Friday, March 31, 2017

Tomorrow is April First otherwise known as April Fool's Day. It has a history of pranks, tricks and practical jokes. This however, is the first April Fool's day since the invention of "fake news." This is the worst catastrophe facing humanity since the Y2K incident in 2000 when all the information distributors said the computers would crash because they could not handle the shift from 1999, that most people wrote as 99 or '99, to 2000, or 00.

As always the information distributors are not telling you the full story. It is not their fault really, there just isn't enough time and space to tell the whole story. And they are sure you wouldn't read it if they did, so why should they bother. They are in it for the money after all.

Fake news is actually the new name for something that has been around for centuries. Octavius, the ancient Roman emperor, in the 1st century initiated a misinformation campaign against Mark Antony. Misinformation then, is another name for fake news. Misinformation is information that is false or inaccurate but it also has a ring of truth to it to be truly effective as fake news. The key component is that it is intended to deceive.

With the coming of the printing press, fake news really came into it's own. Technology then, becomes an important component of fake news. One of America's most famous printers, Benjamin Franklin, wrote fake news about murderous "scalping" Indians working with King George III, in an effort to influence public opinion for the American Revolution.

Like Octavius in the first century, this fake news is used in political ways, ways to change peoples' understanding of what was happening around them in order to make them change their opinion, or increase support for an already held opinion, and them to act on that opinion. Getting them to act or to take action is vitally important.

This led to a new industry in the modern world, propaganda. Propaganda is information used to promote a point of view. Propaganda uses psychological concepts to influence and alter the attitude of its target audience toward a cause, position or political agenda to form a consensus to a specific set of beliefs. Propaganda is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, it presents facts selectively, including using omission, to encourage a certain perception. Propaganda uses loaded messages and inflammatory words to produce an emotional response to the information that is being presented.

The use of omission is a powerful component of propaganda. This is also known as a "half-truth" or as partial truth. As in all fake news there must be an element of deception. The purveyor of the fake news must be purposely and intentionally trying to deceive it's target. The danger comes when the fake news is disseminated by someone who does not know that it is fake or believes that the fake news came from a trusted source. Also the omission may come from the fact that it is just not practical, due to constraints of time and or space, to include the relevant information. Also, the relevant information may be pre-judged to be irrelevant.

Propaganda is often associated with material prepared by governments, as the political examples previously referred to. Companies can also produce propaganda. This is known as advertising.

Propaganda associated with manipulation by governments, political parties, interest groups, movie stars and entertainers, companies and the like, is known as "Public Relations."

A wide range of materials and media are used for conveying propaganda messages. This includes paintings, cartoons, posters, pamphlets, films, recordings, radio shows, TV shows, and websites. When new technologies were invented, it seems it takes a period of time for the culture to recognize propaganda when it is introduced.

Happy April Fools Day!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How do they want to use it?

President Trump has an unavoidable choice: Should he confront the Surveillance State or live in fear of the power they threaten him with? His choice may well decide the future for this constitutional republic. He can fight against a Deep State of intelligence officials who have a myriad of ways to spy on politicians (and other citizens) and thus amass derogatory material that can be easily transformed into blackmail or he can acquiesce.

In the modern world of surveillance, “wiretapping” is passé. But Trump’s use of the word allowed an ex-government official at the National Security Agency to swear that the FBI, DOJ, and NSA have been unable to uncover any evidence within their particular institutions of such “wiretapping.”

The reality is that EVERYONE, including the President, is surveiled. The technology enabling bulk collection would have made the late demented FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s mouth water.

However, earlier this year, there was a stark reminder of how much fear these surveillance capacities have struck in the hearts of senior U.S. government officials. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that President Trump was “being really dumb” to take on the intelligence community, since “They have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

Maddow, ever the dutiful main stream media lackey, shied away from asking the logical follow-up: “Senator Schumer, are you actually saying that Trump should be afraid of the CIA?”

In December 2005, Russell Tice helped spark a national controversy over claims that the NSA was engaged in unlawful and unconstitutional wiretaps on American citizens. Tice told PBS and other media that the NSA is spying on – and blackmailing – top government officials and military officers, including Supreme Court Justices, highly-ranked generals, Colin Powell and other State Department personnel, and many other top officials.

It is widely perceived that the UK's GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) has the same abilities. Do you have any doubt that Russia can do the same? How about China? If the UK can do it, do you think the Germans can't? How about France, or Japan? Then think about Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Rikers Island Resorts

 Luis Mercado, 29, arrived at Bronx Criminal Court and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents were waiting for him. Mercado, of The Bronx’s Belmont neighborhood, was under arrest for what he himself termed “fishing.” "Fishing" involves pulling envelopes out of nearby mailboxes through the slot using rodent glue traps and string.

“I was fishing in the mailbox,” Mercado told cops when he was arrested.

He was wanted for failing to appear in an immigration court in Texas. Mercado’s Legal Aid lawyer, Elana Silberman, asked Judge Margaret Martin to send him to jail. Normally a lawyer will ask the judge to bail and usually for the lowest amount that the lawyer can get. Not in this case.

So why would a lawyer want to send their client to jail? Because there are no ICE agents in jail.

Lawyers have been working for years to stop all legal attempts to halt illegal immigration to the United States. Sometimes, in pursuit of a goal, creativity is required.

A gang member from El Salvador was allowed to walk free from Rikers Island under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Sanctuary City” law.

Estivan Rafael Marques Velasquez, an admitted member of the notorious MS-13 gang, was released from Rikers Island on Feb. 16, 2017.

“This man is by his own admission a member of a violent street gang and he was released back into the community,” said Thomas Decker, field office director for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit in New York. “Honoring a detainer request is not about politics, it is about keeping New York citizens safe.”

The news media tells the people of America that all this effort is to protect otherwise non-threatening people who are only trying to secure a better life for themselves. In 2014 President Obama stressed new targets for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS): "Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who's working hard to provide for her kids," the president said. "We'll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day."

In 2011 the state of New York stopped participating with the federal government. Congressman Jose E. Serrano said, "Governor Cuomo has taken a brave and necessary step in suspending New York State's participation in the flawed 'Secure Communities' program, and he deserves great praise. Congresswoman Nydia M. Velzquez said, "I thank Governor Cuomo for showing the leadership and foresight to suspend this misguided program, which does not reflect New York's long history as a welcoming home for newly arrived immigrants. The Secure Communities initiative does not make our nation safer, but inhibits cooperation with law enforcement and violates immigrants' due process rights." Derek P. Champagne, Franklin County District Attorney and President of the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York (DAASNY), said, "By suspending the state's participation in this program until a comprehensive review is complete, the Governor is sending a strong message that the law enforcement tools we utilize must be clearly communicated, evenly applied and effective. We will continue to use the effective tools that have been in place for many years to ensure that we are identifying and preventing any risk to public safety." Janet DiFiore, Westchester County District Attorney, said, "I support Governor Cuomo's decision to take New York State out of the Secure Communities Program in light of reports of the unintended consequences by its implementation. I remain confident that law enforcement throughout the state presently has sufficient tools at its disposal to continue to safeguard and protect all New Yorkers." State Senator Adriano Espaillat, Chair of the Latino Caucus of the Senate, said, "Governor Cuomo's decision to end the so-called Secure Communities program in New York will restore rights and justice to countless immigrants across the state. We must enact policies and reforms that bolster our diverse population, not penalize it by instilling a sense of fear of wrongful deportation in our neighborhoods." State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Vice Chair of the Latino Caucus of the Senate, said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for having the courage to put an end to this program's existence in New York. The Secure Communities program has frightened victims and witnesses of crime from coming forward. We need to make our neighborhoods safe places for our families and not take part in a problematic and contradictory program that hinders our safety." Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, Chair of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, said, "The Secure Communities program has done the opposite of what it was supposed to do, and Governor Cuomo is right in removing our state from the program. While we continue to work to find ways to make it safer for victims and witnesses of crime to come forward and be a part of the process to save our communities, we must not let our state be part of an experiment that puts innocent people at risk." Thomas H. Mungeer, President of the New York State Police Benevolent Association, said, "We support Governor Cuomo's action today in suspending Secure Communities until the numerous questions, including a federal Inspector General's investigation, can be resolved. Police rely upon a partnership with the communities that they serve to ensure the public safety of us all. The questions that have surrounded the implementation of Secure Communities drives a wedge between law enforcement and the people they are sworn to protect. We are confident that the procedures we currently use and the strong relationships we currently have with federal, state and local authorities will ensure that we can keep our communities safe while also maintaining our relationship of trust." John Poklemba, Counsel to the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, said, "Governor Cuomo has made the right decision to take New York State out of the controversial Secure Communities program. This program unfortunately has had a negative impact on our crime-fighting efforts. Law enforcement must have tools and resources that are both effective and fair." Jack Mahar, Sheriff of Rensselaer County and President of the New York State Sheriffs Association, said, "Every day, law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to rid our neighborhoods of crime, and we do it with the cooperation of the law-abiding public. This program was intended to make communities safer and stronger, but many people question whether this program has really accomplished its objectives. Governor Cuomo is right to remove our state from this program until all concerns are addressed." Clinton County Sheriff David Favro said, "Governor Cuomo's decision to freeze the Secure Communities program until the questions that have been raised about its implementation can be settled, is a wise one. While we are sworn to keep our communities safe, that cannot come at the price of their trust. Our strong current partnerships with federal law enforcement and long-standing operations in this state will ensure that we continue to communicate effectively to identify undocumented immigrants in our county jails and take appropriate actions." Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace said, "We support Governor Cuomo's action today in suspending Secure Communities until the numerous questions, including a federal Inspector General's investigation, can be resolved. Sheriff departments rely upon a partnership with the communities that they serve to ensure public safety for us all. The questions that have surrounded the implementation of Secure Communities jeopardizes that relationship. We are confident that the procedures we currently use and the strong relationship we currently have with federal, state and local authorities will ensure that we can keep our communities safe while also maintaining our relationship of trust." Steven Krokoff, Chief of the Albany Police Department said, "In light of the confusion surrounding this program and the pending Inspector General's review, the Governor's decision to freeze this program until the federal review is complete is appropriate. The procedures we currently use will ensure the safety of neighborhoods across the state while at the same time encouraging individuals in all communities to come forward to report crimes." Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said, "We applaud Governor Cuomo for taking the bold step of removing New York State from the Secure Communities initiative, which, despite its name, has become a sore subject for those who work day and night to make our neighborhoods safer. We need to ensure that vulnerable populations are protected, and the decision to remove our state from this program is a positive move for all New Yorkers." Chung-Wha Hong, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said, "For centuries, families have gone to great lengths to come to this great nation, and we owe it to ourselves and our neighbors to make sure the law is on their side. Unfortunately, the Secure Communities program has failed to provide protections to many individuals. Governor Cuomo's decision to remove New York from the program is a right one, and we look forward to working with him to make our state safe for all residents."

If it were not for an indispensable to democracy free press we would not be told that the Trump Administration may being trying to withhold the taxpayer's funds from supporting the lawyers' livelihood and that it is not even not clear is which cities and counties qualify for this punishment, and whether this kind of federal pressure is even legal.

Friday, March 24, 2017

What is an ‘Ethics’ lawyer?

No doubt you have heard of the many specialties of the law profession. They include; Divorce Attorney, Family Law Attorney, Criminal Defense Attorney, Bankruptcy Attorney, Immigration Attorney, Personal Injury Attorney, DUI Attorney, Real Estate Attorney, Civil Attorney, Wills and Estate Planning, Tax Attorney, Labor and Employment Attorney, Contracts Attorney, Corporate Law Attorney, Patent Attorney, International Law Attorney, well you get the point. But what is an ‘Ethics’ lawyer?

First of all, if you feel that your lawyer has misrepresented you, in other words, committed malpractice, you can get an ethics lawyer to help you get your money back or is some way fix the problem that an unethical lawyer has caused you. So, because of that, the negligent lawyer would need to defend himself and need a lawyer for her defense and hire an ethics lawyer because the regular defense lawyer only handles things like murder and rape. Lawyers who practice this type of law know about the rules that apply to lawyer conduct. They often serve as an expert witness when another lawyer’s conduct is called into question. For similar reasons, ethics lawyers are sometimes called upon by those who do business with lawyers such as title insurance companies, marketing companies, and litigation funding companies, to advise them on how lawyers may lawfully do business.

One such entity that may need such representation is the President of the United States.

Now many presidents have been lawyers before they were presidents but it is unlikely they would need an ethics lawyer for work they did as an attorney. Though presidents fall into the category as one who does business with lawyers, that is an unlikely reason too for this reason, presidents need ethics lawyers to tell them exactly where the legal line is drawn and whether or not they have crossed it. Furthermore, the ethics lawyer could advise a president if he needs to take just a step or two back from the legal line so as to achieve the objective. Then there could also be an ethics lawyer for one president to challenge the ethics of another president.

Take for instance Richard Painter, the Bush administration’s chief ethics lawyer. Virginia Seitz was the head of the Office of Legal Counsel for President Obama. Painter said this, “These OLC opinions involve very difficult constitutional issues as well as separation of powers. OLC lawyers should be free to render their honest opinion and not be threatened with adverse career consequences by either the White House or Congress.”

 But as in anything with politics that left him wide open for comments like this from Andy Ostroy writing in the Huffington Post : In his NY Times op-ed piece JUNE 13, 2010 entitled “The Separation of Politics and State,” Richard Painter shines a spotlight on what he suggests is the Obama administration’s unethical conflating of partisan politics and policy. And he ought to know a thing or two about ethics, or a lack thereof, as he served from 2005-2007 as George W. Bush’s chief White House ethics lawyer. ...no administration in history blatantly used its political apparatus to influence policy more than the Bushies. This includes sending U.S. troops to die in an unjust war; illegal wiretappings and domestic spying; and obstruction of 9/11 commission investigations. So it’s a bit dubious and unsurprisingly hypocritical for Painter, who was in the thick of some of this political chicanery in Rove’s West Wing, to attack Obama and use his administration as the poster-child for partisan opportunism. Funny what short memories the Bushies have.

Or this, Sam Stein on June 3, 2019 in the Huffington Post: On Wednesday evening, news broke of yet another instance in which the Obama administration dangled a job offer to a Democratic official in hopes of luring him out of a primary Senate race. The Republican Party cried foul, declaring it seedy politics at best and bribery at worst. And yet, on the most fundamental question — whether laws, in fact, were broken — it remains a non-story. At least according to the chief ethics lawyer for the Bush administration. “I don’t think it violates government ethics,” said Richard Painter, now a professor of law at University of Minnesota. “I don’t think it’s fair for the voters for the White House to intentionally try to take someone out of the running... I don’t like it. But does it violate government ethic rules under the Hatch Act? That’s a real stretch, and the bribery statute’s off the table, that doesn’t work at all.”

Perhaps Mr. Painter should have been around in 1976 when Dubya’s father was doing this, New Docs Expose Bush Sr. Illegally Destroying Evidence of US Crimes While Head of CIA Documents recently dredged from the CIA’s massive database expose an effort by the former director to destroy documents evincing the agency’s illegal activities and operations.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Xenophobia in Maryland

Jose Montano (aged 17) came to the United States in 2016 to search for his uncle. Henry Sanchez Milian (18) also came to the U. S. prior to his 18th birthday to look for his dad. When they got here the were apprehended by border agents and placed into custody. They had no known gang affiliations so they were released to join with relatives in Maryland.

Prior to the 2016 school year Montano and Milian enrolled as freshmen at Rockville High School in Maryland.

Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith said that the school system is required by federal law to provide an education to any student who enrolls. Smith said Montano and Milian were classified as freshmen because they enrolled at Rockville High School without proof of having earned prior course credits. Jack R. Smith began his tenure as superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) on July 1, 2016. Dr. Smith's goal is to provide all students, regardless of their learning needs, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, with options and choices upon graduation. Dr. Smith's distinguished career began as a teacher at Hanford Secondary School in Richland, Washington. He was, for three years, a middle and high school assistant principal and for four years a principal. He used his extensive experience to encourage and help teachers learn and use effective instructional strategies. He holds a bachelor's in English and Communications from Eastern Washington University and a master's in School Administration. His Ph.D., in instructional leadership, is from Notre Dame of Maryland University.

On March 16, 2017 Montano and Milian reportably raped a 14 year old girl in the restroom of the school. Sanchez Milian’s lawyer, Andrew Jezic, said that he was not guilty and called the encounter “consensual.” Jose Montano's lawyer is Ron Gottlieb of the public defender’s office in Montgomery. Allen Wolf, the head of that office, declined to comment.

Jezic says there is a rush to judgement. Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner is criticizing Gov. Larry Hogan, saying he is appalled the Republican governor is inflaming the incident. Maryland General Assembly Delegate, Kirill Reznik (D-Germantown) referred to the governor’s comments writing that Hogan has not worked to add money to the state’s budget to provide rape kits in the state or add funds for police or prosecutors. Dr. Smith is accusing parents of racism and xenophobia.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

David Rockefeller 1915-2017

“Despite the insistence of journalists and revisionist historians, there was never a ‘Rockefeller-Kissinger behind-the-scenes campaign’ that placed ‘relentless pressure’ on the Carter administration to have the Shah admitted to the United States regardless of the consequences,” Rockefeller wrote in Memoirs. “In fact, it would be more accurate to say that for many months we were the unwilling surrogates for a government that had failed to accept its full responsibilities.”

When the Shah was still in power but was teetering, Carter held back on the support for the coercive power that would be required to support the Shah. Veterans of the CIA, whose first major accomplishment was to overthrow the government of Iran and install Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as the Shah, were pissed. At first they liked President Carter but, they felt he didn't understand that this was a struggle between idealists and realists.

The Shah was forced to flee. No country wanted him and neither did the U. S. because no one wanted to deal with the ayatollah. The CIA vets felt that Carter was showing weakness in dealing with their baby, Iran.

The Shah was sick and Carter, the idealist, felt that the right thing to do was to let the Shah come to America for medical treatments. With that, the Iranian revolutionaries attacked the U. S. Embassy. Not to get hostages but to get documents that exposed the U. S.

In America, the press made sure that the prime reason for the country to be concerned was the safety of the hostages, and why not? The American people didn't know much about the CIA's efforts to overthrow the previous government and install the Shah.

“We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years.” He went on to explain: “It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries,” David Rockefeller, said speaking at the June 1991 Bilderberger meeting in Baden, Germany.

From "Memoirs" by David Rockefeller;
"Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure--one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it."

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Private property is the the social institution that says:
I recognize that that entity over there is possessed by you.
You recognize that this commodity over here is possessed by me.
Would you be willing to trade my commodity for your entity?

Also consider that without private property, generosity is not possible,
and there can be no such thing as stealing.

Jordan Peterson on Collectivism  Jordan Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Tor...