“The government has pulled the plug on an 11-year-old Illinois baker’s oven.
A day after a local newspaper ran a story about the young and ambitious Chloe Stirling, who operated a cupcake business out of her parents’ kitchen, the local health department came calling.
“They called and said they were shutting us down,” Heather Stirling, Chloe’s mother, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.’
“Chloe originally started selling the frosted cakes under the name “Hey, Cupcake” to save up for a car when she turns sixteen.
And before the government took her oven mitts, the sixth grader charged $10 for a dozen cupcakes and $2 for each specialty cupcake.
However, she was also known to donate her time and sprinkles to charity.
When a boy in her school was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, she donated cupcakes to helpraise money for his treatment. Adding a personal touch, she made them orange and blue because he “was a really big Cubs fan.”
Her largest order ever, amounting to 220 cupcakes, was also for a cancer fundraiser.”
Via The Daily Caller
“White House officials say President Barack Obama will aggressively use his control of federal agencies to impose his progressive agenda on the economy and society throughout 2014.
He’ll largely ignore GOP legislators, except to push GOP leaders to accept an amnesty for at least 12 million Democrat-leaning illegal immigrants, according to several White House officials who outlined the strategy to the Washington Post.
“Washington veterans have been brought into the West Wing to emphasize an executive style of governing that aims to sidestep Congress more often,” said the approving Washington Post article.
The new plan “is to bring all of the government alive in a way we have never been very good at,” said another official.
“We’ll be doing that as aggressively as possible…. and if we succeed, that is a big presidency,” a senior administration official told the Post.”
Via The Daily Caller
“The Feds have a great little business going. At this rate, it’s beyond me how we have any money problems.
US Customs and Border Patrol confiscate money like it’s their job.
That’s because, well…it is.
You know how you hear those stories about shifty Customs agents in dark Third World airports, rifling through luggage, stealing things from innocent travelers, and setting them up for crimes? Well, as it turns out, they’ve got nothing on the good old USA. Billions are “generated” every year as Customs taxes and/or steals from those entering the country.
A couple visiting the US from Ghana had an encounter with Customs officers at the Philadelphia International Airport that they won’t soon forget.
The couple failed to report the full amount of cash they were bringing into the country. Upon a search of their baggage, it was discovered that they had $27,431.30 in different currencies, as opposed to $16,000 as the man had reported.”
Via Activist Post
“The National Security Agency has collected almost 200 million text messages a day from across the globe, using them to extract data including location, contact networks and credit card details, according to top-secret documents.
The untargeted collection and storage of SMS messages – including their contacts – is revealed in a joint investigation between the Guardian and the UK’s Channel 4 News based on material provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The documents also reveal the UK spy agency GCHQ has made use of the NSA database to search the metadata of “untargeted and unwarranted” communications belonging to people in the UK.
The NSA program, codenamed Dishfire, collects “pretty much everything it can”, according to GCHQ documents, rather than merely storing the communications of existing surveillance targets.”
Via The Guardian
“The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks.
While most of the software is inserted by gaining access to computer networks, the N.S.A. has increasingly made use of a secret technology that enables it to enter and alter data in computers even if they are not connected to the Internet, according to N.S.A. documents, computer experts and American officials.
The technology, which the agency has used since at least 2008, relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target.”
Via NY Times
“The U.S. judiciary told Congress on Tuesday it opposes the idea of having an independent privacy advocate on the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, while members of Congress lauded the idea at a Capitol Hill hearing.
Speaking for the entire U.S. judiciary, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates sent a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee saying that appointing an independent advocate to the secret surveillance court is unnecessary and possibly counterproductive, and he slammed other key reforms as adding too heavy a caseload to the secret court’s work. In FISA court hearings, judges only hear from the government seeking a spy warrant.
Bates said opening the proceeding to an advocate for privacy in general – who would never meet the suspect or be able to defend the charges against him – wouldn’t create the kind of back and forth seen in open criminal or civil court proceedings.”
Via My Way News
“A nightmare legal scenario for one Texas family has resulted in a judge telling the parents they cannot home school their children and must undergo a psychological evaluation while the kids are tested academically and kept in public school.
It is the latest twist in the case of the Tutt family, who are adamant their children are on pace academically but who have become stuck in a slow-moving system that has defied common sense from the get-go.
As Off The Grid News reported, the Tutts’ seven children were taken from them by police on Nov. 21 following an apparent botched investigation by a CPS worker. The worker previously had visited the family after a four-year-old child with autism had wondered away from the house, although the worker supposedly said she had no concerns about the parents. But the worker then signed a document that resulted in the children being removed.”
“Do you remember the 2011 lawsuit from the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association 80+ plaintiffs (farmers and small businesses) against Monsanto? They were fighting biotech giant Monsanto’s ability to sue them for patent infringement when genetically modified seeds inadvertently appear in organic/conventional fields.
Yes, were talking about the wind or insects carrying GM seeds onto another farm, which to them is considered contamination. But instead of the ability for the farmers to sue for a ruined field, they can be cleaned out in court for not having permission to plant patented seeds. Monsanto workers have been found trespassing and gathering evidence on farmers’ properties. The lawsuit had sought protection from this overreach, as Monsanto has filed 140 of these suits and settled 700 without suing.”
Via Activist Post
“In the 3rd century AD, Emperor Caracalla famously remarked of Rome’s tax policy:
“For as long as we have this,” pointing to his sword, “we shall not run out of money.” (Of course, Rome did run out of money. )
At the time, Roman taxation was so extractive that it drove people into poverty and desperation. Yet the government continued to forcibly plunder wealth at the point of a sword.
Not much has changed.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service, which is an independent office within the IRS, has just released a two-volume report describing the mafia tactics that are being employed by the tax collectors in the Land of the Free.”
Via Sovereign Man
An analysis of 225 terrorism cases inside the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has concluded that the bulk collection of phone records by the National Security Agency “has had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism.”
In the majority of cases, traditional law enforcement and investigative methods provided the tip or evidence to initiate the case, according to the study by the New America Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit group.
The study, to be released Monday, corroborates the findings of a White House-appointed review group, which said last month that the NSA counterterrorism program “was not essential to preventing attacks” and that much of the evidence it did turn up “could readily have been obtained in a timely manner using conventional [court] orders.”
Via Hot Air