“Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) on Tuesday reintroduced legislation that would require the government to study the most practical ways of taxing drivers based on how far they drive, in order to help fund federal highway programs.
Blumenauer’s bill, H.R. 3638, would set up a Road Usage Fee Pilot Program, which he said would study mileage-based fee systems. He cast his bill as a long-term solution for funding highway programs, and proposed it along with a shorter-term plan to nearly double the gas tax, from 18.4 cents to 33.4 cents per gallon.
“As we extend the gas tax, we must also think about how to replace it with something more sustainable,” Blumenauer said Tuesday. “The best candidate would be the vehicle mile traveled fee being explored by pilot projects in Oregon and implemented there on a voluntary basis next year.”
He said the bill would help answer questions about “how best to implement a vehicle miles traveled [VMT] system,” and said it “looks to the future and helps provide a more stable funding base for the next one hundred years.”"
Via The Hill
“The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.
The records feed a vast database that stores information about the locations of at least hundreds of millions of devices, according to the officials and the documents, which were provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. New projects created to analyze that data have provided the intelligence community with what amounts to a mass surveillance tool.
The NSA does not target Americans’ location data by design, but the agency acquires a substantial amount of information on the whereabouts of domestic cellphones “incidentally,” a legal term that connotes a foreseeable but not deliberate result.
One senior collection manager, speaking on condition of anonymity but with permission from the NSA, said “we are getting vast volumes” of location data from around the world by tapping into the cables that connect mobile networks globally and that serve U.S. cellphones as well as foreign ones. Additionally, data is often collected from the tens of millions of Americans who travel abroad with their cellphones every year.
In scale, scope and potential impact on privacy, the efforts to collect and analyze location data may be unsurpassed among the NSA surveillance programs that have been disclosed since June. Analysts can find cellphones anywhere in the world, retrace their movements and expose hidden relationships among individuals using them. “
Via Washington Times
“At some point in the future, Facebook could be a far bigger threat to our privacy than we previously assumed. That’s because the social network is building the world’s biggest database of faces that theoretically can be used for biometric recognition.
Martin Kaste of National Public Radio actually called it a super database of labeled faces that may contain a billion faces someday.
The danger to privacy is that the government could request the pictures from Facebook, says Amie Stepanovich, director of the domestic surveillance project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
The photo database, she told NPR, is the largest in the world and has “been formed by people voluntarily submitting pictures to Facebook and identifying who they belong to.”
“As we’re seeing specifically over the past few months, no matter how much a company attempts to protect your privacy, if they’re collecting information about you, that information is vulnerable to government search,” Stepanovich said”
” In a shocking series events British Social Workers from Essex Social services obtained a Court Order to forcibly remove a baby from its mother by caesarean section against the mothers will.
The mother had travelled to the UK from Italy for a two week training course when she had a panic attack at her hotel, partly due to not taking her medication for Bipolar Disorder and partly as she could not find her older children’s passports. She called Police who informed her they would take her to a hospital to “check the baby was okay”. On arrival at the hospital the mother became aware that she had been taken to a psychiatric facility. When she protested she was forcibly restrained and sedated.
Children’s services applied to the Court and High Court judge, Mr Justice Mostyn ruled that the child could be removed by caesarean section and placed for adoption on the grounds that the mother had mental health issues.
The mother was told in the morning that she couldn’t have breakfast; she questioned this and was sedated again. When the mother woke from her sedation she found that she was in a different hospital and her baby had been surgically removed.”
Via Natural News
“A lawsuit filed against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by seven states is seeking to force the federal agency to impose stringent new regulations on residential wood-burning heaters, which they claim “can increase particle pollution to levels that cause significant health concerns.” (See EPA wood-burning lawsuit.pdf)
The lawsuit, filed last month in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by the attorneys general of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont, is directed against currently unregulated “indoor and outdoor wood boilers,” which have become an increasingly popular way to heat homes, particularly in rural areas.”
Via CNS News
“The deadline for submitting comments on two key rules the FDA has proposed as a part of the Food Safety Modernization Act has been extended to Friday, Nov. 22.
Hailed as the most sweeping overhaul of farm and food policy since the Great Depression, many fear the law will actually make our food supply less safe – not to mention sterile – by regulating small, organic farmers out of business and leaving it in the hands of a few mega farmers and processors.
Founder of Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance Judith McGeary shared her concerns about the federal Food and Drug Administration’s first draft of the “Produce Safety” and “Preventative Controls for Human Food” rules in a Food Riot Radio interview earlier this year. Despite thousands of comments from concerned stakeholders over the last ten months, the rules haven’t got any better.”
Via Activist Post
“After years of secret trade negotiations over the future of intellectual property rights (and limits on those rights), the public gets a chance to looks at the results. For those of us who care about free speech and a balanced intellectual property system that encourages innovation, creativity, and access to knowledge, it’s not a pretty picture.
Today Wikileaks published a complete draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement’s chapter on “intellectual property rights.” The leaked text, from August 2013, confirms long-standing suspicions about the harm the agreement could do to users’ rights and a free and open Internet. From locking in excessive copyright term limits to further entrenching failed policies that give legal teeth to Digital Rights Management (DRM) tools, the TPP text we’ve seen today reflects a terrible but unsurprising truth: an agreement negotiated in near-total secrecy, including corporations but excluding the public, comes out as an anti-user wish list of industry-friendly policies.”
Via Activist Post
“It is natural for a society to search for explanations and motivations in the wake of a man-made tragedy. It is also somewhat natural for people to be driven by their personal biases when looking for someone or something to blame. In recent years, however, our country has been carefully conditioned to view almost every criminal event from an ideological perspective.
The mainstream media now places far more emphasis on the political affiliations and philosophies of “madmen” than it does on their personal disorders and psychosis. The media’s goal, or mission, if you will, is to associate every dark deed whether real or engineered to the political enemies of the establishment, and to make the actions of each individual the collective shame of an entire group of people.
I could sift through a long list of terror attacks and mass shootings in which the establishment media jumped to the conclusion that the perpetrators were inspired by the beliefs of Constitutional conservatives, “conspiracy theorists”, patriots, etc. It is clear to anyone paying attention that the system is going out of its way to demonize those who question the officially sanctioned story, or the officially sanctioned world view. The circus surrounding the latest shooting of multiple TSA agents at Los Angeles International Airport is a perfect example.”
Via Activist Post
“The Big Brother control grid is constantly growing and expanding all over America. Right now, a “wireless mesh network” is in the process of being installed in Seattle that some believe will ultimately have the capability of tracking the location of every wireless device in the city. If you live in downtown Seattle, just look for the little off-white boxes that are being attached to utility poles all over the place. You can see a bunch of pictures of these little boxes right here. Meanwhile, other major U.S. cities have been installing vast networks of surveillance cameras and listening devices. We are being told that such measures will help police “solve more crime”. We are being told that such measures will “keep people safe”. But what about our privacy? Doesn’t that count for something? What about the Fourth Amendment? Are our most cherished liberties and freedoms going to be thrown into the trash just because we live “in a more dangerous world”?”
“In the wee hours of the morning on September 13th, Air Force Sgt. Matt Pinkerton and his wife were entertaining guests at their home when an acquaintance of Mrs. Pinkerton’s came knocking.
It was 2 AM. After being told to leave by Matt Pinkerton, who closed the door, Kendall Green decided that he’d kick it in and force his way into the home.
Matt Pinkerton, having armed himself with his Glock17 9mm prior to approaching the door, then proceeded to discharge two rounds into Green.
Green was subsequently killed in an obvious act of self defense.
But the story didn’t end there, as it should have.
The district attorney’s office has now filed second degree murder charges against Sgt. Pinkerton.”
Via Activist Post