“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 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly considering new video analytic software that would enable identification of suspects in videos and still imagery based on both facial and behavioral recognition.
This type of technology has been under development for quite a while, with a patent awarded for behavioral recognition software last year. Indeed, it has been said that the future of CCTV is in the field of behavioral recognition and so-called “remote biometrics.”
However, the system that the FBI is working on could also scan footage against records of objects and places in addition to people, in order to detect possible suspects and their location.
“The FBI is currently undertaking a major issue study of video and digital image processing and video/digital image analytic capabilities to identify current capabilities, assess gaps, and develop a roadmap for the FBI’s future video analytics architecture,” the bureau stated in a contracting notice published on Oct. 30.”
Via Activist Post
“The Department of Justice, on behalf of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has threatened to criminally prosecute a novelty store owner for selling mugs and t-shirts that say, among other things, “Department of Homeland Stupidity” and “The NSA: The only part of government that actually listens.”
The novelty items are sold online at Zazzle.com, which is operated by merchant Dan McCall. The NSA and DHS sent “cease and desist” letters to Zazzle stating that the parody products violate statutes that protect their official seals from misuse.
The NSA and DHS, through the Department of Justice, are “threatening litigation and criminal prosecution if the parody designs weren’t immediately removed,” reported the government watchdog group Judicial Watch.”
Via CNS News
“1984 describes the ultimate tyranny to come. Or the retro-nightmare future that might-have-been, had it not been outdone by reality. Aldous Huxley – famous author, heir to the intellectual threads of Eugenics, Darwinism, Fabian Socialism and Humanitarian Scientism as a world religion – made his disagreements with his former pupil George Orwell quite clear in a 1962 speech at Berkeley as well as in writings like Brave New World: Revisited.
Orwell’s stark and forceful police state manufactured and maintained order with the psychological dominance of the ever-watchful Big Brother, by utilizing high-tech surveillance, the editing of reality, the propagation of dizzying misinformation and rule by an iron fist.
For Aldous Huxley, however, Orwell had missed the point. The Nazis and Soviets were incomplete models for the emerging world order. The real tyranny was scientific in its approach, sophisticated and slight in its maneuvered hand. Mankind wouldn’t face naked oppression as much as he would be pacified by easily obtained goods, engineered societal rewards and the use of literal opiates – refined pharmaceutical drugs – to make the masses “learn to love their servitude.” This would constitute the ultimate revolution – oligarchical domination administered by a scientific and expert elite. What Orwell had described would be crude compared to the studied social programs of indoctrinated helplessness.”
Via Activist Post
Dianne Feinstein trying to eliminate protections for alternative media with amended ‘Free Flow of Information Act’
“In response to growing public dissent against the federal occupying powers, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has sponsored a bill known as S. 987, or the Free Flow of Information Act of 2013, which will purportedly protect news reporters from being harassed or otherwise maliciously compelled by the federal government to disclose information about their private sources — this is, after all, how honest media outlets are able to keep the government in check and act as whistleblowers when necessary to shine the light on corruption. But Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has successfully added an amendment to this Trojan Horse bill that strips these protections from the alternative media and others she deems as not being “real reporters.”
The online free speech and privacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) notified the world about Sen. Feinstein’s initial attempts to shred the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as it pertains to honest media members back in August. In a report entitled “Why Sen. Feinstein Is Wrong About Who’s a ‘Real Reporter,’” EFF explained how Feinstein was pushing for an amendment to S. 987 that would limit freedom of the press protections only to “regular” journalists, at the exclusion of independent journalists, citizen journalists and others who do not meet her accepted criteria.”
Via Natural News
“National Security Agency officials deliberately overstepped their legal authority multiple times in the past decade, the agency acknowledged on Friday.
The admission contradicts previous statements by lawmakers and the Obama administration that any privacy violations were unintentional.
“Over the past decade, very rare instances of willful violations of NSA’s authorities have been found, but none under [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] or the Patriot Act,” the agency said in a statement. “NSA takes very seriously allegations of misconduct, and cooperates fully with any investigations – responding as appropriate. NSA has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency’s authorities.” “
Via The Hill