“Across the West, instances of abuse of authority by domestic police forces are becoming more prevalent. Two weeks ago, two police officers in my hometown accosted my brother as he walked back to his car after purchasing a six pack of beer. The officers, who thought my brother was up to no good because he parked a few blocks from a bar, questioned him for a full half hour. All the while, they found it necessary to remind him repeatedly that “he was in trouble” and that the situation was “serious.” After my brother asked numerous times what he had done and if he was under arrest, the two officers finally let him go. Though he was never charged with a crime, it was implied that he wasn’t free to leave. During the back-and-forth, one officer claimed that he and his fellow officers kept the town safe through such tactics like assuming everyone is a criminal. The sad part is, the officer likely believed his own story.
Situations of police arrogance and abuse like this are now commonplace in many Western countries and especially the United States. After a decade of civil liberties systematically being slaughtered and the rights of foreigners being stripped away in the name of “fighting terrorism,” even the most egregious acts of crushing natural rights hardly draw any outcry from the greater public. Just last week on August 16, 2012, former Marine Brandon Raub was forcibly taken from his home in Chesterfield Country, Virginia and is currently being held against his will in a psychiatric hospital. His alleged crime he has yet to be charged for? Questioning the federal government’s true motive in all its dealings on his private Facebook page. Despite having no criminal record and no history of mental health illness, Raub was effectively kidnapped from his home in a coordinated effort by FBI officials, Secret Service agents, and local police. The pickup hardly differs from the Gestapo tactics used in communist Russia to suppress political dissent. The arresting officials claim that Raub was not under arrest despite the fact that he was in shackled handcuffs and was not free to return home. FBI spokeswoman Dee Rybiski assured the Associated Press that many of Raub’s writing were “threatening” and that they had received “complaints” over the violent rhetoric. But according to The New American, nowhere in Raub’s writing was violent revolution ever suggested. Thankfully, a judge recently ordered the release of Raub as there was no legal basis to hold him involuntarily.”
Via Zero Hedge
“Saying they’re fed up with being told they can’t do their jobs, 10 immigration agents on Thursday sued the Obama administration to try to halt the president’s new non-deportation policy and an earlier memo instructing them not to go after rank-and-file illegal immigrants.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Texas, adds a legal controversy to the political fight that has been brewing over President Obama’s immigration policies, which have steadily narrowed the range of immigrants the government is targeting for deportation.
The 10 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and deportation officers said Mr. Obama’s policies force them to choose between enforcing the law and being reprimanded by superiors, or listening to superiors and violating their own oaths of office and a 1996 law that requires them to put those who entered the country illegally into deportation proceedings.”
Via Washington Times
“With one of the worst droughts in decades causing corn prices to escalate, Americans may be forced to choose between putting meat on the dinner table and filling their gas tanks. At the heart of the problem is a battle between meat and ethanol producers over how best to use this year’s shrinking corn crop.
The debate over using America’s food crops to produce fuel has been brewing since 2008 when a boom in commodities and surging food prices brought into question the ethics of diverting corn to the production of ethanol, which Washington promotes as a viable and environmentally friendly alternative to imported oil.
Arid conditions in the Midwest this year have prompted the Department of Agriculture to cut its corn-harvest forecast 17%, sending corn prices to a record of $8.49 a bushel on Aug. 10. Corn and corn by-products are used in nearly 70% of all grocery items and is a major source of feed for cattle and chicken.
The pressure on corn production has risen sharply since the implementation of the 2005 U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard. A certain volume of the nation’s transportation fuel must be blended with non-fossil fuels such as ethanol, distilled primarily from corn. This year’s ethanol requirement is 13.2 billion gallons, up from 12.6 billion gallons in 2011. That figure is set to grow to 13.8 billion gallons in 2013. That is projected to rise to 36 billion gallons in 2022 according to the Renewable Fuels Association.
This year’s poor corn crop and high prices are partly to blame for the high price of gasoline. At last check, the average retail price for a gallon of gasoline had ticked up to $3.72, a 7% jump from the $3.47 nationwide average just a month ago, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.”
“In Chaffee County, Colorado, the voter ballots for the 2012 Republican Primary election contain a smartphone data matrix barcode that ties the voter to the ballot. Both the ballot number and data matrix are on the ballot stub.
Using a smartphone and a free downloadable program called Barcode Director, the data matrix can be scanned and will produce a corresponding number to the one found on the ballot. With access to the county records through open-record laws, the ballot can be traced to the individual who voted by cross referencing the corresponding county.
Since the ballots containing the data matrix barcode are filed with the Chaffee County clerk, the information is obtainable by anyone – including campaign officials who might be interested in knowing who voted for which candidate.
The Colorado State Constitution says that ballots cannot have markings that would indicate the voter’s identity printed on the ballot and/or provide that the ballot be able to be traced back to the voter.
However, that is exactly what the data matrix barcodes do.”
Via Activist Post
“In the crazy times in which we live, it helps to expect the unexpected. Sometimes you can think that you have it all figured out and then this world can throw a real curveball at you. Very few people anticipated that we would see a massive outbreak of the West Nile Virus in Texas this year or that the Mississippi River would be in danger of drying up after experiencing historic flooding last year. Who would have thought that we would see the worst drought in more than 50 years or that horrific wildfires would burn nearly 7 million acres of land? This is why economic conditions are always so hard to predict. A single “black swan event” can come along and change everything almost overnight. Our world has become incredibly unstable, and so who really knows what the rest of 2012 will bring? Will we see a stock market crash? Will the hurricane season be unusually bad? Will war erupt in the Middle East? Will we see a major earthquake on the west coast or even a volcanic eruption? Will the upcoming election cause an eruption of anger and frustration in America? We don’t know the answers to those questions yet, and the truth is that we will probably see some things happen that very few of us are anticipating at this point.”
“Labor Secretary Hilda Solis cheered a slight decline in the youth (16-24) unemployment rate, saying that it was a sign that the job market was improving for America’s young people.
“As young Americans all across the country prepare to head into a new school year, I’m excited to say that many more will take with them lessons learned through summer jobs,” Solis said Wednesday in a press release.
“It’s no secret that the effects of the 2007 recession had a significant impact on job prospects for youth, but today’s report showed positive signs that job prospects for young people picked up pace in 2012,” she said.
Solis’ statement marked the release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual youth unemployment report. Solis said that the report showed positive signs for young job seekers, noting that the youth unemployment rate had fallen to 17.1 percent over the past two years.”
Via CNS News
“Advocating for the working man doesn’t pay too poorly, it seems. Here’s a list of the annual salaries and benefits earned by the nation’s top labor officials, according to the Labor Department. This data is based on 2011 filings:
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka – $293,750.
National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel – $460,060
Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry – $290,334.
American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees President Gerald McEntee – $512,489.
International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James P. Hoffa , Jr. – $372,489.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten – $493,859.”
“The results of a new poll show that American citizens are still experiencing difficulty in affording food for themselves or their families, a sign which proves that the country’s economy is not on the road to recovery.
A total of 177,662 adults from across the United States responded to the poll conducted by Gallup organization via phone from January through June 2012. “
According to the findings, which were made public on August 21, almost one in five Americans in 15 states say they had trouble buying food at least once during the past 12 months.
Via Press TV
Middle class hit by 10% drop in worth from double whammy of falling income and house prices making it ‘worst decade in modern history’
“The middle class has shrunk drastically over the last 10 years as Americans’ net worth has plunged, wages declined and standards of living slipped away, according to a report released on Wednesday.
Middle-income earners, long seen as the solid center of the country, are pessimistic and place the blame squarely on US lawmakers, banks and big business, the findings by the Pew Research Center showed.
‘America’s middle class has endured its worst decade in modern history,’ researchers wrote.”
Via The Daily Mail