Conspiracy Theorists Were Right — Congress to Expand TSA in Other Forms of Travel Like Bus & Train.

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No one’s favorite government agency, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, will be harassing innocent travelers on buses and trains, if new legislation — unsurprisingly proposed after rather questionable ‘attacks’ in New York City and New Jersey on September 18 — passes as expected.

Several U.S. senators from both sides of the aisle apparently want to make travelers lives’ a veritable hell of red tape and insidious surveillance by increasing putative ‘security’ for rail lines, highways, and marine routes by adding presence and screening procedures at Megabus depots, Amtrak stations, and more.

As perpetually-terrified as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security likes to keep the population, considering the TSA’s phenomenally negative reputation at airports — passengers missing flights due to long lines, free molestations, confiscations of breast milk, and countless other good times — it’s highly doubtful the proposed legislation will receive more than tepid public support.

Bloomberg reports [emphasis added]:

“A bipartisan bill introduced Thursday by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) would require the TSA to use a risk-based security model for these transport modes and to budget money based on those risks. It would require a wider use of the agency’s terrorist watch list by train operators and more detailed passenger manifests along with tighter screening of marine employees. The legislation would also increase the TSA’s canine use by as many as 70 dog-handler teams for surface transportation.”

Despite the blatant Orwellian overtones, senate sponsors insist the American public not get ruffled feathers — because, trust them, it’s not at all what you think.

“This is very much not creating for bus or rail transportation the [security] model that exists for aviation,” asserted spokesman for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Frederick Hill, as quoted by Bloomberg.

Hill’s statement — considering the ill-reputed TSA has literally never captured a single terrorist — is debatably a good or terrible thing; though the idea of mandatory background screening to board a Megabus intimates the latter.

Besides the non-fatal bombs detonated and discovered in areas around New York City and New Jersey, the senators cited the DHS Office of Inspector General’s recent report sounding alarm bells over the lack of security in, well, every other system of transport in the United States besides aviation, which the TSA obviously already makes unbearable.

Without a hint of irony, the OIG notes DHS is responsible for securing all forms of transport in the nation “to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce,” while noting 80 percent of its 2015 budget went toward aviation programs and just 2 percent to non-aviation transportation systems. Auditors found budgetary allocation issues regarding security and risk needing to be remedied, and the lawmaker-sponsors and TSA agree.

If the bill passes, it will address “gaps in TSA’s approach to assessing security risks and will help the agency better fulfill its role as a hub of analysis, planning, and information,” Thune explained in a statement.

Upon close inspection, however, the bill would do little more than create a more extensive secondary domestic surveillance network. For years, reports and investigations of the TSA have revealed innumerable issues — not the least of which is a culture of fear among agents, who might otherwise expose yet more issues, of supervisory retaliation.

“No one who reports issues is safe at TSA,” Mark Livingston, who works with the TSA’s chief risk officer, told Congress in April, as quoted by NorthJersey.com. “I am concerned that TSA employees responsible for transportation security, intelligence and analysis fear their supervisors more than they fear a potential terrorist threat.”

Moreover, the agency’s airport ubiquity hasn’t been bereft of glaring security mistakes and practices antithetical to the safety their presence ostensibly guarantees.

Agents, for example, laughably claim our water bottles, soda cans, and, yes, even breast milk containers and pimento cheese, pose an insurmountable risk to passenger safety and must be handed over prior to entering the terminal — but confiscated materials sit in filled-to-the-brim bins in screening areas. If all of those beverage containers somehow actually did contain, say, explosive material, the TSA would be responsible for building a bomb of epic proportions.

More to the point, TSA agents tested by DHS auditors last year more than flunked the test — weapons and fake explosives were allowed to pass 95 percent of the time — missing 67 of 70 individual attempts.

Inordinately long lines at airport security checkpoints in the spring peaked travelers’ anger and forced the question, Is the TSA necessary at all?

In the name of safety and security — or, more accurately, under the premise of terrorism — Americans have been groped, X-rayed, fondled, detained, robbed, searched, brutalized, sexually assaulted, and generally humiliated by state agents in a nation where a person is 58 times more likely to be killed by an officer of the law than by a terrorist.

With a host of problems still plaguing the TSA, the only possible motive for such a vast extension of its powers would have to be keeping better tabs on civilians.

This Big Brother approach to national security, though proven flawed continually — even in the placement and detonation of non-fatal bombs cited as motivation for the bill — will eke into our private lives until we have nowhere to go, nowhere to escape its eyes. Until we collectively stop allowing fear to guide our most important privacy concerns, government agencies will test how much we’ll give — but they will never stop trying to take.

 

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CNN Goes Into Totally Absurd Full Propaganda Mode to Protect the Federal Reserve.

Just listen to the below howler of a propaganda piece from Christine Romans at CNN. This Fed “expert” majored in French, journalism and mass communication at Iowa State University. Her claim is that the Fed isn’t influenced by politics. I’m willing to bet she got the talking points from this piece directly from a Fed PR agent because, apparently, they didn’t teach Fed history in her French.

By: Robert Wenzel

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‘Almost all EU states could follow UK, leave union’ – French MP.

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Nearly every EU state could follow in the footsteps of the UK and vote to leave the bloc, French Member of Parliament responsible for European affairs in President Francois Hollande’s party, Philip Cordery, has said.

Cordery was speaking at a Fabian Society fringe event at the UK Labour Party Annual Conference in Liverpool.

“I think what happened in the UK at the referendum could have happened [in] almost every other country in the European Union – except in the other countries no Prime Minister would have been as irresponsible as to ask for a referendum,” Cordery, who is half English, said, as quoted by The Independent.

“If we look today, euroscepticism is growing everywhere, populist movements are growing everywhere in Europe,” he added.

Cordery also said that there is a widespread perception in Europe that the bloc is moving in the wrong direction.

“We’ve suffered from 10 years of tough austerity policies at the European level and people don’t see the EU as progress in terms of jobs, in terms of the economy, in terms of social progress.”

Philip Cordery used to serve as the general secretary of the Party of European Socialists, a group whose aim is enhancing mutual cooperation within the EU.

The British people voted to leave the EU during a referendum in June, and the process of Brexit is very complex: as of now, neither a timetable nor the terms for it have been set up.

Over the past 18 months, Europe has been engulfed by a migrant crisis, with a record 1.3 million asylum seekers registered in the EU in 2015, with almost 30 percent of them from Syria, according to estimates compiled by Eurostat in March.

Following the Brexit, many (mainly far-right) European leaders said they could hold their own referendums.

In June, French politician Marine le Pen called for a ‘Frexit’ vote, while a similar mood was apparent in The Netherlands: Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch right-wing, populist PVV party, currently topping opinion polls, openly expressed hopes a ‘Nexit’ could follow a ‘Brexit.’ In the Czech Republic, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said in February that “if Britain leaves the EU, we can expect debates about leaving the EU in a few years too.”

At the end of June, a survey showed that 40 percent of Austrians want their own referendum on EU membership. In March, a poll in France showed that 53 percent of the country’s citizens wanted to hold a vote. In May, a poll conducted in Germany indicated that 29 percent of Germans were in favor of leaving the bloc.

Source: RT

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FBI Director James Comey EXPOSED: Received millions from Clinton Foundation, on their Corporate Partner Board, brother works for law firm that does Clinton Foundation taxes.

A review of FBI Director James Comey’s professional history and relationships shows that the Obama cabinet leader — now under fire for his handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton — is deeply entrenched in the big-money cronyism culture of Washington, D.C. His personal and professional relationships — all undisclosed as he announced the Bureau would not prosecute Clinton — reinforce bipartisan concerns that he may have politicized the criminal probe.

These concerns focus on millions of dollars that Comey accepted from a Clinton Foundation defense contractor, Comey’s former membership on a Clinton Foundation corporate partner’s board, and his surprising financial relationship with his brother Peter Comey, who works at the law firm that does the Clinton Foundation’s taxes.

Lockheed Martin

When President Obama nominated Comey to become FBI director in 2013, Comey promised the United States Senate that he would recuse himself on all cases involving former employers.

But Comey earned $6 million in one year alone from Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin became a Clinton Foundation donor that very year.

Comey served as deputy attorney general under John Ashcroft for two years of the Bush administration. When he left the Bush administration, he went directly to Lockheed Martin and became vice president, acting as a general counsel.

How much money did James Comey make from Lockheed Martin in his last year with the company, which he left in 2010? More than $6 million in compensation.

Lockheed Martin is a Clinton Foundation donor. The company admitted to becoming a Clinton Global Initiative member in 2010.

According to records, Lockheed Martin is also a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, which paid Bill Clinton $250,000 to deliver a speech in 2010.

In 2010, Lockheed Martin won 17 approvals for private contracts from the Hillary Clinton State Department.

HSBC Holdings

In 2013, Comey became a board member, a director, and a Financial System Vulnerabilities Committee member of the London bank HSBC Holdings.

“Mr. Comey’s appointment will be for an initial three-year term which, subject to re-election by shareholders, will expire at the conclusion of the 2016 Annual General Meeting,” according to HSBC company records.

HSBC Holdings and its various philanthropic branches routinely partner with the Clinton Foundation. For instance, HSBC Holdings has partnered with Deutsche Bank through the Clinton Foundation to “retrofit 1,500 to 2,500 housing units, primarily in the low- to moderate-income sector” in “New York City.”

“Retrofitting” refers to a Green initiative to conserve energy in commercial housing units. Clinton Foundation records show that the Foundation projected “$1 billion in financing” for this Green initiative to conserve people’s energy in low-income housing units.

Who Is Peter Comey?

When our source called the Chinatown offices of D.C. law firm DLA Piper and asked for “Peter Comey,” a receptionist immediately put him through to Comey’s direct line. But Peter Comey is not featured on the DLA Piper website.

Peter Comey serves as “Senior Director of Real Estate Operations for the Americas” for DLA Piper. James Comey was not questioned about his relationship with Peter Comey in his confirmation hearing.

DLA Piper is the firm that performed the independent audit of the Clinton Foundation in November during Clinton-World’s first big push to put the email scandal behind them. DLA Piper’s employees taken as a whole represent a major Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign donation bloc and Clinton Foundation donation base.

DLA Piper ranks #5 on Hillary Clinton’s all-time career Top Contributors list, just ahead of Goldman Sachs.

 

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Tech giants form “news cartel” to control official news while discrediting and censoring all stories they don’t want you to see.

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Washington – Facebook, Twitter and news organizations including Agence France-Presse have joined a coalition of  media and technology groups seeking to filter out online misinformation and improve news quality on social networks.

First Draft News, which is backed by Google, announced Tuesday that some 20 news organizations will be part of its partner network to share information on best practices for journalism in the online age.

Jenni Sargent, managing director of First Draft, said the partner network will help advance the organization’s goal of improving news online and on social networks.

“Filtering out false information can be hard. Even if news organizations only share fact-checked and verified stories, everyone is a publisher and a potential source,” she said in a blog post.

“We are not going to solve these problems overnight, but we’re certainly not going to solve them as individual organizations.”

Sargent said the coalition will develop training programs and “a collaborative verification platform,” as well as a voluntary code of practice for online news.

“We live in a time when trust and truth are issues that all newsrooms, and increasingly the social platforms themselves, are facing,” she said.

“Each partner is committed to sharing knowledge, developing policies and devising training in how journalists use the social web to find and report news.”

The announcement comes amid concerns over the growing role of social networks, especially Facebook, in delivering and filtering news, and sometimes allowing hoaxes and misinformation to proliferate.

The partner network includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, The New York Times,  Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, CNN, ABC News of Australia, ProPublica, AFP, The Telegraph, France Info, Breaking News, Le Monde’s Les Decodeurs, International Business Times UK, Eurovision News Exchange and Al Jazeera Media Network.

Other organizations in the network include Amnesty International, European Journalism Centre, American Press Institute, International Fact Checking Network and Duke Reporters’ Lab.”

First Draft was formed last year with support from Google News Lab and has worked with YouTube on verifying user-generated videos, among other projects.

 

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