James Comey and Loretta Lynch Should Be Impeached

DEPT OF OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE • OPINION

James Comey and Loretta Lynch Should Be Impeached for Whitewashing Clinton’s Crimes

Former federal prosecutor says that Hillary obstructed justice and destroyed evidence—with the support of the president himself

By Sidney Powell • 10/11/16 8:30am

Just when one thinks the cavalier cabal of Clinton and her cronies has exhausted all manner of corruption, yet another outrage surfaces, implicating even more people.

The bombshell this week is that Loretta Lynch and James Comey not only gave immunity to Hillary’s closest co-conspirators Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson—who, despite being attorneys, destroyed evidence right and left—but, in a secret side deal, agreed to limit the FBI’s review of the Clinton team laptops to pre-January 2015 and to destroy the laptops when the FBI review was complete.

Congress and every law-abiding citizen in this country should be outraged. This blatant destruction of evidence is obstruction of justice itself.

We no longer have a Department of Justice: We have a Department of Obstructing and Corrupting Justice to protect the power elite of the chosen side.

It’s easy to see now why Lynch secretly met Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac on June 27. Only a few days later, the FBI had its little chat with Hillary—neither under oath nor with a rights warning—in the presence of her coconspirators. Then, Hillary announced she would keep Lynch as Attorney General if she is elected president. Surely by coincidence, the very next day Comey does his song and dance ending the “investigation.”

Comey’s “investigation” was a farce. Any former prosecutor worth a flip would have convened a grand jury, issued subpoenas, gotten search warrants, seized computers, run wire taps, indicted the Clinton cabal, and squeezed the underlings to plead guilty and cooperate. This business of friendly chats, immunity agreements handed out like party favors, and side deals that include the Attorney General approving the destruction of evidence to keep it from Congress doesn’t happen for others targeted by the feds.

Just ask any number of Wall Street executives who for various reasons found themselves on the opposite side of the Department of “Justice.” In fact, my former client, Jim Brown, served a year in prison convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice for testifying about his personal understanding of a telephone call to which he was not even a party. Yes, you read that correctly. Read Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice.  It becomes more relevant every day.

How did we get here?

Thanks to the work of Judicial Watch and others, we learned over a year ago now that Hillary Clinton ran the most important and confidential of world affairs and the United States Department of State through an unsecured computer server assembled by her minions and ensconced in the basement of her New York home. She did so despite repeated warnings of security risks, against protocol, and contrary to her own memo to all of her underlings. That posed no problem simply because the rules don’t apply to Clinton.

Conveniently, her server also handled Clinton Foundation correspondence that facilitated the personal enrichment of Hillary and Bill by hundreds of millions of dollars. That money came from Bill’s remarkable “speaking fees” at hundreds of events around the world—each of which was quickly approved as requested by Clinton crony Cheryl Mills at the State Department—as if there were no conflict of interest. Simultaneously, foreign entities made “donations” of hundreds of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation to obtain the immediate attention of and curry favor with the secretary of state—and it worked.

The conflict of interest inherent in that entire scenario is palpable. It’s the Clintonian equivalent of the scheme former Enron CFO Andrew Fastow conceived that destroyed Enron—a large side-slush fund that operated as his own piggy bank.  The Clintons boldly went where no one has gone before: They privatized the State Department for their massive personal gain, creating a net worth for each of over $100 million dollars in a few short years. Ironically enough, lead counsel for the Clinton Foundation now was President Obama’s longest-serving White House counsel. A former prosecutor on the Enron Task Force, Kathryn Ruemmler was implicated in various forms of prosecutorial misconduct and its cover-up.

The personal home server allowed Hillary Clinton to send and receive all of her emails and run the State Department free from protected, secure, and requiredgovernment channels. It was established deliberately to circumvent the Federal Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act—both of which applied to her work-related correspondence.

That was no problem for Clinton however, as she simply “didn’t know how to use a computer,” apparently was incapable of learning to do so (unlike most toddlers in the country), and she liked her Blackberry—which was reason enough for her highness to ignore the national security interests of the entire country.

One of our favorite Clinton lies is: ‘My staff and I will cooperate completely with the investigation.’
Clinton’s insistence on operating outside the government security protocols demonstrated at best deliberate disregard for the law and national security—and, at worst, conduct that was treasonous. That is why 18 USC 793 (d) and (f) make it a crime punishable by imprisonment for 10 years to even move any information relating to the national defense from secure conditions or to fail to return it upon demand. Clinton did both—repeatedly.

The unsecure server also facilitated the clearly conflicting roles of Clinton confidant and protégé Huma Abedin, who was paid simultaneously by the Clinton Foundation and the taxpayers through the State Department. That made it easier for the double-dipping Abedin to schedule meetings quickly for Clinton with those who had paid to play—substantial donors to the Foundation, such as the Crown Prince of Bahrain, who had been denied a face-to-face through those pesky State Department protocols in place for mere mortals. His millions in contributions to the Foundation got him an appointment with Clinton through Abedin in a matter of hours.

We wrote more than a year ago—as soon as we heard one Clinton server was “wiped”—about the Countless Crimes of Hillary Clinton. We foresaw the need for a special prosecutor and predicted that if emails could be found, they would likely implicate high ranking people across the government, including the president.

Lo and behold, President Obama, who told the country he heard of Clinton’s private email from news reports, was in reality emailing her at Clintonemail.com and using an alias. He must have forgotten. But, wait—just this week, we get more emails, and there’s now evidence that the White House and the State Department coordinated an attempt to minimize the problem.

Now we have a candidate for president of the United States who has committed lie after lie, obstructed justice, and destroyed evidence with the support of the president himself—conduct for which many people are in prison. Sometimes it’s called False Statements to federal officials, punishable by up to five years in prison under 18 USC 1001. Under other circumstances, such as in sworn statements to federal judges or testimony to Congress, it can be perjury under 18 USC 1621 or 1623.

And let’s not forget obstruction of justice under 18 USC 1519. That statute was tailor-made to fit the facts of the Clinton cabal’s destruction of evidence. It reads:

Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States or any case filed under title 11, or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

Remember the man relentlessly prosecuted by the feds for throwing a few fish overboard? That case had to go all the way to the Supreme Court for them to decide that fish weren’t the kind of tangible objects/evidence to which Congress intended the new obstruction statute to apply. But emails, computers, and servers are. Senator Clinton voted for that new statute—but it doesn’t apply to her. Well, it would, but Loretta Lynch and James Comey just agreed to destroy evidence of it themselves.

These false statement and obstruction offenses are so easy to prove that prosecutors often tack them on to already multi-count indictments just for good measure when they want to hammer Wall Street bankers or other citizens and business people who actually work for a living.

How many of these federal criminal offenses are established by the limited evidence that has been pried out of the Clintons’ hands or resurrected from unsuccessful although mighty attempts to destroy it? They are truly countless, as each email would be a separate charge but, for the sake of brevity, we’ll just pick three or four—that don’t even include all the conspiracy charge options routinely used by “reasonable” prosecutors.

First, Clinton testified to Congress that she “turned over all of her work-related emails.” Second, she “only wanted to use one device.” Later, she chose her words carefully, claiming “nothing was marked classified when it was sent or received.”  That sounds good to people who are not lawyers, but it’s Clintonese and not the law.

She “turned over all her work emails”?

First, her friend Sidney Blumenthal found a number of emails he exchanged with her about confidential matters of State that she didn’t produce. Next, that pesky Pentagon found over 1,000 emails between Hillary and General Petraeus alone. Most recently, the FBI found roughly 15,000 Clinton thought had been erased completely when she had her servers “wiped” professionally with BleachBit. We’ll never know how many were deliberately destroyed to protect her incompetence and corruption. Mills, Samuelson, and others at Platte River Networks destroyed whatever they wanted.

As both secretary of state and an attorney who had long been paid by the taxpayers, Clinton should know that information “relating to the national defense” is what is protected under 18 USC 793(f). It doesn’t have to be “classified”—marked or unmarked—even though much of it was.

Sure, let’s give her the presidency and the nuclear codes and access to every national secret—ISIS can just hack her and use our own missiles to destroy us. They won’t have to worry about trying to bring nukes into the country.

In any event, according to the FBI’s perfunctory investigation, more than 2,000 of the emails available are classified as Confidential or Secret or higher.

Clinton may have only wanted “one device,” but the truth is that she had 13“personal mobile devices that were lost, discarded, or destroyed.” Reporter Sharyl Attkisson has an excellent timeline of irrefutable, no-spin facts derived from the part of the FBI’s file that has been made public. The timeline of events alone is damning.

Not surprisingly, Attkisson reports that “[a]fter the State Dept. notified Hillary Clinton her records would be sought by the House Benghazi Committee, copies of her email on the laptops of her attorneys Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson were wiped with Bleachbit, and the FBI couldn’t review them. After her emails were subpoenaed, Hillary Clinton’s email archive was also permanently deleted from her then-server ‘PRN’ with BleachBit, and the FBI couldn’t review it.”

One of our favorite Clinton lies is: “My staff and I will cooperate completely with the investigation.”

I guess that’s why they invoked their Fifth Amendment privileges against self-incrimination, had hard-drives wiped, destroyed devices with hammers, put theselected emails in the hands of her attorney and refused to produce them for weeks, while her staff all refused to speak without grants of immunity or took the Fifth. I guess it just depends on how you define “cooperation.”

Enter stage left James Comey, Director of the FBI, who fills himself with righteous indignation to tell Congress what a great job the FBI did in this “investigation.” As Congressman Trey Gowdy said, and I concur, “This isn’t the FBI I used to work with.”

Clinton ran her shenanigans without an Inspector General in the State Department. An Inspector General is appointed by the President, but his or her job is to serve as a watchdog on behalf of the taxpayers. As The Wall Street Journal reported, Clintondeclined to allow an Inspector General at the State Department during her entire tenure—so there was no internal oversight, and President Obama allowed that. More than a year ago, the Inspector Generals for State and for the Intelligence Community conducted a limited review of only 40 of Clinton’s emails. They quickly found several containing classified information which they immediately reported to the executive branch and advised Congress. They wrote: “This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.”

Remember Richard Nixon? Remember Attorney General John Mitchell?  Remember White House Counsel John Dean? Nixon White House cronies Haldeman and Erlichman? They all went to prison.

It’s not just the private server. It’s not about personal emails or even a few business emails sent from a personal account.

It is about the fair administration of justice and trust in our justice system. It is about the accountability of our highest officials. It is about destroying evidence in the face of a serious investigation. It is about national security breaches of the highest order, and it’s about the privatization and sale of our State Department for personal enrichment. The conduct of the Clintons, their cronies, their Foundation, and now our highest law enforcement officials make the entire Watergate scandal look like an insignificant computer hack.

Where is the Congress? Where are what used to be our great newspapers? The sounds of silence are terrifying indicators of how government-controlled our mainstream media has become. I guess that’s why Reporters Without Borders has dropped our Freedom of Press rank to 46th world-wide.

FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch should be impeached for their roles in whitewashing Clinton’s crimes and their own participation in the destruction of evidence. They facilitated and participated in the obstruction of justice—spitting in the face of the Congressional investigation. Congress should be able to name a special prosecutor when the Attorney General has a clear conflict—such as meeting secretly with Bill Clinton during the “investigation” and receiving a promise of continuing as Attorney General if Hillary is elected President. The timeline of events and their conduct reek of corruption.

Stay tuned. Clinton’s answers under oath to D.C. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan are due October 13. Remember, he’s the judge who appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the Department of Justice following the Bush administration’s corrupted prosecution of former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. And it was Judge John Sirica—combined with what was then the great Washington Post—who exposed the Nixon corruption.

With more and more government intrusion in every aspect of our individual businesses and lives, we are quickly losing the land of the free, and we now must wonder if any of the brave are home. Who has the chutzpah to stand up to the Clintons?  Where are the real Americans? Hopefully, on election day, they will pour out in droves and resoundingly demand real change. The election and Judge Sullivan are our only chances for justice at all.

Sidney Powell worked in the Department of Justice for 10 years, in three federal districts under nine United States Attorneys from both political parties. She was lead counsel in more than 500 federal appeals. She is the author of Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice—a legal thriller that tells the inside story of high-profile prosecutions.

RIDICULING THE WHITE WORKING CLASS VOTER

RIDICULING THE WHITE WORKING CLASS VOTER — Comments from Crista Huff

I’ve been shocked to see liberals on Twitter aggressively ridiculing the “white working class voter”. Is this about the Twitter libs being bigoted against white people, or about them expressing class superiority, or about them hating Republicans and/or people who voted for President-elect Trump?

Were the libs previously embracing white working class voters because they needed their votes, and now they’re revealing their true colors?

No matter how you slice and dice it, it’s extremely bigoted behavior. Would these people go into a supermarket and ridicule the cashier? Would they stop by a roadside work area and ridicule the guy who’s holding the “STOP” sign? Would they drive up to a toll booth and ridicule the tolltaker? How about warehouse managers and assembly line workers and janitors?

What takes place in the mind of an American when they feel emboldened to express public disdain for vast segments of the population? Why is there no “gut check” telling them that such bigotry is wrong, and that vocalizing bigotry simply doubles down on their shameful impulses?

Are we, as a society, just a couple years away from more overt and individualized persecution?

 

A SURGE IN CORPORATE EMPLOYMENT PLANS WITHIN THE U.S.

President-elect Trump will travel to Indiana on December 1 for Carrier’s announcement that it will not move its Indiana operations to Mexico. Carrier is a division of United Technologies. (Bloomberg, November 29, 2016)

After a discussion with President-elect TrumpFord Motor Company announced that it will not move its Lincoln automobile manufacturing plant from Kentucky to Mexico. (Breitbart, November 18, 2016)

Taiwan-based Quanta Computer has announced that it expects its U.S.-based manufacturing business to expand under a Trump presidency. Quanta makes data center servers, in Tennessee and California, for big-name tech companies. (Nikkei Asian Review, November 29, 2016)

Foxconn Technology Group, an assembler of iPhones for Apple Inc., is considering shifting some production from Taiwan to the U.S., after a June request to do so by Apple. (Nikkei Asian Review, November 18, 2016)

Lowell Ponte ponders – Britain to exit EU?

If Great Britain Votes Thursday to Exit the European Union, This “Brexit” Could Unleash Global Chaos…. ( Or the Start of Worldwide Independence )

On Thursday, June 23, the British people will vote in a national referendum on whether to declare their independence from the European Union.

If they vote Yes, our Fourth of July fireworks 11 days later will take on new meaning. After all, this is our celebration of declaring and winning Independence from the British Empire.

It has taken 240 years, but Great Britain may at last be asserting its freedom from an even larger oppressive empire. In the U.S., this same global impulse can be seen in the popularity of anti-establishment politicians such as Donald Trump.

In the last national British referendum, in 1975, two of every three voters approved their nation joining the European Community, a bloc then devoted mostly to trade. In June 2016, polls show a close race between voters who want to stay in and those who want out of the EC’s successor, the European Union.

In today’s Great Britain, more than 60 percent of its laws and regulations originate not in the Parliament in London but in Brussels, Belgium, from an army of “Eurocrats” and members of the European Parliament. [1]

Imagine that we were in a binding union with the nations of Latin America, which outvote us and can impose their laws and rules in the United States. Imagine, says one pro-Brexit member of Britain’s Parliament, that a worker from any of these Latino countries has an automatic legal right to move to the United States and, if he fails to find a satisfactory job, is entitled to welfare that American taxpayers are required to pay him.

The EU imposed a $1.5 Billion fine on Poland for refusing to accept vast numbers of muslim refugees. Member nations in many ways lose control of their borders, sovereignty, laws and revenues. Nations such as Great Britain that once colonized others are being turned into colonies of the European Union megastate.

Come to think of it, this is close to what President Barack Obama already imposes on us.

No wonder that Mr. Obama recently visited Great Britain and spoke out against Brexit. But Americans can at least still pretend we are a sovereign nation, not the pawn or serf of a globalist union of foreign nations with the power to replace our laws with their ideology.

And as the Brexit debate brought to light, the European Union has routinely lied to the people and lawmakers of the United Kingdom. The Brits in April learned, for example, that the European Union has secretly been preparing an EU military capable of imposing its will on member countries and potentially preventing them from escaping its imperial grasp. [2]

The force behind this “stealth” EU military is Germany, which attempted a similar “unification” of Europe 75 years ago. Germany is also behind the new pan-European currency, the Euro, which is its attempt to rule Europe by economic power, to do what it failed to sustain by military power in World Wars I and II. [3]

Britain’s exit from the European Union is opposed by Conservative Party Prime Minister David Cameron through a barrage of scare tactics. Among these claims: Brexit will cost every British family thousands of pounds by denying Britain access to European markets, that it will cause economic chaos, and that Britain returning to its independent sovereign status of 45 years ago might even lead to the “end of Western Civilization.”

Cameron and others are serving business interests that have enriched themselves via European Union trade with Europe. If the vote wins, he will do everything in his power to delay separation from the European Union for years, or even for decades.

Other opponents of a European exit fear that if England votes to leave, then voters in many other places will demand their right to vote for secession. EU nations such as France have warned that they will harm Great Britain’s trade to deter other EU countries from trying to exit.

Scottish voters two years ago came close to winning independence from Great Britain. If Britain leaves the EU, then Scotland could vote to separate from the United Kingdom and then join the European Union as its own independent country.

(Few countries are rushing to join the European Union, with its crushing regulations and other high costs of membership. Days before the June 23 referendum, Switzerland withdrew its application to join the EU.)

Around Europe are dozens of secession movements. Many Venetians want to become an independent nation, as do a likely majority of Catalans around Barcelona, Spain. A successful Brexit vote could inspire many such movements.

Donald Trump is not a secessionist, but his anti-establishment populist rhetoric is part of a global phenomenon whose activists are winning votes in France, Germany, Italy and many other countries. People are simply fed up with old-line oppressive political leaders.

In North America, independent socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has led a surprisingly successful rebellion to move the Democratic Party even farther leftward. And a movement in Vermont continues to call for separating from the United States – and perhaps becoming a province of Canada. Many in Quebec, meanwhile, still want to separate from the rest of Canada.

And in the United States, independence movements in Alaska and Texas [4] want their own Brexit-like referendums.

Historically, politics around the world involve forcing things together under bigger governments, or forcing them apart into smaller nations. An independence vote June 23 in Great Britain could help roll back the globalist government direction of the European Union. A vote against British independence could make its decline permanent, because the people will never again be allowed to regain their freedom with a ballot.

 

Sources:

[1] Justin O. Smith, “For God, Country, Family, and Queen,” American Thinker, June 13, 2016. URL: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/06/for_god_country_family_and_queen.html

[2] David Maddox, “Secret Plot Exposed: EU in Stealth Plan to Set Up Army by Merging German and Dutch Forces,” London Express, April 20, 2016. URL: http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/662472/EU-federal-europe-European-army-merging-German-Dutch-forces

[3] Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte, We Have Seen the Future and It Looks Like Baltimore: American Dream vs. Progressive Dream. Phoenix: P2 Publishing, 2015. Pages 193-194; Professor Alan Sked, “How a Secretive Elite Created the EU to Build a World Government,” London Telegraph, November 27, 2015. URL: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/12018877/The-truth-how-a-secretive-elite-created-the-EU-to-build-a-world-government.html

; Christopher Booker, “The EU’s Architects Never Meant It to Be a Democracy: The Rise of a ‘Technocracy’ Was Always Part of the Plan for Europe,” London Telegraph, November 12, 2011. URL: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8886498/The-EUs-architects-never-meant-it-to-be-a-democracy.html

[4] Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte, We Have Seen the Future and It Looks Like Baltimore: American Dream vs. Progressive Dream. Phoenix: P2 Publishing, 2015. Pages 146-147; Tom Dart, “’Why not Texit?’: Texas Nationalists Look to the Brexit Vote for Inspiration,” The Guardian (UK), June 19, 2016. URL: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/19/texas-secession-movement-brexit-eu-referendum

Mourning In America by Lowell Ponte

1.5.16 – President Ronald Reagan reawakened us to morning in America, an era of optimism that produced a quarter-century of prosperity and success.

President Barack Obama’s seven years, by contrast, have produced mourning in America and a widespread pessimistic feeling of loss, despair and grief.

Millions now feel that something essential to our success and well-being has died here – that we are sad witnesses to the death of the American Dream.

A new poll published January 5 by Esquire Magazine and NBC News finds that 52 percent of Americans now believe that the American Dream was “Once True but Not Anymore.” Another 11 percent now believe that it “Never Held True.”

Sixty-three percent of those interviewed in this poll no longer believe in the American Dream of rugged individualism, personal freedom and responsibility, the right to set your own course in life and to keep the fruits of your efforts in a land where small government allows individuals to achieve their highest potential.

If nearly two-thirds of us have lost faith in this faith-based dream, is the America of our Founders and Framers doomed soon to die and disappear?

An alternative vision has for a century been undermining our traditional values and ideals, as Craig R. Smith and I explore in our latest book We Have Seen The Future And It Looks Like Baltimore: American Dream vs. Progressive Dream.

The Progressive Dream, a collectivist ideology that emerged from the French Revolution and European Romantic Movement two centuries ago, is opposed to individualism, Judeo-Christian values, and free market economics.

Progressivism views people and nations as groups to be led by a ruling elite of superior beings who by replacing religion and individual freedom with Big Government and Big Science can create utopia, a human-made heaven on Earth.

In Europe, Progressivism metastasized into Socialism, Communism, Naziism, Fascism and today’s welfare states. In the United States its banner today is carried by President Barack Obama and Democratic candidates such as self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who promises that if elected she will “topple” the top 1 percent of earners in America.

The Progressive Dream in all its small variations believes above all that government should be paternalistic and, therefore, that the people should be infantilized and utterly dependent on Big Government.

Truth in labeling would rename this ideology the Regressive Dream, because in all its forms it would create not progress or prosperity but the squalid, impoverished collectivism that was Europe and much of the rest of the world during the Dark Ages.

This is, to a shocking degree, what seven years of President Obama have produced. He and his comrades have driven America $20 Trillion into debt to enrich a few cronies and stimulate anemic economic growth of less than 2 percent as we teeter on the cliff-edge of another Great Recession or Depression.

America’s non-employment rate is today the worst since another Progressive President Jimmy Carter’s economic malaise of 28 years ago, the fetid quicksand of which America escaped by electing Ronald Reagan in 1980.

In 2016 we face such a choice again. Will America vote to give Obamalaise four more years of Progressive Dreaming with Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Sanders? Or will we vote to return to optimism, freedom and the American Dream?

Are You Too Secure?

Are You Too Secure?

Should Terrorists Be?

A court order requiring Apple amounts to an “unprecedented” stretch of an antiquated law — one that is about to spark an epic fight pitting privacy against national security, legal scholars said Thursday. That being… to create a way to help law enforcement get access to a terrorist’s smartphone.

A federal judge in New York last fall unsealed portions of a case revealing that Apple had turned over information to law enforcement about 70 times in recent years, according to the government, based on court orders citing an obscure 1789 law called the All Writs Act. This act allowed courts to issue orders if other judicial tools were unavailable.

This week’s court order was different from those issued in the past as it requires Apple to create new software, experts said, not provide technology already at hand. In essence forcing Apple to make a new software that doesn’t exist in order to violate its own program of making something that was designed to be inaccessible.

“This is a new frontier,” said Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. “I know of no other statutory provision that would arguably create an obligation for device manufacturers to help out the government.”

Apple may not have fought orders in the past because “it was easy for Apple to give the data,” she said. “But the architecture of the phones changed. This is about Apple creating a new forensic version of its software to do the job the FBI wants it to do.”

Apple has hired attorneys Ted Olson and Theodore J. Boutrous Jr. They are expected to argue the order violates constitutional provisions as well as the All Writs Act and would create bad public policy.

Law enforcement has relied on a 1977 Supreme Court ruling that said the All Writs Act could be used to compel New York Telephone Co. to provide technology to enable investigators to track calls being made in a gambling operation. The phone company was a heavily regulated public utility and already had the technology, however technology has certainly changed since then and key differences from the Apple case, experts said.

UC Irvine School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky said a carefully drafted federal law giving law enforcement the right to get around encryption in certain compelling situations probably would be constitutional. But he doubted a court could force a company to write software. “You can’t subpoena or get a warrant for something that doesn’t exist.”

The case, which will be heard in the magistrate’s courtroom next month, would then go before a federal district judge. If appealed, the case will be heard by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and possibly the U.S. Supreme Court.

Although the case could be fast-tracked, Chemerinsky said the Supreme Court probably would not want to hear one that poses such novel issues without a hearing by an appeals court. “Context is everything,” he said. “I don’t think the courts have the authority to tell someone to write software, but if the reason is to prevent a dirty bomb from exploding tomorrow, the context would matter a lot.”

David O’Brien, senior researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, said Apple is likely to argue that the government’s demand would place an unreasonable burden on the company. But the government can counter that public safety is at stake.

In the New York case, U.S. District Magistrate Judge James Orenstein hesitated at ordering Apple to unlock a customer’s smartphone. He wanted to know first whether the assistance sought by the government was technically feasible and whether the proposed order would be unduly burdensome.

Apple had the technology at that time to give the government, but the criminal defendant in the case later confessed and opened his phone for investigators. In today’s newest iPhone models, they are not capable of being unlocked and therefore a new software would be required to be created to accomplish the goal.

We’re in a situation where public safety is balanced with personal privacy AND… a company’s right to preserve its advantage over competitors. People (including terrorists) buy the new iPhone because their privacy is assured and customers know that the government can’t access emails, texts, location and other private information.

The GOP… RIP

The GOP, without convictions

The Congressional Budget vote orchestrated by Paul Ryan gave the Democrat-Socialists all they desired in a budget and then some. It appears they get 4 times the new visas requested, funding for Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, illegal immigrants (1.6 billion),and the list goes on. Hussein Obama celebrated by going on his usual Christmas vacation. I assume these Christmas vacations are to avoid a Christmas message from the White House, which the occupant of our occupied White House has avoided for all 7 years of his tenure.

The actions of the House of Representatives marks the end of the Republican Party. The Grand Old Party has become a party without any convictions. When America is in it’s most dire situation the Republicans fold and capitulate. Trump and Cruz are the voice not of the Republican Party, but of America. The Bush/Rove/McCain/Graham party is now dead by self inflected cowardice.

The voters will be in open rebellion and hopefully throw the Democrats and these Republican traitors out.

The ray of light is that Trump and Cruz are speaking for America. The voters don’t want funding for sanctuary cities nor do they want funding for the climate change program from Paris. There are more of us than these elites.

2016 Lacks Social Security Increase….Again

No Increase for 2016 but….

It could be belt-tightening time for 65 million seniors, because for just the third time in four decades, Social Security recipients won’t get a cost-of-living adjustment in 2016, the Social Security Administration announced Thursday.

What’s even worse, more than 17 million Medicare beneficiaries will see their Part B premiums rise 52%, more than 10 times the recent rate of health care inflation. It’s all part of a perfect storm caused by low inflation and the Social Security Act.

The “hold harmless” provision of the Social Security Act forbids the cost of higher Medicare Part B premiums from being passed on to most beneficiaries when they don’t get a raise in their Social Security benefits, according to the Center for Retirement Research. So 70% of Medicare beneficiaries will pay the same Medicare Part B premium in 2016 as they did in 2015: $104.90. The other unlucky 30% of Medicare beneficiaries are left to pick up the tab.

At the moment, most of that 30% will see their premium rise to $159.30 per month. But 3.1 million with incomes above $85,000 could see premiums rise to anywhere from $223.00 per month up to $509.80.

The people hit with higher premiums include new enrollees during the year (2.8 million); enrollees who do not receive a Social Security benefit check (1.6 million); high-income enrollees  (3.1 million); and dual Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries, whose full premiums are paid by state Medicaid programs (about 10 million).

The culprit: The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) did not rise enough in the  12 months ended September 2015 — used to determine the COLA, according to a report by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Thursday that inflation, as measured by the CPI-W, fell 0.6% over the 12 months ending September.  For Social Security beneficiaries to receive a COLA, the CPI-W must rise. Social Security recipients did not receive COLA adjustments in 2010 and 2011 because of low inflation.

The only way that could change for seniors in 2016 is if Congress changes the hold harmless law or if the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services decides against the increase.

The Part B premium for 2016 will be announced this fall.  If the past two years are any indication, Medicare recipients should get the final word on premiums before the end of the month.

Article from USAToday

EXPANDING THE BOUNDARIES OF TERRORISM

EXPANDING THE BOUNDARIES OF TERRORISM
By Lowell Ponte

San Bernardino, 65 miles east of Los Angeles, became a scene of carnage on Wednesday, December 2, as three gunmen disguised in facemasks and camouflage gunned down more than two dozen people – leaving 14 dead and another 17 hospitalized.

Their as-yet-unexplained target was a rented room in a treatment center where county environmental health officials were having a holiday party and awards banquet.

The shooters carried assault rifle-like weapons, blasted the partiers, then calmly reloaded and continued shooting. They may also have carried three improvised explosive devices, pipe bombs.

The shooters reportedly wore body armor, reminiscent of a scene in Los Angeles years before where police were unable to stop armed and armored robbers with 9 millimeter police handguns. Officers rushed to a nearby gun store to borrow elephant rifles, which brought down the criminals.

The shooters on Wednesday fled to their black SUV and drove to nearby Redlands before returning. Police closed in on the vehicle and a firefight ensued that riddled the SUV with bullets and killed at two suspects inside. The Los Angeles Times pulled back its initial report that one may have been Tayyeep Bin Ardogan, a 28-year-old female citizen of Qatar on the Persian Gulf; police later identified her as Tashfeen Malik, 27.

One of the three suspects was identified by the Los Angeles Times as Sayed Rizwan Farook, an American citizen employed by the San Bernardino County Health Department as an environmental health specialist.

Why this attack happened is uncertain. The FBI refuses to rule out the possibility of terrorism. The Joint Terrorism Task Force is involved in this case.

San Bernardino is a desert town where someone from the Middle East might feel comfortable. Summer days often hit 100 to 105 degrees. I remember them well, having been born and raised next door in Redlands. Summer days were comfortable because humidity fell as the temperature rose. Most local air conditioners were evaporative, not refrigerant.

San Bernardino, with 214,000 people, was once home to only a few thousand acorn-gathering Native Americans along the banks of a small stream called the Zanja….or Sankee. I remember leading a successful protest at the local Spanish mission asistencia because its museum had labeled these indigenous people as “savages.”

Today San Bernardino is laid out on the original ABC-123 street pattern of the Mormons who settled it as part of a Mormon corridor between Salt Lake City and San Diego that Brigham Young hoped would lead to a seaport state called Deseret…not one named Utah after the Ute Indians.

In the early 20th Century the average climatic temperature here dipped by two or three degrees as people forested the region with orange groves, according to University of California research. But the temperature rose again after World War II, as housing subdivisions and paving replaced the orange trees as Americans rushed to the area’s sunshine and prosperity.

I remember as a child being able to walk through orange groves for hours, never being stopped by a fence. But those groves are now almost entirely gone.

Even so, San Bernardino was home to the National Orange Show convention center. This is where my Franco-American father won a prize for his orange cake. This is where the Rolling Stones played for the first time in the United States. This is where I practiced journalism for the first time by interviewing visiting bands such as Cream.

Another California desert city of the Inland Empire celebrates the National Date Festival; where as a small child I was at age 4 sketched wearing a Fez.

The local Dairy Queen in Redlands offered not just malts but also date shakes, and locals knew to make these with sugary Medjool dates, not Deglet Noors. Such was our casual desert kinship with the Middle East.

Next to San Bernardino and Redlands is Loma Linda, a town of medical facilities to which the shooting victims were taken. The people here are, like Dr. Ben Carson, Seventh-Day Adventists. Loma Linda was so devoted to Saturday as their Sabbath when I was young that its post office was closed Saturdays and open Sundays.

If you meet a petroleum engineer almost anywhere around the Persian Gulf, chances are that his or her college degree is from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, which is near the Shrine Auditorium that looks like something out of the Arabian Nights.

Terrorism has two essential components. One is the terrorist who uses threats and violence to frighten others. The other is people who can be frightened, without whom terrorism would be impotent.

In our new book, We Have Seen The Future and It Looks Like Baltimore: American Dream Vs. Progressive Dream, Craig R. Smith and I analyze America’s growing vulnerability.

One source of vulnerability is centralization. If you put 10,000 people in a big box called the World Trade Center, or in a densely-populated city dependent on a handful of electrical and water sources, you create a tempting target.

Such centralization applies to government and society. As government grows bigger and more paternalistic, the people become smaller and more infantilized.

College students now demand “trigger warnings” of professors and “safe spaces” because they fear being exposed to any provocative idea that might traumatize them.

We appear increasingly to live in a society where millions never grow up, preferring to remain Peter Pan children sucking on the breast of government….dependents who never become independent or self-reliant.

A society with many millions constantly dependent on government to provide for their needs and wishes is a society highly vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Trying to defeat terrorist by making government even more centralized multiplies our vulnerability to asymmetrical warfare, and transforms us into a less free, less secure society.

Our best defense, ironically, might be courage and urban sprawl, the same decentralization hated by big city tax collectors because it makes millions less vulnerable to them, too.

A Progressive state such as California, which makes it extremely difficult for citizens to carry a handgun for self defense, leaves citizens easy targets for terrorists who know that their victims will not be shooting back.

“Make yourselves sheep,” wrote Benjamin Franklin, “and wolves will eat you.”

We are making ourselves sheep, a society of infants, and should not be surprised to see terrorist wolves preying on us.

 

Lowell Ponte is a retired Reader’s Digest Roving Editor and author or co-author of seven books. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications.

 

Article PDF for download:  San Bernardino Shootout


 

Dump Microsoft NOW

Why You Must Dump Microsoft NOW

· Aug 4th, 2015

I’ve written about dumping Microsoft before – and I stand by those comments – but the newest outrage from Redmond forces me to it again. I don’t care how “inconvenient” you think it may be, you have to stop enriching Microsoft. NOW.

Yes, I have serious issues with Apple too, but at least Wozniak and Jobs started out as real hackers. Gates was a political monopolist, and it still shows.

What’s Happening Now:

Beware of Microsoft

As of August 1, 2015 (that is, a few months ago), Microsoft announced a new privacy policy and a new services agreement. In the words of one network professional, “Basically, they redefined their operating system to be spyware.”

The European Digital Rights organization examined these new policies in depth and concluded this:

Summing up these 45 pages, one can say that Microsoft basically grants itself very broad rights to collect everything you do, say, and write with and on your devices in order to sell more targeted advertising or to sell your data to third parties. The company appears to be granting itself the right to share your data either with your consent “or as necessary.”

The Ugly Details

If you’d like to verify anything, you can find the privacy statement here and the services agreement here.

The first detail to mention is that this applies to “Bing, Cortana, MSN, Office, OneDrive, Outlook.com, Skype, Windows, Xbox, and other Microsoft services… Microsoft websites, apps, software, and devices.” So, more or less anything of theirs that you touch.

And of course, they are doing all of this for you! Or at least they say so.

They collect… in their own words:

[Y]our first and last name, email address, postal address, phone number, … passwords, password hints, and similar security information, … your age, gender, country and preferred language, … your location, … the teams you follow, … the stocks you track, … favorite cities, … credit card number and the security code, … items you purchase, the web pages you visit, and the search terms you enter, … IP address, device identifiers, … your contacts and relationships, … your documents, photos, music or video you upload, … subject line and body of email, text or other content of an instant message, audio and video recording of a video message.

And so on.

Now, if you are prepared to jump through a lot of hoops, they say you can opt out of some of this… not that many people will ever do it.

I’m not going to bore you with everything, but I will add just a few more tidbits:

  • Windows now has a device encryption feature, but they keep a copy of your recovery key, stored in their (very secure, trust us) “cloud.”
  • The also grab “data about the networks you connect to.” I interpret that as, “All your networks are belong to us too.”
  • “[W]e will access, disclose, and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications, or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary.” (Their own words!) What that really means is, “We’ll listen in, record what you type, then store it or sell it as we see fit.”

Why Do They Do This?

Fundamentally, there are three reasons they do this:

People are suckers for ‘free.’ For reasons that I won’t go through here, the Internet has been overrun with an expectation that services should be free. That’s impossible, of course, but people want it all the same. So, clever people learned how to do make it possible: by trading in personal information.

And so, being an amoral, money-centric operation, Microsoft is running after the new model. Anything for a buck.

Keeping up with the Zuckerbergs. Google and Facebook became famous, sexy, and powerful playing the “own their private data” game, and Microsoft doesn’t want to be an also-ran. They want to be and remain the big dog. They want their status.

To service their masters. As best I can tell, Microsoft has sucked up to spy agencies and governments from the beginning, and this is just more of the same. A year or so ago, the FBI was complaining about encryption, moaning that it would enable people to “go dark.” These new policies will ensure that it never happens to anyone who uses a Microsoft product. I’m sure the watchers are appreciative.

What Should I do?

Move to Linux. Now.

And no, it’s not too hard. Millions of people use Linux every day, including housewives, children, and grandparents.

The version of Linux I like best is Linux Mint. With it, you can run OpenOffice (also called LibreOffice), which does everything essential that MS Office does. Then get Firefox for a browser and Thunderbird for email, and you’re in business.

A Final Warning

The stealing of your personal data is a much bigger deal than you probably think it is. I devoted an entire issue of my subscription newsletter to this (FMP #59), and I won’t be able to cover it today, but it is a major threat to the future… and the near future.

Bonus

If you’re even thinking about getting Windows 10, please take a look at these annotated pages of Win 10 documentation. You can enlarge them.

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

 


 

Traditional Conservatism

With today’s political environment being uncertain, questionable, even potentially damaging to our future, there’s been a return to at least reviewing those standards and principles that were envisioned by our founders.

We’ve had questionably unconstitutional actions by our administration, insensitivity to the citizenry by our congress, and proposals and actions that defy all common rules of social etiquette, anti-racism, economic growth and personal freedoms.

With all this in mind, we invite your visit to a blog that has independent views and insights with a conservative slant.

Enjoy and CLICK HERE to visit the latest posts.