The Election Has Been Hacked: Do We Really Have An Electoral Choice, Or Voice?

BY JOHN WHITEHEAD, RUTHERFORD INSTITUTE.

“Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves.” ― Herbert Marcuse

The FBI is worried: foreign hackers have broken into two state election databases.

The Department of Homeland Security is worried: the nation’s voting system needs greater protection against cyberattacks.

I, on the other hand, am not overly worried: after all, the voting booths have already been hacked by a political elite comprised of Republicans and Democrats who are determined to retain power at all costs.

The outcome is a foregone conclusion: the police state will win and “we the people” will lose.

The damage has already been done.

The DHS, which has offered to help “secure” the nation’s elections, has already helped to lock down the nation.

Remember, the DHS is the agency that ushered in the domestic use of surveillance drones, expanded the reach of fusion centers, stockpiled an alarming amount of ammunition, urged Americans to become snitches through a “see something, say something” campaign, oversaw the fumbling antics of TSA agents everywhere, militarized the nation’s police, spied on activists and veterans, distributed license plate readers and cell phone trackers to law enforcement agencies, contracted to build detention camps, carried out military drills and lockdowns in American cities, conducted virtual strip searches of airline passengers, established Constitution-free border zones, funded city-wide surveillance cameras, and generally turned our republic into a police state.

So, no, I’m not falling for the government’s scare tactics about Russian hackers.

I’m not losing a night’s sleep over the thought that this election might by any more rigged than it already is.

And I’m not holding my breath in the hopes that the winner of this year’s particular popularity contest will save us from government surveillance, weaponized drones, militarized police, endless wars, SWAT team raids, red light cameras, asset forfeiture schemes, overcriminalization, profit-driven private prisons, graft and corruption, or any of the other evils that masquerade as official government business these days.

What I’ve come to realize is that Americans want to engage in the reassurance ritual of voting.

They want to believe that politics matter.

They want to be persuaded that there’s a difference between the Republicans and Democrats (there’s not).

They will swear that Barack Obama has been an improvement on George W. Bush (he has not).

They are convinced that Hillary Clinton’s values are different from Donald Trump’s (with both of them, money talks).

Most of all, they want to buy into the fantasy that when we elect a president, we’re getting someone who truly represents “we the people” rather than the corporate state (in fact, in the oligarchy that is the American police state, an elite group of wealthy donors is calling the shots).

The sad truth is that it doesn’t matter who wins the White House, because they all work for the same boss: Corporate America. Understanding this, many corporations hedge their bets on who will win the White House by splitting their donations between Democratic and Republican candidates.

Politics is a game, a joke, a hustle, a con, a distraction, a spectacle, a sport, and for many devout Americans, a religion. It is a political illusion aimed at persuading the citizenry that we are free, that our vote counts, and that we actually have some control over the government when in fact, we are prisoners of a police state.

In other words, it’s a sophisticated ruse aimed at keeping us divided and fighting over two parties whose priorities are exactly the same so that we don’t join forces and do what the Declaration of Independence suggests, which is to throw the whole lot out and start over.

It’s no secret that both parties support endless war, engage in out-of-control spending, ignore the citizenry’s basic rights, have no respect for the rule of law, are bought and paid for by Big Business, care most about their own power, and have a long record of expanding government and shrinking liberty. Most of all, both parties enjoy an intimate, incestuous history with each other and with the moneyed elite that rule this country.

Despite the jabs the candidates volley at each other for the benefit of the cameras, they’re a relatively chummy bunch away from the spotlight. Moreover, despite Congress’ so-called political gridlock, our elected officials seem to have no trouble finding common ground when it’s time to collectively kowtow to the megacorporations, lobbyists, defense contractors and other special interest groups to whom they have pledged their true allegiance.

So don’t be fooled by the smear campaigns and name-calling or drawn into their politics of hate. They’re just useful tactics that have been proven to engage voters and increase voter turnout while keeping the citizenry at each other’s throats.

We’re in trouble, folks.

We are living in a fantasy world carefully crafted to resemble a representative democracy.

It used to be that the cogs, wheels and gear shifts in our government machinery worked to keep our republic running smoothly. However, without our fully realizing it, the mechanism has changed. Its purpose is no longer to keep our republic running smoothly. To the contrary, this particular contraption’s purpose is to keep the corporate police state in power. Its various parts are already a corrupt part of the whole.

Just consider how insidious, incestuous and beholden to the corporate elite the various “parts” of the mechanism have become.

Congress. Perhaps the most notorious offenders and most obvious culprits in the creation of the corporate-state, Congress has proven itself to be both inept and avaricious, oblivious champions of an authoritarian system that is systematically dismantling their constituents’ fundamental rights. Long before they’re elected, Congressmen are trained to dance to the tune of their wealthy benefactors, so much so that they spend two-thirds of their time in office raising money. As Reuters reports, “For many lawmakers, the daily routine in Washington involves fundraising as much as legislating. The culture of nonstop political campaigning shapes the rhythms of daily life in Congress, as well as the landscape around the Capitol. It also means that lawmakers often spend more time listening to the concerns of the wealthy than anyone else.”

The President. What Americans want in a president and what they need are two very different things. The making of a popular president is an exercise in branding, marketing and creating alternate realities for the consumer—a.k.a., the citizenry—that allows them to buy into a fantasy about life in America that is utterly divorced from our increasingly grim reality. Take President Obama, for instance, who now enjoys greater popularity than any previous president, including the beloved Ronald Reagan. This is a president who got elected by campaigning against war, torture, surveillance only to make them hallmarks of his presidency, and yet somehow these “indiscretions” are overlooked and forgiven as long as he presents a jocular, hip façade: slow-jamming the news with Jimmy Fallon, reading mean tweets with Jimmy Kimmel, singing, dancing and being cool. In other words, to be a successful president, it doesn’t matter whether you keep your campaign promises, sell access to the Lincoln Bedroom, or march in lockstep with the Corporate State as long as you keep the feel-good vibes flowing.

The Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court—once the last refuge of justice, the one governmental body really capable of rolling back the slowly emerging tyranny enveloping America—has instead become the champion of the American police state, absolving government and corporate officials of their crimes while relentlessly punishing the average American for exercising his or her rights. Like the rest of the government, the Court has routinely prioritized profit, security, and convenience over the basic rights of the citizenry. Indeed, law professor Erwin Chemerinsky makes a compelling case that the Supreme Court, whose “justices have overwhelmingly come from positions of privilege,” almost unerringly throughout its history sides with the wealthy, the privileged, and the powerful.

The Media. Of course, this triumvirate of total control would be completely ineffective without a propaganda machine provided by the world’s largest corporations. Besides shoveling drivel down our throats at every possible moment, the so-called news agencies which are supposed to act as bulwarks against government propaganda have instead become the mouthpieces of the state. The pundits which pollute our airwaves are at best court jesters and at worst propagandists for the false reality created by the American government. When you have internet and media giants such as Google, NBC Universal, News Corporation, Turner Broadcasting, Thomson Reuters, Comcast, Time Warner, Viacom, Public Radio International and The Washington Post Company donating to the Clinton Foundation, you no longer have an independent media—what we used to refer to as the “fourth estate”—that can be trusted to hold the government accountable.

The American People. “We the people” now belong to a permanent underclass in America. It doesn’t matter what you call us—chattel, slaves, worker bees, drones, it’s all the same—what matters is that we are expected to march in lockstep with and submit to the will of the state in all matters, public and private. Through our complicity in matters large and small, we have allowed an out-of-control corporate-state apparatus to take over every element of American society.

We’re playing against a stacked deck.

The game is rigged, and “we the people” keep getting dealt the same losing hand. The people dealing the cards—the politicians, the corporations, the judges, the prosecutors, the police, the bureaucrats, the military, the media, etc.—have only one prevailing concern, and that is to maintain their power and control over the citizenry, while milking us of our money and possessions.

It really doesn’t matter what you call them—Republicans, Democrats, the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex—so long as you understand that while they are dealing the cards, the deck will always be stacked in their favor.

As I make clear in my book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, our failure to remain informed about what is taking place in our government, to know and exercise our rights, to vocally protest, to demand accountability on the part of our government representatives, and at a minimum to care about the plight of our fellow Americans has been our downfall.

Now we find ourselves once again caught up in the spectacle of another presidential election, and once again the majority of Americans are acting as if this election will make a difference and bring about change. As if the new boss will be different from the old boss.

When in doubt, just remember what the astute commentator George Carlin had to say about the matter:

The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls. They got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying. Lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests.

They want obedient workers. Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork…. It’s a big club and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club. …The table is tilted, folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice…. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on…. It’s called the American Dream, ’cause you have to be asleep to believe it.

Facebook Stalking Continues To Escalate – Creep Factor Over The Top

Facebook’s ability to figure out the “people we might know” is sometimes eerie. Many a Facebook user has been creeped out when a one-time Tinder date or an ex-boss from 10 years ago suddenly pops up as a friend recommendation. How does the big blue giant know?

While some of these incredibly accurate friend suggestions are amusing, others are alarming, such as this story from Lisa*, a psychiatrist who is an infrequent Facebook user, mostly signing in to RSVP for events. Last summer, she noticed that the social network had started recommending her patients as friends—and she had no idea why.

“I haven’t shared my email or phone contacts with Facebook,” she told me over the phone.

 The next week, things got weirder.

Most of her patients are senior citizens or people with serious health or developmental issues, but she has one outlier: a 30-something snowboarder. Usually, Facebook would recommend he friend people his own age, who snowboard and jump out of planes. But Lisa told me that he had started seeing older and infirm people, such as a 70-year-old gentleman with a walker and someone with cerebral palsy.

“He laughed and said, ‘I don’t know any of these people who showed up on my list— I’m guessing they see you,’” recounted Lisa. “He showed me the list of friend recommendations, and I recognized some of my patients.”

She sat there awkwardly and silently. To let him know that his suspicion was correct would violate her duty to protect her patients’ privacy.

 Another one of her female patients had a friend recommendation pop up for a fellow patient she recognized from the office’s elevator. Suddenly, she knew the other patient’s full name along with all their Facebook profile information.

“It’s a massive privacy fail,” said Lisa. “I have patients with HIV, people that have attempted suicide and women in coercive and violent relationships.”

Lisa lives in a relatively small town and was alarmed that Facebook was inadvertently outing people with health and psychiatric issues to her network. She’s a tech-savvy person, familiar with VPNs, Tor and computer security practices recommended by the Electronic Frontier Foundation–but she had no idea what was causing it.

She hadn’t friended any of her patients on Facebook, nor looked up their profiles. She didn’t have a guest wifi network at the office that they were all using. After seeing my report that Facebook was using location from people’s smartphones to make friend recommendations, she was convinced this happened because she had logged into Facebook at the office on her personal computer. She thought that Facebook had figured out that she and her patients were all in the same place repeatedly. However, Facebook says it only briefly used location for friend recommendations in a test and that it was just “at the city-level.

I tried to help Lisa figure out what could be causing this and reached out to Facebook about the case. Unfortunately, due to health privacy reasons, Lisa was not able to put me in touch with her patients directly.

When Lisa looked at her Facebook profile, she was surprised to see that she had, at some point, given Facebook her cell phone number. It’s a number that her patients could also have in their phones. Many people don’t realize that if they give Facebook access to their phone contacts, it uses that information to make friend recommendations; so if your ex-boss or your one-time Tinder date or your psychiatrist is a contact in your phone, you might start seeing them pop up in the “People You May Know” list.

That’s my guess as to how this happened. All these patients likely have Lisa’s number in their phones, so an algorithm analyzing this network of phone contacts might reasonably assume all these people are connected. A phone number alone can be quite a revealing bit of information, which is why it’s so significant thatWhatsApp is about to share its one billion users’ phone numbers with Facebook, where they too could be used to make friend recommendations (unless you opt out).

A Facebook spokesperson could not confirm this theory. He said the company didn’t have enough information to figure out why patients were recommended to one another as friends.

“People You May Know is based on a variety of factors, including mutual friends, work and education information, networks you’re part of, contacts you’ve imported and many other factors,” said the spokesperson by email. “Without additional information from the people involved, we’re not able to explain why one person was recommended as a friend to another.”

This is totally reasonable, but also frustrating in that it leaves this mystery unsolved.

Lisa’s medical community has started recommending that patients concerned about privacy not log into Facebook or other social media accounts at medical offices, or even leave their phones in their cars during appointments. That’s likely good advice, but it doesn’t stop Facebook from mining their phone numbers.

* To protect her patients’ privacy, Lisa asked we not use her real name.

Feds Said To Launch Clinton Foundation Corruption Probe Despite DOJ Objections

Having detailed Clinton-appointee Loretta Lynch’s DoJ push-back against the FBI’s Clinton Foundation probe, it seems Director Comey has decided to flex his own muscles and save face as DailyCaller reports, multiple FBI investigations are underway involving potential corruption charges against the Clinton Foundation, according to a former senior law enforcement official.

As was previously noted, a US official has told CNN…

At the time, three field offices were in agreement an investigation should be launched after the FBI received notification from a bank of suspicious activity from a foreigner who had donated to the Clinton Foundation, according to the official.

FBI officials wanted to investigate whether there was a criminal conflict of interest with the State Department and the Clinton Foundation during Clinton’s tenure.

But…

The Department of Justice had looked into allegations surrounding the foundation a year earlier after the release of the controversial book “Clinton Cash,” but found them to be unsubstantiated and there was insufficient evidence to open a case.

As so as a result…

DOJ officials pushed back against opening a case during the meeting earlier this year.

Some also expressed concern the request seemed more political than substantive,especially given the timing of it coinciding with the investigation into the private email server and Clinton’s presidential campaign.

DailyCaller reports, The FBI is undertaking multiple investigations involving potential corruption changes against The Clinton Foundation…

The investigation centers on New York City where the Clinton Foundation has its main offices, according to the former official who has direct knowledge of the activities.

Prosecutorial support will come from various U.S. Attorneys Offices — a major departure from other centralized FBI investigations.

The New York-based probe is being led by Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.   

The official said involvement of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York “would be seen by agents as a positive development as prosecutors there are generally thought to be more aggressive than the career lawyers within the DOJ.”

The former official said the investigation is being coordinated between bureau field offices and FBI managers at headquarters in Washington, D.C. The unusual process would ensure senior FBI supervisors, including Director James Comey, would be kept abreast of case progress and of significant developments.

The reliance on U.S. attorneys would be a significant departure from the centralized manner in which the FBI managed the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server and email addresses.

That investigation was conducted with agents at FBI headquarters, who coordinated with the Department of Justice’s National Security Division (NSD).

While Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for Bharara, said he would “decline comment,” and FBI spokeswoman Samantha Shero said, “we do not have a comment on investigative activity,” we wonder if the unusual procedures and the tone of that comment suggests a mutinous FBI standing up to the politicized DoJ?

Clinton Cash – Full Documentary (Video)

 

Clinton Cash, is a feature documentary based on the Peter Schweizer book that the New York Times hailed as “The most anticipated and feared book of a presidential cycle.”

Clinton Cash investigates how Bill and Hillary Clinton went from being “dead broke” after leaving the White House to amassing a net worth of over $150 million, with over $2 billion in donations to their foundation. This wealth was accumulated during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as US Secretary of State through lucrative speaking fees and contracts paid for by foreign companies and Clinton Foundation donors.

Watch the full documentary below.

Hillary Clinton: The Hillary Files – Full Documentary

I’m leaving this here as a gentle reminder, so that people will be prodded into remembering the things that she was involved in while her husband was the President of our country. Put the email and Benghazi investigations aside and realize that the scandals of her past clearly make her unsuitable for the office she is seeking. She is unsuitable for any office, present or future.

Watch the video and remember please.

 

Leaked Facebook Training Manual Confirms Suspicions Of Conservative News Suppression

It’s turning out to be a bad week for Facebook. As reported earlier, it was learned that Facebook’s news feed routinely suppressed conservative news. Now, Recode is reporting that Facebook training documents given to its editors have leaked, and they reveal that editors select trending news topics from just ten editors, only one of which could be considered right-wing.

From Recode

 A report published in the Guardian today includes a training document for Facebook editors that outlines how they should curate the “trending” headlines tool. 

Instructions in the documents appear to contradict Facebook’s earlier denials of a Gizmodo article that said Facebook editors directly inserted headlines into the trending news widget. It also contradicts what Facebook told Recode last summer. 

The guidelines obtained by the Guardian additionally show that editors must select trending news topics from a list of 10 “trusted” news sources that include the New York Times, BBC News, CNN and Fox News. This is likely to make people who are upset about alleged anti-conservative bias that Gizmodo reported on even madder;Fox News looks like the only right-wing outlet on the list. 

In turn, Facebook provided the Guardian with a much longer list of approved publications that includes conservative websites like the Daily Caller and the Drudge Report. The Guardian notes that the former Facebook editors it spoke to disagreed with the allegations of anti-conservative leanings at Facebook. 

In a response to the Guardian from Facebook VP of global operations Justin Osofsky, the company did not appear to contest the charge that its editors choose which headlines to use in the trending section. 

Representatives for Facebook could not immediately be reached for comment.

Now would be a good time for the company to simply admit to its shady practices, and implement a correction before things continue to deteriorate for darling of social media.

The manual can be viewed HERE if you wish to give it your time and attention.

 

The Danger of the “Black Lives Matter” Movement


Heather Mac DonaldHeather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She earned a B.A. from Yale University, an M.A. in English from Cambridge University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. She writes for several newspapers and journals, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New Criterion, andPublic Interest, and is the author of three books, including Are Cops Racist?and The War on Cops: How The New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe (forthcoming June 2016).

 

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on April 27, 2016, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.


For almost two years, a protest movement known as “Black Lives Matter” has convulsed the nation. Triggered by the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, the Black Lives Matter movement holds that racist police officers are the greatest threat facing young black men today. This belief has triggered riots, “die-ins,” the murder and attempted murder of police officers, a campaign to eliminate traditional grand jury proceedings when police use lethal force, and a presidential task force on policing.

Even though the U.S. Justice Department has resoundingly disproven the lie that a pacific Michael Brown was shot in cold blood while trying to surrender, Brown is still venerated as a martyr. And now police officers are backing off of proactive policing in the face of the relentless venom directed at them on the street and in the media. As a result, violent crime is on the rise.

The need is urgent, therefore, to examine the Black Lives Matter movement’s central thesis—that police pose the greatest threat to young black men. I propose two counter hypotheses: first, that there is no government agency more dedicated to the idea that black lives matter than the police; and second, that we have been talking obsessively about alleged police racism over the last 20 years in order to avoid talking about a far larger problem—black-on-black crime.

Let’s be clear at the outset: police have an indefeasible obligation to treat everyone with courtesy and respect, and to act within the confines of the law. Too often, officers develop a hardened, obnoxious attitude. It is also true that being stopped when you are innocent of any wrongdoing is infuriating, humiliating, and sometimes terrifying. And needless to say, every unjustified police shooting of an unarmed civilian is a stomach-churning tragedy.

Given the history of racism in this country and the complicity of the police in that history, police shootings of black men are particularly and understandably fraught. That history informs how many people view the police. But however intolerable and inexcusable every act of police brutality is, and while we need to make sure that the police are properly trained in the Constitution and in courtesy, there is a larger reality behind the issue of policing, crime, and race that remains a taboo topic. The problem of black-on-black crime is an uncomfortable truth, but unless we acknowledge it, we won’t get very far in understanding patterns of policing.

Every year, approximately 6,000 blacks are murdered. This is a number greater than white and Hispanic homicide victims combined, even though blacks are only 13 percent of the national population. Blacks are killed at six times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined. In Los Angeles, blacks between the ages of 20 and 24 die at a rate 20 to 30 times the national mean. Who is killing them? Not the police, and not white civilians, but other blacks. The astronomical black death-by-homicide rate is a function of the black crime rate. Black males between the ages of 14 and 17 commit homicide at ten times the rate of white and Hispanic male teens combined. Blacks of all ages commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, and at eleven times the rate of whites alone.

The police could end all lethal uses of force tomorrow and it would have at most a trivial effect on the black death-by-homicide rate. The nation’s police killed 987 civilians in 2015, according to a database compiled by The Washington Post. Whites were 50 percent—or 493—of those victims, and blacks were 26 percent—or 258. Most of those victims of police shootings, white and black, were armed or otherwise threatening the officer with potentially lethal force.

The black violent crime rate would actually predict that more than 26 percent of police victims would be black. Officer use of force will occur where the police interact most often with violent criminals, armed suspects, and those resisting arrest, and that is in black neighborhoods. In America’s 75 largest counties in 2009, for example, blacks constituted 62 percent of all robbery defendants, 57 percent of all murder defendants, 45 percent of all assault defendants—but only 15 percent of the population.

Moreover, 40 percent of all cop killers have been black over the last decade. And a larger proportion of white and Hispanic homicide deaths are a result of police killings than black homicide deaths—but don’t expect to hear that from the media or from the political enablers of the Black Lives Matter movement. Twelve percent of all white and Hispanic homicide victims are killed by police officers, compared to four percent of all black homicide victims. If we’re going to have a “Lives Matter” anti-police movement, it would be more appropriately named “White and Hispanic Lives Matter.”

Standard anti-cop ideology, whether emanating from the ACLU or the academy, holds that law enforcement actions are racist if they don’t mirror population data. New York City illustrates why that expectation is so misguided. Blacks make up 23 percent of New York City’s population, but they commit 75 percent of all shootings, 70 percent of all robberies, and 66 percent of all violent crime, according to victims and witnesses. Add Hispanic shootings and you account for 98 percent of all illegal gunfire in the city. Whites are 33 percent of the city’s population, but they commit fewer than two percent of all shootings, four percent of all robberies, and five percent of all violent crime. These disparities mean that virtually every time the police in New York are called out on a gun run—meaning that someone has just been shot—they are being summoned to minority neighborhoods looking for minority suspects.

Officers hope against hope that they will receive descriptions of white shooting suspects, but it almost never happens. This incidence of crime means that innocent black men have a much higher chance than innocent white men of being stopped by the police because they match the description of a suspect. This is not something the police choose. It is a reality forced on them by the facts of crime.

The geographic disparities are also huge. In Brownsville, Brooklyn, the per capita shooting rate is 81 times higher than in nearby Bay Ridge, Brooklyn—the first neighborhood predominantly black, the second neighborhood predominantly white and Asian. As a result, police presence and use of proactive tactics are much higher in Brownsville than in Bay Ridge. Every time there is a shooting, the police will flood the area looking to make stops in order to avert a retaliatory shooting. They are in Brownsville not because of racism, but because they want to provide protection to its many law-abiding residents who deserve safety.

Who are some of the victims of elevated urban crime? On March 11, 2015, as protesters were once again converging on the Ferguson police headquarters demanding the resignation of the entire department, a six-year-old boy named Marcus Johnson was killed a few miles away in a St. Louis park, the victim of a drive-by shooting. No one protested his killing. Al Sharpton did not demand a federal investigation. Few people outside of his immediate community know his name.

Ten children under the age of ten were killed in Baltimore last year. In Cleveland, three children five and younger were killed in September. A seven-year-old boy was killed in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend by a bullet intended for his father. In November, a nine-year-old in Chicago was lured into an alley and killed by his father’s gang enemies; the father refused to cooperate with the police. In August, a nine-year-old girl was doing her homework on her mother’s bed in Ferguson when a bullet fired into the house killed her. In Cincinnati in July, a four-year-old girl was shot in the head and a six-year-old girl was left paralyzed and partially blind from two separate drive-by shootings. This mindless violence seems almost to be regarded as normal, given the lack of attention it receives from the same people who would be out in droves if any of these had been police shootings. As horrific as such stories are, crime rates were much higher 20 years ago. In New York City in 1990, for example, there were 2,245 homicides. In 2014 there were 333—a decrease of 85 percent. The drop in New York’s crime rate is the steepest in the nation, but crime has fallen at a historic rate nationwide as well—by about 40 percent—since the early 1990s. The greatest beneficiaries of these declining rates have been minorities. Over 10,000 minority males alive today in New York would be dead if the city’s homicide rate had remained at its early 1990s level.

What is behind this historic crime drop? A policing revolution that began in New York and spread nationally, and that is now being threatened. Starting in 1994, the top brass of the NYPD embraced the then-radical idea that the police can actually prevent crime, not just respond to it. They started gathering and analyzing crime data on a daily and then hourly basis. They looked for patterns, and strategized on tactics to try to quell crime outbreaks as they were emerging. Equally important, they held commanders accountable for crime in their jurisdictions. Department leaders started meeting weekly with precinct commanders to grill them on crime patterns on their watch. These weekly accountability sessions came to be known as Compstat. They were ruthless, high tension affairs. If a commander was not fully informed about every local crime outbreak and ready with a strategy to combat it, his career was in jeopardy.

Compstat created a sense of urgency about fighting crime that has never left the NYPD. For decades, the rap against the police was that they ignored crime in minority neighborhoods. Compstat keeps New York commanders focused like a laser beam on where people are being victimized most, and that is in minority communities. Compstat spread nationwide. Departments across the country now send officers to emerging crime hot spots to try to interrupt criminal behavior before it happens.

In terms of economic stimulus alone, no other government program has come close to the success of data-driven policing. In New York City, businesses that had shunned previously drug-infested areas now set up shop there, offering residents a choice in shopping and creating a demand for workers. Senior citizens felt safe to go to the store or to the post office to pick up their Social Security checks. Children could ride their bikes on city sidewalks without their mothers worrying that they would be shot. But the crime victories of the last two decades, and the moral support on which law and order depends, are now in jeopardy thanks to the falsehoods of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Police operating in inner-city neighborhoods now find themselves routinely surrounded by cursing, jeering crowds when they make a pedestrian stop or try to arrest a suspect. Sometimes bottles and rocks are thrown. Bystanders stick cell phones in the officers’ faces, daring them to proceed with their duties. Officers are worried about becoming the next racist cop of the week and possibly losing their livelihood thanks to an incomplete cell phone video that inevitably fails to show the antecedents to their use of force. Officer use of force is never pretty, but the public is clueless about how hard it is to subdue a suspect who is determined to resist arrest.

As a result of the anti-cop campaign of the last two years and the resulting push-back in the streets, officers in urban areas are cutting back on precisely the kind of policing that led to the crime decline of the 1990s and 2000s. Arrests and summons are down, particularly for low-level offenses. Police officers continue to rush to 911 calls when there is already a victim. But when it comes to making discretionary stops—such as getting out of their cars and questioning people hanging out on drug corners at 1:00 a.m.—many cops worry that doing so could put their careers on the line. Police officers are, after all, human. When they are repeatedly called racist for stopping and questioning suspicious individuals in high-crime areas, they will perform less of those stops. That is not only understandable—in a sense, it is how things should work. Policing is political. If a powerful political block has denied the legitimacy of assertive policing, we will get less of it.

On the other hand, the people demanding that the police back off are by no means representative of the entire black community. Go to any police-neighborhood meeting in Harlem, the South Bronx, or South Central Los Angeles, and you will invariably hear variants of the following: “We want the dealers off the corner.” “You arrest them and they’re back the next day.” “There are kids hanging out on my stoop. Why can’t you arrest them for loitering?” “I smell weed in my hallway. Can’t you do something?” I met an elderly cancer amputee in the Mount Hope section of the Bronx who was terrified to go to her lobby mailbox because of the young men trespassing there and selling drugs. The only time she felt safe was when the police were there. “Please, Jesus,” she said to me, “send more police!” The irony is that the police cannot respond to these heartfelt requests for order without generating the racially disproportionate statistics that will be used against them in an ACLU or Justice Department lawsuit.

Unfortunately, when officers back off in high crime neighborhoods, crime shoots through the roof. Our country is in the midst of the first sustained violent crime spike in two decades. Murders rose nearly 17 percent in the nation’s 50 largest cities in 2015, and it was in cities with large black populations where the violence increased the most. Baltimore’s per capita homicide rate last year was the highest in its history. Milwaukee had its deadliest year in a decade, with a 72 percent increase in homicides. Homicides in Cleveland increased 90 percent over the previous year. Murders rose 83 percent in Nashville, 54 percent in Washington, D.C., and 61 percent in Minneapolis. In Chicago, where pedestrian stops are down by 90 percent, shootings were up 80 percent through March 2016.

I first identified the increase in violent crime in May 2015 and dubbed it “the Ferguson effect.” My diagnosis set off a firestorm of controversy on the anti-cop Left and in criminology circles. Despite that furor, FBI Director James Comey confirmed the Ferguson effect in a speech at the University of Chicago Law School last October. Comey decried the “chill wind” that had been blowing through law enforcement over the previous year, and attributed the sharp rise in homicides and shootings to the campaign against cops. Several days later, President Obama had the temerity to rebuke Comey, accusing him (while leaving him unnamed) of “cherry-pick[ing] data” and using “anecdotal evidence to drive policy [and] feed political agendas.” The idea that President Obama knows more about crime and policing than his FBI director is of course ludicrous. But the President thought it necessary to take Comey down, because to recognize the connection between proactive policing and public safety undermines the entire premise of the anti-cop Left: that the police oppress minority communities rather than bring them surcease from disorder.

As crime rates continue to rise, the overwhelming majority of victims are, as usual, black—as are their assailants. But police officers are coming under attack as well. In August 2015, an officer in Birmingham, Alabama, was beaten unconscious by a convicted felon after a car stop. The suspect had grabbed the officer’s gun, as Michael Brown had tried to do in Ferguson, but the officer hesitated to use force against him for fear of being charged with racism. Such incidents will likely multiply as the media continues to amplify the Black Lives Matter activists’ poisonous slander against the nation’s police forces.

The number of police officers killed in shootings more than doubled during the first three months of 2016. In fact, officers are at much greater risk from blacks than unarmed blacks are from the police. Over the last decade, an officer’s chance of getting killed by a black has been 18.5 times higher than the chance of an unarmed black getting killed by a cop.

The favorite conceit of the Black Lives Matter movement is, of course, the racist white officer gunning down a black man. According to available studies, it is a canard. A March 2015 Justice Department report on the Philadelphia Police Department found that black and Hispanic officers were much more likely than white officers to shoot blacks based on “threat misperception,” i.e., the incorrect belief that a civilian is armed. A study by University of Pennsylvania criminologist Greg Ridgeway, formerly acting director of the National Institute of Justice, has found that black officers in the NYPD were 3.3 times more likely to fire their weapons at shooting scenes than other officers present. The April 2015 death of drug dealer Freddie Gray in Baltimore has been slotted into the Black Lives Matter master narrative, even though the three most consequential officers in Gray’s arrest and transport are black. There is no evidence that a white drug dealer in Gray’s circumstances, with a similar history of faking injuries, would have been treated any differently.

We have been here before. In the 1960s and early 1970s, black and white radicals directed hatred and occasional violence against the police. The difference today is that anti-cop ideology is embraced at the highest reaches of the establishment: by the President, by his Attorney General, by college presidents, by foundation heads, and by the press. The presidential candidates of one party are competing to see who can out-demagogue President Obama’s persistent race-based calumnies against the criminal justice system, while those of the other party have not emphasized the issue as they might have.

I don’t know what will end the current frenzy against the police. What I do know is that we are playing with fire, and if it keeps spreading, it will be hard to put out.

Article Source: Imprimis

Google Develops Electronic Eye Implant

The development of the ‘intraocular device’ is the latest attempt by the tech giant to get inside people’s heads to improve their eyesight among other things.

RT reports:

The unnamed product is designed to improve ailing eyesight and is currently at the patent stage of development, so details are sketchy.

However, the web giant appears to be working on new wearable – or should we say livable – tech that would see an electronic lens inserted into people’s eyeballs.

The device could help fight degenerative eye diseases that impact the eye’s ability focus on near and far objects, an ocular function known as the ‘accommodation reflex’.

The process would involve removing the eye’s natural lens and replacing it with an artificially intelligent one, according to the patent application.

It is similar to current treatments for cataracts, except Google’s proposed project includes an “energy harvesting Antenna” power supply, a lens interface, an electronic lens, and data storage capabilities.

Google say existing problematic lenses could be removed by ultrasonic vibrations and “via suction.”

Solidifying fluid injected into the eye apparently keeps the implanted device in position, and it could be inserted by laser-cutting an opening into the eye lens.

google

“Positioning of the intraocular device, fluid, material, or elements could be accomplished by using a laser or other surgical instrument to form a hole in the anterior surface of the lens capsule,” the patent states.

But Google isn’t the only company with this vision. A patent application bySony earlier this month showed they might one day produce a slightly less invasive, but similarly futuristic, smart contact lens.

The device, made to be worn on the eyeball, would include camera-like abilities.

Like Google’s idea, it could be linked to an external device “for example, a smartphone, a tablet… a personal computer.”

An antenna is “wirelessly connected to an external device and has a function of transmitting and receiving data and a function of supplying and receiving electric power.”

In their patent background, Sony stated a desire to have the “image pickup” or camera controlled at the blink of an eye.

Clinton & Trump Share Phony Address to Avoid Taxes – Should Either be Trusted?

You know things are bad when the leading contenders for President in both political parties use the same phony Delaware address as Walmart, Coca Cola, American Airlines & Apple to avoid paying taxes.

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump own companies registered at 1209 North Orange Street, Wilmington, DE in a two-story building known aptly as the Corporation Trust Center. More than 285,000 companies use this very same address to avoid taxes, making it the most densely populated mailing address on earth.

Clinton launched her firm in 2013, shortly after stepping down as Secretary of State. Through ZFS Holdings LLC she collected more than $16 million in speaking fees and book royalties in 2014. Bill Clinton set up WJC LLC in 2008 at the same address to gain tax advantages on his consulting fees.

Of the 515 companies Donald Trump owns and has listed on his official Federal Election Commission filing, 378 are registered in tax haven Delaware. Several of these companies share the Orange Street office with the Clinton fronts, including Trump International Management Corp. and Hudson Waterfront Associates.

A report by the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy titled, Delaware: An Onshore Tax Haven, states that Delaware’s sleazy tax code has made it, “a magnet for people looking to create anonymous shell companies, which individuals and corporations can use to evade an inestimable amount in federal and foreign taxes”.

Can anyone with a conscience vote for either of these scumbags?

VA. Gun Shop Fights Back – Files Suit Against Pitchfork Mob

 

The owner of a Northern Virginia gun store is suing after anti-2nd Amendment fanatics, including state lawmakers, waged a public smear campaign in an attempt to force it to close shop.

The Arlington-based Nova Armory opened just last month. The store is the only licensed firearm dealer in the city and the gun shop currently closest to Washington D.C.

Unfortunately for the business, local anti-gun fanatics and the liberal state legislators who represent them began trying to cause it problems even before its doors opened.

In a letter to the property owner who leased space to the gun shop, seven Virginia state legislators urged her to renege on the deal.

The lawmakers— Dels. Patrick Hope, Alfonso Lopez, Richard Sullivan and Mark Levine and Sens. Barbara Favola, Janet Howell and Adam Ebbin— wrote: “Given its proximity to Route 50 with easy access to Interstate 95, this location could be the site for potentially nefarious and illegal activities such as enabling individuals to successfully obtain fraudulent Virginia drivers licenses to purchase firearms, illegally paying Virginia residents to buy guns, creating a ‘black market’ to sell firearms for cash or drugs, or become a magnet for robbery as was recently the case in a firearms store in McLean, Virginia.”

Levine took abusing the gun shop to the next level.

In a social media post, he urged residents of the community to boycott the entire strip mall where the store is located, insisting the store’s very presence puts people in danger.

Part of his nonsense post read: “Are you ready to pay for all the funerals of all the people that your guns murder? And provide reimbursement for all wrongful deaths you cause? If not, then please, we beg you, leave Arlington.”

Nova Armory finally got fed up with the misplaced anger and decided to sue.  The company names 64 individuals in a civil suit filed April 18 in Richmond City Circuit Court.

“They’re trying to put [Nova] out of business. They’ve been doing unlawful things in an attempt to do that,” Daniel L. Hawes, attorney for NoVa Armory, told local media.

The business is seeking $2 million in damages.