Meanwhile, Cuomo’s dad being investigated for political Corruption in NY!
The gloves came off between CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Russia Today’s Peter Lavelle on Wednesday in a lengthy segment over the handling of the investigation and crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
In a nearly 10-minute back and forth, the two hosts fought — and traded insults — over whether the U.S. has provided intelligence to support suspicions of Russia’s involvement. Afterward, Cuomo apologized to viewers and said the segment “became a little bit too heated.”
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/chris-cuomo-russia-today-peter-lavelle-argue-109275.html#ixzz38JozCX10
Cuomo opened the exchange by asking Lavelle why Russian President Vladimir Putin hasn’t condemned the handling of the Flight 17 crash site.
“Vladimir Putin doesn’t control a crime scene in a foreign country. I think it’s quite ludicrous for you to ask that question,” Lavelle responded, adding that Putin has called for a complete investigation.
The Russia Today host instead pointed a finger at the State Department, which he said was relying on Twitter and YouTube for evidence.
“Maybe you haven’t been following it, but the U.S. has actually [come] out with its own intelligence” connecting Russia to possibly assisting the separatists, Cuomo said.
“What forensic evidence are you referring to? Twitter?” Lavelle replied.
“I do not think, Peter, that this is something to be flip about—298 people lost their lives, let’s not play politics here,” Cuomo shot back.
The hosts continued talking over each other about the investigation and Russia’s involvement.
“Peter, why are you afraid to hear what I’m saying? I’m not here to fight with you. I just left the crime scene; the last thing I want to see is more violence of any kind, verbal or otherwise,” Cuomo said.
Lavelle said the U.S. should be releasing and comparing satellite data and when Cuomo said it has done so, Lavelle told the anchor, “You’re living in a parallel universe!”
“Peter, calm down, take a breath. We’ve already had something bad happen, there’s no reason to compound it,” Cuomo said.
Lavelle snapped back, “Ask me an intelligent question.”
“I think I’ve asked you several. Your answers, I don’t know about the intelligence of, but the questions are pretty spot on. Let me ask you again because I’m not a representative of the U.S.; you seem to be acting like a representative of Russia,” Cuomo said.
Lavelle interjected, “Great, character assassination. So you went to character assassination in what? Five minutes?”
“You sound like Jen Psaki at the U.S. State Department,” Lavelle continued.
“No, what I sound like is a reporter who feels deeply for the 298 lives who were lost, who were not part of this conflict and don’t need to be part of your discussion about whether Russia is being unfairly blamed,” Cuomo replied.
The pair continued in a lengthy back and forth and speaking over one another, before Cuomo expressed exasperation.
“This is a joke. We gotta get out of this,” Cuomo said.
After ending the segment, Cuomo told viewers, “The last thing I want to do is to stoke some type of useless conversation, the emotion sometimes gets the better of you, especially when you’ve been on the scene … I apologize for getting involved for what became more about emotion than reason there for a moment.”
No wonder these guys are getting attacked by the Locals wherever they go…
(Reuters) – The head doctor fighting the deadly tropical virus Ebola in Sierra Leone has himself caught the disease, the government said.
The 39-year-old Sheik Umar Khan, hailed as a “national hero” by the health ministry, was leading the fight to control an outbreak that has killed 206 people in the West African country. Ebola kills up to 90 percent of those infected and there is no cure or vaccine.
Across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, more than 600 people have died from the illness, according to the World Health Organisation, placing great strain on the health systems of some of Africa’s poorest countries.
Khan, a Sierra Leonean virologist credited with treating more than 100 Ebola victims, has been transferred to a treatment ward run by medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, according to the statement released late on Tuesday by the president’s office.
Health Minister Miatta Kargbo called Khan a national hero and said she would “do anything and everything in my power to ensure he survives”.
Khan told Reuters in late June that he was worried about contracting Ebola. “I am afraid for my life, I must say, because I cherish my life,” he said in an interview, showing no signs of ill health at the time.
“Health workers are prone to the disease because we are the first port of call for somebody who is sickened by disease. Even with the full protective clothing you put on, you are at risk.”
Three days ago, three nurses working in the same Ebola treatment centre alongside Khan died from the disease.
The Ebola outbreak started in Guinea’s remote southeast in February and has since spread across the region. Symptoms of the highly infectious disease are diarrhea, vomiting and internal and external bleeding.
Journalist Kelly O’Meara will join us on today’s edition of the Jack Blood Show (7.22.14) to break this down!
Despite prosecutors’ second attempt this year to bring criminal charges against Detroit mother Maryanne Godboldo, who underwent a 10 hour stand-off with police for refusing to administer a powerful antipsychotic drug to her daughter, Wayne County District Judge Gregory Bill has become the second judge this year to dismiss the charges.
Detroit, MI (PRWEB) July 17, 2014
On July 11th, 2014, there was loud applause in the court when Wayne County District Judge, Gregory Bill, reaffirmed the dismissal of criminal charges against Detroit mother, Maryanne Godboldo for a second time this year. [Case No. 11057748, 36 District Court, Detroit, Michigan, filed 03/27/2011]  The mental health watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), applauds Judge Bill in upholding Maryanne’s right to protect her daughter from forced psychiatric drugging.
In March 2011, the Maryanne Godboldo casegarnered international headlines when images of a SWAT team, tanks and a helicopter, showed up at the home of a Detroit mother after she refused to administer an antipsychotic drug to her daughter. The seizure of the then 13-year old caused a firestorm of press and public outcry. By December 11th, 2011, nine months and numerous court hearings later, Godboldo was acquitted of all charges, with the judge calling the court order that was used by Child Protective Services (CPS) to try to gain entry into the home invalid. 
Maryanne’s story began in 2011 when she chose to fight for the medical well-being of her 13-year old daughter, Ariana, refusing to give the child the dangerous, and potentially lethal, antipsychotic drug Risperdal. What ensued from there is as follows:
- With a “rubber stamped” court order in hand, CPS enlisted the services of Detroit’s SWAT team to go to the Godboldo home and remove the child from her mother.
- After a 10-hour standoff with police, and assurances that the teenager would not be removed to a psychiatric facility or forcibly drugged, Godboldo agreed to end the standoff. Both assurances were not upheld and Ariana was taken to a psychiatric facility where the child was drugged against her mother’s will.
- It took days for Godboldo’s attorneys to locate the child in a psychiatric facility. Once they found Ariana, they discovered that the teenager’s prosthetic leg had been taken from her and she had been forcibly given psychiatric drugs.
- After nearly two months of legal hearings, Ariana was released into the custody of her aunt, while Godboldo awaited trial for the defense of her child and home.
- State prosecutors further attempted to prosecute Godboldo for an alleged “warning shot” fired during the illegal entry by police, in an attempt to seize her child. In March 2014, 36th District Court Judge Ronald Giles ruled that given the illegal entry of Godboldo’s home, “…the defendant, in fact, did use reasonable force…to prevent an illegal attachment.” Judge Giles further explained, “The Detroit Police did not have the authority to remove a child at that time…based on the invalid court order that was being used and presented.”
Despite numerous dismissals of the criminal charges leveled against Godboldo by Judge Giles and Judge Bill and the appeals court, prosecutors continue to appeal the dismissal. A spokesperson for the Prosecutor’s Office stated, “We do not agree with the court’s ruling affirming the dismissal of the case in 36th District Court, and we will be appealing to the Michigan Court of Appeals.”
In an exclusive interview with CCHR, Allison Folmar, Godboldo’s attorney and champion, says, “In many ways this case really puts psychiatrists and the pharmaceuticals on trial because they tried to do something that they had no right to do. There are a multitude of lawsuits against the pharmaceutical company that makes Risperdal. This is a devastating, harmful drug that should not have been prescribed for this child.”
Folmar has no doubt that Maryanne will prevail, and acknowledges that many positive changes have occurred in the state and even across the country as a result of this case. For example, no more can emergency removal orders be “rubber stamped,” probation officers are prohibited from signing orders and the CPS no longer will investigate cases of parents who refuse to drug their child.
Folmar sums up what she believes transpired in the Godboldo case: “This case has far reaching implications for parents, not only in Detroit, but across the country, to choose whether or not to drug their child. It is a case of misdiagnosis, misinformation and unrestrained persecution. Parents need to understand this is not an isolated case and it is happening across the nation far too often.”
Read the full article here.
About Citizens Commission on Human Rights: CCHR is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health watchdog. Its mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. CCHR has helped to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices.
 Kim Craig, “Judge upholds lower court’s decision to dismiss charges against Maryanne Godboldo,” ABC 7 Detroit, July 11, 2014, wxyz.com/news/region/detroit/mom-accused-of-standoff-with-police-over-daughters-medication-in-court
 “Ten hour siege, a SWAT team… and a TANK: How police dealt with mother who refused to give her child medication,” Daily Mail, April 15, 2011, dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377178/SWAT-teams-10-hour-siege-mother-Maryanne-Godboldo-Detroit.html
 “Detroit Judge Upholds Decision In Standoff Mom’s Case,” CBS Detroit, December 12, 2011, detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/12/12/detroit-judge-upholds-decision-standoff-moms-case/
 Kim Craig, “Charges dismissed against Detroit mom who fought removal of daughter by Child Protective Services,” ABC 7 Detroit, Mar 14, 2014, wxyz.com/news/weve-won-says-maryanne-godboldo-after-judge-dismisses-criminal-charges-against-detroit-mom
 “Mother Battles Michigan Over 13-Year-Old Daughter’s Medication,” Fox News, May 22, 2011, foxnews.com/us/2011/05/22/mother-battles-michigan-13-year-old-daughters-medication/; “Risperdal (risperidone) tablets, Risperdal (risperidone) oral solution, and Risperdal M-Tab (risperidone) oral disintegrating tablets,” FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, August 2010, fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/ucm225758.htm; “Dear Healthcare Provider,” Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc., Apr. 2003, fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm168933.htm; “Risperdal (Risperidone) Apr 2003,” FDA Safety MedWatch, April 2003, fda.gov/safety/medwatch/safetyinformation/safetyalertsforhumanmedicalproducts/ucm153478.htm
 “Ten hour siege, a SWAT team… and a TANK: How police dealt with mother who refused to give her child medication,” Daily Mail, April 15, 2011, dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377178/SWAT-teams-10-hour-siege-mother-Maryanne-Godboldo-Detroit.html; “Charges reinstated against Maryann Godboldo, mom involved in police standoff over care of daughter,” ABC 7 Detroit, May 29, 2013, wxyz.com/news/region/detroit/charges-reinstated-against-maryann-godboldo-mom-involved-in-police-standoff-over-care-of-daughter
 Heather Catallo, “Mom who chose to take daughter off medication files lawsuit, alleges daughter deprived of prosthesis,” ABC 7 Detroit, May 10, 2012, wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/mom-who-chose-to-take-daughter-off-medication-files-lawsuit-alleges-daughter-deprived-of-prosthesis
 Heather Catallo, “Mom who chose to take daughter off medication files lawsuit, alleges daughter deprived of prosthesis,” ABC 7 Detroit, May 10, 2012, wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/mom-who-chose-to-take-daughter-off-medication-files-lawsuit-alleges-daughter-deprived-of-prosthesis
 “Godboldo May Be Reunited With Daughter,” CBS Detroit, May 6, 2011, detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/05/06/godboldo-may-be-reunited-with-daughter/
 Kim Craig, “Charges dismissed against Detroit mom who fought removal of daughter by Child Protective Services,” ABC 7 Detroit, Mar 14, 2014, wxyz.com/news/weve-won-says-maryanne-godboldo-after-judge-dismisses-criminal-charges-against-detroit-mom
 Elisha Anderson and Gina Damron, “Judge upholds dismissal of charges against mom in police standoff case,” Detroit Free Press, July 11, 2014, freep.com/article/20140711/NEWS01/307110149/ruling-upheld-Detroit-Maryanne-Godboldo-mother-antipsychotic-medication-judge
 David Sell, “Johnson & Johnson settles five Risperdal suits,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 06, 2012, articles.philly.com/2012-10-06/business/34280657_1_risperdal-suits-j-j-antipsychotic-drug; Sophia Pearson, Phil Milford and Jef Feeley, “Johnson & Johnson Agrees to Settle Five Rispersal Suits,” Bloomberg News, October 4, 2012, bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-04/johnson-johnson-agrees-to-settle-five-rispersal-suits.html; “Risperdal (risperidone) tablets, Risperdal (risperidone) oral solution, and Risperdal M-Tab (risperidone) oral disintegrating tablets,” FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, August 2010, fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/ucm225758.htm
 Heather Catallo, “Families torn apart illegally? Heather Catallo investigates,” ABC 7 Detroit, May 9, 2012, wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/removal-order; State of Michigan Department of Human Services, “Mandated Reporter’s Guide,” DHS Pub 112 (Rev. 2-13), michigan.gov/documents/dhs/Pub-112_179456_7.pdf
Jurors convict friend of Boston Bombing Suspect Tsarnaev… (Find he obstructed a terrorism probe… IE: Nothing!)
A former student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth was convicted Monday of obstructing a terrorism investigation by concealing a backpack containing fireworks that belonged to his close friend Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
In the first trial related to the bombings, jurors in US District Court also found that Azamat Tazhayakov, 20, was part of a conspiracy with his off-campus roommate to hide incriminating evidence in the days immediately after the attack.
- Tazhayakov sat stoically as he listened to the verdict Monday afternoon, occasionally looking back at his parents from Kazakhstan, who were seated several rows behind him.
Tazhayakov’s father, an oil executive from the central Asian country, showed little visible emotion, while his wife openly sobbed.
The jury deliberated for about 14 hours over three days and dismissed the defense’s efforts to paint Tazhayakov as a “good kid,” who did not know that his roommate planned to remove and get rid of incriminating items from Tsarnaev’s dorm room, according to one juror.
“He was not a passive actor,” said juror Daniel Antonino, 49, a software salesman.
US Attorney Carmen Ortiz addressed reporters very briefly after the verdict, saying she was gratified by the decision.
“They took their jobs very seriously,” she said. Ortiz also praised the work of the FBI and the two federal prosecutors, Stephanie Siegmann and John Capin, on the case.
Matthew Myers, one of three New York defense lawyers representing Tazhayakov, suggested that getting a fair trial for his client was challenging, given that Boston is still healing from the horrors of the bombings.
“It’s a difficult case to try in this culture,” Myers said, flanked by his colleagues, Diane Ferrone and Nicholas Wooldridge. He added that they plan to appeal the verdict.
Tazhayakov is the first of three college friends of Tsarnaev to face trial on charges that they interfered with the investigation into the April 15, 2013, bombing, which killed three and injured more than 260. Tazhayakov’s roommate — Dias Kadyrbayev, who faces the same charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice — is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 8.
A third friend, Robel Phillipos, faces charges of lying to investigators about his whereabouts the night of April 18. His trial is set for Sept. 29.
Monday’s verdict is likely to be daunting to Kadyrbayev and his lawyers, as significant testimony emerged over the past two weeks that Kadyrbayev took the lead in taking the items from Tsarnaev’s room and in tossing Tsarnaev’s backpack into a dumpster.
The backpack, which held fireworks, a jar of Vaseline, and a thumb drive, was recovered from a nearby landfill by the FBI. That evidence is likely to be used against Tsarnaev, who faces the death penalty if convicted when he goes to trial in November.
According to testimony, Tsarnaev told his friends that he knew how to make homemade bombs. Federal investigators have said the pressure-cooker bombs used at the finish line contained powder emptied from fireworks.
The jury found that Tazhayakov played no role in the removal of Tsarnaev’s laptop, one of the questions on the jury slip. That determination, however, made no difference in Tazhayakov’s conviction on both counts of the two-count indictment; to find him guilty on each count, jurors only had to find that Tazhayakov interfered with the probe involving just one of the two items.
Myers, Tazhayakov’s defense attorney, said he plans to appeal the format of the jury slip, which he believes made jurors believe they were splitting the difference — and perhaps giving Tazhayakov a deserved break — when they found him guilty involving only the backpack, but not the laptop.
Antonino said the jury decided that Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev may have taken the laptop only for its resale value, not to protect Tsarnaev. The jury came to that conclusion, he said, because there seemed no effort to hide or destroy the item. The FBI found the laptop, untampered with, in the New Bedford apartment that Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev shared.
During the trial, which began about two weeks ago, prosecutors called on jurors to see Tazhayakov as a college student who did not do the right thing when it mattered, even when the magnitude of the bombings was apparent. They said that Tazhayakov could not have been oblivious to the bloody finish-line scenes or his friend’s potential involvement.
Forensic analysis of Tazhayakov’s laptop and cellphones showed that he viewed videos of the bombing and FBI video of the suspects over and over again. Also, as early as about 11 p.m. on April 18, 2013, six hours after the FBI had released photos of the suspected bombers but seven hours before authorities released their identities, Tazhayakov was using Tsarnaev’s name in Internet searches.
That was still two hours before Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan, the other suspect, was killed during a shootout with police.
But defense attorneys insisted that Tazhayakov was a sweetly disposed teenager consumed with playing video games and getting high, someone who never imagined his friend was the bomber. They repeatedly referred to him as a “Mama’s boy” or a “good kid,” using depictions mentioned by one of Tazhayakov’s friends who testified in the case.
They went to great lengths to cast their client as likable. In fact, one defense attorney said Tazhayakov ordered Kadyrbayev to turn over a cap taken from Tsarnaev’s room, saying it showed his client was eager to help law enforcement.
Defense lawyers said that although Monday was “a brutal day for all of us,” they have been impressed with the calm disposition of their client throughout the trial. They said that they plan to appeal the verdict and that he is prepared for the legal challenges ahead.
“He’s a pretty strong 20-year-old,” said Myers.
- Timeline: Three pivotal days
- Tsarnaev friend’s case goes to jury
- Video: Tsarnaev, friend at gym
- Tsarnaev’s texts with friends
There goes THAT False Flag….
21 Jul 2014 The Guardian’s Shaun Walker reports that the “black boxes will be passed to the Malaysians right now – at 1.10am on the 11th floor of this occupied government building.” The Malaysian delegation has taken possession of the boxes…Heavy fighting broke out in Donetsk between rebels and the Ukrainian military, killing five people.
href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/21/mh17-disaster-ukraine-obama-live-updates" target="_blank">Obama: ‘Burden is on Russia’ to ensure full access to MH17 site
21 July 2014 Asked about what steps world powers should next take, Poroshenko says nations should use “all opportunities, starting [with decisions] from the UN security council…He also denounces the “irresponsibility” of rebels and Russia, noting how much time passed before investigators could reach the scene and before Russia made a clear call for a transparent investigation. He says dialogue continues with Russian representatives.
21 Jul 2014 The tragic Malaysian MH17 flight crash must not be politicised and the international experts on the scene should be able to carry out their work in complete safety, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “There are already representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk working there, as well as representatives of the emergencies ministry of Ukraine and others. But this is not enough,” Putin said officially commenting on the tragic event on Sunday. “This task force is not enough,” Putin emphasized. “We need more, we need a fully representative group of experts to be working at the site under the guidance of ICAO, the relevant international commission.”
21 Jul 2014 The Russian military detected a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet gaining height towards the MH17 Boeing on the day of the catastrophe. Kiev must explain why the military jet was tracking the passenger airplane, the Russian Defense Ministry said. “A Ukraine Air Force military jet was detected gaining height, its distance from the Malaysian Boeing was 3 to 5km,” said the head of the Main Operations Directorate of the HQ of Russia’s military forces, Lieutenant-General Andrey Kartopolov, speaking at a media conference in Moscow on Monday.
href="http://aanirfan.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/aids-researchers-killed-in-ukraine-air.html" target="_blank">MH17 Was Escorted by Ukrainian Fighter Jets – Spanish Air Traffic Controller
18 Jul 2014 Above are “tweets by a Spanish air traffic controller at Kiev Airport.” The Spanish air controller suggests that the order to down MH17 came from the Ukrainian Ministry of the Interior. The Spanish air controller also said that the MH17 flight was escorted by Ukrainian fighter jets minutes before it was downed.
href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/10286752/MH17-Rebel-leader-claims-bodies-were-planted" target="_blank">MH17: Rebel leader claims bodies were planted
19 Jul 2014 A top pro-Russia rebel commander in eastern Ukraine has given a bizarre version of events surrounding the Malaysian jetliner crash – suggesting many of the victims may have died days before the plane took off. The pro-rebel website Russkaya Vesna has quoted Igor Girkin as saying he was told by people at the crash site that “a significant number of the bodies weren’t fresh”, adding that he was told they were drained of blood and reeked of decomposition. The Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 was shot down about 3am, NZT, yesterday, killing all 298 people aboard.
20 Jul 2014 Items presumed to be the data recorders from the crashed Malaysian plane have been found and delivered to Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, according to the leader of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk. “Aircraft parts looking like black boxes were found at the site of the plane crash. They are currently in Donetsk, in the People’s Republic’s (DPR) government headquarters, under my personal control,” Aleksandr Boroday, the republic’s prime minister, told reporters. The self-defense forces are ready to hand the data recorders over to international monitors “in case they arrive,” he said.
href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2698823/Beness-Aijo-Putins-British-disciple-UK-student-29-linked-pro-Russian-rebels-blamed-shooting-MH17-arrested-Latvia-leaving-UK-fight-Crazy-Ukrainians.html" target="_blank">Heathrow worker who left UK to fight with pro-Russian rebels says Ukraine and the West shot down MH17 to smear Russia
20 Jul 2014 A construction worker who lived and worked in Britain has today been revealed as a pro-Russian rebel who left the UK to fight in Crimea. Speaking exclusively to MailOnline today, Beness Aijo, 29, said: ‘I think that this plane has been attacked by Ukrainian military forces – maybe in co-operation with some Western Security forces. This plane was flying at 10,000 meters high, but Donetsk Republik army have anti-plane guns which can flight no higher than 5,000 meters. Second a Ukrainian air force officer told the Malaysian plane to go 600 meters lower. I think it was asked in order to attack it easier.’
MORE MASSIVE HYPOCRISY! Aid Israel in Killing of Palestinians due to “Hamas” …. Aid Qatar while they affiliate with ‘Hamas’(WHO is HAMAS?)
Apaches and Javelin defense systems are heading off to Qatar as part of our wonderful relationship with the terror-sponsoring nation that also happens to share close ties with Hamas and Al Qaeda. The weapons are valued at $11 billion.
Examiner.com reported that the Qataris will also be privy to “the main sub-components of the ECS [Engagement Control System]..The ECS is air conditioned, pressurized (to resist chemical/biological attack), and shielded against electromagnetic pulse (EMP).”
Qatarian royal family with Ismail Haniya Hamas terrorists Organization leader
That is very ironic given we aren’t even protecting ourselves from EMPs and we could do so relatively cheaply.
Qatar is the country where the five Taliban terrorists were released in exchange for deserter Bowe Bergdahl.
Congressman Brad Sherman recently called out Qatar for its funding of Hamas.
Qatar’s royal family are tied to Al Qaeda. They tipped off Khalid Sheik Mohammed when we were hunting him down.
Our ally, Saudi Arabia, has threatened to blockade Qatar over their terrorism resulting from their close ties with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.
We are giving $11 billion to these friends of Hamas, who are at war with our ally Israel, while we are at the same time preparing to fire 30,000 soldiers over the next 17 months so we can bring our Army down to the size of Turkey’s. Also at the same time, Congress is pushing the Enlist Act which will encourage illegal aliens to join the military. The Pentagon is also looking to keep and seek out Muslim military.
Former Al Jazeera Head on Quitting, the Arab Spring, and Qatar’s Role
Qatar’s foreign domestic workers face abuse and exploitation, Amnesty warns
Victims of forced labour and human trafficking describe 100-hour weeks, as well as physical and sexual abuse from employers – more HERE
* This article (Below)originated in 2009 after a local investigation into the Privatization of TX and the US Border. We have every reason to believe its still going on, though we are still working to confirm it.
Follow the Money with this Guy!!!!
He can activate the national guard, but in order to do so, he has to have a clear objective and he has to demonstrate the need for a military force where the deployment needs to take place.
But notice how he’s using the ‘our citizens are under attack’ rhetoric, referring to the drug cartels. That means only one thing: He’s escalating Operation Border Star and probably increasing the funding to the no-bid contractor (ALIS) that leases the equipment, trailers, procedures, support services, logistics, etc. to the troops and DPS at the border.
It’s pure (Hegelian)theater!
A Democrat legislator leaked a memo to the press, mentioning that 1,000 troops is actually a gradual increase to the soldiers already there. In essence, Perry is increasing the budget to the private contractor running Operation Border Star, called Abrams Learning and Information Systems Inc. or ALIS.
Founder, General John Abrams is an internationally recognized subject matter expert in border security, public policy, international treaties, operations, training and education, and technology integration. He served with General Jim Jones, the current National Security Advisor to the President for the Congressional Commission to assess the Iraqi Security Forces in 2007. He is also a recognized corporate leader in developing sustainable strategies and programs. ALIS’ Border Security Operational and IT applications support to the U.S. – Mexico border has enabled the area to significantly reduce border crime over the last two years. ALIS, under John Abrams’ leadership, is committed to supporting government agencies and corporations to improve preparedness and mitigate risk to the many challenges of contemporary threats and hazards.
Perry’s got a sweet tooth and is hooking up his buddies one last time before he leaves office… and politically making Obama look bad at the same time… what a deal, right?!
You’ve got to love these Republicans and how they always say the right things while doing something else completely different at the same time.
DPS outsourced border security to private firm via no-bid contracts
A little-known private defense contractor from Virginia has quietly received about $20 million under a series of no-bid contracts with the State of Texas to develop its border security strategies, an effort that included shaping the state’s public message on the increasingly controversial nature and extent of violence spilling into Texas from Mexico.
According to an internal Department of Public Safety memo, the role of Abrams Learning and Information Systems Inc. expanded dramatically after Gov. Rick Perry, then in the midst of a campaign for governor, ordered an acceleration of border security operations that the state wasn’t equipped to handle on its own.
Over the next 4 1/2 years — ALIS, founded in 2004 by retired Army Gen. John Abrams — would become intimately involved in nearly every aspect of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s border security apparatus, according to documents obtained by the American-Statesman through the Texas Public Information Act. Its assignments ranged from refining the state’s Operation Border Star campaign and coordinating the role of National Guard troops along the border, to setting up the state’s joint intelligence support centers and creating a multimillion-dollar high-tech system to map border crime.
Despite the firm’s work on the state’s most important border operations, ALIS flew so far under the radar that outside of law enforcement, few state and local leaders knew of its activities. Several officials who have worked closely on border security issues said they had no knowledge of the firm until contacted by the Statesman.
State Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, said he plans to call for an investigation into the state’s relationship with ALIS, saying that the state had outsourced vital security operations to a firm with “less accountability and less transparency than I would expect from state agencies.”
Even a keen observer of the Department of Public Safety could easily have been unaware of the contractor. Despite more than half a dozen contracts totalling $19.2 million, according to the Texas comptroller’s office, a review of the minutes and agendas of the state’s Public Safety Commission meetings between 2006 and 2011 revealed no public discussion about the firm’s role and only passing references to the firm’s contracts.
Department policy did not require contracts such as those with ALIS to be presented to the commission until September 2009, according to DPS officials.
Nor does the website of the Legislative Budget Board, the only agency charged with gathering information on state contracts, reveal the extent of the ALIS role; it shows just two contracts worth $2.1 million.
The outsourcing also raises questions regarding DPS’s contract procedures. The DPS awarded the initial ALIS contracts on an emergency basis, saying there wasn’t time to solicit bids from other vendors. The DPS then extended the emergency contracts through a state procurement system that is more often used to purchase goods and commodities from a list of pre-qualified vendors, bypassing the bidding process.
The state auditor’s office, while not specifically targeting the Abrams contracts, has reprimanded DPS for its frequent use of emergency contracts and failure to solicit bids as required by state and federal rules.
Doubts about status
Why was the DPS moved to declare border security planning an emergency?
A June 2006 memo from Jack Colley, who was chief of the DPS Division of Emergency Management at the time, spells out the reasons: “The governor directed expanded state and local border security to begin quickly and before any contracting process could begin,” wrote Colley, who died in 2010. Colley added that the state lacked the staff, expertise and technology to coordinate the security operations called for by Perry.
Perry’s call for increased border operations came during a gubernatorial election in which the issue of border security played a central role in Perry’s campaign. Perry’s first campaign ad in the 2006 general election touted the state’s border security efforts, but made no mention of the private firm at the controls.
By 2008, at least some within DPS believed it was a bad idea — and too expensive — to give private contractors such responsibility over border security operations. In the agency’s 2008 budget request to the Legislature, DPS asked for money to hire 19 state employees to replace the contract workers then staffing the border security operations and joint intelligence centers.
“It is more desirable and more cost effective to have state employees planning, coordinating, and evaluating joint state-local border security operations that involve more than $100 million in state appropriated funds,” the document says.
Instead, the following year, Abrams received a $4.2 million contract in part to staff and provide “leadership” to the Border Security Operations Center, where it would produce plans, analyses and “decision support tools for Texas leadership.”
That same year, 2009, the ALIS contract came under the purview of the Texas Rangers. By the next year, it was discontinued — because, officials said, the state could do the work itself for less money.
“The contract was coming to an end and when I looked at what (ALIS) was doing, I promoted people within the division to do the same jobs. It was more cost effective to do it ourselves,” said former Ranger chief Tony Leal, who left the Rangers last year and now is a vice president for a Houston rubber company. “When (ALIS) first came in, they offered a service to do something that the state was not doing at that time. Over time we developed the expertise to do it ourselves.”
High-ranking DPS officials had been aware for some time of the issues with emergency contracts.
In January 2010, DPS Director Steven McCraw told commissioners: “There’s a tendency toward everything being an emergency. We recognize that’s not the way to do business. We need to plan ahead.”
But seven months later, DPS gave Abrams another emergency, no-bid contract, worth $1.4 million, in part to shape the state’s public message on border security.
Controlling the message
As much as the Texas-Mexico border has been a battlefield between drug cartels and law enforcement, so too has it been a battlefield over public perception of what’s been dubbed spillover violence. At stake: the allocation of millions of federal and state dollars, which observers say very much depends on who controls the public message.
This fight has largely pitted state Republicans and some law enforcement officials, who portray the Texas border as a war zone, against border politicians and President Barack Obama’s administration, who point to the overall decline in the border’s violent crime rate and maintain it is among the safest areas of the country.
A 2011 American-Statesman analysis of five years of crime statistics in border counties revealed over-simplification by both sides. While many counties across from the worst Mexican violence showed notable crime decreases, other areas have seen crime rates soar in conjunction with drug violence in Mexico (El Paso, long held up as a paragon of the safe border city, saw aggravated assault rates increase 26 percent since 2006.)
State politicians, notably Perry in his successful 2006 gubernatorial campaign and failed presidential bid, have campaigned vigorously on a platform of increased border security and the notion that the federal government has failed to adequately guard the border.
In August 2010, the DPS enlisted Abrams to develop a public and media outreach strategy to “position Texas border security efforts in a positive light,” paying the firm to develop talking points, presentations, testimony and the “orientation” of senior government leaders. Abrams created a public relations campaign featuring 36 principal messages, including “The success of Texas border security and law enforcement efforts are critical to preserving you and your family’s safety and way of life” and “Border Security is a Federal Responsibility but a Texas problem” — the exact language contained in an earlier Perry speech and a common refrain during Perry’s presidential campaign.
A draft document obtained by the American-Statesman, titled “Border Security Public Outreach Themes and Messages,” includes talking points that would seem to boost the firm’s standing. In touting Operation Border Star, the state’s principal border security strategy, the document says that law enforcement agencies “join with private companies” to “reduce border-related crime.” The messages were meant to be used by the agency’s public information department and to guide agency interactions with the media.
DPS officials say they contracted with ALIS on media outreach because they wanted the public to know about Mexican cartels recruiting Texas students to carry drugs and other threats such as smuggling operations and public corruption.
Rodriguez said he thinks ALIS’s public information work represented a conflict of interest. “They are giving talking points to officials so they can make the case for more public money for border security, which they can then use to pay for more contracts,” Rodriguez said. “(ALIS) was doing this to make themselves more relevant.”
Law enforcement officials along the border say the firm brought a military sensibility to border operations, supporting “surges” of local and state law enforcement and helping to form Texas Ranger Reconnaissance teams, units that operate along remote areas of the border. ALIS also helped to set up joint intelligence centers in cities along the border, where military-style “joint” commands of local, state and federal law enforcement come together.
Don Reay, the head of the Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition, said that ALIS initially butted heads with some border sheriffs. “It was more of a military approach, and some things need more local input,” Reay said, adding that in subsequent years the firm accepted more input from local officials. “The strength of the ALIS contract is that it allowed (DPS) to access former military personnel with expertise in a variety of areas critical to defending and securing terrain,” said DPS spokesman Tom Vinger.
Abrams, a retired four-star general, headed the Army’s training and doctrine command until 2002. After his retirement he became a military analyst for The Associated Press, joining a growing number of retired generals providing paid commentary on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for media outlets.
And like several fellow generals, Abrams went on to create a consulting company to compete for government contracts, mostly in the realm of homeland security. Since its founding in 2004, Abrams Learning and Information Systems has received a number of state and federal contracts, including a $701,597 contract in 2011 with Abrams’ former training and doctrine command. According to its website, the company specializes in management and technology work related to homeland security.
Abrams is not the only retired general to receive a border security contract from the State of Texas: Last year, DPS and the Agriculture Department hired retired Gens. Barry McCaffrey and Robert Scales to produce an $80,000 report that declared spillover violence was occurring at alarming levels and that Texas border counties had become a “war zone.” Though it never mentioned the contractor by name, the report effusively praised the state’s border security infrastructure, much of it designed by ALIS, and called it a “model” for the federal government and the nation’s three other border states.
The amount of money Abrams earned from the state also was a source of some discontent among border law enforcement officials. “I’m not for or against Abrams, but I would rather see money going to boots on the ground to make our communities safer,” Reay said.
Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas said he was stunned to learn the private contractor had received $20 million from the state. According to a state auditor’s report, that represents a quarter of all state money spent on border security between 2005 and 2008 (in more recent years, border security funding has increased sharply). The firm’s federal contract price schedule lists wages for company employees that range from $39.54 an hour for a support specialist to $233.52 an hour for a subject matter expert.
“I hope state money was not being used to propagandize,” Salinas said.
A larger role
The firm’s role grew increasingly complex after it received its first contract in March 2006. That contract, along with several subsequent contracts, was an emergency procurement, which means it was not put out for competitive bids.
That first $471,898 contract called on Abrams to assist the state in setting up the Border Security Operations Center, the state’s Austin-based nerve center for border security efforts. After Perry instructed DPS to redouble its border security efforts, Abrams got a second emergency contract, valued at $679,676, three months later.
That contract vastly increased the firm’s responsibilities, which included developing a statewide border security plan; the National Guard’s mission along the border; a Web-based border surveillance camera program; and the concept for Operation Wrangler, a high-profile “rolling surge” of state and local law enforcement along the border.
The company received a series of contract extensionsbefore landing its largest single contractin August 2009 for $4.2 million. It assigned ALIS responsibility for developing the state’s 2010-2015 Homeland Security Strategic Plan and TXMap, a Web-based map of border incidents and arrests by various agencies.
Despite DPS rules enacted the previous October that required contracts of more than $1 million to be presented to the Public Safety Commission, it was not. DPS officials say the rules didn’t go into effect for such contracts until the following month. Nor was the contract — or any other contract between DPS and ALIS — put out for competitive bidding, according to DPS.
After its initial contract, ALIS became an authorized state vendor under the Texas Multiple Award Schedule, in which state agencies can contract with preferred firms without soliciting bids.
ALIS’s public and media outreach duties came in the form of another DPS emergency contract totalling $1.45 million over four months’ time. In an internal memo asking the Public Safety Commission to authorize the emergency extension in August 2010, DPS officials wrote that contract personnel from Abrams provided services that were “vital to the life, safety and welfare of those citizens and law enforcement officers working and living along the Texas border.”
That contract was presented to the commission but without any discussion of the firm’s specific duties.
At the same August meeting, commissioners expressed concern about how the media presented border violence, complaining about an August 2010 Texas Monthly article that questioned the extent of cross-border violence in Texas.
“Despite fears to the contrary, the violence has not spilled over into Texas,” the article concluded.
“I think it did the governor a disservice (by downplaying the severity of border violence),” said then-Commissioner Tom Clowe. “He’s asking the federal government for troops, we’re asking for more funds, more people, more equipment. I don’t think that article gave a proper impression at all. I think it did the state of Texas, frankly, a disservice.”
Contact Jeremy Schwartz at 912-2942
About this story
Investigative reporter Jeremy Schwartz spent more than three months reviewing thousands of pages of contracts, program status reports and internal Department of Safety Public documents that were the result of multiple open records requests. Schwartz, the American-Statesman’s former Mexico correspondent, has covered border issues for several years and has recently conducted an analysis of violent crime along the border and documented the presence of the La Familia cartel in Austin.
With the claimed interest in making sure we eat allegedly “sustainable” food, you would think that these food dictators would want to make sure that they used economical means to promote good food. But you would be wrong if you thought that.
Instead, our food masters want to make us vegetarians through extravagant technological innovations.
The concept is bizarre since it is being widely acknowledged that people resent and resist attempts to dictate to them what they should eat. Even children resent it. Adults resent it much more.
According to the Free Beacon,
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is suggesting major changes to grocery stores to “nudge” Americans to purchase healthier foods when they shop.
The agency commissioned an “expert panel” to make recommendations on how to guide the more than 47 million Americans on food stamps into spending their benefits on fruits and vegetables.
The group released an 80-page report this month presenting their ideas, which include talking shopping carts and a marketing strategy for grocery chains that would feature better store lighting for healthier items.
“Most Americans, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, do not purchase enough whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables, and legumes, and purchase too many items with excess calories from fats and added sugars,” the report said.
“At the same time, the food retail environment is saturated with food marketing messages, including health and nutrition claims and information, advertisements, and promotions for many unhealthy food items,” it said.
For the record, I am skeptical that the USDA knows what it is talking about when it says we need to get more whole grains or legumes, or when it complains about how many calories come from fat. But whether or not I am right, blaming food choices on “advertisements and promotions,” is simply false. We already know that food companies use sugar because consumers want it. I wish they didn’t, but they do.
But having the simplistic notion that food companies simply control consumers, the USDA then justifies the idea that they can control consumers.
The “MyCart grocery cart” would provide dividers for shoppers to make sure they are selecting enough items in each “MyPlate” category, the USDA’s food icon.
“MyCart is a nonfinancial approach that would use behavioral economics to encourage healthier purchases by any consumer, including SNAP participants,” the report said.
The cart would be color-coded, physically divided, and have a system installed so that when the shopping cart reaches its healthy “threshold” it would congratulate the customer.
“The algorithm would group the purchases to classify them using the MyPlate designations and to provide consumers with a message of support or encouragement (e.g., “You achieved a MyCart healthy shopping basket!”),” the report said.
The panel based this approach on a $999,891 government-funded study entitled “Nudging Nutrition,” arguing the research “suggests an intervention of this sort might be successful in modifying consumer shopping behavior.”
So despite the claims of Michelle Obama that women shopping for their families need better information, the truth is that they simply need to be manipulated by bells and whistles.
And how much is this going to cost?
“To accompany the approach, a MyCart shelf tag could be created to identify healthier items on shelves,” the report said. “Consumers could be guided to healthier choices through the use of visual displays and other signage, including ceiling banners, refrigerator and freezer door clings, and shelf talkers.”
The report estimated that implementing the new carts would cost roughly $30,000 for every store. The change would be costly. For instance, Safeway, Inc. would need to spend $40.05 million to introduce the carts at its 1,335 stores in the U.S.
How exactly is that a sustainable way to grocery shop? This seems more like a stimulus project than anything else. We are supposed to spend millions of dollars to invest in technology that probably won’t work.
Read more at political outcast
Rebel leader gives bizarre account of plane crash (Bodies seemed to have been drained of Blood and decomposed)
* Some now believe that these were bodies from missing Malaysia flight MH370….
A top pro-Russia rebel commander in eastern Ukraine has given a bizarre version of events surrounding the Malaysian jetliner crash — suggesting many of the victims may have died days before the plane took off.
The pro-rebel website Russkaya Vesna on Friday quoted Igor Girkin as saying he was told by people at the crash site that “a significant number of the bodies weren’t fresh,” adding that he was told they were drained of blood and reeked of decomposition.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 was shot down Thursday, killing all 298 people aboard. The plane was flying 10,000 meters above an area where Ukrainian forces have been fighting separatist rebels. Each side accuses the other of downing the plane.
U.S. intelligence authorities said a surface-to-air missile brought down the plane, and U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the U.N. Security Council in New York on Friday that the missile was likely fired from a rebel-held area near the Russian border.
Girkin, also known as Strelkov and allegedly a former Russian military intelligence agent, said he couldn’t confirm the information. But it’s sure to add to the intense emotions surrounding the crash, with the rebels accused of shooting down the plane.
Girkin said “Ukrainian authorities are capable of any baseness.”
He claimed that a large amount of blood serum and medications were found in the wreckage.
cant wait for all money to be electronic so the garnishing will be easier… NOT! The EPA can start with itself, and its controllers!
Accused violators of pollution laws would have little recourse
The Environmental Protection Agency has quietly floated a rule claiming authority to bypass the courts and unilaterally garnish paychecks of those accused of violating its rules, a power currently used by agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service.
The EPA has been flexing its regulatory muscle under President Obama, collecting more fines each year and hitting individuals with costly penalties for violating environmental rules, including recently slapping a $75,000 fine on Wyoming homeowner Andy Johnson for building a pond on his rural property.
“The EPA has a history of overreaching its authority. It seems like once again the EPA is trying to take power it doesn’t have away from American citizens,” Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, said when he learned of the EPA’s wage garnishment scheme.
Others questioned why the EPA decided to strengthen its collection muscle at this time.
EPA officials did not respond to repeated questions by The Washington Times about why they thought it was necessary to garnish people’s wages.
The EPA announced the plan last week in a notice in the Federal Register, saying federal law allows it “to garnish non-Federal wages to collect delinquent non-tax debts owed the United States without first obtaining a court order.”
The agency cited authority under the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 that centralized federal collection operations under the Treasury Department, which oversees garnishments of wages or tax refund checks.
Under the law, every federal agency has the authority to conduct administrative wage garnishment, provided the agency adopts approved rules for conducting hearings where debtors can challenge the amount of debt or terms of repayment schedule, a Treasury official said.
Still, the rule would give the EPA sweeping authority to dictate how and whether Americans could dispute fines and penalties, even as the amount of EPA fines collected from individuals, businesses and local governments steadily increase.
Putting the collection powers on a fast track, the agency announced it in the Federal Register as a “direct final rule” that would take effect automatically Sept. 2, unless the EPA receives adverse public comments by Aug. 1.
The EPA said it deemed the action as not a “significant regulatory action” and therefore not subject to review.
The negative reactions began almost immediately.
In a comment letter submitted to the EPA, the conservative Heritage Foundation faulted the rule for giving the government “unbridled discretion” in controlling the process for challenging fines and wage garnishment, such as dictating the site of a hearing without consideration of the time and travel expense placed on the accused debtor.
The rule allows the EPA to decide whether a debtor gets a chance to present a defense and then picks whomever it chooses to serve as a hearing officer, even someone not trained as an administrative law judge, wrote David S. Addington, group vice president for research at The Heritage Foundation.
It also puts the burden of proof on the debtor, not the EPA, he said.
The EPA has been on the front lines of the battle over Mr. Obama’s climate change agenda, including issuing proposed rules that would require coal-fired power plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent over 15 years.
Critics say it will cause massive increases in the cost of electricity, lead to power shortages and eliminate jobs, while making scant impact on the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted worldwide.
The agency has been a magnet for criticism over new rules on things such as wood-burning stoves and small streams or ponds on private land, including waterways on farms and golf courses.