Whoa on this one! Who knew that Texas would finally decide to patrol the river and lakes that separate Texas from Mexico?
The latest addition to the Texas Highway Patrol fleet won’t actually be patrolling any highways. But it will be prowling the Texas-Mexico border.
It’s not a “vehicle,” really – it’s a vessel: a 34-foot powerboat. And it’s armed to the teeth.
The boat has six 30-caliber machine guns divided among four firing positions. And its defense is just as aggressive as its offense.
The craft is the first of six new boats outfitting the newly-created Marine Unit of the Texas Highway Patrol.
The boats will be stationed throughout south Texas, along the Rio Grand. They’re aimed at stopping drugs and violence.
Case in point: Falcon Lake, where an American tourist was recently murdered by narco-traffickers.
“It’s an area that the Zeta drug cartels are notorious for bringing drugs into the United States across that lake at night,” explained Texas congressman Ted Poe.
Poe tapped his finger on a photo of the tactical speedboat. “This will help stem the tide of the Zetas coming into the US,” he added.
The technology has raised alarms among civil libertarians, who say it threatens the privacy of drivers. It’s also evidence that 21st-century technology may be evolving too quickly for the courts and public opinion to keep up. The U.S. Supreme Court is only now addressing whether investigators can secretly attach a GPS monitoring device to cars without a warrant.
A ruling in that case has yet to be handed down, but a telling exchange occurred during oral arguments. Chief Justice John Roberts asked lawyers for the government if even he and other members of the court could feasibly be tracked by GPS without a warrant. Yes, came the answer.
Meanwhile, police around the country have been affixing high-tech scanners to the exterior of their patrol cars, snapping a picture of every passing license plate and automatically comparing them to databases of outstanding warrants, stolen cars and wanted bank robbers.
The units work by sounding an in-car alert if the scanner comes across a license plate of interest to police, whereas before, patrol officers generally needed some reason to take an interest in the vehicle, like a traffic violation.
But when a license plate is scanned, the driver’s geographic location is also recorded and saved, along with the date and time, each of which amounts to a record or data point. Such data collection occurs regardless of whether the driver is a wanted criminal, and the vast majority are not.
While privacy rules restrict what police can do with their own databases, Vigilant Video, headquartered in Livermore, Calif., offers a loophole. It’s a private business not required to operate by those same rules.
The company sells its own brand of license-plate readers and has customers around the nation, including in Springfield, Ill.; Kings Point, N.Y.; and Orange, Conn. But Vigilant distinguished itself from competitors by going one step further and collecting hundreds of millions of scans to create what’s known as the National Vehicle Location Service.
A West Coast sales manager for the company, Randy Robinson, said the scanners — as well as data from them compiled in the location system — do far more than simply help identify stolen vehicles. Stories abound of the technology also being used by police to stop wanted killers, bank robbers and drug suspects. Kidnappers could be intercepted, too.
“I just sit back and think, ‘Who would want to thwart officers from doing their jobs more effectively, faster, more efficiently?’ If it was your son or daughter (missing), what would you say?”
Robinson isn’t troubled by the thought of his own data being compiled, and he said others shouldn’t worry either if they haven’t violated the law. After all, he said, police could even track him down if necessary. He also pointed out that there’s nothing wrong with Vigilant taking what amounts to public photographs.
Continue read this HERE.
Mr. President, please don’t play the race card in 2012 — Congressman Allen West
I was born in the inner city of Atlanta in 1961, when segregation was still rife, at a time when I would have been barred from visiting the very beaches that make up part of the congressional district I so proudly represent.
Just two years after my birth, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. momentously described his dream that one day his children would “live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.”
How proud he would have been on that November Tuesday in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States. Clearly, Dr. King’s dream had come true. White voters across America had judged our President by the content of his character, not the color of his skin, and elected a man of color, whose very lineage with a black African father and white American mother, was a literal manifestation of the figurative melting pot of these United States.
The inauguration of our first black President, the highest office in the land, and perhaps the world’s most powerful office, clearly demonstrated to the world that race need not be a hindrance to success and achievement in America. The fact that Barack Obama won the largest share of white support of any Democrat in a two-man race since 1976 indicated the lion’s share of these voters made their decision based on his character, his vision of hope and change, and his ability to relate with everyday Americans.
Still, let us not ignore that white Democrats aren’t the only voters who are capable of making a decision based on character rather than color.
(you know obama and the liberals will play the race card at every damn opportunity they can make up!)
You may think the Occupy Wall Street movement is fading away. You may think that colder weather and tougher local authorities will see “Occupy” crumble into nothingness. You may think it was all much ado about nothing.
Well you may possibly be right, but the communist forces who have increasingly infiltrated the movement have a very different view.
To them “Occupy” signifies is the beginning of the end of capitalism. “Occupy” is a sign to Leninists the world over that we are entering revolutionary times, and nothing will ever be the same again.
(should play into the hands of the liberals, to see members of a failed ideology take over the occupy movement)
SAN DIEGO – Artists revealed restored cultural paintings in Chicano Park Friday.
A $1.6 million grant from the federal government provided the funding for restoration of 18 murals in the historic park in Barrio Logan.
“As a young artist I remember coming to San Diego and thinking ‘gosh I wish I could have a mural up at Chicano park,’” painter Mario Chacon said.
The bright art pieces have brought people to Chicano Park since the 1970’s, but time has taken it’s toll.
The artists working on the restoration said each painting has significant symbolism.
“What was placed at the top of the mural was a banner proclaiming the battle cry of the day,” Chcon said. “The idea being that the community would build a green zone, a recreational area from here to the bay.”
(while any mural by white people are ordered destroyed? our freaking liberals again)
The LA Times reports:
Now members of Congress who have spent months scrutinizing the Fast and Furious debacle are seeking to determine whether White Gun was another weapons investigation gone wrong.
“Apparently guns got away again,” said one source close to the investigation, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa). “How many got into Mexico, who knows?”
Officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives declined to comment on whether any firearms were lost in White Gun. But unlike Fast and Furious, they vigorously defended the previously unreported White Gun operation as a well-managed investigation that produced three arrests and convictions.
The three men “were looking to acquire military-grade weapons for a drug cartel,” said an ATF official, who asked for anonymity because the case involves an undercover operation. “This was a classic example of bad guys showing up at a location to get the weapons they desire but getting arrested by law enforcement instead.”
In Fast and Furious, more than 1,700 firearms were lost after agents allowed illegal gun purchases in U.S. gun shops in hopes of tracking the weapons into Mexico. In White Gun, the ATF ran a traditional sting operation with undercover agents and confidential informants trying to snare suspects working for the Sinaloa drug cartel.
According to internal ATF documents, including debriefing summaries and border task force overviews, White Gun and Fast and Furious both began in fall 2009, and the same ATF officials ran both cases.
This administration’s efforts to push their gun control agenda has effectively armed the Mexican drug cartels to the hilt. Drug cartels that work with Middle Eastern terrorist organizations, yet our Attorney General is not being held responsible and neither is our President. This should serve as a gentle reminder that we must do everything legally and ethically possible to win the 2012 elections.
Now this shows you how ridiculous and how backward thinking muslims are! Geesh…
(Emirates 24/7) — A Saudi father insisted that his Asian housemaid killed his little daughter and tried to eliminate the entire family through magic, saying questioning of jinn gripping another daughter confirmed his accusations.
The father told police that his eight-year-old daughter died suddenly while her mother and elder sister had been admitted to hospital in serious condition.
The unnamed man said that he had sought the help of a Raqi (Koran reader and healer) to cure his daughter who is still lying at hospital.
“The Raqi interrogated the jinn gripping my daughter and confirmed that the family has been subject to evil magic work,” the father said, quoted by the Saudi Arabic language daily Kabar.
In an earlier report, Okaz daily said Saudi Arabia’s feared religious police arrested the maid after her employer accused her of causing the death of their child and seeking to destroy the family through witchcraft.
The father told the members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice that they found paper and nails in the hair of some family members and were told by mosque preachers they were magic spells.
Michelle Obama’s claim she’s being branded an ‘angry black woman’ underlines White House desperation
Oh dear. A female New York Times journalist who is very well-disposed towards the Obama family writes a book about the First Couple, their marriage and the White House that portrays the President and his inner circle as dysfunctional.
What does the Obama administration do? Frantically trying to blunt the coverage about the book, including revelationS of f-bombs from Robert Gibbs, then Press Secretary, and lavish parties during a recession, it puts Michelle Obama on television to state this:
“You know, I guess it’s more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here and a strong woman and a, you know, but that’s been an image that people have tried to paint of me since, you know, the day Barack announced, that I’m some angry black woman.”
I’m sorry but it simply won’t wash. It’s an attempt to change the subject. It’s a way to say that any criticism of the Obamas – or even any truthful warts-and-all portrayal – is racist and therefore unacceptable. And people will see through it.
There are parallels with Hillary Clinton’s claim as the Monica Lewinsky scandal was unfolding that there was a “vast Right-wing conspiracy” to get her husband. Certainly, Bill Clinton had determined antagonists on the Right but the reaction of most ordinary Americans to Hillary’s conspiracy claim was: “Yes, but your husband was having sex with an intern.”
You can watch the CBS interview with Michelle Obama here. It’s worth watching the whole thing because it’s a train wreck right from the moment at the outset where the First Lady claims she hasn’t read the book (she’s on television to rebut things in a book – of course she’s read all the relevant excerpts).
She then states she’s “never had a cross word” with Rahm Emanuel. The now Mayor of Chicago is one of the most combative men on the planet. If she’s never had a cross word with him, she’s almost unique in Washington and Chicago.
If anything, Michelle Obama’s evocation of a racist conspiracy is even less plausible than Hillary’s claim.
I listened on NPR yesterday to an interview with Jodi Kantor about her book. You couldn’t imagine a person less likely to initiate a racial attack on Michelle Obama. Almost everything she said was positive and complimentary about the Obamas. She even talked about how unfair the “angry black woman” label was.
The book, however, is dynamite. It portrays Obama’s inner circle as riven by dissent and jealousy. Gibbs is quoted as saying that Valerie Jarrett, a long-time Obama friend who is so close to the couple that she holidays with them, was a liar and not someone he subsequently took “at all seriously as an adviser to the President of the United States”.
And although Kantor clearly admires Michelle Obama there is much fodder for critics and many passages that will raise eyebrows. The First Lady is portrayed as often unhappy and sullen and on occasions fiercely critical of her husband and his aides, who are fearful and unwilling to confront her.
Obama is quoted as being reluctant even to run for president (“I don’t need this. I don’t need anything.”) and as looking forward to his post-presidency. During a debate preparation session, she told her husband: “Barack, feel – don’t think!”
There a part which describes Obama’s delight at being in Norway, suggesting he found Scandinavians much more appealing than Americans. The trip to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 “passed like a brief, happy fantasy for the President, a Nordic alternate reality where citizens were learned and pensive, discussions were thoughtful, and everyone was a fan”.
And at times she comes across as peevish and hard to please:
“The First Lady’s complaints about the president’s team in the White House tended to sound a lot like Michelle’s personal complaints about her husband over the years. Not planning, not keeping her informed, focusing on his own needs, taking on risky projects without seeing their potential for failure – they were all charges she had leveled against him since the beginning of their union”.
These are certainly things the White House might not wish to see in print but overall the book is complimentary rather than derogatory.
To seek to trash a book that is anything other than pure hagiography has become standard White House practice. But it is also foolish and counter-productive because it only draws more attention to the things they don’t like. Playing the race card will backfire.
(personally, from what I have read about how the queen acts and rants and raves and treats everyone in the white house, I would use the word “bitch”)
US Marines piss on corpses of dead Muslim Taliban terrorists. YAWN
McDonald’s UK has announced that it will be temporarily replacing the toy commonly found in the company’s familiar “Happy Meal” with a book.
The fast food chain will thus become — at least for the duration of the giveaway — Britain’s biggest retailer of children’s books, as distributes nine million copies of War Horse author Michael Morpurgo’s Mudpuddle Farm titles.
Morpurgo will reportedly be donating his royalties from the promotion to benefit his charity, Farms for City Children.
I’ll take fat and well-read over skinny and illiterate any day.
Joran van der Sloot pleads guilty to murder of Peruvian woman Stephany Flores.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour raises eyebrows with unconditional pardons for 193 inmates, including several convicted murderers.
State media puppet Wolf Blitzer “salutes” politicians for taking time out of being rich to answer the “annoying questions” of the unwashed masses.
Newly discovered frog species is the world’s smallest vertebrate.
The Obama administration will resume peace talks with the Taliban as soon as Afghan President Hamid Karzai formally blesses the negotiations, according to senior administration officials who indicated the process could be under way within weeks.
Marc Grossman, the senior U.S. diplomat who shepherded a series of secret U.S. meetings with the insurgents last year, will meet with Karzai late next week to ensure that the Afghan president is on board, officials said.
“If Karzai were to tell [the administration] to go ahead, then we’d start talking again,” said one of two officials who discussed the secret negotiations on condition of anonymity.
The administration, which has said negotiations must be “Afghan-led,” insists that its own talks with the Taliban are only a preliminary effort to build confidence before actual negotiations over Afghanistan’s future can begin between the insurgents and the Karzai government.
One hurdle is that the Taliban prefer to talk to the United States and are so far “not willing to sit down with the Afghan government’,” one official said. “Our job is to see if we can break through that door.” Karzai has been under pressure from domestic opponents of negotiations to stand firm against the talks.
(we take orders from this man? WTF???)
In a speech to employees of the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday, President Barack Obama said that EPA regulations are good for the economy and create jobs and that the agency “touches” the lives of every American every day.
“We can make sure that we are doing right by our environment and, in fact, putting people back to work all across America,” Obama told the federal workers.
“When we put in place new common-sense rules to reduce air pollution, we create new jobs building and installing all sorts of pollution-control technology,” Obama said.
“When we put in place new emissions standards for our vehicles, we make sure that the cars of tomorrow are going to be built right here in the United States of America, that we’re going to win that race,” the president continued.
(he is touting an agency that actually puts people OUT of work? he is living in dream land!)
(Reuters) — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s command center routinely monitors dozens of popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, WikiLeaks and news and gossip sites including the Huffington Post and Drudge Report, according to a government document.
A “privacy compliance review” issued by DHS last November says that since at least June 2010, its national operations center has been operating a “Social Networking/Media Capability” which involves regular monitoring of “publicly available online forums, blogs, public websites and message boards.”
A DHS official familiar with the monitoring program said that it was intended purely to enable command center officials to keep in touch with various Internet-era media so that they were aware of major, developing events to which the Department or its agencies might have to respond.
The document outlining the monitoring program says that all the websites which the command center will be monitoring were “publicly available and… all use of data published via social media sites was solely to provide more accurate situational awareness, a more complete common operating pictures, and more timely information for decision makers…”
The DHS official said that under the program’s rules, the department would not keep permanent copies of the internet traffic it monitors. However, the document outlining the program does say that the operations center “will retain information for no more than five years.”
The monitoring scheme also features a five-page list, attached to the privacy review document, of websites the Department’s command center expected to be monitoring.
These include social networking sites Facebook and My Space – though there is a parenthetical notice that My Space only affords a “limited search” capability – and more than a dozen sites that monitor, aggregate and enable searches of Twitter messages and exchanges.
Among blogs and aggregators on the list are ABC News’ investigative blog “The Blotter;” blogs that cover bird flu; several blogs related to news and activity along U.S. borders (DHS runs border and immigration agencies); blogs that cover drug trafficking and cybercrime; and websites that follow wildfires in Los Angeles and hurricanes.
News and gossip sites on the monitoring list include popular destinations such as the Drudge Report, Huffington Post and “NY Times Lede Blog”, as well as more focused techie fare such as the Wired blogs “Threat Level” and “Danger Room.” Numerous blogs related to terrorism and security are also on the list.
Another blog on the list, Cryptome, also periodically posts leaked documents and was one of the first websites to post information related to the Homeland Security monitoring program.
Also on the list are JihadWatch and Informed Comment [leftist professor Juan Cole -ed.], blogs that cover issues related to Islam through sharp political prisms, which have sometimes led critics to accuse the sites of political bias.
Also on the list are various video and photo-sharing sites, including Hulu, Youtube and Flickr.
While a DHS official involved in the monitoring program confirmed the authenticity of the list, officials authorized to speak for the Department did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.
(hey big brother! welcome to my blog. enjoy reading it)
Weird, just weird. And no, I won’t vote for her! Obama Expert Predicts Chelsea Clinton Presidency
Berkeley Professor Assigns Students To Dig Up Dirt On FOX News For Taxpayer-Funded PBS Hit Piece Standard liberal ass professor on the government dole!
Tom Friedman in Egypt: The Joy of Wishful Thinking Interesting read. Do so…..
Late night eye candy for you all: