Two St. Louis Area Police Officers Suspended for Conduct Off the Job

Officials have reported that two St. Louis area police officers have been suspended by their respective forces for unprofessional conduct committed off the job.

One, Officer Dan Page of the St. Louis County Police Department, is the same officer seen on video attempting to move CNN’s Don Lemon during the recent protests in Ferguson.

Officer Page, an Army Sgt. Major with several tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, is seen on video making harsh comments about affirmative action, gays, Muslims, and President Obama. He is also seen warning women that constantly “jamming their husbands up” on domestic charges is a bad idea.

When CNN’s Don Lemon alerted St. Louis County Chief Jon Belmar about the pushing incident during the protests, the chief said he felt that the officer’s conduct was not outside the department’s code of conduct. But when this video surfaced, the chief found he had to apologize for the officer’s conduct and immediately placed the officer on suspension, pending a full internal investigation.

The video was made as Officer Page addressed an audience at an Oath Keepers meeting, a group made up of current and retired police officials dedicated, they say, to upholding the Constitution. The group’s website says its members “will not obey unconstitutional orders.”

At one point in his off-duty address, Page tells those gathered, “Policemen are very cynical. I know I am. I hate everybody. I’m into diversity. I kill everybody.”

The officer made several statements about killing and how he is not averse to doing it.

Chief Belmer apologized for Officer Page’s comments, explaining that they violated the department’s code of conduct. But the chief said Page’s comments were “not indicative of the St. Louis County Police Department, they’re not indicative of the officers that he works beside, and frankly, he’s let them down.”

Once the video went public, officer Page, a 35-year veteran of the force, was relieved of his duties and has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric examination.

A second area officer, Glendale Officer Matthew Pappert, was suspended from his department after bosses found some unsavory postings on social media.

Pappert, an officer since 2008, had posted several entries on Facebook revealing his frustration with the riots and his negative opinion of citizens in Ferguson, a community 15 miles from his own town.

In one post, Pappert called protesters “a burden on society and a blight on the community.” In another, he scoffed that “protesters should have been put down like rabid dogs the first night.” In a more worrisome post, Pappert wrote, “Where is a Muslim with a backpack when you need them?”

Jeffery Beaton, Glendale police chief, suspended the officer when he became aware of the Facebook posts on Friday. He also said that if there were similar posts on his Facebook page, Pappert could face further disciplinary measures, including dismissal from the force.

But Pappert seems to have a good record with the Glendale department. In 2009, Pappert received the City of Glendale Community Service Award. He also won the 2013 Kirkwood American Legion Post and Kirkwood Optimist Club Public Safety Award.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.

Advertisements

Balanced Budget Amendment? Or Adding a National Sales Tax to the Income Tax?

By Publius Huldah
First posted on February
8, 2014
NewsWithViews.com

The stated purpose of Compact for America, Inc. is to get a balanced budget amendment (BBA) ratified. Here is their proposed BBA. State Legislators recently introduced it in Arizona.[1]

The gap between what this BBA pretends to do – and what it actually does – is enormous. It has nothing to do with “balancing the budget” – it is about slipping in a new national sales tax or value-added tax in addition to the existing federal income tax.

We have become so shallow that we look no further than a name – if it sounds good, we are all for it. We hear, “balanced budget amendment”, and think, “I have to balance my budget; they should have to balance theirs.” So we don’t read the amendment, we just assume they will have to balance theirs the same way we balance ours – by cutting spending.

But that is not what the BBA does. In effect, it redefines “balancing the budget” to mean spending no more than your income plus the additional debt you incur to finance your spending. To illustrate: If your income is $100,000 a year; but you spend $175,000 a year, you “balance” your budget by borrowing the additional $75,000. See?

Under the BBA, Congress may continue to spend whatever it likes and incur as much new debt as it pleases – as long as 26 States agree. And since the States have become major consumers of federal funding, who doubts that they can’t continue to be bought? Federal grants make up almost 35% of the States’ annual budgets! The States are addicted to federal funds – who thinks they won’t agree to get more money?

The BBA enshrines Debt as a permanent feature of our Country; gives it constitutional approval; does nothing to reduce spending or “balance the budget”; authorizes a new national tax; and wipes out the “enumerated powers” limitation on the federal government.

Let’s look at the BBA, section by section, using plain and honest English. And then let’s look at how our Framers wrote our Constitution to strictly control federal spending.

Compact for America’s BBA

Section 1 says the federal government may not spend more than they take from you in taxes or add to the national debt. [Yes, you read that right.]

Section 2 accepts debt as a permanent feature of our Country – the “Authorized Debt”. This is the maximum amount of debt the federal government may incur at any given point in time.

Initially, when the Amendment is ratified, the “authorized debt” may not be more than 105% of the then existing national debt. So! If the national debt is $20 trillion when the Amendment is ratified, the federal government may not initially add more than 105% of $20 trillion [or $1 trillion] to the national debt.

After that initial addition to the national debt, the “authorized debt” may not be increased unless it is approved by State Legislatures as provided in Section 3.

Section 3 says whenever Congress wants, it may increase the national debt if 26 of the State Legislatures agree. [Yes, you read that right.]

Section 4 says whenever the national debt exceeds 98% of “the debt limit set by Section 2”, the President shall “impound” sufficient expenditures so that the national debt won’t exceed the “authorized debt”. And if the President doesn’t do this, Congress may impeach him!

This is a hoot, Folks! I’ll show you:

No debt limit is set by Section 2! The national debt can be increased at any time if Congress gets 26 State Legislatures to agree. Can 26 States be bought?

Section 6 defines “impoundment” as “a proposal not to spend all or part of a sum of money appropriated by Congress”. Who believes Congress will impeach the President[2] for failing to “impound” an appropriation made by Congress?

Section 5 says any new or increased federal “general revenue tax” must be approved by 2/3 of the members of both houses of Congress.

Now pay attention, because this is a monstrous trick to be played on you: Section 6 defines “general revenue tax” as “any income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax” levied by the federal government.

And when you read the first sentence of Section 5 with the definition of “general revenue tax” in place of “general revenue tax”, you see that it says:

“No bill that provides for a new or increased income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax shall become law unless approved by a two-thirds roll call vote…”

Do you see? This permits Congress to impose a national sales tax or value added tax in addition to the income tax,[3] if 2/3 of both houses agree. [Yes, you read that right.]

But the trickery of the drafters of this evil piece of work is even worse. Section 5 also says that any bill for a new sales tax which would replace the federal income tax need only be approved by a simple majority of the members of both houses.

This makes most readers believe that the income tax would be replaced by a sales tax.

But the Amendment does not require Congress to introduce a sales tax to replace the income tax. [Remember, that sales tax requires only a simple majority to get passed.]

Whereas it authorizes Congress to impose a sales tax or value-added tax in addition to the income tax! [This sales tax requires a 2/3 majority to get passed.]

Do you see? Are they tricky or what!

And which option will Congress choose?

Section 6 sets forth the definitions for the amendment. As you see, you must always read the definitions and apply them to the text.

Section 7 says the Amendment is “self-enforcing”. Rubbish! No Constitution or amendment is “self-enforcing.” There is only one way to enforce our Constitution: WE THE PEOPLE, who are “the natural guardians of the Constitution” (Federalist No. 16, next to last para), enforce it by learning it and by throwing out politicians who ignore it. And we must always be on guard against the wolves who seek to destroy it.

Nick Dranias, on the Board of Directors for the Compact for America, is a constitutional lawyer. History professor, Kevin R. C. Gutzman, on the Advisory Council, is a lawyer. Other prominent lawyers and a 5th Circuit Court Judge, are on the Council. They all know what their BBA really does. For a chilling disclosure of who some of these people are on the Council, see investigative journalist Kelleigh Nelson’s paper on NewsWithViews.

How Does Our Constitution Control Federal Spending?

Our Constitution lists – itemizes – every power WE THE PEOPLE delegated to the federal government when we ratified the Constitution. These are the “enumerated powers”. Article I, §8 lists most of the powers delegated to Congress for the Country at large:[4]

immigration office (Art. I, §8, cl.4)
mint (Art. I, §8, cl. 5)
a few criminal laws (e.g., Art. I, §8, cl. 6)
post offices & post roads (Art. I, §8, cl. 7)
patent & copyright office (Art. I, §8, cl. 8)
federal courts (Art. I, §8, cl. 9)
military and citizen militia (Art. I, §8, cls. 11-16)

Various other Articles, sections, and clauses list additional objects of Congress’ spending, such as payment of the salaries of persons on the civil list (Art. I, §6, cl.1; Art. II, §1, next to last clause; and Art. III, §1).

Do you get the idea? The Constitution lists what Congress is permitted to spend money on. Its spending is limited to the enumerated powers, and the salaries of those on the civil list. If you will go thru our Constitution and highlight every power delegated to Congress and the President, you will see ALL the objects on which Congress has constitutional authority to appropriate funds. THAT is ALL – ALL – they may lawfully spend money on.

We have a debt of $17+ trillion (plus unfunded liabilities) because WE ignored our Constitution for 100 years; and Congress spent money on objects outside the scope of the enumerated powers.

This one page chart depicts the Constitution We established, and most of what Congress may lawfully spend money on. Is it not a thing of beauty? Do you want it back? Then Restore it!

Understand this: All versions of a BBA eliminate the enumerated powers limitations on the federal government. Under all versions, the Constitution is “fundamentally changed” to permit the federal government to do anything they want and to spend money on anything they please.

Amendments are a tricky business. And tricksters abound in our Land.

© 2014 Publius Huldah – All Rights Reserved

Endnotes:

1. Compact for America is also trying to use the “compact of the states” provision & is calling for an Art. V convention. Red Flag, Folks! But for now, let’s look just at their dishonest BBA.
2. Congress always had authority to impeach and remove a President for usurpations of power – see this short Primer.
3. Section 5 also says Congress may reduce or eliminate existing income tax exemptions, deductions, or credits by a simple majority vote.
4. This paper lists all the powers delegated to Congress by our Constitution. You can learn them!

Publius Huldah is a retired attorney who now lives in Tennessee. Before getting a law degree, she got a degree in philosophy where she specialized in political philosophy and epistemology (theories of knowledge). She now writes extensively on the U.S. Constitution, using the Federalist Papers to prove its original meaning and intent. She also shows how federal judges and politicians have ignored Our Constitution and replaced it with their personal opinions and beliefs.h E-Mail: publiushuldah@gmail.com

French warned travelers to avoid Ferguson, MO area

Advisory for northern St. Louis issued at least 1 year ago

Police in Ferguson, Missouri, during a fourth night of violence after the police shooting of a black teen.
Police in Ferguson, Missouri, during a fourth night of violence after the police shooting of a black teen.

NEW YORK – For the past year, a French government website has warned French travelers to avoid visiting the area north of downtown St. Louis were the police shooting of a black teen Saturday sparked violent, racial tensions that now are being addressed by the White House.

The French government website “France Diplomatie” carries a security warning for St. Louis, that reads in French: “St. Louis: Eviter le quartier nord entre l’aéroport et le centre-ville, mais la navette reliant l’aéroport est sûre.”

It translates to: “St. Louis: Avoid the northern area between the airport and the city center, but the airport shuttle is safe.”

Noticing the French government travel warning last November, KMOX-TV in St. Louis posted an article that began: “It was 250 years ago that Frenchmen Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau founded the fur trading post that would become St. Louis. Now the French government has some warnings for travelers coming here.”

KMOX reported at the time that the mayor of St. Louis was not amused.

“The French government can do what it wants, but in the end, you know, we’re still going to have people come in and enjoy our city,” Mayor Francis Slay explained to the television station.

KMOX also reported North St. Louis Alderman Antonio French objected that the travel warnings were unfair.

“If you actually think about it, it’s actually not bad of a list to be on,” Slay said. “Almost every major city in America is on the list, including St. Louis, of course. If a Frenchman were to decide to avoid or be discouraged from visiting cities like New York, Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, their visit to the United States would be a lot less fun, a lot less enjoyable.”

The French government website warns French tourists that when arriving in an American city, “it is advisable to learn about the neighborhoods to avoid.”

Obama, calling for “peace and calm on the streets” of Ferguson, said Thursday there is “never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting.”

But he also chastised police.

“There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights,” he said, taking time from his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

The executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police was unhappy with the president’s remarks, The Hill reported.

“I would contend that discussing police tactics from Martha’s Vineyard is not helpful to ultimately calming the situation,” Director Jim Pasco said in an interview with Capitol Hill daily.

“I think what he has to do as president and as a constitutional lawyer is remember that there is a process in the United States, and the process is being followed, for good or for ill, by the police and by the county and by the city and by the prosecutors’ office,” Pasco said.

 

Evangelical Leader Claims Evangelicals are Damaging Christianity

Gary DeMar
First posted 8/6/14
americanvision.org

Pastor Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced chuh-vi-jin), the grandson of famed evangelist Billy Graham and senior pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, “believes that evangelical Christianity has been tarnished by its association with the religious right.” Tarnished by whom? Who is making this claim and where are they getting their information to formulate an opinion?

The following is the essence of Tchividjian’s critique of the “religious right.”

“I think the impression that most non-evangelicals have is that [evangelicalism is] a political movement—it’s a culturally warring movement,” he said. “Closely associating the core message of the Christian faith with a political ideology has always been a huge mistake.”

Is anybody surprised that evangelicals who believe they should get involved socially and politically (non-evangelicals have been doing it for decades) would be misidentified as a “political movement” considering that the mainstream liberal media, special interest groups, apostate religious organizations and denominations, secularists, liberal colleges and universities (are there any other kind?), and evangelical pietists are doing most of the defining?

After the 1973 pro-abortion decision, should Christians have stood by as more than a million unborn babies were killed each year? Was it wrong for William Wilberforce and his fellow Christians to bring Christian moral principles to bear to stop the kidnapping and enslavement of human beings?

Weren’t these efforts “good news” (evangelically) centered? Jesus said that a tree is known by its fruit (Matt. 7:15-23). Speaking out against injustice is the heart and soul of the gospel. Jesus said, quoting the Old Testament (Psalm 6:8), “DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS” (Matt. 7:23; 25:41; Luke 13:27). Who defines lawlessness? Is the civil magistrate exempt? Not according to Romans 13:3-4.

James writes that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-18). Do good works stop at the church door?

Good works are both positive and negative. Helping the poor through volunteerism (Luke 10:25-37; Acts 2:44-45; Rom. 15:25-28) and opposing legislation that hurts the poor and disenfranchised (Isa. 1:21-23) are two sides of the same coin. There are a significant number of special interest groups that do not want pressure put on the government to lessen its role in the life of every American. Money and power are at stake.

Pastor Tchividjian makes the mistake of assuming that the opinions of non-evangelicals are based on accurate information. Where do non-Christians generally get their news? Mostly from woefully misinformed and prejudiced secular sources. I’ve done interviews with liberal journalists, and I can tell you that most of them are neither honest nor knowledgeable when it comes to the topic of religion—when moral absolutes are on the table. (The same can be said of a lot of Christians.) See my article “My Experience with Red-Meat Journalism” for several examples.

How did the enemies of Jesus represent Him before Pontius Pilate? They lied:

“Then the whole body of them got up and brought Him before Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, ‘We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.’ So Pilate asked Him, saying, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ And He answered him and said, ‘It is as you say.’ Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, ‘I find no guilt in this man.’ But they kept on insisting, saying, ‘He stirs up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee even as far as this place’ (Luke 23:1-5).

It was propaganda, misinterpretation, and character assassination. And even still, those same false witnesses often shape the opinions of non-Christians concerning evangelicals and their political concerns—which are minimal.

Pilate asked Jesus about the charge that He was a king and a possible political usurper: “Are you asking this on your own, or have others told you about Me?” (John 18:34). Once Pilate heard directly from Jesus about these accusations, he declared, “I find no guilt in this man” (Luke 23:4). Pilate understood something about “objective” news reporting: There is no such thing.

Christians who are involved politically don’t want to “take over the government.” The vast majority of people who have gotten involved politically over the years want to shrink the size of the State. That’s a huge threat to the establishment of both political parties.

The determination made by Pilate didn’t stop Jesus’ enemies from continuing to make false charges.

And so it is with those who oppose evangelicals and their limited attempts to be engaged politically. The enemies of the gospel and promoters of lawlessness will push their agenda until the threat to their domain is removed. In the case of Jesus, they went so far as to have Him crucified. What did He do to anger the opposition? He healed sick people, raised the dead, forgave sinners, and fed thousands. You can’t get any more evangelical than that, and yet they wanted Him dead (John 8:59; 10:33; Matt. 26:62-66; John 5:18).

Pastor Tchividjian is doing little more than rehearsing the history of the New Testament era of people who did not like Jesus’ message because they understood the long-term consequences of it. It can be said that no matter what Christians do there always will be people who will oppose them if that message includes a change in a person’s moral worldview in any “extra-religious” arena—including business, education, and politics, to name just three areas.

Christianity is opposed because it teaches a comprehensive moral worldview. If the gospel is nothing more than “believe in Jesus” with no change in lifestyle and you’ll go to heaven, there wouldn’t be much if any opposition. But that’s not the gospel. Jesus saves us from our sins, and that includes a change in lifestyle. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “from now on sin no more” (John 8:11; also see 4:7-39). There are a good number of people who don’t want to hear this message.

Jesus did not shy away from discussing moral issues. Jesus often offended His audience: “Then the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?’” (15:12). This question from Jesus’ disciples shows that there’s nothing new under the sun. How many times have we heard from critics of the Christian moral worldview that they are “offended” when they are told they are sinners?

Jesus does not hold back so as not to be “offensive”:

“‘Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.’ Peter said to Him, ‘Explain the parable to us.’ Jesus said, ‘Are you still lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man’” (15:13-20).

These aren’t just personal sins. There is a civil aspect to them as we see with abortion and the redefinition of marriage. If the State can redefine marriage, it can redefine anything, including religion. Should Christians remain silent about these issues so as not to offend some people? Should Christians who opposed Adolf Hitler have remained silent so as not to offend?

Without the knowledge of sin there is no need for grace and forgiveness.

Evangelical Christians have gotten involved politically because, for example, the courts have become a law unto themselves by legalizing abortion and same-sex marriage. As Jesus said, “murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts.” If these “defile the man,” then they need to be pointed out or there is no need for a gospel. Furthermore, if the courts get away with redefining some things, the day may come when they redefine everything.

Does the gospel offend? You bet it does (1 Cor. 1:18-25; Gal. 5:11; Rom. 9:33), but not if it doesn’t mention sin. Remember, “everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4), whether it’s practiced by your neighbor or a civil official (Mark 6:14-29; 2 Sam. 12).

Because the gospel is offensive to many does not mean that heralds of the gospel should be offensive. There are jerks and cranks in every movement. Maybe that’s what Pastor Tchividjian is really addressing. If so, I concur. But pointing out personal and national sins does not obscure the gospel, “for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20).

People will find any excuse not to believe and attack the message and the messengers (Acts 5:17-32; 7:54-60; 12:1-4; 17:1-3, 16-34). Why are Christians in Muslim nations being told to convert or die? Is it because they are politically active? Not at all. The basic tenets of the Christian faith are despised. Anything else is a propagandist’s smoke screen.

6 Reasons To Question and Investigate 9/11 on the 13th Anniversary

Derrick Broze

benswann.com

“In the course of our investigation into the national response to the attacks, the 9/11 Commission staff discovered that the official version of what had occurred (the morning of September 11, 2001) – that is, what government and military officials had told Congress, the Commission, the media and the public about who knew what when – was almost entirely, and inexplicably untrue.” 
– John Farmer, senior counsel to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

We are one month away from the thirteenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Since that time, America has undergone great changes as a result of the ensuing War on Terror. A number of wars have been launched by the American government and its allies. Questionable surveillance and security measures have been put into place, all in the name of keeping the people safe. Many Americans accept these changes as consequences of living in a post-9/11 world, where terror lurks behind every corner.

However, a growing number of individuals in America and around the world continue to question the events of that day, where the funding originated from, and who benefits from shunning any such questioning. Those asking these tough questions include survivors and family members of those who lost their lives on that fateful day. Despite the efforts of the corporate owned media to portray the 9/11 Truth movement as disrespectful or un-American, many people are realizing there are legitimate reasons why any critically thinking individual should support a new investigation into the attacks. Today we take a look at six of those reasons.

1. Lawsuits Against Saudi Arabia

Once it became clear that the Bush Administration was dragging its feet when it came to investigating 9/11, family members began investigations of their own and demanding the government do the same. As early as 2003 it had been reported by the New York Times that congressional reports pointed toward involvement of Saudi citizens, working at the behest of the Saudi government, in the funding of individuals responsible for the attacks. Because of this, family members, survivors, and insurance companies have been pursuing justice by attempting to sue various Saudi Arabian officials, and citizens, as well as charities, banks, and other organizations accused of financing the attacks.

The cases have been bogged down in bureaucracy and diplomatic immunity. First, in 2005 a federal District Court judge in New York said Saudi Arabia could not be sued. In 2008 an appeals court agreed with that ruling.  In May 2009, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Elena Kagan – at that time serving as U.S. solicitor general – urged the Supreme Court not to allow arguments against Saudi Arabia to proceed. The court agreed with Justice Kagan. Those decisions have recently been reversed however, and the lawsuits are now allowed to go forth. There is a catch however.

In late June of this year the Supreme Court ruled that lawsuits by family members and survivors could proceed, however, the justices allowed a previous ruling from a lower court which dismissed claims against 25 defendants, to stand. This means that relatives of Osama bin Laden and Saudi businesses reportedly connected to al-Qaida would not be allowed as defendants. This decision has angered critics, especially in light of the fact that two days after the 9/11 attacks, while all flight traffic was grounded, members of the bin Laden family were allowed to fly out of the county. Close financial ties between the United States and the Saudi Arabian government has made the situation precarious for U.S. officials who do not wish to embarrass their allies. Several times Judges have ruled that Saudi Arabia is entitled to immunity under the federal Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

With the recent Supreme Court ruling it may only be a matter of time before the victims family members find the justice they seek. While public officials proclaim to be working to support the family members, there seems to be a concerted effort to keep certain details from being released. In February 2014, watchdog group Judicial Watch revealed 79 pages of documents from the FBI further detailing the Saudi connection.

2. 28-Page Classified Report

Immediately following the attacks family members called for an investigation into what happened and what went wrong. This lead to the formation of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, the official name for the report completed by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The investigation began in February 2002, and the report was released in December 2002.

When the final report was released it amounted to over 800 pages. Despite the lengthy report critics immediately pointed towards 28 pages that had been classified. Since the report was first released in late 2002 family members and lawmakers have fought to release the classified pages. In December 2013, Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) introduced Resolution 428, calling on President Obama to make the pages public. The resolution has received bi-partisan support.

Representative Jones has said the 28 pages will be an embarrassment to the administration, while Thomas Massie (R-KY) said while reading the documents he “had to stop every couple of pages and absorb and try to rearrange my understanding of history for the past 13 years and the years leading up to that. It challenges you to rethink everything,” he said at a press conference discussing the bill. In order to view the documents they had to sit in a soundproof room without taking notes.

Former Senator Bob Graham of Florida, co-chair of the joint Senate-House investigation, recently told VICE News that the redactions are a “cover up.” Graham stated, “It’s become more and more inexplicable as to why two administrations have denied the American people information that would help them better understand what happened on 9/11.”

On several occasions President Obama promised family members that the classified pages would be released.

3. 9/11 Commission Members Embarrassed and Set up to Fail

Four hundred and forty two days after the attacks the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9/11 Commission, was established. The commission was chaired by five democrats and five republicans. The Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, or 9/11 Commission report, was released on July 22, 2014.

The report was wrought with controversy from the beginning, with the Bush Administration fighting testifying under oath and the public criticizing appointments that were seen as conflicts of interest. Perhaps the most telling piece of information came from the Chairman of the 9/11 Commission himself. In 2006, Chairman Thomas Kean, former Republican Governor of New Jersey, and Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton, former Representative from Indiana, co-authored the book “Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission”. In the book Kean writes that the Commission was “Set up to fail.” In an interview with CBC News Kean was questioned further on his comments.

He states, “We had a lot of people strongly opposed to what we did. We had a lot of trouble getting access to documents and to people. We knew the history of commissions; the history of commissions were they.. nobody paid much attention to ‘em. So there were all kinds of reasons we thought we were set up to fail.”

At a recent press conference for the ten year anniversary of the release of the government’s official report on the attacks, Kean and Hamilton were questioned by a family member on the 28 classified pages. Hamilton stated, “I am embarrassed that they are not declassified.” He said the pages should be released. Kean commented that 60-70 percent of the information they saw should not be classified.

If the Chair and Vice Chair of the report responsible for telling Americans what happened on September 11th, 2001 do not believe they were able to tell the full story, why should Americans believe it?

4. The High-Rise Safety Initiative 

In the years following the attacks a number of efforts for transparency have been launched by supporters of the family members and survivors. A number of family members point to the collapse of World Trade Center 7 as a possible crack in the official story that might broker a new national conversation on the events of that day. WTC7 was not hit by a plane that day, however, it collapsed at 5:42 p.m. According to the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), the official cause for the collapse was office fires. A growing number of family members, activists, architects and engineers question the official theory for collapse and are seeking a new investigation into WTC7.

One of the groups behind the efforts is  the New York City Coalition for Accountability Now (NYC CAN), a coalition of families of 9/11 victims and activists. The group was recently  successful at gathering over 100,000 signatures for the High Rise Safety Initiative, a measure that would require the NYC Department of Buildings to investigate high-rise building collapses in NYC that occurred on, or any time after, September 11, 2001. Despite these efforts, the NY Post reported that the New York City Council will not be accepting over 30,000 signatures for the High Rise Safety Initiative.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito told the Post that the City will not waste taxpayer dollars by “humoring conspiracy theorists”. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has previously called the measure “inappropriate”, “very insensitive”, and stated he believes City Council would not allow the measure on the ballot.  The group released a statement on Friday August 8 stating that they had filed suit against the city. Representatives of the city will be required to appear in court for an initial hearing on Thursday, August 14.

Much of the media tends to paint efforts by family members, independent investigators, and concerned citizens as “conspiracy theorists” or disrespectful, yet it is clear that the much maligned 9/11 Truth movement was started by family members of the victims. For this reason alone it is important that campaigns such as the High Rise Safety Initiative be given a fair chance.

5. First Responders Continue to Show Signs of Failing Health

One week after the attacks the Environmental Protection Agency’s Administrator Christine Todd Whitman released a statement declaring the air and water surrounding Ground Zero to be safe to breathe and drink.

“Given the scope of the tragedy from last week, I am glad to reassure the people of New York and Washington, D.C. that their air is safe to breath and their water is safe to drink.”

Since that time firefighters, EMT’s, police officers, and volunteers who remained at Ground Zero looking for survivors and bodies have found themselves falling victim to breathing illnesses, cancer, and other sicknesses likely related to inhaling dust consisting of building materials, computers, and human bodies.

Truthstream Media reported on the situation:

“Back in May 2007, a Congressional investigation was launched into the EPA’s role in properly responding to the environmental crisis and air quality emergency in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Former EPA commissioner Christine Todd Whitman refused to testify – despite the fact that her statements on air quality after 9/11 had immediately affected hundreds of thousands of rescue workers and New York residents, and more broadly millions – until she was pressured under threat of subpoena by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) whose district includes lower Manhattan. However, she was officially cleared of any wrongdoing, and defeated multiple lawsuits.”

In September 2013 the NY Daily News reported that “as of August, 1,140 responders and people who worked, lived or studied in lower Manhattan have been certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety.” This was based off a Mount Sinai Medical Center study that found 15% higher cancer rates among first responders compared to those not exposed to the dust at Ground Zero. More recently the NY Post reported on a growth in cancer rates among first responders. According to the latest data from Mount Sinai Hospital’s World Trade Center Health Program, over 2,500 first responders now have cancer.

Congress for its part, did pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which is designed to provide medical services and compensation for first responders. Critics say the government is not doing enough to help those who volunteered their livelihood in the wake of the largest terror attack on American soil. If these brave men and women chose to put themselves in harms way based on a lie, that needs to be investigated and those responsible held accountable.

6. The Public Supports a New Investigation

Thirteen years after that horrific day many Americans have had the opportunity to calmly and clearly revisit the events. Sure, there are those who have placed the memory in an uncomfortable location in their psyche. It is often painful to recall the emotions that surged through one while being told the nation was under attack. However, it remains as important as ever to look into the facts and put aside dissonance that comes with questioning something so emotionally charged.

In late August 2013, a poll conducted by YouGov found that nearly half of Americans polled had doubts about the official story of 9/11. The poll found that 38 percent had doubts, while 10 percent did not believe it at all and another 12 percent were unsure. Other findings include 46 percent of those polled were unaware of the collapse of WTC7, and another 46 percent suspected controlled demolition after viewing footage of the buildings collapse. Only 28 percent believed the building could have collapsed due to office fires.

Ben Swann did an exclusive report on the survey in September 2013.

The poll was sponsored by the ReThink 911 campaign, a global public awareness campaign launched on September 1, 2013. YouGov surveyed 1194 adults between 27th – 29th August 2013. Although the sample size is admittedly small, it does indicate that Americans do still have questions regarding September 11, 2001.

Indeed, when Matthew Mills interrupted a press conference following the Super Bowl in February 2014 with the message “Investigate 9/11, and 9/11 was perpetrated by people within our own government”, the internet blew up with support (and hate). Obviously, the world still has quite a bit to say about 9/11.
13th Anniversary Plans

It has become painfully obvious that Americans do not know the full story of September 11, 2001. Earlier this year Freedom of Information Act Requests revealed FBI documents that point towards “an antagonist in Jerusalem” being involved in the attacks in some way. The heavily redacted documents say this person was someone of great wealth who “denounce and criticize the United States of America and its policies.” This connection is yet another lead that goes uninvestigated.

For these reasons (and many more) activists, family members, and investigators continue to gather in New York City and around the country every year on September 11th. On the this years 13th anniversary Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth and the Ground Zero 911 Coalition are organizing three days of events for those concerned with the U.S. governments lack of accountability and transparency.

The groups are planning outreach at Ground Zero, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Union Square, Times Square, and other locations. A&E 9/11 Truth will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. on September 11th at Zucotti Park discussing their recent appearance on C-SPAN and future plans for the movement. There will also be a screening of the documentary “Anatomy of a Great Deception” and a symposium with speakers, including A&E 9/11 Truth founder Richard Gage, AIA, former Reagan/Bush campaign and White House staffer Barbara Honegger, firefighter Rudy Dent, and a 9/11 survivor who will be speaking for the first time at an anniversary event. Also family members Bob McIlvaine, Vance Green, and Catherine Montano will be speaking. A&E 9/11 Truth also has plans for a new billboard questioning 9/11 to be placed outside of the NY Times building. 

If you care about this issue please come to New York City, or organize locally. Spread awareness by using the hashtags #IQuestion911 and #Investigate911

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist, community activist, gardener and promoter from Houston, Texas. He is the co-founder of The Houston Free Thinkers, and co-host of Free Thinker Radio. Broze also hosts and produces a weekly podcast under the name the Conscious Resistance Live. His writing can be found on TheConsciousResistance.com , The Liberty Beat, the Anti-Media, Activist Post, and Ben Swann.com

Russian Hackers Have Your Password. Now What?

By Katherine Albrecht & Liz McIntyre

www.ehow.com/ehow-tech/

hacker

Russian hackers have figured out how to suck up over a billion user names and passwords from users across the globe.

With the dizzying number of accounts involved, we’re assuming our own information is floating somewhere in the Motherland, and unless we all wise up, it’s just a matter of time before the “CyberVor” culprits upgrade to Sevruga caviar at our expense.

Just to be on the safe side, you should probably make that assumption, too.

Don’t panic, though. It’s not time to say “до свида́ния” to the Internet just yet. Here’s what happened in plain English — and how you can protect yourself.

It’s all about bots

Based on early reports, this may have been the biggest user name and password heist in history. Amazingly, it was deployed on the backs of everyday Web users. The hackers cleverly infected victims’ computers with a virus to turn them into zombie robots (a.k.a. “bots”) to do their bidding. Then they combined a huge number of these computers into a “botnet.”

botnet 620 wide

A botnet is an army of infected devices that can perform jobs for its hacker masters, like sending spam, spreading viruses and spying. In this case, the virus hitched a ride on people’s Web browsers, where it quietly scanned for vulnerabilities on every website visited. When a hackable target was found, the virus reported back to the hackers, who would later siphon data from the websites’ underlying databases.

The resulting jackpots included account information, full names, addresses, usernames, passwords, purchase history — in short, everything the website knew about its customers.
These cyber thugs may have already compromised over 400,000 websites, and security analysts suspect the attacks are ongoing.

Freeze hackers out of your accounts

man in ice 350Have you unwittingly become a hacker patsy? Millions of people have and don’t even know it. We owe it to each other to clean up our acts when it comes to viruses. Here’s how to avoid helping the bad guys:

Watch out for rogue links. Use your cursor to hover over links before clicking them—even those from friends who could unknowingly be delivering you malicious messages. Hovering will reveal where the link goes, usually by displaying it in the lower left-hand corner of your screen. If the link and the hover don’t match, beware. (That Amazon.com link that really goes to www.ra7n.ru/Qpdv, is probably not Amazon.)

Be careful what you download. Questionable software often comes with hidden viruses, especially pirated software and music. Resist that tempting freebie — it could be bot bait.

Practice safe surfing. As you do in real life, stay away from sleazy or dangerous looking sites, and use a proxy when in doubt. Private search engine StartPage.com offers a free proxy with every search result — just click where it says “view by Ixquick proxy.” Watch Katherine’s  short video about the proxy.

Get a good antivirus program. Run it regularly and update it fanatically. Use firewalls to help screen out infected emails and shield you from the effects of rogue links.

username and passwordKeep your computer programs up to date. Are you running a three-year-old version of IE? Viruses prey on security weaknesses. Download and install patches from your software providers regularly.

If you were among those whose data was siphoned — and we should all assume we were — it’s time for the usual security drill. Change your passwords, making them strong and unique for every account. Computer guru Kim Komando has some great tips.

And don’t forget to check your financial accounts for any unusual activity. Don’t just look for big purchases, since identity thieves will often ring up “micro charges” that range from a few cents to a few dollars to test the waters before bagging a big payoff. For more tips on how to minimize the impact of identity theft, check out these helpful tips from the Federal Trade Commission.

Unfortunately, there’s little chance these hackers will be caught and sent to Siberia. Even if they are, a whole new crop of cyberthieves will spring up somewhere else to take their place. If you use these tips, though, the next time a botnet hack is announced, you’ll at least know you weren’t part of the problem.

Til next time,

Katherine & Liz

Join the privacy revolution by switching to StartPage.com the private search engine, and using StartMail.com, both projects Katherine has helped develop. You can catch Katherine on radio daily at www.kmashow.com. And please read our book, Spychips, to learn more about privacy-invading technology and how to defeat it.

Photo credits: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images, PhotoEuphoria/BigStock.com, Tawng/BigStock.com