Arizona’s Yuma; Illinois’s Kankakee County; and Alabama’s Calhoun County.

    Seem like a lot? It is. And that’s only in the last few months. This trend is not only sweeping America’s small cities, it’s hitting American college campuses as well. Ohio State University recently acquired an MRAP. Apparently, college kids are getting too rowdy.

    These are just some of the most egregious examples. There are countless stories of police departments getting (and often later selling) assault weapons, drones, and other military-grade equipment that is absolutely ill-suited for America’s main streets. ThePentagon’s 1033 program, which ”provides or transfers surplus Department of Defense military equipment to state and local civilian law enforcement agencies without charge,” is a big part of this disturbing trend . . .

    continued: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/t...ilitarization/
    by Published on 03-05-2014 09:53 AM

    FedBook and high altitude drones...what could go wrong?

    Facebook is in Talks to Buy Drone Maker


    March 5, 2014 12:26 a.m. ET

    The battle to bring the Internet to remote parts of the world may be fought in the sky.

    Facebook Inc. FB +2.06% is in advanced discussions to buy Titan Aerospace, a New Mexico-based maker of solar-powered drones, according to a source familiar with the discussions. Titan's TWI +3.62% drones, which are still in development, are expected to be able to remain in flight 12 miles high for up to five years, offering a potential solution for beaming broadband to areas that don't have it.

    A Titan spokesman didn't respond to requests for comment. The news was reported earlier by TechCrunch and CNBC, which put a price tag of $60 million on the transaction.

    A deal could further Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's ambition to connect more of the world. Last year, Mr. Zuckerberg and Facebook launched Internet.org, a partnership with tech companies including Qualcomm Inc. QCOM +3.37% and Samsung Electronics Co., that aims to deliver Internet access to two-thirds of the world's population that doesn't already have it.

    Google Inc. GOOG +1.02% has its own plan to beam Internet from high up in the earth's atmosphere, using balloons that would float in the stratosphere. The balloons are part of Project Loon, which is being developed by Google's skunk works lab, Google X. Google also has another initiative, Project Link, building fiber optic networks to help local Internet service providers deliver faster connection speeds. The first test of the Project was launched in Kampala, Uganda.
    by Published on 03-04-2014 09:10 AM

    American students are well over $1 trillion in debt, and it's starting to hurt everyone, economists say


    Chris Rong did everything right. A 23-year-old dentistry student in New York City, Rong excelled at one of the country’s top high schools, breezed through college and is now studying dentistry at one of the best dental schools in the nation.

    But it may be a long time before he sees any rewards. He’s moved back home with his parents in Bayside, Queens — an hour-and-a-half commute each way to class at New York University’s College of Dentistry — and by the time he graduates in 2016, he’ll face $400,000 in student loans. “If the money weren’t a problem I would live on my own,” says Rong. “My debt is hanging over my mind. I’m taking that all on myself.”

    Rong isn’t alone. Across the U.S., students are taking on increasingly large amounts of debt to pay for heftier education tuitions. Figures released last week by the Federal Reserve of New York show that aggregate student loans nationwide have continued to rise. At the end of 2003, American students and graduates owed just $253 billion in aggregate debt; by the end of 2013, American students’ debt had ballooned to a total of $1.08 trillion, an increase of over 300%. In the past year alone, aggregate student debt grew 10%. By comparison, overall debt grew just 43% in the past decade and 1.6% over the past year.
    by Published on 02-27-2014 06:37 PM

    Radley Balko -27 Feb. 2014

    I’ll just defer what others have already said about the court’s ruling in Kaley v. U.S. this week.
    At Slate, here’s Chanakya Sethi:

    Writing for a six-justice majority in Kaley v. United States, thus concluded Justice Elena Kagan that a criminal defendant indicted by a grand jury has essentially no right to challenge the forfeiture of her assets, even if the defendant needs those very assets to pay lawyers to defend her at trial. In an odd ideological lineup, the dissenters were Chief Justice John Roberts and the more liberal Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.

    The Kaleys’ saga began more than nine years ago when Kelli, a medical device salesperson, learned that she was under investigation by federal authorities for stealing devices from hospitals. Kelli admits she took some devices and later sold them with Brian’s help, but she says the devices she took were unwanted, outdated models that the hospitals were glad to be rid of — in effect, that she couldn’t steal something that was given to her. (It’s not a crazy argument. In fact, it worked for a co-defendant, who was quickly acquitted by a jury after the government failed to find even a single hospital that claimed ownership of the allegedly stolen goods.)

    With charges looming, the Kaleys sought an estimate from their lawyers of how much mounting a defense would cost. The answer: $500,000. (That figure may seem high, but sadly the government agreed it was reasonable.) The Kaleys took out a home equity loan and used the $500,000 to purchase a certificate of deposit, which they planned to spend on lawyers.

    Full story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/t...-before-trial/
    by Published on 02-24-2014 10:41 PM


    Last week, a judge in Nebraska ruled a law that permitted the Keystone XL pipeline to run through the state was invalid. The Public Service Commission, not the governor, should have made the decision to approve the pipeline’s route, which required the use of eminent domain to force some local property owners to hand over their land to the company building the pipeline.

    Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner points out that eminent domain is not part of the discussion for the left or the right, and that in fact:

    To many conservatives, Keystone opposition reeks of unyielding liberal opposition to development, a stance conservatives and libertarians deride as NIMBY: Not In My Back Yard.
    by Published on 02-22-2014 10:20 AM

    Our own Shem Kellogg, planning to run for NH State Rep.

    His campaign thread:


    His website:


    Donate here:


    I'll match donations up to $100 for the next 24 hours.

    C'mon, just 5 NH folks with $20 apiece can do this.
    by Published on 02-20-2014 07:40 AM

    I recall a couple of threads where I said this would be coming, and was told it wasn't possible.

    Calling that place "Liberty Airport" has got be one the sickest jokes on the planet, btw.


    Visitors to Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport may notice the bright, clean lighting that now blankets the cavernous interior, courtesy of 171 recently installed LED fixtures. But they probably will not realize that the light fixtures are the backbone of a system that is watching them.

    Using an array of sensors and eight video cameras around the terminal, the light fixtures are part of a new wireless network that collects and feeds data into software that can spot long lines, recognize license plates and even identify suspicious activity, sending alerts to the appropriate staff.

    The project is still in its early stages, but executives with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, are already talking about expanding it to other terminals and buildings.

    To customers like the Port Authority, the systems hold the promise of better management of security as well as energy, traffic and people. But they also raise the specter of technology racing ahead of the ability to harness it, running risks of invading privacy and mismanaging information, privacy advocates say.

    Full piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/bu...-you.html?_r=2
    by Published on 02-19-2014 04:34 PM

    Mirrors Brought to Protests: Police Forced to Look at What They’ve Become


    UKRAINE — In a move that is picking up international attention, the people of Ukraine have begun bringing mirrors to their protests.

    They say they’re doing it to force police to look at their own reflection, in a piercing psychological reminder of what they’ve turned into.

    The idea came about after police were seen violently attacking hundreds of Ukrainians who are upset with their government.

    In one shocking video, swarms of police can be seen kicking, stomping, and trampling a defenseless man.

    Now, police are being forced to face themselves in the mirror.
    by Published on 02-17-2014 06:09 PM

    By Radley Balko February 17 at 4:23 pm


    Terrific reporting here from the Capitol Report, a small publication that covers politics and policy in Minnesota.

    Minnesota state Rep. Carly Melin is trying to introduce legislation to legalize medical marijuana in the state, but she’s bumping up against some aggressive opposition from the state’s police agencies and law enforcement organizations, who have united behind a group called the Minnesota Law Enforcement Coalition.

    It may at first seem odd that police groups would so vigorously oppose medical pot. These aren’t medical organizations. They have no clear stake in the debate over the drug’s potential therapeutic benefits. According to the article, the police groups say they’re concerned about public safety, but we’ve been living with medical pot for nearly 20 years now, and there’s no empirical data to support the contention that legal medical marijuana brings an increase in crime. If you’re a fan of public choice theory, you might argue that narcotics cops may oppose any move toward legalization because a decrease in the demand for and supply of illegal pot might mean a decrease in need for narcotics cops to police it. And of course there will always be a supply of and trade in other illicit drugs to keep them busy.

    So why such strident opposition? Rep. Melin has discovered what drug policy reformers have been arguing for years: It’s about revenue. Police agencies have a strong financial incentive to keep the drug war churning.

    Full story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/t...profit-motive/
    by Published on 02-13-2014 07:15 PM

    An individual mandate for electricity


    In the early days of the Obama administration, “smart power” was all the rage—and not just on the foreign policy scene. In April 2009, National Public Radio reported how one Allentown, Pennsylvania, mother was saving more than a hundred dollars each month on her electric bill. Tammy Yeakel’s power company, PPL Energy, had helpfully installed a “smart meter” on her home that could monitor her power usage in real time. The meter uploaded that information to PPL’s website, so she could identify peak usage times during the day.

    “I love this site,” Yeakel told NPR. “I called PPL and said, ‘Did you design this for me?’ Because I'm one of these people who love to know where my dollars [are] going and how can I save.”

    Thanks to her newfound knowledge made possible by the smart meter, Yeakel was finding all sorts of ways to save, like installing a storm door and switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs. And in the middle of the recession, those extra dollars saved were important.

    The Obama administration wanted in on the action, too. From NPR:

    President Obama wants to use stimulus money to help install 40 million smart meters nationwide to help Americans save electricity and money. Smart meters can track energy use daily, hourly, monthly and even instantaneously, and send that data to power companies. The advanced meters can save companies money, because they no longer need meter readers, and they can fix outages more efficiently.

    Full piece: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/...le_781518.html
    by Published on 02-10-2014 12:51 AM

    I hate to say I told you so . . . but, yeah, I told you so.

    The fuel-efficient (and planet friendly) hybrid/electric vehicles the government has been aggressively encouraging people to buy via generous (with other people’s money) manufacturer and retail subsidies/tax incentives?

    The ever-upticking of federal fuel efficiency mandates - set to crest 35 MPG on average less than two years from now and then, perhaps ascend to 54.5 MPG by 2025 – that were touted as a way to make driving more “affordable” for cash-strapped Americans?

    It was another long con.

    The object has never been to give American drivers a break, to make it less expensive to get around. It has always been to construct yet another way to fleece and control them. By pushing “efficient” cars, a new crisis has been manufactured: There’s not adequate revenue from motor fuels taxes flowing into state and county coffers because hybrid/electric cars and the latest fuel-sippy conventional cars are too efficient.

    And the solution to this manufactured crisis?

    Tax drivers by the mile instead.

    Washington state’s Transportation Commission is pushing for exactly that – and it’s merely the opening libretto for what will inevitably become as inescapable as income and property taxes.

    Full story: http://ericpetersautos.com/2014/02/0...-another-step/
    by Published on 01-28-2014 02:18 PM

    Oh joy...just what we need, more FedCoats getting in on the asset forfeiture gravy train.

    Plunder-Lusting Quislings Seek to Repeal Posse Comitatus

    William Norman Grigg -- While visiting the elite Battle Command Training Program at Fort Leavenworth, “I head discussion of the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids the National Guard to act as a local police force,” reported Robert D. Kaplan in his 1996 book An Empire Wilderness. “The implication was that turbulence within the United States might one day require the act to be repealed.”

    During a discussion of the use of the military to suppress domestic terrorism, a Marine major declared: “The minute I heard about Oklahoma City, I knew who did it – rednecks, the kind of guys from southern Idaho.” That officer went on to predict that owing to the presence of such turbulent people “`a time may come when the military will have to go domestic,’” Kaplan related.

    At least some of the “rednecks” who reside in southern Idaho agree with that anonymous major’s assessment. A bill before the Idaho State Legislature, HB 367, would effectively abolish the Posse Comitatus Act as it applies to law enforcement in the Gem State by permitting the National Guard to “assist federal and state law enforcement agencies in interdicting the importation of controlled substances” and participating in the officially licensed plunder called “civil asset forfeiture.” When authorized to act as a “state law enforcement agency,” the Guard will be allowed to participate “in the sharing of property seized or forfeited and receive property and revenues…..”

    Full piece: http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/...sse-comitatus/
    Page 11 of 13 FirstFirst ... 910111213 LastLast
  • Follow us on Twitter! Like us on Facebook! Subscribe to our top news RSS Feed! New! Subscribe to us on YouTube!