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Member since: Sun Jan 3, 2010, 12:16 AM
Number of posts: 1,188

About Me

Was once a republican. long long ago, in a far, far away place. I apologize.

Journal Archives

FBI says spy flights not aimed at racial groups

Source: Detroit News

The FBI was conducting a specific criminal probe and not investigating credible terror threats nor targeting racial or religious communities, the bureau told community leaders at a meeting Wednesday night.

The meeting followed a Detroit News report exposing surveillance flights across the region and Dearborn.

“We are very satisfied that the community is not being surveilled,” said Osama Siblani, publisher of the Arab American News. “There is no massive surveillance of any nature. We support whatever the FBI is doing to protect our country and our nation as long as they’re doing it according to the Constitution and under the law, and they’re targeting criminals.

Read more: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2015/08/05/fbi-denies-targeting-muslims-amid-surveillance-plane-flap/31172399/

Yeh, sure.

Move along. There is nothing to see here.

These are not the droids you are looking for.

To Help US Veterans Charity, George W. Bush Charged $100,000

ABC News

Former President George W. Bush charged $100,000 to speak at a charity fundraiser for U.S. military veterans severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, and former First Lady Laura Bush collected $50,000 to appear a year earlier, officials of the Texas-based Helping a Hero charity confirmed to ABC News.

The former President was also provided with a private jet to travel to Houston at a cost of $20,000, the officials said.

The charity, which helps to provide specially-adapted homes for veterans who lost limbs and suffered other severe injuries in “the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said the total $170,000 expenditure was justified because the former President and First Lady offered discounted fees and helped raise record amounts in contributions at galas held in 2011 and 2012.

“It was great because he reduced his normal fee of $250,000 down to $100,000,” said Meredith Iler, the former chairman of the charity.
However, a recent report by Politico said the former President’s fees typically ranged between $100,000 and $175,000 during those years.

One of the wounded vets who served on the charity’s board told ABC News he was outraged that his former commander in chief would charge any fee to speak on behalf of men and women he ordered into harm's way.

“For him to be paid to raise money for veterans that were wounded in combat under his orders, I don’t think that’s right,” said former Marine Eddie Wright, who lost both hands in a rocket attack in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004.



The FBI is operating a small air force to spy on Americans

Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology — all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned.

The planes' surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge's approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, an AP review found.

Aerial surveillance represents a changing frontier for law enforcement, providing what the government maintains is an important tool in criminal, terrorism or intelligence probes. But the program raises questions about whether there should be updated policies protecting civil liberties as new technologies pose intrusive opportunities for government spying.

U.S. law enforcement officials confirmed for the first time the wide-scale use of the aircraft, which the AP traced to at least 13 fake companies, such as FVX Research, KQM Aviation, NBR Aviation and PXW Services. Even basic aspects of the program are withheld from the public in censored versions of official reports from the Justice Department's inspector general.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-fbi-is-reportedly-operating-a-small-air-force-to-monitor-americans-2015-6#ixzz3buTvoqOC

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-fbi-is-reportedly-operating-a-small-air-force-to-monitor-americans-2015-6

Whatever happened to the 4th Amendment?

LIVE: Bernie Sanders talks to Katie Couric

"This afternoon at 3 p.m. EDT, Yahoo global news anchor Katie Couric will interview presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders about his bid for the White House, whether he can realistically defeat Hillary Clinton, the midnight expiration of controversial provisions of the Patriot Act and why he may be voting for the USA Freedom Act, which would allow some counterterrorism tools — including the NSA’s controversial bulk data collection — to continue.

The longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history, the Vermont senator, who calls himself a socialist, entered the race to win the Democratic nomination on April 30. Last week, in a more formal campaign launch against the backdrop of Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vt., Sanders promised to “fight to protect working families” and warned the nation’s billionaires that they “can’t have it all.”

Link to amazing video of Katie Couric interview this afternoon:

Two Deputies Tased in mental health incident

Video Released Of Taser Incident Involving Livingston County Jail Inmate

Video has been released that shows a Livingston County Jail inmate wrestling during a confrontation with deputies, including two who were accidentally hit with a Taser while trying to restrain him. The Livingston County Sheriff’s Department released video of the Tuesday morning scuffle that involved as many as eight deputies and 29-year-old David Wayne New of Brighton. New was brought in to the jail the night before but got into a confrontation with deputies after he was able to exit his cell and asked to make a phone call. When he refused to return to his cell, four deputies approached, with one forcibly pushing him back into the cell. When he began yelling at deputies about hearing voices in his head, they removed him to a single person cell. Things got physical once deputies tried to restrain New, who resisted the deputies efforts to restrain him. In the process of the scuffle, Tasers were deployed and two deputies were accidentally shocked before New was restrained. The deputies suffered just minor injuries. New is charged with two counts of felonious assault stemming from the incident in Green Oak Township that led to his arrest. A probable cause hearing is scheduled April 28th in that case. Meanwhile, the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office has since authorized a four count complaint against New on charges of assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer. (JM/JK)

Massive U.S. 23 pileup: 2 in critical condition, freeway expected to be closed for hours

Source: MLIVE

Another massive Michigan pile-up in the snow early this afternoon.

"Two men were taken to the hospital in critical condition after a massive pileup on U.S. 23 south of Ann Arbor, officials said.

Both men needed to be extricated from their vehicles, according to Pittsfield Township Fire Chief.

Officials did not immediately have ages of the men. Both required extensive rescue efforts to be pulled from their vehicles.

One man was inside a car that was underneath a semi truck, Gleason said. The other man was in a separate semi truck. Crews also performed a complex rescue to free him, Gleason said.

There were at least seven semis involved and 20-plus cars in the pileup, according to officials. U.S. 23 was shut down between Willis and Plank roads and was expected to be well into Friday evening as crews clean up. There was a diesel gas spill crews were contending with, as well.

As of 2 p.m., rescue efforts had been completed. Gleason said two other people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The crashes stretched at least an eighth of a mile long on U.S. 23.

One semi crash was so severe, the cab came apart from the chassis, Gleason said.

"It was a horrendous," he said. "I've never seen anything like that."

A semi that crashed with a couple cars at the beginning of the accidents is believed to have started a chain reaction, Gleason said.

Washtenaw County Dispatch confirmed the highway was closed in the southbound direction at 12:52 p.m.

Read more: http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/01/massive_us_23_pileup_2_in_crit.html#incart_river

Another Michigan Massive Pile Up- this time on US-23 south of Ann Arbor, near Milan, Michigan.

Freeway closed.

Local reports are saying more than 50 cars and 7 semi-trucks tangled in this one, and that the highway may be closed for some time.

Update- both directions are now closed. Here is an updated link :


Selective Service System Equality?

Selective Service System

► Women Draft Registration Could be Next

As Norway became the first NATO country to require women to register for the draft this month, it has
American military analysts debating whether the US could be on the verge of taking the same step, too. It
was back in 1981 that the US Supreme Court ruled that requiring only men to register for the draft was
constitutional, since there were US laws that banned women from fighting in combat. Essentially, the
argument went, since the purpose of registration for selective service -which all men must do at the age of
18, regardless of whether there is a draft in effect –is to prepare for combat, and women are excluded from
combat, then they would not be needed in the event of a draft. But with the Pentagon’s decision to lift the
ban on women in combat by January 2016– and its move in recent months to open a number of jobs to female
troops previously held only by men - those Supreme Court arguments from 33 years ago may no longer
apply, analysts note, adding that mandatory registration for the draft may be the next logical step.

“It’s a social contract with democracy–that’s my take on it,” says Shelly Burgoyne, a former Army
officer who served two tours of duty in Iraq during the war and believes women should be requi
red to add their names to the Selective Service registry. “If you’re going to take advantage of all of the benefits of a
democracy, then I think you should also bear the responsibility as well.” A former platoon leader running
supply convoys, Ms. Burgoyne says she did not initially think that women should be allowed to serve in
combat jobs and even wrote her senior thesis laying out the reasons why they shouldn’t. Her beliefs changed,
she says, after her time in Iraq. “I saw women physically able to do it,” she says. “I did a full-on reversal
–if you can do the job, then you can do the job.” A congressionally chartered association of US military reservists
recently passed a resolution last year calling for the registration of women for the Selective Service as well,
noting that 14 percent of active duty troops and nearly one -fifth of National Guard and Reserves are now

Even though 275,000 women have deployed to fight America’s recent wars, “an inequality exists between
men and women between the ages of 18 -26 under the Selective Service Act,” the Reserve Officers
Association of the United States notes. “Women should be treated equally as responsible, competent,
contributing members of America’s society. While men are required to register for the Selective Service,
there has not been a draft in the United States since the Vietnam -war era. Pentagon brass strongly believes
that the current all -volunteer force performs much better than a conscripted force would. The presence of
women on the rolls has the potential to make a draft even less politically palatable. Yet there are other
possibilities in the event of a national emergency in which the draft is activated, says retired Maj. Gen.
Charles Dunlap, the former deputy judge advocate general of the Air Force and now the executive director
of the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at Duke University School of Law in Durham, N.C.
Congress might say, for example, that the national emergency requires 95 percent of draftees to be
fighters, or infantry.

A draft bill might argue that since, say, 95 percent of infantry troops are men, then the national emergency
would require 95 percent of men to be called up, and 5 percent of women, Mr. Dunlap notes. In that case,
the law might say that the 5 per cent requirement could be filled by female volunteers, rather than conscripts, he adds. “There would be a relatively small number of women who would want to do it and be able to pass the test,” Dunlap argues. “Those that wanted to do it and could would be welcomed into the unit, because they would be extraordinary people,” he adds. “I don’t see thousands and thousands of women in the infantry.”


MICHIGAN: Breaking News Gary Peters defeats Terri Lynn Land in race for U.S. Senate,

Source: Detroit Free Press

Breaking News --

Gary Peters(D) defeats Terri Lynn Land(R) in race for U.S. Senate, Free Press projects

Read more: http://www.freep.com/

Gun accidentally fired in Bob Evans bathroom

Gun accidentally fired in Bob Evans bathroom

From Staff Reports 2:05 p.m. EST November 3, 2014
Livingston County Press, Howell, Michigan

Police officials say that a found handgun was accidentally discharged in a bathroom at the Bob Evans in Genoa Township. (Photo: Alan Ward/Livingston Daily )

Texas man’s curiosity led him to pick up a gun — which accidentally discharged — that he found in the bathroom of a Genoa Township restaurant.

Fortunately, only a cooler at the Bob Evans Farms Restaurant at 3880 E. Grand River was shot around 11:30 a.m. today.

Michigan State Police at the Brighton post said the 58-year-old Texan found a 9-mm H&K handgun laying in the restaurant’s bathroom and he decided to pick it up.

It accidentally discharged and the round went through the wall and into the cooler, a trooper explained.

The trooper said the Texan immediately put the gun down, walked out of the bathroom and told a restaurant employee who called 911.

The trooper said he believes the Texan, who remained on scene and was cooperative with the investigation, had no intent to fire the gun and police are not seeking charges.


Police are searching for the gun’s owner.

Charter School loses appeal over $535K Verdict

Linden Charter Academy Loses Appeal Over $535K Verdict

10/30/14 - The Michigan appeals court won't upset a $535,000 verdict for a teacher who said he was illegally fired for making a racial comment at an area charter school. During an exchange about desks, Craig Hecht told another staffer at Linden Charter Academy that white tables were better and "brown should burn." There was no dispute that Hecht made the racial comment but his lawyer said he quickly apologized to a black teacher's aide who heard him. Hecht, who is white, worked at Linden Charter Academy for more than eight years until he was fired in November 2009. Hecht sued, saying black staff at the school had made racial jokes but were never punished like him. The appeals court agreed there was evidence that Hecht was treated differently. In dissent, Judge Kurtis Wilder says Hecht wasn't treated differently because there were no complaints about comments made by black employees.

The school is run by National Heritage Academies, which at the time said it was disappointed by the verdict. (JM)

LinK: http://whmi.com/news/article/21183
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